David Miliband

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The funeral of Ukrainian soldier Vadym ‘Gagarin’ Belov in Polonne, Ukraine, on 13 September 2023. Photograph: Alex Babenko/AP

Recently, Michael Kofman, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of the foremost analysts of the war in Ukraine, urged that the west “plan for the long war”. He was talking about the military challenges facing the country: ammunition, air defence, key enablers and scaling up training.

Kofman is right – the massive scale of the operation ahead cannot be overestimated. A recent trip I made to Kyiv confirms the extraordinary bravery, resilience and commitment of the Ukrainian population. But it also laid bare the civilian cost of the war, visible and invisible. With no end to the war in sight, civilian and humanitarian needs must be planned for, not just military ones.…  Seguir leyendo »

Next week Britain and France will convene major international conferences. The first, in London, will seek to drum up support for Ukraine. The second, in Paris, will focus on international financing for countries and communities affected by extreme poverty and climate change. The risk is that far from bringing the world together, the conferences will further divide it.

The war in Ukraine has united the West for a vast effort: economic, military and humanitarian aid to the country so far exceeds $150bn—the majority of which has come from America—and this does not count the support for 8m Ukrainian refugees in Europe.…  Seguir leyendo »

The World Beyond Ukraine

“Ukraine has united the world”, declared Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a speech on the first anniversary of the start of the war with Russia. If only that were true. The war has certainly united the West, but it has left the world divided. And that rift will only widen if Western countries fail to address its root causes.

The traditional transatlantic alliance of European and North American countries has mobilized in unprecedented fashion for a protracted conflict in Ukraine. It has offered extensive humanitarian support for people inside Ukraine and for Ukrainian refugees. And it is preparing for what will be a massive rebuilding job after the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protestor sticking up posters in Bangkok, November 2022. Chalinee Thirasupa / Reuters

Five years ago, few people outside of narrow academic circles had heard the term “polycrisis”. Thanks to Russia’s war in Ukraine, global food shortages, deepening economic and debt crises in emerging markets, record numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, and the ever-present threat of climate change, the term is now practically impossible to avoid. Coined by the French social analyst Edgar Morin, it was popularized by former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and, more recently, by the Columbia historian Adam Tooze, who has written extensively on how disparate global crises interact to create a seeming loop of doom.

A polycrisis isn’t just a glut of simultaneous emergencies; it is a series of crises that compound and augment one another in ways that make them harder to solve.…  Seguir leyendo »

Olena Zhuk con su hija, Anna, e Ira Slyvkanych con su hija, Milena, en Leópolis, Ucrania, después de cruzar la frontera con Polonia el sábado. Maciek Nabrdalik para The New York Times

Debido a la invasión rusa de Ucrania, el equilibrio de poder militar en Europa está en juego. También está en juego el equilibrio moral. Occidente tiene que demostrar que puede estar a la altura de sus valores, además de defenderse.

El deseo de Vladímir Putin de desafiar las normas internacionales hace que los 44 millones de ciudadanos ucranianos teman por sus vidas y su futuro. Todos los resultados posibles implican sacrificio y sufrimiento a gran escala.

Más de 500.000 personas ya han huido a través de las fronteras de Ucrania; al menos 160.000 más han sido desplazadas internamente a causa de los combates.…  Seguir leyendo »

Olena Zhuk with her daughter, Anna, and Ira Slyvkanych with her daughter, Milena, all from Lviv, Ukraine, after crossing the border into Poland, on Saturday. Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the military balance of power in Europe is up for grabs. The moral balance is also at stake. The West needs to show that it can live up to its values — as well as defend itself.

Vladimir Putin’s willingness to challenge international norms means Ukraine’s 44 million citizens are living in fear for their lives and their futures. All possible outcomes involve sacrifice and suffering on a huge scale.

More than 500,000 people already have fled across Ukraine’s borders; at least 160,000 more have been internally displaced by the fighting. The United States has predicted there could be as many as five million refugees — joining what is already a record 31 million refugees and asylum seekers around the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Joe Biden said in August that the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan would not signal the end of US support to the Afghan people, pledging active humanitarian support and diplomatic engagement. But the policies of the US and other Western powers have done the opposite, instead delivering isolation, economic mayhem and human misery.

Following the Taliban takeover in August, Western states froze all development aid, worth 75% of the Afghan government's budget. Many civil servants, including doctors and teachers, have not been paid since August. Western powers froze $9.5 billion in Afghan assets in foreign banks -- the vast majority of which is held in the US.…  Seguir leyendo »

The return of diplomats and politicians to midtown Manhattan for the annual September UN General Assembly meeting has been good news for the hotels. But will it justify the journeys?

Last year's General Assembly was not just virtual in attendance. It was also virtual in substance. It showcased the world's problems with beggar-thy-neighbor politics and evidence-light policymaking -- even in the face of Covid-19's historic, and shared, thread. Then-President Donald Trump was not the only guilty party.

The results of this failure to cooperate -- through the UN, other institutions, and in general -- have been clear: Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people globally in need of assistance rose by about 40% -- up to 235 million -- with financial instability, hunger, out-of-school children and gender inequity all on the rise worldwide.…  Seguir leyendo »

Reparar el sistema quebrado de financiamiento en pandemia

Desde que el G7 se reunió en agosto de 2019, el COVID-19 ha resultado en 3,5 millones de muertes y pérdidas económicas que, se calcula, alcanzarán los 22 billones de dólares en 2025 –una sacudida económica 80% mayor que la que siguió a la crisis financiera global de 2008-. Cada uno de estos episodios catastróficos dio lugar a un multilateralismo audaz y efectivo que hizo que el mundo fuera más seguro y más próspero de ahí en adelante. El G7 ahora tiene la oportunidad de demostrar el mismo tipo de liderazgo en su cumbre en Cornwall esta semana.

En su calidad de actual presidente del G7, el Reino Unido espera liderar la recuperación global de la recesión provocada por el COVID-19 de manera tal que fortalezca la resiliencia del mundo contra futuras pandemias.…  Seguir leyendo »

In his first days in office, President Joe Biden has prioritized immediate actions in America and for Americans. This is what he promised. But he has also committed to reestablishing international US leadership, with " humility and confidence" as Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it, and started with executive orders on issues like refugees and the pandemic.

These measures lay the foundation for urgent action needed now more than ever in the world's proliferating humanitarian crises, mired in the triple threat of untended conflict, unmitigated climate change and the scourge of Covid-19.

As IRC's 2021 Watchlist reveals, this toxic mix is driving unprecedented humanitarian need and reversing decades of hard-won progress worldwide.…  Seguir leyendo »

Crematorium employees removing a victim of the coronavirus in Mexico City. Credit Edgard Garrido/Reuters

The coronavirus has hit the poorest the hardest, but until recently, they have mostly been in wealthy countries. Now, even as the pandemic continues to claim lives in high-income countries — and especially the United States — it’s spreading with ferocity in lower- and middle-income countries. The virus has infected at least 1.5 million people in Brazil and claimed more than 60,000 lives there. India ended June with around 600,000 cases; it started the month with just under 200,000.

With limited health resources, widespread poverty, large debt burdens and, in some cases, political instability and conflict, developing countries are the new front line in the pandemic.…  Seguir leyendo »

One year ago, 181 nations gathered in Marrakech to sign the Global Refugee Compact, hailed at the time as a historic framework for a more equitable way for the world to support refugees. This week, world leaders are gathering in Geneva for the Global Refugee Forum to assess progress made since the signing.

The reality is that the gap between the needs of refugees and the support for them continues to grow. The number of refugees worldwide has grown to nearly 26 million, reflecting new waves of displacement from places like Venezuela, which have added to the toll of longer-term conflicts from Afghanistan to Syria and South Sudan.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 1956, András Gróf decided to start walking. At 20, he had survived Hungarian fascism, Nazi occupation, and the invasion of the Soviet Red Army. To escape the crossfire of a bloody counterrevolution, he walked from Budapest to Vienna, where he reached the offices of the International Rescue Committee (IRC): an organization founded by Albert Einstein to help people fleeing violence and persecution.

The IRC put Gróf on a boat to the United States. When he arrived at Ellis Island, he took the name Andy Grove.

Andy Grove went on to become co-founder and CEO of Intel. He is recognized today as one of the people who profoundly shaped Silicon Valley and the digital transformation of the world economy.…  Seguir leyendo »

People taking part in a naturalization ceremony on July 4, 2017, at Mount Vernon. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Many Americans, and the American government itself, have expressed shock at the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The Trump administration has also said it is concerned about persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East. For his part, the president has said he wants to defend the rights of the Castro regime’s opponents in Cuba.

Yet all these protestations will be for nothing if, as the deadline approaches for the White House to make its determination about the number of refugees to be admitted next year, the administration decides to decimate the United States refugee resettlement program. At stake are not just the lives of tens of thousands of victims of war and persecution who dream of starting a new life in America; at risk also are American values, the United States’ reputation and American interests around the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Men line up to vote outside a polling station in Kabul on April 5, 2014

The civil war in Afghanistan is raging again. After almost 40 years of near-consecutive conflict -- from the Soviet invasion to the US-led war against the Taliban for its sheltering of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda post-9/11 -- Afghanistan is once again on the international emergency watch list.

As we mark 15 years since that tragic morning in Manhattan, it's right to ask what international efforts have achieved in Afghanistan and what challenges lie ahead.

Violence is escalating across the country at an alarming rate. The Taliban, at their strongest since the start of the US invasion in 2001, are leading a renewed insurgency in Helmand, Kunduz and beyond.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ebola was a brutal wake-up call not only for people across West Africa, but also for the global health community whose job it is to prevent such disastrous outcomes. The United Nations, nonprofit organizations and foreign governments all promised to do better next time.

The first good sign came on February 1, when the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency of international concern, rather than waiting many more months as it had during the Ebola epidemic.

But global health experts have forgotten an even more important lesson in the fight against Ebola: Don't just act, listen.

During the Ebola outbreak, millions were spent to develop and deliver simple, generic messages about the disease and how to mitigate infection rates.…  Seguir leyendo »

Children stand outside the small house their families now share in southern Turkey after fleeing Syria. (Alice Martins/for The Washington Post)

The Obama administration and its European allies are confronted by multiple crises in an increasingly turbulent and violent Middle East — the Iran nuclear threat, a strengthening Islamic State and the disintegration of Iraq, Yemen and Libya as functioning nation-states. But no problem is as difficult, grave or pivotal as the brutal, bloody and worsening civil war in Syria.

The situation in this keystone Middle East state is catastrophic. More than 220,000 Syrians have died in its four-year civil war. More than 11 million Syrians — half the population — have fled their homes. Four million have taken refuge in nearby countries.…  Seguir leyendo »

Almost a year on from their dramatic seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second city, the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continue to expand the frontiers of their stronghold in the Middle East.

The fall this month of Ramadi -- the last remaining government-held city in Iraq's largest province -- and the taking, 400 miles west, of Syria's Roman-era town of Palmyra, constitute not just important strategic gains for the group, but significant propaganda victories. Televised images of Palmyra's ancient ruins now abound, their fate seemingly hanging in the balance.

The rapid rise of ISIS has thus captured the world's attention, and we've seen a coalition of Western and Arab states make common cause with Iran to try to forcibly halt the jihadists' advance.…  Seguir leyendo »

África está cambiando radicalmente, tanto como las actitudes de los extranjeros hacia ella: finalmente, Estados Unidos parece haberse decidido a igualar el nivel de interés de China, Europa e India por el continente. La reciente cumbre del Presidente Barack Obama con 40 jefes de estado y 200 líderes de los negocios estadounidenses y africanos parece indicar un estado de ánimo nuevo y más confiado. Resulta estimulante, pero mientras haya partes del África subsahariana que sigan sumidas en conflictos violentos, pobreza y corrupción, no se aprovechará todo el potencial económico del continente.

Las oportunidades comerciales y de crecimiento económico de África son atractivas e interesantes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tras más de mil días de muerte y sufrimiento, dos importantes declaraciones públicas recientes muestran por qué la política para con Siria debe entrar en una nueva fase de intensidad y centrarse más. El mes pasado, el Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, al exponer su posición más amplia en materia de política exterior, habló de los tres males de Siria: tácticas militares brutales, la amenaza terrorista de la oposición y la necesidad de apoyar a los refugiados. Una semana antes, la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas de Coordinación de Asuntos Humanitarios comunicó detalles espantosos de la crisis de Siria en materia de asuntos humanitarios, incluidos ciudadanos víctimas del fuego de los dos bandos, continuos ataques gubernamentales con bombas de barril y escasez de alimentos y medicinas.…  Seguir leyendo »