The Wagner Group’s headline-making activity in Ukraine and recent attempted rebellion in Russia has brought renewed attention to the role of private military and security companies, or PMSCs, in contemporary conflicts. One under-explored facet of the rise of PMSCs is the effect of their proliferation on the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The need for European states to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels has never seemed greater, and opinion polls indicate firm support for the measures needed to do so. Yet growing signs of disquiet among some voters over the tradeoffs needed to make green policies work signals that public support cannot be taken for granted.
While women’s rights have become a mainstream issue, societal change when it comes to gender equality has lagged. And in many countries where legal protections of women have made gains, they have faced a backlash. Meanwhile, gender-based violence remains a scourge, despite the emergence of the #MeToo movement.
The U.N. General Assembly just took a small step toward strengthening its role in international peace and security. The assembly typically plays second fiddle to the Security Council on such issues. But with the council embroiled in debates between Russia and the West, many U.N. members feel the assembly should compensate for its flaws.
Globally, human rights remain under assault, whether by populist movements desperate to gain power or authoritarian governments eager to maintain it. At the same time, the populist rise has invigorated civil society efforts to protect historically marginalized communities.
FIFA has gone to great lengths to keep soccer and politics separate, and in the past has applied the same apolitical facade to both the men’s and women’s game. In recent years, though, and especially following the 2019 edition of the tournament, the Women’s World Cup has become an event in which politics is a part of its brand.
The international order is fraying, generating uncertainty about who will intervene to resolve persistent conflicts, and who will fund humanitarian responses to human-made and natural disasters. Meanwhile, emerging crises, proxy wars and multiple hot spots pose new risks, even as the nature of transnational terrorism is evolving.
When Mali demanded last month that the U.N. withdraw peacekeepers from its territory “without delay,” it sent a chill through diplomats in New York. Many observers have speculated over whether Mali’s move could presage the end of other U.N. missions in Africa, dealing a blow to the institution’s contribution to security there.
Last month’s Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris solidified support for providing financial incentives to low-income countries to help address climate change. The summit represented a huge win for the developing world and especially for Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who has championed the issue for years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of whether women make better leaders in a crisis gained prominence. Now, the near-absence of women from the world stage has returned to being something of a “So what?” issue. But with the world continuing to face numerous crises, women’s political leadership is more, not less, important.