On Thursday 12 December Bangladesh hanged the Islamic leader, Abdul Quader Mollah, despite pleas from, among others, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. CNN reported that two UN human rights experts called on Bangladesh to halt the execution "because of concerns that Mollah did not receive a fair trial".
So, do we write off countries like the Philippines as simply 'disaster-prone', and ready our emergency relief teams for the next Haiyan? Absolutely not. We must act now on the knowledge that climate change is driving an increase in extreme weather, and provide better protection against the impact of climate-related disasters.
Imagine you need to use the loo. Really, right now, you desperately need a loo. Now imagine you're in Uganda, one of the poorest countries on the planet. Now imagine you're in Uganda and you don't have the use of your legs. You don't have a proper wheelchair to get around with either - you use a hand-pedal bike, creaky and rusty.
The impending elections in January 2014 can further the disparity, simply by leaving the choice between devil and the deep sea. Enchanted as always, other countries will watch this voyeurism of poverty and political instability with only as much concern and curiosity as the election results unfold post polling, just to see if their predictions were close enough.
Syria's brutal conflict has killed over 100,000 people, driven seven million from their homes and created the worst refugee crisis for a generation. I intend to welcome the Prime Minister's recent vow to lead the world in aid for the Syrian people, and to ask the Secretary of State to ensure that no stone is left unturned in diplomatic efforts to improve humanitarian access and bring about peace talks.