I understand the need for diplomatic niceties to be observed. That's why when a royal head of state dies, I'm perfectly happy for one of our royals to attend the funeral. But why on earth do we have to send the prime minister as well? ... Wouldn't it be nice if, like Germany, we could halt our arms sales to what is undoubtedly one of the nastiest regimes on the planet. And when the new king dies - he's already 79 - perhaps we could send Prince Charles on his own. I'm sure he'd manage just fine.
As the Ebola crisis in West Africa begins to ease, there is equal cause for hope and fear. The news that infections have slowed to fewer than 100 new cases per week is cause for optimism. But as the fight against Ebola moves into this next stage, there is still so much work to be done.
As we drove to Mahser I reflected on the day in Suruç, on Khalil who had escaped the grips of ISIS in Ar-Raqqa finding safety in Kobanê; each bullet wound a bitter reminder of the violence that YPG/YPJ fighters have endured day in and day out for 134 days.
I believe that memorialisation without action is part of the problem. The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau is as good a time as any to deliver that message.
Today in Addis Ababa, the African Union (AU) meets for its annual summit which this year will focus on women's empowerment and developing Agenda 2063, their 50 year development plan. This long term approach aims for inclusive growth and sustainable development and a shift away from aid-dependency.
This year the world has the opportunity to keep more children safe. Together we can help children realise their rights, fulfil their potential and protect them from violence and danger. How the world looks tomorrow is dependent on how children grow up today - and the time to act is now, we haven't a moment to lose.
Fighting homelessness is at the heart of my human rights message. With this in mind I've kick-started my New Year by involving myself in a number of projects challenging homelessness in our society.
Juba began to emulate its neighbor, Kenya, where electioneering is a daily norm. The camp under Riek Machar had the sympathies of millions who longed for a progressive change.
Like 30 million other Brits, the PAYE system automatically takes a certain chunk from my salary each month. However, for some, it's a different story. Tax avoidance has become global issue splashed across every national newspaper.
Debate over the level of female participation at global events like the WEF is, of course, important, but we must also look beyond the figures. We must remember that those women who are being heard on such stages are having an enormous impact. Many of the sessions and events I attended at this year's WEF addressed issues of equal opportunity, diversity and women's empowerment - and it was notable that many of these conversations were being driven by women with a real sense of hope and determination.
Enough is enough though. This Red Nose Day, we want to help change and save thousands of lives by improving healthcare for communities across Africa. By combining your cash with local talent and determination we can make a huge difference and to demonstrate that we're going to follow the refurbishment of Iyolwa clinic by working with Ugandans like Gonza, a local architect who has come forward to lend his skills. Your support will not only help to refurbish this clinic, but will also help to improve healthcare for thousands of people in communities across Africa...
Technology and Science both hold empowering answers. With science we have to be more careful of falling into the cure or eradication trap. But, scientific progress for living healthier and happier with a disability is ok by me.
We are often told that as Jews, we should end our "unhealthy obsession" with the Holocaust; that it is now time to move on. Whilst this may seem sacrilegious to some, as an educator, I would like to suggest that perhaps we do need to re-evaluate the messages that we take from this darkest period of recent Jewish history and their long term import.
It was the force of that grief, rather than the shock of Isobel's diagnosis, that I fought desperately to eject from myself. It took great strength to not let it blind me to the very beautiful little girl who had arrived with the potential to light up my life.
For me, independent living is not about where you live or how much personal assistance you receive, although they are factors, but it is an attitude to life and living that enables people to embrace their personal rights and take on their responsibilities as interdependent citizens of society.
For the most part, the international staff at the Red Cross treatment centre have years of experience behind them. But even so, you cannot neglect the psychological impact of dealing with death on a daily basis.