We're no longer the same UN. We're more and more in conflict zones. And we've taken certain decisions that mean we're no longer seen as neutral. The UN flag is now a target instead of a shield. That means we have to change how we go about things, because right now our colleagues and their families are paying too high a price.
Since my brush with death at the Ashura bombing in Kabul, and my crack on the head, I have developed a disturbing ability. In the same way that bats can locate moths by echolocation, I have discovered that I can locate furniture with my shins. We never stop learning it seems. It started in Dubai when I jammed my foot into a table and sliced my toe open.
This week I visited Somalia's capital. Mogadishu is a city where people until recently were surviving, not really living. As its Mayor said to me, a 20-year-old Somali has never known anything other than violence and war... I left Somalia more convinced than ever that we have a responsibility to do our utmost to stem the decline of Somalia. Its people deserve a better future, and our own security requires their country to become more stable.
We're right there in the room as a father, worn down by a low-paid job and family tragedy, humiliates his bullying son, desperate to stop him throwing his life away. We're listening over the shoulder of a head teacher in his office as he brutally washes his hands of a good colleague, because social services have decided to investigate her home life.
Stricken Somalians are desperate for humanitarian aid after the worst drought for decades continues to blight the south of the country, killing livest...
No parent should have to watch their child die. One of the first mothers I met in Sigale camp, Mogadishu, told me how she had had to do just that. Fleeing from her home because of the drought, unable to feed her children, she trekked seven days with her four children to Mogadishu to find refuge. On the way her youngest child, still breastfeeding, died. There was nothing she could do. She looked exhausted, and hadn't eaten herself for four days but was determined to save the lives of her three remaining children.