The latest agreement for peace in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) offers a fresh and much needed glimmer of hope for ordinary Congolese citizens suffering from two decades of violence.
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The sheer scale of the attacks now being launched by the Syrian State on rebels and civilians alike has bought about howls of anguish from across the Arab World and beyond.
Those expecting UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to use his second term as a period of quiet consolidation, before beginning the slow process of winding down, were in for a surprise as the New Year began.
Wise counsel such as this was largely ignored in the run up to the war in Iraq, and such were the consequences that few thought such blundering would ever occur again.
Sir Brian Urquhart, one of the oldest surviving senior UN staff members, reminded us recently that a former Secretary General of the UN, Dag Hammarskjold, had once said