As a precursor to Saudi Arabia's report on its commitment to significant Human Rights advances at the 25th session of UN Human Rights Council, Saudi's Deputy Minister of Labor for International Affairs, featured on Newsnight this week to boast the key aspects of the report with a focus on "holistic" steps on achieving female empowerment. But a failure to confirm the lifting of the driving ban for women, even after three pushy prompts by Jeremy Paxman, made it clear that "holistic" does not include an overturn on the ban.
Last week, I was part of a UN inter-agency convoy that brought much-needed emergency supplies to the Areha district, including for nearby Muhambel town. It has been months since humanitarian assistance has been able to get through. Even now that the fighting has stopped in this area, the 22-truck convoy had to take a circuitous route to avoid active hot areas.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the enormous groundswell of activities underway across the world designed to address climate change. They are driven by thousands of people, often in partnership with business, governments and industry, to provide climate change solutions for their cities and communities...
The destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (CW) has started. In a breakthrough moment in Iran-US relations, the two Presidents talked on the phone and the foreign ministers sat down to discuss Iran's nuclear programme. Though the connection has received little comment in the western news media, these two welcome developments are deeply linked and close to inter-dependent.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last Friday the most comprehensive ever study on global warming. The landmark report, prepared by more than 200 scientists over two years, concludes that global temperatures could rise by up to 4.8 Celsius (8.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of this century compared to pre-industrial levels, but could potentially still be held to 0.3 C (0.5 F) with deep, speedy cuts in emissions.
It goes without saying that preventing sexual violence in conflict is not an easy task. The declaration adopted yesterday represents an important step at the political level, which should not be sniffed at. Yet how it translates into action in the DRC peace process, and in funding for those working to prevent and respond to this violence on the ground, will be the test of its rhetoric.