Fewer women are dying in child birth, more girls are going to school, increased numbers of women are taking on roles in public office, there are more female entrepreneurs and less poverty. But significant challenges remain, and we are still a long way from achieving universal access to reproductive and sexual health and the realisation of reproductive rights for all.
In 1994 in the space of 100 days up to one million people were killed in Rwanda, in a calculated act, fueled and perpetrated by Hutu extremists in the then ruling government. It was one of Africa's defining moments, and one of the greatest crimes against humanity of the late 20th century, causing a shock wave across the world that still echoes today.
Monday is United Nations' World Health Day, where those of us working to improve the health of people across the globe traditionally deliver a clarion call to galvanise people into action. It's a moment when, to paraphrase Kofi Annan, we remind world governments that health is to be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for.
On this day in 1994 the Rwandan genocide was unleashed. Extremist members of Rwanda's Hutu majority set about slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus, irrespective of age or gender. More than 800,000 people were killed in 100 days of murder, rape and torture. I am in Rwanda today to commemorate the genocide, pay respect to the victims and honour the ordinary people of Rwanda for their remarkable efforts to rebuild their country after experiencing unimaginable horrors. But today we must not only pause and remember the genocide, its victims and survivors; we must also reflect on the lessons of that experience...
The storm of protest that rained down on Copenhagen Zoo following the killing and butchery of Marius, a healthy young giraffe, did not discourage its officials from announcing a few weeks later that a pride of lions - maybe even the ones to whom Marius was publicly fed - had similarly been killed...
I thought that we lived in an era that looked back on the horrors of Rwanda and Yugoslavia and said 'never again' and meant it. Sadly I think the crisis in Syria proves all of us wrong and we are all collectively guilty for allowing the country to collapse as it has. Three years on and we see both a biblical level exodus combined with a levels of violence that few of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams. Over nine million people, nearly half of the country, forced from their homes and on the move exposed to a new life of uncertainty, poverty and too often despair.
Some in the United States also questioned whether Pollard should remain in jail, because, after all, he had "only" been spying for a cherished U.S. ally. However, instead of questioning whether Pollard should be behind bars, perhaps proponents of his release instead should be questioning the cozy U.S. relationship with Israel.
We have been opposing the Japanese whaling fleets in the Southern Ocean since 2002 and we have undertaken ten campaigns with numerous ships and more than a thousand volunteers to non-violently intervene against what we have always insisted is illegal whaling. Japan filed suit against Sea Shepherd USA in the U.S. courts and had Sea Shepherd and myself charged with numerous counts of contempt for which we were found not guilty. Japanese whalers destroyed a Sea Shepherd vessel and injured numerous Sea Shepherd crew-members.
It sounds like a distant planet in a dystopian sci fi movie, and the place itself doesn't disappoint. Welcome to Transnistria, a tiny strip of land measuring less than 15 miles wide. Long linked to organised crime, the government here doesn't take too kindly to journalists, so for a special report with Channel 4 News, we went in undercover.
Around the world 100million older people have to live on less than 60p a day. Many of them support and care for their grandchildren. The grandparents often go hungry so that the children can eat. Many are also having to cope with the challenges of getting older, including managing difficult health conditions.
Taking full advantage of the opportunity for peace in the Philippines will require a sustained effort on the part of central and local governments, by the rebel movements, as well as in civil society and the business community, over many years. Some of the factors they will need to take into account were identified at by our taxi driver last night.
Politicised show trials, error-strewn and near-racist courtrooms, mistakes corrected decades after the fact, ethically indefensible overlaps between judicial and medical protocols, ghoulishly botched attempted executions... all these and more are actually fairly typical of the 21st-century death penalty, not rare aberrations.
One of the biggest justifications for the death penalty is that it supposedly acts as a deterrent against committing the most serious crimes. But let's call this argument what it really is: wishful thinking. There is simply no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters from crime more than other forms of punishments. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.