Audiences the world over are captivated by images of violence. Rolling news runs round-the-clock footage of troops and tanks fighting harsh battles in some of the world's most inhospitable places. This deserves our attention and thank goodness these pictures stir the public and their political leaders to tackle pressing security issues.
Some places almost never get the attention they deserve. One of these is the Democratic Republic of Congo. A vast country of some 80 million people, at the heart of Africa. It has struggled since independence in 1960 with a poor colonial legacy, cold war manipulations, venal and incompetent governments, and a succession of wars.
An interesting issue that often arises when addressing human rights and Western intervention in other countries is the following: are we truly helping or are we simply imposing our values on other cultures? Human Rights surely have a universal value but what about different cultures? And what is 'culture', in first place?
Many Syrians I spoke to on a recent visit to Syria hold the UN partially responsible for the deaths of 70, 000 lives in the unfolding humanitarian disaster that is wracking the country. There is an impression that the UN is propping up the regime by working and delivering aid via the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
This focus on the very young is perhaps a natural reflex, yet we mustn't allow it to blind us to the needs of older people. As a doctor myself, and currently president of an international medical humanitarian organisation operating in emergencies around the world, I want to challenge our sense that we should always focus first on the needs of the very young in emergencies.
If the government in Burma really wants to preserve its growing democracy and be seen as a stable state, it is going to have to accept and embrace the fact that it is one of Asia's most ethnically diverse countries; and it needs to reassess its citizenship to accommodate this and that must include granting citizenship to the Rohingya people.
Thousands of Somalis have been forced to flee an ongoing military offensive in Afgooye Corridor, Southern Somalia. More than 5,000 people have arrived, many on foot and carrying nothing, into overcrowded Mogadishu. I'm standing in Sigale camp, Mogadishu, and the trickle of people struggling in becomes a torrent. Mothers carrying children and their meagre belongings look shattered and collapse under nearby trees.