UN Watch

India pushes African right to permanent UNSC seat

India has stressed Africa's right to representation among the ranks of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in an effort to bring in a sense of urgency to the long-stalled reform process.

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"Arab Spring has now turned into a winter

Interview with renowned Lebanese academic Gilbert Achcar and author of The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013) on the struggle for democratisation in the Middle East and North Africa.

Why Cuba turned

The phone call between United States President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, followed by the exchange of an American prisoner for three Cuban intelligence agents detained in the US, marked the most important moment in the countries' bilateral relationship in decades. Shortly afterward, the US and Cuba announced that they would begin the process of resuming full diplomatic ties.  

Criticism is good for Israel

ISRAEL'S relentless settlement-building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has reached a tipping point. Realising that the creeping annexation of the occupied territories will make the two-state solution impossible, European nations are belatedly beginning to recognise Palestinian statehood en masse.  

Distancing the Dalai Lama: Is Vatican toeing Beijing's line?

Nobel laureates gathered in Rome last week were dismayed that Pope Francis had surprisingly refused to grant an audience to the Dalai Lama so as to not incur Beijing's inevitable wrath. Earlier the meeting was to be held in Cape Town to commemorate the first death anniversary of Nelson Mandela.

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