Biggest International Stories of 2011

This Week in The World of Conflict… December 12th-19th, 2011.

  • Fatima Bensouda was formally elected as chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court on Monday. Bensouda was the only candidate running for the election and will take over from Luis Moreno-Ocampo in June.
  • The UNDP has released its 2011 Human Development Report. This report projects a disturbing reversal in past trends of rising living standards should environmental deterioration and social inequalities continue to intensify.
  • The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) released a new dataset on armed conflict in Africa from 1989 through 2010. The program contains some 24 000 unique conflict events and three types of armed conflict (state-based, non-state and one-sided violence) and is compatible with a number of software utilities for statistical analysis and GIS software.
  • Routledge has published a new book on Peace and Conflict Studies that presents a range of theories, methodologies and approaches to understanding peace and transforming conflict.
  • Time magazine has named “The Protester” the 2011 “Person of the Year” in their latest issue. 2011 has seen an almost unprecedented rise in dissent.
  • The UN called for $7.7 billion for humanitarian assistance on Wednesday over the next year in the largest appeal in two decades. The UN humanitarian officials said that they are hopeful to receive the assistance that is said will assist some 51 million people in 16 countries facing emergencies.
  • Donor governments pledged a reported $482 million for the UN refugee agency’s operation in 2012 to help forcibly displaced and stateless people worldwide.  An additional $122 million was pledged for 2013 and beyond.
  • The World Health Organization reviewed more than 50,000 scientific papers to help determine interventions that would sharply reduce maternal deaths and deaths of children before the age of 5 in their 3 year global study. Some of the interventions include managing maternal anaemia with iron, preventing and managing post-partum haemorrhage, immediate thermal care for newborns, extra support for feeding small and preterm babies and antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia in children.
  • The Atlantic published its 10 Biggest International Stories of 2011 this week, which includes the Arab Spring, the death of Bin Laden, the nuclear crisis in Fukushima and many more.
  • On Thursday, the UN issued a new report calling on governments to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, a milestone for the UN where LGBT rights will be treated as human rights. The report outlined the cruelty faced by LGBT people, including mutilation and castration.
  • The UN General Assembly voted on Monday to designate October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child after a two-year campaign spearheaded by Plan International and the Canadian government. The day will promote girls’ rights, highlight gender inequalities that remain between boys and girls and address various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the globe.