What Textiles, Wars and Earthquakes Have in Common

labores-patchworkOver 30.000 people displaced between August and October in the Centre of Italy due to several earthquakes, whose tremors are still threatening the life of its inhabitants. Experts asserted October 30th quake has been the strongest in 35 years, registering a 6.6 on the Richter scale.

One is man-made, the other is an uncontrollable – although predictable – phenomenon; both wars and earthquakes provoke victims and/or people’s displacements and do urge a quick and effective response. Not only at emergency level though. Continue reading

Conflicts and the Challenges of the Post Conflicts

This article deals with conflict and effective post-conflict rehabilitation approaches to prevent future wars and to establish the rule of law and respect for human rights. A special focus is put on establishing democratic governance in Nigeria.



There are daunting challenges of post-conflict reconstruction facing the majority, if not all African countries. Recovering from violent conflicts poses the risk of conflict relapse. The level of visibility varies with regard to the country as well as to the type of conflicts. This fundamentally influences public awareness associated with fear, insecurity and tolerance levels, relating to acceptable of conflict behaviors. Continue reading

The badass or the victim?

Hostility fuels despair... and the other way around.  UN Photo/AFP.

Hostility fuels despair… and the other way around. UN Photo/AFP.

There are some problems, more or less recognized, with regard to the withdrawal clause of the article X of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, exemplified by the one case where a state has ever tried to use it. While, presumably, the state acted to protect its rights, it encountered major international opposition in the aftermath of this decision[1]. I see as the most fundamental problem the question of why would anyone agree to include such a clause in an agreement if in the ends its use is nonetheless condemned?[2] Further, why would anyone try to withdraw from the treaty by the use of this clause if the response they get is comparable to them just leaving with no justification attempts at all? Continue reading

Ambassador Hoffmann: “The younger generation must continue our battle towards a world without nuclear weapons”

Conference on Disarmament meets in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré.

Conference on Disarmament meets in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré.

In May 2013, before I finished my traineeship in Geneva, the German permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Ambassador Hellmut Hoffmann, was generous enough to grant a moment out of his busy schedule for a video interview during which he shares his views on the inclusion of youth particularly in the disarmament processes at the UN. Continue reading

Belfast: The Microcosm of Northern Irish Dispute

Photo: Peter Kumer

Photo: Peter Kumer

To an average daily visitor Belfast is like any other British city. Tourists like to take part in one of the walking tours through city centre to have a glance at some of the most prominent works of Edwardian and Victorian architecture. After the shopping at Victoria Square it is essential to stop at Titanic Quarter to see the slipways where the “Unsinkable” was originally constructed. On the way to the most famous Northern Irish attraction, The Giant’s Causeway, only few decide to drive through Falls Road to see the murals on International Wall. But only a handful of people are aware of the real history of Belfast.

They drive to the suburbs to understand the extent of the ethnic conflict that has shaped the city. Most visitors are unaware of what makes Belfast special. It is one of the few, if not the only city, in the western World that is considered almost entirely ethnically divided.

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