Stories in Volume 21, Issue 2 — August-December 2010


New UN agency for women has strong roots in civil society

NEW YORK — For years, one of the most persistent challenges facing the United Nations has been to avoid fragmentation in its delivery of humanitarian aid and development assistance. This has been notably true for issues concerning women, which were handled by at least... Read more

With five years left, empowering women is essential for Millennium Development Goals

In September, the United Nations held a three-day summit to examine and support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — an ambitious set of promises to significantly reduce poverty, inequality and disease worldwide by 2015. Some 140 heads of state and... Read more

A century ago, the historic journeys of 'Abdu'l-Baha transformed a fledgling faith

HAIFA, Israel — One hundred years ago, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor as head of the Bahá’í Faith, embarked on a series of journeys which, over the course of three years, took Him from the Holy Land to the Nile delta, from the... Read more
Human Rights

Trial now reportedly over, seven Iranian Baha'i leaders face harsh conditions in long term incarceration

NEW YORK — Seven Iranian Bahá’í leaders, already unjustly held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for more than two years, have reportedly been sentenced to long prison terms following a series of court appearances that culminated in a three-day session in June. As is... Read more
Human Rights

UN General Assembly approves resolution on Iran human rights by a wide margin

UNITED NATIONS — For the 23rd time since 1985, and by one of the largest margins ever, the United Nations has once again approved a resolution that condemns Iran’s failure to meet its obligations under international human rights law. By a vote of 78 to 45, with 59... Read more
Freedom of Religion

Religious freedom is a matter of human dignity, says new UN Special Rapporteur

UNITED NATIONS —Should criticism of religions be banned as hate speech? Can a country prevent its citizens from freely changing religion? Can a minority faith build a place of worship wherever it chooses? These are among the questions that make up today’s global... Read more
The Arts

Award takes note of composer's embrace of a diversity of cultures

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Since his breakthrough as a composer more than 30 years ago, Lasse Thoresen has been searching for a musical language that brings the world’s diverse cultures together. Now, one of his innovative vocal works has been acclaimed for the commonalities... Read more

Spanish author discovers "bridge between East and West"

Desde el corazon de Iran - Los baha’is: La esperanza oprimida By Rafael Cerrato Erasmus Ediciones Barcelona MADRID, Spain — When author Rafael Cerrato decided to pay a short visit to the north of Israel in 2006, little did he suspect that it would give rise to a new... Read more