The World’s Stake in American Democracy

America’s democratic difficulties will have major implications for the world.

Article by Richard Haass, PF

Originally published at Project Syndicate

January 24, 2023 12:28 pm (EST)

A voter arrives at a polling place on March 3, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A voter arrives at a polling place on March 3, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

For more than three-quarters of a century, the United States has played an outsized, constructive role in the world. To be sure, there have been major errors, including the Vietnam War and the 2003 Iraq War, but the US got it right far more often than not.

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11 crises to watch in 2023


As the war in Ukraine dominates the international headlines, dozens of other humanitarian crises need our urgent attention. Most of them are driven by conflict and climate shocks, compounded by pre-existing vulnerability and inadequate access to services. This year sets a new record, with UN agencies and humanitarian partners requiring US$51.5 billion to help 230 million people who need emergency assistance in 68 countries.

In addition to Ukraine, here are 11 crises on our radar.

Esha Mohammed, a herder and mother in Eli Dar, in Ethiopia's Afar Region, July 2022. Credit: UNOCHA/Liz Loh-Taylor

Esha Mohammed, a herder and mother in Eli Dar, in Ethiopia’s Afar Region, July 2022. Credit: UNOCHA/Liz Loh-Taylor

The Horn of Africa

When it comes to the deadly impact of the climate crisis, the Horn of Africa is now in unprecedented territory. It has endured five consecutive failed rains, and a sixth is now predicted in March.

Continued drought will bring prolonged catastrophe to people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, with at least 36.4 million people needing emergency assistance to survive, up to 26 million of them acutely food insecure. Famine risk will remain for people in two districts of Somalia. More than 9.5 million livestock have already died, and more deaths are anticipated, destroying herders’ and farmers’ livelihoods.

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Nhìn lại 30 năm dỡ bỏ rào cản cho người nhập cư

NGUYỄN THU QUỲNH 06/01/2023 12:05 GMT+7

TTCTLiệu những “hàng rào kỹ thuật” như quy định về đăng ký thường trú (và trước đây là hộ khẩu) có tác dụng ngăn cản dòng di cư vào đô thị lớn?

Mới đây, việc lập dự thảo quy định công dân làm thủ tục đăng ký thường trú phải có chỗ ở hợp pháp tối thiểu 8m2 đối nhà ở có nguồn gốc sở hữu nhà nước và 20m2 đối với nhà ở còn lại tiếp tục cho thấy chính sách thường trú ở Hà Nội khác biệt với các khu vực khác, cũng như nỗ lực cố gắng hạn chế dân số đăng ký thường trú vào đây.

Nhìn lại 30 năm dỡ bỏ rào cản cho người nhập cư - Ảnh 1.

Bức tranh Những ký ức của người nhập cư (Memories of immigrant) của Cristina Bernazzani, Ý.

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Afghan aid at risk from Taliban ban on women, warns United Nations

Standoff between UN and Taliban may lead loss of billions in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

A Taliban fighter stands guard in Kabul
A Taliban fighter stands guard in Kabul. UN flights carrying cash for humanitarian aid into Kabul have already been suspended. Photograph: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editorFri 6 Jan 2023 09.44 GMT

The UN’s lead humanitarian coordinator has said UN-supplied aid cannot continue if the Taliban do not lift their ban on women working for humanitarian aid agencies in Afghanistan.

Martin Griffiths, the head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, is due to visit Kabul shortly to discuss the impasse.

Although he said he did not want to pre-empt talks and was willing to examine workarounds on the ban, his remarks suggest a standoff is developing between the UN and the Taliban that could lead to billions in aid being cut off in the long term.

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The Role of the International Criminal Court

The ICC was created to bring justice to the world’s worst war criminals, but debate over the court still rages.

Judges are pictured in the courtroom during the trial of Bosco Ntaganda.
Judges are pictured in the courtroom during the trial of Bosco Ntaganda. Bas Czerwinski/Reuters

WRITTEN BY Claire Klobucista

UPDATED Last updated March 28, 2022 2:00 pm (EST)


  • The ICC seeks to investigate and prosecute those responsible for grave offenses such as genocide and war crimes.
  • Dozens of countries are not ICC members, including China, India, Russia, and the United States.
  • The court has angered nonmembers by launching probes into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, and Ukraine.


The International Criminal Court (ICC), established in 2002, seeks to hold to account those guilty of some of the world’s worst crimes. Champions of the court say it deters would-be war criminals, bolsters the rule of law, and offers justice to victims of atrocities. But, since its inception, the court has faced considerable setbacks. It has been unable to gain the support of major powers, including the United States, China, and Russia, who say it undermines national sovereignty. Two countries have withdrawn from the court, and many African governments complain that the court has singled out Africa. U.S. opposition to the ICC hardened under President Donald Trump, and although the Joe Biden administration has taken a more conciliatory approach, tensions remain.

What are the court’s origins?

In the aftermath of World War II, the Allied powers launched the first international war crimes tribunal, known as the Nuremberg Trials, to prosecute top Nazi officials. It wasn’t until the 1990s, however, that many governments coalesced around the idea of a permanent court to hold perpetrators to account for the world’s most serious crimes. The United Nations had previously set up ad hoc international criminal tribunals to deal with war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, but many international law experts considered them inefficient and inadequate deterrents.

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The Role of the International Criminal Court in Ending Impunity and Establishing the Rule of Law

Author Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court.

December 2012, No. 4 Vol. XLIX, Delivering Justice 

Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the International Community as a whole and thus contribute to the prevention of such crimes

Preamble of the Rome Statute

On 24 September 2012, the United Nations General Assembly held a High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels during which numerous delegates spoke about the importance of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the Declaration adopted at the meeting, States recognized “the role of the International Criminal Court in a multilateral system that aims to end impunity and establish the rule of law”.1 In my remarks to the Assembly on 1 November 2012, I welcomed this statement, which echoed many earlier characterizations of the Court’s role.2

The crux of the ICC role lies in enforcing and inducing compliance with specific norms of international law aimed at outlawing and preventing mass violence.

Confronted with the extensive perpetration of unspeakable atrocities after the Second World War, the international community articulated an unparalleled call for justice. It sought to put an end to such crimes through, inter alia, the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the four Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Principles.

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Understanding Sharia: The Intersection of Islam and the Law

Sharia guides the personal religious practices of Muslims worldwide, but whether it should influence modern legal systems remains a subject of intense debate.

Friday prayers at the Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore, Pakistan.
Friday prayers at the Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. Damir Sagolj/Reuters

WRITTEN BY Kali Robinson Last updated December 17, 2021 2:00 pm (EST)


  • Sharia is the ideal form of divine guidance that Muslims follow to live a righteous life. Human interpretations of sharia, or fiqh, are the basis of Islamic law today.
  • About half the world’s Muslim-majority countries have sharia-based laws, and most Muslims worldwide follow aspects of sharia in their private religious practices.
  • Debate continues to flare over sharia’s place in the modern world, particularly with regard to its teachings relating to criminal justice, democracy, and social equality.

What is sharia?

Why is it so controversial?

How much room is there for reform?

How do governments in the Muslim world use sharia?

How do extremist groups interpret sharia?How do Muslim-minority countries approach sharia?

Recommended Resources


Most of the world’s nearly fifty Muslim-majority countries have laws that reference sharia, the guidance Muslims believe God provided them on a range of spiritual and worldly matters. Some of these nations have laws that call for what critics say are cruel criminal punishments, or place undue restrictions on the lives of women and minority groups. However, there is great diversity in how governments interpret and apply sharia, and people often misunderstand the role it plays in legal systems and the lives of individuals.

What is sharia?

Sharia means “the correct path” in Arabic. In Islam, it refers to the divine counsel that Muslims follow to live moral lives and grow close to God. Sharia is derived from two main sources: the Quran, which is considered the direct word of God, and hadith—thousands of sayings and practices attributed to the Prophet Mohammed that collectively form the Sunna. Some of the traditions and narratives included in these sources evolved from those in Judaism and Christianity, the other major Abrahamic religions. Shiite Muslims include the words and deeds of some of the prophet’s family in the Sunna. However, sharia largely comprises the interpretive tradition of Muslim scholars.

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Rule of Law and Development

In the Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law, Member States noted that “the rule of law and development are strongly interrelated and mutually reinforcing, that the advancement of the rule of law at the national and international levels is essential for sustained and inclusive economic growth, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and hunger and the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, all of which in turn reinforce the rule of law”. They therefore called for consideration of that interrelationship in the post-2015 international development agenda. At the international level, the body of international instruments, including those concerning international trade and finance, climate change and protection of the environment and the right to development, establishes internationally agreed standards which support sustainable development.

At the national level, the rule of law is necessary to create an environment for providing sustainable livelihoods and eradicating poverty. Poverty often stems from disempowerment, exclusion and discrimination. The rule of law fosters development through strengthening the voices of individuals and communities, by providing access to justice , ensuring due process and establishing remedies for the violation of rights . Security of livelihoods, shelter, tenure and contracts can enable and empower the poor to defend themselves against violations of their rights. Legal empowerment goes beyond the provision of legal remedies and supports better economic opportunities.

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Ước mơ lặng câm

ngay nay -13/09/2020 | 14:35

Một dàn đồng ca hát không thành lời. Một ước nguyện có mái nhà chung mãi không được lắng nghe. Có một nhóm những người câm điếc ở Sài Gòn loay hoay trong căn nhà hơn 10 mét vuông và mơ về một ngày những gì mình nghĩ, bật ra được thành tiếng.


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UN: 2022 tough for gender-based violence in Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan and Europe

By Sofia Stuart Leeson |

 22 Dec 2022 (updated:  22 Dec 2022)

epa10363106 Pro-government supporters, including families of killed Iranian soldiers, protest against the UN and western countries in front of the United Nation office in Tehran, Iran, 13 December 2022. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

2022 has been a year where high-profile international cases of violence against women, such as in Iran, Ukraine, and Afghanistan, have made headlines, but this is just part of a trend that permeates every aspect of society, according to United Nations (UN) officials interviewed by EURACTIV.

UN Women Brussels Director Dagmar Schumacher and the UN’s Director in Brussels Camilla Bruckner sat down with EURACTIV to discuss progress in Europe and the situation for women outside of the Union following the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

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Trẻ con lai ở miền Tây (4 bài)

Trẻ con lai ở miền Tây: Con không cha như nhà không nóc

22/01/2018 12:12 GMT+7

TTOHôn nhân tan vỡ trên xứ người, nhiều cô dâu Việt mang theo hàng ngàn đứa con lai từ Hàn Quốc, Đài Loan, Trung Quốc… trở về. Phía trước những đứa trẻ ấy là hành trình gian nan về cuộc sống và pháp lý.

Trẻ con lai ở miền Tây: Con không cha như nhà không nóc - Ảnh 1.

Bé Lee Chaewon và những ký ức Hàn Quốc còn lại – Ảnh: VIỄN SỰ

Hồi mẹ nó ẵm về nước, bà nội nó nói mua cho cái vé khứ hồi, tới hồi ra sân bay về lại Hàn Quốc thì mới hay cái vé đi có một chiều

Chị TỪ THỊ XUYÊN (dì ruột bé Hong Deajun)

Chúng tôi trở lại cù lao Tân Lộc, Q.Thốt Nốt, TP Cần Thơ, nơi hơn mười năm trước được gọi là “đảo Đài Loan” khi cả cù lao có hơn 1.000 cô gái đi lấy chồng ngoại, chủ yếu là Đài Loan, Hàn Quốc, Trung Quốc. 

Mấy năm gần đây, các cô gái Tân Lộc rời cù lao lấy chồng ngoại giảm dần, nhưng người Tân Lộc lại đón dòng hồi hương của các đứa trẻ con lai trở về quê mẹ. 

“Con không cha như nhà không nóc” – câu chuyện hồi hương của những đứa trẻ con lai không có cha bên cạnh còn buồn hơn cả câu chuyện ly hương của những người mẹ năm nào.

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Vietnam vessel saves 154 Rohingya from sinking boat, transfers to Myanmar navy

Reuters – December 9, 20222:57 PM GMT+7

HANOI, Dec 9 (Reuters) – A Vietnamese oil service vessel rescued 154 people from a sinking boat in the Andaman Sea and has transferred them to Myanmar’s navy, state media reported, a group that was confirmed by activists as minority Rohingya Muslims.

The vessel, Hai Duong 29, was en route from Singapore to Myanmar when it spotted the boat in distress 285 miles (458.7 km) south of the Myanmar coast on Wednesday, VTCNews said in a report aired late on Thursday.

The Rohingya are a minority that has for years been persecuted in Myanmar and many risk their lives attempting to reach predominantly Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia on rickety boats.

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Vietnam protests against US State Department’s adding Vietnam to religious freedom Special Watch List

Addition of Vietnam to US religious freedom watch list based on inaccurate info

By Vu Anh   December 15, 2022 | 09:20 pm GMT+7 VNExpress

Addition of Vietnam to US religious freedom watch list based on inaccurate info

Deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign AffairsThe government says the U.S. decision to put Vietnam on a Special Watch List regarding religious freedom was based on inaccurate information.

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Indonesia passes new criminal code, outlaws sex outside marriage

Controversial changes fuelled protests when they were first proposed in 2019 and could still be challenged in court.

Bambang Wuryanto, head of the parliamentary commission overseeing the amendments to the criminal code, passes the newly passed law to the deputy speaker of parliament.
Parliament passed the controversial law on Tuesday [Willy Kurniawan/Reuters]

Published On 6 Dec 20226 Dec 2022

Indonesia has passed a controversial new Criminal Code that includes outlawing sex outside marriage and cohabitation, in changes that critics contend could undermine freedoms in the Southeast Asian nation.

The new laws apply to Indonesians and foreigners and also restore a ban on insulting the president, state institutions or Indonesia’s national ideology known as Pancasila.

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Ô “chủng tộc” trong hồ sơ tuyển sinh

ANH QUÂN 29/11/2022 06:49 GMT+7

TTCT Không giống các đại học hàng đầu trên thế giới, đại học ở Mỹ không đơn thuần chọn sinh viên xuất sắc nhất mà cân đối cả từ hoạt động ngoại khóa, tài sản gia đình đến sắc tộc. Yếu tố cuối này được cho là không công bằng, và điều này có thể sẽ thay đổi.

Ô chủng tộc trong hồ sơ tuyển sinh - Ảnh 1.

Ảnh: Mark Peterson/Corbis/Getty Images

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