Maria Fatima is the chief of Maudemo, a village in Timor-Leste where life has long centered on small-scale farming. But with output from village farms facing rising competition from cheap, factory-processed foods, Maria spends much of her time helping her community look for ways of producing better tasting, higher-value food both for them to eat themselves and sell in nearby markets.
The Broncos, widely used in the Vietnam war, were delivered to Indonesia in 1977-1978, when the slaughter of the Timorese civilian population was at its worst. Torture and mass executions were commonplace. Political prisoners were dropped live from helicopters; entire villages purposely starved to death and more. Most Americans are little aware of either of these events.
Timor-Leste's efforts to reduce the prevalence of domestic gender-based violence through criminalization and prosecution, already hampered by a general lack of trust in the formal court system, have suffered a fresh setback with the enforced departure of 11 foreign judicial staff who had played a key role in delivering justice.
Bringing a country or a region out of conflict has taken leaders coming from the ground up, not leaders installed by a super power to serve its economic interests. There is one word today that such leaders seem to understand, repeat, and live by that seems to separate their successes from failures elsewhere. The word is inclusion.
In these incredibly challenging times in the Middle East, parts of Africa and Asia, the world needs small countries with New Zealand's record to be sitting in the UN Security Council. And it is important for other small UN member states to see New Zealand win and know that the UN Security Council is accessible for them too.
"A pregnant woman has one foot in the grave." This common saying reflects the reality in many developing countries: bearing a child is one of the main risks to a woman's life. In the poor countries of the world, giving birth is both one of the most significant days in a woman's life but also a time when she is closest to losing it.