We must view the progress of the water and sanitation MDGs through a gendered lens. It is easily understood that the need for safe water is universal, a necessity for every man, woman and child. Sanitation conditions are still largely seen as private and taboo.
Obama's visit to 'cut the ribbon' on a seemingly foreign policy success story is the culmination of years of risk-taking leadership from previous presidential administrations. Sadly, the Obama team hasn't even taken risks on the difficult issues of Cuba, Palestine, Sudan or Iran.
Mediation between the two warring sides -- on one side, a regime that has been committing crimes against its own people for over 40 years, and, on the other, a popular army hell-bent on making them pay -- was always doomed to failure.
In the wake of Kofi Annan's resignation as Special United Nation's Envoy for Syria, hawks are circling and war-drums are beating. Before the clamor drowns out right-reason, a few words of caution are in order.
Both China and Russia have used the Security Council to serve their own interests and within the formula of trade-offs between the two of them, not within the framework of the duties and responsibilities of countries that hold veto powers.
The flight to Jordan Monday of Syrian prime minister Riyad Farid Hijab demonstrates that growing numbers of longtime stalwarts of the Ba'ath party regime -- at least those from the country's Sunni majority -- now despair of a negotiated transition and want out.
It is extremely difficult to decipher who has taken up arms against each other inside the war-torn nation. But after several months of assessing the situation, a murky, violent and terrifying picture is emerging of who is engaged in the fighting for and against the Assad regime.
The suicide attack Wednesday that killed Syria's defense minister and other top military officials, could not have been better timed to shake Russia's leaders out of their go-slow complacency toward forcing an end to the fighting there.
This is a phase that requires wisdom and maturity on the part of all players in the entire Arab region, not just in Syria, Libya or Egypt, where the challenge is clearer than it is in other parts of the Arab region.