Shortages of humanitarian aid and food are making life increasingly difficult for the Syrian populace. "If we continue to deal with this crisis as a short-term disaster instead of a long-term effort, the region will face even more severe consequences," argues Neal Keny-Guyer of Mercy Corps.
Olivier De Schutter, United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, says there's growing acceptance in Zambia, Uganda and several Latin American countries that access to food is a basic right. Right to food "brings coherence and accountability" and puts "food security of all citizens at the top of the decision-making hierarchy," he argues.
Development aid from the 15 biggest donors is expected to rebound by less than 1% in 2013, says the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre. The primary driver of the marginal increase in aid is European governments pledging to give 0.7% of gross national income, DPC says.
Brazil, Germany and several other countries may be drafting a United Nations resolution on Internet privacy, writes Colum Lynch. The existing International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, which covers privacy issues, was enacted before the modern Internet.
About 1,500 troops from the United Nations, Mali and France are working jointly to quash militant rebels in northern Mali. "It is the first time we have seen forces of significant size working together," says Col. Gilles Jaron of France.