Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

The longest running independent international affairs podcast features in-depth interviews with policymakers, journalists and experts around the world who discuss global news, international relations, global development and key trends driving world affairs. Named by The Guardian as "a podcast to make you smarter," Global Dispatches is a podcast for people who crave a deeper understanding of international news.

Episodes

May 28, 2024 21 mins

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of thousands of people in the Republic of Georgia have taken to the streets to protest against a law making its way through parliament that would force many NGOs to register as foreign agents. The law is modeled on similar measures in Russia that led to the near wholesale criminalization of pro-democracy and human rights civil society groups. This move in Georgia's parliament is being pushed th...

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On Monday, May 20th, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, applied for arrest warrants for three senior Hamas leaders and for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The Hamas leaders include the top official in Gaza, Yahyah Sinwar, Hamas’ military commander Muhammad Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh, the Qatar-based political leader of Hamas. These three men were char...

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For humanitarian professionals, people whose job it is to deliver aid in conflict and disaster zones, Gaza is unique. Unlike other crises that suffer from lack of attention, the situation in Gaza is a top priority for governments around the world. Accordingly, there is no shortage of aid available to stem the crisis, which in some parts of Gaza has crossed the famine threshold. Rather, it is distributing the aid that has become the...

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Thousands of delegates gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, last week for the UN Civil Society Conference. The gathering was dedicated to the upcoming Summit of the Future, a major UN conference in September intended to reform and revitalize the UN and the multilateral system. The Nairobi civil society conference was an important opportunity for advocates, the NGO community, and other interested parties to help shape the outcome of the Summ...

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May 13, 2024 25 mins

Each year, the United Nations Development Program produces the Human Development Report. This is a compilation of country-level data around education, health, and economic security that aspires to give a more holistic understanding of a country's development beyond economic indicators alone.

UNDP has been putting this Human Development Report together for decades, and while some countries would sometimes register advances or declin...

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This is a special preview of the Inside Geneva podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.  

Recently UNWRA, the UN’s refugee agency for Palestinians, has been facing scrutiny of what exactly their role is in the current Israel-Hamas conflict. Many people around the world hadn’t heard of UNRWA before this conflict - so what is it exactly, why was it founded, and does it need to conti...

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El Fasher is the largest city in Sudan's Darfur region. It is also one of the few major cities in Darfur that has not fallen to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) during the civil war that broke out last year. However, an attack on El Fasher seems imminent. The RSF has surrounded the city and is laying siege to it. The United States, the United Nations, and key players around the world are urging against this impending att...

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H5N1, otherwise known as Avian or Bird Flu, has been around for a long time. Mostly, the virus has been passed among wild birds, but there have also been sporadic outbreaks in poultry flocks. Now, the virus has spread to dairy cattle and, in at least two cases, from cattle to people. This has experts in pandemic prevention on high alert. Dairy workers come in close contact with cattle, raising concerns that the virus could mutate i...

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The Parliament of the United Kingdom has passed a controversial new law that would allow the government to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. Under the so-called "Safety of Rwanda" bill, the Rishi Sunak government has pledged to send migrants from the UK to Rwanda, where their asylu...

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American aid is on its way to Ukraine. This week, Congress passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill that includes about $60 billion for Ukraine. This aid had been stalled for months, mostly due to Republican intransigence in the House of Representatives. But now, the funding is being released, and according to my guest today, it will have a significant impact on the battlefield in Ukraine. 

Evelyn Farkas is the Executive Director of t...

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Diplomats are gathering in Ottawa this week for the latest round of negotiations on a treaty to end plastic pollution.

Back in 2022, 175 countries agreed to develop a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution by 2024. This meeting in Ottawa is the penultimate round of negotiations and a critical moment in the long effort to curb the environmental damage caused by the rampant production and use of plastic today.

On the line wit...

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On April 1st, Israel launched airstrikes on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus, killing seven Iranian officials, including a very senior general. Iran responded with a massive drone attack on Israel, marking the first time that Iran directly attacked Israeli soil. All this is happening, of course, in the context of the conflict in Gaza.

My interview guest Dalia Dassa Kaye is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for Int...

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April 15, 2024 27 mins

On the one year anniversary of the outbreak of civil war, Sudan is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. On April 15, 2023, fighting spread from Khartoum to other parts of the country, including Darfur, where the conflict took on ugly ethnic dimensions, potentially leading to genocide. Over 8 million people have been displaced, and the UN is warning of famine in parts of the country.

My interview guest today, Kholood ...

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, better known as UNRWA, was established in 1949 to support Palestinians displaced during the first Arab-Israeli war. Today, it provides services and humanitarian relief to nearly 6 million Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and of course Gaza. 

There has always been some tension between Israel and UNRWA, but since the October 7th attacks and the...

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On March 31st, Turkey held local elections across 81 provinces. These elections took place less than a year after national elections cemented President Erdogan and his AK Party's hold on power, which he had been consolidating for nearly 20 years through democratic backsliding. But these elections were different -- very different. Erdogan's AKP suffered huge defeats across the country, perhaps none more impactful and symbolic than t...

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The Gaitenistas, otherwise known as the Gulf Clan, are Colombia's largest and richest criminal armed group. They formed nearly 20 years ago but have gained considerable strength since Colombia's landmark 2016 peace agreement with the Leftist FARC guerrilla group. Today, The Gulf Clan controls much of Colombia's Atlantic coast and is a key player in drug trafficking and migrant smuggling. All the while, they use coercive tactics to ...

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Xi Jinping has dramatically reshaped China since coming to power in 2012. He is now effectively a leader for life, and throughout his time in power, he has molded Chinese politics and society to his own ideological predilections. Understanding this ideology, known as "Xi Thought," is crucial for comprehending how China perceives its role in the world today.

Steve Tsang, the director of the China Institute at SOAS University of Lond...

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March 28, 2024 23 mins

Podcast guest Rosemary Salomone is the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St John's University School of Law and author of the book "The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language." The book takes readers around the world to show the political, social and cultural implications of English having been firmly established as the Lingua Franca. We kick off discussing how English became the dominant global language. We then...

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In Mid-March the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would effectively ban Tik Tok in the United States. Tik Tok's parent company, Byte Dance, is Chinese. This bill would force Byte Dance to sell Tik Tok to an American buyer or else the app would no longer be available in the United States. President Biden has said he’d sign this bill into law, but at the moment the legislation is stalled...
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The Commission on the Status of Women concludes this week at the United Nations. CSW, as it is known, is one of the major annual events at UN headquarters, second only to the opening of the UN General Assembly in September. But unlike UNGA, it rarely gets much media attention, at least not the kind of attention commensurate for a diplomatic gathering of its size.

Joining me to explain the key debates and discussion from the 68th Co...

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