International aid groups in Myanmar have urged the government to allow free access to Rakhine State, where an army offensive has sent 480,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh but hundreds of thousands remain cut off from food, shelter and medical care. [...] "INGOs in Myanmar are increasingly concerned about severe restrictions on humanitarian access and impediments to the delivery of critically needed humanitarian assistance throughout Rakhine State," aid groups said in a statement late on Wednesday.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced direct grants to 800 communities to help implement innovative local solutions that encourage reading. [...] The Innovating project is a four-year partnership between USAID and the Ministry of Education and is expected to create a culture of reading among children.
Headlines explore advocacy on behalf of the International Criminal Court, Climate Change, and Women's Education.
Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said diplomats now have to share the international stage with many more actors, including civil society organizations. [...] In his speech titled “Transformation for 21st Century Diplomats”, the Sultan said long-established and reputable cause-and-issue oriented international NGOs make invaluable contributions to alleviating human suffering.
Twenty-five years after UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali opened the doors for the CSOs and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to contribute to the success of the Earth Summit in June 1992 that stressed the inexorable link between environment and development, the CSOs have successfully exercised their 'soft power' to help usher in a world free of nuclear weapons.
Recently an interesting debate arose over the fundamental meaning of branding. [...] The project's founder, Simon Anholt, is known for the concept of “nation branding,” also known as “place branding,” which seeks to enhance the images of nations much the way companies try to bolster the reputations of their products. [...] “My belief, backed up by much research (nearly 400 billion data points from 10 years of the Nation Brands Index), has long been that there’s no such thing as place “branding” and that countries are judged by what they do rather than by what they say."