Category Archives: Burma

US restores diplomatic relations with Myanmar

The United States moved to restore full diplomatic relations with Myanmar on Friday, rewarding the sweeping political and economic changes that the country’s new civilian government has made, including a cease-fire with ethnic rebels and, only hours before, the release of hundreds of political prisoners. Freeing the prisoners, which President Obama praised as a “substantial step forward for democratic reform,” was one of the most significant gestures yet by Myanmar’s new civilian government to address international concerns about the country’s repressive history, which led to decades of diplomatic and economic isolation. Among 651 prisoners given amnesty on Friday were leaders of the brutally repressed student protests in 1988; a former … Continue reading

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Is the world moving away from HIV/AIDS?

Representatives of faith-based advocacy and humanitarian groups participating in an 8 April hearing at the United Nations (UN) on the HIV pandemic said the meeting highlighted progress that had been made but also revealed serious challenges ahead. Efforts by faith groups and others will have to be particularly focused and intense in the weeks leading up to a high-level 8-10 June meeting at the UN that will assess progress and set new targets in the global response to HIV and AIDS. “I’m worried; I’m scared,” Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda of Zimbabwe, general secretary of the World Young Women’s Christian Association, and a speaker at the hearing, said at an evening “de-brief” sponsored … Continue reading

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