Iveta Cherneva's Blog (21)

Bulgarian far-right to shut down largest human rights NGO in Bulgaria

“Why don’t they defend those who get robbed? Why are they only defending those that have trouble with the police? Why are they defending minorities? Do you know how many policemen are being investigated because of them?”

This is what you hear when the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister, Krasimir Karakachanov and others speak about the human rights organisation, The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. It is the largest and oldest human rights organisation in Bulgaria.

And now it is…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on November 15, 2019 at 4:41am — No Comments

Trump’s support for Erdogan’s plans in Syria gives the green light to potential Turkish genocide of the Kurds

When the Turks are “just passing through” a territory, sometimes they stay 500 years. Just ask the Bulgarians, who spent 500 years under violent Ottoman rule. And let’s not forget the Turkish genocide against the Armenians in the First World War that the Turkish state continues to vehemently deny to this day.

That’s why when I heard the news that US president Donald Trump had let Turkey’s Erdogan enter the Kurdish parts of northern Syria, I was deeply concerned. This is genuinely…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on November 15, 2019 at 4:39am — No Comments

Macron needs to reign in the anti-Bulgarian crazy talk for the sake of French national security

France’s President Emmanuel Macron just told a French far-right magazine that he preferred legal immigrants from Guinea or Cote d’Ivoire to the illegal Ukrainian or Bulgarian…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on November 4, 2019 at 11:31am — No Comments

The human rights case against Volkswagen in Turkey

War is not only a question of ethics and humanitarian disaster. It is bad news for business.…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on October 29, 2019 at 4:30pm — No Comments

EU diplomacy with Erdogan should seek the Bulgarian channel

If the EU wants to be heard by Turkey in the current crisis with the Kurds in Syria, the EU will be smart to work through the diplomatic channel that the Bulgarian government and its Prime Minister Boyko Borissov have established with Turkish President Erdogan. 

Last week, the Turkish President told the EU to “wake up” threatening to send 3.6 mln refugees towards Europe if the EU called Turkey’s actions in Syria an invasion. The EU did not remain silent, and Donald Tusk responded…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on October 15, 2019 at 4:30am — No Comments

The Kurds decision, foreign policy key to Trump’s impeachment

If there is one thing that Donald Trump does not need exactly at this point in the impeachment inquiry is to alienate US Republican Senators.

But giving way to Turkey's President Erdogan and dropping the Kurds might cost Trump the impeachment battle.

Here, Trump simply miscalculated. His move to “bring the troops back home” from Syria by dumping the Kurds backfired…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on October 10, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Media freedom in Bulgaria: why Kovesi’s job will be especially tough in Bulgaria

by Iveta Cherneva

When the news hit that the Romanian hard-baller Laura Kovesi was to become EU’s top prosecutor, anti-corruption activists across Europe applauded loudly.

One could hear the applause also in Bulgaria – a small EU country facing issues with EU funds misappropriation and theft, as well as freedom of the press -- a place where…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on September 23, 2019 at 10:00am — No Comments

Calling US leadership into question: international human rights institutions under pressure in the Trump Era

From the UN Human Rights Council to the International Criminal Court, international institutions and human rights bodies have been under pressure by the Trump Administration for the past year or so.

The Administration’s actions have had an adverse impact on US leadership and US interests in the international arena and in human rights leadership.

The US left the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018, as former US Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Nikki R. Haley and US…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on November 27, 2018 at 8:37am — No Comments

Amidst US-Iran nuclear talks, Iran wants UN human rights body to pronounce sanctions contrary to human rights

At a time when the US-Iran nuclear negotiations are ongoing, Iran leads a request before a UN human rights body, in parallel.



Iran and Palestine spearheaded Human Rights Council Resolution 24/14, which mandates the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee to look into the socioeconomic impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on January 23, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Umarov’s death and North Caucasus terrorism: the momentum for humanitarian diplomacy ahead of the Sochi Olympics

Last July, North Caucasus mujahedin leader Doku Umarov announced that he was lifting the moratorium on attacks in Russia and the Winter Olympics in Sochi were going to be targeted.

Throughout history, Olympic Games have…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on January 19, 2014 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Integrating conflict and fragility in the post-2015 development framework: some recommendations

With the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 and the time to set the new development agenda nearing, thematic consultations on the UN level are being held in 11 areas, Conflict and Fragility being one. The Conflict and Fragility cluster is co-convened by UNDP, UNICEF, UNPBSO and UNISDR in partnership with the Government of Finland. The following recommendations are…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on January 8, 2014 at 6:00am — No Comments

UN Refugee Agency: asylum-seekers in Bulgaria face a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment, suspend transfers of refugees back to Bulgaria for three months due to poor conditions

UNHCR Spokesperson Babar Baloch, Press briefing, 3 January 2014, Palais des Nations, GENEVA:



"UNHCR today issued a position paper urging States participating in the Dublin Regulation to temporarily suspend transfers of asylum-seekers back to Bulgaria. The agency has concluded that asylum-seekers in Bulgaria face a genuine risk of inhuman or degrading treatment due to systemic deficiencies in reception conditions and asylum procedures."…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on January 4, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Five trends for UN peacekeeping to follow in 2014

Here is my take on the five UN peacekeeping trends and topics to follow in 2014:

1)      The use of drones in UN peacekeeping missions

2)      From peacekeeping mandates towards enforcement mandates in UN missions –  is there an emerging…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on December 25, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

Ahead of the 2014 NATO Summit: financing the energy security shift

When in October 2011 a group of 285 global institutional investors representing more than $20 trillion in assets under management issued a statement, the message was clear: private investors need the signal and the incentives for alternative energy investment from policy makers. The statement underlined the urgent need for policy action, which stimulates private sector investment in alternative energy…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on September 17, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Why the US should back Bulgarian civil society

The piece appears in full on the London School of Economics Blog, 4 Sept 2013.

When in 2011 Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced his idea for an intergovernmental organization called the Eurasian Union, few in Bulgaria thought the idea could pose a threat to democracy and Bulgaria’s Western orientation. Few took seriously Russia’s Ambassador to NATO who, back in 2008, notoriously described Bulgaria as…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on September 7, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Women in business: international organizations' efforts. The World Economic Forum

As a part of the series "Women in business: international organizations' efforts", the spotlight here is on the World Economic Forum and its Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme, which engages top-level business and political leaders on gender parity issues. Every year, Senior Director Saadia Zahidi and her team issue the Global Gender Gap Report, to measure and rank the progress of all countries around the…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on August 28, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments

Women in business: international organizations' efforts. The IFC

As a part of the series "Women in business: international organizations efforts", profiling the various efforts international organizations undertake to assist women in reaching their full potential at the workplace, the spotlight today is on the IFC and its Women in Business Program.…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on August 28, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Syrian chemical weapons allegations “exceptionally grave,” investigation is essential

Press Release GENEVA (22 August 2013) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay strongly condemned Thursday the reported killing of hundreds of civilians – including many women and children -- in the Damascus suburbs on Wednesday, and said the allegations that many deaths were the result of the use of chemical weapons must be investigated “as a matter of utmost urgency.”…



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Added by Iveta Cherneva on August 22, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Bulgaria protests 8th day in a row. But why should you care?

Apart from the cool feeling that you could be a part of a "Twitter revolution", there is another reason you should care about the non-violent protests taking place in Bulgaria for 8th day in a row. 10 to 20 thousand come out on the streets everyday in a peaceful march, often accompanied by dancing, singing and witty slogans.



Dance With Me is a non-violent social media/street protest movement ultimately aimed against the structures that make…
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Added by Iveta Cherneva on June 21, 2013 at 5:44pm — No Comments

Human trafficking for begging: should you ever give money to beggars on the street?

The topic came to light in the public eye with the award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. Trafficking for begging is a business model: kids are kidnapped and blinded in order to cause more pity with the passers-by. Begging ring handlers use them to generate revenues.

Previously, I wrote on the issue in the book Trafficking for…

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Added by Iveta Cherneva on January 19, 2013 at 8:20am — No Comments

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Facing a Pandemic in the Dark

Over 1 million Rohingya refugees living in crowded, unsanitary conditions in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh could soon be facing their own COVID-19 outbreak. Making their situation even more desperate is an Internet blockade, meaning they don't have access to life-saving information, writes Rohingya activist and educator Razia Sultana. How can international organizations help?

Hungary and the Values Test

In the wake of the Hungarian parliament's vote to allow the executive to rule by decree, Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev reflects on the call by some to expel Hungary from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization--on the grounds that the country no longer upholds the liberal-democratic values that should form the basis of the security association.

The Coronavirus Pandemic & International Relations, with Nikolas Gvosdev

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting all aspects of daily life around the world, what will be the effect on international relations? Will it increase cooperation among nations, or will it lead to more conflict and competition? Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev and host Alex Woodson discuss these scenarios and also touch on how the virus has affected the Democratic primary, in which Joe Biden now has a commanding lead.

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