Macron wins presidential election in France

Emmanuel Macron, a 39 year-old former investment banker, won France’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating Marine Le Pen after voters repudiated her far-right message. Macron achieved the 66% of the total votes, compared with 34% for Le Pen, according to the Interior Ministry’s official count.

Macron will be the youngest president in the 59-year history of France’s Fifth Republic after leading a difficult campaign aimed at promoting the loosening of labour rules, the creation of a global and competitive market for France globally and the intensification of ties with the European Union.

However, the results show that a great part of the French population was skeptic about both projects, since nearly 34% of voters did not cast a ballot or cast a blank one. Indeed, the abstention rate was the highest since the year 1969.

This lack of support forecasts a laborious path for the following five years and Macron now tries to build a legislative majority. He has no party in the Parliament and French parliamentary elections will be held next month.

Global education in the spotlight

United Nations education envoy Gordon Brown affirmed on Friday before launching a plan for the largest educational expansion in history that education is definitely the “civil rights struggle of our generation”.

Brown leads currently the international commission on financing global education opportunity according to which, under the new global development goals agreed last year, all children should be receiving primary and secondary education by the year 2030. Nevertheless, presenting the commission’s findings at the UN in New York, he admitted that $30 bn in additional funding was needed in order to achieve the goal of ensuring a full primary and secondary education for every child in the world.

Unless there is a major sudden transformation in education funding, almost half of the world’s children will face the probability of growing up without decent schooling. Gordon Brown affirms that states need to increase their investments in education as well as that it is essential to promote a significant reform of international institutions so as to deliver effective funds into schooling.

Finally, he also remarked the need of an emergency injection of $400m for the 30 million refugee children around the world who are in need of urgent and proper education.

My experience in Amnesty International

Unai Figueroa, Student of International Relations: My experience in Amnesty International


We live in a world full of injustice and I am very aware of it. So the moment I wake up every morning, I feel an inner need that pushes me to express my solidarity with the weak, the vulnerable and all kinds of good causes and struggles for global justice. I feel a responsibility to publicly claim for everyone something as basic as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognized in 1948, statements I consider the heritage of mankind.

Amnesty International, commonly known as AI, is a non-governmental independent organization. It is a global movement present in over 150 countries and working for Human Rights and international treaties, such as the International Covenants on Human Rights, to be recognized and respected. Amnesty has more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide. The aim of the organization is to undertake research and take action to prevent and put an end to flagrant abuses of civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights, and seek justice for those whose rights have been violated.

To volunteer in it gives you the opportunity to be constantly abreast of the problems experienced by people regardless of where they live. We use all our might to try to show people the harsh reality, raising awareness through campaigns and collecting signatures. Contributing in whatever way, however small, is important and vital to help build a fair, egalitarian and caring society.

Joining the family of AI is a huge responsibility that I will always be carrying with pride. Being an activist of Amnesty International satisfies, in part, that obligation that oneself feels to cooperate. I say in part, because in the solidarity field, however much you move, it is never enough.

Seoul-based UN office intensifies inter-Korean tensions

United Nations has opened a new office in Seoul to monitor and document North Korea’s abuse of human rights record. Despite the threats of ‘merciless punishment’, the office was opened in a ceremony on Tuesday, and North Korea has already announced that it will boycott next month’s World University Games in the South Korean city of Gwangju. Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, has declared in a press release that ‘a team of dedicated professional investigators are working full-time to add the factual record that will ultimately see him (North Korean leader Kim Jong-un) and his top officials brought before an international court’. It is a very polemical decision on the part of the UN. On the one hand, the Seoul-based office will bring a turning point in the visibility of the human rights problems abuse in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. On the other hand, an article in a North Korean newspaper, Minju Joson, points out that the opening is a declaration of war, and more than 20 activists declared that it will be used to bring down the North Korean government. Be as it may, the office will intensify tensions between the two countries.

Syriza suaviza su programa

Después de las intensas negociaciones entre el nuevo gobierno griego y Bruselas, parece que la propuesta de Syriza se va suavizando, ya no hay propuestas de quita de deuda ni de una negativa a un tercer rescate. De hecho, el gobierno heleno aceptaría una “extensión técnica” del programa (de rescate) que finaliza a fin de mes, con el objetivo de cubrir los vencimientos de la deuda, pero con la condición de no tener que cumplir con el tramo final del rescate. Sin embargo, a pesar de acercarse a las exigencias europeas no se espera un acuerdo hasta, al menos, la próxima semana.

Suecia el primer país de la UE en reconocer al Estado de Palestina

 El pasado 8 de julio, tras  una escalada en el conflicto israelí-palestino, las Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel (IDF) lanzaron la Operación Margen Protector, misiles disparados por la Fuerza Aérea Israelí hacia la Franja de Gaza, con el objetivo de atacar al Movimiento de Resistencia Islámico (Hamás), la organización que gobierna la franja desde las elecciones de 2006. Hamás, por su parte, lanzó cohetes contra Israel y este conflicto se convirtió en el más relevante desde la Operación Pilar Defensivo de 2012; en agosto se pactó una tregua indefinida. En octubre, el nuevo Gobierno de centroizquierda sueco reconoció el Estado de Palestina, siendo el primer país de la UE en hacerlo. Asimismo, el Parlamento británico aprobó pedir al Gobierno que reconociese a Palestina. Sin embargo, Noam Chomsky, profesor del Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts, apuntó durante una conferencia de prensa en la sede de la ONU en Nueva York sobre el Ejercicio de los Derechos Inalienables del Pueblo Palestino, que Estados Unidos no cambiará su posición hasta que la sociedad civil presione. Chomsky recordó los movimientos nacionalistas de la sociedad civil estadounidense de Vietnam o Nicaragua, que sirvieron para influir en la política exterior del país. Por tanto, señaló Chomsky, “No habrá progresos significativos en este conflicto hasta que la presión de la población induzca al gobierno a tomar una postura diferente”.

Suecia será el primer país de la UE en reconocer al Estado Palestino:

El Parlamento británico aprueba pedir al Gobierno que reconozco a Palestina:

Estados Unidos cambiará su postura ante Palestina cuando la sociedad civil presione