Opinion

A Treaty to End Corporate Immunity?

When Ecuadorean diplomat Luis Gallegos first proposed a “Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights,” many countries and environmental activists welcomed the idea with open arms.

Russia’s First Female Central Bank Governor in a Challenging Job

Within a few short months after taking up her post as governor of the Central Bank of Russia in 2013, Elvira Nabiullina faced a growing economic crisis brought on by plunging oil prices, geopolitical tensions, and sanctions.

After the Rain: The Lasting Effects of Storms in the Caribbean

Sustainability is constitutive of the concept of development. Just as economist Amartya Sen has argued that there is no point in discussing the relationship between development and democracy, because democracy is constitutive of the concept of development, there is no point of trying to disentangle sustainability from the notion of development itself.

Why Climate Action Plans are not Good Enough to Deliver a Low-Carbon Future in Cities

Though climate policies aim to reduce GHG emissions, they miss out on emphasizing the importance of urban planning policies Cities that have ratified the Paris Agreement and pledged to reduce carbon emissions are adopting climate action plans aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Privatization Promotes Collusion and Corruption

At the risk of reiterating what should be obvious, the question of private or public ownership is distinct from the issue of competition or market forces. Despite the misleading claim that privatization promotes competition, it is competition policy, not privatization, that promotes competition.

Lost in the Cyberworld? The Enigmatic Mr Assange

Trump´s electoral success was preceded by a rise of chauvinistic politics in most of Europe, paired with electoral triumphs of far-right candidates in several other countries. A development accompanied by revelations of corrupt leaders laundering and transferring illegally obtained money, aided by financial institutions finding the means to do so. The world seems to move away from a rule-based order to a state of affairs dominated by might and wealth. World leaders´ private business dealings thrive within a global environment where laws intended to protect human rights are becoming increasingly ineffective. Foreign policies appear to be adapted to private gains and personal vendettas. Global financial systems seem to be crafted to facilitate kleptocracy and money laundering, while repression and violence smite whistle-blowers and daring journalists. Endeavours supported by propaganda and smear campaigns orchestrated by political/financial consultants and private investigation firms. All this is made possible through complicated schemes using the internet.

Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday Carnage: Quo Vadis?

I returned from attending a three-hour Easter Sunday mass at the Fordham University Church around midnight New York time on April 20, 2019, when my phone rang and a colleague asked me what’s going on in Sri Lanka? I said what is going on? He said there were a series of coordinated terrorist bombings with multiple fatalities and scores of injuries in my native country. For the next four and a half hours I was on the phone trying to piece together what happened, including reaching out to Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando.

Economic Empowerment of Women Good for All

Government staffer Souhayata Haidara enjoys talking about her life in a patriarchal society. Her career is a triumph of patience and perseverance, she tells Africa Renewal with a smile and a wink.

Global Energy Consumption is Up — So Are Emissions

Our acceptance of climate change doesn’t keep pace with our energy consumption reduction. However, the latest International Energy Agency’s (IEA’S) Global Energy and CO2 Status Report for 2018 has some good news.

Women in Ethiopia Still Struggle Despite Leadership in Government

Following 2018 elections in Ethiopia, a record-breaking number of women now hold leadership positions in the country's government. But women still struggle to rise up the ranks in other sectors.

UN’s Empty Promises to World’s Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations, as in so many other areas, gives lip service in support of Indigenous issues while lacking the political will and enforcement power over individual member states to comply with the protection of fundamental human rights for the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the world.

CORRECTED VERSION: World Bank Dispossessing Rural Poor

The World Bank’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) project, launched in 2013, has sought agricultural reforms favouring the corporate sector. EBA was initially established to support the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, initiated by the G8 to promote private agricultural development in Africa.

Climbing the Coconut Value Chain in the Pacific

In the Pacific, coconut is king. Known as the ‘tree of life’, locals make use of every part of the tree to survive – the fruit for eating, husks for fuelling fires, fronds for making multiuse baskets, and the trunk for building houses.

Lessons From China: Fostering Agricultural Growth and Poverty Reduction

As China has moved from a poor isolated country to a major player in the world economic and political sphere, developing countries need to learn how to engage.  

‘You Cannot Muzzle the Media’: Nigerian Journalists on Press Freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president--who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985--and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let them "continue" their work and take the country to the "Next Level."

Pakistan’s Battle Against Climate Change

Pakistan, which has been listed as the 7th most vulnerable country affected by climate change, is now seriously tackling the vagaries of weather, both at the official as well as non-official level. Pursuant to an initiative launched by the Pakistan Parliament’s Upper House, the Senate, which specially entrusted a sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Climate Change to focus on “Green and Clean” Islamabad, media, civil society and students have taken up the cudgels on combating climate change.

Ancient Rome Offers Lessons on the Importance of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development encapsulates the idea that material progress must always go hand in hand with social inclusion and respect for the environment.

Why the Prosecution of Julian Assange is Troubling for Press Freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, British police last week arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

Global Governance and Information

The past seventy years since the end of the second world war have been marked by profound changes in our international system. Relations between states have become more horizontally structured interactions with a rising significance of the common good articulated and pursued by newly-created international programmes and organisations.

Brunei’s Shariah Code & the New Stone Age

Over a week ago – on April 3 – Brunei, the tiny South East Asian kingdom on the island of Borneo, announced its citizens would face the full force of the Shariah law.

Birds of Passage: An Instant Classic

The Academy Awards, i.e. The Oscars, may occasionly award a worthy movie as Best Picture, though it is far from sure they select films with a unique artistic vision, enduring cultural influence and/or innovative qualities. Take for example the plain family drama Kramer vs. Kramer, which in 1979 won Best Picture and Best Director, while Francis Ford Coppola´s by now classical epic Apocalypse Now was awarded for best sound.

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