Opinion

IPS Mourns the Passing of Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Dear Nane Annan & Family,The IPS family would like to express our deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of a husband, a father, a global statesman. As journalists, we find that few words can express our deep loss for a man who personalised and lived the vision and truth of a just and equal world.

Take Charge of Your Food: Your Health is Your Business

The minimum we expect from the government is to differentiate between right and wrong. But when it comes to regulating our food, it’s like asking for too much. Our latest investigation vouches for this. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)’s pollution monitoring laboratory tested 65 samples of processed food for presence of genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

Music: Nigeria’s New Cultural Export

It is a cold evening in Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, famous for diamonds, beer, art and high-end fashion. Inside a small restaurant, a mix of the latest American pop and rap—clearly enjoyed by diners—is playing on a radio. Nigerians Olalekan Adetiran and Adaobi Okereke, enjoying a kebab dinner, are startled when the radio begins playing the unmistakable “Ma Lo”—a catchy, midtempo and bass-laden song by popular Nigerian artistes Tiwa Savage and Wizkid.

Joint Action Needed to Reform our Food System

While participating in this year’s High-level Political Forum (HLPF), one thing became crystal clear to me. Come 2030, we will not have healthy and affordable food if we continue with business as usual. But no one institution can single handedly change the course of our food system. The key to ensuring a sustainable food system is involving a diverse group of actors – from smallholder farmers to government – to generate ideas for change, together.

Demonizing State-Owned Enterprises

Historically, the private sector has been unable or unwilling to affordably provide needed services. Hence, meeting such needs could not be left to the market or private interests. Thus, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) emerged, often under colonial rule, due to such ‘market failure’ as the private sector could not meet the needs of colonial capitalist expansion.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

When faced with a crisis, our natural reaction is to deal with its immediate threats. Ateka* came to the make-shift clinic with profuse diarrhoea: they diagnosed cholera. The urgent concern in the midst of that humanitarian crisis was to treat the infection and send her home as quickly as possible. But she came back to the treatment centre a few days later – not for cholera, but because she was suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Doctors had saved her life but not restored her health. And there were others too, who like Ateka eventually succumbed to severe malnutrition.  

2017 Global Findex: Behind the Numbers on Bangladesh

On the face of it, the 2017 Global Findex shows that Bangladesh has made great strides toward financial inclusion since the previous Findex was released in 2014.

New Agreement with China: Opportunity to Save Mozambique’s Forests

Mozambique’s forests are disappearing at an alarming rate, with most of the destruction caused by excessive logging, corruption and weak laws.

Indigenous Peoples Least Responsible for the Climate Crisis

Indigenous peoples, who comprise less than five percent of the world’s population, have the world’s smallest carbon footprint, and are the least responsible for our climate crisis. Yet because their livelihoods and wellbeing are intimately bound with intact ecosystems, indigenous peoples disproportionately face the brunt of climate change, which is fast becoming a leading driver of human displacement.

States Must Act Now to Protect Indigenous Peoples During Migration

States around the world must take effective action to guarantee the human rights of indigenous peoples, says a group of UN experts. In a joint statement marking International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the experts say it is crucial that the rights of indigenous peoples are realised when they migrate or are displaced from their lands:

Along with Peace, Eritreans Need Repression to End

“Military service was the only prospect on my horizon -- I didn’t want that,” a 20-year-old Eritrean who fled the country last year told me. “My dad had spent his whole life in military service.”

Beyond Boundaries – Cultural Literacy in Indiana & Rwanda

For ten years now, in special partnership with the community of Musanze, Rwanda, Indiana University (IU) has created meaningful programs and connections across the country. It is an unlikely partnership, one that formed over 10 years ago with a university alum recognizing an opportunity for not only cultural literacy but friendship.

The Legalization of Abortion in Argentina will Benefit Thousands of Women

We are at an historic moment in Argentina, a turning point in the path of women’s rights.

Why We Need Decentralized Renewable Energy to Power the World

As the energy sector is transforming, there is a growing consensus that sustainable energy is a catalyst for achieving most Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): it is crucial for better health, education, jobs, food production and conservation, as well as water use and quality.

Farmer-Herder Conflicts on the Rise in Africa

Violent clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in June reminded me of a smelting hot afternoon a year ago.  I was sitting in my living room watching a herder grazing his cows in my yard in the small town in southwestern Cameroon where I live.

Winds of Change on Kenya’s Northern Borders

Previously characterised by belligerence, based on competition for resources, the border regions of Eastern Africa can sense the blissful wind of peace approaching.

“Outrage is Appropriate, Surprise is Not”: Tackling Sex Abuse in the Aid Sector

A new report on the scale and extent of sexual abuse and exploitation in the aid sector should come as no surprise. It is now time for international agencies, including the UN, to step up and show some much-needed leadership to tackle this issue once and for all.

Protecting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as They are Forced to Move into Cities

On Aug. 9 the observance of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will take place in the Economic and Social Council Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, bringing together U.N. agencies and member states, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organisations.

Trump’s Attacks on Media Violate Basic Norms of Press Freedom, Human Rights Experts say

U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the free press are strategic, designed to undermine confidence in reporting and raise doubts about verifiable facts. The President has labelled the media as being the “enemy of the American people” “very dishonest” or “fake news,” and accused the press of “distorting democracy” or spreading “conspiracy theories and blind hatred”.

Going Cashless, Led by Sweden

Sweden is rapidly moving away from cash. Demand for cash has dropped by more than 50 percent over the past decade as a growing number of people rely on debit cards or a mobile phone application, Swish, which enables real-time payments between individuals.

From Crowdfunding to Development Platforms: 8 Ways to Make Use of a Networked World

Hardly a day goes by in the development world without hearing the term “platform”. Like in the business world, it’s becoming harder for any development organization to provide a single service or product that will make broad impact. Airbnb doesn’t build homes, it creates a network that brings together host and guests.

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