Opinion

Q&A: Many African Countries Already Live the Future of 2°C Warmer

As the United Nations climate conference nears an end, all eyes are on the negotiators  who have been working day and night for the past two weeks to come up with a Rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Costa Rica: First Country to Protect Sustainable Fisheries of Large Pelagics Species

Twelve years ago, in a restaurant in Puntarenas on the pacific coast of Costa Rica, a group of long line fishermen met with three UNDP conservation specialists.

Q&A: Making Green Growth a Success Across the Globe

When the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) Director General Frank Rijsberman’s son was looking for a job following graduation, he saw that oil companies were paying the highest salaries. But Rijsberman, who has been working in the sustainable development sector for decades, knew better. He told his son that those very same oil companies would soon go broke. And instead advised him to seek employment with renewable energy companies as they would soon be the ones making money.

Q&A: The Global Compact that Respects Human Rights During all Stages of Migration

Amid the hustle and bustle of the two-day Global Compact for Migration, IPS spoke to Younous Arbaoui, advocacy and coordination officer at the National Migrant Protection Platform (PNPM), about the importance of the GCM in tackling the migration challenge that the world faces.  


New Science Shows Climate-Smart Farming is Within Reach

Until the United Nations climate talks in Bonn last year, no clear plan to include agriculture in climate negotiations existed.This was troubling, considering agriculture contributes 19-29% of global greenhouse gases, and changing temperatures are making it harder to farm. This is having an increasingly prominent effect on food security -- hunger levels have now risen for the third year in a row.

Political Commitment Key to Health for All

One of my proudest accomplishments as the former UN secretary-general was playing a part in the ambitious global agenda for sustainable development (SDGs), including the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030.

Time to Follow EU’s Lead & Step Up Climate Action with 2050 Plans

As climate negotiators, experts and activists are gathering in Katowice, Poland, for the international climate talks, much of the focus will be on immediate issues. Laying down the ground rules of the 2015 Paris Agreement and wrapping up the first global review of countries’ progress to date are high on the agenda.

Undermining Human Rights of Women Trapped In Sex Trade

Seventy years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was signed in the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. Following two devastating world wars the United Nations General Assembly set out a brand new vision of human rights that the world could agree on going forward. It is still the benchmark by which most modern-day human rights organisations live.

Big Business Capturing UN SDG Agenda?

Over the last two decades since the Global Compact, the United Nations has increasingly embraced the corporate sector, most recently to raise finance needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), i.e., for Agenda 2030. But growing big business influence has also compromised analyses, recommendations, policies and programme implementation, undermining the SDGs.

Sexual Harassment in Schools: The Urgency Of Revolutionized Sex Education

14-year-old Fatima sat opposite me, a defiance to her body language, yet a vulnerability that made me want to tell her it was okay to cry. She was telling me how for the past year she had dropped out of the school theatre club, had no interest in Physics anymore, which used to be her favourite subject, and had no friends. Fatima [not her real name] had been labeled the ‘bad girl’ in her class.

Migrant’s Compact Mischaracterized for Political Reasons

The fact that a handful of countries have indicated their intention not to come to Marrakesh to endorse the compact signifies how the issue of migration has been politicized and become a political flashpoint.

70 Years since the Universal Declaration on Human Rights – Hope Against Hope

“Save the Children estimates that 84,701 children under five have died in Yemen from untreated cases of severe acute malnutrition between April 2015 and October 2018.”“The grim analysis of United Nations data comes as intense fighting has again erupted in Yemen's strategic port city of Hodeidah.”

Power and Sexual Abuse: The Danger of Doubling

Several celebrities use their power to insult or take advantage of women. We read about sexual abuse from men like Harvey Weinsten, Bill O´Reilly, Leslie Moonves, Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Dennis Hastert, Robert Packwood, Roger Ailes, James Levine, Hans Hermann Groër, Marcial Maciel, Justin Forsyth, Ruud Lubbers, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Bill Clinton, Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump. The list is just a sample of an extensive catalogue of Western men accused of abusing women, using their fame, fortune and power to exploit and humiliate them. Unfortunately, misogyny, contempt of and prejudice against women and girls, may even be characterized as a cultural universal, an element, pattern, trait, or institution that is common to all human cultures worldwide.

Is Africa Ready for Nuclear Energy?

Years back, nuclear energy was a fancy option limited to the industrialized world. In due course, nuclear could be an energy source for much of Africa, where only South Africa currently has a nuclear power plant.

Ending Sexual Harassment in the Work Place

Ten years ago when I set out on a career in media, my dream was to work for a TV station. The first prospective employer I came across invited me to an interview in his hotel room.

The Revolution of Renewable Energy Needs Political Leadership

The cost of renewable energy is low, and at times, less than fossil fuels. What are the barriers to switching to renewables?Where current energy systems exist, they will need to be upgraded to be able to draw power from modern renewables and to exploit storage solutions that they require.

Central America: Eradicating Gender Violence is Vital to State Security

María is a 35-year old Salvadoran woman with three young children. Growing up, María knew her mother but never met her father. When María was six, she started working at the Central Market of San Salvador and at the age of 12 she was raped and became pregnant for the first time.

Watering the Paris Agreement at COP24

Most people will experience climate change in the form of water – higher frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, an increase in waterborne diseases, and overloaded sewage systems that are unable to cope with new demands.

Q&A: Creating an African Bamboo Industry as Large as China’s

The bamboo industry in China currently comprises up to 10 million people who make a living out of production of the grass. But while the Asian nation has significant resources of bamboo — three million hectares of plantation and three million hectares of natural forests — the continent of Africa is recorded to have an estimated three and a half million hectares of plantations, excluding conservation areas.

Call for a Win-Win Framework at COP24

An African delegation is in the Polish city of Katowice to join 30,000 delegates and thousands others from almost 200 countries attending the 4th edition of what has come to be known as annual climate change negotiation conferences organised under the auspices of the United Nations.

African Countries Deserve an Enhanced Climate Ambition

African countries have been at the climate-change negotiating table for more than 20 years. The continent faces some of the most severe impacts of climate change, but questions remain over its adaptive capacity despite this engagement.

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