Viewpoints

OPINION: Water Shutoffs and Unintended Consequences – Lessons from Detroit

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque and Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha were in Detroit, Michigan Oct. 17-20.

OPINION: The Group of 77 & IPS at 50

When the Group of 77 commemorated its 50th anniversary recently, Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency was not far behind.

OPINION: The Politics of Biodiversity Loss

To mainstream biodiversity concerns into development planning, we must offer a compelling rationale and demonstrate biodiversity’s relevance to wealth generation, job creation and general human wellbeing. Only a persuasive “why” resonating throughout society will successfully get us to urgently needed negotiations of who, what, where, when and how to halt disastrous biodiversity loss.

OPINION: Europe is Positioning Itself Outside the International Race

The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.

OPINION: Al Baghdadi and the Doctrine Behind the Name

When Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai adopted the name of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Quraishi and revealed himself to the world as the Amir al-Mu’minin (the Commander of the Faithful) Caliph Ibrahim of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the whole world had to sit up and take notice of him. 

OPINION: Innovation Needed to Help Family Farms Thrive

Family farms have been contributing to food security and nutrition for centuries, if not millennia. But with changing demand for food as well as increasingly scarce natural resources and growing demographic pressures, family farms will need to innovate rapidly to thrive.

OPINION: Iraq’s Minorities Battling for Survival

Through all of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s campaigns of ‘Arabization’, they survived. The diverse Iraqi communities inhabiting the Nineveh plains – Yezidis, Turkmen, Assyrians and Shabak, as well as Kurds – held on to their unique identities and most of their historic lands.

OPINION: The Survivors

Oct. 18 is the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Day, as well as the United Kingdom’s Anti-Slavery Day. These events offer a good opportunity to talk about human trafficking within Europe’s borders, but we should not forget that there are victims and survivors all over the world.

OPINION: The U.S. and a Crumbling Levant

As the international media is mesmerised by the Islamic State’s advance on Kobani or ‘Ayn al-Arab on the Syrian-Turkish border, Arab states and the United States would need to look beyond Kobani’s fate and the Islamic State’s territorial successes and defeats.

Regional Trade Agreements Cannot Substitute the Multilateral System

Regional trade agreements have grown very rapidly in recent years, and today the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been notified that 253 are in force.

OPINION: The Disturbing Expansion of the Military-Industrial Complex

How can we explain that in the 2lst century we are still training millions of men and women in our armed forces and sending them to war? 

OPINION: Put People Power Back at Centre of Citizen Action

A few weeks ago, I co-signed perhaps the most important open letter of my career. It was an open provocation to my fellow activists and colleagues, to the members of our organisation, and to all those who, like me, earn their living in the civil society sector.

OPINION: Planet Racing Towards Catastrophe and Politics Just Looking On

If ever there was a need to prove that we are faced with a total lack of global governance, the U.N. Climate Summit, extraordinarily called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sep. 23, makes a very good case.

OPINION: From Elephants to Blue Whales, Sri Lanka Leads the Way on Biodiversity

Sri Lanka will host the World Biodiversity Congress (WBC) Nov. 24-27. Given its long and active history of preserving biodiversity, it would be most appropriate for Sri Lanka to be the next host of this global event, which also marks the U.N.'s Decade on Biodiversity.

OPINION: On Reproductive Rights, Progress with Concerns

For most of human history, reproductive rights essentially meant men and women accepting the number, timing and spacing of their children, as well as possible childlessness. All this changed radically in the second half of the 20th century with the introduction of new medical technologies aimed at both preventing and assisting human reproduction.

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