Stories written by A. D. McKenzie

A Billion Tons of Food Wasted Yearly While Millions Still Go Hungry

In his parody of the Michael Jackson hit “Beat It”, the American satirist and singer Weird Al Yankovic has a parent urging his son to eat the food on his plate, warning that “other kids are starving in Japan”.

Sustaining the Future Through Culture

International experts working in the creative sector are calling for governments to recognise the integral role that culture plays in development and to ensure that culture is a part of the post-2015 United Nations development goals, to be discussed next year.

French Add Voice to Global Climate Action

As if to highlight the reality of climate change, the rain came pouring down here as demonstrators prepared to rally for political action to combat global warming.

Pushing for Cities to Take Lead on Climate Change

If former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg had used the Vélib’ - Paris’ public bicycle sharing system - to arrive at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development here Wednesday, he might have sent a stronger message about the need for cities to be “empowered to take the lead in combating climate change”.

‘Breaking Silence’ on the Slave Trade

The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave opened many people’s eyes to the barbarity of slavery and fuelled some discussion about that period in world history. But the film is just one of the many initiatives to “break the silence” around the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade and to “shed light” on its lasting historical consequences.

‘Zero Tolerance’ the Call for Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation

Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.

Inequality Blocks Path to “Gold” in Latin America

Inequality, poor infrastructure and declining trade are some of the problems that Latin America needs to overcome if the region truly wishes to achieve a “golden age”, according to Peru’s President Ollanta Humala.

Anti-Poverty Activists Welcome G7’S Renewed ‘Commitment’

Activists working to alleviate poverty worldwide gave a guarded welcome to the renewed commitment to development that G7 leaders made during their meeting in Brussels this week.

Poetry, Politics and the French Far Right

As acclaimed writers arrived in France this week for an international poetry festival, many expressed shock at finding that 25 percent of the country's vote had gone to a far-right party in elections for the European Parliament.

Behind Glamour, Cannes Film Festival Puts Spotlight on Human Rights

Forget about 'Grace of Monaco'. Some of the most noteworthy films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival deal with human rights and the fight for press freedom, and they come from directors who have had to overcome financing, censorship or infrastructure difficulties to tell stories that they believe need telling. 

Leadership Growing Young

Fidelis Molao was 33 when he ran in elections to become a member of parliament in Botswana for the first time in 2010. He was one of the youngest MPs in the country at the time, and still is. He has long championed youth rights.

Reproductive Rights Have a Rocky Ride

For policy makers and activists working for sexual and reproductive health and rights, it’s been a long road since the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994.

Renewing Electricity Across Borders

Hervé Gouyet knows firsthand the difference electricity can make in the lives of both isolated rural communities and those who have just suffered a natural disaster.

Some Cartoons Aren’t Funny

A woman and her husband are seated at a table. As she talks, he seems to be ignoring her, his head hidden behind a newspaper.

It’s Rubbish to Waste Like This

Before one reaches the premises of the Società Recupero Imballaggi (SRI), the smell in the air announces that this company in the southern Italian region of Campania deals with waste.

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