Civil Society

Egypt Racing to Supply Wind, Solar Energy to Greece, EU via Submarine Cables

As Europe braces for an unusual winter due to a global energy crisis, Greece is embarking on one of Europe's most ambitious energy projects by connecting its electricity grid to Egypt's.

Three Ways to End Gender-based Violence

How are the multiple shocks and crises the world is facing changing how we respond to gender-based violence? Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered high levels of violence against women and girls, the recent Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum 2022 (SVRI) shed some light on the best ways forward.

AGRA Gets Make-Up, Not Make-Over

Despite its dismal record, the Gates Foundation-sponsored Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) announced a new five-year strategy in September after rebranding itself by dropping ‘Green Revolution’ from its name.

UN Deploys Unarmed Weapon in Humanitarian & Peacekeeping Operations

A sign outside the United Nations reads, perhaps half-seriously, that it is a “No Drone Zone”—and “launching, landing or operating Unmanned or Remote-Controlled aircraft in this area is prohibited”. The “warning” comes even as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – are some of the new weapons of war deployed mostly by the US, and more recently, by Iran, Ukraine and Russia in ongoing military conflicts.

The World Cup of Opportunity

The sun is shining, and the temperature sits at an idyllic 28 degrees Celsius. The Uber driver taking me to work is from Pakistan and devastated about the recent loss to England in the T20 Cricket World Cup final in Australia.

Pandemic Aggravated Violence against Women in Latin America

Violence against women has failed to decline in the Latin American region after the sharp rise recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, while preventing the causes of such violence remains a major challenge.

Ugandan Women Tackle Domestic Violence with Green Solutions

Constance Okollet Achom, a Ugandan woman from Tororo, a rural village located in Eastern Uganda, has helped several dozens of her peers affected by domestic violence to address the issue by equipping victims with skillsets to manufacture eco-friendly biofuels from agro-forestry waste.

US to Fight Sexual Abuse in International Organizations

The United States, which recently laid down a set of guidelines to monitor sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by US citizens in international organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies worldwide, has implicitly accused the UN of faltering on a high-profile case last month.

Loss and Damage Fund Saves COP27 from the Abyss

They were on the brink of shipwreck and did not leave happy, but did feel satisfied that they got the best they could. The countries of the global South achieved something decisive at COP27: the creation of a special fund to address the damage and loss caused by climate change in the most vulnerable nations.

Peruvian Women Still Denied Their Right to Abortion

No woman in Peru should have to die, have her physical or mental health affected, be treated as a criminal or have an unwanted pregnancy because she does not have access to abortion, said Dr. Rocío Gutiérrez, an obstetrician who is the deputy director of the Manuela Ramos Movement, a non-governmental feminist center that works for gender rights in this South American country.

Will the Global Energy Crisis Accelerate the Energy Transition? The Big Question at COP27

COP27 is unlikely to produce new commitments to reduce emissions of climate-changing gases, but the global energy crisis will eventually prompt more action by countries to move away from fossil fuels. That is the positive feeling that many observers are taking away from the annual climate summit being held in Egypt.

COP27: Climate Change Exacerbates Vicious Loop of Human Rights Inequity

Climate change is worsening injustice globally, and the poor and vulnerable communities are the most affected. It is time the world acted on fulfilling human rights and building a liveable planet, says Yamide Dagnet, director for Climate Justice at Open Society Foundations.

Three Truths to Address Sexual Exploitation, Abuse & Harassment in the UN

The U.S. Government has recently published 'Engagement Principles' on Protection from Sexual Exploitation Abuse & Sexual Harassment within International Organizations', and while any involvement from Member States is to be encouraged, these principles do not address the fundamental need for either deterrence or for accountability.

Indigenous Peoples Have Their Own Agenda at COP27, Demand Direct Financing

Indigenous peoples are no longer content just to attend as observers and to be seen as victims of the impacts of the current development model, at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) on Climate Change. That is why they came to the summit in Egypt with an agenda of their own, including the demand that their communities directly receive funding for climate action.

UN Needs a Sea Change in its Handling of Sexual Exploitation & Abuse (SEA)

Calling it “so disappointing and disheartening” in social media on 17 October, Dr. Rosie James, a British medical expert, announced that “I was sexually assaulted by a World Health Organization (WHO) staff tonight at the World Health Summit.”

Africa: Will COP27 Deliver or be a Climate Forum of Empty Promises?

Africa is counting on COP27 to deliver it from climate change. But will it?

Solar Power Brings Water to Families in Former War Zones in El Salvador

The need for potable water led several rural settlements in El Salvador, at the end of the 12-year civil war in 1992, to rebuild what was destroyed and to innovate with technologies that at the time seemed unattainable, but which now benefit hundreds of families.

Mexican Environmental Prosecutor’s Office Dodges Charges against Mayan Train

A beige line slashes its way through the Mayan jungle near the municipality of Izamal in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatán. It is section 3, 172 kilometers long, of the Mayan Train (TM), the most important megaproject of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration.

What Does it take to Build a Culture of Equality & Inclusion at the UN? Reflections from Inside a Change Process

The organisational is personal. Every day since the two of us were asked back in 2020 to co-lead the process of culture transformation at UNAIDS, the United Nations organisation which drives global efforts to end AIDS, we have both felt at our very core how crucial it has been to get it right.

Public Development Banks Can’t Drag Their Feet When It Comes to Building a Sustainable Future

A coalition of civil society organisations is demanding public development banks (PDBs) to take radical and innovative steps to tackle human rights violations and environmental destruction. No project funded by PDBs should come at the expenses of vulnerable groups, the environment and collective liberties, but should instead embody the voices of communities, democratic values and environmental justice.

Activists Call Out 11 Muslim Member States to Repeal Death Penalty for Blasphemy

Eleven out of 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) still sanction the death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy, silencing their citizens and emboldening violence by non-state actors.

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