Headlines

Social Distance, Science and Fantasy

In these times of COVID isolation, social distance get on the nerves of several of us and the effects may be long-lasting, even endemic. Many schoolchildren have interacted and still meet with their teachers through computer networks, while the same phenomenon applies to their contact with others. Technical devices are with an ever-increasing scope becoming an integral part of all communication, teaching, and entertainment, in short – of social interaction. When it comes to education, given all the poor and even harmful educators we are forced to encounter during our lifetime, mechanization of education might be perceived as a step forward. Nevertheless, too much dependence on the internet might undoubtedly have its pitfalls; contributing to an abstraction of our existence where real adventures and life-changing encounters with other human beings become all the rarer. The world may be demystified, losing its wonder and magic.

Act to Save Children Living Precarious Lives in Cameroon’s Forgotten and Neglected Conflict

Education is under attack in Cameroon. As one of the most complex humanitarian crises in the world unfolds, Education Cannot Wait’s director Yasmine Sherif and the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, say the children are pawns for grown men in a political conflict.

Partnering with Persons with Disabilities Toward an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World

As the world observes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, we honour the leadership of persons with disabilities and their tireless efforts to build a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable world. At the same time, we resolve to work harder to ensure a society that is open and accommodating of all.

Big Tobacco Industry Rides COVID-19 Pandemic as Countries Grapple for a Response

Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries in the developing world continue to grapple with basic issues such as securing sufficient vaccines and providing essential medical care for their sick. Many economies are in recovery mode as governments scramble to resuscitate them with recovery packages and build back better plans.

Building a Disability-Friendly Workplace: Why Includability Matters

In her famous speech ‘The Danger of a Single Story’, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns us against a singular narrative of a person—a stereotype. This, Adichie asserts, is not because stereotypes are untrue, but because they are incomplete—“They make one story become the only story.” This is true in all walks of life, including in our interactions with people with disabilities at workplaces.

Clean Energy Alone Won’t Uplift Impoverished Nations — We Must Invest in People

Last month, at the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow, a consortium of philanthropies, led by The Rockefeller Foundation, announced a massive program to fund renewable electricity projects for impoverished people in developing countries.

Volunteerism: Central to the Creation of a New Social Contract

The International Volunteer Day, on December 5, is not just one of the many internationally observed days that the United Nations commemorates annually.

African Network Fosters Unity, Fights Gender Discrimination & Advances Sustainable Development

The widespread 21-month-old lockdown, triggered by the corona virus pandemic, had a destructive impact on the global economy, claimed over 5.2 million lives, destabilized governments and radically changed lifestyles worldwide.

What Will it Take to Turn Farmers Toward Climate-Resilient Superfood Millet?

Millet could be Africa’s silver bullet for combating anaemia – and apart from health benefits, it is climate-resilient.

Call It ‘Old’, ‘Contemporary’, ‘Modern’ or Whatever: It Is Slavery

No matter what it is called -- it is the abhorrent daily life of a billion enslaved humans.  The real number of “modern” slaves is understandably unknown. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.

Global Solutions Needed for Pandemics, So All Can Live in Dignity

COVID-19 highlighted significant gaps in the world’s ability to deal with pandemics, and it’s crucial these are addressed to mitigate the impacts of future global health problems, Masato Kanda, Japan’s Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, told a recent online meeting of parliamentarians.

Inequality is Set to Kill Millions – “We Have to Fight it Together.”

This week I called out to the world to warn them that inequalities are making us all unsafe. I noted starkly our new analysis that we face millions of additional AIDS deaths – 7.7 million in the next decade alone – as well continued devastation from pandemics, unless leaders address the inequalities which drive them. We have to treat this threat as an emergency, as a red alert.

How Inequality Drives HIV in Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Despite the advances that have been made against HIV, the world has 37 million people living with HIV. And 680,000 people died from AIDS-related causes in 2020. While the prevention of mother to child transmission, and provision of treatment as prevention, are great successes, there are still gaps. Over 1.5 million new HIV infections were recorded in 2020.

Fighting Loss of the Greater Mekong’s Prized Rosewood Forests

The famed Rosewood forests of the Greater Mekong region in Southeast Asia produce dark, richly grained timbers zealously sought after worldwide by manufacturers of luxury furniture, flooring and musical instruments, among other products. But their high value has also made them a major commodity in transnational organized crime.

How to Tackle the Femicide Epidemic

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in domestic violence rates has led the United Nations to declare a ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence. In the most brutal cases, the violence has led to murder – or ‘femicide’, as the World Health Organisation calls the killing of women specifically because of their gender.

Profiting from the Carbon Offset Distraction

Carbon offset markets allow the rich to emit as financial intermediaries profit. By fostering the fiction that others can be paid to cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) instead, it undermines efforts to do so.

High Global Fertiliser Prices Overshadow Malawi’s Farm Subsidy Programme

Ellena Joseph, a small-scale maize farmer in Chiradzulu District in Southern Malawi, finished preparing her field early in October.

Pakistan: Gender-Intentional Policy Can Make Agent Banking Work Better

Many women in Pakistan remain financially excluded. In 2020, only 7% of the female population had a formal account. One of the reasons for this is that agent networks — the bridge between the cash economy and digital financial services — remain largely inaccessible to many women. Approaching policy and regulation through a gender-intentional lens that considers prevailing social norms can help regulators affect positive change in this arena.

UNESCO Member States Adopt Recommended Ethics for AI

By SWAN
The member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have agreed on a text of recommended ethics for artificial intelligence (AI) that states can apply on a “voluntary” basis.

School Meals Coalition Hopes to Provide a Meal to Every Child

Meals at schools not only give each child a nutritious meal but increase enrolments, among other benefits.

Growing Amazon Deforestation a Grave Threat to Global Climate

For three weeks, the Brazilian government concealed the fact that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest increased by nearly 22 percent last year, accentuating a trend that threatens to derail efforts to curb global warming.

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