Conferences

Civil Society Meeting Calls for Solidarity, Radical Change to Deal with Global Crises

Our strategies have failed us. We can no longer respond to the crises facing us in the same way. We have to be more radical, more creative — together — to build the future we want.This was one of the resounding messages to emerge from a key global gathering of more than 700 leading thinkers, influencers and doers from more than 100 countries in Suva, Fiji in early December.

A Voice of Inspiration

More than 700 activists gathered in Suva, Fiji's capital, to explore the latest trends – from climate change to human rights, from innovation to social justice. Anything that can help empower and mobilise citizens. The lively debates in panel discussions, workshops and lectures made the event look like a carnival of creative new ideas and tested knowledge.

The Journey to Oslo

On December 10 in Oslo, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ICAN started as a grassroots campaign in 2007. Its aim was to shift the paradigm of discussion about nuclear weapons from security and deterrence to the environmental and humanitarian effects of nuclear explosions. As the prize demonstrates, ICAN has succeeded brilliantly. But, as ICAN acknowledges, this is still only the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.

Global Initiative to Relieve Pressure on Mountains

International Mountain Day and the Mountain Partnership’s 15th anniversary coincided on December 11, kicking off a three-day Mountain Partnership Global Meeting at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.

Women Activists are Targets of Gender-Biased Violence

Veiled and direct threats, defamation, criminalisation of activism, attacks on their private lives, destruction of property and assets needed to support their families, and even murder are some forms of gender violence that extend throughout Latin America against women defenders of rights.

New Study Concludes Europe’s Mediterranean Border Remains ‘World’s Deadliest’

IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), today (24/11) released a new report reviewing the evidence of Four Decades of Cross-Mediterranean Undocumented Migration to Europe and concludes that Europe’s Mediterranean border is “by far the world’s deadliest.”

The World is Losing the Battle Against Child Labour

The IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour,  which drew nearly 2000 delegates from 190 countries to the Argentine capital, left many declarations of good intentions but nothing to celebrate.

A Trump Doctrine of Hypocrisy

In his first address on the global stage of the General Assembly, United States’ President Donald Trump touted an “America First” approach at the very institution that is meant to inspire collaboration between nations.

Secretary-General Talks Myanmar, Trump Ahead of General Assembly

In an environment full of major threats, countries must work together towards peace and stability, the Secretary-General said ahead of the General Assembly.

Towards a Resource Efficient and Pollution Free Asia-Pacific

Senior government officials from across Asia and the Pacific will meet in Bangkok this week for the first-ever Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment. The high-level meeting is co-convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and UN Environment and is a unique opportunity for the region’s environment leaders to discuss how they can work together towards a resource efficient and pollution-free Asia-Pacific.

How to Achieve Universal Goals, Strategically

Discussion around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a list of 17 goals listed by the UN, was all the buzz in the conference rooms of UN headquarters this week.

Civil Society on SDG Engagement: “We Are Not Guests”

Showing up in record numbers, civil society groups are urging greater inclusion and accountability in sustainable development processes at a UN high level meeting.

Social Forum Calls for Fight Against Corruption, to Defend the Amazon

Corruption has penetrated the Amazon rainforest like an illness that infects everything, said Ruben Siqueira, coordinator of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), during the VIII Panamazonic Social Forum (FOSPA), which brought together in the Peruvian Amazon jungle representatives of civil society from eight Amazon basin countries.

New Recipe for School Meals Programmes in Latin America

Sunita Daniel remembers what the school lunch programmes were like in her Caribbean island nation, Saint Lucía, until a couple of years ago: meals made of processed foods and imported products, and little integration with the surrounding communities.

Mistrust Hindering Global Solutions, says Secretary General

The global lack of confidence and trust is undermining the ability to solve the world’s complex problems, said UN Secretary-General during an international conference.

Threats to Freedom of Expression in the Social Networks

Email surveillance, blocking of websites with content that is awkward for governments, or the interruption of services such as WhatsApp are symptoms of the threat to freedom of expression online, according to Latin American activists.

New Technologies in Debate in Biodiversity Conference

Synthetic biology, geoengineering and the recognition of ancestral knowledge are the issues that have generated the most heated debate in the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, which ends in this Mexican resort city on Friday Dec. 17.

Developmentalism and Conservation Clash Out at Sea

“We don’t have access to marine areas, because most are protected areas or are in private hands. We indigenous people have been losing access to our territories, as this decision became a privilege of the state,” complained Donald Rojas, a member of the Brunka indigenous community in Costa Rica.

Latin America to Take the Temperature of Paris Agreement at Climate Summit

With the ratification and entry into effect of the Paris Agreement still fresh, the countries of Latin America are heading to the climate summit in Marrakesh in search of clear rules that will enable them to decarbonise their economies to help mitigate global warming.

Cities Address a Key Challenge: Infrastructure Needs

“We as mayors have to govern midsize cities as if they were capital cities,” said Héctor Mantilla, city councilor of Floridablanca, the third-largest city in the northern Colombian department of Santander.

Governments and Social Movements Disagree on Future of Cities

The Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and the alternative forums held by social organisations ended in the Ecuadorean capital with opposing visions regarding the future of cities and the fulfillment of rights in urban areas.

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