For the first time, African travellers have liberal access to over half the continent, the 2019 Africa Visa Openness Index
published by the African Union Commission and African Development Bank, reveals. The report was launched on Monday on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum, which opened in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Every day 830 women die while giving life. At least 33,000 girls are forced into child marriage with 11,000 girls undergoing female genital mutilation. These are some of the cruel realities young women face every day. However, there is renewed hope that delegates expected to attend the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Nairobi this week will re-energise and breathe new life to the Cairo Promise
As we count down the remaining days to the opening of the Nairobi Summit
or the International Conference for Population and Development(ICPD), I am confounded by how much humanity has managed to simultaneously empower more women than at any other time in history, while at the same time failing to see that ‘women’s issues’ are actually ‘everyone’s issues’.
The water resources in Central Asia’s Aral Sea Basin support the lives and livelihoods of about 70 million people — a population greater than Thailand, France, or South Africa.
Barely a week passes without alarming news of the most recent scientific research into the global climate crisis compounding a growing sense of urgency, particularly the impact on small island states from rising sea levels and extreme weather.
While this week Ministers of Finance and economists meet in Washington to confront global economic challenges at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings
, the majority of the world population lives with austerity cuts and see their living standards deteriorating. World leaders must reverse this trend.
In less than 10 days, countries from around the planet will come together in New York for the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit
. I look forward to representing the Pacific Community (SPC)
at this important event, and throughout “Action Week
” during the upcoming UN General Assembly.
Rachna Kumari of Munger in Eastern India’s Bihar state is not yet 30. But she's already been married at 18, abandoned by her husband after she was diagnosed with leprosy and become an award-winning advocate of the disease. She has traversed a long road. And this week she undertook another step in her journey to fly to Manila, Philippines, as a delegate at the 20th International Leprosy Congress (ILC).
1. On the road to the Climate Action Summit, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India and President of COP14, His Excellency Mr. Prakash Javedkar, and the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Her Excellency Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, hosted a high-level luncheon on land and climate on 9 September 2019, on the margins of the UNCCD Fourteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14). The event was co-facilitated by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Forty years ago, Yohei Sasakawa saw his father moved to tears after meeting and witnessing the suffering of people affected by leprosy – also known as Hansen’s disease. Not only did the patients have a physical illness, but they also suffered from social exclusion and discrimination. It made the young Sasakawa vow to work for the elimination of leprosy from the world – just as his father had been doing.
Stronger government action to fight stigma and discrimination, more government funding for health and non-health support programmes, and a larger role for people’s organisations in developing policy towards Hansen's disease treatment and eradication are still needed for eliminating the disease.
The Global Forum of People’s Organisations on Hansen’s Disease, which was attended by members of people’s organisations from 23 different countries, wrapped up in Manila, Philippines, today Sept. 10 after four days of discussion and deliberation.
The main outcome was a set of recommendations, which included participants stating that those affected by the disease should have more inclusive roles in the global campaign against leprosy.
Octogenarian Yohei Sasakawa has travelled to more than 90 countries across the globe; from areas of conflict, to the jungles of Brazil, shaking hands, hugging and washing the feet of Hansen’s disease-affected people. His message is simple: Stop stigmatisation and eliminate the disease.
At his speech at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) summit in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised South-South cooperation and technology solutions, but issues of land ownership dog the ongoing negotiations.
As the second week of the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP) kicked off in Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted South-South cooperation and issues of land degradation.
Increasing awareness of the continuing existence of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) is critical to sustaining effective public health efforts against the disease, eliminating the social stigma associated with it, and halting its transmission.
Professor Ai Kurosaka remembers the day she first interacted with a person affected by Hansen’s disease. It was 2003 and Kurosaka, then a graduate student of sociology at the Saitama University in Japan, had been assigned to interview ex-patients and their family members to document what kind of discrimination they faced. It was a very difficult task because nobody wanted to speak or identify themselves.
Organisations supporting people affected by Hansen’s disease (leprosy) have social rather than capitalist aims, but they need to take a business-minded approach to their work if they wish to be sustainable, experts at a global conference in Manila, Philippines said.
Organisations of people affected by Hansen’s Disease or leprosy agree that a global network of volunteer groups is key to eradicating the disease, but concrete steps need to be taken to move the idea from an often-discussed concept to a reality.
Being part of a platform where leprosy-affected people from all over the world can freely interact, exchange and share opinions, ideas, experiences and strategies was always something Tasfaye Tadesse dreamt of.
Professor Takahiro Nanri is the executive director of the Sasakawa Health Foundation, co-organiser of the Global Forum of People’s Organisations on Hansen’s Disease, which will take place from Sept. 7 to 10 in the Philippines.
Expectations are high, perhaps too high, as the 14th Conference of the Parties (CoP 14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), now into the third day of its two-week session, is being held outside the smog-filled Indian capital of New Delhi.