As Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, reportedly experienced a massive shortage
of oxygen cylinders last week — with demand increasing fivefold in one of the city’s main hospitals just as the country recorded some of its highest number of coronavirus cases — its youth leaders are concerned about the impact on vulnerable women.
After the pioneer Global Technical Meeting on Volunteerism
last July, a recently-held on-line follow up
helped gathering new insights from experts and practitioners from the world on how to move forward with positioning volunteering at the center of development agenda.
Two events generated significant interest and global solidarity in the final days of December 2020. A court in Saudi Arabia handed down a five years and eight months sentence to activist Loujain Al-Hathloul
for publicly supporting women’s right to drive. Nicholas Opiyo, Ugandan human rights lawyer and defender of persecuted members of the LGBTQI community and political opponents of the president was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges of ‘money laundering.’ Nicholas Opiyo was granted bail
on 30 December following an outpouring of global support for his activism for justice. In handing out the verdict to Loujain Al-Hathloul, the court partly suspended her sentence raising hope that she might be released from prison in a couple of months due to time already served.
For 2021, Italy has been given chairmanship of the Group of 20, which brings together the world’s 20 most important countries. On paper, they represent 60% of the world’s population and 80% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While the shaky Italian government will somehow perform this task (in the general indifference of the political system), the fact remains that this apparently prestigious position is in fact very deceiving: the G20 is now a very weak institution that brings no kudos to the rotating chairman. Besides, it is actually the institution which bears the greatest part of responsibility for the decline of the UN as the body responsible for global governance, a task that the G20 has very seldom been able to face up to.
Local communities in the vicinity of the abandoned Panguna copper mine, have taken decisive action to hold the global mining multinational, Rio Tinto, accountable for alleged environmental and human rights violations during the mine’s operations between 1972 and 1989.
During the COVID 19 lockdown in Sri Lanka, seven women from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds came together to deliver Wisdom and their message that women must be empowered and their voices for national unity must be heard through this movement.
Few images better illustrate the recent decline in civil liberties in the United States than that of peaceful protesters near the White House being violently dispersed
so Donald Trump could stage a photo-op.
Just before the World Health Assembly (WHA), an 18 May open letter
by world leaders and experts urged governments to ensure that all COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests are patent-free, fairly distributed and available to all, free of charge.
On Human Rights Day, civil society calls for the protection of civic space as a fundamental freedom, as more than 80% of the world’s population live in countries where civic space is closed, repressed or obstructed.
The COVID-19 pandemic is NOT the biggest pandemic the world confronts at the moment, despite over 69 million cases and 1.5 million deaths worldwide.1
If it’s not COVID, what is it then? It is violence against women!
The global health crisis that has marked 2020 did not put an end to another pandemic that has been plaguing Latin America and the Caribbean: murders and attacks against environmental defenders.
Recently I had an opportunity to brief a group of European diplomats and journalists on a variety of conflicts, with a focus on the Middle East. During the Q&A I was asked which of the region’s conflicts Biden should tackle first.
“What does the Women, Peace and Security Agenda have to do with arms control and disarmament?”.
Under varying formulations, this question keeps coming up whenever someone refers to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda as a basis for ensuring that women’s voices and their specific security needs were taken into account in multilateral arms control discussions.
The recent meeting of the G20 – scheduled to take place in Riyadh but held virtually due to the Coronavirus pandemic – has been an eloquent example of how the world is drifting, in a crisis of leadership.
At the beginning of 2020, there were hopes that this would be a ’super year for nature’. It has not turned out that way. Tropical forests, so crucial for biodiversity, the climate and the indigenous communities who live in them, have continued to be destroyed at alarming rates. In fact, despite the shutdown of large parts of the global economy, rates of deforestation globally have increased since last year.
The International Volunteer Day will approach soon and the 5th of December will become a day to celebrate the actions of millions of volunteers from all over the world, in the south as well in the north of the world.
COVID-19 has developed into an unprecedented public health crisis, the impact of which has been seen across global health systems and services. As the crisis continues to evolve in India, there is a need to examine the impact of the pandemic and ensuing nation-wide shutdown on young people’s lives, particularly, their experience of mental ill health.
In 2010, at the opening session of the civil society forum observing the tenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women and Peace and Security”, I had the honor to declare 1325 as “the common heritage of humanity” indicating the wide-ranging nature of the potential benefits which will flow from the landmark resolution’s full and effective implementation by all at all levels.
The world is currently counting more than 42 million confirmed cases of the COVID-19
and over 1 million deaths since the start of the pandemic.1
I will begin by presenting to you excerpts from the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the International Day of Non-Violence.