Exactly 32 years ago, on August 29, 1991, Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union, made a historic decision that would alter its fate. On that day, Kazakhstan permanently closed the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, defying the central government in Moscow. This marked the start of Kazakhstan's transformation from a nuclear-armed state, possessing the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal at the time, to a non-nuclear-weapon state. Kazakhstan's audacious move to eliminate its nuclear weapons was rooted in a profound commitment to global disarmament, setting an inspiring precedent.
This September, world leaders and public policy advocates from around the world will descend on New York for the UN General Assembly
. Alongside conversations on peace and security, global development and climate change, progress – or the lack of it – on the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) is expected to take centre-stage. A major SDG Summit
will be held on 18 and 19 September. The UN hopes that it will serve as a ‘rallying cry to recharge momentum for world leaders to come together to reflect on where we stand and resolve to do more’. But are the world’s leaders in a mood to uphold the UN’s purpose, and can the UN’s leadership rise to the occasion by resolutely addressing destructive behaviours?
As the adage goes, when you find yourself stuck in a hole, stop digging. As African leaders and their philanthropic and bilateral sponsors prepare for another glitzy African Green Revolution Forum, convening September 5-8 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, they are instead handing out new shovels to dig the continent deeper into a hunger crisis caused in part by their failing obsession with corporate-led industrialized agriculture.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the leprosy bacillus by Dr. Gerhard Armauer Hansen in Bergen, Norway. To prompt reflection on the past and build momentum for a zero leprosy future, the Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative and the University of Bergen co-hosted an international conference on June 21–22. The conference was attended by 200 people from 27 countries and opened with video messages from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Mr. Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to a family planning brief, more than 370 million women in middle and low-income countries were finally embracing modern contraception to help curb unintended pregnancies.
suggests that one in every three women from middle and low-income countries use contraceptives today.
Sri Lanka has been faced with an unprecedented political and economic crisis since the beginning of 2022.
The dominant narrative attributes the crisis to the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, China’s ‘debt trap diplomacy’ and – most importantly – the corruption and mismanagement of the ruling Rajapaksa family
Emigrating from Cuba was an agonizing decision for Ana Iraida. She left behind family and friends; in her backpack she carried many hopes, but also the fear of facing dangers on the journey to the United States.
Less than a year since warring parties in Ethiopia signed a peace agreement
, the country is on the brink of renewed bloodshed following escalating hostilities between government forces and the Fano militia in the Amhara region.
Badri Acharya is currently at the helm of the public health office in Pokhara, a prominent city within Nepal's Himalayan region and a renowned tourist hotspot.
El Castellar - For 33-year-old mother-of-seven and poultry farmer Helena Kindole in Chanya village in Tanzania, one of the main barriers to growing her chicken business is a lack of access to health services. But not for herself or her family – for her animals.
In his green cornfield, Salvadoran farmer Medardo Pérez set about filling the hand-held spray pump that hangs on his back, with the right mixture of water and paraquat, a potent herbicide, and began spraying the weeds.
Torrential monsoon rains have left the people, especially women, in crisis as they are still grappling to recover from the last year’s floods in Pakistan.
“We are yet to return to normal lives after devastation caused by severe rains in June 2002 when the new series of rains have started only to further aggravate our problems,” Jannat Bibi, a resident of Kalam in the Swat Valley, told IPS.
Kenya’s fight for food security may have just gone ‘Old School’ as Egerton University dons win a grant to help bring back a pre-colonial delicacy that was gradually sliding its way off consumers’ plates.
Their project, dubbed ‘Exploring Potential of Togotia (Erucastrum arabicum
), a forgotten African leafy vegetable for nutritional security and climate adaptation in Kenya,’ won the grant in October last year in a bid to help farmers and consumers realise the importance of the crop that many, today, term as a weed.
A recent publication
in the journal PLOS Medicine reviewed the relationship between COVID-19 and mental health in eight low- and middle-income countries, collectively referred to as LMICs. As important as this publication is, we are appalled by the widespread use of the term “low- and middle-income countries” utilized in this article, and indeed in the majority of the global health literature and discourse.
With the ongoing global food crisis—triggered by the COVID pandemic, disasters, supply chain disruptions, and conflict in Ukraine—food security should be at the top of the G20 agenda when countries gather in India in September 2023.
Pregnancies among girls and adolescents continue unabated in Central America, where legislation to prevent them, when it exists, is a dead letter, and governments are influenced by conservative sectors opposed to sex education in schools.
Climate change is making us sick. It has become urgent to build resilient health systems to secure humanity’s well-being, says the special envoy for climate change and health of the World Health Organization (WHO).
To achieve universal health coverage, people need public healthcare systems providing fair access to decent health care. This should be an entitlement for all, regardless of means, requiring adequate, appropriate and sustainable financing over the long term.
As Dipak Subedi was organizing a vaccination programme against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the city of Bharatpur in Chitwan district of southern Nepal he was getting phone calls from neighbouring districts asking if he had extra doses available — people were willing to travel for hours to get their girls vaccinated against HPV, which causes cervical cancer, the deadliest form of cancer for women in Nepal.
Remi Cáceres experienced gender-based violence firsthand. She struggled, got out and today helps other women in Argentina to find an escape valve. But because she is in a wheelchair and is a foreign national, she says the process was even more painful and arduous: "Being a migrant with a disability, it's two or three times harder. You have to empower yourself and it's very difficult."
Every July, the disability community honors its history, accomplishments, and experiences during Disability Pride Month
. One such group is the deaf community in Uganda, which makes up 3.4%
of the population.