The crème de la crème of Hollywood was in Marrakech, Morocco, for the wedding of British movie star Idris Elba in April this year. Elba tied the knot with his Canadian model girlfriend, former Miss Vancouver Sabrina Dhowre, at the Ksar Char-Bagh hotel, an exquisite Alhambra-style hotel.
The annual rhythm of the United Nations year peaks with the General Assembly in September. One month on, it’s a good time to reflect on this year’s gathering which was remarkable for its focus on fighting climate change, the transforming effect of one 16 year old girl telling it like it is, and the way people heard her words in a way they haven’t heard before.
The sun has barely risen when Phlida Kharshala shakes her 8-year-old grandson awake. He hoists an empty cone-shaped bamboo basket on his back, sets the woven strap flat across his forehead and off they go into the wilderness.
Nearly 50 million people in west Africa rely on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood but the land available for pastoral use has been rapidly shrinking.
Israfil Boyati lives along the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal. In the past he used to catch fish in the canals and rivers of Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangrove forest — one of the world’s largest and habitat to many endangered species, including the Bengal tigers and freshwater dolphins.
The prevalence of online hate poses challenges to everyone, first and foremost the marginalised individuals who are its principal targets. Unfortunately, States and companies are failing to prevent ‘hate speech’ from becoming the next ‘fake news’, an ambiguous and politicised term subject to governmental abuse and company discretion.
"On moonless nights it was very difficult to walk around this town," says Celia Vilte, a teacher from San Francisco, a highlands village of just 54 people in the extreme northwest of Argentina whose centre is not a town square but 40 solar panels, which provide one hundred percent of its electricity.
Four years ago, UN member states proclaimed their ambitions for development in a document named “Transforming Our World”, also known as Agenda 2030.
Today, according to several assessments including of the UN’s inter-agency task force on financing for development (FfD) transformation has fallen off-track. It has received too little money, political commitment and action to change the workings of the global economy. Agenda 2030 spells out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needed to ‘transform our world’.
Ethiopia found itself in the global spotlight for all the right reasons after Abiy Ahmed, its young, dynamic prime minister was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Haseena Akhtar was only 13 when an agent told her parents that they could earn a good amount of money by letting her marry a Kashmiri man. The man was, however, three times older than Akhtar, the agent said.
Currently, the topic of abortion as human rights leaves the world bustling. When the state of Alabama1
in the United States enacted a very strict ban on abortion, it shocked the world. This prompted so-called conservative movements, led by female business owners, to make a full-scale advertisement in the New York Times claiming abortion is a human right2
; hence the global debate between pro-life and pro-choice
Last month 195 world leaders once again met in New York for big speeches and grand events. But on inequality, when all is said and done, more has been said than done.
Good news: the graph depicting climate investments has been steadily increasing. Climbing from the 2012 figure of $360 billion in climate investments across the world to close to $600 billion currently.
Enough food is produced today
to feed everyone on the planet, but hunger is on the rise in some parts of the world, and some 821 million people are considered to be “chronically undernourished”. What steps are being taken to ensure that everyone, worldwide, receives sufficient food?
Six years ago Mary Njambi* received news of a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity far away from her poverty-stricken village situated in the heart of Kiambu County, Central Kenya. She was 20 years old, a single mother and out of work.
For the first time since a new development agenda was adopted in 2015 to make the world a better place for everyone, government leaders assembled at the United Nations in late September to take stock of progress. The verdict of this summit was not good.
As we are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, we recognize that population ageing is a human success story, a story of longer and often healthier lives of the world’s people. The many faces of older persons that we see in Asia and in the Pacific, and, indeed, all over the world, attest to this fact. Still, however, ageing is considered a threat. There is talk about the “burden of ageing”, exploding healthcare costs, and concerns about plummeting economic growth due to the shrinking labour force. In many cities of Asia-Pacific, we see advertisement for “anti-ageing cosmetics” and surgeries. The current ideal is that we must be young, dynamic and without wrinkles or grey hair, especially older women.
"Six years after initiating my term as Special Rapporteur, it is sobering to say that the way to freedom from slavery remains long in spite of the legal abolition of slavery worldwide," said UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola.