Economy & Trade

Up to 70% of Children in Developing Countries to Be Left Unable to Read?

“Unless we take action, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who are unable to read could increase from 53 to 70 percent.”

Count Me in: Working Together for Disability Inclusion in Guatemala

“Persons with disabilities are capable and equal. It is time the world understands that,” says Antonio Palma, a UN Volunteer at the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Guatemala. Antonio, who has a visual impairment, expresses what many other persons with disabilities feel. Ignored, mistreated, misunderstood, underestimated, condescended to.

Renewables Are Cheaper Than Ever – So Why Are Household Energy Bills Only Going up?

Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.

Key Pillars Mostly in Place to Speed up Africa’s Free Trade in 2022

The official start of free trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 moved a major continental aspiration closer to reality.

More Progressive Taxation Needed for Social Progress

Governments must innovatively develop progressive means to finance the large-scale social spending needed to improve lives and livelihoods, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. More egalitarian tax reforms should enable governments to equitably mobilize desperately needed revenue to advance sustainable development for all.

A Call to Action on Living Lands

If the ocean is the lifeblood of the Commonwealth, then forests are the lungs that breathe life into its whole system. From the vast boreal woodlands of Canada to the rich primary forests of Papua New Guinea, the Commonwealth covers nearly a quarter of all forest land in the world - an estimated 900 million hectares. These biodiversity havens not only house about half of all animal species on earth, they also give us clean air, water and food, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people while tackling climate change.

Ominous History in Real Time: Where We Are Now in the USA

The final big legislative achievement of 2021 was a bill authorizing $768 billion in military spending for the next fiscal year. President Biden signed it two days after the Christmas holiday glorifying the Prince of Peace.

Fully Ready to Kill, Shockingly Unprepared to Save Lives

While absolutely ready to kill, with the biggest military powers spending in 2020 nearly two trillion US dollars on weapons, the world is shockingly unprepared to save the lives of millions of unarmed, innocent civilian victims of wars… and other man-made catastrophes.

Democracy Under Assault

There is no doubt that the building the magnificent Women’s Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 deserves unconditional praise and admiration, a bold landmark that projects the concept of gender empowerment and gender equality.

Can Barter System Work in Today’s India?

When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, it affected every aspect of people’s lives. For many from the most marginalised sections of society, it meant loss of employment and lack of access to education, food, and the market, among other things.

Climate Action Incomplete Without Women’s Contribution

Judy Wangari is one of an estimated 800,000 smallholder potato farmers who, according to the National Potato Council of Kenya, contribute at least 83 percent of the total potato production.

Disparities in the Arab Region: Hunger Doubles, Indebtedness Triggers, Recovery Uneven

The panorama is bleak: hunger in the Arab region continues to rise, with more than 90% increase since 2000, while indebtedness is growing, and the economic recovery is tenuous and uneven.

China Opens Embassy in Nicaragua for First Time since 1990 after Taiwan Ties Cut

For the first time since 1990, China has (re)opened an embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, less than a month after Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan. The (re)opening of the embassy on January 1, 2022 comes amidst the backdrop of US-China tensions, particularly over trade and Taiwan, as well as worsening Cross-Straits relations.

How Place of Birth Shapes Chances of Going to University

Many newly independent African countries in the 1960s inherited regional and ethnic inequalities in formal educational attainment. These new states bound together sub-national regions of diverse ethnic and religious communities. The regions differed in their exposure to missionary activity – the main vector in the spread of formal western education in the colonial era.

The Time to Protect Our Oceans is Now

There is no other place in the world like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park. The waters surrounding the island--covered with tropical forests--are a playground to countless shivers, or schools, of sharks, including hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks and whale sharks.

Activism will be Key to Overcoming the Covid-19 Crisis

As the Omicron surge overwhelms the world, it is clear to people everywhere that the actions which leaders so far have taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis have not been sufficient to overcome it.

US Democracy Faces Gravest Danger

Unless the Republicans and Democrats put the nation above their party and personal interests, our democracy will face the gravest danger in more than a hundred years. Authoritarianism will creep in, leading to the collapse of American political institutions and the demise of our democracy as we know it.

Population Ageing: An Inescapable Future

The ageing of human populations is an inescapable demographic future. That evolving and universal future is increasingly challenging governments and the public, who are by and large ill prepared for that certain future.

Truth as War Causality? The Case of Ethiopia

A brutal drama is unfolding in Ethiopia and it is difficult to find straightforward accounts of what is happening there. However, this does not prevent people from taking a unilateral stand for either of the factions involved in the disaster.

Ecstasy as Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Farmers Secure European Pineapple Market

In her wildest dreams, smallholder farmer Sarudzai Sithole never imagined that her pineapples could someday stock the produce section of Europe’s finest supermarkets.

Why Does Yangtze River Have its Own Protection Law?

The new Yangtze River Protection Law (YRPL), which came into effect on March 1, 2021, is China’s first legislation on a specific river basin. The Yangtze River is China’s longest and largest river system, stretching over 6,300 kilometres and has over 700 tributaries. With a drainage basin covering more than 1.8 million square kilometres, approximately one-fifth of China’s total land area, the river basin is home to over 40% of the country’s population.

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