Economy & Trade

Goodbye to 2017, a Trump-dominated Year

In 2017, Donald Trump dominated the year by using US clout to change many aspects of global relations, and not for the better.

Production Diversity, Diet Diversity and Nutrition in Sub -Saharan Africa

Lack of diet diversity is viewed as the major cause of micronutrient malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Imbalanced diets resulting from consumption of mainly high carbohydrate based-diets also contribute to productivity losses and reduced educational attainment and income. Consequently, micronutrient malnutrition is currently the most critical for food and nutritional security problem as most diets are often deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. In Tanzania, for example, most rural and urban households consume mainly staples as their main food, which are high in carbohydrates, but low in micronutrients and vitamins. Staple food items increase energy availability but do not improve nutritional outcomes if not consumed together with micro-nutrient rich foods.

Venezuela’s Oil Industry Is Falling Apart

Corruption in the Venezuelan state oil industry, denounced by the government itself, and with former ministers and senior managers behind bars, is the latest evidence that, in the country with the largest oil reserves on the planet, the industry on which the economy depends is falling apart.

Long Maligned for Deforestation, Charcoal Emerges from the Shadows

“We have various financial obligations that push us to charcoal making. Top on the list is farming inputs and school fees,” explains Arclay Moonga, a charcoal producer and chairperson of the recently formed Choma District Charcoal Association in Southern Zambia.

Our Right of Passage Should be Safe Migration, Not Leaky Boats

“I’m a migrant, but didn't have to risk my life on a leaky boat or pay traffickers. Safe migration cannot be limited to the global elite.” Thus spoke United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in September 2017.

Helping Nepal by Working Abroad

Only a few millimeters of corrugated metal keeps us apart from the advancing dusk.

Using Data to Combat Prejudice Against Immigrants

What are the contributions of migrants to trade, to the economy of their countries of destination and origin? This is an angle that is generally ignored in the international debate on the subject, which usually focuses more on issues such as the incidence of foreigners in crime or unemployment.

Money Talks at One Planet Summit in Paris

As funding to combat climate change has lagged behind lofty words, the One Planet Summit in France this week invited governments and business leaders to put money on the table.

Shedding Diplomacy, Roberto Savio Speaks about Fear as a Tool to Gain Power

At the outset my thanks to Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Kassim, and Ambassador Idriss Jazairy who lead the Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue for organizing this panel discussion at a critical moment in history. The Centre, is one of the few actors for peace and cooperation between the Arab world and Europe. As a representative of global civil society, I think it will be more meaningful if I speak without the constraints of diplomacy, and I make frank and unfettered reflections.

Arming Poor Countries Enriches Rich Countries

Although the Cold War came to an end over a quarter century ago, international arms sales only declined temporarily at the end of the last century. Instead, the United States under President Trump is extending its arms superiority over the rest of the world.

Can Korea Power Past Coal? A New World in Which “Solar+Batteries” Becomes the Cheapest Form of Energy

Renewable energy became the cheapest form of electricity in 58 emerging economies last year. This year, the 11th Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 11.0) showed that solar and wind energy generation costs (at $46 to $53 per megawatt-hour of generation) easily beat coal and gas (at $60-68).  

Migrants in Italy: “Shame Is Keeping Us Here”

Despite deplorable living conditions, loneliness and unemployment, many African migrants in Italy choose to stay - even when they have the means to return.

Central America Builds Interconnected Clean Energy Corridor

Countries in Central America are working to strengthen their regional electricity infrastructure to boost their exchange of electricity generated from renewable sources, which are cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

The Journey to Oslo

On December 10 in Oslo, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ICAN started as a grassroots campaign in 2007. Its aim was to shift the paradigm of discussion about nuclear weapons from security and deterrence to the environmental and humanitarian effects of nuclear explosions. As the prize demonstrates, ICAN has succeeded brilliantly. But, as ICAN acknowledges, this is still only the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.

Global Initiative to Relieve Pressure on Mountains

International Mountain Day and the Mountain Partnership’s 15th anniversary coincided on December 11, kicking off a three-day Mountain Partnership Global Meeting at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.

Are Value Chains a Pathway to Nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Although difficult to ascertain whether it is a trend reversal, two recent FAO reports (2017a, b) show a rise in hunger globally as well as in Africa. The number of undernourished (NoU) in the world suffering from chronic food deprivation began to rise in 2014 –from 775 million people to 777 million in 2015 – and is now estimated to have increased further, to 815 million in 2016. The stagnation of the global average of the proportion of undernourished (PoU) from 2013 to 2015 is the result of two offsetting changes at the regional level: in Sub-Saharan Africa, the share of undernourished people increased, while there was a continued decline in Asia in the same period. However, in 2016, the PoU increased in most regions except Northern Africa, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. The deterioration was most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-Eastern Asia (FAO 2017a,b).

Debate on Glyphosate Use Comes to a Head in Argentina

In and around the city of Rosario, where most of Argentina's soybean processing plants are concentrated, a local law banned the use of glyphosate, the most widely-used herbicide in Argentina. But two weeks later, producers managed to exert enough pressure to obtain a promise that the ban would be overturned.

Are Rising Seas, Coastal Erosion & Powerful Storms a Wave of the Future for Small Island Nations?

The 44-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) represents some of the world’s most vulnerable island nations fighting a virtually losing battle against rising sea levels triggered by global warming and climate change.

Food Sovereignty as a Pillar of Self-Determination

A recent meeting in Rome between our Pacific leaders and UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) highlighted the urgency of food security in our region given the reality of climate change affecting our agriculture and aquaculture.

Ecological Waste Management

The times call for active measures to combat climate change. People have again and again relayed the words: reuse, reduce, recycle. I would like to add—refuse. Refuse to add to the pollution, and refuse to commit unhealthy practices.

WTO Ministerial Conference – Rejuvenating free trade

The Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organization will be held on December 10-13 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The meeting of this highest decision-making body of the WTO, which meets at least once every two years, is taking place at a critical moment of the free trade movement. WTO and free trade are threatened by the emergence of protectionist and anti-trade sentiments amongst many of the organisation's 164 members, and squabbling among the world's largest traders, including the USA, China, and even the generally free-trade oriented European Union. If countries lower the tariff rates against imports and refrain from imposing non-tariff barriers against trade, it benefits free trade and promotes growth.

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