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A Move to Out-Maneuver US Veto on Palestine

The United States—which has continued to use its veto power to block Palestine from UN membership —may be out-maneuvered by a growing new campaign by some UN member states planning to establish full political and diplomatic relations with Palestine outside the confines of the United Nations. The latest recognitions of the Palestinian territory as a sovereign State are by Norway, Ireland, Spain and Slovenia, which comes after the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted -- with 143 votes in favour to nine votes against- - to back Palestine’s bid to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations on last month.

Peoples’ Climate Vote Shows Global Support for Stronger Climate Action

The global public opinion research on climate change reveals that 80 percent, or four out of five, of people globally want their governments to take stronger action to tackle the climate crisis.

New Caledonia: Time to Talk about Decolonisation

The violence that rocked New Caledonia last month has subsided. French President Emmanuel Macron has recently announced the suspension of changes to voting rights in the Pacific island nation, annexed by his country in 1853. His attempt to introduce these changes sparked weeks of violence.

Free Speech Under Siege—across West Africa

Authoritarian overreach is re-defining itself across West Africa, fuelled by armed conflicts, military coups, and electoral manipulation and violence, as the region experiences a decline in democracy.

Fiscal Policy Can Help Broaden the Gains of Artificial Intelligence to Humanity

New generative-AI technologies hold immense potential for boosting productivity and improving the delivery of public services, but the sheer speed and scale of the transformation also raise concerns about job losses and greater inequality. Given uncertainty over the future of AI, governments should take an agile approach that prepares them for highly disruptive scenarios.

Climate Change, Ethnicity and Neglect Fuel Violence in Nigeria’s Kaduna State

Lami Kwasu, a farmer in the village of Kafanchan in Kaduna State, north-central Nigeria, was at home one evening in October 2020 when the sound of sporadic gunshots filled the air. Gunmen, suspected to be Fulani nomadic herders, had surrounded the village, shooting from different angles.

Conflict Deprives Children of Education in Northern Syrian IDP Camps

Twelve-year-old Walid Al-Hussein, displaced from the city of Kafranbel to a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in northern Idlib on the border with Turkey, has given up his dream of becoming a lawyer. "The distance of schools from our home (in the camp) made me leave education and give up my dream and my mother's dream of becoming a lawyer who defends the rights of the oppressed," Al-Hussein told IPS.

Sustainable Development of 39 Small Island Developing States – No Time to Wait

Today Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the environmental threats they confront require our urgent attention ---and the global spotlight needs to be trained deliberately and maintained consistently on their concerns, in particular, climate change, marine biological diversity loss and sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Restoring Trust: Confronting Corruption and Championing Integrity

58 percent of respondents to a worldwide survey believed that their political system has been captured by an elite that is corrupt, obsolete, and unreformable. Corruption thrives in environments characterized by weak governance, where transparency, accountability, and public decision-making are compromised by conflicts of interest and political interference.

UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

When the 193-member UN General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution, back in September 2015, the goals were highly ambitious: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, eliminate inequalities, protect human rights, promote gender empowerment and ensure economic, social and environmental development—and much more. The deadline for achieving these targets was set for 2030.

Sawantwadi’s Traditional Handmade Toys Struggle for Survival

Sawantwadi in Maharashtra, on the western coast of India, bordering Goa, has always been known for its wooden toys. A picturesque town amid hills and lush greenery, Sawantwadi retains an old-world charm to this day.  The regal Sawantwadi Palace holds pride of place, with colleges, schools, and temples cloistered around the periphery of the lake, which was once an extension of the royal grounds.  In the centre of the town is the Ubha Bazaar, or Hanging Market, which houses rows of shops selling the iconic wooden toys that are a hallmark of Sawantwadi.

Haiti: Transitional Administration Faces Stern Test

There’s been recent change in violence-torn Haiti – but whether much-needed progress results remains to be seen. Acting prime minister Garry Conille was sworn in on 3 June. A former UN official who briefly served as prime minister over a decade ago, Conille was the compromise choice of the Transitional Presidential Council. The Council formed in April to temporarily assume the functions of the presidency following the resignation of de facto leader Ariel Henry.

1,000 Days—Afghan Girls’ Voices Campaign Enters Second Phase

The global community is marking a tragic milestone for human rights, children's rights, and girls' rights, as it has been 1,000 days since girls were banned from attending secondary school in Afghanistan. The ban has wiped out decades’ worth of education and development gains, as approximately 80 percent of school-aged Afghan girls and young women are out of school.

UN, World Leaders Ramp Up Plans for Gaza Ceasefire and Recovery

This week has seen noteworthy steps from the international community to put an end to the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip since the latest war between Hamas and Israel began in October last year. This week began with the international community converging at a global conference, “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza.” King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres organized the conference, which took place in Amman, Jordan, on June 10.

African Activists Call on the West to Finance Climate Action

As the technical session of the global climate negotiations enters the final stretch in Bonn, Germany, climate activists from Africa have expressed fears that negotiators from the developed world are dragging their feet in a way to avoid paying their fair share to tackle the climate crisis. “I think we will be unfair to the snail if we say that the Bonn talks have all along moved at a snail pace,” quipped Mohammed Adow, the Director, Power Shift Africa.

Indignity, Disease, Death—The Life of a Sewer Worker in Pakistan

A dark head emerges, followed by the torso. The balding man heaves himself up, hands on the sides of the manhole, as he is helped by two men. Gasping for breath, the man, who seems to be in his late 40s, sits on the edge, wearing just a pair of dark pants, the same color as the putrid swirling water he comes out from.

Power of Acknowledging White Privilege in Addressing Racism Within United Nations

As we commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre this month, organizations and communities should focus on white privilege as it is a critical but often overlooked component of effective racial justice change processes. White privilege, rooted in European-led colonization, provides unearned advantages to white individuals, often unnoticed due to their perception as universal experiences.

Climate Finance: The Planet is Speaking, Listen and Respond with Justice

As the planet groans under record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather events, Africa, which is responsible for only two to three percent of global emissions, stands out disproportionately as the most vulnerable region in the world.  António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s special address on climate action titled ‘A Moment of Truth’ said 2024 was the hottest May in recorded history, and that this marks twelve straight months of the hottest months ever. For the past year, every turn of the calendar has turned up the heat.

Proud to be an Ally: Standing with LGBTQ+ Communities Across the World

The events of this year’s PRIDE month are showing the world the power of inclusivity. It is by only insisting on acceptance, and rejecting criminalization, discrimination and stigmatization, that we can ensure a fairer, safer, future for all. We are all invited to be allies.

Lawmakers Deliberate on ICPD30, Water Security at Tajikistan Conference

It's been 30 years since the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD30) was adopted in Cairo, transforming policy and thinking on population and development issues.

Venezuela’s Opportunity for Democracy

Venezuela’s 28 July presidential election could offer a genuine chance of democratic transition. Despite an array of challenges, the opposition is coming into the campaign unified behind a single candidate. Many Venezuelans seem prepared to believe that voting could deliver change. But the authoritarian government is digging in its heels. The opposition reasonably fears the election could be suspended or the government could suppress the opposition vote. Large-scale fraud can’t be ruled out.

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