Headlines

Can Sustainable Bioeconomy be a Driver of Green Growth?

On April 19-20, I attended the second Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin. Bioeconomy is currently a hot topic for scientists and policymakers. Rapid advances in molecular biology combined with big data and artificial intelligence have resulted in big jumps in our understanding of living organisms as well as organic matter, the biomass produced by plants and animals, at the level of their DNA. That has gone hand in hand with technologies that allow scientists and industry to manipulate, easily, everything from enzymes to bacteria to plants and animals.

Kidnapped, Abducted and Abandoned…

Kidnappings and abductions have soared since 2001. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that their share in total crimes against women nearly doubled from 10% in 2001 to 19% in 2016. More striking is the fact that 11 women were kidnapped or abducted every day in Delhi in 2016. What these statistics do not reveal are brutal gang-rapes of kidnapped minors and women, multiple sales to husbands who treat them as animals, unwanted pregnancies, police inaction, and frequent abandonment with nowhere to go—not even to their maternal homes—because of the stigma of a being a “prostitute”.

From Mega to Micro, a Transition that Will Democratise Energy in Brazil

An energy transition is spreading around the globe. But in Brazil it will be characterised by sharp contrasts, with large hydroelectric plants being replaced by solar microgenerators and government decisions being replaced by family and community decision-making.

Over to You, Children! Zambia’s ‘Plant a Million Trees’ Takes Root

Trees are a vital component in the ecosystem—they not only give oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give refuge to wildlife, but also provide materials for tools, shelter and ultimately, food for both animals and human beings.

The Gang Rape and Murder of an 8 Year Old Child in India

Grotesque and barbaric, is the only way to describe the rape and murder of an 8 year old child, in a country where women and girls are traditionally revered as Goddesses.

India Pledges $50 Million More to UN Partnership Fund

At a time when funding for UN agencies is on the decline – and also threatened with cuts by the Trump administration—the Indian government has made an additional contribution of $50 million to development funding.

What’s Changing As Countries Turn INDCs into NDCs?

In the lead up to the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted in 2015, more than 160 countries and the European Union submitted their own plans to address climate change, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

We Are Migrants: Teasing Italian Taste Buds

Atik and Said have many things in common. They are both from Bangladesh, both are about the same age, in their thirties and, they are both migrant workers in an Italian restaurant in the heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from Saint Peter’s Basilica. They are not the only migrants working in the food service industry in Italy, where most of the pizza makers today are Egyptians and most of the Chefs are either Bangladeshis or North Africans. This is an interesting phenomenon in a country known for its cuisine where many of the Chefs today are not locals but foreigners.

Exhibition of Artifacts Stolen From Ethiopia Revives Controversy

A new exhibition that opened April 5 at London's famous Victoria and Albert museum of ancient treasures looted from Ethiopia has revived debate about where such artifacts should reside, highlighting the tensions in putting Western imperialism in Africa and the past to rest.

Authoritarian Govts Tighten Grip on Press Freedom

The 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day will be led by UNESCO and the government of Ghana in Accra on May 2-3. The theme is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law,” covering the issues of media in respect to the judicial system and transparent political processes.

Dreaming of A New Sustainable Economy

Officials from around the world came together to create and support a vision for a new, sustainable economy: a bioeconomy.Almost 1000 bioeconomy experts, from former heads of state to civil society leaders, convened in Berlin for the second Global BIoeconomy Summit to discuss best practices and challenges.

Child Soldiers Released, But Risk Remains

More than 200 child soldiers were released by armed groups in war-torn South Sudan, and help will be needed to ensure their safe and bright future, according to a UN agency.The release took place in Western Equatoria State and follows a similar release last month that saw 300 children freed.

FAO and El País Launch Series of Books on “The State of the Planet”

Today the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) hosted an event at its headquarters in Rome, to present a set of eleven books jointly realized in collaboration with the Spanish newspaper El País.

Improving Our Anti-money Laundering Operations Will Help Prevent Great-Power War

Interest is growing in illicit finance because great-power competition is playing out in boardrooms, stock markets, trade wars, and compliance departments. The US anti-money laundering (AML) regime needs an update that enhances national security and sets an example for the rest of the world.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Democratic Multilateralism

“If we don’t do everything possible to democratize globalization, globalization will pervert national democracies”, said the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, as President of the “International Panel on Democracy and Development” set up by UNESCO and chaired by the man who had worked so hard, at a global scale, in favour of giving voice to the peoples -as required in the first sentence of the Charter of the United Nations- to allow constant participation from citizenship as should be the rule in a genuine democracy.

Argentina Aims for a Delicate Climate Balance in the G20

As president this year of the Group of 20 (G20) developed and emerging nations, Argentina has now formally begun the task of trying to rebuild a consensus around climate change. It will be an uphill climb, since the position taken by the United States in 2017 led to a noisy failure in the group with regard to the issue.

Latin America Faces Uphill Energy Transition

Latin America is facing challenges in energy efficiency, transportation and power generation to move towards a low carbon economy and thus accelerate that transition, which is essential to cut emissions in order to reduce global warming before it reaches a critical level.

African Youth Demand a Seat at the Table

A new wave is sweeping across Africa. Elections on the continent are increasingly yielding younger leadership than ever before. From presidents to ministers and governors, senators to members of parliament, Africa’s young people are demanding a seat at the political table.

New GCF Project Signals Paradigm Shift for Water-Scarce Barbados

At the start of 2017, the Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CDPN) warned eastern Caribbean countries that they were facing “abnormal climate conditions” and possibly another full-blown drought. 



Homebound: Hardship Awaits Internally Displaced Iraqis

With upcoming elections in May, the Iraqi government is urging Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to return home. After the defeat of ISIS in December 2017, an increase in security and number of returnees to their region of origin is expected; however, many IDPs see no way to leave the camps just yet.

Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries?

When the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors assemble in Washington later this month for their semi-annual IMF meeting, they will no doubt set aside time for yet another discussion of the lingering debt problems in the Eurozone or how impaired bank debt could impact financial stability in China.

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