Global Governance

Ethiopia’s Civil War Fueled by Weapons from UN’s Big Powers

In Hollywood movies, the legendary Wild West was routinely portrayed with gunslingers, lawmen and villains—resulting in the ultimate showdown between the “good guys and the bad guys”. Linda Thomson-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council early this month that the warring parties in the devastating 12-month-long civil war in Ethiopia involve the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces, the Amhara Special Forces, and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.

Mother of Summits: Sweet and Sour Diplomacy, but Nothing Cooked!

It has been said that when Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war. The summit of the leaders of world’s two strongest powers, the United States and China, came face to face at long last. Albeit virtually. Still, this was undoubtedly the “mother of summits” this year. There were two telephone conversations earlier, but according to US officials this nearly four hours of summitry was far more “candid intense, and deeper interaction”. If there was one single take-away from this meeting, it was the establishment beyond all reasonable doubt of the incontrovertible fact that the US and China were indeed the two most influential global state actors. The decisions between the two, represented by their leaders, would profoundly impact the rest of humanity far into the future.

Glossing Over in Glasgow – Some Thoughts on COP26

A week has gone by since COP 26 with 197 Parties ended in the Scottish city of Glasgow on extended time last Saturday. Climate change which covers wide array of issues affecting all living beings engaged the people around the world for COP 26 in a way never experienced since COP1 was held in Berlin in 1995.

Why Covid-19 Misinformation Works

At the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro used his allotted time at the podium to recount his views on Covid-19. He extolled the virtues of treatments that have been rejected by scientists and proclaimed that he had benefitted from the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

Growing Digital Divide Threatens Recovery from Covid-19

A growing digital divide is emerging as a major threat to a robust recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Asian Staffers at UN Launch Network to Protect Rights & Fight Racism

The United Nations, which consists of 193 member states, has long been accused of discrimination against staffers who number over 315,000 and spread across 56 UN agencies and entities worldwide. But most of these are deeply rooted system-wide. A wide-ranging staff survey, both in New York and Geneva last year, revealed that discrimination was based either on race, religion, gender or nationality.

Glasgow Summit Ends Amidst Climate of Disappointment

Developing countries will surely remember the Glasgow climate summit, the most important since 2015, as a fiasco that left them as an afterthought. That was the prevailing sentiment among delegates from the developing South during the closing ceremony on the night of Saturday Nov. 13, one day after the scheduled end of the conference.

Social Movement Voices Fall on Deaf Ears of Governments at COP26

One element that runs through all social movement climate summits is their rejection of the official meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the low ambition of its outcomes - and the treaty's 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was no exception.

Indigenous Peoples Want to Move Towards Clean Energy Sovereignty

In the community of Bella Bella on Turtle Island in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, the indigenous Heiltsuk people capture heat from the air through devices in 40 percent of their homes, in a plan aimed at sustainable energy sovereignty.

UN’s “Indispensable Partners” Barred from Entering Secretariat Building

The United Nations has come under heavy fire for continuing a 20-month-long ban on non-governmental organizations (NGOs)– even though the Secretariat is expected to return to near-normal by November 15 after a pandemic lockdown going back to March 2020.

China’s Risky Strategic Game in Myanmar

Before the February 1 coup, China was among the top international partners of the now-in-opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). From 2015 to early 2020, when China closed its borders due to COVID-19, NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi made five trips to China and met the Chinese President Xi Jinping five times.

In Glasgow, Indigenous People Pound the Table for Their Rights

"For my people, the effects of climate change are an everyday reality. The rainy season is shorter and when it rains, there are floods. And we've suffered droughts." said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, a member of the Wodaabe or Mbororo pastoral people of Chad.

COP26: Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa to Combat Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated Fishing

“Working together means we widen the number of like-minded actors towards a common good” –Dr. Azza Karam, Secretary-General of Religions for Peace International. As global leaders and civil society actors participate in COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is a significant problem that must be tackled.

After a 20-Month Lockdown, UN Plans to Return to Near-Normal by Mid-November

The United Nations, which suffered a pandemic lockdown over the last 20 months-- with most staffers tele-working from their homes-- is expected to return to near-normal, come November 15.

COP26: Climate Emergency Includes Threat of ‘Nuclear Winter’

When world leaders gather in Scotland next week for the COP26 climate change conference, activists will be pushing for drastic action to end the world’s catastrophic reliance on fossil fuels.

COP26: The Roadmap Plotting the Way to a Historic Meeting – Or Not

The climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the most important since 2015, may go down in history as a milestone or as another exercise in frustration, depending on whether or not it resolves the thorny pending issues standing in the way of curbing global warming.

Latin America Heads to Glasgow Climate Summit with Half-Empty Hands

Latin America and the Caribbean are heading to a new climate summit with a menu of insufficient measures to address the effects of the crisis, in the midst of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

Disarmament Week? But Hundreds of Nukes Can Be Launched Within Minutes

Hadn't it been so worrisome, it would be ironic to hear that humanity is to mark the World Disarmament Week (Oct 24 to 30, 2021) barely six months after learning that the world’s biggest military powers had spent last year some 2,000,000,000,000 US dollars on killing machines.

Big Brother is Watching You– as Electronic Surveillance Dominates Lives

The British novelist George Orwell’s “1984” characterized a dystopian society where people were restricted from independent thought and were victims of constant surveillance. Published in 1949, it was a prophecy of the future with the underlying theme: “Big Brother is Watching You”

Forests & Climate: We Need to do Much, Much More

Governments agree that saving the climate means saving forests – but ambition and action fall short of what’s required. First the good news: one of the forest goals agreed by governments, businesses and civil society organizations has been met.

Guess Who’s Behind Paralysis on COVID19 in the UN Committee on World Food Security

‘COVID 19 has multiplied hunger and malnutrition challenges. We need transformative action!’ The first speaker at the UN Committee on World Food Security’s (CFS) 49th Plenary Session, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, turned the spotlight on the disastrous impacts of the pandemic that have afflicted communities around the world for close to two years.

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