Global Governance

Internet Shutdowns in Africa Stifling Press Freedom

The internet for journalism is now like the air you breathe,” said Befeqadu Hailu, an Ethiopian journalist and a member of the Zone 9 blogger collective who was arrested in April 2014 and charged with terrorism. “Without the internet, modern journalism means nothing.” Yet, the internet is something that journalists in multiple African countries are often forced to do without.

Civilians Increasingly Bearing Burden of Armed Conflicts in Arab Region

The war in Syria has now entered its 6th year and is becoming the world’s worst man-made disaster.

Soy Changes Map of Brazil, Set to Become World’s Leading Producer

“Our wealth lies in the climate, not in the land,” said Antonio Galván, president of the Rural Union of Sinop, a municipality created just 37 years ago, which has prospered due to the continued expansion of soy in Brazil.

Minamata Convention, Curbing Mercury Use, is Now Legally Binding

The Minamata Convention -- a legally-binding landmark treaty, described as the first new environmental agreement in over a decade – entered into force August 16.

Conservation Agriculture Sprouts in Cuban Fields

At the entrance, the Tierra Brava farm looks like any other family farm in the rural municipality of Los Palacios, in the westernmost province of Cuba. But as you drive in, you see that the traditional furrows are not there, and that freshly cut grass covers the soil.

Leadership Failure Perpetuates Stagnation

What kind of leadership does the world need now? US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s leadership was undoubtedly extraordinary. His New Deal flew in the face of the contemporary economic orthodoxy, begun even before Keynes’ General Theory was published in 1936.

Why New US Cold War with Russia Now

Even before the imposition of new sanctions on Russia by Donald Trump and the ongoing fuss over Russian hackers undermining US democracy, Russian-American relations had deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s. Why?

Donald Trump & Kim Jong-Un Need To Find A Diplomatic Off-Ramp

Just six months into the administration of President Donald Trump, the war of words and nuclear threats between the United States and North Korea have escalated, and a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis is more difficult than ever to achieve.

Can the Gender Gap Be Measured in Dollars Only?

Until a decade or so ago, experts and world organisations measured the impact of natural and man-made disasters in terms of human losses. For instance, they would inform about the number –and suffering—of human beings falling victims of extraordinary floods, droughts, heat or cold waves, and armed conflicts. This is not the case anymore.

Mauritanians Go to Polls for Controversial Referendum Vote

While voters in Venezuela overwhelmingly rejected President Nicolás Maduro’s plan to amend the constitution recently, similar tensions and a clash between protesters and state authorities appears to be brewing across the Atlantic in the West African nation of Mauritania.

The End of UN Habitat?

At the beginning of August, the High Level Independent Panel to Assess and Enhance Effectiveness of UN-Habitat came out with its report. Before commenting on the Panel Report I want to put up front that I know that a lot of the staff in UN Habitat do excellent work and its same they weren’t given a proper role in Habitat III.

Latin America Discusses How to Make Environmental Rights a Reality

The final declaration of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 stated that “Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens.” However, this rarely happens in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Gender Equality? It’s Still a Man’s World

Gender inequality is the greatest moral and social issue of our time -- and the world’s most critical economic challenge. If half of the global population cannot fulfill their human potential, the world’s economic growth will falter.

UN Analytical Leadership in Addressing Global Economic Challenges

The United Nations recently released the 70th anniversary issue of its flagship publication, the World Economic and Social Survey (WESS). First published in January 1948 as the World Economic Report, it is the oldest continuous publication analyzing international economic and social challenges. The 2017 issue reviews 70 years of WESS policy recommendations, many of which remain relevant today to address global challenges and to achieve the 2030 Agenda or Sustainable Development Goals.

Central America Fights Climate Change with Minimal Foreign Aid

Despite the fact that Central America is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, it has half-empty coffers when it comes to funding efforts against the phenomenon, in part because it receives mere crumbs in foreign aid to face the impacts of the rise in temperatures.

US Lags Far Behind in Banning Dental Health Hazard

The United States is lagging far behind its Western allies – and perhaps most of the key developing countries – in refusing to act decisively to end a longstanding health and environmental hazard: the use of mercury in dentistry.

“The Time is Now” to Invest in Youth, Girls

The demographic dividend: though not a new concept, it is one of the major buzzwords at the UN this year. But what does it really mean?There are 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 around the world, the most in the history of humankind.

UN Appoints Experts to DRC’s Kasai to Probe Harrowing Rights Abuses

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, appointed a team of three international experts yesterday to collect information and raise awareness about grave atrocities in the ongoing conflict in the remote Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Will Governments Support Access to Information Driving Development?

In an Information Society, access, and the ability to apply and re-use information is at the heart of individual fulfilment and social participation. Long before the idea of an Information Society came into use, libraries connected people to this, connecting them with literature and learning, and allowing them to improve their lives, and those of their families and communities.

Can Economic Growth Be Really Green?

The answer to this big question is apparently “yes” – Economic growth can be really green. How?

Sinking Island Seeks Seat in Security Council

The Maldives, one of the world’s low-lying, small island developing states (SIDS) -- threatened with extinction because of a sea-level rise-- is shoring up its coastal defences in anticipation of the impending calamity.

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