Headlines

A Lifelong Battle Against the “Disease of Silence”

Yohei Sasakawa has dedicated half of his 80 years of life to combating the "disease of silence" and is still fighting the battle, as president of the Nippon Foundation and World Health Organisation (WHO) goodwill ambassador for elimination of leprosy, formally known as Hansen's Disease.

In Era of Reform, Ethiopia Still Reverts to Old Tactics to Censor Press

On June 22, Ethiopia was plunged into an internet blackout following what the government described as a failed attempted coup in the Amhara region.

What Should FAO’s New Director General Focus on?

On 23 June 2019 Mr Qu Dongyu of China was elected as the new Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization. FAO is one of the largest UN specialized agencies with a budget for 2018-19 of  US$2.5  billion,  offices in over 130 countries and more than 11,000 employees.  

Will the UN & World Bank Continue to Lag Behind Europe in Ending Male Leadership?

The nominations of Christine Lagarde of France as the first woman to head the European Central Bank (ECB) and Ursula von der Leyen of Germany as the first woman to lead the 28-nation European Commission, have been described as significant landmarks in the higher echelons of international institutions long dominated by men.

Right to Information in Latin America & the Caribbean

Transparency is a critical element of making governance more effective. By making information available, it creates a foundation for greater accountability to citizens.

Industrial Policy Finally Legitimate?

For decades, the two Bretton Woods institutions have rejected the contribution of industrial policy (IP), or government investment and technology promotion efforts, in accelerating and sustaining growth, industrialization and structural transformation. Finally, two International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff members, Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov, have broken the taboo. They embrace industrial policy, arguing against the current conventional wisdom that East Asian industrial policies cannot be successfully emulated by other developing countries.

The Libyan Disaster: Little Bits of History Repeating

The Libyan catastrophe and the suffering of ”illegal” migrants are generally depicted as fairly recent events, though they are actually the results of a long history of greed, contempt for others and fatal shortsightedness. Like former Yugoslavia, Libya was created from a mosaic of tribal entities, subdued by colonial powers and then ruled by an iron-fisted dictator. Now, Libya is a quagmire where local and international stakeholders battle to control its natural resources. The country holds the largest oil reserves in Africa, oil and gas account for 60 percent of GDP and more than 90 percent of exports.1 This is one reason why Egypt, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and many other nations are enmeshed in Libya. Furthermore, European nations try to stop mainly sub-Saharan refugees and migrants from reaching their coasts from Libya. An attempt to understand Italy´s essential role in the struggle over Libya´s oil and attempts to control unwanted immigration may help to clarify some issues related to the current situation.

Africa’s Megacities a Magnet for Investors

Megacities, cities with a population of at least 10 million, are sprouting everywhere in Africa. Cairo in Egypt, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Lagos in Nigeria are already megacities, while Luanda in Angola, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Johannesburg in South Africa will attain the status by 2030, according the United Nations.

​Media and Web Freedom Threatened in Sudan Turbulence

The United Nations has condemned an internet shutdown and the blocking of social media channels during Sudan’s political crisis, as fears persisted over a crackdown on media freedoms in the turbulent African country.

Japan Boosts Complex Fight to Eliminate Leprosy in Brazil

When cases of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, increase in Brazil, it is not due to a lack of medical assistance but to the growing efficacy of the health system in detecting infections, contrary to the situation in other countries.

Of Leaders Then and Now

Richard Dossevi parks his motorcycle taxi on one of the busiest street corners in Cotonou, Benin's commercial capital, to wait for commuters amid the summer heat.

Climate Change Victims: What Will You Do Next?

Contemporary politics generates a lot of noise and smoke, with little attention devoted to understanding, analysing and fixing the causes of the noise and smoke. The global public discourse is dominated by statements made by politicians and aspirants to power, designed to shock, awe and draw support.

Climate Change Deniers Violate Human Rights

Whoever still thinks climate change is purely an environmental issue, threatening only nature, needs to think again. Climate change is also essentially a human issue because of its devastating effect on human life – and rights. It exacerbates existing inequalities, undermines democracy and threatens development at large. Likewise, by far the greatest burden will fall on those already in poverty, while the rich will be able to buy their way out of rising heat and hunger.

Sustainable Development Needs a Hardware Update

When UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs in September 2015, they signalled with the title Transforming our World that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and fundamental changes in politics and society are necessary.

Solar Collectors and Solidarity Change Lives in Argentina

"This is the best thing ever invented for the poor," says Emanuel del Monte, pointing to a tank covered in black tarps protruding from the roof of his house. It forms part of a system built mostly from waste materials, which heats water through solar energy and is improving lives in Argentina.

We Can Get the 2030 Agenda Back on Track – With More Empowered, Inclusive, & Equal Partnerships

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, universally adopted in 2015, is a plan to create a better and more sustainable future for all in just 15 years, through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs). It sounds implausible.

Africa’s Free Trade Area Misses Nigeria

When Africa’s free trade area launches on 7 July, a key player will be missing. However, Victor Adetula, head of research at Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Sweden, predicts that Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, will gradually open up and join the project.

Zero Population Growth vs Population Control

Knowledge is power, but with the caveat that said knowledge is based in fact. Otherwise, it’s misinformation.

Australia’s Forgotten Asylum Seekers

As the focus of Australian politics shifts away from refugee and asylum-seeker policies, the government avoids accountability for inhumane actions.

Libya Tragedy: Why Lock up Migrants in the First Place?

A military strike on a detention centre for migrants in Libya that claimed dozens of lives on Wednesday Jul. 3 has reignited a debate over the poor treatment of the mainly African people who transit through the turbulent country.

Why Environmental and Humanitarian Action Must Be Linked

Environmental and humanitarian action is often understood as two different sectors. However, the lack of awareness regarding its intersections could lead to further long-term devastation.

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