December 1938 was a decisive month in human history: In Germany, the scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered that when bombarded with neutrons, the atomic nucleus of uranium would split.
Not only do 805 million people go to bed hungry every day, with one-third of global food production (1.3 billion tons each year) being wasted, there is another scenario that reflects the nutrition paradox even more starkly: two billion people are affected by micronutrients deficiencies while 500 million individuals suffer from obesity.
For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth
in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development.
As we approach the 70th anniversary next year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are growing calls to place the humanitarian consequences of their use at the heart of deliberations about nuclear weapons.
Numerous international and national efforts have focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women. The United Nations, for example, has convened four world conferences on women - Beijing in 1995, Nairobi in 1985, Copenhagen in 1980 and Mexico City in 1975 - and Member States have adopted various international agreements, such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Jayantha Dhanapala was awarded the IPS International Achievement Award for Nuclear Disarmament Monday at the United Nations in New York.
A nuclear weapon-free world can and must happen in my lifetime. This may seem a bold and wildly Pollyannaish statement for me to make after a lifetime of work in peace and disarmament.
On Nov. 20, the whole world will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the world’s most universally ratified human rights treaty, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Sadly, the United States of America won’t be at the party or will simply be watching from the sidelines.
- In recent days, two major developments have injected new life into international action on climate change.
The United Nations, which is working on an emergency footing to battle the outbreak of Ebola, is worried about the potential for further isolation of the hardest-hit nations in West Africa.
This December, 195 nations plus the European Union will meet in Lima for two weeks for the crucial U.N. Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, known as COP 20. The hope in Lima is to produce the first complete draft of a new global climate agreement.
Next week marks 25 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a historic commitment to children and the most widely accepted human rights treaty in history.
When the advances made towards curbing global warming are analysed in the first 12 days of December in Lima, during the 20th climate conference, Latin America will present some achievements, as well as the many challenges it faces in “decarbonising development”.
Jayantha Dhanapala, a former U.N. under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs (1998-2003) and a relentless advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons, will be the recipient of the 2014 International Achievement Award for Nuclear Disarmament sponsored by Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.
The simultaneity presented by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus on one hand and militant barbarism ostensibly in the name of Islam on the other present the international development community - particularly the United Nations and international NGOs – with challenges, as well as opportunities.