IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Afghanistan’s Historic Year: Peace Talks, Security Transition but Higher Levels of Violence

While Afghanistan ends a historic year, filled with the hope for peace as the government and Taliban sat down for almost three months of consecutive peace talks for the first time in 19 years, it was also a year filled with violence with provisional statistics by the United Nations showing casualties for this year being higher than 2019.

San Salvador Steps Up Battle against Landslides and Floods

The San Salvador volcano is a gift of nature for the inhabitants of the capital who live at its foot, a gigantic green lung that gives them oxygen and fresh air. But it is also a curse.

Reclaim Your Rights: Defend Indigenous People’s Lands

Rights are earned through hard-fought struggles. And for Indigenous Peoples (IP), its fulfillment comes from the collective and continuous defense of ancestral land and territory, and assertion of their ways of life and the right to self-determination.

Reduce Military Spending – the Much-Needed Response to Violence Against Women

The COVID-19 pandemic is NOT the biggest pandemic the world confronts at the moment, despite over 69 million cases and 1.5 million deaths worldwide.1 If it’s not COVID, what is it then? It is violence against women!

Drop in Remittances – a Financial Lifeline for 800 Million People – Could Impact Financial Stability of Numerous Countries

On Dec. 2 Gabriel Arias, 42, left a Washington Heights, New York, money transfer agency after sending money home to the Dominican Republic. For the past eight years, every fortnight he would come to this branch at 171st street after getting paid from his construction job. But things are different this year and he worries about his family back home. Arias lost his job in May, amid heightened COVID-19 restrictions in the state. He told IPS he has tried to work some odd jobs, but has barely earned enough for his monthly apartment rental. This early December visit to send money home was only his second since June.

A UN Power Monopoly That Cries Out for a Break

Will four strong contenders for permanent seats in the UN Security Council (UNSC)-- Germany, India, Japan and Brazil—help break the monopoly now being held by the big five, namely the US, UK, France, China and Russia?

Biden’s Opportunity To End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Recently I had an opportunity to brief a group of European diplomats and journalists on a variety of conflicts, with a focus on the Middle East. During the Q&A I was asked which of the region’s conflicts Biden should tackle first.

When Big Powers Clash, the UN’s Most Powerful Body Disappears

At the height of the Cold War back in the 1960s, a Peruvian diplomat, Dr. Victor Andres Belaunde, characterized the United Nations as a politically wobbly institution that survives only at the will-- and pleasure-- of the five big powers.

Persons With Disabilities Among Worst Affected by Coronavirus

The 13th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) that was initially supposed to be held in New York back in June recently wrapped up with the final session coinciding with the International Day of People with Disabilities, whose theme, this year was on the issue of building back better inclusively.

Lost in Translation? Understanding Relevance of Women, Peace & Security in Arms Control & Disarmament

“What does the Women, Peace and Security Agenda have to do with arms control and disarmament?”. Under varying formulations, this question keeps coming up whenever someone refers to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda as a basis for ensuring that women’s voices and their specific security needs were taken into account in multilateral arms control discussions.

How the Rich Get Richer

Wealth begets wealth. This simple concept of privilege has added to growing discontent with inequality that has escalated under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q&A: Mro Indigenous Community Plea for Halt of Construction of 5-Star Hotel

The construction of a five-star hotel in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, could lead to the forced eviction of the Mro indigenous community from their ancestral lands and destroy “the social, economic, traditional and cultural fabric of the community”, warns Amnesty International.

But local activist Reng Young Mro told IPS that the international community must rally behind the Mro indigenous community to halt the construction.


How UN Helped Benin Become World’s Fastest Place to Start a Business via a Mobile Phone

Until recently, Benin was best known for its cotton exports and its vibrant clothing designs. Since this year it is also the fastest place in the world to start a company. By providing a full online service, the government helped entrepreneurs create businesses and jobs during the pandemic. A third of Benin’s new entrepreneurs are women.

Tobacco Industry Capitalizes on Pandemic to Increase Influence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

While the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated public health to a top priority in every country in the world, it has left many poorly resourced governments receptive to any and all aid that can provide immediate assistance to help their people.

Youth Demand a ‘Fair Share’ from World Leaders Ahead of G20 Summit

Heads of youth movements and student unions are challenging the world’s richest nations to correct an ‘incredibly unequal’ global response to COVID-19, by considering the plight of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people.

The Importance of Investing in Volunteerism

The International Volunteer Day will approach soon and the 5th of December will become a day to celebrate the actions of millions of volunteers from all over the world, in the south as well in the north of the world.

African Employers for Gender Equality

Africa has over 700 companies with an annual revenue of more than $500 million, including 400 with revenue above $1 billion. The ability of these companies to thrive rests on building and retaining talented women and men.

Our Development Priorities Have Shifted to the Immediate Task of Saving Lives & Livelihoods.

We have come to the point in the agenda where we must take a ‘deep-dive’ in reviewing the lessons learnt so far in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to chart a way for the future. But the future, by its very definition, must be relative. Flexibility and change will define policy making and the scope of action needed for development.

The Silence of the International Community on Western Sahara

For my entire life, I have been forgotten. I am a Sahrawi refugee, born and raised in the Algerian desert, where my people have remained displaced for 45 years, awaiting the moment when we can finally return to our homeland, Western Sahara.

WFP – ‘Focus on Starvation, Destabilisation and Migration to Avert a COVID-19 Global Food Crisis’

Food security has become a priority in the Caribbean as COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions have hit the tourism-dependent region hard.

US Republican Party’s Soul in Danger as Trump Hijacks the GOP

What has happened to the Republican Party? Picking Donald Trump in 2016 as the Republican candidate, giving him victory in primary after primary and later tolerating his idiosyncrasies and unpredictably dangerous behaviour and policy decisions were bad enough however much one tries to digest them as vagaries of the democratic tradition.

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