Almost inadvertently, humankind is getting closer everyday to the point of no-return towards what could be called the ‘climate doomsday’.
After 25 years of voting against a United Nations resolution condemning the United States (U.S.) embargo on Cuba, the U.S. Wednesday chose for the first time to abstain from voting. An overwhelming 191 UN member states voted for the resolution, with only Israel joining the United States in abstention.
Land degradation already affects millions of people, bringing biodiversity loss, reduced availability of clean water, food insecurity and greater vulnerability to the harsh impacts of climate change.
The emergence of new ideas, technological advancements and innovative market-driven financing solutions has lent confidence to the idea that universal access to energy services is attainable. This is particularly good news in the Asia and the Pacific region, where, despite making significant contributions to global growth and poverty reduction since 2000, nearly half a billion citizens still have no access to modern energy, principally in rural and far-flung areas. Three-quarters of these people live in South Asia alone. Some 70% of the Pacific island households are un-electrified, a level similar to sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of electricity and clean cooking options marginalizes predominantly remote and slum communities who are trapped in energy poverty, preventing them from stepping on the first rung of the ladder to prosperity.
Protected from the sun by broad-brimmed hats and long- sleeved shirts, workers at the La Juventud fish farm throw fish feed into the tanks for the tilapias, a fish that is scarce and in high demand in the Cuban markets.
A UN Human Rights Expert has called on the international community to fight tax evasion and abolish tax havens that siphon off essential resources from human rights protection and global development.
Faced with growing degradation that is swallowing large swathes of land in arid and semiarid areas, Kenya is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification.
Hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs are thought to be responsible for contributing to 0.5 Celsius warming of the climate. On October 14, 170 countries came together in Kigali, Rwanda to sign an amendment to the Montreal protocol treaty that will commit nations to eliminate 90 percent HFCs with phasing out work slated to begin in 2019. HFCs are used in air-conditioning, refrigeration and aerosols and its usage has been rapidly increasing (at about 10 percent annually) as income levels spurred in Asian countries like China and India with expanding middle classes; the mass scale adoption of air conditioning in homes, commercial buildings and cars was inevitable. The downside to HFCs is that it is considered to be much more destructive to the climate than carbon dioxide.
Voicing her concern about a recently passed law by the US Congress, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), has urged parliamentarians to protect the sovereignty of states and prevent their being subjected to other countries' judiciary systems.
Of late, I have been studying Sri Lanka’s war experience. The country has fascinated students of comparative politics like me as it defies virtually all conventional wisdom about peace and conflict within societies.
In a WhatsApp video that went viral in September, a middle-aged Zimbabwean man addresses President Robert Mugabe, telling him that 90 percent of the people in the country are unemployed and do not contribute to the economy because Mugabe cannot provide jobs.
Health problems increasingly transcend the borders of the World Health Organization’s 194 member states, a challenge which the six candidates vying to lead the global body must address with care.
Bangladesh had an exceptional six days this month. Starting with the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping and ending with that of the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, the country went through a period of euphoria. During those days, ministers, politicians, experts, business leaders, media personalities and development partners from South Asia and beyond gathered to discuss the region's economic prospects at the Ninth South Asia Economic Summit organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue. Everywhere Bangladesh's achievements got prominence. Based on what Bangladesh has done so far and what more potential the country can have, visiting leaders have committed to support the country in various forms. The Chinese President offered a package of investment and trade worth nearly USD 40 billion. Soon after his departure comes the World Bank President with a bag full of praises and promises for Bangladesh. For its spectacular success in reducing poverty, Bangladesh was chosen to observe this year's End Poverty Day. Kim also committed to increase financial support for improvement of child nutrition by USD 1 billion in the next three years and to invest another USD 2 billion on climate change projects for the same length of period.
The elimination of poverty has been a popular promise among political leaders in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Despite their repeated promises of eliminating poverty, poverty persists. The rhetoric on poverty elimination has far surpassed efforts to reduce it and not been adequately backed up by policies that mitigate poverty and reduce income inequality. The people left behind by economic growth have not been adequately taken care of by social security safety nets. The global experience provides useful insights on how poverty and inequality could be reduced.
When disasters strike, children are among the most vulnerable, and humanitarian aid agencies need to be able to respond immediately to save their lives.