Active Citizens

Sierra Leone – Why Everyone is Not Celebrating the New Media Law

Last week, Sierra Leone’s parliament voted to repeal the country’s 55-year-old libel law, which criminalised the publication of information that was deemed defamatory or seditious, and which had been used by successive governments to target and imprison media practitioners and silence dissenting views. But not everyone is convinced it was in the best interest of media freedom.

Indigenous Farmers Harvest Water with Small Dams in Peru’s Andes Highlands

A communally built small dam at almost 3,500 meters above sea level supplies water to small-scale farmer Cristina Azpur and her two young daughters in Peru's Andes highlands, where they face water shortages exacerbated by climate change.

Racism and Dominance

The #MeToo movement triggered worldwide protests that hopefully was instrumental in making people better aware of a continuous and often hidden mistreatment of women. Maybe can the current I can’t breathe movement make people realize that institutional racism is far from extinct.

World Protests Show Rising Outrage and Mounting Discontent

After a period of forced silence because of the Covid-19 quarantines, citizens around the world are defying coronavirus restrictions and claiming the streets to fight for real democracy, jobs, living wages, public services, human rights and against corruption, inequality and injustice. We predict an increasing wave of protests all over the world led by different types of people defying the status quo. Unless policies change, clashes in the street are likely to become the new normal.

The Need, Within the UN, for an Honest Conversation on Racism

I want to once again express to all colleagues my enormous appreciation, my enormous gratitude, for your fantastic professionalism, your flexibility and the way you have been able to fully deliver for the people we care for during this period.

George Floyd: US’ Week of Broken Glass and Broken Dreams

The United States has been a story of broken dreams and broken glass this past week. Once again, an unarmed black man died at the hands of a white police officer, with George Floyd being pinned to the ground under a lawman’s knee in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as stunned passersby made cell-phone videos of the incident to post on social media.

Mexico’s Development Banks Fuel the Fossil Energy Trade

Since 2012, Teresa Castellanos has fought the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Huexca, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, adjacent to the country's capital.

Coronavirus Hasn´t Slowed Down Ecological Women Farmers in Peru’s Andes Highlands

It's eight o'clock in the morning and Pascuala Ninantay is carrying two large containers of water in her wheelbarrow to prepare with neighbouring women farmers 200 litres of organic fertiliser, which will then be distributed to fertilise their crops, in this town in the Andes highlands of Peru.

Citizen Action is Central to the Global Response to COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created an unprecedented human and economic crisis. Governments are taking strong actions, enforcing quarantines to reduce contagion, testing populations, building emergency intensive care units. Governments have also launched large fiscal stimulus plans to protect jobs and the economy, as well as temporary social protection programs such as income/food support, subsidies to utilities and care services.

Bioenergy, the Ugly Duckling of Mexico’s Energy Transition

Rosa Manzano carefully arranges pieces of wood in a big mud igloo that, seven days after it is full, will produce charcoal of high caloric content.

10 Ways Young People are Leading the Way Against COVID-19

As the world grapples with unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, young people are demonstrating their continued leadership in their communities and countries. According to a new UN plan to address COVID-19, young people are some of the most affected by the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts. Nevertheless, youth are also among the most active in global responses: Not only are they on the frontlines as health workers, but they are also advancing health and safety in their roles as researchers, activists, innovators, and communicators. As such, decision-makers must commit to ensuring youth voices are part of the solutions for a healthier, safer, and gender-equal world.

Never Give up on Women’s Rights – Edna Ismail

For Dr Edna Adan Ismail maternal health and midwifery is deeply personal. In an interview with Women Deliver Young Leader Musu Bakoto Sawo, Ismail recalls her mother’s devasting experiences which impacted on her own life’s choices.

Could the Coronavirus Pandemic have been Avoided if the World Listened to Indigenous Leaders?

Mina Setra remembers the story clearly. As a Dayak Pompakng indigenous person from Indonesia, when  visitors from the city who came into her community; brought bottled water with them because they were worried about the water not being suitable for drinking. 

A Woman Peacebuilder’s Reflections on Beijing+25 & the Generation Equality Forum

Where are the women and youth peacebuilders in the Beijing+25 and the Generation Equality Forum processes? Their absence raises serious questions about the effectivity and coherence of the work of the UN on gender equality since armed conflict is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality.

World’s Young Activists at War: First, Occupy Wall Street, Next Un-Occupy Palestine

The world’s young activists, numbering over 3.8 billion, are on the war path. The rising new socialist movements—which included “Black Lives Matter,” “Occupy Wall Street” “Un-Occupy Palestine” and "the #Me Too Movement" triggering women's marches— were aimed at battling racism, institutionalized inequalities, political repression and sexual harassment.

When UN’s Cash Crisis Undermines Human Rights, Are the World’s Torturers the Key Beneficiaries?

The UN’s ongoing cash crisis, which has virtually destabilized the Organization’s day-to-day operations, has also undermined the human rights mandate of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC).

“For Generations, We Have Been Nominating Men Just Because They are Men”

Marlène Schiappa, Minister of State for Gender Equality and the Fight against Discrimination in France, attended the 25th year Regional Review Meeting of the Beijing Platform for Action for the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Region last month. She highlighted why this meeting is key for advancing the gender equality agenda and the priorities for the Generation Equality Forum in 2020, a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico.

Cybersecurity Threats Call for a Global Response

Last March, Operation Taiex led to the arrest of the gang leader behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks on over 100 financial institutions worldwide.

India’s Citizenship Law Triggered by Rising Right-Wing Ideology

“Fire bullets at the traitors of the country,” chanted mobs of Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, supporters wrapped in Indian flags in Delhi last week.

2019 – A Devastating Year in Review

By any measure this has been a devastating year: fires across the Amazon, the Arctic and beyond; floods and drought in Africa; rising temperatures, carbon emissions and sea levels; accelerating loss of species, and mass forced migrations of people.

The Ignoble Fall of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Appearing before 17 judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, became a public apologist for the military government of Myanmar which has long been accused of genocide and forcing over 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown.

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