As the world observes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, we honour the leadership of persons with disabilities and their tireless efforts to build a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable world. At the same time, we resolve to work harder to ensure a society that is open and accommodating of all.
In her famous speech
‘The Danger of a Single Story’, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns us against a singular narrative of a person—a stereotype. This, Adichie asserts, is not because stereotypes are untrue, but because they are incomplete—“They make one story become the only story.” This is true in all walks of life, including in our interactions with people with disabilities at workplaces.
No matter what it is called -- it is the abhorrent daily life of a billion enslaved humans. The real number of “modern” slaves is understandably unknown. The International Labour Organisation
(ILO) estimates that more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.
Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian social reformer and co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Malala Yousafzai, spoke in a recent international forum about the devastating impacts of child labour.
Most countries in the Asia-Pacific region are on track to reach universal birth registration by 2030: an incredible achievement and a significant milestone in realizing human rights and equality. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed, many weaknesses remain in official recording systems, creating gaps in knowledge about the population and affecting how authorities respond to crises and reach those in greatest need.
A possible solution to childcare needs is polygamy. Polygamy, the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time, was not against the laws in many countries in the past. For example, polygamy was made illegal in China in 1950, in France at the end of the 20th century, in the United States
near end of the 19th century and became a felony in the United Kingdom
at the start of the 17th century.
Thirty-six-year-old Thandiwe Mtshali* watched helplessly as her informal cross-border trading (ICBT) enterprise came to a grinding halt when the Zimbabwean authorities closed the border with South Africa as part of global efforts to stem the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
UNSG Antonio Guterres convened the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit which took place on 23-24 September. The Summit preparation had a well-designed structure with remarkable and appreciated leadership of Amina Mohammed, UN DSG. Due to the hard work of the UN Special Envoy, Agnes Kalibata, and her whole Team, the organisation and logistics of the Summit was excellent.
The bogey of inflation has been revived. Dubious pre-pandemic economic progress, fiscal constraints and vaccine apartheid were bad enough. Now, ostensibly anti-inflationary measures also threaten recovery and sustainable development.
In September 2021, children in the northern hemisphere returned to school after the summer break. For some, the end of the holidays signaled a return to normalcy and to the joys of learning after facing months of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the majority of children in the Global South, however, the return to reality looked grimmer.
The Government of India launched the e-Shram portal
with the mandate of registering 380,000,000 unorganised workers
in the country. The portal aims to bridge the gap in unorganised workers’ ability to access social welfare and employment benefits by issuing an e-Shram card (or Shramik card) upon registration.
China was one of the architects of the United Nations and was the first signatory of the UN Charter in San Francisco in 1945.
But it was only in October 1971, with the Chinese delegation led by Mr. Qiao Guanhua, that China’s representation at the UN resumed. Since that time, the UN has had the great privilege of witnessing and supporting China in achieving one of the greatest periods of socio-economic progress in world history.
The USA and its allies have repeatedly stated that promoting women’s rights was one of the key reasons they were in Afghanistan. The US military top brass, in a letter to marines stated that they were in Afghanistan “for the liberty of young Afghan girls, women, boys, and men who want the same individual freedoms we enjoy as Americans”.
The evidence of child labour on cocoa farms in West Africa
became public knowledge in the late 1990s. This followed press reports documenting the existence of hazardous child labour on cocoa farms. Pressure on the cocoa industry to end child labour has been growing ever since, particularly from civil society and more recently from both US and European regulators.
I assume channel surfing and internet browsing contribute to a decrease in people’s attention span. I am not familiar with any scientific proof, though while working as a teacher I found that some students may be exhausted when five minutes of a lesson has passed and begin fingering on their smartphones. They might also complain if a text is longer than half a page, while finding it almost impossible to read a book.
Gender-responsive universal health coverage (UHC) has the proven potential to transform the health and lives of billions of people, particularly girls and women, in all their intersecting identities. At tomorrow’s kick-off
to the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on UHC, Member States and stakeholders will review progress made on the 2019 HLM’s commitments and set a roadmap to achieve UHC by 2030. We, as the co-convening organizations of the Alliance for Gender Equality and UHC
, call on Member States to safeguard gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as part of UHC implementation, especially in light of the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global food system needs a massive overhaul – this was clear before the Covid pandemic and it is even more true today.
Feeding the world in a sustainable and healthy way is entirely possible but it is also inextricably linked to tackling the climate crisis by reaching net zero emissions, and to halting the dizzying decline in bio-diversity which is currently threatening the survival of one million plant and animal species.
Current food systems are no longer fit for the 21st century. Inequitable distribution, poor nutritional habits, and climate change are three issues breaking down our global food systems today, forcing us to look for solutions to transform them. Food aid – very much part of our global food systems – needs to be responsive to the challenges that lie ahead.
Food processing extends shelf-life and can transforms raw food into attractive, marketable products. It can also prevent contamination. The transformation can involve numerous physical and chemical processes such as mincing, cooking, canning, liquefaction, pickling, macerating, emulsification, irradiation and lyophilization. Frozen processed and raw food changes transport and storage requirements radically; while the packaging of food, both raw and processed, is an industry unto itself.
Why is the UN holding a Food Systems Summit? Two issues that need discussion at the international leadership level are: Long before the Covid crisis was upon us, the number of hungry people in the world was increasing. Why ? What is the cause of this disturbing trend? And, can a country really claim to be food secure, unless it produces or can buy enough food to feed its population and its people can access sufficient quantities to keep themselves fit and healthy? Disquietening questions as extreme weather begins to show the destructive power that climate change will have on the planet and its people.
Last year, as the world grappled to survive the Covid-19 Pandemic, Megan Fernandas an accountant living in Toronto, was trying to face her biggest fear, not the COVID-19 virus, but missing her doctor's appointment after surviving a rigorous fight against stage 2 breast cancer.