My recent study on “The G20@10: Time to shift gears” 1
shows that, during the past decade, the main joint, collective action of the G20 has been to issue communiqués and other types of statements.
The deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus which upended three key UN conferences—on the empowerment of women, on nuclear disarmament and on indigenous rights—claimed another casualty last week when a commemorative meeting on the transatlantic slave trade was postponed.
Vanessa Nakate of Uganda may have been cropped out of a photograph taken at the World Economic Forum, but she along with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg have made the climate crisis centre stage.
Humankind has outlived multiple pandemics in the course of world history. The kingdoms and states of Central and Western Europe abolished the institution of serfdom once it had become clear that medieval rule in the aftermath of devastating pestilence would founder without ending the dependency and servitude that characterized the Dark Ages. The vulnerability of entire nations to the risk of total collapse in the absence of widespread access to the most basic healthcare in the Spanish Flu spurred governments to build the public health systems that have made the progress and development of the last hundred years possible. If the past is prologue, then continuity and survival command that we change.
The US is currently still in a stock market bubble which, if history is any guide, is likely to end, as argued by Thomas Palley
. While President Trump would, of course, like to sustain it to strengthen his November re-election prospects, the Covid19 black swan is already showing signs of pricking the bubble
Development efforts over the past two decades have seen millions of people freed from poverty and hunger, and inequalities reduced worldwide. This is an undoubted achievement, but is no reason for complacency. The fact is that inequality between men and women, between boys and girls, remains not only a social justice concern, but one of the impediments on development in countries across Africa and beyond. Addressing such inequalities is a duty for all of us, and one which is at the heart of the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day on 8th March: Each for Equal
Pokot girls are expected to face the knife stark naked and with courage. To inspire confidence, their fathers sit a few metres away from them with a spear in hand.
The narrative surrounding women’s rights in 2020 carries much hope and possibility. A new decade is ushering in important anniversaries and milestones: 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action, 110 years since the birth of International Women's Day and the 10-year countdown to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Women were at the forefront of Lebanon’s 2019 ‘October Revolution’. Beyond the iconic images of their participation, it seems that by women linking equity in politics to the broader issues of mismanagement of corruption paid off - although activists say there is a long road ahead.
This year marks just ten years ahead of the deadline for completing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
These universally supported targets were always ambitious in their scope – yet what is clearer now than ever before is that quicker progress is crucial in the decade to come.
Many medicines and medical tests are unaffordable to most of humanity owing to the ability of typically transnational pharmaceutical giants to abuse their monopoly powers, enforced by intellectual property laws, to set prices to maximize profits over the long-term.
Reducing poverty and inequalities, eliminating hunger and all forms of malnutrition and achieve food security for all – these are some of the most important objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Still, the rate of poverty and inequalities is increasing and over 820 million people are going hungry. In addition, 2 billion people in the world are food insecure with great risk of malnutrition and poor health. This alarming situation is further aggravated by current trends such as the rate of population growth, impacts of climate change, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and many others. Transition to more sustainable food systems can provide adequate solutions to all these challenges. Pulses could play an important role in this transition, having nutritional and health benefits, low environmental footprint, and positive socio-economic impacts as well. What is required to promote and support the production and consumption of more pulses? This question is particularly relevant now, since 10 February is the World Pulses Day.
Financialization has worsened inequality through various channels, including macroeconomic policies. For example, quantitative easing and low, if not negative interest rates have fuelled credit and asset price bubbles, while fiscal spending cuts have adversely affected those depending on government assistance.
One year ago, the UN began implementing reforms meant to make it more effective in delivering on sustainable development. Now, with the start of 2020, the global body has declared this as the "decade of action" to turn the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into a living reality for all humanity. But what does this look like, on the ground?
One of the highlight activities as the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary this year will be the launch of an “annual temperature check” on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress. With only ten years left to the final whistle for the Goals, this activity that will take place each September will provide a snapshot of what’s working, and where countries need more action.
The latest November 2019 UBS/PwC Billionaires Report
counted 2,101 billionaires globally, or 589 more than five years before. Earlier, Farhad Manjoo
had seriously recommended, ‘Abolish Billionaires’, presenting a moral case against the super-rich as they have and get far, far more than what they might reasonably claim to deserve.
“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.
Let’s face what lies ahead with open eyes: 2020 is going to be a very tough year for the world, and developing countries in particular. The infant decade has already begun with the harbingers of climate disaster as thousands fled to beaches in Australia from raging bush fires, and the Middle East braced for more conflict after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Iran’s top general.
The social utility of billionaires’ existence has come under increased scrutiny, especially during the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 US Presidential election. Leading newspapers, such as The New York Times, published opinion pieces arguing to abolish billionaires
and reflecting on why billionaires engage in illegal insider trading
“The 2030 Agenda is coming to life”, declared the Secretary General at the opening of the first SDG Summit, a quadrennial event for the follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As leaders from Asia – Pacific took the floor, they highlighted country progress of SDG implementation and reaffirmed commitment to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Statements reflected different approaches across the region. Yet all converged on one priority: accelerated actions and transformative pathways