This International Women’s Day (March 8) comes at a fiercely challenging moment. We can find inspiration, and hope, however, in the women and girls around the world who, often at great risk, are leading the fight for rights for everyone.
As dire economic predictions for 2023
did not materialise, pundits began 2024 far more optimistically
. But policy ghosts from the last half-century will likely undermine such wishful thinking.
With its current cash crisis, UN's leadership is finding itself in a helpless situation both politically and financially. The UN’s credibility has reached rock bottom.
The two devastating military conflicts—Russia vs Ukraine and Israel vs Hamas—have exposed once again the stark reality that the United Nations, created 79 years ago to maintain international peace and security, has failed in its political mission – while its credibility is at stake.
Russia is accused of violating the UN charter by invading a sovereign nation state and causing hundreds and thousands of deaths over two years --- with no signs of a peaceful settlement.
There are moments when international treaties, long forgotten by the general public, suddenly spring back to life. Moments when glimpses of reality shine through the thick-laden bureaucracies of the United Nations and catch the attention of the world outside.
At Statens Museum for Kunst
in Copenhagen there is a great painting made in 1797 by the Danish Golden Age
painter Jens Juel. It depicts one of Denmark’s richest merchants at the time – Niels Ryberg, his newlywed son Johan Christian, and the son’s bride, Engelke. Johan Christian makes a gesture as though to show off the family estate. There is a strong feeling of harmony between the people and the countryside in which they are placed. The picture reflects the new interest in nature that emerged all over Europe towards the end of the 18th century. It also demonstrates how Denmark’s new, rich bourgeois wished to carry themselves in the style of the aristocracy, a social class which dominance they were infringing. Ryberg and his son appear just as distinguished as the aristocrats that used to be portrayed by Jens Juel.
Amid an escalation of global conflict and climate change-induced displacements, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is escalating its donor campaign.
For the first time since the organization’s formation in 1951, the IOM says it is "proactively approaching all partners to fund this vital appeal," at a time when the number of migrants making perilous intercontinental journeys has increased.
This week the 2024 annual meeting of the World Social Forum (WSF)
was held in Nepal. There were fifty thousand participants from over 90 countries, exchanging strategies to address the multiple global crises, from climate catastrophes to unfettered capitalism, inequality, social injustice, wars and conflict.
At the start of 2024, we stand at a critical juncture: Geopolitical tensions are escalating, economic integration is unravelling, and multilateral cooperation is faltering. This global fragmentation threatens to undermine decades of progress made for children worldwide.
2023 was the warmest year on record. The latest Copernicus Climate Change Service
highlights that February 2023 to January 2024 was the first time that we experienced 12 consecutive months of temperatures 1.5-degree hotter than the pre-industrial era
A coalition of over 350 civil society organisations part of the #UNmute initiative, shared concerns over the current engagement mechanisms for civil society at the UN – particularly in light of the upcoming Summit of the Future
All around the globe, the most vulnerable among us are suffering the gravest consequences of war. Children bear the brunt of the horrors inflicted by States and armed groups worldwide, with recent examples found in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, have long been pioneers in international development, often compelled by the challenges they face. Positioned on the frontlines of climate change, they lead efforts in mitigation, adaptation, and advocacy, and despite their geographical dispersion, they are innovating approaches to resilience and sustainability.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) held its annual ministers meeting last week in Paris, marking the 50th
anniversary of the world’s leading energy organization. Critical topics on the agenda
included energy security issues linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, as well as advancing a clean energy transition to meet global climate change goals
Imperialism continues to dominate the world. Globalisation is losing to some of its anti-theses, but imperialism still rules, increasingly by law, albeit in changing even contradictory ways.
On a white canvas, people were painting different structures, objects and creatures in a range of colours. Kavita Sada Musahar’s creation was on its way to becoming a painting — with houses, humans, birds, trees and rivers — and a bright red heart.
Manjula Dungdung is explaining why she is fighting for land and agricultural rights for herself and other members of the Kharia tribe, who grow the food they eat. “Women’s right to land is especially important because it is an issue of our dignity, and since we are the ones who do most of the agricultural work, it is to maintain food security.”
A cash crunch and hiring freeze at the United Nations threaten to hinder UN human rights investigations in places like Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria.
Kiprotich Peter from the East African country of Kenya is trying to convey his climate crisis message using the platform of the World Social Forum (WSF) taking place in the mountain nation of Nepal, which has also been battered by the impacts of climate change.
The United Nations is heading towards a severe cash crisis forcing the world body “to implement aggressive cash conservation measures to avert a default in meeting the legal obligations of the Organization”.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has drawn attention to “the unfortunate deteriorating financial situation of our regular budget operations”.
These are the worst of times, but they can become the best of times, said speaker Dr. Walden Bello, seeking to inspire thousands of progressives who gathered for the World Social Forum (WSF) in Kathmandu on Thursday with the planet under clouds of armed conflict and assaults on democracy.