Governments and Social Movements Disagree on Future of Cities

The Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and the alternative forums held by social organisations ended in the Ecuadorean capital with opposing visions regarding the future of cities and the fulfillment of rights in urban areas.

Privatization the Problem, Rarely the Solution

Privatization has been one of the pillars of the counter-revolution against development economics and government activism from the 1980s. Many developing countries were forced to accept privatization as a condition for support from the World Bank while many other countries have embraced privatization, often on the pretext of fiscal and debt constraints.

U.N. Urban Summit Gives Rise to a Mixture of Optimism and Criticism

Experts and activists greeted with a mixture of hope and skepticism the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), which opened Monday Oct. 17 in the capital of Ecuador, and which seeks to produce a new urban agenda for cities and their inhabitants.

Big Powers Set to Grab High Level UN Posts

When Antonio Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal, takes office as the new UN Secretary General on January 1, his top management team is likely to be dominated by nominees from the five big powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia (P5).

Q&A: Land Degradation Could Force 135 Million to Migrate in Next 30 Years

One of the critical challenges facing the world today is that emerging migration patterns are increasingly rooted in the depletion of natural resources.

We Can Eliminate Hunger and Poverty Quickly with Greater Commitment

Why do people go hungry? Mainly because they do not have the means to get enough food, whether by producing it themselves or by purchasing it. There is more than enough food to feed the world. All those who currently go hungry can be adequately fed with about two percent of current food production, much more of which is wasted or lost. The main problem is one of distribution or access, rather than production or availability.

Indigenous Land Rights Bring Economic, not just Environmental Benefits

Secure indigenous land rights not only bring environmental benefits, they can also foster economic development, according to a new report released by the World Resources Institute.

Eradicating Poverty – a Lofty Ideal or Achievable Goal?

The first Sustainable Development Goal calls for us to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030. The goal and the deadline are ambitious - and they need to be. We do not have the luxury of time.

Why farmers respond differently to higher food prices?

Higher food prices are supposed to induce farmers to increase production for sale. In reality, however, their supply responsiveness is influenced by many factors, including their ability to respond to price changes.

The Elusive Woman Secretary-General

United Nations’ apex forum, the General Assembly elected the next Secretary-General yesterday by acclamation rubber-stamping the recommendation of the Security Council (SC). I am appalled by the choice of 15 members of the Security Council of another man following eight others in 70 plus years of UN’s existence as if only men are destined to lead this global organization.

Antonio Guterres: New UN Secretary General

The new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who takes office on January 1, arrives with strong credentials -- both as a former Prime Minister of Portugal and an ex-UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Low Food Prices: Good for Your Pocket, Bad for Small Farmers

What would be your reaction if you were told that food prices are steadily declining worldwide? Good, very good news, you may say. But do the 600 million small, family farmers, those who produce up to 80 per cent of food in some regions, think the same way? Definitely not at all.

UN Security Council’s “Perilous Interventions” in War Zones

When the UN Security Council last week discussed the “deliberate” attacks on medical facilities in war-ravaged Syria and Yemen, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly criticized some of the warring nations lamenting that “even a slaughterhouse is more humane” than the ongoing indiscriminate killings of civilians in the two devastating conflicts.

Reject Abusers from UN Human Rights Council: Advocacy Groups

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and the UN Watch have called on UN member states to oppose the bids of some of the major human rights abusing governments from joining the Human Rights Council (HRC).

Developing Countries Share Sustainable Development Philosophies

Countries of the Global South, also known as developing countries, share many principles in common when it comes to implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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