Today 05 December is International Volunteer Day, and every year we recognize the invaluable contributions of volunteers to peace and development.
As hundreds of thousands flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria to seek safety from intensifying conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military, the IKEA Foundation has given Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) €1 million to provide lifesaving medical assistance.
Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in ostensible free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have effectively created a powerful, privileged system of protections for foreign investors that undermine national law and institutions. ISDS allows foreign corporations to sue governments for causing them losses due to legal or regulatory changes.
Among the many leaders who left their mark on history in the 20th century, Fidel Castro - who died Nov. 25 at the age of 90 - stood out for propelling Cuba into a global role that was unexpectedly prominent for a small country, in an era when arms were frequently taken up to settle national and international disputes.
International inequality has grown over recent centuries, especially the last two. Before the Industrial Revolution, between-country inequalities were small, while within-country inequalities accounted for most of overall global income inequality. Now, inter-country income inequalities account for about two-thirds of world inequality with intra-country inequality accounting for a third.
Over the past 18 months, 1.3 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe. For women and girls particularly, that journey is one of violence and trauma.
Marking this year's World Day to Combat Desertification last June, the United Nations announced the launch of a China-United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Belt and Road Joint Action initiative to curb Desertification along the Silk Road.
With climate change posing growing threats to smallholder farmers, experts working around the issues of agriculture and food security say it is more critical than ever to implement locally appropriate solutions to help them adapt to changing rainfall patterns.
“No country, irrespective of its size or strength, is immune from the impacts of climate change, and no country can afford to tackle the climate challenge alone.”
Desertification, land degradation, drought, climate change, food insecurity, poverty, loss of biodiversity, forced migration and conflicts, are some of the key challenges facing Africa—a giant continent home to 1,2 billion people living in 54 countries.
The world has been too slow in responding to climate events such as El Niño and La Niña, and those who are the “least responsible are the ones suffering most”, Mary Robinson, the special envoy on El Niño and Climate, told IPS at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22).
To fight or to flee? These are the stark choices Maria, a single mother from the Bangalala midlands of Tanzania, faces repeatedly.“After the rains failed for a few years, some neighbours claimed our trees were drawing too much water from the ground. We cut them down. Our harvests fell. My mother closed her stall at the local market. That is when my father and I moved from the midlands to the Ruvu Mferejini river valley.”
Global income inequality among different regions began to increase about five centuries ago, before accelerating about two centuries ago, according to the great economic historian Angus Maddison. After the brief reversal during the ‘Golden Age’ quarter century after the Second World War, higher commodity prices in the decade until 2014, despite protracted slowdowns in most rich countries following the 2008 financial crisis, reduced international disparities between North and South.
One of the key features of the 2030 Agenda which the United Nations and member states identified in the lead up to the SDG agreement was the principle of universality.
As the dust has settled on Habitat III and the summit in Quito, Ecuador, we now have a clear vision and a concrete road map for how to transform our cities into inclusive, safer and more productive environments. The New Urban Agenda comes at a propitious time. Urbanization is growing at a fast pace, particularly in developing countries, where the urban population is expected to double by 2050. In South Asia alone, the urban population grew by 130 million between 2001 and 2011, according to recent World Bank study. Another 250 million are expected to join them by 2030.