Headlines

COVID-19 in the Time of Insecurity

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.

Is It Time to Postpone the 2020 Climate Summit?

With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet and the governments of both wealthy and poorer nations overwhelmed by the demands of managing a response, the scheduling of this year’s critical UN Climate Summit is suddenly in doubt.

What does U.N. Secretary General’s Call for Ceasefire Mean for Countries in Conflict?

Conflict experts are concerned the the global ceasefire called for by the United Nations amid the coronavirus outbreak may not work and could lead to a rise in violence.

TB, HIV and COVID-19: Urgent Questions as Three Epidemics Collide

Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV pose a significant burden on South Africa’s health system. There’s a close relationship between the two. About 60% of TB patients are also HIV-positive. The novel coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) is likely to be of particular concern for communities with high rates of TB and HIV.

“In the Beginning was the Word”: Why Covid-19 Renders Words even more Powerful

I was able to take office as the secretary general to the largest global interfaith organization – Religions for Peace - with interreligious councils (IRCs) composed of senior-most religious leaders representing their religious institutions, in 90 countries, and 6 regional IRCs, a week before we had to ask all employees to work from home, in compliance with New York State law.

Improving Development Impact

Most developing countries have good policies, programmes and projects in place. Many of these have been prepared with assistance from development partners or international financing institutions such as the World Bank, the regional development banks, the UN agencies or bilateral aid agencies. Most of these are of high quality and have gone through intensive review and quality control.  The major challenge is to effectively implement these policies, programmes and projects. Unfortunately this does not often happen and leads to huge lost opportunities. This is particularly the case in the poorest countries, many of which are conflict affected. 

Djibouti Intensifies Awareness-raising Efforts Against FGM

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still widely practised in the African country of Djibouti. Despite efforts by the government and development agencies to curb this practice, culture, tradition and religion continue to slow down progress.

Why Empowering National Human Rights Institutions Helps on the Quest for Healthy Earth?

We are living in a critical time. As we face existential environmental challenges from climate crises to the mass extinction of species, it is difficult sometimes to see solutions and new ideas. This is why we all need to celebrate and give visibility to creative and courageous efforts of people and organizations striving towards a healthy planet for all.

Health Workers Are the Frontline Soldiers Against Covid-19. Let’s Protect Them

Many soldiers have seen first-hand the horrors of war and, terrifying though it often was, they knew who they were fighting, and could recognise their enemy.

Stronger UN Leadership Needed to Cope with Coronavirus Threat

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is hard to predict as events are still unfolding, and estimates vary dramatically. UNCTAD estimates lost output in the order of US$1 trillion, just over a third of Bloomberg’s expectation of US$2.7 trillion in losses. The OECD expects global economic growth to halve from already anaemic levels.

White Supremacists, Yellow Peril & “Chinese Virus” Add to a Volatile Political Mix

When US President Donald Trump repeatedly characterized the fast-spreading COVID-19 as a “Chinese virus” last week, it prompted some white supremacists to resurrect an age old ethnic slur against Chinese and East Asians: the “Yellow Peril” which, in a bygone era, was touted as a xenophobic threat to the Western world.

Fisherfolk Fix Both Food and Climate by Closing Fishing Grounds

Samsul sounded very happy last Monday (Mar. 16) when recounting his experience of catching crabs worth more than $60 in a single day. 

Air Pollution: A Problem We Can Solve in Our Lifetime

Over the past few years, worsening air quality in India—and in north India specifically—has awakened policy makers and civil society to take urgent action.

Fighting Coronavirus: It’s Time to Invest in Universal Public Health

Austerity policies pushed by international financial institutions have weakened public health systems, despite current financial support packages, condemning many people to die.

Women & Climate: Planting a Global Forest in a Connected World

In January of this year, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shocked much of the world when they announced they would be stepping down from their roles as senior royals.

Lessons from Nigeria in Responding to Coronavirus

Coronavirus is now a pandemic and the World Health Organization considers Europe as its new epicenter. Italy, Spain and France are on lockdown and several nations are banning travelers from countries where cases are on the rise.

Thirsting for Water Security?

Water is essential and indispensable for life on earth. We know that; and many of us have perhaps heard, written and uttered these words themselves a ‘million’ times.

Harassment of Journalists Jeopardises Keeping Public Safe amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Growing intimidation and repression of journalists reporting on the coronavirus is threatening public health in some countries, press freedom monitors have warned.

Never Give up on Women’s Rights – Edna Ismail

For Dr Edna Adan Ismail maternal health and midwifery is deeply personal. In an interview with Women Deliver Young Leader Musu Bakoto Sawo, Ismail recalls her mother’s devasting experiences which impacted on her own life’s choices.

Could the Coronavirus Be a Biological Weapon in the Not-Too-Distant Future?

The devastating spread of the deadly coronavirus across every continent-- with the exception of Antarctica-- has triggered a conspiracy theory on social media: what if the virus was really a biological weapon?

Young People Bring Solar Energy to Schools in the Argentine Capital

"The idea came to a group of schoolmates and me in 2014, but we never thought it could become a reality," says Sebastián Ieraci, 23, as he points to a multitude of photovoltaic solar panels shining on the roof of the Antonio Devoto High School in the Argentine capital.

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