TerraViva Europe

Caribbean Forced to Choose Between Climate Change Impact and MDGs

Climate change is forcing the nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to choose between expending scarce resources to deal with its impact or other pressing development goals.

Russia: Critics Continue To Attack “Hypocrisy” Over HIV/AIDS

International bodies and local campaign groups have repeatedly criticised Russia for not doing anywhere near enough in terms of providing prevention services or access to medical treatment for HIV/AIDS sufferers. The fourth Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) HIV/AIDS Conference, which finished in Moscow last week, has not put a stop to that criticism.

OP-ED: The Ugly Truth about Garbage and Island Biodiversity

Some of the Earth’s most delicate tropical paradises are being disfigured by the by-products of the modern age - marine debris: plastic bottles, carrier bags and discarded fishing gear. 

Balkans: Floods Reunite Former Yugoslavs

The Balkans region is living one of its most horrible springs ever, after the worst flooding in 120 years took 47 lives and witnessed evacuation of dozens of thousands of Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs in a matter of days last week. 

Vibrant Civil Society, A Must For South Sudan

I had the privilege of visiting South Sudan a few months after the world’s youngest state had been born in July 2011.  Then, most people were wondering what the future held for the country.  The road has not been easy so far.

Transgenics Prosper Amidst Pragmatism and Collateral Damage

The advertising department of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta was on a roll in early 2004 when it published a map that dubbed a large area of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay the “United Republic of Soy”.

Behind Glamour, Cannes Film Festival Puts Spotlight on Human Rights

Forget about 'Grace of Monaco'. Some of the most noteworthy films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival deal with human rights and the fight for press freedom, and they come from directors who have had to overcome financing, censorship or infrastructure difficulties to tell stories that they believe need telling. 

Russian Manipulation of Reactor Fuel Belies U.S. Iran Argument

In the stalemated talks between the six powers and Iran over the future of the latter’s nuclear programme, the central issue is not so much the technical aspects of the problem but the history of the Middle Eastern country’s relations with foreign suppliers – and especially with the Russians.

OP-ED: Violence Leaves Women, Girls, and Young People on the Edge in South Sudan

As with many conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies around the world, those who suffer the most are women, young girls and children. The current terrible crisis in South Sudan is no exception. 

U.N. Decries Water as Weapon of War in Military Conflicts

The United Nations, which is trying to help resolve the widespread shortage of water in the developing world, is faced with a growing new problem: the use of water as a weapon of war in ongoing conflicts.

OP-ED: Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!

Nearly 20 years ago, the world came together in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women. There, 189 governments adopted a visionary roadmap for gender equality: the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Conflict with Local Communities Hits Mining and Oil Companies Where It Hurts

Conflicts with local communities over mining, oil and gas development are costing companies billions of dollars a year. One corporation alone reported a six billion dollar cost over a two-year period according to the first-ever peer-reviewed study on the cost of conflicts in the extractive sector.

Moving LGBT Rights Beyond Marriage Equality

Honouring the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Friday emphasised progress in advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons, but a new report on criminalisation of LBGT people suggests that there is still a long way to go.

Is Putin’s Eurasian Vision Losing Steam?

Victory Day on May 9 was an occasion for Russians to indulge in patriotic flag waving in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin used the previous day to muster a show of diplomatic support for his efforts to bring formerly Soviet states closer together.

Bulgaria, No Country For Syrian Refugees

Since November last year, Bulgaria has virtually closed its borders to an inflow of Syrian asylum seekers and other migrants trying to enter the country from Turkey, while EU institutions concerned appear to have acquiesced to this. 

Uganda Passes Another Repressive Law — This Time Criminalising HIV Transmission

Ugandan AIDS bodies and campaigners have warned that the “ugly clauses” of an HIV bill passed by Parliament late Tuesday, which includes the criminalisation of the “wilful and intentional” transmission of the disease, will see many in this East African country “shun the healthcare system”.

Not Yet a Week and Another South Sudan Ceasefire Fails

It has not yet been a week, but South Sudan’s most recent ceasefire appears set to collapse, along with hopes that – after five months of fighting – the country might finally be on the path to recovery.

Nigeria’s Nightmare Gives New Momentum to IVAWA

Amidst intensifying concern over the fate of more than 200 girls abducted by a radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria, at least 100 representatives of various activist groups Tuesday pressed the U.S. Senate to approve legislation designed to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls and discourage child marriages around the world.

Torture Remains the World’s Dirty Secret, Amnesty Says

Alfreda Disbarro is awaiting trial in her native Philippines, charged with the sale and possession of illegal drugs. According to her sworn affidavit, while in police custody, she was in so much pain that she couldn’t eat, had difficulty breathing and kept vomiting.

Kremlin’s International Policies Could Mean Russian Brain Drain

As Russia faces harsh sanctions and growing international isolation over its annexation of Crimea and support of separatists in eastern Ukraine, economists and sociologists are warning that the Kremlin’s international policies may fuel a potentially devastating brain drain.

In Syria, Life Goes On Despite Everything

On a weekday afternoon, the Old City of Damascus heaves with people, cars, motorcycles, bikes. Markets are crowded with locals bartering with merchants for the heaps of spices, flowery perfumes, clothing, and most things one needs, abundant in the Hamidiyah market.

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