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US-IRAN-CHINA: Travails of a Trilateral Triangle, and the Emergence of an Eastern Front

President Jimmy Carter of the United States had once paid Iran glowing tributes, which was received quite normally in American policy circles and raised no eyebrows: He had said: “(Iran was) an island of stability in one of the most troubled areas of the world”. In one of the weirdest ironies of history, within months in 1979, with the Iranian Revolution, the perception of Iran in American eyes underwent a most radical transformation. It was followed by the hostage-taking of American diplomats, and a nose-diving of bilateral relations. Since 1980 there have been no diplomatic connections. However, over the years a kind of modus vivendi had evolved, a grudging tolerance of each other accompanied by some functional interactions. Eventually, in 2015, the US along with key European States entered into what was called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), virtually capping Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and largely stabilizing the relationship.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 – Statement of the Indigenous Partnership (TIP)/NESFAS

As we commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, let us not forget that supporting Indigenous Peoples is not only a social good; it is also a sound development policy. Defending the lands, languages and cultural practices of indigenous peoples and tackling the racism and injustices against them will lessen the outbreaks of future pandemics and manage climate change.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020

Indigenous Peoples are culturally distinct societies and communities. There are approximately 476 million Indigenous Peoples worldwide, in over 90 countries.

Anger and Sadness in Beirut

Eliane Eid, IPS correspondent in Beirut spoke to a cross section of people who shared their views and fears with her. On the third day of the deadly explosion, amidst an outpouring of anger from the Lebanese people, Angelina, 18, speaks about her lost home in the Mar Mikhael area. Josette, 27, talks about her experience of the explosion while she was on the road and Charbel, 28, shares his thoughts about being a volunteer at this critical time. They are all numb and speak calmly of how their lives were turned upside down, with this tragedy affecting thousands of people.

UNESCO United Against Racism Message Rallies Leading Personalities to Fight Against Racial Discrimination

Leading personalities from all over the world have joined UNESCO in denouncing mounting racial discrimination in an advocacy video, United Against Racism, released today.

Beirut On its Knees

Following the massive explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4, IPS correspondent Eliane Eid reports that the residents of the city are still shell shocked. Beirut looks like a battlefield, with destruction all around. The main port was on fire before the explosion. Described by some quarters as a “chemical bomb”, the explosion ripped through the heart of Beirut While the investigations have begun, the Lebanese community is uncertain as to what might have been the cause of this exposition that tore apart peoples lives with the blink of an eye.

Prof. Kai Chan: Choose Your Own Adventure

In the IPBES Global Assessment report, we learnt that to safeguard all life on Earth, we need transformative change. So what does that mean? How can we make it happen? This week's guest is Kai Chan. He is a professor at the University of British Columbia and one of the Coordinating Lead Authors of the Global Assessment. To find out more about IPBES, head to www.ipbes.net or follow us on social media @IPBES.

Pacific Tuna Fisheries: Electronic reporting in Tonga

In order to help captains onboard longline fishing vessels and port samplers collect data, SPC has developed two digital apps, Onboard and Offshore. Let's travel to Nuku'alofa, capital of the Kingdom of Tonga, to see innovation in action! For further information, please contact SPC: spc@spc.int

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 30 July 2020

The illicit trade of human lives is happening right under our noses every day. It is primarily affecting the lives of millions of women and children.

Unemployment in Today’s Recession Compared to the Global Financial Crisis

There has been much discussion in recent months about how workers who transitioned to working from home—and those who were deemed “essential”—are less affected by the layoffs and job losses brought on by lockdowns than are workers in “social” jobs that require closer human interaction (e.g. restaurant workers). However, our new IMF staff research suggests that this does not tell the full story.

Sino-Indian Disengagement at Galwan: Two Steps Back and One Step Forward?

On the first Sunday of July, there was an important telephone call between the Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi and the Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Duval. Some important decisions were announced thereafter. This is not to say that these were the outcome of that interaction only. For weeks the militaries of both China and India and their diplomats had been negotiating on the grounds of the disputed territory along the Line of actual Control at the Galwan Valley, as well as through other channels to end the bloodiest border stand-off between the two Asian powers that had lasted two months. True, while not a bullet was fired in anger, troops had battled with sticks and stones that left twenty Indian soldiers dead and, reportedly, an unknown number of Chinese casualties. Indeed, it appeared that the two sides, who had fought a war in the Himalayas in 1962, was yet again on the brink of a possible war.

Singaporeans Opt for Continuity in Polls: ‘Strong Mandate’ for Government, but ‘no Blank Cheque’!

Singaporeans went to polls on Friday the 10th of July. It was a crisis election, seen as the most significant since the country’s independence in 1965, given the backdrop of the COVID 19 pandemic and its massive negative impact on the economy on this small but wealthy island republic. Out of a population of nearly 5.85 million on election day, the number of registered voters stood at 2.65 million. It was no surprise that in a nation with a reputation of unmatchable discipline, the voting was an orderly process. In conformity with rules each voter was masked, safe distancing was scrupulously maintained, and their hands were sanitized as they entered the booths. The elderly, who needed it, were provided assistance. The electorate returned what has been assessed as a sophisticated, calibrated and mature outcome. It re-elected the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) to power with a sufficiently strong enough mandate to help it pull the nation out of the crisis. At the same time, it also created a diversity in the legislature that would ensure that the government did not have a blank cheque for unrestricted authority.

Billy Offland, Dr. Anne Poelina: Wake up the Snake

How do we incorporate different knowledge systems in the battle for biodiversity? Billy Offland set off on a 2-year journey to learn about conservation from as many different people as possible. In his travels, he met Dr. Anne Poelina in the Kimberley in Western Australia. Anne is a Nyikina Warrwa Traditional Owner and chair of the Mardoowarra Fitzroy River Council.What can we learn from the Fitzroy River Council? How do we create "forever industries"? How can we use this knowledge in global policymaking?Music: River Feeling by Kalaji (Mark Coles Smith)To find out more about IPBES, head to www.ipbes.net or follow us on social media @IPBES.

Putting Young People at the Heart of Their Climate Plans

The NDC Partnership is a global initiative to accelerate climate and development action -- ensuring countries have the support and tools they need to achieve ambitious climate and sustainable development targets as fast and effectively as possible.

UNESCO, UNHCR & EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT Call for the Inclusion of Refugees in the Post-Covid-19 Education Effort

We must not leave young refugees by the wayside, urged UNESCO, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Education Cannot Wait as they urged more support in favour of young refugees’ education during an online debate today, moderated by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, on how best to provide them with improved learning during and after the pandemic.

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