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We Stay and Deliver until the Light Shines

Kabul 1990. I land in the capital of Afghanistan for my very first mission with the United Nations. Controlled by the government, Kabul was surrounded by the Mujahedeen. As a young female professional, living and working across the country, I felt protected by the Afghans, whether walking in the bustling cities or meeting with the Mujahedeen in the rural countryside. Afghanistan had already been at war for over ten years and we all worked with the hope that the fighting would come to an end soon.

Commonwealth to Champion Climate-Vulnerable Small States at COP26

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to ensure improved climate resilience of small states and promised to amplify the concerns of small and other vulnerable states around climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow this November.

9/11: The Turning Point

In September 2001, soon after the attack on the Twin Towers, the Bangladesh government issued a public announcement to contact the America & Pacific wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the whereabouts of Bangladeshi residents. The director concerned was travelling from Barishal to Dhaka that evening; he remained ignorant of the horrible incident that had taken place that day. He came directly from Sadarghat to his office and started receiving a flurry of phone calls from worried relatives. He called in his associate, my wife, and asked: "What's the deal with the Twin Towers?" My wife briefed him, but he was in utter disbelief. "What do you mean the towers have collapsed? How could that even happen?" he exclaimed. My wife used two pencils and an eraser to demonstrate the incident, only to confuse the man even further. He rested his chin against his hand, and said: "Thank God, I took a photo in front of those buildings during my last visit."

ECW Interviews Dubai Cares Ceo H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg

H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares in 2009 and as Vice-Chairman in July 2021. Al Gurg has been a primary driver behind the organization’s success. He has enabled Dubai Cares to contribute to the evidence-base in education, leverage funding and invest in strategic relationships and programs that support the global education agenda. His focus has been to develop Dubai Cares as a recognized best-case practitioner and a global leader in education program design and innovation that is grounded in a philosophy of continuous monitoring and evaluation and rigorous research.

Armed with a New Training Manual, Pacific Farmers Look to Control Deadly Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Infestations

The Pacific has been battling the spread of the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles (CRB) for years and is now challenged by the invasion of a new CRB biotype, the CRB-Guam strain, that has spread to seven Pacific Island countries in just a decade leaving thousands of dead palms in its wake. The Guam strain, together with much more established biotype CRB-S has hampered the success of renovation programmes for mature tall palms as well as newly emergent, high-value coconut product industries (such as virgin oil and coconut water) that offer economic opportunities for communities in the region.

Tonga’s experience: Implementation of Domestic Violence Legislation

Fourteen Pacific Island Countries have enacted specific legislation to address domestic violence. While these laws have been developed to respond to domestic violence, implementation continues to be a challenge. It is affected by various factors that include practical social, cultural, religious, political, environmental and economic challenges.

Bolstering Food Security in Marshall Islands

Forty schoolteachers and principals in the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) completed a five-day workshop last month equipping schools to play a key role in strengthening the food security efforts in the country.

Astronaut Sirisha Bandla on How ‘You Often Don’t See’ Women of Colour in Space

In the latest edition of The Interview, Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla speaks to Hindustan Times and talks about the gender bias that she thinks exists in the aeronautical field. She talks about stars, describes how she gradually fell for the space environment and how space exploration became a passion for her. On July 12, the 34-year-old aeronautical engineer became the third Indian-American woman to fly into space when she joined British billionaire Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic's first fully-crewed successful suborbital test flight from the US state of New Mexico. Watch the full video for more.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2021

Indigenous peoples live in all regions of the world. They are distinct social and cultural groups and share collective ancestral ties to the land they live on.

ECW Interviews the Honourable Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of General Education and Instruction for South Sudan

Awut Deng Acuil is the first female Minister of Education for South Sudan, and only the second person to serve as Minister of Education for her country – which became independent country in 2011. Prior to this role, Minister Acuil was the first woman to serve as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Recently, Minister Acuil made history as the first women to lead a South Sudan university when she was appointed head of council at the University of Bahr El-Ghazal.

German Development Agency Raises Awareness of Teen Pregnancy in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, Honorine Meda has been trained by the German Development Agency (GIZ) to raise awareness among teenage girls about pregnancy. While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says all children have a right to education, adolescent girls who fall pregnant in Sub Saharan Africa tend to drop out of school. Meda and a group of model parents, also trained by GIZ, play an essential role in preventing teenage pregnancies and supporting learners, who fall pregnant, to get back to school.

Why Are Some Pacific Lagoon Corals Resistant to Climate Change?

Abundant with diverse coral and fish species, the South-West Pacific reefs play a critical role in the marine ecosystems and economies of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). While there is no question that climate change is affecting coral, the level and type of impact is not uniform. To help us better understand why these differences exist, a team of marine scientists from New Caledonia set off on a scientific mission to sample coral species around the mainland of this Pacific Island nation.

Pakistanis in Italy: 22 Yards to Cultural Integration

Following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments about the need to promote ‘Pakistaniyat,’ a debate has been underway on what constitutes this ideology and what unites Pakistanis around the world. While this may be a contentious and polarising debate, one thing is for certain: the game of cricket is something which brings us all together.

Pacific Islands Making the Move to Electronic Data Collection

Between 2010 and 2020, many Pacific Islands and Territories have updated their traditional data collection processes, embracing new technologies. The island nations Kiribati and Vanuatu, among others, successfully switched to computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), a new data management system and a survey monitoring dashboard. The innovations implemented with support from the Pacific Community helped to weather the impact of the pandemic on census activities and to become fit for the purpose of tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

New Global Framework for Managing Nature Through 2030: 1st Detailed Draft Agreement Debuts

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat today released the first official draft of a new Global Biodiversity Framework to guide actions worldwide through 2030 to preserve and protect Nature and its essential services to people.

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