Global

FAO Releases Alarming Report on Soil Pollution

Soil pollution is posing a serious threat to our environment, to our sources of food and ultimately to our health. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warns that there is still a lack of awareness about the scale and severity of this threat. 

Steady Old Hand of Repression Seeks to Strangle New Media in East Africa

In African countries where journalists are targeted with killings and beatings while traditional news outlets have been muzzled by governments and other actors unhappy with criticism, bloggers and social media users have become the new independent media by providing much-needed coverage, commentary and analysis.

A Free Press Is Indispensable for Good Governance and Transparent Societies Chair of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights

On the occasion of the 2018 World Press Freedom Day commemorated on 3 May 2018, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, highlighted the importance of promoting freedom of the press to facilitate “good governance and transparent societies.”

African Governments Mark World Press Freedom Day with Crackdown Against Online Journalism

When Uganda in April ordered Internet service providers to shut down all news sites that had not been authorized by the communications regulator (pdf), it was the latest attempt by President Yoweri Museveni’s government to constrict the space for independent media.

Free Media Under Threat Globally

Buoyed on by the likes of United States’ President Donald Trump, a growing number of political leaders are encouraging hostility towards news media and journalists across the globe are finding it harder than ever to do their jobs.This is among the main findings in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) annual World Press Freedom Index which examines 180 countries and their relationship with the media.

Mounting Debt Threatens UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an overarching policy roadmap through 2030. These goals are predicated on the idea that for a sustainable future, economic growth must go hand-in-hand with social inclusion and protection of the environment.

Mothers & Children: Addressing Disappearances through a Gender Perspective

At the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials, Justice Robert Jackson, the Chief Prosecutor, charged the world that submitting the enemy to the judgment of the law is “one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason.”

Wider Views for More Equal Societies

Inequalities are on the rise. Since 1980, 1% of the richest people have received double income than the 50% of the poorest. After several years of decline, hunger is also on the rise. The report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World estimates that the number of chronically undernourished people in the world increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016. If we go deeper into the analysis we observe that three-quarters of the world’s extremely poor and food-insecure people live in rural areas.

Human Trafficking for Organs: Ending abuse of the Poorest

Organ transplantation is one of the most incredible medical achievements of the past century. Since the first successful transplants, which took place in the 1950s, organ transplantation has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

Press Freedom & Enforced Disappearances: Two Sides of the Same Coin in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lankan journalist Richard de Zoysa was abducted from his home in Colombo on the night of February 18th, 1990, his family knew there would be dark days ahead. The population was still reeling from one of the bloodiest episodes in the island nation’s history – a government counterinsurgency campaign to crush a Marxist rebellion in southern Sri Lanka, which left between 30,000 and 60,000 people dead at the hands of government death squads.

Blending Finance Not SDG Financing Silver Bullet

After largely failing to provide 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income (GNI) in aid to developing countries for almost half a century since making the commitment, donor countries have recently promoted blended finance (BF) as a solution to the financing for development challenge. Blending refers to combining public development funds (in the form of grants, technical assistance or interest indemnification) with loans from private lenders.

Why Does Rural Poverty Equal Invisibility?

If an estimated 500 million smallholder farmers at a conservative estimate, produce 70 percent of the food we eat, why are they still so invisible in many countries?Governments, development agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector have been working for decades on rural development in developing countries but still rural areas lag far behind cities and outlying areas in terms of infrastructure, services, social and economic development, notwithstanding the contribution that rural producers make to supplying us with food.

Freezing & Reversing North Korea’s Nuclear Advances

For most of the past year, North Korea’s provocative long-range missile launches and a high-yield nuclear test, combined with the reckless threats of “fire and fury” and “preventive war” from the White House, have raised tensions and increased the threat of a catastrophic conflict in the region. Some of us warned that nuclear war was closer than at any point since the Cold War.

New Index Measures Empowerment & Inclusion of Women in Agriculture

The pilot version of a new index for measuring empowerment and the inclusion of women in agriculture was launched April 27 in Washington DC.

Revving Up Green Growth

While sustainable development may still seem elusive to some, a new initiative wants to pave a path for nations working towards a greener future.Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, is a new partnership initiative that aims to boost countries’ efforts in achieving the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Fake News” a Growing New Threat to Press Freedom

When a Malaysian politician of a bygone era was asked about the “leading newspapers” in his country, he shot back: “We don’t have any leading newspapers in our country because all our newspapers are misleading.”

World Press Freedom Day 2018

The theme for the 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law,” focussing on the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom, and gives attention to the role of an independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and prosecution of crimes against journalists..

Development Prospects for Hundreds of Millions Remain in Jeopardy

The global economy is strengthening. A broad-based economic upturn has underpinned progress in many areas.But significant weaknesses and medium-term risks in the world economy continue to challenge our efforts. As a result, the development prospects of hundreds of millions of people remain in jeopardy.

Illicit Trade in Oil & Fuel: an Emerging Global Policy Challenge

Illicit trade in any of its forms—alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, diamonds, timber, ivory and oil—sits at the nexus of two social-economic disorders that challenge global stability.

Can Sustainable Bioeconomy be a Driver of Green Growth?

On April 19-20, I attended the second Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin. Bioeconomy is currently a hot topic for scientists and policymakers. Rapid advances in molecular biology combined with big data and artificial intelligence have resulted in big jumps in our understanding of living organisms as well as organic matter, the biomass produced by plants and animals, at the level of their DNA. That has gone hand in hand with technologies that allow scientists and industry to manipulate, easily, everything from enzymes to bacteria to plants and animals.

India Pledges $50 Million More to UN Partnership Fund

At a time when funding for UN agencies is on the decline – and also threatened with cuts by the Trump administration—the Indian government has made an additional contribution of $50 million to development funding.

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