Global

Governments Must Short Circuit Tobacco Industry’s Pervasive Tactics

The tobacco industry’s new rhetoric that smoking is harmful and that its so-called less risky products will reduce the global tobacco epidemic, should see the industry stop opposing or fighting government efforts to reduce tobacco use. However, this is not the case.

Sustainable Development and Education – Is the Non-Aligned Movement Still Relevant?

By the time of publication, representatives, senior officials, and Heads of State and Government of 120 countries from around the world will have converged on Baku in Azerbaijan for the XVIIIth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

World’s Spreading Humanitarian Crises Leave Millions of Children Without Schools or Education

As massive protests escalated worldwide last month, millions of children walked out of schools to demonstrate against the lackadaisical response – primarily from world leaders --to the ongoing climate emergency resulting in floods, droughts, typhoons, heat waves and wildfires devastating human lives.

Fearless Young Women and Insensitive Men

On October 11, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee announced that this year´s Peace Prize is awarded to Ethiopia´s prime minister Abiy Ahmed: “For his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”1 Let us hope that Abiy remains a worthy Peace Prize winner and that warfare and human suffering on the Horn of Africa will finally come to an end.

Governments & Internet Companies Fail to meet Challenges of Online Hate

The prevalence of online hate poses challenges to everyone, first and foremost the marginalised individuals who are its principal targets. Unfortunately, States and companies are failing to prevent ‘hate speech’ from becoming the next ‘fake news’, an ambiguous and politicised term subject to governmental abuse and company discretion.

Swiftly Ending Tobacco Epidemic Requires Government Action, Not Empty Promises

New information published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that action taken by just 11 countries – most of them low- or middle-income – has resulted in 20 million fewer adult tobacco users in 2017 compared with 2008. Seventy percent of the world’s tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries.

Europe Should Rethink Assumptions about African Migrants: UN

Sub-Saharan African migrants who risk perilous sea crossings to Europe are often assumed to be illiterate, jobless chancers in desperate bids to flee stagnation and rampant corruption in their home countries. But a survey of some 2,000 irregular African migrants in Europe found them to be more educated than expected, while many of them were leaving behind jobs back home that paid better-than-average wages.

The Neoliberal Fuel to the Anti-Gender Movement

The number of newly elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who oppose women’s reproductive rights, gender equality, sexuality education, same sex marriage and the Council of Europe Convention on Violence Against Women (Istanbul Convention) stands at around 30 per cent.

Development Banks Needed to Finance Sustainable Development

Public or state development banking will be vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, argues UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2019 (TDR 2019). Ongoing World Bank led efforts seek to leverage private finance via shadow banking by using public money to guarantee handsome returns managed by giant investment houses. Such financialization introduce new costs and risks to financing investments for sustainable development, decent work and renewable energy.

13 Commitments to Tackle Hate Speech

In June 2019, the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, launched the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech. Respect for human rights, without any form of discrimination is one of the core fundamentals of this strategy.

Private Finance and Agenda 2030: Way Off-Track

Four years ago, UN member states proclaimed their ambitions for development in a document named “Transforming Our World”, also known as Agenda 2030. Today, according to several assessments including of the UN’s inter-agency task force on financing for development (FfD) transformation has fallen off-track. It has received too little money, political commitment and action to change the workings of the global economy. Agenda 2030 spells out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needed to ‘transform our world’.

Q&A: How Europe has Moved Away from Being a Sanctuary for Journalists

Rising populism, anti-media rhetoric from politicians, cyber-harassment of journalists and physical attacks are among the reasons why press freedom in Europe is on the decline, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


Trump Poised to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty

The Trump administration is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, according to lawmakers and media reports. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first sounded the public alarm in an Oct. 7 letter to National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien.

Religious Leaders’ Plea to Member States: Honour Your Commitment to the UN

On the 8th of October, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the organisation is running out of money by the end of October - "member States have paid only 70 percent of the total amount needed for [our] regular budget”.

Tuberculosis Infections Declining, But Not Fast Enough Among Poor, Marginalised: UN Health Agency

A staggering 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) last year, the UN health agency said on Thursday, in an appeal for far greater funding and political support to eradicate the curable and preventable disease.

Governments, Donors and Investors Must Put Their Money Where Their Mouths are on Gender and Climate Change

Climate change has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. This is clear when it comes to water, for instance. The Global Commission on Adaptation Report launched at the United Nations General Assembly last week states that the number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.

UN’s 75th Anniversary Shadowed by Right-Wing Nationalism, Widespread Authoritarianism & Budgetary Cuts

When the six much-ballyhooed high-level UN meetings concluded late September, there were mixed feelings about the final outcomes. And civil society organizations (CSOs), who were mostly disappointed with the results, are now gearing themselves for two upcoming key climate summit meetings: COP25 in Santiago, Chile in December and COP26 in Glasgow, UK in late 2020, along with the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Women’s Conference scheduled to take place in September 2020 in New York.

Holding Transnational Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

In Geneva this week, a treaty process is underway that promises to usher in a new era for human rights around the globe. The process—the intergovernmental working group on the binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights—could mean that for the first time, human rights would be prioritized above corporate profits.

Let Plants be Thy Medicine – You Are What You Eat

United Nations World Food Day is celebrated around the world on October 16 under the theme: “Our Actions ARE Our Future. Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”. This theme is timely, especially, because across Africa and around the world, there has been a gradual rise in malnutrition and diet-related non communicable diseases, as highlighted in The Lancet study and a United Nations Report published earlier this year.

Global Challenges for the ‘NextGen’

Success has many parents – so the saying goes. In the case of the massive successes of international agricultural research, no one person can claim parentage. There are heroes along the way such as Norman Borlaug and his early cereal breeding, and the team that eliminated the cattle disease Rinderpest from the world – smallpox is the only other disease that has been totally eradicated. Another is the founder of The Crawford Fund, Derek Tribe, who was also instrumental in the creation of what is now the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which I chair. However, it would be more correct to highlight the thousands of scientists who have contributed to the world’s greatest feat of feeding an extra three billion people when pundits said it was impossible.

A Major Step Forward in Reducing Food Loss and Waste is Critical to Achieve the SDGs

A new FAO report launched today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization provides insights into how much food is lost - as well as where and why - at different stages of the food supply chain, calls for informed decisions for an effective reduction and offers new ways to measure progress.

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