As the international community wades into the political discussions regarding the alternatives to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015 and the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as mandated by the Rio+20 conference, it is timely to consider the question of whether development is a matter mostly of individual effort on the part of nation-states or whether there are elements in the international economic system that could serve as significant obstacles to national development efforts.
Livias Duri, 72, from Zimbabwe’s Mwenezi district in Masvingo province, 436 km southwest of the capital Harare, depends on agriculture for his livelihood.
Negotiators from Least Developed Countries are calling for the United Nations climate body to urgently establish a rescue fund to save Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism from collapse.
Brazilian diplomat Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo was named the new director general of the WTO with broad support from the developing world, beating out his Mexican rival Herminio Blanco, who was backed by the industrialised nations.
Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has declined drastically in the last ten years despite the high profitability of the so-called "research-based" industry, and the availability of better and more powerful science and technological tools. Not only has productivity in terms of research fallen, but the vast majority of new molecules introduced to the market do not provide new therapeutic solutions since other treatments already exist, normally at a lower cost.
South Sudan is losing its forests. And with no unified policy to deal with the situation the government is at odds, with one ministry saying that the loss of forests is a necessity for farming and another warning of the dire environmental consequences if this continues unchecked.
Experts believe that the upcoming United Nations Earth Summit, Rio+ 20, scheduled to take place in Brazil from Jun.20-22, could be a real opportunity for Bangladesh to negotiate a road to sustainable development.
As Malawi’s poor struggle to afford food and other staple items since the 48 percent devaluation of the local currency against the dollar, economic commentators are optimistic that the move will provide an opportunity to boost the country’s export market.
The European Union has been using all means necessary to fill the multi- billion-euro fund for climate change, including the controversial mobilisation of public resources through private financial intermediaries.
When the U.N. General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution back in September 2000 laying out eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it specified 2015 as the target date to achieve them.
Guinea faces acute problems in the supply of clean water and electricity to its citizens, slowing the country's economic development. A major project to address this is now under way, but some Guineans are sceptical of its promises.
When Jack Sabadgou left Ghana for Switzerland 10 years ago, he left his infant daughter behind to be raised by her mother. Now he wants his child back, and he is running out of time in a bid to save her from the banned traditional practice of female genital mutilation.
Each day after school, nine-year-old Nelly Wangui hurries home with a bundle of firewood balanced on her head. The paper bag in which she carries her schoolbooks sits precariously on top of the stack and every now and then she reaches out to ensure that her books have not fallen down.
On an elegant veranda adorned with a red carpet, Malawi's Vice President Joyce Banda recalls how her childhood friend Chrissie Mtokoma was always top of their class and how she struggled to beat her. But now decades later Banda is a likely contender for the country's presidency in 2014, while Mtokoma lives in poverty.
The women of Makoko, a low-lying slum close to the Lagos Lagoon along Nigeria’s Atlantic coast, always sleep with one eye open. Many live in fear that when they go to sleep at night they will wake to flooded homes and business.