IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Slum-Dwelling Still a Continental Trend in Africa

Nompumelelo Tshabalala, 41, emerges from her dwarf ‘shack’ made up of rusty metal sheets and falls short of bumping into this reporter as she bends down to avoid knocking her head against the top part of her makeshift door frame.

Germany’s Asylum Seekers – You Can’t Evict a Movement

In a move to take their message of solidarity to refugees across the country and calling for their voices to be heard in Europe’s ongoing debate on migration, Germany's asylum seekers have taken their nationwide protest movement for change on the road under the slogan: “You Can't Evict a Movement!”.

African Women Mayors Join Forces to Fight for Clean Energy

When some 40,000 delegates, including dozens of heads of state, descend on Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference later this year, a group of African women mayors plan to be there and make their voices heard on a range of issues, including electrification.

The U.N. at 70: Is It Still Fit for the Purpose?

Events are being organised around the world to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, but a recent seminar held in the Austrian capital was not held to applaud the body’s past contributions.

The U.N. at 70: Energy Powers Lives, Literally

When, in 2003, Professor Richard Smalley, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, listed the top 10 problems facing humanity for the next 50 years in order of priority, energy was at the top of his list, followed by water, then food.

Prepaid Meters Scupper Gains Made in Accessing Water in Africa

While many countries appear to have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, rights activists say that African countries which have taken to installing prepaid water meters have rendered a blow to many poor people, making it hard for them to access water.

Israel Slammed Over Treatment of Palestinian Children in Detention

Palestine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, has sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council demanding that action be taken against Israel over the abuse of Palestinian children after they have been arrested by Israeli security forces.

Opinion: The West and Its Self-Assumed Right to Intervene

The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.

Opinion: Pillar of Neoliberal Thinking is Vacillating

This month’s World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.

Opinion: Paying Real Tribute to All Victims of War and Conflict

The international community will have a great opportunity to jointly advance on the world peace agenda when a United Nations working group established to negotiate a draft U.N. resolution on the right to peace meets from Apr. 20 to 24 in Geneva.

Opinion: Shared Action for a Nuclear Weapon Free World

From the end of April, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will be held in New York. In this year that marks the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I add my voice to those urging substantial commitments and real progress toward the realisation of a world without nuclear weapons.

Development Aid Flows to Poorest Countries Still Falling

Development aid flows were stable in 2014, after hitting an all-time high in 2013, but aid to the poorest countries continued to fall, according to new figures released on Apr. 8 by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Opinion: World Leaders Lack Ambition to Tackle Climate Crisis

World governments expect to agree to a new global treaty to combat climate change in Paris in December. As the catastrophic impacts of climate change become more evident, so too escalates the urgency to act.

Why So Many Palestinian Civilians Were Killed During Gaza War

The U.N. investigation into Israel’s devastating military campaign against Gaza, from July to August 2014, has been delayed until June and in the interim Israel and the Palestinians are waging a media war to win the moral narrative as to why so many Palestinian civilians were killed during the bloody conflict.

Opinion: Crisis Resolution and International Debt Workout Mechanisms

Debt restructuring is a component of crisis management and resolution, and needs to be treated in the context of the current economic conjuncture and vulnerabilities.

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