Opinion

Our Global Food Systems Are Rife with Injustice: Here’s How We Can Change This

The pandemic – alongside growing threats from climate change, widespread malnutrition, economic instability and geopolitical conflict – has heightened problems with the ways we produce, distribute and consume food. And it’s made clear the urgent need to make global food systems more just.

The Rise of Religious Extremism & Anti-Muslim Politics in Sri Lanka

On 28 October, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed the militant Buddhist monk Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara to head a presidential task force on legal reforms, shocking many in Sri Lanka and beyond. Gnanasara is the public face of the country’s leading anti-Muslim campaign group, Bodu Bala Sena (Army of Buddhist Power, or BBS). He is widely accused of inciting inter-communal violence, including two deadly anti-Muslim pogroms in June 2014 and March 2018.

Climate Inaction, Injustice Worsened by Finance Fiasco

Many factors frustrate the international cooperation needed to address the looming global warming catastrophe. As most rich nations have largely abdicated responsibility, developing countries need to think and act innovatively and cooperatively to better advance the South. Climate action The world is woefully offtrack to achieving the current international consensus that it is necessary to keep the global temperature rise by the end of the 21st century to no more than 1.5°C (degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels two centuries ago.

The UN’s Vital Role in Afghanistan

On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers.

Mali must not Be a New Site for Clashes Between Global Powers

Last week, I was delighted to speak to the United Nations Security Council. In the ten years that my country has been experiencing conflict, violence, and instability, dozens of conferences and other international summits have been held without ever really making room for those who are mobilized on a daily basis for more social justice, the defense of human rights and achieving Malian peace.

Count Me in: Working Together for Disability Inclusion in Guatemala

“Persons with disabilities are capable and equal. It is time the world understands that,” says Antonio Palma, a UN Volunteer at the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Guatemala. Antonio, who has a visual impairment, expresses what many other persons with disabilities feel. Ignored, mistreated, misunderstood, underestimated, condescended to.

Renewables Are Cheaper Than Ever – So Why Are Household Energy Bills Only Going up?

Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.

Key Pillars Mostly in Place to Speed up Africa’s Free Trade in 2022

The official start of free trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 moved a major continental aspiration closer to reality.

More Progressive Taxation Needed for Social Progress

Governments must innovatively develop progressive means to finance the large-scale social spending needed to improve lives and livelihoods, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. More egalitarian tax reforms should enable governments to equitably mobilize desperately needed revenue to advance sustainable development for all.

Somalia on the Path to Recovery, but Real Challenges Remain

I arrived in Somalia in September 2019, two decades after having worked here previously. I knew that I was taking up a challenging assignment, but I was also looking forward to seeing Somalia’s progress.

A Call to Action on Living Lands

If the ocean is the lifeblood of the Commonwealth, then forests are the lungs that breathe life into its whole system. From the vast boreal woodlands of Canada to the rich primary forests of Papua New Guinea, the Commonwealth covers nearly a quarter of all forest land in the world - an estimated 900 million hectares. These biodiversity havens not only house about half of all animal species on earth, they also give us clean air, water and food, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people while tackling climate change.

The Most Likely to Be in the Jailhouse Now

Yes, it’s unequivocally true: Americans are the most likely to be in the jailhouse now. The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration both in terms of the total number of people in prisons and jails and the rate of prisoners per capita.

Ominous History in Real Time: Where We Are Now in the USA

The final big legislative achievement of 2021 was a bill authorizing $768 billion in military spending for the next fiscal year. President Biden signed it two days after the Christmas holiday glorifying the Prince of Peace.

Democracy Under Assault

There is no doubt that the building the magnificent Women’s Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 deserves unconditional praise and admiration, a bold landmark that projects the concept of gender empowerment and gender equality.

“Let us now praise brave women and men”: The Nobel Peace Prize 2021

In several countries around the globe, telling the truth is according to its rulers and other influential, generally wealthy, persons a serious crime that might be punished by muzzling the truth-tellers, slandering and humiliating them, and threatening their families and friends. If that does not make them shut up and repent they might be tortured, imprisoned and even killed.

On Nuclear Weapons, Actions Belie Reassuring Words

On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

The Straw that Broke Kazakhstan’s Back

The most violent protests of the past 30 years have erupted across Kazakhstan — exposing decades of inequality, injustice, and corruption. The protests of an unprecedented scale have rocked cities across Kazakhstan for days, as the population grew increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s leadership.

Afro-descendants in Costa Rica: A Movement for Justice & Equity

Jan André is a cheerful and outgoing young man, a superb dancer, and aspiring schoolteacher. Indeed, he wants to become the best schoolteacher in Costa Rica. Fortified by his own will and the encouragement of his family, he overcame violence and adversity to become an outstanding university student.

China Opens Embassy in Nicaragua for First Time since 1990 after Taiwan Ties Cut

For the first time since 1990, China has (re)opened an embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, less than a month after Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan. The (re)opening of the embassy on January 1, 2022 comes amidst the backdrop of US-China tensions, particularly over trade and Taiwan, as well as worsening Cross-Straits relations.

How Place of Birth Shapes Chances of Going to University

Many newly independent African countries in the 1960s inherited regional and ethnic inequalities in formal educational attainment. These new states bound together sub-national regions of diverse ethnic and religious communities. The regions differed in their exposure to missionary activity – the main vector in the spread of formal western education in the colonial era.

The Time to Protect Our Oceans is Now

There is no other place in the world like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park. The waters surrounding the island--covered with tropical forests--are a playground to countless shivers, or schools, of sharks, including hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks and whale sharks.

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