Opinion

The Tragedy of Pakistan: Feudalism Camouflaged as Democracy

In recent days, as Pakistan’s economic woes have intensified, a veritable cottage industry has developed to suggest ways of putting the country back on track.

Both UK & Congo Think They’re Climate Leaders – COP26’s Fallout Shows How Far Adrift They Are

From the fall-out of the pandemic to the interlocking cost of living and energy security crises currently gripping the world, it has been fascinating to see the world’s richest governments bending over backwards to help fossil fuel companies.

Africa Taken for ‘Neo-Colonial’ Ride

Like so many others, Africans have long been misled. Alleged progress under imperialism has long been used to legitimize exploitation. Meanwhile, Western colonial powers have been replaced by neo-colonial governments and international institutions serving their interests.

An Integrated Regional Response for the Sahel Crisis

The current Ukraine-Russia conflict is dominating the global media to the point of overshadowing longer protracted crisis that no longer make headlines, but are still rife. Such is the case with the on-going Sahel crisis, one of the world's most neglected ones, where acute poverty, the dramatic effects of climate change and rising armed conflicts have become the norm for more than a decade. A situation further exacerbated by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re on the Cusp of the Most Catastrophic Food Crisis in 50 Years: Where Is the Global Response?

A growing mountain of data and analysis points to an unprecedented global crisis in the making, due to the convergence of “Four Cs” (Conflict, Covid, Climate and Costs).

Time for a UN Human Rights Leader

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sits at the top of the UN’s human rights system. It’s a crucial role for the victims of violations and the many civil society activists who look to the UN system to set and apply human rights norms, monitor the human rights performance of states and hold rights violators to account.

The Africa We Want is Still Within Reach – & a Priority for the United Nations

The “Africa We Want” - as outlined in Agenda 2063 - embodies the African Union’s bold vision of an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful continent.

Sri Lanka: Why a Feudal Culture & Absence of Meritocracy Bankrupted a Nation

Sri Lanka is officially bankrupt and a failed state in all but name. How did a country of 22 million people with a level of literacy on par with most of the developed world end up in such a dire position where the state coffers did not have the measly sum of 20 million dollars to purchase fuel to keep the country functioning beyond the next working day?

Reject CPTPP, Stay out of New Cold War

Joining or ratifying dubious trade deals is supposed to offer miraculous solutions to recent lacklustre economic progress. Such naïve advocacy is misleading at best, and downright irresponsible, even reckless, at worst. TPP ‘pivot to Asia’ US President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ after his 2012 re-election sought to check China’s sustained economic growth and technological progress. Its economic centrepiece was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

A New World Order is Dawning – But will it be Liberal or Illiberal?

With the invasion of Ukraine, Russia effectively destroyed the European peace order. Now, Europe needs to find ways to contain its aggressive neighbour, while its traditional protector, the United States, continues its shift of focus to the Indo-Pacific.

Abortion Decision Felt Worldwide

The 24 June decision of United States Supreme Court to overturn the country’s nearly 50-year constitutional right of a woman to an abortion is being felt worldwide.

Achieving the SDGs in Extraordinary Times

The start of the “Decade of Action” to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has also marked the start of an unprecedented period of overlapping crises.

Grassroots Organizing Should Dump Biden and Clear Path for a Better Nominee in 2024

Pundits are focused on Joe Biden’s tanking poll numbers, while progressives continue to be alarmed by his dismal job performance. Under the apt headline “President Biden Is Not Cutting the Mustard,” last week The American Prospect summed up: “Young people are abandoning him in droves because he won’t fight for their rights and freedom.”

World Faces Cascading Crises Causing Profound Suffering & Multiple Famines

Our world is in deep trouble – and so too are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Time is running out. But there is still hope. Because we know what we need to do:

Food Security: We Are Still Going Backwards

The signs of the last few years indicate a continuous setback towards achieving food security. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) annual report, "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI)”, prepared together with other UN agencies and presented on July 6th leaves no doubt about the dangerous situation in which we find ourselves regarding the real possibilities of eliminating hunger and poverty by 2030, as solemnly proposed by the international community in October 2015 in New York.

News Fatigue, Anti-Vax and Wars

During the beginning of the pandemic, people wanted to learn more about COVID-19. Enclosed in their homes they watched with fear and fascination how the pandemic swept over the world, while comparing numbers of affected people and the death-toll in different countries. Watching COVID’s rampage became a kind of horror show. However, already after a few months with death-tolls rising and isolation not being over anytime soon, psychological fatigue set in. Judging from media coverage it now appears as if the pandemic finally is over, which is far from being the case.

A Future Horror and the Hope of the Present

This is an alert message: if nothing stops the wave of violence in Mexico, by the end of 2024 the country could exceed the figure of 150,000 missing persons.

The World is Burning. We Need a Renewables Revolution

Nero was famously accused of fiddling while Rome burned. Today, some leaders are doing worse. They are throwing fuel on the fire. Literally.

Aid for Power in New Cold War

Long a means for powerful nations to influence developing countries, development finance has gained renewed significance in the new Cold War. Unlike during the US-Soviet Cold War, the rivalry now is between mixed market capitalist systems.

Recalling Shinzo Abe with Respect

Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan, has died. It was a murder caused by a personal grudge rather than political terrorism. And it was not a direct grudge against Mr. Abe. A religious group had supported Mr. Abe, and a murderer with a grudge against the religious group killed him. Murders targeting politicians are often related to political messages or claims. This is a very unique case in that the murder was committed out of a personal grudge, not against the individual for what he did, but against the organization that supported the individual.

What Future for a World of 8 Billion?

What does a young girl from Juba, in South Sudan, an 8-year-old boy living in the slums of Mumbai, in India, a young mother from the south of Lima, in Peru, and an 83-year-old man enjoying retirement in the suburbs of Stockholm, in Sweden, have in common?

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