Stories written by Baher Kamal
Baher Kamal is Senior Advisor to IPS Director General on Africa & the Middle East. He is an Egyptian-born, Spanish-national, secular journalist, with over 43 years of experience. Since the late 70s, he specialised in all development related issues, as well as international politics. He also worked as Senior Information Expert for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership at the European Commission in Brussels, and as the first-ever Information Officer and Spokesperson at UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan in Athens. Kamal speaks Spanish, Arabic, English and Italian.
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Shockingly, the human suicidal war on Nature not only continues unabated but is also set to become even more virulent. Just to start with, please be reminded that groundwater accounts for 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth, according to the 2022 UN World Water Development Report.
Three-quarters of a century ago, the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasising that all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. The 2023 theme of its 75th anniversary focuses on the urgency of combating racism and racial discrimination.
Islamophobia is a ‘fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world.’
The answer is that there are alarming setbacks for maternal health care and, in many cases, even a total lack of maternity services, which threaten to further raise the number of these tragic preventable deaths one million or more a year by 2030.
Wildlife is indeed far much more than a safari or an ‘exotic’ ornament: as many as four billion people –or an entire half the whole world's population– rely on wild species for income, food, medicines and wood fuel for cooking.
While the world’s biggest powers and their giant private corporations continue to attach high priority to their military –and commercial– dominance, both of them being shockingly profitable, entire generations are being lost to deadly armed conflicts, devastating climate catastrophes, diseases, hunger and more imposed impoverishment.
In this world of wars, massive weapons production, sales and use; of sharpening inequalities and deadly climate emergencies, hate speech and its inhumane impact, is being amplified at ‘unprecedented scale’ by new technologies.
The food industry continues to intensively use toxic chemicals in their products, some of them provoking heart diseases and death. Trans fat is just one of them, adding to contaminating fertilisers, pesticides, microplastics and a long etcetera.
As if the 100 billion dollars that the United States has so far provided to Ukraine in both weapons and aid were not enough, the US has now started to install in Europe its brand new, more destructive nuclear warheads.
Day after day, international humanitarian organisations launch desperate appeals for funding to continue saving some of the many lives at high risk. When they get a handful of dollars –even just one million– from a rich country, they welcome it as manna from heaven.
When tens of thousands of Europeans had to flee the horrors of two born-in-Europe devastating armed conflicts that attracted other powers: the World Wars I and II, they migrated to the Americas and other Western countries in search of safe haven.
The external debt of the world’s low and middle-income countries at the end of 2021 totalled 9 trillion US dollars, more than double the amount a decade ago. Such debt is expected to increase by an additional 1.1 trillion US dollars in 2023.
In these times when all sorts of human rights violations have been ‘normalised,’ a crime which continues to be perpetrated everywhere but punished nowhere: corruption is also seen as a business as usual. A business, by the way, that relies on the wide complicity of official authorities.
Please take a quick look at this short report before rushing to shop on a Black Friday, Christmas sales and all those long chains of big discounts and wholesales, most of them are fake, as often denounced by consumers organisations that report that the business usually inflates prices before launching such deals.
An indisputable truth is that no child has ever chosen where to be born, which colour of skin to have, which ethnic community to belong to, what religion to practice and language to speak, or how safe or dangerous the context to grow up in. A child is the most innocent and defenceless human being.