Civil Society

After 75 Years, UN Claims 50:50 Gender Parity, But Falls Short of its Ultimate Goals

When the United Nations was dominated by men, holding some of the highest positions in the staff hierarchy, women staffers were overwhelmingly administrative secretaries seen pounding on their Remington typewriters seated outside their bosses’ enclosed offices.

The Culture of Peace: Change our World for the Better in the Age of COVID 19

Last year, we paid tribute to the 20th Anniversary of the 1999 Declaration of the Program of Action on a Culture of Peace. Today, we need to ask ourselves if we had genuinely carried out our moral responsibilities to transition from a culture of hatred and violence to a culture of tolerance and peace.

UN Women Calls for Accelerating its Unfinished Business

Twenty-five years ago, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing set a path-breaking agenda for women’s rights. As a result of the two-week gathering with more than 30,000 activists, representatives from 189 nations unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Americans By Force

Why, in the United States, where change is the most pronounced hallmark, do some aspects never change? Why do many bad habits resist giving way to novelties that prove to be the basis of the success of the most developed country on earth and still the leading power?  Why is the explanation for that leadership due to a few factors? Why does Trump profess a visceral opposition to immigration, knowing that it is the key to the country's success? Because millions of his compatriots interpret the sinew of American DNA as a threat to their comparative social advantage.

Music Collective ‘Megative’ Dubs Out the Negative

By SWAN
Even as their income dries up and their touring opportunities disappear because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some artists are using their work to call out injustice, criticize inept leaders and spark social change.

Energy Cooperatives Swim Against the Tide in Mexico

A Mexican solar energy cooperative, Onergia, seeks to promote decent employment, apply technological knowledge and promote alternatives that are less polluting than fossil fuels, in one of the alternative initiatives with which Mexico is seeking to move towards an energy transition.

It is Time for a Democratic Global Revolution

The people of the world need to seize the moment and bring about a democratic global revolution. It is time for a global parliament and real representation. More than 21 million people got infected with the novel coronavirus and over 770,000 have died. Never before did the world witness similar collective lockdowns of social and economic activity that had to be enforced to contain the pandemic.

Semiarid Regions of Latin America Cooperate to Adapt to Climate

After centuries of poverty, marginalisation from national development policies and a lack of support for positive local practices and projects, the semiarid regions of Latin America are preparing to forge their own agricultural paths by sharing knowledge, in a new and unprecedented initiative.

Beating Anger into Empathy: the Need of the Hour in Ethiopia

The murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, an icon of the Oromo people in Ethiopia was a tragic loss for all who struggle for rights in systems that fail to accommodate them.

The Growing Global Movement to End Outdoor Advertising

“With advertisements removed in Grenoble you can see the city’s beauty and the mountains beyond. Adverts create obstacles. Without them you can breathe,” explains Khaled Gaiji, national mobilisation coordinator of the French anti-advertising organisation Résistance à l’Agression Publicitaire (Resistance to Advertising Aggression, or RAP). “Advertising is like an iceberg: the largest impact is below the surface. Adverts colonise our imagination.”

Clean Cooking Transition: Pathways as Seen by Kenyan Villagers

The Sustainable Development goals on energy speak clear: universal access energy and clean cooking by 2030 (SDG7). But the current efforts are still lagging several steps behind the specific needs of the communities and are not enough to achieve energy access for all, especially clean cooking solutions.

Religion & the Pandemic: A Call Beyond the Here & Now

-- I have never been interested in religion or spirituality before, but I found myself tuning in to all sorts of on-line religion and spirituality related forums “in search of something.”

Modern Tools, Age-old Wisdom: on India-Sri Lanka Relations

The unique India-Sri Lanka relationship, de jure, is between equals as sovereign nations. But it’s asymmetric in terms of geographic size, population, military and economic power, on the one hand, and social indicators and geographical location, on the other. It is steeped in myth and legend, and influenced by religious, cultural and social affinities.

Sierra Leone – Why Everyone is Not Celebrating the New Media Law

Last week, Sierra Leone’s parliament voted to repeal the country’s 55-year-old libel law, which criminalised the publication of information that was deemed defamatory or seditious, and which had been used by successive governments to target and imprison media practitioners and silence dissenting views. But not everyone is convinced it was in the best interest of media freedom.

Reflections on the Charter of the United Nations on its 75th Anniversary

This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, written and signed during a period of great global change. Today, the world is again shifting beneath our feet. Yet, the Charter remains a firm foundation for our joint efforts.

‘One CGIAR’ with Two Tiers of Influence? The Case for a Real Restructuring of Global Ag-Research Centres

While the ‘CGIAR System’ may sound like a technocratic body, few organizations have exerted as much influence on today’s food systems as this network of global agricultural research centres. Since its inception at the height of the ‘Green Revolution’ in 1971, the CGIAR has driven advances in crop breeding and agricultural mechanization and modernization across multiple continents. Its mission – to develop knowledge and innovation for agriculture in the global South – is as relevant today as ever, in light of climate change, COVID-19 and a host of additional challenges.

Are We Going from San Francisco?

Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, before the Japanese surrender ending the Second World War, fifty nations gathered at San Francisco’s Opera House to sign the United Nations (UN) Charter.

Indigenous Farmers Harvest Water with Small Dams in Peru’s Andes Highlands

A communally built small dam at almost 3,500 meters above sea level supplies water to small-scale farmer Cristina Azpur and her two young daughters in Peru's Andes highlands, where they face water shortages exacerbated by climate change.

The Great Lockdown Through a Global Lens

The Great Lockdown is expected to play out in three phases, first as countries enter the lockdown, then as they exit, and finally as they escape the lockdown when there is a medical solution to the pandemic.

Predicting COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rates Around the World

The world saw more new confirmed COVID-19 cases last week than any week to date. And as the pandemic grows, its epicenter is moving from advanced economies to more developing countries, including Brazil, India, and South Africa.

Racism and Dominance

The #MeToo movement triggered worldwide protests that hopefully was instrumental in making people better aware of a continuous and often hidden mistreatment of women. Maybe can the current I can’t breathe movement make people realize that institutional racism is far from extinct.

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