Civil Society

Democracy on the Blink

On February 4, Sri Lanka commemorates 75 years of Independence. But it will not be the extravaganza of the past years, the minaturised imitations of the grand displays on Moscow’s Red Square or China’s Tiananmen Square.

Management of Protected Areas Is a Latin American Priority for 2023

The environmental priority for South America in 2023 can be summed up in the management of its terrestrial and marine protected areas, together with the challenges of the extractivist economy and the transition to a green economy with priority attention to the most vulnerable populations.

Solar Energy Useless Without Good Batteries in Brazil’s Amazon Jungle

“Our electric power is of bad quality, it ruins electrical appliances,” complained Jesus Mota, 63. “In other places it works well, not here. Just because we are indigenous,” protested his wife, Adélia Augusto da Silva, of the same age.

India Can Use The G20 to Fight Corruption and Reduce Global Inequalities

The G20 India Presidency is marked by unprecedented geopolitical, environmental, and economic crises. Rising inflation threatens to erase decades of economic development and push more people into poverty. Violent extremism is also on the rise as a result of increasing global inequality, and the rule of law is in decline everywhere. All of these challenges impact the G20's goal of realizing a faster and more equitable post-pandemic economic recovery. But as India prioritizes its agenda for 2023, it is corruption that is at the heart of all of these other problems- and which poses the greatest threat to worldwide peace and prosperity.

Digital Politics: “Disconnected Citizens Are Kept Away from Opportunities”

In 2022, Saudi Arabia “quietly” sentenced Salma al-Shehab to 34 years in prison over her Twitter activity, marking the longest Saudi sentence ever for a peaceful activist. Fast forward and award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was charged with two counts of "offensive communication" after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter. The message is clear: your well-crafted 280 characters can land you in jail.

Chile’s Mapuche Indians Hurt by Rejection of a Plurinational Constitution

Mapuche indigenous leaders were hit hard by what they see as a collective defeat: the rejection in a September referendum of a plurinational, intercultural constitution proposed to Chile by an unprecedented constituent assembly with gender parity and indigenous representatives.

Unstoppable Gas Leaks in Mexico

A dark mole dots the brown earth, among the green scrub at this spot in southeastern Mexico. A repetitive “glug, glug,” a noise sounding like a thirsty animal, and an intense stench lead to this site, hidden in the undergrowth, where a broken pipe has created a pool of dense oil.

Taking Humanitarianism Hostage – the Case of Afghanistan & Multilateral Organisations

Can you imagine what it would be like if women were simply not allowed to step outside of their homes, let alone to work for a living? When women choose to do so, and they can afford it, then it is a matter of choice. When women mostly cannot, as is the case in Afghanistan now, not only is half the population imprisoned, but children go hungry, and communities sink deeper into poverty.

Greening the City Gets Community Treatment in Zimbabwe

It's a typical story in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. With the failure to provide services such as refuse collection by the local municipality, township residents dump garbage wherever they fancy, and with time, dumpsites become "official."

Deportees Start Businesses to Overcome Unemployment in El Salvador

While grilling several portions of chicken and pork, Salvadoran cook Oscar Sosa said he was proud that through his own efforts he had managed to set up a small food business after he was deported back to El Salvador from the United States.

Women Commuters Travel Safe in Innovative Bus Scheme in Pakistan

A bus rapid transport (BRT) system in Peshawar is benefiting female students and working women by providing a safe journey – something women passengers could not take for granted on regular public transport.

Gender Parity at the UN Willfully Ignores the Facts

There are two sides to the problem of Gender Parity at the United Nations. On the one hand, member states need to appoint more women to their senior ambassadorial ranks. There is always tremendous competition for the post of UN ambassador, especially if a member state is on the UN security Council.

Gender Inequality: A Question of Power in a Male-Dominated World, Declares UN Chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has singled out Gender Parity as one of his key priorities in his second term in office, beginning 2023. Describing it as “a strategic goal of the Organization,” he pointed out some of the “notable advances achieved in the past five years.”

Thoughts for 2023: Promoting Innovation & New Technologies

Promoting innovation and technology to promote inclusive development means using new technologies to enhance equal access to services, eliminate discrimination, increase transparency, and create a stable and just future for all – especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Biodiversity Agreement Historic But Difficult to Implement

The pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), which takes its name from its shape, is found throughout the Caribbean Sea, but its population has declined by more than 80 percent since 1990. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed it as "critically endangered" due to the effects of the human-induced climate crisis.

Digital Treatment of Genetic Resources Shakes Up COP15

In addition to its nutritional properties, quinoa, an ancestral grain from the Andes, also has cosmetic uses, as stated by the resource use and benefit-sharing permit ABSCH-IRCC-PE-261033-1 awarded in February to a private individual under a 15-month commercial use contract.

COP15: Unsustainable Infrastructure Threatens Biodiversity

Created in 2016, the Mexican Caribbean Biosphere Reserve (MCBR) hosts 1900 species of animals and plants and contains half of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Solar Energy Benefits Children and Indigenous People in Northern Brazil

Solar energy is booming in Roraima, a state in the far north of Brazil, to the benefit of indigenous people and children in its capital, Boa Vista, and helping to provide a stable energy supply to the entire populace, who suffer frequent electricity shortages and blackouts.

Experts Seek Appropriate Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution

Experts agree that African economies need to develop innovative approaches to deal with plastic production, which is set to double in 20 years – adversely impacting rural communities.

European Court of Justice Ruling on Beneficial Ownership, a Major Blow to the Fight Against Environmental Crimes

The European Court of Justice on November 22, 2022, made a ruling that reversed much of the progress we have made in a decade in the fight against corruption, economic and natural resource crimes, tax abuses and other forms of illicit financial flows across the world. In the ruling, the court declared invalid the part of the European Union’s Anti Money Laundering Directive that allowed public access to registries about companies’ beneficial owners (that is, the real people who own or actually control them).

A Little Land Helps Indigenous Venezuelans Integrate in Brazil

A group of Warao families are, through their own efforts, paving the way for the integration of indigenous Venezuelans in Brazil, five years after the start of the wave of their migration to the border state of Roraima.

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