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HLPF 2024: Protecting Civic Space Critical for SDGs Success

Each year the international community comes together at the UN’s headquarters in New York to take stock of progress on sustainable development. This year’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is being held between 8 and 18 July. Representatives from 36 countries, as per the UN HLPF website, will showcase their achievements on commitments outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

Overwhelmed Healthcare Systems in Gaza Struggle Through Evacuation Orders

For nine months, over 2 million people in the Gaza Strip have been forcibly displaced in the wake of the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas. The ongoing fighting and displacement have put significant strain on humanitarian organizations on the ground to address even basic health needs. The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations have stressed that the healthcare system in Gaza has collapsed or has suffered undue pressure as a result of the fighting. Out of 36 hospitals in the area, 13 remain open, operating with partial functionality.

Women & Girls Find their Sexual & Reproductive Health on the Frontlines of a Battle they Didn’t Start

Droughts, cyclones, floods and extreme temperatures – these are the ‘new abnormal’ of a world in which weather-related events are becoming increasingly prolonged, intense and frequent.

Is Artificial Intelligence The Way Forward or Backward?

Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence has been a cornerstone of technological progress for much longer than the past few years. Computer scientist Alan Turing brought forth the concept of computers solving complex human problems with his invention of the Turing Machine in 1936. This machine provided solutions to a seemingly infinite number of problems, yet the technological limitations of the early 1900s proved that this number was indeed very finite. Flash forward to the 2020s, artificial intelligence has become a widespread practice, impacting different fields such as music, art, science, forensics, finance, agriculture, and many others. Although artificial intelligence has been hailed as the future of human progress, it also poses a risk to this future due to its significant carbon footprint.

UAE Complicit in Sudan Slaughter

Sudan is the scene of unimaginable suffering. As war between army and militia continues, civilians are paying the highest price. Both sides are killing non-combatants and committing gross human rights crimes.

New Child Marriages, Cohabitation With a Child Law in Sierra Leone Lauded

“A person shall not contract marriage with a child,” Sierra Leone’s landmark Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2024 says, outlawing, in no uncertain terms, child marriage, giving consent to and attempted child marriage, officiating, attending and promoting child marriage, and use of force or ill-treatment of a child.

Adding Life to Years – Demographic Change in Asia and the Pacific

World Population Day on 11 July provides an excellent opportunity to take stock and look ahead regarding population issues that are affecting all aspects of society in Asia and the Pacific.

Megaport in Brazil Makes No Contribution to Local Development

With barely 10 years in operation, the port of Açu is now the second in Brazil in cargo transport and seeks to become an industrial and energy transition hub. But so far it has contributed little to local development, causing environmental and social damage.

AFGHANISTAN: ‘The Doha Meeting Has Raised Concerns the UN Is Indirectly Legitimising the Taliban’


 
CIVICUS discusses the exclusion of women from international talks on Afghanistan currently being held in Qatar with Sima Samar, former chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The AIHRC is the Afghan national institution devoted to the promotion, protection and monitoring of human rights. Its status is now a matter of contention: on returning to power, the Taliban decreed its dissolution, but the AIHRC refuses to abide by the decision due to the illegitimate nature of the Taliban regime.

The Winds of War

Herman Wouk’s 1971 novel The Winds of War traced the romance, bravery, fear, and faith required for American youths to join the military, deploy to the war zones, and confront the mighty Axis threat in the lead-up to WW II. It later became a dramatic TV series.

A Staggering New Estimate of Over 186,000 Killings in Gaza Revives Charges of War Crimes

An overwhelmingly staggering 186,000 killings in Gaza –- compared with the official figure of over 37,000—has resurrected accusations of genocide and war crimes in the devastating nine-month-old war between Israel and Hamas, with no signs of a cease-fire. The new estimates have come from The Lancet, one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed British medical journals.

Forced Deportations Leave Afghan Women in Dire Poverty

Sarai e Shamali camp in Kabul is a temporary refugee shelter. The camp receives on average 100 Afghans a day, forcibly returned from Pakistan and Iran where most had sought asylum when the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan three years ago.

The UAE’s Forgotten Mass Trial

At least 84 Emirati human rights defenders and political dissidents are on trial in the UAE, facing death sentences or life in prison on spurious charges related to their political activism and human rights work, in a case that has its origins in another from over a decade ago. A verdict is expected July 10.

While Global Population is Rising, East Asia is Shrinking

Across East Asia, birthrates are plummeting. Japan’s has been falling for eight straight years and recently hit a record low of 1.2 children per woman, the lowest since record keeping began in 1899.

The Ocean People: Navigating Cyclones, Floods, and Climate Injustice in India

Cyclones and floods have become increasingly frequent across different parts of India, posing a significant threat to the country's population.

Justice, not Impunity, for Sexually Assaulted Indigenous Girls in Peru

The main fear facing women leaders who have denounced the systematic rape of girls from the Awajún indigenous people in the northeastern Peruvian department of Amazonas is that, despite the media coverage and sanctions announced by the authorities, it will all come to nothing.

A new Treaty for a Sustainable and Just Future?

A High-Level Political Forum – described as one of the most important events of the year for discussing the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—will take place at the United Nations through July 18.

Lebanon’s Deep Healthcare Crisis Exposed through Communicable Diseases

This summer is bringing an additional challenge to the public health front in Lebanon, along with higher-than-normal temperatures.

Emergence of a New Proletariat

Immigrants are essential to Europe’s economic survival. They are needed for doing the jobs that most Europeans no longer want to do. Jobs that involve manual labor in agriculture and industry; or providing home help, care for the elderly; or working un-social hours in the catering business.

Namibia: LGBTQI+ Rights Victory amid Regression

In June, the Namibian High Court struck down two sections of the country’s Sexual Offences Act that criminalised consensual sexual relations between men, finding them unconstitutional. While hardly anyone has been convicted for decades, the fact that their relationships were criminalised forced gay men to live in fear, perpetuated stigma and denied them recognition as rights holders, enabling discrimination, harassment and abuse.

US Fed- Induced World Stagnation Deepens Debt Distress

For some time, most multilateral financial institutions have urged developing countries to borrow commercially, but not from China. Now, borrowers are stuck in debt traps with little prospect of escape.

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