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Unpacking 2023, the Warmest Year on Record

2023 was the warmest year on record. The latest Copernicus Climate Change Service highlights that February 2023 to January 2024 was the first time that we experienced 12 consecutive months of temperatures 1.5-degree hotter than the pre-industrial era.

Pakistan’s Election Outcomes Leave Many Unhappy

Pakistan’s 8 February election has resulted in an uneasy compromise that few wanted or expected. There’s little indication the outcome is going to reverse recent regression in civic freedoms.

Coastal Indigenous and Minority Women Driving Kenya’s Blue Forest Conservation Efforts

Tsunza Peninsula is a natural wonder that sits just inside the many inlets of Mombasa Island on the border between Mombasa and Kwale Counties—a little-known spectacle of lagoons, islands, and thick mangroves in Kinango Sub-County, Kwale County, on Kenya’s coastal region. 

Inside Kenya’s Seed Control Battle: Why Smallholder Farmers Want to Share Indigenous Seeds

A group of 15 smallholder farmers in Kenya petitioned the country’s High Court, seeking to compel the government to review sections of a law that bans the sharing and exchange of uncertified and unregistered seeds.

Small Island “Digital” States: Charting the Course for Transformation

Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, have long been pioneers in international development, often compelled by the challenges they face. Positioned on the frontlines of climate change, they lead efforts in mitigation, adaptation, and advocacy, and despite their geographical dispersion, they are innovating approaches to resilience and sustainability.

New Anti-Rape Crisis Centre Brings Hope for Sexual Abuse Survivors in Pakistan

Medical experts and women's rights activists are pinning hopes on the establishment of an anti-rape crisis centre for the provision of medical and legal aid to victims of sexual assaults in a timely manner will ensure convictions. Currently, it takes years to bring the perpetrators of rape to justice due to a lack of evidence and more often than not, the accused get acquitted.

Snowless Winter and a Climate Crisis: Kashmir’s ‘Unprecedented’ Weather

Abdul Gani Malik, a 75-year-old goldsmith living in Kashmir’s capital, Srinagar, has witnessed eras of tranquility and turbulence in the Himalayan region. What he has not seen, however, is a snowless Kashmir during the winter.

INTERVIEW: AI Expert Warns of ‘Digital Colonization’ in Africa

Artificial intelligence (AI) is ripe to help resolve certain major problems in Africa, from farming to the health sector, but Senegalese expert Seydina Moussa Ndiaye is warning of a new “colonization” of the continent by this new technology if foreign companies continue to feed on African data without involving local actors.

Smallholder Farmers Are Key to CGIAR Response to Hunger Crisis

Dr Ismahane Elouafi has her work cut out. As the new executive managing director of CGIAR, a global network of agricultural research centers, her mandate, simply put, is to tackle the world’s most severe hunger crisis in modern history. And it is in Africa that the former Chief Scientist of FAO with a PhD in durum wheat genetics faces her greatest challenges, both in terms of developing science-based innovations and technologies and lobbying governments to adopt responsible policies.

Making Chile’s Economy More Dynamic, Greener, and Inclusive

Chile’s economy is at a crossroads. Strong policies have successfully brought down high inflation and reduced the large current account deficit that emerged during the pandemic. Increases in social benefits have provided some relief in response to discontent over inequality.

Inequality Also Afflicts Clean Energy in Latin America

The specter of blackouts hovers over the Mexican city of La Paz, the capital of the state of Baja California Sur in Mexico's far northwestern corner, as summer approaches, due to increased electricity demand from air conditioning and insufficient capacity in the local grid.

South Africa vs Israel: ICJ Declines SA’s New Application But Says Israel Duty Bound to Protect Civilians

The International Court of Justice has declined the South African government's urgent application for further measures to prevent an "unprecedented military offensive against Rafah,” but reiterated that Israel is bound to protect civilians in the country. South Africa argued in an urgent application that this military offensive “announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large-scale killing, harm, and destruction in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention" and of the Court's Order of January 26, 2024.

UN’s Financial Troubles Jeopardize Critical Human Rights Work

A cash crunch and hiring freeze at the United Nations threaten to hinder UN human rights investigations in places like Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria.

UN’s Cash Crisis May Force Hiring Freeze, Limit Official Travel & Curtail Expenses System-Wide

The United Nations is heading towards a severe cash crisis forcing the world body “to implement aggressive cash conservation measures to avert a default in meeting the legal obligations of the Organization”. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has drawn attention to “the unfortunate deteriorating financial situation of our regular budget operations”.

UN Tax Convention is Historic Opportunity at Risk of Failing

In late November, the UN General Assembly passed a landmark resolution signaling a start on working on a UN framework convention on taxation.

Last Chance Saloon? Myanmar Junta Imposes Military Conscription

The news travelled like wildfire. In the teashops, bars, and market stalls that make Thailand’s border town of Mae Sot feel far more Burmese than Thai, the feared rumours circulating at the weekend were suddenly confirmed. Military conscription would be imposed on young men and women for two to five years, regime-controlled broadcasters in Myanmar announced on the Saturday night airwaves. Details were sparse.

Women, Girls Equal Partners in HIV Responses, Says Activist

UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima, recently made an impassioned call for governments to support women and girls from marginalized communities at the frontlines of the defence of human rights, to help ensure, among others, that global health is protected.

Start-ups Powering up Africa’s Solar Energy Ecosystem

Often referred to as the “Sun continent,” Africa receives more hours of bright sunlight than any other continent. But even with 60 per cent of the world’s solar resources, Africa has only one per cent of solar generation capacity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

World Social Forum Seeks to Reemerge as an Influential Gathering of Diversity

The World Social Forum (WSF) is today "more necessary than ever," according to Oded Grajew, promoter and co-founder of the global civil society meeting - a festival of diversity that has not yet succeeded in fomenting or designing the "other possible world" that it predicted when it was created and adopted that motto.

Nepal Farmers Face Another Year of ‘Agricultural Drought’, Threatening Food Security

Najboon Khatun looks up at the sky every day, searching for the possibility of rain. Clouds come and go without a drop of water. “Winter crops like wheat and vegetables need water, but like last year, there has been no rainfall yet,” says 65-year-old Khatun, expressing her anguish. In her village in Dhanusha, one of the agricultural hubs in the southern plains of Nepal, farmers mostly depend on rain as a source of irrigation. However, they are facing yet another year of drought, affecting winter crops, including wheat, mustard, lentils, and vegetables.

History’s Inflation Lessons

In the early 1970s, conflict in the Middle East set off a spike in oil prices that left central banks around the world scrambling to control inflation. After a year or so, oil prices stabilized and inflation started to retreat. Many countries believed they had restored price stability and loosened policy to revive their recession-hit economies only to see inflation return. Could history repeat?

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