Headlines

Biden Should Add Development to the Next Summit for Democracy – and Convene a Development Summit

U.S. President Biden just hosted The Summit for Democracy to demonstrate the advantages of democracy in the global competition with authoritarian regimes. The U.S. can succeed in this competition by demonstrating to the people of developing countries (i.e., the vast majority of the world’s population) how coupling democracy and development is the best course to improve their lives.

Getting Beyond Body-Shaming

This is an age where pandemics are raging, millions live in war-torn strife, yet women are judged on their skin tones and height, says matchmaker Hirion Shah.

Liberal Facade Hides Lebanon’s Patriarchy

Despite its apparent liberalism, Lebanon scores low in gender equality, especially in politics.

CORRECTED VERSION: Vaccine Famine & its Impact on African Economies

We are about to start a third year of living with COVID-19. The world’s humanity and solidarity are now at a further test – and yet implications of the absence of solidarity keep us all in the boat of mutations, lockdowns, quarantines and delayed SDGs – denied prosperity for all. 2021 has unearthed a new expression of global inequity: “vaccine nationalism” – itself competing with high with socioeconomic downturns, jobless growth, the climate crisis, and rising poverty.

What Would Europe, the US, Do with One Billion Climate Refugees?

A bit of fiction. Or maybe not. If things keep going the way they are, the result will be that such a massive flux would create instability and tensions, impact the global markets, cause record prices of fossil fuels, food and everything else, and the bankruptcy of big private financial corporations…

COP26 Agreed Rules on Trading Carbon Emissions – But They’re Fatally Flawed

One surprise from COP26 – the latest UN climate change conference in Glasgow – was an agreement between world leaders on a new set of rules for regulating carbon markets. This would allow countries to trade the right to emit greenhouse gases.

Green Gas: Energy as a By-Product of Sugarcane in Brazil

First came sugar. For four centuries, it was the main sugarcane product in Brazil. But since the 1970s sugarcane has grown and diversified as a source of energy: ethanol, electricity and biogas.

Vaccines, Diagnostics and Therapeutics as Global Public Goods

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are trying their best to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by rapidly rolling out vaccination programmes and putting in place public health interventions to reduce its impact. At the end of November, there were 262 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5.2 million deaths globally. About 60 per cent of all COVID-19 cases and half of all COVID-19 related deaths were in Asia and the Pacific. About 7.8 billion vaccines have been administered globally, and vaccine supply is generally improving.

Ecuador and the Pandora Papers: Death Threats and Impunity

In a ceremony in early October, the president of Ecuador and my opponent in the presidential elections, Guillermo Lasso, issued a warning to those "daring who seek to scrutinize" his assets. He was referring to the Pandora Papers published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which revealed how dozens of world leaders - including Lasso - hid billions of dollars to avoid paying taxes.

Quest for Asian Innovation & Solutions in a Networked World

The UN’s 76th anniversary in 2021 arrived at a time of great upheaval and change. If the world is to transition from COVID-19 and we are to deliver on our promises to future generations - to secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity, and equality on a healthy planet – then 2022 must be the year we change both gear and discourse.

Covid-19 Has Accelerated New Agtech Development and Adoption in Asia-Pacific!

While the COVID-19 impact has been predominantly negative, the pandemic appears to have sparked increased interest in developing agricultural technology (agtech) to improve the efficiency of food systems, from input supplies through farming and processing to delivery and retail.

In Africa, Vaccine Delayed is Development Denied, Warns UNDP Head

The 21-month-long corona virus pandemic has triggered three new phrases in the UN lexicon: “vaccine famine, vaccine apartheid and vaccine nationalism”. And the largest number of victims facing the triple threats are from developing countries, mostly in Africa, as reflected in grim statistics.

Trafficked and Trapped in Libya: A Nigerian Woman’s Story

Miriam* hoped for a better life in Europe. Instead, her journey ended in Libya, where, double-crossed by traffickers she was raped and abused.  She has returned to Nigeria and shared her experiences with Sam Olukoya.

Nature-Based Solutions for Enhancing Coordinated Action Around Climate Change, Land and Biodiversity

A key outcome of COP26 climate summit is the enhanced focus on “nature-based solutions” – the plans for people to work closely alongside nature to avert a planetary catastrophe.

The Global Assault on Human Rights

Human rights are under global assault. In 2021, the escalation of the worldwide siege on human rights included clampdowns on civil society organisations, attacks on minorities, the undermining of democratic institutions, and violence against journalists.

2021 Revealed the Fragility of Food Systems

The end of this year has revealed the fragility of food systems when faced with sudden disruptions such as those observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These disruptions have increased the number of people with limited or no access to food in the world. Today, more than 811 million people suffer from hunger, according to recent studies.

High Yield Seeds Could Address Food Shortages and Place Africa on Track to Zero Hunger – Experts

Rahab Munene’s shoe selling business crumbled at the height of COVID-19 in 2020. She traded the enterprise for a mobile grocery along the Thika Superhighway, Kiambu County.

Doubling Adaptation Finance can be an Opportunity for the World’s Poorest

Amid several disappointments of the 2021 UN climate conference in Glasgow, one sign of hope was the agreement on financing for adaptation to climate change. Developed countries agreed to double adaptation finance for poorer nations by 2025, from 2019 levels.

Energy Inequality in Latin America Exacerbated by Pandemic, High Prices

The effects of the covid-19 pandemic and high energy prices have had an impact on the consumption of polluting fuels in Latin America and the Caribbean, exacerbating energy poverty in the region.

Youth at Forefront of Climate Change Action Will Make Biggest Impact

On Gladys Habu’s birthday, she filmed a message to world leaders while standing waist-deep in the sea next to a dead tree stump – the only remnant of Kale Island now submerged underwater due to climate-change-induced sea-level rise.

The Age of Discontent: What Drives the Rising Wave of World Protests?

In recent years, the world has been shaken by protests. From the Arab Spring to the social uprisings in Chile and Latin America, the world has seen a dramatic rise in protests. In a polarized world, the COVID-19 pandemic has only accentuated feelings of outrage and discontent.

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