They were on the brink of shipwreck and did not leave happy, but did feel satisfied that they got the best they could. The countries of the global South achieved something decisive at COP27: the creation of a special fund to address the damage and loss caused by climate change in the most vulnerable nations.
COP27 is unlikely to produce new commitments to reduce emissions of climate-changing gases, but the global energy crisis will eventually prompt more action by countries to move away from fossil fuels. That is the positive feeling that many observers are taking away from the annual climate summit being held in Egypt.
Indigenous peoples are no longer content just to attend as observers and to be seen as victims of the impacts of the current development model, at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) on Climate Change. That is why they came to the summit in Egypt with an agenda of their own, including the demand that their communities directly receive funding for climate action.
We are living in a world where both our bilateral and multilateral achievements, consensuses on human rights and social justice, and our resolve to public good are being tested like never before.
On November 1, a statement of solidarity with Russians opposed to the Ukraine War was published. It was signed by more than 1,000 U.S. men and women who had opposed the U.S. invasions of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Before she was murdered in Honduras in 2016, the Lenca Indigenous woman and human rights defender Berta Cáceres poignantly said: “They are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them.”
A war of words between Russia on the one hand, and the US, Britain, France and Germany on the other—specifically on the deployment of drones in Ukraine -- has triggered an unintended consequence: a new world food crisis.
The Western powers last week asked the UN to verify whether Iranian drones were being used “illegally” in violation of the 2015 Security Council resolution 2231 which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
Eleven out of 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) still sanction the death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy, silencing their citizens and emboldening violence by non-state actors.
Global progress has been staggeringly inadequate against Sustainable Development Goal 6, “clean water and sanitation for all.”
According to the latest SDGs progress assessment, 2 billion
people still lack safely managed drinking water, 3.6 billion lack sanitation services, and 3 billion
lack basic hygiene services.
Developing low- and middle-income economies are taking hard hits from global economic developments outside their control. Monetary tightening in advanced economies coupled with increasing fears of a global recession have weakened currencies, sent interest rates soaring, and investors fleeing.
The recent conflict between the United States and Saudi Arabia over Riyadh’s decision to cut its oil production
by 2 million barrels a day should be addressed in the context of their long and extensive relationship.
The incorporation of small electric vehicles for public transport, together with initiatives that encourage the use of bicycles, represent opportunities and challenges for Cuba to sustainably and inclusively combat the chronic problems in urban mobility.
The United Nations has singled out 42 countries (out of 193 member states) for condemnation-- virtually blacklisting them-- for retaliating against human rights activists and journalists
“This woman sitting next to me, Maria Ressa, is a Nobel laureate and a convicted
criminal,” said barrister Amal Clooney, who co-leads the international legal team representing Ressa. The founder of news website Rappler, Ressa has been targeted with a barrage of legal charges
intended to stop her journalism in the Philippines.
The United Nations is planning to introduce a new “mobility policy” under which staffers based in New York and other Western capitals will be mandated to serve in overseas missions and field services in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, including the UN’s 12 peacekeeping operations.
When the UN’s high-level meeting of world leaders concluded last week, the head count seemed lopsided: 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, 4 Vice-Presidents, 5 Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and 7 Heads of Delegations—overwhelmingly male.
When world leaders, numbering over 150, make their annual political pilgrimage to address the General Assembly in the third week of September, the security at the world body is exceptionally tight.
And this year is no exception.
The high-level segment of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is famous for its fiery speeches and the colorful personalities assembled in the GA Hall. But much more goes on beyond the hall itself –the frenzy of the press in the broadcast trucks, security personnel on every sidewalk, military aides in dress uniforms, and an endless round of receptions and parties of every kind.
When the United Nations decided to locate its 39-storeyed Secretariat in New York city, the United States, as host nation, signed a “headquarters agreement” in 1947 not only ensuring diplomatic immunity to foreign diplomats but also pledging to facilitate the day-to-day activities of member states without any hindrance, including the issuance of US visas to enter the country.
When the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly sessions begin September 20, the official list of speakers include 92 heads of state (HS) and 56 heads of government (HG).
But the “usual suspects,” mostly leaders of authoritarian regimes, are missing, including Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and the much-maligned military leaders of Myanmar.
In nations lacking certain religious freedoms, the bold multi-faith membership of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable’s Campaign to Eliminate Apostasy and Blasphemy Laws, would be forbidden.