IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Loss and Damage Fund Saves COP27 from the Abyss

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.

Will the Global Energy Crisis Accelerate the Energy Transition? The Big Question at COP27

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 Have Their Own Agenda at COP27, Demand Direct Financing

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.

Making the UN Charter a Reality: Towards a New Approach to Development Cooperation?

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.

Solidarity and Negotiations to End the Ukraine War

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.

A Beacon of Light in Dark Times: the Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders

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.”

Russian Dispute Over Drones Threaten to Escalate World Food Crisis

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.

Activists Call Out 11 Muslim Member States to Repeal Death Penalty for Blasphemy

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.

Accelerating Post-Pandemic SDG 6 Achievements on Water & Sanitation

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.

Time is Running Out for Decisions on Debt Relief as Countries Face Escalating Development Crisis

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 US-Saudi Alliance Will Stand the Test of Time

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.

Local Solutions Boost Sustainable Micro-Mobility in Cuba

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.

UN Censures 42 Nations for Retaliating Against Human Rights Activists & Journalists

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

Journalists, Under Threat, Need Safe Refuge Through Special Emergency Visas

“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.

UN Plans a New Mobility Scheme Where Staffers will be Forced to Work Overseas

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.

UN’s High-Level Meeting of World Leaders Falls Short of Gender Empowerment

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.

UN Bans NGOs During High-Level Meetings of World Leaders— Triggering Strong Protests

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.

Reflections on High-Level Meetings of the UN General Assembly

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.

The Day the UN General Assembly Abandoned its New York City Home…

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.

World Leaders, Mostly Autocrats, Plan to Skip Upcoming UN Sessions

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.

Multi-Faith Team Urges Repeal of Blasphemy Laws– in the Name of Religious Freedom

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.

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