IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse

Are UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the Doldrums Due to the Corona Virus?

A short answer to this question is yes, but it is obvious and predictable failure was visible for some time. This debate started before 2015, the year in which the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) were adopted as successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed in 2000. The 8 MDGs were expanded to 17 massive goals and 169 targets.

Revamped UN System Crucial for a Changing World

From an international humanitarian perspective, the first half of 2021 has been disappointing. We’re no further ahead in ending the conflict in Syria and Yemen. From the fledgling democracy that it had become, Myanmar has descended into what most of its people had hoped was a bygone era of military rule. And in Ethiopia, where its Prime Minister, Ably Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, armed conflict in Tigray is preventing the 2020 winners of the very same prize, the World Food Programme, from delivering the food needed to stop at least 350,000 Ethiopians from starving to death.

Stepping Up to Meet Low-Income Countries’ Pandemic Recovery Needs

Low-income countries have been hard hit by the pandemic. Their large financing needs are only likely to grow as they deal with the crisis and its economic aftermath.

Latin America Sets an Example in Welcoming Displaced Venezuelans

The exodus of more than five million Venezuelans in the last six years has led countries in the developing South, Venezuela's neighbours, to set an example with respect to welcoming and integrating displaced populations, with shared benefits for the new arrivals and the nations that receive them.

UNFPA Calls for Protection & Justice for Women & Girls in Tigray

The 2018 Nobel Laureate, Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist celebrated for his work with survivors of sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Panzi Hospital once said: “Rape is a strategy of war – it is meant to destroy women and communities physically and mentally”.

Conceptual Advances for United Nations 2.0

The UN Secretary-General’s forthcoming “Our Common Agenda” report, to be released before this year’s UN General Assembly High-Level Week, is expected to offer ambitious recommendations to accelerate the realization of the UN75 Declaration as the world comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic.

US Holds UNICEF Monopoly for 74 Years – in a World Body Where Money Talks

With Henrietta Fore's decision last week to step down as UNICEF Executive Director, her successor is most likely to be another American since that post has been held-- uninterruptedly -- by US nationals for almost 74 years, an unprecedented all-time record for a high-ranking job in the UN system.

Striving for Sustainability in Global Food Systems

As the global community gears up for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit in September, it is significant that preparations are also underway by Global Reporting Initiative to deliver a new sector reporting standard for agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing.

Can We Make the Planet Earth a Utopia? Yes: Why Not?

The only Planet in the Universe with living beings, including animal and plant life is the Planet Earth. Can we transform it to a Utopia, more or less, a Paradise. Yes, we can. Why not? If all Nations of the Planet have a genuine desire to have eternal peace and harmony, without recourse to a course that will lead to the destruction of the Planet to smithereens.

Reflections on South Sudan’s Ten Years of Independence

The declaration of independence of South Sudan was a great historic moment that gave hope to South Sudanese on July 9, 2011. It brought a sense of satisfaction, indicating achievement of a life-time dream for which millions of our people across generations paid the ultimate price.

“No Comment — & Don’t Quote me on That”

When a Southeast Asian ambassador hosted a lunch for journalists, including reporters from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, he told us there was an ulterior motive for the sumptuous lunch at his residence.

Q&A: UN Food Systems Summit Opportunity for the World to Unite on Healthy, Fair & Sustainable Food Systems

Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended every sphere of life, the world was lagging on a goal to end hunger by 2030. According to the United Nations, more than 820 million people had already been categorised as food insecure, meaning they lacked access to reliable and sufficient amounts of affordable, healthy food.

Another Impending Cataclysm in Afghanistan

The Biden administration made a decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan based on the Trump-Taliban agreement. Their last combat soldier may have already left. There is nothing to argue about!

Agroecology as the Centrepiece of Sustainable Food Systems

In three weeks, the United Nations will bring together farmers, scientists, policymakers and civil society for the last major event ahead of the September UN Food Systems Summit.

UN Ready for Breakaway Nations but the Pace Remains Slow

When the United Nations renovated its building at a cost of over $2.1 billion, as part of a seven-year refurbishing project back in 2014, the seating in the cavernous General Assembly hall was increased from 193 to 204—primarily in anticipation of at least 11 new member states joining the world body sooner or later.

If “A Nuclear War Must Never Be Fought,” Then …

After more than a decade of rising tensions and growing nuclear competition between the two largest nuclear-weapon states, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed at their June 16 summit to engage in a robust “strategic stability” dialogue to “lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.”

Towards an Equal Future in Parliaments

In elections last October in Georgia, women’s share of seats in parliament went up by nearly seven percent, following the enforcement of a 25 percent quota for women candidates.

UN’s Double Standard on Human Rights Abusers Protects Big Powers

When the UN’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict was released last week, it was expected to “name and shame” some of the world’s worst human rights violators – particularly the abusers of children.

“The Creation of a Palestinian State Is Inescapable”

Every Israeli will sooner than later realize that the creation of a Palestinian state is the only way by which Israel can protect its democracy, independence, national security and national Jewish identity. Denying Palestinian statehood defies Israel’s existence as we know it.

A Time for Systemic Solutions in Latin America & the Caribbean

The first wave of COVID-19 never ended in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Since the region became a hotspot for the pandemic in June 2020, successive waves have continued to build upon the first.

130 Countries Promise to Protect and Invest in Health Care Workers

One hundred and thirty countries have signed a statement recognising the efforts of health care workers, first responders and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic – "one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations".

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