“Racism and discrimination have no place in our world -- least of all at the United Nations”, warns UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who will soon appoint a Special Adviser to investigate the growing discrimination based on racial, national or ethnic origins in the world body.
A year ago, we welcomed 2021 with a sense of cautious optimism when the newly developed vaccines promised a shift in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus turned towards building back better and doing things differently as many countries started to rethink and rebuild their shattered economies.
Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the three major agricultural producers in South America, are currently experiencing a prolonged period of drought and low water levels in their main rivers. This is severely impacting harvests, as well as river transport of important summer crops, with maize and soybeans the main casualties.
Coral reefs are one of the world’s most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems. They provide abundant ecological goods and services and are central to the socio-economic and cultural welfare of coastal and island communities – throughout tropical and subtropical ocean countries – by contributing billions of dollars to the local and global economies, when combined with tourism and recreation.
When Israeli Ambassador Gilat Erdan made an unusual presentation before the Security Council last week displaying a large rock, which he claimed, was hurled at Israeli vehicles in the Occupied Territories, a reporter at a UN press conference asked whether Palestinians will be given the right of reply--- by displaying in the Security Council chamber an Uzi sub- machine gun or a bulldozer deployed by Israeli armed forces against civilian demonstrations.
Yohei Sasakawa said the youth have the power to change the world, and their participation in removing the stigma and myths about leprosy is crucial to the campaign to end the disease.
The pandemic – alongside growing threats from climate change, widespread malnutrition
, economic instability and geopolitical conflict – has heightened problems with the ways we produce, distribute and consume food. And it’s made clear the urgent need to make global food systems
On 28 October, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed the militant Buddhist monk Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara to head a presidential task force on legal reforms, shocking many in Sri Lanka and beyond. Gnanasara is the public face of the country’s leading anti-Muslim campaign group, Bodu Bala Sena (Army of Buddhist Power, or BBS). He is widely accused of inciting inter-communal violence
, including two deadly anti-Muslim pogroms
in June 2014 and March 2018.
Many factors frustrate the international cooperation needed to address the looming global warming catastrophe. As most rich nations have largely abdicated responsibility, developing countries need to think and act innovatively and cooperatively to better advance the South.
The world is woefully offtrack to achieving the current international consensus that it is necessary to keep the global temperature rise by the end of the 21st century to no more than 1.5°C (degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels two centuries ago.
It's nine o'clock in the morning and Mauricia Rodríguez is already peeling garlic to season the day's lunch at the Network of Organized Women of Villa Torreblanca, one of more than 2,400 solidarity-based soup kitchens that have emerged in the Peruvian capital in response to the worsening poverty caused by the partial or total halt of economic activities in the country due to COVID-19.
Education lifts millions out of poverty, but because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out gains made in recent decades, a holistic approach to providing education in crises is crucial, says German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze.
“Unless we take action, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who are unable to read could increase from 53 to 70 percent.”
On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously
to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers.
As countries across South Asia continue to battle the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, causing serious public health and economic crisis, this region, which is home to almost 2 billion people, is also grappling with the erosion of democratic norms, growing authoritarianism, the crackdown on freedom of press, speech and dissent.
Last week, I was delighted to speak to the United Nations Security Council. In the ten years that my country has been experiencing conflict, violence, and instability, dozens of conferences and other international summits have been held without ever really making room for those who are mobilized on a daily basis for more social justice, the defense of human rights and achieving Malian peace.
The Covax initiative, the hope of the countries of the developing South to immunize their populations against COVID-19, only met half of its goals in 2021. And as 2022 begins, and the omicron variant of the virus is spreading fast, the scheme still depends on the decisions of pharmaceutical companies and the goodwill of donor governments.
The human rights of people affected by leprosy are central to Yohei Sasakawa’s concept of a leprosy-free world.
“Persons with disabilities are capable and equal. It is time the world understands that,” says Antonio Palma, a UN Volunteer at the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Guatemala. Antonio, who has a visual impairment, expresses what many other persons with disabilities feel. Ignored, mistreated, misunderstood, underestimated, condescended to.
Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021
. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.
Two years after Michelle, 15, was kidnapped, sold, forced to convert to Islam and married to a stranger, relatives still ostracise her.
The official start of free trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 moved a major continental aspiration closer to reality.