Twenty years ago this month, a colleague saved me from a likely gruesome death. He insisted I stay in his Baghdad office of the World Food Programme (WFP) for a hot drink. “You can't leave us without trying the tea I made for you! The best in Iraq.”
Exactly 32 years ago, on August 29, 1991, Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union, made a historic decision that would alter its fate. On that day, Kazakhstan permanently closed the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, defying the central government in Moscow. This marked the start of Kazakhstan's transformation from a nuclear-armed state, possessing the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal at the time, to a non-nuclear-weapon state. Kazakhstan's audacious move to eliminate its nuclear weapons was rooted in a profound commitment to global disarmament, setting an inspiring precedent.
This September, world leaders and public policy advocates from around the world will descend on New York for the UN General Assembly
. Alongside conversations on peace and security, global development and climate change, progress – or the lack of it – on the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) is expected to take centre-stage. A major SDG Summit
will be held on 18 and 19 September. The UN hopes that it will serve as a ‘rallying cry to recharge momentum for world leaders to come together to reflect on where we stand and resolve to do more’. But are the world’s leaders in a mood to uphold the UN’s purpose, and can the UN’s leadership rise to the occasion by resolutely addressing destructive behaviours?
To cool down a burning planet, Africa’s Head of State and Government at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit unveiled the ‘Nairobi Declaration’ as curtains fell on the inaugural Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi, September 4-6, 2023, under the theme “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World.”
Thunderstorms, flash floods, and landslides have made headlines this year’s monsoon season, as rainfall in northern India was far more intense than forecast. This comes hot on the heels of what was for many, the warmest pre-monsoon season on record. These extreme weather patterns are creating chaos for farmers, with smallholders hardest hit.
Super-charging efforts and setting a fresh direction for the next phase of climate policymaking is what’s urgently needed and on offer this month during the 78th UN General Assembly in New York, as mass heat waves, devastating wildfires, fatal floods, and withering droughts continue to wreak havoc across continents.
A group of young African startups made their presence known at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, hoping to play a big role in promoting home-grown climate-oriented solutions.
From 2017, Shamso Isac has helplessly witnessed the demise of all her sources of income. Failed rain seasons and dried-up water sources meant a lack of pasture, which led to the death of her livestock. Widespread hunger exacerbated by rising food costs forced her to relocate to Burlhedi internally displaced persons camp in Baidoa in the Southwest state of Somalia. She recalls walking for weeks seeking a place she could get food for her family. When her child asks for something to eat or drink, she has nothing to offer; all she can do is cry, overwhelmed by the utter hopelessness she feels.
When heads of state, heads of government and top diplomats from around the globe flock to New York for high-level week beginning September 19, it marks the culmination of many months of intensive preparation for the United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service.
In the years when Mexico did not have a general law against human trafficking, there existed an evil man known as "El Osito" (“The Little Bear”). His alias could mislead those who heard of his criminal record: he was a ruthless pimp, devoid of any trace of kindness in his body, who claimed to collect kidnapped women to exploit their bodies.
After decades of resistance by rich nations, African governments successfully pushed for the United Nations to lead on international tax cooperation. All developing countries and fair-minded governments must rally behind this initiative.
The Role of the New Development Bank in Monitoring Project Impacts on Communities
The 15th BRICS Summit
held in Johannesburg, South Africa this month has once again put the spotlight on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project
(LHWP) as a shining example of multilateralism and the New Development Bank’s
(NDB)commitment to financing sustainable development projects within BRICS countries and other developing countries. During the 2023 BRICS Summit, the New Development Bank and the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) signed a 3.2 billion Rands loan agreement for the implementation of Phase Two of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) in Lesotho. This funding complements contributions by other financiers, notably the African Development Bank
(AfDB) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa
As thousands convene in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, for the Africa Climate Summit, the first time the African Union has summoned its leaders to solely discuss climate change under the theme ‘Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World’, the backdrop is a country on the frontlines of a climate crisis.
Legislators from around the world, this week, officially submitted to the Sherpa of the G20 meeting set for September in New Delhi a declaration calling on governments to prioritise spending on ageing, youth, gender, human security, and other burning population issues.
When a continent with 65% of the world’s arable land struggles to feed its 1.4 billion people, we know something is wrong. The African and global food systems need a rethink. The urgent and pressing need to address a more productive, transparent, equitable food system, poverty and the far-reaching effects of climate change requires us to forge alliances among diverse stakeholders and sectors.
When 150+ world leaders, including Presidents and Prime Ministers, arrive in New York to address the high-level segment of the General Assembly beginning September 19, the UN neighborhood will be turned into a veritable war zone.
The streets will be littered with scores of police officers, US secret service personnel, UN security officers, bomb-sniffing dogs, road closures-- and a stand-by ambulance in the UN campus ready to cope with any medical emergencies.
Mango farmer Eufria Nyadome used to earn USD 60 from selling a 20-litre bucket of fresh mangoes and now can barely make USD 20 even though her mango trees are giving a good yield. She is throwing away buckets of rotten mangoes.
In the midst of a complex web of crises, spanning climate change, biodiversity depletion, constraints on civic space and mounting debt burdens, civil society organizations and human rights defenders from over 50 countries have united their voices
to call for immediate and impactful action from Public Development Banks (PDBs).
The Africa Climate Summit 2023 is expected to start with renewed hope. In its 60+ years of post-independence history, Africa has contributed around 3% of Green House Emissions, accounts for approximately 2.6% of global trade, and less than 3% of the world’s GDP in 2021.
The 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA) session begins September 5. Below is an interview with the outgoing President of the 77th session, Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary.
El Salvador's efforts to improve the educational level in the country seem to be falling short, with rundown schools, especially in rural areas, and little progress in overcoming illiteracy.