Global

Can the UN do a Better Job with Democracy?

The UN Democracy Fund, also known as UNDEF, is an interesting tool but it is too small and lacking resources to mark a difference. How can the UN do a better job at promoting democracy? This is a key question that high-ranking policy makers at the UN should ask themselves.

Living Another Year Dangerously

2022 has been a year of great uncertainty when it seemed the world perilously reached the brink of self-destruction – be it human-induced climate change or military conflict. Welcoming 2022, we had enough reasons to be optimistic; but it was another ‘year of living dangerously’ – Tahun vivere pericoloso in the words of Soekarno, or an annus horribilis in the words of the late Queen Elizabeth.

Raising Retirement Age Coming Soon

Despite the objections, resistance and protests taking place in many countries around the world, raising the official retirement age to receive government provided pension benefits is coming soon.

After 43 Years of Negotiations, Security Council Reforms Move at the Pace of a Paralytic Snail

The reform of the Security Council, the most powerful body at the United Nations, has remained a never-ending political saga. According to the President of the General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary, 43 years have passed since the question of Security Council reform first appeared on the UN agenda.

Security Council Reform: Big Five are the Heart of the Problem

The UN Charter mandates the Security Council to maintain international peace, but wars rage on and nations arm themselves with ever more lethal weapons. No wonder that the Council’s critics are so many and calls for its reform so urgent.

Raising the Alarm on the Slow Pace of Family Law Reform

In September 2021, in the midst of a pandemic-related lockdown, a 15-year-old Muslim girl from Colombo, Sri Lanka was married off by her relatives to a much older man.

Gender Parity at the UN Willfully Ignores the Facts

There are two sides to the problem of Gender Parity at the United Nations. On the one hand, member states need to appoint more women to their senior ambassadorial ranks. There is always tremendous competition for the post of UN ambassador, especially if a member state is on the UN security Council.

Gender Inequality: A Question of Power in a Male-Dominated World, Declares UN Chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has singled out Gender Parity as one of his key priorities in his second term in office, beginning 2023. Describing it as “a strategic goal of the Organization,” he pointed out some of the “notable advances achieved in the past five years.”

Thoughts for 2023: Promoting Innovation & New Technologies

Promoting innovation and technology to promote inclusive development means using new technologies to enhance equal access to services, eliminate discrimination, increase transparency, and create a stable and just future for all – especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Global Biodiversity Framework: A ‘Good Compromise’

In a landmark agreement, all parties of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) adopted the draft Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands and water by 2030.

Biodiversity Agreement Historic But Difficult to Implement

The pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), which takes its name from its shape, is found throughout the Caribbean Sea, but its population has declined by more than 80 percent since 1990. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed it as "critically endangered" due to the effects of the human-induced climate crisis.

Migrants? ‘Don’t You Dare Come Here, Unless…’

When tens of thousands of Europeans had to flee the horrors of two born-in-Europe devastating armed conflicts that attracted other powers: the World Wars I and II, they migrated to the Americas and other Western countries in search of safe haven.

Universal Health Coverage: Think of Health Workers, not just Health Services

Health services don’t deliver themselves. It is the nurse who triages in the emergency department, the midwife who delivers babies and cares for mothers, the community health worker who gives babies vaccines, the care assistant who bathes someone at home, the surgeon who performs the operation, the anesthetist who blocks the pain, the pharmacist who matches the script to the medication, and the physiotherapist who restores movement.

Gender Target at COP15: Russia’s Single Word Objection Holds Up Process

Since the beginning of the high-level segment, tensions have been steadily rising at the 15th meeting of the conference of the parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) among all participants, including members of country delegation teams, NGOs, observers, monitors, and media. At the press events held daily at the media center and various other events in the Montreal Convention Center, an outburst of anger and frustration have become a common sight.

Tracking the Impact of Science on Biodiversity Conservation

Billy Offland (21), a British sustainability student, went on a two-year 'World Conservation Journey' to bring attention to the biodiversity crisis as the world seeks a deal to protect nature.

Digital Treatment of Genetic Resources Shakes Up COP15

In addition to its nutritional properties, quinoa, an ancestral grain from the Andes, also has cosmetic uses, as stated by the resource use and benefit-sharing permit ABSCH-IRCC-PE-261033-1 awarded in February to a private individual under a 15-month commercial use contract.

Four Ways to Overcome Corruption in the Race Against Climate Crisis

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. In the words of the UN Secretary General at COP27, “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 is crucial when it comes to meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius target.

Making the UN Charter a Reality: Why is UN Day Important for Asians at the UN?

To commemorate the seventy-seventh UN Day, the United Nations Asia Network for Diversity & Inclusion (UN-ANDI) held a panel discussion on the topic “Making the UN Charter a reality”. The discussion took place virtually on 27 October, and the event was attended by diverse participants from around the world.

COP15: Impact of Mega Infrastructure Projects on Biodiversity Stay Off-Radar

As the COP entered its crucial second week, negotiations are intensifying now. A slew of new contact groups – meeting mostly behind closed doors – are discussing the minutest details of the Global Biodiversity Framework and the contentious issues within or around it, such as Digital Sequencing Information, Access, and Benefit Sharing. The core aim of all these groups is to talk and resolve all issues and produce a draft treaty that will be acceptable to all parties.

COP15: Unsustainable Infrastructure Threatens Biodiversity

Created in 2016, the Mexican Caribbean Biosphere Reserve (MCBR) hosts 1900 species of animals and plants and contains half of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

The Poor, Squeezed by 10 Trillion Dollars in External Debts

The external debt of the world’s low and middle-income countries at the end of 2021 totalled 9 trillion US dollars, more than double the amount a decade ago. Such debt is expected to increase by an additional 1.1 trillion US dollars in 2023.

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