These are the worst of times, but they can become the best of times, said speaker Dr. Walden Bello, seeking to inspire thousands of progressives who gathered for the World Social Forum (WSF) in Kathmandu on Thursday with the planet under clouds of armed conflict and assaults on democracy.
"We have always lived a very quiet life here, but everything has changed since the construction of the multi-purpose port began a few years ago," said Miriam Arce, a neighborhood leader in this municipality 80 kilometers north of the Peruvian capital, where the new port is projected to become the epicenter of trade between China and South American countries.
The unprecedented fiscal firepower used to protect the vulnerable from the harsh socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic contraction have pushed the average government debt level in the Asia-Pacific region to its highest since 2008.
As signs of a new Cold War are fast emerging at the United Nations, the US continues its war of words with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The rivalry, which extends from Russia and Taiwan to Iran and Myanmar – where the UN’s two permanent members are on opposite sides of ongoing political or military conflicts– has now triggered a battle on semantics.
It’s been 25 years since the 1997 Asian financial crisis led to the creation of the G20 forum for finance ministers; and 15 years since this became a leader-level meeting following the global financial crisis. During this period, there has been significant shift in the global finance and economic landscape.
If our societies are to become resilient and sustainable, our priorities must change towards de-escalation, including in diplomacy and economy.
As global crises mount, the G20 is proving unable to find solutions. Political disagreements within the bloc- including most prominently with Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine- have hamstrung collective efforts.
The world today faces a future that is in peril. Our challenges have become more complex and interconnected, as we see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an uneven economic recovery, a climate emergency, growing inequalities, and an increase in conflicts globally. This year also marks a grim milestone, with over 100 million people forcibly displaced
Illegal and excessive fishing, mainly attributed to Chinese fleets, remains a threat to marine resources in the eastern Pacific and southwest Atlantic, as well as to that sector of the economy in Latin American countries bathed by either ocean.
Numerous countries of the developing South are distancing themselves from the contenders in the war in Ukraine, using the debate on the conflict to underscore their independence and pave the way for a kind of new de facto non-alignment with regard to the main axes of world power.
The failure of Chile's immigration policy, with its toll of deaths, xenophobic sentiments but also shows of solidarity, will be a pressing matter for the incoming administration of Gabriel Boric, who takes office on Mar. 11, and for the drafters of the new constitution, who will include the issue in the text that is to be ready in July.
Cuba, already beset by hurricanes, floods, droughts that deplete its main water sources, among other natural disasters, has seen its socioeconomic difficulties, similar to those faced by other Caribbean island nations, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In southeast Mexico, work on the Yucatan Solar Park, owned by the Chinese company Jinko Solar, has been halted since 2020 for lack of proper consultation with indigenous communities, after affected local residents filed an injunction against the project.
With its political and economic clout, the G20 should lead in delivering sustainable food systems as the world grapples with rising hunger, malnutrition and inequality.
A regular visitor to the islands of the Caribbean has become a dreaded nuisance over the past ten years. The sargassum seaweed that typically washes ashore now arrives each year in overwhelming, extraordinary amounts for reasons that are not entirely clear.
I observed the Group of 77 (G77) shortly after the 1964 Geneva Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the 1968 UNCTAD 2 in New Delhi and the 1972 UNCTAD 3 in Santiago. The Group was influential at the time, benefiting from several factors helpful for its functioning which are no longer present, namely:
Five years ago, at the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations, world leaders adopted the ambitious Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The Agenda was to be accomplished through the achievement of 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: eradicating poverty, ending hunger, addressing climate change – just to name a few.
When the 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, was trying to strike a hard bargain in its negotiations with Western nations years ago, one of its envoys famously declared: “You have the numbers. We have the money.”
Heads of youth movements and student unions are challenging the world’s richest nations to correct an ‘incredibly unequal’ global response to COVID-19, by considering the plight of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people.
After centuries of poverty, marginalisation from national development policies and a lack of support for positive local practices and projects, the semiarid regions of Latin America are preparing to forge their own agricultural paths by sharing knowledge, in a new and unprecedented initiative.
Zimbabwe needs urgent economic and political reforms to transform its economy amidst a growing national crisis, researchers say in a new study that urges swift policy changes and a sound financial framework to attract investment.