Human life is sacred and every individual deserves an equal chance in life. We have a common desire, we all want to lead a free, fulfilling existence, with dignity, where our basic needs are met, with opportunities to advance and equal treatment under the law. These are fundamental human rights, protected by international law, which we all have a shared responsibility to protect.
Shockingly, the human suicidal war on Nature not only continues unabated but is also set to become even more virulent. Just to start with, please be reminded that groundwater accounts for 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth, according to the 2022 UN World Water Development Report
On March 4 2023, the 193 members of the United Nations reached a major milestone. They agreed on a treaty to manage and protect the high seas– the marine areas that lie outside the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of coastal states. The high seas are an essential part of the global ecosystem. They cover 50 percent of the Earth’s surface, produce half the oxygen we breathe, provide a home to 95 percent of the planet’s biosphere, are a critical sink for carbon dioxide, and help regulate the Earth’s temperature.
Come April 1, a post-Ukraine Russia, will preside over the UN Security Council in a month-long presidency on the basis of alphabetical rotation.
But Russia will not be the first or the only country – accused of war crimes or charged with violating the UN charter—to be either a member or preside over the most powerful political body in the United Nations.
Three-quarters of a century ago, the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasising that all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. The 2023 theme of its 75th anniversary focuses on the urgency of combating racism and racial discrimination.
Women health workers are more than two thirds of the health workforce and represent 90% of the world’s frontline health workers, yet hold less than a quarter of senior leadership roles - a situation which is unfair and a significant risk for global health security.
When Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) last week, he said the annual meeting takes on even greater significance at a time when women’s rights are being “abused, threatened, and violated around the world.”
On 29 and 30 March, the US government, in partnership with Costa Rica, Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia, will co-host the second virtual Summit for Democracy
. Several elected leaders and state representatives will come together to highlight achievements in advancing democratic principles.
When the US was planning to sell fighter planes to a politically-repressive regime in South-east Asia in a bygone era, a spokesman for a human rights organization, responding to a question from a reporter, was quoted as saying there were no plans to oppose the proposed sale because “it is very difficult to link F-16 fighter planes to human rights abuses”
If fighter jets are fair game and cannot be used to violate human rights, the same cannot be said of “weapons of mass control” (WMCs), including water cannons, tear gas grenades, pepper spray and rubber bullets—used mostly against civilian demonstrators.
BP, the oil company that previously brought us “Beyond Petroleum” and more recently robust corporate climate goals, has announced a return in emphasis to its traditional business of producing oil. Drawn by the inescapable appeal of oil’s latest high profits, has BP rebranded itself as “Back to Petroleum?”
Islamophobia is a ‘fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world.’
As countries recently gathered in Geneva for the fourth round of negotiations
on the WHO proposed pandemic treaty or accord, close examination of the current text
by civil society experts has revealed significant gaps.
Promoting gender equality in technology and digital spaces is at the core of the UN’s observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) as UN senior officials call on the world to take concrete action against ingrained gender biases.
This month, government and civil society organization representatives gathered in New York for the United Nations’ 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to discuss technology as a tool to facilitate access to education for women and girls.
This year marks the halfway point— eight years in and eight years out— of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and reduce inequalities.
For the past six years, Jamaican writer and scholar Opal Palmer Adisa has been one of the voices crying out against the prevalence of gender-based violence in the Caribbean and elsewhere. To highlight this human rights issue, she launched “Thursdays in Black” - holding public protests throughout the year and, on Thursdays, making use of social media to spread her message and raise awareness.
For the first time in history, says a new report from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), not a single functioning parliament in the world is “male-only”.
Is the increasing number of women in parliaments a singular achievement for gender empowerment? Or is it the result of mandatory legislative quotas for women’s representation in world’s parliaments?
In September 2020, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for women’s rights celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was, however, a bittersweet commemoration, mixing joy for the progress in gender equality achieved since 1995, and the stark realization about the multidimensional gaps awaiting tackling and the new divides brought by the social consequences of COVID-19.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tremendous power of technology and innovation has become clear to the world.
However, it has also increased exclusion, discrimination, and inequalities -- especially for women and girls.
On International Women’s Day, let us remind ourselves of the power of education. We have all benefited from an education that less than a century ago was not a given for a girl and which still remains a distant utopia for millions of young girls.
The answer is that there are alarming setbacks for maternal health care and, in many cases, even a total lack of maternity services, which threaten to further raise the number of these tragic preventable deaths one million or more a year by 2030.