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The Age of Holy War & Poetics of Solidarity – (Part 2)

In Part 1, I outlined how our shared existence is challenged not only by simultaneous crisis, but also by the notions - and realities - of perceived ‘holy wars’. I point out that ‘holy wars’ are not only perceptions within, or of, monotheistic faith traditions, but actually enacted by members of diverse belief systems.

Germany’s Climate Envoy Talks Partnerships with SIDS; Urges G20 Nations to Step Up Emissions Reductions

Germany’s State Secretary and Special Envoy on International Climate Action, Jennifer Morgan, has emphasized the need for urgent climate action and called on G20 nations to do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The G20 comprises 19 developed and developing nations, the European Union and, since 2023, the African Union. It represents the world’s biggest economies, totaling 85 percent of the global GDP.

The Age of Holy War & Poetics of Solidarity – (Part 1)

“Holy War” is how the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church referred to the Russian war on the Ukraine, and indeed, on “the West”1 . “Holy War”, aka “jihad” is a foundational principle of “the Base” or “al-Qaeda”, which has grown into a non-state hydra with too many names and atrocities to list here (but if you are curious, one of the hydra faces is ISIS).

Violent Deaths by “Small Arms & Light Weapons”: UN Chief’s Warning Dead on Target

Perhaps two of the biggest misnomers in military jargon are “small arms” and “light weapons” which are the primary weapons of death and destruction in ongoing civil wars and military conflicts, mostly in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In a statement last week, at the opening session of the Fourth Review Conference of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was dead on target when he said there is nothing “small” or “ight” about the damage these weapons cause.

When U.S. Officials Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

"When someone shows you who they are,” Maya Angelou said, “believe them the first time." That should apply to foreign-policy elites who show you who they are, time after time.

Unveiling the “Dark Matter” of Food, Diets and Biodiversity

This year, bee pollen has become a trendy superfood thanks to a wide range of potential benefits. Last year, sea moss led the superfood trends. Before that, it was turmeric.

Peoples’ Climate Vote Shows Global Support for Stronger Climate Action

The global public opinion research on climate change reveals that 80 percent, or four out of five, of people globally want their governments to take stronger action to tackle the climate crisis.

Government Debt Is Symptom, Not Cause

Developing country governments are being blamed for irresponsibly borrowing too much. The resulting debt stress has blocked investments and growth in this unequal and unfair world economic order.

Fiscal Policy Can Help Broaden the Gains of Artificial Intelligence to Humanity

New generative-AI technologies hold immense potential for boosting productivity and improving the delivery of public services, but the sheer speed and scale of the transformation also raise concerns about job losses and greater inequality. Given uncertainty over the future of AI, governments should take an agile approach that prepares them for highly disruptive scenarios.

Sustainable Development of 39 Small Island Developing States – No Time to Wait

Today Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the environmental threats they confront require our urgent attention ---and the global spotlight needs to be trained deliberately and maintained consistently on their concerns, in particular, climate change, marine biological diversity loss and sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Restoring Trust: Confronting Corruption and Championing Integrity

58 percent of respondents to a worldwide survey believed that their political system has been captured by an elite that is corrupt, obsolete, and unreformable. Corruption thrives in environments characterized by weak governance, where transparency, accountability, and public decision-making are compromised by conflicts of interest and political interference.

UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

When the 193-member UN General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution, back in September 2015, the goals were highly ambitious: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, eliminate inequalities, protect human rights, promote gender empowerment and ensure economic, social and environmental development—and much more. The deadline for achieving these targets was set for 2030.

Land Grabs Squeeze Rural Poor Worldwide

Since 2008, farmland acquisitions have doubled prices worldwide, squeezing family farmers and other poor rural communities. Such land grabs are worsening inequality, poverty, and food insecurity.

African Activists Call on the West to Finance Climate Action

As the technical session of the global climate negotiations enters the final stretch in Bonn, Germany, climate activists from Africa have expressed fears that negotiators from the developed world are dragging their feet in a way to avoid paying their fair share to tackle the climate crisis. “I think we will be unfair to the snail if we say that the Bonn talks have all along moved at a snail pace,” quipped Mohammed Adow, the Director, Power Shift Africa.

Power of Acknowledging White Privilege in Addressing Racism Within United Nations

As we commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre this month, organizations and communities should focus on white privilege as it is a critical but often overlooked component of effective racial justice change processes. White privilege, rooted in European-led colonization, provides unearned advantages to white individuals, often unnoticed due to their perception as universal experiences.

Climate Finance: The Planet is Speaking, Listen and Respond with Justice

As the planet groans under record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather events, Africa, which is responsible for only two to three percent of global emissions, stands out disproportionately as the most vulnerable region in the world.  António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s special address on climate action titled ‘A Moment of Truth’ said 2024 was the hottest May in recorded history, and that this marks twelve straight months of the hottest months ever. For the past year, every turn of the calendar has turned up the heat.

Proud to be an Ally: Standing with LGBTQ+ Communities Across the World

The events of this year’s PRIDE month are showing the world the power of inclusivity. It is by only insisting on acceptance, and rejecting criminalization, discrimination and stigmatization, that we can ensure a fairer, safer, future for all. We are all invited to be allies.

Let’s play!

For the first time ever, we will commemorate the joy of playing with an International Day of Play“ on June 11, 2024. On their website, the UN state that this „marks a significant milestone in efforts to preserve, promote, and prioritize playing so that all people, especially children, can reap the rewards and thrive to their full potential“. But why ist playing so important?

Explainer: What You Need to Know About Climate Change and Blue Carbon

The area where land meets the sea, known as coastal ecosystems, could be the key to reducing the effects of climate change. What is blue carbon? Blue carbon refers to the carbon dioxide (CO2) stored within marine or coastal ecosystems worldwide. These ecosystems include coastal plants such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes, which trap CO2 in their seabeds.

A Nuclear-Armed European Union? A Proposal Under Fire

The continued veiled threats from Russia, warning of nuclear attacks on Ukraine, have prompted some politicians in Europe to visualize a nuclear-armed European Union (EU).

Blue Economy Must Benefit Fishing Communities in Global South, Says WorldFish Chief

The Global South is crucial for ensuring aquatic food security to feed the growing world population. It is imperative that blue economy initiatives benefit fishing communities in developing and small island nations, which are facing disproportionate impacts of climate change, says Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed, Director General of WorldFish, an international non-profit research organization based in Penang, Malaysia.

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