IPS UN Bureau Report

UN Deploys Unarmed Weapon in Humanitarian & Peacekeeping Operations

A sign outside the United Nations reads, perhaps half-seriously, that it is a “No Drone Zone”—and “launching, landing or operating Unmanned or Remote-Controlled aircraft in this area is prohibited”. The “warning” comes even as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – are some of the new weapons of war deployed mostly by the US, and more recently, by Iran, Ukraine and Russia in ongoing military conflicts.

Cattle Turn Into New Currency Amid Inflation in Zimbabwe

In 2007 as inflation walloped the Zimbabwean currency, rendering it valueless, then 54-year-old Langton Musaigwa of Mataruse village west of Zimbabwe in Mberengwa district switched to cattle as his currency.

For this Caribbean Island, Ozone Protection is a Year-Round Mission

For countries across the globe, September 16th is a day to reflect on progress in protecting the ozone layer. The United Nations designated day for the preservation of the ozone layer is marked by speeches, and educational and social media campaigns.

Lessons from Niyamgiri Movement’s Success to Protect an Indigenous Sacred Mountain

The Dongria Kondhs say they are the descendants of Niramraja, a mythical god-king who is believed to have created the Niyamgiri range of hills in Odisha, an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal.

Ugandan Women Tackle Domestic Violence with Green Solutions

Constance Okollet Achom, a Ugandan woman from Tororo, a rural village located in Eastern Uganda, has helped several dozens of her peers affected by domestic violence to address the issue by equipping victims with skillsets to manufacture eco-friendly biofuels from agro-forestry waste.

Pan-African Approach Needed to Tackle Food Insecurity Arising from Conflict and Climate Shocks

Upheaval on the global stage, the war in Ukraine, conflict in the Horn of Africa, severe climatic shocks, high international inflation, increasing global commodity prices, high prices of agricultural inputs and low intra-continental trade are fuelling food insecurity across Africa.

US to Fight Sexual Abuse in International Organizations

The United States, which recently laid down a set of guidelines to monitor sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by US citizens in international organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies worldwide, has implicitly accused the UN of faltering on a high-profile case last month.

COP27: Historic Loss and Damage Fund Takes COP27 to the Edge

After a tense impasse and many hours of negotiations, almost 200 countries struck a deal to set up a loss and damage fund to assist nations worst hit by climate change – a demand considered not-negotiable by the developing countries.

COP27: The Pacific Region is Under Threat: We Must Act Now to Mobilise Climate Finance

The Pacific Island Countries (PICs) – 14 small island developing nations in the Pacific Ocean - comprise one of the most exposed and vulnerable regions to climate change and natural calamities. The region did not cause this climate crisis; the crisis stemmed from heavy carbon emissions by developed countries. Yet paradoxically, the countries in the region are also the least resourced to adapt to climate change.

Food Systems Crucial for Pacific Islands at COP27

Food is everything to the culture and identity of the Pacific island countries. Climate change impacts of rising sea levels and higher temperatures threaten islanders’ food security, which is largely dependent on fisheries and subsistence agriculture. Almost 70 percent of islanders rely on agriculture for their livelihood.

Act on Loss and Damage Finance Now, UN Sec Gen Tells COP27 Negotiators

UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the negotiators at COP27 that time for talking about loss, and damage finance is over.

COP27: Africa’s Agri-food Systems Losses Ignored in Global Climate Negotiations

At a time when sustainable farming approaches such as agroecology have been removed from the text at ongoing global climate negotiation (COP27) taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, activists are urging African governments to explore new steps to integrate agriculture into the UN climate agreement.

COP27: Climate Change’s Dire Consequences in the World’s Most Water-Scarce Region

The Middle East and North Africa are the world’s most water-scarce regions – with 11 of the 17 water-stressed countries on the globe. According to UNICEF, nine out of 10 children live in areas with high or very high-water stress, resulting in significant consequences for their health, cognitive development, and future livelihoods.

COP27: Climate Change Exacerbates Vicious Loop of Human Rights Inequity

Climate change is worsening injustice globally, and the poor and vulnerable communities are the most affected. It is time the world acted on fulfilling human rights and building a liveable planet, says Yamide Dagnet, director for Climate Justice at Open Society Foundations.

Climate Change is No ‘Future Scenario’ for Pacific Island Nations; Climate Change is ‘Real’

Pacific island countries are highly vulnerable to climate change, and several have disappeared – and more could sink under the sea owing to a rise in water levels.

COP27: Cyclone Nearly Washed Away All My Dreams, says Vanuatu Youth Activist

The only thing Taren Chilia remembers about Cyclone Pam was that it flattened his school in Vanuatu, washing away books, equipment, and – well, almost his dreams too.

Academics’ Strike Puts Spotlight on Nigeria’s Brain Drain

For eight months, the halls of Nigeria's universities and colleges remained silent – the result of a lecturers' strike brought upon by a wage and conditions of service dispute.

‘Tactical’ Nuclear Weapons Could Unleash Untold Damage, Experts Warn

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the conflict’s potential to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons has been highlighted by political analysts and military experts alike.

Energy: Why Africa Must Be Part of Nuclear Energy Appetite

The search for energy diversification has taken a more frantic pace amidst the global energy transition debate.

Younger Generation Needed in Efforts to Change the Leprosy Perceptions, Says Miss World Brazil

Deep-rooted discrimination against persons affected by leprosy or Hansen’s disease has marginalized individuals and communities. As social pariahs, opportunities to pursue their dreams are limited because, at best, they live at the periphery of society and, more often than not, are ostracized.

COP27: Egypt’s Repressive Regime Under Fire—While it Hosts a Key Climate Summit

The COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh has triggered a negative fallout for Egypt’s authoritarian regime which stands accused of human rights abuses -- and has been widely condemned for its longstanding repressive campaign against dissidents and civil society organizations (CSOs).

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