IPS UN Bureau

Sri Lankan Beggar’s Opera

When Ceylon- now Sri Lanka- gained independence from Britain in 1948 after almost 450 years of colonial rule under three western powers, it was one Asia’s most stable and prosperous democracies.

The Camel, the Needle– and the UN’s first Woman Secretary-General

A 2.0 version of an ancient Biblical saying reads: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a woman to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The male/female ratio for the Secretary-General stands at 9 vs zero. And the Presidency of the General Assembly (PGA), the highest policy-making body at the UN, is not far behind either.

The Rape of the Indian Ocean
The Story of the Yellow Fin Tuna

Over the last past several decades marine fish stocks worldwide have been under intense threat. There have been many high sounding declarations and agreements to reduce catch effort, to use more environmentally friendly fishing gear, to prevent illegal fishing and to impose “closed seasons” to allow stocks to recover.

Rights Groups Question ‘Pregnancy Register’ for Polish Women

Women’s rights groups fear a new legal provision in Poland requiring doctors to collect records on all pregnancies could create what they have described as a ‘pregnancy register’ to monitor whether women are having abortions.

Animals are Core to Pandemic Prevention – We Must Strengthen Their Defences

The ongoing discussions at the World Health Organization (WHO) around a new, landmark ‘pandemic prevention treaty’ shows that the world is starting to act on the lessons it learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weaponizing Free Trade Agreements

Long seen as means to seek advantage on the pretext of providing mutual benefit, free trade agreements (FTAs) may increasingly be used as economic weapons in the emerging new Cold War. Pivot to Asia, containing China In November 2009, President Obama observed, “in an inter-connected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game… the United States does not seek to contain China”.

Why We Need a Digital Safe Space for LGBTQ Youth – Thoughts from Asian Teens

Recently, I watched a documentary titled Why We Can’t See Disabled People [in Korea].

Nature-Positive Ventures Crucial for Africa’s future, say experts at Africa Green Economy Conference

Africa’s unique natural capital assets were the center of conversation at the 2022 Africa Green Economy Conference. Held in a hybrid format from June 27 to 30, participants gathered to discuss the value of nature in Africa’s economy and call for more nature-positive ventures in development.

EU’s Exclusionary Migration Policies Place People on the Move toward Europe at Greater Risk

A mass attempt on June 24, 2022, of about 2000 African migrants to scale the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla left at least 37 people dead.

IPBES to Release New Assessments on the Values of Biodiversity and Sustainable Use of Wild Species

Speaking to IPS about the importance of biodiversity and nature's contributions to people, Dr Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), stressed the importance of moving from knowledge and policy silos to a more integrated approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those related to food, water, health, climate change, and energy, which can only be achieved together with the two goals related to biodiversity.

IPBES Shoring up Private Sector Support for Biodiversity Science

In the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, the changing climate often eclipses the loss of ecosystems and species in funding and awareness.

World Leaders Must Look at the Big Picture to Solve Food Crisis

From the worst drought in four decades threatening famine across the Horn of Africa to extreme heat in South Asia, the war in Ukraine and the unequal pace of pandemic recovery, global food systems are under extraordinary pressure.

A Story of Abortion Rights

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which had declared abortion constitutional, and a woman's right to abortion is no longer guaranteed. This is another example of the divisiveness that has surrounded abortion to date, and has sparked controversy on both sides of the issue. While it is politically perceived that this Supreme Court decision resulted from a majority of conservative judges appointed during the Trump administration, an important point is being forgotten.

Addressing the Global Biodiversity Crisis Requires Understanding and Prioritizing the Many Values of Nature

Nature has many values. A forest can be a cool and quiet place to retreat to when you need relaxation on a hot summer day. It is a habitat for many species. Trees also sequester and store carbon, reducing future impacts of climate change. But of course, the trees also have a monetary value if they are felled and turned into furniture or put to other uses. These are just four examples of the many values of nature, which are vital parts of our cultures, identities, economies and ways of life.

A Voice for African Wildlife: A Conversation with Kaddu Sebunya

The CEO of the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation, Kaddu Sebunya – in London to mark AWF’s 60th anniversary while fundraising and lobbying – shares his thoughts with IPS on the climate and food crises, how Africans have their voice, why western countries need a ‘reset’ with Africa, what Prince Charles should say to the Commonwealth, how China is eating western ‘cake’, and what worries him more than anything else.

The Urgency to Ban All Wars

On Sunday 19 June, we gathered in Sezano, municipality of Verona (VR), at the Monastery of the Common Good to affirm the need and urgency to ban war, all wars, and build peace without yes or no buts.

Reimagining Ageing: Older Persons as Agents of Development

Older persons are highly visible across Asia and the Pacific: they work in agricultural fields producing our food supplies, peddle their wares as street vendors, drive tuk-tuks and buses, exercise in our parks, lead some of the region’s most successful companies and form an integral part of our families.

International Criminal Court at 20: Renewing the Promise of Justice for the Gravest Crimes

On 1 July 2022, the International Criminal Court (ICC) turns 20. The entry into force on 1 July 2002 of the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, officially created the Court and marked the start of its work towards building a more just world.

UN’s “No-Fly List” on Sexual Harassment Falls Short, Complains Rights Group

The United Nations has continued to crackdown on sexual harassment system-wide since 2017 while its “whistle blower protection policy” has provided “protective status” for nearly 68 UN staffers who reported wrong doing. But Equality Now, an international human rights organization, is accusing the UN of faltering on its longstanding “zero-tolerance” policy.

Bangladesh Flood Victims Cry for Relief

After losing everything in the recent devastating flood that swept the northeastern districts in Bangladesh, pregnant mother Joynaba Akter, her three children and her husband took refuge in a shelter centre at Gowainghat in Sylhet.

Sharing Minds Can Change the World

Parasite, a Korean black comedy film directed by Bong Joon-ho, shows the story of a poor family who infiltrated the household of an affluent family by getting employment by pretending to be highly qualified persons.

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