IPS UN Bureau

India’s Extensive Railways Often Conduit for Child Trafficking

Deeepti Rani (13) lives with her mother in a dilapidated dwelling near a railway track in India’s southern state of Karnataka. The mother-daughter duo sells paperbacks on trains for a living.

Global Risks in 2022: The Year of Colliding Consequences

As 2022 draws to a close, we are confronted with an unprecedented collision of global risks, interacting and reinforcing each other in dangerous new ways.

Egypt Racing to Supply Wind, Solar Energy to Greece, EU via Submarine Cables

As Europe braces for an unusual winter due to a global energy crisis, Greece is embarking on one of Europe's most ambitious energy projects by connecting its electricity grid to Egypt's.

COP 27: A Global COP-Out

Last year's climate COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, was billed as the most important conference in the history of humanity. But it failed to deliver. If anything, that failure added urgency for global climate action at COP 27 in Egypt last month.

Three Ways to End Gender-based Violence

How are the multiple shocks and crises the world is facing changing how we respond to gender-based violence? Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered high levels of violence against women and girls, the recent Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum 2022 (SVRI) shed some light on the best ways forward.

Africa’s Processing Industry Holds Promise for Broader Economic Growth

As a central pillar of African diets for thousands of years, millet has a prized position as one of the continent’s most important crops. And with the onset of climate change, millet offers valuable security to the continent’s smallholder farmers due to the crop’s tolerance for dry soils.

Putting Nature on a Quantifiable, Ambitious Path to Recovery

Up to 1 million species are threatened with extinction – many within decades – this includes nearly one-third of reef-forming corals, shark relatives, and marine mammals. Half of agricultural expansion occurs at the expense of forests, and 85% of wetlands that were present at the beginning of the 18th century had been lost by the year 2000, with the loss of wetlands considered to be happening three times faster, in percentage terms, than forest loss.

Vaccine Refusal, Floods Impact Polio Drive in Pakistan

Vaccine refusal is impacting the eradication of polio in Pakistan. Pakistan has vaccinated about 35 million children during its door-to-door campaign, but about 500,000 remained unvaccinated due to refusal by their parents, Jawad Khan Polio officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, recorded in 2022 so far.

Can Asia and the Pacific Get on Track to Net Zero?

The recent climate talks in Egypt have left us with a sobering reality: The window for maintaining global warming to 1.5 degrees is closing fast and what is on the table currently is insufficient to avert some of the worst potential effects of climate change. The Nationally Determined Contribution targets of Asian and Pacific countries will result in a 16 per cent increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from the 2010 levels.

UN Assessed Contributions Needed to Generate Core Funding for Climate Loss & Damage

For decades, there have been non-conclusive deliberations regarding how the international community could support poor and vulnerable countries in their efforts to cope with and recover from the havoc wreaked on their territory by the ill-effects of global warming such as severe droughts, floods, storms, or rising sea levels.

AGRA Gets Make-Up, Not Make-Over

Despite its dismal record, the Gates Foundation-sponsored Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) announced a new five-year strategy in September after rebranding itself by dropping ‘Green Revolution’ from its name.

Digital Human Rights Need to be Enshrined in Law

The upcoming consultation on the Global Digital Compact presents a unique opportunity to ensure that human rights in the digital world are protected in international common standards.

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.

Push Forward – Act Now to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Five years ago, the global #MeToo movement brought new urgency and visibility to the extent of violence against women and girls. Millions of survivors came forward to share their experience. They forced the world to recognise a reality that shames every one of us. Their courage and voice led to a powerful collective activism and a sea-change in awareness.

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.

Asia: the Power of Connections and their Consequences

In our recent book, “The Connections World: The Future of Asia”, published by Cambridge University Press in October 2022, we argue that mutually beneficial links between dynastic business houses and political elites have been important drivers behind Asia’s extraordinary renaissance. Yet, these close ties now threaten future economic growth.

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.

Ending Violence against Women: from Rhetoric to Action

Violence against women is a global crisis, prevalent in every community and society around the world. Globally, estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Yet, there is limited coordination and insufficient funding to truly address the scale of the issue.

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.

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