IPS UN Bureau

Kenyan Domestic Workers’ Doomed Voyages to the Gulf

Distress calls from vulnerable Kenyan women in Saudi Arabia experiencing mistreatment and torture at the hands of their employers went from 88 in 2019/2020 to 1,025 just one year later.

Democracy Under Assault

There is no doubt that the building the magnificent Women’s Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 deserves unconditional praise and admiration, a bold landmark that projects the concept of gender empowerment and gender equality.

“Let us now praise brave women and men”: The Nobel Peace Prize 2021

In several countries around the globe, telling the truth is according to its rulers and other influential, generally wealthy, persons a serious crime that might be punished by muzzling the truth-tellers, slandering and humiliating them, and threatening their families and friends. If that does not make them shut up and repent they might be tortured, imprisoned and even killed.

On Nuclear Weapons, Actions Belie Reassuring Words

On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Covid-19 Disrupts UN & Threatens Potential Cash Crisis in World Body

The 22-month-old coronavirus pandemic – which has claimed over 5.4 million lives worldwide, devastated economies and reduced an additional 100 million people to poverty—has also disrupted the work of a partially locked-down United Nations triggering a potential cash crisis in the world body.

Climate Action Incomplete Without Women’s Contribution

Judy Wangari is one of an estimated 800,000 smallholder potato farmers who, according to the National Potato Council of Kenya, contribute at least 83 percent of the total potato production.

The Straw that Broke Kazakhstan’s Back

The most violent protests of the past 30 years have erupted across Kazakhstan — exposing decades of inequality, injustice, and corruption. The protests of an unprecedented scale have rocked cities across Kazakhstan for days, as the population grew increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s leadership.

UN Plea to Save Afghanistan from Full-Blown Humanitarian Crisis

UN agencies have asked for a record USD 4.4 billion in aid for Afghanistan to avert a full-blown humanitarian crisis that could see hunger, distress, and death and a mass exodus of people from the country.

Afro-descendants in Costa Rica: A Movement for Justice & Equity

Jan André is a cheerful and outgoing young man, a superb dancer, and aspiring schoolteacher. Indeed, he wants to become the best schoolteacher in Costa Rica. Fortified by his own will and the encouragement of his family, he overcame violence and adversity to become an outstanding university student.

China Opens Embassy in Nicaragua for First Time since 1990 after Taiwan Ties Cut

For the first time since 1990, China has (re)opened an embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, less than a month after Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan. The (re)opening of the embassy on January 1, 2022 comes amidst the backdrop of US-China tensions, particularly over trade and Taiwan, as well as worsening Cross-Straits relations.

Clean Water, Decent Toilets, Hygiene Challenge for Southern African Community

The toilets in the maternity wing of Namatapa Health Centre in the populous Bangwe Township in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial city, fell into disrepair a few years ago. So, pregnant women who come to deliver their babies and their guardians use two pit latrines.

The Time to Protect Our Oceans is Now

There is no other place in the world like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park. The waters surrounding the island--covered with tropical forests--are a playground to countless shivers, or schools, of sharks, including hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks and whale sharks.

Underfunded and Deadly Tuberculosis Needs its Own Bill Gates

Global efforts to end tuberculosis (TB) are futile without dedicated investment in research into the debilitating disease that is killing 4000 people a day, Stop TB Partnership warns.

Activism will be Key to Overcoming the Covid-19 Crisis

As the Omicron surge overwhelms the world, it is clear to people everywhere that the actions which leaders so far have taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis have not been sufficient to overcome it.

US Democracy Faces Gravest Danger

Unless the Republicans and Democrats put the nation above their party and personal interests, our democracy will face the gravest danger in more than a hundred years. Authoritarianism will creep in, leading to the collapse of American political institutions and the demise of our democracy as we know it.

A Fast-Spreading Pandemic has Reduced an Additional 100 Million People into Poverty

The UN’s highly-ambitious goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 has been severely undermined by a rash of problems worldwide, including an escalating coronavirus pandemic, continued widespread military conflicts and the devastating impact of climate change.

Free at Last: Trafficked Woman’s Story a Warning to Other Vulnerable Job Seekers

When Kamikazi * from Gisagara, a district in Southern Rwanda, was forced to quit her job due to COVID-19 last year, she desperately sought other employment.

Truth as War Causality? The Case of Ethiopia

A brutal drama is unfolding in Ethiopia and it is difficult to find straightforward accounts of what is happening there. However, this does not prevent people from taking a unilateral stand for either of the factions involved in the disaster.

Discriminatory Sexual Violence Laws in Latin America Stigmatize Adolescent Victims of Abuse

Across Latin America and the Caribbean there is a culture of impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence. Crimes against women and girls often go unpunished and under-reported due to societal misconceptions about victimhood and the nature of sex crimes.

Ecstasy as Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Farmers Secure European Pineapple Market

In her wildest dreams, smallholder farmer Sarudzai Sithole never imagined that her pineapples could someday stock the produce section of Europe’s finest supermarkets.

Journalists Who Faced Relentless, Targeted Attacks: 293 Imprisoned in 2021

This past year, uncertainty blanketed our world. The COVID-19 pandemic, the rapidly advancing climate crisis, the pervasive nature of new technologies, and encroaching authoritarianism have all shown that our world is changing fast and in ways that fundamentally affect how we live.

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