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Jazz as a Force for Peace and Freedom
Against the backdrop of civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland, the fourth annual International Jazz Day was celebrated with events around the world and appeals for peace, unity and dialogue. “Each of us is equal. All of us inhabit this place we call home,” said American jazz legend Herbie Hancock. “We must move mountains to find […]
(Sat, 02 May 2015 13:16:57 +0000)

Unsafe Abortions Continue to Plague Kenya
She is just 14, but Janida avoids eye contact with others, preferring to look down at the ground and nodding her head if someone tries to engage her in conversation. Janida (not her real name) was once a sociable and playful child, but that was before she was sexually abused by her stepfather and giving […]
(Sat, 02 May 2015 11:43:33 +0000)

Opinion: Lack of Trade Finance a Barrier for Developing Countries
In this column, Roberto Azevêdo, sixth Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), argues that lack of capacity in the financial sector has a very significant impact on the trading potential of poor countries and calls for giving prominence to trade finance in the development debate at a time when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being finalised.
(Sat, 02 May 2015 08:31:29 +0000)

The Blue Amazon, Brazil’s New Natural Resources Frontier
The Atlantic ocean is Brazil’s last frontier to the east. But the full extent of its biodiversity is still unknown, and scientific research and conservation measures are lagging compared to the pace of exploitation of resources such as oil. The Blue Amazon, as Brazil’s authorities have begun to call this marine area rich in both […]
(Sat, 02 May 2015 06:49:52 +0000)

The U.N. at 70: Impressive Successes and Monumental Failures
Somar Wijayadasa, a former Representative of UNAIDS and a one-time UNESCO delegate to the U.N. General Assembly sessions, is a Moscow-educated international lawyer.
(Fri, 01 May 2015 13:38:19 +0000)

Draconian Ban on Abortion in El Salvador Targeted by Global Campaign
International and local human rights groups are carrying out an intense global campaign to get El Salvador to modify its draconian law that criminalises abortion and provides for prison terms for women. Doctors, fearing prosecution, often report poor women who end up in the public hospitals with complications from miscarriages, some of whom are sent […]
(Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:53:51 +0000)

Watch What Happens When Tribal Women Manage India’s Forests
Kama Pradhan, a 35-year-old tribal woman, her eyes intent on the glowing screen of a hand-held GPS device, moves quickly between the trees. Ahead of her, a group of men hastens to clear away the brambles from stone pillars that stand at scattered intervals throughout this dense forest in the Nayagarh district of India’s eastern […]
(Thu, 30 Apr 2015 18:46:51 +0000)

Opinion: Don’t Sell Sweden’s Vattenfall, Keep Coal in the Ground
* Hanna Leghammar is a Swedish climate activist and member of PUSH Sweden.
(Thu, 30 Apr 2015 07:37:00 +0000)

In Nicaragua Marriage Is Only for ‘Him’ and ‘Her’
A new Family Code that went into effect in Nicaragua this month represents an overall improvement in terms of the rights of Nicaraguans. However, it has one major gap: it fails to recognise same-sex marriage, and as a result it closes the doors to adoption by gay couples. Organisations that defend the rights of lesbians, […]
(Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:49:55 +0000)

Deadline Looms for NGOs to Apply for ECOSOC Status
The NGO Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations is calling on non-governmental organisations to apply for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status in order to be considered by the 2016 NGO Committee. The deadline for the application is Jun. 1, 2015. ECOSOC consultative status relates to ECOSOC […]
(Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:27:34 +0000)

Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Pledge Resonates in Far-Off Zambia
Nigeria’s president-elect is already making waves with his pledge to attack corruption, starting with the missing 20 billion dollars allegedly swiped from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation during the previous administration. Muhammadu Buhari pledged to pursue the claim of former Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended last year by former president Goodluck Jonathan […]
(Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:08:07 +0000)

U.N. Staffers Secure at Home, Moving Targets Overseas
When the United Nations spent over 2.2 billion dollars refurbishing its ageing 65-year-old Secretariat building, one of its primary goals was to strengthen security to prevent any violent attacks on the glass house by New York city’s East River. With a voluntary donation of nearly 100 million dollars from the United States as host country […]
(Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:17:27 +0000)

Q&A: Comprehensive Ban on Nuclear Testing, a ‘Stepping Stone’ to a Nuke-Free World
Kanya D’Almeida interviews LASSINA ZERBO, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)
(Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:28:36 +0000)

Campaign Against Glyphosate Steps Up in Latin America
After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, the campaign has intensified in Latin America to ban the herbicide, which is employed on a massive scale on transgenic crops. In a Mar. 20 publication, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that the world’s most widely used herbicide is […]
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:37:36 +0000)

Opinion: Continuing the Centennial Work of Women and Citizen Diplomacy in Korea
Christine Ahn is the International Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, a campaign of 30 international women walking for peace and reunification of Korea in May 2015.
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 18:14:00 +0000)

Caribbean Stakes Out “Red Lines” for Paris Climate Talks
When the international climate change talks ended in Peru last December, the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a political and economic union comprising small, developing, climate-vulnerable islands and low-lying nations, left with “the bare minimum necessary to continue the process to address climate change”. “The Lima Accord did decide that the Parties would continue to work […]
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:20:34 +0000)

Anti-Foreigner Discrimination ‘Fostered in South African Schools’
A practice of denying admission to South African public schools of children without visas or whose parents are refugees from other African countries is creating a foundation for the current rash of xenophobia, critics of the practice say. Jean-Luc Ntumba from the DRC, a father of three, said he was unable to enroll his children […]
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:39:01 +0000)

European Biofuel Bubble Bursts
Ten years of debate in the European Union over the detrimental effects of the demand for biofuels for transport on food prices, hunger, forest destruction, land consumption and climate change have come to an end. The European Parliament finally agreed new E.U. laws on Apr. 28 to limit the use of crop-based biofuels, setting a […]
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:24:17 +0000)

Expo 2015 Host City Promotes Urban Food Policy Pact
Maurizio Baruffi is Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Milan, the host city for Expo 2015 which opens on May 1.
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 11:44:32 +0000)

Chaos Grows in Burundi as President Defies Advice to Step Down
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, overriding objections to an ill-advised third term, now faces a growing popular movement to oust him after his term ends this coming June. On Sunday, thousands of angry Burundians filled the streets in the capital, Bujumbura, to protest a manouevre by the ruling party to put Nkurunziza back in office for […]
(Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:17:10 +0000)