By Luc Gnacadja* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
There is widespread agreement that sustainable forest management on a global scale is not achievable without halting land degradation. But this view is not shared by the rationale and focus of the tools and mechanisms designed during the past decade to promote and incentivize sustainable forest management.
As if to prove the point, the global coalition of the willing has been putting its money and effort into saying “Yes we can achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale without halting land degradation.”
“What if we change this state of affairs?” asks UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja. “Can the economy and the business community benefit from such a change?” he adds and elaborates "on the nexus of land degradation and sustainable forest management" and highlights the specific case of drylands.
By Angela Kane* | IDN-InDepth NewViewpoint
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, USA (IDN) - Disarmament is, first and foremost, one of the UN's oldest and most durable goals. The term appears twice in the UN Charter – which we should recall was adopted before the first nuclear weapon was even tested. The first resolution adopted by the General Assembly established on January 24, 1946 the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and all other weapons "adaptable to mass destruction", later called WMD.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
VIENNA (IDN) - Media coverage of migration issues is far from conducive to promoting better understanding between cultures, religions and peoples around the world, according to a study presented at the Fifth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in Vienna on February 28.
The study – a pilot project by the UNAOC and the European Journalism Centre (EJC) – was a highlight of the Global Forum, which was attended by over 2,000 people from around the world. Participants included youth leaders, representatives from the private sector and civil society, journalists, foundations, alongside governmental and multilateral representatives.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BONN (IDN) - The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat is joining hands with the East African Development Bank (EADB) to establish a regional collaboration centre in Ugandan capital Kampala, to increase African countries' participation in clean development mechanism (CDM) projects.
An agreement for the purpose was signed by UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, and the EADB Director General, Vivienne Yeda, on February 12.
By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
GENEVA (IDN) – Stepped up violence among ethnic groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the second largest country in Africa, has led to a serious humanitarian crisis, displacing thousands of people who live in hostile conditions, according to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). The world body and its partners are, therefore, appealing for $30.5 million to assist some 59,000 people in DRC's eastern province of North Kivu.
By Andrea Huber* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
LONDON (IDN) - When Phillip J. was aged 16 he was held in solitary confinement for 36 days in a U.S. prison. He described how isolation itself became a trigger for traumatic memories of solitary confinement. "Once you are confined the way I was, then any other confinement just triggers that experience – loss of sleep, all these different flashbacks of different bad events. You try to harness it, but you don’t know how or what’s going on or what’s happening.”
By Jamshed Baruah
VIENNA (IDN) - The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, better known as CTBTO, expects fresh momentum in 2013 for the entry into force of a global treaty prohibiting nuke tests, which herald advent of new weapons of mass destruction.
This sanguine anticipation derives from the fact that in a near unanimous vote at the UN General Assembly on December 3, 2012, the vast majority of countries listed their support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test- Ban Treaty (CTBT) – which, according to Rebecca Johnson of Acronym Institute, "remains a key piece of unfinished business of the nuclear age".
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
GENEVA (IDN) - Four years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the world economy is still struggling to recover but 2013 holds out good prospects for the economies of the least developed countries (LDCs), says the United Nations.
A new UN report titled 'World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013' expects GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth to average 5.7 per cent in the New Year, up from 3.7 per cent in 2012. "However, most of the rebound is expected to come from improvements in economic conditions in Yemen and Sudan, following notable contractions of both economies in the face of political instability during 2010 and 2011," says the report.
By Cillian Nolan* of Crisis Group
JAKARTA (IDN | Crisis Group Blogs) - The UN peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) is now in the final stages of its long-planned withdrawal. By the end of December, the only staff left will be packing up computers and dismantling the portable containers at its “Obrigado Barracks” headquarters. Following largely peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections earlier this year, Timorese are in confident spirits about the many challenges ahead. But after thirteen years of UN presence in the country, it is natural that there is some apprehension among some about security after the end of peace operations.
By Bernhard Schell
DUBAI (IDN) - “A digital divide has no place in the information age and 21st century knowledge economy,” according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Our overall objective must be to ensure universal access to information and communication technology – including for the two-thirds of the world’s population currently not online,” he says.
In a video message to a major meeting organized by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on December 3, Ban said the management of information and communication technology should be “transparent, democratic, and inclusive”.
By Luc Gnacadja*
BONN (IDN) - It is human development, or at least the quest for it, which caused the conversion of billions of hectares of forests into man-made deserts. It prompted, in the middle of the 19th century, the French novelist Chateaubriand to state that "forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them". In other words, human beings are the only desert making species.
To reverse the tide and change such an inherent habit, we must think and operate outside of the “forest” box. We must look beyond the rainforest horizon and embrace holistic approaches to the entire landscape if we want to make sustainable forest management a green pathway for human development.