By R Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN) - The United Nations is faced with a mission impossible in Syria. Not only to avert any “punitive action” that holds the risk of triggering a regional conflict in the Middle East, but also alleviating human suffering manifested by streams of refugees seeking safe havens in neighbouring countries and a spate of internally displaced persons.
Intensive discussions about the use of military force to punish President Bashar Hafez al-Assad for allegedly approving deployment of chemical weapons reveal the widespread prevalence of a culture of war – as opposed to a culture of peace.
By Anna Rutkowski | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
WARSAW (IDN) - “We need to be prepared for nine billion people on this planet, as we all deserve a decent and secure life. By being creative, the world can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs, promoting economic growth and ensuring better living standards. Where there is a will, there is a way!” says Marcin Korolec, the Polish Minister of the Environment, who will chair a landmark UN climate change conference from November 11 to 22, 2013 in Warsaw.
A lawyer, career civil servant and negotiator, Korolec wants the global conference to agree on a balance between the needs of the environment and the economy, "in order to seamlessly unite environmental protection and economic growth". Environmental protection, he says, is an interdisciplinary field that directly influences many other policy areas and is strongly influenced by international arrangements and standards.
By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - When representatives of 194 States and the European Union, which are parties to one of the landmark global conventions, meet in the Namibian capital Windhoek from September 16 to 27, they will focus on intensifying efforts for ushering in a world free of poverty generating DLLD – desertification, land degradation and drought.
The significance of this herculean task lies in the fact that unlike flood disasters and tsunamis, whose catastrophic impact is easily brought into drawing rooms around the world, land degradation befalls soil like creeping cancer and its appalling dimensions often elude the eye of a camera.
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.