By Samantha Sen
LONDON (ACP-IDN) - The Brexit question as seen by the small and poor group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is far simpler – and potentially far more lethal – than those the more usual Brexit debate engages with. It belongs less to debate on knock-on effects rolling into the future than to questions of physical survival here and now. When a fifth of Fiji exports head for the UK, when a Caribbean island lives off bananas sold to Britain, new spokes in buying and selling can hit the people, and even all of the people, of a small nation.
Viewpoint by Brenna Gautam
Note: Brenna Gautam, a J.D. Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center, is a member of the CTBTO Youth Group. This article appears in cooperation with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as part of the initiative ‘Youth for CTBTO’. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the CTBTO. - Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) - "It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes,” President Donald Trump announced, “but if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack."
The announcement can be neatly split in two. The first, wistful for nuclear disarmament, falls in line with the history of Republican successes in arms reductions: while Democrats since Kennedy have frequently proposed reductions, it has been Republican administrations that ultimately put these into effect.
By Rita Joshi
BERLIN | BONN (IDN) – Inspired by innovative and forward-looking concepts, the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development, the first in a series of annual forums to help achieve the United Nations-led Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) wrapped up in the German city of Bonn after intensive debates and 'game playing' on March 3.
The UN conference aiming to chart a new way of thinking on addressing some of the world’s most complex development challenges was hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) with the support of the German Government. It was the world body’s first ever ‘playable’ policy conference.
By Phil Harris
ROME (IDN) – Civil society advocates from around the world are urging newly-appointed UN Secretary-General António Guterres to be a “champion for civil society and take concrete steps to build a more inclusive United Nations”.
In a new report entitled Strengthening Civil Society Engagement with the United Nations, four of the founding members of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign – which led calls for the United Nations to reform the selection process for one of the world's most important jobs – have collected a range of proposals from its global network of civil society organisations on how this could be achieved.
By Miroslav Jenča
Miroslav Jenča is UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Following are his keynote remarks originally delivered on February 17, 2017 at a working luncheon at the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN in New York under the title 'Political and Economic Reforms: Steps in implementing SDG 16'.
NEW YORK (IDN) - More than 150 world leaders came together in New York in September 2015 and adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a historic pledge to end poverty, hunger and inequality; take action on climate change and the environment; ensure inclusive access to health and education; promote sustainable economic growth for all; and build inclusive, just and peaceful institutions and societies. As we survey the world today – inundated with conflict, crisis and turmoil – delivering on the promises of the 2030 Agenda has greater urgency than ever.
VIENNA (IDN) – Iran's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna has been appointed by consensus as the chairman of the Group of 77 (G-77), for a one-year term.
Reza Najafi, the country's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Permanent Representative to the UN in the Austrian capital, took over charge from Namibia's Permanent Representative Simon Madjumo Maruta at a ceremony on February 24, 2017.
Ambassador Najafi is the second representative of Iran to head the G-77 in Vienna since 2011. In his remarks he stressed the importance of G-77 within and outside the UN as the largest coalition of meanwhile 134 developing nations in the United Nations.
By Jutta Wolf
BERLIN (IDN) – 'Shaping an interconnected world' is the slogan Germany has chosen for its Presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) summit of heads of state and government on July 7-8 in the port city of Hamburg. It is based on three thematic pillars: building resilience, improving sustainability, and assuming responsibility.
The German Economic Cooperation Ministry (BMZ) has contributed to defining the German G20 agenda, as all three pillars are closely related to development cooperation.
Building resilience relates to financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises, and sustainable supply chains (innovative financing models, improvement of the general environment, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises) such as the textile sector.
By Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Note: Following are excerpts from opening address on February 18 at a discussion on human security and climate security by the UN’s top climate change official at the annual Munich Security Conference 2017, in which she called for a reframing climate change as a “security story”, given its far-ranging implications for global peace and stability. For full text please click here.
BERLIN (IDN-INPS) - Climate change is a security issue. Our current refugee crisis, when seen through the lens of climate change, brings this into sharp focus. And the security community, which is renowned and revered for their ability to assess and address future threats, understands that our current crisis pales in comparison to what is coming if climate change is left unchecked.
By Taleb Rifai, Erik Solheim and Patricia Espinosa*
MADRID | NAIROBI | BONN (IDN-INPS) - Whether it is a chic, zero-emission hotel in Milan where toiletries are 99 per cent biodegradable, or Gaansbai in South Africa, where conservation of native flora and fauna is a community-wide priority, sustainable tourism is growing fast across the globe.
It is a tribute to the myriad entrepreneurs, companies, creative individuals and communities that the United Nations is marking 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
This means that, throughout 2017, activities and initiatives across the spectrum of those involved in tourism will celebrate its transformational power on our global efforts to create a world that is cleaner and greener, more equal and more inclusive.