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Number 37 | 2020


Dear Reader,
We are pleased to send you Edition 37 | 2020 of IDN UN INSIDER, a product of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate Group. UN INSIDER comprises news and analyses from 'UN News', associated websites and our correspondents in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi and Bonn. 
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The Non-profit International Press Syndicate Group


New UN Report Warns of Future Pandemics If 'Business as Usual' Continues

By J. Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – A new UN report has underlined the importance of biodiversity in addressing climate change, and long-term food security, and concluded that action to protect biodiversity is essential to prevent future pandemics.

The fifth edition of the UN's Global Biodiversity Outlook report, released on September 15, has warned: "The continued degradation of the environment is increasing the likelihood of diseases spreading from animals to humans."


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The Great Green Wall Is Paving the Way Ahead to 2030

By Rita Joshi

BONN (IDN) – The Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative has over the past 13 years restored close to 20 million hectares of land, according to a report released on September 7 at a virtual meeting of environmental ministers from Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti together with regional partners, international organizations and development agencies.

The GGW Initiative was launched in 2007 under the leadership of the African Union Commission and Pan-African Agency, and with the financial support from the government of Ireland.


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Leveraging Research for Solution-Driven Policymaking in The Era Of COVID-19

By Sudip Ranjan Basu, Monica Das, Alexandra Boakes Tracy and Achim Wennmann*

BANGKOK (IDN) – The United Nations has tasked the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH) to lead the research roadmap to identify priorities that will support an equitable global socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 within the broader framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  As the world grapples with the impacts of COVID-19, identifying the research agenda and partnering with academic institutions and think tanks have become more essential than ever before.


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Iran's #MeToo Movement Challenges Patriarchy and Western Stereotypes

Viewpoint by Sara Tafakori*

BEIRUT (IDN) – It has been called an Iranian #MeToo movement, and it is. Thousands of women in Iran – and some men – are going online to speak about the sexual assault and harassment they experienced. What is crucially important, at what promises to be a historic turning point in Iranian women’s struggle for their rights, is to set the movement clearly in its proper local and global context, rather than locating it in terms of the familiar binaries of East and West, as much of the coverage in the coming weeks and months will do.


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South-South Cooperation and Director Jorge Chediek: A Tribute

Viewpoint by P.I. Gomes*

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (IDN) – The annual observance of UN Day for South-South Cooperation on September 12 was anticipated by a Virtual High-Level Event hosted by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSCC) on September 10, 2020.

The event, chaired by UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation and Director, UNOSCC, Mr. Jorge Chediek, was a further milestone of achievements by UNOSSC as it marked the launch of the Volume 3 publication on Good Practices in South-South & Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development. This Volume contains 200 good practices from 35 member states, 23 UN entities and other developing partners.


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Of Joyce, Univ. College Dublin and Sustainable Development

By Ramu Damodaran

The writer is Chief of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the UN. The following article was published on the UNAI website.

NEW YORK (IDN) – An old college friend, Pramesh Ratnakar, shared with me William Butler Yeats’s recollection of his first meeting, at the age of 37, with James Joyce, who was 20. Yeats felt the meeting had gone off well and he had “conquered” Joyce until the younger writer asked him how old he was. When told, Joyce replied “it’s too late now. I wish we had met when you were younger.”


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