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Rising inequalities in Asia-Pacific a major obstacle to progress

BANGKOK, Thailand, Mar 28 2019 (IPS) – 2019 will be a defining year for the 2030 Agenda; and the regional forums will pave the way for our first stocktaking on the SDGs in the General Assembly in September. Asia-Pacific is a region like no other. This is an incredibly diverse group of countries. From large economies to the small island states. ... Read More »

Was slavery world’s first human rights violation?

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 7 2019 (IPS) – The United Nations, which diligently monitors human rights violations worldwide, believes that centuries-old slavery still exists worldwide. The UN mandate on “contemporary forms of slavery” includes, but is not limited to, issues such as: traditional slavery, forced labour, debt bondage, serfdom, children working in slavery or slavery-like conditions, domestic servitude, sexual slavery, and servile ... Read More »

The unbearable unrealism of the present

by Paul Mason What characterises the present moment in history is a pervasive sense of unrealism among elites. Official discourses are no longer used as guides to action, laws are not applied and regulations are ignored. The ultimate symbol of the unrealism in the world is contained in two graphs. The first is the projection by the United States’ Congressional ... Read More »

Aid in reverse: How poor countries develop rich countries

By Jason Hickel We have long been told a compelling story about the relationship between rich countries and poor countries. The story holds that the rich nations of the OECD give generously of their wealth to the poorer nations of the global south, to help them eradicate poverty and push them up the development ladder. Yes, during colonialism western powers ... Read More »

Poor quality employment a major challenge says ILO

Geneva (Kanaga Raja) – A majority of the 3.3 billion people employed globally in 2018 experienced a lack of material well-being, economic security, equal opportunities or scope for human development, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has found. In its latest World Employment and Social Outlook report released this week, the ILO pointed out that being in employment does not always ... Read More »

Make hunger thing of past Pope Francis at IFAD annual meet

Rome, 14 February 2019 – Pope Francis set the tone for the 42nd session of the annual Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by saying that hunger can be made a part of the world’s past, but only if all institutions and people work together, and only if these efforts are owned locally and driven by ... Read More »

Meghan puts notes on bananas sent to needy women in Britain

London, Feb 3 (AP/UNB) — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has written personal messages to women being helped by a charity that seeks to help sex workers break free from prostitution. Prince Harry’s wife took the unusual step of writing the messages on the skins of bananas destined for the food parcels that would be handed out to the women ... Read More »

Mild cold wave starts sweeping across Bangladesh

Dhaka, Jan 29 – The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) on Tuesday forecast mild cold wave in late Magh is likely to sweep over the western parts of the country in the next 72 hours. The mild cold wave may be on the increase for three to four days, said a meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department. The winter season mainly lasts ... Read More »

$4 bn must to protect 41 mn children from conflict, disaster

Tens of millions of children living through conflict, disaster and other emergencies in dozens of countries urgently need protection, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday, in an appeal for $3.9 billion to support its humanitarian work around the world. Speaking in Geneva, the agency’s Director of Emergency Operations, Manuel Fontaine, warned that conflict is at a 30-year high: “There’s ... Read More »

Moving beyond just building toilets

One of the most laudable initiatives of the current government’s regime is the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) that was launched on Oct 2, 2014, with a larger vision of a clean India. The critical aspect of the mission was that—unlike many of the movements that preceded it—this had a measurable outcome (making India open defecation free) and a firm timeline ... Read More »

The movement fighting inequality is growing

The world’s political and economic elites, that will once again gather at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) 22-25 January, have become all too predictable. It’s not difficult to predict what they will say, because they always say what’s in their interests. Read More »

Migrants send record remittance but overall poverty pertains

At the end of this year, migrants will have sent 466 billion dollars to family and friends in their countries of origin. Despite this record amount these remittances have little to no effect on the dire economic state of affairs in those home countries. Earlier this week in Brussels, a group of experts convened to think of ways to make ... Read More »

Peace, stability not possible sans rural development

Rome, 9 November 2018 – At this week’s Paris Peace Forum, Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will ask global leaders to consider the crucial role that increased investment in rural areas of developing countries can play in addressing the root causes of conflicts. Read More »

Two major problems of the world

Shah Abdul Hannan The two greatest problems of the present world are the spread of immorality and poverty of a great number of people. The reason of immorality is lack of faith in the Creator or its absence in practice. Morality does not come from nature. It does not come from atheism also because atheism does not believe in accountability ... Read More »

Bangladesh launches social security strategy action plan

Dhaka: 05 Nov – The Cabinet Division of the government with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Australian Aid, launched the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) Action Plan on 04 November 2018, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) at the National Conference on Social Security Programme. Read More »

Going above and beyond to end poverty

New ways of measuring poverty shed new light on the challenges ahead. The fight to end extreme poverty is revealing a developing dichotomy. On the one hand, extreme poverty continues to be stubborn in certain parts of the world, while in others it has become minuscule or non-existent. In about half of the world’s countries, less than 3 percent of ... Read More »

An HR-based approach to wat-san improves instts for the poor

by Christian Borja-Vega co-authors: Eva Kloeve In our previous blog, we looked at how water and sanitation came to be recognized as a human right, and what that means in practice. Today, we look at how formal and informal institutional practices influence the realization of t he right to water and sanitation, as well as how the World Bank is ... Read More »

Ecuador tightens entry rules for Venezuelan migrants

Ecuador has brought in new rules to stop Venezuelan migrants entering the country without a passport, leaving many stranded in neighbouring Colombia. Thousands of Venezuelans fleeing their country’s economic and political crisis have been crossing into Ecuador from Colombia using only identity cards. Most are heading south to join family members in Peru and Chile. Read More »

Farmer-herder conflicts on the rise in Africa

By Juliana Nnoko-Mewanu Minnesota, United States, Aug 6 2018 (IPS) – Violent clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in June reminded me of a smelting hot afternoon a year ago. I was sitting in my living room watching a herder grazing his cows in my yard in the small town in southwestern Cameroon where I live. Read More »

Will the grass be greener for the workers?

by Kate Holman What are ‘green jobs’? According to the International Labour Organization, they are “decent jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.” Sounds great, but is it a reality? Read More »

Globalization, inequality, convergence, divergence

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jul 26 2018 (IPS) – Economic divergence among countries and regions was never pre-ordained. According to the late cliometrician Angus Madison and other economic historians, the great divergence between the global North and South, between developed and developing countries, began around five centuries ago, from the beginning of the European, particularly Iberian colonial ... Read More »

Bringing informal workers under social protection umbrella

Well-structured and administered social protection programs are both financially feasible and socially and economically beneficial. • Strategies for Providing Social Protection for All • Informal workers dominate Asia’s labour force but most lack social protection. • Delivering effective social protection to informal workers is financially feasible. Read More »