26 June 2009
(GENEVA – NEW YORK) The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Mr. Olivier De Schutter, calls on decision-makers gathering in New York for the UN Conference on World Financial and Economic Crisis not to forget the global food prices crisis. This crisis is continuing in many countries. It is connected not only with the financial and economic crises, but also with the climatic/environmental crisis. Continue reading
“The world’s poorest nations are making halting progress in water, but little or no tangible improvement in sanitation — two of the basic necessities of life. The U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, which seek to reduce extreme poverty and hunger by 50 percent by 2015, has also set a target of halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation.
But this goal may never be reached unless at least 10 billion dollars are invested every year, through 2015, to improve sanitation worldwide, according to the Stockholm International Water Institute. It is hard for policy makers and opinion leaders to imagine how unsafe — not to mention embarrassing — it is to relieve oneself in public, in the middle of the street, or for women in rural areas waiting for sunset to find a bush or faraway field, with high risks of physical assault or rape.”
Full story: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=43595
Lloyd Axworthy , Winnipeg, Canada | Sat, 07/05/2008 12:21 PM | Opinion
Overshadowed by news of catastrophic food shortages in many parts of the world, natural disasters in Burma and China, and rising gas prices, was the release of a report by a United Nations-sponsored commission that offers a refreshing set of proposals to deal with the grinding reality of poverty, which afflicts two-thirds of the world’s population.
The report’s focus is not another call for more foreign aid, a demand for revision of trade policies or a radical push to foster confrontation between the developed and developing worlds. Rather, the report on The Legal Empowerment of The Poor makes the singular point that if the poor are empowered to exercise basic legal rights, they can and will be the agency of their own poverty reduction.
Full recognition of legal identity, assured access to the courts, basic labor protection, the right to own property and the rule of law to prevent exploitation by the powerful are vital tools to enable the poor to realize their full potential. Continue reading
by Esther Vivas
Today humanity produces three times what was produced in the 1960s, while the population has only doubled. There is no production crisis in agriculture, but the impossibility of accessing food by large populations who cannot pay current prices. The solution cannot be more free trade.
The high level summit of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations held in Rome on Food Security ended on June 5th. The conclusions of the gathering do not indicate a change in the policy trends which have been in force these last years and which have led to the current situation. The declarations of good intentions made by various governments and the promises of millions of euros to end hunger in the world are not capable of ending the structural causes that have generated this crisis. On the contrary, the proposals made by the general secretary of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, to increase food production by 50% and to eliminate the export limits imposed by some of the countries affected, only reinforce the root causes of this crisis rather than addressing and guaranteeing the food security of the majority of the people in the global South. Continue reading
* UNDP report says small-scale corruption limits poor’s access to education and basic health services
* Says natural resources being destroyed by illegal activity
JAKARTA: A few hundred baht here, a few thousand rupees there – a major United Nations report released on Thursday said “petty corruption” is a massive drain on Asian economic growth and hits the poor hardest.
The sort of bribes many Asians pay as a matter of course are worsening child mortality rates and perpetuating poverty across the region, the report said.
“Petty corruption is a misnomer,” said Anuradha Rajivan, who led the team that compiled the UN Development Programme (UNDP) report, titled “Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives”.
“Dollar amounts may be relatively small but the demands are incessant, the number of people affected is enormous and the share of poor people’s income diverted to corruption is high,” she said, adding that too much attention focused on the “big fish” in anti-corruption drives and not on the low-level vice that affects countless Asians daily.
“Hauling the rich and powerful before the courts may grab headlines but the poor will benefit more from efforts to eliminate the corruption that plagues their everyday lives,” she said. Continue reading
By Dr Rubina Saigol
ONE has suspected for a long time that the so-called ‘international community’ is a major global myth that serves to cover up a lot that needs to be revealed.
Generally it is believed that the ‘international community’ consists of the different countries of the world with the UN as their embodiment and a reflection of their aspirations.
It is also commonly assumed that the ‘international community’ is a moral space – a space that represents international human rights norms, standards and values to which the individual countries are expected to conform. There is also an unspoken assumption of the equality of nations and of shared values, principles and beliefs.Upon closer examination, however, one finds that the so-called ‘international community’ does not seem to conform to any of the standards and values associated with it. More often than not, the term ‘international community’ is a euphemism for the United States and its allies. The assumption of equality falls apart as soon as one realises that this ‘community’ follows mostly US dictates and chastises and affirms nations, countries and governments according to the extent to which they toe the US line. Continue reading
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