By Justus Wanzala
STOCKHOLM (IDN) – Rapid population growth in sub-Saharan Africa is leading to increased urbanisation resulting in high volumes of both solid and water waste, and making compliance with sanitation regulations and standards a major issue.
To face up to the challenge, participants in a session on sustainable urban sanitation during the World Water Week conference held in Stockholm, Sweden, from August 28 - September 2 called for a multi-pronged approach involving all stakeholders to achieve the goal of sustainable urban sanitation.
By Sechaba Mokhethi
QACHA’S NEK, Lesotho (IDN) – Mampiti Mohapi, a local chief of very remote Ha Nkoko village, travels ten kilometres every month to receive her antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication to counter human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
She was diagnosed with HIV in 2006 at the age of 62 but was not started on ART treatment immediately because at the time such treatment was not administered to people unless they had a CD4 count of 500 or less, which was not her case.
A CD4 count reports the number of cells in a cubic millimetre of blood, and a normal CD4 count ranges from 500 to 1,500 cells per cubic millimetre.
By Majara Molupe
MASERU (IDN) - The United Nations in Lesotho is set to help the Mountain Kingdom implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular Goal One: End Poverty in all its manifestations, including extreme poverty, over the next 15 years in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda, comprising 17 Goals approved by UN member states on September 25, 2015.
Sylvia Tiisetso Khabele, the UN Volunteer on UN Communications told IDN that the key priorities of the world body's work on SDGs in 2016 include strengthening national capacities and those of the UN system for implementation of the Agenda 2030. (P27) GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF
By Jose Rafael Quesada*
SAN JOSE (IDN) – Costa Rica, a small Central American country with a population of barely 5 million inhabitants, has a high human development index (ranking 69th worldwide) and is considered a consolidated democracy in Latin America.
High investments in education, good development of social security and high levels of openness and competitiveness in international markets make Costa Rica a candidate for membership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (P26) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) - As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's second term comes to an end on December 31, 2016, he has intensified efforts to focus on the concerns and aspirations of world's youth, urging them to lead a global drive to break the patterns of the past and set the world on course to a more sustainable future.
“Young people are directly affected by the tragic contradictions that prevail today: between abject poverty and ostentatious wealth, gnawing hunger and shameful food waste, rich natural resources and polluting industries,” Ban said in his message on International Youth Day, celebrated annually on August 12. (P25) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF
Viewpoint by Pía Figueroa*
SANTIAGO (IDN) – Every year, as they have been doing since 2011, students in Chile take to the streets each Thursday, demanding a free and good quality education system.
They are increasingly being joined by their parents – tired of paying for expensive schooling which is certainly the most expensive in the whole of Latin America – and teachers who leave work to join the students with a call for proper definition of the teaching career. (P24) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH
By Rodrigo Pérez
RIO DE JANEIRO (IDN-INPS) – Beneath the glitz and glamour, the Samba and Rio’s Carnival-like atmosphere, this year’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony showcased the most impossible sounding dream of all – Africa’s Great Green Wall.
The initiative started a decade ago. Once completed it will be the largest man-made structure on Earth and a new Wonder of the World.
The progress made shows that land restoration efforts on a mass scale are both possible and offer hope. Senegal has already planted 12 million trees, Ethiopia has restored 15 million hectares of degraded land and Nigeria has created 20,000 jobs in rural areas.
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned about the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) facing "a desperate funding shortfall" and has asked Governments to help achieve a funding target of $300 million at its pledging conference in September.
The Fund was established in 2005 through resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council to stand alongside the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and "support activities, actions, programmes and organizations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict".
Analysis by Dr Palitha Kohona
Ambassador Dr Palitha Kohona is former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York- He chaired the negotiations on the Colombo Declaration on Youth.
COLOMBO (IDN) - On July 15, the United Nations observed the UN World Youth Skills Day designated by the General Assembly to highlight the need to rapidly develop marketable youth skills. On the same day, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released the World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement. There were many events held around the world to mark this special day.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
SYDNEY (IDN) - Screening of secretly filmed shocking footage of abuse of juvenile prisoners in a remote northern Australian prison by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC), renowned investigative reporting program ‘Four Corners’, has outraged thousands of Australians who took to the streets to protest and forced the government to act.
The video material filmed between 2010 and 2014 at the Don Dale youth detention centre in the Northern Territory in Australia and screened on July 25 has drawn comparisons to the treatment of prisoners in the notorious prisons run by the U.S. government in Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.