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UN Pleads for Bringing Industry and Sustainability Together

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK, 8 April 2023 (IDN) — Sustainable industrial transformation is essential to close the widening development gap between countries, meet climate targets and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals. The United Nations adopted 17 SDGs with 169 targets in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.


Asia-Pacific: Using Space Applications for Sustainable Development

By Santo D. Banerjee

BANGKOK (IDN) — Ministers and heads of national space agencies endorsed the Jakarta Ministerial Declaration on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific at the close of a high-level meeting co-organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Government of Indonesia.


Is China Pursuing ‘Debt-Trap Diplomacy’ in Africa?

Viewpoint by Allison Lau and Lauren Gonitzke *

This article was produced by Local Peace Economy, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

NEW YORK (IDN) — In mid-December 2021, South African comedian Trevor Noah used “The Daily Show” to target China when he aired a segment titled “Why China Is in Africa”. While this segment was advertised as an informed, nuanced overview of the complex international relationship between China and many African states, it mainly reinforced the debunked myth of “debt-trap diplomacy” to its American audiences, ending with a throwaway line about #StopAsianHate.


New Laos-China Rail Link Opens Up Southeast Asia for Trade and Tourism

By Kalinga Seneviratne

SINGAPORE (IDN) — A new 414 kilometres high-speed rail link between China and Laos has finally opened landlocked mountainous Laos to the region and made it possible for trade and tourism to expand across Southeast Asia. This link has technically facilitated rail travel from China to Singapore, and land-based trade that could make the South China Sea less important for regional trade. (P25) CHINESEJAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN


COVID-19 Shatters Hopes for Industrial Advance in Africa

But the Next Decade Might Trigger the Change Needed

Viewpoint by Jenny Larsen*

VIENNA (IDN) – Industrial development in Africa has been sluggish for some decades. Now, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic kick in, hopes for better progress, at least in the short term, appear to be fading. But if countries grasp the right opportunities, the next decade can deliver the industrial change needed to meet the challenges ahead.


New Report Sparks Anxiety About COVID-19 Wrecking UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | GENEVA (IDN) – UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi has stressed the need to address the frailties of globalization that led to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its uneven economic impacts, gravely wounding the world economy with serious consequences for everyone. He hopes that the situation would prove to be ‘course-altering’ and a catalyst for change. “We need to reshape global production networks and reset multilateral cooperation for the better,” he says.


UN Survey Finds COVID-19 Has Enhanced Online Shopping

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) – “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world. The changes we make now will have lasting effects as the world economy begins to recover,” says Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The acceleration of online shopping globally underscores the urgency of ensuring all countries can seize the opportunities offered by digitalization as the world moves from pandemic response to recovery, he adds. (P19) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | TURKISH


Sustainable Tourism and Fisheries Key to Growth in Post-COVID Pacific

Viewpoint by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

The writer, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

BANGKOK (IDN) – Developing countries of Asia and the Pacific are experiencing unbalanced tolls of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grim milestones in infections and deaths have left countlessly devastated. Yet, we must look at the economic and social impacts in small island developing States (SIDS), where setbacks are likely to undo years of development gains and push many people back into poverty.


COVID-19 Crisis: How South-South Cooperation Can Support Economic Recovery

Viewpoint by Richard Kozul-Wright

The writer is Director of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD.

GENEVA (IDN) – The COVID-19 crisis is stress testing the capacity of governance arrangements to deal with unexpected shocks.

Results point to considerable variation at the national level, but it’s difficult to give anything above a B minus to the response at the multilateral level.

UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report Update sets out how South-South cooperation, though not a substitute for a proper international response to the crisis, can point towards a better future.


Good Health and Unimpeded Global Trade Go Hand in Hand

Viewpoint by Roberto Azevêdo and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Following is the text of a joint statement by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on April 20.

GENEVA (IDN) – COVID-19 has rapidly progressed to become a global pandemic, causing unprecedented, far-reaching impact on the health, social and economic well-being of communities around the world.






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