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SDGs for All - May 2019 In Retrospect

Published by the International Press Syndicate Group
in cooperation with the Global Cooperation Council

Articles in this monthly newsletter
can also be found on our news website IDN-InDepthNews


Ship Strikes Killing Whales That Survived the Hunters

Viewpoint by Michael Fishbach and Dr Palitha Kohona

"Like elephants on land, whales in their watery domain, have claimed our attention now for roughly the same reasons. Ancient, large and driven to the edge of extinction by human greed, we must double our efforts to conserve them," say the authors of this article. Michael Fishbach is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Great Whale Conservancy. Dr Palitha Kohona spent time in Antarctica in the last Antarctic summer.

COLOMBO (IDN) – Although whale numbers around the world appear to be recovering from the carnage that the European and American whalers and sealers inflicted on them, serious concerns remain.

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Asia-Pacific Failing on Achieving Global Development Goals

By Devinder Kumar

NEW DELHI | BANGKOK (IDN) – The leaders and senior government officials, attending the 75th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from May 27 to 31 in Bangkok, have called for efforts to advance equality and empowerment for over four billion people across the region and resolved to strengthen regional cooperation and partnerships towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Supporting Local Energy Access Projects Across East Africa

By Radwan Jakeem

This article is part of reports by the UN SDG Media Compact of which IDN is a member.

NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – UN Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly said that it is time to end the fallacy that subsidizing fossil fuels is a way to improve people’s lives, and has called for the private sector to support the climate agenda.

As an example of how business can support the UN’s climate agenda, Portugal-based utility company EDP (Energias de Portugal) has partnered with the UN-backed Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) initiative to fund sustainable and clean energy projects in east Africa, notably in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi.

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UN Appoints ‘Ebola Chief’ As the Menace of Deadly Virus Grows

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – “We have no time to lose.” That’s the new mantra at the United Nations as the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo now appears almost unstoppable.

In a move to bolster efforts to contain the growing outbreak that has killed more than 1,200 people in 10 months, the United Nations on May 23 named David Gressly as the Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator (EERC).

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Forced Displacement in Africa Not Just a Tale of Human Tragedy

By Sean Buchanan

NEW YORK (IDN) – The estimated 24 million and more Africans who have been forced from their homes in recent years is placing a growing burden on the continent’s economy, environment and communities hosting those displaced.

This was the backdrop to a May 21-23 event held at UN headquarters as part of the Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) focused on finding durable solution for displaced person in Africa. It brought together a wide range of actors with a stake in finding ways to deal with the issue, including representatives of national governments, the African Union, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations.  

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Generation 2030 in the Nordic Countries Tackles SDGs

By Lowana Veal

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – On September 5, 2017 – two years after the United Nations adopted Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets – the Nordic countries jointly launched the Generation 2030 programme with the aim of speeding up implementation of Agenda 2030 through official Nordic cooperation.

A budget of 1.925 million dollars was allocated for the project, which runs until December 2020. (P07) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH

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Ancient Silk Route Hub Gets Ready for Modern Tourism

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BUKHARA, Uzbekistan (IDN) – The city of Bukhara was a major trading hub of the ancient Silk Routes that connected Asia to the Arab world and Europe. With the Uzbekistan government’s lifting of restrictions on foreign tourists in 2016 and global interests on the ancient Silk Routes gathering momentum, this 2000-year-old city is poised to become a major tourist hub of Central Asia.

The city grew up nourished by the merchants that arrived from Persia, India, China and Russia and it was a popular and important resting point in the development of these routes between the 10th and 17th centuries. (P06) ARABIC | CHINESE | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | TURKISH

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Child Hunger Threatens Africa’s Social and Economic Future

By Ronald Joshua

ADDIS ABABA (IDN) – Africa’s future economic and social progress is under threat from alarmingly high levels of child hunger, and the severity and scale of the problem is such that it requires nothing short of a radical and transformative political and economic agenda, according to a new study released at the Eighth International Policy Conference on the African Child.

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Stop Tuvalu and the World from Sinking

By Sean Buchanan

NEW YORK (IDN) – Like many of the world’s low-lying islands, Tuvalu, the South Pacific island whose highest point is less than five metres above the waves, faces the threat of being submerged under rising seas.

“We must stop Tuvalu from sinking and the world from sinking with Tuvalu,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a tweet posted during a recent trip to the South Pacific.

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Cambodia, Recipient in 1993, Gives Back to UN Peacekeeping

By Santo D. Banerjee

NEW YORK | JUBA, South Sudan (IDN) – “Cambodia received peacekeeping troops in 1993, and we feel that we have to contribute in the same way as other countries did when they worked in the UN mission in our country,” remembers Colonel Channy Vongvannak. “So, we understand that countries and people suffer during conflict – and they need help.”

UN peacekeepers from around the world were deployed to Cambodia between February 1992 and September 1993 as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) which was established to ensure implementation of a political settlement of the conflict in the south-east Asian country.

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Deep Sea Marine Science Is Key to Unlocking the Potential of Our Oceans

Viewpoint by Michael W. Lodge and Vladimir Ryabinin

The following is a joint op-ed by Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General of International Seabed Authority, and Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC-UNESCO.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (IDN) – There has never been a time of greater promise or greater challenge for the future of our oceans. This is the topic on everyone’s minds as the international community gathers in Copenhagen (May 13-15) for the first Global Planning Meeting for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

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Finding Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa

By Caroline Mwanga

NEW YORK (IDN) – 'Towards durable solutions for forcibly displaced persons in Africa' is the overarching theme of the African Dialogue Series (ADS 2019) being organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) from May 21 to 23, 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The three-day ADS will coincide with the celebration of Africa Day on May 24, 2019, organized by the AU Permanent Mission to the UN, and the events will feature Member States, the African Union, The United Nations System Entities, Members of the Diaspora, Civil Society (including women and youth groups), Private Sector, Media and Academia as well as development partners.

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Global Festival Looks Beyond Promises of Agenda 2030

By Sean Buchanan

BONN (IDN) – The SDG Global Festival of Action, which takes place in Bonn every year, is an occasion for bringing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) campaigners and multi-stakeholder partners together for inspiring and broadening the global movement to take action for the SDGs.

It provides a dynamic and interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG advocacy and SDG action.

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UN Report Calls for 'Transformative Changes' to Halt Nature’s Dangerous Decline

By Radwan Jakeem

NEW YORK | PARIS (IDN) – UN biodiversity experts have warned in a hard-hitting report into the impact of humans on nature that "the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide" are being eroded. Current efforts to conserve the earth’s resources will likely fail without radical action, said Sir Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

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Not Faith but Manipulation of the Faithful Behind Hate Attacks

By Sean Buchanan

NEW YORK (IDN) – Following a recent series of hate-fuelled attacks on places of worship around the world, a forum on intercultural dialogue was told May 2 that “in all these heinous and cowardly attacks… we see a common pattern: hatred of the ‘other’. These criminals are hijacking entire faith communities, pitting religions against each other.”

Miguel Angel Moratinos, High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations (UNOAC), who was addressing the UN-backed 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku, Azerbaijan, said that the problem is never faith, it is “those who manipulate the faithful and turn them against each other by their perverted interpretations of holy texts.” (P05) HINDI | INDONESIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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International Aid Flows to Southern Africa after Two Devastating Cyclones

By Jeffrey Moyo

HARARE (IDN) – All that she has now is her 12-year old daughter. Her home, and almost all her belongings were destroyed by Cyclone Idai in March. Over a month ago since the tragedy struck, 35-year old Teresa Chizimu who hails from Chikwawa district in Malawi, has sunken deeper and deeper into desperation since she had an encounter with the cyclone.

Not only Chizimu is in this crisis in the southern hemisphere, but also Mozambique’s 71-year old Aderito Abdala from the port city of Beira, is faced with a catastrophic situation, with all his four grandchildren and wife, killed by Cyclone Idai.

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Cyclone Ripped Southern Africa Faces Tough Challenges

By Jeffrey Moyo

CHIMANIMANI, Zimbabwe (IDN) – The cyclone will affect the region for months to come after it impacted key livelihoods of fishing and agriculture in the largely rural region, the World Food Programme (WFP) said commenting the havoc caused by Cyclone Kenneth that struck Mozambique on April 25, nearly five weeks after the Cyclone Idai that lashed Southern Africa.

Some 31,000 hectares (76,600 acres) of crops were lost at the peak of the harvest season. “The area is already very vulnerable to food insecurity,” spokesman Herve Verhoosel said. (P04) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | PORTUGUESE | SWAHILI

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