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African Climate Change Summit 2019

Women - 16. Oktober 2019 - 8:04
African Climate Change Summit 2019

Call for proposals for the Climate Change Summit – Africa, Accra – 16-17-18 October 2019!

Since the Climate urgency is more pressing than ever and that the States pledges are insufficient, it is absolutely necessary to raise ambition and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, by bringing together a large network of Subnational Governments and Non-State Actors and by anchoring the implementation of concrete climate actions at the local level. Local authorities, businesses, NGOs, trade unions, scientists, representatives from agricultural, youth, women and indigenous organisations, educators, citizens, you are invited to submit your initiatives to feed the work of the Climate Chance Summit Africa that will take place in October 2019.

We invite you to take part in this call for proposals if you are leading initiatives corresponding to one of the 9 themes:
Access to climate finance in Africa
Developing African cities in a sustainable way
Agriculture, food and reforestation in Africa
Renewable energy and energy efficiency in Africa
Mobility and sustainable transport in Africa
Adaptation and Water in Africa
Sustainable Building and Construction in Africa
Education and Training on Climate Change in Africa
Circular economy in Africa

The selected initiatives will be presented during the thematic workshops at the Climate Chance Summit – Africa taking place in Accra from the 16th to 18th October 2019 and/or will be published on the Cartography for action.

To contribute: Submit your initiatives by May 31st, 2019 ! access here 

Kategorien: english

Financing the future of the Belt and Road in Africa

ODI - 20. September 2019 - 0:00
This event focuses on the future of Sino-African development relations, in particular the Belt and Road Initiative in the East African context.
Kategorien: english

Events

ODI - 12. September 2019 - 0:00
ODI events – often hosted at our London HQ and streamed to a global audience – bring together the world’s most influential thinkers to discuss the critical issues of our time.
Kategorien: english

Accelerating economic transformation in Africa

ODI - 12. September 2019 - 0:00
This discussion explores the approaches and strategies to economic transformation in East Africa.
Kategorien: english

IISD 2019: Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW)

Women - 2. September 2019 - 19:27
IISD 2019: Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW)

APCW is part of Regional Climate Weeks that are held annually in AfricaLatin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Asia-Pacific. Regional Climate Weeks are organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP), which supports developing countries in preparing and implementing their NDCs. The events’ global partners are the UNFCCC, Word Bank, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Partnership with the Technical University of Denmark (UNEP-DTU Partnership), Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). Regional partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Africa, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in LAC and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Asia-Pacific”.

Dates: 2-6 September 2019
Location: Bangkok (Krung Thep), Thailand

Access the schedule here.

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Today is World Humanitarian Day. Here’s What that Means

UN Dispatch - 19. August 2019 - 13:03

It’s World Humanitarian Day, and this year, the UN is highlighting the hard work and sacrifice of tens of thousands of women humanitarian aid workers in crises around the world.

According to the UN, there are about 250,000 women aid workers globally, who make up more than 40 percent of all humanitarian workers. Their efforts are particularly valuable as reports have found that women and children bear the brunt of the consequences of disasters, conflicts and displacement.

“Their presence makes aid operations more effective by increasing their reach,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message.

But being a humanitarian has become increasingly dangerous, despite international laws prohibiting attacks on aid workers. According to a recent report by Humanitarian Outcomes, 2018 was second worst year on record for aid worker security: 405 aid workers – most of whom were nationals of the countries where they work – were killed, wounded or kidnapped in 226 separate attacks that year.

Those risks are exactly why the UN commemorates World Humanitarian Day every year on August 19. On this day in 2003, terrorists attacked the UN headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22 aid workers. Among them were nine Iraqi citizens as well as the UN’s top representative in Iraq, Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello, the who formerly served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Since the month of that attack, more than 4,500 aid workers have been killed, injured, detained, assaulted or kidnapped while on the job, the UN reports. In 2008, the UN officially named August 19 as World Humanitarian Day. Every year, the UN uses the occasion to advocate for the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers, as well as for the people humanitarians are helping in crises.

With this year’s focus on women, the UN will be telling the stories of 24 women humanitarians over the course of 24 hours. Most of these women are from the countries in which they work, making them among the humanitarians who face the highest risks.

The Humanitarian Outcomes report found that while national staff have always outnumbered international staff as victims of violence, they are now also experiencing higher fatality rates. This reflects how aid in high-risk areas is increasingly carried out by locals. When violent incidents occur, international staff are usually sent home. Meanwhile, local staff often stay to continue delivering aid in the world’s most dangerous places.

Women also face a higher risk of sexual assualt, robbery and other forms of violence, according to the UN. Sexual violence, in particular, is challenging – and critical – to tackle because it is “virtually the only type of violent threat to aid workers where perpetrators may be inside as well as outside the organization,” Humanitarian Outcomes reports.

Last year, revelations that Oxfam staff paid prostitutes for sex in 2011 set off an avalanche of stories about sexual harassment and abuse by aid workers in various organizations against both the people they were supposed to help as well as their colleagues. The movement has been dubbed #AidToo.

According to the Humanitarian Outcomes report, open and explicit conversations about consent, sexual misconduct and abuse don’t occur enough in aid orgnaizations because of “discomfort with the subject and gender dynamics within field teams.” This has also contributed to organizational cultures that are permissive of sexual harassment and misconduct, which discourage survivors from reporting incidents and increase the risk of even worse sexual violence.

That’s why the report calls on organizations to improve and increase reporting to better understand and address the problem. UK lawmakers in another report recently also called on governments to increase pressure on each other to end violence against humanitarian workers. Regardless of whether the threat is from perpetrators inside an aid organization or outside, aid workers, like the civilians they serve, have a right to safety and security under international law.

The post Today is World Humanitarian Day. Here’s What that Means appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Taxing mobile phone transactions in Africa: Lessons from Kenya

INCLUDE Platform - 19. August 2019 - 12:11

Taxation on mobile phone-based transactions and on airtime has  been introduced in Kenya and is spreading to other African countries. Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa view mobile phones as a booming subsector easy to tax due to the increasing turnover of transactions and the formal nature of such transactions by both formal and informal enterprises. The increasing tax burden on the subsector and the consumers, though, has raised concerns that the massive gains made in financial inclusion in developing countries made possible by retail electronic payments platform via mobile phone transactions may be reversed—resulting in a return to cash transactions.

In addition to a 2003 excise tax on airtime, since 2013, Kenya has introduced and reworked taxes on goods such as mobile phones, computer hardware, software, and, more recently, retail financial transactions. The most recent adjustments in taxation in the Finance Act 2018 increased the excise tax on money transfer services by banks from 10 percent to 20 percent, on telephone services (airtime) from 10 percent to 15 percent, on mobile phone-based financial transactions from 10 percent to 12 percent, and introduced a 15 percent excise tax on internet data services and fixed-line telephone services.

This paper shows that taxation on mobile phone airtime and financial transactions may not expand the tax base significantly but, rather, may reverse the gains on retail electronic payments and financial inclusion. A higher tax rate on low-level retail electronic transactions mostly levied on low-income earners that are sensitive to transaction costs may discourage the use of mobile phone-based transactions, incentivizing them to revert to cash transactions to evade taxes and so less tax revenue. This trend will deal a big blow to the financial inclusion success witnessed so far.

Poorly designed tax policy will have poor outcomes on tax revenue and market distortions will drive consumption behavior on an undesired path, so any future review of excise tax rates on airtime and financial services should be preceded with a thorough analysis of optimal taxation excise taxes, the likely change in behavior around financial services, and, above all, the marginal contribution to the tax effort that policy aims to raise. The data so far available shows that the contribution of mobile money-related taxes is less than 1 percent of total tax revenue, a negligible contribution to Kenya’s total tax income, at high economic costs. These lessons are not just relevant for Kenya but also for other countries in Africa with such tax propositions. Introducing and increasing taxes on mobile phone transactions may risk stalling progress on digitization and fiscal policy design as well as revenue administration.

This article and policy brief is a republication of a Brookings Institution news article; find the original post here or download the policy brief.

The post Taxing mobile phone transactions in Africa: Lessons from Kenya appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

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Twitter chat: the risks and rewards for women in humanitarian aid

ODI - 19. August 2019 - 0:00

Aid work can be thrilling and rewarding but it can also be a frustrating and dangerous line of work. Conditions are tough, trauma is pervasive and it can be a struggle to maintain a personal life.

From tackling issues of safeguarding, pay gaps, operating in traditionally male-dominated societies and dealing with cultural perceptions in response, life for female humanitarians can be challenging.

On World Humanitarian Day we discuss these issues with perspectives from a range of humanitarians around the world. Join the chat by following @hpg_odi and using the hashtag #WHD2019

Kategorien: english

Last Stand for the Garden of Eden

#ALERT - 16. August 2019 - 23:26

The riot of roads exploding across our planet—bringing with it tsunamis of habitat destruction and biodiversity loss—at times seems almost unstoppable. 

But there are some places so special, such as Manu National Park in Peru, that they should remain free of the Pandora’s box of disruption that roads bring. 

The most biodiverse place on Earth

To wake at dawn under the forest canopy in Manu National Park is to experience Life.  Every niche, nook, and cranny is filled with it. 

The deep chorus of howler monkeys in morning pounds through your chest.  Over 800 species of birds fill the trees.  Alligator-like caiman roar in the oxbow lakes, while endangered giant otters gather in playful gangs. 

Jaguars are almost common here—some 6,000 of the giant cats are thought to prowl about the Park—and are one of 13 different cat species in this global biodiversity hotspot that just might be the most profound expression of life on Earth.

Manu National Park is the glistening gem in Peru’s protected area network.  The 1.7-million-hectare World Heritage site in the Texas-sized province of Madre de Dios (“Mother of God” in Spanish), is the only park in South America that protects the entire watershed of a major Amazonian tributary, from the high Andes to the Amazonian lowlands. 

No roads run through it…

Travel within Manu is by boat or by foot. Uncontacted indigenous people still live there despite the depredations a century ago by a wealthy rubber baron, Carlos Fitzcarrald.  

With no access to Manu, Fitzcarrald dismantled an entire steamship and had it portaged through 12 kilometers of unchartered rainforest to the Manu watershed—in the process killing hundreds of indigenous people.  The survivors fled and their decedents remain in voluntary isolation today as uncontacted peoples. 

Still no road runs through Manu.  But that could soon change.

Until now

A new road is being built illegally to the mouth of the Manu River.  This will sweep to the notorious, illegal gold mining fields near Boca Colorado—an environmental and social travesty so bad it drew the ire of Pope Francis.  In a 2018 visit to the region, he decried the illegal gold miners and their “devastating assault on life”. 

Mining, illegal loggers, and “agro-industrial monocultivation,” the Pope said, all threaten territories where indigenous people live.  These activities follow roads that slice and dice Earth’s ecosystems. 

Nothing on Earth rivals road-building as a threat to nature.  Not even climate change.

The road to Manu began encroaching on the region in the 1960s.  It left the adjacent forest in tatters from illegal logging and wildlife poaching—with thousands of giant otters, jaguars, and black caiman killed annually. 

Despite some setbacks, the fatal road’s expansion continues. Politicians with ties to illegal gold mining are pushing it hard.  And the governor of Madre de Dios, himself a former illegal miner, clamors for the road—now a mere 100 kilometers away from the mouth of the Manu River.

By hook or—more likely—by corrupt crook, this road will continue to assault Eden unless the world wakes up and acts decisively. If completed, it is expected to cause the loss of over 43,000 hectares of rainforest—the equivalent of 100,000 football fields.

The illusion of economic growth

The road is popular with local villagers because of the high cost of boat transport and the allure of quick economic growth. 

But just scratching the surface reveals an alternative truth.  Just take the section of the road that has been there for 30 years.  It has led to negligible economic progress.  Any wealth generated by illegal resource extraction has bled to outsiders.  

Elsewhere in the world, poorly planned roads in remote regions have to led, not to economic growth, but to increased local poverty as outside encroachers and foreign investors gobble up most of the profits.

This is a knife

As tragic as the Manu Road is, it is a mere scratch compared to the horrendous damage that will be inflicted by the newly approved Iñapari-Puerto Esperanza road on the northern boundary of Manu. 

Approved a month before the visit of the Pope, this 277 kilometer-long road will slice straight through one of the greatest untamed rainforest tracts in the world, centered on Alto Purus National Park. 

Using estimates of forest loss from the nearby Inter-Oceanic Highway in Peru (itself an economic and environmental disaster), the Iñapari-Puerto Esperanza road will destroy an incredible 275,000 hectares of primary forest. 

Renowned ecologist John Terborgh, a member of ALERT, with 40 years of experience in Madre de Dios, says it might cost 100 times less to buy out the 1,200 or so residents of Puerto Esperanza and set them up with stately homes in the city, than to construct this deadly road. 

Why build it?  Beyond its catastrophic environmental impacts, the road will likely destroy some of the last uncontacted tribes in Earth, and will have dubious economic benefits for locals.  

What the road does do, however, is benefit a tiny number of corrupt opportunists—illegal loggers, miners, land speculators, and the like.

Hell on Earth

The terrible irony is that an economy based on sustainable use could be in reach for Peru, particularly as it strives to meet its Paris climate targets largely based on zero-eforestation promises.  

But land-use zoning plans are ignored, and the Madre de Dios region remains lawless.  Indigenous leaders, ready to take on the mantel of sustainability and with a global track record for protecting life, describe the current situation as hell on Earth.

ALERT often decries the calamity of road building in wild areas.  But there is no greater travesty than that taking place right now in Peru’s Amazonian Garden of Eden.

Kategorien: english

A heartfelt sermon

D+C - 16. August 2019 - 10:41
Ed Husain’s book “The house of Islam” contains important insights, but it is not the “global history” the subtitle promises

Husain correctly writes that the fundamentalist version of Sunni Islam, which is promoted by Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabis, is a perversion of the faith. It has spawned Salafism as well as the terrorism of Al Qaida and ISIS. The Wahhabi’s focus on strictly literal interpretations of the Scriptures neglects their meaning and moral substance. Dress codes, for example, serve the purpose of fostering a sense of equality and modesty among the faithful, and are not even spelled out in detail in Quran. Husain finds the idea absurd that people today should be required to wear exactly the kind of clothes that the prophet and his followers wore in the 7th century.

While the Quran provides basic guidelines for social life, it leaves ample room for interpretation and adaptation to local contexts and conventions. This adaptability of Islamic law (sharia) is an important reason why this religion became important from Morocco to Indonesia. Throughout history, Islamic law scholars engaged in intense debate on how to apply the religious norms to changing realities. They did their best to make sense of the rules, and rational arguments were not only accepted, but welcomed. The diverging schools did not strive to apply the principles as literally as possible but wanted to serve society well. As Husain insists, an enlightened, modernised interpretation of the faith is indeed possible on this basis.

While Christian Europe historically did not accept Islam as a valid religion, Jewish and Christian minorities were tolerated in North Africa and the Middle East for centuries. Husain is right to point out that Islam is traditionally the less repressive religion. The kind of violence perpetrated by ISIS and other terrorist outfits today is not how Muslim empires were run in the past.

In Husain’s eyes, Wahhabi-inspired extremism has gained far too much influence. Such radicalism thrives on both the indulgence of Muslim communities and the vehement rejection from the Western public. The more Islamist extremists are ostracised by the West, the more attractive they look to frustrated Muslim youth, as the author knows from personal experience. He is a British Muslim who fell for Sunni Islamism in his youth but then went on to study Arabic and theology, developing a more sophisticated and less dogmatic understanding of his faith. He now wants Muslim scholars to take a determined stance against Wahhabism.

At the same time, Husain warns that Western ignorance is dangerous. The failure to understand the basics of Muslim mindsets has repeatedly led to policy failure and resulted in the escalation of crises. In his view, for example, the Muslim Brothers, whose ideas of Islamist politics is not rooted in Wahhabism, have the potential of becoming something akin to Europe’s Christian Democrats. However, the latter are unable to tap this potential as they normally fail to even see it.

Indeed, the Muslim Brother’s Tunisian branch is currently a moderate conservative force. Their party Ennahda has accepted the country’s pluralist constitution and is sharing power in a coalition government. Its leaders state that they are “Muslim Democrats”. Souad Abderrahim, the female mayor of Tunis, is an Ennahda politician. She proves that women can assume roles of leadership in Islamic contexts. It is too early, however, to tell whether Ennahda has truly become the equivalent of European Christian Democrats. Turkey’s AKP, which for a long time seemed to be developing in that direction too, has become a thoroughly authoritarian entity in recent years, which is something Husain should, but does not acknowledge.

Western policy makers, unfortunately, all too often do not know the difference between diverging Islam-inspired political groups. Many of them still fail to see how dysfunctional their alliance with the Gulf monarchies has been. Depending on oil from the Arab Peninsula, they turned a blind eye to the disruptive impact that fundamentalist missionaries had – and have - on the traditionally far more tolerant Muslim societies. Those missionaries depend on money from Saudi Arabia and its neighbours. In a similar vein, it is worth considering what the state of the world might be in today, had the USA invested some $ 2 trillion in promoting democracy and private-sector development in peaceful countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) instead of waging war on Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Husain argues that no other world region is culturally and linguistically as homogenous as the MENA region. But even though the preconditions for pooling sovereignty are thus in place, no other world region is less integrated in political or economic terms. The author states that the region would do well to establish a MENA union according to the EU model. That idea makes sense in principle, but Husain should acknowledge that it is entirely utopian at this point in history. Tunisia is the only democracy in the Arab world. The violence that is tearing apart Syria, results from deep divisions that mark other countries of the region as well.

While Husain spells conveys many important insights, his book is unfortunately not a sober-minded analysis of Muslim history and the current state of MENA affairs. He would have done well to tell readers the sources of the vast socio-economic data he uses. Instead, he basically only indicates sources that refer to theological issues.

To a large extent, Husain is a true believer who is preaching his version of his faith. Wishful thinking blurs his assessment of reality. Muslims are not the coherent community he claims they are – and that is one reason why there is not even an inkling of the MENA union he would like to see established. Yes, he does elaborate on the historical schism between Shias and Sunnis, but he consistently downplays the relevance of Shia Islam. He does a good job of dissecting the shortcomings of Wahhabism, but pays hardly any attention to Shia fundamentalism, which is dangerous too. He consistently refers to the Sunni dominated Ottoman and Mughal as examples of Muslim rule, but does not elaborate the similarly impressive history of Iran’s Shia dynasties.

While Husain’s book provides useful insights into the complexity of Muslim thought, readers will do well to cross-check what he writes with other sources. It is actually not quite clear who his target audience is: to some extent, he seems to be arguing with fellow Muslims about how to deal with Wahhabism, but other parts of the book read as though he intended to write a primer introducing western readers to the history of Islam. In my eyes, he serves the first target group well, but the second would deserve a more neutral assessment.

A good book to complement Husain’s work is Karen Armstrong’s “Islam – a short history”. It was first published in 2000 and offers a coherent overview – from the times of the prophet to the turn of the millennium. Armstrong discusses the schisms that affected this faith and elaborates diligently what empires were ruled by Sunnis as well as Shia leaders. Her assessment of recent fundamentalisms differs from Husain’s because the former Catholic nun puts it into the context of religious fundamentalisms in general.

A shortcoming is certainly that Armstrong does not pay Wahhabism much attention. The reason is certainly that she wrote her book before Al Quaeda attacked New York and Washington in 2001. Al Quaeda and ISIS are rooted in Wahhabi ideology.  

 

Reference

Husain, E., 2018: The house of Islam. A global history. London, Bloomsbury.
Armstrong, K., 2000: Islam – A short history. New York, Modern Library Chronicles.

Kategorien: english

India in Africa: serving both profit and wider purpose

Simon Maxwell - 16. August 2019 - 10:05

India in Africa: serving both profit and wider purpose

 

 

 

A version of this article was first published in August 2019 in India Global Business Magazine, published by India Inc. See here.

Gather Indian private sector leaders together in one place and it is easy to be impressed: by the size of the businesses, the pace of innovation, and the speed of growth.  This was certainly the case at the India Inc Leaders’ Summit, held in the UK in June.

The traditional theory of the firm sees business as existing mainly to reduce transactions costs or manage uncertainty: in short, to make money. In the best cases, however, the Indian private sector can serve wider objectives: to create jobs and secure livelihoods, support social action, and protect the environment.

These benefits are of value to India. Can they be cemented into best practice? And, as Indian business takes an increasingly global perspective, can there also be benefits for other regions? India, after all, is a large recipient of foreign direct investment, but also, these days, a large provider:  $US 11bn in 2018, according to UNCTAD.

Africa can provide a test bed of Indian business commitment to both profit and wider purpose. It is rich in people and natural resources, and home to several of the world’s fastest growing economies, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire, all growing at more than 6% per year. At the same time, Africa has the largest current and prospective shortfall in basic development indicators: more than 400 million people living in absolute poverty, a third of children stunted by malnutrition, and a disproportionate share of the population affected by conflict, climate stress and natural disaster. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is a challenge which needs all hands on deck.

India is already the tenth largest investor in Africa. Much of this turns out to be in Mauritius, for complex tax reasons, apparently; but careful work by Malanka Chakrabarty for ORF shows that total investment in other countries during the period 2008-16 amounted to $US 5bn. She estimates that nearly 600 companies are involved.

The potential to grow is large, not just in the natural resource sectors which currently dominate, but also in manufacturing and services. Africa is undergoing economic transformation, offering many new opportunities. However, what principles should govern Indian investment in Africa? And what should Africa ask of Indian partners? There are three options.

The first option is just to hope for the best. African countries should encourage Indian investment, and hope that a sense of corporate social responsibility will drive a commitment to the SDGs and to high social and environmental standards. Maybe. But experience around the world suggests that is a high risk strategy. Not all businesses hold themselves accountable for taxes paid, safety standards maintained, or the environment protected.

The second option, then, is for Africa to set standards it expects its foreign investors to uphold. Perhaps it can work with Indian and other foreign investors to set these standards? Or, Africa and India can use existing frameworks as a starting point.

For example, the UN Global Compact is described as the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with 10,000 company participants from 161 countries. They all subscribe to ten core principles (Box 1), including the protection of human rights, the elimination of discrimination in employment, and a precautionary approach to the environment. There is also a strong injunction to work against corruption in all its forms. The Compact has 315 active business participants in India, compared to 282 in China, 827 in Brazil, and over 1000 in large European economies like France and Spain. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other possibilities include adopting the Equator Principles, used by 97 financial institutions in 37 countries to manage social and environmental risk in project finance: the IDFC First Bank is the only Indian signatory. Or Africa could encourage inward investors to become B-Corps (Box 2), committed to the principle that ‘all business should be conducted as if people and place matter’ and that ‘through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all’. There are only three Indian businesses so far that currently subscribe to the B-Corps standards for accountability and transparency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third option is for Africa and India to work with others in developing new business opportunities, and simultaneously set high standards to which all will adhere. This might be of particular interest to a country like the UK, with strong historical and economic ties in both India and Africa, a strong focus on inclusive economic development in its overseas programmes – and in search of new global partnerships in what looks increasingly likely to become a post-Brexit world. Interestingly, the new UK development minister, Alok Sharma, wrote in 2016 that

‘ . . . liberalism and globalisation . .  have lifted millions out of poverty, broken down barriers between nations and people and strengthened the rules based international system on which we all depend for our security and prosperity. . . (But) while the tide of globalisation has carried many with it, it has also left others trailing in its wake. . . (So) we must also recognise that some things have to change. . .  to support successful businesses while at the same time encouraging them to support a successful society. A society that works for everyone.’

Governments indeed have a role: to set and oversee the rules and standards, but also to provide the public goods which underpin a successful and inclusive private sector: infrastructure, property rights, an effective legal system, well-functioning markets, and, importantly, support to the research and development which underpin innovation.

A partnership between India and Africa, with the involvement of the UK, could deliver all of these. The partnership could support investment, for example by investment promotion agencies working together, or by facilitating credit. There could be new research, linking universities, research centres and think-tanks in different countries.  There could be joint political initiatives, for example on trade facilitation or climate targets. Indeed, the UK’s Department for International Development is supporting an India-UK Global Partnership Programme along these lines.

Renewable energy could be a focus, building for example on the impetus of the International Solar Alliance, launched by Narendra Modi in 2015. 

More generally, climate change could be a candidate, covering mitigation efforts like solar, but also adaptation and wider economic transformation: an approach we have termed climate compatible development. It is notable that the UK Government is leading on climate resilience at the climate summit in September 2019 – and that the UK is hoping to host the landmark climate talks in 2020.

There are other candidates: a personal favourite is development of the food industry, to secure healthy and sustainable diets in rapidly urbanising environments. Delhi, for example, already has a population of around 24 million, enough to make it the 55th largest country in the world, and with a food system ready for rapid modernisation. African cities face a similar challenge, and the UK has extensive experience.

The Kigali Global Dialogue, an annual discussion forum jointly hosted by Rwandan and Indian partners, also identifies public health, education and technology as sectors of future cooperation.

Kategorien: english

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Harrowing terrorist survivors’ stories, children first in Mediterranean rescues, Yemen and Switzerland updates, new SDG Advocates speak out

UN #SDG News - 15. August 2019 - 21:23
Our main stories today: Boko Haram terrorist survivors tell their stories; UNICEF speaks out for children adrift on the Mediterranean; UN health agency pushes to stem dengue fever in Yemen; Switzerland declines sponsorship deal with tobacco firm; new SDG Advocates on the job.
Kategorien: english

War Crimes and Ethnic Cleansing Were Committed Against the Rohingya of Myanmar. They Deserve Justice. But How?

UN Dispatch - 15. August 2019 - 16:59

In August 2017, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar fled across the border to Bangladesh. The Rohingya are a minority population that have long faced discrimination by the Buddhist Burmese majority. In the summer of 2017, things got very bad, very quickly.

A Rohingya militant group attacked some police outposts in Myanmar. The government and military responded by attacking Rohingya towns and villages, unleashing massive violence against a civilian population. This drove over 600,000 Rohingya to refugee camps in a region of Bangladesh known as Cox’s Bazar.

Some 700,000 Rohingya refugees remain there to this day.

The violence that drove these people from their home was certainly a crime against humanity — a UN official called it “a text book example of an ethnic cleansing.”  It could also have been a genocide.

That of course demands the question: who will pay for these crimes? What does accountability look like in a situation like this? And can perpetrators of these crimes even be brought to justice in the first place?

On the line with me to discuss these questions in the context of the current plight of the Rohingya refugees is Param-Preet Singh, Associate Director, International Justice Program of Human Rights Watch.

We kick off discussing the events of August 2017 before having a longer conversation about possible avenues for justice for these crimes.

Get the Global Dispatches Podcast Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  Stitcher  | Google Play Music​  | Radio Public

This episode pairs well with my conversation last week with former Obama administration official Ben Rhodes, who discusses the fall from grace of Aung San Suu Kyi, the nobel peace prize winner who was the de-facto head of state of Myanmar while these crimes against humanity occurred–and who remained a notably silent bystander to ethnic cleansing. 

 

The post War Crimes and Ethnic Cleansing Were Committed Against the Rohingya of Myanmar. They Deserve Justice. But How? appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Are we suffering from obsessive measurement disorder?

ODI - 15. August 2019 - 0:00
More data doesn’t necessarily mean we make better decisions. It often means just having more data that is not used.
Kategorien: english

Gender equality, education and the environment at the forefront of new SDG Advocate campaigns

UN #SDG News - 14. August 2019 - 15:00
Back in May, six innovative public figures joined the battle to push the world towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each of the new official SDG Advocates committed themselves to pursue the 17 goals on behalf of “peace, prosperity, people, planet, and partnerships.” As we inch closer to the SDG Summit in September, UN News caught up with some of them.
Kategorien: english

14.08.2019 "More involvement in Africa is in Germany's interest" says Minister Müller on his way to visit Central and East Africa

German BMZ - 14. August 2019 - 13:00
Development Minister Gerd Müller left today for Central and East Africa. Key topics during his visits to Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya will be investment support, the fight against pandemics as well as climate and environmental protection. "Climate action, raw materials, investments to create more jobs – these are some of the issues that are of great public concern to us in Germany but are likely to be determined in Africa", said Minister Müller before ...
Kategorien: english

Learning in nature, green building and sustainable action

GIZ Germany - 14. August 2019 - 3:49
: Wed, 07 Aug 2019 HH:mm:ss
Green building – GIZ’s Campus Kottenforst in Bonn wins award for its sustainable construction methods.
Kategorien: english

Searching for Mexico’s disappeared

GIZ Germany - 14. August 2019 - 3:49
: Thu, 01 Aug 2019 HH:mm:ss
Mexico is in the midst of a security and justice crisis, with thousands of people forcibly disappeared and many others seemingly immune from prosecution, even for the most serious crimes. International partners are supporting efforts to find and identify victims.
Kategorien: english

Sri Lanka: Looking back and to the future

GIZ Germany - 14. August 2019 - 3:49
: Tue, 16 Apr 2019 HH:mm:ss
Ten years after the end of the civil war, coming to terms with events and the reconciliation process remain key issues. A touring exhibition has now been launched to help explain the past.
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