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For Africa, ‘winds of hope are blowing ever stronger,’ Guterres declares at conference on development

UN ECOSOC - 28. August 2019 - 19:20
African nations have made ‘significant progress’ in developmental efforts in the last few years, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday, kicking off the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), taking place in Yokohama.
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What’s Behind the Protests in Kashmir?

UN Dispatch - 28. August 2019 - 16:39

Ed note. This op-ed, from Sumit Ganguly of Indiana University, is cross posted with permission from The Conversation

India recently enacted a law which will end a special autonomous status given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, known in the West as simply “Kashmir.”

Amit Shah, India’s minister for home affairs, announced in Parliament that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was revoking Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in the name of bringing prosperity to the region.

Since 1954, this article has governed federal relations between India and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state.

I’m a scholar of South Asian politics and have written extensively on the evolution of the India-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir.

Article 370 is woven into that history.

History of Kashmir’s autonomy

Article 370 originated in the particular circumstances under which the former prince and last ruler of Kashmir acceded to India shortly after the partition of the British Indian Empire into the independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947.

The prince, or maharaja, agreed to have Kashmir become part of India under duress. His rule was threatened by an insurrection supported by Pakistan.

Article 370 was designed to guarantee the autonomy of the Muslim majority state, the only one in predominantly Hindu India. The clause effectively limited the powers of the Indian government to the realms of defense, foreign affairs and communications. It also permitted the Kashmiri state to have its own flag and constitution.

More controversially, Article 370 prohibited non-Kashmiris from purchasing property in the state and stated that women who married non-Kashmiris would lose their inheritance rights.

Changes over time

But the independence of the Kashmiri state has been declining for decades. Beginning in the early 1950s, a series of presidential ordinances, which had swift effect much like American executive orders, diluted the terms of the article.

For example, in 1954, a presidential order extended Indian citizenship to the “permanent residents” of the state. Prior to this decision the native inhabitants of the state had been considered to be “state subjects.”

Other constitutional changes followed. The jurisdiction of the Indian Supreme Court was expanded to the state in 1954. In addition, the Indian government was granted the authority to declare a national emergency if Kashmir were attacked.

Many other administrative actions reduced the state’s autonomy over time. These have ranged from enabling Kashmiris to participate in national administrative positions to expanding the jurisdiction of anti-corruption bodies, such as the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Goods and Services Act of 2017, into the state.

What it means for India and the world

What has happened as a result of the move to revoke Article 370?

The decision has been met with considerable unhappiness and resentment in the Kashmir Valley, which has a Muslim population close to 97% – versus 68% of the population of the state as a whole. The government of Jammu and Kashmir, meanwhile, does not have the legal power to challenge the move.

China and Pakistan have expressed displeasure.

Pakistan has long maintained that it should have inherited the state based upon its geographic contiguity and its demography.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir. While I don’t believe Pakistan will initiate another war with India over this issue at this time, I doubt it will quietly resign itself to the changed circumstances. At the very least, it will seek to draw in members of the international community to oppose India’s action, as it has sought to do in the past.

China, which considers Pakistan to be its “all-weather ally,” has stated that the decision was “not acceptable and won’t be binding.”

Sumit Ganguly, Distinguished Professor of Political and the Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post What’s Behind the Protests in Kashmir? appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Corruption undermines democracy and contributes to instability, warns senior UN anti-crime official

UN #SDG News - 28. August 2019 - 16:38
Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability, Mirella Dummar-Frahi, Civil Society Team Leader at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned at the UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
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Corruption undermines democracy and contributes to instability, warns senior UN anti-crime official

UN ECOSOC - 28. August 2019 - 16:38
Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability, Mirella Dummar-Frahi, Civil Society Team Leader at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned at the UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
Kategorien: english

UN-Gipfel in New York – Reagiert die Politik auf Klimakrise und Armut?

Global Policy Forum - 28. August 2019 - 12:13

Die Zahl der Hungernden steigt wieder, die Ungleichheit zwischen Armen und Reichen wächst, Artenvielfalt schwindet und die Klimakrise ist allgegenwärtig. In dieser Situation kommen Staats- und Regierungschefs, darunter Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, im September zu einem Gipfel-Marathon in New York zusammen. Am 23. September lädt UN-Generalsekretär António Guterres zum Klimagipfel, direkt im Anschluss (24.-25.9.) findet der sogenannte „SDG-Gipfel“ zu den Zielen für nachhaltige Entwicklung statt. Am 26. September folgt eine Konferenz zur Finanzierung nachhaltiger Entwicklung. Bei unserem Pressebriefing wollen wir mit Ihnen über unsere Erwartungen an die Gipfel diskutieren.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions?

INCLUDE Platform - 28. August 2019 - 11:14

A lack of integration of quantitative evidence on the overall effects of cash transfers leaves us largely in the dark about their true effect. One outcome for which this is the case is child nutritional status. In my study, I analyse 27 different studies on the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status, including 311 estimates on 23 variables. I found no significant differences between conditional and unconditional programmes. However, nutritional supplements increased the effectiveness of programmes. Other variables were too insignificant to draw conclusions from.

Despite scepticism about giving away ‘free money’, cash transfers have become an increasingly popular tool for poverty alleviation. Although cash transfers have been successful in increasing business income and school attendance, and decreasing child labour, their effect on the nutritional status of children is unclear. A large body of literature has examined the link between cash transfers and child nutritional status, but the evidence is mixed. Given that many programmes target child nutritional status, and 162 million children suffer from stunting globally, it is important to ask: Are cash transfers effective in improving child nutritional status? And, if so, what conditions have an influence on this effect?

How do we find out?

Several studies have been undertaken to identify the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status. However, these are context specific, making it hard to draw conclusions. Using statistical methods, I integrated the findings of 27 of these studies (see Table 1), enabling me to find out what the average effect of this relationship is, and which conditions alter this effect. The studies cover 311 estimates on 23 different variables.

Table 1. Programmes and studies analysed

Apni Beti Ap Dhan, India FFA, Bangladesh FSVGD, Bangladesh Oportunidades, Mexico PRAF, Honduras Red de Protección Social, Nicaragua Atención a Crisis, Nicaragua GiveDirectly CT, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil Juntos, Peru Oportunidades, Mexico[  Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil[ Juntos, Peru[  Pantawid, Philippines Bono de Desarollo Humano, Ecuador NTCPP, Burkina Faso Primary Education Stipend, Bangladesh Bono Solidario, Ecuador Older Person’s Grant, South Africa RPS, Nicaragua Child Grant Programme, Zambia Oportunidades, Mexico RPS, Nicaragua[ CT-OVC, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Samurdhi, Sri Lanka Familias en Acción, Colombia Oportunidades, Mexico[ Save The Children CT, Niger Note: 27 studies of 22 programmes were analysed.

Positive, negative, or no effect?

After analysing quantitative data from these studies, all from programmes in different contexts, I found that, overall, cash transfers had a positive effect on child nutritional status. While some studies had negative effects and others no effect at all, the average effects (weighted by sample size) was positive. Although this positive effect is small, it is robust, making me more certain that this effect exists. This means that cash transfers are in fact an effective solution for reducing child malnutrition.

But under which conditions?

It might seem obvious that an increase in money leads to better fed children. However, it might not be so simple. Different conditions may lead to very different outcomes. In my research, I quantified which categories might make a difference and found two notable cases to discuss.

First, the most discussed difference is that between conditional cash transfers and unconditional cash transfers. Exactly one half of all the estimates considered conditional cash transfers, and the other half considered unconditional ones. Within programmes, there were also differences in conditionality, with programmes including both conditional and unconditional transfers. I found no difference in effectiveness between the two. This is an important finding, given that the majority of cash transfers targeting child nutritional status are conditional cash transfers. However, conditional cash transfers programmes are more expensive to implement, as the conditions need to be monitored. Therefore, if the desired outcome is improved child nutritional status (or reduced child malnutrition), parties looking for a more cost-effective solution might consider using an unconditional cash transfer programme instead.

Within conditional programmes, differences also exist regarding the types of conditions. In my analysis, programmes either contained educational (sending children to school), medical (vaccinating children or sending them for regular medical check-ups), or financial (saving a percentage of the cash transfer) conditions. I analysed these different types and found no significant differences regarding their effect on child nutritional status.

The second notable variable is a more obvious factor that benefits programme effectiveness: providing a nutritional supplement with the cash transfer. These supplements differed per programme, and the precise supplement was often not specified. Nevertheless, a supplement might be the extra boost children need in order to benefit from the programme. Programme designers might, therefore, consider adding nutritional supplements to cash transfer programmes.

Besides these variables, I also analysed others. In total, I ran four statistical models. The variables included the difference in effectiveness between female and male recipients of the transfer, the age of the child, the gender of the child, the region of the programme, if conditions were enforced, and several methodological variables. The results for these variables were inconsistent, making it difficult to draw conclusions.

Towards more effective cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes exist in many different forms. Their effect is not, however, unequivocal. As my analysis illustrates, what works in one programme, might not work in another. Governments and NGOs should focus on tailoring cash transfers to local circumstances, and the focus should be on understanding the causal mechanisms that underlie the differences in effects.

The post Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions? appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions?

INCLUDE Platform - 28. August 2019 - 9:58

A lack of integration of quantitative evidence on the overall effects of cash transfers leaves us largely in the dark about their true effect. One outcome for which this is the case is child nutritional status. In my study, I analyse 27 different studies on the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status, including 311 estimates on 23 variables. I found no significant differences between conditional and unconditional programmes. However, nutritional supplements increased the effectiveness of programmes. Other variables were too insignificant to draw conclusions from.

Despite scepticism about giving away ‘free money’, cash transfers have become an increasingly popular tool for poverty alleviation. Although cash transfers have been successful in increasing business income and school attendance, and decreasing child labour, their effect on the nutritional status of children is unclear. A large body of literature has examined the link between cash transfers and child nutritional status, but the evidence is mixed. Given that many programmes target child nutritional status, and 162 million children suffer from stunting globally, it is important to ask: Are cash transfers effective in improving child nutritional status? And, if so, what conditions have an influence on this effect?

How do we find out?

Several studies have been undertaken to identify the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status. However, these are context specific, making it hard to draw conclusions. Using statistical methods, I integrated the findings of 27 of these studies (see Table 1), enabling me to find out what the average effect of this relationship is, and which conditions alter this effect. The studies cover 311 estimates on 23 different variables.

Positive, negative, or no effect?

After analysing quantitative data from these studies, all from programmes in different contexts, I found that, overall, cash transfers had a positive effect on child nutritional status. While some studies had negative effects and others no effect at all, the average effects (weighted by sample size) was positive. Although this positive effect is small, it is robust, making me more certain that this effect exists. This means that cash transfers are in fact an effective solution for reducing child malnutrition.

But under which conditions?

It might seem obvious that an increase in money leads to better fed children. However, it might not be so simple. Different conditions may lead to very different outcomes. In my research, I quantified which categories might make a difference and found two notable cases to discuss.

First, the most discussed difference is that between conditional cash transfers and unconditional cash transfers. Exactly one half of all the estimates considered conditional cash transfers, and the other half considered unconditional ones. Within programmes, there were also differences in conditionality, with programmes including both conditional and unconditional transfers. I found no difference in effectiveness between the two. This is an important finding, given that the majority of cash transfers targeting child nutritional status are conditional cash transfers. However, conditional cash transfers programmes are more expensive to implement, as the conditions need to be monitored. Therefore, if the desired outcome is improved child nutritional status (or reduced child malnutrition), parties looking for a more cost-effective solution might consider using an unconditional cash transfer programme instead.

Within conditional programmes, differences also exist regarding the types of conditions. In my analysis, programmes either contained educational (sending children to school), medical (vaccinating children or sending them for regular medical check-ups), or financial (saving a percentage of the cash transfer) conditions. I analysed these different types and found no significant differences regarding their effect on child nutritional status.

The second notable variable is a more obvious factor that benefits programme effectiveness: providing a nutritional supplement with the cash transfer. These supplements differed per programme, and the precise supplement was often not specified. Nevertheless, a supplement might be the extra boost children need in order to benefit from the programme. Programme designers might, therefore, consider adding nutritional supplements to cash transfer programmes.

Besides these variables, I also analysed others. In total, I ran four statistical models. The variables included the difference in effectiveness between female and male recipients of the transfer, the age of the child, the gender of the child, the region of the programme, if conditions were enforced, and several methodological variables. The results for these variables were inconsistent, making it difficult to draw conclusions.

Towards more effective cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes exist in many different forms. Their effect is not, however, unequivocal. As my analysis illustrates, what works in one programme, might not work in another. Governments and NGOs should focus on tailoring cash transfers to local circumstances, and the focus should be on understanding the causal mechanisms that underlie the differences in effects.

Table 1. Programmes and studies analysed

Apni Beti Ap Dhan, India FFA, Bangladesh FSVGD, Bangladesh Oportunidades, Mexico PRAF, Honduras Red de Protección Social, Nicaragua Atención a Crisis, Nicaragua GiveDirectly CT, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil Juntos, Peru Oportunidades, Mexico[ Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil[ Juntos, Peru[ Pantawid, Philippines Bono de Desarollo Humano, Ecuador NTCPP, Burkina Faso Primary Education Stipend, Bangladesh Bono Solidario, Ecuador Older Person’s Grant, South Africa RPS, Nicaragua Child Grant Programme, Zambia Oportunidades, Mexico RPS, Nicaragua[ CT-OVC, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Samurdhi, Sri Lanka Familias en Acción, Colombia Oportunidades, Mexico[ Save The Children CT, Niger Note: 27 studies of 22 programmes were analysed.

Het bericht Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Why do we need Solidarity in Development Studies

EADI Debating Development Research - 28. August 2019 - 9:08
By Kees Biekart The next EADI Development Studies conference is about “Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice”. But what does solidarity actually mean in relation to development studies? Let’s assume development essentially comes down to a process of social change. Or better, a wide range of connected processes of social change. We can think of female …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

Technology brings positive change, but ‘collateral damage’ must be minimized: senior UN official

UN ECOSOC - 28. August 2019 - 0:19
Digital technology has the potential to bring about a sustainable future, but the “collateral damage” of this transition must be mitigated, says the head of the UN’s technology strategy team, Salem Avan.
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Preliminary programme: Closing conference ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’

INCLUDE Platform - 27. August 2019 - 17:12

Download this document for the preliminary programme of the October 8 closing conference ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’: Co-creating knowledge on advocacy with civil society.

The post Preliminary programme: Closing conference ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’ appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

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A matter of self interest

D+C - 27. August 2019 - 11:31
The international community should support Afghanistan’s young democracy

When the international troops led by the USA intervened in Afghanistan in 2001, they inspired hope for a democratic future. After devastating civil war and horrible religious fundamentalism, it seemed promising to have the world’s mature democracies on Afghanistan’s side. In 2004, Afghans were able to choose their president in free elections for the first time ever. The price paid for the democratic constitution was high – both in terms of human lives and money.

In spite of the typical problems that haunt post-conflict countries, Afghanistan has made considerable progress. Its people do not want to give up the accomplishments of the past 18 years.

It is easy to question the quality of Afghanistan’s democracy in view of terror attacks, corruption and organised crime. One must remember, however, that democracy does not take root overnight. It is always the result of long struggles and many sacrifices. So while it does make sense to consider to what extent the western model fits a least-developed country, one should not overestimate current norms, structures and conventions. Change is possible, but it takes time.

According to the Asia Foundation, which has been conducting opinion polls in Afghanistan since 2004, support for democracy is strong. The data even reveal an incremental increase in people’s confidence in democracy and elections. Satisfaction with democracy rose from 57 % in 2017 to 61 % in 2018. Even though people have reason to fear insurgents’ violence, moreover, participation in civic affairs, including elections, has been growing.

The transition to democracy is never easy. It was neither easy in Germany, Austria and Italy after World War II, nor in the course of decolonisation, nor in the former Eastern block after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In many cases, international co­operation and support were needed. In this regard, Afghanistan is not exceptional, but actually quite normal.

The 8th round of so-called peace talks between the USA and the Taliban finished recently in Doha, the Qatari capital. These negotiations have caused anxiety and anger in Afghanistan. From the start, they took place behind closed doors. Afghanistan’s elected government was not involved – nor were representatives of civil society. Afghans have the impression that the US administration is only interested in fast withdrawal, while the Taliban want to reimpose the brutal regime they ran from 1996 to 2001. People do not think that their interests are being considered in the talks at all.

Some Afghan leaders support the negotiation process. One of them is Hamid Karzai, the former president. He has suggested that the Doha talks are more important than the presidential elections that are scheduled for October. In this perspective, the talks will usher in a new regime. Karzai is a spent force, however, and does not have a coherent political agenda. In his 14 years in office, he did far too little to build and strengthen institutions.

By contrast, Ashraf Ghani, the incumbent president, emphasises the election.

According to him, the winner of the elections will have a popular mandate to negotiate with the Taliban. Many observers believe that Ghani will win. There are 17 other candidates, but he is the best known. He has, moreover, been accused of using government funds for campaign purposes.

The Taliban have never accepted the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s elected policymakers. They insisted on keeping Ghani away from the peace talks. Whether that will change after the elections remains to be seen. It does not seem likely.

Afghanistan’s budding democracy is therefore in serious danger. Many people fear it will be abandoned by the USA. Nonetheless, the international community has a moral obligation to support Afghanistan. It also should support Afghanistan as a matter of self-interest. After all, the USA and its allies only intervened after the Al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001. The reason was that the Taliban had turned the country into a hub of Islamist terrorism.

Nawid Paigham is a political and economic analyst.
npeigham@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

Marginalized groups hit hardest by inequality and stigma in cities

UN ECOSOC - 27. August 2019 - 5:05
Millicent Auma Otieno, a Kenya-based human rights and community activist, campaigns on behalf of women and persons with disabilities who face stigmatization, as a result of cultural and religious beliefs.  In an interview with UN News, Ms. Otieno reinforced the message that inequality is prevalent in Africa where, she said, political power often remains in the hands of wealthy elites, adding that many people in cities are forced to live in informal settlements, which have proven to be hotbeds of unemployment, violence, drug abuse and early pregnancies.
Kategorien: english

Building resilience for all: intersectional approaches for reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change: findings from Nepal

ODI - 27. August 2019 - 0:00
This note draws on the ODI paper 'Building resilience for all: intersectional approaches for reducing vulnerability to natural hazards in Nepal and Kenya'.
Kategorien: english

The governance of Nepal’s flood early warning system: opportunities under federalism

ODI - 27. August 2019 - 0:00
This paper looks at the institutional mechanisms to assess, monitor, communicate and respond to flood risk information in three river basins in Nepal.
Kategorien: english

How farmer-led irrigation can transform agriculture in Africa

ODI - 27. August 2019 - 0:00
Farmer-led irrigation has huge potential to enable development in sub-Saharan Africa, but only if policy-makers find effective ways to assist farmers.
Kategorien: english

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

UN #SDG News - 26. August 2019 - 22:16
“Well-planned and managed cities can steer us towards inclusive growth and serve as models of harmony among diverse people”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres declared in a video message on Monday to delegates at the 68th UN Civil Society Conference, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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The United Nations Comes to Salt Lake City

UN Dispatch - 26. August 2019 - 21:14

The United Nations is in Utah this week.  The annual United Nations Civil Society Conference is being held in Salt Lake City, which marks the first time that a major UN conference is being held in a United States city other than New York.

There is significance to the fact that Salt Lake City is hosting this conference.

The Civil Society Conference is an annual confab in which NGOs and other non-government actors directly engage with each other and with UN officials . The theme of this year’s conference is “building inclusive and sustainable cities and communities” and to that end, Salt Lake City has much to boast. The city is a recognized leader on sustainability issues, having pledged in 2016 to use 100% renewable energy by 2032 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2042.

“We have not only led our state down a path toward addressing climate change and air quality in the state but we’ve been leading in the country,” Mayor Jackie Biskupski told The Salt Lake Tribune in a recent interview. “We were the 16th city in 2016 to commit to 100% renewable [energy] and actually have our energy partner standing with us in that commitment. And now we’re closing in on several other communities joining us and, in fact, probably by the end of the year we will have more cities in Utah 100% renewable than any other state in the country.”

Much of the focus of three days of panels, meetings and speeches will be on Sustainable Development Goal 11, “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030”. The conference concept note explains:

Today 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that figure is expected to reach 68% by 20501. As the complexities of urban life grow, communities and local leaders are at the forefront of finding sustainable solutions to poverty and inadequate housing, hunger and health, clean water, energy, environmental degradation and climate change, infrastructure, transport, education, migration, violence and gender equality. These and other challenges are interconnected with similar issues in rural areas and municipalities of all sizes, where activists and civil society organizations partner with governments and the private sector to ensure that communities are inclusive, equitable and sustainable.

You can follow the action using the hashtag #UNCSC2019

The post The United Nations Comes to Salt Lake City appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Research Identifies a Link Between Dowry Payments and the Outbreak of Violent Conflict

UN Dispatch - 26. August 2019 - 17:01

About 75% of the world’s population live in societies that practice of form of dowry payment. This is also known as brideprice and it is essentially wealth that a potential husband must pay to the family of his would-be wife. But in this way, brideprice acts as a kind of regressive flat tax that younger, and generally poorer men must pay to wealthier, older men.

Hilary Matfess, a PHD candidate at Yale University, undertook a wide study of the impact of fluctuations in brideprice on broader issues related to conflict. She found that there is a positive correlation between changes in brideprice and the outbreak of violent conflict. In other words, when the cost of getting married increases, so too does the probability of armed conflict.

Hilary Matfess published her findings a paper published in the 2017 issues of the academic journal International Security. In it, she and her co-author Valerie Hudson identify how the cost of getting married can lead to the outbreak of violent conflict and war.

Anyone who has ever taken an international relations or security class knows that there are volumes of research on what causes the outbreak of violent conflict. Through case studies, which Matfess discusses in this conversation, the paper demonstrates how fluctuations in brideprices can lead to the outbreak of violent conflict. It is fascinating research with very real-world policy implications.

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The post Research Identifies a Link Between Dowry Payments and the Outbreak of Violent Conflict appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Pressure on journalists

D+C - 26. August 2019 - 15:27
The defamation clause of Indonesia’s internet law is misused to criminalise journalists

The ITE Law was passed in 2008 and amended in 2016. In principle, it is meant to regulate the exchange of information and other electronic transactions. It spells out what is prohibited on the internet. However, its defamation article has been misused to criminalise journalists. It thus has a negative impact on the freedom of the press. Online defamation can be punished with up to four years of prison.

The defamation article prohibits the distribution of electronic information containing insults and/or defamation. However, various parties now accuse online journalists of doing so when they simply do not like coverage, for example, when it deals with corruption and other criminal action. Offended parties argue that the content of the articles is defaming.

Abdul Manan of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, a major journalists’ organisation, sees a trend of journalistic work being criminalised with help of the ITE Law. He is personally affected. As the co-founder of the whistle-blower platform Indonesialeaks, he is facing a defamation trial. The International Federation of Journalists has demanded that the case must be dropped. Manan says that he is confident that his incriminated journalistic work is faultless.

He points out that the situation was always difficult in Indonesia. Physical violence against journalists occurs sometimes, and intimidation is common. In the Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders for 2019, Indonesia ranks 124th among 180 nations.

The defamation clause has an intimidating impact even if no judgement is passed. Last summer, a criminal charge was filed against Zakki Amali, the former editor-in-chief of Serat.id, an independent website in Central Java. The background was that he had published articles about alleged research plagiarism and stated that one of the chancellors of a state university was involved. Civil-society organisations and journalists have protested, but the legal process is still going on and distracting him from journalistic work. “My time is spent defending myself,” Amali says.

Some of the accused are found guilty however. According to the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), a civil-society organisation, two journalists were sentenced in the past ten years, and 12 cases are pending. The highest number of cases was filed ahead of the general elections last year, when eight journalists were charged. “The ITE Law has been misused to silence the media,” says Damar Juniarto of SAFEnet.

Indonesia only gained press freedom in 1998 after the downfall of the Suharto dictatorship. The new government passed a liberal press law in 1999. Individual journalists and the media thus enjoy some legal protection. Moreover, the national Press Council was made independent. Its members are journalists, media managers and public leaders. Their job is to settle press-related disputes. Only if they prove unable to do so, can legal action be taken. The ITE Law, however, bypasses the Press Council, so its defamation clause can be misused easily.

Digital media are growing fast. According to the Press Council, there were 43,400 online media outlets in Indonesia in 2016.

Links

Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network:
https://safenet.or.id/

International Federation of Journalists:
https://www.ifj.org/media-centre/news/detail/category/press-releases/article/seaju-calls-for-criminal-case-against-journalists-to-be-dropped.html

Ika Ningtyas is a freelance journalist based in Java, Indonesia.
ika_bwi@yahoo.com

Kategorien: english

“Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” lays out integrated framework for implementing the SDGs

UN SDSN - 26. August 2019 - 13:00
In a perspective in Nature Sustainability, researchers propose six transformations as modular building blocks for SDG achievement

SDG Transformation 5 focuses on Sustainable Cities and Communities

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations in every country that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. While significant progress is being made on some goals, no country is currently on track towards achieving all SDGs. Says Prof Sachs, “the SDGs have become the world’s shared framework for sustainable development, but countries need more clarity on how to operationalize and track progress towards the 17 goals. Similarly, businesses, science, and civil society must support SDG achievement.”

In response, the new paper “Six Transformations to Achieve the SDGs”, published on 26 August in the journal Nature Sustainability, builds on the 2018 report of The World in 2050 Project to propose an action agenda for implementing the SDGs. Written by Jeffrey D. Sachs (Columbia University), Guido Schmidt-Traub (Sustainable Development Solutions Network), Mariana Mazzucato (University College London), Dirk Messner (United Nations University), Nebojsa Nakicenovic (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis), and Johan Rockström (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) the paper identifies the major interventions needed to achieve each SDG and groups them in six SDG Transformations.

“The six transformations provide an integrated and holistic framework for action that reduces the complexity, yet encompasses the 17 SDGs, their 169 Targets and the Paris Agreement. They provide a new approach to shift from incremental to transformational change; to identify synergies using sustainable development pathways; formulate actionable roadmaps; and a focus on inter-relationships to uncover multiple benefits and synergies,” explains Nebojsa Nakicenovic.

The Six SDG Transformations align with how governments are organized. With suitable modification for each country’s context, governments, business, and civil society can use them to organize SDG implementation. The paper also outlines an action agenda for science to provide the knowledge required for designing, implementing, and monitoring the SDG Transformations.

Adds Johan Rockström, “the six transformations in this paper have the ultimate goal of enhancing human prosperity and reduce inequalities. This is not easy of course. In fact it is the largest human endeavour of all time. And science is here to provide governments with a fact-based framework. If political leadership fails to act, however, we would face unprecedented risks for the stability of societies, and for our Earth system.”

“Implementing the Transformations will require major changes in national and local governance that are bold but feasible. They are described in the paper, and we look forward to working with countries wishing to operationalize the transformations,” says Dirk Messner.

Reference:
Sachs J D, Schmidt-Traub G, Mazzucato M, Messner D, Nakicenovic N, Rockström J (2019). Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development GoalsNature Sustainability. doi: DOI 10.1038/s41893-019-0352-9

Researcher contact:
Guido Schmidt-Traub
Executive Director SDSN
Tel: +33 1 84 86 06 63
guido.schmidt-traub@unsdsn.org

You can download the PDF version of this Press Release here.

Find the full version of the paper here.

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