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Growing green in Mozambique

OECD - 23. November 2022 - 16:53

By Köeti Serôdio, Programme Manager Resilience (Humanitarian, Climate Action & Social Protection), Growing Green

Marta Uetela is a young Mozambican who is transforming the lives of people with disabilities. She founded the revolutionary green start-up BioMec, which developed the world’s first prosthetics and eco-wheelchairs made of recycled plastic marine litter.

Despite being the fifth most affected country by extreme weather over the past two decades, characterised by high levels of poverty and inequality and going through an armed conflict - Mozambique’s extraordinary resilience and determination is best expressed by its young, creative and determined population.  

Marta was able to grow her innovations through the financial, technical and mentoring support provided through Ireland’s Growing Green initiative. The initiative supports the identification, testing and promotion of local, low-cost, climate-sensitive and innovative solutions by enabling young entrepreneurs to grow their climate-positive businesses. It uses two funding strands: one supports trialling and testing ideas for small projects in their very early stages (the Head of Mission Fund); the other helps scale up promising initiatives that performed well and have sustainability and scalability potential (the Emerging Opportunities Fund).

The post Growing green in Mozambique appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

A Space to Promote Sustainability: The Gläserne Werkstatt in Solingen Opens its Doors

SCP-Centre - 23. November 2022 - 12:17

After a two-year long period of collaboration, the Gläserne Werkstatt in Solingen opened its doors to the public in October 2022. As a place for quality and sustainability in the Bergisches Städtedreieck, the Gläserne Werkstatt stands for regionality, innovative thinking of new products and processes, and for networking that opens up new paths.

The Gläserne Werkstatt will be a space where businesses and craftspeople can launch, present, or test their innovative sustainable products and services. The vision is to offer a platform where the combination of craftsmanship and high-tech can not only be seen, but also experienced. In addition, the Gläserne Werkstatt will be a place where organisations working toward more sustainability can hold workshops, presentations or events as well as for citizens to come together, interact, and engage.

The space offers 13 mobile cubes, which companies and manufacturers but also community initiatives can rent to promote their sustainable products, services, and activities.

The process leading up to the Gläserne Werkstatt was carried out within the framework of a project with the same name, a collaborative effort of the city of Solingen, the CSCP, and the project partners.

During the course of the project, the CSCP worked on stakeholder engagement to ensure that the Gläserne Werkstatt is an inclusive place. In addition, the CSCP supported the project in selecting suitable criteria for companies and associations that wish to present their products and services at the Gläserne Werkstatt.

The Gläserne Werkstatt is a joint initiative of the city of Solingen, the Wirtschaftsförderung (Economic Development Agency), the Handelsverband Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V. (Trade Association NRW), the Forum für Soziale Innovationen (Forum for Social Innovation) and the CSCP.

The project „Urbane Produktion im Bergischen Städtedreieck – Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, Innovation, Quartiersentwicklung /Die Gläserne Werkstatt in Solingen – Produzieren, Partizipieren und Profitieren im Bergischen Städtedreieck” (“Urban Production in the Bergisches Städtedreieck – Competitiveness, Innovation and City Quarter Development”/Gläserne Werkstatt in Solingen – Producing, Participating, Profiting”) is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

For further questions, please contact Jennifer Wiegard.

Photo © Federmann und Kampczyk design gmbh.

 

The post A Space to Promote Sustainability: The Gläserne Werkstatt in Solingen Opens its Doors appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Regional Forum Dates 2022-23

Women - 23. November 2022 - 12:15

The regional forums are platforms at the regional level for assessing progress and exchanging knowledge, best practices and policy solutions to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in line with regional priorities and specificities. The Regional Forums for Sustainable Development will be convened by the Regional Commissions. To support your advocacy, we wanted to share some information with you on the upcoming 2023 RFSDs. While the below is  all information we currently have, we’ll continue to update here as details shape up

UN ECA – United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Countries: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti,  Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, The D.R Congo, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Regional Forum:

  • Date: 27 February to 2 March, 2023 
  • Location: Niamey, Niger and online
  • Format: Hybrid, allowing for both in-person and online participation
  • Registration: No details available yet
  • Website

Civil Society Engagement:

UN ECLAC – Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Countries: Antigua and Barbuda, France, Peru, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Bahamas, Grenada, Republic of Korea, Barbados, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Belize, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Brazil, Honduras, Spain, Canada, Italy, Suriname, Chile, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Japan, Turkey, Costa Rica, Mexico, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Cuba, Netherlands, USA, Dominica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Norway, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Ecuador, Panama, El Salvador, Paraguay   

Regional Forum: 

  • Date: 24 – 28 April, 2023 
  • Location: Santiago, Chile
  • Format: Hybrid
  • Registration: No details available yet
  • Website

Civil Society Engagement:

  • Join Regional Civil Society Group – Mechanism of CS participation write to linking.group.cso.lac@gmail.com 
  • RCEM website  
  • Civil Society Forum –  Information Forthcoming

UN ECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, USA, Uzbekistan

Regional Forum: 

  • Date: 29 – 30 March, 2023
  • Location: Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Format: Hybrid
  • Registration: No details available yet
  • Website

Civil Society Engagement:

  • Join regional civil society group (UNECE-RCEM): Register Here
  • ECE-RCEM website
  • Civil society forum –  28 March, 2023, Registration Information Forthcoming

UN ESCAP –  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 

Countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, Fiji, France, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam

Regional Forum: 

Civil Society Engagement

UN ESCWA – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia 

Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, the State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Somalia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen

Regional Forum: 

  • Date: 14 – 16 March, 2023
  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Format: Hybrid 
  • Registration: No details available yet
  • Website

Civil Society Engagement:

  • There is no RCEM for this region yet. The independent civil society forum for the region will be organized by ANDD, you can look onto their website for updates

The post Regional Forum Dates 2022-23 appeared first on Women's Major Group.

Kategorien: english

SAVE THE DATE: Launch of CPDE Private Sector Watch

CSO Partnership - 23. November 2022 - 5:34
Bridging the Gap: Ensuring private sector accountability in development cooperation

The CPDE PSE Task Force will be holding “Bridging the Gap: Ensuring private sector accountability in development cooperation” on 1 December 2022, 12 PM CET/ 7 PM Manila, in order to launch the Private Sector Watch Global Synthesis Report and Online Hub.

Register here!

In recent years, the private sector has emerged as a key development actor, as it is given a role in defining, pursuing and financing development. With this, there is a need to ensure that private sector entities promote responsible business behavior in development cooperation, promoting accountability, adhering to the development effectiveness principles and upholding the human rights-based approach. In this context, CPDE’s initiative on private sector engagement (PSE) is two-fold – monitoring existing PSE projects through the Private Sector Watch, and conducting outreach to social enterprises as potential partners in development cooperation through the Action Research on Key Actors in the Social Enterprises Sector.

The CPDE Private Sector Watch (PS Watch) aims to monitor private sector engagement in development cooperation through case studies from the network’s constituencies. Under the PS Watch, constituencies looked into specific country initiatives where private sector entities are partnering with governments for development, its impact on specific sectors of society, and their compliance with the Kampala Principles. These case studies are compiled into a Global Synthesis Report and an online hub.

The PS Watch Global Synthesis Report highlights common themes, trends and forwards policy recommendations for more effective private sector engagement. The PS Watch Online Hub is an online repository of development projects conducted with private sector entities, spanning across various countries, sectors, modalities and partnerships. The online hub will feature case studies from the PS Watch research, as well as the Action Research on Key Actors in the Social Enterprises Sector, in order to facilitate the continued monitoring of the private sector’s role in development cooperation and to highlight the impact of social enterprises in contributing to the development of their partner communities.

The launch aims to:

  • Discuss key findings and forward policy recommendations on PSE in time for the Effective Development Co-operation Summit
  • Facilitate dialogue and peer-learning among development actors on how to effectively implement private sector initiatives
  • Promote the watchdog function of CSOs and highlight the potential of social enterprises as potential partners for development cooperation

The event will be available in English, Spanish, and French. Register here!

The post SAVE THE DATE: Launch of CPDE Private Sector Watch appeared first on CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

New commitments and partnerships to accelerate SDG progress in the United States

Brookings - 22. November 2022 - 19:51

By Anthony F. Pipa, Kait Pendrak, Oneika Pryce

On the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly, U.S. leaders gathered in New York City at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice for the fourth annual American leadership in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals hosted by the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution and the United Nations Foundation.

The gathering showcased ways different segments of American society are embracing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to tackle local and global challenges, from new commitments to community partnerships. The event also reflected the diversity of experience and expertise needed to accelerate progress, showcased reverse SDGs trends that are moving in the wrong direction, and unlocked new resources and political leadership as the world reaches the midpoint to SDG’s 2030 target.

 “As we advance our work in support of the 2030 Agenda, let us redouble our efforts, take an inclusive approach, and remember that each of those 17 goals is linked to an individual human life.” – Ambassador Lisa Carty, U.S. Representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council

Several key insights emerged from the conversation on how to enable greater ambition on the SDGs and fill the gaps in U.S. progress:

  1. Foster commitments and action from all sectors. U.S. efforts toward achieving the SDGs will benefit from a greater focus on leveraging the comparative advantage that the private sector and academia bring. Harnessing the creativity and resources that drive business success can also result in efforts to advance progress toward the SDGs. For instance, Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, announced a major new commitment that includes an open call for artificial intelligence innovation projects focused on accelerating SDG progress. Sanjeev Khagram, Dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University (ASU), emphasized the importance of universities and academic institutions in helping design and support their region’s SDG strategy, as ASU is assisting the City of Phoenix in undertaking a review of its local progress on the SDGs.

“The real question is how can we get the private sector more engaged? What is my differential strength that I can bring, that our company can bring, to achieving the SDGs together as a global community?” – Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org

  1. Ensuring marginalized communities are not left out of progress. Ridgway White, President and CEO of the Mott Foundation, reminded the audience that incidents such as Flint’s water crisis act as a magnifying glass to the issues that plague underserved communities. A recent analysis by Brookings and the U.N. Foundation showed that even before the pandemic, the U.S. was not on track to fully achieve a single SDG, with particularly dire consequences for the future well-being of American youth, women, and minority racial and ethnic groups. Dr. Helen Bond, University Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction for Howard University’s School of Education, pointed out that SDG-related outcomes in white communities are around three times better than those of minority racial and ethnic communities, particularly Black and Indigenous communities.These long-standing inequities challenge efforts to “leave no one behind” in the U.S., as emphasized by Salah Goss, Senior Vice President for Social Impact for Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, who highlighted the importance of access to close racial wealth and opportunity gaps: “Our theory of change is really your proximity to networks, whether they’re financial networks, social networks, information or digital networks really is a predictor of your success.”

“Failure in the U.S. on the SDGs would be a betrayal of America’s promise of opportunity for all and a blow to our efforts to advance human rights and dignity around the world.” – Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA

  1. Embrace inclusivity to solve today’s challenges. U.S. leaders at all levels need to listen and engage with diverse voices, such as youth and local communities, keeping inclusivity at the heart of collective efforts. To Salah Goss’s point, “the people who are most proximate to the problem usually can unlock part of that solution.” This sentiment was echoed by Himaja Nagireddy, the UNA-USA Youth Observer to the U.N., who amplified youth voices from around the country and stressed that young people have the most to lose if the SDGs are not addressed. Nagireddy called for U.S. leaders to leverage youth voices and innovations in efforts towards building solutions to global challenges. Ambassador Lisa Carty also emphasized inclusivity’s centrality to global progress: “Without a fully inclusive approach that includes women, girls, disabled persons, the LGBTQI community, marginalized racial and ethnic groups, indigenous communities and youth voices, our SDG efforts cannot truly succeed.”

“Use your power to actively reach out to us to hear our stories, thoughts, and ideas… We can never achieve a world that we dream of – a world of peace and justice for all – without our young people.” – Himaja Nagireddy, UNA-USA Youth Observer to the U.N.

This event displayed bright spots on American leadership and action toward the SDGs across different segments of American society. It also highlighted the opportunities for action across the U.S., from university campuses and boardrooms to Congress and city halls. As Ridgway White suggested in his closing remarks, the U.S. government also has an opportunity to reinforce the existing leadership and tap into this momentum by producing a “Voluntary National Review” to report its national progress on the SDGs.

Working together across sectors, the U.S. can help accelerate efforts to bring the SDGs progress back on track as the world approaches the midpoint in 2023. As Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the U.N. Foundation said, “this is a perishable opportunity and one that we cannot miss.”

      
Kategorien: english

How to close the gender care gap in Sub Saharan Africa

OECD - 22. November 2022 - 16:23

By Madina M. Guloba, Development Economist and Senior Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) in Kampala, Uganda

Due to gender bias and the patriarchal nature of many African economies, care work, especially unpaid, is considered a woman’s prerogative. This is often intertwined with negative social and cultural norms. In this context, is paternity leave a realistic solution to closing the gender care gap?

In my country, Uganda, the article 33 of the 1995 constitution codifies equal opportunities for women in the economic, social and political spheres, so that they can realise their full potential. It states that women have the right to affirmative action to redress the imbalances created by a history of sociocultural norms that undermine their status in society. Yet, it does not provide clear strategies for reducing the unpaid care workload at home and in workplaces

The post <strong>How to close the gender care gap in Sub Saharan Africa</strong> appeared first on Development Matters.

Kategorien: english

Where’s the GTA Working Group at Right Now

SNRD Africa - 22. November 2022 - 15:01

An interview on "Rural Development Goes Feminist", a recent meeting of the Gender-transformative Approaches working group

The post Where’s the GTA Working Group at Right Now appeared first on SNRD Africa.

Kategorien: english

Impacts and synergies of weather index insurance and microcredit in rural areas: a systematic review

GDI Briefing - 22. November 2022 - 14:01

Weather constitutes a major source of risks facing households in rural areas, which are being amplified under climate change. In this context, two main rural financial services, weather index insurance and microcredit, have been increasingly adopted by farmers worldwide. However, the understanding of the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of these rural finance schemes, including potential maladaptive outcomes, remains ambiguous. We review the recent literature on weather index insurance and microcredit for farmers and find that both rural financial services have positive economic impacts, though benefits to the poorest populations remain controversial. Moreover, their impacts on the ecological systems are less studied and are found to be mainly negative. In addition, considering that both financial instruments have strengths and limitations, we argue that combination schemes (e.g. a hybrid product) may generate positive synergistic effects on building socioeconomic resilience to climate risks in agricultural regions. However, this may also add new economic risk to local financial institutions. This comprehensive review provides a reference for the potential benefits and risks of agricultural finance innovations. Further studies on the ecological impacts of rural financial services and the synergistic effects of the combination on socioeconomic and ecosystem resilience in rural contexts are needed to fill the current research gap.

Kategorien: english

At Fez forum, UN chief calls for global ‘alliance of peace’ recognizing inclusion and richness of diversity

UN #SDG News - 22. November 2022 - 13:00

In a world where “old evils – antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, persecution of Christians, xenophobia, and racism – are receiving new leases on life”, the UN Alliance of Civilizations is helping to show the way on how to act in solidarity, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said on Tuesday.

Kategorien: english

Safeguarding research staff “in the field”: a blind spot in ethics guidelines

GDI Briefing - 22. November 2022 - 12:01

Across disciplines there is a large and increasing number of research projects that rely on data collection activities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, these are accompanied by an extensive range of ethical challenges. While the safeguarding of study participants is the primary aim of existing ethics guidelines, this paper argues that this “do no harm” principle should be extended to include research staff. This study is a comprehensive review of more than 80 existing ethics guidelines and protocols that reveals a lack of safeguarding research staff regarding the ethical challenges faced during data collection activities in LMICs. This is particularly the case when it comes to issues such as power imbalances, political risk, staff’s emotional wellbeing or dealing with feelings of guilt. Lead organizations are called upon to develop guiding principles that encompass the safeguarding of research staff, which are then to be adapted and translated into specific protocols and tools by institutions.

Kategorien: english

Ten Central and Eastern European Countries Will Work on Bioeconomy Strategies in Our New CEE2ACT Project

SCP-Centre - 22. November 2022 - 11:18

A key pathway to achieving climate neutrality is through the bioeconomy. However, despite having a large biomass resource base as well as bioeconomy potential, many countries, including ones in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) still do not have a national bioeconomy strategy or action plan.

To address this, in September 2022 representatives of 17 organisations from 17 European countries came together in Budapest to kick off the new CEE2ACT project. CEE2ACT aims to empower ten CEE countries (Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,) and beyond (Greece, Republic of Serbia) to develop circular bioeconomy strategies and action plans.

The CEE2ACT National Bioeconomy Hubs will apply a multi-stakeholder approach to bring bottom-up collaboration closer to national decision-making and strategy planning. In each of the ten CEE2ACT target countries, these hubs will build closer connections between actors in public institutions, private sectors, industry, energy, small and medium-sized enterprises, feedstock providers (e.g., waste, side streams, farmers, foresters, fishermen), academia and research, and civil society organisations.

Baseline assessments and multi-stakeholder engagement activities will be carried out to secure the active participation of relevant stakeholders. Digital solutions for sustainable governance will be created, supporting the exchange of best practices on technology transfer, and building the capacities of the stakeholders to develop bottom-up bioeconomy strategies.

The findings will be used and disseminated through practical tools, guidelines, and policy recommendations to support beneficiary countries to develop flexible and inclusive bioeconomy strategies and action plans, boosting societal engagement in the countries’ transition toward a circular bioeconomy.

The CEE2ACT project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research programme and will run for three years (2022-2025), led by a consortium of 17 European partners.

For further questions, please contact Fiona Woo.

The post Ten Central and Eastern European Countries Will Work on Bioeconomy Strategies in Our New CEE2ACT Project appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

How to develop inclusive, sustainable urban spaces in the European Arctic and beyond: insights from Kiruna

GDI Briefing - 22. November 2022 - 10:39

At first glance, cities in the European Arctic differ from a traditional framing that is mostly shaped by southern discourses. Most of the remote cities have less inhabitants, need to adapt to a harsh climate and are confronted with impacts of the climate crisis, infrastructural challenges, outmigration and structural transformations. Moreover, many cities in the European Arctic were built on traditional Indigenous land and represent the nexus of urbanisation, (resource) extraction and colonialism. However, similar to cities in other parts of the world, also cities in the European Arctic are home to a diverse population: people with different professions, people from more southern regions, migrants from other parts of the world, youth and elderly people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people live altogether and shape the identities of the city. However, this ideal of multiple identities and urban inclusiveness is contested. By exploring the case of Kiruna in Northern Sweden, this paper’s objective is twofold: Following an interdisciplinary approach through combing theoretical and conceptual lenses from engineering and social sciences, we firstly examine critically in how far different identities are visible and tangible in the selected city. Secondly, we argue for just and inclusive structures that are open to minorities’ identities as stated by the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development for achieving a more culturally sensitive sustainable urban development. This paper makes a strong case to reflect on urban colonial legacies and local impacts from the ongoing green transition in the European Arctic (and beyond), stress the relevance of the integration of different knowledges for sustainable (urban) development and establish inclusiveness as vital part of a just transition.

Kategorien: english

[PRIVATE SECTOR WATCH] Bridging the Gap: Ensuring private sector accountability in development cooperation

Reality of Aid - 22. November 2022 - 1:00

In recent years, the private sector has emerged as a key development actor, as it is given a role in defining, pursuing and financing development. With this, there is a need to ensure that private sector entities promote responsible business behavior in development cooperation, promoting accountability, adhering to the development effectiveness principles and upholding the human rights-based approach. In this context, CPDE’s initiative on private sector engagement (PSE) is two-fold – monitoring existing PSE projects […]

The post [PRIVATE SECTOR WATCH] Bridging the Gap: Ensuring private sector accountability in development cooperation appeared first on Reality of Aid.

Kategorien: english

Meet Jamila Afghani, 2022 Laureate of the Aurora Prize For Awaking Humanity

UN Dispatch - 21. November 2022 - 16:00

In this episode, we speak with Jamila Afghani, the 2022 Laureate of the Aurora Prize For Awaking Humanity, which is a prestigious annual award conferred to grassroots human rights defenders.

Jamila Afghani is a the founder of the local Afghan NGO Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization, which among other things supports girls education in Afghanistan. She founded the organization as a refugee in Pakistan but then established it in Afghanistan just months after the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001. For the last twenty years, her NGO has supported girls and women throughout Afghanistan — and even today, with the country back under Taliban, the work continues.

In our conversation, Jamila Afghani explains how and why she began work as a civil society leader, which also includes a leadership position with Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She also discusses how she fled Afghanistan in August 2021 and continues to lead her NGO, but now as a refugee in Canada.

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The post Meet Jamila Afghani, 2022 Laureate of the Aurora Prize For Awaking Humanity appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

UN climate summit in Egypt did not deliver on mitigation

D+C - 21. November 2022 - 15:40
In spite of land mark decision on loss and damage, COP27 was a disappointment

Prosperous nations, which historically have caused most greenhouse gas emissions, are expected to pay, whereas poorer nations, which have hardly contributed to global heating, but suffer the worst impacts, will receive money to repair damages. Developing countries and emerging markets have been demanding such a fund for a long time. It will be set up quite late, however, as extreme weather is already wreaking havoc in many places. The floods submerging large parts of Pakistan this summer, for example, affected more than 33 million people, and the damages amount to a double-digit billion dollar sum (see Imran Mukhtar on www.dandc.eu). The new fund is meant to enable fast and adequate responses to such calamities.

Unfortunately, the scheme still is quite vague. Who will contribute how much, is an open question. China, currently the country with the most carbon emissions and historically the second runner behind the USA, does not want to pay. Western governments insist that the world’s most potent export power cannot keep hiding behind its traditional status as a developing country. Success will ultimately depend on China’s willingness to cooperate.

So far, burdens have not been shared fairly. High-income countries are still not living up to their old pledge to mobilise an annual $ 100 billion in support of climate mitigation and adaptation in low- and middle-income countries. Many disadvantaged countries, moreover, are heavily indebted, so they can hardly take new loans to respond to the climate crisis – and to the extent that they are still able to do so, such fiscal action will ensnare them more tightly in debt traps after every new drought or flood. It plainly does not make sense to discuss climate finance without considering debt problems (see Kathrin Berensmann on www.dandc.eu).

Prosperous nations must obviously bear responsibility for covering climate damages. It would be even more important, however, to put a brake on global heating. In this respect, the summit in Egypt was a failure, even though it reconfirmed the goal of the Paris Agreement concluded seven years ago to limit average temperature increases to 1.5°C. The problem is that humanity has not made significant progress on getting there.

That would require radical reductions in the use of fossil fuels. Sadly, the summit declaration only mentions the phasing down of coal, but not oil and gas. Opposition from fossil industries and major producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia proved too strong. Moreover, there was a lack of nation states scaling up their climate commitments made so far.

Time is running out. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere keeps growing. Scientists tell us that the policies currently in place will lead to a temperature rise of 2.8°C by the end of this century (see Suparna Banerjee on www.dandc.eu). However, irreversible tipping points, such as the melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice, are likely to be crossed somewhere between 1.5°C and 2°C. As a result, climate damages would escalate far beyond what we have seen to date. To prevent the worst, cooperation of as many countries as possible, including the EU and the USA, is needed. They must scale up climate efforts fast, regardless of what is declared at global summits. The transition to renewable energy makes economic sense anyway. Never before has it been so cheap to generate solar and wind power. Moreover, the current energy crisis, which was triggered by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, proves how devastating the dependence on fossil imports from despotically ruled countries can be.

International cooperation is indispensable if humankind is to get a grip on the climate crisis. Nationalist egotism of the Russian kind must not be allowed to undermine it. How hot the planet will become by 2100, depends on whether such a transformative coalition of the willing succeeds. The credibility of the western governments  depends on it too, by the way.
 

Jörg Döbereiner is a member of the editorial team of D+C Development and Cooperation / E+Z Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit.
euz.editor@dandc.eu  

Kategorien: english

The billionaire’s blue bird is in trouble

D+C - 21. November 2022 - 15:11
Lessons to be learned from Twitter’s current crisis

The background is that multibillionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter and is reshaping it. He is known for provocative statements and erratic decision-making, so it is impossible to tell what he really wants to achieve. He has declared himself to be a “free-speech absolutist”, and it is obvious that he wants to increase profits.

His endorsement of free speech is meant to display a progressive approach to human rights, but it actually amounts to a threat. He publicly disagreed with the Twitter management’s decision to ban former US President Donald Trump from the platform after he instigated the insurrection of 6 January 2021. Now Musk has allowed Trump back onto the platform after a flimsy poll held on the billionaire owner’s personal account. Musk himself could not say whether bots and fake accounts had voted.

Abandoning users and staff in India

Probably worse, Musk has in the past criticised Twitter for filing a legal case in India to protect users and staff against the national government, which is run by Hindu supremacists who have a pattern of harassing opponents. One method they use is to accusing critics of the colonial crime of “sedition” for expressing their views. Nonetheless, Musk declared Twitter’s law suit in India to be risky because it might hurt the corporation.

Pressed to clarify his stance on free speech, Musk has eventually said that he considers any statement that does not violate a law legitimate. His reasoning was that democratic governments implement their people’s will, so there is no further need for content moderation.

He is wrong. Any competent human-rights lawyer will tell you that governments as such are not the institutions you should entrust the freedom of expression to. After all, they have strong incentives to mute criticism. That is one reason why democracy depends on the independence of law courts, media and civil-society organisations. Musk’s idea of free speech severely limits this fundamental human right where dictators are in power or where elected governments with authoritarian tendencies are making efforts to undermine the constitutional order to strengthen executive power.

Disturbing global trend

In “Freedom on the net 2022”, a recently published report, the Washington-based not-for-profit organisation Freedom House warns that the international scenario has been getting worse for 12 years in a row. In at least 53 of 70 countries observed, “users faced legal repercussions for expressing themselves online”. An increasing number of governments, moreover, are said to control what people can access, hoard data and centralise infrastructure. On the upside, in about one third of the countries, internet freedom improved.

The Freedom House authors point out that civil society, the courts and democratic-minded policymakers should cooperate on protecting internet freedom everywhere. They also emphasise that the private sector must play its role, with content moderation being particularly important. Where public discourse loses credibility, the freedom of speech becomes destructive (see my contribution on www.dandc.eu). Where disinformation is allowed to run wild, democracy is in peril. Erosion of trust, however, also make advertising less valuable, which is why Twitter’s revenues have been dwindling. Unfortunately, that trend is likely to impress Musk more than concern for the viability of democracies.

Content moderation is clearly not what Musk is interested in personally. Indeed, he is personally known to spread fake news occasionally. In a later deleted Tweet, for example, he linked to a made- up story which argued that Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic policymaker, was not attacked and injured in his home by right wing extremist, but by a gay lover. This is precisely the kind of politically motivated fake news that content moderation must restrict. Musk’s tweet was an excellent example of “plutocratic populism” (see my blog post on www.dandc.eu).

Relaxed content moderation

In the platform’s current crisis, content moderation has been relaxed. Musk has spent $ 44 billion to buy it and thinks it is massively overstaffed. He has cut about half of the jobs, but the exact number is unclear given that the management itself currently did not seem to know who is still working for it. Efforts to ensure the reliability of messages and accounts have obviously declined.

The European Commission has expressed concern that Twitter may have become unable to comply with its new Digital Services Act. The implication is that Musk may be running serious legal risks in Europe. EU institutions largely deserve trust when it comes to internet freedom. Europe has many checks and balances and proudly independent courts. Governments with a more authoritarian attitude to human rights, however, may actually appreciate Musk’s relaxed approach.

If Twitter is to serve democracy, the company must definitely increase moderation efforts. It needs to hire competent staff to detect hate speech and disinformation in local languages in the many countries where it has an impact on public debate.

Internet freedom must not be left to the whims of plutocrats and governments. Prudent regulation is needed – and lacking in far too many places. Twitter potentially serves an important function, but if it does not perform diligently, its collapse may actually be a good thing.

Link

Freedom House,2022: Freedom on the Net 2022.
https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2022/countering-authoritarian-overhaul-internet

Hans Dembowski ist Chefredakteur von E+Z/D+C.
euz.editor@dandc.eu

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Scaling innovations to accelerate progress towards development and climate goals

OECD - 21. November 2022 - 13:46

By Benjamin Kumpf, Head of OECD Innovation for Development Facility, Johannes F. Linn, Co-founder Scaling Up Community of Practice and Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution, and Parnika Jhunjhunwala, Junior Innovation Specialist at OECD Innovation for Development Facility

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C necessitates radical, quick and large-scale transformations, as echoed throughout the IPCC’s 1.5°C Special Report. The same is true for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. To achieve these transformations, we need disruptive, context-fitting, technological and social innovation, and to create incentives to ensure that once proven effective, innovations are scaled-up. Unfortunately, too many promising innovations fall into the ‘pilot project trap’ and fail to have an impact at the national, regional and global scales.

The post Scaling innovations to accelerate progress towards development and climate goals appeared first on Development Matters.

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Honour traffic victims by making roads safer: Guterres

UN #SDG News - 21. November 2022 - 13:00

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for greater global efforts to achieve the goal of reducing traffic deaths and injuries by half by 2030. 

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