Articles on United Nations

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Some jurisdictions are pushing for aviation emissions controls, but an international agreement seems far away. Cardiff Friends of the Earth

See you in court: solving aviation emissions is an international mess

Aviation is a growing source of emissions. Emissions from aviation are increasing against a background of decreasing emissions from many other industry sectors. Airlines - with their international reach…
Will the UN recommendations pull people out of poverty and reduce pressure on the environment? The Advocacy Project

UN sustainability panel says put a price on the environment

A recent cartoon (below) extrapolates the use of the word “sustainable”. It predicts that in 50 years each sentence will on average contain the word at least once. The cartoon is clever, and “sustainable…
When people need to beg, the last thing we should be doing is seeing them as criminals. Flickr/galawebdesign

Forget your coins, we want change: begging should not be a crime

The criminal offence of begging should be abolished. Criminalising begging is tantamount to criminalising poverty. It perpetuates, rather than alleviates, the marginalisation and disadvantage experienced…
Shouldn’t we try harder to stop runaway climate change? AAP

Durban did too little: here are alternatives to the UN process

In the month and a half since the Durban climate change conference it has been said that the “international climate process” has been “strengthened” and that Durban resulted in “the means and the ends…
The US has information about its threatened species, but isn’t acting on it. photommo/Flickr

Three-quarters of America’s threatened species aren’t being protected

We know very little about the world’s biodiversity. A recent study suggests that, despite 250 years of taxonomic effort, a mere 14% of the world’s species are recognised by scientists. Worryingly, anthropogenic…
No new climate dawn at Durban? It’s not the end of the world. Andrew Roos

And what if nothing happens at Durban?

DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: Progress towards a binding international agreement on targets to tackle global warming has been more than glacial. Yet despite growing alarm among the climate science…
Asylum seekers held in detention centres like Villawood have been protesting that the current system doesn’t work. AAP/Dean Lewins

Why Australia should abandon the Refugee Convention

With the collapse of offshore processing, and the likely increase in boat arrivals into a politically charged environment, a cross-road may have been reached regarding asylum policy in Australia. Now would…
The Palestinian delegation to UNESCO await the outcome of the vote on membership. AAP

Palestine vote: America the loser as it withdraws funding from UNESCO

The United States announced last Monday that it would refuse to pay its 2011 funding commitment to the United Nations’ lead cultural and educational body following that organisation’s decision to admit…
Solomon Island women were excluded from the peace-making process after the civil war. AAP Image/Lloyd Jones

Excluded: The forgotten women of war and peace

There is a profound silence in conflict. Women’s voices are absent. They are excluded from decision-making and peace processes across the world’s trouble spots. This exclusion not only perpetuates political…
A Palestinian girl in Gaza atop a destroyed house on the day President Abbas formally requested UN recognition of Palestine. AAP

UN recognition: Palestine, Israel and the path forward

President Mahmoud Abbas has formally submitted Palestine’s application for full member status of the United Nations. The United States has already promised to veto the application at the Security Council…
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon addresses the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs on September 19, 2011. UN Photo/Marco Castro

Non-communicable diseases come to the United Nations

Non-communicable diseases – Professor Stephen Leeder looks at what came out of the UN meeting on NCDs. Despite the lack of definite goals and targets, the United Nations High-Level Meeting in New York…
The most promising interventions to curb obesity’s prevalence target the population as a whole rather than individuals. Tobyotter

Stemming the obesity epidemic requires courageous, population-level action

Non-communicable diseases – Lennert Veerman examines the reasons for the obesity epidemic and options for controlling it. Obesity levels are on the rise the world over. This is a sign that something is…
We all think we know what a child soldier looks like, but we’d be wrong. AFP/Georges Gobet

How child soldiers are recruited from refugee camps

The commander of United Nations peacekeeping forces in Rwanda during the terrible conflict in the early 1990s has put forward legislation in Canada to help former child soldiers seek refuge there. During…
Jubiliant Libyans celebrate the arrival of rebel forces in central Tripoli. AAP

Libya: the death throes of the Gaddafi regime

The situation in Libya remains fluid but with armed rebel fighters now in Green Square in central Tripoli, it appears the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is in its final hours. Two of the dictator’s…
The UN is protecting your right to express yourself in social media. Flickr/-lucky cat-

Click, like, comment? The UN goes digital on freedom of expresssion

General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights may sound like something from a bureaucratic nightmare, but it drags your right to freedom of expression into the digital…
Syrian troops withdraw from the city of Hama where they were quelling pro-democracy protests. AFP/STR

Solving the crisis in Syria. Where will the unrest end?

The United States has stepped up sanctions against Syria, targeting President Bashar al-Assad’s financial resources. Syria claims to have withdrawn its troops from the city of Hama, which has played a…
Palestinian medics attend to an elderly woman in the shadow of the Israeli wall. AAP

Explainer: The upcoming UN Palestinian sovereignty vote

The United Nations is set to vote on recognising Palestine as an independent state next month. What the chances of the Palestinian initiative succeeding? What implications would recognition of Palestinian…

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