United Nations

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The MDG for eradicating poverty and hunger has been helped through new high-yielding varieties of rice (right) that can withstand drought in Africa. Reuters/Erik de Castro

The role of science in reaching development goals

Science has had a crucial role in helping to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. But there's much more to do.
The silence is deafening. Luke Redmond/Flickr

The UN’s 15-year goals ignore LGBT rights yet again

Negotiations on the UN’s 15-year development strategy, which involve all 193 member states, have at last produced a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. These focus on social justice, poverty…
Children’s labour entails both benefits and harm that should be assessed at the local level. Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly

Global standards miss the nuance in local child labour

A more enlightened approach to child labour would listen to what children say about work, balance work and school, and enhance the flexibility and quality of schooling to cater for working children.
UN chief climate negotiator Christiana Figueres told a Melbourne conference Australia risks becoming an outsider at this year’s crucial Paris talks. EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN/AAP

UN climate chief: other countries are ‘further ahead than Australia’

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has hinted that Australia risks becoming an outsider at this year's Paris climate talks if it doesn't match the ambition of many other countries' climate pledges.
Pope Francis and UN head Ban Ki-Moon, who met at the Vatican to discuss climate change, hope to influence this year’s crucial Paris climate talks. EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AAP

The Pope’s climate message will extend his advocacy for the poor

Pope Francis is set to release an encyclical on climate change next month, which he hopes will influence this year's Paris climate talks as well as continuing his work on behalf of the world's poorest.
The Whitlam government had a reformist vision whose origins lay in the future prime minister’s own wartime experience. AWM

Gough’s war: making a politician, changing a nation

While serving in the RAAF, future prime minister Gough Whitlam led his first political campaign, agitating among his own squadron in support of the 1944 referendum.
Safeguarding rainforests is an area where the United Nations has made great strides - hopefully the Paris summit can deliver more of the same. Sze Ning/Flickr.com/Wikimedia Commons

A global deal that drives good decisions: what success at the Paris summit should look like

In the final part of his essay on the Paris climate talks, Nick Rowley explains how a successful deal, whether binding or not, needs to influence directly the domestic policies of the world's nations.
Hopes for a singular breakthrough at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks were dashed, but that doesn’t mean the negotiating process isn’t making quiet progress. EPA/Henning Bagger/AAP

The Road to Paris: three myths about international climate talks

Hopes are high that a global climate deal can be reached in Paris this year. In part 1 of a three-part essay on the prospects for such a deal, Nick Rowley sets out three myths about the UN talks that need to be dumped before we go forward.
Given Australia’s involvement in Iraq, Tony Abbott cannot dismiss human rights abuses by Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State militants. AAP/PMO

Australia has an obligation to stop human rights abuses by Iraq

Australia has a clear obligation under international law to take action to stop abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law by the ISF and Shi’a militia.

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