'Climate Change Constitutes A Growing Peril To Human Civilisation'

By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepthNews Report

BERLIN (IDN) - Humankind has become a geological force that is able to quash the beginning of the next ice age, a study published in the renowned scientific journal Nature shows. Ice ages have shaped the global environment and thereby determined the development of human civilization.

Cracking the code of glacial inception, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research found the relation of insolation and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to be the key criterion to explain the last eight glacial cycles in Earth history.


Papuans Will See The Morning Star Flag Fly – But Not Without A Struggle

By Robert J. Burrowes* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

DAYLESFORD, Victoria | Australia (IDN) - It has been argued that nonviolent struggles to liberate occupied countries – such as West Papua, Tibet, Palestine, Kanaky and Western Sahara – have failed far more often than they have succeeded. But secessionist struggles that have sought to separate territory from an existing state in order to establish a new one conducted by nonviolent means have always failed.


UN Chief Lauds G77 As Thailand Takes The Chair From South Africa

By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Report

NEW YORK (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the role played by ‘Group of 77’ (G77) developing countries and China, comprising 134 out of 193 member states of the United Nations, “in cementing historic 2015 successes”, as South Africa handed over Chair to Thailand on January 12.

At the handover ceremony of the Group’s Chairmanship, Ban expressed appreciation for South Africa’s “able stewardship as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China throughout such a historic year for multilateralism”, and warmly welcomed Thailand’s leadership.


‘I See A World Without Poverty’, Says Amina Mohammed

An Interview by Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor*

In this exclusive interview, the United Nations Secretary-General’s former special adviser on post-2015 development planning, Amina Mohammed, talks about the evolution of the process, the commitments made, the challenges ahead, and why the goals, if implemented, could transform the world.

Africa Renewal (AR): What were the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how did they shape the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Amina Mohammed (AM): With the MDGs, we only addressed the symptoms. We didn’t really address the root causes of such development challenges as gender inequality, lack of access to clean water and the insufficiencies of health services. We’ve learned through this experience that having a set of goals directs people to discuss, create partnerships and find investments to execute plans. We’ve also learned to agree on the means of implementation. With the MDGs, we agreed to finance them after the goals were adopted, so we were always running after the money. This time, finance is part of the package.


ADB Committed To Support Asia's Development Needs

By Devinder Kumar | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

MUMBAI (IDN) - With the urban population in Asia expected to grow by 1.1 billion over the next two decades, 20% of respondents to a blog poll by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) believe that “transforming the region’s sometimes chaotic, polluted and poverty-blighted cities into competitive, equitable, and environmentally sustainable urban spaces should be a priority in 2016”. The blog poll was conducted in December 2015.


Israel To Thwart Obama’s Reported Plan To Run UN Chief

By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BERLIN (IDN) – In an unprecedented bid, U.S. President Barack Obama plans to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the United Nations Secretary-General and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has got wind of the plan, is determined to lead the effort in thwarting the bid, reports the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, cited by The Jerusalem Post.

While Ban’s second term as the UN Secretary-General ends on December 31, Obama’s finishes in January 2017. The U.S. Presidential election is due on November 8, 2016.


North Korea’s Defiance Underlines The Urgency To Eradicate All Nuclear Weapons

By Somar Wijayadasa* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

NEW YORK (IDN) - North Korea defied world powers, on January 6, by announcing that it had successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device – in contravention of the international norm against nuclear testing.

The miniaturizing allows the device to be placed on a missile thereby significantly increasing its strike capabilities not only against Japan and South Korea but also against the United States.


North Korea’s Nuclear Test Escalates Military Tensions

By Rodney Reynolds | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – As military tensions continue to rise between two of the world’s major nuclear powers – the United States and Russia – the United Nations remains strongly committed towards one of its longstanding goals: a world without nuclear weapons.

But North Korea’s announcement of its first hydrogen bomb – tested January 6 – is threatening to escalate the nuclear challenge even further.

The 193-member General Assembly wrapped up its 2015 sessions in December adopting 57 draft resolutions on arms control and disarmament – 23 of which were on nuclear weapons.


Heated Debate in India on New Juvenile Justice Law

By Shastri Ramachandran* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) - The release of a convicted rapist, who committed the crime when he was just 17, on December 20, 2015 amid high drama in Indian capital has triggered public outcry and revived debate over issues of juvenile justice.

One outcome of the protests against the release of the juvenile convict is that two days later, on December 22, India's Parliament passed the Juvenile Justice Bill, under which minors from 16 to 18 can be tried as adults for heinous crimes such as rape, murder and terror-related acts. As political parties were divided over this legislation, it took the public outrage to push it through.


UAE World’s Major Aid Giver and Sponsor of Tolerance

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

MUMBAI (IDN) - As the international community starts to implement the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, funds from countries that are not members of the Paris-based 29-nation Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have “an increasingly important role in financing development co-operation”, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


‘We Cannot Abolish Nuclear Weapons Without Abolishing War’

By James Taylor Ranney* | IDN-InDepthNews Viewpoint

WILMINGTON, USA (IDN) - For some time now, the movement for abolition of nuclear weapons has been proceeding on the assumption that we can secure an abolition treaty without fundamentally altering global security arrangements. Understandably, very little if any attention has been focused upon the much larger issue of abolishing war. But it may turn out that we cannot abolish nuclear weapons without abolishing war.

Nothing logically requires this. But as a practical matter, the two things may be inextricably linked.  For one thing, the Russians will demand, if not general and complete disarmament, at least serious reductions in conventional forces.  And once we agree to that, we are halfway to a new security system – international alternative dispute resolution.

One of the people who recognized this is Mikhail Gorbachev, who said this in an interview:  “We will never be able to solve the nuclear question unless at the same time we develop a system of international organizations…and effective systems of regional security….[T]he international organization should have certain decision-making powers and mechanisms for enforcement.”  Jonathan Schell, The Gift of Time:  The Case for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons Now, at 165 (1998).