79-Nation African, Pacific and Caribbean States Welcome COP21 Agreement

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BERLIN (IDN) – The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group has welcomed the Climate Change Paris Agreement on December 12. “It is a major step forward; it has reinforced the core issues around which the ACP joined forces with the EU,” said the 79-nation Group’s Secretary-General Dr. Patrick Gomes.


Paris Climate Agreement Promises to be UN Chief’s Legacy

By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

NEW YORK | PARIS (IDN) - Ban Ki-moon has reason to be sure that when he completes his second term as the Secretary-General of the United Nations end of December 2016, he would have left behind a proud legacy.

Climate change has been “one of the defining priorities” of his tenure since January 2007, when he took over as Secretary-General. In his remarks at the closing of COP21, Ban stressed: “Over the past nine years, I have spoken repeatedly with nearly every world leader. I have visited the climate front lines, from the Arctic to Antarctica and to the Amazon, from the Sahel to the Aral Sea. I have been to Pacific Islands that are sinking under the waves.”


First Ever UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security

By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Report

NEW YORK (IDN) - The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution on youth, peace and security, which for the first time in its history focuses entirely on the role of young men and women in peace-building and countering violent extremism.

The resolution, sponsored by Jordan, embodies an unprecedented acknowledgment of the urgent need to engage young peace-builders in promoting peace and frustrating extremism. Adopted on December 9, 2015 it also regards the youth and youth-led organizations as important partners in the global efforts to thwart violent extremism and promote lasting peace.


Polluters and Sufferers Push for Legally Binding Deal by COP21

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BERLIN | BRUSSELS | PARIS (IDN) - The UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris would be recorded in the annals of global negotiations if only because a block of wealthy nations responsible for contributing to global warming made a common cause with a group of developing nations suffering the dire consequences of climate change.


Jordan Risking Humanitarian Disaster by Denying Entry to Syrian Refugees

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

AMMAN (IDN) - Amnesty International johas urged Jordan to “take immediate action” to help up to 12,000 refugees who have been denied entry to the country and are struggling to survive in desperate, freezing conditions in “no man’s land” on the Jordanian side of the border with Syria.


Progress in Containing HIV/AIDS, But No Cause for Complacency

By Somar Wijayadasa* | IDN-InDepthNews Analyis

NEW YORK (IDN) - Almost all countries of the world commemorated the World AIDS Day on December 1 with statements that exhibit optimism that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is finally on its last leg.

Despite tremendous progress in containing the pandemic, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that, in 2014, there were “over 2 million new HIV infections”.


Humans Causing Sixth Mass Extinction of Species

By Robert J. Burrowes* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

DAYLESFORD, Victoria | Australia (IDN) - What do the Pyrenean ibex, St. Helena olive, Baiji dolphin, Liverpool pigeon, Eastern cougar, West African black rhinoceros, Formosan clouded leopard, Chinese Paddlefish, the Golden Toad and the Rockland grass skipper butterfly all have in common but which is different from the Dodo?

The answer is that these species all became extinct since the year 2000, that is, in the last fifteen years. The Dodo became extinct in 1662.

The one thing that all of these species have in common is that the cause of their extinction was human beings.


China’s New Two-Child Policy No Economic Panacea

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BEIJING (IDN) - The ending of China’s one-child policy, which gained notoriety for its coercive implementation, is a landmark event of immense economic and political significance, but there are serious question marks about whether it can effectively produce the positive economic fallout that its architects expect.

The importance of the October 29 decision of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to jettison the 35-year-old draconian one-child policy in favour of a new, universal two-child norm is primarily political as underscored by the fact that the announcement was made in a communique released at the conclusion of the four-day conclave – Fifth Plenum – of the CPC’s 18th Central Committee.

The main purpose of the plenum was to finalise China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – the first since Xi Jinping became President – and map the road ahead for the world’s second largest economy, which has had to contend with a falling growth rate in the last few years. China now aims to strive for a GDP growth rate of 6.5 to 7 percent during the five years of this Plan ending in 2020.


Most Vulnerable Countries Assured of Fresh Money at Climate Conference

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepthNews Report

BERLIN | PARIS (IDN) - The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Chairperson Naoko Ishii has welcomed pledges made at the UN Climate Conference in Paris to inject more than 252 million U.S. dollars to help the most vulnerable countries address climate change and its adverse consequences.

In an unprecedented move, Premier Philippe Couillard of Québec, Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division, has announced a contribution of 6 million Canadian dollars to the climate fund, hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the most vulnerable countries.

The commitment, made at the Paris COP21 climate talks, is the first-ever by a sub-national government, and brings total new financing to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) to more than 252 million U.S. dollars.

The support for the LDCF was included in an announcement by the Québec government on December 5 of new international funding for climate cooperation.


A Turkish Recluse Bridges the Western and Muslim Worlds

By Fabíola Ortiz | IDN-InDepthNews Feature

PENNSYLVANIA (IDN) - A free global and interconnected citizenship might be the pathway to foster a non-violent and peaceful culture within societies. This is the main objective of a grassroots movement that advocates enhancing education, promoting universal values, interfaith dialogue and democracy.

A Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen is the inspiration behind the movement called “Hizmet” (‘service’ in Turkish). Seen as a moderate Muslim, he emphasizes the need for interfaith dialogue, educational projects as an emancipatory tool of society to live freely and fairly, and the idea that science and religion can go hand in hand.

Over the five decades, the movement grew in Turkey and spread over 100 countries through the Turkish diaspora around the world. It is estimated that around 10 to 15% of the Turkish population is somehow engaged in this movement that has no centralized bureaucracy.


China’s Carbon Trading Pilot Programmes Flawed

By Wang Yan* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BEIJING (IDN | UNDP) - As China prepares to launch a nationwide carbon cap-and-trade program to try to slow climate change, experts are warning of a long list of flaws in seven pilot programs that are already operating throughout the country.

Major issues ahead of the planned 2017 launch of a national carbon trading program include a lack of openness, transparency and fairness; a flawed system of allowance allocation which does not reflect real industry conditions; and an inadequate monitoring, verification and reporting system.