Advisors Hired to Make UN System Fit for 2030 Development Agenda

By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Report

NEW YORK (IDN) - An independent team of 12 advisors headed by two former senior UN officials has been tasked with making the United Nations development system fit for supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that took effect on January 1.

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Bureau – headed by Oh Joon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea – announced on February 12 the establishment of the team to support the second phase of the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UN development system in the context of the 2030 Agenda.


Countries, Not UN, Responsible for Implementing 17 SDGs

By J Nastranis | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

NEW YORK (IDN) - Since all the world’s governments adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 and it took effect on January 1, two important questions being discussed around the world are: How will we measure progress in translating the Agenda into practice, and who is responsible for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Countering Religious Hardliners Through Dialogue

By Monzurul Huq | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

Photo: A view of the plenary | Credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri

TOKYO (IDN) - Religious identity, which in a broader context is perceived as belonging to a certain faith, is a topic of heated debate these days, mainly because a religious sense of belonging is directed toward achieving a certain goal by inflicting harm on others. The ongoing debate has been intensified in recent years with the concept of a clash of civilizations winning support among a group of Western academics and intellectuals.

It has received further impetus with the involvement of Western governments in the process of toppling regimes that the leaders of the Western world termed as “evil empires” – and thus paving the way for a blowback in the form of emergence of various religious-based terrorist groups claiming the righteousness in the name of divinity.


UN’s Trust Fund Facilitates ‘Digital Ports’ in Latin America and the Caribbean

NEW YORK (IDN) - The Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF), managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), has partnered with the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) to map current trends, share best practices and promote sound and cooperative policies for ports in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Boost for South-South and Triangular Cooperation

By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) - Representatives of governments, civil society, and the private sector as well as global development partners have pledged to build new South-South and triangular partnerships to empower women and youth through jobs and entrepreneurship with a view to ensuring integrated rural development.

While South-South cooperation (SSC) is between and among developing countries, triangular cooperation (TrC) involves a traditional donor from the ranks of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), an emerging donor in the South, and a beneficiary country in the South.


‘Ratify Treaty to Ban Nuclear Testing Before Fatigue Creeps in’

IDN-InDepthNews Interview with CTBTO Chief Dr Lassina Zerbo

CTBTO Chief Lassina Zerbo | Credit: CTBTO

BERLIN | VIENNA (IDN) - Twenty years after it was opened for signature, the CTBT has come to stay as a de facto global treaty banning all nuclear testing – “if we take North Korea outside of the scope” – but Dr Zerbo Lassina wants to see it de jure because he is concerned that the longer it takes for its entry into force, the greater is the risk of a “fatigue” creeping in that could lead to people saying: “Why are we investing in something if we don’t know when the treaty will come into force?”


Rescuing Multilateral Disarmament

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepthNews Essay

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - The International Peace Institute, since its inception as the International Peace Academy in 1970, has focused on strengthening the multilateral process in the conduct of international affairs with the United Nations as its focal point. It is appropriate that in the 70th anniversary year of our indispensable global institution, the UN, an Independent Commission on Multilateralism should be established by the IPI to address 16 topics of relevance to the global agenda.

It is a necessary corollary to the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals that the international community has agreed to pursue. I welcome especially the Commission’s choice of “Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nonproliferation and Disarmament” as one of them.

Seventy years ago on January 24, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly meeting in London adopted its very first resolution and, significantly, by consensus. This historic resolution established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure:


Court Rules in Favour of Dutch Human Rights Advocate

By Reinhardt Jacobsen | IDN-InDepthNews Report

Mirjam van Reisen | Credit. Philips Foundation

AMSTERDAM (IDN) - A Court in Amsterdam struck down Meseret Bahlbi lawsuit against Mirjam van Reisen, Dutch professor and human rights advocate. The judge found that she was not guilty of libel and slander and that the youth party of the Eritrean regime can be seen as a means of collecting intelligence abroad. The decision comes as a huge relief not only for the Dutch professor, but also for the Eritrean diaspora across Europe.

When the case was heard on January 27, 2016 in Amsterdam the focus was more about the nature of the regime in Eritrea, and the role played by its supporters in Europe. The court room was packed to overflowing, mostly by Eritreans from the diaspora in Europe. The majority came to support Mirjam van Reisen. She was being sued for libel and slander by Bahlbi, an Eritrean residing in the Netherlands, who according to the judgment “is linked to the regime of Eritrea and actively supports the ideas of this regime”. Bahlbi himself, however, “stated in the summons that this [Eritrea] is a dictatorship and that torture takes place”.


Remaking the Future of America

By Somar Wijayadasa* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

The electoral map for the 2016 election, based on populations from the 2010 census. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK (IDN) - In the richest and strongest country on earth – the Land of Opportunity – only a few wealthy persons can aspire to be the President of the United States of America, the most powerful and envious job in today’s menacing world.

The Presidential candidates – with lofty words and unrealistic promises – are clamouring to get into the White House. Among the catchy slogans are: “Repeal Obamacare”, “Tear up the Iranian Nuclear Deal”, “Carpet bomb ISIS” and “Punch the Russians in the nose”. Americans love this brash talk but ignore reality.


Dutch Court Examines Alleged Eritrean Surveillance & Intimidation

By Reinhardt Jacobsen | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea Sheila B. Keetharuth introducing New UN report detailing litany of human rights violations, ‘rule by fear’ in Eritrea in June 2015. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

AMSTERDAM (IDN) - The reach of an allegedly long arm of the Eritrean regime abroad has been the subject of a series of high profile articles in the media. Latest reports say that it is not only targeting Eritrean refugees but also Dutch citizens.

At the core of the debate is a series of articles by OneWorld journalist Sanne Terlingen who revealed that members suspected to have links to the Eritrean regime were serving as interpreters in asylum cases. Two siblings of the chair of the YPFDJ, the youth wing of the only party of Eritrea, were still employed by the interpretation service, even though the rules of the Dutch government agency would not allow this.


Fearing a Veto Threat, Security Council Delays Action on North Korea

By Rodney Reynolds | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

Model of a Unha-9 rocket on display at a floral exhibition in Pyongyang, 30 August 2013 | Credit: Wikimedia Commons

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – When the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) met at an emergency session on February 7, a non-working Sunday afternoon, to discuss the most recent defiance by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the outcome was predictable.

After “urgent consultations”, the UNSC “strongly condemned” DPRK for launching a rocket which could lead to the future development of intercontinental ballistic missile technologies.