Global Development Update: November 2017

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 Living without an identity
More than 1.1 billion people worldwide officially do not exist – going about their daily lives without proof of identity. The issue leaves a significant fraction of the global population deprived of health and education services. Among these “invisible people” – many of whom live primarily in Africa and Asia – more than one third are children whose births have not been registered.


No Justice for Rohingya in Burma
Human Rights Watch issued a strongly worded statement calling on the United Nations Security Council to do more to address the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma. In what many outside observers are calling “ethnic cleansing,” the past two months in Burma have seen hundreds of villages burned to ashes, thousands killed, and more than half a million ethnic Rohingya Muslims fleeing for their lives.

Libya Plans Transit Center for Refugees
The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed the decision by the Libyan authorities to set up a “transit and departure facility” in Tripoli for refugees and migrants in need of international protection – an initiative that offers viable alternatives to their dangerous journeys along the Central Mediterranean route.


The Inequality of Women’s Health
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) recently issued a new report exploring the persistent inequalities in sexual and reproductive health around the world. Globally, women and girls in the poorest 20 percent of households have little or no access to contraception and skilled birth attendants, leading to more unintended pregnancies and higher risk of illness or death from pregnancy or childbirth. The lack of power to choose whether, when or how often to become pregnant can limit girls’ education, delay their entry into the paid labor force, and reduce earnings, trapping women in poverty and marginalization. 

Women Must Included in Peace Talks
It is widely acknowledged that women often bear the brunt of violent conflict. That is why including them in peace negotiations is so vital. 17 years ago the UN passed resolution 1325, which incorporates women in the peace and security agenda, yet there is still work to be done. Improving the number of women in senior UN positions, strengthening gender capacity in peacekeeping missions and assessments, and drastically increasing funding and other support for local women’s organizations would be a good start.


The record growth of CO2
According to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm), up from 400.00 ppm in 2015. A recent UN report demonstrates a record pace of growth in 2016 to a level not seen in 800,000 years. The report underscores the need for a strong and urgent global response to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The link between hamburgers and climate change
Popular Science launched #NoRedOctober in an effort to encourage people to abstain from red meat for one month. The motivation behind the campaign was to address the methane footprint of cattle raised for beef. Livestock are responsible for 12 percent of planet-warming greenhouse gases and red meat animals, especially the bovine kind, are among the worst offenders.

Paris Agreement Only 1/3 of What is needed
The eighth edition of UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, finds that national pledges only bring a third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate that would help close this worrying gap. Should the United States follow through with its stated intention to leave the Paris Agreement in 2020, the picture could become even bleaker.


A long way to go to eradicate world hunger
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, there are now slightly more than 800 million undernourished people worldwide. For the first time in many years, the estimated number of undernourished people has gone up rather than down. One of the internationally agreed upon Sustainable Development Goals is to get hunger to zero by 2030, so there is a long way to go.

UNESCO Releases Global Education Monitoring Report
UNESCO recently released its 2017/18 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, which highlights the responsibility of governments to provide universal quality education and stresses that accountability is indispensable in achieving this goal. The Report warns that disproportionate blame on any one actor for systemic educational problems can have serious negative side effects, widening inequality and damaging learning.


Nonproliferation Reflections in Kosovo
In Kosovo, landmines remain the longest-lasting and most indiscriminate weapons of war. Law school candidate Brenna Gautam reviews the importance of the demining efforts in Kosovo, as well as the important lessons to be learned from the process of nuclear disarmament.

Burundi Withdraws from the ICC
Burundi has become the first country in the world to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The decision comes one month after the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi announced that it had found evidence of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and sexual violence in the two-and-a-half years since Burundi’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza began a third term in office.

Zimbabwe’s President to Re-Engage with the World
Following the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to re-engage the country with the world. His inauguration address was seen by many as an effort to reassure foreign investors to attract investment to revive Zimbabwe’s failing economy. Mr Mnangagwa’s dismissal as vice-president earlier this month led the ruling party and the army to intervene.


UN Report on Statelessness
UN agency on refugees recently released a report entitled This Is Our Home: Stateless minorities and their search for citizenship. The report explains the circumstances that lead to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities not being recognized as citizens, drawing on discussions with four stateless or formerly stateless minority groups. The findings in this report underscore the critical need for minorities to enjoy the right to nationality.

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