This month, we share two opinion pieces by two leading international experts about:
  • The global assault on human rights
  • Vaccines as global public goods
The global assault on human rights
Human rights are under global assault, writes Ben Phillips in his op-ed. 2021 saw crackdowns “on civil society organizations, attacks on minorities, the undermining of democratic institutions, and violence against journalists.”
According to the conservative think tank Freedom House, in 2021 there was the most significant decline in democracy ever recorded worldwide.
And “to protect human rights,” Phillips continues, “it is vital to understand why they are under threat.”
Ben Phillips is the author of How to Fight Inequality and an advisor to the UN, governments, and civil society organizations.
Vaccines as global public goods
The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened inequities between and within countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In many countries, less than 1-in-5 of the total population is fully vaccinated.
“For the inequity to be narrowed,” writes Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, “vaccines and health technologies for fighting pandemics should be recognized as global public goods.”
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP