The Human Consciousness Now...Our World in the Midst of Becoming...to What? Observe, contemplate Now.

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By Ashfaq Yusufzai
A young child receives vaccine drops in Pakistan, but the region has experienced an upsurgence of cases because of vaccine refusal. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS
A young child receives vaccine drops in Pakistan, but the region has experienced an upsurgence of cases because of vaccine refusal. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

A young child receives vaccine drops in Pakistan, but the region has experienced an upsurgence of cases because of vaccine refusal. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

PESHAWAR, Nov 29 2022 (IPS) - Vaccine refusal is impacting the eradication of polio in Pakistan.

Pakistan has vaccinated about 35 million children during its door-to-door campaign, but about 500,000 remained unvaccinated due to refusal by their parents, Jawad Khan Polio officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, recorded in 2022 so far.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of Pakistan’s four provinces, has reported all 20 polio cases. North Waziristan has detected 17 infections, Lakki Marwat 2 and South Waziristan 1.

Khan says that hesitancy against vaccination is not a new trend, as Pakistan has been facing this problem since the start of the polio-eradication campaign in the 90s.

Of the 17 cases reported in militancy-riddled North Waziristan, 12 were not vaccinated, while five were partially immunized.

Muhammad Shah, whose son was diagnosed with the polio virus in August, told IPS that he had been opposing vaccination because this wasn’t allowed in Islam.

“Our religion Islam says that no medication is permissible before the occurrence of any ailment; therefore, our people defy vaccination to fulfill their religious obligations,” he said. Shah, a religious preacher, says his son will soon recover from the paralysis.

He says he was unrepentant in refusing vaccination of his child and would continue to thwart efforts by vaccinators to inoculate the toddler.

North Waziristan district, located near Afghanistan’s border, has many militants who staunchly oppose vaccination.

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: INTER PRESS SERVICE
November 25,2022 6:01 AM
Please take a quick look at this short report before rushing to shop on a Black Friday, Christmas sales and all those long chains of big discounts and wholesales, most of them are fake, as often denounced by consumers organisations that report that the business usually inflates prices before launching such deals. Just a couple […]
November 25,2022 5:37 AM
In 2007 as inflation walloped the Zimbabwean currency, rendering it valueless, then 54-year-old Langton Musaigwa of Mataruse village west of Zimbabwe in Mberengwa district switched to cattle as his currency. He wasn’t alone; scores of other villagers in his locality followed suit. In no time, cattle became a new currency as the Zimbabwean dollar went […]
November 25,2022 5:36 AM
Human rights defenders are alarmed at what appears to be a new process permitting countries to keep confidential their responses to UN experts about allegations of human rights abuses. A page on the website of the UN human rights office hosts letters (known as “communications”) from human rights experts, or “special rapporteurs”, to those alleged […]
November 24,2022 10:55 PM
The sun is shining, and the temperature sits at an idyllic 28 degrees Celsius. The Uber driver taking me to work is from Pakistan and devastated about the recent loss to England in the T20 Cricket World Cup final in Australia. On route to the office, I stop to get a coffee and the barista […]
November 24,2022 8:24 AM
COP 27 was both better and worse than expected, say Prof. Felix Dodds and Chris Spence
November 23,2022 11:55 PM
The world celebrates the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer once a year, but for Saint Lucia, the annual month-long observance highlights year-round work on ozone protection.
November 23,2022 11:09 PM
In our recent book, “The Connections World: The Future of Asia”, published by Cambridge University Press in October 2022, we argue that mutually beneficial links between dynastic business houses and political elites have been important drivers behind Asia’s extraordinary renaissance. Yet, these close ties now threaten future economic growth. That is because the ubiquitous Asian […]
November 23,2022 10:28 PM
This article is part of IPS coverage of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25.
November 23,2022 4:36 AM
Countries worldwide, and as different as India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel and Italy, are struggling with the issue of how best to balance diversity and meritocracy across disparate ethnic, racial, caste, linguistic and religious subgroups in their populations. In a growing number of areas, including politics, employment, careers, education, armed forces, immigration, the judicial […]
By Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

BANGKOK, Thailand, Nov 29 2022 (IPS) - The recent climate talks in Egypt have left us with a sobering reality: The window for maintaining global warming to 1.5 degrees is closing fast and what is on the table currently is insufficient to avert some of the worst potential effects of climate change. The Nationally Determined Contribution targets of Asian and Pacific countries will result in a 16 per cent increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from the 2010 levels.

The Sharm-el Sheikh Implementation Plan and the package of decisions taken at COP27 are a reaffirmation of actions that could deliver the net-zero resilient world our countries aspire to. The historic decision to establish a Loss and Damage Fund is an important step towards climate justice and building trust among countries.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

But they are not enough to help us arrive at a better future without, what the UN Secretary General calls, a “giant leap on climate ambition”. Carbon neutrality needs to at the heart of national development strategies and reflected in public and private investment decisions. And it needs to cascade down to the sustainable pathways in each sector of the economy.

Accelerate energy transition

At the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), we are working with regional and national stakeholders on these transformational pathways. Moving away from the brown economy is imperative, not only because emissions are rising but also because dependence on fossil fuels has left economies struggling with price volatility and energy insecurity.

A clear road map is the needed springboard for an inclusive and just energy transition. We have been working with countries to develop scenarios for such a shift through National Roadmaps, demonstrating that a different energy future is possible and viable with the political will and sincere commitment to action of the public and private sectors.

The changeover to renewables also requires concurrent improvements in grid infrastructure, especially cross-border grids. The Regional Road Map on Power System Connectivity provides us the platform to work with member States toward an interconnected grid, including through the development of the necessary regulatory frameworks for to integrate power systems and mobilize investments in grid infrastructure. The future of energy security will be determined by the ability to develop green grids and trade renewable-generated electricity across our borders.

Green the rides

The move to net-zero carbon will not be complete without greening the transport sector. In Asia and the Pacific transport is primarily powered by fossil fuels and as a result accounted for 24 per cent of total carbon emissions by 2018.

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By Inge Kaul
After days of intense negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, countries at the latest UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, reached agreement on an outcome that established a funding mechanism to compensate vulnerable nations for ‘loss and damage’ from climate-induced disasters. 20 November 2022 Credit: United Nations

After days of intense negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, countries at the latest UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, reached agreement on an outcome that established a funding mechanism to compensate vulnerable nations for ‘loss and damage’ from climate-induced disasters. 20 November 2022 Credit: United Nations

BERLIN, Nov 29 2022 (IPS) - For decades, there have been non-conclusive deliberations regarding how the international community could support poor and vulnerable countries in their efforts to cope with and recover from the havoc wreaked on their territory by the ill-effects of global warming such as severe droughts, floods, storms, or rising sea levels.

At the COP27 climate summit, this issue figured for the first time as a separate item on the agenda; and, as one of their very last-minute decisions, delegations even agreed to establish a dedicated loss and damage fund (LDF). However, the question of how to operationalize, notably resource the fund was left open.

A “transitional committee” is to be created to examine possible funding options and report to COP28, which could then, eventually, decide on the LDF’s operationalization.

Remembering the many press photos showing the despair written into the faces of people, whose houses and fields were destroyed by floods, or the blank stares of those sitting next to the cadavers of their cattle killed by severe drought conditions,

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: INTER PRESS SERVICE
By Timothy A. Wise and Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Timothy A. Wise

BOSTON and KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 2022 (IPS) - Despite its dismal record, the Gates Foundation-sponsored Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) announced a new five-year strategy in September after rebranding itself by dropping ‘Green Revolution’ from its name.

Rebranding, not reform
Instead of learning from experience and changing its approach accordingly, AGRA’s new strategy promises more of the same. Ignoring evidence, criticisms and civil society pleas and demands, the Gates Foundation has committed another $200 million to its new five-year plan, bringing its total contribution to around $900 million.

More than two-thirds of AGRA’s funding has come from Gates, with African governments providing much more – as much as a billion dollars yearly – in subsidies for Green Revolution seeds and fertilizers.

Timothy A. Wise

Stung by criticism of its poor results, AGRA delayed announcing its new strategy by a year, while its chief executive shepherded the controversial UN Food Systems Summit of 2021. Following this, AGRA has been using more UN Sustainable Development Goals rhetoric.

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: INTER PRESS SERVICE
By Emma Gibson
The 17th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be hosted by the Government of Ethiopia with the support of UN ECA and UN DESA, will take place from 28 November to 2 December 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the overarching theme “Resilient Internet for a Shared Sustainable and Common Future”. There are five themes that guide the agenda of the meeting, drawn from the Global Digital Compact found in the UN Secretary-General's report on “Our Common Agenda”. Credit: United Nations

The 17th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be hosted by the Government of Ethiopia with the support of UN ECA and UN DESA, will take place from 28 November to 2 December 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the overarching theme “Resilient Internet for a Shared Sustainable and Common Future”. There are five themes that guide the agenda of the meeting, drawn from the Global Digital Compact found in the UN Secretary-General's report on “Our Common Agenda”. Credit: United Nations

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Nov 28 2022 (IPS) - The upcoming consultation on the Global Digital Compact presents a unique opportunity to ensure that human rights in the digital world are protected in international common standards.

The United Nations has proposed a Global Digital Compact, a set of shared principles for our digital future, which is scheduled to be agreed upon by Member States in September 2024. The Compact is expected to “outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all”, and the consultation being conducted by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology presents a unique opportunity to ensure that these principles are rooted in human rights law and underpinned by an intersectional feminist, anti-discrimination analysis.

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By Thalif Deen
Credit: IPS

Credit: IPS

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 28 2022 (IPS) - A sign outside the United Nations reads, perhaps half-seriously, that it is a “No Drone Zone”—and “launching, landing or operating Unmanned or Remote-Controlled aircraft in this area is prohibited”.

The “warning” comes even as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – are some of the new weapons of war deployed mostly by the US, and more recently, by Iran, Ukraine and Russia in ongoing military conflicts.

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By Sima Bahous
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, the color orange is used to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.Credit: UN Women

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, the color orange is used to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.Credit: UN Women

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 25 2022 (IPS) - Five years ago, the global #MeToo movement brought new urgency and visibility to the extent of violence against women and girls. Millions of survivors came forward to share their experience. They forced the world to recognise a reality that shames every one of us. Their courage and voice led to a powerful collective activism and a sea-change in awareness.

This wake-up call, alongside other invaluable initiatives around the world, continues to resonate. Grassroots activists, women’s human rights defenders and survivor advocates remind us every day, everywhere.

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: IPS