Tag: <span>climate change</span>

World Hunger Appeals

 U.N. Security Council Focus On World Hunger.

Featured Image: Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash.

On 23 May, the United Nations Security Council will hold a special briefing to address the issue of food insecurity under the chairmanship of Mr Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation. During May, the rotating chairmanship is held by Switzerland led by the Swiss Ambassador to the United Nations, New York  Ms Pascale Baereswyl.  The meeting will have as background a 3 May 2023 report of the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) concerning early warning on areas facing acute food insecurity.

Some 250 million persons are living in this situation of acute food insecurity.

The report highlights that some 250 million persons are living in this situation of acute food insecurity with the Democratic Republic of Congo leading the list with some 27 million persons due to armed violence and the breakdown of governmental structures.  The Congo is followed by Ethiopia, largely due to fighting in the Tigray area.  The war in Ukraine is also having a negative impact limiting production and export of food goods -a principal export of Ukraine.  In addition to armed conflict, there is the growing impact of the consequences of climate change.

European Union, African Union and United Nations system.

    Today, cooperation on food insecurity is needed among the U.N. family of agencies, national governments, non-governmental organizations, and the millions of food producers to respond to this food crisis.  These measures will have to be taken in a wholistic way with actions going from the local level of the individual farmer, the national level with new governmental policies, to measures at the multi-State regional level such as the European Union and the African Union, and at the world level with better coordinated action through the United Nations system.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano escorts H.E. Mr. Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, during his departure at the Vienna International Centre. Vienna, Austria, 8 January 2018. By IAEA Imagebank, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Additional funding for the U.N. World Food Programme and the release of national food stocks.

    There is a need for swift, short-term meaures to help people now suffering from lack of food and malnutrition due to high food prices, inadequate distribution, and situations of violence.  Such short-tem action requires additional funding for the U.N. World Food Programme and the release of national food stocks.  However, it is on the longer-range and structural issues on which we must focus our attention.

The Association of World Citizens has taken a lead in the promotion of a coordinated world food policy with an emphasis on the small-scale farmer and a new awareness that humans are part of Nature with a special duty to care and respect  for the Earth’s inter-related life-support system.  As Stringfellow Barr wrote in Citizens of the World (1952):

“Since the hungry in the world community believe that we can all eat if we set our common house in order, they believe also that it is unjust that some some die because it is too much trouble to arrange for them to live.”

    Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

Stringfellow Barr. Joining the Human Race.

A central theme which Citizens of the World have long stressed is that there needs to be a world food policy and that such a world food policy is more than the sum of national food security programs.  John Boyd Orr, the first Director General of the FAO proposed a World Food Board to stabilize food prices and supplies.  He resigned as Director General when the food board proposal was not accepted and then devoted much of his energy to the ,world citizen movement.

   For World Citizens, the emphasis must be placed on creating a world food policy which draws upon improving local self-reliance while not creating nationalistic policies which harm neighbours.  Food is a key aspect of deep structural issues in the world society and thus must be seen in a wholeistic framework.  The briefing and debate of the U.N. Security Council may give us strong elements  on which to promote a world food policy.

Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels.   

John Boyd Orr: A World Citizen’s Focus on Food.

René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

World Refugee Day.

June 20 is the United Nations (UN)-designated World Refugee Day;  marking the signing in 1951 of the Convention on Refugees. The condition of refugees and migrants has become a “hot”…

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Climate Change Appeals

U.N. Focus on Consequences of Climate Change.

Featured Image: Photo by William Bossen, Unsplash

On 20 March 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a Synthesis Report based on its three previous reports covering eight years of work. The IPCC is a panel of 93 scientists co-chaired by Hoesung Lee of South Korea and Valerie Masson-Delmotte of France. The Synthesis Report stressed that:

“Prioritizing equity, climate justice, social justice, and just transition actions are needed for climate resilient development.”

Climate Change.

There are three billion people who live in areas that are highly vulnerable to climate change. One of the consequences of climate change is to increase migration from these vulnerable areas. The concept of safe and orderly migration has not yet been put into practice. Climate change also has a negative impact on food production.

The IPCC, created in 1988, makes recommendations for action, put policies have to be established and carried out by governments. Thus, a UN conference will be held in New York this September. The recommendations of the IPCC also influence the policy proposals of non-governmental organizations whose influence on climate issues is growing.

U.N. Water Conference.

At the same period as the presentation of the IPCC report a related U.N. Water Conference, 22-24 March, was held in New York. The conference stressed that fresh water is a crucial resource and that the future well-being of the world society will depend on how well we manage this global supply of fresh water.

Today, some 26 percent of the world’s population lack access to safe drinking water. There are falling water tables in many countries. Much fresh water is polluted by untreated wastewater, nitrates from agriculture, and the release of hazardous chemicals. Climate change seems to have created increased rainfall variability.

Trans-Frontier River Systems.

The U.N. Water Conference highlighted an issue which has been a focus of the Association of World Citizens: the management and necessary cooperation of trans-frontier river systems. The management of trans-frontier river systems has a strong political colouring and a potential for conflict as we see with the Jordan River, the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates and the Ganga.

The IPCC and the U.N. Water Conference have set out the challenges facing both governments and non-governmental organizations. Cooperation for joint action is needed. Building on this awareness of the need for cooperation is vital. We must work actively on the next steps.

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

 

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

World Refugee Day.

June 20 is the United Nations (UN)-designated World Refugee Day;  marking the signing in 1951 of the Convention on Refugees. The condition of refugees and migrants has become a “hot”…

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Thomas Nordstrom Book Reviews

Thomas Nordstrom. A World Government in Action.

Featured Image: Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash.

(Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, 147pp.)

 
Thomas Nordstrom  has written a useful book which more accurately should have been calles:

“The Need for a World Government in Action”

He outlines many of the challenges facing the world society and stresses that the United Nations does not have the authority or the power to deal with these challenges adequately.  The challenges are interrelated and thus must be faced in an interrelated way. Thus climate change has an impact on land use which has an impact on food production.  To improve food production, there must be better education on food issues as well as greater equality among women and men, as in many countries women play a major role in food production, food preperation and food conservation.
   
As governments and U.N. Secretariat members become aware of an issue, the issue is taken up in one or another of the U.N. Specialized Agencies – FAO, WHO, ILO, UNESCO, or a new program is created : the Environment Programme, or different programs on the issue of women. 
 
FAO Logo
 
Logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization. By FAO, original uploader: w:en:User:Cptnemo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

 
Today, within the halls of the U.N. there are negotiations for a Global Pact on the Environment and for the creation of a World Environment Organization which would be stronger than the existing U.N. Environment Programme.  Such a Global Pact for the Environment would clarify important environmental principles and relations between the existing treaties on the environment which have been negotiated separately.
 
    In the United Nations, the international agenda reflects the growing influence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the scientific community in shaping policy.  We see this vividly in the discussions on the impact of climate change.  The distinction that used to be made between national and international questions has almost entirely vanished.  NGOs must be able to provide possible avenues of action based on an effective theoretical analysis that acknowledges the complexity of the international environment.
 
United_Nations_Environment_Programme_Logo
 
United Nations Environment Programme Logo. By UNEP FI, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Militarization and The Complex Emergencies.

 
    Governments can not at the same time boost expenditures on armaments and deal effectively with ecological deterioration and the consequences of climate change.  Militarization has contributed to the neglect of other pressing issues, such as shrinking forests, erosion of soils and falling water tables.  Militarization draws energy and efforts away from constructive action to deal with common  problems.  Militarization creates rigidity at the center of world politics as well as brittleness which leads to regional conflicts and civil wars. This political paralysis is both a cause and a result of the rigidity and the brittleness of current internatinal politics. Opportunities are missed for building upon the more positive elements of a particular situation.
 
   What is often called “complex emergencies”  – a combination of political and social disintegration that includes armed conflicts, ethnic violence, state collapse, warlordism, refugee flows and famine – have become one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time. Today’s violent conflicts are often rooted in a mix of exclusion, inequality, mismanagement of natural resources, corruption, and the frustrations that accompany a lack of jobs and opportunitiues.  Lack of opportunities sows the seeds of instability and violence.
 
    As Nordstrom points out, behind all the current armed conflicts, there is the presence in a small number of countries of nuclear weapons.  If they were used, the level of destruction would be great.  Although nuclear disarmament was on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly from its start, there has been little  progress on nuclear disarmament issues.
 
As world citizen and former President of India S. Radhakrishnan has written:
 

“To survive we need a revolution in our thoughts and outlook.  From the alter of the past we should take the living fire and not the dead ashes. Let us remember the past, be alive to the present and create the future with courage in our hearts and faith in ourselves.” 

 
The great challenge which humanity faces today is to leave behind the culture of violence in which we find ourselves and move rapidly to a culture of peace and solidarity.  We can achieve this historic task by casting aside our ancient nationalistic and social prejudices and begin to think and act as responsible Citizens of the World. Nordstrom  sets out some of the guideposts.
   
 
Rene Wadlow, President Association of World Citizens.
 
 
 
   

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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