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The French response to the Corona Crisis: semi-presidentialism par excellence

GDI Briefing - 19. Januar 2038 - 4:14

This blog post analyses the response of the French government to the Coronavirus pandemic. The piece highlights how the semi-presidential system in France facilitates centralized decisions to manage the crisis. From a political-institutional perspective, it is considered that there were no major challenges to the use of unilateral powers by the Executive to address the health crisis, although the de-confinement phase and socio-economic consequences opens the possibility for more conflictual and opposing reactions. At first, approvals of the president and prime minister raised, but the strict confinement and the reopening measures can be challenging in one of the European countries with the highest number of deaths, where massive street protests, incarnated by the Yellow vests movement, have recently shaken the political scene.

Kategorien: english

COP28: Over 60 countries pledge to slash cooling emissions amid rising temperatures

UN #SDG News - 5. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
With rising temperatures leading to demand for more air conditioners and other cooling equipment, a new UN report launched Tuesday at COP28 climate talks in Dubai lays out a pathway to cut emissions across the cooling sector worldwide. 
Kategorien: english

COP28: Tuesday’s climate action in Dubai

UN #SDG News - 5. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
The UN climate conference will continue its work on Tuesday focusing on issues that include scaling up financing for the Paris Agreement, slashing emissions in the cooling sector, ensuring a climate resilient energy sector and a dialogue with indigenous peoples.  
Kategorien: english

UN cites ‘alarming surge’ in climate change over the past decade as COP28 pushes for global emissions cuts

UN #SDG News - 5. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
The past decade has been confirmed the warmest ever recorded, continuing an alarming 30-year trend that the UN weather chief said on Tuesday is “unequivocally driven by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.” 
Kategorien: english

Embrace or Reject? Decoding Indigenous Perspectives on Development Programmes

EADI Debating Development Research - 5. Dezember 2023 - 9:16
By Léna Prouchet / New Rhythms of Development blog series Entrepreneurship has become one of the main strategies used by international organisations and NGOs to promote sustainable development in the Global South. This approach has been highly criticised and deemed unfit to address structural issues underlying poverty. Such criticism has also been rooted in case studies …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

23-12-04_Dasmani Laary - driving licence for disabled people

D+C - 4. Dezember 2023 - 2:00
23-12-04_Dasmani Laary - driving licence for disabled people dagmar.wolf Mon, 04.12.2023 - 02:00 In Ghana, persons with disability such as the deaf will be issued with a driver’s licence upon passing training and testing prescribed by the authorities Inclusion Disabled people allowed to drive in Ghana After decades of systemic discrimination, disabled people in Ghana can now apply for and be issued with driving licenses. 04.12.2023Sub-Saharan Africa Nowadays SDG10 Menschenrechte Organisationen (International) Partizipation, Inklusion Recht, Verwaltung Sozialpolitik, Sozialentwicklung Zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen

The country’s ministry of gender, children and social protection and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) unveiled a policy for training and testing disabled drivers. Now, persons with disability such as the deaf and physically challenged will be issued with a driver’s licence upon passing training and testing and meeting certain conditions prescribed by the authorities. 

The Ghana national association of the deaf (GNAD) applauded the move as a major victory for the country’s disabled people. In their estimation, about 480,000 deaf and hard of hearing people qualify for the driver’s licence. “The launch of the policy is good news for the community of the deaf. It will provide a regulatory framework to test, train and issue driving licences for potential drivers with disabilities,” says Juventus Duorinaah, executive director of GNAD. 

He sees the move as an outcome of several years of advocacy and says that the disability community is overjoyed as “another barrier to disability rights’ inclusion in Ghana has been overcome”. He adds: “It will also help law enforcement agencies to ensure road safety and encourage social inclusion.”

This historic decision, which follows years of exclusion that sparked relentless and passionate agitation, is a turning point in the West African nation’s commitment to securing equity for all. In Ghana, traditionally, a driving licence serves multiple purposes such as proof of driving ability and an identification document. With it, holders can access essential services like banking, using international money-transfer apps, among other multiple uses. 

Over the years, disability advocacy and rights groups have applied intense pressure, until the government have caved and created the policy that will guarantee the inclusion of differently abled people. The policy demonstrates the commitment to the principles of respect for diversity and inclusiveness, non-discrimination, full and effective participation and disability mainstreaming.

This historic decision is consistent with Ghana’s Persons with Disabilities Act (715), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, which obligates the government to treat all citizens equally and with dignity.

Yaw Ofori-Debrah, the chairman of NCPD, says: “The world had evolved, and disability is no longer inability, we now live in a society that respect disability rights.” Disability-rights activists like Ofori-Debrah hope that the new policy will be implemented successfully by the concerned agencies and bodies. They also hope that the public cooperates with state agencies to guarantee road users with disability safety.

Whereas this is a good development, the road ahead is still long for the full inclusion of disabled people. In the Ghanian society, driving is often seen as a symbol of independence, pride and freedom, allowing people to go wherever they want. For disabled persons, it will require specialised driving assessments, vehicle adaptations and modifications and disabled driver training. 

Dasmani Laary is a journalist in Ghana.

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Kategorien: english

COP28: The climate crisis is also a health crisis

UN #SDG News - 3. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
Health has made it onto the agenda of a UN climate conference, and health advocates at COP28 in Dubai on Sunday said the topic was long overdue for discussion as climate inaction is costing lives and impacting health every single day.
Kategorien: english

COP28: Methane pledge by the ‘giants behind the climate crisis’ falls short, says Guterres

UN #SDG News - 3. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday sent a strong message to the oil and gas industry: the pledges made at COP28 in Dubai fall well short of what’s needed to meaningfully tackle the climate crisis.
Kategorien: english

23-12-03_Virginia Mercado - Mexico - Impunidad

D+C - 3. Dezember 2023 - 2:00
23-12-03_Virginia Mercado - Mexico - Impunidad dagmar.wolf Sun, 03.12.2023 - 02:00 Mexico had high expectations of the present government’s promise to curb crime and improve security. With crime rates high and prosecution rates low, confidence in the state and its institutions is now waning further Rule of law Mexico needs opportunities, not violence Initially, Mexicans had high expectations of the current government. It sought to reduce crime and insecurity in the country through prevention work, but it has not been successful so far. With crime rates high and prosecutions low, people’s confidence in the state and its institutions is waning further. 03.12.2023Latin America and the Caribbean Hintergrund Mexiko SDG16 Demokratisierung Drogen Korruption Amts- und Regierungsführung

When President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration took office in 2018, it promised “hugs instead of bullets”. The motto stood for a new response to organised crime and the rampant violence that haunts the country. At least rhetorically, the new government took a different tack from previous ones, which had focused primarily on confrontation and militarising the fight against organised crime. Its approach also differed radically from that adopted further south in El Salvador, where President Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez is taking tough, headline-grabbing action against drug trafficking and gang violence. Videos circulating on social media show suspected gang members imprisoned en masse.

A different solution was sought for Mexico. “We want peace,” López Obrador proclaimed. Instead of the “war on drugs” that his predecessors waged, he wanted to create educational opportunities and prospects for young people. Instead of spectacular arrests, he wanted falling crime rates to be his measure of success. Such rhetoric was one of the reasons he was elected.

Unfortunately, the Mexican public’s high expectations have yet to be met. The number of unpunished crimes is rising. Distrust of the justice system and the level of public dissatisfaction is rising accordingly. At the end of the last legislative period in 2018, public confidence in the Public Prosecutor General’s Office had reached an all-time low, with just over half of the population (57.5 %) having “some” or “a lot” of confidence in the institution. After the new government took office, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) found that the figure initially rose, peaking at 65.8 % in 2021, but has been falling again since then. That slide could continue through to the end of the government’s term of office.

There are several reasons why people distrust the justice system. Two stand out in particular: The first is the inefficiency of law enforcement. Many Mexicans believe that rule of law is successful only if crime is punished severely; very few believe in rehabilitation or social reintegration. The second reason is corruption: people have the feeling that only a minority are ultimately held accountable by the law.

Not enough personnel, not enough training

One of the main reasons for the inadequacy of law enforcement is that the judicial system is overburdened and under-resourced. As a result, many criminal proceedings are dropped and offenders acquitted. According to INEGI, over 2 million preliminary proceedings were opened across the public prosecution system in 2019, which meant a massive workload for the limited number of public prosecutors. On average, 290 cases landed on each prosecutor’s desk. Since then, the situation has deteriorated further. As the Global Impunity Index for Mexico shows, the number of public prosecutors per thousand registered offences fell from nine in 2018 to 8.58 in 2022.

The picture is not much better when it comes to security agencies. Mexico City is the federal state with the most favourable manpower level: 3.7 police officers per thousand population. In the most populous state, Estado de México, the figure is just 0.9 officers.

There is also a shortage of properly trained personnel. It starts with the first investigators on the scene. Many of them have only a low level of education – usually secondary school qualifications –, and they are paid poorly for dangerous work. Their action is often guided by the widely held notion that anyone who breaks the law has no rights. If, however, they arrest a suspected person without following all required procedures, the suspects must be acquitted. That is especially the case when security forces commit human-rights violations during an arrest.

Corruption and impunity

Another cause of impunity is corruption. Its range is wide, from bribes for the cover-up of minor offences to large illicit payments in cases of serious malfeasance involving government officials and private-sector companies. Those who can afford a good lawyer or have connections inside the judiciary often escape punishment. The result is often impunity for the privileged, and that, in turn, breeds a sense of injustice among the general public.

Most crimes are not reported in the first place because people feel that “nothing will be done”, so offenders will not face justice. Fear of retribution matters too. The National Survey on Victimization and Perception of Public Safety suggests that more than 90 % of crimes went unreported in 2021. That included serious crimes like kidnappings, where the estimated number of unreported cases is 98.6 %.

Virginia Mercado 16.07.2023 The large number of femicides marks Mexico’s reputation

Even if a crime is reported and investigated, there is only about a 50 % chance of successful prosecution, as surveys tell us. However, photographs and videos showing criminals in the act are widely shared on social media. They boost the public’s sense of frustration with authorities that fail to bring offenders to justice despite clear evidence.

Countering the cartels

One of the main criticisms levelled at the present government is that drug cartels are able to operate with widespread impunity. Video footage from September 2023 shows residents of a municipality in Chiapas apparently welcoming gunmen form Sinaloa cartel for “saving them” from another cartel. State authorities are barely present in such areas, so it seems that no one can stand up to a criminal organisation except another criminal organisation. The slogan “hugs instead of bullets” is no longer only belittled by the opposition. It is losing credibility among the government’s supporters.

Pamela Cruz 07.06.2023 How Mexican landfills become ganglands

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Small steps towards a triple goal

Impunity and corruption are nothing that started in the current legislative period. A particularly sensational instance of both was the case of “supercop” Genaro García Luna. He was one of the highest-ranking officials in the war on drug gangs as Mexico’s secretary of public security from 2006 to 2012 under President Felipe Calderón. He stayed close to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government from 2012 to 2018. He is now on trial in a US court, charged with collaborating cartels and protecting them. He obviously used his time in office to commit crimes from the highest echelons of power with complete impunity. His former bosses say they knew nothing about his illicit dealings, even though the “war on drugs” that he conducted was clearly ineffective.

Another crucial matter is the independence of judges. President López Obrador has recently been voicing more and more criticism of the judicial authorities, denouncing their privileges and condemning corruption. One such case was when the navy reported that half of the people it arrested for drug trafficking or fuel theft between 2021 and 2023 had been released on court orders – and some went on to re-offend. The full truth, however, is that such orders often result from investigative shortcomings. They may often be the consequence of pressure exerted on judicial staff by organised crime. It is common knowledge that gangs intimidate judges, for instance by threatening their families and friends. At least eight federal states are considered a high-risk environment. Anyone working on organised crime cases there needs special protection.

Fighting crime is a massive challenge for Mexico. The people long for an end to the violence and insecurity. So, they obviously turn their eyes to El Salvador: Might its approach work? Would it be appropriate for Mexico? Is any price too high for finally putting an end to crime?

What these people tend to disregard is that repressive crackdowns on gang violence have a considerable price, with human-rights violations being tolerated and innocent persons ending up in jail. Do we really want to accept that as collateral damage? Most people in Mexico still favour less draconic approaches. They may not worry much about human rights in principle – but they do not trust the security forces. Accordingly, they do not want to see them empowered to take even more arbitrary decisions.

Virginia Mercado is a researcher at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México and an instructor in peace and development studies.

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Kategorien: english

Tackling health impacts of climate change and scaling up digital climate action in the spotlight at COP28

UN #SDG News - 2. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
Delegates at COP28 in Dubai on Saturday called for stronger and more resilient global health systems, which are indispensable to protecting populations from the negative impacts of climate change on health. 
Kategorien: english

COP28: UN chief previews panel on management of minerals essential for green energy transition

UN #SDG News - 2. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday announced his plan to set up a panel aimed to ensure the move from fossil fuels towards renewable energy is just, sustainable and benefits all countries.
Kategorien: english

23-12-02_D+C/E+Z - Newsletterwerbung

D+C - 2. Dezember 2023 - 2:00
23-12-02_D+C/E+Z - Newsletterwerbung dagmar.wolf Sat, 02.12.2023 - 02:00 Stay briefed on what really matters D+C/E+Z Why you might find our newsletter useful Stay briefed on what really matters. 02.12.2023Global In brief SDG13 Medien, Kommunikation

In a world full of distractions, many important things are neglected. General media coverage, for example, hardly pays attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what must be done to achieve them. That is what we focus on. Our newsletter will keep you briefed on international development issues. Our content has long-term relevance and helps you to see the big picture.

We send out a monthly newsletter in both German and English. It will inform you on our latest Digital Monthly and let you download the pdf file fast and free of charge. It will also recommend additional articles from contributors in our focus regions Africa, Asia and Latin America, informing you about what is happening on our website. If you like, subscribe to the German version here, and the English version here. It will not take you long.

Poverty Reduction Gender Equality Governance Sustainability Off Off D+C / E+Z Überall anzeigen
Kategorien: english

Book Shelf

DEVELOPMENT - 2. Dezember 2023 - 0:00

Global agrifood systems are the climate solution, new FAO report highlights 

UN #SDG News - 1. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
Agrifood systems and the communities that support and depend on them are on the front lines of loss and damage linked to climate change, a new report released on Friday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has revealed.
Kategorien: english

COP28: As ‘humanity’s fate hangs in the balance’, UN chief calls for urgent action to prevent planetary crash

UN #SDG News - 1. Dezember 2023 - 13:00
Earth’s vital signs are failing and to prevent planetary crash and burn, “we need…cooperation and political will”, UN Secretary General António Guterres said on Friday, challenging world leaders gathered in Dubai for COP28 to show real global climate leadership.
Kategorien: english

23-12-01_Lena Rohrbach - Amnesty International - social media - hate

D+C - 1. Dezember 2023 - 2:00
23-12-01_Lena Rohrbach - Amnesty International - social media - hate dagmar.wolf Fri, 01.12.2023 - 02:00 Social-media companies are failing to moderate their platforms, so online hate speech leads to analogue violence, for example in Ethiopia and Myanmar Social media Stop online hate Social-media companies are failing to moderate their platforms. As a result, online hate speech leads to analogue violence, as conflict zones like Ethiopia and Myanmar show. 01.12.2023Global Meinung SDG16 Bürgerkriege, Konfliktmanagement, Peacebuilding Flüchtlinge, Migration Global Governance Informationstechnologien, Neue Medien, Kommunikation Menschenrechte

Social networks have a proven capacity to fuel spirals of violence, especially in the context of crises and wars. This is one of the human-rights problems of the digital age and has been analysed in Ethiopia and Myanmar by the human-rights organisation Amnesty International. Online use in both countries is dominated by Facebook. Indeed, for many people in the global south, the platform virtually is “the internet”.

During the armed conflict in northern Ethiopia from 2020 to 2022, horrific violence was directed against the civilian population in the Tigray Region. In the report “A death sentence for my father”, Amnesty International documents how Meta – the company behind Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – contributed to the barbarity. Among the cases presented is that of chemistry professor Meareg Amare, who was killed after being targeted in Facebook posts. He was one of many victims of violence “primed” on Facebook.

Markus Rudolf 31.01.2023 Ethiopia’s fragile peace

In Myanmar, Facebook played a significant role in the violent expulsion of the Rohingya, as documented in Amnesty International’s report “The social atrocity”. In the months prior to the expulsion in summer 2017, people linked to the Myanmar military and to ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups flooded the network with false information and content inciting violence against the Rohingya. The United Nations’ independent fact-finding mission on Myanmar concluded that the role of social media was “significant” in the atrocities that ensued.

Mohammad Ehsanul Kabir Palash Kamruzzaman 12.03.2020 Frozen repatriation

Algorithms often favour emotive content

The spread of violence on social media is facilitated by two fundamental problems. The first is that polarising and emotive content grabs people’s attention, so it is often favoured by the algorithms that decide what users see. Those algorithms are designed to ensure that users stay on the platforms and interact with them for as long as possible. In doing so, they leave behind numerous data traces, making up a digital footprint that permits targeted advertising. The longer users stay on a platform, the more adverts they can be shown.

The second problem is that Facebook – and all the other major social-media platforms – fail to resource and ensure consistency when it comes to moderating and deleting problematic content. This is particularly true in the global south. In Ethiopia, for example, more than 80 languages are spoken but Facebook can moderate in only four of them. There is also insufficient awareness of local contexts. As the situations escalated in both Ethiopia and Myanmar, Meta failed to respond appropriately to numerous warnings from civil-society organisations, human-rights experts and its own Facebook Oversight Board.

Responsibility to respect UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, social-media companies have a responsibility to respect human rights. They must therefore urgently

  • implement human rights due diligence, analyse risks and take remedial action;
  • reduce the impacts of algorithmic amplification in all countries, for example by taking steps to limit resharing or group sizes;
  • implement special measures in risk contexts, such as disabling recommendation algorithms;
  • provide trained staff for all the languages used and context-sensitive guidelines for content moderation;
  • set up compensation funds for victims of online violence and violence incited online.

Governments worldwide need to oblige social-media companies to implement human rights due diligence and adjust their business model. This includes banning targeted advertising based on invasive data tracking practices. Last but not least, they need to create and properly resource national regulatory authorities and ensure individual and collective access to legal remedies. If they fail to do so, the events that unfurled in Ethiopia and Myanmar were just the beginning.


Amnesty International, 2023: “A death sentence for my father”.

Amnesty International, 2022: The social atrocity.

Lena Rohrbach is Policy Advisor for Human Rights in the Digital Age and Arms Export Control at Amnesty International Germany.

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Kategorien: english

Harnessing Bio Cultural Resources for Strengthening One Health: The Case of Antibiotic Reduction in Livestock Farming

DEVELOPMENT - 1. Dezember 2023 - 0:00

Health is one of the most visibly affected sectors in the growing global sustainability challenges with consequences at the nexus of human, animal and ecosystems health. One Health has emerged as an umbrella framework to address multiple, intersectoral health related sustainability challenges today. The One Health linked ideas of indigenous and local knowledge of non-western contexts, especially in low-and middle-income countries, have been largely neglected and marginalized by a biomedicalized, medico-industrial complex centered care. This article showcases certain conceptual and practical aspects of integrating traditional and indigenous knowledge practices in the implementation of One Health. By highlighting a One Health case study of a large-scale programme on reducing antibiotic use in livestock farming in India, the article calls for critical attention on diverse worldviews, knowledge systems and contextualized experiences towards strengthening and advancing One Health.


D+C - 30. November 2023 - 18:04
2023/12 joerg.doebereiner Thu, 30.11.2023 - 18:04 2023/12 2023 12 /sites/default/files/digital-monthly/dc_2023-12.pdf Off
Kategorien: english

The People vs Microsoft

Tax Justice Network - 30. November 2023 - 16:57

On the Taxcast this month, the story of what happened when the US tax authorities, the IRS, decided to crack down on Microsoft, one of the world's biggest tech companies. Worthy of a thriller movie with its twists and turns, there are many lessons for governments worldwide. And it's not over yet.


Transcript (some is automated) 

Further reading:

How a slick accounting maneuver led to a $29 billion tax bill for Microsoft 

The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher

What the Microsoft Tax Case Shows Us About Tax Transparency,Puerto%20Rico%20and%20the%20US.

FT confirms OECD lobbied against Australian tax transparency,tool%20for%20accountability%20and%20deterrence.

Microsoft, Cisco Shareholder Votes Demonstrate Increasing Investor Demand for Tax and Offshore Transparency 

KPMG's pitch to Microsoft: 'Planning Alternatives in Puerto Rico'  and Microsoft 2003 Memo on Puerto Rico Factory

Bipartisan Senate Action Passes Minimal Test for IRS Funding While Multiple House Republican Bills Fail 

Revenue From BBB’s IRS Enforcement Funding Would Support Investments

UN adopts plans for historic tax reform

“No” voters on UN tax reform enable 75% of global tax abuse 








Kategorien: english

L'alimentation au service de la santé : De l'appât du gain aux soins

SID - 30. November 2023 - 15:52
L'alimentation au service de la santé : De l'appât du gain aux soins

Cet événement vise à approfondir l'interaction cruciale entre l'alimentation et les systèmes de santé, avec la participation de conférenciers émérites et d'experts de divers domaines.


Détails de l'événement :

  • Titre : Food for Health: From Greed to Care / L'alimentation au service de la santé : De l'appât du gain aux soins
  • Date : 6 décembre 2023

Heure :

  • 11:00 - 12:30 ET
  • 17:00- 18:30 CET
  • 18:00 - 19:30 SAST



Intervenants :

  • Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, Rapporteuse spéciale des Nations Unies sur le droit à la santé
  • Michael Fakhri, rapporteur spécial des Nations unies sur le droit à l'alimentation
  • Dr. Ruy Lopez, vice-ministre de la santé, Mexique
  • Vandana Shiva, auteure et militante écologiste
  • Isabel Barbosa, associée principale à l'Institut O'Neill, Université de Georgetown Law Center

Modérateur : Nicoletta Dentico, directrice au sein de la SID justice en matière de santé mondiale

Le webinaire s’intéressera aux axes développés dans le récent rapport du Docteur Tlaleng sur la santé intitulé "Alimentation, nutrition et droit à la santé". Ce rapport met l'accent sur les liens complexes et multiples entre l'alimentation et les systèmes de santé, qui nécessitent une analyse plus approfondie et la définition de priorités au niveau de la gouvernance, pour le bien-être de tous.tes.

En outre, la conférence présentera des exemples d'initiatives nationales, d'universitaires et de représentants d'organisations de la société civile, qui mettront en lumière la mise en œuvre pratique d'approches interconnectées.

Interprétation linguistique : L'interprétation sera disponible en anglais, en espagnol, en arabe et en français afin de garantir l'accessibilité et l'inclusion de tous les participant.e.s.

Rejoignez-nous pour une discussion engageante et stimulante qui vise à initier des transformations positives et à façonner l'avenir de nos systèmes alimentaires et de santé.

Veuillez vous inscrire ici pour réserver votre place et participer à cette conférence.

Nous nous réjouissons de votre participation !

Nairobi Rome


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