Kofi Annan deserves to be remembered as a near-exemplary United Nations secretary-general (SG). Great chief executives need a guiding vision for the exercise of authority, and all the more so when that authority is international civil authority. Annan’s success was based on his ability to combine pragmatism and humility with an enduring vision of human progress and solidarity. By Ramesh Thakur.
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Results for Opinion
Wednesday 15 August 2018
These are hard times for international cooperation. With rising protectionism, burgeoning trade disputes, and a troubling lack of concern for shared interests like climate change, the world seems to be turning its back on multilateralism. In an era when the benefits of multilateralism are being questioned precisely as we draw closer to the planet’s ecological limits, income inequality is growing, and innovation and technology are transforming how people learn and work, the world needs a more equitable and cooperative approach to globalization. And one of the best ways to deliver it is with a sustainable development model that leaves no one behind. By Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Stefano Manservisi, and Mario Pezzini.
Tuesday 14 August 2018
New York, USA
This summer's fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. But instead of a Moses guiding humanity in this new and dangerous wilderness, a gang of science deniers and polluters currently misguides humanity to ever-greater danger. We are all climate refugees now and must chart a path to safety. By Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Tuesday 14 August 2018
A group of leading economists recently criticized aid to the poor for failing to address poverty's root causes. But while we wait for politicians to act – and it could be a long wait – it is important to concentrate our spare resources on effective aid that helps poor people lead the best lives they can. By Peter Singer.
Wednesday 25 July 2018
Brighton, United Kingdom
For now, I share the excitement of many that a new tool to tackle HIV may be on the horizon. This prospect will be a topic of much discussion when prevention strategists gather in Amsterdam this week for the 22nd International AIDS Conference. But, no matter what becomes of this latest vaccine-related discovery, the world will still have a long way to go before HIV is eradicated. To increase our chances of success, prevention programming must remain at the top of the agenda.
Thursday 19 July 2018
Since the Paris climate agreement was signed in 2015, too many policymakers have fallen for the oil and gas industry’s rhetoric about how it can help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Tall tales about “clean coal,” “oil pipelines to fund clean energy,” and “gas as a bridge fuel” have coaxed governments into rubber-stamping new fossil-fuel projects, even though current fossil-fuel production already threatens to push temperatures well beyond the Paris agreement’s limit of well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. By Lili Fuhr and Hannah McKinnon
Tuesday 19 June 2018
According to an old African proverb, “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” The same is true for full-blown trade wars: when major economies clash, developing countries will be among the hardest hit.
Saturday 16 June 2018
In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that advances in computers and communications would lead to the type of centralized control depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. Today, billions of people have eagerly put Big Brother in their pockets. By Joseph S. Nye
Wednesday 13 June 2018
The United States has disinvited China from this summer’s 26-country Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise. The move has been played up as a potential indication that the US may finally be adopting a tougher approach toward China. Mattis himself has called the decision an “initial response” to China’s militarization of the South China Sea. ... The Pentagon has flaunted its capability to demolish China’s artificial islands, whose creation Chinese President Xi Jinping has cited as one of his key accomplishments. “I would just tell you,” joint staff director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie recently said, “the US military has had a lot of experience in the western Pacific taking down small islands.” By Brahma Chellaney.
Monday 11 June 2018
It is very sad to read your recent articles reporting arrests for the cultivation of marijuana. Unlike alcohol, which is toxic and leads to both violence and chronic health problems, marijuana has proven useful for the treatment of many medical conditions.
Monday 11 June 2018
Has North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong-un, made a strategic decision to trade away his nuclear program, or is he just engaged in another round of deceptive diplomacy, pretending that he will denuclearize in exchange for material benefits for his impoverished country? There are of course no guarantees that Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with the North Korean leader will succeed. What is clear is that successful denuclearization will require a combination of bold political decisions. By Yoon Young-Kwan.
Thursday 7 June 2018
In many parts of the world, there are simply no more conventional freshwater resources available to meet growing demand. Beyond limiting economic development, the lack of sufficient freshwater resources threatens the wellbeing of billions of people by causing conflict, social unrest, and migration. The only way to address this challenge is by radically rethinking water-resource planning and management in a way that emphasizes the creative exploitation of unconventional water sources. By Manzoor Qadir and Vladimir Smakhtin
Friday 1 June 2018
London, United Kingdom
A big reason why Western politics is in such disarray is voters’ pessimism about the future. Today’s naysayers come in three shades: Accepting pessimists; Anxious pessimists and ...finally, Angry pessimists – often populists and their supporters – who think economies are rigged, politicians corrupt, and outsiders dangerous. They have no desire to manage decline; they want to destroy the status quo. And they may pursue lose-lose outcomes simply so that others will suffer. What these groups have in common is a dearth of viable solutions. Philippe Legrain.
Thursday 31 May 2018
London, United Kingdom
It has been nearly two years since the United Kingdom narrowly voted in favor of leaving the European Union. As the march toward Brexit – formally set for the end of next March – proceeds, fundamental questions about the nature of the future UK-EU relationship remain unanswered. As the reality of Brexit sinks in, members of Britain’s cabinet and leading Brexiteers have turned on one another, while attempting to cast blame on everyone but themselves. The UK must plunge ahead, they insist, because that was “the will of the people," while they prepare their excuses for the impending debacle. By Chris Patten.
Monday 28 May 2018
The abrupt cancellation of next month's planned meeting between the North Korean and US leaders should surprise no one. Developments in recent weeks exposed three factors that doomed the initiative to collapse. By Ramesh Thakur.
Monday 21 May 2018
The composition of Tonga's Cabinet and Parliament remains in the most disordered state we have witnessed since the nation embarked on a democratic reform process in 2010. While uncertainties remain in the forefront, the big task ahead for cabinet and parliament is the National Annual Budget to be passed before 1 July. For historical reasons, this year it's no ordinary budget.
Friday 18 May 2018
Washington D.C., U.S.A
As we work with partners to tackle the interconnected global challenges of climate change, conflict, famine, and pandemics, we must help countries prepare their people for a more complex, disruptive, digital future. The most important investments countries can make are ones that build human capital—to prepare for that future, and to write the next chapter in the ongoing project of human solidarity. By Jim Yong Kim.
Thursday 17 May 2018
The Tonga Broadcasting Commission’s news bulletin on 1 May 2018 featured a short segment on the CEO of the Ministry of Labour, Edgar Cocker. According to Mr Cocker they had enlisted the assistance of the Tonga Police in closing stalls at the flea market that were operated by Asian vendors because they breached the law regarding the location of businesses, and that “the flea market was set up only for Tongans.” - Kotoni Fonua.
Monday 14 May 2018
New York, USA
For decades, the global health community has paid lip service to the critical role of unequal power relations, particularly relating to gender, in determining health outcomes. A recent report by the advocacy and accountability group Global Health 50/50 which reviewed 140 organizations working in the global health sector, makes for disturbing reading....The situation is even worse for men and boys, who, regardless of country, can expect to live shorter, unhealthier lives than their female peers. According to the report, only a third of organizations take a gendered approach to the health needs of the whole population, and no organizations target men and boys specifically. By Helen Clark and Sania Nishtar
Monday 7 May 2018
From 1949, when Mao Zedong’s communists triumphed in China’s civil war, until the collapse of the Berlin Wall 40 years later, Karl Marx’s historical significance was unsurpassed. Nearly four of every ten people on earth lived under governments that claimed to be Marxist.... On the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth on May 5, 1818, it isn’t far-fetched to suggest that his predictions have been falsified, his theories discredited, and his ideas rendered obsolete. So why should we care about his legacy in the twenty-first century? By Peter Singer