On the eve of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting taking place in Tuvalu this week, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland recognises the existential threat which climate change poses to Pacific Islanders. She calls on governments across the globe to urgently meet the terms of the Paris climate change agreement, if we are to save our Pacific Islands, as the rising sea levels could literally engulf thousands of islands in the region by 2100.
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Results for Opinion
Monday 12 August 2019
London, United Kingdom
Monday 12 August 2019
Digital technology has transformed how we communicate, commute, shop, learn, and entertain ourselves. But the current problems afflicting social media are a perfect example of what can happen when uniform rules are imposed with no regard for social context and evolved behaviors. The rich and variegated patterns of communication that exist off-line have been replaced by scripted, standardized, and limited modes of communication on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. As a result, the nuances of face-to-face communication, and of news mediated by trusted outlets, have been obliterated. Efforts to “connect the world” with technology have created a morass of propaganda, disinformation, hate speech, and bullying. By Daron Acemoglu.
Wednesday 7 August 2019
New York, USA
In last year’s Pathways for Peace report – the result of a joint study by the United Nations and the World Bank – UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world is facing a “dramatic resurgence” of conflict, which has caused immense human suffering and significantly undermined global order. If the world is to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and protect millions of people from deadly violence – urgent action must be taken to reverse this trend. By Rachel Locke and David Steven.
Monday 29 July 2019
New York, USA
How did the world’s two most venerable and influential democracies – the United Kingdom and the United States – end up with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson at the helm? Trump is not wrong to call Johnson the “Britain Trump” (sic). Nor is this merely a matter of similar personalities or styles: it is also a reflection of glaring flaws in the political institutions that enabled such men to win power. By Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Tuesday 23 July 2019
Manchester, United Kingdom
In a well-functioning parliamentary system, the state budget is overseen by a group of elected authorities in a relatively transparent manner. No one person has the power to shape the process in self-serving ways. Embedding checks and balances into governance – particularly to limit the executive’s discretionary budgetary authority – is integral to accomplish the kind of structural transformation developing countries need if they are to create more stable, prosperous futures well beyond 2030. By Tania Masi, Roberto Ricciuti, Antonio Savoia, and Kunal Sen.
Saturday 20 July 2019
New Delhi, India
Fifty years after astronauts first walked on the Moon, space wars have gone from Hollywood fantasy to looming threat. Not content with possessing enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all life on Earth many times over, major powers are rapidly militarizing space. Given the world’s increasing reliance on space-based assets, the risks are enormous. by Brahma Chellaney.
Thursday 18 July 2019
New York, USA
Blaming manufacturing-job losses on low-wage foreign competition, or, increasingly, on automation has become a staple of populist politics in developed countries. Nowhere is this truer than in the United States, where President Donald Trump campaigned on the issue in 2016 and has since launched a trade war with China. But US workers have long faced another source of competition much closer to home: prison labour.
Friday 12 July 2019
An account of trauma will serve as a reminder to leaders around the world that violence, mental and sexual trauma, and substance abuse are interrelated issues that can have a deep and lasting impact on the lives of children. The evidence for this is overwhelming. This includes online abuse. The impact of violence lasts long after the abuse itself. Victims often experience lifelong social, emotional, and cognitive consequence and are more likely to become abusers themselves. By Zoleka Mandela, Etienne Krug, and Howard Taylor.
Wednesday 10 July 2019
From infrastructure damage caused by extreme weather events to drought-induced food insecurity, there are many climate risks for which the world should urgently be preparing. But one of the areas where climate change poses arguably the most significant risk is barely being discussed: human health. By Seth Berkley.
Tuesday 2 July 2019
Wellington, New Zealand
Wherever one looks – the media, political leaders’ rhetoric, or online discussions – one finds a bias toward bad ideals. This is not to suggest that we (or most of us) endorse, say, racism, misogyny, or homophobia, but rather that we grant them efficacy. We believe that extremist ideals must be combated, because we implicitly consider them potent enough to attract new adherents, and contagious enough to spread. At the same time, we tend to take positive ideals less seriously. By Nicholas Agar.
Wednesday 26 June 2019
The peace that was once an entitlement enjoyed by Tonga's residents and an attraction for visiting tourists has been stolen by the inconsiderate few, with the introduction of amplified sound systems with thumping bass. The Public Health Act does not permit any excessive noise, causing discomfort anytime, yet these laws are not enforced. - Shane Egan.
Tuesday 25 June 2019
The leaders of the G20 countries head to Osaka this week for their annual summit. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will address them before traveling to Abu Dhabi to finalize the arrangements for September’s UN Climate Action Summit. These meetings should set the world on course for the fastest economic transition in history. Yet both are likely to deliver incremental action, at best. By Johan Rockström
Tuesday 25 June 2019
Manchester, United Kingdom
Although the idea of the Internet “making the world a better place” is often ridiculed today, it’s easy to forget that this decade began amid optimism that new technologies would connect people, broaden access to information, and generate abundant new economic opportunities. Today, however, governments around the world are considering policies that would undermine the Internet’s openness and global reach. By Shamel Azmeh
Saturday 15 June 2019
It appears that while we don’t yet know the full version of the government’s economic vision for Tonga, we know at least one thing…it is not welcoming to outside ideas and investment. Investors will ask: why should I take the risk caused by Tonga’s Foreign Exchange Act and experience the currently obvious roadblocks to doing business in Tonga? Maybe somewhere else will be better? - Dean Bishoprick.
Wednesday 12 June 2019
There is no such thing as an own goal in rugby, but Rugby Australia, the game’s governing body in Australia, has done its very best to score one by terminating the contract of Israel Folau. In doing so, it has lost the services of a star fullback who has played 73 tests for Australia. ... But once we allow, as a ground for restricting someone’s freedom of speech or action, the claim that someone else has been offended by it, freedom is in grave danger of disappearing entirely. By Peter Singer
Tuesday 11 June 2019
After three decades of moving toward a single global market governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization, the international order has undergone a fundamental change. The United States and China are locked in a tariff war that at first seemed to be about the bilateral trade balance, but has turned out to be about much more. Until recently, one could find hope in the fact that, despite frequent exchanges of threats, the two countries were negotiating. Not anymore. - By Joschka Fischer.
Monday 10 June 2019
After decades as an unconsidered backwater, the South Pacific Islands have become a strategic frontline in a multi-nation contest for power and influence in Greater Asia. A report this week by the British-based global risk assessment company, Oxford Analytica, says China has four objectives in extending its reach into the South Pacific. By Jonathan Manthorpe.
Thursday 6 June 2019
In short, the big religion story in the last century is not one of ideological struggle between Christianity and Islam, with Islam winning. It is a story of growing corporatization, with local and folk religions everywhere being gradually but inexorably replaced by churches and mosques that are affiliated with two of the world’s main religious brands. You may regret it or welcome it, but it has proved unstoppable. By Paul Seabright.
Wednesday 5 June 2019
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has outlined a framework to help member countries investigate and prosecute corruption offences, which cost the global economy around $2 trillion a year. She was speaking at the fifth annual regional meeting of the Caribbean heads of anti-corruption agencies, hosted in the Cayman Islands from 3-7 June.
Tuesday 4 June 2019
Since the Tiananmen Square massacre 30 years ago, China has achieved extraordinary economic development. Yet, contrary to the expectations of many Western leaders and analysts, the country has not gradually embraced press freedom or respect for civil rights. On the contrary: as a recent Reporters Without Borders (RSF) report shows, China today is actively working to build a repressive “new world media order” – an initiative that poses a clear and present danger to the world’s democracies. By Wu’er Kaixi and Christophe Deloire.