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Weekly wire: The global forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture

World of NewsThese are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

The 2016 State of Civil Society Report, produced by CIVICUS, provides a comprehensive `year in review’ as well as 33 guest essays focusing on the topic of exclusion. Addressing exclusion is an urgent political issue, which gained renewed emphasis with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. In the past year, civil society responded to profound human rights abuses caused by conflicts and worked to alleviate human suffering in the wake of disasters, yet faces major challenges including dubious attempts to silence dissenting voices. CIVICUS documented serious violations of the freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly in 109 countries over the course of 2015. In an increasingly unequal world where human rights are being undermined, civil society is challenging exclusion in innovative ways.

Leave no city behind
Science Magazine

Close to 4 billion people live in cities. As the driver of environmental challenges, accounting for nearly 70% of the world's carbon emissions, and as sites of critical social disparities, with 863 million dwellers now living in slums, urban settlements are at the heart of global change. This momentum is unlikely to disappear, as approximately 70 million more people will move to cities by the end of this year alone. The good news is that recent multilateral processes are now appreciating this key role of cities and are increasingly prioritizing urban concerns in policy-making. Yet, how can we ensure that these steps toward a global urban governance leave no city, town, or urban dweller behind?

The UN Global Compact-Accenture Strategy CEO Study

The 2016 United Nations Global Compact-Accenture Strategy CEO Study—the most recent in more than a decade of research—reveals a window of opportunity in the minds of the world’s business leaders. Since the last study in 2013, frustrated ambition has given way to optimism as CEOs see a mandate to solve societal challenges as a core element in the search for competitive advantage. The adoption of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides the backdrop to this year’s study. Results suggest that business leaders are committed to driving forward this universal ambition, forging a stronger global environment for doing business in the foothills of the fourth industrial revolution.

Why The First 1,000 Days Matter Most
New York Times

In a recent column (Too Small to Fail), Nicholas Kristof wrote about the importance of early childhood education and the crucial role of good nutrition in developing young brains. Nutrition is not only fundamental to an individual’s cognitive and physical growth, it is also the cornerstone of all development efforts, whether improving education, health, income or equality, at home or abroad. And the most important time for good nutrition is in the 1,000 days from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to the second birthday of her child. What happens in those first days determines to a large extent the course of a child’s life – his or her ability to grow, learn, work, succeed – and, by extension, the long-term health, stability and prosperity of the society in which that child lives.

World Drug Report 2016
UN Office on Drugs and Crime

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime The World Drug Report 2016 comes at a decisive moment, just months after Member States, at a special session of the General Assembly, adopted a comprehensive set of operational recommendations on the world drug problem. The session was only the third in the history of the General Assembly to focus on drugs, and the resulting outcome document, entitled “Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem”, provides a concrete way forward to take action on shared challenges.

African hunger policy silent on climate risks

A deal aimed to double agricultural production and end hunger in Africa has underestimated the impact climate change will have on the continent’s food production, a report has found. The African Union’s Malabo Declaration, adopted in 2014, fails to push for investments in Africa’s scientific capacity to combat climate threats, according to a report produced by the UK-based Agriculture for Impact, and launched in Rwanda this month (14 June).  “Food security and agricultural development policies in Africa will fail if they are not climate-smart”, says Gordon Conway, director of Agriculture for Impact.

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomit

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