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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.

Culture gives cities social and economic power, shows UNESCO report

Culture has the power to make cities more prosperous, safer, and sustainable, according to UNESCO’s Global Report, Culture: Urban Future to be launched in Quito (Ecuador) on 18 October. The Global Report presents evidence on how development policies in line with UNESCO’s conventions on the protection and promotion of culture and heritage can benefit cities. Current trends show that urbanization will continue to increase in scale and speed, particularly in Africa and Asia, which are set to be 54 and 64 percent urban by 2050. The world is projected to have 41 mega cities by 2030, each home to at least 10 million people. Massive and rapid urbanization can often exacerbate challenges for cities creating more slums and poor access to public spaces as well as having a negative impact on the environment. This process often leads to a rise in unemployment, social inequality, discrimination and violence.

Sustainable Cities: 3 Ways Cities Can Contribute to a Renewable Energy Future
HuffPost Blog

This week, global policy makers gather in Quito for the Habitat III Conference to reinvigorate the global commitment to the sustainable development of cities. Meeting every 20 years, the Habitat Conference will this year focus on setting a new Urban Agenda. Within this context and for the first time ever, the Conference will also discuss the rapid deployment of renewable energy as a means to achieve a sustainable urban future. This could not be timelier. Dramatic cost declines and technological innovations, present cities with an unprecedented opportunity to transform and decarbonise their energy supply on the basis of a positive economic case - an option that did not exist when the Habitat Conference last convened in 1996. This is great news, considering cities are home to 54% of the global population and generate 70% of global emissions.

Human Rights Response to Government Hacking
Access Now

When governments engage in hacking it creates significant risks for human rights. However, there has yet to be an international public conversation on the scope, impact, or human rights safeguards for government hacking. This paper raises the question of how human rights apply in the context of government hacking targeted at non-government and private sector actors. This includes government hacking that is perpetrated directly by the state, through a contractor or independent employee at the government’s request or through government pressure, or otherwise sponsored by a state entity.

Communicating with disaster-affected children: A case study from the 2015 Nepal earthquake response
Plan International

In disasters and conflicts around half of those affected are children. Despite this, in humanitarian settings children are rarely asked to share their views, provided with adequate information or consulted on what they need and prioritise in emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Our experience shows that engaging children in humanitarian responses helps us to respond better and in more relevant ways. Girls and boys who are well informed and have opportunities to communicate about decisions affecting their lives are able to make better contributions to safer communities in which their rights are respected. This report, released by Plan International and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency*, looks at communication with disaster-affected children in the preparedness and response after the earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April 2015.

3 Things To Do About Corruption Rather Than Gripe
Anti-Corruption blog

Most of what passes for commentary or learned analysis about corruption in the press, on social media, or elsewhere does little more than say (again and again and again) that corruption is a pressing problem and that it should be addressed.  However valuable such calls to action might have been in the early years of the anticorruption movement, as Matthew suggested some time ago (almost two years ago to be exact), the principle of diminishing returns has long since set in.  I have serious doubts that another newspaper op-ed, “thought piece,” or (even) blog post will prompt one more policymaker or citizen to take up the anticorruption cause. If they have not by now, they simply aren’t going to. Rather than wasting energy and time and sending more innocent trees to their death in the hopes of enlisting the remaining holdouts to the cause, here are three projects activists can tackle that will make a difference in the fight to curb corruption.

Working for health and growth: investing in the health workforce
World Health Organization

The High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth was established by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in March 2016. Its task: to make recommendations to stimulate and guide the creation of at least 40 million new jobs in the health and social sectors, and to reduce the projected shortfall of 18 million health workers, primarily in low- and lower-middle-income countries, by 2030. Six months of intensive work and productive discussions, first among the Expert Group and then among the Commissioners, facilitated by ILO, OECD and WHO, have led to this report, which presents the case for more and better investment in the health workforce.


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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomit

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