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By Baher Kamal
ROME, Jun 7 2017 (IPS) - By 2025 –that’s in less than 8 years from today– 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. Now it is feared that advancing drought and deserts, growing water scarcity and decreasing food security may provoke a huge ‘tsunami” of climate refugees and migrants.
There have been several high-profile cases of healthcare facilities being attacked in conflict situations since late last year. The bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-run trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in October 2015 received worldwide attention.
by Gert Rosenthal
In the United Nations’ quest for peace, the decision to create the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), and the Peacebuilding Fund in 2005 was hailed as a significant achievement. However, five years later, the first review of this peacebuilding architecture was characterized as one of unrealized hopes. Recommendations were made to fill in the gaps, but by 2015, hopes had further diminished, according to recent surveys.
Brian Wood, December 2014
The entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 24 December 2014 is seen as a sign of hope that irresponsible transfers of conventional arms will at last begin to be eradicated. Declarations of commitment by states around the world to implement the ATT have snowballed over the past year since the UN General Assembly voted decisively on 2 April 2013 to adopt the treaty.
The day this Annual Report is published, crucial negotiations on the UN Arms Trade Treaty are taking place in New York. IPIS has monitored this process for many years and, through case work, provided campaigning ngo’s with information on irresponsible arms transfers.
The Report - Executive Summary
Without an understanding of the existing practices of States regarding their commonly agreed standards for the monitoring and reporting of their international transfers of conventional arms,1 it will be very difficult to draft many of the basic provisions of the Treaty to ensure compliance and enforcement.
While, on the one hand, it is widely acknowledged that Africa has great natural resource potential, on the other hand, one cannot but regret that the complex interplay between political and economic factors at the national and international level appears to make it impossible to use a more substantial part of the revenues from the exploitation and trade of these resources for the promotion of the well-being of people at the grassroots level.
Natural resources, such as oil, diamonds,
coltan and gold, can be and have been an engine for growth in African countries.
The exploitation of natural resources in Africa has however, been associated
in many occasions with unsustainable management, underdevelopment and violent
conflict. Armed conflicts have even become self-financed, as the private
actors in the conflicts have increasingly relied on natural resource revenues
to fund military activity.