Project Articles – SDGs for All

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Will there be more genocides that the world will ignore until it is too late?

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

LUND, Sweden (IDN) – One of the cruellest men ever to have lived died on September 2 in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Kaing Guek Eav, popularly known as “Duch”, was 77 and had been convicted of mass torture by the UN/Cambodian war crimes court. He was the only one of the five defendants to admit his crimes. In July 2010 in a trial I witnessed first-hand he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to Seth Mydans, the New York Times’s correspondent in Cambodia at the time of the rule of Pol Pot who founded the guerrilla movement, the Khmer Rouge, “he was a schoolteacher before the Khmer Rouge came to power. He took his revolutionary name from a children’s book about an obedient schoolboy named Duch. ‘I wanted to be a well-disciplined boy who respected the teachers and did good deeds’, he told the court.  (P15) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF |

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GENEVA | BRAZZAVILLE (IDN) – While COVID-19 pandemic is playing havoc with the global economy and a frantic search continues for a vaccine, thanks to a concerted campaign of immunization, Africa is free of a highly infectious disease which mainly affects children under 5 years of age. It is a significant development marking the eradication of the second virus from the face of the continent since smallpox 40 years ago.

“Today is a historic day for Africa,” said Professor Rose Gana Fomban Leke, Chairperson of the African Regional Certification Commission for Polio eradication (ARCC), which has declared the region free of polio. (P14) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF |

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MUSINA, South Africa (IDN) – His three teenage children play home-made paper ball on the dusty streets of Musina, exercise books scattered on the veranda of their rented home in the South African border town with Zimbabwe. Yet Gerald Gava, the children’s 47-year old father, lies on a reed mat spread on the veranda, apparently with nothing to do after he stopped working three months ago as the lockdown took toll on the construction company that employed him.

Gava, who is a migrant from Zimbabwe, said even his children have had to remain home as schools also shut down, thanks to the coronavirus that has pounded the entire globe. (P13) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF |

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The Rich and Poor are Not Sailing in the Same Boat

NEW YORK (IDN) – UN Secretary-General António Guterres has in a surprise dramatic move, castigated a series of “fallacies and falsehoods” perpetrated particularly on the deprived of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed all lies such as  the lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all; the fiction that unpaid care work is not work; the delusion that we live in a post-racist world; the myth that we are all in the same boat”.

Exposing this misleading myth, he says: “While we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts while others are clinging to the floating debris.” (P12) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF |

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UN Academic Impact Talks to Students from Several Countries

NEW YORK (IDN) – COVID-19 pandemic has forced more than 1.5 billion students in 165 countries out of school, enforcing the global academic community to explore new ways of teaching and learning, including distance and online education, according to UNESCO estimates.

This has proven challenging for both students and educators, who have to deal with the emotional, physical and economic difficulties posed by the illness while doing their part to help curb the spread of the virus, notes United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). (P11) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF |

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BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN)Togo in West Africa is the venue of a milestone project between Soka Gakkai, a global community-based Buddhist organization and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). The two have signed a memorandum to launch a reforestation project offering income opportunities for women’s groups in two rural areas of Togo.

The memorandum involving a donation of 10 million yen (US$93,300) for the initial one-year phase of the project was signed on July 1 at the Soka Gakkai (SG) headquarters in Tokyo. The project will kick off on September 1. (P10) GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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Viewpoint by Siddharth Chatterjee

The writer is the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya. Follow Siddharth Chatterjee on twitter- @sidchat1.

NAIROBI (IDN) – When 17-year-old high school student Darnella Fraizer filmed the last minutes of George Floyd’s life under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin, she could not have imagined that her footage would reignite the explosive global question of racial inequality and the subsequent clamour for reforms in policing. (P09) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SWAHILI | TAGALOG

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 Viewpoint by Linda Eckerbom Cole

The writer is Director/Founder, African Women Rising, shuttles between Santa Barbara, California and Gulu, Uganda.

SANTA BARBARA, California (IDN) – African Women Rising (AWR) has created a campaign to build 2,000 new Permagardens, which will help feed 15,000 at-risk people who are experiencing food scarcity due to COVID-19. Permagardens empower communities to meet their own food needs and are a long-term solution to hunger. (P08) JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | PORTUGUESE | TURKISH

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