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Photo: Overlooking the central Kumasi market at closing time in Kumasi, Ghana, June 22, 2006. Credit: Jonathan Ernst / World Bank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was issued by The Institute for International Political Studies - ISPI.

Viewpoint by Lucia Ragazzi

MILAN (IDN) — Since the war in Ukraine broke out in Europe, its consequences and side effects have been reverberating across African countries. Rising food and energy prices, supply disruptions, and inflationary pressures have created additional challenges on the road to a post-pandemic economic recovery the continent painstakingly embarked upon, in what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called a 'perfect storm'.

Photo credit: Andrey Popov/ via:

By Jaya Ramachandran

VIENNA (IDN) — 2022 will be another challenging year for EU migration. The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) Outlook lists key issues that will be high on the agenda of decision-makers and analysts alike. Founded in 1993, ICMPD holds UN observer status and cooperates with more than 240 partners including EU institutions and UN agencies.

Image credit: Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

Viewpoint by Inge Kaul *

This blog is part of a series by Center for Global Development (CGD) ahead of the EU-Africa Summit on February 17-18, 2022. This series presents proposals for priorities, and commentary on whether a meaningful reconstruction of the relationship between the two continents is likely.

BERLIN (IDN) — When the European Union (EU)-African Union (AU) summit which will take place in February was cancelled in 2020, background documents had already been prepared, and some are still on the table.

Image credit: WTO

Viewpoint by Lori Wallach

Lori Wallach is the director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. This is a slightly abridged version of a blog post by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) New York.

WASHINGTON DC (IDN | IPS-Journal.EU) — As we see infection rates in India and other parts of the world skyrocketing, European Union (EU) and US government officials regularly declare that the Covid-19 public health disaster and resulting economic crises will not end anywhere unless people everywhere are vaccinated. Yet the two World Trade Organization (WTO) heavyweights are blocking an initiative now supported by 100 nations that could boost access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests worldwide. On 5 May the issue will again come to a head at the WTO. The US and EU must join the rest of the world.

Image: U.S. Flag. Credit:

Viewpoint by M.K. Bhadrakumar

The writer is a former Indian diplomat. This article was produced in partnership by Indian Punchline and Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute where it first appeared.

NEW DELHI (IDN) — In a statement marking the “return” of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 24, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed that the Biden administration is placing democracy and human rights at the centre of American foreign policy.

Photo: A mother and doctor tend to a young girl with COVID-19 at an intensive care ward in the western region of Chernivtsi, Ukraine. © UNICEF/Evgeniy Maloletka

By Jaya Ramachandran

GENEVA (IDN) – The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is alarmed at the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Europe where nearly 700,000 cases were reported this week, the highest weekly incidence since the pandemic began in March. Overall, Europe has recorded more than seven million cases of COVID-19, with the jump from six million taking just 10 days, according to Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, the regional head of the WHO.

Photo: Countless Berliners and visitors cycled and walked through the German capital’s city center on September 26 night. The Festival of Lights gave them some beautiful sights and a portion of culture during a difficult year. Credit: Imanuel Marcus | The Berlin Spectator.

Viewpoint by John Kampfner

The writer is author of 'Why the Germans Do It Better; Notes from a Grown-Up Country'. This article was first published in the International Politics Society Journal of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

LONDON (IDN) – The fall of the Berlin Wall could and should have been a great moment for celebrating Britain’s role in the rebirth of democratic Germany. An oppressive communist system was dismantled with extraordinary success. Margaret Thatcher, alongside Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, had an important part to play. Yet all she saw was danger.

Photo credit: Ars Electronica

Viewpoint by Regina Frei & Diego Vazquez-Brust*

SOUTHAMPTON | PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom (IDN) – The secretive way in which plastic recycling is handled in the UK carries the potential for the next big scandal. While the government’s statutory guidance is supposed to clarify who is responsible, our research suggests that what happens to plastics we believe to be recycled in the UK is in reality quite obscure.

Each council in the UK contracts different companies for the disposal and recycling of household waste, so the rules for residents in different areas vary. But you probably separate recyclables before filling your recycling bin and expect that waste (except when it’s black) to be recycled.

Photo: UN Women/Ploy Phutpheng

Viewpoint by UN Women, Bopinc and The DO School

NEW YORK (IDN) – The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical role of collaboration in creating gender-inclusive ecosystems where women can emerge and thrive. As the European Union, UN Women and its partners Bopinc and The DO School highlight their commitment to helping more women entrepreneurs on the occasion of the World Entrepreneurs Day this year on August 21, two initiatives should be recognised for their remarkable progress in providing the space and tools these women need: the Entrepreneurship Accelerator and Industry Disruptor.

Collage sources: EU Website

Viewpoint by Marshall Auerback

The writer is a market analyst and commentator. This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

NEW YORK (IDN) – Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” is a play featuring two characters waiting for a character, Godot, who never arrives. As such, it is a useful metaphor for the goings-on of the European Union (EU). Observers of the EU’s evolution in the capital of Brussels have witnessed a Godot-like experience of the promised arrival of the long-awaited resolution of the group’s dysfunction and economic malaise that never happens.

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