Small steps toward an agreement on climate change in 2015 were made at the recent 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) talks in Warsaw, Poland over the past two weeks. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference was extremely tense, with emotions running high after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the frustrations over slow-moving texts and the explosive new issues on the table such as “loss and damage.” The conference went a record 38 hours overtime— finally ending on Saturday night— and was marked by fasting, staged walkouts by developing countries and environmental groups, and frenzied last minute negotiations. In the end, the conference left the door open for a new agreement in 2015, but with a lot of work to be done in the coming two years.
NAIROBI – The International Criminal Court, after facing harsh criticism from the African Union (and threats from AU states to withdraw), finally seems to be paying attention to Africa’s concerns about its approach to trying leaders charged with crimes against humanity. But is that good or bad for Africa?
NEW YORK – The sharpening international geopolitical competition over natural resources has turned some strategic resources into engines of power struggle. Transnational water resources have become an especially active source of competition and conflict, triggering a dam-building race and prompting growing calls for the United Nations to recognize water as a key security concern.
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