Tag: UN


Global Food Insecurity and Climate Change: The New Threats to International Stability

Global food insecurity is not a topic which initially comes to mind when thinking of challenges to international stability.  Food insecurity is often regarded by many as a humanitarian issue and is thus dealt with as part of the humanitarian project. This was the case in 2000, when world leaders met and decided to create the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), in order to deal with extreme poverty and eradicate world hunger by 2015. Despite this goal not being achieved, the commitment displayed from institutions highlights the humanitarian approach taken when tackling food insecurity.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) states that food insecurity arises as a result of a situation when people are unable to always have physical, social and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food. With the world’s population growing at a high rate, the international community is now having to grapple with global food insecurity on an unprecedented scale.

Climate change is a significant contributor to global food insecurity. Remaining crops are at high risk of succumbing to extreme variation in weather. Communities dependent on staples such as maize and corn are unable to earn an income and meet their nutritional needs. Along with the corporatisation of agriculture and Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal, global food insecurity is undoubtedly set to become a more pressing issue, which will eventually be at the forefront of international relations.

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Hurdle After Hurdle

On the 17th of May 2017 over 4,000 inmates broke out of Makala prison in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while 70 convicts fled from another prison in south-western DRC a few days later. In the preceding months, the European Union and the United States imposed targeted sanctions, both asset freezes and travel restrictions, on senior Congolese security and intelligence officials, after government violence against civilian protests. An additional nine Congolese officials were then sanctioned on the 29th May 2017 for obstructing the elections and for human rights violations.

With prison breaks, government violence, kidnappings, mass atrocities, human rights violations, a powder keg of disgruntled citizens and suspicions that the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) may have been involved in the killing of two United Nations (UN) investigators just a month ago, it is not surprising that current and prospective investors are fearful of how the situation in the country could develop. Instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become the norm rather than the exception. Recent insecurity has centred on delayed elections – which were due to take place in November 2016 – following President Joseph Kabila’s unwillingness to step down after reaching the constitutional limit.