Commentary

Stopping Women’s Next Biggest Killer

GENEVA – For women, the act of bringing life into this world has historically meant risking their own lives, with the real prospect of death during childbirth.

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Putting Economic Models in Their Place

BERKELEY – When policymakers turn to economists for guidance, they expect the advice they receive to be grounded in science, not academic factionalism or political presuppositions. After all, the policies they will be putting in place will have real implications for real people. Unfortunately, however, sound science is not always the driving force behind economic analysis and policy recommendations.

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Why the Sustainable Development Goals Matter

ROME – Following the progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, which guided global development efforts in the years 2000-2015, the world’s governments are currently negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-2030. The MDGs focused on ending extreme poverty, hunger, and preventable disease, and were the most important global development goals in the United Nations’ history. The SDGs will continue the fight against extreme poverty, but will add the challenges of ensuring more equitable development and environmental sustainability, especially the key goal of curbing the dangers of human-induced climate change.

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Why We Need “Game of Thrones”

PARIS – Today’s popular television programs have become the equivalent of the feuilletons that began appearing in newspapers in the nineteenth century. Series like “Game of Thrones” and “Downton Abbey,” like Balzac and Dickens before them, serve as a source of entertainment and fodder for debate. In this sense, our television screenplays have emerged as key tools of social and political analysis.

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Sustainable Energy Now

WASHINGTON, DC – The world has never been closer to achieving the dream of a more sustainable and secure energy future. Renewable energy from the wind and sun is becoming competitive with fossil-fuel-based power generation, and oil prices are hitting lows not seen for years. These developments put us at the edge of a global energy transformation – as long as we get the next steps right.

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The Old New Financial Risk

WASHINGTON, DC – The main financial risk facing the United States today looks very similar to what caused so much trouble in 2007-2008: big banks with too much debt and too little equity capital on their balance sheets. Uneven global regulations, not to mention regulators who fall asleep at the wheel, compound this structural vulnerability.

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A Global Marshall Plan

ROME – Despite ongoing efforts to catalyze global development cooperation, there have been significant obstacles to progress in recent years.

Fortunately, with major international meetings set for the second half of 2015, world leaders have an important opportunity to overcome them.

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Climate Change and the Catholic Church

ROME – Pope Francis is calling on the world to take action against global warming, and many conservatives in the United States are up in arms. 

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Escaping the Middle East’s Violence Trap

OXFORD – The Arab world and its neighbors are stuck in a violence trap. The fighting in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, together with the predations of groups like the Islamic State, is destroying the economic links needed to ensure long-term political stability.

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The Health Benefits of Fighting Climate Change

LIMA – Governments often see climate change as too costly to address. In fact, it is too costly to ignore. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, has linked the prevention of disastrous climate change to “immediate health benefits and health cost savings” from the reduction of air pollution.

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