- Sunhak Peace Prize
Future generations refer not only to our own physical descendants
but also to all future generations to come.
Since all decisions made by the current generation will either positively
or negatively affect them, we must take responsibility for our actions.
Sunhak Peace Prize
Making the World Better for Future Generations
2022 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate
Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert
- Co-Developer of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine
- Approached vaccine as global public good
Protecting humanity from ‘Diseases -X’
Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
- Global Leader in Promoting Vaccine Equity at the Forefront of Covid-19
- Contributed to global vaccine equity
Reducing child mortality rate by 50%
Contributed to the achievement of 14 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
2022 Founders' Special Honorary Award
H.E. Samdech Hun Sen
- Leader of Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia and Supporter of New Peace Process on the Korean
- Lead to the sustainable development of Southeast Asia
Supported the new peace process on the Korean peninsula
To experience true peace, we must first practice true love without expectation of reward.
When our mindset changes from wishing to receive love to wishing to give love, the world of peace will be at hand.
We hope to share the light
of hope with all the people of the
world who pray for world peace.
The Sunhak Peace Prize was established in order to help resolve
worldwide suffering, conflict, poverty and threats to the environment,
by promoting a comprehensive, future-oriented vision of peace.
Peace Issue Conference of the Parties - UN Convention on Climate Change (COP27)
―COP27 has finally come to an end― “An important step towards justice has been taken. We welcome the decision to establish and operate a future Loss-and-Damage fund.”- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres -https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/11/1130832 (Source: WEF)The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP27) was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt for 15 days from November 6 to 20 last year.As we probably all know, the conference was originally scheduled to finish on the 18th, but it ended later than planned due to a contest of nerves between interested parties over the contents of the agreement.What sort of content was it that caused the representatives of certain countries to suffer right to the end?―What is COP27?―https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/cop27 But what does COP27 mean? Let's look at terminology first. ◎UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate ChangeIt is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In 1992, it was formally signed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, Brazil, so it is also called the Rio Environmental Convention. It was announced in March 1994 and currently 198 countries are parties to the Convention. States Parties must make efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and report their plans and results to the Commission. ◎ COP, Conference of the PartiesThe Conference of the Parties is a meeting of countries that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is held annually and is followed by a number according to the number of times it has been held. This year's Conference of the Contracting Parties, held in Egypt, is the twenty-seventh meeting and is called COP27. The first COP was held in Berlin, Germany in 1995.Famous Conferences of the Parties*COP3 : In 1997, the ‘Kyoto Protocol’, in which major countries agreed on greenhouse gas reduction targets, was signed. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/docs/cop3/l07a01.pdf#page=24 *COP15 : In 2009, the ‘Copenhagen Agreement’ was signed to limit the increase in global average temperature to within 2℃ of the level before industrialization. *COP21 : The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, replacing the Transport Protocol, which expired in 2020. It was decided to pursue efforts to limit the increase in global average temperature to within 1.5°C. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/english_paris_agreement.pdf ―Issues addressed at COP27― What topics did we cover at COP27? Ahead of the General Assembly, many organizations and media introduced the main issues of COP27.The World Economic Forum (WEF) introduced the following four goals set by the COP27 Presidency. 1. Mitigation : Calls on all parties, especially those in a position to “lead by example,” to take “bold and immediate action” and reduce emissions to limit global warming to less than 2°C 2. Adaptation : COP27 must make "Critically Necessary Progress" to strengthen climate change resilience and support the world's most vulnerable communities 3. Finance : Calls for significant progress on climate finance, including commitment of $100 billion annually to support developing countries 4. Collaboration : Since UN negotiations are consensus-based, reaching an agreement requires "inclusive and active participation of all stakeholders". https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/10/cop27-why-it-matters-and-5-key-areas-for-action/ ―Loss and Damage―(COP27 Closing. Source: UN)https://unfccc.int/news/cop27-reaches-breakthrough-agreement-on-new-loss-and-damage-fund-for-vulnerable-countries However, there is one issue that received the most attention at this general assembly. This is none other than ‘Loss and Damage’.Demands for compensation for the damage inflicted by developed countries, which caused climate change in the course of development, have been around since the early 1990s, led by the small island nation (AOSIS) negotiating group, such as Tuvalu and Fiji. Even though “loss and damage” was also specified in the Paris Agreement in 2015, it did not become an agenda at the Conference of the Parties due to the passive attitude of advanced countries concerned about the enormous financial burden. However, as the region where this general meeting was held is Africa, which is the most vulnerable to climate change, and it was adopted as an official agenda for the first time, it attracted great attention.The issue of financing the ‘loss and damage’ subsidy has become the biggest issue between developed and developing countries to the extent that it was postponed until the end.(Source: UN) In particular, a group of 134 developing countries, including Pakistan, where a third of the country was submerged by floods this year, strongly demanded the establishment of a financial facility dedicated to responding to “loss and damage.”Advanced countries preferred to utilize existing organizations such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) rather than creating new organizations that would require enormous amounts of money and time. After many twists and turns, it was agreed to establish a new financing system and fund to respond to losses and damages in countries most vulnerable to climate change. The response settled on here does not mean “compensation” that bears legal responsibility, but humanitarian “support.” (People fleeing Pakistan flooding in August 2022. Source: AP) It is said that there was a temperature difference between the great powers here as well. The European Union took the position that China and India, the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, were not entitled to be beneficiaries of the fund, but rather ought to contribute to the fund. China fiercely resisted being treated as an advanced country at the climate talks.https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/19/climate/un-climate-damage-cop27.html(Go to The New York Times related article) ―Achievements and Limitations― https://unfccc.int/documents/624444 (COP27 Agreement) The United Nations evaluated this General Assembly as a historic agreement, but there are many voices of reluctance. The BBC summarized the results of this General Assembly in five points.1. The commitment to jointly fund countries vulnerable to climate change is the most important development since the Paris Agreement of 2015 (COP21). 2. There is a retreat in the position on the use of fossil fuels. Gas emissions were supposed to peak before 2025, but that is missing from the agreement. The lack of clear follow-up on the phase-out of coal and the permitting of gas development under the phrase 'low-emission and renewable energy' is also an important loophole. 3. The will on the part of participating nations to keep the average temperature rise within 1.5°C was strong. In particular, developed nations and island nations showed deep solidarity with the 1.5°C curb, but China wanted a more relaxed target above 1.5°C. This became a major point of difference between developed nations and China. For reference, some nations, notably China and India, took the stance of easing the target to 2°C. 4. The presence and power of the fossil fuel industry was displayed. All the conference forums were attended by delegates involved in the oil and gas industry, and it felt like a fossil fuel trade fair; their influence was reflected in the final agreement. 5. It stressed the importance of democracy to the climate. This is the case of the recently elected Brazilian President Lula, and the BBC predicted that the United States will also hold to its 2030 carbon reduction target with the Democratic Party's victory in the Senate election. The general consensus likened the Bolsonaro regime in Brazil, faulted for devastating the Amazon, to the former US Trump administration, known as the “climate villain.”https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-63693738(Go to BBC article) ―The ball is now handed over to COP28―Joint efforts to respond to the climate crisis are likely to pick up momentum at COP28 next year.This is because, at this General Assembly, we managed to reach an agreement on raising a ‘damage and compensation’ fund, but the homework on how to raise the funds has been postponed till the next climate conference.At COP28 next year, the States Parties decided to establish a transitional committee to make recommendations on new funding methods and fund management. Deciding the criteria for recipient countries and the scale of damages also remains an important agenda item. Next year will also be the first year to review the performance of each nation in responding to the climate crisis since the 2015 Paris Agreement. At this COP27, there was also discussion and progress in many areas not covered in this article, such as technology, food, carbon market, and water. Even under the great goal of joint efforts to stave off global disaster, it seems that each nation shows both cooperation and confrontation based on interests, illustrating the harsh international reality.It stands to reason we must seriously ponder how little time we have left for dragging our feet in taking action to stave off the impending climate catastrophe.
Peace Issue Global Population Reaches 8 Billion Mark
―The Eight Billionth Birth―(Arpi, newborn in Gegharkunik, Armenia: Facebook image)On November 15, 2022, a girl was born in Armenia in the Caucasian region with a height of 49 cm and a weight of 2.9 kg. The child's name is Arpi. The United Nations celebrated the baby's birth, and the governor of Gegharkunik province, where the baby was born, also announced the baby's birth on social media. World media also reported the birth of Arpi. Who in the world is this baby to get so much attention? In fact, this baby is the 8 billionth person on earth, and recognized as such by the United Nations. How did that happen? Doesn't this deserve global attention?https://english.pravda.ru/news/society/154800-eight_billion/ The UN announced that the world population has passed 8 billion as of the 15th.(United Nation Population Fund website, https://www.unfpa.org/) Let's take a quick look at how quickly the population has grown. ◎ In 8,000 BC, when humans started farming, the world's population was about 5 million, and by 1 AD, it reached about 200 million. That's an increase of 195 million people over a period of 8,000 years. ◎ With the industrial revolution in the 1700s, the infant mortality rate plummeted, and the population exploded, reaching 1 billion in 1800. After the Industrial Revolution, it increased by 800 million in 100 years. ◎ Since the number of human beings, which reached 4 billion in 1974, now exceeds 8 billion, it took only 48 years to double—an increase of 4 billion. ◎ Currently, about 140 people are born per minute, which is about 200,000 people a day, and about 80 million new lives are born annually. https://www.history.com/news/how-fast-is-the-worlds-population-growing―Expected to increase to 10.4 billion by 2080―On July 11, the UN issued a report on World Population Day. “World Population Day” is a day to commemorate July 11, 1987, when the world’s population reached 5 billion to raise awareness of the seriousness of the population problem.https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/sites/www.un.org.development.desa.pd/files/wpp2022_summary_of_results.pdfGlobal population will naturally increase over time. The population trend estimated in this report is expected to peak at 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050, and 10.4 billion around 2080, and should remain at that level till 2100. (Image credit: BBC) However, even if the population increases, it seems the rate will not be as fast as in the past. In many nations, fertility rates have declined dramatically in recent decades, so the rate of growth is expected to moderate, slowing down considerably. Today, two-thirds of the world's population lives in nations or regions with fertility rates under 2.1 births per mother; this is expected to decline even further. (12 nations with population over 100 million, Source: UN) Then, in which regions will the population increase? The UN projects that by 2050, over half the world's growing population will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania. Most of the growing population is concentrated in the underdeveloped sub-Saharan African countries. The World Population Review (WPR), an American population information agency, projects that Africa's population will reach 2.4 billion by 2050 and increase to 4.1 billion by 2100, constituting over a third of global population. (Population growth forecast by continent and region, source: UN) (Population trends in Tanzania. Source: worldpopulationreview) (Population trends in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Source: worldpopulationreview) (Population Trends in Pakistan. Source: worldpopulationreview) ―What we can learn from population reports―Let's look at some facts we can glean from the United Nation’s population report and the United States' World Population Review (WPR) data. ◎ As of this year, 2.3 billion people (29% of the world's population) live in East Asia and Southeast Asia, followed by 2.1 billion people (26%) in Central and South Asia. (Population trends by region. Source: worldpopulationreview) ◎ Next year (2023) India is set to overtake China, becoming the world's most populous nation. The populations of the two nations are neck-a-neck at 1.4 billion now, but by 2050, India will boast 1.66 billion while China will lag at 1.31 billion. (Above population trends from source: worldpopulationreview) (Population rankings by nation. Source: UN) ◎ As of 2019, global life expectancy is 72.8 years, and is expected to rise to 77.2 years in 2050. But life expectancy in low-income countries is currently 63 years, nearly a decade below the global average. This gap is expected to close to 8.4 years in 2050. Mortality rates for children under age 5 are also 13 times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries.(Life expectancy by region. Source: United Nations) ◎ Life expectancy was lower for men than for women across countries in all regions, from 2.9 years in Australia and New Zealand to 7 years in South America and the Caribbean.(Source: UNFPA)◎ The number of people aged 65 and older is growing rapidly worldwide, and the proportion of people aged 65 is expected to increase from 10% in 2022 to 16% in 2050. Thus nations with aging populations must make efforts to improve the sustainability of long-term care systems, social security, and pension programs.(Source: UNFPA) ◎ Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America have recently declined but still have high teenage fertility rates. In 2021, the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 was highest in sub-Saharan Africa at 101, followed by 53 in Latin America and the Caribbean. Birth statistics for women aged 10 to 14 also ranked the same.Teenage birth can have adverse health and social consequences for both mother and child. Fortunately, most governments in the region are taking policy action to improve adolescent sexual behavior and health, with adolescent childbirth as a major concern, the UN said. (Teen birth rate by region. Source: United Nations) ◎ In contrast to most developed countries grappling with rapidly declining populations, the populations of the USA and Canada are expected to continue growing. The reason is the high immigration rate and natural increase (difference between births and deaths). According to the US Census Bureau, the US population growth rate is between 0.7% and 0.9% per year. Canada's population growth over the past decade has ranged between 0.8% and 1.2%. Immigration will be the only population growth factor in high-income countries in the future.(USA population trend. Source: worldpopulationreview)(Canada population trend. Source: worldpopulationreview) ◎ The population graphs of most countries show no change in trend, either rising or falling, but there are two countries with large points of change in the middle of the graph: Venezuela in South America and Ukraine in Eastern Europe. Venezuela experienced a population decline over the last five years but is expected to increase again. (Venezuela population trend. Source: worldpopulationreview) The Ukraine's population has also been declining since the 1990s due to people fleeing poverty and corruption. The United Nations estimates that Ukraine could lose nearly one-fifth of its population by the 2050s.(Ukraine population trend: worldpopulationreview) https://population.un.org/dataportal/homehttps://www.unfpa.org/8billion/8trendshttps://worldpopulationreview.com/(See the above links) ―For population growth to be a blessing to mankind―UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a congratulatory message: “The achievement of 8 billion people is an occasion for us to celebrate human diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at the advances in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality. At the same time, it reminds us of our collective responsibility to care for the planet.”https://www.un.org/en/desa/world-population-reach-8-billion-15-november-2022 Is the increasing number of people on Earth positive or negative? What is clear is that explosive population growth can pose a threat to humanity. In fact, Egypt, the host country of the recently held 27th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), put "How rapid population growth can exacerbate the country's vulnerability to respond to climate change" as an important agenda item. According to the Washington Post (WP), the Egyptian government considers population growth a serious security threat and is pushing for birth control at a cost of millions of dollars. Population growth is a real problem on a global scale. It is time for all of us to think about ensuring that population growth is conducive to the sustainable development of the planet and does not become a cause of global inequality.
Peace Issue The Glaciers are Sending Us a Warning
―An Ice-Free Globe―Disappearing glaciers are sending us warning about the climate crisis. Even if we achieve the global warming target, we cannot save them all. The scene below is not from a disaster movie. This is a computer simulation made by American scientists in 2020, supposing all the glaciers on Earth were to melt. If this were to happen, it is estimated that sea levels in most areas of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans will rise by 66 meters (216 feet). https://www.rutgers.edu/news/modern-sea-level-rise-linked-human-activities-rutgers-research-reaffirmsWith the sea level up to the statue's shoulders, that means most of New York City would be submerged except for the very highlands.We are not likely to face such an extreme situation as that pictured, but the future definitely seems to be heading in that direction. ―One-third of World Heritage Glaciers will vanish― ◎ Glaciers are massive bodies of slowly moving ice. Glaciers form on land, and they are made up of fallen snow that gets compressed into ice over many centuries. They move slowly downward from the pull of gravity. Most of the world’s glaciers exist in the polar regions [and] about 2 percent of all the water on earth is frozen in glaciers. ‒National Geographic (Types of glaciers. Source: UNESCO) The international community is working to limit average temperature rise to within 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels by 2030.However, recently UNESCO announced that even if humanity achieves the global warming target, one-third of the glaciers in World Heritage-designated areas will disappear by 2050. https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/unesco-finds-some-iconic-world-heritage-glaciers-will-disappear-2050 Wait, but are there glaciers in Africa? — Yes. Even in Africa, ice covers the top of high mountains. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Kenya in Kenya, and Mount Rwezori in Uganda are all glacier-capped. (Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa) On November 3rd, UNESCO published a report titled "World Heritage Glaciers: Sentinels of climate change." This report assesses the trend of glacier decline and details measures to protect glaciers in fifty World Heritage sites during the 20-year period from 2000. The World Heritage glaciers designated by UNESCO account for about 10% of all glaciers. 58 billion tons of meltwater diminishes these glaciers per year—the equivalent of the total combined annual water consumption of Spain and France. ―Some glaciers will totally vanish by 2050―World Heritage glaciers are disappearing the fastest in Asia.As of 2021, the glacier in Yunnan Province, China has dwindled 57.2% since 2000, as the most rapidly diminishing among all the World Heritage glaciers.Glaciers in the Tien-Shan Mountains in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia have shrunk by 27%. (Tien-Shan Massif) 45.6% of the glacial mass in Argentina's Los Alerces National Park has also disappeared. There are areas where the ice fields will be completely gone by 2050, no matter what mankind does.First, all glaciers in Africa are expected to disappear. The same fate has already befallen two glaciers in North America—Yellowstone and Yosemite Park.The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published a report last year that glaciers all across Africa, such as Kilimanjaro, would disappear by 2040, ten years earlier than 2050 predicted by UNESCO.Europe is no less a predicament. It is predicted that Mont Perdu glacier, spanning the Italian Dolomites, France and Spain, will disappear by 2050. (World Heritage Glacial Distribution Map) According to the report, the speed at which glaciers are disappearing is accelerating year by year, and the smaller glaciers are dwindling even faster. Glaciers ranging in size from 1 to 10 km2 experienced a loss of about 4% from 2000 to 2005, compared to nearly 10% from 2015 to 2020. On the other hand, glaciers with a size of 100 to 1000 km2 decreased by about 2.5% from 2000 to 2005, and the rate almost doubled from 2015 to 2020 to about 4.8%. ―The 8 hottest years in history―On November 6, the United Nations released another report on changes in glaciers and sea levels due to climate change. https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/eight-warmest-years-record-witness-upsurge-climate-change-impacts The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued a climate provisional report for 2022, and it is said that these last 8 years in a row have been the hottest period in recorded history.Earth's average temperature in 2022 is estimated to be about 1.15 (1.02~1.28)°C [2.07°F] higher than the pre-industrial (1850 to 1900) average, and the highest temperature record has been broken each year consecutively since 2016. The rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993; this year it reached an all-time high. Moreover, ocean temperatures are registering warmer than ever. (Icebergs off Greenland) Antarctica's ice sheet area is also at its lowest level, down by nearly 1 million square kilometers from the average. Greenland's northern polar ice sheet has also declined for 26 years in a row. This year rain instead of snow has fallen in the region for the first time ever. Also, 2022 will see a reduction in the average thickness of glaciers across Europe's Alps by 3 to 4 meters or more. Compared to 2001, Switzerland's glacial volume has decreased by a third. (Temperatures in 2022 compared to average temperatures for 1981-2010) WMO Director-General Petteri Taalas said: “With the critical conditions we face now, it is practically impossible to achieve our targeted limit of 1.5°C atmospheric warming.”“It is already too late to cope with the disappearance of many glaciers,” he warned. “The rate of sea level rise has doubled over the past 30 years, posing a major long-term, existential threat to millions of coastal residents and low-lying countries.” ―What will happen when the glaciers melt―What will happen to us, to humankind, if the glaciers disappear? ◎ Snow and ice serve as a reflector radiating solar energy back into space. As the glaciers melt, the Earth absorbs more solar energy, causing global temperatures to rise. In turn, enhanced global warming causes glaciers to melt faster. ◎ Earth maintains a constant temperature through global circulation of seawater. When glaciers melt and enter the sea in large quantities, changes in the salinity and temperature of the surrounding seawater cause problems with ocean current circulation. Climate polarization then occurs, with polar regions becoming colder and equatorial regions becoming hotter. This increases the likelihood of frequent extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, severe cold and extreme heat. ◎ It causes sea level rise. The findings of the British research team indicate that the meltwater from glaciers between 1994 and 2017 amounted to 28 trillion tons. During this period sea levels rose 3.5 cm. It is estimated that for each centimeter rise in sea level, 6 million people lose their livelihoods. ◎ Glaciers on the high mountain slopes are a source of drinking water. In fact, in Italy, glacial drinking water sources are depleted, most areas are dry, and agricultural yield is also decreasing. ◎ Arctic creatures such as polar bears and penguins disappear, leading to ecosystem disruption and biodiversity crisis. ◎ Viruses and bacteria trapped in glaciers and permafrost can wake up. In fact, as the Siberian permafrost melted, a 30,000-year-old virus was discovered in 2014, and in 2016 cases of harm were reported. It included children dying of anthrax that spread when reindeer carcasses were exposed. ―Two-thirds of glaciers are still available― (Exit Glacier, Alaska) One glacier in particular has become an icon of climate change.In 2015, former U.S. President Obama, viewing a glacier named "Exit" in Alaska's Kinai Fjords National Park, said, "Our grandchildren won't be able to see this glacier." Ever since then, Exit Glacier has become an icon of climate change. The sad fact is, the area of the glacier is diminishing day by day.https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20220904044100072?site=mapping_related UNESCO stressed that the only solution to protecting the glacier is to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.If humanity works hard and keeps to the 1.5℃ goal, this will allow future generations to see the remaining two-thirds of the glaciers intact. Although one-third will be with us no more.
Peace Issue Living Planet Report 2022
―Emperor Penguins are disappearing from our planet―The Emperor Penguin is the largest penguin in the world. Average height 114 cm (45 inches) and weight up to 40 kg (88 lbs). Currently, there are 61 Emperor Penguin colonies in Antarctica, with an estimated 625,000 to 650,000 inhabitants. Emperor penguins lay eggs and go out to sea in search of food. The males incubate the eggs between their legs for two months, enduring bitter cold. And the female and male take turns rearing the young. The documentary film March of the Penguins has become famous. The Emperor Penguin, which has survived and overcame such a harsh environment, is now in danger of disappearing from the earth forever. On the 25th, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the Emperor Penguin as an endangered species.https://www.fws.gov/press-release/2022-10/emperor-penguin-gets-endangered-species-act-protections The USFWS estimates that the emperor penguin population will decline by as little as 26% and as much as 47% by 2050 as sea ice disappears due to climate change. Sea ice is an important habitat for emperor penguins to find food and shelter from dangerous enemies. The decline of krill, a main food source, caused by ocean acidification, also threatens the survival of Emperor penguins. The Emperor population has declined to barely half from the 1970s. In 2016, when the sea ice melted early, 10,000 young pups not yet prepared to swim drowned.―69% of wild animals have disappeared in half a century― The changes affect not only Emperor penguins. Looking further afield, more and more species are vanishing. On the 13th the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released "Living Planet Report 2022." https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/living-planet-report-2022 The WWF publishes a biennial biodiversity and ecosystem health survey, including analyses of the world's population of approximately 32,000 species of mammals, fish, reptiles, birds and amphibians. The findings are more than shocking. From 1970 to 2018, the populations of all wildlife monitored declined by an average of 69%. Tropical regions such as the Amazon, the coasts of Latin America, and the Caribbean showed ominous decline, where the number of wild animals decreased by an average of 94% during the same period. In Africa and Asia and the Pacific region, more than half of the wild animals disappeared, accounting for 66% and 55%, respectively. The species that saw the biggest decline were freshwater species populations. The total population of freshwater species has declined by an average of 83%. (Cycad fern tree) In addition, the cycad, a primitive fern plant species, is at gravest risk of extinction, while corals and amphibians are showing the fastest decline. * Species: A group of similar organisms that can interbreed* Population: A group of a single species that inhabits the same geographic area.-WWF KOREA material -(Status of biodiversity loss by region) The report identified habitat degradation and loss, overuse of resources, invasive species, environmental pollution, climate change and disease as the main causes of global wildlife loss. Especially in the case of migratory fish, where 75% of the population has declined, habitat loss and new obstacles blocking migration routes account for half the decline. The report maps the regions with high extinction threat, with Southeast Asia being the region with the highest geographic risk of extinction. In addition, the polar regions, the eastern coast of Australia and South Africa have been shown to be very likely to be affected by climate change. ―Humans are overusing permitted natural resources―The report says that demand for energy and raw materials has increased significantly over the past 50 years, as the world's population has doubled and global economy and international trade have quadrupled and tenfold, respectively. As economic activity intensified, environmental damage correspondingly increased. This can be explained by the biocapacity of the Earth and the ecological footprint of phosphoric acid. ▲ ‘Biocapacity’ refers to the amount of resources, such as water, air, and soil, that the earth can regenerate and purify in one year. In the 1960s, only three-quarters of the earth's recoverable ecological resources were used, but with rapid industrialization in the 1970s, human consumption of ecological resources exceeded nature's regenerative capacity, and as of August 2, 2017, humans have exceeded the limits of annual resource consumption that the Earth can accommodate each year. ▲ ‘Ecological footprint’ The ecological footprint is the human demand upon the biocapacity. The current standard of area that the earth can handle is 1.6ha per person, but if we demand an area footprint higher than this, it can have a big negative impact on environmental issues. According to the report, humans are currently using at least 75% more of Earth's nature, which is equivalent to living on 1.75 Earths.The map below shows consumption in Ecological Footprints per capita by country. Within the natural range that the Earth can support, an acceptable ecological footprint per capita is 1.6 global hectares, meaning that many nations are using Earth's resources beyond this range. (Ecological footprint per nation per capita: the darker the red the more earth's resource capacity is exceeded.) ―Towards a Nature-Positive Society―How can we save endangered species? The international community has set the answer as ‘Nature-Positive.’ ‘Nature-Positive’ means to stop and reverse natural loss and to strengthen the resilience of the earth and society. For global goals in the natural field, such as the carbon-neutral goal in the climate field, each sector such as government, business, and civil society must subscribe to the pledge and joint in an international effort to carry out it together. Just as we set quantified carbon reduction targets for Net Zero, biodiversity should also have measurable and timely targets. Nature-positive is necessary because, firstly, nature has been severely damaged and will disappear at an ever-faster rate in the future, requiring bold goals; and secondly, it gives us hope that nature can recover quickly when given the opportunity. WWF emphasizes that a fundamental and holistic realignment of paradigms, goals and values across technological, economic and social factors can transform biodiversity decline from halting to recovery. Fortunately, leaders from over 90 nations pledged to reverse the trend of biodiversity decline by 2030 through the 'Leaders Pledge for Nature (LPN)', and the G7 leaders are also realizing a world in a nature-positive state. They pledge together their firm intention to carry it out. (Photo source: WWF) * Nature Positive: A global restoration goal to reverse the trend of biodiversity decline by 2030, to reverse the flow of natural loss and to protect nature. If the international community responds in unison, the natural net decline will turn positive from 2030, reaching Nature Positive, and a full recovery can be expected by 2050.―All in all, 1.5oC for nature and mankind―(Estimation of biodiversity loss due to temperature rise as compared to pre-industrial levels) The threatened extinction of the Antarctic Emperor penguins and tropical wildlife stands as a warning to humans about climate change from animals living on both extremes. “Climate change is having a tremendous impact on species around the world, and this also serves as a call to action,” said Martha Williams, Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). It seems that the path we must take has been decided for us. Efforts to peg climate change at 1.5℃ and efforts towards Nature Positive are not different – they will help to preserve biodiversity as well as the survival of mankind
Peace Issue Symbol of Health and Human Rights
―World Toilet Day―https://www.worldtoiletday.info/ What is World Toilet Day? It is an international day designated by the U.N. In 2013, the United Nations officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. Why did the peace-oriented UN set a day to commemorate the toilet? That is because the disease and safety risks caused by unsanitary toilet facilities are life-threatening. Let's take a look at toilets that threaten the lives of many people around the world. ―6th target for world peace:Clean water and sanitation―At the UN General Assembly in 2015, the United Nations set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or the 17 goals that must be achieved by 2030 for world peace. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs(Go to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals website) The sixth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is Clean Water and Sanitation, which aims to ensure access to safe water and basic sanitation facilities (toilet) for all. The second target of SDG 6 is related to toilet hygiene. SDGs 6. Clean water and sanitation targets 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. 6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations 6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity. 6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate 6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=584(Read Sunhak Peace article about Clean Water and Sanitation) What kind of problem does the bathroom pose in the sight of the UN?The biggest problem is the impact on health. Various bacteria mixed with excrement dumped on roads, streams, and rivers cause water-borne infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and polio. If you contract severe diarrhea from a young age due to a water-borne infectious disease, you will suffer from malnutrition and be vulnerable to various diseases even as an adult. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.5 million people die each year from water-borne diseases. Toilets are also a matter of human dignity. Women and children where open defecation is the only option are at risk of sexual assault. It points out that, for this reason, in countries where school toilet facilities are poor, female students often drop out of school when menarche begins. (Improved toilet facilities in a Rwanda family. Source: Water for People) According to data from the non-governmental organization WaterAid, 170 million people worldwide live without toilets. And every two minutes, a child under the age of 5 dies from diarrhea caused by dirty water and poor toilet hygiene. https://www.wateraid.org/uk/the-crisis/facts-and-statistics Fortunately, the situation is gradually improving. According to the "Sustainable Development Goals Report" published by the UN in July this year, toilet hygiene is gradually improving thanks to the international community's efforts to provide access to clean toilets and good hygiene. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/Goal-06/ According to the report, from 2015 to 2020, the number of people using safe and sanitary toilet facilities worldwide increased from 47% to 54%. If this trend continues, it will reach 67% by 2030. Nevertheless, about 280 million people remain without access to sanitary toilet facilities. The United Nations has stated that in order to achieve the 2030 goal, improvement is needed at a rate four times faster than it is now.Over the same period, the number of people who defecate on the street decreased from 739 million to 494 million. The United Nations has analyzed that it is on track to end open defecation by 2030. ―“No bathroom, no bride.”Clean India Mission― “You don’t have a toilet? Then I won't marry you!!"“Do you have toilets at home? Then we can get married." It sounds a bit absurd, but it's a true story in India, where half of its 1.3 billion people defecate outdoors. India is a representative country with poor toilet facilities. In response, the Indian government has been implementing the "Swachh Bharat Mission: Clean India" policy since October 2014, a movement to improve toilet hygiene: the goal is to become “Open Defecation Free." https://swachhbharatmission.gov.in/sbmcms/index.htm As part of the Clean India movement, the Indian government launched a campaign with a unique slogan: “No Toilet, No Bride.” This intriguing slogan campaign is said to have started in the northern Indian state of Haryana, which has actually created about 1.4 million new toilets across India as women refuse to marry men who can't afford them. This story was the theme of the 2017 screenplay Toilet: A Love Story set in a rural village with no custom of having toilet facilities. The film begins when the bride about to get married to a young man in the village discovers the groom's house has no bathroom and threatens to run away. The groom struggles to persuade the villagers to build a toilet. The Indian government is steadily improving toilet hygiene by providing funds to poor families to build toilets and by rewarding those who use the toilet or blowing a whistle when they see a person relieving themselves outdoors in an effort to eliminate the custom of urinating in public. ―Chinese toilet roll― China also is pouring monumental efforts into improving toilet hygiene at the central government level. China started the 'toilet revolution' in 2015, and over the next 3 years it spent about 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion USD) to renovate or build 70,000 toilets and add 64,000 by 2020. In addition, funds have gone to outfit public offices and public institutions with toilets open to the public. (China’s Hubei Province slogan: “Big revolution in small bathrooms:If you pay attention to hygiene, you won’t get sick!”)https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1006003/revolutionary-potties-chinas-toilet-revolution%2C-five-years-on However, there are many reports that the results are not great compared to the efforts made by local governments, whereas big government commits such absurd boondoggles as installing flush toilets in places without water and sewage facilities, or building luxurious toilets equipped with TVs and refrigerators. It is also reported that the old culture of allowing young children to defecate in the open is not readily changed. ―Bill Gates: drinking water from feces―https://www.gatesfoundation.org/our-work/programs/global-growth-and-opportunity/water-sanitation-and-hygiene Bill Gates is famous for putting a lot of effort into improving bathrooms, as part of his collective effort to save countless lives that would otherwise die from water-borne diseases. In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent Toilet Challenge (RT). The challenge is a real effort to improve toilet facilities in underdeveloped countries, to develop a toilet system that does not require water and sewage connections or electricity, is inexpensive, and can recycle excrement. These efforts are inspired by the high cost of building and maintaining toilets, sewers and wastewater treatment systems in underdeveloped countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The Reinvent Toilet Challenge supports products that: - Remove harmful bacteria from human excreta and recover valuable resources such as energy, clean water and nutrients - Operate without connection to water and sewage and require minimal electricity - Cost less than US$0.05 cents per user per day - Promote sustainable and profitable sanitation services and businesses in poor urban settings - Can appeal to both developed and developing countries.https://www.gatesfoundation.org/our-work/programs/global-growth-and-opportunity/water-sanitation-and-hygiene/reinvent-the-toilet-challenge-and-expo In 2014, a video of Bill Gates drinking water extracted from feces went viral. It's a video of drinking water made at a human waste processing facility called 'Janiciki Omniprocessor,' and there was even a quip that Bill Gates drank poop water from this place. https://blog.education.nationalgeographic.org/2015/01/08/from-poop-to-potable-with-bill-gates/The Omniprocessor separates the manure into steam and solids, uses the power of the steam to generate electricity, and burns the solids to ash. It also filters, condenses and distills steam to produce clean water. This pilot project is currently being pioneered in Dakar, Senegal. https://en.reset.org/reinventing-toilet-piloting-janicki-omni-processor-dakar-senegal-01072020/ In August this year, Samsung Electronics in Korea, which has been collaborating on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's toilet reinvention project, succeeded in developing a new concept toilet model that does not require water and sewage treatment, and announced that it plans to provide technology patents for free to underdeveloped countries. (New concept toilet model developed by Samsung Electronics) ―Various types of sustainable toilets―● Handy Pod (Handy Pod Toilet: Source: Water Aid) The Handy Pod is a device to solve the sewage problem for residents who live on the water or near lakes. This facility is actually being used in floating villages in Cambodia. First, domestic sewage or excrement is sent into a drum where anaerobic microorganisms actively treat the waste. The device is designed to return the byproducts to an artificial wetland and decompose and absorb them through plants such as water hyacinths and various microorganisms. It is attracting attention, and if it is installed and used in every house, it will dramatically solve the problem of water pollution in the lake. ● Peepoo Baghttp://www.peepoople.com/peepoo/start-thinking-peepoo/ Peepoo Bag is a bioplastic bag developed by a Swedish company. The bag self-decomposes and the material inside the bag decompose the excrement to remove bacteria and transform it into a fertilizer ingredient, so all you have to do is bury it in the soil. It's easy to use, so all you need is a space where you can personally do your business. Reports are that usability has been verified in Kenya's slums and Bangladesh.One person on average uses 45 liters of water a day to flush the toilet in one part of the world. Meanwhile, people in other parts of the world walk for hours to fetch water. And 3.6 billion people still do not have access to toilets and safe sanitation. We can think about what actions to take so that everyone can enjoy the universal right to the toilet.
Peace Issue Sustainable Tourism
―“Sustainable Travel”—the hot topic after Covid-19―(Image source: European Travel Commission) Over the past two and a half years, the world has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Covid-19 has had such a huge impact on our lives that it is difficult to find places whose economy, health, and education and all else that have not been impacted. The tourism sector has suffered as much damage as any other sector. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) "International Tourism and Covid-19" data, global tourists decreased by 1 billion in 2021 as compared to 2019, and there has been a loss on the order of 1 trillion dollars in the tourism sector alone. According to the European Travel Commission (ETC), the number of tourists worldwide fell by 83% in 2020 compared to 2019. Indeed, the setback is enormous. You can imagine what difficult times the countries that make their living from tourism have had to go through. https://www.unwto.org/tourism-data/international-tourism-and-covid-19 Ironically, there are some areas that are concerned about an increase in tourists. Venice, Italy is famous for being the city of water. Why is Venice concerned about the rise in tourists?Venice has an estimated population of 150,000. With 30 million people visiting the city every year before Covid-19, environmental damage and nuisance to residents became an issue. In response, the city of Venice is limiting the number of visitors to 40,000 to 50,000 per day through reservations. And from next year, there will be an entrance fee of about 10 euros per person.―Sustainable Tourism―Sustainable tourism has become a hot topic in the tourism industry after Covid-19. Which factors would make a travel sustainable? The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as "tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities."https://www.unwto.org/sustainable-development In detail, it should contain three elements: environmental sustainability, social and cultural sustainability, and economic sustainability. 1. Environmental sustainability: optimal use of the environmental resources that constitute a key element of tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes, and preserving natural heritage and biodiversity 2. Socio-cultural sustainability: respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of the host region, preserving the cultural heritage and traditional values they have built and are living, and contributing to intercultural understanding and tolerance 3. Economic sustainability: ensuring viable and long-term economic operation by contributing to alleviating poverty and providing social and economic benefits that are fairly distributed among all stakeholders, including stable employment and income-generating opportunities, and social services to host communities―12 Tips for Sustainable Tourism―https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/10/1129247 Recently, the United Nations has proposed 12 tips to sustainable travel. The UN states that sustainable travel helps reduce global poverty without negatively impacting the environment. 1. Use reusable plastic containersPlastics are often used for less than 15 minutes but take more than 1000 years to decompose. Use reusable bottles and bags wherever you go.2. Use water wiselyTourists usually consume much more water than locals. Simply refraining from changing your sheets and towels daily during your hotel stay can save millions of gallons of water each year. 3. Buy local productsBuying locally bolsters the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint of transporting goods.4. Choosing an Ethical Travel AgentIf you use a travel agency, you should choose a travel agency that prioritizes the environment, uses resources efficiently, and respects local culture. 5. Please do not feed wild animalsThe more you come into contact with wild animals, the more likely you are to spread human disease to them, and as the wild animals become accustomed to receiving food from humans, they may become dependent on humans for survival. 6. And don't eat them eitherDemand for wildlife increases poaching and exploitation of endangered animals. When shopping for souvenirs, avoid products made from endangered wildlife.7. Ride sharingTransportation is a major source of carbon emissions from tourism. Use public transport or bicycles instead of taxis.8. HomestayStaying with locals and their families provides an opportunity for travelers to see different ways of life while contributing to their income. 9. Do your homeworkStudying your destination before you go there will allow you to better immerse yourself in local traditions and practices and appreciate features of the culture and geography you might not otherwise know. 10. Visit National Parks and ReservesVisit national parks to learn firsthand about animals and ecosystems. Entrance fees also support efforts to conserve natural habitats. 11. Leave no traceDo not remove or change anything without permission. Let's leave only soft footprints.12. Tell your friendsTell your fellow travelers, friends and family about how sustainable tourism helps to improve the livelihood and well-being of local people. ―Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism―At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021 (COP21), the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism was announced to respond to concerns about the effects of tourism on climate crisis. https://www.unwto.org/the-glasgow-declaration-on-climate-action-in-tourismMore than 530 organizations, including major countries and corporations, participated in the declaration, and signatories agree to the following commitments: ▲ halve harmful emissions from tourism by 2030 ▲ reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050 ▲ report publicly on the progress and actions being taken on an annual basis https://tourism4sdgs.org/ ―Tourism-related Transport―(Source: travalyst) It is known that tourism accounts for about 8% of global carbon emissions. According to data released by the World Tourism Organization in December 2019, tourism-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by 25% by 2030 compared to 2016. The report predicts that carbon emissions related to tourism-related transport will increase by 45% for international travel and 21% for domestic travel in 2030 compared to 2016.https://www.unwto.org/sustainable-development/tourism-emissions-climate-change Thankfully, the aviation industry is actively discussing the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). SAF makes use of used cooking oil, algae, and waste products as raw materials. The SAF industry estimates that it can reduce greenhouse gas by up to 80% compared to conventional aviation fuel. In April 2021, the European Commission also announced that all flights departing from Europe would use as fuel a blend of conventional jet fuel and SAF.(Image source: Greenaironline.com) At the UN Climate Change Conference last year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Tourism practices should be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and a 1.5-degree future.” He emphasized, “The very survival of this industry, and many tourist destinations, such a Small Island Developing States, depends on it.” We should be aware that a vacation we take can be a matter of survival for the islanders facing climate crisis. The next time we travel, let’s remember the tips for sustainable tourism.
Peace Issue The Return of “King Dollar” and its Effect on Developing Nations
―U.S. interest rate hikes―(Photo source: Reuter)“Keep at it.”ᅳThese are the words of Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, central bank of the United States, at a press conference in late August. What will they continue doing? He is referring to the rate hikes in the U.S. https://www.ft.com/content/f2a6d9ac-24de-4e10-8fd6-924e8a45b047(Go to related articles) The US Federal Reserve, having overcome the corona pandemic with historic interest rate cuts and money loosening, is now tightening money by raising interest rates to keep up with rising inflation. And now once more it is taking action equally rapidly. (U.S. benchmark interest rate trend over the past year) The US benchmark interest rate, which was 0.25% at the beginning of this year, has jumped to 3.25% as of September and is expected to rise to 4.25% or even 4.50% by year's end. In September, Chairman Powell said, “We have to keep up with inflation. I wish there were a painless way to do that. There isn't.” https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/fed-set-big-rate-hike-waters-get-choppy-worlds-central-banks-2022-09-21/ (69 economies representing 2.1 billion people recorded double-digit inflation compared to the previous year) ―Only the dollar is rising―Interest rates represent the value of money. When the US, the reserve currency, raises interest rates, the value of the dollar increases. Investors around the world convert their money invested in other countries into dollars and move them into dollar-denominated assets. The “king dollar” phenomenon devalues currencies other than the dollar. When the value of money falls, inflation rises and the burden of dollar-denominated foreign debt increases, which can lead to a foreign exchange crisis. In response to this, central banks around the world also seem to be in a hurry to raise interest rates. Accordingly more than 60 countries around the world have raised their benchmark interest rates. (European Central Bank's 5-year zero interest rate trend headed into a sharp rise in the second half of this year) In September alone, the Swiss central bank increased 0.75 percentage points, the Norwegian central bank 0.50 percentage points and Taiwan's central bank 0.125 percentage points. The Central Bank of England also increased by 0.50 percentage points and the central banks of Sweden and Canada by 1 percentage point. (Interest rates change in developing countries: the number of countries that raised interest rates increased from 5 to 51. Source: UNCD) Emerging economies with relatively weak economies are more severely affected. Ghana raised its benchmark interest rate to 22% last month and Argentina to 75%. Zimbabwe in Africa has the highest interest rate in the world at 200%. (Global benchmark interest rate map: the darker the color, the higher the interest rate. Source: tradingeconomic.com) ―World Bank warns about rate hikes―Recently, international organizations are raising concern about interest rate hikes in each nation. First, in September, the World Bank warned that global monetary tightening could lead to a “disruptive recession” of the global economy in the coming year.https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/09/15/risk-of-global-recession-in-2023-rises-amid-simultaneous-rate-hikes The World Bank said that simultaneous interest rate hikes by central banks around the world could lead to a global recession in 2023, fearing that emerging markets and developing countries could go into a financial crisis. It also analyzed that the world economy is currently in the steepest recession since it recovered from the recession that followed the 1970 crunch. Unless the current supply disruption and job market burden are resolved, core inflation excluding energy is expected to remain at about 5% through next year. This is more than double the five-year average before the coronavirus pandemic. ―UN warns that Fed rate hike hurts developing countries―https://unctad.org/tdr2022 The United Nations has also voiced criticism of the policy of raising interest rates. On October 3rd, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) strongly criticized the U.S. and other advanced countries' interest rate hikes in the '2022 Trade Development Report,' warning that they can harm developing countries. Such rate hikes are at risk of doing more damage than during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. According to the report, if the US Federal Reserve raises the benchmark interest rate by 1 percentage point, economic output in other developed nations will shrink by 0.5% and economic output in poor countries will decrease by 0.8% over the next three years. The global economic growth rate, which is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2022, is expected to slow to 2.2% next year, and real GDP is expected to be US$17 trillion lower than the pre-pandemic trend. The global slowdown will affect all countries, but the developing world most exposed to debt, health, and climate crises will be hit hardest. Among them, middle-class countries in Latin America and low-income countries in Africa are expected to record the sharpest economic slowdowns this year. In addition, as the global financial situation worsened from the fourth quarter of last year, funds from developing countries have continued to flow out. About 90 developing countries have devalued their currencies against the dollar this year. It is estimated that the difference amounts to more than 10% against the dollar. Sri Lanka's currency, which already suffered national bankruptcy and was bailed out by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), dropped 77.8% against the dollar this year. Now, 46 developing nations have experienced severe economic shock, and 48 are undergoing significant setbacks, the report said. (Status of developing countries with lower nominal exchange rate against the dollar, January-July this year) Developing countries have already spent about US$379 billion this year to prop up their exchange rates—almost double the number of special drawing rights (SDRs) newly allocated by the IMF to developing nations. * Special Drawing Rights (SDR): The right to withdraw foreign currency without collateral when an IMF member needs dollars. (Ranking of the 20 countries spending the most to pay off their public debt) The problem is that, despite these efforts by developing countries, concerns are expressed in the report that many countries' foreign exchange crises are growing. The report pointed to a surge in energy prices and an increase in import costs due to exchange rate fluctuations as the cause of inflation in many developing countries. Thus, rather than raising interest rates, it urges more direct price regulation, such as introducing a one-time windfall tax on energy companies that made a lot of money, anti-monopoly regulation, and strict regulation on speculation. Recently, the US Federal Reserve has also raised concerns about emerging market risks due to interest rate hikes. In September, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard cautioned, "Monetary policy tightening to combat high inflation around the world spreads risks internationally and is more likely to create baleful synergies with financial market fragility." https://www.ft.com/content/cb3816bb-bb62-4828-a575-aab3c54bed87(Link to article) It is no surprise that the US central bank sets policies for the US economy. However, the US dollar is already the world's reserve currency. When the global economic crisis comes, is there any commodity that has a greater impact than the dollar? “There is still time to step back from the brink of a recession,” said Rebeca Grynspan, UNCTAD Secretary General. "We have the tools to calm inflation and support all the vulnerable, and it's a matter of policy choice and will." https://unctad.org/osgstatement/launch-trade-and-development-report-2022 So what remains to be seen is how long the Fed's 'Keep at it' will last.
Peace Issue Reason for her Death: Improper Hijab
―Iranian protests against compulsory hijab―(Photo: AP)The death of a 22-year-old woman in Iran on September 16 has stirred ripples around the world. The woman, named Mahsa Amini, was taken into custody by the police for "not wearing her hijab properly" and died three days later. Police claim the cause of her death was a heart attack. However, the anger of the Iranian people, who do not believe this story, has escalated into anti-government protests that are spreading throughout Iran. (Protests in Tehran, Iran. Photo: AP) This protest is different from previous protests in Iran in both scale and nature. Amini was from Iran’s ethnic minority Khud, but the protest is not just for the Khud. From the capital Tehran to the conservative traditional town Mashadna Qom, from the wealthy to market merchants and workers, locals, classes, and peoples of all walks of life are joining the protests, and many countries are sympathizing with them. Protests in conservative areas are virtually unknown. It is also noteworthy that not just women but also men are participating in protesting violence against women. Demonstrators are not just protesting police violence against women, but against the Iranian regime. Some protesters are seen destroying posters of the nation's top leader, chanting "Women, Life, Freedom" and even "Death to the dictator."https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/21/middleeast/iran-mahsa-amini-death-widespread-protests-intl-hnk/index.html According to New York Times, after hardline Ebrahim Raisi became president last year, he overturned the former president’s reforms, typically by strictly enforcing the hijab law. (Iranian woman being arrested for not wearing a hijab) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has launched an impartial investigation, saying it has received numerous videos in recent months of Iran's morality police arresting women for not properly hijabs over their face, beating them with clubs, taking them into custody, and driving them away in police vehicles.https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/09/mahsa-amini-acting-un-human-rights-chief-urges-impartial-probe-death-iran Ali Vaez, head of the nonprofit Crisis Group, told New York Times, "The reason young people take such risks is because they have nothing to lose and no hope for the future."https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/26/briefing/iran-protests-mahsa-amini.html The Iranian government is responding harshly to the protests. BBC reports that already 76 people have been killed and hundreds more arrested by security forces in the 11 days following the protests.https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-63047363 ―Background to the hijab protests―In Iran, the hijab has become a symbol of women's rights. Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, it was made compulsory for women to wear the hijab, and segregation of men and women began. Before that, there was no strict legal requirement that women cover their hair and wear only modest “Islamic” dress. "In the past, most women lived in rural areas and it was not possible to wear a hijab," Iranian scholar Esha Momeni told Associated Press. "I wore a casual head scarf as part of the traditional clothing rather than having a religious connotation.”https://apnews.com/article/iran-middle-east-religion-7de9a98cc304922098a62dc9223986ad (Iranian Revolution of 1979) On the contrary, there were times when the wearing of the hijab was prohibited. The hijab was officially banned in 1936, during the Pahlavi reign, which promoted Iran's modernization. This was similar to compulsory wearing of the hijab but in the opposite sense—women were not allowed to wear the hijab. During the Pahlavi dynasty, there were many changes in Iranian women's rights. The minimum age for marriage for women was raised from 13 to 18, and the Family Protection Act was passed—quite progressive for the time. Women served as ministers, judges, and in parliament. (Persian women in the 1970s) (Last emperor of Pahlavi dynasty welcomes President Nixon and the First Lady) However, the Pahlavi dynasty, which had suppressed fundamentalists opposed to its reform policies, was banished in 1979 in the well-known Islamic Revolution. The new government made it a crime to appear in public without a hijab; any woman doing so faced 74 floggings. Women's choice to wear the hijab was rescinded. ―Why Iranian women are cutting their hair―(Protester displays severed hair before the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Source: Yonhap News) (Source: Downloaded from Twitter video that went viral) British writer Shara Atashi told CNN that a woman cutting her hair is "an ancient Persian (now Iranian) tradition when the fury is stronger than the power of the oppressor." He also introduced a long epic called Shahnameh, the most important literary work written in Persian over 1,000 years ago, recording that when the hero Shiabash was murdered, his wife Farangis and girls cut their hair to resist injustice.―Iranian women should have the freedom to make a choice―This hijab protest raises a fundamental question: who wears the hijab and who makes the choice? Take a look at the photos below: (Iranian women demonstrating for equal rights in 1979. Source: AP) (Iranian women in favor of wearing hijabs in 1979. Source: AP) (Iranian women arguing in the heat of the 1979 equal rights protests. Source: AP) In the BBC article mentioned earlier, Iranian-British journalist Rana Rahimpur said that, under the Pahlavi rule, women's lives were more independent, and there was a wide range of opinions about whether women's rights should be liberalized or not. It could be said that Iran under the monarchy was a much more conservative and religious society than it is today, and religious women were more comfortable going out in a hijab. The Associated Press reported, "Young Iranians view Amini's death under dubious circumstances as a symbol of human rights oppression." Traditions and cultures ought to be respected in any society. But they should be neither repressed nor enforced just for the fact that they are traditions. The right to choose to wear the hijab: Who will decide this? Let’s hope for the day when Iranian women will no longer have to cut their hair and burn their hijabs, risking their lives to make this point.
Peace Issue Levying a Tax even on Carbon!
―Are celebrities at fault for global warming?― Last July, a famous celebrity in the United States was criticized for getting around on a private jet. In the U.S., where people commonly travel by plane because the land is expansive, it is common to take a private plane, but for what reason? (17-minute flight log of an American celebrity posted on Twitter) What's the reason she flew 64 km, a distance that could be traversed in just forty minutes by car? She points out that, not only her; many famous singers and film directors are now being singled out as major culprits of excess carbon dioxide emissions. This was given as the reason why she made such a short-hop flight.According to Yard, a British digital marketing company, the amount of carbon emitted by celebrities around the world by private jets is 482 times the average annual carbon dioxide emitted by the general public. https://weareyard.com/insights/worst-celebrity-private-jet-co2-emission-offenders('Yard' press release on the amount of carbon emitted by celebrities using private jets) The public's disillusionment is all the more poignant, seeing how celebrities appear to be concerned about climate change, yet they emit tons of carbon by flying private jets for personal travel even for short jaunts. In the past, celebs with their private jets were the object of interest and envy, but now the world's attention has extended to the issue of CO2 emission. As such, they are now emerging as big producers of greenhouse gases, namely major culprits in causing climate change, and are coming under public scrutiny. ―Plans to actively implement a carbon pricing system― Nations around the world are making great efforts to keep the global temperature rise under 1.5℃ compared to the pre-industrial era.Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation has worked steadily to arouse interest in climate change issues:(See previous Sunhak Peace Prize articles on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change) The Environment Ministers of OECD member nations met in Paris in March this year for the OECD Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC) Ministerial Meeting.https://www.oecd.org/environment/ministerial/ The ministers attending pledged to develop and implement an "effective and ambitious strategy" for the goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. They discussed methods for implementing Carbon Pricing, recognizing greenhouse gas as a concomitant expense incurred by human activities. What is Carbon Pricing? There are two types of carbon pricing, namely ‘carbon tax’ and ‘emissions trading system.’ Let's examine these concepts more closely. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/05/24/global-carbon-pricing-generates-record-84-billion-in-revenue According to the Carbon Pricing Report published by the World Bank in May 2022, there are 68 carbon pricing instruments worldwide (36 carbon taxes and 32 emission trading systems), and global carbon price revenues in 2021 will increase by 60% compared to 2020, for an estimated total of $84 billion dollars (119.53 trillion won).(Nations and regions implementing carbon pricing systems) ―Emissions Trading Scheme―▲What is an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)? The emission trading system began at the “Kyoto Protocol,” an international agreement that set targets for greenhouse gas reduction in advanced countries at the 3rd UN Climate Change Convention held in Kyoto, Japan in 1997.(Cover page of the Kyoto Protocol) The 37 developed countries that fall under ‘Annex I’ of the Kyoto Protocol are required to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 5.2% as compared to 1990 by the year 2012.https://unfccc.int/process/the-kyoto-protocol/mechanisms/emissions-trading * For reference, the Kyoto Protocol, which stipulated a climate change response method centered on developed nations by 2020, will develop from the Paris Climate Agreement ratified in 2015 to assigning all 195 contracting parties the obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after 2020. The amount of carbon emission per country is determined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and each nation that has been issued carbon emission limits allocates the task to domestic companies. A firm that emits more carbon than the allocated credits must purchase credits from other companies within that country that have reduced carbon emissions. As the World Bank detailed, there are 32 emission trading schemes and operating standards and prices for carbon credits are different for each country, so there is as yet no carbon emissions credit trading between countries. ▲ The European Union has the most active carbon trading system in the world and has been operating a carbon exchange since 2005. The price of 7.83 euros per ton stipulated in January 2018 has risen to 90 euros as of July 2022. Carbon trading prices in Europe are rising steeply. https://climate.ec.europa.eu/eu-action/eu-emissions-trading-system-eu-ets/international-carbon-market_en ▲ China and the European Union agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the carbon market in 2015 and started trading carbon credits in July 2021. ▲ Korea also launched its own Korea Emissions Trading System (KETS) as the first nation to do so among countries that do not fall under Annex 1.▲ The United States currently implements carbon pricing schemes at the state rather than at the federal level. The advantage of the emission trading system is that it is effective in reducing carbon emissions since the government sets the emission quotas of companies. ―The Carbon Tax― A carbon tax is a system where the government imposes a tax on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted. Until 2020, the proportion of carbon tax was higher than that of the carbon trading system, but this balance turned around in 2021.Businesses strive to reduce their carbon footprint, if only to reduce taxes. But the carbon tax has the drawback that CO2 emissions are decided by each company’s volition. In extreme cases, if a firm insists on producing excessive carbon even at the cost of high carbon taxes, there is no way to stop it. If a firm makes products that consumers prefer no matter how high the price, it is easy to tack the carbon tax onto the product price, instead of making efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Another disadvantage of the carbon tax is that companies in nations that impose a stiff carbon tax have lower price competitiveness of their products in contrast to competitors abroad that levy no carbon tax. When a tax is imposed, firms have no choice but to reflect this in their product prices, and companies in regions with high carbon taxes such as Europe are at a relative disadvantage compared to companies in other nations, and tend to move their production facilities to regions without a carbon tax. The system designed to compensate for this unfairness is the carbon border tax.―The Carbon Border Tax―https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/733513/EPRS_BRI(2022)733513_EN.pdf In July of last year, the European Union announced the ‘fit for 55’ plan to reduce average carbon emissions to 55% compared to 1950 by 2030 to tackle climate change. What particularly drew attention here was the imposition of a so-called “carbon border tax” from 2026.The official term for the carbon border tax is the "Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)", a system to impose a tax on products imported into the EU that emit more carbon than those produced in the EU. The levy applies to products with high carbon emissions, such as steel, cement, and fertilizer. The EU expects to generate an estimated 10 billion euros (13.8 trillion won) annually from this carbon border tax.https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/03/16/eu-s-proposed-co2-emissions-tariff-is-a-major-step-forward-in-the-fight-against-climate-ch(Go to related articles) Countries such as China and Russia, most impacted by the introduction of the EU's carbon border tax, are strongly opposed to this. China protests that it is a unilateral measure to expand the climate change issue into the trade sector, violating the principles of free trade of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It claims that developed countries seek to lower the competitiveness of developing countries under the pretext of environmental problems. ―Carbon emission prices are still low―The World Bank report states that while carbon prices are breaking record highs in many regions, they currently cover less than 4% of global emissions, and that prices will need to rise significantly higher to meet the Paris Agreement targets. (Carbon coverage, emissions and pricing by country and region) In May 2021, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Mark Carney also said in an interview with CNBC that “to achieve the goal of zero carbon within 10 years, it is necessary to sharply raise the carbon emission tax to $100 per ton (about 130,000 won).” In addition, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the average global carbon price in July 2022 was $6 per ton, but should be raised to $75 per ton by 2030 in order to stem global warming.https://www.imf.org/en/Blogs/Articles/2022/07/21/blog-more-countries-are-pricing-carbon-but-emissions-are-still-too-cheap ―The grudge of a disappearing island nation―At the UN General Assembly held last week, President David Kabua of Marshall Islands, an island nation in the Pacific, said, "I once again urge that we declare all-out war on the climate change monster."https://apnews.com/article/united-nations-general-assembly-marshall-islands-trending-news-climate-and-environment-8f6ed006ae238d349899a30c5835d346 The Marshall Islands are in danger of disappearing if the sea level rises due to global warming. as the average elevation is only two meters above sea level. Last year, the Marshall Islands and the neighboring Solomon Islands proposed a carbon tax of $100 per ton on greenhouse gases emitted by international ships, leading to a transition to zero carbon emissions. The AP reported on a speech at the UN General Assembly by Prime Minister Kausea Natano of Tuvalu, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean like the Marshall Islands. He said that while developed countries glibly talk about the "existential threat" of climate change, Tuvalu is desperately clearing land 4 to 5 meters high to avert imminent submersion. Prime Minister Robert Abella of Malta, which is likewise at risk of submergence, pointed out that climate change is a serious threat to small island nations and to coastal areas everywhere.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also urged wealthy nations to tax the gains from energy revenues and divert these funds to countries affected by the loss and destruction of the climate crisis.https://apnews.com/article/united-nations-general-assembly-drowning-island-nations-75f5390daf98d1d385da7dd4a869ae09(Go to related articles) It is known that the Pacific Island nations' carbon contribution is less than 0.03% of total global emissions. What role have Pacific island nations played in driving climate change? It remains to be seen whether the carbon pricing system and the carbon border tax, which are still being fine-tuned, can give them an answer.
Peace Issue One Hundred Million Refugees Around the Globe
—One Hundred Million Refugees Around the Globe—(Venezuelan refugees crossing the river to Colombia, source: UNHCR)There are people who are called “the saddest traveler in the world.”It's a refugee. These are people who have fled their homeland and their homeland to escape war, famine, and persecution.In June, UNHCR announced that the number of refugees worldwide had exceeded 100 million as of May 2022. This number is comparable to the population of Egypt, the 14th most populous country in the world. It would be enough people to make up a country; but they have lost their country and are wandering around the world.For clarity, in this article we speak of 'refugees' who left their homeland and moved to another country, 'internally displaced people' who left their homeland and moved within their own country, and 'asylum-seekers' who left their homeland and requested protection in another country, namely 'forced migrants' or simply 'refugees'.UNHCR Definition of ‘Refugee’- Refugee: A person who is at risk of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and is in need of international protection because he cannot or cannot return to the protection of his country of origin.- Internally Displaced Person: A person who has had no choice but to escape from their home or usual place of residence but has not crossed an internationally recognized border.- Asylum-seeker: An individual seeking international protection, who is waiting for the result of a refugee claimhttps://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/6/62a9d2b04/unhcr-global-displacement-hits-record-capping-decade-long-rising-trend.html(Go to UNHCR report)UNHCR has published the ‘2021 Global Trend Report’, which compiled the status of refugees as of the end of 2021. The number of refugees counted in the report at the end of 2021 was 89.3 million, an increase of about 6.9 million, or 8%, from the 82.4 million counted at the end of 2020. This is also twice as large as it was 10 years ago. What caused the sudden surge in refugees?Annual Refugee GrowthHowever, within just five months after the report was compiled and published, the number surged by more than ten million refugees. What could have caused such a sudden surge in refugees?UNHCR cited Russia's attack on Ukraine and civil wars in Africa and Afghanistan as chief reasons. In fact, more than 7 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the outbreak of the war in February this year, the largest number in Europe since World War II. ―Refugee Originating Nations, Refugee Receiving Nations―(Map of countries with internally displaced refugees)According to the report, as of the end of 2021, the number of displaced people who fled to other areas within their home country was 53.2 million, amounting to 59.6% of all refugees.The number of refugees who have left their country to receive protection from other nations is 27.1 million, or 30.3% of all forced migrants (refugees). The refugees come from Syria (6.85 million), Venezuela (4.6 million), Afghanistan (2.71 million), South Sudan (2.36 million) and Myanmar (1.17 million) in that order.The above five countries account for 69% of all migrant refugees abroad.(Mother and son leaving South Sudan and staying in a refugee camp in Sudan. Source: Doctors Without Borders)What made them leave their homeland?△ Syrian civil war and regime tyranny, △ Venezuela's economic hardship, △ Afghanistan from harsh Taliban rule, △ South Sudan from civil war, △ Millions of people have fled Myanmar to escape the oppression of the regime.They left their homeland to live a better life, but what they face is harsher circumstances. This is because a difficult process awaits them to obtain refugee status even when they cross the border with difficulty. Let's look at the state of the countries that have accepted refugees. The country with the highest number of refugees in the world is Turkey (3.76 million people). Turkey, which hosts a large number of Syrian refugees, has maintained its status as the largest host country for the eighth year in a row.After Turkey, Colombia (1.84 million people), Uganda (153 million people), Pakistan (1.49 million people), Germany (1.25 million people), Sudan (1.1 million people) and Bangladesh (920,000 people) received the most refugees in that order.However, these statistics cover up till the end of 2021; the ranking is certain to change when we include the current exodus of Ukrainian refugees.—Child refugees, 41%— Children account for 41% of all refugees, but 30% of the world population at large.Child refugees are the weakest of the weak, and they desperately need safety and protection. Child refugees arriving in border areas are exposed to crimes such as separation from family, violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.World Vision addressed the issue of child refugees in the report "Children in a Food and Protection Crisis: Marginalized Forced Migrants" published in July of this year.https://www.wvi.org/publications/report/hunger-crisis/hungry-and-unprotected-children-forgotten-refugees(Go to World Vision Report)In a survey of 2,522 refugees from 467 households in 11 regions, ▪Food/nutrition shortages ▪School dropout ▪Violence against children were identified as the most worrisome concerns for child refugees. It also revealed that the income of refugees is steadily decreasing, and violence against children is increasing due to increased stress at home. In particular, in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo, concerns about early marriage have increased sevenfold over last year. They also pointed out that the lack of services in the field of child protection directly impacts children's lives and well-being.(Children at risk and families with limited access to emergency services)—Welcome Refugees vs. Uninvited Refugees—Amidst all this, outcries are sounding that refugees are being discriminated against based on their region of origin and race.This claim has risen since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War. In the past, several European countries were reluctant to accept Syrian refugees from the Middle East and even built walls and fences to stop them. But now, these same European countries are actively accepting Ukrainian refugees. (Ukrainian refugees heading to Poland. Source: Yonhap News)According to a Reuters report, over the past decade, Europe has accepted only 1 million Syrian refugees. Contrasting this with the acceptance of millions of Ukrainian refugees in a very short period of time, this is a huge difference.According to reports from CNN and The New York Times, Poland provides hotels and public transportation for free for Ukrainian refugees, and some travel agencies have even produced "city tour guides" for refugees. Hungary has also said it will grant refugee status to Ukrainians who enter the country. (Syrian refugees argue with police at the Danish border. Source: Yonhap News)Denmark has announced that, only for Ukrainian refugees, it will not apply the current “regulation for recognition of asylum” in order to help them settle in quickly. Denmark was the first European country to revoke residence permits for 600 Syrian refugees who settled there in 2019.Austria’s Prime Minister Karl Nehammer, who has firmly blocked Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban's reassertion of rule, stated he will accept Ukrainian refugees as necessary.It is pointed out in the World Vision report that while 61.5% of Ukraine refugee requests for emergency assistance has been accepted, this was not the case in other refugee situations. Ukraine refugees and Syrian refugees are both forced to leave their homeland, but the reality of the international community has shown discrimination among refugees. ―Polarization of Refugee Acceptance―We also see polarization in refugee acceptance rates. Developed countries have low refugee acceptance rates, while low-income countries continue to accept disproportionately large numbers of refugees. 83% remain in low-and middle-income countries, and 27% are protected by underdeveloped countries. In particular, 22% of refugees are hosted by countries classified as low-income by the World Bank, such as Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Chand, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The reason for this is because people taking refugee cross borders and often move into neighboring countries. △ Syrian refugees move into Turkey and Iran, △Afghan refugees move into Pakistan, △South Sudanese refugees move into Sudan and Uganda, △Venezuelan refugees move into Colombia, and △Myanmar refugees move into Bangladesh. The problem is that those neighboring countries have their own struggles. On the other hand, high-income countries that have most of the world’s wealth, have embraced only 16% of refugees. Therefore, more help is needed from those countries in the global community. ―Every Life is Precious― Every human life should be respected and protected regardless of their religion, race, nationality, and gender. Global awareness and international solidarity are crucial to secure freedom and equality for every life in every part of the world. (Filippo Grandi visiting a refugee camp in Tanzania on right, Source: UN Refugee Agency) Filippo Grandi, the head of the UN Refugee Agency, said, “The number of refugees has continued to rise over the past 10 years. Unless the international community joins forces to resolve disputes and come up with countermeasures, the disastrous trend will continue.” Dr. Sun Myun Moon, the founder of the Sunhak Peace Prize, said, “Reflecting on whether true peace can be maintained without the happiness and peace of all neighboring countries, we learn that without love for humanity across borders, world peace nor peace in each nation is possible.” In Chinese characters, the word “peace” means to achieve harmony in an equilibrium. It means that peace is achieved only when everyone on all four sides is joined in harmony and joy. Somewhere in the world that we are living in, there are 100 million refugees unsettled away from their homes. It’s time to think about how we can live in solidarity.
Peace Issue Global Peace Threatened by the Energy Crisis
―A harsh winter is looming after the extreme heatwaves―▪Reduce shower time to 5 minutes (Netherlands)▪Ban air conditioning cooler that than 27℃ (Spain)▪Shut off traffic lights in half the city during off-peak hours (Munich, Germany) During the extreme heatwave of over 40℃ this summer, Europe has set the above restrictions. The reason? Power shortages. Russia has cut back on natural gas and oil supplies to Europe, as the West responds with sanctions, holding Russia accountable for the war in Ukraine. In addition, Europe is experiencing an energy crisis due to increased demand on electricity in the recovery phase of the pandemic. http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=636(See previous SunHak Peace Prize article on the recent heat wave) To make matters worse, climate change has exacerbated the crisis. The French nuclear power plant is operating at only 50% capacity as it is difficult to supply cooling water owing to the drought.The energy emergency is still unresolved. Europe is more likely than ever to face a harsh winter coming. ―Europeans groan as energy prices soar― Nations in Europe face an emergency as winter approaches.UK has raised energy prices three times since a year ago. The UK's energy regulator announced in October it would raise the UK home energy bill cap by 80 per cent to around £5.64 per year (£3,549) from £3.13 per year (£1,971). Germany and France expect to increase electricity rates tenfold next year. According to AFP, in both nations last year electricity cost 85 euros per megawatt-hour (1MWh), but Germany plans a hike to 850 euros and France to 1,000 euros. As a 4-person household uses about 3.6MWh per year, the annual electricity bill will top 3,000 euros. Kosovo became the first European nation to initiate revolving power outages. The Austrian government has set limits on electricity and gas usage based on the size of a house, and any household that exceeds these limits will be fined. Overall, Europe has launched a movement to reduce energy. The EU has asked member states to voluntarily cut gas consumption by 15%. The French government announced that it may implement a two-hour electricity cutoff every two hours if necessary, appealing to all citizens to curtail their energy use by 10% in the coming weeks and months. In Germany, more and more households are installing fireplaces, and the price of firewood and related materials is also skyrocketing. ―No more energy going to Europe― On September 2nd, when Europe announced it would impose a price cap on Russian energy due to a surge in energy costs, on the 5th, Russia shut down Nord Stream 1, the largest natural gas pipeline to Europe. In the meantime, Russia has reduced the amount of gas for "technical reasons" such as maintenance, but now it has closed the gas pipeline, blatantly demanding the lifting of Russian sanctions from the West. Russia's President Putin said, "If it conflicts with our interests, we will not supply anything." In addition to natural gas, he declared a halt to oil, coal and heating oil, and is weaponizing resources in earnest. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/08/putins-threatens-to-let-europe-freeze-raising-energy-rationing-risk.html ―Why Europe Depends on Russia for Energy― Where does the confidence that Russia is getting stronger without yielding to various sanctions from the West comes from? That's the power of energy. Since Europe needed a cheap and reliable source of energy, and Russia was financing its economy by selling energy to Europe, gas and oil trade between the two regions continued to grow. In February of this year, CNBC reported on why Europe became dependent on Russia for energy.https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/24/why-europe-depends-on-russia-for-natural-gas.html ○ Foremost is depletion of the North Sea gas field. Europe was self-sufficient for natural gas in the 1960s and 1970s, but production decreased as the North Sea gas fields, chief gas producers in Britain and the Netherlands, were depleted. ○ The nuclear power cutback in Germany also played a role. Germany stopped all investment in nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. Now only 13% of Europe's energy comes from nuclear power. ○ Aggressive carbon reduction policies are also a major reason we became dependent on Russia for energy. Europe is reducing its use of coal with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and reducing carbon emissions by 55% by 2030. Since 2012, the EU has reduced its coal power generation by a third, and currently only about 20% of the EU's electricity comes from coal power plants. However, the share of renewables and biofuels in the EU is still only 18% of the total energy source. Europe itself is spurring decarbonization, but the lack of energy has been replaced by Russia's fossil fuels. This energy vacuum was filled by Russian natural gas. There is one single reason: Russian gas is cheap and Russia has abundant reserves. Thus dependence on Russian energy has grown even higher: Russia's natural gas accounts for 43% and crude oil accounts for 25% of European consumption. The United States has long been wary of these deals. Energy is a matter directly related to security; the U.S. did not want to see Europe subject to Russia. Just as the U.S. feared, Russia has weaponized energy now, threatening global peace. (Share of Russian gas in total energy consumption by EU nation. Source: IMF) ―Europe is becoming split by energy― (Czech protesters. Source: Yonhap News) With soaring energy prices, Europe is in a very precarious situation. On September 3, tens of thousands protested in Prague, outraged at rising energy prices. Some protesters call for Czech Republic to leave NATO and the European Union and import cheap gas through direct negotiation with Russia. Protests over the economic crisis are predicted in around Germany. The voices of groups demanding reconciliation with Russia are gathering strength. New York Times reported: "Leaders worry that an energy crisis and inflation could spark political unrest. There is growing concern that the public may reject government support for Ukraine as the cost of economic aid to Ukraine rises." ―Energy-poor people will experience harsher winter― With the energy crisis as a lever, Europe is preparing for energy independence from Russia. European Commission's economic commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, said on the 3rd that the EU is prepared to respond if Russia continues to weaponize energy. https://www.cnbc.com/video/2022/09/03/eus-gentiloni-says-the-bloc-is-not-afraid-of-putins-decisions.html (Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline operating facility in Germany. Source: Reuters) Germany, which relied the most on Russian natural gas, said it has "confirmed that Russia can no longer be trusted and has continued to take steps toward full independence from Russian energy." He pointed out that natural gas imports have been diversified to include northern Europe. There is news that Germany and France have agreed to share electricity and gas to overcome the energy crisis, sending Germany's electricity to France and French gas to Germany. The gas pipeline link will be completed in a few months. In June, the UK approved development of the Jackdaw gas field, the largest North Sea gas field, for energy security. The Jackdaw gas field, originally licensed in 1970, has only now received final approval. (North Sea gas field. Source: Shell) Despite all the efforts being made, it seems this winter will be very harsh for the energy poor as we move toward the cusp of winter. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released analysis data indicating that the impact would be different in Europe depending on income level and dependence on Russian gas. For example, the sharp rise in fuel prices increases the cost of living for Finnish households in Northern Europe by 4%, while Estonian households in the Baltic states must pay an additional 15% to 25%. For reference, the average increase in cost of living for European households this year, by IMF estimates, is 7%. Even within a country, the low-income brackets will suffer more. This is because poor households spend a higher percentage on electricity and gas. IMF estimates the proportional cost of living rise for the poorest 20% of households in Estonia and UK will be about twice that of the richest estates. (Cost of living growth rate of top 20% and bottom 20% households by country)https://blogs.imf.org/2022/08/03/how-europe-can-protect-the-poor-from-surging-energy-prices/ The Ukrainian people pummeled by war face even colder winters. (Ukrainian citizen in house battered by Russian bombing. Source: Reuters) The CEO of Ukraine's state-run gas company said the heating period this year will come later and end earlier than usual, and the heating temperature will be lowered to 17-18 degrees, 4 degrees lower than usual. He urged Ukrainians to stock up on blankets and warm clothes in advance. “The world is experiencing a truly global energy crisis for the first time in history. Europe's situation at the epicenter of energy market turmoil is especially precarious”- President of International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/28/ukraine-braces-for-cold-winter-amid-uncertainty-over-power-supplies As such, Russia's "energy weapons" are as deadly as "nuclear weapons". And that weapon poses a threat not only to Europe, but to every country in the world that imports energy sources. This is because insecure energy supply chains and price fluctuations take a toll on the economy. In June, the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatic published an article titled “Energy War, Who is the Final Winner”, predicting that the global energy supply and demand problem twisted by the Russian war will eventually cause great chaos around the world. According to the Le Monde Diplomatique, “Europe is in the midst of an inflation crisis by giving up Russian fuel to pressure Russia, but the US seems to have decided the situation is not bad for its country. Meanwhile, India is stealing the Russian fuel that Europe has spurned, and the three East Asian countries are busy calculating the profit and loss between the US and Russia.” In a situation where the Russia-Ukraine war, which has escalated into a long war, can be a great burden not only for the parties concerned but also for the whole world, there is a growing voice that ending the war through "peace negotiations" is the top priority.
Peace Issue We live in the era of the great global extinction
―Resetting Earth’s History:The Mass Extinction of Life―(Tyrannosaurus rex skull on display at the German Museum of Nature. National Geographic)Dinosaurs disappeared during the Cretaceous period when an asteroid struck Earth. This earth, where dinosaurs once reigned, has been ruled by mammals up to today.Most of us know about that great mass extinction event. But did you know that before the extinction of the dinosaurs, there were four other major mass extinction events in which most of the life on Earth disappeared?Research shows that in the last 500 million years, Earth has experienced five mass extinctions, during which more than 99% of all organisms became extinct.○ First mass extinction (Ordovician-Silurian)This was the first mass extinction event, 444 million years ago, spanned 4 million years, during which 85% of species vanished. Most living creatures dwelt in the sea; scientists estimate a global ice age covered most of the planet due to a decrease in carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere, causing the ecosystem to collapse. ○ Second mass extinction (Late Devonian)75% of all species went extinct 383 million years ago over a period of about 20 million years. In the Devonian period, still most living things were marine life forms, but as plants began flourishing on land, nutrient-rich soil washed into the sea, nourishing a global algae bloom that suffocated most marine life.○ Third mass extinction (Permian-Triassic)The worst mass extinction event, about 252 million years ago, killed 96% of marine life and three-fourths of terrestrial life in the space of 60,000 years. Many insects species were among those that disappeared.It took 10 million years for forests to recover and 4 to 8 million years for marine ecosystems to recover. Global warming caused by greenhouse gases from large-scale volcanic eruptions in Siberia is blamed. One of the famous creatures that disappeared during this period is the trilobites.(Trilobite fossil found in South Dakota, USA. Source: National Geographic)○ Fourth mass extinction (Triassic-Jurassic)Occurred 201 million years ago. The continents that had been united as one split apart, and global warming overwhelmed the earth again due to central volcanic eruption following the breakup of Pangea. This resulted in the loss of up to 80% of land and marine species.○ Fifth mass extinction (Cretaceous-Paleogene)This was the age when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The event of the extinction of dinosaurs is fairly well known. About 66 million years ago, an asteroid about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in diameter struck just off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The impact caused a huge volume of dust and debris to cover the atmosphere and block sunlight, causing a global ice age. About 76% of all life forms on Earth went extinct.https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/mass-extinction(Go to National Geographic Resources on Earth's Mass Extinctions)―Earth's sixth mass extinction―Are the global extinctions over? Or will another one happen in the distant future?Unfortunately, evidence is emerging that we are now living in the age of the sixth mass extinction.In January, a joint research team at University of Hawaii in the United States and the National Museum of History in France published their findings in a study titled "The 6th Mass Extinction: Fact, Fiction or Speculation?" in Biological Reviews. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/brv.12816In this study, by calculating the extinction ratio of land snails and slugs, it is estimated that 150,000 to 260,000 species of mollusks have gone extinct since 1500 AD.This amounts to 7.5% to 13% (150,000 to 260,000 species) of the 2 million living species present on Earth. The biodiversity that has supported Earth's ecosystem is rapidly being destroyed. The researchers found that the red list of 882 vanished species (0.04%) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is heavily biased toward animal species, leading to a much larger extinction if invertebrates such as snails are included.The conclusion is that we are presently witnessing the sixth mass extinction.https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1922686117Shall we look at another study on the 6th mass extinction?In June 2020, researchers at Stanford University, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) published a paper titled "Vertebrates on the brink as indicators of biological annihilation and the sixth mass extinction." It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Researchers examined 29,400 species of terrestrial vertebrates and identified those that are endangered, having fewer than 1,000 individuals. The study found that 515 species are at risk, and about 94% of the populations of 77 endangered mammals and birds have disappeared over the past century.(Sumatran rhinoceros (A), wren (B), Espanola giant tortoise (C), harlequin frog (D), all species with less than 1,000 remaining individuals)Dr. Gerardo Ceballos González, co-author of the paper, told CNN that about 173 species went extinct between 2001 and 2014, which is 25 times more than under normal circumstances. He also found that more than 400 vertebrate species went extinct in the last 100 years, which would have taken up to 10,000 years in normal evolution.Thus whereas past mass extinctions were caused by environmental catastrophes such as massive volcanic eruptions or asteroid impacts, the sixth mass extinction, now occurring, is "completely our fault".https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/01/world/sixth-mass-extinction-accelerating-intl/index.html(Go to CNN article)―The target of the 6th mass extinction could be ‘humanity’―A recent study found that existing species will eventually disappear due to climate change and new dominant species will emerge.https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abq1898?cookieSet=1On August 19, a joint research team from Harvard University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Alberta, Canada published a paper titled “The successive climate crises of the past drove the early evolution and radiation of reptiles” in Science Advances.The research team pointed to climate change as the cause of the 3rd and 4th mass extinctions and analyzed about 1,000 fossils of 125 species that appeared and disappeared before and after the 3rd and 4th mass extinctions and the climate situations in those respective eras.They estimate that during the 3rd and 4th mass extinctions, the number and diversity of reptiles increased dramatically before and after, overtaking birds and mammals.Harvard University professor Stephanie E. Pierce, co-author of the report, stated: “This clearly shows that abrupt climate change is causing the emergence of new species,” and warns, “If the fundamental causes of climate change are not eliminated, humankind could become the target of the 6th mass extinction.”―Climate catastrophes across the globe this year―Earth is suffering from climate change. No, the damage caused by extreme climate change is getting much worse, so the word "climate catastrophe" seems more appropriate now, beyond "climate disaster."According to the World Disaster Report 2000-2019, released by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), 7,348 natural disasters occurred around the world over the past 20 years, resulting in 1.23 million deaths and causing loss and damages for 4 billion people. At this point, it is no longer a disaster, but a "climate catastrophe." This is a 1.7 times increase in the number of disasters over the previous 20 years (1980~1999) from 4,212, and climate change is pointed out as the main cause.(Source: Disaster Risk Reduction Office (UNDRR))Ironically, the climate catastrophe is hitting countries that have done little to contribute to global warming. Pakistan experienced a heatwave that reached 49 degrees in May this year, and just one month later, in June, heavy monsoon rains poured in, so that now a third of the country is submerged. Pakistan's Meteorological Agency said global warming has tripled the size of the glacial water melting and being released in the northern regions of the Himalayas compared to the previous year.More than 1,100 people have died and more than 33 million people, one-seventh of the population, have been displaced. Due to concerns about waterborne diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Pakistan's flooding situation as a high-level emergency.According to the Washington Post, “Pakistan is the country most affected by climate change even though it contributes less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.” (Submerged Pakistani territory, photo released by European Space Agency, Source: Guardian)https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/sep/01/pakistan-floods-satellite-images-underwater-urgent-aid-appealClimate change does not discriminate between the rich and the poor. The United States is also experiencing extreme climate disasters this year.This spring and summer, the western region has experienced record drought, heat waves, and wildfires. In August, record heavy rains fell in the eastern region, causing calamities one after another.(A town in Kentucky, USA, flooded in July. Source: Reuters)Not only in the New York Times, but it is being reported globally that we are witnessing two extremes, with wet areas getting wetter and dry areas getting drier.(A 600-year-old statue of the Buddha is exposed along the Yangtze River. Source: Reuters)(Changes in Average Annual Precipitation. Source: The New York Times)https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/24/climate/warmer-wetter-world.html―Humanity has ruined the earth, andnow finally humankind holds the key.―The 6th mass extinction may have already been underway for a long time.Maybe there is still hope since humans are the cause of the climate crisis.The last five mass extinctions were the helpless results of volcanic eruptions, ice ages, and asteroid impacts. But since the current climate crisis is caused by people, we humans may have the answer.The international community is urgently pursuing an extreme fossil fuel diet with the goal of becoming "carbon neutral by 2030." The term carbon neutrality, unfamiliar one or two years ago, has already become a household word. Ten thousand years ago the earth was populated by 99.9% wild animals and 0.1% livestock domesticated by human beings; now 97% of the animals are livestock belonging to humans, and only 3% are wild animals. Indeed, the Earth is undergoing a biodiversity crisis.Our Earth has survived by healing itself through five mass extinctions thus far. Can humanity achieve carbon neutrality? If carbon neutrality is achieved at the targeted rate, will the 6th mass extinction be prevented? At the end of the 6th mass extinction that is being conducted by humans, will the current dominant species disappear and another species emerge as the master of the earth?The answer lies with us.
Peace Issue The Horn of Africa suffers its worst drought ever
―The worst drought in forty years―Have you heard of the horn of Africa?The “Horn of Africa” refers to Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Sudan in the northeastern part of the African continent. (Image source: Wikipedia)The worst drought in 40 years has struck the Horn of Africa.14 organizations, including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), expressed their deep concern that this drought is an 'extreme', 'extensive' and 'continuous' multi-season drought.(Go to World Meteorological Organization news)https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/meteorological-and-humanitarian-agencies-sound-alert-east-africa―Hunger crisis to affect twentymillion by the end of this year ―International organizations and groups are fighting to report the serious damage and plight brought on by this worst drought.Let's examine the situation by country.○ Kenya has declared a national emergency due to drought. It is said that 80-90% of the freshwater volume of reservoirs has drained, exposing the dam base.○ Ethiopia is experiencing a surge in malnutrition due to a combination of drought and civil war.○ Somalia's drought and civil war have left more than 7 million people, nearly half of the current population, suffering from severe food shortages.The World Food Program (WFP) says 22 million people are at risk of starvation across three countries in the region (Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia). This is an increase of 9 million from the 13 million at the beginning of the year.The World Food Program (WFP) has warned that as drought continues, the number of people at risk of starvation will rise rapidly.(Go to World Food Program News)https://www.wfp.org/news/horn-africa-cannot-wait-wfp-scales-assistance-historic-drought-raises-famine-threat?&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organicpost&utm_campaign=newsrelease&utm_content=squarevideoThis is not the first time drought has occurred in the Horn of Africa. Between 2010 and 2011, severe drought and famine forced more than 13 million people to urgently seek food aid.In particular, the situation in Somalia was serious. The Somali government was unable to support the people due to the 20-year civil war, and international organizations for humanitarian aid were also blocked. There was great suffering as hundreds of thousands of families went to refugee camps in Kenya in search of food.According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a severe drought has displaced a million people from Somalia this year alone and the number of people displaced will continue to rise.(Photo source: UNHCR)(Go to UNHCR News)https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/8/62f4c3894/million-people-displaced-drought-somalia.html(Photo source: WFP)Last August, World Food Program Director David Beasley visited Somalia. “The world must act now to protect the most vulnerable communities from the threat of famine that is rampant in the Horn of Africa,” emphasized Secretary-General Beasley. “We need to ensure that we have the resources we need to stop people from falling into starvation and catastrophic levels of hunger."WFP said it urgently needs about 561.4 billion won ($418 million) over the next six months.Unfortunately, the suffering in the region is unlikely to stop for a while. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) forecasts that Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia will experience 5 consecutive seasons without rain. The gloomy outlook is that the crisis will spread to Eritrea, most of Uganda and parts of Tanzania.(Go to World Meteorological Organization news)https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/greater-horn-of-africa-faces-5th-failed-rainy-season―Life-threatening health crisis―Famine also increases the threat to life.The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in June that health risks in East Africa are rising, while access to health care is worsening.Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Response, stated: “Stopping hunger is a clear priority,” he said, emphasizing the strengthening of health responses at the same time. With pathos he intoned, “Too many lives are lost from vaccine-preventable diseases, diarrhea and complications from malnutrition.”(Go to World Health Organization News)https://www.who.int/news/item/30-06-2022-who-intensifies-response-to-looming-health-crisis-in-the-greater-horn-of-africa-as-food-insecurity-worsens―The drought impacts women and children more severely ―(Go to UNICEF Report)https://www.unicef.org/esa/media/10491/file/UNICEF-Regional-CTA-HoA-Drought-July-2022(1).pdfThe impact is greater on those who are most vulnerable, namely women and children.In July, UNICEF released a report on the damage situation in the Horn of Africa, "Climate change is happening here right now."According to the report, two million children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti are currently in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition. It said the Russian-Ukraine war is also having a serious impact on malnutrition among children in the region. The price of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic food, an essential treatment for severely malnourished children, has been adversely affected by grain supply lines and food prices in the aftermath of the war and is expected to rise by 17%.Education is also in crisis. About 15 million children in the Horn of Africa are currently out of school, with an additional 3.3 million at risk of dropping out of school due to the drought.In addition, threats to livelihoods caused by the drought create dangerous situations such as child sexual violence, exploitation, abuse, child labor, and early marriage of girls.According to data released by UNICEF, there was a 37% increase in the number of severely frail children in the region in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2021, and a 50% or more increase in early marriage and FGM in many drought-affected areas compared to 2021.―The cause of the drought is La Niña―What is the cause of the severe drought that is afflicting the Horn of Africa?World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Director-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement: He cited "climate change" as the cause.It is said that ‘La Niña’ that occurred between 2020 and 2022 caused a decrease in rainfall in all parts of East Africa. The 2010-2011 drought discussed above was likewise caused by La Niña.La Niña is originally part of natural variability, but it is widely believed that humans amplify it and push it to more intense and serious extremes.Climate change also has far-reaching impacts on food security, he said, with climate change causing a 34% decline in agricultural productivity growth since 1961 compared to any other region in Africa and will continue to negatively impact the food system by increasing water stress.(Water temperature in the Pacific cooler due to La Niña during 2020-21. Source: NASA)―They are the face of the climate crisis―How did the Horn of Africa contribute to the climate crisis? How do children in this region relate to the Russian-Ukrainian war Martin Griffiths, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), shared the situation of the people living in the Horn of Africa through his Twitter, calling for the world's attention and help.“These people are the face of the climate crisis,” Griffiths said. “They have not caused it. We must stand in solidarity with them before it is too late.”In order to save the lives of those who have done nothing to contribute to the climate crisis from the harsh reality of the drought, the international community will need to work together with solidarity as soon as possible.
Peace Issue Are Electric Cars Really Environment-Friendly?
As the crisis of climate warming escalates, the electric vehicles are also proliferating. By 2025, the global EV supply is expected to reach 20.6 million—more than three times the number in 2021. On June 1, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), an energy research institute, published the “2022 Electric Vehicle Forecast Report.” The report predicts that the global supply of EVs will increase from 6.6 million units in 2021 to 20.6 million vehicles by 2025. In addition, the BNEF predicts that by 2025, Europe and China will account for 80% of global EV sales, and the proportion of EVs in Germany, the UK and France could also rise to 40-50%. https://about.bnef.com/electric-vehicle-outlook/ https://about.bnef.com/blog/net-zero-road-transport-by-2050-still-possible-as-electric-vehicles-set-to-quintuple-by-2025/ Electric Vehicle Sales by Vehicle Type as of 2021 (BNEF) The growth rate of electric vehicles is now very steep. Currently, electric vehicles are reducing oil demand by 1.5 million barrels per day, and this amount is said to increase to 2.5 million barrels per day by 2025. In fact, sales of internal combustion automobiles peaked in 2017 and are in steady decline, and this downward trend is expected to continue in proportion to the increase in the number of electric vehicles. Norway ranks first in the world for EV penetration. In Norway, 90% of new vehicles are already electric (including hybrids). Moreover, Norway has announced that it will sell fossil fuel burning automobiles only until 2025, after which it will stop selling. Electric vehicle penetration in China is also very steep. The penetration rate of electric vehicles in the PRC this year is 20%, a tenfold increase compared to five years ago. There is also news that Beijing has decided to allocate 70% of license plates for new cars only to electric and hybrid vehicles. China has already decided to provide subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles only till the end of this year, as the demand for EVs has surpassed that for internal combustion vehicles. ― Electric vehicles are eco-friendly while driving, but……. ― Electric vehicles are in a mad rush toward zero carbon. However, for some reason, a controversy has arisen that electric vehicles are greenwashing*. What could they mean by stating that EVs are damaging the environment? *Greenwashing: A compound word of "green" and "whitewashing"; it refers to camouflage environmentalism. http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=586 (Go to previous Sunhak Peace Prize article on Greenwashing) Here we present the case that even electric vehicles are actually greenwashing. Over the entire life cycle assessment (LCA) of EVs from production to disposal, more carbon is emitted than internal combustion engine vehicles. The heart of an electric vehicle is the battery. It is argued that an inordinate amount of carbon is emitted because electricity produced from fossil fuels is used in the production and disposal of batteries. ※ CO2 emissions per km According to the test results of the Korean Ministry of Environment in 2016, the amount of carbon dioxide generated per km was △86.9g for electric vehicles, △137g for diesel vehicles, and △177g for gasoline vehicles. ※ Carbon dioxide emissions including production and disposal processes However, when the production and disposal processes are included, △electric vehicles weighed in at 49.12g △diesel vehicles 44.55g △gasoline vehicles 44.55g. In Nov. 2019, German automaker Volkswagen conducted a similar experiment. The Volkswagen Group announced a comparison of carbon dioxide emissions from production to driving of its electric and diesel vehicles. https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/news/stories/2019/11/how-volkswagen-makes-the-id-3-carbon-neutral.html *Well to Tank : fuel production stage *Tank to Wheel : fuel consumption stage ※ CO2 emissions per km The amount of CO2 emissions per km was △142 g for electric vehicles and △140 g for diesel vehicles, showing that EVs emit more carbon dioxide. However, while driving, EVs produced zero carbon dioxide emissions while driving, while diesel vehicles emitted 100 grams of carbon dioxide. ※ Carbon dioxide emissions during vehicle production On the other hand, during vehicle production, △EVs emitted 57g of CO2 while △Diesel vehicles produced 29g of carbon dioxide. ※ Carbon dioxide emissions during fuel production Since, in the fuel production process △85g~126g for electric vehicles △11g for diesel vehicles, electric vehicles are shown to generate more carbon dioxide. Both experiments in Korea and Germany conclude that electric vehicles are eco-friendly in the driving phase. ― Batteries produce huge amounts of carbon dioxide ― ※ Carbon dioxide emission during the battery production stage Rare earth metals such as lithium and cobalt are contained in batteries, which are core components of electric vehicles. During the mining and smelting of these minerals, harmful by-products and air pollutants are generated. It is also noted that an enormous amount of groundwater is required for mining. Channel 4, a British private broadcaster, reported on the poor mining site and damage situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa on the current affairs program Unreported World, and the scene was shocking. (Cobalt mining site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Source: Unreported World) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipOeH7GW0M8 70% of the world's cobalt is mined in Central Africa, most of which comes from southern Katanga, one of the 10 most polluted places on earth. Young people in this country are mining cobalt, a heavy metal, for 12 hours a day with bare hands without any protective equipment to earn 150 dollars a month. It is said that even children are driven to the mining site. In addition, toxic substances from the mining process flow into the river, killing fish, and many children with disabilities are being born near the mine. As a result, many global companies are joining the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), an international cooperative that monitors whether the minerals required for battery production are ethically produced and distributed. In addition, the European Transport & Environment Federation (Transport & Environment) predicts that the amount of metal required for batteries will be reduced as the technology develops, which will increase the eco-friendliness in the battery production stage. We are also developing a technology using sodium, that can be extracted from seawater, instead of lithium, which causes groundwater contamination during the mining process. https://www.transportenvironment.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021_02_Battery_raw_materials_report_final.pdf ― Waste batteries are difficult to treat ― ※ Carbon dioxide emissions when disposing of batteries There is also a risk of environmental pollution at the battery disposal stage of electric vehicles. Waste batteries are made of several heavy metals classified as toxic. Greenpeace forecasts that by 2030, global waste battery emissions will reach about 12 million tons per year. The reality is that most countries now store waste batteries in separate facilities. Considering that the replacement cycle for EV batteries is 5 to 10 years, disposal of waste batteries is also a matter of time. Fortunately, there is quite active discussion about recycling waste batteries. Technology is being developed to utilize waste batteries as an energy storage system (ESS) or to recycle decomposed minerals. SNE Research, a market research firm, predicts that the global waste battery recycling market will grow to 600 trillion won by 2050. (Johan Cruyff soccer field in Holland uses electric vehicle batteries as solar modules, Source: Electric) German chemical company and recycling specialist Duesenfeld announced that it has succeeded in recycling 96% by disassembling lithium-ion batteries, extracting raw materials such as nickel, manganese, cobalt, and lithium, and refurbishing them for battery operation. ― Electric vehicles powered by renewable energy ― The production of electricity, the power source for electric vehicles, from fossil fuels such as coal and oil, is also a hurdle to overcome. As an alternative, research is underway for using renewable forms including solar as energy sources to generate electricity. (image source, Tesla) Tesla, a global leader in electric vehicles, has commercialized home energy storage devices using solar power. Tesla advertises charging its vehicles through an energy storage device called a “power wall” which can also service household electricity. Volkswagen Group predicts that once renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are used to power electric vehicles, CO2 emissions will drop dramatically from 62g per kilometer to 2g per kilometer based on the EU electric mix. https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/electric-vehicles-with-lowest-co2-emissions-4886 ― What we can do for green transport ― In fact, the carbon emission of electric vehicles differs according to the research method of each country and institution. According to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), there are reports that EVs emit less CO2 than fossil fueled vehicles. Citing a report titled “The Underestimated Potential of Battery Electric Vehicles to Reduce Emissions,” published in the Dutch Scientific Journal in 2019, it states that electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly. It points out that the greenwashing controversy over EVs arises due to △ overestimation of the amount of carbon dioxide generated during battery manufacturing △underestimation of battery life △assumption that the power source will still be based on fossil fuels △unrealistic application of energy consumption measurement method. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2542435119302715 International Council for Clean Transport (ICCT), a non-profit organization, likewise reports that electric vehicles emit less greenhouse gas than internal combustion automobiles, regardless of what fuel they are supplied with. (Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) and electric vehicles (BEVs) by country) https://theicct.org/publication/a-global-comparison-of-the-life-cycle-greenhouse-gas-emissions-of-combustion-engine-and-electric-passenger-cars/ The UN Member States’ goal to achieve net zero by 2050 is a global promise. To achieve this goal, zero-emission vehicles should account for 61% of global new car sales by 2030 and 93% by 2035. But it doesn't seem easy. It is clear that technological development will help reduce carbon. But one of the quickest and surest ways we can practice it is to reduce the use of cars by walking, biking and using more eco-friendly public transport.
Peace Issue The endless suffering of women in Afghanistan
―Afghanistan ranks the lowest in the world on the gender gap index― (Afghan woman. Source: Amnesty)In the “Global Gender Gap Report” recently released by the World Economic Forum, Afghanistan was ranked bottom (146th) this year, same as last year. The Global Gender Gap Report assesses the rankings by nation, comprehensively analyzing the gender gap in four areas: economic opportunity, education level, health and survival, and political opportunity. Afghanistan ranked 146th in economy and education, 140th in health, and 107th in political participation, summing up as the country with the greatest gender discrimination in the world. http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=644(See this Sunhak Peace Prize issue on differences in national character) You can tell at a glance how great the difference in gender equality between Iceland in 1st place and Afghanistan which came in last. (Scores by sector in Iceland closest to gender equality) (Afghanistan ranks last in gender equality by sector sum) ―Taliban returns after 20 years―(Taliban takes over Afghan presidential palace, Aug. 2021. Source: AP)Sadly, the suffering of women in Afghanistan resumed in August 2021 when the Taliban, who had oppressed women, regained power after 20 years. The Taliban, notorious for human rights abuses, was banished from Afghanistan from 1996-2001. But US troops withdrew from Afghanistan last year, and Taliban occupied Afghanistan again. (Afghans pass babies over barbed wire to US troops at Kabul Airport. Source: Reuters, Aug. 2021) https://apnews.com/article/afghanistan-taliban-kabul-bagram-e1ed33fe0c665ee67ba132c51b8e32a5(Article reporting the collapse of the Afghan government and occupation of the capital by the Taliban in August 2021, AP) When the Taliban took power, fear deepened in the international community that Afghanistan would return to the dark ages of the past. Above all, there were great concerns about the human rights abuses of Afghan women because the Taliban in the past had imposed horrendous oppression on women's movement, education, and clothing. http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=505(See previous Sunhak Peace Prize article on Afghan women under Taliban) ―Afghan women are slowly dying―On July 27, Amnesty International, an international human rights organization, published a report with an unusual title, "Slow Death: Women Under the Taliban", describing the lives of Afghan women after the re-takeover by the Taliban. This report is based on interviews between Sept. 2021 and Jun. 2022 in 20 Afghan provinces with 101 women aged 14-17 years, former and current Taliban-operated detention facilities, NGOs and Afghan experts. https://amnesty.or.kr/45925/(Go to Amnesty presentation) https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2022/07/women-and-girls-under-taliban-rule-afghanistan/(See Amnesty presentation in English language) The report said the Taliban had wiped out all the human rights gained by Afghan women in less than a year, and ascertained that Afghan women's rights are being violated in all areas, including education, work and freedom. The report begins by describing the threats, arrests, detention, torture, and abduction and disappearance of women who peacefully protest the Taliban rule. Forcibly detained female conscientious objectors were subjected to various types of assault, abuse and unsanitary conditions. (Female anchor covering the news under the direction of the Taliban. Source: Yonhap News) The Taliban have also banned women from working throughout Afghanistan, except for some civil servants in the health and education sectors. Appearing in public with men without a mahram (male guardian) or one without mahram qualifications is also banned as “moral depravity.” Women are also prevented from moving freely. The report features interviews with prison staff who testify that the number of people being jailed for bringing children to coffee shops or appearing without mahram is increasing every month, along with the affirmation that in the past there was no case of people being sent to jail for such reasons. (Afghan women lining up for bread in Jan. 2022. Source: Reuters) In addition, the proportion of child or adolescent marriage and forced marriage is rapidly increasing in Afghanistan. The main reasons given are the economic crisis, the lack of education and employment opportunities for women, a family member coerced into marrying a Taliban member, or a Taliban member him/herself being forced to marry. The report features an interview with a mother who married her 13-year-old daughter to a 30-year-old man for 860,000 won ($670) to escape hunger. Her young teenage daughter wished to study to support her family, but since schools wouldn't admit her, she had no choice but to get married. (Recommended attire for female students in Afghan universities, Source: Amnesty) “These little girls just wanted to have a future, and now they don't see any future at all.” ― Afghan High School Teacher (Fatima) The Taliban have almost cut off the education of girls from middle school and up. Many girls gave up their hopes of college education when Taliban created a dangerous environment for girls in universities. Amnesty, through a UN Security Council resolution, calls on the international community to hold the Taliban accountable for their actions and use other forms of influence to hold the Taliban accountable for their treatment of women. ―Isolated Afghanistan―The international community, including the United States, does not recognize the Taliban as the official government and cut off aid to Afghanistan. Foreign aid accounted for 75% of Afghanistan's public funds, so the money line is cut off. In addition, over 11 trillion won ($9 billion USD) of overseas assets of the Afghan government have been frozen. (Afghan children play in famine-parched desert. Source: Afghan Red Crescent) According to the UN Food Program, 22.8 million people, more than half of Afghanistan's population, face extreme hunger. Afghanistan is currently suffering from acute malnutrition in 25 out of 34 states, with half of children under 5 and 25% of pregnant and breastfeeding women in need of nutritional support.https://www.wfp.org/emergencies/afghanistan-emergency The World Bank forecasts that Afghanistan's GDP per capita will fall by 34% this year compared to two years ago. In addition, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that 5.57 million people, or 15% of Afghanistan's population, are refugees. (Afghan man addicted to drugs exhales drugs into his dog's mouth. Source: AP) Currently, human trafficking is rampant in Afghanistan, and many people are said to be addicted to drugs through the cultivation of poppies, the raw material for opium.The Taliban appealed for support from the international community after a strong earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan in June caused extensive damage. Afghanistan is said to be one of the few countries where the suicide rate for women is higher than for men. In order for the Taliban to receive fair treatment in the international community, policies on women's human rights must be implemented that meet the minimum international standards. What do you think about the fact that "a country that is striving to completely close the gender gap" and "a country where even basic human rights are being suppressed because of being a woman" coexist on a small planet called Earth? Our Sunhak Peace Prize will continue to focus attention on the human rights of Afghan women.
Peace Issue Time to reach gender equality: 132 years
―Global Gender Gap Report 2022― https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2022/digestWill we live to see gender equality be achieved during our lifetime?Studies show that it will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. World Gender Gap Report was published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on July 13th, which analyzed the gender gap in 146 countries. The gender gap index was first introduced in 2006 and benchmarks the progress toward gender parity in four areas: economic participation and opportunity, education attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. The closer the gender gap index is to 1, the smaller the gender gap and the closer it is to achieving gender equality. The gender gap is evaluated without considering the economic and social levels of each country. Therefore, even if the overall status and level of women in a particular country is high, if it is lower in comparison to that of men, the gender gap index will be low.―Global gender gap score in 2022 is 68.1%― Assuming that men and women have achieved gender equality at 100%, the global gender gap score as of 2022 was 68.1%, with slight increase from 67.9% in 2021. By subindex, the economic subindex increased from 58.7% to 60.3%, and the health subindex increased from 95.7% to 95.8%. On the other hand, the education subindex decreased from 95.2% to 94.4%, and the political subindex remained the same at 22%. The report reasoned that the 1.6% increase in the economic subindex was mainly due to the decrease in the wage gap, even though the gender gap in the interests and labor force of women in professional and technical positions have increased. The increase in the health subindex was only 0.1%. Overall, the level of the gender gap has shown little progress, shortening the time by only 4 years in comparison to the 136 years in 2021.In 2019, the global gender gap was less than 100 years, but the gap has widened since the pandemic. Iceland has the smallest gender gap, with a gender gap index of 90.8%. Finland has the second highest gender gap index (86%) and Norway is 3rd (84.5%), followed by New Zealand (4th), Sweden (5th), Rwanda (6th), Nicaragua (7th), Namibia (8th), Ireland (9th), and Germany(10th) on the top ten list. ―Regional Gender Gap― Here is a summary of gender disparity by region:◎ North America: 76.9% ― The closest to gender equality. ◎ Europe: 76.6% ― Six of the top 10 countries are in Europe.◎ Latin America and the Caribbean: 72.6% ― Ranking is 3rd as a region. However, only 6 out of 22 countries have improved gender gap scores by more than 1%, and there is a high gap among regions. ◎ Central Asia: 69.1% ― Score remains the same from 2021 with delays in improvement. ◎ East Asia and the Pacific: 69% ― 13 out of 19 countries have made progress since 2021. But it would take 168 years to achieve full equality.◎ Sub-Saharan Africa: 68.7% ― Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya showed positive changes in the economic gender gap, leading to an increase of 1.1%.◎ Middle East and North Africa: 63.4% ― The second largest gender gap in the world. However, many nations have improved women's participation in the workforce especially roles in technology. ◎ South Asia: 62.3% ― The largest gender gap in the world. Scores are low in all areas and little progress has been made in most nations since 2021. It would take 197 years to achieve full equality at current rates. (Gender Gap Subindex by Region and Sector)―Gender gap in the workplace widened by the Pandemic―The World Economic Forum expressed concern over the widening gender gap in labor force participation as a looming crisis.The gender gap in the labor force has been declining slowly since 2009 but saw a sharp increase since the 2020 Pandemic. The score has reached 62.9% in 2020, the lowest since the index was first compiled.Why did the pandemic widen the gender gap? This is because the service industry, where many women have entered, has been hit directly by the lockdown. In addition, due to the blockade of medical and educational facilities, women are now taking full responsibility for family care and child rearing, serving as a major cause of the widening gender gap. Even before the pandemic, men accounted for 19% of the time in this field, while women accounted for 55% of the time. The World Economic Forum, citing LinkedIn data, found that in most countries and industries around the world, only about 30% of women occupy leadership positions.This is data released in May by LinkedIn, a leading US recruitment company, which analyzed the information of more than 83,000 members around the world and announced the gender gap in jobs. (Percentage of women by position: higher positions to the right)https://linkedin.github.io/gender-equity-2022/(Link to LinkedIn Resources)The gender gap by industry sector according to LinkedIn data is as follows: Areas with the highest proportion of women in leadership were △Non-Governmental and Member Organizations (54%), △Education (49%), △Government and Public Sector (46%), △Personal Services and Welfare (46%), △Medical and Medical Services (46%), △Media and Communications (46%).In contrast, sectors with a high proportion of male leadership were △Technology (30%), △Agriculture (28%), △Energy (25%), △Supply chain and transportation (25%), △Manufacturing (22%), △Infrastructure (21%).Additionally, in higher education worldwide, women are more likely than men to focus on education and health and welfare fields and tend to be weaker in the STEM fields. There are nearly four times as many male graduates as female graduates in information and communication technology (ICT) and engineering and manufacturing fields. (Gender ratio by occupational group in OECD countries)Women's entrepreneurship was on the rise, especially in 2020, when the pandemic hit. LinkedIn said it's still unclear whether this trend is good or bad for women. However, it is questionable why women started a business that can be difficult enough in normal times during a period of uncertainty and instability called a pandemic. In many cases, it is highly likely that women were driven to start a business due to an unequal situation. (Founding Rate by Gender)Saadia Zahidi, Director of the World Economic Forum, stated, “During the coronavirus pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis caused by the labor market shock and lack of care infrastructure is unduly affecting women. We need to make efforts to support policies to support the return of workers to the workforce and to develop female talent in future industries.”Going back to the report, Rwanda (6th) and Namibia (8th) in Africa, and Nicaragua (7th) in Central America stand out among the top 10 countries. So, where did the powerful nations we call developed countries rank? The US ranked 27th, the UK 22nd, South Korea 99th, China 102nd, and Japan 116th. It is apparent that efforts for gender equality have little to do with a country's economic power.It will be interesting to see what changes take place in the rankings next year.
Peace Issue Can Meat Substitutes Prevent Climate Change
―Are cows the culprit of global warming?Greenhouse gas emissions: 4 cows = 1 car―We hear about cows being the main culprit of global warming, but is this true? In 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a shocking book titled Livestock’s Long Shadow, which explored the link between the climate crisis and meat consumption.https://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm The gist of the book is that the livestock industry has a worse impact on global warming than the transportation industry, and that the livestock industry’s greenhouse gas emissions account for 18% of the total carbon dioxide emissions. It also claims that the greenhouse gas emitted by four cows a year is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emitted by one car. So how does this happen? Ruminants such as cattle, sheep, and goats digest the grass or grains, and methane gas (CH4) produced through intestinal fermentation is excreted through burping (passing gas). Methane and nitrous oxide (N2O) are also generated from livestock manure.Compared to carbon dioxide, methane gas causes about 28 times the greenhouse effect, and nitrous oxide causes about 310 times the greenhouse effect. In addition, the report also included greenhouse gases generated in the entire process, including feed production, distribution, and forests lost to make pastures—all the cause of global warming caused by the livestock industry. (Source: Our World in Data) The global livestock industry immediately protested. The transport industry pointed out that the comparison is distorted because transport emissions only include emissions from fossil fuels burned while driving, while livestock emissions include the entire industry. However, Science Magazine in 2018 also proves that the food industry's greenhouse gas emissions are not formidable. According to Science magazine, 26% of greenhouse gases come from the food industry, of which the livestock industry and aquaculture account for about 52%. Although the debate continues over whether cows are a cause of climate change, it seems clear that the livestock sector must make efforts to prevent global warming, given the continuous reports on the livestock industry and climate change. ―Fast-growing alternative meat market― The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts that the world population will reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Moreover, with population growth and economic growth in developing countries, meat consumption continues to increase, and it is estimated that by 2050, people will consume 450 million tons of meat per year. (Trend of meat consumption by region from 1960 to 2010 and global demand forecast until 2050. Source: World Economic Forum)https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_White_Paper_Alternative_Proteins.pdf According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), increasing demand for meat will require that by 2050, most of the land be used for livestock breeding grounds and livestock feed, and 90% of the world's fresh water will be used for agriculture and animal husbandry. As a warning about food and environmental problems caused by population growth, the UN recognizes the close link of the food system to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and continues to conduct research. At the end of 2019, the EU Commission has called for efforts to reduce carbon emissions, to prevent excessive use of soil, forests and marine resources and to develop alternative protein sources. Combined with this atmosphere, there has been a lot of change in perception of meat eating in recent years. There's a growing interest in alternative meat instead of real meat. With the recent proliferation of 'Meaning Out' consumption, which values individual beliefs and values, mainly among the younger generation, alternative meats have been recognized as health, environmental protection and animal welfare, and the market for alternative meats is growing worldwide. Alternative meat is a "food that has a meat-like taste and shape" and is divided into vegetable alternative meats, stem cell rearing, insect proteins, fungal proteins, and algae proteins. According to AMR, a global market research firm, by 2022, with the global alternative meat market size at 7.18 trillion won ($54.777 million), it is predicted to double by 2030 to reach 14.717 trillion won ($112.3 million).https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/meat-substitute-market By 2040, alternative meats will account for over 60% of the total meat market. It's well known that Bill Gates invested large sums in alternative meat companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Bill Gates, in his recent book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, emphasizes that in order to stop climate change, rich countries must first switch to 100% alternative meat. https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/02/14/1018296/bill-gates-climate-change-beef-trees-microsoft/(Bill Gates Interview Encouraging Alternative Meat) ―Plant-based alternative meats― (Source: Beyond Meat) Plant-based alternative meats are foods made using proteins derived from plants such as soy, wheat, and pumpkin, which have the advantage of lower production time and cost compared to other alternatives. Plant-based alternative meats currently hold the largest share of 87.2% of the alternative food market. Bloomberg expects the plant-based food market to grow from US$294 billion in 2020 to US$1.62 billion in 2030. Beyond Meat, a publicly traded company in the United States, and Impossible Foods, which has become famous for its collaboration with Burger King, are areas where global food companies such as Nestlé and CJ are increasing their investments. ―Stem cell in vitro meat― (World's first test tube bred hamburger patty cost 303.6 million won) Stem cell embryonic rearing is protein made by directly culturing animal cells. Initially, it was called "Cultured meat" for laboratory making, but now it is called "clean meat" in the sense that it is produced in a clean facility rather than a breeding facility. Studies have also shown that the maximum land use can be reduced by 99%, freshwater use by 96%, and gas emissions by 80% compared to the traditional livestock production method. It is possible to replace saturated fatty acids that are harmful to the human body with beneficial fatty acids such as Omega-3s without the use of antibiotics. However, there is still an issue of expensive production costs. In 2013, in London, the world's first hamburger patty made of cultured meat was produced. The price of one of these patties was 250,000 euros, which was reportedly fully funded by Google founder Sergey Brin, who was uncomfortable with the standard methods of cruel breeding and slaughter of cattle. (Image source: FutureMeat) In 2020, a restaurant in Singapore that offered a cultured meat menu from a Silicon Valley company called ItJust was first opened, and in 2021, an Israeli company called FutureMeat opened the world's first clean meat culture plant. The company announced that it has lowered the production cost for each chicken breast patty to US$7.50.(Cultured salmon. Source: WildType) A U.S. company called WildType, which develops artificial cultured seafood, has announced that it can produce 22.7 tons of salmon for sushi per year. If the high cost and the resistance to GMO foods that are genetically modified are overcome, it is hoped that mass production will be the key to solving future food shortages. ―Insect proteins― Insects have long been a source of protein for mankind, along with meat. China, Thailand and Africa have been eating insects as a food ingredient. It is estimated that the current supply of edible insects in the world could feed 2.5 billion people. Currently nine species of edible insects are known: locusts, crickets, and edible silkworms. (Insect protein bars sold on Amazon) In North America, Europe, etc., in order to eliminate the rejection that comes from the appearance of insects, they are mainly commercialized and consumed in the form of processed foods such as energy bars and food powder. The insect protein market is also growing steeply. Global Market Insights, a market research firm, forecasts that by 2024, a US$701 million edible insect market will have developed. A World Economic Forum report found that the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide (CO2eq) produced by the production of 200 kg of beef is about 24 kg, while the emission of a corresponding mass of edible insect protein is only 0.7 kg. The International Insect Food and Feed Organization (IPIFF), a non-profit organization in the European Union (EU); the IPIFF has announced that by using food waste for insect culture we can reduce the amount of food waste by 30% and create an environmentally friendly natural food supply system. ―Algae and mushroom proteins―(Fried cutlets (korokke) made from algae. Source: NHnovatech) Algae alternative meats made from seaweed, kelp, spirulina, etc. do not require land or fertilizer, and are an environmentally friendly source of protein because they absorb carbon as the algae grow. A South Korean company extracted hem molecules (HEME) from seaweed and kelp that give the meat flavor, and it is described as having a real meat flavor by mixing the heme molecules with halibut fish. Depending on the type and proportion of amino acids that make up the heme molecule, different meat flavors can be produced. It's amazing! ○ Fungal proteinsFungal proteins are foods made from Mycoprotein, which is derived from mushroom fungi. Bacterium proteins are not found in common mushrooms but are made by fermenting special cultures in the laboratory. Mycoprotein, a fungal protein, has a structure similar to chicken breast and is described as having no significant difference in texture from real meat. The University of Exeter in the United States published a study that found that people who ate microproteins had more than 2 times higher muscle growth rates than those who ate milk protein. ―What are the Challenges?― Although the alternative meat market is getting bigger, there are still many challenges to overcome. ○ Taste and texture still fall short of the real thingFirst issue is the taste and texture. The taste and texture that is not yet competitive with real meat is said to be what makes people who have tried alternative meat hesitant to buy it again. With plant-based alternative meats, the lack of a clear basis for determining whether the numerous additives that go into flavoring meat are harmless to health is a sizable task to be solved. ○ Carbon dioxide is generated during the development processIn terms of climate issue, studies have shown that artificial meat culture has an adverse effect on global warming comparable to livestock breeding. In 2019, the BBC reported on a study by researchers from the Oxford Martin School on the long-term effects of livestock and "clean meat" on the climate. Energy needed to produce artificially cultured meat comes from fossil fuels, and the carbon dioxide produced remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years, whereas the methane gas emitted by cattle disappears in about 12 years, so in the long run, laboratory meat has a greater impact on global warming. That's why the researchers emphasize the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable energy use levels in the production of artificial meat products.https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47283162 ○ Conflict with traditional animal husbandryThe alternative meat sector is in sharp confrontation with the traditional livestock industry, especially with the issue of its name. The livestock industry argues that the use of the term 'meat' in alternative meats is confusing to consumers and should be called livestock alternatives, cell culture foods, etc. In fact, in 2021, the U.S. state of Texas banned the use of terms like "meat" and "beef" on labels of alternative meat foods made from plants, cultures, and insects that are not from slaughtered livestock. The European Union (EU) has also accommodated some of the demands of the livestock industry, prohibiting the use of names such as "yogurt" or "milk" on plant foods. However, names such as "burger" and "sausage" are allowed. The livestock industry is not the only group that opposes it. They are striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the animal husbandry sector by improving low-methane feed and manure treatment methods using algae, etc. ―It’s not the cow’s fault― Cows have always been living their lives, grazing in the grass field. It was human beings who have unnaturally increased the number of livestock for their needs. And now the cows are blamed for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. It may be that human beings hold the path to resolving the problem they created.
Peace Issue Earth is broiling: the culprit is...
―Redheads admitted to theatre for free―What in the world is with letting red-haired customers go to the movie theaters for free? It happened in England.On July 18, the Daily Telegraph in the UK reported the highest midday temperature ever in London and Cambridge, exceeding 37°C―the most serious heat wave on record. In some parts of the UK, temperatures rose by more than 40 degrees Celsius, the highest in the 363 years records have been kept. It is said that less than 5% of households in the UK have air conditioning installed because the climate is usually cool enough even in midsummer. (Relieving thirsty British Buckingham Palace Guard in a fur hat during heat wave. Source: Yeonhap News)In the unprecedented heat, there were fires breaking out due to the overload on electric circuits, railroad operations were delayed or canceled, and about 200 schools have been temporarily closed.To combat this, a cinema has been offering free tickets to movies for two days from the 18th through the 19th for any customers with red hair, since redheads are more vulnerable to UV rays.https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/18/uk-cinema-heatwave-redheads-free-tickets/(Go to related article)But the current heat wave is too serious to just laugh off.―The world is in a state of emergencydue to the global heat wave―(Ice landslide on Mount Marmolada. Photo source: NEWSIS)In early July, a sudden ice landslide killed 11 hikers at at the top of the Dolomite Alps in northern Italy. Experts explained that the average temperature at the summit recently reached 10 degrees Celsius, resulting in the melted ice and the landslide. In May, India and Pakistan suffered from heat waves exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. In northern Pakistan, mountain glaciers melted in high temperatures, flooded rivers, and bridges collapsed.On May 18th, CNN reported a study by the UK Meteorological Agency finding that India and Pakistan were 100 times more likely to experience record heat waves.In June, the worst flood damage occurred in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was an extreme flood that could only happen once in 500 years.President Biden declared a state of emergency as the situation worsened, with large-scale blackouts in the central and southern regions of the United States due to the surge in electricity demand due to sweltering weather, and heat wave warnings were issued in 28 states.Europe has not experienced temperature exceeding 40°C. However, over 1,500 people have died of heat stroke in the past couple of weeks, and Portugal, Spain, France and Greece are all in a state of emergency due to the heat and wildfires.(Freshwater crayfish are cooked high temperature in a rice paddy in Japan. Source: Twitter)The heat is spreading continent-wide. In Tunisia, Africa, heat waves and wildfires damaged grain crops, and Iran recorded a temperature of 52℃ at the end of June. In China, asphalt roads are melting in the heat of 44℃, and in Japan, freshwater crayfish were found cooked as the water temperature in rice paddies rose.The global village is in a state of broil.(Temperature by region on July 13, 2022. Source: NASA)https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/150083/heatwaves-and-fires-scorch-europe-africa-and-asia―Global warming getting worse―Why are heat waves so prevalent this year? The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has pointed out that the cause of this record-breaking heat wave is related to global warming, which has been observed to increase in frequency, duration and intensity in recent decades.https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/07/1122732https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/state-of-climate-2021-extreme-events-and-major-impactsIn addition, in the report "Global Climate in 2021," the last seven years were the hottest seven years on record, and sea level due to polar melting rose to the highest level in 2021. And the report predicts the earth will get yet warmer. ―The international community copes with climate change―From July 17th to 19th, delegates from 40 countries gathered in Berlin, Germany, and held an annual climate-related meeting (Petersberg Climate Dialogue 2022).UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a video message warning that "half of humanity is in the danger zone from climate crisis” yet "we continue to feed on our fossil fuel addiction.” He also urged cooperation as a multilateral community rather than playing the blame game, emphatically intoning that “we have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands.”https://press.un.org/en/2022/sgsm21376.doc.htmGerman Chancellor Olaf Scholz also spoke at the meeting. Germany has been at the forefront of carbon neutrality in Europe and is suffering from a cutback in the supply of Russian natural gas (normally comprising 55% of its gas supply) since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War. To overcome the energy crisis, Germany will temporarily restart its coal-fired power plants, so attention has been focused on the German Prime Minister's words. Chancellor Scholz said Germany's resumption of coal power generation is a "temporary emergency" and will maintain its goal of achieving zero carbon by 2045.https://www.bundeskanzler.de/bk-en/news/petersberg-climate-dialogue-2022-2063148In addition, the G7 agreed to provide USD 100 billion annually to help developing countries respond to climate change in the near future, and Germany is expected to donate at least 6 billion euros annually until 2025.―Greenhouse gases emitted by 5 coutriesamount to damage worth USD 6 trillion!―https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10584-022-03387-y.pdf(Go to the report)The results of a study assessing the economic damage caused by greenhouse gases emitted by each country to other countries were recently published for the first time.On July 12, a Dartmouth College research team in the U.S. published a paper titled "National Attribution of Historical Climate Damages" in the journal Climate Change.The study calculated how much greenhouse gas each of the 143 countries for which data was available and how much the greenhouse gases emitted contributed to global warming, and then estimated how global warming again affected individual countries. To do this, 2 million values were sampled and a supercomputer calculated 11 trillion values.According to the thesis, between 1990 and 2014, the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, the United States and China, caused global losses of more than USD 1.8 trillion each, and the top five greenhouse gas emitters, the United States, China, Russia and if you add up the damage done to other countries by India and Brazil, it is said that the total amount comes out to USD 6 trillion dollars. This is a huge amount, as it is equivalent to about 11% of the world's annual GDP during the study period.https://apnews.com/article/climate-russia-ukraine-science-united-states-226702e6d195c94433cdc48e5fed6e63 https://home.dartmouth.edu/news/2022/07/study-shows-economic-impacts-greenhouse-gas-emissions(Go to related press and university presentations)The paper found greenhouse gas emissions have different economic consequences between rich and poor countries.The top 10 greenhouse gas emitters account for more than two-thirds of global economic losses due to global warming, high-income countries located in the mid-latitudes and northern hemisphere are cooler than the global average temperature, so they are less affected by extremes, and the more they can farm, the longer they can grow, whereas the poorer countries in the tropics and the southern hemisphere are more likely to suffer economic losses from global warming.In fact, there are reports that Russia is expected to produce 6% higher than normal this year as the weather continues to be suitable for growing wheat. The BBC was concerned about Russia's food weaponization, saying "Russia could be the only big winner."―Again, the answer ismultilateralism and cooperation―Professor Justin Mankin, co-author of the paper, explained that “hot regions have lost income due to global warming and cold regions have warmed but have gained economic benefits. Wealthy countries have become more prosperous through the sacrifices of the poor.”(New Delhi, India: homeless people take shelter from the heat under a bridge in May 2022. Source: AP)“Many of the world’s poorest and weakest countries are experiencing severe climate impacts,” said Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s climate special envoy at the Berlin Climate Conference. “We also need to show more solidarity,” he said. https://www.voanews.com/a/berlin-hosts-envoys-for-heart-to-heart-talks-on-climate-/6663072.htmlThe natural disasters and economic damage caused by continued climate change will be painful for all countries. However, the suffering endured by the people of low-income countries with weak social systems is obvious. “Do all countries look to the United States for restitution? Maybe...” -co-author Justin Mankin-Christopher Callahan, first author of the Dartmouth research paper mentioned above, said, "This study provides a scientific basis for the claim of climate responsibility."Based on the research results, what would happen if countries affected by global warming were to hold the top countries in greenhouse gas emission liable for damages? Can we pretend that we didn't know?Before this happens, multilateralism and global cooperation, which the UN Secretary-General emphasizes, seem more important than ever.
Peace Issue Plastic Island Floating in the Sea
―Plastic Snow Falling in Antarctica?!― Just this June 8th, shocking news came from Antarctica: Microplastics have been found in the snow falling on Antarctica. Microplastics were detected in all snow samples taken by researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand from 19 different sites on the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica. Snow samples taken turned up an average of 29 pieces of microplastic per 1 liter of melted water. The shocking revelation is that Antarctica, known as the cleanest and unblemished region on Earth, can no longer be free from environmental damage. It is surmised that the microplastics found in the snow fall along with the snow, blending with fine droplets as the microparticles drift through the atmosphere. Researchers at the University of Canterbury said, "Through modeling studies, we have found that the microplastics discovered this time may have reached Antarctica from 6,000 kilometers away." ―The Top Five Ocean Plastic Islands―(Image Source: The Ocean Cleanup) It’s not only the skies. Plastics have already invaded the oceans too. The five areas on the map above represent the world's five largest marine plastic accumulation areas. Area 1, the largest plastic island, is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). According to The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit organization engaged in ocean plastic removal activities, the GPGP covers an area of 1.6 million square kilometers (616,764 square miles). 1.6 million square kilometers: can you get any idea how vast that is? It amounts to three times the size of France. The weight itself is stupendous. It's estimated that about 80,000 tons of plastic are floating in the GPGP—the equivalent of 500 fully loaded jet cargo planes. In quantity, that's about 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. Dividing this number by the world's population of 7 billion, we get 250. That means each of us dumped on average 250 pieces of plastic into the local waters, which all ended up there. https://theoceancleanup.com/great-pacific-garbage-patch/(Go to The Ocean Cleanup for more data) How did plastic come to form islands?Let's say you inadvertently drop a plastic bottle on a California beach. The plastic flotsam travels south of Mexico with the current, then across the Pacific Ocean in the North Equatorial Current, all the way to Japan. The bottle again travels north along the Kuroshiro Current and then east along the North Pacific Ocean.As the plastic bottle floats in the sea, it gradually breaks up into tiny pieces of plastic that float around the sea forever. Another thing that can happen is the plastic bottle meets another plastic and they hang around together. And this process indefinitely repeats over a long period of time. As a result, five gigantic plastic islands have formed in the open sea. These islands are a disaster of our own making, not someone else's. (Image source: National Geographic) ―“The whole world confronts a maritime emergency”United Nations Maritime Conference― The 2nd UN Ocean Conference was held in Lisbon, Portugal from June 27 to July 1. At the conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez declared that the world is facing a “maritime emergency” and warned that “Eight million tons of plastic will continue entering the sea every year.” Without drastic action, by 2050 the burden of plastic will weigh heavily on all marine life, especially fish. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/27/un-head-antonio-guterres-declares-ocean-emergency-as-global-leaders-gather-in-lisbon UN Secretary-General speaking at the Youth and Innovation Forum at the United Nations Maritime Conference (Source: UN) ―A report on marine ecosystems destroyed by plastics― It is now widely known that marine ecosystems are being harmed by the huge amount of plastic that is pouring into the sea. Ongoing precise research on marine pollution continues, but the published results of the study are very bleak. In February, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published the report, “Impact of Plastic Pollution in the Ocean on Marine Species, Biodiversity and Ecosystems,” analyzing 2,592 studies on plastic production, dispersal, impact, and biodegradation.https://wwfint.awsassets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_impacts_of_plastic_pollution_on_biodiversity.pdf ○ 50-fold increase in microplastics by the end of the 21st century. First, the report warns that by the end of the 21st century, the amount of microplastics could increase by 50 times in ocean surface amounting to over 2.5 times the size of Greenland.○ More than 1.21×105 of microplastics per 1m3 of the sea. The report also assessed that there are already over 1.21×105 particles of microplastics per cubic meter, bordering on the ecological risk threshold in many regions of the world. In particular, certain "hotspots" where pollution is concentrated, such as the Mediterranean Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Arctic sea ice, have already significantly exceeded the ecologically irreversible threshold. If microplastics exceed their limits, they can even lead to the extinction of marine species in the worst case. (Galapagos cormorant with plastic litter in nest. Source: Guardian) ○ Seabirds and turtles ingesting plasticIt is also estimated that up to 90% of all seabirds and up to 52% of all sea turtles eat plastics, with 88% of marine species being negatively affected by plastics. Plastics cause injury or death to marine animals, can inhibit the movement and growth of organisms, and reduce food intake, immune response, or the organism's fertility. In addition, plastics pose a serious threat to almost all marine species, including endangered species such as mangroves and coral reefs, which are essential for maintaining marine biodiversity, monk seals in the Mediterranean, and sperm whales. (Photo source: UN)○ Mangroves as carbon outlets, seaweed crisisThe ocean serves as the planet's largest carbon sink. Special thanks to carbon-storing mangroves, seaweeds, salt marshes and coral reefs. Yet plastic pollution puts these biomes at risk of failing to combat climate change. “Once plastic waste enters the sea, it is almost impossible to recover,” said Heike Vesper, director of the WWF German maritime program. https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?4959466/Ocean-plastic-pollution-to-quadruple-by-2050-pushing-more-areas-to-exceed-ecologically-dangerous-threshold-of-microplastic-concentration ―Resolution of International Convention on Marine Plastic Pollution― https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/historic-day-campaign-beat-plastic-pollution-nations-commit-develop Not long ago, a historic agreement was reached to curb plastic pollution.At the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) held in Nairobi, Kenya, from February 28 to March 2, it was agreed to establish a legally binding international agreement to end plastic pollution by 2024. Meanwhile, the UN Environment Assembly has drawn up several resolutions to solve the marine plastic problem. However, this agreement will not limit the plastic pollution problem to the ocean, but will include management measures for the full lifecycle including production, use and disposal of plastics. https://www.gibsondunn.com/update-on-un-roadmap-for-a-new-global-plastics-treaty/(Go to the details of the agreement) ―Private Efforts to Solve Marine Plastics― The private sector is also making great efforts to reduce marine plastics. ○ Let us get rid of marine plastics! The Ocean CleanupThe Netherlands Ocean Cleanup is a group of scientists and engineers who have developed and are actually applying technology to remove plastic from the sea. There are two main approaches: How to stop the flow of plastic from rivers to the ocean and how to remove plastic already accumulated in the sea. ▪ Interceptor solutions: Blocking inflow from riversIt is estimated that 80% of plastic flows into the ocean through 1000 rivers. Ocean Cleanup is reducing the influx of plastic into the sea by installing net barriers, etc. at key locations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Guatemala. ▪ An artificial coastline that collects plastic from the seaThis a method of actively collecting plastic floating in the sea by creating an artificial coastline with two boats like a double fishing boat. Ocean Cleanup plans to remove 90% of plastic from the Pacific Garbage Island (GPGP) by 2040. (Sunglasses made from recycled marine plastic in partnership with Swiss and Italian companies) ○ PHA bioplastic that biodegrades in water (Image source: Hanwha Total Energy) PHA bioplastics are plastics that are biodegradable in nature. Since they are made through microbial fermentation, the problem of carbon generation in the plastic production stage is also solved. Since production cost and technical barriers are still high, there are differing ideas about how to introduce PHA to marine-related products such as fishing gear and buoys, where biodegradable technology is urgently needed.http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=610(Go to the previous issue of the Sunhak Peace Prize related to bioplastics) (Chinese plastic water bottle found on Baengnyeong Island in South Korea. Source: JoongAng Ilbo) Since 80% of marine debris comes from land, the first and easiest action we can take to help clean up the plastic-struck ocean is to find ways to stop the plastics from flowing into rivers and oceans.
Peace Issue Global Poverty Worsening
―Inflation rises in the aftermath of the Russo-Ukraine warLivelihood crisis in developing countries― (Photo source: United Nations Development Program) “Soaring prices in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war raise the number of people living in poverty in developing countries to 71 million in three months” This is the core of the report titled ‘Crisis of Livelihoods in Developing Countries’ published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on July 7th.< Go to UN Development Program Livelihood Crisis in Developing Countries > The UN Development Program (UNDP) is an agency of the United Nations that addresses poverty, inequality and climate change. This report was prepared by surveying developing countries in 159 countries. Global poverty is expected to worsen as the living difficulties of the low-income class in poor countries increase. The report begins by pointing out that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and war-induced food inflation, at least 75 million people are still stuck in poverty, which had been expected to lessen. In particular, sub-Saharan Africa (especially the Sahel region), the Balkans and the Caspian Sea region are hit most severely, with 71 million people newly driven into poverty. About 49 million people in 46 poor countries are currently subsisting on the verge of famine, and 750,000 are at immediate risk of starvation, of which about 75% are concentrated in Ethiopia and Yemen. ―The people trapped below the "poverty line"―The IMF, World Bank, and United Nations have set various "poverty lines" as the minimal living standards. According to the World Bank, daily incomes for the poorest countries average less than $1.9 (2,400 won) per day, for lower middle-income countries $3.2 (4,100 won) per day, for upper-middle-income countries $5.5 (7,100) per day, and high-income countries average 28,000 won ($21.7) per day. (Population growth rate by section for daily minimum cost of living, left is standard, right is post-Ukrainian war) According to the report, in the three months following the Russo-Ukraine war, soaring food and energy prices have increased the number of people living on $1.9 per day by 51.6 million to 675.5 million. And the number of people living on less than $3.2 a day increased by an additional 20 million. The table below shows a heat map of the poverty impact of inflation. The closer to red, the poorer the country. Countries likely to hit all 'poverty lines' by inflation include Armenia and Uzbekistan along the Caspian Sea; Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan in Sub-Saharan Africa; Haiti and other nations in Latin America; and Pakistan and Sri Lanka in South Asia.Those living in Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Yemen, at the lowest levels of poverty (below $1.9), are particularly vulnerable to the inflation crisis. http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=576http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=579(For Sunhak Peace issues on the inflation crisis triggered by the war, go to the above links)―Fragile national economies on the verge of collapse―As the COVID-19 pandemic has lasted over 2 years, economies of developing nations highly dependent on tourism or nations with weak basic material means are on the verge of collapse. According to a report released by the United Nations Development Program in March analyzing the global inequality database, the income of the bottom 40% of people in low- and middle-income countries is much lower than we think, and the share of the top 10 is much higher. (Go to report) In October last year, the UN Development Program published the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report*, a study of 5.9 billion people in 109 countries. As a result of the study, 1.3 billion people were MPI poor, and the differences in MPI poverty rates were larger by ethnicity, gender and race than by region. (Go to 2021 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Report) * The MPI report is a comprehensive poverty index published by the United Nations Development Program in cooperation with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), an economic research and policy center at Oxford University since 2010. Whereas research on poverty has tended to focus on income, MPI is an index that quantifies health, education, and living standards. MPI is evaluated by a total of 10 indicators; if more than one-third of the indicators are substandard, the group is classified as "MPI poor", i.e. those suffering extreme poverty.(Image source, University of Oxford) ―Default in Sri LankaEmerging countries may default in a domino effect― (Sri Lankan students shouting anti-government slogans. Photo source: AP) Recently, Sri Lanka declared national bankruptcy, and on July 10, the President and Prime Minister announced their resignation. It was a result of nationwide protests and chaos that began with economic hardships caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war. Following Sri Lanka, nations with a high proportion of foreign debt such as Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina and Turkey in turn are being pushed into economic crisis one after another. It stems from worsening financial difficulties due to the increased burden of repayment of bonds in these countries due to the strengthening of the dollar after an interest rate hike in the U.S., plus a surge in inflation caused by the war. In April, the World Bank warned that 10 countries could fail to repay their debts over the next year. This serves as a warning that a “domino default” may occur among emerging countries.Achim Steiner, Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), who published the Crisis of Livelihoods in Developing Countries report, expressed serious concern: "The livelihood crisis is driving millions of people into poverty, and the threat of social unrest is growing day by day.” ―Changes in Arab Perceptions Caused by Poverty“The economy is weak under democracy”― Recently, a new survey has revealed that there is a growing perception among Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa that economic stability is difficult to achieve in a democratic system. Poverty is eroding hopes for democracy. On July 6, the BBC and the ‘Arab Barometer’, an opinion polling agency affiliated with Princeton University in the U.S., surveyed 22,765 people in Palestine and nine Arab countries in the Middle East and Africa. Of particular note is Tunisia, the epicenter of the 2011 Arab Spring* revolution. In Tunisia, which has maintained a democratic government since the revolution, the number of respondents replying in the affirmative to the same question has risen from just 17% in 2011 to 70% at present. It also pointed out that 61% to 79% answered “yes” to the question whether any form of government would be acceptable as long as the economic problem was solved. *Arab Spring: An unprecedented anti-government protest, triggered by poverty, food shortages and corruption in the Middle East and North Africa at the end of 2010, that spread throughout the Arab world. As a result of the protests, governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen changed. (Source: Commonsense Dictionary, et al.) (Egypt experiences the wave of the Arab Spring in 2011. Photo: AFP) The BBC analyzed that this change in perception of democracy was due to economic difficulties. More than a third of those surveyed say they have no money to buy food, which shows that no political system can be safe if poverty is not addressed.https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-62001426―To overcome poverty in developing countries,“cash payment” is more effective than subsidies―The United Nations Development Program calls for tailored measures to overcome poverty, saying soaring food and energy prices pose a particularly difficult challenge in developing countries.While developing countries are highly dependent on measures such as tax cuts and energy and food subsidies, UNDP advised that "cash payment" is more effective than subsidies. Achim Steiner explains that subsidies encourage higher energy consumption and carbon emissions, and while more than half of the subsidy benefits are concentrated in the top 20% of the income distribution, if the subsidy is paid in cash with the same budget size as the subsidy, the 40% with the lowest income will benefit the most. In addition, the UN Development Program ordered the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), established to help developing countries repay their debts during the COVID-19 pandemic, for two more years and to expand the number of target countries. Governments of major countries have shown flexibility in their response to severe economic crises since World War II. However, following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, the G20 split, and the US-centered West, Russia, China, and their respective allied nations have come into conflict, shaking the existing basic order of free trade and multilateralism. http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=624(For Sunhak Peace Prize article on Deglobalization and the New Cold War go to the above link.) It is more difficult than ever to look ahead one inch. It seems that we need to seriously consider what impact the “eating problem”, the basic issues of food and survival, will have on the existing socio-economic order and political system.
Peace Issue Deglobalization, a Prelude to the New Cold War?
―Creating a New Global Order―○ “Western countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe will discuss strengthening sanctions against Russia and maintaining a united front against President Putin at the G7 summit in Germany to be held until July 28 and the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain held July 29~30.” (Money Today, June 27, 2002)https://news.mt.co.kr/mtview.php?no=2022062710242181421○ “China is pushing for BRICS Plus to expand its power around developing countries as the United Sates intensifies pressure through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), following the US, UK, and Australian security alliance AUKUS and the US, Japan, Australia and India security dialogue Quad.” (Yeonhap News, June 24, 2022)https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20220624071400083?input=1195m The last week of June was a very busy week for world leaders, as shown in these articles from the international news section. Countries are making movements to unite either around the US and EU, or around China and Russia. Are we moving toward the end of globalization, and will we see the rise of the Cold War era that ended 30 years ago? In going through the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian War, the world is now witnessing the gradual collapse of a global system that used to work together as one big team thanks to multilateralism and the division of labor.The prospect of a Russo-Ukrainian War escalating into a long-term war is deeply troubling for countries around the world because it is not just a "regional conflict" but a new challenge to the U.S.-led international order.(U.S. President Bush on left, General Secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union Gorbachev on right, 1989. Source: Joongang Daily) After the U.S. and Soviet leaders declared the end of the Cold War in 1989, the world has lived in a U.S.-led liberal international order for the past 30 years. But the trigger that Putin fired at Ukraine caused a major crack in this order.Shortly after Putin fired his gun, the world is being divided into two camps: the United States, which seeks to maintain the status quo order and its allies, versus Russia, which challenges it, and China, which has regained its former hegemony status in the 21st century. The confrontation of forces is in full swing.This article will discuss the recent international situation which can described with the key terms of deglobalization, formation of regional blocs, and the New Cold War.―Economy and Security Countries Siding with the U.S.―Recently, U.S. President Joe Biden has made extensive strides toward military and economic diplomacy from South America to Europe and the Asia-Pacific.The analysis suggests that the United States, which strongly feels the need for a new alliance strategy to counter China and Russia, has embraced both allies and non-allies of the major bloc, and is set out to shape a new version of the international order.○ G7(Group of Seven)During the G7 summit held in Germany on June 26, it was announced that $600 billion will be invested in the development of infrastructure in developing countries against China's one belt road (Silk Road by land and sea), along with sanctions against Russia including the suspension on importing gold from Russian. The G7 is an annual meeting between the leaders of seven countries, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan, as well as representatives of the European Union (EU) to discuss international politics, economics and more. It started in the 1970s to establish a new economic order centered on liberal states when the G4 (the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France) experienced a global economic crisis, including the oil wave. Japan, Italy and Canada then joined later to form the G7, and in 1998 Russia joined to form the G8. However, in 2014, when Russia forcibly annexed Ukraine's Crimea, it was ousted and hence it became the G7 again. Recently, however, there have been proposals from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and others to expand the G7 to include South Korea, Australia, India, and Spain as members. The intention is to form a larger US-centric force. (Source: Yeonahp News) Of course, Russia reveals an uncomfortable planting to this move. Russia's Speaker of the House of Representatives, Volodin, said an entirely new G8 could be born, consisting of China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Turkey, who do not join the Russian sanctions or show unilateral support for the United States.Since then, the world has been on its way to becoming more polarized. ○ NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) https://www.nato.intNATO is the most high-profile international military alliance since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, etc., it is called 'NATO' and in countries such as France, Spain and Italy, it is called 'Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord' or ‘OTAN.’NATO was created in 1949 to counter the former Soviet Union stationed in Eastern Europe, mainly in Europe and North American countries, and now 30 countries have joined the group. It has existed since the end of the Cold War in 1991.(Source: The Economist)According to the NATO Charter, an armed attack on any one of its member states is considered an attack on all NATO member states. This is the greatest strength of the military alliance, that NATO will help its member states under attack. Feeling uneasy after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland broke the neutral line they had held for the past 70 years and applied to join NATO.In response, NATO issued a statement that "the two countries will be safer, NATO will be stronger, and Europe and the Atlantic Ocean will be more secure" as they welcomed Finland and Sweden to join.After the extreme tension caused by the Russo-Ukrainian War, NATO made plans to increase its Rapid Response Force from 40,000, to 300,000. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_197251.htm Russia, which invaded Ukraine to stop NATO's advance, is facing headwinds of NATO's expansion.Furthermore, at the NATO Summit, the leaders of South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were invited to participate as "Asia-Pacific Partner Countries," showing the expansion of NATO's influence. There is one other country that feels as uneasy as Russia about the NATO expansion, and it’s China.China has expressed its uncomfortable planting that "the Asia-Pacific region is not in the geographical category of the North Atlantic" and that it "resolutely opposes any words and deeds that attract military groups to incite division and opposition."In addition, at the NATO summit, a new "Strategic Concept" was adopted, describing Russia as a "serious and direct threat" and China as a "challenge to the interests, security, and values" of the alliance. Since the Strategic Concept is a key document of NATO's identity and mission, it is important to note how NATO's expansion and Russia's and China's response will affect international relations in the Asia-Pacific.○ Quad, AUKUS, and IPEFThese institutions have been frequently mentioned in the media lately. They are the military- and economic cooperation organizations that have been formed by the United States since the inauguration of the Biden administration in response to China's growing influence.▪ Quad(Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, QSD)(Source: NEWSIS) The purpose of the Quad Alliance is to develop a strategy to ensure that important routes in the Indo-Pacific region do not fall into China's sphere of influence, and since 2007, conversations involving the exchange of information, military training, etc., conducted regularly by the 4 countries of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia, have evolved into the Quad Alliance in 2017.In other words, it is an anti-Chinese military cooperation formed by major countries in the Asia-Pacific.▪ AUKUS(Source: SeaWaves Magazine) https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/09/15/joint-leaders-statement-on-aukus/ AUKUS is a three-party military alliance in the Indo-Pacific region formed by Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) and was launched in 2021 to contain China.Unlike the Quad, which is a military-security cooperation, it is a "military alliance" similar to NATO, which allows for the deployment of military forces between alliances in case of emergency. With the creation of AUKUS, the United States and the United Kingdom will reportedly deliver nuclear-propelled submarine technology to Australia.China felt threatened, as did France, whose multi-billion dollar nuclear submarine export to Australia fell apart overnight, and they expressed strong condemnation. It shows the reality of international politics where the interests of the country are at the forefront.▪ IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework,) (Source: KATEHON) IPEF is a U.S.-centric anti-China supply chain front that was launched in May 2022. IPEF is joined by 13 countries: the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India among others. The idea is for the United States to use IPEF to tie the Indo-Pacific region together as a huge economic platform. IPEF promotes reshaping of supply chains, clean energy, the digital economy, the establishment of technical standards, and standardized labor, to contain China's growing influence. ―Anti-American and Anti-West Countries Siding with Russia and China― On the other side of the United States, China and Russia are "closely adhering" to each other as their best allies. The common factor of adhesion is anti-American and anti-Western. China is facing an all-out U.S. pressure and containment, and Russia has been under intense Western sanctions centered on the U.S. since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and they are strengthening their alliance.China’s point of view is that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is due to NATO's eastward and western pressure on Russia. Faced with all-round defense pressure from Western countries, including the United States, China sees Russia in a "co-operative" position with its own country.(Source: Josun Ilbo) Another common factor for Russia and China is that they are both nuclear states and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In other words, if the two countries cooperate, they can exert enormous power over the international order. These two countries are working closely together in military, diplomatic, and economic terms and envisioning Sino-Russian multilateral cooperation against the United States.Recently, President Xi Jinping stated that he would "strengthen communication with important international and regional organizations such as the United Nations, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and promote cooperation with the emerging market and developing countries to ensure that international order and global governance develop in a more equitable and rational direction,” which means strengthening a new global alliance around China and Russia.○ BRICShttps://infobrics.org/BRICS is named after the acronym of 5 countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally a term used to refer to the 4 countries with large land areas and populations emerging as emerging markets in the 21st century, the BRICS summit was formally held in Russia in 2009 and South Africa joined in 2010. With China and Russia as its axis, it has now become an alliance against the G7.On 24 June, China announced at the Beijing summit that it was pushing for BRICS Plus, which has further increased its membership to include Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uruguay.In doing so, the BRICS leaders emphasized a multilateral order, pledging to cooperate on issues of infectious diseases, economic recovery, climate change, and world peace and security. It remains to be seen whether the expansion of BRICS will lead to the strengthening of multilateral cooperation or the beginning of another polarization. (Source: CGTN) ○ Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)In 2001, China took the initiative to establish the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a political, economic and security cooperation organization, and emphasized that it would "jointly respond to various security threats" and "cooperate more closely as one community."The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has 9 member states that includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Iran. These member states make up 40% of the world's population and economically account for 25% of the world's GDP.Over the past 20 years, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by both China and Russia, has developed into a major multilateral security cooperation organization that counters the U.S.-led international order, advocating territorial inviolability, non-interference in domestic affairs, and a multilateral international order, through the process of military trust building, counterterrorism cooperation, checking on the expansion of NATO, and economic integration.China is actively using the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an important crutch in the Pacific against the United States. For China, where safety is geopolitically important in the Northern Continental Region and the Pacific Coast, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) seeks to ensure stability in the Northern Region.http://eng.sectsco.org/about_sco/ ―Return to Multilateralism―For the past 30 years, the world has enjoyed peace and prosperity under multilateralism. Famine and poverty have been largely eliminated, and the level of health and education has also been greatly improved. As the new competitive and conflict landscape of the emerging New Cold War is being formed, there is a growing concern that the universal values such as freedom, equality, and democracy that humanity has been striving for are losing its shine.In particular, the search to respond to global challenges such as the climate crisis and infectious diseases that are directly related to the survival of mankind is on the back burner.Countries that are not great powers are contemplating which side is the better option for their own interests.Solidarity within the international community may prove to be the way to ensure freedom and peace for all. That's why a multi-layered approach, rather than choosing one side of the bloc, may be the better option. The role of the United Nations and the return to multilateralism seem more important than ever to pursue equitable prosperity for everyone in the world.
Peace Issue Greenflation, a Price to Pay to Achieve Zero Carbon
―National Efforts to Achieve Zero Carbon―Since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement*, the global challenge has been the transition from fossil fuels to eco-friendly energy.Let's first take a look at how each country is striving for zero carbon.○ European UnionThe European Union, which is at the forefront of the transition to eco-friendly energy, has decided to levy a “carbon border tax” on a trial basis from 2023. Tariffs are imposed on products that emit more than a standard level of carbon. In addition, the manufacture and import of internal combustion engine vehicles will be totally banned after 2035.○ USAThe U.S. has the goal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by replacing coal and natural gas, which account for more than 60% of electricity generation, with renewable energy.○ ChinaChina, the world's largest carbon emitter, aims to increase the proportion of eco-friendly energy by 25% by 2030 and ultimately increase the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption to more than 80% by 2060.○ Republic of KoreaAfter enacting zero carbon by 2050, ROK announced that it would reduce carbon emissions by 40% as compared to 2018 by 2030 as an interim goal.(Among the G20 countries, the UK is the only country that has set a carbon emissionreduction target sufficient to achieve the “1.5℃” target. Source: Net Zero Tracker)According to Net Zero Tracker, a company that tracks the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions around the world, as of 2022, 136 nations have declared carbon zero, and 66 countries have set a carbon zero target year. Finland has announced its goal of achieving zero carbon the fastest by 2035.14 nations, including Korea, Germany, France, Sweden, UK, European Union, Fiji, and Canada, have legislated the zero carbon target, and 32 nations, including US, China, Monaco, Liberia, Australia, Chile, and Costa Rica, are still in the process of legislative procedures. ( Go to Net Zero Scorecard)*What is the Paris Climate Agreement?An agreement signed by ministers of 195 countries attending the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015. All participating countries are obligated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the average temperature rise of the earth within 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Voluntary greenhouse gas reduction targets must be submitted every five years. In the "Global Warming 1.5℃ Special Report" published 2018, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessed that in 2017, temperatures had already risen by 1℃ compared to the pre-industrial level.(Link to Sunhak Peace Prize article on "Why We Should Make Efforts to Stop Climate Change")―Greenflation Has Struck Throughout the World―(Image source: NetZero Tracker)However, global carbon reduction efforts have run into an ambush.The so-called “Greenflation”,The term “Greenflation” is a newly coined term referring to the pro-environmental term “Green” combined with economic “Inflation.”As the demand for eco-friendly energy increases, the price of related raw materials rises, and energy prices rise in a situation where eco-friendly energy production has not yet replaced fossil energy production, which amounts to inflation leading to an increase in the price of the economy as a whole.(Picture Mr. Tempter/shutterstock)Why does Greenflation occur? It is because many minerals are involved in the path to an eco-friendly society. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric vehicles require six times more minerals than internal combustion automobiles. In addition, the construction of wind turbines requires nine times more minerals than gas-fired power plants.However, it is impossible to readily step up mineral production. This is because, to prevent environmental pollution and preserve the surrounding ecosystem, each country's regulations on mineral mining are gradually being strengthened.What about electric vehicles, the symbol of eco-friendliness? Many minerals are required to make batteries for electric vehicles. Among them, the price of lithium, an essential raw material, was 452.5 yuan/kg as of June 2022, a 459% increase from last year's June 9 (81 yuan/kg) just a year ago. Nickel and cobalt prices also rose by 60% and 71%, respectively, during the same period. This is a structure that inevitably leads to an increase in the price of electric vehicles. (Lithium price trend over the past 5 years. Source: Trading Economy)This affects not only electric car batteries. Many minerals are used in manufacturing solar cells and wind turbines, also exemplary eco-friendly technologies. The prices of copper for solar panels, as well as steel and zinc used to make wind turbines, are all on the rise. The reality is that the transition to green energy has inevitably slowed down. (Copper and zinc price trends over the past five years. Source: Trading Economy)Natural gas prices are also rising at a rapid pace. Last year, in Europe, the level of wind power generation was greatly reduced due to abnormal temperatures, electricity became scarce, and the price of natural gas, an alternative source, surged more than 300% compared to 2020. (Natural gas price trend over the past 5 years. The price seemed to stabilize after risingfrom 2021, but it soared with the outbreak of war. Source: Trading Economy)―Skyrocketing Prices!Is Zero Carbon possible?―Now countries around the world are struggling to cope with inflation caused by the huge sums of money released to deal with the corona virus. Because of this, there is growing concern that this may put the brakes on the transition to eco-friendly energy.(Shortcut to previous Sunhak Peace Prize article on Inflation)Can countries achieve carbon zero by the deadline promised at the Paris Agreement? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed concern in November 2021 that “due to an unprecedented 'surge in demand' for the metals most important to contain carbon emissions, prices could reach historical highs and even delay the energy transition itself.” https://blogs.imf.org/2021/11/10/soaring-metal-prices-may-delay-energy-transition/(Dr. Fatih Birol, Secretary-General of the International Energy Agency. Source: WSJ)At the Davos Forum in May last year, International Energy Agency (IEA) Secretary-General Fatih Birol expressed concern that the transition to eco-friendly energy must not be hampered by rising raw material prices. "War in Ukraine could make it difficult to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement," he said. "We will have to say goodbye to our climate goals. Energy security and addressing immediate contingencies are justified, but we must not lose sight of our vision as large-scale investments step in to open up new fossil fuel reserves." https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-25/card/8zD75VfcIsPcb3wOf2Dc―Approach to solve Greenflation―○ Small Modular Reactor (SMR)(SMR Model, source: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)Latest small module nuclear reactor (SMR) is emerging as an alternative energy source towards zero carbon.Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are very small, 1/150 the size of existing nuclear power plants, and are easy to manufacture and install. Compared to current nuclear power plants, the construction cost is relatively low and it can be assembled in a short period of time. Above all, the risk of serious accidents is lower than that of existing large-scale nuclear power plants, and even if an accident occurs, it is easy to deal with; so many countries are competing to develop the next-generation nuclear power plant. The leading country is France, which derives 70% of its electricity from nuclear power. President Emmanuel Macron announced that he would invest 1 billion euros (~1.38 trillion won) in research and development of nuclear power plants such as SMR as part of the “France 2030” agenda. The French Transmission Authority (RTE) has announced that with 14 new nuclear reactors in France will be carbon neutral by 2050. (“Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, as the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day.”—Bill Gates—Source: Tera Power)In the United States, TeraPower, a nuclear power plant company founded by Bill Gates, leads the development of SMR. TeraPower announced in November 2021 that it would build a 345-megawatt (MWe) SMR in Wyoming, USA, capable of supplying 250,000 households. TeraPower's SMR is characterized by using sodium instead of water as a coolant. TeraPower says that the sodium method can safely respond in case of an accident.○ Metal Recycling(Picture pryzmat/shutterstock)Research shows that metal recycling may be the solution to greenflation. According to Reuters, on April 25, researchers from the UK Leuven University announced that metal recycling may be able to solve the shortage of raw materials. 40% to 75% of Europe’s clean energy metal needs could be met through recycling by 2050 if Europe makes heavy investments. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/recycling-needed-meet-europes-green-metals-needs-study-2022-04-25/○ Cost reduction through large-scale investmentSome argue that Greenflation will not be a problem because more investments in renewable energy such as solar energy will result in economies of scale and lower costs.https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/11/22/greenflation-a-risk-for-renewable-energy-but-long-term-viability-intact―Energy independence movement‘REPowerEU’―The Russo-Ukraine War, which has exacerbated Greenflation, has actually fueled Europe's movement towards zero carbon.Europe depended on Russia for 40% of all gas and 27% of oil, but with the outbreak of the war, Russia weaponized energy, igniting a new spark in the EU. As energy shifted from the economic domain to the security domain, the European Union caught the incentive for a faster energy transition. On May 18th, the European Commission (EU) announced the ‘REPowerEU’ plan to invest 210 billion euros (287 trillion won) by 2027.‘REPowerEU’ aims to ultimately achieve energy independence from Russia while succeeding ‘Fit for 55,’ a carbon reduction bill announced by the European Union in July 2021. (European Union declared energy independence from Russia and green energy transition by making the presentation title “REPowerEU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition”)(Direct Link to REPowerEU)To this end, the EU has expanded its energy reduction target from 9% to 13% by 2030, along with diversifying gas imports, expanding LNG imports, and expanding facilities. In addition, we are promoting joint purchase of energy at the EU level, doubling solar power generation capacity by 2025, and securing 10 million tons of hydrogen production capacity in the EU by 2030. The plan is to overcome the temptation to expand the use of fossil fuels caused by Greenflation and accelerate the existing plan to achieve zero carbon. The reverse has happened.―Global cooperation to overcome the global crisis―Greenflation is a daunting challenge for the economically disadvantaged in all countries. The cost is more severe especially for developing countries that rely on fossil fuels for most of their energy. But climate change is a global challenge. In fact, at the 26th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in November, representatives of the U.S. and China, who were not in good terms with each other, made a joint declaration that surprised the world: "climate change is an 'existential crisis' that humanity faces, and the only option is cooperation." However, even in the European Union, which announced ‘REPowerEU,’ the intentions of the EU member states seem complicated due to the rising energy prices. There are also rumors that Russia is waiting for winter to come. It is calculated that as the days get colder, the demand for heating will increase and Europe will become more dependent on Russian gas and oil.The world will see how the situation will unfold over time in the hopes that the global crisis will act as a catalyst for global collaboration.
Peace Issue Doomsday Clock
―Birth of the Doomsday Clock― (Photo source: BAS)The Doomsday Clock says the moment both hands point to midnight will be the end of the world. In January 2022, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS), which conducts the watch, announced that it has maintained its state at 100 Seconds since 2020, the closest to midnight for the third straight year since it first appeared before the world in 1947.(See BAS presentation material at the above website) The Doomsday Clock was dreamed up by scientists at University of Chicago who participated in the Manhattan Project—the American atomic bomb development in the 1940s.After seeing the devastation of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945, they realized the nuclear weapons they had invented could be the greatest threat to humankind and established the BAS to raise public awareness that human inventions can destroy the world. In 1947 the Doomsday Clock started to tick when the journal published by their collective featured a cover design showing the minute hand of a clock predicting the time when the earth would be destroyed by nuclear war.(Original cover design in 1947)(Current design, changed in 2007) The time was set at 7 minutes to midnight. Martyl Langsdorf, the artist who designed the watch, said that the reason for setting it at 7 minutes was “because it looked good to my eyes.” Those expecting a serious, philosophical answer could murmur in perplexity. (Go to Frequently Asked Questions about the Doomsday Clock) ―Who decides how much time is left until the end of the world?― The Science and Security Board announces the "time left until midnight" every January and whenever important events occur around the world. The Science and Security Board, made up of scientists and experts in nuclear and climate sciences, meets twice a year to discuss global issues and reset the time. The board reviews opinions from the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors and other experts in various disciplines to reset the time. The Board of Sponsors, originally led by Albert Einstein, includes 13 Nobel laureates. (Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer*, who founded the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, photo credit: BAS) * Physicist Oppenheimer was a key figure in the Manhattan Project. He served as director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, which developed the atomic bomb, but after World War II he opposed the use of nuclear weapons and was dismissed as a communist and resigned from all public positions. What are the criteria for resetting the clock? The time on the Doomsday Clock is reset based on data such as the number of nuclear weapons, atmospheric carbon concentration, and sea level rise. Since 2007, climate change has also been included as a deadly threat to destroy the planet because of its intensification.At the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow, UK in 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "It is one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock, and we need to act now. If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.” Recently, destructive technologies such as cyberattacks, AI, and bioterrorism and COVID-19 have been added to the list of global threats. (The annual number of nuclear weapons has declined sharply after peaking in 1986) ―The history of global crises as seenthrough the Doomsday Clock―(Time remaining till midnight by year, image source: Wikimedia) The minute hand was reset 24 times since the Doomsday Clock started in 1947. Let's look at the main issues that have affected the time we have left. ○ 1953 U.S. conducts the first hydrogen bomb testWhen the United States tested the first hydrogen bomb, the clock moved forward to 11:58 p.m., signaling to mankind that the end of the world was just two minutes away.○ In 1963 the arms race between the USA and the USSR was easedWhen United States and Soviet Union signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963, ending nuclear explosion tests in the atmosphere, the clock's minute hand moved backward to 23:48.○ 1972 U.S.-Soviet arms race easedAt 23:48, the clock was pushed back with the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems signed between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.○ 1984 The Cold War intensifiesIt is 23:57: As the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union intensifies and the arms race between the two global superpowers is ratcheted up, the time till the end is shortened to three minutes and counting. ○ 1990 The Berlin Wall comes down!The time to global holocaust is pushed back to 23:50 as the Berlin Wall falls. ○ 1991—The End of the Cold WarWith the end of the Cold War and signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the USA and USSR, the Doomsday Clock receded 17 minutes to 23:43, removing humanity from the originally denoted midnight warning range of 15 minutes. According to the Doomsday Clock, it was the most hopeful year for peace ever.○ 2002—U.S. declares war on terrorismAfter the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. declared war on terrorism and withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile ban signed with the Soviet Union in 1972. The time remaining to total annihilation was cut to 7 minutes, and the Doomsday Clock moved forward to 23:53. ○ 2018—North Korea’s nuclear testing and climate changeNorth Korea's nuclear tests and climate change crisis pushed the clock forward to 23:58, with two minutes left, the closest to midnight since the U.S. and Soviet hydrogen bomb tests in 1953. (Go to timeline details) ○ 2020—The international cooperative system collapses23:58:20 ~ 100 seconds before the end of the earth! Time is the closest ever to midnight as world leaders fail to tackle the threat of nuclear war and climate change. Concerns about the end of the global cooperative system to deal with existential threats such as the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal, and the division of the UN Security Council are hastening the end of the world.Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Founder's Special Award laureate) pointed out at the 2020 Doomsday Clock event, "100 seconds is closer to global catastrophe than we have ever experienced before. This is probably a shocking event for the world,” he warned. (2020 Doomsday Clock presentation, from right to left: Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, and former Governor of California Jerry Brown)○ 2021—The collapse of the international cooperative systemA hundred seconds remain until the end of the world: with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, threats such as nuclear weapons, climate change, and the risk of false information the fateful clock advanced to 23:58:20. ―2022: Doomsday Clock stands at 100 secondsbefore humankind's extinction for the third consecutive year!―https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/#footer_menu_itm In January 2022, BAS Chairman Rachel Bronson announced the decision to “set the Doomsday Clock once again at 100 seconds to midnight. "“This decision is a result of examining man-made threats such as nuclear weapons, climate change and new destructive technologies that endanger human existence,” she explained. "However, our efforts have proved insufficient to stem the tide." George Washington University professor Sharon Squassoni, co-chair of the Science and Security Board, emphasized the current crisis of the global community, which is imminent at the moment. In March, the BAS condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat of using nuclear weapons, saying it would keep the time to midnight at 100 seconds. At the outset of the war, the Kremlin leaked news that it would consider using nuclear weapons, and tensions over nuclear war arose around the world.https://thebulletin.org/turn-back-the-clock-challenge/ Some question the usefulness of the 75-year-old clock, while others express that it has lost its value as a predictor of anomalous threats between 100 and 50 seconds till midnight. However, it seems clear that the Doomsday Clock is an indicator of a chain of crises not only in nuclear weapons, but in other areas such as climate change and disruptive technologies.100 Seconds! If the world was going to be destroyed in 100 seconds, what would you do in that short time? It is not enough time to prepare for death. Rather than preparing for destruction, shouldn't we strive to turn the clock back further from midnight? In addition to nuclear weapons, climate change was included as a criterion for setting the deadline. Cyber-attack, AI, bioterrorism, and COVID-19 were all added to the lethal bill of fare.…. When we all pull together to solve these global problems, the time given to humanity will increase.
Peace Issue Post Corona, The Dollar Glut, and Looming Polarization
—Unlimited Supply of Dollars—“The Federal Reserve is committed to use its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals. The Federal Open Market Committee is taking further actions to support the flow of credit to household and businesses.”(US Federal Reserve, March 23, 2020)The key is ‘unlimited dollar supply.’ As the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus in 2020 hit the world, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve System (FED), the central bank of the USA, issued the above statement.Since then, huge amounts of dollars have been supplied to the world in an unprecedented short period of time in human history. As the United States freed money, Europe and Japan also began to release money unrestrictedly.After the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the four major central banks in the US, Europe, UK, and Japan have released about $11.3 trillion (KRW 1,464 trillion) into the market through asset purchases. As a result, at the end of 2020, the market currency of the 12 major countries including them was 94.8 trillion dollars, an increase of 17.4% in one year.www.atlanticcouncil.orgThe result was an increase in debt. As a result of the world's unlimited free money, the total global debt will reach $303 trillion in 2021, which is 3.6 times the sum of the world's GDP.www.weforum.org/agenda—The two axes of economic management: fiscal policy and monetary policy—Let's talk a little bit about basic economic theory. The government and central bank manage economic growth and prices through ‘fiscal policy’ and ‘monetary policy.’○ Fiscal policyFiscal policy is the policy deciding how the government collects and uses taxes. During an economic expansion phase, taxes are raised and spending is lowered to prevent overheating. In times of economic downturn, the government stimulates the economy by lowering taxes and increasing spending.○ Monetary PolicyMonetary policy is a policy by which the Central Bank regulates the amount of money (money supply) circulating in the market by adjusting the prime interest rate. In developed countries, price stability is the most important role of central banks.In order to prevent inflation, central banks in each country collect money from the market by raising interest rates between central banks and commercial banks or by raising the reserve requirement ratio. When the amount of money available in the market decreases, the value of money increases and, conversely, the price of money decreases.Let’s take a look at the underlying concepts.—Can unlimited dollar supply be a solution to escape the COVID-19 crisis?—Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (Source: USA Today)When the U.S. financial crisis hit in 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke escaped the crisis by releasing unlimited money. Chairman Bernanke held that the 10 years of Great Depression of the 1930s was caused by the Central Bank's passive response.The Fed (Central Bank of the U.S.) led by Chairman Ben Bernanke buys mortgage-backed securities held by commercial banks and supplies dollars to the market. In addition, it uses a low interest rate policy to circulate huge amounts of money into the market to promote consumption.In other words, the Fed's goal was to create a virtuous cycle of ‘expansion of currency → cut interest rate → rise in asset prices → maximize the wealth effect* → increase consumption → increase product demand → increase factory utilization → create jobs → decrease unemployment → economic growth.’ This attempt worked. The crisis was overcome, and the game was revived.*Wealth effect: Phenomenon where consumption increases when assets such as real estate and stocks riseThis crisis escape strategy was also applied to the 2020 Corona crisis. But the main difference is that it was applied on a vastly larger scale and much faster.The U.S. has released about 3 trillion dollars (3,840 trillion won) in the three months from March 2020 alone. Compared to $4.5 trillion (5,760 trillion won) released over six years during the 2008 financial crisis, you can estimate how much money was released in a short period of time.(M2 money supply in the U.S. - a sharp rise is observed in 2020)―Loose dollars and a rise instock, real estate, and coin prices―However, the market scene is different from that of a financial crisis, where the money is released but is not in circulation. This phenomenon is due to the shrinking rate of consumption and decreasing investment sentiment.As a result, the huge sum of money released was directed into the asset market, such as stock and real estate. On top of that, virtual currency was also affected. In April 2021, its market capitalization spiked to the level of Apple Inc., one of the top world market capitalizations. (U.S. stock prices have been on a sharp rise since March 2020.Purple indicates S&P500 and blue indicates NASDAQ)Global companies have been eager to buy back stock and pay dividends rather than investing in production and technological innovation with money borrowed at low interest rates.What happens when a company buys back its stock? The number of stocks in circulation decreases, stock prices rise, and the income of global corporate executives and employees who receive a portion of their wages as stock rises.(The U.S. Home Price Index has risen sharply since March 2020 as seen in this graph.)(Treasury stock buyback trend of S&P 500 companies)—The Counterattack of Loose Money: Inflation—In the wake of oversupply of money, supply shortages due to the global shutdown and the Russia-Ukraine war, prices of key raw materials such as energy, steel, and food are skyrocketing.The Global "Perfect Storm" Sparked by the War - Peace Issue Agflation_Special Delivery Russia-Ukraine bombs flew right to my kitchen table - Peace Issue(See previous SunHak Peace Prize articles on the rise in raw material and food prices)The US Consumer Price Index (CPI), an indicator of inflation, rose 8.6% in May 2022, the largest since 1981. The New York stock market plunged due to the first inflation in 41 years; day by day the market decline shows no signs of letup.(U.S. Inflation Index)Europe also faces a serious inflation crisis. Eurozone's Consumer Price Index (CPI), released last month, rose 8.1% year-on-year, said to be an all-time high. In response, the European Central Bank (ECB) is changing the zero-interest rate policy, which has remained for 11 years: In today's news it will raise in 0.25 percentage points in July.Korea, which has raised the base rate since August last year, also suggested an additional rate hike from the current 1.75%, saying that if the timing of the rate hike is missed, the damage caused by inflation is likely to be greater.Raising interest rates is like turning off the faucet where the money is pouring out. Now, major countries are embarking on “tapering,” i.e., reducing their liquidity supply.What will happen if the money suddenly starts to be withdrawn? Specifically, what will happen when the world's reserve currency, the dollar, begins to contract?—A retreat of the dollar to the US, a financial crisis that emerging countries must face—Why does the dollar affect the world? Because the dollar is the reserve currency.In 1973, the United States negotiated an agreement with Saudi Arabia to “transact in petrodollars.” The 20th century was the age of oil, and the world had to obtain dollars unconditionally to buy oil, so the dollar solidified its position as the global reserve currency.(U.S. President Nixon on the left in 1973, Saudi King Faisal on the right)For the past 40 years, the U.S. has overcome its domestic economic problems through quantitative easing (increasing money supply). The loosed dollars are exported abroad.When more dollars circulate, their value decreases, and other countries that held dollars sit still and suffer the loss of foreign currency assets.Conversely, when the US raises interest rates to keep up with inflation, the dollars that have been abroad return to the US. Neighboring countries must defend themselves by raising their interest rates higher than the US to avoid a dollar shortage, that is, a currency crisis. In the process, liabilities incurred in real estate and financial markets are aggravated and asset prices fall.In other words, emerging countries are suffering in one way or another depending on the monetary policy of the United States. Examples are the national bankruptcy crisis in Latin America (Argentina, Mexico, Brazil) in the 1980s, the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s, and the financial crisis in China in 2008.Emerging markets' currencies are depreciating as the US rate hikes move. For example, the Turkish lira, which was 8 liras to the dollar in June 2021, has now plummeted to 17 liras.The money quickly released today becomes a debt that future generations will have to pay. Wealth grew rapidly during the pandemic, but the vulnerable suffer from inflation.(Protesting the end of deferred tenant eviction in New York in January 2022. Source: AFP)In fact, the rate of increase in U.S. house rents in 2021 was 19.8%, outpacing the rate of increase in house prices of 16.9%. Rents in New York and Miami jumped 40% from the previous year, so the difficulties of the low-income class are getting bigger.Profits from Pain, Pandemic and Billionaires - Peace Issue(Link to the previous Sunhak Peace Prize article on ‘Profits from Pain, Pandemic and Billionaires’)The U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index, a measure of household purchase motivation, recently hit an all-time low of 50.2. Now there are fears that, even though interest rates are raised, inflation is not being stemmed and the economy has entered stagflation.www.cnbc.com(Articles above about stagflation concerns)Now the world is heading down a road we have not experienced before. As in the past 40 years, the United States will likely attempt to overcome the crisis by controlling dollar exports this time as well. It remains to be seen whether neighboring countries will continue to tolerate the burden.
Peace Issue Bioplastic
ᅳPlastic: The “Villain”ᅳ Plastic has been hailed as the greatest invention of mankind. However, due to environmental pollution that occurs during manufacturing, landfill, and incineration, the world is now labeling it a calamity for humanity.Did you know that the main raw material of plastic is oil? According to the World Economic Forum, about 4-8% of global oil consumption per year goes to plastic production; at this rate, it will account for 20% of oil consumption by 2050. The creation of plastics generates a huge amount of carbon.In addition, plastics also emit a huge amount of greenhouse gases through transportation and disposal. As we all know, plastic is not biodegradable, so if plastic gets into the soil, rivers or oceans, it means that purification is impossible.ᅳWill We Tax Plastic From Now On?Policy to Wean Ourselves Off PlasticᅳAs ‘carbon neutrality’ is emerging as the top priority of the international community to combat climate change, major countries are announcing policies related to plastic regulation and recycling.The front runner is Europe. The European Union (EU) introduced a plastic tax in 2021. By 2030, all plastic packaging materials used in the EU market will be reusable or recycled. In order to realize this, a tax of about 0.8 euros (~960 won) per kilogram of non-recycled plastic packaging waste is being imposed. It also includes the development of recyclable plastics and a ban on the use of microplastics. This means that the plastics policy, which has been created in the framework of a linear economy hinging on “production → consumption → discharge → collection → disposal,” is fundamentally changing.China has decided to ban the use of non-degradable plastic bags by 2026, and Japan has decided to double plastic recycling by 2030. Korea plans to limit the use of petroleum-based bioplastics by 2030 and replace them with pure bioplastics by 2050.ᅳVinyl Made from Sugar Cane and Corn Stubble?What is Called “Bioplastic”ᅳRiding on this plastic regulatory flow, plastic bags and cups with “biodegradable” or “environmentally friendly” marks are putting down roots on all sides. They are made from natural ingredients, and they decompose in nature after use and discarding.Bioplastics can be broadly classified into "whether they are biodegradable after use" and "made from natural raw materials." Bioplastics are referred to by several terms, such as "biodegradable" plastics and "natural" plastics, depending on where the emphasis is placed.○ Is it biodegradable?When more than 90% of the plastic is decomposed into water and carbon dioxide within 6 months at a temperature of around 58℃, it is called "biodegradable plastic."There are microbial synthesis systems such as PHA and PHB, natural product synthesis systems PLA, and petrochemical synthesis systems PBAT and PCL. Namely, PBAT and PCL are bioplastics as they are biodegradable though they are made from chemical ingredients.On the other hand, plastics that decompose more than 60% within 6 months are called "oxidative biodegradable plastics."○ Is it made from natural (bio) raw materials?Plastics made from plants such as corn stalk and sugar cane are called biomass plastics.Bioplastics that we readily encounter in daily life are biomass plastics made from corn stalk or sugarcane. Compared to other bioplastics, the barrier to permeation is low and production cost is low, so it is widely used. However, since it is weak against heat and moisture, it is mainly used to make disposable bags, packaging materials, cups, and tableware.A bioplastic container launched by a domestic delivery firm (Source: Baemin Sanghoe)The fact is, not all biomass plastics are biodegradable. However, they have the advantage of reducing carbon emissions compared to conventional plastics in the process of manufacturing and incineration.In summary, making a plastic item with natural ingredients doesn't necessarily mean it's biodegradable, and just because it's biodegradable doesn't mean it's based on natural ingredients. Did you catch the distinction?On the other hand, there is a controversy that bioplastics are greenwashing. In November 2015, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) published a report stating that “even if the use of biodegradable plastics increases, environmental pollution will not decrease significantly.” This is because “biodegradable plastics decompose only when the temperature exceeds 50℃, but in a natural environment, it is rare that the temperature exceeds 50℃”.http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/en/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=586(Go to the Sunhak Peace Prize Peace Issue on Green Washing)ᅳThere are even real bioplastics that are 100% biodegradable!ᅳ (PHA plastic product of CJ CheilJedang)There are also ‘real’ eco-friendly bioplastics that are made through microbial fermentation and are biodegradable in nature. It is a plastic made from polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA).PHA is a high-molecular substance produced by microorganisms after consuming plant-derived ingredients. It has soft properties similar to rubber. With these qualities, various items such as packaging materials and plastic bags can be made from it.PHA is 100% biodegradable. Because it is a material made by microorganisms, it is 100% biodegradable in all natural environments as long as there are microorganisms. It is biodegradable even in the sea, so it is expected to be a key to solving the marine plastic problem.(Biodegradable alcohol bottle from a liquor company affiliated with Danimer Scientific)PHA is a material that is harmless to the human body and even induces carbon reduction, so its added value is very high. Currently, it is known that there are only three PHA companies in the world with synthesis technology and production capacity.This is because it is a technology with very high barriers to entry. Currently, Danimer Scientific in the U.S., CJ CheilJedang in Korea, and Kaneka in Japan possess this technology.Therefore, it is urgent to have economic feasibility due to high production cost. Statista, a company specializing in industry statistics, predicts that the global PHA market will grow from $62 million in 2020 to $908 million in 2025.ᅳBioplastic production on the riseᅳMeanwhile, the production of bioplastics is steadily increasing. While the demand for biodegradable plastics is increasing due to the global tightening of regulations on the use of disposable products, the global bioplastics market is expected to grow from KRW 12 trillion in 2021 to KRW 34 trillion in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 23%.It is estimated that 367 million tons of plastic was produced worldwide in 2021. Among them, bioplastic accounts for less than 1%, or about 2.42 million tons, and it is expected to increase gradually to about 7.59 million tons, or 2%, by 2026. (Source: European Bioplastics Association)(Trends in bioplastic production, data from European Bioplastics)*Green: bio-based + non-degradable plastic, orange: biodegradable plastichttps://www.european-bioplastics.org/market/#(Bioplastics Market Analysis Detailed Data)(Bioplastic production in 2021 by material type)ᅳBioplastics, the remaining task...ᅳAs mentioned earlier, the most commonly used bioplastic around us is PLA plastic made from corn-derived ingredients, and it is currently being applied to various items such as coffee filters, bags, tableware, and textiles.Here's a question for you! ~ Do you separate PLA tableware (biodegradable plastic) left after ordering food for delivery from regular plastic? Perhaps the answer is NO. Perhaps it was a bioplastic, so it was thrown away along with other plastics, comforting yourself that it would be of some benefit to the environment.This is where the problem arises. Since biodegradable plastics lose their properties when mixed with chemical plastics, they cannot be recycled when mixed with other plastics.So what should we do? PLA plastics must be disposed of separately from general plastics. Thus it is necessary to add a “bioplastic sorting space” to the recycling collection center and dispose of it separately. This is not the end. PLA-based plastics are difficult to decompose in their natural state, so it is necessary to create a separate landfill facility with biodegradation conditions. Difficult challenges pile up one after another. After all, the plastic problem is fundamentally intertwined with the disposable culture. To solve this problem, together with changing materials, we will all need to make efforts to reduce the absolute consumption of plastics.
Peace Issue Profits from Pain, Pandemic and Billionaires
—World Economic Olympics2022 Davos Forum opens—Every January, the world's attention is focused on Davos, a resort city in Switzerland where the World Economic Forum is held, and the reason why the world pays so much attention to this convention, also called ‘Davos Forum’ after the venue, is that major financial representatives gather from around the world.Davos Forum is a private international forum where 2,000 to 3,000 prominent businessmen, politicians, scholars, and journalists gather annually to discuss global political, economic, and social issues. It has global authority and influence.This year 2022, with the world still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, the WEF Annual Meeting was convened for four days beginning May 23rd.This year's theme focused on 'History at a Turning Point', with global change accelerating due to the pandemic. In this year's forum, discussions and alternatives were sought in about 200 sessions on ▲climate issues ▲COVID-19 ▲technology and innovation ▲global cooperation ▲society and equity.2022 Davos Forum. US climate envoy John Kerry, Bill Gates, Google CFO Rusporat (Source: WEF)(Source: WEF website)—Profiting from Pain—https://www.oxfam.or.kr/research_profiting-from-pain/?rurl=%2Fresearch%2Fresearch-report%2F(Link to the Oxfam report)Oxfam, an international relief organization that has been publishing an annual report on wealth inequality at the Davos Forum since 2014, this year has issued a report titled ‘Profiting from Pain’.The crux of this report is deepening global inequality. Oxfam's research shows that global companies and billionaires in the food, energy, medical, and tech sectors have amassed enormous wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the vulnerable, struggling to make a living with increased price pressures, have evidently lapsed into a crisis situation.According to the "Profiting from Pain” report, the number of billionaires is growing by one every 30 hours.The number of billionaires worldwide has increased fivefold from 573 in 2020, when the coronavirus broke out, to 2,668 by March this year.The combined wealth of these billionaires totaled $12.7 trillion dollars, an increase of $3.78 trillion (42%) during the pandemic alone.It turns out that the world's 10 richest people own more wealth than the world's bottom 40%, namely 3.1 billion people, and the world's 20 richest people own more than the combined GDP of all sub-Saharan African countries.On the other hand, it is estimated that up to 263 million people will fall into extreme poverty in 2022 due to the COVID-19 crisis and rising food prices, and it is estimated that there are an additional 1 million people entering poverty every 33 hours. This means in the time that one billionaire is born, a million people are driven into dire poverty.In January, Oxfam also published the report “Inequality Kills.” The report airs a shocking study finding that the wealth of the world's 10 richest people doubles while the income of 99% of the world's people falls.https://www.oxfam.or.kr/resources_inequality-kills/(Link to report)—Poorer Countries, Races and Gender—The report points out that wealth inequality also exists between races, genders and countries.○ Inequality among countriesInequality between rich and low-income countries has been lessening for the past 30 years, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend has reversed: rich countries have widened the gap, causing middle and low-income countries to retreat 10 years.Vaccine inequality is also a major cause of rising inequality among nations. The report points out that around 11.66 billion coronavirus vaccinations have been administered worldwide; meanwhile poverty has worsened in low-income countries as 87% of low-income countries are unable to complete vaccination of their citizens due to unfair drug distribution.○ Gender inequalityGrowing job insecurity has caused 4 million women to lose their jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean alone, and similar trends are occurring elsewhere.○ Inequality between racesInequality based on skin color also persists. In the UK, when the second wave of COVID-19 resurged, people from Bangladesh were five times more likely to die from coronavirus than the white population in the UK.—The industries that wiped out the world's wealth—There are certain industries that have accumulated unprecedented wealth. These are the fields of energy, pharmaceuticals, and big tech.(Source: Oxfam)The major shareholders of global food conglomerate Cargill and the five largest energy companies (BP, Shell, TotalEnergies, Exxon, and Chevron) have made huge profits.The pandemic has also spawned 40 new billionaires in the pharmaceutical sector alone.While many small and medium-sized enterprises have closed due to the pandemic, global tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Amazon, and Google are producing the world's richest people when they achieve better results than any other industry.In fact, 7 of the 10 richest people in the world work in the big tech sector. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, known as the world's richest person, is still among the richest 0.0001% of the world, even if he lost or gave away 99% of his assets!—Solution: Tax the profits earnedduring the pandemic!—Oxfam said that a structural solution is needed to tackle wealth inequality, suggesting that governments should use their taxes to reduce inequality and suffering through tax reform.○ Excess profit tax on energy companies!Oxfam argues for excess profit tax on energy companies that made huge profits from soaring energy prices, and a 90% tax rate on temporary excess profits in all industries.It is estimated that taxing only the 32 highest-profit-earning companies during the pandemic could generate $104 billion in tax revenue.○ 99% tax on billionaire's new wealth!Oxfam advocates supporting the world's most vulnerable by implementing a one-time emergency tax of 99% on new wealth of billionaires who have risen during the pandemic, and progressive, asset-by-asset taxes on the richest.https://patrioticmillionaires.org/wp-content/uploads/Annual-Wealth-Tax-Factsheet.pdf?emci=97e13935-d1da-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=ea000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&ceid=(Go to report)In January, Oxfam, the Patriotic Millionaires and the Institute for Policy Studies jointly published a report titled "Taxing Extreme Wealth."According to the report, a 2% annual property tax on millionaires and 5% on billionaires could raise $2.52 trillion a year and lift the world's 2.3 billion people out of poverty.It would also be able to supply enough COVID-19 vaccines around the world, and provide universal health care and social protection to 3.6 billion citizens of low- and middle-low income countries.—Vaccine inequality is racial inequality.—(Photo source: Reuters)Oxfam was not alone in pointing out the growing inequality. Many Davos Forum participants expressed their concern about the inequality, and among them were many voices of self-reflection on vaccine inequality.UN Deputy Secretary-General Winnie Byanyima said only 13% of people in low-income countries (mostly people of color) have been vaccinated, while 75% of people in high-income countries, mostly white, are fully vaccinated. She pointed out that this is racism.Seth Berkeley at the Davos Forum (Photo by Bloomberg)Seth Berkeley, president of the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI, winner of the 5th Sunhak Peace Prize) pointed out the strengthening of nationalism in the course of the pandemic.“At the beginning of the pandemic, the goal was to make a vaccine available to every country in the world, but it was met with nationalism and export bans,” he said. He emphasized, “We need to diversify vaccine manufacturing by establishing a sustainable vaccine manufacturing system centered on developing countries.”Pharmaceutical companies have also come up with alternatives. “We will work with global health leaders to improve diagnosis, education, infrastructure and storage,” said Albert Bourla, president of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer. We will sell vaccines and medicines to 20 million people at 'non-profit prices' (cost).”https://www.weforum.org/press/2022/05/new-accord-to-improve-health-and-vaccine-equity-for-1-2-billion-people-in-lower-income-countriesStefan Bansel, CEO of vaccine maker Moderna, said, "Most of our fortune, worth $4.1 billion, will be donated to advance medical technology and solve the food crisis." During the pandemic, Moderna's stock price more than doubled, making him rich.—Please tax me!!—Meanwhile, this year's Forum also featured unusual protests that have drawn global attention. The protesters made a rather plain argument that a new tax should be levied on the rich to close the gap between the rich and the poor.What is unusual is that they are multinational super-rich. The protesters are members of the organization "Patriotic Millionaires", whose members must have an annual income of at least $1 million or at least $5 million in assets.‘Patriotic Millionaires’ consists of 102 millionaires and billionaires, including Walt Disney heir Abigail Disney and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer.Why are they protesting like this? They emphasize ‘social trust’. To restore social trust, they argue, the world must demand a fair share from the rich, and the state must immediately impose a tax on the rich.The group also sent an open letter to the Davos delegation twice in January and May, stating that the world suffered during the two years of the pandemic but that their wealth had increased and that the rich must be taxed.https://www.intaxwetrust.org/(Marlene Engelhorn, Left Picketden protest, demand taxes on the rich. Source: Guardian)Marlene Engelhorn, heir to BASF, a global chemical company, who attended the protest, said, “The government is hanging out beyond the doors of the private luxury event of Davos Forum, doing nothing to address serious inequalities. It’s time to rebalance and tax the rich.”https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61549155(Source: BBC News)"Billionaires' wealth did not grow because they were smarter or worked harder, but through privatization, monopolies and deprivation of workers' rights," Oxfam said in a statement , and urged governments around the world to take immediate action.I don't know how many countries will agree with Oxfam's claims and take action. However, it's a huge irony that, during the brief period of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, the few on the planet are getting richer and the livelihoods and health of many are threatened.
Peace Issue “Greenwashing”—the ecofriendly lie
—The Eco-Friendly LieGreenwashing—“Greenwashing”Refers to camouflage environmentalism—compound word for "green" and "white washing"(image source: World Economic Forum)Phytoncide air freshener, organic toothpaste, All-Natural Shampoo.These “eco-friendly” products are commonly found around us. But if you look closely, there is no explanation as to how much natural ingredients are used. There are many cases where only a small percentage of the ingredients are included. This is so-called greenwashing that deceives consumers. The climate change and eco-friendliness are emphasized, the more often we hear the word "greenwashing." What exactly does greenwashing mean? Greenwashing refers to camouflage environmentalism. Greenwashing is "whitewashing", which means to apply a layer of paint to cover the essential problem. "Greenwashing" is a compound word combining the concept of "whitewashing" (the phenomenon of hiding crimes or unpleasant facts) with "green" meaning the environment. It refers to the act of promoting an eco-friendly image by exaggerating or falsely promoting an eco-friendly image, even though the product or service is not actually eco-friendly to obtain economic benefits. In other words, “pretending to be eco-friendly.”It is known that the term greenwashing was first mentioned in an essay on a trip to Fiji by American environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986. At the time, the Fiji resort he visited was urging customers to reuse towels to protect the sea and coral reefs. However, the resort was building new bungalows that were far from protecting the environment. He came to realize the reuse of towels was not to protect the environment but to reduce laundry costs, so he coined the term "greenwashing."—Environmental awareness of consumers ↑Corporate Greenwashing ↑—Why do companies do greenwashing? Because they want to look good. They want to create an image of a company that cares about the environment, improve relationships with relevant organizations, partners, and the government, and win the trust of consumers. Consumer confidence is linked to increased financial profits. As eco-friendliness and sustainability become important issues around the world, consumer awareness of the environment is increasing. Recently, as ESG management has emerged as a mainstream worldwide and consumers’ interest in the environment has increased, “environmentally friendly” has become an issue crucial to the survival of a company.http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/kr/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=521(Link to ESG related article at Sunhak Peace Prize)* ESG = “Environmental & Social Governance” ▲ Korea: 1/3 of Consumers Consider Corporate Eco-Friendly Activities When Purchasing Products"KB Trend Report" published by KB Financial Group: According to the ESG and Eco-Friendly Consumption Behavior Report (issued Sept. 2021), one-third of Korean consumers consider "the company's eco-friendly activities when purchasing products." In addition, it said they are willing to purchase eco-friendly products even if they are 10% more expensive. https://www.kbfg.com/kbresearch/report/reportView.do?reportId=2000182(Link to report) ▲ U.K.: 31% of online shoppers prefer "green" brandsAccording to a recent Forbes report, 31% of UK online shoppers prefer brands perceived as “green” and 37% want to order inside the UK to reduce their carbon footprint. (Forbes Report, July 2021) https://www.forbes.com/sites/katehardcastle/2021/07/27/consumer-awakening-one-third-of-uk-consumers-want-to-shop-responsibly/?sh=1ca424f07d72(Click here for English text of the article) —Cases where the Only “Eco-Friendly”Pattern is Greenwashing—▲ Company sells "Paper Bottle" actually made from plasticIn April 2021, BBC [British Broadcasting Company] aired the controversy over the "Paper Bottle" marketed by a famous Korean cosmetics company. The company marketed its cosmetics wrapped inside with recyclable plastic and the outside sported a paper label. They stated that the product was made with 51.8% less plastic compared to other existing products and explained how to separate and recycle it. However, the fact that the bold letters ‘HELLO, I’M PAPER BOTTLE’ on the bottle wrapper misled consumers to assume the entire container was made of paper and led to controversy and a boycott of greenwashing. In response, the company said, "We apologize for the confusion and for not delivering more accurate information."https://www.bbc.com/korean/news-56729271?xtor=AL-73-%5Bpartner%5D-%5Bnaver%5D-%5Bheadline%5D-%5Bkorean%5D-%5Bbizdev%5D-%5Bisapi%5D (Photo source:Facebook) ▲ Country: Saudi Arabia with 50 billion trees?Nations are also being taken to task for greenwashing. Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer, announced in March 2021 that it would plant 50 billion trees to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2060. However, as Saudi Arabia, a water-scarce country, announced the world's largest reforestation plan, details of the plan were not disclosed. At this point, critics came out saying, "It's a greenwashing joke to plant tens of billions of trees when there is no river." https://www.eco-business.com/news/11-brands-called-out-for-greenwashing-in-2021/(Refer to this site for greenwashing examples with more details) ▲ NGO: Environmental group supported by plastic companiesSingapore's non-profit organization, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) reportedly spent $1.5 billion on plastic waste cleaning. However, according to a Reuters report in Jan. 2021, the group was found to have been greenwashed. The group is backed by oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, and it turns out that these companies plan to dramatically increase plastics production. —Seven smart ways to identify greenwashing—So how can we detect greenwashing? The representative standards mentioned are the seven standards established by Terra Choice, a Canadian eco-friendly consulting firm, in 2010. Terra Choice dispatched a greenwashing investigation team to large retailers in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia twice in 2007 and 2009 to conduct environmental quality investigations on 10,419 products in a total of 4,705 product groups. As a result of the survey, it was found that most of the companies did not provide evidence to prove their eco-friendliness, but rather used vague phrases and inappropriate certification labels to hide their non-environmental effects. The findings confirmed that at least one case of greenwashing appeared in 98% of products in 2007 and 95% of products in 2009. The joke that companies are “selling the environment” to deceive consumers is not uncommon. Shall we take a look at the "Seven Sins of Green Washing" report released by this company? http://faculty.wwu.edu/dunnc3/rprnts.TheSinsofGreenwashing2010.pdf(Go to original document) 1. The Hidden TradeoffThe producers and sellers focus only on some eco-friendly attributes of a product and do not disclose the negative impact on the environment as a whole. For example, when recycled paper is used, it appears to be eco-friendly and sustainable, but in reality, a chlorine bleaching process harmful to humans and the environment is used in the process of manufacturing recycled paper, which has a big impact on the environment, so it cannot be called eco-friendly. 2. No ProofA firm claims that its product is environmentally friendly, but they lack or offer no specific information or evidence to support such claim. In other words, the advertisement emphasizes it as an eco-friendly product, but does not provide eco-friendly certification labels or information. 3. VaguenessFirms employ a wide range of ambiguous, empty slogans advertising the eco-friendliness of the product. For example, they use catch phrases such as 'chemical-free' or 'non-toxic' on the label without further explanation to mislead consumers. The term ‘all-natural’ is typical, while in fact toxic substances such as arsenic, mercury and formaldehyde also occur naturally. 4. IrrelevanceThe boast is true, but what the firm claims as "environmental" is unimportant or unhelpful. For example, a spray has no CFCs (compounds that destroy the ozone layer) and thus is labeled as ‘CFC-free’ even though the use of CFCs is prohibited anyway. It is a case of misleading consumers in a clever way by exploiting the information asymmetry between the supplier and the consumer. 5. The Lesser of Two EvilsIt is true that a portion of the product contains eco-friendly components, but in reality, the product is harmful to the environment; it is a way of justifying harmful products by emphasizing their essential aspects. For example, the word “eco-friendly” on pesticides distracts consumers from their real harm to both people and nature. This includes organic cigarettes and fuel-efficient SUVs. 6. The Sin of FibbingTo call a spade a spade it’s false advertising. The boast is true, but what the firm claims as "environmental" is unimportant or unhelpful. Such advertising omits or mislabels the ingredients in products or uses non-accredited environmental certification seals or slogans in advertisements or promotions as if their product has been certified by a reputable institution. 7. Worshipping False LabelsThis advertising ploy gives the impression that a third party guarantees it by attaching a fake label. For example, a spray has no CFCs (compounds that destroy the ozone layer) and thus is labeled as ‘CFC-free’ even though the use of CFCs is prohibited anyway. It is a case of misleading consumers in a clever way by exploiting the information asymmetry between the supplier and the consumer. For example, a firm may misrepresent its product as being certified eco-friendly by what is in fact a weak private institution, while disguising it to make it appear to comply with international standards or legal standards. ▲ At the World Economic Forum in 2021, two types of greenwashing were disclosed. 1. Selective DisclosureConcealing negative aspects of products while advertising positive points about environmental performance. Same as the hidden trade-off effect, No. 1 of the seven sins Terra Choice lists above. 2. Symbolic ActionsBoasts that pump up minor issues without meaningful action. For example, a fashion brand donates to UNICEF without addressing the child labor problem in its production process.https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/05/how-spot-greenwashing/(Link to World Economic Forum document) —The Harm of Greenwashing: Distrust “Is it really eco-friendly?”— What kind of harm does green washing cause? How do you feel when you find out that a friend you trusted lied to you? First of all, you feel a strong sense of betrayal. And the feeling of betrayal leads to misgivings about friendship and distrust of people in general, which has the effect of making you suspicious even of friends who are honest and true. The same goes for greenwashing--where companies pretend to be eco-friendly by exploiting consumers' increased environmental awareness and good motives. Greenwashing confuses consumers' wise judgment, disillusions their environmentally conscious mindset, and creates distrust in an eco-friendly market. In other words, the real harm of green washing is that it undermines the will of companies to make real eco-friendly efforts and foments a general distrust of eco-friendliness in society. —To prevent greenwashing:pass regulatory laws + protect consumers— What must be done to solve greenwashing? First, it is most effective to seek ways to improve the legal tools and standard guidelines related to greenwashing regulations at the government level. Major developed countries are managing greenwashing by establishing guidelines for displaying eco-friendly information. In 47 nations around the world, including the U.S., Japan, France, and the U.K., 27 different environmental labeling systems and committees have created and implemented sample guidelines for greenwashing. ▲ United StatesThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the U.S. has created The Green Guide since 1992 to provide legal interpretation standards applicable to environmental labels and advertisements. Violation of the guidelines can result in fines of millions of dollars.https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/topics/truth-advertising/green-guides ▲ The United KingdomIn 2021, the Competitive Markets Agency (CMA) of the U.K. announced the “Green Claims Code”, an eco-friendly marketing guideline, determining to strictly crack down on greenwashing from 2022. 【6 Principles of the Green Claim Code】 · Be truthful and accurate · Be clear and unambiguous · Do not omit or hide important information · Comparison should be fair and meaningful · Consider the entire life cycle of a product or service · Any claim must be substantiatedhttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1018820/Guidance_for_businesses_on_making_environmental_claims_.pdf ▲ European Union (EU)From March 2021, the European Union has mandated the disclosure of sustainability information related to investment activities and products by financial institutions in the European Union through the Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). In addition, in April 2022, revised guidelines were announced for consumer protection and prevention of greenwashing. If environmental performance cannot be established, the use of eco-friendly phrases such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘green’, and ‘eco’ is prohibited. Although various efforts are being made at the government level to regulate greenwashing, it will be some time before regulatory legislation is proposed and implemented. If there is a strong check on our corporations by smart and demanding consumers, will it become a stepping stone toward change in regulation? If we consumers see words such as 'eco-friendly', 'eco', or 'organic' on products or advertisements, first of all, we should step back and determine whether it is greenwashing or not.
Peace Issue Clean Water and Healthy Life are Synonymous
―Water and Life―"Children in conflict zones are 20 times more likely to die from water-related diseases than from violence."- UNICEF Ukraine Representative, Murat Sahin -Ukrainian mother and son head to the local administration office in Pavlopil, eastern Ukraine, to find safe water. (Source: UNICEF)On April 15, UNICEF announced that 1.4 million people in the eastern region had no access to water due to the war in Ukraine, already raging for 6 weeks. Across Ukraine, 4.6 million people are believed to be at risk of water outages.Major cities in the east, including Donetsk and Luhansk, have already shut off water supplies, and if the reservoir in Horlivka city runs dry, 340,000 people will lose access to safe water. And Mariupol, the city in the direst straits, is said to suffer a total lack of drinking water.A shortage of clean water puts lives at risk. It is particularly detrimental to the health of children and the elderly because poor water quality leads to diseases including cholera, diarrhea, skin infections and other deadly infectious diseases. WHO 2022 estimate is that 486,000 people will die each year from water-borne diseases. ―Clean water is still scarce―● According to the 2021 UN Sustainable Development Report, 2 billion people do not have access to safely managed drinking water, including 771 million people (half living in sub-Saharan Africa) who do not have access to even basic drinking water.● 3.6 billion people also live in environments without sanitation facilities such as toilets. Of these, 494 million have no choice but to defecate out in open, public places. Exposed stool can contaminate food, water, the environment and spread serious diseases such as cholera. The report points out that if the world is to eradicate open defecation by 2030, sanitation facilities will need to be built at four times the current rate.https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2021(View the UN Sustainable Development Report for 2021)Why is there a shortage of clean water? According to the State of Climate Services: Water 2021 report by the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, only 0.5% of the water on Earth is available, potable fresh water. Due to global warming, the amount of water stored on the surface, underground, and glaciers has decreased by 1 cm every year over the past 20 years.Also, the 2021 UN Sustainable Development Report records that a quarter of the world's 2,300 large lakes have high turbidity (water cloudiness), which can adversely affect human and ecosystem health. About 21 million people, including 5 million children, live within a 5 km radius of a lake that is very murky and clouded.Download UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report "2021 Climate Services: Water"https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10826―Washing hands saves lives―Through the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world have learned that washing hands is the most important and basic preventive measure to protect the lives of individuals and others.Yet according to a UNICEF bulletin in 2021, 3 out of 10 people worldwide (about 230 million people) currently do not have basic facilities such as water and soap to wash their hands in each household. Worse yet, more than 6 out of 10 people in developing countries lack this basic handwashing.Additionally, the report found that three out of five schools worldwide do not have water and soap to wash their hands, which means about 460 million out of 800 million students attend schools where handwashing is not possible. The situation in developing countries is even worse: 7 in 10 schools do not have spaces for students to wash their hands.Particularly at medical institutions, hand washing facilities are critical. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a study finding that improving hand hygiene in hospitals and other medical facilities can reduce medical costs by about $16.5 per dollar of improvement costs.(Photo source: UNICEF)UNICEF, together with WHO, has developed a "WASH" standard and strategy to support handwashing campaigns in over 90 nations alongside educational programs such as health, education, and nutrition.UNICEF emphasizes that good hand washing can reduce respiratory diseases in many people, prevent diarrhea in more infants and young children, and prevent sepsis, where pregnant mothers and their newborns can be infected by various microorganisms.▲WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene): UN's campaign slogan to improve water, water purification facilities and personal hygiene.https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-sanitation-and-hygiene/(View detailed WASH data)"Global Handwashing Partnership," a global campaign group to wash hands, states that diarrhea, the second leading cause of death for children under 5 years old, can be cut by half and acute respiratory infection by a quarter simply by washing your hands with soap. Adults can also prevent influenza, chicken pox, cholera, hepatitis A, norovirus, and typhoid by washing their hands.So how should I wash my hands? Major organizations such as UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend washing your hands for 20 seconds. Even though it only takes about 20 seconds to scrub all surfaces, including the palms, backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails, WHO recommends 40 to 60 seconds, from wetting your hands to drying them completely.―Post-COVIDJoint water management withneighboring countries becomes more important―Corona 19 creates new mutations and constantly threatens the lives of the global village.New variants of COVID-19 continue to threat human lives, and the spread of the virus is closely related to hygiene management. For this reason, the United Nations points out that, for humanity to better recover from the COVID-19 crisis, we must accelerate international efforts to make clean water and sanitation more accessible for all.For this, it is particularly important to jointly manage water in border areas based on hydrological boundaries, rather than administrative boundaries. The U.N. is calling for more efforts from each country to complete operational agreements for all border waters around the world by 2030.*Hydrology: The study of the flow and characteristics of water, including rivers, lakes, and groundwater153 countries worldwide share rivers, lakes, and aquifers (underground strata flowing with water). As of 2020, 128 out of 153 countries sharing border waters have submitted reports on the status of agreements related to water cooperation to the United Nations.Saving humanity from yet unknown pandemics will require a global effort to provide clean and safe water for all, across national borders.
Peace Issue The UN Veto
―Dismantle the United Nations!― Ukraine President Zelensky addresses UN Security Council online (Source: UN)“So where is the security that the Security Council must guarantee?”“Are you ready for the dissolving of the UN? Do you think that the time of international law has passed?If your answer is no, you need to act now, act immediately."—Ukrainian President Zelensky in his speech to the UN Security Council—This is the cry of Ukraine's President Zelensky, addressing the UN Security Council by video on April 5, 2022. President Zelensky released pictures of the gruesome “secondary genocide,” in which at least 300 civilians were cited as having been murdered. The conference hall fell silent, and people watching around the world were outraged.For the full text of Ukraine President Zelensky's speech to the UN Security Councilhttps://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/vistup-prezidenta-ukrayini-na-zasidanni-radi-bezpeki-oon-74121When you hear the word "world peace," an international organization comes to mind. That is the United Nations. However, the presence of the United Nations in this war in Ukraine is not what it used to be. Why is the UN so powerless in the face of blatant war? To understand the context of this discomfiting situation, it is necessary to examine the UN Charter, which sets out the role of the UN. As you know, the United Nations is an international organization created for international peace after World War II. Chapter 1, Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations specifies the purpose of the establishment of the United Nations: △ Maintaining international peace and security, △ Repressing acts of aggression and destroying peace, △ Mediating and resolving international disputes.UN Charter Article 1 The purposes of the United Nations are:1.To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes of situations which might lead to a breach of the peace. To view the full text of the UN Charter:Chapter I: Purposes and Principles (Articles 1-2) | United Nations―Security CouncilThe power to mobilize the United Nations―The UN was created on Oct. 24, 1945, in the process of maintaining world order before and after World War II. Currently with 193 member states, it is the world's largest international organization both in name and in reality that oversees global governance.The main organizations of the United Nations include the General Assembly, Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice. The crux of the dual axis of power is the Security Council. As the name suggests, the Security Council has the most central mission of the United Nations to maintain world peace and security, which makes the decisions of the Security Council legally binding on its member states.The UN Secretary-General, who is the head of the UN Secretariat and serves as a representative of the UN, is also decided by the General Assembly based on the Recommendation of the Security Council, and furthermore, from investigations, adjustments, economic sanctions, and diplomatic severance for peacekeeping, to armed forces that mobilize military force if necessary. Intervention is also decided by the Security Council. To see detailed information on major UN agencies:https://www.un.org/en/model-united-nations/un-structureThe Security Council consists of 15 member states. Five countries are permanent members, including China (which replaced Taiwan in 1970), France, Soviet Union (succeeded by Russia after the dissolution of the USSR), the United Kingdom, and the USA, the victorious nations of World War II; the remaining 10 countries are non-permanent members.Non-permanent members are elected at the General Assembly every two years in consideration of their contribution to the United Nations and region. How long is the term of permanent members? Indefinite: they have permanent tenure.The UN Charter only stipulates a term of office for non-permanent members. No term of office is specified for permanent members. It means it is endless. Therefore, these five member states on the Security Council are designated as the P5 (Permanent Five). UN Charter Article 23 1. The Security Council shall consist of fifteen member states of the United Nations. The Republic of China, France, the Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Norther Ireland, and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly shall elect ten other Members of the United Nations to be non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of Members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to other purposes of the Organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution. Article 27 point 3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.▲ Composition and tenure of the Security Council―The veto—the source of power ofpermanent Security Council members―Decision-making of the Security Council is decided by affirmative votes of the nine members 'including affirmative votes by the permanent members.' This regulation contains a frightening imbalance of power. It means that even if 14 of the 15 Security Council members vote in favor, an agenda will be rejected if any of the 5 permanent members votes against it. This is what is called a veto. The veto is the biggest source of power for permanent members. Criticism pouring into the Security Council is focused on this veto. It is because there are many cases where the exercise of the veto by the permanent members was based on the ‘interest of their own country’ rather than ‘the peace of the community.’Since 1946, a total of 295 vetoes have been exercised in the UN Security Council, including by Russia (including the former USSR) 143 times, by the United States 86 times, by the United Kingdom 30 times, and by France and China 18 times each. Russia is clearly No. 1. Russia has vetoed 15 sanctions against Syria owing to Syria's pro-Russian stance. It was an abuse of authority based on national interests, far from world peace. What about the US, the second-largest wielder of the veto? The USA repeatedly used its veto in favor of Israel over issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Again, these decisions were far from world peace. The use of veto powers by Britain, France and China has been no different. Consult a roster of past Security Council vetoes:https://research.un.org/en/docs/sc/quick(UN data link) ◆ Examples of vetoes cast by permanent members of the Security Council◇ In February 2012, after the Syrian government's crackdown on civil protesters killed more than 5,000 citizens, the Security Council voted on a resolution calling for an end to the bloody suppression and a peaceful transfer of power. China vetoed it and the passage was overturned. ◇ In 2017, 14 of the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor of a resolution to nullify the declaration by then U.S. President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but it was vetoed by the United States. ◇ In April 2018, the Security Council resolution calling for a full investigation into Syria's chemical weapons in connection with allegations that the pro-Russian government was using chemical weapons in rebel areas was rejected by Russian opposition. ◇ In May 2021, the military used chemical weapons on civilians in Myanmar, killing large numbers. In response, the Security Council held a meeting to decide if the UN should intervene in the Myanmar incident, but no action was taken due to opposition by China and Russia, who support the Myanmar military. ―Reform the Security Council! Dismantle it!― “It is not in my power to reform the UN Security Council. I have no illusions of immediate reform.But I would state that the United Nations as a whole, not the Security Council, is truly doing its best to support the Ukraine.” —Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, April 28, 2022—During his visit to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine UN Secretary-General visits Ukraine (Source of left-hand photo: UN) "Where in the world is the UN and what is it doing?!" Reporters showered criticism on UN Secretary-General Guterres, who visited Kyiv. Guterres retorted that it was not in his power to reform the Security Council. Even the head of the United Nations—the president of the world—acknowledges that the P5's veto power is 'sacrosanct' and that he is helpless in front of it. This scene highlights the reality that the Secretary-General and General Assembly of the United Nations are powerless in front of the mighty power of the Security Council.The reality of the UN is that, though established to ensure global safety, the P5 trample on others to ensure their own safety first and superintend their national interests. So now thoughts of Security Council reform and the dissolution of the Security Council are emerging. Criticism of the Security Council is fueled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The U.N. held an emergency meeting of the Security Council on February 25, the day after the invasion of Ukraine. A resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calling for the withdrawal of troops was put on the agenda of the emergency meeting of the Security Council, but it was canceled by Russia's veto, a party to the war. Russian delegate speaking at the Security Council on the issue of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 25 (Source: AP)―Is reform impossible?― If so, is there any way to limit the exercise of the veto by the permanent members? We can't say there isn't, but it doesn't look like it's going to be easy. The only way would be to amend the UN Charter, which stipulates the tenure and veto rights of the permanent members. Article 108 of the U.N. Charter specifies the terms for revising the Charter.This part makes the heart ache. Namely, to amend the UN Charter, the consent of all permanent members of the Security Council is required. The permanent members who led the creation of the United Nations in the first place have been pegging their authority and status right from its inception. UN CharterArticle 108Amendments to the present Charter shall come into force for all Members of the United Nations when they have been adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly and ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional processes by two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including all permanent members of the Security Council. In fact, it's not that there has been no movement for reform of the Security Council. One of such reforms is that the number of non-permanent members increased from six at the time the UN was established to ten in 1965. Some nations wish to expand the permanent membership. Germany, Brazil, India, and Japan constitute the G4. These G4s want and call for the addition of six nations, including the G4 nations plus two African countries, as permanent members. They propose that the number of non-permanent members be increased by four more and that the new permanent members may not exercise the veto for 15 years. The 'Uniting for Consensus' group, led by South Korea, Argentina, Canada, Italy, and Pakistan, which are competing with the G4, oppose the expansion of permanent members and propose instead an additional increase of 10 non-permanent members. Lately at the UN General Assembly there has been a movement to limit the powers of the Security Council. On April 26, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution limiting the abuse of the right of veto by permanent members of the Security Council.When a permanent member of the Security Council exercises its veto, a general meeting must be held within 10 days to discuss the situation in which the veto was wielded. It is to lead the delegates to reconsider the exercise of the veto through public debate. But it remains to be seen whether this can be enacted, as Russia and China are likely to oppose this as well. The catch is that it is not binding if the vetoing state refuses to explain its position in the discussion. Recently, the Brookings Institute, which deals with international strategic issues, published an article titled, “Will Ukraine’s Tragedy Spur the Reform of the Security Council?” The Institute lambasted the Ukrainian war as highlighting the veto of the permanent members of the Security Council an obstacle to peace.It also noted that it is “unfortunate” for an “ineffective” Security Council to be at the axis of multilateralism in the face of increasing new threats such as cyberattacks, bioterrorism and climate change.The Brookings Institution proposes to amend the UN Charter so that the veto power of the permanent members can be nullified with the consent of more than two-thirds of the member states and more than two-thirds of the population as an alternative to solving the power imbalance in the permanent members. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/will-ukraines-tragedy-spur-un-security-council-reform/ ―Is Peace Merely a Utopian Fantasy?―As I chew the cud of a helpless UN in front of Russia's invasion of Ukraine these last few months, I grow hopeless, relegating world peace to something forever beyond reach. Is peace inevitably helpless before the privilege of the great powers? Is peace merely a utopian fantasy, existing only in our imagination? I would like to close this article with a speech by Ukrainian President Zelensky to the UN Security Council:“It is now clear that the goals set in San Francisco in 1945 during the creation of a global international security organization have not yet been achieved. And it is impossible to achieve them without reforms. Therefore, we must do everything in our power to pass on to the next generations an effective UN with the ability to respond preventively to security challenges and thus guarantee peace. Prevent aggression and force aggressors to peace. Have the determination and ability to punish if the principles of peace are violated.There can be no more exceptions and privileges.Everyone must be equal. All participants in international relations. Regardless of economic strength, geographical area and individual ambitions.”— Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses the UN Security Council —
Peace Issue Agflation_Special Delivery Russia-Ukraine bombs flew right to my kitchen table
―Special DeliveryRussia-Ukraine bombsflew right to my kitchen table―[Agflation] A phenomenon where prices rise across the boarddue to a surge in agricultural product prices"Agflation" = agriculture + inflationThe dread of agflation is sweeping across the globe. Grain and food prices worldwide, which were already rising due to crop recession caused by climate change and increased transportation costs due to COVID-19, have taken an unprecedented steep upturn following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war. We face the most serious food crisis since World War II.The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced that world food prices jumped to all-time highs in March due to the impact of the war. In particular, wheat prices are soaring. The black market price on the international market rose by 80% last year, and soared to 90% in March last month alone.In March, David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), warned that the world would face "the most serious food crisis since World War II." Wheat and corn price hikes and price volatility (Source: UN)―How did this crisis windup on my kitchen table?―Why does the war in Ukraine have such a huge impact on the dining tables of distant countries?Ukraine is one of the world's three largest grain producers, owing to its chernozem― its fertile black soil rich in nutrients.Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter. The two countries at war are responsible for 30% of the world's wheat supply, 20% of the corn, and 80% of our sunflower oil. Scene of Ukrainian wheat harvest. (Source: FAO)However, the war has left the black earth in southeastern Ukraine in ruins, and since farmers have fled or joined the war to defend their nation, spring sowing has been difficult and spotty. The Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture forecasts that the area sown this spring will decrease from the regular 15 million hectares in 2021 to under 7 million hectares in 2022.Moreover, Russia has blockaded the Black Sea inlets and harbors, through which 98% of Ukraine's grain passed for export. Supply insecurity caused by a surge in food prices around the worldAccording to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the food price index recorded 159.3 in March, up 12.6% from the previous month (141.4). This is the biggest increase since 1996, and it jumped 33.6% in just one year. In particular, the grain price index composed of wheat, soybeans and corn rose 17.1% from February to 170.1 points. In the case of vegetable oils and fats, it recorded 248.6 points, up 23.2% from the previous month. As the world's largest exporter, the price of sunflower seed oil also rose sharply as Ukraine's exports declined in the aftermath of the war. As the supply of sunflower seed oil plummeted, the price of alternatives, palm oil, soybean oil and rapeseed oil rose. Food Price Index (Source: FAO) Price Index by Food Item (Source: FAO)Visit "FAO Food Price Index"https://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/en/―The Food Crisis Directly Hitsthe Middle East and North Africa―Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, that are heavily dependent on Russia and the Ukraine for grain, are in a quandary. More than half of the grain bought and sold in the Middle East originates in Russia and Ukraine. According to the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), a specialized Arab think tank, Arab countries import 34.4% of their wheat imports from Russia and 15.9% from Ukraine. The World Food Organization (WFP), which helps 125 million people around the world, buys half of its grain from Ukraine. The World Food Organization (WFP) said that the increase in grain prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war will have the greatest impact on countries of the Middle East and North Africa such as Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Libya. 36 nations rely on Russia and Ukraine for over half their wheat imports. (Source: UN)◇ Egypt sets a ceiling on bread pricesSoaring wheat prices have hit Egypt hard. Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer―its staple food is the wide, hollow bread called “baradi.” Egypt applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March for a bailout as the result of a sharp rise in prices, including wheat, in the wake of the war. Egypt, which already suffered a food crisis in 2008, finally took special measures on April 21st to freeze bread prices. Traditional Egyptian Bread Baradi (Source: AP)◇ International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support Lebanon bailoutThe situation in Lebanon is even worse. Lebanon suffered a painful blow when 85% of its total grain stockpile was lost in the destruction of grain warehouses from a huge blast in the port of Beirut in 2020. Lebanon imports 80% of its wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia, and bread prices have risen by 70% compared to last year. At the same time, its currency value fell to one-tenth in two years. Finally, the IMF decided to fund a bailout for Lebanon from early April.◇ Yemen's 8 million children face starvationThe famine situation is also critical in Yemen, 95% dependent on wheat imports, especially with 42% of its grain coming from Ukraine. In Yemen, food prices have more than doubled over the past few years. Many families, struggling to make ends meet, are cutting back on or skipping meals altogether. The outlook of Yemen's food crisis is sure to be exacerbated by the war. Save the Children warns that Yemen's 8 million children face starvation. Yemeni child suffering malnutrition (Source: Yonhap News)―The Domino Effect of Rising NaturalGas, Fertilizer and Grain Prices― Actual Price Curve for Fertilizer and GrainThe current rise in global grain prices is reminiscent of dominoes falling one after another.Fertilizer prices rose first. Russia is a prime exporter of natural gas―a key ingredient in making ammonia and urea, raw materials for fertilizer. Russia is also a major exporter of potassium carbonate, nitrogen, and phosphate, also vital ingredients of fertilizers (at proportions of 16%, 8% and 8%, respectively). However, the export of these raw materials has been blocked by Western sanctions. Russia and Belarus (allies) account for 20% of fertilizer exports. (Source: UN)According to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), nations relying heavily on fertilizer imported from Russia and Belarus must seek alternative sources elsewhere, but at the additional costs of longer distances and rerouting, fertilizer prices will rise significantly or become unavailable, and shortages are inevitable. In addition, as three-fourths of the world's countries rely on imports for over half their fertilizers, the turmoil on the global market is expected to spread rapidly and affect nations not directly dependent on Russia or Belarus. European fertilizer plants are now cut in half. If fertilizer shortages and price surges continue, grain prices are bound to rise further in the future. In the case of urea fertilizer, the price per ton is over $1,000, a nearly four-fold increase over the beginning of this year.High fertilizer costs lead to higher grain prices. Farmers in Brazil, the largest soybean exporter, are cutting corn production as fertilizer prices rise. A similar impact on soybean cultivation is expected.Maximo Torero, head researcher at UN Food and Agriculture Organization, said the fertilizer crisis is more worrisome.Importance of Ukraine and Russia in World Agriculture (March 2022)Visit World Food Organization Reporthttps://www.fao.org/3/cb9236en/cb9236en.pdfNations depending on fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine (Source: UN) Not only grain prices―all food prices are rising together. According to the FAO Food Price Index for March, the sugar price index, rebounded 6.7% from its previous downward trend, and is now 20% higher than one year ago. The meat price index also rose 4.8% to a record high on the back of a surge in pork prices in Western Europe. The dairy price index was up 23.6% from March 2021.―No food exports! Countries close theirwarehouses and strengthen food security―Countries are closing their warehouses and strengthening food security. Egypt, the Arab country with the largest population, has banned exports of wheat, flour, lentils and soybeans for three months amid growing concerns about a shortage of spare parts.Palm oil is the main raw material of cooking oil; the world's edible oil prices wavered after news that Indonesia, the largest producer of palm oil, will restrict palm oil exports. According to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), nations restricting food exports after the Ukraine war have increased from 3 to 16 as of April. Beside Russia and Ukraine, nations limiting exports include Indonesia (palm oil), Argentina (beef), Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan (grain). Nations restricting food exports. (Darker color shows more restrictions.)Export restrictions and global food insecurity due to war (April 2022)Visit the International Food Policy Research Institute report:https://www.ifpri.org/blog/bad-worse-how-export-restrictions-exacerbate-global-food-securityAgriculture ministers of the G7 nations criticized food export restrictions on March 11. "We will take whatever measures necessary to respond to and prevent the food crisis."―Food crisis hitsthe poor hardest― (Lining up for food and oil rations in Afghanistan: WFP photo)International conflict is harsher on the poor. Lower income brackets spend proportionally more to meet food consumption needs. The World Bank estimates that for each 1 percentage point increase in food prices, 10 million people worldwide lapse into extreme poverty.The World Food Organization publishes the quarterly "Crop Prospects and Food Situation" report assessing global crop production and food outlook in poor countries in order to preempt the food crisis.In the March report, 44 countries worldwide stated they need external food aid. Among these, 33 African nations account for 75% of those in need of assistance. The list includes 9 countries in Asia and 2 nations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Visit the “Crop Prospects and Food Situation” global report:https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb8893en/WFO data published April 7 shows that 720 to 811 million worldwide suffer severe hunger, and 2.37 billion people did not get adequate nutrition―an increase of 320 million over the previous year 2021. Country Assessment of 50 Nations Vulnerable to Impact of Food Security in 2022-'23 (April 7, 2022 WFO report:)https://www.fao.org/3/cb9447en/cb9447en.pdf)―International Solidarityfor Resolving Food Security―◇ World Bank, IMF, WFP, WTO urge coordinated action on food securityWorld Bank President David Malpass, International Monetary Fund (IMF) President Kristalina Georgieva, World Food Program (WFP) Director David Beasley, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala issued a joint statement urging cooperation to help vulnerable nations cope with looming food security threat.The heads of the four organizations stated, “It is imperative we provide prompt assistance to nations with food insecurity in a cooperative manner. We are ready to work with our multilateral and bilateral partners to help the countries resolve this urgent crisis.”- Instant food supply- Financial aid to households and countries- Promote free trade without export restrictions on food & fertilizer- Investment in sustainable food production and nutritional securityVisit the joint statement:https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news22_e/igo_13apr22_e.htm◇ UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Policy Recommendations for Resolving Global Food Security- Open up the world food and fertilizer trade- Break free of dependence on Russia and Ukraine; seek new and diverse suppliers- Support refugees and vulnerable groups in Ukraine- Refrain from reacting to individual country-level policies (e.g. export restrictions)- Reinforce transparency, ensure public access to information on global market conditions◇ European Union (EU) Proposal of Emergency Assistance Program to Resolve Ukraine's Food Crisis The European Union (EU) has also stepped in. On March 23rd the European Commission offered 330 million euros in emergency aid to Ukraine to alleviate their people’s suffering from the Russian invasion. The European Commission issued the statement: “Now is the time for Europe to show its solidarity: to help Ukraine, its people and farmers, as well as vulnerable food-importing countries around the world that face surging prices and potential shortages. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to contribute to global food security, particularly in Ukraine, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.”Visit European Union Emergency Assistance Program Proposalhttps://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_1963◇ Policy recommendations from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for resolving global food security:- Open up the world food and fertilizer trade- Break free from dependence on Russia and Ukraine and seek new and diverse suppliers- Support for refugees and vulnerable groups in Ukraine- Refrain from responding to individual country-level policies such as export restrictions- Reinforcement of transparency and information provision on global market conditionsThe voices of international organizations responding to the global food crisis are unanimous: We must deal with it jointly.Today's world is tightly connected. The impact of each country's actions on other countries is different from the past. The stronger the country in the field, the greater the impact, and the weaker countries are inevitably suffering heavy damage.We are now in an era when prompt and international cooperation is needed more than ever.Link for reference to previous issues addressing "agflation":http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/en/news/issue.php?bgu=view&idx=430
Peace Issue The Global "Perfect Storm" Sparked by the War
―The Global “Perfect Storm”Sparked by the War―[The Perfect Storm]A very severe worldwide economic crisisA typhoon begins as a local disturbance without much strength,but it triggers other natural phenomena that wreak tremendous destruction.The Russian-Ukrainian War, that began on February 24, 2022 when Russia attacked Ukraine under the name of a “Special Military Operation,” has now been going on for over two months.The aftermath of the war is growing deeper and wider. Global economic growth is stalling while inflation is soaring. Energy and food supply lines are becoming insecure, and the response to climate change is being put on hold. The lives of people in underdeveloped countries, already suffering from hunger with disaster hanging over their heads, are now getting worse.Representatives of the European Union and the UN are mediating, and have proposed negotiation between the two heads of state. All the meetings between representatives of Ukraine and Russia have proved fruitless thus far, and the war is expected to be prolonged.―Ruined Ukraine―The toll exceeds 2,000 dead and 3,000 wounded.The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported 2,072 civilian deaths and 2,818 injuries in Ukraine. These statistics are as of April 18th; actual casualties are certainly far greater. Ukraine's Interior Ministry stated that at least 2,700 civilians have been killed, among them 198 children and 355 more children injured. (Photo credit: AP)Ukraine has sustained economic devastation over $60 billionWorld Bank President David Malpass said that material damage to infrastructure and buildings inflicted by Russia's invasion of the Ukraine totals about 60 billion dollars (74.2 trillion won).That figure was announced at the Conference on Financial Assistance to Ukraine held in Washington, D.C. on April 21st. But director Malpass said off the record, “The estimate of the extent of damage was narrowly taken. We expect the real damage to be astronomical.”Ukraine’s President Zelensky, who attended the meeting online, explained that $7 billion (8.7 trillion won) will be needed every month to recover from the economic losses from the war and that “it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild.”Over 300 bridges and 8,000 kilometers of roads have been destroyed throughout Ukraine, and the damage to homes is beyond count. As the war continues, the cost of damage is expected to continue to rise.―The price tag of the war Russia will face―Russia's first national bankruptcy crisis in 104 yearsIronically, the damage to the aggressor, Russia, is likewise huge. Countries around the world have condemned Russia and imposed economic sanctions. Currently, Russia is on the verge of national bankruptcy due to global blockades on financial transactions. If Russia defaults, it will be the first national bankruptcy in 104 years since 1918, the year after the Bolshevik Revolution. To overview the scenario, major countries such as the United States and European Union condemned Russia's action and canceled major Russian banks’ membership in the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) in February.“SWIFT”is an international code created for fast and accurate overseas remittance, a system used by 11,000 banks in 200 countries. SWIFT is not a direct money transfer channel but an important communication channel for conducting international bank transfers.What happens if a bank is kicked out of SWIFT? International financial transactions are blocked, making it impossible to use foreign currency. The U.S. SWIFT ban excludes Russia from access to U.S. banks. This prevents Russian holders of dollar government bonds from receiving interest in coveted dollars as of April 6th.Russia, anxious to honor its promissory notes, resorted to paying interest in rubles rather than dollars, but the credit default swap (CDS) market supervisory authority reckoned this as “default.”Russia has been granted a 30-day grace period. If interest is not paid in dollars by May 4th, Russia will receive a final default judgment.Naturally, Russia's international credit rating is in free fall. On April 9th, the S&P international credit rating agency downgraded Russia's credit rating to default (SD) status. A major contributing factor here is that the export ban has taken a toll on Russia's major exports, natural gas and crude oil.―Global economy "perfect storm"right before our eyes―The crisis is not restricted to warring parties of Russia and Ukraine. The global economy, which has become more volatile due to the conflict, has now gathered a thick layer of gloomy overcast. In particular, rising crude oil prices and rising grain prices are sucking the entire world economy down in a universal crisis: the classic "Perfect Storm."International Monetary Fund's (IMF) World Economic Outlook report released on April 19th foresees that the global financial crisis from the war will last a long time and will worsen before it starts getting better.The report predicts global economic growth slowdown from 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023 — 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points lower than the growth rate for 2022 and 2023 that was expected in January.The most striking feature of the IMF's economic outlook report is the Eurozone, whose growth forecast for this year dropped a whopping 1.1 percentage points from 3.9% to 2.8%, and next year's growth rate is expected to be only 2.3%. Particularly Europe, geographically close to Russia and Ukraine, and depending on Russian gas as its prime energy source, will inevitably feel the full, direct impact of the war.The inflation outlook presented by the IMF is even bleaker. The inflation forecast for 2022 is 5.7% in developed nations and 8.7% in emerging and developing nations due to war-induced raw material price hikes and increased price pressure, up 1.8% and 2.8 percentage points over the January outlook. Owing to this war, we may expect to experience global "stagflation," where prices rise while growth slows. The future looks even more dismal. The report predicted that growth rates will decrease by about 3.3% after 2023, and there are concerns that growth rates may drop further contingent on factors such as expansion of the war or recurrence of the pandemic. (Download from the IMF Report)“April 2022 World Economic Outlook: War Delays Global Recovery”https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2022/04/19/world-economic-outlook-april-2022―Three-fold crisis caused by war:Food, energy, and finance ―The UN published an analysis of the global crisis caused by this war on three fronts: rising food prices, rising energy costs, and financial debt.The United Nations is concerned that the Russian-Ukraine war has set in motion a global chain reaction, burdening a world economy already hit by COVID-19 and climate change, and is particularly worried about its multiplied impact on developing countries.Data show that 1.7 billion people in 107 economies are exposed to critical want in at least one of three areas: food, energy, and finance. Most of these people are living in developing countries, and a serious concern is that 69 economic zones with 1.2 billion people are undergoing major crises in all three areas at once.◇ Rising food pricesDue to the impact of COVID-19, food prices have already risen in an environment where socio-economic stress is high, so social tensions are bound to intensify.Rising food prices and social unrest are connected. You can clearly see the correlation in the graph below, where solid blue, red, and yellow lines represent the prices of agriculture, commodities, and grain, respectively.Plainly the period when each solid line rises sharply coincides with the periods of “Social Unrest in Various Countries,” “Arab Spring in the Middle East,” “COVID-19 Pandemic,” and “War in Ukraine.” Rising prices threaten food security and political stability. (Source: UN)◇ Rise in Energy PricesOil and gas prices are rising sharply due to the Russia-Ukraine war, and the United Nations is concerned that the price rise will actually increase the consumption of fossil fuels worldwide. How is that?For the past 10 years, the international community has set "carbon reduction" as the top priority on their agenda to combat climate change. People all over the world were pulling together in the drive to reduce humanity's use of fossil fuels. However, due to the rise in crude oil and natural gas prices, these efforts are once more in danger of being waylaid. The rising cost of energy due to the war has made it more likely that many countries will return to fossil fuel drilling, mining and investments in fossil fuel-based energy. Volatility index for crude oil and natural gas prices (Source: UN)◇ Financial debtInflation rose to 5.2% in 2021, a 10-year high. In response, many central banks are announcing that they will raise interest rates one after another, which increases the cost of repaying debt for developing countries.Data show that 60% of the least developed countries and other low-income countries are at high risk of, or already suffer from, debt.Download report “Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance Systems” https://unctad.org/webflyer/global-impact-war-ukraine-food-energy-and-finance-systems―A connected world moralduty shared by all―“We have a clear moral duty to support the 1.7 billion other potential victims of this war.” ᅳ UN Secretary-General António Guterres, April 13th ᅳIn a global era in which the whole world is connected and influencing each other, the war between Russia and Ukraine is not just a fire across the river. On April 13th, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres predicted that a ceasefire to end the Ukraine crisis would not be easy, and he appealed to the world to join in humanitarian aid. Now the outriders of this war are brewing threatening dark clouds all over the world, and this is expected to worsen into a “perfect storm,” a global economic crisis that strikes all at once everywhere. To address the humanitarian crisis facing Russian and Ukrainian civilians and prevent further global economic division, responsible attention and multilateral cooperation of all peoples around the world is urgently needed.“We are now facing a ‘perfect storm’ that threatens to devastate the economies of developing countries. The people of Ukraine cannot bear the violence being inflicted on them. And the most vulnerable people around the globe cannot become collateral damage in yet another disaster for which they bear no responsibility.” ᅳ UN Secretary-General António Guterres ᅳ
Peace Issue 2022 Space Debris Threatens to Attack Our Planet!
―Internet Connection Successful!SpaceX Starlink works in Ukraine! ― On February 28, 2022, a brief tweet stating a user had successfully linked to the internet grabbed the world’s attention. The Twitter message was uploaded by Ukrainian developer Oleg Kutkov. What's so special about this short tweet that it inspired and gave hope to people around the world?In February, Russia attacked Ukraine and destroyed its entire communications network. On short notice, the Ukrainian government submitted a request for Starlink service, invented by the SpaceX company of Elon Musk, stating that their country needed means of communication to protect civilians and rescue injured people. SpaceX's Starlink is a technological system that enables people anywhere to use the Internet by receiving signals between thousands of cube satellites orbiting the earth and small local antennas on the ground. With this system, one can connect to the Internet through Starlink service even in mountainous areas, deserts, and developing countries where it is difficult to establish a base station. ― Ten Seconds! The time it took for Oleg Kutkov to connect to the Internet ― Ten seconds! That’s all the time it took for Oleg Kutkov to hook up to the internet. Oleg Kutkov, who had purchased a Starlink satellite dish from an internet shopping mall a few months earlier and had been keeping it stowed away, connected his satellite dish outside the window as soon as he learned the news that Starlink would start service in his country, the Ukraine. It is no exaggeration to state that it is owing to Starlink, a low-orbit satellite network, that the horrors of the Ukrainian war are conveyed to the world in real time through social media. The amazing development of personal satellite communications technology has made it possible for the whole world to communicate in real time even amidst an urban battlefield where every work of man is being reduced to rubble. The above photo is a Starlink radio wave receiving antenna. (Source: Starlink, Inc.) ― A shooting star embroidering the sky? If you make a mistake, you may be in big trouble! ― Yet as with all new technologies, light and dark coexist in the new technology called "Space Internet." ● In 2009 a black hunk of metal punched through the roof of a British house! Surprisingly, it turned out to be a fuel tank from Apollo 12, which was launched forty years earlier. A Delta 2 projectile propellant tank landed in Texas, USA in 1997 (Source: NASA) ● In 2011, a metal chunk weighing 2.5 tons hurtled out of the heavens in the neighborhood of Beijing! It was a fragment from the German space-borne X-ray telescope ROSAT that did not completely incinerate in earth's atmosphere but plummeted to earth near Beijing, China. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), it would have been a catastrophe if the wreckage of the satellite had impacted in urban Beijing at the speed of 480 km/hr. Luckily it was a near miss, splashing into the sea just offshore with a 7-minute orbital delay. ● In 2021, the core stage of the Chinese Long March-5B rocket, over 30 meters in length and weighing 18 tons, spun out of control and crashed to Earth! The wreckage, which held the world in bated breath, luckily plummeted into the waters southwest of India. ● On April 4, 2022, a huge metal ring 3m in diameter weighing 40kg fell into a village in India as they prepared a village feast! The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said the metal mass is believed to be debris from a Chinese Changjeong-3B launched on February 4 the previous year. Tweet announcing that Chinese space debris fell on Indian village.― Burgeoning global market for low-orbit satellites ― The global low-orbit satellite market is accelerating. Big players in the corporate world include "Starlink" of SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, "Kuiper Systems," a subsidiary of Amazon, and "OneWeb," a British space internet company. ◇ US SpaceX plans to launch 11,943 satellites Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and Tesla) leads the private space industry. The U.S. entrepreneur plans to launch 11,943 satellites weighing 227 kg into low-Earth orbit by 2027 to enable global Internet access. Starlink began launching satellites in 2018 and has placed about 2,000 satellites in orbit so far. ◇ US Amazon plans to launch 3,236 satellites American company Amazon is pursuing Project Kuiper to provide global broadband intercommunication with 3,236 low orbit satellites by 2029. Amazon says it will bring internet coverage to areas where 95% of humanity lives. ◇ UK ‘OneWeb’ plans to launch 2,700 satellites OneWeb is a space internet company founded in the UK in 2012 by Greg Wyler. In the first phase, about 700 satellites will provide communication services from 2022, and in the second phase, about 2,000 satellites will be added to consolidate a global communication network. ― Dead satellites form a huge orbiting fleet of space junk ― The problem is that fragments of artificial satellites or satellites whose useful terms have expired become "space junk" cluttering the heavens above earth's atmosphere. According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, a total of 12,554 satellites (including 1,290 not registered with the UN) have been launched into space since mankind launched the first satellite in 1957 until April 2022. Of these, only 8,569 satellites currently remain in orbit, while 3,983 satellites are known to have failed to reach orbit and plummeted back to terra firma or the sea. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), more than 95% of the objects orbiting Earth are useless space debris. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), there are about 36,500 pieces of space debris the size of a tennis ball orbiting the Earth, with a total weight of 9,600 tons. If the scope of garbage is expanded to objects as small as 1 mm, the number is estimated to be about 130 million. Image of space debris floating around the Earth (Source: ESA) All these flotsam and jetsam are orbiting our planet at speeds about 7.5 km/s. At seven times the speed of a bullet, that's a terrifying speed. Colliding with a 1cm-sized piece of aluminum hurtling at this speed is equivalent to hitting a car weighing 1.5t at 50km/h. A piece of metal the size of a fingernail becomes a weapon capable of destroying a satellite or space station. The "Global Risk Report" released by the World Economic Forum in January 2022 warns that the increase in space debris is causing damage to orbital and space equipment hosting facilities for Earth's major systems, which could ignite already volatile international tensions. Report source: https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-report-2022 ― Global warming expected to increase lifespan of space debris by 40 years ― At the 7th "European Conference on Space Debris" hosted by the European Space Agency (ESA) in April 2021, a research team from the University of Southampton in the UK announced their finding that the hazards caused by space debris will increase due to global warming. The process is as follows: Fragments orbiting the Earth gradually decelerate due to trace gases surrounding our planet, and slowly spiral in toward the Earth. As they reach Earth's thicker atmosphere, most of them are incinerated and vaporize due to the tremendous friction created as they pass through the lower layers of the air. However, due to the increase in carbon dioxide caused by fuel combustion, the density of the upper layers of the atmosphere is lowered, and the attrition process of space junk takes longer. Already CO2 increase has reduced 21% of the atmospheric volume over 400 km since 2000, and it is predicted that if CO2 levels double by 2100, the volume of air above 400 km may be reduced by 80%. This could increase the lifespan of orbiting space debris by up to 40 years and increase the amount of space debris by the appalling factor of about 50 times as much hazardous clutter in orbit! ― Developing a vacuum cleaner may be the key to avoiding a bolt out of the blue! ― The first proposals for solving space debris began in the late 1970s. However, despite the urgent need for international cooperation due to the intertwined interests among nations, no adequate solution emerged. At the G7 summit in 2021, the issue of space debris was discussed on the agenda, but it was concluded without any compelling solution. Still, there is hope. Humanity has always come up with new solutions to meet new challenges. ◇ "LiBDO" ᅳ NASA's space waste disposal technology Recently, NASA announced that it is developing a new space waste disposal technology called “Lithium-ion Battery DeOrbiter”, or “LiBDO” for short. “LiBDO” is a technology in which the built-in battery retires into a thermal runaway state and ignites when the lifespan of the spacecraft is over, and the energy released as it goes out with a flare is directed as "reverse thrust" to dislodge the satellite from orbit. That is, the spacecraft finds its own grave without external help. That's the theory of how it’s supposed to work. ◇ European Space Agency's (ESA) small space-cleaning satellite “RemoveDEBRIS” The European Space Agency (ESA) has plans to collect space debris in earth orbit with nets or harpoons. In fact, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and a British research team conducted an experiment to launch a small cleaning satellite in 2018 intended for this purpose but have not yet succeeded in capturing anything. European Space Agency is working on a project to collect space debris orbiting Earth with nets or harpoons. (Source: ESA) ◇ Swiss startup ClearSpace's cleaning satellite The private sector is stepping up to tackle the problem. In 2025, together with ClearSpace, a venture based at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, they plan to launch their own space debris collection mission. It is a method of incineration by launching a cleaning satellite to collect space debris and then plunge it into the Earth's atmosphere. These are viewed as undesirable homework assignments we’d rather put off—yet if we fail to fulfill them the cost may be enormous. ◇ Astroscale's magnetic arm cleaning satellite Astroscale, a USA–Japan joint venture, hopes to attract space debris with magnetic arms and then transfer it to the atmosphere where it safely burns up. Last year, they succeeded for the first time ever in capturing a small satellite with a magnetic arm. However, even if government agencies and private companies develop technologies to deorbit space waste, most of these technologies will be useless if, owing to global warming, they cannot incinerate the space waste before it strikes the earth and causes untold damage. Whether handling space waste will become a new industry for humanity, or an imposingly difficult problem to solve, as in the movie Space Sweepers, we all are watching with ever-increasing interest. Reference* Link to European Space Agency presentation:https://conference.sdo.esoc.esa.int/proceedings/sdc8/paper/178* If you wish to check the list of satellites launched into space from Earth so far, click the link.Online Index of Objects Launched into Outer Spacehttps://www.unoosa.org/oosa/osoindex/search-ng.jspx
Peace Issue The Top Ten Dangers Threatening Our World
― The Apocalyptic Film 2012 Could it really happen? ―A humongous earthquake strikes Los Angeles, the United States, and a family desperately attempts to escape in a private plane. But they soon discover the effects of the seismic shift are not limited to California's metropolis. A huge tsunami circles the entire globe, swamping even the peak of Mount Everest, and causing supervolcanoes to blow sky-high. Literally the End of the World! Those who predicted the catastrophe in advance and can afford it undertake a modern “Noah's Ark” project. Only the select few can board: the global ultra-rich and empowered technocrats knowledgeable in the field who funded the expedition will get a ticket to ride this “New Ark.” Thus opens the apocalyptic movie “2012,” graphically portraying the process of instantaneous destruction of the earth as the center of the earth heats up like a microwave oven due to intense and sustained solar flares. Unrealistic though it might seem, in the last decade or so, natural disasters including massive earth tremors, tsunamis, and wildfires have been occurring around the world at an alarming tempo, recalling this ominous movie, originally screened in 2009. Anxiety is ratcheting up that colossal calamity threatening the entire human race may indeed be in the offing.―These Next Ten YearsThe Top Ten Dangers Threatening Our World ―Download “Report 2022” at: https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-report-2022In January, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published “The 2022 Global Risk Report.” This annual assessment is prepared by the World Economic Forum at the beginning of each year based on a survey of 1,000 leading businessmen, academicians, scientists, and well-placed officials from 124 countries in the fields of economy, science, politics, and society. In this year's Report, experts named “The Environment” as the most important threat looming over humanity in the coming 10 years. A careful examination of the contents of the report raises real concern that the devastating scenarios portrayed in the film “2012” might indeed come true. The report itemizes the top 10 salient risk factors that humanity and the globe may have to grapple with in the next 10 years. These hazards are divided into five areas: economy, environment, geopolitics, society and technology. Experts cited the environmental field “Climate Action Failure” as the biggest danger hanging over us.To summarize, the chief dangers risk experts foresee in the coming decade are, in order: ▲failure to take action in climate change ▲extreme weather phenomena ▲biodiversity loss ▲weakened social cohesion ▲livelihood crisis ▲epidemic disease ▲human harm to the environment ▲crises over natural resources ▲debt crisis ▲global economic confrontation.We're constantly hearing about environmental issues, and it can grow tiresome; we become inured to the topic. But the gong of doom is not backing off—ranking second and third place are also environmental warning signs: “extreme weather” and “biodiversity loss.” In other words, the top 3 global risks are all environmental in nature. Not only these, but “Human environmental damage” and “Natural resource crises” placed 7th and 8th. They are also concerned about the biosphere, establishing that not only our perceptions but also scientific and statistical indicators point to the natural environment as the biggest danger impinging on humanity's existence now. ― Environmental issues span the greatest global short-term, medium range and long-term risks ―Worse yet, environmental issues figure as the biggest global hazard over the short, medium and long term. The report lists risk factors as short-term (2 years), medium-term (2-5 years), and long-term (5-10 years). “Extreme weather” and “Climate action failure” are consistently at top of the list. Environmental problems are happening around us right now; every indication shows that they will pose even more serious challenges in time to come. If this continues, we may find ourselves in the calamity of the film “2012” in the not-too-distant future.―“What is the level of organized response to climate change?”68% of the experts surveyed responded “in the initial phase” ―When queried about the “level of response to climate change,” 68% of the experts responding to the report answered that it was “in the early stage.” 9% of the respondents said that we have not started yet. The World Economic Forum stressed that “comprehensive climate action by businesses, policy makers and civil society is essential to limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.” ―Intensifying crises linked to COVID-19warn of "Social Danger" ―Six percent! This is the overall rate of COVID-19 vaccination for the 52 world's poorest nations. The report also examined the risks most exacerbated by COVID-19 and found that “social risk factors” increased significantly due to the pandemic. Among the causes of increased social risk are social distancing, vaccine inequality, and economic deterioration aggravated by COVID-19.In 1st place is “Social cohesion,” “Livelihood crises” hold 2nd place, “Climate action failure” ranks 3rd, and 4th place features “mental health deterioration”. Social instability from such risk factors inevitably undermines effective national policymaking. The report points out that the growth gap between developed and developing countries due to vaccine inequality may hamper a unified response to global issues such as climate change.―The question of our very survival or downfall:The answer lies in our actions! ―- The temperature high in Cordoba, Spain in 2017 was 46.9°C (highest ever recorded)- Dallas, Texas recorded the lowest temperature in 72 years: -19°C in 2021 - Summer temperatures in the normally ice-bound Arctic now hover 10°C higher than usual. Abnormal climate phenomena are cascading all over the world, causing records to tumble. The protagonist of the apocalyptic film "2012" wages a desperate struggle to save his family with human extinction looming on all sides. Perhaps this present moment, now is the golden time for such a last-ditch effort to postpone the extinction of humankind. The final scene of “2012” is neither a joyful relief nor a gloomy tragedy. In any case, the President of the United States in the screenplay states the golden one-liner: “The world as we know it is coming to an end.” That says it all. In order for our planet not to end as in the movie, we living, breathing people must take action now to stem climate change!
Peace Issue A Hellish Horror Show Created by Inequality
ㅡThe Bloody"Squid Game" isReality—not just a movie ㅡ“The Rose of Sharon has Bloomed” As I desperately run forward, a gunshot rings out at the back of my head. Dead bodies are strewn across the playing field, spattered with red blood. The scene is oddly incongruous, as the background music “Fly Me to the Moon” croons pleasantly on. Because of the soothing music, the monstrous atrocity somehow doesn't feel like a tragedy. Debt, Inequality, Death Squid Game roused a global sensation by ranking first in the global popularity rankings on Netflix. The fierce survival game played by Koreans driven by debt to vie for the 45.6 billion won in prize money exposes the outrageous inequality of our era. For some, it is sheer “hell,” but for VIPs who enjoy gaming while drinking the finest whiskey, it is simply an exciting “horror show.” British daily The Guardian published an article titled "Squid Game, a hellish horror show taking the whole world by storm" in an article on September 28th. The Guardian asks, "Yes, the games are terrifying but how much worse are they than the half-lives of those living in interminable debt?" Someone's daily reality might even be more gruesome than the situation in Squid Game. The reason this drama garnered global consensus is probably because the world we live in is unequal.ㅡChain Links of Inequality LinkedTogether in Unbreakable Chains ㅡWhat is inequality? First, let's look back at the meaning of equality. The dictionary meaning of “equality” is “even and consistent without discrimination.” In other words, it means “treating all people equally and giving them equal opportunities” without dividing or discriminating based on differences in grades or levels. Conversely, inequality means “the state of being uneven due to discrimination.” In Squid Game, some risk their lives for money, and some enjoy death just for pleasure. Gamers have a lot of wealth, fame, and power, but gamers choose to gamble with their one and only life rather than be in debt. This is inequalityWorse still, the chains of inequality are chained together. Alienation, conflict, and poverty caused by inequality create social problems such as crime, disease, and environmental pollution, and the damage makes the lives of the vulnerable more difficult. It is a vicious cycle that repeats itself.ㅡ2021The global level of inequality is even worse ㅡOn December 7, 2021, the World Inequality Lab, in which Thomas Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, and others participated, announced the “World Inequality Report 2022.” The report contains the results of research on social and economic imbalances in areas such as income, wealth, gender, and environment. The global level of inequality this year is worse than the previous year.Go to World Inequality Report:The World InequalityReport 2022 presents the most up-to-date & complete data on inequality worldwide The report reveals that 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was the year with the steepest growth in the world's billionaires' share of wealth in history. Between 2019 and 2021, the wealth of the top 0.01% increased by more than 5% annually. The top 0.1% own 11.2% of the world's wealth and have an average of 81.7 million euros (about 108.5 billion won) each.According to the report, the richest 10% of the world's people earned 52% of global income (a total of 36.7 trillion euros, or 49.6 million billion won for the richest sector), while the poorest 50% earned 8.5% of total income (a total of 6 trillion euros, or 8,113 trillion won for the lower half). That's a whopping difference of 31 times. The disparity in holdings is even greater. The average wealth of the top 10% was 550,900 euros (about 744 million won), while assets of the bottom 50% average 2,900 euros (about 3.92 million won). So there is a 190-fold difference. Because the gap between the rich and the poor has widened during the corona period, Oxfam and other civic groups around the world have even called the COVID-19 virus an “inequality virus.” This is because the rich and middle class can choose a variety of responses to overcome the epidemic, but the poor and the vulnerable have no choice but to suffer from COVID-19. “The level of inequality around the world today is close to what it was in the early 20th century, around the peak of Western imperialism,” the report notes. 100 years have passed, but inequality in the global economy is still rampant, and there is still a long way to go to turn inequality into equality. ㅡPakistani children earn $2for sewing Nike soccer ballsall day long for 14 hours.ㅡThere are two main opinions on why inequality appears. One is the view that it is because each person has different abilities, and the other is that society is creating structural inequality. The international community is focusing on resolving “structural inequality.”Pakistan sweatshop producing Nike soccer balls, 1996 .There are kids in Pakistan who sew Nike soccer balls all day without a break. These kids sew 14 hours a day and earn about $2 a day. On the other hand, Nike executives can benefit enormously from their cheap labor. If Nike executives' hourly or daily wages were valued equivalent to the lifetime of a worker, would it be fair? It's not just Nike soccer balls. Unfair trade using cheap labor from underdeveloped countries is endemic in Africa's coffee and chocolate industries, quarries, cotton industries, brick making, and other global industries. Such unfair trade functions to consolidate global “structural inequality.” A poor economic structure leads to a “vicious cycle of poverty.” The economic structure of developed countries is based on high value-added industries such as software and patented pharmaceuticals, but poorer countries depend on labor-intensive industries, making it difficult to grow. The structure of inequality in which the poor continue to be poor, and the rich are bound to get richer is a vicious cycle around the world. ㅡWhy did the poorcountries become poor? ㅡ Why did poor countries become poor? First of all, countries that have experienced wars and political conflicts are more likely to be economically poor than those that have not. War destroys a nation's communications and facilities, creates a labor shortage, and, if continued, slows investment and business activity. In addition, when the government fails to fulfill its role due to political conflict, investment and various economic activities are reduced and the country suffers economic difficulties. 'Corruption' causes a shortfall in welfare services Countries with high levels of corruption and crime do not readily invest in people's well-being and in new businesses. If welfare such as public infrastructure, education, medical care, and pension are not properly guaranteed, the foundation for economic development is weak, and global investors are reluctant to invest in new businesses. Low levels of education Countries with low levels of education have no choice but to focus on primary industries. Developed countries, on the other hand, equipped with a skilled workforce and skills through high-quality education, dominate capital-intensive industries, and drive global economic growth. Without a universal and systematic education system, technological development and creative economic activities cannot be created. Substandard medical infrastructure Even ailments that can be healed with simple treatment in developed countries, often lead to life-threatening maladies in underdeveloped countries with poor medical infrastructure. Every year 100 million people fall into extreme poverty because of medical bills, and 10,000 people die every day because of lack of access to health care for economic reasons. Because health is not guaranteed, it is difficult to promote personal and social growth.ㅡ The monkey society teaches us the way to put an end to the Squid Game scenario! The method? Coexistence, Sharing, Care, Cooperation. ㅡWe cannot solve the challenges of the 21st century without addressing wealth inequality. How can we end the bloody "Squid Game" scenario in our world? Perhaps a monkey named Bonobo knows the answer. In the book Bonobos: The Forgotten Apes (1997) by primatologist Frans De Waal, a chimpanzee called the bonobo features.Most research on chimpanzees reveals that chimpanzees have a male-dominated vertical hierarchy, engage in power struggles involving violence, and wage brutal warfare with other chimpanzee tribes. However, according to Frans de Waal's research, bonobos have completely different behavior and culture. Bonobos have robust female-to-female bonds, and males do not dominate them. In addition, bonobos do not create detailed vertical hierarchies and are said to care for and embrace the sick or weak within the herd without alienating or oppressing them. In bonobo society, gender equality is maintained, the value of ”feminine things” is emphasized, and a culture of coexistence, sharing, care, and cooperation exists to resolve inequality. This bonobo culture gave a huge shock to the world of primatology as well as anthropology, sociology, and women's academia. Even in the harsh real world like Squid Game, there are groups that are making efforts for coexistence and cooperation like the bonobo society.● Oxfam, an international relief organization that creates a “poverty free, fair world”Oxfam is an international relief and development organization established by the Oxford Academic Council in 1942 to relieve poverty during World War II. Over the past 80 years, more than 100 countries around the world have conducted various aid activities to overcome poverty.Oxfam is exerting influence in policymaking through cooperation with governments and various international organizations, as well as solving the drinking water problem in underdeveloped countries, and carrying out humanitarian relief activities such as food aid, community development, and education projects. In particular, Oxfam is carrying out activities such as “stop tax avoidance,” “paying fair wages for all,” and “expansion of health and education services” to resolve the global gap between the rich and the poor. ● Billionaires pledge to donate (The Giving Pledge)The participation of the wealthy is essential to transform wealth inequality into equality. Global billionaires are also joining forces to tackle inequality. The Donation Pledge is a charitable organization founded in 2010 by Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, and Bill Gates; to become eligible to join, the principle is to donate at least half of one’s fortune. Members include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. ㅡPost COVID-195 steps to rebuilding a more equal worldby Oxfam ㅡIn order to resolve structurally fixed global inequality, fair and inclusive policies must be prepared. In particular, it is most important to effectively establish a system of public services and welfare policies such as “education” and “health” for all human life. Oxfam presents the following 5 steps to overcome inequality after COVID-19: 1. The government should value women's unpaid care work.The government must build an economy for poor black women as well as rich white men. Governments need to start valuing the things that really matter: the millions of hours of unpaid care that women have been doing. 2. The government invests in free public services.Governments must provide free universal health and education services regardless of wealth, gender or race. 3. Comprehensive job security is required.Ending poverty requires not only wages but also much more comprehensive job security, including labor rights, sick leave, and unemployment benefits. 4. We need to make sure the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Progressive taxation of the wealthiest members of society is the cornerstone for building an egalitarian society. 5. Climate change must be addressed.Global warming is the greatest threat to humankind, making the lives of the vulnerable more difficult. The international community must end all subsidies for fossil fuels and invest in low-carbon industries, creating millions of new jobs.Source: Less billionaires and more nurses: five steps to rebuild a more equal world after Covid-19 | Oxfam Internationalㅡ Saving each other: The wisdom of coexistenceㅡ Ki-hoon, the main character and final survivor of the “hell-like horror show”—Squid Game, says these things: “Originally, it is not that I believe because people are trustworthy. I believe because if I don’t I have no one to rely on." The secret by which Ki-hoon, who seems a bit immature, was able to become the final survivor by defeating the elite “Sang-woo,” who graduated from the top ranks, maybe was because he has the “wisdom to live together,” as can be seen from the above line.In 2020~2022, with COVID-19 pervasive, people all over the world realized that we are social animals who influence and affect each other, irrespective of the degree of being rich or poor. “Vaccine selfishness,” the view that only me and the people of my country need to live, eventually turned it into a more powerful mutant virus and it returned like a deadly boomerang.The lesson that COVID-19 can teach us is probably the message that “solidarity and cooperation are essential because the lives and deaths of all humankind are intertwined like a web.” Vaccines aren't the only thing humanity needs to share to survive. In order for mankind to prosper peacefully, inequality must be reduced through a culture of coexistence, sharing, care, and cooperation. Only then can each of us act so as to save one another and our whole world!
Peace Issue Creating a Gender Equal World
ㅡThe girl who went to draw water in the Stone Age—where is she now?ㅡ“About 22,800 years ago, there lived a girl in the Stone Age. She took an empty bucket and went out to draw water, but for some reason, she has not arrived home to this day.” What is this really about? In 2016, UNICEF released a report stating that the total amount of time women and girls around the world spend each day fetching water amounts to 200 million hours per year. Converting this long time into days, it is 8.3 million days, or more than 22,800 years in years. Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF's global head of water, sanitation and hygiene, illustrated this horrific reality, saying, “It would be as if a woman started with her empty bucket in the Stone Age and didn’t arrive home with water until 2016.” Fetching water is not only time consuming, it is also hazardous. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8 out of 10 women and girls in Bangladesh are exposed to sexual assault and harassment while going out to get water. What if girls and women could have spent that huge amount of time receiving education instead of laboring to draw water? Perhaps the sexist infringements taking place around the world would have been reduced significantly. ㅡWhy American Women Screamed Bread and Roses 100 Years Agoㅡ About 110 years ago, 20,000 angry female textile workers gathered in New York's Lutkers Square. They marched to demand the right to live and the right to vote. Source: Mount Holyoke Archives and Special Collections (https://mhc-asc.tumblr.com/post/173999534645/at-the-conclusion-of-the-mtholyoke-laurel-parade) It was March 8, 1908, and these American ladies rose to commemorate women who died in a fire after working 12 to 18 hours a day in a wretched clothing factory without electricity. The women demanded safe working conditions, equal wages to men, humane working hours, freedom to establish unions, the right to vote, and held a large scale protest. They held large-scale demonstrations chanting, “Give us bread (adequate wages to survive on) and roses (suffrage to vote in elections)!” Since then, "Bread and Roses" has become the symbol of Women's Day, and in the U.S.A. the following year, March 8 was declared 'National Women's Day' to commemorate this protest, and following this 'International Women's Day' has been established around the world. In 1975,the United Nations designated 1975 as International Women's Year, and in 1977, March 8 was officially celebrated as International Women's Day. Since then, March 8 has become an important anniversary that has spread as a movement calling for the abolition of gender discrimination and the improvement of the status of women around the world. ㅡ Here we are in the 21st century: What is the reality of women around the world? ㅡ Some 45 years have passed since the establishment of International Women's Day. What can we say is the reality for women around the world today in 2021? The dictionary definition of gender inequality is “a phenomenon in which differences occur in the status, authority, and prestige occupied by men and women in a society.” When people are treated unfairly just because they are male or female, it can be said that “gender inequality” has occurred. In general, when we talk about “gender inequality,” we are referring to discrimination against women. Statistically, many of the world's women are less privileged than men and deprived of opportunities to defend themselves from poverty and fear. In 2010 the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) created the Gender Inequality Index (GII) to assess levels of gender inequality in nations around the world.Since then, the United Nations Development Program has released the Gender Inequality Index, indicating the level of gender inequality in each nation based on a range between 0 and 1, with 0 being 0% inequality; 1 being 100% inequality.Gender Inequality Index (GII) evaluates inequality according to the following five indices in three categories (Reproductive Health, Empowerment, and Labor Market): ● Reproductive Health ① Maternal mortality per 100,000 children ② Population born per 1,000 adolescents female ● Women's Rights ③ Ratio of female parliamentarians ④ Proportion of female population with secondary or higher education among the population aged 25 and over ● Labor Participation ⑤ Women's economic participation rate Even in the 21st century, the reality of gender discrimination women face in underdeveloped countries is dire. According to the 2020 Gender Inequality Index of 189 countries, Yemen (0.795) was the most gender unequal country in the world followed by Pacific Papua New Guinea (0.725) and Sub-Saharan African nations such as Chad (0.710), Central African Republic (0.680) and Mali (0.671). Sub-Saharan African countries have very high maternal mortality and high adolescent fertility rates owing to poor medical infrastructure. Also, because it is difficult for girls to receive proper education, it is difficult for them to participate in economic activities, and entering the political world is a long story. On the other hand, the country with the lowest gender inequality in the world was Switzerland (0.025 points). In other words, in terms of gender equality, Switzerland is the most egalitarian country in the world, followed by Denmark (2nd place, 0.038 points), Sweden (3rd place, 0.039 points), the Netherlands and Belgium (tied 4th place, 0.043 points) in that order. In general, the Nordic countries measure up as countries with good gender equality. Because Nordic countries have sophisticated medical infrastructure, maternal mortality and adolescent fertility rates are low, and because both men and women can receive high-quality educational services, women actively participate in economic activities and enter politics. ㅡ Women and girls suffer horrendous abuse and tragedy even at this very moment ㅡ While progress has been made over many years on gender equality and women's rights, women and girls around the world still face horrific discrimination and violence. Horrible Child Abuse, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure in which part or all of a woman's genitals are cut with a sharp tool, performed at the stage of coming-of-age ceremony. Because the procedure is very unhygienic and dangerous, in the short term, a woman is exposed to the risk of death, bacterial infection, and sexually transmitted diseases due to excessive bleeding, and in the long term, she may experience irregular menstruation, infertility, hormonal abnormalities, uterine bleeding, and psychological trauma. Up to 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have experienced FGM, many of whom suffer from sequelae (aftereffects) and complications. This amounts to 5% of the global female population. Although progress has been made in the past 10 years, such as a 30% decrease in FGM, FGM is still being practiced in about 30 countries, mainly in Africa. Lack of legal protection against violence In 49 countries, there are no legal mechanisms to protect women from violence. More than one billion women worldwide are without legal protection against physical and sexual violence in the home. A study by the United Nations concluded that physical and sexual violence against women is often perpetrated by familiar people in familiar places and that therefore “the most dangerous place for women is their home.” Inequality of Educational Opportunity Women spend on average three times more time than men doing unpaid work (childcare and family support, cooking, cleaning, etc.). The more time a person spends doing unpaid work, the less likely that person is to get an education. One in four young women aged 15 to 24 have not graduated from primary school, and nearly two-thirds of illiterate adults worldwide are women. A lack of education limits women's access to knowledge and information and robs them of opportunities to work in the future. Half the world is women but only one-fourth of parliamentarians are women Although women make up half of the world's population, they represent only 24.3% of seats in parliaments around the world. The percentage of women in parliament is an indicator of women's political participation in each country. The low ratio means that there is a high possibility that issues that are activated mainly by female politicians, such as parental leave, pensions, laws related to gender equality, and violence based on gender, are being neglected. As such, gender inequality is not only occurring in a specific country but is a global phenomenon. What is the international community doing to address gender inequality? ㅡGender Equality!A fundamental right anda prerequisite for a sustainable worldㅡ The fifth goal of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to achieve gender equality and to promote the empowerment of all women and girls. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but an essential foundation for a sustainable world that seeks peace and prosperity. Shall we take a look at the detailed goals of SDGs No. 5? The six sub-goals are the key challenges for achieving a gender-equal world. SDG5.1 End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhereSDG5.2 End all violence against women and girls, including trafficking and sexual exploitationSDG5.3 End all harmful practices, such as forced child marriage and female genital mutilationSDG5.4 Public service, infrastructure, social security policies, and promotion of gender equality in the family, so that all people recognize and value unpaid care and houseworkSDG5.5 Ensuring the full participation of women and equal opportunities for leadership in the political, economic, and public sphereSDG5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights As suggested in the detailed goals, if social changes are made in the direction of providing women and girls with education, healthcare, and decent jobs, and increasing women's participation in political and economic decision-making, the human rights of women around the world will be improved. Of course, we will be able to take a step towards a more peaceful and prosperous world. ㅡTogether forgender equality!ㅡ Various efforts are being made for gender equality all over the world. ‘EachForEqual’ Campaign ‘#EachforEqual’ is a campaign launched by the United Nations to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020. It is meant to challenge gender stereotypes, fight prejudice, broaden awareness, and work to improve the situation in our respective places. Introduce how you can break gender stereotypes and raise your voice for the spread of gender equality on social media, and share it with the hashtag '#EachforEqual'. ‘Stand For Her Land’ Campaign Did you know that women in the world own only 13% of all agricultural land? This campaign was launched in 2019 to ensure women's rights to land and property. It emphasizes that securing land ownership and property rights is of the utmost importance in order for women to smoothly participate in farming and other agricultural activities and insists on guaranteeing women's property rights through the reform of laws and systems. ㅡGender gap is wideningduring COVID pandemic ㅡ “Those industries mainly hit by the lockdown are women’s workplaces. As a result, the unemployment rate for women is much higher than for men.” World Economic Forum 2021 Global Gender Gap Report Check out the gender gap around the world! https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2021 Despite various efforts and progress toward a gender-equal world, there still seems to be a long way to go. It is said that overcoming the gender gap has been delayed by 36 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the conclusion of the 'Global Gender Gap Report 2021', which was released in March by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 156 countries around the world, including the current state of gender gap in politics, economy, education, and health. Before Corona, it was expected that it would take 99.5 years for gender equality to be achieved, but now it has increased to 135.6 years. The rapid increase in the number of years it will take to overcome the gender gap is due to the large gender gap in the ‘economic field.’ The report predicts that the economic gender gap will take another 268 years to close. In addition, during lockdown, many women were confined in their homes or communities and suffered physical and sexual violence. In sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, the number of girls undergoing FGM has increased compared to pre-epidemic levels. Looking at the gender gap ranking by country in 2021,the countries with the highest Gender Gap Index (GGI) were Iceland (0.892), Finland (0.861), Norway (0.849), New Zealand (0.840), and Sweden (0.823). The nations with the lowest were Syria (0.568), Pakistan (0.556), Iraq (0.535), Yemen (0.492) and Afghanistan (0.444). The graph on the left is the Gender Gap Index (GGI) of Afghanistan, which ranked the lowest. It scored below the global average in all categories, with economic participation and opportunity 0.180, educational attainment 0.514, health and survival 0.952, and political empowerment 0.132. The graph on the right is the Gender Gap Index (GGI) for Iceland, which ranked No. 1. They scored 0.846 for economic participation and opportunity, 0.999 for educational attainment, 0.964 for health and survival, and 0.760 for political empowerment. We should note the disastrous results of the lower ranking countries, as well as the fact that none of the upper ranking nations reached or surpassed a score of 1. After all, even 20 years after entering the 21st century, it shows that there is still a long way to go in order to create a gender-equal world. ㅡLet's create a worldwhere girls get booksinstead of buckets!ㅡ We are all mother's sons and father's daughters. Just as we share unconditional love in the family regardless of gender, we can make a better world if we respect and embrace each other in society regardless of gender. Gender equality means equal opportunities and participation are guaranteed for both men and women as members of society. Eliminating discrimination against women in society and providing them with opportunities and rights has a positive impact on the health and productivity of families, communities, nations, and the global village as a whole. Here is the girl who left home with a bucket during the Stone Age now. Let's all unite and work together to bring knowledge to school instead of the dusty trail, books instead of heavy buckets, and knowledge along with clean water!
Peace Issue Sustainable consumption and production to save the planet
ㅡ The dirtiness is the attractive point Do you know the Freitag bag? ㅡ Do you know Freitag? Freitag is a Swiss brand that sells bags made from recycled materials that have been used for a certain period of time. As it is an ‘upcycling’ bag, it is dirty even if it is a new product, yet that is the attractive point of Freitag. Moreover, Freitag bags are also environmentally friendly. 50% of the energy required to operate its factory utilizes recycled heat, and 30% of the water required to make bags utilizes rainwater. This is by collecting rainwater as in Switzerland, it rains for more than 140 days a year. In fact, the bag made from ‘garbage’ is priced at hundreds of thousands of won. The reason many consumers purchase Freitag products even though the price is not reasonable is because they consider the global environment. Besides Freitag, many products are being produced in consideration of the global environment. One can appreciate ‘good products’ at a glance without having to research each one! ㅡ Find your carbon footprint! ㅡ What is carbon footprint? ‘Carbon footprint’ refers to the total amount of carbon dioxide among greenhouse gases generated during the entire process of activities, production, and consumption of individuals, companies, and countries. The 'carbon footprint' originated in 2006 when the British Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) rendered the total amount of carbon dioxide generated during the production of products to be displayed as a footprint. A lower carbon footprint means less impact on the environment. Most of the things we consume, especially mass-produced ones in factories, have a high carbon footprint. A large amount of carbon is emitted not only from clothing, food, electronic devices, and automobiles, but also from ‘energy production’ required for daily life and industrial activities. Examine your country's carbon footprint on the Global Footprint Network! https://data.footprintnetwork.org/?_ga=2.194457381.966288939.1635924826-1453603342.1635924826#/countryTrends?cn=5001&type=BCtot,EFCtot According to the 2019 Global Footprint Network survey, the carbon footprint of humanity as a whole has steadily augmented since the mid-20th century, increasing 11 times compared to 1961. The reason for the increase is the ‘excessive activity of humanity’. What is the carbon footprint system? The ‘Carbon Footprint System’ is a system that grants certification marks so that businesses and consumers can produce and consume eco-friendly products. Currently, many countries such as the UK, Canada, USA, Sweden are implementing the system. ‘Stage 1 Carbon Footprint Certification’ is a system that marks on products the total amount of carbon dioxide generated in all processes from production to disposal. ‘Stage 2 Low-carbon Product Certification’ is a system that certifies products that have less than the average carbon emission of the same product and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by applying low-carbon technology. If we all purchase products with the Stage 2 low-carbon product certification mark, we can take care of the Earth a little more, right? ㅡ Looking after our Earth Sustainable consumption and production ㅡ What is ‘sustainable consumption and production’? The 12th goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was resolved by the UN General Assembly in 2015 to be achieved by 2030, is ‘sustainable consumption and production’. This refers to economic activities to reduce the use of natural resources and harmful substances in the entire life cycle of products and services, and to reduce the emission of waste and pollutants. Hence, it aims to ‘inject less resources, obtain more results, and emit less pollutants’. In order to take good care of our planet, we must pay attention not only to carbon emissions, but also how many resources are consumed and how much waste is produced. ㅡ The Earth's enemy Is our enemy ㅡ When the Earth is experiencing substantial difficulty, so do we. Who is making our precious planet suffer so much? The culprit is the current 'mass production-consumption-disposal' system. After the Industrial Revolution, considerable amounts of products were mass-produced in the factory system, and the products poured into the market were consumed in large quantities. At the end of their life, they were discarded en masse. The harmful effects produced by the ‘mass production-consumption-disposal’ system are becoming extremely toxic to humanity. ① Waste and exhaustion of resources Most of the products produced and distributed in the global village are made from 'resources of the earth'. Typical examples include wood, which is a material for paper, plant fibers and petroleum by-products required to make clothing, and grains. The latter is used as raw materials for diverse foods. Yet with the mass production system, the resources used to produce products are increasing exponentially every year. How much resource is your country consuming? Please check here! https://www.footprintnetwork.org/content/images/uploads/LPR_2008_english.pdf According to a 2008 Global Footprint Network survey, the countries with the highest global resource consumption are the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. If everyone on the planet were living the American way of life, we would need at least 4.5 planets the size of the Earth. Global population growth is driving further resource consumption. Resources such as water and underground resources are already experiencing shortages. ② Global warming Greenhouse gases are emitted throughout the production, distribution, use and disposal of products. Excessive accumulation of greenhouse gases raises the Earth's temperature and threatens the survival of all. Download 2021 IPCC report (https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_SPM.pdf) According to a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in August 2021, the Earth's surface temperature has augmented 1.09 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report sternly warns that 'If greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, the global average temperature rise will reach 1.5 degrees between 2021 and 2040'. In many parts of the world, sea level rise due to global warming and extreme weather events (hurricanes, typhoons, floods, and droughts) are already causing colossal human and property damage. The biodiversity of flora and fauna is also declining rapidly. If the global temperature rise reaches the critical point of 1.5 degrees, the survival of mankind is expected to be even more at risk. ③ Overflowing garbage With the advent of the mass production system, the price of products has decreased, and we enjoy a lifestyle of consuming more and more and disposing of more. There are disposable items used for convenience, packaging materials due to overpacking, outdated clothing, leftover food, and food and industrial products that are discarded even before reaching the shelves. These issues have created a serious garbage crisis around the world. Read the 2021 World Bank Annual Report https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/annual-report According to a World Bank report, global waste emissions are expected to increase from 2 billion tons in 2016 to 3.4 billion tons by 2050. As the population increases, consumption will also increase, and the amount of waste will also increase. ㅡ Thinking about the Earth in daily life ㅡ Practicing sustainable consumption and production is not grandiose. Merely think about the Earth once in a while in your daily life. How about joining the 'Meat free Monday' or 'Zero Waste'? ‘Meat free Monday’ “You can change the world in one day of a week” -Slogan of ‘Meat free Monday'- This campaign started in 2009 by former Beatles member Paul McCartney with his two children. In order to solve the diverse problems induced by the global meat consumption culture, it proposed to eat a vegetarian meal at least one day a week. ‘Zero Waste’ This is a campaign to share cases of reducing waste in daily life with the aim of minimizing waste discharge to near zero. You can introduce your daily experience of reducing waste through social media and add hashtags such as #Zerowastechallenge. Examples include packing food in individual containers, avoiding plastic straws, using tumblers and shopping carts, and cooking with leftover food. ㅡ COVID-19 Evidence that Earth is limited ㅡ The 'mass production-consumption-disposal' system that supports the global economy has persistently destroyed the global environment. Ultimately, it threatens even the survival of mankind. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has terrified the whole world, can also be regarded as a consequence of environmental destruction. This is because many diseases that stayed only in the wild spread to human society as humans invaded the realm of nature in order to enjoy a rich material life. We must pay more attention to sustainable consumption and production in order to prevent a disease like COVID-19 from recurring on the planet that has reached its limit. Let's start by carrying a tumbler in our bags.
Peace Issue Global transition to sustainable energy
ㅡThe secret to becoming No.1!ㅡ ▲ Tesla Model 3 Elon Musk is the world's richest person as of November 2021 according to Forbes.He is said to have an estimated net worth of $320.3 billion. He has succeeded in an array of businesses such as PayPal, an online payment system, SpaceX, a rocket and spacecraft business, Tesla Energy, a solar panel business, and OpenAI, which is researching artificial intelligence. One of the most well-known companies is Tesla, which makes electric vehicles. According to Consumer Reports, 91% of Tesla drivers said they would buy a Tesla again. The most prevalent reason was “the pleasure of owning a future-oriented image.” Tesla's forward-looking image is reflected in their mission statement. “Tesla's mission is to accelerate the global transition to sustainable energy.” Aren't you curious about what Tesla's goal of “sustainable energy”, that made Elon Musk the world's richest person, is?ㅡPoisoned chaliceFossil energyㅡ First, let's look at “unsustainable energy”. Fossil energy accounts for the largest portion of the energy currently used by mankind. Fossil energy is the heat and pressure from the remains of plants and animals buried in the ground long time ago. It is energy created from fossil fuels that has been accumulated as a result. Examples include coal, oil, and natural gas.Click here to see the percentage of global energy consumption!https://yearbook.enerdata.co.kr/total-energy/world-consumption-statistics.html Fossil fuels are abundant since they are buried underground on a large scale, and they are not only easy to store and transport, but also highly energy efficient. However, fossil fuels are energy that we are depleting, requiring at least millions of years to hundreds of millions of years to be created in the natural world. Experts predict that if consumption continues at the current rate, oil will be depleted in 50.7 years, natural gas in 52.8 years, and coal in 114 years. Yet even more serious than energy depletion are the immense greenhouse gas emissions from fossil energy. Seventy-three percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming come from fossil fuels. Humans use fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas, and every year, approximately 51 billion tons of carbon is emitted into the atmosphere. Even as we speak, carbon emitted from fossil fuels is attacking humankind through climate disasters such as heat waves, heavy snowfalls, typhoons, droughts, and forest fires in diverse parts of the world. If we persist in utilizing fossil fuels at such a rate, global warming will reach an irreversible critical point. Bill Gates, a software tycoon-turned environmental activist, warns of an urgent need to halt the usage of fossil fuels in his book How to Avoid a Climate Catastrophe. He assert that “20 percent of greenhouse gases emitted today remain in the atmosphere even after 10,000 years.” He further emphasized the urgent need for a switch to renewable energy if humanity is to survive a climate catastrophe.ㅡEnergy detoxRenewable energyㅡ Our planet is full of toxins and needs an energy detox. This involves reducing the use of fossil fuels and replacing them with sustainable energy, green energy. Types of renewable energy ● Solar heat and solar power: an energy production method that utilizes the heat and light of the sun. It absorbs solar energy to heat water or collects sunlight using a heat collecting plate, stores it in solar cells, and uses it for energy production. ● Wind power: an energy production method that utilizes the kinetic energy of wind. A three-blade windmill spins with the force of the wind and powers a generator to produce energy. ● Hydropower: an energy production method that uses the power of water to turn a generator. After building a dam on a river, water gates can be opened to use the fast-moving water to turns turbines and generates energy. ● Biomass: a method of energy production that utilizes living organisms. Grains, fruits, trees, animal excrement, waste, etc., are converted into ethanol and methane gas to be used as energy. ● Geothermal: An energy production method that utilizes the high heat of the Earth's interior. It uses the hot water that exists underground to operate an electric turbine to produce energy. ● Hydrogen energy: a method of producing energy by burning hydrogen present in organic matter or water. Hydrogen is attracting attention as a pollution-free energy source because it does not emit pollutants even if it is combusted by combining with oxygen in the air.Renewable energy sharehttps://www.irena.org/newsroom/pressreleases/2018/Apr/Global-Renewable-Generation-Continues-its-Strong-Growth-New-IRENA-Capacity-Data-Shows Among these, the most prevalently used renewable energy is hydrogen energy (53%), followed by wind energy (23%) and solar (18%) energy. ㅡSustainable energyGoalㅡ Among the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the 7th is “Affordable and Clean Energy.”It becomes somewhat clear that sustainable energy is a global concern, right? The details of this goal set by the United Nations are as follows. 7.1 Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030 About 2.8 billion people, or one-third of the world's population, use unsanitary and unhealthy fuels such as charcoal, coal, and animal waste for cooking. Moreover, indoor air pollution from these low-quality fuels kills 4.3 million people a year. Ensuring access to energy is essential for survival. 7.2 Significantly increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix (diversification of energy sources) by 2030 As of 2017, 17.5 percent of the world's electricity was generated from renewable energy. However, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), to overcome the climate crisis, the share of renewable energy in the total energy must be augmented to two-thirds by 2050.Check out the share of renewable energy in your country!https://ourworldindata.org/energy-mix 7.3 Double global energy efficiency by 2030 2021 SDG7 Energy Generation Reporthttps://trackingsdg7.esmap.org/downloads Energy intensity refers to the amount of energy required to perform a given function. The UN has set a target of reducing energy intensity from 5.6 MJ in 2010 to 3.4 MJ in 2030. Increasing energy efficiency can have positive effects in diverse aspects, such as increased access to energy, reduced air pollution, increased resource value, economic benefits, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced energy prices, and energy productivity. ㅡA faster transition to renewable energyㅡ In 2015, the international community adopted the Paris Agreement, in which both developed and developing countries participated to counter global warming. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to maintain the global average temperature rise well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, and that further efforts should taken to limit it to 1.5°C. In order to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5℃ or less, it is necessary to transition to a “carbon-neutral” society in which net carbon emissions will be zero by 2050. How can carbon neutrality be achieved? In order to become carbon-neutral, where the amount of carbon emitted and the amount removed is the same, we must first focus on reducing carbon emissions as much as possible. Furthermore, the remaining greenhouse gases must be absorbed by forests or removed using carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology. The most important way to achieve carbon neutrality is to shift the main energy source from fossil fuels to new and renewable energy. Renewable energy is energy that does not generate carbon during usage and can be supplied infinitely even if consumed continuously. It is attracting attention as a new resource to replace fossil energy because of its advantages of being clean and inexhaustible. Currently, the international community has set carbon neutrality as the top priority. The most recent Conference of the Parties (COP26), the largest conference in the world where heads of countries gather to discuss climate change, was held in Glasgow, UK in November 2021. The concluding statement implores countries to “strengthen their carbon reduction targets by the end of 2022.” It further emphasizes the need to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent compared to 2010 by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of this century. As a result, the global transition to sustainable energy is expected to accelerate. ㅡFuture energyㅡ The fossil fuel-powered cars we use today will disappear from the planet in the near future. Tesla's mission “accelerating the global transition to sustainable energy” is in line with the vision of the international community. Tesla is preparing for the future of the earth and mankind rather than merely being satisfied as an electric vehicle manufacturer.Many countries are already expanding the means of transportation (automobiles, railways, aircraft, ships, etc.) powered by clean energy sources such as electricity and hydrogen. In particular, they are promoting the full-scale popularization of eco-friendly vehicles, and the use of biofuels is expanding where it is cumbersome to supply eco-friendly vehicles.Tesla is not just about cars. Tesla is focusing on energy that can mitigate the Earth's carbon dioxide concentration. Research on a solar roof (a roof-shaped panel that converts solar heat into electricity) and a power wall (a wall-type battery that stores the remaining electricity generated during the day) is being persistently conducted.As the transition to electric vehicles demonstrates, panels and batteries using renewable energy will naturally become part of our daily lives in the near future.The reason why people are passionate about the future-oriented nature of the Tesla company is that the choice to drive a Tesla now is a valid choice for the present as well as the future. What kind of energy will we be using 100 years later?
Peace Issue Environmental, Social, and Governance factors promote kindness.
ㅡThe straw has the flavor of paper but I applaud you for being environmentally conscious.ㅡStarbucks is a global coffee brand that is particularly popular among coffee franchises. Starbucks' unrivaled atmosphere and coffee taste may be the reason, but the company's long-running "eco-friendly" campaign has also played a role.In 2018, Starbucks launched the Greener Starbucks Korea campaign, and paper straws were introduced for the first time in franchise coffee shops. Paper straws were criticized for having a "paper taste," but they succeeded in projecting an image of a "good brand" to the MZ generation (millennials and generation Z), who consider environmental issues even when drinking a cup of coffee.Starbucks also has introduced cup lids that allow iced drinks to be consumed without straws, as well as reusable cups to eliminate the use of disposable plastic cups entirely. Starbucks' eco-friendly move aligns with the MZ generation's "value consumption" tendency to purchase eco-friendly products, even if the price is a little higher, cementing the company's unrivaled position as the world's No. 1 coffee brand.Companies are focusing on improving their image in order to win the hearts of the MZ generation, because "good companies" are well received by the MZ generation.And at the heart of the transformation is ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance factors), a new global standard for sustainable management.ㅡThe circumstances surrounding ESG's birth.ㅡFrom quality to priceA new era is on its way How well do you understand ESG? ESG is an indicator for judging a company's non-financial performance. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. ESG management has recently emerged as a hot keyword around the world, but it is difficult to summarize the concept in a single sentence because it encompasses a wide range of areas such as "social responsibility," "creating shared value," and "sustainable management."Many people will think of companies' efforts that reflect eco-friendly trends because most companies recognize the need to focus on the environment and practice ESG management.Let’s go over the history of the terminology. In 2004, the term ESG was first used in a report titled "Who Cares Wins" co-authored by the UNGC (UN Global Compact) and more than 20 financial institutions. According to this report, a company's ESG performance can generate mid-to long-term value. Thus, a new management direction was proposed in order for a company to succeed. Source: ANEVISLater that year, the United Nations issued the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Since the term ESG is used in these investment principles, a new management guideline known as ESG has become widely used around the world.In a nutshell, the core of the principles is that when investing in a company, people will now use "value" as a standard rather than mere "performance." Given that these principles were enacted around the time that discussions about climate change began to heat up, ESG can be described as the financial sector's urgent commitment to ensure the survival of the Earth. These are the world's first socially responsible investment principles, developed in collaboration with a number of experts, including financial institutions affiliated with the United Nations Environmental Programme/Finance Initiative (UNEP/FI). PRI consists of six principles and 35 specific practices. | UN Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI)① We actively consider ESG issues in our investment decisions.② We become active investors, incorporating ESG considerations into our investment philosophy and management principles.③ We request that our investment targets disclose information on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.④ We strive for the PRI level and financial industry implementation.⑤ We work together to improve the effectiveness of PRI implementation.⑥ We provide detailed reports to the outside world on the activities and progress of the PRI implementation. Link to UN PRI https://www.unpri.org/pri/about-the-pri In other words, the principles of socially responsible investment are financial institutions' pledge to "invest only in companies that improve society." As of January 2021, 3,615 financial institutions from all over the world had signed on to the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). Companies must implement ESG management to attract investment now that more and more financial institutions are willing to invest only in companies that practice EGS management. | Equator PrinciplesThe Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary agreement between financial firms not to invest in bad companies. The Equator Agreement's central tenet is not to invest in development projects that threaten the environment or violate human rights. Currently, 123 financial institutions in 37 countries have adopted the Equator Principles. Link to the principle of the equator https://equator-principles.com/ ㅡWho is assessing ESG?ㅡWell-regarded companies are those with a high ESG grade. Companies are eager to manage according to ESG principles in order to gain the favor of investors and consumers. Then, who will assign ESG grades and based on which criteria?There are currently more than 125 organizations worldwide that evaluate ESG. Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), Sustainalytics, and Bloomberg are examples of global ESG evaluation agencies.These 125 or so evaluation agencies rate companies by analyzing their respective data and evaluation criteria.Morgan Stanley Capital International is the most representative evaluation firm. Every year, MSCI assesses 35 key ESG issues for publicly traded companies around the world. There are seven levels of ESG ratings, ranging from AAA to CCC. Microsoft and NVIDIA are among the companies that received MSCI AAA ratings in 2020.Check out your favorite company's ESG rating on MSCI!https://www.msci.com/our-solutions/esg-investing/esg-ratings/esg-ratings-corporate-search-toolFind out your company's ESG score on Standard & Poor's (S&P Global)!https://www.spglobal.com/esg/scores/results?cid=4071032Different evaluation institutions may give companies different ESG grades. In the case of Tesla, it received an A grade from MSCI but was ranked in the bottom 10 percent by Just Capital. This is due to MSCI giving a large boost to Tesla because of its eco-friendly energy policy (E), whereas Just Capital rated Tesla as not responding well to customer input or safety issues (S).In any case, these institutions' ESG ratings of companies have a significant impact on investors. Companies with lower ratings are expected to have a more difficult time attracting investment than in the past. ㅡAll companies should strive for ESG!ㅡ "Everyone, ESG!" If you don't strive for it, you won't attract investors."Spreading the emphasis on ESG across companies and society was the theme of Larry Fink's annual letter in early 2020 as CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm, with more than $7 trillion in assets under management. Every year, Founder Larry Fink sends letters to CEOs of investment firms, and the flow of money around the world will inevitably change as a result of the letters sent by the world's largest financial giant.He stated in January 2020, "We will be the first to look at climate change and sustainability in all future investment and acquisition decisions." He also stated, "I will not invest in coal developers or producers of fossil fuels." This letter quickly sparked the global ESG management craze. ㅡESG is already affecting Generation MZ consumersㅡESG is already affecting consumers. ESG encompasses more than just investment and management.It's become a part of daily routine.ESG is now a daily focus for the MZ generation in Korea, born after 1980. Sensitive to the crisis of climate change, the MZ generation pursues eco-friendly consumption, and keywords such as upcycling, zero-waste (no plastic), eco-friendly delivery (precycling), and refurbishment (resupplies) accurately describe the MZ generation's consumption behavior.Generation MZ does not buy things simply because they are inexpensive and of high quality. This is because the social value is important to the MZ generation. As a result, even if they are a little more expensive, they buy products from companies that take responsibility for social issues and engage in positive action.The meaning-out generation is the English translation of another name for Generation MZ. Meaning out is a combination of "coming out," which refers to revealing one's identity, and "meaning," which refers to expressing one's values or beliefs through consumption.Fairness and transparency are important to Generation MZ. They do not ignore unreasonable or unethical situations but instead advocate on a variety of social issues such as fairness, equality, the environment, safety, gender discrimination, and animal abuse.The MZ Generation is an activist. People who share similar values and interests can easily exchange ideas or organize joint activities via online and offline meetings. When it is disclosed that a good company is "rich," or that a company is not ethical or does not follow the law, they may launch a boycott via SNS (Simple Notification Service).Companies that are found to be engaging in illegal management activities or turning a blind eye to social problems may now face a boycott by the MZ generation.ㅡ[E]Patagonia, your very existence is ESG.ㅡ‘Nice Company’, ‘Eco-Friendly Company’, ‘The Earth's Watchman.’All of these titles refer to Patagonia, a US-based outdoor clothing company. Patagonia discontinued production of steel traction devices, which used to account for a significant portion of sales, after discovering that the equipment made for rock climbing cracked and damaged the rock walls.Instead, it is a well-known anecdote that Patagonia created aluminum equipment that did not harm the environment and as a result, achieved greater success.Even before the climate-change crisis became apparent, Patagonia was already equipped with an eco-conscious mindset. Patagonia donates 1 percent of its total sales to environmental organizations each year, referring to it as a "tax paid to the Earth."Patagonia has also advertised, "Please don't buy our clothes," claiming that farming to grow eco-friendly cotton and not consuming even eco-friendly products as much as possible is more environmentally friendly.Even in consumption, Patagonia's ESG management has captivated the MZ generation's pursuit of social meaning. As a result, Patagonia earned the reputation of being a "good company that cares about the environment," and it now ranks second in the US outdoor clothing market.ㅡ[S]The star of the show is...multi-ethnic and gender equalityNeflixㅡHave you noticed how many "female protagonists of color" there are in Netflix videos?This is due to Netflix's extra effort to earn an "S" in ESG. Netflix aims for gender equality in the main characters in movies and series as well as increasing the proportion of main characters of color. As a result, it has improved significantly on 19 of the 22 inclusion indicators of an S evaluation year after year.According to the 2019 Inequality in Popular Films report, Netflix has significantly more characters that are diverse in terms of gender, race, LGBTQ, and sexual orientation.Read more about the "Inequality in Popular Films" report:https://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/aii-inequality-report-2019-09-03.pdfㅡ[G]Equal board of directorsTransparent decision-makingㅡIn comparison to the concerns about the environment and society, the governance aspect of ESG is a somewhat unfamiliar concept. Governance is defined as "any device that allows all stakeholders to make transparent decisions with responsibility within the constraints of given resources in order to achieve common goals." In most cases, it refers to the board of directors and corporate leadership. According to ESG experts, governance is the most important aspect of the elements: environment (E), society (S), and governance (G). This is due to the fact that all corporate activities for the environment (E) and society (S) ultimately stem from management's decision-making. Governance is ranked first among the four pillars of ESG by the World Economic Forum (WEF): governance, planet, people, and prosperity. Every year, ESG evaluation agencies add a new G index, with evaluation indicators such as "female director ratio," "CEO wage calculation method," "lobby funds," "bribery prevention measures," and "risk management" increasing. BlackRock stated in 2018 that it would not invest in companies with fewer than two female directors. Goldman Sachs stated that beginning in the second half of 2020 it will not engage in Initial Public Offering (IPO) work for companies that do not have directors who meet diversity standards. The gender balance of high-level officials also applies to senior executives, with many women breaking through the glass ceiling. Citigroup, one of the top ten US banks, appointed its first female CEO. Rashida Jones of MSNBC is the cable news industry's first black woman to be appointed president. Furthermore, the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement is countering racial segregation and promoting diversity in the composition of Boards of Directors.ㅡLeap for a better societyㅡThe primary reason for people's interest in the environment, society, and governance factors is that consumers' and investors' values regarding the role of corporations have shifted. There is a growing expectation that companies that have caused major social problems should solve them through responsible management activities and take actions that have a positive impact on people’s lives, in addition to the prevailing values that focused only on corporate economic performance.ESG demonstrates that the era of so-called "good companies," in which companies that strive to protect the environment, fulfill their social responsibilities, and have transparent governance, has arrived. Unlike in the past, when companies were concerned only with how much money they made, the emphasis now is on "how" they made money. When we consider the environment (E), respond to various societal issues (S), and have a transparent governance structure (G), a more peaceful and sustainable society can develop. Will you engage in ESG investment, management, and consumption in order to create a more peaceful world?
Peace Issue The Scream of a Woman in Afghanistan
ㅡ "No one cares about us because we were born in Afghanistan." "We're going to die in history." - Afghan girl's despair at the Taliban rule - ㅡ “Is this really the 21st century?” People running desperately toward aircraft, people hanging upside down on the stairs in an attempt to board an aircraft, people clinging to an aircraft's wheels as it takes off...Crowds rushed into the Kabul Airport to flee the country after the Islamic armed group Taliban reclaimed control of Afghanistan. Afghans who had been going about their daily lives were thrown into battlefields rife with violence and fear.People all over the world witnessed how easily modern civilization could devolve into an anti-civilized and violent situation as they found the urgent scenes of the Afghan exodus more compelling than a movie.The two youths killed in a take-off crash of a transport plane were ordinary Afghan boys aged 16 and 17. They were brothers who supported their mother by selling fruits in the market in Kabul.Even now, 38 million Afghans fear having to choose a perilous escape route. And the reality imposed on the weak and women in need of protection among them is as perilous as standing on the edge of a knife. ㅡ Who Are the Taliban? ㅡ In Arabic, Taliban means "students." The Arabic word "Talib," which means "student," is combined with the Pashtun plural suffix "an"; in this case, "student" refers to a seminary student studying in a madrasa, a boarding school that teaches Islam. What caused a group of theological students studying God's teachings to become ruthless? To understand this, we need to turn the clock back 40 years and look at developments since then. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the US-trained and supported mujahedin (warriors) to fight the Soviets. Theological students were trained to be anti-Soviet warriors in Pashtun, southern Afghanistan. The Taliban was founded in 1994 in Kandahar, Afghanistan's southernmost province. From 1996 to 2001, they controlled roughly three-quarters of Afghanistan under the leadership of Muhammad Omar. ㅡ The country with the worst women's rights record in the world ㅡWomen and minorities bore the brunt of the Taliban's atrocities during their five-year reign. During this time, Afghan women were unable to obtain an education, find work, or go out without male protection, and they were barred from holding any public office. In the face of the cruel reality of not being guaranteed basic human rights, women helplessly endured ruthless violence. ▲ World Economic Forum Report: 'Global Gender Gap Report 2021'https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2021/digest Women in Afghanistan have the lowest social status in the world as of 2021. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, Afghanistan ranked 156th out of 156 countries on the gender equality index. It wasn't always like this. In fact, in the 1960s and 1970s, Afghans enjoyed a free atmosphere within Islamic society, and women openly walked around Kabul in miniskirts. However, with the Taliban in power, women's human rights deteriorated to a pre-modern level. ▲ UNESCO Statistical Institute data: ‘Afghanistan's education registration rates, women (reference data in September 2020)’. https://data.worldbank.org/topic/education?locations=AFThe Taliban barred Afghan females from going out without being escorted by a male relative, going to school, or working. In UNESCO's "Afghanistan Education Institution Registration Rate, Women" graph, there is a break beginning in 1996. This means that education for females was halted entirely for a time. Since 2001, when the Taliban stepped down and a different Afghan government was established, the graph has risen dramatically, restoring female educational opportunities. In 2018, approximately 83 percent of school-age Afghan females were enrolled in educational institutions. However, due to the Taliban's reign, the graph is expected to plummet once more. Women were labeled as evil under common law. What is the Taliban's motivation for oppressing females? The foundations are based on Pashtunwali, Deovanni, and Sharia Law. 1. Pashtunwali Pashtunwali, the Taliban’s main pillar, is the code of honor of the Pashtun people that values the following virtues in a Pashtun man: hospitality, protection, honor, and bravery. The Taliban interprets Islamic law based on Pashtunwali, but the Pashtunwali view is overwhelmingly male-centered, with women regarded as evil beings. According to Pashtunwali, women are completely owned by men and are merely tools for second-generation production. 2. Deobandi Deobandi is an Islamic revivalist movement that occurred in India following British colonial rule. Afghanistan, as a neighboring country, was heavily influenced by the Deobandi concept, which completely excludes women from public spaces. 3. Sharia law Sharia law is a way of life that all Muslims must adhere to, including prayer, fasting, and charitable contributions to the poor. However, if Sharia law is interpreted punitively, it can be applied more brutally to women than any other legal system in the world. The following are the main characteristics of Sharia law: - Extreme punishment: Harsh physical punishments seen only in medieval society, such as amputating hands for theft and stoning women to death for adultery. - Extreme sexism: Sharia law has been revised by the Taliban to make women and non-Muslims increasingly vulnerable. As a result, even if a woman has been beaten or sexually assaulted, it is difficult for her to prove that she has been victimized. ㅡ Under Taliban rule A woman's life is miserable ㅡ ▲ Women wearing miniskirts and walking freely on the streets in the 1970s, and women covered their whole bodies with burka under the Taliban.According to a Human Rights Watch report published in 2020, brutal corporal punishment, including extreme oppression and the suppression of freedom of religion, expression, and education, was used on Afghan women during the Taliban's rule. Directly to Human Rights Watch: "Taleban-controlled Afghanistan's education, social restrictions, and justice (2020)". https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/06/30/you-have-no-right-complain/education-social-restrictions-and-justice-taliban-held A report on Afghanistan's Education, Social Restrictions, and Justice categorize the Taliban's oppression of Afghan women in four areas. 1. Education When the Taliban took power in 1996, laws prohibiting girls over the age of eight from attending school were enacted. As a result, in Kabul alone, 106,256 girls and 8,000 female college students were expelled, and 63 schools were closed. Women who desired an education had no choice but to attend underground schools in secret, risking execution if discovered. 2. Workplace The Taliban outlawed all employment of women on September 30, 1996. The number of women fired totaled 7,793. Many women who had had jobs were forced to beg for money on the streets. 3. Well-being When women were examined by a male doctor, the Taliban required them to be fully clothed. This hampered a full examination and treatment, even if a woman went to a small hospital with a female doctor. Furthermore, women's mental health was jeopardized by forced confinement and social isolation. A survey of 160 women revealed that 97 percent had severe depression and 71 percent had poor physical health. 4. Punishment Extreme violence was used as a form of punishment under Sharia law. Women who violated Sharia law faced public repercussions such as public beatings. | Cases of female punishment under the Taliban. ○ In October 1996, the tip of a woman's thumb was amputated because she had painted her nails. ○ In 1999, a mother with seven children was accused of murdering her husband at the Kabul Gaji Sports Stadium and was executed in front of 30,000 spectators; she was punished instead of her daughter, who was strongly suspected of the crime. ○ When a woman was discovered running an unofficial school in her apartment, the children were beaten and the women were thrown down the stairs. | Restrictions on women under the Taliban. ○ Women cannot walk down the street unless they are accompanied by a male blood relative or are wearing a burka. ○ Men should not have to hear the footsteps of a woman, so women should not wear high-heeled shoes. ○ Women should not speak loudly in public because strangers should not be able to hear the voices of a women. ○ To prevent women from being seen on the street, the windows on the ground and first floors of all residential buildings should be painted or shuttered. ○ All place names that contain the word 'female' should be modified; 'Women's Garden,' for example, was renamed 'Spring Garden.' ㅡ Struggling to be human How to eliminate violence against women (EVAW) ㅡFollowing the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, various efforts were made in Afghanistan to promote women's rights. It was a difficult battle, but a number of non-governmental organizations and government agencies attempted to reform Afghan laws so they guarantee women's rights, which resulted in the enactment of the EVAW law (Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women) in August 2008. This was the first law in Afghan history to criminalize violence against women, outlawing 22 violent acts against women, including rape, assault, forced marriage, prohibition on property acquisition, and denial of employment and educational opportunities. Go straight to Human Rights Watch: "Afghanistan's Enforcement of the Act on the Elimination of Violence against Women (2021).https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/08/05/i-thought-our-life-might-get-better/implementing-afghanistans-eliminationAlthough there were limitations, the human rights of women could be protected within the boundaries of the law. This was the fruit of Afghan women's painful efforts. Human Rights Watch evaluated the law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) as "a slow but true change and an advocacy pin for the efforts of Afghan women's human rights groups to reform other laws." However, with the Taliban's resurgence, the law is on the verge of being scrapped.ㅡ Women's rights dated back 20 yearsin Afghanistan ㅡ The Taliban seized Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, on August 15, and reclaimed power 20 years after their earlier five-year regime. After the Afghan government surrendered without a fight, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The Taliban vowed to respect the human rights of women under Sharia law, but the Taliban brutally shot a woman who went out without a burka. A woman dressed in tight-fitting clothing was murdered for refusing to accompany a male relative.▲ A hair salon in Kabul where women's faces on the wall were severely damaged by spray. The politics of fear has begun. Twenty years of work for Afghan women's human rights came to naught in an instant. Burka prices are skyrocketing, and girls and women born after 2001 who had never lived under the Taliban's rule find this reality unfamiliar and frightening. The world is watching with bated breath as courageous Afghan women take to the streets to defend human rights at the risk of their lives. The risk is the fact that cruel triggers can be pulled on these women at any time.▲ On August 17, 2021, Afghan women protesting in front of Taliban soldiers demanding women's human rights. The international community has urged the Taliban to protect its citizens’ human rights. The United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has urged Taliban leaders to respect the rights of Afghans. She specifically warned them not to cross the fundamental red line of rights for women and girls. ㅡ How to Help Afghan Womenㅡ What can we do to help the Afghan women who are terrified? Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, the mother of refugee education in Afghanistan and the winner of the 2nd Sunhak Peace Prize, is desperately appealing to the world for interest and relief in Afghanistan. "Our democracy could have imploded right now. Anomalies, on the other hand, do not go away so easily. Even the wind's whispers cannot be killed. The Taliban will not be able to derail their dreams. Even if it takes longer than we anticipated, we will prevail." - After returning to power, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi sent a letter to partners around the world. (Sakena Yacoobi's Special Letter: http://www.sunhakpeaceprize.org/en/news/notice.php?bgu=view&idx=478)Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, who risked her life to run an underground school for girls under the Taliban in the late 1990s, founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in 1995 and has been providing education and vocational training to thousands of refugees in order to improve Muslim women's rights and social status. The Afghans will eventually return to a peaceful life, as Dr. Yacoobi predicted. Even in the midst of this ruthless violence, there are people with ideals and beliefs that Afghanistan will rise again one day. Everyone's attention and solidarity are urgently needed so that women and children in Afghanistan who have been harmed by the harsh reality do not abandon the "heart of hope." | How to help Afghanistan Make a contribution to the Afghan Learning Institute (AIL) https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=U342N8B8RBHPG<clid=40ea689c-0b50-44fc-845c-5c69e93a8ba2https://www.afghaninstituteoflearning.org/how-to-donate.html For a United Nations peacekeeping force https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/contact The International Committee of the Red Cross https://www.icrc.org/en/contact
Peace Issue Net Zero: The only way earth can survive
ㅡRed Flag for Mother Earth’s Health!Abnormal Temperature Rise ㅡThe red flag is raised for the health of Mother Earth these days. Mother Earth, who was afraid of the constant increase in temperature, went to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and requested a diagnosis and prescription.● Mother Earth: My temperature is constantly increasing. I’m so afraid because heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, and floods are occurring all over due to the rise in temperature. Every day I am afraid of what will happen tomorrow, and it is even hard to breathe. Why is this happening to me?● IPCC: Mother Earth’s temperature has risen by about 1℃ compared to the pre-industrial era. If this continues, life will be in danger. Let’s take a closer look.ㅡIPCC’s DiagnosisThe main cause if rising temperature rise: Carbon dioxide ㅡ● Mother Earth: Actually, since industrialization began, I have been living an increasingly prosperous and convenient life, something I never experienced before. Those were very pleasant days. Was poison hiding in those great times? ● IPCC: Now, let me explain by drawing a graph.The increase in Mother Earth’s temperature is due to accumulated greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. A huge amount of carbon dioxide has been emitted since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1800s. For about 100 years since the early 1800s, carbon dioxide was mainly generated by coal, and for about 100 years since the early 1900s, it was primarily generated from petroleum.The amount of carbon dioxide emitted so far has reached 45,873,850,000t (The World Bank, 2018). Such poison has been gradually accumulating in Mother Earth.The current surface temperature of the Earth has increased by about 1.09℃ compared to 1850~1900. This is a very, very serious situation.Direct link to IPCC 2021 ‘6th Assessment Report’ Summary: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Full_Report.pdf IPCC published its 6th Assessment Report on August 9, 2021. The report emphasizes that it is clear that climate change due to global warming is caused by human influence. The graph shows the trend of global surface temperature changes (black line) over the past 170 years divided into human activity + natural factors (brown line) and natural factors only (green line).The green line shows the change in surface temperature assuming that only natural factors were present, such as the sun and volcanoes, and the brown line shows the combined impact of human and natural factors on the average annual surface temperature. Isn’t the brown line much steeper? You can notice that the increase in surface temperature is much greater when human influences were added.What stands out in the report is the unprecedented increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and cumulative carbon dioxide emissions. As of 2019, carbon dioxide was measured at 410 ppm, methane at 1866 ppb, and nitrous oxide at 332 ppb, but before the industrial revolution, the Earth’s carbon dioxide concentration was 280 ppm. In particular, the concentration of carbon dioxide was at a level unprecedented in the past 2 million years.ㅡDark Future of Mother Earth1.5~2℃ Rise in Temperature by 2050 ㅡ● Mother Earth: How long can I live? I want to return to health as soon as possible. I want to get back to normal life as soon as possible, free from heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, and floods. ● IPCC: If conditions continue, the average temperature will rise by 1.5℃ by 2050 compared to the pre-industrial era. The symptoms will appear much more often and be more serious than they do now. If the average temperature rises to 2℃, the decline in the health of Mother Earth will be irreversible, and if it rises to 6℃, life on Mother Earth cannot continue. If the global temperature rises by 1.5℃ compared to the pre-industrial era, the risks to the ecosystem and human life are likely irreversible. Therefore, 1.5~2℃ is called the climate defense line, and the IPCC predicts that the global temperature will reach this climate defense line in 2050.The report predicts that 95 percent of life on Earth will become extinct when the global average temperature rises by 6℃ because methane hydrates will be released in large quantities. ㅡIPCC’s PrescriptionExtreme cut on carbon emissionsby 2050! ㅡ● Mother Earth: How much carbon should I lose to remain alive?● IPCC: Let me talk straight. Zero carbon emissions need to be achieved by 2050. Initially, by 2030 carbon dioxide emission needs to be reduced by at least 45 percent, compared to 2010 levels, and carbon neutrality, or net carbon emission of 0, achieved by 2050. To achieve this requires great determination.Direct link to Global Warming of 1.5℃ Special Report (2018): https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/download/ In conclusion, IPCC’s 1.5℃ ‘Special Report’ states that all countries must achieve net-zero by 2050 in order to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5℃ or less compared to the pre-industrial levels.● Carbon Neutral refers to the activities that reduce the net emission of carbon dioxide (one of six greenhouse gases) to zero. In other words, carbon neutrality is achieved when the emission of carbon dioxide equals the absorption of carbon dioxide added by human activities. ● Net-zero refers to the activities that reduce the net emission of all six greenhouse gases to zero. Therefore, net-zero is more difficult to achieve than carbon neutrality. This is also called Climate Neutral.ㅡMain Point to Achieve Net-Zero by 2050‘Green Energy’ ㅡ● Mother Earth: We have been relying on fossil fuels for 200 years, so can we achieve net-zero by 2050? ● IPCC: If we compare this to weight loss, no matter what type of weight loss you aim to achieve, you are aware that ultimately you have to change your eating habits, right? Reducing greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, requires a major transition in energy consumption. It means cutting down on the use of fossil fuels and changing the diet to green energy (solar, wind, hydro). Major Transition to Green EnergyThe World Resources Institute (WRI) has suggested ten strategies for achieving net-zero. These include reducing coal power step by step, investing in clean energy and improving energy efficiency, renovating buildings, decarbonizing materials, shifting to eco-friendly vehicles, increasing the use of public transportation, decarbonizing airplanes, and ships, restoring forests, reducing food waste and garbage, and reducing meat consumption and increasing vegetable consumption. Direct link to World Resources Institute’s (WRI) solution to achieve Net-Zero:https://www.wri.org/insights/net-zero-ghg-emissions-questions-answered Especially, current internal combustion engines that emit a large quantity of greenhouse gases are expected to be replaced with eco-friendly, pollution-free vehicles, such as electric or hybrid vehicles in the near future. Europe, the world’s largest electric vehicle market, announced a proposal for carbon emission reduction in July 2021, including the introduction of a Carbon Border Tax and a ban on sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines. Under the goal of reducing by 2030 net greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent compared to 1990 levels, sales of new vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines will be banned in Europe by 2035. New energy vehicles (NEV) are expected to make up over 35 percent of new vehicle sales in China in 2025.The United States has announced plans for half of all new cars sold in the US to be eco-friendly by 2030.ㅡ1.5℃ Rise Could Happen by 2040Carbon Reduction Is NecessaryㅡCurrently, global temperatures are rising much faster than predicted. IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report (2021) warns that if the current level of greenhouse gas emission continues, the global temperature is highly likely to increase by 1.5 degrees by 2040, which is within 20 years.Therefore, we are in an urgent situation that may require pushing carbon neutrality ahead to 2040. Countries and corporations should accelerate their efforts to reduce carbon emissions. It is also time for individuals to set a daily carbon reduction goal for the health of the planet. Every big change starts with a small effort!Make today day 1 of carbon-cutting! Five practical methods to cut carbon use:1. No meat Monday: each person who goes vegan for one day a week has the same effect as planting 15 pine trees that are 30 years old!2. Remove unnecessary stuff from the car trunk: 2.3 kg reduction per 1 liter of gasoline3. Use a personal water bottle: about 10 kg reduction per person per year (using 2 paper cups per day X 1 year = 8 kg of carbon)4. Use second-hand products: 33 kg reduction per pair of jeans 5. Receive receipts digitally: 3 g reduction per sheet
Announcement The Interviews with Indonesian winners of the ‘2021 Peace Motion Graphics Contest’
The Interviews with Indonesian winners of the ‘2021 Piece Motion Graphics Contest’ were introduced on the ‘Korea Culture Sharing Website’, which is operated by the depatment of Korean Culture and Information Service, of the Korean government. The lively reflections of the winners of the ‘2021 Peace Motion Graphics Contest’ will be presented to young people around the world who love Korean culture.Link to the interview:https://www.korea.net/TalkTalkKorea/English/community/community/CMN0000012884
Announcement A Letter from Afghanistan
While the world is in shock from the Islamic fundamentalist group, Taliban, entering Kabul, a letter from Sakena Yacoobi, an Afghan woman educator and the second Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate, arrived at the Sunhak Peace Prize Secretariat on the 17th.The open letter, 'Afghanistan has fallen- What you can do to help,' contains the urgent voice of Dr. Yacoobi, calling for the protection of Afghan women and children from this crisis.As the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) founder and CEO, Dr. Yacoobi continues to promote women's rights and education through the institute even during this desperate situation. In addition, she is proposing a way for people worldwide to join the Afghan refugee relief effort in solidarity with AIL.Link to Afghan Learning Institute: https://www.afghaninstituteoflearning.org/Dr. Yacoobi has sent this letter to many colleagues and organizations who have been promoting the rights of Afghan women. Former U.S. President George W. Bush released a statement calling for Afghan refugee relief on the 17th in Newsweek, citing Sakena Yacoobi's desperate letter at the end.Link to the full text of former U.S. President George W. Bush's statement calling for relief in Afghanistan: https://www.newsweek.com/george-bush-urges-afghanistan-refugees-helped-without-delay-full-statement-1619960The Sunhak Peace Prize Secretariat shares Dr. Yacoobi's message hoping that people worldwide will help the Afghan refugees. This is one of the most difficult letters I have ever written. After twenty years, our government collapsed with almost no resistance. The constitution we worked so hard for, the rights our women sacrificed so much to gain, thrown out the window like scraps for the dogs. Our military and the Ghani government fled, leaving our women and children to face the Taliban with no support. The world watched it happen, without care. We begged, screaming for help. So, now we see peace is again made on the back of women and children. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has fallen, and Kabul is in complete chaos. My office and staff are unharmed, for which we thank God. The nation of Afghanistan is in turmoil. My schools are still running as of now. We have been instructed that we can continue as long as we separate boys and girls. The day the Taliban took Kandahar, they planted three flags in the courtyard. My schools must be important, as they visited the very first day the Taliban took control. Our Women Learning Centers remain open as they primarily serve women. As of now, my staff is unharmed. We hope and pray this remains true. We have been told that Radio and TV Meraj are not to operate until we are given notice; we will wait for that instruction. We hope and pray that the Taliban wasn't lying when they told the world they did not intend to shut the schools, but our universities have already closed their doors to women and told them to go home. Burqa sales have tripled, as have the prices to purchase them. Women who lived through the Taliban before now go to purchase these garments, while the daughters raised under the American occupation throw them in their mothers' faces, refusing to wear them. We are a nation at a crossroads, but AIL will do what AIL has always done. We will continue to educate and provide a safe space for children and women. We will continue to offer food, job training, and medical care for as long as we can remain in our facilities. When it is no longer possible to stay in those buildings, we will find new buildings and work there. Wherever we have schools now, we will have schools next week, next month, or next year. AIL was started in secret, and it will continue in secret if it must. While we are afraid, we will not be defeated. Our mission remains the same. We will set up schools in every province, now that the worst has come. We know what to expect. We know the Taliban very well. There is no question of how they operate or what they expect. We know how to manage them, and we will act accordingly. Letter after letter, phone call after phone call, came in this weekend asking how you can help. We need humanitarian supplies. The refugee situation we updated you with last week and the week before has only deteriorated. We have 300,000 internal refugees and 80,000 children who are without shelter and food. Where we were short of supplies, now we are out. Those in need are overwhelming us. Aid agencies have left with the Americans. AIL will not be leaving, so we will expand our facilities to help those who lost everything, including their homes, in the fighting. We need dry milk, clothes, school supplies, medicine, hygiene items, and since Covid is still present, soap and sanitizers are critical. Many of you have asked what else you can do, and to that, I say to contact the UN and government officials and tell them you want them to use every possible tool they have to protect our women and girls through diplomatic means. Sanction Pakistan for their invasion of my country, and pray for the safety of my people. Our democracy may have fallen for now. Ideas do not disappear so easily. One cannot kill whispers on the wind. The Taliban cannot crush a dream. We will prevail, even if it takes longer than we wanted it to. Much love to you all,Dr. Sakena YacoobiHow you can help AfghanistanDonate to AILhttps://www.afghaninstituteoflearning.org/how-to-donate.htmlEmail the White Househttps://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/Email Number 10 Downing Streethttps://email.number10.gov.uk/Request Peacekeepershttps://peacekeeping.un.org/en/contactInternational Committee of the Red Crosshttps://www.icrc.org/en/contact
Announcement ‘Maestro of humanity’: 2017 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate Gino Strada dies at 73
Beloved and respected by humanitarians around the world,Dr. Gino Strada died on August 13 at the age of 73.He was the founder of the medical-aid NGO, EMERGENCY. As a surgeon, he devoted his life to healing those in need. He saw healthcare as a human right.In 2017 Dr. Strada was awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize in recognition of his lifelong humanitarian work, saving millions of people suffering in conflict areas around the world.EMERGENCY has treated over 11 million people in 19 countries since 1994.It currently operates in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Italy, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda, and Yemen.His commitment to healing was unchanging and he spoke out passionately on behalf of those who suffer, saying, "If any human being is suffering at this moment, if they are ill or hungry, this regards all of us,because ignoring a person's suffering is always an act of violence and one of the most cowardly".His noble love of humanity will remain a warm seed in our hearts. His life has been a blessing to this world.We love you Gino.
Peace Issue Solution for the ‘Three planetary crises’
ㅡSolution for the ‘Three planetary crises’ ㅡ"Fundamentally, the pandemic is a warning from the planet that unless we change our ways, much worse lies in store. It is a warning that we must finally get on top of the three planetary crises that threaten our collective future: the climate crisis, the biodiversity and nature crisis, and the pollution and waste crisis...Without strong science that travels, we cannot influence unsustainable consumption and production patterns that underpin the three planetary crises."António Guterres, UN Secretary-General What do you think is the key to overcoming the pandemic? Are masks, hand sanitizers, vaccines, and treatments enough? The answer is no! Scientists warn that if humanity does not address the root cause, another pandemic could follow after COVID-19.It was our 'normal' that led us to the pandemic. The Pandemic began when the humans destroyed the natural habitat of the wild animals, which led to these animals invading the habitat of the humans. If we do not change our ‘normal’ that destroys nature, the new pandemic will continue to attack humanity.This epidemic is a warning that humanity must change the path they have created by 180 degrees. It is a warning that the three planetary crises, the climate crisis, the biodiversity and nature crisis, and the pollution and waste crisis, will threaten our collective future.On April 27th, the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) held an online conference on the 'Defining Green Recovery.' At this conference, there was a heated discussion of using 'green recovery' to overcome COVID-19, which brought instability in the life and economy of the world. At this conference, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released a report titled Making Peace with Nature, which presented a blueprint for the scientific foundation for reporting the global environment. The below are the key points from this conferenceClick the link to download the ‘Making Peace with Nature’ report.Making Peace With Nature | UNEP - UN Environment ProgrammeㅡCrisis 1: Climate Changeㅡ△ Samburu, Kenya, January 2020: Due to global warming, the sudden growth of the grasshopper population is plaguing herds of African elephants.Global warming is the biggest disaster in human history. The effects of global warming are easy to see around us. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane, with 30 typhoons, was the most severe hurricane ever recorded. Currently, 2 billion people live under the stress of water scarcity. Wildfires, floods, and droughts are so common today that they are no longer the big news.Last year, a swarm of grasshoppers in Africa crossed the Red Sea and struck Iran and Pakistan in the Middle East, and then advanced to the grain fields of South America such as Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, causing the worst damage to farms in 23 countries in 70 years.Drinking water pollution due to climate change is also a difficult situation. An additional 1.8 million people are expected to die from contaminated water, and there are many displaced people due to this issue, of which women account for 80%.The recent global warming is heading towards a more complex situation. Despite the decrease in carbon dioxide emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global warming continues and is expected to increase by 3 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrialization within the 21st century.ㅡCrisis 2: Biodiversity and NatureㅡThe next thing that threatens human existence is biodiversity and nature crises.Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate. Of 7.8 million species, more than 1 million plants and animals are projected to become extinct each year. Humans have altered 75% of the terrestrial surface and 66% of the marine area.Decreased biodiversity doesn't just mean pretty grass and butterflies are gone. It is a complex problem that turns the entire ecosystem upside down. When biodiversity declines, the foundations of what makes well-being possible, such as food, water, temperature control, economic growth, etc., are shaken while degrading ecosystems.ㅡCrisis 3: Pollution and WasteㅡPollution and waste are the 'toxic traces' we have left as we grow our economy.Every year, pollution causes millions of premature deaths. Due to climate change and ecosystem destruction, pollution-related diseases are expected to increase significantly, and approximately 9 million humans are expected to die prematurely every year.About a third of all rivers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia suffer from severe pollution. Every year we throw away 50 million tons of e-waste, roughly equal to the weight of all commercial airliners ever made.ㅡPeace with Nature is the defining task of the 21st CenturyㅡWe already knew about all these issues. But the unfortunate fact is that we didn't act enough to solve the problem. We have already set the international agreement, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the globally agreed goals on biodiversity; however, it was not implemented properly. Now, the age of promise must change into an age of action. Achieving peace with nature is a decisive task in the 21st century. How can this be achieved? There is a need for a transition to a more sustainable pattern. If humanity has been living in an unsustainable production and consumption system, it is time to switch to a sustainable production and consumption system.ㅡ1st point to address the planetary crises: economy and business.ㅡHave you ever abandoned a product that is still usable today and bought a new, more attractive version of the product?That is unsustainable consumption and the main culprit that makes the planet sick. In line with the pace of change in modern society, companies are constantly releasing upgraded versions of products, and many people do not hesitate to discard old items to buy new ones. Eventually, this leads to environmental destruction.Now, there is a desperate need for a new economy and business that will make humanity prosper without compromising the value of nature. Companies should operate the production process in consideration of various factors such as pursuing high energy efficiency, eliminating the use of toxic chemicals, extending the life of products, improving product recyclability, reducing the number of harmful substances emitted during disposal, and respecting workers.Biodiversity and natural restoration can also be substantial economic opportunities. Overall, the business opportunity to transform food, land, and ocean use systems is said to generate additional revenues or cost savings of $3.6 trillion by 2030 while creating 191 million new jobs.ㅡ2nd point to address the planetary crises: governanceㅡFive years ago, countries signed the historic Paris Agreement to limit global warming this century to below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue 1.5 degrees. What is the outcome after five years? Greenhouse gas emissions have temporarily decreased due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, but there is no significant difference in long-term temperature. To achieve the 2 degrees Celsius target, a challenge remains to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a third by 2030.The same goes for biodiversity. Governments in each country pledged in 2010 to achieve their biodiversity targets by 2020. However, like the Paris Agreement, it was not implemented as well. Each country needs to develop concrete implementation plans and take international action before it's too late.In addition to fulfilling the agreed international commitments, we must invest in a 'green recovery' to overcome the pandemic. According to a recent report published by UNEP, if green recovery funds are wisely invested in technological innovations such as renewable energy, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 25% in 2030.ㅡ3rd point to address the planetary crises: personal responsibilityㅡYour little choice today can heal the planet."The fact is that if you live in the developed world, you impact planetary health," said the UNEP Executive Director, Inger Anderson, as she pointed out that about two-thirds of the world's carbon dioxide emissions are linked to private households.Most of us already know what we need to do to save our planet. There are answers to trivial everyday life, from reducing disposable plastics to lessening food waste to save energy. We need to change our minds so that our little choices become sustainable choices.The responsibility lies with all of us. Two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions are related to private households, and the planet is at risk as demand for food and materials increases. Right now we require 1.6 Earths to maintain the current population and living standards, both of which are rising.ㅡBuilding a peaceful and inclusive relationship with natureㅡTo overcome the crisis on our planet, all of humanity must change the way we think about the environment. A peaceful yet inclusive relationship between mankind and nature must be reestablished.Changing our mindset is very difficult. But we can and must do it. COVID-19 has shown how fast we can change our habits when we have to. Bold leadership, scientific innovation, dedicated global fundraising, and lifestyle changes have brought us to the point of developing a vaccine and breaking out of the pandemic in a year.Now we have to change the way we think about nature. Not forgetting that the cause of the pandemic was the 'destruction of nature,' a shift in the mindset of peaceful and inclusive perception of nature is necessary. Humanity must overcome the pandemic's wounds with a 'green recovery' and once again create bold leadership, scientific innovation, global fundraising, and lifestyle changes.
Peace Issue Disaster drives inequality, inequality prevents peace
△ Delhi, India, May 2020. Children from slums in India await a charity food distribution.Disasters accelerate inequality. The adverse conditions facing the vulnerable are exacerbated by disasters, making it harder to overcome those conditions. This is the case for the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic had a significant impact worldwide, but its damage is more lethal to the poor.According to the 2020 UNDP report, the world is experiencing a decline in education, health, and living standards for the first time since 1990. All these declines began with the global epidemic of COVID-19 and are widely observed in all world regions. The economic contraction caused by the quarantine measures severely hit the lives of vulnerable groups such as residents of underdeveloped countries, low-income groups, women, and the disabled.UN Secretary-General Antonius Guterchs criticized the reality of global inequality exacerbated by COVID-19:"COVID-19 has been likened to an x-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of the societies we have built. It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere.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. While we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts, while others are clinging to the drifting debris."ㅡThe face of global inequality revealed by Covid 19ㅡAs the pandemic is prolonged, inequality in global income and assets is intensifying. The government's fiscal rescue packages support the wealthy industries, while the livelihood of the vulnerable, who have lost their job due to the blockade, is worsening.In February 2021, Oxfam, an international aid organization, pointed out in a report called The Inequality Virus that “the world is witnessing the largest increase in inequality in history due to COVID-19”.○ COVID-19 is an inequality virus: The rich and middle class were able to choose various responses to overcome the epidemic, but many of the poor and the vulnerable had to face a harsh reality with no options. According to The Inequality Virus Report, the top 1,000 billionaires, dubbed ‘Mega-Rich,’ took only nine months to recover their wealth to their pre-pandemic highs. In contrast, the world's poorest people will take more than ten years to recover.○ Growing Poverty from COVID-19: Due to COVID-19, about 90 million people in low-income countries around the world are at risk of falling into poverty (International Monetary Fund report). If the inequality caused by the pandemic continues to the current level, it is predicted that the world's poor population will increase by about 500 million by 2030 (World Bank WB report).○ Polarization Accelerated by Digitization and Automation: The COVID-19 contributes to the growing inequality, as the digital transformation of production and operations is accelerating. Increased automation and telecommuting further threaten the labor market of low-skilled, underpaid workers. The problem is, as the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 era, such as working from home, is settled, jobs for low-skilled workers are expected to decrease significantly even after the pandemic.ㅡInequality leads to angerAnger leads to social anxiety ㅡ“This is not just a protest against an increase in subway fares, it is an expression of years of repression, primarily targeting the poorest people.”△ Bogota, Colombia, May 2021: The protests that began in opposition to the Colombian government's tax reform proposal have continued despite President Iván Duque's decision to withdraw the reform bill.From the spark of anger and discontent formed over poverty and inequality on May 10, 2021, protests continue to spread in Columbia. The start of the protest was the government's tax reform plan. The government proposed a tax reform plan to increase the tax burden from those with a monthly salary of about $650 per month, only three times the minimum wage, which created a backlash from the middle and low-income class. Protesters were angered that the government was only targeting the middle and low-income citizens rather than the wealthy. The protest was also the repressed anger over poverty and inequality that COVID-19 has deepened.In 2019, massive protests took place in Ecuador, Chile, Lebanon, and Spain as well. The causes, methods, and goals are all different, but the common thing that drives people into the streets is inequality; many protesters have long been isolated from the state's wealth.Protests in Ecuador began when the government announced it would abolish fuel subsidies, and in Chile, higher bus and subway fares sparked protests. Chile is one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, but it is also the most unequal. Chile has the lowest income equality among the 36 member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).On the day when protesters and security forces clashed in Chile, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera was spotted eating in a high-end Italian restaurant, which angered the civilian.A student at the protest told the media that "This is not just a protest against an increase in subway fares, it is an expression of years of repression, primarily targeting the poorest people."The situation in Chile, which has spread to anti-government protests, is an important event that shows the growing gap between the rich and the poor and economic inequality. Not only in Chile, but around the world, the gap between the rich and the poor has become a spark that arouses social unrest.ㅡOnly the wealth of the rich continues to grow.ㅡOxfam International, which aids over 100 countries worldwide, publishes an inequality report every year at the Davos World Economic Forum, which brings together the world's wealthiest and most influential people.In a January 2020 report, Oxfam diagnosed global inequality as 'out of control' due to the biased economic system that excludes women while billionaires accumulate more wealth. Click the link below to download the Oxfam Inequality Report.https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/620928/bp-time-to-care-inequality-200120-en.pdfThe Oxfam report released in 2020 accused the government of exacerbating inequality by not securing sufficient resources for public services such as healthcare and education, imposing low taxes on businesses and the wealthy, and failing to prevent tax evasion adequately.○ The wealth of the top 1% billionaires, twice the wealth of 6.9 billion people: The world's richest 1% has more than twice the wealth of the 6.9 billion people.○ The top 1% of billionaires’ consistently accruing wealth: In 1980, the wealthiest 1% of the global village accounted for 16% of global income, and the bottom 50% accounted for 8%. In 2016, the top 1% accounted for 22% of global income, and the bottom 50% accounted for 10%. If the wealth trend accelerates, the top 1%'s income share is expected to increase by nearly 39% by 2050.○ Half of the world's population lives on less than 5 dollars and 50 cents per day: 3.4 billion people, half of the world's population, live on less than 5 dollars and 50 cents per day.○ The mortality rate before age 5 in the poorest countries, three times the mortality rate before age 5 in rich countries: The mortality rate of children before the age of 5 in the world's poorest countries (bottom 20%) is three times the mortality rate for children before age 5 in the world's wealthiest countries (top 5%).○ Women's income is 1/2 of men's income: Up to 30% of the global income inequality index comes from inequality between women and men. Women are earning less than 50% of the median income than men (ranking all households in a country in order of income and then making exactly the middle household as median income).○ Women's unpaid housework hours are twice as much as men's: Worldwide, women spend twice as much time on unpaid domestic work than men. The economic value of women's unpaid domestic work is $1.08 trillion per year. This is a major contributor to women's precarious jobs and low-income levels.ㅡWhy does inequality arise?ㅡPoverty can result from an individual's lack of competence, but it is also the result of social, political, and structural inequality, such as inadequate welfare systems, corruption, and unequal trade structures. Therefore, a holistic approach from a political and social context and a global perspective must be made to solve global inequality.○ Unstable Politics: War destroys all infrastructure in the country, causes a shortage of labor, and slows investment and business activities if it persists. In addition, when the government cannot fulfill its role due to political conflict, the country faces financial difficulties from reduced domestic and foreign investment and various economic activities.In countries with high levels of corruption and crime, finances are not properly spent on public infrastructure, education, medical care, pensions, and social security, resulting in corruption. Corruption leads ○ to Corruption and Lack of Welfare: a deterioration in the quality of life of the people, loss of the driving force for economic development, and eventually leads to poverty.○ Poor economic structure: The economic structure of rich countries is based on industries that can generate high profits. For example, developed countries in the United States and Europe are based on the IT industry or the patented pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, poorer countries depend on the agricultural economy, making it difficult to generate high profits compared to its investment.○ Low level of education: When countries with low levels of education are immersed in primary industries, advanced countries equipped with labor and skills through high-level education stand out in capital-intensive fields, and the economic gap between these two groups is widened. Without universal and systematic education, technological development and creative economic activities cannot be induced.ㅡThe key to resolving inequality isfairness and inclusionㅡThe wealth we enjoy comes from someone who worked hard somewhere. Therefore, everyone who participates in the economic system must be inclusive.To become a better world, human-centered logic, rather than the logic of capital, should be the basis of the economy. If the profits of business and society are more evenly distributed to all citizens and a sustainable working environment is created, will inequality not be resolved little by little?○ Fair and inclusive policy: Global poverty has decreased due to the international community's efforts, but the gap between rich and poor has widened. Rather than focusing solely on economic growth, fair and inclusive policies such as education and health care for everyone needs to develop.○ Fair tax system: Active taxation of the wealthiest is the essential solution to addressing economic inequality. Increasing the tax rate mainly to the rich, such as progressive income tax and inheritance tax, is critical in addressing inequality. ○ Basic Income guarantee: As the economic gap widens, labor productivity and consumption demand of the low-income class decline. This, in turn, leads to a hindrance to economic growth in a society. In order to provide a fair and inclusive life, a policy is required to guarantee the basic income of low-income families and introduce the maximum wage system (a system that designates the upper limit to how much a high-income individual can earn).
Press Release “The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee is accepting nominations for the 5th Sunhak Peace Prize”
● Nominations may be submitted up until July 31, 2021The Sunhak Peace Prize honors distinguished individuals or organizations that have contributed significantly to peace and to the welfare of future generations. In particular, the Committee considers three core areas of accomplishment in the evaluation of candidates: Sustainable Human Development, Conflict Resolution, and Ecological Conservation. Sunhak laureates are selected biannually by an international committee, and receive an award in the amount of $1,000,000. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon founded the Sunhak Peace Prize to continue the legacy and vision of her late husband, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, who founded the Universal Peace Federation and dedicated his life to the promotion of peace, seeking to build a world where all people live together in harmony. The inaugural award was given in 2015. The 5th Award Ceremony will take place in 2022. Criteria for Evaluation of Nominees: - Contributions to the areas such as sustainable human development, conflict resolution, or ecological conservation - Improving the quality of life of people from diverse nations, races, religions and cultures for the sake of peace Nominators are to complete the candidate nomination form, along with relevant supporting material, detailing the candidate's achievements. The nomination must be submitted to the Sunhak Peace Prize Secretariat by July 31, 2021. The prize committee will decide on the final Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate(s) in December 2021. The official announcement will be made soon thereafter. The Award Ceremony will be held in April 2022, in South Korea. The nomination form can be downloaded from the official website (sunhakpeaceprize.org). The first Sunhak Peace Prize in 2015 was awarded to Mr. Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati, for his efforts to raise awareness of climate change and rising sea levels; and, Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, who increased the productivity of fisheries through the development of aquaculture methods. The second award in 2017, which focused on the global refugee crisis, was given to Italian surgeon Dr. Gino Strada, and to educator Dr. Sakena Yacoobi. The laureates of the third award in 2019, which focused on peace and development in Africa, were Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and Waris Dirie, founder of Desert Flower Foundation. The 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize was awarded to President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal and Bishop Munib A. Younan, the International Honorary President of Religions for Peace. Marking the centenary of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a special Founders' Centenary Award was presented to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Contact: Sunhak Peace Prize Committee Secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org TEL: +82-2-3278-5158, FAX: +82-02-3278-5198 Source: The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee
Peace Issue 135.6 years. The time it takes to reach equality between men and women.
ㅡ135.6 years. The time it takes to reach equality between men and women.ㅡ How big is the gap between the positions of men and women? According to the “Global Gender Gap Report 2021” report released by the World Economy Forum (WEF) in March, it will take 135.6 years to become a world where men and women are equal.The same report in 2019 predicted that it would take about 95 years if it had followed the same trend from then, but 36 more years were added to the current prediction due to the pandemic. In other words, the pandemic has delayed the progression of women obtaining their rights by a few decades. The 'Global Gender Gap Report,’ released every year at the World Economic Forum, is a detailed analysis of gender gaps in politics, economy, education, and health in 156 countries worldwide, and is an important criterion for understanding the degree of gender inequality in each country.ㅡGreater gender inequality with pandemicㅡ Why did the pandemic have a bigger impact on women? The reason is that the areas where women work are mainly affected by the austerity economy. Many women around the world are engaged in services, such as restaurants, factories, and hotels, which usually require face-to-face interaction with others.From following the quarantine measures, such as blockade and curfew, the significant increase in women spending more time at home has also increased the women's burden on housework, childcare, and eldercare, which worsened gender inequality.During the pandemic, gender inequality increased even in the United States, a developed country. In the U.S., a total of 140,000 jobs were lost compared to early December 2020, while women lost 156,000 jobs, men gained 16,000.Of course, many American men were also unemployed because of the pandemic. However, when the unemployment rate is divided by gender, men are far ahead of women. As a result, compared to the pre-pandemic, from February, women's jobs decreased by about 5.4 million, and men's jobs decreased by about 4.4 million. ㅡViolence against women isShadow Pandemicㅡ △ In the time between January to October 2020, 91 women in Italy were killed from violence. The photo shows Italians protesting against Gender-based Violence on the 'International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women' in November 2019.The pandemic also increased violence against women. As the time spent at home increased due to Covid 19, violence against women has increased significantly around the world. In addition to the virus, the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women is spreading.The UN warned that violence against women is also becoming a “pandemic” due to the Covid 19 pandemic. According to UN Women's Organization CEO Jail Le Mram Boung Kuka, 245 million women experienced sexual and physical violence from their partners in 2020 alone. Domestic violence, cyberbullying, child marriage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence increased in 2021 as well. A sad report was also published in Italy that 91 women were killed between January to the end of October 2020. Approximately one woman was killed every three days; 81 women were killed by family members, and 56 were victims of boyfriends.In December 2020, when Italy's tragic report became known, rallies and silent protests followed around the world. Participants at the rally raised their voices that the number of women suffering from domestic violence increased sharply as a blockade was imposed due to the Covid 19 outbreak.ㅡGender equality indexIceland at No. 1Afghanistan is lastㅡ △ The World Economic Forum publishes the “Global Gender Gap Report” every year. Click the link to view the report. https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2021/digestAccording to the report “Global Gender Gap Report 2021,” the country with the highest gender equality index was Iceland, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Namibia, and Rwanda. Iceland has held the No. 1 position in gender equality in this report for 12 consecutive times. △ According to the report “Global Gender Gap Report 2021,” the country with the highest gender equality index was Iceland, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Namibia, and Rwanda.What is Iceland's #1 secret? This is due to the low burden of child-rearing and housekeeping for women. Iceland was also said to have had severe gender inequality until the 1980s. However, in 1975, women held a general strike to overcome gender discrimination at work and in housework, which led to changes by making men aware of the importance of parenting and housekeeping.After the general strike, Iceland allocated 40% of its lawmakers and ministers to women in a political agreement to equalize the gender ratio. In 2013, a law was passed that gives 40% of corporate board members to women.Currently, Iceland has twice as many female college graduates as men and is the world's number one female graduate in science and technology. Women's participation rate in economic activity is 88%, which is the No. 1 in the OECD. △ Afghan women are in the least gender-equal country in the world. An Afghan woman wears a cover-up burka and holds a child.Meanwhile, Afghanistan ranked 156th, ranking last among the countries surveyed. Women in Afghanistan are at the extreme opposite of those in Iceland. In Afghanistan, parenting and sharing of household chores are entirely up to women, and both women's education and social advancement are blocked.South Asia, with India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, was the most severe in gender inequality in each region of the world. South Asia took 195.4 years to achieve gender equality, followed by East Asia (165.1 years), which included South Korea, China, and Japan, longer than the Middle East and North Africa (142.4 years).ㅡWhat hinders gender equality?ㅡThe United Nations Women ranked the most impeding factors for gender equality in February. Click the link to download the “Report on the Results of the Survey from the Perspective of Key Stakeholders in the Next Generation Strategic Plan (2022-2025)”.https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2021/02/key-stakeholders-perspectives-for-un-womens-next-strategic-plan1. Implementing existing laws and policies in an inappropriate way (64%)2. Insufficient female representatives in the positions of second-place decision-makers and leaders (60%)3. Firm discrimination, threatening attitude, and negative social norms (53%)4. Insufficient influence of the obligatory agency that enforces gender equality (51%)5. Gender inequality in the economy sector (51%)6. Chronic lack of gender equality and women's autonomy in the workplace (46%)ㅡPost-Pandemic,As an opportunity to restore global gender equality!ㅡ Women's employment must increase if we want a dynamic economy of the future. Perhaps the “Post Pandemic” economic recovery initiative could be a new opportunity to solidify gender equality.At this point in the post-pandemic contemplation, we need to complement the system that prohibits discrimination in employment and promotion and more additional education for women. It is also necessary to change a culture in which domestic work such as child-rearing and elderly care is too dependent on women. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen legislation to eradicate sexual violence that is taking place around the world.
Peace Issue Zero hunger! For a world without hungry people
Satisfying hunger through meals is an act of survival as well as a most basic and important human right. However, even in this day of abundance, approximately 9 percent of the world’s population of about 700 million people are suffering from hunger. That number is increasing by more than 10 million people every year. Why does this happen? ㅡFood security means having access to sufficient foodㅡFood self-sufficiency is decreasing worldwide. A major cause is that after the industrial revolution, industries moved from primary to secondary and tertiary industries, reducing agricultural area and labor worldwide. As a result, the food self-sufficiency rate has dropped dramatically in many countries as they started to depend on imported foods. The high dependence on foreign countries’ food export will be fatal if the exporting country decides not to export food.As each country’s food self-sufficiency drops, food security can become a national security issue. Food security means, that a country must always maintain an adequate food supply for its people even during special circumstances such as population growth, natural disasters, and war.After the 2008 global food crisis, food security became an even more important issue for the international society. A global recession started following the financial crisis that began in the United States in 2007, and global food prices surged over the next two years. The surge in food prices had a fatal impact especially on developing countries in Asia and Africa, and food riots broke out in more than 40 countries around the world. Those who could not buy food due to the high food prices in countries such as Algeria, Mexico, the Philippines, Haiti, and Egypt protested the government. Food had caused national security to be weakened. △ On October 8, 2017, the Rohingya people are reaching out to grab free bread held out by a man in Bangladesh. ㅡReasons food crises occurㅡFood security occurs due to the intertwining of multiple causes. l Continuous increase in world populationThe world population exceeded 3 billion in the 1960s, and since then, it has steadily increased by about 1 billion every 10 years, surpassing 7.8 billion in 2020. If this trend continues, the world population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The top countries contributing to the growth in the world’s population are mostly developing countries in Asia and Africa, which are also the most vulnerable countries in terms of food security.l Weather variation and water shortageOver the past 100 years, the Earth’s temperature rose by about 1℃. If the use of fossil fuels continues at the current pace, the average global temperature is expected to rise by about 6.4℃ at the end of this century. Given the climate-dependent nature of agriculture, climate change is taking a heavy toll on crop growth, with increasing uncertainty in agricultural production due to frequent floods, droughts, massive typhoons, and tidal waves.l Increase in meat consumptionThe global community has become a fan of delicious meat and dairy products, and now consumes a huge amount of meat. The increase in meat consumption leads to a higher demand for grain. About 7~8 kilograms of grain are needed to produce 1 kilogram of beef. The consumption of grain as animal feed accounts for more than 40% of the world’s grain production.l Increase in biofuel usageBioethanol is a fuel made by fermenting starch crops such as sugar cane, wheat, corn, potatoes, and barley that is used as a fuel additive in vehicles. Producing enough bioethanol for a medium-sized car requires an amount of corn a person can eat for a year. As a huge amount of corn gets used to produce bioethanol, the amount available for human consumption will inevitably decrease. ㅡIf grain prices rise, commodity prices also riseㅡThe price of grains such as wheat and soybeans rose to 2 to 3 times higher in 2008. The rise in food prices led to a rise in commodity prices, which further led to global inflation. Such a phenomenon is called agflation.The global economy is greatly intertwined, and so an economic crisis and inflation that start in one country can have a great impact on other countries. What is agflation?Agflation is a new term that combines the terms agriculture and inflation to describe the phenomenon of commodity prices rising due to the rise in grain prices. This term was first introduced in the magazine Economist and has been widely used since then. Food insecurity due to agflation has led to riots and national crises in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mexico, and Haiti. The issue of food security has become much more important than before. ㅡ28 of the 48 countries in Africa are in a state of severe food insecurity ㅡ △ Children are receiving food distribution at a school in Rusinga, Kenya, October 23, 2016How serious is the hunger problem? The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. It measures a country’s state of hunger on a 100-point scale. A GHI score of zero means that a country has no undernourished person in its population. A GHI score of 100 means that a country’s entire population is experience hunger. According to the 2020 Global Hunger Index report, the worldwide GHI score was 18.2, down from a 2000 GHI score of 28.2. Also, of the 48 countries in Africa, 28 countries are at a serious level of hunger and 8 countries are at an alarming level of hunger. In other words, 75% of the countries in Africa are experiencing a serious level of hunger. ㅡInternational efforts for food securityㅡThe United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 is to bring the number of people who suffer from hunger to zero. As a foremost goal, the UN is working towards zero hunger. The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s humanitarian organization focused on emergency relief, relief and reconstruction projects, and special response projects aimed at achieving zero hunger where no one suffers from a lack of food. The WFP is providing critical humanitarian aid to fight hunger at a time when the logistical flow of supplies has been blocked due to the spreading of COVID-19.What is the World Food Programme?Established in 1961, the WFP is the largest humanitarian organization focused on eradicating hunger through food assistance. The WFP, which operates offices in more than 80 countries around the world, helps nearly 100 million poor people in 88 countries each year. Currently, there are 36 State Members in the WFP’s Executive Board. The Republic of Korea has been participating as a board member since 2011.The WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas, and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict." The Nobel Committee, in selecting the WFP for the Nobel Peace Prize, said, "Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos." Among the Sunhak Peace Prize laureates, Dr. Modadugu Gupta, the co-recipient of the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize in 2015, has also dedicated himself to combating the global food crisis. Dr. Modadugu Gupta is a fisheries scientist who dramatically increased fish production and laid the foundation for the Blue Revolution. Risking his life to work in conflict areas, Dr. Gupta developed low-cost aquaculture technology that has emerged as a possible solution to address the looming food crisis due to population increase and climate change-induced rise in food priceㅡFood security can be strengthened through alternative foods and agricultural innovationㅡThrough efforts to attain a stable food supply, there have been impressive developments in alternative foods and agricultural technology. The price of lab-grown meat obtained by indefinitely multiplying meat muscle cells has decreased significantly since its first introduction, and lab-grown meat is expected to become widely available. Also, plant-based meat and edible insects are rising as an alternative food due to their high productivity and high-quality protein content. New agricultural technology is also developing. A vertical farm uses urban high-rise buildings as agricultural land and can artificially control all conditions that affect farming (temperature, humidity, light, water, etc.) so that crops can be produced year-round regardless of the weather. Digital agriculture, which increases agricultural productivity by using technologies such as the internet of things, drones, and satellites, is also growing rapidly. By using drones and satellites to check the cultivation process and situation in real-time, a supply and demand plan can be made for the cops. These technologies can also be used to determine the appropriate time to use pesticides. By using less water and less pesticide through such technology, it will be possible to produce higher price agricultural products at lower costs.Securing a stable supply of food has been an important and long-standing task for humanity since human history began. Having food to eat at each meal to avoid hunger is not only an act that satisfies a basic human need but also a basic human right. Despite remarkable scientific advancement, two billion people around the world are still struggling to secure food. The global community needs to work together to solve the food crisis. ㅡWe need to create a world where no one is hungry ㅡ
Peace Issue As the world gets smaller, we need to become global citizens who solve global challenges together
We live in a large village called the Earth. Thanks to the rapid development in transportation and communication, we can fly to the other side of the Earth in one day and hear news from all around the world in real-time. As countries worldwide influence each other in various areas including politics, economics, society, culture, and science, the world is becoming a single community. However, as interdependence increases across the globe, many problems arising from such globalization are deepening. Climate change, pandemics, refugee crises, and other global problems all require international cooperation. The need for legal and institutional regulations that apply beyond national boundaries is becoming urgent and solving these global problems require an expansion of our perspectives beyond national borders. ㅡIn the age of globalization, we are already global citizensㅡ We live in a globalized world and are impacted by the effects of globalization. Therefore, we are already all global citizens. Furthermore, we need to be aware of the common problems that the Earth as a single community is facing and work together to solve them. Such efforts are not only for the Earth but for all individuals that are members of the global community. Let’s look at the definition of global citizenship. First, let’s look at the definition of a citizen. A citizen refers to a person who, as a member of a democratic society, has political rights and voluntarily and actively participates in national policy decisions. Following this definition, we can understand global citizens by extending the concept of nation that defines a citizen to the world. In other words, a global citizen refers to a person who, based on an awareness of the community, takes interest in the various global problems and actively works to solve them to create a peaceful global village. A global citizen does not reject other people based on their religion, race, or nationality and takes a continuous interest in solving the challenges faced by the global village.Someone with global citizenship understands their identity to extend beyond the family and nation to the entire world and actively participates to solve global issues by fostering a sense of morality, inclusion, and other characteristics. △ In November 2015, Syrian refugees arrived on the beach of Lesbos Island, Greece. A volunteer from Europe is helping the refugees who are full of fear and pain. Living in a globalized era, we must come together in solidarity. ㅡGlobal citizenship is the attitude of accepting differences and trying to solve global challenges togetherㅡWhat attitude should global citizens have? A global citizen does not reject other people based on their religion, race, or nationality and takes a continuous interest in solving the challenges faced by the global village. This is called global citizenship. In other words, global citizenship refers to recognizing oneself not simply as a citizen of one country but as a member of the global community and taking responsibility and authority as a global citizen. △ Internationally known youth environmentalist Greta Thunberg demonstrates together with other youths at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C) on February 28, 2020.Important values that global citizens should possessl Human rightsHuman rights are rights that every person should enjoy as a human being. Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, level of wealth, everyone’s human rights should be respected. l InterdependencePeople from all regions of the world are in an interdependent relationship. We need to understand that all events - economic, environmental, cultural, social, and political – that occur across the world have an impact on us and that our actions also impact the world.l Diversity A necessary condition for diverse people to co-exist peacefully is acceptance and respect for what is different. We need to accept differences in race and religion; social, historical, and political background; language, and culture; and throw away stereotypes and prejudice and be open to diversity.l SustainabilitySustainability refers to human beings having a long-term outlook and not destroying the natural resources for short-term growth. In other words, it refers to developing while maintaining harmony with nature.Attitudes global citizens should takel Empathy toward othersThe human rights of all people should not be violated for reasons of race, gender, regional characteristics, religion, economic hardship, and others. Global citizens should look after the hardships of our neighbors in the global village whose human rights have been violated and have empathy towards them.l Respect for what is differentGlobal citizens should respect differences among each other and accept cultural diversity.l Critical and creative thinkingGlobal citizens should analyze the cause and effect of phenomena that occur in the global village and think about how to eliminate the cause and creatively solve the problem.l Action-orientedOnce a problem is identified and the solution is found, action is required. Using the developed communication systems available, global citizens should listen to what is happening around the world, form an opinion and take action.ㅡGlobal challenges that require joint efforts of global citizensㅡAt the UN General Assembly in 2015, 17 common goals for humanity were agreed upon to be achieved by 2030. Under the slogan, “Leave no one behind,” the Sustainable Development Goals propose the direction humanity should take in the five areas of people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. The 17 goals are composed of 169 more specific goals.l Seventeen goals for a better world 1. No poverty2. Zero hunger3. Good health and well-being4. Quality education5. Gender equality6. Clean water and sanitation7. Affordable and clean energy8. Decent work and economic growth9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure10. Reduced inequalities11. Sustainable cities and communities12. Responsible consumption and production13. Climate action14. Life below water15. Life on land16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions17. Partnerships for the goalsl No povertyAround the world, 1.3 billion people are living in absolute poverty (World Bank, 2012). These people in on less than $1.25 a day. Despite rapid development that has raised the standard of living to its highest, the lives of 22.7% of the world's population suffer from poverty. Absolute poverty, in which survival is at stake due to lack of food and poor living conditions, is a problem that we all need to combine efforts to solve.l Zero hungerCurrently, the world's malnourished population is about 800 million (10.7 percent). The United Nations aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030, but its achievement is projected to be difficult.There is enough food in the world for everyone to eat. However, hundreds of millions of people suffer from hunger because production and distribution are uneven and do not take into consideration the poorest people. Poverty and starvation are also the results of social, political, and structural inequality, such as the lack of proper welfare systems, corruption, and unequal trade structures. Therefore, solving the issues of hunger and food inequality requires a holistic approach within political and social contexts, and a solution must be sought from a global perspective.l Protection of the environmentPollutants produced by a country spread to the rest of the world through the atmosphere and currents. Yellow dust, fine dust, ship oil, and radioactive materials are some of the representative pollutants. These can lead to conflicts and disputes between countries.Since the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, fossil fuels used by humankind have been emitting greenhouse gases. An increase in greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere produced a warming effect, and the average temperature of the Earth has risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years as of 2020. As a result, glaciers have been reduced, sea levels have risen, and various weather anomalies and natural disasters are threatening the Earth's ecosystem.l Conflict and refugeesTo this day, conflicts between countries and ethnic groups are occurring in many parts of the world due to differences in religion, race, and culture. Regional conflicts that start in certain areas expand into wars between countries and even into indiscriminate terrorism that spreads fear globally. Recently, conflicts and friction have intensified due to religious fundamentalism or exclusive nationalism. The conflict between Palestine and Israel and the civil war in Syria are affecting neighboring countries.The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide who have lost their homes due to conflict and violence reached 79.5 million or 1 percent of the world’s population at the end of 2019 (UNHCR). This number is the highest since World War II. As conflicts in the Middle East and Africa intensified in the 21st century, the number of refugees has exploded.Many refugees die in the process of crossing an international border. In many countries, there are conflicting opinions regarding the acceptance of refugees leading to a crisis in how to deal with the refugee inflow. Peaceful coexistence with refugees is an important challenge in the 21st century. ㅡUrgent call for solidarity among global citizens in an age of pandemicㅡAn unprecedented global epidemic has brought chaos to the entire global community. The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.What's even scarier than a virus is indiscriminate hatred. The COVID-19 virus is creating hatred, discrimination, and unconditional exclusivism against China, where the first case occurred, Chinese people and other Asians. This exclusivist attitude adversely affects the path toward resolution of the pandemic, which requires international cooperation.COVID-19 cannot be overcome with nationalism. To overcome the pandemic, international cooperation and global solidarity are needed in developing vaccines and sharing quarantine best practices. It should be recognized that the people who were already vulnerable, suffering from conflict, hunger, violence, and poverty before the pandemic, face an even more severe crisis, and greater attention and efforts need to be given to them. ㅡWe must foster our global citizenship at a time when problems requiring international cooperation are increasingㅡ
Peace Issue Female genital mutilation, a practice that needs to end
“The practice [of female genital mutilation] also violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.” -World Health Organization-ㅡAt least 200 million girls and women alive today living in 31 countries have undergone FGM. An estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM every year.ㅡFemale genital mutilation refers to any procedure that involves partial or total damage to the external female genitalia or another injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, usually carried out as a religious or traditional custom. The official name set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “female genital mutilation” and is abbreviated as “FGM”.According to UN data, there are at least 200 million girls and women alive today who have undergone FGM, and an estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM every year. FGM is carried out mostly in about 31 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It is estimated that 98% of women in Somalia, 97% in Guinea, 90% in Sierra Leone, 87% in Egypt, 83% in Eritrea, 74% in Ethiopia, 25% in Nigeria, 19% in Yemen, and 8% in Iraq were circumcised. Recently, FGM has been introduced to Europe and American countries, as ethnic groups with FGM traditions have immigrated to Europe, United States, and South America. Source: FGM Prevalence UNICEF (2016)ㅡA 4,000-year-old practice – is it tradition or violence? ㅡFGM is seen as a practice that has been handed down from generation to generation in Africa for thousands of years. Although the exact origin is unknown, there are several conjectures.Three conjectures of the origin of FGM① It has been performed for disease prevention, healthy sex life after marriage, and hygienic reasons. ② It started as a form of sacrifice to a fertility god. ③ It began as a rite of passage to becoming an adult or becoming an official member of a tribe or nation. Reasons FGM is carried out① Rite of passage to become an adult: Some societies believe that the clitoral gland of the female genitals are considered traces of men remaining in the female body, so women have to go through the FGM to become complete adults. ② Premarital purity: Some societies believe that girls who go through FGM are more likely to keep their premarital purity and become virtuous women after marriage. In this regard, there is a perception that women who have not been circumcised are unreliable and unsophisticated.③ Polygamic reasons: FGM is practiced mainly in African and Islamic cultures, where polygamy is common. It is said that since it is not easy for a husband to take care of several wives at once under polygamy, he conducts FGM as a method to manage his wivesGirls and women who have undergone FGM have to live with physical side effects and complications throughout the rest of their lives. The procedure is accompanied by severe pain and bleeding. Most of the time, it is carried out without anesthesia. Furthermore, such pain can become a mental trauma causing the person to feel shame, loss, discouragement, and emotional anxiety for the rest of the person’s life. By 2050, one-third of the world’s female population will be born in the 31 countries where FGM is still performed. This means that more than 500 million women will be exposed to the risk of FGM. In Somalia, where the proportion of women who experience FGM is high, the female population is estimated to double in 2050 compared to 2017, signifying that even more women will be affected by FGM.ㅡBringing FGM to the world’s attention ㅡ FGM was considered an African tradition until world-famous fashion model Waris Dirie, who had undergone FGM as a young girl growing up in Somalia, exposed its inhumane violence to Western society in 1997.Waris Dirie served as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation from 1997 to 2003. During her tenure, she highlighted FGM as the most representative and symbolic international problem that suppresses women’s human rights.International efforts to eliminate FGMIn 2003, the first lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, officially declared “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Then in 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Centering on the UN, many international organizations are working to spread the awareness that FGM is not simply a matter of culture or tradition but inhumane violence and are taking the lead in efforts to legally ban FGM. To eliminate FGM, women’s perception and understanding are more important than anything else. International NGOs have carried out education to change the perception of FGM from a beautiful tradition to a cruel and violent act against human rights. The UN is carrying out various activities with the goal of eliminating FGM by 2030. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” The third target under this SDG is to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilations.” In July 2003, government representatives from the AU member countries gathered in Maputo, Mozambique, and adopted the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, or the Maputo Protocol. Article 5 of the Maputo Protocol emphasizes the elimination of harmful practices, referring to a ban on female genital mutilation and other traditional practices that are harmful to women.Global media coverage and interviews of those who have undergone FGM have raised the interest of many people about the issue of FGM. UNICEF, Desert Flower Foundation, and Tostan are some of the international NGOs working to eliminate FGM. Since the 2000s, many countries have enacted legal bans on FGM, and there has been the constant declaration of eradication of FGM led by community leaders. However, FGM has not been completely eradicated. Stay-at-home restrictions due to COVID-19 have worsened the situation. ㅡStop FGM! ㅡ In a world where diverse peoples and cultures actively interact and coexist, FGM is a common problem for the world. Living in the 21st century, we need to be aware of the violence of FGM that threatens girls' and women’s lives and work together to eliminate it.
Peace Issue Things we must do for a sustainable ocean
In the summer of 1997, Captain Charles Moore was passing through the middle of the North Pacific Gyre when he encountered a stretch of plastic debris surrounding the ship. For a week straight, he sailed between the pieces of plastic, all of which were plastic waste that came from the land. What had happened to the ocean?ㅡThe deep and wide ocean gave us many giftsㅡHow well do you know the ocean? l 71% of the Earth’s surfaceThe Earth glows blue when seen from space. This is because most of the Earth’s surface is covered by the ocean. In fact, about 71% of the Earth’s surface area is covered with water, which is equivalent to about 362 million square kilometers.l 97% of the Earth’s waterFreshwater coming from glaciers, lakes, and rivers accounts for only about 3% of the total volume of water on Earth. Of the 3%, much less is accessible as drinking water for humans. Accordingly, technology to convert the abundant seawater into freshwater is actively being researched, developed, and applied.l Produces 70% of the atmosphere’s oxygenThe ocean supplies oxygen, which is essential for sustaining life. Marine algae and other ocean phytoplankton produce about 70 percent of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere. The amount of oxygen supplied by the ocean is far greater than double the amount that is supplied by the Amazon rainforest.l Ocean is the Earth’s air conditioner One of the functions the ocean performs is to control the Earth’s weather. The ocean current circulates energy by moving the heat near the equator to high latitudes with less heat. The ocean acts like an air conditioner for the Earth. If the ocean currents do not perform this function, the tropics will get hotter and polar regions will get even colder.l Repository of the tremendous amount of resources A wide range of creatures live in the ocean and a vast array of mineral and energy resources are buried within it. The ocean has infinite potential for development. About 17,000 species of plants and about 152,000 species of animals live in the ocean, which accounts for 80 percent of the Earth's species.The ocean also has a vast amount of energy resources such as oil and natural gas. As of 2012, approximately 30 percent of the world's oil came from offshore oil fields. In addition, energy is being produced from the ocean using the ocean tides, current, wave, and temperature differences.The magazine Nature estimates the total annual value of land ecosystems at $10.6 trillion and the total annual value of marine ecosystems at $22.6 trillion, which is more than double the land ecosystem value. It also estimates the available use period of mineral deposits on land to be 40 to 110 years, but 200 to 10,000 years in the ocean.ㅡOur ocean is becoming ill ㅡMarine pollution refers to the deterioration of water quality and other adverse effects to the ocean caused by chemicals and trash produced by human activities entering the ocean. Most pollutants produced on land will eventually reach the ocean. Among the substances that enter the ocean, pollutants with a high degree of residuality remain in the ocean and form high concentrations in the environment or inside the body of marine creatures, causing serious problems.What is happening to the ocean?l The ocean is getting hotterGlobal warming is having a huge impact on the ocean as well as on land. For the past 100 years, the average temperature of the ocean surface has risen 0.1℃ every 10 years, and the temperature of the deep sea is rising faster than the shallow sea. Even if humankind were to stop greenhouse gas emissions right now, the temperature of the deep sea is expected to rise steadily until 2050.l Ocean water nutrient pollutionNutrient pollution refers to the gradual increase of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients causing excessive algae growth, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. This in turn hinders the breathing of fish and other marine life. When nutrient pollution intensifies, the blue color of the water changes to red, and fish die in droves.l Loss of marine habitatsMarine life habitats where spawning, breeding, and growing occur are being destroyed by industrial development, pollutants, and climate change. Between 1980 and 2010, 40% of marine life habitats such as coastal wetlands, mangrove forests, sea forests, coral reefs, and mudflats disappeared or were destroyed.l Marine life extinction According to the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 60% of the world's marine regions are adversely affected by humans and 267 species of marine life are on the verge of disappearing.ㅡWhat are the most common types of trash found on beaches? ㅡAbout 80% of marine pollution comes from land, and plastic makes up the biggest proportion. Over 90% of the trash floating in the ocean is plastic. Every year, up to 12.7 million tons of plastic are thrown away into the ocean. Seventy percent of the plastic that flows into the ocean slowly sinks below sea level. Sea creatures can swallow plastic pieces and choke to death. Pieces of plastic floating in the ocean are broken down into tiny pieces by seawater or sunlight. The tiny pieces of plastic are called microplastic and are sometimes eaten by the fish. Once swallowed, microplastics stay in the fish for a long time and emit various harmful substances. Humans who eat these fish are also not free from the damages caused by the negative substances. What are the most common types of trash found on beaches?(Based on the Ocean Conservancy’s 2019 International Coastal Cleanup analysis)1) Food packaging (4.77 million)2) Cigarette butts (4.2 million, was the most common for 33 years)3) Plastic bottle (1.88 million)4) Plastic bottle caps (1.5 million)5) Plastic straw (940,000)Besides these kinds of trash, there are various other pollutants harming the ocean. Pesticide absorbed into the soil flows into rivers and seas, and heavy metals that are produced in the process of plating and petrochemical and automobile production flow into rivers along with sewage and wastewater eventually flowing into the sea. Large amounts of nuclear waste have also been dumped in the ocean. △ The third Saturday of September of every year is the International Coastal Cleanup day. It began in 1986 when the environmental organization Ocean Conservancy based in Texas first started the cleanup with the support of the UN Environment Programme. Currently, about 500,000 volunteers from 100 countries worldwide participate in the cleanup making it one of the largest environmental events for the protection of the ocean. ㅡThe ocean is not the Earth’s trash bin ㅡ International efforts for a sustainable marine ecosystemThe causes of marine pollution and the collapse of the marine ecosystem are very complex and diverse, and the scope of causes span the entire global community. Therefore, it is important for all countries in the world to work together to come up with and implement solutions. The international community, countries, organizations, and individuals need to work together.l International conventionVarious international agreements have been signed to address the marine pollution and collapse of the marine ecosystem.① Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and Other Matter (1972, London Convention): Convention to regulate the dumping of waste from airplanes and ships② Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (1995, GPA): The GPA was created as an intergovernmental mechanism to counter land-based pollution and its impacts on the marine environment through detailed action plans.③ Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001): This international environmental treaty aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants that do not decompose in the natural environment and accumulate in plants and animals up the food chain causing disturbance of the immune system and damage to the central nervous system.④ Honolulu Strategy of the International Marine Debris Conference (2001): The Honolulu Strategy is a global framework to reduce the amount of marine debris produced worldwide and manage and reduce the amount and impacts of existing marine debris.National efforts for a sustainable marine ecosysteml Designation of marine protected areasCountries are designating marine protected areas to protect the ocean and sustainably manage marine habitats and resources. l Support for development of plastic alternativesPlastic made from plant sources, such as fruit cells and corn, that are biodegradable and harmless to the human body, and other kinds of plastic alternatives is being developed. l Encouragement and operation of the marine resources certification systemA country can support and encourage fishing companies and workers to secure seafood supplies in a sustainable manner without overfishing and illegal fishing. Furthermore, responsible and healthy consumption by consumers should be encouraged by expanding the market for seafood supplies produced in a sustainable manner.Individual efforts for a sustainable marine ecosysteml Reduce the use of plasticUsing reusable water bottles instead of disposable water bottles and using reusable shopping bags or baskets instead of plastic bags can make a positive difference to making our oceans healthy again.l Participate in marine protection activitiesParticipating in or sponsoring marine cleanup activities hosted by good NGOs dedicated to protecting marine habitats and wildlife can also be a way to create a healthy ocean.l Consume sustainable seafoodSome companies supply seafood in a sustainable way, while others do not. When purchasing seafood, purchase products from companies that practice sustainable fishing when possible to help protect the ocean.ㅡLet’s save the ocean! ㅡ △ In July 2020, the Japanese bulk carrier Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the southeastern coast of Mauritius, and more than 1,000 tons of oil spilled into the sea. Volunteers are working to remove the oil off the coast of where the accident occurred. Now is the golden time to save the ocean. The deep and wide ocean, covering 71% of the Earth’s surface, that has been providing humanity with necessities of life for a long time, is being polluted daily and slowly dying. The enormous amount of pollutants and trash that humans have let flow into the ocean has caused the ocean to lose its self-purifying ability. Ocean pollution not only affects marine life but also affects humanity’s life. The serious problem facing the ocean is the responsibility of humanity. The only way to save the ocean is to understand clearly the dire situation of the ocean’s health and act now to improve the situation. Let us all work together to turn the polluted ocean into a healthy ocean once again.!
Peace Issue Every human being has the right to be cured
Ninety percent of people who contract disease live in developing countries in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. However, these countries only account for 10% of the world’s healthcare resources. In these countries, 15,000 infants die every day from treatable diseases. ㅡMany people still die from preventable diseasesㅡHealth inequality refers to the gap in health that arises from the difference in social and economic status such as income level, occupation, class, wealth, and education level. As nutrition improves and medical technology develops, the life expectancy of people is increasing. An increase in life expectancy, increase in immunity, and decrease in infectious disease mortality rate, among other measures, show that healthcare is being provided at the highest level in history.However, 3.6 million people die every year due to lack of treatment. because they are unable to receive treatment. To prevent and treat diseases, proper nutrition and a hygienic environment, as well as on-time vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment, are important. Because the conditions for preventing and treating diseases are unequal among individuals, countries, and society, many times, even minor illnesses lead to death. About 800,000 children die each year from diarrhea because they are not able to receive the appropriate medical treatment at the right time. ㅡThe gap between average life expectancy in developed and underdeveloped countries is 20 years!ㅡ Global health inequality is deepening. The average life expectancy in 2020 for the world was 73.2 years. Over the past 100 years, human life expectancy has increased significantly. For most of the developed countries, it is over 80 years. With the development of medical technology and improvement in the public health environment, some countries even expect the average life expectancy to reach 100 years.However, the average life expectancy in underdeveloped countries in 2020 was between 50 and 60. This is because infant mortality and maternal mortality rates are still high in underdeveloped countries in Africa and South Asia. Many children in these regions die from endemic diseases such as typhus, malaria, and dengue fever, and highly contagious diseases such as polio, pneumonia, cholera, and measles.The most widely used indicators to assess the quality of public health are infant mortality rate (the number of infant deaths within a year of birth per 1000 live births) and maternal mortality ratio (the number of women dying from complications from pregnancy or childbirth per 100,000 live births). As a country's economy grows and its healthcare infrastructure improves, infant mortality and maternal mortality decrease.Infant and maternal mortality rates are highest in Africa and South Asia. In these regions, children's and women’s health remain a blind spot. The main causes of infant mortality are preventable infections and endemic diseases, and the main causes of maternal mortality are poor prenatal management, lack of delivery facilities, and infection during labor among others.ㅡThe most serious preventable diseasesㅡ △ Many people in Soroti, Uganda, Africa get infected with malaria because of poor conditions. Malaria is preventable through insecticide-treated mosquito nets and malaria vaccinations, and even if a person is infected, it can be cured through drug treatment for 15 days if it is diagnosed early on.l Pneumonia: 2.65 million deaths per yearPneumonia, a very common disease, is the inflammation of the lungs accompanied by symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chills, and fever. Although it can be prevented with vaccination, 2.56 million people around the world died of pneumonia in 2017, due to lack of vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment. One-third of the deaths were of children under the age of five.l Tuberculosis: 1.5 million deaths per yearAlthough tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that has disappeared from many developed countries, outbreaks still occur in developing and underdeveloped countries. In 2018, around 10 million people worldwide contracted TB and 1.5 million people died from it.l AIDS: 690,000 deaths per yearAIDS is one of the most serious public health issues in the world today. It is most seriously widespread in underdeveloped countries, with more than two-thirds of all infected people living in sub-Saharan Africa. Of that population, children account for about 5%. AIDS is the number one cause of death for adolescents aged 10-19 in Africa and the second cause of death for adolescents worldwide.l Malaria: 400,000 deaths per yearMalaria, an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is an endemic disease that is widely spread across the African continent, with more than 10% of infected people dying. In 2019, there were about 229 million cases of malaria and 409,000 deaths from malaria. Children under the age of 5 accounted for the largest proportion of deaths. Malaria is preventable through insecticide-treated mosquito nets and malaria vaccinations, and even if a person is infected, it can be cured through drug treatment for 15 days if it is diagnosed early on. However, mosquito nets, malaria vaccines, and antimalarial drugs are too expensive for people living in Africa. The price of antimalarial drugs is about $20, which is far too high for people living on $1 a day on average.ㅡWhy is the average life expectancy low in underdeveloped countries?ㅡl Lack of national healthcare infrastructureA lack of national healthcare infrastructure is the biggest reason. Countries in Africa and South Asia are struggling to diagnose and treat diseases due to a lack of medical staff, facilities, and medicine. In addition, the lack of national vaccination projects and healthcare projects makes disease prevention challenging. Malaria, typhoid, cholera, dengue fever, polio, and measles are diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination and proper sanitation. However, they remain fatal in underdeveloped countries. △ In April 2019, a baby is lying outdoors in a dirty bathtub in Senegal. Diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination and a hygienic environment can be still fatal in underdeveloped countries. l PovertyPoverty makes receiving proper treatment challenging. Without money, a person cannot go to the hospital or buy medicine even if he or she is sick. About 800 million people in the world spend more than 10 percent of their household income on medical expenses, and 100 million of them live in extreme poverty. For these 100 million people, after their medical expenses, they only have $1.90 a day (as of 2018) to survive on.l Lack of disease awareness Lack of awareness around the disease is also a big challenge. It is difficult for poor people in underdeveloped countries to receive proper education, which leads to a lack of awareness of health, hygiene, and medical care. These people often neglect personal health and miss the proper timing of receiving medical treatment due to poor concepts of hygiene, blind faith in traditional medical beliefs, and poor understanding of diseases, prevention, and treatment methods.l Facilities with poor hygiene conditionsUnhygienic bathrooms are hotbeds for diseases. In underdeveloped countries, there are often insufficient sanitation facilities, and so it is common for people to defecate near open places by the river where food is being prepared or near where children are playing. These unsanitary practices encourage disease outbreaks. It is common to be infected with germs and parasites as well as diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid from using contaminated water. △ February 14, 2015 – Unsanitary toilets in remote villages in the central region of Kasai, the Democratic Republic of the Congo provide favorable conditions for disease outbreaks.l Drugs that are not researched due to low profitabilitySome drugs, despite the need, are not researched due to low profitability. Treatments for frequent endemic diseases and infectious diseases that occur mostly in developing countries are much less profitable than various health supplements and cancer treatments mostly sold in developed countries. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are passive in developing drugs for diseases in developing countries and it becomes even more difficult to receive proper treatment in developing countries. ㅡGoal to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all peopleㅡThe United Nations set the following goals to achieve good health and well-being for all by 2030. This is the third of the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015, which aims to raise the level of health of vulnerable people. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all of all ages① Reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.② End preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.③ End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases.④ Reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.The international community is working hard to achieve these goals. l Strengthening basic health systemsStrengthening basic health systems is a major focus of international efforts. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF work with governments to operate and support programs that provide education, training, and information related to disease prevention and hygiene improvement for households and communities. Such organizations provide technology, strategy, etc. to governments and provide necessary medical equipment and train public health personnel. They provide basic health services mainly to underdeveloped countries where health services are not available due to lack of essential medical facilitiesl Support for neonatal healthAround 7,000 newborns die every day worldwide. Lack of awareness of unsanitary environment and lack of essential medical services are the biggest causes of newborn deaths in underdeveloped countries. To address these issues, international organizations, governments, and related agencies work together to implement programs that provide vaccinations and nutrition and help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases.l Support for maternal healthAround 830 women worldwide die from pregnancy and childbirth related complications every day. The death of mothers due to pregnancy and childbirth can be sufficiently prevented by proper medical support, systematic prepartum and postpartum care, and provision of pregnancy and childbirth related information. International organizations and governments are carrying out health and medical projects to help mothers and newborns around the world to be able to receive professional help during childbirth and have access to clean water, proper nutrition, basic medical services, and vaccines.ㅡWe must work together to protect the health and human rights of all peopleㅡ
Peace Issue We need to create a better world where we live together with refugees
△ Syrian refugees aboard a ship from Turkey arrive near Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece, on October 29, 2015. Refugees are seriously injured or killed during the dangerous journey.In 2015, the death of a child shocked the entire world. The three-year-old child who was found dead on the Turkish beach was named Alan Kurdi. Kurdi had died from a shipwreck while trying to escape to Europe from the Syrian Civil War. This single photo of an innocent child’s death was more than enough for the world to realize the seriousness of the refugee problem. Who is responsible for Kurdi’s death?ㅡThere are people who flee for their livesㅡRefugees are people who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”Refugees are people who have to emigrate to preserve their lives and freedom. Most refugees leave their homeland empty-handed in desperate situations. These people cannot seek protection from their home country and sometimes, their home country is the one persecuting them. If other countries do not accept them and they cannot receive help from their own country, their lives become as if they have received the death sentence. They will have to continue their lives without any rights under conditions where it is difficult to sustain their livelihoods. △ Syrian refugees are passing through Slovenia’s Doveba Station on October 25, 2015, to head to Germany, their dream destination.Reasons people become refugeesl War refugeesThose who are forced to flee due to armed conflicts due to racial, ethnic, ideological, territorial, and underground resource disputes. Syrian refugees, Somali refugees, and Afghan refugees due to civil war and conflict between countries are examples of war refugees. l Political refugeesThose who flee to escape suppression by the regime due to different political ideologies. Yemeni refugees, Kurdish refugees, and Venezuelan refugees are examples of political refugees. l Religious refugeesThose who leave their homes to avoid conflicts, oppression, and massacres due to religious differences. Rohingya refugees who fled to escape political and religious persecution from the Myanmar government are an example of religious refugees.l Climate refugeesThose who lose their homes due to natural disasters that cannot be controlled by humankind such as floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Kiribati refugees in the South Pacific who face the threat of their homes being submerged underwater due to climate change-induced sea-level rise and Haiti refugees who lost their homes due to the level 7.0 earthquake are examples. Climate change will become a greater cause of refugees in the future. Damage to drinking water sources, an increase of droughts and floods, reduction in food production caused by climate change are already seriously affecting Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. ㅡOne percent of the world’s population do not have a homeㅡ△ October 2015, Syrian refugees in a refugee camp in Kos, Greece, are in despair. In 2019, 1% of the world's population, or 79.5 million people were living as refugees. Every two seconds, a person becomes a refugee fleeing from war and violence. Even at this moment, a person is losing hope.The number of refugees worldwide has doubled compared to 2010. During the last ten years since 2010, 100 million people sought protection within their country or from another country after leaving their homes due to threats to their safety.More than 80% of refugees are staying in countries or regions suffering from food shortages and malnutrition, and many of these countries are also exposed to the dangers of climate disasters. The top source countries of refugees are Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Venezuela.More than half of all refugees are children and adolescents. Some were forced to leave their hometowns along with their parents, but others became refugees themselves to escape the threats posed to them. Every year, about 10,000 children and adolescents leave in search of safety by themselves. In many cases, they also become orphaned refugees after being separated from their parents during their refugee life.ㅡLife-threatening journey of refugeesㅡWhat awaits the refugees after they leave their homes?l Life-threatening escape and journeyThe refugees' escapes and journeys are always accompanied by danger. Refugees who do not have official documents to cross the border mostly use illegal methods such as using informal passageways or getting help from brokers.As a result, they have no choice but to go over the barbed wire fence, ride a boat with water leaks, and even hide in a container with no breathing holes in their journey to find refuge. The number of refugees who lose their lives in accidents during the escape journey continues to increase.Currently, most of the refugees are headed for Europe. Most refugees come from Africa or the Middle East, and to them, Europe is the closest and the most suitable place to settle down. But now, Europe has begun to close its doors to refugees.l Refugee campsMost of the refugees leave their hometowns with empty hands. To protect them, international relief agencies provide refugee camps. Since countries in Africa and the Middle East are some of the biggest source countries of refugees, many refugee camps are in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. However, these camps are poorly facilitated. Public health care or education is difficult to expect, and there are only a small amount of rationed food and tent facilities to avoid rain and wind.According to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, more than half of the world’s refugee camps are unable to provide the minimum recommended amount of water per person, which is 20 liters. Furthermore, about 30% of the camps are not equipped with proper waste disposal and bathroom facilities. △ Refugee camp for Syrian refugees located in Turkeyl Difficult and long path to asylumA person persecuted by one’s own country may apply to be protected by another sovereign authority, and this is called seeking “asylum”. Only when asylum applications are accepted can refugees who arrive in a new country receive official protection from the country's government and enjoy a full life. But it is generally very difficult to be granted asylum, and it may take years for asylum to be finally confirmed.l Forced repatriation of refugeesIf those who have left their homelands cannot attain refugee status, they are repatriated to their home country. The Refugee Convention stipulates that "no person shall be deported or repatriated to the borders of any area where life or freedom may be threatened on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion." This is the most basic principle of refugee protection in the Refugee Convention and is legally binding for all countries in the world under international customary law. However, many countries violate the agreement and forcibly repatriate refugees by prioritizing their interests and relations with neighboring countries.ㅡChild refugees face an even more dangerous and uncertain futureㅡ△ January 31, 2017, refugee children are playing in Belgrade, Serbia. Less than half of child and adolescent refugees receive school education despite education being the most important factor in helping them start a new life. Education should be provided as a priority. More than half of refugees are children and adolescents. There are 3.5 million refugee children who are unable to go to school due to conflicts and violence. Amidst conflict situations where it is a challenge for refugees to find food and a place to rest, education becomes a luxury. Children and adolescents who do not have prospects for entering school and gaining employment are at greater risk of being taken advantage of and committing illegal acts out of desperation. Refugee children who are unable to receive education are more likely to become subject to human trafficking or child labor.Threats child and adolescent refugees face① In some countries, children are forced to fight as child soldiers.② In some regions, children are forced to marry at an early age.③ Sometimes, the parents or brokers sell the children, and such children are sent to unfamiliar homes to work or are forced to work in factories under harsh conditions.Provision of educational opportunity is the most important factor for child and adolescent refugees to start a new life. Education is a basic right and a very important part of finding hope and dignity for people who have been forced to leave their homes. It is because education is the tool that can enable them to stand on their own to create a better future for themselves. △ August 13, 2015, Students studying at a school in a refugee camp in Gaziantep, Turkey ㅡWe were all refugees or are potential refugeesㅡMany countries around the world oppose accepting refugees because accepting refugees can place a huge economic and social burden on the country. To protect refugees, the government must spend an enormous budget, which is covered by the people's taxes. Furthermore, there are concerns that if many refugees are taken in, the competition for jobs may intensify.However, refugees may become a source of human capital as well. According to the French National Science Research Center, refugees benefited the economy of European countries. The study says that 3 to 5 years after refugees received refugee status, they increased the accepting country’s GDP, and increased tax revenue by 1%. The world is becoming smaller, and the issue of refugees is becoming an issue for all of us. The refugee issue affects not just the source country but its neighboring countries and even the world. It is a global issue. Therefore, to solve the refugee problem, each one of us needs to have the awareness that we are world citizens who belong to a common community of Earth. When we see the world as one community, national borders and nationalities become meaningless and each one of us becomes an equal member of the community. If we trace back our history, one of our ancestors may be a refugee who came from afar. Also, any one of us can become a refugee fleeing from unavoidable danger and violence. All countries on Earth have the potential to become a source country of refugees as well as a receiving country that protects refugees. With this awareness, we need to find a way to live together with refugees. ㅡWe need to protect and live together with refugees around the worldㅡ
Peace Issue Why we need to take immediate action to stop climate change
In the summer of 2007, the Arctic sea ice that had remained frozen for thousands of years began to melt. Its surface area decreased to a quarter of what it was before. Due to these changes in the Arctic Ocean ecosystem, many animals, including polar bears, have become endangered. But is global warming a problem only for polar bears?ㅡThe threat we are facing nowㅡFor the past 100 years, the Earth has become warmer at a faster pace than ever before. The Earth’s temperature has never changed by more than 1°C in the previous 10,000 years, but in the recent 100 years since the Industrial Revolution, the Earth’s temperature rose by 1°C. This phenomenon of the Earth becoming warmer is called global warming.Reasons the Earth’s temperature is risingl Human activityClimate change can occur due to natural causes but the climate change being experienced in the past 100 years has been accelerated by human activity. l Greenhouse gases and greenhouse effectNinety-nine percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is composed of nitrogen and oxygen. The remaining one percent is mostly made up of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. These greenhouse gases create the appropriate temperature for us to live in. Over the past 100 years, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased by more than necessary, which has warmed up the Earth.ㅡGreenhouse gases are accelerating global warmingㅡReasons greenhouses gases are increasingl Indiscriminate use of coal and oilThe biggest cause of greenhouse gases is fossil fuels such as coal and oil, which make up more than 90 percent of the energy source used on Earth today. Fossil fuels are used in thermal power plants that produce electricity, factories that mass-produce various products needed in daily life, and transportation methods such as cars and trains. Although the use of fossil fuels has allowed material abundance and convenience for humankind, it is destroying the Earth’s ecosystem.l Methane emitted by livestockMethane emitted by livestock raised for human consumption, especially cattle, has 30 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Surprisingly, about 20% of all greenhouse gases are emitted by livestock. This is more than the amount produced by cars. l Huge increase in garbageThe tremendous amount of garbage being produced since Industrialization is also a factor. A large amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is produced during the process of breaking down the huge amount of garbage that is generated every day.l Indiscriminate deforestationForests around the world, including the Amazon rainforest popularly known as the lungs of Earth, are shrinking significantly due to indiscriminate development. When forests shrink, nature’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases is also reduced, which further speeds up global warming.ㅡEffects of global warming felt in our daily livesㅡGlobal warming is transforming not just the climate but the Earth’s ecosystem. As climate changes, ecosystems can be destroyed and can lead to big changes throughout the food chain affecting our lives as well. Effects of climate change on our livesl Changes in ecosystemAs the temperature increases, the number of mosquitoes who like warm weather is especially increasing at a rapid pace. The spread of mosquitoes leads to the spread of infectious diseases and diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are likely to spread even further. Additionally, the extinction of marine animals is being accelerated due to rising water temperatures and ocean acidification.l Increase in natural disastersAs the average temperature of the Earth rises, the sea stores more heat than the atmosphere, and the heated atmosphere and sea change the humidity and wind flow throughout the Earth causing changes in weather. Frequent floods, typhoons, droughts, landslides, and forest fires cause human and property damage and loss of homes.l Genetic variationsClimate change is changing the size of living organisms and causing many types of physiological phenomena that are different from before. For example, plants such as apricot trees and kiwis that can withstand high temperatures are emerging indicating that fundamental changes are taking place in the global ecosystem.l Threat to human healthThe persisting high temperature creates an environment more favorable for germs and pests to be active. The possibility of the occurrence of highly infectious diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, malaria, bacterial dysentery, is increasing. l Acceleration of global inequalityAll the problems caused by climate change have a greater impact on the poor than the rich. The majority of people whose basic human rights are at risk of being violated due to climate change are those who live in poor countries. By 2050, the number of people who are unable to cope with climate change is expected to exceed 140 million. Climate change is a major factor that further exacerbates the problems of poverty and inequality.ㅡWarning! Warning!Global warming cannot be ignored any longerㅡEven if the number of greenhouse gases were to be decreased immediately, the problems brought by global warming will not be solved soon. It will take at least 100 to 300 years for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to be normalized to the level before. That is why global warming that has already started is a very serious issue and why we need to raise awareness of the seriousness of the problem and act now. ㅡEveryone needs to participate to stop global warmingㅡInternational efforts to combat global warmingThere have been longtime international cooperation and effort to stop climate change. The international society has been taking global measures to reduce overall greenhouse emissions.△ November 30, 2015, Paris, France: Then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande are waiting for other heads of state at the COP21 meeting in Paris. The Paris Climate Agreement was adopted at the COP21 meeting.l UN’s basic treaty on climate change, UNFCCCTo actively respond to climate change, the international society signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in June of 1992, promising to address climate change. The key point of the UNFCC treaty is for all signatory parties to participate in stabilizing global warming and for the developed nations, who historically have greater responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, to take greater responsibility. All signatory parties are to submit annually a national report to the UN about their measures to limit the Earth’s global warming and their nation’s greenhouse gas emission statistics.l Kyoto ProtocolIt is an international convention with a legally binding force. The 38 developed nations with historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions through active industrial revolutions resolved to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.l Paris AgreementReplacing the Kyoto Protocol that expired in 2020, the Paris Agreement became applicable starting January of 2021. The Paris Agreement's long-term goal is to keep the increase of global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.National efforts to combat global warmingEach nation is preparing policies and regulations to minimize its greenhouse gas emissions. l Development of green energyEach nation is conducting research and developing green energy that can reduce the use of fossil fuels and improve the environment. l Environmental certification marksGovernments are preparing various policies related to business and personal production and consumption and encouraging the production and consumption of environmentally friendly products. Consumption of such products is being promoted through the designation of environmental certification marks. l Protection and support for those vulnerable to climate changeNational level protection and support aimed at residents of farming and fishing areas who are more severely impacted by climate change, people living in poverty who are vulnerable to natural disasters or infectious diseases, and residents living in low-lying coastal areas are being pursued.l Individual efforts to combat global warmingWhile international and national efforts to combat climate change are important, individual efforts are just as important. Actions that can be taken in daily lives must be implemented. l Conservation of energy and resourcesIf we lower heating by 1°C, 231kg of carbon dioxide can be saved annually per household. Energy can be saved by keeping winter season heating to under 20°C and summer season indoor temperature to between 26~28°C. If we decrease our time in the shower by 1 minute, we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 7kg. Installing water-saving showerheads and water-efficient toilets, turning off the faucet while brushing our teeth, and doing laundry after clothes have been collected are all ways of conserving energy that we can practice in our daily lives.l Use of public transportation and bicyclesWe can improve our health and the health of the Earth by taking the bus, subway, and walking. By walking or riding the bicycle, carpooling, and using energy-efficient cars, we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.l Use of eco-friendly productsWhen considering products with the same function, consider using a product that produces less environmental pollution. Select products that are energy-efficient or produce less waste.l Planting treesTrees absorb carbon dioxide. A pine tree absorbs 5kg of carbon dioxide per year. Northern Europe, which is heavily forested, has a greater absorption level of carbon dioxide and faceless pressure of reducing greenhouse gases. Efforts should be made to conserve forests and plant new trees.The climate environment is an international public good that all nations on Earth enjoy together. Therefore, it is impossible to make one nation or individual take responsibility for climate change. Developed nations that have already industrialized need to take lead and support the climate change response of developing nations to reduce the gap among nations. Policy development and implementation on a national level and individual effort in daily lives are also important.ㅡOur house is on fire!The time to act is now.ㅡ
Press Release Macky Sall Acceptance Speech
Macky Sall Acceptance SpeechHonorable Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the Universal Peace FederationLadies and gentlemen, dear friends, distinguished guestsThe health situation which has put the international community in a state of emergency led me to cancel the trip to Seoul I was preparing myself for.It is with the deepest regret that I was not able to join you personally as I had planned. I would like to thank my Korean counterpart President Moon Jae In for all the preparations he made for my visit. It is with deep reverence that I salute the memory of Rev. Sun Myung Moon whose centenary we celebrate this year. He was a visionary leader and the inspiration behind the Universal Peace Federation. I would like to offer my highest esteem to the honorable Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.For several decades, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has been the embodiment of incredible kindness. Her life demonstrates a profound heart of superlative commitment to the cause of peace and the wellbeing of humanity. Her unique ability and lifelong dedication to comfort those in need is leading to the realization of a harmonious global community filled with love. Her dedication deserves our unending respect and admiration.I would like to once again extend to her my respect and esteem. I see the members of the Universal Peace Federation as my associates. Ladies and gentlemen, in these times of turbulence and uncertainty, there is no task more urgent than fostering dialogue to allay tensions, promote mutual understanding and support the peaceful coexistence of people. It is with this spirit that in January 2018, Senegal welcomed the inaugural Africa Summit of the Universal Peace Federation. It is with this similar spirit that I humbly accept the Sunhak Peace Prize that you have awarded me. It is with humility that I accept this prize because to me, this award is not an end in itself but an encouragement to persevere in the culture of peace and human kinship.I accept this prize with humility because I recognize the essential blessing this prize brings to the people of Senegal. Every member of the Senegalese people has always harbored a profound sense of togetherness in their diversity. This prize is greater than my humble self. it is a prize that honors the people of Senegal and I would like to dedicate it to the people of Senegal. As I accept this award, I think about all those whose peace is usurped by violence and the vicissitudes of life. I think about the victims of war and terrorism, about refugees and displaced people, about those suffering from xenophobia and racial discrimination simply because of their origin or the color of their skin. Peace is fragile.When society is characterized by indifference and the madness of self-centeredness, this society cannot take care of those most in need. Peace is threatened when extremism of all types manipulates the conscience of people and turns faith into activism to feed ideologies of conflict. Peace is threatened when some believe they are imbued with the mission of forcing unto others a unique ideology of action and existence. This stands at odds with the diversity of cultures and civilizations. It is for all these reasons that we must defend the ideal of a better world for all. That is why, in agreement with the African Union Commission, I have decided to donate the entire prize amount of 500,000 USD of the Sunhak Peace Prize to the peace fund of the African Union. I hope for this to promote efforts to realize peace continentally. This is why, as a laureate of the Sunhak Peace Prize, I will endeavor to stay faithful to the ideal that unites us. I will endeavor to pursue together with you, our common efforts for the peaceful coexistence among people, cultures and civilizations. I wish tremendous success at your gathering.