Issue LXIII | April 2023



Global Development Update is a monthly bulletin that informs readers about the events, ideas, and people that are shaping an emerging world community. It is produced by The Global Citizens' Initiative- a non-profit working to help develop a sustainable world community for all. Click below to sign up for a free Global Development Update subscription.
Human Rights
Gender Equity
Poverty Reduction & Income Inequality
Global Governance & Connectivity
Global Peace & Justice

AI Surveillance at Paris 2024 Olympics: Public Safety vs. Privacy Concerns

France's plan to deploy AI-powered surveillance cameras for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics has cleared a final legislative hurdle. The government argues that the cameras are necessary for public safety. While critics express concerns about privacy, potential conflicts with EU regulations, and the precedent it sets for mass surveillance in democratic societies. Read on.

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Gender Empowerment Falters at the Highest Echelons of the UN

Despite progress in achieving gender parity in some areas of the UN, there has never been a woman Secretary-General in the organization's 77-year history. And only four women have been elected as Presidents of the General Assembly, reflecting the persistent gender inequality within the highest echelons of the UN. Read on.

UN Secretary-General Says Gender Equality is Still 300 Years Away

UN Secretary-General warns that women's rights are under threat worldwide, with gender equality projected to take 300 more years to be achieved at the current pace. Read on.


African Policymakers Ask for More Data on Climate and Health

As extreme weather events become more frequent in Africa, the health of vulnerable populations is deteriorating due to factors such as flooding, weak sanitation systems, drought, malnutrition, and the spread of disease. Policymakers are calling for more data on cost-effective strategies to address the health impacts of climate change. Read on.

Changing Tides

After almost 20 years of negotiations, United Nations member countries agreed to the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty, which aims to protect ocean biodiversity beyond national borders. The treaty lays the groundwork for establishing large-scale marine protected areas and regulating marine research for scientific and commercial development. Read on.


It's Become a Middle-Income World, but Increasingly Hard to Join the Club

Over the past two decades, half of the countries classified as low-income in the early 2000s have achieved middle-income status. Still, challenges are emerging that may hinder further progress. For example, factors such as increased poverty rates, climate change impacts, and gender inequality are posing risks to development gains in low-income countries. Read on.


UNRWA Funding Shortfall Puts Palestinian Refugees in Jeopardy

Persistent underfunding at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) may jeopardize the well-being of Palestinian refugees and regional stability. UNRWA, which provides education, healthcare, and employment services to Palestinian refugees, ended 2022 with a significant deficit of approximately $70 million. Read on.


UN General Assembly Seeks World Court Ruling on Climate Change

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution requesting the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to render an Advisory Opinion on states' obligations regarding climate change. The resolution argues that governments are failing to reduce carbon emissions, and the ICJ can affirm legal obligations and ensure an equitable transition to a global fossil-fuel-free economy. Read on.

Global Leaders Embrace People-Centered Justice to Rebuild Trust

Access to justice remains elusive for two-thirds of humanity, with over 5 billion people caught in a global justice gap. A joint statement from a coalition of countries and civil society organizations calls for a renewal of the rule of law through embracing people-centered justice, which places the needs of individuals and communities at the core of justice systems and emphasizes data-driven policymaking. Read on.

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