Issue XLIII | August 2021
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.
Internet, the great radicalizer?

Internet is playing a pivotal role in the increase of radicalization and right-wing movements around the world. Right-wing terror groups are using the COVID health crisis to radicalize and recruit online. According to the UN, there was a 750% growth in anti-Semitic tweets as the outbreak began, amid escalating hate crimes against people of Asian descent. Read on.
UN General Assembly establishes Permanent Forum of People of African Descent 
This month, the UN established the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent. The body will provide expert advice on addressing the challenges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and intolerance: "Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races." Read on.
Why Gender equality matters in the COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health issue. It is a profound shock to our societies and economies, and women are at the heart of care and response efforts underway. But the UN's COVID-19 Gender Response Tracker shows that nations are not doing enough to protect women and girls from the economic and social fallout caused by the pandemic. Now more than ever, gender equality needs to be a priority. Read on.
Five key facts about the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat released the first draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The document outlines action plans to protect, restore and sustainably manage nature and transform society's relationship with the natural world. Read on.
The hydrogen economy: reality or illusion?

Will hydrogen power trucks, ships, and planes? Will it be used to produce everything from cement to steel and fertilizer? Some experts think so: "In the past, our technology and industry was all about collecting oil, delivering oil and using oil. And now, in the future, it will be collecting sunshine, delivering sunshine and using sunshine – and what will make that possible is hydrogen." Others are much more skeptical. Read on.
A hotter future is certain. But how hot is up to us

A major new UN scientific report found that nations have delayed curbing their fossil-fuel emissions for too long. Now, we can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years. "We can expect a significant jump in extreme weather over the next 20 or 30 years. Things are unfortunately likely to get worse than they are today," said one of the hundreds of international experts who helped write the report. Read on.
COVID-19 vaccine inequality widens gap in global recovery

According to the International Monetary Fund, the divergence between higher- and lower-income nations is worsening because of the vastly uneven vaccine rollouts: "A worsening pandemic and tightening financial conditions would inflict a double hit on emerging market and developing economies and severely set back their recoveries." Read on.
Asian universities are on the rise. What does it mean for the rest of the world?

Asia has increased its representation in the Times Higher Education's World University Rankings from just over a quarter of all ranked universities in 2016 to almost a third today. What does it mean for the rest of the world? Read on.
Davos Lab: Youth Recovery Plan
To mark International Youth Day 2021, the Global Shapers Community launched Davos Lab: Youth Recovery Plan. Featuring the insights and ideas of more than 2 million people, the document is the world's first post-pandemic recovery plan aimed at safeguarding young people and unborn generations. Read on.
The UN is planning to enhance global digital cooperation

As the digital space has come to underpin most aspects of our daily life, the scale and pervasiveness of ICT "insecurity" is a major concern for the UN. "Digital technologies are increasingly straining existing legal, humanitarian and ethical norms, non-proliferation, international stability, and peace and security," commented the UN Disarmament chief. Read on.