The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 13 October 2018

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 13 Oct 2018

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates  [see PDF]
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

Respect for Traditional Self-Governance, Informed Consent in Decisions Critical to Upholding Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Mandate Holder Tells UNGA Third Committee

Governance – Indigenous Peoples

Respect for Traditional Self-Governance, Informed Consent in Decisions Critical to Upholding Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Mandate Holder Tells Third Committee
General Assembly, Third Committee
Seventy-third Session, 16th Meeting (AM)
12 October 2018
The Third Committee met this morning to consider the rights of indigenous peoples. Before it was a report by the Secretary General on the Status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples (document A/73/137), as well as a Secretariat note transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples (document A/73/176).

Self-governance and multilateral support are critical to fulfilling the aims of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, delegates told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today in a half day discussion on the matter.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said almost every indigenous group faces extreme marginalization and human rights violations. As such, it is critically important to protect and promote their institutions and governance systems. At the core of this issue are the rights to autonomy and self determination. Stressing that she would focus more on this topic over the next year, she urged States to provide recommendations on strengthening self governance, as there are many good examples.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates said that while it is difficult to describe what indigenous self governance systems are, they include a range of unique institutions — some centuries old — that establish rules for relating with one another, and are characterized by different histories, contexts and struggles that have shaped them.

Some pointed out that indigenous rights defenders often face peril. In fact, 2017 was the deadliest year yet for human rights defenders, said the European Union’s delegate — and a disproportionate number of the 197 documented killings were of indigenous people. Norway’s representative advocated a zero tolerance approach to such killings and asked how rights defenders can better cooperate with Governments, both local and nationally.

South Africa’s delegate said the multiple socioeconomic challenges faced by communities in his country are directly linked to the dispossession of land. Addressing the issue of land ownership is essential. As such, the Government has restored a sizeable amount of land to previously disadvantaged groups, he said.

Others underscored the need to involve indigenous peoples and institutions in decisions affecting them, especially at the United Nations. Finland’s representative, on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries, commended the Special Rapporteur for increasing cooperation with the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Canada’s delegate emphasized the need to renew relationships between Governments and indigenous peoples, calling it essential to building self determining indigenous nations that govern themselves. Along those lines, Guatemala’s delegate said the Government will work to rescue and revitalize indigenous languages — 22 Maya languages, along with Grifuna and Xinka.

Also speaking today were the representatives of El Salvador (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Antigua and Barbuda (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Mexico (on behalf of the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples), Iraq, Russian Federation, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Australia, Ecuador, Namibia, Panama, Iran, Spain, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Fiji, Malaysia, Ukraine, Cameroon and Cuba, as well as the Holy See and the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean…

Signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding Between USAID and Knights of Columbus

Governance, Aid, Faith Community

Signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding Between USAID and Knights of Columbus
October 12, 2018
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Knights of Columbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday that will facilitate partnerships to help communities in the Middle East recover from genocide and persecution. The partnership between USAID and the Knights of Columbus is a cornerstone of the Vice President’s commitment to helping communities recover in the wake of the genocidal campaign waged by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

USAID deeply values the contributions of the Knights of Columbus to respond to genocide and persecution in the Middle East. The relationships of trust the Knights have forged with persecuted communities, and their deep experience promoting interfaith dialogue, provide them with a reach and a voice in communities that often exceeds our own. The importance of a trusted voice when assisting survivors of genocide cannot be overstated.

The Memorandum of Understanding will allow USAID and the Knights of Columbus to leverage U.S. Government funding against the contributions of American philanthropists in a coordinated response to genocide and persecution. USAID and the Knights of Columbus will work together to identify populations in need and assist them, convene local actors, advance pluralism, and collaborate on efforts to prevent future atrocities.

The new partnership is part of USAID’s continuing effort to expand its partner base, including with local and faith-based organizations, to meet the needs of persecuted ethnic and religious minorities more effectively and promote diversity in the Middle East. USAID looks forward to adding additional public-and private-sector partners to advance the Vice President’s Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Initiative in the Middle East Region.


Knights of Columbus
Bringing Help and Support to Persecuted Christians
Since the establishment of the Christian Refugee Relief Fund in 2014, the Knights of Columbus has collected more than $18 million. As of Dec. 31, 2017, over $16 million has already been distributed to provide food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care to persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

UN Migration Agency Launches Digital Platform to Engage Diaspora Members in Development

Development – Diaspora Communities

UN Migration Agency Launches Digital Platform to Engage Diaspora Members in Development
2018-10-09 16:55
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, officially launched its iDiaspora platform yesterday (08/09), during a side event as part the International Dialogue for Migration that is underway in Geneva. iDiaspora is a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for transnational communities and those looking to engage with them. To reflect the global nature and diversity of this initiative, satellite launches are being planned in Cairo, London and Washington, DC.

IOM recognizes that there is mounting evidence regarding the important role that diaspora members and transnational communities play towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in countries of origin and destination.

Diaspora contributions vary in type and scope, and range from skills, knowledge and know-how transfer to investment, entrepreneurship and trade. Diaspora communities too are increasingly becoming more cognizant of their role, as evidenced by a multiplicity of diaspora organizations, associations, and confederations at the local, national and international levels. In launching the platform, the organization hopes to provide an all-in-one space for diaspora individuals, their organizations and partners to interact and exchange ideas as they work towards their shared development goals.

Users can register on the site – – using Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, or complete their profiles with their name, location, fields of expertise, interest and a photo. They help shape the platform and can take advantage of it to Connect, Learn and Contribute: by finding other like-minded users from their community or other communities with whom to collaborate, using and/or contributing to the growing repository of resources, identifying concrete opportunities to give back their skills and resources and actively participating in development of their home and host communities.

In July 2017, the concept of the platform was launched during consultations for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) in New York. Feedback from these sessions demonstrated significant interest in the iDiaspora platform among a wide range of diaspora associations and individuals engaged in supporting economic development in their countries of origin/heritage and advocating for better migration policies within the GCM. Following that, IOM conducted a series of consultations with stakeholders from diaspora associations and international communities in the US and the UK to help shape the platform to respond to the needs of actors working in this space…

U.K. Foreign Secretary pledges to do everything possible to protect wild animals

Heritage Stewardship – Wildlife

Foreign Secretary pledges to do everything possible to protect wild animals
U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt comments ahead of the London Illegal Wildlife Trade conference
Published 11 October 2018
In the last 5 decades, the world has lost nearly 60 percent of its vertebrate animals. In case you believe that is just another statistic, think about what it means.

The magnificent wildlife that humanity has inherited – the animals that enliven our imaginations, enhance the beauty of the world and provide livelihoods for millions of people – are disappearing with terrifying speed. We have lost two thirds of Africa’s elephants since the 1970s. We are down to the last 80,000 giraffes and the final 20,000 lions. The world’s tiger population has dropped by 95% in the last century.

If we go on like this, our grandchildren may only know of these animals from David Attenborough documentaries.

So today, I will open a conference in London attended by 80 countries on how to combat the illegal wildlife trade. The criminal gangs who smuggle horns and tusks pose one of the greatest threats to the survival of wildlife. They target some of the poorest countries in the world, spreading corruption and depriving governments of desperately needed revenues that could be used for schools and hospitals.

The World Bank estimates that governments lose as much as $15 billion (£11 billion) every year because of illegal logging. And the same criminal networks that traffic the body parts of wild animals may also deal in guns and drugs and people.

This week, I have joined Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, to announce a new British initiative to target the traffickers by helping countries in Africa and Asia to launch investigations and seize assets. We are sending more British diplomats to Africa, including experts on combating the illegal wildlife trade.

Last year, our Parliament passed the Criminal Finances Act, strengthening the British Government’s powers to combat money laundering and freeze unexplained wealth. Since then, we have placed another law before Parliament that would ban domestic ivory sales.

We will also contribute £250 million to the United Nations Global Environment Facility by 2022. As part of this, the Global Wildlife Programme has worked with Kenya on a new law imposing tougher punishments for wildlife crimes, including life imprisonment for anyone caught smuggling the body parts of an endangered species.

We are using our aid budget to help the UN Office of Drugs and Crime to strengthen the ability of developing countries to enforce their laws against the wildlife trade and improve their investigative skills.

When laws are enforced and smugglers prosecuted, wildlife populations can and do recover. The number of wild tigers in Nepal, for example, has doubled in the last nine years.

The London conference will be the biggest international gathering of its kind ever held. My aim is for Britain to do everything possible to protect wild animals for the sake of our grandchildren. If we failed to act, quite simply we would never be forgiven.

WTO, IMF, World Bank and OECD heads call for new focus on trade as a driver of growth

Global Governance – Multilateral Trade

WTO, IMF, World Bank and OECD heads call for new focus on trade as a driver of growth
At a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on 10 October, the heads of four international organisations issued a strong call to ease trade tensions and refocus on the importance of trade and the multilateral trading system in fuelling economic growth. This call was made by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, together with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Jim Kim and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, at a jointly-organised conference under the theme “How global trade can promote growth for all.”

DG Azevêdo said:
“The trading system is not perfect — but it represents the best efforts of governments around the world, working together for 70 years, to find ways to cooperate on trade issues. It took a lot of people and a lot of time to push the boulder this far up the hill. Even keeping it in place requires constant effort.

“Today the WTO covers around 98% of global trade. It is has overseen a historic opening of markets and integration of economies. Since 1980, average tariffs have been cut by two thirds. The system has provided stability and predictability in global trade — holding firm even during the financial crisis. And, as a result, it has helped to fuel unprecedented growth and development around the world, as well as a dramatic reduction in poverty. The system has real value. So we have to keep working at it.

“We have to explore all avenues which could ease the current tensions and strengthen the trading system. We all know the risks of further escalation — risks to the economy and risks to the trading system itself, which would multiply the economic risks over the long term. We can’t let that happen. We need trade and the trading system to play their part in fuelling growth — just as they have done so effectively for seven decades.”

DG Azevêdo’s full speech is available here.

An Open Letter to the World: We Should Care About Human Capital :: Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016

Human Rights – Human Capital

An Open Letter to the World: We Should Care About Human Capital
October 11, 2018

We are coming together to send this urgent message. If we want a better world—one that is stable, more prosperous and equitable, where people’s potential is fulfilled—countries need to start investing more effectively in their people today.

Tremendous advances have been made in the past generation. Never in history has such a large share of people survived childhood, gone to school, become literate, escaped poverty, gone into the work force or lived so long. But these very gains—and the fact that change is possible—make today’s status quo all the more unjustifiable.
:: More than half the world’s population cannot access essential health services, with almost 100 million people pushed into extreme poverty every year by health costs.

:: In the world’s poorest countries, four out of five poor people are not covered by a social safety net, leaving them extremely vulnerable.

:: An estimated 5.4 million children under 5 years of age died in 2017, mostly of preventable causes. Newborns account for around half of those deaths.

:: Over 750 million adults are illiterate, their lifetime productivity severely diminished by a poor education.

:: More than 260 million children are not in primary or secondary school. And another quarter of a billion children cannot read or write despite having gone to school. If they formed a country, it would be the third largest country in the world.

:: Nearly one in four young children around the world are undernourished (stunted), their life prospects permanently limited by an accumulation of adversity in their earliest years.

Our fear is that a whole generation will not be equipped to reach its full potential and compete in the economy of the future. The nature of work is changing rapidly across the globe, as are demands for higher order skills. Yet half a billion young people in developing countries today are underemployed or in insecure jobs. If young people don’t have the opportunities to realize their aspirations, we risk more fragility and conflict across the globe—with incalculable economic costs.

It is time to recognize that investing in people is investing in inclusive growth. One additional year of schooling raises a person’s earnings by 8 to 10 percent. In some places, the returns are as high as 22 percent. The median benefit to cost ratio for interventions that reduce stunting in the first 24 months of life is equal to $18 of benefit for every $1 spent. If there were gender equality in earnings, human capital wealth could increase by 21.7 percent globally.

The message for countries, economies, leaders and concerned citizens across our interconnected world is clear: if we don’t turn our attention toward better and more strategic investments in people today, countries and economies will pay a steep price down the road.

There is powerful evidence that with a big push, progress can happen quickly. We can harness lessons from Malawi, where the stunting rate has come down ten percentage points to 37 percent in only a few years. Or from Vietnam, where learning outcomes have skyrocketed in reading, math and science. In both these cases, success was rooted in focused leadership, engaged stakeholders, and integrated government-wide approaches.

We hope the Human Capital Project—and the new Human Capital Index which links human capital outcomes to future productivity—will fuel momentum for action and put us more firmly on the path to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

We invite you to stand with us as we call for more and better investments in people. By doing so, we can transform the futures of nations, families and generations whose dreams are only matched by their will to achieve them.

Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister, Ethiopia
Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP
Aliko Dangote, Chair, President and Founder, Dangote Foundation
Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum
Sir Chris Hohn, Co-Founder, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Douglas Peterson, President and CEO, S&P Global
Sir Fazle Abed, Founder & Chair, BRAC
Frans van Houten, CEO, Philips
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
Hugh Evans, Chair, Global Citizen
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group
Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS
His Majesty King Letsie III, Lesotho
Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State, International Development, UK
Dr. Rajiv. J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
Shinichi Kitaoka, President, JICA
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore
Youssou N’Dour, Musician, Senegal



Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016
Stephen S Lim, Rachel L Updike, Alexander S Kaldjian, Ryan M Barber, Krycia Cowling, Hunter York, Joseph Friedman, R Xu, Joanna L Whisnant, Heather J Taylor, Andrew T Leever, Yesenia Roman, Miranda F Bryant, Joseph Dieleman, Emmanuela Gakidou, Christopher J L Murray
The Lancet, Oct 06, 2018 Volume 392 Number 10154 p1167-1278 e10
Open Access
Human capital is recognised as the level of education and health in a population and is considered an important determinant of economic growth. The World Bank has called for measurement and annual reporting of human capital to track and motivate investments in health and education and enhance productivity. We aim to provide a new comprehensive measure of human capital across countries globally.