17 december 2020

— On Wednesday, European Parliament President David Sassoli presented the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Veranika Tsapkala “on behalf of the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council, an initiative of brave women and political and civil society figures.” Sassoli said, “The whole world is aware of what is happening in your country. We see your courage. We see the courage of women. We see your suffering. We see the unspeakable abuses. We see the violence. Your aspiration and determination to live in a democratic country inspires us.”

— On the United Nations Foundation website, Donna Borak and Thure Krarup write that 2021 “will be an opportunity to leverage the hard lessons of the past year and work in solidarity to accelerate the much-needed progress to achieve our shared goals. The year that ushered in the final Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) started with the world already acutely aware of being off track to achieve them by the 2030 deadline. Then came COVID-19.” While “even under the most optimistic scenarios,” eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 “is now an even more monumental task,” the pandemic “also spurred global cooperation in unprecedented, innovative ways with new partnerships and new leadership and new voices that we can build upon and include in our agenda as we embark on a new year.”

— The six outgoing chairs of United Nations Security Council subsidiary bodies said Wednesday that “while sanctions remain a tool to promote peace and stability around the world, Member States must not lose sight of their humanitarian impact and foster greater trust to ensure their adequate implementation. … The six chairs updated the Council on the work of subsidiary bodies concerning nuclear disarmament in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula, the situation of children and armed conflict, as well as arms and travel embargoes in Africa.”

— The World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities has announced five finalists — Rosario, Argentina; Ahmedabad, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Monterrey, Mexico; and London, United Kingdom — for the 2020-2021 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities. The prize “is the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting transformative urban change. Through the Prize, WRI seeks to inspire urban change-makers across the globe by elevating trailblazing initiatives and telling impactful stories of sustainable urban transformation.”

— A Reddit post asks “about the Communist stance on World Federalism,” with the writer stating, “Given the inevitable problems we face with the environment, working together as one (world federalism) is necessary to foster cooperation and widespread regulation to take a foot off the gas, so to speak.”

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