UNITY DEADLINE ALERT: ROSEN, GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Unity Software Inc. Investors With Losses to Secure Counsel Before Important September 6 Deadline in Securities Class Action – U

NEW YORK, Sept. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Unity Software Inc. (NYSE: U) between March 5, 2021 and May 10, 2022, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important September 6, 2022 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Unity securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Unity class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=7381 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than September 6, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually handle securities class actions, but are merely middlemen that refer clients or partner with law firms that actually litigate the cases. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) deficiencies in Unity's product platform reduced the accuracy of the Company's machine learning technology; (2) the foregoing was likely to have a material negative impact on Unity's revenues; (3) accordingly, Unity had overstated its commercial and/or financial prospects for 2022; (4) as a result, Unity was likely to have to reduce its fiscal 2022 guidance; and (5) as a result, defendants' public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Unity class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=7381 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827

Flash News: OKX Lists LDO, Discounts More Blue-chip NFTs and Offers up to 65.35% Staking APY

VICTORIA, Seychelles, Sept. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OKX, the world's second largest crypto exchange, has issued business updates for the week of September 2, 2022:

OKX lists Lido
Trading of LDO will start according to the following schedule:

  1. LDO deposits open at 03:00 am UTC on Sep. 2
  2. LDO/USDT Spot trading open at 10:00 am UTC on Sep. 2
  3. LDO withdrawals open at 10:00 am UTC on Sep. 3

LDO is an Ethereum token granting governance rights in the Lido DAO. The Lido DAO governs a set of liquid staking protocols, decides on key parameters and executes protocol upgrades to ensure efficiency and stability. By holding the LDO token, one is granted voting rights within the Lido DAO.

OKX offers discounted 0N1 Force, Isekai Meta and Sneaky Vampire Syndicate NFTs

Super Discounts is a series of events that offer opportunities to buy premium NFTs at discounts. These NFTs are sold on a first–come, first–served basis.

See below for more:

Round Collections Starts at Discounted price
Second round 0N1 Force

Isekai Meta

Sneaky Vampire Syndicate

12:00 pm UTC+00:00 on September 2nd, 2022 0.01 ETH

Users offered up to 56.32% APY with ELF, EGLD, ICX, QTUM and FLOW Staking

OKX Earn will launch ELF, EGLD, ICX, QTUM and FLOW staking on Sep. 5th, 2022 at 03:00 am UTC. Spots are limited and available on a first–come, first–served basis.

Staking rewards at a glance:

Crypto Product Term Total Subscription Limit Individual Limit APY
ELF Staking 120 Days 500,000 ELF 50 ELF 56.32%
EGLD Staking 120 Days 4,000 EGLD 5 EGLD 20.65%
ICX Staking 120 Days 150,000 ICX 15 ICX 15.18%
QTUM Staking 120 Days 100,000 QTUM 5 QTUM 7.62%
FLOW Staking 120 Days 140,000 FLOW 14 FLOW 17.69%

Find out more on the OKX Support Center.

For further information, please contact:

About OKX

OKX is a leading crypto trading app, and a Web3 ecosystem. Trusted by more than 20 million global customers in over 180 international markets, OKX is known for being the fastest and most reliable crypto trading app of choice for investors and professional traders globally.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

Jax.Network celebrates its 4th anniversary

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Jax.Network, a blockchain project building an energy–standard monetary system, is glad to enter the fifth year of its development. Throughout its four years of existence, Jax.Network has managed to design and launch a number of unique products and services and doesn't plan to lose momentum.

Started up with a mission to solve the famous Scalability Trilemma, Jax.Network went far and beyond and built not only a truly scalable, decentralized, and secure network but an entire technological infrastructure for an energy–standard monetary system. Furthermore, it brings a stablecoin (JAX) to the Bitcoin ecosystem improving its scalability and stability. To support this ecosystem, Jax.Network built a variety of products and services, including but not limited to a DeFi platform, yield farming initiative, and decentralized wallets.

The blockchain company plans to surprise the community with more ambitious releases in the years to come. At the moment, the Jax.Network team is focused on increasing the hashrate power of its mining pool, which was launched earlier this year. JaxPool is the first mining pool to offer negative fees on Bitcoin mining.

"I'm proud to be the founder of such an innovative enterprise that is set to become a game–changer in the global crypto and blockchain industry. We spent more than three years on research and development of the protocol and key products, so even the bear market shouldn't stop us from entering the top 100 coins by market capitalization," Vinod Manoharan, Founder of Jax.Network commented on the occasion.

About Jax.Network

Jax.Network provides the technological infrastructure for a decentralized energy–standard monetary system. The Jax.Network blockchain is anchored to the Bitcoin network and issues two digital currencies JAX and JXN. JAX is a stablecoin pegged to the energy spent on mining, while JXN is an asset coin representing the value of the whole network. The Jax.Network team aims at making these coins a universal standard for the quantification of economic value. Established in 2018, the company united professionals from all over the world to build a blockchain network based on the Proof–of–Work consensus mechanism and pure state sharding as a scaling solution.

HTEC Group acquires Mistral Technologies to Expand its Engineering Base in Southeast Europe to Over 2,000 Professionals

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HTEC Group ("HTEC") (www.htecgroup.com), a global consulting, software engineering and digital product development company based in San Francisco, today announced that it has acquired Sarajevo–based Mistral Technologies. Joining forces with Mistral's team of 300, HTEC is now the largest technology company in Bosnia and Herzegovina employing close to 600 experts in the country.

Globally, HTEC's team has grown to over 2,000 employees, with development centers across Southeast Europe "" where the company operates in six countries "" with creative and consulting offices located in the Silicon Valley, London, New York, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Gothenburg. By combining Silicon Valley–based design thinking with the best of SEE engineering talent in more than 20 locations, HTEC supports global clients with digital product development, from strategy and conceptualization to design and agile engineering on scale.

Mistral, the newest member of HTEC Group, was founded in Sarajevo in 2010, and has positioned itself as the employer of choice for engineering talent in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an impressive client portfolio of Fortune 500 companies.

"Building strong relationships based on trust, delivering excellence and creating additional value for our prized client partnerships has always been at the forefront of our strategy alongside providing a people centric work environment. We are perfectly aligned with HTEC Group in terms of our values and service delivery and I am confident we will soon become the most desired partner of choice globally, for the most complex engineering challenges," commented Mersed Camdzic, Mistral co–founder and CEO.

"I am happy to say that today we acquired Mistral Technologies, one of the best technology companies in the region, clearly a market leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the passion, leadership skills, engineering excellence and company values that match our own. Going forward, we will continue to bring together by far the most talented technical and creative professionals in Southeast Europe and expose them to global market opportunities," said Aleksandar Cabrilo, HTEC co–founder and CEO.

Deriv X – a highly customisable CFD trading platform

South America, Asia, Africa, Sept. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Deriv Group Ltd, an international provider of trading platforms and services, has launched a CFD trading platform, Deriv X, a white–labelled version of DXtrade.

Deriv X, the newest addition to Deriv Group's suite of trading platforms, was developed alongside Devexperts, a software provider for global financial companies, based on DXtrade, Devexperts' SaaS trading solution.

The highly customisable Deriv X offers CFD trading on the most popular financial markets "" forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Deriv has also incorporated its proprietary synthetic indices into the platform. These indices are available to trade 24/7 and mimic real–world market movements while remaining unaffected by political and economic events. Synthetic indices offer a different UX to clients and are based on a cryptographically secure random number generator and regularly audited by an independent third party for fairness. These unique features make synthetic indices one of the most popular trading instruments among Deriv's clients.

Volatility indices – Deriv X

Deriv X is also equipped with a wide range of trading tools, making the platform a great choice for beginners and professional traders.

Beginners can benefit from key features, including:

  • A customisable interface that allows traders to drag and drop widgets, creating unique layouts in multiple workspaces
  • An embedded trading journal and dashboard to store all logs and help track and analyse trading activity
  • A chart with 90+ indicators and 13 drawing tools to enable traders to analyse multiple trades simultaneously

Trade Forex on Deriv X

While professional traders can also take advantage of:

  • Multiple widgets that can be set up in a workspace moved from one workspace to another or even to a separate window. For example, if a trader relies on technical analysis, they can craft a workspace consisting of just chart widgets.
  • Partial position closure, which allows traders to implement more complex risk management trading strategies
  • One–click trading that traders can enable by linking customisable watchlists across widgets

All these features are available on Deriv X and accessible via the web–based trading platform and iOS/Android mobile trading app. The platform is currently available to traders worldwide, except for those residing in Europe.

Jean–Yves Sireau, CEO of Deriv, commented on the launch of Deriv X: "Innovative thinking has always been the core of our growth strategy. Deriv is continuously working on introducing new products and services to give our clients the opportunity to utilise the latest technology, maximising their probability of success. We put our clients at the centre of everything we do, and use all our resources to help them always be one step ahead of the market."

Vitaly Kudinov, SVP of Business Development at Devexperts said: "Startups and established brokers know that trading platforms are not merely tools. Trading platforms are key elements of their business. Broker success depends heavily on how simple and user–friendly their platform is for clients and how smoothly and quickly it can be scaled to support x2, x5, x10, and even x100 user accounts. To achieve this, some brokers are building their own software, which is a long and expensive route. The path to creating usability and scalability for the Deriv X platform was extremely short since it's a white–label of DXtrade. I am excited to see Deriv's international community of traders enjoying Deriv X "" a platform we built with passion and integrity."

About Deriv
Deriv is one of the oldest brokers in the industry. Its story starts back in 1999, with only one office and continues to this day with 16 offices in 13 different countries and over 850 team members. Deriv's primary mission is to make trading available to everyone, everywhere. And the company is certainly moving towards its goal, constantly introducing new platforms and services to its growing clientele list.

Aleksandra Zuzic

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:



Air Pollution Kills Millions Every Year: Action Needed

The World Health Organization calls air pollution the “single biggest environmental threat to human health" and estimates that 99 percent of the world’s population live in locations that are above WHO thresholds designed to protect human health. . Credit: Malav Goswami/IPS

The World Health Organization calls air pollution the “single biggest environmental threat to human health” and estimates that 99 percent of the world’s population live in locations that are above WHO thresholds designed to protect human health. . Credit: Malav Goswami/IPS

By Felix Horne
Sep 2 2022 – Tarik, age 42, lives in a village adjacent to a decades-old coal power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the day we visited, Bosnian cities were some of the most polluted places on Earth. Describing the devastating health toll the air pollution took each year on the village’s older residents he voiced his fear for his aging parents, who had lived there for over 40 years: “The older people in this village are desperate. They put up with this air for months. They don’t get out, they don’t socialize, they can’t get groceries or medication. It’s a terrible existence.”

An estimated seven million people die every year from indoor and outdoor air pollution. That’s more than died from Covid-19 over the last two years. Often invisible, air pollution receives little attention compared with  other public health emergencies, but the threats to health are every bit as real

Human Rights Watch recently documented the horrific impacts of air pollution in Bosnia and Herzegovina during winter months. People living near some of the country’s five outdated coal-fired power plants told Human Rights Watch about the friends, family and neighbors who had died from cancer or cardiovascular or respiratory ailments that they believe were attributable to or exacerbated by pollution from the nearby coal plants. For them, the danger of air pollution is very real. The country has the world’s fifth highest mortality rate from air pollution.

A reliance on wood and coal for heat, coal for electricity generation in outdated power plants, poorly insulated buildings, an outdated vehicle fleet and natural factors all contribute to the country’s deadly air. Bosnia’s multiple tiers of government have not done enough to tackle the cause of the toxic air. They have failed to mitigate the risks the deadly air poses to human health or even to sufficiently warn the public of the dangers. 

Air pollution affects all of us, but in different ways. People with certain health conditions, pregnant women, children, and older people are the most vulnerable. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, parents told us about their difficulties caring for children with asthma and bronchitis during winter and how their children could not safely step outside without suffering acute respiratory symptoms. 

The International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is on September 7. It’s an opportunity to take stock of the enormity of the issue and re-double efforts to address the issue. 

Air pollution is a global issue. The World Health Organization calls air pollution the “single biggest environmental threat to human health and estimates that 99 percent  of the world’s population live in locations that are above WHO thresholds designed to protect human health. Ambient (or outdoor) air pollution is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, forest fires, waste burning, other industrial activities and natural factors.

An estimated seven million people die every year from indoor and outdoor air pollution. That’s more than died from Covid-19 over the last two years. Often invisible, air pollution receives little attention compared with  other public health emergencies, but the threats to health are every bit as real. In fact, 94 percent of air pollution deaths are due to noncommunicable diseases – notably cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. And nine out of ten of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. 

Under international human rights law,  countries have a responsibility to tackle air pollution, which has devastating impacts on a range of human rights, including right to life and health.  Governments are required not only to take steps to limit air pollution by addressing its causes, but also to protect people during the worst air pollution events. This includes adequately monitoring air quality, enforcing rigorous air quality standards, and assessing, communicating, and mitigating risks to human health when pollutant levels are high. 

Air pollution and climate change are directly linked. Burning fossil fuels, responsible for about 80  percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change, is a key driver of outdoor air pollution. Shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy, including wind and solar, is a crucial means to tackle air pollution and the emissions that cause climate change. It can save millions of lives annually, including in places like Tarik’s village. What are we waiting for? 



Felix Horne is a senior environmental researcher at Human Rights Watch

Transforming Girls’ Education, Changing The World

By Helen Grant and Yasmine Sherif
NEW YORK, Sep 2 2022 – As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education.

Helen Grant

Despite the progress made in recent decades, gender inequality between girls and boys, in all their diversity, is deepening. According to a recent United Nations report, the interlinked crises: of armed conflicts, climate change and COVID-19 are putting the 2030 Agenda in “grave danger, along with humanity’s very own survival.” These multiplying challenges are “creating spin-off impacts on food and nutrition, health, education, the environment, and peace and security, and affecting all the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the global learning crisis. Approximately 147 million children missed over half of in-person learning in 2020 and 2021 and it is estimated that 50% of refugee girls in secondary school may not return, when their classrooms reopen after COVID-19, whilst 222 million girls were not able to be reached by remote learning during the pandemic.

Shocking new estimates published by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) indicate that 222 million school-aged children caught in crises globally are in urgent need of access to a quality education. These include 78.2 million who are out of school – a majority (54%) of whom are girls – and 119.6 million who are in school but not achieving minimum competencies in mathematics or reading.

Yasmine Sherif

Girls impacted by the horrors of war and displacement in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen face even greater risks, such as gender-based violence, early child-marriage and unwanted pregnancies.

The banning of secondary girls’ education in Afghanistan is especially intolerable. In the past year, girls were estimated to be more than twice as likely to be out of school, and nearly twice as likely to be going to bed hungry compared to boys.

This is the global picture as we approach, Transforming Education Summit, and why it is such a critical moment for girls education around the world.

ECW’s Case for Investment

ECW’s new Case for Investment is our case for humanity. It speaks up for girls’ rights to a 12-year education everywhere, not least in contexts of humanitarian crisis. It is our collective responsibility to deliver on the promise of 222 Million Dreams and the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to ECW’s recent Annual Results Report, conflict, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and the compounding effect of the COVID-19 pandemic fueled increased education in emergencies needs with funding appeals reaching US$2.9 billion in 2021, compared with US$1.4 billion in 2020. While 2021 saw a record-high US$645 million in education appeal funding – the overall funding gap spiked by 17%, from 60% in 2020 to 77% in 2021.

Financing for education has not aligned with the deepening and growing needs. The gap has only widened.

It is only by closing this gap that we protect girls, support gender equality and empower the next generation of female leaders, teachers, lawyers, doctors and nurses.

Investing in 50% of a country’s population, its girls, is the best investment we can make. For every dollar invested in girls’ education, we see $2.80 in return. And a World Bank study estimates that the “limited educational opportunities for girls, and barriers to completing 12 years of education, cost countries between $15 and $30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity and earnings.”

The United Kingdom is a leading donor to Education Cannot Wait, and its support has allowed Education Cannot Wait and its strategic partners to have reached close to 7 million children and adolescents since 2016. In 2021 alone, the Fund reached 3.7 million children across 32 countries and an additional 11.8 million through COVID-19 interventions. Of all children reached by ECW’s investments to date, over 48% are girls, and 92% of programmes demonstrated an improvement in gender parity.

The Transforming Education Summit, and this year’s UN General Assembly will be a critical moment to address these challenges, and to assess the efficiency, effectiveness, scalability, sustainability and overall return-on-investment of ongoing and new initiatives and works streams as we look to increase girls access to quality education.

Delivering on Our Promise

Hosted by Switzerland and Education Cannot Wait – and co-convened by Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan – ECW’s 2023 High-Level Financing Conference offers an opportunity for leaders to turn these commitments into action.

We urge people everywhere to show their support for #222MillionDreams and #Everygirleverywhere with posts on social, individual donations, letters to your elected officials and calls to actions through the broad group of strategic partners.

Now is our chance to deliver on our promise of universal, equitable education. Now is our chance to transform girls’ education to transform the world. Now is our chance to deliver with humanity and for humanity.

About the Authors

Helen Grant is a Member of UK Parliament and the United Kingdom’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education, leading the UK’s efforts internationally to ensure all girls get 12 years of quality education. Prior to politics, Helen was a children and family lawyer for 23 years.

Yasmine Sherif is the Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. A lawyer specialized in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (LL.M), she has over 30 years of experience with the United Nations and international NGOs.

IPS UN Bureau


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);  

Education Cannot Wait Interviews Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

By External Source
Sep 2 2022 (IPS-Partners)


United Nations Secretary General António Guterres appointed Martin Griffiths of the United Kingdom as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in May 2021.

Mr. Griffiths brings extensive experience in humanitarian affairs. Since 2018 he served as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen. Between 2014 and 2018, he served as the first Executive Director of the European Institute of Peace. Between 2012 and 2014, he served as an adviser to all three Special Envoys of the Secretary-General for Syria, and Deputy Head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). From 1999 to 2010, Mr. Griffiths was the founding Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva.

He also worked in the British diplomatic service and for various international humanitarian organizations, including UNICEF, Save the Children and Action Aid. In 1994 he became the Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and, from 1998 to 1999, served as Deputy to the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator in New York. He has also served as United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes and in the Balkans.

Mr. Griffiths holds a master’s degree in Southeast Asian studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and is a qualified barrister.

ECW: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been a trusted partner since ECW’s establishment in 2016. As we look forward to ECW’s High-Level Financing Conference in February 2023 through the #222MillionDreams campaign, how can we best engage partners across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and enhance coordinated actions?

Martin Griffiths: I am hard-pressed to think of anything more important than ensuring the education of our children. It is fundamental for the progress of society and our future well-being. When I speak with people in the crisis-affected countries where OCHA works, parents are always concerned for their children’s education, and children themselves yearn to go to school. Just think of the girls in Afghanistan who were left in tears outside the gates when the Taliban closed their schools.

Too many children in the world today, especially in crisis settings, are deprived of an education and we have to ramp up investment in this. The Education Cannot Wait initiative is leading the way and it is encouraging that you last year reached the milestone of nearly 7 million children and adolescents – half of them girls – supported since 2017.

COVID-19 lockdowns have taken a heavy toll on education globally, but even before the pandemic, 127 million school-age children and young people in crisis-affected countries were out of school. Despite many schools reopening in 2021, more than 870 million students still face disruptions to their education. If we are to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4 and give quality education to all, we need humanitarian, development, and peace partners to come together and approach the challenges together.

Progress has been made on this so-called nexus approach in the UN system, and among donors and other key stakeholders, and we are seeing better joined-up analysis and planning. But more needs to be done to align decisions in programming and financing with the agreed priorities, also in the education sector.

OCHA is the Co-Chair of the Joint Steering Committee to advance humanitarian and development collaboration in the UN and plays an active role in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on the nexus approach. We are looking into how basic social services – including education – can best be delivered in crisis contexts.

ECW: According to Education Cannot Wait’s new Annual Results Report, while 2021 saw a record-high US$645 million in education appeal funding – the overall funding gap has spiked. How can we bridge that funding gap and bring new and non-traditional donors on board?

Martin Griffiths: In 2021, the education sector in our global humanitarian appeals was only 22.5%funded, well below the average. Currently, the education sector is about 20.5% funded.

The lion’s share of funding for the UN-coordinated humanitarian appeals, including the education sector, comes from a limited number of donors. We urge more countries and all donors to step up support to meet the ever-growing humanitarian needs.

Thanks to the OCHA-managed Country-Based Pooled Funds, we often step in and help fill some of the most urgent funding gaps. Last year, these pooled funds allocated nearly US$80 million to education in 20 countries.

Development actors should also invest more in education in crises and make full use of new and innovative technology. They could also engage closer with private sector partners. We need everybody to help safeguard children’s right to education and leave no one behind.

ECW: You served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Yemen from 2018-2021. How can education for children and adolescents caught in protracted crises – in places like Yemen, Syria, and beyond – support our efforts to build peace and achieve the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

Martin Griffiths: Speaking of peacebuilding in countries like Syria or Yemen can be difficult. However, delivering education services that are sensitive to the divisions within societies and the underlying drivers of the conflicts is a good start to overcoming deep-rooted social and political cleavages – or at least promoting a sense of inclusion.

Education is of course literacy and numeracy, but it is also life skills such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, and community building. All these skills are important in for example Syria and Yemen where young people make up around one third of the population. Many have been out of school for years to support their families, join the fighting, some get married early, and so on. Education will offer these children opportunities to feel included, form positive social relationships, and to be empowered in their communities.

ECW: The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the global learning crisis. In 2020 and 2021, 147 million children missed over half of in-person instruction and as many as 24 million learners may never return to school. What needs to be done collectively so we can build back better?

Martin Griffiths: Prolonged school closures have disproportionately impacted children in low-income households. This leaves them at risk of fewer employment opportunities and reduced lifetime earnings. In the recovery phase after the pandemic, we must ensure all children have access to education, including catch-up learning programmes for foundational skills, especially for children in low-income households.

Girls have faced additional barriers during the pandemic, and we saw more early marriages, pregnancies, and gender-based violence, things that can keep girls out of education. Many girls who left school may not return. Recovery efforts must support girls’ access to education and training. We should also focus on interrelated issues such as girls’ health and protection.

The pandemic revealed the importance of equitable digital access. There is an opportunity now to further invest in digital tools and infrastructure so all children can take advantage of digital learning.

ECW: The LEGO Foundation is ECW’s largest private sector donor, with approximately US$40 million in contributions to date. Why is investment in education by the private sector – especially early childhood education – important not only from a rights perspective but for business and economic stability worldwide?

Martin Griffiths: In their earliest years, children form more than 1 million new brain connections every second – an astounding pace that is not repeated at any other phase of life. Early Childhood Development (ECD) holds an incredible promise to transform the lives of children around the world.

Through quality education in the earliest years, we can set children on a path that will have lifelong benefits for their learning and earning potential. Quality early education is one of the best investments we can make to transform societies and support a more skilled workforce. We face a large challenge to ensure all children have access to universal pre-primary education by 2030. I encourage the private sector to invest heavily in this.

ECW: Our readers would like to know a little about you on a personal level and we know that readers are leaders. What are some of the books that have most influenced you, personally and professionally, and why would you recommend them to others?

Martin Griffiths: I am reading a biography of former SG Dag Hammarskjöld, one which draws heavily on Markings, his journal and record of his values. I have also been reading accounts of the early years of independence in Malaysia and Singapore, the home base of my wife and children. I have been rereading accounts of the US administration of Iraq, including Fiasco by Thomas E Ricks. Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety remains one of the best books I have ever read. It takes us living and breathing into the extraordinary events of the ‘Terror’ in France in the French Revolution, giving us the human picture even of people like Robespierre and Desmoulins. And for light reading, I have just taken delivery of the latest Robert Harris novel, Act of Oblivion, a historical novel set in the seventeenth century.

To Be Black (and Crash the Goal) in Nagorno-Karabakh

Two among the several foreign players currently training with the Nagorno-Karabakh squad. Credit: Anush Ghavalyan/IPS

Two among the several foreign players currently training with the Nagorno-Karabakh squad. Credit: Anush Ghavalyan/IPS

By Anush Ghavalyan
STEPANAKERT, Nagorno Karabakh, Sep 2 2022 – “This year the weather in Nagorno-Karabakh is warmer than in my home country, Senegal,” jokes Sow Ababacar, a 22-year-old footballer from the local stadium in Stepanakert, the capital of this Caucasus enclave. Although he once dreamed of playing for the Senegalese national team, the midfielder is currently training with the disputed territory´s national squad.

“Time flies,” says Sow. “It’s already been three years since I arrived.”

Also called Artsakh by the Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh is a self-proclaimed republic inhabited by an Armenian majority seeking recognition of its independence from Azerbaijan. It’s a territory internationally recognized as part of this country which lies in the southern Caucasus region, very much between Europe and Asia.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a self-proclaimed republic inhabited by an Armenian majority seeking recognition of its independence from Azerbaijan. It’s a territory internationally recognized as part of this country which lies in the southern Caucasus region, very much between Europe and Asia

In September 2020, Baku launched an offensive with which sought to seal forever the longest conflict since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was a landslide victory for Azerbaijan. Following the Russian-brokered ceasefire in November 2020, Moscow deployed its peacekeepers to territory still under Armenian control.

Although reconstruction is still under way all across the enclave there are hardly any foreign workers and it’s not easy to come across foreigners in the streets of Stepanakert these days. Only Armenian and Russian citizens are allowed to travel to Nagorno-Karabakh, with the corridor connecting this enclave with Armenia under the control of Russian peacekeepers. They have the last word to decide on who gets in. Thus, the Senegalese footballer knows that he attracts a lot of attention in a city where the vast majority of the population is Armenian.

“The attitude towards blacks is the same almost everywhere, not just here. Wherever you go, there will always be people calling you ¨monkey´” Sow tells IPS. It hurts, he admits, but he has learned to cope with it. “Children don’t do that, adults do. I think the problem is that they don’t understand what they’re doing,” explains the young Senegalese.

Connecting with the local people is also far from easy in a deeply conservative society. “I liked a girl and she liked me too, but her parents were against our relationship and we broke up without even trying,” recalls Sow. He swears he hasn’t looked at the local girls ever since. “It’s impossible.”

“The people are friendly and the food is very tasty here, but when it comes to women, we can only watch,” Valdo Junior, a 27-year-old Cameroonian tells IPS. He adds that young players find local women attractive, but that they rarely jump into a relationship.

Junior moved to Nagorno-Karabakh after the 2020 war. “My family knows that I am somewhere in the Caucasus, but I am not sure they can find it on the map,” explains the defenseman. He misses his family, but training and distance are two major obstacles to visiting more often.


Starting from scratch

The team is getting set for the CONIFA (Confederation of Independent Football Associations) championship to be held later this year. It is an umbrella football federation for all associations outside of FIFA as well as the only international championship that they can play under their flag since the unrecognized status does not allow the Artsakh national team to reach FIFA.

Actually, Nagorno-Karabakh hosted the last CONIFA European Football Cup in 2019 (the COVID pandemics made it impossible for the next two to take place). Back then, South Ossetia won the tournament after scoring the only goal in the final against Western Armenia.

“We are waiting for CONIFA to set the final date for the championship to finalize the process of obtaining Nagorno-Karabakh citizenship for foreigners,” Mher Avanesyan, the president of the Artsakh Football Federation told IPS from his office in downtown Stepanakert. According to the official, the players are not officially part of the team but they´re training before the international sports event takes place.

Ababacar and Junior are two among a total of eight black players currently playing with different Armenian clubs, and they are not the only foreigners: English, Spanish, French and Russian can also be heard during the training sessions.

“Language differences are not an obstacle to making a good game as a team,” Artashes Adamyan, the coach, tells IPS. “The black players not only understand the local dialect, they can even speak it with some fluency,” he claims. Adamyan can barely hide his pride when he talks about players of color.

“They are an integral part and driving force of the team. We have created all the necessary conditions for them to play and stay in Artsakh.”

The signing of over a dozen foreign players by a de facto republic still struggling to recover from a bloody and still too recent war may look frivolous but, as in many other parts of the world, football here is also much more than a mere sporting event. From his office in the center of Stepanakert, Daniel Mkrtchyan, head of the Sports Department of the Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, wanted to highlight the importance of the Nagorno-Karabakh squad.

“The CONIFA European Cup held here in 2019 brought thousands of people from all over the world. Also, many international journalists came to Artsakh to cover the event. Taking part in any international sporting event means making Artsakh known to the world,” Mkrtchyan explained to IPS .

The 2020 war, however, had a devastating impact. Over 10.000 people died in a conflict after which Armenians lost two thirds of the territory formerly under their control. Key infractructures were also severely damaged and Armenians in the enclave have to cope with gas and power cuts almost daily.

“We also lost stadiums, sports schools and infrastructure in regions such as Hadrut and Shushi (both today under Azerbaijani control) and in some places we need to do reconstruction works. For example, in Martuni, the football stadium was bombed in 2020. It took time for the athletes to get back in shape, as they missed training for half a year due to the war and its aftermath,” lamented Mkrtchyan.

“This year we will make history!” blurts enthusiastically Samvel Adamyan, a retired soccer player who has brought his 9-year-old grandson to the stadium to watch the training. The child can’t take his eyes off the players as he waits for the ball to go out of bounds so he can return it to his football stars.

Outside the stadium, there are not many leisure options. “You have to go to Yerevan to have fun,” blurts Tobi Jnohope, a 24-year-old defenseman born in Largo (Florida). He recently moved to Nagorno-Karabakh from Palmese, an Italian football club. The Afroamerican tells IPS he feels the love and recognition of the people when they ask for a photo with him in the streets. And there’s also the surprise element.

“You can get a whole bus of people staring at you with their mouths open. Isn’t that funny?,” he laughs.

From Worm Composting to Biofuels, the Caribbean Seeks Solutions to Seaweed Influx

Sargassum seaweed envelopes the waterways near the Marigot Fisheries Complex, Dominica Credit: JAK/IPS

Sargassum seaweed envelopes the waterways near the Marigot Fisheries Complex, Dominica Credit: JAK/IPS

By Alison Kentish
DOMINICA, Sep 2 2022 – In June 2022, swathes of matted, putrid seaweed took over the shores of beaches across the Caribbean. It was the worst seaweed influx reported since 2011, when ocean currents began depositing tons of the brown seaweed, known as Sargassum, across the region, leaving authorities grappling with the severe ecological and economic fallout.

For the small island of Tobago in the Southern Caribbean, the impacts were felt across sectors and demographics.

“For about six to nine months of the year, you have an influx of Sargassum seaweed appearing on our shores. That not only affects the fishermen, the hotels and businesses in the area, but it also affects the schools near the affected beaches,” Managing Director of Recycling Waste and Logistics Limited, Shawn C Roberts, told IPS.

Roberts is also the Coordinator at Tobago Recycling Resource Initiative (TRRI), the first multiple materials recovery facility in Trinidad and Tobago and a pioneer in green solutions to environmental problems like waste management.

To tackle Tobago’s seaweed woes, Roberts has turned to earthworms. The process is called vermicomposting and involves the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms and microorganisms.

“It’s a controlled decomposition of the seaweed. It’s nature taking care of nature and so far, it is helping to alleviate this annual invasion of seaweed,” he said.

TRRI has launched the Alleviate Sargassum Action Program. Known as ASAP, program officials organize cleanup exercises on affected beaches. They then blend the collected sargassum with the earthworms and other organic materials like shredded cardboard, grass cuttings, and animal manure to generate compost.

Roberts is hoping that other countries will realize the benefits of vermicomposting for seaweed management.

“You don’t really need any major capital input. If you have your shed, or even trees and shade, you can build your compost piles and monitor them. You just allow the earthworms and other microorganisms like soldier flies to do their job.”

Far away from shore, sargassum is an important sanctuary for marine life. When it is deposited by the ton along coastlines, however, it becomes a health and economic nightmare.

The United Nations Environment Programme has warned that the sargassum’s production of hydrogen sulfide erodes air quality and prolonged exposure is harmful, particularly for people with respiratory issues.

“This is detrimental for coastal residents and beach users, whether local or visitors. Beach users who live elsewhere have the option to avoid impacted locations, while residents may be unable to avoid prolonged exposure,” the UN agency said, in a 2021 white paper.

Some countries, particularly tourism-dependent nations like Barbados, spend millions of dollars annually on emergency clean-ups to rid their beaches of rotting seaweed.

As far back as 2015, academics at the University of the West Indies lamented that it would take ‘US$120 million and more than 100,000 people’ to get rid of the sargassum crisis in the Caribbean.

The calamity has spawned innovation, and Roberts’ initiative in Tobago is one of many across the Caribbean.

The University of the West Indies announced last year that it was spearheading a research project to power vehicles with sargassum seaweed and wastewater fuel.

The researchers said the initiative could help Barbados in its goal of becoming fossil fuel free by 2030, while providing relief from the Sargassum seaweed emergency for the tourism sector.

In Saint Lucia, young biotech entrepreneur Johanan Dujon has been converting sargassum into fertilizers, organic fungicides, and pesticides under his Algas Organics brand.

For Roberts, whose program started composting in October 2021, the goal for the region should be cost-effective and long-term green solutions.

“The ability to harvest sargassum in an environmentally safe practice is a challenge. Quick fixes are costly. If you are not careful, the solution can be very expensive and reactive,” he told IPS.

“As much as you need emergency clean-ups using heavy equipment, many authorities wait until the sargassum starts decaying to react. Our approach lies in having a planned harvesting management system where you have regularly scheduled cleanups. When the sargassum is fresh, that is when you have to target it. Stockpiling creates a backlog that is more difficult and has severe odor. Then it gets overwhelming and affects us all.”

According to researchers at the University of South Florida’s Optical Oceanography Lab which produces monthly sargassum bulletins, in July 2022, the amount of seaweed in the Caribbean Sea was comparable to the historic high of the previous month.

“This indicates significant beaching events are still ongoing around the Caribbean Sea nations/islands,” the July bulletin stated.

“Vermicomposting presents a great opportunity for our countries,” says Roberts. “It allows less use of manual labor as it depends on the microorganisms to work, it is affordable, and it is natural.”

IPS UN Bureau Report


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);