United Nations

Cult of the drone: At the two-year mark, UAVs have changed the face of war in Ukraine – but not outcomes

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Some analysts claim that drones have reshaped war, yielding not just tactical-level effects, but shaping operational and strategic outcomes as well.

Key Points: 
  • Some analysts claim that drones have reshaped war, yielding not just tactical-level effects, but shaping operational and strategic outcomes as well.
  • It’s important to distinguish between these different levels of war.
  • The strategic level of war relates to the way these military objectives combine to secure political aims, especially ending a war.

Drone warfare in Ukraine

  • The drone war in Ukraine is evolving in ways that differ from how other countries, especially the United States, use UAVs.
  • Unlike this pattern of “over-the-horizon” strikes, Ukraine and Russia use drones during an internationally recognized conflict that is bounded by their borders.
  • Second, the U.S. operates armed and networked drones, such as the Reaper, the world’s most advanced drone.
  • Ukraine has also operated Turkish-manufactured TB-2 Bayraktar drones – the “Toyota Corolla” of drones.
  • It has also expanded the domestic production of drones, such as the Orion-10, used for surveillance, and the Lancet, used for attacks.
  • Third, the U.S. uses drones to strike what it designates as high-value targets, including senior-level personnel in terrorist organizations.
  • Ukraine and Russia use their drones for a broader set of tactical, operational and strategic purposes.

Tactical effects

  • Drones have had the biggest impact at the tactical level of war, which characterizes battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
  • It did so by destroying slow-moving vehicles that stretched nearly 50 miles, causing Russia to abandon its advance.
  • It also spoofs this link by creating a false signal that disorients Ukrainian drones, causing them to crash.
  • This includes going “back to the future” by adopting terrain-based navigation, though this is less reliable than satellite-based navigation.

Operational limitations

  • Drones have been less successful at the operational level of war, which is designed to integrate battles into campaigns that achieve broader military objectives.
  • In spring 2022, Ukraine used a TB-2, along with other capabilities, to sink Russia’s flagship ship — the Moskva — in the Black Sea.
  • Since then, Ukrainian officials claim to have destroyed 15 additional Russian ships, as well as damaged 12 more.

Strategic myths

  • Drones have not, and are not likely to, shape the outcome of the war in Ukraine.
  • They have not allowed Ukraine to break its stalemate with Russia, nor have they encouraged Russia to end its occupation of Ukraine.
  • Russia and Ukraine use drones to terrorize each other’s citizens as well as generate propaganda to stiffen their own citizens’ resolve.


Paul Lushenko does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

People Element Releases 2024 Employee Engagement Report

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

DENVER, Feb. 16, 2024 /CNW/ - People Element , an all-in-one employee survey and feedback provider announces the release of the 2024 Employee Engagement Report .

Key Points: 
  • DENVER, Feb. 16, 2024 /CNW/ - People Element , an all-in-one employee survey and feedback provider announces the release of the 2024 Employee Engagement Report .
  • The report details the drivers of employee engagement and shares insights on how to inspire employees and improve performance.
  • Findings are contextualized against economic, societal and workforce trends to reveal shifts in employee engagement from prior years.
  • To access the 2024 Engagement Trends Annual Report, please visit:

8 ways that stopping overfishing will promote biodiversity and help address climate change

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Halting overfishing is itself effective climate action.

Key Points: 
  • Halting overfishing is itself effective climate action.
  • The intricate relationship between climate change and ocean ecosystems was the subject of recent collaborative research — led by researchers at the University of British Columbia — that highlighted the crucial links between overfishing and climate change.

Finding the connections

  • Doing so would bolster marine life resilience in the face of climate shifts and reduce associate carbon emissions.
  • 2 — Large subsidized fishing boat fleets can actually be a burden on small-scale fisheries, leaving them disproportionately vulnerable to shocks.
  • In turn, overfishing not only depletes resources but also escalates carbon emissions, intensifying climate impacts on these fisheries and their communities, particularly women.
  • Read more:
    Flipping Indigenous regional development in Newfoundland upside-down: lessons from Australia

    6 — Overfishing exacerbates climate and biodiversity threats.

  • 7 — International fisheries management must play a central role in promoting biodiversity and retaining the ocean’s carbon sequestration potential.
  • While 87 nations have signed the UN’s Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty (also known as the High Seas Treaty), only one has ratified it.
  • Future regulations should allocate a percentage of the annual fish quota to maintain the carbon sequestration function of marine animals.

A simple goal

  • Ending overfishing isn’t just an ecological imperative but a linchpin for climate action.
  • Furthermore, fisheries aren’t mere victims in these dynamics, but have real agency to play a pivotal role in either exacerbating or mitigating climate change.
  • Regulation of fisheries, while controversial, is essential to not overly exploit such a valuable public resource.


Rashid Sumaila receives funding from Canadian Research Councils, the Belmont, intergovernmental organizations, e.g. the World Bank, foundations and philanthropies (e.g. Pew, Oceana and the Dona Bertarelli).

Migratory animals face mass extinction – but as a conservationist I’m optimistic

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Recognised threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and overexploitation but new analyses suggest that migratory species are faring particularly badly.

Key Points: 
  • Recognised threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and overexploitation but new analyses suggest that migratory species are faring particularly badly.
  • The global extinction risk is increasing for all migratory species.
  • I’m writing this in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species.

Status update

  • Worse still, they suggest that the extinction risk is increasing for all migratory species, including those not included under the convention.
  • Populations of fish included under the convention have declined on average by 90% since 1970.
  • Many species under the convention that need or would significantly benefit from international cooperation, are identified as high priorities for further conservation action based on their conservation status and biological vulnerability.
  • Understanding the scope and severity of these threats where they occur is therefore essential to informing conservation action, especially in the context of the triple planetary crises.

Effective action

  • There are various reasons why such agreements are not always as effective as they could be.
  • This has proven key to catalysing concerted conservation action for the saiga.
  • In the last 15 years, new knowledge of the saiga antelope’s ecology, migration and trade has been generated and effective anti-poaching measures have been implemented.
  • These include evaluating management approaches, sustainable use of the species, stockpile management, building the saiga conservation network and identifying key research needs along international supply chains.

Catalysing cross-border conservation

  • This landmark meeting has been positive and I’ve noticed a renewed sense of commitment to improve the conservation of migratory species.
  • Conservation measures should be context-specific, applied at relevant scales, and socially legitimate among local communities and Indigenous peoples if they are to be successful.
  • Renewed commitment to conservation solutions identified in this report could build political will to act together.


Dan Challender receives funding from the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF) through the Trade, Development, and the Environment Hub and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and has previously received funding from the National Geographic Society. He is CITES Focal Point for the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and is a member of the IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group.

Issa PR Hosts Annual "Future of Luxury" Symposium in March

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

LONDON and NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Luxury award-winning global strategy and marketing agency, Issa PR will convene industry leaders and visionaries for its annual "Future of Luxury" symposium in London and New York City in March 2024. The think-tank will feature some of the world's top luxury brands, and media companies to ignite discussions on critical needs in the industry today, as well as the future of luxury. Moderated by founder and CEO of Issa PR, Viet N'Guyen, who has lectured at New York University's School of Business, Stern on "The Intersection of Luxury & Philanthropy" - the symposium will explore the evolution of art, fashion, film, culture and technology, the importance of CSR and future forecasts for 2024. This year's symposium will be held at W1 Curates, a pioneering digital art gallery and public platform in London, and iconic American sculptor, Barry X Ball's architecturally distinctive studio in NYC.

Key Points: 
  • The exclusive thought-leadership event is an annual symposium, which takes place in London and New York, where Issa PR is co-headquartered.
  • "At Issa PR, we are driven by passion to instigate change through dynamic thinking to inspire brands and leaders to connect with consumers authentically.
  • We are excited to continue hosting the 'Future of Luxury' symposium bringing together the world's leading thinkers and changemakers.
  • Our aim is to facilitate thoughtful dialogue that pave the way for impactful change, setting the blueprint for the future," said Viet N'Guyen, founder and CEO of Issa PR.

Israeli siege has placed Gazans at risk of starvation − prewar policies made them vulnerable in the first place

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

The numbers involved are just as despairing.

Key Points: 
  • The numbers involved are just as despairing.
  • The world’s major authority on food insecurity, the IPC Famine Review Committee, estimates that 90% of Gazans – some 2.08 million people – are facing acute food insecurity.
  • Indeed, of the people facing imminent starvation in the world today, an estimated 95% are in Gaza.
  • As an expert in Palestinian public health, I fear the situation may not have hit its nadir.

Putting Palestinians ‘on a diet’

  • But food insecurity in Gaza and the mechanisms that enable it did not start with Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attack.
  • Multiple factors contributed to this food insecurity, not least the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and enabled by Egypt since 2007.
  • Basic foodstuff was allowed, but because of delays at the border, it can spoil before it enters Gaza.
  • By placing restrictions on food imports, Israel seems to be trying to put pressure on Hamas by making life difficult for the people in Gaza.
  • In the words of one Israeli government adviser in 2006, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” To enable this, the Israeli government commissioned a 2008 study to work out exactly how many calories Palestinians would need to avoid malnutrition.
  • The blockade also increased food insecurity by preventing meaningful development of an economy in Gaza.

Hampering self-sufficency

  • Gaza’s fishermen are regularly shot at by Israeli gunboats if they venture farther in the Mediterranean Sea than Israel permits.
  • Because the fish closer to the shore are smaller and less plentiful, the average income of a fisherman in Gaza has more than halved since 2017.
  • By early December 2023, an estimated 22% of agricultural land had been destroyed, along with factories, farms, and water and sanitation facilities.

Starvation as weapon of war

  • The use of starvation is strictly forbidden under the Geneva Conventions, a set of statutes that govern the laws of warfare.
  • Human Rights Watch has already accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war, and as such it accuses the Israeli government of a war crime.
  • Yet untangling what Israel’s intentions may be – whether it is using starvation as a weapon of war, to force mass displacement, or if, as it claims, it is simply a byproduct of war – does little for the people on the ground in Gaza.


Yara M. Asi does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Mila - Quebec AI Institute holds an international conference on AI and Human Rights with the United Nations, the OECD, UNESCO and many others

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The conference "Protecting Human Rights in the Age of AI" aims to highlight and advance the critical efforts needed to incorporate human rights into AI governance mechanisms.

Key Points: 
  • The conference "Protecting Human Rights in the Age of AI" aims to highlight and advance the critical efforts needed to incorporate human rights into AI governance mechanisms.
  • This conference is one of the first official events at which these major international organizations come together to specifically address the intersection of AI governance and human rights.
  • However, a large part of the discussions about AI governance and human rights have evolved separately.
  • "Mila is proud to bring together renowned experts from international organizations, civil society, industry and academia to discuss issues related to human rights and AI.

Mila - Quebec AI Institute holds an international conference on AI and Human Rights with the United Nations, the OECD, UNESCO and many others

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The conference "Protecting Human Rights in the Age of AI" aims to highlight and advance the critical efforts needed to incorporate human rights into AI governance mechanisms.

Key Points: 
  • The conference "Protecting Human Rights in the Age of AI" aims to highlight and advance the critical efforts needed to incorporate human rights into AI governance mechanisms.
  • This conference is one of the first official events at which these major international organizations come together to specifically address the intersection of AI governance and human rights.
  • However, a large part of the discussions about AI governance and human rights have evolved separately.
  • "Mila is proud to bring together renowned experts from international organizations, civil society, industry and academia to discuss issues related to human rights and AI.

New study reveals four critical barriers to building healthier Canadian cities

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The 15-minute city is all about accessibility, time efficiency and expanding options for everyone, not just the most well-off.

Key Points: 
  • The 15-minute city is all about accessibility, time efficiency and expanding options for everyone, not just the most well-off.
  • Achieving this goal, and designing healthier spaces, begins with a comprehensive understanding of how urban environments impact our health and well-being — along with a realistic look at the current barriers to healthier urban design.

Designing better spaces

  • Neighbourhoods with accessible public and community spaces and social events have been shown to improve mental health, increase happiness, and offer a sense of belonging and community.
  • At the same time, readily accessible grocery stores, community gardens and farmers’ markets have been shown to enhance mental, social and physical health.
  • This is where urban planning comes in as municipal policy-makers develop and implement policies, which can alter the structure, use and regulations of public spaces in cities.

Day-to-day challenges

  • While the importance of physical and mental health was widely acknowledged, a glaring gap exists in the recognition of the social dimension of health.
  • Administrative roadblocks, such as a lack of co-ordination between, and within, provincial and municipal governments, can prevent access to crucial data needed for policy making.
  • Meanwhile, technical barriers — including the use of jargon and overly-technical language by the academic community — can interfere with the accessibility of academic literature.
  • This lack of co-ordination among different branches and divisions within a municipality can result in missed opportunities for collaboration.
  • Differences in the use of terminology can exacerbate the problem, causing confusion and impeding cross-sectoral work.
  • Conflicts between the objectives of various divisions, such as those between active transportation planners and traffic engineers, underscore the challenges posed by siloed governance.
  • 4 – Political ideologies get in the way Beyond bureaucratic challenges, differing political ideologies present a formidable barrier.

Overcoming these barriers

  • The journey towards creating healthier and more equitable cities is riddled with challenges.
  • From a lack of shared understanding, to inaccessible evidence, fragmented governance and legal limitations of municipalities and differing political ideologies, the barriers are multifaceted.
  • Akram Mahani holds funding from SHRF (Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation) and CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research).
  • Nazeem Muhajarine receives funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Addressing anti-Black racism is key to improving well-being of Black Canadians

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Anti-Black racism continues to be a major determinant of poor health and social outcomes for Black Canadians.

Key Points: 
  • Anti-Black racism continues to be a major determinant of poor health and social outcomes for Black Canadians.
  • Addressing this racism within Canadian institutions — like the health-care system, justice system, the child welfare system and education — has far-reaching implications.
  • Moreover, in the early days of the pandemic, living in a Black community was strongly correlated with a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Contemporary and historical inequities

  • Black Canadians’ experiences are rooted in contemporary and historical inequities, including Canada’s history of slavery and racial discrimination.
  • Policy formulations still shape access to material resources and contribute to structural inequities in Canada, evident in the pervasive low incomes of Black Canadians.
  • While median annual wages generally increase for the Canadian population, Black men’s wages have remained stagnant.

Black youth mental health

  • Black youth spoke most about racism in our research on their mental health experiences.
  • Read more:
    Black men's mental health concerns are going unnoticed and unaddressed

    Income inequality and insufficient financial resources are complicating factors, impeding many young Black men from getting the counselling they need to improve their mental health.

  • LGBTQIA+ Black youth may face dire situations, experiencing racism within the LGBTQIA+ community and homophobia within the Black community.

Addressing inequities

  • Partnering with Black communities is a crucial component in effective efforts to mitigate inequities.
  • Indeed, it is essential that Black community members participate, to capitalize on their strengths and actively engage in improving their well-being.
  • Through my personal and professional experiences, I’ve had a unique glimpse into the brilliance and strengths of various Black communities, which are often untapped.
  • Institutions must do more than just provide education and develop anti-racist policies; they must also ensure accountability in addressing racism.

Looking ahead

  • However, anti-Black racism has consequences for population outcomes for all Canadians, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • These moves will improve health and social outcomes for Black Canadians and generate stronger population outcomes in Canada.


Bukola Salami receives funding from Policywise for Children and Families for a project on mental health of Black youth named in this article