#AcrossBorders, legal battles and Oscar speeches: This week in development news

By Michael Igoe 03 March 2016

A group of migrants walk on the last leg of their crossing from Greece to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This week Devex launched Across Borders, a monthlong online conversation to explore the state of global migration in 2016. Photo by: Stephen Ryan / IFRC / CC BY-NC-ND

Devex launches a new campaign to explore migration and development, Leo plugs climate change action, and Haiti’s cholera victims want their day in court. This week in development news:

This week Devex launched Across Borders, a monthlong online conversation to explore the state of global migration in 2016. We’ve assembled partners to ask some of the most pressing questions about human mobility, and to shed light on how development can work better for a more mobile world. At the same time, attention remains firmly fixed on finding solutions to Europe’s refugee crisis. The European Union announced roughly $760 million in emergency funding for countries struggling to absorb the massive influx of Syrian refugees. The money will be spent over three years, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides said Wednesday.

And the award goes to
Leonardo DiCaprio took home the Academy Award for Best Actor Sunday and used his time on the Oscar stage to implore people “to work collectively together and stop procrastinating” on climate change. “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this,” DiCaprio said in his acceptance speech.

Six years later
Judges in New York are weighing the United Nations’ responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti in the aftermath of the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake. U.N. peacekeepers are believed to have carried the disease with them to the response effort, but the international body has maintained that a 1946 convention protects the U.N. from liability. A decision is expected in the next several months, according to The New York Times. If the judges agree with the victims, the case could go to trial. If they don’t, the victims’ lawyers told the Times they would appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

In other legal news
The International Criminal Court in The Hague is, for the first time, considering whether the destruction of a UNESCO World Heritage site constitutes a war crime. Prosecutors are trying to show they have enough evidence to put a leader of Islamist militants who attacked Timbuktu in 2012 and intentionally destroyed centuries-old cultural sites on trial.

Europeans support #globaldev
According to the latest Eurobarometer survey results, 89 percent of EU citizens say that helping developing countries is important, a 4 percent increase over last year’s tally. In a Devex op-ed, Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, wrote of the results: “At a time when Europe is challenged to make the case of its relevance to its citizens, we should seize this opportunity and make sure that we show the results of what we do, the impact it has on the ground, the difference it makes to the lives of people and how it benefits Europe's values and interests.”

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About the author

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Michael Igoe@AlterIgoe

Michael Igoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider's perspective.

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