GSO Intern Reports

Scroll down for Intern reports listed in reverse chronological order. Click on a title to view/download the report.

To be catalogued:

    GSO Intern Report -- On the Working Groups of the Global Coordinating Mechanism on Non-communicable Diseases , by Emily Siebert, Kent State University

    Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have significant socioeconomic impacts on societies, especially in low and middle income countries because they are increasingly prevalent and stifle the poverty reduction initiatives included in the UN Millennium Development Goals. In 2011, the UN General assembly adopted a Political Declaration on NCDs. It led to a comprehensive NCD Global Action Plan at the WHO which also provided for the formation of the Global Coordination Mechanism for NCDs (GCM). Established in September 2014, the GCM is a separate secretariat to advocate and raise awareness, disseminate information of new scientific research and best practice, encourage innovation, advance multisectoral action, and advocate the mobilization of resources. It has convened two Working Groups in February 2015 and convened its first multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral dialogue in April 2015. This article summarizes the work of the two Working Parties.


    GSO Intern Report -- On Internet Privacy and Surveillance Issues, by Pablo Das, Boston University

    In just the past 15 years, the number of Internet users across the globe has increased ten fold. This sudden growth, from 300 millions users to 3 billion users, has yielded both positive and negative impacts. The negative impacts have presented themselves through threats of cybercrime, online privacy breaches and excessive online surveillance. While cybercrime is still a developing issue at the global level, online data protection and freedom from excessive surveillance have become prominent issues in the global community. Although both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) outline a protection from unlawful interference of an individual’s privacy, the dimensions of that privacy online are only now being defined. The consideration of Internet privacy kicked off in 2012 when Sweden and the U.S. co-sponsored a Human Rights Council resolution (20/8, 5 July 2012) stating that the same human rights apply on Internet communications as they do to nonInternet communications, which of course includes the right to privacy. The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet were also endorsed in the 26th session of the Human Rights Council (26/13, 26 June 2014).


    GSO Intern Report -- On Food Safety, by Megan Anderson, Kent State University

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is certainly taking the initiative on a big issue in today’s society: food safety. In fact, World Health Day, which recently took place on the seventh of April, had a focus on this particular issue with the appropriate slogan--- “From farm to plate, make food safe.”


    GSO Intern Report -- The Role of the Food and Beverage Industry in Ensuring a Healthy Food Supply, by Megan Pera, UNC Chapel Hill

    Ending hunger and ensuring food security has been a focus of the international community for decades, dating back at least to the creation of the World Food Programme in 1961. 1 Recently, food security has been included in the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda draft, reaffirming its importance in the global community today. Efforts to ensure worldwide food security often focus on agricultural output, with the main priority being to supply a sufficient quantity of food to all people at all times. However, the definition of food security also includes parameters about the quality of food; that is, food security is defined as all people at all times having access to enough “nutritious food for a healthy lifestyle.” 2 With both the quantity and the quality aspects of food security in mind, this report will focus on the role of the world’s largest food and beverage companies in ensuring a sufficient, safe, and nutritious food supply. Read more here: Megan Pera, Food Security (pdf)


    GSO Intern Report -- The Green Economy and Green Protectionism,by Yasmin Romitti,  Boston University

    Impressions from the UNCTAD Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on the Green Economy: Trade and Sustainable Development Implications

    Previous to this panel, I had never heard the term “green protectionism” before, thus it was quite interesting to learn what it is, and how it affects the economy and the transitions involved in greening the economy. Furthermore, it was clear from the comments of several of the experts that care needs to be taken to work together to prevent protectionism measures being taken in the name of environmental protection.  In light of the current financial and debt situation, it seems that many governments find this as a convenient excuse to help their own economies and promote growth; however, this is only short term. Governments need to think long term, it is in their interest and in the interest of the world economy as a whole to work together to make this transition smooth and promote overall growth globally.


    GSO Intern Report -- ILO Conference 22 June 2011, by Christina House, University of Denver

    Attending the 100th ILC was a unique experience because issues surrounding trade and labor typically lie outside of my area of expertise. Following the economic crisis, I had become increasingly interested in the relationship between security and the market. As the Arab Spring demonstrated, food security, commodity prices, and socio-economic conditions could unite to form a powder keg which, when stressed, explode into revolution. While initially I believed that the ILC would be narrowly focused around trade and labor relations, I was surprised at the depth of analysis and the discussion put forth throughout the conference. The three main issues that I took away from the ILC were: the notion of trade as a vehicle for development, the rising problem of youth unemployment, and the policies states implemented to mitigate crises effects. 


    On the Right to Food Debate at the Human Rights Council, 8 March 2011

    by  Amanda Carter,  Boston University


    • agriculture should be directed to more environmentally sustainable methods, support the working paper but in regards to this issue it is not sufficient
    • ensuring food is accessible and adequate
    • food security and nutrition



    • remarks on report: states introduce measures in agro-ecology
    • improvement in market access will be achieved through transparent trade (through Doha Rounds)
    • agricultural subsidies of developed countries removal will make contribution technology


    Saudi Arabia

    • endorse statement of Pakistan on behalf of Islamic conference, importance of agriculture sector, effects of the world financial crisis
    • application of science to promote production
    • combat poverty and promote food security (SA), have renounced 6 billion in debt due by poor countries


    Holy See

    • right to food is linked to right  to life
    • safe food must be available tall
    • attention to people reliant on agriculture
    • reduce malnutrition in rural areas



    • right of everyone to earn an adequate standard of living, Israel is infringing on these rights of Palestinians, cutting families off from farms on the other side of 'illegal wall' threatens to undermine the viability of Palestinian state
    • home demolitions, risk of forced evictions



    • countries that support agro-ecology sustainably ensuring the right to food
    • need for cooperation for countries of the south
    • international cooperation for protection of right to food
    • Qatar is investing in many countries in agriculture, national food security is essential



    • what is the role of the private sector in agro-ecology



    • Sudan has comprehensive plan concentrate on farming of wheat and expanding farming of sugar cane
    • help to women farmers
    • offer subsidized housing on vulnerable groups
    • Darfur is reaping the fruit of peace



    • concerned with rise in food prices, effect of crisis of capitalism looking to maximize their profits
    • set up a food security fund, food security network



    • fundamental human right and human need
    • legal obligation to respect and fulfill the right to food
    • higher incomes preventing degradation to ecosystems
    • needs to address differences in ecosystems
    • housing on context of natural disaster



    Women and Food Security

    by Amanda Carter, Boston University
    • · Mr. Olivier de Schutter - UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

    o topic question of gender dimensions, haven't sufficiently worked on in the past

    o access to seas and land, never a specific report on women but hope to do so in 2012, report

    underway in study phase

    o topic is important: women's role in food systems in discrimination, see 3 difficulties:

    • § 1. women are discriminated in access to productibe resources, discrim laws and custom,

    prohibiting widow to inherit form husband or inherit land in general, these are widespread,

    additional protocol should allow to make progress toward removal of this discrim

    • § 2. No access to credit, can't borrow in order to produce, 80% of field workers in Sub

    Saharan Africa are women, studies show when titiling schemes implemented women are

    discriminated face obstacle in ability to have witnesses testify that they are the actual

    owners to the land

    • § 3. extension services, populated mostly by men, cultural obstacle prohibit women from

    being reached by services, to overcome must think of more women populaing extensive


    • § 4. modernization of agriculture, shift from family agricult to more commercial agriculture

    that produces for the market, food crops to cash crops, contract farming, dependent on

    evution on prices int he market, vulnerability of the family in switch, has gender impacts

    when family produces against cash choice as how to spend are made by men not the

    women of the family, pressure to market farming impact on women's ability to make

    decisions for family, combination of food crops and cash crops will help women

    • § how to overcome obstacles?
    • § 1. remove all discrimin laws and customs, prereq women access to productive

    resources, which is more de facto, accompanied by empowerment of women,

    women form cooperatives in which they share good farming practices rather than

    gender neutral (dominated by men)

    • § 2. more women in extension services,
    • § 3. titling, protecting of rights of women over land they cultivate, process no

    accessible to women, titling has been not accompnied by agrarian reform

    schemes, farmers not supported by subsidies not accompanied by financial

    services, meant that it led to reconcentration of land to large land holders (Chile,

    Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala), titling in joint names of husband and wife instead

    of household which = man, ant eviction laws that protect landowners, tenancy

    laws - protect those who work on the land if the land changes hand, titling not

    always the best option others may be more effective

    o land grabbing, commercial pressures on land has impact of relation between men and women in

    rural areas, women are more marginalized, difficult situation, customary forms of tenure are

    discrimin, modern push to agricult may have gender impact that are under estimated and will work

    negatively against women

    • · Dr. Marcela Villareal - Director, Gender, Equity and Rural Employment (Roma)

    o trends in hunger and investment in agriculture

    • § over 1 billion people after food price crisis went hungry, today 925 million
    • § most hungry are on Asia and Pacific followed by Africa
    • § highly unequal general aid to agriculture aid
    • § must be serious about investing in agriculture

    o food price crisis, 2008

    • § forgotten after 2009 financial crisis
    • § spike in 2008 then prices went down  after financial crisis  but now are going up
    • § are we in crisis again? not yet, but depends on crop
    • § 2008 - analysis of who hit hardest by food crisis
    • § urban poor
    • § rural net buyers: 2/3 rural households are net buyers of food
    • § female headed households: proportion of income to food; access to resources,

    evidence how lack of women's access to land in undermining the whole society

    and has effect the whole of society

    o access to land

    • § male headed household
    • § also in developed countries, least gap in Europe

    GSO Intern Report -- WTO Public Policy Forum 2010, by Jessica Daubner, Smith College

    During the WTO Public Forum I attended sessions which, generally speaking, covered:

    influences in the multilateral trading system, the WTO and public health in Sub-Saharan Africa, using the global trading system to encourage innovation, and global food security and its governance. For the case study on the influences on the multilateral trading system, I found it interesting that essentially all of the developing countries surveyed did not feel like they had a place at the table at the WTO, and in practice preferred PTAs to the WTO. Additionally, the study’s conclusion that PTAs do not challenge the WTO was especially provocative as it is not a conclusion with which I agree. On the subject of food security, I found the discussion on food scarcity to be the most interesting. For instance, it was presented that in the past the food supply was able to keep up with the growing population through farmers increasing their yields rather than the amount of land farmed.



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