By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
ROME (IDN) - Farmers, pastoralists and indigenous peoples from around the world have expressed concern about the increasing levels of land grabbing and land concentration. These, they say, are embedded in wider political and economic choices, including poorly regulated investment frameworks and poor governance that do not respond to the needs of rural communities. In fact these undermine democratic processes, create unhealthy environments and unequal societies, and perpetuate poverty and hunger.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - While scientists and environmentalists watch the Arctic as a bellwether of global climate change, and nations and corporations seek to exploit its oil, gas and mineral reserves as well as new shipping routes, rapid and even abrupt changes occurring on multiple fronts across the polar region are threatening to cause irreversible impact on ecosystems and societies, according to experts.
By Harold Hongju Koh* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
OXFORD (IDN | Yale Global) - From both the left and the right, three common misperceptions have emerged about US foreign policy: First, that the Global War on Terror has become a perpetual state of affairs; second, that no strategy is available to end this conflict in the near future; and third, that “the Obama approach to that conflict is just like the Bush approach.” I disagree with all three propositions.
First and most important, the overriding goal should be to end this Forever War, not engage in a perpetual “global war on terror,” without geographic or temporal limits.
By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
The parliamentary elections in Pakistan on May 12 may be described as historic in many ways. But what do the tea leaves tell us? Sharif is a logical heir to Pakistan’s tragic history, which continues to unfold, regardless of who sits on top. But if he can strike a peace accord with India and work with regional players – including Iran – and the US in Afghanistan, peace will break out, creating an economic boom across the region.
By Ian Anthony and Lina Grip* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay
Making nuclear weapons requires access to materials – highly enriched uranium or plutonium – that do not exist in nature in a weapons-usable form. To constitute a threat, natural uranium needs to go through a challenging and time-consuming process of transformation as it moves through the nuclear fuel cycle.
STOCKHOLM (IDN) - The effort to cap the number of nuclear armed states in the world has largely focused on limiting the spread of the industrial items and processes needed for the stages of the fuel cycle that can turn uranium or plutonium into forms that could be used to make a nuclear weapon: enrichment or reprocessing.
By Suzan A. Kane* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BRUSSELS (IDN | European Sting) - Thank god it will not be any more the economists to set the course of economic policy in Eurozone but the people and the politicians. Whatever bad things one may think about politicians, there is one thing that nobody can deny; they can hear the people.
In this case the theory of Reinhart – Rogoff proposing austerity and prayers to correct all sins of the western economy and more so of Eurozone’s debts, will cease to set the rules. It will be rather the politicians to decide now to end austerity and start borrowing again to finance growth. Japan opened the way deciding to increase its government debt above the already breath-taking 200% of the GDP.
By Jutta Wolf | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - The growing intensity, frequency and duration of droughts worldwide is a source of acute anxiety to secretariat of UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which was agreed in the aftermath of the severe drought in the Sahel in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to be key to global efforts to combat desertification.
Together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UNCCD therefore organised a High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy in Geneva, Switzerland, to impress on stakeholders that they urgently need to take action.
By Eric Ruder* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
CHICAGO (IDN) - Israel carried out two major rounds of air strikes on Syria in the span of 48 hours in the opening days of May, raising the prospect of a wider war in the Middle East. The second and larger of the two attacks targeted a mountainside military complex that overlooks Damascus, turning the night skies into day, according to witnesses.
By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
KANDY (IDN) - The two-year-old conflict in Syria rages on with the embattled dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party withstanding the attacks of a motley group of rebels supported by the West and by the money bag monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar with Israel not far behind. Dictatorships - whether unelected, elected or inherited – are of course unacceptable in this day and age when the palpable consent of a sovereign people is paramount for the governance of independent countries. However, no regime change by self-appointed guardians of democracy from abroad can replace a genuine movement for change by the people, of the people and for the people.
By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth NewAnalysis
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – “We don’t do dynasties,” a Canadian friend said quite huffily, when asked about the likelihood of Justin Trudeau, the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and Margaret Trudeau, being voted into office as the country’s next prime minister.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - Russia is in the midst of a comprehensive modernization of its nuclear forces that began more than a decade ago. The upgrade, which involves replacing all Soviet-era ballistic missiles with fewer improved missiles, is now approaching a point at which the number of modern weapons will shortly exceed the number of old ones, In a decade, virtually all of the Soviet-era weapons will be gone. This will leave in place a significantly smaller but effective force that will be more mobile than the one it replaces, according to a new study.