Asians Told To Look Near East For Prosperity, Not Far West

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By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) - Eminent political analysts, academics and journalists have predicted a promising Asian resurgence in 2015 and called for Asians to learn to look to the Near East for inspiration and not the Far West. They included participants in the annual ‘Global Outlook’ conference organized by Singapore’s Straits Times group on November 21.

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From Shared Concern To Shared Action in Vienna

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The Third International Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons in the Austrian capital Vienna on December 8 and 9 should provide further impetus to efforts to end the era of nuclear weapons, an era in which these apocalyptic weapons have been seen as the linchpin of national security for a number of states, writes Daisaku Ikeda, a Japanese Buddhist philosopher and peace-builder, who presides over the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in this article for IPS-Inter Press Service and IDN.

By Daisaku Ikeda* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

TOKYO (IDN) - As we approach the 70th anniversary next year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are growing calls to place the humanitarian consequences of their use at the heart of deliberations about nuclear weapons.

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Global Citizenship: Gradual Unfolding of a New Concept

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By Monzurul Huq* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NAGOYA, Japan (IDN) - The concept of global citizenship is one of the new ideas that the United Nations is actively promoting in recent years. In today’s interconnected world challenges we face need solutions based on new thinking transcending national boundaries and ideas whose outreach stretches beyond conventional understanding of identities based on nationality.

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China’s Asian Bank May Herald A New World Order

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By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) - Since the 2008 economic meltdown, Europeans and the Americans have been asking the Chinese to contribute more to the Bretton Woods institutions. The Chinese, on the other hand, have been demanding reforms to the hegemonic system of management and voting rights in these institutions that favour the Americans and the Europeans. Both appeals have mainly landed on deaf ears.

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A Nuclear Weapon Free Zone for North-East Asia?

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By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - In 2015 it will be 70 years since the horrible bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA – the only time nuclear weapons were ever used. The urgent need to seek solutions over nuclear weapons in North-east Asia was highlighted in the following paragraphs from the Asia Pacific Leaders Network’s (APLN) Jakarta Declaration of September 2014:

“Acutely conscious that the world’s more than 16,000 remaining nuclear weapons are strongly concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, with the US and Russia having over 90 per cent of the world’s stockpile and major strategic footprints here, China, India, and Pakistan all having significant arsenals, and the breakout state of North Korea continuing to build its capability,

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Eco-driving: Innovative Approach to Cutting Emissions of Transport Vehicles

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By Valentina Gasbarri | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN) - Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Governments, private sector, civil society organisations and individuals around the globe are engaged in reducing C02 emissions and diminishing the environmental impact both on people and on eco-systems.

The car industry is one of the main stakeholders responding actively and constructively to this major threat of the 21st Century. Through huge investment in a wide range of technological innovations, emissions from new cars are progressively declining.

However, achieving a low-carbon global society from driving is not just about making more efficient vehicles nor is it the unique responsibility of car manufacturers.

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Eco-Drive A Sustainable Solution at the heart of the UN Agenda

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By Valentina Gasbarri and Katsuhiro Asagiri | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN) - As an American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the newly appointed UN Messenger for Peace, warned some 120 heads of states at the UN Climate Summit on September 24, impacts of climate change and global warming have been perceived more dangerous and globally widespread and it has become the gravest existential threat to humanity. While he urged governments and industries to take an immediate and decisive actions to tackle this global issue, he stressed that protecting our future on this planet depends on “the conscious evolution of our species”.

Climate change is a problem requiring new and transformative solutions. In order to achieve the goal of sustainability, the role of public-policy makers, governments and international institutions as well as of the private sector and the academia is essential. Taking a cue from the United Nations, the first “International Conference on Global Environment, Carbon Reduction, and Eco-Drive as a solution towards sustainability” was held on October 17, 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was co-hosted by the World Association of Former United Nations Internes and Fellows (WAFUNIN), the ASUA Corporation of Japan and the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations.

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India: Facing Up To Ugly Truths About the ISIS

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By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MUMBAI (IDN) - In sharp contrast to the ongoing dissection — in the West and West Asia — of the ISIS, its roots, its growing appeal, the dangers it poses and ways in which it can be confronted and countered, in India there is a deafening silence.

The government and political parties act as if the threat would go away if they don’t talk about it. We make do with bombast about the patriotism of Muslims in India, and do not debate what the threat is about. The ISIS is not a challenge to any one community or country. It is a phenomenon attracting adherents from unlikely quarters in the West; from the very countries that have joined hands to militarily crush the ISIS.

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China Lays Claim to Leadership of the Buddhist World

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By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BAOJI, China (IDN) - With an impressive display of Chinese Buddhist culture and hospitality, China laid claims to giving leadership to the Buddhist world, by hosting over 600 international delegates for the 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) at this historic city in northwestern China from October 16 to 18.

Though not officially acknowledged, China is today home to between 200-300 million Buddhists thus making it the country with the world’s largest Buddhist population. The restored grand Buddhist temples in Baoji and in close by Xian, and the impressive Buddhist cultural display at the opening ceremony of the WFB meeting is anything to go by, it indicates that Chinese Buddhism has undergone a remarkable revival, after Buddhist temples were destroyed and Buddhist practices disrupted during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s.

Lou Qinjian, Governor of Shaanxi Provice (where Baoji and Xian are located) in a speech opening the conference told delegates from over 40 countries that Buddhism has become an important part of Chinese civilization for over 1800 years and his province has been the gateway for the flow of Buddhism from India to China. He added that over this period Buddhism has spread the ideas of equality, benevolence and harmony that have become important parts of Chinese civilization.

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Obama’s Talk Closer to Indian Position On Nukes

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By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) - Present-day summit meetings are about optics and atmospherics. It is the triumph of style over content. The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama was no different. In the age of tweet and TV-driven news coverage, events take precedence over outcomes and sound bytes over substance.

Documents such as the vision statement or the joint statement, which in times past served as a measure of the agenda and accomplishments of bilateral meetings, are today ignored as pointless verbiage unavoidable for the record.

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Commercialisation of Children’s Media Hampering Global Citizenship

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By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

KUALA LUMPUR (IDN) – Excessive commercialization of children’s media, especially television, is obstructing efforts aimed at education and capacity building for global citizenship and raising awareness among children of the diversity of the world, according to experts.

Many of the speakers at the recent World Summit on Media for Children in Kuala Lumpur agreed with Dr Patricia Edgar, former director of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, that the majority of children’s programmes are commercially driven and not educational.

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