By Katsuhiro Asagiri | IDN-InDepthNews Special Report
ISE | TOKYO (IDN) - When Noelle Mary Verhelst, the 67th United States Cherry Blossom Queen, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on June 4, she said in fluent Japanese: “During my trip to Ise City, I was impressed with the beauty of Japan, people's warmhearted kindness and the legacy of Ozaki Yukio. Japan and the U.S. are good friends."
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) - While mystery shrouds the concept of ‘global citizenship’ for wide sections of the general public, a growing number of civil society organisations, enlightened governments and the United Nations are undertaking concerted efforts to lift the veil of enigma.
By Mirjam van Reisen* and Klara Smits | IDN-InDepthNews Report
BRUSSELS (IDN) - The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea has released a damning report about the situation in the country in the Horn of Africa. “It is not law that rules in Eritrea – but fear,” states the report. Some of the violations described in the report may constitute crimes against humanity.
The report was made public on June 8. The “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations” – for which the Eritrean government is responsible – are extensive and varied. “We seldom see human rights violations of the scope and scale we see in Eritrea today,” said Sheila B. Keetharuth from Mauritius, one of the three members of the Commission, in a press conference on June 8.
By Klara Smits | IDN-InDepthNews Report
BRUSSELS (IDN) - Though not on top of the international agenda, the importance of connectivity for promoting development in Africa drew the focus at a discussion event during the June 2-3 European Development Days (EDD), designed as a flagship event of the European Year for Development (EYD).
By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – The forthcoming 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August is an appropriate occasion to start developing a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons. This, according to experts, is the distinct message emerging from the four-week long United Nations conference, which ended without an outcome document on May 22.
By Shin Mee | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
SEOUL (IDN) - In run-up to the UN High-Level Summit in September in New York, a milestone United Nations conference in South Korea has highlighted the need for a new vision for education, which it aims to realise by 2030 with a view to fostering global citizenship by inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.
By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
NEW DELHI (IDN) - When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived on May 14 in the historic city of Xian, at the start of his three-day visit to China, he was almost immediately taken by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Wild Goose Pagoda that symbolise the two countries’ umbilical cultural ties, thus setting the tone for the important visit. Xian is where the ancient Silk Route began.
This Buddhist temple which is today a major tourist attraction in China, and where the Chinese Buddhist scholar monk Xuanzang spent many years of his later life translating some 35 volumes of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese that he collected during 16 years he spent at Nalanda University in India in the 7th century. It is these volumes that helped to spread Buddhism across much of East Asia and later helped Indian scholars to find out about Nalanda University after Muslim Turkic invaders burned Nalanda into ashes in the 12th century.
Thus these two-way civilizational exchanges are significant milestones as Asia’s two leading civilizations led by two visionary leaders embark on building a new economic and cultural relationship that could transform the world.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepthNews Report
PARIS (IDN) - In a carrot-and-stick approach, the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has commended Poland for having combined robust economic growth with reducing some of the pressures on its environment since it joined the European Union in 2004. At the same time, it asks Poland to decrease its economy’s reliance on fossil fuels and make growth greener.
By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) - At the height of the Ebola-crisis, scenarios predicted the deaths of around 1.4 million people, or around 20.000 deaths a month. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Ebola-free. This means that no new cases have been diagnosed in the last 42 days. The total number of lives claimed by the disease in Liberia is 10,722 deaths. What lessons can be drawn from this and what should be done now?
News of a first Ebola patient in Liberia was spread in March 2014. A doctor at a large public hospital in Monrovia had attended a meeting at the University and left that same night to sound the alarm. The danger was immediately recognised by the leaders of the healthcare system in Liberia. Nonetheless, a large number of doctors and healthcare workers died in the first period, because the knowledge and means to properly face and control the disease were lacking.
By Shastri Ramachandaran | IDN-InDepthNews Viewpoint
NEW DELHI (IDN) - The Royal Danish Embassy in New Delhi is a reminder that Denmark has fallen off the map of India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Neither the change at the helm – from Manmohan Singh as prime minister to Narendra Modi – nor foreign secretary Sujatha Singh being replaced by S Jaishankar has altered Denmark’s situation.
The Government of India (GoI) barely acknowledges the Danish embassy as a diplomatic entity, which is kept out of official programmes. However, the embassy does not deny a visa to any Indian, including journalists, who want to visit the land of Hans Christian Andersen, known for famous fairy tales, including The Little Mermaid and The Emperor’s New Clothes.
IDN-InDepthNews Interview with Daisaku Ikeda*
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) - As things appear to fall apart and decision-makers around the world grapple with ways out of manifold crises, an eminent Buddhist philosopher and peace-builder has stressed the need for building a “sustainable global society” in which all peoples’ rights are protected and the international community agrees on a path that leads toward a nuclear weapons free world.
In an exclusive interview with IDN, Soka Gakkai International president Daisaku Ikeda expressed the hope that the adoption of sustainable development goals (SDGs) by the United Nations General Assembly in September will “energize a new round of mutual striving to contribute to a world free of needless suffering”.
The email interview in full follows: