France Sees Nuclear Arms As Deterrent

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By A.D. McKenze | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) - As world leaders prepare to meet in New York next month for the 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), French activists say they are not holding their breath for any real commitment to enforce the 45-year-old accord.

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Israel and Iran Obstacles to Nuke Free Mideast Depending on Perspective

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By Mel Frykberg | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEL AVIV | RAMALLAH (IDN) - Six world powers are looking towards the end of June to reach an agreement in regard to Iran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting the sanctions imposed on the Islamic theocracy.

In the interim Iran’s nuclear ambitions are once again dominating the headlines as the Western powers look to the end of March for an agreement on a political framework before June’s deadline.

This framework agreement comes shortly before the next Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference from April 27 to May 22, 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York.

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Australian PM Blasts ‘Bias’ in UN Report on Torture

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By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalyis

SYDNEY (IDN) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot acted angrily to a United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report accusing Australia of violating the UN Convention against Torture, reproving it of bias and claiming that Australians are sick of being lectured to by the UN.

The UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, from Argentina, who investigated allegations of torture in 68 countries, tabled his report on March 9 at the UNHRC annual gathering in Geneva, where a section on Australia said that the government was systematically violating the international Convention Against Torture by confining children in immigration detention, and holding asylum seekers in dangerous and violent conditions on remote South Pacific islands.

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Soldiers of Conscience Breaking the Silence

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By Mel Frykberg | IDN-InDepth NewsFeature

This news feature tells the story of how groups of Israelis and Palestinians are empowering communities at daggers drawn to consider themselves as part of a solution, rising above parochial interests and swimming against prevailing political tide, thus lending a vibrant local dimension to the broader concept of global citizenship.

HEBRON, West Bank (IDN) – The ancient biblical city of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, is holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam and is steeped in historical, archaeological and religious treasures.

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UN Scheme to Teach ‘Respect for All’ Aims at Fighting Discrimination

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By A.D. McKenzie | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) - “What the world needs now is love, sweet love” goes a syrupy Burt Bacharach-penned song from 1965.  But love is difficult, if not impossible, to teach, so education experts have come up with another solution: teaching respect for all.

“And by all, we mean all,” says Christophe Cornu, senior project officer in the Section of Health and Global Citizenship Education at UNESCO, the United Nations agency responsible for science, culture and education.

The organization, in association with the governments of the United States and Brazil, has produced specific tools and resources to fight discrimination and violence through education as well as within education, even as the level of hatred and intolerance rises in many regions.

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Growing Support For Moving Away From Nuclear Weapons

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By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) - Ahead of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) scheduled for April 27 to May 22, 2015 in New York, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has expressed a clear vision for the future of nuclear disarmament.

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Sri Lanka: New Government Makes U-Turn To China

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By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

COLOMBO (IDN) - When President Mahinda Rajapakse was toppled by a “peoples’ power” anti-corruption vote on January 8 there were messages from Western leaders and op-eds in newspapers in London, New York, Toronto and Oslo welcoming the success of another “regime change” campaign to overthrow a leader who was hostile to the West and cuddling with the Chinese.

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Dangerous Nuclear War Of Words Between NATO and Russia

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By Julio Godoy | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) - The governments of Russia and the United States are using the Ukraine crisis as a justification for upgrading their formidable nuclear arsenals.

This escalation became evident January 25, as the conservative German Sunday newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) opened its edition with a whole page devoted exclusively to accuse Russia of “threatening gesturing” with its nuclear weapons.

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Global Citizenship Education Seen as Key to Development and Peace

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By A. D. McKenzie | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) - With inequality as well as extremism a growing concern around the world, education has a crucial role to play in contributing to peace and sustainable development, experts say.

“Education is a common good, and it’s the moral responsibility of governments to provide it. But the challenge we now face is how to use education to have peaceful and sustainable societies,” said Peter deSouza, professor at the India-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

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New Zealand Robustly Defends Nuclear Ban

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By Neena Bhandari | IDN-InDepth NewsFeature

SYDNEY (IDN) – The small Pacific island country of New Zealand has punched above its weight in the international disarmament debate. For nearly three decades it has pursued an active nuclear free policy, banning entry of US warships carrying nuclear weapons or propelled by nuclear power into its ports despite being part of the ANZUS Treaty.

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Sri Lanka’s ‘Peoples Power’ Faces Big Challenges

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By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

COLOMBO (IDN) - Be it with “pinch-hitting” and “sling bowling” in cricket, eradicating a ruthless terrorist group, winning Asian games gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races running barefoot or electing the world’s first woman prime minister, Sri Lankans always excel in using unorthodox means to achieve their objectives.

On January 8, they added another – using a candidate with no party affiliations or tested election machinery to overthrow an “invincible” autocratic President through a largely peaceful election.

The world is desperately looking for a template to overthrow corrupt politicians and political structures as seen by the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising in the Middle East which has sadly transformed into an Arab Winter and Thailand’s ‘Shutdown Bangkok’ protests, which led to the overthrow of a democratically elected government to be replaced by a military regime that is becoming increasingly autocratic.

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