By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) – The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), a regional network, working in 12 Arab countries with seven national networks, has criticised the 28-nation European Union’s response to democratic transformations in the Arab Region.
The EU had launched a set of initiatives to support transitions in the Arab region, thus reassessing its previous policies, “which turned a blind eye to dealings with authoritarian and repressive regimes and sacrificed the values of freedom and democracy in order to maintain security and stability and energy resources”, ANND said in a statement.
By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BANGKOK (IDN) - Opening the Connect Asia-Pacific Summit of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the Thai capital, secretary general Dr Hamadoun Touré remarked that the conference was about putting the “feet on the accelerator in the quest to embrace broadband” but also warned that it needs to add value to the lives of the ordinary citizens.
The Summit – the last of the regional gatherings organized by ITU since 2006 – included some 554 participants from 37 ITU Asia-Pacific Member States, including 7 Heads of State or Government, 30 Ministers, deputy ministers and Ambassadors. A total of 88 Project Proposals were submitted for funding and the Summit identified a market opportunity of approximately 53 billion USD by the roll out of broadband services in the region.
By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsInterview
BERLIN (IDN) - Robert Jacobs was born 53 years ago, at the height of the cold war, amidst the then reigning paranoia of nuclear annihilation of humankind. In school, he was eight years old. “We learned about how to survive a nuclear attack. We were told that the key to survival was to always be vigilant in detecting the first signs of a nuclear attack.”
45 years later, Jacobs, Bo for his friends, is one of the world’s leading researchers on the social and cultural consequences of radioactivity on families and communities. Bo holds a PhD in history, has published three books on nuclear issues, and is author of hundreds of essays on the same matter. He is also professor and researcher at the Graduate Faculty of International Studies and the Peace Institute, both at the Hiroshima City University, Japan.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN | South Centre) - The UN Climate Conference held in Warsaw has set up a new international mechanism to help developing countries affected by loss and damage from climate change, such as the Philippines typhoon.
The setting up of a loss and damage international mechanism was the major achievement of the 19th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP19) that ended on November 23, a full day after its scheduled conclusion.
By Abbas Maleki* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – The Islamic Republic of Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) reached a historical agreement on Iran's nuclear energy program in the early hours of November 24, 2013.
By Zachary Fillingham* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - A preliminary deal has been reached between the P5+1 parties and Iran, establishing a series of restrictions on the country’s nuclear program in exchange for a partial reduction of the sanctions that have decimated the Iranian economy. The agreement represents a breakthrough in U.S.-Iranian diplomacy since the 1979 Revolution, and the new normal it envisions could have a profound impact on not just the geopolitical reality of the Middle East, but the global economy as well.
The deal was helped along by secret talks between U.S. and Iranian representatives – another exceptional event given the disregard and mistrust that generally passes for bilateral exchange between the two countries.
By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SINGAPORE (IDN) - In his opening address to the Commonwealth leaders’ summit (CHOGM) in Colombo mid-November, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse concluded his speech by quoting from the Buddha. “‘Let not one take notice of faults of other’s or what they have done or not done. Let one be concerned only about what one has done and left undone,” he told assembled leaders from 53 member countries in an obvious swipe at the British PM’s pre-summit tirades on human rights violation by Sri Lanka.
By Manish Rai* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW DELHI (IDN) - While efforts are underway to make a peace conference on Syria possible, the surrounding atmospheres are not encouraging as opposition groups in the Syrian conflict seem to still have reservations and preconditions.
The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition group in exile, threw a monkey wrench into the planned peace talks in Geneva saying that it won't attend the Geneva II peace conference unless there's a strict timetable for President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.
By Chakravarthi Raghavan* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis | SUNS
A controversial package consisting of agreements on trade facilitation, agriculture and development issues is on the anvil in run-up to the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held from December 3 to 6, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. One of the contentious proposals pleads for a take-it-or-leave it “political decision”. The writer walks through a labyrinth of agendas, negotiations and deadlocks, laying bare all sorts of traps into which developing countries with little political clout tend to fall rather inadvertently.
By Ashok Kumar | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BANGKOK (IDN) – Asia-Pacific region has bumpy roads to traverse before it achieves ‘zero hunger’ and ‘zero poverty’. But it is gearing up for 'food security for all' backed by 'concerted efforts' to achieve Zero Hunger by 2025 when global population is estimated to surpass the 8 billion mark.
The 'Zero Hunger Challenge' – highlighting that hunger can be eliminated in our lifetimes – was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June 2002 at Rio to commemorate and review the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TORONTO (IDN) - “O arise all you sons of this land, Let us sing of our joy to be free, Praising God and rejoicing to be Papua New Guinea.” This is the first verse of the song that was promoted to national anthem, when the country in Oceania became independent of Australia in September 1975. Much of the spirit it embodies, seems to have vanished little by little.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has fallen prey to one of the rapidest and largest land grabs in recent history, coordinated by dozens of foreign corporations, from Malaysia, China, Australia, and USA, among other countries. They have appropriated nearly a third of the country, devastating the world's third-largest rainforest and taking away land and heritage from its inhabitants, according to an investigative report and a film, ‘On Our Land’, released by the Oakland Institute and the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG).