Drought Threatens Water-Truck Lifeline in Parched Northeast Brazil

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By Nadia Pontes | IDN-InDepthNews Feature

This story is the first in a series of news features related to the 21st UN Climate Conference (COP21) from November 30 to December 11. It was sourced through the Voices2Paris UNDP storytelling contest on climate change and developed thanks to Megan Rowling and @alertnetclimate.

Pesqueira / Pernambuco, Brazil (IDN) - For the rural community of Pacheco in northeastern Brazil, the local school has never been so important. It is now the only place in the drought-stricken area that has water on tap.

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Costa Rica Aims at Being the World’s First Decarbonised Economy

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The Central American country of Costa Rica is a model state that embodies the concept of global citizenship by pursuing a culture of peace and aspiring to achieve complete carbon-neutrality.

By Fabíola Ortiz | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

SAN JOSE (IDN) - With less than five million inhabitants, Costa Rica became famous for abolishing its army in the late 1940’s, when its Central American neighbours were involved in armed conflicts. After becoming a model of peace in the region, the country now wants to be known as a laboratory for a deep decarbonisation process of the world economy.

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Uruguay Joins Prestigious OECD Development Centre

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By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepthNews Report

BERLIN | PARIS (IDN) - Uruguay has become the 10th member country in Latin America and the Caribbean to join a group of 50 OECD and non-OECD countries that are already members of the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Explaining the accession, a press release said, Uruguay’s structural characteristics, development experience and challenges offer rich opportunities for knowledge sharing among the Centre’s member countries.

Since its banking and financial crisis in 2002, it added, Uruguay has made remarkable progress. Stable macroeconomic policies and a favourable external environment permitted brisk growth and the financing of social policies, yielding the longest period of economic growth in decades.

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U.S. Hedge Fund Threatens Use of Free Trade Accord to Sue Peru

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By INPS* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

Washington DC (IDN) - An emerging-markets focused U.S. hedge fund that bought Peru’s 5.1 billion dollar decades-old military debts is threatening to sue the country.

Gramercy argues that the Peruvian government's current repayment plan is inadequate and that if payments do not increase, it will sue Peru through a tribunal system embedded in the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement (PTPA) that entered into force on February 1, 2009.

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Uruguay Pulls Out of ‘Secret’ Talks on Trade in Services

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By Roberto Bissio* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis

MONTEVIDEO (IDN | SUNS) - Just a week before the deadline for submitting national offers on liberalisation of services sectors under the on-going “secret” talks for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez decided on September 7 to abandon the plurilateral negotiations.

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UN Consolidating Rule of Law in Haiti

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By J. C. Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NEW YORK (IDN) - “The objective of every peacekeeping mission is for the national authorities to take over the responsibilities to which the mission makes its contributions,” says Sandra Honoré of Trinidad and Tobago, who is Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Haiti and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission there, known as MINUSTAH, a position she assumed in July 2013.

“The outcome I would like to see in Haiti is one in which the four areas of focus of the Mission in this phase of consolidation is fully taken over by the Government of Haiti, so the Mission can leave with satisfaction that the Government has fully taken up its responsibilities and that security in country is be assured by the National Police with, as I’ve said, at least a minimum of 15,000 agents, putting it into a good situation to keep developing,” Honoré adds.

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Good News On Latin America and the Caribbean

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By Daniela Estrada | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SANTIAGO DE CHILE (IDN) – Latin American and Caribbean countries registered an average global deficit of 2.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, but their fiscal revenues rose and kept their public debt situation stable, giving them more room to increase investment and social spending, according to a new study by the UN Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

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NATO Interests Colombia

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By Peter Tase* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (IDN) - Over the last two years, the Colombian government has given high priority to diplomatic efforts meant to shore up its immediate security situation, actively pursuing bilateral, trilateral and multilateral agreements with various governments in the region and beyond.

Colombia occupies a strategic position in the western hemisphere: it has a large territory connecting North America with the South, and it has enormous shores on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. This geostrategic advantage allows Colombia to act as a gate of entry for South America, and its network of sea ports processes a large volume of commodities and other shipments coming in and out of the United States and Europe on a daily basis.

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Nicaragua and Europe Strive To Deepen Ties

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By Peter Tase* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (IDN) - Over the past three years, Nicaragua has been trying to deepen ties with major European Union countries, paying special attention to the establishment of various sustainable development initiatives.

Nowhere is the strategy more apparent than in Foreign Minister Samuel Santos’ visit to Brussels and Strasbourg in December of 2010, where he secured financing from the European Commission for the Nicaragua Education Project (PROSEN) and funding for anti-dengue and rural public health campaigns from Luxembourg.

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Mixed Praise For Chile’s Economic Performance

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By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) - Chile has received kudos for making significant economic progress in the previous three years but has been faulted for “some glaring inequalities”. A new study finds that – together with Mexico – Chile displays “the greatest inequality gap” in the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The average income of the wealthiest 10 percent in Chile and Mexico is 27 times that of the poorest 10 percent, in other words, a ratio of 27 to 1. By contrast, the OECD average is around 10 to 1, informs the 2013 Economic Survey of Chile.

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Latin America: Headwinds Challenging Progress

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By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) - Latin America has achieved economic growth and made significant progress in poverty reduction over the course of the last decade. But it is now facing headwinds, according to the latest Latin American Economic Outlook.

Jointly produced by the OECD Development Centre, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, the report was released in Panama City during the XXIII Ibero-American summit on October 18-19, 2013.

“Between 2003 and 2012, the region grew at an average annual rate of 4% thanks to the rapid rise of global trade and increasing commodity prices, and this despite the contraction brought about by the international financial crisis,” states the report.

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