By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
GENEVA (IDN) - China gave a big boost to South-South cooperation when its President, Xi Jinping, made two unprecedented mega pledges totalling US$5.1 billion to assist other developing countries, during his visit to the United States in September.
Firstly, he announced that China would set up a China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to provide RMB 20 billion or US$3.1 billion to help developing countries tackle climate change. This announcement was made at the White House at a media conference with U.S. President Barrack Obama.
By Jacques Trouvilliez* | IDN-InDepthNews Viewpoint
BONN (IDN) - One lesson that has been well and truly learned in nature conservation is that for policies to be really effective countries have to collaborate to address common problems.
Within the UN system it is also recognized that this applies to the different Programmes, Conventions and Agreements set up over the years. That each of these bodies has a distinct niche and a clear role does not justify a bunker mentality. By synergizing, cooperating and collaborating they can find common cause with natural allies and seek compromises with those whose agendas do not necessarily match their own.
By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BERLIN | GENEVA (IDN) - Ahead of a landmark United Nations climate conference beginning on November 30 in Paris, two international organizations are warning that unless appropriate steps are taken, the planet would become “more dangerous and inhospitable for future generations” and poverty stretch its wings further by 2030.
By Rodney Reynolds | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – When the world’s major nuclear powers express their support for nuclear disarmament, their political rhetoric usually fails to match their actions – even as they continue to modernize their arsenals. Undeterred, the UN’s Committee on Disarmament and International Security (also known as the First Committee) traditionally adopts a cluster of over 15-20 resolutions every year – mostly on arms control and nuclear disarmament.
This year there was one significant exception: the U.S., Britain and France, three of the world’s major nuclear powers, opted to abstain on a resolution, spearheaded by Japan every year, on united action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. All three countries voted in favour of the resolution last year, with U.S. and Britain as co-sponsors. But this year both countries were missing in action – much to the disappointment of Japan, a key Western ally.
By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
NAGASAKI (IDN) - The recent Nagasaki Pugwash Conference coincided with many significant anniversaries in the history of global peace and security – on this occasion with strong links to the host country, Japan.
- It was the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Organization, which underpins the prevailing global system of peace and security with its Charter and the framework of norms and values it upholds;
- It was the 60th anniversary of the Pugwash bedrock document and surely one of the earliest formulations of the “Humanitarian Pledge” of today – the 1955 London Manifesto of the Pugwash founding fathers Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell – one of whose co-signatories was Professor Hideki Yukawa, the Nobel Physics Laureate from Kyoto University, Japan;
- And it was the 20th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize jointly to Pugwash and to one of its founders Sir Joseph Rotblat three months after the Pugwash Conference was held in Hiroshima in that year.
By Friday Phiri | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (IDN) - Just as climate change has been getting popular in development discourse over the past two decades, so has been climate financing, which refers to local, national or transnational funding, drawn from public, private and/or alternative sources.
By Suresh Jaura* | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
TORONTO (IDN | INPS) - ‘Real Change’ as promised in the election campaign has come to Canada with Justin Pierre James Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, taking over as 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.
Justin is the eldest son of the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, prompting observers to describe him as the first in Canada’s political destiny. Born December 25, 1971, he is the second youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history after Joe Clark who headed the government from June 1979 to March 1980.
The Liberal Party bagged majority mandate winning 184 seats in the 42nd Federal election on October 19. This was an impressive win for the party under Justin Trudeau, who was elected in April 2013 as leader of the third party in Canada. In 2011 election, the Liberals had the worst showing in its history with 19 percent of the popular vote and 34 seats.
By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepthNews Viewpoint
BRUSSELS (IDN) - With the 28-nation EU desperately trying to find a solution to the unprecedented inflow of people seeking international protection and a better life, the size of the problem and the political battlefield are seriously damaging European cooperation and undermining citizens' trust in the European project.
However, the proposals presented by the European Commission six months ago were reasonable and fair. Strengthening EU's diplomacy to resolve the Syrian conflict, stepping up assistance to the countries neighbouring Syria, reinforcing external border controls and relocating 40,000 refugees based on a fair distribution key – all these made complete sense and could have been an adequate answer to the situation, at that point in time.
But Member States didn't play ball. The shameful lack of solidarity, pure selfishness and political short sightedness of a number of (especially new) Member States frustrated any attempt to manage the situation in a reasonable and serene way. Despite all the (European) Councils, precious time has been lost and the situation today is worse than ever before, threatening to hurt the very fundaments of the EU.
By INPS* | IDN-InDepthNews Report
TOKYO (IDN) - The Pugwash Conference, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, has urged all nuclear weapon states to abandon nuclear-weapon system modernization programmes, and spend the billions of dollars earmarked for those programs on minimizing nuclear risks, preventing accidental launches and cyber attacks, and promoting disarmament.
By Alissa Akins* | IDN-InDepthNews Viewpoint
WASHINGTON (IDN | GMF) - As refugees continue to arrive across Europe, non-entry point cities of Europe and the United States should consider proactively adopting measures to attract migrants to their communities as part of a long-term inclusion strategy.
Far from looking at resettled refugees as a burden on limited government resources, communities should instead see migrants as an external stimulus to the economy with high potential to fill labour market gaps and provide new employment opportunities.
Ultimately, the vast majority of migrants stay in the country to which they originally fled and less than 1% are resettled in third countries. This gives cities time to craft policies to welcome refugees into their communities and grow stronger, more inclusive economies.
By Martin Plaut* and Mirjam van Reisen** | IDN-InDepthNews Analysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) - The UN Security Council has concluded that the Eritrean regime remains a serious threat to peace in the Horn of Africa and the region as a whole. In a resolution adopted on October 23, the Council expressed concern at the evidence provided by UN experts who accused President Isaias Afewerki of organising “ongoing Eritrean support for certain regional armed groups.” The Security Council went on to re-affirm its arms embargo against the Eritrean government.
Behind these bland phrases lies a catalogue of evidence carefully assembled by experts of the UN Monitoring Group. They explain in graphic detail how the regime operates: It supports rebel movements in neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti, something that has been known for quite some time. What is new is that – cynically enough – Eritrea is now embroiled in the Yemeni civil war in return for the Saudi and UAE financial support.