By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and promises to be a crucial year for moving toward a world without nuclear weapons. While indications are that the global movement for banning the bomb is gaining strength, attempts to open a new chapter in nuclear arms race should not be underestimated, a close look at developments in 2014 shows.
A sign of growing awareness of the need to abolish atomic weapons is that 155 governments – more than 80 percent of the members of the United Nations – supported the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons tabled at the General Assembly in October 2014.
By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - Dr. Henry Kissinger – veteran Harvard academic in political science, author, diplomatic practitioner and respected commentator on international affairs despite a chequered career in the U.S. Government – published his latest book “World Order” at the end of 2014 providing us with a historical analysis of a quest for a rule based global order.
That quest has to be undertaken in a world where in Kissinger’s words, “Chaos threatens side by side with unprecedented interdependence; in the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the disintegration of states, the impact of environmental depredations, the persistence of genocidal practices and the spread of new technologies threatening to drive conflict beyond human control or comprehension.”
While millions of Afghans have fled to Pakistan over the past four decades, Pakistanis are flocking to Afghanistan. There are not only those who flee Pakistani military operations in Waziristan, but also Pakistani Balochs who say that they flee from repression by the Pakistani government, linked to latest Baloch insurgency activities. In Afghanistan, they live in precarious conditions. The Afghan authorities seem to exert a hand-off approach, and the UN sees them as a marginal issue.
By Monica Bernabe* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
KABUL (IDN | ANA) - Abdul Waheed’s mutilated corpse was found on December 1, 2010, 20 kilometers from the town of Kalat, in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province, the largest, but least populated of the country.
By Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TEHRAN (IDN) - The year 2014 was one of the most hectic years for international politics. Although every year is characterized with a host of important and determining developments in international arena, there were two major developments in 2014, which were not only “important,” but also “surprising.”
One of these was the rapid and surprising rise of a new player in an already tense Middle East region under the name of the “Islamic State,” which led to many fundamental changes in political equations in Syria and Iraq.
By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - President Mahinda Rajapakse’s proclamation on November 20 last year decreeing a Presidential Election two years before the expiry of his second term of office has provided the voters of Sri Lanka with an unexpected opportunity to make a unique democratic choice on January 8, 2015.
With the Sri Lankan voter enjoying universal adult franchise from 1931 – even when the country was a colony of Britain – this island nation has, since gaining independence in 1948, changed its rulers through the peaceful use of the ballot a total of nine times. The choice has been between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) or coalitions led by each of them.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW YORK (IDN) - When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Global Education First Initiative in September 2012, “fostering global citizenship” was one of his three priorities, along with “putting every child in school” and “improving the quality of learning”.
Ban said: “Education is much more than an entry to the job market. It has the power to shape a sustainable future and better world. Education policies should promote peace, mutual respect and environmental care.”
As the international community moves toward adopting the post-2015 development agenda, popularly known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the need for education for global citizenship is becoming increasingly important.
Because none of the goals impacting the Earth and its inhabitants can be achieved without people and governments around the world transcending narrow national interests and acting in the interest of the planet.
LAHORE (IDN) - The government of Pakistan, after the terrifying attack on a Peshawar school on December 16, which took the lives of 132 school students and nine staff members, and left numerous injured, decided to reinstate capital punishment.
No doubt, the whole nation is in great agony and grief. I, first of all, want to condemn such terror attacks and wish for this country to find a way out of this terrorism curse soon and we all shall resume peaceful and prosper lives.
By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
MUMBAI (IDN) - There is more to China’s Silk Route Project — from the sea lanes of East Asia through South and Central Asia to Europe — than is generally perceived in India.
India has been invited to join the project for rebuilding the ancient Silk Road that connected India, China and Central Asia to Europe and reviving the Maritime Silk Route for linking countries in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean. Most of India’s neighbours see it as an opportunity that should not be missed.
By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SINGAPORE (IDN) - Pope Francis is due to make a three-day visit to Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka with the highlight of the visit being the canonization of Joseph Vaz, an Indian born 17th century Catholic missionary who spent most of his life in Sri Lanka to help Catholics persecuted by the island’s Dutch rulers at the time.
The canonization and Pope Francis’s second visit to an Asian country has created much controversy, which fortunately for the Vatican, has been drowned out by the intensity of the presidential election campaign in Sri Lanka. The election is scheduled for January 8, just five days before Pope’s scheduled arrival in the island on January 13.
About 70 percent of the Sri Lankan population is Buddhists, while the Catholics account for just 6 percent. But, they are a powerful minority that is well connected to international Catholic networks.
The haste at which The Vatican in close collaboration with the local Catholic Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, has arranged this visit setting aside many protocols and by-laws from Rome has added to Buddhist suspicions that this visit is designed to promote proselyting activities not only in Sri Lanka but also in the South Asian region. The Catholic Church however claims the visit is for promoting reconciliation and religious harmony in Sri Lanka.
By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BARCELONA (IDN) - A couple of weeks after the attacks of Sept 11, 2001 against the Trade World Centre in New York, the U.S. playwright, actor, and essayist Wallace Shawn published a memorable analysis of the U.S. collective reaction to the attacks. Shawn diagnosed the U.S. a condition of denial. According to Shawn, the U.S. “cannot face (its) real problem, so (it) den(ies) that it exists and create(s) instead a different problem (to) solve.”
By Xanthe Hall* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
“Possession does not prevent international disputes from occurring, but it makes conflicts more dangerous. Maintaining forces on alert does not provide safety, but it increases the likelihood of accidents. Upholding doctrines of nuclear deterrence does not counter proliferation, but it makes the weapons more desirable.” - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.