By Mel Frykberg*
TRIPOLI (IDN | GCC) - Following the Libyan revolution, in which women played a crucial part, and the participation of large numbers of female citizens in the July 2012 elections, Libyan women are now looking forward to a partnership and full equality with their male counterparts.
"Libyan women were instrumental in the country choosing a liberal and progressive government in the recent elections as many of them voted for the winning National Forces Alliance (NFA) of Mahmoud Jibril," said Nadine Nasrat, from the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
By Roberto Savio*
SAN SALVADOR, The Bahamas (IDN | Other News) - Hardly a week goes by without the disclosure of some scandal related to banks. Now British Standard Chartered has been accused by an American regulator of having schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars for the potential support of terrorist activities. What gives an added value to this allegation is that Standard Chartered was, at least up until now, considered one of the cleanest banks, and was not associated with any scandal.
By Jaya Ramachandran
BRUSSELS (IDN) - A major overhaul of security alone is likely to halt violence in Indonesia's Papua province in the short term, says the prestigious International Crisis Group in its latest report. Titled Indonesia: Dynamics of Violence in Papua, the report scrutinizes multiple sources of conflict in Papua, following fifteen violent incidents in the provincial capital Jayapura in May and June 2012 and others in the central highlands.
By J C Suresh
TORONTO (IDN) - The two long-time South Asian rivals, India and Pakistan, are engaged in the world's most active nuclear arms race. India is estimated to have produced as many as 100 atomic weapons, and Pakistan is believed to have stockpiled a similar number if not more.
By Martin Khor*
GENEVA (IDN) - The use of drones by one state to kill people in other countries is fast emerging as an international human rights issue of serious public concern. This was evident in the recent session (June 18-July 6, 2012) of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, both in the official meetings and in NGO seminars.
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON (IDN) - Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has returned home from a three country tour that does not appear to have done him much good. Romney's foreign policy Grand Tour of the UK, Israel and Poland was expected to be a voyage of exposure. He would expose his foreign policy gravitas to his hosts. They would expose their expectations of American foreign policy to him.
By Ajey Lele*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - From Ban Ki-moon to Barack Obama, everyone is presently concerned about the chances of the Syrian government using chemical weapons – the weaponry belonging to the category of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – in the on-going conflict. The Syrian administration has announced that it would not use chemical weapons on its own people but may use them against the external aggressor.
As the world inches towards tragic anniversaries of so far the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date, it is worthwhile asking whether there was really a need to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945: In fact, there is ample evidence that the U.S. dropped 'The Little Boy' and 'Fat Man' "on a nation that had been largely defeated and was trying to surrender", says Nuclear Age Peace Foundation president David Krieger*.
By Roberto Savio*
SAN SALVADOR, The Bahamas (IDN | Other News) - Someday we will have to reflect upon the impact the fall of the Berlin Wall had on the world for both winners and losers.
After the collapse of the Wall, Francis Fukuyama wrote the famous book, 'The End of History', where he stated that with the end of communism, capitalism was going to become an eternal reality. In a recent article in the New York Times (NYT), he however pleaded for limiting the excesses of corporations, the same corporations to which this newspaper dedicates several pages in its analyses.
By Jerome Mwanda
NAIROBI (IDN) - Though Africa is urbanizing at a fast rate, agriculture remains the most important sector of the continent's economy and will have to be its "driving engine out of poverty", according to a senior United Nations official.
Underscoring his point, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella says: Agriculture accounts for 65% of the continent's employment and 75% of its domestic trade.
By Dr. Lim Mah-Hui*
GENEVA (IDN) - We are living in interesting and perilous times. The Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters – danger and opportunities. Times of danger also offer opportunities to those who are able to use them to their advantage. The international economy is in its worst crisis since the Great Depression. There could be a break-up of the Euro zone with momentous consequences for the world economy; and the U.S. economy is limping along with high level of unemployment five years after the great financial meltdown.