By Frederick N. Mattis*
ANNAPOLIS, USA (IDN) - A nuclear ban (abolition) treaty, often called a Nuclear Weapons Convention, will need to include a timetable for phased reductions of warheads until a final day when states simultaneously reach zero. The following is a plan for warhead elimination, with the aim of acceptability to today's nuclear weapon states – and framed on the reality that the USA and Russia have far more nuclear warheads than the other possessors (Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea).
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) - In run-up to the Rio+20 conference, an eminent Buddhist leader and philosopher – who has been persistently campaigning for abolition of all nukes and other weapons of mass annihilation for the last five decades – is urging the international community to halt the plunder of planet earth's vital resources and agree on a paradigm shift from the pursuit of material wealth to sustainability.
So that Rio+20 does not end up in hollow declarations, Daisaku Ikeda – who presides over the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI), based in Tokyo – has tabled a set of proposals, one of which envisages the creation of a "global organization for sustainable development".
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) -- Republicans must have something of a spring in their walk, a glint in their eyes, and a feeling, real or imagined, of the wind moving strongly at their backs, while they celebrate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's successful pushback against union-led efforts to replace him.
Republican Walker prevailed over Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election held on June 5 by close to a 7 percentage point margin, 53.2 to 46.3. This is along the lines of the voting spread predicted by some pre-recall election polls, although much wider than the "narrow margin" estimated by others.
By Leon E. Panetta*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - America is at a turning point. After a decade of war, we are developing a new defence strategy – a central feature of which is a "rebalancing" toward the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, we will expand our military partnerships and our presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia.
By Andris Piebalgs and Kandeh Yumkella*
BRUSSELS (IDN) - In Europe, when children need to study after dark, they switch on the lights. When we are sick, we go to a doctor’s office or hospital, where electricity powers the equipment. When we go to our offices and shops in the morning, we turn on the lights, computers, coffee makers and printers.
By Shastri Ramachandaran*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - The bloodless coup in the Maldives in February 2012 has again exposed that India is no good when it comes to neighbourhood management. This is borne out every time there is a major development in the region.
By Peter Wahl*
BERLIN (IDN) - The European Union (EU) continues to be unable to solve its multiple crises. The risk of a default of Greece on repayment of its debt (bonds) in the next three months, or of the country leaving the Euro has increased considerably.
By Sérgio de Mello
BRASILIA (IDN) – In run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the Government of Brazil is organizing, with the support of the UN, Sustainable Development Dialogues – a forum for civil society – in Riocentro from June 16 to 19.
By Shastri Ramachandaran*
NEW DELHI (IDN) – India had more than one message for China prior to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's three-day visit to Myanmar, the world's newest darling of democracy being wooed with ardour by the two Asian giants and the US.
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - Delegates have departed. Closed streets are back to normal, festive flag raising has ended, briefcases have been locked, and most background papers have been stored away while some might have gone to their reward – in the nearest shredder. The Group of 8 (G8) and the NATO summits of May 2012 have ended. The G8 met in Camp David, a motorcade’s drive away the US capital, and the NATO meeting was in Chicago.
By Devinder Kumar
MANILA (IDN) - Public private partnerships (PPPs), in which the state joins hands with the private sector, have experienced a boom in Asia and the Pacific in the past decade but governments need to continue reforms and address capacity gaps for the design and implementation of effective projects, says a new study commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).