By Kishan S. Rana* | Gateway House
NEW DELHI (IDN) - Events in Libya this year, the rigidity and cruel oppression of the Libyan people by the Gaddafi regime, and popular opposition by the masses in many Libyan cities, prompted the United Nations to adopt a ‘no-fly zone’ to the region which swiftly led to armed intervention to overthrow that government. The rest is history.
We can view these events from two perspectives: First, how the doctrine of the Responsibility To Protect or R2P has influenced the unfolding of the ‘Arab Spring’ that started with Tunisia and spread like wildfire to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Morocco and Kuwait. These events may still infect and influence other states of the Arab world.
By Jamshed Baruah
BERLIN (IDN) - A series of events are slated for the first half of 2012 in Asia, Europe and the United States to raise awareness for a world free of atomic power plants and nuclear weapons of mass destruction, according to data compiled by Abolition 2000 – the Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.
By Richard Johnson
GENEVA (IDN) - Governments and the World Trade Organization (WTO) should ensure that food security is not sacrificed at the altar of globalization and liberal trade, says Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
By Devinder Kumar
NEW DELHI (IDN) - Indian-owned companies have joined the race with China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South Korea and the European Union in acquiring farmlands in Africa "at throwaway prices, indulging in environmental damage and exporting the food while locals continue to starve," says a new research report.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) - As the international community heads towards Rio+20 to commemorate the historic Earth Summit in June 1992, a senior United Nations official has called for bold actions to put a halt to poverty-generating land degradation. The UN conference in Brazil stressed the need for tangoing environment and development.
The Rio Summit June 20-22, 2012 should take "bold actions towards setting ambitious but attainable targets" that include a "global Zero Net Rate of Land Degradation", UN's Mohamadou Mansour N'Diaye said in an interview with IDN.
By Nnimmo Bassey*
AMSTERDAM (IDN) - Somebody must be mistaken: leaders of rich, industrialised countries congratulate themselves on reaching an agreement to tackle climate change, but civil society calls the ‘Durban Package’ a disaster for the planet and the world’s poor.
After two weeks of intense negotiations over the future of the climate regime, who was right? What do we have to show for it? Let’s make no mistake, the Durban package is a disaster: now more than ever, we are on course for 4 to 6 degrees of global warming, a future that would condemn Africa, small island states and the most vulnerable countries to climate catastrophe.
By Raul de Sagastizabal*
MONTEVIDEO (IDN) - The World Trade Organization (WTO) has failed. In December, the Doha Round is turning ten years old, with nothing to celebrate.[i] Formal negotiations of the Round expired in 2005, without any agreement, and informal negotiations stalled in 2008. Indications in December too were that an agreement to liberalize trade among its 153 member countries was eluding.
By J. C. Suresh
TORONTO (IDN) - Canada and India have taken yet another significant step towards a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries by 2013, and tripling bilateral trade to $15 billion annually by 2015.
A third round of talks for the purpose concluded in New Delhi on December 16, 2011. The four-day discussions were in continuation of the negotiations launched in November 2010 at Seoul, South Korea, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit of major industrial and developing county economies.
By Ernest Corea
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – It's over. The "dumb war", as described by Illinois State Senator Barack Obama and continued by Nobel peace laureate Obama, was ended by President Obama two weeks ahead of its scheduled termination on Dec. 31, 2011.
By Peter Wahl*
BERLIN (IDN) - Even the boldest defenders of the EU admit that there is a democratic deficit in the supra-national system. While the member states have fully developed democratic systems, the Brussels institutions do not meet the standards of a fully-fledged democratic system. This is not a leftist opinion, but among others part of an official sentence of the German Supreme Court.
By Shastri Ramachandaran
NEW DELHI (IDN) - While the border dispute between two Asian giants, which led to the Sino-Indian war in 1962, has yet to be settled, two recent developments signify that neither India nor China wants occasional, but inevitable, irritants to scuttle bilateral talks and business-as-usual engagements.
One is the relatively lenient sentence of a Chinese court in Shenzhen in the case involving 22 diamond traders from Mumbai and Gujarat detained since January 2010 for smuggling and duty evasion. The court ordered 13 of them to be deported (meaning, let off with fines). The nine others were sentenced to between three and six years.