Developing Economies’ Myths and Realities

By World Economy Desk | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – The South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, has good news about developing economies. Contrary to the view promoted by ‘establishment institutions like the IMF’ (International Monetary Fund), recent events show that major developing countries have not “decoupled” their economies from those of advanced ones, avers Yılmaz Akyüz, chief economist of the Geneva-based organization.

Revisiting Nine-Eleven Twelve Years On

By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

Congressmen Walter Jones and Stephen Lynch introduced a resolution early December 2013 urging President Barack Obama to declassify the legendary “28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry of 9/11” issued in late 2002, which point to official Saudi involvement in a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. After much lobbying, and under an oath of secrecy, Jones was allowed to read the censored document: “I was absolutely shocked by what I read. What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me.”

Local Knowledge Vital For Global Experts

By Pranab Bardhan* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERKELEY (IDN |Yale Global) – For quite some time the economic development profession has gone global in a rather grandiose way. Those quick with pronouncements on global development issues get the maximum attention, rise to the top of the profession, and may even get to hobnob with international celebrities and philanthro-capitalists.

The premium has been on finding global patterns in fighting poverty – in promoting comprehensive development strategies meant for a broad range of countries, with the Washington Consensus or alternatively the so-called Beijing Consensus – and pronouncing overarching policy judgments on the hot issues of the day on a global scale, including austerity or stimulus, free trade, capital flows, global inequality, migration, intellectual property rights, the development NGO movement and the like.

No-Nuke Australia Thwarts Nuclear Free World

By Neena Bhandari* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SYDNEY (IDN) – Australia has been expressing support for a nuclear weapons-free world, but documents obtained by disarmament advocacy group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), reveal that the Australian Government sees the increasing international focus on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons as “rubbing up against” its reliance on the United States nuclear weapons.

ICAN has obtained declassified diplomatic cables, ministerial briefings and emails under freedom-of-information laws, which show that the Australian Government plans to oppose efforts to ban nuclear weapons.

Syrian Refugees Biggest Sufferers Of The Conflict

By Manish Rai* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Nearly three years of bloody civil war in Syria have created what the United Nations, governments and international humanitarian organizations describe as the most challenging refugee crisis in a generation bigger than the one unleashed by the Rwandan genocide and laden with the sectarianism of the Balkan wars.

With no end in sight in the conflict and with large parts of Syria already destroyed, governments and humanitarian as well as other organizations are quietly preparing for the refugee crisis to last years. This is the crisis that has been called the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of this century and condemned by the UN as a “disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history”.

Nicaragua and Europe Strive To Deepen Ties

By Peter Tase* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (IDN) – Over the past three years, Nicaragua has been trying to deepen ties with major European Union countries, paying special attention to the establishment of various sustainable development initiatives.

Nowhere is the strategy more apparent than in Foreign Minister Samuel Santos’ visit to Brussels and Strasbourg in December of 2010, where he secured financing from the European Commission for the Nicaragua Education Project (PROSEN) and funding for anti-dengue and rural public health campaigns from Luxembourg.

Daughter Takes Kennedy’s Peace Torch To Japan

By Katsuhro Asagiri | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TOKYO (IDN) – Caroline Kennedy was just 20 years old when she accompanied her uncle, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, to Hiroshima, site of the first U.S. bomb attack that killed 140,000 people on August 6, 1945. In a Senate hearing in September, confirming her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, she said she was deeply moved by her visit in 1978 that included a tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

In her video message to the people of Japan posted before assuming office on November 12, 2013, she remarked that her trip to Hiroshima had left her “with a profound desire to work for a better, more peaceful world”.

‘We Can, And Must, End Poverty’

By Erik Solheim* | IDN-InDepth NewsDocument

While the international community has learned much about what works in terms of reducing poverty, and the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day, it is far from achieving the overarching MDG goal of eradicating extreme poverty. Subsequently, “getting to zero” remains a challenge in the face of the intractable difficulties of reaching those mired in extreme poverty, says the OECD Development Co-operation Report (DCR) 2013, which explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to reduce poverty. But Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian Minister of International Development, and current Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, insists in an Editorial to the Report that ‘We Can, And Must, End Poverty’.

Trade: Some Unfinished Work Remains After Bali

By Kanaga Raja* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA, (IDN | SUNS) – The ninth session of the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) came to a close on the morning of December 7, after adopting a Ministerial Declaration, the entire Bali package of ten texts, and five other Ministerial decisions.

The conference, which began on December 3 and was scheduled to end on December 6, spilled over into Saturday , when a very small group of countries, citing some concerns, had refused to join the consensus on the draft Bali package at an earlier informal Heads of Delegation (HOD) meeting.

A Wreath For Nelson Mandela

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) – Madiba’s long walk through life has ended after 95 years.

It was an epic and inspirational journey of self-sacrifice for the causes he believed in; persecution and pain endured stoically; 27 years of solitary confinement amidst the deafening silence of the great powers who now join in acclaiming him; crowned with the final victory of liberating his people from the enslavement of apartheid to being equal partners in a non-racial democracy of which he was fittingly elected the first President.

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