By Julio Godoy | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) – Between 1995 and 1998, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) prepared behind closed doors a so-called multilateral agreement on investments (MAI). The harmless sounding name concealed a Machiavelli-like treaty allegedly addressed at – as an OECD paper put it at the time – setting “clear, consistent, and transparent rules on liberalisation and investor protection, with dispute settlement, thereby underpinning the continued removal of barriers to market access and encouraging economic growth.”
Radhika Coomaraswamy, formerly the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, has served as the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict from April 2006 to July 2012. She is an internationally known human rights advocate who has done outstanding work as Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (1994-2003). […]
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) — The Israeli government’s desire to extract revenge from the Palestinians for the recognition that the international community has bestowed on the Palestinian Authority (PA) is offensive and inconsistent with the norms of appropriate diplomatic conduct.
The planned revenge is doubly repugnant because Israel wants to direct its punitive ire at Palestinians for action taken by 138 of the world’s established nations.
By Bernhard Schell
DUBAI (IDN) – “A digital divide has no place in the information age and 21st century knowledge economy,” according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Our overall objective must be to ensure universal access to information and communication technology – including for the two-thirds of the world’s population currently not online,” he says.
In a video message to a major meeting organized by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on December 3, Ban said the management of information and communication technology should be “transparent, democratic, and inclusive”.
By Jen Alic of Oilprice.com*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – As Washington hunts ill-defined al-Qaeda groups in the Middle East and Africa, and concerns itself with Iran’s eventual nuclear potential, it has a much more pressing problem at home: Its energy grid is vulnerable to anyone with basic weapons and know-how.
By Shastri Ramachandran*
NEW DELHI (IDN) – In the weeks, and months, ahead, there will be tomes written on the significance of the change in China’s leadership with 62-year-old Xi Jinping succeeding Hu Jintao as the new helmsman. The import of the epochal shift, like all things Chinese, may unravel rather slowly.
The obvious text, replete with promises of political reform, more equitable economic development, fighting corruption and the great renewal of the Chinese nation, would be read closely for underlying meaning by the world, including India, for the likely impact, big and small, of the new spearhead of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | VIENNA (IDN) – Before World War II broke out in 1939, German-born Nobel laureate Albert Einstein recommended President Franklin D. Roosevelt to begin research on a nuclear weapon since Germany under Adolf Hitler might be developing such a destructive tool. The result was the Manhattan Project, which culminated in the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Einstein deplored use of the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon, and signed with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, highlighting the danger of nukes.
By Vicente Paolo Yu III*
BRUSELS (IDN) – Developing countries have long been at the frontlines of climate change and bearing the brunt of its impacts on sustainable development prospects and even, in many cases, physical survival and territorial integrity. The impacts of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, the droughts that are afflicting Africa, the cyclones and typhoons that lash South and South East Asia and the Pacific islands, are all harbingers of what could become worse if no action is taken quickly and effectively by the global community with respect to climate change.
By Roberto Savio*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint | Other News
Hamas, Israel, Egypt and the Obama Administration have all emerged as triumphant heroes in the latest episode in clashes between the Hamas and Israel. Palestinian National Authority (PNA) president Mahmoud Abbas played hardly any role. As scenes unfolded in this ‘Gaza Drama’, the mainstream media offered a one-for-all menu to readers worldwide.
By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
Revolutions are never tea parties. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have a clear vision and, along with the Salafis, represent the overwhelming majority of Egyptians. The fractious secular liberals and socialists plus the Christians represent only a quarter of Egyptians, and are united only against Mubarak and now against the MB. They include Mohamed ElBaradei, whose long international career, we should remember, was in the service of the imperial world order.
TORONTO (IDN) – At last Egyptian politics is moving. President Mohamed Morsi is slowly building on his summer ‘coup’, when he stared down Egypt’s generals and put his men in the top army and defence positions, following terrorist attacks in Sinai which the army, so old and bumbling, so involved in Egyptian internal politics, failed to prevent.