The Poor Need More Than A ‘Data Revolution’

By Andrea Rigon* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

LONDON (IDN) – Everyone seems to agree that one of the problematic issues with the MDGs is the poor data available and the shortcomings of measuring progress largely through national averages. The UN Secretary-General’s post-2015 High Level Panel’s call for a data revolution has therefore been widely welcomed by both civil society and influential governments. The demand for disaggregated data according  to different social groups, reinforcing the powerful idea that in a post-2015 framework goals cannot be considered met unless achieved for everyone, are certainly important steps towards ‘leaving no one behind’.

Brazil President Attacks NSA Spying At UN

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – In a radical departure from diplomatic protocol, in some ways remotely reminiscent of Fidel Castro speeches at the UN General Assembly, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff lashed out at the U.S. for spying activities of the National Security Agency (NSA).

“The atmosphere was electrifying when (on September 24) the first speaker among political leaders, President Rousseff, described the internet spying as ‘a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty’, noted one observer.

Dialogue To Avert Clash of Civilizations

By Gholamali Khoshroo* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – Today, political and cultural trends and processes in the Middle East region and the world clearly show that the dialogue among civilizations is not merely a moral recommendation, but a vital necessity. Sectarian strife in addition to ethnic and tribal massacres, on the one hand, and the continued hostility toward the Islamic world by the West and even the East (as witnessed quite recently by the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar), on the other hand, further highlight the urgency of this necessary idea.

Any kind of constructive and meaningful dialogue would hinge on respectful interaction as well as two-way communication. In no form of dialogue, the negotiating parties make humiliation, threat and subduing the other party their main goals. “Dialogue” is tantamount to the use of wisdom and foresight to understand the meaning, discover the realities, and gain a different understanding through language, logic and empathy.

Effective Financial Regulations Still Missing

Five years have passed since the Lehman Brothers collapse triggered U.S. and global financial crisis with grave consequences. But effective financial regulations are not yet in sight in developed countries. At the same time, the developing countries are confronted with huge new challenges.

By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

GENEVA (IDN) – Lehman was the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface were many contributory elements. They include financial deregulation, the conversion of finance from serving the real economy to a beast that thrived on speculation, creaming layers off the productive sectors and unsuspecting consumers through new manipulative instruments.

U.S. Economy Makes The World Go Round Or Rot

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – Though the world is increasingly intertwined, the U.S. plays a unique role in the global economy, accounting for 11 percent of global trade and 20 percent of global manufacturing. The country’s global financial ties also run deep. Foreign banks hold about $5.5 trillion of U.S. assets, and U.S. banks hold $3 trillion of foreign assets.

While these interconnections have great benefits for the United States, they are not without risks, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has warned, referring to the collapse of Lehman Brothers five years ago that ushered in “a harsh new reality” across sectors, countries, and the world.

Syria Starts Abandoning Chemical Weapons

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

THE HAGUE (IDN) – When the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) enters into force for Syria on October 14, 2013, the country will become the 190th Member State of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), according to the Hague-based global watchdog.

The CWC – or the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction – is the most recent arms control agreement with the force of International law. This agreement outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It is administered by the OPCW, an independent organization.

How Myanmar Philanders With China, India, USA

By Zak Rose* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

DETROIT (IDN) – During the period of strict economic sanctions and export bans that Western countries levied against Myanmar through the 1990s and 2000s, the military government had little choice but to turn to China. China, with its deep pockets and a strategic focus on the periphery, was more than happy to invest in the isolated state, increasing Myanmar’s dependence and furthering Beijing’s own military and economic interests by tapping into the poorer state’s promising energy reserves and vying for coastal access to the Indian Ocean.

Asians Love the UN Unlovable To Others

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – The United Nations finds great favour with publics in Asia-Pacific and enjoys considerable backing in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America but has the lowest rating in the Middle East, according to a new survey, which also finds that the UN is generally liked in Europe and relishes robust support in Canada and the U.S.

The survey, conducted before Syria’s alleged chemical weapons attack and the proposed UN role in eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, was carried out by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project (GAP) in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

UN Report Pleads For Journalists’ Protection

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) – A new report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) faults both State and non-State actors for stopping journalists and other media professionals from documenting and disseminating information on human rights violations, environmental issues, corruption, organized crime, drug trafficking, public crises, emergencies or public demonstrations – and this with impunity.

Journalists are subject to abduction, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, expulsion, harassment, surveillance, search and seizure, torture and threats and acts of other forms of violence. Female journalists face additional risks, including being subjected to forms of sexual violence while covering public events or when in detention, says the report that the United Nations Human Rights Council debated on September 13, 2013.

South Korea Prepares To Handle Refugee Flows

By Steven Borowiec* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SEOUL (IDN | Yale Global) –  Near South Korea’s main international airport, the national government is constructing a type of building never seen before in the country – a large complex capable of accommodating more than 1,000 refugee applicants. As South Korea becomes a more developed and better known country, with its TV shows and pop music appreciated around the world, the country is receiving more refugee applicants, and the government is still figuring out how to handle them. South Korea also receives many escapees from North Korea – more than 1,000 per year, which complicates relations with Pyongyang and Beijing.

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