Disarmament The Key To Sustaining Future Generations

By Joan Erakit* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Striving to promote the interest of future generations through policy making, The World Future Council gathers each year to review strategies that are progressive and change the way our global community functions.

The process begins with a serious question: what are the most important topics of our time and which countries are addressing them with such vigour, others take notice?

This is the task given to the World Future Council in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) – a trifecta with the goal of affecting positive change.

‘Endless Enemies’ Inflict US Foreign Policy

By Julio Godoy | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BARCELONA (IDN) – During the early 1980s, distinguished U.S. international affairs journalist Jonathan Kwitny started a journey throughout the world, to analyse his country’s foreign policy since the late 1940s. Kwitny, who had reported among other media for the Wall Street Journal, came to a disparaging conclusion: The U.S., which had emerged as the champion of the “free” world for its decisive intervention against Nazi Germany and Fascist Japan, and as such stood against the Soviet Union, did not care for democracy and human rights, but only for what its governments considered as “national interests”.

US-Japan Defence Pact Troubles South Korea

By Shim Jae Hoon* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SEOUL (IDN | Yale Global) – The front-page picture in Korean newspapers told the story of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. South Korea’s President Park Geun Hye, looking frosty and gazing in the opposite direction, ignored Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe standing next to her at the October 7 APEC in Bali. The two leaders barely exchanged greetings, according to a Japanese news dispatch, and kept their contact to a minimum, “only for a few seconds”.

Sweden Commended For Global Development Aid

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – At a time when international development cooperation does not draw public focus, a new report highlights Sweden’s significant contribution to assisting countries in need of money they cannot afford to muster on capital markets. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden provided USD 5.24 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2012. This amounted to 0.99 percent of its gross national income (GNI) – in excess of the United Nations’ target of 0.7 percent of GNI.

Latin America: Headwinds Challenging Progress

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – Latin America has achieved economic growth and made significant progress in poverty reduction over the course of the last decade. But it is now facing headwinds, according to the latest Latin American Economic Outlook.

Jointly produced by the OECD Development Centre, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and CAF – Development Bank of Latin America, the report was released in Panama City during the XXIII Ibero-American summit on October 18-19, 2013.

“Between 2003 and 2012, the region grew at an average annual rate of 4% thanks to the rapid rise of global trade and increasing commodity prices, and this despite the contraction brought about by the international financial crisis,” states the report.

Iran and P5+1 Take One More Step Toward Mutual Confidence Building

By Hassan Beheshtipour* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – The fourth round of negotiations between representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers (USA, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany), which ended on October 16, 2013, was a great leap ahead for both sides and a solid measure aimed at mutual trust building.

The two-day talks in Geneva were very remarkable for the Iranian side because serious negotiations had gotten underway again after a hiatus of several months. By offering a new proposal which was too attractive for the Western states to reject, Iran proved that it is ready to reach a comprehensive and complete understanding with the West over its peaceful nuclear energy program.

Behind Crackdown on China’s Bo Xilai

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – The abounding speculation over whether bribery, graft and abuse of power were the only reasons for China’s former Politburo member Bo Xilai being sentenced (on September 22) to life and stripped of his political rights and property for life is, perhaps, unlikely to be answered with any certitude for a long time. What is certain though is that, for now, the political phenomenon that was Bo Xilai is dead. So is his brand of mass politics.

Arriving in Jinan, capital of China’s northeastern province of Shadong, a day after the Intermediate People’s Court in the city handed him a life term, I found people going about their business as usual. Nothing appeared amiss in the city: the extra security at the airport could have been for any of several other reasons. There was no buzz about the sensational case, the like of which China has not witnessed in 30 years. To quote a phrase from another time and place, “not a dog barked” in Jinan, Beijing or Chongqin when Bo went down at the end of a well-choreographed trial that met every expectation of form.

UN Drone Reports Chide US Transparency Gap

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Armed drones are the subject of two landmark reports presented to the 193-nation General Assembly – the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN – in October: one urging transparency over the killing of civilians by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen; and the other warning against “the use of drones by States to exercise essentially a global policing function to counter potential threats”.

Obama’s Absence Intensely Felt At APEC Summit

By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) – The winds of change are blowing, bringing shifts in perceived wisdom and the old order, especially in the Asian region. The recent (October 7-8) APEC summit and associated meetings in Bali were marked not so much by results but by perceptions.

In fact, the lack of results, rather than results, was the main story. This lack was not so much in the APEC itself, but in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The leaders of TPPA countries met in a separate venue away from the APEC summit.

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