Rising Migrant Remittances Highly Significant

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – A new report has highlighted the importance of funds remitted home by migrants, which are now nearly three times the size of official development assistance given by rich developed nations and larger than private debt and portfolio equity flows to developing countries. They exceed the foreign exchange reserves in at least 15 developing countries, and are equivalent to least half of the level of reserves in over 50 developing countries, says the latest issue of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.

Latin America: Anti-US Rhetoric Does Not Overshadow Trade

By Luisa Parraguez, Francisco Garcia Gonzalez, Joskua Tadeo*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MEXICO CITY (IDN | Yale Global) – The Latin American blogosphere held its breath when Bolivian president Evo Morales’s plane was forced to land in Vienna in July. As European authorities searched for former U.S. National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden on board, Twitter accounts of South American presidents exploded with resentment.

The continent denounced the United States for extending its hemispheric supremacy to Europe, sputtered words like “colonialism” and “imperialism,” and claimed that the incident violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner called the incident “not only humiliating to a sister nation, but also for the whole South American continent.”

Malaysia Needs More Than ‘Cyberjaya’

By Murray Hunter* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BEIJING (IDN – The ritualistic month-long celebration of Merdeka (independence) activities in Malaysia has largely lost its meaning, in part because the history of the roles that different groups played in the road to independence has been rewritten to support the current rulers.

The August 31 celebration, the day that Malaya gained independence from the British, as the major national day seems to exclude the aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians, who on September 16, 1963, joined Malaya and Singapore in a union called Malaysia. Groups like the Communist Party of Malaya, which fought and lost many lives against both the British and Japanese, are almost totally excluded from the nation’s Merdeka narrative as well.

This is all occurring in an environment desperately in need of a narrative of inclusiveness.

UN Presses Forward on Global Ban on Nuke Tests

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Seventeen years after the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened for signature, the United Nations has launched a new initiative to expedite its entry into force “at the earliest possible date”.

Foreign ministers and high-level representatives from the 183 Member States of the Treaty have urged the eight remaining States – China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States – to sign and ratify the CTBT, “thus ridding the world once and for all of nuclear test explosions”. Ratification by these eight countries is indispensable for the Treaty coming into force.

Eminent Persons To Support Entry Into Force Of Global Treaty Banning Nuclear Test

IDN-InDepth NewsDocument

To ensure an innovative and focused approach to advance the CTBT’s ratification by the remaining Annex 2 States, a group comprising eminent personalities and internationally recognized experts was launched on September 26, 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Through their expertise, experience and political standing, this Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) will support and complement efforts to promote the Treaty’s entry into force as well as reinvigorating international endeavours to achieve this goal. The Presidents of the Article XIV Conference, the Foreign Minister of Hungary, János Martonyi, and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Marty Natalegawa, will also be members of the GEM.

The Continuing Agony Of Syria

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) – The United Nations rose to one of its finest moments when the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2118(2013) on the September 27 addressing the outrageous use of chemical weapons in Syria while setting guidelines for a political solution to the civil war in that country. Great powers can sometimes agree to use diplomacy wisely to save the world from conflict. However the assumption that the Syrian crisis has been solved through a U.S.-Russian agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons hides the ugly reality of a continuing civil war with daily death tolls adding to a total of about 100,000, a suffering populace and an exodus of refugees now numbering 1.9 million apart from the displaced.

US-Iran: Inching Towards Détente

By Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) -The pace of developments in Iran’s foreign policy has been very high during the last week of September 2013. Iran’s effort to take the best advantage of the general atmosphere at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly led the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to put his power and the power of his foreign policy team in the area of bilateral and multilateral relations, especially public diplomacy, to the first test. Many domestic and foreign analysts believe that he has successfully passed that test.

What About The ‘Global Red Line’ For Nukes

By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Reputed to be an ardent campaigner for a nuclear weapons free world, ICAN has yet again called upon the powers-that-be to ban all nukes threatening the very survival of planet Earth and entire humankind. The fervent appeal by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons coincided with the UN high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament in New York.

In a statement on September 26, ICAN, a global campaign coalition of more than 300 organizations in 80 countries, asks: “Where Is the ‘Global Red Line’ for Nuclear Weapons?”

UN Endorses A Landmark Document Sans Vision

By Nicole Rippin* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BONN (IDN) – On September 25, 2013 the UN General Assembly met in New York for a special event to discuss the new development policy agenda for the time after 2015. 2015 is the year by which the current agenda, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are to have been achieved. Numerous documents were drafted by high-ranking committees prior to the event.

In a process lasting over one year more than one million people worldwide were asked about their wishes and ideas for a future development agenda. In view of this wealth of comprehensive documents with specific, visionary proposals it is remarkable how devoid of content and inexpressive the report that the UN General Assembly published as the result of their negotiations on September 25 was.

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’.

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