Banks Count Ten Times More Than Europe’s Youth

By Roberto Savio* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

ROME (IDN | Other News) – Youth At the last summit of European heads of state in Brussels, the main theme was youth unemployment, which has now reached 23% of European youth (although it stands at 41% in Spain). Last year, the International Labour Organization issued a dramatic report on ‘Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012’ in which it spoke of a “lost generation”.

Nuclear Plants To Power Sustainable Development

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

MOSCOW (IDN) – Forgotten is the shock and despair triggered by the Fukushima power plant disaster about two years ago. Nuclear power is here to stay. In fact, according to a consensus emerging from an international conference, “for many countries nuclear power is a proven, clean, safe, and economical technology that will play an increasingly important role  in achieving energy security and sustainable development goals in the 21st century”.

‘Soil Crucial to Sustainable Development’

By IDN Global Desk

BERLIN (IDN) – Land and soil, which are finite resources and the essential bases of all food production, should be treated on par with energy, food and water as essential elements of sustainable development, says Tarja Halonen, co-chair of the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, and a former President of Finland.

Though the debate on land and soil has been moving forward, “it is still lagging behind the climate and biodiversity processes, so we have to give it an extra push for the run-up to the discussions on the post-2015 agenda,” she told UNCCD News, a bi-monthly update on the work of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Asian Economic Model Under Duress

By Martin Khor*  | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

The successful East Asian model of “state-driven capitalism” is being threatened by proposals in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to remove possible advantages of state-owned enterprises.

GENEVA (IDN) – Many articles and books have been published on the contrast and competition between the present Western and the Asian-style economic models.

India-China Boundary Talks Ease Tension

By Shastri Ramachandran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – The 16th round of talks between the Special Representatives (SRs) of India and China on the boundary issue, which was held in Beijing on June 28 and 29, was not just another round of jaw-jaw towards resolving the border dispute. The meeting had acquired greater significance because it is the first after the April 15 incursion by Chinese troops in Depsang in eastern Ladakh, and was held less than a week before defence minister AK Antony’s visit to China.

In the view of some observers, the Chinese incursion had strained bilateral relations to a level unprecedented since the 1962 conflict. So much so that there were calls for cancellation of not only external affairs minister Salman Khurshid’s visit to China in May but also Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Delhi the same month. However, with China making amends and India not pushing for a confrontation, both visits went as scheduled although Premier Li’s visit – his first foreign stop since assuming office in the decadal power shift – did not evoke the expected enthusiasm.

Behind the Brazilian ‘Spring’

By Ted Hewitt* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

LONDON, ONTARIO (IDN) – Much of the global media has focused on the protests occurring throughout Brazil. Almost all have drawn their own conclusions as to the cause of the tumult, and almost all in splendid contradiction. Similarly, there has been an enduring preoccupation in most news reports with the violence and looting associated with all such public demonstrations.

In reality, both the causes and the effects of the Brazilian protests are only poorly understood at this point; and for its part, the violence portrayed in the media has primarily been the exception rather than the rule.

Obama Magic is Gone – Caution Outweighs Zeal

By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – President Barack Obama’s commitment four years ago “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” reverberated across the globe generating hope that humankind will not be annihilated by a sheer flash of light. On June 19 in Berlin he sought to build on the iconic Prague speech. But there was no magic filling the air.

The reason, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) General Secretary Kate Hudson wrote on June 28 in her blog: “. . . despite Obama’s apparent continued commitment to the goal of global abolition, he did not quite take us to the dizzy heights of hope and emotion stirred by his Prague speech in 2009.”

Nuclear Deterrence Works in Indo-Pak Ties

By A. Vinod Kumar* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN | IDSA) – For over two decades, a dominant section of western analysts harped on the volatilities of the India and Pakistan nuclear dyad, often overselling the ‘South Asia as a nuclear flashpoint’ axiom, and portending a potential nuclear flare-up in every major stand-off between the two countries. The turbulence in the sub-continent propelled such presages, with one crisis after another billowing towards serious confrontations, but eventually easing out on all occasions.

While the optimists described this as evidence of nuclear deterrence gradually consolidating in this dyad, the pessimists saw in it the ingredients of instability that could lead to a nuclear conflict. Though there is no denial of the fact that the three major crises since the 1998 nuclear tests – Kargil (1999), the Parliament attack and Operation Parakram (2001-2002) and the Mumbai terror strike (2008) – brought the two rivals precariously close to nuclear showdowns, not once had their leaderships lost complete faith in the efficacy of mutual deterrence. Fifteen years after the nuclear tests, it is relevant to examine if deterrence remains weak in this dyad or has consolidated towards greater stability.

Genuine Democracy Needs Responsible Media

By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – When Erik Bettermann, the outgoing director-general of the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, launched the Global Media Forum in 2008, he had an ambitious aim: to institute a ‘media Davos’ on the banks of the river Rhine. The recently concluded sixth Forum has indeed achieved that aim. It imbibed the essential spirit of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps and manifested alternative approaches guiding the World Social Forum.

More than 2,500 participants comprising representatives of mainstream, government controlled, alternative and social media as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academia from over 100 countries attended the three-day conference from June 17 to 19, 2013 in the post-war historic city of Bonn and exchanged views on ‘The Future of Growth – Economic Values and the Media’ in some 50 workshops. They agreed that citizens are the key drivers of change, and that the media must build up an informed citizenry without which democracy would remain a farce.

‘It’s the Earth Democracy We Need To Create’

As India reels under the havoc caused by devastating floods in the country’s northern Himalayan region, the call by eminent environmental activist Vandana Shiva [1] for a new economic model that respects the planet and all species of life in a keynote address at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn on June 19, assumes an added significance. IDN is reproducing extracts of the speech transcribed by its partner Pressenza international press agency.

By Vandana Shiva* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

My home is in my heart and in my mind because I come from the Himalaya. 40 years ago ordinary peasant women came out and told the world something the world had forgotten; that somehow forests were connected to water because the market value of timber – and it was a German forester, who set up the system for the British in India on how to exploit forests – forests were just that much square foot of timber.

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