Geneva Nuclear Breakthrough Win-Win For All

By Zachary Fillingham* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – A preliminary deal has been reached between the P5+1 parties and Iran, establishing a series of restrictions on the country’s nuclear program in exchange for a partial reduction of the sanctions that have decimated the Iranian economy. The agreement represents a breakthrough in U.S.-Iranian diplomacy since the 1979 Revolution, and the new normal it envisions could have a profound impact on not just the geopolitical reality of the Middle East, but the global economy as well.

The deal was helped along by secret talks between U.S. and Iranian representatives – another exceptional event given the disregard and mistrust that generally passes for bilateral exchange between the two countries.

UK Fails To Turn CHOGM13 Into Rights Tribunal

By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) – In his opening address to the Commonwealth leaders’ summit (CHOGM) in Colombo mid-November, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse concluded his speech by quoting from the Buddha. “‘Let not one take notice of faults of other’s or what they have done or not done. Let one be concerned only about what one has done and left undone,” he told assembled leaders from 53 member countries in an obvious swipe at the British PM’s pre-summit tirades on human rights violation by Sri Lanka.

Syria: Road To Geneva-II Littered With Bumps

By Manish Rai* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – While efforts are underway to make a peace conference on Syria possible, the surrounding atmospheres are not encouraging as opposition groups in the Syrian conflict seem to still have reservations and preconditions.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition group in exile, threw a monkey wrench into the planned peace talks in Geneva saying that it won’t attend the Geneva II peace conference unless there’s a strict timetable for President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

Trade: Guard Against WTO Wall On Way To Bali

By Chakravarthi Raghavan*  | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis | SUNS

A controversial package consisting of agreements on trade facilitation, agriculture and development issues is on the anvil in run-up to the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held from December 3 to 6, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. One of the contentious proposals pleads for a take-it-or-leave it “political decision”. The writer walks through a labyrinth of agendas, negotiations and deadlocks, laying bare all sorts of traps into which developing countries with little political clout tend to fall rather inadvertently.

Asia Wants To Abolish Hunger and Poverty

By Ashok Kumar | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BANGKOK (IDN) – Asia-Pacific region has bumpy roads to traverse before it achieves ‘zero hunger’ and ‘zero poverty’. But it is gearing up for ‘food security for all’ backed by ‘concerted efforts’ to achieve Zero Hunger by 2025 when global population is estimated to surpass the 8 billion mark.

The ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ – highlighting that hunger can be eliminated in our lifetimes – was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June 2002 at Rio to commemorate and review the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992.

Foreigners Usurp One-Third of Papua New Guinea

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – “O arise all you sons of this land, Let us sing of our joy to be free, Praising God and rejoicing to be Papua New Guinea.” This is the first verse of the song that was promoted to national anthem, when the country in Oceania became independent of Australia in September 1975. Much of the spirit it embodies, seems to have vanished little by little.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has fallen prey to one of the rapidest and largest land grabs in recent history, coordinated by dozens of foreign corporations, from Malaysia, China, Australia, and USA, among other countries. They have appropriated nearly a third of the country, devastating the world’s third-largest rainforest and taking away land and heritage from its inhabitants, according to an investigative report and a film, ‘On Our Land’, released by the Oakland Institute and the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG).

Beware Of Persistent Coal Use

By Jaya Ramachandran & Anna Rutkowski
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN | WARSAW (IDN) – Coal currently provides 40 percent of the world’s electricity and has been the fastest-growing global energy source since the year 2000, reports the International Energy Agency (IEA). Its most recent World Energy Outlook finds that while renewables and natural gas generation will grow rapidly, coal is still projected to be the dominant source of electricity through 2035.

As the UN climate change conference COP 19 entered second week on November 18, Greenpeace unfurled a banner on the front of Poland’s Ministry of Economy, protesting against the World Coal Association’s International Coal and Climate Summit taking place inside. The banner read: “Who Rules Poland? Coal Industry or the People?”

Health Issues On The Margins Of UN Conference

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WARSAW (IDN) – They are not in the limelight. But experts are drawing attention to the human health dimension of climate change at the global climate change talks in Poland’s capital Warsaw scheduled to conclude on November 22.

Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum of the World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered “five health messages” for COP 19, the 19th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A scientist and team leader in WHO’s Climate Change and Health Unit, Dr Campbell-Lendrum says:

Nagasaki Meet Recommends Concrete Steps For Nuke Abolition

By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN | NAGASAKI (IDN) – More than 50,000 nuclear weapons have been eliminated since the historic Reykjavík Summit between the then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his counterpart from the erstwhile Soviet Union  Mikhail Gorbachev, which culminated into a groundbreaking Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in December 1987. But 17,300 nukes remain, threatening many times over the very survival of human civilization and most life on earth, as the 2013 Nagasaki Appeal points out.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) estimates that nine countries possess nuclear weapons: United States (7,700 warheads), Russia (8,500), Britain (225), France (300), China (250), Israel (80), India (between 90 and 110), Pakistan (between 100 and 120) and North Korea (10).

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