Nukes Indefensible on Humanitarian Grounds

By Hirotsugu Terasaki* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

TOKYO (IDN) – It is a cause of grave concern that there are an increasing number of regions under tension and exposed to the threat of nuclear weapons; namely, the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia. Today, there are more countries that seem to be adhering to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence and/or extended deterrence than during the Cold War era.

This reminds me of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s warning to the world, “Unfortunately, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence has proven to be contagious. This has made non-proliferation more difficult, which in turn raises new risks that nuclear weapons will be used.” It is critical that all of us share an awareness that humanity is standing at an important tipping point today.

Globalisation Polluting Environment

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – Globalisation has had some crucial negative impacts on the environment. But given vital, political regulations and incentives, it can be part of a solution that addresses the breadth and urgency of the challenges ahead, says a new study commissioned by the Public Affairs and Communications Directorate of Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Presently, disagreements between developed and developing countries on responsibilities and cost sharing are major stumbling blocks in discussions about an international agreement on climate change.

Europe Bidding Adieu To Justice and Solidarity

By Roberto Savio* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

ROME (IDN | Other News) – For a long time it was a given that while Europe was based on defending a more just society, with social values and solidarity, the United States was based on the glory of individualism and competition, and anything public was considered “socialist”. One of the main accusations of the last electoral campaign in the United States was that Barack Obama had an unspoken design to change the United States into another Europe, beginning with health reform.

Well, it’s time for an update – the defenders of market fundamentalism are now in Europe.

Globalisation Makes Poor More Vulnerable

By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Does globalisation promote development? If you scratch beneath the surface, the answer of OECD researchers to this crucial question in times of financial collapse and its atrocious consequences for the vulnerable sections of people around the world is: globalisation helps the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

From Non-Proliferation to a Total Ban on Nukes

By Tim Wright* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

MELBOURNE (IDN) – At the beginning of March, the Norwegian government hosted a landmark conference in Oslo on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the inability of relief agencies to respond effectively in the event of a nuclear attack. More than 120 governments, the Red Cross and several UN agencies participated. Their message came through loud and clear: the only way to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again is to outlaw and eliminate them without further delay.

Conference Urges Enhanced Nuclear Safety

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

OTTAWA (IDN) – Experts from more than 50 nuclear and non-nuclear countries have stressed the need for enhancing safety and security culture with a view to preventing the occurrence and minimizing the consequences of accidents in nuclear power plants. The call emerged from a four-day conference hosted by the Canadian government in Ottawa.

This was the third international conference of its kind organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since the first such gathering held in Moscow in 2006, followed by the second 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The next International Regulatory Conference will take place in 2016 and will be hosted by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) at a location yet to be determined.

A Global New Deal Can End Menacing Austerity

By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Economic austerity is spreading its tentacles to rich and poor countries around the world threatening to impact 5.8 billion citizens this year, and 6.3 billion or 90 percent of global population by 2015, warns a new report and calls for a Global New Deal to stave off the menacing situation.

A Global New Deal involves public investments to boost employment, catalyse sustainable development, improve living standards, reduce inequalities and promote political stability, says the report, titled ‘The Age of Austerity – A Review of Public Expenditures and Adjustment Measures in 181 Countries’.

Asia Prefers To Quietly Calm Down North Korea

By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth News Analysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) – While the Anglo-American international media has been beating the war drums on North Korean leader Jong-un’s threats to fire missiles at American bases in the region, commentaries in Asian newspapers have focused on why nobody in the region wants war and that trouble makers must be quietly calmed down.

Late March, President Kim, approved a plan to attack the U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Guam if the United States attacks the country. The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling party, listed U.S. military bases in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Misawa, Aomori and Okinawa in Japan as potential attack targets.

More Guns For the Poor, Less For the Rich

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

STOCKHOLM (IDN) – Instead of raising the standards of living of their people by investing all possible resources in sustainable development, some of the countries traditionally considered poor are spending more on guns. The better off are still responsible for the lion’s share of world military spending, though there has been a marginal decline.

Military expenditure refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support.

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