By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
Revolutions are never tea parties. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have a clear vision and, along with the Salafis, represent the overwhelming majority of Egyptians. The fractious secular liberals and socialists plus the Christians represent only a quarter of Egyptians, and are united only against Mubarak and now against the MB. They include Mohamed ElBaradei, whose long international career, we should remember, was in the service of the imperial world order.
TORONTO (IDN) – At last Egyptian politics is moving. President Mohamed Morsi is slowly building on his summer ‘coup’, when he stared down Egypt’s generals and put his men in the top army and defence positions, following terrorist attacks in Sinai which the army, so old and bumbling, so involved in Egyptian internal politics, failed to prevent.
By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
GENEVA (IDN) – If governments around the world pay heed to some major stakeholders spanning the globe, the UN climate change conference in the Qatari capital Doha will endorse decisive actions leading toward a world all sensible human beings want for themselves and generations to come. Viewed from that perspective, December 7, the last day of the conference, will be a historic day.
By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
BERLIN (IDN) – The 27-nation European Union should target 30 percent, instead of the agreed 20 percent, lower emissions by 2020, in order to send an important signal to the global climate change conference from November 26 to December 7, 2012 in the Qatari capital Doha, according to experts.
By Luc Gnacadja*
BONN (IDN) – It is human development, or at least the quest for it, which caused the conversion of billions of hectares of forests into man-made deserts. It prompted, in the middle of the 19th century, the French novelist Chateaubriand to state that “forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them”. In other words, human beings are the only desert making species.
To reverse the tide and change such an inherent habit, we must think and operate outside of the “forest” box. We must look beyond the rainforest horizon and embrace holistic approaches to the entire landscape if we want to make sustainable forest management a green pathway for human development.
A spate of lawsuits triggered by transnational corporations against Argentina, Ecuador, India. Indonesia, Uruguay, Vietnam, Australia and Canada, involving compensation worth billions of dollars is causing grave public concern and preparing the ground for reviewing so-called bilateral investment treaties.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
GENEVA (IDN) – A growing number of international law suits has highlighted an emerging global crisis: the nature and effects of investment treaties signed between governments, which are allowing private companies and investors to sue countries for millions or even billions of dollars.
By Julio Godoy
BERLIN (IDN) – Between late 2009 and mid-2010, the German government, represented by its foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, made a case for dismantling B61 atomic bombs on German soil. The actual number of such weapons of mass destruction is a top military secret, but some 20 of these are reported to be stationed in Germany.
By R. Nastranis
IDN- InDepth NewsReport
ATHENS (IDN) – Church leaders from around the world have expressed solidarity with the much pooh-poohed and crisis-ridden Greece in a two-day visit to the country during which they met Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece as well as the Deputy Foreign Minister Constantinos Tsiaras.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
SINGAPORE (IDN) – Amid reports that an internal document, made public on November 14 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, has triggered soul-searching in the world organisation on its failure to protect non-combatants in Sri Lanka’s civil war, a visit to the country shows that the army and the people in the Northern Province are busy rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by 30 years of a gruesome conflict.
By Eric Walberg*
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice welcomed Washington’s re-election on the United Nations Human Rights Council on November 12, saying that the HRC “has delivered real results”, citing its criticism of Syria. But she criticized the rights council’s continued “excessive and unbalanced focus on Israel” yet again, underlying that though President Barack Obama has ‘improved’ upon his predecessor Bush’s policy, the U.S. Administration has yet to evidence that it upholds “the highest standards regarding human rights”.
By Bernt Berger*
STOCKHOLM (IDN) – The 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party officially endorsed on November 15 the members of the new Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top leadership body. Despite the secrecy, speculation and rumours in the run-up to the announcement, the make-up of China’s fifth generation of leaders was predictable. Although it reflects the outcome of protracted behind the scenes power struggles, generally speaking the result might have little impact on the government’s political directions.
Besides Party Secretary-General (and de facto president-in-waiting) Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, who is expected to become prime minister in the official transition of power in March 2013, the five new Standing Committee members are: Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli. Two candidates said to have an inclination towards greater public participation, Li Yuanchao and Wang Yang, did not make it into the inner circle.