Mega Business Leads UN Road to Development

By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

BERLIN / MONTEVIDEO (IDN) – All that glitters is not gold would appear to be the core of critique the Social Watch, a network of civil society organizations in over 80 countries, has launched against the United Nations High Level Panel’s suggestions of new development goals to replace the MDGs.

In a document titled ‘A New Global Partnership’ the panel claims that, in preparing it, it “heard voices (…) from over 5000 civil society organizations working in about 120 countries” and “also consulted the chief executive officers of 250 companies in 30 countries, with annual revenues exceeding $8 trillion”.

Inequities and No Jobs Worry Europeans

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – A new poll finds that Europeans are growing dissatisfied with the inequities of the economic system, which are also rooted in the “still rising unemployment” that, as the OECD’s Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan avers, present “the most pressing challenge for policy makers” in the euro area.

The euro area consists of 17 members of the 27-nation European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Report Censures Israel For Demolishing Palestinian and EU Property’

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) – Hundreds of Palestinian homes and structures have been bulldozed and approvals for illegal settlements have increased despite the 27-nation European Union (EU) asking Israel to stop settlement expansion, forced displacement, and demolition of Palestinian property in an unprecedented statement one year ago, says a new report.

EU foreign ministers adopted on May 14, 2012 some of the most extensive and far-reaching recommendations on the issue of the Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). In particular, the EU ministers approved specific recommendations for developing Area C which constitutes 60 percent of the West Bank and falls under full Israeli military and civil control. An estimated 150,000 Palestinians live there among 325,000 Israelis living in settlements that are illegal under international law.

Arctic Council Honours India’s Alertness

By Shastri Ramachandran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Even as most Indians continue to rue that, in recent months, the government has achieved little on the foreign front, New Delhi has scored a diplomatic victory by joining the Arctic Council as an observer.

India’s accomplishment came at May 15 meeting of the Arctic Council in Kiruna, Sweden. This is a rare instance of diplomatic alertness and activism paying off, thanks to proactive pursuit of a prospect that could have gone awry had the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) taken things for granted. If the MEA been laid back and assumed that India’s entry in to the Arctic Council would happen as a matter of course, the outcome at Kiruna could have been different.

TRIPS Hang Over LDC Like A Sword Of Damocles

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – A modern-day Damocles’ sword is hanging over 49 of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable courtiers spanning across Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Unless the U.S. and the 27-nation European Union change their minds, the least developed countries (LDCs) will be forced to abide by the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – much to their detriment.

Bollywood Reflects India-China Love-Hate

By Coonoor Kripalani* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN | Yale Global) – The activities of Indian and Chinese troops along the line of actual control, the undemarcated border between the two nations known as LAC, may recall memories of 1962. That year marked a border conflict between the two Asian giants that remains etched in the Indian psyche – reinforced by the 1964 film Haqeeqat, written and directed by Chetan Anand. The same dispute goes unmentioned in China’s history books.

EU Spares Trillions Hidden in Tax Havens

By R. Nstranis
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – ‘There is no alternative but to cut public spending and development aid’ has become a much repeated mantra for governments in the rich countries. But investigations reveal that there is a huge lot of hidden ‘private’ money that could put an end to extreme global poverty.

Wading Through The Syrian Labyrinth

By Antonio C. S Rosa* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

An international peace mission visited Damascus from May 1 to 11 wading through a labyrinth of multi-layered domestic and foreign political, economic and religious interests constituting the backbone of persistent half-truths about a rather intricate situation in Syria whose worst victims are ordinary and peace-loving people. Following are excerpts from an extensive report by the editor of peace journalism website TRANSCEND Media Service (TMS).

PORTO (IDN) – It was disconcerting coming into the country for the first time knowing what I thought I knew and seeing a calm, positive demeanour in people, which could well be misconstrued as apathy, yet exhibiting expectant, concerned, awaiting eyes and facial expressions.

Global Climate Change Fears Are Genuine

By Stephen Leahy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

UXBRIDGE (IDN) – Around the world scientists are not sleeping well. They toss and turn knowing humanity is destroying the Earth’s ability to support mankind. The science is crystal clear and all of us ‘ought to be shaking in our boots’, Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme told me last year.

But hardly any of us are shaking in our boots. Why is that?

The most extensive survey about the scientific consensus that humanity is causing global warming was published on May 16, 2013 in Environmental Research Letters (ERL). Researchers looked at 12,000 scientific articles published between 1991 and 2011 on the subject and found that 97.1% of these agreed global warming is primarily caused by human activities.

Learning Statecraft from China

By Kasturi Moitra* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN | IDSA) – “Deception is an integral element of Chinese strategic culture”, noted Shyam Saran (former Foreign Secretary with the Government of India) at the second K. Subrahmanyam lecture series held in August 2012 at New Delhi.

At the same event, he also underscored the importance of being more conversant with the Chinese thought process for improving Indo-China relations. His counsel becomes even more relevant in the light of the recent friction between India and China over difference in interpretation of the border, resulting, recently, in a 19-km incursion in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector of the Depsang Valley in Ladakh.

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