33 States Push For Nuclear Disarmament

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – Thirty-three Heads of State of Latin America and the Caribbean have pledged to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons and emphasized “the commitment to participate actively and share a common position at the High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament” on September 26, 2013 in New York.

Back to the Future With Eyes Wide Shut

By R. S. Kalha* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Just before he was overthrown, former Libyan ruler Gaddafi warned the West that his ouster would result in chaos and holy war overtaking North Africa. His forebodings, now so accurate, were at that point in time dismissed by western governments as the ranting of a megalomaniac. It is now admitted that “Gaddafi’s overthrow broke all kinds of local ethnic, tribal and commercial bargains and power broking arrangements that we never understood”.

Who is Afraid of Iran’s Space Program?

By Ajey Lele* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN | IDSA) – Iran has successfully sent a monkey to space and also retrieved it back alive. Has Iran thereby “made a ‘monkey’ of its adversaries”? Or was this demonstration just a smokescreen to experiment with its ballistic missile capabilities? Or is it actually a signal to the rest of the world about Iran’s technological progress?

Arms Aid to Fragile States Can Backfire

By Eva Weiler | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

STOCKHOLM (IDN) – The need for security forces in a fragile state to be adequately trained and equipped is recognized as a precondition for stability and development. However, supplying arms to security forces in fragile states can contribute to armed conflict and instability, warns a new report by the eminent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Poor Countries Robbed Of 6 Trillion Dollars

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

BERLIN (IDN) – Crime, corruption, and tax evasion recorded near-historic highs in 2010, with illicit financial outflows costing the developing world $859 billion in 2010, just below the all-time high of $871.3 billion in 2008, the year preceding the global financial crisis. Besides, nearly $6 trillion (6000 000 000 000 000 000 U.S. dollars) were stolen from poor countries in the decade between 2001 and 2010, says a new report and urges world leaders to increase transparency in the international financial system.

Development Has Limited Role in CAP Reform Debate

By Alan Matthews* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

DUBLIN (IDN | CAP Reform) – Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, called January 17 for members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to take into account the impact on developing countries when voting on amendments to the draft CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) regulations post-2013. Among other issues, he called on MEPs to support the views of the European Parliament’s Development Committee, which voted unanimously in favour of a mechanism to monitor the CAP’s development impacts. In the voting January 23-24, COMAGRI (Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development) MEPs declined to do this.

Gulf States Aware of Renewable Energy Potential

By Jack Cornforth* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

ABI DHABI (IDN) – As the host of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi from January 15 to 17 and home of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) positioned itself as an important player in the world of renewable energy.

The UAE, along with the five other states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), can guarantee the regular strong sunshine necessary for large scale solar energy generation, and also possess ample space for, and conditions conductive, to wind farms.

Renewables Becoming Competitive Worldwide

By Amy Cutter* | IDN-InDepth NewAnalysis

LONDON (IDN) – Significant falls in the cost of renewable energy are making it competitive with fossil fuels in countries worldwide. The reduced costs of solar and wind, in particular, are changing the energy landscape dramatically, especially in remote areas, such as islands, where solar has become the most economic option for communities that are off-grid and rely predominantly on diesel generation for their energy needs.

The increased competitiveness of renewables is due to a combination of reduced technology costs and greater efficiency of equipment, as a result of rapid deployment, stimulated by support policies to overcome barriers.

Sanctions Do Not Lead To Nuke Abolition in Asia

By Kalinga Seneviratne | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) – North Korea’s response to the United Nations Security Council’s expanded sanctions on January 22 by threatening to resume nuclear tests and failure last November of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to persuade the five recalcitrant nuclear powers to sign the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ) have focused attention on the atomic threat facing the Asian region that is fast emerging as the centre of the global economy.

Japan Treading New Horizons in Education

By Ramesh Jaura | IDN-InDepth NewsFeature

BERLIN (IDN) – When I visited Japan five years ago and met senior representatives of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in Tokyo, I learnt about the educational activities of this faith organization and the underlying concept spelt out by its President Daisaku Ikeda: “Education that lacks an ethical or spiritual underpinning can warp our attitudes toward knowledge, allowing scientific research to run dangerously out of control.”

Nothing demonstrates this more horrifically than the development of nuclear weapons, he said in an interview. “This is why I have put my energies into dialogues aimed at bridging differences of nationality, religious affiliation and ideology, and into promoting educational exchanges that foster people-to-people connections,” stressed the President of SGI, a worldwide Buddhist network spanning the globe and promoting peace, culture and education through personal transformation and social contribution.

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