Kudos For UNCTAD’s Pro-People Approach

By R Nastranis
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) – The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is living up to its name and mandate given 48 years ago. Its latest Trade and Development Report concludes that austerity measures have not led to economic growth, and recommends supportive government policies to get over the crisis. This pro-people approach corresponds with organization’s goals, explained on its website: to “maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.”

Japan Braving the Quake and Tsunami Debris

By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
IDN-InDepth NewsFeature

SENDAI (IDN) – While the Fukushima nuclear disaster marks yet another wake-up call to re-think energy policy, the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Tohoku, the north-eastern region of Japan, has not only left behind a trail of pain and suffering but also an indefatigable resolve of survivors to abandon despair and transform their agony into strength.

Of Canada, Khadr, Chief Nelson and Iran

By Eric Walberg*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORNTO (IDN) – After 10 years in Guantanamo, former child soldier Omar Khadr, the last Western national being held there, was finally repatriated September 29, 2012 after years of mistreatment. The illegality of the procedures used against Khadr from day one mean that the Canadian government faces a multi-million dollar law suit for damages.

Various court cases against the government failed to convince it to expedite his return, until the U.S. government finally pulled the plug, forcing the Canadian government to take him after his plea of guilty to various charges, clearly made as the only way to end his ordeal and give him hope of eventual release.

African Economies Resilient But Vulnerable

By J C Suresh
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORNOTO (IDN) – A new report by the World Bank highlights the resilience of African economies despite global slowdown caused by the Euro-zone crisis and decline in growth in emerging economies, particularly China – an important market for the continent’s mineral exports.

In fact, new oil, gas and mineral wealth offer an opportunity for inclusive development. But strong growth rates could yet be vulnerable to deteriorating market conditions in the Euro-zone, the report warns.

So far, consistently high commodity prices and strong export growth in those countries which have made mineral discoveries in recent years, have powered economic activity and are expected to buttress Africa’s economic growth for the rest of 2012, according to the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse. African countries’ share in global reserves and annual production of some minerals is sizeable.

UN Meet To Focus on Planet’s Biodiversity

By Devinder Kumar
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NEW DELHI (IDN) – What is in store for the natural world? Are governments implementing their commitments on preserving biodiversity? These and related issues are on the agenda of the UN biodiversity summit in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

It will not only review progress so far but is also expected to come up with decisions that will provide further momentum for implementation of the targets, according to conference sources.

Group of 10 Pleads for a Nuke-Free World

By J C Suresh
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – A group of non-nuclear weapon states has expressed its resolve to move ahead with practical steps to advance the implementation of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference Action Plan (‘Action Plan’) and to pursue the goal of a nuke-free world.

At a meeting in New York on September 26, 2012 on the margins of the UN General Assembly, the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates reaffirmed their “commitment to contribute to the realisation of a robust regime across the three pillars of the NPT”. As agreed at the meeting in Istanbul in June, they identified future prospects.

Global Climate Talks at a Critical Juncture

By Martin Khor*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) – The latest round of weeklong UNFCCC climate negotiations in Bangkok in September has revealed a major problem. The Bali Road Map launched in December 2007 had two tracks. The Kyoto Protocol track seems to be ending in a very weakened outcome, while the Bali Action Plan track is in danger of being killed without a proper closure or a transfer of its unsettled issues.

Swedish Investments in Indian Defence Crucial

The Indian defence industry provides great investment opportunities for Swedish firms. At the same time, investments by Saab and other companies can speed up the development of an indigenous and modernized Indian defence. These opportunities, however, do not come without challenges. An assessment of the future of the Swedish-Indian industrial collaboration in the defence sector needs to be made by taking into account the prospects for bilateral cooperation in future political, economic, and security issues.

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