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.

Snail’s Pace Towards Ban on Nuke Testing

By Jamshed Baruah
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalyis

VIENNA (IDN) – Since the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called for a “standstill agreement” on nuclear testing on April 2, 1954, 183 out of 196 states around the world have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) that bans atomic explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.

157 countries including three of the nuclear weapon States – France, Russia and Britain – have ratified the treaty. But before the CTBT can enter into force, 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries must sign and ratify it. Of these, eight are still missing: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA. In fact, India, North Korea and Pakistan have yet to sign the treaty.

Human Trafficking Devastating the Sinai

By Mirjam van Reisen*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BRUSSELS (IDN) – A new report titled ‘Human Trafficking in the Sinai. Refugees between Life and Death’ sheds new light on the devastation caused by the trafficking in the Sinai. Hostages are killed unless they collect exorbitant ransoms from relatives, which can go up to USD 35,000 or even more. These ransoms are collected from family members in home countries and from relatives in the diaspora.

A network of financial laundering supports the ransom collection. The report is authored by this writer, Meron Estefanos and Dr Conny Rijken, from Tilburg University and European External Policy Advisors (EEPA).

India-Sri Lanka Ties Hostage to Tamil parties

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India’s neighbours are not necessarily its friends. They can hardly be called India’s allies. In regional and international forums, more often than not, they are ranged against one another. History, geography, religion, geopolitics, uneven development, competing ambitions and much else account for this state of affairs.

As a result, bilateral relations have their ups and downs and can be warm or chilly, euphoric or troubling. Even so, over the decades, the South Asian countries have learned to live and let live, regardless of the problems at home and across their respective borders.

‘Do More to Solve Pressing Crises’

By Jaya Ramachandran
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) – As a result of widespread insecurity, the squandering of vast funds on deadly weapons instead of economic development, and the growing impact of climate change, the world today is in a race against time to save itself.

Sounding this alarm at the opening of the 67th UN General Assembly’s annual general debate on September 25 in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “This is a time of turmoil, transition and transformation – a time when time itself is not on our side.” Several heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the debate, which ends on October 1.

The Bahamian Art of Survival

By Roberto Savio*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

NASSAU, Bahamas (IDN) – Mark Twain famously said: “The rich are different from you and me.” While the present behaviour of the financial elites is clearly proving Twain’s prescience, I think that had he spent some time in the Bahamas, he would have postulated: “Bahamians are different from you and me”.

Of course, this applies to every culture. In many parts of the United States, you cannot smoke in parks or on beaches, but you can carry a concealed semi-automatic weapon.

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