- Published on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 23:59
By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
KANDY (IDN) - The two-year-old conflict in Syria rages on with the embattled dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party withstanding the attacks of a motley group of rebels supported by the West and by the money bag monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar with Israel not far behind. Dictatorships - whether unelected, elected or inherited – are of course unacceptable in this day and age when the palpable consent of a sovereign people is paramount for the governance of independent countries. However, no regime change by self-appointed guardians of democracy from abroad can replace a genuine movement for change by the people, of the people and for the people.
Applicable international law, even in the implementation of the controversial 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine, is very clear on this – only the Security Council can take action in the name of maintaining international peace and security. The tenth anniversary of the infamously illegal invasion of Iraq for the purpose of regime change and on the false pretext of eradicating weapons of mass destruction was recently observed by massive bombings and blood-letting in Iraq with a weak government presiding over a faction-ridden country coping with unbridled violence. Is that the future that awaits Syria?
- Published on Friday, 26 April 2013 15:31
By Hirotsugu Terasaki* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
TOKYO (IDN) - It is a cause of grave concern that there are an increasing number of regions under tension and exposed to the threat of nuclear weapons; namely, the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia. Today, there are more countries that seem to be adhering to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence and/or extended deterrence than during the Cold War era.
This reminds me of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s warning to the world, “Unfortunately, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence has proven to be contagious. This has made non-proliferation more difficult, which in turn raises new risks that nuclear weapons will be used.” It is critical that all of us share an awareness that humanity is standing at an important tipping point today.
- Published on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:42
By Roberto Savio* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
ROME (IDN | Other News) - For a long time it was a given that while Europe was based on defending a more just society, with social values and solidarity, the United States was based on the glory of individualism and competition, and anything public was considered “socialist”. One of the main accusations of the last electoral campaign in the United States was that Barack Obama had an unspoken design to change the United States into another Europe, beginning with health reform.
Well, it’s time for an update – the defenders of market fundamentalism are now in Europe.
- Published on Saturday, 20 April 2013 13:25
By Tim Wright* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
MELBOURNE (IDN) - At the beginning of March, the Norwegian government hosted a landmark conference in Oslo on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the inability of relief agencies to respond effectively in the event of a nuclear attack. More than 120 governments, the Red Cross and several UN agencies participated. Their message came through loud and clear: the only way to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again is to outlaw and eliminate them without further delay.
- Published on Friday, 12 April 2013 15:27
By Devaki Jain* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
GENEVA (IDN) - For those of us who participated in the South Commission and in the preparation of its report and recommendations, the announcement of the setting up of the BRICS bank, at the BRICS summit in Durban, is a moment not only to celebrate but to reflect (BRICS comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Further, its raison d’etre being to claim some autonomy from the traditional Bretton Woods Institutions is heartening. This was in fact the reasoning behind the South Commission’s recommendation, in chapter four of the report, ‘A challenge to the South’, which was released in 1990.
- Published on Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:36
By Zachary Fillingham* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
TORONTO (IDN) - For those in need of a refresher, here is the Cold War paradigm underpinning China-North Korean relations up until now. Historically speaking, a shared ideology has been at the core of their relationship. The two countries fought a war together in 1950 and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder against encroaching U.S. military power in East Asia throughout the sixty years that followed.
- Published on Thursday, 28 March 2013 08:25
By Antonio Carlos Silva Rosa* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
PORTO (IDN | Transcend Media Service) - In regards to the way things are and how they could/should/ought to be, we are cutting ourselves short by concentrating almost exclusively on our intellect, knowledge and intelligence.
I am fascinated with the insights the evolution of science provides, particularly astronomy, cosmology, quantum physics and medicine. Medical research and technology opened the doors to the insides of our brains, considered by ourselves superior and in many ways as complex, dynamic, fascinating as the universe itself. And scientists keep sending those 'intelligent' messages to outer space in hopes that other 'intelligent' beings will pick them up and beam back their replies to them thus completing the human life-changing experience of a close encounter of whatever kind. They assume that beings ‘out there’ possess minds and intellects like our own.
- Published on Monday, 25 March 2013 16:09
By Sharon Dolev* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
BINYAMINA-GIV'AT ADA (IDN) - Around the world, when it comes to nuclear weapons, it is a well know “secret” that Israel is a Nuclear Armed State. Just like India and Pakistan, Israel has developed a nuclear arsenal, but unlike the two, Israel’s arsenal remains a secret. Israel doesn’t talk about its arsenal and usually, doesn’t take part in any international or regional discourse about it.
- Published on Thursday, 21 March 2013 02:20
By Luc Gnacadja* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
There is widespread agreement that sustainable forest management on a global scale is not achievable without halting land degradation. But this view is not shared by the rationale and focus of the tools and mechanisms designed during the past decade to promote and incentivize sustainable forest management.
As if to prove the point, the global coalition of the willing has been putting its money and effort into saying “Yes we can achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale without halting land degradation.”
“What if we change this state of affairs?” asks UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja. “Can the economy and the business community benefit from such a change?” he adds and elaborates "on the nexus of land degradation and sustainable forest management" and highlights the specific case of drylands.
- Published on Friday, 15 March 2013 10:28
By Nimal Fernando* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
WASINGTON DC (IDN) - Simon Peter's latest successor is now in place. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis I, who had been the archbishop of Buenos Aires, follows 265 other pontiffs as the representative of Jesus Christ on Earth.
He will no doubt have to summon all his management skills to deal effectively with more than a few challenges before the Roman Catholic Church.
As the past year and more has made abundantly clear, Catholics worldwide have voiced their unease, if not displeasure, in the church's handling of the sex abuse by clergy. Catholics in the United States, for instance, tend to view the scandal over sex abuse by clergy as the most pressing issue for their church today, as an early-March poll by the Pew Research Centre showed.