DECEMBER and NOVEMBER 2011 Combined Issue

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CONSIDER THIS: '7 Billion Actions' For 7 Billion People

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By Ernest Corea*

WASHINGTON DC - Baby 7,000,000,000 (Baby 7B) entered the world on Oct. 31, without being told ahead that (s)he would be a member of the human family which confronts great possibilities as well as dangerous pitfalls, almost side-by-side.

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VIEWPOINT: Free the World from the Nuclear Chain

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By Xanthe Hall*

BERLIN - We talk about abandoning nuclear energy or abolishing nuclear weapons. But this is not enough. They are only the visible products of a whole chain of production that binds us – the nuclear chain. This chain does much more damage than we are aware of.

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NUKE ABOLITION: Turning Nuke Free 'Utopia' into Reality

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By Ramesh Jaura

It sounds like a utopia. But it is a "concrete utopia", very much in the spirit of Ernst Bloch's philosophy and concomitant with Nichiren Buddhism. Whereas the former visualises elimination of all forms of oppression and exploitation, the latter envisions transformation of the human spirit – from a culture of violence to a culture of peace – leading to sustainable human security that encompasses a world free of nuclear weapons and other tools of mass destruction.

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NUKE ABOLITION: Modernisation of Atomic Arsenal Acquiring Priority

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By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN - In a situation reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb', none of the nuclear weapon states is actively contemplating a future without nukes. On the contrary, the potential for using dreadful atomic arsenal is growing, says a new report.

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NUKE ABOLITION: New Network Seeks Nuclear-Free World

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By Ernest Corea

WASHINGTON DC - Thirty former senior political, diplomatic and military leaders from thirteen countries China, India and Pakistan which are "nuclear powers” have launched the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN).

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NUKE ABOLITION: India Set to Take Lead

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By Shastri Ramachandaran*

NEW DELHI - The Government of India appears to be in right earnest about taking the lead in pursuing universal disarmament. The renewed vigour – for reviving the climate and conditions wherein the basic ideas and objectives of nuclear disarmament can be advanced – is evident in a series of engagements being lined up to carry forward former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's Action Plan (RGAP) for a nuclear-weapons-free world order.

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SAARC SPECIAL-1: Priorities for SAARC-China Partnerships

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By Nihal Rodrigo*

COLOMBO – “Building Bridges”, the over-arching theme of the 17th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit which was held in the Maldives on Nov. 10 and 11, was endorsed as an important goal for the association’s future orientation. 

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SAARC SPECIAL-2: People-To-People Contact Works Well

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By Nihal Rodrigo*

COLOMBO - At the inauguration of the 16th SAARC summit in Bhutan in 2010, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya stated that, “in a spirit of equality and mutual benefit”, China is willing to conduct dialogue and exchanges to expand practical cooperation with SAARC. He particularly mentioned human resources training, poverty alleviation, disaster relief action, economic affairs and media exchanges.

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NEW WORLD ORDER: Gorbachev Forum Looks Beyond Messy Today

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By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN/MONTPELLIER - "Dangers await only those who do not react to life," he admonished die-hard comrades in the Soviet bloc who were blind to the writing on the wall and ignored that the people's yearning for democratic space was impossible to bridle. Some twenty-five years later, as waves of change pound across Europe's Mediterranean frontiers, he is back in the unofficial political arena warning that gaping cracks in the Old World Order are beyond repair.

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NEW WORLD ORDER: Of Willy Brandt, Development and Peace

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By Jutta Wolf

BERLIN - "Now grows together what belongs together." Though this famous public statement by Willy Brandt in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall pointed to new vistas opening up for Germans living in post-war divided Germany, it held out the hope that the world would warm up to genuine international cooperation obstructed by the Cold War chill.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Durban Climate Meet's Bright and Dark Sides

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By Ramesh Jaura

The outcome of the Durban global climate talks, which dragged on for 14 long days, has been declared as disappointing or encouraging depending on the perceptions of beholders – some of whom are setting their sights on the half-empty glass and others who prefer to focus on the half-full glass.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Survival Fear Stalks Millions in West Africa

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By Jerome Mwanda

NAIROBI - Massive leasing of lands, which the government of Mali justifies with the need to "modernize" the country's agriculture, is threatening the survival of populations dependent on the water flows of the Niger River in Mali and in the rest of West Africa, where over 100 million people depend on the waterway for their livelihoods, says a new report.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: China Spells Out a Global Recovery Plan

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By Jaya Ramachandran

PARIS - Among countries that have moved from the periphery to the core, China has acquired a place of pride in a world that is no longer steered by the industrialized states of yesteryear. President Hu Jintao surfaced from the G20 summit in Cannes, France, on November 3-4 as sagacious leader of a country whose inexorable ascent to the status of a new superpower was speeded up in the aftermath of the international financial crisis in 2008.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: The Tale of Two Cleaned Up Asian Cities

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By Taro Ichikawa

DALIAN - The partner cities of Dalian in Northern China and Kitakyushu in Western Japan have distinguished themselves as dedicated proponents of pollution control and clean environment. Back in the 1960s and 1970s the two cities were severely polluted by heavy industry and smokescreens. Now they are working together to mitigate global climate change in the interest of sustainable development.

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REFLECTIONS: The Rise and Fall of Ethics and Work Spirit in Japan

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By Masahiko Komura*

TOKYO - In the aftermath of the Great East Asia Earthquake, with all its disastrous consequences still being felt, former director of the United States National Economic Council, Laurence Summers, commented that the situation in Japan was as if it were rolling down a slope and sliding into "a poor country" status.

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PERSPECTIVES: India and U.S. Partners in Arms

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By Ernest Corea

WASHINGTON DC - The Obama Administration’s much touted "pivot" to Asia extends a trend that began with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama inviting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Singh to the US as the first state guests of the Obama Administration.

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PERSPECTIVES: Afghan Women's Fate Uncertain

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By Devinder Kumar

NEW DELHI - Eminent human rights activist and lawyer Najla Ayubi has expressed profound concern about the situation of women and girls if the judiciary is placed in the hands of the Taliban as a result of negotiations aimed at ushering in peace and reconciliation in the country.

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