AUGUST 2012 - International Edition

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incorporating June and July issues

Global Perspectives June-July-August 2012 International Edition

CONSIDER THIS - US Elections: Romney Flubs Foreign Policy Tour

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By Ernest CoreaRomney at the Western Wall in Jerusalem | Credit: deathandtaxesmag*

WASHINGTON - Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has returned home from a three country tour that does not appear to have done him much good. Romney's foreign policy Grand Tour of the UK, Israel and Poland was expected to be a voyage of exposure. He would expose his foreign policy gravitas to his hosts. They would expose their expectations of American foreign policy to him.

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THE FUTURE WE WANT - Rio+20 Was Not All In Vain

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Martin Khor | Credit: iisd.caBy Martin Khor*

GENEVA - The UN Conference on Sustainable Development, more popularly known as Rio+20, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit (concluded on June 22) with expressions of deep disappointment from broad sections of members of the media and the environmental NGOs, who saw little new commitments to action in the final text that was adopted by the heads of states and governments and their senior officials.

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THE FUTURE WE WANT - Buddhist Leader Pleads For Paradigm Shift

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SGI President Daisaku Ikeda By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | TOKYO - In run-up to the Rio+20 conference, an eminent Buddhist leader and philosopher – who has been persistently campaigning for abolition of all nukes and other weapons of mass annihilation for the last five decades – is urging the international community to halt the plunder of planet earth's vital resources and agree on a paradigm shift from the pursuit of material wealth to sustainability.

So that Rio+20 does not end up in hollow declarations, Daisaku Ikeda – who presides over the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI), based in Tokyo – has tabled a set of proposals, one of which envisages the creation of a "global organization for sustainable development".

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THE FUTURE WE WANT - A World Without Land Degradation Is Possible

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Luc GnacadjaBy Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN - Luc Gnacadja has rock-solid reason to be upbeat: some 100 heads of state and government agreed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – better known as Rio+20 – to strive for "a land-degradation neutral world", characterised by zero growth in desertification.

In doing so they were responding to the UNCCD's clarion call in a "policy brief" for 'A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20: Zero Net Land Degradation'. The brief provides a snapshot of the world's land, explains causes and impacts of land degradation and suggests pathways to land-degradation neutrality.

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THE FUTURE WE WANT - The Arduous Search For A Fair Global Climate Policy

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By R. NastraniGraphic Credit: indybay.orgs

BONN - Climate negotiators from around the world are wading through a jungle of multifarious vested interests to pave the way for substantive and forward-looking agreements at the next United Nations climate change conference from November 26 to December 7, 2012 in Doha, the capital of meanwhile ubiquitous soft power Qatar.

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THE FUTURE WE WANT - Canada-USA Tensions Over Arctic

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Location of the Arctic | Credit: Wikimedia CommonsBy Julia Meyer

STOCKHOLM - The focus of international attention on melting polar ice is hiding simmering tensions between Canada and the USA – two of the eight states with Arctic territory – which need be urgently resolved to avoid complications in a new emerging geopolitical situation, says a new study.

"Both countries need to pay attention to the challenges in the Arctic but should also be wary of how their domestic posturing in the region is affecting their international relations, including with each other," says the study by the prestigious Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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NEWS ESSAY - Fighting For Pluralism in the Media

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By Ramesh JaurRoberto Savioa

BERLIN - When he took to the road to correct imbalance in the flow of information, which was very much to the detriment of newly independent and developing countries, there was an air of optimism and trust, recalls Roberto Savio, a global citizen par excellence who embodies culture of peace and is a relentless champion of pluralism in the media.

"The economy was growing, the genie of uncontrollable finance was not yet out of the bottle in which it had been shut away by political power, and we young people knew that we had a future," writes Savio in the book titled The Journalists Who Turned the World Upside Down - Voices of another Information, telling the story of Inter Press Service (IPS) in a lucid and engaging style.

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MIGRATION – Population Flows Make The World Go Round

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OECD Secretary General Angel GurríaBy Jaya Ramachandran

BRUSSELS - The 27-nation European Union is one of the main catalysts for international economic exchanges, including migration. Its prospects of growth and employment have a direct bearing on global migration flows. What is happening in Europe today is therefore one determining factor for international migration flows in the coming years.

In fact, as OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría says, labour market developments and migration flows are closely linked. "The decline in labour demand has been the driving force behind the fall in migration during the crisis, not restrictions imposed by migration policies, as our 2012 International Migration Outlook shows," he said presenting the report in Brussels on June 27, with EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion László Andor and EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.

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MIGRATION - UN Censures Practice of Detaining Migrants

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Immigration detention centre | Credit: ncadc.org.ukBy Jaya Ramachandran

GENEVA - The United Nations has in a new report expressed grave doubts about the widespread practice of detaining migrants. States use a variety of reasons to justify this practice and some see irregular migration as a national security problem or a criminal issue, notes the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, in his latest report to the Human Rights Council. However, he warns, there are a number of human rights issues at stake.

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