By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC – They came, they saw, they met. For the first time after a year of drift, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators met face-to-face in Amman, Jordan on January 3. The Palestinians presented the Israelis with written proposals for borders and security.
This brief encounter resulted from an initiative by the Government of Jordan and, after the meeting, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh announced that representatives of the two sides would meet again shortly. That meeting took place on January 7.
NEW YORK - UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser is committed to convening a conference directed at establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
"I continue both personally and through my office to lend all possible support to formal and informal efforts and events dedicated to a timely convening of the 2012 conference. These efforts will continue," Al-Nasser told Global Perspectives in a wide-ranging, exclusive question-and-answer interview.
By Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
Following write-up consists of the excerpts from General Assembly President Al-Nasser’s remarks on the occasion of the closing of the main part of the 66th session on 23 December 2011 in New York. Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar was elected President of the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 June 2011 through the unanimous support of the 193 member-states of the United Nations and formally assumed his office on 13 September when the Assembly’s 66th session was convened. – Editor
I began this session in September by saying that the world is facing unprecedented challenges: environmental, economic, social and political. Peoples’ demands around the world for good governance and prosperity are stronger and louder than ever before.
Viewpoint by Anwarul K. Chowdhury*
No time is more appropriate than now to build the culture of peace. No social responsibility is greater nor task more significant than that of securing peace on our planet on a sustainable foundation. Today's world with its complexities and challenges is becoming increasingly more interdependent and interconnected. The sheer magnitude of these requires all of us to work together. Recognition of the human right to peace by the international community, particularly the United Nations, will surely generate the inspiration in creating the much-needed culture of peace in each one of us.
Viewpoint by Hirotsugu Terasaki*
TOKYO - On November 26 last year, a resolution calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons was successfully adopted at the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This landmark development proved highly encouraging for civil society organizations working for the abolition of nuclear weapons. As one such organization, we (Soka Gakkai International) would also like to express our heartfelt respect and acclaim for the adopted resolution.
By Jamshed Baruah
BERLIN - "We want a nuclear weapons free world." More than 80 percent of people around the globe have expressed this overwhelming desire to authors of a new report. But a close look shows that very little is happening rather slowly in terms of reducing nukes and putting a halt to proliferation. This is cause of profound concern also to atomic scientists.
By Neena Bhandari
SYDNEY - Even as Australia's ruling Labour revoked early December its long standing party policy banning uranium sales to India and Pakistan was swift to stake its claim too, the disarmament movement received a boost with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopting a resolution to work towards a legally binding global convention on nuclear abolition.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN - As the international community heads towards Rio+20 to commemorate the historic Earth Summit in June 1992, a senior United Nations official has called for bold actions to put a halt to poverty-generating land degradation. The UN conference in Brazil stressed the need for tangoing environment and development.
The Rio Summit June 20-22, 2012 should take "bold actions towards setting ambitious but attainable targets" that include a "global Zero Net Rate of Land Degradation", UN's Mohamadou Mansour N'Diaye said in an interview with IDN.
GENEVA - 'The future we want' will draw the focus of Rio+20 – the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 20 to 22. This world summit is perceived as a "historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all".
By Jaya Ramachandran
BRUSSELS – A new report by Friends of the Earth Europe has faulted European banks, pension funds and insurance companies for increasing global hunger and poverty by speculating on food prices and financing land grabs in poorer countries.
High food prices negatively impact people in Europe too. Producers and consumers have struggled with high food prices pushing up the cost of living across Europe, says the 44-page report released January 12, 2012.
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC - As the January 23 deadline for the inauguration of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak People’s Assembly (parliament) approaches, the thoughts of politically conscious Egyptians must inevitably turn to the conundrums that lie beyond the recently concluded elections. Prominent among these is the role of the military as the country continues – or attempts to continue – its transition from oligarchic military rule to a nascent democracy.
BRUSSELS - An international non-governmental organisation has called upon the United Nations Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court and the European Union to help put a halt to organ trafficking in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
The Rome-based EveryOne Group, an organization operating in defence of human and civil rights, has evidence that criminal gangs involved in human trafficking are forcing sub-Saharan refugees lacking money to have their organs removed as payment for their demands for large amounts of cash to take them into Israel.