By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | ASTANA (IDN) – The fact that President Nursultan Nazarbayev shut down the Semipalatinsk test site "against the interests of the Soviet military authorities" even before the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan became "fully independent", is not widely known.
The decision reflected a strong political will, the courage to translate it into reality, and put a series of follow-up measures in place which, as Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov says, give Kazakhstan "the moral right to push for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, both globally and regionally".
By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
ASTANA (IDN) - As divisions between States on how to achieve nuclear disarmament grow, countries like Kazakhstan must lead the way to common ground and inclusive dialogue. Such leadership is urgently needed to make our world truly secure, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message delivered to the conference on 'Building a Nuclear-Free World'.
Welcoming participants, President Nursultan Nazarbayev explained why Kazakhstan was leading the way: "August 29, 1991 is marked by an event of historic significance both for our country and the whole world. 25 years ago, we legally stopped the most sinister experiment of militarism, which had been tormenting our land and our people for almost 40 years. Several decades before that event, the world tried to lower the threshold of nuclear threat through the processes of nuclear weapons reduction, and a moratorium of its testing."
By IDN-INPS Africa Desk
BERLIN – Germany regards Botswana as one of Africa’s success stories. The landlocked country is the seat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other organisations. Women hold some positions in politics and society, including at the highest levels.
Ahead of the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the country's independence on September 30, Professor Maria Boehmer, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office said: “In many different ways, Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories."
Analysis by Amelia Tan
NEW YORK (IDN | Africa Renewal) - By 6:30 a.m. on June 24, less than 12 hours after a successful referendum on Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European Union), South Africa’s currency, the rand, took the first blow. It plunged by almost 8% from R14.33 to R15.45 against the U.S. dollar, its steepest single-day decline since the 2008 financial crisis.
Brexit sent shock waves through the global markets, including those in Africa.
Investors in African markets panicked because many economies (such as Angola, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia) were already reeling from low commodity prices exacerbated by a sluggish global demand. In these countries, Brexit added salt to the wounds of injured economies.
Analysis by Jacques N. Couvas
ANKARA (IDN) – The fourth and latest military coup in the history of the Turkish Republic ended at 8:02 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, less than 24 hours after it had begun. It was bloody. And it failed.
Hardly a week later, the state of emergency has been declared, tens of thousands of state and military personnel have been dismissed and three million servants recalled from holidays.
As the Turkish people recover from the psychological shock following the events, questions and all kinds of theories fill the discussions in the squares, cafés and social media. They are wondering “why” and “why now”? And then, “what is next”? All this on the assumption that everyone agrees with the answer to the question “who did it”?
By Jutta Wolf
BERLIN (IDN) - Many developing countries have made their first ever commitment to complying with climate targets with the adoption of the Paris Agreement endorsed in December 2015. A new partnership – initiated jointly by the German Ministry for the Environment and that for Economic Cooperation and Development together with the World Resources Institute (WRI) – now aims to help them transform these targets into specific strategies and measures.
The initiative aims at supporting developing countries in specifying and implementing their nationally determined contributions and help them unify existing climate and development goals with a view to achieving greater harmonisation of various donor programmes. The partnership will be officially launched at the Marrakesh climate conference (COP22) in November.
By Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Vice-President of the European Commission.
Note: The following text is FOREWORD to ‘A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’ presented to EU leaders meeting in Brussels at the EU summit on 28 June 2016. Read the full Strategy here.
BRUSSELS - The purpose, even existence, of our Union is being questioned. Yet, our citizens and the world need a strong European Union like never before. Our wider region has become more unstable and more insecure. The crises within and beyond our borders are affecting directly our citizens’ lives. In challenging times, a strong Union is one that thinks strategically, shares a vision and acts together.
Viewpoint by Roberto Savio*
ROME (IDN) – Polling specialists say that when voters do not feel comfortable in saying how they will really vote, it is because they are not comfortable at a rational level with how they will actually vote. In other words, voters act because of their guts, not because of their brains.
This is what happened when the exit polls after the June 23 British referendum on whether to remain part of or leave the European Union showed the 'remain' vote in a slight lead, only to be proved wrong overnight.
The Brexit referendum was really based on gut feelings. It was a campaign of fear. The 'leave' campaign was about a massive invasion of Great Britain by Turks because of the possible admission of Turkey to the EU (totally false) and that Great Britain was paying the EU 50 millions pounds a day (again false).