KINGSTON, Jamaica (ACP-IDN) – Efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), received a much-needed boost from faith leaders across the region when they met from Feb. 1-2 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to find ways to reduce and eliminate spread of the virus.
The Caribbean is one of the most heavily affected regions in the world, with adult HIV prevalence about one percent higher than in any other region outside sub-Saharan Africa.
LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - Reporting on President Donald Trump’s new energy policy which plans for a big increase in domestically produced oil and gas, the Financial Times reported: “Exports of gas have begun, with the first shipments of Liquefied Natural Gas leaving the Sabine Pass facility on the border between Texas and Louisiana a year ago. Since then trade has grown and the U.S. now supplies a dozen different gas markets around the world.” The U.S. is all set to speed this up.
NEW YORK (IDN) - Taking its mandate as non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2017-2018 seriously, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on February 12 said that it “strongly condemns” the ballistic missile launch conducted by DPRK-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) the same day.
The launch was “a blatant violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolution". North Korea is barred under United Nations resolutions from using ballistic missile technology, but six sets of UN sanctions since Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to rein in its drive for atomic weapons.
NEW YORK | VIENNA (IDN) - "Africa is by no means destined to lag behind the rest of the world economy. On the contrary, it could easily become a global economic powerhouse – and within the next decade. But, to fulfil its economic potential, Africa must industrialize," says Director General LI Yong of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
This has been stressed repeatedly at recent international forums, including the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in August 2016, and the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, the following month, he adds. For the first time, the G20 placed industrialization in Africa – and all of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – on its agenda. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 also supports this drive.
HMGS Palihakkara is Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Representative to the UN and a former Foreign Secretary at the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
COLOMBO (IDN) - Commentators may have a rich diversity of views about costs and benefits of the American footprint on world affairs. That apart, there is no denying that America remained the major role player in the global scene in its many dimensions – strategic, security, economic, technological and more.
Rightly or wrongly, the American outreach and influence over global affairs has been so complex and overarching, any attempt to define it, let alone analyze and assess it, on a brief time frame, would indeed be a very ambitious enterprise even when conditions are normal in Washington DC. Anyone having TV access will know that conditions are far from normal these days in that powerful Capital. This naturally renders any quick-fire, balanced assessment of the U.S. global role in the current context, an even more complicated proposition.
BAHI, Tanzania (ACP-IDN) – In Bahi, a remote district west of Tanzania’s capital Dodoma, local residents have always expected to donate blood whenever they go to hospital.
“My daughter had acute malaria and she urgently needed blood, yet there was no blood available,” local resident Hawa Ambweni told IDN. She said she had to pay some money to order blood from the district hospital.
“I was quite nervous waiting for the blood to arrive," she said. “My daughter’s life was in danger.”
SANTA BARBARA, CA, USA (IDN) - October 24-25, 2016, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation brought together a small group of academics, activists and thought leaders to discuss how to shift the global discourse toward nuclear disarmament. The symposium, entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse,” discussed the current state of nuclear threats, geopolitical and psychological obstacles to nuclear zero, and the path forward.
The symposium’s final statement was delayed in order to incorporate the new political realities following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, which took place just two weeks after the symposium.
"Geographic facts do not change, but their meaning for foreign policy will." – Nicholas J. Spykman,
COLOMBO (IDN) - A new world order has begun with roles interchanging. United States as the leader of the free world and the architect of globalization is advocating nationalism in a close of its borders while China who earlier spoke about national values is now praising globalization.
President Xi during his visit to Davos clearly gave leadership toward the case of globalization. According to President Xi, “There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, and was not sure whether it should join the World Trade Organization. But we came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historical trend. To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market.
BANGKOK (IDN) - On February 4 each year Sri Lanka celebrates the gaining of independence from British colonial rule. 69 years since then, it is appropriate to ask: “what independence?” The country is currently in a real mess brought about by a successful regime change campaign orchestrated by “civil society” groups, which toppled the government of “war-winning” President Mahinda Rajapakse in January 2015.
Today, the country’s foreign minister acts like a colonial era British Viceroy and not as the country’s top diplomat safeguarding the nation’s interests and dignity. The Prime Minister while trying to drum up foreign “investments” acts as if he is willing to sell any part of the country to the highest bidder and the President roams around the island like a colonial-era “gate mudaliyar” attending functions and trying to assure the natives that they are in good hands.
NEW YORK (IDN) - The United Nations and the African Union (AU) have agreed to establish regular, high-level interaction between the two organizations in the interest of "enhanced energies and avenues of cooperation", according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
“We have agreed that Agenda 2063 (the development agenda of the African Union) and the 2030 Agenda (for sustainable development) will be aligned,” Guterres said at a press encounter at the UN Headquarters, in New York on February 1 after his return from Africa and his participation at the African Union Summit on January 30-31.