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Index November 2006

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about Economic Development ED

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Picked up:

Remember also on this Blog:

Peoples with Economic Interests on my Peoples Blog (others will follow):

Ann Pettifor – England;
Lori Wallach – USA;
Pierre Salama – France;
Bradford Dillman – USA;
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel – Brazil;
Michael W. Hodges – USA;
James K. Galbraith – USA;
John Grahl – England;
Medea Benjamin – USA;
Mohammad Yunus – Bangladesh;
Eric Toussaint – Belgium;
John Kenneth Galbraight – USA;
Leslie Cagan - USA;
Riccardo Petrella – Italy & Belgium;
Noreena Hertz – England.

AFACT Asia Pacific Council for Trade – Taiwan

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Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business AFACT, located in Taiwan. Website Hosted by AFACT Secretariat, Chinese Taipei, Ms. Wan Ju Weng, Administrator to AFACT Secretariat, No.333, Sec.2, Tunhwa South Road, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, e-mail, or tel: 86-2-8732-6222 #112.

Member-Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, PRC People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Upcoming Events;

Site Map;

eBario Wins AFACT’s eASIA Award.

About: AFACT is the Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. It’s a non-profit, Non-governmental organization that is open to participation from the representatives of member countries and experts from private sectors within the Asia-Pacific region.

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Remittances and Money Laundering in Mexico

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(Originally published at ISN Security Watch, Nov. 20, 2006 – picked up on Mexidata.info) – by Sam Logan ( Sam Logan is an investigative journalist who has reported on security, energy, politics, economics, organized crime, terrorism, and black markets in Latin America since 1999. As well, Logan is the Latin American correspondent for ISN Security Watch. He has just published his first e-book entitled “The Reality of a Mexican Mega Cartel”).

The need for financial literacy and bringing remittance users into the formal financial sector outweighs worries over money laundering or terrorism financing.

… // …

In Mexico, there is currently some initiative to offer financial literacy programs, but security is a problem. Some 61 percent of households that receive remittances fall into the bottom 20 percent of non-remittance income.

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The Solar PV Supply Chain

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Price Decrease and Consolidation (Homepage), by Edwin Koot, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of SolarPlaza.com.

The solar energy market and industry have been experiencing a price decrease in solar modules since the second half of 2006. More and more companies are offering large quantities of modules — and it seems as if the acute module shortage which was limiting project development has vanished. Is this just a temporary development, or could this be the start of continued price decreases? Let’s look at three major trends in the market and their possible implications.

It seems the semiconductor industry has found a way to make better profits by moving to solar wafer and cell production. From this perspective it is no coincidence the semiconductor nation of Taiwan already has seven solar cell manufacturers. So, with more cells and modules — and fewer sales in Germany — where do all the modules go?

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Neigborhood first, some vested crooks second

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Publisshed in Indibay.org, by Francisco Da Costa, Nov. 25, 2006 – Visitation Valley in the Southeast Sector of San Francisco is being coveted by SF Planning with little meaningful dialog with the Public at Large. Working closely with the some vested interests – are folks like Fran Martin who is total sell out. Fran has been recruited by Sophie Maxwell who has adversely impacted the Executive Park development – a plan, that has been worked on for the last 30 years. Now, suddenly Fran Martin and others want Executive Park to pay for Community Benefits in Visitation Valley.

In the mean time SF Redevelopment Agency has its sights on Visitation Valley. San Francisco has always had a process where the Neigborhood comes first and some vested crooks come second. SF Planning for years did allow the neighbors to participate actively to develop their neighborhood so that the majority would benefit. Now suddenly SF Planning is working with SF Redevelopment Agency to adversely impact large areas. It has done so with Bayview Hunters Point and now it wants to do the same with Visitation Valley

… // …

Planning is not easy but Neighborhood Planning demands the participation of the people in the neighborhood. It is wrong for one or two crooks to try to speak for the neighborhood. It is good to allow those that have difficulty speaking English to allow them an opportunity to speak in their language – Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Samoan, and so forth. There is a sizable population that is Philipino and they have been left out. So, have the Samoans. Time for these communities to come together and check the crooks that are about to take the neighborhood to the cleaners.

Visitation Valley has the best weather and for years it has been a nice small community. It sure lacks some needed facilities that the City and County has FAILED to deliver. The City and County of San Francisco has been quick to collect taxes but very, very slow to give back what should be given to Visitation Valley. Francisco Da Costa, Director, Environmental Justice Advocacy. (Read the whole long article on above ink).

CPM finally cedes Arunachal to India

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Source: TIMES NEWS NETWORK, NOVEMBER 25, 2006 – NEW DELHI: Under attack for its non-committal stand on China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh, the CPM effected a subtle change of tack on Friday. For the first time since the controversy surrounding Chinese ambassador Sun Yuxi’s statements broke out, the party admitted in Parliament that Arunachal Pradesh was “an integral part of India”.

With the BJP targeting the CPM for being more beholden to China than India, the clash between the two political sides rocked Rajya Sabha as the BJP repeated its demand for a parliamentary resolution on the issue. Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh accused the CPM of not accepting that “China had committed an aggression” and hit out at the government as well as for “mortgaging” its foreign policy to the CPM. He went on to allege that the CPM did not accept India as its motherland and always looked up to Beijing and Moscow. His charge was met with loud protests from Left benches with CPM leader and politbureau member Sitaram Yechury terming Mr Singh’s statements a “painful allegation”. He added: “I assure the House of our stand that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.” (Read the whole article on above link).

Economy:

Arunachal Pradesh’s gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $706 million in current prices. According to report published by the Planning commission of India, Arunachal Pradesh’s Human Development Index (HDI) stood at 0.572 which is below the national average of 0.611[13]. However, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the fastest growing states in India. In 1998, the Per Capita Net State Domestic Product of Arunachal Pradesh stood 3,571 INR up from 1,725 INR in 1982[14]. The state’s labor force is comprised of 55.3% of the entire population. Approximately 398,000 people, i.e. 33.47% of the entire population live below the poverty line. In 2001, the state’s literacy rate was 54.74% while the infant mortality rate stood at 0.091.

The chart depicts the trend of the rise of gross state domestic product of Arunachal Pradesh at market prices: Year Gross State Domestic Product (in million INR); 1980 1,070; 1985 2,690; 1990 5,080; 1995 11,840; 2000 17,830. Agriculture is the primary driver of the economy. Jhum, the local word for shifting cultivation, which was widely practised among the tribal groups has come to be less practiced. Arunachal Pradesh has close to 61,000 square kilometers of forests, and the forest-products are the next most significant sector of the economy. Among the crops grown here are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger and oilseeds. Arunachal is also ideal for horticulture and fruit orchards. Its major industries are sawmills, plywood (these two trades however have been stopped by law), rice mills, fruit preservation units and handloom handicrafts. (See Economy of Arunachal on wikipedia).

links:

Arunachal Government;

Arunachal Tourism.

China’s and Africa’s increasing cooperation

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Some articles published on the english ‘Peoples daily online‘:

The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on Nov. 4, 2006. Leaders or representatives of China, 48 African countries and the African Union Commission attended the two-day summit, focusing on “friendship, peace, cooperation and development”. (See here their official website, with news and comments).

The page – with 37 this-year’s articles – about economic cooperation.

Some documents about the summit.

Backgrounders on the China-Africa relations.

And some last articles out of this event:

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Economic Treason – your job

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Published by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS on Counterpunch, July 15, 2005 – What Kind of Country Destroys the Job Market for Its Own Citizens?

The June payroll jobs report did not receive much attention due to the July 4 holiday, but the depressing 21st century job performance of the US economy continues unabated.

  • - Only 144,000 private sector jobs were created, each one of which was in domestic services.
  • - 56,000 jobs were created in professional and business services, about half of which are in administrative and waste services.
  • - 38,000 jobs were created in education and health services, almost all of which are in health care and social assistance.
  • - 19,000 jobs were created in leisure and hospitality, almost all of which are waitresses and bartenders.
  • - Membership associations and organizations created 10,000 jobs and repair and maintenance created 4,000 jobs.
  • - Financial activities created 16,000 jobs.

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Economic Treason, The New Future?

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Published on the WEB sphere Journal, by Jeff Schaffzin, May 5, 2004.

Winners and Losers in the outsourcing game – A trend begun on factory floors in an effort to replace low- and medium-skilled blue-collar workers so companies could save money, outsourcing has recently become a heated election-year issue. While it is difficult to hide plant closings and relocate their operations, it takes only a few clicks of a mouse on a virtual ledger to lay off hundreds, if not thousands, and hire 10 times as many more overseas. Who really benefits from this? Despite the reports from executives who swear by outsourcing, the answer is not as obvious as you might think.

In the beginning, no one – from the controllers and their financial analysts to the “nameless, faceless drones” on the manufacturing floor – really knew this would happen. Then one day someone realized it would be cheaper to take manufacturing jobs and send them elsewhere. Besides, the people here could always learn something else – the next big thing would always be around the corner. The result was devastating.

Families were forced to sell their homes, and countless lives were ruined. Many people still have not fully recovered from this attempt to “offshore” their work – work that can be done here just as efficiently as “there,” wherever “there” is. (Read the whole long article on the WEB sphere Journal).

Kicking the Oil Habit

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Linked with Vijay Vaitheeswaran – India & USA.

by Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran ME ‘90, published on MIT Alumni Association.

Excerpt: … The human misery involved alone justifies a transition to a cleaner energy model, but there is another problem that may prove more compelling to politicians: the growing political and economic cost of reliance on petroleum. It is now clear that the main problem with our petro-addiction is not oil’s scarcity, but its concentration in the hands of unstable, unsavory and unreliable regimes in the Middle East.

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The 2006 Human Development Report on global water crisis

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Found on weitzenegger.de – The website for International Development Cooperation, and its (english) Newsletter. Read there many interesting news and articles.

Like this article: ‘The water crisis‘, published first on this page of UNDP:

Excerpt: … Throughout history water has confronted humanity with some of its greatest challenges. Water is a source of life and a natural resource that sustains our environments and supports livelihoods – but it is also a source of risk and vulnerability. In the early 21st Century, prospects for human development are threatened by a deepening global water crisis. Debunking the myth that the crisis is the result of scarcity, this report argues poverty, power and inequality are at the heart of the problem.

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Violating the arms embargo on Somalia

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Published first in The Nation, Nairobi, then in all.Africa.com, November 20, 2006, by Patrick Nzioka:

Ten countries have been accused of violating the arms embargo on war-torn Somalia by arming factions in the conflict. However, Kenya is not among the countries flouting the UN rules, the Monitoring Group on Somalia says in its latest report. The group was established by the UN Security Council to investigate, identify and make recommendations on those breaking the embargo. Its report gives details of countries and groups supplying arms, personnel and equipment to various Somali factions.

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Life Expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is Lower Now Than 30 Years Ago

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Excerpt: … Human development in sub-Saharan Africa has stagnated while progress in other parts of the world has accelerated, widening the gap between the world’s richest and poorest countries, warns this year’s United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), which finds life expectancy in the region lower today than 30 years ago mainly because of the ravages of HIV/AIDS. … // … “In the 31 countries at the bottom of the list, 28 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, a person can hope to live on average only 46 years, or 32 years less than the average life expectancy in countries of advanced human development, with 20 years slashed off life expectancy due to HIV/AIDS,” according to a UNDP press release.

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TRADE: Billion Dollar deals signed at China-Africa summit

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Published on globalinfo.org, November 6, 2006 (IPS/GIN), by Antoaneta Bezlova – A flurry of trade deals worth two billion US dollars were signed here during an unprecedented China-Africa summit aimed at forging closer links with the resource-rich continent. But while talking business, China showed sensitivity to criticism that it is behaving like a traditional colonial power.

The announcement of the deals on Sunday came after Beijing pledged to double China’s aid to Africa from its 2006 level by 2009. Speaking at the summit, President Hu Jintao promised three billion dollars in preferential loans, two billion dollars in export credits and the setting up of a five billion dollar fund to encourage Chinese investment in Africa.

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The GBM World Bank Biocarbon Project

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Linked with Wangari Maathai – Kenya, with The rich biodiversity of Africa, and with The Green Belt Movement.

November 15, 2006 – In 2004, the average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration reached 337.4 parts per million by volume. The impacts of rising CO2 concentrations and temperature are already visible worldwide and are arriving faster than feared, according to experts. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 160,000 people die annually due to climate change, and there is growing evidence linking this to observed ecological changes.

Mountain glaciers are shrinking at ever faster rates, threatening water supplies for millions of people and species. Closer to home it is estimated that 92 percent of Mt. Kenya’s largest glacier, the Lewis Glacier, has disappeared over the last 100 years. In Tanzania, Mt. Kilimanjaro lost 82 percent of its ice between 1912 and 2000, shrinking from 12 square kilometres to 2.6 square kilometres. Ice could disappear completely by 2015.

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The rich biodiversity of Africa

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Linked with Wangari Maathai – Kenya, with The Green Belt Movement, and with The GBM World Bank Biocarbon Project.

NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE Wangari Maathai wants the African continent to protect its rich biodiversity by discouraging exotic plants. She has cautioned against giving priority to exotic plants, which she says were becoming a threat to Africa’s flora and fauna. “Thinking money all the time is also contributing to the governments’ sacrificing our rich biodiversity,” Prof Maathai told The EastAfrican in an interview. She called for the vetting of any plants being introduced to the continent, to find out if they have negative effects on the already existing biodiversity.

“We are giving a lot of emphasis now to trees such as the eucalyptus,” she said. “Several years down the line, the water table will begin to go down with the huge tapping of water from the ground by these trees, because they consume too much water. The argument is that they mature quickly. But the sad thing is that they are being introduced in the continent’s highlands, which are the custodian of the continent’s natural drainage system, without which animals and people downstream cannot survive.”

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Corruption linked to poverty

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Linked with Dele Olejede – Nigeria, with e-learning plans for Africa, with TO LIFT AFRICA OUT OF POVERTY, with Self-help Assistance Programm ASAP, and with Africa and Poverty.

November 14, 2006 – GABORONE: Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa and number 37 in the world in the Transparency Internationals Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released recently Transparency International says in a statement that there was a strong correlation between corruption and poverty as most impoverished states were at the bottom of the ranking.

It states that while anti-corruption laws and regulations have been established, there was still more to do in order to improve the lives of the worlds poorest citizens.

Most of the low ranking countries have been found to be poor countries, including countries from Latin America and Africa.

CPI draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world and countries are scored on a scale of zero to 10, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and 10 indicating low levels of perceived corruption.

The troubled Caribbean island Haiti scored the lowest score at 1.8 with Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar sharing the penultimate slot each scoring 1.9 while Finland, Iceland and New Zealand share the top score of 9.6.

Botswana scored 5.6 together with Cyprus and is ahead of Italy while the United States ranks at 20 with 6.3 and United Kingdom scored 8.6 to be placed at 11th spot.

In Africa, only Botswana ranks in the top 50 with South Africa and Tunisia coming close at number 51 spot after a score of 4.6. (Read the rest of this article on ‘Republic of Botswana‘).

Africa and Poverty

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Index of some articles on the web, October-November 2006:

on Google-News:

World Trade Organization representative Hanniford Schmidt announced the creation of a WTO initiative for “full private stewardry of labor” for the parts of Africa that have been hardest hit by the 500 years of Africa’s free trade with the West. The initiative will require Western companies doing business in some parts of Africa to own their workers outright. Schmidt recounted how private stewardship has been successfully applied to transport, power, water, traditional knowledge, and even the human genome. The WTO’s “full private stewardry” program will extend these successes to (re)privatize humans themselves. “Full, untrammelled stewardry is the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory,” Schmidt told more than 150 attendees. Schmidt acknowledged that the stewardry program was similar in many ways to slavery, but explained that just as “compassionate conservatism” has polished the rough edges on labor relations in industrialized countries, full stewardry, or “compassionate slavery,” could be a similar boon to developing ones … “This is what free trade’s all about,” said Schmidt. “It’s about the freedom to buy and sell anything—even people”. (Found on WTO NEWS: 2006 PRESS RELEASES, Press/388, November 13, 2006: WTO Announces Formalized Slavery Model for Africa … re-edited by Cat Vincent).

See also these links:

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TO LIFT AFRICA OUT OF POVERTY

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Linked with Dele Olejede – Nigeria, with Self-help Assistance Programm ASAP, with e-learning plans for Africa, with TO LIFT AFRICA OUT OF POVERTY, and with Corruption linked to poverty.

By UNCTAD/PRESS/PR/2006/025, Sept 21,06 – PROMISED AID INCREASES SHOULD BE SPENT DIFFERENTLY TO LIFT AFRICA OUT OF POVERTY

De-politicized and more predictable flows with greater economic focus needed, managed by the UN along Marshall Plan lines, UNCTAD report(1) says:

EMBARGO:

The contents of this press release and the related Report must not be quoted or summarized in the print, broadcast or electronic media before 21 September 2006.

Downloads 2267 KB, 107 pages in pdf: Economic Development in Africa – Doubling Aid, Making the “Big Push” work.

Aid to Africa not only should be doubled, as now agreed to by donors, but most of it should be distributed multilaterally, perhaps by a UN fund independent of political pressures, a new UNCTAD report contends.

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Supporting good governance and water management in the Indus Delta

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Linked with Feroz Mehdi – Canada & Pakistan.

By Feroz MEHDI, 7 February 2006 – Read the whole of this article on this page of Alternatives.

The overarching objective of this program is to encourage and facilitate good local governance around the issue of development of an integrated water management strategy for the Indus delta and the region. The project will target and enhance collaboration between local stakeholders, civil society organizations, environmental agencies and decision-makers. The main activities include:

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Fisherfolk rights and water management in Pakistan

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Linked with Feroz Mehdi – Canada & Pakistan;

By Feroz MEHDI, 7 February 2006 – Read all on this page of Alternatives.

The vast majority of Pakistan’s 135 million inhabitants do not have access to drinkable water. Although drought and pollution play a significant role in the lack of safe drinking water and in the country’s overall water crisis, some critics maintain that a large part of the problem is a result of poor management and deficient policy. One of the major victims of this lopsided development is the Indus Delta and its inhabitants.

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UN Report 2006 on Human Development

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download the 440 pages pdf-report of this year on this UN page:

http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf

Global civil society, world citizenship and education

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Found down of this page on weitzenegger.de:

a link to this 82 pages-pdf textGlobal civil society, world citizenship and education‘, by Caroline Suransky, Ireen Dubel and Henk Manschot, and their publisher, the International Information Support Center.

You click on the URL and download all.

Eighth meeting of the Cooperation Council between the EU and Kazakhstan

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Published on Voltairenet.org, July 18, 2006, Ref: 11773/06 Presse 225 – The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Kazakhstan held its eighth meeting on Tuesday 18 July 2006. The meeting was chaired by Mr Akhmetzhan Smagulovich Yessimov, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The delegation of the European Union was led by Mr Pertti Torstila, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, represented the Commission. The incoming German Presidency was represented by Mr Ulrich Brandenburg, Deputy Political Director.

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Eighth meeting of the Cooperation Council between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic

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Published on Voltairenet.org, July 18, 2006, Ref: 11773/06 Presse 226 – The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and the Kyrgyz Republic held its eighth meeting on Tuesday 18 July 2006. The meeting was chaired by the Head of the Kyrgyz Delegation, Mr Daniar Toktogulovich Usenov, First Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic.

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Some Blogs and links about US Vote 2006

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US Vote on November 7, 2006:

Bringing the Proposal to Reality

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Linked with Ann Pettifor – England, with In these Times, with A cycle of illusions, with Jubilee Research, and with New Economics Foundation NEF.

Excerpt of ‘Resolving International Debt Crises Fairly‘, published in ‘Ethics & International Affairs’ (Volume 17.2), September 15, 2003, by Ann Pettifor: … The only process needed for the resolution of a debt crisis and the establishment of an ad hoc panel is political will, on the part of both the debtor and G-7 official creditors (who will in turn require the support of private creditors). In doing so, the G-7 creditors will have to overcome the strong incentive of private creditors to resist any proposals for restructuring debts that limit their current control over the process. At the same time the process must respect the rights of creditors by giving them an equal voice in negotiations with the debtor and by not discriminating among them in a way that benefits some creditors and disadvantages others.

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A cycle of illusions

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Linked with Ann Pettifor – England, with In these Times, with Jubilee Research, with Bringing the Proposal to Reality, and with New Economics Foundation NEF.

Found through a Google Group: The coming first world debt crisis by Ann Pettifor, from Open Democracy, out of 1-9-2003, but still worth to be read:

excerpt 1: … The reckless financial policies of leading western powers in the last two decades make it likely that the next seismic debt crisis will be in America, not Argentina. It can be avoided, says Ann Pettifor of the Real World Economic Outlook, only by serious efforts to bring regulation and balance to the international economy …

excerpt 2: … How did we get into this mess? Real World Economic Outlook challenges standard explanations for the launch of the “globalisation” experiment. We contest the view that deregulation of capital flows – the very core of the globalisation project – was brought about by a form of “spontaneous combustion” caused by new technology. Nor do we share the view of many activists that globalisation is “corporate-driven”.

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New money, old problems …

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Linked with William Easterly – USA, with Center for Global Development, with The Development Research Institute dri, with A Modest Proposal, and with The West Can’t Save Africa.

By William Easterly, Published on Shell Foundation.org, not dated – At July’s G8 summit world leaders pledged to double aid spending by 2010, and barely a month later agreed to cancel $40 billion of poor country debts. We asked former World Bank economist and aid industry critic, William Easterly, whether he thought this was good news for the poor?

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Beijing woos African nations with aid, economic ties

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By Joe McDonald, ASSOCIATED PRESS, November 4, 2006 – BEIJING – President Hu Jintao today opened a summit with dozens of African leaders by pledging to double China’s aid to Africa, provide billions of dollars in loans and build hospitals and schools as it tries to expand economic and political ties.

China is trying to present itself as a partner in Africa’s economic and social development as it turns to the continent for new sources of oil and export markets to drive its booming economy. “Without combined development between China and Africa, there will be no global peace and development,” Mr. Hu said in a speech to leaders at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of China’s parliament. “In this new era, China and Africa share increasing common interests and having growing common needs.” (Read the rest of this article on The Washington Times).

See also Africa’s development.

How Close to Catastrophe?

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By Bill McKibben, The New York Review of Books and TomDispatch. Posted November 4, 2006 on AlterNet:

This piece, which appears in the November 16, 2006 issue of the New York Review of Books, is posted on AlterNet with the kind permission of the editors of that magazine.

Here an excerpt of this article: … This homeostasis is now being disrupted by our brief binge of fossil fuel consumption, which has released a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Indeed, at one point Lovelock predicts — more gloomily than any other competent observer I am aware of — that we have already pushed the planet over the brink, and that we will soon see remarkably rapid rises in temperature, well beyond those envisioned in most of the computer models now in use – themselves quite dire. He argues that because the earth is already struggling to keep itself cool, our extra increment of heat is particularly dangerous, and he predicts that we will soon see the confluence of several phenomena: the death of ocean algae in ever-warmer ocean waters, reducing the rate at which these small plants can remove carbon from the atmosphere; the death of tropical forests as a result of higher temperatures and the higher rates of evaporation they cause; sharp changes in the earth’s “albedo,” or reflectivity, as white ice that reflects sunlight back out into space is replaced with the absorptive blue of seawater or the dark green of high-latitude boreal forests; and the release of large amounts of methane, itself a greenhouse gas, held in ice crystals in the frozen north or beneath the sea … (Read the whole long article on this AlterNet Site).

Abalone smuggling huge in S. Africa

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PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, Nov. 3 (UPI) — Fake watches and knock-off handbags may be the preferred contraband elsewhere, but in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, it’s abalone smuggled to China. Abalone smuggling is not just a huge business, but also a glimpse at the lineage of a particular criminal class in modern South Africa, The New York Times said. This group is about to wipe out the gastropod upon which it feeds, the Times said. Abalone poaching has become so rampant – overwhelming the licensed industry – that it threatens to erase the species from the southern tip of Africa.

The government recently slashed the legal abalone limit by nearly 45 percent, saying the species’ preservation required it. People across Asia think of abalone as an aphrodisiac or a symbol of good luck, the Times said. As poachers nearly stripped California’s white abalone to extinction, the South African variety has become increasingly prized by abalone gourmets. (Read the whole article on Science Daily.com).

Youth poverty, exclusion should be avoided

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By SWISS Info, November 3, 2006 -  Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin has warned society could be sitting on a time bomb if it doesn’t do more to help youngsters avoid poverty and exclusion. More and more children are considered to be at risk from pauperisation in Switzerland, while many teenagers are failing to gain access to the job market. Couchepin said in Biel on Friday that the authorities could not ignore the problems faced by part of the population, even if 97 per cent of the country’s inhabitants were doing alright.

He added that the fact that just three per cent of the population needed some kind of social aid was an invitation to find ways of helping these people. Couchepin said that specialists should probably focus on three domains: education, family-friendly policies and extra-curricular activities. “A lack of education is leading cause of poverty,” admitted the interior minister, calling on the authorities at all levels to pay closer attention to the social integration of youngsters. “Otherwise we will be lighting the fuse of a social bomb that could very well blow up one day.”  (Read the rest of this article on above  link).

Chronic and Transient Poverty in Nepal

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Found on eldis, the gateway to development information:

The Determinants and Consequences of Chronic and Transient Poverty in Nepal, a CPRC Working Paper, of 41 pages, of the Tribhuvan University, September 2006.(Read or download the 41 pages on Chronic Poverty Research Centre).
Abstract:

Although there is now a substantial international literature on poverty dynamics, both academic and policy discussions on poverty in Nepal continue to focus on static notions of poverty. This paper, for the first time, studies poverty dynamics in Nepal by analysing the determinants of chronic and transient poverty using data from a nationally representative panel of 962 households surveyed in 1995/96 and 2003/04. Suggesting that one of the consequences of poverty is its negative impact on asset accumulation, it also looks at how human capital accumulation differs between transient and chronically poor individuals.

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Afrika: Ein hoffnungsloser Kontinent?

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Wer Schweizerdeutsch versteht, kann die Sendung mit diesem link per Video eine Woche lang abhören. Auf dieser Videoseite auf ‘Club’ klicken.

Nach einer Woche während Monaten im Archiv, dort auf die Sendung vom 31.10.2006 klicken. Dauer: zirka 90 Minuten. Achtung: alles immer auf schweizerdeutsch.

Heute Abend im Club des Schweizer Fernsehen eine Diskussion über Entwicklungshilfe in Afrika. Ich habe noch während der Sendung an den Club folgendes mail abgeschickt. Hier meine Reaktion auf die Diskussion:

Erstens: Vor der Kolonisierung waren in Afrika die Männer zuständig für Jagd und Politik, Frauen für die Wirtschaft und Kinder. Als die Weissen kamen, machten diese Handel NUR mit Männern, die Frauen, welche vom Geschäft etwas verstanden hätten, wurden zur Seite geschoben. Afrikanische Männer aber hatten, und haben im Wirtschaftlichen nicht den gleichen Riecher wie die Frauen, und das haben die Weissen erst mal so richtig ausgenutzt.

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Workers’ Struggles in Iran

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Found on Infoshop.org, October 31, 2006

(Their source: International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran IASWI. See also their Homepage.)

  • _The security and armed forces, on Tuesday, Mehr/25/1385 (October 17, 2006) raided the residence of Mr. Sharif Saed Panah, who is a worker at Parris textile company in the city of Sanandaj. Saed Panah, along with other workers of the company, participated in a 10 day sit-in that took place in front of the company and also in front of the Kurdistan Province’s office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in August 2006. Their protest was viciously attacked by the security forces on August 26th. Following the raid to the Saed Panah’s house, security forces confiscated his computer and all of his hand written documents and transferred him to the security section of the intelligence service, and the day after on Mehr/26, he was sent to the Sanandaj judiciary to face possible charges and subsequently was released on 10 million Toman bail (close to US$11,000- Monthly minimum wage is approximately $163/month). Since his released on bail, he has been summoned twice by the Intelligence for interrogation purposes. The company’s management has also begun a retaliation campaign against labour activists in the company, particularly those that helped organizing the protest in August.  Continue Reading…