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Index December 2006

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Articles on Scarcity and Development

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Inequality, not scarcity, is cause of global water crisis: No act of terrorism or war generates economic devastation on the scale of the crisis in water and sanitation according to a new United Nations Human Development Report launched in November. Dr Lyla Mehta, IDS Research Fellow and contributor to theReport argues that more must be done about inequality in access, power politics and to increase and protect rights to water and sanitation.
Inequalities in water distribution are not an inevitable result of physical shortages of water but due to inequality of access, power, poverty and institutional and policy failures according to a new United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report (HDR) released launched on November 9 2006. The report, ‘Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis’ urges governments and donors to wake up to the annual 1.8 million child deaths related to unclean water and poor sanitation, a figure that dwarves the casualties associated with violent conflict.
The HDR makes an urgent plea to take seriously the human right to water and sanitation. It argues that every person should have access to at least 20 litres of clean water each day to meet their basic needs. It also recommends that national poverty reduction strategies set clear targets for reducing inequality and include these in the Millennium Development Goals reporting system. This is a radical and important suggestion since it advocates halving the disparities in water provision between rich and poor people, rather than just increasing access for poor people.
(Read all on IDS).

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Omar Tarek Chowdhury’s angry text

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Nobel – Man’s Un-Noble Corporate Nexus, By Omar Tarek Chowdhury, 16 December, 2006, on Countercurrents.org.

Two excerpts of a longer text:

” … No award is politics-,economics-,philosophy-, and ideology-neutral. While discussing an award it is worthwhile to take stock of the organizations or persons behind it, to whom it is awarded, and the reasons behind not awarding it to some other person than the one who has been tipped for it. Joseph Stalin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but was not awarded it. Jean Paul Sartre, and in the near past, Arundhati Roy, the defiant voice, refused the Nobel Prize and Sahiyata Academy Award of India respectively. All these facts demand an analysis …

… It is interesting to note that though there are awards for those who can help the MNCs to maximize profit, there is none for advocacy work to create pressure and realize compensation for the irreparable loss of natural resources due to MNC operation. For example, there has been no award for anyone protesting against the damage done to gas and to bio-diversity by MNCs in the Magurchhara and the Tengratila gas fields, in north-eastern Bangladesh, which blew out due to their callous handling of the well-digging work. There has been no prize for advocacy work to safeguard people’s rights and environment in the Fulbari coal mine and its surrounding areas, there is no patron to support lobbying work in Washington D.C. in favor of the female workers in the garments factories who need safer working condition so that no worker has to be killed in fire accidents in the factories … ”

* * *

My comment:

Look, the Elite is a body separated from the people and as that it defends itself against all what is not ’same’ as itself, means here ‘the people’. (Yes, they hold the system up, for their sake, even if they do not agree each other).

If you call that corrupt, ok. But a body is always defending itself agains any ‘not-self’, (we / the ‘others’).

The real vicious aggression comes from the Federal Bank’s PRIVAT OWNERS, creating money out of NOTHING, (through our normal banks giving loans), and then TAKING BACK the interests of this ‘nothing’, (and, being protected exactly by ‘OUR’ human rights laws which protect privat possessions). And it is only the interests we pay back to them which are real money, as they correspond to a real creation of value through our work.

If you want change this, change the FEDs in this world. But, prepare first how you react when ‘they’ deliberately make crash the whole system, in the hope to make us submissive again (a goal they may reach, seen the unability of people to take though decisions to changes).

So, what next??

Meanwhile you may read the book ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island, A Second Look at the Federal Reserve‘, by G. Edward Griffin, 624 pages of detailed infos.

It is interesting to note that the big Swiss Banks begin with Microcredits, arguing that this loans are very profitable for the loaners. Yes, the Swiss Banks discover the poors to make more and better money … time to read definitively the above mentionned book.

Please, I do not says that these microcredits shall not be given. I mention here only that ‘the system’ works for itself, not for ‘the others’. It is better for the poors to have this credits, but it would be much better to create another money system than the actual one.

But finally the system is working because we stupidly buy it …

Haiti and its problems

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Linked with Paula Clermont Péan – Haiti.

Legislation approved by Congress earlier this month to give the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere some reach into U.S. textile markets may not qualify as a Christmas season miracle. But it surely is an unexpected victory for the beleaguered Haitian people and for those who overcame formidable obstacles to make it happen. First, some background: The conclusion of a congressional session is, even in the best of times, an untidy affair. And the messy wrap-up to the 109th Congress – the Senate adjourned at 4:40 a.m. on Dec. 9 – was no exception. (Dec. 20, 2006 Catholic.org).UN appeals for more help for Haiti.

In the closing hours of a Congress that did little to distinguish itself, the lawmakers did right by the cause of free trade. They normalized trade relations with Vietnam, expanded trade preferences for Haiti, renewed them for four Andean nations and renewed other trade benefits for sub-Saharan Africa. The Democrats had been making noise about opposing some of the trade deals, but, in the end, half of House Democrats voted for them, including, encouragingly, incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi and incoming Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel. Free trade – or, to be exact, freer trade – is a cause peculiarly susceptible to demagoguery and special interests. (Dec. 17, 2006, courrierpress.com).

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The price of power

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Linked with nef The New Economics Foundation.

download the 40 pages pdf: The price of power, Poverty, climate change, the coming energy crisis and the renewable revolution.

Contents:

  • Overview and summary 2
  • Climate shock and ending poverty: pulling the rug
  • on the millennium developmentgoals 5
  • Energy shock and ending poverty 8
  • Perverse incentives and dirty energy 13
  • Clean energy and ending poverty 17
  • New energy solutions 30
  • Endnotes 34

Some excerpts: …

… Towards the end of the millennium eight ambitious targets were agreed to tackle poverty and, to a much lesser degree, promote sustainable development. They were mostly to be achieved between now and the year 2015 …
… But in early 2004, two of the driving forces behind the goals conceded defeat. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, who also chairs the International Monetary Fund’s key committee, and the President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, jointly penned an article that showed how we were drifting away from meeting the targets rather than closing in on them. In particular, they showed that Sub-Saharan Africa was more than a century off-target to meet its goals of expanding primary education, cutting child mortality and halving poverty …
… Renewable energy: the missing link Energy is the neglected issue of the development debate. Renewable energy is the great, barely tapped solution to the two great challenges of the coming century – poverty and global warming. Not only can renewable energy provide a clean, flexible power source for homes, schools and hospitals, at the micro-to-medium scale it has huge potential to create meaningful and useful jobs. By literally taking control of their own power supply, marginalised communities and marginalised people within communities can also be empowered. In this way renewable energy provides immediate improvements to people’s lives, but it also gives a key to a different roots-up model of human development in which people are more in control of their own lives and livelihoods.

This report reveals that:

  • - One year’s worth of global fossil fuel subsidies could comfortably pay off Sub-Saharan Africa’s entire international debt burden with billions left over.
  • - At the moment, only one to three per cent out of the $40 billion spent annually on energy investment in developing countries goes towards renewables.
  • - All of non-electrified Sub-Saharan Africa could be provided with energy from small-scale solar facilities for less than 70 per cent of what OECD countries spend on subsidising dirty energy every year.
  • - By spending just five per cent of their total annual overseas aid budget on clean-technology stoves for poor households, OECD nations could help save over 25 million lives over the next decade.
  • - One year’s worth ofWorld-Bank spending on fossil fuel projects, if redirected to small-scale solar installations in Sub-Saharan Africa, could provide 10 million people on the continent with electricity.
  • - The annual amount tied to investments in coal, oil and gas projects in the developing world between 1992 and 2002 by the United States’ twin export guarantee agencies could have provided over 30 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa each year with solar electricity.

Whether to do with health or education, poverty or environmental sustainability, none of the international development targets can be hit, or stay hit, without the massive expansion of renewable energy world wide.

This report shows both the scale of the challenge, and the enormous potential facing us … (Go on to read this 40 pages).

An incomplete freedom

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Linked with Ferial Haffejee – South Africa.

The state of the media ten years into democracy

by Ferial Haffajee (Editor: Mail & Guardian), paper presented at the Harold Wolpe Lecture Series, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 27 May 2004, published on Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, on May 27, 2004:

Excerpt: … Two weeks ago, the M&G was in court defending itself by a case brought by the former housing minister Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele. If the claim was not for R2.5-million, I might giggle at how inane the suit is. Every year the newspaper publishes a report-card of the Cabinet. One year, it failed the good minister ordering her to take a ride on the gravy train because there was a whole saga about her friend getting a huge housing contract without literally, laying hands on a brick or going on a building site.

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Information Economy Report 2006

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Picked up in Weitzenegger’s newsletter of December 2006. To read many interesting news and articles, go to ‘The website for International  Development Cooperation‘,  and its (english) Newsletter.

UNCTAD’s Information Economy Report 2006 has been produced, like its predecessors in the E-commerce and Development Report series, to highlight the implications for developing countries of the changes that ICT and e-business are allowing in the productive, commercial and financial spheres. The Report is intended to help developing countries to narrow the digital divide and to become more competitive through the adoption of ICTs and e-business. The Report analyzes the specific policy challenges facing developing countries, proposes possible means to address them and identifies and disseminates existing international best practice.

From Newsletters and mails

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Two positif initiatives:

1) Received by mail: Dear All, Please visit the following website which was launched on 1st December 2006 to help those who live in the internet censored countries to browse the internet. Best regards, Feraya. Download here psiphon Version 1.2
(psiphon is a human rights software project developed by the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies that allows citizens in uncensored countries to provide unfettered access to the Net through their home computers to friends and family members who live behind firewalls of states that censor. psiphon is funded by the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto).

2) Restorative Business.

Others:

3) IP Address / Domain Name Lookup: iIn an effort to combat the increasing abuse of the internet system, to check a sender, go to WHOIS. Or go to GEEKTOOLS.

4) Same: IP Address / Domain Name Lookup: anydomain.com = to find the IP address, go to this link and check any sender.

Also some petitions are running, judge yourself:

5) From a newsletter [virglobenglish]: e-mail. We need participants from United Kingom, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Russia, Denmark …: Sign up, pls! – Would you like to debate with social-democratic, labour or green SOCIALISTS from all continents and edit short resolutions that are applicable world-wide – maybe soon by webcam conferences? Then “JOIN” this important workshop! Signing up is easy and free. It doesn’t matter whether you belong to a party or not, or which socialist party you are a member of. Join no matter whether you are experienced or not: you profit of a win-win-offer! Friendship!, Rolf Oberhaensli, Lucerne, Switzerland. Web.
THANK YOU for adding our 2 links in your homepage:
• The Virtual & Global Social Democratic Party – Worldwide Political Exchange & Education in 21 Languages;
• The Virtual & Global Social Democratic Party – Workshop, discussions, polls.

6) about Maoris, New Zealand.

7) the Palm Island death in custody, about that read also in wikipedia.

8) Concerning native peoples of Canada.

9) concernant les droits de la femme au Niger = Les musulmans Nigériens appelés à jeûner, pour rejeter le Protocole sur les droits de la femme africaine.

Two Videos, judge yourself:

10) The endless 9/11 story in french on Voltairenet.org,

11) Parcours-videos.com (stunts in Paris’ suburbs).

Slums & Money – two

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Growth gives hope to India’s poor, By Karishma Vaswani, BBC Mumbai business correspondent, April 18, 2006:

India’s rapid economic growth has brought benefits for rich and poor alike, especially in its booming financial centre, Mumbai. On any given night at Mumbai’s Cream Centre it is almost impossible to get a table … Some are turned away at the door, or asked to wait at least an hour for a table … just a few kilometres away from the happily satiated families and the hustle and bustle of Marine Drive and Cream Centre lies Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum. Millions live in poverty in Dharavai … Sandwiched in between two of Mumbai’s main railway stations, it is a glaring reminder that growth has yet to reach all corners of India.

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Slums & Money – one

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New tools to banish slums, VALUE FOR MONEY – Published on Busines Standard, by Subir Roy, New Delhi December 13, 2006:

Schemes for urban renewal are being formulated under the mission, which are bound to fail because ideological blinkers persist. A minuscule number of slums will disappear but a viable and replicable model to eventually eliminate slums will remain elusive. A case in point is the scheme recently formulated under the mission to create 8,000 dwellings at a cost of Rs 200 crore (to be met both by the Centre and West Bengal) for slum dwellers in the industrial towns of Durgapur and Asansol. Slum dwellers will get small apartments virtually free with photo identity cards and be prohibited from selling them.

There are two obvious flaws in this. One, all the laws in the world will not prevent slum dwellers from selling these apartments if they stand to gain substantially. Eventually there will be pressure from the new owners, politically vocal lower middle class people, to “regularise” such sales. Two, at Rs 2.5 lakh state funding per dwelling, the resources that can be found for such a pervasive problem will be minuscule.

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WIKIA – nouveauté

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Wikia lance un nouveau modèle économique de site internet, et trouvé sur Tregouet.org. – SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters), lundi 11 décembre 2006:

Jimmy Wales, le fondateur de l’encyclopédie libre en ligne Wikipedia, a annoncé que sa société Wikia Inc. était prête à fournir gratuitement aux webmasters tous les outils informatiques dont ils ont besoin pour créer des sites internet communautaires.

Wikia, le pendant commercial du site à but non-lucratif Wikipedia, veut même aller plus loin en fournissant aux clients -blogueurs ou autres opérateurs répondant aux critères – la totalité des revenus publicitaires issus des sites qu’ils ont créés.

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rising youth unemployment

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Picked up in Weitzenegger’s newsletter of December 2006. To read many interesting news and articles, go to ‘Weitzenegger, The website for International Development Cooperation‘, and its (english) Newsletter.

New ILO study says youth unemployment rising, with hundreds of millions more working but living in poverty:

ILO NEWS – The number of unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 rose over the past decade, while hundreds of millions more are working but living in poverty, according to a new report by the International Labour Office (ILO). While the number of young unemployed increased from 74 million to 85 million, or by 14.8 per cent between 1995 and 2005, more than 300 million youth, or approximately 25 per cent of the youth population, were living below the US $2 per day poverty line.

The ILO report estimates that at least 400 million decent and productive employment opportunities – simply put, new and better jobs – will be needed in order to reach the full productive potential of today’s youth. The report also says youth are more than three times as likely to be unemployed than adults and that the relative disadvantage is more pronounced in developing countries, where youth represent a significantly higher proportion of the labour force than in developed economies.

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… and specially this publication

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Linked with G. Edward Griffin – USA.

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, by G. Edward Griffin, 624 pages.

Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? All of these questions and more are revealed in this mesmerizing book as the money magicians’ secrets are unveiled. We are invited to take a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, and their pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money.

Banking and the Federal Reserve … a dry and boring subject? Don’t believe it! Once you pick up this book you’ll be hooked in five minutes. This book reads like a detective story – which it really is; but it’s all true. “The Creature from Jekyll Island” is about the most blatant scam of all history. You’ll find it all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity and more.

“A superb analysis deserving serious attention by all Americans. Be prepared for one heck of a journey through time and mind.” – U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, member, House Banking Committee.

Go to your bookshop, or to this link.

… und speziell noch dieses Buch

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Verlinkt mit G. Edward Griffin – USA.

Die Kreatur von Jekyll Island, Die US-Notenbank Federal Reserve – Das schrecklichste Ungeheuer, das die internationale Hochfinanz je schuf, KOPP-Verlag (ISBN: 3938516283). (Siehe Verlags-Buchbesprechung).

Buchbeschreibung: Kopp Verlag, 2006. Neuware 672 Seiten 36 schw.-w. Abb. Gebt mir die Kontrolle über die Währung einer Nation, dann ist es für mich gleichgültig, wer die Gesetze macht. Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Wie soll ein Bankier die Macht über die Währung einer Nation bekommen, werden Sie sich jetzt fragen. Im Jahre 1913 geschah in den USA das Unglaubliche. Einem Bankenkartell, bestehend aus den weltweit führenden Bankhäusern Morgan, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Warburg und Kuhn-Loeb, gelang es in einem konspirativ vorbereiteten Handstreich, das amerikanische Parlament zu überlisten und das Federal Reserve System (FED) ins Leben zu rufen – eine amerikanische Zentralbank. Doch diese Bank ist weder staatlich (federal) noch hat sie wirkliche Reserven. Ihr offizieller Zweck ist es, für die Stabilität des Dollars zu sorgen. Doch seit der Gründung des FED hat der Dollar über 95 Prozent seines Wertes verloren! Sitzen dort also nur Versager? Oder hat das FED im Verborgenen vielleicht eine ganz andere Aufgabe und einen ganz anderen Sinn? G. Edward Griffin enthällt in diesem Buch die wahren Hintergründe über die Entstehung des Federal Reserve Systems und den eigentlichen Sinn und Zweck dieser Notenbank. Wenn Sie verstehen wollen, was hinter den Kulissen des Welt-Bankensystems wirklich läuft, wenn Sie den wahren Sinn und Zweck von Kriegen erkennen wollen und wenn Sie sich für die Ursachen und Hintergründe der kommenden Weltwirtschaftskrise interessieren, kann ich Ihnen dieses Buch nur wärmstens empfehlen. Es ist das Beste, was Sie zu diesem Thema bekommen können. Ein unheimliches Buch! Ferdinand Lips, Privatbankier, langjähriger Direktor der Bank Rothschild in Zürich und Bestsellerautor.

Sprache/Language: German Gebunden 217mm x 149mm x 55mm, 839gr. Bookseller Inventory # 3938516283

Bei Ihrem Buchhändler, beim KOPP-Verlag, DE-72108 Rottenburg a. N. , übers Internet unter Finanzwelt-Banken, (siehe auch KOPP’s Homepage), oder über AbeBooks.com.

some Publications

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Picked up in Weitzenegger’s newsletter of December 2006. To read many interesting news and articles, go to ‘The website for International Development Cooperation‘, and its (english) Newsletter.

Published on this Weitzenegger’s page of Publications:

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Remembering Authors & Articles about Economy and Social Developement

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Authors on our World Peoples Blog:

Articles on our other Blogs:
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Security situation in Eastern Chad

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Your support is crucial. To find out more about this ongoing emergency visit UNHCR-the UN refugee agency.

Donate on: CHAD/DARFUR EMERGENCY,
or on: DONATE NOW.

Thousands of people fled attacks on their villages and gathered under trees on the outskirts of Goz Beida, the main town in south eastern Chad. The last month has seen a deterioration in the security situation in Eastern Chad – a result of recent violent attacks on refugees in Western Darfur and the local population which has caused renewed displacements.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres speaking about the worsening situation in Chad, said last week, The humanitarian lifeline there is very, very fragile and we fear that continuing violence in the region could easily sever it, jeopardising the lives of thousands of Darfurians and Chadians who have already suffered too much.” Darfur refugees in Eastern Chad are feeling increasingly threatened as the fighting they fled in Sudan now appears to have spread across the border. This increased violence has seen UNHCR move quickly to relocate refugees and displaced Chadians to a safer site further from the border.

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HREA Distance Learning Programme

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HREA (Human Rights Education Associates) Distance Learning Programme: Final call for applications for HREA e-learning course “Introduction to the Inter-American System of Human Rights Protection and Promotion”. Distance Learning Programme, HREA. Write Sandra Quintin.

HREA Distance Learning Course 11E07: Introduction to the Inter-American System of Human Rights Protection and Promotion,26 March-17 June 2007, Instructor: Dr. Víctor Rodríguez. This course is co-organized by HREA and the Inter-American Insitute of Human Rights (IIDH, Costa Rica). A more detailed course description, further logistical information, information on full and partial scholarships, and application forms can be found at above link.

Other upcoming courses for which the application process is still open, first semester 2007:

  • - The United Nations Human Rights System: Transitioning from the Commission on Human Rights to the Human Rights Council (12 February-5 May 2007);
  • - Human Rights Litigation (14 February-7 May 2007);
  • - Einführung in die Menschenrechtsbildung (19. Februar-27. Mai 2007);
  • - Incidencia Política para Avanzar los Derechos Humanos (21 de febrero-5 de junio de 2007).

Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) in cooperation with Columbia Law School within the framework of the SUN program of CEU is organizing a summer course titled Teaching Law, Human Rights and Ethics in July 9-13, 2007 in Budapest, Hungary.

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ECONOMIC JUSTICE

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Linked with The War on Iraq and the Occupation, and with Caroline Lucas – England.

Short excerpt of her speech ‘ECONOMIC JUSTICE: STEPS ON THE PATH TO PEACE’, presented at the ‘Resurgence & Imago Conference’, City of London School For Girls, 5th July 2003, and published on resurgence.org.

… “The widening gaps between rich and poor within nations, and the gulf between the affluent and the most impoverished nations … will undermine the fabric of our societies through confrontation, violence and civil disorder.”

But my favourite is from a CIA report, “Global Trends 2015″:

“The rising tide of the global economy will create many economic winners, but it will not lift all boats. [It will] spawn conflicts at home and abroad, ensuring an even wider gap between … winners and losers than exists today … [Globalisation's] evolution will be rocky, marked by chronic financial volatility and a widening economic divide … Regions, countries, and groups feeling left behind will face deepening economic stagnation, political instability, and cultural alienation.

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Water scarcity affects one in three

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Published on Financial Times.com, August 21, 2006, by Fiona Harvey, London.

A third of the world’s population is suffering from a shortage of water, raising the prospect of “water crises” in countries such as China, India and the US. Scientists had forecast in 2000 that one in three would face water shortages by 2025, but water experts have been shocked to find that this threshold has already been crossed.

… // …

Shortages of water are already biting in countries such as Egypt, which imports more than half of its food because it lacks enough water to grow more. In Australia, there is a water shortage in the Murray-Darling basin because so much has been diverted for use in agriculture. In the US, there are increasing disputes with Mexico over the sinking levels of water in the Colorado river. Water shortages are compounded by corruption, according to Transparency International. David Nussbaum, chief executive, said between 20 and 40 per cent of total investment in the water sector “does not flow to the people who should be getting the clean water and sanitation”.

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Background-Report on Cities in Transition

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Linked with Geoff Mulgan – England, with Demos, and with Geoff Mulgan’s Spring Conference 2006.

Global Exchange Forum Background Report, Cities in Transition Conference: Marseilles, Los Angeles, Toronto, Birmingham …

Exerpts: Introduction: In recent years, the question of how societies should cope with issues of diversity, migration and integration has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries. Traumatic events ranging from 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London to the assassination of Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the Danish cartoons controversy and the Paris riots of 2005 have amplified concerns that past policies are no longer working well. At the same time a growing body of commentary has suggested that new social fault lines are appearing around cultural identities, and around the tensions between secular and religious world views.

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Third Sustainability Conference, 2007

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The Sustainability Conference 2007 will be held in Chennai, India, at the University of Madras, 4 to 7 January 2007.

The conference will work in a multidisciplinary way across the various fields and perspectives through which we can address the fundamental and related questions of sustainability. Main speakers include some of the leading thinkers in these areas, as well as numerous paper, colloquium and workshop presentations.

Participants are also welcome to submit a presentation proposal either for a 30 minute paper, 60 minute workshop, a jointly presented 90 minute colloquium session. or a virtual session. Parallel sessions are loosely grouped into streams reflecting different perspectives or disciplines. Each stream also has its own talking circle, a forum for focused discussion of issues.

Contact
Newsletter

Who should attend:

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Programme for Women of slum areas

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Published on WOMENS’S ORGANISATION FOR MANAGING AND EDUCATIONAL NEEDS, W.O.M.E.N.

Name of the Project:

  • Development Programme for Women of slum areas of Hyderabad Phase VI;
  • Project Area: 20 Slums of Asifnagar (Karwan);
  • Duration (From / To): Oct 2004 – Sept 2007;
  • Status (ongoing / completed): Ongoing;
  • Source of funding / Supported by: EedBonn;
  • Target group: Women (18-45 years);
  • Goal: To facilitate socio-economic measures to develop poor slum women.

Objectives:

  • To impart education & training to women/girls with regard to their economic growth by way of identifying their hidden talents, bringing motivation and awareness towards their rights and duties thereby promoting social entrepreneurship;
  • To extend knowledge and information to women/girls in respect of family welfare, nutrition, health and environment and also to assist them in forming cooperatives, self-help groups, Mahila Mandals, tiny industries, and more.

Strategy: Development in slum women is targeted through motivation and awareness building and entrepreneurship.

Main activities:

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Hope in the slums: women’s work in Bangladesh

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Published on the UK Department for International Development id21, 13 January 2006, by Sarah Salway, e-mail, at the University of Sheffield.

For the slum-dwellers of Bangladesh, there are few opportunities to gain control over their lives. This is especially the case for slum women, who live within restrictive gender structures. Employment could not only bring in vital income, but also help women assert their rights in a male-dominated culture.

There are more than 11 million urban poor in Bangladesh. Vulnerability and insecurity characterise their lives. Most slum-dwellers in the city of Dhaka have no tenure rights, no guaranteed shelter, little access to basic services, few secure opportunities to earn money, and are dependent on loans. Women living in slums are particularly disadvantaged.

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The Bank that rules Europe? The ECB and Central Bank Independence

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Linked with Mark Baimbridge – England, and with Labour Market Flexibility and Foreign Direct Investment.

Paper No. 37, by Mark Baimbridge, Brian Burkitt, Philip Whyman / paper not dated. (Read the whole very long text on Bruges Group).

Issues in Central Bank Independence … (paragraphe 2 to 4) – Excerpt:

… The establishment of an independent central bank with strong anti-inflationary preferences is seen as a way for the state to bind its hands against the electoral temptation of inducing unanticipated increases in the price level. As commitment increases credibility, orthodox theory predicts that divergences between the central bank’s policies and people’s expectations will be smaller. Therefore lower costs and fewer delays are incurred when adjusting to monetary policy shifts. It is from this theoretical perspective of monetarism and rational expectations that the ECB was launched. However, just months after its inception, the ECB faces intense pressure from European politicians to cut interest rates. Given the levels of inflation and unemployment, the case is strong, but the ECB fears the danger of being seen as open to persuasion. It argues that an independent central bank must guard its credibility. If the financial markets suspect that the bank is susceptible to political influence, long-run inflation and the cost of controlling it would be higher.

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Labour Market Flexibility and Foreign Direct Investment

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Linked with Mark Baimbridge – England, and with The Bank that rules Europe? The ECB and Central Bank Independence.

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS, OCCASIONAL PAPER, Labour Market Flexibility and Foreign Direct Investment, by DR. P. WHYMAN, LANCASHIRE BUSINESS SCHOOL, and DR. MARK BAIMBRIDGE, UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD: 50 pages in pdf, published in August 2006 by the Department of Trade and Industry. URN 06/1797, © Crown Copyright 2006.

(Read the rest of this 50 pages on the Website of the British Department of Trade & Industry).

Excerpt: … Conclusion and Policy Recommendations:

This paper has generated primary data, direct from senior executives of TNCs that have invested in the UK, which indicates that the primary determinants of FDI flows relate more strongly to market-seeking factors, followed by resource- and asset-seeking labour market variables. Although not the most important attractor for inward investment, labour market flexibility was nevertheless identified as representing moderate or high degrees of importance by 59.7 per cent of respondents. Disaggregating the data and testing for association with various company characteristics identifies a number of interesting features of the data. Firstly, small but notable differences in emphasis appear to exist between companies utilising high risk technology upon the quality of national labour force skills base and physical infrastructure, together with the significance of location near a large international market, compared to moderate and lower cost firms who tend to demonstrate a relative predisposition towards primarily national factors, such as size of national market, policy-related variables, including deregulation, tax rates, and the maintenance of a low cost of capital.

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New social justice movements in a changing reality

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Linked with Mohau Pheko – South Africa, with The WDM Death Counter, with The International Gender and Trade Network IGTN, and with The World Development Movement WDM.

By Mohau Pheko, co-ordinator of African Gender & Trade Network (GENTA).

I will try to address the following questions (in October 2002, but still fully valuable):

  • Why should Africa and African feminists be concerned about Europe’s move to the right?
  • How are right-wing policies influencing the trade & economic discourse in Africa?
  • What are the policy implications, in terms of gender justice?
  • What is the response from the African women’s and feminist movements, as well as emerging African social movements in general?
  • Where are the strategic points of engagement for feminists in Europe?
  • The African context.

First of all, it is important to point out that right-wing policies from overseas impacting on Africa is not a new historical phenomenon. The Republican Party, in collusion with the Christian right, has influenced US foreign policy for decades. Indeed, the Christian right has even influenced Democratic policy to some extent. This has had a detrimental impact on African people as a whole.

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Le Revenu d’Existence : gène du changement

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Ecrit par Yoland BRESSON en Juin 99 et publié sur le site de Christian Cotten (sans date) – Tandis que chaque année nous sommes collectivement plus riches, le nombre d’exclus ne cesse de s’accroître. Gangrenées par cette infection généralisée, nos sociétés parent au plus urgent, elles multiplient les conditions d’accès à l’assistance, comme un bricolage social dont la complexité bureaucratique nous aurait fait perdre le sens de l’humain. Nous ne cessons de ” rafistoler “, comme si nous ne savions plus penser et créer du neuf à l’instar de nos prédécesseurs osant introduire des innovations sociales et fiscales majeures tels que, l’impôt progressif, la sécurité sociale, la TVA…., alors même que nous sommes engagés dans une mutation exceptionnellement profonde et rapide de nos modes de production.

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Tackling Poppy Power in Afghanistan

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Published by Bill Moyers, December 7, 2006, on Commondreams – New CARE policy brief warns there’s no “quick fix” to the nation’s drug economy. Five years after the Taliban’s fall, Afghanistan’s economy is hooked on opium, but CARE’s new policy brief warns against “quick fixes” to the nation’s drug trade.Click here to download CARE’s policy brief, “No Quick Fix: Curbing Opium Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan” (sorry, out from my labtop the link is not working, but I am on travel. Go to the site of the above link.)

The brief puts forward concerns about eradication-led strategies: “Aerial eradication in Afghanistan would focus extensive resources on the wrong end of the value chain, i.e. the raw material, as opposed to areas where the ‘bang for the buck’ is bigger — arresting traffickers, destroying heroin labs and removing corrupt government officials.” This would have a devastating, immediate impact on the Afghan people, many of whom are extremely poor and endure a vastly underdeveloped rural economy.

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Guinea Bissau Leaders Seek New Strategies for Donor Money

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Linked with Macaria Barai – Guinea-Bissau.

By Kari Barber, on Voice OfAmerica VOA, 28 November 2006

(On the same page: Listen also to the Barber report, – Download it/ 507k, or Listen online).

Top officials from one of the world’s poorest nations, Guinea Bissau, met in Senegal recently to form a strategy to alleviate persistent poverty. In the informal meeting, representatives from donor nations and aid organizations had the chance to ask how their money is being spent. Kari Barber attended the meeting on Senegal’s Goree Island and has this report.

… // …

It is in the private sector that Macaria Barai is trying to revive her country. Barai, who is the president of the chamber of commerce of Bissau, says some donors have lost confidence in the nation.

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is there a class warfare?

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And: IF ther is a class warfare, guess which class is winning?

Published first by Ben Stein in New York Times, republished on Existential Ramble, by LiteraryTech, on Nov. 29, 2006 – [Warren] Buffett, [second richest man in the world,] compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in his office. He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.

It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn’t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires.

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Buddhist View on Consumerism

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Written in 1997 as Meeting Report and picked up by a link on one of the multiple sub-pages out of Better World Links:

Consumption and Consumerism:

The central issue for the Think Sangha during this year was the topic of Consumption and Consumerism. Consumption has emerged as a central issue in both the developed and developing worlds. It touches concerns such as environment, community development, education, and sex and gender issues. We feel that Buddhism and other religions have a unique and very important contribution to make to this issue. We see the critical role of moral and spiritual values as an antidote to consumer values. Buddhist values can offer not only a critique of Consumerism on a structural level, but can also offer a practical method which empowers individuals to leave destructive consumption patterns behind.

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Sustainability in economy, environment, development

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Some news, thoughts and actors:

Mines & Communities, and its Homepage, and about.

Environment and sustainable Development.

Read: Beyond 2015, a 50 pages working paper of LSE The London school of Economics and political Science, published February 2005.

Study in Sweden opens doors to the world.

Most societies aspire to achieve economic development to secure rising standards of living, both for themselves and for future generations. They also seek to protect and enhance their environment, now and for their children. Reconciling these two aspirations is at the heart of sustainable development. Principles of sustainable development: (Read more on The University of Reading ECIFM).

Sustainability: Human, Social, Economic and Environmental;

Economic sustainability is not just about achieving economic growth year on year. It’s about understanding that economic growth is only sustainable if it simultaneously improves our quality of life and the environment. For an organisation, economic sustainability has two aspects – the financial stability of an organisation and how it manages its assets, and the impact that organisation has on the economy, the environment and society. To manage the first (financial sustainability) without the second is to ignore the community and the resources that an organisation relies upon to exist. (Read more on NHS Supplier Information Database).

Research: The University of Michigan has a well-established record of comprehensive and interdisciplinary investigations into environmental sustainability at the local, regional, and global scale.

Development GATEWAY, Knowledge Economy.

UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.

the Eldis Gateway to Development Information.

Change the system, not the climate!

Read: Glitz and grime, by N. Chandra Mohan, December 03, 2006.

A better Yemen remains our mission.

Healthy Environment and healthy Economy.

Global Economy, global Environment.

International Institute for Environment and Development.

The World Economic Forum Announces Technology Pioneers 2007.

CasePlace.org, developing leaders for a sustainable Society.

Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Acumen Fund’s community of investors is invaluable to our efforts to champion innovative, market-oriented solutions to the problem of global poverty. We engage an active set of individuals, foundations and corporations who support us with their charitable dollars and give us access to their expertise and networks. Our community is diverse and borderless—investors come from a wide variety of sectors and countries. At the end of the day, we believe it will take a global community of individuals and institutions to help solve the world’s tough problems through entrepreneurial means. We seek to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Our investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services – like health, water and housing – through innovative, market-oriented approaches. (See all on ACUMEN fund).

Global Giving.com.

National Center for Environmental Economics.

The Environment and the Economy with MIT, The Project continues to have a long term research focus on understanding the tradeoffs between environmental protection and economic performance at the national, state, and local levels.

  • When and to what degree do stringent environmental regulations hinder economic growth?
  • What elements of rapid economic growth produce accelerated environmental degradation?
  • Where do opportunities for harmonizing strong environmental protection and healthy economic growth exist and where are prudent tradeoffs required.

Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment.

EEPSEA: Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia.

Yukon Council on the Economy and the Environment.

Environment & Development MA, postgraduate Study, London.

Global Development and Environment Institute at TUFTS University.

The NGO Manager Newsletter

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If you are interested in themes like NGOs and Human Development, you may appreciate the NGO Manager Newsletter (e-mail). The last Newsletter No. 11, November 15, 2006, shows the following themes:

1. WORLD BANK COMPETITION FOR NGO PROJECTS IN 2007 ENDED ON NOVEMBER 21 – This competition is offering NGOs and others US$4 Million in awards for proposals with innovative ideas to improve health, nutrition, population outcomes of poor people in developing countries. Apply online at this worldbank-link.

2. NEW WEBSITES ON HUMAN RIGHTS TOOLS AND HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL – We are glad to announce the creation of two partner websites by Daniel D’Esposito who co-founded NGO Manager:

- Human Rights Tools provides easy access to key online resources on human rights. It contains an E-Library, country analysis pages, constantly updated news on human rights worldwide, a job center and lists blogs on human rights. You can sign up for the free newsletter which will update you on new tools and resources.

- The website Human Rights Council keeps you abreast of what the new Council in Geneva does, with links to the agenda, documents, news and analysis. The next session will start on November 27, so better check out early what is on the agenda.

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The limits of free trade

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Published on Guardian Unlimited, November 14, 2006, by William Keegan  – Excerpt: … Older readers will no doubt rub their eyes at the thought that communist/capitalist Vietnam is now a member of the World Trade Organisation (as well as the International Monetary Fund) and hosting a trade talks meeting at which an American president will be present. So many memories of the Vietnam war have recently been evoked, not least because of the more obvious parallels with Iraq.

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Will China lead a Stampede out of the US Dollar?

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Published by Gary Dorsch, Nov, 29, 2006, Editor, Global Money Trends newsletter – The $2 trillion per day foreign exchange market never sleeps. Yet for the past six months, the big-3 central banks, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan managed to lull the currency markets into a deep trance. Since last May, the big-3 central banks corralled the US dollar to within a 3% to 5% trading range against the British pound, the Euro and Japanese yen.

The big-3 central banks utilized their three major weapons, (1) relentless jawboning, (2) Japanese threats of intervention, and (3) coordinated rate hikes, telegraphed far in advance to avoid any nasty surprises in the markets. But the big-3’s spell-binding magic act began to wind down on November 25th, when Chinese deputy central banker Wu Xialong jolted the foreign currency markets, warning other Asian central bankers of the future risk of a US dollar devaluation.

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