Women leaders in the Pacific Islands have acclaimed the agreement on reducing global warming achieved at the United Nations (COP21) Climate Change conference in Paris as an unprecedented moment of world solidarity on an issue which has been marked to date by division between the developing and industrialized world. But for Pacific small island developing states, which name climate change as the single greatest threat to their survival, it will only be a success if inspirational words are followed by real action.
Up to 80 percent of global trade is supported by some form of financing or credit insurance. Yet in many countries there is a lack of capacity in the financial sector to support trade, and also a lack of access to the international financial system. Therefore the ability of these countries to use simple instruments such as letters of credit is limited.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
In a passage in Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle, he condemns an egalitarian native people at the tip of South America to remain primitive.
The monsoon in Sri Lanka is always a much-awaited event. There is something about the sight of the gathered clouds, the washed trees and the drenched landscape that stirs romance even in the most hardened of souls.
During the dry season, when dirt roads are cracked from the relentless heat, the sight of women walking miles, balancing pots of water on their heads, is common in rural Sri Lanka.
Foreign donors are rushing into Myanmar (formerly Burma), whose government has been pushing the right political buttons as part of its democratic reform process. But development planners and local activists caution that the best approach should still be ‘easy does it’.