When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs.
The cradle of some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, home to four out of the planet’s six billion people, and a battleground for the earth’s remaining resources, Asia and the Pacific are poised to play a defining role in international affairs in the coming decade.
The government of Argentina is building a marriage of convenience with China, which some see as uneven and others see as an indispensable alliance for a new level of insertion in the global economy.
So much information about climate change now abounds that it is hard to differentiate fact from fiction. Scientific reports appear alongside conspiracy theories, data is interspersed with drastic predictions about the future, and everywhere one turns, the bad news just seems to be getting worse.
A theory serves comprehension, prediction and identification of conditions for change. Seven such historical-cultural pointers will be indicated for China – using the West in general, and the United States in particular, for comparison.
“The clock is ticking.” Those were the words of Taiwan Democracy Watch Director Yeh Chueh-an on Feb. 4, as scores of civil society organisations in the capital, Taipei, began a countdown for a citizen-based rewriting of Taiwan’s constitution aimed at safeguarding human rights and social equity.
Global tourism, which stood at a mere 25 million international travelers in 1950 has, over the past decades, experienced such phenomenal growth and diversification that today it has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.
After months of whispered warnings, Russia’s economic troubles made global headlines when its currency collapsed halfway through December. Amid the tumbling price of oil, the ruble has fallen to record lows, bringing the country to its most serious economic crisis since the late 1990s.
The post-2015 global climate change agreement should be flexible and fully resourced or else condemn Africa to another cycle of poverty resulting from the adverse effects of climate change.
On Nov. 18, a committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted
111 to 19, with 55 abstentions, in favour of drafting a non-binding resolution referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Rampant unsustainable logging in the southwest Pacific Island states of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, where the majority of land is covered in tropical rainforest, is worsening hardship, human insecurity and conflict in rural communities.
At the height of the Cold War the world’s total arsenal of nuclear weapons, counted as explosive potential, may have amounted to three million Hiroshima bombs. The United States alone possessed 1.6 million Hiroshimas’ worth of destructive capacity.
Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement
on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2
emissions, a very cold shower has come from India.
There is a good chance that economic jockeying between China and Russia in Central Asia will intensify in the coming months. For Russia, Chinese economic expansion could put a crimp in President Vladimir Putin’s grand plan for the Eurasian Economic Union.
- In recent days, two major developments have injected new life into international action on climate change.