The story of Chinese "princeling" Bo Xilai, his "Jackie Kennedy wife" Gu Kailai, and murdered "British businessman" Neil Heywood is a textbook case of mass media hypocrisy in covering international affairs.
The Declaration adopted at the 17th Summit of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), in Addu City, Maldives (November 2011), reiterated "the importance of comprehensive cooperation" to promote "effective linkages and connectivity for greater movement of people, enhanced investment and trade in the region".
In recent months, the dispute over the nature and intent of the Iranian nuclear development programme has generated increasing tensions throughout the Middle East region. When I consider all that is at stake here, I am reminded of the words of the British historian Arnold Toynbee, who warned that the perils of the nuclear age constituted a "Gordian knot that has to be untied by patient fingers instead of being cut by the sword."
Fathulla Jameel, who passed away after a brief illness in Singapore last week, had the distinction of being Foreign Minister of the Maldives for more than 27 years, second only to his counterpart in Bahrain back in the 1990s. At the U.N. delegate's lounge, he was once blessed with the title: "Dean of foreign ministers." And he missed finding a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as "Foreign Minister for Life."
Reports of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s planned visit to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha, and a UNESCO World Heritage site in Nepal in April 2012, have caused a mixture of excitement and apprehension in Kathmandu.
Another dramatic election fiasco is over. Russian voters have elected Vladimir Putin with an overwhelming 63% majority. In 2000 and 2004, he won with 53% and 71% majority, respectively. Though his victory never seemed in doubt, his election garnered more negative publicity than any other foreign election, thanks to the awesome Russian Spring.
After much huffing, puffing, loss of sleep and negotiations that set a record for Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings, (the longest COP ever!), the 17th UN Convention on Climate Change COP in Durban last December produced a modest outcome. A bemused Sri Lankan delegate observed that it was like digging a mighty mountain and finding a tiny mouse.
Experience shows that South-South and triangular cooperation, backed by adequate funding, are key tools for tackling the development challenges of our time. But South-South cooperation only complements and does not replace North-South cooperation. All such partnerships are particularly pertinent given the challenges facing our global economy and sustainable development.