Leaders of the European Union (EU) will gather in Oslo this Monday to receive an increasingly controversial Nobel Peace Prize. Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor and industrialist, established the five prizes by his will in 1895 and there is a growing international awareness that his prize “for the champions of peace” does not go to the recipients Nobel had in mind.
On Nov. 29, 138 member states of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favour of giving Palestine “non-member observer state” status. Only nine voted no, 41 abstained. Beyond Middle East politics, the vote also mirrors the limits of the U.S. global, and the Israeli regional, empires: 138 defy their grip and favour change, 41+9=50 do not for various reasons. Who wants what?
The Korean Women's Peasant Association won the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize for its efforts on behalf of the survival of small-scale and ecologically sustainable farming in South Korea.
Sri Lanka is in for some hard bargaining when it negotiates a new aid pact in 2013 with the European Union (EU), which withdrew a key trade concession two years ago over this country’s human rights record.
“Look out there, the blue one…. that is a European Union fishing vessel that is threatening our livelihood,” says Lallmamode Mohamedally, a Mauritian fisherman, as he points to a boat offloading its catch at the Les Salines port, close to the country’s capital Port Louis.
Caught between a proverbial rock and a hard place, African and Pacific countries are still unsure whether they should follow the lead of their Caribbean counterparts and sign a wide-ranging Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe.
The poverty-stricken countries of Central America will face major challenges when the Association Agreement to be signed in late June with the European Union, including commitments on trade, political dialogue and cooperation, comes into effect.