Just two countries — South Africa and Nigeria — currently account for over 33 percent of the continent’s economic output.
You can be sure that the presidential candidates will keep certain issues at arm’s length on Monday.
In the interest of keeping vital global issues in the discussion, Foreign Policy in Focus reached out to scholars at the Institute for Policy Studies—our institutional home—to sketch out progressive perspectives on the world issues we don’t expect to get fair treatment in the debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Without an informed citizenry, these crucial topics will always fall by the wayside. So read up, and share widely!
Down the road only a few generations, the millennium of Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights, will arrive. Whether it will be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear.
Growing conflicts over who owns water and how to manage it are emerging all over the world. Although debates at the UN and among civil society have moved toward the recognition of water as a basic human right, the United States still lags behind. Washington has instead largely supported private-sector approaches that will likely exacerbate conflicts over water resources. What is perhaps new is that the U.S. intelligence community is also looking at water as a potential national security concern.
On 5 December 2011, GRAIN received the 2011 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. GRAIN was awarded “for its worldwide work to protect the livelihoods and rights of farming communities and to expose the massive purchases of farmland in developing countries by foreign financial interests”. GRAIN seized on the opportunity to demand an immediate end to land grabbing and a restitution of lands to local communities. The following speech was delivered to the Swedish Parliament by GRAIN during the Awards Ceremony.
Last October, 100 farmers gathered to protest against the Sierra Leone branch of the multinational corporate agribusiness giant, Socfin. The farmers were furious over the company’s lack of transparency, its refusal to consult with local communities, its miserly compensation for dispossessed farmers, and its brazen pressuring of local leaders.
In 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the United Nations held its landmark Conference on Environment and Development. Also known as the Earth Summit, the Conference set the global environmental agenda for the next two decades. Now, twenty years on, the world’s governments, development practitioners, and environmental activists are set to reconvene once again, in Brazil, in June 2012, for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development-Rio +20.
With its muddy roads, humble huts, and constant military patrols, Bajo Aguán, Honduras feels a long way away from the slick polish of the recurring UN climate negotiations in the world’s capital cities. Yet the bloody struggle going on there strikes at the heart of global climate politics, illustrating how market schemes designed to “offset” carbon emissions play out when they encounter the complicated reality on the ground.
At a World Social Forum event in 2006, Walden Bello warned that the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was careening down a track to disaster. Civil society needed to insist that negotiators pull back before the Round went off a cliff, the founder of Focus on the Global South said. Although the global economy has certainly changed since then, the WTO seems stuck on the same track.