TNI News: 19 October 2007

13 November 2007

TNI News Bulletin: 19 October 2007.

In this edition of TNI News you will find:

North Korean Nuclear Test

George Bush’s “axis of evil” speech was a defining moment. The invasion of Iraq has made it easy for the other members of the “axis” – North Korea and Iran - to read Bush’s blueprint for reorganising the world. North Korea’s nuclear blast cannot be blamed only on its paranoiac leader. It is a worrying development, but one that should be viewed in context. Security guarantees, rather than threats, are the way to lead countries to abandon their nuclear ambitions. North Korea's blast only reinforces the case for comprehensive nuclear disarmament.

After the North Korean blast
By Praful Bidwai
The decision of North Korea to go nuclear can be explained by the continuous US threats towards “axis of evil” states. The best way to deal with “problem cases” like North Korea is to sincerely pursue global nuclear disarmament, argues Bidwai.

Nukes for all
By John Gittings
Is the world on the brink of a new nuclear arms race, with North Korea's atomic bomb test marking the end of non-proliferation? John Gittings reports

N. Korean Nuke Tests Say World Must Return to Peace Agenda
By Praful Bidwai
North Korea’s detonation of a nuclear explosion is one more blow to the existing global non-proliferation order. Existing nuclear weapon states should share the responsibility, however, for failing to live up to their obligations under the Non Proliferation Treaty, writes Bidwai.

N. Korean Blast May Hit Indo-US Nuclear Deal
By Praful Bidwai


Corporate power over EU trade policy


Corporate Power over EU Trade Policy: Good for business, bad for the World [PDF]
By Myriam Vander Stichele, Kim Bizzarri and Leonard Plank
This report from Seattle to Brussels, a pan-European trade justice network of which TNI is a member, exposes the influence of business-lobbyists on the EU’s trade and competitiveness agenda. It offers cases studies drawn from agricultural, industrial, financial and service sectors to show clearly the corporate influence upon the EU’s stance within WTO negotiations, and argues that these positions are damaging the potential for a true development agenda.

Seattle to Brussels Network

The EU's economic partnership agreements with Africa

The European Union (EU) is currently negotiating a series of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. These agreements would liberalise services and open up developing markets in these regions to foreign investment. The existing experience of such policies in Africa, however, is that they do little to aid development and can even have a negative impact on poverty eradication. Myriam Vander Stichele, a SOMO researcher and TNI Fellow, outlines the threat posed by EPAs and the European lobby for investment.

EPA negotiations do not promote the right investment policies in Africa [PDF]

By Myriam Vander Stichele

The risks and dangers of liberalisation of services in Africa under EPAs [PDF]
By Myriam Vander Stichele

Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)


The Latin American left in government

International seminar: The Economic Policies of the Latin American Left in Government
Centro de Formación para la Integración Regional
Av. Joaquín Suárez, 3568 Montevideo, Uruguay
25-27 October 2006

The Economic Policies of the Latin American Left in Government: a framework for research

Letelier-Moffitt human rights award

30th anniversary of the assassinations of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt

On 21 September 1976, agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet detonated a car bomb that killed former Chilean diplomat and TNI director, Orlando Letelier, and Institute for Policy Studies' Development Associate, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, in Washington DC.

At a Tribute event in Washington DC on 18 October, the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards were presented to Maher Arar and the Center for Constitutional Rights International Award), and the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign (Domestic Award).

New from our network

Microcredit, Macro Issues
By Walden Bello
Microcredit, a market-based mechanism, is a great tool as a survival strategy, but it is not the key to development, which needs massive state-directed investments but also an assault on the structures on inequality.

The debt boomerang
By Susan George
In this online television interview, Susan George talks about debt (as a substitute for colonialism), the institutions that manage it - the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation, and the social and environmental consequences of the current debt crisis for both South and North.

The new Japan
By Achin Vanaik
The election of Shinzo Abe as the new Japanese Prime Minister symbolises the new Japan that has been in the making in the last few years. Its aggressive and militarised foreign policy plays well into the hands of the US, which sees Japan and India as major allies in the containment of China, writes Vanaik.

La ONU y las tensiones del poder
By Mariano Aguirre
As United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan has presided over the organisation during the hard times of the Iraq war, and brought the UN to the fore during Israel’s recent war on Lebanon. Aguirre analyses Annan’s UN legacy.

Iraq: 'The British army is just another militia'
Kamil Mahdi interviewed by Liv Lewitschnik
The media tells us only about military resistance in Iraq, but there is also an unarmed resistance which is fighting the occupation with strikes and workplace walkouts. Mahdi tells the inside story.

A case for refocusing India's foreign policy
By Praful Bidwai
India’s foreign policy has suffered several setbacks as a result of its obsession to accommodate the US, including its failure to secure a greater UN role, and squandering opportunities to take leadership positions in the Non-Aligned Movement and G-77.

España: memory for the future
By Fred Halliday
Spain's public life has long stifled discussion of the 1936-39 civil war in a "pact of silence". With the end of oblivion comes a slow, painful opening of minds, writes Fred Halliday in Barcelona.

Making Land Rights Accessible: Potentials and Challenges of a Human Rights Approach to Land Issues
By Jenny Franco
The multidimensional significance of land for the rural poor can only be taken seriously if one starts from a recognition of ‘rights to property’ as opposed to ‘property rights’. Jenny Franco analyses the land struggles of the Philippine rural poor and argues that a pro-poor, human rights approach has great potential.

The Ukrainian frontier guard syndrome
By Boris Kagarlitsky
The general logic of the Kremlin’s policy towards the former Soviet republics is to suppress separatism at home while encouraging it abroad. The Russia-Georgia crisis is not as serious as some reports suggest, argues Kagarlitsky, who sees it as a crisis fomented with a view to Russia’s 2007 elections.

The phantom of the orange revolution and bureaucratic ignorance
By Boris Kagarlitsky
While Kremlin politicians are preoccupied with the perceived “orange revolution” threat, Russian society itself is undergoing major changes. A new law that will bring the Russian free education system to an end is a harbinger of the country’s looming social crisis, writes Kagarlitsky.

IPD: Twenty Years In Retrospect
By Joel Rocamora
Joel Rocamora recounts the history of the Institute for Popular Democracy and its role in the empowering the marginalised in the Philippines.

A modest proposal
By Saul Landau
Landau imagines an alternative future for Bush’s foreign policy.

Bush’s Foley –The Democrats’ big chance
By Saul Landau
The lies about the Iraq war, as well as the latest Republican Party scandals, should be enough to wake up Democrats and allow them to take their chance in November’s US mid-term elections, writes Landau.

Afzal must not hang
By Praful Bidwai
India's justice delivery system will undermine its own credibility if Mohammed Afzal, accused in the Parliament attack case, is hanged.