Increasingly centered on and subordinated to the financial sector, the global economy, based on the myth of "infinite" growth and resource exploitation, has come up against serious limits. New forms of development which put people at the center, rather than profit, urgently need addressing.
Underneath a veneer of "prosperity" the majority of the world's population lives in conditions of permanent insecurity or crisis. This paper focuses on the key manifestations of the global financial crisis, briefly examines its immediate causes as well as its deeper systemic factors, then advances a key proposal: things can be done differently if we choose to see the crisis as an opportunity for profound socio-economic, political and cultural change, and decide to act accordingly.
News about the disappointing content of the Political Declaration to be adopted at the High Level Segment of the 52nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) next week in Vienna is filtering to the outside media. Meanwhile, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is gearing up to claim success for the failing international drug control system.
A group of judges from different countries gathered in Porto, Portugal, and drafted the Declaration of Porto in which they state that "public drug policies have proved an outright failure, as they have neither achieved their desired goals of reducing drug consumption, nor been able to effectively persecute large criminal organisations."
Producers of coca leaves, cannabis and opium poppy from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and experts and NGO representatives gathered at the first world forum in Barcelona, Spain from January 29 to 31, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. The forum provided a space for sharing experiences and reflecting on ways to protect the human rights of affected communities and promote alternative models of sustainable development.
The 2009 Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), and its High Level (political) Segment (HLS), was a key moment where the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the January Barcelona Forum could be transmitted and distributed. This was done to make more policy officials aware of the difficult situation faced by farmers cultivating the plants that have been declared illicit.
Why peasants from certain regions of the world cultivate the three plants – coca leaves, cannabis and opium poppy – that the international conventions have declared to be illicit? That was the essential question that was discussed at the First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit (FMPCDI), that took place in El Prat de Llobregat near Barcelona on January 29-31, 2009.
Ooit stonden de velden rondom het Afghaanse dorpje Vijfhuizen vol met opiumplanten. Tot zo ver het oog reikte, zag je het gewas staan. Maar die tijden zijn voorbij in Vijfhuizen, oftewel Pucha Kala. De gouverneur van de provincie Nangahar waar dit dorpje ligt, heeft korte metten gemaakt met de productie van de drugs.
Against a barrage of opposition media propaganda funded by Bolivia’s elites, the new constitution was approved with 61% of the popular vote. Bolivia was once the prized pupil for its wholesale application of policies encouraged by the IMF and the World Bank. Now it is one of the countries articulating an alternative.