Political impasse continues in Myanmar. Peace talks and general elections have failed to achieve national breakthroughs. All parties — both domestic and international — need to reflect on this failure. Civil society networks and representative governance must be strengthened at the community level if peace and democracy are to be built.
This month the 2019 edition of the Atlas of Utopias has been launched. An initiative by Transformative Cities, the atlas is a unique collection of community-led transformations of water, energy, food and housing systems, featuring 33 stories from 24 countries.
In this commentary, the Union of Karenni State Youth and LAIN Technical Support Group provide a chronology of events, outlining how arrests and the government’s handling of events have compounded rather than resolved political frustrations and inter-community understandings.
The construction of an Aung San statue has caused deep controversy in Kayah State during the past year. Dee De is a member of the Karenni State Farmers Union and Union of Karenni State Youth. He was arrested on 21 June, Karenni National Day, for his involvement in protests. In his commentary, Dee De argues why the construction of the statue is premature and a sensitive issue for the Karenni and other ethnic nationality peoples at this time.
In support of our long-term goals, which also indicate the type of work TNI does, an ambitious five-year programme was developed in 2014. Although 2018 only marks the mid-point in implementation, impressive progress is already apparent.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, accessible papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2020 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. The focus for our ninth annual edition is on 'The Corporation'.
The government of the Portuguese Socialist Party supported and pressured by an alliance with the Communist Party and the Left Bloc have shown that it is possible to implement an effective anti-austerity programme as a member of the EU.
Controversy continues over a suspended mega-dam project, backed by China, on the Irrawaddy River in Kachin State. The social and environmental consequences of the proposed project cast a shadow not only over the local Kachin population but over all the nationalities of Myanmar. Public awareness is growing why protecting the Irrawaddy is of national importance.
Recent events have exposed how Northern Ireland hasn’t experienced peace as much as a cold war. The structural violence, legacy of conflict and democratic deficit can’t be left to dangerously smoulder any longer.
Jeannette Oppedijk van Veen, Leonardo van den Berg, Sijtse Jan Roeters, Jolke de Moel, Hanny van Geel
17 April 2019
Against the backdrop of an agrarian landscape that has become more homogenous, sterile and empty over the past 50 years, a new movement of Dutch farmers and citizens is emerging. They want to support a type of agriculture that does not damage the environment, enriches the life of farmers and citizens, and produces healthy food. This desire is expressed through a vast array of initiatives. It includes growers who allow citizens to undertake their harvesting, dairy farmers who plant trees and herbs in the field, cereal farmers who sell directly to local bakers, farms in which citizens become shareholders, and many more.
In 2012, citizens from Highland Park, Michigan came together to form Soulardarity in response to the repossession of over 1,000 streetlights from their city. Their goal is to organise for community-owned solar street lights, energy production and equitable development. Since its formation, Soulardarity has installed seven solar streetlights and deployed over US$ 30,000 worth of solar technology in Highland Park and the surrounding communities through the PowerUP bulk purchasing programme. The group has also organised advocacy at the city and state levels for regulation, policy and local political leadership to support community ownership, transparency and environmental responsibility.
Soulardarity also advocates for a Community Ownership Power Administration (COPA) as part of the growing call in the United States for a Green New Deal to tackle climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice.
Del 1 al 5 de abril de 2019, representantes de unos 100 países se reunieron en Nueva York para hablar sobre el sistema de solución de controversias entre inversores y Estados (ISDS). El ISDS es un instrumento jurídico al que pueden recurrir las multinacionales para demandar a los Gobiernos y exigirles miles de millones de dólares. Observadores externos temen que las nuevas negociaciones se limiten a “poner vino nuevo en botellas viejas”. Consideran que quienes se benefician con este instrumento (países poderosos y abogados de élite especializados en el ISDS) están controlando el debate.