What’s New June 2000

This page lists recent changes made to this site. The "Find Out More" links will take you to the changes. If this jumps to the middle of a page, you can easily scroll up to understand the context of the new information a bit further.

Date of Update

Description


June 27, 2000


  1. Freedom of Information is a commonly heard phrase. But what about the actual access to information? Such ease of availability of information is critical in the important issue of trade and economics, as various trade negotiations and agreements affect the livelihoods of all people. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights Related Issues / Trade Related Issues / Free Trade and the Mainstream Media


  2. How does "over-population" and unsustainable development compare? Most regard various developing countries such as India and China as over populated, although their population densities are smaller than most European nations. However, lack of appropriate access to sufficient resources can put a strain on the environment. But unsustainable development is not limited to developing countries (which is a stereotypical view). In fact, most of the currently industrialized countries are industrialized because of their unsustainable use of their resources (and others). The United States for example, has four to five percent of the world's population but consumes up to forty percent of the world's resources. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Population / Environment Issues / Trade Related Issues


  3. As corporations grow and expand to increase and improve profit margins, human rights are often ignored. Some multinational corporations are increasingly being criticized for violating rights of people in order to gain further profits. As globalization is talked about more and more, so should one of the major driving factors; corporate influence. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Trade Related Issues / Free Trade and Globalization / Causes of Poverty


  4. We hear more about debt-reduction strategies these days, but they can be frought with problems. Thanks to public pressure, the problem of third world debt has been highlighted well. However, in those cases where the reforms are performed by the institutions that helped cause the problems in the first place, there is the risk of maintaining the dependency, and perhaps flawed basis upon which they were made. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Debt / Causes of Poverty


  5. An additional resource for media-related issues has been added. This one is from the Canadian-based Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society (IMPACS), a non-profit organization based in Vancouver committed to the expansion and protection of democracy and the strengthening of civil society. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media / Human Rights Related Issues


  6. An additional resource for human rights issues has been added. This one is from the Derechos Human Rights, an internet-based organization with many resources of interest. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media / Human Rights Related Issues



June 20, 2000


  1. The United States is once again opposing the International Criminal Court. The last round of negotiations for the International Criminal Court is taking place from 12-30 June 2000 at UN headquarters in New York. However, there is legislation in the US Congress being introduced to punish any country that supports the ICC. On top of that, the U.S. wants guarantees that US soldiers would be given immunity from war crimes charges before participating in any peacekeeping efforts. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics


  2. Solving world hunger with genetically engineered food does not solve world poverty. If the technology could prove successful, it would only provide an ability for people to survive through poverty, not necessarily come out of it. While tackling world hunger is of course a very important function, it would be careless to believe that solving world hunger is all that is needed. Companies promoting genetically engineered food as a solution to world hunger have been criticized by many due to the fact that a basic assumption is incorrect; world hunger is not really due to a shortage of food, but more due to to the political decisions made in the international arena leading to effects such as inequality and lack of access to food and land. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Causes of Poverty / Trade Related Issues


  3. Diamonds have been at the center of the conflict in Sierra Leone. The terrible conflict, which has seen over 50,000 people killed and one million displaced, has been influenced by internal and external parties interested in the vast wealth that the diamonds bring. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Conflicts in Africa / Geopolitics


  4. Some additional links to poverty related issues have been added. These are from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In particular there is the Poverty Report 2000 looking at ways to make poverty reduction campaigns effective. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Causes of Poverty / Trade Related Issues



June 12, 2000


  1. A UN special session on women's rights just concluded. It was to review how countries had progressed from the 1995 Beijing Plan of Action to provide more in terms of equity, development and peace for all women. Some countries, plus the Vatican, were actually opposed to a number of issues relating to the rights of women. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Womens Rights / Gender and Population Issues / Human Rights / Human Population


  2. An Amnesty International report accuses NATO of violating international law and even committing a war crime in Kosovo. This comes just a week after a War Crimes Tribunal Prosecutor announced that she would not prosecute NATO for war crimes. Throughout the past year and during the bombing, many others have also pointed out similar things that Amnesty International have. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Crisis in Kosovo / Geopolitics


  3. As the world globalizes, so does the trade in arms. Corporate profits means that there is increasing pressure for the powerful countries to sell surplus and new arms, often with disregard as to how they are used by the recipients. Sometimes, they are sold knowing that they will be used to violate rights of other people. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Arms Trade / Geopolitics


  4. Forests help absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), which is useful as our pollution and CO2 emissions increase. However, it is not enough. While pollution increases and CO2 emissions is on the rise, forests are continuously shrinking and so there is less that can be absorbed and hence pollution will increase. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and contributes to the climate change. Sustainable management of forests is therefore vital. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Global Warming / Environmental Issues


  5. A couple of additional resources on the US Star Wars, or National Missile Defense program (NMD) has been added. One is a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the other is a detailed article from the Nation magazine. The NMD is criticized for being flawed in concept, for being too costly (at tax payer expense, of course). There is a conflict of interest of the large corporations who stand to make enormous profits if the program gets the thumbs up. It also puts gains made from international nuclear arms reduction treaties at risk. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Arms Control / Arms Trade / Geopolitics


  6. Some additional news sources have been added. On the globalissues.org web site you can now also get news headlines from quality sources such as OneWorld, Center for Defense Information, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Freedom Forum, The Nation, New Scientist, Nature and others! Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media


  7. An additional link has been added for information on the banana trade. This one is to an organization called Banana Link. It is a very good site with a lot of in-depth information. It is a UK-based organization working for sustainable production and trade in bananas. Many livelihoods in the Caribbean are affected by the US and some corporations that want further access to the banana trade. The battle of fair trade versus free trade may end up in many more people in poverty. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty


  8. An additional link has been added for information on the crisis in Chechnya. This one is to an organization called Chechnya.co.uk. They have a lot of information on the crisis, updated regularly. The conflict still goes on. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics



June 5, 2000


  1. How has the media covered the genetically engineered food issue? How is the biotech industry using media and marketing for genetically engineered and modified products? One thing that the media has again done is dumb down the issue to just two sides of anti-science people and pro-science people who are altruistically trying to solve world hunger. This is far from the accurate picture. There are many complex reasons that people are for or against the technology and there are also many other socio-political and economic issues related to genetically engineered food. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Environment Issues / Trade Related Issues


  2. Food patenting and privatization by corporations from industrialized nations of indigenous knowledge from the developing countries is a cause for concern. In India and Brazil for example, patents have been taken out on many, many foods and ingredients. Some of this knowledge has even been known for hundreds of years and what was once a natural resource has now been privatized without their knowledge or consent. These are often used in biotechnology research. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Environment Issues / Trade Related Issues


  3. Does over-population put stress on the environment? Yes, but it is not always the most major cause. Often in many places, over-consumption and unsustainable development policies have larger impacts on the environment than just population growth. And there is more consumption and unsustainable development in the richer nations of the world. However, as some cities from developing countries start to prosper, they can start to see problems in sustainable growth if not managed properly. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Population / Environment Issues / Trade Related Issues


  4. A UN report looks back at the economic crisis that affect so many Asian countries. It suggests that the lessons to learn would be that nations should rely on domestic roots for growth, diversifying exports and deepening social safety nets. Interestingly enough, this is the opposite of what countries like the US and organizations like the WTO, IMF and World Bank prescribe. They suggest liberalization, in a way that allows easy capital inflows, but also easy capital flight, which worsened this crisis. As suggested by many, for developing nations to develop, they need a solid foundation, from which they may be then able to liberalize, if needed. In the past, Europe and the US protected their home industries to help them flourish. Developing countries should be afforded the same capabilities, else they are left to the whims of the more powerful countries and their corporations, as we saw in this financial crisis. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Fair Trade / Causes of Poverty


  5. Peace is possible between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ethiopia claims to have ended the war with a victory, while Eritrea claims a tactical withdrawal from their disputed border. Additional links for more information have also been added. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Conflicts in Africa / Geopolitics


  6. Some additional links about Sierra Leone have been added. These include a link to news updates on Sierra Leone from Africa Online and links to other organizations from Sierra-Leone.org. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Conflicts in Africa / Geopolitics


  7. An additional link on biodiversity has been added. This one is a link to the World Conservation Union. They have many resources worth checking out. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Biodiversity / Environment Issues / Trade Related Issues


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