What’s New March 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


March 27, 2000


  1. All four major nuclear weapons treaties are under pressure. Some UN member nations are skeptical of the commitment from the United States on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is up for renewal in 2000. The Anti Ballistics Missile Treaty is under threat from the United States National Missile Defense Program. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was rejected by the US Senate and Russia stalls on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, START II because of the American missile defence program. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics


  2. Human Rights Watch research shows that Serbs used rape as an instrument of war in the Kosovo conflict. As the NATO bombing intensified, so did the Serb crackdown on the Kosovar Albanians. The impact this has has on children and women have been terrible. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Crisis in Kosovo / Geopolitics / Human Rights Issues


  3. NATO finally admitted to the UN that it used depleted uranium weapons in Kosovo. While known for a long time, NATO themselves had never officially recognized this fact. They also said that they used 10 tonnes of depleted uranium in shells. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Crisis in Kosovo / Geopolitics / Human Rights Issues


  4. A new source of information on racism has been added. This one is a link to a United Nations web site on the World Conference Against Racism to be held in South Africa in 2001. It has some good background information. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights Issues


  5. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Production and Processing Methods rule argues that discrimination should not be made on how and where something is produced. Supporters of genetically engineered food ingredients (usually large corporations through lobbying their governments) can argue to the WTO that a country cannot say no to it on the grounds of safety, as they have to prove it is unsafe, rather than the producers proving it is safe. This also means measures such as labeling come under much scrutiny and attack. Since Seattle, the biotech industry has started another media campaign to promote genetically engineered foods. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Environmental Issues / Free Trade / WTO and Seattle / Trade Related Issues


  6. The Second World Water Forum ended with a commitment to sustainabable development and management of water. There have been some complex issues such as whether access to clean water should be regarded as a human right, whether there should be privatization of water access and so on. Most of these issues still need to be worked out in detail, but the Declatation on Water Security is a starting point. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Global Warming / Human Population / Environmental Issues


  7. An additional source of media information has been added. This one is a link to the alternative media section from About.com. There are a number of links and categories to various alternative media sources and organizations critical of the mainstream media. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media / Human Rights Issues



March 19, 2000


  1. While the US/UK-led military campaigns of the Gulf War in 1991, and the bombing of Iraq in 1998 have ended, that is not the end of the story for the people of Iraq. In fact, the continued sanctions against Iraq is illegal. It violates the UN charter as it is directed against the people of Iraq. The UN estimates that over a million deaths have been caused by the sanctions alone. 4000 children are dying each month from easily prevented diseases. Many leading figures in the UN have resigned over this as they face increasing frustrations with the US and UK not willing to lift the sanctions. While Sadam gets away unaffected, it is the people of Iraq facing the brunt of this flawed sanctions policy. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Foreign Policy / Geopolitics


  2. A new report shows that UK is the worst place in Europe to be growing up if you are poor. Even though Britain is one of the most affluent members of the European Union (EU), more children are likely to be born in to poverty there, compared to elsewhere in the EU. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Causes of Poverty / Fair Trade


  3. While the majority of the people that suffer from illness and disease around the world are the poor, the drug companies concentrate on products and cures that will return a profit for them. This usually means that research and development disproportionately concentrates on problems faced by the affluent as they have the means to pay for the treatments. Earlier this year, there was strong criticism of pharmaceutical companies that wanted trade sanctions on poor nations that tried to develop drugs at cheaper prices to combat AIDS that is devastating their countries. The reasoning for the sanctions? It affected the potential profits of these companies. Fortunately, this was derailed, but it does still leave lingering questions about priorities and accountability of certain corporations. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Causes of Poverty / Fair Trade


  4. While some still debate whether or not climate change has been exacerbated by human activity or not, polar ice caps continue to melt at a rapid rate. Some studies suggest that there is enough evidence to conclude that Global Warming is here and human-induced. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Environmental Issues


  5. The Second World Water Forum is underway. This session will try to address the growing water crisis around the world. It is easy to take water for granted, but most people around the world do not have easy access (or access at all) to clean water. Various factors are increasing the urgency and importance of water-related issues, including climate change and population increases. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Global Warming / Human Population / Environmental Issues


  6. Aceh is suffering gross human rights violations, similar to that of East Timor. Human Rights workers are also being driven out so that any atrocities and violations that may be committed do not get reported as easily. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics / Human Rights


  7. The negative reaction against the rapid push of genetically engineered food into global markets has resulted in a slight downturn for the agriculture biotech industry. Stock prices are coming down while demands and exports of modified food is decreasing. The strong consumer stance has been largely because of the undemocratic nature of the corporate drive to push such technology into the market place, without adequate assurances that it is safe in the first place. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Environmental Issues / Trade Related Issues


  8. An additional source of information has been added. This one is the Media Channel. Described as the world’s first global media supersite, the Media Channel looks into the problems of journalism in the mainstream and continued state repression of journalism in many nations. They have great articles on their site. (The globalissues.org web site is an affiliate site of the Media Channel). Find Out More »



March 13, 2000


  1. While the world is globalizing, international news coverage is declining. The ability to then make informed decisions is severely impacted. The level of discourse needed to understand our rapidly changing world is not broad or deep enough because the mainstream media institutions do not provide much detailed coverage. And, often when there is international coverage, there is a lot of bias and omission of important information. Why? Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights


  2. While the world is globalizing, military spending in some regions is also increasing. However, in some places the term defense can be misleading, as the spending is often directed largely towards foreign military operations, rather than national defense. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Arms Trade / Geopolitics / Military Expansion


  3. How sincere and committed were various NATO nations in pursuing diplomacy before the bombing of Yugoslavia started? The Sunday Times of UK, for example, reveals that the CIA gave aid and training to the KLA before the bombing of Yugoslavia started. Some of the US members of the OSCE were linked to the CIA. Some European diplomats have expressed their frustrations at being betrayed in this way. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Crisis in Kosovo / Geopolitics / Military Expansion


  4. The terrible floods that have affected so many in Mozambique have also affected over 600,000 people in Madagascar, according to UN estimates. Two cyclones tore through the island nation. Unfortunately, this has not been reported as much as the problems in Mozambique. Also in Mozambique, the floods are feared to have moved landmines in to areas that were previously cleared. (Mozambique is one of the most heavily mined places, from the previous 16-year civil war there.) Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Trade Related Issues / Environment Issues


  5. An additional source of information on conflicts in Africa has been added. This one is to a site called Africa Dot Com. It is a portal web site on African issues with news, country information and more. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Conflicts in Africa / Geopolitics



March 4, 2000


  1. What is the effect of high military spending? In the USA, for example, 51% of the budget goes to the military, while just 6% goes in to education and 10% goes to health. As nations succumb to the propaganda that tells them they need to purchase arms to protect themselves from their so-called enemies, it results in entire regions arming themselves to the teeth. Is this security? Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics / Military Expansion / Trade Related Issues


  2. Additional links to information about Small Arms have been added. Civilians are 90 per cent of casualties caused by small arms in conflicts. They have proliferated since the end of the Cold War and with the downsizing of most militaries the world over. However, often there has not been sufficient demobilization of soldiers to help them integrate back in to society. The result in some nations has been an increase in poverty and crime as well as increases in violent internal conflicts. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Arms Trade


  3. What have been the causes of debt for developing countries? And what are the devastating effects? Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Trade Related Issues


  4. The terrible floods in Mozambique have affected over 300,000 people. A country that is terribly burdened with debt, is urging more aid and a cancellation of its dues to concentrate on relief and rebuilding. There has also been outrage and criticism in some developed countries for the slow response to the crisis. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Trade Related Issues / Environment Issues


  5. While the US/UK-led military campaigns of the Gulf War in 1991, and the bombing of Iraq in 1998 have ended, that is not the end of the story for the people of Iraq. The UN estimates that over a million deaths have been caused by the sanctions alone. 4000 children are dying each month from easily prevented diseases. Many leading figures in the UN have resigned over this as they face increasing frustrations with the US and UK not willing to lift the sanctions. While Sadam gets away unaffected, it is the people of Iraq facing the brunt of these flawed sanctions policy. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Foreign Policy / Geopolitics


  6. Military activities can also have an adverse effect on the environment. Whether it is the use by the USA and UK of depleted Uranium, or the environmental mess caused when bases are abandoned or militaries move out of an area they were previously in, the environment is often neglected. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Environment Issues / Arms Trade


  7. While the Biosafety protocol allowed some labeling of genetically modified ingredients, it still contains many weaknesses. For example, while foods coming in to a country may be labeled, there are no details of what could be genetically modified. Once the foods are processed, the shelf products that we would typically buy, such as cornflakes, will not contain the labeling. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Biodiversity / Environment Issues


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