December 2010

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Guess which Country Is Israel's Strongest Supporter? Hint: It's not America

Video Canada has long been known as a neutral mediator. The country has often played a nonaligned diplomatic role, but when it comes to foreign policy on Israel, the government of Canada has given up any pretence of neutrality and very publicly picked one side. In 2008, when Hamas won democratic elections in Gaza, Canada was the first to cut all aid to the Palestinian Authority. In 2009, during Israel's attack on Gaza, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning the...

On Migrants and Movement

Picture: Purple Sparks Liepollo Pheko - There are currently about 200 million people living outside their countries of birth. Worldwide the rate of migration grew at six percent a year during the 1990s, a rate faster than population growth as a whole. Better opportunities for employment are among the main reasons people choose to migrate. According to the Pew Hispanic Centre, 11% of everyone born in Mexico is currently living the United States in search of better opportunities in the world’s biggest economy. At...

From Cancun to Durban: Climate Change Negotiations COP 'Out'

Picture: Oxfam International Michelle Pressend - South Africa is no stranger to hosting major United Nations (UN) events. In 2001 the World Conference Against Racism was hosted in Durban and in 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place in Johannesburg. In late 2011 the contentious climate change negotiations will continue at the UN 17th Conference of the Party (COP 17) in Durban where the South African government is hoping they could clinch the deal for a “fair, balanced and ambitious outcome,” on...

The Democratic Right to Die

Picture: SACSIS Glenn Ashton - Death remains a taboo subject. Ending ones own life, as in suicide, in assisted suicide or even in medically supervised termination of life, is seldom discussed. Death and dying is only raised at the end of ones life, at a time of weakness when we cannot properly deal with such a demanding matter.  Death is so profoundly taboo that the media, if it does discuss it at all, generally takes a partisan view, echoing established dogma, citing tired moral, religious or ethical issues. The...

How Shell Infiltrated Nigeria

Video Nigeria, Africa's most populous country has been infiltrated by oil company, Shell, the leaked WikiLeaks diplomatic cables reveal. According to cables from the US State Department, an American diplomat documents a meeting with a top executive from Royal Dutch Shell who states that the company had access to everything that was being done in the country. Shell has seconded staff to every relevant oil ministry giving them unparalleled access to government decision making in Nigeria. In the...

On Julian Assange, His Rock Star Status, Red Herring Arrest and Duplicitous International Diplomacy

Picture: espenmoe Fazila Farouk - In the social justice universe, Julian Assange is a rock star. You know what I mean. Every profession has its rock stars. There are lawyer rock stars, doctor rock stars, engineer rock stars…I’m not so sure about accountant rock stars, but I think you get my drift. There’s a certain kind of man that is great looking, has a cavalier confidence, superior intellect and is supremely successful in his career. Said man is also followed by a long line of women who succumb to...