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Index April 2008

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ICRC summer courses on international humanitarian law

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Received by mail:

From: HRE List, the Human Rights Education Associates, and their Newsletter.
Date: 29/04/2008

Dear Colleagues,

The ICRC / International Committee of the Red Cross’ annual Summer courses on International Humanitarian Law provide a comprehensive introduction to the subject through a combination of lectures and case studies.

The next Anglophone course, organized with the Polish Red Cross, will be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 30 June to 10 July 2008.

The next francophone course, organized with the Belgian Red Cross – French Community, will be held in Han-sur-Lesse, Belgium, from 1 to 10 September 2008.

Both the English and the French courses are open to advanced students as well as young professors and researchers from Europe and North America. The French speaking course is also open to participants from the Middle East.
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Resuming this morning

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When trying to imagine what reality is, I got the picture of a garden (the known) and outside this garden the unknown. Between both someone created a thick, high wall, impenetrable, waterproof, really protecting the inside from the unknown. No doors.

Now we have two kinds of humans living in this garden:
- the ones wanting create windows into this wall, to look what is outside, others wanting create a door, to move to this unknown, and even those frightening fellows wanting displace the wall in direction of the unknown, thus contaminating the inside known by not controlled elements.
- the second kind of humans is quickly found: all those crying no, let it like that, make your experiences in another corner of our garden, not here where we are. Let us quiet, in peace, do not move.  Continue Reading…

The pope

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Published on OpenDemocracy, by Michael Walsh, April 25, 2008.

The real target:

Here, however, is where the small details of the pope`s six-day trip do start to matter. For rather oddly, Benedict had come to praise the secular. In a largely unremarked passage which must have had the 19th-century pontiffs turning in their sarcophagi, he lauded the secular political order, and its separation of church and state. This may be a reality taken for granted in the US and in much – though regrettably not in all – of Europe as well as elsewhere. It has also been Catholic doctrine since the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s (though as late as the eve of the council there were cardinals in the Roman curia fighting a rearguard action). But even today, some Catholics in the US regard their constitution as an Enlightenment project, and not something to which the devout should sign up. Benedict`s praise of the US constitution was, therefore, a significant moment: yet another problem for those apologists for Catholicism who insist that their church\`s teaching never changes …

… The diplomacy of faith:
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China Olympics, Tibet Torture, Coca-Cola Profits

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Linked with Indian FAX ACTION about Coca-Cola, with Dangerous Pesticides in Coca-Cola and Pepsi in India, with no water for peoples need, with Down to Earth, and with a Hunger Strike and Coca-Cola in India.

Published on India Resource Center, by Amit Srivastava, April 28, 2008.

San Francisco: Responding to a question about Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Olympic Torch Relay at the Coca-Cola shareholders meeting last week, Mr. Isdell, CEO of Coca-Cola, defended the sponsorship by referring to the Olympic Torch as a symbol of hope and openness.

At about the same time, the Olympic Torch was being run in New Delhi, India. On hand were over 15,000 armed security personnel, including Indian paramilitary forces and Chinese security, and the public was largely banned from attending. On hand to view the ceremonies were a very select few, including a group of children outfitted with Coca-Cola T-shirts …

… The current protests around the Olympic Torch Relay are a perfect moment to scrutinize the role that corporations play in this day and age of globalization and send a clear message to the corporations that human rights must come before profits.
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Social justice philanthropy from the bottom up

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Linked with Colin Greer – USA.

Published on Allavida.org, by Colin Greer, June 2005.

In an article in the June edition of Alliance, Gary Craig rightly points out that social justice is not just a matter of ends? of what you support? it is also a matter of means, and he discusses some of the implications of this for foundations who think of themselves as practising social justice philanthropy. Our own experience at the New World Foundation NWF bears this out. As we committed ourselves to the what of social justice grantmaking, we had also to pay attention to the how, to the evolution of sympathetic organizational practices that push us beyond funding social justice projects to making NWF itself a social justice organization in partnership with others, most of whom are grantees in base-building community activism.
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amazing beauty of maths

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Received from K.N.Pandita, who received it from a friend:

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn’t it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321

Now, take a look at this … 101%

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint, what equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life? Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions:

If:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

If:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

And:

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But:

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:

L-O-V-E-O-F-G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, It’s the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Have a nice day

Sudan Should Arrest War Crimes Suspects Now

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‘Justice for Darfur’ campaign launched

Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 25/04/2008

Human Rights Watch Press release HRW

The Hague – One year after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for two war crimes suspects in Darfur, human rights organizations around the world are launching a “Justice for Darfur” campaign, calling for the two to be arrested.

The organizations behind the campaign, including Amnesty International, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, and Sudan Organization Against Torture, have joined forces to call on the United Nations Security Council, regional organizations and individual governments to press Sudan to cooperate with the ICC.
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Government Should Automatically Stop Deportation Proceedings on Appeal

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France: European Court orders suspension of deportation

Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 25/04/2008

Human Rights Watch Press release HRW

(Paris) – The European Court of Human Rights decision to order France to suspend the deportation of an Algerian is a reminder that France’s expulsion policy may put people in harm’s way, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 23, 2008, the court ordered France to halt Kamel Daoudi’s deportation until it could review the case and issue a final decision on whether or not he could face torture or ill-treatment in Algeria.

Under current procedures in France, individuals facing deportation can apply to a special judge for a stay on human rights grounds. But even appeals based on fear of torture or ill-treatment do not automatically suspend the deportation until and unless the special judge orders the stay.
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Bruno Manser, Land Rights

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Linked with Bruno Manser – Switzerland.

Published on The Borneo Project, article not dated.

The man who made the plight of the indigenous people in Sarawak known to the world is the well-known activist Bruno Manser, a 46-year old Swiss national who spent six years (1984 to 1990) living with a group of nomadic Penan. In May 2000, Manser disappeared near Batu Lawi, a 2000-meter sheer limestone pinnacle in Sarawak. His body has not been found, and he is now presumed dead.

In his six years with the Penan, Manser became so well-versed in their language and culture that he became an accepted member of their community. It was also around this time that the Penan and other Dayaks began organizing blockades in protest against logging activities. The Malaysian government attributed this to Manser, accusing him of instigating the blockades. In doing so it was ignoring the fact that this resistance had been building up for many years prior to his arrival – the blockades would have occurred even if he had not been present …
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Philanthropy as solidarity

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Published on Open Democracy, by Colin Greer, April 21, 2008.

Michael Edwards is right to be critical of entrepreneur philanthropy – both in his openDemocracy essay, “Philanthrocapitalism: after the goldrush” (19 March 2008) and in the book on which it draws, Just Another Emperor: the Myths and Realities of Philanthrocapitalism (Demos/Young Foundation, 2008). This form of philanthropy – “philanthrocapitalism” – is indeed full of misconceptions, overblown expectations, and inexperienced (mis)application of market conventions to social-justice activism. Gara LaMarche, in his response – “Philanthropy for social change” (9 April 2008) – is also right to argue that the critique of philanthrocapitalism should not allow conventional philanthropy by default to be portrayed as “the” effective and pristine social-justice partner.
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China versus Occident/France = the WE versus the I

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There are two fundamental different ways to look at what we are:

a) WE = I WITH the rest of their world (China, or province), I call this the chinese way;

versus

b) I = me and MAYBE the rest of our world, if I agree. Our occidental way.

Now our actual running chinese – occident/french human rights mess: yesterday evening I listened a TV debate on a french channel about the actual anger between China and France concerning Human Rights/Tibet, the Olympic Fire-run and the behaviors of the different actors: three occidental intellectuals, a 100 percent chinese thinking journalist and the debate leader.

Result after one hour: the difference in thinking reality could not be bigger, very politely the understanding of each-other was obviously zero.
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Darwin Evolves for Survival in Digital Age

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Published on Spiegel online/Zeitgeist english edition, by rjm, April 17, 2008.

Cambridge University has posted the bulk of Charles Darwin’s writings, handwritten notes and manuscripts online. The world’s richest trove of information on Darwin’s evolution teachings – once restricted to researchers at the prestigious university – is now available to the world for free.

They say you have to evolve with the times. Now the original source of the survival metaphor is getting his fair shake at it. On Thursday, the Cambridge University Library published Charles Darwin’s private papers on the Internet, including his original sketch of the theory of evolution.

The publication is the largest ever of the famed scientist’s personal papers, which for decades have been available only to scholars at Cambridge University. The archive contains nearly 90,000 images and 20,000 items, including sketches, field notes, manuscripts, drawings, letters and photographs …

… Yet for all these changes in medium, many but not all of the papers are, according to the library’s 1960 description of the originals, “presumably just as Darwin left them,” as the Web site states. (full text).

a Peter Russle video

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Have a blue? Come on …

Russle Peter Video, 45 minutes, joined 2 years ago but still alive …

Lynne Stewart’s Long Struggle for Justice

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Linked with Stephen Lendman – USA,

Published on Atlantic Free Press, by Stephen Lendman, 13 April 2008.

On April 9, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft made a symbolic visit to “Ground Zero.” While in New York, he held a well-publicized press conference at the US Attorney’s Office and used the occasion for an indictment. Four individuals were named on charges of conspiracy and materially aiding a terrorist organization. One of them was long-time civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart. On the same day, FBI agents arrested her at her home and illegally seized documents there and from her office that are protected by attorney-client privilege …

… In July 2003, Federal District Court Judge John Koeltl (a 1994 Clinton appointee) dismissed the original charges for being “unconstitutionally void for vagueness” and because they “revealed a lack of prosecutorial standards.” Nonetheless, Stewart was symbolically reindicted on November 22, 2003 (the 40th year anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination) on five counts of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act. Specific charges included:
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Muslim Women in Europe caught between traditions and secular ethos

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Linked with Seyran Ates – Turkey.

Published on Islamic Voice.com, by Sylvia Poggioli, March 2008.

As immigrants from the Muslim world continue to settle in Europe, governments are beginning to question the notion of multiculturalism, the immigration model that has prevailed for decades in most parts of the continent.

This model has often led to the creation of separate, parallel societies ignorant of one another, and also to a large Muslim underclass.

Berlin lawyer Seyran Ates, a Turkish-German women’s rights activist, says that in Europe, there are two societies with two different value systems living side by side, but separate from one another.

.veiled-muslim-women-rogne.jpg.

Woman wearing full face veil, the niqab

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Society missing its moral compass

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Published on The Press Association, April 20, 2008.

Selfishness, greed and family breakdown are among the modern-day “social evils”, according to a new report published.

Society has lost its “moral compass”, with government, the media, big business and religion sharing the responsibility, the consultation by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found.

In 1904 the founder of the social policy charity identified poverty, war, slavery, intemperance, the opium trade, impurity and gambling as the “great scourges of humanity”.

Today’s top 10 evils, identified after a consultation with more than 3,500 people, were mostly linked to the breakdown of community and family, and in some cases a matter of dispute.

They were: the decline of community, individualism, consumerism and greed, a decline of values, the decline of the family, young people as both victims and perpetrators, drugs and alcohol, poverty and inequality, immigration and responses to it, and crime and violence.

The report concluded that people felt “a strong sense of unease” about some of the changes shaping British society … (full text).

New Media: How to Do More With Less

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Linked with International Women’s Media Foundation IWMF, and with Sandra Nyaira – Zimbabwe.

Published on IWMF, by Lindsey Wray, not dated.

Badly-run news organizations will fail. So says Merrill Brown, founder and principal of MMB Media LLC.

And, he says, stopping this demise is up to journalists. Journalists can help save media outlets by keeping an eye out for ways of using new technology to help their organizations navigate through the bumpy road they’re facing, he says. Brown is an Internet pioneer. He has served as senior vice president and editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com and was previously a media and communications consultant whose work included strategic development work at Time Inc., NBC and other media ventures. Brown now consults with clients on management and strategy, corporate, editorial and program development, business analysis and marketing services …

… Tips for Surviving and Thriving With New Media:

War And Pain: Nothing New Under The Sun

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Gaither Stewart, 18 April, 2008.

The world goes round and round and human beings say and do the same things again and again, so that it seems there is truly nothing new under the sun. The perplexing unchangingness of man’s behavior and the ways of the world have again led me back to the ancient Greeks. And what do I find there? I find the same warmongers and pacifists of today, identical war parties and peace parties, arms industries and anti-war writers, the generals who predictably “just love war,” and, as one might expect, the same identical massacre of women and children as everyday in Iraq, now conveniently called “collateral damages.” We are used to that military euphemism dating from the Vietnam War. We nearly skip over those terrible words.

Someday collateral damage might be called by its real name: Crime against humanity. …

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women’s experience of urban violence in Brazil

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Published on Amnesty International.org, by International Seretariat London, 2008, a 87 pdf-pages report.

… Conclusions and Recommendations, page 78: This report set out to highlight reality behind the dramatic images and shocking statistics of bloodshed in Brazil’s urban centres. It has attempted to look behind the tens of thousands of young Afro-Brazilian men being killed, who have traditionally taken centre stage in discussions of urban violence, to the women in socially excluded communities.

Women in these communities are the direct victims of violence and some are increasingly caught up in the world of criminal gangs. However, many more are struggling to cope with the loss of relatives, to bring up families in an environment fraught with dangers, and to keep themselves and their children safe from both criminal and police violence and intimidation …

… Page 80: With this report Amnesty International is further calling on the authorities to Identify the intersectionality of gender and race issues in relation to policing and ensure appropriate policies and projects are created to address these needs. More specifically Amnesty International recognizes that since the organization made those recommendations the federal government has launched its PRONASCI plan and introduced the “Maria da Penha” law.

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The belated confession of Carla Del Ponte

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Linked with Carla del Ponte – Switzerland.

Published on Panarmenian.net, by PanARMENIAN.Net analytical department, April 1, 2008.

… The announcements of Carla Del Ponte were already becoming the reason to initiate proceedings in Serbia. The circuit court of Belgrade has started the hearings on the case of kidnapping of 300 young Serbs in summer 1999, who, as the former major accuser of the Hague Tribunal confirms in his book, were called to Albania for requisitioning internals, says “Izvestia”. According to Del Ponte, the leaders of Kosovo Liberation Army, among who was the present Prime Minister of the independent Kosovo Hashim Tachi, committed atrocities, which are compared with the ones committed by Third Reich in the concentration camps. Evidences of atrocities committed by Hashim Tachi have been revealed.

According to the President of the Union of the seven missing Kosovo Serbs Simo Spasich, he has met Carla Del Ponte several times and has given her the proofs of kidnapping and killing the Kosovo Serbs in the concentration camps. However, even after in 2003 when the public prosecutor himself visited the place where the crime had been committed, in the north of Albania, in the house where the extraction of organs was committed, she didn’t initiate any procedure, although according to her own confession, marks of blood and medical equipment were found.

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Ex-UN prosecutor’s organ trading claims challenged

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Linked with Carla del Ponte – Switzerland, and with Swiss block del Ponte over controversial book’s claims.

Published by Khaleej Times online, AFP, 16 April 2008.

GENEVA – Former UN war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte’s claim that Kosovo Albanians trafficked organs taken from Serbs during the 1998-1999 war cannot be backed up, her ex-aide said Wednesday.

Calling the claims “irresponsible” and “undignified,” Florence Hartmann told Swiss newspaper Le Temps that Del Ponte was ”presenting things which were impossible to prove as established facts.”

Hartmann said keeping the organs at the proper temperature and ”a lack of proper sanitary facilities made such practices extremely difficult.”

Del Ponte’s book entitled “The Hunt: Me and War Criminals” alleges those involved in the trafficking included leaders of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which fought Serbian forces at the time in mid-1999.

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abuse and violence against children

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Join the WWSF International Coalition for making prevention of abuse and violence against children a global priority

Received by mail:

From: WWSF (mail)
Date: 15/04/2008

World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November 2008

Dear Friends and Partners,

WWSF is happy to share with you that 786 organizations from 128 countries joined the international coalition marking the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse last year, organizing activities and events on 19 November or supporting the Day in general.

Launched in 2000, the World Day has as its main purpose to create a global culture of prevention of child abuse worldwide. Every year, more and more Governmental and Non Governmental organizations join the campaign to help make prevention of child abuse a global priority. We sincerely hope that you will join the 2008 coalition and that you will invite your members and partners to do the same.

2008 Registration Form:

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Diary of an Iraq girl

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I started to attend private lessons

Published on Days of my life, by Sunshine (nickname), April 5, 2008.

3 excerpts: … The driver parked two streets away, as the whole place around my school was crowded, I was walking with my friends, and tanks were in the street, I was really close to the tank, I looked at it as I passed, I was thinking ” I am so close to the tank”, it was less than 1 meter away, my heart was beating fast because it’s the first time I go alone to a teacher’s house, and I was thinking someone may attack the tank, anyway, as I was having my lunch in the car, I started to think silently the whole way, from this day my long journey began, I’ll do my best, and get a high par, I hope nothing bad will happen, I need to concentrate and forget about my whole week, I should format my brain (as Baghdadentist say), I should also relax, which is like mission impossible for me, but I have to do my best …

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UNCTAD XII

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to consider impact of economic trends on development

Picked up on Weitzenegger.de, by weitzenegger, April 1, 2008.

Twelfth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD to take place in Accra, Ghana, 20-25 April:

Heads of state, ministers, economists to discuss better translation of globalization gains into poverty reduction; nurturing and expanding South-South trade; commodities boom; regional integration; foreign investment for development, debt management; technology; growing impact of creative economy; importance of small firms and entrepreneurship for development.

A related problem to be scrutinized in Accra is the seeming paradox that despite high growth in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, only limited reductions in poverty have been achieved, especially in the world’s 49 least developed countries (LDCs). Globalization that does not bring broadly higher living standards − especially during a halcyon period of economic growth − has governments and international economists concerned about what will be necessary to tackle the deep poverty in which hundreds of millions continue to live. It also raises questions about the world’s ability to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty by 2015 … (full text).

(Homepage of Weitzenegger’s websites).