Issue No. 305/306 (Jan/Feb 2016)

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COVER: The Paris Agreement: A small step towards averting climate disaster

At long last, a climate change agreement
While the Paris Agreement offers a glimmer of hope in tackling the critical problem of global warming, it fails to impose legally binding obligations on developed countries to limit global temperature rise and to provide financial assistance necessary for developing countries to meet the challenges of climate change.
By Gurdial Singh Nijar

The climate change battle in Paris
This analysis of the Paris climate change conference highlights some of the main issues which featured at the conference and the key provisions of the accord that emerged.
By Meena Raman

The Paris Agreement and the last-minute 'technical corrections'
In the negotiations leading up to the Paris accord, there was no lack of chicanery by the developed countries in securing an agreement on their terms.
By Meena Raman and Hilary Chiew

COP 21 decision on enhanced action prior to 2020
As the commitments under the Paris Agreement are only due to take effect in 2020, to ensure that there was no let-up in measures in the interim to limit global warming, a decision was taken at the conference on 'enhanced action' prior to 2020. 
By Indrajit Bose

Greater emission cuts needed to avert disaster - NGOs
The carbon emission cuts pledged at the Paris conference and embodied in the climate treaty that emerged are wholly inadequate to meet the grave threat from global warming facing the planet. This was the consensus view of civil society groups at the Paris conference. A civil society report released before the conference also articulated this concern.
By Chee Yoke Heong


Ecuador's quest for food sovereignty and land reform
Indigenous groups and social movements in Ecuador seek to translate the concept of buen vivir into policy.
By Karla Pena


The next threat from climate change? Mosquito-borne Zika
As Latin America reels from the outbreak of Zika, and the World Health Organisation responds to the crisis by declaring a global state of emergency, global warming will only help to spread the disease further.
By Brian Moench


Doha ‘single undertaking’ not dead and is retrievable
There were claims after the December WTO conference in Nairobi that the Doha Round of negotiations has now been abandoned. The writer takes issue with this claim.
By Chakravarthi Raghavan

South suffers humiliating setback at Nairobi
The 10th ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation held in Nairobi last December proved to be a major setback for the developing countries.
By D Ravi Kanth

Bleak prospects for Latin America under Trans-Pacific Partnership
While the Trans-Pacific Partnership may well serve the interests of some of the world's biggest corporations, it is likely to be a disaster for the Latin American states that have become members of this free trade pact.
By Ian Gustafson

Companies sue developing states through Western Europe
The investor-state dispute settlement mechanism in regional free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the seamy arbitral process make abuse of such agreements possible.
By Frank Mulder

The hidden wealth of nations
Among other things, offshore financial centres serve a political function: they undermine democracy by enabling financial capture of the political levers of democratic states.
By G Sampath

The Davos Club: Meet the people who gave us a world in which 62 people own as much as 3.6 billion
The global elite held its annual World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos this year under the shadow of an Oxfam International report which reveals a shocking level of growing global inequality.
By Vijay Prashad

The heavy price of economic policy failures
As the world economy falters and economic growth slows down, a host of explanations which locate the problem outside the economic system are being offered. Such explanations evade the fact of the failure of the traditional economic policy model and that there are alternatives to it.
By Jayati Ghosh


Between terror and tyranny
Political Islam in the shadow of the Arab uprisings
As politics in the Arab world becomes increasingly polarised between forces of resurgent authoritarianism and unbending militant extremism, longstanding conservative movements in the mould of the Muslim Brothers have increasingly found themselves violently repressed or politically marginalised.
By Abdullah Al-Arian

Five years on: Was democracy the answer for Tunisia?
Tunisia's five-year experience with democracy serves to confirm that while it can invigorate civil society and freedom of speech and assembly, it is not a panacea to socio-economic ills and governance failures.
By Tallha Abdulrazaq

How false stories of Iran arming the Houthis were used to justify war in Yemen
The Saudi-led war in Yemen has been conducted on false pretences.
By Gareth Porter

The US is the biggest arms supplier to the developing world, says Congressional report
A new US Congressional report reveals that the US not only controls the global arms market but is the largest weapons supplier to developing nations.
By Ramesh Jaura


UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine resigns
Makarim Wibisono, the UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, has announced his resignation because Israel has frustrated his efforts to discharge his duty 'every step of the way'. His predecessor comments.
By Richard Falk


Child marriages will increase without action, warns UNICEF
A recent United Nations report calling for action to combat the phenomenal increase in child marriage in Africa warns that it is 'the poorest and most marginalised girls' who are at greatest risk.
By Tharanga Yakupitiyage


A radical fervour, forged in the forests
As fresh controversy surrounds the death of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, his biographer recalls the writer's twin passions - love and Nature.
By Adam Feinstein

'Rhyming for my ancestors'
Tz'utu Kan, a Mayan hip-hop artist, explains how he and his cultural group are attempting to revitalise his community's ancient cultural forms with sounds and intercultural borrowings from Native American, Andean and other sources.


The vicissitudes of Al Jazeera
The Doha-based Al Jazeera media group recently announced that it will be closing its US network (Al Jazeera America) in April this year. The writer reflects on the changing complexion and role of the media group since its emergence in 1996.
By Barbara Nimri Aziz


Europe and the decline of Britishness
As the 'Brexit' (whether Britain should exit from the European Union) debate rages on, with claims that the country has lost its sovereignty as a result of the Union, this article argues that Britain's sovereignty is indeed compromised, but that the elements which are fretted over are highly selective.
By Jeremy Seabrook


To send away melancholy
Huang Zunxian (1848-1905) was a Chinese official, scholar and writer active during the late Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty. As a poet, he published more than a hundred poems.
By Huang Zunxian

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