This year edition of the HDReport is focused on climate change and how it will create long-run low human development traps, pushing vulnerable people into a downward spiral of deprivation. The failure to respond to this challenge will stall and then reverse international efforts to reduce poverty. Also, there is useful information of the 2007/2008 Human Development Index rankings.
DI - 21/11/2007
The ministers of foreign affairs of the 9th Euro-Mediterranean Partnership –held on 5 and 6 November 2007 in Lisbon (Portugal)- reaffirm their commitment to pursue their efforts to realise the Barcelona Declaration objectives: to establish a common area of peace and stability, to create an area of shared prosperity and to develop a partnership in social, cultural and human affairs.
DI - 12/11/2007
The ninth edition of the Landmine Monitor reports on the global landmine situation and scrutinizes the implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. According to this, many states are not on course to meet their Mine Ban Treaty mine clearance obligations.
DI - 31/10/2007
The fourth Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) warns about the major threats to the planet such as climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population. The UNEP’s publication is a comprehensive and authoritative UN report on environment, prepared by about 390 experts. It identifies priorities for action and describes the changes since 1987, 20 years after the WCED produced its seminal report (Our Common Future).
The Resolution adopted by the Security Council –as its 5511th meeting on 11 August- called for the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, which came into effect on 14 August. The document stated the Lebanese troop’s deployment across the south of the country as Israel withdraws behind the Blue Line, and also backed the simultaneous deployment of an expanded and enhanced United Nations Interim Force for Lebanon (UNIFIL)
The Department for International Development (DFID) launched its new White Paper on 13 July. The document sets our DFID’s priorities and explains how the department will work with the rest of the UK Government, partner governments, international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), academics and the private sector to reduce world poverty over the next five years
The Millennium Development Goals Report is based on a master set of data that has been compiled by an Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat. This year report presents the latest assessment on how far Member States have come, and how far they have to go in reaching the MDGs, in each of the world’s regions
The Euro-African Ministerial Conference on migration and development, proposed initially by Morocco and Spain with an active support of France, ended on 11 July in Rabat after adopting a final declaration and a plan of action advocating a partnership for an optimal management of migratory flows in a spirit of shared responsibility
This report of the Pew Global Attitudes Project on Muslim factor in Europe highlights that Muslims living in Europe worry about their future, but their concern is more economic than religious or cultural. Many say they have had a bad experience as a result of their religion or ethnicity. However, they do not generally believe most Europeans are hostile toward people of their faith
The WESS is a publication of the UN Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD), which provides objective analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues, and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policies. Diverging growth and development is the theme of 2006 report, which shows that in the industrialized world the income level over the last five decades has grown steadily. This has not occurred in many developing countries, thereby causing a rise in already high world inequality
The recent report of the Pew Global Attitudes Project highlights that most Westerners and Muslims see relations between them as generally bad, after a year marked by riots over cartoon depictions of Muhammad, the 7 July London bombs attacks, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
The AIDS epidemic appears to be slowing down globally, but new infections are continuing to increase in certain regions and countries. The document also highlights the important progress in country AIDS responses, including increases in funding and access to treatment, and decreases in HIV prevalence among young people in some countries over the past five years
The World Bank (WB) GDF 2006 report says net private capital flows to developing countries reached a record high of US$491 billion in 2005, driven by privatizations, mergers and acquisitions, external debt refinancing, as well as strong investor interest in local-currency bond markets in Asia and Latin America. The document also shows that capital flows between developing countries are now growing faster than those between developed and developing countries particularly in FDI
This is an independent report –about the system of delivering aid- carried out by the University of Birmingham on behalf of more than thirty donor and partner countries. The joint evaluation looks at the use and effectiveness of the direct payments, also known as general budget support, by drawing on the experience of seven countries over five years: Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Uganda, and Vietnam
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International LabourOffice (ILO) have jointly produced the first handbook to assist States in their efforts to develop new policy approaches, solutions, and practical measures for better management of labour migration in countries of origin and of destination. It was launched at the 14th OSCE Economic Forum in Prague
This Amnesty International Report -presented on 23 March in London- says that “2005 was defined by hope wrestling against the duplicity, double speak and failed promises of governments”. The document shows that 104 countries out of the 150 countries analysed have tortured or ill-treated people. Guantánamo prison camp, Darfur’s crisis, the “war on terror” and growing human rights deficit in Europe are also highlighted as key factors in 2005
This policy brief of the Carnegie Endowment for Internacional Peace is focused on one of the major challenges in the Middle East today: dealing with a Hamas majority in the Palestinian government. The document also stressed the implications for the Palestinian – Israeli conflict and the US – Israel relations
The Fund for Peace, an independent research organisation, and FOREIGN POLICY magazine have presented the second annual Failed States Index. Using 12 social, economic, political and military indicators, it ranks 148 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict and societal dysfunction
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report on human trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labour. The document shows that people -most of them are women and children- are usually trafficked from poor countries to more affluent ones, and identifies 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination countries. The report also stresses that global efforts to combat trafficking are being hampered by a lack of accurate data, reflecting the unwillingness of some countries to acknowledge that the problem affects them
The general report is a retrospective evaluation of human development in Morocco since its independence and a vision of its possibilities over the next 20 year. It was made by an independent group under King Mohammed VI counsellor direction
This WHO Report contains an expert assessment of the current crisis in the global health workforce and ambitious proposals to tackle it over the next ten years, starting immediately. The report reveals an estimated shortage of almost 4.3 million doctors, midwives, nurses and support workers worldwide. The shortage is most severe in the poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where health workers are most needed
This initiative seeks to forge collective political will and to mobilize concerted action at the institutional and civil society levels to overcome the prejudice, misperceptions and polarization that militate against such a consensus. It was launched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (http://www.unaoc.org/), co-sponsored by the Prime Ministers of Spain (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero) and Turkey (Tayyip Erdoðan)
The first International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was observed on 4 April to alert the society as to the growing danger of land mines at the same time that is accomplished a United Nations declaration. Launched by the Mine Action Service of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, this office has also compiled the concrete steps being taken to eliminate the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war and to meet pertinent treaty obligations in the 9th Portfolio of Mine Action Projects
The number of people on HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART) in low- and middle-income countries more than tripled to 1.3 million in December 2005 from 400 000 in December 2003, according to World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report. Sub-Saharan Africa, the region most severely impacted, led the treatment scale-up effort, with the number of people receiving HIV treatment there increasing more than eight-fold to 810 000 from 100 000 between 2003 and 2005. By the end of 2005, more than half of all people receiving HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries resided in this continent, up from one-quarter two years earlier
Final statement of the Third International Conference on Early Warning which took place in Bonn, Germany from 27 to 29 March under the auspices of the United Nations. Guided by the slogan "From concept to action", the Conference strongly emphasized the role of local communities in effective early warning. The Conference and its preparations resulted in the following documents: “Compendium of Early Warning Projects” and “Developing Early Warning Systems: A Key Checklist”
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. European institutions -such as Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the European Union’s European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) - make a joint statement on this occasion
This report uniquely focuses on this issue of national reporting of sex disaggregated statistics in such areas as demographics, health, education, work, violence against women, poverty, human rights and decision-making. This is the fourth World’s Women report since 1991. The previous three focused on statistical trends in the situation of women. Five years ago, the World’s Women report emphasized that there was a lack of sex disaggregated data and that the improvement of national statistical capacity – the ability to provide timely and reliable statistics – are essential for improving gender statistics
The GEO Year Book 2006 is the third annual survey of the changing global environment produced by the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with many world experts in environmental research and action. The Year Book includes global and regional overviews. It highlights the linkages between environmental well-being, vulnerability and poverty; records recent findings on the value of ecosystem services; and describes new research findings on polar and ocean changes that may prove a turning point in the urgency of our awareness and response to global change
Statement by the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen regarding the drawings of the Prophet Mohammed
Questions and Answers on the drawings of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish Newspaper
The countries of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, guided by the principles and objectives of the Barcelona Declaration, are united in the struggle against terrorism. The threat that terrorism poses to the lives of our citizens remains serious and terrorist attacks seriously impair the enjoyment of human rights. We remain determined to strengthen co-operation and co-ordination to respond to this global challenge. Today, we reiterate our total condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our determination to eradicate it and to combat its sponsors.
The aim of this programme is to implement the objectives agreed by partners at the 10th Anniversary Euro-Mediterranean Summit in accordance with the Barcelona Declaration of 1995. This work plan is designed to provide the basis for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation for the next five years. It aims to deliver results that will have a positive impact for all citizens in the region, thereby increasing the visibility of the Partnership.
The Security Council, by its resolution 1595 of 7 April 2005, decided to establish an international independent investigation Commission based in Lebanon to assist the Lebanese authorities in their investigation of all aspects of the terrorist attack which took place on 14 February 2005 in Beirut that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and others, including to help identify its perpetrators, sponsors, organizers and accomplices. The present report sets out the main lines of enquiry of the investigation conducted by the Commission, its observations thereon, and its conclusions, for the consideration of the Security Council. It also identifies those matters on which further investigation may be necessary.
Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential election, a response to U.S. pressure, was a false start for reform. Formal pluralism has never seriously limited the dominance of President Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP); extension to the presidential level is a token so long as the opposition is too weak to produce plausible candidates. If the further reforms Mubarak has promised are to be meaningful, they should be aimed at recasting state/NDP relations and, above all, enhancing parliament's powers. As a start, Mubarak should ensure free and fair November legislative elections. The legal opposition must make the case for these changes and overcome its divisions if it is to become relevant and be able to compete with the Muslim Brothers for popular influence. The U.S. and others should support judicial supervision of elections, refrain from pressing for quick, cosmetic results, and back a longer-term, genuine reform process. (International Crisis Group, September 2005)
Concerns over Islamic extremism, extensive in the West even before this month's terrorist attacks in London, are shared to a considerable degree by the publics in several predominantly Muslim nations surveyed. Nearly three-quarters of Moroccans and roughly half of those in Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia see Islamic extremism as a threat to their countries. At the same time, most Muslim publics are expressing less support for terrorism than in the past. Confidence in Osama bin Laden has declined markedly in some countries and fewer believe suicide bombings that target civilians are justified in the defense of Islam. (Pew Global Attitudes)
Many observers were caught off guard when the first round of Iran's presidential election on June 17, 2005 catapulted the arch-conservative mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, into a runoff against former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. Ahmadinejad's unpredicted strong showing raises the prospect that he could win in the second round on June 24, thereby consolidating even further the control of radical conservatives over the Islamic Republic. Some commentators have warned that such a development presages “Talibanism” in Iran; others see an Ahmadinejad victory as tantamount to a military takeover of Iranian politics
The disengagement plan is the focus of public debate in Israel, with attention centered on questions of implementation: will the prime minister overcome the internal political problems and deflect attempts to scuttle the plan? How violent will the reaction of the settlers and their supporters be to the evacuation process? Will there be a significant level of refusal to obey orders in the IDF? Will the disengagement plan be implemented under fire from the Palestinians? These and other related issues are important, but they pale in significance compared with the main question: what will Israel face the day after the disengagement? Will it have embarked on a route to reconcilement with the Palestinians and a solution to - or at least a moderation of - the decades-long conflict, or not?
The Carnegie Endowment, in collaboration with the Spanish think tank FRIDE, has launched a new online resource with baseline data and information about Arab political systems and current reforms. This resource provides country studies with information on state institutions, human rights, political forces, election results, constitutional revision, corruption, and ratification of international conventions.
Over the past fives decades, U.S. policy in the Arab world has been largely predicated on the notion that the political status quo in the region best served Washington’s interests in the Middle East. With the assistance of Arab partners such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Morocco, the United States built a remarkably good record of achieving its objectives—notably, protecting the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, ensuring Israel’s security, confronting rogue states, battling terrorism, and during the Cold War, containing Soviet influence in the region. Yet the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, challenged the underlying assumption of U.S.-Middle East policy. Within a short time after the attacks, policymakers began to question whether authoritarian political systems in the Middle East were sources of stability or the primary causes of the political alienation and extremism that fueled organizations like al-Qaeda. The Bush administration clearly believes the best way to “drain the swamp” that produces terrorists is to promote democracy in the Middle East.
In November 1995, the European Union inaugurated a new, global policy towards its neighbours in the South Mediterranean. The policy, which was also holistic in that it sought to integrate social, cultural, political and economic aspects of the relationships across the Mediterranean into a single policy, was the culmination of a series of policy initiatives stretching back to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, all designed to regulate relations between Europe and its southern periphery. In some respects, these initiatives represented a continuation of the experiences of the colonial era, especially the French relationship with its former colonies in North Africa. In reality, however, they reflected the inevitable and vital need for collaboration in view of European dependence on migrant labour from the Southern Mediterranean region, European dominance in the economic relationship across the Mediterranean and European involvement in regional security. The new policy was summarized in the Barcelona Declaration, a declaration of shared principles which would govern the future relationship reflected in the formulation of creating “a shared zone of peace, prosperity and stability” in the Mediterranean
Iran's influence in Iraq has been one of the most talked about but least understood aspects of the post-war situation. Tehran has been variously accused by Washington of undue and nefarious interference, by Arab leaders of seeking to establish an Islamic Republic, and by prominent Iraqi officials of an array of illegitimate meddling (manipulating elections, supporting the insurgency, infiltrating the country). In reality, as Crisis Group discovered during months of extensive research in Iran and Iraq, the evidence of attempted destabilising Iranian intervention is far less extensive and clear than is alleged; the evidence of successful destabilising intervention less extensive and clear still.
Former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri's tragic assassination capped a series of events that carry the potential of fundamentally altering not only Lebanon's future, but also Syria's and the broader regional landscape as well. For now, most international and Lebanese actors have acted with welcome wisdom; the prospect of Syria's longoverdue withdrawal from Lebanon and of Lebanese elections free from outside interference appears closer than ever. But risks of serious violence remain very real.
The Arab world finds itself at a historical crossroads. Caught between oppression at home and violation from abroad, Arabs are increasingly excluded from determining their own future. Freedom in its comprehensive sense, incorporates not only civil and political freedoms (in other words, liberation from oppression), but also the liberation from all factors that are inconsistent with human dignity. The report describes free societies, in their normative dimension, as fundamental contrasts with present-day Arab countries. The enormous gap that separates today’s reality and what many in the region hope for, is a source of widespread frustration and despair among Arabs about their countries’ prospects for a peaceful transition to societies enjoying freedom and good governance. The Elcano Royal Institute will organize the European Presentation of the Report in Madrid, at the Lázaro Galdiano Foundation (25 May, 12.00 h.)
This document sets out the political vision expressed and supported by the participants at the London Meeting, the Palestinian Authority’s own plans for institutional renewal, and a set of clear commitments by the international community in support of the PA’s programme.
The heightened sense of conflict and mistrust commonly referred to as the "post-September 11 climate" necessitates investigation and analysis of the relationship between the West and the Arab world. Analysts and scholars in both the Western and Arab worlds are actively engaged in the examination of this changing and complex relationship. "Revisiting the Arab Street: Research from Within"- undertaken by the Center for Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan - hopes to add to this body of inquiry by providing an up-to-date analysis of the beliefs and perceptions prevalent in Arab public
opinion. Using public opinion surveys conducted in five Arab countries, the study presents a picture of the attitudes found on "The Arab Street". The study confirms that many Arabs perceive important differences between (Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan)
This report examines the European Union's multilateral engagement with the Arab world in the area of democracy promotion
The public accreditation acquired by Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) to take over the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) isn't more extensive than that acquired by the late Yasser Arafat. Nevertheless, the expectations from Abbas's government exceed those related to the former stage, since the Palestinian political, security, economic, and social situation has reached a level of deterioration throughout the past years, which made it necessary for a complete reassessment and reconstruction in the basics and details. (Editorial published in Dar Al-Hayat)
Mahmoud Abbas, whom Palestinians elected president, cannot ignore the opposition and boycotters. His victory in free elections gives him a clear authorization but it does not give him the right to cancel other forces; specifically, Hamas and its representation of a wide group of Palestinians. (Editorial published in Dar Al-Hayat)
The current turmoil in the Gaza Strip represents the most serious challenge to Yasir Arafat´s authority in decades. Israel´s planned disengagement from Gaza brought to a boil long-simmering tensions among Palestinian factions demanding a change in the status quo. Holding national elections before the pullout may be the only way to avoid chaos and save any chance at Middle East peace (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2004)
Morocco's campaign against suspected Islamist militants is undermining the significant human rights progress the country has made in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in a new report
The nascent discourse on reform in the Arab World has inspired domestic predictions that the region is finally responding to the global trend toward democracy. But such enthusiasm about the inevitability of democratic change is premature, writes Amy Hawthorne in this Carnegie Paper
This report relays the findings of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Are Islam and Democracy compatible? And are Islamists willing to accept a democratic order and work within it? Debate has swirled around these two grand questions for decades and has produced a broad variety of responses, often quite polarized. This essay argues that democracy and political Islam are potentially quite compatible in principle, and the record indicates as much
Text of the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period
The World Economic Outlook presents IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects
Transparency International provides an overview of the state of corruption around the world. This year the Global Corruption Report focuses on political corruption
The Mideast Road map approved on December 2002 is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet. The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005.