The UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics is a comprehensive collection of statistical data relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment and development.
The growth of GDP in Latin America in the last two years has been well above the average for the previous decade: 5.9 percent in 2004, and about 4.2 percent in 2005, compared with 2.4 percent over the period 1994-2003, and some 2.6 percent over the last quarter century. Moreover the projections for 2006 suggest a growth rate of some 4-4.1 percent in 2006. This would entail the first time since 1994 with above-average rates of growth for three consecutive years. Moreover, the trends are broadly in line with global developments, although somewhat below overall worldwide GDP growth in 2005-06.
India is a potential world power. India’s stable democratic political system, huge middle-class population, immense military clout in South Asia, rising economic fortunes and global ambitions make it a potential power that could play a very important role in world affairs. But it still must address numerous challenges. In order to become an economic powerhouse, India must tackle several structural issues, such as reining in the runaway fiscal deficit, freeing its manufacturing sector from antiquated labour laws, selling state-owned assets and using the freed-up cash for investments in physical infrastructure.
New evidence demonstrated in 2005 that torture and mistreatment have been a deliberate part of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism strategy, undermining the global defence of human rights, Human Rights Watch said in releasing its World Report 2006. The evidence showed that abusive interrogation cannot be reduced to the misdeeds of a few low-ranking soldiers, but was a conscious policy choice by senior U.S. government officials. The policy has hampered Washington’s ability to cajole or pressure other states into respecting international law, said the volume’s introductory essay.
The Gulf of Guinea’s tremendous potential is creating investment opportunities for the region. Some of its resources, such as oil, minerals, and forests, continue to attract significant investments whereas others, like natural gas, could be exploited to their full potential if necessary investments were undertaken. Nevertheless, the Gulf of Guinea has to cope with numerous challenges, both exogenous and endogenous, before it can fully benefit from its riches. One of these problems stems from the overwhelmingly weak institutions and governance, pointed by stylized facts, which add to the risks of “natural resource curse” and can feed the theory of the “Paradox of Plenty.” The case is made that regional institutional arrangements and increased involvement of the international community and the African Diaspora should complement the efforts in which countries in the region should engage to address policy and governance issues. Complementary avenues are proposed, including maintaining stability and security, making better use of the region’s own assets, putting in place a favourable business environment, and augmenting exports with value addition.
With the end of the Cold War, a popular parlor game in foreign ministries, think tanks, and academia has been to develop a theory of international relations that best explains the new international order. Although there is widespread agreement that the United States is the world’s most powerful country in military, economic, and diplomatic terms, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, there is little agreement as to how the rest of the world will react to America’s lead. Theory has an even more difficult time explaining the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom (UK), especially its remarkable endurance over the past 6 decades.
The story of attempts to define “terrorism” in international law is well known, as are the related attempts to exempt liberation violence from any definition of terrorism. The highly charged political atmosphere surrounding international discussions of terrorism has tended to entrench opposing ideological and rhetorical positions, often leading to neither side taking the arguments of the other seriously. This article pauses to take seriously two specific claims of justification for terrorist violence: firstly, that some civilians are not “innocent” and deserve to be killed; and secondly, that suicide bombing is excused by the defense of necessity.
At the 35th General Assembly of the Organization of American States, the U.S. proposed that the OAS create a “mechanism” to strengthen democracy. In the months since, observers have begun to debate whether the meeting signaled a turning point in the history of the 57-year-old OAS. Some argue that the democracy debate has breathed new life into the much-maligned hemispheric organization; critics say that the wrangling further demonstrated its weakness and irrelevance. This paper examines the context for the U.S. proposal and the regional reaction. It argues that, in part, the assembly illustrated in stark relief the limits of U.S. power and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. But more significantly, the assembly opened a window of opportunity for the OAS to become a more credible force to strengthen democracy in the hemisphere
This annual publication includes official country figures up to November 30th, and an analysis of developments in the region's economy in 2005 and projections for 2006. The Latin American and Caribbean economy grew by 4.3% in 2005, which represents the third consecutive year of growth in the region. Per capita GDP is estimated to have risen by about 3%. The performance of the domestic demand and the expansion of 3.3% of the world economy in 2005, contributed to these results. For 2006, GDP growth for Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to come in at about 4.1%; this rate would be high enough to bring about an annual average growth rate above 4% during 2003-2006 and an accumulated growth of 11% in per capita GDP. However auspicious, it can not be ignored the fact that the region is growing at lower rates than developing countries as a whole, whose GDP is increasing at an average rate of 5.7%, for the period 2003-2006
The world is economically freer today than it was a year ago, according to the 12th annual Index of Economic Freedom, released by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal—and that means greater prosperity for those countries that embrace open markets. The Index findings are straightforward, according to editors Marc A. Miles, Kim R. Holmes and Mary Anastasia O’Grady. “The countries with the most economic freedom also have higher rates of long-term economic growth and are more prosperous than are those with less economic freedom,” the report says. Of the 157 countries graded in the 2006 Index, 99 improved their overall scores, compared to 51 whose scores worsened and five that remained unchanged. Overall, 20 are classified as “free,” 52 as “mostly free,” 73 as “mostly unfree” and 12 as “repressed.”