On August 24th, Ukraine marks its independence for the 23rd time. During all these years we have been happy to say that regardless of any political contradictions, we have managed to preserve our independence and territorial integrity without any bloodshed inside the country or an external war. But this year has changed a lot.
You’ve arrived in Washington, DC for your new posting as an embassy press attaché, corporate spokesperson, or NGO public affairs operative. Congratulations!
A recent essay by The Economist claims, “democracy is going through a difficult time”. The journal blames the “weaknesses of democracy in its Western strongholds”, the turmoil that followed the Arab Spring and now engulfs the Ukraine, as well as the rise of autocratic China for the loss of democracy’s “forward momentum”.
The U.S. health care system is in crisis. In America, the health of our citizens not only compares unfavorably to many other nations; annual health care costs account for 18 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and drive a large portion of our growing annual budget deficit. There is no other country on the planet where the cost of health care is so disproportionate to the results achieved.
Infectious diseases do not respect borders. In today’s era of easy transportation, what happens in one country can have implications for other countries near and far.
The world is changing at an increasingly faster rate—income growth, shifts in consumption patterns, climate change, and natural resource depletion are all occurring faster now than at any time over the last century—and the responsiveness of our food system needs to change too if we want to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future. We need a food system that can feed every person, every day, in every country; that can raise incomes of the poorest people; that can provide adequate nutrition; and that can better steward the world’s natural resources. Urgently, we need a food system that shifts from being a major contributor to climate change to being part of the solution.
In delaying proactive measures to upend entrepreneurial, political, and wage inequality, we postpone the equal representation of women in the formal sector, and, as a direct result, a more equitable society. These obstacles do not stand alone; rather, they are linked. Lopsided labor markets in which women are failing to meet their full economic potential is not only inefficient—it is stifling. Where there is a deeply demarcated gender gap in the workforce, there will also be a representational divide evident in politics and power.
On April 2, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with 154 countries voting in favor of the measure. The treaty seeks to implement an array of measures that would hold nations more accountable in international trade of firearms and is aimed at establishing a more transparent record of arms trade among nations, with the goal of discouraging transactions that might lead to violations of human rights. The insular opposition to this measure was raised by Iran, Syria, and North Korea, the only three states that voted against the treaty. Twenty-three countries, including Russia, Egypt, and India, abstained. On September 25th, Italy joined the ranks of 9 other countries that have so far ratified the treaty as the first European state to cement its support for the measure. Negative reports and sophistry surrounding the passage of the treaty clearly diminish the potential impact of this legislation on mollifying chaos and the growing death toll in many areas that are ravaged by both interstate and intrastate strife.
Less than a month since Thailand’s military seized power by a coup d'etat, the junta has been quick in attempting to “normalise” their illegal power grab.
Copyright 2006-2014 The Diplomatic Courier™. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.