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Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00

Cyber: A Real and Present Danger

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Much has been said in the press of the dreaded threat of ‘cyber warfare’, but little detail or clarity has given dimension to this threat of sinister activity. Comments from the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence Phillip Hammond such as, “It’s a new capability… we should explore the boundaries of it,” do little to reassure us that world politicians are imbued with the necessary understanding of this emerging threat. It is necessary for governments to recognize and fully understand the consequences of this hazard, so they can proactively formulate sanctions and policy that need to be developed by the international community.

Reflections on the .U.S-Africa Leaders Summit and what it could mean for human rights

During the first week of August, leaders from 50 African states met in Washington for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Realizing the potential profitability of investment and multilateral trade relationships with Africa, countries outside of the continent, including and especially China, are increasingly competing for a piece of the pie.

The United States has long held the reputation of protector of the “Free World,” promoting democratic ideals and the rule of law globally. But today, the United States is a shy mediator in the midst of disarray and the world order is beginning to reflect it.

Europe and Asia have never had the easiest of partnerships, but recently the European Union has been trying to enhance its ties with the continent via its own “Pivot to Asia.” Though distractions have somewhat diminished Europe’s high-profile engagement with Asia, the EU is making progress with its less visible diplomatic endeavors. They are not making headlines, but these efforts can only be beneficial for EU-Asia relations.

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.

Each year, the Institute for Economics and Peace releases the Global Peace Index, which determines numerical rankings of peacefulness between nations around the globe. The Index is based on three main determinants, of which there are many subcategories: the level of safety and security in the society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarization. Beyond that, the nations are ranked according to 22 quantitative and qualitative assessments of peace, including weapons imports and exports, levels of organized conflict, incarceration rates, and the number of armed service personnel occupying a nation, among many others.

With just under 500 days remaining until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, countries are pushing to achieve and exceed all of the goals. Yet, despite our best efforts, our work will not be done when 2015 ends.

China’s meteoritic growth over the past thirty years, which has lifted over a hundred million Chinese from extreme poverty, has brought about colossal changes in the world’s most populous country. Modern industry has developed at breakneck speed, a new middle class has emerged, and the nation has witnessed the rise of more megacities than anywhere else.

The internet has in recent years become a major driving force behind the global economy. But as information and communications technology (ICT) advances and proliferates at exponential speed, the implementation and maintenance of the essential supporting infrastructure is failing to keep pace with the rapidly increasing demands that are being placed on it. The World Economic Forum’s report titled “Delivering Digital Infrastructure: Advancing the Internet Economy” highlights the major infrastructure challenges facing the internet in coming years and what policy measures nations around the world can take to collectively ensure the continued growth and success of the global internet economy.

You’ve arrived in Washington, DC for your new posting as an embassy press attaché, corporate spokesperson, or NGO public affairs operative. Congratulations!

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