Selected Articles of Interest
Civil society transcends right-left gap. Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sept 2005.

GN3 Editorial Comment: Culture is the realm of ideas values, worldviews, identity, ethics, art, and spirituality among others. This is the realm of civil society and cultural power in contradistinction to the political power of government and the economic power of business. The autonomous interaction of these three institutions in pursuit of integral sustainable development constitutes threefolding. In the article below, the author points to the rise of civil society in the U.S. context as an answer to the "values-vacuum" created by narrow pursuit of economic and political power especially corporate-driven globalization and U.S. unilateralism—a development with the power to transform social life.

NEWTON, MASS. – How will current US social and political trends - amid the rise of the right - affect the world in the decades ahead? Surprisingly, some sociologists say that they augur for curbing the excesses of national power and capitalist markets while strengthening the UN and other forms of global governance. >>more. 15 Sept 2005. Internet Source.

No Agreement on Internet Governance. Gustavo Capdevila | IPS. 12 Sept 2005

GN3 Editorial Comment: We have been regularly commenting on the emergent qualities of global civil society as a third social force alongside States and Markets. Global social phenomena are reinforcing this new map of the social terrain, although existing social structures and processes still have a long way to go. As discussed in the article below, tensions are evident in the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) as it tries to address the information gap and internet governance among others. But it is perhaps more interesting to note the formal participation of government, business and civil society--each bringing a different (though sometimes convergent) point of view to the process.

GENEVA - The script for the final act of the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) will begin to be written on Sep. 19 in this Swiss city, with the participation of a cast that will be made up - for the first time on the international stage - of a wide range of actors: governments, business and civil society. >>more. 12 Sept 2005. Internet Source.

Internet Governance: Four Ideas, No Consensus. OutLaw News.

GN3 Editorial Comment: In the article below, internet governance is proving to be another of many contentious issues with multiple stakeholders at the global level. In this case, it is interesting to note that once again, there is recognition of the three global powers shaping these debates -- civil society, government and business. The initiative described below "proposes the creation of a global forum for dialogue among all stakeholders such as governments, the private sector and civil society, to address problems linked to internet governance, including spam and cybercrime."

An independent Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) last week put forward four options for the internet's future management for consideration at a forthcoming international summit, without committing to a single, preferred solution. >>more. July 2005. Internet Source.

Former President Clinton Launches Initiative to Tackle Global Problems. Foundation Center.

GN3 Editorial Comment: There is an increasing recognition that many problems transcend the ability of any one institution acting alone to solve. And in many cases, innovative partnerships are showing a way forward that mobilizes different capacities and perspectives in a creative process that often works toward sustainable development. In the article below, the Clinton Global Initiative is attempting to bring together government, business and civil society in an effort to address global challenges.

The William J. Clinton Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas, has announced a new effort to harness the resources of global corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and governments to take on some of the world's biggest problems, the Wall Street Journal reports. more >> 10 May 2005. Internet Source.

Network to be Launched to Promote NGO-Private Sector Partnerships. Harold Doan and Associates, CA

GN3 Editorial Comment: The failure of, and in many instances disillusionment with state-centered approaches to poverty eradication and other development challenges has prompted a number of innovations including some promising partnership approaches amongst civil society, business and government. In the article below, operating under a framework of social responsibility, new partnership approaches are emerging in the Asia-Pacific region to effectively harness the different strengths and capacities of both civil society and business in addressing critical issues like poverty eradication.

BANGKOK, THAILAND - A Network backed by the ADB to bring together nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and the private sector from across Asia and the Pacific will be formally launched today to promote sustainable development, combat poverty, and improve the quality of life in the region. more February 17, 2005. Internet Source.

Globalization Guru: Nobel Prize winner discusses the dangers of the global economy.  Michigan Daily. USA.

GN3 Editorial Comment: Much of economic analysis that makes it to the mainstream press emanates from a single mindset that has been schooled in economic orthodoxy. Not so with the likes of Joseph Stiglitz, the former World Bank Economist, who has made a name for himself challenging mainstream views. As the article below discusses, Stiglitz is much in demand as a speaker who adds a respected voice to those challenging an elite form of economic globalization that drives unsustainable development.

By 4:00 p.m. yesterday, the 400-seat Hale Auditorium was overflowing with people. Cramming into the aisles and the doorways, students, professors and members of the general public waited in anticipation to hear the 2001 Nobel Prize winner and famous economist, Joseph Stiglitz, speak. more. 16 Feb 2005. Internet Source.

Helsinki forum pushes for 'inclusive' globalization. The Jakarta Post, New Delhi

GN3 Editorial Comment: Recent headlines have been replete with references to Davos and Porto Alegre and the competing visions of globalization and development among civil society, government and business. While the World Social Forum is primarily a civil society gathering, the World Economic Forum tends to be associated with business and political leaders. In the article below, a relatively unknown effort referred to as the "Helsinki Process" seeks to build consensus through a tri-sectoral approach involving the three global powers – civil society, government and business.

The old saying "if you can't beat them, join them" underpins the attitude of many around the world who are becoming increasingly skeptical about the true benefits of free-for-all economic globalization, but somehow feel powerless to stop it and all its negative excesses. More. 11 February 2005. Internet Source.

Argentina: Building a Solidarity Economy. Viviana Alonso | IPS

GN3 Editorial Comment: Many initiatives around the world are seeking to reform the way the economy is organized and run. These solidarity (otherwise called social, compassionate, or people's) economies are pointing towards alternative approaches that build on inclusivity while meeting real economic needs. The article below describes local efforts in Argentina that are trying to scale-up and build a local "caring economy" that maximizes solidarity instead of profit.

BUENOS AIRES - A solidarity economy is being built by thousands of workers in Argentina, in rural cooperatives, worker-run factories and small businesses linked by networks. More. 8 February 2005. Internet Source.

Education for Sustainable Development. Daisaku Ikeda | Japan Times

GN3 Editorial Comment: Sustainable development as a comprehensive concept necessitates a thinking that can analyze, integrate, synthesize, imagine and create with both moral imagination and technique. This has tremendous implications for the kind of education that society makes available to children--not the conventional kind of education that regimentally looks at today's economic needs rather than the unforeseen needs of the future. As discussed in the article below, education must be reconceptualized, so that human potentials are allowed to flower and individuals can be empowered out of wisdom, courage and compassion to change the world that confronts them and achieve true sustainability.

2005 will mark the start of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. The Decade offers a vital opportunity to make real progress toward putting human society on the path to sustainability. More than one-fourth of humankind lives in conditions of chronic poverty. Famine, military conflict, human-rights abuses, environmental degradation and climate change all threaten human dignity -- indeed, survival. The challenges facing us are clear and inescapable. (more). 22 Nov 2004.  Link to Japan Times Article

Governance: Institutional reform and capacity building. Daily Star (Bangladesh)

GN3 Editorial Comment: The activities of civil society around the world are increasingly paving the way for de facto tri-sectoral or threefold approaches to governance. In the article below from Bangladesh, the writer highlights the importance of developing new approaches to governance that involve state, private sector and civil society in the effort to achieve sustainable human development and poverty eradication.

Major global political changes in last couple of decades have prompted major changes in the role of the state. Those political changes have changed the views of governance; shifted emphasis to market economy development, and have recognised an increased role of the private sector and the civil society in governance. The 1997 World Development Report of the World Bank describes the state as facilitator, catalyst and regulator, rather than the engine for economic development. (more). 14 Nov. 2004. Link to DailyStar Article


China puts forth solutions on poverty reduction.

GN3 Editorial Comment: With the world's largest population, China faces an enormous task in managing development to eradicate hunger and poverty, exclusion and injustice. In the article below, a Chinese official links poverty eradication to the global aspirations for peace and human development and recognizes the importance of collaboration between government, the business sector and civil society in achieving these objectives.

A top Chinese official in charge of poverty alleviation on Monday said poverty reduction presses for a solution from both individual countries and the international community. 21 Sept 2004. Link to China Daily Article

The Global Players: Governments, Civil Society and Business. Kosmos Journal.

GN3 Editorial Comment: Many are beginning to see the tri-sectoral or threefold nature of global social life through the activity of civil society, governments and business. There is also increasing understanding of the essential and complementary roles of the institutions of culture, polity and economy in the pursuit of integral sustainable development. As the article below discusses, the balance of power is shifting and new paradigms are necessary in order to harness a growing global collective intelligence towards sustainable development. Economic power implies greater responsibility and business must be conducted "in a way that is sustainable for society and the planet."

What started out as an interview with Rinaldo Brutoco by Nancy Roof turned into a full-scale article. Rinaldo was so articulate that after the first question he was able to carry the ball alone ending in 15 pages of valuable text. We have pared it down for this issue and will include more in future publications. What catapulted Rinaldo into action was the following question: Governments are losing as business and civil society are gaining global power and influence. Sovereign states arose with the Industrial Age and economic progress. In the 21st century they are no longer capable of furthering economic growth so people have begun to look to business and civil society for leadership. How do you see the relationship between these three global forces? Spring-Summer 2004. Link to Kosmos Journal Article

The Rising Power of NGOs: Transnational groups are making their voices heard, and governments and corporations are taking notice . By Joseph Nye | Taipei Times

GN3 Editorial Comment: Making use of information technology, networking and cultural power, global civil society is acting as a counterweight to government and business on the global stage in pushing for all aspects of sustainable development including human rights, poverty eradication and environmental conservation. Many are taking notice of this relatively new force in world affairs, but they mostly fail to understand the cultural basis of the movement as opposed to the economic and political context of businesses and governments respectively. In the article below, the author recognizes civil society's effectiveness in using "soft power" to challenge both governments and business to reform. But he fails to appreciate the cultural nature of civil society and it source of legitimacy.

When Human Rights Watch declared last January that the Iraq War did not qualify as a humanitarian intervention, the international media took notice. According to the Internet database Factiva, 43 news articles mentioned the report, in publications ranging from the Kansas City Star to the Beirut Daily Star. Similarly, after the abuses of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison were disclosed, the views of Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross put pressure on the Bush administration both at home and abroad. June 29, 2004.  Link to Taipei Times Article

UN should open itself further to involve civil society. United Nations.

GN3 Editorial Comment: In conscious threefolding processes, the three global forces of civil society, government and business are open to coming together for a principled dialogue and/or engagement in order to create a different kind of globalization. Of course the possibility is also there for cooptation which must be guarded against. In the article below, a blue-ribbon UN panel has recommended greater involvement of civil society and business in UN deliberations. The panel explicitly recognizes civil society's contribution of 'innovative initiatives to deal with emerging global trends.' One can only hope that any new openings would improve on the problematic aspects of the UN's Global Compact.

Geneva – As the world's problems grow ever-more complex, the United Nations should stop limiting its decision-making processes exclusively to governments and instead open its deliberations to greater involvement by civil society groups and the private sector, a blue-ribbon panel recommends in a new report released today. UN News CentreJune 22, 2004

New Partnership Brings Sustainable Forest and Farm Products to Market . OneWorld.

GN3 Editorial Comment: The global demand for wood products has contributed to widespread deforestation. Sustainable forestry practices have not become widespread enough to alter this alarming trend. Part of the problem is connected with marketing, consumer education and certification. In the article below, a new effort that involves civil society, government and business is attempting to change this situation in the Americas, in what could be a model for other regions as well.

New York, New York — The Rainforest Alliance has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to establish the Certified Sustainable Products Alliance, a three-year effort to significantly promote and increase the sale of sustainably produced certified timber, banana, and coffee from Central America and Mexico. OneWorld. 10 June 2004

Bush or Kerry? Look Closely And The Danger Is The Same. Znet.

GN3 Editorial Comment: People who do not know the history and present implementation of the imperial designs of the United States of America, including many American activists, may look forward with hope at the strong possibility of an electoral victory by the Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry. They, however, will be deeply disappointed and disillusioned.

The United States of America has pursued a dual strategy for world dominance since after the end of the Second World War. The democratic version of this approach is called an "imperial America", an Empire which seeks to consolidate and maintain world power through a "multilateral" approach. Allow other regional powers and nation states to have a semblance of their own autonomy as long as they follow the overall global directions set by the United States of America. The Republic approach to Empire is called the "imperialist America". In this approach, the USA will demonstrate its global power through a unilateralist approach, backed up by a "coalition of the willing", that is, those weak and opportunistic enough to follow the dictates of US global agenda. This is the approach taken by the current Bush Doctrine. (See related posting on a detailed analysis of the Bush Doctrine by Nicanor Perlas. See also the current book by Noam Chomsky entitled, Hegemony or Survival and the most recent book by Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire.

Either way, whether Democrat or Republican, the USA continues to move forward with its Empire agenda of global domination. The only (short term) "advantage" of a Democratic victory is to stop the global momentum of the Bush Doctrine. However, a Democratic Presidency, which will not be democratic in practice, will create an illusion of consultative and participatory approach, something they have done consistently (including up to Clinton's tenure in the White House).

What needs to be done is to continue the momentum of national and global civil society organizing towards creating "another world" that millions are hoping and striving for around the world. There will be tactical openings in a so-called "Democratic" governance of the world's first global empire. But that is all it is, a small window of opportunity to appropriate this pseudo-democratic social space to further strengthen the resistance to Empire and to intensify the creation of a different and much better world. - Nicanor Perlas

A MYTH EQUAL TO THE FABLE of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is gaining strength on both sides of the Atlantic. It is that John Kerry offers a world-view different from that of George W Bush. Watch this big lie grow as Kerry is crowned the Democratic candidate and the "anyone but Bush" movement becomes a liberal cause celebre. Znet.  4 March 2004

Not enough being done to fight world poverty, says WEF. New Zealand Herald

The World Economic Forum tends to wield significant clout but is usually associated more with conservative business positions calling for smaller government. Here the WEF seems to be revalidating the State’s role as primary service provider and criticizing current efforts to address the root causes of poverty.

GENEVA - The world's governments are failing miserably to meet goals they have set themselves to reduce poverty, war and hunger, a leading business group says. New Zealand Herald. 21 April 2004

Civil society calls for a 'just world' (South African Broadcasting Corporation)

[The bi-annual gathering of Civicus is one of many forums that bring civil society organizations together to address global issues and build momentum for alternative approaches. In the article, local human-rights issues in the host country challenge the concept of "just". GN3 Ed.]

More than 700 civil society activists from around the world have gathered in Gaborone, Botswana, to highlight some of the key issues that continue to stifle Africa's socio-economic development. Meeting under the theme "Acting together for a just world", the activists from more than 100 countries will tackle issues such as HIV/Aids, global war on terror, the widening gap of the digital divide and civil strife. SABC. March 23, 2004.

Smart Trisectoral Networks.  (J. Phang / The Star, Malaysia)

[Another example of the increasing use of the term "tri-sectoral" to describe interactions between government, business and civil society in addressing social issues, especially as propagated by some UN organizations. In this article, the concept of civil society is confused with "community" thereby veiling its cultural nature. GN3 Ed.]

The term “Future Shock” was coined by futurist Alvin Toffler over 30 years ago to describe a state where the future arrives so fast that we are unable to adapt to it. Our global environment is undergoing profound and continuous change, socially, politically, and economically. These changes have far reaching impact on individuals, organisations and government. Many are already feeling the impact. The Star Malaysia. March 11, 2004.

Canada Burnishes its Third World Image. (Nihal Kaneira / Gulf News)

[The article discusses Canada's sponsorship of a new United Nations initiative for eradicating Third World poverty - "making business work for the poor." One of the stated keys to reform are partnerships between government, business and civil society, though it does not go into any detail. GN3 Ed.]

Canada's new Prime Minister Paul Martin is losing no time burnishing Canada's image as a friend of the Third World, whether the countries are in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or Latin America. GulfNews. 6 March 2004

Incoherence Persists Among International Agencies. (Gustavo Capdevila / IPS.)

An independent commission of experts suggests that the criticisms against the current globalisation process would be sharply reduced if there were full employment, though warned that to achieve such a lofty objective requires international institutions to act with coherence. IPS. 25 Feb 2004

The road to pinpointing corporations that care (STEPHEN HESSE / The Japan Times)

One by one, corporations are exchanging the flimsy veneer of multimillion-dollar PR campaigns and boilerplate annual reports for responsible business practices and comprehensive company reports that detail efforts to become financially, environmentally and socially sustainable enterprises. The Japan Times. Feb. 12, 2004

“It’s the system, stupid!” (John Elkington / Open Democracy)

A third visit to the World Economic Forum left the sustainability campaigner John Elkington enthusiastic about a gathering force which can connect pro- and anti-globalisers: social entrepreneurs. Open Democracy. 5 February 2004.

Alternative Worlds : Rainbow Alliances at Social Forum. (Anuradha M Chenoy / IndiaTimes.)

In the contest of ideas, civil society is the battleground. It is this space that states attempt to capture, political parties seek to influence and business corporations try to control. Times of India. 16 January 2004

Global civil society: the politics of a new world? (Helmut Anheier, Mary Kaldor, Marlies Glasius. / OpenDemocracy.)

From Porto Alegre to anti-war movements, 2003 was a tumultuous year of political mobilisation. As the 2004 World Social Forum opens in Mumbai, will “global civil society” build an enduring space in support of a more humane form of globalisation?  OpenDemocracy. 15 January 2004. See comment by GN3 Co-Convenor, Nicanor Perlas

WSF: Non-Governmental Diplomacy. (Mario Osava / IPS)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 13 (IPS) - Diplomacy is no longer an exclusive arena of governments, as proven in the past decade by the growing role of civil society organisations in the international debate -- and by the repeated successes of the World Social Forum, now in its fourth year. IPS. 13 January 2004

Business Forum alerts political leaders to consequences of inaction. (Sunday Observer)

SRI LANKA: Numerous attempts made by the Joint business forum and many others to persuade President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to arrive at a consensus in resolving the prevailing political impasse, appears to have not met with success to date. Sunday Observer. 11 January 2004.

Eco-delegates to meet in KL. The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 3,000 delegates from governments, conservation groups, indigenous peoples’ groups and civil society organisations will gather here next month to debate on measures to protect Earth’s biological treasures.  The Star. 11 January 2004.

WSF: Civil Society Meet Draws University-Educated Elite. (Mario Osava / IPS.)

RIO DE JANEIRO: A study aimed at finding out who attends civil society's annual World Social Forum gatherings shows that participants tend to be young, university-educated, anti-imperialist and independent of political parties. IPS. 9 January 2004

The Empire Strikes Out. (Tom Engelhardt / Znet)

I haven't checked my Chinese calendar but if 2003 wasn't the Year of the Rat, I don't know what it was. We would normally heave a collective sigh of relief to have left it even a day or two behind us -- if 2004 didn't lie ahead. Still, if the year was bad for the rest of us, it wasn't exactly dazzling for the Bush administration either and perhaps we should count a few modest post-New Year's blessings for that at least. 2002 should certainly have been dubbed the Year of the New Rome, the year neocon pundits (and a few liberal commentators as well) proudly urged us to shoulder our new imperial burden and emulate the Romans, or at least the 19th century Brits, forever and a day. If so, then 2003 was the year in which our homegrown imperialists fell silent on the subject of empire, while our legions, setting out to remake the Middle East and then the world (cap that W), fell into the nearest nation-building ditch. Znet. 2 January 2004

Civil Society, Private Sector Address UN Summit for First Time At WSIS (by Emrakeb Assefa / AllAfrica)

In a move unprecedented in the United Nations' history, representatives of civil society and the private sector addressed leaders at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva today. Stakeholders from government, business and civil society met on equal footing in a show of solidarity aimed at creating an information society for all. AllAfrica. 10 December 2003.

Keeping Europe GM Free (ISIS)

The second European Social Forum, held in and around Paris from 12-15 November 2003, brought together some 50 000 from across Europe and beyond to articulate an alternative vision of the world based on international cooperation, human development and social justice. Different initiatives and strategies to maintain the pressure for a GM-free Europe were discussed at a workshop, ‘How to Keep Europe GM-Free?’ Europe’s regulatory framework on GMOs is now in place, with stricter legislation on deliberate release into the environment (Directive 2001/18/EC), GM food and feed (Regulation 1829/2003) and traceability and labelling (Regulation 1830/2003); the latter two have to be applied by April 2004. But there is concern that this is not enough. ISIS. 5 December 2003

Social Forum Seeks Alternative to Globalisation. (By Julio Godoy / IPS.)

PARIS, Nov 10 (IPS) - The European Social Forum opening in Paris Wednesday will look for an economic model that could become an alternative to capital-led globalisation.

This search will be a central theme during the three days of meetings that will see 270 seminars, 55 conferences and 287 workshops in and around Paris. Close to 60,000 delegates from 1,500 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are expected to attend
IPS. 10 November 2003

Public sector must constantly challenge itself to improve - Annan (UN News Center)

Governments must find initiatives that fit their own concerns and development agendas because there are no ready-made solutions to the challenges of governance, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan told the Fifth Global Forum on Re-Inventing Government, meeting in Mexico City, Mexico. UN News Center. 3 November 2003

Budding Democracy Made Trade Talks Collapse. (by Victor Tan Chen /  Newsday)

Somehow, the protesters had gotten in. When they slipped through the police-manned barricades on one end of Cancun's hotel zone, they must have seemed like just another bunch of tourists - split into small groups, their bandannas and piercings discreetly tucked away. Newsday. 15 October 2003

Cheque book politics erodes ballot. (by Judith February / Cape Times)

It seems that the one thing on which South Africa's major political parties agree is not wanting to say who secretly funds their myriad activities. At least not at this juncture, less than a year away from a general election. Possibly it takes transparency an uncomfortable step too far. Cape Times. 14 October 2003

WTO talks collapse. (AFP)

CANCUN, Mexico, (AFP) -- Campaigners and lobbyists yesterday blamed an insistence by rich countries on pushing their demands against the will of developing nations for the breakdown in WTO trade talks here. Agence France-Presse. 15 September 2003

NGOs, protesters flock to Cancun. (By Diego Cevallos / AsiaTimes Online)

MEXICO CITY - This week's World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference in the Mexican resort of Cancun will also serve as a showcase and podium for nearly 2,000 civil-society organizations from 83 countries, whose members have been flowing in by the plane and busload. The protesters are part of the diverse international movement that is opposed to the current model of globalization. Asia Times Online. 10 September 2003

Globalization's Lost Decade. (by Mark Engler / ZNet)

As far from Bill Clinton as the extremist George W. Bush appears today, certain things hold the same for both presidents, particularly concerning their treatment of the world's poorest nations. Each leader championed "free trade" and corporate globalization. And in doing so, each imposed policies on the developing world that have proven economically disastrous. ZNet. 5 August 2003.

Confessions of a Recovering Economist. (by Jim Stanford / Progressive Economics Forum)

Good evening. My name is Jim. And I am an economist. It is seventeen days since I last uttered the phrase "supply and demand." But the demon still lurks, untamed, within me. ZNet. 4 August 2003.

Globalization Fight Continues. (By Luke Eric Peterson / The Toronto Star)

Exactly when is a victory a "victory" in the campaign against unfettered economic globalization? As protesters gather next week in Montreal at a meeting of world trade ministers, they can be forgiven for feeling more than a vague sense of déjà vu. The Toronto Star. 22 July 2003.

TRADE: Activists Ready Protest 'Artillery' for WTO Cancún Meet (By Diego Cevallos / IPS)

MEXICO CITY - Delegates from groups opposed to the prevailing globalisation model are already gathering in the Mexican resort city of Cancún, preparing forums and mobilisations to protest the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference to take place there Sep. 10-14. IPS.18 July 2003.

The Changing Culture of NGOs in West Africa (By Amos Safo /


The mode of operations of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Ghana and the Sub region has taken on a new face, following the change in structure and tactics by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC). July 11, 2003

NGOs: More Than Flower Power.  (By Peter Ford / Christian Science Monitor)

When Global Exchange decided to make Starbucks sell "fair trade" coffee, the nongovernmental organization campaigning for more thoughtful and fairer ways of running the world economy planned dramatic demonstrations outside the chain's outlets nationwide. Christian Science Monitor. July 11, 2003

US and UK fight media battles. (by Nick Higham / BBC)

On both sides of the Atlantic the question of who owns our media is a hot political issue.

Last week the government in Britain climbed down in its confrontation with a majority of peers, led by Lord Puttnam, over changes to the rules on media ownership in the Communications Bill. Across the water a Senate committee is locked in conflict with the Federal Communications Commission over the same issue: the senators want to reverse a sweeping liberalisation of ownership rules announced last month by the FCC. BBC News. 8 July 2003

Saving Coffee by Spending More. (by James P. DeWan / Chicago Tribune).

'Fair-trade' Certification for Specialty Beans Aims to Keep Growers on Their Land in the Developing World

Back in the day, milk was milk, vegetables came in cans, and everybody got their chickens from a funny-looking guy named Frank we all knew from TV. Nowadays, we prefer to eat chickens that have led fulfilled, free-roaming lives. We like our vegetables grown the old-fashioned way, free of pesticides and genetic engineering. We want milk from cows that have not been fed growth hormones. Chicago Tribune. 3 July 2003

Genetically Modified Morals: A Global Food Fight. (by Kathleen McAfee / IHT.)

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut -- The dispute over whether countries may decline imports of genetically engineered seeds and foods, long a point of contention between the United States and developing countries, is straining relations between America and Europe as well. International Herald Tribune. June 13, 2003.

U.S. Conservatives Take Aim at NGOs. (by Jim Lobe / OneWorld.)

WASHINGTON - While non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Oxfam have made significant contributions to human rights, the environment, and development, they are using their growing prominence and power to pursue a "liberal" agenda at the international level that threatens U.S. sovereignty and free-market capitalism. June 12, 2003.

Globalization Hits a Political Speed Bump. (David Leonhardt / NYT)

WASHINGTON -- When the leaders of rich countries put on their dark suits and gather, as they are this week in Évian, France, barriers to world trade often begin falling. For more than three decades, the United States, Japan and Western Europe have led a dismantling of tariffs, quotas and subsidies that almost all business executives and policy makers credit for lifting economic growth. New York Times. June 1, 2003

Church Groups Launch Global Corporate Code of Conduct. (Jim Lobe / IPS.)

WASHINGTON - Major church groups from around the world Tuesday launched a global corporate code of conduct that will be used to help determine whether their investment arms should buy or shun shares in corporations working in developing countries. IPS. 21 May 2003

Globalisation And Its Fall Out. (Vanadana Shiva / ZNet)

Globalization was imposed on the world with a promise of peace and prosperity. Instead we are faced with war and economic crisis. Not only has prosperity proved elusive, the minimal economic securities of people and countries are fast disappearing. Znet. 24 March 2003.

Public-Private Partnership Debate Ends in Standoff. Civil Society, Corporate Water at odds over global water future. CNW.

OSAKA, JAPAN, March 19 /CNW/ - After two days of intense dialogue and counter presentations, the most contentious debate at the Third World Water Forum has ended with Corporate Water and Civil Society presenting decidedly different perspectives on public-private partnerships (PPP). After two days, it is clear that no consensus, no agreement, and few areas of common purpose have been found. In an unprecedented move, both sides delivered separate statements to the Secretariat of the Third World Water Forum. Canada NewsWire. 19 March 2003

Filmmakers Seek Protection From U.S. Dominance (Alan Riding / NYTimes)

PARIS, Feb. 4 — During the countdown to the last global free trade accord in 1994, an outspoken group of French movie producers, directors and actors scored an impressive victory over Hollywood when cinema and other forms of audiovisual entertainment were excluded from the agreement. The compromise became known as the "cultural exception," a term that, in France at least, quickly assumed the patriotic resonance of the opening line of "The Marseillaise." Advertisement. NYTimes. 4 February 2003

Reform WTO to make trade work for the poor, says UNDP (IPS/Mithre J Sandrasagra)

The only way to reverse widespread enmity toward globalization in developing countries is to make trade work as an engine of growth and human development, says a UN Development Programme (UNDP) report released Thursday. SUNS. 03  February  2003

Bringing fairness to globalization (Jacques Chirac / IHT)

With France taking over the presidency of the Group of Eight, it's time to consider how the industrialized nations can bring about better conditions for growth and welfare worldwide, not just for themselves. It's not a question of the G-8 setting the world's agenda, it's about building awareness, about action and impetus. For globalization creates a common destiny for all humanity and makes us all dependent on one another. The major economies ignore that reality at their peril. International Herald Tribune. 25 January 2003

One Generation to Save World, Report Warns (Paul Brown/Guardian UK)

The human race has only one or perhaps two generations to rescue itself, according to the 2003 State of the World report by the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute. Guardian/UK. 9 January 2003.

Schools: The Great GATS Buy. (Glenn Rikowski/ISC)

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel, The Great Gatsby, the pivotal figure, Jay Gatsby is elusive, hard to pin down. Through Gatsby, Fitzgerald plays off the relation between illusion and reality. Gatsby organises parties and sometimes doesn't turn up for them. He is distanced from his own creations and effects. Information for Social Change. No.16, Winter 2002/2003 

How GATS could affect your life. (Susan George/Red Pepper)

Austere, bespectacled, rail-thin European trade commissioner Pascal Lamy hardly looks the part of the 1930s gangland movie bad guy. And yet he's got a hold of your future and is doing all he can to hand it over to the transnational corporations. The vehicle for Lamy's villainy is an obscure trade agreement called GATS, or the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Red Pepper Magazine. January 2003.

I’m All in Favor of Democracy, Said the King. (Arutz Sheva).

“Governance is not conceivable without democracy,” said the King. The king in question was Morocco´s King Mohammed VI, and he made the statement through Moroccan Premier Driss Jettou at the Fourth Global Forum, which was held in Marrakesh. The topic of the forum was Citizens, Businesses and Governments: Dialogues and Partnerships for Democracy and Development, reported. 24 December 2002

Seattle, Genoa ... and now Florence (ATTAC/Peter Wahl)

The dynamics of the antiglobalization movement continue unabated. The first European Social Forum (ESF), held from November 6th to 9th in Florence, has confirmed this quite impressively. With a demonstration of more than half-a-million people - the largest in the history of globalization criticism - Florence must be mentioned in the future in the same breath as Seattle and Genoa. Approximately two-thirds of the participants belong to younger generations. ATTAC Weekly newsletter - Wednesday 11 Dec 02

Another look at global partnerships. (IPS/Linus Atarah)

An international conference on global partnerships begins in Finland's snow-covered capital Monday - but amid some doubts what such partnerships can mean. SUNS. 03  December  2002

U.S. Ponders Next Course In EU Biotech-Food Fight. (Neil King Jr./WSJ)

If the Bush administration decides to knock heads with Europe over its ban on new U.S. biotech foods, the reason will lie less in France or Italy than in drought-hit Zambia. Wall Street Journal. 02 December  2002

US says EU stance on environment threatens WTO talks (Planet Ark)

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick this week warned the European Union that its desire to link international environmental agreements to the rules for free trade threatened progress in world trade negotiations. Planet Ark. 8 November 2002

Global economic governance needs fundamental reforms (Chakravarthi Raghavan, SUNS)

"Double standards supported by powerful vested interests govern in many areas of the world economy" and thus there is a need for "a fundamental reform of the existing system of global economic governance," is one of the major conclusions and recommendations out of the recent meeting of the Prague Forum 2000. SUNS. 6 November 2002

NGOs alarmed by Annan's call to reshape ties (IPS/Akhilesh Upadhyay)

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call to member states to take fresh stock of the United Nations' relationship with civil society has alarmed some groups, who hope that the world body does not give in to pressures from governments to limit their participation. SUNS. 6 November 2002

Social Movements and Economic Integration in the Americas (Beverly Bell, Center for Economic Justice)

The growth of crossborder social movements throughout the Americas reflects a new logic based in a new political moment. The long-term, historic struggles waged by social movements in the region—for sovereignty, human rights, control over natural resources, and participation in government—are still alive today. Yet the context has changed. Today’s context is one of booming economic globalization, which is causing seismic shifts—in social relations, in forms of governance, in relations between civil society and polity and between labor and capital, in business and agricultural practices, in natural resource use, and in environmental policy. For poor and marginalized communities in the Americas, these changes are often negative ones, aggravating their absolute and relative disempowerment. Nov. 1, 2002.

Original article can be viewed at:

IMF ready for talks with World Social Forum! (Alejandro Kirk, IPS)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ready to start a dialogue with the World Social Forum at its third conference in Porto Alegre in Brazil early next year, deputy managing director of the IMF Eduardo Aninat told IPS on 20 October. SUNS. 22 October 2002

Business, civil society face-to-face in Prague. (Alejandro Kirk, IPS)

Transnational corporations have "manoeuvred brilliantly" at United Nations summits to avoid rules that could make them accountable, says Susan Sonntag, the renowned civil society activist. SUNS. 17 October 2002

WTO: open public services to market (Nick Mathiason, The Observer)

The World Trade Organisation and big business are demanding the sweeping liberalisation of Britain's public services, new government documents reveal. The Observer   Sunday October 13, 2002.

Adjusting life to fit in with technology (Andrew Kimbrell, Resurgence)

Over 50 years ago, sociologist Jacques Ellul was among the first to understand that we now live in a new environment, the technological 'milieu'. While our earliest ancestors lived fully in the natural environment, and our most recent forebears in a more social milieu, modern Western societies now live primarily in the technological milieu. SUNS  #5208  Wednesday  9  October  2002.

The Dynamics Of World Disorder (Philip S. Golub, Le Monde Diplomatique)

A WHILE before 11 September the American historian, Arthur Schlesinger Jr, suggested that despite the "absence of international checks and balances" in the modern unipolar world, the United States would not "stroll too far down the perilous highway to hubris . . . No one nation is going to be able to assume the role of world arbitrator and policeman" (1). Like many American intellectuals, he remained confident about US democracy and the rationality of decision making. And Charles William Maynes, an influential voice in US foreign policy, asserted: "America is a country with imperial capabilities but without an imperial mind" (2). Le Monde Diplomatique. September 2002.

Rebuilding trust that has been lost: extending partnerships between NGOs, Government and Business (Sustainable Development International)

What emerged clearly from a workshop on business trust held at Deloitte & Touche in Johannesburg and co-ordinated by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Novo Nordisk and the University of Cambridge during the Summit in Johannesburg is that the need to build trust between business, government and NGOs demands new approaches in the way that both business and government operate in order to address the challenge of sustainable development effectively. The workshop was well attended by delegates from the Summit, business leaders, academics and representatives from civil society groups, financial services and NGOs.  Sustainable Development International. Friday, September 13, 2002

GATS goes to school (Christopher Ziguras. New Internationalist)

Government negotiations to open up trade in educational services are scheduled to begin next month, during a two-year renegotiation of the 1995 World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). GATS binds all WTO member countries to allow access to foreign-service providers wanting to operate within their borders. Education is one of 12 service sectors it covers. New Internationalist, no.349, September 2002, p.7

The Troubling New Face of America (Jimmy Carter, Washington Post)

Fundamental changes are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates (except, at times, within the administration). Some new approaches have understandably evolved from quick and well-advised reactions by President Bush to the tragedy of Sept. 11, but others seem to be developing from a core group of conservatives who are trying to realize long-pent-up ambitions under the cover of the proclaimed war against terrorism. Washington Post, September 5, 2002

The Summit That Can't Save Itself (Naomi Klein, NoLogo)

When Rio hosted the first Earth Summit in 1992, there was so much goodwill surrounding the event that it was nicknamed, without irony, the Summit to Save the World. This week in Johannesburg, at the follow-up conference known as Rio + 10, nobody is claiming that the World Summit on Sustainable Development can save the world-the question is whether the summit can even save itself.
Posted by naomi on Friday August 30, 2002

Canada and US go 'green' at world's expense, says report (IPS/Haider Rizvi, New York)

A new UN study urges the United States and Canada to take more responsibility for the damage they have done to the world's natural resources and climate in the past 30 years. Inter Press Service 13 August 2002.

Bush Administration Tries to Hide Role in Venezuela Coup (CEPR, Washington)

Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill's trip to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay has brought some needed attention to the financial and economic crises there. But there is one country where the US is playing an enormous -- and thoroughly destructive -- role that has been left out of the picture: Venezuela. 7 August 2002. Center for Economic and Policy Research

NATO's Europeans could say 'no'  (IHT, Paris)

Tension and distrust now are the most important factors in America's relations with its European allies. The initial European reaction to last September's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington - a tightening of alliance links - has been wasted. 25 July 2002. International Herald Tribune

From Rio to Johannesburg: The Globalization Decade (CorpWatch and Food First Books)

The world's governments, facing a deteriorating planet, are making a last ditch effort to save the Earth. The industrialized countries of the North and the developing countries of the South are scrambling to reach a global deal that will combine environmental protection and poverty alleviation. But a group of global corporations are claiming that they have the answers to the planet's environment and development woes and suggest redefining "sustainable development" to focus on "profit, planet and people." George Bush, President of the United States, sides with the corporate approach. Is the year 1992 or 2002? Take your pick. July 24, 2002. URL:

Breaking from Protocol.  World's Poorest Nations Lash Out at Globe's Richest. (AFP, Fiji)

Delegates to the 78-nation African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) summit, which normally restricts its agenda to trade and aid issues with the European Union (EU), broke from protocol to address political concerns with the developed world. 19 July 2002. Agence France Presse.

Argentina: Social leaders to replace politicians [Confusing Culture and Polity?] (IPS, Buenos Aires)

Leaders of non-governmental organisations that have carved a growing space for themselves in Argentine society are working hard to provide an alternative to the traditional politicians in elected posts who are scorned by a large portion of the nation's 37 million people. SUNS #5156 Tuesday 9 July 2002.

United States: Bush declares independence - from world opinion. (IPS, Washington)

Exactly 226 years ago, when British colonists declared their independence from the arbitrary and monarchical rule of their mother country, they felt compelled to publicly justify their decision out of "a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind". SUNS #5155 Monday 8 July 2002.

United States : Latest Bush moves will sow disorder abroad. (IPS, Washington)

Two major new foreign-policy initiatives announced here in the past 10 days are providing ammunition to analysts who argue that the world's superpower is pursuing irresponsible policies likely to feed chaos and disorder abroad. SUNS #5154 Friday 5 July 2002.

Profits Over People: How the World Food Summit in Rome last fortnight buried food rights, and clearly laid the contours of the future the powerful of the world are designing. (Frontline - Vandana Shiva)

THE "World Food Summit: 5 years later" which concluded in Rome on June 13 was supposed to address the most important human rights violation of our time - the denial of the right to food to millions. Many of the delegates found football more important than hunger. Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian leader, wrapped up the so-called "Summit" two hours ahead of schedule so that everyone could watch the World Cup of football. Nero fiddled while Rome burnt. Leaders watch football while their people starve. In any case, while serious commitments were being made, no serious analysis was attempted to address the growing crisis of hunger and malnutrition. Frontline, Volume 19 - Issue 13, Jun. 22 - Jul. 5, 2002.


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