L’idée d’économie verte est portée avec enthousiasme par le Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE) comme un chemin assuré vers le développement durable et le combat contre la pauvreté mondiale. Son grand rapport de 2011, Vers une économie verte : pour un développement durable et une éradication de la pauvreté, a pour but de démontrer que :
"l’écologisation de l’économie n’est pas un frein à la croissance, mais plutôt un nouveau moteur de la croissance qui génère de nouveaux emplois, et qui favorise l’élimination de la pauvreté. [Le rapport explique]
TARIQ ALI: Your latest record and your recent public statements, especially the interviews in Rolling Stone magazine, suggest that your views are becoming increasingly radical and political. When did this start to happen?
John Lennon: I’ve always been politically minded, you know, and against the status quo. It’s pretty basic when you’re brought up, like I was, to hate and fear the police as a natural enemy and to despise the army as something that takes everybody away and leaves them dead somewhere.
I mean, it’s just a basic working class thing, though it begins to wear off when you get older, get a family and get swallowed up in the system.
Like most radicals my age, I remember the moment I heard Nelson Mandela would walk free. I also remember exactly when I heard the apartheid regime was finally gone. I also recall Nelson Mandela’s victory tour in the wake of the moment. When Mandela won the 1994 election, I wondered how the ANC would pull off the economic changes necessary to complete its campaign of bringing social justice to the formerly racist state. Of course, I wasn’t alone in this concern. The challenges were multiple and so were the national and international defenders of the previous reality.
The 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) pushed through a Bali Package in the final hours, extending the Conference to December 7, but at the cost of the developing countries, the poor and the hungry.
Facilitating Trade for TNCs
Hailed as a victory by the WTO for unlocking the deadlocked negotiations, the Bali Package delivers a legally binding agreement on Trade Facilitation that is costly to developing countries and ensures easier access and profits for Transnational Corporations (TNCs). Trade Facilitation, or the easing of customs procedures and borders, clearly benefits only the big TNCs that already control exports and imports. As the 2013 World Trade Report data shows, “80% of US exports are handled by 1% of large exporters, 85% of European exports are in the hands of 10% of big exporters and 81% of exports are concentrated in the top 5 largest exporting firms in developing countries.”
"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings." "The current world financial crisis also starkly reminds us that many of the concepts that guided our sense of how the world and its affairs are best ordered, have suddenly been shown to be wanting.” "Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality. He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry." "There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like." “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” “No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.” "If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers." “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” On Gandhi: "From his understanding of wealth and poverty came his understanding of labor and capital, which led him to the solution of trusteeship based on the belief that there is no private ownership of capital; it is given in trust for redistribution and equalization. Similarly, while recognizing differential aptitudes and talents, he holds that these are gifts from God to be used for the collective good."
Author Ken Saro-Wiwa spear-headed the resistance of the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta against environmental devastation from oil drilling and ruptured oil pipelines. He was executed in 1995. Dr Laurence Cox introduces his last letters.
Like fashion designers who create limited-edition handbags or suits, they know scarcity stokes demand, so they artificially restrict the number of papers they accept. The exclusive brands are then marketed with a gimmick called "impact factor" – a score for each journal, measuring the number of times its papers are cited by subsequent research. Better papers, the theory goes, are cited more often, so better journals boast higher scores. Yet it is a deeply flawed measure, pursuing which has become an end in itself – and is as damaging to science as the bonus culture is to banking.
Co-founder of charity counters that investment rules mean money must be put into schemes likely to yield best returns
Firoze Manji's insight:
This is the inevitable result of charities genuflecting to corporations in order to divert attention from their exploitation. Comic Relief's portrayal of African people as victims plays straight into this. It's about time Comic Relief and the charities were exposed.
Nelson Mandela was one of the outstanding persons of the 20th century, when it comes to 2013 here in South Africa there is another individual with Mandela-like qualities who deserves the accolade of Person of the Year - Public Protector, Thulisile...
As Mandela passes on to join the ancestors, a wave of sadness sweeps the entire planet. There can be few places and few people who are not in some way deeply affected by this event. Madiba symbolizes many things for many people. For the survivors of the brutality of apartheid, he is the symbol of the victory of their struggle for freedom and justice, the symbol of the possibility of a future that is about creating a better world, and not a world built on bitterness for past crimes, the symbol of all those values on which the South African constitution was founded. For the oppressed and exploited across Africa, he represents the finest qualities of integrity and principled leadership, the hero who dared to re-assert the humanity of the colonized over the tyranny of empire. For those unjustly imprisoned, he symbolizes the hope of freedom. For anti-apartheid activists across the world, Mandela represents the worth of the years of persistent organizing and creative campaigning. For groups like Amnesty International, he represents their shame for failing to recognize him as a political prisoner. For capital (international and local), Mandela is the saint who delivered a peaceful transition from apartheid that ensured that their hegemony continued undisturbed. For the international financial institutions and World Bank, the rapid implementation of structural adjustment programmes in South Africa would not have been possible without the endorsement of Madiba. All these symbols of Mandela, and many others, co-exist. They are all in some ways true, and yet none of them are wholly accurate. Physically small in stature, Mandela is universally recognized as a giant of our era for good reason. The example of his life of courage, compassion, and determination in the face of extreme violence and injustice reaches into the dark prisons of our times and into the hearts of millions of people around the world who hope and struggle for a better future for humanity. It is the tragedy of great people that their passing provides the opportunity for those in power to create a myth to serve their own interests, a myth that often serves to arrest the very vitality that such lives inspired. We are already witnessing the creation of mythologies of Mandela. (Or perhaps consolidation is a better word, for this process has been going on for some time, especially since he resigned as President). The mythologies will be articulated through obituaries in corporate media, through the speeches of politicians, through the eulogies sung at his funeral, through the proclamations of commemorative holidays, biographies, institutions, and so on. Mythologies about great people, whether they portray them as saints or as villains, are idealized representations, and as such, fundamentally reactionary. Mythologies are the sustenance of all forms of fundamentalism, whether religious or ideological (e.g. the market fundamentalism of neo-liberalism). The contributions of great people are frequently reduced to a few simple ‘truths’, truths that are based on the denial of uncomfortable aspects of their stories, and thus ironically based also on lies. The process of mythologizing represents a contestation between symbolism and mythology. The greatest disservice that we could pay to Mandela is to allow the complexity, courage and humanity of his long life to be reduced to a fairy tale. Mandela represents for so many the finest values of courage, liberation and freedom. For all his exceptional greatness, he lived and struggled in the world as a human being with others. His legacy should not be placed on a pedestal of myth but rather inspire us to take lessons from the complexity and imperfections of those struggles as we continue the long walk to freedom. Firoze Manji Dakar, 6 December 2013
In 1986, in the midst of the state of emergency, Asimbonanga, Johnny Cleggs exquisite song for Mandela, soared above the blood and teargas on the streets yearning for the day when "We cross the burning water".
[D]eath is always close by, and what's important is not to know if you can avoid it, but to know that you have done the most possible to realize your ideas. - Frantz Fanon, 1961.
Nelson Mandela is mourned by South Africans, Africans and the international community today as the leader of our generation who stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries — a colossus of unimpeachable moral character and integrity, the world's most admired and revered public figure.