The most critical issue on the Inter-American agenda today is the Honduran crisis. At the forefront of the search for solutions has been the Organisation of American States (OAS). It reacted swiftly, with a unanimous resolution that suspended Honduras.
"Man of the Century" Albert Einstein is reputed to have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again in the expectation of a different result each time. The comment is very apposite when applied to the history of UN reforms. The last big push for major UN reform came in 2005, when the most optimistic had hoped for a signing of the UN Charter 60 years earlier in the city by the bay. Instead, the UN had an Einstein moment as the momentum built up for overhauling the anachronistic and creaking UN machinery fizzled out.
This week the UN General Assembly returns to the "responsibility to protect." Since its formal adoption at the 2005 UN Summit meeting, R2P has been a doctrine honoured rather more in principle than in practice, but earlier this year the secretary general produced a major report, "Implementing the responsibility to protect," in an effort to shift it from the abstract to the concrete.
One of the most fascinating things about the reaction of Latin American commentators to the Honduras crisis is that it has been more about Venezuela than about Honduras.
TORONTO (IDN) - On the eve of their meeting with the G8 in Italy, the G5 group of major emerging economies -- Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa -- discussed the use of their own currencies to settle trade accounts among themselves. According to Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, the suggestion to explore this possibility came from Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.
LONDON | WATERLOO, Canada (IDN) - The writing may finally be on the wall for the traditional G8 Summit. No longer can the eight convene effectively without the strong participation of the major economies of the global South.
Perhaps with the exception of Grenada, the Commonwealth Caribbean has been spared the curse of military coups. But elsewhere in the hemisphere, the image of the Latin American president being flown out of his country after being overthrown is a classic one. Honduras has now provided us with a new twist on an old tale: that of the deposed president trying to return to his country a week later, and being blocked from doing so by machine guns on the tarmac, in this case, of the Tegucigalpa airport.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once famously derided the "nuclear accountants" and the arcane counting rules that typically accompany nuclear arms control efforts. He had a point -- but the nuclear accountants are back because, happily, nuclear arms control has returned to the public policy agenda with sufficient prominence to once again require their exacting services.
"Man of the Century" Albert Einstein is reputed to have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again in the expectation of a different result.
Canada and India share a Commonwealth heritage of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, a commitment to secularism, the common challenge of unity in diversity, and an internationalist outlook with a multilateralist bent. Yet the two countries have a surprisingly aloof bilateral relationship.
The ouster by the military of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, taken unceremoniously from his official residence in Tegucigalpa, and flown, still in his pajamas, to San José, Costa Rica, is a novel challenge. Leaving military coups behind is one of Latin America’s great accomplishments. Democracy, albeit with imperfections, is the norm, with the single exception of Cuba, and the times when the region was chiefly known for “coups and earthquakes” seemed to be over.