Thursday, June 19, 2008

Global Perspectives focus on Japan-Africa Relations

The June issue of the magazine 'Global Perspectives' focuses on the recent Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

According to Ramesh Jaura (IPS), who reported from the conference, Japan's priorities in Africa are to boost economic growth, ensure human security and give attention to environmental and climate issues.

Civil society organisations criticized the weak participation of NGOs in this African-Japanese dialogue. It was the first time in a 15 years long history that a Civil Society Forum took place during the conference. However only a few NGO representatives were allowed to contribute directly to panel discussions.

Furthermore, Japanese civil society criticized the government's focus on economic growth by provision of new loans instead of explicitly targeting the MDGs. NGO's called on the government to assume leadership in the light of the upcoming G8 summit in July.

In an opinion article Mario Lubetkin (IPS) talks about the role of the media in global discussions on climate change:

“That which has been achieved is without doubt attributable to the members of the scientific community who, cast at the beginning in the undesirable role of prophets of calamity, were able to explain, convince, and orient the public and the media in particular.”

However he calls on the international media to assume a proactive role in the fight against climate change. For developing countries, the media should explain the connection between environmental sustainability and the fight against poverty and hunger.

Also in this issue is an article by Els Hortensisu (ICCO) on progress in women's rights protection in Latin America and an article by Thalif Deen (IPS) on the UN Food Summit in Rome.

Global Perspectives is a bi-lingual (English/German) publication by IPS Europe. It releases monthly editions on various themes of international cooperation and development and is available for free download.

See also Euforic newsfeed on IPS Europe.

by Martin Behrens