Seventy percent of the 3,000 millions of poor in the planet (half of the world population) are women and girls. Two-thirds of the illiterate of the world are women. Bernardo Kliksberg believes that notwithstanding the fact that the conditions of women have improved in the last fifty years, the outstanding challenges are of a great importance: discrimination and exclusion of women have lasted too much in the world –he warns– and it is high time we all contribute to eradicate it.
Pedro G. Cavallero analyzes the current escalating dispute with Uruguay and Argentina in opposition (or in confrontation). As explained, the dispute has come as a result of two European companies’ decision to build an ambitious cellulose-pressing company in Uruguay. Cavallero illustrates the fact that Argentina‘s concern is the would-be environmental impact, stemming from the plant’s operation, in one of its provinces. On the other hand, the Uruguay‘s response has to push forward with expanding foreign trade policy. Cavallero thinks that this dispute has revealed a subtler discontent: the lack of an effective institutional venue to adjudicate transnational matter, in other words, a trusted, impartial mediator.
Fabián Bosoer believes that winds of change are blowing in Latin America again. Some people, enthusiastic or worried, consider that the turn to the left of the continent is getting deeper, in order to stress a rupture with the nineties. For others, he adds, the classic dilemma between populism and liberal democracy is on the table again. Bosoer rejects both positions, which put all the countries of the world in the same basket, and states a third alternative. In any case, the key question is: Is there a new paradigm of the democratic governability in Latin America?
Jean-Luc Marret analyzes the logisitics of terrorism and defines it as a complicated mass of machinery and discusses its organizational dynamics, networks, rapid transmission of decisions, and finally draws upon Abu Nidal’s Fatah as a present day illustration of such a structure. As stated by Marret, the structure is geared in two directions: the relationship maintained by leaders and is influenced by the constraints of security. He adds that terrorist networks are dependent on four elements: membership numbers, theater of operations, place of origin, and logistical support, and explains it.
Pedro G. Cavallero states that electoral processes in Latin America receive sporadic coverage in the US despite the fact that most of the region’s democracies are far from fully consolidated. Mr. Cavallero analyzes the Mexican political situation –before National elections– and notes that the perception of Mexico in the US remains blurred, often distorted, and even reduced to simplistic notions, and despite this “binding vicinity”, the country is becoming a vanishing neighbor for the US.
Mr. Varsavsky met over dinner with former President Bill Clinton a couple of days ago in New York, where he had the opportunity to share some of his personal ideas on International Affairs. Topics of discussion included the following: Clinton’s view on a potential Hillary Clinton presidential bid, John McCain, Vladimir Putin, Google and Yahoo in China, the oil prices, elections in the US, school vouchers, public education, health care, Iraq, Iran, Hugo Chavez, the Dubai port issues, Michelle Bachelet, evangelical Christians, and FON.
Walid Salem states that in Palestine, separation between freedom and democracy was witnessed during the peace process, in two, contradictory experiences: the first occurred during 1996-2000, with the implementation of a strategy to obtain more freedom to the Palestinians was practiced within the Oslo peace process, yet this process was practiced without democratization. In the second experience (2000-2006), the Palestinians were asked to promote democracy as a precondition to obtain more freedom from Israel. According to Salem, now is the time to build a process of democratization – freedom for the Palestinians without separation. Moreover, he states there are two ways to reach this objective: negotiations resulting in two states solutions, or two, unilateral Israeli and Palestinian tracks, leading in the same direction.
By Giandomenico Picco (for Safe Democracy)
Giandomenico Picco thinks that the concept of indirect democracy established during the French and the US revolutions is –in many ways– in crisis. The question today is that if the change in the means of communications amongst individuals and the methods of accessing knowledge and information is in fact leading towards a new form of democracy. Mr. Picco believes that electing our representatives is not enough, and the voice through NGOs, media, internet and other forms of social interactions have to count. We will not likely move from the model of indirect to direct democracy in one generation but the knocks on the door will become louder and louder.