A Patriotic Case to Stay in the EU

By Adrian Pabst, University of Southampton, May 23, 2016

With a month to go before the EU referendum, the number of undecided voters is at a fairly constant level of about 25 per cent. This suggests that so far both the ‘In’ and the ‘Out’ camp preach to the converted. A patriotic case to stay in the EU could reach beyond core voters and increase support for Remain.

As we have seen since the local and devolved elections on 5 May, there has been a window of opportunity to engage the electorate before the undecided make up their mind or drift away. Perhaps the negative messages will have their desired effect, but the ‘In’ campaign needs a high turnout on 23 June if it is to win. The reason is that those in favour of Brexit (especially the over-55s) are more mobilised and vote in large numbers than young people who tend to be pro-EU.

China’s Silk Geopolitics

By Johan Galtung, TRANSCEND Media Service, May 16, 2016

China is changing world geography, or at least trying to do so.

Not in the sense of land and water like the Netherlands, but in the sense of weaving new infrastructures on land, on water, in the air, and on the web.  It is not surprising that a country with some Marxist orientation would focus politics on infrastructure–but as means of transportation-communication, not as means of production. Nor is it surprising that a country with a Daoist worldview focuses politics on totalities, on holons and dialectics, forces and counter-forces, trying to tilt balances in China’s favor. How this will work depends on the background, and its implications.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

UNESCO, May 20, 2016

Held every year on 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development. The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002, following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, recognizing the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.”

With the adoption in September 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations, and the Resolution A/C.2/70/L.59 on Culture and Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2015, the message of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is more important than ever. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can best be achieved by drawing upon the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures, and engaging in continuous dialogue to ensure that all members of society benefit from sustainable development.

Why Syrian Peace Talks Remain a Bridge too far for Success

By M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times, May 18, 2016

The US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart make a queer pair. Seldom does a day pass when they don’t have a word with each other on Syria. The best spin is what the Saudi analysts give – that presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have a secret deal.

Neocons and Neolibs: How Dead Ideas Kill

By Robert Parry, Consortiumnews, May 11, 2016

For centuries hereditary monarchy was the dominant way to select national leaders, evolving into an intricate system that sustained itself through power and propaganda even as its ideological roots shriveled amid the Age of Reason. Yet, as monarchy became a dead idea, it still killed millions in its death throes.

Today, the dangerous “dead ideas” are neoconservatism and its close ally, neoliberalism. These are concepts that have organized American foreign policy and economics, respectively, over the past several decades – and they have failed miserably, at least from the perspective of average Americans and people of the nations on the receiving end of these ideologies.

Armenian, Azeri Leaders Agree on a Need for Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

Reuters, May 16, 2016

The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on Monday on the need for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement to the conflict in breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh, according to a joint statement by the United States, France and Russia.

The two leaders also agreed at a meeting in Vienna they would fix the time and place of their next meeting in June and that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would quickly finalize a plan to monitor the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, the statement said.

Qi Mingqiu Meets Delegation of the WPF’s Founding President

China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, May 12, 2016

Qi Mingqiu, Standing Vice Chairman of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF), met the delegation led by Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman and Founder of the World Public Forum on May 4, 2016. The two sides exchanged opinions and reached agreements on deepening extensive cooperation in many areas, especially in academic exchanges, think tank cooperation, communications between young people and women from the two countries in thinking, culture, education and art.

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Vladimir Yakunin Appointed International Adviser to SIIS

May 10, 2016

Founding President of the WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations” Vladimir Yakunin has been appointed International Adviser to the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

The Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) has appointed Vladimir Yakunin a member of its International Advisory Board.

The WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations” and SIIS have a long history of cooperation that includes regular consultations on current issues in cooperation between Russia and China, the joint analysis of economic development models in the Eurasian region, and hosting expert special events including: