On UN Charter Day, Ban Calls for ‘Deeper Cooperation’ amid Growing Global Challenges

26 June 2015 – On June 26th, 1945, the United Nations was born from the ashes and rubble of the Second World War as delegates from fifty nations came together to sign the UN Charter – the Organization's founding document and the bedrock of global peace and development.

Seventy years later, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is returning to San Francisco where the Charter was first signed to celebrate the UN's founding and call on the international community to renew their commitment towards the shaping of a better planetary future for all.

Yevgeny Primakov Has Died Aged 85

The Moscow Headquarters of the WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations” and Russian Society of Political Scientists regret to inform that Yevgeny Primakov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Honorable Professor of the Moscow State Lomonosov University, Honorable President of the Russian Society of Political Scientists died on June 26, 2015 in Moscow at the age of 85.

Yevgeny Primakov was a politician, public figure, and diplomat. He was one of Russia’s leading experts in oriental studies and a prominent scholar in the fields of the global economy and international relations. Mr Primakov contributed a lot to the development of the Political Science and supported the consolidation of the political expert community in Russia.

Women and the Interpretation of Islamic Sources

An Essay by Heba Raouf Ezzat, Professor of Political Theory, Department of Political Science, Cairo University, published at heba-ezzat.com

Can a feminist reinterpretation of Islamic sources be set in the context of Islamic theology? In other words: Can there be a feminist interpretation of Quran and Sunna? Was there one in the past, and if not…can we initiate one in the future?

These questions have appeared on the agenda of women’s debates in the Muslim world in the past two decades…stressing the “feminist” as different…currently absent and…urgently needed.

Chaos and Counterrevolution

After the Arab Spring

A new book by Richard Falk, Just World Books, 2015

In 2011, an extraordinary popular protest movement swept North Africa and the Middle East. Mass demonstrations and public protests inspired a new generation to imagine a future without authoritarian rule. Yet, just a few short years later this sense of hope and possibility has largely given way to gloom and pessimism. In this unique collection of blog posts and essays, renowned international law scholar Richard Falk explores the political situations in the region, including Egypt, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, pairing his reflections on developments as they unfolded with analysis of events today.

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Income Inequalities in Perspective

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Vladimir Popov, co-authors of Possible Futures book series

Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), Columbia University; International Labour Office, Geneva

Income and wealth inequalities in most countries – in the West, the former ‘communist’ economies and in the developing world – have been on the rise in the last three decades with some notable exceptions. Inequalities in the 19th century were much higher than before the Industrial Revolution. Following the rise of workers’ movements in the West and the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, the growth of inequalities of the previous century was reversed for over half a century until the 1980s as the threat of the spread of communism inspired welfarist redistributive reforms, giving capitalism a more human face. Such checks and balances have been greatly weakened in recent decades, even though improved economic performance in many developing countries, including sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade, contributed to some convergence of incomes between rich and poor countries.

Click here to read the Paper

From Bandung to BRICS: Two Styles One Objective

An Article by Beatriz Bissio, Head of the Department of Political Science, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), published at Latin America in Movement Online on June 12, 2015

"The despised, the insulted, the hurt, the dispossessed—in short, the underdogs of the human race were meeting. Here were class and racial and religious consciousness on a global scale. Who had thought of organizing such a meeting? And what had these nations in common? Nothing, it seemed to me, but what their past relationship to the Western world had made them feel. This meeting of the rejected was in itself a kind of judgment upon the Western world!"

Richard Wright - The Color Curtain. A report on the Bandung Conference. The World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York, 1956.

The Conference that took place in Bandung, Indonesia, from April 18 to 24, 1955, brought together leaders from some thirty Asian and African nations, responsible for the destiny of 1.350 million human beings.  Sixty years later, in 2015, many of the problems that were analyzed and debated in that pioneer conference continue to challenge a huge part of humanity.  This observation justifies a reflection on the meaning and the projections of Bandung and invites us to think about the relevance today of some of the assessments and proposals made at that event, that constituted a landmark in the history of twentieth-century international relations.


Operation Barbarossa: What Would Europe Look like if the Soviets Hadn’t Defeated Hitler?

By John Wight, RT, June 22, 2015

Never has a leader so catastrophically misjudged the character of an enemy as Hitler misjudged the Soviet Union and its people prior to launching his invasion of the country on June 22, 1941.

Hitler and other top Nazis were convinced that the Soviet Union would crumble under the weight of the largest military operation ever mounted, codenamed Operation Barbarossa. German and Axis forces comprising 4 million men, 3,600 tanks, over 4,000 aircraft, and 46,000 artillery pieces attacked the Soviet Union along a 2,900-kilometer front from the Baltic in the north to the Black Sea in the south.

Hitler’s grand ideological project of colonizing Eastern Europe, granting the German and German-speaking peoples so-called “lebensraum” (living space), destroying in the process the “degenerate” and “inferior” Slav peoples, untermenschen, while crushing the threat of “Jewish Bolshevism” to his vision of a racially pure Aryan Europe, was now under way. From the outset it was to be a war of annihilation in which millions would be slaughtered.


Muslim Academic and Peace Activist Calls for Compulsory Teaching of All Religions to Defeat Terrorism

By Rachel Olding, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 13, 2015

Australia would have a better chance of defeating terrorism and extremism if it was compulsory for students to learn about all religions, including Islam, according to an international academic and Muslim peace activist.

Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi lost his prestigious job at a Palestinian university last year when a storm of controversy erupted over his decision to take Palestinian students to Auschwitz to learn about the Holocaust.

He said a lack of knowledge about "the other" is the cause of the ugly Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and religious extremism rearing its head in Australia.

Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’: on the Care of our Common Home’

Vatican Radio, June 18, 2015

Pope Francis’ first encyclical is focused on the idea of ‘integral ecology’, connecting care of the natural world with justice for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Only by radically reshaping our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the natural world, he says, can we hope to tackle the threats facing our planet today. Science, he insists, is the best tool by which we can listen to the cry of the earth, while dialogue and education are the two keys that can “help us to escape the spiral of self-destruction which currently engulfs us”.

At the heart of the Pope’s reflections is the question: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”. The answers he suggests call for profound changes to political, economic, cultural and social systems, as well as to our individual lifestyles.