When the so-called “cold war” ended at the beginning of the 1990s, expectations were running high for the emergence of a new and peaceful world order. It was widely hoped that the rivalry between that era’s two superpowers, which was commonly characterized as “East-West conflict,” would be transformed into a stable system of co-operation among all states at an equal level and on the basis of common goals.
The prophesied golden age of “liberal democracy” and “peace,” however, quickly turned out to be a Fata Morgana when it became clear that one party to the erstwhile confrontation – that saw itself as the winner in the global struggle for power – insisted on a monopoly of definition of the basic principles of world order, including human rights and the rule of law. In the years that followed, the majority of United Nations member states nonetheless challenged the remaining superpower’s claim to political and ideological supremacy. Francis Fukuyama’s initial proclamation of the “end of history,” implying global acceptance of the supposedly victorious doctrine, was quickly proven premature.
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Business Standard, May 23, 2015
Asia must not have two faces - one of hope and prosperity; the other of want and despair. It must not be a continent of nations on the rise and others in decline; of regions with stability and others with broken institutions.
It’s finally dawning on President Barack Obama the grave dangers that have been created for the American Republic by decades of neoconservative dominance of U.S. foreign policy, but his moves in response to this dire threat remain hesitant and indecisive.
“Despite 50 years of ‘Nostra Aetate,'” the Second Vatican Council’s document on interreligious relations, “we still don’t know each other well enough,” said French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Speaking May 19 about Catholic-Muslim relations, Cardinal Tauran added, “Most of the problems we face are problems of ignorance.”
The United States and the world are engaged in a great debate about new trade agreements. Such pacts used to be called “free-trade agreements”; in fact, they were managed trade agreements, tailored to corporate interests, largely in the US and the European Union. Today, such deals are more often referred to as “partnerships,”as in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But they are not partnerships of equals: the US effectively dictates the terms. Fortunately, America’s “partners” are becoming increasingly resistant.
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called for an immediate end to hostilities in Palmyra (Syria) following reports from several sources that armed extremist groups have infiltrated the World Heritage site, where fighting is now ongoing.
“I am deeply concerned by the situation at the site of Palmyra. The fighting is putting at risk one of the most significant sites in the Middle East, and its civilian population,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.