INES WEEKLY INFORMATION SERVICE


The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) is an independent non-profit-organization concerned about the impact of science and technology on society. INES was founded in 1991. INES' efforts focus on disarmament and international peace, ethics, justice and sustainable development. INES is affiliated with the United Nations an with UNESCO as a NON-Governmental Organization (NGO). INES has become a network of nearly 100 organisations and individual members.


The "What's New In INES" (wnii) is the main communication instrument of INES. It shall give the member organisations the possibility to publish their articles, and serve at the same time as a general overview of related international news.



Editor: Kristin Kropidlowski: wnii@inesglobal.com

WNII is archived under: http://www.inesglobal.com/whats_new_in_ines/Whats_new_in_ines_main.html

INES official site: http://inesglobal.com

INES international Office: ines.office@web.de

INES Chair: Claus Montonen: claus.montonen@helsinki.fi


The recent issue of the INES newsletter is available at:

http://www.inesglobal.com/newsletter/Newletter_main.html

INES WEEKLY INFORMATION SERVICE


The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) is an independent non-profit-organization concerned about the impact of science and technology on society. INES was founded in 1991. INES' efforts focus on disarmament and international peace, ethics, justice and sustainable development. INES is affiliated with the United Nations an with UNESCO as a NON-Governmental Organization (NGO). INES has become a network of nearly 100 organisations and individual members.


The "What's New In INES" (wnii) is the main communication instrument of INES. It shall give the member organisations the possibility to publish their articles, and serve at the same time as a general overview of related international news.


Editor: Kristin Kropidlowski: wnii@inesglobal.com

WNII is archived under: http://www.inesglobal.com/whats_new_in_ines/Whats_new_in_ines_main.html

INES official site: http://inesglobal.com

INES international Office: ines.office@web.de

INES Chair: Claus Montonen: claus.montonen@helsinki.fi



The recent issue of the INES newsletter is available at:

http://www.inesglobal.com/newsletter/Newletter_main.html


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Topics, INES, wnii, Issue No. 10/2006, May 2006



0. IRAN


- UN Finds New Uranium Traces in Iran: Diplomats by Louis Charnonneau


- IAEA Bord Report


- Iran Ready for Dialogue "with Anybody" by Philippe Naughton and Agencies


- US Stands Tough on Iran's Nuclear Program by Carol Giacorno, Diplomatic Correspondent


- Letter from Iran's President Ahmdinejad to Bush




1. WAR AND PEACE - ARMS RACE AND DISARMAMENT


- Burma: U.N. Must Act to End Attacks on Karen


- Arming Big Brother - The EU's Security Research Programme by Ben Hayes


- Administration Conducting Research Into Laser Weapon by William J. Broad




2. SCIENCE AND ETHICS


- Role Models to Inspire a New Generation of Ethical Scientists and Engineers


- Graduation Pledge Alliance


- The Division of Ethics of Science and Technology




3. SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE


- Shell claims action on climate change


- Canada Must Quit as Chair of Kyoto Process - Greens by David Ljunggren


- Annan calls for new approaches to energy efficiency


- Angola Hosts African Ozone Network Meeting




4. NUCLEAR AND RENEWABLE ENERGIES


- US experts cut by half size estimate of China nuclear arsenal


- Low-Carbon Diet without Nukes in France by Annie Makhijani Arjun Makhijani




5. CONFERENCES AND ACTIVITIES


- "Informalizing Economies and New Organising Strategies in Africa", Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden, 20-22 April 2007




6. DOCUMENTATIONS


- Facts, Dilemmas and the Political Debate, Background Paper on Iran's Nuclear Programme prepared for IKV and Pax Christi


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0. IRAN




UN FINDS NEW URANIUM TRACES IN IRAN: DIPLOMATS by Louis Charnonneau


Source, Reuters from 12 May 2006


U.N. inspectors have discovered new traces of highly-enriched uranium on nuclear equipment in Iran, deepening suspicions Tehran may still be concealing the full extent of its atomic enrichment programme, diplomats said.



Continue: http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=newsOne&storyID=2006-05-12T120247Z_01_L12678376_RTRUKOC_0_US-NUCLEAR-IRAN-URANIUM.xml


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IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) BOARD REVIEW


IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei released his report "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran." The report was prepared at the request of the United Nation´s Security Council. Its circulation is restricted, and unless the IAEA Board of Governors and Security Council decide otherwise, the Agency can not authorise its release to the public.



Few excerpts reported by BBC you fill at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4956882.stm


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IRAN READY FOR DIALOGUE "WITH ANYBODY" by Philippe Naughton and Agencies


Source: Timesonline from 11 May 2006, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-2175827,00.html


President Ahmadinejad of Iran said today that he was ready to negotiate with the United States and its allies over his country's nuclear programme but declared that any threats against Tehran would make dialogue all but impossible.


The combative Iranian leader made his remarks in a speech to cheering students in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation which has offered to act as an honest broker in negotiations between Iran and Western powers angered by its enrichment of uranium.


Earlier this week, Mr Ahmadinejad offered to open talks with the United States in a letter to President Bush, the first public communication from an Iranian leader to a US president since the Iran hostage drama of 1979.


[...]


The five permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed on Tuesday to postpone a resolution that would have delivered an ultimatum to Tehran, giving Iran another two weeks to reevaluate its insistence on developing its uranium enrichment capabilities.


The Chinese and Russians have balked at British, French and US efforts to put the resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which paves the way for sanctions and eventual military action if Tehran refuses to respect an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) moratorium on its nuclear activities.


[...]


Mr Ahmadinejad's offer of dialogue was welcomed by the head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBarardei, who appealed today for a spirit of compromise.


Mr ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said that he was pleased Security Council was holding off from sanctions against Iran as Europeans work on a package of benefits to induce Tehran to cooperate.



The unabridged article please find at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-2175827,00.html


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US STANDS TOUGH ON IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM by Carol Giacorno, Diplomatic Correspondent


Source: Yahoo News from 12 May 2006, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060512/ts_nm/nuclear_iran_usa_dc_1


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will not hold direct contacts with Iran and insists that sanctions must be part of a new carrots-and-sticks offer being drawn up by major powers to curb Iran's nuclear activities, a senior administration official said.


Addressing an influential Middle East policy group on Thursday night, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns promised that Washington will not "quit the diplomatic track easily."


American experts and political figures have increasingly urged the administration to talk directly to Iran in searching for a diplomatic solution.


But Burns rejected that, saying the world must "put responsibility where it lies" -- on Iran, not the United States -- for defying the international community and fanning the nuclear crisis.


He warned Iran and other key players that "we can't be captive to endless discussions in the (U.N.) Security Council and we won't allow ourselves to be."



Read more http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060512/ts_nm/nuclear_iran_usa_dc_1


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LETTER FROM IRAN'S PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD TO GEORGE BUSH


Originally oublished in: Le Monde, 10 May 2006, online available at http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0510-21.htm


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1. WAR AND PEACE - ARMSRACE AND DISARMAMENT




BURMA: U.N. MUST ACT TO END ATTACKS ON KAREN

Army Uses Landmines to Prevent Civilians from Fleeing Conflict


Source: Human Rights News, 3 May 2006, http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/05/03/burma13301.htm


The U.N. Security Council must urgently respond to Burmese army attacks on ethnic Karen civilians that have displaced more than 10,000 villagers since November, Human Rights Watch said today. Civilians seeking refuge in Thailand have been placed at grave risk by landmines planted by the Burmese army along the border.


Human Rights Watch urged the Security Council to place Burma on its agenda in accordance with its April 28, 2006 resolution, "On Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict," which affirms a collective responsibility of all U.N. members to protect civilian populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity when their governments do not provide that protection.


[...]


In November the Burmese army, or Tatmadaw, began its largest offensive in the western and northern parts of Karen state since 1997. Burmese troops have looted and burned homes and planted anti-personnel landmines in civilian areas to terrorize the local population. In some cases, villagers have reportedly been ordered by battalion commanders to leave their homes or face summary execution. Fleeing villagers have reported witnessing soldiers commit extrajudicial killings and torture. They have also reported that men, women and children have been forcibly conscripted to work either as army porters or as unpaid laborers.


Government troops are continuing sweeping operations in Mon township, Nyaunglebin district. Army infantry battalions 241 and 242 are reportedly leading efforts to chase some 2,000 displaced Karen villagers. Those displaced are at particular risk due to the heavy rains caused by Cyclone Mala, which has made living conditions difficult. Many villagers are reportedly sick with malaria and dysentery. Karen villagers in Toungoo district - who were earlier forced to go to relocation sites, or faced execution - reported that they now have no shelter there and are living under trees in the rain.


According to humanitarian agencies, 4,000 people have been displaced in Mon township; 2,000 in Shwey Gyin and Kyauk Kyi townships combined; and more than 2,000 in Toungoo district. While more than 1,000 people have fled to the Salween River to seek refuge in Thailand, the Burmese army has reportedly laid more than 2,000 anti-personnel mines in a north-south line to stop further civilian movement from the mountains to the plains. This was allegedly done in order to block escape routes and deny the civilian population access to food supplies, commodities, and other humanitarian assistance.



More at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/05/03/burma13301.htm


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ARMING BIG BROTHER - THE EU'S SECURITY RESEARCH PROGRAMME by Ben Hayes


Source: TNI Briefing Series 2006/1, April 2006, http://www.tni.org/reports/militarism/bigbrother.htm


The European Commission has proposed a Security Research Programme to invest 1 billion dollars in military research because the arms companies have complained that they cannot keep up with the US. Here is Lisbon agenda logic at its most perverse: the arms companies argued that since US government invests that much, so should Europe. More science for the knowledge economy! More is better, what you get more of is a secondary concern.


The Amsterdam-based research NGO "Transnational Institute" has brough out a report on this and concludes: "The European Commission responded by giving these companies a seat at the EU table, a proposed budget of one billion euros for "security" research and all but full control over the development and implementation of the

programme. In effect, the EU is funding the diversification of these companies into the more legitimate and highly lucrative "dual use" sector, allowing them to design future EU security policies and allowing corporate interests to determine the public interest." At the same time, security issues are defined narrowly in terms of counter-terrorism, surveillance and pre-emptive strike logic.


(Comment by Dr. Willem Halffman, Dept. of Science, Technology, Health, and Policy Studies (STeHPS), School of Business, Public Administration and Technology

Twente University, http://bbt-webserver.bbt.utwente.nl/rethinking/org_activs/halffman_eng.htm)


Short Summary (http://www.tni.org/reports/militarism/bigbrother.htm):

The militarisation of the EU is a controversial development that should be fiercely contested. EU funding of military research is also very controversial, from both a constitutional and political perspective.


This Statewatch-TNI report examines the development of the EU Security Research Programme (ESRP) and the growing security-industrial complex in Europe it is being set up to support. With the global market for technologies of repression more lucrative than ever in the wake of 11 September 2001, it is on a healthy expansion course. There are strong arguments for regulating, limiting and resisting the development of the security-industrial complex but as yet there has been precious little debate.


The story of the ESRP is one of "Big Brother" meets market fundamentalism. It was personified by the establishment in 2003 of a "Group of Personalities" (GoP) comprised of EU officials and Europe's biggest arms and IT companies who argued that European multinationals are losing out to their US competitors because the US government is providing them with a billion dollars a year for security research. The European Commission responded by giving these companies a seat at the EU table, a proposed budget of one billion euros for "security" research and all but full control over the development and implementation of the programme. In effect, the EU is funding the diversification of these companies into the more legitimate and highly lucrative "dual use" sector, allowing them to design future EU security policies and allowing corporate interests to determine the public interest.


The planned Security Research Programme raises important issues about EU policy-making and the future of Europe. Europe faces serious security challenges: not just terrorism, but disease, climate change, poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, resource depletion and other sources of insecurity. Rather than being part of a broader strategy to combat these challenges, the ESRP is part of a broader EU counter-terrorism strategy almost singularly orientated to achieving security based primarily on the use of military force and the demands of law enforcement. Freedom and democracy are being undermined by the very policies adopted in their name.

For a five pages summary see http://www.tni.org/reports/militarism/bigbrosummary.htm



Download the entire report at http://www.tni.org/reports/militarism/bigbrother.pdf


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ADMINISTRATION CONDUCTING RESEARCH INTO LASER WEAPON by William J. Broad


Source: http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fuj/nytimes50.htm


The Bush administration is seeking to develop a powerful ground-based laser weapon that would use beams of concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.


The largely secret project, parts of which have been made public through Air Force budget documents submitted to Congress in February, is part of a wide-ranging effort to develop space weapons, both defensive and offensive. No treaty or law forbids such work.


The laser research was described by federal officials who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because of the topic's political sensitivity. The White House has recently sought to play down the issue of space arms, fearing it could become an election-year liability.


[...]


Though futuristic and technically challenging, the laser work is relatively inexpensive by government standards - about $20 million in 2006, with planned increases to some $30 million by 2011 - partly because no weapons are as yet being built and partly because the work is being done at an existing base, an unclassified government observatory called Starfire in the New Mexico desert.



Read the full article at http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fuj/nytimes50.htm


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2. SCIENCE AND ETHICS





ROLE MODELS TO INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION OF ETHICAL SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS


Source: Web Version of a press release issued on 6 April 2006 by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), http://www.sgr.org.uk/press/EC_Briefings_06apr06.html


How can ethically-minded science and engineering graduates stick to their principles once they're thrown into the employment market? Practical help is provided in a new booklet published today by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR). The booklet contains twelve inspiring case histories of scientists and engineers who have prioritised ethical concerns during their career.


The twelve cases cover a diverse range of career paths. They span the disciplines from engineering and the physical sciences, through the life sciences and medicine, to the social sciences. They explore ethical issues relating to military and corporate involvement, environmental protection, social justice and animal welfare. And while most are based in the UK, many have worked, studied or lived abroad. Some of the twelve have found it quite straightforward to pursue an "ethical career", but others have

struggled against powerful vested interests.


The booklet is the latest publication from SGR's very popular programme, "Ethical careers in science, design and technology". The booklet was edited by Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of SGR, and Vanessa Spedding, a freelance science writer.


Dr Parkinson said: "More students and graduates are becoming interested in ethical career options - but in the science and technology sectors there is limited information to guide them. In this booklet we give a voice to a selection of role models with genuinely uplifting tales to tell of challenge and sometimes, transformation. Not only is it a good read, it will also help inspire others with the determination and confidence to put their principles into practice and take control of their own careers."


Contact: Dr Stuart Parkinson, Tel: +44 (0)7941 953640; Email: stuartp@sgr.org.uk


Notes

1. SGR is an independent UK organisation of approximately 850 members across the natural and social sciences, engineering, IT, architecture and design. Its main aim is to promote ethical science, design and technology - based on the principles of openness, accountability, peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability. For more information see http://www.sgr.org.uk/


2. The booklet is entitled "Critical Paths: 12 inspiring cases of ethical careers in science and technology" and can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.sgr.org.uk/ethics.html


Printed copies can be ordered from the SGR Office, P O Box 473, Folkestone CT20 1GS, UK; Tel: +44 (0)7771 883696; Email: info@sgr.org.uk. They are free to students and to members of SGR; GBP 6.00 (including p & p) to others.


3. SGR's ethical careers series includes eight other publications - a 32-page introductory booklet, together with the following 8-page briefings:


- Scientists or soldiers? Career choice, ethics and the military


- Corporations and career choice in science and technology


- Unscrambling a space career from military forces


- Your career and sustainable development


- Career choice and climate change


- Cleaner technologies: a positive choice


- Career choice, ethics and animal experimentation.



To download copies of all these documents, or for more information on this work including a list of "ethical employers", visit http://www.sgr.org.uk/ethics.html


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GRADUATION PLEDGE ALLIANCE


The Campaign's web site http://graduationpledge.org


Humboldt State University (California) initiated the  Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. It states, "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."  Students define for themselves what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. Students at over a hundred colleges and universities have used the pledge at some level. The schools involved include small liberal arts colleges (Colgate and Macalester); large state universities (Oregon and Utah), and large private research universities (University of Pennsylvania and Duke).  The Pledge is also now found at graduate and professional schools, high schools , and schools overseas (Taiwan and Australia).


Graduates who voluntarily signed the pledge have turned down jobs with which they did not feel morally comfortable and have worked to make changes once on the job. For example, they have promoted recycling at their organization, removed racist language from a training manual, worked for gender parity in high school athletics, and helped to convince an employer to refuse a chemical weapons-related contract.


Manchester College now coordinates the campaign effort, which has taken different forms at different institutions. At Manchester, it is a community-wide event involving students, faculty, and staff. Typically, over fifty percent of students sign and keep a wallet-size card stating the pledge, while students and supportive faculty wear green ribbons at commencement. (At a few schools, a different color ribbon is used.) The pledge is printed in the formal commencement program.


Depending upon the school, it might take several years to reach this level of institutionalization.  If one can get a few groups/departments involved, and get some media attention on (and off) campus, it will get others interested and build for the future. The project has been covered in newspapers (e.g., USA Today, Washington Post, Associated Press, and Chronicle of Higher Education); magazines (e.g., Business Week), national radio networks (for instance, ABC); and local T.V. stations (like in Ft. Wayne, IN).


In a sense, the Pledge operates at three levels: students making choices about their employment; schools educating about values and citizenship rather than only knowledge and skills; and the workplace and society being concerned about more than just the bottom line. The impact is immense even if only a significant minority of the one million college graduates each year sign and live out the Pledge.


See our newest web site which is geared to graduates in or about to enter the workforce (http://www.e-xplore.com). PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED OF ANY PLEDGE EFFORTS YOU ARE EVEN CONSIDERING TO UNDERTAKE, AS WE TRY TO MONITOR WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND PROVIDE PERIODIC UPDATES ON THE NATIONAL EFFORT (INCLUDING HINTS ON HAVING A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN).



Contact for information/questions/comments:

Neil Wollman; Ph. D.; Senior Fellow, Peace Studies Institute; Professor of Psychology; Manchester College, North Manchester, IN 46962; njwollman@manchester.edu; 260-982-5346; fax 260-982-5043


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THE DIVISION OF ETHICS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Sector for Social and Human Sciences

UNESCO


2nd Meeting of the Expert Group on Nanotechnology and Ethics


In the context of reflection on the ethical implications of new and emerging technologies UNESCO has been carrying out anticipatory studies regarding nanotechnology. An ad-hoc Expert Group on Nanotechnology and Ethics was established in 2005, in order to explore ethical issues of nanotechnology that are relevant for the international community and to explore possible and feasible international actions in this area.


The expert group set up a twofold working strategy, involving the preparation of a "state-of-the-art" study on ethics and nanotechnologies (that will be published as a book in the UNESCO series on ethics), as well as material and reflections for a policy document indicating what kind of international actions should be undertaken by UNESCO.



The expert group met in UNESCO, Paris, on 5-6 July and 6-7 December 2005, and reports of both meetings can be found in the Ethics of Science and Technology webpage:

http://portal.unesco.org/shs/admin/ev.php?URL_ID=8958&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201

http://portal.unesco.org/shs/admin/ev.php?URL_ID=9435&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201


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3. SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE




SHELL CLAIMS ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE


Source: Friends of the Earth, Press Release from 9 May 2006


Oil giant Shell claimed it put sustainability at the heart of its business today with the publication of it ninth annual report on the environmental and social performance.


But Friends of the Earth said the company was more interested in spin than in looking after the environment.


Shell's environmental and social performance has also faced sustained criticism from communities around the world who experience the direct impacts of Shell's pollution.


Read more http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/shell_claims_action_on_cli_09052006.html


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CANADA MUST QUIT AS CHAIR OF KYOTO PROCESS - GREENS by David Ljunggren


Source: Planetark, 11 May 2006, http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/36304/story.htm


Green groups across Canada united on Wednesday to demand Environment Minister Rona Ambrose step down as chairwoman of international talks looking into ways to strengthen the Kyoto protocol on climate change.


Ambrose, who says Canada has no chance of meeting its Kyoto emissions targets, is due to chair a meeting in Bonn next week that will group signatories to Kyoto as well as nations that have not made commitments to cut the greenhouse gases that are seen as the cause global warming.


The Climate Action Network - a collection of about 100 environmental and other activist groups - said Ambrose's clear disdain for Kyoto could help wreck the talks.


[...]


Ambrose is a member of the new minority Conservative government, which won the Jan. 23 election. The party's power base -- as is Ambrose's electoral district -- is in the energy-rich western province of Alberta, where sentiment is decidedly anti-Kyoto.


Under Kyoto, Canada is committed to cutting its emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. The latest data show emissions are running 24.4 percent above 1990 levels and these will rise as the oil sands are further developed in Alberta.



The full article is available at http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/36304/story.htm


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ANNAN CALLS FOR NEW APPROACHES TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY


Source: UN News Centre, 10 May 2006, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=18420&Cr=sustainable&Cr1=development


United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan today called for new approaches to energy use with a focus on greater efficiency, increased investment in renewable sources and new technologies.


"We need a revolution in energy efficiency," he told the opening plenary of the three-day High-Level Segment of the Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. "Conventional power stations waste 65 per cent of the energy they generate. We must capture and use that excess heat, and make greater use of hybrid vehicles and other energy-efficient technologies."


He also called for cutting the pollution generated by fossil fuels, for example through the use of clean coal, and pointed out that the high cost of oil imposes economic burdens on some poor countries while contributing to climate change.


The poor are particularly vulnerable to climate change and will need help from the global community to adapt to its impact, he added.


Meanwhile, 1.6 billion people live with no electricity at all and have to rely on wood, dung and agricultural wastes, which have made indoor air pollution one of the world's top 10 causes of mortality or premature death, he said. Added to that is the immense opportunity cost of the many hours that people, mainly women, spend foraging for wood.



Read more http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=18420&Cr=sustainable&Cr1=development


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ANGOLA HOSTS AFRICAN OZONE NETWORK MEETING


Source: Angola Press Agency (Luanda), 9 May 2006, http://allafrica.com/stories/200605081178.html


Environmental representatives of the African English Network of Ozone will discuss on May 08-12 in Luanda, issues related to the updating of data concerning the consumption of substances regulated by the Montreal Protocol, at the 12th meeting of focal points of the ozone units, that Angola will host for the first time.


According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Urbanism and Environment, the four-day forum will be served to exchange experiences between the units. It is part of the guidelines of the main programme of the implementation of Vienna Convention on Ozone layer, adopted in 1979 and to which Angola adhered in 1987, having become State Part of the treaty in May, 2000.


Under the auspices of the Secretariat of Vienna Convention, Angola will implement the Project on reduction, in phases, of the substances that exhaust the ozone layer, raw material used mostly in the sectors of refrigeration, fire extinction and agriculture.


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4. NUCLEAR AND RENEWABLE ENERGIES




US EXPERTS CUT BY HALF SIZE ESTIMATE OF CHINA NUCLEAR ARSENAL


Source: Wanadoo Jordan, 3 May 2006,


China's nuclear arsenal is about half the size previously estimated by US experts even as the Asian giant modernizes its atomic forces in a secret fashion, a new study shows.


The nuclear stockpile appears to have leveled out at about 200 warheads compared with 400 as previously estimated, said Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists in a study published in the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.




More http://www.wanadoo.jo/factu.php?articleId=1012222


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LOW-CARBON DIET WITHOUT NUKES IN FRANCE - An Energy Technology and Policy Case Study on Simultaneous Reduction of Climate Change and Proliferation Risks by Annie Makhijani Arjun Makhijani


Source: Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, 4 May 2006, http://www.ieer.org/reports/energy/france/lowcarbonreport.pdf


The report examines the feasibility of phasing out nuclear power in France while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 40 percent in the next few decades. France is considered as exemplary by advocates of nuclear power, which provides almost 80 percent of French electricity generation, because the use of that energy source has been crucial to its relatively low greenhouse gas emissions.


It is noted that a low carbon, zero-nuclear-power future for France by the middle of the 21st century will involve significant technical and policy changes, including


- Regulations requiring new cars to achieve an average fuel efficiency of 100 miles per gallon by the year 2020 and improvements in efficiency of delivery vehicles and trucks


- Improvements in heating and cooling in the residential and commercial sector that use existing technologies like co-generation and earth-source heat pumps


- Government procurement of advanced technologies to stimulate innovation, in place of tax breaks for existing technologies


- Abandonment of reprocessing and retirement of nuclear power plants when they reach the end of the licensed lifetime (40 to 45 years after start up)


- National policies to put wind, pumped hydro, and natural gas and, in the more advanced technology scenario, solar photovoltaic cells, at the center of the electricity sector



For the full press release http://www.ieer.org/reports/energy/france/


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5. CONFERENCES AND ACTIVITIES




"INFORMALIZING ECONOMIES AND NEW ORGANISING STRATEGIES IN AFRICA", Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden, 20-22 April 2007


Deadline for submission of abstracts is already the 23 June 2006!


Informal economies in Africa have been experiencing a rapid expansion in the last few decades. This trend is taking place in the context of neoliberal models of development, whereby international financial institutions advocate policies of privatization, economic liberalisation and deregulation. These policies have had far-reaching consequences. Growing numbers of redundant workers and declining regulated wage work opportunities have resulted in new floods of entrants into the informal economy. In this deregulating economic environment, existing firms increasingly make use of casual labour and/or rely on a myriad of small-scale informal operators, a trend that is exceedingly evident in urban areas. Self-employment and "unregulated" forms of employment are today widespread ways of earning a living. At the same time, informal economies have become both increasingly enmeshed in international commodity circuits and more exposed to global market forces. Unsurprisingly, the informal economy has become a sphere of accumulation for larger firms whereas conditions and incomes have often deteriorated for vulnerable groups that depend on the informal economy for survival. In addition to the influence of global forces, governments often have a negative, or at best ambivalent, attitude towards poor self-employed people. In many places they adopt restrictive and violent measures such as harassment and eviction. At the most, they regard these groups as 'vote banks', in a context of multi-party politics. Given these various economic and political pressures, it is not surprising that the informal economy is a highly politicised field.


The conference will focus on the collectively organised responses of popular groups to drastically changed conditions for earning a living in Africa. In particular, the aim is to concentrate on attempts to organise informal workers and to defend their interests. The term 'informal workers' is to be interpreted here in its widest sense, to include both casual labour and self-employed people. Some of the key issues to be debated are:


- What organising strategies are emerging around the interests of informal workers? Here, a range of different strategies will be explored. These include both collective initiatives emerging from within the informal economy and the responses of conventional workers' organisations (i.e. trade unions) to the challenges posed by the extensive informalisation of the economy.


- What are the agendas of these civic groups and whom do they try to influence? What kind of relations do they entertain with the powerful actors that influence the conditions in which they live and work (such as international financial institutions, private companies, the national and local state)? What alternative practices and discourses, if any, are these civic groups promoting?


- What new alliances and constellations are emerging in this changing landscape of organised popular initiatives?


- Where is an oppositional politics taking place - at the local/national level and/or at the international level?



For detailed information according the paper requirements see http://www.nai.uu.se/sem/conf/informal_callsve.html


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6. DOCUMENTATIONS




IRAN AND THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION - A contribution to the discussion by IKV and Pax Christi Netherlands.



The UN Security Council deadline for Iran to give full openness about its nuclear programme elapsed on the 28th of April. This threatens to be the beginning of a new phase in the escalating conflict with Iran. What has been lacking so far, is a concerted, credible and vigorous political strategy, that convinces Iran that the price of a nuclear weapons programme is too high.


IKV and Pax Christi Netherlands are seriously concerned about the escalating conflict with Iran. A nuclear weapons programme in Iran would pose a threat to the regional security and stability in the Middle East, but so would be a unilateral military action on dubious grounds . Experience shows that threatening with military violence can initiate an irreversible escalating process that can only be reversed at the price of a great loss of credibility.


The research that has been conducted by both organisations 'Iran's nuclear programme: facts, dilemma's and the political debate',confirms that there is not a single hint that Iran's nuclear programme poses an actual and immediate threat. The lack of technical capacity for the development of nuclear weapons does not imply that Teheran lacks the political will to develop those weapons. It's better not to be naïve about the real intentions of the rulers.


According to the Washington Post, the most recent National Intelligence Estimate of the CIA assumes that Iran will not be able to attain a nuclear weapon option for 5 to 10 years. It's very important that the policy with regard to Iran is based on accurate intelligence . The Dutch parliament should ask the government for a realistic image of the actual threat that Iran poses.


IKV en Pax Christi Netherlands reject preventive military violence, as long as there is no immediate threat against international peace and security. Preventive violence is politically counter-productive, unfounded and illegal under international law.


We advocate a concerted, credible and vigorous political strategy which should convince Iran to give its full cooperation to the IAEA and abandon the possibility of developing nuclear weapons.


This political strategy should, according to IKV and Pax Christi Netherlands, contain the following elements:


1. The U.S. should be willing to respect the sovereignty and integrity of Iran, as long as Iran respects the sovereignty and integrity of other states and abandons the development of nuclear weapons.


- A successful political strategy that convinces Iran to abandon the development of a nuclear weapons option requires a multilateral approach. The support of Russia, China, the EU and the Arab states is of vital importance in this respect.


- Especially Russia and China should, as important trading partners, convince Iran that they are eventually willing to support UN sanctions - an investment and export stop to Iran - in order to prevent nuclear proliferation and further undermining of the Non Proliferation Treaty.


- The wielding of double standards undermines a credible strategy and prohibits broad international support of this strategy, not in the last place by Arab states. The nuclear powers should comply with their commitments under the Non Proliferation Treaty. Further undermining of the NPT should be stopped.


- For the protection of the national security interests of Iran, Iraq, Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf States united in the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as other states in the region, the establishment of a regional security council should be promoted. On the long run, it is important that the US and other permanent members of the Security Council actively support the establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.


- A strategy that is based on the improvement and insurance of regional security and stability should also be aimed at the promotion of human security to civilians and communities in the Middle East. Therefore, it is of vital importance that the interests and human rights of the Iranian population are an integral part of the political strategy aimed at convincing Iran to abandon a nuclear option. The security of states is after all inextricably bound to the security of civilians.


The nuclear programme of Iran requires, in other words, a political strategy that is based on the recognition that stability in the Middle East asks for a regional approach that is based on collective security for concerned states and human security for civilians. For the mobilisation of Arabic states for this strategy, it's important to see that the nuclear programme of Iran, security in the region, the nuclear status of Israel, the American policy in the Middle East and the Israeli-Arabic conflict are inextricably linked together.


Additionally, it's important to promote contacts with the Iranian civil society. It's remarkable that one of the most reform minded student organisations in Iran has spoken out against the nuclear programme. Saber Sheykhlou, a spokesperson of the students, stated: "The irrational and confrontational behaviour of the rulers has put the country on the verge of war and destructive sanctions. The referral of the case of Iran to the UN Security Council is the result of Iran's biggest mistake in its foreign policy." This statement is not only brave, but also deserves political support. The Dutch government and other like minded states should become advocates within the European Union and other international organisations of a concerted, credible and persistent political strategy, aimed at collective security in the Middle East.


Jan van Montfort Jan Gruiters

(Director IKV Director Pax Christi Netherlands)



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