Tag: World – Pacific

Gordon Campbell on the RCEP trade deal and other entanglements

Article – Gordon Campbell So China and the US both have competing trade deals on offer the TPP for the US and the RCEP for the Chinese – each of which pointedly exclude the other superpower. That fact alone should signal that these deals are not primarily about mere trade … Gordon Campbell on the RCEP trade deal and other entanglements First posted at werewolf.co.nz So China and the US both have competing trade deals on offer – the TPP for the US and the RCEP for the Chinese – each of which pointedly exclude the other superpower. That fact alone should signal that these deals are not primarily about mere trade access. In their desperation to get the TPP passed, US lawmakers have been describing the contest as an apocalyptic struggle for regional dominance. As President Barack Obama claimed in a recent Washington Post op ed: America should write the rules. America should call the shots. Other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around. New Zealand is one of those US “partners” that belong to both deals and last week, the latest round of RCEP talks concluded in Auckland. So far, the Key government hasn’t provided the public with much in the way of a reasoned comparison of what benefits – and drawbacks – these two deals...

Read More

RCEP trade agreement threatens access to affordable medicine

Press Release – University of Auckland Medecins Sans Frontieres say: RCEP trade agreement threatens access to affordable medicines for half the worlds populationMedecins Sans Frontieres say: RCEP trade agreement threatens access to affordable medicines for half the world’s population Background information: As negotiators from 16 countries gather in Auckland, New Zealand, this week for the thirteenth round of negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal, Médecins Sans Frontières, along with other health organisations, appeals for the removal of harmful intellectual property provisions that could potentially raise treatment costs by creating new forms of monopolies and delaying the entry of affordable generics in the market. If the intellectual property provisions proposed by Japan and South Korea are accepted, access to essential medicines will be restricted for millions of people across Asia and the world who rely on life-saving affordable generics made in India. RCEP is a regional trade agreement being negotiated between the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. RCEP countries are home to nearly 50% of the world’s population, including the most impoverished, vulnerable and marginalised communities living in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). A leaked copy of the intellectual property text being discussed at the negotiations shows that Japan and South Korea have made several alarming proposals to include intellectual property rules that...

Read More

A Friendly Critique of the Break Free Climate Actions

Article – Robert J. Burrowes I have enjoyed reading accounts and seeing photos of those committed and courageous climate activists who participated in the recent Break Free from Fossil Fuels actions conducted at various locations in 13 countries from 4-15 May 2016. See ‘Break Free … A Friendly Critique of the Break Free Climate Actions Robert J. Burrowes I have enjoyed reading accounts and seeing photos of those committed and courageous climate activists who participated in the recent Break Free from Fossil Fuels actions conducted at various locations in 13 countries from 4-15 May 2016. See ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels’. https://breakfree2016.org/ Much of what was done was creative (some of it demonstrating considerable flair) and, mostly, how it was done reflected a sound understanding off nonviolent principles and dynamics to which virtually all activists adhered. In this regard I must acknowledge the thoughtful ‘action agreements’ signed by participating activists, the conduct of nonviolence education workshops, the police liaison, legal briefings and arrest support, and the widespread recognition that secrecy and sabotage have no part to play in nonviolent actions for them to be strategically effective. My friendly criticism is directed at those key organisers who planned the nonviolent actions without understanding how to make the commitment and courage of those who were mobilised have maximum strategic impact on the ongoing climate catastrophe. I understand that it takes phenomenal...

Read More

The Nation: Simon Shepherd interviews Simon Winchester

Press Release – The Nation In a run of remarkable journalistic good fortune, hes covered Irelands troubles, Watergate, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and was even captured by the Argentine army at the start of the Falklands War.On The Nation: Simon Shepherd interviews Simon Winchester Youtube clips from the show are available here. In a run of remarkable journalistic good fortune, he’s covered Ireland’s troubles, Watergate, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and was even captured by the Argentine army at the start of the Falklands War. He’s gone on to author books such as ‘The Surgeon of Crowthorne’, ‘Krakatoa’ and now this book ‘Pacific’. It covers the dangerous madness of North Korea, the rise of China, and much more. So when he was in New Zealand recently Simon Shepherd spoke to him and asked if the Pacific is a single entity of just a jumble of cultures and countries. Simon Winchester: It’s much more than that. I mean it’s where, if you like, the world comes full circle, where literally East meets West. And so in a very different sense from the great seas of the world, the Mediterranean, which used to be the inland sea of the classical world; and the Atlantic, which is the inland sea of today’s world, this is where the world finally closes the gap between East and West. And that gives it, I...

Read More