WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: March 28, 2000
This is a weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail: < >
INES homepage: http://inesglobal.org
INES International Office < >
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner < >
INES Congress 2000
''Challenges for Science and Engineering in the 21st Century''
Stockholm, 14-18 June 2000
INES 2000 Conference Secretariat: mailto:
CONTENTS of WNII No. 11/2000
MEMBER ORGANISATIONS' AND PROJECT GROUPS' NEWS
Arjun Makhijani (President, IEER) on Clinton's India visit and disarmament http://www.ieer.org
On 18 March 2000, the Indian English language daily "The Hindu" published an Op-ed by Arjun Makhijani, President of the US-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, an INES member organisation. The article is entitled "The Clinton visit & disarmament" and can be obtained either from the WNII editor or from Arjun Makhijani via < >
(see also: "Clinton-Vajpayee Joint Vision Statement": http://www.usia.gov/regional/nea/mena/india1.htm and: "U.S. Briefing On Objectives for Clinton South Asia Visit": http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/SouthAsia/briefings/20000316.html )
New Zealand: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) Newsletter March 2000 (Vol. 16/No. 1)
The latest ESR Newsletter carries the following main articles:
plus a number of conference announcement, congratulations to awarded members, etc.
Newsletter Editor: Neil Mander < >
Alberto Salazar Martinez on the university crisis in Mexico
WNII reader Alberto Salazar Martinez has sent the following article:
Dear friends and colleagues,
In my university, political issues have been overshadowing the academic ones. I have to tell you the University crisis in Mexico (UNAM) has been evolving every week since I wrote my essay; so, here you have a brief update:
- The former Rector of the university had resigned: he said giving to the strike movement the control of the university would mean its very loss; he claimed himself unable to go on further. - The new rector came with a very precise task in mind: to solve this conflict. During the following weeks in most of the campuses several negotiations between striker and non-striker students took place. A big Consult in January 20th (~ 200 thousand participants) was organized by University authorities to support its proposal for solution, which included the main demands of the strike. - On Feb 1st. one of the university's high schools was supposed to be free in accord with previous negotiations between a group of striker and non striker students, and was told so to the press; later in the same day, extremely violent confrontations between striker students (they came later from different places/campus of the city) and staff from the University (who did not respond the aggression) caused many activists to go to prison (and with this, the "tramp" for further negotiation was set). - In Feb. 6th., ~ 2300 federal government forces took control of the main campus (all of the others were practically abandoned) and again, other ~ 700 strikers were taken to prison, this time quietly, no one hurt, small damages. There had been enormous robbery and destruction during the months of the strike. - During these last months many students have been released from jail since the university authorities agreed. Nevertheless, there are about 130 people remaining in prison; and the university environment is far from "normal." There is too much anger (the sub-culture of violence that kidnapped the strike) among strikers. We are having now a sort of tribal war for "space" in the campus.
The Strike and Superior Education in Mexico
The strike began opposed to a glance of the so-called neo-liberal approach for superior education, based on WB "recommendations", lowering Public investment and "improving" financing, e.g., via students fees. This put SE under pressure, where the demand is growing every year, though. This perspective had reduced SE saying that an educated sector would be in advantage to the rest of the people because this education will give them opportunity to increase their income (and pay taxes). A social profit was entirely ignored, a community commitment of the university had nothing to do.
- In October '98, a bigger budget to UNAM was denied. After "recovering" the university, the government and the senate approved a bigger one; finally the Public Sector retained its role in SE, which should not be considered any longer a luxury but rather a sort of privilege (linked to responsible ways, towards a good social service). - In January 14th, the university gave the first steps to suspended its link with the National Evaluation Center ("an enterprise for your enterprise", as its slogan says): the relationship (or contract) is now definitely broken.
- Permanency in the university is indefinite, as it used to be, also Highschool from the university goes directly to graduate studies.
*Well, we can say this is what the strike "won"; but when it could have actually win, the movement took a different direction, that I tried to show in "What is happening..." and in Wien (at last, we adequate the term "Lumpens" to this people). I must say in my opinion the "goals" (if ever) do not justify the means.
Nevertheless, we cannot pretend having these "NO-CHANGES" will make any difference in quality and role of SE (the issue quantity is far from the university scope and has to go to the national level: the last public university was created in the 70's - even though, I must say, the state focused then in technical schools, where demand is also bigger offer) in Mexico. Quality in public education seems to be going down (it is "forbidden" that a basic education student does not pass the courses; parents are the ones who actually do the homework's, etc.), in part due to "populism" in the present and former governments. Therefore the university must not evaluate "a priori", but rather "a posteriori" its graduates. We still have to present and defend proposals for reforms in the coming University Congress, so that the university is not shadowed still by hate and yell or the so-called Excellency. The Congress is not a project already: the community has agreed there is the need for this congress (in April '99 authorities said: "no way") and the organizing committee is being formed.
We'll be in touch, A. Salazar < >
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org
Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
Briefings on the 2000 NPT Review Conference
"Where's our Treaty?" by A. Slater Alice Slater, President of the US-based INES member organisation Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), has written an article about nuclear disarmament entitled "Where's our Treaty?" The article can be viewed at the Abolition 2000 website: http://www.abolition2000.org or copies can be requested from Carah Ong < >
US Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) references "The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Rule of Law" is now at the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy website, at: http://www.lcnp.org/disarmament/Non-Proliferation%20Treaty.htm This is a short piece suitable for a handout if you are preparing for the upcoming Review Conference (please credit LCNP if you use it). Also at the website is a recent speech by Peter Weiss, "Legal Norms in the Real World": http://www.lcnp.org/disarmament/legal%20norms.htm among other things measuring US policy against the ICJ advisory opinion. John Burroughs, Executive Director, LCNP e-mail:
Housing at NPT Review Conference Sonya Ostrom of Flatbush Peace Action, Brooklyn, NY, has graciously and heroically agreed to assist people coming to the Review Conference in finding housing, including in private homes. Contact Sonya at: < > Tel.: (1-718) 377 7788, Fax: (1-718) 951 8604 Thanks Sonya!
Middle Powers Initiative (MPI): Saving the Non-Proliferation Regime This is a brief submitted by the MPI to the States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. When this WNII issue went to press, this highly interesting document was not being placed yet at MPI's website. So if you want to obtain it, please send a request to the WNII editor or contact the MPI Coordinator Suzy Pearce
"New Challenges in Asia and America". The 2000 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, Washington DC, March 16-17, 2000 A comprehensive coverage of this high-ranking conference, which was attended by over 100 organizations, and addressed by US President Clinton and other leading figures of the US politico-military elite, is now available at: http://www.ceip.org/programs/npp/conference2000.htm All in all, over 400 officials and specialists from around the world participated in the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference. At the URL referred to above, you can also find links to the previous Carnegie Non-Proliferation Conferences of 1996, 1997, and 1999.
Each conference is listed with some basic data including a very useful overview on the aims of a conference. Of course, conferences are linked to their homespages which allows you to go immediately to the conference you would like to know more about.
Final version of the Earth Charter
The Earth Charter process has been a worldwide dialogue on shared values and global ethics to define a universal code of conduct towards sustainability.
As a result of the worldwide consultation process, which involved thousands of groups in various parts of the world, the Earth Charter Commission issued a final version of the Earth Charter after their meeting on March 12 - 14, 2000, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Earth Charter Commission plans to review responses to the document over the next two to four years and consider possible amendments.
The focus will now move to using the Earth Charter as an education tool in formal and non-formal education, and as the basis for business and professional codes of conduct and national development plans.
The Earth Charter is a declaration of interdependence and responsibility and an urgent call to build a global partnership for sustainable development. The principles of the Earth Charter are closely interrelated. Together, they provide a conception of sustainable development and set forth fundamental guidelines for achieving it. (&)
Sincerely, Mirian Vilela < >
NOTE: Both the Introduction to the Earth Charter Initiative and the Earth Charter are available from the WNII editor. When ordering theses texts, please indicate whether you wish them to be pasted into the email message or to be attached as an rtf-file.
CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, SEMINARS
Transitions Towards a Sustainable Europe Ecology - Economy - Policy Third Biennial Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/esee2000/
The conference will include: plenary sessions, parallel panels, contributed papers addressing specific themes, a poster session and the AGM of the ESEE Proposals are invited for the presentation of scientific papers and posters presenting original, unpublished work, related to any of the themes below.
1. Selected Issues in Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Risk & Uncertainty/Consumption/Climate Change 2. Political Ecology
3. Socio-Economic, Evolutionary & Institutional Approaches
4. The Challenge of Transition: New Ideas for Sustainable Solutions in Eastern Europe
5. Social Dimensions of Sustainability
6. Ecological Economics - In Search for Contributions from Austrian Thinkers
7. Regional Sustainable Development
8. New Approaches to Environmental Management: Ethics, Institutions and Practice
9. Ecological Economics Modeling and Material & Energy Flows
10. Social & Technological Environment-Oriented Innovation
11. Environmental History: New Perspectives from the Past
For more details, regarding conference organisation mailto regarding registration and accommodation mailto:
SETAC Third World Congress http://www.setac.org/eurpbrit.html
The purpose of this, the 3rd SETAC World Congress, is to address key global environmental issues in the 21st century, focussing on problems, causes and solutions. To this end, the scientific programme is divided into three main topics:
- Science and policies needed to achieve sustainable ecosystems. The first topic is concerned with the management of resources in order to enhance the sustainability of natural ecosystems.
- Extrapolation of environmental processes across temporal, spatial and biological scales.
- Linkages between ecosystem condition and human health.
For more details, mailto:
People and Nature: Operationalising Ecological Economics ISEE 2000 Conference "Business, the Economy & Sustainability"
For more details, visit: http://www.anu.edu.au/cce/isee/
InterSymp2000 12th International Conference on System Research, Informatics & Cybernetics
For more details, visit: http://www.iias.edu/
4th International Conference on Environmental Impact Assessment
For more details, contact the Conference Secretariat: < > or visit: http://congress.cls.cz/iuappa2000/
Sustainable Building 2000
For more details, contact the Conference Organisation Secretariat: < > or visit: http://www.novem.nl/SB2000/
INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE
All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from: < >
NEW Website: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) New Zealand
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