WHAT'S NEW IN INES?

No.38/2000

Dateline: December 8, 2000


This is the 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   


CONTENTS of WNII No. 38/2000



MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS

Correction re Report on the INES conference in WNII 37/00

Prof. Spitzer informed me that the report on the INES conference published in the last WNII issue was not written by him but by one of his students, Mr Stefan G÷ssling (Hamburg). I was mislead by the fact the report was posted to me by Prof. Spitzer without notice about the authorship.

Tobias Damjanov, Editor


INES 2000 Stockholm Conference: Students Delegates Statement

At the INES2000 conference in Stockholm this summer (June 2000) the student delegates issued this statement:

We want socially responsible scientists As a mean towards this end, we propose to include aspects of ethics and "science and society" in the life long education process (including university curriculum and PhD programmes), organised in collaboration with the students. Therefore, we ask the INES participants to support us in promoting this project by inquiring as to whether such elements exist already or if there are any possibilities to implement it. We also ask you to encourage these ideas amongst your students and colleagues. Tom B°rsen Hansen and Kathrine K. Eriksen from S/Y Pugwash Denmark served as contact person for this appeal. This is the information send to us as a reaction to the statement:


Visit of INES Executive Director to Belgrade

INES Executive Director Reiner Braun paid a visit to Belgrade from 16 to 20 November. Here is an unofficial translation of his slightly abridged report:

Some evaluating thoughts on the Belgrade visit

It is easy to recognize that, currently, Belgrade is in a highly interesting situation with all the ambiguities which go along with fundamental societal changes. This is not only the replacement of a political elite by a "more civic democratic elite," but the developmental changes of the country itself: Not necessarily to be understood from abroad, these changes are based on a deep economic crisis. Unemployment is up to 40 per cent; on average, salaries are around DM100-150 whiles prices are around 70 per cent of ours.

Having that in mind, I touched in my talks a number of practical issues, for example, how we could support our Serbian and Yugoslav member organisations. They are asking for fax and computer facilities, answerphones, and mobiles due to the completely corrupt phone communication system.

Also, I discussed with our Yugoslav colleagues whether we should organize a seminar on "Regional Aspects of Sustainability" in the Balkans next year, somewhat similar to the recent seminar at Kaliningrad. It should focus, however, more on the question of war and peace. I figure such a seminar would be very timely: along with the changes, there is a strong politisation, comparatively speaking; and there is an interest, particularly by scientists, to orient in the direction of sustainability. However, there is a considerable lack of information, since, to a large extent, Yugoslavia had been isolated from Europe during the last ten years. Hence, a focal point of all talks I had was the item: Will Yugoslavia go back or towards Europe? From my point of view, this goes along with a lot of illusions assuming remarkable financial assistance [from Europe; ed.] for the development of Yugoslavia over a longer period. (&)

The interest in environmental issues was quite remarkable. This, of course, has to do with the environmental destruction, but it is also the attempt to deal with those matters which did play almost no role so far. Concerning the fundamental changes in Yugoslavia, the role of the youth is of major importance, including the pressure on Milosevic which made him retire. It is also the youth which are the influential members of non-governmental organisations. In Belgrade alone, there are 60 NGOs which are dealing with environment, democracy, development of society, as well as with peace and disarmament. All people with whom I had discussions, did consider the Balkan War as a NATO aggression which had had contributed to stabilizing and prolonging the Milosevic regime. This opposition was clear in all talks with NGOs, as well as with trade unions, and there is no understanding whatsoever why Europe did participate in this war. Conspicuously, there seem to be only little [war-related; ed.] destruction in Belgrade mainly affected are the Danube bridges, the buildings of the state-owned broadcasting company, and of the Central Committee of the Socialist Party. That means that NATO has had successfully controlled what they used to call collateral damage. I do not intend to support a technological euphoria, but for the future we have to cope with the ability of modern military to destroy its targets most exactly. Another unanimous opinion was that the bombardment of the Chinese Embassy was not a coincidence but an aggressive act to show, for one, NATO's supremacy, and for two, that China has clear-cut limits with regard to the UN Security Council.

The political situation is confusing, which is reflected not only by the political parties but also by the trade unions. Within the last few months, quite a number of small and independent trade unions have been set up which are attempting to minimize the social impacts [of the current development; ed.]. At the same time, however, they are following neo-liberal approaches quite strictly, saying that "the Market would certainly regulate the future." In that, one might expect some quite unpleasant surprises. The awkward corruption appears to be a huge problem in the country which plays a particular role within the economy and the banking system. Also, this corruption goes deep into the walks of science where anybody who can tries to earn some additional money. This is quite similar to the situation in Russia.

Finally, some impressions: Most of my discussion partners were not able to go to a restaurant during the last three years or so. We invited them to dinner. The bill for 6-8 persons is around DM40. The situation, especially for older people, is pathetic: around a corner, you could watch people checking waste containers for food. In general, however, you would not really realize that there a poverty in town. To the contrary: the inner city with its shopping areas has a quite western-style character. This goes also for the people: during the days of my visit it was quite warm and people showed up well-dressed. Hence, you would not realize a mass appearance of poverty. However, this is not in contradiction to what I stated about monthly salaries in the beginning [of my report; ed.]. You do feel the atmosphere of changes almost physically, and everywhere there are debates on how it should go on.    (&)


A Victory For All Humanity

This is the title of a speech INES Vice Chair Dr David Krieger had prepared for the recently held for the Nagasaki Citizens' Assembly. It offers some thoughts on our task and some ideas for a campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.

The text is available at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/00.11/krieger-Nagasaki-Speech.html  


USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), The Sunflower, No. 43, December 2000
Back issues: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/index.html
Events for the year 2000 are listed at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/calendar/events_current.html  

The December issue of The Sunflower covers the following:


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Report on the International Conference on Biotechnology in the Global Economy: Science and the Precautionary Principle

Organized and hosted by Harvard Universitys Center for International Development (CID) and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, this conference was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, from 22-23 September 2000. The complete conference report is now available either in pdf format from: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidtech/  

or as an rtf-formatted email attachment for the WNII editor.

In addition, the conference organisers like to stress that if you are interested to receive future updates about the programs of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Program at the Harvard Center for International Development, including information about future conferences, please let them know, and you will be put you on their mailing list. Please also feel free to visit their web site at http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidtech/ 

For more detailed information, contact Emily Spengler, Student Assistant, STI Program: < >


Information on Rio+10

This is to share with you informally a number of decisions emerging from the on-going discussions of the 2nd Committee of the UN General Assembly on Rio+10. Among other things the 2nd Committee has reached agreement on the following points:

1. The Rio+10 event will carry the title WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

2. The Summit Event will take place in South Africa

3. CSD10 will function as the preparatory committee (Prepcom) for Rio+10, and will hold four PrepComs. The first prepcom is scheduled from 30 April to 2 May 2001 (in New York), followed by prepcoms in late January 2002 (in New York), mid-March 2002 (in New York) and mid-May 2002 (in Indonesia, at Ministerial level).

4. The event and its preparatory process will include active participation of NGOs and other major groups, including multi-stakeholder dialogues. The event will open accreditation to new NGOs interested in making a contribution to Rio+10.

Best regards Zehra Aydin-Sipos, Division for Sustainable Development < >


BRIEFINGS

WTO Millenium Round: A Global Campaign Webibliography

This is the title of a very useful and informative web resource operated by Andreas Rockstein and Brian Jenkins:
http://members.iinet.net.au/~jenks/andreas.html  


NATO documents and articles

The Editor

(NOTE: If you do not have an Acrobat Reader which is needed to process pdf-formatted files, I can provide to you a corresponding website from which you can download it free-of-charge.)

A comprehensive report of this seminar, including all speeches and contributions from the floor, is either available from: http://www.antenna.nl/nvmp/nptnato5.htm or as an rtf-formatted email attachment from the WNII editor.


CONFERENCES - MEETINGS - SEMINARS

International conference on Building the Future Today -- World Peace

Sessions on Justice and Human Rights, Sustainable Development, Disarmament Education and Non-Violent Education will be held. Papers on these topics are being solicited. If you wish to present a paper, please send a 50-100 world abstract no later than 1 February 2001 to: L. Eudora Pettigrew, Chair, IAUP/UN Commission < > or < >


World Planning Schools Congress "'Planning for Cities in the Twenty First Century: Opportunities and Challenges" http://www.hku.hk/cupem/worldcongress/   or: http://www.caup-tongji.org/wpsc2001/  

For more details, contact the joint chairs: Univ.Prof.Dr. Klaus R. Kunzmann (Dortmund, Germany): < > or: Associate Professor Nicholas Low (Melbourne, Australia): < >


INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE

No new or changed email or web addresses in  this issue.  All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:  


< < < < <  end of No. 38/2000  what's new in ines < < < < <