Executive editor of Travel Impact Newswire
One of the most important geopolitical trends in the emerging world order is the slow conversion of democracies into dictatorships, even while they pretend to be defenders of democracy or, worse, delude themselves into thinking they are defending democracy.
In a move that could well have global ramifications involving the legal borders between national security and rule of law, a group of Muslim communities, businesses, mosques and individuals in the US last week filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department over allegations of unconstitutional surveillance.
The trials, tribulations, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the emerging new world order and the rise of the Asian century were on full display at the 68th session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) held in Bangkok last week. While the Asian countries see great potential for integrating their enormous social, economic, demographic and cultural potential to improve the quality of their peoples lives, they are hugely concerned about being hit by forces outside their control.
An intense and fascinating debate on the legacy of colonialism and its impact on the world's indigenous peoples took place at the UN headquarters in New York last Sunday and Monday. The 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues focussed on the theme: ''The Doctrine of Discovery: Its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests''.
In 1988, the Booker Prize-winning British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie published a novel entitled The Satanic Verses. Many Muslim groups, highly offended by what they perceived to be its defamatory references to the Prophet Mohammed, organised global protests. The Iranian government also issued a fatwa against him, but later rescinded it.
Last Sunday's massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US army sergeant and Wednesday's farewell to arms by a departing Goldman Sachs executive may appear to be totally separate events, but perhaps are interconnected in more ways than one might think.