News Archive October 16-31, 2012

Oil rulers toy with Armageddon
Asia Times (Hong Kong), October 31, 2012 – Regionally, we believe that the al-Sauds will entertain an enlarged GCC that includes Jordan and Morocco. The al-Sauds, as we have said above, will push for a more unified GCC under their stewardship, with unified military, intelligence services, foreign policy, religious affairs (ie towards Shia Muslims), and currency (single or common)

Why is Mexico drug war being ignored?
CNN, October 30, 2012 – While Romney and Obama obsess about Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and virtually every development in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, we have a significant security problem brewing much closer to home. Yet that issue did not merit even a single sentence in a presidential debate supposedly devoted to foreign policy.

Peru is committed to the integration process in Latin America
Andina (Peru), October 31, 2012 – “The Unasur can play a coordinating role, which gradually converge complementarities of both blocks and into which they can dump their experiences, progress and achievements both CAN and Mercosur,” he explained. The Peruvian foreign minister said that this is already being done, for example, in communications with the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA).

Georgia: Possible foreign policy development
The Messenger (Georgia), October 30, 2012 – Most commentators believe that Ivanishvili will carry out a balanced model of foreign policy, because before the elections, he promised several times that Georgia would simultaneously maintain its Western orientation and will try to regulate its relationship with Russia….Today, Russian president Putin does not only want Georgia outside NATO, but it wants Georgia back to the CIS and possibly into the Eurasian Union.

EUROPEAN UNION – A ‘United States of Europe’?
Blair urges European Union to ‘elect President’
Newstrack India, October 30, 2012 – Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged the European Union to have an elected president, just a few weeks after saying that he would be keen to take up the job.
Spain and Italy criticise Berlin plan for EU to police budgets
– The Guardian (London), October 29, 2012 – Fresh tensions emerged between Germany and southern Europe as Spain and Italy criticised Berlin’s proposals for a European Union “super commissioner” with powers to police national budgets and punish those with large deficits.
German FM urges fresh start to talks on Turkey joining the European Union

Washington Post, October 30, 2012 – Guido Westerwelle says it is in the interest of both the EU and Turkey to give the talks a “new push” in 2013.

Regional Infrastructure: $26bn Required For Power Integration In W/Africa
Leadership Newspapers (Nigeria), October 30, 2012 – A total of $26 billion is required for the realisation of the integration of power in the West African sub-region under the West African Power Pool (WAPP), the Secretary General of WAPP, Mr. Amodou Diallo, disclosed yesterday. The fund is needed to interconnect all ECOWAS member states and to generate the needed power for the region…
East Africa: Region Urged to Adhere to Monetary Union Protocols – AllAfrica, October 29, 2012 – With prospects of South Sudan joining the East African Community later this year, making it the sixth country to join the bloc after Burundi and Rwanda, the EAC member states have been asked to harmonize Monetary Union policies if they are to have the common currency as the bloc moves towards attaining a political federation.
Briefing on the AU Police and Civilian Training Exercise – StarAfrica|African Press Organization, October 29, 2012 – The AU Police and Civilian Focused Exercise aims to build the police and civilian capacities of the African Standby Force (ASF) as a step towards achieving operational readiness by 2015.

ASEAN declaration won’t guarantee protection
Jakarta Post, October 30, 2012 – The first-ever ASEAN human rights declaration, which will be adopted by 10 member states during the ASEAN Summit on Nov. 18-20 in Cambodia will not provide a legal basis to guarantee the protection of human rights in the regions.
Asean regional integration heightens competition among insurers, banks – The Philippine Star, October 30, 2012 – By 2015, the country’s insurance industry will be competing for the thin local market against its counterparts from the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).
Regional Passport: ASEAN Ucits type passports take two steps closer to coming into existence – Opalesque, October 30, 2012 – Angelyn Lim of Dechert’s Hong Kong office has reported on developments in establishing an ASEAN funds passport, and most recently highlighted the news that Thailand and Singapore are leading the way in establishing a Ucits type fund passport across the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN).

Mohammed VI Gulf Tour: An Arab Union in the Making?
North Africa Post, October 29, 2012 – Hence, the Moroccan king’s visit demonstrates how the concerns over the spread of Arab Spring revolts and its implications have drawn together the region’s monarchs – a case in point is the Gulf monarchies’ invitation in 2011 of Morocco, along with Jordan, to join the Gulf Cooperation Council.

U.S. pushes Algeria to support military intervention in Mali
Washington Post, October 29, 2012 – The Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] has said it is willing to send about 3,300 troops to Mali if it gets the backing of the United Nations and Western countries. The African Union on Wednesday pledged to write a final operational plan for the African-led force by the end of the month
East Africa: EAC’s New Headquarters, the Future of the Community From Arusha Residents’ Eyes – AllAfrica, October 29, 2012 – It now remains for Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to come up with a ‘single’ international EAC [ East African Community] passport to ease movement of their people.”

Adean Parliament to assess migration problems
Andina (Peru), October 28, 2012 – The meeting, which includes the participation of 20 parliamentarians from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, will also assess regulation in the fuctioning of the Parliament of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Russian-backed Eurasian parliament planned
WND, October 28, 2012 – Just as Russian President Putin pushes for a customs-free economic Eurasian Union involving Russia and the countries of Central Asia, an additional prospect he sees is the creation of a Eurasian parliament, similar to the European parliament of the European Union…

Arab Spring: An Opportunity To Reform The Arab League – OpEd
Eurasia Review, October 28, 2012 – The Arab League is likely to improve little on its record of collective action until members agree to sacrifice some sovereignty (i.e., installing an enforcement mechanism).

German FM calls for EU-North America free trade zone
France 24 | AFP, October 27, 2012 – German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called for a free trade zone between the European Union and North America as an answer to the debt crisis, in an interview published Saturday.

Laos’ accession into WTO further enhancing Asean’s integration
The Sun Daily, (Malaysia), October 28, 2012 – Malaysia sees Laos’ accession into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as further enhancing Asean’s efforts towards regional integration. It also paves the way towards reaching the goal of becoming an Asean Economic Community in 2015.

Tapping into Africa
Business Day (South Africa), October 28, 2012 – This massive market combines the three trading blocs of the SADC, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. The FTA will oil the gears of trade with an intensive programme of market integration, industrial development and infrastructure.
Western diplomats see danger in Mali – Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2012 – Mali isn’t Somalia. “The analogy overestimates the capacity of the West African forces,” said Gregory Mann, a Columbia University expert on Mali, referring to troops that have been promised for Mali military action by ECOWAS, the regional leadership body.

Ukraine’s choice: between East and West
European Voice, October 27, 2012 – A balancing act between east and west, between the Eurasian Union and the European Union, has not only been considered but also put into practice.

AFRICAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION – Region-Building North Africa:
AU-EU set for military intervention in Mali
The African Union (AU) and its European counterpart, the EU, have in principle agreed on a joint-planning military intervention to oust rebels in northern Mali at a high-level meeting in Paris last week.
CIA Wants More Drones to Do in N. Africa What It’s Done in Pakistan – The New American, October 26, 2012 – While the overlords at the UN are aware and approve of the sale of small low-flying drones to the African Union troops, the reports of high-altitude large Predator and Reaper drones are not covered by any exception to the embargo. While the U.S. military should take no orders from the United Nations, it is curious that the global body will deign to permit the United States to supply drones to the armed forces operating under the blue UN flag, while forbidding their use by the American military.

The EU Is Building The World’s Most Powerful Laser Beam To ‘Zap’ Nuclear Waste
Business Insider, October 26, 2012 – The European Union will spend approximately $900 million on a project to build the world’s most intense, powerful laser beam in order to eviscerate nuclear waste and possibly provide new cancer treatments as well.

Prince Rupert pilot program aimed at strengthening cargo security
Government Security News, October 26, 2012 – A pilot cargo screening program underway at Canada’s Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia allows cargo entering the facility to be screened and then freely move across the Canadian/U.S. border without further inspection.

Texas Keystone Pipeline Critics Resist Use of Eminent Domain
AOL Energy, October 25, 2012 – In a state that has always been heavily dependent on oil, Crawford acknowledged she’s in a minority in resisting the industry but said she’s motivated by what she called TransCanada’s “bullying” tactics, and by the fact that it is a foreign corporation, whose product she said seems likely to be sent for export rather than to increase North American energy independence.

Morocco eyes Gulf investment to offset slowdown
Ahram (Egypt), October 26, 2012 – The rich kingdoms that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council now appear ready to strengthen ties. In mid-2011, the six-nation GCC invited Morocco and Jordan, the two non-Gulf monarchies in the Arab world, to join the club, closed to outsiders since its creation in 1981.

Putin says ‘One could die’ listening to 27-member EU’s talks
The Independent (London), October 26, 2012 – The Eurasian Union, which won’t be formed before 2015, has an advantage for consolidation as many neighboring countries speak Russian and share infrastructure, Putin said.
Re-establishment of production chains to help post-soviet countries cope with crisis – ARKA News Agency (Armenia), October 25, 2012 – “The fact is that since the beginning of the crisis, an absolutely shocking amount was injected into the economy of the USA, European Union and other countries. And, naturally, inflation processes will follow”, he said. According to the economist, the current second wave of the world crisis will be followed by a third one that will end not earlier than in 2020.

Bill C-38: How Harper’s Trojan Horse Will Undo Canada
Pacific Free Press (Canada), October 25, 2012 – This includes ratifying and making the Shiprider a legal and permanent program which will require amending the Criminal Code, along with the RCMP and Customs Act. The joint initiative officially known as the Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations first began as a pilot project. It allows RCMP and U.S. Coast Guard officers to operate vessels together and pursue criminals in the waters of both countries.

EU drawing lessons from crisis
GulfNews (Dubai, UAE), October 24, 2012 – The previous mistakes committed by the European Union (EU) are normal for the first global monetary union of this size and significance. The EU should not be blamed or criticised for such mistakes, which stand as lessons to be utilised in strengthening the union and shaping its own experience, thus enabling other economic blocs in the world, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to benefit from its experience.

EU Parliament Certifies Israeli Pharmaceuticals
Israeli pharmaceutical standards equal Europe’s, can be marketed there without further control.
The Jewish Week, October 24, 2012 – The agreement is part of the European Union’s Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance (ACAA) with Israel. With the vote, the European Parliament is saying “yes to the deepening of the bilateral relations between the EU and Israel,” according to a statement by David Walzer, head of the Israeli Mission to the EU.
Robin Hood tax gains traction in Europe
The European Union’s executive body said Tuesday that 10 members of the 27-nation group had agreed to move forward with a Financial Transaction Tax, also known as the Robin Hood tax.

East Africa: EAC Central Banks to Harmonise Strategies
AllAfrica, October 23, 2012 – Central banks from the five members’ states of the East African community are looking at harmonizing their banking systems to pave way for the Monetary Union. The Monetary Union, to be effective, it requires that Central banks harmonise their payments systems, communication strategy, financial policies among others, meaning that similar monetary tools will be used.
Zimbabwe lagging behind in the country-level implementation of the Finance and Investment Protocol (FIP) – NTA (Newstime Africa), October 24, 2012 – It (FIP) is supported by the content of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Plan which articulates the broader level goals that underpin the FIP including full regional integration, the formation of a monetary union and the adoption of a single currency.

The European Union’s unsung hero: Jean Monnet
PublicServiceEurope, October 24, 2012 – The resulting “supranational” body – a term he claimed not to have liked – was the European Coal and Steel Community, complete with the kernel of the institutions that would go on to become the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. The ultimate goal was never economic but rather political; a European federation was “indispensable” for the preservation of peace, Monnet said.

Moody’s issues annual report on Eurasian Development Bank (Germany), October 23, 2012 – EDB began operations in June 2006, with a mandate to enhance the economic integration and development of member states of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC). Upon successful completion of its first medium-term strategy in 2010, EDB’s mandate broadened to include supporting member countries affected by the global economic and financial crisis.

Can ASEAN Economic Community happen in 2015?
GMA News (Philippines), October 23, 2012 – AEC is a single market and production base economy where goods, services, investments, capital, and skilled labor can flow freely within a community of nations – home to 600 million people and a combined gross domestic product of more than $1.13 trillion.

Prince Rupert starts harmonized cargo screening
MM&D (Canada), October 22, 2012 – Under the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy, any cargo arriving from off-shore only needs to be screened once at its initial port of arrival. After it has been cleared, the shipment is free to move across the US-Canada border without the need for further security screenings. The program is part of the Beyond the Border Action plan…

Middle East rail projects steaming ahead
Al-Bawaba (Jordan), October 23, 2012 – Growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail market will be the main driver of the sector’s growth internationally, said Dr Bangash.

African Countries Plan Single Trading Bloc
AllAfrica, October 23, 2012 – The ARSO [African Organization for Standardization] president maintained that the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Common Market for East and Southern Africa African Community (EAC), will continue to exist alongside the new African Free Trade Area (FTA).

Plan speeds flow of goods to U.S.
Minister unable to provide cost of ‘inspected once, cleared twice’ pilot project
The Province (Canada), October 22, 2012 – Canada Border Services Agency personnel will inspect cargo and secure it with high-security bolt seals, negating the need for another inspection at the U.S. border.

Yanukovych, Putin preparing to sign new gas contract
BSANNA (Black Sea Assn of National News Agencies), October 22, 2012 – “Serious prospects could also appear after Ukraine’s active involvement in multilateral integration unions – the Customs Union, the Common Economic Space, and the Eurasian Union,”

Former EC president Prodi: EU wants Ukraine to be ‘bridge’ between Europe and Russia
Interfax, October 22, 2012 – Ukraine has recently been conducting a more balanced policy between Russia and the European Union, and the European side should encourage this trend, former European Commission President and former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has said.

Valuable lessons for Africa in EU’s integration
BusinessDayLIVE (South Africa), October 22, 2012 – The African Union has consciously modelled itself on the EU’s institutions…. Africa could learn valuable lessons from Europe for achieving peace and prosperity through more effective regional integration.

African parliament debates conflict
The Observer, (Uganda), October 21, 2012 – Uganda’s representative, Sam Otada, urged African countries to share sovereignty on issues of common interest and appealed to the African Union to help countries organize acceptable elections.

ASEAN+6 set to launch world’s biggest free-trade market
AsiaOne, October 22, 2012 – ASEAN groups 10 countries in Southeast Asia. The six partner countries are China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Branding the Philippines for the Asean integration – Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 22, 2012 – Trade liberalization and economic integration are inevitable and they will become a way of life. In fact, the Asean Economic Community (AEC), of which the Philippines is a part, is set to become a reality by 2015. The AEC envisions a single market and production base characterized by free flow of goods, services, investments, capital and skilled labor.

What functions will the Eurazpol have?
BNews (Kazakhstan), October 21, 2012 – According to experts, the Eurasian police should be more similar to Europol (European Police Office) than Interpol or the Ameripol.

East Africa: Regional Mutual Defence Pact On Cards
AllAfrica, October 21, 2012 – East Africa is working towards establishing a mutual defence pact as part of regional integration efforts. Speaking in Kigali during the opening ceremony of joint exercises by the defence forces of member states of the East African Community, the organization’s Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera said the region’s heads of state had already endorsed a defence protocol.

Agreement could see U.S. border guards on Canadian soil
Toronto Sun, October 19, 2012 – Armed U.S. border guards may soon be on Canadian soil in Fort Erie, Ont., pre-inspecting commercial vehicles before they cross the Peace Bridge into America.

Asean Looks to Europe for Common Market Lessons
Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2012 – As the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations prepares to form an economic union, Europe’s experience can offer lessons — some positive, some more cautionary.

Jordan, Morocco, And The Future Of The Middle East – Analysis
Eurasia Review, October 20, 2012 – …Jordan straddles Syria, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Iraq. And far to the West, where revolutionary Libya and Tunisia struggle for democracy amid ascendant jihadism, Morocco stands strong, secure, and well on its way toward a European-style parliamentary monarchy. Last year Saudi Arabia invited Morocco and Jordan to join the Gulf Coordination Council as full members

Australia, NZ Progress Toward Single Market
Global Tax News, October 19, 2012 – The Australian government recently introduced legislation to establish a trans-Tasman retirement savings portability scheme. The scheme has been described by the Australian Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, as supporting progress toward the goal of a single economic market by removing a barrier to labour mobility between the two countries.

Ways Ahead for the Maghreb Regional Integration: Lessons Learned from ASEAN
North Africa Post, October 19, 2012 – While the successful regional integration in Europe started in the economic sphere, with an emphasis on the goods market, the ASEAN’s own integration was initiated as an ambitious political project aiming to foster collaboration to deal with the legacy of regional conflicts, border disputes and ethnic and racial tensions. Hence, the ASEAN example may well deserve some attention in North African capital cities.

Putin’s Eurasian Union
Digital Journal, October 18, 2012 – The Eurasian Union, which is to be established in 2015, would comprise many of the former Soviet member states, including Belarus, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Moldova….Putin’s Union would be an expansion of some of the already existing Eurasian integration projects, such as the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, consisting of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Eurasian Union – freedom, democracy, common market legislation – The Voice of Russia, October 18, 2012 – The next step in the integration of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will be the introduction of a common currency for the union….As a result, a supranational parliament, the Eurasian Assembly will be formed….

Foundation Laid for North America Security Perimeter
Pacific Free Press, October 18, 2012 – In Canada, there are fears that deepening regulatory integration with the U.S. could weaken and erode any independent regulatory capacity, thus threatening its sovereignty. Further harmonization could result in Canada losing control over its ability to regulate food safety. This could also lead to a race to the bottom with respect to other regulatory standards.

Will Russian President visit Armenia? – newspaper (Armenia), October 18, 2012 – And with respect to the agreement on the two billion dollars, which the Russians are preparing to allocate [to Armenia] if Armenia joins the Eurasian Union, according to them: …
Lukashenka Is Seeking More Subsidies from Putin – Belarus Digest, October 18, 2012 – Lukashenka has several times claimed that military cooperation is inseparably linked with economic cooperation. Russia must pay for its western shield with cheap energy supplies.

East Africa: Europe Crisis Won’t Halt East Africa Monetary Union Plans
AllAfrica, October 17, 2012 – Under the arrangement of the Monetary Union, the five member States will form a regional central bank, introduce a single currency and harmonise the monetary policy.
Haiti on brink of becoming latest member of African Union – Public Radio International, October 16, 2012 – If all goes as planned, Haiti, yes North America’s Haiti, will become the latest member of the African Union sometime in January.
ECOWAS Court of Justice engages media – Myjoyonline (Ghana), October 16, 2012 – The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice is composed of seven independent judges appointed by their respective heads of state and government for a four year non-renewable tenure.

Palestine to seek UN observer status in November
Voice of Russia, October 17, 2012 – Speaking at today’s press conference in the Russian capital, Ambassador Mustafa announced that a special Arab committee on PA was set up by the UN Assembly, featuring Iraq, Qatar, Lebanon and the Arab League…

EU Summit Set To Discuss Economic And Monetary Union
RTT News, October 17, 2012 – A two-day summit of the European Union heads of States and Governments will begin in Brussels on Thursday, with discussions focusing on the Economic and Monetary Union.

Strengthening trans-Tasman economic relations – a joint study
Australian Government – Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, October 2012 – Examples of single trans-Tasman institutions include Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the proposed Australian and New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency (ANZTPA). Given the number of initiatives underway to enhance regulatory integration (pp 64-65), it is likely that other joint bodies will be established in future.

The European Union’s Undeserved Peace Prize
FrontPage Magazine, October 16, 2012 – The two recipients have this in common.  Obama described himself as “a citizen of the world” and proclaimed the virtues of “global citizenship” to adoring crowds in Berlin in 2007….The EU is all about supranational authority as a counterweight to nationalism.

Toward a stronger North America
Lexology (Canada), October 16, 2012 – The emerging global economy can be seen as a threat or a challenge to the resiliency that is and has been North America. If the presidential candidates choose to see it as a challenge, and they ought to, it underlines the need to push forward in constructing a seamless North American economy of labour mobility, energy security, and efficient movement of goods and services.

African Union inaugurates first female chief
Business Recorder (Pakistan), October 16, 2012 – “The AU, as the premier continental organisation, will take a leadership role in preventing, managing and finding resolution to conflict on the continent,” she said, pledging to work closely with the United Nations and regional bodies in Africa.

Asean refrain from using single currency: Thai Finance Minister
Responding to questions during the press briefing of the 10th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Finance Ministers’ Meeting as the chair, [Thailand’s Finance Minister, Kittiratt Na Ranong], who is also Thailand’s deputy Prime Minister, said he had looked into the discussions about having a single currency among Asean members and found that it had not reached the stage yet.
[Once one of the major regions other than the European Union announces a single currency, others will accelerate plans to do so as well. Putin’s Eurasian Union could be the first, but the GCC is also on the verge.]
Cambodia ratifies agreement on visa exemption for Asean nationals – Philippine Information Agency, October 16, 2012 – The agreement said that two weeks visa-free entry for Asean nationals traveling within the region would impact and stimulate more social and commercial interaction within and amongst Asean member-states.

GCC faces challenge of rapid gas demand
SteelGuru, October 16, 2012 (Source – Emirates Business 24/7) – It said that the traditional focus on hydrocarbons exploration and development in the GCC has been on oil even though the Middle East region is home to some 41% of proven gas reserves, estimated at 76 trillion cubic meters. Roughly half of this total is in the GCC.

SAARC Armed Force Officers on Goodwill Tour Meet Commander
Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense (Press Release), October 16, 2012 – Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, receiving them warmly at his office underlined the importance of further strengthening cooperation that exist among SAARC countries with the objective of resolving regional issues.

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