Lee Jones, a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, has just published Societies Under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work. In it, he evaluates the use and success of sanctions in three key cases – South Africa, Iraq and Myanmar – and finds that sanctions rarely achieve their stated aims. We spoke to Jones via Skype.
In February in Addis Ababa, African health ministers signed a widely celebrated declaration of their commitment to keeping immunisation at the forefront of efforts to save the continent’s children from death and disease. Fulfilling that commitment will be no easy feat. Immunisation is not just a health issue; it is also an economic challenge.
I must start with a correction. My column last week spoke about the abusive system of apartheid in Rakhine State that means Muslim people are kept in camps and forced to make dangerous, sometimes fatal, journeys to access basic supplies because they are not allowed to travel freely.
India is currently facing its worst water crisis in years, with an estimated 330 million people – one-quarter of its population – affected by severe drought. Ethiopia is also dealing with its worst drought in decades, which has already contributed to the failure of many crops, creating food shortages that now affect around a tenth of the population. Under such circumstances, the risk of tension over resources is high.
Asian economies are sailing in choppy waters, facing severe headwinds from an uncertain and challenging global environment, but the region also has many strong points in its favour. The global recovery has been uneven and weaker than expected. On top of that, global trade has been sluggish and financial conditions have been volatile.
Kenya is about to destroy its entire stockpile of elephant ivory. More than 100 metric tonnes of “white gold” – both illegally harvested (confiscated from poachers or traders) and naturally accruing (from natural mortality) – will go up in smoke this weekend. In China – where the majority of the world’s ivory is consumed or stockpiled - the recently reported price is US$1100 per kilogram, putting the total value of the material to be burned at roughly $110 million.
Say the word “leader” and most people think of confident, take-charge and charismatic individuals or icons such as Nelson Mandela, John F Kennedy and Margaret Thatcher among others. So many books have been written on leadership, but what really makes a leader?