Is the Europe Union Secure Against Collapse? 

DONALD Trump is hell bent on breaking up the European Union, which faces an “existential crisis” like never before, Donald Tusk has said. According to one of the references given below the “two Donalds are at loggerheads as President Trump does not buy into the left-wing, bureaucratic nature of the EU, something European Council’s President Tusk cannot get his head around”.

The existing threats for the collapse of the European Union have developed over time through pile-up of several long-term and large-scale events. As is also expressed by the Polish-born politician Donald Tusk, who said that “the EU is under threat from a growing sense of Euroscepticism that is spreading around the world”. Generally speaking anti-Trump sentiment runs deep within the Brussels club, with the EU chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt slamming the Republican.

Donald Tusk has called the US under President Donald Trump one of the external major threats to the EU along with China, Russia and radical Islam. Also, immigration threats that are not necessarily related to radical Islam but because of long-standing wars and political conflicts in the MENA region with involvement of Europe and NATO. Forced immigration from sub-Saharan Africa because of demographic conflicts, increasing unemployment and poverty as global warming and population growth will certainly have indirect impacts as Europe remain passive what regards sustainable mitigation policies. Brexit has already triggered increasing risks (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit) for other EU member states to follow the same track of the U.K.. The increasing concerns among senior EU official that the bloc must take “spectacular steps” to avoid breakdown. 

The possibility of an unprecedented breach in transatlantic relations came after Trump’s victory and his declaration that the 28-nation European Union was bound for a breakup and that he was indifferent to its fate. Also, his views about Europe’s defense and what Europe is going to face in the future wave of elections in Europe this year in which anti-immigrant, Euroskeptic leaders could gain power. His continued hard line has created a painful realization in Europe that they may now have to live without the full backing of their oldest, strongest partner. The post-WWII prosperity of the European Union is facing also new threats in recent years as a dysfunctional bloc that undermines finances (e.g. the Greece economic crisis) and security (e.g. refugee’s immigration crisis). Both of which are rooted in pile-up of long-term unsustainable strategic solutions. The change in Washington brought the European Union in a difficult situation with dramatic twists of the last 70 years of American foreign policy. Also, as Mr Tusk said: “For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best”.

Below are some articles explaining the growing concern in the European Union about the risks for its collapse and the drivers behind such risks.  

https://www.google.se/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/world/europe/trump-european-union-donald-tusk.amp.html

https://www.google.se/amp/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/38808504

http://www.kiamaindependent.com.au/story/4408471/donald-trump-blasts-nato-eu-european-leaders-wait-watch-hold-their-breath/?cs=5

http://mobile.wnd.com/2017/02/trump-eu-frontrunner-global-institutions-breaking-down/

https://www.rt.com/news/375776-us-under-trump-threat-eu/

https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/europe-leaders-shocked-as-trump-slams-nato-eu-raising-fears-of-transatlantic-split/2017/01/16/82047072-dbe6-11e6-b2cf-b67fe3285cbc_story.html

https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.express.co.uk/news/world/761358/Donald-Trump-Tusk-European-Union-break-up-Juncker/amp

https://www.google.se/amp/s/socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/will-the-european-union-collapse-in-the-wake-of-brexit/amp/

The Father of USA “George Washington” – What Would He Say Today?

Born in 1732 in Varginian planter family, he learned the morals, manners and the body of knowledge of an 18th century Virginian gentleman. He was educated at home and grew up in a society of tobacco farmers, many of whom were bonded Africans and African Americans. George Washington, was the first President of USA who served for two terms between 1789 and 1797. 

From 1759 to the outbreak of the American Revolution, he like his fellow planters, felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew acute, he moderately but firmly voiced his resistance to the restrictions. In 1775, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that lasted six grueling years. However, he was instrumental in forcing the British forces out of USA as commander-in-chief of the revolutionary forces. He successfully negotiated with the French and by the end of the war in 1983, he was able to save USA from disintegration and defeat. 

He was aptly called the father of the USA for his important role in the formation of the country and his key role in drafting the Constitution of the US in 1787 (We the People – Life, Liberty, Freedom and Prosperity). After the new constitution being ratified by all the states, George Washington was elected by the electoral college in 1789 and 1792, both with 100% votes. The only president to enjoy this privilege. He preferred the prefix ‘Mr. President’ to all other titles that were suggested. As president, he set up protocols in the new government’s executive department. The Proclamation of Neutrality under his leadership in 1793 clearly spelt out the country’s stand of non-involvement in conflicts of foreign nations. Though the severe opposition, he avoided war with Britain and maintained peace for over a decade with the Jay Treaty that was put together in 1795. Other reforms by him included the support to set up an effective tax collection system, creation of a national bank, and reduction of the nation’s debt to build an economically strong country. In the history of the USA, he has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest US presidents and was the recipient of the very first Congressional Gold medal.

Washington encouraged debates before taking any major political decision and was known to be efficient administrator. To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances. He refused to take up a third term. The two terms for a president later became a customary policy and subsequently a law. He returned to farming after his tenure as a president.

By these attributes and his challenges to put USA on the track of global success as based on justice, values, neutrality and peace what would George Washington say if he was to be with us today?

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/georgewashington

President Trump and US Policies – What Would be the Future Impacts?

The world politics is shifting dramatically with the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Elections in the USA. Already with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, the 2016-Brexit, the course of international politics started to shift in different directions, one of such regards immigration policies. 52% of votes cast were for leaving EU. This puts the UK on a course to leave by March 2019 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit). In this context, President Trump strongly supported Brexit and in favor of other EU members to follow UK to leave the EU. 

Already in his election campaign and the kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign in Florida President Trump is uncovering more and more how he will make “America Great Again”. For example, Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” signed two days before his travel-ban directive, can result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of immigrants being rounded up for deportation, according to Kelly Lytle Hernandez, an immigration historian at the University of California, Los Angeles. The order directs federal agencies to vigorously enforce existing immigration laws and vows to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that don’t comply (https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.bloomberg.com/amp/politics/articles/2017-02-21/travel-ban-aside-trump-has-vast-legal-arsenal-for-immigrants?client=safari). However, the president’s initial attempt to block travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees was frozen by American courts after it prompted mass protests and chaos at airports nationwide (https://www.google.se/amp/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/18/donald-trump-planning-re-implement-immigration-ban-exempting/amp/?client=safari). This just a beginning of new immigration policy so new trends are expected to follow. 

Apart from immigration policies which is becoming a major issue not only in USA but also in Europe there are major but yet unclear political shifts in the USA. After nearly a month in office, critics indicate that it has been so far the worst and most unsettling start for a new president (https://www.google.se/amp/foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/19/president-trumps-terrible-one-month-report-card/amp/?client=safari). However, it seems that the US-policy regarding Russia, North Korea, the Islamic State and alliances like NATO will remain to be the same as it has been during the previous years of President Obama. Meanwhile, there are new shifts and twists in Iran’s deal and the Israeli-Palestinian issue. 

President Trump and his advisers are developing an alternative strategy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would enlist Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to break years of deadlock. The new logic of “outside-in” emanated from, the Palestinians are becoming weak and divided. Also, the improved relations Israel has developed with Sunni Muslim countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, i.e. in opposition to the Shiite nations dominated by Iran. Mr. Trump is reconsidering his plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem after Arab leaders told him that doing so would cause angry protests among Palestinians, who also claim the city as the capital of a future state. Also, Mr. Trump have asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to hold back the Israeli settlement plans (http://www.salon.com/2017/02/15/trumps-israel-policy-confusing-to-all-netanyahus-big-white-house-visit-could-get-exciting/). President Trump has send strong bye bye message to ISIS: Donald Trump gives death cult 30 DAYS before he ‘bombs the s*** out of them’.

The new administration is preparing to “repeal all rules” linked to greenhouse gases such as the green power plans of Obama to regulate emissions from energy plants, also those linked to implement the Paris Agreement and to support the UN-SDGs (http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/01/30/trump-advisor-environmental-movement-a-threat-to-freedom/).

In response of Trump’s “America First” policies and what it called his “divisive delusions on trade,” the Financial Times, the voice of British and to some extent European finance capital, warned that if the Trump administration continued on its present course, it would represent a “clear and present danger to the global trading and monetary system.” (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/21/trad-f21.html?view=article_mobile). From NAFTA, to the TPP, President Donald Trump has made trade a central part of his platform. However, these trade agreements are not simple, they are very much complicated and involve confusing issues. Here are some of 11-things you might have heard about Trump’s trade policies. What they actually mean, whether they’re true, false, or somewhere in between. Here also how these trade agreements were previously being discussed and assessed from various angles (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8372143/donald-trump-trade-agreements-nafta-tpp/)

Now what would be the impacts of such shifts on globalization, mobility, environment, trade, the UN SDGs and socio-economic developments around the world?

Information Communication Technology Era – Critical Thinking or Global Collapse?

In the Digital Revolution our modern societies experienced tectonic shifts from mechanical and analogue systems of production, trade, consumption, communication and policy-making to digital electronics began anywhere from the late 1950s to the late 1970s. In the latter half of the 20th century the world went through a dramatic transformation to ICT-based and driven societies similar to what happened ealier during major transitions in Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution. Such Digital Revolution marked our new global Information Age where information and news of all types “fake”, “false”, “incorrect or erroneous”, “correct”, “accurate”, “precise”, “statistically-based” and “validated”, “docomented”, “biased”, “sponsored”, “primary”, “secondary”, “hypothetical”, “cooked”, “myth or fairy tale”, “inherited”, ….. all gets mixed up and disseminated extremely fast through out the world. These types of information and news get shaped and reshaped in a “mishmash” of knowledge, circulated and amplified by the increasing flora of powerful media which not in all cases have access to proper, correct and timely information. Though the Internet has facilitated the circulation and streaming of knowledge, it is still the individuals who can sort out which facts are original and validated or falsefied and being served as alternative facts. What is being correct and incorrect is becoming a dilemma for many of us that may not have access to, capabilities of or even having enough time for critical thinking. 

Would the Information Communication Technology Era face the same fate and future as the previous Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions?

Call – The Hong Kong SDG Junior Ambassador Programme 2017

As Supporting Organisation for the SDG Junior Ambassador Programme 2017, we have the pleasure to invite a Primary 4 to 6 student who are interested to know more about environmental issues and global issues happening at the United Nations and to seize this opportunity and join now! The deadline for application is on 24 Feb 2017! Follow our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/sdgja
More about the SDG Junior Ambassador Programme: Adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015, the SDGs is a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDG Junior Ambassador Programme will cultivate the mind-set of primary schools students on environment conservation and sustainability. It will also foster a deeper connection between students and global policies, so as to drive a Behavioural Change from Inception to Implementation towards educating the community to create a greener lifestyle.

(In Chinese)

我地係香港女青年商會SDG小專員計劃嘅支持機構,如有興趣了解環保或聯合國知識嘅小四至小六學生一齊參加啦! 截止報名日期係2月24號,把握機會呀! 想知多啲,記住follow我地Facebook專頁: www.facebook.com/sdgja
SDG小專員計劃簡介: 為響應聯合國定下的17個可持續發展目標 (SDGs),並加強在本地社區的推廣,香港女青年商會即將首度推出 「SDG 小專員計劃」,旨在招攬小四至小六年級的學生成為SDG小專員,透過一連串講座、參觀活動及培訓工作坊,加深對可持續發展目標的認識,從中更學習籌劃活動技巧及完善溝通能力,並於學校和社區進行實踐計劃。首屆計劃將集中環境保育議題。從籌辦大型活動當中,會員可提升個人領導才能、學習青商的工作計劃安排及流程,更可於社區層面宣揚聯合國可持續發展目標及提倡響應其目標之行動。

The MENA Region – The Human Side of Telecom & The Reality of Accelerating Shift to the Virtual World

The whole world is drifting away from F2F “Face to Face” and direct H2H “Human to Human” communication or more precisely H2H communication as based on F2F communication, talks, analogue and paper-based interactions are being transformed to more effective, optimized, fact-based and regulated H2H communication through digitalized data, information and interactions. Even if we may experience F2F and H2H communication are becoming less and less intensive as it has been they are still everywhere in our daily life but is moving towards a totally new version, form or fashion through the Internet as a medium to transfer and connect all forms digitalized data, information and interactions where M2M “Machine to Machine”, M2H “Machine to Human” and H2M “Human to Machine” are still products of the H2H interaction and communications. All these revolutionary changes are due to enormous and tectonic advances in IOT and ICT by being able to handle wide-variety of multi-layered processing, production, consumption and subscription-based businesses, trade and industries as well as to mediate all H2H intervention and communication in such chains. H2H is the essence core of socio-economic development in all previous civilizations and still for all societies and for generations to come but the digitalized world has changed and still changing the rules of the game in human interactions and communications. 

In the modern era of IOT “Internet of Things” H2H communication is taking  different paths and tectonic tracks by using the Internet as ultra- and super-rapid instrument to connect everything in our world 24/7/365 on all levels. The IOT  and ICT “Information Communication Technology” benefit from searching, compiling, optimizing and communicating all existing and available data and information. But to be part of this revolution you have to be seen continuously in the Internet and also all your activities in any form has to be digitalized and connnected to the Internet in a way or another. The IOT and ICT will move forward, advance and progress more and more in compilation, coordination and optimization of data and information. At the moment we are in a State of Innovation on many levels and much more will come. IOT and ICT are far beyond our imagination as it will put and run our entire globe as totally new engines and reactors of interactions where the innovation is among key issues in all trans-disciplinary and trans-sectorial domains. This will generate trillions of dollars in turnover on the global scales as it is an imperative process where the growing population around the world by 2050-2100 can benefit from such transformation to more effective H2H communication through sensor and transducers as digital mediators in M2M, M2H and H2M interactions.  A life-style where IOT and ICT will be moving more and more away from traditional and convential H2H communication and interactions. Future jobs, employment, trade and businesses will follow such trends. 

Here is a debate activity in the MENA Region in the Telecom Review Magazine that Launched an event on “Human to Human” (H2H) Initiative during its Summit “The Human Side of Telecom”.

http://www.telecomreview.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=925:telecom-review-magazine-launches-%E2%80%9Chuman-to-human%E2%80%9D-h2h-initiative-during-its-summit-%E2%80%9Cthe-human-side-of-telecom%E2%80%9D&Itemid=718

Jack Ma’s Comments on Donald Trump’s Tweets – USA Should Spend Money on Building America Not Wars

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma gives his views on Donald Trump’s attack on China which is according to him (President Trump) stealing jobs from USA and undermining the economy of the USA. It is interesting to hear the comments of Jack Ma. 

Concerning creation of jobs Mr. Ma says ‘If trade stops, war starts’ and he warns after his visit to Donald Trump ‘The world needs globalisation, it needs trade’.

Follow the story here: https://youtu.be/lpgYym4L4Cw

President Trump and USA – New Realities Require New Solutions 

Today the USA and the rest of the world is turning page and shifting to new realities as outcome of the USA Presidential 2016-elections. The new realities are indeed no more than facing and tackling a mixture of old, current and future problems to move forward and deal with economically acceptable solutions for poverty and unemployment as well as restoration, development and the renewable of a wide-range of basic infra-structures. While at the same time coping with other equally important emerging challenges of much more global character, i.e. those arising from climate and environmental changes, also the implementation of UN-SDGs. Economic issues are always, and remain to be, important variables in solving such difficult and complex socio-economic equations. The UN-SDGs which involve climate and global change issues have no clear and well-structured implementation agenda, i.e. who will do what, how and when and above all how the outcome of the implementation will be monitored with follow up programs that assure transperancy and accountability contra the necessary investments and the financial obligations involved. It is much easier to assess the outcome of national socio-economic developments rather than to do the same on global and international scales.  

Though the changing reality may be experienced as unusual and dramatic, it is yet forcing enormous tectonic changes in particular the formulation of mutual global relations between the developed and developing countries. Reality is far more complex than any existing socio-economic model, as models by nature are much simplified version of reality that can never replace the reality. The world as a whole is facing a new complex reality of the post-industrial and post-computer era where the Internet, automation and modern ICT are outphasing many classical and traditional solutions what regards labor and machinery on the one side and the market and trade on the other. Classical political systems around the world are not yet updated to deal with existing new realities as experienced by the changes in Europe “Brexit” and the USA “President Trump”, globalisation, free-trade, UN-SDGs, also developments arising from the post Iraq-war. All these issues combined are reshaping the global socio-economic developments. We need to ask ourselves “what can we do for the world as it may not be clear for everyone what the world will do, and can do, for us”. The existing global situation is just a reminder that the socio-economic systems around the world, including the UN, are not the optimum solutions but rather part of the existing challenges. In a much opened, IT-based society with rapid and intensive flow of information, the challenges are shifting more and more to individual to take part in shaping everyday life.

Nature Index 2016 Saudi Arabia | Supplements | Nature Index

According to Nature Index, Saudi Arabia had the largest growth in the MENA region in 2015 in the production of high-quality research tracked by the Nature Index thus propelling the country into a leading position. Its strong and fruitful collaborations with international powerhouses have been integral to the country’s rapid rise and it now has its sights firmly set on becoming a global player in science.

https://www.natureindex.com/supplements/nature-index-2016-saudi-arabia/index#ni-articles