Switzerland – Swiss Bank Accounts And Black Money

May 29, 2015

By Padmini Arhant

Switzerland – The self-declared neutral country after all may not be neutral on issues concerning humanity – the financial holdings in Swiss bank accounts in particular.

The Swiss economy capitalized with monetary assets held in Swiss financial institutions – UBS, Credit Suisse…and other banks in Switzerland from foreign account holders – the rich, famous and the powerful across the globe.

The accounts facilitating safe haven on tax evasions, black money, kickbacks from deals in political, economic, entertainment, sports as well as religious domains is a major setback for global economy with severe impact on developing nations due to revenue depletion.

Switzerland’s recent disclosure releasing names of account holders from selective nations such as India appreciated by Indian political members as Swiss authorities initiative in the crackdown on offshore hoardings.

Although the step is a positive measure, the names ought to be included in addition to what was provided in the disclosed member list somehow not appearing by omission is perhaps the challenge for Switzerland.

Switzerland information in this regard is inadequate and does not fulfill the requirement on cooperation expected in collective efforts on black money recovery or tax income to respective nations worldwide.

The financial institutions in Switzerland, Singapore and many island destinations tax shelters are the gateway for the rich in mobilizing wealth from illegal dealings and tax fraud.

The protection guaranteed to account holders in Swiss bank accounts is complicity in fraudulence and fostering illegal transactions contributes to money laundering and criminal activities considering not all funds are necessarily originating from legitimate sources and means prior to reaching overseas accounts.

As a result the nations financial sector involvement as fiduciary is in violation of international compliance for not declining funds transfer affecting sovereign nations economic progress.

Switzerland has unique opportunity to reverse the trend and come forward with details on all members rather than random choices and exemplify commitment in the exposure without exception.

At the same time, Indian incumbent administration claim on setting up the Special Investigation Team to pursue black money with a bill pending passage to combat black money abroad prescribing stiff penalties is self-contradictory having received black money in campaign donations during national election in 2014 and subsequent state elections flushed with similar sources revealed in the yoga guru and the political party representative inadvertent admission.

The Special Investigation Team appear to have been instructed to spare specific personalities in the Indian political and affluent circle while the focus remains on token offenders to convince the public.

The G-20 summit in November 2014 agreement to curb tax evasion with exchange of information between countries evidently not translated into action with Switzerland withholding prominent members data.

The people are the victims in this tradition to deceive nations from fair share of taxes and black money accumulation as they are burdened with superficial national debt lasting over generations in the developed and developing nations of the world.

Any laws are meaningful only upon application to all reflecting seriousness and fairness important to demonstrate equality and justice.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

 

Syria – Geneva Talks Failure Would Confirm UN, United States And Alliance Dismal Future

January 26, 2014

By Padmini Arhant

The ongoing so-called peace conference in Geneva with UN interlocutor Lakhdar Brahimi on Syria appears to be nothing more than catharsis to once again mislead the world that terror sponsors viz. the United States, Britain, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey…are justified in prolonging the proxy war despite death toll exceeding 100,000 and estimated 4.5 million refugees is the result of foreign invasion.

Considering there is no desire for peace among the western powers and allies behind the illegal intervention recruiting terror networks al-Qaeda and al-Nusra front to carry out genocide not to mention cannibalism and use of chemical weapons against people in Syria,

The Geneva meeting having prohibited genuine political opposition in Syria from participation at United States and alliance behest insists on beguiling Syrian and global citizens with pseudo representation known as Syrian National Council (SNC) essentially serving hegemony interests to evade critical decisions such as immediate ceasefire and unconditional withdrawal of mercenaries and death squads ending the three year old conflict.

The western appointed UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi admission during press interaction that certainty is a rare commodity in UN initiated peace forums is ominous sign for United Nations and UNSC set up to foment and escalate rather than resolve international crises.

UN poised as international body is yet to demonstrate prudence and trustworthiness in global affairs and ingenuity deficiency could be attributed to UNSC key permanent members deliberate misuse of authority like veto powers exacerbating human suffering at every opportunity. 

Syrian warfare has consumed scores of innocent lives and ruined millions of citizens with generational impact. 

The terror organizers especially United States, Israel, Britain and France proudly claiming to be democracies befitting emulation regard the obsolete and self-destructive imperial aspirations as entitlement.

Similarly their partners Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey willingness to remain servile only to be disposed after being used refuse to learn from the past and present developments leading to disastrous experience hurting the source and facilitators denying them any chance of revival from self-inflicted quagmire.

The western governments authorized terrorism in Syria in semblance with relentless violence in Iraq following United States, Britain and NATO aggression in that country profoundly debilitated UN credibility and major powers economic growth respectively given the exhaustive means proved counterproductive.

Geneva summit focus on terminating terrorism as priority enforcing embargo on arms supply and monetary funding to terrorists on the ground would clarify United States, Russia and other participants’ real intentions and commitment to peace. 

As for the unreasonable demands from SNC at United States and coalition order on prisoners release when terrorists atrocities include several abductions of citizens across the spectrum holding them hostage in the burgeoning warfare further indicative of the integrity or the lack thereof in the United States maneuvered UN role to derail positive outcome.

With respect to SNC concern over humanitarian relief specifically in Homs while ignoring the rest of the war ravaged neighborhoods in Syria reveals the western forces exploitation of human plight to suit terror agenda.

Human mind blocked from exploring viable options like peaceful resolutions and instead determined to pursue catastrophe as only preference pose greater challenges for those engaged in self-detrimental cause expediting imminent dissolution of anything and everything associated with irrationality.

Geneva II gathering is a unique moment for all sides to maximize potential to arrive at consensus in bringing the foreign led terrorism to conclusion.

Any failure in this context would confirm establishments dissipation and dismal future for nations complicit in the preventable self-defeating mission.

Best Wishes to Syrian delegation and alike in infusing reason and wisdom transforming the event purposeful to save humanity at large.

Peace to Syria!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

 

Padmini Arhant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Syria – Geneva II Conference in Switzerland

January 24, 2014

By Padmini Arhant

The peace talks on Syria held earlier in Montreux and now in Geneva, Switzerland are not an occasion for terror sponsors and their representatives to challenge the prospects of positive outcome.

In fact, the conference focus on real issues such as mounting death toll, refugee problems and spill over effects in neighboring states exacerbating human suffering would be impetus for immediate arms embargo on nations providing weapons to al-Qaeda and al-Nusra front terror networks behind massacres in Syria.

The meeting directing attention towards sincere commitment to peace with unconditional withdrawal of mercenaries and terror operatives is imperative to save lives and alleviate humanitarian plight inflicted upon victims in the war torn country.

As for the so-called opposition i.e. Syrian National Coalition echoing United States and regional allies sentiments seeking regime change and transitional government in Syria prove lack of credibility considering Syrian people unanimous rejection of the group and their agenda. 

The demand for removal of legitimate government and leadership from power at the Geneva meeting clarifies real intentions to sabotage peace rather than initiate agreement to end conflict without delay. 

United States and others including UN bear responsibility in arriving at consensus to terminate terrorism causing bloodshed in Syria. 

Syria’s compliance in chemical weapons disarmament to complete satisfaction of UN, United States and Israel…appointed Organization for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) despite enduring five chemical attacks from U.S. and alliance recruited terrorists set example for the latter to renounce WMD and meet their obligation to mankind.

The chief proponents and facilitators of proxy war in Syria spreading violence across the country show no concern for their actions adversely affecting innocent citizens at national and regional level. 

The genocide could no longer continue and participants in the current Geneva summit have opportunity to demonstrate legitimacy in declaring ceasefire and seal the deal with monetary compensation for rebuilding Syria besides honoring Syrian citizens self-determination rights and national sovereignty. 

Any outcome other than bringing the Syrian warfare to conclusion would be counterproductive and Geneva event unable to deliver peace treaty could lead to dissolution of UN as an international body notwithstanding serious repercussions for those nations involved in impediments to peaceful resolution.

The brutal attacks not barring cannibalism reflective of the sources funding and arming militants in the merciless operation depict respective nations in bad light due to complacency from society.

The terror organizers unwillingness to relent to peace reviving primitive practices in modern age throughout Syrian turmoil reveals unsavory characteristics inevitably harming the origin in accordance with natural law.

Hence, all sides are urged to prioritize human costs over vested interests since civilians are targeted in the foreign invasion lasting more than three years.

In implementing peace adopting rational means benefit entire region unlike the disastrous pursuits resulting in self-destruction.

Hopefully much anticipated Geneva II accord would be fruitful for Syria and humanity at large.

Best Wishes to Syrian delegation and counterparts in accomplishment of peaceful solution to unnecessary unrest in Syria.

Peace to Syria!

Peace to all!

Thank you. 

Padmini Arhant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World Economic Forum – 2012 Davos, Switzerland

January 28, 2012

By Padmini Arhant

Warm Greetings to world leaders in politics, economics, social, environment and humanitarian organizations attending the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The global economy is frail with complexities demanding solutions in cognizance of specific and general needs for revival.

Economic meltdown could be attributed to myriad sources and identifying the root causes would enable policy restructuring to stimulate and sustain growth in the interim and beyond.

Capitalism is by far the viable economic system provided the free market functionality confined to building economy without intervention in politics.

While Capitalism governance triumphs in weakening legislations aimed at consumer protection, fair pricing for affordability as well as balanced trade practices in national and international domain.

Government regulations for this purpose are met with resistance as intrusion in private sector.

Free market economy with free pass on all economic activities without checks and balances led the economy to a near free fall in recent history.

The current economy on the precipice due to flagrant dismissal of reforms combined with institutional failures to deliver the required outcome.

Economic model promoting globalization with two monetary authorities – The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) facilitated the collapse of modern economy in the developing and developed region.

Modern economy under prudent economic i.e. fiscal, trade and monetary policy had better prospects to vitalize agricultural, service and industrialized economies through self-sustenance and international trade.

World Bank and IMF set up to gain forceful entry into economies under globalization auspice derailed progress denying independent strategies to address problems confronting individual economy.

The mandatory membership with World Bank and IMF lending enforced untenable terms and conditions on borrowers subjugating nations for unlimited access to resources including the heads of the state appointment across the globe.

World Bank and IMF debtors share similar economic woes and struggle to amortize debts in a systemic abusive deal involving collaterals directly undermining sovereignty and binding generations with liability.

From European contagion to Sub-Saharan Africa existence dilemma  – World Bank and IMF together play a major role in exacerbating financial crisis and implementing austerity measure to public detriment – bringing mainstream to main street protest.

World Bank interference in environment policy to control the governments pledged $100 billion towards carbon emission reduction is vehemently opposed given the organization’s trajectory in funds mismanagement.

Capitalism would thrive in the absence of shadow government split into three categories:

They are banking, transnational corporations and defense industry.

Banking industry speculative trade and selective justice against speculators sparing political campaign donors viz. prominent investment banks or equity management firms responsible for U.S. housing market slump depriving millions ownership and shelter along with euro zone calamity expose the network between politics, judiciary and economics.

Transnational Corporations – infringement upon overseas markets threatens disadvantaged demography livelihood through governmental pressure endangering small medium enterprise and entrepreneurships at lower economic strata.

Mega Corporation stakes in developing and emerging economies is a gateway to monopoly.

Likewise, in national turf – the big corporations bidding on merger and acquisitions suppress the free market elements to emerge and compete effectively against powerful establishments.

Energy Sector – Regarded the behemoth in containing alternative energy output using solar, wind and hydro projects.

They are instrumental in waging wars to maintain vested interests in oil and natural gas enriched territories around the world.

Wars also generate energy demand against inadequate supply boosting oil prices at peak.

Defense Industry – wars are lucrative with ammunition proliferation and investments in innovative stockpiles among warring factions confirming profit – the motivational factor from economic standpoint and the other dimension being global dominance to retain status quo.

Energy and Defense industries are influential forces in congressional and Presidential election.

United States Supreme Court decision on Citizens United is carte blanche to Corporations undermining democratic electoral process.

Unless the outcome reversed, the trend jeopardizes election results legitimacy and credibility.

Politics and economics fusion exceeding normal boundaries evidently is not the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Another extenuating component of finance industry with pervasive impact on global society is tax havens and unaccounted funds in overseas bank accounts.

Swiss banks – USB and Credit Suisse Societe Generale – The leading purveyors of secret bank accounts accepting funds from illicit means essentially legalizing money laundering is crippling economies with Vienna convention granting impunity to offenders predominantly representing the political and privileged class in the society.

Swiss government neutral position and opposition to warfare is severely compromised in the approval of banking operation in semblance with the former Bank of Credit and Commerce International engaged in illegal assets holdings.

International objection to BCCI violation of banking law precipitated closure ending financial impropriety.

Banks in Switzerland, Singapore, Cayman and Cook Islands…transferring offshore accounts to onshore is imperative to alleviate burden on taxpayers in the developing and developed economy.

Credit Suisse Societe Generale compliance in this regard with United States is praiseworthy and applying same standards to other nations would eliminate preferential treatment perception.

Switzerland as a democratic society could set an example in returning national wealth to all nations deprived of revenue in income taxes or transactions pertaining to national or state contracts.

Market economy in republic governed democracy would comprise relevant regulations to safeguard customer rights, competitiveness for price and quality, business incentives to secure guaranteed returns and job preservation, logical tax reform with unaccounted money recovery,

Corporations leading economy rather than national and international politics would delineate economic leaderships in monitoring growth with necessary policy adjustments for better results.

Prohibiting corporations and corporate donations in election campaigns is critical for democracy to prevail.

Public sector streamlining bureaucracy and remaining focused on civil society development would improve efficiency.

Politics and economics on parallel mode refining methods, supplementing ideas and complementing productivity would enhance performance without hindrance in defined goals.

Capitalism in the present format is heavily invested in political power neglecting ethics and economy.

Profiteering on economic and military warfare is proved counterproductive.

Changing course to benefit humanity at large is the rational approach to resolving economic crisis.

Market economy guided by pragmatism and ingenuity with moral code as the catalyst is the promising future.

On that optimistic note,

Wishing success to world economic forum 2012 in Davos, Switzerland!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

http://youtu.be/E9GwuIk30mo http://youtu.be/n0NYBTkE1yQ http://youtu.be/_jFaaDd0Go8 http://youtu.be/HRduwYgrU7A http://youtu.be/dXGSVOg7au4 http://youtu.be/P8p0nBa866E http://youtu.be/xYDtUerAhj4 http://youtu.be/0ztJc8th4Uk

World Economic Forum 2011 – Davos, Switzerland

January 28, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

The world economic forum is currently held in Davos, Switzerland. Many issues apart from the economy are discussed at this large consortium.

Economy is the priority for the population struggling with high unemployment, housing market decline from foreclosures in addition to credit crunch experienced by potential home buyers and small businesses alike.

The bank bailouts to eliminate toxic assets off the balance sheet and facilitate lending has been mostly utilized for mergers and acquisitions with ‘too big to fail’ status intact – the precise factor that prompted taxpayer funds interjection into the crumbling finance industry.

Corporate profits across the industrial spectrum are exceedingly high not barring financial institutions yet the jobless rate and liquidity in the credit market is stagnant exacerbating the ordinary citizens’ plight.

Manufacturing sector is drastically affected in the globalized economy. The developed and developing nations are confronted with reviving blue collar jobs desperately required to ease suffering among the working class.

Corporations incentivized with generous tax cuts, taxpayer funded capital infusion and labor unions suppression continue to venture overseas in search of mega profits ultimately shared among top management through huge bonuses while depriving the hard working majority the livelihood.

The offshore dealings might be lucrative for the corporate shareholders and the respective governments with foreign exchange reserves, the labor force over there are marginalized in terms of comparable wages and employment benefits.

Again factory workers in poorer nations are often exploited under harsh economic and political conditions attributed to multinational dominance in the regions receptive to foreign investors.

Environment abuse in the globalization era has been catastrophic for the poorest people living near the industrial sites.

The weak environment standards maintained predominantly to accommodate energy, pharmaceutical…industries’ policies in the developing nations are proved detrimental to the local residents diagnosed with serious health problems.

In the industrialized world, the lower income groups are exposed to health hazards emanating from chemical industrial waste and oil spills witnessed lately with pervasive impact on all living species.

Therefore the corporate ethical conduct in the domestic and international operations deserves attention with effective remedies to restore meaningful capitalism and globalization pursuit.

Inflation is a legitimate concern without having to raise interest rates in borrowing given the real estate slump and limited credit availability having a stranglehold on the national economies.

In order to increase supply to the growing demands of any goods as an alternative inflation control measure – the businesses need finance in the prevalent restricted credit facilities and the banks with capital have responsibility to lend qualified entrepreneurs thereby promoting job growth, consumer spending and investor confidence – all relevant to stimulate the global economy.

The bankers’ claiming the existing credit control is the result of the regulatory imposition in the wake of sub-prime and hedge fund mis-management does not bode well,

Since they could not apply to all financial products that could otherwise paralyze the credit networks representing the fundamental economic source.

Sound monetary policy allowing responsible money circulation and the currency value determined by market forces rather than arbitrary means could prevent currency devaluation disputes and trade wars contributing to disproportionate surpluses and deficits among economic powers.

Fiscal policy is focused on deficit reduction through austerity mainly targeting programs like health and education for the most vulnerable demographics.

Denying affordable educational access to present generation is prohibiting better economic future made possible with qualified efficient workforce and taxpayers in the competitive global settings.

Spending cuts in alarming defense expenditure and redundant wasteful projects instead of life dependent programs and services could produce desirable results in debt containment besides a healthy productive society benefitting all.

Generating revenue in the absence of tax hikes on the extraordinary income derived from the collective input distributed within privileged members in the society is evidently counterproductive for it escalates national debt other than widening the gap between the rich and poor.

Economic activities for growth stimulus are largely related to melting the liquidity freeze to enable cash strapped small businesses, retailers and manufacturers create jobs.

Resuming lending services to home buyers upon satisfying the eligibility criteria and refinancing options to help default home owners retain their property instead of losing in foreclosures with a negative impact on the national housing sales including the construction industry is guaranteed to expedite recovery.

Transparency in derivatives with mortgage securities identified as the primary cause in the 2008 financial market brink of collapse would build trust in the international security exchange.

Interest rates, transaction fees on credit cards and regular bank accounts still remain exorbitant despite the regulation passed to curb practices that led to phenomenal debt accumulation and bankruptcies in the United States.

Failure in adherence to legislation on predatory methods has no consequences with the banks conducting business as usual delineating Wall Street from Main Street.

The reforms in general are circumvented due to loopholes in the legislation and the political clout displayed with industry lobbyists winning $19 billion tax exemptions in financial reform, no premium caps in health care law, offshore drilling permits…confirming Wall Street control over U.S. political election and legislation.

Investments in infrastructure, green energy, innovative research and development in science and technology is paramount in the protectionist aspect.

However, there is no momentum in expediting projects perhaps due to inadequate funding and/or political reasons.

The industrialized and emerging economies pledge to the developing nations has not been delivered in action on the economy and environment that could essentially alleviate poverty, hunger and disease endured by many across the globe.

Political instability arising from oppression i.e. lack of freedom and individual rights is prompting citizens’ protest against repressive governments sheltered until now with diplomatic ties and trade relationships by powerful ‘democracies.’

Civilian uprising in Egypt and Yemen reveal the breaking point in public frustration towards
authoritarianism. Political independence in these countries is long overdue.

The overthrown government heads of the state are provided refuge as seen with Tunisian former President Ben Ali received by Saudi Arabia.

These events are indicative of the established complacency to undemocratic elements disrupting political, economic and social progress.

United States, France and Saudi Arabia were reportedly involved in Lebanon’s recent political fallout disabling government services in the sovereign nation.

Reluctance to expand U.N. Security Council permanent membership in acknowledgment of twenty first century geopolitical dynamics is an impediment to world peace. The ongoing polarization efforts foment terrorism and militancy used as the perpetual warfare premise.

Hence international solidarity exemplified in rejecting the status quo is imperative for fair distribution of global resources, honoring individual liberty, political rights, social equality ultimately leading to universal economic prosperity.

World economic forum is a unique opportunity to resolve myriad humanitarian challenges through constructive dialogue and powerful strategies for a new peaceful beginning.

Wishing a successful economic summit in Davos, Switzerland.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

The 65th U.N. General Assembly on Multilateral Disarmament Treaty

September 29, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

On September 24, 2010, the United Nations held a “High-level Meeting on Revitalizing Disarmament Conference” attended by 65 nations’ dignitaries in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Conference objectives were to initiate discussions on the –

Biological and Chemical weapons,

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and,

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) including,

START – Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms,

PAROS – Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space and,

Last but not the least – Nuclear States threats against non-nuclear nations.

Although the statements from these organizations’ representatives and U.N. members defined the international community role and the urgency to begin nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament discourse, the session ended in an impasse.

The reason behind the unsuccessful outcome is attributed to the Multifaceted Treaty’s one aspect and that being,

The FMCT – Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty reportedly blocked by Nuclear Pakistan insisting on the Fissile Material Treaty fairness and effectiveness on the whole, an identical position shared with its Nuclear neighbor India.

The fissile material related to the plutonium and uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons capability is crucial in the disarmament dialogue to implement a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

In fact, Pakistan’s position in this regard is absolutely legitimate and worth examining.

Pakistan’s claim that FMT mandate be internationally incorporated and multilaterally verified to accommodate the majority nuclear and non-nuclear states’ national security concerns comparable to “equal security for all,” principles is in direct alignment with India’s request.

India has raised the legitimacy and credibility factor surrounding all treaties i.e.

Non-Proliferation, Nuclear disarmament focused on FMT, PAROS, START and negative security assurances for they are all at present severely lacking in accountability and transparency among the NPT-5,

The U.S and Russia in particular as the pioneers currently in possession of over 95 percent world’s nuclear arsenal.

Poignantly, the very first nuclear disarmament and permanent ban on nuclear testing was set forth by the First Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954 – the nuclear era with conspicuous disdain for nuclear ban proposals that is evidently prevalent until now into the twenty first century.

Subsequently, India remained persistent and called for an international convention in 1978 prohibiting the nuclear weapons use or threats against any nation followed by,

A daring initiative in 1982 submitting to the United Nations – a “Nuclear Freeze,” on fissile material production facilitating nuclear weapons and related delivery systems.

Further, in 1998 India put forward an Action Plan comprising phased elimination for all nuclear weapons and WMD within a specified timeframe setting the cornerstone in the nuclear doctrine.

None of the nuclear weapon states with far more nuclear potential responded to the cause then or for that matter now in the CD conference.

Pakistan and India share the sentiments in the non-cooperation and disingenuous display by the real players the NPT-5 with a burden of responsibility to exemplify their verbal commitments through actions that is being demonstrably evaded as the privileged Security Council members.

All the more reason for the imperativeness to expand the U.N. Security Council permanent membership with broad representation by nations such as Japan, Brazil, India, South Africa, Germany, Norway, Turkey and UAE besides the extensive diversification called for in the recent CD Summit only to be ignored denying global interest.

Had the powerful nuclear weapon states engaged in earnest participation with appropriate and definitive content mutually agreeable to third party verification in the nuclear treaty throughout the twentieth and twenty first century, the world would not be dealing with nuclear proliferation or terrorism.

Even the new START agreement between U.S and Russia signed in 2010 is subjective to ambivalence on both sides based on past experience specifically –

The exchanges with Kremlin during the former President Ronald Reagan START introduction referred to as SALT III at that time and evaluated by the American arms control advocates as;

“A deceptively equal-looking, deliberately nonnegotiable proposal that is part of what some suspect is the hardliners’ secret agenda of sabotaging disarmament so that the U.S. can get on with the business of rearmament.”

Similarly, the then Soviet Union had not disclosed the ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) data accurately in the submission.

Such inconclusiveness in the international security matter since the nuclear age precipitated the nuclear and conventional arms race to an unprecedented and unsustainable level.

The repetitive failed attempt to invigorate meaningful disarmament talks is a cliché in the contentious yet easily resolvable issue.

Moreover, the notion that U.S, Russia, China… are responsible nuclear states while disqualifying others from the league is a misnomer considering the status quo and proved detrimental to the nuclear deterrent policy for it encouraged defiance against compliance.

The unanimous frustration and disappointment among the non-elite nuclear states and the vulnerable non-nuclear NPT nations leads to a concrete decision in enforcing;

The universal CTBT – Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ‘entry into force’ rule effective immediately beginning at the fissile material ban targeting both supply and production in the present and the future.

Pursuant to NPT article VI, CTBT entry by force would have a profound impact on the NPT obligations binding the NPT and non-NPT nuclear states along with non-nuclear NPT countries.

Forced entry CTBT statute would reveal the observance or the lack there of by the respective nuclear and non-nuclear States.

It would also determine the Treaty viability and the multilateral apparatus adherence to NPT apart from restricting the sophisticated nuclear weapon upgrade or new development by any or all.

A worldwide Monitoring System and a neutral committee dedicated to NPT and WMD elimination would concurrently phase out the nuclear weapon prospects and systematically retrieve the stockpiles from all parties commencing with the major stock holders i.e. United States, Russia, France, U.K. China and others.

The grievances expressed by the scapegoats earlier India and now Pakistan in the CD failure,

Arguably found in the consistent setbacks on all treaties pertaining to conventional, WMD and nuclear weapons suggesting the so-called summits frame work designed to weaken rather than strengthen the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation institutional policies aimed at the regional and international peace and security.

Given the facts on the ground with the relentless and widespread violence through warfare, the agenda do not match the false exhibits in the previous summits.

Therefore, the United Nations General Assembly members consolidated commitment to global peace and security could be made possible by –

Forging the U.N. Security Council permanent membership expansion and,

Implementing the CTBT to accomplish the non-violation and irreversible NPT complemented by strategic and general weapons substantive and complete disarmament.

The U.N. members at the general assembly could essentially review and restructure the umbrella organization policies to conform to the twenty first century in every respect.

Non-nuclear NPT and nuclear states have a unique opportunity to change the dynamics with a paradigm shift by being inclusive not exclusive in the nuclear negotiations eventually resulting in pervasive nuclear disarmament.

The ICBL (the International Campaign to Ban Landmines) treaty is also vital in the disarmament process with certain key powers not having ratified the protocol despite the staggering toll on the children and economically disadvantaged population across the globe.

Again, the collective pledge to safeguard life and the planet is guaranteed to produce the desirable result –

A peaceful, prosperous and unified world.

Good Luck and Best Wishes to the United Nations and nexus organizations for phenomenal success in the humanitarian goals.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Chilling Facts on the Contemporary Health Care Costs

July 21, 2009

By Padmini Arhant – Forwarding Facts Presentation by NCHC

As per the thorough, insightful and informative presentation;

FROM: The National Coalition on Health Care – NCHC Cost Fact Sheet 2009 – Thanks

Source: http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

FACTS ON HEALTH CARE COSTS:

In 2008, health care spending in the United States reached $2.4 trillion, and was projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012. Health care spending is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2016.

Total health care spending represented 17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Although nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens.

Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4.3 TRILLION in 2017, or 20 percent of GDP.

In 2008, employer health insurance premiums increased by 5.0 percent – two times the rate of inflation. The annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four averaged nearly $12,700. The annual premium for single coverage averaged over $4,700.

Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.

Employer and Employee Health Insurance Costs

Premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by 5.0 percent in 2008. In 2007, small employers saw their premiums, on average, increase 5.5 percent. Firms with less than 24 workers, experienced an increase of 6.8 percent.

The annual premium that a health insurer charges an employer for a health plan covering a family of four averaged $12,700 in 2008. Workers contributed nearly $3,400, or 12 percent more than they did in 2007.2 The annual premiums for family coverage significantly eclipsed the gross earnings for a full-time, minimum wage worker ($10,712).

Workers are now paying $1,600 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 1999.

Since 1999, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 120 percent, compared to cumulative inflation of 44 percent and cumulative wage growth of 29 percent during the same period.

Health insurance expenses are the fastest growing cost component for employers. Unless something changes dramatically, health insurance costs will overtake profits by the end of 2008.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in the United States have been rising four times faster on average than workers’ earnings since 1999.

The average employee contribution to company-provided health insurance has increased more than 120 percent since 2000. Average out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments for medications, and co-insurance for physician and hospital visits rose 115 percent during the same period.

The percentage of Americans under age 65 whose family-level, out-of-pocket spending for health care, including health insurance, that exceeds $2,000 a year,rose from 37.3 percent in 1996 to 43.1 percent in 2003 – a 16 percent increase.

The Impact of Rising Health Care Costs

National surveys show that the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage.

Economists have found that rising health care costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.

A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses. Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.

About 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs.

Retiring elderly couples will need $250,000 in savings just to pay for the most basic medical coverage. Many experts believe that this figure is conservative and that $300,000 may be a more realistic number.

According to a recent report, the United States has $480 billion in excess spending each year in comparison to Western European nations that have universal health insurance coverage. The costs are mainly associated with excess administrative costs and poorer quality of care.

The United States spends six times more per capita on the administration of the health care system than its peer Western European nations.”

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Racism – The Durban II, Geneva Conference

April 26, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

The past week – April 20 -24, 2009, Geneva, Switzerland hosted ‘The Durban II conference’ on racism. The preceding event in 2001 held in Durban, South Africa marred by racial overtones and negative attacks against the state of Israel evidently led the United States and Western allies to boycott the recent U.N meeting.

It was a United Nations gathering to address the persisting contemporary discriminatory practices often transforming into persecution, oppression and even genocide in some parts of the world. According to the White House and media reports, the reason behind United States and allies’ absence at the symposium was the blue print content notably against Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the United Nations’ assurance to eliminate any anti-Israeli inflammatory remarks from the Iranian President’s speech failed in convincing the United States, Israel and others to attend the world forum.

Meanwhile, predictably the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad’s rhetorical speech caused spectacle prompting other European diplomats to briefly abandon the summit. To the United Nations’ credit, the subsequent address by the Iranian President modified to reflect reality on the tragic holocaust previously denied by the political figure.

Whenever a consortium organized to deal with sensitive humanitarian issue of great magnitude, the stage is set for fireworks and doesn’t require more than a spark to ignite the flame into blazing fire. All those refuting the one nation’s contentious repetitive conduct, regrettably ignored the wide spectrum of humanitarian crises around the world. The objection against a particular nation’s demeanor effectively dismissed the urgency for unanimous solutions to global problems affecting humanity.
Further, such action conspicuously displayed hierarchy prevalent in the humanitarian priorities.

Every continent has nations with dark legacy and embarrassing episodes of human rights violation. In the new millennium, the global community challenged to empathize with those currently enduring incessant suffering due to lack of freedom, inequality, injustice including intolerance.

The Geneva conference was a great platform for the nations that boycotted the meeting exclusively the United States and Israel to express serious commitment in resolving the age-old Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine. Any glimpse of hope in the two states solutions approved by vast majority of population on both sides with a free Palestine comprising West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem alongside the democratic Israel unequivocally accepted as a sovereign state in the entire region would have instantaneously gained credibility in the large presence of the United Nations.

Needlessly, as holocaust victims Israel was better qualified to condemn any crime against humanity and set an example by leading the world in the establishment of peace and democracy with its neighbor Palestine. Israel had a unique opportunity in Geneva to demonstrate solemn pledge and action to aid those, relevantly the Palestinians deserving similar liberty granted to Israel predominantly with the support and solidarity among the nations around the world. Israel’s unprecedented humanitarian gesture would have made it incumbent on the Arab nations at the conference to forge alliance in promoting regional unity and peace.

If the world would not have heeded to the humanitarian call for an Independent Israel, it could have resulted in the devastating annihilation of a specific human race. Likewise, South Africa proudly declaring results from a democratic election today would have succumbed to oppressive apartheid without the international community’s involvement in the freedom of that nation.

There is immense misery and extreme hardships in various parts of the world. People in these regions generally exposed to despair, depression and death at infancy consider themselves fortunate if they live beyond the short life expectancy because of poverty, disease, war and deprivation of basic human rights.

Geneva conference reached a broad based consensus against racial and gender discrimination, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia other than human rights abuses across the globe. An international assembly by governments from most parts of the world had the moment and venue to review pertinent matter concerning different nations and people. Unfortunately, the U.N committee presumably under intense pressure from nations prioritizing political agenda in their allegiance to a single ally, did not layout the importance of relieving humanity from the perpetual violence through war, invasion and occupation reminiscent of the twentieth century’s imperialism and colonialism .

Is there deficiency in related topics involving the remaining population on the planet seeking entitlement to the international representation, rescue and relief from burgeoning crimes against innocent civilians?

Only if rationality and utilitarianism prevailed over popular political dogma of individualism, the desirable goals for fairness and justice are attainable in human affairs.

Is the struggle for peace and independence by the population in Palestine, Burma, Tibet, and North Korea any less significant than the international feud between Israel and Iran?

What about the status quo of civil wars contributing to genocides in Rwanda, Darfur, Congo and other parts of Africa?

Should the world ignore the escalating ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka as an internal matter rather than an international moral issue?

Where was the denunciation of the pervasive Taliban abuse of women in Afghanistan now dangerously spreading to the Northwestern regions of Pakistan?

Why did the summit not extensively focus on the various abuses in Latin, Central and South America and China, notwithstanding the denial of equal status to women in the Middle East and other Islamic nations?

On the generic concept of racism, xenophobia – typically the fear of the unknown, homophobia – the overt hate crimes against gay and trans-gender community and other horrific incidents in human trafficking, child pornography and numerous offenses were excluded during the five-day long international meeting.

Apparently, the interpretation of ‘tolerance’ in the crimes against humanity is subject to the relationship among existing and emerging economic and political powers in the global society.

The protocol on protests, boycott and co-operation alike varies depending on the nations along with political and economic repercussions arising from such action.

For example, the Iranian President’s controversial stance against Israel held responsible for the Western nations’ boycott of the latest Geneva conference on racism while implying the other attendees’ motive questionable.

Nevertheless, the human rights activists’ plea to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics to draw attention towards the plight of the Tibetan population persecuted by the hour and suppression of the democracy movement in the People’s Republic of China rejected by the participating nations prominently those who recently boycotted the Geneva conference.

It is widespread knowledge that the emerging economic power China being the treasury and
Exchequer for the world economy, a nuclear nation possessing veto power routinely exercised against common benefit in the U.N. Security Council decisions, privileged with supreme diplomatic immunity in all things inhumane.

In the recent G-20 summit, call for globalization over protectionism dominated the theme for global economic revival. Synonymously, in the environmental matter and international security collective effort embraced as a successful strategy. Henceforth, collaborative action regarded imminent to resolve international crises.

Ironically, abstaining from leadership at the summit to formulate policies in the restoration of human rights, freedom and civil liberties, the fundamental requirements for peace, progress and prosperity, creates a vacuum rather than serving the real purpose.

History is testimony to the rise and fall of civilizations that fair well when guided by wisdom, compassion and courage for universal good.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant