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Pakistan Aid; NATO Review

  • October 15th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

brussels-grand-place1.jpegTwo gatherings in Brussels this week saw calls for change: in efforts by Pakistan to deal with the continuing impact of its devastating floods, and ongoing problems of government in general; and at NATO, calls for radical new strategies.

FRIENDS OF PAKISTAN

pakistan-floods-alertnetorg2.jpgThe “Friends of Democratic Pakistan” gathering has brought together representatives at Foreign Minister level of  21 countries, to discuss further funding of flood relief, and continuing economic development — with a view to tackling poverty and underdevelopment as root causes of insurrection.

The United Nations Organisation and European Union are also directly represented.

The American Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, anticipated proceedings (14.10.10) with some strong words directed at wealthy Pakistanis not contributing properly to relief and reconstruction.

She said the Pakistan government needed to broaden its tax base so that members of social elites would step up to meet their obligations to society.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for those with means not to do their share to help their own country, while taxpayers in  other countries chip in …”, she said.

The flow of aid was sluggish as extreme Monsoonal conditions brought heavy rain and flooding over some 20% of Pakistan’s land area, in August.

As the immensity of the crisis became apparent, and the United Nations demanded fresh effort, a large scale global relief operation was got under way.

See EUAustralia Online; “Pakistan aid boost”, 30.8.10; “Pakistan floods – call for more aid”, 18.8.10.

Countries represented: Australia, Canada, China,    Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates.

NEW PLAN FOR NATO

nato-meeting-oct-2010.jpgForeign Ministers are meeting also, together with  Defence Ministers, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), in Brussels.

Their objective is to put in place a set of decisions that might be taken t a summit of heads of government of the alliance at Lisbon next month.

The Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said NATO needed to “transform into a modern force”, with changes including a missile defence plan, to meet potential threats from increasing numbers of countries, including Iran, that owned longer-range ballistic missiles.

Additional plans on the table are for cyber warfare defences and stepped-up anti-terrorism.

There’s been debate over the options of sticking with core commitments to defend Europe, and designs for the alliance to operate further afield, as in the current mission to Afghanistan.

Then Defence Ministers considered a proposal for NATO to give practical assistance to moves by Afghanistan towards reconciliation with Taliban insurgents – without endorsing any reduction in allied operations in Afghanistan.

Reference

Associated Pakistan Press, Islamabad, “FoDP meeting in Brussels to have expanded agenda”, 14.10.10.  http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=119176&Itemid=1, (15.10.10).

BBC News, London, Pakistan meeting, 14.1010. www.bbc.co.uk,(15.101.0).

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Brussels, home, “NATO Ministers start the sprint to the Lisbon Summit”, 14.10.10. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/index.htm, (15.10.10).

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