This week campaigners against cluster munitions are pressing for answers on why any financial institution or bank would choose to be associated with the production of this banned weapon. PAX, a member of the international Cluster Munition Coalition, has released a report revealing the financial institutions backing companies involved in production of cluster munitions.
While no human rights treaty is more widely ratified than the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and while governments are required to report on their compliance on children's rights once every five years, little is done in practice to end the violation of children's rights. It is time for an International Children's Court.
Today, Magna Carta is regarded in both the UK and the US as a foundation stone of our freedoms. Next year marks its 800th anniversary, and to celebrate, Lincoln Cathedral in eastern England has sent its copy on a grand tour of the United States. From now until January, it will be exhibited at the Library of Congress.
Why on earth did the Scots, largely quiescent as part of Great Britain for three centuries, suddenly become the mouse that roared? It wasn't because they became besotted watching re-runs of Braveheart or Rob Roy, or even because they coveted more of a share of North Sea oil revenues. No, the Scots got sick and tired of Thatcherite policies imposed from London. Thanks to the partial form of federalism known as "devolution" provided by the Labour government of Tony Blair in 1997, Scotland got to keep such progressive policies as free higher education and an intact national health service, while the rest of the U.K. partly privatized the health service and began compelling young people to go into debt to finance college like their American cousins.
The 20th century challenge was for Scotland to maintain its cultural identity while at the same time cooperating with the four nations of the U.K.. Now the challenge is even greater: to uphold cultural traditions and national identities in a world where there are no such things as nation-only solutions. By answering those who claim that independence can make a difference with policies that show interdependence can make the difference, Scotland can show the way forward by thinking big and not small.