Friday, November 06, 2009

Just in Case you Missed the Emergence of Regional Poles...

The recent signing by the Czechs of the Lisbon Treaty means that the EU will from 2010 become a more formidable force, with what it calls "The European External Action Service", or a super EU Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The UK's CHATHAM HOUSE has a paper on this **, which makes interesting reading about how and why the EU needs to use the Lisbon Treaty to better-manage its external affairs. Inevitably, this might include trade and development.

At a time that the AU is also talking about the AU Authority ( in place of an AU Commission, which is more administrative, it is clear and inexorable the speed towards which we all must be hurtling towards a world where regional poles matter--big time.

Now we all have doubts about this much-touted AU of the people, but blocs like ASEAN are even taking cue from us. A recent article-- that the AU has gotten serious on strengthening human rights, and perhaps ASEAN should do same.

For a bloc that continues to overlook the castigation of BURMA when it is crystal-clear that the junta is a as sore a thumb in ASEAN as Niger-Guinea axis of "trouble" is for our own ECOWAS, a new ASEAN human rights bloc looks a bit of a misnomer and embarrassment for the 10-member bloc.

Coming back to a practical level of what these blocs mean, my kindred spirit--Canadian Stuart Hastings--shares similar views about how these poles can advance a degree of peace. His website is, and there you can read how he has embarked on a one-year trip to visit the major regional poles--AFRICAN UNION *Addis* / EUROPEAN UNION *Brussels*/ ASIAN *Jakarta* / UNION OF SOUTH AMERICAN NATIONS *Quito, Ecudaor*. He hopes to turn his adventures into a video and a book. He is right now in Strasbourg.

If you have some time, do check out his blog on his adventures of how this young 27-yr-old is breaking grounds by practicalising the experience of visiting emerging regional poles, which we have touched on many a time>