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Engaging Today's Global Citizen March 2009
In the Issue


A Step in the Right Direction, Not a Game Changer. President Barak Obama's interview with the pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya was commendable, but not historic, according to Marwan M. Kraidy, an expert on Arab media and public opinion and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Kraidy goes on to say, "If President Obama wants to convince Arabs that he cares about improving their dire circumstances, he would gain tremendously from engaging with them on their own terms." Read more about his recommendations for Obama's use of Arab media as a tool to restore the US image in the world.

Obama Must Tackle Growing Nuclear Risk. Freeing the world of nuclear weapons is no new idea, but calls for disarmament have recently been bolstered by a growing consensus among world leaders and its people that in order to secure a more peaceful world, we must eliminate the most destructive weapons on earth. Stanley Foundation program associate Veronica Tessler states in a recent Des Moines Register op-ed that a fissile material cut-off treaty would be one step toward building a more secure world by securing loose nuclear materials.

Russia and the Changing Global Order. Across politics, economics, culture, military strength, and more, a new group of countries has growing influence over the future of the world. Russia is one of nine countries the Stanley Foundation sees shaping the global scene. Learn more about the many opportunities and challenges Russia faces in its reemergence as a strong global player. This article is part of a series related to the Stanley Foundation effort "Rising Powers: The New Global Reality."

Beyond the Headlines

Is the G-8 Too Exclusive? As the world's economy melts down, big powers like those in the Group of Eight (G-8) realize they shouldn't be so exclusive when it comes to diplomacy. Last year marked the first time world leaders met in the expanded G-20 forum, and they'll meet again next month in London to try to save the world economy. That has renewed criticism that the G-8, a body comprised of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and Russia, is increasingly unrepresentative of the global order. "Traditional powers cannot achieve sustainable solutions on issues from economic stability to climate change without the emerging powers at the negotiating table," said experts involved with the Brookings Institution's Managing Global Insecurity Project, which recommends a new G-16. Indeed, says best-selling author Thomas P. M. Barnett, countries like China want to "graduate from the kiddie table" of the G-20 and gain a seat at the more exclusive G-8.

Behind the Oscar. Although celebrated by critics, Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire received mixed reactions from inside Dharavi, the 550-acre slum against which the film is set. Residents have rejected the film's use of the word dog, a term with extremely offensive connotations in India. Indians at home and abroad have contested the film's voyeuristic look into India's larger urban poverty problem. Others have referred to the film as "poverty porn" for the West.

If the attention from the film weren't enough, Dharavi is at the heart of India's land redevelopment debate. It sits upon some of Mumbai's most valuable real estate. A long-standing proposal recommends replacing Dharavi's homes, shops, and cottage industries with middle class housing. Under the plan, Dharavi residents will receive apartment-style housing in exchange for land. However, skeptics wonder if Dharavi residents will actually receive what has been promised. Census estimates claim Dharavi is home to approximately one million people. For the residents of Dharavi, the redevelopment question is far more real than the film's romantic movie plot.

Stay Active
New Resource
When the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by the member states of the United Nations in 2000, they set a deadline of 2015 for implementation. Now more than halfway to the deadline, the UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators has released a report on progress toward the goals. Attached to the report is a 2008 Progress Chart that summarizes advancement toward reaching each of the goals. For interested groups or individuals who are active on UN-related issues, the Stanley Foundation has copies of the report available upon request and will mail them at no charge. Please e-mail to request your copy.

Tools For Action
In today's world, nuclear weapons create risk and make us less safe. One hundred political, military, business, faith, and civic leaders from around the world agree that a step-by-step policy plan for the phased elimination of nuclear weapons is possible. You can sign a declaration and join citizens and leaders around the world who have endorsed the goal of "Global Zero."

Watch & Learn
Join the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on April 2 at 4 p.m. for the George F. Kennan Forum on International Issues. Thomas Donnelly, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Nina Hachigian, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, will explore the changing global order, potential responses, and what it means for the US and the individual citizen. Watch the live Webcast or be a part of the audience in the historic Pabst Theater to learn more about "The US and the Changing Global Order."

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