Issues & Experts >  Issues & Experts Archive > Week of July 2 - 8, 2002

Week of July 2 - 8, 2002

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Jul 04, 2002
Palestinians consider US ultimatum…US.President George Bush's latest move on the Middle East crisis is a call to Palestinians to oust their leader, Yasser Arafat, if they want US support. SFU historian and Middle East expert William Cleveland says while the ultimatum is one-sided, it might have some positive shock value to break the stalemate. However, he thinks such a move would reduce regional stability. "The superpower cannot have it both ways, demanding an open, democratic vote and then insert a clause that says Arafat cannot be your choice," he notes. "Palestinians will surely reject this approach. It will probably serve to strengthen Arafat just at a time when he is losing support."

William Cleveland, 604.291.5815, 604.921.7379; (h)

G-8 ends with promise of aid for Africa…But does the aid package drafted by the world's leading countries go far enough? SFU anthropologist Heribert Adam says there are sensible alternatives to aiding regions with problematic regimes. One of the most effective ways to foster direct Canadian assistance to Africa is the temporary teaching of Canadian faculty at African universities. "Upon request by an African university, such minimal assistance could be made easily accessible to the mutual benefit of both parties. Instead, more money is handed over to morally corrupt governments that endorse a despotic leader or waste resources on huge arms purchases while people starve." Geographer John Brohman says American actions prior to and during the summit display a growing disdain for multilateral development initiatives, in favour of direct US bilateral aid. Meanwhile, SFU alumnus Danny Catt has just returned from a six-month journey up the continent from South Africa to Egypt. The BCIT instructor made the trek to study key sustainability issues in countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia. Reports of his journey are on his website, He can talk about his experiences as well as steps being taken to address sustainability issues.

John Brohman, 604.291.4412;
Danny Catt, 604.421.4407;
Heribert Adam, 604.291.3527 (is away July 5.23);

US snubs international court…While most countries back the new International Criminal Court (ICC), the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, the US is refusing to endorse it. The US argues that citizens may face persecution that is politically motivated, and wants Americans taking part to be given immunity. SFU historian Andre Gerolymatos says the US is using the issue of immunity to avoid any potential loss of sovereignty. "What the Bush administration is saying in effect is that its soldiers should have carte blanch to do anything they want," says Gerolymatos. He adds the US is further undermining its international position and sending a clear message that a super power should hold itself above the rules for ordinary countries. "This is a poor message to send because rogue states and those that support terrorism will argue that they too are above international law." Gerolymatos can also talk about the relevance of Canada's latest and most critical initiative to date in Afghanistan.

Andre Gerolymatos, 604.291.5597,

Shedding light on the cost of greenhouse gas reduction...A new book addressing key issues related to the costs of reducing Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as spelled out in the Kyoto Accord, will help shed light on the true cost as well as solutions. Mark Jaccard, an associate professor in SFU's school of resource and environmental management, and author of The Cost of Climate Policy, says that with each year of inaction, the costs of Canada reaching the tight time-frame of the Kyoto accord grow significantly. The book provides decision-makers and interested Canadians with timely and expansive information that will help them determine how and by how much to reduce GHG emissions, and at what cost. Jaccard wrote the book, with co-authors John Nyboer and Bryn Sadownik of SFU's energy and materials research group.

Mark Jaccard, 604.291.4219;