The Middle East strategy of China is gradually progressing. Recently, an official agreement between the governments of Iran and China brought the 25-year comprehensive cooperation treaty into effect, while Syria signed an understanding to join the Belt and Road Initiative. Massive trade and investment initiatives have helped China establish itself as a significant player in the Middle East.
Events of the first decade of new 2022 year in Kazakhstan clearly showed not only that the power of systemic social and political destabilizing has not extinguished yet, but also that such destructive processes got new features tailored to the country, where they have been launched. It should be noted that the insurrection in Kazakhstan was triggered, like in some countries before, by actions of the public authorities, which doubled the prices for gas being a popular fuel in Kazakhstan.
The power of writing is that the dialogue is not only held with the contemporaries. Writing can reach future generations, too. Great poet Mak says: “when nobody listens, write”. How will we reflect on events of 2020-21 in about 5 or 10 years? How will we explain our indifference, silence and retreat? What will we say to our children?
This is a major topic beyond the scope of this article, which could, however, be said for most of the topics covered. Architects and planners are going to have to think about climate and how (renewable) energy can be used more efficiently for buildings more than they had to in the past, depending on region. A study of the main materials used in construction – concrete steel, timber – indicated that timber was the only material that could be affected by a changing climate in any significant way.
As history is the teacher of life, it should not be forgotten that World War I actually started in the capital of BiH, Sarajevo. If the destructive activities are not stopped, BiH will quickly move from “non-papers” to a “crawling war “, and all the involved, if their responsibility is established, could be sanctioned.
It must be said that the commodification of water is one of the modern trends that has proven its presence in the contemporary world, and it is one of the aspects of urbanization that combined the primary need for a safe and clean resource, with a sophisticated, improved and practical product available in all conditions and climates, while remaining a relatively accessible commodity.
Following the Glasgow Climate summit (COP 26), the International Institute for Middle Est and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) conducts series of research papers and reports that aim at revisiting and rethinking the trans-Oceanic transport and pan-Eurasian (existing and possible) corridors, as a way to de-carbonise our planet for the universal betterment.
Serbia will hold a referendum on constitutional changes in the area of judiciary on 16 January 2022. The consitutional changes, as a prerequisite for reforms within the framework of the EU integration process, are related to the selection of judges and prosecutors. The changes should provide for independence of the judiciary and one of the conditions for reforms in the area of rule of law, which so far have impeded the progress of Serbia in the negotiations within the framework of EU integration.
Economy of scale is an important element in the context of regional cooperation. “Open Balkan” is an economic cluster in making and it will create a competitive edge for the member countries and the region. “Open Balkan” is a peace project. It is a choice between the past and the future. At the Tirana summit, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said, “think less about the past, and more about the future.” Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro still need convincing.
As we near the year end the virus is raising its profile instead of going gradually away. Omicron taking over from Delta, which has been the dominant strain throughout the year. There is concern at the speed at which the variant is spreading, albeit its potency seems to be less. Whatever the first two months ahead would appear to be dominated by the virus. Something like this deadly virus lasts for 3+years. We can but hope that this one can show signs of petering out in 2022.
The triumph of Gabriel Boric in Chile is not only a political and geopolitical earthquake in fact is a triumph with high symbolic content in the region: It is the triumph of an alternative political force in the cradle of neoliberalism in the region, the first laboratory of the Chicago School in South America, a market dictatorship and minimum state imposed on violence by Augusto Pinochet in a military coup in 1974 and consolidated as a neoliberal democracy in the 1990s
Does our history only appear overheated, while it is essentially calmly predetermined? Is it directional or conceivable, dialectic and eclectic or cyclical, and therefore cynical? Surely, our history warns (no matter if the Past is seen as a destination or resource). Does it also provide for a hope? Hence, what is in front of us: destiny or future?