| The Courier N°128 July-August 1991 - Dossier : Human Rights- Democracy-Development Country reports: Benin, Western Samoa |
AFRICA-CARIBBEAN-PACIFIC - EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
Meeting point: Chief Emeka Anyaoku
A Commonwealth realistic and imaginative enough to be guided by the knowledge that our constituencies are not only of the present generation, but also the future unborn of this world'. This was the goal which Chief Emeka Anyaoku of Nigeria pledged to work for when he took office as Secretary General of the Commonwealth in July 1990. In an interview with The Courier, Chief Anyaoku explains his vision of the Commonwealth's role and expresses his views on a number of current international issues.
ACP-EEC — Council of Ministers
The ACP-EEC Council of Ministers met in Brussels in May. Included on the agenda were the implementation of LomÃ© IV, problems relating to raw materials and relations between Community and ACP States as the Single Market of 1993 approaches. The discussions were an opportunity for the ACPs to restate their fear of being 'marginalised' in favour of Eastern Europe, and for the Community to reassure its partners of its intention to continue with and intensify cooperation under the LomÃ© Convention.
BENIN: As the first country to hold a national conference aimed at arranging the transition towards a democratic regime, Benin is now very much a test case, both for other African states and for donor countries. The former are seeking inspiration from the measures taken to solve the economic and institutional crisis while the latter are looking to draw conclusions from Benin's experience in order better to adapt their aid policy.
Western SAMOA: The last couple of years have been quite 'stormy' for Western Samoa. Both in 1989 and 1990, cyclones hit this Pacific paradise, and Ofa in particular struck hard in February 1990, causing about US$ 140 million damage. Yet another issue has given even more cause for heated debate: the introduction of universal suffrage. Approved by plebiscite in October 1990. last April's elections were 'historic', as the first ever in the country to be held under universal franchise.
DOSSIER: Human rights, democracy and development
A political subject whose economic consequences are debated but real. Are human rights universal? In addition to formal democracy, what are the minimum conditions for pluralism? What is the connection between democracy and development ? A difficult question, but given that policy choices influence development, they should be exercised democratically. In the Dossier, we look—in as objective a manner as possible—at possible answers to these questions.