1 december 2020

— Association of World Citizens President René Wadlow writes that though Burma’s parliamentary elections earlier this month “were carried out with little violence…a large number of people could not vote,” and the military “have one fourth of the seats, reserved for their nominated members. This provision of the constitution gives the military an effective veto over any measures that they do not like. … Those in power both in the government and the ethnic minority structures are unwilling to give up the present status quo, with its many opportunities for corruption for an uncharted future.”

— Amnesty International lauds the November 26 European Parliament resolution “highlighting ‘The deteriorating human rights situation in Algeria, in particular the case of journalist Khaled Drareni,’ who was sentenced to two years in prison on 15 September 2020.” Amnesty says the resolution “signals a broad agreement across the political spectrum. The undersigned national and international civil society organisations consider its adoption to be a timely and much needed step to address the escalating crackdown on civil society, peaceful activists, artists, journalists, and the independence of the judiciary.”

— Emilie Bel writes on the Atlantic Council website that though G20 leaders last week “emphasized the importance of financial inclusion as part of their actions to support the global economy, building upon an earlier agreement by G20 finance ministers,” the G20 “should do more. Technical solutions have already been identified and proved effective. What is really needed now is the political will to put financial inclusion firmly on the G20 agenda and move to the next level of action.” Bel says “efforts must start with adapting, or sometimes creating, appropriate regulation,” and advises further adoption of digital technology and fintech innovation, which “have increased access to financial services worldwide.”

— Defense News reports that though United States President Donald Trump has “made good…on his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Open Skies Treaty,” President-elect Joe Biden, “who opposed that move, may have a path to revive the pact. Because it could take months for the Air Force to move through the legal and bureaucratic processes necessary” to complete the withdrawal, “it appears the Biden administration would have ample time to reverse course. The treaty permits 30-plus nations to conduct unarmed, observation flights over each other’s territory.”

— At 0030 UTC on December 10 (7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 9 ET), Citizens for Global Solutions will host a discussion on the encyclical Fratelli Tutti by Roman Catholic Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio).

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