Switzerland and four other states (Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein and Singapore) called on 28 March 2012 for reform of the UN Security Council. Through an official draft resolution, they made proposals for a more democratic, efficient and transparent mode of operation, namely by making UN Security Council meetings public, and by including conflict-affected and peacekeeping states in decision-making processes. Furthermore, they demanded a restriction of the veto rights of the five permanent members of the Security Council. » More
The dependency of Western economies on oil imports has shaped foreign policy considerations in the Middle East for decades and has, in turn, deeply influenced the balance of power across the region. With an estimated three quarters of total conventional oil reserves still to be found in the Middle East, one might conclude that policy alternatives will remain limited when it comes to preserving energy security. Meanwhile, the toppling of regimes in the Maghreb has yet again proven to policy makers that relying on this particular region for oil might not be the safest bet. However, Israel might be about to revolutionize the global energy sector.
In late 2010, the World Energy Council estimated that Israel had reserves of up to 4 billion barrels of oil shale. More recently, the ‘Israel Energy Initiative’ estimated that Israel is actually sitting on reserves of 250 billion barrels (to put this number in perspective, Saudi Arabia’s reserves mount up to 260 billion barrels of conventional oil). If proven, this would make Israel home to the third largest oil shale deposits after the United States and China. So how come this story is not making the headlines? » More