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20 Jan, 2006

The Growing Global Trust Deficit

Two global surveys of people in over 60 countries and 2,500 leaders from business, politics and civil society conducted in preparation for the 2006 World Economic Forum,  yield a strong feeling that we live “in a world where trust in leaders is declining.”

As the World Economic Forum gets set to meet in Davos, Switzerland, next week, the WEF organisers undertook two opinion surveys of 1) 50,000 people in over 60 countries and 2) 2,500 leaders from business, politics and civil society. The results, reproduced in these WEF announcements below, show a clear concern about safety and security, and that we live “in a world where trust in leaders is declining,” according to Peter Torreele, Managing Director, WEF.










Geneva, Switzerland, 17 January 2006 – The findings of a World Economic Forum survey – the Voice of the People – carried out by Gallup International make grim reading for the world’s leaders, particularly its politicians. Around the world, survey respondents overwhelmingly found that political leaders are dishonest, have too much power and are too easily influenced. The survey is released just ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos – where roughly 2,500 leaders from business, politics and civil society will convene under the theme, “The Creative Imperative”.

The results come from a new Voice of the People survey by Gallup International carried out exclusively for the World Economic Forum. Almost 50,000 people in over 60 countries were interviewed in November and December 2005. The findings represent the views of more than 2 billion citizens.

Respondents were also asked about prospects for a safer and more economically prosperous world for the next generation. The results show there is increasing optimism about these two important global aspects, except notably in Western Europe.

The survey also finds that business leaders are widely held in better esteem than their political counterparts whose credibility appears to be declining. While business leaders around the world consistently have a better image than political leaders, significant proportions still criticize both sets of leaders on different criteria, with dishonesty being heavily associated with political leaders.

Criticism of business leaders is mainly concentrated on two aspects: they respond to pressure from people more powerful than they are, and they have too much power and responsibility.

Commenting on the survey findings, Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum, said: “As the World Economic Forum prepares to meet for its Annual Meeting in Davos – the leaders present can hardly ignore such a comprehensive worldwide survey. It is clear that leaders must creatively address their collective shortcomings if we are to restore faith in global leadership.

Added Meril James, Secretary-General of Gallup International, which carried out the research, “This survey is unmatched in its ability to gauge the views and the mood of the people of the whole world. Statistically, the 50,000 interviews carried out in more than 60 countries represent the opinions of one-fifth of the total population of the world. No other poll can match the Voice of the People survey to capture what the world is really thinking, and what it demands of its leaders.”


Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/g1.gif

Opinions about whether the next generation will live in a safer world are mixed – one-third (35%) think the world will either be a lot or a little safer but only a slightly lower proportion (30%) feel that it will be a lot or a little less safe.

Regionally, Western Europe is the most pessimistic region in the world about future prospects for safety – two-thirds (67%) in this region feel the next generation will live in a less safe world (either a lot less safe or a little less safe) while only just over one in ten (11%) feel the world will be a lot or a little safer for the next generation.

The Americas are the next most pessimistic region with over half (54%) also supporting the view that the world will be a less safe place for future generations, while less than one in five (19%) felt that the world would be a safer place. It is also worth noting that half of the Americans interviewed (51%) also held the view that the world would be a less safe place for future generations with one in five (20%) maintaining the opposite view that the world would be either a lot or a little safer.

However, in the Middle East, an area of the world that has experienced many conflicts in recent times, the region is more upbeat about prospects for safety in the future. A quarter of those interviewed (24%), feel it will be safer, compared with one in three (30%) who feel the opposite.

Within the Middle East region, interviews were conducted in Afghanistan and Iraq. In both these countries, respondents were even more optimistic about future prospects. In Afghanistan, three-quarters (77%) think the next generation will live in a safer world, while in Iraq this view is held by six in every ten (61%) interviewed.

Asia and Africa are also more upbeat about the next generations’ safety with 45% and 48% respectively feeling the next generation will live in a world that is a lot or a little safer.

This question was first asked in the 2003 and then again in the 2004 Voice of the People surveys and overall this year’s results represent a considerable improvement

Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/g2.gif


Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/g3.gif

Respondents were also asked whether they think the future generation will live in a world of greater or less economic prosperity and again, the results show that there is also growing optimism regarding this element.

More than four out of ten respondents globally (43%) indicated that the next generation will live in a lot or little more economically prosperous world than now, while one-third (30%) felt it would be a lot or a little less prosperous for the future generation.

Once again, Western Europe is by far the most pessimistic region with less than one in five (18%) feeling the world will be more prosperous for the next generation. More than half (53%) think it will be a lot or a little less prosperous. Although American citizens are also not optimistic about economic prospects, far fewer (37%) feel that the next generation will be a lot or a little less prosperous economically than now.

Africa and Asia are the most optimistic regions regarding future prosperity. In Asia, more than half (54%) think the next generation will live in a lot or a little more economically prosperous world, compared with less than one in five (18%) who believe the opposite. For the first time, Beijing was included in the survey and here citizens are extremely optimistic about the economic prospects for the future – more than eight out of ten (85%) there think the next generation will live in a lot or little more economic prosperity. In Africa – always an upbeat region – the figures are 55% who think it will be a lot or a little more prosperous and 22% who believe the opposite.

Again, results here reflect a trend, with more people than in previous years believing that the next generation will live in a more prosperous world.

Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/g4.gif


The Voice of the People also asked respondents to compare the characteristics of political leaders with those of business leaders.

Business leaders were consistently rated more positively than political leaders, with criticisms of the latter group featuring heavily on their dishonesty – mentioned by more than six out of ten global citizens (61%) who indicated that politicians respond too much to pressure from people more powerful than themselves (53%), that they have too much power and responsibility (53%) and that they behave unethically (49%). Additionally, just under half (45%) mentioned that they were not competent and capable.

Africans were the most critical of their politicians. In this region, eight out of ten (79%) said political leaders are dishonest, three-quarters (75%) deemed them to have too much power and responsibility, while seven out of ten (70%) think politicians behave unethically. By marked contrast, Africans are far kinder about their business leaders, with no character trait for this group reaching more than 50%.

Perhaps surprisingly, Western Europeans and Americans are kinder about both their political and business leaders than many other regions.

Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/g5.gif

These figures do not show much change and certainly not much improvement since they were first asked in the Voice of the People survey in 2004, when 63% thought political leaders were dishonest (for business leaders the figure was 43%).


Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/g6.gif

Finally, as in 2004, respondents were asked what they think the priorities should be for global leaders. Again, there is little change between the 2004 results and this year’s. Globally, citizens want leaders to focus on encouraging economic growth and improving the global economy (17%), closing the gap between rich and poor countries (16%), protecting the environment (14%), and eliminating extreme poverty and hunger (12%) and the war on terrorism (10%).

However, the top priority is different in almost every region. In Western Europe, 18% want leaders to focus on eliminating extreme poverty and hunger in the world, in Eastern and central Europe the priority is seen as the war on terrorism (20%), as it is also in the Middle East (22%). The Americas see the priority as eliminating extreme poverty and hunger (20%), although in the United States itself, the priority is given to the war on terrorism (16%).

In Asia, leaders are asked to focus on encouraging economic growth and improving the world economy (21%), while in Africa equal proportions want leaders to concentrate on closing the gap between rich and poor countries (21%) and on encouraging economic growth and improving the global economy (22%).

So it seems the pressure is on global leaders to achieve some of these objectives for the citizens of the world who, in doing so, improve their ratings and the opinions that global citizens hold of them.


Ø Almost half the 52,000 citizens (48%) representing more than 2.1 billion people who were interviewed in a Gallup International Voice of the People Survey in 62 countries across the world think that 2006 will be a better year than 2005.

The survey was conducted in November and December and asked “So far as you are concerned, do you think that 2006 will be better, or worse than 2005?”

Ø Optimism is particularly high in countries which are upbeat about economic prospects and do not have major concerns about unemployment or industrial disputes increasing in 2006.

Ø On the international front, a third of those interviewed globally (30%) felt 2006 would be a troubled year, with much international discord whilst only one in five felt it would be a peaceful year (20%), the remainder feeling that internationally, things will stay much as they were in 2005.

Optimists and Pessimists

Looking at regions across the world, Africa is the most optimistic region, whilst Europe – both Western and Central/Eastern – is the least optimistic about prospects for the coming year.

Turning to the results for individual countries, despite bird flu, Vietnam is the most optimistic place in the world, along with Beijing (China). UN administered Kosovo follows as the 3rd most optimistic country in the survey.

These results are remarkably consistent – Vietnam has been at the head of the optimists’ league for the last 3 years. Similarly, UN administered Kosovo has occupied one of the top places for the last 5 years, suggesting that the peacekeeping operation there brings both stability and continued optimism for the future. Beijing, where the economy is booming, was also one of last year’s most optimistic locations.

The survey was also conducted in Afghanistan and this year, for the first time in Iraq. In Afghanistan, two thirds of those interviewed (69%) felt 2006 would be a better year than 2005. In Iraq, half those interviewed (49%) felt 2006 would be a better year, whilst only one in ten (11%) thought the opposite.

Opinions in USA are interesting – over half those interviewed (51%) are optimistic about prospects for 2006, although last year the figure was considerably higher at two thirds (65%) which put the States as one of the 10 most optimistic countries in the world in 2004.

Looking at the other end of the optimism/pessimism scale, apart from the Philippines, all the most pessimistic countries in world are to be found on the continent of Europe but again, this is very similar to last year, which also found European countries dominating the pessimists league.

Economic Prospects

Turning to look in more detail at views of economic prospects, more than a third of those questioned globally (35%) think 2006 will be a year of economic prosperity, whilst a quarter (24%) feel it will be a year of economic difficulty. Again, Africa is the most upbeat region about economic prospects – over half (52%) say next year will be one of economic prosperity.

Fears that unemployment will increase in 2006 have a major effect on whether people feel optimistic about economic prospects or not. Globally, more than half of those interviewed (54%) expect the number of unemployed in their country to increase either a lot or a little, whilst only one in five (20%) feel unemployment will decrease.

These fears are at their highest in the economies of the Pacific, although within the region, the pattern is not consistent, with some countries seeing unemployment decreasing in 2006 (e.g. 51% in Hong Kong and 40% in Singapore) but with significant proportions in the rest of the region predicting increases in unemployment.

All Europeans are gloomy about the economy – in Western Europe only 14% think the coming year will bring economic prosperity whilst a third (37%) feel 2006 will be a year of economic difficulty. In Eastern and Central Europe the figure is one in five (18%) predicting prosperity and just under a third (29%) seeing economic difficulty in 2006. This may be because there is considerable anxiety about industrial unrest here – four out of ten Western Europeans (43%) expect strikes and industrial disputes will increase in 2006, whilst only 7% think they will decrease. Eastern/Central Europeans are not quite so negative about prospects for strikes and industrial disputes – only just over a quarter (28%) think these will increase whilst four out of ten (44%) feel the level of unrest will stay the same as this year.

But Americans are even gloomier about employment prospects than Europeans – almost half (45%) feel unemployment will increase (a lot or a little) and only a quarter (28%) think unemployment will decrease in 2006. Nor are Americans upbeat generally about economic prospects – a third (31%) think 2006 will be a year of economic difficulty whilst one in five (21%) think it will be an economically prosperous 2006.

Africa is the most optimistic region on this issue of industrial unrest – four out of every ten interviewed (38%) felt that strikes and industrial disputes would decrease in 2006. Despite this, overall the region is markedly more downbeat about prospects for unemployment and half (49%) think this will increase in 2006.

A Peaceful Or Troubled Year Internationally?

Finally, respondents were asked about prospects for international peace – whether they thought 2006 would be a peaceful year more or less free of international dispute, a troubled year with much international discord or remain the same.

The Americas (including North, Central and South) is the most pessimistic region regarding international prospects in the coming year. Overall in the region, more than four out of ten citizens (42%) think 2006 will be a troubled year, with much international discord. In the USA, citizens are even more pessimistic – here close to half (47%) feel 2006 will be as troubled year on the international front and only one in ten (11%) feel the year will be peaceful. These figures are much the same as those collected last year, although the percentage of UAS optimists has risen very slightly from 6% to 11%.

Western Europe is the next most pessimistic region on this question – four out of every ten citizens in the region (39%) think 2006 will be a troubled year and only one in ten (10%) think the opposite, i.e. that 2006 will be a peaceful year internationally. It is interesting to note that UK citizens are amongst the most pessimistic on this issue – just under half (46%) think the coming year will be a troubled one, as do majorities in Switzerland (55%), Denmark (55%), and Luxembourg (50%).

Elsewhere in the world, citizens are only marginally less gloomy about international prospects for the coming year. Globally, one in three (30%) thinks 2006 will be a troubled year with much international discord, 44% think it will be much the same as last year and only one in five (20%) think that 2006 will be a peaceful year, more or less free of international dispute.



Geneva, Switzerland, 20 January 2006 – A survey of 2,500 participants the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, which takes place next week, has found that a majority of leaders taking part in the Meeting think the next generation will live in a more economically prosperous world.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) think it will be a “lot more” or a “little more prosperous”. But the same respondents also indicated that the next generation will live in a less safe world, with 55% believing it would be “a little less safe” or “a lot less safe”.

Held under the theme, “The Creative Imperative”, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting brings together 2,500 leaders from all walks of life to set the global agenda and tackle global problems in a cooperative way.

The poll of participants – the “Voice of the Leaders” survey – asked exactly the same questions that Gallup International posed to a worldwide survey of global citizens in its “Voice of the People” survey, the results of which were released earlier this week (http://www.weforum.org/voiceofthepeople). Hence, the results are comparable.

“It is clear from this survey that the leaders who will be gathering in Davos next week view the world and its problems in a different way than the wider global population. They share the same concerns about security, both economic and personal, but they often have very different priorities. As the participants meet in Davos, it is important that they take into account the hopes and fears of a wider population and incorporate them into their discussions – and decisions. In a world where trust in leaders is declining, the Forum can make a very real difference in reconnecting the world and preparing people from all sectors of society to tackle shared problems,” said Peter Torreele, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.


Regarding the issue of safety for the next generation, global citizens are far more optimistic about this than are the sample of Davos participants. Global citizens think that the next generation will live in a safer world, but as the chart below shows, more than half the leaders questioned (55%) indicated they think that the next generation will live in a world that will be a lot (22%) or a little (33%) less safe than now, while only one in five (21%) feel that the world will be safer for the next generation.

Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/20060014_Fig_1.gif


The leaders’ opinions were far more buoyant concerning future economic prospects and almost two-thirds of the sample (65%) said that the next generation will have a lot or a little more economic prosperity than now. Only just over one in ten (11%) feel it will be the same as now and one in five (22%) indicated the next generation will have a lot or a little less economic prosperity. Global citizens were somewhat less optimistic than the Annual Meeting participants about economic prosperity, but the two sets of results are closer than they were on the issue of global safety, as Figure 2 shows.

Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/20060014_Fig_2.gif


The Davos participants were also asked what the priorities for world leaders in 2006 should be, as were global citizens in the Voice of the People survey. The Forum leaders’ responses clearly show that almost one-third (31%) of these respondents expect political leaders to encourage economic growth and improve the global economy. However, it should be borne in mind that the group is composed of predominantly commercial leaders.

Global citizens are more likely to place social issues on the agenda of priorities for global leaders, and although 16% want leaders to encourage economic growth and improve the global economy the same proportion want closing the gap between rich and poor countries as the priority.

Some social objectives that the Davos participants would set for global political leaders featured high on the agenda. The second most important priority for this group is also closing the gap between rich and poor, which is mentioned by almost one-fifth of those surveyed (17%). Eliminating extreme poverty and hunger was also mentioned by one in eight (12%).

Over the years, trust in institutions has suffered a decline among the public. The Annual Meeting participants who answered this questionnaire also noted this is an issue – restoring trust and honesty in government, in business and in international institutions is considered an important priority for political leaders by 14% – twice the level of concern expressed by global citizens in the Voice of the People survey (7%).

Graph: http://www.weforum.org/documents/Gallup/20060014_Fig_3.gif

Other social priorities such as protecting the environment (9%), reducing wars and conflicts (6%), and the war on terrorism (6%) were mentioned by less than one in ten of these leaders. But some of the declared Millennium Goals, such as overcoming AIDS and promoting full equality for women received even lower mentions of barely 1%.



# The Emergence of China and India: The shift of gravity to Asia and the challenges and opportunities for the global community

# The Changing Economic Landscape: Managing and dealing with economic imbalances, increased oil prices, excessive demand for natural resources, disruptions

# New Mindsets and Changing Attitudes: Global freedom and democracy, the impact of technology and digitalization, the emergence of the open society, responding to extremism, expectations of the next generation

# Creating Future Jobs: Understanding the changing nature of growth and job creation, global employment, new skill requirements, labour mobility, and resulting social and economic consequences

# Regional Identities and Struggles: Political crisis in Europe, instability in the Middle East, the future of Latin America and Africa

# Building Trust in Public and Private Institutions: The need to reconnect with constituents, build trust and legitimacy, and demonstrate effectiveness

# Effective Leadership in Managing Global Risks: Addressing the leadership deficit; fresh approach to complex issues; resisting short-termism

# Innovation, Creativity and Design Strategy: Business, government and social innovators are taking on new creative capabilities and innovation strategies in response to a rapidly changing global landscape.



By Margaret A. McKenna — January 13, 2006 — The Boston Globe

Margaret A. McKenna is president of Lesley University

When I became president of Lesley University 20 years ago, I was attracted to the college because of its mission and beliefs that individuals can and should make a difference. After all, I am a product of the 1960s, and we believed that we had an opportunity, in fact a responsibility, to make the world a better place.

I knew, though may have underestimated, the demands of a university presidency: the pressures of fund-raising and enrollment numbers, the toll on personal time, and the economic challenges of tuition dependent institutions. The managerial challenges paled in comparison to the opportunity to enhance young people’s lives, to be an incubator for positive social change, and to have a bully pulpit to speak out on important societal issues.

In the 19th century, presidents taught their college’s course in moral philosophy and ethics. Moral leadership was the centerpiece of the college president’s role. In the 20th century, that tradition began to ebb, but some college presidents still provided very public models of moral leadership. Two US presidents served as college presidents: Woodrow Wilson and Dwight Eisenhower. Leaders such as Benjamin Mays, the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, and Kingman Brewster had spoken out on the moral issues of their day: race, poverty, and the Vietnam War.

Their moral courage often courted controversy, but as Brewster noted: ‘‘My decision [to speak] was not a simple self-indulgence of my right of free speech. It was the result of a deliberate balance of judgment about what degree of speaking out was best for the university under the circumstances: how to avoid excessive exploitation of the presidential office, and how to avoid being a moral eunuch on a morally anguished campus.”

Much has changed in a few decades. The president’s role as fund-raiser has grown. The university system and its expectations are stacked against any president providing the kind of public moral leadership that once characterized our profession. Too much risk is involved. Prospective students, donors, trustees, and alumni could be offended. Faculty may fear that a president’s opinion too forcefully expressed might impinge on academic freedom.

And since 9/11, dissent of almost any kind has been labeled as unpatriotic, and even reasoned debate on hot button social issues is viewed as dangerously controversial. Thus, while many of my colleagues will state positions on issues clearly affecting their campuses, like financial aid, they are loath to venture an opinion outside of academe. Who can blame them? The system demands more but wants to hear from us less. But I wonder what it would take for more of us to speak out?

We will defend our students’ right to financial aid, but what about basic human rights like those trampled at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib? We can respond to college students displaced by Katrina, but are we willing to speak on behalf of children of undocumented immigrants? We might write our congressman to protect charitable deductions for nonprofits, but what of tax reform that disproportionately aids the rich and ignores the poor? We are eloquent advocates of academic freedom, but what of freedom to communicate free from government surveilance?

The country is sorely in need of new voices of courage and conviction. Thank God for John McCain, Ted Kennedy, and more recently John Murtha. Others who speak from less formal roles: George Will, Dan Schorr, Cindy Sheehan, Bono, and Pat Buchanan on his more rational days. Whether you agree with them or not, you can believe they say what they mean and mean what they say. Regardless of ideological position, we need more voices in public dialogue like that.

The punditry of Sunday morning talk shows is not an answer. On the other hand, I am convinced moral leaders can be found at all levels of society. Their formal roles matter less than the power of their ideas, vision, and voices. But university presidents, in particular, have a unique historical tradition, and strong educational reason, to reassert their voices in their historical role of moral leadership.

Many college students are increasingly cynical about politics. They are willing to serve as volunteers, but less willing to be part of the political process. I believe that if we want our students to be engaged in civic life, to be leaders, to speak out on issues, we need to provide them with the models for doing so.

I have learned a lot in 20 years in this job. Having the opportunity to use a bully pulpit is more difficult and less significant than I expected. All of us who are part of the higher education system need to learn from the moral leadership of our predecessors, and model the kind of civic engagement and courage we want our students to practice.



The so-called “war on terror” as well as African civil conflicts have heightened the threat to minorities around the world, placing groups in Iraq and Sudan most at risk, according to a study released at United Nations Headquarters today.

Ethnic groups in Somalia, Afghanistan and Myanmar are also in the top five “Peoples under Threat 2006,” in the first edition of The State of the World’s Minorities compiled by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Minority Rights Group International (MRG), with the assistance of varied UN units.

“Many governments in both the South and the North persist in labelling some people a threat simply because they are members of a minority,” Juan Mendez, the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, writes in the report.

Mr. Mendez says he sees the report as an important step in the prevention of genocide, as discrimination and other threats to minorities are the warning signs of that horror, as are impending civil conflict in countries with a history of ethnic strife.

“In fact, in war today, the targeting of ethnic minorities is no longer the exception but has become the norm,” Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of MRG, said at the launch of the study at UN Headquarters in New York.

Mr. Lattimer noted that in three quarters of the wars active in 2005, violence was targeted at specific ethnic and religious groups. In Africa, in addition to the groups endangered in well-known conflicts, minorities in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire have come under greater threat during 2005, according to the report.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Caucuses in Central Asia are among the many areas where the repression of minorities has been justified by reference to the war on terror, Mr. Lattimer said.

“At each stage in the management of Iraq post the 2003 war, you’ve seen mistake after mistake made which has helped to encourage division by ethnicity or religion,” he said, citing as an example the decision to split up membership of the Iraqi Governing Council by ethnicity or religion, and warning of a slide “into civil war.”

The report advocates a case-by-case approach to minority grievances and movements, with less reliance on military means to counter what it acknowledges is the very real threat of terrorism.

At the launch event, Gay McDougal, UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, reminded correspondents that the minority issue was not just about violence, despite the focus of the report on threats. “It is also about giving the best, the fullest potential that diverse societies can produce,” she said.

The report, State of the World’s Minorities, claims to be the first ever report to comprehensively assess the situation faced by minorities all over the world.

The report details how states in every world region repress the rights of their minorities, or even deny their existence, and finds that in three quarters of the world’s armed conflicts violence was targeted at specific religious or ethnic groups.

Following a flawed constitutional process and violence that has continued since throughout December’s elections, Iraqi Sunni, Shi’a, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and other populations were found to be under greatest threat when assessed against indicators relating to political violence, group division, democracy and governance.

Minority Rights Group International, which works to secure the rights of minorities and indigenous people globally, raised immediate concerns in the report about the violent repression of those communities considered as opponents of the US-supported government (Sunnis in particular), continued targeting of Shi’a communities by Sunni insurgents and widespread intimidation of other ethnic minorities that do not have a strong political voice in Iraq.

The US led global ‘war on terror ‘has also produced other areas of grave concern going into 2006, including Afghansitan and Russia’s North Caucasus.

Mr Lattimer said: “Around the world today, civilians from minority communities are being presecuted, tortured and killed. Outrageously, some governments justify these practices as their contribution to the ‘war on terror.”

Methods pursued in the fight against international terrorism have also proven a threat to the rights and freedoms of Muslim minorities in Europe, in the most extreme case in Chechnya but also in Western Europe.

In the UK a package of proposed anti-terror laws have been accused by some civil society groups of enhancing Islamophobia within ‘main-stream’ British society.

Says Ms McDougal: “From the Americas to Europe and Asia to Africa, we can see that degradation in the rights of minorities threatens the security of whole societies.”

Sudan was second only to Iraq in the report’s rankings. As has been widely documented, ethnic minorities have experienced mass killing in Southern Sudan and more recently in Darfur. The report shows that ethnic tensions still grip vast sections of the continent. Nine of the fifteen top countries listed were African countries.

In Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Burundi, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda and Ethiopia different ethnic groups face violence, disenfranchisement and exclusion.

Other minorities that feature in the 15 ‘most under threat’ category are communities in Afghanistan (no 4), Burma (no 5), Indonesia (no 10), the Russian Federation (no 14) and the Philippines (no.15).

In his preface to the report, Juan Méndez, the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide said: “The prompt prevention of genocide or other mass violations requires us to be much more aware of the ongoing situation faced by minorities. That is why I welcome this first edition of the State of the World’s Minorities, as a major new contribution to our knowledge of threatened and disadvantaged communities”.

MRG intends to make State of the World’s Minorities reporting part of its annual mandate. State of the World’s Minorities 2006 is the first attempt of any organization to present annual data and analysis on the situation faced by minorities globally.



(PRWEB) January 16, 2006 — Fears of terrorism and an unwillingness to travel long distances mean that Britons are planning to stay closer to home in 2006, according to a new survey. The study by Hoseasons shows that just 11% are planning holidays outside of Europe next year, with a combination of concerns about security, long journeys and fears of natural disasters persuading them to stay in Europe.

But while on holiday, Britons like to be active; sightseeing and walking were the two most popular holiday activities, with just sunbathing and doing nothing coming low down the planned ways of passing the time.

Meanwhile more than half of Britons feel more romantic on holiday, although a small proportion (4%) say that romance is lower on the agenda on holiday than at home. But Brits do dream of getting away with celebrities, with singer Robbie Williams, Strictly Come Dancing winner Darren Gough and fellow England cricketer Freddie Flintoff top of the ladies’ fantasy holiday companion list, whilst Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue, and I’m A Celebrity… winner Carol Thatcher topping the chaps’ wishlist.

The survey was carried out by Hoseasons call centre staff, who posed a series of questions about Britons’ holiday plans for 2006.

The study found that Brits were planning to holiday closer to home in 2006, with just 11% saying they were planning to travel outside Europe. The UK is still the most popular holiday destination (53%), with a further 36% planning a stay in Europe.

Fears about terrorism were the main reason given for remaining closer to home, although after a tumultuous year for natural disasters, one in six people said that fear of such events would deter them from travelling further afield. A further 14% were put off by fears of having to speak a foreign language.

The reasons given for avoiding long-haul holidays were: Security/terrorism issues: 56%; Length of journey: 50%; Potential for natural events (e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes, etc): 16%; Language spoken at destination: 14%

Lounging around doing nothing came low on the list of priorities when it came to what Britons planned doing on their holidays, with just 10% saying they were going to sit back and do nothing at all. Sightseeing was the most popular answer (76%), with walking (49%) also high on the list of priorities. Nearly one in three Brits planned to spend their holidays eating and drinking, whilst sunbathing and swimming were on the agenda for a quarter of those questioned.

The actual figures for planned activity were: Sightseeing 76%; Walking 49%; Eating and drinking 29%; Sunbathing 25%; Swimming 24%; Shopping 22%; Cultural activities 19%; Reading 12%; Sports 10%; Doing nothing 10%

Britons clearly view holidays as a chance to put some romance back into their lives, with 52% saying they felt more romantic on holiday. Just 4% said they felt less like romance while on holiday.

The survey asked which celebrity the holidaymaker would most like to get away with, and the sport of cricket scored highly here – with the ladies at least.

Singer Robbie Williams topped the poll, but second and third respectively were twinkle-toed Yorkshireman Darren Gough (fresh from his victory in Strictly Come Dancing) and England star Freddie Flintoff. Footballer David Beckham and squeaky-voiced comedian Joe Pasquale were next on the list.

Jungle queen Carol Thatcher came a surprise third place with the chaps, behind Angelina Jolie and Kylie Minogue. Strictly Come Dancing’s Lilia (Darren Gough’s partner) and former contestant Natasha Kaplinsky completed the top five.

Britain was revealed to be a country that loves its holidays, with 44% saying they planned two holidays in 2006. Just 1% said they were not planning to get away at all next year.

Hoseasons is the UK’s leading self-catering specialist with over 12,000 places to stay in coastal and countryside settings throughout Britain, Ireland and mainland Europe. Over a million holidaymakers and more than 20,000 pets enjoy a Hoseasons holiday every year.




LONDON, 16-1-2006 — The 6th Annual London Survey has revealed 80 per cent of Londoners are satisfied with London as a place to live; the highest level since the survey began in 2000. The survey also shows growing confidence in policing in London with concerns about crime and safety in London falling 19 per cent since 2001.

In an indication that Safer Neighbourhood Teams of local community police are having a positive impact on Londoners’ experience of the police, satisfaction with the police has gone up by 13 per cent this year to 53 per cent. The majority of people surveyed – 59 per cent – also perceive relations between the police and their local community as good.

62 per cent of Londoners say they feel safe while walking alone in the evening and two thirds of people (68 per cent) say they have not experienced any crime in the past 12 months. In addition 40 per cent of people report having seen more police officers in London in the past year, with 78 per cent of those saying that this has helped them to feel safer.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said: ‘Crime and the fear of crime remain a major factor but this survey shows that Londoners are feeling the benefits of more police and the new local community policing teams. ‘I am committed, through this year’s budget, to bring the benefits of our local policing initiative to every local community in London – every ward will have a full six member local policing team by the end of this financial year, a year ahead of my original commitment.’

This year’s survey, conducted some months after the terrorist attacks in July, shows people living in London have a strong sense of identity with the city and enjoy the city’s cultural diversity, as eighty per cent of those surveyed said ‘London is a place I identify with’. London’s cultural diversity is enjoyed by 85 percent of people in the capital and 71 percent believe there are good relations between different racial, ethnic and religious communities.

Traffic congestion has dropped by 24% since 2001 as a priority for improving transport, suggesting that congestion charging has been successful in reducing the congestion problem. However, reducing traffic congestion still remains one of the top transport priorities for Londoners.

Concern about making buses and tubes more reliable has dropped by 18% since 2001, and there has been an 11% drop in those saying buses need more investment, indicating the success of Mayoral strategies to improve these modes of public transport.

Nevertheless, more investment in the tube remains a high priority for Londoners, with an increasing concern amongst people about their personal safety on public transport.

The environment is of increasing concern to Londoners with 39 per cent of people saying that reducing pollution from traffic should be a top priority. Climate change is becoming more of an issue, with an 11per cent rise in the number of people who see this as a major problem, and an 11per cent rise in those who think tackling climate change should be a priority for improving the environment.

The survey finds a +13 net satisfaction with the way Ken Livingstone is doing his job as Mayor of London, with 37 per cent satisfied with the Mayor and 24 per cent dissatisfied. As with previous years Londoners say the worst things about living in the capital are the cost of living and, in particular, the cost of housing.

Final results are based on 1,442 interviews conducted face to face in respondents’ homes with a sample of residents in the Greater London area. Interviews were conducted by Ipsos MORI between 20th October and 16th December 2005.

Data are weighted by gender, age, work status and ethnicity to the known profile of Greater London. Data are also weighted by GLA constituency to reflect the population profile.

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