AEF MORINGA presents:

      The Checkmate Pendulum   e-book from AMAZON  (October 15) hard-copy from AEF-Moringa/PayPall  (November 20)     30 chapters, 490 pages, action in 4 continents        0     PROLOGUE  (Autumn) GRIGORIOPOL,TRANSNISTRIA      I     THE CRISIS   (Autumn) 1.     HANDSOME AND SIMPATICO                     2.     DO I SHOOT, OR NOT?                               3.     NAZIS, STASI, SOVIETS, SATAN                4.     ISOZHU-NYAN: WHO...

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My Corner

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(1) A novel about politics, finance & crime

        The Checkmate Pendulum     What I saw, heard and witnessed in 40 years of international politics            The writing started in the early ’90s when I was Director General for Economics and Finance at the EU Commission.  That was the time when three related events shocked the world:  the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Germany was reunited, and the EU single currency was planned.   The author took part in crucial, secret negotiations associated with these developments:  his personal notes provided the background material for this...

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(2) From fiction to Reality

The Checkmate Pendulum     ... four questions on everybody's mind        Investigating the links between politics, crime and finance, TV journalist Pierre G Bosco is forced to address big questions. Nobody in Europe loves the euro, but everybody needs it.  Is the common currency a step towards greater EU integration or will it cause Europe’s disintegration? Germany has become the EU’s dominant country.  Will Germany save Europe or wreck it a third time in a century? Despite their crimes, bankers are “too big to fail or jail.” ...

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A plea from Zeinab PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Monday, 04 May 2009 12:21

altOn my way back from Afghanistan recently, I visited the Iran-Afghan border where there is a trench, 1000km long, four metres wide and four metres high. It is like one of the wonders of the world - you can probably see it from space; the inverse of the Great Wall of China.

Iran has built these earthworks to slow the trafficking of drugs out of Afghanistan. This is the front line in preventing the spread of opiates into the West. This effort has come at a great cost - both financial and human. More than 3,500 Iranian border guards have been killed in the past generation, fighting well-armed drug gangs along the border.

This tragedy was given a human face when, at a border post, an 11-year old girl named Zeinab, dressed in black and carrying a picture of a handsome man in uniform, read out a letter to me. Here is what she said:

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 17:09
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What to do about organized crime? PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Saturday, 04 April 2009 12:21

There is a growing focus on, and concern about, organized crime: in public opinion, the media, and among policymakers. I have addressed the issue lately in a number of speeches, for example at the 2009 Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. 

Have a look at my outline.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:15
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Birds of prey on Congo PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 14:08

alt

 The Congo River impresses the air-traveller approaching Kinshasa airport: its water volume greater than the mighty Nile, its current faster than that of the thunderous Zambezi. Yet, it was not the Congo River that attracted my attention. As the United Nations plane I was in hovered above the airport, my eyes were transfixed by the dozens of airplanes idle on the grass. Not on the tarmac, not on the runways, not ready to take off. In the tall grass were small planes with bent propellers, mid-size turboprops with twisted landing gears and some gigantic crafts with rusty jet engines protruding under wings the size of tennis courts. Abandoned, crashed and seized planes, unworthy of the skies, cannibalized for parts, at least 30-40 years old. Weird colours and company names were still visible: orange Diamond Jetways, blue and yellow Zanzi Co., red striped Bluebird etc. There were no markings on most fuselages, just badly applied paint to mask the craft's original identity.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 16:16
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Descent into the heart of darkness PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Saturday, 10 January 2009 14:29

Gulu, northern Uganda, January

"We lined up the villagers, about 20 of them, and chopped their hands with a machete." He twists his fingers and looks at his own hands as to make sure that they were both there. "They dropped to the ground screaming. We cracked their skulls."

Opoko is a handsome boy with vivid eyes, in his late teens (he isn't exactly sure how old), and a former child-soldier. He was abducted 4 years ago by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) and forced to commit atrocities, or atrocity would have been committed on him.

I met Opoko and another two dozens former child-soldiers at a camp in the town of Gulu, northern Uganda, organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the ICC Trust Fund for Victims. The initiative to help these kids was conceived more than a year ago when, during a meeting organized by Simone Monasebian (Head of UNODC Office in NY), we asked renowned artist Ross Bleckner of New York whether he could be motivated to launch an art-based campaign against human trafficking. Child-soldiers, their victimization and their exploitation for violence against civilians, are a dramatic case of contemporary slavery - one that UNODC is committed to fight in the four corners of the world. We proposed to start with northern Uganda.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 17:10
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Frost over the World - Opium in Afghanistan PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 14:36

 

Good to be back in London. In this wonderful city I had my first real job -- as a chef, believe or not, in a McDonald's-type joint.  Much later, namely when I was about three times older, I spent many years as Secretary-General of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

 

Main focus of the visit was the launch of the UNODC Afghan Opium Survey 2008 together with FO Minister Bill Rummel. UNODC information about drugs in Afghanistan is considered the gold standard - a reputation I am proud of.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 17:12
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Sub-prime crisis or solution? PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 14:45

 

Money is tight these days. Creditors have been badly burned, and banks are wary of lending to each other or to risky clients. And yet, in many parts of the world, sub-prime lending is exactly what is needed to foster development and reduce vulnerability to drugs and crime.

Lending money to people to help them make ends meet is not a new idea - especially in some of the poorest and most unstable regions of the world. The problem is, it's usually called loan sharking or extortion. This kind of informal money lending deepens poverty and strengthens organized crime.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 May 2014 17:13
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