Top of the Morning: P-5 +1 Ready for Iran Nuke Talks; International Women’s Day Preview

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

World Powers to Iran: Let’s Talk About Those Nukes!

For the first time in one year, the P-5 +1 says they are ready to talk face-to-face with Iran. ‘“I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,’ said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in dealings with Iran. ‘We hope that Iran will now enter into a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress.’ The resumption of negotiations could relieve rising pressure from Israel to use military force against Iran. But the decision is not without risks. Direct talks could allow Iranian negotiators to exploit various nations’ differences. Failure could offer a rationale for military strikes. Ms. Ashton’s positive response to an Iranian offer made last month to resume the talks comes at a delicate moment in the years-long effort to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Her response came one day after President Obama urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to give diplomacy and economic sanctions a chance to work before taking military action. (NYT

India and China Drive Safe Water MDG Attainment, Sub-Saharan Africa Still Off Pace

A big announcement today from UNICEF and the WHO that humanity has achieved the Millennium Development Goal on access to clean drinking water. “at the end of 2010, 89 per cent of the world’s population used improved drinking water sources, meeting the target. By 2015, an estimated 92 per cent of the global population will have access to improved drinking water…Lack of safe water both reflects global inequalities and engenders to them. Forty per cent of all people without improved drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa, and in countries around the world, it is the poorest who lag behind. In places without safe water, girls and women bear a disproportionate burden; they are often tasked with carrying water from distant sources, a chore that can keep them from school or work. The WHO/UNICEF joint report further indicates that world is far from meeting the MDG target for sanitation – and is unlikely to do so by 2015. Only 63 per cent of the global population has improved sanitation, far short of the 75 per cent target.” (UNICEF

International Women’s Day

The Center for International Private Enterprise has a series of posts from staff and guests to mark IWD.

Akhila Kolisetty on the female face of farming and why women are important to agriculture.

A thoughtful reflection on systemic conditions that contribute to poverty by Luam Kidane. (TrustLaw

Helen Clark of UNDP says rural women can lead the way on food security. (TrustLaw

A recap of this week’s 56th session of the Commission on the Status of women. (HUM

Rural women miss out on education – and decent jobs. (World Education Blog