Emma Watson, in her position as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, has delivered an excellent speech on feminism to the United Nations. Part 1. Part 2.
If you visit the Humans of New York website
or on the Facebook page
now and in the next few months, you'll find portraits and stories from beyond New York. Brandon Stanton and HONY will be going on a "world tour," to be part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group
effort to raise awareness for the eight international Millennium Development Goals with a target date of 2015
. Currently, HONY is "suddenly a war report form Iraq"
. [more inside]
"The United Nations approves of the criminalization of narcotics. But the World Health Organization, a branch of the UN, apparently disagrees.
The Economist has flagged
a report on prevention and treatment for HIV in groups most likely to contract the disease. In the report, the WHO quietly recommends decriminalizing drugs — specifically, injectable drugs that spread HIV." [more inside]
The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants
," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention
. The policy, thought not the name
, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated
efforts to try or release
However, there is an older legal model
that may suffice: piracy
. (previously [more inside]
Nobel laureate's campaign calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons.
As our technology advances, it becomes more and more feasible to give more and more autonomy to our drones. A new campaign led by 1997 Nobel laureate Jody Williams
calls for an international ban on the design of autonomous weaponized drones. [more inside]
Jesse and Laura are cooking and eating their way
through the United Nations
, and raising money for World Food Program USA
as they do.
The UN has condemned extrajudicial killing on the basis of gender identity
. [more inside]
is the Republican Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate, and Treasurer of ALEC (previously 1 2)
. On October 11th he hosted a four-hour briefing for his fellow senators, regarding Obama's mind-control techniques which are forcing the US into a United Nations-led Communist dictatorship in which suburbanites are forcibly relocated to cities
. The theory is based on Agenda 21
, the non-binding 1992 UN treaty on sustainable development. Rogers narrowly failed to pass a resolution
against Agenda 21, but other states have done so, and Alabama has even forbidden its implementation in law
The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has tripled its production of >20% enriched uranium in the past three months
, while adding 2,600 new uranium centrifuges to its main enrichment facility in Natanz
. The agency has not received a "satisfactory explanation" of how 20kg of uranium metal went missing from an Iranian research laboratory. Iran has been blocking IAEA inspections
, and the agency "is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities". In recent years, Russia and China have chosen to limit UN sanctions
against Iran, whose government denies it aims to make atomic weapons.
On December 6th, 2011, International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in front of the United Nations proclaiming freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons
(transcript included). [more inside]
In a case that is rocking the international adoption world, a Guatemalan judge has ordered the return of a six year old girl
to her biological family. [more inside]
In a non-binding resolution narrowly passed
by 23 to 19 (with 3 abstentions), the United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned violence and discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender people for the first time. [more inside]
The Global Commission on Drug Policy
is the latest group to advocate an end to the drug war - but also an unusually high-profile one, including
former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland, Prime Minister of Greece, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, George Shultz and Paul Volcker. Tomorrow, June 2, sees the launch of their report, which advocates treating recreational drug use (and abuse) as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice one. [more inside]
is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry
back in 2002 (previously
). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government
, the game starts
by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions
like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom
, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types
like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum
, practice wargaming in International Incidents
, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities
), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly
(so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.
). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki
, which provides a detailed legislative record
, gameplay guide
, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations
, 8,000 player regions
, and countless characters
that currently make up the game world.
of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute
for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal
"The United Nations-authorized intervention in Libya has pitched ethical issues of the highest importance, and has split progressives in unfortunate ways. I hope we can have a calm and civilized discussion of the rights and wrongs here." Professor Juan Cole
of the University of Michigan writes An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
On 16 November 2010
, the UN General Assembly Third Committee removed
a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution
on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, a move condemned
by gay and lesbian rights
groups. [more inside]
Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007
about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
The United States was engaged in the largest two-front war of its, or any nation's history. Though victory was not yet certain, there were discussions on a multi-national level regarding the future peace, and on the President of the United States was looking to the post-war prospects for the nation. With that in mind, the annual address of the President to Congress and the nation was summed up in one word: Security. "And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security -- in a family of nations." This was Franklin D. Roosevelt's third-to-last Fireside Chat
, presented on Tuesday, January 11, 1944, which included what he proposed to be the Second Bill of Rights
. [more inside]
Portraits of Power
"An interactive portfolio of portraits by Platon
of world leaders, with commentary by the photographer."
The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page
with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets
, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children
, life in a refugee camp
and mixed migration
. There are also news sets
, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste
and The Democratic Republic of Congo
, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama
The world's economic crisis has cost more men their jobs than women in Western countries. But in Asia and most of the developing world, the economic meltdown has a woman's face.
The Toronto Star: Today, International Women's Day, women celebrate the gains made in achieving equal rights and highlight the widespread wrongs that damage the lives of the 3.3 billion females around the world.
But the issue foremost in women's minds is the global recession, which has hit the most vulnerable half of humanity with exceptional force.
The Bangkok Post: The latest International Labour Organization (ILO) report revealed that the global unemployment rate could rise as high as 7.1% in 2009, compared to 6% in 2008. What is worrying is that the consequences of the global crisis could come knocking on your door. What was the global economic crisis last year could easily become a global social crisis this year.
In 2001, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325
on Women's Role on Peace-Building and Security, calling for increased participation by women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.
Eight years later, "in terms of signing the peace documents and being at the peace table and involved in the peace-making operations, 1.3 percent of all the signatures in the world on these peacekeeping documents have been rendered by women." (Stephen Lewis,
former UN special envoy), and as of 2007, women constituted only 1%
of peacekeeping military personnel. Could increasing women's participation also help reduce sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers?
Alone among major Western nations, the United States refused to sign a United Nations declaration
calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. was joined by China, Russia, the Roman Catholic Church,
and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in rejecting the declaration. In 2004, the Vatican and Islamic Conference had lobbied vehemently and successfully
to prevent the U.N. Human Rights Commission from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [more inside]
Today's featured article at Wikipedia concerns the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
: a proposed UN body which, according to its proponents
, would eventually consist of representatives elected directly by the people of the world. Might this proposal be a viable plan for a more global expression of democracy? Or is it just one more Utopian vision of "world government"
doomed to wither under the vociferous criticisms
that such proposals seem, inevitably, to attract?
"'If voters fail to return Mr. Mugabe to office...Prepare to be a war correspondent.'
Mugabe's party in Zimbabwe spasms into mass repression
and political violence
to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change from winning power. The African Union dithers
, as does the UN
(as it gives Zimbabwe leadership positions
). Many Chinese rationalize
their government's weapon shipment
. According to the government-published Herald
, everything's just fine. What are the options
After breaking the ice with his video message
to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live
. [more inside]
monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3
), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations
, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country
for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures
of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
It's official. The aliens are coming. In 2017
. Turns out they might like The Beatles
after all. The UN is on the case. The Hindus
are going to be especially upset.
Kosovo is technically part of Serbia, but it's been governed by the U.N. since 1999, after NATO militarily intervened to stop Slobodan Milosevic's brutal suppression and expulsion of ethnic Albanian separatists. Now that it has declared its independence (with US support), the elephant in the room remains: Independent Kosovo? Why Not Vermont?
"Why is statehood OK for some people but frowned on for others?" There is no internationally accepted standard for independence. "This is the great hole in democratic theory."
Without participating in peacekeeping missions overseas, it is unlikely that Fiji's army would ever have become strong enough to seize power.
So says the Economist: "When the British left Fiji in 1970, there were only around 200 serving military personnel. UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Sinai generated a tenfold increase by 1986. The next year, Fiji witnessed its first military coup." The series of coups since then haven't stopped Fiji from continuing to participate in UN missions.
Estimated cocaine consumption based on waste-water analysis (expressed as cocaine lines* per day per 1000 Inhabitants, age 15-64) *1 line was here assumed to be equivalent to 100 milligram of cocaine.
This, and much more, in the UN 2007 World Drug Report
(pdf). HTML homepage
When you have a blog
, and you're the Special Representative of the UN in Darfur
, be careful
about what you write. Jan Pronk
's blog gives you a good idea in what a high level UN diplomat actually does, and how difficult it is to get anything done in a country torn by war. Oh, and check these photos out
, if you just want the non-political goodness.
Meanwhile, Malawi Withers
After a poor harvest that brought in 1.3 million tons
(well short of the 2.1 million tons needed) the United Nation made an $88m (66 million pounds) food appeal for Malawi
ten days ago but has not received a single penny or pledge of aid from any nation so far.
Woops, check that, Ireland's just pledged a million euros
. Only 65 million to go.
Oh, the irony... The Bush administration, long critical of the
United Nations, has accepted a U.N. offer of help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a U.N. team has gone to Washington to see how it can complement American efforts.
Bush to Senate: Go to Hell
. As expected, President Bush bypassed the confirmation process and made a recess appointment to elevate John Bolton
to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations, brushing off what he calls "partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators." Bolton was previously discussed on MeFi here
A fascinating interview with Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba,
mayor of Hiroshima and president of Mayors for Peace
. Dr. Akiba is New York for the UN conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty, and he took the time for some eloquent straight talk about the nuclear weapons and international politics. (First link is to a real audio file.)
Kofi Annan has issued his recommendations
for tackling poverty and promoting security and human rights, incorporating the greatest alterations to the UN and Security Council in history.
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
U.S. refuses to join U.N. plan for women
From AP via Yahoo: UNITED NATIONS - The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.
President Bush's administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to "sexual rights."
Banned weapons and WMD parts
were shipped out of Iraq after the US forces took power according to the UN. At least thats the best I can make of this article. Does this really say that the UN is upset at us for shipping out of Iraq the exact things they previously said were not in Iraq?