Yearly Archives: 2007
A United Nations independent expert, after a mission to France, has noted that “visible” minority immigrants are targets of racism.
UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Gay J. McDougall said, “Racism is alive, insidious and clearly targeted at those ‘visible’ minorities of immigrant heritage, the majority of whom are French citizens.”
McDougall called on the government to take action to address “widespread, entrenched and institutionalized discrimination.”
This seems like an appropriate time to revisit a UNF Insights on strengthening multilateral non-proliferation efforts we ran three months ago. In the essay, we write that affirming American commitments to disarmament would help re-invigorate a flailing Non-proliferation Treaty. So too would supporting other non-proliferation instruments, like the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention.
The 2005 world summit outcome document, signed by virtually every head of state, detailed a number of important reforms for the world body. However, on proliferation issues, the document was shamefully silent. This occurred, in part, because certain key nuclear states would not back language on disarmament. In turn, nuclear states not party to the NPT banded together to block non-proliferation goals from entering the text.
This was a great disservice to the cause of arms control. Before it was stricken from the final draft of the outcome document, the section on non-proliferation and disarmament provided a useful blueprint for a long term strategy to reduce the nuclear threat. This included firm commitments to both nuclear arms reduction and a reaffirmation of non-proliferation instruments, including the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention…
The setbacks at the 2005 world summit…occurred, in part, because a small number of states could not make the mutual concessions necessary to move the debate forward. To help counter this disturbing trend, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sought to incorporate the UN’s disarmament portfolio into the office of the Secretary General. Citing the need to “revitalize the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda through a more focused effort,” Ban proposed that the Department of Disarmament Affairs be augmented with a new Office of Disarmament Affairs that answers directly to the Secretary General. In March, the General Assembly approved this move and created a new High Representative for Disarmament Affairs to act as the voice of the Secretary General in disarmament and nonproliferation debates.
Of course, non-proliferation and disarmament are only two of the three pillars underpinning the NPT. The third is access to civilian nuclear power. And here, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, founded by Sam Nunn and Ted Turner, is promoting a cutting-edge proposal that would obviate the need for countries to develop their own uranium enrichment facilities by setting up a “nuclear fuel bank.”
Senegal threatened Monday to withdraw its more than 500 troops from Darfur, moving the African Union’s beleaguered peacekeeping mission closer to collapse after a spectacular militia attack over the weekend left 10 A.U. soldiers dead and dozens more missing or wounded …. Senegal, with the third-largest number of troops in Darfur now, was expected to be a key player in any future force.
*Photo:AP This morning, Blake makes a key point halfway through his post on the UN Human Rights Council and Burma. He writes:
It’s important to remember that it’s the 47 member states that make up the Council, not the U.N. itself, that is the source of the problem.
There is a bizarre concern buzzing in the far reaches of the blogosphere that the United Nations is currently plotting to take Americans’ guns away. Wulfe’s Mom Alaska asks, “Is more butchering of the US Constitution in our future?” Texas Fred is somewhat less measured, “this is nothing more than an effort to take guns out of the hands of every man and woman on earth, and unless you’re a part of this coming Gestapo, you’ll give up your guns or die keeping them…”
Why this sudden fretting from the Tinfoil Hat crowd? It may have to do with the fact that the National Rifle Association is fixing for a fight with the United Nations, with former Congressman Bob Barr leading the charge.
by Karl E. Watkin, Chairman of D1 Oils plc (D1), the UK-based global producer of biodiesel
Climate change is a global problem that can only be solved with globally implemented solutions. There is a Tsunami of dedication, commitment, and money being thrown at the problem. The commitment and enthusiasm is generally focussed and responsive, the money and regulation are sadly not; indeed the latter is probably the biggest remaining problem we need to address today. An ill-informed media distort the story making the implementation of sensible regulation ever more difficult, sometimes it seems there is someone trying to stop everyone doing anything.
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.