12/17/2009 - 11:42am
Posted by Abigail Long
Looking for an icebreaker at your next holiday dinner party? How about asking guests what the United States has in common with Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Nauru, Palau, and Tonga? It's not weather or cuisine, and it certainly isn't number of Starbucks; it's the fact that none of these countries have ratified the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (also known as CEDAW). CEDAW came into force on December 18, 1979 which is 30 years ago today and then President of the United States Jimmy Carter signed the Convention. Even today, as the rights of women around the world and in the United States suffer, the United States has not ratified the treaty.
12/15/2009 - 5:25pm
Posted by Vinay Orekondy
I believe Citizens for Global Solutions is that voice. Or rather, I believe it can be, once we choose to see it that way and begin to articulate it as such.
12/09/2009 - 5:29pm
Posted by Vinay Orekondy
On 19 November, the Senate introduced Senate Resolution 357, encouraging US Citizens to celebrate and take actions in line with Globalfamily Day.
Before this, Globalfamily Day has twice received the unanimous support of the US Congress (S. Con. Res. 138, S, Res. 582, H. Con. Res. 317), the UN General Assembly (Resolutions 54/29 and 56/2)
Specifically, this Senate request is as follows:
12/08/2009 - 2:55pm
Posted by Samantha Taylor
Human Rights Day 2009 is this Thursday! The focus this year will be on non-discrimination. Specifically, the main objection will be the promotion of discrimination-free societies throughout the world. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated the following, “Discrimination lies at the roots of many of the world’s most pressing human rights problems. No country is immune from the scourge. Eliminating discrimination is a duty of the highest order.”
On past Human Rights Day, the Secretary of State gave a speech highlighting the ideals of the day. A similar speech this year would be the perfect occasion to promote American support of the United Nations’ Treaty CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). As the title suggests, this treaty focuses on eliminating discrimination against women on an international level. This fits perfectly with this year’s Human Rights Day theme of non-discrimination. Additionally, CEDAW’s 30th anniversary is next week, making the topic even more timely for the Secretary of State’s speech.
CEDAW was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1970 and was signed by President Carter in 1980. However, the US has failed to ratify CEDAW and is keeping company with known human rights violators such as Sudan, Somalia, and Iran. The speech on Human Rights Day is the perfect opportunity for the US to express our support for CEDAW and that we are willing to work towards ratification.
For more information on Human Rights Day, click here.
For more information on CEDAW, click here.
12/07/2009 - 5:32pm
Posted by Komal Hiranandani
The Copenhagen climate talks began today amid much excitement, anxiety and hope. As representatives from around the world negotiate key issues such as emissions reduction commitments and monetary assistance to developing countries, they should keep in mind one goal that will facilitate the agreement to and monitoring of all other climate deals: establishing a common metrics for measuring and declaring emissions reductions.
Citizens for Global Solutions has advocated the establishment of such a common metrics, and today the Washington Post released an article making the same point. Fredd Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund said that climate change mitigation efforts should be “measured in the same units -- tons of carbon” in order to facilitate private capital investments for mitigation funds to assist developing countries. This editorial demonstrated one of the many beneficial effects of setting a standard of how to measure emissions reductions.
Currently, countries use different methods of measurement when announcing climate change action. Most use a percentage reduction in emissions below a base year, but even the base year used by countries is not uniform. For example, the U.S. has announced targets of reducing emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, and the European Union has talked about accepting cuts of 30% below 1990 by 2020. Moreover, when individual countries make commitments in terms of percentage reductions, it is extremely difficult to calculate how close the total global emissions reductions are to the level that the scientific community says we need to achieve to avert the worst effects of climate change. Setting a common language to speak about emissions reductions needs to be on the Copenhagen Agenda! Read more here
12/04/2009 - 4:08pm
Posted by Komal Hiranandani
Today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Rosemary A. DiCarlo, made a statement expressing concern over the tragic conflict in Darfur. Significantly, she conveyed the importance of resolving the issue through the lens of the International Criminal Court and its crucial role in ending impunity for heinous crimes such as those committed in Sudan.
DiCarlo emphasized the Sudanese government’s non-cooperation with the ICC. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593 referred the Darfur situation to the ICC, providing the court with jurisdiction in the area. Since the resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, it is binding an all U.N. members regardless of whether they are State Parties of the ICC, which neither the U.S. nor Sudan are. DiCarlo lamented Sudanese non-cooperation despite this resolution, and noted the government’s responsibility in prolonging the conflict by killing civilians and impeding the improvement of the humanitarian situation.
Most importantly, DiCarlo recognized that the ICC’s greatest value lies in its being the only permanent international institution capable of bringing to justice the leaders of mass atrocities around the world, such as that in Darfur. She said, “we believe that the ICC's prosecution of the key architects of the conflict in Darfur remains critical, "and added: “Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable.”
Finally, DiCarlo reiterated the U.S.’s newly initiated engagement with the ICC, noting that the U.S. participated for the first time in the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute as an observer- a move that Citizens for Global Solutions welcomes and has strongly advocated. DiCarlo said: “This decision reflected the U.S. commitment to engage with the international community on issues that affect our foreign policy interests. Ending impunity for crimes against humanity—including crimes on the staggering scale of those committed in Darfur—ranks high among our commitments. The United States will therefore continue to be supportive of the ICC’s prosecution of these cases, to the extent consistent with U.S. domestic law.”
The U.S.’ acknowledgement of the ICC’s importance and the re-opening of U.S. engagement with the court after former President Bush shut it down are extremely vital developments. The Obama Administration is on the right track here.
Next step: ratify the Rome Statute and become a member of the ICC.
Read DiCarlo’s full statement here
Act NOW to Support strengthened US engagement with the ICC!
12/04/2009 - 11:42am
Posted by Laura Meditz
The US and Russia pledge to have a new nuclear missile treaty worked out very soon. Negotiators from both countries say they are very close to completing a successor to the Cold War-era agreement that has cut both countries stockpiles of nuclear weapons, START. The current START treaty, created in 1991, expires at midnight tonight, amidst ongoing negotiations for a new treaty. Kremlin sources have been optimistic that some agreement can be made while President Obama is in Europe next week to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Washington has expressed hopes of having an interim agreement in place until a new treaty can come into effect if necessary.
Learn more about Citizens for Global Solutions' policy suggestions on nuclear weapons here.
ACT NOW in support of Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaties!
12/02/2009 - 6:33pm
Posted by Laura Meditz
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon gave a positive response today to Obama’s Afghanistan decision. The United Nations believes that any plan that would increase the capacity and institution-building of Afghanistan is a step in the right direction. Mr. Ban believes that President Obama’s new Afghanistan plan will do just that. The Secretary-General’s spokesperson was quoted in this article on the UN News Centre from the full statement that you can read here.
12/01/2009 - 3:43pm
Posted by Samantha Taylor
On Sunday, President Obama issued orders to send 30,000 additionalAmerican troops to Afghanistan. He will address the nation tonight to explain his decision and rally an American public that “no longer sees the war as worth fighting,” according to the Washington Post.
The article cites public opinion polls to back up this claim. However, according to commentary by Worldpublicopinon.org, “there are no polls that show a majority wanting to withdraw.” Instead, these polls reflect a divided public; one that is uncertain about our future in Afghanistan.
A poll conducted by the Washington Post on November 15 asked, “considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, or not?” 52% responded that the war is not worth fighting. While this is a majority, it only indicates the percentage of the public that thinks the benefits of the war don’t outweigh the costs. According to Worldpublicopinion.org, “this does not tell us whether or not Americans have decided to cut their losses and quit, stay in the game, or even to raise their bets.”
Thus, this poll does not necessarily mean that the public wants out of Afghanistan and has no reflection of President Obama’s decision. Not to worry, though, evaluations of his decision will be in abundance after his address tonight. Only then can we determine the true opinion of the public.
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