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Archive for the tag “United Nation”

Ending War Rape

The United Nations Security Council took an unprecedented step this summer. Pushed principally by the United Kingdom, the council passed its first resolution addressing what it calls “sexual violence in conflict.” That’s a euphemism for an all-too-common problem in many parts of the world: Using rape as a weapon of wartime intimidation. In the human-rights world, it’s called war rape.

India’s Lack Of A Strategic Culture Hobbles Its Ambition To Be A Force In The World

NOBODY doubts that China has joined the ranks of the great powers: the idea of a G2 with America is mooted, albeit prematurely. India is often spoken of in the same breath as China because of its billion-plus population, economic promise, value as a trading partner and growing military capabilities. All five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council support—however grudgingly—India’s claim to join them. But whereas China’s rise is a given, India is still widely seen as a nearly-power that cannot quite get its act together.

Read Here – The Economist

Masters of the Internet

The geopolitics of the Internet broke open during the first half of December at an international conference in Dubai convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN affiliate agency with 193 national members. At these meetings, states (thronged by corporate advisors) forge agreements to enable international communications via cables and satellites. These gatherings, however boring and bureaucratic, are crucial because of the enormous importance of networks in the operation of the transnational political economy.

Read Here – Le Monde Diplomatique

How The United Nations Could Ruin The Internet

The Internet has sustained some pretty intense assaults in the past couple of years. There was the heavy-handed attempt to stamp out content piracy with SOPA/PIPA, the Federal Communications Commission’s Net neutrality ruling, which many saw assplitting the baby, and that whack job who claimed to own a patent on the World Wide Web.

It is again open season on the Internet in Dubai, where the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency ‑ whose mandate includes global communications ‑ is weighing proposals from many of its 193 member nations. Some of these proposals ‑ such as decentralizing the assignment of website names and eliminating Internet anonymity ‑ would make enormous changes to the organization and management of the Internet.

Read Here – Reuters

Letting The Internet Be Rewired By Bureaucrats Would Be Like Handing A Stradivarius To A Gorilla.

Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web‘s success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations.

Many of the U.N.’s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack a U.N. agency that has nothing to do with the Internet.

For more than a year, these countries have lobbied an agency called the International Telecommunications Union to take over the rules and workings of the Internet. Created in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, the ITU last drafted a treaty on communications in 1988, before the commercial Internet, when telecommunications meant voice telephone calls via national telephone monopolies.

Read Here – WSJOpinion

Viewpoint – Time To Push Back Over Sri Lankan Impunity

International attention on Sri Lanka has focused recently on a devastating report from the United Nations reviewing its own failure to protect civilians during the humanitarian catastrophe of the final months of the island nation’s civil war in 2009. Yet as many in the international community have been looking back, a new, quieter crisis is threatening Sri Lanka’s battered democracy – and the chances of lasting peace – with the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa moving to impeach the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Should the impeachment effort succeed, it will complete a constitutional coup begun in September 2010 with the 18th amendment to the constitution, which ended presidential term limits and removed the independence of commissions on the police, human rights, judiciary, bribery and other areas of governance.

What some have framed as a battle for power between the judiciary and executive is in fact a one-sided assault on an already weakened legal system, which has for decades, but particularly under President Rajapaksa, routinely done the executive’s bidding.

Read Here – CNN

The International Crisis Group Report on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s “People’s Dynasty” – Help Or Harm For Growth?

From foreign hotel towers sprouting on Colombo‘s seafront to the new motorbikes and mobile phones buzzing in war-ravaged Jaffna, at first glance, Sri Lanka seems to be living up to its claim as Asia’s latest frontier market.

But private businesses are not investing enough, threatening the boom that has swept the island since the end of a long ethnic conflict, while President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family are tightening their grip on the economy and institutions with what critics see as an unusually personalized system of government.

The global economy may be in poor shape, but with 17 percent growth since the war ended in 2009 and an eye-popping 200 percent rise in the stock market, investors should be flocking to Sri Lanka’s palm-fringed shores.

Read Here – Reuters

Symbolic Call For ‘Statehood’ Only Emboldens Abbas

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas returns to the United Nations today with the intention to seek, once again, a declaration that Palestine is a “state”. But unlike last year, there will be no street parties in occupied Palestine, no dramatic speeches and no two-storey blue chairs stationed in the centre of Palestinian city squares. Though this year’s General Assembly resolution will likely get the requisite number of votes to upgrade “Palestine’s” status before the UN, the outcome will be the same for Palestinians: on the ground, nothing will change.

Read Here – The National

Still Relevant After All These Years

What was most significant about the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit that was held in Tehran recently was that almost all of its 120 members gathered there in the face of U.S., allied western nations and Israeli attempts to pressure and isolate Iran to abandon parts of its nuclear programme. Great pressure was even brought on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by Washington and Tel Aviv not to attend, but the mild and generally pliant Ban could not bring himself to abandon the precedent set by his predecessors and skip the event.

Read Here – The Hindu

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