The Global Citizen: mkaplan
As the United States works to pursue a "reset" of relations with Russia, culminating in the recent signing of the New START treaty, what does this new bond mean for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (the CEEs) and their relationship with the U.S.? This was among the questions addressed by Czech Republic Senator Alexandr Vondra during his presentation at the Atlantic Council on May 24th, as he discussed his county's view on the future of transatlantic cooperation.
Sen. Vondra described himself as "optimistic" about the relationship between the U.S. and Central and Eastern Europe. However, he noted that several difficult test lie ahead:
"We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing…" These words were spoken by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on May 8th, 1945, immediately after he announced the German surrender that marked the end of the Second World War in Europe. Sixty-five years later, the legacy of World War Two still exerts a powerful impact, particularly on issues such as genocide prevention and the International Criminal Court (ICC) which are fundamental to the mission of Citizens for Global Solutions.
As the congressional campaign season gets rolling, Citizens for Global Solutions is pleased to announce the release of our 2010 Congressional Report Card. This report "grades" members of the Senate and House of Representatives on their record of support for CGS legislative priorities over the past several years, as well as highlighting additional work certain members of Congress have undertaken which has helped to advance the goals of CGS. You can read the entire Report Card online by clicking here, as well as clicking on state-by-state links to quickly find the scores of your own Senators and House member.
The Report Card focuses on 10 votes in the Senate and 11 in the House of Representatives occurring between 2007 and 2009 on issues of particular importance to CGS and its supporters. These votes cover topics such as providing appropriate levels of funding for international and multilateral organizations; addressing climate change; prohibiting torture; and ensuring protection of human rights around the globe. Just like school, each member of Congress was given a grade between an F and an A+ based on how frequently their votes aligned with CGS's positions on these issues.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!
As Citizens for Global Solutions, we naturally love the earth. Today, we are proud to join in celebrating the milestone 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
Earth Day was first launched on April 22, 1970 as the brainchild of the late Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who was frustrated by Washington's failure to adequately address environmental issues. A few months after the first Earth Day celebration, Congress had passed and President Nixon had signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created. Ever since the first Earth Day celebration, April 22nd has provided environmentalists with an opportunity to both celebrate the earth and to stress that despite environmental progress, much more still needs to be done to safeguard the health of the planet for future generations.
When most Americans think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States - whether they remember him personally or simply learned about him in their U.S. history classes - they are likely to recall a few key things about him: he was our country's longest-serving president (in office for twelve years); was elected more times than any other American president (four); created the New Deal; and served as Commander-in-Chief during World War Two. However, in addition to these noteworthy achievements, FDR, who died sixty-five years ago this week on April 12, 1945, has another enduring legacy - his role in the creation of the United Nations.
Even as the Second World War was raging across Europe and the Pacific, FDR played the role of "global statesman" by looking not simply to ensure that the Allies won the conflict, but that after the war was over, there would be an international venue for nations to resolve their differences without resorting to war. A previous attempt to create such a body - the League of Nations - after World War One had proven a failure, in part because the United States never agreed to join the League despite the efforts of then - President Woodrow Wilson. President Wilson had championed the League but was unable to get U.S. membership ratified by the Senate once the war was over and American attitudes had grown more isolationist.
Usually, when the topic of European Union foreign policy comes up, responses range from doubts as to whether the 27 - member body can even be said to have a coherent foreign policy, to questions on whether EU foreign policy matters much in a world increasingly dominated by rising powers such as China, India, and Brazil, as well as the United States. But at a Brookings Institution event on April 8th entitled "The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Results, Ushering in A New Era," panelists sounded a generally optimistic note on the future of a common foreign policy for the EU, and how Europe might still exert a positive influence on the world outside its borders.
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