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A change in approach but not tone from Tehran

After a year of stalemate, the BBC reports that Iran has allowed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to its nuclear facility at Arak. Furthermore, Tehran has agreed to increase oversight of its nuclear plant at Natanz. applauds these gestures but looks forward to the upcoming report from Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, regarding the status of Iran's program. In accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for civilian purposes such as providing energy but not to pursue weapons development.

The call for closer engagement between the West and Iran from Hassan Qashqvi, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, echoes our sentiments. That being said, a nuclear Iran pursuing weapons development does not bode well for the security of the region or the world. As Susan Rice stated in her recent speech at NYU, this problem is one of the many critical challenges that "cannot be tackled by any one country alone." The Obama Administration must continue to constructively engage Iran while encouraging others with influence to put pressure on Tehran.

Why Empowering Women Really Matters

"There's a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That's why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren't the problem; they're the solution."

South Africa reverses course on ICC Arrest Warrant for Sudanese President

A South African Foreign Ministry Official recently confirmed that Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir will be arrested if he sets foot on South African soil. This would be done in compliance with South Africa's obligations to the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur. Under the Court's Statute, member states are obliged to arrest individuals on their soil who have had an arrest warrant issued for them by the Court.

An Intern's Perspective

My experience at has been a completely enjoyable one. From a work perspective all of the assignments were fun and challenging. There were a lot of chances to work on projects that actually make a difference. I felt like there was always enough work to do without being overwhelmed. There are opportunities to work on all kinds of aspects of a non-profit organization, and the staff was always willing to lend a hand.

From a personal aspect this has been one of the most fun summers I've ever had. The people that work here are all a total joy to be around. The work environment is friendly but with a sense of importance. I've made some great friends being here. It's also great to be in DC. There are a lot of chances to see what we're doing in action and to visit Capitol Hill and other landmarks.

I highly recommend it to people who are interested in government and how laws are made but I also really recommend it to people who aren't sure what they want to do but care about issues like the ones that CGS supports. All in all this summer has been a great experience and I would encourage anyone interested to apply.

My Internship Experience at CGS

Being an intern at CGS was an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. I learned so much about the state of international issues domestically and how Congress, non-profits, and NGOs work to bring about change. I gained so much knowledge at CGS not by observing, but by getting involved with these projects and working directly with others who promote these goals.

Rice on the Right Track with U.S.-U.N. Relations

Yesterday the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice, delivered a strong and promising speech on the U.S.'s position towards the United Nations and global cooperation. Many of her statements reflected progress on issues that we at have been working hard to further.

Rice commended U.N. operations that have helped to rebuild shattered societies, including missions in Haiti where deadly gangs have been defeated and local police have been trained, and missions in Congo that have allowed the first democratic elections in the country to be held. Promising to improve U.S. support to U.N. peacekeeping, Rice pledged more U.S. military staff officers, military observers, civilian police, and other civilian personnel.

Working towards nuclear non-proliferation, Rice recalled U.S. work to have the Security Council condemn North Korea's nuclear weapons tests, and ongoing efforts to constructively engage Iran in the non-proliferation process. She also said that the U.S. is aiming to achieve a successful NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] Review Conference next year.

Referring to the U.S.'s new seat on the Human Rights Council- another action we have championed-  Rice acknowledged the need for the U.S. to be involved with such institutions to increase their effectiveness and scope, and to help address their shortcomings.

Elaborating on other causes that we support, Rice said, "We no longer oppose mentions of

Geneva Conventions turn 60!

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. In 1949, four treaties and three additional protocols were established as World War II drew to a close, in an attempt to delineate the way in which international armed conflict could be waged. With fresh memories of the horrors of World War II, the Geneva Conventions were designed to define the rights of those captured in conflict, establish protections for the wounded, create civilian protections in war zones, and safeguard the honor of women during war time.

U.S. Interests in the International Criminal Court

Last week, Secretary Clinton lamented that the U.S. was not a member of the ICC, saying that this was "a great regret but a fact." Her statement was followed by several news articles and opinion posts discussing her declaration and its implications. The Washington post ran an article today investigating U.S.'s history with the Court. Executive Vice President of, Bob Enholm, wrote a clear and convincing comment on this article, addressing the need for the U.S. to join the I.C.C.:

Mr. Bellinger:

You are correct that the American public approaches international institutions with "ambivalence" and that this is "unfortunate." This will not change until persons as educated, thoughtful, experienced and respected as yourself fairly and accurately discuss the pros and cons of global institutions and the benefits of America's participation in them.

Your description of the International Criminal Court is superficially evenhanded, but you exaggerate the negatives and gloss over facts that support the U.S. eventually joining the ICC.

The ICC is a court of severely limited jurisdiction and by its own terms defers to the jurisdiction of the United States and other countries that have an operating legal system. This is why our allies such as the United Kingdom are comfortable joining the ICC. The ICC is a permanent tribunal that obviates the need to establish a special purpose international criminal court, as was done at Nuremberg and more recently for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. What's wrong with that?

To Catch a War Criminal: A Look at the International Criminal Court

The National Public Radio show "On Point" featured an hour long segment about the International Criminal Court on August 5th, 2009. It was called "To Catch a War Criminal" and featured two guest speakers: Pamela Yates, the director of the film The Reckoning which looks deeply into the workings of the ICC, and Christine Chung, the former senior trial attorney for the ICC.