The Global Citizen
Did you know that international laws dictate the rules of the game when it comes to selling bananas and iPods, but not grenade launchers and AK-47s?
It’s crazy but true. Fortunately, a solution is at hand. Negotiators at the United Nations will soon wrap up a global Arms Trade Treaty that will establish much-needed rules to prevent selling arms to human rights violators.
Every year, more than 500,000 people around the world are killed as a result of armed violence. Firearms are used in armed conflicts and to carry out human rights violations, including genocide, gang rape, and the practice of forcing children into combat as underaged soldiers.
There are about 250,000 child soldiers.
Roughly 60 percent of documented human rights violations involve the use of small arms (such as rifles and machine guns) and light weapons (such as grenade launchers and shoulder-fired missiles). In fact, more human rights abuses are committed with small arms than with any other category of weapon.
This morning the Violence Against Women Act passed in the House of Representatives. This is exciting news for women all around the country, as this bill protects survivors of sexual and domestic violence and gives them various resources and services to prosecute their attackers. Since it's passing in 1994, this landmark legislation has reduced domestic violence by 64%, saved taxpayers billions in averted social costs, and was the first bill to make domestic violence a federal crime.
Human rights advocates breathed a sigh of relief, previously unsure of how the VAWA would get through the often-deadlocked House of Representatives. Since the bill has indeed passed and is on its way to President Obama's desk, it is a sure sign that maybe, just maybe, congress can put petty partisan fights aside and protect those who most need it.
Sequestration. It's a word that sparks fear in almost all Americans, at least those who watch the news. This Friday, March 1st, automatic spending cuts go into effect and this will have a devastating impact on global programs Important to the United States and the world.
Secretary of State John Kerry recently released a statement detailing the cuts to the Department of State and USAID. Over 300 million would be cut in foreign military financing, which would reduce our military assistance to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
Personally, it's the 200 million in global humanitarian aid I am worried about cutting. That money goes to helping people in natural disasters. 400 million would be cut in global health programs addressing various issues such as child mortality, polio eradication, maternal health, water purification, and HIV/AIDS programs. These health programs are vital to millions of the most vulnerable people around the world.
Last week a New York Times article announced that during the State of the Union, Obama was going to call for drastically reducing our nuclear weapons stock pile.
Yet the state of the union came and nothing was said on the matter.
Lately, tensions with Russia have begun to fray around the edges. Vladimir Putin refuses to renew the Dunn-Lugar Treaty, the Russian Parliament banned Russian adoptions to American parents and the Russians have expressed their great displeasure of the United States’ involvement in their energy sector. Perhaps this is all why Obama chose instead not to discuss the fragile issue during one of his most public speeches.
Yesterday, GlobalSolutions.org staff and members joined the One Billion Rising rallies around the country to raise awareness about violence against women. The name of the rally pointed to the fact that 1 in 3 women worldwide---that's one billion women around the world---will be raped or physically abused in her lifetime.
Eve Ensler, the movement's creator, calls this an atrocity. This is truly a human rights crisis that is happening across borders and nations. It is easy to be numbed by the statistics, or to believe this problem is so widespread, so prevalent all over the world, that it is hard to know where to begin to address this problem. Yet, One Billion Rising relayed messages of hope and inspiration. In their words, "one billion violated is an atrocity; one billion rising is a revolution."
Earlier this week, the Senate voted and passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. This bill has proven to save the lives of many women across the country who had been subjected to domestic and sexual abuse. The 78 Senators who voted to reauthorize VAWA demonstrated a strong commitment for protecting women's rights as human rights. There is no reason why those same 78 Senators couldn't vote to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the international women's rights treaty.
North Korea's latest nuclear test highlights the limits of what the United Nations and its member states can do when an outlaw nation is determined to run roughshod over existing international laws. Policymakers and diplomats in Washington, DC and at the UN are scrambling for a way to respond to the young dictator Kim Jong Un's latest delinquency. The bottom line is that North Korea's latest nuclear blast shows just how reliant we are on an effective global network of institutions and laws; and how relatively weak that network still is. Kim Jong Un's nuclear tantrum should be seen not only as a threat, but as a clear message that we need a cooperative global system with the capacity and means to ensure a safer future for us all. And we are not there yet.
By a margin of 78-22, the Violence Against Women Act passed in the Senate. Last year—that’s 501 days ago to be exact—Congress let VAWA expire for the first time since it was introduced and passed in 1994. The President released a statement of gratitude:
Today the Senate passed a strong bipartisan bill to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. This important step shows what we can do when we come together across party lines to take up a just cause. The bill passed by the Senate will help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide justice to the most vulnerable among us. I want to thank Senator Leahy and his colleagues from both sides of the aisle for the leadership they have shown on behalf of victims of abuse. It's now time for the House to follow suit and send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.
The topic of drone strikes has been popular conversation topic and has a large impact on national security. "The drone war is a shadow war," states Rosa Brooks, a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and Georgetown University law professor, who also served as a Counselor to Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy at the U.S. Department of Defense. In her article, "Death by Loophole," Brooks continues by stating that the CIA and the White House has had little to no acknowledgement about their involvement in 'targeted killings' around the world. Today, we do not know exactly how many drone strikes have been launched or exactly where these 'targeted killings' have taken place.
Under what circumstances can the United States' government use droids?
The uses of drones have been very important to the United States military. They are able to "provide 24-hour patrols over hotspots, gather intelligence by pulling in millions of terabytes of data and hours of video feeds and they can also launch precisely targeted airstrikes without putting a U.S. pilot at risk." Overall, drones have a wide variety of uses, both good and bad.
Today the world woke up to news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation. While CNN debates the use of the word resignation, the rest of the world wonders, what's next?
That is the million dollar question facing the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. That is almost the population of China and over 1/10th of the World's entire population. Pope Benedict XVI has resisted any change in the Catholic Church in a time where many people around the world are calling for various issues to be brought up, like women's role in the Church, gay marriage, and more extensive investigations into allegations of sexual abuse..
The world has seen 265 Popes, and a majority of them have been Italian men. There were originally four bishoprics; Rome, Alexandria, Constantinople and Antioch. Then after the break of orthodox religions from the Roman Catholic Church, the Bishop of Rome became His Holiness, the Pope. Ever since then the Pope has been traditionally Italian even though Catholicism has spread throughout the world.
On February 11th, the United Nations Foundation organized a panel on the United Nation's Post- 2015 Development Agenda, featuring Mr. Will Davis, director of Washington's United Nations Development Programme and Mr. John Norris, executive director of the Center of American Progress.
The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were created "to establish peace and a healthy global economy" by highlighting major issues such as children's health, female empowerment sustainable environment, poverty, disease and development. These goals were created in 2000 and were set to be achieved by 2015. The year 2015 is approaching and the United Nations has so far been doing a successful job in achieving these goals- but what happens after 2015?
- Arms Control (22)
- Become a Member (3)
- Become a Member (1)
- Capitol Hill (164)
- CGS Political Action Committee (PAC) (17)
- Chapters (4)
- Civilian Protection (133)
- Climate Change (94)
- Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) (2)
- Congressional Report Card (7)
- Current Campaigns (8)
- Election News & Analysis (101)
- Fellows (2)
- Gender Based Violence (26)
- Genocide Prevention (113)
- Get Involved (68)
- Home (12)
- Human Rights (223)
- Human Rights Council (31)
- International Criminal Court (167)
- International Criminal Justice (51)
- Law & Justice (211)
- Law of the Sea Treaty (55)
- Nuclear Disarmament (81)
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) (2)
- Other (33)
- PAC: 2010 Election Endorsements (3)
- Partners for Global Change (2)
- Peacekeeping (104)
- Prevent War (181)
- Rights of the Child Treaty (10)
- Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) (19)
- Support Us (14)
- Take Action (24)
- Tax Deductible Giving (2)
- UN Funding (71)
- UN Reform & Revitalization (43)
- United Nations (321)
- usaforicc.org (1)
- WFI (5)
- Women's Rights Treaty (CEDAW) (47)