As I write this post, North Korea has declared martial law in preparation for nuclear testing. My cynical side wonders when the people of North Korea aren’t under martial law, but even so this move shows Kim Jong Un’s expectation that the international community will retaliate for the unauthorized tests.
While no official announcement has been made as of yet, it has become clear that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice is likely to be President Obama's pick to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. What many, including myself, initially saw as an obvious choice and a candidate who would glide through confirmation, has become a point of contention among a select group of Republican Lawmakers.
While the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has been gaining traction, particularly with its recent implementation in Libya, the international community is still a far cry from actualizing the doctrine's true potential. Beyond the obvious difficulty of motivating states into a coordinated action, there are additional factors that continually block the implementation of R2P in particular and civilian protection in general.
by Taylor Hom
On Halloween, the United Nations Population Division reported the world’s population had reached seven billion. But as global population soars, many governments and communities struggle to accommodate rapid urban growth. People flock to cities as refugees of conflict, victims of natural disasters, or seekers of job opportunities. In 2008, for the first time in world history, more people lived in cities than in rural areas, and today, nearly one billion live in urban slums with that number projected to double by 2030.
BEIJING - Below is a video and transcript for a video contest about climate change. I won't be winning any filmmaking awards any time soon, but at least hopefully it gives a glimpse into the world of China, particularly the synergy between the propaganda machine and green messages.
It can often feel as though our nation is broken down into a multitude of distinct groups that will never come to see eye to eye on any topic. We sense it among our families and friends as we debate the efficacy of a movement such as Occupy Wall Street, in our offices as we heatedly discuss politics, and in our media as we see our nation's political system broken down into the wrong, the right and those that own them. The vitriol in our politics and our media has led to this climate of "us" versus "them" in nearly every aspect of American society.
Somalia holds the unfortunate record of being the longest running failed state, going on twenty years without an established government. With the fall of President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, the country has yet to stabilize and rebuild. This is in large part due to the international community’s lack of follow through on humanitarian assistance and statebuilding commitments to Somalia.
On March 24, 2005 the United Nations established the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in order to oversee the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The hope was for the CPA to bring an end to the civil war that had been raging for years. One of the stipulations of this agreement was the allowance of a secession vote for the south. This vote took place this past January and southern secession is set to be implemented on July 9, 2011. This mission remains in effect today.
This past January, I wrote a post asking whether perhaps it was time for the creation of the position of Secretary of Humanity. This question stemmed from my reading of “The Descent” by Gina Berriault. Out of that post came a lively discussion of who might be a good candidate for this position.
It has been just over a week since the protests in Libya began, and it is painfully clear this situation will not be going the way of Egypt. With Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi calling for blood, protestors are finding themselves on the receiving end not of tear gas but of bullets. Many, including Libya’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, are concerned this will quickly devolve into a full-scale genocide of those opposed to Gaddafi’s rule.