Tag Archives | United Nations
Via Ars Technica:
The United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization, a body that sets rules for trademarks, copyrights and patents as well as settles some disputes over internet domains, has denied observer status to members of the Pirate Party International. The PPI is an organization that represents chapters of the Pirate Party throughout Europe. While the Pirate Party isn’t a mainstream party, they’re hardly the lunatic fringe: Sixty countries throughout the world have active Pirate Parties, all of whom are independent but hold common cause on issues of copyright and intellectual property reform. It’s hardly in the interest of the multinational corporations that the organization serves to allow the Pirate Party to have a presence during their little shindig.
Read more at Ars Technica.
Reuters reports that U.S. allies in Latin America are applying the pressure:
… Read the rest
The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala all called for a vigorous global debate of anti-narcotics laws at the United Nations on Wednesday, raising new questions about the wisdom of the four-decade-old, U.S.-led “war on drugs.”
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who leaves office on December 1 after spending much of his presidency locked in a bloody battle with drug-smuggling gangs, called on the United Nations to lead a global debate over a less “prohibitionist” approach to drugs.
Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina echoed Calderon’s call and went even further, saying that “the basic premise of our war against drugs has proved to have serious shortcomings.”
The speeches, which were a few hours apart, constituted some of the most public challenges to date of anti-drug policies that have been mostly unchanged since the 1970s. Obama has ruled out any major changes to drug laws, but some U.S.
“In war, truth is the first casualty” – Aeschylus
An interesting piece from the Reuters news agency:
(Reuters) – The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala all called for a vigorous global debate of anti-narcotics laws at the United Nations on Wednesday, raising new questions about the wisdom of the four-decade-old, U.S.-led “war on drugs.”
Although none of the leaders explicitly called for narcotics to be legalized, they suggested at the U.N. General Assembly that they would welcome wholesale changes to policies that have shown scant evidence of limiting drug flows while contributing to massive violence throughout Latin America.
“It is our duty to determine – on an objective scientific basis – if we are doing the best we can or if there are better options to combat this scourge,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.
The article in full is here.
Meanwhile UK national broadcaster Channel 4 is this week presenting two live shows about Ecstacy, with the help of volunteers who are sampling the drug and reporting their (on the whole positive) experiences.… Read the rest
Michael Joseph Gross describes the war for control of the Internet, for Vanity Fair:
… Read the rest
I. Time Bomb
In 1979 the Dubai World Trade Centre dominated the skyline of Dubai City, on the horn of the Arabian Peninsula. Today, the World Trade Centre looks quaint, like an old egg carton stuck into the ground amid a phantasmagoric forest of skyscrapers. But come December the World Trade Centre will once more be the most important place in Dubai City—and, for a couple of weeks, one of the more important places in the world. Diplomats from 193 countries will converge there to renegotiate a United Nations treaty called the International Telecommunications Regulations. The sprawling document, which governs telephone, television, and radio networks, may be extended to cover the Internet, raising questions about who should control it, and how. Arrayed on one side will be representatives from the United States and other major Western powers, advocating what many call “Internet freedom,” a plastic concept that has been defined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the right to use the Internet to “express one’s views,” to “peacefully assemble,” and to “seek or share” information.
Timothy W. Ryback reports for the New York Times:
… Read the rest
Next Monday, the United Nations will implement Resolution 65/309, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in July 2011, placing “happiness” on the global agenda.
“Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal” and “recognizing that the gross domestic product [...] does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people,” Resolution 65/309 empowers the Kingdom of Bhutan to convene a high-level meeting on happiness as part of next week’s 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
An impressive array of luminaries will be speaking for this remote Himalayan kingdom. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will open the meeting via a prerecorded video missive. The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will speak on “happiness indicators,” as will the economic shock therapist Jeffrey Sachs. The Bhutanese prime minister will represent King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, the reigning Dragon King of the Bhutanese House of Wangchuck.
Journalists for the most part report what they know and hope that someone pays attention. With so many media outlets, brands, bloggers and sloggers out there, it is rare for challenging ideas to touch a larger nerve or get visibility beyond fragmented followings.
The idea of winning global attention is a far off dream unless you break the biggest exclusive or win the first interview with, say, Jesus on his return to earth. (And that could be ignored if your name isn’t Oprah, etc.)
Yes, sometimes going viral is the way to go—as is the case of a new video exposing the head of the Lords Resistance Army, the Ugandan terror crazies.
But even then, stories are always flashing one minute, gone the next, unless other media outlets pile on and raise their profile as happened here during Watergate and other issues, mostly sex scandals, since.
By and large, you labor on in the media wilderness hoping the time will come when someone outside your world recognizes your value and gives you a bigger platform, usually more than just one TV interview or quote.… Read the rest
New World Order conspiracy theory is starting to have a real influence on local politics in the United States. Leslie Kaufman and Kate Zernike report for the New York Times:
… Read the rest
Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities.
They are showing up at planning meetings to denounce bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances — efforts they equate to a big-government blueprint against individual rights.
“Down the road, this data will be used against you,” warned one speaker at a recent Roanoke County, Va., Board of Supervisors meeting who turned out with dozens of people opposed to the county’s paying $1,200 in dues to a nonprofit that consults on sustainability issues.
In December 2011, leaders from around the world gathered at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations meeting in Doha, a forum meant to encourage dialogue between cultures and people. The host nation, Qatar, asked Vangelis, the Greek composer, to create the music for the event, which also marked the inauguration of Doha's cultural village and Greek-style amphitheatre. The event brought together celebrated artists from around the world and his music was written to formulate a message of hope. Vangelis, one of the world's most celebrated creators of electronic music and the Oscar-winning composer of the music for Bladerunner and Chariots of Fire, came to a Middle East in the midst of upheaval at a time of financial crisis in his own country. Al Jazeera's Tony Harris met the composer to talk about the role of music in our times.