Tag: <span>Environment</span>

Environment Appeals

Protecting the Environment in Time of War.

November 6 is set by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution (A/RES/56/4) as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
Throughout history; in armed conflicts water wells have been poisoned, crops set on fire, forests cut down, and animals killed to gain military advantage.  Today, many armed conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources such as timber, diamonds, and fertile land and water.
 

     The Association of World Citizens has stressed that protection of the environment needs to be an important part of conflict prevention. 

 
The resource base that people depend upon for their livelihood needs to be safeguarded.
Most recently; the Association of World Citizens has highlighted the deliberate destruction of food-related resources in the armed conflict between the Ethiopean federal forces and the opposition movements in Tigray.
 
Tigray
 
Image: Ethiopian national defense force 2nd Lt. Aweke Demesse talks with his troops on where to station their perimeter watches during Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s “Train the Trainer” course. By right, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Tigray: After the Calm, A Possible Storm.

 

The restoration of the agricultural infrastructure will be a lengthy process.

 
     Since 4 November 2020; fighting has gone on in Tigray with the deliberate destruction of crops and agricultural infrastructures.  U.N.-led humanitarian food relief was prevented from entering the area. Fortunately; at the start of November 2022; a ceasefire and a peace agreement facilitated by the African Union was signed in South Africa; where the negotiations had been held.
 
The African Union has designated a team of 10 persons to follow up the process.  However; the restoration of the agricultural infrastructure will be a lengthy process.  It is not sure that all the factions involved will agree to the creasefire.  The situation merits a close watch.
 

Efforts  of protection need to be permanent. 

 
     There are currently other conflicts linked to natural resources such as those in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The International Day must serve as a reminder; but efforts  of protection need to be permanent.
The Association of World Citizens will continue its efforts.
 
 
  René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.
 
Democratic Republic of Congo
Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash.

Democratic Republic of Congo — Need for Reconciliation Bridge-Builders.

Credits:

Image Featured: Photo by Thomas Richter on Unsplash.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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United Nations Appeals

The United Nations: The Reflection of the World Society.

Featured Image Photo by Shinobu in Pexels.

By Rene Wadlow.

In 1993, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali wrote:

“From the outset of my mandate, I have been convinced that the structure of the Organization must mirror, as closely as possible, the tasks it is assigned to undertake. An institution must reflect the objectives it pursues.”

He went on to stress the vast challenges of famine, drought, AIDS, civil wars, uprooted and displaced populations and human misery in many parts of the world. Thus Boutros-Ghali proposed measures to promote coordination and greater cooperation with non-governmental organizations.

All major problems and preoccupations concerning our planet are reflected in the discussions and studies of the United Nations. Such important challenges as preserving our environment, our cultural diversity, and our heritage of our past are under consideration in different parts of the UN system. All of us can take courage and hope in these efforts of the human community to solve environmental and social problems.

Through the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies, governments and people can obtain a planetary view of the human environment. Within the UN system, we can evaluate progress in issues of health, food, industry, and housing.

World cooperation has become a powerful asset, brought about by the deep forces which are at work in the present phase of evolution. To hold the human family together, to permit the further ascent, to prevent it from losing ground and falling into the abyss of despair, we must have a constant vision, a dream for the human family. The development of peace, justice, and cooperation rests largely in the hands of the people whop make up the 192 member States and the over 2000 non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the UN such as the Association of World Citizens.

Through the UN, bridges are being built. We are learning from each other. We are making constant progress in human relations. We are entering one of the most fascinating and challenging eras of human evolution. In order to meet this challenge we must be able to rely upon a vastly increased number of people with a world view. Developing such a world view is a major aim of the Association of World Citizens. The goal of the Association is the creation of a world in which the rich diversity of cultures exists together in an atmosphere marked by understanding, appreciation, and solidarity. A spirit of world citizenship builds on other aspects of personal identity such as gender, family, community and nationality. We strive to restore the great moral force of love, compassion and hope which is at the root of human progress. 

Boutros Boutros Ghali at Naela Chohan’s art exhibition for the 2002 International Women’s Day at UNESCO in Paris. By Naelachohanboutrosghali.jpg: عثمان وقاص چوہان.Uchohan at en.wikipediaderivative work: Bff, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

1 2 12

Thomas Nordstrom Book Reviews

Thomas Nordstrom. A World Government in Action.

Featured Image: Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash.

(Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, 147pp.)

 
Thomas Nordstrom  has written a useful book which more accurately should have been calles:

“The Need for a World Government in Action”

He outlines many of the challenges facing the world society and stresses that the United Nations does not have the authority or the power to deal with these challenges adequately.  The challenges are interrelated and thus must be faced in an interrelated way. Thus climate change has an impact on land use which has an impact on food production.  To improve food production, there must be better education on food issues as well as greater equality among women and men, as in many countries women play a major role in food production, food preperation and food conservation.
   
As governments and U.N. Secretariat members become aware of an issue, the issue is taken up in one or another of the U.N. Specialized Agencies – FAO, WHO, ILO, UNESCO, or a new program is created : the Environment Programme, or different programs on the issue of women. 
 
FAO Logo
 
Logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization. By FAO, original uploader: w:en:User:Cptnemo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

 
Today, within the halls of the U.N. there are negotiations for a Global Pact on the Environment and for the creation of a World Environment Organization which would be stronger than the existing U.N. Environment Programme.  Such a Global Pact for the Environment would clarify important environmental principles and relations between the existing treaties on the environment which have been negotiated separately.
 
    In the United Nations, the international agenda reflects the growing influence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the scientific community in shaping policy.  We see this vividly in the discussions on the impact of climate change.  The distinction that used to be made between national and international questions has almost entirely vanished.  NGOs must be able to provide possible avenues of action based on an effective theoretical analysis that acknowledges the complexity of the international environment.
 
United_Nations_Environment_Programme_Logo
 
United Nations Environment Programme Logo. By UNEP FI, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Militarization and The Complex Emergencies.

 
    Governments can not at the same time boost expenditures on armaments and deal effectively with ecological deterioration and the consequences of climate change.  Militarization has contributed to the neglect of other pressing issues, such as shrinking forests, erosion of soils and falling water tables.  Militarization draws energy and efforts away from constructive action to deal with common  problems.  Militarization creates rigidity at the center of world politics as well as brittleness which leads to regional conflicts and civil wars. This political paralysis is both a cause and a result of the rigidity and the brittleness of current internatinal politics. Opportunities are missed for building upon the more positive elements of a particular situation.
 
   What is often called “complex emergencies”  – a combination of political and social disintegration that includes armed conflicts, ethnic violence, state collapse, warlordism, refugee flows and famine – have become one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time. Today’s violent conflicts are often rooted in a mix of exclusion, inequality, mismanagement of natural resources, corruption, and the frustrations that accompany a lack of jobs and opportunitiues.  Lack of opportunities sows the seeds of instability and violence.
 
    As Nordstrom points out, behind all the current armed conflicts, there is the presence in a small number of countries of nuclear weapons.  If they were used, the level of destruction would be great.  Although nuclear disarmament was on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly from its start, there has been little  progress on nuclear disarmament issues.
 
As world citizen and former President of India S. Radhakrishnan has written:
 

“To survive we need a revolution in our thoughts and outlook.  From the alter of the past we should take the living fire and not the dead ashes. Let us remember the past, be alive to the present and create the future with courage in our hearts and faith in ourselves.” 

 
The great challenge which humanity faces today is to leave behind the culture of violence in which we find ourselves and move rapidly to a culture of peace and solidarity.  We can achieve this historic task by casting aside our ancient nationalistic and social prejudices and begin to think and act as responsible Citizens of the World. Nordstrom  sets out some of the guideposts.
   
 
Rene Wadlow, President Association of World Citizens.
 
 
 
   

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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