Mosques are everywhere; Imams, Sheikhs, and Ayatollahs have determined that everyone should be able to walk to one within five minutes. Exposed to the West through the internet, influenced by Al Jazeera, a provocative Arab version of CNN, significantly unemployed and underemployed, dejected by the failed promise of the Arab Spring, the youths of the Middle East are restless. The dramatic decrease in oil revenue has predictably caused unaccustomed or intensified economic pain. In addition, the Shite-Sunni religious rivalries reveal both spiritual and nationalistic competition. A narrow, religious educational standard promoted for boys by the Madrassas especially in Saudi Arabia focused on the memorization and interpretation of the Koran , intensify this unease and discontent.
Only in Iran did we find a significant number of educated women who worked in professional careers. One question that I carried with me: Is it possible to be Arab and a global citizen? Is it possible for the Middle Eastern countries to take their equitable place at the table of nations, apart from their gas and oil reserves? Much of the news coverage of the Middle East during the last few decades has been laden with conflict. This strategy enormously skewed oil profits away from local populations, formalized their control of puppet autocrats, neglected the historic tribal landscape and left the Kurds without a homeland.
No doubt the map of the Middle East will be redrawn after the tragedy of Syria is finally stabilized. I expect a home for the million Kurds, a Kurdistan to emerge, but not without intense upheaval. Israeli and Palestinian populations will no doubt finally become exhausted and borders established. Someday, Islam will experience an enlightenment that moves beyond the Sunni-Shite division and finds a peaceful reconciliation with modernity.
My dream! Is there a meaningful strategy forthcoming, encouraging a future that is both Arab, Persian, Turkish and global? The desire of the Sheikhs, Emirs and Sultans, at least on the Western side of the Gulf seems to be emerging. Perhaps stifled now in this effort by the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, nevertheless, there are some positive elements. It was very impressive to be immersed in this endeavour, if only for a day.
In Abu Dhabi, both the Guggenheim and the Louvre have construction ongoing. These are in addition to the world renowned museums in Egypt, Turkey and Iran. Museums inspire, engage, educate and enlighten. Personally, I am not inclined to want to live in Dubai with its incredible skyscrapers or in the Middle East. I will always cherish moments spent, often enhanced by human kindness …. Nevertheless, I did appreciate so many people on the ground, welcoming us; hosting us with kindness; seeking to honour their cultural heritage, creating magnificent, stunningly beautiful mosques and the many who actualize the Arab proverb:.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Dag Hammarskjöld: Apostle of Mediation - Revista de Mediación
This happy union came about through the energy and enthusiasm of the late Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen, a former Chapter President. It is all the others. Following their statements, they answered a series of questions on a range of subjects.
Comments and suggestions for strengthening the proposed programme were then invited from the large audience. There were many of these and in closing the meeting, David Wardrop thanked all present for contributing to such a lively and interesting meeting. The event was made possible through the generosity of the Consulate-General of the Embassy of Angola.
UNA Westminster welcomes the adoption of the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons UNA Westminster has welcomed the adoption in New York of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons , the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years. The treaty, adopted by a vote of in favour to one against Netherlands , with one abstention Singapore , prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons.
At the time of the visit, the UN was hosting several intergovernmental meetings, with the largest of which with no UK representation. This was the latest in a series of meetings to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. There were more than States present but only the Netherlands from a NATO state and no attendance by other nuclear powers. We learned that this was one example of a distancing of the permanent members of the Security Council from non-nuclear and middle rank and developing states, also that the current climate in the Security Council sees it caught in a period of name-calling and lack of much will for cooperation.
So it was interesting that the presentation made by the UK Mission to the UN principally covered its work in the field of development which is conducted in the General Assembly.
Not all presentations were made by UN staff. The group visited the Center on International Cooperation based in New York University, a vitally important institution to which the UN turns to very much when testing new ideas in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The group was fortunate to be hosted by the Board of the UNA New York Chapter on the 44th floor boardroom of Akin Gump for whom their chairman works and which has a stunning view left.
The visit included a tour of the historical old town and a chance to swim on its peaceful, sandy beach and a memorable walk across the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge below , bedecked with the flags of all nations, a fitting tribute to the achievements of a remarkable lady. Margaret Anstee known as Joan to her family served the United Nations over five decades, working tirelessly for development and peace, to encourage and promote its talented women.
She served as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Angola which she tried desperately to save from further civil war and where she is remembered with great affection. Upon retirement, she made her second home in Bolivia.
HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies
Record attendance by diplomats at UN Peacekeepers Day ceremony The annual wreath-laying ceremony to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers witnessed a record attendance by foreign diplomats in London. A total of laid wreaths on behalf of their countries. A full report of the conference and ceremony can be found here.
Hilde F. The afternoon session, the Margaret Anstee Memorial Seminar will tackle leadership and accountability and consider how to improve trust and credibility in a context of ongoing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse and a perceived failure to protect. Please click here to register for the conference. The traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph will take place at 1. Attendance is open to all. With work from Richard Bean, David Edgar, Phil Porter and more, Moving Stories will see a host of stars perform in aid of the current overwhelming global refugee crisis — the largest since the Second World War.
Click here for information and tickets. Since its creation in , UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been providing essential protection and support to the millions of people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution or violence. Over the last six decades, UNHCR has been on the ground fulfilling its mandate to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of refugees, ensuring that those who cannot seek protection from their own country can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another.
Today, an unprecedented These are people whose lives have been shaped by war, fear and loss, but for whom UNHCR works hard to provide life-saving assistance, and crucially, hope for a better future. Swimming Club film now released for public viewing The film The Swimming Club , winner of the annual TweetaPitch competition and which received its world premiere at the We The Peoples Film Festival has now been released for public access viewing.
It follows a group of transgender women in London who have set up a 'safe space' swimming club as they come together for their weekly swim. In fact, simply being in a public space can be challenging for trans people. Changing rooms become daunting places, and revealing your body to a crowded pool might be the last thing you want to do.
So, for them, swimming is a brave act of resistance. We plan to hold briefings with several UN agencies and programmes and with other organisations based in New York. If the UN calendar allows, we will seek to attend major UN meetings. Tour members will meet up at our chosen hotel in Manhattan on Sunday evening, 18 June. If you arrange your own accommodation, we can re-adjust costs accordingly. This covers accommodation for six nights, two dinners and return travel to Westport CT.
It does not include air travel or meals other than indicated. Please register your interest at info unawestminster. In noting the election of Donald Trump, he shares his anxiety that he and Mr Putin may overlook and denigrate the work done to allow Europe years of peace while creating a Yalta style agreement. Chief Justice Othman is not new to this challenge. To support her concerns, Professor Hampson will draw attention to certain states announcing their intention to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; the use of torture by US and UK agents in Iraq and Afghanistan disregarded both human rights law and the law of armed conflict; and, in the UK, threats by the government to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.
The lecture is open to all and registration to attend can be made here. John Cooke first served with the Irish Guards in the British army but on moving to Ireland joined the 36th battalion of the Irish army. In , he was posted to the 38th battalion then deployed by the United Nations to Elizabethville in the Katanga province of the Republic of the Congo.
Later, he returned to London where he remained for the rest of his life.
News Report 8 June The UN veterans will again provide the colour guard at the traditional ceremony at the Cenotaph to mark the International Day of United Nations peacekeepers, to be held on 24 May at 1pm. Also, the EHRC had called on the Government to take urgent steps to tackle deep-seated racial inequality or risk societal disintegration. It proposed tough new race targets covering criminal justice, education and employment.
Concerns for the state of UK race relations had been supported by its own research which evidences painfully slow progress and disproportionate outcomes in the life chances of black and minority ethnic people. Upon becoming Prime Minister, Theresa May had committed the Government to an audit of public services to identify and tackle racial disparities and injustice. This matter had taken on extra relevance following the race hate spike following the Brexit referendum and had been addressed in the report Healing a divided Britain published in August.
This document and the call for a race equality strategy was an example of UK civil society at work. She noted the start of the International Decade for People of African Descent but awaited clarity from government on what strategy might address this.
She drew attention to the vision in the original UK Race Relations Act and regretted that, in her opinion, such clarity and courage are not shown today. Ian Naysmith, Senior Policy Adviser in the Integration and Faith Division at the Department for Communities and Local Government DCLG spoke of the devolvement of responsibilities in this field throughout central government, to the devolved administrations and also overseas territories.
He shared with the audience the environment in which governments and NGOs present their respective cases in Geneva to a panel comprising experts from Ireland, Jamaica and Turkey. The meeting ended with a lively Question and Answer session, covering mental health, the empowerment of women, and the delicate balance between freedom of speech and the dangers of hate speech. Our festival is unique in Europe and we look forward to next year with enthusiasm!