How will the United Nations take control over the entire globe and finally the United States of America?By admin
It seems to be weaker than the USA in terms of might.
Interesting article and video.....
On 11 December most countries will sign the UN Compact in Morocco. It is part of the "Agenda 21" plan for the 21 st century started in 1992. Read up about Agenda 21, agenda 2030 and about this Compact for Migration which will criminalize anyone saying anything against the UN plan. Those countries who signed are obliged to assist migrants financially and basically all people have a right to migrate....(no more borders). About 20 nations are now fighting it and will be forced by fines for not complying. It is part of the UN plan for one world government... Is this real? Or a conspiracy.... ? Watch this little video and give comments of the implications. I have the original documents and on this Youtube link you can also download the UN document "agenda 21". NGOs have already been receiving funds to implement it for the past 20 years and both republican and democratic governments has been changing laws to implement is..... It has been going on under our noses and the general public does not know. My interest in this is the fulfillment of prophecy which indicates the UN or coalition of governments to rule for short period of time before Armageddon. There are huge implications to this .... but first watch this little video to begin the discussion.... here is the link.....
Climate change is undeniable Climate action is unstoppable Climate solutions provide opportunities...By TheWorldNewsOrg
via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
By JW Insider
Sometimes, the Watchtower publications have pointed back to a time when the Watchtower predicted World War One (WWI) in 1914 and then also predicted that the United Nations would rise up to replace the League of Nations. These two "predictions" have even been paired together and presented nearly back-to-back in our publications. They were even brought up again at the 2014 convention and the 2009 convention. The reason the Watchtower has reviewed these two ideas from our history is probably already obvious and clear, and it has been clearly stated, too.
One of the most recent reviews of the history of Jehovah's Witnesses contains very similar claims, and is found in one of the videos, now also available on tv.jw.org:
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. These online transcripts appear fairly accurate:
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Here is the relevant part about 1914:
—Geoffrey W. JacksonÂ—
They realized that 1914 had a significance, Â—Gerrit LÃ¶schÂ—
When World War I broke out in July, they felt vindicated and it strengthened their faith in the Bible, and in JehovahÂ’s prophetic Word. Also, it enhanced their trust that Jehovah was using Brother Russell and his friends to explain truth to others. Â—Anthony Morris IIIÂ—
Just looking at the sign of the times that Jesus told us to look at is enough, but it's still significant that they could pinpoint that year. That's phenomenal. Here is the relevant part about the UN and League of Nations:
. . . And soon, they would boldly proclaim a Bible prophecy that pointed to the outcome of that war. Â—Â—Chapter 4: "Taught By Jehovah"Â—Â—
The year was 1941. Having taken the lead for 25 momentous years, J. F. Rutherford had become seriously ill and was about to make his final public appearance. . . . The second World War was raging. Some felt that these events could lead directly into Armageddon. In spite of this, in 1942, Nathan H. KnorrÂ—the one next appointed to take the lead among Jehovah's WitnessesÂ—spoke at a convention about a Bible prophecy that indicated that significant events had to occur first. Â—Knorr (reenactment)Â—
This international war is not 'the battle of the great day of God Almighty.' Before Armageddon comes, the Scriptures show, a peace must come. Â—John WischukÂ—
There was no peace on the horizon, and yet we said, "PeaceÂ—Can It Last?" Â—NarratorÂ—
Knorr centered attention on Revelation 17:8, which indicates that a figurative wild beast would come into existence, would cease to exist, but then would come back to life. Knorr then drew his listeners' attention to the defunct League of Nations. Â—Knorr (reenactment)Â—
The League is in effect in a state of suspended animation and needs to be revived if it is ever to live again. It has gone into the abyss of inaction and ineffectiveness. It "is not." Will the League remain in the pit? Again the Word of God gives answer: The association of worldly nations will rise again. Â—NarratorÂ—
That association did rise again three years later as the United Nations. Â—Anthony Morris IIIÂ—
They didn't know it was going to be called the United Nations, and we don't make that claim. But they knew it was coming out. Â
[Should be noted that Morris is claiming something that they "KNEW" in advance but he is also correcting a common claim that not only did Knorr predict the rise of the League of Nations three years ahead of time, but that he even used the term "United Nations." As one person writes on a website "Knorr prophesied in 1942 that the League of Nations would rise out of the abyss. Knorr used the expression 'United Nations.' How could he have known the exact name of the new incarnation, when it wasn't established until 1945?"]
Witnesses got these ideas about a correctly predicted prophecy from an article published a few years later under Knorr's administration in 1960. These quotes should be compared with the actual transcript of the speech Knorr made on September 20, 1942, which was made available as a booklet, and can be found here:
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The July 15, 1960 Watchtower, page 444, said this:
"In 1942 the Â“faithful and discreet slaveÂ” guided by JehovahÂ’s unerring spirit made known that the democracies would win World War II and that there would be a United Nations organization set up." You can also see a reference to the 1942 event in the Revelation book (p.248) on WOL at jw.org:
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. You can also read the following about it in the April 15, 1989 Watchtower, p.14
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. By divine providence, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses received enlightenment on that mystery in 1942. . . . Nathan H.Â Knorr, president of the Watch Tower Society, gave the public talk, Â“PeaceÂ—Can It Last?Â” Therein he reviewed Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , . . . . Was that Bible-based forecast fulfilled? Truly it was! In 1945 the international Â“wild beastÂ” emerged from its abyss of inactivity as the United Nations. See also the Kingdom Come bookÂ
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and and interesting version of events found in a 1981 Watchtower about why this "insight" was given Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Proclaimers book states it like this on page 192-3 (Â
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) This time, it involved the United Nations, successor to the League. While World WarÂ II was still under way, in 1942, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses had already discerned from the Bible, at Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , that the world peace organization would rise again, also that it would fail to bring lasting peace. This was explained by N.Â H.Â Knorr, then president of the Watch Tower Society, in the convention discourse Â“PeaceÂ—Can It Last?Â” Boldly JehovahÂ’s Witnesses proclaimed that view of the developing world situation. In 1993 the idea was stated as follows:
Â“The Disgusting ThingÂ” 12,Â 13. What was Â“the disgusting thing,Â” andÂ—as foreseen by the faithful and discreet slaveÂ—when and how was it reestablished? 12 When the end of the second world war was in sight, there was another development. Â“They will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation.Â” ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) This Â“disgusting thing,Â” which Jesus also mentioned, had already been recognized as the League of Nations, the scarlet-colored wild beast that according to Revelation went into the abyss. ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ; see Light, Book Two, pageÂ 94.) It did this when World WarÂ II broke out. However, at the New World Theocratic Assembly of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in 1942, Nathan H.Â Knorr, third president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, discussed the prophecy of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and warned that the beast would rise again from the abyss. 13 History bore out the truth of his words. Between August and OctoberÂ 1944, at Dumbarton Oaks in the United States, work was begun on the charter of what would be called the United Nations. The charter was adopted by 51 nations, including the former Soviet Union, and when it came into force on OctoberÂ 24, 1945, the defunct League of Nations in effect came out of the abyss. There are several more examples, but this should suffice. I am struck by how often the point is emphasized that these were Knorr's words, "his words" and that they were a Bible-based forecast "foreseen" and "discerned" and "known" in advance through "divine providence" and "enlightenment" and men being "guided by Jehovah's unerring spirit." This is an odd focus on the insights and discernment of men. These expressions are also dangerously presumptuous in that they are so often applied to the one or two times when it seems something was foreseen correctly, but there is no balanced way of discussing the reasons that literally dozens of predictions were made incorrectly and have been dropped as "old light."
But, as many Witnesses already know, there is something even deeper that is wrong with these claims of accuracy in discernment. The claims are inaccurate! It turns out that this was not really even predicted in advance. A close look at the original transcript of Knorr's talk actually solves the mystery of why he used the term United Nations in his speech. It's because he gave the speech AFTER official work on the United Nations had already begun.
The United Nations Will Soon Act Against Russia, South Korea, Singapore and Eritrea for Human Rights Violations Against Jehovah's WitnessesBy The Librarian
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Jehovah's Witnesses have long been persecuted as a religious minority but the United Nations is telling Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Eritrea that time is up! Listen to investigative journalist Joseph Bonner break down the facts.
Macron to UN: "Our fight against terrorism is also a political, cultural, moral fight"
The similar demolition of a Catholic church last year is prompting Christians to worry that the central government will begin ordering the mass destruction of church buildings nationwide as new religious regulations go into effect next month. These regulations grant the Chinese Communist Party increased power over religion, paving the way for escalated persecution.
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By The Librarian
The heated language of Trump’s presidential campaign is affecting American Muslims, who find themselves increasingly on the receiving end of hate crimes. A year into TrumpÂ’s presidency, how will his words and decisions affect the countryÂ’s Islamic minority? We ask Trita Parsi, former informal Obama administrationÂ’s adviser and head of the National American Iranian Council.
'Mismanagement' keeps UN from reaching full potential, Trump says in debut speech
WHAT DOES TRUMP THINK ABOUT PUTIN’S WAR ON RELIGION?
BYÂ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â ON 8/12/17 AT 12:20 AM
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Just ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that the crackdown on civic activism in Russia would target religious communities, not just NGOs. And yet it is happening.
The Russian state persecutes Baptists, Pentecostals, and Adventists and closes down Orthodox parishes that are not part of the Moscow Patriarchate.
For the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed, preachers are now being fined for proclaiming GodÂ’s word outside church buildings.
And a recent Supreme Court decision has opened the door to liquidating JehovahÂ’s Witnesses communities in Russia.
Â“TraditionalÂ” versus Â“NontraditionalÂ” Religions
Russia divides all faiths into Â“traditionalÂ” and Â“nontraditional.Â” This concept, while absent from the Russian Law on Religious Freedom (although mentioned in the lawÂ’s preamble), has been introduced under pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Patriarch Kirill personally.
Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are deemed Â“traditional,Â” while Old Believers, Catholics, various Protestant denominations, and many others are not.
A member of the 'Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers' takes part in a demonstration against the movie 'Matilda' in front of the Church of the Resurrection in Moscow on August 1, 2017. 'Matilda', a Russian movie about a love story between the last Russian Tsar Nikolay II and the ballerina Mathilda-Marie Feliksovna Kschessinskaya set for theater release in October, is believed by many Russians to insult the monarchy and offend religious sentiment.MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/GETTY
The concept of traditional religions not only pits worshippers against each other, it also ignores the religious diversity of Russia. Today there are some 15 million practicing Orthodox believers in Russia, 10 million Muslims, 3 million Protestants, 500,000 Buddhists, 200,000 Jews, 175,000 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, 100,000 Hindus, and 100,000 followers of other religious faiths (e.g., there are an estimated 10,000 Mormons in Russia).
The ROC has usurped the right to a close relationship with the government and accuses Catholics and Protestants of proselytizing in the territory that it considers its own. As for Muslims, the ROC accepts as Â“traditionalÂ” only those who are loyal to the government.
The ROCÂ’s concern is understandable. According to the Russian Ministry of Justice, ROC organizations are the most numerous in the country (around 16,000 communities), while Protestants and Muslims are second and third (5,000Â–6,000 communities each).
However, polls show that Protestants and Muslims may be twice as numerous as official figures suggest. For example, evangelicals are now the second largest Christian denomination in Russia after Orthodox Christians in terms of numbers and presence throughout the country.
In fact, in many regions of Siberia and the Far East, the number of Protestant communities and active parishioners is higher than the number of practicing Orthodox believers. In light of this, Patriarch Kirill has repeatedly urged the authorities in the Far East to Â“fight against sectsÂ” and support the Orthodox projects.
Tightening the Screws
The path toward tightening the screws on various non-traditional religions began in 2012, with the Â“foreign agentÂ” law limiting the activity of foreign-funded noncommercial organizations. Furthermore, the law on meetings and demonstrations was also tightened. And in 2015 a new directive was introduced specifying that all religious groups must inform authorities of their existence.
Then, in June 2016, the State Duma adopted a series of laws known collectively as theÂ
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â Named after Duma Deputy Irina Yarovaya, who initiated it, the law amends Russian public safety and anti-extremism legislation. The part of the law that has already come into force and has received the broadest coverage consists of the statutes regulating liability for failure to report Â“extremist activityÂ”Â—a very broadly defined set of activities under Russian law, ranging from calls for violence to the vague Â“incitement of racial, nationalist and religious hatredÂ” and Â“propaganda of exceptionalismÂ” based on religion or nationality.
The part of the Yarovaya Law that has received much less attention is the provision imposing new restrictions on missionary work. The law now imposes a fine of 50,000 rubles on a private citizen for illegal preaching and up to 1 million rubles on a religious organization.
Illegal preaching may mean preaching in a building that is not designated for such purposes and lacks proper signage. As a result, the police and the prosecutorÂ’s office now consider the activity of religious groups lacking official registration as illegalÂ—a change from the recent past.
Targeting JehovahÂ’s Witnesses
The recent court proceedings against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses are a case in point. The campaign against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses began in 2009, during the still relatively liberal Dmitry MedvedevÂ’s premiership.
In a number of cases the courts, relying on poorly and unprofessionally conducted evaluations, concluded that JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ literature could be defined as Â“extremist,Â” referring as it did to the faith as the only true faith.
The adoption of the Yarovaya Law, therefore, opened the door to liquidating JehovahÂ’s Witnesses communities on the basis of their possessing Â“extremistÂ” literature.
On April 20, 2017, on the basis of the totality of these cases, the Russian Supreme Court ruled to liquidate the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Management Center and all of the regional organizations. On July 17, 2017, a Supreme Court panel declined the JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ appeal, and the decision entered into force.
The decision means prohibition of activity for over 400 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses organizations all over Russia and criminal prosecutions of more than 170,000 believers if they continue to gather and read faith publications and the Bible in their specific translation. (There are more than 2,000 groups engaged in this activity in Russia.)
On top of that, because JehovahÂ’s Witnesses organizations are now judged Â“extremist,Â” the state is confiscating the professionÂ’s assets: 118 buildings in fifty-seven regions whose total value is 1.9 billion rubles.
For the West, it was specifically the prohibition against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses that came to symbolize pointless religious discrimination in Russia and a drastic reduction of religious freedoms in the country. The EUÂ’s Office of Foreign Policy, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Helsinki Committee have all broadly criticized the move and called on Russia to rescind it.
On top of that, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. It is clear in advance that the judgment wonÂ’t be in RussiaÂ’s favor. Taking into account the losses sustained by the faithful, the fine that the Strasbourg court will impose on Russia for the benefit of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses may reach astronomical heights.
The fact is, authoritiesÂ’ fight against nontraditional religions and religious denominations, which they peg as weird and scary sects, takes ugly, almost caricature forms.
Journalists, politicians, and Orthodox activists accuse those of other faiths of activities that constitute the core religious activities of all faiths, including the ROC itself: collecting donations, engaging in prayers with emotional overtones, and instructing followers, including children, in the tenets of the faith. In the context of the massive anti-West hysteria, xenophobia, and search for spies, all of these generally normal activities become a crime.
Most politicians and public figures, both conservative and liberal, readily jump on the bandwagon, portraying unfamiliar Â“sectsÂ” as threatening to the secular state and even citizensÂ’ psychological health. And the media ignore the persecution of those targeted under the Yarovaya Law.
There are now more than 100 court cases challenging the imposition of fines against religious communities and individual faithful, yet they are proceeding unnoticed by the general public.
Many assume that the suppression of religious dissent automatically benefits the ROC. But that is not necessarily the case. Representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate are torn by irreconcilable contradictions.
On the one hand, there are those who would like to prohibit all sects legislatively and in that way eliminate all competitors. (They are particularly troubled by the evangelicals in the Far East, who at this point exceed the number of the Orthodox.)
On the other hand, many experts note that as soon as the word Â“sectÂ” is introduced into the law, half the Orthodox communities could be prohibited. Rank-and-file priests and believers have stated that the anti-missionary statutes of the Yarovaya Law could also be used to prevent Orthodox sermons and missions among youth.
In Russia, the gap is growing between the discriminated-against non-Orthodox Christians and the Orthodox, between the ROC bureaucracy and Orthodox activists of different persuasions, between the ROCÂ’s leadership and the pro-democracy-minded part of society, between the desires of law enforcement organs and the aims of the missionaries of different churches, including the ROC.
These conflicts are getting sharper because Russian society betrays more civility than the Russian state. Ordinary Russians are much more tolerant of those professing different beliefs than are the police and the prosecutorÂ’s office.
And the trend toward aligning the governmentÂ’s policy with the interests of the ROC produces a boomerang effect: civil society criticizes priests and bishops from the Orthodox standpoint, not from an atheistic one.
This is why the state has decided to safeguard itself against independent religious authority by heavily regulating it.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â is Senior Researcher at Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the Center for Religious Studies in the Institute of Europe (Russian Academy of Sciences), a member of Russian team of Keston Institute (Oxford, UK) project Â“Encyclopedia of religious life in Russia TodayÂ”, editor-in-chief of the web-portal Â“Religion and LawÂ” ( Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ), a public policy scholar in theÂ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â and theÂ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â (2011) and The Galina Starovoitova Fellowship scholar of the Kennan Institute (2017).
By The Librarian
The US leader's comments marked a change in tone after his sometimes anti-Islamic rhetoric during the presidential race.
Trump urges Muslim leaders to 'drive out' terror
Donald Trump has likened the fight against Islamic extremism to a battle between "good and evil" and not different faiths.
Speaking to leaders from around 50 Muslim-majority countries in Saudi Arabia, the President attacked militants as "barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life".
The US leader urge the nations to "confront Islamic terror of all kinds", deny sanctuary to extremists and stand together against the murder of innocent Muslims by groups like Islamic State.
According to Mr Trump, "95% of the victims of terrorist attacks are themselves Muslims".
He said America was seeking a "coalition of nations" in the Middle East with the aim of "stamping out extremism".
Trump in Saudi: 'Tremendous progress tackling IS' He said the countries "cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them".
Striking a conciliatory line, his comments marked a change in tone for Mr Trump after his remarks during the presidential campaign where he told the US: "Islam hates us."
Addressing the Arab-Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, he said: "We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading."
Saudi King: 'Islam is the religion of peace' Mr Trump told leaders at the meeting that he brought "a message of friendship and hope and love", and urged Muslim countries to ensure "terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil".
He announced a deal with Gulf countries to crackdown on the funding of extremists.
The President also hit out at Iran, accusing Tehran of "fuelling the fires of sectarian conflict".
He said among Iran's destabilising interventions was in Syria, where President Bashar al Assad has "committed unspeakable crimes".
"From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region," Mr Trump said.
Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley said the President's comments "will be very much welcomed by the predominantly Sunni attendees from some 50 nations.
"And it will strike a degree of horror into (Shia-dominated) Iran.
"Terrorism is sponsored through groups like Hizbollah, by Iran, but there are also Sunni Islamic terrorist groups that the Iranians are fighting, not least Islamic State in Syria."
Mr Trump also called upon countries around the world to work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
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The UN should create a set of international rules to help stop the pandemic of fake news and Cold war-style disinformation, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said during a session of the UN Committee on Information in New York.
Bolivian Ambassador Remembers The U.S. Saying Iraq Had Chemical Weapons!
GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*.
“This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said.
“The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed.
The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.
A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events.
A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’.
Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016. The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.
“We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded.
(*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. UN Human Rights, country page:
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By Guest Nicole
The Clean Seas campaign was launched last week, aimed at eliminating major sources of marine plastic and changing shopping habits.
The United Nations has declared war on plastic. In an unexpected announcement that emerged from the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali last week, the UN officially launched its ‘Clean Seas’ campaign. The goal is to eliminate major sources of pollution, including microplastics in cosmetics and single-use disposable plastics, by pressuring governments and individuals to rethink the way goods are packaged and their own shopping habits.
Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, stated:
“It is past time that we tackle the plastic problem that blights our oceans. Plastic pollution is surfing onto Indonesian beaches, settling onto the ocean floor at the North Pole, and rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables. We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse. It must stop.”
It’s a problem that must be dealt with as aggressively as possible. Scientists say that the equivalent of a dump truck load of plastic is deposited in the world’s oceans every minute, and this quantity will only increase as consumption and population grow, too. By 2050, it’s said there will be more plastic than fish in the seas. The UN writes, “As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy – litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife.”
On the campaign website, people can commit to certain actions to combat their personal plastic pollution, such as not using disposable grocery bags, bringing their own coffee cup, avoiding cosmetics with microbeads, and pressuring firms to reduce excess packaging. The campaign’s press release says it will make announcements throughout the year, highlighting advances made by countries and companies to reduce disposable plastics.
Some countries have taken noteworthy steps, with ten already signing onto the #CleanSeas campaign. Indonesia, for example, has pledged to reduce marine litter by 70 percent by 2025, and Costa Rica says it will “take measures to dramatically reduce single-use plastic through better waste management and education.” Other nations are turning to taxes on plastic bags.
The UN Clean Seas campaign is a good place to start, as it will spread the awareness of a little-known problem much further afield. Awareness, however, is just the first small step. It must translate into real lifestyle changes in order to make any sort of difference. It requires people to think ahead – request no straw with a drink, pack containers and bags when going to the store, trade in the diaper wipes for a washcloth, kick the bottled water habit – and it requires municipal governments to take a strong, often unpopular, stance.
Just as microbeads are being eliminated in many places, plastic shopping bags should be, too; or at least the tax should be high enough to deter anyone, say $5 a bag, instead of 5 cents. Every town should have a bulk food store where the use of reusable containers is incentivized. Styrofoam and plastic takeout containers should be made illegal. Places to return packaging directly to manufacturers should be built alongside recycling facilities, based on the successful model of returning wine and beer bottles for refund in the province of Ontario. Schools need to start teaching children to care proactively for the Earth and to live with a reduced footprint, much like the strong anti-littering messages taught in Japan.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard quotes Wang Yang Ming in his book, Let My People Go Surfing: “To know and not to do is not to know.” Hopefully the Clean Seas campaign will be that crucial first step toward informing greater swaths of the world’s population and inspiring them to further action.
By The Librarian
United Nations Building, New York City
Photo Credit: Flash 90
For years, critics of the United Nations have been calling on the U.S. to defund and even quit the world body. Some have urged that a rival or successor organization be established. Now, the empty sheet of bitter discontent with the UN has been filled in with a new name and a new movement calling to “defund and replace” the troubled organization with the Covenant of Democratic Nations. This writer has been a participating witness to the birth of this movement.
Just days after the passage of UN Resolution 2334, which declared, among other things, that Israel’s Jewish connection to the Western Wall was effectively illegal, concrete replacement action began. It has started with a conversation of ideas proposing an official international conference that would carefully propound a multilaterally-signed diplomatic convention to be ratified by countries as a binding treaty that would juridically forge the covenant into operational reality.
The entire process would be limited to nations governed by democratic principles. Each member would or could defund the United Nations while it labored to construct a successor entity dedicated to world peace along democratic principles with equal respect for all people regardless of religion, gender, race, identity, or national origin, as well as formulating a mechanism to resolve disputes.
A prime mission of the new world body would be to re-ratify, amend, or nullify all acts and resolutions of the United Nations and its agencies such as UNESCO. Thus, the Covenant would create a new body of long-overdue, reformed, clarified, and updated international law. Sensibly, most CDN nations would remain as vestigial members of the UN overseeing its collapse from economic and bureaucratic processes as was done when the League of Nations was dissolved after World War II and replaced with the present UN.
Clearly, the history of world bodies, fluttering high-minded banners of peace on earth following wars that scorched the world and scarred all humankind, is not a good one. The League of Nations was born after World War I out of a quest for revenge by the victors, laced with a visionary desire to end colonialism and empower self-determination among nationally awakened peoples, so long as the whole business conquered the oil fields of the Mideast, lubricating the machinery of the post-Second Industrial Revolution West—and the multinational corporate palms that controlled it.
Countries were invented that had never existed, carved and chipped off the toppled Turkish and German empires, with handpicked kings and sovereigns put into place who could legally sign lucrative petroleum contracts. Backstage, oil companies got the oil. But the flaccid League of Nations – which never included the United States –proved its utter uselessness during the Hitler regime.
After World War II, the League was replaced by the United Nations. Although enshrined as a democratic enterprise, profoundly undemocratic and scheming governments penetrated the organization from its inception. Civil war-torn China and a tyrannical and hegemonic Soviet Union joined France, Great Britain, and the United States to create the Security Council. Expansion, inclusion, and extension eventually enrolled 193 nations, including such egalitarian democracies as North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia. The world body began as a sick organ and deteriorated from there.
The Covenant conversation launched in earnest on January 23 when a panel of like-minded voices assembled in a crowded Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ,) who currently supports a bill to defund the UN, opened the Covenant Launch proceedings by declaring, “This is a critically important issue. The United Nations started out with a noble charter…but the United Nations has not only failed their charter, they have distinctly moved in the opposite direction and done actual harm…. They have become an anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-democratic, anti-freedom mob…. We need some type of alternative – a Covenant of Democratic Nations…. We need to repeal and replace.”
Sarah Stern, founder of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), pinpointed America’s 22 percent share of the overall UN budget. Stern said America was not getting what it pays for when “despotic, ruthless, tyrannical regimes” such as Syria “could pass judgment on the one democracy in the Middle East.” The UN has, she said, proven to be “abysmal” and added, “It is now time to begin having this conversation about dissolving the United Nations and replacing with a Covenant of Democratic Nations that share our common values…of tolerance, human rights, and the rule of law.”
Famed constitutional attorney Nathan Lewin, who has worked on 28 Supreme Court cases, proclaimed to the room, “The United Nations deserves an obituary…because the United Nations committed suicide when it adopted Resolution 2334. It wrote its own death warrant…. Today I am happy to join a group that would spell the end of the United Nations, the end of its funding, it presence and significance in the world order.”
The Covenant launch in Washington was only the beginning. Additional panels and town hall meetings will convene in several locales in the coming weeks. The conversation has begun.
About the Author: Edwin Black is the author of several books including “ IBM and the Holocaust” and the initiator of the Covenant of the Democratic Nations effort. For his prior efforts, he has been awarded the Moral Courage Award, the Moral Compass Award, and the Justice for All Award.
By Guest Nicole
UNESCO has intervened in the long-running Israeli-Arab conflict over Jerusalem's holy sites of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. It passed a resolution for the sites to be referred to only by their Arabic names - Haram al-Sharif and the Buraq Wall - thereby ignoring any Jewish connection.
By The Librarian
Over the past year we have been celebrating 70 years of the United Nations and indeed, there is much to be proud of and grateful for. Over the past year alone, Member States adopted an ambitious development agenda – Agenda 2030 – as well as the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, a process in which I was honoured to play a role. These agreements demonstrate, once again, the power and the value of the UN when its Member States are united in purpose.
At the same time, the world is facing complex challenges that the UN’s founders could have scarcely imagined 70 years ago. As our societies have grown more interconnected, so have our problems. The global migration and refugee crisis has demonstrated that armed conflict, environmental degradation and human rights violations in one part of the world can have repercussions across the world. We are already witnessing the effects of climate change, the impacts of which are being felt most acutely by the poorest societies that are least able to cope. We have also been made painfully aware that terrorism knows no borders and that violent extremists are increasingly adept at exploiting power vacuums, instability and discontent to spread hatred and destruction.
Image: United Nations Working together to tackle the biggest challenges
It is evident that we can no longer afford to deal with such challenges in an isolated manner or ignore the full range of their impacts – social, political, environmental and economic. Doing so risks inflaming vicious cycles of conflict. The only way to take on these challenges is by working collectively; either we figure out ways of winning together, or we will all lose together.
In these complicated times, and in a fraught and shifting geopolitical environment, the United Nations remains the indispensable organization that can bring the world around the table to formulate collective responses to shared challenges. Even as these challenges grow increasingly complex, Member States continue to turn to the UN as the universal forum to build consensus and unity in the face of daunting obstacles. But in order to deliver on its crucial responsibilities in a fast-moving world, the UN as an institution has to evolve. This requires visionary leadership and creativity to adapt the way we think, the way we engage, and the way we work.
Four priorities for peace and security
For the UN to take on the global challenges of the 21st century, I believe the next secretary-general should focus on four broad priorities in the field of peace and security.
First, conflict prevention and strengthened political engagement must be brought to the forefront of the UN’s agenda. This is not a new idea –three major reviews of the UN’s peace and security architecture over the past year have reiterated this point. The UN secretariat needs to be more creative in presenting to the Security Council the full spectrum of instruments we have at our disposal to prevent and de-escalate conflicts, from special envoys, regional political offices and political missions, to peacebuilding support efforts and specialized, interdisciplinary teams that can provide host governments with focused support. The UN should also use its greatest assets – its convening power and legitimacy – to be more active at bringing together stakeholders to negotiate political settlements and resolve conflicts before violence erupts.
Additionally, we must remember that conflict prevention requires sowing the seeds of long-term peace through development and prosperity. Agenda 2030 highlights the old truth that there is no peace without sustainable development – and no sustainable development without peace.
A second priority should be promoting full integration of UN system-wide efforts. Too often the UN’s political, developmental and human rights efforts are functioning at cross-purposes. This must stop. The multi-dimensional challenges we face require multi-dimensional thinking and action. We must overcome institutional inertia and instil a culture of systemic collaboration and inter-disciplinary thinking appropriate for the interconnected world we live in. The new secretary-general and their team should find innovative ways of harnessing the full capacities of the UN system, including the agencies, funds and programmes to be able to tackle issues on all fronts. This also requires undertaking renewed efforts to promote better internal governance, transparency and accountability. And we must heed the call from both Member States and UN staff to adapt our bureaucratic processes to be more agile and effective, and better respond to evolving realities in the field.
Third, the UN must become a better partner. Regional and sub-regional organizations such as the African Union, European Union, Arab League, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and others play a critical role in conflict resolution and prevention. We must recognize that other actors are sometimes better placed to react more rapidly and effectively. In such cases, we should work together with these organizations to identify the ways the UN can best support and enable regional efforts. And our approach should be grounded in a spirit of mutual respect and recognition of comparative advantages.
Finally, the next secretary-general should redouble diplomatic engagement with Member States, particularly the Security Council, through closer and more regular interaction aimed at finding and expanding points of consensus. While the Council has been criticized for its handling of the Syrian crisis, we must recognize that it found common ground on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and on authorizing cross-border humanitarian access. Even in the most seemingly intractable conflicts, there is room for agreement on issues of common interest, and the secretary-general should use their diplomatic arsenal and creativity to facilitate consensus among Member States, even when consensus seems impossible.
Making the impossible a reality
Indeed, a universal agreement to combat climate change seemed impossible only a few years ago. But through persistent, hopeful leadership and old-fashioned multilateral diplomacy –the UN’s raison d’être and greatest strength – we were able to make the impossible possible. I am confident that together we can do the same for the multitude of challenges we face today. Billions of people around the world affected by conflict, poverty and hardship are counting on us. We cannot fail them.
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