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By Guest Nicole
SUPPORTERS of vaping claim it is a way for smokers to quit and it is also a “lesser evil” than conventional cigarettes.
But new research suggests vaping increases the level of DNA-damaging compounds. If cells cannot repair DNA damage the risk of cancer can increase, say scientists.
The study analysed the saliva and mouth cells of five e-cigarette users before and after a 15-minute vaping session. Researchers found increased levels of toxic chemicals formaldehyde, acrolein and methylglyoxal
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.....
A Chinese researcher claimed to have helped make the world's first genetically edited babies, and the scientific community responded with shock and alarm.
Climate change is undeniable Climate action is unstoppable Climate solutions provide opportunities...By TheWorldNewsOrg
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
via .ORGWorld News
By Jack Ryan
When smartphones became the standard and everyone had them; a bunch of people would say that "if you had a password on your phone, you have something to hide."
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: https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/VODOrgHistory/pub-ivfa2_x_VIDEO
These online transcripts appear fairly accurate:
Video Transcript Jehovah's Witnesses Faith in Action Part 1 Out of Darkness.pdf Video Transcript Jehovah's Witnesses Faith in Action Part 2 Let the Light Shine.pdf Here is the relevant part about 1914:
—Geoffrey W. Jackson—
They realized that 1914 had a significance, —Gerrit Lösch—
When World War I broke out in July, they felt vindicated and it strengthened their faith in the Bible, and in Jehovah’s prophetic Word. Also, it enhanced their trust that Jehovah was using Brother Russell and his friends to explain truth to others. —Anthony Morris III—
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. ——Chapter 4: "Taught By Jehovah"——
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. Knorr—the one next appointed to take the lead among Jehovah's Witnesses—spoke at a convention about a Bible prophecy that indicated that significant events had to occur first. —Knorr (reenactment)—
This international war is not 'the battle of the great day of God Almighty.' Before Armageddon comes, the Scriptures show, a peace must come. —John Wischuk—
There was no peace on the horizon, and yet we said, "Peace—Can It Last?" —Narrator—
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. —Knorr (reenactment)—
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. —Narrator—
That association did rise again three years later as the United Nations. —Anthony Morris III—
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.
[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: http://www.strictlygenteel.co.uk/booklets/peace.html
The July 15, 1960 Watchtower, page 444, said this:
"In 1942 the “faithful and discreet slave” guided by Jehovah’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: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101988034
You can also read the following about it in the April 15, 1989 Watchtower, p.14 https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101988034
By divine providence, Jehovah’s Witnesses received enlightenment on that mystery in 1942. . . . Nathan H. Knorr, president of the Watch Tower Society, gave the public talk, “Peace—Can It Last?” Therein he reviewed Revelation 17:8, . . . . Was that Bible-based forecast fulfilled? Truly it was! In 1945 the international “wild beast” emerged from its abyss of inactivity as the United Nations. See also the Kingdom Come book kc chap. 17 pp. 162-173 and and interesting version of events found in a 1981 Watchtower about why this "insight" was given w81 12/15 pp. 28-30
The Proclaimers book states it like this on page 192-3 ( jv chap. 14 pp. 188-201 )
This time, it involved the United Nations, successor to the League. While World War II was still under way, in 1942, Jehovah’s Witnesses had already discerned from the Bible, at Revelation 17:8, that the world peace organization would rise again, also that it would fail to bring lasting peace. This was explained by N. H. Knorr, then president of the Watch Tower Society, in the convention discourse “Peace—Can It Last?” Boldly Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaimed that view of the developing world situation. In 1993 the idea was stated as follows:
“The Disgusting Thing” 12, 13. What was “the disgusting thing,” and—as foreseen by the faithful and discreet slave—when and how was it reestablished? 12 When the end of the second world war was in sight, there was another development. “They will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation.” (Daniel 11:31b) This “disgusting thing,” 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. (Matthew 24:15; Revelation 17:8; see Light, Book Two, page 94.) It did this when World War II broke out. However, at the New World Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1942, Nathan H. Knorr, third president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, discussed the prophecy of Revelation 17 and warned that the beast would rise again from the abyss. 13 History bore out the truth of his words. Between August and October 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 October 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
Listen to "The United Nations Will Soon Act Against Russia, South Korea, Singapore and Eritrea for Human Rights Violations Against Jehovah's Witnesses" on Spreaker.
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.
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
'Mismanagement' keeps UN from reaching full potential, Trump says in debut speech
By The Librarian
Our Brother Bill Underwood wrote an interesting article in the newspaper:
If you had to choose between Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, which would you choose?Now, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have to choose, I already have both.’ Are you sure?Last August, the central district court of Tver – the oblast or ‘state’ in which Moscow resides, banned a religious website, jw.org. They did this secretly, not notifying the owners of the website until the day before the ban was to go into effect – January 22, 2014. Had they prevailed, their rationale would have been to claim, as they have in the past, that the ‘free speech’ on jw.org defames other religions. Jw.org won that battle in the court of appeals, but the foundation on which the attack was based still exists.In 1999, Pakistan brought a resolution to the UN calling for a ban on “Defamation of Islam.” Cooler heads prevailed and, after much discussion, the Commission on Human Rights passed instead a resolution banning “Defamation of Religion.”Over the years from 2000 to 2009 the resolution was added to, revised, strengthened, and re-worded, but it was consistently approved. Aside from the lack of elections, U.N. politicians are no different from any other type. It would have been politically incorrect to be seen as anti-Muslim, especially after 9/11, so passing a bill to protect them from defamation seemed like a good idea. Typical was the vote of the UN General Assembly in December, 2007: 108 for, 51 against, and 25 abstaining.In 2009, however, Pakistan pushed again. Their resolution that year stated that they were concerned that defamation of religion led to “the creation of a kind of Islamophobia in which Muslims were typecast as terrorists." They weren't opposed to freedom of expression, oh no. They merely wanted to ban "expression that led to incitement.”They said the hatred of Muslims was just like the hatred of Jews that Hitler had whipped up in pre-WWII Germany, and look what that led to. Has there been a Muslim “krystallnacht” that I didn’t hear about...the night of August 9, 1938 when Germans destroyed over 7,000 Jewish businesses and over 1,000 synagogues? Even in the days after 9/11 when there was enormous outrage against Muslims, the level of hatred never approached that.Pakistan’s proposed resolution said basically that freedom of speech sometimes has to yield in order to maintain peace. Governments such as Russia, Pakistan, and most of the middle east are quick to use this argument: some opinion or expression of yours is causing distress to others; therefore, instead of telling the ‘others’ to grow up and get over it, they tell you to stop expressing your opinion.In any case, this was a step too far, and the pendulum began to swing back. Pakistan’s argument was recognized for what it was, and over 200 civic groups, some Muslim, some Christian, some atheist, demanded that the UN push back.Over the preceding 10 years, the UN had assigned a “special rapporteur” to analyze the subject of defamation of religion and report back. The rapporteur’s report in 2009 included this telling statement:
“[We] encourage a shift away from the sociological concept of the defamation of religions towards the legal norm of non-incitement to national, racial or religious hatred." Three months later when the United States and Egypt introduced a resolution which condemned "racial and religious stereotyping," EU representative Jean-Baptiste Mattei said the European Union "rejected and would continue to reject the concept of defamation of religions." Significantly, he said:
"Human rights laws did not and should not protect belief systems." And the representative from Chile pointed out that,
"The concept of the defamation of religion took them in an area that could lead to the actual prohibition of opinions." A month later, at a human rights meeting in Geneva, the United States representative admitted that defamation of religion is “a fundamentally flawed concept.” The rep from Sweden repeated what the Frenchman had said earlier: international human rights law protects individuals, not institutions or religions.By 2011 the backlash was complete. The UNHRC declared that "Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with” the charter of the Human Rights Committee.In the years since then, any proposal in the UN attempting to ban ‘defamation of religion’ has been shot down. Freedom of speech has trumped freedom of religion.Last week, far from worrying about ‘defamation,’ the UN came out loudly and publicly chastising the Vatican.
This has never happened before. Their purported justification for doing so went like this: The Vatican is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 34 of which reads in part:
“Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.” The UN accused the Vatican not merely of failing to protect children, but of actively endangering children by their policy of moving pederasts to new parishes where they could continue their predations, and of obfuscating all attempts by law enforcement agencies to find and prosecute the offenders.Now, here’s where it gets really interesting: The UN went further. They also condemned the Church’s doctrines regarding homosexuality, abortion, and ‘reproductive rights.’Chastising a signatory of a contract for failing to abide by the contract is one thing; Attempting to dictate to a church what their doctrines should be is something else. Where is the UN’s authority to do that? Yet they did it anyway.If, as the UN says, religions and belief systems are not protected by human rights - and I agree, they clearly are not – what prevents them from taking the next step: deciding that religions and belief systems are nothing more than ancient superstitions that are doing more harm than good, and that it’s time to ban them?It’s too bad the UN doesn’t have any teeth. Do they? We'll Investigate that next.
By Bible Speaks
According to researchers of the Jewish culture, the human gene would have the signature of the name of God, with the 4 letters of the Tetragrammaton.(Yod) ה (heh) ו (vav) ה (heh), Tetragrammaton .....Hey vau, = 5 = 6, beats = 5;10 + 5 + 6 + 5
But the TV showed scientific research mixed with Jewish cabal research. These are theories that involve data from scientists mixed with Kabbalah, tradition, Jewish philosophy,,Not trustworthy. Part of the report is serious, but when it moves to Jewish tradition and philosophy, it took the credibility of part of the report,.
Scientists are questioning the origin of life and show the existence of a higher being. A new line of research, known as intelligent design, believes that the complexity of life and perfection of nature prove the existence of a higher being. At the core of research in science, faith and society, newly opened by one of the largest universities in São Paulo, in partnership with American institutions, scholars discard the creation of the world with a simple chance and analyze genetic codes as a sort of ' signature God '. http://noticias.r7.com/domingo-espetacular/videos/cientistas-questionam-a-origem-da-vida-e-comprovam-existencia-de-um-ser-superior-14052017
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 communication 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 freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures 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: Russian Federation
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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 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.
By Guest Nicole
Experts welcome news of successful mitochondrial transfer but caution against operating in countries beyond regulations
Dr John Zhang with the world’s first baby born using DNA from three people. The baby is reported to be healthy. Photograph: New Hope Fertility Center
The world’s first baby to be born from a new procedure that combines the DNA of three people appears to be healthy, according to doctors in the US who oversaw the treatment.
The baby was born on 6 April after his Jordanian parents travelled to Mexico where they were cared for by US fertility specialists.
Doctors led by John Zhang, from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, decided to attempt the controversial procedure of mitochondrial transfer in the hope that it would give the couple a healthy child.
While many experts welcomed news of the birth, some raised concerns that the doctors had left the US to perform the procedure beyond the reach of any regulatory framework and without publishing details of the treatment.
Speaking to the New Scientist, Zhang said he went to Mexico where “there are no rules” and insisted that doing so was right. “To save lives is the ethical thing to do,” he said.
Mitochondrial transfer was legalised in the UK in 2015 but so far no other country has introduced laws to permit the technique. The treatment is aimed at parents who have a high risk of passing on debilitating and even fatal genetic diseases to their children.
The mitochondrial transfer technique is aimed at those with a high risk of passing on debilitating diseases. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA
The boy’s mother carries genes for the fatal Leigh syndrome, which harms the developing nervous system. The faults affect the DNA in mitochondria, the tiny battery-like structures that provide cells with energy, and are passed down from mother to child.
Ten years after the couple married, the wife became pregnant but she lost the baby in the first of four miscarriages. The couple had a baby girl in 2005 who died at the age of six, and later, a second child who lived for only eight months. Tests on the wife showed that while she was healthy, about one-quarter of her mitochondria carried the genes for Leigh syndrome.
When the couple approached Zhang for help, he decided to try the mitochondrial transfer procedure. He took the nucleus from one of the woman’s eggs and inserted it into a healthy donor’s egg that had had its own nucleus removed. He then fertilised the egg with the husband’s sperm.
The US team created five embryos but only one developed normally. This was implanted into the mother and the baby was born nine months later.
The baby is not the first child to be born with DNA from three people. In the 1990s, fertility doctors tried to boost the quality of women’s eggs by injecting cytoplasm, the cellular material that contains mitochondria, from healthy donor eggs. The procedure led to several babies being born with DNA from the parents plus the healthy donor. Some of the children developed genetic disorders and the procedure was banned.
Speaking about the latest case, Dusko Ilic, a stem cell scientist at King’s College London, said: “Without much ado, it appears the first mitochondrial donation baby was born three months ago. This was an ice-breaker. The baby is reportedly healthy. Hopefully, this will tame the more zealous critics, accelerate the field, and we will witness soon the birth of the first mitochondrial donation baby in the UK.”
But some questions remained, he said. “By performing the treatment in Mexico, the team were not subject to the same stringent regulation as some other countries would insist on. We have no way of knowing how skilful or prepared they were, and this may have been a risky thing to do.
“On the other hand, we have what appears to be a healthy baby. Because it was successful, fewer questions will be raised, but it is important that we still ask them.
“Was this the first time ever they performed the technique or were there other attempts and they are reporting this one because it was successful?
“This and other important questions remain unanswered because this work has not been published and the rest of the scientific community has been unable to examine it in detail. It’s vital that that happens soon.”
Alison Murdoch, a fertility doctor at Newcastle University, said: “If this baby has been born as suggested then that would be great news. The translation of mitochondrial donation to a clinical procedure is not a race but a goal to be achieved with caution to ensure both safety and reproducibility.”
Details of the birth are due to be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting in Salt Lake City in October.
Doug Turnbull, a neurology professor at Newcastle University who pioneered mitochondrial transfer in the UK, said the technique offered hope to mothers who carried mitochondrial DNA mutations.
“There have been extensive discussions in the UK to ensure that families with mitochondrial disease get the best possible advice about their reproductive options and that any new IVF-based technique is appropriately regulated and funded. This abstract gives very little information about the technique used, the follow up of the child or the ethical approval process.”
This article was amended on 27 September 2016 to remove the names of some of the parties involved, because information changed about whether permission to name had been given.
via TheWorldNewsOrgvia journal.theworldnewsmedia.org
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An Australian street artist has made headlines with his portrait of Hillary Clinton. He painted a wall in Melbourne with an image of the U.S. democratic presidential candidate wearing a rather skimpy swimsuit. However, the city complained that the mural violates gender equality principles. So, to avoid legal action, the artist painted a niqab over Hillary. Finally, the artist posted a photo of the wall online, after it had been painted completely black, with the caption "Looks like the council wins". RT caught up with the artist.
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