Posts tagged UN
WASHINGTON – A PR duel will be in two and a half weeks during the United Nations General Assembly discussions in New York between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian leader is expected to address the GA on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, while Netanyahu will speak the next day after arriving in the United States.
The Zone of Immunity: The point beyond which Iran’s key nuclear facilities are so fortified that a military attack on the country would become ineffective or impossible. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak coined the term to describe the rapidly closing window of opportunity that they or any other nation has to take out Iran’s nuclear bomb making capabilities before they are all moved deep underground. When the move is complete, Iran will thus be “immune” to attack on their nuclear facilities.
From MSNBC: The Iranian government has blocked attempts to investigate its alleged atomic weapons work, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency said Wednesday. The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, expressed disappointment over a lack of progress during two days of talks in Tehran over Iran’s disputed nuclear program and said its request to visit a military site had not been granted.
In the second such visit in less than a month, a senior team from the IAEA had traveled to Tehran to press Iranian officials to start addressing mounting concerns that the country may be seeking to develop atomic arms.
“During both the first and second round of discussions, the agency team requested access to the military site at Parchin. Iran did not grant permission for this visit to take place,” the Vienna-based IAEA said in a statement after the talks Monday and Tuesday talks in the Iranian capital.
The statement was released early Wednesday, after the IAEA team left on a return flight to Vienna. The unusual timing — shortly after midnight in Europe — reflected the urgency the IAEA attached to the communique.
In the latest in a war of words between the West and Iran, an Iranian general warned Tuesday that the nation will pre-emptively strike anyone who threatens it.
The statement by Gen. Mohammed Hejazi continues the defiant tone Tehran has taken in its confrontation with Western countries that claim it is developing nuclear weapons.
“We do not wait for enemies to take action against us,” said Hejazi, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency. “We will use all our means to protect our national interests.”
Iran has held multiple air, land and sea maneuvers in recent months as the tensions increased.
The military maneuvers are viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared to defend itself against hostile measures and to retaliate — including warnings that it could cut the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway off its southern coast with its naval forces.
Tehran is also under heavy economic pressure. Last month, the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran’s fuel exports and froze its central bank assets. An oil embargo is set to begin in July.
Iranian officials said the country should respond by cutting off EU states early, before they can line up alternative buyers. Over the weekend, Tehran announced that it was pre-emptively cutting off exports to France and Britain. source – MSNBC
UN seeks to silence the Internet
Like most people, it is likely that you have never heard of the ITU before now. So please allow us to get you up to speed. The ITU, or International Telecommunication Union, is a treaty-based organization under the direct control of the United Nations. As you will see in this WSJ article, there is a major push on right now to wreste control on the Internet from it’s current public domain, and place it under “international control” (read ‘censorship’). This current assualt starts February 27th, 6 days from today.
From WSJ: On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.
If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet’s flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly became the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.
Russia, China and their allies within the 193 member states of the ITU want to renegotiate the 1988 treaty to expand its reach into previously unregulated areas. Reading even a partial list of proposals that could be codified into international law next December at a conference in Dubai is chilling:
• Subject cyber security and data privacy to international control;
• Allow foreign phone companies to charge fees for “international” Internet traffic, perhaps even on a “per-click” basis for certain Web destinations, with the goal of generating revenue for state-owned phone companies and government treasuries;
• Impose unprecedented economic regulations such as mandates for rates, terms and conditions for currently unregulated traffic-swapping agreements known as “peering.”
• Establish for the first time ITU dominion over important functions of multi-stakeholder Internet governance entities such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit entity that coordinates the .com and .org Web addresses of the world;
• Subsume under intergovernmental control many functions of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Society and other multi-stakeholder groups that establish the engineering and technical standards that allow the Internet to work;
• Regulate international mobile roaming rates and practices.
While precious time ticks away, the U.S. has not named a leader for the treaty negotiation. We must awake from our slumber and engage before it is too late. Not only do these developments have the potential to affect the daily lives of all Americans, they also threaten freedom and prosperity across the globe. source – Wall Street Journal
The coming global system
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Luke 2:1
One of the things that the bible says will be part of the last days will be a global, one world government, and what comes with that? A world tax.
NEW YORK — Outside the United Nations headquarters, hundreds of people were shouting and waving banners Tuesday that read “China and Russia – No Veto.” These people wanted support from the Security Council of the U.N. to oust the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.
Inside the U.N., another group of civil society leaders demanded a basic level of social security as they promoted a “social protection floor” at a preparatory forum for the Commission on Social Development, which began Feb. 1.
The focus of the forum was “universal access to basic social protection and social services.”
“No one should live below a certain income level,” stated Milos Koterec, President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. “Everyone should be able to access at least basic health services, primary education, housing, water, sanitation and other essential services.”
These services were presented at the forum as basic human rights equal to the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The money to fund these services may come from a new world tax.
“We will need a modest but long-term way to finance this transformation,” stated Jens Wandel, Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Program. “One idea which we could consider is a minimal financial transaction tax (of .005 percent). This will create $40 billion in revenue.”
“It is absolutely essential to establish controls on capital movements and financial speculation,” said Ambassador Jorge Valero, the current Chairman of the Commission on Social Development. He called for “progressive policies of taxation” that would require “those who earn more to pay more taxes.”
Valero’s speech to the forum focused on capitalism as the source of the world financial problems.
When asked where she expected the money to provide all needy people with a basic income, healthcare, education and housing would come from, Fatima Rodrigo, one of the presenters at the forum, mentioned the “very small tax of .005 percent.”
She added, “There is plenty of money, we just need to stop spending it on militaries and wars.” source – Deseret News
JERUSALEM (AP) — U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon pressed Israel on Wednesday to do more to get flagging Mideast peace efforts back on track, calling for a halt in West Bank settlement construction and urging the Israelis to submit concrete proposals on the key issues of borders and security ties with a future Palestine.
Ban is visiting Israel and the Palestinian areas on a mission to salvage the latest efforts to restart peace talks. A month of low-level discussions between Israel and the Palestinians ended last week without any breakthroughs, and it remains unclear whether they will resume the dialogue.
“We are at a critical moment for Israel and the region,” Ban said. “I remain hopeful that the direct, frequent exchanges between the parties with continue.”
Formal peace talks have been stalled for more than three years, in large part over the settlement issue. The Palestinians say there is no point in negotiating as long as Israel continues to settle its population in the West Bank and east Jerusalem — captured areas that the Palestinians want for their future state.
Some 500,000 Israelis now live in these areas, and this week Netanyahu’s government approved new financial incentives meant to lure more Israelis to the West Bank.
Continued settlement “does not help the ongoing peace process,” Ban said. “They should refrain from further settlement for the sake of ongoing peace talks. This can be a way of expressing goodwill gestures.”
Netanyahu appeared to rebuff Ban’s request, saying the question of settlements “should be part of the final peace talks and final peace agreements.”
The Palestinians have demanded a halt in settlement construction before returning to the negotiating table. Last month’s low-level discussions, mediated by Jordan, ended without any Israeli commitment to freeze settlement building or progress on other issues, like proposed borders and security arrangements. The Palestinians have not yet decided whether to continue the talks.
The talks in Jordan were meant to clear the way for the resumption of full-fledged peace talks and a final peace agreement by the end of the year. They are taking place under the auspices of the international “Quartet” of Mideast mediators — the U.S., European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
The Quartet has asked both sides to promptly submit detailed proposals on borders and security. The Palestinians believe the deadline was on Jan. 26 and have already submitted their proposals. Israel believes the deadline is in April and has only submitted vague principles on border arrangements.
“I also hope that Israel will be forthcoming with its own concrete proposals on territory and security, as called for by the Quartet,” Ban said.
Responding to Ban’s comments, Netanyahu said he recognizes “there has to be an agreement, probably a painful agreement for us given our passion for these historic lands.” But he complained that “the real cause of this conflict” is the Palestinians refusal to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.
Israel has also accused the state-run Palestinian media of broadcasting hatred and incitement against Israel and the Jews.
Asked about the alleged incitement, Ban said: “Hate speeches or provocations, they are not helpful, they are not acceptable.”
Later Wednesday, Ban was headed to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to visit the site of the first planned Palestinian city. Construction of the new city, called Rawabi, has been held up by Israeli security concerns about a planned access road. source – Yahoo News
It is the UN that will be defeated, not Israel
The bible is oh-so-very-clear when it warns those who would come against God’s holy place of Zion. Obviously, UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon feels he is either more knowledgeable or more powerful than the eternal God of Israel. Well said the prophet Obadiah concerning those who would seek to destroy Israel and it’s capital of Jerusalem:
“For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done (To Israel), it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.” Obadiah 1:15
From Yahoo News: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called for an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, saying the illegal building of settlements worked against a two-state solution.
“The Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories must end. So must violence against civilians,” Ban said in a keynote address at a conference in Beirut on democracy in the Arab world.
“Settlements, new and old, are illegal. They work against the emergence of a viable Palestinian state,” said the UN secretary general.
“A two-state solution is long overdue. The status quo offers only the guarantee of future conflict.”
Ban arrived in Beirut on Friday to attend a conference entitled “Reform and Transitions to Democracy” organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Among the conference speakers are Egyptian presidential hopeful and former Arab League chief Amr Mussa and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country has emerged as a key regional player in the Middle East.
The Israeli foreign ministry responded to Ban’s comments by saying ongoing talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators were the best way to address the concerns raised by the UN chief.
“The only thing I can say at this point is that the most important thing is to keep negotiations going in view of solving all of the issues including those mentioned by the secretary general,” said ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
“The most important thing now is not to jeopardise the talks that are under way.”
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have so far held three rounds of “exploratory” talks in Jordan to discuss the possibility of resuming negotiations that have been on hold since late September 2010.
But a deep divide continues to separate the two sides in the talks, held under the auspices of Jordan and the peacemaking Quartet.
“There is still a wide gap between us on all positions because the Israeli side has not presented anything new and continues to hinder the resumption of negotiations,” a Palestinian official close to the negotiations told AFP in Ramallah.
Israel accused the Palestinians of trying to scupper peace talks.
“The Netanyahu government has always said that it is ready to sit at the table and discuss these subjects,” strategic affairs minister Moshe Yaalon told Israeli public radio on Sunday.
Yaalon said Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was “endlessly adding preconditions”.
“Of course we are not ready to start with the border and security arrangements,” he added.
The Quartet, comprising the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia, has urged both sides to present comprehensive proposals on borders and security before January 26 with a view to resuming talks shortly afterwards.
While only the Palestinians have done so so far, Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering submitting proposals on borders and security in March.
But the plan is unlikely to win favour with the Palestinians, who have made it clear they will not continue meeting beyond January 26 without a settlement freeze and clear parameters for talks.
Abbas is currently seeking full state membership at the UN and at the weekend said he would press on with the campaign no matter the outcome of the talks. source – Yahoo News
Next stop, the White House
The Palestinian flag will be hoisted Tuesday at UNESCO headquarters, over a month after its admission to the UN cultural agency sparked anger and reprisals from the United States and Israel.
President Mahmud Abbas will travel to Paris to attend the event, which led Washington to pull funding to the UN organisation, and which is seen by many as a step on the Palestinians’ road to eventual UN membership.
“President Abbas wants to show the importance he attaches to UNESCO,” said a Palestinian diplomat. “And this is the first time that the flag will be flown at the headquarters of a UN institution.”
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation says the flag-hoisting is a symbolic ceremony “to mark Palestine’s admission to the organisation” that takes place each time a new member joins.
The Palestinians were admitted to the body in late October, when the UNESCO general assembly voted 107-14 to make Palestine its 195th member.
The result angered the United States, Israel’s staunch ally, which says the Palestinians must first reach a peace agreement with Israel before they can become full members of an international organization.
Washington immediately suspended its funding to the UN body, which selects and oversees World Heritage sites and also works in areas from literacy and media freedom to science and environmental issues.
US President Barack Obama said he had frank and firm words with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, voicing US disappointment because Paris had supported the Palestinian UNESCO bid.
The US cash freeze deprived UNESCO of 22 percent of its budget, leaving a hole of $65 million this year and a $143 million shortfall for 2012-2013.
This forced its director general, Irina Bokova, to announce drastic savings, even though some countries pledged exceptional contributions, among them Indonesia with $10 million and Gabon with $2 million.
Israel, for its part, took its own retaliatory measures, by deciding to accelerate settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and freezing the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority.
Every month, Israel transfers tens of millions of dollars in customs duties on Palestinian-bound goods that transit through Israeli ports, but it often freezes them as a punitive measure during disagreements.
Faced with international criticism, Israel later lifted its freeze on the funds which represent a large chunk of the Palestinian Authority’s budget.
UNESCO membership has had no impact on the Palestinians’ bid for full UN membership. They would need nine votes out of 15 in the Security Council, but the United States has made clear that it would veto the bid.
Abbas, who reiterated on December 5 that he would push on with his campaign for UN membership, will meet Sarkozy after the UNESCO ceremony, then go on a tour that takes him to the capitals of Britain and Turkey. source – Yahoo News