Blogging the General Assembly
I am sitting in the General Assembly hall, where the UN has conveniently provided wireless internet. The president of Georgia is speaking and no one is listening (sorry Georgia).
Many of the politicians on the UN's trademark blue benches are wearing translation headphones, but in the small booths above the GA floor we have loudspeakers. In case you should miss a speech (or aren't paying attention) there are copies of all the speeches available in the press room. These vary from simple two-sided photocopies (most countries) to laminated folders and embossed paper (China, and a few African nations).
The president of Nauru has been followed by the president of the Republic of Congo, and now the president of Mongolia is speaking (I'm typing slow). Still, no one is listening (sorry small or poor countries). But the hall is filling up a little, perhaps because Italy, Israel and France are speaking later. Personally, I am waiting for the kingdom of Denmark (small and rich country where I was born).
India just took the stage, and the hall has gotten a little quieter. You can watch the whole thing on UN webcast if you think you're missing out. You'd think there was something more productive for world leaders to do when they were finally all gathered in the same place. When everyone says what's expected of them, it really isn't too exciting. And yes, mobile phones do go occasionally off in the audience (bad Chad).
It would be much more fun, if they conducted this part of the Summit in quick panel discussions with four-five leaders at a time on subjects of regional or international interest - make the presidents sweat a little. This environment is way too sterile to produce anything useful or informative. Although I guess the symbolic value of it all shouldn't be discounted.
PS: The president of Saint Kitts and Nevis is pretty good speaker. Next up: Cambodia.
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MJPC to MONUC and Kabila: Enforce the ICC Arrest Warrant Against Ntaganda
The Mobilization for Justice and Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MJPC) today called on the Congolese Government and the UN's peacekeeping force in DR Congo, which is known as MONUC to act decisively to enforce the outstanding arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Bosco Ntaganda.
As part of its global campaign against impunity in Congo, the MJPC has set up an online petition which can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/24459.html asking concerned citizens around the world to demand the UN in Congo Mission known as MONUC and the Congolese Government to act decisively to enforce the ICC outstanding arrest warrants against Ntaganda.
Posted by: rizik | 2 May 2009 17:26:59
MJPC Joined HRW in Calling to hold the Congolese Army Accountable for War Crimes
" Failing to hold accountable soldiers who commit war crimes and crimes against humunity will result in conitnued sexual violence against girls and women in the DR Congo"
The MJPC is gravely concerned at continuing reports of sexual violence in eastern Congo. Makuba Sekombo, MJPC's Community Affairs Director, stresses "paramount importance of sending a clear message to all armed groups in the region – and to the victims of sexual violence in the DR Congo – that rape and other forms of sexual violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated regardless of the circumstances". "Congolese army officers are not above international criminal law", and "Congo has clear international law obligations to do something effective to protect girls and women from sexual violence" added Sekombo.
The petition can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/26180.html . "While no amount of money can reverse or address the impact of sexual violence on victims, the MJPC maintains that in this way, society at large, through the government, can acknowledge the humiliation suffered, shock and pain experienced by victims and provide the resources to help victims rebuild their lives.
MJPC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working to add a voice in the promotion of justice and peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular in the East where thousands of innocent civilians, including children and women continue to be victims of massive human rights violations while the armed groups responsible for these crimes remain unpunished.
Posted by: Justin P | 22 Jun 2009 16:13:53
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