Other Voices: Today a chance to reflect on importance of United Nations
Created by a United States-sponsored General Assembly resolution in 1948, the 61st session of the United Nations will be commemorated today. U.N. Day is the only time of the year when people around the world simultaneously reflect upon the importance of the U.N. in their daily lives and the well being of the global community of nations. Every citizen and civil society group that promote its ideals plays an essential role in building American public and political support for the U.N.
Today we see, in the news, the important role it’s playing in North Korea, Iran, Darfur and Lebanon. This is only a small part of what the U.N. does on a daily basis. It is the only organization where leaders from all of the countries in the world meet to discuss problems, concerns and needs. It is currently involved with achieving the success of eight “Millennium Development Goals,” including the cornerstones to end world poverty and provide maternal health and well being. A new Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon from South Korea, and a new President of the General Assembly, H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa from Bahrain, seek to return us to the values in the charter that hold humanitarian concerns in highest esteem. As Ms. Rashed Al Khalifa stated, “There is no peace without justice.”
The United Nations is only as effective as the support it is given by its 192 member states (194 identified countries in the world). It’s Blue-Helmet Peacekeepers are provided by 111 countries. It coordinates action against disease, pollution, unsafe travel and conflict. It promotes literacy, economic development and free and fair elections in 90 countries. Its organizations and programs work with nongovernmental organizations and other community providers around the world. Urge your legislators and president to pay our dues, which are in arrears.
It is in the best interests of the U.S. to adhere to international law and meet and take advantage of our international legal obligations, including those involving the U.N. Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture; to play a constructive lead role in strengthening the multilateral nonproliferation regime, including compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and refrain from any actions that would hinder U.S. cooperation with the court; and to ratify international treaties, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Treaty for the Rights of Women, the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Please help by sending a letter to the president and your legislators in Washington, by going online to http://www.unausa.org/action, or by calling the White House comment line (202-456-1111) and Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121). If you would like to become a member of the Nevada County UNA-USA Golden Empire Chapter, call Ted Smith at 273-6755. Our Web site is http://www.goldenempirechapter.tk/ (Our representatives in the U.S. Congress are: Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Congressman John Doolittle.)
Susan Manfre is a board member of UNA-USA GEC.
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From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.