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United Nations

Submitted by Andrew Glikson on December 7, 2009 - 10:44am.
Copenhagen: The price of the Earth
There is no knowing the time table towards an ice-free Earth, the current “experiment” by Homo sapiens being unique in the history of the planet. The atmosphere is not waiting for human decision. 
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Submitted by David Roffey on November 21, 2008 - 10:44am.
The World in 2025?
The US National Intelligence Center releases its quadrennial scenario for the next twenty years. Grim reading.
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Submitted by John Pratt on July 22, 2008 - 11:59am.
Winning or losing the War on Terror?
The only way to win the “war on terror” is to be less willing ourselves to use terror to win a political victory. The war on terror will be won when all terrorists – including those financed by democratic governments – are brought to justice in the International Criminal Court.
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Submitted by Dylan Kissane on May 18, 2008 - 12:29pm.
The responsibility to protect
The real threats to international peace and security are no longer confined to violations of state sovereignty for which the UN collective security system was created. Rather, genocide, massive violations of human rights, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) represent immediate international security threats that are beyond the scope of any one state to solve.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 4, 2008 - 9:00pm.
The Australia-US alliance: PM at the Brookings Institution
[The Australian-US] alliance is steeped in history. But it is also part of our framework for meeting the challenges of the future. The purpose of my remarks is to reflect on the continued importance of U.S. global leadership, to reflect on the new Australian government's foreign policy framework, and to make some observations on how we both might engage China in the future. (The Hon. Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 4, 2008 - 8:29pm.
Middle power diplomacy: Advancing Australia's interests
It is through this wider process of continuing regional and global engagement that the new Australian Government is now determined to make its contribution to the future development of a robust international rules-based order that enhances the security and economic wellbeing of us all. (The Hon. Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Dr James Page on September 27, 2007 - 10:53am.
International Peace Research Project - Australia
What do "ordinary" people think about war and peace? In this article, you are invited to take part in the first-ever global survey of what people think about this crucial question.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on August 3, 2007 - 9:45pm.
Australian 'aid' for Iraq a cover to enrich our companies: Aidwatch
The watchdog organisation Aidwatch has released a report today which found that Australian aid money has been used in Iraq to rework the country to suit international corporations. Our Foreign Minister's response was to brand Aidwatch an extremist organisation.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 5, 2007 - 5:28pm.
Yep, says honest John, Iraq is all about oil! Hallelujah!
Hello. Just seen the news tonight and am absolutely dumbfounded that Howard and his defence minister have admitted that we're in Iraq because of its oil. He strongly denied it before the war. Most Australians now know that he was lying about his reasons for ordering our troops to invade Iraq. But who'd have thought they'd admit to the lie!
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 29, 2007 - 5:16pm.
Downer all the way with Israel
"A lot of people ask me why I seem to be so committed to Israel - I mean, I’m a Christian, not Jewish and although I remember staying here in this hotel about three years ago ... and I think I could almost be described as an honorary Jew with a lot of the views that I hold about the issues that Jewish people confront.  But a lot of people do ask me why I am so committed to Israel.  And I think there are a variety of explanations for that.  One of them is a bit historic and I think some of you have heard me say this before.  When I was a child at school and subsequently when I went to university in England, for no particular reason, Jewish people seemed to befriend me as some other people did as well [laughter], but I seemed to have quite a lot of Jewish friends." Alexander Downer
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on February 27, 2007 - 7:48pm.
The Judicial Massacre of Srebrenica
"The fundamental problem with the ICJ’s decision is its unrealistically high standard of proof for finding Serbia to have been legally complicit in genocide.": Antonio Cassese, the first President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on February 8, 2007 - 11:07pm.
What if ...? Solving the Iran stand-off
I have been mulling over a question or two. 'What if ...' questions. They are future focused, solution focused questions that ask what if we could do something. What if we could work through a problem together?
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Submitted by Project Syndicate on November 26, 2006 - 12:56am.
Afghanistan's Opium War

"We cannot afford to fail in Afghanistan. Recent history has given us graphic evidence of what would happen if we do. But any solution in Afghanistan depends on eliminating its opium.": Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

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Submitted by Jeffrey Sachs on November 23, 2006 - 12:44am.
The New Face of the United Nations

"During his mandate, new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will face the pressing challenge of forging a global agreement on climate change for the years beyond 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol ends. The Millennium Development Goals remain far off track in the poorest countries, with just nine years to go. Despite a global pledge to reduce significantly the loss of biological diversity by 2010, huge areas of rainforest and oceans continue to be destroyed.": Jeffrey Sachs

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Submitted by Jeffrey Sachs on July 28, 2006 - 7:21am.
The Middle East's Military Delusions

"The problem lies not in seeing the solution, but in getting to it, because powerful and often violent minorities on both sides oppose it."

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Submitted by Will Howard on May 24, 2006 - 12:00pm.
The Repeal of Israel

"On few other issues is the battle over history so intense as on the Israel-Palestine conflict. On few other issues has history been so turned from an academic discipline to a weapon of war. ... One tactic is to muse about how much nicer the world would be if the illegitimate state of Israel had never existed. Let’s go with this premise for a bit: Israel should never have existed. How would we shove the historical toothpaste back in the tube?" Will Howard

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Submitted by Dale Mills on January 19, 2006 - 5:34pm.
East Timor counts its dead

"Australia withdrew from an international tribunal which would have allowed objective assessment of each country’s merits as to where the border should be placed. Critics say the currently agreed border is in violation of international law, but Timorese had little choice but to agree to Australia’s terms. As both parties represent the richest and poorest countries in the region, the bargain is weighted heavily in Australia’s favour." Dale Mills

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Submitted by Chris Saliba on January 16, 2006 - 1:11pm.
The Third Try: Can the UN Work? A book review

"It may surprise the reader to know that a majority of Americans support a stronger United Nations, believe in international co-operation, favour spending money to help out poorer nations and even support the International Criminal Court (ICC). All this despite the current Bush administration’s pronounced displeasure with the UN." Chris Saliba

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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on December 10, 2005 - 3:41pm.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On this day 57 years ago the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Just as the Rule of Law, as contrary to arbitrary rule, is the basis for the idea of equity and freedom in a community, in my mind international standards of Law are the basis for the possibility of world peace. Exceptionalism in international Law undermines World Peace. This is why the pursuit of international standards for all humans was such a profound historical development, inspired by the tens of millions of dead in World War II. God did not write this declaration, and it was not written on a mountain. But I do believe it is the highest aspiration of the human spirit yet articulated. And I do believe it is worth us having a read of today, to consider why it was written by our grandfather's political leaders, and why we should not discard it now. Here is a transcript in full. Hamish Alcorn.

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Submitted by Alison Broinowski on October 15, 2005 - 3:13am.
The UN at 60: past imperfect, future tense?

"Threats to UN's survival are empty: even from the US, because all members need the UN for different reasons and all make use of it in different ways. They would reinvent it if they didn't have it. The UN is indispensable to the US and to others if only as a scapegoat for their own failings and as an agency of last resort to do the jobs they don't want to do." Alison Broinowski

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