Published on 2012-05-25 14:45:09
"We agreed that both, when it comes to economic development and when it comes to peace and security issues, empowering women to have a seat at the table and get more engaged and more involved in these processes can be extraordinarily fruitful.
Published on 2012-05-25 11:42:43
Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations resumed a markup of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, setting their priorities for spending on Foreign Affairs for the 2013 fiscal year.
Published on 2012-05-21 16:23:28
Today's Washington Post featured a story about an organizational letter that Citizens for Global Solutions, along with nearly two dozen other groups, sent to President Obama that urged him to attend the Rio+20 Earth Summit this June.
The letter read in part,"Your presence at this Summit would signal its critical importance to all Americans, demonstrate our country’s deep concern over urgent global issues that will inevitably affect our security and well-being, and highlight our nation’s dete [..]
Published on 2012-05-17 15:47:20
It was not unexpected, but the news was still dispiriting and depressing. Yesterday, the United Nation's Secretary General's top lawyer effectively put the brakes on a resolution which would have, among other things, urged the five permanent members of the Security Council (known as the P-5) to refrain from using their veto power to prevent U.N. action in situations where genocide or mass atrocities are threatening civilian lives.read more
Published on 2012-05-17 13:37:04
It all started with a bar of soap in a Pennsylvania hotel room.
Published on 2012-05-14 15:50:59
Today, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced he would seek new charges against Bosco Ntaganda of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Published on 2012-05-11 11:05:01
It was a bad and sad day for Indiana on Tuesday.
Published on 2012-05-10 16:18:39
Yesterday, the Republican-led Subcommittee of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations proposed a draft budget for spending on foreign aid, including funding of the United Nations, the State Department, and various peacekeeping operations around the world.
Published on 2012-05-10 14:16:22
This Sunday, we honor the women in our lives that gave us life and shaped us into the people we are today.
Published on 2012-05-09 16:35:50
Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana lost his Republican primary yesterday to Tea Party backed conservative Richard Mourdock, after more than 35 years in the Senate. His defeat is not just a defeat for Lugar and his supporters, but a defeat for American national security and indeed the entire world. In the words of fellow Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Senator John Kerry, “It will soon almost sound cliché to say that America is safer today because of Dick Lugar’s 36 years of service [..]
Published on 2012-05-04 15:20:02
Last week I attended a lecture on child soldiers in Africa at Georgetown University. The speaker was Ms. Veronica Eragu Bichetero, a lawyer for the Courts of Judicature of Uganda. Bichetero is also a Senior Fellow with the United States Institute of Peace and studies the role of women in peacekeeping in Africa, specifically the Great Lakes region. She spoke about the factors that led to the use of children in armed conflict and how things have changed. Men used to fight the wars, while women pla [..]
Published on 2012-05-03 10:33:15
Early this morning, Sudan has endorsed the African Union's "peace road map" to avoid an all-out war with South Sudan. This came after South Sudan had endorsed the AU's plan themselves. The AU's plan includes seven specific steps, including a deadline of this Tuesday to restart negotiations and a three-month grace period after that to agree upon a more concrete solution.
Just yesterday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution that would take "appropriate measures," i [..]
Published on 2012-05-02 16:00:51
Today, the Brookings Institution held a panel discussion on what role women play in conflict and disaster situations. Nearly three months ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted saying "when we think about peacemaking, which is, after all, one of the critical tasks of any of us in international security, [...] there are not enough women at the table, not enough women's voices being heard." The struggle to include women in peace negotiations still stands.
The panel unanimously agreed t [..]
Published on 2012-04-30 13:47:42
There are staggering human rights violations happening right now. You won't find it in breaking news headlines or discussion boards because this is a routine kind of human rights violation. Every day there are girls who are kidnapped and forced against their will
Published on 2012-04-27 16:23:50
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addressed a party rally in Khartoum last week, vowing to never compromise with the “poisonous insects” of South Sudan, using frightening rhetoric reminiscent of the Rwanda genocide.
Published on 2012-04-26 08:49:42
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the last trial of a major figure for the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Taylor was convicted of aiding rebels in the Revolutionary United Front in neighboring Sierra Leone in exchange for blood diamonds, but was found innocent of having direct control over forces.
It is a landmark victory, as it is the first conviction of a former national leader for grave crimes since Karl Doenitz, who briefl [..]
Published on 2012-04-25 14:42:25
This week the United States and the European Union have lifted certain sanctions on Burma.
Published on 2012-04-23 15:28:55
President Obama spoke this morning at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. to observe a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and announce the launch of a new Atrocities Prevention Board. Obama was introduced by author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Both speakers gave moving testimony on the horrors of the Holocaust and how we can achieve the promise to "never again" allow such atrocities to occur.
Obama spoke to the need to more formally intervene t [..]
Published on 2012-04-23 14:58:08
Today, Citizens for Global Solutions issued a press release, congratulating the Obama administration for rolling out the Atrocity Prevention Board today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. CEO Don Kraus noted, "This address was the most substantive speech I have ever heard a President give on genocide prevention."
Click here to read the release in full.
Published on 2012-04-23 11:11:05
President Obama released a statement over the weekend to the citizens of Sudan and South Sudan. South Sudan, nearing its one-year anniversary of independence from Sudan in June, has been disputing borders and control of important oil-rich regions with Sudan for several months. In recent weeks, disputes have turned increasingly violent.
President Obama's message was clear, that "conflict is not inevitable," and there is still time to lay down weapons and come back to the negotiating table. He cal [..]
Published on 2012-04-20 16:26:11
When Iran is discussed in conversation, it's typically associated with two phrases: military action or nuclear proliferation. While obviously these are important issues to discuss, especially in light of the current nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six world powers, there seems to be another issue which is continually overlooked. According to the 2010 United Nation Report on Iranian human rights, written by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Iranian government is guilty of, "excess [..]
Published on 2012-04-19 14:53:21
Genocide is one of the most difficult issues for peace activists to address. Many people who are ardent pacifists will make an exception to their anti-war stance if genocide is occurring. Whether we are trying to prevent or stop genocide, intervention is necessary. But what kind of intervention: diplomatic, economic, military, educational? Should the intervention emerge from within a country's
Published on 2012-04-17 11:04:03
Last week, I attended an event at the Brookings Institution, "Europe's Eastern Frontiers: A Conversation with Javier Solana." The former NATO Secretary-General and EU foreign policy chief discoursed on the European Union's relationship with its neighbors to the East, and also touched on a few other topics of significance in international affairs today.read more
Published on 2012-04-12 08:49:43
Citizens for Global Solutions sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on her to demand the Bahraini government release human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and 13 other political prisoners.
Al-Khawaja has been on a hunger strike for over two months, protesting his unjust imprisonment. In recent days, the Danish goverment's request to transfer Al-Khawaja to Denmark for treatment was denied by Bahraini officials. Al-Khawaja has dual Danish and Barhraini citizenship.
The l [..]
Published on 2012-04-11 16:18:44
The Libyan government has appealed an order by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hand over Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, for trial. Libya insists it can provide a fair trial for Gaddafi, who was indicted by the ICC.
The problem is, the United Nations already referred the situation in Libya to the ICC last spring. The Court then issued arrest warrants for Saif, his father, and Gaddafi's former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi for crimes against [..]
Published on 2012-04-11 15:50:45
What began as a day of potential peace for the Syrian people quickly turned into continual despair. Both the Syrian government and anti-government demonstrators agreed to a peace plan, drafted by international envoy Kofi Annan and endorsed by the United Nations, which called for a ceasefire by tomorrow. In order for this plan to be effective, the Syrian government initially agreed to begin withdrawing its troops from Syrian cities, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad demanded written guarantees [..]
Published on 2012-04-09 15:09:18
Citizens for Global Solutions, along with fourteen other organizations, signed onto a letter to President Obama asking him to urge the Bahraini government to free imprisoned democracy and human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. The letter, which was written by the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) can be read here.
Published on 2012-04-05 15:19:36
During the Indiana Genocide Prevent Summit
Published on 2012-04-05 15:19:08
Citizens for Global Solutions organized the first ever Indiana Genocide Prevention Summit, held on Saturday, March 31, in Indianapolis. The summit brought organizations, students, teachers, genocide survivors, activists, and concerned citizens from across the state.
Indiana is seemingly far away from the killing fields of Syria, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is even farther away in time from the mass graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, or Auschwitz. At the Indiana Genocide Prevention Sum [..]
Published on 2012-04-02 16:59:21
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to parliament yesterday in a landmark moment for the nation ruled by a military junta until just a few years ago. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Suu Kyi has been a long-time pro-democracy activist in Myanmar, spending several years under house arrest for her efforts against the military dictators. Suu Kyi lauded her electoral victory as “a triumph of the people” of Myanmar.
Although Suu Kyi’s party will only comprise a small minority in th [..]
Published on 2012-03-30 16:18:40
This morning I attended an event at the Brookings Institution, "The Contribution of The Hague's International Courts: Dispute Settlement in Complex Conflicts." It featured the heads of the various international courts and tribunals located in The Hague, including International Criminal Court (ICC) President Sang-Hyun Song.
Published on 2012-03-30 16:12:08
This Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on U.S. policy on Iran.
Published on 2012-03-23 10:00:33
Guest Post by Nicole Helmers, University of Indianapolis, freshman majoring in Psychology and Occupational Therapy.
While all my wild friends were getting spray-on tans and neon bikinis for Panama City Beach for Spring Break 2012, myself and a couple of my classmates from the University of Indianapolis met up with other students from other Indiana Universities and headed to Washington, D.C. in dress pants and heels.read more
Published on 2012-03-23 09:53:17
Remembering the Citizens for Global Solutions 2011 Annual Conference and how exciting it was, I just knew I had to gather some like minded people, from Nashville, TN, to experience this year's 2012 conference.
About 10 of us traveled 10 hours from the great state of Tennessee to attend the conference in Washington, D.C. and even though the road trip was adventurous, the conference had it beat hands down. From exciting lobby training and visits; to the "official" White House briefings with the Ob [..]
Published on 2012-03-22 16:21:28
I came across an interesting piece by Carter Eskew this week in the Washington Post. The post, "Compromises for Romney?"
Published on 2012-03-22 08:55:28
Last Friday, activists organized in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C. to protest the regime of Omar Al-Bashir. After crossing too far onto Embassy property several of the protestors, including George Clooney, Martin Luther King Junior III, and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Al Green (D-TX), John Olver (D-MA), and Jim Moran (D-VA) were arrested. The arrests helped the protest gain international and national media attention.
Omar Al-Bashir is currently wanted by the International Crimin [..]
Published on 2012-03-19 16:06:11
Last week Citizens for Global Solutions held its Annual Conference, which included a day of lobbying senators and representatives and a visit to the White House. Lobby day was filled with discussions of global problems, how to lobby your representative in government, and the role and the importance of social media in grassroots movements.
The most important message I got out of the Annual Conference is that no matter who you are, you have a voice. You can use that voice to talk to your governmen [..]
Published on 2012-03-19 15:33:00
Abdullah el-Senussi, former Libyan intelligence chief and brother-in-law of Muammar Gaddafi, was arrested this weekend in Mauritania.
Published on 2012-03-14 12:37:41
In a landmark moment for international justice, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first ever verdict today, convicting Thomas Lubanga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of abducting and conscripting child soldiers. In honor of this judgment, members of the Washington Working Group on the ICC (WICC), a group of the Washington-based NGOs committed to the cause of international criminal justice, sent a letter to Congress celebrating the verdict.read more
Published on 2012-03-14 04:51:35
March 14, 2012 marks an extraordinary moment in world history. This morning, the International Criminal Court (ICC) completed its very first trial, convicting Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of forcing children to serve as soldiers in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 74 million viewers have watched Invisible Children's Kony 2012 video, calling for the arrest and ICC trial of Joseph Kony. But few are aware that Lubanga, a man as despicable as Kony, has laid the groundwork for [..]
Published on 2012-03-13 13:23:13
South Sudan and Sudan continue to fight for territory. The regime's target is now the people in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. More than a 100,000 residents have fled to the south after violence erupted in the contested region of Abyei. The Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has denied international relief for the people, and government military forces continue to move south, encouraged by the lack of response from around the world.read more
Published on 2012-03-08 16:22:11
Today is International Women's Day! Although this day has been celebrated on different dates throughout history, it still marks a time to remember how far we have come and how far we still have to go. In the past 101 years of celebrating International Women's Day, amazing progress for gender equality has taken place. Since the first International Women's day, women have been granted the right to vote in most countries, they have served as Heads of State, they have made critical contributions to [..]
Published on 2012-03-08 11:10:20
Until yesterday, the name Joseph Kony wasn't on the radar of most Americans. But thanks to a video campaign from the non-profit organization Invisible Children that went viral yesterday, more Americans know about Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda who has is wanted by the International Criminal Court of conscripting child soldiers. But just as quickly as the video spread across Twitter and Facebook, so has the controversy.
Last night, I had the opportunity to attend an even [..]
Published on 2012-03-08 10:32:03
Citizens for Global Solutions CEO Don Kraus was quoted today in a story by Inter-Press Service on the U.S. being one of 7 countries that have still not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women treaty. Kraus noted CEDAW provides
"a blueprint for increasing gender equality and reinforces our role as a global leader in standing up for the rights of women and girls. In countries that have ratified CEDAW, women have partnered with their governments to engage in a n [..]
Published on 2012-03-02 13:56:29
The United States and North Korea announced a breakthrough agreement earlier this week, with North Korea agreeing to suspend nuclear weapons testing and halt the enrichment of uranium in return for more than 200,000 metric tons of food aid. This food aid is crucial to the famine-stricken nation that has been subject to heavy sanctions, mostly due to its unbending commitment to a nuclear program.
The announcement is the first true sign of how North Korea's young, new leader Kim Jong-un, who took [..]
Published on 2012-03-01 14:09:34
The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced yesterday that it will release a verdict in the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo on March 14th. This will mark an important milestone for the Court: its first verdict and completed trial since its creation.
Lubanga is accused by the Court of conscripting child soldiers in battle in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He is alleged to be the founder of Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) and the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (F [..]
Published on 2012-03-01 10:06:01
On Tuesday I attended the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "National Security & Foreign Policy Priorities in the FY 2013 International Affairs Budget," which featured Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as the key witness. While the foreign assistance portion of the U.S. budget is around 1%, this area of funding has been slightly reduced. In her testimony, Clinton identified the State Department's top five priorities for the coming year within the State Department's proposed budget [..]
Published on 2012-02-22 15:46:17
On February 13, Syria's Representative to the United Nations, Bashar Ja'afari, spoke at the U.N. General Assembly to emphasize the irrationality of international engagement with protestors in Syria. "We in Syria would not imagine sending soldiers to defend Occupy Wall Street protesters," argued Ja'afari. But can the analogy by Ja'afari be justified?read more
Published on 2012-02-22 13:00:08
Last Friday I attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Egyptian crackdown on non-governmental organizations. In December, the Egyptian government raided the offices of several NGOs within the country and is now prosecuting representatives from these organizations. The government claims that the organizations were not registered to be in the country and that they were receiving aid from non-Egyptian organizations. Four presidents from American NGOs affected by the raids testif [..]
Published on 2012-02-17 15:36:11
My task for the Syria Valentine project was to figure out how to get in touch with "the Syrian Revolution." Needless to say I was a little intimidated. Locating and connecting with activists, conveying the project's sentiments, and finding a way to get our words of support to people on the ground was challenging. A week and a half ago, I never would have dreamed we would be able to make such a human connection purely though the internet, social media and email. But just since Amanda's blog was [..]
Published on 2012-02-17 15:00:40
The Arab Spring has captured international attention for more than a year now, conjuring images of protests in Tunis, Cairo or Homs. Particularly the ongoing plight of the Syrian people has stirred emotions, leading human rights advocates to call for international action to intervene and protect civilians being attacked for protesting. But many people seem to have forgotten another group of people who also took to the streets and public squares to demand greater democracy and freedom - the peopl [..]
Published on 2012-02-17 13:50:55
Good news: the U.N. has taken some action on Syria-even if it's largely symbolic.
The U.N. General Assembly voted yesterday by an overwhelming margin to approve a resolution, drafted by Saudi Arabia and introduced by Egypt, which condemns violence by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and calls on Syria to end human rights violations and attacks on civilians. The vote tally was 138 countries in favor of the resolution, 12 against, and 17 abstentions.
"Today, the U.N. General Assembly sent [..]
Published on 2012-02-16 12:12:04
Last week, staff gathered around a table in our office and discussed the sad accounts of Syrian activists feeling disillusioned and abandoned after Russia and China vetoed a UN Resolution aimed at stopping the conflict.
We knew we had to do something for the Syrian activists, but what?
The international community was moving at a snail’s pace, so our political advocacy options were unclear. But we did know one thing – even if mostly symbolic, it was important to let the Syrian people standing [..]
Published on 2012-02-13 15:10:48
Tomorrow may be Valentine's Day, but for those of us who care about international affairs funding (or federal funding of any kind, for that matter), today was a day which has long been almost as breathlessly anticipated: the release of the President's annual budget request for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2013. (I know, not as delightful as Valentine's Day, but still important.)
President Obama stressed that his overall budget aims to balance many different priorities, such as spurring job growth w [..]
Published on 2012-02-13 15:09:58
Despite President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline plan, Senate Republicans want to add an amendment to the transportation bill that would mandate construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The vote is expected to take place Tuesday.read more
Published on 2012-02-09 09:46:40
Egyptians just celebrated the one-year anniversary of their revolution last January, but you wouldn't know it from the actions of their military. Indeed, the Egyptian military is operating business as usual, using repressive tactics to maintain an autocratic grip on power. The military has been accused by Egyptian revolutionaries of cracking down on subsequent protests, particularly last fall, when the military violently suppressed demonstrations resulting in at least 100 deaths and wounding tho [..]
Published on 2012-02-07 10:15:03
This weekend, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was in Germany speaking at an event supporting women in international security. Secretary Clinton remarked "that when we think about peacemaking, which is, after all, one of the critical tasks of any of us in international security, that something is missing. And that is women. There are not enough women at the table, not enough women's voices being heard". Women are underrepresented in peacekeeping forces and in international peace negotiatio [..]
Published on 2012-02-06 13:14:51
The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on Iran entitled “Ahmadinejad’s Tour of Tyrants and Iran's Agenda in the Western Hemisphere” last Thursday. The consensus of the committee was that Iran’s presence in Latin America is too close for comfort. The “Tour of Tyrants,” which spanned Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Cuba, raised questions as to what intentions Iran has for Latin America. Ahmadinejad continues to attempt to reach out to these counties, even recently rel [..]
Published on 2012-02-03 14:58:50
Last night I attended a great event titled In Search of Accountability: Justice after Nuremberg. The panel discussion, organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, focused on international justice and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Michael Abramowitz, director of the Committee on Conscience at the museum, guided the discussion so that the three panelists would focus on the questions most significant to global justice: Are the mechanisms established in th [..]
Published on 2011-07-05 11:00:58
On June 28, 2011, the Brookings Institution held a panel discussion regarding the new age of social media and its roles in engaging American and global citizens in government. This is more than a relevant topic; this blog itself serves as an example
Published on 2011-07-01 13:56:35
I recently attended an event sponsored by the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), which focused on Bahrain, a country that has received significantly less attention than others involved in the Arab Spring. Those in this small country of just ov
Published on 2011-07-01 10:07:47
Republican candidates are often typified by their hawkish stances on foreign policy. In the past, GOP’ers followed their general stereotype, often pushing for the continued placement of troops and the protection of military spending. However, in th
Published on 2011-07-01 09:28:58
The 22nd Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, left his post after four and a half years of service under Presidents Bush and Obama. Gates received the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by the President of the United States
Published on 2011-06-30 13:19:19
I recently attended a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the situation in Libya and the War Powers Resolution. The hearing’s main witness was Harold Koh, Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, who said that Presiden
Published on 2011-06-29 16:23:17
In their op-ed in today’s Financial Times, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright and former Foreign Minister of Jordan Marwan Musher urged the United Nations Security Council to refer Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad to the Inte
Published on 2011-06-29 11:00:02
The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars hosted an event yesterday on the rising star in multilateral organizations; BRICS. The conference included experts from all member states: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and its newest member, South
Published on 2011-06-28 16:18:44
One day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the court’s prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo showed whole-hearted optimism that the incited war criminal and his regime will be ousted
Published on 2011-06-28 14:16:02
In issuing an arrest warrant for Muammar Gaddafi, the International Criminal Court has demonstrated yet again that tyrants and human rights abusers around the world -- even if they are heads of state -- will not enjoy immunity from international law,
Published on 2011-06-28 09:59:22
Blog written by Alena Gerlek (Posted by Laura Yeo)
When my friend Lara invited me to work with her at Bonnaroo, I said yes before I even asked “Doing what?” After I got over my initial excitement and asked her to describe the work we'd be do
Published on 2011-06-27 17:14:02
It was not unexpected, but nonetheless, today marks another milestone on the road toward international justice. For only the second time in the history of the International Criminal Court, the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for a sitting head
Published on 2011-06-27 15:16:35
On Friday, June 24, I attended the event Liberia: Through the Eyes of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s First Elected Female Head of State at the United States Institute of Peace. President Johnson Sirleaf’s visit comes just three mo
Published on 2011-06-27 12:32:50
Last week Tunisia became the 116th party to the Rome Statute and the first North African country to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). Since Mohammed Bouazizi lit himself on fire and sparked a revolution that spread throughout the Arab worl
Published on 2011-06-24 16:00:38
Today the United Nations (UN) International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) sentenced all six defendants in the Butare Trial for crimes related to genocide. Three of the six are sentenced to life imprisonment, including Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the
Published on 2011-06-24 15:57:49
The House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) held a hearing yesterday on future U.S. relations with Iran and Syria. While the witnesses and representatives in attendance were very critical of Iran, their talking points on Syria remained strategic. Syri
Published on 2011-06-24 13:41:07
A guest blog post by Ayzit Doydum:
How do you sum up four amazing days of camping, concerts and spreading global consciousness? Bonnaroo!
The Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) team had a very fun and successful time promoting global awareness
Published on 2011-06-23 16:49:31
Earlier today, Citizens for Global Solutions delivered a petition containing 29,000 signatures to the White House calling for the Obama Administration to "work through the United Nations to continue protecting the people of Libya from atrocities
Published on 2011-06-23 10:51:05
A guest blog post by Jessica Ziegler:
This past weekend I attended the Nashville PRIDE Festival for the first time since moving to this city over three years ago. Despite the heavy rain and gloomy weather, the festival was an uplifting experienc
Published on 2011-06-22 11:07:36
Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously reelected Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to a second term. The Secretary General certainly deserved reelection, but the election process itself was appalling. I talked about this on the BBC ra
Published on 2011-06-22 08:59:30
A guest blog post by Courtney Vick:
I've grown up hearing about Bonnaroo. I'm from Tennessee and for the past ten years, whenever summer rolls around, the word that begins with a B and ends with a roo is on everyone's tongue.
Back in May, a few
Published on 2011-06-20 15:59:33
Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, and Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, both made remarks recently highlighting the importance of the UN and noting the progress that the institution has made.
Published on 2011-06-20 15:57:07
Global citizens are commemorating World Refugee Day throughout the world today by participating in cultural events and reflecting on the experiences of those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict. For example, 19 year old Sahar fro
Published on 2011-06-20 15:52:28
It's been a bad month in Sudan, with much discouraging news emerging from the country just weeks before it is scheduled to split into two separate states. However, today U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice announced that the northern and south
Published on 2011-06-20 15:37:40
Last week I spoke to members of the United Nations Association (UNA-USA) who were preparing to lobby their members of Congress. I was asked to give a 30,000 foot overview of the political climate on the Hill regarding the UN, an update on the U
Published on 2011-06-20 14:52:31
On Thursday afternoon the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights held a hearing regarding Africa's newest nation: The Republic of Southern Sudan. While being led to a "spill-over room" at the Rayburn b
Published on 2011-06-20 14:41:54
I recently attended an event at the Brookings Institute, which focused on the implications that the recent military intervention in Libya has had on the concept of the responsibility to protect (R2P). R2P, which was unanimously endorsed by UN member
Published on 2011-06-17 12:28:20
Citizens for Global Solutions’ (CGS) banner, alongside a United Nations (UN) flag and photos of UN peacekeepers adorned the CGS booth in Planet Roo at the 2011 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Representatives from different organizations canvassed
Published on 2011-06-16 16:33:25
A guest blog post by Megan Wanee:
At music and art festivals you can strike up a conversation with virtually anyone. From a grassroots perspective, such an environment is perfect for discussing global issues because people are open to new ideas.
Published on 2011-06-10 15:24:39
I recently read the Better World Campaign's poll regarding the American public's opinions of U.S./UN relations. The results that Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research found showed that:
"Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters say it is
Published on 2011-06-10 11:20:56
Sarah Margon, Associate Director for Sustainable Security, and John Norris, Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress, recently published an article explaining why it is imperative
Published on 2011-06-09 11:13:13
On Tuesday, June 7th Enough's field researcher Ledio Cakaj spoke at a briefing on the current status of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Mr. Cakaj believes that the LRA only has about 300-400 soldiers. This number however, is deceiving because the a
Published on 2011-06-09 09:44:40
On Monday of this week I attended a Brookings Institution's event featuring remarks by Alain Juppѐ, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, on the Arab Spring. His address shed light on the fact that this revolt was long overdue in the Arab
Published on 2011-06-07 13:24:23
Cross-posted from Global Memo.
Ban Ki-Moon formally announced his bid for a second term this morning. The Secretary General told a gathering of congratulatory reporters at the United Nations that he had sent letters to members of the Security Council
Published on 2011-06-07 09:13:00
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia for an apparent wound he received during an attack on the compound he was residing in. Saleh’s departure to Saudi Arabia raises an important question about Yemen’s
Published on 2011-06-06 16:38:45
John Danforth, a former U.S. Ambassador to the UN (2004-05), and a Republican U.S. senator from Missouri (1976-94) just published an excellent article in USA Today laying out why it is in the United States' interest to stay engaged in the UN.
Published on 2011-06-03 09:44:52
Citizens for Global Solutions will be at this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, from June 9th to 12th. This is our first ever appearance at Bonnaroo and we are greatly anticipating four days of fun and learning with great peo
Published on 2011-06-03 09:28:53
The European Union recently circulated a draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution which condemns Syria for its bloody crackdown on peaceful protesters. Such a resolution is a necessary initial warning to the Syrian government that the internationa
Published on 2011-05-26 16:05:26
Today is a great day for international justice. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general charged with ordering the infamous genocide at Srebrenica, has been arrested in Serbia after sixteen years as a fugitive and will be extradited to the U.N. w
Published on 2011-05-26 15:20:21
This coming Sunday, May 29th, is the "International Day of UN Peacekeepers." The day presents an opportunity to reflect on the noble work of previous and current UN Peacekeepers and allows us to remember those peacekeepers who gave their lives trying
Published on 2011-05-23 16:25:36
The world's eyes, most recently focused on such hot spots as Libya and Cote D'Ivoire, turned back to Sudan this weekend as forces from the northern part of the country captured a key town in the disputed Abyei region on May 21st. The United Nat
Published on 2011-05-23 15:02:07
Since last year, international observers have anticipated Dominique Strauss-Kahn's resignation as IMF chief this summer. Polls in his native France showed him easily defeating Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2012 French presidential contest and DSK (as he was
Published on 2011-05-17 10:54:07
On March 17th the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing UN members "to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack" in Libya. I was giving a speech in the United Ar
Published on 2011-05-16 13:48:25
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as well as his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Sanousi. This follows the Court’s investigation i
Published on 2011-05-13 15:56:49
In Syria, the human rights crisis continues to deteriorate. The government has instituted a major crackdown, with such a high level of arrests that soccer fields are now becoming detention sites. Peaceful protests are disrupted with gunfire aimed at
Published on 2011-05-13 14:37:15
Citizens for Global Solutions, along with six other human rights organizations, sent a letter to Secretary Clinton today calling for the United States to push the UN Human Rights Council to direct its attention to the human rights violations occurrin
Published on 2011-05-09 13:32:42
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir reportedly traveled to Djibouti over the weekend to attend the inauguration of that nation’s leader, President Ismael Omar Guelleh. Bashir has been charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humani
Published on 2011-05-03 14:24:51
The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced this week that it has uncovered proof that the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces have committed crimes against humanity in attacking civilians, and ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has said that
Published on 2011-05-02 13:08:01
Last night I was watching television when the news broke of Osama bin Laden's death. Needless to say that was not what I expected to hear. Just the day before news had broke that Col. Qaddafi's son had been killed at his compound in Libya
Published on 2011-04-28 15:58:47
I feel privileged to have been able to work in Washington D.C. on international relations issues during this particular period in history. Years from now, I'll look back and say not only was I alive during the momentous revolutions of the Arab
Published on 2011-04-27 13:04:40
In his article Why attack Libya and not Syria?, CNN's Alan Silverleib lays out the many political reasons the United States and international community intervened in Libya but refrained from intervention in Syria, including:
Published on 2011-04-27 10:28:28
In the coming weeks, we must keep a close eye on the policy of the United States government in Yemen, another Arab country experiencing mass protests and calls for change. Demonstrations, inspired by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, have prot
Published on 2011-04-26 10:46:44
Yesterday, I attended a fascinating presentation and film screening at the State Department. The film, Burma Soldier, tells the story of Myo Myint, whose journey included fighting as a soldier for the Burmese government; witnessing atrocities c
Published on 2011-04-19 10:22:38
In an editorial in the Seattle Times, two members of Congress made a strong statement about the importance of international relations funding as budget battles loom. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), and Bill Clapp, the founder
Published on 2011-04-19 08:56:20
The situation in Libya is looking grim and stagnant as opposition forces remain unable to make any real progress in the war against Moammar Gaddafi's government. The UN's recent call for a cease-fire has had little impact, and conditions for ma
Published on 2011-04-18 09:58:33
On Monday, April 18, Citizens for Global Solutions ran a full page advertisement in the New York Times that calls for three essential actions for the U.N. to take in Libya. We are reaching out to Americans because we now live in a new age where the i
Published on 2011-04-15 16:38:21
In a strong partisan vote, the House today voted for Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed FY2012 budget (H.Con.Res 34). The vote was 235-193 with every Democrat voting against the budget and 4 Republicans joining them. It is not expected to pass through t
Published on 2011-04-13 12:42:05
Don Kraus has submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State/Foreign Operations. The testimony focuses on the budget for FY12 and the need to maintain funding for international relations, focusing specifically on three accounts
Published on 2011-04-12 09:19:37
Military actions taken by the U.S. and NATO in Libya and France and the UN in Cote D'Ivoire have seemingly ushered in a new era of international engagement and intervention to protect civilians from bloody conflict. One result of this sweeping shift
Published on 2011-04-11 11:07:23
After months of bloody conflict in Côte D'Ivoire following the hotly contested 2010 election, former president and tyrant, Laurent Gbagbo has finally been apprehended by the forces of his rival, Alassane Ouattara. The international community w
Published on 2011-04-08 16:59:48
As we enter the evening hours on Friday, April 8th, the federal government is less than 7 hours away from a potential shut down. Democrats and Republicans have managed to compromise on a broad range of budget cuts, many of which this writer doe
Published on 2011-04-08 14:02:15
Yesterday I attended a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on United Nations reform. The witness, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, spoke eloquently about the important work the U.N. is doing and the need for us to maintain rob
Published on 2011-04-07 11:28:51
Yesterday House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, released his FY2012 budget proposal, which included many cuts. The most alarming cut was that of the International Affairs account, the 150 account. In Obama's FY2012 $63 billion dollars was
Published on 2011-04-06 13:07:35
Citizens for Global Solutions along with 10 other organizations have issued a statement applauding the United State's decision to run for a second term on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). The groups congratulated the United States on its successes
Published on 2011-04-06 09:42:00
One thing I've heard a lot lately is the question: If we're using military force in Libya, why aren't intervening in other places? Why not Côte D'Ivoire for example? Well the answer is not simple or conclusive, but there are key di
Published on 2011-04-05 16:38:17
The United Nations and the international community have been actively involved in the ongoing conflict in Côte D'Ivoire during the past decade. The United Nations Operation in Côte D'Ivoire, currently comprised of over 9,000 uniformed personn
Published on 2011-04-05 13:45:52
As the world focuses on the momentous changes taking place in North Africa, another African country, Côte D'Ivoire, may be about to emerge from over 8 years of conflict and finally embrace a democratic, non-oppressive government. With almost a
Published on 2011-04-04 15:59:55
Last week we talked the growing humanitarian crisis that is occurring in the Ivory Coast. Over the weekend it has gotten worse to the point where the UN has had to relocate 200 civilian staff members. The UN peacekeeping mission in the Ivory Coast kn
Published on 2011-04-04 14:44:46
One of Libyan ruler Moammar Quaddafi’s sons, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, has announced a plan by which his father would be pushed out of power and Libya would move towards a Constitutional Democracy. The process of democratization would be pres
Published on 2011-04-01 14:12:46
Jon Stewart took a different tone on Libya during his show following President Obama’s speech Monday. Stewart began by mocking the President’s declaration that responsibility for the mission in Libya has transferred from the U.S. to NATO.&n
Published on 2011-03-31 17:37:34
Last night I had a conversation with a Senator, who I consider a friend, about Libya. It was a private conversation so I won’t mention his name. But after listening to President Obama’s speech, he was still very concerned about what t
Published on 2011-03-29 15:52:03
On Friday, the second day of Citizens for Global Solutions’ 2011 Conference, members took action and went to Capitol Hill to lobby their Congress people to protect funding for the United Nations and stand up against genocide by passing a comprehens
Published on 2011-03-29 15:42:39
Citizens for Global Solutions’ 2011 Conference, Global Challenges: Global Solutions, was a major success thanks to the plethora of distinguished speakers and the energy and passion of those who attended. The conference took place in the
Published on 2011-03-29 15:20:51
Resolution 1973 adopted last week by the United Nations Security Council authorizing a multinational intervention into Libya has created a new precedent for the enforcement of international law. Resolution 1973 incorporates principles that the
Published on 2011-03-29 15:06:47
I was struck during President Obama’s speech last night at the stark contrast between the President’s language on Libya and the language of former President George W. Bush in the lead up to the Iraq War. In President Obama’s speech, he re
Published on 2011-03-28 21:26:48
President Obama gave what I consider to be a great speech on Libya tonight. Here's an excellent quote:read more
Published on 2011-03-28 21:10:02
As posted in the Huffington Post
Published on 2011-03-28 15:34:56
While the world’s attention is focused, and understandably so, on the events unfolding in Libya, another conflict and brewing humanitarian crisis has been unfolding on the other side of Africa for months. Ivory Coast, the small West African n
Published on 2011-03-24 10:30:48
This week, an array of analysts, Congress people, and talk show hosts from the usual suspects on the right to Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and John Stewart on the left, have aggressively attacked President Obama on his course of action in Libya.
Published on 2011-03-22 13:43:02
During his show on Monday, comedian John Stewart complained about the U.S. involvement in the military operations against Moammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya. Stewart quoted Barack Obama, who in 2007, as a U.S. Senator said: "The President
Published on 2011-03-22 12:51:33
In an interview with Gulf News on Tuesday, I discussed the importance and need for a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). It's one step towards effective genocide prevention, and is designed primarily as a first-in, first-out unit that cou
Published on 2011-03-22 11:18:40
I am in Abu Dhabi this week at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) speaking at the ECSSR's 16th Annual Conference titled "Global Strategic Developments: A Futuristic Vision." This Conference builds on the ECSSR's belief in
Published on 2011-03-04 16:01:14
Good news: the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced this week that he will launch an investigation into recent attacks on civilians in Libya.
The situation in Libya was referred days ago to the ICC by the U.N. Security Counc
Published on 2011-03-04 09:30:31
In a surprising speech during a meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) yesterday, Representative Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) stated that the United States should completely withdraw from the United Nations. Rep. Rohrbacher said that i
Published on 2011-03-03 09:27:06
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Citizens for Global Solutions applauds the passage of Resolution 1970 by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which condemns the recent attacks on civilians by the Libyan regime, and the unanimous vote to refer the
Published on 2011-03-02 11:30:44
Citizens for Global Solutions, like many other advocacy organizations, is deeply concerned about the harmful cuts to the International Affairs budget contained in the House continuing resolution which was passed recently. This bill, which would fund
Published on 2011-02-25 16:15:24
As the United Nations Security Council and Human Rights council meet today, Mommar Gaddafi continues to defy calls for him to step down. Innocent civilians are being fired upon by Gaddafi's security forces and there is no end in sight. It is the resp
Published on 2011-02-25 10:31:11
Recent events in the Middle East have shown that civil society can bring about big change in the world. The people of Egypt were able to revolutionize their government in only 18 days and civil society groups are increasingly using emerging technolog
Published on 2011-02-23 09:16:36
With time running out before a temporary federal funding measure expires on March 4th, the House of Representatives last week passed H.R. 1, which would provide funding for federal agencies for the rest of the fiscal year, through September 2011-but
Published on 2011-02-18 15:30:42
"I'm concerned that our interest and our challenge is incongruous with the essence of what we are trying to do here." These words, spoken by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), marked the first sign of any contention in the first meeting of the Sub
Published on 2011-02-15 09:27:40
President Obama released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 yesterday, launching the annual budgetary process in which the White House and Congress struggle to come to terms on spending legislation acceptable to both branches of government.&nbs
Published on 2011-02-09 15:49:26
CGS is happy to report that the House of Representatives voted on February 9th to defeat H.R. 519, the ‘‘United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act of 2011.’’ This bill, introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Ileana Ro
Published on 2011-02-07 11:22:10
CGS has joined a cross-regional group of civil society organizations urging the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to call an urgent special session to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt.
On January 25, a popular uprising dema
Published on 2011-02-04 09:49:21
On Wednesday Citizens for Global Solutions, Resolve, The Enough Project, and Invisible Children released a report card assessing President Obama's strategy to stop the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) violence. In a press release the groups called for Pr
Published on 2011-02-01 10:36:36
Today, even Politico understands how disastorous it would be to if we listened to House Republicans and cut State and Foreign Aid spending to 2008 levels. Yet, there are still those who, like Rand Paul, would happy to reduce the PEPFAR budget, which
Published on 2011-01-28 15:56:24
On Thursday the Sudanese army threatened U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur after a tense couple months in the region. Sudanese soldiers threatened to “burn to the ground” camps for internally displaced person (IDPs). This comes as the United States has
Published on 2011-01-28 15:37:42
As posted on the Huffington Post
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the new Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has thrown down her gauntlet. In her first briefing as chairwoman, she had the opportunity to focus on any number of ti
Published on 2011-01-28 09:58:26
The threats of cyber-terrorism or cyber-warfare have been discussed in ever widening circles for some time. As modern society and commerce rely increasingly on digital technology, we recognize the growing scale of the damage and disruptio
Published on 2011-01-27 11:18:07
The first full committee meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) was titled “The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action.” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has made it known that she plans to launch an attack on the U
Published on 2011-01-26 09:52:20
Last week saw the conclusion of an historic event for Sudan. The wrap-up of southern Sudan’s week-long independence referendum process—in which nearly 99 percent of South Sudanese citizens voted for independence from the North-- is not only
Published on 2011-01-20 14:50:28
The current situation in Cote d’Ivoire provides another great example for the need of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). Violence between supporters of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and his electoral rival Alassane Ouattara
Published on 2011-01-18 11:30:06
Getting two-thirds of the Senate to agree on anything is a daunting task. So it was no small feat when the Senate approved New START, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, during its December lame duck session. New START was the first major internatio
Published on 2011-01-14 09:09:17
January 12, 2011 commemorated the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that claimed 220,000 lives and displaced around 2.3 million people. Immediately there was an outpouring of aid and funds and pledges to help Haiti get back on its feet. T
Published on 2011-01-12 15:05:04
The eyes of the world are currently focused on two different African nations, Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire, but for very different reasons. As the third day of relatively peaceful voting continues in Sudan on the independence referendum, which wil
Published on 2011-01-10 13:18:02
Sunday January 9th Southern Sudan opened the polls to vote in a historic referendum that will decide whether the south will chose independence and form their own nation. This vote is yet another step in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that end
Published on 2011-01-07 14:12:02
With the new year beginning, this is the time when Citizens for Global Solutions would normally prepare our Congressional Report Card to rate members of Congress on global issue. The CGS Report Card analyzes voting records on issues ranging fro
Published on 2011-01-05 15:33:11
For Citizens for Global Solutions, the 2010 lame-duck Congress was anything but lame. Immediately after ratifying the New START nuclear weapons treaty, for which CGS strongly advocated, the Senate unanimously approved S. Con. Res. 71, a bipartisan r