Tag Archives: UN

UK General Elections 2015

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As voting begins after one of the longest campaigns in memory, opinion polls suggest that the UK general election remains too close to call. Nearly all the polls published in the last two days have Labour and the Conservatives tied, with only a handful giving one or the other a narrow advantage.

The lead has ebbed and flowed in the week’s before the election, and almost always remained within the margin or error, as likely to have been caused by statistical vagaries as by real voting trends. The bookies are convinced that the Conservatives will end up with more seats than Labour, but they too are little help when it comes to predicting who will be PM: many are offering the same odds on Ed Miliband and David Cameron.

When is the 2015 general election?

Today. Thursday 7 May was the date decreed by the Fixed Term Parliament Act, introduced by the coalition early in this parliament. 

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Is Venezuela finally waking up? Here is a review

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One goes to Caracas and picks up so many stories, that when you return you don’t know where to start. But I thought I would lead up with the story of the students in front of the United Nations office in Caracas. In some sense it encompasses a number of stories of what is going on in Caracas in the protest movement an its relationship with the Maduro Government.

Essentially, a bunch of students (or not) have set up camp in front of the United Nations office which is in Avenida Francisco de Miranda in Los Palos Grandes. I may not like the #SOSVenezuela hashtag, but, as you can see in the picture above, they have focused on what the hell is the UN doing, or not, in Venezuela. But their reality, their plan is a bit more complicated than that.

The first day, the students set up maybe a couple of rows of tents. But, as you can see in the picture above, by now they are up to four rows and growing.

It is very colorful as the picture below shows, but this is more than just a spur of the moment plan.

When you first talk to them,there are a number of surprises. First, they are not all from Caracas. Second, they are not middle class. Finally, they are not all students, as many of them are part of radical, left wing groups 8yes!, real left wing not imitation Chavistas!) which oppose the Government. So, for fools that claim that these protests are somehow motivated by the US, driven my middle class students, please come down and talk to them. You will be surprised, really surprised.

The second interesting aspect, is that the UN is just a way of focusing on something. They know that the UN will do not much more than make a statement or two. But they also know, that where they are, they should be safe, they are close to Altamira where they can go protest every night and in a location where the protests can grow, as they have grown in the last week.

But more importantly, they think that Maduro is playing a game of patience. They believe Maduro wants the students to get tired, wear out the opposition with repression and nightly fights, which, much like in 2002 in Plaza Altamira, will lead to the students or the opposition getting tired and giving up.

But they have no plans of giving up.

Their plan is to grow the camp, as long as it is livable. To make their presence a nuisance, but one that gets the approval of the neighbors. But it has to be livable and sustainable. They have received donations, they have a couple of Porta Toilets, they cook for everyone, they organize protests. But more importantly, they rotate. The tents may have someone’s name on it, or State, but the truth is that they alternate. Each person has someone to occupy their place. The idea is to outlast the Government, to out-tire the National Guard or the Bolivarian Police. After all, nobody can say they are violent (even if they go help in Altamira) but if the Government were to decide to move them out, repress them, it would be the Government that would look bad.
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The United Nations is nothing more than an arena for inter-state power politics.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations reflected the hope for a just and peaceful global community. It is the only global institution with the legitimacy that derives from universal membership. However, in the last decades there is still the debate about the role of this organization in International Relations; this essay will discuss: The United Nations is nothing more than an arena for inter-state power politics.

In order to answer this question correctly is believed two concepts most arise beforehand.

First, The United Nations: which is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance the organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.[1]

Second, Power politics: is essentially a way of understanding the world of international Relations: nations compete for the world’s resources and it is to a nation’s advantage to be manifestly able to harm others. It prioritizes national self-interest over the interest of other nations or the international community.[2]

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Would Security Council enlargement make the Council more effective?

Governments in all countries or most of them affirm their undying devotion to the United Nations and all its purposes and principles; they continually express their determination to uphold its objectives and to strengthen its effectiveness. Today, the underlying presumption has been that the UN is ‘ineffective’ because it has contributed little to the solutions of major problems in recent years.  On one hand it has been argued that Security Council enlargement would make the Council more effective; in the other it has been argued that it would not since most countries today agree that Security Council needs to become more transparent, accountable and equitably representative.  This essay will discuss: Would Security Council enlargement make the Council more effective?

From the beginning of the 1960’s, with the big increase in the membership of the United Nations, there had been proposals for an increase in the size of the Council. This was designed partly to reflect more accurately the composition of the Organization’s membership, particularly to provide more seats for Africans and Asians.  Moreover, the proposal was resisted for some time by the Soviet Union, probably because of her objections to any amendments to the Charter.[1] By the 1980’s the Council was providing valuable assistance for the resolution of conflict and tension in the Gulf, Afghanistan, Angola and Namibia, just to mention a few. Historically, when the UN was formed there was a general desire to learn from the mistakes of the League of Nations ‘which mainly; it felt for four main reasons. First, it has no armed force. Second, it had lacked authority. Third, it has been paralysed during crises by the rule of unanimity. Fourth, the absence of several major powers had made it unrepresentative and impotent’.[2]

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Can armed humanitarian intervention ever be justified?

Since its beginnings armed humanitarian intervention has represented a dilemma to war, peace and international ethics because it involves the moral issue of when to intervene and if these interventions are justifiable.  Moreover there are the different theories in favour and against of armed intervention. This essay will discuss:  Can armed humanitarian intervention ever be justified?

In order to make this essay clearer is to believe that a couple of definitions should be made beforehand; humanitarian intervention and armed intervention. Firstly, ‘humanitarian intervention is traditionally defined as the use of force by states to protect human rights. This definition presumes that states should do the intervening in order to maintain civil rights and of course the welfare and peace in society’.[1]Nowadays, it is sometimes argued that this traditional definition is obsolete because humanitarian intervention is increasingly a matter of collective action under UN auspices, not action undertaken by states acting on their own authority and under their own law. Secondly, we speak of armed intervention when that exercise involves the use of military force. An armed intervention is humanitarian when its aim is to protect innocent people who are not nationals of the intervening state from violence perpetrated or permitted by the government of the target state.[2] Additionally, armed intervention to stop a massacre is likely to be only the first of many measures needed to restore order to a chaotic society and prevent subsequent massacres. If prevention is important, then is to believe that the challenge for humanitarian policy is to move from responding to humanitarian crises to forestalling them.

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UK US effective leadership

Compare the powers of the American President and British Prime Minister. Which can provide more effective leadership?

After comparing British Prime Minister and American President roles is believed that the U.S president leadership can provide more effectiveness, the reason are the following:

The president of the US is the head of the State, while the British prime minister is the effective head of British government. In this case is believed that the US president as head of the state is able to make decisions without consulting the executive.

The Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution determines that the president is the sole commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces and of the state militias when they are called into national duty.  In other words, the president is given the power to require responses from the principal officers in each constituent department of the executive. As commander-in chief the president leads an armed force of almost 1.5 million. There are also many civilian personnel involved, and the Department of Defense is the largest executive department.[1]

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