2009 #7 Spring ~

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“THE CHALLENGE OF BEING A GLOBAL CITIZEN”

by

Don Kraus

National CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions

WHEN: Sunday afternoon, April 19, 2009

3:45 p.m. – Reception
4:00 p.m. – Talk followed by discussion 5:15 – Annual Business Meeting 5:45 – Buffet turkey dinner)

WHERE: THE ETHICAL SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS

9001 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, Missouri 63117 (3/4 mile west of the north end of Galleria Shopping Center)

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OTHER TALKS BY DON KRAUS

While in the St. Louis area, Don will be giving two other presentations:

Saturday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. – Don will speaking to the Rationalist Society of St. Louis at the main St. Louis County Library, 1640 So. Lindbergh Blvd., 63131 (3/4 mile south of I-64/ US 40). The title of his talk will be “Are You a World Citizen?”

Sunday, April 19 at 9:45 a.m. – Don will speaking in the Hanke Room to the weekly forum of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights MO 63117. The title of his talk will be “The Aims, Activities, and Accomplishments of Citizens for Global Solutions.”

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OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS OF CGS OF ST. LOUIS

Chair: Ronald Glossop

Vice-Chair: Yvonne Logan

Treasurer: David Oughton

Membership Secretary: Celestia Gaudreault

Recording Secretary: Suzanne Reinhold

Directors: William Bartholomew, Paul Davis, Bud Deraps, Katharine Kilpatric, Peggy Maslowski, Tom O’Gorman, Bob Reinhold, Michael Tierney

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CGS CALLS ON SUDAN TO HAND AL-BASHIR OVER TO THE ICC

“Omar Al-Bashir will face justice. Whether it takes two months, or two years, he will face justice.”
— Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2009 – Citizens for Global Solutions is joining calls for the government of Sudan to comply with the arrest warrant issued today by the International Criminal Court against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. The warrant accuses the president of two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity in Darfur, by ordering government troops as well as Janjaweed militia to engage in a systematic campaign of murder, rape and torture against members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups. The Court has ordered government officials to hand over President Al-Bashir for trial on these charges, and asks all nations to help bring the president to justice.

“This warrant is an example of actions that the Court was specifically created to take, in order to hold the world’s most heinous criminals account- able for their actions,” says Citizens for Global Solutions CEO Don Kraus. “It proves that no one, including a head of state, is above the law.”

While the judges declined to indict President Al-Bashir on charges of genocide at this time, they said they would reconsider that decision if new evidence came to light.

Therefore, CGS calls on the United States to provide all assistance to the Court in apprehending President Al-Bashir, by taking him into custody if he enters our airspace, waters or territory; by freezing all economic and/or military aid to the Sudanese government until Sudan complies with this warrant; by using diplomacy to pressure President Al-Bashir to comply with the ICC de- mands; and contributing our enormous resources to this investigation to ensure that justice is served.

CGS also urges the U.S. to deepen its cooperation with the Court. We urge U.S. officials to render all possible aid to the International Criminal Court in its investigation of possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in other countries, such as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The aid should include logistical support for ICC missions and staff, as well as diplomatic and economic assistance.

Furthermore, CGS urges the U.S. to reinstate its signature on the ICC treaty, and to take its seat as an observer at the Court’s governing body. “The U.S. must take these very visible steps for it to credibly push for other nations to also cooperate with the Court by handing over to it indicted war criminals like President Omar Al-Bashir,” said Kraus. “We are confident that once apprehended President Al-Bashir will receive a fair and impartial trial at the ICC, since the judges have shown in earlier proceedings that they are not afraid to challenge the findings of the Court’s prosecutors.”

2009 NATIONAL CGS ANNUAL MEETING IN WASHINGTON DC

On March 19-21 local essay contest winners Stefanie Hausheer of St. Louis University and Colleen Whalen of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville traveled with Ron Glossop to Washington DC to participate in the CGS national annual convention at Gallaudet University. Stefanie’s report is on page 4, and Colleen’s report will be in the summer newsletter. You can see a summary of the convention by Diane Hodges of the national office along with photos and videos of many parts of the program at <http:// http://www.globalsolutions.org/blog/index.php?blog=1&title=an_incredible_conferenc>.

My Experience at the CGS Conference in Washington, D.C.

Stefanie A. Hausheer

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Before attending the Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) conference in Washington, D.C., I understood in an abstract way that by voting, I helped send representatives to the nation’s capitol to speak for me, but the experience of lobbying on Capitol Hill marked a turning point in my experi- ence of American citizenship. As we walked past the countless senators’ and representatives’ offices and as my group met with staff members inside some of these offices, I felt so close to the seat of legislative and political power. Never before have I felt so connected to the government, and never before have I felt that we, the people, have so much power to affect the actions of our elected officials.

In addition to the empowering experience of lobbying, the incredible array of speakers that presented on various topics provided me with a wealth of fascinating information. Gillian Sorenson of the UN Foundation gave me fresh evidence of the U.N.’s important role in the international system, but she also reminded me that we Ameri- cans must push our government to be far more involved in the U.N. so that we can take advantage of the multilateral initiatives that it offers us.

During a breakout session that discussed nuclear abolition and more effective peacekeeping, I was reminded of the threat that we all face since so many nation-states are armed with nuclear weapons. I also enjoyed the breakout session that discussed several treaties that have stagnated in the American legislative system and have not been ratified by the senate. I was dumbfounded to learn that the United States has not yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). I also learned a great deal about the Rome Statute and the ICC, and I was startled to learn about how little the United States has done to cooperate with the ICC.

The final panel, which dealt with the notion of a UN Parliamentary Assembly, was fascinating

because many of the speakers presented ideas that I had never heard before. I was intrigued by the idea of a world parliament, and after hearing from a panel of experts, I would like to do further research on the matter.

Although I loved lobbying on Capitol Hill and hearing the speakers during the conference, perhaps my favorite part of the entire trip was interacting with CGS members and staff. I felt so lucky to spend a few days with such brilliant, well-in- formed, dedicated, and remarkable people! Every- one I spoke to wanted to get to know me and exchange ideas. I felt so inspired just by talking to the CGS delegates at the conference.

In sum, the entire experience at the CGS confer- ence in Washington, D.C. was fantastic. I will not soon forget the information that the speakers and the attendees shared with me, and coming to the conference definitely motivated me to become more of an activist in my own life. Even though some of the information I learned was negative or frightening, I now feel equipped to do something about the issues that concern me. Attending the conference has also spurred me to check out several books from the library so that I can build on the knowledge that I gained from the trip. I am so grateful to have been chosen to embark on such a wonderful adventure!

THE UNTOLD DISASTER STORY OF DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) WEAPONS

By Bud Deraps <peacebud@earthlink.net>

The best kept secret in America today is the deadly effect our Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons are having not only on our enemies but also on our own soldiers and aid workers who have served since the 1991 Gulf War when they were first used. DU not only kills and maims, but continues to kill for centuries.

Depleted uranium is used in weapons because it is heavier than other metals and thus penetrates better. Used in weapons from shoulder-mounted rockets and missiles to our largest bunker-busting bombs, each time one explodes, millions of tiny dust size toxic uranium particles fly into the air, soil and water, to be carried aloft by sandstorms plus heli- copter take offs and landings. Air currents then carry them far and wide. Just 9 days after the massive bombings began in Iraq in 2003, the radiation level in England soared to 19 times the natural rate.

Readily inhaled, even small amounts lodge in the lungs and can lead to lung and many other cancers. When a person becomes DU contaminated, their DNA is permanently altered, and they are subject to bearing children with minor to extreme birth defects or that are miscarried, premature, or still born.

On my 2001 visit to Iraq with the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project, in meetings with medical, scientific and university experts, we were given an epidemiological study that documents the proven deadly effect DU is having on the health and reproductive lives of the Iraq people. We also were shown dozens of pictures of extremely deformed babies born there. Iraq has reported that 56% of all new cancer cases occur in children age 5, or younger. Very few of these studies have been allowed to leave Iraq.

Despite restricted release here of US veteran birth defect data, the Birth Defect Research for Children in Florida did a study that showed that Gulf War veterans parented 2 to 4 times more children with 31 specific birth defects than those who had not served in the Gulf.

Meanwhile here, denial still controls center stage. For example, in Dec, 2007, Dr. Kilpatrik, Deputy Director of the Pentagon’s Department of Health Affairs stated in Stars and Stripes that the US military has yet to discover a case of an American service member becoming ill due to it’s use of Depleted Uranium over the past few decades. In Sept. 2007, however, the Public Health Surveillance Org. reported “VA withholds data for up to 70,000 veteran cases a year from US cancer registries.” If DU is so harmless, why did we bring from Kuwait a huge shipload of DU contaminated soil to a waste depot in our northwest while publicly stating that Iraq is totally responsible to clean up their own toxic waste now that they have oil money that can pay for it?

In the last few years, 4 states have passed bills mandating DU contamination testing for all their Gulf National Guard veterans. To date, I have not heard of any testing being done. Could the $1000 cost for the state of the art test be the cause?

I have proposed to US Congress members of the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs commit- tees that they mandate offering DU contamination tests to all Gulf veterans since 1991 and also, early pre-natal birth defect testing for to all military family where one or both have served there. No response as yet.

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WHAT IS R2P AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

Ronald J. Glossop

(This article is continued from the Winter-Spring 2009 newsletter)

“R2P” is the abbreviation for a new interpretation of “national sovereignty” now guiding the United Nations when it addresses this central concept. The traditional view of “national sovereignty” was established by the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia at the end of the Thirty Years War. That absolute view of national sovereignty was that each national government could do whatever it wanted within its own national boundaries and that no other government had any right to intervene in its internal affairs.

The new view of national sovereignty, now officially adoped by both the General Assembly and the Security Council is that part of what is involved in national sovereigny is the “Responsibility to Protect” the human rights of everyone inhab- iting its territory. Furthermore, and this is the crux of the new view, if a national government does not protect the rights of its inhabitants, the international community (but not individual nation-states) has a right to intervene to see that those rights are pro- tected.

……………..
In December 2004 UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change fully embraced and called for imple- mentation of the Responsibility to Protect principle. The following year the Secretary-General’s own report In Larger Freedom: Towards Develop- ment, Security, and Human Rights for All presenting recommendations for action to the 60th session of the General Assembly included a reference to the “emerging norm of the Responsibility to Protect.”

In September 2005 the U.N. General Assembly incorporated the Responsibility to Protect principle into the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. Paragraph 138 reads: “Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept that responsibility and will act in accor- dance with it. The international community should, as appropriate, encourage and help States to exercise this responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability.”

Paragraph 139 says: “The international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibiliity to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian, and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, we are prepared to take collec- tive action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by- case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. We stress the need for the General Assembly to continue consideration of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and its implications, bearing in mind the principles of the Charter and international law. We also intend to commit ourselves, as necessary and appropriate, to helping States build capacity to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against human- ity and to assisting those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out. “

On April 28, 2006 these two key paragraphs of the World Summit Outcome Document were affirmed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council when it adopted Resolution 1674 on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. It says: “The Security Council reaffirms the provisions of para- graphs 138 and 139 of the World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

There is plenty of theoretical support for the Responsibility to Protect principle both among national governments and the public, but how to implement it in particular circumstances has yet to be worked out. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon is pushing the national governments hard to get this problem of implemention solved.

Civil society is pushing national governments to act responsibly. We can be proud that the coordination of this NGO-effort is in the hands of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) in New York, who were asked to fulfill that task by the Canadian government. This work is being done under the name “Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society” or more simply “r2p-cs” (where “cs” is for “civil society”). The website is <http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org&gt; and the e-mail address is <r2p-cs@wfm.org>.

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