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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Yesterday, May 17th, was the International Day against Homophobia. How did you commemorate it?

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Elizabeth Anania Edwards died on New Year’s Day in the new Lunar Hijri calendar of 1432. That first day in the month of Muharram, where it is forbidden to fight, she stopped and gave up her life to a disease. Though most in the US don’t use the word or embrace the context, she could have been considered a martyr, to the cause of ending breast cancer.

We in the United States often wear blinders when it comes to looking beyond our boundaries, but her death was noted outside our confines. Pakistan Times carried THIS.

I found myself wondering at the complexity of translation from English to Arabic that must have occurred, and fascinated by the resulting translation back to English in the Pakistan Times, I nevertheless recognize the syntax of the press release found in many other publications. It’s a reminder to me that the world really does listen, engage and even honor those it finds worthy.

In looking at the day in Wikipedia, it seems in a mystical sense, all of a piece that her death day was also that of the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Bombing, the day Indonesia invaded East Timor, the day Yassar Arafat acknowledged Israel, the Day the Republic of China moved to Taipei and the day the US first executed a person by lethal injection. Days of tribulation and days of human rights achievements are always linked.

Anania studied law, then, spent her life helping others, struggling for their rights in bankruptcy court and family law. She went to Washington and told our government how the dysfunction of our health system and bankruptcy laws did more than anything in our country to break people financially and kill them.  Anania spoke out for the human rights of others. Maybe there were other reasons, but she did not take the name of Edwards until and in honor of her son’s death in 1996. In another time she would probably have held the stage herself, rather than as a Senator’s wife. A daughter of the 70’s promise of human rights, her life was too short, but she strove to make it worthy. I think she succeeded.

Her death day folds into this week’s UN celebration: International Human rights Day, where this year’s recognition is for those defenders to end human discrimination.  To recognize her is to understand the honorable struggle ongoing in the world.

So, it will be sad and pathetic it will be when these people show up at her funeral tomorrow. My pity is for them. If you wish to send an  honorarium you might send to the Komen Fund in South Florida, (At the bottom of the Examiner page.) or the Wade Edwards Foundation. It’s all of a piece.

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ERA TODAY!!!

On December 3rd, the United Nations as part of the “30th Anniversary Celebration Event” will hold a global celebration recognizing the adoption of “Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women”(CEDAW) in 1979. I don’t know if you recall, but the United States, in it’s “great” role as a women’s rights advocate, still hasn’t ratified this UN measure.

Briefly, CEDAW treaty signers (more…)

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Associated Press reports that the United States won her first seat on the UN Human Rights Council yesterday HERE. As you may remember, the USA was required to produce a pledge to the Council, which the ACLU felt left several human rights points obscure. The Pledge can be found in the linked ACLU page on the recent blog HERE.

In case you forgot the history of the Council, Wiki has a brief chronology HERE.

When SOS Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the US intent to seek a seat in March of this year, it reversed a Bush policy decision to shun the Council over membership of other nations who were considered to be repressive.  However, as she and US Ambassador Susan Rice have noted, the decision is part of “new era of engagement”.

The whole thing gets back to whether it’s better to work in the system in hopes of changing it, or outside of it.  Israel, one of the nations who, along with the US, first opposed the Council’s formation, continues to object to participation. 

Even so, the Council is purely advisory to the UN and has no authority to initiate actions on it’s own.

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