Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:09 pm
While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.
The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:
Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the cargo ship stopped in Panama on its way to North Korea with missiles and fighter jets on board, and Pakistani women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai’s speech before the United Nations.
Last week Panamanian authorities stopped a North Korean ship carrying cargo from Cuba that violates UN sanctions against the reclusive Asian country.
Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says Panama has exercised its legitimacy by trying to uphold the sanctions as the ship passed through its territory.
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came out and praised Panama for taking this action, and claimed that it really is the responsibility of all members of the United Nations to uphold these types of sanctions,” Cruise says. “They have legitimacy as the Panama Canal goes through their territory.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Malala Yousafzai (center) on July 12, 2013. The Secretary-General presented her with a leather-bound copy of the United Nations Charter, which normally is given only to heads of state.
Earlier this week Pakistani Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed wrote a letter to 16-year-old women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai saying he wished the October 2012 attack on her life hadn’t happened.
The letter came shortly after Yousafzai’s July 12 speech before the United Nations, where she said the attack gave her a renewed sense of strength, power and courage.
“The attack on her was not in response to her support for girls' education, but because she was critical of the Taliban,” says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “He encourages her to come back to Pakistan and pick up her pen in the name of Islam.”
United Nations Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet addresses a meeting of the UN Security Council marking the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security - October 26, 2010.
Listen to Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini's conversation with Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise.
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution requiring states and non-state actors settling conflicts to consider and respect women’s rights, and include women in the negotiating process.
“Because [women] are in civil society, they’re often not related to political parties or military parties,” Naraghi-Anderlini says. “But they want to have a voice because they’re taking responsibility when others are talking about power. So it’s kind of that duality of power and responsibility, saying ‘We have a voice as well, and we have needs, and we have solutions to bring to the table.’”
Members of a combined Afghan and coalition security force collected a cache of weapons after clearing a known Haqqani network foreign fighter encampment site in Paktika province, Afghanistan - July 21, 2011.
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multi-billion dollar global arms trade Tuesday.
Iran, North Korea and Syria voted "no" on Tuesday, while Russia and China, both major arms exporters, abstained.
Suzette Grillot is the co-author of the 2009 book The International Arms Trade. She says Syria opposed the treaty because it does nothing to prevent weapons from flowing to non-state actors, like the Syrian opposition.
Listen to the final debate on the Agenda 21 bill passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, March 13, 2013.
Cities and counties in Oklahoma would be prohibited from entering into any agreements with organizations accredited by the United Nations under a bill approved by the Oklahoma House.
The House on Wednesday voted 67-17 for the bill sponsored by Bethany Republican Rep. Sally Kern that targets Agenda 21, a plan developed by the United Nations to help cities and countries become more environmentally sustainable. No Republicans opposed the measure, which now heads to the Senate.