United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)

Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Indonesia among countries invited to Annapolis conference

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA (Antara): The United States of America has included Indonesia in the list of countries invited to the upcoming Annapolis Conference on Palestine and Israel, which will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 27, 2007.

The US Department of State in a press statement issued in Washington DC on Tuesday, announced that the US would host Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Abbas, along with members of the Quartet, members of the Arab League Follow-on Committee, the G-8, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and other key international actors for the conference.

US Secretary Condoleezza Rice will host a dinner the preceding evening in Washington, where President Bush will deliver remarks. President Bush and the Israeli and Palestinian leaders will deliver speeches to open the formal conference in Annapolis, the press statement said.

"The Annapolis Conference will signal broad international support for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders’ courageous efforts, and will be a launching point for negotiations leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of Israeli-Palestinian peace," the US Department of State said.

Those invited to attend the conference are the United States, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Algeria, Arab League secretary general, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, EU Commission, EU High Representative , Portugal as EU president , France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the UN secretary general, and Yemen. The IMF and the World Bank are also invited as observers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tehran paper attacks Ahmadinejad

In a rare attack on Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hardline newspaper has accused him of behaving immorally towards his political rivals.

The Islamic Republic daily, close to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has said Mr Ahmadinejad's behaviour is dangerous for Iran.

The publication is seen as a newspaper with impeccable Islamic credentials.

The attack would be difficult to imagine without at least tacit support from Ayatollah Khamenei.

In a hard-hitting editorial on Wednesday, the Tehran paper said the president's treatment of his critics was immoral, illogical and illegal.

Losing support

It was referring to a recent speech by Mr Ahmadinejad when he described people opposed to his nuclear programme as traitors and accused some senior former nuclear negotiators of spying for foreigners.

The paper said Mr Ahmadinejad was using this tactic to discredit his political rivals prior to the parliamentary elections due early next year.

It called on Iran's judiciary to perform its duty and punish people who make baseless allegations and cause public anxiety.

Such a direct personal attack against President Ahmadinejad is indeed rare in official media in Iran.

It shows that the Iranian president is not only losing support among ordinary people because of economic hardship, he is also angering part of the establishment for using the nuclear issue to bolster his personal power.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Myanmar supports ASEAN Charter after human rights body neutered

The Jakarta Post

SINGAPORE (AP): Myanmar gave its full backing Monday to a landmark Southeast Asian charter that will create an agency to review the region's human rights after drafters took out references to punishing violators.

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations approved the regional constitution, which will be signed by their countries' leaders at an annual summit Tuesday.

Myanmar, one of the 10 members of ASEAN, was pleased with the charter - which took 2 1/2 years to seal - despite calls for a human rights arm that could focus on abuses by its junta, Myanmar's senior diplomat U Aung Bwa told The Associated Press.

"We have a very good charter. I think everybody should be happy. It's quite balanced," U Aung Bwa said in an interview, adding he didn't believe Myanmar's internal problems should be the subject of intense scrutiny at the four-day summit.

The long-overdue ASEAN Charter is aimed at formally turning the 40-year-old organization - often derided as a powerless talk shop - into a rules-based legal entity. That means ASEAN can sue and be sued, and will be held accountable for all the treaties and agreements it signs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Myanmar crisis to dominate ASEAN summit

The Jakarta Post

SINGAPORE (AP): Myanmar has often been compared to a relative of questionable character, an embarrassing intrusion at family get-togethers.

Bereft of friends and reviled by many, Myanmar is set to spoil the party again.

The recent crackdown by the country's military junta on peaceful pro-democracy protesters will figure prominently at an annual summit this week of Asian leaders, much to the chagrin of its colleagues inthe Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the region's main political and economic bloc.

After a series of ministerial-level meetings, ASEAN leaders will hold their summit Tuesday, followed by a tete-a-tete with leaders of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand in the so-called East Asia Summit on Wednesday.

Host Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo said the ASEAN leaders' informal dinner Monday will be "the critical meeting" for adopting a common position on Myanmar.

"That's a family dinner, there will be no officials present; there will be no closed-circuit television. It's just the leaders meeting among themselves. We expect Myanmar to be discussed at that meeting," he said.

The 10-nation ASEAN is under tremendous pressure from its trading partners, the U.S. and Europe, over Myanmar. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, who arrived Sunday for a meeting with ASEAN economic ministers, will underscore Washington's concerns overthe junta's "failure to make a serious commitment ... to civilian democratic rule," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.

Southeast Asian leaders are hoping Myanmar will not completely overshadow the summit agenda and detract from key objectives: progress on free trade, controlling climate change, and formally transforming ASEAN into a legal entity by adopting the so-called "ASEAN Charter."

"ASEAN has deliberately set the expectations higher by talking about things like the Charter, the economic blueprint," said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

"They are deliberately trying to show the world that ASEAN can integrate among themselves," he said. But, he added, "Myanmar is the unexpected agenda, where ASEAN has also got to show it can work credibly."

Due to the efforts of U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari, Myanmar's junta has made unusual concessions in recent weeks, allowing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to meet with executives of her party for thefirst time in three years. Gambari will brief the summit leaders on his efforts in Myanmar.

The junta also indicated it would start a dialogue with Suu Kyi, and allowed U.N. human rights investigator Paulo Sergio Pinheiro to visit the country after a four-year ban for interviewing political prisoners.

Many wonder if the ruling generals are sincere. They have made concessions in the past, especially before ASEAN summits, only to renege once the international pressure is off.

Josef Silverstein, an academic who has studied Myanmar for more than 50 years, said that as long as Suu Kyi remains under house arrest, the apparent concessions by the junta should be treated withcaution.

"Unless she is treated as a free woman and leader of the (opposition), her world is inferior to that of her dialogue partner and can be ignored," he said. "If she does not act as an equal ... the military will still control thought and action in Burma," he said, referring to the country by its old name.

Some observers say Myanmar's good behavior ahead of the ASEAN summit may not be all ploy, and could be the result of new pressure, including from China, its only Asian ally.

China's state media reported Saturday that the country's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi has called on Myanmar to speed up democratic reforms. It was an unusual call from Beijing, which traditionally has refrained from criticizing the junta.

Myanmar has already had an impact on the showpiece of the summit, the ASEAN Charter that will be signed by the leaders Tuesday.

The charter calls for setting up a regional human rights body. But it contains no punitive measures for rogue members violating human rights, which effectively lets Myanmar off the hook.

"I'm not sure if it will have teeth but it will certainly have a tongue," Yeo said. "It will certainly have moral influence if nothing else."

The charter's aim is to give the bloc a legal identity, a first step toward its goal of creating a free trade area by 2015 and a possible European-style union.

That remains a distant dream given how disparate ASEAN members are compared to the highly integrated EU members.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Democracy award for Indonesians

NUSA DUA, Bali (Jakarta Post): Indonesia’s relatively peaceful transition into democracy of the past nine years, particularly with the free and fair elections in 2004, has earned the citizens of this world’s fourth most populous country the prestigious Democracy Award from the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC).

“Indonesia is a shining example to the world,” Ben Goddard, president of the IAPC, said in presenting the plaque to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Monday.

Indonesian people, through demonstrations, brought about the collapse of the tyrannical Soeharto regime in 1998, and in 2004, Indonesia held the largest single day election ever held in the world that went peacefully, Goddard said.

Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, also showed to the world that Islam and democracy not only coexist, but that they can be compatible and support one another.

The award is given annually by the association, usually in recognition of leaders or figures who work for democracy. This is the first time that the accolade is given to an entire nation. The IAPC is holding its annual meeting for the first time in Asia.

Not that Goddard failed to acknowledge the role that Yudhoyono played in all this.

“He is a natural leader who inspires his people. He is imparting a vision for the country which the people believe in,” he said in introducing the Indonesian president for the award after going through the long list of his achievements in the military and in public service.

Accepting on behalf of the 240 million Indonesian people, Yudhoyono quipped: “What took you so long?”

Yudhoyono, who won Indonesia’s first ever direct presidential election in 2004, recalled that Indonesia’s the journey towards democracy had not been without its shares of criticisms, self-doubts, stubborn resistance and other hurdles.

"Democracy, some said, would not last long. The people were not ready. The country was too big. The nation was too complex.

Democracy, they said, would lead to chaos and even the break-up of Indonesia. Others said what happened in Indonesia was just a regime change,” he said. “My favorite columnist Thomas Friedman lamented that Indonesia was becoming a messy state.

And there are those who predicted democracy would unleash extremism and radicalize Indonesian politics.”

“Today, we can take a sigh of relief as the good people of Indonesia have convincingly refuted these concerns,” he said.

While not facing an election until 2009, Yudhoyono underlined his own achievement. “Despite the early years of turbulence, where we changed presidents four times between 1998 and 2002, our democracy is now producing stability and economic growth, the highest since the financial crisis (of 1998),” he said.

Past winners of the IAPC Democracy Award include Ukraine President Victor Yuschenko (2005), Iranian children right campaigner Shirin Ebadi (2004), Yitzhak Rabin of Israel (posthumous in 1996), and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (1995).

The three-day IAPC conference will hear from seasoned politicians and political consultants, including Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Hong Kong democratic leader Martin Lee, and from Indonesia include House Speaker Agung Laksono and former environmental minister Emil Salim. (Ary Hermawan/Endy M. Bayuni)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

International environmental crimes earn US$ 31 bln

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - International crime syndicates earned US$22-31 billion annually from environmental crimes, one of the most profitable and growing criminal activities after drug trafficking, according to a UNEP coordinator.

"International crime syndicates earn US$22-31 billion annually from hazardous waste dumping, smuggling proscribed hazardous materials, exploiting and trafficking of protected natural resources and illegal trade of Ozone depleting substances (ODS)," Atul Bagai, regional coordinator of the UNEP Regional office for Asia and the Pacific said on the sidelines of UNEP workshops in Sanur, Bali, on Sunday.

"There is a strong link between terrorism and environmental crimes. Terrorists could get a lot of money from the environmental crimes. As environmental crimes are not yet fully addressed, the smugglers take opportunities from these," Atul Bagai said.

Customs officers were mostly not aware of regulations on ODS and hazardous wastes, or unable to identify ODS, hazardous wastes and protected natural resources, he said.

"If you address environmental crimes, you also address terrorism," he said.

UNEP with the cooperation of the Swedish government and the Indonesian Environmental Affairs Ministry organized the First Multilateral Environmental Agreements Enforcement Network Workshop in Sanur, Bali, from November 8 to 10, 2007. The workshop was participated in by representatives from 25 countries mostly from Asia and the Pacific.

The workshop will be followed by the Joint meeting of South East Asia and South Asia Networks of Customs and ODS officers on November 12-14, 2007, also in Sanur.

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported that its Customs officers confiscated 40 metric tons of CFC-11 (Trichloromonofluoromethane atau freon 11) and CFC-12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) from Tanjung Mas Seaport, Semarang, last October.

The CFC-11 and CFC-12 labelled as HCFC-141b, was imported from Qing Dao Port, China, with Singapore as a transit country, according to Tony Riduan Simorangkir, Head of the Intelligence Section of the Indonesian Customs and Excise Directorate General told participants of a Special Dialogue on Actions for Controlling and monitoring ODS Trade in South Asia and Southeast Asia, organized on the sidelines of UNEP workshop, in Sanur, on Saturday.

Dialog was attended by Indonesian importers of ODS, representatives of ODS producing and exporting countries such as China, India and Korea, ODS shipment transit countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, and implementing agencies of Montreal Protocol`s Multilateral Funds, namely UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO and Bank Dunia.

In the UNEP workshop, Indonesia announced its plan to ban the importation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and methyl bromide as of January 1, 2008.

Indonesia had taken a big step as it would put the country two years ahead of the 2010 schedule for the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances and seven years ahead of the 2015 schedule for the phase-out of methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol, Atul Bagai said.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Indonesia to become Harvard 'peace lab'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia's success in ending conflicts and creating peace has led Harvard University to propose using this country as a laboratory for its study into peace processes.

The Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research plans to work with Paramadina University (UPM) in Jakarta to develop studies looking at past and ongoing peace processes in Indonesia.

"Indonesia is a fascinating country to study," program director Claude Bruderlein said during a discussion on peace-building at UPM on Friday.

"Lessons learned here are very telling, very informative," he said.

Paramadina Rector Anis Baswedan said peace is now taking root in places once plagued by bloody conflicts, such as Ambon, Aceh and the Central Sulawesi district of Poso.

"There are lessons here that could be useful to the peace processes in other countries," he said.

The two universities are now finalizing details of the proposed plan. "Harvard sets very tough criteria," Baswedan said.

Bruderlein said the UN had cited studies of peace processes in African countries, the Middle East, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

"Yet, our research finds that Indonesia has been one of the most successful countries in peace-building endeavors."

The Harvard program has been primarily active in the Middle East, particularly in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Bruderlein said there is a need for professionals in peace-building activities to exchange notes and experiences, which would allow them to develop a methodology and standards as well as vocabularies.

"There is very little literature on peace-building at the moment," he said.

He said nations undergo three phases before reaching lasting peace: peace and security, peace and justice, and peace and development.

Peace remains tentative in the first two phases, but once a nation reaches the final stage, most of the political issues will have been settled and what remain are mostly technical aspects, he said.

Indonesia makes an ideal laboratory for peace-building studies because it offers simultaneous examples of all three phases as the nation tries to integrate security, justice and development, he said.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Noted personalities to speak at political consultants meeting in Bali

The Jakarta Post

DENPASAR (Antara): Several noted international and national figures will speak at the 40th annual meeting of the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) in Nusa Dua, Bali, from Nov. 11-15, association spokesman Pri Sulisto said Friday.

"President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to open the conference," Sulisto said, adding that House Speaker Agung Laksono, Regional Representatives Council chairman Ginanjar Kartasasmita and former environment minister Emil Salim would speak at the event.

He said some foreign figures would also address the meeting, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Fariz Mehdewi, Hong Kong democratic figure Martin Lee and American press figure Tom Plete.

According to Sulisto, the 40th IAPC meeting would bring together participants to exchange ideas on how to overcome various international political problems.

Participants will also discuss and analyze general elections around the world and review a number of campaign strategies applied in the past, he said.

He said the improvement of polling techniques and new developments in technology and communication would also be discussed at the event.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Suu Kyi to meet party colleagues

BBC News

Burma's detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be able to meet allies from her own party for the first time in three years, officials say.

Ms Suu Kyi will meet executives of her National League for Democracy along with a government minister on Friday.

The announcement came hours after UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari concluded a visit which took place in the wake of a series of anti-government protests.

Ms Suu Kyi's party won polls in 1990 but was never allowed to take power.

'Substantive dialogue'

State media said Ms Suu Kyi would first meet Labour Minister Aung Kyi, who was appointed in October as a liaison official for the pro-democracy leader.

She has already met him once.

After that "arrangements have been made to meet with the NLD central executive committee on the same day," state television said.

Ms Suu Kyi's last meeting with her party members was in May 2004.

The NLD confirmed it had an invitation to meet Ms Suu Kyi.

The UN said Mr Gambari's visit had opened a path to "substantive dialogue" between the ruling junta and Ms Suu Kyi had been opened.

This was Mr Gambari's second visit since the military violently suppressed anti-government protests in September.

Burma's ruling generals are under huge pressure to make definite democratic changes in the wake of the crackdown.

Burma 'rejects UN mediation plan'

BBC News

Burma's ruling generals have rejected a UN plan for three-way talks involving detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to state media.

Minister Kyaw Hsan told UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari that Burma would not accept interference in its sovereignty.

Mr Gambari arrived in Burma on Saturday for his second visit since protests in September were brutally suppressed.

BBC UN correspondent Laura Trevelyan says diplomats privately admit omens for Mr Gambari's mission are not good.

Publicly, UN officials are saying they cannot confirm the junta's decision to reject the talks proposal, according to our correspondent.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern at the lack of progress being made with the junta.

On a previous visit, he held talks separately with junta head General Than Shwe and Ms Suu Kyi.

Although he is expected to meet Ms Suu Kyi again before concluding his visit on Thursday, Mr Ban said there had been no further meeting with General Than.

'Bullies' jibe

During a meeting with Information Minister Mr Kyaw, Mr Gambari reportedly offered to mediate in talks between Ms Suu Kyi and Aung Kyi - a junta official who was appointed to liaise with Ms Suu Kyi.

According to the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper, Mr Kyaw told him: "Currently, the tripartite meeting will not be possible."

The paper, which is a mouthpiece for the junta, carried a four-page article addressed to Mr Gambari from Mr Kyaw which it called a "clarification".

"We will welcome positive co-ordination and co-operation for Myanmar [Burma] affairs, but will never accept any interference that may harm our sovereignty," the article stated.

"I would like you to know that Myanmar is a small nation and if a big power bullies her with its influence by putting Myanmar's affairs on UNSC [UN Security Council], we will have no other way but to face and endure."

Widespread protests broke out across Burma during September. In response, the military regime detained at least 3,000 people and opened fire on crowds, with dozens feared dead.

On Wednesday, the Burmese authorities said all but 91 of those detained in the aftermath of the protests had now been freed.

Human rights groups say at least 600 are still in jail.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Think tank: Climate affects security

Yahoo News,

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer Sat Nov 3, 3:13 AM ET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Climate change could be one of the greatest national security challenges ever faced by U.S. policy makers, according to a new joint study by two U.S. think tanks.

The report, to be released Monday, raises the threat of dramatic population migrations, wars over water and resources, and a realignment of power among nations.

During the last two decades, climate scientists have underestimated how quickly the Earth is changing — perhaps to avoid being branded as "alarmists," the study said. But policy planners should count on climate-induced instability in critical parts of the world within 30 years.

The report was compiled by a panel of security and climate specialists, sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for a New American Security. The Associated Press received an advance copy.

Climate change is likely to breed new conflicts, but it already is magnifying existing problems, from the desertification of Darfur and competition for water in the Middle East to the disruptive monsoons in Asia which increase the pressure for land, the report said.

It examined three scenarios, ranging from the consequences of an expected temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040, to the catastrophic implications of a 10-degree rise by the end of the century.

At the very least, the report said, the U.S. can expect more population migrations, both internally and from across its borders; a proliferation of diseases; greater conflict in weak states, especially in Africa where climates will change most drastically; and a restructuring in global power in line with the accessibility of natural resources.

Left unchecked, "the collapse and chaos associated with extreme climate change futures would destabilize virtually every aspect of modern life," said the report, comparing the potential outcome with the Cold War doomsday scenarios of a nuclear holocaust.

"Climate change has the potential to be one of the greatest national security challenges that this or any other generation of policy makers is likely to confront," said the report.

Among its contributors were former CIA director James Woolsey, Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling, National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone, President Bill Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta and former Vice President Al Gore's security adviser Leon Fuerth.

The report listed 10 implications of climate change that policy makers should consider, including rising tensions between rich and poor nations, the backlash resulting from massive migrations, health problems partly caused by water shortages and crop failures, and concerns over nuclear proliferation as nations increasingly rely on nuclear energy.

The global balance of power will shift unpredictably as trade patterns change, it said. China's importance in the climate equation will grow as it increases emissions of greenhouse gases, and Russia's influence will increase alongside its exports of natural gas, the report said.

Attention began to focus earlier this year on the strategic consequences of climate change. But the latest report, more than 100 pages long, is among the most detailed analyses published so far on security aspects.

Last April, a a panel of retired top-ranking military officers issued the alarm that global warming was a "serious security threat" likely to aggravate terrorism and world instability.

The Office of the National Intelligence Director said the following month it has begun working on an assessment of the national security implications of climate change.