Sarah’s inside look on International Relations

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The Refugee situation March 5, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahcwashburn @ 10:33 am

Jean Marie Stratigos spoke to four of us Model United Nations students about the refugee situation in relation to the Darfur conflict. The reason for having him speak to me about this topic is because he is a UNDP employee and has a special interest in the region. Just last summer he was in Africa working with refugee camps to make them more efficient and to decide what makes one more effective than the other. One interesting fact that was mentioned was the mere numbers of displaced persons in these camps. Pictures covering only acres of land held people in the tens of thousands. This is so shocking and to see the land that was once covered in trees now stripped of vegetation. The reason Jean Marie said this happens is because there is water in the trees and when they are cut down they can extract the water from the trunks of the trees.

This comes to the next part of the conversation when Jean Marie explained his search for a new refugee campsite. There was a choice between land with vegetation and land without vegetation. The dilemma is that if the camp is near the vegetation the refugees may tear down the plant life for any extra materials or form of sustenance to have. However, the land with more vegetation is also much more shaded and in the hot sun of Africa,  over exhaustion is common. The conflict is clear and if I were an employee of the UN I would not know which decision to make. This is why I am glad there is UN officials putting their input into the region and trying to make an active difference.

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The Darfur Conflict

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahcwashburn @ 10:11 am

The Blog named ” Honest Chaos” ,http://honestchaos.com/2007/03/04/200000-deaths-is-genocide/, was written to layout the general problem and situation in the Darfur region. According to the blog, there has been atleast 200,000 deaths of people. The mass killings are said to be either genocide or ethnic cleansing. What the blog also indicates is that it is about the people and how they are suffering. This is interesting because to make a point more powerful the use of an example is always helpful. This writer chose to highlight issues but not delve into them. I think one of the most important issues to talk about is how the UN will not recognize the mass deaths as a genocide. The United States has chosen to make a stand and classify this conflict as a genocide. This is interesting because sometimes the US does not seem to make a stand about political issues. The United Nations was created to create and promote peace and in a time of mass conflict and death it would be only right to classify the conflict as a genocide because that it what is truly happening in Darfur. Instead, the international community has not come together to decisively call the conflict a genocide. The reason I feel the international community has not come to this conclusion is because of self interest.

 

Global North and South

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahcwashburn @ 9:04 am

I first learned of the terms Global North and South at a Model United Nations conference. These terms refer to geographic regions of the world in relation to the economic standing. Global North implies that most northern countries are more developed than the south. When I was reading about these Globally split areas in the Kegley and Raymond text book I began to realize that these terms are very displeasing. I do not mind distinguishing between countries and their economic standing. However, the terms Global North and South are so particular and suggestive. I much rather prefer the terms LDC and LLDC. I feel very strongly about not referring to countries as either globally north or south. Maybe more understanding or better justification would help me to adjust to this terminology. For now, it seems that I will need to do some more research on these terms.

 

Patriotism or Racism? January 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahcwashburn @ 8:12 am

In recent news on news.bbc.co.uk, an article was written describing a recent ban of the Australian flag at a popular rock concert. Officials indicate that mobs of people will use the flags as a symbol of racism at the concert especially in light of the concert being held on a national holiday. Insiders on the other end of the arguement defend the point that the flag is being used as a patriotic symbol. This brings up a rather interesting question. Is not being able to diplay your countries flag an act of anti-racism or a way for officials to control our views on patriotism?

 I know that I see the flag as a symbol of pride for my country. If I were not able to display my flag anywhere I liked then I would be moved to fight back and become even more passionate about the flag. It seems rather interesting that on a national holiday citizens of a country would not be able to bring a flag to a popular rock concert. From my experience it seems that human nature would tend to revolt and actually spur more people to display the flag that day in comparison to what would have been represented if there was never a control put on the flags.

 

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Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahcwashburn @ 6:50 am

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