Archives for posts with tag: AmbassadorMo

First American THANKSGIVING was in 1621. Pilgrims and Native Americans came together to share an abundance of crop and peaceful prosperity. But Thanksgiving had its roots long before in many pre-historic cultures from Africa, Middle East, to Asia. Typically, it was a time to give thanks in prayer to the gods, or higher being. In Africa, it was after a successful harvest at the end of the rainy season.

In America, we have traditions: Turkey with all the trimmings for the non-vegetarian, numerous vegetables, sweet delectables in the form of pumpkin pie, apple pie — College Football Games, Macy’s Day Parade — all celebrated around a meal with family and friends and probably over-indulgence.

The CORNUCOPIA, meaning “Horn of Plenty”, is pictured on many greeting cards, but it is rooted in classical antiquity. It symbolizes abundance and nourishment. Ironically, the horn of plenty is not symbolic of today’s Horn of Africa and the current economic state of many parts of the world, including here in America.

The United Nations reports food shortages that killed tens of thousands of people in Somalia and brought more than 3.2 million others to the brink of starvation. A severe drought exacerbated the effects of conflict, food shortages, and internally displaced persons fleeing the area. United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reports failed harvests and food insecurity.

ONE BILLION PEOPLE GO TO BED HUNGRY EACH NIGHT around the World. However, hunger has no borders. Look at the soup kitchens right here in the United States, the land of plenty.  Today is a day to give thanks and share a meal with family and friends and remember to give to those less fortunate.

We wish you and your families a “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” from a HORN OF PLENTY — Peace, Security, Food of the Soul and Stomach.

Susan and Ambassador Mo Sacirbey

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And, it does propel some important considerations of access to water as well as sanitation, health and productivity to the forefront. “Lack of sanitation implies the loss of millions of school and work days as well as enormous health costs:” Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, on World Toilet Day, (observed on 19 November each year). Developed countries are only able to improve life expectancy and reduce child mortality as governments began making substantial investments in sanitation.

$1 on Sanitation = $9 in Savings & Productivity:

“The sanitation sector is in desperate need of more financial resources, in both developing and developed countries, but investing in sanitation is good business and a smart deal,” noted Ms. de Albuquerque stressing that for every dollar spent on sanitation facilities, there is an average return of $9 in averted costs and productivity gains. Developed countries were only able to improve life expectancy and reduce child mortality when governments began making substantial investments in sanitation. Clean Water though does have its own UN Goodwill Ambassador(s) –Advocate(s):  Orlando Bloom & SHAKIRA.

“Especially in a period of economic crisis, it is fundamental to invest in crucial sectors that have a multiplier effect, spend the available resources more efficiently and ensure better targeting so as to prioritize the most excluded and marginalized” – In her report to the General Assembly entitled ”Financing for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation,” Ms. de Albuquerque underscored the need to increase and restructure financing in the water and sanitation to meet human rights requirements. The problem may be especially severe in areas recently affected by natural disaster and/or conflict.

More Money on Bottled Water than on Sanitation?

Universal access to sanitation by 2015 would require over $14.5 billion annually. “This seems a huge sum,” Ms. de Albuquerque pointed out. “Yet, put in perspective, it is less than what people in rich countries spend on bottled water each year.”

Based upon 2010 global annual assessment of sanitation and drinking by UN agencies, 95 per cent of countries reported that current funding was not enough to provide access to half of those without toilets. According to Ms. De Albuquerque: “Additional resources are needed for the realization of the right to sanitation, but a lot more could be achieved with the funds already allocated. Money is being spent in the wrong places. We need better targeting of resources aligned with human rights requirements.”

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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Photo Credit: Hoosier Insanity Blog Spot


Watching President Obama travel to Myanmar this week reminds me of 20 years earlier sitting across the table from US Acting Secretary of State Thomas Eagleburger at breakfast in London in August 1992 and asking for more action to stop ethnic cleansing in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Unfortunately, the response was inadequate and failed on both strategic and human rights level. I had this sense that Eagleburger was still under the impression that Slobodan Milosevic was someone the US could and wanted to deal with as regional partner. As communism collapsed, Eagleburger was one of the promoters of the view that Milosevic was a reformer, part of a new pragmatist generation in the former Yugoslavia. In the end, Milosevic proved himself more opportunist than pragmatist. It is perhaps difficult to judge whether Milosevic was a true Serb nationalist, but he employed ethnic chauvinism to wage aggression and genocide against neighbors and promote his authoritarian rule over Serbia & Montenegro.
Myanmar’s current President U Thein Sein is marketed as someone the globe’s democracies can work with – who is inclined to counter the ethnic chauvinism and cleansing now underway in Rakhine state against the Rohingya Muslim minority. However, Thein is at the tip of an authoritarian junta, which is still guaranteed its paramount and controlling role over Burma’s Government by an outdated and non-democratic constitution. Thein and his Government have also failed to be responsive to various peace and rapprochement initiatives. In fact, NGO workers for UN affiliated agencies and Doctors Without Borders have been prosecuted in trials lacking transparency and due process. Multiple sources from the ground indicate that high level Government Burma officials espouse one view for global public consumption but that the dirty work of instigation, terror and killing is left to Myanmar’s military as well as paramilitary and “religious zealots.”
The Rohingya are only one of several minorities that has been under assault. The mostly Christian Karen, Kachin, Shan and several other ethnic minorities have faced rounds of repression and conflict. The Rohingya though are the easiest targets as they have been internally marketed as “non-Burmese” who entered the country illegally. They are subjected to various other crude bias with one Myanmar official describing them as obviously non-Burmese because they are darker and “ugly as ogres.” However, the Rohingya have actually lived on these lands for decades and centuries even before India and Burma were separated under British Colonial rule in the 1930’s. The Rohingya had Burma citizenship until the ascending Myanmar junta successfully launched a campaign to take it away in the 1970’s and early 80’s. The Rohingya have again become a convenient target for the Myanmar junta to rally support under the banner of ethnic purity and chauvinism as well as repelling a non-existent Muslim and/or Christian threat, as opportunism affords.
Many of Myanmar’s political dissidents have remained in gulag type prisons – only this last week almost 500 were released by the junta in anticipation of President Obama’s visit. The role of former dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, (ASSK), held for years under house detention, has been in some eyes apologetic for the current Myanmar Government’s official discrimination and repression.  Unlike Serbia’s longstanding women human rights activists Sonya Biserko and Natasa Kandic, ASSK has been at best ambiguous. Unlike Ms. Biserko and Kandic, ASSK has become a politician contesting elections in the new presumably more open political system of Myanmar. Ethnic politics wins votes, as Milosevic proved. While Ms. Biserko and Kandic have not been recognized by a Nobel Peace Prize, they have been much more consistent with their commitment to the rule of law, justice and a truly more open and democratic Serbia. They understand that Serbians as a whole incurred a great cost along with minorities and Serbia’s neighbors in the dalliance that Washington and Brussels promoted with Milosevic (well after the war in Bosnia & Herzegovina and until the effort to also cleanse Kosovo).
As President Obama travels to Myanmar, it is an opportunity to secure new markets and access to valuable resources no doubt. However, President Obama also must be aware that he could be embracing the Milosevic of this generation or at least providing a further veneer of legitimacy to the chauvinist, authoritarian regime that stands behind U Thein Sein. The wisdom of President Obama’s trip now to Myanmar can be questioned. However, the US President cannot overlook the human rights abuses and ethnic chauvinism that is in conflict with US values, strategic interests as well as international standards that have evolved since the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia and Bosnia genocides.
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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Foreign policy surprises? After Obama’s reelection, most focus is on “fiscal cliff” and domestic policy, but could it be that international challenges/initiatives will come to forefront as the incumbent is now more liberated of political caution in his Second Term? Within a day or so of his reelection, President Obama announced a foreign trip to Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. While Myanmar’s thinly veiled ethnic cleansing of Rohingya and broad ethnic/chauvinism may have been cause to pause before giving credibility to what was only a year so earlier viewed as repressive, undemocratic military dictatorship, the purpose of this trip appears more strategically expedient: to counter Beijing’s growing influence and symbolically put into motion Washington’s “pivot” toward far Asia and the new challenge of China. What other foreign policy initiatives might we expect from the Obama Administration?

—Press Beijing on Human Rights?

While China has made significant economic advances, its human rights records remains poor with regards to Tibet and the Muslim indigenous population of Xinjiang and its overall population. Dissent is suffocated and there is little transparency on both the political and legal/judicial systems. President Obama would garner support from key Republicans including House Foreign Relations Chair Rep. Chris Smith. Up to now though, the Obama administration had significantly lagged its rhetoric on human rights and rule of law issues regarding China but also such areas as Sudan/Darfur.

—Will Washington take steps to bring US toward International Criminal Court Membership?

US joining the ICC would make support of human rights and the rule of law consistent with Washington’s rhetoric. However, Washington is at best ambivalent and at worst antagonistic toward the ICC. While many on the Right-Wing have sought to suffocate a permanent international criminal tribunal, on the Left there is a preference for engagement with the ICC. However, neither is inclined to subject the US to the ICC’s jurisdiction even if it is unlikely that US citizens would be prosecuted by the Court (as it operates in complementary fashion to national courts). While the UK, France, as well as Brazil, Jordan, Canada and Australia have joined almost two thirds of the globe’s states as state parties to the ICC, US continues to be a holdout along with China, Russia, Iran, India, Sudan and Israel. The minimum that should be sought from a Second-Term Obama Administration is for the US to re-sign the Rome Statute, but I’m not certain that will exists even though the Clinton Administration had moved in that direction in 1998 without adoption/ratification. (George W. Bush renounced the US signature).

—Syria Action Coming?

The Obama Administration had been avoiding any potential foreign conflict prior to the November elections, but now may feel more confident in flexing military muscle via Turkey and NATO.  Any intervention is not likely to be driven by human rights and/or humanitarian considerations but rather the risk of Syria’s conflict being gradually exported to its neighbors, from Lebanon to Israel. Further, any action would not have UN Security Council approval as Moscow and Beijing would oppose; however, regional organizations as the Arab League and neighbors as Turkey can provide legal pretext. While there is significant support for greater US response on Syria among Republican stalwarts including Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain, nonetheless, actual military intervention is most likely through proxies. The emergence of the new Syria opposition via the “National Coalition” will present new opportunities as well as dynamics.

—Palestine UN Membership?

There is no US initiative to further US peace, and to contrary, the risks/trend toward another downward spiral is rising. The current Netanyahu Government is either unable or unwilling to move ahead with a credible initiative, and is perceived as more committed to land than peace. The Palestinian Authority is losing credibility, and the risk to US and western interests is that more hardline Palestinian organizations as Hamas will gain more credibility at expense of those on the road toward co-existence with Israel. Washington now may have to deliver, even if the Israeli Government may be unwilling. Even if more symbolic, Palestine membership at UN would reset the dynamics and infuse the moderates with credibility for further engagement or at least wait until Israel delivers a Government more committed to the two-state solution.

—Latin America & Caribbean-America’s forgotten neighbors?

All of the last few US Administrations have come into office promising a new era of progressive engagement with the US’s southern neighbors, but in end little changes – Latin America and the Caribbean get lost in US domestic debate over illegal immigration or illicit narcotics. In truth, America’s neighbors to the south have been rapidly evolving in terms of economic vibrancy and political stability – most are not only members but the most active supporters of the ICC and the rule of law. Most critically, Latin America and the Caribbean cannot be addressed in a homogeneous fashion. The diversity of economic opportunities, governmental ideologies and social fabric necessitate a more tailored, individualized approach – Brazil, Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago are as diverse from each other as Indonesia, China and the Philippines.

—Eurozone Crisis needs Greater Global Engagement, particularly US?

Both the US and Eurozone economies need more emphasis on growth and less on the drain of austerity. In the context of the US election debate it had become politically dangerous to speak of assisting Europe, but we believe it is even more risky for the US not to be an active part of the solution to the EU fiscal/economic crisis. The US/European relationship is one of most enduring and critical politically and economically. The US must work directly and via the IMF toward such solution, and it would be an unfortunate political and economic consequence if China were perceived as more committed to Europe’s health than the US.

—Africa a new engagement?

While many Africans have taken pride in President Obama’s election, the engagement of this Administration with Africa has been spotty. Most of the focus has been on providing support (at times blank check to even repressive Government’s as Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi regime) to fight “Islamist terror” threats. However, there has been no particular overt trend toward promoting economic well being or greater human rights/democracy. The previous Bush Administration has been credited with some of the then more progressive AIDS and poverty eradication initiatives. Finally, as Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa cannot be painted with one brush stroke. From Libya, Tunisia and Egypt in the north to Ivory Coast in the West, Somalia in the East and South Africa in the South, democracy is taking ever greater root offering its own unique opportunities despite uncertain and irregular advances.

—Bosnia & New Europe:

The US via NATO was critical in catalyzing the transformation of “new Europe” in the post-Soviet era. However, in the last two decades such engagement has gradually waned. However, US interaction is still a critical ingredient as Europe continues to redefine itself, and especially as the future belonging of countries like Greece as well as Turkey are open for debate. Unfortunately Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) has gone too far down the priority list and is mired in the outdated and counterproductive phraseology of the Dayton Accords. Facing obstructionist forces from within the country and outside, BiH does not have the opportunity even if most population has the will to bring it forward two decades, but neither Washington nor Brussels are particularly inclined to act progressively, that is without another overt crisis challenging also their stale vision of the region.

—Afghanistan & Pakistan:

Drones, military engagement and “green on blue” killings have provided no sound foundation for future. To the contrary, civilian casualties and prolonged military intervention have poisoned the perception of the relationship on both continents. The Obama Administration is only likely to speed up the disengagement and only leave behind a veneer of previous promises/commitments.


Brazil, India and South Africa are developing both a diplomatic/political and economic alliance with China and Russia. The foundations of such alliance are not particularly homogeneous but increasingly it has come to rely upon a policy to counter Washington’s influence on a broad range of issues. The US will have to challenge such tendency but formulating policies that better address cooperation and/or coordination based upon the unique interests of each of the rising BRICS and not allow Beijing or Moscow to pull such states into their agendas.

—Indonesia, Philippines, ASEAN & SE Asia:

As part of its pivot to face the rise of China, Washington would not only seek to strengthen old alliances with East Asia, Japan and South Korea, but redefine relationships with rising democracies particularly Indonesia which has already made significant economic and political progress and the Philippines which under Benigno Aquino is seen as rapidly moving forward. These states, along with Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan already face Beijing’s spreading territorial claims in the South China Sea providing Washington with a natural opportunity to play a more visible role. Finally, Indonesia’s rise as economic as well as diplomatic power complements its status as largest Muslim-majority state. Muslim does not mean Arab, or a single definition. Indonesia is a good example of how diverse the Muslim world is.

—Climate Change:

The environment and climate change have fallen off the priority list not only in US. However, both the proof of man-induced climate change and its consequences is ever more evident. The Right Wing had first sought to cast doubt upon man-induced climate change and then offered the false choice of either jobs or the environment. If you believe in God or just respect “Mother Nature,” Hurricane Sandy was a fitting reward to the Romney campaign and those who ignored the health of our Earth. Now it is up to President Obama to hear the ever more urgent message of environmental health. Climate change is a global issue. Will Washington now lead rather than be a drag in global/multilateral forums addressing solutions?

—Women’s/Girls’ Empowerment:

Increasing awareness of sexual violence against women/girls has been a growing priority particularly as it was evident that females were not merely the coincidental victims but frequently the targets of mass rapes as part of genocide/ethnic cleansing in recent conflicts, from Bosnia & Herzegovina, to Rwanda, to Syria. The ICC and the Rome Statute have also incorporated “gender based crimes” as a separate category to highlight and further empower prosecutors and victims. However, it is not only about deterring victimization. It has been evidenced that from education of girls to greater equality in the work place to more equal access/ownership of land, benefits society as a whole. Society is more productive, partners treat each other more equally, and more food is produced by women owning and tilling their land. It is women that gave President Obama his reelection victory, but the US has not necessarily been the leader on empowering women/girls. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey have had women Prime Ministers. The US has not had a woman nominated for President, and the 2012 election was a record for women elected to the US Congress; but it is still only 90 out of 535 Senators and “Congressmen”.

Human Rights & Rule of Law Consistency:

The US has exhausted its reserves of goodwill among many. While Obama’s reelection was received positively by both potential friend and foe overseas, there is a perception that much of the positive momentum of 4 years earlier has been squandered. More of substance is expected this time around but particularly that the US avoids hypocrisy and in both deed and word promote the rule of law and human rights consistently for all as shared values to be shared by all global citizens similarly committed regardless of region, religion, race and/or ethnicity.

By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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“The full realization of women’s rights is impaired by the structure of the country’s political institutions and the fact that no State level authority has the jurisdiction to ensure the adequate implementation of the international human rights obligations adopted by the State,” states the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo at end of an 8 day visit to Bosnia & Herzegovina. “A very relevant fear shared by interviewed survivors of war-time rape and torture is the fact that time continues to pass by with no justice being served. It is crucial to speed up efforts and achieve political solutions at State level.”

Dayton Accords Ending the War & Cementing the Consequences?

The Dayton Accords brokered by the “Contact Group” (US, Russia, UK, France, Germany, EU as well as UN) are credited with having finally brought the conflict to an end. However, they also now deter BiH’s advancement politically, economically and in terms of rule of law and reconciliation. While effectively freezing and frequently rewarding the consequences of ethnic cleansing, “truth and reconciliation” remains primarily a rhetorical objective.  In order to rationalize current injustices and past crimes, ethnically defined politics has multiple versions of BiH history being promulgated.   

Targeting of Women/Girls:

Women/girls were not collateral damage and incidental victims, but they frequently were the direct targets of mass rapes, enforced pregnancy, torture and killings as the perceived backbone of social structure, particularly among Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims). The victimization of Bosnian women/girls has unfortunately persisted, from efforts at denial of crimes committed against them to domestic violence. Ms. Manjoo insisted it was “crucial for government authorities at all levels to recognize the existence of civilian women victims of rape and torture, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds, and to ensure that they have equal access to remedies and services, regardless of their physical location within the country.”

Initiatives toward Rule of Law, Reconciliation & Normalization:

According to OHCHR, the initiatives welcomed by Ms. Manjoo included bids to adopt a Transitional Justice Strategy that aims to ensure access to justice and reparation for all civilian victims of war, including survivors of sexual violence; a Law on the Rights of Victims of Torture and Civilian Victims of War that is hoped will give civilian victims of war access to equal social benefits; and the development of the Programme for Improvement of the Status of Survivors of Conflict related Sexual Violence.

“I encourage the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to speedily finalize the adoption of these legislative and programmatic initiatives, and call on the authorities of both the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska to actively participate in their implementation,” according to Ms. Manjoo. In the Special Rapporteur’s view, according to OHCHR, transitional justice actions should ensure the “public acknowledgment and memorialization of women victims, their access to compensation, including non-material damages, and their empowerment.” Ms. Manjoo emphasized this as  “particularly important considering the country’s overall economic situation and how unemployment and poverty impact all people, but women victims of violence in particular.”

Men/Boys as Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict:

She also acknowledged the need to recognize the existence of male victims of war-time rape, OHCHR noted.“As the government strives to assess and address the impact that the war had on men and how to ensure they do not place women at a higher risk of domestic violence, it should also recognize the experiences that women themselves faced during the war, and their entitlement to justice, reparations, and information and assistance on the missing and the disappeared,” Ms. Manjoo said. (See full Press Release )

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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Message from Susan Sacirbey: I will be attending a Global Citizen/United Nations Election 2012 Results Party this evening with Ambassador Mo Sacirbey being held at the residence of Liechtenstein Ambassador Christian Wenaweser who was also the Former President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of State Parties. Will be tweeting results as they come in. Please follow me on TWITTER @DiplomaticallyX.Image

UN Special Rapporteur on Racism reports a need to curb hate speech and intolerance, but how to address that such could also be abused to curtail freedom of speech and human rights in general? Rather than regulations and more government involvement, are we as global citizens also best suited to both confront haters and promote greater freedom, tolerance, pluralism of views and ways and human rights? Also, recall that hate radio at least in US has been persistent for several decades now, and why not focus on eliminating hate speech on the public airwaves already subject to public license and regulation.

“The increase of extremist hate websites, the use of the Internet and social media by extremist groups and individuals to propagate hate speech and incite racial violence, and the increased number of incidents of racist violence and crimes prompted by racist content on the Internet remain to be addressed, despite the adoption of positive measures,” states the Special Rapporteur on Racism, Mutuma Ruteere while addressing the UN General Assembly in NYC HQ as he presented 2 reports, one on racism on the Internet and the other on extremist political parties, movements and groups. Mr. Ruteere called for greater cooperation among governments, international bodies, the private sector, civil society and local communities, and stressed that a cohesive approach developed through dialogue is needed regarding hate speech on the Web. As UN News Centre reported, Ruteere noted that States should adopt legislative measures that examine the link between manifestations of online racism and hate crimes committed. “Additional measures such as self- and co-regulatory initiatives developed by service providers and other relevant actors may also be useful in making efforts more effective.”

We fear that any invitation for Governments to regulate “speech” more could be employed by all governments to curtail free speech and suffocate dissent and non-conformism – just see the misuse of the term “terror” to evidence to abuse both peoples and human rights in the name of the war on terror. However, we do agree with the Special Rapporteur’s next recommendation: “I believe that a possible way of countering racism on the Internet is through content diversification, in particular by promoting local content.” He urged States to adopt policies and strategies to make the Internet widely accessible and affordable to all. “Education about racist content on the Internet and awareness raising measures are also important tools.”

As we have noted, the Special Rapporteur did see the risk of Government abuse: “Any restrictions, control and censorship of the content disseminated via the Internet should be done on a clearly defined legal basis and in a manner that is necessary, proportionate and compatible with States’ international human rights obligations including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.” However, we see no inclination for Governments to really restrain themselves or for global citizens to effectively hold them accountable for abuses – as is the case now in several issues related to free speech, censorship and human rights.

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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You cannot tackle mounting debt burden of our grandchildren if you sacrifice education/health of children today.

Main outcry for cutting today’s Governmental spending is that “we should not leave an impossible and immoral debt burden upon our grandchildren.” Agreed! However, can such spending cuts be imposed at cost of education and health of today’s children? Such would not only be even more immoral but also at even greater cost to the economic health of the America and the world we leave behind.

Trim away waste absolutely, but cutting teachers and scrapping health care for children/families is both more immoral and longer-term fiscally and economically counterproductive. Why not cut military spending or at least trim back corporate subsidies? Why is a school meal on the tax chopping board while a rich person’s stock dividend is considered a sacred cow? Of course we can also cut social security and medicare benefits for those who have raised our children, protected our country, and further endowed our economy through most trying times – after all, they are a dying voter; but what cost to our example of empathy and respect for all good that came before our children?

Austerity sounds like the right even if tough medicine because parents and grandparents are instinctively inclined to sacrifice for their progeny. However, just because the medicine tastes bad does mean it is the right one, and especially if the most wealthy in our society really do not partake. Do we want an austerity and future where our grandfather commits suicide out of despair in one of our public parks, as in Greece? More importantly, it is never been cutting spending that has been the right medicine as much as growing our economy to eventually overtake the debt. Told that we are facing a debt epidemic, some are urging a prolonged therapy of “bleeding” the patient, a course both outdated and counterproductive to health. History reveals the future: no economy has returned to health by cutting spending and certainly not alone, but growth has enabled many economies to catch up and overcome their debt burden with greater productivity and revenues. Regardless, it is both a false choice presented and unethical to place before an electorate the choice of the health and education of today’s children versus the debt burden potentially facing our grandchildren.

Ambassador Mo Sacirbey

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Update from Susan and Ambassador Mo Sacirbey – Staten Islanders: THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON has been cancelled. In a statement from the Mayor’s office and the New York City Road Runners: “They would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants.” We are thankful for this courageous decision as we work to rebuild together.Image

The United Nations General Assembly has elected Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea & Rwanda to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for 2-year terms beginning 1 January 2013.  In vote for UN Security Council, does ICC (International Criminal Court) membership & strong support favor election (see Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg)?  Rwanda is not member of ICC & ran unopposed from African Group.Image