The long-dormant Language Wars may be returning to American politics, and based on the early indicators, the G. Although many might be surprised by this political alignment, I am not. As matters turned out, I got my wish, and our campaign was among the most bipartisan in state history, being opposed by nearly every prominent Democrat and also nearly every prominent Republican. Requiring that English be taught in public schools was opposed by the Chairman of the state Republican Party and the Chairman of the State Democratic Party, as well as all four party leaders in the State Senate and Assembly.
Rarely has the international community been so intensively focused as now on the need to revamp and adapt our international institutions and organizations to the requirements and needs of a new age. Discussions of this kind are by no means unprecedented. For what is commonly described today as "UN reform" has always been on the agenda of the organization in one way or another.
But the radically novel situation created by the demise of the Cold War, the continuing and deepening rift between North and South, together with short-term pressures and concerns, have given to this debate a new sense of urgency and acuity.
Such essential questions as the place of the United Nations in international affairs, the functions it should be assigned in the international arena, as well as the services the international community can expect from it, are being scrutinized through the ongoing deliberations now taking place in no fewer than five different groups established by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
There are significant areas of agreement among the actors involved. But some questions remain politically controversial.
Others are highly con- tentious. In brief, the search for a durable consensus is likely to be a lengthy and delicate one.
The stakes of this grand debate, however, are high, as its implications are global in scope and significance. For this reason alone, it would need to be nurtured and sustained by a vigorous process of intellectual policy reflection and policy analysis. It is against this back- drop that the University organized last fall in Tokyo a symposium which brought together scholars, UN officials and policy makers from all over the world.
The purpose of the meeting was to flesh out and launch a major research effort focused on the "United Nations System in the Twenty-first Century" UN UN21 is an extension and integral part of a long-term programme of study and reflection spelled out in the report of an advisory team which I convened last year to define a focused framework for UNU research and advanced training in the broad field of peace and global governance.
The specific objective of the project is to examine how international organizations, especially the United Nations, are coping with challenges in five key issue areas - peace and security, economic development, the environment, human dignity and political governance - and to explore alternative models that would best meet the needs of the international community in the next century.
Global citizenship, market forces, regional arrangements, states and sovereignty and international organization will provide the substantive foci of this work. As a research, training and dissemination exercise, UN21 is expected to span the next five years. It will be carried out under the umbrella of a high-level international advisory board which will provide advice about evolving research priorities.
Specific substantive research objectives will be defined at annual agenda-setting workshops which will meet in the spring of each year. Annual symposia held in the fall will provide outlets for the work accomplished in each research issue area.
The highest priority will be given to the dissemination of the work as it progresses. Occasional papers and specific reports will be issued at regular intervals highlighting research outcomes.
The papers presented at the annual symposia will be published in yearly reports. The entire process should lead to the publication of bound volumes by the end of the project. The aim is to produce a steady stream of academically sound, timely, politically relevant and action-oriented studies shedding new light on some of the key questions now raised about the United Nations, the foundations of its authority and the scope of its legitimate role in a rapidly evolving environment.
It is our hope that these studies will promote the deliberative process now unfolding among scholars and practitioners both within and outside the United Nations. I would also like to note here our appreciation for the official support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun for the November symposium.
As the post-Cold War euphoria faded, the future of the United Nations became clouded by widespread scepticism and disillusionment about its roles and capabilities.May 18, · I want to talk you about the Electoral College and why it matters.
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