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Friday, January 31, 2014

U.S.: Syria Still Holding Most Chemical Weapons | Valley News

U.S.: Syria Still Holding Most Chemical Weapons | Valley News

@TurtleWoman777: U.S.: #Syria Still Holding Most Chemical Weapons | #CW #AgreementBREACHED #WorldWatching #AssadPlayWorld4Fool again! http://t.co/zwnM1VwWP3

Cannabis and cancer chemotherapy. A comparison of oral delta9thc and prochlorperazine Thomas 2006 Cancer Wiley Online Library

Cannabis and cancer chemotherapy. A comparison of oral delta9thc and prochlorperazine Thomas 2006 Cancer Wiley Online Library

Honor 4 #HR activist~Law abiding citizen has hearings scheduled by no less than FOUR (4) #NY gov agencies in 2 mos

Honor 4 #HR activist~Law abiding citizen has hearings scheduled by no less than FOUR (4) #NY gov agencies in 2 mos

.@twitter spam always good sign for #Tibet activist~Good sign of making a difference for the good of all, the 100%

.@twitter spam always good sign for #Tibet activist~Good sign of making a difference for the good of all, the 100%

JURIST - Paper Chase: HRW: Syria government responsible for demolitions of residential areas

JURIST - Paper Chase: HRW: Syria government responsible for demolitions of residential areas

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where is Humanity

United Nations News Centre - Ban opens Syrian peace talks, urges all sides to seize ‘historic’ opportunity to end bloodshed

United Nations News Centre - Ban opens Syrian peace talks, urges all sides to seize ‘historic’ opportunity to end bloodshed

Marijuana legalization inevitable, next step

Opinion: Marijuana legalization inevitable, next step - Opinion - Mobile Adv

Journalists of the world, unite - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Journalists of the world, unite - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

الصحافة العالمية - ٢٢ يناير ٢٠١٤

AFP: Syria photos prove 'industrial-scale' killings by regime

AFP: Syria photos prove 'industrial-scale' killings by regime

Syria photos prove mass torture by Assad regime | GlobalPost

Syria photos prove mass torture by Assad regime | GlobalPost

Report: Syria tortured and executed 11,000 - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Report: Syria tortured and executed 11,000 - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Opinion: Syrian genocide needs justice - CNN.com

Opinion: Syrian genocide needs justice - CNN.com

U.N.: Syria Torture Report 'Extremely Alarming' — Naharnet

U.N.: Syria Torture Report 'Extremely Alarming' — Naharnet

UPDATE 3-UN chief Ban disinvites Iran from Syria peace talks | Reuters

UPDATE 3-UN chief Ban disinvites Iran from Syria peace talks | Reuters

U.N. backs down in standoff over Iran, opening way for Syria peace talks - The Washington Post

U.N. backs down in standoff over Iran, opening way for Syria peace talks - The Washington Post

Can evidence of mass killings in Syria end the inertia? Only with Putin's help | Jonathan Freedland | Comment is free | The Guardian

Can evidence of mass killings in Syria end the inertia? Only with Putin's help | Jonathan Freedland | Comment is free | The Guardian

Direct Syria talks to last 7-10 days | GlobalPost

Direct Syria talks to last 7-10 days | GlobalPost

Obama: I Am 'Haunted' by Syria news http://www.news.nom.co/obama-i-am-haunted-by-syria-7793461-news/

Obama: I Am 'Haunted' by Syria news http://www.news.nom.co/obama-i-am-haunted-by-syria-7793461-news/

Obama: I Am 'Haunted' by Syria | Humanitarian News

Obama: I Am 'Haunted' by Syria | Humanitarian News

Syria 'smoking gun' report warrants a careful read - CSMonitor.com

Syria 'smoking gun' report warrants a careful read - CSMonitor.com

11,000 reasons for real action on Syria

11,000 reasons for real action on Syria

Syria: Justice Essential For Durable Peace, Says HRW

Syria: Justice Essential For Durable Peace, Says HRW

Syria, U.S. surveillance in focus in group's annual rights record - CNN.com

Syria, U.S. surveillance in focus in group's annual rights record - CNN.com

Sunday, January 19, 2014

#EgyptFreedom Obstacles? #FreePress #FreeSpeech #Opinion (+#Resources)

I was going to write this up but I still may later, meanwhile, I am just cutting and pasting my notes, and you can easily see what I am saying: (Since time is of the essence) So this is not an article, but a series of notes on observations, thoughts and resources.



11. In my humble opinion #Egypt :
Based on my observations of Egypt Revolution  since #Jan25,2011 ...

I feel that Egypt has a very unique political system that can be certainly implemented with democracy. I feel in large part, that the complications arising in the pursuit of #TrueFreedom4Egypt lies in a delicate balance, of weight, which has been flung about creating chaos frustration and anger.

 I believe Egypt could better acquire freedom by #ThePplOfEgypt petitioning the United Nations to  refer (Egypt voting practices) to The Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) working with the International Criminal Court (ICC) that there is "Reasonable Cause" to believe that  conflict-of-interest is interfering with #ThePplOfEgypt's confidence in the justice system.

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) can investigate to see "exactly" how Human Rights are being violated within the election process itself, as it would require a neutral party that is removed from the self-interest equation. But there is a problem with fairness and equality, as well as freedom of speech, as an observer, that openly admits I know little, but I do know this:


One crazy thing about democracy and freedom is that too much freedom can be a bad thing -as well as not enough freedoms. This delicate balance within the political system has largely been already worked out in the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, which is a beautiful document, but one that is missing  "enforcement".

Especially during a transition, true freedom for Egypt will require the Government to adopt some limitations, as to what they can and cannot do.

The government must adopt limitations based on protecting the freedoms spelled out in the declaration.

For example, #FreeSpeech should be tolerated. Ppl should be able to say whatever they think, so long as it's not about harming people,which then has gone over the line of FreeSpeech and into the category of a threat.

Another observed example, is that of the Muslim Brotherhood  removing textbooks from schools that included chapters about 'How a revolution is different from  a coup' and that obviously reveals that there was some intent to suppress the people, as well as an attempt to prevent the people from rising again, and that's clearly a form of suppression.

And I noticed the voting system seems to lack the "right to know" but as I understand many Egyptian FreedomFighters expressed the desire to avoid a political system like America's 'bought and sold politicians' based on a twisted version of the golden rule, that is "he with the most gold rules".

I heard the Egyptians opposed a two party system like US as well, and that's where I saw the Morsi election process lacked structure.


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2. 2 For example, lacking structure in several ways. Without party delegates there were too many nominated. (What was it, 61 candidates?!)  ..and with no campaigning (to prevent the purchase of leaders, understandably, but also) #ThePplOfEgypt had too many candidates and not enough information available about who they were, and little information on how they intended to serve the people.
I understand the republican / democrats avoidance, but each candidate should clearly be defined as having a group of principles and values that the people understand and can get more information about, and with providing ample time for the people to research and compare candidates.

The election process from my view appeared to be more like a gamble than a vote, being that the people were not informed about all the candidates.




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3. I propose that public officials WorldWide not only must accept the universal declaration of human rights, but the universal declaration of human rights must become the foundation of the law making and political  processes, that will include protecting the election process.

A #CodeOfConduct and #CodeOfEthics must be established for all public officials.

The screening process (for US too) could adopt the same process as that of a jury selection, at least on a per case basis.

If the person in question has "conflict of interest" that could interfere with authentically making decisions for Egypt, the principles within the list of 30 HumanRights can be used as a guide that protects the people from 'self-interest' leaders that might try to manipulate laws.

So, in summary, I think I would petition the ICTJ, ICC and UN to investigate where the election process has failed the people. For example, as I watched the election process twice, it appeared to me that people of Egypt were missing the  "right to know"and the "right to be informed" about the electoral process and candidates, which turned the elections into a gamble rather than an informed vote. And once someone has been elected, human rights must still be protected under the law, such as manipulating and censoring textbooks to limit the people's 'right to know' and the people's right to invoke innovation for change.  Nor should a government be allowed to  incriminate people for 'saying what they think' and to 'peaceful assembly' providing there is no threat  to harm. For example, people being arrested for voicing their political opinions is clearly #oppression.

On addition, the electoral candidates need to be Delegated as clearly representing a particular group of ideals that the people know, understand, and have been informed of, so that what candidate represents is a group of principles the people clearly understand.

Limitations are necessary for freedoms to be protected once someone is elected, so they can't start doing crazy stuff that violate basic human rights as described in the universal declaration of human rights.


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4. 4. What I would like to see is this protection of HumanRights implemented into every government system world wide.

This would be an Agreement to adopt the Universal Declaration of  Human Rights as the foundational principles of political systems and creation of law.

However ever, that being said, the next question arises of how can we prevent corruption in public office? And here again, that same question re-surfaces: How can "enforcement" be implemented? We have the same problem here in the USA. It's a problem of Governments bypassing the screening process. We have laws to address "conflict of interest" in public office, and even protocols of how they are to be resolved, but the problem remains that protocols are not followed, and there is no "blue print" for addressing how to "prevent" nor how to "weed out" conflict of interest once it arises.

5.
Then this becomes an issue of enforcing protocols for the process. Once specific principles and values have been identified and defined for each candidate representing a group of ideals, the people would want to vote! As I understand the people who did not vote were making a 'statement' that they did not approve of, nor support the "election process" because they do not have confidence in the system, nor do they trust the system.

In fact, "protesting the system"was originally what the protest was all about, demanding 'the system' #change.


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7.
I want the International Criminal Court and United Nations to adopt rules like we have in the Code of Federal Tegukations regarding 'conflict of Interest' in public office, not only #CodeOfEthics with it's #CodeOfConduct got all oubluc officials, but also the process for implementing it as a screening process like a jury selection to weed out 'conflict of Interest' as well as "process" for investigation and correction.

Bow are the Code of Federal Regulations that I believe are fitting for International Law agencies as well:



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6. Contact ICTJ

5 Hanover Square. Floor 24
New York, NY USA 10004
Tel: +1 917 637 3800
info@ictj.org


ICC

Application Form for Individuals
Request for Participation in Proceedings and Reparations at the ICC For Individual Victims

http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/48A75CF0-E38E-48A7-A9E0-026ADD32553D/0/SAFIndividualEng.pdf

UN
UNITED NATIONS RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTES
The various research and training institutes were established by the General Assembly to perform independent research and training. One former institute, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), was merged with other elements of the United Nations system into a new organization, UN Women, in January 2011. UNIDIR reports only to the General Assembly.

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)
United Nations University (UNU)

The HLCM identifies and analyzes administrative management reforms with the aim of improving efficiency and simplifying business practices. Its work is carried out in the main through task-forces of experts in given administrative areas, whose work is guided by HLCM.

Finance and Budget Network
Human Resources Network
Information, Communication and Technology Network
Inter-Agency Security Management Network (IASMN)
Legal Advisors Network
Procurement Network






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7.
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8. An example: My petition:
Martin Feldman -Injustice in the Justice Department
By WendyWyatt  |  Posted August 6, 2010  |  New Orleans, Louisiana 3
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Federal Judge Martin Feldman has SERIOUS conflict of interest!
The federal judge who overturned the Obama administration's initial six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling has refused to disqualify himself from the case, when he has made personal investments in off shore drilling including BP. Judge Martin Feldman must not be allowed to rule on a case that interferes with his personal investments in Off Shore Drilling, Oil and Gas. He is not above the law. As a juror I have been told that I cannot participate in a case when I have a conflict of interest or bias that relates to the case. Feldman's excuse was that he forgot he owned stock in off shore drilling when he took the case, but he still refuses to withdraw himself from the case.
Martin Feldman conflict of interest is a Federal Violation of Judicial Code of Conduct. As a judge defending his investments is in violation with federal law. We need a federal judge that does not have personal investments in off shore drilling. In addition to the violation, he has now refused to withdraw from the case, demonstrating his conflict of interest which is a Federal Crime.
Yet, according to
The BP Mess: Judging Judges' Impartiality
Joel Cohen and Katherine A. Helm
“Makinga diagnosis of "improper influence" requires a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. Not only is it unrealistic to think we can eradicate all judicial biases, instincts, leanings or interests, however termed, but it is also unwise. We want our judges to live in the real world, so that they can bring their life experiences and common sense to the table when deciding cases. Judges must remain "partial" to some influences, therefore, like the case law, and controlling statutes, and perhaps even basic standards of decency and morality, too.” Oh like deciding that it is decent and moral to refuse to withdraw from a case that is jeopardizing the confidence of the public in the judicial system, by allowing a Federal Judge that has invested in offshore drilling, oil and gas, as if he has not personal interest in offshore drilling investments. If he did not have a personal interest in offshore drilling investments, why would he be so determined to make the decision on the case? Cohen and Helm implying defense for Martin Feldman, that it is actually good that Martin Feldman has so much "real life experience" with offshore drilling, it actually makes him more qualified to judge, and judges will always have partiality towards their personal interests and based on their experience, so we environmentalist should stop being so dramatic. Everyone is upset about the oil spill, but now that it is capped, we just let the courts do what they want to, and stop pressing the issue of “conflict of interest”. Of course we want the judge to have some "real life" experience, but your "partiality philosophy” does not overrule Federal Law. According the Code of Judicial Conduct, "RULE XII., RECUSAL OR DISQUALIFICATION, A commission member shall recuse himself in any matter in which recusal would be required by a judge under the Code of Judicial Conduct or where his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. CANON 5 Extra-Judicial Activities/ A Judge Shall Regulate Extra-Judicial Activities to Minimize the Risk of Conflict With Judicial Duties C. Financial Activities. (1) A judge shall refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on the judge's impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties, exploit the judge's judicial position, or involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which he or she serves. (2) Subject to the requirement of subsection (1), a judge may hold and manage investments, including real estate, and engage in other remunerative activity but shall not serve as an officer....[and] (3) A judge should manage investments and other financial interests to minimize the number of cases in which he is disqualified...
As soon as a judge can do so without serious financial detriment, he or she shall divest himself or herself of investments and other financial interests that might require frequent recusation. RULE III. FORM OF COMPLAINTS. Complaints made to the Commission concerning the misconduct or disability of a judge should be in writing and should specify the misconduct or disability complained of, and should be signed by the complainant[s]. The Commission, however, may consider alleged misconduct or disability of any judge from whatever source, including anonymous complaints and news reports, and may do so on its own motion. RULE IV. RECEIPT OF COMPLAINTS; SCREENED OUT COMPLAINTS. All complaints should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, who is the Judicial Administrator of the State of Louisiana, at 400 Royal Street, Suite 1190, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-8101
RULE VI. CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATIONS. With respect to a preliminary investigation for the purpose of determining whether a hearing should be held on any complaint, the Commission may cause such investigation to be made in any manner it deems proper. It may be made by the Chief Executive Officer, the Judicial Administrator, by Special Counsel, or by any other person designated by the Commission who is not a member of the Commission, such as a Special Counsel Ad Hoc. Section 27. Intermrim Disqualification (1) indentifies this conflict of interest and refusal to withdraw from the case a felony, (2) it also reflects on the judge's honesty and trustworthiness as judge.
Read more: http://www.prwatch.org/Judge%20Feldman%20Dollars%20and%20Sense (Article below is a clip from the website above, Submitted by Lisa Graves on June 24, 2010 - 2:50pm)
Income
Judicial salary (excluding benefits and retirement): $169,300
Earnings from investments: up to $174,000
Due to the way the disclosure form obscures actual amounts, the range of his investment income adds up to between $37,524, if he received the bare minimum at each disclosure threshold, and $174,000, if he received the maximum. The investment earnings constituted between about 20% of his federal salary and over 100% of it.
It's certainly fair to say that as of his last known financial disclosure report, Judge Feldman was plainly an investor and speculator in oil and gas exploration, including deepwater drilling, and profited from these investments.
People are complaining that they are objecting to the OBVIOUS conflict of interest, and the "conflict of interest" is evident in his "refusal to withdraw himself from the case.
This is a SERIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
Philosophize all you want, but until you change the Supreme Court Laws concerning this CONFLICT OF INTEREST in the CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT, philosophy does not overrule Federal Laws.. Your case is closed!
Based on Cohen and Helm’s philosophy, we should ignore the complaints because the judge "really" wants to have say in his obvious personal interest in offshore drilling profits? It is the right of American Citizens to have their complaint about "conflict of interest" addressed. If we ignore the Code of Judicial Conduct because according to your philosophy it is better to have a judge who has lots of personal life experience in a particular case that he is to judge, and his impartiality is considered a benefit, because he is such an expert on the subject of offshore drilling, that he implies just because BP's rig exploded and created a catastrophic event, and thousands of living beings that used to live in the Gulf are now dead, does not mean that other offshore drilling rigs are unsafe. I question Martin Feldman's qualifications on the safety of offshore drilling, and recommend that while he is withdrawn from the case, he update his education on current events, as there have been at LEAST 15 oil spills in 2010, not just the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.
In this case, people should be angry, as negligence and illegal activities led up to this event, which killed 11 BP workers, and hundreds of already endangered species, contaminated our water with toxic chemicals, and now they can't find the plumes under the surface of the water, which means the plumes are probably at the bottom of the sea right now, destroying the coral reefs, and with it our entire ecosystem... but we are supposed to "let all that go" and just let the system that failed to prevent this catastrophe now continue with "conflicts of interest" making all the decisions, which is also against the Code of Federal Regulations,
Title 40: Protection of EnvironmentPART 122—EPA ADMINISTERED PERMIT PROGRAMS: THE NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM1.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are being ignored,  concerning  environmental protection after a catastrophic event involving hazardous materials.  Title 40 (Protection Of Environment) Chapter 133: Pollution Prevention U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 1990. (3) These provisions also establish the requirements for public participation in EPA and State permit issuance and enforcement and related variance proceedings, and in the approval of State NPDES programs.   These provisions carry out the purposes of the public participation requirements of part 25 of this chapter, and supersede the requirements of that part as they apply to actions covered under this part and parts 123, and 124 of this chapter.
Everyone is upset about the oil spill, but now that it is capped, we should just let the courts do what they want to, and stop pressing the issue of "conflict of interest".
If you feel that Martin Feldman’s investments in offshore drilling, gas and oil create an unfair bias, impartiality, and conflict of interest, please sign the petition below.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/injustice-in-the-justice-department
TAGS: breaking_news



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Welcome to The Petition Site!


Home | International Center for Transitional Justice
http://ictj.org/


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Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign: What are Human Rights? Definition

http://www.humanrights.com/


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Request for Participation in Proceedings and Reparations at the ICC
For Individual Victims
INFORMATION ABOUT THE ALLEGED CRIME(S)
26. What happened to the victim? Describe the event(s) in as much detail as possible.
If more space is needed, please attach answers to this question on a separate s.heet of paper
27. When did the event(s) occur?
If possible, please specify day(s), month(s) and year(s), or where the exact dates are not known please provide any information that will enable us to identify the dates
28. Where did the event(s) take place?
If necessary, attach a drawing or a map of the location
29. Who does the victim the victim believes this.
believe is responsible for the event(s)? If possible, explain why

INFORMATION ABOUT THE INJURY, LOSS OR HARM SUFFERED
30. What effect did the events have on the life of the victim and others around him/her?
Describe physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, harm to reputation, economic loss and / or damage to property or any other kind of harm
30. If the victim has documents demonstrating the harm he/she suffered, copies of these can be attached. This includes, for example, medical records or proof of economic loss or damage to property.
PART D
PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCEEDINGS
31. Does the victim want to present his/her views and concerns in ICC proceedings? Yes No
32. If yes, why does the victim want to participate in the proceedings?
PART E
REPARATIONS
33. Would the victim like to apply for reparations?
i.e does the victim want something to be done for what he / she suffered?
Yes No
34. If yes, what would the victim want?
31. Usually a victim presents his/her views and concerns through a lawyer who represents the victim in The Hague. In a small number of cases there may be an opportunity for a victim to be involved in person, but this is not a requirement.
33/34. What is the victim expecting if the accused person is found guilty? Reparations can be anything which can
help the victim to repair the harm suffered. This can include compensation, various forms of assistance, receiving back lost land or property,
and / or symbolic or
moral measures such as apologies and monuments. Please list any measures which the victim
would like.
Joint Participation/Reparation Form for Individuals 

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35. If reparations are ordered, who does the victim want the benefit to go to?
Tick more than one box, if necessary
The victim
The victim's family
The victim's community (please specify the community) Other:
PART F
LEGAL REPRESENTATION
36. Does the victim have a lawyer? Yes No
37. If yes, please provide the lawyer’s contact details: Name:
Address:
Email: Telephone number(s):
  1. If the victim does not have a lawyer, would the victim like assistance from the ICC to find a lawyer? Yes No
  2. Until the victim has a lawyer, would he/she like to be represented by the Court’s lawyers for victims (the Office of Public Counsel for Victims)?
Yes No
COMMUNICATION OF IDENTITY
Please note that the present application will be given to the defence (the accused person and his/her lawyers) and to the ICC Prosecutor. When this happens, the Judges may decide not to reveal the identity of the victim.
40. Would the victim have any reason to be concerned about his or her security, well-being, dignity or privacy or that of any other person if his or her identity were to be revealed to the
defence or the ICC Prosecutor?
Yes No
If yes, what are the reasons?
36. In order to represent victims before the ICC, a lawyer must be on the ICC list of counsel. Lawyers who are not on the list may apply for inclusion.
PART G
39. The OPCV is an independent office within the Court
which looks after the legal interests of victims and which represents victims free of charge.
40. The victim may have concerns not only about physical danger but also about harm to his or her psychological well-being, reputation, privacy and/or dignity or those of his or her family.
The identity of the victim will not be revealed to the public while the application is being considered. If the application is accepted, the victim may be asked again about disclosure of information.
Joint Participation/Reparation Form for Individuals 

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Joint Participation/Reparation Form for Individuals
28. Please be as specific as possible, and also, if possible, please refer to the district/province
or the nearest town/city. 

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Application_Form_VPRS_V2_0610_P1
http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/48A75CF0-E38E-48A7-A9E0-026ADD32553D/0/SAFIndividualEng.pdf

Directory of United Nations System Organizations | United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination






Key Policy Institutions and Think Tanks in Peacebuilding and Related Fields - Peace and Collaborative Development Network http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profiles/blogs/key-policy-institutions-and#.UtxvYfuIbVQ
Guide to Conducting and Disseminating Research - Peace and Collaborative Development Network http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profiles/blogs/guide-to-conducting-and#.UtxyafuIbVQ
This article is old, but the points are still valid, concerning highlighted areas.


As Egypt nears its upcoming presidential elections, the country remains mired in continued political instability and the fog of events that has characterized the country's opaque transition. As a result, crises remain unexplained and inscrutable, further complicating the ability to gauge voter sentiment with any degree of confidence. Coupled with the rudimentary history of public polling and their utter unreliability in the Egyptian context, predictions about electoral outcomes should be approached with the utmost degree of caution. While signs point to a fragmented voter distribution in the first round of voting, there is much we still do not know about the Egyptian electorate and voter behavior. However, based on recent interviews and meetings with Egyptian political leaders and commentators, it is clear that a backlash has developed against the Islamist-led parliament. The scope and breadth of that backlash will now determine whether the compromised former foreign minister of Egypt, Amr Moussa, becomes the country's next president.  
The most tangible reference point for the Egyptian electorate is quite obviously the recent parliamentary elections, which saw the electoral dominance of Islamist politics. With the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) garnering approximately 43 percent of the seats of the dominant lower house of parliament coupled with the outsized showing of their more hardline electoral rivals, led by the Salafi al-Nour party securing approximately 25 percent of seats, Egyptian voters displayed a very clear preference for Islamist politics. But it would be a mistake to draw a straight line from those results to June 21, when the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission will announce the winner following a likely run-off. Islamist presidential candidates such as Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the moderate Islamist who was a long-time member and reformist within the Muslim Brotherhood, and Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the chairman of the FJP, are clearly among the handful of legitimate contenders; but prospects for their electoral success based on previous performance by Islamist candidates, even in a run-off scenario, is not a foregone conclusion. Much has happened in recent months that could scramble voter allegiance and the nature of a national campaign can significantly diverge from the localized aspects of a parliamentary contest.
The results of Egypt's staggered parliamentary voting should instead be seen as the beginning of political life and culture in Egypt and, in many ways, more a reflection about the end of the Mubarak era than a durable predictor of future performance. In keeping with regional trends following the crushing defeat in the June 1967 war with Israel and the rise of religious revivalism in the Arab world, Egypt's Islamist opposition, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, was able to maintain coherence in the face of cyclical repression. Previously apolitical Salafis were able to seamlessly translate their broad-based social networks to political use. These organizational advantages were amplified by the general tenor of Egyptian society, which has skewed toward greater emphasis on the outward displays of piety and an all-encompassing sense of the role of religion in public life.
But the majority of this support is not stridently ideological. Formal membership in the Muslim Brotherhood is relatively small and can be counted in the hundreds of thousands. In addition to organizational capacity, this electoral success must also be understood as a function of widespread soft support. The clearest indication of this phenomenon is the resilient popularity of the Egyptian military, which remains the country's most revered and credible institution despite the checkered political tenure of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) during the transitional period. Despite much tactical cooperation since the fall of the Mubarak regime and a clear convergence of interests throughout much of the transitional period, for most Islamist cadres the military remains a force to be feared. In this sense, 1954, when the ascendant Gamal Abdel Nasser turned on Egypt's Islamists, remains a touchstone for many Egyptian Islamists. Yet for broad segments of Egyptian society who voted for Islamist political parties, support for the military remains quite strong. This suggests a degree of cognitive dissonance for the committed supporters who place their trust exclusively in the military or the Brotherhood, as the two organizations are bitter and historic rivals. But for a vast swath of public opinion, there's no contradiction in supporting a strong nationalist military and a powerful Muslim Brotherhood -- they are understood to be symbiotic national institutions, in line with the populist mood that has gripped the country since the fall of the former regime.
The Egyptian military's enduring popularity, despite the SCAF's often incompetent stewardship of the transition, is an important signal as to the hierarchy of allegiances at play in Egyptian political life. With the military increasingly at odds with the Muslim Brotherhood, some portion of the Ikhwan's popular support will inevitably be eroded. This is particularly the case as the sense of instability that has fuelled popular resentment of mass mobilization and street activism has continued, undermining the position of the Egyptian political class, which has sought political leverage through the politics of protest. For many, the military remains a red line and the only institution standing between Egypt and chaos. In the wake of the disastrous decision to shift protests to the Abbasiya district of Cairo to the site of the ministry of defense, the narrative put forward by the SCAF in the wake of violent clashes has found renewed traction. In fact, the alleged appearance of weapons among protesters that included Salafi supporters of the disqualified presidential candidate Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail provided a convenient launching point to push forward varied lines of rhetorical attack against multiple targets, including Islamists.    
This position affords the SCAF a powerful perch from which to play politics. While the SCAF will not engage in centralized fraud and vote-rigging, it will seek to shape the media environment in ways that are favorable to the political outcomes it seeks. With state media continuing to be the primary source of news and information for a large number of Egyptians, the SCAF has wide berth to propagandize and manage the electoral environment and popular mood. While no definitive proof exists, the SCAF also appears willing to use the institutions of the state, which remain intact from the Mubarak era, to police the boundaries of competition. This does not suggest that the SCAF can dictate an electoral outcome. There remains heated and uncontrollable electioneering and the results are an unknown for all involved, including the general public, the political class, and the SCAF. But in light of the politicized role of the SCAF, the system cannot be described as fully free and fair. As such, the SCAF will have some influence in how Egyptians choose to vote and their preferences do not lie with any of the Islamist candidates.
Many of the trends that have reinforced the position of the Egyptian military have also played out in the recent performance of the newly-seated parliament, which has been mired in second-order debates and unable to legislate in the face of growing popular impatience and difficult economic conditions. This paralysis is a function of design as laid out in the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration, which was largely drafted by the SCAF with no democratic legitimacy and delineated Egypt's transitional constitutional arrangements. In their efforts to support the SCAF's suggested transitional timeline, which they believed would work to their electoral advantage, the Muslim Brotherhood was wholly supportive of the roadmap that would, ironically, cripple their ability to exercise any degree of institutional power during the transition. However, the nuance of constitutional analysis is far from the minds of many voters and the image that endures following its seating is the ineffectual role of parliament in addressing any of the country's crises. The Muslim Brotherhood's short and unhappy experience with institutional power has clearly eroded some degree of their widespread support.  
Such conclusions are manifestly unfair in light of the constricting legal environment in which this parliament operates, but they are also inevitably now part of the conventional wisdom that is fuelling a backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood. These notions were further amplified by the Muslim Brotherhood-led political fiasco that resulted in the suspension of the constituent assembly tasked with drafting the country's new constitution. Serious jurisdictional and jurisprudential questions remain regarding the propriety of the administrative court decision that suspended the assembly, but the inability of parliament to manage its primary task furthered an impression of incompetence, political naiveté, and power-hungry opportunism. 
In the realm of party politics, the embryonic state of political organization dilutes the immediate impact of these setbacks for the Ikhwan and their Islamist allies, primarily because there are as of yet very few credible alternatives to the FJP. But in a national election in which strong personalities with name recognition will be on the ballot, the deficiencies of the current political party system will not be dispositive in determining the final result.
Of course, the FJP, and the Salafis to a lesser extent, will undoubtedly continue to hold a decisive organizational edge as was demonstrated in the parliamentary elections. This means that their chances to advance to the next round of voting should not be underestimated and that the emerging consensus regarding Morsi's likely failure should be interrogated. In fact, Morsi will almost certainly outperform current polling projections. However, national elections represent a much different competition than district-based local elections and leadership attributes and charisma will play a larger part in voter selection. In this sense, the lackluster performance of Morsi, their formulaic substitute nominee, following the procedural disqualification of their preferred candidate Khairat el-Shater, is another reason for concern for the Muslim Brotherhood. In the event of high voter turnout, this advantage would also be somewhat blunted as less committed, casual voters take to the polls.
The recent blowback against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi parties will also likely have some downside effects on Aboul Fotouh who, until last week's presidential debate with Amr Moussa, appeared to be a much stronger candidate than Morsi. With a broader range of supporters and some degree of crossover appeal, Aboul Fotouh has managed to garner support from hardline Salafis and some liberal and leftist activists. But his lack of experience and his association with the politics of protest could prove an uneasy fit with the sizable number of Egyptians yearning for stability who have come to associate activism with instability. To the extent he remains associated as an Islamist candidate, notions of balanced governance will also work against him as they will Morsi, with some voters reluctant to give Islamists power of both parliament and president. While this could aid Moussa's bid, it could also divert votes to non-Islamist candidates who do not bear the albatross of association with the former regime, such as the Nasserist presidential candidate and longtime opposition figure, Hamdeen Sabahi. However, recent events might prove a much larger challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood than the campaign of Aboul Fotouh, who remains a formidable candidate with a broader base of support despite some reservations regarding his uneven debate performance.
While it is premature to extrapolate electoral disaster for Islamists based on the vagaries of public sentiment, the current mood in Egypt and the unique features of a national election suggest that unlike the parliamentary elections, non-Islamist candidates will stand a fair chance of competing seriously in the presidential vote. If a non-Islamist such as Amr Moussa becomes Egypt's next president, it will represent a dramatic reversal for Islamists politics from the lofty results achieved during the parliamentary vote. Based on the alternative viable choices, it will also be an important indicator of Egyptian society's appetite for far-reaching reform.
Perhaps most consequentially, defeat at the polls will bring back a measure of humility to Egypt's recently ascendant Islamists, who have proceeded since elections as if majoritarianism is wholly consonant with their inevitable domination of Egyptian politics. This inability to conceive of themselves as anything but the undiluted reflection of Egyptian society has shifted politics away from any notions of consensus and further polarized Egypt's fragmented political class. Even for those who see the non-Islamist presidential contenders as discredited representatives of the Mubarak regime, an Islamist political defeat will have tangible and salutary effects on the political and constitutional-drafting process. 
Michael Wahid Hanna is a fellow at The Century Foundation.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GettyImages
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As Egypt nears its upcoming presidential elections, the country remains mired in continued political instability and the fog of events that has characterized the country's opaque transition. As a result, crises remain unexplained and inscrutable, further complicating the ability to gauge voter sentiment with any degree of confidence. Coupled with the rudimentary history of public polling and their utter unreliability in the Egyptian context, predictions about electoral outcomes should be approached with the utmost degree of caution. While signs point to a fragmented voter distribution in the first round of voting, there is much we still do not know about the Egyptian electorate and voter behavior. However, based on recent interviews and meetings with Egyptian political leaders and commentators, it is clear that a backlash has developed against the Islamist-led parliament. The scope and breadth of that backlash will now determine whether the compromised former foreign minister of Egypt, Amr Moussa, becomes the country's next president.  
The most tangible reference point for the Egyptian electorate is quite obviously the recent parliamentary elections, which saw the electoral dominance of Islamist politics. With the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) garnering approximately 43 percent of the seats of the dominant lower house of parliament coupled with the outsized showing of their more hardline electoral rivals, led by the Salafi al-Nour party securing approximately 25 percent of seats, Egyptian voters displayed a very clear preference for Islamist politics. But it would be a mistake to draw a straight line from those results to June 21, when the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission will announce the winner following a likely run-off. Islamist presidential candidates such as Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the moderate Islamist who was a long-time member and reformist within the Muslim Brotherhood, and Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the chairman of the FJP, are clearly among the handful of legitimate contenders; but prospects for their electoral success based on previous performance by Islamist candidates, even in a run-off scenario, is not a foregone conclusion. Much has happened in recent months that could scramble voter allegiance and the nature of a national campaign can significantly diverge from the localized aspects of a parliamentary contest.
The results of Egypt's staggered parliamentary voting should instead be seen as the beginning of political life and culture in Egypt and, in many ways, more a reflection about the end of the Mubarak era than a durable predictor of future performance. In keeping with regional trends following the crushing defeat in the June 1967 war with Israel and the rise of religious revivalism in the Arab world, Egypt's Islamist opposition, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, was able to maintain coherence in the face of cyclical repression. Previously apolitical Salafis were able to seamlessly translate their broad-based social networks to political use. These organizational advantages were amplified by the general tenor of Egyptian society, which has skewed toward greater emphasis on the outward displays of piety and an all-encompassing sense of the role of religion in public life.
But the majority of this support is not stridently ideological. Formal membership in the Muslim Brotherhood is relatively small and can be counted in the hundreds of thousands. In addition to organizational capacity, this electoral success must also be understood as a function of widespread soft support. The clearest indication of this phenomenon is the resilient popularity of the Egyptian military, which remains the country's most revered and credible institution despite the checkered political tenure of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) during the transitional period. Despite much tactical cooperation since the fall of the Mubarak regime and a clear convergence of interests throughout much of the transitional period, for most Islamist cadres the military remains a force to be feared. In this sense, 1954, when the ascendant Gamal Abdel Nasser turned on Egypt's Islamists, remains a touchstone for many Egyptian Islamists. Yet for broad segments of Egyptian society who voted for Islamist political parties, support for the military remains quite strong. This suggests a degree of cognitive dissonance for the committed supporters who place their trust exclusively in the military or the Brotherhood, as the two organizations are bitter and historic rivals. But for a vast swath of public opinion, there's no contradiction in supporting a strong nationalist military and a powerful Muslim Brotherhood -- they are understood to be symbiotic national institutions, in line with the populist mood that has gripped the country since the fall of the former regime.
The Egyptian military's enduring popularity, despite the SCAF's often incompetent stewardship of the transition, is an important signal as to the hierarchy of allegiances at play in Egyptian political life. With the military increasingly at odds with the Muslim Brotherhood, some portion of the Ikhwan's popular support will inevitably be eroded. This is particularly the case as the sense of instability that has fuelled popular resentment of mass mobilization and street activism has continued, undermining the position of the Egyptian political class, which has sought political leverage through the politics of protest. For many, the military remains a red line and the only institution standing between Egypt and chaos. In the wake of the disastrous decision to shift protests to the Abbasiya district of Cairo to the site of the ministry of defense, the narrative put forward by the SCAF in the wake of violent clashes has found renewed traction. In fact, the alleged appearance of weapons among protesters that included Salafi supporters of the disqualified presidential candidate Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail provided a convenient launching point to push forward varied lines of rhetorical attack against multiple targets, including Islamists.    
This position affords the SCAF a powerful perch from which to play politics. While the SCAF will not engage in centralized fraud and vote-rigging, it will seek to shape the media environment in ways that are favorable to the political outcomes it seeks. With state media continuing to be the primary source of news and information for a large number of Egyptians, the SCAF has wide berth to propagandize and manage the electoral environment and popular mood. While no definitive proof exists, the SCAF also appears willing to use the institutions of the state, which remain intact from the Mubarak era, to police the boundaries of competition. This does not suggest that the SCAF can dictate an electoral outcome. There remains heated and uncontrollable electioneering and the results are an unknown for all involved, including the general public, the political class, and the SCAF. But in light of the politicized role of the SCAF, the system cannot be described as fully free and fair. As such, the SCAF will have some influence in how Egyptians choose to vote and their preferences do not lie with any of the Islamist candidates.
Many of the trends that have reinforced the position of the Egyptian military have also played out in the recent performance of the newly-seated parliament, which has been mired in second-order debates and unable to legislate in the face of growing popular impatience and difficult economic conditions. This paralysis is a function of design as laid out in the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration, which was largely drafted by the SCAF with no democratic legitimacy and delineated Egypt's transitional constitutional arrangements. In their efforts to support the SCAF's suggested transitional timeline, which they believed would work to their electoral advantage, the Muslim Brotherhood was wholly supportive of the roadmap that would, ironically, cripple their ability to exercise any degree of institutional power during the transition. However, the nuance of constitutional analysis is far from the minds of many voters and the image that endures following its seating is the ineffectual role of parliament in addressing any of the country's crises. The Muslim Brotherhood's short and unhappy experience with institutional power has clearly eroded some degree of their widespread support.  
Such conclusions are manifestly unfair in light of the constricting legal environment in which this parliament operates, but they are also inevitably now part of the conventional wisdom that is fuelling a backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood. These notions were further amplified by the Muslim Brotherhood-led political fiasco that resulted in the suspension of the constituent assembly tasked with drafting the country's new constitution. Serious jurisdictional and jurisprudential questions remain regarding the propriety of the administrative court decision that suspended the assembly, but the inability of parliament to manage its primary task furthered an impression of incompetence, political naiveté, and power-hungry opportunism. 
In the realm of party politics, the embryonic state of political organization dilutes the immediate impact of these setbacks for the Ikhwan and their Islamist allies, primarily because there are as of yet very few credible alternatives to the FJP. But in a national election in which strong personalities with name recognition will be on the ballot, the deficiencies of the current political party system will not be dispositive in determining the final result.
 
Of course, the FJP, and the Salafis to a lesser extent, will undoubtedly continue to hold a decisive organizational edge as was demonstrated in the parliamentary elections. This means that their chances to advance to the next round of voting should not be underestimated and that the emerging consensus regarding Morsi's likely failure should be interrogated. In fact, Morsi will almost certainly outperform current polling projections. However, national elections represent a much different competition than district-based local elections and leadership attributes and charisma will play a larger part in voter selection. In this sense, the lackluster performance of Morsi, their formulaic substitute nominee, following the procedural disqualification of their preferred candidate Khairat el-Shater, is another reason for concern for the Muslim Brotherhood. In the event of high voter turnout, this advantage would also be somewhat blunted as less committed, casual voters take to the polls.
The recent blowback against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi parties will also likely have some downside effects on Aboul Fotouh who, until last week's presidential debate with Amr Moussa, appeared to be a much stronger candidate than Morsi. With a broader range of supporters and some degree of crossover appeal, Aboul Fotouh has managed to garner support from hardline Salafis and some liberal and leftist activists. But his lack of experience and his association with the politics of protest could prove an uneasy fit with the sizable number of Egyptians yearning for stability who have come to associate activism with instability. To the extent he remains associated as an Islamist candidate, notions of balanced governance will also work against him as they will Morsi, with some voters reluctant to give Islamists power of both parliament and president. While this could aid Moussa's bid, it could also divert votes to non-Islamist candidates who do not bear the albatross of association with the former regime, such as the Nasserist presidential candidate and longtime opposition figure, Hamdeen Sabahi. However, recent events might prove a much larger challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood than the campaign of Aboul Fotouh, who remains a formidable candidate with a broader base of support despite some reservations regarding his uneven debate performance.
While it is premature to extrapolate electoral disaster for Islamists based on the vagaries of public sentiment, the current mood in Egypt and the unique features of a national election suggest that unlike the parliamentary elections, non-Islamist candidates will stand a fair chance of competing seriously in the presidential vote. If a non-Islamist such as Amr Moussa becomes Egypt's next president, it will represent a dramatic reversal for Islamists politics from the lofty results achieved during the parliamentary vote. Based on the alternative viable choices, it will also be an important indicator of Egyptian society's appetite for far-reaching reform.
Perhaps most consequentially, defeat at the polls will bring back a measure of humility to Egypt's recently ascendant Islamists, who have proceeded since elections as if majoritarianism is wholly consonant with their inevitable domination of Egyptian politics. This inability to conceive of themselves as anything but the undiluted reflection of Egyptian society has shifted politics away from any notions of consensus and further polarized Egypt's fragmented political class. Even for those who see the non-Islamist presidential contenders as discredited representatives of the Mubarak regime, an Islamist political defeat will have tangible and salutary effects on the political and constitutional-drafting process. 
Michael Wahid Hanna is a fellow at The Century Foundation.

..and I really need to get back to Syria, sorry this message is so messy.  :}