Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fellow Members of the UNA-West Triangle Chapter,

            You will recall that in February UNA-WTC co-sponsored an important local UN-related event, the WomenNC 2014 United Nations Fellowship Dinner. At the dinner, which was held at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the NC State campus in Raleigh, the 2014 Fellows were introduced and discussed the projects that they would present at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March. Also, our Chapter displayed information about UNA-USA and distributed membership materials.

            UNA-West Triangle Chapter and WomenNC now invite you to celebrate the exuberant return of the 2014 Student Fellowship Team from their successfully intensive week participating at the United Nations 58th CSW Conference in New York City.  The WomenNC team united with 6000+ people from over 185 countries, with an overcapacity crowd at their panel presentation on March 11th.

            On April 15th, UNA-West Triangle Chapter and WomenNC will co-host a Symposium at which the Fellows (from UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and NC State University) will share their inspiring experiences and new concepts that could be replicated in our community; extending the reach of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals affecting women and girls in North Carolina.

            UNA-West Triangle Chapter will award five select local High School project teams as 2014 U.N. Contest winners, chosen for their best presentation of “ demonstrated knowledge of how the U.N. system addresses one of the many problems of concern to the world”. The 3rd Annual Carolyn King Scholarship Recipient will also be presented to the 2014 WomenNC Fellow who has most exemplified the determination and strength of conviction for social justice.
We encourage you & a friend or colleague to join us for a Great Evening!

            Please see the attached U.N. Reflections Symposium April 15th Event Flyer for more details!

            Gregory C. Flood

            President, UNA-WTC

Monday, February 3, 2014

UNA-WTC Event Announcement

        I am pleased to announce that our Chapter is a co-sponsor of an important local UN-related event. Since 2010, WomenNC has sponsored a panel of North Carolina university students at four successive United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conferences in New York City. The struggles encountered by women globally are discussed at the CSW, a two-week annual conference in New York, established in 1956, that attracts 6000-8000 participants from 180+ countries. The conference forums involve governmental and 400+ NGO’s (non-governmental organizations), whose goals are to increase awareness of problems, share ideas to develop solutions-based initiatives and report on the status and effectiveness of programs.

WomenNC’s Student Fellowship provides a leadership training framework to engage young adults in our regional community. The focus is to facilitate the development of future leaders through a greater understanding of the inequities women and girls face. Awarded Student Fellows embark on intensive research, partner with organizations addressing the dynamics and challenges affecting women and develop recommendations for improved conditions.

By involving young people at CSW, as representatives of North Carolina, the Student Fellowship Program establishes a local-to-global-to-local connection, acknowledging women’s global issues. As one of the first organizations to formally sponsor university participants at CSW, WomenNC Student Fellows not only present their research findings from North Carolina at CSW panel discussions, but they share the “best practices” of  North Carolina organizations, with the hope of providing solutions to improve women’s human rights and strategies that may be replicated in global communities.

Upon return from the United Nations to North Carolina, these young ambassadors share their findings and UN CSW experiences at dozens of venues including university campus symposiums, community forums, non-profit group meetings, and media interview outlets. They often bring back global solutions and tactics that could be utilized in North Carolina and shared with local service organizations. Hence, the full circle of the Local-to-Global-to-Local WomenNC CSW Student Fellowship Program is completed.

Thursday, February 20, 2014, WomenNC’s 2014 Fellows will share their findings with the North Carolina community at the Institute for Emerging Issues, located in the fabulous Hunt Library at NC State University Centennial Campus, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Event details, registration, and sponsorship options can be found in the attached flier or at http://www.womennc.org/events/feb-2014-fellowship-dinner/.

Gregory C. Flood

President, UNA-West Triangle Chapter

Friday, May 4, 2012

Summer Vacation

This blog will be in hiatus over the summer months. We will begin posting again in late August/early September. Please refer to our website at http://www.una-westtriangle.org/index.html if you are looking for more information about the chapter.

Upcoming Events:

Congressman David Price will speak at this month's L&L! The talk will be held on May 23rd from 12pm-2pm at Carolina Meadows in Chapel Hill. Please refer to the website in coming weeks for reservation forms. Don't miss this opportunity to meet one of North Carolina's representatives!

Friday, April 27, 2012

“America in the Post Meltdown, Upside Down World: Rebalancing and Innovating”

(This article is a summary of the April 25th L&L with UNC Kenan-Flagler Professor Peter Brews)

Professor Peter Brews began by forewarning the audience that there was no optimistic message in his talk. Indeed, the first slide was filled with pessimistic statistics about the economic situation of developed, North Atlantic countries compared to the growing BRICS (Brazil, India, China, and South Africa). He argued that the figures told a story of a generation of bad spending behavior, publically and privately, that will take at least that long to correct. Thus, the United States is in a state of reduced growth for the long haul, and rebalancing the economy will require decreased standards of living and increased taxes in the future.


His argument was painful to hear, especially for a soon-to-be college graduate. After watching my parents’ generation overspend, max out their credit cards, and default on their mortgages, I was disgruntled to learn that many of these problems, brought to light by the 2008 economic crisis, could have been prevented by 20% less consumption, a decrease that many Americans in would not have even noticed. The private sector was out of balance because people were (and some still are) consuming more than they needed by borrowing against their credit cards and houses. Now, my generation will be the one to pay the cost with the smaller houses, smaller cars, and less clothing in our closets. 

FRED Graph 
In addition to the private sector being out of balance, the Iraq War and the Bush tax cuts unbalanced the public sector by spending beyond the government’s means. Current levels of spending on healthcare, education, and the military are also unsustainable. Brews blames this partly on the United States’ low federal tax-rate and advocates that increasing the percent of taxes as part of GDP from 15% to 20% will go a long way toward balancing the public sector, but the US will also need to decrease the percent of entitlement payments as part of GDP by 5%, another pessimistic message for those who have not started collecting Social Security, those on unemployment insurance, and etc. Only with decreased consumption, increased taxes, and decreased entitlement payments can the US rebalance the economy and start to tackle its mounting debt problem. 

The one silver-lining in Brews’ talk was that the US is currently in better shape than Europe. Instead of taking severe austerity measures, the Obama administration responded to the 2008 economic crisis with a stimulus package that will help us get on the path to sustainable growth quicker than Europe. Europe also does not have as many companies that are innovators in the technology field, such as Apple and Google, which will help create new capacity for economic growth. The US government can lead the way to sustainable economic growth and resume our place as the world’s most flexible and innovative economy by promoting such companies. However, Google, Apple, and other such companies are not the solution to all our problems; the US government and American citizens must still “tighten their belts” or face more severe economic consequences in the future. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's happening at local High School Model UN clubs?

Frank Felicelli, advisor for the Cedar Ridge High School Model U.N. Club, reports that twenty-five of his club’s members participated in the Model U.N. Conference held in February at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “We did our best yet with four kids earning special recognition as well as one earning the coveted gavel [for best delegate] a first for us and, with 1500 kids in this conference, quite an accomplishment.” Frank expects to send six or seventh Club members to the Appalachian State Model U.N. Conference over spring break and at least that many students to UNC’s Model U.N. Conference, known as MUNCH.

The advisor for the Chapel Hill High School Model U.N. ClubDavid Bennett, reports that nineteen club members, most first-time conference participants, attended Duke’s Model U.N. Conference. Two were recognized as Outstanding Delegates but two others he felt were unjustly snubbed. Nevertheless he felt it was a very successful trip for them. They too will participate in MUNCH.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

International Criminal Court v. International Court of Justice

The International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) sound like two very similar bodies and are often confused as the same organization. However, the two are actually distinct organizations with no direct links. This article will lay out some of the crucial differences between the two.

The ICJ was established in 1946 as the judicial wing of the UN. The ICC was established as an independent international organization in 2002 and is not governed by the UN. Both bodies are located in The Hague, Netherlands. According to the UN Charter, All UN members states are automatically members of the ICC; Nations must individually become members of the ICJ.

The ICJ settles disputes between member states, with their consent, on issues of sovereignty, trade, natural resources, treaty violations, treaty interpretation, and etc. The ICC tries individual people for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression, according to the Rome Statute. The ICJ issues both binding judgments and advisory opinions. Its judgments may then be enforced by the Security Council if the state fails to comply. The ICC, on the other hand, hands down criminal prosecutions or acquittals.

Now that the major differences between the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice are apparent, why are the two often confused with each other? The main reason is the UN’s relation to the ICC. Many assume that the ICC is part of the UN because the UN was responsible for its creation (by the General Assembly) under the “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” in 1998. Subsequently, 120 UN member states chose to become “parties” to the Rome Statute, which came into force in 2002 after sixty member states had ratified it (notably, the United States, China, and India did not adopt the Rome Statute and are,therefore, not members of the ICC). Today, the Rome Statute of the ICC has 139 signatories and 99 ratifications. The ICC also receives funding from the UN and can choose to investigate case referrals from the Security Council, as it did in 2005, when the SC referred Sudanese President Al-Bashir for his crimes in Western Sudan and Darfur.

Although the ICC and the ICJ are unrelated organizations with different functions, both are essential parts of the international justice system and help further the aims of worldwide stability and peace.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April's Lunch and Learn

Lunch & Learn Will Discuss “America in the Post Melt-Down Upside Down World”

Relations between nations are normally framed in the public mind in politico–military terms, and so our discussions at our Lunch and Learn meetings are normally cast in terms that are governmental and macro-political. However, since the onset of the “great recession” we've re-learned the lesson that economics can play as great a role in relations between nations as these other, more traditional, factors. What's more, it has become apparent that international relations is a two-way street where developments in one country inevitably have global repercussions and affect the lives and well being of all nations and all people: the injunction that “no man is an island” is as true at the international as at the interpersonal level.
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Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the relationship between the European Union and the United States In a talk he's titled “America in the Post Melt-down, Upside Down World: Rebalancing and Innovating,” UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Associate Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Peter Brews will discuss the origination of the unprecedented economic imbalances now present across the developed world, and suggest adjustments that will be needed for the United States and the EU to get back on track. 

Our meeting will take place on April 25, from Noon until 2:00 pm, at Carolina Meadows. Reservations should be made by $18 check to “UNAWTC” and sent to Warren Glick, 83203 Jarvis, Chapel Hill 27517 by April 20. http://www.una-westtriangle.org/lunchandlearnregistrationform.htm