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Author Topic: Prophecy series II Europe and the Antichrist.  (Read 20051 times)
Shammu
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« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2004, 11:25:29 PM »

Surveillance and fingerprinting EU

Compulsory fingerprinting for EU citizens is set to be fast-tracked by Europe’s justice ministers on Thursday.

The move has angered MEPs after national governments linked quick European Parliament approval for digital ‘biometric’ passports to new justice powers.

Ministers are also to push through controversial measures compelling data retention of telecoms traffic data.

The move will depart from existing EU privacy law to allow access to SMS, mobile phone and internet records by police and security agencies.

MEPs are angry that both measures are being pushed through during heightened anti-terrorist scares and without proper democratic scrutiny by national or the EU parliaments.
 
“The 25 EU governments are using their untrammelled powers to push through these measures on a dodgy basis, meeting in secret and bypassing full scrutiny of both MEPs and national MPs,” said Liberal MEP Sarah Ludford.

“These measures may well be disproportionate to the threats they are supposed to counteract. But the costs and security claims are withheld from proper scrutiny, and data protection safeguards are not spelled out.”

Civil liberties watchdogs and MEPs are concerned that meetings of EU ministers are bypassing parliaments to agree draconian legislation.
 
“Once they are pushed through, national parliaments will be unable to stop the consequences, which could include widespread access to our personal data and further discrimination against ethnic minorities through 'stop and search',” said Ludford.

“The way EU law is currently made in the internal security field is a democratic scandal, showing how desperately we need more open and accountable methods, as the EU constitution will ensure.”

The introduction of ‘biometric’ facial and fingerprint digital data on EU passports will see the mandatory fingerprinting of Europeans without proper debate.

Portugal is the only EU country to routinely fingerprint its citizens, with fingerprinting limited to criminal investigations in other European states.

National governments have told MEPs that new moves to extend the European Parliament’s will come after a rubber stamp for biometrics.

German, Hungarian and Slovakian data protection commissioners have joined campaigners in Statewatch, Privacy International and European Digital Rights to urge MEPs to reject ‘biometric’ passports.

“This is an unnecessary and rushed policy that will have hazardous effects on Europeans' right to privacy,” said a joint letter.

“We are calling on the European Parliament to reject this policy… We urge the parliament to oppose the creation of an EU-wide database of personal data.

“We further urge the parliament to oppose mandatory fingerprinting as an unnecessary and disproportionate act.”

http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200412/9dfb8a4f-0b98-4a9f-a251-8775fbfd441b.htm

Hmmmmmm.........
Resting in the arms of Jesus.
Bob
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« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2004, 11:26:15 PM »

French Socialists say 'yes' to Constitution
02.12.2004 - 08:17 CET | By Richard Carter

French Socialists have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Constitution with a massive turnout, according to party officials.

Over 95,000 of the possible 127,027 eligible to vote turned out to cast their ballot and indications are that the "yes" camp received between 55 and 60 percent of the vote.

In Paris, the "yes" camp won 65 percent of the votes, according to media reports. And in the crucial area of Pas-de-Calais, the party’s biggest region, which the "no" campaign had hoped to win, 59 percent of people voted "yes", with 85 percent of the vote counted.

Party members were asked to reply "yes" or "no" to the simple question "Do you agree with the European Constitution".

The leader of the "yes" camp, party leader Francois Hollande told AFP, "this victory is a rallying cry to others" and said that the Socialists could be "genuinely proud of themselves and their party".

Admitting defeat
Admitting defeat, Laurent Fabius, the deputy leader who led opposition to the Treaty said, "I take note of the vote but I certainly regret it".

The official results will not be available until Friday (3 December), but the result of the vote is in no doubt.

And the overwhelming "yes" – which follows months of fierce debate within the Socialist party – is likely to boost French President Jacques Chirac’s campaign for a "yes" in the national referendum, to be held as early as May next year.

Both main parties will now be campaigning in favour of the Constitution, although neither will be completely united on the issue. Eurosceptic parties, along with Communists and the far-right Front National party will campaign against.

Opinion polls currently show that the French people are broadly in favour of the Constitution, but France has a history of producing close votes on European issues.

The Constitution must be ratified by all 25 Member States before it can come into force.
http://www.worthynews.com/zone.cgi?http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=9&aid=17891
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« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2004, 06:28:58 PM »

The deal in this article looks very suspect to me.   Many view ALL of Daniel 9 25-27 as completed.  I personally do not, because it ommits too many other events that did not happen, including the messianic Kingdom reign of Chirst on earth/1000 years of peace spoken of in Revelation, which will follow the 70th week.   The 70th week still lies ahead IMO, and I believe what we are seeing in the following article could very well be the catalist that kick starts it.


EU accord close to completion


Israel is only a word or two away from reaching an agreement that will give it many of the same rights afforded states within the European Union.

"We are close to concluding this chapter in the action plan. It's just a question of one or two words," said EU President Bernard Bot, who is also the Dutch foreign minister.

According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman there is only a small section of text, dealing with weapons of mass destruction in the region, that hasn't been agreed upon.

"It's up to Israel to make one little step and we will make a major step in accommodating the Israelis," Bot said at a two-day Euro-Mediterranean Partnership conference.

The program, known as the European Neighborhood policy, offers free access to goods, services, people and capital to countries outside the European Union in exchange for economic and political reform.   Wink

Other countries slated to attain this status are Moldova, Ukraine, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority.

The Netherlands on Monday agreed to outlaw Hizbullah, adding it hoped its EU partners will follow suit.

Bot announced the step at a meeting with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

Shalom welcomed the Dutch move and urged the other EU nations "to place Hizbullah on the European list of terrorist organization." He called Iran-backed Hizbullah "one of the leading forces threatening the effort to bring stability and calm to the Palestinian Authority."

The EU so far has not agreed to this proposal, although Bot has submitted a request that it do so.

Both the EU and Israel spoke of the good relations between them.

"I do not accept the formula that Israel can live without Europe and Europe can live without Israel," said Shalom.

"Israel and Europe share deep-rooted values, the close relationship between us is a strategic asset to both sides," said Shalom.

Still, he said, "I would like to see the Europeans have a more balanced attitude toward the conflict."

Bot said he didn't understand Shalom's statement. "We have been very balanced in our approach," he said.

The EU chief policy adviser on foreign affairs, Javier Solana, said, "we will play a role whether our good friend Shalom likes it or not."

source: Jerusalem Post


I'm still not positive, but its looking more and more realistic to me.

Keep watching!



Continuing to watch this agreement very closely.

source:  http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=9&aid=17914

Spanish foreign minister backs 'virtual membership' for Israel
03.12.2004 - 09:55 CET |


By Andrew Beatty Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos has said the EU should offer Israel a privileged partnership, offering all the benefits of EU membership, without participation in the institutions.

Mr Moratinos – formerly the EU’s representative in the Middle East – told an audience in Tel Aviv on Thursday that current links between the EU and Israel are not enough.

"If Turkey is going to receive the green light to start negotiations for full integration into the EU, Israel should obtain the same benefits, with the single difference that we respect that Israel will not become a full member of the Union", he said.

Mr Moratinos backed a partnership with Israel which is more than the Association Agreement which currently governs relations.

The EU and Israel are currently locked in talks to negotiate a new agreement under the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy.

However, that agreement stops well short of what ex-Commission President Romano Prodi described as "everything but institutions", offering all the benefits of the EU except representation in the Council, Commission and Parliament.

Mr Moratinos’ proposal appears to take up Mr Prodi’s interpretation.

He backed full Israeli participation in the EU’s internal market as well as free movement of citizens.
END article
**********************************************

Virtual membership?  Very interesting indeed!!!

Mr Moratinos being the Spanish Foreign Minister  (which Javier Solana once was), and prior EU envoy to the middle east in all likelyhood worked for Mr Solana previously.   The question should be asked, is this deal coming from Morantinos, or is it really coming from Solana?   Wink

And even more importantly is....does Dan 9:27 loom within this agreement?    I have a strong hunch about this, but we shall see soon enough.  

Maranatha!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2004, 06:30:37 PM by 2nd Timothy » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: December 05, 2004, 05:38:51 PM »

Continuing to follow this, I came across the following link to an interview on another website.   I litterally had to pick my jaw up off the floor several times as read it.   An author by the name of Bat Ye'or is interviewed by frontpage magazine in regards to her new book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.   The interview is too long to post here, but it is simply a must read if you want to begin to understand what is happening as the world takes a harder stand against America and Israel.   Also makes sense of why the Euro nations refuse to help in Iraq and desire to take the lead in the Israeli peace process.

This interview covers it all...

Solana, Europe, Arabs, Israeli's, America, jihad, President Bush, Senator Kerry, oil, economics, Christians, etc etc.   The main theme presented is that America's plan of democracy in the mid-east and the nation of Israel are the real threat, not the Islamic Jihad.   The connection between Arab nations and Europe (Eurabia) begins to make total sense in light of whats happening globally, and what we have been learning about Solana, Europe and America in Bible prophecy.  America is already more at war than we realize.

All I can say is, read it for yourself and you will see what I mean.  

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15044


Friends, I have little doubt now that we are headed straight for home plate.   Its time to take inventory in our lives and insure that we are bearing fruit for the Lord.   He is coming very soon.

Maranatha!
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« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2004, 07:27:18 AM »

Quote
Spanish foreign minister backs 'virtual membership' for Israel


After snooping around a bit more on the European Neighborhood Policy info site, I have discovered that the EU has a 7 year budget term for this program which Mr Solana heads up.   It comes as no  surprised to me that Mr Solana will be giving a mid term report on the status of each member nations compliance to the action plan.    Wink

Here's a small clip...


The Commission will draw up periodic reports on progress and on areas requiring further efforts, taking into account assessments made by the authorities of the partner country. The Action Plans will be reviewed and may be adapted in the light of progress towards meeting the priorities for action. It is suggested that a “mid-term” report be prepared by the  Commission, with the contribution of the High Representative on issues related to political co-operation and the CFSP, within two years of the approval of an action plan and a further report within three years. These reports can serve as a basis for the Council to decide the next step in contractual links with each partner country. These could take the form of European Neighbourhood Agreements whose scope will be defined in the light of progress in meeting the priorities set out in the Action Plans.

Entire article in adobe acrobate form here: http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/enp/pdf/strategy/Strategy_Paper_EN.pdf

BTW, the next budget cycle is set to begin in 2007.   Not date setting here, just making an observation.

I am wondering though, how a virtual member state figures into this program  Huh  And why is Israel only being considered on a virtual basis  Huh

Maranatha!
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« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2004, 12:12:01 PM »

"A Nation that Dwells Alone":
The UN-ique Lock-Out of Israel from the Global Arena

"Believe it or not, Israel is the only one of the 185 member countries ineligible to serve on the United Nations Security Council, the key deliberative group of the world body.  Even Iraq is eligible. So is Iran. And so, too, are Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.  Why is it that these seven nations, all cited by the U.S. State Department as sponsors of terrorism, are eligible to serve rotation terms on the Security Council, yet Israel, a democratic nation and member of the UN since 1949, is not?
     "To be eligible for election, a country must belong to a regional group. Every UN member state - from the smallest to the largest - is included in one of the five regional groups.  By geography, Israel should be part of the Asian bloc, but such countries as Iraq and Saudi Arabia have prevented its entry for decades.  As a temporary measure, Israel has sought acceptance in the West European and Others Groups (WEOG), which includes not only the democracies of Western Europe but also Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States.  Here, too, despite the support of several countries, including the U.S., Israel still has not been admitted.
     "Thus without membership in a regional group, Israel can never be elected to serve a term on the Security Council or, for that matter, to the other most important bodies of the UN system, such as the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the World Court, UNICEF and the Commission on Human Rights.
     "The United Nations Charter proclaims, 'the equal rights... of nations large and small.' But only Israel, among all the UN members, is denied the right to belong to any regional group.
<snip>

What Does This Mean for Israel as a UN Member?
The UN's discriminatory behavior against Israel is nothing new. However, the Jewish and Israeli public are largely unaware of this unique ostracism which that country has endured for its entire membership in the UN.

The Regional Groups: Working Cells of the UN
The five Regional Groups are the member-pool from which are chosen all voting members of ALL United Nations commissions, councils and other decision-making committees. In other words, Israel -- and only Israel -- is prohibited from every single meaningful contribution of which a UN member is capable. In terms of past, present and future impact on the world community through its prime agency, Israel does not exist.

Before exploring how and why this happened, we first need to appreciate what it means to be the only UN member state so handicapped.  The point is driven home by focusing on the first group mentioned by the AJC as off-limits to Israel: the ECOSOC, or Economic and Social Council.

(1) Membership in the ECOSOC currently numbers 55 seats. Council members work closely with the Secretary General, who has referred to them as second in importance only to the Security Council.  UN reform proposals include plans to further expand ECOSOC governing powers.  But the process of winning a term on the ECOSOC is something of a mystery. What qualifications are necessary to be one of these 55 movers-and-shakers in the UN?  A stand against terrorism?  At least two ECOSOC members sponsor terrorism: Cuba and Korea.  It can't be size or economic clout - current members include Saint Lucia (not even 3% of Israel's size, its location unknown to most).  A pledge to fight extremism?  Not with Pakistan and Algeria serving.  Perhaps it is a function of what the Soviets used to call "proteksia" - friends in high places.  But then how did America's old nemesis Vietnam get elected, while their "most stable ally and the only democracy in the Middle East" has never served - and never can?  It seems ECOSOC members seem to have nothing in common besides inclusion in one of the Regional Groups.

(2) The ECOSOC controls considerable UN activity beyond its own. A recently published agenda of ECOSOC (April 98) shows that this year they elected fellow-member states to a total of nearly 230 seats on at least 20 UN Commissions and Committees, including Human Rights, Natural Resources, the Status of Women, Sustainable Development, and Non-Governmental Organizations (the CNGO itself controls a 1600-strong forum of global activist organizations). All of these are involved in shaping, evaluating and/or enforcing UN policy beyond the ECOSOC itself.

Yet Israel will never have input in tackling those issues.  Israel does not officially belong to any Regional Group.

It's a queer clerical error, no doubt, which has escaped the attention of this august body for an amazing length of time.  [Although Israel's presence certainly has not escaped UN notice, which judging from the number of negative resolutions constitutes an obsession!  The Israeli Mission to the UN estimates that roughly 25% of all UN debates and resolutions relate to only one of their 185 members.]

Beyond Politics
One other possibility exists for Israel to have a say in the pivotal ECOSOC.  It is found under the heading "Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations" (CNGO, one of the 20 committees mentioned above). Perhaps here, through the time-honored strategy of "a back-door, low-profile" involvement, Israel might still make her voice heard in ECOSOC, filtered through a non-political "Jewish" presence.  It might be expected that if politics is the offending element, the UN would be even more eager to receive contributions from apolitical, humanitarian channels supported by centuries of Jewish tradition. And yes, there does appear to be a Jewish "representation" among the NGOs. But again, some explanation is necessary to appreciate our true global standing.

The CNGO is described as a significant group "in consultative status [to the UN] as a result of action taken by the ECOSOC". In plain language, the 55-member ECOSOC decides whose input is appropriate for the CNGO; the criteria are not published, only the results. Securing a copy the CNGO members' list from July 1997, I searched for clearly identifiable Jewish NGOs, any group ranging from world-famous to obscure.  In anticipation of the challenge that perhaps religious representation in general is discouraged in the CNGO, I have listed other religions for comparison. "Pan-Eastern" refers to religions that proclaim "all ways lead to God", which includes faiths of the Far East. [But now I must confess to cheating: in order to improve the Jewish showing, I counted both ethnic and religious orgs, whereas I ignored other ethnic-religious associations such as "Arab" in the case of "Moslem".]  Even though this survey is rough and unofficial, the reader will have no trouble sizing up the Jewish people's chances of influencing the UN in a non-governmental context.
---------
Group 1 ("General Consultants", numbering 88) -  Catholic: 1. Other Christian: 1. Pan-Eastern: 4. Islamic: 3. Jewish: 0.

Group 2 ("Special Consultants", numbering 602) - Catholic: 15. Other Christian: 24. Pan-Eastern: 13. 6. Islamic: 8. Jewish: 10.

Before we congratulate ourselves on our showing among the "Special Consultants" to the UN, it must be noted that this category includes such global heavyweights as the International Federation of Beekeepers, the International Black Sea Club, the Federation of European Motorcyclists, and the International Kolping [sic] Society.

Group 3, "The Roster", appears to be the real influence in the CNGO.  The UN document makes only passing reference to the first two Groups.  It then describes in detail the three ways in which NGOs may qualify for the Roster, and lists them according to the way they were admitted.  So how did Jewish groups fare in the prestigious Roster"?

Group 3 ("The Roster", numbering 666) [sic!]:

  Subgroup 3a (appointed by ECOSOC with CNGO's recommendation) - Catholic: 1. Other Christian: 7. Pan-Eastern: 12. Islamic: 2. Jewish: 1.
[Sidenote: A notable member of this Roster subgroup, since 1988, is Lucis Trust, originally founded as Lucifer Trust. Their mission in life is to promote the religious teachings of the blatantly antisemitic occultist, Alice A. Bailey. Their influence as UN consultants is summed up in the fact that Bailey's teaching is the backbone for the UN-sponsored, UN-prizewinning World Core Curriculum, the new global model for education.]
  Subgroup 3b (appointed by the Secretary General) - no obvious religious groups at all.
  Subgroup 3c (appointed by virtue of association with other UN bodies) - Catholic: 8. Other Christian: 1. Pan-Eastern: 4. Islamic: 3. Jewish: 1.

<snip>
http://searchlight.iwarp.com/articles/UNandIsrael.html
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« Reply #66 on: December 07, 2004, 02:07:03 AM »

German Opposition: Immigrants Must Adapt

2 hours, 45 minutes ago
Europe - AP

By TONY CZUCZKA, Associated Press Writer

BERLIN - Immigrants must adapt to Germany's majority Christian-influenced culture because efforts to create a multicultural society are doomed to failure, the country's main opposition leader said Monday.

Angela Merkel laid out her position at a party meeting that re-elected her as head of the Christian Democratic Union amid a national debate over how to integrate foreign residents — particularly Turks and Arabs — into German society.

"We always knew it: The idea of a multicultural society cannot succeed," Merkel said. "It is doomed to failure from the start."

German culture is open to outside influences, "but it is a culture in which we celebrate official Christian holidays, not Muslim holidays," she told some 1,000 national convention delegates in Duesseldorf.

A long-dormant debate over immigration and integration of 7 million foreigners living in Germany — about half of them Muslims — has erupted sharply since last month's murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands.

A critic of Islam, van Gogh was stabbed to death Nov. 2 in Amsterdam. Islamic radical Mohammed Bouyeri, a dual Dutch and Moroccan citizen has been charged with the murder.

Van Gogh's killing and an ensuing wave of attacks on Dutch mosques and churches raised fears for some German politicians that the strife may spill across the border.

Merkel reiterated that her party opposes giving European Union membership to Turkey and prefers negotiating a "privileged partnership" with the secular Muslim country.

She also sought to strike patriotic tones, saying she favors a national day of remembrance for ethnic Germans who were expelled or fled eastern Europe after the Nazi defeat in World War II.

The CDU, the party of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, narrowly lost federal elections in 2002 to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats.

Merkel's convention speech was a key chance to rally her conservative party before two state elections in the first half of next year, following poor showings in several state elections this year. She is also positioning herself as a possible challenger to Schroeder in fall 2006 elections.

Later Monday, convention delegates voted by a margin of 839 to 110 to re-elect Merkel as party chairwoman for another two years. That gave Merkel, who ran unopposed, the support of 88.4 percent of delegates.

In her speech, Merkel attacked Schroeder's economic record, pointing to sluggish growth and a jobless rate stuck around 10 percent. Playing to Germans' pride in their country's economic might, she pledged to make Germany the engine of Europe's economy again.

"I want German interests to be respected again," she said. "I am sick of reading everywhere that we are the 'sick man of Europe.' I am not going to be satisfied with mediocrity instead of place at the top."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=518&ncid=732&e=7&u=/ap/20041207/ap_on_re_eu/germany_opposition
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« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2004, 02:41:12 AM »

This WEEK in the European Union
06.12.2004 - 09:41 CET | By Lisbeth Kirk

EUOBSERVER / WEEKLY AGENDA (6 Dec – 12 Dec) – This week the Dutch presidency is coming closer to ending with a number of Council meetings and high-level summits on the agenda.

On Wednesday the seventh summit meeting between the EU and China will be held at the Binnenhof, the political centre of The Netherlands.

This issue of lifting the 15-year old ban on arms sales - put in place following the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 – has been on the EU’s agenda for months, with no agreement so far.

Ahead of an EU-China summit, Chinese diplomats have warned that a decision not to lift the embargo could have consequences for future ties.

Premier Wen Jiabao of the People’s Republic of China is to meet a total line up of EU top figures ranking from President of the European Council, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the EU’s High Representative Javier Solana, European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bernard Bot.

Powell to meet Troika
On Friday, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Bot will host the semi-annual ministerial meeting between the European Union and the US, also at The Hague.

This meeting will be held in the so-called ‘Troika format’ with the participation of the US Secretary of State Colin Powell, High Representative Javier Solana and the European Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Transatlantic relations is one of the priorities of the Dutch Presidency.

Three Council meetings
The week will also see three Council meetings.

On Monday and Tuesday the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs ministers are to meet in the Justus Lipsius Building in Brussels with a packed agenda ranging from food, medicines, Aids to organisation of working time and working conditions for temporary workers.

On Tuesday Economic and Financial Affairs ministers gather for their regular monthly meeting in Brussels expected to deal with a reform of the Stability and Growth Pact and the legal proceedings against Greece for under-reporting its budget deficit by billions of euro since 1997.

And on Thursday Transport, Telecommunications and Energy ministers will meet.

Parliament prepares for Turkey decision
The European Parliament will devote activities to meetings of the political groups and to preparations for the Strasbourg plenary session next week which is to vote on the opening of EU membership negotiations with Turkey.

On Thursday, the heads of the political groups in the European Parliament meet to discuss continuation of proceedings against Leyla Zana and a proposal for setting up an ad-hoc delegation to Turkey.

The Kurdish campaigner and human rights activist Leyla Zana was in Brussels in October to collect the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize which she was awarded in 1995. She was released from Turkish prison in June.

On Monday Graham Watson, Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) will open a conference in the European Parliament on Turkey and its application for membership of the European Union.

The conference is organised by the NGO, No Peace Without Justice.

On Thursday, the ventre-right EPP-ED group in the European Parliament is hosting an expert hearing on the Services directive and on Tuesday the same group has organised a hearing on Roma people in an enlarged Europe.

Launch of Anna Lindh Programme on Conflict Prevention
On Monday Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and President of the Madariaga European Foundation, will address journalists on conflict prevention to mark the official beginning of the Anna Lindh Programme on Conflict Prevention.

The programme bears the name of late Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh, who was murdered in September 2003.

The Committee of the Regions turns the spotlight on financing of trans-European transport networks at a seminar on Monday in Riga.

On Tuesday, a one-day International High-level European Policy Summit in Brussels organised by Friends of Europe, in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung will focus on "The Politics of the New Balkan Economy".

Ending the week, Turkish Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdo&#287;an will appear as key-note speaker at the fourth gathering of Turkey Platform on Friday in Brussels.

http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=9&aid=17917
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« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2004, 03:10:40 AM »

Well now that I have picked myself off the floor.

Here are some <snips>
 

Resolution of the Arab/Israeli conflict is a strategic priority
for Europe

Building Security in our Neighbourhood Even in an era of globalisation, geography is still important. It is in the European interest that countries on our borders are well-governed. Neighbours who are engaged in violent conflict, weak states where organised crime flourishes, dysfunctional societies or exploding population growth on its borders all pose problems forEurope.

The integration of acceding states increases our security but also brings the EU closer to troubled areas. Our task is to promote a ring of well governed countries to the East of the European Union and on the borders of the Mediterranean with whom we can enjoy close and cooperative relations.

The importance of this is best illustrated in the Balkans. Through our concerted efforts with the US, Russia, NATO and other international partners, the stability of the region is no longer threatened by the outbreak of major conflict. The credibility of our foreign policy depends on the consolidation of our achievements there. The European perspective offers both a strategic objective and an incentive for reform.

It is not in our interest that enlargement should create new dividing lines in Europe. We need to extend the benefits of economic and political cooperation to our neighbours in the East while tackling political problems there. We should now take a stronger and more active interest in the problems of the Southern Caucasus, which will in due course also be a neighbouring region. Resolution of the Arab/Israeli conflict is a strategic priority for Europe. Without this, there will be little chance of dealing with other problems in the Middle East.

The European Union must remain engaged and ready to commit resources to the problem until it is solved. The two state solution - which Europe has long supported- is now widely accepted. Implementing it will require a united and cooperative effort by the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia, and the countries of the region, but above all by the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves.

It is a condition of a rule-based international order that law evolves in response to developments
such as proliferation, terrorism and global warming. We have an interest in further developing
existing institutions such as the World Trade Organisation and in supporting new ones such as the
International Criminal Court. Our own experience in Europe demonstrates that security can be
increased through confidence building and arms control regimes. Such instruments can also make
an important contribution to security and stability in our neighbourhood and beyond.

As a Union of 25 members, spending more than 160 billion Euros on defence, we should be able to sustain several operations simultaneously. We could add particular value by developing operations involving both military and civilian capabilities.

We need to be able to act before countries around us deteriorate, when signs of proliferation are detected, and before humanitarian emergencies arise. Preventive engagement can avoid more serious problems in the future. A European Union which takes greater responsibility and which is more active will be one which carries greater political weight.

In almost every major intervention, military efficiency has been followed by civilian chaos. We need greater capacity to bring all necessary civilian resources to bear in crisis and post crisissituations.

Stronger diplomatic capability: we need a system that combines the resources of Member States with those of EU institutions. Dealing with problems that are more distant and more foreign requires better understanding and communication.

Conclusion
This is a world of new dangers but also of new opportunities. The European Union has the potential to make a major contribution, both in dealing with the threats and in helping realise the opportunities. An active and capable European Union would make an impact on a global scale. In doing so, it would contribute to an effective multilateral system leading to a fairer, safer and more united world.

http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/78367.pdf

I was searching for something else when I ran across this........
You will need pdf reader. 2T, you need to read this.

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Bob
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« Reply #69 on: December 07, 2004, 02:28:37 PM »

Quote
2T, you need to read this.

DW, this is exactly what I have been hammering away at in my last few posts.   This article lies en-couched within The European Neighborhood Policy.   I am not sure how the UN  in its current form have any credibility.  I think there has to be some changes there if they are going to play any meaningful role, and this article seems to address that in some detail, as to how the EU wants to empower them with the right tools and structure in order to do what they are suppose to be doing now.

From what I have been seeing in most of these documents, if we are as close as I think we are, I believe the ENP will likely be the covenant with many.

A few verses that keep coming to mind as I read these are....

Dan 7:23  Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, [......]

No question the EU fits this to a tee.

Dan 7:25  [.....speaking of the AC] and think to change times and laws: [...]

Also fitting exactly what the EU is attempting to do with UN and Solana's ENP program.

Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:[....]


Confirm a covenant with who?  MANY!  Not necessarily just Israel.   The ENP would do just that.  An agreement with 25 EU member states and 17 non member states....definitely a covenant with many...and how odd is it that Israel would be the only Virtual member of that deal?  

I'm trying to be open minded as I follow this, but the more I look into the ENP, the more it makes sense.   No choice but to continue watching at this point.   I might be wrong, but the co-incidentals are getting difficult to overlook as all this evolves.

Maranatha!
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« Reply #70 on: December 07, 2004, 05:23:31 PM »

As everyone knows, the EU is against terrorism.

Javier Solana
Brussels, 2 December 2004
S335/04
Javier SOLANA,
EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, welcomes the decision by the Colombian Government to pardon a group of guerrillas High Representative Solana welcomes the important decision by the Colombian government to pardon twenty-three members of the FARC. He considers it a significant gesture. The High Representative restates the EU's calls for the immediate and unconditional release by illegal armed groups of all detained hostages. Such an act could be undertaken in the framework of a humanitarian agreement, which hopefully would contribute to the peace process in Colombia.

This statement is attributable to Cristina Gallach, Spokesperson of HR Solana.

http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/declarations/82935.pdf

Now since I didn't know what FARC was, I googled.............

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia - FARC

Description

Growing out of the turmoil and fighting in the 1950s between liberal and conservative militias, the FARC was established in 1964 by the Colombian Communist Party to defend what were then autonomous Communist-controlled rural areas. The FARC is Latin America’s oldest, largest, most capable, and best-equipped insurgency of Marxist origin. Although only nominally fighting in support of Marxist goals today, the FARC is governed by a general secretariat led by longtime leader Manuel Marulanda (a.k.a. “Tirofi jo”) and six others, including senior military commander Jorge Briceno (a.k.a. “Mono Jojoy”). It is organized along military lines and includes several units that operate mostly in key urban areas such as Bogota. In 2003, the FARC conducted several high profile terrorist attacks, including a February car-bombing of a Bogota nightclub that killed more than 30 persons and wounded more than 160, as well as a November grenade attack in Bogota’s restaurant district that wounded three Americans.

Activities

Bombings, murder, mortar attacks, narcotrafficking, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking, as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets. In March 1999, the FARC executed three US Indian rights activists on Venezuelan territory after it kidnapped them in Colombia. In February 2003, the FARC captured and continues to hold three US contractors and killed one other American and a Colombian when their plane crashed in Florencia. Foreign citizens often are targets of FARC kidnapping for ransom. The FARC has well-documented ties to the full range of narcotics trafficking activities, including taxation, cultivation, and distribution.

http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/farc.htm

Now if they are against terrorism, what are they doing appulading the release of terrorist?

2T, I think both you and I are on the same trail. We are just following different paths.

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Bob
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« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2004, 01:07:04 AM »

06.12.2004 - 09:55 CET   | By EUobserver.com

http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=9&aid=17922

1. Turkey debate
2. Ukraine
3. China
4. Constitution
5. Foreign Affairs
6. Economy
7. News Round-Up

Turkey debate

France has set three conditions for Turkey
French President Jacques Chirac has put down three conditions for Turkey: if the membership talks fail, Turkey has to settle for less, even if the talks succeed French people should still have a right to reject it in a referendum and the talks should not start until the second half of 2005, writes the FT. Chirac wants to make sure that the Turkey issue will not dominate the European Constitution referendum, expected to take place in spring next year.

Accession negotiation with Turkey should start 2005, says Italian Foreign Minister
Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini confirmed that Italy will agree to open accession negotiations with Turkey at the decisive Summit on December 17. If it would be up to Italy to decide, negotiations could start as early as 2005, Fini said on Saturday in Parliament. Membership, however, could take place only in 2014. There will be a consensus in Europe that Turkey cannot become a member earlier than that, Fini said, according to Italian news wire AGI.

German opposition up rhetoric against Turkey
The German Christian Democrat opposition has become louder in its opposition to Turksih EU membership. The leaders of the CDU and CSU, Angela Merkel and Edmund Stoiber, have sent a letter to the German Chancellor, "in great concern" about Europe’s future. In it they ask Gerhard Schröder to prevent the membership negotiations with Turkey, due to be agreed at the end of next week, from leading to full EU membership.

Ukraine

EU to send observers to Ukrainian re-election
The European Union is planning to send 500-800 observers to monitor the Ukrainian elections, according to Elmar Brok, head of the European Parliament foreign affairs committee. Speaking to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung Mr Brok indicated the initiative had been agreed with the EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana.

A re-run of Ukrainian general elections is scheduled for 26 December following weeklong protests over alleged fraud in the first poll. The opposition has demanded changes of the election committee ahead of the new poll, reported Financial Times Deutschland

Polish MEPs clash over Ukraine elections
Gazeta Wyborcza reports that Polish MEPs, Micha&#322; Kaminski and Filip Adwent, have locked horns over the Ukraine. The spat began when Kaminski, from the Law and Justice Party, accused Adwent, from the League of Polish Families, of peddling Russian propaganda about Yushchenko’s alleged anti-semitism. Meanwhile, Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski, is set to fly in to Kiev today to mediate between the orange and blue camps in the run up to the new elections.

Ukraine would be "too much" for us
In an interview with FAZ, Günter Verheugen, the former European Commissioner for enlargement, says that beginning accession negotiations with the Ukraine would be "too much" for the EU. He said that Kiev’s eventual membership of the EU cannot be excluded. "We cannot categorically say to any European land that they will never be taken on in the European Union", said Verheugen. However, he added that Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia and the Caucasus are not on Brussels’ agenda at the moment.

China

Division over Chinese arms embargo
As the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, begins a visit to China, his coalition government remain divided by his wish to see the arms embargo ended. The situation with Tibet as well as human rights concerns are the main reasons for opposition to lifting the embargo.

Meanwhile, the FT reports that most of the EU member states want to lift the arms embargo on China. The issue will be discussed on Wednesday during the EU-China Summit. However it will be impossible to lift the ban this week - it is likely that the ban will be removed during the first half of next year.

Constitution

Madrid fears low turn out for Constitutional poll
The Spanish government has warned Brussels up to 60% of Spaniards may not vote in the referendum on the European Constitutional Treaty.

French Socialist leadership has no benefits from EU Constitution poll
Francois Hollande, the leader of the French Socialists who last week saw victory when his party voted in favour of the European Constitution, is not reaping the political benefits. A poll for Liberation, carried out by BVA and France Inter, shows that a majority in the party still favour Lionel Jospin as a candidate for the general elections in 2007. Meanwhile, other French papers report on how the party is repositioning itself after the ‘yes’ vote.

Foreign Affairs

France and Poland strive to warm up relations
Gazeta Wyborcza indicates that president Jacques Chirac is set to visit Kraków and Auschwitz on January 27, while French and Polish leaders have tabled a major summit for late February or early March in France. The move is aimed at improving Franco-Polish relations, which Chirac damaged in 2003 by saying the Poles should keep their mouth shut on Iraq.

Bush calls for cooperation
The US President, George W. Bush has written to his European Commission homologue calling for the EU and US to work together on "key issues" on the international agenda, according to Correio da Manhã.

Economy

Barroso aims for June budget deal
Commission President Jose Manuel Durão Barroso has said he wants to have an agreement of the EU’s budget for 2007-2013 before June 2005 according to
Correio da Manhã.

Washington offers truce with Europe on Airbus-Boeing
The EU Commission for Trade, Peter Mandelson, will meet his US counterpart Robert Zoellick for the first time on Monday amid signs of a temporary truce in the row over government aid for rivals Boeing and Airbus, reports Les Echos.

UK to protect its companies from EU laws
The UK government is preparing to change the corporate tax system in order to protect its companies from the possible future European Court of Justice rulings. According to the Financial Times, recently in number of cases ECJ has decided that member states national rules are illegal under EU laws.

Spain loses out on enlargement
A reduction in aid from the EU since last May’s enlargement has prompted Spain’s GDP per capita to fall by nine points according to Cinco Dias.

Polish unemployment rate set to stay sky-high
Rzeczpospolita indicates that Polish unemployment is unlikely to reach the EU average of 9% in the next few years. The country’s jobless rate, which currently stands at 19%, is the worst in the EU and second only to Bulgaria in central Europe. The findings are based on a new UN study.

News Round-up

Anti-Terrorism Coordinator criticises Italy
In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung, European Anti-Terrorism Coordinator Gijs de Vries, has criticized Italy for the slow implementation of the twelve measures European governments agreed on after the attacks of March 11 in Madrid. "It is not satisfactory that there are delays when it comes to the security for citizens", de Vries said referring to Italy and Greece. So far, Italy has implemented only three out of twelve measures, Italian news wire AGI writes.

UK worried about EU healthcare plan
An EU directive, which allows European health companies to service in any EU member states, has sparked a debate in the UK. Some believe it would threaten the safety of British patients, while the others think that it would give a good chance to UK companies to compete anywhere in Europe, reports the Guardian.

Hungarians vote on citizenship
Due to low participation in two referendums held this weekend in Hungary, both have been annulled. Hungarians were deciding whether to grant citizenship to more than two million people of Hungarian origin living in foreign countries as well as to privatise the health system. The voter quorum was 25 per cent.

Italians fear inflation and poverty
In Italy far more people than in the EU as a whole are concerned about price inflation and fear to become poor. According to the 38th annual report of Italian national pollster Censis, 45 percent of Italians share these fears against 18 percent of Europeans according to Eurobarometer figures. 34 Percent of Italians fear to become unemployed, Il Corriere della Sera writes.

Portugal gears up for poll
Portugal’s papers this morning are in full electoral swing, Publico reports that Socialist campaign leader Jorge Coelho is calling for voters to turn out in order to obtain an absolute majority, meanwhile his PSD (Social Democrat) counterparts have not ruled out forming a coalition with other parties.

Serbian president promises more Europe
Publico reports that Serbian President Boris Tadic may look to call fresh elections before pressing ahead with ‘difficult decisions’ to put Serbia on the path to EU membership.
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« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2004, 02:26:43 PM »

Talk about sneaking in the back door.

EU-NATO: THE FRAMEWORK FOR PERMANENT RELATIONS AND BERLIN PLUS

1. The comprehensive framework for EU-NATO permanent relations, which the Secretary General/High Representative and NATO Secretary General concluded on 17 March 2003, was a landmark in the relations between the two organisations.

2. This framework of relations built upon NATO's Washington Summit in 1999 and the conclusions of the European Council at Nice in December 2000 as well as the EU-NATO joint declaration of 16 December 2002. The EU has established adequate modalities to involve closely in EU-led operations the non-EU European NATO members. Five countries belong to this group: Bulgaria, Romania, Iceland, Norway and Turkey (the first two are, in addition, candidates for accession to the EU).

3. The EU and NATO have built a genuine strategic partnership that is now well established and deep-rooted. For this partnership to work, both organisations ensure effective consultation, cooperation and transparency at all times. This partnership is also about ensuring efficient crisis management and working together in order to identify the best possible response to a crisis. For this purpose, the EU and NATO agreed on mutual crisis consultation arrangements that are geared towards an efficient and rapid decision-making in each organisation in the presence of a crisis. Such EU-NATO consultations involve the EU's Political and Security Committee and NATO's North Atlantic Council, the EU and NATO Military Committees as well as the Secretary General/High Representative and NATO Secretary General.

4. In order to foster these consultations by guaranteeing a secure physical environment and enabling the exchange of classified documents and information, the EU and NATO concluded an agreement on the security of information.

5. When a given crisis gives rise to an EU-led operation making use of NATO assets and capabilities, the EU and NATO will draw on the so-called "Berlin Plus arrangements". These arrangements cover three main elements that are directly connected to operations and which can be combined: EU access to NATO planning, NATO European command options and use of NATO assets and capabilities.

6. First, NATO guarantees that the EU has access to NATO planning. At the early stages before the EU even knows whether an operation will eventually take place, this may involve a NATO contribution (by SHAPE in Mons) to the work carried out by the EU Military Staff on the definition of options (these are known as "military strategic options"). Subsequently, should the operation take place with use of NATO assets and capabilities, NATO will provide the operational planning required.

7. Second, the EU may request that NATO makes available a NATO European command option for an EU-led military operation. In this case, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) is the primary candidate for EU Operation Commander. He will remain at SHAPE where he establishes the EU OHQ. The remaining command elements determined by the EU (such as the EU Force Commander and EU Force Headquarters deployed in theatre or the EU Component Commands) may either be provided by NATO or by EU Member States.

8. Thirdly, the EU may request the use of NATO assets and capabilities. To this end, NATO has established a first list of its assets and capabilities that, in strong likelihood, NATO would decide to make available to the EU should the EU need them. In addition, NATO has defined a number of principles as well as financial and legal considerations applicable to the release of its assets and capabilities to the EU. On this basis, a specific EU-NATO agreement setting out the conditions for use of NATO assets and capabilities is drawn up for a given operation. Such agreement provides in particular for a possible recall of assets due to unforeseen circumstances, for example due to the emergence of a NATO Article 5 contingency (this means an attack against a NATO member).

9. Another important element of the EU-NATO relation is related to the development of military capabilities. More specifically, it is about how the EU and NATO and their Member States should develop in a mutually reinforcing way and deliver the military capabilities they need for crisis management. It addresses the way in which the EU and NATO could fill in those capabilities where both organisations have the same  equirements and similar shortfalls. Work is currently underway in order to improve the synergy between the EU and NATO in certain capabilities areas where both have pilot projects.

10. EU-NATO relations proved to work well in connection with the first ever EU-led military operation. This was Operation CONCORDIA in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in which the EU used NATO assets and capabilities and where the EU Operation Commander was Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR).

11. Before and during the second EU-led military operation, ARTEMIS in the Democratic Republic of Congo -an operation conducted autonomously by the EU- NATO was regularly and timely informed of the EU’s intentions, in full respect of the spirit and of the letter of the crisis consultation arrangements.

12. The CME-CMX03, a joint EU-NATO crisis management exercise (19-25 November 2003), provides further experience to consolidate EU-NATO relations in crisis management.

http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/03-11-11%20Berlin%20Plus%20press%20note%20BL.pdf

You will need a pdf reader to read the document.

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Bob
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« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2004, 02:36:19 PM »

Summary of the intervention by
JAVIER SOLANA
EU High Representative
for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
United Nations Security Council Debate on “Civilian Crisis Management”
New York, 22 September 2004

In the last years, civilian aspects have acquired a crucial importance in crisis management. Conflicts between states were until recently the main concern of the international community. The response used to focus on the stabilisation of the situation through the deployment of interposition forces, with a view to finding political solutions. Today, most conflicts are internal. Although the deployment of forces may still be necessary in some cases, the objective is usually wider and more complex: the reinstatement of a legitimate government and of the rule of law.

State reconstruction has both a political and a military  dimension, but it also requires the setting up of institutions that the population can trust. Ensuring security is necessary so that a conflict-stricken state can embark upon a course of development. Conversely, without development there will be no security. Those are difficult goals to reach, but striving for them is as important for our security today as the deployment of armed forces was in the past.

The European Union is convinced that it can and must make a significant contribution. The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was poised from the start to provide the EU with the means allowing it to deploy both military and civilian instruments, with a view to replacing or helping to strengthen the capabilities of the country benefiting from this support.

In a short period of time we have formulated concepts and established structures capable of upholding the deployment of civilian resources. The EU Member States have committed capabilities in different civilian areas (5000 police forces, more than 200 specialists in the strengthening of the rule of law, various public officials and civil protection means). We have carried out operations, training programmes for experts, etc. Moreover, since the EU announced three years ago its operational crisis management capacity, out of the six operations undertaken so far, three are civilian (two police missions and one in the field of the strengthening of the rule of law), and a seventh mission, also police, in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in the planning stages.

But a lot still remains to be done. The recruitment of civilian personnel to be deployed during crisis management operations proves to be more difficult than that of military staff. Our societies should review the recruitment and operational criteria for civilian staff, which until now are focused on strictly domestic requirements.

As stated in the reflection document submitted by the Presidency of the Security Council, we also have to develop new mechanisms, as well as a new culture of civilian-military co-ordination. Synergies must be enhanced and obstacles avoided.

The EU is for its part particularly well placed to meet these challenges, given its wide variety of instruments and its specific nature. Bosnia-Herzegovina is perhaps the most illustrative example of our capacity for action: not only do we have the European Commission’s co-operation programmes and the prospect of a strong association process, we also have a police mission and very soon we will have a military operation as a follow-up to the NATO mission.

Furthermore, to give a more comprehensive response to the civilian-military co-ordination needs, the EU will soon have a “Civil-Military Cell” which, among other things, will allow us to implement an integrated planning of crisis management operations.

The EU’s action on the last years has had as its main goal the strengthening of what we have agreed to call effective multilateralism, with the UN at its heart. The UN is the only framework that allows the international community to exist, however imperfectly, in the framework of parameters of legal security and justice without which international relations would amount to nothing more thandestructive competition.

Last year, around this time, the EU signed a joint declaration with the UN Secretary-General to promote such co-operation further. The EU’s expertise and capabilities are at the service of the international community. Today, I want to highlight in particular the EU’s decision to support the efforts of the African Union in crisis management.

The challenges are many and we must face them together. The EU wants to contribute with all means to make this world a safer and a better place for everybody. I am confident that today’s debate - held in this Council which has the highest responsibility for keeping the international peace and security - will help us achieve further progress in this direction.


http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/UN%20Security%20Council%20Debate%20on%20Civilian%20Crisis%20Management.pdf
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« Reply #74 on: December 08, 2004, 10:58:36 PM »

Annan Opens Islamophobia Summit
Wednesday, December 08, 2004

UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) opened the first U.N. seminar on confronting Islamophobia with a plea not to judge Muslims by the acts of extremists who target and kill civilians.

The daylong forum on Tuesday came six months after a U.N. seminar devoted to confronting anti-Semitism, also a first for the world body. Both were part a series entitled "Unlearning Intolerance," sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information.

The summit was announced on the same day that Annan rebuffed calls for his resignation amid allegations the Iraq Oil-for-Food program is rife with corruption.

In announcing the Islam summit, Annan told Islamic scholars, writers and religious leaders that, "the few give a bad name to the many, and this is unfair."

Annan urged people to condemn terrorist and violent acts carried out in the name of Islam but which "no cause can justify."

"Muslims themselves, especially, should speak out, as so many did following the September 11 attacks on the United States, and show a commitment to isolate those who preach or practice violence, and to make it clear that these are unacceptable distortions of Islam," he said. And what about the Arab-American college students, who threw 9-11 parties the night of the attack?  DW

Annan said, "it is essential that solutions come from within Islam itself" and suggested and suggested that the Islamic scholarly principle of "ijtihad," a process of critical inquiry, could foster free debate into what is good and bad in Muslim cultures as well as others.

He stressed that Islam "should not be judged by the acts of extremists who deliberately target and kill civilians."

"We should not underestimate the resentment and sense of injustice felt by members of one of the world's great religions, cultures and civilizations," he said.

"And we must make the re-establishment of trust among people of different faiths and cultures our highest priority," Annan added, saying that failure to do this threatens world peace and development.

Seyyed Hussein Nasr, professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, said Islamophobia was a question not only of fear but also of hatred — often by people who know little about the religion.

In the keynote address, Nasr spoke of the role of fanaticism in conflicts and said there would there would be no Islamophobia without "mistakes" made by Muslims. Huh

Nasr said most people view Islam as an intolerant, monolithic religion bent on ruling the Western world when in reality, there are various schools of Islamic thought, the religion is not anti-Western and the Islamic dynasties over the centuries accepted both Jews and Christians fleeing persecution.

Fighting Islamophobia, Nasr argued, requires swift action from those in the West who understand that hatred breeds more hatred. Muslims must also take the lead in speaking out against extremism — steps that should be complemented by educational reforms and more effective use of the media.

Ahmed Kamal Aboulmagd, a law professor at Cairo University and vice president of the Egyptian Council for Human Rights (search), called for "an undistorted mirror" for Muslims and non-Muslims to examine themselves and others.

He said many Muslims for the first time were feeling part of a larger world and abandoning isolationism. Many Muslims also recognized their negligence in not highlighting Islam's commitment to democracy and respect for human rights, he said.

R. Scott Appleby, director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute (search) at the University of Notre Dame, said that in the United States and much of Europe, terrorism had created anxiety about the vulnerability of Western societies, drawn unwanted attention to Muslims, and elicited intolerance and hatred among some Americans. This is what terrorists wanted, he said.

In the United States, Appleby said, patriotism should require a willingness to recognize differences and honest self-criticism, not condescension towards people cast as "the other."

Annan Pledges Reform at U.N. Amid Corruption Allegations
Annan has come under fire recently by critics of the United Nations' role in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Annan rejected calls for his resignation from several U.S. lawmakers, saying Tuesday he will "carry on" at the helm of the United Nations for the next two years.

Five Republican members of the House of Representatives on Monday backed a GOP senator's call for Annan to resign amid allegations of corruption in the U.N. Oil-for-Food program. But outside the United States, there is no clamor for the secretary-general to step down, and he has picked up support from many of the 191 U.N. member states.

Annan said he plans to concentrate on reform of the United Nations in the last two years of his term, a process that began last week with the release of a report by a high-level panel that analyzed global threats in the 21st century and made 101 recommendations on how to tackle them.

"I have quite a lot of work to do and I'm carrying on with my work," Annan said when asked when he would respond to those calling for his resignation. "We have a major agenda next year, and the year ahead, trying to reform this organization. So we'll carry on."

Was he definitely saying no, he would not resign?

"I think you heard my answer," Annan replied.

Although President Bush refused to back Annan last week, his closest international ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gave the secretary-general a strong endorsement Monday, saying he is doing "a fine job ... often in very difficult circumstances."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,140861,00.html

I still think the USA should get out of the UN. I haven't seen anything good come out of the UN.

Resting with God
Bob
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