Saturday, November 21, 2009


Derailed and Delayed

As Rudolph Ryser notes in his encapsulation of the UN climate change treaty process, one of the largest obstacles to an international treaty aimed at reducing pollution and developing survival mechanisms is also the largest single generator of carbon emissions--the United States.

As one of only four countries in the world to vote against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the role of blocking progress on environmental sanity in international law is remarkably consistent with America's role in obstructing human rights. When one examines the numerous international initiatives derailed and delayed by the United States -- such as the rights of children, the right to food, or the banning of landmines -- a picture begins to develop of a country whose words don't match its deeds. Indeed, the demonstrable hypocrisy and hubris of the United States is unmatched, and points up the need -- as Dr. Ryser observes -- for indigenous peoples and their friends to act on their own.

One glance at the unreliability of America's government -- over the last half century alone -- in advancing world peace, economic security or sustainable ways of life, should be enough to exclude the US from any leadership role; the key now is to reduce its ability to continue derailing and delaying these essential global initiatives.


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