Monday, October 20, 2014

Non government or non plussed

Hard to fathom that something that started with a Council of Five could expand at a rate of twenty orgs a year over 150 years. That average may not reflect when the creation of NGOs was at its most active but it is still an expansion of note. How strict are the criteria? Are we seeing national representatives of the Red Cross and Red Crescent listed or are these discrete groups?

Would it be more effective if there were fewer organisations opposing alcohol or mopping up afterwards? Does it take one entity to align alcohol and nicotine with other substances and another to separate them out again? If they are cross purposes, who gets the money and why?

What are they trying to annexe? Or is anex something else?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sure got to shake it up NGO

AID/WATCH does a good job of defining what an Non Government Organisation is and tells us that, on last count, there are 3135 NGOs. That's too many to list and there are a number that are regional in nature, with repetition on a theme. I see quite a few dealing with drugs and others set up to combat human trafficking.

Here are just a few
These were chosen for their ability to be a representative sample. There are so many aids for AIDS and Africa has a cottage industry in ngo's. Tugging at your heart (or purse) strings through the use of children is only going to work until you're fully subscribed; the moreso if you have part of your pocket devoted to wildlife or wastewatch. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Non Government Organisations

The first international organisation in the NGO category is the International Committee of the Red Cross founded in 1863. It is described as a private humanitarian organisation and has been given a charter to protect victims of armed conflicts. As the crowd contributed account has it, this includes the war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians and other non-combatants.

From his home in Geneva Henry Dunant wrote A Memory of Solferino, recounting the sights he'd witnessed of the wounded left in the field at the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Franco-Austrian War.

Dunant formed the "Committee of the Five", a investigatory commission of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, with Dunant, Gustave Moynier, Louis Appia, Theodore Maunoir, Guillaume-Henri Dufour.
It wasn't long before they had changed the name to the "International Committee for Relief of the Wounded"

A conference was held in the October to gauge measures for improving medical services on the battlefield. It was attended by 36 individuals. The kingdoms and nations represenated by official delegates were Baden, Bavaria, France, Britain, Hanover, Hesse, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain.
This led to the drawing up of the first Geneva Convention, for the "Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

By Convention

One of the earliest formulations of international law was the First Geneva Convention (1864)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Engaged in the congress of Vienna

The first and oldest intergovernmental organisation is the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Treats and treaty

Any prospect of a lasting peace treaty has to be tempered by the knowledge that this form of agreement goes back to 1283BC and the Egyptian-Hittite Peace Treaty or to the border agreement between the rulers of the city-states of Lagash and Umma in Mesopotamia in 2100BC.

Four thousand years of war would give anyone pause as to the efficacy of international agreements if peace accords are anything to go by, though one must allow for a number of border changes to occur over that time, significantly altering the landscape and affecting allegiances.

Trade has taken place for most of our recorded history. Obsidian was bartered  in the Stone Age.
Long distance commerce has been taking place for 150,000 years

The exchange of currency for favours is rooted deep in our past and slaves have been kept in the earliest records circa 1760BC
Slavery has been outlawed completely but human trafficking continues.

Homo erectus migrated across the Levantine Corridor and Horn of Africa about 1.8 million years ago, settling in Eurasia. Ancestors evolved into modern humans 200,000 years ago in Africa. 125,000 years ago, Homo sapiens sapiens reached the Near East from where they spread through Asia and Europe.

Refugees  were fleeing persecution and danger 3,500 years ago, during the flourishing of the great empires.

The Ancient Egyptians performed diagnosis, prognosis and medical examination. The Ancient Greeks added medical ethics with the Hippocratic Oath dating to 5th Century BCE.

The odd epidemic was enough to encourage cooperation in disease control.

Opium growth and use dates to 3,400 years ago when the opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia.

The earliest law we have evidence for is The Code of Lipit-Ishtar (dated to 1860BC) The law courts of Athens drove society in the 4th and 5th century BC

True justice, while evolving from earlier legal systems, did not arrive until the 1200s: trial by jury, the right to face one's accuser, and swearing an oath were introduced as norms.

Intellectual cooperation is more difficult to establish since the further back one goes, the more simple and mechanistic is the assistance. Do we measure the engagement of the intellect by the standards of the day?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Diss emanation

The country code may not be one we want to decipher; too busy discerning other directions in our day to
day. This nation's saving grace assumes a commonality of purpose or implies we should adopt one. In a postmodern and multicultural society living in the twenty first century, this is debatable.

I know the character of my nation by virtue of being a part of that character. Start talking about too many exceptions and the meaning one has attributed to the nation and its pursuits crumbles. It doesn't matter which global trend you embrace or ironic NY singlet you wear, it starts to make the average citizen only nominally a part of their landscape or sense of place.

I like the laconic and marking the character of different times. Australia means so many things to me but I hold these within. If others want to postulate further on our Aussie traditions, let them.