Ethical Foreign Policy. Possible?

Ethical foreign policy?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1997/may/12/indonesia.ethicalforeignpolicy

Advertisements

Capital City vs Seat of Government


The Hague or Amsterdam?  Which is the capital of the Neterlands?  

Maps confirm that the Hague isn’t the capital of The Netherlands.  The Hague is where diplomatic business occurs, where embassies are maintained, and the seat of government for The Netherlands. So it is a bit of a suprise to learn that Amsterdam is the capital of the country. In Amsterdam, the source reminded me, they’re sensitive about it.

Collaboration Behind a Firewall

How to build a culture of collaboration

Organic Rooftops

Rooftops around the World

What a splendid breath-enhancing addition to the city of Washington the new Czech Embassy will be! Here, the ‘e’ in  eDiplomacy also means environment.

Museums and post office administrators see the logic of cutting heating and cooling costs with roof top gardens and lawns that reduce solar impact.  Quebec is moving forward with plans to green the roof of the Beaux Arts Museum.

In New York City, the USPS created a rooftop garden at a processing facility. Shanghai’s General Post Office, a vast marble renovated showcase for  postal services and museum exhibitions, offers a manicured rooftop garden overlooking the Bund.

Mexico City received a greening boost a few years ago when a popular mayor advocated turning rooftops into gardens. Now, a city once known for air pollution is making positive steps towards cleaner air by installing more gardens on rooftops.

The perception in some circles is that the U.S. lags behind progressive European and Asian countries. This green roof industry site suggests the U.S. needs to learn from other countries.  But local governments in the U.S.A. are requiring that buildings are built or retrofit with green roofs.  Atlanta, Georgia is a green leader, retrofitting a green roof on City Hall in 2003.

What is your government doing to enhance the environment by establishing or retrofitting rooftop gardens?

Professional Networking Platforms for Governments

Creating a searchable directory of contact information  for the employees of government agencies isn’t a new concept. Not so long ago, agency telephone directories were the tool of choice for finding colleagues.

Now, social networking sites facilitate internal or cross-agency searches for colleagues with expertise in particular subjects.

LinkedIn is one of the best known professional networking platforms. Others include NingXing, Yammer and other sites detailed on this list.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about social networking among professionals seeking experts for consultation or collaboration.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires staff to register professional data on entry, as part of new employee check-in procedures.  The idea is to have access to the skillsets and knowledge of all employees.  Without a database of skills — which may go far beyond one’s job title, pay grade or academic degrees — how can scientists find the best person for feedback, comment, brainstorming or information?   The professional networking database is behind NRC’s firewall, but they do keep an open door for public participation.

The blog-stirs are drumming interest in the U.S. State Department’s proposed social networking platform with a draft title “Statebook”. 

* 2010 April 27 – Government Computer News – State Department social network in the works

*2010 April 17 – OhMyGov – State Department to Launch Its Own Social Network Statebook

* 2010 April 12 –  GovTech – Facebook Style Site Coming Soon to the U.S. State Department

* 2010 April 8 – IT Web – Departamento de Estado dos EUA terá rede como Facebook (Portuguese version)

* 2010 April 8 –  Information Week –  State Department Building Facebook Style Site

Professional networking sites benefit constituencies and customers, as well as employee groups. The Scottish local government uses professional networks to enable communication with its customers and among public service sectors.  Science Daily reports on the educational benefits of social and professional networking sites.

Food Diplomacy

 

The United States is promoting community gardening to enhance global relations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes community gardens around the world by providing skilled agronomists and master gardeners to local communities.  This You Tube video discusses rooftop gardens and community vegetable gardens.

Some  gardens are hands-on projects in the U.S.A. like the people’s garden on the grounds of the White House or the garden on the National Mall.

 And other gardens are established in foreign countries through U.S. Embassy liaison with the Department of Agriculture.

Seoul’s People’s Garden initiative is growing well.   On Saturday April 10th,  a celebration of the 2010 People’s Garden project at the Ambassador’s residence attracted more than 150 Korean and American volunteers including 61 children.  

Volunteers celebrated spring in Seoul by digging in the earth and planting dozens of vegetable and flower seedlings.  After the planting spree volunteers ate grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. 

By the harvest celebration later this year they’ll feast on grilled vegetables produced in the garden.

The Washington Post reported on the garden created U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

Ecocide::Will UN Treat Seriously?

Ecocide — an international crime to destroy or contaminate the environment that humans live in.

Sustainabilitank.info reports that supporters of a new ecocide law  believe it could be used to prosecute “climate deniers” who distort science and facts to mislead the uninformed and to discourage voters and politicians from tackling climate change and environmental degredation.

British innovator and lawyer Polly Higgins presents a declaration of planetary rights, and a proposal that declares mass destruction of ecosystems a crime on a par with genocide.  Well, actually, destroying where humans live is the essential genocide, not “on a par with”.

Consider ::  Will it matterwhether it is a crime to eliminate any categories of humans  (genocide) if there is no habitable place for any humans?