All posts by k0e61959

Protocolary Meeting of the OAS Permanent Council in Honor of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, visited the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to address OAS Member States and OAS Secretary General, Jose Miguel Insulza. During his address, he referred to the OAS as “the world’s oldest regional organization” and stressed its importance in the hemisphere as 22 U.N. member states are from the Americas.

In the global context, Secretary Ban Ki-Moon talked about the recent nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; the situation in Syria, in which over 60,000 people have been brutally killed; the Middle East, in which we must continue to work for peace between Israelis and Palestinians; “sustained and systemic crisis” across the Sahel region, Mali; and drug trafficking worldwide for which he said that “The United Nations is committed to working to combat these global challenges.”

Additionally, he placed special attention on the concept of the “complementarity” of the priorities of the UN and OAS, for which he maintained he has identified five areas that need cooperative action in order to make a difference, which are: (1) Sustainable Development, (2) Preventive diplomacy, (3) Supporting nations in transition, (4) Building a more secure world, (5) Empowering women and young people. He argued that this list aligns with the OAS-UN four pillars: democracy, development, security, and human rights.

Secretary Ban Ki-Moon argued that development was important, he praised the progress made in the Americas in reducing poverty, thus pointing out some “structural problems” and the high degree of inequality. Moreover, he stressed the need for solutions to climate change, and summoned the support of the region. He ended his address with saying that it is “crucial to leading us all to a better world of dignity, opportunity, prosperity and social justice.”

“The Religious Question in Modern China” by David Palmer

“The Religious Question in Modern China”by David Palmer

Nov. 30, 2012 – 12:30 pm, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University – Washington D.C

For my second D.C. event assignment I attended a conference at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. The Religious Question in Modern China it’s a book written by Dr. David Palmer, a professor at the Department of Sociology at Hong Kong University.

During the event, Dr. Palmer discussed the cultural movements and religion in China, and how these things have shaped the current secular state of China. He discussed the different religions in current day China such as Christianity Buddhism, Daoism, Muslim, and some other minor ritualistic religions. He further talked about how Daosim expressed local culture Buddhism expresses civilization and Christianity is the “Seed of Secularization” and how ritual traditions are different due to all the social forces in China. Moreover, Dr. Palmer also talked about his theory of the 3 scenarios:

  1. 1)  The 1st scenario = The Western Model: Which reflects the freedom of religion in
    which governments would allow their citizens more space for expression of religious beliefs. Foe ex. The privatization of Religion – by opening religious businesses in China.
  2. 2)  The 2nd Scenario = The Qing Dynasty Model: Which creates and promotes directly and indirectly Maoism, Buddhism, Daoism and the idea of “reincarnation” – as well as the new era idea of “applying for reincarnation.”
  3. 3)  The 3rd Scenario = Which talks about the Government going back to ritualistic religion and becoming a “Spiritual Utopia,” the resurrection of Maoism, Marcisist & socialist ideology. He explained that this scenario cannot come to a full circle because people don’t want the state to have full control of government.

Furthermore, the author talked about the issue of “western culture” in China and how “westerners” believed China had no religion because of the comparison made with the western experience of Christianity. Additionally, he talked about the “sacred” and the “traditional ritualistic” religions in the Villages of Southern China, as well as the “profane.” Also, the constant battle against the Chinese Government corrupting everything it touches and how is always trying to fall back on the “religion by the emperor” idea, in order to have absolute control of the nation. The closing remarks stated that the “Religious Question” is “Evolution.” Dr. Palmer explained that cultural creativity has been going on for sometime now due to the fact that nothing is cast in stone; therefore, the future of religion in China is wide open.