Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’
Project America - Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Labor Participation Limits Children for Some
Published Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

In recent decades, the increasing participation of women in paid work has been driving employment and fertility trends.  For example, the United Nations states that the gap between males and females in the labor force has been shrinking as labor growth for women eclipsed that of men for every region of the world except Africa.  In developed countries, like the United States, increasing female labor force participation has been linked to the completion of the fertility transition — the point at which couples of all races and income begin to deliberately limit the number of children women bear.

By 1980, fertility levels in most of the developed industrialized countries were already close to or below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. Labor force participation rates of women in the prime ages of 25-54 years continued to rise in the 1990s to between 60 to 85 percent and by the turn of the century fertility was well below replacement.  In several of the transition economies, the economic participation of women has actually been falling, especially in the 1980s, but there has been a clear decline in fertility rates, especially in the 1990s, almost to below replacement.  However, developing countries have only seen a slow decline or in some cases stalled.

President Intends to Submit UN Treaty for Ratification
Published Monday, August 17th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

Recently, President Obama announced his intentions to sign and submit to the Senate for ratification an international human rights treaty. In the past the US has ratified only three of 26 international human rights treaties, given reluctance from some in Congress.  The treaty in question is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and it has been signed by 141 nations including Yemen and Sudan, ratified by 60 countries.  Historically, the US created the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, yet as the UN contemplated a treaty for the disabled in 2001, Bush-era diplomats declared disability a domestic issue.

In the US, there are 37.8 million disabled; the greatest group facing disability is the group 16-64 years of age followed closely by the group 65 and over.  Many believe that by signing the Disability Teaty, the US will put its reputation and influence behind it, and thus more will adhear to its provisions.  Worldwide, there are 650 million people living with a disability; 85% live in developing nations.

US Elected to UN Human Rights Council After 3 Year Absence
Published Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

For the first time since the election reforms of the new United Nations Human Rights Council (previously known as the U.N. Human Rights Commission), the United States has been elected to sit on the 47 member council. The US had initially opposed the creation of the Council and refused to stand for election three years ago along with Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau. Initially, the Bush Administration agreed to fund the council and be an observer, but this was withdrawn. The Obama Administration reversed the Bush position and was elected along with 17 other countries such as Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

US and UN relations have been strained in other aspects of administration, especially in regards to contributions. The United States has, since 1992, sought a U.N. General Assembly reduction of the US peacekeeping assessment (budget contribution) to 25%, which would have increased other countries’ assessments. Despite the General Assembly’s refusal, the US has since Fiscal Year 1995 set its own assessment level of 25%. In 2001, the UN agreed to progressively reduce the US assessment levels; those levels have shrunk from the 28.15% in 2001 to 26% in 2007. However in 2005, despite Senator Biden’s efforts to set the cap at 27.1%, Congress chose to keep the US assessment at 25%. According to the UN, the efforts to cap its assessment have lead to an accumulation of debt by the US for its UN peacekeeping accounts at $1.3 billion, as well as a General Budget debt of 846 million.