Center for Inquiry Press Release
I apologize for the prolonged inactivity in this blog. It was due to personal and professional issues that took up all of my time. I am still feeling the effects but I am trying hard to get back to some sort of semi-regular schedule.
I recently got an e-mail from the Center for Inquiry. I will reproduce the e-mail in it’s entirety since I think it is very important and there is no need for me to comment.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Austin Dacey
Phone: (212) 504-2945 ext. 3
U.S. Must Embrace Obligations of Global Citizenship and Ratify and Apply International Treaties, Says Leading Humanist Organization
Amherst, New York (March 31, 2008)—The recent United States Supreme Court decision in Medellin v. Texas, allowing the State of Texas to ignore a judgment of the International Court of Justice, highlights the country’s shameful failure to live up to its obligations as a global citizen, according to the Center for Inquiry, a leading humanist organization.
The Center for Inquiry’s representative to the United Nations, Dr. Austin Dacey, commented, “If the United States has made a unique contribution to the world, it is the foundational American idea that the power of nation-states is shaped by norms that come before and go beyond the nation-state.”
The International Court of Justice had ruled that the convictions of José Medellin and other Mexican nationals be reviewed because they had been denied their rights under the Vienna Convention—a treaty to which the United States is a party. The Vienna Convention requires foreign consulates to be informed when one of their citizens is arrested.
The Supreme Court’s decision forms part of a disturbing pattern in recent years in which the United States has either repudiated or refused to honor its international commitments and obligations. Since 2000, United Nations members have committed themselves to 929 new treaty actions. In that same period, the United State reversed its support for at least five major treaties, including the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty and the International Criminal Court.
In a recent editorial in Free Inquiry magazine, Center for Inquiry chairman Dr. Paul Kurtz observes that this stance represents a betrayal of America’s commitments. “Following World War II, there was great support in the United States for a new kind of world order based on cooperation among nations,” Kurtz said. “This country was in the vanguard of those proclaiming and defending explicit visions of human rights. By contrast, U.S. foreign policy in recent years has been unilateral and preemptive, costing us friends worldwide.”
Refusal to honor our obligations to the global community squanders this country’s moral capital around the world.
As an expositor of humanist values that transcend boundaries of state, ethnicity, and sect, the Center for Inquiry calls on the United States to honor our international commitments and implement fully the provisions of the Vienna Convention and all other international treaties and covenants to which the United States is a party.
The Center for Inquiry also calls upon Congress and the leadership of both major parties to work to ratify other important treaties that have been accepted by the vast majority of the international community.
The Center for Inquiry/Transnational, a nonprofit, educational, advocacy, and scientific-research think tank based in Amherst, New York, is also home to the Council for Secular Humanism, founded in 1980; the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP), founded in 1976; and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. The Center for Inquiry’s research and educational projects focus on three broad areas: religion, ethics, and society; paranormal and fringe-science claims; and medicine and health. The Center’s Web site is www.centerforinquiry.net .
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