U.N. Treaties – A Threat to U.S. Sovereignty?

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY –   On April 11, 2007, Professor Jose E. Alvarez, Hamilton Fish Professor of international Law and Diplomacy at Columbia University, will speak on “U.N. Treaties – A Threat to U.S. Sovereignty? Professor Gayl S. Westerman, who teaches International Law at Pace Law School and is director of International Programs, will serve as moderator.  Dr. David Stillman, president of the United Nations Association of the USA Westchester Chapter (UNA Westchester), will chair the event.  The event is co-sponsored by Pace Law School and the United Nations Association Westchester Chapter.    The talk will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the New York Judicial Institute, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY.  For information call:  Jeanne Betsock Stillman, (914) 478-3450, email jbs@stratdev.com.   Directions to the Judicial Institute can be found at:  http://www.law.pace.edu

Winning U.S. ratification of UN Treaties, and adherence to treaties, is a high priority for the United Nations Association –as well as for confirming the leadership of the U.S. in the world.  This will be a good time to learn and talk about the status of select treaties as well as the underlying issues.  The UNA-USA National Convention in March 2007 calls upon

“the President and the Senate to take all necessary actions for US accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Mine Ban Treaty), and participate in and support the ongoing negotiations leading to a global small arms treaty.”

It also calls upon “the President and the Senate to take all necessary actions for US ratification of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to abide by, and to advocate universal good faith for international obligations.”

It also “urges the President to seek immediate ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and calls on the Senate to provide its advice and consent to ratification thereof; and urges the US government to join the “Meeting of the Parties” scheduled for December 2007 in an effort to achieve international consensus and US participation in a successor agreement by 2012 and to contribute to that international effort this country’s vast intellectual resources in this field.

In addition to teaching at Columbia University, Professor Alvarez is president of the American Society of International Law. A frequent keynoter and commentator on a broad range of international legal topics, Prof. Alvarez=s published lectures since 1999 have addressed, among other things, why states comply (or not) with international rules, why international lawyers based in the United States and Europe often disagree, the impact of the UN=s counterterrorism efforts on human rights, the challenges faced by international criminal courts, and the operation of the North American Free Trade Agreement=s (NAFTA=s) investment chapter.  His book International Organizations as Law-Makers was published by Oxford University Press, 2005.  He is an Adviser at the American Law Institute, for the Project on Principles of Trade Law: The World Trade Organization (2002-present), and has been a member since 1999.  He is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

Professor Westerman teaches courses in International Law, Contracts, Commercial Law, and the Prosecution of War Crimes at Pace and is the director of International Programs. Her legal scholarship has focused primarily on the Law of the Sea.

Also at this meeting, UNA Westchester will award prizes to three High School Essay Contest winners, who wrote on the topic ““What can the United States do to help improve Maternal Health Around the World?” – MDG # 5. The local winners are:  Tina Liu, daughter of Liming Liu and Sizhen Zhang, a senior at Ossining High School, 1st prize.  Kaitlyn Raymond, daughter of Paul and Kathryn Raymond, and a sophomore at Tuckahoe High School, 2nd prize; and Frank J. Cirillo, son of Frank and Argie Cirillo, a senior at Rye High School, 3rd prize.

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