United Nations

Decriminalised Portugal: Patients, not criminals

We have written about the effects of decriminalisation of drugs in Portugal before.

Al Jazeera has a new look at what has happened there and it is contrary to what all the doomsayers have told us.

In search of a solution to the growing drug crisis, a committee of judges, psychiatrists and scientists was formed. The committee had the radical idea to contemplate legalising all forms of drugs – from heroin to cannabis – which would open the possibility to start treating drug users as patients instead of criminals.

Goulao was one of the nine members of the committee.

“We started [from scratch] when developing our policy. But throughout the process, we always considered addiction as a health issue,” he explained to Al Jazeera. “To legalise drugs conflicted with the United Nations drug convention system, though, so we had to tone down our ideals.”

Portugal is one of the 106 states that signed into the UN drug convention in 1988, which aimed at promoting interaction between the countries to battle the international trade of drugs.

What came about was a plan to decriminalise all forms of drugs when the culprit is caught with a small amount, making possession only punishable under the administrative law – for example, by a fine instead of a prison sentence.

After the arrest, a clear distinction between the recreational and addictive use of drugs would be made. The recreational user receives the fine for using drugs in public, while the addict is encouraged to subscribe to a treatment programme, which is paid for by the government.   Read more »

Spot on Judith: “I see a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring.”

Judith Collins is dead right in her comments about who is responsible for the so-called child poverty issue.

Of course, the perpetually outraged have decided to scream and the Media party have joined in.

Children’s advocates are upset by Justice Minister Judith Collins’ comments apparently blaming many child poverty problems on parents.

At the Police Association annual conference in Wellington, the minister responded to a question from a Northland police officer, who said police were often busy with gangs, RNZreported.

Gangs often had members who experienced poverty as children, he said.

New Zealand child welfare policies were criticised by the United Nations in its latest report, which called for urgent measures to combat violence, abuse, and neglect.

Collins said the government was doing more for child poverty than the UN and money was available in New Zealand for those in need, the report said.    Read more »

Marama Davidson’s “Ship of Fools”

Fairfax has published an opinion piece about Marama Davidson’s “Ship of Fools”.

The sovereign integrity of states is one of those building blocks on which the modern world operates.

It is a guiding tenet of international law, and one of the founding principles of the United Nations.

In the case of Israel’s protection of the waters on the southern end of its country, these principles are confirmed by the Oslo Accords and more recently by the UN Security Council.

So when a New Zealand politician openly and unashamedly decides to violate international law and another country’s sovereignty for the sake of a media stunt, that act will inevitably reflect poorly on that politician, the party they represent, and sadly, even on our Parliament.   Read more »

Helen Clark’s UN failure: the post mortem

The same journalists who were her cheerleaders are now kicking the shit out of her. The media were calling Clark a favourite a few months ago…now they are saying her chances were hopeless from the get go.

Audrey Young plays listicles:

After months of campaigning and six ballots it is evident there are many. Here are the top 10:

1. State of Origin I: She was not from Eastern Europe when it was considered Eastern Europe’s turn in the rotational tradition of appointment.

2. State of Origin II: She was not from Europe at all which was considered the second best option by the adherents to the rotational ethos including Russia and France.

3. Leadership Style: While both have been competent leaders of countries and UN agencies, he as UN High Commissioner for Refugees and she as head of the UN Development Programme, Guterres is seen as a warmer character than Clark.

4. Refugee crisis: The severity of the refugee crisis facing Europe cannot but have enhanced the prospects of Guterres.   Read more »

It’s over for Hels

Poor Helen Clark…she’s done and dusted in her bid to be boss of the world.

Helen Clark’s bid for the top job at the United Nations has finally been sunk, with the Security Council unanimously endorsing another candidate.

The Government says it has no regrets about backing Clark, with the campaign “well worth it” given the chance to promote a Kiwi on the world stage.

In the sixth straw poll for the UN secretary-general position, former Portugese prime minister Antonio Guterres was announced as the winner, with a formal endorsement “by acclamation” to take place on Friday (NZ time).   Read more »

I know why John Key is helping Helen Clark

The Media party are all a flutter trying to work out why Key is helping Hels.

High up in a building that jostles for space on New York’s Third Ave is where Team Clark is based – the dedicated group of Foreign Affairs staffers tasked with backing Helen Clark’s bid to lead the United Nations.

This is where Clark comes to discuss her “talking points” for upcoming meetings, and for a “debrief” afterward. Notes are kept of her various meetings and conversations, tabs are kept on which countries might be supporting Clark’s bid and – though no one will admit it – there will likely be assessments of her rivals as well.

Another dedicated team based back in Wellington is also working on Clark’s bid. Coupled with the former prime minister’s legendary drive and energy, one thing is clear about this campaign – team Clark is not going to to die wondering if it could have done more.

Prime Minister John Key keeps making the point that Clark’s place in the middle of the pack so far has nothing to do with her credentials or ability but everything to do with geopolitical realities. You can make the same case about the team of experts working in the background of her campaign.

[…]   Read more »

John Key absolutely kills any chance Helen Clark had left

Telling the Top Five that Helen will sort it all out by making wholesale changes, such as attempting to remove veto rights will absolutely ensure her future is scuttled.  

The last thing the Top Five want is any radical change.

Prime Minister John Key has told the United Nations it needs Helen Clark to be its next secretary-general.

“This is not the time for a business-as-usual appointment for secretary-general,” he said in his speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday.

“The next secretary-general must have the courage, experience and skills necessary to lead this organisation, to keep it relevant and responsive.”   Read more »

Perhaps it’s time John Key stopped hugging a corpse

Helen Clark

John Key seems still enamoured with the soulless corpse otherwise known as Helen Clark.

Prime Minister John Key has met Helen Clark at the United Nations in New York and assured her the government will continue to support her bid to become the next UN secretary-general.

Key’s meeting with the former Labour prime minister took place soon after he arrived in New York on Monday for UN leaders week.    Read more »

Time for a Aus-Exit from the “unelected swill” of the United Nations

I do enjoy a party  that has politicians prepared to call a spade a spade. Pauline Hanson’s party, One Nation has impressed me with its willingness to raise the issues of both Muslim immigration and the corruption and uselessness of the United Nations. This willingness to be unpopular with the media and to say politically incorrect things because they are the truth, is what ultimately is going to protect Australia. Where are the New Zealand politicians prepared to protect New Zealand? Apart from Winston Peters no other politician  in New Zealand has stepped up to the plate. Why not a NZ-Exit? It is time for some strong and decisive leadership.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has urged Australia to mimic Britain’s Brexit and leave the “socialistic, monolithic” United Nations during his first speech to Parliament.

Read more »

That’s nice, but they don’t get a vote

Apparently, the staff at the UN think Helen Clark is best suited for the job as head of the UN.

Helen Clark has won a poll taken among United Nations staff on who the best candidate for secretary-general is.

Miss Clark has been insisting she will keep campaigning for the job, despite disappointing results so far in informal ballots taken among Security Council members.

Miss Clark received eight ‘discourage’ votes in this week’s poll. Member states rate each candidate by choosing ‘encourage’, ‘discourage’ or ‘no opinion’.

She was placed sixth after the first poll and has dropped to seventh place in the subsequent two polls.   Read more »

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