United States President, Barack Obama took a trip to Paris to meet with leaders from 150 nations on Nov 30th and it was not just to discuss the recent terrorist attacks. There is another issue at large, and that is global warming. The meeting that took place in Paris was the COP21 climate conference. President Obama has said that climate change poses an enormous threat to the planet currently and for future generations. No nation is immune to this and it is an issue that needs to be handled with urgency. With the US being the second largest contributor to the problem Obama has made it his duty to make change. At the conference he stated, “The United States not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”
The goal of the conference was to get countries on board with converting to clean energy and cutting carbon emissions. At the conference 181 nations pledged that they would combat man-made carbon dioxide pollution. For other nations that can not afford this switch president Obama has offered to help pay their share and is urging business leaders to contribute to this as well.
There is just one problem with all of this, none of it is legally binding. Getting a treaty to pass on this issue seems like it would be an easy thing considering it involves the entire planet but like most things it is more complicated than it seems. It is hard to get that many countries to agree on practically anything. Not to mention president Obama is fearful that the treaty would not pass with the house of representatives. Without something legally binding like a treaty will we see the necessary changes needed to save our planet?
In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty. The main goals of the treaty were to guarantee Jordan the restoration of their land by setting defined boundaries and also splitting up the water supply that came from Yarmouk and Jordan rivers between the two countries. Though this treaty is still holding up today there is a lot of controversy over it. Jordanian people are not in favor of this treaty. In fact, there was actually a poll taken in 2011 about this and 52% of Jordanian people said that their government should cancel the agreement. Just a few weeks ago thousands of Jordanian people rallied in the streets and torched Israeli flags, chanting things like “The land is ours, Jerusalem is ours and Allah is with us,”.
You may be asking if so many Jordanian people oppose the treaty then why is it still in place? The truth is, the benefits outweigh the cons. In a sense, Jordan needs Israel to maintain stability because Jordan is not as strong of a country as Israel. If Jordan were to cut ties with Israel they would most likely get caught in a crossfire with neighboring countries. It is said that Israeli is the regional policeman, meaning that they protect Jordan. Jordan is and has been under a great amount of economic stress which is why it is essential for them to maintain peace with Israel. They get a lot of funding from the US and it is possible that a disruption in the treaty would cause that aid to stop. Not to mention, a huge portion of Jordan’s population is Palestinian people and it is a fear that without the treaty they would have to flee the country because Israeli and Palestinian people have conflict. For the sake of the countries security, Jordan puts up with Israel and that is unlikely to change.
Ever since the Soviet Union and Ukraine cut ties, the economy in Ukraine had been at a downward spiral. Due to mismanagement by the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, economic growth and funding were minimal. The people of Ukraine, especially the ones living in Maidan, grew tired of the corruption. They sought change which involved no longer living in ” a state in which the government robbed the public rather than served it, in which the courts covered up injustice rather than right it, in which prosecutors perpetrated crimes instead of investigating them” (Kharkiv et al, 2014).
Protests in Maidan begun in February 2014. Within a three day span, over 100 protesters had died at the hands of the police and others that were deployed by the government. This caught the eye of foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France, resulting in an agreement to increase the power of the Rada [Ukraine’s unicameral parliament]. This agreement also pushed presidential elections up to December 2014. This effort however was not enough for the people of Maidan. They decided to take matters into their own hands by making a statement that if “…Yanukovych was not gone by the morning of February 22nd, they would come and get him” (Kharkiv et al, 2014). Yanukovych fled the capital the next day and power was given to the Rada.
This revolution may have gained Ukraine the freedom they were looking for but in terms of economic improvement, help is definitely needed. The change in Government in Ukraine during February of 2015 relates to topics we have discussed in class because this was a civil war [between the people and the government]. There could have been various other alternatives but Yanukovych did not want to negotiate and therefore the people took action. As we have also learned in class war can be very costly. In this case the cost was lives of protesters.