United Nations Security Council

Donald Trump...

…wants to take Iraq’s oil.
…is making enemies lists.
…is calling his critics “enemies.”
…is keeping his own security force.
…wants the Army to target civilians.
…would make the Army target civilians.
…wants to expand domestic surveillance.
…wants to make it easier to sue the press.
…wants to cut back our intelligence agencies.
…thinks security takes precedence over privacy.
…is undermining the legitimacy of the court system.
…is threatening journalists for unfavorable reporting.
…is threatening to enact martial law in American cities.
…thinks the 1st Amendment offers too much protection.
…needs the names of people working on climate change.
…needs the names of people working on gender equality.
…offered to “destroy the career” of a Texas state Senator.
…is undermining and telling lies to delegitimize the media.
…only supports transparency when it’s working to his benefit.
…is banning a religion from immigrating to the United States.
…will prevent administration officials from appearing on CNN.
…is going to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants.
…is appointing unqualified cronies to national cabinet positions.
…is seeking the ability to purge the government of non-loyalists.
…is freezing federal agencies from communicating through twitter.
…is dismantling anti-discrimination protections for at-risk students.
…is showing no regard for the handling of delicate classified information.
…his chief advisor is using her position to push Trump branded products.
…is using his position as President to make money for his businesses.
…needs the names of State Department employees working on extremism.
…is demanding apologies from news organizations that report on WH leaks.
…has fired the acting Attorney General for “betraying the State Department.”
…is completely ignoring communications from the Office of Government Ethics.
…is allowing his chief strategist to destroy or prevent a White House paper trail.
…is presenting “alternative facts” (lying) to the American people.
…is frustrated that he is unable to govern the same way that he ran his businesses.
…is only taking questions from pro-administration news agencies at press conferences.
…wanted to oust all inspectors general to remove ethics oversight over government agencies.
…his policy advisor is warning that the President’s national security policy “will not be questioned.”
…withheld important national security information from the Vice President and the rest of his team.
…his campaign may have been working with another nation to effect the outcome of a democratic election.
…has removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s permanent seat on the National Security Council.
…has given Steve Bannon, an alt-right white nationalist, a permanent seat on the National Security Council.
…insulted Australia, an ally of the United States, and may have threatened to invade Mexico, also an ally of the United States.
…has planted hand picked supporters in his crowds.
…has given cabinet positions to his campaign donors.
…has undermined the legitimacy of protesters.
…fired advisors who don’t fully support his policies.
…considering quitting the U.N. Human Rights Council.
…rejected intelligence reports that don’t fully support his policies.
…went a full week without attending the Presidential Daily Intelligence Briefing.
…asked the FBI to undermine news reports on the administration’s ties to Russia.
…asked intelligence officials and key Republican lawmakers to counter Russia stories.
…has blocked CNN, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, the BBC and the Guardian from participating in a press conference.

[from Reddit; Source(s)]

No Matter What (Part 3)

Prompt: Imagine you’re an Avenger and you meet Bucky for the first time during Civil War

Word Count: 2630

Warning: Language, fighting, violence, angst

Notes: This will follow Cap America: Civil War…. I envisioned a younger reader who’s like 19-24 years old, btw. Thanks to my beta @like-a-bag-of-potatoes

Forever Tags: @amarvelouswritings @cocosierra94 @essie1876 @magpiegirl80 @letsgetfuckingsuperwholocked @harleyquinnandscarletwitch @iamwarrenspeace @marvel-imagines-yes-please @superwholocked527 @myparadise1982sand @missinstantgratification @thejulesworld @rda1989 @marvelloushamilton @munlis  @bubblyanarocks3 @thefridgeismybestie @random-fluffy-pink-unicorn @hardcollectionworldtrash @igiveupicantthinkofausername @kaliforniacoastalteens @feelmyroarrrr

Sebastian Stan Tag: @nedthegay @lostinspace33 @alwayshave-faith @elleatrixlestrange @buenostardissherlock  @lenawiinchester @the-red-world-of-jess-chibi @memory-of-a-goldfish @mellsstark

Bucky Barnes: @nedthegay @lostinspace33 @alwayshave-faith @elleatrixlestrange @ultrarebelheart @lenawiinchester

No Matter What: @void-imaginations @devil-may-cry-11-blog @james-heaven-barnes @shifutheshihtzu

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was only a few weeks after the problems in Africa that Tony was coming to the compound. You had met him a few times and you loved his wit, his humor, his intelligence, but sometimes he gave off a very…cocky and arrogant vibe. But you still loved to be around him.

Steve was watching more footage and coverage of the accident, as was Wanda. He paused his to go check on her while you and Vision stood in the kitchen.

Keep reading

Subhi Nahas

Subhi is a writer and LGBT activist for peopel in the MENA region, from Syria.
idlib syria
At fifteen his therapist told his family he was gay, he wasn’t allowed to leave the house anymore and feared his life while “Syrian Authorities and Jabhat al Nusra raided Cafes and parks where LGBT people gathered.
In 2012 he and other students were assaulted and harassed by militants while heading to University. He was called homophobic slurs and feared for his life. The militants let them go but at home his father and Subhi had their last fight where he was physically harmed he says “The scar on my chin is a constant reminder of his violent reaction to my being different.
The same year he fled from Syria to Lebanon and then to Turkey where he stayed for years and began with his activism, he co-founded “LGBT-Arabi” a group to bring LGBT refugees and locals and he even started a blog about LGBT rights.
In 2014 The situation in Syria worsened and his safety in Turkey was threatend through a childhood friend who joined ISIS. He was threatend to be killed through a mutual friend.
Through “ORAM” (Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration) he was able to resettle to the US where he now advocates for vulnerable refugees through “ORAM”. He even spoke at the “UNSC” (United Nations Security Council) to bring awareness to vulnerable refugees.

Macron Wins! Well done, France!

Yes, I know Macron is a 39 year-old banker with no electoral experience, but he’s smart and sane and, right now, that counts for something.

It’s like France saw Britain then the U.S. dive headfirst into an empty pool and said, “Hey! Let’s swim instead!”

Two huge concerns:

1) LePen and her supporters won’t go silently into that good night. France must still contend with burgeoning fascism. But unlike in the U.S., it won’t be emanating from the seat of power.

2) France is one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the others being the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and China. Which means two of the five, the U.S. and now France, are led by political novices.

We’re in uncharted waters, but at this moment, let’s celebrate the wisdom of the French voters and be grateful they resoundingly rejected fascism.

Why Israel is a Problem
  • Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana, Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S.?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because "We control America?"
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing.
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
  • Answer: Israel
Brave Little One. (Rogers/Reader)

Summary: You couldn’t imagine believing in anyone more than you believed in Steve Rogers. You had followed him into the battle of New York; and you had followed him further into bringing down Hydra-Shield; furthermore, you had fought Ultron and won, and you knew whatever it was- he’d do the same for you. Along the way, you had fallen madly in love with him, and he with you. So when the accords were laid in front of you in black and white, videos of what you’d all done in defense of the people, you knew the decision would be an easy one. Til he looked up at you with bright blue eyes, defiance swimming in them and your heart broke.

Or, the one where Captain America refuses to sign the accords and the ink of your signature was practically already drying on the page.

Pairing: Steve/Reader (female pronouns)

A/N: Hi there, so this is going to be my attempt at a multi part story and I kind of liked the idea of lovers torn (the reader and Steve are already in a relationship from the start). The first few parts will be the whirlwind that was the first part of cap3, up til they get arrested and then from there you will start to get backstory on Steve and her, how she was found and joined the avengers, plus angst and swearing because I am apparently part sailor lol but thanks for reading and hope you enjoy lovelies

Disclaimer; i own nothing but the reader’s basic personality and Marvel if y'all want that, you can have it lol

“You have to take responsibility for your actions.” Ross had demanded, showing the havoc the lot of you had wreaked all over the world. “While some see you as heroes, a great many see you as vigilantes.”

You had felt smaller than an ant as he stared you down, eyes beaming directly into yours when he pulled up a video of what you’d done in Sokovia. You had the ability to manipulate the elements, and the gust of wind you’d used to take out a hoard of Iron Legion bots also leveled a whole - empty - block. You had sunk in your chair, eyes darting to Steve’s as he reached out to take your hand with a sorry gaze.

“That’s enough.” Steve had commanded, the clip of Wanda accidentally sending Rumlow through an office building playing behind him. “Cut it off, you made your point Ross.” Then the accords had been introduced, landing in front of you on the table with a resounding bang.

‘Approved by 117 countries’ is all you could hear. 117. 117 countries saw you all as a liability, as borderline a problem. 117 countries wanted you to take responsibility for what you’d done. Where did that leave all of you then? You didn’t want to be owned by government officials, with agendas and problems that didn’t fit your job description. That’s why you signed up for the Avengers in the first place, so you wouldn’t be some lab rat. Steve’s hand tightened in yours, your eyes meeting his as he gave you and encouraging smile before glancing over at Tony.

“The UN meets in Vienna three says from now, talk it over.”

-

You had read through the gist of the accords, double and triple checking for loopholes or any kind of mistreatment of you all as humans and so far you couldn’t find any. Sam and Rhodey had been getting into it all afternoon, something about medals and criminals but you weren’t really paying attention as you switched between watching Steve read the accords and Tony sitting despondently - he seemed utterly concentrated.

“I have an equation.” Vision started, earning groans from Sam but you were willing to hear the android man out. And you were glad you did because he made far too much sense. Strength had always bred challenge, Steve’s immediate defensiveness sitting heavily on your chest. You had never felt so disconnected from him then in that moment. You couldn’t figure out what he was thinking, didn’t know what that stone cold expression on his face meant but you knew Steve, knew he’d make the right choice and you’d probably follow right along with it.

“Tony, you’re being uncharacteristically non-hyperverbal.” Natasha pointed out what you’d all already noticed. Tony shifted and it was like a cold breeze through the room.

“It’s because he’s already made up his mind.” Steve’s jaw tightened, hand crumpling the papers a bit as Tony stood. Your eyes went wide, mind catching up to your eyes and relaying the message of understanding. That wasn’t despondent posture you’d noticed. It wasn’t concentration, it was acceptance and the relaxation in his choice.

“Actually, I’m nursing an electromagnetic headache. That’s what’s going on, Cap. It’s just pain. It’s discomfort. Who’s putting coffee grounds in the disposal? Am I running a bed and breakfast for a biker gang?” Tony deflected. He tapped his phone against the wireless photo display, letting a photo of a young boy none of you recognized pop up on the screen. “Oh, that’s Charles Spencer by the way. He’s a great kid. Computer engineering degree, 3.6 GPA. Had a floor level gig at Intel planned for the fall. But first, he wanted to put a few miles on his soul… before he parked it behind a desk. See the world. Maybe be of service. Charlie didn’t want to go to Vegas or Fort Lauderdale, which is what I would do. He didn’t go to Paris or Amsterdam, which sounds fun. He decided to spend his summer building sustainable housing for the poor. Guess where, Sokovia.” You looked away from the photo with tears stuck in your throat. You had been the one to level most of Sokovia. “He wanted to make a difference, I suppose. I mean, we won’t know because we dropped a building on him while we were kicking ass. There’s no decision-making process here. We need to be put in check! Whatever form that takes, I’m game. If we can’t accept limitations, if we’re boundary-less, we’re no better than the bad guys.”

“Tony, someone dies on your watch, you don’t give up.” What was Steve doing? Did he just not hear what Stark said? Responsibility needed to be taken for what you’d all done.

“Who said we’re giving up?”

“We are if we’re not taking responsibility for our actions. This document just shifts the blames.” You were this close to arguing him when Rhodey cut you off.

“I’m sorry. Steve. That… That is dangerously arrogant. This is the United Nations we’re talking about. It’s not the World Security Council, it’s not SHIELD, it’s not HYDRA.”

“No, but it’s run by people with agendas and agendas change.”

“That’s good. That’s why I’m here. When I realized what my weapons were capable of in the wrong hands, I shut it down and stop manufacturing.”

“Tony, you chose to do that. If we sign this, we surrender our right to choose. What if this panel sends us somewhere we don’t think we should go? What if there is somewhere we need to go, and they don’t let us? We may not be perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.” Why was Steve fighting this so much? He had a good point but was he fighting being under supervision or afraid of another Hydra-Shield situation?

“If we don’t so this now,” You finally broke in, “Do you think it’ll be done to us?” Tony nodded. They’d force your hand.

“You’re saying they’ll come for me, and you.” She placed her hand on your arm, accepting your pained smile with one of her own. She’d been your best friend through all this - minus Steve, of course. But she understood you in a way no one else could.

“We would protect you, both of you.” Vision explained. But they couldn’t dedicate their lives to protecting yours when there was a whole world out there.

You had never felt so confused in your life with both sides of the coin having equally valid opinions. You had to take responsibility, that was the agreed upon consensus but how? By letting others help decide so it was less likely for there to be so much collateral or was it truly just shifting blame around so it didn’t rest on all of you? Or was it arrogant like Rhodey said to think you could make decisions that involved innocent lives when aliens and sentient AI robots were involved?

“Perhaps Tony’s right.” All of your heads went on a swivel to Natasha. What? “If we have one hand on the wheel, we can still steer but if we take it off, then nothing.” The way Sam’s neck elongated, hands folding over his chest as he leaned closer would have been comical in any other situation but you could feel an impending fight and for once, looking in Steve’s eyes didn’t calm you in the slightest because you still couldn’t tell what he was thinking.

“I’m sorry, aren’t you the woman who told the government to kiss her ass a few years ago?” Sam exclaimed. “Then released all the Shield files?”

“I’m just reading the terrain.” She explained, rolling her eyes when Tony held up his hand. He was grinning like the cheshire cat.

“Focus up. I’m sorry. Did I mishear you or did you agree with me?”

“I want to take it back now.”

“No, no, no. You can’t retract it. Thank you. Unprecedented. Okay, case closed - I win.” Steve’s phone chiming interrupted the small moment of comedy, the look on his face telling you that no one would be winning today.

“i have to go.” You stood with him, following him as he practically flew down the stairs. He stopped halfway, only to turn and drag you into his arms as tears welled in his eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“Peggy.” he didn’t have to say more. You simply let the moment be, forgetting about the accords and how you didn’t know where you stood let alone where he would. You just held the man you loved, while he cried for the woman he never truly got to.

-

Sharon Carter was a beautiful woman with long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes to match. She held herself with a poise you’d seen in old photos of Peggy, but more than that, she held herself with a confidence you wished you could possess. So much confidence that when she started to speak, for the first time that day, you truly listened.

“Margaret Carter was known to most as a founder of SHIELD… but I just knew her as Aunt Peggy. She had a photograph in her office. Aunt Peggy standing next to JFK. As a kid, that was pretty cool. But it was a lot to live up to. Which is why I never told anyone we were related. I asked her once how she managed to master diplomacy and espionage in a time when no one wanted to see a woman succeed at either. And she said, compromise where you can. But where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move… it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in they eye and say “ No, you move.””

It was in that one minute long speech, that one paragraph of profound thinking and intense truth that you made your decision. You don’t know if it was the fact that Peggy Carter, the woman who stood up stronger then she fell, said it or if it was because you’d known all along and just needed a little shove in the right direction. Whatever it was, you finally felt settled for the first time since seeing the accords.

Then you looked over at Steve and it was like someone took your heart in their hands, crushing it with all their might. It was such a strong feeling, such deep emotion that you felt yourself tear up because bright blue was already looking back at you. The resilience in his eyes, the downright stubbornness of a man who was about to be the cause of an absolute shit show, made you question your own resolve enough that you don’t think he realized the truth yet. Not like you had, because you knew it’d break his heart.

He wasn’t going to sign those papers, but you had to.

anonymous asked:

Not the anon who brought up the topic and definitely no expert but where are the israeli jews supposed to go? They are being threatened by the countries around them

Israeli jews are not being asked to go anywhere, the existence of the state of Israel is not being denied by the Palestinian Authority and has been accepted since the PLO acknowledged Israel’s right to exist in 1988. 

You also need to understand why Israel is being ‘threatened’ by countries around them - Israel has been guilty of unprovoked aggression and outright unfounded wars with neighbouring countries for decades. Just today it’s come out that Israel has attacked Syria. The wars with lebanon cannot be viewed outside of the fact that Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon for 18 years, and the original 1982 invasion was entirely unprovoked and condemned internationally. 

You can also not ignore the fact that Israel has pulled out of, and at times outright refused to engage with, negotiations with democratically elected palestinian representatives. In relation to Camp David - for example - the president of Israel at the time has said since “I went to Camp David presuming we would not be reaching an agreement,” - there was no intention to produce peace. Please read from Plowshares into Swords as it gives a very good overview of the failed peace processes and the causes of them - both parties can be allocated guilt. 

Also, the main barriers preventing the peace process is not that Palestinians are demanding the destruction of Israel or asking for the jews of Israel to go anywhere - what they have asked for is a withdrawal from the illegally occupied territories (a withdrawal to the 1967 borders for example), a right for self-determination (in other words a government and control over their own resources) and the right of return for Palestinian refugees (not the removal of the Israeli jewish population - again see United Nations Security Council Resolution 242).  

I just want to briefly touch on the fact that, firstly, Palestine was ethnically cleansed and Palestinians were forced from their homes when the state of Israel was established - are you not concerned about the threats against them? For example a significant amount of those refugees fled to neighbouring countries, one of them being Lebanon. And when the IDF invaded Lebanon those refugees were slaughtered by Israeli backed Phalangist militias (ignoring the massive shelling of refugees by Israel directly, which killed far more innocent people). Where were those Palestinians supposed to go? They fled after their homes and land was taken from them - and yet that didn’t even keep them safe? Are you concerned for their wellbeing and their right to live in peace? 

Israel has repeatedly violates international law and UN Resolutions during the conflict, and any threat against Israel needs to be put in the context of the threat Israel poses to other nations in the area, because there’s a massive amount of historical information that is often (probably purposefully) ignored when the conflict is covered by mainstream (particularly US) media.  

There is an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma and the international community isn’t doing anything to stop it. Here’s what you can do:

- Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your reps office. When you reach them, ask to be connected to the staffer responsible for foreign policy. Tell that person (or leave a voicemail) to please act to stop the genocide happening in Burma. Specifically, you can ask them to sign the bipartisan Dear Colleague letter on the Rohingya crisis in Burma circulated by Reps. Joseph Crowley and Steve Chabot. Don’t forget to leave your name, number and city of residence. Keep calling until they tell you they’ll act.

- You can also call your Senator at (202) 224-3121. Ask them to please act to stop the genocide happening in Burma. Ask if they’ll support a bipartisan effort by Senators Durbin and McCain to pressure Burma to end the slaughter.

- Call Ambassador Nikki Haley’s office at 212-415-4415 and ask her to pressure the United Nations to pass the strongest possible UN Security Council resolution, including targeted sanction against the military and a global arms embargo.

abcnews.go.com
Trump: Iran 'not living up to the spirit' of nuclear deal, despite compliance
President Donald Trump said today that Iran is "not living up to the spirit" of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 under President Obama, just two days after Trump's administration reported that Iran was complying with the requirements laid out in the landmark agreement.
By ABC News

Trump made the remarks at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni Thursday after he was asked if he had “reason to suspect that [Iran is] cheating” on the deal. On Tuesday the administration notified Congress that Iran was continuing to comply with the terms of the deal, a notice that must be given every 90 days.
Iran signed the agreement, formally titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2015 along with the United States and members of the United Nations Security Council.

A Force To Be Reckoned With.

So I’ve had this idea floating around for a while, and finally decided to write it. This is a Bucky/OC fic, set at the start of Civil War, and spanning the length of the film, and possibly after. This is dedicated to two people, @iron-winter who inspires me to write, and is just generally amazing. And @angryschnauzer who got me back into what I like to call ‘Bucky mode’, with her incessant Bucky posts. So, hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Warning: There is a brief mention of rape, torture and kidnapping. You can avoid it. It is part of Riley’s story, but it isn’t essential to read right now. 

Chapter 2


Chapter 1



Riley paused at the door of Wanda’s room. The TV was showing footage from Lagos. Wanda was staring at the television, listening to the hateful comments of news presenters and civilians. None of which had any idea about what went down, or the difficulties of this job. Riley had only been part of the Avengers for a year. She was held captive in the same facility as Wanda and Pietro. She knew exactly what Wanda went through, they’d done similar things to her - though not with her consent. Walking into Wanda’s room she sat down on her bed, and put her arm around the quiet girl.

‘You know they’re all talking out of their asses right?’ She said, giving Wanda a gentle squeeze.

‘But I did that. I killed those people.’

‘You also saved a lot more. If that bomb had gone off, then thousands of people would be dead. Yes, it’s awful that those people are died. You made a mistake. We’ve all done that. I’ve had whole troops die because of a command I gave. It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with. You can’t save everyone.’ Wanda laid her head on Riley’s shoulder.

‘I should have-’ Riley put her hand over Wanda’s mouth.

‘Nuh-uh. None of that. No should’ves, could’ves, or if I had’s. You keep second guessing yourself, and next time- Well, next time it will be a lot worse. The choices we make in the heat of battle, are the hardest ones to deal with. You’re not a soldier, Wanda. You’ve not been trained to deal with this kind of stuff. That’s my fault, not yours.’

‘And mine,’ Steve was in the doorway, remote in his hand. He switched the TV off. ‘We both should have taught you how to handle this.’

‘It’s my fault,’ Wanda said, after removing Riley’s hand from her mouth.

‘It’s not,’ Steve replied, moving further into the room, hands in his pockets. Riley stood up, and patted Wanda’s shoulder.

‘Don’t be too harsh on yourself, darling.’ Riley caressed her cheek, before turning around to leave. ‘Try and talk some sense into her Steve. I have to go find Sam. I promised him a decent training session, seems he thinks he can beat me hand to hand.’ Riley patted Steve’s shoulder and left the room.

Riley sat next to Wanda at the conference table, as the secretary of state talked about the Avengers being dangerous. She took Wanda’s hand as images were shown of Sokovia, and Lagos. She frowned, wondering where he was going with this.

‘Okay, that’s enough,’ Steve said, glancing at her and Wanda. Ross nodded to the guy operating the TV and the footage stopped.

‘For the last 4 years you’ve operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That’s an arrangement the governments of the world can no longer tolerate. I think we have a solution. The Sokovia accords.’ He put a book in front of Wanda. Rhodes gestured for her to hand it over but Riley stopped him. She took the book, and opened the first page. Frowning, she began to read. These accords were talking about them being controlled by a council of countries from around the world. Deciding whether they went into battle, choosing for them. Stopping them from making the choice for themselves as to intervene or not

‘This is bullshit.’ Riley said, shoving the book away from her. Steve picked it up and began to read. Sam and Rhodes were arguing about Secretary Ross. Sam called him an idiot.

‘Secretary Ross has a congressional medal of honor. Which is one more than you have.’ Rhodes said, jabbing his finger at Sam. Riley snorted. Rhodes turned to her frowning.

‘Something to say Captain Stone?’ He asked.

‘I’ve got a congressional medal of honor.’ Rhodes looked at her taken aback.

‘You do?’

‘Four tours in Iraq, three in Afghanistan, Special Forces. Exceptional bravery, resilience, blah blah blah. Does that mean you should all take orders from me? Cause I’ve got a medal?’ Riley asked.

‘That’s not what I meant-’ Rhodes started.

‘Why bring it up then? You obviously think he’s superior to us, cause he’s got a damn medal. I’ve got a damn medal. Doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. And signing this, would be a big mistake.’ Sam nodded, coming to stand next to her.

‘So let’s say we agree to this thing, how long until they lojack us like a bunch of common criminals?’

‘117 countries want us to sign this, 117 countries Sam, and you’re just like nah it’s cool, we got it-’

‘How long are you gonna keep playing both sides?’

‘I have an equation,’ Vision chimed in. Riley stared at him.

‘Oh, this will clear it up.’

‘In the 8 years since Mr Stark announced himself as Iron Man, the number of known enhanced persons has grown exponentially. And during the same period, the number of potentially world-ending events has risen at a commensurate rate.’ Riley understood exactly what he was saying, and she clenched her fists to keep from yelling at Vision.

‘So you’re saying it’s our fault?’ Steve asked.

‘I’m saying there may be a causality. Our very strength invites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict… breeds catastrophe. Oversight… Oversight is not an idea that can be dismissed out of hand.’ Riley snorted.

‘Boom,’ Rhodes exclaimed.

‘That’s ridiculous Vision.’ Riley said, standing up and pacing. ‘You’re saying that because we exist, more bad guys have come crawling out of the woodwork?’

‘Yes, cause and effect,’ Vision replied. Riley scoffed.

‘Right, so because some freaks decided to kidnap me, torture me, rape me, and experiment on me, you’re saying people take that as a challenge. Because of what I can now do?’ Riley shook her head, her hands were trembling, and she clenched them again. Sam came and stood next to her, putting an arm around her. ‘Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds? That because of what was done to me, there are now more people doing bad things? That doesn’t make any sense!’ She shouted.

‘Riley, look at me.’ Steve commanded. Riley turned to him. He nodded at her, and she took a deep breath. Sam lead her over to Wanda, who took her hand and pulled her down onto the sofa. Rhodes looked taken aback. Riley had never told anyone the exact details of what had happened to her. She’d told them that she’d been experimented on. The rest, well, that’s what she went to the VA for, to talk about those things with people who’d been through similar things. Natasha turned to her, and searched her face, looking for something. Apparently she found it, because she nodded and turned to Tony.

‘Tony. You’re being uncharacteristically non-hyperverbal.’

It’s because he’s already made up his mind.’ Steve said.

‘Boy, you know me so well.’ Tony stood up, moving over to the sink, clutching his head. ‘Actually, I’m nursing an electromagnetic headache. That’s what’s going on, Cap. It’s just pain. It’s discomfort. Who’s putting coffee grounds in the disposal? Am I running a bed and breakfast for a biker gang?’ Tony rattled around in the kitchen, thumping things down, before placing his phone on the side, and making it project and image, which everyone stares at. ‘Oh, that’s Charles Spencer by the way. He’s a great kid, computer engineering degree, 3.6 GPA. Had a floor level gig at Intel planned for the fall. But first, he wanted to put a few miles on his soul, before he parked it behind a desk. See the world, maybe be of service. Charlie didn’t want to go to Vegas or Fort Lauderdale, which is what I would do. He didn’t go to Paris or Amsterdam, which sounds fun. He decided to spend his summer building sustainable housing for the poor.’ Tony paused. ‘Guess where, Sokovia.’ Riley shut her eyes, shaking her head. The others looked shocked, upset and angry in varying degrees.

‘He wanted to make a difference, I suppose. I mean, we won’t know because we dropped a building on him while we were kicking ass.’ Tony takes a pill, slamming his cup down. ‘There’s no decision-making process here. We need to be put in check! Whatever form that takes, I’m game. If we can’t accept limitations, if we’re boundary-less, we’re no better than the bad guys.’

‘Tony, someone dies on your watch, you don’t give up.’ Steve said, shutting the book and placing it on his lap.

‘Who said we’re giving up?’

‘We are if we’re not taking responsibility for our actions. This document just shifts the blame,’ Steve said. Riley nodded in agreement.

‘I’m sorry. Steve. That- That is dangerously arrogant. This is the United Nations we’re talking about. It’s not the World Security Council, it’s not Shield, its not Hydra.’ Rhodes said, shaking his head.

‘No, but it’s run by people with agendas and agendas change.’

‘That’s good. That’s why I’m here. When I realized what my weapons were capable of in the wrong hands, I shut it down and stopped manufacturing.’ Tony said, moving into the living room.

‘Tony, you chose to do that. If we sign this, we surrender our right to choose. What if this panel sends us somewhere we don’t think we should go? What if there is somewhere we need to go, and they don’t let us? We may not be perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.’

‘If they decide we’re no longer worth the hassle, what happens then? What happens when something big comes down, and we’re the only ones who can fight it?’ Riley asked.

‘Exactly. Remember New York? The missile?’ Steve said to Tony.

‘Of course I remember, I took it into space. But if we don’t do this now, it’s gonna be done to us later. That’s the fact. That won’t be pretty.’

‘You’re saying they’ll come for me.’ Wanda said. Riley hissed.

‘They can try,’ she said.

‘We would protect you,’ Vision said.

‘Maybe Tony’s right. If we have one hand on the wheel, we can still steer. If we take it off-’ Natasha began.

‘Aren’t you the same woman who told the government to kiss her ass a few years ago?’ Sam interrupted, leaning forward, his arms crossed.

‘I’m just, reading the terrain. We have made some very public mistakes. We need to win their trust back.’

‘The government makes mistakes all the time.’ Riley interjected.

‘Focus up. I’m sorry, did I just mishear you or did you agree with me?’ Tony asked, coming to stand next to Natasha.

‘Oh, I want to take it back now.’

‘No, no, no. You can’t retract it. Thank you. Unprecedented. Okay, case closed - I win.’

‘Don’t be ridiculous Tony. Natasha agrees with you. The rest of us don’t. I do not want someone telling me what I can and can’t do. Especially not with my body. Which is essentially what they’re saying. They’re saying, that we cannot use our powers unless they say it’s okay. I’ve had enough of that. I was in the army for 8 years. I did what I was told. I followed orders. And I still got kidnapped. I still had bad shit happen to me. I’m not going there again. When they decide we’ve outlived our usefulness, it’ll be cages for all of us. I’ve been in a cage. I won’t be put in one again.’ Riley stood up again, shaking her head.

‘That’s not gonna happen Riley,’ Tony tried to reassure her.

‘Yeah, cause you know so much about how the government works, right Tony? You know exactly what they’ll do?’

‘I know this isn’t some agenda to lock us all up, you’re being paranoid!’

‘Oh are we?’ Sam asked. ‘Cause-’

‘I have to go,’ Steve said. He got up and left the room.

‘I’m leaving too. I’m not gonna stand here and debate this with someone who thinks letting the government decide you’re every move is a good idea. Coming Wanda? Sam?’ Riley asked. Together they left the common area.

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Cabralista

“…a 2011 documentary film by Valerio Lopes. It asserts a number of theory-based ideas born around Amilcar Cabral and the independents and human rights movements he led mainly in the 1960’s.
Amílcar Cabral was a Guinea-Bissauan leader, writer, freedom fighter and politician, he was assassinated in 1973.
"Cabralista” reflects the collective memory, how this revolutionary theoretician whose influence reverberated far beyond the African continent is remembered. With never released voice recordings, humanist citations and quotes, timeless footage and cultured visual effects, this film is a unique vision of Africa yesterday and today.
From the first audience granted to an african freedom fighter by the pope Paul VI to Amílcar Cabral in 1970; to his speaking in front of the United Nations security council again as the first defender of African Independence, Cabral’s unique work is remembered in this film by young African and Pan-African scholars filmed in Cape Verde, Libya, Portugal, Guinea Bissau …
” via Youtube link

ibtimes.co.uk
DR Congo: 5 questions to understand 'Africa's World War'
DR Congo is home to the deadliest conflict since WW2.

1. Where is Congo?

Congo, which is one-fourth the size of the United States, shares borders with Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Its border with Rwanda is one of the most volatile and deadly in the world.

2. Why is the conflict in DR Congo nicknamed ‘Africa’s World War’?

With up to six million dead and over two million displaced between 1998 and 2003, DR Congo was home to the deadliest conflict since World War II. At the height of the conflict, nine countries were fighting each other on Congolese soil. Millions more have been driven to the brink by starvation in the country that is the size of Western Europe.

The victims died either as a direct result of fighting or due to malnutrition and disease. Additionally several million women and girls have been subjected to rape, which is used as a weapon of war. A 2011 study showed there are “1, 150 women raped every day, 48 women raped every hour, and four women raped every five minutes” in the DR Congo.

3. What started the war?

Mobutu Sésé Seko was president of the DR Congo, which was also known as Zaire for much of his reign from 1965 to 1997. Mobutu renamed the country Zaire in 1971 as part of his programme of “authenticité” to erase the last vestiges of colonialism.

While Mobutu, a dictator, was courted by the West for decades due to his staunch anti-communist stance, the seeds of DR Congo’s undoing lay in the 1994 assassination of Rwanda’s Hutu president, Juvenal Habyarimana.

After Habyarimana died, a Hutu extremist regime − the “gouvernement intérimaire rwandais” which promoted the Hutu Power agenda− seized power and around 800,000 Tutsis were killed in a space of 100 days in what is now known as the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The leaders armed the Interahamwe and other militia groups, which ultimately carried out genocide acts against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

A Tutsi rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which was led by current president Paul Kagame, managed to drive the Hutu regime away but more than a million Hutu refugees fled into Zaire, as they feared revenge for the genocide.

As Rwanda welcomed a new Tutsi-led government, the presence of the Hutu Interahamwe and Mobutu’s support for his Hutu allies in Zaire precipitated the disaster that was to come.

The United Nations (UN) also played a large role in the conflict, as its UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) empowered the Hutu extremists as leaders of the refugee camps and gave them control of food distribution.

After Habyarimana died, a Hutu extremist regime − the “gouvernement intérimaire rwandais” which promoted the Hutu Power agenda− seized power and around 800,000 Tutsis were killed in a space of 100 days in what is now known as the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The leaders armed the Interahamwe and other militia groups, which ultimately carried out genocide acts against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

A Tutsi rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which was led by current president Paul Kagame, managed to drive the Hutu regime away but more than a million Hutu refugees fled into Zaire, as they feared revenge for the genocide.

As Rwanda welcomed a new Tutsi-led government, the presence of the Hutu Interahamwe and Mobutu’s support for his Hutu allies in Zaire precipitated the disaster that was to come.

The United Nations (UN) also played a large role in the conflict, as its UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) empowered the Hutu extremists as leaders of the refugee camps and gave them control of food distribution.

No longer backed by the United States and France, Mobutu was forced to flee and the Rwandans installed Laurent-Désiré Kabila in his place in Kinshasa. Kabila reverted Zaire’s name back to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 1998, Kabila and Kagame, who was then vice-president, fell out and Rwanda invaded DR Congo, again. Kabila recruited some of the former Rwandan Hutu forces, which angered Kagame and prompted the war. Angola and Zimbabwe teamed up with DR Congo, while Uganda and Burundi lined up alongside Rwanda.

4. Are Congolese still fighting?

A fragile peace deal in 2002 initiated the withdrawal of foreign armies from DR Congo, but local rebel groups tied to the Rwandan government continued to control much of the east of the country.

In 2000, Hutu extremists in eastern Congo launched a new armed group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The group counts among its number the original members of the Interahamwe that carried out the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

Under Kabila, the FDLR were used as a proxy force against the foreign armies, such as the Rwandan Patriotic Army and Rally for Congolese Democracy, backed by Rwanda.

In 2002, FDLR units moved into North and South Kivu, border regions with Rwanda that are still volatile today, where residents live in fear of death, rape or displacement. Its members are mainly former soldiers of the National Congress for the Defence of the People.

In March 2005, the FDLR announced that they were abandoning their armed struggle and returning to Rwanda as a political party. The same year, United Nations Security Council ordered the FDLR to disarm and leave the DR Congo. By 2007, however, the FDLR was still fighting against the Congolese army.

In 2008, both the DR Congo and Rwanda decided to disband the FDLR and the Rwandans entered Congo to round up FDLR fighters.

A year later, Congo mounted a joint operation with Rwandan troops to weaken Rwandan rebel Hutu militias active in eastern DR Congo. After the peace agreement was signed in 2012 in DR Congo, a group of Congolese army mutineers − mainly Tutsi survivors of the genocide and former soldiers of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) − began an offensive under the name M23 in the eastern regions.

In early 2013 the UN secured a regional agreement to end the M23 rebellion in eastern areas, and the group’s alleged founder Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the International Criminal Court to face war-crimes charges.

The UN accused Rwanda and Uganda, which border DR Congo to the west, of having supported the M23 rebels, but Kigali and Kampala have both denied the claims.

Human rights groups also claimed M23 fighters have been responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes and the forced recruitment of children.

5. Is the conflict mainly political?

No. It also has an economic side, as DR Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth with an estimated $24 trillion (£15.5tn, €21.1tn) of untapped mineral resources.

With the world’s second-largest river flowing through it, DR Congo has limitless water and vast mineral wealth, including abundant deposits of copper, gold, diamonds, cobalt, uranium, coltan and oil. The country also boasts vast energy resources and the World Bank notes that “with a 40GW potential, Inga is the world’s largest hydropower site and its proper development can make it the African continent’s most cost-effective, renewable source of energy with an estimated generation cost of $0.03 per kilowatt hour.”

The country said it aims to double tax revenues from minerals but investors warned that an overhaul of the mining code could remove incentives to invest there.

Many neighbouring countries, such as Rwanda, have been accused of profiting from the anarchy to plunder natural resources.

Despite its resources, DR Congo is also the world’s third poorest country per capita ($700, £452, €615), just above the Central African Republic and Somalia

The ancient Hittite-Egyptian peace treaty is one of the earliest surviving peace accords on record. After two hundred years of fighting each other, and both facing outside threats, in 1259 B.C. Ramses II and the Hittite King Hattusili III negotiated a famous peace treaty. This agreement ended the conflict and decreed that the two kingdoms would aid each other in the event of an invasion by a third party. There is a copy of the agreement by the United Nations Security Council Chamber.

4

21/8/2015: Crown Prince Hussein said that Youth are the strategic asset and the real wealth. “This is what I see every day in the youth of my country, Jordan, and in my peers around the world.”

Addressing the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, which kicked off today King’s Academy, Madaba, he said Jordan will work through its membership in the United Nations Security Council for the Council’s adoption of an agenda on youth, peace and security to ensure the inclusion of youth in efforts towards building sustainable peace and security. “This is how we grew up here in Jordan, with the involvement of all men and women. We built a resilient nation with the hard work of young people and the foresight of their fathers,” the prince said.

Following is the full text of Prince Al Hussein’s speech:

In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It has been said that “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” That rings true for this house, my home, Jordan.

So, let me welcome all of you, friends, to my beloved country Jordan. And know that your presence enriches us; because while Jordan’s foundations of peace and mutual respect are deep, they grow ever stronger with each new friendship.

We are proud that ours is a house that has never turned away a neighbor seeking refuge and relief; and a home for all who seek peace and progress because peace is not just a policy, not just a value or ideal, it is a human trait and it is the pillar that holds up the roof over our one global family.

Welcome to Jordan and a special thank you to our partners: the UN system and its visionary leadership, the United Network of Young Peacebuilders, and Search for Common Ground.

Brothers and sisters,

“Youth are the future” this perhaps one of the most frequently cited statements on how to affect the future through shaping its generations, and part of the discourse of heads of states, politicians and political parties.

Those who possess the key to young minds can unlock the doors of the future. This is the strategy followed by all those who seek to shape generations, because when youth believe in a mission, they will dedicate their lives to fulfill it.

Unfortunately, if we look back on our modern history, we will find that tyrants, occupiers, and terrorists in any shape or form including Al Qaeda and Daesh have all exploited young people and their potential.

Has not the time come to utilise this formula to make peace? To build strong generations that won’t be swayed by the slogans of those who seek to advance their own agendas, whatever they may be!

This formula has never been more appropriate, for the world has never been as young as it is today. Therefore, there has never been a greater opportunity to influence the future, especially in the Arab world, where youth under 25 years old make up around 70 per cent of the population.

Youth are the strategic asset. They are the real wealth. This is what I see every day in the youth of my country, Jordan, and in my peers around the world. Youth are the ones most ready to dedicate their lives for the future of their country. They are the peace builders who go to serve their brothers and sisters in disaster areas. They are the doctors who volunteered to aid their Arab brethren in times of catastrophes in Gaza.

They are the teachers helping in refugee camps so that children are not deprived of education and knowledge. They are the millions of youths who create networks that give unconditionally, not expecting anything in return. These are but examples of what I have seen and experienced. This is my generation; these are the peacemakers.

I assure you that the young people of my generation do not lack the will to take action. On the contrary, they are the most aware of the challenges facing their homelands. They are the most knowledgeable of the advancements of their times; and they are the most capable of listening to the world and communicating with it because they have mastered the language of this age, with the cyberspace carrying their voice from East to West across all borders and restrictions.

This is my generation, and its youth are well-equipped to be partners in setting a future strategy that suits them.

This is why we are here today, because we have the opportunity to make a fundamental change in the future an opportunity that we must seize quickly because youth are targeted by many, and we are in a race to win their minds.

We are in a race against agendas on the hunt for the youth’s capacities to serve their own goals. We are in a race with time because our future cannot afford to waste the capacities of today’s generation.

We are here to build on the outcomes of the Security Council’s open session on the “Role of Youth in Countering Violent Extremism and Promoting Peace”, which was organised by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during its presidency of the Council in April.

We are also here to reach a consensus over a declaration on youth and their role in peace building and combating extremism.

This may be the first conference of its kind in terms of strong participation and the ability to bring together all stakeholders from representatives of the United Nations, governments as well as national and international organisations, to the party most concerned: Young people themselves and their organisations.

But I also hope that the Forum will be the first of its kind in the tangible outcomes that it yields, realised through a genuine involvement of youth, not sideline participation or modest representation.

It is the first of its kind because young people themselves will draft the recommendations, with the support of the experts we have here with us, for what we need as young people is a space to work, not readymade templates that limit us.

This conference will contribute to creating stronger networks that seek to empower youth and give them the chance to express their ambitions and their belonging to humanity.

Our dear guests,

Today, I announce to you that Jordan will work through its membership in the United Nations Security Council for the Council’s adoption of an agenda on youth, peace and security to ensure the inclusion of youth in efforts towards building sustainable peace and security. This is how we grew up here in Jordan, with the involvement of all men and women. We built a resilient nation with the hard work of young people and the foresight of their fathers.

I have recently read a saying that caught my attention: A boy becomes a man the first time his dream dies.

Something has pushed me not to settle for this statement as is, but ask all of you here today to take on the responsibility of making it right.

Economic, social and political challenges have turned our youth into men and women capable of shouldering their responsibilities, and it is our duty to offer them an environment that nurtures vibrant, achievable dreams that can change the course of their lives; for there is no dream without hope, and hope is a fundamental right for each and every young man and woman. We are here to reaffirm this right, and to push them to dream bigger and farther every time not only to be the largest young generation in history, but also the generation that made the world’s largest leap towards peace and coexistence.

May God’s blessing and peace be upon you.

(Source: Petra)

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Apr 24, 2015
U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie makes a plea to the United Nations Security Council to do more to help and protect refugees of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“Mr President, Foreign Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: it is an honor to brief the Council. I thank His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Jordan, the High Commissioner for Refugees, and my colleagues from OCHA, and the World Food Program.

Since the Syria conflict began in 2011, I have made eleven visits to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Malta. I wish that some of the Syrians I have met could be here today. I think of the mother I met recently in a camp in Iraq. She could tell you what it is like to try to live after your young daughter was ripped from your family by armed men, and taken as a sex slave.

I think of Hala, one of six orphaned children living in a tent in Lebanon. She could tell you what it is like to share the responsibility for feeding your family at the age of 11, because your mother died in an air strike and your father is missing. I think of Dr Ayman, a Doctor from Aleppo, who watched his wife and three year-old daughter drown in the Mediterranean when a smugglers’ boat collapsed packed with hundreds of people. He could tell you what it is like to try to keep your loved ones safe in a war zone, only to lose them in a desperate bid for safety after all other options have failed.

Any one of the Syrians I have met would speak more eloquently about the conflict than I ever could. Nearly four million Syrian refugees are victims of a conflict they have no part in. Yet they are stigmatized, unwanted, and regarded as a burden.

So I am here for them, because this is their United Nations. Here, all countries and all people are equal – from the smallest and most broken member states to the free and powerful. The purpose of the UN is to prevent and end conflict: To bring countries together, to find diplomatic solutions and to save lives. We are failing to do this in Syria.

Responsibility for the conflict lies with the warring parties inside Syria. But the crisis is made worse by division and indecision within the international community – preventing the Security Council from fulfilling its responsibilities.

In 2011, the Syrian refugees I met were full of hope. They said “please, tell people what is happening to us”, trusting that the truth alone would guarantee international action. When I returned, hope was turning into anger: the anger of the man who held his baby up to me, asking “is this a terrorist? Is my son a terrorist?" On my last visit in February, anger had subsided into resignation, misery and the bitter question "why are we, the Syrian people, not worth saving?”

To be a Syrian caught up in this conflict is to be cut off from every law and principle designed to protect innocent life: International humanitarian law prohibits torture, starvation, the targeting of schools and hospitals – but these crimes are happening every day in Syria. The Security Council has powers to address these threats to international peace and security – but those powers lie unused. The UN has adopted the Responsibility to Protect concept, saying that when a State cannot protect its people the international community will not stand by – but we are standing by, in Syria. The problem is not lack of information – we know in excruciating detail what is happening in Yarmouk, in Aleppo and in Homs. The problem is lack of political will. We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world’s inability to protect and defend the innocent. And I say this as someone who is proud to have been part of the UN system for 13 years.

I don’t think enough people realize just how many people are fed, sheltered, protected and educated by the United Nations every day of the year. But all of this good is undermined by the message being sent in Syria: that laws can be flouted – chemical weapons can be used, hospitals can be bombed, aid can be withheld and civilians starved – with impunity.

So on behalf of Syrian refugees, I make three pleas to the international community:

The first is an appeal for unity. It is time for the Security Council to work as one to end the conflict, and reach a settlement that also brings justice and accountability for the Syrian people. It is very encouraging to see ministerial representation from Jordan, Spain and Malaysia here today. But I think we would all like to see the Foreign Ministers of all the Security Council Members here, working on a political solution for Syria as a matter of urgency. In the last few months we have seen intensive diplomacy at work elsewhere in the region: so now let us see what is possible for the people of Syria. And while these debates are important, I also urge the Security Council to visit Syrian refugees, to see first hand their suffering and the impact it is having on the region. Those refugees cannot come to this Council, so please, will you go to them.

Second, I echo what has been said about supporting Syria’s neighbors, who are making an extraordinary contribution. It is sickening to see thousands of refugees drowning on the doorstep of the world’s wealthiest continent. No one risks the lives of their children in this way except out of utter desperation. If we cannot end the conflict, we have an inescapable moral duty to help refugees and provide legal avenues to safety.

And third, the barbarism of those inflicting systematic sexual violence demands a much greater response from the international community. We need to send a signal that we are serious about accountability for these crimes, for that is the only hope of establishing any deterrence. And I call on Member States to begin preparations now so that Syrian women are fully represented in future peace negotiations, in accordance with multiple resolutions of the Security Council. And if I may make a wider, final point to conclude my remarks.

The crisis in Syria illustrates that our inability to find diplomatic solutions causes mass displacement, and traps millions of people in exile, statelessness, and displacement. 52 million people are forcibly displaced today – a sea of excluded humanity. And while our priority must be ending the Syrian conflict, we must also broaden out the discussion to this much wider problem.

Our times will be defined not by the crises themselves, but by the way we pull together as an international community to address them.

Thank you.” Angelina Jolie