Morning Briefing, 26th January

Dia Duit ar an maidin fuar!

An nuacht ar an lá seo.

A conference is taking place in Spain on the EU Constitution (BBC). Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain are sending ministers and Germany, Ireland and Portugal are sending observers. Im not sure what outcome it will have as only 17 member states are attending.

The UN will announce its plan for Kosovo today (BBC). Hopefully it will safe gaurd

In a historic step the Prime Minister of Vietnam has met with the Pope (CNN)

Kofi Annan has returned home to Ghana (CNN) after his ten year stint as head of the United Nations. He is thinking of entering agriculture

No more .um sites (CNN)awww, but there are talks of getting rid of .su sites also.

The US has unveiled an non-lethal ray gun!(CNN) i thinks its a cool idea. It makes u think ur going to catch fire, wo wont run from that!

And finally in UCC RAG week is over and nominations for the Student Union Elections open next wednesday. I am intending to seek a nomination to run for Welfare officer in the SU. check out my website its still under construction so check back. But i do have a Bebo, MySpace and Facebook profiles

UN ASSEMBLY TAKES STEPS TOWARDS NEW TREATY REGULATING GLOBAL CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRADE

The United Nations General Assembly today adopted a resolution effectively kicking off a diplomatic process aimed at promulgating a new international treaty on the global trade in conventional arms – a move immediately hailed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan – as it acted on a series of resolutions adopted at the recommendation of its Disarmament and International Security (First) Committee.

“The Secretary-General welcomes today’s adoption by the General Assembly of a resolution launching a process that could lead to a treaty regulating international trade in conventional weapons,” his spokesman said in a <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=2346">statement released in New York.

“While there are still many steps to be taken to forge a consensus to this end, the resolution represents the first formal step towards developing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons,” the spokesman said, pointing out that “unregulated trade in these weapons currently contributes to conflict, crime and terrorism, and undermines international efforts for peace and development.”

The resolution, “Towards an arms trade treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms,” was adopted by a recorded vote, with the United States alone in opposing the text which was supported by 153 countries. An additional two dozen countries abstained.

Under its terms, the Secretary-General was requested to seek the views of Member States “on the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms” and to report on this at its next session.

He was also asked to establish a group of governmental experts to start examining in 2008 the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for such a treaty. This will be considered by the Assembly’s sixty-third session, which opens in September 2008.

The resolution was one of 52 submitted by the First Committee to the Assembly for action today. The Committee’s measures are traditionally among the most contentious submitted each year, and 2006 was no exception, with dozens of votes expected to be cast before day’s end on texts covering such subjects as the prevention of an arms race in outer space, multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones.

Irish Weapons Amnesty

The Amnesty will allow persons to hand in guns, ammunition, knives and offensive weapons to their local Garda station without being charged for illegal possession.

The Amnesty ends on the 31st of October so Hand it in!!!