December 2009

Pokaż nam co dla Ciebie znaczy hasło „Demokracja”!  Ambasada USA w Warszawie ogłasza drugą edycję konkursu fotograficznego „Demokracja to…”, organizowanego przez Ambasadę USA w Warszawie wspólnie z Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej.  Zapraszamy młodzież w wieku 15-17 lat do wyrażenia swojej wizji demokracji poprzez fotografię własnego autorstwa.  Konkurs jest częścią drugiej edycji globalnego konkursu Democracy Video Challenge.  Zwycięzca otrzyma nagrody od Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej i Ambasady USA, a wyróżnione fotografie będą pokazane na wystawie zorganizowanej przez Ambasadę.  Aby zapoznać się z regulaminem konkursu fotograficznego, kliknij tutaj.  UWAGA: termin nadsyłania zdjęć mija 28 lutego 2010.

W zeszłym roku, wystawę najlepszych prac nadesłanych przez uczniów szkół średnich na konkurs fotograficzny “Demokracja to…” można było oglądać podczas marcowego forum „New Media, New Democracy” w Fabryce Trzciny w Warszawie.  Zwycięzca konkursu, Szymon Stec, w nagrodę otrzymał aparat fotograficzny Canon Digital Rebel SLR.  Zdjęcie Szymona nosiło tytuł „Demokracja to dialog bez granic.”  Tutaj można obejrzeć 12 najlepszych zdjęć z 2009 roku.

Eric Weiner, an American journalist and author, long-time foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, and reporter for the New York Times, will meet the Warsaw public on December 10 at 18:00 at infoQultura, Pl. Konstytucji 4, to discuss his experiences as a journalist around the world, and his newest book, “The Geography of Bliss.” The book, as described by the author, is an “atypical travel book” which explores questions like: “What are the essential ingredients for the good life? Why are some places happier than others? How are we shaped by our surroundings?”

The event, organized by the U.S. Embassy with partners Kosmoshow, Carta Blanca Publishing, and infoQultura, will include a discussion with the audience and will be broadcast live on Kosmoshow. The event is open to the public and will be in English (simultaneously translated into Polish). Please join us!

Today marks the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, which will last through December 18th. UN Climate Chief, Yvo de Boer, spoke optimistically of the negotiations, saying, “Never in the 17 years of climate change negotiations have so many different nations made so many firm pledges together. Almost every day countries announce new targets or plans of action to cut emissions.” The U.S. is committed to forging an international response and achieving a successful outcome.

Climate Change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet, and the United States is taking significant action to meet this challenge. Under President Obama, the U.S. has done more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than ever before, and is demonstrating its commitment to lead through robust domestic action including historic investments in clean energy, stringent vehicle and appliance efficiency standards, and comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that is making its way through Congress.

But no nation can solve this crisis on its own. Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global solution. The U.S. is engaging allies and partners around the world to forge the necessary international response and to achieve a successful outcome at the UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen.

Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern will lead the U.S. delegation during the two-week conference, and President Obama will attend the closing day on December 18th.  Other U.S. departments and agencies will join the Department of State on the delegation, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior, Transportation, and Treasury; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Trade Representative; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. delegation will also include officials from the National Security Council and the White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Members of Congress.

Ultimately, a successful international climate agreement must complement and promote sustainable development by moving the world to a low-carbon, clean energy future that provides all nations the opportunity to grow.

To read the full text of the White House statement on the COP15, please click here.

President Barack Obama announced significant additional military and civilian resources for Afghanistan and significant additional civilian resources for Pakistan during a public address last night at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Noting that the goal of stabilizing Afghanistan and the region is in the common interests of the international community, the President stressed that success will require a sustained international political, diplomatic and economic commitment. The U.S. consulted extensively with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, regional countries, ISAF allies and partners and other interested parties as part of its review process, and the President’s decision has been informed by these international consultations.

The President emphasized that the international military mission in Afghanistan will be narrow, time-limited, and clearly defined. U.S. and international forces from 43 other nations will accelerate and expand training of the Afghan National Security Forces, so that the Afghans can take the lead in securing their own country consistent with the vision outlined by President Karzai in his inaugural address. In addition, the President outlined significant civilian resources and improved coordination of assistance to build Afghan capacity and improve life for the Afghan people. Regarding Pakistan, the President called for efforts that will enhance the Pakistani government’s capacity to address the immediate needs of the Pakistani people, facilitate sustainable economic growth, and build on its success against militants. The President announced the core U.S. goal on March 27, 2009, and it has not changed: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and to prevent their return to either Afghanistan or Pakistan in the future.

Read more here:

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Informacja podstawowe: Dalsza droga w Aganistanie i Pakistanie

Watch the Remarks at Westpoint

December 1st is World AIDS Day, one of the most recognised international health days. President Obama declared “On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to developing a national AIDS strategy that will establish the priorities necessary to combat this devastating epidemic at home, and to renewing our leadership role and commitments abroad.” This year’s theme is Universal Access and Human Rights, and it provides us with the opportunity to raise awareness across the world about the state of the AIDS pandemic, and the critical next steps that must be taken to halt its spread.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, was launched in 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS, and is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history. Under PEPFAR, the U.S. Government has already committed more than $25 billion to the fight against global HIV/AIDS. Secretary Clinton explains “In its next phase, PEPFAR programs will support a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach in many countries, to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and get services to people at earlier stages. We must support services that are open and accessible to all, regardless of HIV status, sexual orientation, or gender. We will work to end the discrimination and marginalization of most-at-risk populations.”

Thanks to PEPFAR, an estimated 4 million individuals in low- and middle-income countries have access to antiretroviral treatment. The American people also have supported care for more than 10.1 million people worldwide, including more than 4 million orphans and vulnerable children. Nearly 240,000 babies have been born free of HIV thanks to programs supported by the American people to prevent mothers from passing the virus on to their children. The American people, through PEPFAR, supported nearly 57 million counseling and testing encounters through 2008. As PEPFAR goes forward, the United States will support efforts through President Obama’s Global Health Initiative to make health systems more responsive to people living with HIV by increasing integration and facilitating their access to health care services, including those for tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health, and family planning.

AIDS, the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is considered to be one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. According to the latest World Health Organization data, over 2 million people including 280,000 children, died of AIDS in 2008. Observed on the first day of December every year, World AIDS Day was established to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. World AIDS day allows us to honor the millions of people around the world who have been impacted by the AIDS epidemic, those who are living with HIV, those we have lost, and the caregivers, families, friends and communities who have provided support. More than 33 million people worldwide live with the disease, and the number is still growing. Nearly 3 million people are newly infected with HIV each year, so a strong commitment by all nations is required to conquer AIDS. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV can slow the course of the disease, there is currently no vaccine or cure. Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection through raising awareness is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic.

In the next five years, the United States will partner with nations to build the long-term sustainability of their national HIV/AIDS responses and support country-led efforts to make universal access a reality for their citizens.

Please click here to read the Presidential Proclamation on World AIDS Day 2009.