SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Southwestern United States

The Southwestern United States known as the American Southwest, Desert Southwest, or The Southwest, is the informal name for a region of the western United States. Definitions of the region's boundaries vary a great deal and have never been standardized, though many boundaries have been proposed. For example, one definition includes the stretch from the Mojave Desert in California to Carlsbad, New Mexico, from the Mexico–United States border to the southern areas of Colorado and Nevada; the largest metropolitan areas are centered around Phoenix, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, El Paso. Those five metropolitan areas have an estimated total population of more than 9.6 million as of 2017, with nearly 60 percent of them living in the two Arizona cities—Phoenix and Tucson. Most of the area was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the Spanish Empire before becoming part of Mexico. European settlement was non-existent outside New Mexico in 1848, when it became part of the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, while southern areas of Arizona and southwestern New Mexico were added in the Gadsden Purchase.

The geography of the region is made up by four features: the Mojave and Chihuahuan Deserts, the Colorado Plateau. The deserts dominate the southern and western reaches of the area, while the plateau is the main feature north of the Mogollon Rim; the two major rivers of the region are the Colorado River, running in the northern and western areas, the Rio Grande, running in the east, north to south. Formed 8000 years ago, the Chihuahuan Desert is a dry desert, although it is wetter than the Sonoran Desert to the west; the Chihuahuan Desert spreads across the southeastern portion of the region, covering from southeastern Arizona, across southern New Mexico, the portion of Texas included in the Southwest. While it is the second largest desert in the United States, only a third of the desert is within the United States, with the rest in Mexico. El Paso is the major city in this desert, with other smaller cities being Las Cruces and Roswell in New Mexico; the elevation in the Chihuahuan varies from 1970 to 5500 feet, as there are several smaller mountain ranges contained in the area, namely the San Andres and Doña Anas in New Mexico, the Franklin Mountains, which span Texas and New Mexico in the Southwest region.

The Chihuahuan is a "rain shadow" desert, formed between two mountain ranges which block oceanic precipitation from reaching the area. The Chihuahuan Desert is considered the "most biologically diverse desert in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most diverse in the world", includes more species of cacti than any other desert in the world; the most prolific plants in this region are agave and creosote bushes, in addition to the ubiquitous presence of various cacti species. When people think of the desert southwest, the landscape of the Sonoran Desert is what comes to mind; the Sonoran Desert makes up the southwestern portion of the Southwest. Rainfall averages between 4–12 inches per year, the desert's most known inhabitant is the saguaro cactus, unique to the desert, it is bounded on the northwest by the Mojave Desert, to the north by the Colorado Plateau and to the east by the Arizona Mountains forests and the Chihuahuan Desert. Aside from the trademark saguaro, the desert has the most diverse plant life of any desert in the world, includes many other species of cacti, including the organ-pipe, prickly pear, fishhook, cholla, silver dollar, jojoba.

The portion of the Sonora Desert which lies in the Southwestern United States is the most populated area within the region. Six of the top ten major population centers of the region are found within its borders: Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler and Scottsdale, all in Arizona. Within its borders are Yuma and Prescott Arizona; the most northwest portion of the American Southwest is covered by the Mojave Desert. Bordered on the south by the Sonoran Desert and the east by the Colorado Plateau, its range within the region makes up the southeast tip of Nevada, the northwestern corner of Arizona. In terms of topography, the Mojave is similar to the Great Basin Desert, which lies just to its north. Within the region, Las Vegas is the most populous city; the Mojave is the smallest and hottest desert within the United States. The Mojave gets less than six inches of rain annually, its elevation ranges from 3000 to 6000 feet above sea level; the most prolific vegetation is the tall Joshua tree, which grow as tall as 40 feet, are thought to live 1000 years.

Other major vegetation includes the Parry saltbush and the Mojave sage, both only found in the Mojave, as well as the creosote bush. The Colorado Plateau varies from the large stands of forests in the west, including the largest stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world, to the Mesas to the east. Although not called a desert, the Colorado Plateau is made up of high desert. Within the Southwest U. S. region, the Colorado is bo

Windhoek Declaration

The Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free and Pluralistic Press, short: Windhoek Declaration is a statement of press freedom principles by African newspaper journalists in 1991. The Declaration was produced at a UNESCO seminar, "Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press," held in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, from 29 April to 3 May 1991; the date of the Declaration's adoption, May 3, has subsequently been declared as World Press Freedom Day. The document has been viewed as influential, as the first in a series of such declarations around the world, as a crucial affirmation of the international community's commitment to freedom of the press. Subsequently, several similar documents were drafted in other parts of the developing world: The Alma-Ata Declaration for central Asia, Sana'a Declaration for the Middle East, the Santiago Declaration for Latin America and the Caribbean. At the tenth anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, the United Nations jubilee statement noted the fragility of press freedom in the face of political violence or authoritarianism.

Since it was formally approved by the UNESCO Member States during the 28th Session of the General Conference, the Windhoek Declaration has become a major reference in the United Nations system. It is part of the New Communication Strategy decided by UNESCO's General Conference during its 25th Session in November 1989, at the same time as the fall of the Berlin Wall; this new strategy de facto distanced itself from the New World Information and Communication Order, subject to controversies within the Organization in the 1980s. These controversies have divided UNESCO and caused the United States and the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Organisation; the NWICO was subject to oppositions from several professional media organizations, which saw in the New Order a means allowing states to control the media with the justification, among others, to encourage wider and better balanced dissemination of information between North and South. The 1989 New Communication Strategy stresses that this can only be reached “without any obstacle to freedom of expression” in accordance with the fundamental purpose of UNESCO to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image”.

The Windhoek seminar was a direct follow-up to the East-West Roundtable that the Director General, Federico Mayor had set up in February 1990, a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in order to address one of the numerous challenges generated by the end of the Cold War, the democratization of the media landscape in Central and Oriental European countries. Sixty independent journalists from the Soviet Block but journalists from Europe and North America had participated in the Roundtable. Unlike the Windhoek seminar, the East-West Roundtable hadn't adopted a final text, its main purpose was to offer a platform for free expression to the participants whose many had just come out from underground. Several representatives of UNESCO Member States attended the Roundtable as observers, among them some African diplomats who had asked the Director General that a similar conference be held on their continent; the Windhoek seminar was organized in response to their request. At the 26th session of the General Conference, the Member States of UNESCO expressed their deep satisfaction with the outcome of the Windhoek seminar and invited the Director-General “to extend to other regions of the world the action taken so far in Africa and Europe to encourage press freedom and to promote the independence and pluralism of the media.

The implementation of resolution 26C/4.3 initiated a process in which all initiatives were related to each other. Thus, the Windhoek Declaration had a catalytic function in the democratization movement, transforming the international media landscape of the 1990s, it was in this framework that UNESCO and the United Nations, with the support of professional media organizations, have jointly-organized four regional seminars similar to the Windhoek seminar: the first for the Asian media, the second for countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, the third for Arab countries and the last one for Europe and North America. Each seminar ended with the adoption of a declaration in which participants highlighted “their full support and entire adhesion to the fundamental principles of the Windhoek Declaration, recognizing its crucial importance for the promotion of free and pluralistic media, in written and broadcast press, worldwide”. UNESCO's General Conference endorsed the five declarations of Windhoek, Alma Ata, Sana’a and Sofia at its 28th session for the first three and its 29th for the last two.

It is unusual for the Member States of an international organization to adopt texts coming from the civil society without making any changes, more so that these declarations are critical of the politics and practices of certain States towards medias. In addition to the adoption of the five declarations by UNESCO's Member States, the “Windhoek process” has produced other significant results in the media field: In February 1992, UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication has changed its operating rules to take into account the Windhoek Declaration's recommendations. Since projects submitted by the private sector h

James Dauris

James Edward Dauris is a British diplomat who served as the ambassador of the United Kingdom to Peru and as the High Commissioner of UK to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Dauris was schooled at Haileybury, he graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Law After university he trained to be a Solicitor and worked for Ashurst Morris Crisp from 1991. Dauris changed careers and joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1995. For his first overseas posting he was First Secretary at the British Embassy in Moscow, he served as a Deputy Head of Mission in Colombia from 2005 to 2009. He served as Ambassador to Peru between 2010 and 2014. In April 2015, he was appointed as the new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka until August 2019 and Sarah Hulton was formally appointed during April 2019 replacing him from August 2019. During the 2018 Sri Lankan constitutional crisis, the Professionals' National Front, a minority political party requested him to stay away from involoving in internal affairs of the state unnecessarily.

He is married to Helen Dauris and the couple have three daughters