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United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe is one of the five regional commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was established in order to promote economic cooperation and integrations among its Member States; the Commission is composed of 56 Member States, most of which are based in Europe, as well as a few outside of Europe. Its transcontinental Eurasian and non-European Member States include: Armenia, Canada, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, the United States of America and Uzbekistan; the Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council on 28 March 1947 in order to "Initiate and participate in measures for facilitating concerted action for the economic reconstruction of Europe," as well as to "maintain and strengthen the economic relations of the European countries, both among themselves and with other countries of the world."It was established at the request of the United Nations General Assembly who called on the Economic and Social Council to create the Commission, as well as the Commission for Asia and the Far East, in order to "give effective aid to countries devastated by war."As the Commission was established towards the beginning of the Cold War, it faced difficulties in achieving its mandate of economic reconstruction of Europe due to the Iron Curtain.

The work of the Commission had to concern itself only with questions that were of common interest to East and West, as to not cause confrontation. However, since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United Nation's economic commissions have been expanding their activities in the former Soviet republics; the following are the member states of the commission, along with their date of admission: This Committee promotes a policy and regulatory environment conducive to economic growth, innovative development and higher competitiveness in the UNECE region, focusing on countries with economies in transition. Its main areas of work are innovation and competitiveness policies, intellectual property, financing innovative development and enterprise development, public-private partnerships. UNECE's concern with problems of the environment dates back at least to 1971, when the group of Senior Advisors to the UNECE governments on environmental issues was created which led to the establishment of the Committee on Environmental Policy, which now meets annually.

The Committee provides collective policy direction in the area of environment and sustainable development, prepares ministerial meetings, develops international environmental law and supports international initiatives in the region. CEP works to support countries to enhance their environmental governance and transboundary cooperation as well as strengthen implementation of the UNECE regional environmental commitments and advance sustainable development in the region, its main aim is to assess countries' efforts to reduce their overall pollution burden and manage their natural resources, to integrate environmental and socioeconomic policies, to strengthen cooperation with the international community, to harmonize environmental conditions and policies throughout the region and to stimulate greater involvement of the public and environmental discussions and decision-making. CEP is the overall governing body of UNECE environmental activities; the Committee's work is based on several strategic pillars: Providing the secretariat to the "Environment for Europe" process and participating in the regional promotion of Agenda 21.

See UNECE Espoo Convention, Aarhus Convention, Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents. Participating and/or facilitating the exchange of experience in a number of cross-sectoral activities undertaken under the leadership of UNECE, or in partnership with other organizations. In 1947, UNECE set up a Panel on Housing Problems, which evolved into the Committee on Human Settlements and after the reform in 2005/2006 into the Committee on Housing and Land Management; the Committee is an intergovernmental body of all UNECE member States. It provides a forum for the compilation and exchange of information and experience on housing, urban development, land administration policies; the UNECE Transport Division has been providing secretariat services to the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. In addition to acting as secretariat to the World Forum, the Vehicle Regulations and Transport Innovations section serves as the secretariat of the Administrative Committee for the coordination of work, of the Administrative/Executives Committees of the three Agreements on vehicles administered by the World Forum.

The UNECE Statistical Division provides the secretariat for the Conference and its expert groups, implements the statistical work programme of the UNECE. The Conference brings together chief statisticians from national and international statistical organizations around the world, meaning that the word "European" in its name is no longer an accurate description of its geographical coverage; the Statistical Division helps

RFA Orangeleaf (A110)

RFA Orangeleaf was a Leaf-class fleet support tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. As MV Balder London, before joining the RFA, she saw action in 1982, carrying aviation fuel to the Falkland Islands from Ascension. At the end of the conflict, she entered San Carlos water. Orangeleaf saw action in the Gulf War in 1991. During early-to-mid-2004, the ship took part in a deployment with a French carrier battle group, centred on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, to the Indian Ocean, she appeared in the International Fleet Review of 2005. On 23 October 2009, she was moved from Birkenhead dry-docks into the River Mersey and so to the Cammell Laird shipyard to continue a major refit. In 2011, she conducted a light jackstay transfer with HMS Dragon, she was decommissioned on 30 September 2015. In late February 2016 she was towed to Turkey to be broken up for scrap. Leyal reported scrapping was completed by June 2016. Official Webpage

Schlesinger Doctrine

The "Schlesinger Doctrine" is the name, given by the press, to a major re-alignment of United States nuclear strike policy, announced in January 1974 by the US Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger. It outlined a broad selection of counterforce options against a wide variety of potential enemy actions, a major change from earlier SIOP policies of the Kennedy and Johnson eras that focused on Mutually Assured Destruction and included only one or two "all-out" plans of action that used the entire U. S. nuclear arsenal in a single strike. A key element of the new plans were a variety of limited strikes against enemy military targets while ensuring the survivability of the U. S. second-strike capability, intended to leave an opening for a negotiated settlement. The first coordinated nuclear attack policy in the United States was codified as SIOP-62 at the prompting of the Science Advisor in the Eisenhower Administration, George Kistiakowsky. Prior to SIOP-62, each of the U. S.'s military branches had drawn up their own target lists and action plans, which led to a wide variety of overkill situations and the possibility of blue-on-blue fire.

After Kistiakowsky reported on the problems this caused, Eisenhower took nuclear planning away from the individual branches, centralized it, gave it to RAND for extensive oversight. However, the plan that developed was still based on the same basic concept of an all-out war, or what Herman Kahn referred to as a "wargasm". SIOP-62 called for a single coordinated attack that used up all of the U. S.'s arsenal on a wide variety of targets in China. Concerns about the inflexibility of the plan were expressed often. S. Marine Commandant David Shoup noted that an attack by the Soviets would result in a retaliation that included China whether or not they were involved, observed that "any plan that kills millions of Chinese when it isn't their war is not a good plan; this is not the American way." In the late 1950s a number of parties pointed out another serious problem with the all-or-nothing approach. If the Soviets launched a limited attack against isolated U. S. military targets, they could cause significant damage to the U.

S.'s own nuclear forces without causing serious civilian casualties. If such an attack was successful, the Soviets would still have the capability of launching a second strike against U. S. cities, while the U. S. would be so reduced in power that their only militarily effective response would be an attack on Soviet cities, knowing the Soviets would respond. This would leave the Soviets in an advantageous position for a negotiated peace. SIOP-62 had no response to this threat; the "solution" to this problem was developed under the Kennedy Administration, consisted of responding to limited attacks in kind. In this case, if the same scenario were to develop, the Soviets would be placed in the uncomfortable position of having to allow the U. S. counterattack to land and damage their own forces, or launching as soon as the attack was discovered. Neither course of action would preserve any advantage, so it was believed this policy would render the limited attack untenable; as early as 1962 Robert McNamara had proposed a flexible strategy starting with a number of limited counterforce strikes before proceeding to full-out exchanges.

These plans, codified in SIOP-62, remained unchanged for over a decade. However, as nuclear forces moved from bombers to ICBMs with limited accuracy but high survivability, the ability to carry out a counterforce strike while the enemy forces were still on the ground became difficult; this difficulty further increased with every new iteration of missile, which continued to reduce reaction time to the point where catching them still in their silos would be difficult. As these weapons were, at the time at least inaccurate, they were limited to countervalue attacks on the enemy's cities, further eroding the idea of a limited attack against them being responded to in-kind; as a result of these technical changes, the idea of flexible response ossified, while mutually assured destruction became the primary strategic concept of the era. McNamara became a major proponent of MAD, used it as a reason to cancel other nuclear delivery systems, like the B-1 Lancer bomber. In testimony before Congress he stated that "The strategic missile forces for 1967-71 will provide more force than is required for'Assured Destruction'... a new advanced strategic aircraft does not at this time appear justified."With the rise of MAD, all of the earlier problems with the "wargasm" approach returned.

Adding to the problems, the U. S. now had obligations under various treaties to protect allies using their nuclear arms, the so-called "nuclear umbrella". This meant that the Soviets could launch a limited attack against an ally, leaving the U. S. with the choice of backing down, or accepting a full-scale exchange. In June 1969 Kissinger briefed Nixon on the problem of MAD, Nixon addressed the issue in Congress in February 1970, stating "Should a President, in the event of a nuclear attack, be left with the single option of ordering the mass destruction of enemy civilians, in the face of the certainty that it would be followed by the mass slaughter of Americans?" Kissinger and Nixon developed plans for a return to a flexible response strategy, but had to put these plans on hold until the Vietnam War ended. Nominated by Richard Nixon on May 10, 1973, Schlesinger became Secretary of Defense on July 2; as a university professor, researcher at Rand, government official in three agencies, he had acquired an impressive background in national security affairs.

Analyzing U. S. nuclear strategy, Schlesinger noted that the policies developed in the 1950s and 1960s w