Monday, February 28, 2011
UNEP is behind the World Trade Organization or the World Health Organization. With a 2010 budget of 83 million dollars, it is one of only two UN agencies to be headquartered in Africa. Only 58 states, out of a total of 193 in the world, are members. Each convention has its own secretariat, which scarcely communicates with the others.
Between 1992 and 2007, 540 meetings have been called under 18 international treaties, generating more than 5000 decisions. The convention on climate change, adopted in 1992, has collected about 100 billion dollars for its budget. But beyond the facade of everything being unanimous, talks on how to harmonize the system have been deadlocked for years. (AFP, 2/25/2011)
Friday, February 11, 2011
Gration, a retired Air Force major general, was one of the first prominent military officials to embrace Obama as a presidential candidate, and he traveled with the then senator to Africa in 2006. Gration grew up in Africa, the son of missionaries, and speaks Swahili.
He has a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and earned a master's degree in national security studies from Georgetown University in Washington in 1988. (Wash Post, 2/11/2011, Wiki)