Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №6/2008

Global Issues (10–11th form)


Terrorism is the systematic use of terror or unpredictable violence against governments, the public or individuals to attain a political objective. Terrorism has been used by political organizations, by nationalistic and ethnic groups, by revolutionaries and by the armies and secret police of governments themselves.

Terrorism has been practiced throughout history and throughout the world. In the 20th Century terrorism became the hallmark of a number of political movements, groups or even individuals attempting to destabilize or overthrow existing political institutions. Terrorism has been used in anticolonial conflicts, in disputes between different national groups, in conflicts between different religious denominations.

Terrorism’s public impact has been greatly magnified by the use of modern communications media. Any act of violence is certain to attract television coverage, which brings the event directly into millions of homes and exposes viewers to the terrorists’ demands, grievances, or political goals. Modern terrorism differs from that of the past because its victims are frequently innocent civilians who are picked at random or who merely happen into terrorist situations. Violent acts often include kidnappings, assassinations, skyjackings, bombing, hijackings.

Political violence characterized the last years of the 20th century and will characterize the early decades of the 21st century. The universal availability of weapons, explosives and technologically sophisticated timing and triggering devices, along with the global communication revolution, adds to the terrorisms’ capabilities. Increased capabilities include coordinated, nearly simultaneous attacks in several countries, fax death threats, comparison of target lists by computer. Concurrently, intrastate conflicts, political uncertainty and growth of ethnic challenges to the administrative state are weakening the states’ security capabilities. Coupled with the increased porosity of state borders, these trends are making it easier for the terrorist to move anywhere in the world with little chance of being apprehended or even identified.

to attain достигать, добиваться
a hallmark признак; критерий
to destabilize дестабилизировать
a denomination вероисповедание; конфессия
to magnify увеличивать
to expose показывать
a grievance недовольство
at random наугад
merely просто; единственно
an assassination убийство политического или общественного деятеля (по идейным мотивам или за деньги)
a skyjacking угон самолётов, воздушное пиратство
a hijacking воздушный бандитизм
availability наличие
sophisticated современный
simultaneous одновременный
concurrently ] согласованно
intrastate внутригосударственный
coupled связанный; соединённый сопряжённый
porosity “проницаемость”
to apprehend арестовывать; задерживать
to pursue искать, добиваться

I. Read and translate the text.

II. Answer the questions:
1. What objectives are usually pursued by terrorists?
2. Can terrorism be used in the framework of a state policy?
3. Why has terrorism become the means of settling various conflicts in societies?
4. How can we oppose terrorism?
5. Is it possible to conquer terrorism?

The Prayer of the United Nations

In 1945 leaders from fifty-one countries met in San Francisco and organized the United Nations. World War II had just ended, millions of people had died and there was destruction everywhere. People hoped they could build a future of world peace with this new organization. Today, almost every country in the world is a member of the UN. Each country has signed an agreement that says it will help the UN in its actions or international peace and human rights to all people. It also says that all members promise to solve international problems in a peaceful way, and no member will use force against another member.

Oh Lord, our planet Earth is only a small star in space. It is our duty, to transform it into a planet whose creatures are no longer tormented by war, hunger and fear, no longer senselessly divided by race, colour and ideology. Give us courage and strength to begin this task so that our children and children’s children shall one day carry the name of “Man” with pride.

This prayer is a continuous invitation to tolerance, the brotherhood of man embracing all nationalities and ideologies, a continuous reminder against violence and xenophobia – a continuous, a small step towards peace and spiritual unity for everyone, independent of background, colour, ideology, religion and physical condition.

Words to remember:
a prayer молитва
a creature создание, творение, живое существо
to torment мучить, причинять боль, страдания
tolerance терпимость
to embrace включать; заключать в себе
a reminder напоминание
xenophobia ксенофобия

Home task:
1. Make a poster or a postcard to illustrate the prayer (in pencils, in colours, use computer graphics or whatever you can…)
2. Comment on your poster. Explain your ideas. (Write 8-10 sentences below your poster. Be ready to share your ideas with your friends in class orally)
3. What is xenophobia? Consult a dictionary if you do not know. What are historical examples?

The International Bill of Rights

When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, it was viewed as the first step in the formulation of an “international Bill of Rights”. The Bill became a reality with the entry into force of three documents: the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.

The Covenants require counties ratifying them to recognize and protect a wide range of human rights. The promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all had been included in the Charter, establishing the United Nations, as the Organization’s basic aims. U.N. Comission drafted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The declaration inspired national constitutions and laws, as well as conventions on various specific rights.

Country ratifying the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights undertakes to protect its people by law against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It recognizes the right of every human being to life, liberty, security and privacy of a person. The Covenant prohibits slavery, guarantees the right to fair trail and protects persons against arbitral arrest or detention. It recognizes freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of opinion and its expression, the right of peaceful assembly and of emigration, and of freedom of association.
A country ratifying the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes everyone’s right to work, fair wages, social security, adequate standards of living and freedom from hunger, and to health and education.

A major provision of the Covenant is the right of all peoples to self-determination, and the right to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a resolution adopted unanimously in December 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. The objective of the 30-article declaration is to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The declaration proclaims the personal, civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of humans, which are limited only by recognition for the rights and freedoms of others and the requirements of morality, public order, and general welfare. Among the rights cited by the declaration, are the rights to life, liberty, and security of person; to freedom from arbitrary arrest; to a fair trial; to be presumed innocent until proved guilty; to freedom from interference with the privacy of one’s home and correspondence; to freedom of movement and residence; to asylum, nationality, and ownership of property; to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, opinion, and expression; to association, peaceful assembly, and participation in government; to social security, work, rest, and a standard of living adequate for health and well-being; to education; and to participation in the social life of one’s community. The declaration was conceived as the first part of an international bill of rights. The UN Commission on Human Rights directed its efforts to the incorporation of the main principles of the declaration into various international agreements.

The General Assembly in 1955 authorized two human rights covenants, one relating to civil and political rights, and the other to economic, social, and cultural rights. After a long struggle for ratification, both of these covenants became effective in January 1976.

Women’s Liberation

The modern women’s liberation movement began in 1960s. It was started by women who were concerned about their identity, their role in society, and their work, and about the view of women that many people held. Many women want full equality with men in every aspect of life. In marriage, they want husbands and wives to share all the work and responsibilities of a home and a family. In work they want women and men to have the same jobs and the same chance to succeed. They want women to be paid just as much as men for the same work.

A second issue of women’s liberation movement is the question of women’s roles. Should a woman work outside the home, should she work if she is married and has children? Are some jobs closed to her because she is a woman?

Many people agree with the ideas and goals of women’s liberation. They feel that women ought to be considered equal to men in every way. They feel that a woman should be able to decide to stay at home and raise a family, or to stay at home and not raise a family, or to go out and work or to have a job outside the home and a family as well. Other people are opposed to women’s liberation. The Women’s Liberation Movement is trying to give women a chance to show what they can do.

United Nations Children’s Fund

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), agency of the United Nations (UN) devoted to the welfare of children. The organization was established by the UN General Assembly in 1946 to help children in post-World-War-II Europe and China. UNICEF currently focuses on establishing long-term human development, although it continues to offer emergency relief and rehabilitation assistance when necessary.

UNICEF is governed by a 36-member executive board that establishes policies, reviews programmes, and approves expenditures. The executive director is appointed for a five-year term by the executive board in consultation with the UN secretary-general. UNICEF currently has more than 200 offices in 115 developing countries. A network of 34 committees in industrialized nations promotes support for UNICEF programmes through fund raising, advocacy, education, and information activities. The agency is funded entirely by voluntary government and public contributions.

UNICEF country programmes, formulated in consultation with governments, encompass cooperation with people from all parts of society including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, community leaders, teachers, parents, and children. More than 130 countries receive UNICEF support for primary health care, nutrition, basic education, and water and sanitation programmes. One of the agency’s main programmes, Universal Child Immunization, together with the World Health Organization, UNICEF’s other partners, vaccinated 80 percent of the world’s children against diphtheria, measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus, tuberculosis, and whooping cough. In 1965 the agency was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. UNICEF headquarters are in New York City.

1. What does the word “assembly” mean?
2. What kind of organization is the UN?
3. Why was it established in 1945?
4. What are the main principles of this organization?
5. What was the main aim for establishing the UN?
6. What are the main rights of any human being? Which of them do you consider the most important and why?

By Elena Zubets ,
School No. 1262, Moscow