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August 30, 2012

Micronesia left behind by the Paralympic movement

Micronesia left behind by the Paralympic movement

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

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Sir Philip Craven at the International Paralympic Committee press conference
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England — At the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) press conference Monday, Sir Philip Craven indicated the goal of the IPC is to grow disability sport globally. At the same time, according to Paul Bird of the Oceania Paralympic Committee, the Micronesian of Oceania has been left completely behind by the Paralympic movement.

According to a member of the Oceania Paralympic Committee, the IPC recognizes fewer countries than the International Olympic Committee, with IPC rules prohibiting countries from becoming full members of the organization if their independence is not clear. This rule dates back to the organization’s founding and no serious attempts have been made to change it since.

As many Micronesian countries are not viewed as independent countries, they cannot join. This includes Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The only eligibility route for elite athletes with disabilities in these countries to the Paralympic Games is through their home country, which for most of the Micronesian region is the United States; they have to compete against better-funded and better-supported competitors to earn national team selection. No disability sport competitors from Micronesia were chosen to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

This problem is not unique to Micronesia, with the United States territories of Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands not being represented as members of the United States team in 2012.



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June 24, 2008

We\’ll always have .paris: ICANN votes for top level domain registration in 2009

We’ll always have .paris: ICANN votes for top level domain registration in 2009

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation based in California, United States to regulate internet domain names, will vote on Thursday for a proposal to allow the open registration of top-level domains (TLDs) for Internet addresses. If the proposal succeeds, then as soon as next year any entity with sufficient funds may be able to apply for ownership of a relevant TLD, so that, for example, web sites could have addresses ending in .paris, .ebay or .love.

The range of TLDs has traditionally been heavily restricted by ICANN, with most being country codes (such as .uk for the United Kingdom, or .jp for Japan) or related to the purpose of a website (like .com for commercial websites, .edu for educational sites, and .org for non-profit organisations).

Some existing owners of TLDs have already set up arrangements that have made use of their flexibility – for example, the countries of Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia have leased many domains on their country code TLDs (.tv and .fm respectively) to entertainment websites based on the association with “television” and “FM radio”.

Commentators have pointed out that this may open the way for the controversial .xxx domain, proposed for sites with adult content, which ICANN has previously rejected. Its existence will not be guaranteed in the new system, however, as domain registration will be subject to an independent arbitration process, and granted only when the registrant can demonstrate “a business plan and technical capability”, and applications may be rejected on “morality or public order” grounds. While the proposal does not include registration fees, the TLDs are predicted to cost several thousand dollars, at least.

ICANN CEO Paul Twomey, speaking with the BBC, compared the opening of domains to the opening of real estate in the United States in the 19th century. “It’s a massive increase in the geography of the real estate of the Internet,” he said.

The ICANN International Public Meeting, which opened in Paris, France on Monday, includes workshops and public forums as well as the ICANN Board meeting.



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July 31, 2007

Scholarships awarded to isolated pacific islanders in Micronesia

Scholarships awarded to isolated pacific islanders in Micronesia

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Habele Outer Island Education announced Tuesday that it will be awarding over US$3,500 in tuition assistance scholarships to students from the Outer Islands of Yap State, in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The fund is a South Carolina based 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, administered by unpaid volunteers, including many returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have served time in Micronesia’s public schools.

The scholarships were awarded to two female high school students from the Atoll of Ulithi. These students will be traveling to the neighboring Republic of Palau to attend classes at the private all-girls Bethanaia High School.

Habele was incorporated in 2006, and began informal scholarships three years earlier in 2003. In addition to providing scholarships to students who attend private schools, the organization also gathers and distributes donations of school supplies to the public schools in the Outer Islands of Yap.

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September 7, 2005

UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries

UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005

In order to find P-2 level officers for the United Nations Secretariat, the international organization is holding competitive recruitment competitions in 42 countries. The examinations will take place in February, 2006.

Six occupational groups are being sought: Architecture, Demography, Library, Security, Science and Technology, and Statistics. There will be a written examination (both a general paper and a specialised paper) and an interview.

The written examination questions are given in English and French, the two working languages of the Secretariat. Candidates must write their answers for the general paper in English or French. However, they may write their answers for the specialized paper in English, French, or any of the other four official languages of the Secretariat, i.e., Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Spanish.

The examinations will take place on February 28, 2006 in New York, Addis Ababa, Andorra La Vella, Athens, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, Monaco, Nairobi, Santiago, Vaduz, Valletta, and Vienna.

According to the UN, applicants “should hold at least a first-level university degree relevant to the occupational group in which they would like to take the examination. Furthermore, applicants should not be more than 32 years old on 31 December, 2006 … Fluency in either English or French is required.”

The following countries have been selected for the 2006 competition: Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Comores, Republic of Korea, Gambia, Japan, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, San Marino, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Panama, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, USA, and Vietnam.

The practice of scouting under-represented nations for highly-qualified employees is an annual occurrence.

The United Nations Secretariat is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary General and assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies. The United Nations Charter provides that the staff be chosen by application of the “highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity,” with due regard for the importance of recruiting on a wide geographical basis.

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