New York, 24 November 2014 – Tonight, for the first time ever, both the iconic United Nations Headquarters complex and the Empire State Building in New York are bathed in orange light to kick off the “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” campaign ahead of the International Day to End Violence Against Women.
UN Secretariat shines in orange light kicking off Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. November 2014. UN Photo/E. Debebe
“Together, we must end this global disgrace,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a special pre-lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building this morning where he “flipped the switch” ahead of the Building’s illumination tonight.*
“It is up to everyone to play their part; women’s rights are not only women’s business. Men and boys are finally taking their place as partners in this battle,” Ban explained in midtown New York where he was joined by American actress Teri Hatcher, Yoo Soon-taek, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
‘Young people matter. They matter because an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth are alive today, and because they are the shapers and leaders of our global future. They matter because they have inherent human rights that must be fulfilled,’ according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report State of World Population 2014.*
Photo source: UNFPA
“Yet, in a world of adult concerns, young people are often overlooked. This tendency cries out for urgent correction, because it imperils youth as well as economies and societies at large.”
Youth in today’s large numbers may be improperly seen as a daunting challenge, a drain on scarce resources, or properly seen as the potential architects of a historic transformation in human well-being, says the report, which was released on 18 November 2014.
“The largest global youth population in human history will have a profound effect on every aspect of our common future and can create a better world for all.”
By Roberto Savio*
Rome, November 2014 (IPS) Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2 emissions, a very cold shower has come from India.
Photo credit: Greenpeace
Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal has declared: “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate change many years in the future. The West will have to recognise we have the needs of the poor”.
This is also a blow to the Asia policy of U.S. President Barack Obama, who came back home from signing the CO2 emissions agreement in Beijing, touting his success on establishing U.S. policy in the region.
But, more importantly, will give plenty of ammunition to the Republican Congress, which has been fighting climate control on the grounds that the United States cannot engage on climate control unless other major polluters make similar commitments.
This was always directed to China, which had refuse to make any such commitment until President Xi, to the surprise of everybody, did so by signing an agreement with Obama. Continue reading
By Uri Avnery*, 21 November 2014
**Dome of the Rock viewed through Cotton Gate | Source: en:Image:TempmtS.jpg | Author: en:User:Gilabrand | Wikimedia Commons
IN ITS long and checkered history, Jerusalem has been occupied by dozens of conquerors.
Babylonians and Persians, Greeks and Romans, Mamluks and Turks, Britons and Jordanians – to mention just a few.
The latest occupier is Israel, which conquered and annexed Jerusalem in 1967.
(I could have written “East Jerusalem” – but all of historical Jerusalem is in today’s East Jerusalem. All the other parts were built in the last 200 years by Zionist settlers, or are surrounding Arab villages which were arbitrarily joined to the huge area that is now called Jerusalem after its occupation.)
This week, Jerusalem was in flames – again. Two youngsters from Jabel Mukaber, one of the Arab villages annexed to Jerusalem, entered a synagogue in the west of the city during morning prayers and killed four devout Jews, before themselves being killed by police.
Jerusalem is called “the City of Peace”. This is a linguistic mistake. True, in antiquity it was called Salem, which sounds like peace, but Salem was in fact the name of the local deity.
It is also a historical mistake. No city in the world has seen as many wars, massacres and as much bloodshed as this one.
All in the name of some God or other.
Faced with an “anaemic” pace of job creation and nearly 1.3 million unemployed citizens, Greece risks a prolonged social crisis unless urgent measures are taken, warns a new report out on 24 November 2014 from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried
According to the report, Productive Jobs for Greece, more than 70 per cent of the almost 1.3 million unemployed people in the country have been out of a job for more than a year, as a result of one in four jobs being lost since the beginning of the country’s economic crisis in 2008.*
Meanwhile, the number of Greeks at risk of poverty more than doubled in five years, rising from just above 20 per cent in 2008 to upwards of 44 per cent in 2013, the report found.
World military expenditure in 2013 is estimated to have been $1747 billion, representing 2.4 per cent of global gross domestic product or $248 for each person alive today, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI)‘s Yearbook 2014, Armaments, Disarmament and International Security*, issued earlier this month.
**The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin | Artist: Vasily Vereshchagin (1842–1904) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q127017 | Current location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q183334 | Wikimedia Commons
The total is about 1.9 per cent lower in real terms than in 2012. The pattern of increases and decreases in military spending in 2012 continued in 2013, with falls in Western countries (North America, Western and Central Europe, and Oceania) and increases in the rest of the world.
There were particularly large increases in Africa and the Middle East, while the impact of austerity policies continued to be felt in Europe.
The United States remained the largest military spender in 2013, followed at some distance by China and Russia.
21 November 2014 – Every year, household air pollution from cooking kills over four million people and sickens millions more, the United Nations spotlighted at a New York conference on cookstoves, as it urged Governments to take action to accelerate the adoption of clean cooking solutions.
In many parts of rural Nepal, women spend on average of five hours a day in smoke-filled kitchens such as these, underming their health. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar
The first-ever Cookstoves Future Summit, “Fueling Markets, Catalyzing Action, Changing Lives,” is intending through the financial and political commitments of Member States to improve the health of women living in poverty, who are disproportionately burdened with poor health and unpaid care work in the absence of goods and services such as clean cookstoves.
As it stands now, nearly three billion people worldwide continue to rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts, “according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
An estimated 4.3 million people die each year from indoor pollution. They die from strokes, and heart and pulmonary diseases, such as childhood pneumonia and lung cancer.
By Martin L., Joris T., Leon V. and Faiza O.*, 21 November, 2014 — Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously unthinkable. This isn’t just about the Arctic. If you live in the UK, they’ve secured the right to frack for gas under your house.
Photo credit: Greenpeace
In Spain, the inhabitants of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have been learning this to their cost. Their stunning coastline is now threatened by oil company Repsol, who plan to begin drilling on the coast. The risks to the environment and the livelihood of the inhabitants are great, but despite the opposition of the local population and the regional President the Spanish government in Madrid are backing the oil company.