11/02/2016

Central African Republic: UN Urges Steps to End Impunity for Rights Abuses

Human Wrongs Watch

10 February 2016 – As the Central African Republic (CAR) prepares for the second round of presidential elections this weekend, a new UN report detailing violations and human rights abuses in the strife-torn nation’s capital late last year has prompted the head of the UN peacekeeping mission there to call for urgent measures in the fight against impunity and to prevent future violations.

Two years after tens of thousands of inhabitants fled to the capitals airport in search of safety, Banguis Mpoko airport is still home to 20,000 displaced people. UNICEF/UN08031/Le Du

The report, which will be released later this month, details grave human rights abuses committed following the eruption of violence in the capital city of Bangui, from 26 September to 20 October 2015.

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11/02/2016

‘Overuse of Antibiotics and Other Antimicrobials Threats Rural Livelihoods, Food Security’

 Human Wrongs Watch

The overuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents is impacting rural livelihoods and food security, and requires globally coordinated efforts, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 10 February 2016 said.

Health workers in Bulgaria train during an animal disease outbreak simulation exercise. Photo: FAO/Yanne

Speaking to European ministers of health and agriculture at a conference on antimicrobial resistance in Amsterdam, FAO Deputy Director-General Helena Semedo emphasized that antimicrobial agents foster increasing resistance among the very microbes that cause the infections and disease they were designed to quell, thereby threatening to reverse a century of progress in human and animal health.

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10/02/2016

Transparency International to Pursue Social Sanctions on 9 Grand Corruption Cases

 Human Wrongs Watch

Contest to identify most symbolic cases of grand corruption reached millions of people

Transparency International on 10 February 2016 launched the sanctioning phase of its Unmask the Corrupt campaign in which the anti-corruption group asked the public to identify the world’s most symbolic cases of grand corruption.*

Zine_El_Abidine_Ben_Ali

**Photo: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, President of Tunisia | Presidencia de la Nación Argentina | Presidencia de la Nación Argentina | Wikimedia commons

Because so many cases received a large number of votes, Transparency International has decided to pursue social sanctions against nine of the symbolic cases (listed below) of grand corruption.

The voting, the website and related social media engaged over 170,000 people and attracted tens of thousands of votes, spreading the word on grand corruption in a powerful way to new audiences.

Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.

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10/02/2016

Norwegian Energy Minister: We Will Drill until Gas Reserves Run Out

Human Wrongs Watch

EurActiv.com by James Crisp*

8 February 2016 – Norway will be on its last third of natural gas reserves by 2035, much of it in the Arctic, and almost all of it destined for the EU market, the country’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy told EurActiv in an interview. Tord Lien said production would stop once the reserves were gone.
Tord Lien  [OED/Scanpix] | Source: EurActiv

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He also discussed Norway’s successful renewables sector, climate change, and trade – but was less forthcoming on what a post-Brexit UK could learn from his non-EU country.

Tord Lien is Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy. Norway is a major supplier of natural gas to the EU, which views it as a bridge fuel towards a low-carbon future and an important part of its efforts to bolster the bloc’s energy security. Continue reading

10/02/2016

Violence Is a Preventable Disease

Human Wrongs Watch

Nobel Peace Laureate*

BELFAST, 9 February 2016 (IPS) – The World Health Organization has said that ‘Violence is a preventable disease’ and people are not born violent, rather we all live in cultures of violence. This can be changed through nonviolent peacemaking and the persuit of ‘just peace’ and nurturing of cultures of peace.

Mairead-Corrigan-Maguire1-260x270

Mairead Maguire, a peace activist from Northern Ireland is a 1976 Nobel Peace Laureate

In Northern Ireland for over thirty years we faced violence from all sides, as we lived in a deep ethnic/political conflict.

This violence only ended when everyone acknowledged that militarism and paramilitarism could not solve our human problems, and only through unconditional, all inclusive dialogue and negotiations could we reach a political agreement based on nonviolence, forgiveness, compromise and cooperation.

We spoke ‘to our enemies’ and made peace with them, because we recognized that without peace nothing is possible, and with peace, everything is possible.

We also began to tackle the root causes of our violence, by painstakingly making policy changes.
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10/02/2016

125 Million People in Need, 60 Million Forced from their Homes, 37 Countries Affected – World Humanitarian Summit

Human Wrongs Watch

World leaders must come together in 2016 to renew their commitments to humanity and unite to prevent and end crisis and reduce vulnerability, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 9 February 2016 said, telling UN Member States that the World Humanitarian Summit will provide an opportunity for “concrete steps towards ending the suffering experienced by billions of people today.”

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Infographic #1 | United Nations

“We need to show the millions of people living in conflict – with chronic needs and constant fear – the solidarity that they deserve and expect,” the Secretary-General said at the launch of his report, One Humanity: Shared responsibility, for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set for 23 and 24 May in Istanbul, Turkey.

“The urgency of these challenges and the scale of the suffering mean we must accept our shared responsibilities and act decisively, with compassion and resolve,” he added.

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09/02/2016

All Sides in Syria Killing Thousands of Detainees in Crimes against Humanity, UN Reports

Human Wrongs Watch

Thousands of detainees have been killed while in the custody of the warring parties in Syria over the past four and a half years, with thousands held by the Government beaten to death or dying from torture and anti-Government groups brutalizing and executing prisoners in war crimes and crimes against humanity, a United Nations commission on 8 February 2016 reported.

Photo: UNHCR/V. Tan

“Nearly every surviving detainee has emerged from custody having suffered unimaginable abuses,” Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said of those held by the Government in releasing the report in Geneva – Out of sight, out of mind: Deaths in detention in the Syrian Arab Republic.

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09/02/2016

“Alarming” Food Security and Malnutrition in Somalia – Report

Human Wrongs Watch

According to a new United Nations food security and nutrition assessment, the situation in Somalia is alarming and could get worse, especially in parts of Puntland and Somaliland, which have been hard hit by drought exacerbated by El Niño.

A mother cradles her malnourished and dehydrated baby at Banadir Hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu 2011. UN Photo/Stuart Price (file)

“We are deeply concerned that the proportion of severely food insecure people remains alarmingly high, especially people who are unable to meet their daily food needs. Some 3.7 million people will be acutely food insecure through mid-2016. With severe drought conditions intensifying in Puntland and Somaliland, many more people risk relapsing into crisis,” on 8 February 2016 said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, in a press release.

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09/02/2016

Religious Fundamentalism-Extremism-Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

8 February 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service

To navigate these difficult conceptual waters we need some rules. Here are three suggestions (the violence can be direct–as sometimes prescribed by the Abrahamic religions–or structural as by Hinduism): 

galtung_side

Johan Galtung

  1. Anchor “religious fundamentalism” in religious scriptures taken literally according to the fundamentalists, not as “interpreted”;
  2. Anchor “extremism” in violent action, verbal or physical;
  3. Anchor “religious extremism” in violent action justified-legitimized by religious scriptures, by fundamentalists or not.

Fundamentalism has to do with inner faith, belief. Extremism has to do with outer violence against Other, and against Self (like flagellation for being a sinner). Keep them separate. And be careful.

We can have fundamentalism without extremism. The fundamentalist may believe much, beyond the beliefs of others, yet not cross the border to violence. We may say: let him-her do so; it is not obvious that fundamentalists are more violent than non-fundamentalists.
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09/02/2016

UN Mobilises Action to End Female Genital Mutilation within 15 Years

Human Wrongs Watch

Marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), dozens of women, girls, experts, and United Nations officials on 8 February 2016 gathered at a special event at UN Headquarters to discuss ways of eliminating the harmful practice by 2030 and to celebrate the increased mobilization against it.

Malian singer Inna Modja performs during a special event, Mobilizing to Achieve the Global Goals through the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030. Having been subjected to FGM as a small girl, Ms. Modja advocates for the rights of women and girls. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

“I am proud to be among so many champions in the cause of eliminating female genital mutilation,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during his keynote address, highlighting that the event is also “a celebration of women’s empowerment.”

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