The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, on 17 December 2014 urged the World Bank to recognize the central importance of human rights to its draft environmental and social policies, also known as safeguard policies, which apply to its investment project financing.
By Roberto Savio*
Rome, 17 December 2014 — It is now official: today’s inter-governmental system is not able to act in the interest of humankind.
The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima – which ended on 14 December 2014, two days after it was scheduled to close – was the last step before the next Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015, where a global agreement must be found.
In Lima, 196 countries with several thousand delegates negotiated for two weeks to find a common position on which to convene in Paris in one year’s time.
Lima was preceded by an historical meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the world’s two main polluters agreed on a course of action to reduce pollution.
Well, Lima has produced a draft climate pact, adopted by everybody, simply because it carries no obligation. It is a kind of global gentlemen’s agreement, where it is supposed that the world is inhabited only by gentlemen, including the energy corporations.
By Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond*, December 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service
What the American Psychological Association Knew
Earlier this week the Senate Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited executive summary of its 6,000-page classified report on the CIA’s brutal post-9/11 detention and interrogation program.
The report provides gruesome details of the abuse that took place in several “black site” prisons – waterboarding, confinement in a coffin-sized box, threatened harm to family members, forced nudity, freezing temperatures, “rectal feeding” without medical need, stress positions, diapering, days of sleep deprivation, and more.
Netherlands Politicians ‘trying to score political points at expense of homeless migrants’ – UN Rights Experts
In the Netherlands, assisting migrants living on the streets is not a matter of charity but rather an obligation of the Government, a group of United Nations human rights experts on 16 December 2014 said as they urged Dutch authorities to immediately provide irregular migrants with “bed, bath and bread”.
As it stands, the Netherlands refuses to give emergency food, clothing, and shelter (popularly called “bed, bath and bread” in the country), despite repeated disapproval by international and regional human rights bodies.*
Migrants’ Remittances Expected to Reach US$ 436 Billion in 2014 – How to Help Them Make the Most of Their Money
Geneva, December 2014 (ILO)* – Moussé Bao is a 35 year-old migrant from Senegal who has been living in France since 2006.
Like most migrant workers, he sends a substantial amount of his monthly salary back to Louga, his hometown in North-Western Senegal, near the coastal city of Saint Louis. Every month, his mother and wife receive about 500 euros through a money transfer service.
Kabul, 15 December 2014 (IRIN)* – When Shaharzad completed her law degree and announced she wanted to get a job, her younger brother did what he could to stop it. Coming from the culturally conservative Badakhshan region, the siblings had left their parents behind to move to the capital Kabul and her brother was technically the head of the household. Even still, she was determined to stand on her own feet.
Two years later, he is still trying to persuade her to quit. “Every two or three days he says the same thing – it is better to stay at home and I will provide the salary. He asks me to stay at home and cook for him and wash his clothes,” she said, giggling as though amazed by her own rebellion. “But I am trying to go forwards, not backwards.”
By Mairead Maguire*, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service
Appeal to His Holiness Pope Francis to Replace Just War Theory with Theology of Peace, Nonkilling, and Nonviolence
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is particularly appropriate that we are gathered here around International Human Rights Day and our theme is Peace and Living It.
I believe that Peace is a Human Right for everyone, and its presence is necessary in order to protect and sustain all the other rights enshrined in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I am sure we can agree that although we have a Universal Declaration, we have a long way to go to ensure that our Governments implement and uphold all these rights. In spite of this I am full of hope because I believe that we, the human family, are at a turning point in history.
There is a new growing consciousness a fresh way of thinking and living, with many taking care of each other and of nature and re-acknowledging that the true spirit of humanity is to love and be loved.
The first panel was related to the prevention of inequality, oppression and abuse, in particular related to sexual and gender violence.
Once again women gave us the most exciting moments: a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase Unarmed Civilian, clear reference to the recent protests against police violence in the United States, Jody Williams responded to a question on femicide describing the attitude of devaluing the other as the root of violence that begins in the home, but reaches up to the invasion of countries considered less “valuable”.
The quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has reached a “dramatic” crossroads, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, on 15 December 2014 told the Security Council in his briefing on the situation, warning that the region’s future remains “more uncertain than ever.”
Speaking to the 15-member body in New York, Serry explained that as Israel heads into election season following the recent collapse of its ruling coalition, the resulting “deadly diplomatic vacuum can be no excuse for either side to let the present situation get even worse.”*