The 2014 Don’t Bank on the Bomb report was launched earlier this month. The International Campaign against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)* spoke with co-author of the report, Susi Snyder from PAX, about the impact of the report, and how you can take action to stop nuclear weapons financing. Act now and tell your bank not to invest in nuclear weapons.
There is increased awareness among the public about the way financial institutions behave, and how they invest their money. How do you see this report contributing to increasing understanding about nuclear weapon investments?
Susi Snyder: The great thing about the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report is that it gives every person with a bank account (and that’s most of us!) an easy way to do something about nuclear weapons.
You don’t need to have a background in physics or international relations or high finance to say loud and clear “these weapons are unacceptable, and I don’t want to pay for them!” This report is unique in the world because there is no other single place to find all of this information.
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By Maya Ameratunga, Kabul, Afghanistan, 20 November 2014 (UNHCR)* – The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted 25 years ago today to protect children like Hasanat, Aisha and Safia.
© UNHCR/B.Baloch | Young Afghan refugees on their way home to Afghanistan wave goodbye to Pakistan.
The three, aged between seven and 13, have all returned to a homeland, Afghanistan, that they had heard much about but never visited. Half of Afghanistan’s 5 million returnees since 2002 were born in exile, mostly in Iran or Pakistan, which together still shelter 2.5 million Afghans.
Hasanat, Aisha and Safia all face further challenges in a country that remains volatile and poverty stricken, and their stories reflect the vulnerability of childhood in the region as well as the resilience of young returnees. Hasanat tells a harrowing tale of return; the stories of Aisha and Safia highlight some of the human rights problems children face.
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New York, 20 November 2014 – As countries around the world celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations family today hailed the landmark treaty as a powerful human rights tool, while taking stock of the long-standing disparities that must be addressed to propel actions for the well-being of all children into the future.
A child with his mother. Photo: UNICEF/Naser Siddique
Opening a high-level meeting this morning at UN Headquarters in New York, the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, underscored that the Convention is a collective commitment to ensure that every child worldwide has the right to a fair start in life, calling on Member States to safeguard that such rights are fully reflected in the post-2015 development agenda.*
“We must continue investing in the rights of all children across the world – no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, disability or economic status,” Kutesa said.
“Children are the fundamental building block for achieving the future we want. Indeed, by strengthening their capacity to mature into engaged, responsible and productive adults, society as a whole stands to benefit,” he added.
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New York, 20 November 2014* – Urgent action is needed to prevent millions of children from missing out on the benefits of innovation, UNICEF said in a new report launched on the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Connectivity and collaboration can fuel new global networks to leverage innovation to reach every child, according to the children’s agency.
For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a $4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society around the world, where 2.5 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation services, with 1 billion practicing open defection, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on 19 November 2014 said.
Photo: UNICEF/UKLA2013-00961/Karin Schermbrucker
WHO released a major new report behalf of UN-Water that showed that while global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation are gaining momentum, “serious gaps” in funding continue to hamper progress.
The UN health agency also noted that “At the time of writing, poor WASH [water and sanitation] conditions in communities and institutional settings, especially health facilities, have been exacerbating the spread of Ebola in West Africa.”
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With one out of three women worldwide lacking access to safe toilets, it is a moral imperative to end open defecation to ensure women and girls are not at risk of assault and rape simply because they lack a sanitation facility, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 19 November 2014 urged today on World Toilet Day.
Public toilet in the shanty town of Ciudad Pachacutec, Ventanilla District, El Callao Province, Peru. Photo: World Bank/Monica Tijero
In his message for the Day, commemorated annually on 19 November – with this year’s theme Equality, Dignity and the Link Between Gender-Based Violence and Sanitation – Ban said that addressing the sanitation challenge requires a global partnership and called on Member States to “spare no effort to bring equality, dignity and safety” to women and girls around the world.*
“A staggering 1.25 billion women and girls would enjoy greater health and increased safety with improved sanitation. Evidence also shows safe and clean toilets encourage girls to stay in school,” the UN chief said.
In all, some 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate toilets and among them 1 billion defecate in the open – in fields, bushes, or bodies of water – putting them, and especially children, in danger of deadly faecal-oral diseases like diarrhoea.
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Four months ago, the head of the UN agency dealing with HIV and AIDS urged world leaders at an international conference in Australia to end the hypocrisy on sex and make treatment and reproductive health education universally available. Now, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says that taking a fast-track approach in the battle against AIDS over the next five years will avert 21 million deaths and allow the world to end the epidemic by 2030.
The report, Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, outlines a set of targets that would need to be reached by 2020, including 90-90-90: 90 per cent of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90 per cent of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment; and 90 per cent of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.*
“We have bent the trajectory of the epidemic,” on 18 November 2014 said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS in a press release. “Now we have five years to break it for good or risk the epidemic rebounding out of control.”
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Human Wrongs Watch
‘As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy. The extent of financial corruption involving collusion between the mega-banks and the financial authorities is unfathomable. The Western financial system is a house of cards resting on corruption.’
**USDnotes | Source: USDnotes.jpg | Author: derivative work: Hidro (talk) – USDnotes.jpg: Original uploader was Andyhi18 at en.wikipedia | Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license | Wikimedia Commons
By Paul Craig Roberts*, 17 November 2014, TRANSCEND Media Service – As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy.
So why has Japan adopted the policy? Since the heavy duty money printing began in 2013, the Japanese yen has fallen 35% against the US dollar, a big cost for a country dependent on energy imports. Moreover, the Japanese economy has shown no growth in response to the QE stimulus to justify the rising price of imports.
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