Archive for ‘Latin America & Caribbean’

27/03/2015

Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe – The Dangers Are Very Great Today

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. & Danish Pugwash Group – TRANSCEND Media Service

26 March 2015 — Let us first consider the urgent reasons why all nuclear weapons must be eliminated. Although the Cold War has ended, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than ever before.

Source: ICAN

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

There are 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world today, of which 15,300 are in the hands of Russia and the United States.

Several thousand of these weapons are on hair-trigger alert, meaning that whoever is in charge of them has only a few minutes to decide whether the signal indicating an attack is real, or an error.

The most important single step in reducing the danger of a disaster would be to take all weapons off hair-trigger alert.

Bruce G. Blair, Brookings Institute, has remarked that “It is obvious that the rushed nature of the process, from warning to decision to action, risks causing a catastrophic mistake… This system is an accident waiting to happen.”

Fred Ikle of the Rand Corporation has written, “But nobody can predict that the fatal accident or unauthorized act will never happen. Given the huge and far-flung missile forces, ready to be launched from land and sea on both sides, the scope for disaster by accident is immense… In a matter of seconds, through technical accident or human failure, mutual deterrence might thus collapse.”

26/03/2015

SHERLOC against Organized Crime

Human Wrongs Watch

25 March 2015 – With criminal groups transforming into ever more sophisticated networks, and their ability to operate across borders increasing, the need for greater information sharing and cooperation is urgent.*

Photo: UNODC

Source: UNODC

To meet this need, UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) has developed SHERLOC: an online knowledge management portal for Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws on Crime and disseminating information on how States implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).

SHERLOC aims to promote communication between States, police enforcement agencies, civil society and other organizations, and has been developed to easily provide access to legal cases related to countries’ implementation of the Convention.

Since its creation a year ago, SHERLOC has grown to include information on over 1,800 individual cases and 2,100 instances of legislation concerning national laws.

SHERLOC has been developed with a wide user base in mind: Governments, judicial agencies, law enforcement officials, legal practitioners, academics and more.

It includes information on a range of criminal activities such as cybercrime, human trafficking, money laundering, piracy, and wildlife and forest crime.

25/03/2015

Vykom: Strategic Nonviolent Action Against Untouchability

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

25 March 2014 — Why does nonviolent action work? And how good was Mohandas K. Gandhi as a nonviolent strategist?

**Memorial at the former en:Birla House, en:New Delhi, en:India where en:Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated at 5:17 PM on 30 January 1948 on his way to a prayer meeting. Stylized footsteps are shown leading to the memorial. | Author: Fowler&fowler | Wikimedia Commons

**Memorial at the former en:Birla House, en:New Delhi, en:India where en:Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated at 5:17 PM on 30 January 1948 on his way to a prayer meeting. Stylized footsteps are shown leading to the memorial. | Author: Fowler&fowler | Wikimedia Commons

If you want high quality evidence in your search for answers to these two questions then I encourage you to read Professor Mary E. King’s latest book on the struggle against untouchability, unapproachability and unseeability in the south Indian village of Vykom during the 1920s.

See ‘Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India: The 1924–25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change‘.

History is not always considered instructive and yet the major achievements, and failures, of nonviolent activists throughout the twentieth and now twenty-first centuries can be better understood if we understand what happened at Vykom.

23/03/2015

‘Onset of Climate Change, Growing Demand, and Increasing Pollution Are Hastening a Water Crisis’

Human Wrongs Watch

As the perils of climate change increasingly threaten the planet, the international community must unite in “a spirit of urgent cooperation” to address the many water-related challenges facing humanity, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 22 March 2015 declared.

Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

In his message marking the 2015 edition of World Water Day, observed annually on 22 March, the Secretary-General warned that access to safe drinking water and sanitation was among “the most urgent issues” affecting populations across the globe.

“The onset of climate change, growing demand on finite water resources from agriculture, industry and cities, and increasing pollution in many areas are hastening a water crisis that can only be addressed by cross-sectoral, holistic planning and policies – internationally, regionally and globally,” Ban affirmed.

22/03/2015

‘Water Now Presents Highest Risk to World’ – WEF

Human Wrongs Watch

According to the nearly 900 experts that took part in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Perception Survey, a future water crisis would have the most damaging consequences, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) reported weeks ahead of the World Water Day marked on 22 March 2015.*
Source: SIWI

Source: SIWI

In a report released on 15 January 2015, SIWI informed that the respondents also found that a water crisis is closely linked to several other risks; obviously to food, extreme weather events and failure of climate-change adaptation, but also to inter-state conflict, profound social instability and failure of urban planning.

“The picture painted by the Global Risk report should be a very sobering one. The water challenges confronting us are indeed tremendous”, says Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI.

22/03/2015

A Drop of Water Is Flexible. A Drop of Water Is Powerful. A Drop of Water Is in Demand

Human Wrongs Watch

22 March 2015, World Water Day* — The planet is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource. This is the unavoidable conclusion reached in the 2015 United Nations World Water Development Report, “Water for a Sustainable World”, launched in New Delhi India ahead of the World Water Day marked on 22 March 2015.

Source: FAO

Source: FAO

“There is already international consensus that water and sanitation are essential to the achievement of many sustainable development goals. They are inextricably linked to climate change, agriculture, food security, health, energy, equality, gender and education. Now, we must look forward to measurability, monitoring and implementation”, says Michel Jarraud, Chair of UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization.

22/03/2015

Are You Racist?

Human Wrongs Watch

21 March 2015 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Click on a thumbnail above to share an image with your friends. Ask them what they see – is there more than meets the eye?*

22/03/2015

Want to Combat Racial Discrimination? Learn from Historical Tragedies

Human Wrongs Watch

“Knowledge of history and memory of past crimes can allow us to build a future of peace, providing an antidote to hatred and prejudice,” said Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO marking the International Coalition of Cities against Racism on 21 March 2015.*

Source: UNESCO

Source: UNESCO

“It is in this spirit that International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is dedicated this year to the theme of “Learning from historical tragedies to combat racial discrimination today.”

UNESCO has been working tirelessly for many years to disseminate teaching of the history of slavery and the slave trade, recognized as a crime against humanity in 2001, she said.

20/03/2015

International Day of Happiness: Are You Enjoying Peace, Prosperity, and a Life of Dignity?’

Human Wrongs Watch

Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, as the Organization kicked-off its global celebrations marking the annual observance of the International Day of Happiness on 20 March 2015.*

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Children from the Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced perform traditional dances at the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, El Fasher, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek. We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights. We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace,” the Secretary-General said in his message for the Day.

“We want people and planet alike to be blessed with sustainable development, and to be spared the catastrophic impacts of climate change.”

19/03/2015

Is This a Blip or a Tip in Humanity’s Onslaught on the Climate?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kumi Naidoo*

18 March, 2015 — Reports that the growth in carbon pollution paused last year should give heart to climate campaigners and clean energy investors around the world. The figures, from the International Energy Agency, no less, will come as a cold shower to those who still believe that burning fossil fuels is inextricably bound to economic growth.

Photo: Ferina Natasya/Greenpeace

Photo credit: Ferina Natasya/Greenpeace

For the first time in 40 years, global carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector did not increase. During 2014, the global economy grew by 3 percent but emissions remained at 2013 levels.

“This is a real surprise. We have never seen this before”, IEA chief economist Fatih Birol was reported as saying.

Whether a blip or a tipping point, it is an indication that renewable energy and energy efficiency are becoming serious game-changers.

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