Archive for ‘Middle East’


‘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.


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.*


**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.


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 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.


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.”


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.


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.


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): 


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.


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.”


Appeal for Children

Human Wrongs Watch

UNICEF is launching a US$2.8 billion appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies, of which the largest portion, 25 per cent, targets educating children in emergencies.* 




Every year, the lives of millions of children and their families are disrupted, upended or nearly destroyed by emergencies.

Conflict, human-made disasters and wide-ranging, climate-change events challenge the lives of many who are already vulnerable. In all of these situations, UNICEF is there.

This overview offers a clear picture of the many aspects of UNICEF’s global work in humanitarian situations.


Somalia Offers Yemenis a Safer Home

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mohamed Omar Mulla*

GARDO, 5 February 2016 (IRIN) – Somalia is the new home for 30,560 people who have fled the fighting in Yemen and are trying to adjust to life in a country that – while no longer written off as a “failed state” – certainly has its challenges.

Many who once left Somalia, fleeing war, are now returning, fleeing a different war.

The majority of those who have landed by boat in the autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland since March last year are Somalis, embarking from Yemen’s southern ports.


Thirty States Ratify Establishment of African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Human Wrongs Watch

Chad becomes 30th AU Member State to ratify the Protocol on the establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

 Source: The African Union


Arusha, 5 February, 2016 (African Union)* – The Republic of Chad has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Right, bringing the number of African Union (AU) Member States to have ratified it to 30.

The instrument was signed on 27 January, 2016 by Chad’s President Idriss Deby Itno and immediately deposited at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The President of Chad assumed the AU annual rotating Chairmanship last week in Addis Ababa from President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.


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