Archive for ‘Middle East’

27/11/2014

Ritual Dancing, Bread-making Among Cultural Practices Added to World’s Cultural Heritage

Human Wrongs Watch

Brazil’s martial art of Capoeira, Burundi’s ritual dance of the royal drum and the preparation of Lavash – a popular flatbread integral to Armenian cuisine – are among the eight elements added on 26 November 2014 to the United Nations-endorsed list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage – part of the world body’s ongoing efforts to highlight global diversity and raise awareness of its importance.

The Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya has been inscribed in 2014 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Photo: Department of Culture, Kenya | Source: UN News Centre.

The traditions recognized by the UN – which also include the ritual and ceremonies of Sebeïba of Algeria; the traditional art of Azerbaijan‘s Kelaghavi silk headscarves; the Pujillay and Ayarichi music and dances of Bolivia‘s Yampara culture; Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s Zmijanje embroidery and Bulgaria‘s Chiprovski kilimi carpet-making tradition – were inscribed on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, after being chosen by a UNESCO committee that is meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Paris this week.

27/11/2014

Obesity-related Cancers on the Rise, Especially in Developed Countries

Human Wrongs Watch

Being overweight or obese have become major risk factors for developing cancer, particularly among women and in more developed countries, the specialized cancer agency of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHOreported on 26 November 2014.

A healthy diet can help to alleviate risk factors for a range of chronic diseases linked to obesity. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann | Source: UN News Centre

Overweight and obesity are responsible for an estimated 481,000 – or 3.6 per cent – of all new cancer cases in 2012, and reducing such health issues at the population level could have significant health benefits, according to a new study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

27/11/2014

UN Plans to Create a ‘Technology Bank’ for World’s Poorest Countries

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the formation of a High-Level Panel to study the scope and functions of a proposed new “technology bank” and dedicated to helping the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) advance out of poverty, the Organization’s spokesperson confirmed 26 November 2014.

Photo: ITU | Source: UN News Centre

The High-Level Panel – which is to advise on the organizational and operational aspects of the planned “Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation Supporting Mechanism” – will be chaired by Rwanda’s Romain Murenzi, currently Executive Director of the World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy, and includes five women and five men from LDCs and their development partners from the Global North and South.

26/11/2014

The Steady Decline of Social Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio* 

Rome, November 2014 — After the Italian sea search-and-rescue operation Mare Nostrum at a cost of nine million euros a month, through which the Italian Navy has rescued nearly 100,000 migrants – although perhaps up to 3,000 have died – from the Mediterranean since October 2013, Europe is now presenting its new face in the Mediterranean.

Asylum-seekers and economic migrants take to the seas, waiting out the dangerous journey in the boat’s cramped cargo space. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

Asylum-seekers and economic migrants take to the seas, waiting out the dangerous journey in the boat’s cramped cargo space. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

The European Union is launching Joint Operation Triton with a monthly budget of 2.9 million euros and funds secured until the end of the year. Its function is to enforce border controls – not to save “boat people” – and it will patrol just thirty nautical miles from the coast, which pales in comparison with Italy’s Mare Nostrum operation which saw patrols being sent close to the Libyan coast.

Even with this very limited operation, British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the United Kingdom will not contribute because operations that save migrants make them more willing to try to cross the Mediterranean. Of course, there is a perverted logic in this: the more migrants that die, the greater will be the discouragement for others to try.

26/11/2014

Violence against Women, Girls Is a ‘Global Pandemic’ that Destroys Lives, Fractures Communities – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as the world body on 25 November 2014 marked the International Day to End Violence against Women.*

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (left) and Chirlane McCray, New York City’s First Lady, after signing an agreement to work together in order to enhance the safety and empowerment of women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Jennifer S. Altman

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as the world body on 25 November 2014 marked the International Day to End Violence against Women.

“But violence against women and girls does not emerge from nowhere. It is simply the most extreme example of the political, financial, social and economic oppression of women and girls worldwide,” Ban said at an Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) event at Headquarters.

25/11/2014

#OrangeUrHood Campaign Kicks Off UN-led Effort to End Violence against Women

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 24 November 2014 – Tonight, for the first time ever, both the iconic United Nations Headquarters complex and the Empire State Building in New York are bathed in orange light to kick off the “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” campaign ahead of the International Day to End Violence Against Women. 

UN Secretariat shines in orange light kicking off Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. November 2014. UN Photo/E. Debebe

“Together, we must end this global disgrace,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a special pre-lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building this morning where he “flipped the switch” ahead of the Building’s illumination tonight.*

“It is up to everyone to play their part; women’s rights are not only women’s business. Men and boys are finally taking their place as partners in this battle,” Ban explained in midtown New York where he was joined by American actress Teri Hatcher, Yoo Soon-taek, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

25/11/2014

The Power of 1.8 Billion Youth

Human Wrongs Watch

‘Young people matter. They matter because an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth are alive today, and because they are the shapers and leaders of our global future. They matter because they have inherent human rights that must be fulfilled,’ according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report State of World Population 2014.* 
.
Photo source: UNFPA

Photo source: UNFPA

.
“Yet, in a world of adult concerns, young people are often overlooked. This tendency cries out for urgent correction, because it imperils youth as well as economies and societies at large.”
.
Youth in today’s large numbers may be improperly seen as a daunting challenge, a drain on scarce resources, or properly seen as the potential architects of a historic transformation in human well-being, says the report, which was released on 18 November 2014.
.
“The largest global youth population in human history will have a profound effect on every aspect of our common future and can create a better world for all.”

24/11/2014

The “Incestuous Relations” Between Governments and Energy Corporations

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, November 2014 (IPS) Less than a week after everybody celebrated the historical agreement on Nov. 17 between the United States and China on reduction of CO2 emissions, a very cold shower has come from India.

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal has declared: “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate change many years in the future. The West will have to recognise we have the needs of the poor”.

This is also a blow to the Asia policy of U.S. President Barack Obama, who came back home from signing the CO2 emissions agreement in Beijing, touting his success on establishing U.S. policy in the region.

But, more importantly, will give plenty of ammunition to the Republican Congress, which has been fighting climate control on the grounds that the United States cannot engage on climate control unless other major polluters make similar commitments.

This was always directed to China, which had refuse to make any such commitment until President Xi, to the surprise of everybody, did so by signing an agreement with Obama.

24/11/2014

1 in 3 Victims of Human Trafficking Is a Child — Girls, Women Account for 70% of the Total

Human Wrongs Watch

The 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released on 24 November 2014 in Vienna by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that one in three known victims of human trafficking is a child – a 5 per cent increase compared to the 2007-2010 period. Girls make up 2 out of every 3 child victims, and together with women, account for 70 per cent of overall trafficking victims worldwide.*

Source: UNODC

Source: UNODC

“Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.

“Official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse.”

No country is immune – there are at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination affected by trafficking in persons, and over 510 trafficking flows criss-crossing the world.

Trafficking mostly occurs within national borders or within the same region, with transcontinental trafficking mainly affecting rich countries.

In some regions – such as Africa and the Middle East – child trafficking is a major concern, with children constituting 62 per cent of victims.

24/11/2014

The Unholy City

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*, 21 November 2014

**Dome of the Rock viewed through Cotton Gate | Source: en:Image:TempmtS.jpg | Author: en:User:Gilabrand | Wikimedia Commons

**Dome of the Rock viewed through Cotton Gate | Source: en:Image:TempmtS.jpg | Author: en:User:Gilabrand | Wikimedia Commons

IN ITS long and checkered history, Jerusalem has been occupied by dozens of conquerors.

Babylonians and Persians, Greeks and Romans, Mamluks and Turks, Britons and Jordanians – to mention just a few.

The latest occupier is Israel, which conquered and annexed Jerusalem in 1967.

(I could have written “East Jerusalem” – but all of historical Jerusalem is in today’s East Jerusalem. All the other parts were built in the last 200 years by Zionist settlers, or are surrounding Arab villages which were arbitrarily joined to the huge area that is now called Jerusalem after its occupation.)

This week, Jerusalem was in flames – again. Two youngsters from Jabel Mukaber, one of the Arab villages annexed to Jerusalem, entered a synagogue in the west of the city during morning prayers and killed four devout Jews, before themselves being killed by police.

Jerusalem is called “the City of Peace”. This is a linguistic mistake. True, in antiquity it was called Salem, which sounds like peace, but Salem was in fact the name of the local deity.

It is also a historical mistake. No city in the world has seen as many wars, massacres and as much bloodshed as this one.

All in the name of some God or other.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 155 other followers

%d bloggers like this: