Archive for ‘Others-USA-Europe-etc.’

27/03/2015

Foreign Policy Is in the Hands of Sleepwalkers

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 27 March 2015 — The United Kingdom has been accused of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.

**An important vote: the House of Lords voting for the Parliament Act 1911 | Author: Samuel Begg (died 1919) | Source: The Rise of the Democracy, by Joseph Clayton, Project Gutenberg eText 19609 | Wikimedia Commons

**An important vote: the House of Lords voting for the Parliament Act 1911 | Author: Samuel Begg (died 1919) | Source: The Rise of the Democracy, by Joseph Clayton, Project Gutenberg eText 19609 | Wikimedia Commons

In a scathing report, the upper house of the U.K. parliament has said that the United Kingdom, like the rest of the European Union, has sleepwalked into a very complex problem without looking into the possible consequences, letting bureaucrats taking critical political decisions.

It said that it was only when the conflict was well entrenched that political leaders decided to negotiate the Minsk ceasefire agreement, reached by Angela Merkel of Germany, Francois Hollande of France, Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, with the notable absence of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

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.”

27/03/2015

“Losing Sight of Middle East Peace Akin to ‘Pouring More Oil’ on Region’s Flames”

Human Wrongs Watch

New York — As Israeli and Palestinian parties do not appear ready to recommence talks, the international community must consider presenting a viable framework for negotiations, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on 26 March 2015 said today during his final briefing to the Security Council, noting that “this may be the only way to preserve the goal of the two-State solution.”

UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarah

UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarah

“Upon leaving this position, I cannot but express an overriding feeling that I have been part of a peace process in which a can is kicked down an endless road,” said Robert Serry, who served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the Middle East for the last 7 years. Replacing Serry will be Nikolay Mladenov, former head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.*

“Losing sight of reaching peace between Israel, Palestine and the wider Arab world altogether – I have repeatedly warned the Council that we may be heading in this direction – would be tantamount to pouring more oil on the regional flames,” he added.

27/03/2015

2014 ‘Devastating’ Year for Palestinians – UN Humanitarian Report

Human Wrongs Watch

Amid a surge in hostilities and an ongoing blockade, 2014 was a traumatic year for millions of people living in the occupied Palestinian territory, a senior United Nations humanitarian official on 26 March 2015 said, as the Organization released its latest report on the situation on the ground.

House demolished in Gaza following Israeli airstrike in 2012. Photo: OCHA/M. El Halabi

“Continued occupation undermines the ability of Palestinians to live normal lives,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the territory, James Rawley, said in conjunction with the release of the 2014 Annual Humanitarian Overview by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).*

“Were these factors removed and related policies changed, international humanitarian assistance would not be necessary here,” he added, while acknowledging that last year had been a “devastating” one for Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank.

26/03/2015

Record-breaking Year for Asylum Claims: 8 Key Trends

.
OXFORD, 26 March 2015 (IRIN)* – 2014 was a year of records for asylum claims, according to an annual round-up released today by UNHCR, which noted that 866,000 claims were made in the world’s industrialized nations, double the figure for 2013.
.

That figure will undoubtedly grab headlines, but the report reveals many other important trends. IRIN has highlighted a few of them:

• For the fourth year running, Germany was the largest recipient of new asylum claims (with 434,000) among this group of industrialised countries.

Over the same period, Sweden registered the largest number relative to its population size – 24.4 applicants per 1,000 inhabitants.

The United States, although the second largest recipient of new asylum seekers, averaged only 1.3 applicants per 1,000 nationals.

26/03/2015

Iran Condemns Saudi Strikes in Yemen as a ‘Dangerous Step’, Denounces ‘US-backed Aggression’

Human Wrongs Watch

26 March 2015 (Middle East Eye)* — Saudi Arabia and a coalition of regional allies launched a series of airstrikes in Yemen on Wednesday night against the Houthi militia, which the movement’s spokesman has called a “declaration of war”.
.
Middle East Eye

Middle East Eye

At least 17 civilians have been killed in the capital Sanaa during the overnight offensive, although local medical sources have said that this number could yet rise.

The airstrikes also targeted al-Daylami airbase and the adjacent international airport in north Sanaa, as well as the presidential complex seized by the rebels in January, military sources told AFP.

Witnesses said residents were helping civil defense officials to search for any more victims under the rubble of the houses damaged in the raids.

The homes are located in a neighbourhood adjacent to the international airport and an air base targeted in the raids, said local residents.

26/03/2015

Libya, Syria, Yemen: Sectarian Conflict Threatens Entire Middle East

Human Wrongs Watch

26 March 2015 (RT)* — A coalition of 10 Sunni Arab states is on a military offensive against Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen, recently proclaimed by America’s president as a brilliant example of war on terror, but now catapulting the Middle East into the inferno of battle.
.
Source: RT

Source: RT

Saudi Arabia has initiated an international military operation in Yemen that many experts are already calling a proxy war against Iran, since Houthi fighters are believed to have strategic backup from Tehran.

The internal Yemeni conflict has the potential to transform into a military standoff based on religious background between the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf on one side and Shiites of the region supported by Iran on the other.

US President Barack Obama has authorized “logistical and intelligence support.”

The coalition is bombing a country that used to have heavy American presence for years, since Washington used to station a fleet of assault UAVs in Yemen, waging drone warfare against militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

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.

26/03/2015

Nuclear Weapons Abolition – “NATO” Is Not an Excuse

Human Wrongs Watch

By Arielle Denis and Daniela Varano*

25 March 2015 – Media outlets in Japan and Norway report that the United States has become more assertive in its opposition to the humanitarian initiative, issuing “demarcates” to its allies to refrain from backing a Pledge announced by the Austrian government at the conclusion of the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

Source: ICAN

Source: ICAN

Prompted by the comprehensive evidence generated by the Vienna Conference and its two predecessors, the Pledge is a call to action to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons”.

Amidst calls for a nuclear weapons free world the US has decided to show its hand and reveal that it intends to do everything it can to control the debate on nuclear disarmament and isn’t interested in anyone else pushing it out of its comfort zone.

The five nuclear weapons states of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have been quite suspicious of the so-called “humanitarian initiative”.

26/03/2015

Architect of UN Slavery Memorial Explains ‘The Ark of Return’

Human Wrongs Watch

This year’s commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade will have particular significance at United Nations Headquarters in New York, where six years of work to establish a permanent memorial to honor the victims pays off with the unveiling on 25 March 2015.

Rodney Leon, architect and designer of the Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Designed by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent who was chosen in 2013 as the winner of an international competition attracting a total of 310 entries from 83 countries, ‘The Ark of Return’ honours the memories of the estimated 15 million men, women and children who were victims of the largest forced migration in history.

“It makes me feel extremely proud that I can play a role and a part in the commemoration of such an important and historic day,” Mr. Leon says in an interview.

“I feel really proud that we have a physical marker and a place of remembrance for this annual celebration to take place moving forward.”

Having also been chosen to design the African Burial Ground National Monument in lower Manhattan, erected on a spot where 15,000 people of African origin were buried over a period of around 100 years from the 1690s until 1794, Mr. Leon is familiar with art relating to slavery and the African experience in the Americas.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 168 other followers

%d bloggers like this: