Archive for ‘War Lords’

01/10/2014

Europe Must Help Combat Hunger, Malnutrition — Failure Will Only Boost Migration, Stoke Conflicts

Human Wrongs Watch

European governments must help combat hunger and malnutrition on a global level, as failure to do so will only boost migration flows and stoke conflicts, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

The faces behind the numbers | Source: FAO

The faces behind the numbers | Source: FAO

“Food insecurity and conflict go hand in hand” he said, noting that extreme climatic events, troubles in Africa and the Near East and now the Ebola outbreak in West Africa tend to spill over national borders and into other regions in a globalized world, often through forced migration.*

30/09/2014

Ah, If I Were 25

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*, 29 September 2014, TRANSCEND Media Service– Research shows that one of the most often used words in Hebrew is “Shalom”. Israelis greet each other with “shalom” and many of them do the same when parting. (The others use the two slang words “yallah bye”, the one Arabic, the other English.)

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

Shalom is not a synonym of the European word “peace”, as many believe. It is far more. It is based on the root “whole” and conveys the sense of wholeness, safety, wellbeing. In no European language can you say “our soldiers attacked the enemy and returned to their base in shalom”.

In Arabic, Salaam has the same meaning.

But even in its restricted meaning for peace, shalom expresses a profound human longing. From antiquity, people craved for peace and dreaded war. “Dona nobis pacem” – “(God) give us peace” – is part of the Catholic mass. Several composers have set it to music. I remember singing it as a child.

Yet in today’s Israel, using the word “peace” in political discourse is almost indecent. A four-letter word (as indeed it is in Hebrew and Arabic). One may still express a wish for a “political settlement”, but even that sounds a bit suspicious.

It has become fashionable to say that the peace movement is moribund. That the “Two-State solution” is dead, while the so-called “One-State solution” is stillborn.

The safest way to put it is “I am all for peace, but…”

30/09/2014

Not a Single Child Untouched by Recent Gaza Conflict — UN Human Rights Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behavior at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert on 29 September 2014 said.  

Palestinian children weep at the funeral for their loved ones in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip (15 July 2014). Credit: UNICEF/El Baba

At the end of his first mission to the region, Makarim Wibisono, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, expressed alarm at the terrible cost paid by Palestinian civilians, especially children in Gaza, as a result of Israel’s military operation that lasted 50 days in the summer of this year.

According to a press release on his findings, the latest round of violence from 7 July to 26 August 2014 has left 1,479 civilians, including 506 children dead. A staggering 11,231 Palestinian civilians, including 3,436 children were injured, many, now struggling with life-long disabilities. Tens of thousands of children live with the trauma of having witnessed the horrific killings of family members, friends, and neighbours before their own eyes.

27/09/2014

Ukraine – Truce or Trojan Horse: Retreat, Re-Armament and Relaunch

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prof. James Petras*, September 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service –  The NATO proxy war in the Ukraine started with the violent US-EU-sponsored overthrow of the elected government via a mob putsch in February 2014. This was well financed at $5 billion, according to President Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

**Euromaidan. State flag of Ukraine carried by a protester to the heart of developing clashes in Kiev. Events of 18 February 2014 | Author: Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/http://www.unframe.com | Wikimedia Commons

**Euromaidan. State flag of Ukraine carried by a protester to the heart of developing clashes in Kiev. Events of 18 February 2014 | Author: Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/http://www.unframe.com | Wikimedia Commons

The result was a junta, composed of neo-liberal puppets, rightist nationalists and fascists, which immediately proceeded to purge the Ukrainian legislature of any politicians opposed to the coup and Kiev’s submission to the European Union and NATO.

The NATO-sponsored client regime then moved swiftly to extend its control by centralizing power and overturning the official policy of bilingualism (Russian and Ukrainian) in the southeastern regions. It was preparing to break its long-standing agreement over the huge Russian naval base in Crimea and renege on its massive debts to Russia for gas and oil imports.

27/09/2014

Lebanon Hosts the Highest Ratio Per Capita of Refugees in the World

Human Wrongs Watch

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered over 950,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon – now constituting 25 per cent of the total population.

Lina has not heard from her husband since he was detained in Syria two years ago. Now a refugee in Lebanon, she lives in a tented settlement with her seven children. Photo: UNHCR/A.McConnell

Lina has not heard from her husband since he was detained in Syria two years ago. Now a refugee in Lebanon, she lives in a tented settlement with her seven children. Photo: UNHCR/A.McConnell

One year after its inaugural meeting, the International Support Group for Lebanon continues to channel the global community’s concern for the stability of the Middle Eastern country, particularly as crises continue to engulf the region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 26 September 2014 said.*

Last September, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Support Group to help the country tackle its multiple challenges, including hosting such a large number of refugees.

“Lebanon hosts the highest ratio per capita of refugees in the world,” Ban stated, adding that even though mechanisms have been put into place to ensure the efficient provision of assistance, the country received “far less assistance than it needs.”

27/09/2014

‘Zero Hunger Is Not Just a Dream’

Human Wrongs Watch

Rome/New York — Global peace and sustainable development cannot be achieved without ending hunger, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva on 25 September 2014, told participants at a high-level UN meeting in New York.

Food being prepared on plates for lunch in Nhan My, Viet Nam | Photo from FAO

Food being prepared on plates for lunch in Nhan My, Viet Nam | Photo from FAO

“Food security might not always be our first concern, but it should be,” said the FAO chief highlighting the link between hunger and conflicts.*

He was speaking at “Delivering Zero Hunger – Demonstrating Impact” a UN General Assembly side event, co-hosted by the governments of the Netherlands, Ireland and Mexico, FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

“While world hunger figures have declined, there are still 805 million people who are chronically undernourished,” Graziano da Silva said, citing figures from the recently released UN State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) report.

 

 

27/09/2014

‘The Damage Caused by Past Nuclear Testing Cannot Be Reversed’

While the damage caused by past nuclear testing cannot be reversed, the international community can work toward a better future where nuclear testing and proliferation are banned outright, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 26 September 2014 said.
An atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 1 November 1952. Photo: US Government | Reproduced from UN News Centre

An atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 1 November 1952. Photo: US Government | Re-posted from UN News Centre.

In remarks delivered to the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Ban pressed all those countries that have yet to ratify the treaty to do so as it would protect the world from the harmful effects of fallout and the possibility of nuclear warfare.

“This treaty bans all nuclear tests, constrains the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and contributes to progress on nuclear disarmament,” Ban told the delegates, adding that it would also help protect the environment against the “harmful radioactive by-products of nuclear tests.”

26/09/2014

UN Treaty Regulating Global Arms Trade Set to Enter into Force

Human Wrongs Watch

Less than two years after its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, the Arms Trade Treaty has now received the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force, the world body announced on 25 September 2014.

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The threshold of 50 ratifications was reached earlier today at a joint ceremony held as part of the 2014 Treaty Event – an annual undertaking on the margins of the Assembly’s high-level debate that seeks to promote wider participation in the multilateral treaty framework.

Eight States – Argentina, Bahamas, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Senegal and Uruguay – deposited their instruments of ratification today, while Georgia and Namibia signed the Treaty.

25/09/2014

The coalition show, from Afghanistan to ‘Syraq’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Pepe Escobar*, 23 September 2014, Russia Today   US Secretary of State Kerry brokered a deal in Afghanistan, installing a ‘coalition’ government, but couldn’t come up with a credible coalition to bomb IS in Syria. So the Pentagon will do it alone to the applause of its Gulf ‘petrodollar allies.’

**Photo © taken by and copyright by Jeff Dean - during a trip on the en:Lake Express high-speed ferry from Michigan to Milwaukee | Source: Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here. | Author: Original uploader was Jeff dean at en.wikipedia | Wikimedia Commons.

**Photo © taken by and copyright by Jeff Dean – during a trip on the en:Lake Express high-speed ferry from Michigan to Milwaukee | Source: Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here. | Author: Original uploader was Jeff dean at en.wikipedia 

This is a short tale of two coalitions.

Let’s start with Afghanistan. The charade in Kabul goes by the name of “power-sharing agreement.”

You got an election problem? Call John Kerry. That’s right; this “agreement” was brokered by none other than the US Secretary of State, who shoved the embarrassing issue of a tainted democratic election under an Afghan carpet.

It came to the point that a UN representative, Jan Kubish, virtually ordered the Afghan electoral commission not to release vote numbers.

And this is while the UN itself had been monitoring an audit and a recount of approximately 8 million votes.

The predictable “senior US officials” spun that the vote result was “transparent.” But still, no numbers.

24/09/2014

First International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Human Wrongs Watch

To mark the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, ICAN will organise Nuclear Abolition Day on 26 September 2014. The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly last year to enhance ‘public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination’, and takes place only two months before the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.*

Photo from ICAN

Photo from ICAN

“This UN day is an important initiative, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will join forces with the UN, civil society, and governments to highlight the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the need for a ban treaty by organizing a global day of action.”

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