Archive for September 19th, 2011


UN to Asia-Pacific: Embark on Green Economy Now, Please!

Human Wrongs Watch

A new UN report has called on countries in Asia and the Pacific, which to embark on a ‘green’ industrial revolution that takes advantage of improvements in resource efficiency so that they can prosper in the 21st century.

The region currently accounts for more than half of the world’s total resource use, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which says this is due largely to the fact that it has over half the world’s population and nearly 30 per cent of its gross domestic product.

Credit: UN

The report launched on September 19th in Beijing by UNEP and its partners estimates that per capita resource consumption in the region, including of construction materials and fuels, needs to be around 80 per cent less than today if sustainable development is to be achieved.

From 32 Billion to 80 Billion Tonnes of Polluting Materials a Year!

The region’s growth has come at a high cost, according “Resource Efficiency-Economics and Outlook for Asia and the Pacific,” including pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, deteriorating ecosystems and rapid resource depletion.

Total materials consumed in 2005 alone – including biomass, fossil fuels, metals and industrial and construction materials – amounted to around 32 billion tonnes, says the report, which adds that the figure could rise to 80 billion tonnes by 2050 if a different course of action is not taken.

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Japan–How to Deal with one of the Strongest Armies on Earth


By Johan Galtung*

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces, SDF, one of the strongest in the world, is based on physical direct violence, or the threat thereof, to counter violence, or a threat.

Image: Wolcott | Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wolcott | Wikimedia Commons

In a better world it would not exist; the focus would be on unreconciled traumas and unsolved conflicts underlying violence, with efforts to reconcile and mediate; like solving problems of disease identifying causes and removing them. And building peace through cooperation for mutual and equal benefit.

But Japan is faced with major external challenges and internal changes.

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Torture — a Very British Tradition?

Human Wrongs WatchSocialist Worker

By Simon Basketter*

The instructions were simple. “Get up you fucking bastard”, “Get up you fucking ape” screamed the soldiers, followed by kicks and punches. Sometimes the blows came from multiple fists and boots. Getting up meant squatting, half leaning against a wall, arms pointing straight out. This is known as a stress position.

Photo by: MSgt Edward D Kniery | Wikimedia Commons

The British army made ten Iraqi hotel workers spend days like this. Even if they stayed in position they were beaten, had urine poured over them or were forced to drink it. They had their heads covered with hoods.

It is torture and it was systematic. It is what being “questioned” by the occupying forces in Iraq really meant.

By the end of this ordeal, hotel worker Baha Mousa was dead. One soldier later remarked, “We kicked him to death”.

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