Archive for September 26th, 2012

26/09/2012

Blood for Oil – The Close Relationship Between Petroleum and War

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*,  TRANSCEND – There Is a Close Relationship between Petroleum and War.

**Oil reserves in 2009. Darker color, higher reserves | Credit: Emilfaro | Wikimedia Commons.

James A. Paul, Executive Director of the Global Policy Forum, has described this relationship very clearly in the following words:

“Modern warfare particularly depends on oil, because virtually all weapons systems rely on oil-based fuel – tanks, trucks, armored vehicles, self-propelled artillery pieces, airplanes, and naval ships. For this reason, the governments and general staffs of powerful nations seek to ensure a steady supply of oil during wartime, to fuel oil-hungry military forces in far-flung operational theaters.”

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26/09/2012

Europe Poisons Africa – The Toxic Truth

Human Wrongs Watch

By Marietta Harjono*, Greenpeace – Six years ago a multinational company bought large amounts of unrefined gasoline in the US and refined it through an industrial process called caustic washing onboard a ship, the Probo Koala, in the Mediterranean Sea.

Photo: Greenpeace zoom

During one night in August 2006, this waste was later dumped in at least 18 different places around Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, close to houses, workplaces, schools and fields of crops. Abidjan, a vibrant city of more than 3.5 million people, was engulfed in a terrible smell that witnesses have described as thick, suffocating, akin to a mix of rotten eggs, garlic, gas and petroleum.

Health centres and hospitals were soon overwhelmed. Over 100,000 people received medical care, according to official records. National authorities reported that between 15 and 17 people died.What’s more, the company was long aware that the waste that they created onboard the Probo Koala was hazardous… and expensive to dispose of.

That company is Trafigura.

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26/09/2012

Time of Turmoil – Vast Funds Squandered on Deadly Weapons, Not on Life

Human Wrongs Watch

Citing widespread insecurity, the squandering of vast funds on deadly weapons instead of economic development, and the growing impact of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the world that it is in a race against time to save itself.

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

“This year, I am here to sound the alarm about our direction as a human family,” he told the 67th General Assembly at the opening of its annual General Debate, on 25 September.

“This is a time of turmoil, transition and transformation – a time when time itself is not on our side.” Scores of the world’s heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the debate, which ends on 1 October.

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26/09/2012

Pressure to Push the Nuclear Genie Back in the Bottle

Human Wrongs Watch

Senior government officials will press for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) when they meet on 27 September at UN Headquarters in New York, where the treaty first opened for signature 16 years ago, Un reports. The CTBT is the only treaty to ban all nuclear tests, everywhere and by everyone. The treaty also has a unique global alarm system to detect nuclear explosions.

Nuclear tests remain a threat to human health and global stability. Graphic: CTBTO

With the combination of the treaty and its verification system, the international community has “virtually pushed the genie of nuclear explosions back in the bottle,” the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Tibor Tóth, said .

The CTBTO is tasked with building up the treaty’s verification regime so that it is fully operational when the treaty enters into force, and with promoting signatures and ratifications.

Out of a total listed number of 195 States, 183 have so far signed the CTBT and 157 have ratified it. For the treaty to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex 2 States. Of these, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States, have yet to ratify it.

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