Archive for November 25th, 2012


A Quarter of All Pregnant Women Victims of Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

“Up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime (and) as many as a quarter of all pregnant women are affected,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned in message to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Photo: United Nations

“Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights,” he added.

The UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in a 1999 resolution inviting governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to “organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.”

The day harks to the 25 November, 1960, assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.

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Up to 7 in 10 Women Beaten, Raped, Abused or Mutilated in Their Lifetimes

Human Wrongs Watch

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes, according to UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and  the Empowerment of Women.

UN Women

To raise awareness and trigger action to end this global phenomenon, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence are commemorated every year around the world.*

Ending violence against women is one of UN Women’s priority areas. UN Women also coordinates the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and supports widespread social mobilization through its Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women platform.

In addition, UN Women manages the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women which commemorates its 16th anniversary in 2012.

Last year for 25 November, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet unveiled a 16-Step Policy Agenda. This year, UN Women launches “COMMIT” – a new global initiative which calls on leaders worldwide to fulfill their promise and take a stand to end violence against women and girls.

It will showcase concrete national commitments to ending the scourge of such violence.

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Urgent Need to Establish Nuclear Weapon-free Zone in Middle East

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed his support to convene a United Nations-sponsored Conference “attended by all the States in the Middle East with the aim of establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.”

Image: ICAN

The Conference, also backed by Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, would take place next year in Finland, and would be facilitated by the Finnish Under-Secretary of State, Jaakko Laajava, the UN reported.

“I have worked closely with the co-conveners to support the facilitator, Mr. Jaakko Laajava,” Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson on 24 November 2012.

“He has conducted intensive consultations with the States of the region to prepare the convening of the conference in 2012. I have also personally engaged with the States of the region at the highest level to underline the importance of the Conference in promoting long-term regional stability, peace and security on the basis of equality.”

Ban stressed that organizing States have a “collective responsibility: to make every effort to convene the conference as mandated, and said he would continue to work with them on that basis.

He also noted his full support for the proposal put forward by Mr. Laajava to conduct multilateral consultations in the shortest possible time to allow the conference to be held in early 2013.

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UN Mobilizes to Improve Safety for Journalists, Fight Impunity

Human Wrongs Watch

A UN system-wide plan to create a safer working environment for journalists has been given new momentum at a UNESCO-organized meeting that ended in Vienna on Friday 23 November 2012*. So far, more than 600 journalists and media workers have been killed in the last ten years.

In other words, on average every week a journalist loses his or her life for bringing news and information to the public, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)2012 has been the deadliest year ever for the media.

Finalist of the eYeka competition in support of World Press Freedom Day | UNESCO

The Vienna meeting brought together representatives from 15 United Nations bodies, including Frank Larue, the UN Special Rapporteur for the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion, and Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

More than 40 non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, independent experts, media groups and professional associations also attended.

They pledged to work together and with relevant national authorities to ensure that the recommendations of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity were applied at country level.

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Revealed: Coal Industry’s Plan ‘to Devastate the Climate’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Lauri Myllyvirta, Greenpeace*, 23 November 2012 — It’s been quite a week. In this lead up to the UN climate conference in Doha which starts Monday [26 November 2012], there was news almost every day about soaring CO2 emissions and the threat of catastrophic climate change.

On Monday, the World Bank issued an exceptional plea for governments not to give up on the fight against dangerous climate change.

Its report “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided”, painted a dismal picture of what our world could turn into, during one lifetime, if current trends of atmospheric pollution continue.

The world won’t be a nice place to live. The main reason the global climate is currently headed for 4°C of warming is because of coal burning. Massive expansion in the use of coal has caused more than two thirds of the increases in global CO2 emissions in recent years.

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