Archive for January 30th, 2013

30/01/2013

Up to 70% of Governments Fail to Protect against Corruption in Defence Sector

Human Wrongs Watch

By Transparency International, January 2013 – Seventy per cent of countries leave the door open to waste and security threats as they lack the tools to prevent corruption in the defence sector, according to the first ever index measuring how governments prevent and counter corruption in defence, released by Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme

World map of the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, which measures "the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians". High numbers (yellow) indicate less perception of corruption, whereas lower numbers (red) indicate higher perception of corruption

World map of the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, which measures “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. High numbers (yellow) indicate less perception of corruption, whereas lower numbers (red) indicate higher perception of corruption

Those with poor controls include two-thirds of the largest arms importers and half of the biggest arms exporters in the world.

Germany and Australia are the only countries that have strong anti-corruption mechanisms according to the index, with measures in place such as robust parliamentary oversight of defence policy.

Nine countries  ̶  Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, DRC, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Syria, and Yemen  ̶  exhibit critical risk, lacking basic measures such as controls to enable accountability, making institutionalisation of anti-corruption mechanisms in the sector near impossible.

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30/01/2013

Israel Boycotts UN Rights Forum, First State in History to Ignore Human Rights Review

Human Wrongs Watch

By Russia Today (RT*), 30 January 2013 — Israel has boycotted the UN human rights forum over fears of scrutiny of its treatment of residents of the occupied territories. Israel is now the first state in history to win a deferment of the periodical review of its human rights record.

Israel was absent for the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Israel was absent for the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Tel Aviv has refused to send a delegation on Tuesday [29 January 2013] to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review procedure where UN member states have their human rights record evaluated every four years.

Israel’s cooperation with the council stopped last March after the UN set up a committee to inspect the effects of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.

Israel which earlier accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias reiterated its stance, recalling that the council has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined.

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30/01/2013

Africa’s Rise a Myth? Bring on Authoritarian Capitalism Instead…

Human Wrongs Watch

‘The ‘Africa rising’ narrative may be questionable and misguided, but so too is the suggestion Africa should blindly follow the authoritarian developmental states of East Asia.’

Life in front of a cement factory in Cameroon. Photograph by Carsten ten Brink | Source: Think Africa Press

Life in front of a cement factory in Cameroon. Photograph by Carsten ten Brink | Source: Think Africa Press

By Adam Robert Green, Think Africa Press* — In his recent Foreign Policy article, Rick Rowden makes the case that Africa’s low levels of manufacturing and industrialisation suggest the continent is not the ‘growth miracle’ that some commentators believe.

His piece, a response to bullish outlooks from McKinsey, The Economist and Time magazine among others, dismisses talk of Africa’s rise as a “myth”.

Since African economies make up a very small share of global manufacturing, he argues, they cannot be spoken of in the same breath as the Asian economies.

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30/01/2013

Storm Over the Sahara: US, France Creating another Osama?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Eric Margolis*,  TRANSCEND – The bloody attack on an Algerian gas installation and France’s invasion of Mali are the result of troubles that have been brewing for years – we simply have not been paying attention.

**A statue of freedom in Bamako | Photo: Rgaudin | Wikimedia Commons

**A statue of freedom in Bamako | Photo: Rgaudin | Wikimedia Commons

Jihadist guerilla leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, headlined as a new Great Islamic Satan by French media, has been making trouble in the Sahara for a long time, kidnapping westerners, robbing caravans, smuggling cigarettes.

Belmokhtar was known as a “man of honor,” one of the western-financed jihadists who went to battle the Soviets and their communist allies in Afghanistan in the 1980’s and 90’s. 

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30/01/2013

Cash-strapped International Criminal Court Investigates ‘Brutality and Destruction’ in Mali

Human Wrongs Watch

London, 29 January 2013 (IRIN*) – Concerns are being raised that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into alleged war crimes in Mali is placing a serious strain on an already over-stretched and cash-strapped institution.

Photo: Katarina Höije/IRIN | Children who in 2012 joined militia training camps to fight against rebel groups (file photo)

Photo: Katarina Höije/IRIN | Children who in 2012 joined militia training camps to fight against rebel groups (file photo)

Announcing her first formal investigation since taking office, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on 16 January promised justice to victims of “brutality and destruction” in three northern regions of Mali.

But with a shrinking team of investigators and a budget that has barely increased despite a doubling of the workload, some analysts are doubtful she can deliver.

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30/01/2013

Which Countries Have Nuclear Weapons and How Many?

Human Wrongs Watch

By ICAN* – Nine countries together possess more than 19,000 nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia maintain roughly 2,000 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status – ready to be launched within minutes of a warning.

Source: ICAN

Source: ICAN

Most are many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

A single nuclear warhead, if detonated on a large city, could kill millions of people, with the effects persisting for decades.

The failure of the nuclear powers to disarm has heightened the risk that other countries will acquire nuclear weapons.

The only guarantee against the spread and use of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them without delay.

Although the leaders of some nuclear-armed nations have expressed their vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world, they have failed to develop any detailed plans to eliminate their arsenals and are modernizing them.

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