Archive for April 2nd, 2013

02/04/2013

UN Approves Global Arms Trade Treaty

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 2 April 2013 – The United Nations General Assembly has approved a global arms trade treaty that failed to achieve unanimous support last week but which garnered the support of a majority of Member States when put to a vote today*.

The poorly regulated trade in arms has adverse humanitarian, human rights and development consequences. Photo: OCHA/ Jihan El Alaily

The poorly regulated trade in arms has adverse humanitarian, human rights and development consequences. Photo: OCHA/ Jihan El Alaily

The resolution containing the text of the treaty, which regulates the international trade in conventional arms, received 154 votes in favour. Three Member States – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran and Syria – voted against the decision, while 23 countries abstained.

Today’s action follows the failure of the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) last Thursday to reach an agreement among all 193 Member States on a treaty text at the conclusion of its two-week session.

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02/04/2013

Cyprus: Do You Understand What Has Really Happened?

 Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, April 2013 – The story of Cyprus story is an excellent example of how inadequate media coverage has now become. Very few will have understood what has really happened, and what its implications are. Following events, without any background or placing them in their contexts, is one of the main reasons for the decline of media as windows on the world, and for having informed and therefore active citizens.

EU-Cyprus.svg

**Location of Cyprus (dark green) | Author: NuclearVacuum | Wikimedia Commons

To explain what has happened and what is likely to happen now requires three angles of analysis: how the Cyprus crisis came about, how it stands in the context of the banking sector worldwide, and what its implications for Europe are.

Let us start from Cyprus and, more precisely with the Republic of Cyprus. In fact, when speaking about the Cyprus of the banking crisis, we are referring to three-fifths of the island of Cyprus, the Greek part. The other two-fifths are a separate political entity, the Turkish Cyprus that only Turkey recognises.

When Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta declared the union of the island with Greece in 1974, the Turkish army invaded the northern part of the island to protect the Turkish population, a substantial minority. The result was a serious blow to the island’s economic development.

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02/04/2013

Seeds of Suicide

 Human Wrongs Watch

Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva

By Prof. Vandana Shiva*, The Asian Age  | TRANSCEND – “Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more.”“Producing more, Conserving more, improving farmers’ lives.”

These are the promises Monsanto India’s website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra.

This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers’ suicides in India from the company’s growing control over cotton seed supply — 95 per cent of India’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto.

Control over seed is the first link in the food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life, especially the life of farmers.

Monsanto’s concentrated control over the seed sector in India as well as across the world is very worrying.

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02/04/2013

Spirituality and Virtue as Corollaries to Peace

Human Wrongs Watch

Antonio Carlos Silva Rosa

Antonio Carlos Silva Rosa

By Antonio Carlos Silva Rosa* – TRANSCEND Media Service

Consciousness-Conscience: right/wrong

Mind: like/dislike, want/don’t want

Intelligence-Intellect-Knowledge-Ignorance-Emotions: instruments

Thought-Speech-Senses: communication channels

In regards to the way things are and how they could/should/ought to be, we are cutting ourselves short by concentrating almost exclusively on our intellect, knowledge and intelligence.

I am fascinated with the insights the evolution of science provides, particularly astronomy, cosmology, quantum physics and medicine.

Medical research and technology opened the doors to the insides of our brains, considered by ourselves superior and in many ways as complex, dynamic, fascinating as the universe itself.

And scientists keep sending those ‘intelligent’ messages to outer space in hopes that other ‘intelligent’ beings will pick them up and beam back their replies to them thus completing the human life-changing experience of a close encounter of whatever kind.

They assume that beings ‘out there’ possess minds and intellects like our own.

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02/04/2013

World Social Forum 2013: Yes, a More Just and Peaceful World Is Possible!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace, Tunis, 27 March 2013 – In early 2011, Tunisia’s President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown and the popular uprising in Tunisia was followed shortly by a wave of revolutions in several Arab countries – proving to us all that another world is within our reach.

**World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis.

**World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis.

The explosion of resistance we have been witnessing over the last few years, both in the developed and developing world, is indicative of the fact that when large parts of communities, countries and regions reach such high levels of exclusion, especially in the context of excessive wealth, wastage and inequality, leaders in all sectors of society, not just politicians, must take serious note.

Humanity has already reached a figurative and literal boiling point and we are witnessing a convergence of storms: economic, social and environmental.

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02/04/2013

“Everything Was on Fire” – Ma Kyi, Displaced by Violence in Burma

Meiktila, 25 March 2013 (IRIN*) – Ma Kyi, a 30-year old widow, wonders whether she will ever be able to return home. She is among 3,600 newly displaced people staying at Basic Education High School No. 1, in the central Myanmar town of Meiktila, following deadly sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims residents last week.

**Photo: Lynn Maung/IRIN. Ma Kyi barely escaped with her life.

**Photo: Lynn Maung/IRIN. Ma Kyi barely escaped with her life.

On 22 March, Burmese President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in four townships – Meiktila, Thazi, Wandwin and Mahlaing – and ordered the military to assist in quelling the violence, the worst to shake the country since clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine State in 2012.

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