Archive for April 26th, 2016

26/04/2016

‘Urgent Need to Counter Narratives of Hatred so as to Prevent Violent Extremism’

Human Wrongs Watch

The head of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), a body mandated to promote harmony among nations, on 26 April 2016 emphasized the need to counter narratives of hatred and mistrust in order to prevent violent extremism.

The 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) kicks off at the Baku Convention Centre in Azerbaijan on 26 April 2016. Photo: Masayoshi Suga/UN News Centre

“The Alliance is the soft power tool established to contribute to a more peaceful world by countering radicalization and polarization, by encouraging greater intercultural understanding and engaging in projects and programs that advance these goals,” said UNAOC High Representative Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser during the opening session of its 7th Global Forum in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.

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26/04/2016

Interoceanic Canal Bogged Down in Nicaragua

Human Wrongs Watch

MANAGUA, April  2016 (IPS) – Nearly three years after Nicaragua granted a 50-year concession to the Chinese consortium HKND to build and operate an interoceanic canal, the megaproject has stalled, partly due to a severe drought that threatens the rivers and lake that will form part of the canal.

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In the municipality of Moyogalpa, on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, local boats are having a hard time getting around because of the low water level caused by the drought affecting Nicaragua since 2014. Credit: Ramón Villareal Bello/IPS

In June 2013, the Nicaraguan legislature passed a law to grant a 50-year concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKND) Investment Group, led by Chinese billionaire Wang Jing, whose finances are surrounded by a lack of transparency, which compounds the uncertainty.

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26/04/2016

Reaching Children in Ecuador – At Least 250,poo Affected by Earthquake

Human Wrongs Watch

At least 250,000 children were affected by the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador on 16 April. A first airlift of 86 metric tons of UNICEF relief items has landed in Quito to help assist with shelter, clean water and health needs. 

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Photo: UNICEF

NEW YORK/PANAMA CITY/QUITO/GENEVA, 22 April 2016 (UNICEF) – A first airlift of 86 metric tons of UNICEF relief items landed in Quito, Ecuador, last night, as the number of children affected by the earthquake reached 250,000.

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“We need to get these supplies to children and we need to do this quickly,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador.

“The longer children go without shelter, safe water and protection from disease, the higher the risks to their health and well-being.”

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26/04/2016

Searching for the Good Town

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

Alfaz, Spain, 25 April 2016 –  TRANSCEND Media Service – You are young people on an EU mission exploring good towns that do not generate violence; 50 of you from 11 towns in 10 countries–and Alfaz del Pi is on the list. 

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Johan Galtung

Rightly so, with 105 nations represented–No. 1 Spaniards, No. 2 English, No. 3 Norwegians–with conflicts over incompatible goals, yes, but hurting and harming each other, violence, no.  Remarkable.

A simple theory: if a town makes you feel well, at ease–“it is so easy to live here”, many people say–then something seeps into you and makes you nonviolent.

If the town, your habitat, a key context in your life, hits you badly, then aggression seeps into you, violence may follow, and often across racial or ethnic faultlines.

So, what is the secret of the good town?

There is much to learn from Alfaz; here is a short list summarizing our experiences:

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26/04/2016

Europe’s Rising Shame: Islamophobia and De-Democratization

Human Wrongs Watch

16 April 2016 (RT) – Ignorant bigotry these days has become Europe’s daily bread. The very continent which lived in its flesh the infamy and shame of fascism just a few decades ago, stands today to repeat the same violence, and play by the same hate.
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**Image: Symbol against the construction of a Mosque. | Author: Albert Mestre | GNU Free Documentation License | Wikimedia Commons

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

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26/04/2016

Eastern Europe’s Claims for UN Chief Questioned

Human Wrongs Watch

By Thalif Deen*

UNITED NATIONS, 26 April 2016 (IPS) – As the campaign for a new UN Secretary-General (UNSG) gathers momentum, there is one lingering question that remains unanswered: does the now-defunct Eastern European political alliance have a legitimate claim for the job on the basis of geographical rotation?

A Berlin Wall monument stands next to a Soviet sculpture at United Nations headquarters in New York. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

A Berlin Wall monument stands next to a Soviet sculpture at United Nations headquarters in New York. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Of the nine candidates in the running, seven are from the former Eastern Europe. All previous secretaries-general have come from the four other regional groups, including Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Europe and Other States.

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26/04/2016

The Other Gandhi

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

21 April 2916

In 1975, I was stabbed in the chest at the door of my apartment. The assassin missed my heart by millimeters.

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Uri Avnery

He was caught by my female neighbors and arrested. It appeared he had no political motives – he was upset because I had planted listening devices in his head.

While in hospital, I got a call from London. It was from the representative of the PLO, who conveyed to me the best wishes of Yasser Arafat.

A few minutes later I had a visitor: General Rehavam Ze’evi, known by his nickname Gandhi, an extreme rightist, came to see me. The hospital staff were flabbergasted.

“What gun do you carry?” he asked. I told him it was a Webley, a British service revolver.

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26/04/2016

The Midwife of Mukalla

Human Wrongs Watch

By Saeed Al-Batati*

World Immunization Week 2016 runs from 24-30 April to promote the use of life-saving vaccines for all children – particularly those who are consistently excluded. Almost two-thirds of all unvaccinated infants live in conflict-affected countries, making them vulnerable to life-threatening diseases that are otherwise preventable. UNICEF and its partners are working together to change these numbers and protect a child’s right to survive.

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Photo: UNICEF

From home to work to rounds to midnight births, Midwife Bamoumen is bringing life-saving care to the children and women of a small district of Mukalla, Yemen. Follow her to find out why she has become a household name.

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26/04/2016

“Equality and Justice ‘Not Luxuries’ But Crucial Foundations of Iraq’s Stability”

Human Wrongs Watch

Iraq must immediately take concrete steps to plan for “the day after” the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a senior United Nations human rights official on 25 April 2016 urged, calling for measures grounded in equality, the rule of law and a vision that has earned the confidence of all the country’s diverse communities.

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Civilians in Fallujah, Iraq, are at extreme risk and need urgent help. Photo: OCHA Iraq

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 “Iraq, it seems, has a long memory but is short on vision,” UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, said at the end of a week-long visit to the crisis–gripped country.
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