Archive for March 12th, 2019

12/03/2019

Political Power of Women Suffering ‘Serious Regression’, General Assembly President Warns

Human Wrongs Watch

There has been a “serious regression” in the political power of women across the world in recent years, UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa told delegates to the annual summit of women activists at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday [12 March 2019].

UN Women/Ryan Brown | African Women Leaders Network’s launch event at UN Headquarters in New York (2017)

The former Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs who leads the 193-member world body, pointed out that in 2105 it would have taken 30 years to close the gender gap, but now, she told the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), if current trends continue, gender parity will not be reached for “107 years”.

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12/03/2019

Taxes or Debt?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dr. Naresh Jotwani – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Economists define ‘the wealth of a society’ as its total stock of useful assets – homes, cars, buildings, roads, factories, cattle, money, gold … et cetera. Let us call this definition D1.

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A definition serves merely as a starting point for a logical exploration of related ideas.

However – and necessarily – the direction which the exploration takes depends on the definition. In any discussion of ideas, a conscious effort is needed to understand how it is influenced by the definitions of its basic terms.

Furthermore, by questioning the basic definitions underlying a discussion – and trying out alternative definitions – one is able to explore a broader range of ideas, to think ‘out of the box’.

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12/03/2019

‘Seawater Is Coming into Our farms and Killing the Plants’

12 March 2019 (UN Environment)*The water from the wells in Kisakasaka used to be so salty that it would turn people’s teeth yellow. Children, no matter how thirsty, would often refuse to drink. But with no other water source in this farming village near Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town, around 1,000 residents were forced to drink increasingly salty water that gave them headaches and nausea.
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Photo from UN Environment.

“It was very difficult at the time and the children complained a lot about the water, but they had to drink it because there was no other option,” said Pili Issa Moussa, a mother-of-five and local resident.

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12/03/2019

Gender Equality, ‘Fundamentally a Question of Power’

A wheelchair-bound Pakistani mother who yearned to visit a park without worrying about ramp access, and a young South Sudanese woman who dreams of having affordable health care, were among the speakers opening the United Nation’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s rights on Monday [11 March 2019].

UN Women/Ryan Brown | Civil Society Representatives Mary Fatiya (South Sudan) and Muniba Mazari (Pakistan) address the Commission on the Status of Women held in the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters.

Addressing the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in a joint speech, Muniba Mazari and Mary Fatiya, both asked for basic social protections to be extended to women and girls around the world, based on need, and in line with their inalienable human rights.

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12/03/2019

Global Arms Trade: USA Increases Dominance; Arms Flows to the Middle East Surge – SIPRI

Global arms trade: USA increases dominance; arms flows to the Middle East surge, says SIPRI

The trend in international transfers of major weapons, 1979—2018. Data and graphic: SIPRI

The five largest exporters in 2014–18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. Together, they accounted for 75 per cent of the total volume of arms exports in 2014–18. The flow of arms increased to the Middle East between 2009–13 and 2014–18, while there was a decrease in flows to all other regions.

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12/03/2019

Can We Divest from Weapons Dealers?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kathy Kelly – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Impoverished people living in numerous countries today would stand a far better chance of survival, and risk far less trauma, if weapon manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon stopped manufacturing and selling death-dealing products.

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Family visit, Kabul. Credit: Dr. Hakim

About three decades ago, I taught writing at one of Chicago’s alternative high schools. It’s easy to recall some of their stories—fast-paced, dramatic, sometimes tender. I would beg my students to three-hole-punch each essay or poem and leave it in a binder on our classroom shelf, anxious not to lose the documentation of their talents and ideas.

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12/03/2019

UN Report: Urgent Action Needed to Tackle Chemical Pollution as Global Production Is Set to Double by 2030

Human Wrongs Watch

  • The size of the global chemical industry exceeded US$5 trillion in 2017 and is projected to double by 2030.
  • The benefits of action to minimize the adverse impacts of chemicals have been estimated in the high tens of billions of United States dollars annually.
  • International treaties and voluntary instruments have reduced the risks of some chemicals and wastes, but progress has been uneven and implementation gaps remain.

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Pixabay  |  Photo from UN Environment.

Nairobi, 11 March 2019 (UN Environment)*– Countries will not meet the internationally agreed goal to minimize the adverse impacts of chemicals and waste by 2020, meaning that urgent action is required to reduce further damage to human health and economies, according to a UN report released today [11 March 2019].

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12/03/2019

Resource Extraction More than Tripled Since 1970 – Extraction and Processing of Materials, Fuels and Food Contribute Half of Total global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Human Wrongs Watch

  • Resource extraction has more than tripled since 1970, including a fivefold increase in the use of non-metallic minerals and a 45 per cent increase in fossil fuel use
  • By 2060, global material use could double to 190 billion tonnes (from 92 billion), while greenhouse gas emissions could increase by 43 per cent
  • The extraction and processing of materials, fuels and food contribute half of total global greenhouse gas emissions and over 90 per cent of biodiversity loss and water stress

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Nairobi, 12 March 2019 (UN Environment)* – Rapid growth in extraction of materials is the chief culprit in climate change and biodiversity loss – a challenge that will only worsen unless the world urgently undertakes a systemic reform of resource use, according to a report released at the UN Environment Assembly.

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12/03/2019

Dozens Killed and Injured by New Airstrikes in Western Yemen, UN UN Humanitarian Coordinator Condemns ‘Outrageous’ Toll

Human Wrongs Watch

11 March 2019 — Reports from Yemen’s Hajjah Governorate indicate that scores of civilians have been killed following airstrikes that hit residential areas over the past two days. Medical sources suggest that at least 22 have died, with more than 30 injured during the aerial bombardment.

WFP/Abeer Etefa | In the photo: Ahmed, 3 years old, receives treatment for moderate acute malnutrition in a hospital in Hajjah, Yemen.

“We condemn these deaths and injuries unequivocally and we share our deep condolences with the families of the victims,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Lise Grande. “It is outrageous that innocent civilians continue to die needlessly in a conflict that should, and can be solved”, she added.

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12/03/2019

Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur Calls for End to ‘Purgatory’ of International Inaction Facing Myanmar’s Remaining Rohingya

Human Wrongs Watch

A humanitarian crisis fuelled by the suppression of basic human rights is continuing across Myanmar’s Rakhine state, a UN Human Rights Council-appointed expert said on Monday [11 March 2019] in an appeal for alleged atrocities there to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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UNHCR/Roger Arnold | Rohingya families arrive at a UNHCR transit centre near the village of Anjuman Para, Cox’s Bazar, south-east Bangladesh after spending four days stranded at the Myanmar border with some 6,800 refugees. (file)
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