Archive for ‘Middle East’

29/09/2016

Gandhi: ‘My life is my message’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Australia, 29 September, 2016 – As most of the world ignores or hypocritically celebrates the 147th birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the International Day of Nonviolence on 2 October, some of us will quietly acknowledge his life by continuing to build the world that he envisioned.

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Robert J. Burrowes

When asked for his message for the world, Gandhi responded with the now famous line ‘My life is my message’ reflecting his lifelong struggle against violence.

Gandhi’s life was dotted with many memorable quotes but one that is less well known is this: ‘You may never know what results come of your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results’.

Fortunately, there are many committed people who have identified the importance of taking action to end the violence in our world – whether it occurs in the home or on the street, in wars, as a result of economic exploitation or ecological destruction – and this includes the courageous people below.

24/09/2016

Fear and Shortages as Boko Haram Displaced Return to Ruins

Human Wrongs Watch

Around 70,000 people have found destruction, insecurity and scarcity on arrival in Gwoza, a city liberated earlier this year from militants in northern Nigeria.

A group of women walk along a street in front of the bombed out ruins of what was the Emir’s palace in Gwoza, Nigeria.   © UNHCR/Hélène Caux

 

By Hélène Caux*  

GWOZA, Nigeria,  23 September 2016 (UNHCR)  – After Nigerian forces liberated this once thriving city from Boko Haram militants, displaced resident Saeed returned home to gutted buildings and burned out cars. He is clear about what the city needs: “We need everything.”

The 38-year-old is among thousands of people, both returnees and those displaced from nearby villages, facing immense challenges in Gwoza, a city 40 kilometres from the border with Cameroon, which was liberated by Nigerian forces in March.

24/09/2016

Population Growth Extremes: Doublers and Decliners

Human Wrongs Watch

NEW YORK, 23 September 2016 (IPS) – While the world’s population of 7.4 billion is growing at 1.1 percent per year – about half the peak level of the late 1960s – enormous differences in demographic growth among countries are increasingly evident and of mounting concern to countries and the international community.
City view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Asia-Pacific region is urbanizing rapidly. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

City view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Asia-Pacific region is urbanizing rapidly. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

Few of the decliners are prepared to accept large-scale immigration, particularly from doubler countries, to address labor force shortages and population aging concerns.

At one extreme are the doublers: 29 countries whose populations are expected to at least double by the middle of the 21st century. At the other extreme in striking contrast are the decliners: 38 countries whose populations are expected to be smaller by the middle of the 21st century.

24/09/2016

UN Refugee Summits Fall Short for Children

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, September 21, 2016 (IPS) – As Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini opened the floor for US President Barack Obama’s leaders’ summit on refugees, she embodied a hope unavailable to most child refugees.

Just over half of the world's refugees are children. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS.

Just over half of the world’s refugees are children. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS.

On Monday, the United States was one of the main countries to obstruct a UN Declaration that no child should ever be detained. Though welcome, the US’ commitment the following day to resettle 110,000 refugees in 2017 was overshadowed by its ugly record on detaining unaccompanied minors.

Just over half of the world’s 65.3 million refugees are children, of which the vast majority, some 25 million children are out of school, threatening to leave almost an entire generation behind.

24/09/2016

Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is ‘a Disaster for Global Food System’

14 September 2016 (teleSUR)*The Monsanto takeover creates the world’s largest seed and pesticide company and threatens to entrench corporate control of the global food system. German drug and chemical corporation Bayer confirmed Wednesday that it reached a record-breaking US$66 billion takeover of U.S.-based biotechnology giant Monsanto.
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A Greenpeace activist displays signs symbolizing genetically modified crops at a protest in front of the European Union headquarters in Brussels Nov. 24, 2008.

A Greenpeace activist displays signs symbolizing genetically modified crops at a protest in front of the European Union headquarters in Brussels Nov. 24, 2008. | Photo: Reuters | Reproduced from teleSUR as part of this article.

Bayer is one of the leaders in the world’s farm-products market, while Monsanto is better known for being a mega-producer of genetically modified crops.

24/09/2016

The State of the World–By Journalism

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

23 September 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service – We want journalists to do that, give us the state of the world, by from one “trouble spot”–arenas of past-present-future violence–to the other. Not to mirror the world, but to make it more transparent.  What questions should they ask to do a good job, below the surface?

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Johan Galtung

For key illnesses like epidemics: ask for diagnosis, the causes; for prognosis, the consequences; for therapy, “what are you doing to restore health”.  “Ice to lower the fever”, would not be accepted; they would demand a theory linking the diagnosis to the therapy.

We should demand the same level of sophistication for peace even if there is no consensus about peace diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.

But peace studies have identified two causes underlying violence: unsolved conflict, and unconciled trauma from past violence.

It makes as good sense to use “the talking method” (Freud) to try to identify them in concrete cases as to ask patients where it hurts and how long.

Journalists, physicians and mediators have one thing in common: they are expected to ask questions. 

24/09/2016

Russia Blames Western ‘Arrogance’ for Bloodshed in Middle East, North Africa

Human Wrongs Watch

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 23 September 2016 warned that some Western countries’ supremacy and exclusiveness undermined equitable international cooperation, calling on world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly to support Russian initiatives in counter-terrorism and disarmament.

Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

“Unfortunately, the ideas of mentoring, supremacy, exclusiveness, and realising their own interests by any means, have been deeply rooted in the minds of political elites of a number of Western countries, to the detriment of efforts to promote just and equitable cooperation,” Lavrov told the UN Assembly General’s annual debate.

20/09/2016

UN Refugee Summit: “No Cause for Comfort”

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 20 2016 (IPS) – With record numbers of forcibly displaced persons around the world, many were left disappointed by the outcome of a high level UN summit designed to address the issue by bringing together world leaders on the sidelines of the UN’s annual General Assembly.

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar refused entry by border guards in Bangladesh in 2012. Credit: Anurup Titu/IPS

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar refused entry by border guards in Bangladesh in 2012. Credit: Anurup Titu/IPS

During the first-ever summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, global leaders approved a declaration that aims to implement a more coordinated, comprehensive and humane refugee response.

“Today’s Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his opening address to delegates.

20/09/2016

European Security, With or Without Russia?

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 17 September 2016 (IPS) – The joint military manoeuvres between the Russian and Chinese navies, armies, and air forces has kicked off. It’s a clear message for Washington, which has recently strengthened its action in Asia, indicating that as a country that overlooks the Pacific, it wants to play an important role in the continent, aimed at containing the Chinese expansion. 

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Roberto Savio

Obama, during his visit to Laos, the first by an American President and his last in Asia as President, has explicitly stated that the United States are guarantors of Asian stability.

One must also consider that the greatest continent of the world is going through a wave of nationalism (China, Japan, India) and populism (Philippines). Joint military manoeuvres are a clear message: the United States cannot decide the destinies of Asia.

Russia is already considered by NATO an enemy to contain, encircled by the borders of Eastern Europe. The annexation of Crimea, the intervention in eastern Ukraine, and then the military action in Syria, have isolated the Kremlin, object of unprecedented trade sanctions by both Europe and America.

16/09/2016

Two-State Solution to Israel-Palestine Conflict at Risk of Giving Way to ‘One-State Reality’

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 15 September 2016 called for intensified efforts to encourage Israelis and Palestinians to take the difficult steps required to change the current destructive trajectory of the conflict, which is heading towards a “one-state reality” rather than a peaceful resolution.

A wide view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

“Twenty-three years ago, almost to the day, the first Oslo Accord was signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation,” the Secretary-General told the Security Council in a briefing on the situation in the Middle East.

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