Archive for ‘The Peoples’

21/05/2019

UN’s Mandate to Protect Human Rights Takes Another Hit

Human Wrongs Watch

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UNITED NATIONS, May 20 2019 (IPS) The UN’s longstanding mandate to promote and protect human rights worldwide –- undermined recently by right-wing nationalist governments and authoritarian regimes – has taken another hit.

The Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says six of the UN’s 10 treaty bodies are being forced to cancel their sessions this year due to financial reasons.

The situation has been described as “an unprecedented consequence of some UN member States delaying payments due to the Organisation.”

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21/05/2019

Children in Crisis-Torn Eastern Ukraine ‘Too Terrified to Learn’ amid Spike in Attacks on Schools

Human Wrongs Watch

Schoolchildren are bearing long-lasting mental and physical scars of eastern Ukraine’s conflict, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday [20 May 2019], as the agency warned of an “alarming” increase in attacks on schools during the first four months of 2019.

UNICEF/Filippov | Sonia’s classmate and friend Oleksii also remembers the date his school was shelled for the first time, because it was his father’s birthday…
Since the start of eastern Ukraine’s five-year conflict, more than 750 educational facilities on both sides have been damaged or destroyed, UNICEF said, explaining that there has been a four-fold increase in attacks on schools during the first four months of the year, compared to the same period in 2018.
21/05/2019

Targeting Iran

Human Wrongs Watch

By Chandra Muzaffar – TRANSCEND Media Service*

A dangerous flashpoint has emerged in world politics at the moment. There is widespread fear that the United States and its allies might launch a military operation against Iran at any time.

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A US aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers are already deployed in the region.

The alleged sabotage of four oil tankers, two of them Saudi, and the attack on a major oil pipeline are being linked in certain circles without an iota of evidence to Tehran. There is no need to repeat that scenarios of this sort are often manufactured to justify military aggression.

For more than a year now since unilaterally repudiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal forged between Iran and six world powers, the US has not only re-imposed economic sanctions upon Iran but has also forced other states that trade with Iran to reduce drastically their interaction with Tehran.

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21/05/2019

Understanding NATO, Ending War

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Australia, 20 May 2019 On 4 April 2019, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO, marked the 70th anniversary of its existence with a conference attended by the foreign ministers of member nations in Washington DC. This will be complemented by a meeting of the heads of state of member nations in London next December.

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Robert J. Burrowes

Coinciding with the anniversary event on 4 April, peace activists and concerned scholars in several countries conducted a variety of events to draw attention to, and further document, the many war crimes and other atrocities committed by NATO (sometimes by deploying its associate and crony terrorist armies – ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra – recruited and trained by the CIA and funded by Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries and the US directly or through one or other of its many agencies: see ‘NATO – No Need – NATO-EXIT: The Florence Declaration’), the threat that NATO poses to global peace and security as an appendage of the US military, and to consider ways that NATO might be terminated.

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21/05/2019

Attacking Iran Would Mean Global Disaster

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery – TRANSCEND Media Service*

On Monday, 13 May 2019, the New York Times posted an article with the title “White House Reviews Military Plans against Iran in Echoes of Iraq War”. Besides the aircraft carrier and other naval forces already sent to the Persian Gulf, plans include sending as many as 120,000 US troops to the region. There is a great danger that an attack on Iran might be sparked by a Gulf-of-Tonkin-like false flag incident involving Saudi oil ships.

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John Scales Avery

Why is this threat especially worrying? Such a war would completely destabilize the already-unstable Middle East.

In Pakistan, the unpopularity of the US-Israel alliance, as well as the memory of numerous atrocities, might lead to the overthrow of Pakistan’s less-than-stable government.

Israel’s response might be a preemptive attack on Pakistan’s nuclear installations. Russia and China might also be drawn into the conflict. There would be a grave danger of escalation into a full-scale nuclear war.

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20/05/2019

Celebrating the Greatest of All Pollinators—Bees

20 May 2019 (UN Environment)*  — When animals and insects pick up the pollen of flowers and spread it, they allow plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Birds, rodents, monkeys and even people pollinate, but the most common pollinators are insects, and among them, bees.

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Megachile rotundata, or « Leaf-cutting bee ».| Jodelet / Lépinay | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France license.

Pollinators contribute directly to food security. Nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90 per cent of the world’s food require this external help.

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20/05/2019

Creating a Buzz

Human Wrongs Watch

To celebrate World Bee Day, here are six reasons why we should all ‘bee’ grateful for bees.

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75 percent of the world’s food crops, like apples, coffee and blueberries, owe their existence to pollinators. Left: ©FAO/ Richard Slaby

20 May 2019 (FAO)* — “It’s a bee!” someone screams as they jump up from their picnic blanket, knocking over their apple juice and flailing their arms, trying to get away from this flying creature. Does this scene sound familiar?

Many people are afraid of bees. And why not? They look like aliens. They have stingers that hurt more than you would expect and some people are very allergic, even deathly allergic, to them.

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20/05/2019

Bees Mean Life

Human Wrongs Watch

Why we need bees for a nutritious future

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Three out of four crops across the globe producing fruits or seeds for human use as food depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators. ©FAO/Greg Beals

19 May 2019 (FAO)* — It’s early May in one of Spain’s most prolific honey-producing region, and Julio Solana Muñoz is worried. The third-generation beekeeper has noticed that the flowers in the fields near his town aren’t anywhere near as numerous as they were even a year ago. His hives are dying off, too. In recent years, the mortality rate for his bees has climbed to nearly 35 percent.

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19/05/2019

‘Protecting Civilians in Combat Zones: Tackling Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*

Human suffering caused by war is not a new phenomenon.

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Izumi Nakamitsu

And while our highest priority remains the prevention of war, evolving patterns of armed violence are posing new and more difficult challenges that require action.

The number of people killed in armed conflict has risen tenfold since 2005.

Conflict is migrating into villages, towns and cities, but governments and non-state actors are continuing to use weapons designed for open battlefields.

Many weapons originally intended for battlefield use, those that disperse multiple munitions over a wide area, fire without a direct line of sight to the target, or produce large blasts and fragmentation, pose serious humanitarian concerns when used in populated areas.

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19/05/2019

Universal Services More Effective Than a Universal Basic Income, Argues New Report

Human Wrongs Watch

By Laurie Macfarlane*

New research finds that expanding access and broadening provision of Universal Basic Services would be of greater value to people in the lowest income groups.

Image: HM Treasury, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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