Beirut, 3 May 2015 (Human Rights Watch)* – Credible evidence indicates that the Saudi-led coalition used banned cluster munitions supplied by the United States in airstrikes against Houthi forces in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Cluster munitions pose long-term dangers to civilians and are prohibited by a 2008 treaty adopted by 116 countries, though not Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or the United States.
The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on 1 May 2015 opened the door to applications for the 2015 World Water Week Journalist Grant. The World Water Week will be held in Stockholm on 23-28 August 2015.
Are you passionate about water and development? Have you covered these topics in your work but want a chance to see more, learn more and interview major actors in the water community?*
Have you looked for an opportunity to report on a global water meeting, where world leaders, policy makers, and academics meet representatives from the private sector and civil society to discuss some of the world’s most urgent development issues? Apply for the World Water Week Journalist Grant!
SIWI offers three journalists from low or low-middle income nations the opportunity to visit Stockholm and World Water Week which takes place between 23-28 August 2015.
The humanitarian initiative began here five years ago, when the NPT Review Conference expressed its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.
Since then, a fundamental shift has been under way. Concerns about the impact of nuclear weapons on people and the environment have become central to disarmament discussions.
Escalating conflict in Yemen over the past month has worsened the already large-scale humanitarian crisis, the top United Nations relief official for the country on 23 April 2015 said , warning that the upsurge in violence has further deepened the hardships faced by ordinary Yemenis.
“Fighting and coalition airstrikes have impacted virtually the entire country. The toll on civilians has been immense,” said a press statement from Johannes Van Der Klaauw, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.
Since 19 March 2015, conservative estimates indicate that over 1,080 people have been killed, with some 4,350 people injured, and more than 150,000 people displaced, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The supply of food, fuel, water and electricity across the country has been disrupted. Schools, health facilities and private homes have been damaged or destroyed.
An estimated two million children are unable to attend school.
The country’s health system is at imminent risk of collapse due to shortages of medical supplies and fuel for generators.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 22 April 2015 urged faith leaders gathered in the General Assembly to stand up for the collective good and amplify their voices in support of moderation and mutual understanding, warning that he fears an “empathy gap” is causing people to turn their eyes from injustice and numbing them to atrocities.
“At a time when we are seeing so much division and hatred, I wanted to bring people together under the banner of the United Nations to explore how best to respond,” the Secretary-General said on the second day of a gathering at Headquarters in New York of leaders representing diverse faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, as well as ministers, academics, and spiritual teachers.
Humanity is well aware of the devastating damage and pollution it have wrought on planet Earth, and “even with this knowledge, we have yet to change our ways,” United Nations Secretary-General on 22 April 2015 said urging people to reset their relationship with nature and every living being it sustains.*
In his remarks on International Mother Earth Day, marked worldwide on 22 April, Ban Ki-moon called Earth humanity’s “ultimate mother – an astounding planet that has, since time immemorial, supported life in myriad forms.”
This year’s celebration marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations from Morocco to Uganda, Armenia to India.
“This can be the year our children and grandchildren will remember as when we chose to build a sustainable and resilient future – both for Mother Earth and all those that development has until now left behind. Let us seize this historic opportunity together,” he said.
“But the big decisions that lie ahead are not just for world leaders and policy-makers. Today, on Mother Earth Day, I ask each one of us to be mindful of the impacts our choices have on this planet, and what those impacts will mean for future generations,” he added.
By Robert J. Burrowes*
As the world continues to engage in various commemorations in relation to World War I, Australia approaches the centenary anniversary of a defining event in the nation’s history: ANZAC Day. On 25 April 1915, and for many days after, Australia suffered savage losses at Gallipoli in Turkey.
Sometimes when we reflect on war, we talk about sacrifice for a good cause. Other times, we talk about the cost, in lives or liberties lost.
Occasionally, we talk about the horror. Sometimes we talk about the gains, nationally or internationally, for freedom and democracy.
And rarely, we analyse the causes of war and lament that one day we might end it.
Are you or do you know a young person from a developing country with an inspiring story about climate action? If so, the United Nations wants to hear from you.
A global search is underway for a young entrepreneur from a developing country to address a special United Nations High-Level Event on Climate Change, set for 29 June, and convened by the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa.*
The event, which will be attended by Ministers, business leaders and representatives from civil society organizations will take place just months before countries meet in Paris in December 2015 to adopt a new universal agreement on climate change.
“The first goal is to check the pulse of Members States to see where we stand. But we also know the world needs to go further to tackle climate change. We are therefore looking for solutions and inspiration from a young person who is already successfully taking climate action in his or her community,” said Kutesa.
With the deadline of a post-2015 development agenda looming on the horizon, 2015 is set to be an important year for the security and prosperity of the world’s indigenous peoples, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on 20 April 2015 affirmed in remarks delivered to the opening of the fourteenth session of the Organization’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
“The future well-being of the world’s indigenous peoples is a crucial part of this critical year,” the Deputy Secretary-General declared. “Now is the time for indigenous peoples to be at the forefront of a transformative agenda that leaves no one behind.”
Following the loss of some 700 lives after a boat carrying migrants capsized and sank over the weekend, the UN human rights chief has urged European Union (EU) governments to take a “more sophisticated, more courageous and less callous approach” to coping with the flows of migrants towards Europe.
“As we learn of yet more men, women and children who have lost their lives in their search for better and safer lives abroad, I am horrified but not surprised by this latest tragedy. These deaths and the hundreds of others that preceded them in recent months were sadly predictable,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on 20 April 2015 said in a statement.
“The [deaths] are the result of a continuing failure of governance accompanied by a monumental failure of compassion,” he added.