Next Page: 10000

          

US leads greenhouse gas emissions on a per capita basis, report finds

 Cache   
A new report from the United Nations says that global progress on emission reductions is "bleak."
          

U.N. secretary-general appoints new special envoy for climate action ahead of COP25

 Cache   
Bank of England head Mark Carney will serve as the United Nations' new special envoy for climate action, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced Sunday.
          

Imagining a ‘Whirled’ of Peace

 Cache   
Brightly colored paper pinwheels whirled on the front lawn of Frank P. Long Intermediate School to create a visual public statement about the importance of world peace. Fifth-grade students crafted the iconic childhood symbols as part of the Pinwheels for Peace Project to commemorate the annual International Day of Peace held on Sept. 21 and established in 1981 by the United Nations. Pinwheels for Peace was originally an art installation project started in 2005 by Florida art teachers Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan and was quickly embraced by millions of teachers throughout the world. Each year, students like those in the South Country Central School District, write their hopes for peace and unity on the pinwheels prior to planting them on school lawns. In addition to making pinwheels, the students also discussed the concept of “peace,” as well as the importance of living in harmony and being able to agree to disagree with others.
          

Way to Go! Colette Prainito of Bellport

 Cache   
A Bellport student was one of several girls from the tri-state area tapped to join actress Dakota Fanning to help create opportunities for — and end discrimination against — girls worldwide. Colette Prainito, a third-grader at Kreamer Street Elementary School, is scheduled to be with the “I Am Sam” actress to light the Empire State Building red at sunset in celebration of the International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11th, a day of observance declared by the United Nations. She was selected based on a sponsorship that she and her father, Nick Prainito, have with the nonprofit organization Save the Children, which helps support youth in developing countries. The father-daughter team currently sponsor a 10-year-old Indonesian girl named Diala. “I feel great to have a pen pal,” Colette, 8, said of Diala. “And I feel most proud of myself for doing the best I can.” So far, Colette and Diala have corresponded via postal mail four times during the seven-month sponsorship. Colette has sent pictures of her and her father and drawings of her and Diala meeting one day. “They are very close in age,” her father said. “A lot of things Diala loves, Colette loves the same.” Colette also enjoys dancing and is a member of her school’s cheerleading team and chorus. Reprinted from Newsday, September 30, 2016 By Michael R. Ebert
          

Way to Go! Colette Prainito of Bellport

 Cache   
A Bellport student was one of several girls from the tri-state area tapped to join actress Dakota Fanning to help create opportunities for — and end discrimination against — girls worldwide. Colette Prainito, a third-grader at Kreamer Street Elementary School, is scheduled to be with the “I Am Sam” actress to light the Empire State Building red at sunset in celebration of the International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11th, a day of observance declared by the United Nations. She was selected based on a sponsorship that she and her father, Nick Prainito, have with the nonprofit organization Save the Children, which helps support youth in developing countries. The father-daughter team currently sponsor a 10-year-old Indonesian girl named Diala. “I feel great to have a pen pal,” Colette, 8, said of Diala. “And I feel most proud of myself for doing the best I can.” So far, Colette and Diala have corresponded via postal mail four times during the seven-month sponsorship. Colette has sent pictures of her and her father and drawings of her and Diala meeting one day. “They are very close in age,” her father said. “A lot of things Diala loves, Colette loves the same.” Colette also enjoys dancing and is a member of her school’s cheerleading team and chorus. Reprinted from Newsday, September 30, 2016 By Michael R. Ebert
          

さらに大きな気候問題

 Cache   

Holding a major international summit on climate change against a backdrop of civil discontent like the kind that has rocked Chile might have given the world the impression that issues like clean energy can be addressed without also confronting problems of social justice. So last month, in the midst of massive protests on cost-of-living burdens and other inequalities, Chile withdrew as the host nation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25). Instead, COP25 will convene next week in Madrid, Spain. Despite this decision, Chile's commitment to maintain its presidency of COP25 through next year hopefully signals a turning point in climate action—one that further steers Chile and the rest of the global community to recognize connections between social and climate crises, and to support climate policies that do not leave anyone behind.


          

This Thanksgiving, Count the Blessings You Take for Granted

 Cache   

Christians in parts of the Middle East are in danger of total extinction. That was the conclusion of a report released last month by Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity. The report said that Christianity has disappeared from towns in Iraq and Syria because of the wave of genocide carried out by ISIS.

In Iraq, the number of Christians in Iraq has fallen by 90%, the study said. In Syria, the Christian population has fallen by two-thirds since the country's civil war began in 2011, when there were 2 million believers there.

A report in The New York Times last year confirmed that most of Syria's once-Christian villages are now ghost towns. ISIS fighters kidnapped villagers and executed them. Women disappeared and became sex slaves to terrorist leaders. Churches were bombed and burned. Traumatized believers fled the country. The defeat of ISIS fighters in 2019, and the death of bloodthirsty ISIS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Oct. 26, will not bring martyred Christians back from the dead or convince refugees to return to their homeland.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope you are grateful that your church wasn't bombed or that you weren't forced from your home. I encourage you to make a list of blessings you may take for granted. My list for 2019 might help you think of others:

  1. Do you have religious freedom? The majority of the world's population—75%—live in areas with severe religious restrictions. And Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ. About 1.6 billion people in the world live in repressive societies where they have no say in how they are governed.
  1. Do you make your own decisions? There are 29.8 million people living as slaves today, according to the Walk Free Foundation. These people live as forced laborers, forced prostitutes, child soldiers and child brides in forced marriages. Walk Free investigated 162 countries and found slaves in every one.
  1. Do you have money in a bank? More than 2.5 billion adults around the world are unbanked, according to data based on Gallup polling in 148 countries. Two-thirds of people without accounts said they simply don't have enough money to use a bank.
  1. Do you own shoes? About 300 million children around the world don't own a pair of shoes. It is estimated that 2 billion people worldwide are currently plagued with parasitic diseases that could be prevented simply by wearing proper footwear.
  1. Do you drink clean water? About 1.1 billion people in the world don't have access to clean drinking water. Because of that, about 9 million people will die this year because of water-related illnesses. The next time you open a bottle of Dasani or drink from your tap, remember that millions of women around the world spend an average of four hours daily walking to get water.
  1. Did your mother survive when you were born? Approximately 800 women die every day from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. This is equivalent to 33 women an hour. Almost all these deaths occurred in developing countries, and most could have been prevented.
  1. Did you live past age 5? Some 21,000 children die every day around the world because of poverty and preventable diseases. That is equivalent to one child dying every four seconds. The annual death toll is 7.6 million children a year.
  1. Do you eat three meals a day? The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world's population is overfed, one-third is underfed and one-third is starving. Approximately 925 million people in the developing world are chronically undernourished.
  1. Do you enjoy reliable electricity? About 1.5 billion people in this world have no access to electrical power. Do you enjoy that oven in your kitchen? The next time you prepare a meal, remember that 2.5 billion people in the world still use wood or charcoal to cook their food. Do you enjoy your washing machine? About 5 billion people in the world still wash their clothes by hand.
  1. Do you have a roof over your head? The U.N. Commission on Human Rights says there are 100 million homeless people in the world. One in 3 children in the world live without adequate shelter. And today there are about 42 million people who are living as refugees. Most were displaced by war and live in crude camps.
  1. Do you own a car? The United States still has the highest number of motor vehicles in the world. Globally, only 1 out of every 8 people has access to a car. Many of the others either walk, take crowded buses or public vans or ride on bicycles, rickshaws or animals. Did you fly somewhere in the past year? You are blessed. Only 5% to 7% of people in the world have ever flown in an airplane.
  1. Do you have a flushable toilet? The United Nations Development Program reports that 2.6 billion people do not have access to any toilet facilities. India has the largest percentage of people who lack adequate sanitation. About 638 million Indians must go outdoors.
  1. Can you read? Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. There are 72 million children who should be in school but are not enrolled. And if you have a college degree, you are in a privileged minority; only 6.7% of people in the world have a college diploma.
  1. Can you see? Over 285 million people in the world are visually impaired. About 39 million of these are blind and 246 million have a moderate to severe visual impairment. India is home to the world's largest number of blind people, due to the country's acute shortage of optometrists.

King David wrote: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Ps. 103:2). Thanksgiving is not an optional virtue. Without it, our pride swells and our selfishness consumes us. Thanksgiving is an important exercise because it adjusts our attitude. It calibrates our hearts so that we stop complaining and instead remember how we are blessed and who deserves the credit for our blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!


          

250,000 People Affected By Djibouti Flash Floods

 Cache   
Story 352936443

This feed is from Kapital92.9FM Abuja

Report says, flash flooding has hit the small but strategic East African nation of Djibouti, where the government and United Nations say the equivalent of two […]

The post 250,000 People Affected By Djibouti Flash Floods appeared first on KapitalFM 92.9 Abuja.


          

Накратко - World AIDS Day 2019 - 29-11-2019

 Cache   
Every year, 1 December marks World AIDS Day, proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) in 1988 and aimed mainly at raising awareness. This year's specific theme, 'Communities make a difference', draws attention to the crucial role of community health workers and communities of people living with HIV, highlighting their contribution to ending the epidemic. World AIDS Day also offers an opportunity to take stock of progress, globally and in the EU.

Източник : © Европейски съюз, 2019 - ЕП
          

UNF decides on Sajith as Opposition Leader?

 Cache   

Members of the United National Front (UNF) have decided to nominate parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa’s name as the Opposition Leader.

This decision has been made at former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence on Friday (29).


          

UN leader rips world's efforts to fight climate change as 'utterly inadequate'

 Cache   
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres ripped the world’s efforts to fight climate change calling them “utterly inadequate,” the Associated Press reported Sunday. Guterres condemned world leaders the day before the start of a two-...
          

Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention

 Cache   
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will lead a delegation of congressional Democrats to the United Nations climate change conference in Madrid next week, her office announced Saturday.Pelosi and 14 other Democrats from both&...
          

Mission for farming: Keesling a spokesperson for Kansas grains

 Cache   
CHASE — Growing up, Doug Keesling, the son of a farmer in Chase, never expected he would be a spokesperson for Kansas farmers in front of the U.S. Congress or at the United Nations. Neither did he ever imagine he would be on a U.S. president’s agricultural advisory committee. He was a farm kid, and now he’s a farmer — with a mission — to help his fellow farmers. Early lifeWhile in high school, he showed sheep [...]
          

Начальник управления информационных технологий департамента экономического развития Брянской области Алексей Маликов: "Во всем регионе поменялась философия работы с документами"

 Cache   
В 2018 году Россия вошла в группу стран с очень высокими показателям Индекса развития электронного правительства (E-Government Development Index, EGDI), который составляется раз в два года Департаментом экономического и социального развития ООН (UN DESA, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). Во многом такой результат обусловлен усилиями отдельных регионов, которые на протяжении нескольких последних лет с энтузиазмом создают проекты цифровизации. В том числе, в сфере электронного документооборота, который очень важен для цифровой экономики и оказания госуслуг. Например, в Брянской области ведется проект по организации сквозного документооборота органов власти. Как это происходит и чего уже удалось достичь, рассказывает начальник управления информационных технологий департамента экономического развития региона Алексей Маликов.
          

Mark Carney’s new climate-change job comes with new clout

 Cache   


In the desolate search for good news on the global warming file, Canadians should take some comfort from the United Nations' naming of Mark Carney as its next special envoy on climate. But not too much.


          

Land restoration for achieving the sustainable development goals: An international resource panel think piece

 Cache   
Land restoration for achieving the sustainable development goals: An international resource panel think piece Herrick, JE; Abrahamse, T; Abhilash, PC; Ali, SH; Alvarez-Torres, P; Barau, AS; Branquinho, C; Chhatre, A; Chotte, JL; Von Maltitz, Graham P Land restoration has tremendous potential to help the world limit climate change and achieve its aims for sustainable development. In its latest study, the International Resource Panel finds positive spin-offs to support all 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed to by the world’s nations as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Copyright: 2019 United Nations Environment Programme
          

Ashique - male - Bihar, India

 Cache   
My name is Mohammad Ashique Ali. I am 31 years old bachelor. I am form Bihar, India. I came in Italy three years ago for higher study and still living in Rome. I have student permit stay (Permesso di Suggiorno di Studio) in this country. I studied in University of Rome Tor Vergata during these years and now near to finish this course very soon. During this end period of my study I did a job in an United Nations agency called International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome and planning to do so in my coming future. I have also some study and working experience form India. My higher education is a master degree. Now I am looking for a girl to marry. Thank You.
          

Introducing the school farm program

 Cache   

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, YPARD, together with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is now set to develop a new strategic plan that focuses on the development of human capital particularly – the youth. 

It aims to design an efficient mechanism of intervention to solve some common challenges within the agricultural sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

This alternative plan will address challenges such as lack of coordination, lack of skills, inadequate information, and lack of resources, which makes it difficult for people in this region to access and make efficient use of resources that are needed to sustain themselves and improve their welfare. 

Finding a proposal for action is a complex task to achieve. Therefore, approaching the option of investing in human capital through educational programs (with a focus on youth in the agricultural sector) would be an efficient and optimistic alternative. In particular, education provides the capacity to learn, there is a body of evidence, which asserts that school policies have an enabling environment, which aims to provide dynamic tools to coordinate tangible responses to achieving this and making it a reality.

According to FAO, education is an ideal tool of intervention to coordinate responses to tackle complex factors in an entity. It offers adequate information and a variety of opportunities that could involve multiple sectors and partners. The approach is based on providing necessary and appropriate knowledge that aims to organize people’s awareness, which can help enhance the living conditions in habitat and ensure its sustainability.

Therefore, from this point of view, the design of this educative and interactive platform will be based on a curricular plan, which aims to provide the required theoretical and practical perspective. It will also use systematic methods to engage youth (ages 10 years – 24 years) in agricultural activities, to adopt skills for transforming current production systems towards more sustainable practice. 

The plan strategically will operate on agroecosystem approach, by promoting dynamic activities based on local knowledge, to enable and drive innovation. It will also empower different stakeholders to shape the modern food system and enhance food security while ensuring healthy diets for all. 

Through this initiative, YPARD and FAO will be able to implement a mutually reinforcing synergy to shape a well-designed intervention on agriculture and education. The initiative will help to increase focus and investment in youth by creating a favourable environment in different agro-ecological contexts. 

Currently, we are in the planning phase and exploring possible initiatives that can be implemented. Updates will be provided as things become clearer and opportunities to engage become available. Feel free to express your interest in contributing to the project, by reaching me at wendel.georges@fao.org for any further information and updates.

 

Photo credits: EARTH University


          

Zimbabwe: Malnutrition Induced Child Deaths On the Rise - UN

 Cache   
[263Chat] United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur, Hilal Elver has raised alarm on the plight of women and children who are bearing the brunt of the Zimbabwean crisis.
          

Africa: Children at a Crossroads as Urbanisation Violates Their Rights - Fall

 Cache   
[East African] Thirty years ago world leaders rallied together and adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC). This was the most tangible demonstration of political will for future generations, at the highest level, ever.
          

Former Bank of Canada governor to serve as UN special envoy on 'climate action'

 Cache   

By The Canadian Press

Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who previously served as Canada's top central banker, will be taking on a new role as the United Nations' special envoy on climate action and climate finance.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the announcement while speaking to reporters in Madrid on Sunday, adding the move will take effect next year.

Carney was due to step down as bank governor early next year, having already extended what was meant to be a five-year term.

...

Read More
          

Adalah: Withholding Deceased Palestinians a Violation of International Humanitarian Law

 Cache   
Adalah: Withholding Deceased Palestinians a Violation of International Humanitarian Law
Withholding bodies of dead Palestinians and not returning them to their families for proper burial, is a cruel practice and a violation of international humanitarian law and United Nations Convention against Torture, said the Haifa-based Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said Friday. The Palestinian […]
          

South Africa Reiterates its Support for Palestine at UN

 Cache   
South Africa Reiterates its Support for Palestine at UN
According to the United Nations website, this year, the Special Meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was held on 29 November 2019, at the UN Headquarters in New York. In attendance were; the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council, as […]
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

World Day of the Rights of the Child

 Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Wikipedia_Childrens_Day.jpeg

In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important: freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom …


On November 20, worldwide, the World Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated. on November 20, 1989, after hard work lasting almost ten years (after the initial proposal of Poland), all the UN countries signed what is still today the UN convention signed by several countries: of the 196 countries that are part of the UN only one has not ratified it: the United States of America! To make this agreement special, the obligation for signatories to ratify or transform it into law. In Italy it took two years to do it.


2019 is a special year for children’s rights around the world: thirty years have passed since the signing of that document (followed by three in-depth studies on specific topics). The time has come to take stock of how the rights of minors are respected.



 


One of the peculiarities of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is its simplicity: the articles (the most important are certainly the first 42) that compose it are synthetic, almost concise [today it seems that we are no longer able to write such clear laws, NDR ]. But their meaning is very clear.


For example, the Art. 4 states that “States Parties undertake to adopt all legislative, administrative and other provisions necessary to implement the rights recognized by this Convention. Since they are economic, social and cultural rights, they adopt these measures within the limits of the resources they have, and, where appropriate, in the context of international cooperation “. In other words ALL the countries of the world MUST think first of all about the rights of children (the norms on the environment or the wars in progress and the walls on the border come back to mind, more and more numerous and then the billions of dollars spent every year for weapons and armaments to be used in “peace missions”.


“Art. 7 The child is registered immediately at the time of his birth and since then he has the right to a name, to acquire a citizenship and, as far as possible, to know his parents and to be raised by them. States Parties shall ensure that these rights are implemented in accordance with their national legislation and with the obligations imposed on them by the international instruments applicable in the matter, in particular in cases where this is not done, the child would find himself stateless ” .


To see what happens in the world it would seem that all this, for migrant children, should not apply. All over the world, migrant children are forced to live in inhuman conditions. Not only in third world countries but also in many “developed” and “civil” countries.


Only a few days ago, in a hearing at the EU Parliament, the Greek Minister for migration Mikalis Chrisochoidis launched a heartfelt appeal asking EU partner countries to help Greece take care of 4,000 children living in inhuman conditions in the reception centers on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Kos and other islands of the northern Aegean. Mind you its was not an appeal addressed to the redistribution of migrants (subject to disputes and never-ending disputes). His was a cry for help ONLY for migrant children.


But his request for help remained unheard (only one country responded to his appeal). so much so that even the media have preferred not to talk about it.


In 2019, throughout the planet, children’s rights continue to be violated! And the first right not to be respected is perhaps the most important one is perhaps freedom. This is what emerges from the report that bears the signature of Professor Manfred Nowak, an independent expert to whom the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with Resolution 72/245, commissioned a global study to analyze the situation of private children Of freedom. Four are the essential themes of his work: evaluating the extent of the phenomenon of children deprived of their liberty, including the number of children deprived of their liberty (disaggregated by age, gender and nationality), as well as the reasons invoked, the causes of root, type and duration of deprivation of liberty and places of detention; document the real situation and propose good practices; promote a change in stigmatizing attitudes and behavior towards children at risk of being or being deprived of liberty; and provide recommendations for the law, policy and practices to safeguard children’s rights.


The results of the painstaking and extremely difficult work (as he himself stated, it was often difficult even to obtain the data from the authorities they had been asked for) carried out by Nowak have recently been published and the numbers are shocking. Hundreds of thousands of children are detained, forced to live in inhumane conditions in adult facilities (in obvious violation of their human rights), are “at high risk of violence, rape and sexual violence, including acts of torture and cruel treatment or punishment , inhuman or degrading “. And a huge number of children are “held ever younger and held for longer periods of time” with frightening consequences both on “their physical and mental development and on their ability to lead a healthy and constructive life in society”. Their fault: very often only that of being migrants.


Hundreds of thousands of migrant children would have been locked up or deprived of liberty.


What happened to human rights champions? And what happened to the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And yet in Art. 22 of the Convention states: “States Parties shall take appropriate measures so that a child who seeks to obtain refugee status, or is considered a refugee under the rules and procedures of applicable international or national law, alone or accompanied by his father or from the mother or any other person, may benefit from the protection and humanitarian assistance necessary to enable him to enjoy the rights granted to him by this Convention and by the other international instruments relating to human rights or humanitarian in those States they are parts. To this end, the States Parties collaborate, in the ways deemed necessary, to all the efforts made by the United Nations Organization and other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the United Nations Organization, to protect and help children who find themselves in such a situation and to seek out the parents or other family members of each refugee child in order to obtain the information necessary to rejoin him with his family. If the father, mother or any other family member cannot be found, the child will be granted, according to the principles set forth in this Convention, the same protection as that of any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his family environment for any reason “.


Art. 37, then, goes further: “States parties ensure that: a) no child is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without the possibility of release must be decreed for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen; b) no child is deprived of liberty illegally or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be carried out in accordance with the law, constitute a provision of last resort and have the shortest duration possible … “.


In presenting the results of the study, a few hours ago, Nowak could not help admitting that there are hundreds of thousands of children in prison only because they are migrants. And many of them even in countries where one would not expect to find them: in the US alone there would be over 100 thousand children whose freedom was violated for the sole reason that they had sought a better country to live in. But the US is the only country in the world that has never turned the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. And the others? There are few countries where governments have adopted ad hoc laws (in Italy, from 2017, law 47 is in force, which concerns precisely the Unaccompanied Foreign Minors).


The Greek minister’s appeals come to mind as he asks his colleagues for help for thousands of children currently crammed into overcrowded and uninhabitable reception centers. And the indifference of the audience in front of his prayers.


We need to be sure: tomorrow, November 20, all the central governments of these countries, the local administrations and hundreds and hundreds of associations will compete to celebrate the World Day of Rights (denied) of the Child …


C.Alessandro Mauceri


Chairman Minori Stranieri Non Accompagnati


Kiwanis Int. Distr. Italia S.Marino


Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/world-day-of-the-rights-of-the-child/
          

Ana Roš named World Tourism Organization’s ambassador of gastronomic tourism

 Cache   
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has appointed Slovenian master chef Ana Roš as ambassador of gastronomic tourism.
          

Visit of the Permanent Representatives of the United Nations Security Council

 Cache   

Washington, DC - President Donald J. Trump will welcome the Permanent Representatives of the United Nations Security Council to the White House on December 5, 2019. This visit will coincide with the United States assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council for December. 


          

Hasina reaches Madrid to attend COP25 climate summit

 Cache   
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reached the Spanish capital Madrid on a three-day visit to attend the 25th annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, more commonly known as COP25.
          

'War against nature must stop,' UN chief says before climate talks

 Cache   
The world must stop a “war against nature” and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid.
          

The political album of the year (plus 9 others that are awesome)

 Cache   
Issue 
Political albums from November 2019.
November 28, 2019

Here are the best new albums that relate to this month's political news, including the album of the year. If you read to the end, there's also a bonus. What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email


1. TO THE GRAVE - GLOBAL WARNING

On November 1, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to take action against banks and insurers that were boycotting the coal industry over climate change concerns. Four days later, 11,000 scientists declared a link between human activity and climate change, yet as people began to die in "unprecedented" bushfires sweeping Australia, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack blasted anyone linking the fires to climate change as "raving inner-city lunatics". In the midst of the madness, Sydney deathcore band To The Grave released their new climate-themed album, which opens with the apt song "Holocaustralia". "In a genre oversaturated with violent lyrics simply for the sake of violence, I found that the most horrific things I could write about were right in front of us all, the things most of us choose not to look at," said singer Dane Evans, whose vocals range from a roar to a Gollum-like rasp over music that's as extreme as Australia's politics. LISTEN>>>    

2. ARCHIE ROACH - TELL ME WHY 

Things got batshit crazier when McCormack's fellow National Party member Barnaby Joyce claimed two people who died in the fires were probably Greens voters, implying they deserved to die because, Joyce claimed, the Greens had stopped the backburning of the bush. It was a complete fabrication, besides the fact that the Greens are strong supporters of Australia's Aboriginal people, who have backburned the bush for millennia. Telling the stories of those people was activist and musician Archie Roach, who released his autobiography along with an accompanying album on November 5. Tell Me Why maps out his life, "from stolen child, teenage alcoholic, seeker, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, to social advocate and First Nations leader". It came as protests swept the country after a white policeman shot an Aboriginal man dead in the Northern Territory, adding to the never-ending tally of Black deaths in custody for which no one has ever been jailed. MORE>>>

3. SOLE & DJ PAIN 1 - NO GOD NOR COUNTRY

Raging against such racism is US rapper Sole, who opens his explosive new album with the song "FTL", which seethes: "Slap on the wrist, that's a white male. Slapped behind bars, that's a black male. Don't need me explaining white supremacy cos so many see it every day. But to my fellow settlers: check yourself, don't forget everything you've got's on the back of someone else. Fuck the law, cos it's racist. Fuck the court it's too expensive. Fuck the jails they don't fix shit. Fuck the cops cos they ain't shit." And on "Extremist" the long-time podcaster and protester spits: "As we speak, millionaires are buying up streams and lakes in New Zealand, building doomsday bunkers. What about the rest of us who can't afford to leave this mess that you made? If resisting this makes me an extremist, then that word is utterly meaningless." Everything about this record, from Sole's sharp raps to DJ Pain 1's blunted beats, is flawless. It's the album of the year for me. LISTEN>>> 

4. MOOR MOTHER - ANALOG FLUIDS OF SONIC BLACK HOLES 

Also raging against racist cops is Afrofuturist Moor Mother with her new experimental electronic album, released on November 8. On "LA92" she speak-raps: “Latasha got shot over orange juice. No cash, got shot. No justice body rock... LAPD on PCP, body bag body bag for you and me.” The lyrics refer to the 1992 murder of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins by Korean-born liquor store owner Soon Ja Du, who had accused her of shoplifting. The event, along with the videotaped police beating of African-American Rodney King two weeks earlier, became the impetus for the Los Angeles race riots. Describing the album, she said: “My whole work is to fight against the erasure of black people, the erasure of poor people, the erasure of black women, the erasure of women... If you have the knowledge of what’s happening in the world, and what has happened in the world to marginalised people, then what will you do with your energy?” LISTEN>>>

5. COLDPLAY - EVERYDAY LIFE 

Even tame, white British pop rockers like Coldplay were raging about racist police brutality this month. The song "Trouble In Town" on their new album, released on November 22, samples racist harassment by police, while Chris Martin sings: "I get no peace, and I just get more police." The band said they wouldn't tour the album until they could find a way to do it without damaging the environment. Meanwhile, as Britain headed for the polls in a race-baiting election, political albums were released by Black British artists who have first-hand experience of racism. The new album by Kele, who once publicly called out Sex Pistol John Lydon for allegedly being racist towards him, was praised as his "most political work yet". The latest LP by London Afrobeat Collective was hailed as "one of the best of 2019's releases". And the new long-player by Michael Kiwanuka was praised by seemingly everybody, even being called "one of the greatest albums of the decade".​​​​​​ MORE>>>    

     

6. VARIOUS ARTISTS - AQUÍ NOS ESTÁN MATANDO - HERE THEY ARE KILLING US

As police cracked down on activists all over the world, from rioters in Hong Kong to anti-coup protesters in Bolivia, Chilean singer Mon Laferte took a stand against lethal repression in her home country. On the red carpet at the Latin Grammy Awards, Mon Laferte opened her jacket to reveal a message written across her bare chest: "En Chile torturan violan y matan", which in English translates to, "in Chile they torture, rape and kill". After her album, Norma, won Best Alternative Music Album, she posted a photo of her red carpet look on Instagram with the caption, "Mi cuerpo libre para una patria libre", which translates to "My free body for a free homeland". A week later, Chilean record label Imperecedero Discos released a 52-track compilation album to help raise money for the victims of repression at the hands of the Chilean state. The album, titled Aquí Nos Están Matando - Here They Are Killing Us, features punk bands from all over the world. LISTEN>>>

7. LIFE AQUATIC - NEON CORTEX 

On the other side of South America, Brazil's most popular politician, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was freed from jail on November 8 after his detention prevented him from running in last year's Brazilian elections that made Jair Bolsonaro president. Among Lula's many supporters is US academic Noam Chomsky, who is also the subject of the song "Chomsky's Ford Galaxie" found on the debut album by Brazilian experimental hip-hop outfit Life Aquatic. "Life Aquatic is born in ABC Paulista, the urban centre of greater São Paulo, trying to represent the submergence and lack of oxygen of life in a society that makes the simple become complex," they said. "Breathing becomes a difficult task, generating suffocation and discomfort, as when you are alone and submerged in complete mismatch with your system. Our mission? Try to gain breath again so as not to lose another scuba brother to this average life that tries to swallow us every millisecond." LISTEN>>> 

8. RAISED FIST - ANTHEMS 

As the US tried to reassert its power over South America with a coup in Bolivia and continuous pressure on Venezuela, Sweden dropped its rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is facing extradition to the US for revealing its state secrets. On November 15, Swedish punks Raised Fist released their new album on the same day that Assange's lawyer called his extradition case "a threat to free speech worldwide". The album's title, Anthems, is no empty boast - the band capture the catchiness, heaviness and rasping vocals of AC/DC and inject that with a heady dose of leftist politics. The release followed a similarly heavy political album from fellow long-time punks, Agnostic Front. Talking about their 12th album Get Loud!, which covers everything from inequality and corruption to political manipulation, the "godfathers of hardcore" said: “We’ve always had a voice; had a lot to say. We’re always screaming for a change." LISTEN>>>

9. DAWN RAY'D - BEHOLD SEDITION PLAINSONG

Also screaming for change are Agnostic Front's fellow punks Subhumans, with their aptly-titled new album, Crisis Point. On "Poison", they yell: "When the earth dries up and the food runs out, all the money in the world won't help you out. Cancer, dementia, poverty prevention, clean up your act avoid extinction." Riffing on the same doom are folk-metallers Dawn Ray'd, with their new album, Behold Sedition Plainsong. On "Soon Will Be The Age Of Lessons Learnt", they warn: "As the ice melts and the ocean swells, all our masters are building is hell. The anticipation, the unsatisfiable hunger, the knowing but not ever knowing. As the last trees are murdered, and the insects are dying in droves, death crawls up the chain." On November 26, the United Nations declared in its annual assessment on greenhouse gases that the world will miss its chance to avert climate disaster without an immediate and all-but-impossible fall in fossil fuel emissions. LISTEN>>> 

10. CATTLE DECAPITATION - DEATH ATLAS 

At the end of the month, Australia's climate politics sank even lower as Energy Minister Angus Taylor faced jail for allegedly doctoring a document to claim that Sydney's Lord Mayor, who supports action against climate change, had spent millions on air travel. Instead of standing him aside, the Prime Minister rang the police. Summing up such dire politics were grindcore band Cattle Decapitation, with their new album, released on November 29. Describing the LP, whose artwork features the Grim Reaper carrying the burnt-out husk of the Earth on his back, vocalist Travis Ryan said: "I want people to be shocked into thinking more about their futures, their loved ones, the pain they're potentially subjecting their future generations to. Everyone just seems to live in the now with no care for tomorrow, and that's incorrect thinking, as far as today goes. Don't make tomorrow a cancelled cheque." MORE>>> 

Bonus: 10 more great new political albums

This column is taking a break until the end of January, so here are 10 extra albums to see you through till then.

1. TOMMY SANDS - FAIR PLAY TO YOU ALL

The latest strong and long-player from a well-loved Irish folk musician who's collaborated with Pete Seeger in the past. MORE>>>

2. BRASS AGAINST - BRASS AGAINST II

Radical covers brass band return with another collection. LISTEN>>>

3. CHADWICK STOKES - CHADWICK STOKES & THE PINTOS

Boston singer-songwriter comes out swinging for the rights of women, immigrants and indigenous people. MORE>>>

4. ANGEL BAT DAWID - THE ORACLE

Avant garde jazz musician takes a trip through Black politics with songs made on her phone. LISTEN>>> 

5. DJ SHADOW - OUR PATHETIC AGE

Legendary sampling pioneer returns with a double album that includes the biting "Drone Warfare". MORE>>>

6. TRIBE - HOMETOWN: DETROIT SESSIONS 1990-2014

Historical anthology from a sprawling political jazz and poetry collective. LISTEN>>>

7. MAKING MOVIES - AMERI'KANA

Quartet of Panamanian and Mexican immigrants tell tales of persecution under Trump. LISTEN>>>

8. STRAY FROM THE PATH - INTERNAL ATOMICS

Metalcore masters blend emotion and introspection into scathing takes on contemporary politics. LISTEN>>>

9. FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY - THE SEA OF TRAGIC BEASTS

Post-deathcore band channel "aggression, anger, frustration, and sadness" at the state of the world. LISTEN>>>

10. JUDY COLLINS - WINTER STORIES

This octogenarian folk musician and veteran activist serves up the closest thing you'll get to a protest Christmas album. MORE>>> 

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mat Ward has been writing for Green Left Weekly since 2009. He also wrote the book Real Talk: Aboriginal Rappers Talk About Their Music And Country and makes political music. This year, he released a new album about surveillance and an EP with Aboriginal rapper Provocalz. Follow his artist page on Spotify here.

Stream our political albums playlist on Spotifyhere.

Read about more political albums here.

Stream Green Left TV's political music playlist here.

The multi-award-winning journalist John Pilger says: "There are few other newspapers — radical or any other kind — that draw together news and analysis that is as well informed, credible, and non-sectarian as Green Left Weekly. Its work has influenced mine and has been a beacon to those who believe the press ought to be an agent of the people."


          

Vigil for West Papua

 Cache   
Issue 
A vigil for West Papua outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney.
November 28, 2019

Human rights activists are holding regular vigils outside the Indonesian Consulate in Sydney, calling for a United Nations-supervised referendum to allow the people of West Papua to vote on independence.

There has been a recent upsurge in activism around West Papuan independence, including among Indonesians, despite intimidation and serious consequences for activists. West Papuans risk up to 15 years jail for flying the West Papuan flag.

West Papuan students in Indonesia were recently subjected to racist taunts by the military, leading to widespread protests and violent crackdowns.

According to Stuart Highway, who initiated the vigil, passersby  have been particularly supportive: “Motorists wave, toot their horns or call out words of solidarity. We also get thumbs up and clenched fist salutes from bus drivers, truckies and tradies.

“People also stop to give words of encouragement or ask for information. Australians, even in these difficult times, still support the idea of a fair go and support the underdog. People like the idea of having a go at a powerful enemy despite the odds, and West Papua's struggle for independence is certainly a David and Goliath struggle.”

[For more information contact Stuart Highway on 0491 095 461.]

A vigil for West Papua outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney. Photo: Bernadette Smith

          

Is Climate Change Real?

 Cache   
by David Geelan  |  1 December 2019  | I thought I’d already heard it all: that global climate change was a leftist or United Nations (UN) conspiracy to hobble the economic development of developed countries, or to install a world government, or socialism or… something. The most recent thing I’ve seen, though, in videos by […]
          

Zimbabwe: President Condemns Attack on Civilians

 Cache   
[The Herald] The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed "deep concern and strongly condemns" the attacks on civilians and the resultant violent demonstrations against United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) peacekeepers.
          

Greta Thunberg carbon-reduced plan blown by flight of captain

 Cache   

Child activist Greta Thunberg refused to fly back to Europe from her trip to the U.S. and the United Nations, instead sailing across the Atlantic on a yacht rather than emit carbon by taking a plane.

Unfortunately for Ms. Thunberg's carbon footprint though, the boat's captain had to fly to ...

          

Hong Kong Unrest Rages on as Police Clash With Protesters

 Cache   

Hong Kong Unrest Rages on as Police Clash With Protesters(Bloomberg) -- Clouds of tear gas returned to Hong Kong over the weekend as police and protesters clashed, signaling pro-democracy rallies are set to drag on after demonstrators got a boost from an election win and support from the U.S. Congress.Tensions rose in the former British colony -- a special administrative region of China since 1997 -- as thousands of black-clad protesters marched in the busy tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday afternoon. Unrest had been brewing since late Saturday, when a group blocked roads and set fire to a subway station entrance.The violence took a pause with the elections a week earlier, as Hong Kong residents handed an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates in a vote for local district councils on Nov. 24. While the officials they elected represent what’s considered as the lowest rung of the government, the win was a stunning repudiation of the city’s Beijing-backed government. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam didn’t make any new concessions to protesters after the poll, a move that could have fueled the anger seen over the weekend.At the Tsim Sha Tsui event, police said smoke grenades were hurled by what it labeled “rioters” to cause fear and panic among demonstrators, prompting law enforcement action that included tear gas to disperse the crowd. Bricks were thrown at police officers in the area, as well as in nearby Whampoa, where shops were also vandalized. One passerby was attacked, police said.Earlier in the day, people carrying U.S. flags and banners marched to the U.S. consulate in a peaceful rally to express gratitude after President Donald Trump signed legislation last week in support of the demonstrators. While the crowds have dispersed Sunday night, scores of police officers in riot gear were still seen lining the streets as of 2 a.m. on Monday.MTR Corp., the city’s subway operator, said it expects rail and bus services to resume normally on Monday, with the possibility that some stations and rail sections may close early, especially on weekends. The University station on the East Rail line will remain shut for repairs, and entrances and exits to some stops that had excessive damage from the protests will also not be accessible.Subway stations and even tracks were vandalized during the protests in the past few months, with MTR’s crews rushing through repairs. The stock -- once one of Hong Kong’s safest stock bets -- has lost more than a fifth of its value since its peak this year in July, making it the second-worst performer on Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock is poised to recover quickly when the city’s situation eventually settles, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, who’ve upgraded MTR to buy from neutral.Police ConductMeanwhile, China said it “strongly” opposed an opinion piece by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in the South China Morning Post on Saturday, accusing her of meddling in the country’s affairs and emboldening Hong Kong protesters to commit violence.Bachelet urged the city’s government to conduct a “proper independent and impartial judge-led investigation” into reports of excessive use of force by police. She also called on Lam’s administration to “prioritize a long-overdue process” of meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the people of Hong Kong.Hong Kong’s newly appointed police chief, Chris Tang, said an independent probe into the use of force by police would be unjust, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday, citing comments he made in a radio program.China has also arrested two overseas nationals for their alleged involvement in Hong Kong’s protest movement, state newspaper Southern Daily reported, citing information from the national security agency. Taiwanese Lee Meng-chu and Lee Henley Hu Xiang of Belize were arrested by the national security authorities in the southern Guangdong province, the local paper said in two reports published Saturday.(Updates with clashes in fourth paragraph, subway plans for Monday in sixth.)To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at mbaigorri@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Linus Chua, Tony CzuczkaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

At a Glance - World AIDS Day 2019 - 29-11-2019

 Cache   
Every year, 1 December marks World AIDS Day, proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) in 1988 and aimed mainly at raising awareness. This year's specific theme, 'Communities make a difference', draws attention to the crucial role of community health workers and communities of people living with HIV, highlighting their contribution to ending the epidemic. World AIDS Day also offers an opportunity to take stock of progress, globally and in the EU.

Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP
          

EPP Group wants international, job-friendly climate change action

 Cache   
Madrid is hosting a new United Nations Climate Conference in December. So what more should the EU do to tackle climate change? The EPP Group set out some key messages for EU citizens ahead of a...
          

Students plan climate strike

 Cache   
Rochester-area students intend to join their peers across the world by demonstrating on December 6. The United Nations recently issued a bleak report on climate change that found countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions, despite warnings from scientists. The Emissions Gap Report, produced by the United Nations Environment Program, revealed that every single country that signed the 2016 Paris climate agreement has increased its emissions, instead of cutting them back, with China and the United States being the worst offenders.…
          

Introducing the school farm program

 Cache   

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, YPARD, together with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is now set to develop a new strategic plan that focuses on the development of human capital particularly – the youth. 

It aims to design an efficient mechanism of intervention to solve some common challenges within the agricultural sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

This alternative plan will address challenges such as lack of coordination, lack of skills, inadequate information, and lack of resources, which makes it difficult for people in this region to access and make efficient use of resources that are needed to sustain themselves and improve their welfare. 

Finding a proposal for action is a complex task to achieve. Therefore, approaching the option of investing in human capital through educational programs (with a focus on youth in the agricultural sector) would be an efficient and optimistic alternative. In particular, education provides the capacity to learn, there is a body of evidence, which asserts that school policies have an enabling environment, which aims to provide dynamic tools to coordinate tangible responses to achieving this and making it a reality.

According to FAO, education is an ideal tool of intervention to coordinate responses to tackle complex factors in an entity. It offers adequate information and a variety of opportunities that could involve multiple sectors and partners. The approach is based on providing necessary and appropriate knowledge that aims to organize people’s awareness, which can help enhance the living conditions in habitat and ensure its sustainability.

Therefore, from this point of view, the design of this educative and interactive platform will be based on a curricular plan, which aims to provide the required theoretical and practical perspective. It will also use systematic methods to engage youth (ages 10 years – 24 years) in agricultural activities, to adopt skills for transforming current production systems towards more sustainable practice. 

The plan strategically will operate on agroecosystem approach, by promoting dynamic activities based on local knowledge, to enable and drive innovation. It will also empower different stakeholders to shape the modern food system and enhance food security while ensuring healthy diets for all. 

Through this initiative, YPARD and FAO will be able to implement a mutually reinforcing synergy to shape a well-designed intervention on agriculture and education. The initiative will help to increase focus and investment in youth by creating a favourable environment in different agro-ecological contexts. 

Currently, we are in the planning phase and exploring possible initiatives that can be implemented. Updates will be provided as things become clearer and opportunities to engage become available. Feel free to express your interest in contributing to the project, by reaching me at wendel.georges@fao.org for any further information and updates.

 

Photo credits: EARTH University


          

Climate Change: Vulnerability of the Niger Delta Region, in Nigeria

 Cache   

Climate change is not just a global threat, but an unprecedented public health emergency. Climate change has been characterized by global warming, increased frequency and intensity of   precipitation, catastrophic wind events, and extreme weather events, associated with heat waves, flooding disasters, and prolonged droughts. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) attributes climate change to anthropogenic or human activities.  Globally, the most vulnerable regions, to hazardous impacts of climate change, are the mega-deltas of Africa and Asia, due to high exposure to sea level rise, storm surges, coastal erosion, and river flooding, compounded by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas. The vulnerability of the Niger Delta region, is exacerbated by oil spillages, gas flaring. and environmental degradation.

This review article highlights, the urgent implementation of mitigation and adaptation as opportunities for full transformation of economies, of the Niger delta region, in line with sustainable developmental goals (SDGs).


          

Exxon knew — and so did coal

 Cache   
Story 352923584

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

“Exxon knew.” Thanks to the work of activists and journalists, those two words have rocked the politics of climate change in recent years, as investigations revealed the extent to which giants like ExxonMobil and Shell were aware of the danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions even as they undermined the work of scientists.

But the coal industry knew, too — as early as 1966, a newly unearthed journal shows.

In August, Chris Cherry, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, salvaged a large volume from a stack of vintage journals that a fellow faculty member was about to toss out. He was drawn to a 1966 copy of the industry publication Mining Congress Journal; his father-in-law had been in the industry and he thought it might be an interesting memento.

Cherry flipped it open to a passage from James R. Garvey, who was the president of Bituminous Coal Research Inc., a now-defunct coal mining and processing research organization.

“There is evidence that the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing rapidly as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels,” wrote Garvey. “If the future rate of increase continues as it is at the present, it has been predicted that, because the CO2 envelope reduces radiation, the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere will increase and that vast changes in the climates of the earth will result.”

“Such changes in temperature will cause melting of the polar icecaps, which, in turn, would result in the inundation of many coastal cities, including New York and London,” he continued.

Cherry was floored.

“It pretty well described a version of what we know today as climate change,” said Cherry. “Increases in average air temperatures, melting of polar ice caps, rising of sea levels. It’s all in there.”

In a discussion piece immediately following Garvey’s article, Peabody Coal combustion engineer James R. Jones noted that the coal industry was merely “buying time” before more air pollution regulations came into effect. “We are in favor of cleaning up our air,” he wrote. “Everyone can point to examples in his own community where something should be done. Our aim is to have control that does not precede the technical knowledge for compliance.”

Climate change is not Cherry’s area of study, but he was struck by how the tone of the articles differed from the way many fossil fuel companies talk about climate change today. Rather than engage in denial, the articles offered a fairly straightforward acknowledgment of the emerging science. (This reporter is also a writer for UT’s Tickle College of Engineering, where Cherry teaches.)

As Cherry did some of his own digging, he soon realized his discovery could be the first evidence that the coal industry was aware of the impending climate crisis more than half a century ago — a finding that could open mining companies to the type of litigation that the oil industry is now facing.

Decades of denial

While Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal company in the world and the largest producer of coal in the U.S., now acknowledges climate change on its website, it has been directly and indirectly involved in obfuscating climate science for decades. It funded dozens of trade, lobbying, and front groups that peddled climate misinformation, as The Guardian reported in 2016.

As recently as 2015, Peabody Energy argued that carbon dioxide was a “benign gas essential for all life.”

“While the benefits of carbon dioxide are proven, the alleged risks of climate change are contrary to observed data, are based on admitted speculation, and lack adequate scientific basis,” the company wrote in a letter that year to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

At the heart of big coal’s denial campaign was Fred Palmer, who served as Peabody’s senior vice president of government relations from 2001 to 2015. In 1997, Palmer founded the Greening Earth Society, a now-defunct industry front group that argued that burning fossil fuels was good for the planet. The group was based in the same office as the Western Fuels Association, a consortium of coal suppliers and coal-fired utilities that Palmer also ran.

“Every time you turn your car on and you burn fossil fuels and you put CO2 into the air, you’re doing the work of the Lord,” Palmer told a Danish documentary team in 1997. “That’s the ecological system we live in.”

Asked for comment, a Peabody spokesperson told HuffPost:“Peabody recognizes that climate change is occurring and that human activity, including the use of fossil fuels, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. We also recognize that coal is essential to affordable, reliable energy and will continue to play a significant role in the global energy mix for the foreseeable future. Peabody views technology as vital to advancing global climate change solutions, and the company supports advanced coal technologies to drive continuous improvement toward the ultimate goal of near-zero emissions from coal.”

Palmer, who did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, continues to carry the torch. He now works as an energy policy adviser to The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank whose climate denial is so severe that even ExxonMobil abandoned funding it and its climate denial efforts a decade ago. In 2011, leaked memos showed that the institute paid contrarian scientists like Craig Idso, founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, $11,600 a month to promote carbon dioxide as beneficial to the environment.

The group sits at the heart of a broader right-wing misinformation network funded in large part by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, both Republican mega-donors who backed President Donald Trump and financed projects such as Breitbart News and Cambridge Analytica, the data firm considered key to Trump’s 2016 win. Palmer’s daughter, Downey Magallanes, was a top policy adviser at Trump’s Interior Department before joining oil giant BP in September 2018.

All of this was taking place well after climate change had become a commonly understood idea in the scientific community. A 1965 report from President Lyndon Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee was the first from the White House to address climate change (and is likely what precipitated the Mining Congress Journal article). “The climate changes that may be produced by the increased CO2 content could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings,” it warned. In 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen testified to Congress about what was then known as the “greenhouse effect.” And in 1992, the United Nations established the Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty to begin addressing the problem.

But as this consensus emerged, so too did a wave of industry-funded climate denial via vast, shadowy networks of front groups, public relations campaigns, and scientists for hire.

Pulling back the curtain

In 2015, journalists at InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia University exposed internal ExxonMobil documents showing that the company’s scientists had a deep understanding of climate change even as Exxon worked publicly to downplay that science.

Twenty state attorneys general launched an “Exxon Knew” campaign, which eventually led to communities across the country filing at least 14 legal challenges against Exxon and other fossil fuel companies. One lawsuit, from the New York state attorney general’s office, went to trial on October 22 and focuses on how the company accounted for the costs of potential future regulations on climate change. The Massachusetts attorney general filed another suit on October 24, this time claiming the company had engaged in deceptive advertising and misled investors about the systemic financial risks to its business posed by fossil fuel-driven climate change. Earlier this month, two of Hawaii’s biggest municipalities sued Exxon and other big oil companies to recoup the costs of adapting to rising seas and more violent storms.

Evidence of what fossil fuel companies knew about climate change and when is critical to the legal strategy of those seeking damages for carbon dioxide emissions. If fossil fuel companies were aware of their products’ harmful effects on the planet, they could be held liable for damages.

Legal liability boils down to four factors, said David Bookbinder, chief counsel for the Niskanen Center, which is representing counties in Colorado that have filed suits: one, whether the defendants knew that their products would cause climate change; two, what they told or did not tell the public about the consequences of using their products; three, the extent of injuries caused by climate change; and four, whether the defendants’ actions have led to a portion of those injuries. What the plaintiffs in these suits can prove remains to be seen.

What we do know is that coal, when burned, has by far the biggest climate footprint of any fossil fuel, producing more carbon dioxide per unit than oil or gas. In the U.S. alone, coal produced 65 percent of the power sector’s planet-warming emissions. The 1966 article in the Mining Congress Journal certainly raises questions about what the coal industry knew at the time.

Robert Brulle, a professor emeritus of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University, authored a recent paper that suggests the coal industry must have known quite a bit, given how prominently it positioned itself in the climate denial movement.

Brulle researched 12 major groups and coalitions that argued against mandatory regulation of carbon dioxide from 1989 to 2015 — which he calls the “climate change countermovement.” That countermovement included 2,000 different businesses, political or social groups, as well as other organizations, but Brulle found that 179 core organizations belonged to multiple coalitions. Coal companies and predominantly coal-burning utilities were the most prevalent. He describes oil and gas companies as “more of a marginal player” by comparison.

“The coal mining industry — the utilities that were burning it for electricity, along with the railroads who were hauling it — and manufacturing industries like steel were the first corporate forces to become climate deniers and try to block action on climate policy,” said Kert Davies, founder and director of the Climate Investigations Center. “They fought the hardest because they had the biggest existential threat.”

Where do we go from here?

In the aftermath of the 1973 oil embargo, Exxon and other oil giants leased large parcels of land for coal mining with the goal of manufacturing synthetic fuels and lowering U.S. dependence on the Middle East.

Some previously released documents show that Exxon’s scientists began advising that the world phase out coal as a fuel as early as 1979. In one scenario, the Exxon scientists concluded that non-fossil fuels would need to be substituted for coal beginning in the 1990s to keep carbon dioxide levels below atmospheric concentrations of 440 parts per million. In 1999, Exxon merged with Mobil, and by 2002, ExxonMobil had dumped its coal assets.

Meanwhile, the coal industry tried to reinvent itself with the concept of “clean coal.” This as-yet-undelivered promise that carbon capture and other technological advances could lower coal’s environmental impact has been around for decades but resurged in the early 2000s as regulations seemed imminent.

The biggest proponent of this idea was the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal front group that spent $35 million on public relations campaigns in 2008 alone, seeking to influence the election. A year later, ACCCE was caught sending Congress fraudulent letters opposing federal climate legislation and pretending to be from veterans, women’s, and civil rights groups. The incident led many members to leave the organization, but Peabody remains a member to this day.

“Its whole mission was to stop climate regulations but pretend that they were in favor of clean coal, which, of course, doesn’t exist,” said Davies.

Peabody Energy filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, the same year carbon dioxide levels hit 400 parts per million. Eight other coal companies have filed for bankruptcy this year. Even as the Trump administration has promised a coal resurgence and rolled back Obama-era regulations, the industry’s profitability continues to experience a downward slide. If the slogan “Coal Knew” ever does take off, it’s unclear who’ll be left to sue.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Exxon knew — and so did coal on Nov 29, 2019.


          

Help! There’s a climate denier at my dinner table.

 Cache   
Story 352657812

The holidays just aren’t complete without a little drama for dessert. And what’s more dramatic than a planet in crisis?

The year is winding down and on course to be the second-hottest year on record. Wildfires raged in Alaska and Australia. One neighborhood in the Florida Keys has been underwater for almost three months straight.

The United Nations recently warned that the targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2015 need to be 5 times stronger if the world is going to avoid some of the worst consequences of a warming planet. So maybe now is the time to broach the subject with your “it’s all a hoax” uncle?

According to a recent poll by market research company Morning Consult, 9 percent of Americans plan to talk about climate change at Thanksgiving this year, while another 13 percent expect someone else to mention it.

Everybody has witnessed a conversation about politics that ended in disaster. But talking with people who refuse to accept the scientific consensus isn’t necessarily destined for failure. People really do change their minds, albeit gradually. An estimated 8 percent of Americans switched to the side of climate science in recent years. One staunch denier from Dallas recently came around after a TV station took him on a trip to visit melting glaciers in Alaska.

It’s not practical (or climate-friendly) to fly all the climate deniers in the United States out to the Alaskan wilderness. So I talked to Emma Frances Bloomfield, the author of Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics and an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to get some tips on how to have a productive conversation.

The good news? Research shows that liberals and conservatives alike shift their opinions about climate change to align with the people closest to them. So when it comes to convincing your family and friends, there’s no one more qualified than you. Just don’t expect instant results.

Ask questions (and listen to the answers)

Nobody wants to be treated like they’ve been living under a rock. “If you enter a conversation from an area where you’re going to patronize someone, you’re already setting yourself up for persuasive failure,” Bloomfield said.

You don’t know the right stories to tell or points to bring up until you understand why the person you’re talking to is resistant to accepting that the world is heating up, Bloomfield said. There’s a wide spectrum from hard-line ostriches to passive “climate bystanders,” so you need to understand where your conversation partner sits on this spectrum. The best way to do that is by asking questions. (The New York Times has an interactive guide where you can test out your difficult-conversation skills with an Angry Uncle Bot.)

Find points of connection

Once you’ve mentioned the double-C word, you might be in tricky territory. It’s important to keep coming back to middle-ground topics that both you and your conversation partner care about, Bloomfield said.

“You can say, ‘Hey, by helping the environment, we can make your family safer, we can improve health outcomes in communities, and we can save businesses money in the long term,’” she said. “The environment becomes a means to an end instead of the end itself.”

Anticipate their arguments

If you’re starting from square one, try bringing up classic counterpoints before your conversation partner does — and then reframing them from a new perspective. Take a cue from my friend Mark Jackson, who’s had some success wrangling people out of climate denial. He’ll tell people that a 2-degree Celsius rise in temperatures might not sound like much. But, hey, have you ever had a 102-degree fever? You’re alive, but it’s uncomfortable and it sucks.

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, has a helpful YouTube series on how to respond to misconceptions about the climate crisis, like “this is all part of a natural cycle” or “carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant.”

Columbia Glacier is seen calving into the waters of Columbia Bay near Valdez, Alaska. Richard Joseph / Contributor / Getty Images

Pop their information bubble

You want to make sure that the conversation (and your friendship) doesn’t end after one conversation. If your discussion partner is unsure who to believe on climate change, Bloomfield recommends asking them to send you articles they’ve been reading. In return, you can send them some reading materials of your own (this cartoon for sure). It’ll get them out of their echo chamber.

The point is to expose people to new perspectives. And there’s nothing more perspective-shaking than seeing melting glaciers firsthand. When Jackson worked as a kayaking guide along the southeastern coast of Alaska in 2016 and 2017, he paddled in the ghost of the retreating Columbia Glacier, one of the fastest-changing in the world. So he felt obligated to bring up the subject on his tours — if not out of a sense of duty, then because tourists asked, “Well, where’s the glacier?” (It’s retreated 12 miles over the past 30 years.)

Tell a story

So, sure, maybe you can’t book an impromptu kayaking trip to Alaska for the family. But maybe you can bring melting glaciers (metaphorically) to them.

When he was working in Alaska, Jackson started bringing up climate change with his parents slowly. He would casually mention when a glacier calved, or recommend they watch the documentary Chasing Ice, which featured Columbia Glacier, so they could see where he worked.

There’s a time and a place for difficult conversations, said Jackson, who grew up in a conservative household in the Midwest where the radio was often tuned to Rush Limbaugh’s show. “I would say that I could not sit with my family and successfully have this conversation at Thanksgiving,” he said.

“If people start out combative,” he said, “then it’s probably not a great idea to engage, because they’re not in the space to hear what you have to say.”

Break down stereotypes

You can’t expect to change someone’s mind with one conversation. But if nothing else, maybe you can help them see that a person who cares about climate change isn’t “the enemy.”

“It goes both ways,” Bloomfield said. When she started interviewing people who dismiss climate science for her research, she assumed that many were likely misinformed, unwilling to listen, or just not that smart. But only a minority of people are really that adamant and loud, she said. Polls back that up: Though only 36 percent of Americans discuss climate change at least occasionally, 60 percent say they’re worried about it, according to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

“Most people are just concerned,” Bloomfield said. “Maybe they don’t know who to believe. Maybe they’re worried about the impact on their business that they own. Listening to them helped me learn about them and where they were coming from, in addition to them learning a little bit more about the kinds of people who are environmentalists.”

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Help! There’s a climate denier at my dinner table. on Nov 27, 2019.


          

How indigenous Bolivians lost faith in Evo Morales after the Amazon blaze

 Cache   
Story 352511548

Evo Morales, who resigned as president of Bolivia and sought asylum in Mexico amid political turmoil earlier this month, repeatedly proclaimed himself a guardian of “Pachamama,” also known as Mother Earth. But to some indigenous Bolivians, his relationship with the planet is a complicated one.

Indigenous people form a majority in Bolivia. The two biggest groups, Aymara and Quechua, have roots in the Andean highlands, while the remaining 34 are from the lowlands, an area that includes the Amazon rainforest. As Bolivia’s first indigenous leader — his family is Aymara — Morales vowed to fight for Bolivia’s indigenous communities by amplifying their voices and advocating for their cultural values, including the value of protecting land and nature.

María José Bejarano De Oliveira, an 18-year-old member of the Chiquitano nation in the eastern lowlands, was one of many indigenous Bolivians who bought Morales’ promises. “Since we were tired of the traditional politicians who governed our country with false promises of substantial changes in social, economic, and cultural aspects that were not kept, the choice was made to believe in the supposed Aymara indigenous leader,” De Oliveira told Grist in Spanish in an email.

But when it came to the environment —and especially the Amazon — Morales’ actions were at odds with his rhetoric. When raging fires blanketed vast swaths of the Amazon a couple of months ago, much of the world focused on Brazil and its far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro. But in Bolivia, more than 4.2 million acres of land were up in flames. To many frustrated environmentalists and Bolivians, there was only one person to blame: Evo Morales.

Morales, a former coca farmer and llama herder, did have many environmental wins during his presidency. In 2010, he hosted a climate change conference in the city of Cochabamba and passed Bolivia’s Law of Mother Earth, the first law in the world to recognize nature’s rights as equal to human rights. He also sponsored a successful U.N. resolution to recognize access to clean water and sanitation as human rights. He even brought forth an ambitious climate pledge for the Paris Agreement.

“In the first stage of his administration, we thought that he would fulfill his campaign promises to defend the indigenous people of Bolivia and Mother Earth,” said De Oliveira. “But it’s clear that in terms of real-life actions, he didn’t fulfill them.”

Morales’ image as a defender of Pachamama took a turn in the months before his ouster. In July, a month before the fires began, Morales signed legislation that weakened restrictions on land-clearing fires in the Bolivian Amazon. The law encouraged slashing and burning to create arable land for cattle ranching and soy farming. He even sent “migrant farmers” from his own tribe to occupy the eastern lowlands.

The move might seem surprising, given his rhetoric on protecting the environment. But Morales had his eye on agribusiness as a means to boost the country’s economy. His government aimed to make Bolivia a global food supplier so that agricultural commodities could join petroleum gas as a key Bolivian export.

In just a few weeks, farmers and ranchers — through the practice of “controlled burning” — burned nearly 2 million acres of forest in protected reserves. When Bolivia’s dry season arrived in August, the flames got less controlled. Burning and drought are something of a vicious cycle in Bolivia: increased burning restricts the climate’s ability to recycle precipitation, which in turn leads to severe droughts and a heightened risk of disastrous wildfires.

In early September, protestors took to the streets of Bolivia demanding that Morales declare a national disaster. Some chants even went as far as calling him a “murderer of nature” for not taking immediate action on the fires. Most of the protestors came from indigenous groups living in and near the Amazon. According to one source, who didn’t want to be named for fear of retaliation for himself and his organization, many of the protestors “felt betrayed” by their country’s first indigenous leader.

Then, in September, when the Amazon was still ablaze, Morales gave a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in front of world leaders, delegates, and the press, expressing his love for Pachamama. “Our house, Mother Earth is our only home, and it is irreplaceable,” he said. “Increasingly, it is suffering from more fires, more floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, and other disasters.”

Many Bolivians saw hypocrisy. “In practice, his speeches were false and his actions spoke the opposite of his speeches,” said De Oliveira, who was also at the U.N. as a delegate representing the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia.

Soon after the blazes in the Amazon came Bolivia’s contested presidential election, in which Morales declared victory after an unexplained pause in vote-counting. Protests broke out, and Brazil, the United States, and the European Union urged Bolivia to hold a run-off election, which Morales agreed to. But then the Bolivian military pushed Morales to resign due to political unrest.

Now that he’s been ousted, indigenous Bolivians find themselves in a different kind of trouble. Jeanine Añez, the right-wing politician who has named herself interim president, has a history of discriminatory statements about indigenous Bolivians. In a 2013 tweet, which has since been deleted, the then-senator said in Spanish, “I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites. The city is not for the Indians who should stay in the highlands or the Chaco!!!”

Since installing herself as president, Añez has accused Morales of “terrorism” and allowed the nation’s military to open fire at pro-Morales protesters for any cause, leading to dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.

It’s unknown whether the interim administration will fulfill Morales’ climate commitments and environmental policies. Morales always made sure Bolivia was represented at international climate conferences. Bolivia is currently planning to send a delegation to Madrid for the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP25, in early December. But much is in flux in Bolivia at the moment after Añez signed a bill annulling the earlier vote and allowing for new elections.

All De Oliveira and other indigenous activists know is that they will continue fighting for their rights and for the environment, which they see as intertwined. “We demand that this new transitional government sign commitments” to domestic and international environmental agreements, said De Oliveira. “A solution to the … violations and assaults of our lands should be based on the values and customs of the indigenous people.”

Eve Andrews assisted with translation for this story.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline How indigenous Bolivians lost faith in Evo Morales after the Amazon blaze on Nov 27, 2019.


          

Shoddy impact assessments, mining and ruin in Goa

 Cache   
Teaser: 
A study finds that weak environmental assessment reporting on the adverse impacts of mining has spelled doom for Goa’s environment.
A mining site in India (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Development and its impact on the environment has long been a contentious issue in India, where lack of adequate monitoring and control mechanisms have led to severe degradation of land, water and forest resources. Mining activities in Goa have not only poisoned its land and water, but also affected livelihoods by negatively impacting agriculture, fisheries and forests.

While Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are to assess the effect of developmental activities on the environment, there is no comprehensive study available on the quality of EIA reports or the ways in which issues are represented in these reports. The paper ‘A critical evaluation of environmental impact assessments: a case study of Goa mines, India’ published in Current Science discusses the findings of a study that evaluated EIA reports from 65 mines in Goa.

What is Environmental Impact Assessment?

EIA is a process to assess the socio-economic, cultural and human health impacts of proposed developmental projects on the environment. According to the United Nation's Environment Programme (UNEP), EIA can be greatly helpful in predicting the environmental impacts of interventions at the early stages of project planning and design. It can also aid in finding ways to reduce adverse impacts, shape and redesign projects to suit the local environment and provide alternative solutions to decision-makers.

EIAs can lead to reformulation or even rejection of proposed projects in case the negative environmental impacts outweigh the positive benefits of the proposed activity. For example, the EIA notification of 1994 states that concealing data or producing false or misleading data, decisions or recommendations in a report can lead to rejection of projects.

Mining in Goa

Goa, the smallest state in India, is also a biodiversity hot spot, home to 27% of the country’s total flowering plant species and 56% of the country’s evergreen tree species. This flora in turn forms critical habitat for a variety of fauna. Goa is blessed with the densely forested Western Ghats to the east; it has nine rivers flowing through its hilly midlands and rich coastal plains with mangrove ecosystems and paddy fields. There has been some effort to protect this rich biodiversity by establishing national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

However, Goa’s hilly midlands are rich in iron and manganese ore. This has led to large scale mining in the region, which has spelled doom for the state’s rich biodiversity. A total of 79 mines located mainly in Bicholim, Sattari, Sanguem, Dharbandora and Quepem talukas, have been in operation in Goa. Uncontrolled and illegal mining in the area has raised considerable public concern, as reflected in the Justice Shah Commission report on illegal mining  .

The study finds that mining has led to:

  • A negative impact on agricultural productivity:
    • Accumulation of dust on plant leaves, which has been found to in turn negatively impact photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration. This also possibly allows gaseous toxic pollutants to enter plants, leading to decreased productivity
    • Severe depletion of groundwater and destruction of springs and other water sources
    • Siltation of agricultural land and orchards
    • Breaking of estuarine khazan (will add link for description)  land bunds due to transfer of iron and manganese ores through boats in rivers
    • Pollution of water and soil due to oil and iron and manganese deposits
    • Destruction of grazing lands
    • Loss of fish and shellfish productivity due to increased turbidity, sedimentation and oil, iron and manganese pollution of the water
  • Destruction of sacred groves and forests
  • Disturbance to wildlife due to noise and vibrations
  • Traffic congestion and road accidents
  • Negative effects of air, water and noise pollution on human health
  • Loss of livelihoods for those employed in fisheries, agriculture, horticulture and forestry
  • Rise in social conflicts due to unequal distribution of resources and economic gains, increase in immigrants and rise in liquor sales

Environmental impact assessment reports of poor quality

The mining sector in India is known to be riddled with problems. According to the report “Out of control: Mining, regulatory failure and human rights in India,” India’s government often leaves mining companies to regulate themselves, giving companies control of decision making regarding assessing the impact of mining on the people and environment. This has proven to be disastrous for India and for countries around the world.

Thus, the process followed to prepare the EIA reports is many a time hopelessly dysfunctional and controlled by the very companies who are seeking permission to mine in the area. The reports that are brought out are inaccurate, deliberately falsified and reflect total disregard for the environment and rights of the people who are affected by mining.

This study too finds that the documentation of the background situation / contexts in the mining areas is very poor, making it difficult to evaluate the impacts of mining on the environment.

The quality of EIAs is also poor due to lack of adequate information on: 

  • The type and number of water resources within the mine lease areas  and the adjoining boundaries. This is critical to understand/evaluate the impact of mining on local water sources.
  • The people living in the area, their socioeconomic status and kind of work they are engaged in. This is vital to evaluate the impact of mining on the livelihoods of local communities, such as agriculture and fishing.
  • Actual distances between the boundaries of mine leases and protected areas;
  • The flora and fauna of the mine lease and buffer areas; and
  • Air, noise and water pollution

The paper suggests the following steps to deal with the gaps in the EIA reports

  • Making the process of generating reports transparent and involving local communities in the process.
  • Examining development interventions from the point of view of environmental and socio-economic sustainability and stimulating proper scrutiny of possible alternatives for meeting developmental objectives.
  • On-going monitoring of the project consequences, including environmental and socio-economic impacts to ensure that the suggested safeguards are being adequately implemented.
  • Conducting a thorough and periodic review of environmental clearance processes.

The paper puts forth some suggestions to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GoI. The authors say that local communities should be encouraged to play a key role in the EIA process, and should be involved in the preparation, monitoring and implementation of environmental management plans. Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) should be established and empowered at the local level, to regulate the use of local biodiversity resources and to charge collection fees. Citizens should be empowered to monitor the status of the environment through environmental monitoring schemes such as ‘Paryavaran Vahini’ of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Goa.

Further, the Environmental Clearance (EC) process can be reformed by assigning the preparation of EIA statements to a neutral competent body and by making it mandatory to:

  • Involve local BMCs in the EIA preparation process
  • Consider all information submitted and suggestions made during public hearings
  • Meet environmental clearance requirements
  • Involve local BMCs in the process of monitoring the implementation of ECs
  • Prepare regional cumulative EIAs.

Last but not least, the paper’s authors suggest organising a transparent, participatory database on the environment.

View the full paper here

Languages: 
Don't Show In All Article: 

          

National delegation in Mini-Committee of Discussing Constitution leaves UN HQ for not receiving response on proposal for agenda

 Cache   
Geneva, SANA_ The national delegation to the Mini-Committee of Discussing the Constitution left the United Nations HQ in Geneva on Monday for not receiving a response regarding the delegation’s proposal for the agenda where the second round of meetings was scheduled to be held. Sources close to work of the Committee in Geneva said that …
          

The .ORG Sale Is a Radical Departure That Puts the Internet at Risk

 Cache   

It can be hard to take a side. Especially when you are with a big organization. I know, I used to work for the United Nations and ICANN. Neutrality is a huge part of that work. Your role is not to take a stand; it's to create the space for other people to take stands. To create and protect a neutral platform.

That's what we all thought the Internet Society (ISOC) was doing for us by running .ORG. While some have said that the .ORG domain wasn't always non-commercial, it was ISOC itself that created this expectation. Their 2002 proposal to run .ORG states that ISOC will run it as:

"The established home for non-commercial entities on the Internet."

ISOC goes on to say:

Trust among its constituents is critical to non-commercial entities. Research shows that .ORG is one of the most trusted domains on the Internet — and is, therefore, the ideal domain to house a non-commercial's site.

By positioning .ORG for non-commercial entities, we expect to extend this "trust" element, further differentiating .ORG from other domains.

Trust was the basis upon which the Internet Community gave ISOC the right to run .ORG. This is not about a transaction. It is not about what Ethos Capital will or won't do. It is about a promise made and then broken.

ISOC promised the Internet Community that it would steward and differentiate .ORG. That was the reason the Internet Community gave ISOC the right to run it.

ISOC promised us that it would protect a heritage that grew up independently and organically, just like the Internet. It doesn't matter what a technical document said that .ORG was intended to be. The Internet Community, the public, the world and nonprofits, imbued it with something more. ISOC recognized this:

"Hundreds of thousands of non-commercial entities already populate .ORG, providing a solid base of history and a clear "neighborhood" feel that is understood and appreciated by Internet users. By joining these legions of respected colleagues, a non-commercial entity will find itself in good company."

* * *

ISOC should not have the right to sell .ORG. It was given that right by the community. It promised that it would work with the community. It should be the community that agrees with what happens next. That is the approach aligned with historical practice.

But instead of doing that, 13 people on the ISOC Board have decided that they know best. They abruptly sold .ORG with no prior consultation. This, in no way, approaches any model for Internet Governance.

Everything I have worked on since I left the United Nations fought against this kind of top-down decision-making. It injects a huge amount of instability and risk. This is the decision-making that will destroy the very processes that keep the Internet stable.

So much of what we hear about online is risk-taking. The risk-taking entrepreneur. The radical advocate who uses the Internet to share their message. But Internet Governance is not about being radical. It is about maintaining resilient community collaboration to KEEP the Internet stable.

The Internet needs conservatives more than it needs radicals. It's important not to make rash or unexpected decisions. We work together. We focus on our duty of care, our responsibilities, and our engagement with the community to find the right solution, not the radical one. We rely on inclusive processes that put the community first.

* * *

That is why we need to hit reset. This deal will not go away. It will become a stain. Every time we talk about Internet Governance, every time we talk about stakeholderism, every time we talk about open and transparent decision making, every time we talk about Nobody Internets Alone, this will be the response:

But you didn't do any of that when you sold .ORG.

What will ISOC do with all that money, when it has lost the legitimacy it needs to do its mission?

Joining the #SaveDotOrg campaign is not radical. Selling .ORG is radical.

All we are doing is asking 13 people to listen to the community and observe the principles on which it relies.

Please sign this letter and lets' help them do that.

Written by Jacob Malthouse, Co-founder at Big Room Inc. | The .eco Registry


          

Zim economic shocks put children at risk: UN official

 Cache   

UNITED Nations resident co-ordinator Maria omes Do Valle Ribeiro yesterday said the country’s economic shocks would put children at risk and hinder Zimbabwe from achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The post Zim economic shocks put children at risk: UN official appeared first on NewsDay Zimbabwe.


          

Tear Gas Fired as Protesters Return to Streets: Hong Kong Update

 Cache   

Tear Gas Fired as Protesters Return to Streets: Hong Kong Update(Bloomberg) -- Police fired tear gas as thousands of black-clad protesters marched in Hong Kong’s tourist district Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday, as tensions re-emerged after the euphoria of pro-democracy victories at district elections last weekend.Protesters also marched to the U.S. consulate in a rally to express gratitude after President Donald Trump signed legislation last week expressing support for the demonstrators. Late Saturday, a group of protesters blocked roads and set fire to a subway station entrance.Here’s the latest (all times local):MTR to add train captains (5:30 a.m.)The city’s subway operator says some sections of its network will need more train captains to ensure there aren’t objects hindering the operation of trains. Some traffic lights were damaged that may affect its Light Rail services.Police in riot gear line streets (2 a.m.)Police in riot gear were still seen lining some streets even as the crowd dispersed.Police disperse crowds in Whampoa (11 p.m.)Police also fired tear gas in nearby Whampoa, where bricks were hurled at them. A passer-by was attacked, roads were blocked and stores were vandalized in the area.Tear gas fired in Tsim Sha Tsui (5:45 p.m.)Police fired tear gas and used pepper spray as thousands of protesters marched in Hong Kong’s busy tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui. The police said in a statement that tear gas was fired in response to protesters throwing bricks at officers.March to U.S. consulate (Sunday, 1:30 p.m.)Thousands of protesters carrying U.S. flags and banners marched peacefully to the consulate. In a separate rally Sunday, demonstrators headed to Polytechnic University and the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.China accuses UN Human Rights Head of meddling (late Saturday)China said it “strongly” opposed an op-ed by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, accusing her of meddling in the country’s affairs and emboldening Hong Kong protesters to commit violence.Bachelet urged the Hong Kong government to conduct a “proper independent and impartial judge-led investigation” into reports of excessive use of force by police, according to an opinion piece in the South China Morning Post on Saturday. She also urged Carrie Lam’s government to “prioritize a long-overdue process” of meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the people of Hong Kong.China said Bachelet and her office should “stop making irresponsible comments, and refrain from interfering by any means in the internal affairs” of Hong Kong.“The Central Government will continue to firmly support the Chief Executive in governing the Hong Kong SAR in accordance with law, support the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing law, and support the Hong Kong judicial organs in bringing violent criminals to justice according to law,” China’s UN mission in Geneva said in the statement.Tensions rise again (11 p.m.)About 200 protesters blocked roads, closed an exit at the Prince Edward MTR station and set fire to an entrance of Mong Kok MTR station late Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported. Police fired at least one round of tear gas, it said.Foreign nationals arrested in China (6 p.m.)China arrested two overseas nationals for their alleged involvement in the Hong Kong protest movement, state newspaper Southern Daily reported, citing information from the national security agency. Taiwan citizen Lee Meng-chu and Lee Henley Hu Xiang of Belize were arrested by the national security authorities in the southern Guangdong province, the local paper said.The Taiwanese was suspected of spying and leaking Chinese state secrets, while the other person was accused of funding criminal activities that endanger national security, the paper said. Prosecutors have approved the arrests in both cases and are going through legal procedures, it said.Protesters return (Saturday, 2 p.m.)Hundreds of secondary-school students and elderly people rallied in a park in the city center in support of Hong Kong’s ongoing protests and against police use of tear gas. A number of people addressed the crowd before a band played on a makeshift stage in front of background poster that said: The elderly and the young hold hands and we walk together with you.1,377 arrested in relation to PolyU (4:54 p.m.)Hong Kong police have arrested 1,377 people who left the then-besieged PolyU campus or were in the vicinity, the force’s Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen said at a daily briefing. More than 300 people under age 18 had their information taken down when they left the campus, he said, adding that he was “pleased” the episode at the school was coming to an end and that he hoped it could be a “turning point” for the city’s unrest, as it was resolved peacefullyPolice have now made 5,890 protest-related arrests since rallies began on June 9, he said.Hong Kong insurance sales to China slip (3:32 p.m.)Insurance sales in the financial hub to mainland customers declined in the third quarter as the protests halted visits to the city. Their purchases of insurance and related investment policies declined 18% to HK$9.7 billion ($1.2 billion) from a year earlier, according to figures from Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority. That year-on-year drop was the biggest since the start of last year, weighing on insurance giants such as Prudential Plc and AIA Group Ltd.Hong Kong is a hot market to buy insurance for mainland customers since it offers a wider array of investment products and access to foreign currencies. Since rules stipulate that customers need to finalize contracts in person, sales have been pummeled as many prospective Chinese customers have avoided the former British colony.PolyU siege ends (Friday 12:51 p.m.)Police said they lifted their blockade on PolyU after officers cleared the campus. Chow Yat-ming, the city’s assistant police commissioner, said he believed PolyU could be handed back to university management after dangerous items that remained on campus were removed.Firemen and a police safety team did a final sweep of the campus in the morning after searching every level of each building to handle hazardous items and collect evidence the day before. The police said they seized items including 3,989 petrol bombs, 1,339 explosive items and 601 bottles of corrosive liquids.\--With assistance from Zheping Huang and Aaron Mc Nicholas.To contact the reporters on this story: Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at mbaigorri@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Tony CzuczkaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

Mark Carney named UN envoy for climate action and finance - CTV News

 Cache   
  1. Mark Carney named UN envoy for climate action and finance  CTV News
  2. Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney to serve as UN special envoy on climate  CBC.ca
  3. Bank of England’s Mark Carney to become United Nations climate finance envoy  Global News
  4. Mark Carney appointed UN envoy for climate action  BBC News
  5. UN appoints Mark Carney to help finance climate action goals  The Guardian
  6. View full coverage on Google News

          

‘Coal Japan’ threatens to displace ‘Cool Japan’ as U.N. climate conference set to kick off in Madrid

 Cache   
A key United Nations climate change conference is due to begin in Madrid but Japan finds itself facing global ire over its reliance on fossil ...
          

Malta prime minister Joseph Muscat to resign in new year

 Cache   
BBC — Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has announced on national television that he will step down in the new year, amid a crisis over a murdered journalist. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declares efforts to tackle climate change “utterly inadequate”. And at least seventy people have been killed in Syria in two days of fighting between government forces and militias in the last major rebel-held region of Idlib.
          

Unpacking Sanders’ ‘Climate Refugee’ Statistic

 Cache   

In the last Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the United Nations is projecting “hundreds of millions of climate refugees” in the “years to come” as a result of climate change. The U.N., however, doesn’t currently endorse a particular estimate.

The post Unpacking Sanders’ ‘Climate Refugee’ Statistic appeared first on FactCheck.org.


          

UNDP and stakeholders validate Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initiative final report

 Cache   
A Koloale student buying food served in a stainless steel bowl in Week 13.


THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), relevant national stakeholders and representatives from five schools in Honiara took part in the final validation workshop within the “Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initiative”, in Honiara on Tuesday 26th November 2019.

Koloale, Florence Young, Emmaus, St Nicholas, and Honiara High School have been part of an experiment which applied behavioural insights methods. For 13 weeks, starting in late July, two schemes were introduced in schools during lunchtimes to reduce single-use plastic:  Deposit Return and Discount Schemes.  The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) students were also actively engaged in collecting data and analysis arising from this test trial. 

Results of this experiment are interesting and promising: for instance, the Deposit Return scheme showed that most students brought back the reusable containers after finishing food to collect a small deposit back from the vendors. The Discount Scheme was most successful amongst kindergarten and primary school students, while among the secondary school students, it was seen as “not cool” to bring a lunch box from home. 

Coping with the increasing use of single plastic products and managing waste is a growing concern for Honiara city. As this trial shows, changing behavior and raising awareness offers new ways for addressing this challenge across the Solomon Islands. 

The findings of this initiative will be captured in a report which will offer useful insights to the Government of Solomon Islands as it implements the national waste management and pollution control strategy. The report also makes a recommendation to phase out single-use plastics in the Solomon Islands starting next year.

The Waste Management Innovation Initiative was supported by UNDP, through funding from the Government of Denmark in partnership with the Government of Solomon Islands (SIG).

 


          

Solomon Islands farewells 13th Commissioner of Police    

 Cache   
Outgoing Commissioner Varley hands over the 'sword' to the Acting Commissioner Mangau.


Solomon Islands has farewelled the 13th Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Matthew Varley, MBE during a ceremony at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara today (29 November 2019).

During the ceremony witnessed by the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi, Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare; Minister of Police, Hon. Anthony Veke; Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer as well as other dignitaries and senior RSIPF officers from Honiara and the provinces as well as ranks and files, outgoing Commissioner Varley handed the ‘sword’ over to Acting Commissioner of Police, Mostyn Mangau. 

H.E The Governor-General Sir David swore in the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mangau during a ceremony at Government House early today. A new Commissioner of Police to replace outgoing Commissioner Varley is yet to be announced.

In his final speech, which covered a wide range of issues including achievements during his three-year term, outgoing Commissioner Varley said: 

“It has been the greatest honour of my professional life to serve as your Commissioner since 25 January 2017. Since my appointment, I have had the privilege of working with many RSIPF officers and visiting most police stations, both in Honiara and the Provinces. 

And I have been proud to lead these great officers, and contribute in some small way, at such a momentous period in history for the Solomon Islands.

I have often said, that this police force is the NEW RSIPF. I say new because we believe that the RSIPF has been re-built from the ground up since the dark days of our history back in the Tension era of the early 2000’s.

Today, we are almost precisely two and a half years on from the end of RAMSI. But we in the RSIPF prefer not to reflect on to that period as the end of RAMSI. 

Rather we say that it marked the start of the new chapter in our history when our police force took back full responsibility for providing national security and law & order for the Solomon Islands. 

A new start.

And I am pleased to report that the RSIPF is in very good shape.

It is a well-trained, capable and effective organization, filled with talented officers who want to serve their nation, and led by committed and dedicated senior officers of integrity.  I believe the RSIPF is now the best Police Force in the Pacific.”

In the achievements of the RSIPF during his tenure, outgoing Commissioner Varley said:

“We’ve had the rearmament of the RSIPF specialist teams including the PRT and CPP. We’ve successfully implemented the Crime Prevention Strategy and are about to launch the second generation version for the next few years.

We’ve implemented more than 85% of the Capability Plan’s 170 objectives to keep building the organization in so many areas. We’ve added 133 police positions to grow to our largest ever strength of 1554, while recruiting more than 210 new constables.

We’ve launched the first-ever RSIPF Gender Strategy to improve the policing profession for women and recruited more women officers than ever before.

We’ve become a member of INTERPOL and are connected to international law enforcement. We’ve deployed officers to peacekeeping missions at the United Nations.

We’ve signed new MOUs of cooperation with PNG, Vanuatu and Australia to fight transnational crime in our region, and it bore results when we seized 500kg of cocaine in our harbor in 2018 and helped Australian authorities convict two Sydney based international drug traffickers.

We are now training other Pacific Police Forces to give back to our friends after they spend so many years when they helped us.

Most importantly, the RSIPF has kept the community safe and earned public trust, as particularly demonstrated during the testing period of the 2019 National General Election. 

The National General Elections and the subsequent riots which occurred following the Prime Minister’s election were our greatest test yet. We must always remember that Polling Day on April 3rd was a tremendous success for us. 

Voters turned out in record numbers and people in the community told us they felt it was the safest polling day since Independence.

But when the riots erupted on April 24th, the brave women and men of the RSIPF defended and secured our capital city. At the same time, we showed our expertise and cultural sensitivity by working with local communities to defuse tensions, engage our people and avert ongoing troubles.

This event, although we wish it had never happened, was stark proof to the people and Government of Solomon Islands that this police force is ready, capable and so courageously willing to do its job.

These successes do not come readily, nor are the battles easily won. They are the result of dogged hard work by our team. 

Perhaps a few years ago, many people would have said that these achievements were possible, or that the RSIPF was not capable of such things.

We are proud to have proved them wrong.

The new RSIPF of today is a capable, modern, responsive and very well-run organization, due in no small part to the sheer commitment and hard work of all of my officers, along with a very committed and professional senior leadership team.

There is no doubt that the culture, capacity, and capability of the RSIPF has continued to develop strongly over the last three years.

Much of this improvement has been due to our continual and unrelenting emphasis on developing accountable, values-based leadership within the senior executive team and across the police force.”

As a parting message to the more than 1400 police officers serving throughout the Solomon Islands, Outgoing Commissioner Varley said:

Always Remember the RSIPF Values. Without them, we are nothing.

The future of the RSIPF – its performance, reputation, and capability – rests with you all. Believe in yourself and your ability as a team to achieve our mission. Together, you will drive the RSIPF forward.

Remember my three P rule:

Pride, performance and professionalism.”

Outgoing Police Commissioner Varley and his family leave Honiara tomorrow.

 


          

Bank of England’s Carney to become UN climate finance envoy

 Cache   
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will lead a push by the United Nations to make the finance sector take proper account of the risks posed by climate change, UN Secretary General Antonio
          

Начальник управления информационных технологий департамента экономического развития Брянской области Алексей Маликов: "Во всем регионе поменялась философия работы с документами"

 Cache   
В 2018 году Россия вошла в группу стран с очень высокими показателям Индекса развития электронного правительства (E-Government Development Index, EGDI), который составляется раз в два года Департаментом экономического и социального развития ООН (UN DESA, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). Во многом такой результат обусловлен усилиями отдельных регионов, которые на протяжении нескольких последних лет с энтузиазмом создают проекты цифровизации. В том числе, в сфере электронного документооборота, который очень важен для цифровой экономики и оказания госуслуг. Например, в Брянской области ведется проект по организации сквозного документооборота органов власти. Как это происходит и чего уже удалось достичь, рассказывает начальник управления информационных технологий департамента экономического развития региона Алексей Маликов.
          

A look at how the climate crisis has progressed since 1992

 Cache   
World leaders held the first United Nations conference to tackle climate change in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. On December 2, COP 25 will take place. Since that first meeting, the world has gotten hotter, spewed more GHG, and seen more extreme weather events.
          

Agricultural cropland extent and areas of South Asia derived using Landsat satellite 30-m time-series big-data using random forest machine learning algorithms on the Google Earth Engine cloud

 Cache   
The South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan) has a staggering 900 million people (~43% of the population) who face food insecurity or severe food insecurity as per United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). The existing coarse-resolution (>250-m) cropland maps lack precision in geo-location of individual farms and have low map accuracies. This also results in uncertainties in cropland areas calculated from such products. Thereby, the overarching goal of this study was to develop high spatial resolution (30-m or better) baseline cropland extent product of South Asia for the year 2015 using Landsat satellite time-series big-data and machine learning algorithms (MLAs) on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) cloud computing platform. To eliminate the impact of clouds, ten time-composited Landsat bands (blue, green, red, NIR, SWIR1, SWIR2, Thermal, EVI, NDVI, NDWI) were derived for each of the 3 time-periods over 12 months (monsoon: Julian days 151-300; winter: Julian days 301-365 plus 1-60; and summer: Julian days 61-150), taking the every 8-day data from Landsat-8 and 7 for the years 2013-2015, for a total of 30-bands plus global digital elevation model (GDEM) derived slope band. This 31-band mega-file big data-cube was composed for each of the 5 agro-ecological zones (AEZ’s) of South Asia and formed a baseline data for image classification and analysis. Knowledge-base for the Random Forest (RF) MLAs were developed using spatially well spread-out reference training data (N=2179) in 5 AEZs. Classification was performed on GEE for each of the 5 AEZs using well-established knowledge-based and RF MLAs on the cloud. Map accuracies were measured using independent validation data (N=1185). The survey showed that the South Asia cropland product had a producer’s accuracy of 89.9% (errors of omissions of 10.1%), user’s accuracy of 95.3% (errors of commission of 4.7%) and an overall accuracy of 88.7%. The National and sub-national (districts) areas computed from this cropland extent product explained 80-96% variability when compared with the National statistics of the South Asian Countries. The full resolution imagery can be viewed at full-resolution, by zooming-in to any location in South Asia or the world, at www.croplands.org and the cropland products of South Asia downloaded from The Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS): https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/products/gfsad30saafgircev001/
          

Iraq: Abductions Linked to Baghdad Protests

 Cache   

An image that a friend of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was arrested from a Baghdad protest on November 15, posted to an Instagram account, lostiraqiprotesters2, where people across Iraq are posting information about protesters who have gone missing, asking for information about his whereabouts before his family found out he was in custody.

© 2019 Private

(Beirut) – At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch said today. Four were still missing as of December 2. The families said they visited police stations and government offices seeking information without success, and the government took no tangible measures to locate their relatives. It is unclear whether government security or armed groups carried out the abductions. In another two cases, security forces arrested and arbitrarily held protest supporters.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi announced he was submitting his resignation as prime minister to parliament on November 29.

“Whether the government or armed groups are behind the abductions in Baghdad, the government bears the responsibility for keeping people safe from such targeting,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities are failing Iraqi citizens by allowing armed groups to abduct people, and it will be up to the government to take swift action against these abuses.”

On November 5, 2019, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq reported that it knew of six abductions of protesters or volunteers helping them in Baghdad. The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights began tallying the number of people security forces and unknown elements had abducted and detained during protests on October 1, but stopped its tally on October 31. However, on November 25, the commission said on Facebook that authorities had arrested 93 protesters in Baghdad between November 21 and 24 – 14 of whom they had released – and noted continued reports of kidnappings of activists, journalists, and lawyers by “unknown persons.” On November 21, it said the government should investigate, secure people’s release, and bring those responsible to justice.

In a November 27 press conference, Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi announced that authorities had released 2,500 people they had arrested since protests began.

Human Rights Watch was able to get some information about seven abducted people and two people who was arrested. But in nine other cases, families, friends and lawyers of people kidnapped or detained at or after they participated in protests in Baghdad, Karbala and Nasriya, said they were too frightened or worried about the consequences for the detained person to provide details.

Human Rights Watch reported on the abduction of Saba Farhan Hameed, 36, on November 2, as she was on her way home from providing food, water, and first aid kits to protesters in Tahrir Square. Hameed’s family said she was blindfolded throughout her abduction and released on November 13, but could not provide other details. Human Rights Watch had also documented the abduction of Maytham al-Helo, a Baghdad resident, on October 7, during the first wave of protests. He was released on October 24 and was also unable to provide any details about his abduction.

The brother of Omar Kadim Kadi’a said on November 26 that Kadi’a had been living in Tahrir Square since a second wave of protests started on October 25. Kadi’a came home on November 20 to take a shower, he said, but then left, and his family has not been able to reach or find him since. His brother said that on November 25, his phone was turned back on, because it suddenly showed that their messages to him had been read, but they called many times and got no answer. He said that Kadi’a’s older brother filed a missing person complaint at a local Baghdad police station but that the police showed little interest and that as far as he knew, did not investigate. Kadi’a was released on November 28, and told Human Rights Watch that Federal Police had arrested him at a checkpoint en route to the protests on November 20 and brought him before a judge on November 21, who told him he was not being charged with anything. The police released him on November 28.

A man in Baghdad said on October 22 that he had last spoken to his brother Abbas Yaseen Kadim, who was at the Tahrir Square protest, by phone on October 3 at 5 p.m. When the brother tried to call Kadim at 8 p.m., the phone was turned off. The brother went to four police stations seeking information but found out nothing, and police did not offer any assistance in locating him. Kadim is still missing.

Another man said that a relative, Saif Muhsin Abdul Hameed, had come to Baghdad on October 25 for the protests and was sleeping in a tent with friends at Tahrir Square. He said he spoke to Abdul Hameed at around noon on October 28. Abdul Hameed told him he was on Jumhuriya Bridge, the front line of the protests, but after that, Abdul Hameed's phone was turned off. He said he went to police stations and government offices but was not able to get any information, and police said they did not have enough information to follow up on the case. Abdul Hameed remains missing.

A relative of Mari Mohammed Harj, a woman from Baghdad, said on November 13 that on October 29, Harj posted a video of herself on Facebook criticizing the prime minister and expressing support for the protesters. The video went viral, her relative said, at which point Facebook users the family did not know started posting accusations that Harj had ties to Saudi Arabia and making death threats against her.

The relative said she last spoke to Harj, who was at Tahrir Square, at 5 p.m. on November 8, but that when she called at 9 p.m., Harj’s phone was turned off. She said Harj’s father and uncle went to two police stations in Baghdad but got no information. They asked the police to seek cell phone tower data to help figure out where she was and file a missing person report, but did not think the police had investigated. Harj was released on November 12 but could not share details of her abduction with Human Rights Watch.

The sister of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was in Tahrir Square every day helping as an ad hoc medic, said he stopped answering her calls at 3 a.m. on November 15. She said she went to Tahrir Square later that morning and could not find Ali at police stations or on any prisoner lists they checked. She said she did not know how to file a missing person claim and the police would not help. Ali managed to call his family on November 17, said his father, who was able to visit him on November 20 in detention in Muthana, an old military base in Baghdad that now houses detention facilities by various government security apparatuses.

Ali told his father that at midnight on November 14, a man in civilian clothes dragged him from the protest to a group of officers who arrested him, took him to the Baghdad Operations Command office, and beat him. Ali said that on November 16, officers brought him before a judge, who told him that he was not being charged but that the judge could not order his release until “the government resigns or the protests end.” The father said Ali confirmed that other protesters were being held at Muthana. Human Rights Watch was not able to directly verify his account.

A cousin of Sinan Adil Ibrahim said on November 25 that he spoke on November 21 to Ibrahim, who was at the Tahrir Square protest. He called Ibrahim again at 2 a.m. on November 22 to find that his phone was turned off. The family was afraid to describe steps they have taken to secure his release.

Hassan Ahmed Hatim, 16, went to the Tahrir Square protest on November 28, and his family has not been able to reach or find him since, his father said. His father went to three police stations but got no information and none offered to file a missing persons claim or any other help.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraq has one of the highest number of missing people in the world. The International Commission on Missing Persons, which has been working in partnership with the Iraqi government to help recover and identify the missing, estimates that the number of missing people in Iraq could range from 250,000 to 1 million people. Human Rights Watch published a report documenting enforced disappearances of predominantly Sunni Arabs between 2014 and 2017.

Iraqi authorities should ensure an independent investigation into all abductions. The authorities should release all protesters who have not been charged with a recognizable criminal offense or anyone detained solely for exercising their right to peaceful assembly and protest. Those responsible for unlawful detention should be investigated and prosecuted, including both state security forces and private individuals.

“In Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, it is unacceptable for the police to continue to treat these abductions with seeming indifference,” Whitson said. “They should put a stop to them and investigate.”


          

UN Free Speech Expert to Visit Ethiopia

 Cache   

Today, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, starts a week-long visit to Ethiopia. This marks the first visit by a UN special rapporteur to the country since 2006, as previous governments had refused to grant access.

 

Reforms initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his first months in office in 2018 aimed at ending severe restrictions on the media and free speech have slowed, and the government has occasionally resorted to old tools of repression. With elections scheduled for May 2020, it’s unclear whether the government will allow open debate on sensitive issues.

Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

© 2011 Tom Cochrem/Getty Images

The government should take advantage of the special rapporteur’s visit to commit to ending the prosecution of journalists. While the government has said it would repeal the restrictive 2009 anti-terrorism law, authorities continue to detain journalists under the law’s provisions, because a replacement law is still under review in parliament. Journalists who previously resorted to self-censorship should feel safe to criticize government policies and actions.

The government also needs to develop a better approach to issues surrounding hate speech both online and offline. Kaye recently called on governments to “resist criminalizing such speech except in the gravest situations.” The country has over recent months faced very serious communal violence and inciting hate speech online, and the government faces pressure to respond. But Ethiopia’s primary response thus far has been to draft a hate speech law, currently before parliament, that includes a vague and overbroad provision criminalizing hate speech that threatens freedom of expression.

A comprehensive strategy should include regular public messaging from the prime minister and other public figures around the dangers of hate speech, public education campaigns, programs to improve digital literacy, and efforts to encourage self-regulation within and between communities.  

Ethiopia also needs a genuinely independent judiciary to ensure victims of hate speech and violence caused by incitement have access to justice.

Hopefully, Kaye’s visit will renew engagement between the Ethiopian government and UN and African Union special procedures. The government should accept all pending requests, including by the special rapporteur on torture. Such engagement will help move human rights reforms forward, and the experts’ monitoring role will be crucial to ensuring a real break with the country’s abusive past.


          

Indonesia: Free Peaceful Papua Activists

 Cache   

Papuan students shout slogans during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 28, 2019. Students and activists gathered for a protest supporting West Papua, calling for independence from Indonesia, and demanding racial justice in Surabaya, East Java. 

© 2019 Andrew Gal/NurPhoto via Getty Images
(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop treason charges and release at least 22 activists detained since August 2019 for peaceful acts of free expression concerning Papua, Human Rights Watch said today. These abusive prosecutions show backtracking by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration in dealing with the human rights situation in West Papua and Papua provinces.

Ahead of Papuan nationalists’ “Independence Day” on December 1, foreign diplomats and United Nations officials should monitor demonstrations in Papua and West Papua provinces and the law enforcement response.

“Papua may be a sensitive topic in Indonesia, but that’s no excuse for rounding people up and sending them to prison for peaceful acts of expression,” said Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should drop charges and immediately free people detained for just possessing flags or organizing a protest.”

Each year Papuans attempt to raise the Papuan national Bintang Kejora (“Morning Star”) flag. That frequently results in clashes with local security forces who consider this to be a treasonous activity against the Republic of Indonesia.

Human Rights Watch takes no position on Papuan claims to self-determination, but supports everyone’s right, including for independence supporters, to express their political views peacefully without fear of arrest or other forms of reprisal. The arrest and imprisonment of people for peacefully participating in symbolic flag-raising ceremonies amounts to arbitrary arrest and detention in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a party.

Indonesian authorities arrested the 22 people in August and September following at times violent demonstrations in Papua and West Papua provinces during which thousands of people took part in rallies protesting racism against Papuans. The protests took place after a video circulated of Indonesian militias racially abusing indigenous Papuan students outside their dormitory in Surabaya on August 17.

Papuans demonstrated in at least 30 cities across Indonesia, including Jakarta. Rioting Papuans burned down the local parliament building in Manokwari, as well as prisons in Sorong, West Papua province, and Jayapura, Papua province.

Most of the 20 men and 2 women awaiting trial in 4 cities are charged with treason (makar) under articles 106 and 110 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code. The maximum penalty under article 106 is 20 years in prison, which can be doubled if also convicted of mobilizing others to commit treason, under article 110. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has previously criticized articles 106 and 110 for being “drafted in such general and vague terms that they can be used arbitrarily to restrict the freedoms of opinion, expression, assembly and association.”

The authorities have also accused Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer who has tweeted videos and photographs of the unrest, of “provoking” the demonstrations. Indonesian police asked the Australian consulate in Surabaya “to track her down” in Australia and indicated they would issue an Interpol red notice against her.

Those held at the four detention centers are listed below.

In Jakarta

Police arrested two Papuan students, Charles Kossay and Dano Tabuni, on August 30 in connection with a rally two days earlier outside the State Palace in Jakarta for protesting racism against ethnic Papuans and unfurling the Morning Star flag.

On August 31, police arrested Ambrosius Mulait and Issay Wenda, who were protesting the arrest of Kossay and Tabuni outside the Jakarta police headquarters. Later that evening, police arrested three female activists, releasing two but detaining Ariana Lokbere, a theology student at the Indonesian Christian University.

Police also separately arrested Surya Anta Ginting, the coordinator of the Front of the Indonesian People for West Papua. Ginting, who in 2016 had publicly apologized for Indonesian repression against indigenous Papuans, is the first non-Papuan Indonesian to be charged with treason for supporting a referendum in West Papua. All of them are now detained at the Salemba and the Pondok Bambu detention centers in Jakarta.

In Balikpapan, East Kalimantan

Police arrested eight Papuan activists in Jayapura including two student leaders Alexander Gobay and Ferry Gombo, as well as six activists associated with the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), a political organization that seeks a referendum on West Papua's future. They are Buchtar Tabuni, Steven Itlay, Assa Asso, Agus Kossay, Hengki Hilapok, and Irwanus Uropmobin.

Tabuni and Itlay are former political prisoners. Human Rights Watch profiled Tabuni in 2010, when he was jailed in the Abepura prison, also for “treason.” Kossay is the chairman of the West Papua National Committee.

The eight were arrested between September 9 and September 17, and were moved to Balikpapan on October 4. The police have sought their trial in Balikpapan rather than Papua’s provincial capital, Jayapura, for “security reasons.”

In Manokwari, West Papua

Police arrested four activists who are now detained in the Manokwari police station, including Sayang Mandabayan, a former Sorong city council member. She was arrested on September 2 for bringing 1,500 small Morning Star flags through Manokwari airport. Three student activists were also arrested on September 19: Erik Aliknoe, Pende Mirin, and Yunus Aliknoe. The three students are charged with treason for making Morning Star flags.

In Sorong, West Papua

Police detained four student activists – Herman Sabo Yosep Laurensius Syufi, Manase Baho, Eteus Paulus, and Miwak Karet – at the Sorong police station for making and distributing Morning Star flags.

These prosecutions appear to reflect a fundamental shift by President Jokowi’s government regarding free expression and Papua, Human Rights Watch said. Jokowi promised in May 2015 to release political prisoners throughout Indonesia. The Ministry of Law and Human Rights, in charge of prison management in Indonesia, gradually released many of the country’s political prisoners. The most high-profile West Papuan political prisoner, Filep Karma, was released in November 2015. The authorities also freed political prisoners from the Moluccas Islands and moved eight from a remote prison island to an ordinary prison in Ambon, the Moluccas Islands capital, to be closer to their families.

By August 2017, Human Rights Watch estimated that only between 1 and 5 Papuan political prisoners remained behind bars, compared to more than 110 in May 2015.

A coalition of human rights groups and lawyers in Papua has listed 73 people arrested in Papua, West Papua, and Jakarta, including the 22 detainees. Human Rights Watch has not corroborated the information regarding the legal status of the other 51 people.

“The Indonesian government made significant progress in recent years by releasing nearly all political prisoners, yet recent arrests are threatening those fragile gains,” Pearson said. “As the December 1 anniversary approaches, Indonesian authorities should stop arresting and detaining people simply for waving flags or peacefully urging independence.”


          

China: FIFA Broke Own Rules for Club World Cup

 Cache   

Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, attends the FIFA Council Meeting, officially announcing the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Shanghai, China, October 24, 2019. 

© 2019 Imaginechina via AP Images
 
(New York) – FIFA’s surprise selection of China to host the 2021 Club World Cup disregarded its own human rights commitments in the bidding process, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing correspondence with the global football governing body.
 
In March 2019, FIFA abolished the Confederations Cup and used the available slot in the calendar to create a new 24-team FIFA Club World Cup. Eight months later, on October 24,  the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, announced in Shanghai that FIFA had chosen China to be the host of the inaugural 2021 Club World Cup. Contrary to FIFA statutes and policies, there was no public bidding process, no stakeholder consultations, and no human rights risk assessment. 
 
“FIFA flouted its own human rights commitments by granting hosting rights to China for the Club World Cup,” said Minky Worden, global initiatives director at Human Rights Watch. “FIFA is sending the message that the rules that apply to other governments don’t apply to Beijing.”
 
FIFA’s correspondence with Human Rights Watch refers to “internationally recognized human rights standards” that apply to China – but FIFA has not made these hosting arrangements or any agreement with Beijing public.
 
As human rights groups and the media have documented, the Chinese government is committing serious human rights violations, including labor abuses, mass arbitrary detention, mass surveillance, torture, severe restrictions on journalists, and mistreatment of more than one million Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in “political education” camps in Xinjiang. Such abuses will directly affect groups participating in the FIFA Club World Cup, including athletes and fans from around the world, workers building venues, and journalists, among others. China has no domestic media or internet freedoms, core requirements for FIFA event hosts.

In an October 29 letter to FIFA, Human Rights Watch asked the global football governing body to explain its decision to grant a flagship tournament to China’s state-run federation without stakeholder consultation or assessing the obvious human rights risks, steps set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “Guiding Principles”), which FIFA has endorsed and which are enshrined in FIFA policy.

FIFA’s Human Rights Policy, adopted in 2017, outlines the global football authority’s responsibility to identify and address adverse human rights impacts of its operations, including taking adequate measures to prevent and mitigate human rights abuses. Article 7 of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy states that “FIFA will constructively engage with relevant authorities and other stakeholders and make every effort to uphold its international human rights responsibilities.” This should include working with its independent Human Rights Advisory Board and consulting a wide range of stakeholders, including potentially affected groups and individuals and their legitimate representatives, before making major hosting decisions. In the foreword to FIFA’s “reformed bidding process,” Infantino writes: “It is FIFA’s responsibility towards the world of football to conduct these bidding and selection procedures in an ethical, transparent, objective and unbiased way.”

Questioned in Shanghai in October about the Club World Cup bidding process and independent human rights review, Infantino replied: “The mission of FIFA is to organize football and to develop football all over the world,” sidestepping a direct question about why it had ignored its own policies. 

FIFA’s November 7 letter in response to Human Rights Watch does not dispute that it should have consulted stakeholders in advance in keeping with its “far-reaching human rights requirements in the bidding and hosting of FIFA tournaments,” but asserts that the Club World Cup in China is a “pilot edition” on a “shorter timeline.” 

“Timing doesn’t overcome FIFA’s responsibilities to address human rights requirements in China and other host countries,” Worden said. “The shorter timeline actually makes assessing human rights risks even more important.”

Human rights issues have previously been addressed on tight timelines, Human Rights Watch said. In May, FIFA consulted human rights groups about whether to expand the 2022 World Cup to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf countries. In 2018, FIFA required Canada, Mexico, Morocco, and the United States to conduct independent human rights risk assessments, stakeholder consultations, and to present a Human Rights Strategy in order to bid. 

Football players from China are not exempt from Beijing’s crackdown on basic rights and freedoms. In 2018, Xinjiang authorities detained a teenage Uyghur professional footballer, Erfan Hezim, also known as Ye Erfan, a member of China’s national youth football team. Deemed “one of China’s most promising young footballers,” Erfan was placed in a “political education” camp in Xinjiang for supposedly visiting foreign countries to train and play football matches. He was released in 2019, but FIFA never commented on his case. In early 2019, an aspiring professional footballer, Erpat Ablekrem, was also detained in a camp in Xinjiang after he maintained contact with family members who had fled the country. Erpat remains in custody.   

The awarding of hosting rights comes with a written agreement between FIFA and the host country. But the terms of FIFA’s Club World Cup hosting arrangements with China have not been made public. Transparency is a key part of the UN Guiding Principles. The International Olympic Committee has made its host city contracts public since 2014.

“If there’s to be any integrity in what remains of this process, FIFA needs to immediately make public its hosting arrangements and any agreement with China, put human rights front and center, and then make sure protections are fully carried out,” Worden said. 


          

UN: States Denounce Egypt’s Rights Record

 Cache   

The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 

© 2017 Reuters

(Geneva) – United Nations member countries offered strong criticism and scores of recommendations addressing Egypt’s human rights crisis at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on November 13, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.

During the review, countries across all regions called on Egypt to end torture and ill-treatment, investigate crimes committed by security forces, allow nongovernmental organizations and activists to work independently, and protect human rights while countering terrorism. Many countries also said that Egypt should halt executions and review its laws to minimize or end the use of the death penalty. Several countries said that Egypt should take more serious measures to halt violence against women, including by criminalizing domestic violence and by prosecuting those responsible for female genital mutilation, which is still widely practiced.

“The strong criticism of Egypt from countries across the world shows the international community is waking up to the human rights crisis in Egypt,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s important for these countries to follow-up with Egypt directly to take concrete measures to adopt their recommendations.”

Established in 2006, the Universal Periodic Review involves a comprehensive review of the human rights records of all UN member states by other countries in a rotation every four and a half years. Local and international organizations, as well as the country under review, have the opportunity to contribute reports to inform the review process.

Following each review, a group of three member states collaborate with the state under review, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will produce an “outcome report” that includes the recommendations presented and the responses of the state under review.

Egypt has several months to accept or reject the recommendations. The Human Right Council will adopt the UPR report, including the recommendations, at its session in March 2020. More than 130 countries offered 372 recommendations. Unlike previous UPR cycles, Egypt did not immediately accept any recommendations, and said it will use the time available to consider them. Egypt should accept all substantive recommendations to improve its human rights record, and UN experts, member states, and agencies should continue pressing Egypt to halt its violations, Human Rights Watch said.

Although Egypt accepted recommendations to improve its human rights record during previous UPR cycles, and promised several times to amend its laws to strictly prohibit and punish torture, the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has moved in the opposite direction. Since assuming office, the al-Sisi government has issued more laws that grant impunity for army and police officers and has generally failed to transparently investigate and prosecute serious human rights violations, including apparent crimes against humanity.

The head of the Egyptian government delegation, Omar Marwan, claimed during the November 13 review that “Egypt had exerted its utmost efforts for the past five years to implement the [earlier] recommendations.” In its previous review in 2014, Egypt accepted 224 out of 300 recommendations. However, the government carried out few of these recommendations and human rights violations have since dramatically escalated.

Countries at the Human Rights Council should continue to exert pressure on Egypt to reform its human rights record, including by expressing concerns through collective statements during upcoming sessions of the council in 2020.

Human Rights Watch made two submissions to the current review. A general submission examined the severe deterioration of human rights since Egypt’s last review in 2014 and a joint submission with the Egyptian Front for Human Rights, an independent Czech-based group, detailed war crimes and serious rights abuses by government forces and armed groups in North Sinai.

A few weeks before this review session, following nationwide anti-government protests that erupted on September 20, the Egyptian authorities rounded up over 4,300 people in one of the largest sweeps in the country since late 2013. The mass arrests included well-known figures and activists, and sometimes included their relatives.

Leading human rights activists in Egypt were not able to participate in the review session since the authorities have banned most of them from leaving the country for the past four years, and have relentlessly prosecuted them under criminal charges in violation of their basic rights and liberties.

In October, Gamal Eid, a leading rights activist and lawyer, was physically assaulted in Cairo by armed men under circumstances that indicate the involvement of state security agencies. That month, authorities also detained prominent human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer. Egypt’s authorities have kept Ibrahim Ezz el-Din, a researcher with the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, in incommunicado detention since they arrested him in June.

“Egyptian authorities’ flagrant abuses only days before the UN review session shows the utter disregard this government has for human rights,” Stork said. “It will only act to uphold rights when other governments step up the pressure.”


          

Iran: Deliberate Coverup of Brutal Crackdown

 Cache   

Iranian protesters gather around a burning car during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019. 

© AFP/Getty Images
 

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities are deliberately covering up the scale of the mass crackdown against protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should immediately announce the number of deaths, arrests, and detentions from the recent protests and permit an independent inquiry into alleged abuses.

Human rights groups estimate that more than 140 people were killed and that security forces arrested up to 7,000 people in protests that broke out on the evening of November 15, 2019 in more than 100 locations across Iran. On November 16, authorities shut down the internet, which has not fully been restored. Mobile access is still particularly scarce. In 2019, according to the Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran, some 62 million people were using internet on their mobile phone. In response to the protests, authorities have called demonstrators “rioters” and threatened them with execution.

“Twelve days after protests broke out in Iran, the authorities have refused to provide an accurate death toll and instead threatened detainees with death,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Keeping families in the dark about the fate of their loved ones while ratcheting up an atmosphere of fear and retribution is a deliberate government strategy to stifle dissent.”

On November 25 and 26, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (Hrana), an independent Iranian human rights news website, reported that officials had announced the arrest of at least 97 people as “leaders” or “influential actors” in what the government described as “riots,” accusing them without evidence of causing damage to public property. On November 23, the group reported that, based on a compilation of official announcements, the authorities had arrested between 2,437 and 2,871 people.

Hrana estimates that as many as 3,980 people may have been arrested based on activists’ reports. On November 26, the Iranian newspaper Etemad reported that Naghavi Hosseini, a parliament member, had said that the number of arrests during the protests was actually about 7,000, indicating the widespread nature of the crackdown.

On November 26, Mohsen Khancharli, the head of police in the western area of Tehran province, told Hamshahri newspaper that the authorities had arrested six people who were “key actors” in the “riots” at the Tehran-Saveh highway. Videos circulating on social media show people who have been arrested and handcuffed being beaten by Iranian police and men in civilian clothing.

On November 23, Mohammadnabi Mousavi, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni’s office in Khuzestan province, told the official IRNA news agency that “rioters who used the increase in fuel prices to come to the street and damage public property were trained by foreigners and …. should be executed.” On November 18, Keyhan newspaper, close to the country’s security apparatus and Ayatollah Khamenei’s office, wrote that “there are reports that suggest judicial authorities consider execution by hanging as the destiny for the rioters.”

Iran’s state television channels have broadcast “confessions” of three protesters, including two young men from Yazd province. Iranian authorities have a long-established pattern of using confessions obtained through coercion and torture to sentence dissidents. Human rights groups have documented several instances in which dissidents, activists, and journalists were featured in pseudo-documentary videos intended to “prove” their “guilt,” though it was almost certain they were coerced to participate in them.

Over the past 10 days, the authorities reportedly also arrested 32 university students after a protest at the University of Tehran on November 18, a source told Human Rights Watch. Since then, Intelligence Ministry officials have also arrested Yashar Daroshafaei, a student activist, and his brother Kaveh, their cousin reported on social media. 

Intelligence authorities also arrested Mohammad Moased, an investigative journalist, who had reported on Iran’s internet shutdown on Twitter, a source reported to Human Rights Watch. On November 19, Gholamhossein Esmaili, the judiciary spokesman, told reporters that a number of people who were sending videos and information to foreign media and the “enemy” have been identified and arrested.

Amnesty International reported that at least 143 people have been killed during the protests. Video footage on social media clearly shows security forces using firearms targeting protesters. IranWire news agency reported on November 26 that one of people killed during the protests was Amirreza Abdollahi, a 13-year-old boy. According to IranWire, the authorities only delivered his body to his family after three days and the family was only allowed to bury him in a small private gathering.

Numerous reports on social media indicate that families have not been able to get the bodies of their loved ones and have been restricted in their ability to perform burial services. Ali Fadavi, the deputy to the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards corps (IRGC), has accused protesters of being armed and shooting at people although he provided no evidence.

Under international human rights law, everyone has the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as provided under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a party.

Under the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, law enforcement officers may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required to achieve a legitimate policing objective. When using force, law enforcement officers should minimize damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life. The deliberate use of lethal force is permissible only when it is strictly necessary to protect life.

The UN Basic Principles state that authorities should promptly report on and investigate all incidents of law enforcement officials killing or injuring people with firearms through an independent administrative or prosecutorial process.

The authorities should inform all families of the location of their detained relatives, and ensure that detainees are informed promptly of any charges against them and have prompt access to legal counsel and family members. Enforced disappearances occur when the authorities detain an individual and deny the detention or fail to provide information on their circumstances or whereabouts.

Since late 2017, several waves of protests have occurred across Iran. During the December 2017 and January 2018 protests, authorities arrested about 4,000 protesters. Iranian authorities failed to conduct any investigations into alleged use of excessive force during the protests, in which 25 people died.

“Iranian authorities continue to deliberately hide the scale of their vicious crackdown on people protesting for a better life,” Page said. “The UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies will need to hold Iranian officials to account so long as Iran’s government is unwilling to do so.”


          

Syria: Civilians Abused in ‘Safe Zones’

 Cache   

Fighters of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (also called the Syrian National Army) enter the town of Tal Abyad.

© 2019 AP Images
 
(Beirut, November 27, 2019) – Factions of the Syrian National Army (SNA), a Syrian non-state armed group backed by Turkey in northeast Syria, have summarily executed civilians and failed to account for aid workers who disappeared while working in the ‘safe zone,’ Human Rights Watch said today. The armed group has also apparently refused to allow the return of Kurdish families displaced by Turkish military operations and looted and unlawfully appropriated or occupied their property.

Turkey should investigate human rights abuses, in many cases potential war crimes, in territory over which they currently exercise effective control, press SNA forces to end these abuses, and ensure that those responsible are held to account. Local commanders of the group should also investigate and hold individuals responsible for the abuses accountable.

“Executing individuals, pillaging property, and blocking displaced people from returning to their homes is damning evidence of why Turkey’s proposed ‘safe zones’ will not be safe,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Contrary to Turkey’s narrative that their operation will establish a safe zone, the groups they are using to administer the territory are themselves committing abuses against civilians and discriminating on ethnic grounds.”

On October 9, 2019, Turkish Armed Forces and the armed group invaded territory in northeast Syria that since 2012 had been under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, made up primarily of the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG). Since the incursion began, Turkey and the factions it supports have indiscriminately shelled civilian areas, carried out at least seven summary killings, unlawfully occupied private civilian homes and shops and looted the owners’ property, and have not accounted for aid workers who may have been forcibly disappeared while working in their zones.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 10 individuals, including 2 doctors and 3 relatives of victims, to document these abuses. Human Rights Watch also reviewed footage and images provided by activists and relatives that corroborate these abuses. On October 11, videos and images, including some posted by the SNA itself, have emerged on social media showing its members shooting at a person who was lying down without moving and appeared to pose no threat and standing atop the dead body of another person in a degrading manner. Human Rights Watch also documented the execution of a Kurdish political activist, Hevrin Khalaf, and researched what happened to three Kurdish Red Crescent aid workers who disappeared in SNA-controlled territory, including the apparent unlawful killing of at least one of them. Human Rights Watch interviewed three relatives and colleagues who verified the victims’ identities and the circumstances of their deaths.

Human Rights Watch also interviewed five Kurdish civilians between November 6 and 11 who said that the armed group’s forces were occupying their homes and other property and had arbitrarily prevented them or their relatives from returning. A Reuters journalist of Kurdish origin posted pictures of his house on October 30, claiming that the group had occupied it. In another case the group’s forces killed three Kurdish men who had been trying to return to the city of Ras al-Ayn, witnesses and relatives said, and prevented another Kurdish man from returning while allowing Arab residents to return.

Both international humanitarian law and human rights law prohibit unlawful killings and any arbitrary deprivation of life, which includes targeting civilians. International humanitarian law also strictly prohibits, and deems a war crime, the deliberate killing of injured, surrendered, or captured combatants (people deemed hors de combat) and enforced disappearances.

Under the laws of war, pillaging or forcibly taking private property for personal use is prohibited and can also constitute a war crime. Combatants are not allowed to seize property for personal use, which is a war crime, and the laws of war also prohibit destruction of property not justified by military necessity. International norms require protecting the property of displaced people against destruction and arbitrary and illegal appropriation, occupation, or use.

International law further stipulates that civilians who were forcibly displaced during a conflict should be allowed to return home as soon as possible without conditions. If forces have security concerns, then they should conduct individual assessments of residents, impose temporary, limited restrictions if justified, and not seek to impose blanket or indefinite bans to prevent them from returning. Occupiers are prohibited from moving segments of the population out of their homes for non-security reasons and seeking to replace them with populations from other territory.

All parties to a conflict are obliged to investigate alleged war crimes by their members and ensure that those responsible are appropriately punished. Commanders who knew or should have known about crimes committed by their subordinates but took no action to prevent or prosecute them can be held criminally liable as a matter of command responsibility.

The de facto authorities in the areas where Human Rights Watch has documented these abuses should ensure that those responsible are held to account, that it is safe for people to return if they wish, and that no one is refused the right to return on the basis of their ethnicity or identity, Human Rights Watch said. The Turkish government should also end its military assistance to SNA factions responsible for these abuses.

“Turkey is turning a blind eye to the reprehensible behaviour displayed by the factions it arms,” Whitson said. “So long as Turkey is in control of these areas, it has a responsibility to investigate and end these violations.”

Since the incursion into northern Syria started, Turkish Armed Forces and the SNA have taken control of the area between Tal Abyad (Gire Spi) and Ras al-Ayn (Serekaniye) and part of the international highway (the M4) running between southeast Turkey and northeast Syria. Despite an October 22 ceasefire and safe zone agreement between Russia and Turkey, clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces – the Kurdish-led forces once backed by the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) – and the SNA continue.

According to the United Nations, the incursion initially displaced at least 200,000 people, and about 100,000 are now returning. Almost half have returned to areas controlled by the Turkish-backed factions and the Turkish Armed Forces in Tal Abyad, Ein Issa, and Suluk.

Summary Killings and Enforced Disappearances

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian non-state armed groups executed nine civilians, including the Kurdish-Syrian politician Hevrin Khalaf, on October 12. Videos of Khalaf’s execution surfaced online on October 13. The videos Human Rights Watch reviewed show armed men standing over the body of a woman, which relatives and activists confirmed was Khalaf.

In another video, armed men who identify themselves as members of the SNA are seen shooting automatic weapons at a figure lying unmoving on the side of a road. Bellingcat, an open source investigative site, identified Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh forces, a faction of the SNA, as having been at both the Khalaf execution and the killing that appears in the second video. Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh denied its involvement in the killings.

In another case, a relative and two colleagues of the three Kurdish Red Crescent volunteers said an SNA faction that they could not identify advised them that they had detained the volunteers on October 11. A doctor who worked at the hospital with which they were associated told Human Rights Watch that he lost contact with the volunteer team – an ambulance driver and two nurses – who had gone to Suluk in response to an attack on October 11.

The driver’s uncle said that the driver’s brother had sent a text to the driver’s phone on October 14 and a person who identified himself as part of the SNA responded by text saying that the driver was dead and shared a photograph of the body. Both the relative and his colleague verified that the image was of the ambulance driver.

In photos on his Facebook account, the driver is dressed in a military uniform and a YPG flag is draped over his body in the pictures provided by his relatives. His relatives did not receive the body. Human Rights Watch could not determine whether the man was a volunteer with the Kurdish Red Crescent and simultaneously a member of the Kurdish armed group, or whether the Facebook photos were from an earlier period. Even if he was or had also been a member of the armed group, there is no indication that on October 11 he was engaged in anything other than humanitarian activities, Human Rights Watch said.

The circumstances of the two female nurses in the ambulance remain unknown, but their last known whereabouts was in SNA territory and people believed to be from an SNA faction informed the Kurdish Red Crescent aid group that SNA factions had detained them. The Kurdish Red Crescent has publicly called on all parties to the conflict to allow them access to injured people.

Property Confiscation, Looting, and Blocking Return of Kurdish Residents

Human Rights Watch interviewed two people who said that forces they identified as the SNA had occupied their property and looted their possessions. Three people said that they or their Kurdish relatives had attempted to return to their homes in areas under Turkish control but that the armed factions had blocked them. SNA forces also killed three men who were trying to return to their homes in Ras al-Ayn.

A doctor whose home is in Tanhuza, a village eight kilometers from Tal Abyad, said that his family had left their village on October 9 due to shelling and airstrikes and are now scattered across northeast Syria. He said that his Arab neighbor told him that members of the Ahrar al-Sharqiya faction were occupying his family’s five houses. A photo that SNA members posted on November 1 showing them praying in front of one of the houses served as confirmation. He shared with Human Rights Watch pictures of the house before and after to verify that it was his family’s.

In another case, a Kurdish-Syrian man said that his family fled to the city of Raqqa after a Turkish airstrike killed his parents and wounded his brother on October 9 in his village of Kayuta, nine kilometers from Tal Abyad. He said he also learned from neighbors that his home has been unlawfully occupied. He said that on about October 11, his Arab neighbors who had returned to Kayuta told him that a local Arab family had occupied his house, followed by members of Ahrar al-Shaqiyeh.

He said his uncles communicated with Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh about the house, and that the armed group shared pictures of them occupying the house. One of his uncles attempted to return to the village at least five times but the SNA faction turned him away at the entrance and told him it was a military area. However, he saw that his Arab neighbors who had told him his house was occupied were allowed in the village.

Three other Kurdish residents of Tal Abyad displaced by the hostilities on October 9 confirmed that their property also was illegally occupied. They said that their Arab neighbors had contacted them and told them that their houses had been looted, and that SNA fighters had installed themselves or displaced Arab families in their houses between October 14 and 18. One displaced Kurdish Syrian man who owns a shop in Tal Abyad said that on October 18, he saw photographs of his shop marked “seized for the benefit of Ahrar al-Shariqyeh” and that an Arab neighbor whom the fighters had offered some of the man’s wares told him that Ahrar al-Shariqyeh had looted everything and tried to sell it.

Activists and relatives in northeast Syria and Europe shared with Human Rights Watch images of the bodies of the three people they said SNA factions had killed when they tried to return to Ras al-Ayn. They identified them as Sheyar Mahmoud Othman, Rezan Khalil Julou, and Mustafa Hisso. The images were later circulated on social media.

Human Rights Watch spoke with Hisso’s uncle, who was with his nephew when the SNA killed him. The uncle said that he and three of his companions had been returning to Ras al-Ayn on October 17 to check on their property. His nephew owned a large cafeteria and was concerned that it would be looted. Hisso’s cousin, whom Human Rights Watch interviewed, said that about 200 meters from an arch near the Ras al-Ayn entrance an armed group that the family believed was a faction of the SNA began firing at Hisso’s van. The uncle threw himself out of the car and ran but his nephew and his two companions in the car were killed.


          

Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Refugees’ Movements Restricted

 Cache   

Makhmour Refugee Camp.

© Private / 2019


(Beirut) - Security forces for Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have arbitrarily imposed restrictions on movement for most residents of Makhmour refugee camp for Turkish Kurds since mid-July 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.

The restrictions came after unknown assailants suspected of belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group engaged in a decades-long conflict with Turkey, killed a Turkish diplomat in the nearby city of Erbil on July 17. KRG security forces, known as Asayish, arrested several suspects and imposed the restrictions, seemingly because of perceived PKK support among some residents. As a result, many camp residents have lost their jobs and had difficulties getting health care.

“Authorities can’t just punish everyone in a camp because some people may be sympathetic to the PKK when there’s no evidence they committed a crime,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These arbitrary restrictions on camp residents are keeping them from reaching jobs and health care.”

The camp, 60 kilometers southwest of Erbil, is home to at least 12,000 ethnic Kurdish Turkish nationals. Most fled southeast Turkey from 1993 to 1994 when the Turkish military forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Kurds from their villages during the conflict with the PKK. In 2011, Iraqi authorities and UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, officially registered the site as a refugee camp and Iraqi authorities granted the residents refugee status.

Dindar Zebari, the KRG’s coordinator for international advocacy, responded on October 30 to a Human Rights Watch inquiry about the situation, writing that KRG authorities “slightly restricted temporarily” the camp residents’ movements because of “security issues.”

He claimed that “the new measures did not include those who have jobs, students, or those seeking treatment in Kurdistan Region hospitals considering that they have approval documents.” In a subsequent email on November 6, Zebari repeated that “all these precautions are temporary and for protecting the safety of everyone” and said that “approval documents” meant letters from employers or educational institutions confirming the person’s status.

Five residents told Human Rights Watch that they had the requisite documents and permission to leave the camp but that security forces had barred them from passing through the first checkpoint on the road to Erbil and other cities in the Kurdistan Region. Another resident said he had lost his job as a result and couldn’t get a new job that could provide an employment letter. They said that only students and a few people referred to hospitals had been able to get through.

Another resident said that security forces allowed her through the first checkpoint but turned her back at another checkpoint closer to Erbil.

A doctor in the camp’s clinic said that she tried, largely unsuccessfully, to refer many cases to Erbil hospitals because of the clinic’s limited treatment options: “Asayish told us they didn’t trust the referrals from our clinic as genuine. But we then got Makhmour hospital, which also has very limited medical resources, to make the same referrals and they rejected them too.”

A woman who was three months pregnant said she had a referral from Makhmour hospital, which was stamped by the Makhmour mayor’s office, for a pregnancy checkup at an Erbil hospital. She waited at the checkpoint from 7 a.m. to noon on October 31. “A very rude officer told me I could wait a year and he still would not let me go through to Erbil, even though I had all the required paperwork,” she said. “He took my referral paper before sending me back.”

Another woman said that on the evening of August 8, when she was six months pregnant, her husband took her to the camp clinic after she started bleeding heavily. The doctor there said she needed to go to a hospital in Erbil for emergency treatment. The camp had no ambulance, so her husband drove. They passed through three checkpoints but were stopped at the last one.

“An officer told my husband that the checkpoint has instructions not to allow anyone from the camp into Erbil,” she said. “I was in the car losing blood, but the officer looked at me and said I was fine.” She said they eventually turned around and that she miscarried on the way back: “When I lost my baby, it was sad moment and I also felt like I might die at that moment and no one would care. Since then I still haven’t had any proper medical treatment.”

The doctor from the camp confirmed the woman’s account and said she knew of a second woman in the camp who miscarried because she was unable to get to a hospital after being stopped at the same checkpoint.

A 45-year-old woman with 5 children said the restrictions caused her and her husband to lose their jobs as cleaners, which are not the kinds of jobs that provide letters of referral. She said that about 1,000 camp residents had worked at such jobs in Erbil and other cities: “Our daily salaries were just enough to cover our daily expenses. On the first morning of Eid [Islamic holiday], I cried because I couldn’t buy clothes or sweets for my children. It wasn’t Eid for us.”

An engineer who used to work at a construction company in Sulaimaniyah said he lost his job once authorities stopped allowing workers through the checkpoint. He said he has a valid refugee identity card and a card showing his membership in the Kurdistan Engineers Syndicate but that officers at the checkpoint said that no one from the camp could go to Erbil.

An Iraqi Kurdish resident of the town of Makhmour, next to the camp, said on November 6 that every time he drives through the checkpoint, he is asked if he is transporting anyone from the camp: “I see many people from the camp, including old women and sick people, just sitting on the ground by the checkpoint, begging the Asayish to let them through… I don’t understand why they don’t allow them to pass.”

The camp residents interviewed said they could leave the camp for cities under the control of Baghdad, like Mosul, but were afraid, citing lack of Arabic language skills, missing documents such as valid identity cards, and fear of arrest. Many families’ identity cards expired in 2014, and authorities in Baghdad only started re-issuing them in 2018. During those four years, KRG checkpoints had let them reach cities in the Kurdish region. Three camp residents said that in early September 2019, two men living in the camp with expired identity cards who were trying to travel to Dohuk, in the Kurdish region, via Mosul, were kidnapped by unidentified assailants and are still missing.

The KRG’s international obligations require it to guarantee anyone on its territory the right to choose their place of residence and to move freely. Under international law, it may only limit people’s movement – nationals or non-nationals – if the restriction is “provided by law … and necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others.” In addition, these restrictions must be non-discriminatory and proportionate to the restriction’s purpose.

International law also prohibits making freedom of movement “dependent on any particular purpose or reason for the person wanting to move.”

“It should not take mothers losing their babies for KRG authorities to realize these restrictions are excessive,” Whitson said. “It is shocking that authorities have not put an end to restricting the movement rights of some of Makhmour’s refugees.”     


          

It’s World AIDS Day. Here are Some of the Messages You Need to Hear in 2019

 Cache   

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. Writes the United Nations: ‘The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make the difference”. The commemoration of World AIDS Day, which will take place on 1 December 2019, is an important opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play […]

The post It’s World AIDS Day. Here are Some of the Messages You Need to Hear in 2019 appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


          

What World AIDS Day means to me

 Cache   
We're in the middle of a General Election campaign and you can be forgiven for not being aware of every international day the United Nations celebrates, but I want to draw your attention to one that is special to me: World AIDS Day. It's today. I've been living with HIV for over 15 years, since June 2004, but I didn't publicly disclose my status until March 2015 – when I became Britain's first openly HIV positive candidate. There's still so much stigma attached to being HIV positive that, despite knowing that I am healthy, undetectable and am able to live ...
          

As Climate Protesters Fume, Envoys Build a Wall of Green Money

 Cache   
(Bloomberg) — Climate envoys from almost 200 nations will gather in Madrid starting Monday for two weeks of talks organized by the United Nations. The ambition at COP25 is to build on the four-year-old Paris Agreement, at which governments pledged to limit fossil-fuel pollution, by reviving a corner of the market in carbon pollution credits.  If that doesn’t sound like stakes commensurate […]
          

Targeting Environmental Activists With Counterterrorism Measures is an Abuse of the Law

 Cache   

A campaign poster showing environmental activists Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, who have been detained since early 2018 in Iran. An Iranian court in November 2019 sentenced Bayani, Tahbaz, Jokar, Ghadirian, Khaleghi and Kashani to prison terms of 6 to 10 years. 

© 2018 #anyhopefornature Campaign
Protecting the endangered Asiatic cheetah. Tweeting a satirical poem. Attending a climate conference. Campaigning against a power plant. These actions hardly conjure images of suicide bombers or coup plotters. Yet, they have been labelled “eco-terrorism,” “extremism,” or “threats to national security” by governments and businesses that seek to block the work of environmental activists.

As young people around the world gather for a global climate strike on Friday, and as the 25th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) begins in Madrid on Monday, conference delegates would do well to consider that one important way to protect the environment is to protect environmental defenders.

Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal.

© 2018 Rob Symons
To be sure, environmentalists face dangers beyond being labelled security threats. From the Amazon rainforest to South African mining communities, activists defending ecosystems and ancestral lands are threatened, attacked and even killed with near-total impunity. But the unjust labelling of environmentalists as dangerous criminals or threats to national security is often more insidious, as it is generally carried out under the aegis of the law.

Authorities have an obligation to prosecute criminal acts. But typically, environmental defenders peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of speech, association, and assembly. Only in exceptional cases would their acts meet a generally-accepted definition of terrorism. And when environmentalists engage in civil disobedience, they do not usually aim to undermine the rule of law. Yet, we should consider the following:

  • In Poland, days before hosting the COP24 in December 2018, authorities issued a terrorism alert and denied entry to at least 13 foreign climate activists registered to attend, calling them security threats. Poland also empowered the police to collect data about conference participants without judicial oversight or participants’ knowledge.
  • In France, days before hosting the COP21 in November 2015, authorities placed at least 24 climate activists under house arrest using emergency counterterrorism measures enacted after the deadly Paris attacks that month. The activists were accused of flouting a ban on COP21 protests.
  • In Iran, eight members of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, imprisoned since early 2018, were just handed prison terms of up to 10 years for allegedly spying for the US. During a flawed trial, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards accused them of using their work protecting the endangered Asiatic cheetah as a cover. The group’s founder, also arrested in 2018, died in custody under suspicious circumstances.
  • In Kenya, authorities have unjustly accused environmental activists opposing a mega-infrastructure project of ties to the extremist armed group al-Shabab and threatened, beat, and arbitrarily detained them. In July, a court suspended the project’s coal-fired power plant. Activists contend the development will still destroy forests, kill fish, and displace communities.
  • In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018 placed 600 civil society activists, including environmentalists, on a list of alleged members of the country’s communist party and its armed wing, which he declared to be a terrorist organisation. Until a court intervened, the list included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, an indigenous Filipina who is the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and has protested Philippines mining projects.
  • In Ecuador, eight years passed before environmental activist José “Pepe” Acacho was cleared of “terrorism” charges for opposing mining and oil exploration in the Amazon.
  • In the US in 2018, the then-interior secretary blamed wildfires on “environmental terrorist groups” that opposed logging. In 2017, a pipeline operator sued Greenpeace and other environmental groups for a “rogue eco-terrorist” campaign against an oil pipeline. A court dismissed the lawsuit in February. Largely peaceful protesters said the underground pipeline threatened Native American sacred sites and drinking water.
  • In Russia, since 2012, at least 14 environmental organisations have had their work curtailed and in June, the head of the group Ecodefence!, fled the country to avoid being targeted under an abusive “foreign agents” law. In April, a court fined an environmental activist for “mass distribution of extremist materials” for posting a satirical poem about mining oligarchs.

During the COP25, participating governments should encourage activists to air their concerns about the climate crisis and their own safety, and draw on their combined expertise to help identify solutions.

They should also commit to rigorously implementing treaties that protect environmental defenders. One is the Aarhus Convention, which the European Union and Poland have been criticised for flouting. Another is Latin America’s Escazu Agreement, which requires just five additional ratifications to enter into force. Chile, which will preside over the COP25, should lead by example and ratify it.

COP25 delegates should recognize that to genuinely protect the environment, they also need to protect its defenders—including those unjustly targeted in the name of security.

Also check out this web essay by Letta ,Cara, and Katharina Rall.


          

Targeted: Counterterrorism Measures Take Aim at Environmental Activists

 Cache   

On November 29, 2019, young people will gather at locations around the world for a Fridays for Future Global Climate Strike. On December 2, United Nations delegates, world leaders, business executives, and activists will meet at the 25th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) in Madrid to discuss ways to protect the environment. Participants in these events should also discuss ways to protect the protectors: the individuals and groups targeted around the world for their efforts on behalf of the planet.

The dangers facing environmental defenders do not stop at accusations that they are national security risks. From the Amazon rainforest to South African mining communities, activists seeking to preserve ecosystems and ancestral lands are being threatened, attacked, and even killed with near total impunity, Human Rights Watch has found. But in contrast to many of these illegal acts, the unjust labeling of environmentalists as security threats is often more insidious, as it is generally carried out under the color of law.

And while not all environmental activism is peaceful, only in exceptional cases would the actions of environmental activists meet a generally recognized definition of terrorism – actions aimed at terrorizing populations by causing or threatening death or serious physical harm to others to advance an ideological or political agenda. Nor, in nearly all cases, do their actions aim to undermine the rule of law. Typically, these individuals and groups are peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of speech, association, and assembly. When they engage in civil disobedience, their aim is usually to strengthen – and improve the enforcement of – existing environmental protection measures. Here are a few examples where environmental activists have been smeared as terrorists or other national security threats:

  • In Poland, the authorities denied entry in December 2018 to at least 13 foreign climate activists who were registered to attend COP24 in the southern city of Katowice, contending they posed a threat to public order and national security. Along with other individuals and groups, the activists had planned to press COP24 participants for rapid action to address climate change.

    Protesters march during the United Nations COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, Poland, on December 8, 2018.

    © 2018 SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/Damian Klamka)

    The authorities had previously passed a special law empowering the police to collect data about conference participants without judicial oversight or the participants’ knowledge and consent and ban spontaneous protests during COP24. They also issued a terrorism alert that authorized increased vehicle checks and other security controls for Katowice and surrounding areas for the duration of the summit. Border officials detained and questioned several activists for hours, in some cases without allowing them to communicate their location or contact a lawyer.

  • In November 2015, French police used a sweeping counterterrorism emergency law enacted in response to the deadly Paris attacks earlier that month to place at least 24 climate activists under house arrest without judicial warrant, raid activists’ homes, and seize computers and personal belongings.

    Police raid a building suspected of housing climate activists in Paris on November 27, 2015, prior to the UN COP21 climate change summit. 

    © 2015 AFP/Laurent Emmanuel
    The activists were accused of flouting a ban on organizing protests related to COP21, which was being held in France the following week to sign the Paris Agreement on reducing emissions that contribute to global warming.

  • In Iran, six members of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF), imprisoned since early 2018, were handed prison terms of up to 10 years in November for allegedly spying for the United States. During a deeply flawed trial, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards said the environmentalists used their work to protect the Asiatic cheetah – one of the world’s most endangered species – as a cover. A charge against four of the accused of “spreading corruption on Earth,” a crime that can carry the death penalty, was reportedly dropped in October. Two other PWHF members also detained in early 2018 were awaiting judgment. A ninth environmentalist, PWHF founder Kavous Seyed Emami, died a few weeks after his arrest under suspicious circumstances in what the Iranian authorities alleged to be a suicide.

    A campaign poster showing environmental activists Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, who have been detained since early 2018 in Iran. An Iranian court in November 2019 sentenced Bayani, Tahbaz, Jokar, Ghadirian, Khaleghi and Kashani to prison terms of 6 to 10 years. 

    © 2018 #anyhopefornature Campaign

    Issa Kalantari, the head of Iran’s Department of Environment, said there was no evidence that the detained environmentalists were spies. He said the arrests have had a chilling effect on environmental groups in the country.

    The arrests appear to be motivated both by Iran’s “paranoia” about foreign countries using environmentalists as cover and its recognition that anger over environmental degradation can unite populations against government policies, said Kaveh Madani, the country’s former deputy environmental director. Madani returned to his native Iran from London in 2017 to take up the post, but said he was immediately detained and questioned by Revolutionary Guards, who broke into his phone, computer, emails, and social media accounts, and called him a “bioterrorist,” a “water terrorist,” and a spy. He left Iran after seven months, alleging repeated harassment including for his criticism of dam projects, which are constructed by the Revolutionary Guards.

  • In Kenya, the police and military have frequently labeled environmental activists opposing a mega-infrastructure project in the Lamu coastal region, including a coal-fired power plant, as “terrorists” while subjecting them to threats, beatings, and arbitrary arrests and detentions. In 15 cases documented by Human Rights Watch between 2013 and 2016, the authorities accused environmental defenders of membership in, or links to, the extremist armed group al-Shabab but provided no compelling evidence.

    Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.

    © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga

    The activists are protesting construction of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor, the biggest infrastructure project in Central and East Africa, which is to include a 32-berth seaport, three international airports, a road and railway network, and three resort cities. They contend that LAPSSET will pollute the air and water, destroy mangrove forests and breeding grounds for fish, and take farmland without just compensation, displacing communities and destroying their livelihoods.

    In July, Kenya’s environmental tribunal blocked approval of the power plant absent a new environmental impact study, finding the China-backed developers’ original assessment and public consultation process inadequate. The rest of the LAPSSET project continues. So does the intimidation campaign, activists protesting LAPSSET told Human Rights Watch.

  • In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte in 2018 placed 600 civil society members, including environmentalists and indigenous rights defenders, on a list of alleged members of the country’s communist party and its armed wing, which he declared to be a terrorist organization. Duterte’s “terrorist list” included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, an indigenous Filipina who is the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and a climate change activist.

    Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, at UN headquarters in New York in April 2018. 

    © 2018 New York Times/Annie Ling
    In late 2017, Tauli-Corpuz had criticized the government for attacks and other abuses against indigenous communities that opposed coal and diamond mining on ancestral lands. Although a Manila court months later ordered the government to remove Tauli-Corpuz from the list, a Philippines military official in 2019 renewed the campaign against her, accusing her of “infiltrating” the UN for the communist insurgents. Several UN human rights experts condemned Tauli-Corpuz’s listing.

  • In Ecuador, eight years passed before the prominent environmental activist José “Pepe” Acacho, a Shuar indigenous leader, was able to clear himself of “terrorism” charges for his activities opposing mining and oil exploration in the Amazon. Acacho was charged with terrorism in 2010 for allegedly inciting violence during Shuar protests against a mining law.

    Pepe Acacho, second from left, leaves a courtroom in Quito, Ecuador, on February 8, 2011, after a judge granted his habeas corpus petition.

    © 2011 AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa
    He was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Human Rights Watch reviewed the trial documents and found no credible evidence of terrorism-related crimes. In 2018, Ecuador’s highest court threw out the terrorism conviction but instead sentenced him to eight months in prison for “public services obstruction” – a charge for which he was never tried and hence never had the opportunity to contest. Acacho spent 17 days in jail before receiving a presidential pardon in October 2018.

  • In the US in August 2018, then-US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blamed “environmental terrorist groups” that opposed logging for wildfires on the West Coast – a proposition immediately attacked by leading environmental organizations including the Sierra Club. In 2017, 84 members of the US Congress, most of them Republicans, asked the Justice Department if activists mobilizing against the construction of oil pipelines could be prosecuted as terrorists. (The department’s response was that in some cases, yes.)

    Native Americans protest construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota on September 4, 2019. 

    © 2019 AFP via Getty Images/Robyn Peck

    That same year, a major pipeline operator, Energy Transfer Partners LP, filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups, accusing them of launching a “rogue eco-terrorist” campaign against the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline. Environmental activists and Native American tribes had tried to block construction of the 1,172-mile-long, underground pipeline through North Dakota during a protracted standoff with the authorities in 2016, saying it threatened sacred sites and drinking water. A federal court dismissed the lawsuit earlier this year.

    Although the protesters were largely peaceful, some resorted to violence and were convicted of protest-related crimes, but none for offenses that even remotely approximated terrorism. UN experts condemned security force responses to the protests as “excessive,” including their use of rubber bullets, teargas, compression grenades, mace, and “inhuman and degrading” detention conditions.

  • In Russia, at least 14 environmental groups have stopped work in recent years, and the head of the prominent group Ekozaschita! (Ecodefense!), Alexandra Koroleva, fled the country in June to avoid prosecution under the draconian Law on Foreign Agents. The 2012 law requires any Russian group accepting foreign funding and carrying out activities deemed to be “political” to register as a “foreign agent,” a term that in Russia implies “spy” or “traitor.” Authorities have used the law to silence groups that opposed state-sanctioned development projects and petitioned authorities for the release of imprisoned environmental activists, a Human Rights Watch investigation found.

    Alexandra Koroleva, the head of the Russian nongovernmental organization Ecodefense, fled to Germany in June 2019 to avoid being targeted under the abusive Russian “foreign agents” law. 

    © 2019 Ecodefense

    Russian officials including the special envoy for environmental protection, Sergey Ivanov, have applied the “extremist” label to Greenpeace Russia. An activist with Stop GOK, a Russian group seeking to block mining and enrichment plants, was fined in April 2019 for “mass distribution of extremist materials” because he published a poem on the organization’s social media page that the government had banned as extremist in 2012. The Russian nongovernmental organization SOVA Center, which analyzes counter-extremism trends, found that the poem, “Last Wish to the Ivans,” is a satirical address to destitute, alcohol and drug-addicted Russians from oligarchs and authorities profiting from extracting natural resources.

    Stop GOK and Greenpeace Russia were among groups named in a 2018 report by pro-government technologists as “environmental extremists” working for “influential forces in the West” bent on sabotaging strategic industries. The report was widely covered by state-controlled media.

Civil society participation will be crucial to ambitious outcomes at COP25. Parties to the summit, which include all UN member countries and the European Union, should allow activists ample opportunity to air their concerns about the climate crisis and use their combined expertise to help identify solutions. They should also provide activists with a safe space to speak out about the threats they face for carrying out their work.

In addition, parties should publicly commit to robustly carrying out international and regional treaties that protect environmental defenders. One of these treaties is the Escazu Agreement (the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean), the world’s first covenant to include specific provisions promoting and protecting environmental defenders. Twenty-one countries have signed the 2018 agreement. But only six countries have ratified it – five shy of the ratifications needed to enter it into force. Chile, which stepped down as COP25 host because of protests stemming from economic grievances, but will still preside over the negotiations in Madrid, should lead by example and ratify the agreement.

COP25 participants should also commit to upholding the Aarhus Convention (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters), to which Spain is a signatory. The convention – an environmental pact for Europe, the European Union, and Central Asia – grants the public, including environmental groups, an array of rights including public participation and access to information and justice in governmental decisions on the environment, without harassment or persecution. Parties to the treaty, including the EU, and Poland for its crackdown at COP24, have been criticized – including in some cases by the Aarhus Convention’s own oversight body – for flouting these provisions.

COP25 delegates should recognize that to genuinely protect the environment, they also need to protect its defenders – including those unjustly targeted in the name of security.


          

Solar Energy Offers Lifeline in Power-Starved Yemen

 Cache   
  Yemen’s civil war has resulted in widespread power outages across the country. The United Nations estimates that about 90 percent of the country’s population lost electricity after the war broke out in 2015. The severe power shortage has led some Yemenis to buy solar energy equipment to produce their own electricity. Ebrahim al-Faqih recognized this need four years ago and started selling solar panels. The demand for solar equipment has continued to rise, leading more people to get into the business. “Even people who used to work selling food moved to work in solar energy because of the high demand,” Faqih told the Reuters news agency. He runs a store in the capital Sanaa which sells solar water heaters and panels imported from India and China. Solar energy systems are providing answers to people struggling to meet their personal power needs. The availability of electricity was already extremely limited in Yemen’s rural areas even before the conflict began.     In many areas, electricity is needed to provide one of life’s main necessities, water. Pumps are used to bring water to the surface for drinking and farming. Muhammad Yahya bought solar panels to power his home in the capital. He told Reuters that solar energy has become an important lifeline for many. “Electricity these days isn’t just for lighting, electricity is life,” he said. Yahya said solar energy is clearly being used by many as a way to help them get through the conflict. But he hopes people will keep using it as a main source of electricity when the war ends. Sanaa is controlled by the Houthi movement, which ousted internationally-recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from power in 2014. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting a ground and air campaign in support of the government of Hadi, who fled to exile in Saudi Arabia. Iran supports the Houthi rebels. Some Yemenis use diesel fuel generators to produce electricity. But such equipment pollutes the air and is too costly for many people. “Alternative energy is better, it changed my life dramatically,” said Akram Noman, who lives in Sanaa. He says he now has very little use for traditional electrical power. Noman said the government should offer tax breaks for people to use solar energy and should help farmers buy solar equipment. Omar Homadi has a farm south of the capital in the Houthi-controlled rural area of Dhamar. He told Reuters he could not cover the cost of running a diesel generator to water his land, so he bought a solar-powered pump. “Our land had dried up but now it has come back to life thanks to the solar energy,” he said. Dhamar’s water production had fallen to 30 percent of pre-war levels, said local water official Muhammad Ali al-Habshi. But production has now returned to 70 to 80 percent of levels before the war because of solar projects supported by international donors. “People used to get water every 10-12 days,” Homadi said. “Now it is every three days...Solar energy was like a dream.” I’m Bryan Lynn.   Reuters news agency reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page. _________________________________________________________________ Words in This Story   panel – n. piece of equipment that attaches to the surface of something generator – n. a machine that produces electricity alternative – adj. different from what is usual or traditional dramatically –adv. suddenly and to an extreme extent  
          

International Land Use Symposium

 Cache   
<p>Sustainable spatial development requires more and more precise and comprehensive information for planning and political decisions. This applies in particular to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. An international symposium to be held in Paris from 4 to 6 December 2019 will address current developments in the analysis, modelling and visualisation of data on land use and land cover changes.</p> <p>Under the umbrella "Land use changes: Trends and projections", the ILUS 2019 is dedicated to interdisciplinary concepts on how current developments in spatial analysis and data modelling can contribute to sustainable resource management and better support planning as well as urban and regional development. To this end, the symposium covers three major topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change Observations, Metropolization: Challenges and Risks as well as Drivers, Mechanisms, Tools. An open section provides space for other relevant contributions.<br /> <br /> The symposium will be opened with contributions of renowned international scientists in the area of spatial analysis and spatial planning. Keynote speakers include Andy Karvonen, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm/Sweden, Martino Pesaresi, Joint Research Centre in Ispra/Italy, Norbert Pfeifer, TU Wien/Austria, François Moriconi-Ebrard, Centre national de la recherche scientifique/France, Nathalie Gaussier, Université Montesquieu Bordeaux 4/France, Jochen Jaeger, Concordia University Montreal/Canada, and Bin Jiang, University of Gävle/Sweden.<br /> <br /> The ILUS 2019 is jointly organized by the following partners: Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER, Dresden), Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Energies de Demain (LIED, University of Paris Diderot), Pôle Image (University of Paris Diderot) and Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière (IGN, Saint-Mandé).<br /> <br /> 3 December 2019: Workshop on urban Sprawl<br /> On 3 December the pre-conference workshop “Approaches to limiting urban sprawl: policies, planning, and governance” will take place. The aim of the workshop on urban sprawl is to place the empirical results on the characteristics of Urban Sprawl into the planning, legal and economic context.<br /> <br /> Programme and panel discussion<br /> This year's panel discussion is focusing on the following topic: "Do spatial analyses matter? From geodata science to sustainability transformations" and will be led by Mathieu Arnoux (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Energies de Demain, Université Paris Diderot) and Marc Wolfram (IOER, Dresden).</p>
          

Journal of the United Nations, Monday, 02 December 2019

 Cache   
PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS AND AGENDA
Publication Date: Monday, 02 December 2019
[ Arabic |Chinese |English |French |Russian |Spanish ]
          

Bank of England's Carney to become U.N. climate finance envoy

 Cache   
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will lead a push by the United Nations to make the finance sector take proper account of the risks posed by climate change, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday.

          

'War against nature must stop,' U.N. chief says before climate talks

 Cache   
The world must stop a "war against nature" and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid.

          

Students stage global strikes to pressure U.N. climate summit

 Cache   
Thousands of people in Asia and Europe joined rallies demanding more action on climate change on Friday, aiming to force political leaders to come up with urgent solutions at a United Nations conference next week.

          

Do you really think the current crop is smarter than JFK or FDR?

 Cache   
It was good enough for FDR.  It was good enough for JFK.


  1. Seeing this shook me. I was 5 yrs old when JFK gave this speech. 57 years later, we're still fighting for . Dem establishment is telling us we're "too far left" & warning us about purity tests for our candidates. is the only candidate willing to fight for it.



But Joe Biden, Tiny Pete and so many others just know better, right?

Does anyone really think Joe and Tiny Pete are smarter than FDR?  Or JFK?

They're not.  They're just money grubbers who will deny We The People what we need so that corporations will toss more money at them.

Be for Bernie.  Be for Elizabeth.  Or Dario Hunter or Howie Hawkins.  But don't support any piece of trash who tells you we can't have Medicare For All.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Monday, November 25, 2019.  Protests continue in Iraq amid rumors of a coup while, in the US, Joe Biden's campaign continues to struggle.


Starting in the United States where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  Nate Poole (MAINE CAMPUS) observes:

The fifth installment of the Democratic debate series took place on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Atlanta, and Joe Biden was recorded on stage with his foot more firmly secured in his mouth than Americans have yet seen this election cycle. As disheartening as it is to admit it, image is vital in politics, and Biden appears to be hell-bent on constructing himself as befuddled and out of touch with his own party. The most recent debate seemed to make one thing very clear; Biden is not sharp enough to compete on the debate stage. The fact of the matter is that the former vice president may simply be too old to keep up. 
Throughout the majority of the previous debates, Biden has been the preferred target of nearly all the other candidates as he has been leading in many polls since launching his campaign. One might think that two previous runs at the presidency in 1988 and 2008, along with decades of experience in politics, might have prepared Biden for these attacks, but unfortunately, his greatest challenge on the debate stage is himself. Biden’s first major stumble occurred when he was discussing how to prevent sexual assault and violence against women from happening on college campuses by repeating “we’re gonna keep punching at it,” resulting in audible scoffs from the audience. 


Joe was the press favorite.  They excused him, they ignored and minimized his mistakes.  They thought they could carry him over the finish line.  That was then.  Carl Golden (THE TRIBUNE DEMOCRAT) notes how Joe's abilities are being questioned:

The establishment nervousness is two-fold:
• Despite his lead, Biden is in danger of losing the nomination to either Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both of whom share far left fringe positions which will doom their chances of defeating President Donald Trump.
• Even if Biden secures the nomination, his campaign has been marked by gaffes and stumbles, raising serious doubts about his ability to compete with Trump. Lurking in the background is the alleged conflict of interest posed by his son’s accepting a $50,000 per month position on the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukraine energy company, while his father served in the White House.


Life's a lot harder for Joe these days.  Steve Ahlquist (UPRISE RI) reports:

As former Vice President and current Presidential candidate Joe Biden left his car in the pouring rain to enter the East Side Providence home of Sally Lapides and Arthur Solomon for an exclusive fundraiser, he was approached by climate activist Michael Kearney. At first Biden seemed to welcome Kearney, but when Kearney, a 22 year old Providence resident, brought up the subject of climate change, Biden brushed him off.
“Why are you putting the fossil fuel industry over us?” yelled Kearney, as Biden left reporters and protesters alike outside in the rain. “You said you wouldn’t take Super PAC money and now you take Super PAC money!”
“I’m really scared for my family who’re in California and suffering the worst effects of wild fires,” said Kearney to reporters. “Every day I am afraid for their lives and their homes. I’m scared for those of us in Rhode Island, because we’re facing the worsening effects of more severe weather events.


Last week, Joe Biden told an immigration activist Carlos Rojas to vote for Donald Trump.  Eric Blanc interviews Carlos for JACOBIN:


People across the country have been sharing the video of your action last night. Can you explain why you decided to challenge Joe Biden?
CR
There’s a presidential election unfolding right now where immigration has received a lot of attention.
And the immigration crisis is felt deeply by many people, not only immigrants. We’ve seen record numbers of allies mobilize to express their outrage about children in cages, family separation, and deaths at the border. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets when Trump declared his “zero tolerance” policy.
But sometimes it feels like the American public thinks Trump started this crisis. So we wanted to take this opportunity to remind voters that even under the Obama administration — with Biden as VP — we had a daily immigration crisis, with an average of over a thousand deportations every single day, 3 million in total.
And yesterday was not first time Biden has been asked about this. It’s really concerning to me that Biden continues to embrace Obama as someone who was supposedly a friend of immigrants. I’m terrified when I hear presidential candidates talk only about rolling back Trump’s policies. Just going back to the Obama status quo is completely unacceptable; it would be a betrayal of the immigrant community.

EB
One of the things Silvia Morreno told Biden was that, given Obama’s broken promises, “it is hard for me to trust you.” Can you speak more about this distrust?


CR
Yes, as I mentioned last night, I had been a volunteer for Obama in 2008. I remember hearing Obama sit down with Jorge Ramos from Univision and promise to legalize the undocumented. And I bought into that — it gave me hope. I believed. A lot of people did.
You know, Obama in 2008, and 2012, depended on immigrant voters — Latino, Asian, African — to win. We carried him to victory in states like Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan. And one of the reasons we did that is because he promised to pass immigration reform.
But the rest is history; Obama didn’t meet his promises. Not only did he never prioritize immigration, he ended up deporting 3 million of the same people he had promised to help.
We’ve been down this road before. We’re used to presidential candidates adopting positive rhetoric on immigration only when it’s convenient for them. We’ve experienced broken promises leading to family separations. That’s why we’re really focused on this demand that all presidential candidates pledge on day one of taking office to pass a moratorium on deportations through executive order.
Given the magnitude of the crisis, this is the minimum. The mistrust is deep; many immigrants right now are skeptical that either party could be a vehicle for change. Clearly Trump is terrible and he has scapegoated us, but the Obama legacy is still strong. It was not long ago; immigrants remember what happened. So supporting an immediate moratorium on deportations is a critical litmus test — it will take that level of commitment to even begin to restore trust.
We know that Congress is the only body that can pass full legalization, but it would leave candidates off the hook if we only called for a pathway to citizenship. We can’t rely only on Congress. Presidents have executive power to protect immigrants — and they need to use it.



Joe Biden is a nightmare who voted for the Iraq War.  The destruction in Iraq continues.  Brian Bienkowski (ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS) reports:

Iraqi children living near a U.S. army base have elevated levels of dangerous metals in their bodies and are more likely to suffer from birth defects, according to a new study.
These disorders at birth can be severe and debilitating — including deformed limbs, congenital heart defects, and brain defects such as spina bifida.
The study, though small, adds to growing evidence that toxics from war — dispensed bombs, bullets, detonation of chemical and conventional weapons, and burn-pit emissions—pollute the environment and local people long after the battles are over, leaving a toxic legacy from U.S. occupation.
"The past decade of war in the Middle East evinces that overwhelming amounts of toxic metals have been injected into the Iraqi environment through thousands of bombings and millions of expended bullets," the authors wrote in the study published today in Environmental Pollution.
The researchers went to Bint Al-Huda Maternal and Child Teaching Hospital in the Nasiriyah region of Iraq and examined 19 children lived near a U.S. Army Base— Tallil Air Base—and 10 children who lived away from the base, comparing the kids' contaminant levels and health problems. The U.S. targeted Nasiriyah both in the early 1990s and 2003, and, according to the Department of Defense, open air burn pits have been used at Tallil Air Base starting in 2003.
"The U.S. maintains stockpiles of radioactive material at bases, and also stockpiles ammunition that has these things in it," lead author, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an independent environmental toxicologist based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told EHN.
They found that the most severe birth defects and the highest levels of thorium—a radioactive byproduct of depleted uranium—were found in children living closest to the United States' Tallil Air Base.


Meanwhile, the protests continue.

A total of 11 protesters have been killed and 289 others injured from Nov. 21 to 24 in the protests in Iraq
 
 
 

Talia Kaplan (FOX NEWS) reports:

At least 13 anti-government protesters were killed Sunday by Iraqi security forces in one of the “worst” days of violence in the country's south amid widespread ongoing demonstrations against corruption, officials said.
Since the anti-government protests broke out in early October, at least 342 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in Baghdad and various southern provinces.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets by the tens of thousands over what they’ve called widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, despite the country’s oil wealth.



25/NOV/2019 ARE EVERYWHERE ON STREETS!!!! THIS IS THE AGAINST WHILE is COWARDLY SILENT!!! WHAT WAS THE OF THAT ?!!
 
 
 
  1. Canadian SDG Leadership Awards to recognize organizations from the private, not-for-profit, and academic sectors across Canada with the goal of highlighting their leadership excellence in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The Canadian SDG Awards is one of our flagship programs that recognizes the accelerators from the private sector for their contributions in achieving the SDGs”, said Ayman Chowdhury, Head of Secretariat of the GCNC. “The program showcases the value that the private sector brings to solving the most pressing sustainability challenges and offers an opportunity for others to learn about and contribute to the Global Goals,” he added.  The awards gala on Thursday, November 14th brought together more than 100 business leaders and sustainability professionals from across the country. 

    The 4th installment of the awards program received great interest as the total number of applicants rose from sixteen last year, to thirty this year. The winners were selected based on combined weighted scores from public votes and peer reviews and were recognized in three main categories: large enterprises, small/medium enterprises (SME) and non-governmental organizations (NGO) respectively. The top three winners from the large enterprise category are Lundin Gold (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), BASF Canada (SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals) and Manulife Investment Management (SDG: 17: Partnership for the Goals).

    “The SDG Leadership Awards Gala on November 14th demonstrated that Canada is well positioned to become a strong global leader in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Amy Sandhu, Manager of Sustainability and Government Relations at BASF Canada. “BASF Canada was inspired by our fellow award winners and their unique approaches to tackling some of the world’s toughest sustainability challenges. We’d like to thank the Global Compact Network Canada for their continued dedication to guiding their members with tools and resources to achieve the SDGs. We’re honoured to have won the award for SDG 17, Partnership for the Goals, and we look forward to collaborating with other network members on achieving progress toward the SDGs in the future!”

    The top three winners from the SME category are: Matrix360 (SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities), E.T. Jackson & Associates (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), and R&G Strategic Communications (SDG: 17: Partnership for the Goals).

    “It was an honour to be recognized as a winner in the SME category at the 2019 Global Compact Network Canada SDG Leadership Awards. Matrix360 is passionate about our responsibility as partners for equity and inclusion in the private sector and we are deliberate in the way we demonstrate our commitment to enhancing the spaces we participate in. We look forward to continue to elevate a new tone for business, with a global and inclusive mindset for the future of the workplace and contribute to the advancement of the SDGs,” said David Bendea, Manager of Communications & Engagement at Matrix360. 

    The top three winners from the NGO category are: CODE (SDG 4: Quality Education), Université Laval (SDG 13: Climate Action), and WaterAid Canada (SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation).

    “Université Laval is honoured to receive this award. In recent years, our university has stepped up actions to reduce its climate footprint, whether by achieving carbon neutrality, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions at the source, or by implementing a voluntary compensation program. This honor is shared with our 43 000 students and 10 000 employee,” said Pierre Lemay, Assistant to the Vice Director – External Affairs, International Affairs, and Health at Université Laval

    Earlier this year, GCNC also concluded one of its most applauded programs, the

    Reporting Peer Review program, a platform for companies to exchange constructive feedback, share best practices and improve their corporate sustainability reporting processes. Suncor's annual Sustainability Report received great appreciation from its industry peers and came out on top of the program’s 9th installment. 

    The GCNC has also identified Lindsay Verhaeghe, Sustainability Initiatives Manager at Nutrien, as the 2019 Canadian SDG Pioneer. After winning the local round in Canada, Lindsay went on to compete on the global stage and was also named the UN Global Compact’s 2019 SDG Pioneer for Sustainability Goal Setting. 

    About the Global Compact Network Canada

    Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact – a network of companies and organizations committed to building sustainable business solutions and advancing the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

    The GCNC supports corporate sustainability among Canadian businesses by spearheading the SDGs and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact. In doing so, it unifies and builds the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for peer-learning, innovation and multi-stakeholder collaboration. 

    To learn more about GCNC, visit our website www.globalcompact.ca and follow us on social media @globalcompactCA


          

12/2/2019: City & Finance: Carney takes on $1 eco job at UN

 Cache   
OUTGOING Bank of England governor Mark Carney has been appointed the United Nations’ special envoy for climate action and finance. Carney will be in charge of pushing the financial sector to prepare for a ‘netzero’ world in the run-up to the COP26...
          

Professions: ICT Architect - Dallas, Texas

 Cache   
Date: Oct 1, 2019 Job Summary:We are now looking for an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Architect. You will have the ability to build principles, models and guidelines from strategies. You will convert requirements to develop cost efficient solutions that are consistent between business, information and technology. You will, also interact with internal stakeholders and external customers to define and provide solutions improving their competitive position. Finally, to act as an internal consultant for the many IT areas.Responsibilities: 5 years' or more experience within IT Security and Network Ericsson Network infrastructure knowledge and understanding Academic exam in Computer science or similar IT security highly developed skills Core Network architecture skills Understanding of general Process of Operation, maintenance & planning. Key Qualifications: --- Education: bachelors in Computer Science, or Electrical Engineering --- Min years of experience: 5 years --- Domain experience: Ericsson IT Security and Network --- Architect expertise within Security, Enterprise Network, WiFi, Certificates, Cloud (IBM/Amazon/Azure). DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of employees assigned to this position. Therefore employees assigned may be required to perform additional job tasks required by the manager. We are proud to be an EEO/AA employer M/F/Disabled/Veterans. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform pre-employment substance abuse testing. Ericsson provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, ethnic background, age, disability, political opinion, social status, protected veteran status, union membership or genetics information. Ericsson complies with applicable country, state and all local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location across the world in which the company has facilities. In addition, Ericsson supports the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the United Nations Global Compact. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, training and development. Ericsson expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, ethnic background, age, disability, political opinion, social status, protected veteran status, union membership or genetic information. Ericsson will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by Ericsson or (c) consistent with Ericssons legal duty to furnish information. Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice - Employers are generally prohibited from requiring or requesting any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, and from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee or prospective employee for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the Act. For more information, visit https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppac.pdf. Ericsson is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for qualified disabled individuals during the application and hiring process. Ericsson will make modifications or adjustments to the job application or interview process that will enable a qualified applicant to be considered for a position. If you require an accommodation due to a disability, please contact Ericsson at hr.direct.dallas@ericsson.com or (866) 374-2272 (US) or (877) 338-9966 (Canada) for further assistance. Primary country and city: United States (US) -- -- Dallas -- IT ()
          

Woodstock High School student attends United Nations entrepreneur summit

 Cache   
A Woodstock High School senior said she was inspired by her visit to the United Nations for the annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit in New York City.

Destiny Flores was selected by business teacher Dustin Smith to attend the conference during the weekend of Nov. 15 as a guest of Jen Soulé, president of Woodstock-based Other World Computing. The Mac and PC technology firm brought Flores and another teenage girl to the summit from Woodstock and Austin, Texas, where the company has another office.

“It was amazing,” Flores said. “There was a lot going on. I’d never been to New York before. It was very busy, and everyone was very professional, but I felt like I fit in with that business environment.”

“I met a lot of really good people,” she added.

Flores said she learned a lot from panel discussions on topics such as microloans, women in technology and how to properly invest.

“It was good to hear that these very successful women felt like even young girls like myself are something that’s worth investing in because we’re able to use both our decision-making skills and also see the emotional side of things, not just the numbers,” Flores said.

She said Soulé, who participated in a panel discussion about female entrepreneurs in the technology industry, was inspiring as a powerful woman in a smaller town like Woodstock who overcame perceptions about women in a leadership role.

“Women across the globe are statistically the world’s most responsible borrowers, paying back microbusiness loans at a rate of 97%, and they put 90% of their earnings into providing for their families and their children’s education,” Soulé said. “We are honored to take part in this event, to continue to support the advancement of women globally, and to be able to bring a few inventive young women with us to New York, as they will be the next generation to take on the mantle of making a difference worldwide.”

Smith said Destiny was an excellent student in his INCubator class and an obvious choice for the summit because of her drive, passion and love of networking.

“Destiny was the first one who came to mind. She’s really passionate about women entrepreneurs,” he said. “She’s extremely passionate about business. She’s probably taken every business class we have to offer.”

Destiny said she hopes to attend Illinois State University next fall and major in business administration with a minor in art history. Her dream is to open her own art gallery someday.


          

UN agency launches 16 days of activism against gender-based violence

 Cache   
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign in Ogoja local government area of Cross River. The campaign started with a walk by officials of the UNHCR, partners, host communities and the Cameroonian refugees from their resettlement camps in Adagom and Ukende communities. Head
          

COP25: climate defenders also needed to be shielded

 Cache   
Tomorrow, 29 November, 2019, young people will gather at locations around the world for a Fridays for Future Global Climate Strike. On 2 December, United Nations delegates, world leaders, business executives, and activists will meet at the 25th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) in Madrid to discuss ways to […]
          

First High Note Global Prize goes to Cyndi Lauper for her work with LGBTQ youth

 Cache   
Cyndi Lauper will receive the inaugural High Note Global Prize from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the High Note Global Initiative. For her decades of activism with LGBTQ youth, Cyndi Lauper will be awarded the inaugural High Note Global Prize presented by the United Nations Human Rights and the High […]
          

Al-Haq named 2019 recipient of Human Rights and Business Award

 Cache   
On 26 November 2019 in Geneva, at the annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, the Human Rights and Business Award Foundation named Al-Haq as recipient of the 2019 Human Rights and Business Award.  An independent Palestinian organization based in Ramallah (West Bank), Al-Haq “Law in the Service of Man” was founded in […]
          

Em síntese - World AIDS Day 2019 - 29-11-2019

 Cache   
Every year, 1 December marks World AIDS Day, proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) in 1988 and aimed mainly at raising awareness. This year's specific theme, 'Communities make a difference', draws attention to the crucial role of community health workers and communities of people living with HIV, highlighting their contribution to ending the epidemic. World AIDS Day also offers an opportunity to take stock of progress, globally and in the EU.

Fonte : © União Europeia, 2019 - PE
          

The daily business briefing: November 29, 2019

 Cache   

1.

The holiday shopping season kicks off on Friday with traditional Black Friday sales, though many retailers got a jump on the competition by getting started with deep discounts on Thanksgiving Day. Analysts forecast data to show that online shoppers spent a record $4 billion on Thanksgiving. The total had already reached $2.1 billion as of 5 p.m. Thursday, a 20.2 percent increase compared to the same point last year. Demand was so high on Thursday that Costco's website and app were briefly hampered by heavy traffic. Black Friday is continuing to evolve, as many stores try to snag a bigger share of holiday sales by cutting prices days or even weeks before what used to be a one-day shopping frenzy. Shoppers are expected to spend up to $731 billion in November and December, roughly 4 percent more than in the same period last year. [USA Today, MarketWatch]

2.

Asian stocks struggled on Friday after President Trump signed a new law supporting Hong Kong protesters, prompting an angry reaction from China and raising fears that the tensions could derail talks on ending the trade war between the world's two biggest economies. The MSCI All Country world index fell by 0.4 percent after nearly reaching an all-time high set in January last year, before the start of the U.S.-China trade war. In the U.S., stock index futures inched down ahead of a shortened trading session. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were all down by about 0.2 percent, although the S&P 500 remained on track to close its best month since June. [Reuters, CNBC]

3.

The European Parliament on Thursday passed a symbolic measure declaring a "climate emergency." The move raises pressure on member states to take action to curb emissions blamed for climate change ahead of a United Nations climate summit starting Dec. 2 in Spain. In recent months, hundreds of regional and local administrations have approved similar declarations, but Thursday's vote was significant because the European lawmakers who passed the measure represent 500 million people. "Five years ago, no one would have expected the European Parliament to declare a climate emergency, so there's some progress," said Sebastian Mang of Greenpeace. Dissenters in the 429-225 vote objected to the use of the word "emergency," suggesting the use of "urgency" instead. [The Washington Post, Reuters]

4.

Morgan Stanley has ousted, at least temporarily, at least four traders in connection with an alleged effort to conceal between $100 million and $140 million in losses by mismarking securities, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Morgan Stanley is investigating the case, which is linked to emerging-market currencies, Bloomberg's sources said. A representative of the sixth-largest U.S. bank declined to provide an immediate comment to Bloomberg. The traders who were fired or placed on leave were based in London and New York. [Bloomberg]

5.

Shares of Tech Data Corp., a multinational tech distribution company, surged by 12 percent on Friday after the company agreed to be purchased by Apollo Global Management in a deal worth $6 billion. Tech Data's board unanimously approved the private-equity group's offer of $145 a share. Apollo previously offered $130 per share, but sweetened its bid after Tech Data received an undisclosed higher offer. The deal amounts to a 30 percent premium over Tech Data's closing price on Oct. 15, the last day before news broke of a possible deal. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reportedly tried to buy Tech Data for $5 billion, but was beat out by Apollo. [MarketWatch, CNBC]


          

10 things you need to know today: November 29, 2019

 Cache   

1.

President Trump made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thursday to spend part of Thanksgiving with U.S. troops. During the visit, Trump's first to Afghanistan, he announced that the U.S. and the Taliban have reopened peace talks. He said he believes the Taliban want a truce in America's longest war. "We're meeting with them," Trump said. "And we're saying it has to be a ceasefire." Trump had cut off talks with the Taliban in September and canceled a secret meeting between Taliban and Afghan leaders after a flurry of violence. During Trump's 3 1/2 hours at Bagram Air Field, Trump also served turkey to U.S. soldiers, who cheered him when he entered the dining hall. About 12,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan. [The Associated Press]

2.

Police restored school administrators' control of Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Friday, declaring that there were no pro-democracy protesters left on the wrecked campus after a two-week siege. Police arrested hundreds of protesters during the showdown. On Thursday, a team of about 400 officers conducted a sweep of the university, and found nearly 4,000 firebombs, 921 gas canisters, and 588 containers of chemicals, including acid and other corrosive liquids. The transfer of control back to school officials marked the end of one of the most intense clashes between protesters and police in a month of escalating unrest following the death of a student who fell from a parking structure during a police operation. [The New York Times, South China Morning Post]

3.

North Korea on Thursday launched two short-range projectiles into the waters off its east coast, South Korea's military said. "Our military expresses its strong regret over (the launches) and urges (North Korea) to immediately stop acts that escalate military tensions," said Maj. Gen. Jeon Dong Jin, a senior operations officer at Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff. The missile test came three days after North Korea said its soldiers had held artillery drills near a disputed sea boundary. The latest missile launches were the 13th public weapons test conducted by North Korea this year as Pyongyang pushes for a new U.S. proposal to resume stalled talks on trading nuclear concessions for sanctions relief. [The Associated Press, The Washington Post]

4.

The European Parliament on Thursday passed a symbolic measure declaring a "climate emergency." The move raises pressure on member states to take action to curb emissions blamed for climate change ahead of a United Nations climate summit starting Dec. 2 in Spain. In recent months, hundreds of regional and local administrations have approved similar declarations, but Thursday's vote was significant because the European lawmakers who passed the measure represent 500 million people. "Five years ago, no one would have expected the European Parliament to declare a climate emergency, so there's some progress," said Sebastian Mang of Greenpeace. Dissenters in the 429-225 vote objected to the use of the word "emergency," suggesting the use of "urgency" instead. [The Washington Post, Reuters]

5.

The holiday shopping season kicks off on Friday with traditional Black Friday sales. Many retailers got a jump on the competition by getting started with deep discounts on Thanksgiving Day, and analysts forecast data to show that online shoppers spent a record $4 billion on Thanksgiving. The total had already reached $2.1 billion as of 5 p.m. Thursday, a 20.2 percent increase compared to the same point last year. Demand was so high on Thursday that Costco's website and app were briefly hampered by heavy traffic. Black Friday is continuing to evolve, as many stores try to snag a bigger share of holiday sales by cutting prices days or even weeks before what used to be a one-day shopping frenzy. Shoppers are expected to spend up to $731 billion in November and December, roughly 4 percent more than in the same period last year. [USA Today, MarketWatch]

6.

Powerful winter storms hammered parts of the country on Thursday, complicating Thanksgiving travel. Heavy snow forced the closure of Interstate 5, a major highway in Southern California, leaving dozens of vehicles stuck with snow still falling. The highway, which joins Southern California with the rest of the state, was reopened later in the day, but forecasters warned more snow and rain could fall in the area. A so-called bomb cyclone, with a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure, brought up to four feet of snow in some mountainous areas in the Pacific Northwest. The winter storm was expected to move east, bringing snow and high winds across much of the West before continuing toward the Great Plains late on Friday. [Reuters]

7.

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and a key witness in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, on Thursday reiterated his denial of sexual misconduct allegations made by three women in an article jointly published Wednesday by ProPublica and Portland Monthly magazine. In the article, Sondland said the claims were "concocted" for "political purposes." One of the women said Sondland backtracked on plans to invest in her business after she rejected his advances during a tour of a hotel he owns. Another accuser, a work associate, said Sondland exposed himself to her. The third, who is 27 years younger than Sondland, said he forcibly kissed her when they met to discuss a possible job. One of the accusers, Nicole Vogel, owns Portland Monthly. The alleged incidents took place years ago, before Sondland was named as Trump's E.U. ambassador. [The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica]

8.

Thousands of demonstrators rallied in Hong Kong on Thursday to express appreciation for two U.S. laws supporting human rights in the Chinese-ruled semi-autonomous city. President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Wednesday. It requires an annual review to confirm that the former British colony still has enough autonomy to justify its special trade status. "I guess Trump wanted to give us a Thanksgiving present, and we're glad to accept," said Wong Yiu-chung, a Lingnan University politics professor who attended the rally. Chinese officials on Thursday angrily condemned the U.S. measures as "an epitome of gangster violence," and an act of foreign meddling intended to hurt China's economic growth. [Los Angeles Times]

9.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday urged President Trump to avoid commenting on Britain's upcoming election during next week's NATO summit in London. "The best (thing) when you have close friends and allies like the U.S. and the UK is for neither side to get involved in each other's election," Johnson told LBC radio. Johnson pushed for the early election hoping to break a stalemate over Britain's planned exit from the European Union. Trump has already made controversial comments in the vote, saying in October that Johnson should join forces with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and that the opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn would be "so bad" for the country. [Reuters]

10.

Acclaimed American free-solo rock climber Brad Gobright died in a fall while on a well-known path on a rock known as El Sendero Luminoso, or the Shining Path, in northern Mexico's Potrero Chico national park, Mexican authorities said. His body was recovered Thursday. Gobright and a climbing partner, Aidan Jacobson, fell about 20 feet to a ledge after their rope got stuck, but Jacobson landed in a bush, which broke his fall. "It was basically a blur," Jacobson, 26, told Outside magazine. "He screamed. I screamed. I went through some vegetation, and then all I remember is seeing his blue Gramicci shirt bounce over the edge." Gobright fell nearly 985 feet to his death, which the State Department confirmed in a statement, saying, "We offer our sincerest condolences to his family on their loss." [CNN, The New York Times]


          

UNMIK goes Orange for Women and Girls around the world

 Cache   

Focusing on stories of Kosovo women who have survived domestic violence, UNMIK staff came together to mark the global 16 Days of Activism campaign that puts a spotlight on preventing violence against women and girls each year.

Head of UNMIK and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Zahir Tanin spoke to the mission before a screening of the UNMIK-produced documentary Not Your Property, which focuses on the link between domestic violence and property inheritance customs. He reiterated UNMIK’s commitment to helping empower Kosovo women and girls and noted the importance of women in sustained peace and security – as recognised by the global United Nations resolution on Women, Peace and Security.

“Our contribution to this year’s 16 Days campaign is about sharing the stories of women from different communities who have not only survived violence, but also their journey to become changemakers,” SRSG Tanin said.

UNMIK’s activities for this year’s 16 Days of Activism includes taking Not Your Property on a road trip around Kosovo’s communities for the second year in a row, followed by panels featuring officials from police, judiciary and municipalities as well as campaigners from NGOs and civil society.

This year there are 15 screenings supported by UNMIK, while the film has been made available for other NGOs to arrange screenings in their own capacity.

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Istog/Istok
 

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Istog/Istok
 

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Lipjan/Lipljan
 

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Lipjan/Lipljan
 

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Lipjan/Lipljan
 

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Mitrovica
 

Screening of 'Not Your Property' in Mitrovica
 

Screening of 'Not Your Proeprty' in Obiliq/Obilić
 

Screening of 'Not Your Proeprty' in Obiliq/Obilić

 


          

Call for applications: Women in Politics – confidence, influence and effective leadership

 Cache   

 
Background:

As key global players and partners in the full implementation of the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, the United Nations and European Union consistently promote gender equality, women's empowerment and women's rights in line with UN Security Council resolution 1325 and the nine other resolutions on WPS. The EU Council conclusions on Women, Peace and Security adopted on 10 December 2018, state that implementation of the WPS agenda can only be achieved by “integrating a gender perspective and women's participation in all contexts, from conflict analysis to subsequent actions, including dialogue facilitation, mediation, peace negotiations and other conflict prevention and resolution tools.” 

Almost twenty years after the adoption of UNSCR 1325, women in Kosovo remain underrepresented in decision-making bodies at central and local levels despite the presence of well-established women’s networks, highly-effective women leaders and an advanced legislative framework that obliges legislative, executive and judicial bodies to adopt and implement special measures to ensure equal representation of women and men. While the 30 per cent quotas under the electoral laws are met in Kosovo Parliament and Municipal Assemblies, the requirement of equal participation of men and women under the Law on Gender Equality has not been met. Very few women occupy decision making positions in political parties. Women's representation at government remains below the legal requirement of 50 per cent. At the local level, although there was a percentage point increase in the representation of women in Municipal Assemblies, there are no women holding mayoral positions. This was also noted in the 2019 EU progress Report along with the lack of implementation of the respective legal framework. In addition, women’s limited participation in current political negotiations in the broader region, including Kosovo, has been highlighted as a concern by the EU and in recent reports of the United Nations Secretary-General on Kosovo. 

Project Description:

The project consists of three different components with a focus on enabling women to reflect about their experiences, to examine their patterns of behaviour that might be standing in their way towards more full participation in the public life in Kosovo and to distinguish these from the structural limitations to exercising their leadership more fully.

 

First, a five-day leadership training for 15 women leaders and influencers will be held in Pristina between 9-13 December 2019. It will blend elements of personal self-discovery, practical skills and leadership strategies to master challenges in the workplace and public life (including political parties and offices). During the training a personalized learning and roadmap will be developed for each participant followed by coaching sessions. The coaching sessions will be provided to all the women individually. Second, the selected 15 women will participate at a networking event that will be organized in Brussels (in February 2019). This two-day study visit will be an opportunity for the women leaders to meet with other prominent women from the EU institutions (Commission, Parliament) and the European Women's Lobby. The networking will enable the women to establish contacts and future cooperation in the field of empowerment of women and gender equality. Third, a workshop on “Good Governance and accountability” with special focus on gender responsive and inclusive political processes will be held in Pristina in February 2019. In this workshop participants will discuss how to ensure that the principles of inclusive, accountable governance go beyond rhetoric, be that in government institutions, within the political parties, in civil society organizations, media and other spheres of public life. 

 

1.    

 

Project title:

 

 “Women in Politics – Confidence, influence and effective leadership” – Phase 2

 

“Ensuring Gender Responsive and Inclusive Political Dialogue Processes”

2.

Call for applications issued on:

 

Deadline for applications:

 15 November 2019

     

28 November 2019, 5:00 p.m.

3.

Organizer:

European Union Special Representative in Kosovo and United Nations

4.

Number of candidates to be selected:

 

15

5.

Qualifications and skills:

Politically affiliated women or women with strong political interest that come from academia, civil society or media. Extensive professional experience in one of the fields of relevance in public/political life; Strong willingness and motivation to take on senior posts or to play a key influencing role in the future;6. 6.

General Professional Experience:

University degree as a minimum, advanced qualification is an asset; Computer literate; Advanced interpersonal and communication skills;

7.

How to Apply:

 

Applicants are required to send their applications in English (CV and motivation letter) by e-mail to: Albana GJINOLLI Albana.GJINOLLI@eusrinkosovo.eu (link sends e-mail) and copying Annette M. Fath-Lihic Annette.fath-lihic@ext.eeas.europa.eu (link sends e-mail)

 


          

United Nations opens two-week climate change summit in Madrid

 Cache   

United Nations opens two-week climate change summit in MadridThe United Nations opened a two-week climate summit in Madrid on Monday, where world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert the most catastrophic impacts of global warming. Michał Kurtyka, Poland's climate minister who led the last round of U.N. climate negotiations in the Polish city of Katowice in December last year, said a surge in climate activism among young people underscored the urgency of the task. "Maybe the world is not moving yet at the pace we would like but my hope is still particularly with the young people," Kurtyka told the official opening ceremony of the talks at a vast conference centre in Madrid.



          

As Climate Protesters Fume, Envoys Build a Wall of Green Money

 Cache   

As Climate Protesters Fume, Envoys Build a Wall of Green Money(Bloomberg) -- Climate envoys from almost 200 nations will gather in Madrid starting Monday for two weeks of talks organized by the United Nations. The ambition at COP25 is to build on the four-year-old Paris Agreement, at which governments pledged to limit fossil-fuel pollution, by reviving a corner of the market in carbon pollution credits. If that doesn’t sound like stakes commensurate with the ongoing climate crisis, that’s because it isn’t.Protesters have taken to the streets again and again this year calling for immediate action to cut back on fossil fuels, including thousands of arrests in more than a dozen cities in October alone. The 16-year-old activist Greta Thunburg harangued world leaders for their inaction at the prior UN climate summit. The politics of the masses and the politics of the diplomats have rarely been so mismatched as they are at these Madrid climate talks.“There is a disconnect between what people are asking for and what we’re seeing,” Gilles Dufranse, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch, a Brussels-based research group that advises companies on how to put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions. “Multilateral meetings are very difficult, but it’s the only solution we have.”And billions of dollars could be in play, which is why thousands of companies and hundreds of financial institutions will be watching COP25 closely. Away from the headlines and grand promises sought by environmental groups, the delegates are quietly building a legal framework to support a wall of money that will guide the world in a greener direction.Scientific findings this year have given an urgency to the process. Carbon emissions and temperatures have been breaking records, which scientists have linked to the increased frequency of violent storms and wildfires everywhere from Sweden to Japan and California. Global temperature increases since the industrial revolution are on track to push well past the UN target of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), according to research from Climate Action Tracker, a group of three consultants examining the issue. While few would notice that amount of warming on a single day, when applied to the world as a whole it would mark the quickest shift in the climate since the end of the last ice age some 10,000 years ago.Shifting the world away from fossil fuels will require mind-boggling amounts of money. At least $71 trillion needs to be invested into energy over the next 20 years to reach the nirvana where global warming is held in check and the UN meets its sustainable development goals, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s about a fifth more than the $59 trillion that the IEA figures will be spent under a business-as-usual scenario.Raising that amount of cash requires slow and careful work. Like arms control or trade negotiations, the climate talks deliver milestone treaties only after years of preparation, spending the time in between on fine details undergirding broad arrangements already put in place. The carbon market is one of the most complicated mechanisms envoys have worked on, since it touches so many parts of the economy.The aim is to set up a system that creates credits for work done to reduce emissions. That might include installing wind farms, protecting forests or insulating buildings so they consume less energy. Countries that generate more savings than their target would be able to sell those credits to others that are struggling to reach their goal.In theory, that will channel money to projects where the biggest savings can be made most cheaply. The difficulty is in defining what kinds of work count, how to measure those savings and what would ensure that countries don’t get credit both for making the savings and generating a credit. And this year, the envoys will talk about how to add the UN sustainable development goals to the market mechanism, adding issues like poverty and water protection to the list of things that might be able to generate a credit.The Long Road to MadridThe meeting in Madrid is part of a series of discussions stretching back three decades. It will bring together energy and environment ministers from the 197 countries that signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. About 20,000 people will attend, including press, pressure groups and multinational institutions ranging from OPEC to the World Bank.The 1992 treaty held that global warming was real, rich industrial nations caused it and should therefore help developing countries with aid and technology to support greener solutions. While each one of those ideas is controversial now in Washington, the U.S. ratified the treaty under Republican President George H.W. Bush. President Donald Trump has vowed to pull out of the Paris Agreement but not the convention that made the 1992 treaty possible.The convention led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which was a landmark because it mandated emissions cuts in 37 industrial nations plus the European Union. That group vowed to cut fossil fuel pollution 5% from 1990 levels by 2012, and later signed up to a second commitment period that will finish next year, when the Paris Agreement kicks in.Paris marked the first time that all countries, rich and poor alike, agreed to make cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions. That brought China and India into the system. They had no obligations under Kyoto but since then have become two of the worst polluters. The cost of bringing those countries on board was that the Paris commitments are voluntary — every country decides for itself what level of emissions cut it can make and how those will be achieved.On the Agenda This YearThis year’s meeting in Madrid is meant to elaborate on Article 6 of the 27-page Paris Agreement. That section deals with creating market mechanisms that each nation can use to help it meet emissions targets—something companies think they can profit from.These systems aren’t new. The Clean Development Mechanism came out of Kyoto and has fed at least $138 billion into projects that reduce harmful gases that come from burning fossil fuels. The ambition in Madrid is to create a “Sustainable Development Mechanism” that might go well beyond the work of the CDM, feeding money both to clean-energy programs and to projects that meet the 17 UN sustainable development goals.Friction over the nature of the rules is threatening this work and prevented a deal on Article 6 last year. Industrial nations led by the European Union want careful record-keeping and verification to make sure aid money actually goes into cutting emissions, which was one of the things the CDM lacked. Developing nations led by Brazil want a more flexible and free-wheeling system where a wider variety of programs qualify. An agreement is crucial to get big money to back the new Sustainable Development Mechanism credits.“What is critical is the credibility of the system,” said Gianpiero Nacci, deputy head of climate finance at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a London-based institution that’s helping commercial banks unlock money for green finance. “It could accelerate low-carbon investment.”About 2 billion CDM credits each representing 1 ton of avoided emissions were issued over the life of the program. The value of those credits peaked at more than 21 euros ($23) in 2008. They tumbled since and trade at around 17 cents apiece now after the EU, which was the main buyer of the credits, lost faith in CDM bookkeeping and wanted to clear up a glut in its own Emissions Trading System.The CDM’s demise still rankles developing nations, which are anxious to see the cash infusion they’ve been promised. A decade ago, industrial countries pledged to step up climate-related aid to $100 billion a year by 2020. While they’re on the way to reaching that goal, dishing out $71.2 billion in 2017 according to the OECD, there’s little detail on how that money will flow in the future.That puts attention on the Article 6 debate. Creating rules around a Sustainable Development Mechanism would also set out a framework for clean-energy developers financiers to work with and unlock money for more emissions-cutting work. Slowly, the financial world is taking note. More than 500 fund managers with $35 trillion of assets calling on governments to take more action through a London-based group called the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.“Business people want clarity,” said Jean-Marc Ollagnier, chief executive of Accenture Plc’s resources operating group. “When they get clarity they will find incentives to invest. If they don’t, they will find excuses to delay.”To contact the authors of this story: Reed Landberg in London at landberg@bloomberg.netJeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at arutkoff@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

Students Fainting From Hunger in Venezuela's Failing School System

 Cache   

Students Fainting From Hunger in Venezuela's Failing School SystemBOCA DE UCHIRE, Venezuela -- Hundreds of children filed into their school courtyard to hear a local Catholic bishop lead prayers for their education."We pray for the youths who are on the streets and can't come to school," said Bishop Jorge Quintero, addressing the Augusto D'Aubeterre Lyceum school in the beach town of Boca de Uchire on a steamy morning in October. "There are a lot of them."By the end of the 15-minute ceremony, five children had fainted and two of them were whisked away in an ambulance.The faintings at the primary school have become a regular occurrence because so many students come to class without eating breakfast, or dinner the night before. In other schools, children want to know if there is any food before they decide whether to go at all."You can't educate skeletal and hungry people," said Maira Marin, a teacher and union leader in Boca de Uchire.Venezuela's devastating six-year economic crisis is hollowing out the school system -- once the pride of the oil-rich nation and, for decades, an engine that made the country one of the most upwardly mobile in the region. These schools in the past provided children even in remote areas with a solid shot at the country's best universities, which in turn opened doors to top U.S. schools and a place among Venezuela's elite.Hunger is just one of the many problems chipping away at them now. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years, depleting the ranks of students and teachers alike. Many of the educators who remain have been driven from the profession, their wages made nearly worthless by years of relentless hyperinflation. In some places, barely 100 students show up at schools that once taught thousands.The collapse of the education system in Venezuela is not only condemning an entire generation to poverty, but risks setting the country's development back decades and severely stunting its growth potential, experts and teachers say."An entire generation is being left behind," said Luis Bravo, an education researcher at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. "Today's education system doesn't allow children to become meaningful members of society."The government stopped publishing education statistics in 2014. But visits to more than a dozen schools in five Venezuelan states and interviews with dozens of teachers and parents indicate that attendance has plummeted this year.Many schools are shuttering in the once-wealthy nation as malnourished children and teachers who earn almost nothing abandon classrooms to scratch out a living on the streets or flee abroad.It is a major embarrassment for the self-proclaimed socialist government, which has long preached social inclusion. The situation is in sharp contrast to countries that Venezuelan leaders have held up as role models -- Cuba and Russia -- both of which have managed to shelter the primary education system from the worst effects of a comparable downturn in the 1990s.Students began skipping school in Venezuela shortly after President Nicolas Maduro came to power in 2013. A fall in the price of the country's main export, crude oil, combined with Maduro's ill-timed effort to double down on price and currency controls sent the economy into a recession from which it has not yet emerged.Some Venezuelan children are staying home because many schools have stopped providing meals or because their parents can no longer afford uniforms, school utensils or bus fares. Others have joined parents in one of the world's biggest displacement crises: About 4 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015, according to the United Nations.Thousands of the country's 550,000 teachers did not show up for classes when schools reopened in September, according to the national teachers union, ditching their $8-a-month wages to try their luck abroad or in Venezuela's booming illegal gold mines.In Venezuela's most-populous state, Zulia, up to 60% of about 65,000 teachers have deserted in recent years, according to estimates by Alexander Castro, head of the local teachers union."They tell us that they prefer painting nails for a few dollars than work for a minimum wage," Castro said.To keep schools going, the remaining teachers often teach all of the subjects or combine different school years in one classroom. Nearly all of the one dozen schools visited have slashed working hours; some open for only a day or two a week.In the village of Parmana in Venezuela's central plains, only 4 out of 150 registered students attended school in October. The four students, of varying ages, sat in the same dilapidated classroom without electricity, practicing everything from the alphabet to algebra as the school's sole remaining teacher tried to encourage them with a dejected smile.The rest of the village's children have joined their parents in the fields and fishing boats to help feed their families.In the country's second biggest city of Maracaibo, a sign outside a dilapidated school without electricity recently read: "Please come to classes, even without uniforms." The children ask teachers at the entrance if there is food before deciding whether to come in.Maracaibo's biggest school no longer has any functioning bathrooms. It was designed for 3,000 students; only 100 show up.Half of the teachers didn't return to work after the summer holidays to a school in the town of Santa Barbara outside the capital of Caracas, forcing the principal to enlist parent volunteers to keep the classes going.On the other side of the capital, in the town of Rio Chico, most of the rooms in a local school are boarded up for lack of students and teachers. When the remaining pupils arrive, they first ask the whereabouts of the school's cook, the teachers said.Maduro's mentor and predecessor, Hugo Chavez, made the expansion of public education one of the pillars of his popular "21st Century Socialism" campaign.For a decade until 2013, the country made steady improvements in school enrollment thanks to generous school meals and handouts of food, utensils and cash to parents and children. Chavez built hundreds of new schools.Chavez's populist policies, however, had focused more on the quantity of students in school rather than the quality of the education. Then, as the country's coffers ran dry, his government's educational progress unraveled.As attendance collapsed, Maduro continued to claim his government was focused on education spending despite the "brutal economic war" waged by his enemies."In Venezuela, not one school has closed or will ever close, not one classroom," the president said in a televised address in April. "We will never deny access to education."To boost the ranks of teachers, Maduro in August promised to send thousands of the ruling party's youth members to the classrooms. Education experts say few of these untrained activists will add any pedagogical value or even make it to schools.At the same time, Venezuela's pool of real teachers is drying up. The number of graduates at Venezuela's main teacher training center, the Libertador Experimental Pedagogical University, fell 70% from 2014 to 2018.Venezuelan teachers have been among the worst affected by the country's economic collapse, as gross domestic product shrank by two thirds since 2013 and minimum wages fell to $8 a month.Maduro's de facto dollarization of the economy this year allowed many public employees in Venezuela to supplement their official salaries in nearly worthless local currency by charging in dollars for their services.His backdoor liberalization of Venezuela's controlled economy, however, brought little benefit to teachers in poor communities, where pupils' families have little access to foreign currency.In Boca de Uchire, the Caruto family has stopped sending its nine children to a nearby school when the cafeteria doesn't open."I can't send them to class hungry," said Jose Luis Caruto, a 36-year-old unemployed father of two.His sister, Yuxi Caruto, 17, was the last in the family to drop out from school, discouraged by the unaffordable bus fare. She tried taking up studies again at a local community center, but its teachers stopped showing up after two weeks of classes.She now spends her time taking care of her 1-year-old son."I want to learn to do the math and read and write rapidly. I'm scared that when my son grows and starts asking questions, I won't know how to respond. But right now, we don't even have enough to eat."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



          

EU’s Von Der Leyen to Pose a Climate Challenge to China, U.S.

 Cache   

EU’s Von Der Leyen to Pose a Climate Challenge to China, U.S.(Bloomberg) -- The European Union will challenge the U.S. and China on climate-change targets as the fight against global warming becomes a major international issue, according to new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.The EU is considering a target to bring emission levels down to zero by the middle of this century in its bid to lead the push to reduce greenhouse gases. Von der Leyen will pitch this plan to envoys from more than 200 nations on Monday when she travels to Madrid to take part in the opening of the United Nations climate talks. It will be her first event in the role, in which she started her five-year term on Sunday.“The European Union wants to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050,” she told reporters on Sunday in Brussels. “Europe is leading in this topic and we know that we have to be ambitious for our planet but also to be a front-runner.”The climate neutrality goal is estimated to require an extra 175 billion euros ($193 billion) to 290 billion euros a year in investment for energy systems and infrastructure from 2030.Von der Leyen set the Green Deal project as a top priority for her tenure. It would affect areas from energy production to transport and agriculture, putting Europe in sync with the objectives of the Paris Agreement to limit the rise in the global temperature.The move would also put the EU ahead of other major emitters, including China, India and Japan, which have yet to translate their voluntary Paris pledges into binding national measures. U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement in 2017.The climate policy will be part of the “geopolitical commission” concept von der Leyen intends to pursue to ensure Europe’s voice is heard on the same level as the likes of China and the U.S. The strategy will encourage other countries to follow suit by flagging options like a carbon tariff to be imposed on nations which fall behind.Von der Leyen held several calls on her first day with a number of leaders, including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.“The good news is that China says that they are aware of climate change,” von der Leyen said. “The fact that China is introducing an emissions trading system shows that it is also a topic that is high on the agenda in China.”More details on the Green Deal are expected on Dec. 11, including a document outlining plans for a Just Transition Fund designed to help the countries impacted the most by the emission-reduction policy.To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net, Sam Unsted, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

'War against nature must stop,' UN chief says before climate talks

 Cache   

'War against nature must stop,' UN chief says before climate talksThe world must stop a "war against nature" and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid. Around the world, extreme weather ranging from wildfires to floods is being linked to manmade global warming, putting pressure on the summit to strengthen the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting the rise in temperature. "Our war against nature must stop, and we know that it is possible," Guterres said ahead of the Dec. 2-13 summit.



          

Carney Takes Climate Finance Envoy Role, UN’s Guterres Says

 Cache   

Carney Takes Climate Finance Envoy Role, UN’s Guterres Says(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has accepted the role of special envoy for climate action and finances, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.Carney has taken a pioneering role pushing the climate issue in the financial sphere, Guterres said at a news conference in Madrid, where the next UN climate change conference kicks off on Monday. He’ll take on his special envoy role with pay of $1 a year after stepping down from the central banker’s job, the Bank of England said in a statement.Carney is due to leave the Bank of England on Jan. 31, although his successor has not yet been named after the selection process was disrupted by Brexit and the upcoming UK general election. That’s boosted speculation he may be asked to extend his term at the BOE for a third time, although Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said last month that he saw no need for such a move and that his party would appoint a new chief “very, very, quickly” if it wins the Dec. 12 vote.Carney has been talking about the risks of climate change since at least 2015 when he used a speech at Lloyds of London to warn that the phenomenon imposed “a cost on future generations that the current generation has no direct incentive to fix.” In October, he told the Guardian newspaper that companies and industries that aren’t moving toward zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors and face bankruptcy.At least $100 billion a year should be mobilized for developing countries to adapt for climate action, Guterres said. It’s crucial for countries, especially those with high emissions, to pledge more ambitious measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he added.(Updates from with detail on when Carney will start role from third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net;David Goodman in London at dgoodman28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Amy Teibel, Sam UnstedFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

CORRECTED-Bank of England's Carney to become U.N. envoy on climate action and finance

 Cache   

CORRECTED-Bank of England's Carney to become U.N. envoy on climate action and financeBank of England Governor Mark Carney will become the United Nations special envoy on climate action and climate finance from 2020, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday. Speaking at a news conference ahead of a climate summit in Madrid Dec. 2-13, Guterres described Carney as "a remarkable pioneer in pushing the financial sector to work on climate".



          

Warming toll: 1 degree hotter, trillions of tons of ice gone

 Cache   

Warming toll: 1 degree hotter, trillions of tons of ice goneSince leaders first started talking about tackling the problem of climate change, the world has spewed more heat-trapping gases, gotten hotter and suffered hundreds of extreme weather disasters. The first United Nations diplomatic conference to tackle climate change was in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. — The carbon dioxide level in the air has jumped from about 358 parts per million to nearly 412, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.



          

Chinese tech companies are shaping UN facial recognition standards, according to leaked documents

 Cache   

Chinese tech companies are shaping UN facial recognition standards, according to leaked documentsChinese tech giants are shaping United Nations’ standards for facial recognition as well as video monitoring, according to a Financial Times report based on leaked documents.China’s telecommunications equipment maker ZTE, security camera maker Dahua Technology and the state-owned Chinese telecommunication company China Telecom are among those proposing new international standards in the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for facial recognition, video monitoring, city and vehicle surveillance, said a Financial Times report on Monday.Standards ratified in the Geneva-headquartered ITU, which has 193 member states, are more often adopted as policies by developing nations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where the Chinese government has agreed to supply infrastructure and surveillance tech under its “Belt and Road Initiative”, noted the FT report.Writing standards gives companies an edge in market as they are able to craft regulations to fit the specifications of their own proprietary technology. In recent years, Chinese companies have been increasing their influence in international standards-setting bodies, such as the ITU and ISO as their global ambition grow. Facial recognition for payments to take off despite privacy concernsITU standards, which usually take around two years to be drafted and adopted, are highly influential in setting the rules in African countries as they don’t have the resources to develop standards themselves, according to the FT. Data from African countries is also very important to Chinese tech companies, which are seeking to improve their facial recognition especially for people of colour, said the FT.The ITU did not immediately reply to a request for comment by the Post. ZTE and Dahua did not immediately reply to a request for comment.Chinese tech companies – particularly Huawei Technologies, Hikvision, Dahua, and ZTE – supply artificial intelligence surveillance technology in 63 countries, according to a September report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.The expanding footprint of Chinese tech firms, especially in face recognition and surveillance, has prompted growing concern in the West. Eight Chinese tech firms, including Dahua, have been added to the US government Entity List earlier this year for their role in enabling human rights violations against Muslim minority groups in China, including the Uygurs.The proposals currently being discussed at the ITU have been criticised by human rights lawyers as crossing the line from technical specifications to policy recommendations, according to the FT. China’s facial recognition spread prompts residents to voice concernsRequirements in the draft standards for facial recognition, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and will be fast-tracked for approval, stipulate a requirement to store detected facial features in a database, including race, skin colour, face style, birthmarks, scars and other demographic features.The suggested use cases for facial recognition include the examination of people in public spaces by the police, confirmation of employee attendance at work, and the arrest of criminals, specifically by comparing “the country’s fugitive library with the local population library” to smoke out “criminal fugitives hiding locally”, according to the FT.Additional reporting by Li Tao and Sarah Dai.For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our award-winning Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.This article Chinese tech companies are shaping UN facial recognition standards, according to leaked documents first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2019.



          

United Nations Security Council primacy over military interventions in Africa and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

 Cache   
Title: United Nations Security Council primacy over military interventions in Africa and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Authors: Sousa, RICARDO Real P. Abstract: With the end of the Cold War there is a reassertion of regionalism in the international system. In terms of security, this process has the potential to challenge the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) primacy on decisions over military interventions. This paper investigates this possibility in Africa using a revised version of the historical structure of Robert Cox with elements of conventional constructivism. The results are that: the idea of regionalization of security returned to the academic agenda since the 1990s; inter-organizations norms and policies developed to accommodate an exception to UNSC primacy in cases when the African Union (AU) is awaiting a UNSC decision; there is a significant number of military interventions without UNSC authorization between 1990 and 2010, but after 2010 there is no new military intervention without UN SC authorization or recognition; the low capacity of actors in Africa prevents a more interventionist policy without UN SC authorization, but South Africa and to a less extent Nigeria have the potential to shape interventionism in Africa alongside other countries which are capable and willing to engage in sporadic military interventions in their sub-regions. The paper concludes that the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), centered at the AU, has the potential to decrease the likelihood of civil war initiation if it works consistently and based on clear guidelines as a security guarantee for governments.
          

India will surely be a permanent UNSC member: Jaishankar

 Cache   

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday told the Parliament that India will surely become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council one day and it was "progressing day-by-day".

"I am realistic enough to know that it is long and patient effort. We are not lacking in patience, perseverance and aspiration. We will get there one day," Jaishankar told the Rajya Sabha in response to a query on when will India permanently join the United Nations Security Council.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reinforced India's relationship with all neighbouring nations, and that India is having good relations with all its neighbouring countries, except Pakistan. "Pakistan is a unique and different from other countries. With the rest of them, we carry a good rapport in terms of bilateral issues."

Jaishankar also said that the visits of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister have enabled India to cement bilateral partnerships.

The Minister said that the government has a comprehensive foreign policy outlook that reflect both the state of the world and India's growing role in it. "We have a multi-polar landscape that has been unfolding over the last decade, although its pace has hastened in recent years. Our own growing capability and influence is of course one part of this change," he said.

He stressed that it requires India to strengthen multilateralism even while engaging in more intensive bilateral interactions. "It also means looking beyond orthodox diplomacy and arriving at issue based understandings with different combination of nations."

Jaishankar also pointed out that to shape the global agenda effectively, India has to engage countries large and small across all regions.

"It is only a matter of advancing our own national interest. The expectations that the world has to us is also very much higher. In our own region this is visible in the Neighbourhood First approach as well as in the SAGAR doctrine," he said.

He said that India have pursued the Act East policy vigorously while building an effective bridge to the Gulf in the West. "Our Indo-Pacific outlook has steadily gained greater understanding. Our commitments to Africa and other nations of the South are well under implementation," the minister said.

He said that the cumulative impact of all this is therefore a combination of greater diplomatic activity more intensive development partnerships, stronger security engagements and growing global profile.

"Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas in the founding principle of our foreign policy as well," he said.


          

Chasing seat on the dysfunctional UN Security Council is a waste of Canada's time

 Cache   
Canada would make an important contribution to the world if it proposed serious reforms to the UN, tying voting rights to respect for defined human rightsby Conrad BlackFrom all accounts, the great foreign policy effort of the semi re elected federal government is to win a two year term on the Security Council of the United Nations. This is as inane and worthless a policy objective as could possibly be devised. The UN is a moribund and corrupt organization that instead of providing a first step to world government is primal scream therapy for the world s most poorly and despotically governed and economically impoverished countries. According to the UN s own figures, 91 of the UN s 192 member states have average per capita incomes of less than 10 per cent of Canada s (and Canada has descended to number 14 in the prosperity list, leaving out petro states and tax haven states Kuwait, Monaco, Luxembourg, etc.). Approximately half of the member states seriously fail to comply with the Uni...
          

Sri Lanka to make new presentation to UNHRC explaining atrocities committed by rebels

 Cache   
COLOMBO, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s new government will make a fresh presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), explaining all the atrocities and war crimes committed by the Tamil Tiger rebels who were militarily defeated by government forces after a 30-year war in 2009, local media reports said Tuesday. President’s Spokesperson, [...]
          

12/2/2019: CANADA: EX-BoC GOVERNOR CARNEY TO SERVE AS UN SPEC IAL ENVOY

 Cache   
Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who previously served as Canada’s top central banker, will be taking on a new role as the United Nations’ special envoy on climate action and climate finance. UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres made the...
          

Diezani’s Dominican Republic diplomatic passport protecting her from prosecution

 Cache   


Towards the end of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was appointed Commissioner for Trade and Investment by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica and was handed a diplomatic passport.

This, perhaps, is why Diezani has been able to evade prosecution despite being in London for over four years.

According to Qatar-based network, Al Jazeera, the former minister may have purchased a $2.2m choice property near the United Nations in upscale Manhattan, New York, for the Dominican Prime Minister in order to obtain the passport.

In a documentary titled, ‘Diplomats for sale’, Al Jazeera reveals how politically exposed persons, including leaders of international drug cartels, purchase diplomatic passports from Caribbean countries for a fee which ranges between $250,000 and $2m depending on the personality involved.

The bribe is usually paid to the leader of that country who then appoints the buyer as an ambassador or a diplomat. The buyer is subsequently issued with a diplomatic passport which gives him or her immunity from prosecution based on the Vienna Convention of 1961.

According to the news agency, shortly before Diezani left office, there were already reports that she had allegedly stolen billions of dollars.

Worried that the incoming President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration might probe her, the former minister allegedly fled to London and obtained a diplomatic passport from the Prime Minister of Dominican Republic himself.

The report stated, “In London, she (Diezani) is personally handed a Dominican diplomatic passport by Prime Minister Skerrit; a passport which could shield her from criminal charges. We found documents showing a few days later that a shell company is formed in Delaware, an American state where laws mean the true owners of a company are kept secret.

“Four months later, that shell company buys a New York apartment for $2.2m with no mortgage. Property records confirm that the prime minister’s wife, Melissa, was a resident. Photos placed the Skerrit family there. Both Diezani and Skerrit deny any links to the company that bought the apartment.

“Skerrit said the family resided there due to a kind gesture by an unnamed friend of his wife. He strongly denies any wrongdoing and says he didn’t demand or receive any money from Madueke.”

The 53-minute documentary also shows how countries like St. Lucia, Antigua and Grenada all in the Caribbean carry out such “diplomatic passport for cash” scam.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in March lamented the slow pace at which the United Kingdom was handling Diezani’s case.

The EFCC in a statement said it was baffling that after four years, Diezani had still not had her day in court.

The statement read in part, “We are intent on bringing Diezani to justice and despite the spirited efforts of the commission in ensuring that she returns to Nigeria and face trial, she has been held back in the UK by an investigation that has spanned almost four years without any signal about when she will be available in Nigeria for prosecution.

“The EFCC has been frustrated over Diezani, a development that prompted it to seek her extradition to Nigeria, so that she can have her day in court.”

The former minister is alleged to have diverted billions of dollars and purchased choice properties in several parts of the world.

Diezani’s cash and properties as well as those linked to her, worth over $250m, including jewellery, have been forfeited permanently to the Federal Government by an order of court.


          

Translation Workshop for the Pinoy Version Old Testament Part 2

 Cache   
Naisip mo na bang maging translator ng Bible? Magkakaroon ng half-day workshop ang PBS para sa Pinoy Version Old Testament, sa December 2 (Mon). Gaganapin ito mula 8AM hanggang 12PM, sa 3rd floor ng PBS Ministry Center, 890 United Nations Avenue, Ermita,
          

The climate crisis is here, get used to it

 Cache   
Paris (AFP) Nov 27, 2019
When teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, nominated for the Peace Nobel this year, scolded titans of industry in Davos and heads of state at the United Nations, she told them to look at the science. Excellent advice, but not for the faint of heart. If economics is the "dismal science", research on global warming has become the science of our dismal future. Four blockbuster reports from
          

PM sues candidate

 Cache   
Date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2019 - 21:15

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has instructed his attorneys to take legal action against Opposition Local Government Election candidate Devon Thomas for what he deems the "utterly vile and derogatory statements" made against him during a UNC campaign meeting on Saturday.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said, "There is absolutely no room in Trinidad and Tobago for statements which have sinister and divisive undertones and seek to describe the Prime Minister as having committed a heinous crime."

It added: "The Honourable Prime Minister has instructed his attorneys to sue Mr Devon Thomas, the candidate for Febeau/Bourg Mulatresse as soon as the Local Government Elections have concluded."

Thomas, in turn, used Facebook to issue a public apology.

"I wish to apologise to the Political Leader of the United National Congress, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar and to the party for comments I made during my performance at the WorkNation rally on Saturday."

He added: "I deeply regret the remarks, and I would also like to apologize to my supporters, who have been with me on this journey to represent the community of Febeau/Bourg Mulatresse. I also wish to apologise to the Prime Minister for my comments. My commitment to working to improve the lives of people and to getting Trinidad and Tobago working again remains strong. I am committed to fighting poverty, uplifting people everywhere, and working towards making the UNC’s vision of a brighter, more prosperous future for our nation a reality. Once again, I am truly sorry for what I said on stage, and assure everyone that I will do my best to make amends."

Electors will go to the polls today in the Local Government Elections.

Category: 

          

경기도일자리재단, 유엔글로벌콤팩트(UNGC) 가입

 Cache   

경기도일자리재단은 재단의 사회적 책임 이행 확대를 위해 지난 11월 12일 ‘유엔글로벌콤팩트(United Nations Global Compact)’에 가입해 증서를 받았다고 11월 28일 밝혔다.

 

▲ 유엔글러벌콤팩트 가입증서    © 군포시민신문


유엔글로벌콤팩트는 기업 및 시민사회 단체들의 인권, 노동, 반부패 등과 관련한 10대 원칙 이행과 기업의 사회적 책임 증진, 지속개발 활동을 지원할 목적으로 지난 2000년 7월 발족돼 현재 전세계 162개국 1만4,000여개 회원이 참여하고 있다.


또 인권·노동·환경·반부패 분야의 원칙들을 기업의 운영과 경영전략에 포함시켜 지속 가능성과 기업시민의식 향상에 동참할 수 있도록 권장하고 있다.


문진영 재단 대표이사는 “UNGC 가입을 계기로 재단 운영에 인권, 노동, 환경, 반부패 분야의 원칙을 적용하고, 사회적 책임 이행에 앞장서겠다”면서 “앞으로 유엔글로벌콤팩트 한국협회와의 소통·협력을 강화해 인적자원교류 등도 적극 추진하겠다”고 말했다.


한편 재단은 최근 임직원 뿐만 아니라 협력사 등 이해관계자의 인권보호를 위해 ‘인권경영헌장’을 선포함은 물론, 인권·노동·환경·반부패 등 주요 분야에 대한 인권영향평가 보고서를 발간하는 등 지속가능경영을 위해 지속적으로 노력을 기울이고 있다.

 


          

World - United Nations opens two-week climate change summit in Madrid

 Cache   
MADRID - The United Nations opened a two-week climate summit in Madrid on Monday, where world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert...
          

Maybe we should listen to the message

 Cache   

A new United Nations report projects that the world's average temperature will hit 3.9°C above pre-industrial levels in 80 years without massive, immediate cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. The additional energy the atmosphere has absorbed in the 80 years has given us the perfect Thanksgiving weekend travel environment:

Not one, not two, but three powerful storm systems will make travel difficult to near impossible at times both before and after Thursday’s holiday.

A record-breaking “bomb cyclone” crashed ashore in the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday night, bringing winds gusting over 160 km/h and feet of snow in some areas. That storm system will continue to dump snow in the Sierra Nevada while bringing heavy rain, coastal flooding and even isolated thunderstorms to Southern California. It will also spread rain and snow into Utah, Nevada and Colorado.

Meanwhile, a “kitchen sink” storm barreling through the Plains and Upper Midwest has already manifested itself in offering the worst of every season. Tornadoes touched down in Louisiana, while thundersnow and thundersleet rattled Nebraska. This is coming on the heels of Denver’s snowiest day in three years.

The snow is targeting the Great Lakes this hour, as strong winds spread over much of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. The winds, gusting up to 97 km/h at times, threaten to snarl air travel into and out of Chicago’s major hubs at O’Hare and Midway airports.

And that’s not all. The same upper-level disturbance that helped spin up the West Coast bomb cyclone will generate a third potent storm to the east. It will probably impact the eastern half of the Lower 48 this weekend.

Right now at O'Hare winds are 38 km/h gusting to 70 km/h with a peak gust of 98 km/h recorded at 10:11 this morning. As my first flight instructor used to say, "Mights gonna to be a bit vindy."


          

Global Compact Network Canada Recognizes Private Sector Accelerators in Advancing SDGs

 Cache   

The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) hosted the 4th Annual Canadian SDG Leadership Awards to recognize organizations from the private, not-for-profit, and academic sectors across Canada with the goal of highlighting their leadership excellence in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Canadian SDG Awards is one of our flagship programs that recognizes the accelerators from the private sector for their contributions in achieving the SDGs”, said Ayman Chowdhury, Head of Secretariat of the GCNC. “The program showcases the value that the private sector brings to solving the most pressing sustainability challenges and offers an opportunity for others to learn about and contribute to the Global Goals,” he added.  The awards gala on Thursday, November 14th brought together more than 100 business leaders and sustainability professionals from across the country. 

The 4th installment of the awards program received great interest as the total number of applicants rose from sixteen last year, to thirty this year. The winners were selected based on combined weighted scores from public votes and peer reviews and were recognized in three main categories: large enterprises, small/medium enterprises (SME) and non-governmental organizations (NGO) respectively. The top three winners from the large enterprise category are Lundin Gold (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), BASF Canada (SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals) and Manulife Investment Management (SDG: 17: Partnership for the Goals).

“The SDG Leadership Awards Gala on November 14th demonstrated that Canada is well positioned to become a strong global leader in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Amy Sandhu, Manager of Sustainability and Government Relations at BASF Canada. “BASF Canada was inspired by our fellow award winners and their unique approaches to tackling some of the world’s toughest sustainability challenges. We’d like to thank the Global Compact Network Canada for their continued dedication to guiding their members with tools and resources to achieve the SDGs. We’re honoured to have won the award for SDG 17, Partnership for the Goals, and we look forward to collaborating with other network members on achieving progress toward the SDGs in the future!”

The top three winners from the SME category are: Matrix360 (SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities), E.T. Jackson & Associates (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), and R&G Strategic Communications (SDG: 17: Partnership for the Goals).

“It was an honour to be recognized as a winner in the SME category at the 2019 Global Compact Network Canada SDG Leadership Awards. Matrix360 is passionate about our responsibility as partners for equity and inclusion in the private sector and we are deliberate in the way we demonstrate our commitment to enhancing the spaces we participate in. We look forward to continue to elevate a new tone for business, with a global and inclusive mindset for the future of the workplace and contribute to the advancement of the SDGs,” said David Bendea, Manager of Communications & Engagement at Matrix360. 

The top three winners from the NGO category are: CODE (SDG 4: Quality Education), Université Laval (SDG 13: Climate Action), and WaterAid Canada (SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation).

“Université Laval is honoured to receive this award. In recent years, our university has stepped up actions to reduce its climate footprint, whether by achieving carbon neutrality, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions at the source, or by implementing a voluntary compensation program. This honor is shared with our 43 000 students and 10 000 employee,” said Pierre Lemay, Assistant to the Vice Director – External Affairs, International Affairs, and Health at Université Laval

Earlier this year, GCNC also concluded one of its most applauded programs, the

Reporting Peer Review program, a platform for companies to exchange constructive feedback, share best practices and improve their corporate sustainability reporting processes. Suncor's annual Sustainability Report received great appreciation from its industry peers and came out on top of the program’s 9th installment. 

The GCNC has also identified Lindsay Verhaeghe, Sustainability Initiatives Manager at Nutrien, as the 2019 Canadian SDG Pioneer. After winning the local round in Canada, Lindsay went on to compete on the global stage and was also named the UN Global Compact’s 2019 SDG Pioneer for Sustainability Goal Setting. 

About the Global Compact Network Canada

Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact – a network of companies and organizations committed to building sustainable business solutions and advancing the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The GCNC supports corporate sustainability among Canadian businesses by spearheading the SDGs and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact. In doing so, it unifies and builds the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for peer-learning, innovation and multi-stakeholder collaboration. 

To learn more about GCNC, visit our website www.globalcompact.ca and follow us on social media @globalcompactCA


          

U.N. aims to put a price on carbon at critical climate talks

 Cache   
U.N. aims to put a price on carbon at critical climate talks

At around 3 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2015 — essentially the very last minute — U.N. negotiators added a critical element to the historic Paris climate accords, the agreement aimed to dramatically reduce civilization's emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

This late-night addition, called "Article 6," proposes a plan for putting a price on carbon, which would make burning oil, gas, and coal increasingly expensive, and less attractive. But four years later, the U.N.'s 193 members have yet to agree on how to make this carbon-pricing scheme work. 

It's a glaring piece of unfinished, ruthlessly complex business — but it will now be completed. At least, that's the plan. Read more...

More about Science, United Nations, Climate Change, Science, and Climate Environment
          

Third Graders ‘Breakout’ Newfound Knowledge

 Cache   
Third, fourth and fifth graders from throughout the district are experiencing a new form of enrichment during their school day with the district’s Flight School program. Facilitated by Flight School instructors Meghan Ceglie and Corinne Teichman, the new enrichment-for-all program allows students to explore high interest units of study through interactive learning experiences. Throughout the school year, students are introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students participate in three separate modules where they learn about worldly issues and transform into engineers to solve problems. Each class experiences Flight School during the course of a two-day period at their home school with their respective Flight School instructor. Recently, third graders at Marion Street, Waverly Park and West End elementary schools learned about animal adaptations, biomes and invasive species during Flight School. The students put their new knowledge to the test as they participated in a Breakout EDU activity with a group of their classmates. Breakout EDU takes the popular escape room concept and brings it into the classroom as an immersive learning game. Students received a small lockbox with six different locks that they needed to open, using their newfound knowledge. The third graders worked together to find the correct combinations. Flight School instructors and classroom teachers helped guide students. After successfully unlocking their six locks, the students eagerly opened their lockboxes to find a surprise. The activity was not only enjoyable for the students but it also encouraged communication, strategy, teamwork and strong critical thinking skills. “I thought it was pretty fun,” said West End third grader Annabel Jahn. “I learned that there are way more biomes than I thought there were and it was really exciting to finally open the lockbox because we didn’t know what was in there.” On the second day of Flight School, third graders participated in an engineering challenge where they created adaptations to help their paper frog species survive in its habitat.
          

A/74/555

 Cache   
LETTER DATED 18 NOVEMBER 2019 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ARMENIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          

A/74/7/ADD.15

 Cache   
ACABQ RPT: PROGRESS ON THE REPLACEMENT OF OFFICE BLOCKS A�J AT THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE AT NAIROBI
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          

E/CN.5/2020/6

 Cache   
NOMINATION OF MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF THE UNITED NATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: NOTE BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          

S/2019/904

 Cache   
LETTER DATED 21 NOVEMBER 2019 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF YEMEN TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          

S/2019/905

 Cache   
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION STABILIZATION MISSION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          

S/2019/907

 Cache   
LETTER DATED 26 NOVEMBER 2019 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          

African Migrants Among 20 Civilians Killed In Attacks On Yemen Within A Week ' U.N

 Cache   
African migrants were among at least 20 civilians killed this week in two attacks on a market in northern Yemen where migrants are known to congregate as they make their way to wealthy Gulf states in search of a better life, the United Nations said. The U.N. statement, issued on Thursday, did not specify the []The post African Migrants Among 20 Civilians Killed In Attacks On Yemen Within A Week U.N appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
          

Climate talks open in Madrid amid 'growing crisis

 Cache   
Political leaders and climate diplomats are to meet in Madrid, Spain, for two weeks of talks amid a growing sense of crisis.According to the United Nations Secretary-General, Antnio Guterres, the point of no return is no longer over the horizon.'Meanwhile, Save the Children said that climate shocks have left millions in Africa facing hunger.The charity said 33 million people are at emergency levels of food insecurity due to cyclones and droughts.Continue reading Climate talks open in Madrid
          

Fake police officer held in Enugu

 Cache   
suspected impersonator identified as Samuel Eze has been arrested by operatives of the Enugu State police command.A statement by the commands spokesman, Superintendent Ebere Amaraizu said the suspect was arrested along Mgbemena axis of the state while dressed in an attire resembling that of police officers on United Nations mission.Amaraizu said the suspect before his arrest had claimed to be a police officer.But he was not able to buttress his claim with a convincing proof before the police off
          

STATE OF THE NATION: Our leaders 're dividing us ' Nwagbara

 Cache   
Chief Joel Nwagbara, mni, will be 80 on December 4. The elderstateman, who has written his autobiography: Divine Designs, was second secretary at the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations, New York between 1966 and 1967, and one of those who did the paper work for the establishment of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the state of the nation, how he survived the civil war, how to avert another civil war and how to make Nigeria take he
          

STATE OF THE NATION: Our leaders 're dividing us ' Nwagbara

 Cache   
Chief Joel Nwagbara, mni, will be 80 on December 4. The elderstateman, who has written his autobiography: Divine Designs, was second secretary at the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations, New York between 1966 and 1967, and one of those who did the paper work for the establishment of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the state of the nation, how he survived the civil war, how to avert another civil war and how to make Nigeria take he
          

UNHCR organises campaign against GBV in CRiver

 Cache   
Ada Wodu, Calabar The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has started its 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign in the Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State. The campaign, with the theme, End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work, was commenced with a walk by officials of the UNHCR, partners,
          

UNICEF, Kaduna counsel 184,825 youths on HIV in Jemaa

 Cache   
The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Kaduna state government has counselled 184, 825 youths on HIV/AIDS in Jemaa Local Government Area of the state between 2016 to date. Coordinator, Local Action Committee on AIDS in the council, Mrs. Shafaatu Isiyaku, disclosed this in an interview in Kafanchan on Sunday. Isiyaku said []The post UNICEF, Kaduna counsel 184,825 youths on HIV in Jemaa appeared first on Daily Times Nigeria. Nigeria News from Nigeria Newspapers
          

UNICEF, Kaduna Govt. counsel 184,825 youths on HIV in Jema'a

 Cache   
Tribune OnlineUNICEF, Kaduna Govt. counsel 184,825 youths on HIV in Jema'aThe United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government, has counselled 184,825 youths on HIV/AIDS in Jema'a Local Government Area (LGA) of the state between 2016 to date. The Coordinator, Local Action Committee on AIDS in the council, Mrs Shafaatu Isiyaku, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of []UNICEF, Kaduna Govt. counsel 184,825 youths on HIV in Jem
          

War against nature must stop,' U.N. chief says before climate talks

 Cache   
The world must stop a "war against nature" and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid. Around the world, extreme weather ranging from wildfires to floods is being linked to manmade global warming, putting pressure on the summit to strengthen the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting the rise in temperature. "Our war against nature mus
          

A Hidden Reality for Adolescent Girls: Child, Early and Forced Marriages and Unions in Latin America and the Caribbean

 Cache   
Publication Date
Monday, July 1, 2019

"[T]raditional social structures, gender norms, legal frameworks, political institutions and economic arrangements together create unhelpful or harmful constraints and challenges for vulnerable girls and women in the eight study countries."

Across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 2017, 23% of women aged 20-24 had been married or in union by age 18 and 5% by age 15. This research focuses on LAC adolescent girls in child, early, and forced marriages and unions (CEFMUs) to make their specific needs visible, with the aim of working to change the social norms that perpetuate this violation of their human rights. Plan International and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) conducted the regional study across Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru.

leer más


          

School-based Violence Prevention: A Practical Handbook

 Cache   
Author: 
Sara Wood
Karen Hughes
Mark Bellis
Publication Date
Year: 
2019

<

p>Being a victim of interpersonal violence in childhood has lifelong impacts on education, health, and well-being. Schools can be places to address this global problem, such as by challenging some of the harmful social and cultural norms that tolerate violence towards others (for example, gender-based violence, or GBV). Produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), with contributions from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this handbook includes a step-by-step guide for school officials and education authorities to implement a whole-school approach to violence prevention.

leer más


          

November 30 Energy News

 Cache   
Opinion: ¶ “Is The World Ready To End The Coal Era And Embrace Clean Energy?” • Despite the United Nations calling urgently for an end to fossil fuels, hundreds of coal-fired power stations are being built. Is the world ready for a new era of clean, cheap energy for all? The UN is ramping up […]
          

UN Summit To Hear Call For Rich Nations To Pay Climate Reparations

 Cache   
Officials at the United Nations COP25 climate change conference in Madrid next week must consider implementing taxes on developed countries to transfer wealth to nations dealing with “the cost of drought, floods, and superstorms made worse by rising temperatures,” more than 150 environmental groups said Friday. The financial impositions being considered include U.N.-administered taxes on financial transactions, […]
          

Apocalypse Redux: UN Warns Of ‘Mass Extinction’ From Climate Change

 Cache   
The United Nations has threatened governments that unless they strengthen their Paris climate pledges, the world will face “mass extinctions” and “large parts of the planet” will be uninhabitable. A new UN Environment Program (UNEP) report warns that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6 percent each year between 2020 and 2030, we will […]
          

AP reports: Cyprus to tighten controls on crossings across ethnic divide

 Cache   
AP reports from Nicosia that a Cypriot official says there will be additional controls on people crossings at nine checkpoints along a United Nations-controlled buffer zone that runs across the ethnically split east Mediterranean island nation. In a bid to stem illegal migration, Cyprus’ interior minister,
          

Professions: ICT Architect - Dallas, Texas

 Cache   
Date: Oct 1, 2019 Job Summary:We are now looking for an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Architect. You will have the ability to build principles, models and guidelines from strategies. You will convert requirements to develop cost efficient solutions that are consistent between business, information and technology. You will, also interact with internal stakeholders and external customers to define and provide solutions improving their competitive position. Finally, to act as an internal consultant for the many IT areas.Responsibilities: 5 years' or more experience within IT Security and Network Ericsson Network infrastructure knowledge and understanding Academic exam in Computer science or similar IT security highly developed skills Core Network architecture skills Understanding of general Process of Operation, maintenance & planning. Key Qualifications: --- Education: bachelors in Computer Science, or Electrical Engineering --- Min years of experience: 5 years --- Domain experience: Ericsson IT Security and Network --- Architect expertise within Security, Enterprise Network, WiFi, Certificates, Cloud (IBM/Amazon/Azure). DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of employees assigned to this position. Therefore employees assigned may be required to perform additional job tasks required by the manager. We are proud to be an EEO/AA employer M/F/Disabled/Veterans. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform pre-employment substance abuse testing. Ericsson provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, ethnic background, age, disability, political opinion, social status, protected veteran status, union membership or genetics information. Ericsson complies with applicable country, state and all local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location across the world in which the company has facilities. In addition, Ericsson supports the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the United Nations Global Compact. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, training and development. Ericsson expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, ethnic background, age, disability, political opinion, social status, protected veteran status, union membership or genetic information. Ericsson will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by Ericsson or (c) consistent with Ericssons legal duty to furnish information. Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice - Employers are generally prohibited from requiring or requesting any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, and from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee or prospective employee for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the Act. For more information, visit https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/eppac.pdf. Ericsson is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for qualified disabled individuals during the application and hiring process. Ericsson will make modifications or adjustments to the job application or interview process that will enable a qualified applicant to be considered for a position. If you require an accommodation due to a disability, please contact Ericsson at hr.direct.dallas@ericsson.com or (866) 374-2272 (US) or (877) 338-9966 (Canada) for further assistance. Primary country and city: United States (US) -- -- Dallas -- IT ()
          

United Nations opens two-week climate change summit in Madrid

 Cache   
The United Nations opened a two-week climate summit in Madrid on Monday, where world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.
          

Climate point-of-no-return 'hurtling towards us', UN warns

 Cache   
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered a sharp rebuke to world leaders on Sunday, ahead of a climate conference in Madrid. David Doyle reports.
          

Abiy Ahmed fanning instability in Somalia, S. Sudan: UN reports

 Cache   

Just months after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is fighting accusations of his interfering with the affairs of neighbouring countries. In November, two United Nations reports accused him of being lukewarm in South Sudan peace process and fuelling fires of instability in Somalia; two of the countries he has been closely involved in as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. In South Sudan, where Igad midwifed a revitalised peace agreement in September last year, Abiy’s government, Uganda and Kenya were accused of being inconsistent in ensuring the deal is implemented. PEACE PROCESS “Over the past year, the Igad and member states neighbouring South Sudan – specifically Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda – have not demonstrated full and consistent engagement in the peace process,” a UN report said. “The government of Salva Kiir, in particular, has benefited from the inconsistent approach of the region.” Ethiopia, which chaired Igad until last Friday, and Kenya have only given piecemeal support, with occasional visits or bilateral meetings, the report by the UN Panel of Experts says. Both countries refute the charge, separately saying that they have in fact borne the brunt of violence in South Sudan by hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and losing business. On Friday, Ethiopia’s ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem told the Nation that the allegations do not hold water. “One of the pillars of Ethiopian foreign policy is non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. That is our track record,” Meles said. “As a good neighbour, we have only played constructive roles.” REFUGEES Kenya on the other hand accused the UN team of passing the buck, arguing that Kenya suffers whenever South Sudan is at war as its businesses close and it hosts refugees. This past week, a number of Somali politicians have been vocal, accusing Ethiopia of helping the federal government interfere with the states. The Forum for National Parties (FNP), the coalition which brings together six parties, wrote to Abiy telling him to stop “the unfortunate renewal of Ethiopia’s involvement in Somalia’s domestic politics”. The politicians said Ethiopia is deploying non-Amisom forces in the country, referring to the African Union Mission in Somalia. “The Ethiopian National Defence Forces have been repeatedly involved in illegal activities whose outcome could at best undermine the fragile state-building and nascent democratic processes in Somalia,” they wrote on Friday. The FNP letter came on the backdrop of complaints by the Jubbaland administration following two incidents in Gedo. Jubbaland, whose president is Ahmed Madobe, said Ethiopian soldiers forced administrators in Buala Hawa, Dolow and Luuq towns in Gedo region to renounce their allegiance to Jubbaland. In another incident, Jubbaland Vice President Mohamud Sayyid reportedly sought refuge in Mandera, Kenya after escaping a kidnapping attempt by Ethiopian forces. MALTREATMENT Pressed, Jubbaland and FNP did not provide proof of the maltreatment. Meles told the Sunday Nation that his country’s role in South Sudan and Somalia have been limited to the peace process. He said Ethiopia deploys peacekeepers who follow available regulations. “We have played a constructive role under the auspices of Igad to bring peace and stability in the two countries. In fact, Ethiopia hosts a million refugees and we treat them as our citizens,” the diplomat said. Accusations against Ethiopia began in Somalia last year. A UN Panel of Experts on Somalia in its 2019 report said Ethiopia had interfered with the vote in South West where Mukhtar Rubow – a former al-Shabaab deputy head – was barred from running. When South West residents protested, forces loyal to Rubow fought Ethiopian soldiers, resulting in several deaths, the UN experts said. “The role of the Ethiopian forces in the arrest of Rubow has the potential to inflame anti-Ethiopian sentiment among communities in the region, who were previously known to share information on al-Shabaab movements with them,” the panel said. Ethiopia, at the time dismissed the report as a fabrication. As Somalia’s Galmudug state gears for its elections, politicians accuse Addis Ababa of playing a role again. By The Eastafrica

The post Abiy Ahmed fanning instability in Somalia, S. Sudan: UN reports appeared first on Alleastafrica.


          

'This is a mission and we are still in it,' Pelosi tells Climate Conference

 Cache   
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday attended the opening of the United Nations conference on climate change in Madrid, pledging U.S. commitment to the fight against global warming.
          

Women empowerment key: UN

 Cache   

Women and girls bear the brunt of poverty and deserve economic, social and political rights as their male counterparts, a top United Nations (UN) official has said. BY VANESSA GONYE Officiating at the launch of Women in Africa Initiative in Harare on Saturday, UN resident co-ordinator, Maria Ribeiro said: “I feel honoured to share the UN perspective on women empowerment as a driver of inclusive growth and addressing social issues such as gender-based violence that disproportionately affects women compared to men.” “I am inspired by Women in Africa’s dedication to the economic development of Africa and their commitment to supporting leading and high potential African women…your initiative’s focus on the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe is a powerful indication of the Women in Africa’s commitment to uplift the lives of rural women who are the majority.” She noted with concern the undermining of the women in agriculture despite providing 70% of the labour. “Despite constituting the larger percentage of the agricultural labour force, women are still confronted with issues such as less access to assets, credit services and markets,” she said. She said the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals cannot be fulfilled without empowering women and girls and ensuring gender equality, particularly those in rural areas. Ambassador of Women in Africa Initiative in Zimbabwe, Laureen Adam said agriculture could be a great wealth generator for the continent, but it cannot be a path to prosperity if farmers don’t get training in improved farming techniques and services. “Government policies will be key to removing obstacles faced by women farmers and creating an enabling environment for them to thrive,” she said.

The post Women empowerment key: UN appeared first on NewsDay Zimbabwe.


          

Zimbabwe: UN Fears for Children As Situation Worsens

 Cache   
[263Chat] The United Nations (UN) says the deplorable socio-economic conditions in Zimbabwe continue to pose a danger to children who have turned to social ills for survival.
          

Zimbabwe: UN Food Envoy - Children Underweight Due to Hunger

 Cache   
[New Zimbabwe] Chronic malnutrition and stunting is endemic throughout the country, where 90 percent of children aged 6 to 24 months only consume the minimal diet in order to survive, United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food Hilal Elver has said.
          

08/12/2020 - Indigenous Awareness Training Level 2: Implementing an Indigenous Strategy & Hiring/Retention for Business with John Lagimodiere

 Cache   
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is committed to the Calls to Action from the TRC Report, particularly those related to business. As stated in Call to Action 92, we encourage the business community to "provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal Crown relations."

Please join John Lagimodiere with ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services for a day of information and learning through the SCC's programming, Indigenous Awareness Training Level 2: Implementing an Indigenous Strategy & Hiring/Retention for Business.

This advanced session will cover how to implement an Indigenous strategy for your business as well as information on hiring and retaining Indigenous employees. Attendees should have already attended Indigenous Awareness Training Level 1: Myths & Misconceptions, or have a base level knowledge of the history of Saskatchewan's Indigenous & Metis peoples as well as the TRC Calls to Action.  

ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services is a past ABEX winner and is currently contracted to provide Aboriginal Awareness training to all provincial government employees. PostashCorp is also a previous client of ACS. John Lagimodiere, ACS President, has a close relationship with the SCC and was co-MC for the 2017 ABEX Awards.

2-hour street parking is available around the SCC offices. There are also several Impark lots nearby.

 
          

08/12/2020 - Indigenous Awareness Training Level 2: Implementing an Indigenous Strategy & Hiring/Retention for Business with John Lagimodiere

 Cache   
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is committed to the Calls to Action from the TRC Report, particularly those related to business. As stated in Call to Action 92, we encourage the business community to "provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal Crown relations."

Please join John Lagimodiere with ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services for a day of information and learning through the SCC's programming, Indigenous Awareness Training Level 2: Implementing an Indigenous Strategy & Hiring/Retention for Business.

This advanced session will cover how to implement an Indigenous strategy for your business as well as information on hiring and retaining Indigenous employees. Attendees should have already attended Indigenous Awareness Training Level 1: Myths & Misconceptions, or have a base level knowledge of the history of Saskatchewan's Indigenous & Metis peoples as well as the TRC Calls to Action.  

ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services is a past ABEX winner and is currently contracted to provide Aboriginal Awareness training to all provincial government employees. PostashCorp is also a previous client of ACS. John Lagimodiere, ACS President, has a close relationship with the SCC and was co-MC for the 2017 ABEX Awards.

2-hour street parking is available around the SCC offices. There are also several Impark lots nearby.


 
          

08/11/2020 - Indigenous Awareness Training Level 1: Myths & Misconceptions with John Lagimodiere

 Cache   
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is committed to the Calls to Action from the TRC Report, particularly those related to business. As stated in Call to Action 92, we encourage the business community to "provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal Crown relations."

Please join John Lagimodiere with ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services for a day of information and learning through the SCC's programming, Indigenous Awareness Training Level 1: Myths & Misconceptions.  

This introductory session will cover the history of Saskatchewan's Indigenous & Metis peoples from pre-contact to today, including Treaties and the TRC Calls to Action. This session is a prerequisite to Indigenous Awareness Training Level 2: Implementing an Indigenous Strategy and Hiring/Retention for Business, taking place on October 8th, 2019. 


ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services is a past ABEX winner and is currently contracted to provide Aboriginal Awareness training to all provincial government employees. PostashCorp is also a previous client of ACS. John Lagimodiere, ACS President, has a close relationship with the SCC and was co-MC for the 2017 ABEX Awards.

2-hour street parking is available around the SCC offices. There are also several Impark lots nearby.

Lunch is included in the registration fee.         
Please advise of any dietary restrictions on your registration form.

 
          

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Still Rising, U.N. Report Says

 Cache   
A United Nations report warns that greenhouse gas emissions from the world's largest economies must drop dramatically in the next decade to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
          

Seabourn extends UNESCO partnership to continue support of World Heritage preservation

 Cache   
Seabourn, the world's leading small ship cruise line, has signed an agreement to extend its official partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a unique alliance to help protect World Heritage.  The five-year extension will continue to foster wider support and understanding in the travel industry and among travelers for UNESCO's mission of identifying, safeguarding and promoting unique cultural and natural heritage around the world ...
          

Brazil's climate negotiators in dark on Bolsonaro's aims - sources

 Cache   
Brazil's negotiators already face a tough job at United Nations climate talks, given anger at President Jair Bolsonaro's stance on the Amazon, but it has become doubly difficult as they are in the dark on their own government's aims.

          

United Nations opens two-week climate change summit in Madrid

 Cache   
The United Nations opened a two-week climate summit in Madrid on Monday, where world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.

          

Climate crisis: what is COP and can it save the world?

 Cache   

As the 25th summit of the UN’s conference of the parties begins, we examine whether it works – and what the future holds

For almost three decades, world governments have met every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, every country on earth is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change”, and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way.

Continue reading...
          

Getting and Keeping a Foot in the Door: Strategies by Migrant and Informal Sector Women to Remain Relevant in the Labour Market

 Cache   

This work was supported by Mistra Urban Futures

Abstract

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 8 focus on gender equality; decent work and economic growth respectively. The achievement of these goals requires a realization that gender parity is significant to the growth of global economies, and that meaningful inclusion of women in the labour market is a major contributor to reducing the global gender gap. Over the years, there has been an increase in the participation of women in the labour market. Despite the various measures put in place, this inclusion continues to be hampered by structural and cultural factors. However stereotypic roles and responsibilities as well as systematic structural inequalities within the labour market continue to serve as barriers to optimal involvement and participation in gainful employment. This article seeks to explore these gender related inequalities that threaten to exacerbate women’s economic vulnerability and dependence for specific localized groups of women in Kenya and Sweden. Using a framework based on structure, culture and agency, the article illuminates how these women navigate challenges presented by the nature of the job, multiplicity of roles and language as an empowering tool. Key insights from the study established that the women in the different contexts experienced similar threats and used their agency to maneuver these so as to participate as effectively as they could in the labour market. The coping mechanisms employed by these women present opportunities for policy makers and advisors in both contexts to explore in the quest to improve women’s participation in the workforce.

Keywords: Gender, Labour Market, Migrants, Informal Sector, Social Networks, Agency.

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-22-02

Publication date: November 30th 2019


          

UNDP and stakeholders validate Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initiative final report

 Cache   
A Koloale student buying food served in a stainless steel bowl in Week 13.


THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), relevant national stakeholders and representatives from five schools in Honiara took part in the final validation workshop within the “Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initiative”, in Honiara on Tuesday 26th November 2019.

Koloale, Florence Young, Emmaus, St Nicholas, and Honiara High School have been part of an experiment which applied behavioural insights methods. For 13 weeks, starting in late July, two schemes were introduced in schools during lunchtimes to reduce single-use plastic:  Deposit Return and Discount Schemes.  The Solomon Islands National University (SINU) students were also actively engaged in collecting data and analysis arising from this test trial. 

Results of this experiment are interesting and promising: for instance, the Deposit Return scheme showed that most students brought back the reusable containers after finishing food to collect a small deposit back from the vendors. The Discount Scheme was most successful amongst kindergarten and primary school students, while among the secondary school students, it was seen as “not cool” to bring a lunch box from home. 

Coping with the increasing use of single plastic products and managing waste is a growing concern for Honiara city. As this trial shows, changing behavior and raising awareness offers new ways for addressing this challenge across the Solomon Islands. 

The findings of this initiative will be captured in a report which will offer useful insights to the Government of Solomon Islands as it implements the national waste management and pollution control strategy. The report also makes a recommendation to phase out single-use plastics in the Solomon Islands starting next year.

The Waste Management Innovation Initiative was supported by UNDP, through funding from the Government of Denmark in partnership with the Government of Solomon Islands (SIG).

 


          

Solomon Islands farewells 13th Commissioner of Police    

 Cache   
Outgoing Commissioner Varley hands over the 'sword' to the Acting Commissioner Mangau.


Solomon Islands has farewelled the 13th Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Matthew Varley, MBE during a ceremony at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara today (29 November 2019).

During the ceremony witnessed by the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi, Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare; Minister of Police, Hon. Anthony Veke; Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer as well as other dignitaries and senior RSIPF officers from Honiara and the provinces as well as ranks and files, outgoing Commissioner Varley handed the ‘sword’ over to Acting Commissioner of Police, Mostyn Mangau. 

H.E The Governor-General Sir David swore in the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mangau during a ceremony at Government House early today. A new Commissioner of Police to replace outgoing Commissioner Varley is yet to be announced.

In his final speech, which covered a wide range of issues including achievements during his three-year term, outgoing Commissioner Varley said: 

“It has been the greatest honour of my professional life to serve as your Commissioner since 25 January 2017. Since my appointment, I have had the privilege of working with many RSIPF officers and visiting most police stations, both in Honiara and the Provinces. 

And I have been proud to lead these great officers, and contribute in some small way, at such a momentous period in history for the Solomon Islands.

I have often said, that this police force is the NEW RSIPF. I say new because we believe that the RSIPF has been re-built from the ground up since the dark days of our history back in the Tension era of the early 2000’s.

Today, we are almost precisely two and a half years on from the end of RAMSI. But we in the RSIPF prefer not to reflect on to that period as the end of RAMSI. 

Rather we say that it marked the start of the new chapter in our history when our police force took back full responsibility for providing national security and law & order for the Solomon Islands. 

A new start.

And I am pleased to report that the RSIPF is in very good shape.

It is a well-trained, capable and effective organization, filled with talented officers who want to serve their nation, and led by committed and dedicated senior officers of integrity.  I believe the RSIPF is now the best Police Force in the Pacific.”

In the achievements of the RSIPF during his tenure, outgoing Commissioner Varley said:

“We’ve had the rearmament of the RSIPF specialist teams including the PRT and CPP. We’ve successfully implemented the Crime Prevention Strategy and are about to launch the second generation version for the next few years.

We’ve implemented more than 85% of the Capability Plan’s 170 objectives to keep building the organization in so many areas. We’ve added 133 police positions to grow to our largest ever strength of 1554, while recruiting more than 210 new constables.

We’ve launched the first-ever RSIPF Gender Strategy to improve the policing profession for women and recruited more women officers than ever before.

We’ve become a member of INTERPOL and are connected to international law enforcement. We’ve deployed officers to peacekeeping missions at the United Nations.

We’ve signed new MOUs of cooperation with PNG, Vanuatu and Australia to fight transnational crime in our region, and it bore results when we seized 500kg of cocaine in our harbor in 2018 and helped Australian authorities convict two Sydney based international drug traffickers.

We are now training other Pacific Police Forces to give back to our friends after they spend so many years when they helped us.

Most importantly, the RSIPF has kept the community safe and earned public trust, as particularly demonstrated during the testing period of the 2019 National General Election. 

The National General Elections and the subsequent riots which occurred following the Prime Minister’s election were our greatest test yet. We must always remember that Polling Day on April 3rd was a tremendous success for us. 

Voters turned out in record numbers and people in the community told us they felt it was the safest polling day since Independence.

But when the riots erupted on April 24th, the brave women and men of the RSIPF defended and secured our capital city. At the same time, we showed our expertise and cultural sensitivity by working with local communities to defuse tensions, engage our people and avert ongoing troubles.

This event, although we wish it had never happened, was stark proof to the people and Government of Solomon Islands that this police force is ready, capable and so courageously willing to do its job.

These successes do not come readily, nor are the battles easily won. They are the result of dogged hard work by our team. 

Perhaps a few years ago, many people would have said that these achievements were possible, or that the RSIPF was not capable of such things.

We are proud to have proved them wrong.

The new RSIPF of today is a capable, modern, responsive and very well-run organization, due in no small part to the sheer commitment and hard work of all of my officers, along with a very committed and professional senior leadership team.

There is no doubt that the culture, capacity, and capability of the RSIPF has continued to develop strongly over the last three years.

Much of this improvement has been due to our continual and unrelenting emphasis on developing accountable, values-based leadership within the senior executive team and across the police force.”

As a parting message to the more than 1400 police officers serving throughout the Solomon Islands, Outgoing Commissioner Varley said:

Always Remember the RSIPF Values. Without them, we are nothing.

The future of the RSIPF – its performance, reputation, and capability – rests with you all. Believe in yourself and your ability as a team to achieve our mission. Together, you will drive the RSIPF forward.

Remember my three P rule:

Pride, performance and professionalism.”

Outgoing Police Commissioner Varley and his family leave Honiara tomorrow.

 


          

Bank of England governor Mark Carney appointed UN envoy for climate action

 Cache   
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has been appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. Mr Carney will take up his new post once his term as governor ends on 31 January 2020. The announcement comes ahead of COP25, t
          

Mission for farming: Keesling a spokesperson for Kansas grains

 Cache   
CHASE — Growing up, Doug Keesling, the son of a farmer in Chase, never expected he would be a spokesperson for Kansas farmers in front of the U.S. Congress or at the United Nations. Neither did he ever imagine he would be on a U.S. president’s agricultural advisory committee. He was a farm kid, and now he’s a farmer — with a mission — to help his fellow farmers. Early lifeWhile in high school, he showed sheep [...]
          

English club set to bamboo-zle the opposition

 Cache   

Forest Green Rovers continue to confirm their status as the world's most green friendly club.

High-flying English fourth tier side Forest Green Rovers are to wear bamboo shin pads, furthering their claims to be the world's greenest football club, they announced on Monday. Forest Green, whose environmental credentials have been recognised by FIFA and the United Nations, had already become the first team to switch to bamboo kit at the beginning of the season. The club, presently second in League Two, are working with a US manufacturer of eco-friendly products on the bamboo shin pads. "Forest Green Rovers are the first professional club to switch to bamboo shin pads, moving away from current products made largely from plastic," the club said in a statement. "The low-profile shin pads are impact resistant and are anti-microbial." Forest Green chairman Dale Vince said bamboo was an ideal material for shin pads. "Bamboo is a natural wonder, a sustainable material that’s ridiculously strong and ultra-lightweight, making it perfect for shin pads as well as better for the planet and for our players," he said. "Reducing plastic use is an important part of the fight against the climate crisis and sport has a vital role to play in this."
          

U.N. secretary-general appoints new special envoy for climate action ahead of COP25

 Cache   

Dec. 1 (UPI) --Bank of England head Mark Carney will serve as the United Nations' new special envoy for climate action, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced Sunday. Guterres announced ...
          

Hong Kong’s leaders have only one way out of the protest crisis – a broad, open and inclusive dialogue with the whole community

 Cache   
As United Nations high commissioner for human rights, I have been closely following the outbreak of mass protests across every region of the world this year. Demonstrators have taken to the streets for weeks on end, seeking to reclaim their economic, social, civil, political and cultural rights and pushing back against inequalities in all these spheres.We have witnessed inspiring peaceful, even celebratory demonstrations – and we have also witnessed the use of force by security forces as well…
          

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise Mitra Shakti 2019 begins

 Cache   
The 7th edition of joint military Army Exercise Mitra Shakti 2019 aimed at enhancing interoperability and operational efficiency between the armies of Sri Lanka and India when deployed as part of the United Nations peacekeeping forces commenced today at Aundh Military Station, Pune, India. MORE..
          

The Secretariats of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme and Jackson Wild announced today that they are teaming up to organize an international film showcase highlighting wildlife as an important component of biological diversity and how its conservation and sustainable use will help reduce the risk of unprecedented

 Cache   
none
          

John Kerry launches coalition to fight climate crisis: ‘We are way behind’

 Cache   

Bipartisan bloc aims to convince people that rapid action is required to halt carbon emissions within 30 years

Former US secretary of state and Democratic senator John Kerry has launched a new coalition of power-brokers, including top politicians, military leaders, and Hollywood celebrities, to fight for addressing the climate crisis.

This coalition – named World War Zero, in reference to the national security danger presented by global heating – aims to convince people that rapid mobilization is required to halt the increase in carbon emissions within 30 years. According to United Nations scientists, global carbon emissions must be halved by 2030 – and eliminated completely by 2050 – to restrict warming to comparatively safe levels.

Continue reading...
          

The Persecution of Julian Assange and its Implications for Canadian Press Freedom

 Cache   

Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange leaving the Royal Court of Justice in London, England on July 13, 2011. Photo from Flickr.

The case to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States seems to have little to do with Canadians at first glance, however, the truth is that this unprecedented challenge to press and democratic freedom concerns all of us.

The pursuit to imprison Assange started a decade ago when he published hundreds of thousands of classified documents belonging to the US government, detailing flagrant abuse and atrocities committed abroad by the United States, its military, its corporations, and their allies overseas (Canada included).

The response to the exposé of these numerous crimes by the US shows just how far a hegemonic superpower will go to hide them. It is a case that is remarkable not only for what it implies for freedom of the press in Canada and other countries, but for what it reveals about the extraterritorial power and reach of US imperialism. Above and beyond Assange himself, this case holds severe implications for all those engaged in questioning America’s hegemony and the structures it has created.

The Case Against Julian Assange

Assange’s trial has already commenced in London, where he is now being held in solitary confinement at a maximum security prison. He is currently fighting an extradition request from the US for publishing documents leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The Swedish preliminary investigation into alleged sexual misconduct has now officially been dropped (for the third time), meaning that Assange is being held exclusively in relation to the publication of US government documents.

The initial proceedings have demonstrated that the rule of law is dispensable when dealing with the Wikileaks founder. Having already been labeled a narcissist by the first presiding judge and denied bail pre-emptively by another, Assange’s fate now rests in the hands of the British legal system which has thus far rejected claims by the United Nations and others who have denounced the disproportionality and cruelty of his treatment.

Niels Melzer, the UN special rapporteur for torture, has repeatedly stated that Assange is exhibiting the symptoms of prolongued exposure to psychological torture and has called on the UK to cease its arbitrary detention and punitive measures. Assange’s father, John Shipton, has warned that his son may die in prison due to the extremely repressive conditions he faces.

For the crime of exposing war crimes, Assange is currently being held in a small jail cell for 23 hours a day, without access to the materials necessary to prepare his case. It is clear that if he is extradited to the US, he will likely never again emerge from prison, as he faces a severe sentence of 175 years for the simple offence of revealing the truth. Through this prosecution, the US authorities are sending a clear message against those who would dare pull on the thin curtain that covers their corruption.

Democratic and Press Freedoms

As Julian Assange is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917, his case holds significant implications for the publishing activities of all journalists, especially those who investigate governments, foreign policy and war. Passed in the context of America’s entry into the First World War and modelled on the UK’s Official Secrets Act, the Espionage Act criminalizes those who supposedly undermine US military interests. This law has historically been used to crush and silence dissent and to impede press freedoms - as was the case of famed American socialist and union leader Eugene Debs who dared to denounce US involvement in the First World War. The US responded to this criticism by imprisoning Debs for a decade.

Assange is being punished for publishing true information which is undeniably in the public interest. This, in principle, is the mandate of news publishers who should act so as to hold the powerful to account. What Wikileaks did in publishing the Iraq War Logs, Afghan War Diaries and Cablegate was no different than what the Washington Post did when publishing the Pentagon Papers leaked by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971. Furthermore, the documents published by Wikileaks were also featured by the Guardian, the New York Times and other mass media outlets. Still, despite the concerted effort among many to reveal the truth, Assange alone is being persecuted.

The use of the Espionage Act to indict Julian Assange constitutes a turning point in the war against the freedom of the press. If publishers can be prosecuted for publishing verified information, then the ability to accurately report on national security, foreign policy and war with a critical lens will be effectively prohibited.

With the Assange case, it appears this danger within US jurisdiction now extends to foreigners working beyond America’s borders. Assange is an Australian citizen, has never held US citizenship, and has only published his information abroad. All journalists who publish information that the US may consider to be damaging to its imperial interests are clearly at risk of political imprisonment. In the era of the Trump presidency, one can imagine the seriousness of this threat for all those who dare speak the truth about the superpower’s abuses.

The threat posed to press freedom also effectively undermines all other democratic rights. The inability to understand how one’s government is operating within the world or how it is interacting with the world’s most powerful players prevents real democratic engagement. Citizens who are not informed cannot act effectively. A society without a free press and freedom of expression is not a democratic society. Through Espionage Act and its prosecution of whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou, Bill Binney, Reality Winner and others, the US has revealed itself to be closer to an autocratic police state than to the democracy it purports itself to be.

What about Canada?

If the US Department of Justice can go after an Australian citizen so ruthlessly, we can assume they would do the same to any Canadian publisher or journalist that also chose to reveal more uncomfortable truths about American Empire. Canada’s national security establishment is profoundly tied to that of the US and is thus heavily impacted by how the superpower conducts itself within the world. In fact, a leaked US diplomatic memo from 2017 reveals that the current Trudeau administration is pursuing an ‘America First’ policy. Ben Norton, an American investigative journalist with the Greyzone Project wrote that “The memo offers the most concrete evidence to date that the United States sees Ottawa as an imperial subject and considers Canadian foreign policy as subordinate to its own.” This means that access to information about US dealings is also undeniably in the public interest of Canadians. This memo makes explicit the ways in which our foreign policy is vassalized by the United States.

As the future is marked by uncertainties linked to an increasing and unsustainable disparity of wealth, the rise of racist nationalism, and a warming climate, conflict and war are increasingly concerning. Moreover, considering the volatility of the current American administration, it is easy to imagine that Canada may soon find itself wrapped up in another illegal US-led military intervention in another country. It is, therefore, essential that our press and our reporters be able to publish and analyze objects of US foreign policy.

Already, we see that the Assange case is having larger repercussions - in July 2019, the Australian national broadcaster, the ABC, was raided by federal agents in relation to the publication of stories on Australian involvement in the Afghan war. This explicit act of intimidation directed towards journalists demonstrates the increasingly fierce measures being taken by those who seek to censor the press.

In the current climate, it is far from inconceivable that such an attack on the press could take place in Canada and gravely undermine our ability to hold our government to account. For this reason, the Canadian press must join with others in firmly condemning the prosecution of the Wikileaks founder and demand that Assange be freed. Failure to do so not only endangers their ability to do their jobs but also threatens the very foundation of our democracy. This fight concerns all of us - accordingly we need to pay attention and understand what is at stake.

Elizabeth Leier is a freelance journalist and graduate student at Concordia University in Montreal. Her interests include international politics, foreign policy and climate justice. Follow her on Twitter.


          

Protesting the Israel Defense Forces is not anti-Semitic

 Cache   

Student protesters gather in York University’s Vari Hall to denounce an event that brought members of the Israel Defence Forces to campus, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Photo from Twitter.

On Wednesday night, a controversial event hosted at York University called “Reservist on Duty: Hear from former Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers” sparked a protest that saw hundreds join Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) to denounce the presence of IDF personnel on campus, citing reports from the United Nations and Amnesty International that accuse Israeli soldiers of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The event quickly became the centre of a media frenzy as images and video of clashing protesters were picked up and amplified by official news outlets including Global News, the National Post, the Toronto Sun, City News and others. With few exceptions, media portrayals have emphasized responses from the same group of people: notably, Mayor John Tory, Liberal MP Michael Levitt, Premier Doug Ford, and the CEO of the Friends of Simon Wisenthal Centre, Avi Benlolo, all of whom portrayed the protesters as a violent, hate-filled mob driven by virulent anti-Semitism.

On Thursday, Doug Ford tweeted “I am disappointed that York University allowed for a hate-filled protest to take place at Vari Hall.” This sentiment was echoed by John Tory who posted “I have heard concerns from several Jewish groups in our city today. Anti-Semitism and violence is totally unacceptable.”

In an interview on CityNews, Benlolo claimed that “York University has become a toxic place.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even weighed in, tweeting “On Wednesday night, violence & racist chants broke out against an event organized by the Jewish community at York University.”

The problem with these accusations is the total lack of credible evidence to support them. News reports have honed in on videos of protestors chanting “free free Palestine” and “viva viva Intifada”, presumably as proof of rampant anti-Semitism on display. But for Palestinians and their supporters, these chants refer to national self-determination and resistance to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Such references are a far cry from anti-Semitism – unless, of course, we conflate support for the human rights of Palestinians as itself a form of outright discrimination against people of the Jewish faith.

Fliers calling for protests of the Reservists on Duty event at York University on Nov. 20, 2019.

Unfortunately, Tory, Ford, Benlolo and others did not bother to explain what they found so hateful or anti-Semitic about the protest, nor did they find it expedient for York to conduct an internal investigation before rendering their judgments and fuelling tensions.

With so few dissenting voices appearing in the media coverage that followed the protest, we can hardly blame the public for believing them.

Media reports have also completely ignored evidence of violence that was directed at the protestors. One of them, who is also a teaching assistant at York, was sent to the hospital with a concussion after being punched in the back of the head. Other protestors report being kicked, pulled by their hair and choked by their scarves. According to SAIA, the violence was initiated by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a far-right group with links to white-supremacist organizations and that is widely considered a terrorist organization. Prior to the protest, York administration sent a letter to Meir Weinstein, national director of the JDL, informing him that “the University does not give permission for individuals to enter our campus lands for the purpose of participating in protest or demonstrations or any other inappropriate conduct.”

Objective journalism and principled politics require that we hear from both sides—as well as impartial witnesses—before drawing conclusions. So long as all criticisms of the Israeli state are immediately and uncritically branded as anti-Semitic, Palestinian voices will be silenced and barred from public discourse, and coverage of the issue will remain one-sided and unhelpful.

Joel Roberts is a PhD candidate in Social and Political Thought at York University. He has served as the graduate student representative on York’s Board of Governors, and has written about provincial politics, university governance, student protest and media representation.


          

How the Trudeau government white-washes Saudi crimes

 Cache   

United States Defense Secretary James N. Mattis meets with Saudi Arabia’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Mar. 22, 2018. DoD photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm (Flickr).

The following is an excerpt from Martin Lukacs’ new book, The Trudeau Formula: Seduction and Betrayal in an Age of Discontent, released this year by Black Rose Books. You can read Canadian Dimension’s review here.

In late, April 2019, the stunned friends and relatives of Abdullah Salman Al Asreeh held a prayer ceremony for the 24-year old man in Toronto. Without a warning by phone-call, they had learned on the evening news that he had been executed by the Saudi government.

He was among 37 men, most belonging to the country’s persecuted Shia minority, killed in one of the biggest executions in recent Saudi history. Al Asreeh, just 20 at the time of his arrest, was a human rights activist and worked on his father’s farm near the town of Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province. “He was a normal person,” his cousin said. “He wanted to build his life, but the government didn’t give him a chance.”

Awamiyah, long a centre of protest, had been targeted by Saudi security forces for a massive raid in 2017. It soon emerged that the operation—which killed more than two dozen civilians, razed an historic neighbourhood, and displaced tens of thousands of people—had involved Canadian military combat vehicles. But the Liberal government didn’t seize the chance to collect evidence and make it the basis for a re-evaluation of their exports. They undertook a breath-taking exercise in white-washing.

Since 2011, residents in Awamiyah had protested peacefully to demand equality for Shia. It was the country’s brief Arab Spring-moment, soon brutally crushed. A popular cleric and driving force behind the movement, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was charged with “terrorism.” It didn’t matter that Nimr had been a vocal advocate of non-violence, preaching that the “weapon of the word is stronger than bullets.” After a rigged trial, he was executed. According to human rights organizations, several non-violent activists from the town were arrested, tortured, and faced death sentences, including Al Asreeh a few years later. Others fled or went into hiding.

To flush out these activists, the Saudi government announced it would demolish—“renovate,” in their words—the town’s oldest neighbourhood, Al-Masora, a 400-year old walled village lined with narrow streets, mosques, farmers markets, clay buildings and sea-stone houses. The situation was closely monitored by the United Nations’ special rapporteurs on cultural rights, adequate housing and extreme poverty. The UN experts petitioned the Saudi government to halt the planned demolition, which in their words threatened “the historical and cultural heritage of the town with irreparable harm, and may result in the forced eviction of numerous people from their businesses and residences.”

When many families refused to leave their homes, the Saudi government cut-off their electricity and water-supply. Soon after, Saudi security forces laid siege to the town, with some residents taking up arms in self-defence. According to testimonials collected by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Saudi forces shot into populated areas, occupied a public school, closed clinics and pharmacies, and barred access to ambulances.

The siege, which “surrounded and sealed off” the town, continued for months. One resident told HRW that “the town was constantly bombarded by shelling and security forces were going around shooting in residential neighbourhoods at random. We were too scared to leave our homes and most of the shops were shut down or burned. Anything that moved became a target.” Some 20-25,000 of the town’s 30,000 population were forced to flee. By August, Saudi security forces had forced out “terrorists and criminal elements,” they claimed, and completed the demolition of its oldest neighbourhood. “The scale of devastation was shocking,” wrote a BBC journalist who was a rare reporter allowed by the Saudi authorities to visit. “It looked like a war zone—as if we were in Mosul or Aleppo.”

Researcher Anthony Fenton was monitoring social media and was the first to discover that pro-Saudi military accounts had posted videos showing Canadian Terraydyne Gurhka vehicles rolling through the streets, firing ammunition, amidst crumbling and destroyed buildings.

Fenton wrote an email to Globe & Mail journalist Steve Chase, who, according to government documents released through access-to-information, forwarded the email to the Ministry of Global Affairs, asking for comment. A flurry of emails passed between government officials and Minister Freeland. By the time the news hit the front pages, Minister Freeland was already announcing an investigation. “I have instructed our department and my officials to very energetically and very carefully review the reports and review the information, and research what is happening,” Freeland said, while temporarily suspended permits for the export of Terradyne vehicles.

“It is something that I’m checking on a very-very regular basis, this is a serious issue. Obviously we have to look into it and investigate carefully and we have to be sure that we’re acting on fully reliable information we can stand by. Having said that, we need to act with a real sense of urgency.”

Six months later, in February 2018, Freeland announced the outcome of the investigation. What was the conclusion of this very serious, very diligent, very reliable undertaking? “Officials at Global Affairs Canada found no conclusive evidence that Canadian-made vehicles were used in human rights violations,” Freeland told the Parliamentary foreign affairs committee. “That was the independent, objective opinion of our public service and the advice given to me as minister.” The export of the armoured vehicles recommenced.

The investigation itself, released in partially-redacted form months later, makes for fascinating reading.“There is no credible information,” it states, “that Saudi Ministry of Interior forces committed serious human rights violations in the conduct of that operation, with Gurkhas or otherwise.” The use of force, it suggests, was “proportionate and appropriate.”

Had they interviewed residents of Awamiyah, who might have quibbled with this view? No. Had they spoken to the human rights organizations that had documented far from proportionate actions? No. How about the United Nations experts who had issued warnings about the consequences of Saudi actions? No again. Their sources were “close allies and like-minded partners,” mostly, it turns out, unnamed Saudi government officials.

What kind of picture had these Saudi officials helped Canadian investigators draw? Coincidentally enough, one that corroborated the self-serving perspective of the Saudi government. The town was not an courageous epicentre of civil resistance, but a “haven for criminality.” Its situation was “deteriorating,” not because the state had set itself to bulldozing a neighbourhood against the will of its residents, but “due to militancy in the Shia community.” Saudi forces were “deployed in response to increased security threats” and “made a concerted effort to minimize civilian casualties.” No mention of years of violent harassment of peaceful activism. And that video evidence of the Canadian armoured vehicles rolling through the town’s street? It was dismissed as not providing “any insight as to the context or nature of the activity.”

The only organization named to back up the investigation’s findings was the Saudi National Society for Human Rights, which “did not express concerns about the conduct of the operation.” Why might this have been? Perhaps because this “human rights group” is funded by a trust of former Saudi King Fahd’s estate, is populated by government figures, and was in fact created by the Saudi dictatorship to ward off calls for more meaningful reform (none of which is mentioned in the Canadian government’s report).

One person described by investigators as a “credible military source”—whose identity is blacked out—advised them that the operation was “considered to be proportionate, necessary, and timely.”

The investigation concluded by expressing concern for Terradyne, which would lose business if they couldn’t sell the custom-made vehicles selling to the Saudis. “It is reasonable to expect that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would continue to use Ghurkas to mitigate risk to security forces during the conduct of legitimate security operations.” But there was yet more astonishing commentary. “While one can question the wisdom of the Saudi plan to evacuate and raze the old section of Al-Awamiya and the manner in which the operation was conducted, one cannot dismiss the security-related motivations at play in the exercise.” Question the wisdom? In its haste to protect and preserve a major arms deal, the Canadian government had stooped to toying with a justification for the political cleansing of a city. When a group of NGOs called for a truly independent investigation, it was no surprise that it went unacknowledged by the government.

Martin Lukacs is a journalist living in Montreal.


          

Evo Morales didn’t resign, he was overthrown by a coup d’état

 Cache   

Evo Morales Ayma in Cochabamba, Bolivia on June 4, 2012. Photo by Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS.

As of today, Evo Morales, the Indigenous president of Bolivia, was forced to resign the presidency. His Vice President, (Alvaro Garcia Linera) also resigned, as did Adrianna Salvatierra, the President of the Senate, who was supposed to assume the presidency in Morales’ absence. At the time of this writing, the Wiphala Indigenous flag, has been lowered throughout the country by the opposition. Morales, the country’s first Indigenous president, is the standard bearer of generations of Indigenous socialists. His removal represents the return of the old oligarchy. This is a coup against the arrival of the Indigenous peoples of Bolivia to the forefront of history.

For weeks, rightwing protestors have targeted Morales’ party, the Movement Toward Socialism (or MAS in Spanish). They have burned down party members’ homes and offices, attacking their supporters. Recently Patricia Arce, mayor of Vinto, was kidnapped by a mob. They cut her hair, threw paint over her body, and forced her to walk barefoot, publicly humiliating her. The mob has blockaded the headquarters of Bolivia TV and the Patria Nueva radio station. At the time of this writing, right wing forces are ransacking and burning President Morales’ home and are trying to arrest him.

This is not a resignation. No one resigns with a gun to their head.

Bolivia’s political and economic elite support this violence, as part of a resurgence of the far right in Latin America. Activists on the ground are currently getting smashed by these forces. We, the undersigned, denounce this violence, and preemptively denounce the violence that will inevitably escalate in the street. We call on the United Nations to make a statement denouncing the undemocratic nature of the coup and the strong-arm tactics of its backers.

Co-Drafters

Jordan T. Camp, Director of Research, The People’s Forum; Visiting Scholar, Center for Place Culture and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center; Co-Director of the Racial Capitalism Working Group, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University

George Ciccariello-Maher, Visiting Scholar, Decolonizing Humanities and Modern Languages and Literatures, William and Mary

Nick Estes (Lakota), Assistant Professor of American Studies, Univ. of New Mexico, Co-Founder The Red Nation

Christina Heatherton, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Barnard College; Co-Director of the Racial Capitalism Working Group, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University

Manu Karuka, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Barnard College; Co-Director of the Racial Capitalism Working Group, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University

Vijay Prashad, Director, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

Melanie Yazzie (Diné), Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and American Studies, University of New Mexico, Co-Founder of The Red Nation

Co-Signers

Samia Assed, Palestinian-American Human Rights Activist and Organizer, Board of Directors of The Women’s March

Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, Code Pink

Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Latin America and Ibertian Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University

Glen Coulthard, (Yellowknives Dene) Associate Professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Departments of Political Science, University of British Columbia

Andrew Curley (Diné), Department of Geography, University of North Carolina

Jennifer Nez Denetdale (Diné), Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico

Jaskiran Dhillon, Associate Professor, Global Studies and Anthropology, The New School

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States

Jodie Evans, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Code Pink

Ramon Grosfoguel, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Sandy Grande (Quechua), Professor of Education and Director Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity, Connecticut College

Sarah Jaffe, author and journalist

Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor, Department of African American Studies, Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History, UCLA

Winona LaDuke (White Earth Ojibwe), Program Director of Honor the Earth

Thea N. Riofrancos, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Providence College

Boots Riley, Filmmaker

Linda Sarsour, Palestinian-American Activist and Co-Founder of The Women’s March

Audra Simpson (Mohawk), Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, Union Theological Seminary.

Christy Thornton, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

Gregory Wilpert, Managing Editor at The Real News Network

David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of anthropology and geography, Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)

Gerald Horne, Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston.

Anya Parampill, journalist

Richard Pithouse, Associate Professor at the Wits Institute of Social Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Editor of New Frame, and Co-ordinator of the Johannesburg office of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo

South African Shack Dwellers Movement

Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and National chair of Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party

Mbuso Ngubane Regional Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)

Andile Zitho Regional Secretary National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and National Treasurer of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party.

Michael Neocosmos (PhD), Emeritus Professor in Humanities, Rhodes University, South Africa; Distinguished Visiting Scholar University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, United States; Visiting Professor, WISER, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Palagummi Sainath, Indian journalist and founder editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India

Prabir Purkayastha, Indian Journalist

Vashna Jagarnath, deputy general secretary SRWP and Senior Researcher at the centre for social change University of Johannesburg

Eva Golinger, author and lawyer

Jodi A. Byrd, Associate Professor, English and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Gary Y. Okihiro, Professor Emeritus of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and Visiting Professor of American Studies, Yale University

Joanne Barker, Professor and Chair of American Indian Studies, San Francisco State University

Walter Johnson, Professor of History and Director of the Charles Warren Center, Harvard University


          

Bolivia in the crosshairs of US counter-revolution

 Cache   

A shattered picture frame holding a photograph of deposed Bolivian president Evo Morales. Image courtesy of MintPress News.

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales Ayma has just resigned. Hours earlier, surrounded by leaders of the grassroots mass organizations that serve as a sort of “people’s cabinet,” he had called for new elections and a renovated Supreme Electoral Tribunal to oversee the process. These are political decisions since according to the Constitution he won the elections of October 20.

In essence, Morales resigned to halt a campaign of terror. Paramilitary violence is being practiced by the right-wing and it has escalated. For weeks, those who look Indigenous have been attacked, with several deaths. More recently, a spate of attacks against MAS politicians and journalists has sought to drive fear into the majority of poor and rural Bolivians who deeply identify with the changes brought by 13 years of progressive rule under the guidance of Morales.

The governing party, Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), also made a political decision to ask the Organization of American States (OAS) to conduct a recount before the results were known, and the OAS has just made public preliminary results saying that there were serious problems, however, Evo Morales may well have won the elections. Nevertheless, they advised that new elections be held.

Yesterday, Bolivian social movements in La Paz, the center of government, answered the calls of the right-wing for president Morales to resign with their own ultimatum: That the leaders of the right depart the city of La Paz within 48 hours and leave its inhabitants in peace. They announced that in the face of police mutinies, the social movements would form a civil police force to protect the constitution and its elected representatives. In a tradition of struggle that is hundreds of years old, they announced they would encircle La Paz, however, they would do so peacefully.

The president’s logic is clear: “Bolivia is living moments of conflict with the risk of grave confrontations among Bolivians. As president, my principal mission is to protect life, preserve the peace, social justice, economic stability, and the unity of the Bolivian family.”

The situation is dire and as always, the devil’s in the details that the right-wing press does not divulge. An anatomy of recent events reveals critical factors silenced by the mass media. These factors will unfold in the coming weeks and months in correlation with the international response.

How the coup plan has unfolded

On the evening of election day in Bolivia as votes were being counted, the rightwing candidate Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert realized that Morales was quite possibly winning in the first round. Mesa took that moment as the opening volley in the planned coup to topple MAS. Mesa abrogated the role of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and declared himself in a run-off election with Morales, the Indigenous president who has led most Bolivians from conditions of nineteenth-century servitude to an era of dignity and national sovereignty.

Mesa’s arrogance is breathtaking. It also mirrors his faith in his funders and handlers, the old elites and the Trump administration. The usual players in the Republican right wish to boycott an Evo Morales administration in Bolivia, and U.S. operatives, in addition to those in the embassy, have been wandering around the countryside to create rightwing foci of resistance.

While the United Nations twice urged all political leaders in Bolivia to avoid violent acts and “follow the legal norms,” the United States is claiming to do the same but in fact promoting a campaign to escalate tensions and delegitimize the elections. It is a pattern that reaches back to the origins of the Movement toward Socialism. Washington gives refuge to the bloodiest of the exiles from the 2003 “Gas War,” among them Carlos Sanchez Berzain, the Defense Minister of ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (or Goni for short) who killed 67 during the 2003 peaceful protests. They fled the country protected by the US embassy and are reportedly deeply involved in coup plans at present. Sanchez Berzain is leading anti-Evo protests on the turf of right-wing Senator Marco Rubio, of ultra-right fame, in Miami.

The defeated candidate Mesa was coached by the United States on creating a large urban base that is fed astonishing lies, delivered via Facebook and WhatsApp. Mesa was Goni’s vice president in the early 2000s and became president when Goni fled the wrath of the people he massacred. Moreover, Mesa has said all along that he would not recognize any outcome except his own victory, the same stance as his political ally Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, another president close to Washington.

Almost one million votes out of about 7.3 million in total had not been counted when Mesa told the world that massive fraud had occurred, an allegation he has been unable to prove. The uncounted votes on the night the polls closed were overwhelmingly from the countryside and also the exterior, including immigrant workers. Among them were almost 100,000 Bolivians in Argentina of whom 82% voted for MAS.

Mesa knows he has never been a favorite of campesinos nor of immigrant workers living abroad. He also realized that he would keep losing votes to a far-right evangelical candidate. Hence, Mesa and his sponsors wanted the tabulation of votes brought to a dead halt while he still stood less than 10 percentage points distant from Evo’s lead. A 10% point lead is the cut-off point for winning in the first round if the candidate has gained at least 40% of the vote.

Reflect for a moment on Mesa’s strategy: its absurdity, its illegality, and its novelty in the arsenal of U.S. coup strategies that have ranged in this century from kidnappings (in Haiti and Honduras) to parliamentary coups built on a scaffolding of lies (in Paraguay and Brazil). The resounding victory of MAS in the vote of October 20 includes the presidency, almost 85% of all Bolivian municipalities, and a majority in both the Senate and the chamber of deputies.

Right-wing militants unleashed violence that night, long before the rural Acts representing one-seventh of the electorate had arrived at the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. As in the past, these votes have won the contest in Evo’s favor.

Some 100 youth were paid by Mesa and his associates to wreak havoc, according to government intelligence and confessions of youth transporting explosives who were arrested at the airport, and also the deathbed confession to the family of a young man recruited to create street chaos. He was preparing an explosive projectile that misfired and destroyed his head. His family knew he was earning good money but had not known how. Bolivia’s Indigenous cardinal Toribio Ticona, a man who shined shoes and worked in the mines before he became a priest, charged Mesa with responsibility for the mayhem he has directed.

Local electoral tribunals were trashed and set on fire, forcing a person to leap out of the second-story of a burning building, while others fled the blows of the rightwing coalition. At the same time, representatives of all the parties, including Mesa’s, had people inside the tribunals verifying the vote count. It was an odd way to stop electoral fraud. In several zones of the city of La Paz, right-wing attacks against election officials achieved the theft of their packages of votes being delivered from the countryside, and one of the packages was burned. In the more well-heeled sections of La Paz, thousands of right-wing demonstrators took the streets, humiliating women in Indigenous dress and police who were protecting government buildings.

The not-so-new paramilitaries

Those who attack with violence run the gamut of opposition movements over recent years, among them a group of dissident coca growers tied to narcotrafficking; a sector of miners abandoned to their own devices in the 1980s when mass layoffs imposed by the government shook the country, and these particular miners made common cause with the mining oligarchy; a sector of La Paz teachers that has always resisted MAS from a position at the far left of the political spectrum; and a sector of doctors and medical students that has been on strike who are opposed to the progressive expansion of free health care to cover all citizens. Various right-wing civic committees such as that of the city of Potosi announced far in advance that they would boycott elections. The youth of the city of Santa Cruz organized in “shock brigades” have been trying to kill people they call Indigenous since the start of the MAS era. Often, their violence takes place in the context of secession efforts by lowland elites.

Lowland Santa Cruz is a proudly mestizo and white heartland of agro-industry whose elite attempted to break the Movement toward Socialism with the guidance of the U.S. ambassador in 2008, adopting the symbols of the crusades. The hyper-racist president of the Santa Cruz civic committee has emerged as a power comparable to Mesa. His name is Luis Fernando Camacho and in the tradition of those elites he represents, Camacho positions himself as the voice of white superiority inspired by “my Christ the Redeemer.” He looks like he has just arrived from the golf course, he is alleged to have taken part in the Panama Papers tax-dodge scandal, and his methods are fascist. Supported by the arch-conservative politicians of Santa Cruz, he is coordinating paramilitary attacks.

In 2008, the Union of Santa Cruz Youth (UJC by its initials in Spanish) gained international attention as fascists by reason of their symbols, their language and their actions, as the fighting arm of elites who tried to secede from the Plurinational State of Bolivia led by Morales. “Brother Evo,” as he is known to his peers, belongs to a people known for their courage, the Aymara of the high Andean plain. Like many, his family migrated in the neoliberal crisis of the last century, and from harvesting potatoes and herding llamas, they turned to growing coca in the subtropical stretches bordering the Amazon that gave rise to one of Latin America’s most battle-tested labor movements. The middle-class UJC youth abhor everything Morales represents, and in those early years, the president was not able to travel to Santa Cruz due to their death threats.

UJC is part of a hemispheric network of right-wing paramilitary forces and has received ample support from its international allies. Appearing to be well-fed youth if we are to judge by their physique, they fight with bare torsos and have a fondness for liquor, even according to their leader Fernando Camacho who harangued them, “We cannot disrespect our Christ by continually drinking and listening to music.” When they don shirts, they are black shirts.

Alongside that tight-knit group built on a kind of white-settler pride, the political right has been recruiting young criminals nationwide with the lure of drugs and money. For those who are university youth, often their presence is less costly: Their professors make their grades contingent on their participation. The La Paz public university is the operational center for warehousing of arms and explosives and lodging youth trained in paramilitary techniques, recalling events in Nicaragua in 2018. They enjoy the protection of the Rector, Waldo Albarracin, who controls the autonomous space of that institution.

After winning, Evo’s observations about the opposition became much more direct: “Where did they come from? The come from the dictatorships …(and) they passed the government back and forth between them from 1985 to 2003.” He asked, “Where did (Samuel) Doria Medina come from: From (implementing) the privatizations. Tuto (Jorge) Quiroga? (From being vice president to the dictator) Banzer.”

Fernando Camacho for his part oversaw the burnings of homes and vehicles, beatings and provocations, and warned at a rally that his method of punishing traitors was the same as that of the infamous Colombian narcotrafficker Pablo Escobar, charged with 5,500 killings. Camacho added that the discovery of traitors would be followed by jail sentences rather than murder. Curiously, at just about that juncture, Mesa changed his stance from that of favoring an OAS recount of the votes, now taking place, to being categorically against that recount (Mesa’s actions are detailed below).

In his latest tactic, Camacho gave an ultimatum to resign to leftist and Indigenous president Evo Morales Ayma, who just won the elections by 47.08 percent as opposed to 36.51 percent garnered by the right. Camacho reportedly plans to guide the lowland region of Santa Cruz into secession from Bolivia, and then win the civil war that he hopes to incite.

The targets of right-wing wrath

As is true anywhere, the majority of the people in the sprawling city of Santa Cruz are poor, mainly migrants from the Indigenous nations of the Amazon and Chaco or the Aymara and Quechua nations of the high Andes. One-third of Santa Cruz has always voted for the political project of MAS –the same proportion as that of the left in many other countries– and in Santa Cruz the number of MAS votes is rising. When the poor were brutalized and sent to the hospital, a crowd gathered outside the hospital shouting, “Camacho, assassin!” and “We don’t want any strike, we want to work.”

Working-class residents of La Paz expressed their fear of the impending violence when Mesa challenged the vote count on October 20. Said one woman, “They hate us” – she is Indigenous – “and everything we have won, they want to destroy. Mesa killed us with Goni, and they want to return to that time.”

Since the right is trying to shut down the country, they attack vendors and storekeepers who resist the call for a general strike and they have brought to a halt the city of Santa Cruz. There, youths enter working-class neighbourhoods known to be bastions of MAS, armed with bats, sticks and explosives. Now they are using homemade bazookas and sticks with nails embedded. Their racist epithets are constant. They destroy local MAS campaign headquarters and the offices of campesino groups. One hundred UJC youth tried to lynch journalists.

Rightwing students in Sucre, who shut down the constitutional assembly in that city years ago and badly bloodied Indigenous campesinos, this October set the electoral tribunal on fire. Others attacked the president’s home in Cochabamba. In the lowland, tropical department of Pando, at 2:00 am long after the tribunal declared a victory for MAS, 150 motorcyclists from the right-wing forces attacked the home of the governor who was forced to flee to safety with his small children and his wife.

Cabinet ministers are receiving threatening phone messages and social media calls are being made to target their homes, with vandalism committed against the property of growing a number of them. Said the Minister of Government Carlos Romero whose children are receiving threats from the opposition: “I am right here if you need to threaten someone, but don’t threaten my children.”

After days of right-wing attacks, in the city of Montero in Santa Cruz, people of the age of the parents of the youths started clearing the debris and removing the blockades. UJC leaders got word, and transported armed youths to the scene. Their leader said, “If it’s bullets they want, I’ll give them bullets.” In cold blood, two of the MAS supporters were then killed, Marcelo Terrazas and Mario Salvatierra. One of the accused killers was dressed in full camouflage gear with all but his eyes covered by a black bandana, in other words, he was dressed like a paramilitary. The alleged killers and a number of their accomplices have been arrested.

The lies of the losing candidate

Mesa is notorious for his lies, one of the most infamous being his promise of justice, made when Goni fled, for those killed and injured in 2003. Unconscionably, the turmoil he unleashed in recent weeks had the public support of none other than the Organization of American States (OAS). They seemed to be joined at the hip with Mesa. The OAS was at that point demanding a second round of elections, in violation of Bolivia’s constitution. They called for a special meeting on Bolivia at their headquarters in Washington, with an ominous representation of less than admirable politicians: The governments of Brazil, Colombia and, lastly, Venezuela, by which they mean the U.S.-installed puppet Juan Guaido, who has been in the news these past few days for the revelation of his pact with Colombian paramilitaries, in which he contracted their violent services in exchange for allowing them control of the Colombo-Venezuelan border.

The actions of the OAS are unconscionable because they declared the vote count in Bolivia had stopped, however that assertion was one of Mesa’s lies. The country of Mexico took the lead in rejecting the favoritism of the OAS mission toward the right.

The official vote tabulation never halted. What stopped was the rapid count, called the Transmission of Preliminary Electoral Results or TREP in the Spanish acronym. The prior agreement was that TREP would only tabulate 80% of the total vote. On Sunday evening, October 20, having reached 83.85% of the total vote, TREP measured a lead of 4% by Evo Morales Ayma over Mesa. Mesa said the TREP count proved there was going to be a run-off election between the two of them and demanded a TREP count of 100%. He claimed that a count of 100% had been promised. Mesa was lying, according to the highest levels of MAS leadership.

Though it was not part of the original plan, the TREP count was reinitiated and the following night, Monday, at 23:59 hours, TREP made public new results representing 95.63% of the entire vote, showing that Evo Morales had won in the first round by the necessary 10% difference over Mesa.

At that point, Mesa executed an about-face and insisted that TREP had joined a massive fraud against him. For the record, when Mesa won with Goni against MAS, the difference was just 42,242 votes, while today, MAS has won by over 640,000 votes. Clearly, Mesa would be satisfied with nothing less than overturning the elections.

At the time the polls were closed, 12 copies of the Act that sums up the votes at each polling place, signed by the representatives of each political party, were distributed among them. A photograph of the Act was also sent via the internet to the Supreme Electoral authorities. These photos are available to the public on-line and easily investigated.

But those who allege foul play are not investigating anything, they are fanning what Bolivians of diverse political persuasions are calling “a psychosis.” Mesa’s few claims of fraud in the Acts that record the votes of each polling station, presented to the authorities, have been shown to be errors that were corrected, according to evidence on the same sheet of paper that was hidden from public view when Mesa’s forces made the argument for fraud.

Middle-class militants are fervent believers in the idea of stolen elections, absent real evidence. Meanwhile, the right-wing is encouraging panic buying of foodstuffs and for those who have cars, filling their tanks. It is a recipe for inflation. The MAS government has managed to guarantee food provision in most of the country with the exception of Santa Cruz.

The OAS agreed to the request made by the winning party MAS to recount the vote. Their condition is that the two leading candidates would accept the results as binding. That recount started on October 31 and is due to conclude on November 13. Mesa is now refusing to submit alleged proofs of fraud to the OAS, claiming the OAS is a pawn of MAS.

Mesa’s lies spare no one. Most recently, he claimed that the recount of the vote requested by the winning party was arranged unilaterally with the Organization of American States. The OAS had to publicly challenge Mesa, who at that point conceded that the OAS had telephoned him repeatedly to win Mesa’s consent to abide by the recount.

The Bolivian people versus the thuggery of the right

Workers and campesinos have declared a state of emergency against the return of the “privatizing oligarchs.” They organized enormous marches in the department of La Paz, the heartland of Aymara resistance which ignited the massive protests of 2003 that brought down president Goni. Bystanders applauded them as the social movements arrived from the edge of the vast canyon in El Alto to its depths in La Paz.

The intransigence of Mesa and Luis Fernando Camacho is clear, as their militants descend into an abyss of chaos. On November 6 they attacked thousands of Indigenous women in Cochabamba who marched with their children in support of Evo Morales. The racist rage of the right-wing is there for all to see. Women in Indigenous dress were kidnapped, and MAS mayor Patricia Arce (formerly a campesino union leader), was beaten, dragged through the dirt and doused with red paint in ritual fashion. She was made to kneel and beg for forgiveness. It is a “punishment” that the right uses repeatedly. Women in the grassroots of MAS point out that it is their sons who are being paid to join the shock brigades and attack their own mothers.

Massive rejection of the right-wing violence now includes many of those who voted for Mesa, some high churchmen close to the oligarchy, and tens of thousands of women who have marched in the last weeks, first to demand respect for the rural and Indigenous vote and then to decry the cruelties unleashed against those marching women. Bolivia has one of the highest representations of women politicians on earth and putting aside political affiliations, they have urged their compatriots to abjure violence. The rationality of MAS, the United Nations, the vast Indigenous and campesino populations and their urban relatives, and millions of mobilized women is such that the escalating savagery of the right can only be explained by a single factor: U.S. patronage.

Cindy Forster is the Chair of Latin American Studies and a Professor of History at Scripps College.


          

Turning From Meat Consumption to Veganism Cannot Solve Climate Change, Researchers Warn

 Cache   
United Nations experts have recently argued that the high consumption of meat and dairy products is fuelling global warming. However, the assumption that going vegan could potentially help reduce environmental problems is not shared by all experts in the field.
          

Newsdeck: United Nations opens two-week climate change summit in Madrid

 Cache   
MADRID, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The United Nations opened a two-week climate summit in Madrid on Monday, where world leaders face growing pressure to prove they can muster the political will to avert the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.
          

Vysoký komisár OSN: EÚ musí Grécku pomôcť pri prerozdelení maloletých migrantov

 Cache   
Atény 28. novembra 2019 (TASR/HSP/Foto:TASR/AP-Eskinder Debebe/The United Nations via AP)   Európa musí pomôcť pri riešení...
          

UNHCR: Nearly 5,000 Somali refugees in Yemen returned to Somalia since 2017

 Cache   
Al-Thawra Net The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Sunday said that 4,940 Somali refugees have left Yemen and returned to Somalia since 2017. UNHCR indicated, in a press release, that 131 Somali refugees have been evacuated from Yemen to Somalia as part of the “voluntary return” program for Somali refugees wishing to
          

Forging next steps for IPPC ePhyto: Meeting at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

 Cache   
**12 November 2019, Maryland, USA** – The IPPC ePhyto Steering Group (ESG) and the Project Technical Committee (PTC) met at the offices of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) from 12 to 15 November 2019 in Maryland, USA. Mr Christian Dellis was elected as the new ESG chair for 3 years – replacing the outgoing chair Mr Peter Neimanis. During Mr. Neimanis’s time as chair, IPPC ePhyto moved from being a project to a full-time operational component of the IPPC Secretariat. His efforts to make this happen were greatly appreciated and have helped shape the future of electronic phytosanitary certification around the word. A representative from the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) gave updates on the IPPC ePhyto Hub and the IPPC Generic ePhyto National System (GeNS). The IPPC ePhyto Hub is a centralized system that facilitates the exchange of ePhytos among national plant protection organizations (NPPOs). The GeNS is a centralized web-based system that allows countries without their own system to produce, send and receive ePhytos. The ESG outlined clear goals and priorities for the next phase of the ePhyto Solution in line with the [5-year strategic plan][1] endorsed by the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-14) in 2019. Among the top priorities was testing the channel feature that recently established a connection to the European Unions’ Trade Control and Expert System (EU-TRACES). This feature may make it possible to connect to a single window or industry system in the future, something that IPPC Contracting Parties have been requesting in order to streamline their trade processes. Mr Harm Jan van Burg from the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN CEFACT), Mr Erik Bosker representing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Codex Alimentarius, and Mr Simon Padilla from the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) discussed future collaboration with IPPC ePhyto. Indeed, the STDF has just established a new committee, modeled on the ePhyto Project Advisory Committee (PAC), with representatives from the IPPC Secretariat, OIE, Codex, FAO, UNICC and UNCEFACT among others. It was agreed that this committee will help harmonise the work on electronic certification. As this was officially the last meeting of the Project Technical Committee (PTC), the ESG’s Terms of reference will be updated to include members from UNICC which has played a key role in developing the IPPC ePhyto Solution. [1]: https://www.ippc.int/en/publications/87017/
          

Irreplaceable: Was this an appropriate presentation for a university?

 Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4fmpVg0w8s A student of Georgia Southern University gave a presentation titled "Irreplaceable" for his English composition 2 class. The topic of his presentation was about a UN proposal for replacing ageing population with migrants. United Nations Population...
          

B is prettier and they both agree

 Cache   

shirt shops in new orleans

wholesale dildos None of those are met. The ban on cruel and unusual punishment doesn actually ban innovative punishments like this. The idea of cruel punishment is fairly obvious whereas the unusual part isn actually meant as a protection against disproportionate punishment. wholesale dildos

g spot vibrator If it wanted to deal with these problems it could have easily done so. If they gave a fuck about their citizens, which I think is exceptionally clear that they don Edit just adding one more example in case you doubt what I say in the previous sentence. Flint still doesn have clean drinking water.. g spot vibrator

Realistic Dildo This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy Cookie Policy. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material, visit our Syndication site. View our online Press Pack. These are also easy to take off. They slipped right off under my skirt when my partner initiated some foreplay. They also come off easily with teeth, assuming that teeth would be involved in your foreplay.. Realistic Dildo

dildos Because narcissists rarely seek care, few of our parents have a formal diagnosis. So in this space, "narcissist" is a term used loosely to refer to a variety of conditions, and is not used in a clinical sense. We are not professionals and cannot diagnose anybody. dildos

Adult Toys For nowI giggling as I read most of these because I sleep with a plug almost every night (since Sept. 2010). Because of my schedule vibrators, it more convenient for me to just leave it in when I go to bed. And activists who oppose natural gas drilling have begun to target pipelines as a way to slow down the boom associated with the development of Marcellus Shale gas reserves. Earthjustice, an environmental law firm based in New York, is working with grassroots organizations in northeast Pennsylvania to oppose the Marc1 Hub pipeline. Fish and Wildlife Servicefrom granting another pipeline company, NiSource, approval to kill threatened and endangered species as part of their pipeline maintenance operations.. Adult Toys

g spot vibrator I picked this dildo out of the many available models because it is so unbelievably realistic. The first time I got a chance to use it, I was excited, but also daunted. It's huge; I mean REALLY big. Migrant families are clustered into groups that have at times exceeded 300 adults and children vibrators, and they walk directly across the border, in some cases stepping over barriers in long, orderly lines. Border Patrol agents and initiate asylum claims. Border View Graphic. g spot vibrator

dog dildo A full theory is developed in terms of gradients in the active matter density and velocity, and applied to bacterial turbulence, topological defects and clustering. Currents with complex spatiotemporal patterns are obtained, which are tunable through confinement. Our findings show that diversity in carpet architecture is essential to maintain biofunctionality.mvea 2 points submitted 5 hours agoThe post title is a copy and paste from the title and first two paragraphs of the linked popular press article here:Shorter people fare worse in ICU, researchers unsure whyShorter patients in hospital intensive care units, or ICUs, are more likely to die during treatment than taller ones, a new study suggests.Among more than 400,000 critically ill adults, the shortest patients (4 feet, 6 inches) were 29 percent (men) and 24 percent (women) more likely to die in the hospital than the tallest 6 feet, 6 inches, the study found.Retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients admitted to 210 intensive care units (ICUs) in the United Kingdom participating in the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre's Case Mix Programme Database from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2015. dog dildo

horse dildo Forehand extend into your contact a little more as well as keeping your left arm up throughout the shot and not drop as you currently do. This will help your rotation and give you easy added power. This brings me onto what most of the other replies are saying, footwork / body positioning. horse dildo

dildos I see this a lot. People trying to claim Republicans and Democrats are just flip sides of the same coin. They not. Performance: The balls didn't connect or have any sort of a retrieval cord. I think they would have been simpler and more comfortable for me to use if they had featured one. I have seen other balls on this site that have that functionality and I might might one day consider getting some of those instead. dildos

g spot vibrator What they should do, is make the slug lines at the city center parking area where the BoltBus picks up. This way, slugs get their ride, drivers don't get a ticket, and the rush hour lanes stay open and unblocked. I can't tell you how many cars with Virginia tags I see getting pulled over in Charles and St.. g spot vibrator

sex toys People change and indeed their desires can change. A single identity taken on in adolescence when we're prone to thinking in groups can become constricting. Many people are and have been plural in their sexual orientation, but the weight of the cultural sexual group may impose an identity that is difficult to escape.". sex toys

vibrators I'm not saying that what your parents are doing isn't that bad, but it sounds like it's coming from a place of love. In my opinion, the best thing to do is try talking to them first and see where it gets you. Let them know that you appreciate the concern and love them dearly, but that it's pushing you away from wanting to spend time as a family. vibrators

Realistic Dildo Mexican immigration officials on Wednesday handed out legal permits of up to a month to hundreds of migrants who spent their fourth day in a public park here in the southern state of Oaxaca, waiting for the caravan to continue. This spares them from immediate deportation but is not a long term solution. For Mujica, the organizer, that's as much as he expects.. Realistic Dildo

vibrators That right, it will smell the low level radiation your body naturally produces as well as your precious sun. Dormant, the small porous openings across its face would lash out and snatch you like an eel pulling you in piece by piece. Of course you would fight to breathe, fortunately you will be ripped apart before you suffocate.. vibrators

wholesale sex toys I like my Fairy Mini smaller than the Hitachi Magic Wand but still big enough to be quite powerful (and good at back massages too!). I strongly prefer the corded version to the rechargeable version, both because the rechargeable version needs to beI like my Fairy Mini smaller than the Hitachi Magic Wand but still big enough to be quite powerful (and good at back massages too!). I strongly prefer the corded version to the rechargeable version, both because the rechargeable version needs to be recharged, and because internal, non replaceable batteries have much shorter expected lifespans than power cords do. wholesale sex toys

wholesale vibrators Like all OhMiBod music vibes, Freestyle :G can work without music too. Switch to the manual mode option and explore 7 amazing pre programmed vibration patterns. Music mode. B is prettier and they both agree. Personally, I agree but I don think the gap is as big as L thinks. L tends to be smarter most of the time but she has her moments where she retarded and it f adorable to both of us. wholesale vibrators

wholesale dildos In an overall effort in making cultural protection a pillar of peace building, and in follow up to the recent UN Security Council resolution 2199, which condemns the destruction of cultural heritage and adopts legally binding measures to counter illicit trafficking of cultural objects from Iraq and Syria, UNESCO is launching a global coalition of partners to strengthen powerful system wide action for its implementation.UNESCO champions the promotion of human rights and related instruments by monitoring implementation; building and strengthening capacities and reporting mechanisms; assisting Member States in reviewing and developing their national legal frameworks; mobilizing broad partnerships to raise awareness on key issues relating to the effective realization of rights vibrators, including through human rights education; as well as through specialized policy research and analysis.UN Rule of Law NewsUN chief honours enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther KingRecalling the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated 50 years ago today, United Nations Secretary General Ant Guterres urged the world to build on the []Business leaders at UN forum challenged to invest in a more sustainable future for allThree years into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations continues brokering new partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society to achieve the []Security Council condemns terrorist attack against African Union mission in SomaliaThe United Nations Security Council on Wednesday strongly condemned the terrorist attack on 1 April perpetrated by the Al Shabaab group against the Ugandan contingent of the African Union mission in []. wholesale dildos

g spot vibrator I think it can be a wonderful thing. It gives you time to focus on yourself, on what you want in life vibrators, and in a relationship. I was 19 before I went out on my first date, and I'm 20 now and I've had a boyfriend for all of 3 days so far. This toy is anything but discreet. It would be pretty obvious as to what it was, you know, with it being the shape of a penis and all. I think that this toy is on the borderline for suitable travel. g spot vibrator

wholesale vibrators The main justification was that glasses were a recurring expense I no longer have in favor of a one time payment and there is the benefit of not needing glasses. Now it is 15 years later and I probably need reading glasses (due to age, not the procedure) but I am resisting that. While I am at it, I should mention that I put every dollar I get into rental and investment property and the returns are 16% to 20% rather than the nothing the bank pays. wholesale vibrators

Adult Toys Dinner on Marco Island was at the Snook Inn, a casual waterfront eatery on an inlet. The dining room, a refuge from the blaring live rock in the outdoor bar, featured picture windows with views of passing boats, some of which docked at adjacent piers. My Caesar salad with seasoned, blackened shrimp was superb. Adult Toys

vibrators But it fails to be great, primarily on grounds of material strength. While it is very, very soft and comfortable, it will also rip or wear thin. The "lips" were ripped after the first or second use. Your commute. If you're getting ready to drive in, here are some tips from Dr. Gridlock along with a video, courtesy of the Virginia Department of Transportation, on driving in the rain. vibrators

dildo And for all you SJW out there. I'm Cambodian. My family makes donuts. The Pure Wand is made of stainless steel, which allows it to be completely smooth, and after searching and feeling over the toy I was unable to find a single imperfection. Anyone who has ever used a glass toy will know exactly what I am talking about, except there is something about the metal that almost seems to out do glass. That being said, it is the one attribute of the Pure Wand that my girlfriend was completely enamored with, the feel of the toy as it was inserted and removed and how smooth it felt inside her. dildo

The Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. By 300 the Roman Empire was divided into the Western and Eastern empires. During the 4th and 5th centuries, the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe vibrators, pressed by the Huns, grew in strength, and repeated attacks led to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire.

dog dildo The sets are ideal if you want to try different things or experience various levels of pressure and arousal. Cockring sets are also good if you want to try different sizes to see which one suits you best. We also carry special types of penis ring sets, such as Gates of Hell vibrators, ideal for more experienced users. dog dildo

wholesale vibrators The halo around the pump differs in color according to the scent (lily/musk is a beautiful shade of purple). The box is also black with gold lettering. All in all, this presentation hilights the luxury of the product. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday that his agency needs help from Congress and "a different approach" to handling children in its custody. On Christmas Eve, agents at a detention center in New Mexico noticed that 8 year old Felipe G Alonzo was "coughing and appeared to have glossy eyes," according to officials. He was transferred to a hospital at midday where he was tested for strep throat and then diagnosed and treated for a common cold. wholesale vibrators

horse dildo It is particularly simple to use: there is a very obvious push button on top, and you will hear a loud click when it is pressed or released. It is used for turning it on and off, and for cycling through the two vibrations settings which are both fairly strong, resembling the strength of a bullet vibe. I do mean both, as it's hard to differentiate the level of intensity of the settings.. horse dildo

wholesale vibrators Over nearly nine years vibrators, David Berry and his two sons, David Berry Jr. And Kyle Berry, killed the deer, mostly at night, then cut off their heads and antlers leaving the bodies to rot where they fell."Taking just the heads is their version of obtaining a 'trophy' and leaving the carcass behind is merely an afterthought," Randy Doman, division chief of the Missouri Department of Conservation, told the Springfield News Leader. "While there are some cases where poachers go after the antlers for profit, with this bunch it was more about the thrill of the kill itself."And so when the Berrys and more than a dozen other poachers were ultimately sentenced, Lawrence County Judge Robert George apparently hoped a little Disney magic would show one of them the error of his ways.According to court records obtained by the News Leader, David Berry Jr. wholesale vibrators

wholesale dildos And last month, more women were elected to Congress than ever in our history, with a mandate to take women issues seriously. Women rage and determination to end sexual violence are turning into a political force. Picture: Jason Merritt/GettySource:Getty ImagesShe also advocated for specific policies such as the Violence Against Women Act and Title IX protection on college campuses.In closing, the star gave some insight into what her life has been like since making her allegations against the 55 year old of the Caribbean star, noting that she received death threats since.write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats. wholesale dildos

animal dildo Morse and her colleagues Nancy Wallace and Richard Stanton at Haas and Robert Bartlett at Berkeley Law focused on 30 year, fixed rate, single family home loans issued between 2008 and 2015. They were able to link data on interest rates, loan terms, property location, income and credit scores with borrowers' race for the first time. All the loans were guaranteed by the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing researchers to remove credit risk as a factor in pricing differences.. animal dildo

gay sex toys There was no pulling or folding on the straps over the booty. The waist also fit well. The lace did fold up under clothing and while sitting but it did not affect the look or feel. Ultimately, you might be surprised by the results of being outed: sometimes, people brace for the worst and end up getting thoughtful, supportive, friendly questions and comments from the people around them. You may also be startled by who reacts positively and who doesn't. Transphobia often stems from a lack of knowledge: people don't know anyone who's transgender, or at least they think they don't. gay sex toys

Adult Toys Anyways, Kevin walks up to me with his hands in the air and says "whats up!" and I punched him and I could tell by his reaction he was not expecting that. He was literally saying whats up. I pushed him to the ground and looked at the other two guys who were supposed to tell him and they looked shocked.. Adult Toys

sex toys He sat on the bed, and I did as the instructions said, I slid my legs into the loops that were on the chest strap that were meant for me. Now, when I tried to adjust the straps to my legs, I found that they did not fit my size. I am average, I suppose, weighing at 130 and my height being 5 I found the straps to be too big. sex toys

vibrators I was flying from Rapid City, SD to Boise, ID once. There was known icing all across Wyoming. I diverted south and ending up staying the night in Salt Lake. As the older Calogero, Mr. Conte Thornton sings with a rich tone, and the continuity between the boy and the young man feels natural (although they hardly look like relatives), so that we see in the divided heart of the teenager the remnants of childish infatuation that keep him under the thumb of Sonny long after he begins to see the brutality that he has embraced. And the terrific Mr. vibrators

animal dildo There is only one button to control the Posh Mini, and at first I had difficulty turning it off. Click the button once for the Low setting vibrators, another click for the High setting, and one more click for the Escalated Pulse. You would think that one more click would turn it off, but no, it doesn't. animal dildo

animal dildo Riders can play a role, too. They can look out for others who may be harassed and see if the harassed person is okay, create a distraction or interruption or initiate some other non confrontational action that can help keep everyone safe. Riders can also report incidents they observe or experience. animal dildo

g spot vibrator By all means, if you are or have been sexually active and have not gotten sexual healthcare and want to take care of your health by getting started with that, going ahead with this could be a way for you to do that. Understand that your mother does not have the right to be present for your gynecological exam or any testing, and that, again, your doctor would also need your permission to share any information he or she got from you during that exam with your mother. But if you haven't been sexually active, or you simply choose not to get sexual healthcare yet, you have the right to refuse the exam, and if you do that, a doctor absolutely cannot force you to have one because your mother demands it. g spot vibrator

dog dildo Look, if that actually your standpoint on this, well, do whatever you want. That fuck ton of money you throwing away for nothing though. Also, you could be over ventilating you house which could lead to it being too dry in the winter abs too humid in the summer. dog dildo

dog dildo Meanwhile, the number of supercars and supercar dealerships in the city continues to expand. Is quite a massively developing market for high end vehicles, Rolls Royce executive Torsten Muller Otvos told Obiko Pearson, while sitting in his Vancouver showroom. See this market going from one record to the next. dog dildo

dog dildo On healthcare, O supports single payer legislation and universal health coverage, but disagreed with House and Senate proposals.[172] The House bill, John Conyers Medicare For All bill (HR 676), would require that providers be public institutions or nonprofits, but O wants to include all providers as Medicare does.[173][174] The Senate bill, supported by Sen. Bernie Sanders, would have no copays, and no premiums for low income families, but O wants everyone to pay in to some extent. He supports stabilization of the insurance markets to improve the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. dog dildo

wholesale sex toys I agree that the message this kind of marketing sends is bad, but this is not really "toxic masculinity". From what I understand about it, toxic masculinity isn that "all masculinity is bad" rather its a set of behaviors that are held to be the standard of "proper masculinity", which historically has included suppression of emotions, aggressive behavior and violence. This is not to say all men are like this, but rather to identify the societal standard of masculinity that includes toxic aspects.. wholesale sex toys

wholesale vibrators There should be a dead time across the year vibrators, when you need your product to be extra stable. Do feature/code freezes, and push for development that won add new code. This will be for larger issues and problems. Brinquedos do sexo de luxo so para aqueles que querem usar os brinquedos do sexo de qualidade mais alta. Estes brinquedos e acessrios so fabricados por empresas que se especializam em brinquedos do sexo de high end e prestem muita ateno aos detalhes, qualidade e experincia. Voc paga um preo premium para um produto premium wholesale vibrators.


          

Somalia: UN Accuses Ethiopia of Meddling in Somalia Affairs

 Cache   

Just months after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is fighting accusations of is interfering with the affairs of neighbouring countries. In November, two United Nations reports accused him of being lukewarm in South Sudan peace process and fuelling fires of instability in Somalia; two of the countries he has […]

The post Somalia: UN Accuses Ethiopia of Meddling in Somalia Affairs appeared first on Geeska Afrika Online.


          

Abiy Ahmed fanning instability in Somalia, S. Sudan: UN reports

 Cache   

Just months after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is fighting accusations of his interfering with the affairs of neighbouring countries. In November, two United Nations reports accused him of being lukewarm in South Sudan peace process and fuelling fires of instability in Somalia; two of the countries he has […]

The post Abiy Ahmed fanning instability in Somalia, S. Sudan: UN reports appeared first on Geeska Afrika Online.


          

S. Sudan violates peace deal, recruits 10,000 new fighters

 Cache   

November 27, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan National Security Service recruited a new force of at least 10,000 fighters from communities in the former Warrap State, contrary to provisions of the peace agreement, a United Nations Panel of Experts said in a new report to the Security Council. The Panel, on Friday, said fighters recruited […]

The post S. Sudan violates peace deal, recruits 10,000 new fighters appeared first on Geeska Afrika Online.


          

Environment

 Cache   
Global Temperature Extremes The week’s hottest temperature was 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.1 degrees Celsius) in Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. The week’s coldest temperature was minus 65.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.3 degrees Celsius) at Verkhoyansk, Siberia. Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the […]
          

PUSHA, PHANDA

 Cache   
METRO FM — The Youth Exchange Entrepreneurial Programme Africa is launching the idea challenge competition organised in partnership with the United Nations Association of South Africa. This competition is open to young aspiring entrepreneurs interested in the following sectors: Tourism &Hospitality, Creative Industry, Food & Beverages, Technology & Gaming. Over 50 participants will be pitching for the R50,000 Entrepreneurial Seed Grant and additional prizes with various partners including six months mentorship & coaching. The seed fund is used to assist aspiring startups to assess the viability of their idea, fund costs of product launch & early traction through marketing support. Guest: Youth Exchange Entrepreneurial Programme Africa co founder’s name is Alesimo Mwanga
          

Afghanistan

 Cache   
In December, the Security Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly meeting on Afghanistan. Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), is expected to brief on the latest Secretary-General’s report on UNAMA, due in December, and the most recent developments. Aisha Khurram, Afghanistan’s current Youth Representative to the UN, may also brief. Additionally, the Security Council will have to renew the mandate of the Monitoring Team assisting the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee, set to expire on 17 December.
          

Briefing - Access to cultural life for people with disabilities - 02-12-2019

 Cache   
Despite the additional barriers they face, artists with disabilities make a creative contribution to cultural life. People with disabilities should also have equal access to works of art and be able to enjoy cultural life on a par with all citizens. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities entered into force in 2011. It enshrined, among other rights, the right of people with disabilities to access cultural venues such as theatres, cinemas and museums, and to enjoy cultural materials, books, films and music in an accessible format. It also highlighted the right of people with disabilities to participate in cultural life as both amateur and professional artists. The European Union, party to the Convention, is committed to working on legislation, and implementing and promoting programmes and actions in favour of these rights. The EU disability strategy is a step in this direction. It also covers the cultural rights of 80 million people with disabilities in the EU. According to a public consultation on disability issues carried out in accordance with the recommendations of experts from the Member States working on access to culture, such access is an important area that the EU should address. Various EU funds contribute financially to research and innovation, cultural and infrastructure projects, and programmes promoting the right to cultural life of people with disabilities within this framework. In October 2018, the EU also ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled. The EU effectively became a party to the treaty as of 1 January 2019, committing to set mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled. The European Parliament and its Disability Intergroup, established in 1980, promote the rights, including the cultural rights, of people with disabilities.

Šaltinis : © Europos Sąjunga, 2019 - EP
          

Glaustai - World AIDS Day 2019 - 29-11-2019

 Cache   
Every year, 1 December marks World AIDS Day, proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) in 1988 and aimed mainly at raising awareness. This year's specific theme, 'Communities make a difference', draws attention to the crucial role of community health workers and communities of people living with HIV, highlighting their contribution to ending the epidemic. World AIDS Day also offers an opportunity to take stock of progress, globally and in the EU.

Šaltinis : © Europos Sąjunga, 2019 - EP
          

Angola: Angola and Us Conciliate Agendas for December

 Cache   
[ANGOP] Luanda -A concertation meeting was held Tuesday (26) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between delegations from Angola and the US, under their respective rotating presidencies in the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) ) and the United Nations Security Council, due for December.
          

COP25: Climate summit kicks off as Guterres issues stark warning

 Cache   
Madrid, Spain – United Nations leaders and delegates kicked off COP25 on Monday in Madrid, launching...
          

UNDP & Impact Hub Partner To Host The Green Innovation Fair 5 December

 Cache   

Impact Hub is partnering the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to host the Green Innovation Fair. The competition will allow entrepreneurs working to reduce carbon emissions to pitch their products/services for a chance to win US$1 000. Who’s eligible? The following criterion will be used […]

The post UNDP & Impact Hub Partner To Host The Green Innovation Fair 5 December appeared first on Techzim.


          

UNDP Launches Accelerator Lab In Zimbabwe

 Cache   

The United Nations Development Program has launches first Accelerator Lab in Zim as part of the UNDP Global Accelerator Lab Learning Network initiative. The aim of launching the lab in Zimbabwe is to tackle frontier challenges in development that the world is facing such as climate change, migration, artificial intelligence and the informal economy. Over […]

The post UNDP Launches Accelerator Lab In Zimbabwe appeared first on Techzim.


          

Thailand: Partnerships Manager (Private Sector Fundraising), P-4, Thailand Country Office, Bangkok.

 Cache   
Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Thailand
Closing date: 15 Dec 2019

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Partnerships

These days we advocate for laws and policies that better deliver on children’s rights while making sure that the human and financial resources needed to carry them out are available. We have around 50 staff members working with our partners to find new and innovative ways to protect the rights of all children in the country and to ensure that the benefits of Thailand’s rapid and impressive development reach the most disadvantaged children.

By bringing together all types of individuals concerned with child rights, we move closer to the day when every child in Thailand, regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or legal status, has a fair chance to grow up in a safe, healthy and protective environment and reach their full potential.

How can you make a difference?

Private Sector Fundraising section is looking for a talent to fill this newly established role under Partnerships Management pillar who will be accountable for providing strategic leadership on the whole of office holistic engagement with business and key influencers to maximize results for children and UNICEF’s ability to effectively deliver on the country programme, entailing:

  • Developing a cross cutting vision and strategy for partnerships in Thailand
  • Achieving the current ambitious financial targets in the PSP (business / philanthropy / CP2P)
  • Lead strategic engagement with business as a duty bearer for children’s right (CRBP) on behalf of the office
  • Leading the development of the whole UNICEF approach to shared valued partnerships
  • The incumbent will work under supervision of Chief PSFR, with dotted line on technical guidance from Deputy Representative. Responsibilities of the post pertain to strategy and management of the full spectrum of Partnerships Management pillar; e.g. the development and strategic management of high-level foundation partnerships, UHNWI donors/supporters, corporate partners and industry platforms. The incumbent will have the overall accountability in developing fundraising strategies for these stakeholders in order to support the implementation of Thailand Country Programe and potential regional or global programmes, i.e. humanitarian causes. S/he will need to work closely with Programmes, Advocacy and Communications to ensure alignment. In addition, s/he will need to indentify synergies with the other two pillars (Acquisition and Retention) to develop priority integrated partnerships with linkages to pathway to pledge. The incumbent will also have overall responsibility to ensure support for other parts of the office in engaging business as partners in programme delivery and advocacy, as well as to lead the office’s strategies around engaging business as a duty bearer for children’s rights and leading key initiatives with key business stakeholders and government in the child rights and business space.

    Key responsibilities:

  • Work with the Chief of PSFR, Programme Officers and Deputy Representation to develop and implement a business for results strategy, that will leverage income, influence and impact for children.
  • Develop a robust and attractive leadership giving programme to maximize income and influence to advance UNICEF’s mission.
  • Lead an integrated approach to high value individual, corporate and foundation partnership while working closely with Programmes, Advocacy and Communications sections, to achieve long term sustainable change/improvement for children.
  • Support programme sections to identify and develop partnerships with business for programme delivery and advocacy towards delivering on UNICEF’s programme outcomes.
  • Lead the office’s child rights and business work, including strategy development, partnerships management, engagement with key business stakeholders, capacity building and the roll out of CRBP related projects.
  • Prioritize and lead on new business pipeline and priority shared value partnerships in view of securing new multi-million, high impact partnerships.
  • Coordinate with the team to expand, maximize and renew existing national partnerships in terms of income, voice and influence, including leveraging pathways to pledge.
  • Contribute to team on other activities / priorities
  • To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced university degree or higher degree in Marketing, international development, CSR/sustainable business, business administration or closely related fields required. University degree and number of direct professionals working experience in the field of work could be considered in lieu of advanced university degree.
  • Eight years of relevant professional work experience in relationship or programme management in a leading international non-profit organization.
  • Experience in line management, monitoring and evaluation, preferred
  • Solid experience in income generation from partnerships, secured / retention of multi-million-dollar partnerships and leading high-profile partnership engagements
  • Preference will be given to candidates with experience managing partnerships and/or security major gifts with a value in excess of $5million
  • Understanding of development programming for children, Children Rights Business Principle or related field- considered a strong asset.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
  • Excellent communication skill in Thai and English (Written and verbal) is required.
  • For every Child, you demonstrate...

    UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    The functional competencies required for this post are...

    Formulating Strategies and Concepts (III), Persuading and influencing (III), Applying Technical Expertise (II), Leading and Supervising (II), Entrepreneurial Thinking (II), Analyzing (II), Relating and Networking (II)

    View our competency framework at

    http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

    UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

    All UN including UNICEF candidates need to send an application letter together with Personal History (P-11) and Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs) of the last two years.

    Remarks:

    Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.


    How to apply:

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=528301


              

    U.N. climate change report says ‘quick wins’ needed to reduce emissions immediately — or risk potentially dire consequences

     Cache   

    Countries need to begin making steep cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions immediately or risk missing the targets they’ve agreed for limiting global warming, with potentially dire consequences, senior United Nations officials said Tuesday.

    A report by the U.N. Environment Program, published days...


              

    Mission for farming: Keesling a spokesperson for Kansas grains

     Cache   
    CHASE — Growing up, Doug Keesling, the son of a farmer in Chase, never expected he would be a spokesperson for Kansas farmers in front of the U.S. Congress or at the United Nations. Neither did he ever imagine he would be on a U.S. president’s agricultural advisory committee. He was a farm kid, and now he’s a farmer — with a mission — to help his fellow farmers. Early lifeWhile in high school, he showed sheep [...]
              

    PhosAgro Named a Leader in Corporate Responsibility Under the UN Global Compact

     Cache   
    New York – PhosAgro, a Russian vertically integrated company and one of the world’s leading producers of phosphate-based fertilizers, has been included on the list of Global Compact LEAD companies for its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and the Compact’s Ten Principles on corporate sustainability.

    Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been identified as a key priority of PhosAgro’s long-term development strategy. While recognising the importance of all 17 SDGs, PhosAgro supports the UN in directly implementing 10 of them.

    Since 2000, more than 13 thousand companies and organisations from more than 160 countries have joined the Global Compact. Among the most active participants in the world’s leading initiative on corporate responsibility and sustainable business, 36 companies from 19 sectors have received LEAD status. PhosAgro is one of two Russian companies selected by the UN to participate in this platform for leadership in the area of corporate sustainability.

    “LEAD companies have demonstrated the highest level of engagement with the UN Global Compact. Today, more than ever before, the world needs companies like those identified as LEAD participants, companies that are constantly working to improve their performance in the area of sustainable development and striving to make the world a better place”, said the CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Lise Kingo, when announcing the list of companies that had been assigned LEAD status.

    PhosAgro plays an active role in the activities and initiatives of international and industry associations, among which the UN occupies an important position. PhosAgro is the only Russian company in the history of the UN selected to finance extrabudgetary initiatives on the part of UNESCO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the areas of green chemistry, food security and sustainable development.

    Coordination of the Company’s work in this area is the responsibility of the PhosAgro Board of Directors’ Sustainable Development Committee, which was created in May of this year and is headed by Irina Bokova, an independent member of the Board of Directors who was previously the head of UNESCO and who has unique expertise in this area.

    “Obtaining LEAD status under the UN Global Compact is important recognition of the Company’s progress in terms of compliance with the Compact’s Principles in the areas of human rights, labour relations, environmental protection and the fight against corruption. 

    “This new status will help PhosAgro improve the impact of its exchange of experiences with other parties to the Global Compact on integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into day-to-day corporate operations, and it will also help with the implementation of important initiatives in this area”, said PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev about the Company’s LEAD status.

    “We have developed successful cooperation with international organisations such as UNESCO, IUPAC and the FAO, which has enabled us to make a significant contribution to solving global issues that have an impact on society. Being included as one of the companies assigned Global Compact LEAD status is an acknowledgement of the impact of our cooperation and of transparency in terms of the disclosure of our results in the area of sustainable development. Within the framework of our strategy to 2025, PhosAgro has the ambition, the potential and the ability to make further progress in terms of improving its operations, while also supporting the UN in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, said Ms Bokova, Chair of PhosAgro’s Sustainable Development Committee.


              

    The Contents of the Asian International Arbitration Journal, Volume 15, Issue 1

     Cache   
    The contents of this issue of the journal is now available and includes the following contributions:   Eunice Chua, ‘Enforcement Of International Mediated Settlement Agreements In Asia: A Path Towards Convergence’ In 2014, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (‘UNCITRAL’) first considered a proposal for the development of a multilateral convention on the...
              

    Trump Got His Wall, After All

     Cache   

    IN THE TWO YEARS AND 308 DAYS THAT DONALD Trump has been president, he has constructed zero miles of wall along the southern border of the United States. He has, to be fair, replaced or reinforced 76 miles of existing fence and signed it with a sharpie. A private group has also built a barrier less than a mile long with some help from Steve Bannon and money raised on GoFundMe. But along the 2,000 miles from Texas to California, there is no blockade of unscalable steel slats in heat-retaining matte black, no electrified spikes, no moat and no crocodiles. The animating force of Trump’s entire presidency—the idea that radiated a warning of dangerous bigotry to his opponents and a promise of unapologetic nativism to his supporters—will never be built in the way he imagined.

    And it doesn’t matter. In the two years and 308 days that Donald Trump has been president, his administration has constructed far more effective barriers to immigration. No new laws have actually been passed. This transformation has mostly come about through subtle administrative shifts—a phrase that vanishes from an internal manual, a form that gets longer, an unannounced revision to a website, a memo, a footnote in a memo. Among immigration lawyers, the cumulative effect of these procedural changes is known as the invisible wall.

    In the two years after Trump took office, denials for H1Bs, the most common form of visa for skilled workers, more than doubled. In the same period, wait times for citizenship also doubled, while average processing times for all kinds of visas jumped by 46 percent, even as the quantity of applications went down. In 2018, the United States added just 200,000 immigrants to the population, a startling 70 percent less than the year before.

    Before Trump was elected, there was virtually no support within either party for policies that make it harder for foreigners to come here legally. For decades, the Republican consensus has favored tough border security along with high levels of legal immigration. The party’s small restrictionist wing protested from the margins, but it was no match for a pro-immigration coalition encompassing business interests, unions and minority groups. In 2013, then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions introduced an amendment that would have lowered the number of people who qualified for green cards and work visas. It got a single vote in committee—his own. As a former senior official at the Department of Homeland Security observed, “If you told me these guys would be able to change the way the U.S. does immigration in two years, I would have laughed.”

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP REVIEWS PROTOTYPES FOR HIS “IMPENETRABLE, POWERFUL, BEAUTIFUL” WALL. (AP/EVAN VUCCI)

    Senior adviser Stephen Miller is usually regarded as the White House’s immigration mastermind, but his maneuvering is only a sliver of the story. The most fine-grained and consequential changes would never have been possible without a group of like-minded figures stationed in relevant parts of the government—particularly the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, the agency within DHS that administers visas. Early in Trump’s presidency, said the former DHS official, there was a “strategic sprinkling” of people who “shared a common vision and were ready to outwork everybody.” They included Gene Hamilton, Miller’s “terrible sword at DHS” (his actual title was senior counselor to the secretary), and Francis Cissna, the soft-spoken former head of USCIS whom colleagues describe as “an encyclopaedia of immigration law” and “a total immigration nerd.” “If you said to him, what’s on page 468, second paragraph” of the Immigration and Nationality Act, another former DHS official marveled, “he would quote it to you.”

    Amidst the chaos at DHS, the restrictionists have already radically scaled back America’s asylum and refugee programs for years to come. But no category of immigrant ( 1 ) The major avenues for legal immigration are via family (including marriage), employment and humanitarian programs for refugees and asylum seekers.has escaped the uptick of denials and delays—not the Palestinian student with a Harvard scholarship who was deported upon landing in Boston, or the Australian business owner forced to leave after building a life here. Not the Bolshoi Ballet stars who somehow failed to meet the criteria of accomplished artists, or the Iraqi translators who risked their lives for the U.S. military and whose annual admissions went from 325 to just two after the change in administration. Then there are the consequences that are harder to capture in headlines or statistics: the couples whose marriages broke down when the foreign spouse was forced to wait far longer than usual in their home country, and the unknown number of people who have abandoned the attempt to stay because of financial hardship or the strain of living with a level of uncertainty that becomes untenable.

    “What became clear to me early on was that these guys wanted to shut down every avenue to get into the U.S.,” the first former senior DHS official said. “They wanted to reduce the number of people who could get in under any category: illegals, legals, refugees, asylum seekers—everything. And they wanted to reduce the number of foreigners already here through any means possible.” No government in modern memory has been this dedicated to limiting every form of immigration to the United States. To find one that was, you have to go a long way back, to 1924.

    GERMAN-JEWISH REFUGEES ABOARD THE MS ST. LOUIS, WHICH WAS TURNED AWAY FROM THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA IN 1939.(BETTMANN VIA GETTY)

    “ANATION OF IMMIGRANTS”—THESE FOUR WORDS, ( 2 ) The phrase was popularized by John F. Kennedy, who used it as the title of his 1958 book.genius in their concision, mask the messiest of histories. People like to recall that George Washington wanted America to “be an Asylum to the persecuted of the earth.” Less often praised: Ben Franklin’s contention that immigrants are “the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation.” Americans have been having some version of this argument ever since. And for much of the country’s existence, public opinion towards immigration has ranged from tepid to hostile. As Daniel Tichenor, author of the comprehensive history, “Dividing Lines,” puts it, “We love the immigrant past and dread the immigrant present.”

    One rare exception came after the Civil War, when the country was desperate to replace the men who had died on the battlefield. A flourishing postwar confidence revived the idea that the country could absorb a never-ending stream of foreigners and fuse their best characteristics into that superior being, an American.

    The turn began in the 1880s. Extremes of wealth had sparked massive labor strikes; out West, people fretted that the land was running out. Now, newcomers were a threat, and the more foreign they seemed, the more threatening they were. An early warning was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first-ever prohibition of all people of a specific race. Over the next decade, a surge of European migrants accounted for 40 percent of population growth. From the 1890s, this wave was dominated not by English, Scandanavians, Germans or Irish, but by poorer southern and eastern Europeans and Russian Jews. As the country slid into a long depression, the new immigrants became the source and the target of a tinderbox anxiety. There were lynchings of Italians in New Orleans; attacks on Jewish farmers by Mississippi nightriders; a riot against Russian Jewish factory workers in New Jersey.

    EDITORIAL CARTOONS FROM THE 1880S-1900S (ABOVE: LOUIS DALRUMPLE. BELOW: C.J. TAYLOR/ MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM)

    For decades, nativists in Congress tried and failed to translate this hostility into new immigration laws. It wasn’t until the early 1920s, after Warren Harding was elected president on an “America First” platform, that two Republican lawmakers, Representative Albert Johnson and Senator David Reed, finally realized a restrictionist dream: a comprehensive racial quota system devised to keep American bloodlines pure. “[T]he country would never be the same,” wrote John Higham in his definitive account of American nativism, “Strangers in the Land”—“either in its social structure or in its habits of mind.”

    To build the public case for their legislation, Johnson and Reed teamed up with the leading eugenicists of the day. Johnson enlisted Harry Laughlin, who in 1936 received an honorary degree from a German university for his contributions to the “science of racial cleansing,” to conduct research for the House Immigration Committee. Johnson also worked closely with Madison Grant, whose manifesto, “The Passing of the Great Race,” is a deranged codification of white men into three “races” of descending desirability—Nordics, Alpines and Mediterraneans. Grant’s conclusion, drawn from spurious analyses of skull shape and nose width, was that the new immigrants should be scientifically excluded from the definition of whiteness. They were “human flotsam … breeding out their masters and killing by filth and by crowding as effectively as by the sword.”

    In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Johnson-Reed Act, which accorded with his own belief that that “America must be kept American.” The law would ultimately shut down most immigration except for a meager inflow dominated by people Madison Grant would have called Nordics. Everyone else faced waitlists of 10 to 75 years, depending on the quota allotted to their country of origin. The law also birthed a national immigration bureaucracy—what Tichenor calls “an increasingly elaborate immigration control system of racist design.”

    Until this point, nearly everyone who arrived at a port of entry like Ellis Island was admitted to the United States. There was no requirement for a visa. Johnson-Reed was deliberately engineered to prevent most immigrants from ever boarding a steamship, by requiring them to obtain visas from U.S. consulates abroad. The State Department, which ran the consulates, was notoriously anti-Semitic: In 1921, the chief of the Consular Service supplied a report to Congress describing Jewish people as “filthy, un-American, and often dangerous in their habits.” By the 1930s, as Hitler launched his assault on the Jews of Europe, the new visa system was perfectly calibrated not to help the growing ranks of refugees, but to keep them out.

    In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered consulates to give Jewish refugees “the most humane and favorable treatment possible under law.” After that, admissions actually went down. Mere presidential preference was no match for the immigration bureaucracy, which erected, in the words of historian David Wyman, a formidable “paper wall.”

    The paper wall’s architect was Samuel Miller Breckinridge Long—Breckinridge Long to the public. Thin and rangy, intermittently beset by nervous ailments, Long was born to a family that was practically Confederate aristocracy. He’d glided through Princeton, married into money and spent a good deal of his career as a bureaucrat of middling talents. Thanks to his old pal “Frank” Roosevelt, in 1939 he was put in charge of refugee admissions, though he had no relevant experience. From then on, Roosevelt essentially abdicated refugee policy to Long because he was so spooked by the politics: In 1938, the year of Kristallnacht, 86 percent of Americans opposed an emergency increase of refugee admissions.

    BRECKINRIDGE LONG (MYRON DAVIS/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION VIA GETTY)

    From the nativists' perspective, Long was the best possible man for the moment. He believed the overwhelming majority of refugees were propagandists, subversives, freeloaders and derelicts. And he knew exactly how to protect his country from the “alien influx”—with the merciless application of rules, regulations, procedures and forms.

    In 1940, Long issued a memo instructing subordinates to avoid granting visas to European refugees for a “temporary period of indefinite length.” From today's vantage point, his methods are eerily familiar. “We could do this by simply advising our consuls to put every obstacle in the way and to require additional evidence and resort to various administrative devices which would postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of the visas,” he explained. Later, he would crow in his diary: “The cables practically stopping immigration went!”

    Consular officials had enormous latitude in determining a refugee’s fate. In France, you had to obtain an exit visa, a transit visa, an entry visa for the U.S., moral and political affidavits of support, certificates of good behavior and a paid ticket for the ship. You couldn’t get a visa without a ticket, which were sold out months in advance, and you couldn’t get a ticket without a visa, which were only valid for four months, and if just one of your documents had expired on the day of departure, you had to start all over again.

    “IT TAKES MONTHS AND MONTHS TO GRANT THE VISAS AND THEN IT USUALLY APPLIES TO A CORPSE.”

    One of the most powerful tools employed by visa officials was the public charge rule—a component of federal law which states that a person can’t be admitted to the United States if they are likely to become a burden on the state. Although the rule had been on the books since 1882, it was barely observed until the Depression. Under Long, consulates wielded it with abandon. To Jewish refugees of Nazi Germany, the rule must have seemed like a sadistic joke, since throughout the 1930s they had been forced to relinquish up to 90 percent of their capital when they left the country. Even if they were lucky enough to have American financial sponsors, the standards of proof were constantly shifting. As a result, there were multiple years after Hitler seized power in which the U.S. did not fill its annual quota of just under 30,000 immigrants from Germany. In 1938, for example, the State Department admitted 19,552 former residents of the Third Reich, not all of whom were Jewish.

    And yet Breckinridge Long wasn’t satisfied. Convinced Germany was infiltrating America with spies disguised as refugees, he created, for the first time, a centralized immigration processing system based in Washington. Applicants submitted letters of support, financial records and character testimonies. Sponsors were scrutinized. Five committees from different agencies reviewed every application. After that, the flow of refugees nearly stopped altogether. In a speech, Representative Emanuel Cellar blamed Long for the “gruesome bottleneck.” He observed: “It takes months and months to grant the visas and then it usually applies to a corpse.”

    A MEETING OF THE WAR REFUGEE BOARD IN 1944. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY HENRY MORGENTHAU, JR., IS IN THE CENTER. (FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT LIBRARY)

    In January 1944, Treasury Secretary Robert Morgenthau demanded a meeting with Roosevelt and Long to discuss the situation. He came armed with an investigative memo, which he titled “Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews.” It documented Long’s machinations in devastating detail. Roosevelt immediately agreed to create a War Refugee Board outside Long’s control. Its work during the remainder of the war demonstrated just how many more lives could have been saved: According to Wyman, it managed to rescued around 200,000 people in 18 months.

    Long fumed at his demotion, raging to his diary that he had been “thrown to the wolves.” One of his great regrets was that he no longer enjoyed the favor of his old friend Frank. The loss of status gnawed at him. He retired by the end of 1944, and after writing a memoir that failed to find a publisher, mostly concentrated on breeding race horses, which usually lost. To the end of his life, according to his biographer, Neil Rolde, he never acknowledged, or apparently even realized, the magnitude of what he had done.

    And yet even after the horrors of the Nazi regime were fully revealed, Johnson-Reed wasn’t overturned for another two decades. The law that replaced it, the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, is often celebrated as the moment that America opened its doors to the world. At the time, though, its authors had more modest goals. Shamed into action by the civil rights movement, they planned to abolish the racial quotas and create a merit system allowing for limited immigration from outside of Europe.

    It was only a last-minute nativist intervention that turned the law into something very different. An antsy Democratic congressman named Michael Feighan secured a provision allowing people to qualify through family ties as well—reasoning that since most immigrants were white, it would protect the racial status quo. “The bill that we sign today is not a revolutionary bill,” President Lyndon Johnson promised. “It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society,” Senator Ted Kennedy agreed.

    Instead, the law changed the composition of America by accident. Among other things, Feighan completely failed to consider that people from non-European countries would qualify under the merit system and then sponsor their relatives, the process restrictionists term “chain migration.” ( 3 ) “Congress was saying … 'We need to open the door for some more British doctors, some more German engineers,’” sociologist Stephen Klineberg told NPR. “It never occurred to anyone, literally, that there were going to be African doctors, Indian engineers, Chinese computer programmers who’d be able, for the first time in the 20th century, to immigrate to America.”The foreign-born population grew from 9.6 million in 1965 to 45 million in 2015, with 90 percent of those new arrivals coming from outside Europe—mostly from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The United States became, wrote historian Aristide Zolberg, “the first nation to mirror humanity.” To restrictionists, the 1965 reforms are the original sin, the moment when America betrayed its workers, sacrificed a mythic social cohesion and placed the country’s heritage and its future at mortal risk. And ever since, reversing those reforms has been their overriding goal.

    NEW CITIZENS IN LOS ANGELES ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1995.(GILLES MINGASSON/GETTY)

    BACK WHEN JEFF SESSIONS WAS A U.S. SENATOR, HE routinely selected a few staffers to join him in his office for a seminar-style discussion of whatever happened to be on his mind that day. Increasingly over the years, the subject was immigration. These conversations could last for hours. Some staffers surreptitiously tried to work on their phones while the senator dialed up an academic or wended his way through an idea as if preparing to argue a case before a jury. But Sessions’ communications director, Stephen Miller, was invigorated by the intellectual exchange. “They kind of fed off each other,” said one regular attendee. Late in the day, Sessions often took Miller along to his hideaway—the unmarked nook each senator has near the chamber. There, Sessions would decant that day’s conversation into a speech written on a legal pad and deliver it on the floor. “I don’t know how many people listened,” a former staffer said.

    Miller, though, was paying close attention. He’d been railing against immigrants since his high school days as a minor conservative talk radio celebrity in Santa Monica, but his vitriol tended towards the generic—immigrants shouldn’t speak Spanish; their communities were incubators for terrorism and crime. By contrast, Sessions’ desire to curb immigration was part of a wider set of concerns about Americans who had been shut out of the modern economy, underpinned by a cohesive historical argument. On numerous occasions, he praised Johnson-Reed, ignoring its explicitly racist motivations and painting it simply as an effort by Coolidge to raise wages, as well as the sole engine of America’s postwar prosperity.

    THEN-SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS AND HIS COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, STEPHEN MILLER, IN JANUARY 2014 (ANDREW HARNIK/THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

    Similar historical references were cropping up in Miller’s private emails, too. In a series of messages from 2015 obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Miller pinged Breitbart reporter Katie McHugh with ideas for stories celebrating “the heritage established by Calvin Coolidge” and lamenting the damage done by the 1965 legislation. The culmination of the Miller-Sessions mindmeld was a 25-page primer hand-delivered to every Republican congressional office that year. Written by Miller, it lauded the 1924 reforms for ushering in “a sustained slowdown that allowed wages to rise, assimilation to occur, and the middle class to emerge.” It would become a foundational document for the Trump campaign’s immigration platform.

    The day after Trump’s election victory, Gene Hamilton started assembling a team to develop an immigration roadmap for the transition and beyond. Hamliton, then a legal adviser to Sessions in his thirties, relied heavily on staffers for Sessions and Senator Chuck Grassley, whose offices had for years been a lonely beacon for restrictionist groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR; the Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA. From the outset, according to “Border Wars,” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear, Hamilton’s small braintrust knew they had to fight on two fronts—against liberal-minded career staffers and mainstream Republican appointees wedded to the status quo.

    Hamilton himself had a deep knowledge of DHS ( 4 ) Before working for Sessions, Hamilton had spent two years working for various DHS offices, and also interned at Immigration and Customs Enforcement while in law school.and a knack for the inside game, both of which became valuable assets when he joined the department. “He would take the pen on a lot of things,” the former DHS official said—meaning he’d assume responsibility for writing a document, giving him the power to set the terms of the debate and the process. “He was sort of the political commissar,” another former senior DHS official explained. “You had to work with him to make sure you weren’t going to get your legs chopped out underneath you.”

    For USCIS director, Hamilton recommended Cissna, a DHS lawyer who’d spent the past two years detailed to Grassley’s office. “Our family is literally a product of our nation’s legal immigration system,” Cissna said at his confirmation hearing, explaining that his grandparents were Peruvian, his wife’s family was Middle Eastern and that he only spoke Spanish to his kids at home. Although he largely shared Miller’s policy goals, his position on immigration “wasn’t a race thing,” the second former DHS senior official told me. Instead, the official said, Cissna saw himself as a “steward of the law,” which he believed should be enforced according to the narrowest interpretation. Quiet and not overtly political, he was nonetheless a canny operator. When he took over at USCIS, “he knew which small things could change to have a big effect,” said Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “He couldn’t be bamboozled by bureaucrats. He knew their job in a way a lot of political appointees don’t.”

    FRANCIS CISSNA. (WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY)

    Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, a veteran Grassley staffer, was put in charge of the USCIS policy office a couple of weeks after her former boss recommended her to Trump via tweet. (“@POTUS If u want a real expert on fixing H1B a former staffer of mine just moved to HomelandSecurity Call my office I will tell WHO SHE IS.”) She brought in Robert Law, FAIR’s governmental relations director, as her senior adviser. Law was smart but rigid. “You couldn’t convince him of anything he didn’t already believe,” said a person who worked with him at USCIS. Along with other alumni of restrictionist groups, ( 5 ) Julie Kirchner, a former FAIR executive director, became USCIS ombudsman, and Jon Feere, a former CIS analyst, became a senior adviser at ICE.Law became a resource for some DHS officials who lacked an immigration background but found the issue consuming their jobs. “They could tell you, this is the law, this is the history of it. It was fascinating,” said one. “They had been following this for decades.”

    At first, things didn’t move as nearly quickly as Miller and Hamilton wanted, mostly because of Trump’s first DHS Secretary, John Kelly. “He was a difficult guy for people to mess with. Even Stephen Miller,” recalled the former DHS official. It wasn’t until Kelly became White House chief of staff in July 2017, another former official explained, that Miller was able to “consolidate his strength.”

    A couple of months later, a meeting was convened at the department, with the acting secretary, Elaine Duke, the most senior figure present. According to a person who was there, Hamilton abruptly took control of the gathering, cutting Duke out of the conversation completely. “Everyone was looking at each other. We’d never seen anything like this—a guy with no standing [taking over the meeting].”

    Hamilton informed the group they needed to produce memos outlining how to enact 10 White House policy priorities, including how to get rid of a 20-day limit on holding children in detention and how to use family separation to discourage migration. He wanted the memos within days.

    The DHS policy office started work according to normal operating procedure—gathering information and assessing the legality and merits of the proposals. Normally, this would take months. “It drove the White House crazy,” said the former DHS official. “Duke’s chief of staff kept asking, ‘Dude, where are the memos?’ He was getting pounded by the White House.” Many of the memos were never produced, the official added, because “some of the [ideas] were so clearly bad.” (Hamilton didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

    GENE HAMILTON “WAS SORT OF THE POLITICAL COMMISSAR,” A FORMER OFFICIAL SAID. “YOU HAD TO WORK WITH HIM TO MAKE SURE YOU WEREN’T GOING TO GET YOUR LEGS CHOPPED OUT UNDERNEATH YOU.”

    At USCIS, the pressure to scrap old policies and roll out new ones was relentless. In theory, the chief counsel’s office was supposed to conduct thorough legal analyses of all new initiatives. Sometimes the office was cut out of the loop; sometimes lawyers were informed of a new memo the day before it dropped, requiring them to scramble till midnight or later to ensure it met basic legal standards. Comment skirmishes broke out within draft documents, with career staff inserting concerns and political appointees stripping them out. The political appointees “really didn’t care about the operational impact of different policies or litigation concerns,” recalled a former agency lawyer. Hamilton himself has essentially confirmed this. “That sounds like the craziest policy you could ever have,” he said in a deposition when asked if DHS had assessed the litigation risk of ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. “You could never do anything if you were always worried about being sued.”

    Kovarik and Law also pushed staffers to dig up evidence for their preferred policies, even when the facts didn’t oblige. For instance, they insisted on advancing the termination of temporary protected status ( 6 ) A temporary status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe to return there.for several “shithole countries”—the president’s term—even when experts at State and USCIS recommended extensions. The problem with the official analysis for Haiti, Kovarik explained to a career staffer in an October 2017 email, “is that it reads as though we’d recommend an extension because we talk so much about how bad it is.” The staffer replied, carefully, "We can comb through the country conditions to try to see what else there might be, but the basic problem is that it IS bad there.” Later that month, Law assigned an “important research project” to a low-level employee. “I need positive data on the current status of Haiti to bolster the recommendation to terminate TPS. Improvements or the like that I can plug in,” he wrote. “Be creative.”

    In a separate exchange, Cissna complained that staffers hadn’t done a very elegant job of massaging the facts in order to end TPS status for Sudan. "The memo reads like one person who strongly supports extending TPS for Sudan wrote everything up to the recommendation section and then someone who opposes extension snuck up behind the first guy, clubbed him over the head, pushed his senseless body of out of the way, and finished the memo,” he wrote.

    Even though USCIS had announced plans to kill DACA and end TPS for six countries, the political appointees were being bombarded by Miller to go faster. One of his obsessions was a regulation for a far tougher version of the public charge rule, which had to go through a mandatory administrative process. In June 2018 emails obtained by Politico, Miller berated Cissna for the “unacceptable” timeframe, writing, “I don't care what you need to do to finish it on time.” Cissna stuck to his principles. “He believed,” said the former DHS official, that “this could all get done through the rule of law.”

    ACTIVISTS OUTSIDE THE SUPREME COURT IN NOVEMBER, FOLLOWING A HEARING ON DACA.(CHIP SOMODEVILLA /GETTY)

    OVER AND OVER, IN PUBLIC AND TO HIS STAFF WITHIN USCIS’s boxy beige headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue, Cissna insisted that his mission was simply to enforce the law as it was written. At an event last year, he brought along his copy of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a brick of a book stuffed with yellow post-it notes, and patted it almost affectionately. “Everything we do at the agency should be guided by that, not by, you know, any other thing,” he said in his halting manner. “That’s our Bible.”

    It was an effective claim, and a disingenuous one. So much of America’s immigration code is open to interpretation. There’s no objective test for whether a concert violinist meets the legal standard of “exceptional;” whether a full-stack Java developer is a “specialized” occupation; whether a certain type of kidney condition technically qualifies as a “hardship.” Many decisions inevitably come down to the judgement of individuals, which means they’re susceptible to the peculiar psychology of the immigration bureaucracy.

    “In my own office, I am queen,” one former visa adjudicator told me. What she meant was that the guy down the hallway might require a lot more evidence than she did, or interpret the legal criteria more stringently, and that it wouldn’t be remotely strange if they each reviewed the same case and reached opposite conclusions. Within processing offices, “people get reputations,” she said. There are the officers inclined to give applicants the benefit of the doubt and those hunting for a reason to deny. Many aren’t ideological at all, but are swayed by the preferences of their supervisors. “Everyone learns to write for the teacher,” one officer observed.

    All this variability gives each USCIS office a distinct culture. It’s why lawyers regard the Vermont processing center as reasonably fair and efficient and the one in California as more of a crapshoot. You can sense these distinctions as an immigrant, even if you don’t understand them. You file one application and it goes through smoothly; then a subsequent one gets snagged on some unseen impediment. A new boss, maybe, or a big immigration controversy, or some directive that causes the culture within the agency to change.

    A few months after Cissna was confirmed, in February 2018, he removed the phrase “nation of immigrants” from USCIS’s mission statement. Less noticed but more significant was his decision to strip references to “customer service” from internal manuals. Staffers knew exactly what this meant. USCIS started referring to applicants as “customers” during the Obama administration, and the change was detested by more skeptical employees, who preferred terms like “foreign nationals” or “aliens.” León Rodriguez, the agency’s director from 2014 to 2017, explained that the deletion of the word “customer” could reshape every aspect of an officer’s work: “It’s a statement that your performance will not be judged based on how you treat the people with whom you’re interacting. Your courtesy, transparency, care in explaining things, compassion. Over time that changes what people prioritize.”

    “THE STATISTICS FOR VISA APPROVALS AND DENIALS FOR THE LAST DECADE WERE RELATIVELY CONSISTENT,” SPAULDING SAID. “THEN ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.”

    The new priority was visa fraud. There had long been a subset of staffers, including upper-level employees, who were convinced that most immigrants were trying to cheat the system in some way. They were mostly kept at bay because the agency’s own statistics showed consistently low levels of fraud. Under Cissna, that all changed. “There was a sense of urgency across the agency that was palpable,” said Spaulding, who worked as an investigator for the fraud unit in Philadelphia from 2006 until 2019. He described the new mandate as: “Your job as adjudicator is to ferret out fraud. Good adjudicators find fraud. Bad ones don’t.” Adjudicators were also trained in more adversarial styles of interviewing, Spaulding said, “like a Customs and Border Protection officer.” (USCIS spokesperson Matthew Bourke said adjudicators regularly receive training to detect fraud but are not instructed to be adversarial.) Across the agency, there was a pronounced shift to what Rodriguez called a “law enforcement model—the sort of culture change very much driven from the top.”
    Meanwhile, the political appointees under Cissna were churning out memos announcing administrative changes to visa processing that were devastating in their banality. “If you go through the statistics [for visa approvals] for the last decade, they were relatively consistent,” Spaulding said. “Then about two years ago, all hell broke loose.”

    The first memo, issued in October 2017, eliminated something called “prior deference.” Previously, if a person had been greenlit multiple times for certain visas, the adjudications officer would check the circumstances that had changed since the last one. Now, every petition has to be reviewed as if the person was a first-time applicant—a vastly more time-consuming exercise. A former USCIS lawyer told me the memo was very much motivated by the new emphasis on fraud: Excavating old applications provided an opportunity to “get that gotcha moment.” Publicly, though, the agency couldn’t cite that as the justification, “because the stats didn’t back it up. So we had to say something else.”

    The administration, Miller included, often insisted that its policies weren’t anti-immigrant, that it wanted to prioritize high-skilled workers over family-based migrants. And yet the changes coming out of USCIS seemed designed to make it difficult for those workers to come to the United States, too. Denials for first-time H1B applicants, who need a bachelor’s degree, jumped from 6 percent in the 2015 financial year to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2019. And even those numbers don’t tell the full story. An H1B visa typically lasts three years, but lawyers report a pattern of approvals for durations so short they are effectively useless—a week or even a day. In a hearing in D.C. district court, the judge asked the lawyer representing USCIS whether a one-day approval was “as good as a denial.” The government’s lawyer admitted: “There's little practical difference, I would agree with that.”

    EVERY USCIS OFFICE HAS ITS OWN DISTINCT CULTURE. (JOHN MOORE/GETTY)

    For immigrants trying to navigate the rapidly changing rules, everything just kept getting harder. The length of most forms has doubled or tripled or worse. Fees are going up for many visas. Under a new policy of mandatory in-person interviews for employment green cards, the average processing time has gone from around 10 months to more than two years in multiple cities. Yet another memo enabled the government to reject applications without giving the person a chance to correct errors, even incredibly trivial ones. ProPublica found a case that was rejected “because the seventh page, usually left blank, was not attached.” Another was denied “because it did not have a table of contents.” (USCIS has since said it does not intend to reject petitions for “innocent mistakes.”) Meanwhile, the agency has barricaded itself from communication. It is in the process of shuttering 16 of its 23 international offices. Where lawyers could once call or email the office that was handling a case, now they spend hours on hold in a Kafkaesque game of phone tag with a national customer service center. If they miss a return call, they have to start the inquiry from the beginning.

    Inside USCIS, the new restrictions and requirements created a “pattern of chaos,” Spaulding said, as adjudicators struggled to “respond to what they think their superiors want.” For instance, the agency is issuing far more RFEs, or requests for additional evidence. ( 7 ) In the first quarter of 2019, the agency issued RFEs in 60 percent of H1B cases, compared to only 20 percent in 2016.“RFEs used to be common sense under Obama—if you can show the evidence, you get approval,” said Matt Cameron, a Boston lawyer who handles both employment and asylum cases. Now, they’re used as a stalling device. Lawyers are routinely asked for basic documents they’ve already submitted. One attorney was told to prove that the client’s mechanical engineering degree was relevant to his job as a mechanical engineer. Another was instructed to provide additional evidence that her client’s marriage was genuine. “I’m like, are you high?” the lawyer said. “Two people who have adopted a child together eight years ago have a fake marriage?”

    More often, though, attorneys say they simply receive the same vague, boilerplate questions for multiple clients. For an officer behind on his caseload, Spaulding explained, an RFE is “one of the best ways to buy time.” While the applicant prepares a response, the case is no longer counted as open on the officer’s docket. By the end of 2018, USCIS’s total backlog of pending cases was a record 5.7 million.

    Still, Stephen Miller wasn’t satisfied. He kept pushing Cissna to rush out the public charge regulation before it had been fully vetted. When word started to spread that Cissna could be forced out, restrictionist groups told reporters his ouster would be a “colossal mistake.” But it was too late. On May 24, Cissna resigned at Trump’s request in a Miller-driven purge that also claimed DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. (Cissna didn’t respond to requests for comment.) For the past two years, one USCIS career staffer recalled, she and her demoralized colleagues kept telling themselves that “it could be worse.” Then, in June, Ken Cuccinelli was named the agency’s acting director—“and it did get worse.”

    A MAKESHIFT ENCAMPMENT AT THE U.S. BORDER PATROL STATION IN MCALLEN, TEXAS, THIS MAY.(REUTERS/LOREN ELLIOTT)

    LATE THIS SUMMER, KEN CUCCINELLI INSTALLED A lumpy human-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty in USCIS headquarters, by a window overlooking Massachusetts Avenue. It was a very on-brand bit of trolling: About two weeks earlier, he had finally announced the public charge regulation at a press conference at the White House. There, Cuccinelli suggested that the famous Emma Lazarus poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty (the real one) would be more accurate if it read: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” The poem, he added, was about “people coming from Europe.”

    Cuccinelli is a very different political animal from Cissna, one far more suited to Trumpworld. One of his conditions for accepting the job, according to a source, was that a government car ferry him every day to Washington from his home an hour and a half away in rural Nokesville, Virginia. A conservative purist with a showman’s instinct, he tweets a lot, often about Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or CBP operations that seemed to excite him more than the work of his own agency. Some of the tweets are transparently bespoke for an audience of one. In September, he posted an image of a framed photograph of Trump next to a giant stack of paper, which was a new USCIS policy changing all uses of “foreign nationals” to “aliens.”

    KEN CUCCINELLI WITH LADY LIBERTY AND WITH CBP OFFICERS ON THE RIO GRANDE. (@USCISCUCCINELLI/TWITTER)

    He also shares his boss’s impatience with the slow pace of policy-making. “It seems like everybody in government defers to DOJ,” Cuccinelli told Mark Krikorian at a recent panel discussion. “I don’t operate that way. Lawyers advise and they can deal with my decision as best they can. They may not be [happy].” A former DHS official who worked with Cissna told me Cuccinelli “respected what Cissna did. But where Cissna would have to get something to 98 percent to make him feel good, I think Ken Cuccinelli is much more of a 60 or 70 percent kind of guy.”

    Some DHS leaders, though, felt Cuccinelli’s Trumpian pronouncements were getting in the way of Trump’s agenda. Exhibit A was the outrage provoked by his comments on the Statue of Liberty. “There was concern at DHS that you had an extremely complicated rule, the public charge, which deserved a full policy discussion,” said one former official. “It was fettered by this discussion of the poem, which bore no relevance to the issue.” Asked whether Cuccinelli had ignited the controversy by accident or on purpose, the official paused for an uncomfortably long time and finally said, dryly, “He thinks of himself as a very talented communicator.”

    Out of all the administration’s immigration reforms, the public charge rule has been the most ambitious by far. In the past, the term was defined to mean anyone who was primarily dependent on government assistance. Restrictionists pointed out that only cash benefits were counted—excluding major entitlements like food stamps, Medicaid and housing subsidies. But the new definition is aggressively broad. Most new immigrants aren’t actually eligible for welfare. But the rule grants officers vast discretion to determine whether the applicant might become a public charge at any point in the future. They would be empowered to collect reams of personal financial information and reject any applicant whose income is lower than 250 percent of the poverty line, even if that person has a financial sponsor.

    In essence, the rule would create a backdoor mechanism to alter the composition of immigrants to the United States. Low-income legal immigrants tend to be nonwhite, and they also tend to come here via family-based green cards. According to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, the new definition would potentially exclude more than half of all family-based green card applicants. That is, 71 percent of applicants from Central America, 69 percent from Africa, 52 percent from Asia—but only 36 percent from Europe, Canada and Oceania. The regulation, said Ur Jaddou, chief counsel of USCIS during the Obama administration, “fundamentally changes who gets to use our legal immigration system by race and class without an act of Congress.” (In October, a few days before the rule was due to go into effect, it was temporarily halted by three federal judges. The government is expected to appeal.)

    Cuccinelli’s other priority was asylum, one of two major humanitarian categories of legal immigration. (The other is the refugee program, for people requesting protection while in a foreign country rather than at the U.S. border.) Miller had long been incensed that around 90 percent of people pass the “credible fear” screening—the initial interview that determines whether a claim will go before an immigration judge. People explained to him in meetings that the first hurdle was set intentionally low by Congress, to ensure asylum seekers get a fair hearing, and that only a minority (28 percent) eventually succeed. But Miller was convinced the screenings were an outrageous loophole and demanded they be made more restrictive. Cissna pointed out that the agency couldn’t change the requirements without breaking the law. At one meeting, when Miller kept hounding him about it, Cissna finally erupted. “Enough. Enough. Stand down!” he shouted, according to The New York Times. Cuccinelli had none of these qualms. On his second day on the job, according to Buzzfeed, he sent the division an email scolding officers for failing to prevent “frivolous” claims.

    THE “SHEER NUMBER OF BOTH SIGNIFICANT AND LESS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IS OVERWHELMING,” SAID THE FORMER USCIS CHIEF COUNSEL. “IT WILL TAKE AN AMBITIOUS PLAN OVER A SERIES OF YEARS TO UNDO IT ALL.”

    Within USCIS, asylum officers have always been a band apart. They work in a separate office from visa adjudicators and wear plain clothes, no badges. When the division was launched in the 1980s, it was something of a scandal to visa officers when it was staffed with human rights lawyers and refugee workers. Today, the asylum corps is especially resented by border patrol agents, a longtime officer said. “In their view, we’re a bunch of hippies letting in people they try to keep out.”

    But there’s nothing hippie-ish about the work they do. Asylum officers go through hundreds of hours of rigorous training, learning to distinguish the person who has assumed a false identity because they’re fleeing a violent gang from the person assuming a false identity because they’re a member of that gang. Vetting an applicant can take anywhere between two and five years. “I have to make sure I’m not getting the wool pulled over my eyes by a war criminal,” the officer explained. Since Congress isn’t likely to overhaul the asylum criteria anytime soon, Cuccinelli set about changing the culture of the division itself. Under a DHS pilot program, around 60 border patrol officers are now conducting credible fear screenings. According to government data obtained by Buzzfeed, they have approved less than half of applicants so far. The agency is also hiring 500 new asylum officers, targeting people with law enforcement or military backgrounds, who, according to USCIS spokesperson Matthew Bourke, are “uniquely equipped to support the agency’s improved vetting procedures and fraud-detection efforts.” In a particularly unsubtle move, the division’s head, John Lafferty, was replaced by the director of the fraud unit.

    When you put all of this together, it’s clear that the Trump administration has fundamentally altered the nature of humanitarian immigration to the United States—initiatives that are supported by both parties and have been an essential component of foreign policy since the end of World War II. In 2017, Gene Hamilton and Stephen Miller tag-teamed to reduce annual refugee admissions from 110,000 to 45,000. Since then, the number has been slashed to an all-time low of 18,000. In October, the administration started implementing a regulation ordering that asylum seekers be turned away from the southern border if they have passed through another country without seeking asylum there first. What this means, in practice, is that the only people able to seek asylum at the border are Mexican citizens.

    And yet the restrictionists still aren’t satisfied. After all, the administration hasn’t come close to their goal of halving legal immigration. “Any real changes”—such as ending birthright citizenship or the visa lottery—“are the kind of thing Congress would have to approve,” said Krikorian. FAIR’s governmental relations director, RJ Hauman, told me Trump “botched” his first year with a flawed rollout of the travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. “It tainted everything,” he said, especially the president’s chances of getting more ambitious reforms through Congress.

    SHERIFFS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY MEET PRESIDENT TRUMP AT A FAIR EVENT IN SEPTEMBER. (WHITE HOUSE/JOYCE N. BOGHOSIAN)

    In response, the administration is doing its utmost to appease its most hardcore supporters. For 13 years, FAIR has held an annual convention in Washington D.C. to connect conservative talk radio hosts and anti-immigration personalities. Under previous presidents, it was a niche affair, but this September’s event might as well have been sponsored by the Trump administration. FAIR flew in nearly 200 sheriffs, who received a briefing at the White House from Kellyanne Conway, as well as a photo op with Trump. Afterwards, they made their way back to the Phoenix Park Hotel, just around the corner from DHS. Some 70 radio hosts were crammed into a couple of conference rooms. “We’re in the heart of the swamp, up to our knees in muck,” FAIR’s communications director, Dave Ray, remarked to a talk show host named Tom Roten, who has blamed immigrants for his West Virginia county having “the highest concentration of HIV in the country, maybe even the world.” (This is not true.) Ray went on to discuss the “human carnage caused by criminal aliens and drugs;” at one point, Roten asked, “What if we cut the snake off at the head at the border?”

    Cuccinelli spent an entire morning powering through eight back-to-back interviews, fueled by his usual cup of McDonalds sweet tea. He talked about family separation with Roten who complained that “the media only shows these kids crying.” Children were constantly crossing the border with different adults, pretending to be related, he stated. “You’re exactly right, Tom. They’re being recycled,” Cuccinelli agreed. (Greg Navano, ICE’s assistant director of investigative programs, said that among other methods, the agency sometimes conducts DNA tests of family units, and that around 15 percent of the tests uncovered an adult falsely claiming to be a child’s biological parent.)

    In November, Cuccinelli was promoted to DHS deputy acting secretary. Kathy Nuebel Kovarik became acting deputy at USCIS and Robert Law, the former FAIR lobbyist, ascended to the head of the policy office. The agency has promised a new flurry of major policy changes before the end of the year. And in what is perhaps the purest expression of the administration's intentions so far, it started sending Central American asylum seekers to Guatemala with no access to an attorney, no review by an immigration court, far away from the border infrastructure of activists and reporters and lawyers or any form of help at all.

    AN INFANT IN BORDER PATROL CUSTODY.(JOHN MOORE/GETTY)

    IT’S EASY ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE NONE of the Trump administration’s reforms are entrenched in law, they can be overturned as quickly as they were introduced. And yet even though, in theory, the policy memos can all be withdrawn, the “sheer number of both significant and less significant changes is overwhelming,” said Jaddou, the former USCIS chief counsel. “It will take an ambitious plan over a series of years to undo it all.” Formal regulations, like the third-country asylum rule and public charge rule, if it succeeds, will be especially hard to unravel.

    The institutional implications run deeper. The backlog of delayed cases will likely take several years to get under control. The administration has promoted six judges with some of the highest asylum denial rates to the Justice Department’s immigration appeals court, including one who threatened to set a dog on a 2-year-old child for failing to be quiet in his courtroom. Those appointments are permanent.

    The refugee program, too, will take years to rebuild. The plunge in admissions caused a plunge in funding to the nine resettlement agencies, which have closed more than 100 offices around the country since 2016. That’s a third of their capacity, according to a report by Refugees Council USA. “The whole infrastructure is deteriorating,” said Rodriguez, the former USCIS director. Because the application process is so lengthy, even if a new administration raises refugee admissions on day one, it would take as long as five years before increased numbers of people actually make it to the United States. Consider that in January 2017, the State Department briefly paused in-bound flights for refugees who had finally made it through the gauntlet of health, security and other checks. As of this summer, some of those refugees were still waiting to leave. While the flights were grounded, they missed the two-month window during which all of their documents were current. When one document expires, it can take months to replace, causing others to expire and trapping the refugee in what the report called “a domino effect of expiring validity periods.”

    Even harder to repair is the culture shift within USCIS. New visa adjudicators will remain in their jobs long after the political appointees have gone—kings and queens of their own offices. Employees who were promoted for their skeptical inclinations will stay in those positions, setting priorities for subordinates. The multitude of changes at USCIS are the product of an administration that regards immigration as its political lifeblood. There’s no guarantee—or indication—that any of the potential Democratic nominees would apply the same obsessive zeal to overturning them.

    Back in 1924, Johnson-Reed’s supporters never anticipated the Holocaust, and yet they expanded its horrors. We don’t know where our own future is headed, but we live in a time of metastasizing instability. Last year, the United Nations’ official tally of refugees passed 70 million, the highest since World War II. Mass migrations, whether because of violence or inequality or environmental calamity or some murky blend of factors that don't conveniently fit existing laws, are the reality and challenge of our era. There aren’t any easy solutions. But already, what started as a series of small, obscure administrative changes is resulting in unthinkable cruelty. If left to continue, it will, in every sense, redefine what it means to be American.


              

    Over 300 children die everyday from AIDS-related causes

     Cache   
    children

    United Nations: Some 320 children and adolescents died every day from AIDS-related causes in 2018, or 13 every hour, according to a global snapshot on children, HIV and AIDS released by the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday. Low access to antiretroviral treatment, in addition to limited prevention efforts, is a leading cause for […]

    The post Over 300 children die everyday from AIDS-related causes appeared first on KalingaTV.


              

    Illinois set to approve insulin price cap of $100 for month supply

     Cache   


    • Some 30 million Americans have diabetes and must take insulin, but about 25 percent of them can't routinely afford the drug.
    • In recent decades, the cost of insulin has skyrocketed, partly because only three companies make insulin in the U.S.
    • There's some indication that recent efforts to make insulin more affordable are picking up steam.


    None


    Illinois is set to pass a measure to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply, a move that reflects a broader effort to lower costs of the hormone across the nation.

    The bill is currently in the hands of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has expressed support for capping insulin prices, saying the rising costs are "an enormous burden for too many Illinois families," and that Illinois sees health care as "a right and not a privilege," according to the Chicago Tribune.

    The cap applies only to commercial insurance plans, and it was modeled after a bill in Colorado, which became the first state to cap insulin prices earlier this year. If passed, the Illinois bill would take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

    "For over a million Illinois residents, insulin is an absolute necessity," said State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who sponsored the bill. "Without it, they will die. Pharmaceutical companies are leveraging that fact in order to maximize profits. It's time we hold them accountable."

    ​"Insulin belongs to the world, not to me"


    Insulin is an essential and naturally occurring hormone that regulates blood sugar. About 30 million Americans have diabetes and must take insulin because they either don't produce enough of the hormone or don't respond to its effects. Before the discovery of insulin in the 1920s, a diagnosis for Type 1 diabetes was often considered a death sentence.

    In 1923, Frederick Banting, James Collip, and Charles Best sold the first insulin patent to the University of Toronto for $1 each. They believed the drug — which meant Type 1 diabetes was no longer a death sentence — shouldn't be kept from the public for the sake of profit.

    "Insulin belongs to the world, not to me," Banting reportedly said at the time.

    But a century after their discovery, insulin is one of the most expensive liquids in the world, and it remains prohibitively expensive for millions of diabetes patients worldwide, many of whom risk facing blindness, strokes, foot amputations or premature death without access to the drug.

    "You don't know if you will have enough of a freaking liquid that your whole life depends on," Marina Tsaplina, who has diabetes, told Business Insider. "You don't know if you have enough life. That's what being not sure if you can afford your insulin means."


    ​The insulin crisis


    The soaring prices of insulin have sparked outrage. In 2016, the average monthly cost of insulin was about $450, but nearly 25 percent of Americans with diabetes are unable to routinely afford these prices, and so they resort to rationing, skipping doses or even obtaining insulin illegally.

    What's driving up prices? One explanation lies in the fact that there are only three major insulin makers in the U.S.: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, each of which is able to negotiate drug prices with private insurers. These "big three" insulin makers have also been accused of price fixing in several lawsuits.

    Typically, competing drug companies would be able to make generic versions of insulin, which would help lower prices. But no such generic insulin currently exists. That's in part because insulin makers have made incremental changes to insulin drugs over the decades, which allow them to keep their designs protected by patent laws. Some of these changes have resulted in improved diabetes care. But others seem designed to extend patent protection.

    The result is that it's hardly profitable for alternative manufacturers to produce older versions of insulin.

    "Older insulins have been successively replaced with newer, incrementally improved products covered by numerous additional patents," states a 2017 Lancet paper on insulin price increases.

    What's more, navigating the patent laws is difficult and potentially dangerous for competing companies, as David Gaugh, senior vice president of sciences and regulatory affairs for the Association for Accessible Medicines, told STAT.

    "There's all types of patents that are involved," Gaugh said. "Whether it be process patents, manufacturing patents, device patents É packaging patents, labeling patents and trademarks, all those are different methods used to prevent [competition]."

    Patents aren't the only factor preventing a generic insulin from entering the market. In fact, a true generic — or even biosimilar — insulin is impossible to create, according to U.S. law. That's because generic drugs are derived from chemical-based medications, whereas insulin is a biologic-based drug. As such, any "generic" insulin is more complicated to manufacture and more difficult to get approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

    More affordable insulin


    In 2018, the American Diabetes Association recommended several steps U.S. lawmakers can take to make insulin more affordable:

    • Streamlining the biosimilar process
    • Increasing pricing transparency throughout the insulin supply chain
    • Lowering or removing patient cost-sharing for insulin
    • Increasing access to healthcare coverage

    Earlier this year, members of Congress pressured the "big three" insulin makers, along with pharmacy benefit managers, to start lowering the costs of insulin. In November, the World Health Organization announced it would begin testing and approving generic versions of insulin, a process designed to make it easier for United Nations agencies and organizations like Doctors Without Borders to bring the drug to developing countries where it's in short supply.

    "Four hundred million people are living with diabetes, the amount of insulin available is too low and the price is too high, so we really need to do something," Emer Cooke, the W.H.O.'s head of regulation of medicines and health technologies, said.

    The director of the Affordable Insulin Now campaign, Rosemary Enobakhare, said in November that the W.H.O. move is "a good first step toward affordable insulin for all around the world," but that it wouldn't help diabetes patients in the U.S. To make a difference in the U.S., she said, would require "Congress to grant Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices" instead of leaving it up to insulin makers.




              

    Madrid Opens With “Point Of No Return” Climate Scaremongering… But Where’s Greta?

     Cache   
    Madrid Opens With “Point Of No Return” Climate Scaremongering… But Where’s Greta? After previously finding herself stuck in the wrong place halfway around the world when the United Nations moved its global climate meeting from Chile to Spain, young climate activist Greta Thunberg is running a little late to the Madrid 25th Conference of the Parties … Continue reading "Madrid Opens With “Point Of No Return” Climate Scaremongering… But Where’s Greta?"
              

    Iraqis keep up anti-regime demos despite PM's vow to quit

     Cache   

    Iraqis kept up angry anti-government protests in Baghdad and the south on Saturday to demand a broad overhaul of a system seen as corrupt and under the sway of foreign powers, a day after the premier vowed to quit.

    Protesters have hit the streets since early October in the largest grassroots movement Iraq has seen in decades, sparked by fury at poor public services, lack of jobs and widespread government graft.

    Security forces and armed groups responded with violence to demonstrations, killing more than 420 people and wounding 15,000, according to an AFP tally compiled from medics and an Iraqi rights commission.

    The toll spiked dramatically this week as a crackdown killed dozens in Baghdad, the Shiite shrine city of Najaf -- where another protester was killed Saturday -- and the southern hotspot of Nasiriyah.

    Facing pressure from the street and the country's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi announced on Friday that he would submit his resignation to parliament, due to meet Sunday.

    But demonstrations have not subsided, with crowds in Baghdad and across the Shiite-majority south sticking to their weeks-long demands for complete regime change.

    "We'll keep up this movement," said one protester in the southern city of Diwaniyah, where thousands turned out on Saturday.

    "Abdel Mahdi's resignation is only the first step, and now all corrupt figures must be removed and judged."

    - Wounded in capital, south -

    In Baghdad, teenage protesters threw rocks at security forces behind concrete barriers, protecting government buildings.

    They responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, wounding 10 demonstrators, a medical source told AFP.

    "We won't leave our barricades until the regime falls, until we get jobs, water, electricity," one protester said.

    More than two dozen protesters were wounded in Nasiriyah when security forces fired live ammunition at anti-government rallies, medics said.

    The units dispersed a sit-in on one bridge in the city but protesters held two more, according to AFP's correspondent.

    Iraq's second holy city Karbala was rocked by overnight clashes between young protesters and security forces exchanging firebombs.

    Authorities have declared a day off on Sunday -- the first day of the working week -- for civil servants in Najaf, Karbala and Nasiriyah and the surrounding provinces.

    This week's surge in violence started when protesters stormed and burned the Iranian consulate in Najaf late Wednesday, accusing Iraq's neighbour of propping up the Baghdad government.

    Tehran demanded Iraq take decisive action against the protesters and hours later Abdel Mahdi ordered military chiefs to "impose security and restore order".

    Over three days, 42 people have been shot dead in Nasiriyah -- Abdel Mahdi's birthplace -- as well as 23 in Najaf and three in Baghdad.

    The rising death toll sparked a dramatic intervention from Sistani, the 89-year-old spiritual leader of many of Iraq's Shiites.

    In his Friday sermon, Sistani urged parliament to stop supporting the government, and hours later, Abdel Mahdi announced he would submit his resignation.

    - Fears of 'civil war' -

    Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council on Saturday said it had formed a committee to probe the unrest, pledging to "punish those who attacked protesters".

    Accountability for those killed has become a key demand of protesters in Iraq, where tribal traditions -- including revenge for murder -- remain widespread.

    "Every victim has a mother, a father, a tribe who won't stay quiet," said a Baghdad protester.

    "Otherwise there could be civil war."

    Even cities that have been relatively peaceful, including Hilla, held mourning marches for those killed in recent days.

    Within minutes of Abdel Mahdi's Friday announcement, leading factions called for a no-confidence vote -- including key government backer the Saeroon parliamentary bloc, led by firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr.

    Abdel Mahdi's other main backer, the Fatah bloc, called for "necessary changes in the interests of Iraq" in a departure from its usual statements supporting him.

    Since promising to submit his resignation, Abdel Mahdi has continued to hold meetings, including with cabinet and the United Nation's top representative on Saturday.

    Iraq's constitution does not include a provision for the resignation of a premier, so submitting a letter to parliament would trigger a motion of no-confidence.

    If parliament meets on Sunday and passes such a motion, the cabinet would stay on in a caretaker role until the president names a new premier.

    Chief justice Faeq Zeidan is one of several names being circulated as a possible replacement.

    © Agence France-Presse


              

    Slash emissions now or face climate disaster, UN warns

     Cache   

    The world will miss its chance to avert climate disaster without an immediate and all-but-impossible fall in fossil fuel emissions, the UN said Tuesday in its annual assessment on greenhouse gases.

    The United Nations Environment Programme said that global emissions need to fall by 7.6 percent each year until 2030 to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C.

    The harsh reality is that emissions have risen on average 1.5 percent annually over the last decade, hitting a record 55.3 billion tonnes of CO2 or equivalent greenhouse gases in 2018 -- three years after 195 countries signed the Paris treaty on climate change.

    The World Meterological Organization said Monday that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations hit an all-time record in 2018.

    The Paris deal committed nations to limit temperature rises above pre-industrial levels to "well below" 2C, and to a safer 1.5-C if at all possible.

    To do so they agreed on the need to reduce emissions and work towards a low-carbon world within decades.

    Yet the UN found that even taking into account current Paris pledges, the world is on track for a 3.2C temperature rise, something scientists fear could tear at the fabric of society.

    Even if every country made good on its promises, Earth's "carbon budget" for a 1.5-C rise -- the amount we can emit to stay below a certain temperature threshold -- would be exhausted within a decade.

    In its own words, the UN assessment is "bleak".

    While it insisted the 1.5C goal is still attainable, it acknowledged that this would require an unprecedented, coordinated upheaval of a global economy that is still fuelled overwhelmingly by oil- and gas-fuelled growth.

    "We are failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions," UNEP's executive director, Inger Andersen, told AFP.

    "Unless we take urgent action now and make very significant cuts to global emissions we're going to miss the target of 1.5C."

    - Cost of inaction -

    The Emissions Gap report, now in its tenth year, also details the cost of a decade of government inaction.

    Had serious climate action begun in 2010, just after the Copenhagen summit that breathed new life into the debate, annual needed emissions cuts would be 0.7 percent for 2C of warming and 3.3 percent for 1.5C.

    "Ten years of climate procrastination has led us to where we are today," said Andersen.

    The report highlighted specific "opportunities" for big emitters to push their economies into line with the Paris goals.

    While advice varies between countries, the theme is clear: completely phase out coal, significantly pare back oil and gas, and dramatically build up renewable energy.

    G20 nations were singled out as laggards: although they produce around 78 percent of all emissions, only 15 rich nations have outlined plans to reach net-zero.

    In all, countries must increase their contributions to the climate fight five-fold to deliver the cuts needed for 1.5C.

    "Incremental changes will simply not make it," said lead author John Christensen.

    "We really need to transform societies in these 10 years."

    Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said 2020 needed to be a "major historical turning point" in the climate fight.

    - 'No sign of peak' -

    "The hope lies in millions of people taking to the streets, who can force politicians to act according to the recommendations from scientists," he said.

    Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the world's leading scientific body on the subject -- issued a stark warning that going beyond 1.5C would increase the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, superstorms and mass flooding.

    With just 1C of warming so far, 2019 is projected to be the second hottest in human history, a year marred by deadly wildfires and cyclones rendered more frequent as temperatures climb.

    And despite the need for urgent action, with global energy demand set to continue rising for years, the UN itself conceded Tuesday that "there is no sign of (greenhouse) gas emissions peaking in the next few years."

    That peak should have come years ago, said Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    "We are not running out of time –- we are already out of time," he told AFP.

    The report said emissions would need to drop 55 percent by 2030 to stay on a 1.5C track -- an unprecedented fall at a time of sustained global growth.

    John Ferguson, director of country analysis at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said he was pessimistic that countries could undertake emissions cuts in the time required.

    "There's the emissions gap but there's also the gap between rhetoric and action, and that gap explains my pessimism that we're not going to limit it to 1.5C," he told AFP.

    © Agence France-Presse


              

    On this December Day in History

     Cache   

    December 1, 1919.  Lady Nancy Astor became the first woman in the British House of Commons.

    December 1, 1955.  Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back section of a municipal bus. This action resulted in a year-long boycott of the city's  bus system by African Americans.

    December 1, 1988.  Benazir Bhutto was nominated to become prime minister of Pakistan, later becoming the first woman to govern a Muslim nation

    December 2, 1954.   Senator Joseph McCarthy is condemned by the United States Senate for misconduct following his ruthless investigations of thousands of alleged Communists.

    The history of Haiti by Steeve Coupeau

    December 5, 1492.  Haiti discovered by Christopher Columbus.

    December 6, 1865.  The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery.

    Gerald R. Ford by Douglas Brinkley

    December 6, 1973. Gerald Ford was sworn in as vice president under Richard Nixon following the resignation of Spiro Agnew after pleading no contest to charges of income tax evasion.

    December 7, 1941.  The U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by nearly 200 Japanese aircraft in a raid that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

    December 9, 1990.  Lech Walesa won a landslide victory in the Polish presidential election.

    December 10, 1898.  The Treaty of Paris was signed between American and Spanish representatives after Spain's defeat in the Spanish-American War.

    December 10, 1948.  The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    December 11, 1941.  Germany and Italy both declared war on the United States.

    December 13, 1577.  Francis Drake left  Plymouth, England, in the Golden Hind on his voyage around the world

    December 13, 1937.   The Chinese city of Nanking was captured by the Japanese. Over the next six weeks,  Japanese soldiers randomly attacked and killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese persons.

    December 13, 1862.  The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought in Virginia, as the Union Army of the Potomac under General Burnside suffered a costly defeat, losing 12,653 men.

    December 14, 1911.  Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole.

    December 14, 1995.  A Bosnian peace treaty was signed in Paris by leaders from the former Yugoslavia ending the worst conflict in Europe since World War II.

    December 15, 1890.  Sioux leader Sitting Bull  was killed in a skirmish with U.S. soldiers in South Dakota as his warriors tried to prevent his arrest.

    December 16, 1773.  The Boston Tea Party occurred as colonial activists boarded British ships anchored in Boston Harbor and dumped over 300 containers of expensive tea into the water.

    The Wright brothers by David G McCullough

    December 17, 1903.  Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first powered, controlled airplane flights near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

    December 24, 1814  The War of 1812 officially ended with the signing of The Treaty of Ghent between America and Britain.

    December 25, 1066.  William the Conqueror was crowned King of England after his invasion of  England from France, during which he defeated and killed King Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

    December 29, 1170.  Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was murdered on orders from England's King Henry II.

    December 29, 1890. More than 200 Sioux men, women and children were massacred at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota by members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry.

    Rasputin : the untold story by Joseph T. Fuhrmann

    December 30, 1916. The Russian monk Rasputin was assassinated.

    December 30, 1862. During the Civil War the Union ironclad ship USS Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, during a storm, killing sixteen crewmen.


              

    Why I Quit My Job Carrying Out Trump’s Immigration Policies | NYT Opinion

     Cache   


    NYTimes: Why I Quit My Job Carrying Out Trump’s Immigration Policies | NYT Opinion

    A former asylum officer says “remain in Mexico” and other policies undermining asylum aren’t just racist, they’re illegal.

    In the Video Op-Ed above, a former asylum officer reveals why he resigned: to protest President Trump’s policy requiring migrants to remain in Mexico while awaiting hearings.

    Doug Stephens had been an asylum officer for two years. But two days and five interviews that resulted in sending asylum seekers back to danger shook him. He drafted a memo detailing his legal objections to the policy, and circulated it to 80 of his colleagues, his supervisors and a member of Congress. And then he quit.

    Mr. Stephens is not the only asylum officer who has grappled with following orders. In interviews with a half-dozen current and former asylum officers across the country, The Times learned of individuals leaving their posts, requesting job transfers and falling into deep depression.

    The right to asylum has been a cornerstone of international immigration law since the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The United States, along with 144 other nations, made a commitment to protect those who arrive at our borders with “a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

    To date, Mr. Trump’s remain in Mexico policy, officially known as one of the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” has left nearly 58,000 asylum seekers stranded in Mexico.
              

    In China, coal creeps back in as slowing economy overshadows climate change ambitions

     Cache   

    In China, coal creeps back in as slowing economy overshadows climate change ambitionsChina is building more coal-fired power plants and approving dozens of new mines, despite assurances from the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter that it was serious about fighting climate change. China's 2021-2030 policy plans are under close scrutiny as the United Nations climate change conference gets under way in Madrid, especially after a new U.N. report said the world needs to cut carbon dioxide by 7.6% a year over the decade in order to limit temperature rises. "We continue to work hard to advance the fight against climate change, but on the other hand, we are indeed facing multiple challenges such as developing the economy, improving the people's livelihoods, eliminating poverty and controlling pollution," said Zhao Yingmin, China's vice environment minister, at a briefing last week.



              

    Albino children in Tanzania: restless persecutions and human rights abuses

     Cache   

    NEW RELEASES – “When I was born, my mother tells me that the traditional midwife made a grimace when she saw me. No one welcomed the arrival of a strange baby.”1 These are the meaningful words of Hamis Ngomella, chairman of the albino association and representative the Red Cross. Persons with albinism face discrimination in their everyday life and persecutions that affect their health and well-being all over the world. The special case of children in Tanzania stresses the importance of the need for progress in the protection of albinos’ human rights in order for them to enjoy "the same standards of equality rights and dignity as others."2

    English

    Albinism in the African culture

    As reported by Ikponwosa Ero, the first Independent  Expert  on  the  enjoyment  of  human  rights  by  albino persons, albinism “is a rare, non-contagious,  genetically  inherited  condition that  affects people worldwide regardless of ethnicity or gender.”3 Deriving from a significant lack in the production of melanin, it manifests in a partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. Albinism occurs everywhere in the world, however it’s mostly present in Africa. It’s extremely difficult to determine how many albino persons there are in Africa as the estimates vary hugely. In spite of the difficulties, Dan Gilgoff (National Geographic) wrote that in Tanzania “albino advocacy groups put the number somewhere above 100,000, out of a total population of roughly 48 million people.”4


    Despite the small number of albino persons, the lives of the ones that are born in Africa are not easy ones and have never been. According to ancient African traditions, albinos are thought to be ghosts whose parts of the body can be used to make potions and other rituals in order to bring luck and success. Tragically, “many Africans believe that albinos are ghosts who are immune to death and eventually just vanish.”5 These macabre traditions and old beliefs lead today to the prosecution and mutilation of many albinos in Africa, especially in Tanzania.


    According to Anseleme Katyunguruza, the Secretary General of the Burundi Red Cross, an increase in “albino hunting” began in 2008, with a special focus on Tanzania. Katyunguruza stated that “witch doctors revived an old superstition that the limbs and genitals of an albino can bring quicker and better results to one’s enterprise. We are condemning and fighting this horrible form of discrimination.”6

     


    Discrimination and human rights abuses

    Article 5 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child states: “Every child has an inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law.”7 The incredibly important right protected by this piece of legislation – which has been ratified by Tanzania - is not enjoyed by every child in the same way.


    Albino children face discrimination in their everyday life since the day they’re born. For instance, in the educative field, “Janet Anatoli, a 28-year-old Tanzanian albino, says teachers in grade school beat her because she couldn't see the chalkboard, due to impaired eyesight caused by her albinism. Many albinos speak of being socially ostracized from a young age and about the toll it takes on their education.”8 The National Geographic9 also reported that Alfred Nabuli, a doctor who helps run an albinism program at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania, said that many albino children aren't sent to school and that many of those who are suffer from poor performance. In a country where access to education is already extremely difficult and where resources are scarce, the discriminatory treatment that albino children have to go through creates more burdens to their development as healthy and respected human beings.


    Moreover, not only albino children are discriminated within their communities and alienated from the rest of society, they’re also, tragically, victims of attacks of those who believe that the use of children for rituals and witchcraft practices is “linked to the pursuit of innocence, which, it is believed, enhances the potency of the witchcraft ritual"10, explains Erick Kabendera, a journalist who has been dealing with this issue for many years. Hence, the result is that especially albino children are targeted by traffickers as it’s their belief that the power of these human beings for rituals can be enhanced by their young age.

     


    Inefficiency of the legal system fueling inhuman practices

    Given the tragedy and gravity of this issue, what has been done so far? And, importantly, what can be done in the future?


    In response to the first question, for now, much has been done in terms of raising awareness on the human rights abuses suffered by young albinos. However, there is a specific problem in terms of access to justice and the effective respect of fair trials. As the BBC has reported: “more than 70 albinos have been killed over the last three years in Tanzania, while there have been only 10 convictions for murder.”11 The United Nations12 have expressed their concern over the attacks against persons with albinism which are often committed with impunity, in a recent Resolution. In relation to the issue of impunity, importantly, Ikponwosa Ero pointed out that “challenges  to   ending   impunity   may   include   lack   of   confidence   in   the   law enforcement  or  judicial  system owing to  fear  of  reprisals  or  stigmatization,  ignorance  of their rights  or  lack  of  financial  resources.”13 Furthermore, Amnesty International USA has stressed how “police investigations of such cases [remain] slow and the overall government effort to prevent attacks on albino people [is] inadequate.”14


    On top of the issue of impunity, the reality of a “market of killings”15 has started to become more evident. Many parents decide to sell their albino child in exchange of money and the prices can get extremely high: “with the body parts believed to be fetching tens of thousands of dollars on the black market, the trade is thought to be driven by the wealthiest members of society.”16 As the UN Independent Expert interestingly specified, “civil society  reports  indicate  that,  motivated  by  those  prices,  family  members  and  communities have  sold,  or  attempted  to  sell, persons  with  albinism,  thereby  fuelling  the  supply  side  of this macabre trade. The prices also indicate the involvement of wealthy individuals as they stand  in  sharp  contrast  to  the  average  annual  income  per  capita  reported  in the affected regions.”17


    Therefore, in relation to the second question, where do we go from here?  Notably, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has recently called upon “State Parties to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy and effective investigations into attacks against persons with albinism, the prosecution of those responsible, and by ensuring that victims and members of their families have access to appropriate remedies.”18 This is an important starting point since Tanzania has been called upon as one of the states that need to effectively enact a progressive change. Moreover, the UN Independent  Expert  “considers  it  important  to  identify the applicable  human rights  legal  framework  and  the  key  international  human  rights  instruments  that  could  both comprehensively  and  effectively address the  human  rights – related issues  faced  by  persons with albinism in a sustainable way.”19


    To sum it up succinctly: a correct human rights framework needs to be efficiently and appropriately found and adopted. International conventions should be respected and regarded as fundamental tools to be addressed in every aspect of albino persons’ lives. In order to fully achieve equal standards of equality and human rights protection for albinos, the need for a clear implementation of legal provisions has to be enacted. Finally, it’s important not to stop raising awareness over the situation of Tanzanian and African albino children and ask the international community to take action for their protection and safeguard.

     

    1 ENGSTRAND-NEACSU Andrei (2009) “Defending albinos’ rights to life”, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Available at: http://www.ifrc.org/en/noticias/noticias/international/defending-albinos...

    2 OHCHR (2016) “Report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism”, Human Rights Council, 31st Session. Available at: http://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/UN%20Report%20-%20Enjoym...

    3 Ibidem

    4GILGOFF Dan (2013) “As Tanzania's Albino Killings Continue, Unanswered Questions Raise Fears”, National Geographic. Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131011-albino-killings-w...

    5 Ibidem

    6ENGSTRAND-NEACSU Andrei, Op.Cit.

    7African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1990. Available at: http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child#a5

    8ENGSTRAND-NEACSU Andrei, Op.Cit.

    9GILGOFF Dan, Op.Cit.

    10 Ibidem

    11BBC News (2014), “Tanzania's albino community: 'Killed like animals' ” Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30394260

    12OHCHR (2013) “Technical cooperation for the prevention of attacks against persons with albinism”, Human Rights Council, 21/33. Available at: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/AdvisoryCom/A_HRC_RES_...

    13 OHCHR (2016), Op.Cit.

    14Amnesty International USA (2013) “Tanzania Human Rights”. Available at: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/africa/tanzania

    15 BBC News, Op.Cit.

    16ENGSTRAND-NEACSU Andrei, Op.Cit.

    17 OHCHR (2016), Op.Cit.

    18African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (2013) “Resolution on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism”, 54th Ordinary Session held from 22 October to 5 November 2013 in Banjul, The Gambia. Available at: http://www.achpr.org/sessions/54th/resolutions/263/

    19OHCHR (2016), Op.Cit.

     

     

    MR - Research Assistant at CIPADH

     


    Webography


    African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1990. Available at: http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child#a5

    African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (2013) “Resolution on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism”, 54th Ordinary Session held from 22 October to 5 November 2013 in Banjul, The Gambia. Available at: http://www.achpr.org/sessions/54th/resolutions/263/

    Amnesty International USA (2013) “Tanzania Human Rights”. Available at: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/africa/tanzania

    BBC News (2014), “Tanzania's albino community: 'Killed like animals' ” Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30394260

    ENGSTRAND-NEACSU Andrei (2009) “Defending albinos’ rights to life”, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Available at: http://www.ifrc.org/en/noticias/noticias/international/defending-albinos...

    GILGOFF Dan (2013) “As Tanzania's Albino Killings Con

              

    Thunberg's epic fail: Yacht captain flies to the rescue from Britain to Virginia

     Cache   
    The teenage guru of environmental alarmists around the world does not fly due to the carbon emissions produced by air travel. Instead of flying to Madrid, Spain to attend the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25), Greta Thunberg is crossing the Atlantic in a catamaran. Her adventure of]]
              

    Iran To Make Large Scale Purchases Of Russian & Chinese Fighters Jets From 2020

     Cache   

    Iran is likely to seek out Russia and China to purchase advanced fighter jets when a United Nations arms embargo against the country expires next year, a senior defense intelligence official said today, amid rising tensions in the Middle East. In a report released on Tuesday that unveils the Defense Department’s public assessment of Iran’s …

    The post Iran To Make Large Scale Purchases Of Russian & Chinese Fighters Jets From 2020 appeared first on Fighter Jets World.


              

    Most banks fall short of U.N. human rights principles, BankTrack finds

     Cache   

    Most banks do not implement the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, BankTrack found.


              

    Emissions Gap Report 2019 | UN Environment Programme

     Cache   
    We have less than no time to lose and are not doing nearly enough to prevent the worst climate crisis outcomes, warns a new United Nations Environment Programme ...
              

    Google, Microsoft, Verizon join call for US to stay in Paris climate agreement

     Cache   
    (Telecompaper) Google has joined with 70 other companies and union leaders to call on the US to stay in the Paris Agreement. The letter was signed by the CEOs of Google, Mastercard, Salesforce, Aon, Tata Sons, Disney, Bank of America, Tesla, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Verizon and Corning, among many others, and marks the start of the 25th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference. The companies added that they will look to become innovators in the renewable energy market, and to build responsible supply chains and products that use AI to drive sustainability. 
              

    The setting sun on India's solar dreams -Tanya Thomas

     Cache   
    -Livemint.com* Caught in an economic slowdown, India’s clean energy transition is likely to go for a toss. What will be the cost?* The ongoing slowdown in economic growth and electricity demand has worsened the deep stress in India’s renewable energy industry, sending it into a tailspinMUMBAI: In September, while speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to setting up 450 gigawatts (GW) of non-fossil fuel power by 2022. With this, he...
              

    From bonito to anchovy: a reconstruction of Turkey’s marine fisheries catches (1950-2010)

     Cache   

    Turkey’s marine fisheries catches were estimated for the 1950-2010 time period using a reconstruction approach, which estimated all fisheries removals, including unreported landings, recreational landings and discards.  We added these estimates to the ‘official’ data, as reported in TURKSTAT, which are also available from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The total reconstructed catch for the 1950-2010 time period (inclusive of the reported data) is approximately 32 million t, or 74% more than the 18.4 million t of reported data.


              

    From bonito to anchovy: a reconstruction of Turkey’s marine fisheries catches (1950-2010)

     Cache   

    Turkey’s marine fisheries catches were estimated for the 1950-2010 time period using a reconstruction approach, which estimated all fisheries removals, including unreported landings, recreational landings and discards.  We added these estimates to the ‘official’ data, as reported in TURKSTAT, which are also available from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The total reconstructed catch for the 1950-2010 time period (inclusive of the reported data) is approximately 32 million t, or 74% more than the 18.4 million t of reported data.