The Humanion Online Daily Universana From the United Kingdom for the World

 
Philosophy Political Philosophy Political Economics Medicine  Africa Asia The World Geo-Politics The Humanion
Biochemistry The Sanctum Mayakardium Neurology Genetics Australasia Ecology Europe  Hearteogenics World Literature
The Elleesium Molecular Biology Scotland England United Kingdom Wales Northern Ireland Archaeology Humanics
Editorial Page The Idearian Echoing Eternities North America South America The Humanion Poetry Life Elle GREEN:K Hope Cosmovicology Astrophysics
The Eyeonium Biomedicojurisprudence The Viimaaginarium Universana Nature and Solitude Art Music Neuroniverse Poets' Letter

Contact

October The Poetry Month Jurisprudence Microbial World Sociology Culture Society Cosmology Anthropology
 

 

 

 

 

Humanity Will Continue to Live an Inferior Life Than What is Possible Until the Two Halves: All Individuals in Them: That Make It are Absolutely Fundamentally and Jubilantly Equal at Liberty
 

 

Year Gamma: London: Wednesday: October 18: 2017
The Arkive

First Published: September 24: 2015

The Humanion Grassroots Community Sport
Elsinki

The Innerluminous Galaxillation

Letter to the Reader Poetre Poetrimore Books The Earth Cosmography Diversity

Mathematics

The Humanion Team Astronomy Marine World Kollarimaginics Nations The Moon Photography Oneness
History The Humanion Profile Literature Matter World Cosmovicology Geology The Sunnara Mayahito Gardens Languages
Palaeontology About The Humanion The Lake Eden Eye Animalium The Conversation Poetry The Universe The Traveller World Poetry
World Press The Humanion Map Southern Hemisphere Radio Astronomy The Milky Way Scriptures The Arctic Western Hemisphere The Pen
Theosophy Natural Health Social Northern Hemisphere Psychology The Nine Worlds Seismology The Antarctic Eastern Hemisphere Civilisations
Theatre Poets' Letter Archive Poetry Pearl VII London Poetry Festival 2018: October 14-17: Notting Hill St John's Church: London
The Humanion Beacon Organisations End Homelessness The Humanion Campaign

IV PRAT Conference 2017: New York: October 27-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Humanion Bank of Copyrightfree Works

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Medicine: An Oath to Life: An Ode to Life

 

 

 

 
The Humanion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World Arkive Q-Delta 2016

||   October  ||  November  ||  December   ||

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World Arkive Q-Delta 2016

Ban Ki-moon Welcomes Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements as Significant Step

The Security Council votes on resolution reiterating its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities
in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The vote was 14 in favour, with one abstention, US.
Image: UN Photo:Manuel Elias
 

|| December 23: 2016 || ά. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the adoption of a Security Council resolution which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have 'no legal validity', constitute a 'flagrant violation'  under international law and are a 'major obstacle' to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. “The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable.” the UN Secretary-General's spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work with the international community to create a conducive environment for a return to meaningful negotiations.” the spokesperson added. “The United Nations stands ready to support all concerned parties in achieving this goal.” Earlier this afternoon, the 15-member Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour and with one abstention, the United States abstained from the vote. The resolution had been put forward by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

In the resolution, the Council reiterated its demand that Israel 'immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard'. The Council also underlined that it will not recognise any changes to the June 04, 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.

The resolution called for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, and for accountability in that regard, as well as for both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and previous agreements and obligations, 'to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric'.

It further called for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security co-ordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism.


The Council also urged for intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 241216  ||  Up ||

 

 

Unless You Had a Santa in You to Begin with That You Realise Has Gone Missing You Would Not Go Looking for Him and If You Did You Won't Find Him: But If You are Seeking the Missing Santa Than The Rovaniemi Elves Will Guide You to Seek and Find Him in the Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis in Rovaniemi, reflected on a lake: if the Aurora is not in the sky than there will not be an aurora reflected in the lake. If we have no Santa inside us than there is no Santa outside either.

|| December 22: 2016 || ά. Unless you had a Santa in you to begin with that you realise has gone missing you would not go looking for him and if you did you won't find him: but if you are seeking the missing Santa than The Rovaniemi Elves will guide you to seek and find him in the Aurora Borealis that reads you the Poetry of Magic, that lets you hear the Music of Life's elemental majesty, magic and mystery, that inspires you to believe for what is a human soul, if it does not believe in its absolutely impossible magical existence for, to start with, it can not even see itself and yet it thinks and asks, who am I, what am I, why am I, is this physiology that I see, is I, than when it sleeps and something dreams what or who it is that dreams, and when I am hungry the physiology wants me to eat but I do not feel like eating so I do not eat, who is it that makes that choice, and when I eat something, from inside, something or someone says, I enjoyed that or I did not enjoy that, even if the food was 'nutritious', who is it that makes this judgment, and if it does not believe in its being Human, does not believe in its own quintessence of being humanity, humanity, a thing that cannot be photographed to show: being human, that what is eternally indefinable, unfathomable and yet magnanimous as to what it can become, what it can do and what it can create. And in this, this human soul realises, it is an infinity unfolding itself, so that it realises, too, that, that is where the choice resides as to what unfolds and what does not, as to what one makes of oneself and what one does not make of oneself. Therefore, readers, wherever in the world you are, be and do love: And that is the eternal Santa Clause that has always lived in you and our spirit. If you are being and doing love wherever you are, logic will tell you, you cannot but be surrounded by love and anyone that comes near you will be illuminated by that ecology of love that travels with you like an Aurora Borealis wherever you go and would you not, rather, believe in the poetry of this Aurora Amarantine, of your existence and strive to create it and let the World and the Universe around you gets illuminated by it.....

The Santa's Elves at Visit Rovaniemi: Sanna Kärkkäinen: Managing Director, Kaisa Heiskari: Marketing Designer, Salla Tauriainen: Marketing Co-ordinator, Henri Anundi: Content Creator, Annukka Jarkko: Marketing Assistant, Juhani Sallanmaa: Congress Manager, Rovaniemi Congresses Unit, Leena Takalo: Officer of Tourism, Heidi Rantanen: Officer of Tourism

And should you find that Santa is missing, by all means, go and look for him all the way to Rovaniemi in Finland where he is supposed to live and explore your soul and realise that it is all-where at home should you see yourself as a fish effortlessly moving in the water yet the water surface does not even move, or like the bird on the tree that sits there and the branches do not move or as the butterfly that sits on the leaves and the leaves do not even know it is there or as the image inside the mirror that does not disturb the mirror holding the image or as the music that rises out of the vibrating violin strings yet neither the violin nor the strings nor the musician gets disturbed. Or hold the hand of a friend and feel the peace in which both hands fit together and neither hand is disturbed. Or when a baby sleeps in her mother's lap she sleeps there as if she has no weight and the mother reads as if the baby is not there. Humanity is such a thing when in equilibrium with the outer, greater, wider, deeper Universe it finds its place, space, location on the infinite grid of this Universe and becomes part of the infinite symphony that, we call The Immisian Symphony and there we ought to head home to: that is the Ithaca where we are, at The Humanion, heading to. But you are welcome to respond to that call by Visit Rovaniemi to rise and go seeking for the missing Santa and there in Finland, you shall find, the Rovaniemi Elves who are going to do all they can to help your search. Seek, search and keep at it: and you shall find.....

Each year, Santa leaves Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland to bring Christmas cheer to people all around the globe. This year, the event will be broadcast live by Visit Rovaniemi on December 23 at 19:00 local time, UTC +2. In Rovaniemi, that's in itself, a five syllables of magic, the Official Hometown of Santa Claus on the Arctic Circle, the run-up to Christmas culminates in Santa departing on his annual mission around the world. To wish Santa the best of luck on his adventure, the elves put on a highlight event of the year called Santa is on his way in Santa Claus Village.

As a display of true Christmas spirit, the elves now want to share the event with the whole world via live broadcast on the Visit Rovaniemi website. The show consists of selected Christmas songs and comes to a head when Santa Claus gives his speech, wishing merry Christmas to the whole world before hopping in his reindeer-pulled sleigh and embarking on his epic tour.

For more information, contact, any of the Santa's Elves that we have spoken of, particularly, named: Sanna Kärkkäinen or Kaisa Heiskari Managing Director and Marketing Planner respectively, sanna at visitrovaniemi.fi or kaisa at visitrovaniemi.fi or call 040 576 3414 0400 479 954. And if you do go and visit Rovaniemi, please, take that Amarantine Ecology of Being and Doing Love with you and you shall find love it is that makes this humanity what it is: a miracle, a magic, an awe. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 231216  ||  Up ||

 

Syria: UN Approves Mechanism to Lay Groundwork for Investigations Into Possible War Crimes

Permanent headquarters of the International Criminal Court at The Hague: Image: UN Photo:Rick Bajornas

 

|| December 22: 2016 || ά. The United Nations General Assembly has voted to establish an independent panel to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity in Syria. In a resolution adopted late yesterday by a recorded vote of 105 in favour and 15 against, with 52 abstentions, the Assembly, the universal body comprising all 193 UN Members States, decided to set up what will be formally known as the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syria since March 2011, under the auspices of the UN.

The Mechanism, in close co-operation with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established by the UN Human Rights Council in August 2011, will collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence pertaining to violations and abuses of human rights and humanitarian law. It will also prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes, in accordance with international law.

The General Assembly also tasked the UN Secretary-General to develop the terms of reference of the Mechanism, within 20 days, with the support of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:OHCHR, as well as to undertake, 'without delay' the steps necessary for its speedy establishment and full functioning.

The Assembly also called on all Member States, as well as on all parties to the conflict in Syria, civil society and the UN system as a whole, to co-operate fully with the Mechanism and, to provide it with any information and documentation they may possess to assist the delivery of its mandate. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 231216  ||  Up||

 

Saudi Arabia: Immediately Abandon All Use of Cluster Munitions: Amnesty International

Image: Campaign Against Arms Trade:CAAT

|| December 22: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά. Saudi Arabia should immediately abandon all use of cluster munitions, destroy its stockpile and accede to the international Convention on Cluster Munitions, Amnesty International said after the Kingdom’s surprise admission on December 19 that it used the inherently indiscriminate weapon in Yemen. General Ahmed al-Asiri, the spokesperson for the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, stated that it would cease use of UK-made BL-755 cluster munitions, confirming Amnesty International’s finding that this type had been used since at least December 2015. Amnesty International previously revealed the coalition’s use of UK, US and Brazilian-made cluster munitions in the conflict.

“It’s astonishing that it has taken this long for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to formally admit that it used inherently indiscriminate cluster munitions in the Yemen conflict.” said James Lynch, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International. “Of course, we have already known this for months. Amnesty International and others gathered damning evidence of how these weapons were killing and maiming civilians, including children, in farming villages in northern Yemen following their use earlier this year. This episode highlights the urgent need for an independent international investigation to look into the mounting evidence of violations of international law in Yemen and ensure accountability.

The irresponsible and unlawful flow of arms to parties to the Yemen conflict has fuelled civilian suffering. All states must impose a comprehensive embargo on arms transfers that could be used by any of the warring parties.” Amnesty International and others have been calling on all states for years to immediately halt the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions and to join the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions:CCM. Neither Saudi Arabia nor any of its coalition members have joined the CCM. However, under customary international humanitarian law, coalition members must not use inherently indiscriminate weapons including cluster munitions, which invariably pose a threat to civilians.

Cluster munitions, which are banned by more than 100 countries, present an enormous danger to civilians. Dropped from the air or fired from the ground, they are designed to break open in mid-air, releasing the sub-munitions over a wide area in a way that cannot discriminate between civilians and military targets.

Many of the sub-munitions fail to explode on impact and effectively become anti-personnel mines. Unexploded sub-munitions have the potential to remain lethal for years, posing a high risk to the civilian population, both during and after the conflict. Because they are inherently indiscriminate weapons, cluster munitions should not be used in any circumstances.

Members of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition should immediately provide the UN with precise locations of cluster munition attacks, including maps, data with the exact dates of strikes, specific types and quantities of the weapons used, in order to facilitate clearance and risk-education activities and to reduce the potential for further civilian casualties.

Saudi Arabia and other coalition members should facilitate clearance of areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance. States in a position to do so should provide all possible technical, financial, material, and other assistance to facilitate the marking and clearance, removal or destruction of cluster bomb submunitions, duds and other explosive remnants of war. They should also provide victim assistance, including for the medical and psychological care and rehabilitation of victims and their families, as well as risk education. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 231216  ||  Up ||

 

Nigeria’s Megacity Lagos Faces Unacceptable Water and Sanitation Crisis: UN Special Rapporteur

In Lagos, Nigeria, residents navigate the polluted waters of Makoko, a fishing community mostly made up of structures
on stilts above Lagos Lagoon, as smog spreads throughout the canals. Image: UNICEF:Tanya Bindra
 

 || December 22: 2016 || ά. A United Nations human rights expert today called on the Nigerian Government to increase funding for water and sanitation in next year’s budget to address the needs of 21 million residents of Lagos, the country’s largest city, which continues to grow while access to basic services dwindles. Léo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, commented on the budget, shortly after it was presented by the State Governor to the Lagos House of Assembly, stating that the Government reports show high deficits in the sector, 'representing clearly unacceptable conditions for millions of the megacity’s residents'.

According to Mr. Heller, the annual budget discussion is a chance for the city to take action in providing water and sanitation to the people. He also expressed concerns over the high numbers of vulnerable people. “There is no question that the city’s water and sanitation sector has deteriorated to this point because of the way it has been managed for many years.” The Special Rapporteur also presented a few alternative solutions to the problem for the Government to consider, such as increasing the effectiveness of the public service provider, adopting necessary financing schemes, and reducing water losses.

“For more than a decade, the Government has adopted a hard-line policy according to which the solution would seem to only attract private capital, notably via public-private partnerships:PPPs. Numerous civil society groups have urged the Government to guarantee their right to participate in these processes.” said Mr. Heller, adding that the key to an adequate solution is a participatory process.

In addition, the situation continues to worsen as the population of Lagos increases, and the resources become scarce, with an estimated 10 per cent of the population having access to water supplied by the State utility. Residents have also been reported drilling their own boreholes, in hopes to get some water, causing various environmental and health issues, particularly, contaminated water consumption.

The Special Rapporteur has reached out to the Nigerian Government earlier this year, and is still waiting for it to provide an update on the water and sanitation issue. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 231216  ||  Up ||

 

 

If a Man in Power Claims That He Has Committed Murders and If the Crowd Cheers Him On: Does It Make It Acceptable: OHCHR Calls for Murder Investigation After Philippine President Admits to Killing Three People

Housing in Tondo, Manila, Philippines. Image: Danilo Pinzon:World Bank

|| December 20: 2016 || ά. Stressing that the killing of 'about three' people, which the President of the Philippines admitted to personally committing, while serving as the Mayor of the city of Davao clearly constituted murder, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called on the judicial authorities in the country to uphold the rule of law and investigate the self-professed crimes. “The killings committed by President Duterte of the Philippines, by his own admission, at a time when he was a mayor, clearly constitute murder.” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

“It should be unthinkable for any functioning judicial system not to launch investigative and judicial proceedings when someone has openly admitted being a killer.” he added. According to the OHCHR, Mr. Duterte told business leaders last week that he had patrolled the streets personally on his motorcycle and killed people. On Friday, in an interview with the BBC, he confirmed that he had personally killed 'about three' people during his term as the mayor of Davao.

“The killings described by President Duterte also violate international law, including the right to life, freedom from violence and force, due process and fair trial, equal protection before the law, and innocence until proven guilty.” underscored High Commissioner Zeid, adding that if Mr. Duterte, as a government official, encouraged others to follow his example, he may also have committed incitement to violence.

Mr. Zeid also said that Mr. Duterte's repeated calls for the police, military and the general public to engage in a 'war on drugs', bringing people in 'dead or alive', has emboldened an environment of alarming impunity and violence and that repeated statements indicating immunity for police officers who engaged in human rights violations in the line of duty were 'a direct violation of all democratic safeguards that have been established to uphold justice and the rule of law'.

 The High Commissioner's Office:OHCHR said that since Mr. Duterte's assumed presidency on June 30, more than 6,100 people have reportedly been killed either by police or by vigilantes and mercenaries, apparently acting in response to the President's 'war on drugs'. “In his public comments last week, Mr. Duterte promised 'For as long as there are drug lords, this campaign will go on until the last day of my term and until all of them are killed.'” OHCHR noted.

“Credible and independent investigations must be urgently re-opened into the killings in Davao, as well as into the shocking number of killings that have occurred across the country since Mr. Duterte became president.” underlined Mr Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, stressing that the perpetrators must be brought to justice, sending a strong message that violence, killings and human rights violations will not be tolerated by the State and that no one is above the law.”

Mr. Zeid also called on the Government to lift a series of preconditions it imposed on a planned visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions to investigate alleged extra-judicial killings of suspected drug dealers. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 211216  ||  Up ||
 

 

 

UN Condemns the Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

 

|| December 19: 2016 || ά. Strongly condemning the assassination today of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council emphasised that there is no justification for targeting diplomatic personnel and civilians. “The Secretary-General is appalled by this senseless act of terror.” according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, which added that he also expressed his deepest condolences to the family of Ambassador Karlov and to the Government and people of Russia.

Mr. Ban emphasised that there could be no justification for the targeting of diplomatic personnel and civilians, and according to the statement, he is 'following the unfolding situation closely' and wished the other people who were reportedly injured in the attack a speedy and full recovery. In a separate statement, the Security Council also condemned the deadly terrorist attack and expressed their deep condolences to the family of the Ambassador and the Russian Government.

Reiterating the need to bring the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of terrorist attacks to justice, Council members reaffirmed that terrorism in all forms constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any act of terrorism is  criminal and unjustifiable.

In their press statement, the members of the Council also stressed the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic agents and consular officers and the obligations, including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on diplomatic agents and consular officers. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 201216  ||  Up ||

 

 

Security Council Unanimously Approves Sending UN Monitors to War-Torn Aleppo

A woman and her children wait for transportation in Aleppo, Syria. Image: OCHA:L. Tom

|| December 19: 2016 || ά. Alarmed at the 'devastating' humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, where perhaps thousands of civilians remain trapped, the Security Council today requested the United Nations and other relevant institutions to carry out 'adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from the eastern districts' of the war-battered city. Through a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council also requested the UN to ensure further deployment of staff for Monitoring and reporting on the evacuations, as needed and demanded all parties to provide these monitors with safe, immediate and unimpeded access.

Noting that that 'urgent humanitarian evacuations and assistance are now needed by a large number of Aleppo inhabitants'. the Council demanded that all parties provide the UN and its implementation partners with safe, immediate and unimpeded access to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people 'through the most direct route, in order to meet basic needs, including the provision of medical care'. The French-led resolution also calls on all parties to respect and protect all medical and humanitarian personnel, 'their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities throughout the country'.

The Secretary-General is requested 'to take urgent steps to make arrangements, including security arrangements in consultation with interested parties, to allow the observation by the UN and other relevant institutions of the well-being of civilians' and to report back to the Council within five days.

Thousands of civilians are reportedly awaiting evacuations to resume today. Today's decision comes after the Council's two most recent attempts to take action on Syria: on October 08, Russia vetoed a resolution that would have called for an end to military flights over Aleppo; and on December 05, a measure calling for a seven-day ceasefire in the beleaguered city failed to pass after negative votes by both China and Russia. In all, Russia has vetoed six texts on the Syrian conflict, while China has vetoed five of those six.

Top UN officials have been sounding the alarm about the worsening conditions, and urging Council action to halt the violence so aid could get in, for months, culminating in Secretary-General's Ban Ki-moon's assessment this past Friday that Aleppo is now a synonym for hell. “We have collectively failed the people of Syria. Peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen.” he added.

As the Syria crisis enters its sixth year, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life. According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs:OCHA, 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 04.9 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are exposed to grave protection threats. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 201216  ||  Up ||

 

 

Despite the Global Health Challenges... On the Positive Side: During 2016, the Region of the Americas was Declared Free of Measles, Europe was Declared Free of Malaria and Region of South East Asia Beat Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus....Advances in Global Health Give the World Some of Its Brightest Reasons for Hope in 2017: Dr Margaret Chan

Dr Margaret Chan: Director-General: World Health Organisation: Image: WHO

|| December 16: 2016 || ά.  The World Health Organisation: WHO's Director-General Margaret Chan has made a statement on the WHO 2016 Year in Review in which she said, ''This year ends in uncertain times, for the world's political order, the fate of a damaged planet, the seemingly boundless human suffering experienced by civilians and health care staff in war zones, and the continuing failure of antibiotics that once gave medicine its 'miracle' cures.

WHO has chronicled some of the year’s major health-related issues. For example, in 2016, we alerted the world to some alarming trends: the shortage of vaccines in Africa, the harm done to young people’s health by gender and social inequalities, increasing deaths in Europe linked to alcohol consumption, the scale of childhood hearing loss, and the massive health consequences of polluted air. Such alerts stimulate research and encourage action. Working with multiple partners through multiple channels, WHO helped secure dramatic price reductions for the new hepatitis C treatments.

The Ebola outbreak was declared over, and Zika was designated as a public health emergency of international concern, and the world learned that the disease is here to stay. The successful control of Africa’s explosive outbreaks of urban yellow fever tested, and confirmed, WHO’s expanded operational capacities under the new programme for health emergencies.

In this operational role, WHO responded with the international community to numerous emergencies caused by natural disasters, armed conflicts in the Middle East, and the vast humanitarian crises in South Sudan and Nigeria. The demands on the resources of the international community, especially in country, were enormous.

On the positive side, the year was an especially good one for tobacco control, with more countries passing laws mandating plain packaging and Uruguay legally defeating the world’s largest tobacco company.

Advances in AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria made headlines, as did the outcome of the UN High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance. The support for universal health coverage keeps getting stronger.

WHO issued economic arguments for investing in mental health and the health workforce, witnessed landmark commitments during the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, and urged countries to tax sugar-sweetened beverages.

Some of the best news comes with the shrinking map of infectious diseases. More and more countries are eliminating lymphatic filariasis, blinding trachoma, visceral leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, and other neglected tropical diseases, and mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

During 2016, the Region of the Americas was declared free of measles, Europe was declared free of malaria, and Region of South East Asia beat maternal and neonatal tetanus.

As a turbulent year comes to a close, WHO and our global partners are helping improve the world in permanent ways. Advances in global health give the world some of its brightest reasons for hope in 2017.

WHO 2016 Year in Review: Key Health Issues: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 171216  ||  Up ||

 

Difficult as It May Sometimes Be, International Co-operation Remains the Path to a More Peaceful and Prosperous World......Even When Aleppo is Synonym for Hell: Ban Ki-moon at His Last Press Conference as UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a press conference, his last at United Nations headquarters, as his term of office draws
to a close at the end of the year. At his side is his Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. Image: UN Photo:Eskinder Debebe
 

|| December 16: 2016 || ά. In his last press conference as United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon today delivered stark warnings on two issues at the forefront of international concern that 'the carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience' and that South Sudan faces a risk of genocide as the country leaders have 'squandered a peace agreement'. “Aleppo is now a synonym for hell.” Mr. Ban said at UN Headquarters in New York, bidding farewell to the UN press corps.

“We have collectively failed the people of Syria. Peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen.” he added. On another front, he noted that this week will mark the third year of conflict in South Sudan, and he deplored that 'the country’s leaders have betrayed their people’s trust, and squandered a peace agreement'. “Most immediately, my Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, has warned of the risk of genocide.” he said, urging the UN Security Council to take more concerted action, including through punitive measures.

Mr. Ban will complete his 10-year service as the world’s high diplomat on December 31, passing the baton to his successor António Guterres, who was sworn in this past Monday. “This has been a decade of unceasing test. But I have also seen collective action change millions of lives for the better.”

He expressed continued support for the global momentum behind the Paris Agreement on climate change. “Climate action means jobs, growth, cleaner air and better health. Leaders from across the globe and on every front understand this, from Fortune 500 CEOs to Governors and Mayors. The Paris Agreement on climate change is a precious achievement that we must support and nurture. There is no turning back.”

“Difficult as it may sometimes be, international co-operation remains the path to a more peaceful and prosperous world.” he said, pledging to continue to spare no effort to urge world leaders, long-standing or newly-minted, to recognise and embrace that preeminent 21st-century fact. Mr. Ban stressed that journalists have an important job to do, informing the world about the work of UN, when it makes progress and when it falls short. “I deeply believe in your mission.” he said, underlining his efforts to be the defender of their safety and press freedom.

South Sudan has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and his Vice-President Riek Machar erupted into full blown conflict in December 2013. The crisis has produced one of the world's worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.

As the Syria crisis enters its sixth year, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life. According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs:OCHA, 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 04.9 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are exposed to grave protection threats. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 171216  ||  Up ||

 

Israel: Palestine: The Tale of the Jerusalem Rose: The World Cannot Make That Choice But You: You Choose Its Name: You Choose Its Destiny

Halamish, an Israeli settlement, stands in the northern West Bank, near the Palestinian village of Nabih Saleh.
Image: UNICEF:Mouhssine Ennaimi
 

|| December 16: 2016 || ά. While the international community must spare no effort to revive waning support for the long-sought two-state solution for Middle East peace, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the United Nations Security Council today that 'ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to make peace.” and called on the two sides to 'rebuild trust in each other'.  “Despite early optimism, attempts at reaching a final resolution failed to make headway and were upended with the eruption of conflict in Gaza in December 2008.

“For ten years, I pressed Israelis and Palestinians to start believing in a common future, bound by their undeniable historic, religious and national connection to the land. These aspirations have not been fulfilled. ” he said. “Ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to make peace, we cannot do it for them. They must rebuild trust in each other, as the only way to address the fears and suspicions that have led to the deep polarisation we see today. At the same time, we all can and must contribute to building trust, so sorely needed in the Middle East and the world today.” concluded Secretary-General Ban.

Further attempts at peace in 2010 and 2013 were equally eclipsed by renewed hostilities and the summer of 2014 saw the most devastating conflict in Gaza to date.” said Mr. Ban, recalling the situation in the region when he assumed office in 2006. “We are fast approaching a precipice as a direct result of the actions of those seeking to destroy the prospects for peace.” he cautioned. Calling on both sides to implement the recommendations put forward by the so-named diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process in its recent report to break the deadlock.

“This would demonstrate that Israelis and Palestinians are serious about building trust and laying the foundations for meaningful negotiations that will end the occupation...., establish a viable, independent Palestinian state and resolve all final status issues.” He also expressed concern over Israel’s settlement activity beyond the 1967 line as well as a bill currently under discussion at the parliament which risks the 'regularisation' of more than 50 outposts and thousands of housing units built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Mr. Ban also called on Palestinian authorities take 'brave and concrete steps' to address incitement and violence. “Acts and statements that glorify terror are unacceptable. I have repeatedly and strongly denounced incitement and all acts of terror. Stabbings, vehicle rammings and other attacks by Palestinians do nothing to advance their dream of statehood.” he said.

He also noted the failure to hold Palestinian general elections remained one of the clearest signs of disunity as well as of the fragile Palestinian democratic process. “The division between the West Bank and Gaza can be overcome only with the formation of a single, legitimate, inclusive Palestinian government, on the basis of PLO, Palestine Liberation Organisation, principles.” he said.

Recalling his trips to Gaza, Mr. Ban cautioned that Gaza is a 'tinder box'. “It is almost certain to explode unless movement and access restrictions are lifted and humanitarian needs are addressed; unless rocket attacks, tunnel construction and smuggling stop; unless progress is made on establishing a Palestinian state, with Gaza an integral and peaceful part.” he said.

Looking to the future, Mr. Ban urged the Security Council to 'reaffirm without reservations that there is no alternative to the two-state solution'. He called on the international community to not give up on the right of Palestine to exist, just as it must protect the right of Israel to exist in peace and security with its neighbours, he urged Council members to explore the potential of incentives and begin immediately to develop, in consultation with the parties, an agreed framework for advancing a final resolution to this conflict on the basis of direct negotiations. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 171216  ||  Up ||

 

 

António Guterres: As I Mean to Go on: A Good Set of Three Appointments Announced

Amina J. Mohammed: Deputy UN Secretary-General Designate: Image: UN Photo:Mark Garten

|| December 15: 2016 || ά. The United Nations Secretary-General-designate, António Guterres today has announced that he will be appointing Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria as the UN Deputy Secretary-General, on his assumption of office as the ninth Secretary-General the United Nations in January 2017. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is currently the Minister of Environment of Nigeria, where she steers the country’s efforts to protect the natural environment and conserve resources for sustainable development, read a statement issued by Mr. Guterres’s office.

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti: UN Chef de Cabinet Designate: Image: UN Photo:Rick Bajornas

The Secretary-General-designate has also announced the appointment of Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil as his Chef de Cabinet and that he will create the position of Special Advisor on Policy, and appointed Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea to this new role. “I am happy to count on the efforts of these three highly competent women, whom I have chosen for their strong backgrounds in global affairs, development, diplomacy, human rights and humanitarian action.” said Secretary-General-designate Guterres, in the statement.

Kyung-wha Kang:  UN  Special Advisor on Policy Designate. Image: UN Photo:Manuel Elias

“These appointments are the foundations of my team, which I will continue to build, respecting my pledges on gender parity and geographical diversity.”  Ms. Ribeiro Viotti is presently the Under-Secretary for Asia and the Pacific at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A career diplomat since 1976, she served most recently as Brazil’s Ambassador of to Germany, from 2013 to 2016 and as Brazil’s Permanent Representative to the UN, from 2007 to 2011.

Ms Mohammed also served as Special Advisor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs. Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals:MDGs. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at New York’s Columbia University, and serves on numerous international advisory boards and panels. Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Ms. Mohammed is married with six children.

Ms. Kang is currently the Chief of the Secretary-General-designate’s Transition Team. She has served as Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Co-ordinator since April 2013, and was Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights from January 2007 to March 2013. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 161216  ||  Up ||

 

 

 

The Humanion Humanity of the Year 2016: Angela Merkel: Aung San Suu Kyi: Hillary Clinton: Jeremy Corbyn: Dr. Kanayo Nwanze: Dr Margaret Chan and Professor Peter Piot

|| December 08: 2016: London: England: United Kingdom || ά. From now on, The Humanion will declare The Humanity of the Year in every December, on the eight, every year. This is simply based on The Humanion's Editorial Judgment and Opinion after following the year. No one is consulted about this nor the person:s themselves informed of their becoming declared as such. They will know as The Humanion Readers that they have been declared as such. This is The Humanion's effort, initiative to make a Statement to say and show that power, market, money, wealth, manipulation and propaganda cannot dictate, define and impose what is to be celebrated or what is good.

Our Seven Joint Humanity of the Year 2016 are persons, human beings, remarkable for their services to humanity, in their relevant field and arena of work and who have shown courage, strength, determination, resolute conviction and faith in seeking to rise to the challenge without losing any ground in relation to their faith, belief and choice in goodness that is the essence of what humanity is about and in doing the good, in seeking to do good, they seek to do, despite and regardless of the adversity they face, the criticism, the attacks and vilifications, the sustained and continuous abuses thrown on their paths, to most of them, and the barriers and obstacles they needed to overcome, they have shown the undefeatable human spirit, essence, steel so that these all stand out as beacons to the world: to encourage, to inspire, to empower, to connect and to bring together that what humanity is; without goodness that does not exist and without it there is no humanity for than we are only physiology of nothing but biology.

In the Editorial Judgment and Opinion of The Humanion the following persons have done their absolute utmost to do the highest possible good to this world and to humanity including, of course, their own nations and in doing so they have defined what spirit, what element, what steel, what humanity has made, shaped and constructed them that make them what they are and they stand against all adversity and make a stand: committed, determined, resolute and absolutely focused in their faith in goodness and in their conviction that humanity's synonym is goodness. The Humanion celebrates that and invites everyone to celebrate that that are expressed in shining light... Angela Merkel: Aung San Suu Kyi: Hillary Clinton: Jeremy Corbyn: Dr. Kanayo Nwanze: Dr Margaret Chan and Professor Peter Piot. May they continue to serve their own countries, nations and humanity long many years and years to come....

Angela Merkel: Chancellor: Germany

Aung San Suu Kyi: The State Counsellor of Myanmar

Hillary Clinton: The Democratic Party Candidate at the Presidential Election 2016: United States of America

Jeremy Corbyn MP: Leader of the Labour Party: United Kingdom

Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze: President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development

Dr Margaret Chan: Director-General: World Health Organisation

Professor Peter Piot: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Up

And what do the Seven of our Humanity of the Year 2016 Get: These Two Sonnets that they may read to themselves when they have a minute to themselves and keep going... for the road is long and hard for the walk and work is even harder....but the joy of seeking, doing and being good is the ultimate accolade of this human existence. And tell the world, tell everyone and say: Let there be light: The Humanion Team: ω.

Build a Bridge of Love's Eternal Songs

Between the sunrises and the sunsets
Between the origin and the shadow
Between the letters and the tears
Breathe earth's rotating unfurling songs

Between the light and the dark
Between the words and the sounds
Between the keys and their typesets
Build a bridge of love's eternal songs

Between the Moon and the Earth
Between the tears and their salts
Make a garden to raise all cut-roses

Forget not the wounds nor the falls
Nor the cuts nor the calls nor the hard
Yet build a bridge of love's eternal songs

The Same Kite

Despite the diverging shapes frames and their variations
In which we come as we are formed to make our prints
Despite the coats of all that colours their shades textures
That we wear on which the genome carries on working

Geophysics the sun heat light gravity and the weather all
Sign their marks so that we change adapt go and grow
Despite our multitudinous tongues we speak in and sing
The same songs of sorrows same sonatas of wonders or joys

Despite the divergent themes dreams drives and strivings
At the core we are one one we are at the very central core
The core that cuts us to be the same kite in the heavens of

Our mother earth who sails her round blue boat lit aglow
By the sun and moon she marks her tiny sand-grain magic
Against the endless expanse of heavens where wonders sing

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 081216 || Up || 

 

Aleppo: It Took 4,000 Years to Build Aleppo, Hundreds of Generations, Yet One Generation Managed to Tear It Down in Four Years: UN Invited to Monitor and Assist Fresh Evacuation Efforts Under Way in War–Ravaged Aleppo

One of six mobile clinics provided by WHO to deliver health services to people fleeing violence in Aleppo, Syria. Image: WHO Syria

|| December 15: 2016 || ά.  The United Nations was today invited to monitor and assist in the renewed effort to evacuate thousands of sick and wounded civilians and opposition fighters from the remaining rebel-held districts of Syria’s war-ravaged city of Aleppo, a senior UN humanitarian envoy announced today. Following today’s meeting in Geneva of the Humanitarian Access Task Force of the International Syria Support Group:ISSG, Jan Egeland, the UN Senior Adviser on Syria, detailed the UN’s three-pronged evacuation plan, a plan he hoped would be 'the start of a last and successful attempt of evacuations'.

According to Mr. Egeland, Russia will also monitor the situation and ensure that the evacuations that follow are 'swift, non-bureaucratic and non-intrusive' and that those being evacuated would be guaranteed safety.  “We all feel strongly that the history of Aleppo through this war will be a ‘black chapter’ in the history of international relations. It took 4,000 years to build Aleppo, hundreds of generations, yet one generation managed to tear it down in four years. Aleppo, for three thousand years, gave to the world civilisation and world civilisation was not there to assist the people of Aleppo when they needed us the most.”

The plan includes medical evacuations for the wounded and sick, evacuations for vulnerable civilians, and evacuations of fighters. The agreement was not made on behalf of the UN, but rather through direct talks of the various parties to the Syrian war, he explained. The UN will monitor the evacuations with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross:ICRC and the World Health Organisation:WHO. Representatives from all organisations are ready to accompany those being evacuated from eastern Aleppo, Idlib, and elsewhere all the way to Turkey and into Turkey, should that be their final destination.

The UN estimates that some 50,000 people have been displaced from east Aleppo, most of who have been assisted through UN relief efforts, but that many remain without humanitarian protection because the UN is unable to move freely in the area. The Organisation now has access to relief camps, but conditions are very difficult: space limitations require two families, or 10 to 12 people, to stay together in each room.

Mr. Egeland regretted that the UN had not been able to be present when civilians most needed help and noted that some 700,000 people remain in 15 besieged areas beyond east Aleppo. “All of the parties on the ground are guilty of blocking access for international humanitarian workers. I cannot recall a war where this has been such an acute problem in the last generation.” he said.

Meanwhile, the UN continues to receive reports from al-Waer, Homs, Foua, Kefraya, Madaya, and Shia, where people are prevented from evacuating.  Mr. Egeland affirmed the UN’s refusal to give up but reiterated that because it has been denied access, it has been unable to bear witness to 'atrocities that we know have been committed by all sides in this horrific war, including in east Aleppo'.

As the UN has not been party to the negotiations, the priority remains to assist civilians. UN vehicles as well as ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent:SARC ambulances are ready to respond to people as they are evacuated, but some have had difficulty gaining access due to checkpoints enforced by the Syrian Government.

The ISSG has established respective taskforces on humanitarian aid delivery and a wider ceasefire. They have been meeting separately since early this year on a way forward in the crisis. Russia and the United States are the co-chairs of the taskforces and the ISSG, which also comprises the UN, the Arab League, the European Union and 16 other countries. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 161216  ||  Up ||

 

 

I Have Come to Understand Our Values as a Unique and Precious Well, The More One Draws From It, the Deeper It Gets: Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at a ceremony to unveil his official portrait, as his tenure draws to a close
at the end of the year. Image: UN Photo:Eskinder Debebe
 

|| December 14: 2016 || ά.  In its farewell to the outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council today acknowledged his contribution to international peace, security and development, in particular his exceptional efforts to solve international problems in economic, social, environmental and cultural fields. Adopting a resolution by acclamation, the Council also acknowledged his endeavours to meet humanitarian needs and to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

“As Secretary-General, you have succeeded in ensuring that the Organization took advantage of the technological advances and prepared itself to meet the challenges of continued globalization, technological change and emerging new threats.” said Román Oyarzun Marchesi, Spain, President of the Council for December, underscoring that today’s world was very different from that of ten years ago. Quoting Miguel de Cervantes, he added: “Good deeds never lack a reward.”

Mr. Marchesi went on to highlight Ban’s remarkable successes, namely the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as the establishment of the Human Rights Council and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as UN-Women, along with the appointment of the first Special Envoy on Youth. In a similar resolution earlier this week, the General Assembly paid a tribute to Mr. Ban for his 'never-tiring service to humanity' over the past decade.

In response to today’s Council action, Mr. Ban expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have served the United Nations over the past ten years. He spoke of the Council’s successes, including its decision to establish the Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the integral role of the United Nations in securing peace in Nepal, particularly during its 2008 election, as well as creating greater stability in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.

He also highlighted a stronger partnership with the African Union and mainstreaming women, peace, and security into the Council’s agenda, particularly with regards to its decision to address sexual violence in conflict. “I encourage the Council to continue its very important work in this regard and I know that my successor, António Guterres, will be a most determined ally.” said Mr. Ban, who will step down on December 31.

He emphasised that the Council is strongest when it is united' citing examples of successful initiatives including the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria and the UN’s emergency response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Mr. Ban noted, however, that a lack of unity has proven to be profound, even catastrophic in the case of South Sudan.  “However, my deepest regret on leaving office is the continuing nightmare in Syria. I once again plead with all of you to co-operate and fulfil your collective responsibility to protect Syrian civilians.”

Throughout the day, Mr. Ban participated in events to commemorate the end of his tenure, including a town hall meeting with UN staff from around the world, and the unveiling of his portrait by the Korean artist Lee Won-Hee that will hang alongside those of his predecessors in the Secretariat lobby.

“I have come to understand our values as a unique and precious well, the more one draws from it, the deeper it gets. Above all, I thank all the partners who have made the past ten years full of meaning and purpose. I salute each and every one of them for the picture they are painting every day, of a world with more justice, more dignity, and more opportunity for all.” he said during the unveiling of his portrait. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 151216  ||  Up ||

 

 

This Carnage of Syria: What Carnage is This United Nations: Whose Carnage is This Security Council: Whose Security Have You Been Guarding

A child standing amid debris on a street in Aleppo. Image: OCHA:Romenzi

|| December 13: 2016 || ά. Aleppo should represent the end of the quest for military victory, not the start of a broader military campaign in a country already ravaged beyond all recognition by five years of war, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an emergency meeting of the Security Council today, calling on the 15-member body to 'do all we can to stop the carnage' and ensure that all the parties in the 'wretched' conflict seek an inclusive political resolution. Amid mounting international concern about the tragic situation in Aleppo, Mr. Ban said that during the last 48 hours, the world has witnessed an almost complete collapse of armed opposition front-lines, leaving them with only five percent their original territory in the city.

Outlining the lack of unified action to stop the carnage, despite numerous warnings of the consequences of such inaction, including those by his Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan De Mistura, the Secretary-General expressed, “I have said before that we have collectively failed the people of Syria. The Security Council has not exercised its preeminent responsibility with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security. History will not easily absolve us, but this failure compels us to do even more to offer the people of Aleppo our solidarity at this moment.” he said. Mr. Ban also drew attention of the Council members to the General Assembly’s overwhelming call, urging preventative measures by the Security Council on Aleppo but said that when presented with opportunity to act over the last three months, 'this Council' has failed.”

“Since September, the Security Council has failed to adopt three resolutions that could have enabled a humanitarian truce, evacuation of civilians and the entry of lifesaving aid.” he added. Against this backdrop, the UN has continued to receive reports that civilian deaths and injuries continue at a brutal pace, said the Secretary-General, citing specific reports that scores of civilians have been killed either by intense bombardment or summary executions by pro-Government forces.

“We have seen shocking videos of a body burning in the street, ostensibly after aerial bombardment, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has received reports of civilians, including women and children, in four neighbourhoods being rounded up and executed.” said the Secretary-General, echoing statements from UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

Indeed, earlier today, the High Commissioner pleaded with the international community 'to heed the cries' of the women, men and children being terrorised and slaughtered in Aleppo and to take urgent steps to ensure that the tens of thousands of people who have fled, surrendered or been captured are treated in line with international law.

“The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict.” said High Commissioner Zeid in a news release issued OHCHR. “What can happen next, if the international community continues to collectively wring its hands, can be much more dangerous.” he warned.

According to the release, the UN human rights office:OHCHR has received credible reports of scores of civilians being killed either by intense bombardment or summary execution by pro-Government forces. “Dozens of bodies reportedly litter the streets of a number of east Aleppo neighbourhoods, with residents unable to retrieve them due to the intense bombardment and fear of being shot.” the release said, adding, “Government forces and their allies are also reportedly entering civilian homes and killing people.”

The release also stated that according to reports from multiple sources, pro-Government forces killed at least 82 civilians, including 11 women and 13 children, in the Bustan al-Qasr, al-Ferdous, al-Kallaseh, and al-Saleheen neighbourhoods yesterday. OHCHR further cautioned that thousands of people who remain in areas under the control of armed groups are at risk of grave violations, including detentions, torture and killings.

Emphasising the Syrian Government’s obligation to protect the right to life of all civilians as well as that of fighters who have surrendered, or laid down their weapons, are sick or wounded or otherwise hors de combat, no longer participating in hostilities, Mr. Zeid said that it must provide medical assistance to all sick and wounded, civilians and fighters alike, 'without any discrimination'.

However, according to OHCHR, 'reports suggest that of those fighters who have fled, some were reportedly caught and killed on the spot while others were arrested'. High Commissioner Zeid further underlined that in the absence of independent monitors on the ground and “given the terrible record of arbitrary detention and torture in Syria even prior to the start of this conflict.” urgent measures must be taken to ensure the protection of the people who have fled Aleppo.

“The world is watching Aleppo and we are documenting the violations being committed against its people, with the firm conviction that one day those who are responsible will be held to account. We must ensure that this happens. The hellish suffering to which the people of Syria are being subjected must stop.” he concluded. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 141216  ||  Up ||

 

 

Taking Oath of Office, António Guterres Pledges to Work for Peace, Development and a Reformed United Nations

António Guterres, Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, speaks to the General Assembly immediately after taking the oath of office for his five-year term which begins on 1 January 2017. Image: UN Photo:Evan Schneider

|| December 12: 2016 || ά. Sworn in today as the ninth and next United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres pledged to reposition development at the centre of the Organisation’s work and ensure that the UN can change to effectively meet the myriad challenges facing the international community. “The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective. It must focus more on delivery and less on process; more on people and less on bureaucracy.” said Mr. Guterres after taking the oath of office at a ceremony before the 193-member UN General Assembly.

Mr. Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, 1995 to 2002 and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2005-2015, took the oath of office following the Assembly’s tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of the month after leading the global Organisation for the past 10 years. At the onset of his remarks at the swearing-in-ceremony, the Secretary-General-designate paid tribute to Secretary-General Ban for his 'principled leadership that helped to chart the future of the UN, through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; through his commitment to peace and security; through his initiative to put human rights at the heart of UN’s work.” Mr. Guterres then highlighted three strategic priorities for the Organization: working for peace; supporting sustainable development; and reforming its internal management.

Noting that, often, the UN is tasked with peacekeeping in places where there is no peace to keep, he said that a greater conceptual clarity and a shared understanding of the scope of peacekeeping was needed so as to pave the way for urgent reforms. “Inspired by the new concept of sustaining peace, it is time for us all to engage in a comprehensive reform of the UN strategy, operational set-up and structures for peace and security.” he highlighted. Mr. Guterres also emphasised the need to do more to prevent and respond to the sexual violence and exploitation committed by those serving under the UN flag against those they are supposed to protect.

“I will work closely with Member States on structural, legal and operational measures to make the zero-tolerance policy… a reality.” he underscored, adding: “We must ensure transparency and accountability and offer protection and effective remedies to the victims.”

On the second key element of the reform agenda, concerning the UN support to Member States in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs, Mr. Guterres said that development will form the centre of the UN’s work, and that he will engage in a comprehensive reform of the UN development system – both at headquarters and at country levels. 

 “This must involve leadership, coordination, delivery and accountability. We will build on the outcome of the recent discussions among Member States.” he said, underlining the need to bring humanitarian and development spheres closer together from the very beginning of a crisis. “Humanitarian response, sustainable development and sustaining peace are three sides of the same triangle.” he highlighted.

On management reforms, Mr. Guterres underlined the need to build on existing efforts and to implement recent reform initiatives. “Looking at UN staff and budgetary rules and regulations, one might think some of them were designed to prevent, rather than enable, the effective delivery of our mandates.” he said, adding, “It benefits no one if it takes nine months to deploy a staff member to the field.”

He also underlined the need to foster a culture of accountability and effective protection for whistleblowers, as well as to better communicate the work of the UN, so that people understand it better. “We need a substantial reform of our communications strategy, upgrading our tools and platforms to reach people around the world.” he said.

He also pledged to respect gender parity from the start in all appointments to the Senior Management Group  and the Chief Executives Board, stressing, “By the end of my mandate, we should reach full gender parity at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels, including special representatives and special envoys.”

Concluding his remarks, Secretary-General-designate Guterres said that while the world is getting better connected, fragmentations within societies are increasing, and that more and more people are living within their own bubbles, unable to appreciate their links with the whole human family. “In the end, it comes down to values, as was said so many times today. We want the world our children inherit to be defined by the values enshrined in the UN Charter: peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.” he said, adding: “The threats to these values are most often based on fear. Our duty to the peoples we serve is to work together to move from fear of each other, to trust in each other. Trust in the values that bind us, and trust in the institutions that serve and protect us.” he emphasised.

Mr. Guterres, was appointed by the General Assembly on October 13 this year in what was the culmination of an historic process Member States set in motion late last year: the selection of a new UN Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, for the first time in history, involved public discussions with each candidate vying for the leadership position. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 131216  ||  Up ||

 

 

New WHO Data Portal to Help Track Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage


|| December 12: 2016: Geneva: Switzerland || ά. To mark Universal Health Coverage Day, the World Health OrganisationWHO today launched a new data portal to track progress towards universal health coverage:UHC around the world. The portal shows where countries need to improve access to services, and where they need to improve information. The portal  features the latest data on access to health services globally and in each of WHO’s 194 Member States, along with information about equity of access. Next year WHO will add data on the impact that paying for health services has on household finances.

“Any country seeking to achieve UHC must be able to measure it.” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “Data on its own won’t prevent disease or save lives, but it shows where governments need to act to strengthen their health systems and protect people from the potentially devastating effects of health care costs.” UHC means that all people and communities can access the health services they need without facing financial hardship. So countries aiming to provide UHC need to build health systems that deliver the quality services and products people need, when and where they need them, through an adequately resourced and well-trained health workforce.

The ability to provide strong primary health care services at community level is essential to make progress towards universal health coverage.
Last year, the world’s governments set themselves a target to achieve UHC by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs. UHC is not only essential to achieving the health-related targets, it will also contribute to other goals such as no poverty, Goal One, and decent work and economic growth, Goal Eight.

In November, the United Nations working group responsible for deciding how to monitor progress towards the SDGs agreed on two measures for UHC: the proportion of a population with access to 16 essential health services; and the proportion of a population that spends more than 25% of household income on health. WHO’s new UHC Data Portal offers data on both indicators in a single place, offering an initial snapshot of the status of UHC globally and by country.

The portal shows that:
Less than half of children with suspected pneumonia in low income countries are taken to an appropriate health provider.
Of the estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis in 2015, 06.1 million were detected and officially notified in 2015, leaving a gap of 04.3 million.
High blood pressure affects 01.13 billion people. Over half of the world's adults with high blood pressure in 2015 lived in Asia. Around 24% of men and 21% of women had uncontrolled blood pressure in 2015.
About 44% of WHO’s member states report having less than one physician per 1000 population. The African Region suffers almost 25% of the global burden of disease but has only 03% of the world’s health workers.

“Expanding access to services will involve increasing spending for most countries.” said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation. “But as important as what is spent is how it’s spent. All countries can make progress towards UHC, even at low spending levels.”

Some countries have made good progress towards UHC with low spending, while others achieve lower levels of coverage even though they spend more. And among countries with similarly low levels of spending, there are large variations in coverage levels. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 131216  ||  Up||

 

 

Malaria Control Improves for Vulnerable in Africa But Global Progress Off-Track


|| December 13: 2016: Geneva: Switzerland || ά. The World Health Organisation’s:WHO World Malaria Report 2016 reveals that children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa have greater access to effective malaria control. Across the region, a steep increase in diagnostic testing for children and preventive treatment for pregnant women has been reported over the last five years. Among all populations at risk of malaria, the use of insecticide-treated nets has expanded rapidly.

But in many countries in the region, substantial gaps in programme coverage remain. Funding shortfalls and fragile health systems are undermining overall progress, jeopardizing the attainment of global targets. Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths. Children under five are particularly vulnerable, accounting for an estimated 70% of all malaria deaths.

Diagnostic testing enables health providers to rapidly detect malaria and prescribe life-saving treatment. New findings presented in the report show that, in 2015, approximately half, 51%, of children with a fever seeking care at a public health facility in 22 African countries received a diagnostic test for malaria compared to 29% in 2010.

To protect women in areas of moderate and high malaria transmission in Africa, WHO recommends 'intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy':ITPp with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. The treatment, administered at each scheduled antenatal care visit after the first trimester, can prevent maternal and infant mortality, anaemia and the other adverse effects of malaria in pregnancy.

According to available data, there was a five-fold increase in the percentage of women receiving the recommended three or more doses of this preventive treatment in 20 African countries. Coverage reached 31% in 2015, up from 06% in 2010. Insecticide-treated nets are the cornerstone of malaria prevention efforts in Africa. The report found that more than half, 53%, of the population at risk in sub-Saharan Africa slept under a treated net in 2015 compared to 30% in 2010.

Last month, WHO released the findings of a major five-year evaluation in five countries. The study showed that people who slept under long-lasting insecticidal nets:LLINs had significantly lower rates of malaria infection than those who did not use a net, even though mosquitoes showed resistance to pyrethroids (the only insecticide class used in LLINs in all of these areas.

Malaria remains an acute public health problem, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths worldwide in 2015. There are still substantial gaps in the coverage of core malaria control tools. In 2015, an estimated 43% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa was not protected by treated nets or indoor spraying with insecticides, the primary methods of malaria vector control.

In many countries, health systems are under-resourced and poorly accessible to those most at risk of malaria. In 2015, a large proportion, 36%, of children with a fever were not taken to a health facility for care in 23 African countries. “We are definitely seeing progress.” notes Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “But the world is still struggling to achieve the high levels of programme coverage that are needed to beat this disease.”

At the 2015 World Health Assembly, Member States adopted the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030. The Strategy set ambitious targets for 2030 with milestones every five years to track progress. Eliminating malaria in at least 10 countries is a milestone for 2020. The report shows that prospects for reaching this target are bright: In 2015, 10 countries and territories reported fewer than 150 indigenous cases of malaria, and a further nine countries reported between 150 and 1000 cases.

Countries that have achieved at least 3 consecutive years of zero indigenous cases of malaria are eligible to apply for the WHO certification of malaria elimination. In recent months, the WHO Director-General certified that Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka had eliminated malaria.

But progress towards other key targets must be accelerated. The Strategy calls for a 40% reduction in malaria case incidence by the year 2020, compared to a 2015 baseline. According to the report, less than half, 40, of the 91 countries and territories with malaria are on track to achieve this milestone. Progress has been particularly slow in countries with a high malaria burden.

Sustained and sufficient funding for malaria control is a serious challenge. Despite a steep increase in global investment for malaria between 2000 and 2010, funding has since flat-lined. In 2015, malaria funding totalled US$ 02.9 billion, representing only 45% of the funding milestone for 2020, US$06.4 billion.

Governments of malaria-endemic countries provided about 31% of total malaria funding in 2015. The United States of America is the largest international malaria funder, accounting for about 35% of total funding in 2015, followed by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 16%. If global targets are to be met, funding from both domestic and international sources must increase substantially. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 131216  ||  Up ||


 

Conflict Threatens Decades of Progress for Children in Middle East and North Africa: UNICEF

Newly displaced civilians stop at a check point in Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq, on October 31, 2016. Image: UNICEF:Alessio Romenzi

|| December 12: 2016 || ά. Although countries across the Middle East and North Africa have made major strides in protecting children’s rights and wellbeing since the inception of the United Nations Children’s Fund:UNICEF 70 years ago, conflict risks reversing these gains for 157 million children in the region. “Looking back on 70 years of UNICEF’s work for children is a source of great pride. Every country in the region has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, less children die before the age of five, and school enrolment rates have improved.” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a news release issued today.

“But conflict risks reversing these gains for 157 million children across the region, making our mandate to protect them more crucial than ever.” he added. According to UNICEF, nearly one in five children across the Middle East and North Africa is in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, with violent conflict, poverty and displacement creating dire conditions that push almost 29 million boys and girls to the brink. After years of conflict across the Middle East and North Africa, children have increasingly come under attack and suffer the brunt of war in half of the countries in the region. These grim figures on our 70th anniversary should be an urgent wake up call to the world to work harder.

An estimated 08.4 million Syrian children are in need of immediate assistance for shelter, food and water, compared to 500,000 in 2012. Nearly half a million children are living in besieged areas in Syria and have received little to no aid in almost two years. Almost 10 million children in Yemen are affected by conflict and living in critical conditions, with nearly 400,000 at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

Extreme brutality against children is rife in Iraq. According to reports, nearly 400 child rights violations were recorded since January 2016. The ongoing military operation in Mosul has displaced nearly 74,000 people, almost half of them children. In Sudan, Libya and the State of Palestine, conflict has pushed millions of children out of their homes and schools and denied them access to basic services.

“These grim figures on our 70th anniversary should be an urgent wake up call to the world to work harder so that each and every child across the Middle East and North Africa can survive, thrive and be reach their full potential.” said Mr. Cappelaere. “This is not a lost generation. History will judge us: we must invest more in the region’s children today.”

Through the No Lost Generation, UNICEF has helped provide formal and informal learning opportunities for Syrian refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

In Syria and neighbouring refugee-host countries, UNICEF has helped vaccinate over 21 million children against polio in 2016, and in Sudan, over 82,000 children have received psycho-social support this year. Since January, four million children in Yemen have received nutritional services with support from UNICEF.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  ||  ‽: 131216  ||  Up ||

 

 

Gambia: UN Security Council Calls on Outgoing President to Respect Peoples' Choice and to Carry Out a Peaceful Transition

Image: UN Photo

|| December 09: 2016 || ά. Strongly condemning the outgoing Gambian President's rejection of the official election results proclaimed by the country's Independent Electoral Commission, the United Nations Security Council urged him to carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process. In a press statement issued today, the 15-member Council called on outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to respect the choice of the sovereign people of Gambia, as he did on December 02, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to the President-elect, Mr. Adama Barrow.

The Council also urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence and remain calm, and requested that the security of President-elect Barrow and that of all Gambians be fully ensured. Further in the statement, Security Council members also called on the support by the UN Office for West Africa:UNOWAS and international partners, especially the Economic Community of West African States:ECOWAS, to preserve stability in the west African country and work towards the installation of a democratically elected Government in the country.

The Council members also commended the Gambian people for the peaceful and transparent conduct of elections on December 01 and expressed their commitment to continue to closely follow the evolution of the situation in the country.

They further called on outgoing President Jammeh to respect the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, notably the rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government, and recalled the relevant provisions of Article 23:4 of the African Union:AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 111216  ||  Up ||

 

LSHTM Launches the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre: In Time With Vision For the Challenge

In Time With Vision For the Challenge: Co-directors of AMR: Claire Chandler and Richard Stabler: Image: LSHTM

|| December 09: 2016: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine News || ά. A new LSHTM initiative to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance:AMR has been launched by Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer on Monday, December 05. Resistance to antibiotics threatens modern healthcare globally. Antibiotics have been crucial in providing protection against infectious diseases and promoting the advancement of medical technologies. With growing levels of drug-resistant infections, there is an urgent need for high quality research to guide action.

The aims of the AMR Centre are: Promote and facilitate high quality research into AMR that builds on and exploits disciplinary strengths across LSHTM; Facilitate AMR related funding responses and collaboration opportunities; Provide an interface for LSHTM’s AMR research for staff, public, press and wider research communities and Provide educational materials on AMR. Antimicrobial Resistance, AMR is a threat to life and healthcare globally. With increasing levels of international concern about AMR, we need high quality research and evidence to guide action. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is unique in the breadth of disciplines used to meet this complex challenge.

These range from microbiology and clinical medicine to social studies and economics. The School’s Antimicrobial Resistance Centre, launching in December 2016, will foster connections between these scientific approaches, generating innovative approaches to science and policy. Professor Dame Sally Davies gave the keynote speech at the launch of the School’s new Antimicrobial Resistance Centre. The Centre is a focus for innovative, interdisciplinary research, and international engagement. Building on the uniquely diverse expertise at the School, the Centre will strengthen the development of novel approaches to research, practice and policy, with the aim of reducing the burden of drug resistant infection around the world.

Dame Sally has long been an advocate for action on AMR, having led the international campaign that culminated in a United Nations General Assembly declaration earlier this year. Speaking at the launch, she said, “We have a duty of solidarity to sort this, we cannot step back and watch it happen, we have to work out how to make a difference. I am absolutely delighted by the launch of this Centre, by bringing people together the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is in a great position to make a difference to the agenda.”

The Antimicrobial Resistance Centre is led by Co-directors Dr Clare Chandler and Dr Richard Stabler and becomes one of the 15 School Centres that draw on a range of expertise to address global health challenges.

Clare Chandler, Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre

Clare is an Associate Professor in Medical Anthropology in the Global Health Department. Clare has a background in anthropology and public health and extensive experience in researching medicine use, diagnostic testing, concepts and management of febrile illnesses, and health care improvement interventions. Her research has primarily been based in Uganda and Tanzania but she has also undertaken research in 6 other countries in Africa and Asia.

Clare currently researches policy, science and practice relating to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She uses ethnography, interviews and documentary analysis to understand experiences, discourses and relations between people, materials and ideas. She is developing a hub of research on antimicrobials in society, drawing on post-structural ideas of multi-species, material-semiotic and discursive scapes of practice.

As a Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre, Clare is keen to promote interdisciplinary dialogues that take seriously the multiple ways of understanding what AMR is, and that promote the development of novel ideas emerging from the spaces between disciplines.

Contact: Room 313, LSHTM, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SH: T: +44 207 299 4709: clare.chandler at lshtm.ac.uk

Richard Stabler, Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre

Richard is an Associate Professor in Molecular Bacteriology in the Pathogen and Molecular Biology Department. His has a background of using whole organism high throughput technologies to investigate the genetics behind virulence and molecular epidemiology. He has researched several important human pathogens where drug resistance is a vital component including Clostridium difficile and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, he has designed a self-learning pan-pathogen diagnostic microarray which could identify AMR genes and investigated alternatives to antibiotics.

Richard’s current research projects are investigating antimicrobial resistance in two bacteria which are rapidly becoming untreatable due to the lack of effective antibiotics: Acinetobacter baumannii and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. He is currently using next-generation sequencing to investigate the population structure of A. baumannii and the genetics behind bacterial survival mechanisms during infection. For N. gonorrhoeae, he is investigating the role that other organisms play in the acquisition and development of resistance.

As a Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre, Richard wants to bring together all aspects of the Centre to form a coordinated approach to tackling AMR. The global links within the centre offer an excellent opportunity to develop tools to help those most at risk to AMR related burden.

Contact: Room 383, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT: T: +44 207 927 2824: richard.stabler at lshtm.ac.uk

The LSHTM Antimicrobial Resistance Centre: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore ||  ‽: 101216  ||  Up ||

 

On World Human Rights Day: Stand Up to Protect the Mirror Where You See Yourself: The Mirror That is Made by Someone's Else's Protected Human Rights for It's Not Their Rights You Protect But Your Own, Too

|| December 09: 2016 || ά. Upholding human rights is in the interest of all and are at the heart of the work and identify of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed ahead of Human Rights Day, calling on the international community to 'stand up for someone’s right today, tomorrow and every day'. And The Humanion adds, and that someone is you reflected in the mirror of humanity. It's not anyone else's human rights you defend but your own human rights. For when the mirror is broken you don't get to see yourself reflected on it anymore. Does it not mean that when 'the other's human rights get violated it's your rights that get violated with it, too?

In his message on the Day, Mr. Ban recalled that over the decade of his tenure as UN-Head he has repeatedly stressed the interdependence of the three pillars of the Organisation, peace, sustainable development and human rights. “Together, they form the basis of resilient and cohesive societies rooted in inclusion, justice and the rule of law.” he said, noting that human rights are also at the heart of the work of the UN.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. One of its foundations is the notion that everyone is entitled to the full range of human rights and that all of us are collectively responsible for defending them. In order to celebrate and promote this view, this year marks a new Human Rights Day campaign, Stand up for someone’s rights today! The campaign refers to a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, the first chair of the then UN Commission on Human Rights and oversaw the drafting of the Declaration:

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home, so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

 It includes a list of ways for people to actively stand up for human rights, including awareness raising, speaking out against abuse, solidarity, calling upon leaders to uphold human rights, and a myriad of everyday actions.

The Declaration, already the world’s most translated document, is now available in more than 500 translations with the recent addition of North Bolivian Quechua to the collection. Translation number 501 is into a dialect of the indigenous Quechua language spoken in the north-western Bolivian department of La Paz by some 116,000 people.

In a global call for activism, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned that today’s events in the world make many among us anxious; even fearful. “We see human beings in pain. Decent values under attack. Messages of hatred and intolerance – divisive visions of the world which drive increasing selfishness, isolation, scapegoating and violence.”

“And in this toxic tide of hatred which is slowly rising in many societies, some of the deepest, most essential principles which safeguard peaceful societies risk being swept away. We need to stop this. And I believe we can. We, you and I, can draw the line.” he stressed, adding, “We don’t have to stand by when the haters drive wedges of hostility between communities. We can build bridges. We can raise our voices. We can stand up for the values of decent, compassionate societies.

“When someone is abused and afraid, we can step forward to help safeguard her rights. When a vulnerable person is bullied, we can step in. Wherever there is discrimination and exploitation, we can speak up and let it be known that we oppose this, and seek to stop it. We can join others to publicly lobby for better leadership, better laws and greater respect for human dignity.” said Mr Al Hussein. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 101216 || Up|| 

 

 

Nearly 535 Million Children Living in Crisis-Hit Countries: UNICEF

 

|| December 09: 2016 || ά. As the United Nations Children's Fund:UNICEF prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of its work for the world's most vulnerable children, the agency today issued a stark warning that despite significant progress, too many children are still being left behind, with nearly 535 million of them living in harsh conditions, lacking access to decent health, education and protection services.

“UNICEF was established to bring help and hope to children whose lives and futures are endangered by conflict and deprivation, and this enormous figure, representing the individual lives of half a billion children, is a sharp reminder that our mission is becoming more urgent every day.” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in a news release ahead the anniversary, which will be commemorated on December 11.

Violence in many areas across the globe, especially in the Middle East region, has had a devastating effect on millions of children and families. In Syria, nearly 500,000 children live under siege, cut off from basic services. While in north-eastern Nigeria, almost one million children are displaced. In Afghanistan, half of primary-aged children are out of school, and the conflict in Yemen has impacted almost 10 million children.

These are just some of the regions where children live in a state of emergency, says UNICEF. Overall, too many children are still being left behind, excluded because of their gender, race, religion or disability, 'or simply because they are children'. Mr. Lake added, “Whether children live in a country in conflict or a country in peace, their development is critical not only to their individual futures but also to the future of their societies.” ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 101216 || Up || 

 

 

In Case The World Has Forgotten: Ukraine is Still Here: Conflict in Ukraine Continues to Take Civilian Toll: UN Human Rights Report

Image: UN Photo

|| December 08: 2016 || ά. A new United Nations report out today has confirmed that Ukrainians living close to the 'contact line' the area between Government-controlled and armed group-controlled territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, not only suffer due to fighting near their homes but also face the threat of landmines and unexploded ordinance as well as have to contend with severe restrictions on movement. According to the Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine launched today by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:OHCHR, between mid-August and mid-November, at least 32 civilians were killed in conflict-related incidents and another 132 injured.

Between mid-April 2014 and December 01 this year, more than 2,000 civilians are estimated to have died while an additional 298 were killed in the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17. Conflict-related civilian injures are estimated between 6,000 and 7,000. “It is of deep concern that Government forces and armed groups operating in civilian areas do not take all feasible precautions against the effects of fighting, resulting in damage to schools, kindergartens, and medical facilities.” noted the report. It added that it was worrying that Ukrainian military forces and armed groups continued to be positioned in civilian homes and buildings in villages and towns adjacent to the contact line.

The report also raised concern that armed groups in the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk people’s republic' and 'Luhansk people’s republic' continue to deprive people of their fundamental rights as well as of effective mechanism for redress. Hundreds of individuals also remain missing. While some of them could be dead with their bodies not yet recovered or identified, 'some individuals considered missing by the Government may be held incommunicado in territories controlled by the armed groups or vice versa' noted the report.

It also drew attention to a number of penal and pre-trial detention facilities in the armed group controlled and that despite repeated requests, UN human rights monitors were not allowed full and unhindered access, raising concern that those kept there may have been subjected to torture or sexual and gender-based violence.

Furthermore, disproportionate restrictions on freedom of movement across the contact line severely affect an average of 25,000 people per day, dividing families and communities.

The report also noted that agricultural land contaminated by landmines and other unexploded remnants of war had further aggravated the suffering of the population and those internally displaced continued to face challenges in availing of social security and pension payments.

According to the UN human rights office, the total death toll from mid-April 2014 stands at 9,758 with another 22,779 people injured. These figures are estimates and comprise members of the Ukrainian armed forces, armed groups and civilians.

The impact of the conflict in eastern Ukraine on the human rights situation illustrates the need for the full implementation of the provisions of the Minsk Agreements, the report states. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 081216 || Up || 

 

 

The Humanion The Humanion Humanity of the Year 2016: Angela Merkel: Aung San Suu Kyi: Hillary Clinton: Jeremy Corbyn: Dr. Kanayo Nwanze: Dr Margaret Chan and Professor Peter Piot

|| December 08: 2016: London: England: United Kingdom || ά. From now on, The Humanion will declare The Humanity of the Year in every December, on the eight, every year. This is simply based on The Humanion's Editorial Judgment and Opinion after following the year. No one is consulted about this nor the person:s themselves informed of their becoming declared as such. They will know as The Humanion Readers that they have been declared as such. This is The Humanion's effort, initiative to make a Statement to say and show that power, market, money, wealth, manipulation and propaganda cannot dictate, define and impose what is to be celebrated or what is good.

Our Seven Joint Humanity of the Year 2016 are persons, human beings, remarkable for their services to humanity, in their relevant field and arena of work and who have shown courage, strength, determination, resolute conviction and faith in seeking to rise to the challenge without losing any ground in relation to their faith, belief and choice in goodness that is the essence of what humanity is about and in doing the good, in seeking to do good, they seek to do, despite and regardless of the adversity they face, the criticism, the attacks and vilifications, the sustained and continuous abuses thrown on their paths, to most of them, and the barriers and obstacles they needed to overcome, they have shown the undefeatable human spirit, essence, steel so that these all stand out as beacons to the world: to encourage, to inspire, to empower, to connect and to bring together that what humanity is; without goodness that does not exist and without it there is no humanity for than we are only physiology of nothing but biology.

In the Editorial Judgment and Opinion of The Humanion the following persons have done their absolute utmost to do the highest possible good to this world and to humanity including, of course, their own nations and in doing so they have defined what spirit, what element, what steel, what humanity has made, shaped and constructed them that make them what they are and they stand against all adversity and make a stand: committed, determined, resolute and absolutely focused in their faith in goodness and in their conviction that humanity's synonym is goodness. The Humanion celebrates that and invites everyone to celebrate that that are expressed in shining light... Angela Merkel: Aung San Suu Kyi: Hillary Clinton: Jeremy Corbyn: Dr. Kanayo Nwanze: Dr Margaret Chan and Professor Peter Piot. May they continue to serve their own countries, nations and humanity long many years and years to come....

 

Angela Merkel: Chancellor: Germany

Aung San Suu Kyi: The State Counsellor of Myanmar

Hillary Clinton: The Democratic Party Candidate at the Presidential Election 2016: United States of America

Jeremy Corbyn MP: Leader of the Labour Party: United Kingdom

Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze: President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development

Dr Margaret Chan: Director-General: World Health Organisation

Professor Peter Piot: The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Up

And what do the Seven of our Humanity of the Year 2016 Get: These Two Sonnets that they may read to themselves when they have a minute to themselves and keep going... for the road is long and hard for the walk and work is even harder....but the joy of seeking, doing and being good is the ultimate accolade of this human existence. And tell the world, tell everyone and say: Let there be light: The Humanion Team: ω.

Build a Bridge of Love's Eternal Songs

Between the sunrises and the sunsets
Between the origin and the shadow
Between the letters and the tears
Breathe earth's rotating unfurling songs

Between the light and the dark
Between the words and the sounds
Between the keys and their typesets
Build a bridge of love's eternal songs

Between the Moon and the Earth
Between the tears and their salts
Make a garden to raise all cut-roses

Forget not the wounds nor the falls
Nor the cuts nor the calls nor the hard
Yet build a bridge of love's eternal songs

The Same Kite

Despite the diverging shapes frames and their variations
In which we come as we are formed to make our prints
Despite the coats of all that colours their shades textures
That we wear on which the genome carries on working

Geophysics the sun heat light gravity and the weather all
Sign their marks so that we change adapt go and grow
Despite our multitudinous tongues we speak in and sing
The same songs of sorrows same sonatas of wonders or joys

Despite the divergent themes dreams drives and strivings
At the core we are one one we are at the very central core
The core that cuts us to be the same kite in the heavens of

Our mother earth who sails her round blue boat lit aglow
By the sun and moon she marks her tiny sand-grain magic
Against the endless expanse of heavens where wonders sing

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 081216 || Up || 

 

UN Special Rapporteur on Racism Urges Australians to Stand Up Against Country's Alarming Hate Speech and Racism

Special Rapporteur on racism Mutuma Ruteere. Image: UN Photo:Evan Schneider

|| December 08: 2016 || ά. The United Nations human rights expert on contemporary forms of racism today urged all Australians from the Government to the media and civil society to stand up against 'alarming' hate speech, racism and racial discrimination in the country, especially against indigenous people, refugees, migrants, and Muslims. “The elimination of racism, xenophobia and discrimination will not happen unless it is led by the most senior political leadership and unless institutions such as the media play a constructive role.” Mutuma Ruteere said in a news release at the end of a visit to the country.

Mr. Ruteere urged the authorities and the government to respect and support diversity in Australia, where every second person is either born overseas or has a parent born outside the country. He also encouraged the Australian Human Rights Commission to continue their efforts towards equality. “Indigenous people are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system, with high rates of juvenile incarceration and police profiling. The current policing of indigenous communities is too punitive and need an urgent change as its consequences can only lead to even further devastation of these communities.” said Mr. Ruteere about the many challenges that these groups face.

“Indigenous peoples are three times more likely to experience unemployment, they remain at the margin of economic progress and prosperity.” he added. The expert also encouraged moving forward with the current debate on Section 18 C of the Racial Discrimination Act, prohibiting hate speech, adding that this sets an optimistic ground for an inclusive and multicultural Australia. “I call upon the Government to maintain this section as a means to protect discriminated groups against bigots and extremists.”

“It is alarming to see that xenophobic hate speech, including by elected politicians, has been on the rise in Australia and cheered by sections of the mainstream media, contributing to reinforcing the negative perception of migrants, particularly, Muslims and persons of African descent.” the expert added.

Mr. Ruteere requested the Australian Government to consider a broader Human Rights Bill, to ensure protection against racism and other forms of discrimination in the form of a Constitutional Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
 ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 081216 || Up || 

 

Letter to the Reader


|| December 06: 2016 || ά. Dear Reader, let us take a look at what happened in Italy. People of Italy might think that the outside world does not know what their lot is like, but they would be mistaken. The outside world does know, for when desperation sets in and one cannot breathe, things are set in motion by that desperation so that it sends out its 'impactiles' all around. Here, in the United Kingdom, particularly, in London, we find the 'debris' and 'shrapnel' of the Italian 'impactiles'. Few months ago, we spoke with an Italian young man in London, who was sitting at a park bench, being at a loss so that his eyes did not bear the shine of the light that an Italian Renaissance-lit young person's eyes would be lit by. No, he was absolutely dejected, disheveled and almost at the last nano-dot of his tethers. Desperation brought him to London for things were and could not have been more worse, than what they became where he found himself. So he came to London but here, things did not look as good as he had hoped for. He still did not have a job after months of trying and all he had was running fast to the empty. We sought to offer him our humanity, our sympathy and some flickers of light of hope. We hope he has found a job but even if he did find a job that won't be one with big title or pay package. It will not resolve his problem. He will earn a mere wage with which, he shall find, paying the bills was the hardest of struggles he has ever undertaken. Another Italian woman, told us, that she was 'lucky' that she was going to start work for MacDonalds somewhere in London. Another Italian young woman struggles along at a Coffee Shop in London while another young Italian man struggles along at another minimum wage job, finding it a mighty struggle to support his young family. What we are trying to say is this that what has been happening in Italy we find its 'impactiles' in here, in London, in England, in the UK.

And yet, instead of the anger, frustration and terrible sense of injustice, bringing a positive political movement with a serious, pragmatic as well as visionary set of programme of actions, we find the horrible forces of the evil that, Italy would know, should know and cannot forget, must not forget, the force that went about desecrating Italy and the Italians, not long ago, are fanning people and this anger, this frustration and sense of injustice towards a dangerous illusion for fascism, nazism, bigotry, racism and xenophobia are not going to bring in what Italy and the Italians desperately need. Italy's problems are not caused by the European Union; the Euro is not the cause of Italy's misery. Italy's woes have been building up for decades. And it is its political system and governance structure that simply are unable to create a culture of stability so that governments can run and function properly. No one has tried to fix this and it lingered. Governments came and went like a procession of absolute failures creating and leaving on their wake a massive, yet ever increasing in depth and size, mess and Italy continued to 'limp' along, getting weaker and weaker as it went along with the fractured bones that won't get better unless they are treated.

Establishment seems to be at the receiving end of this anger: but what is the establishment? A political structure, a political economical infrastructure, a system of governance and a functioning and independent judiciary so that each branch works in accordance with the law and follows the course of due process of law. And thus, you will have people who must be qualified to do the jobs that this would require to be done. And than you would have people in powerful positions and professions, politicians, economists, public servants, lawyers and, judges and justices and many other professions of teacher, social worker, engineer, architect, business and investment people, public servants, doctors and surgeons and workers and so on etc. And if a nation begins to look at these very people, that they should entrust with the infrastructures, mechanisms, systems and culture so that they can and should run the democratic mechanism of a nation, as the establishment and as the ultimate evil, as the public enemy, as the cause of its miseries than the outcomes are going to be dangerous and it could be described as this: a person with a sword, goes in the water and he seeks to strike the water and what happens, the sword actually goes and injures him because as soon as the sword enters water he cannot control the direction of the sword any longer nor the speed at which the sword travels.

The days in which 'revolutions' used to take place in the world, such as the French Revolution or the Bolshevik Revolution is over. The old style revolutions are terribly unlikely to happen to this world any longer because the world and humanity in the world have got so closely tangled up that it is impossible for an old style revolution to take place and succeed. This kind of things will not happen for the world has moved on. Any change that comes and shall come must come through democratic means and through democratic evolution. Medicine, for example, has journeyed 'millions of light years', since the days of Hippocrates, but it still abides by the Hippocratic Oath and yet it has evolved and it evolves everyday towards a better space and place, acquiring new knowledge, skills, expertise and technology so that it gets better everyday and yet it does not forget the contributions Hippocrates made, Ibn Sina made, Nafis made, Henry Gray or Alexander Fleming or Marie Sklodowska-Curie made. Evolution is the natural means of perfecting any 'mechanism' and it does so by 'trial and error' for unless you lighted a fire in the terrible, terrible cold you cannot be sure whether a fire is helpful to beat the cold nor can you be sure that such a fire is going to be safe and healthy for you, even if it beats the cold. So you go and light up one, small and see how it goes and from that you learn as to what went well and what went wrong and then you update and go again. Think of the fight, the epic war Medicine has been putting up against cancer and you realise, that it can never be a revolution but a continuum of carrying on building on the blocks that have been made, placed and that work and you go seek for more that might work. What is important, fundamental to remember in this, that you go and seek new that might work and find, often times, that what you found new did not work so you go on trying. But even, when that what you found to be new, yet you saw it did not work, that, even that failure, would guide you towards the next set of new that will work. Therefore, even failures are absoolutely necessary in science an, in life, too, they are necessary. It would be dangerous and most foolish for one to just throw all this that has been perfected and that works to the dust and say: I am going to make anew. If you find that you have built up the most sophisticated national health service in the world that serves the entire nation well, you do not go and dismantle it but protecting it you carry on building on it. But you see that the area of education is failing you go and dismantle the parts, sections, fragments that do not work and rebuild it, seeking to making it effective and better. It is anti-nature and it is the most foolish way of going about making things better. You, who call yourself I, most of this you, is anew in your physiology and this has not happened through revolutions but through daily evolution, by every second and every minute and by every hour and every day, and by continuous evolution. Therefore, what these fascist, nazi, racist and xenophobic forces are seeking to do is exactly this: they are seeking to get people to take their sword of anger and hit the water and yet they do not know it is the people who are going to get hurt by the sword going with its 'own will' in the water and hitting and cutting these very people themselves. It is these very people of Italy who are going get hurt and see their lives getting absolutely dismantled.

Dismantle everything and what are you going to end up with? What is going to replace what is dismantled? Look no further than what happened in Iraq or most specifically, in Libya. You may dismantle but a system that you tear down you cannot just replace because you did not have a built up system with you. And you end up with the nightmare of chaos. And what happens in Italy with this referendum is this. Desperation should make people, not take desperate measures, but take the best possible measures that one could be taken so to not get into even more a desperate state. In fact, no one is in more desperate need to ensure that one takes the most rational decision one can, than the desperate, for unless one ensures that is the case, and makes desperate decision instead, one is heading towards more profound, more horrible and more destructive state of absolute desperation. One is hanging by the cliff and looks down to find a valley thousands of mitres down and does one jump out of desperation? What would happen to one if one jumps? That one shall die: but the worse state is not dying: the far worse than dying is getting mortally wounded and suffering in absolute agony till the last breathe for there is no help that will arrive. Therefore, a rational response is the only one that will help this person make 'the not desperate' but the best possible decision and choice one could make which can only happen if one manages to overcome fear set in absolute panic and stay and seek to look at things rationally. The old school psychology of flight or fight is absolutely misguided in this.

There are more in situations of life and in life than what this absolutely shallow, hollow and dangerously oversimplified way of looking at things that says: flight or fight. Instead, one could see that there is altogether, altogether a different paradigm of frame of looking at and seeking to understanding things that exists so that it offers the most complex mechanism that helps one to grasp something truly in its entire complexities in order to derive at the most rational response. By locking and imprisoning oneself in this wrong paradigm frame of either flight or fight one has lost one's ability to choose and make and create a path of going forward and one gets lost and submits to the forces around and become a victim of them all. Selfishness is absolutely, utterly and dangerously, has been made almost into a religious faith by the capitalist system and the market. But, let us illustrate why, while differentiating the wish, the desire, the need, the necessity of a human being to survive, to exist, to continue to live on is absolute opposite of what is selfishness, selfishness is anathema to that very human necessity to exist and carry on living on. And when being selfish a human soul does the greatest of harm and disservice to herself:himself because it does the absolute opposite of what one expects it to do. Let's take this example, say one creates a system of living in the most beautiful palace and there one breathes in the most clean air while outside in the city, the rest of humanity suffers and dies away gradually because of the horribly poisonous and toxic air and this person does not bother about that at all, does concern himself with any of this because he is not suffering nor facing the ill of that problem that is killing the people of his city. How long can this man survive with his palace and his clean air? Because, when the entire city is wiped out, his money, his wealth, his selfishness won't be able to fix the problem that generated his electricity that will come to run out, that his machine used to purify the air or when something went wrong in that machine and he cannot buy another one and invariably he will come to face the same fate as his fellow citizens did and died for it. Or if he gets ill with any illness, there is no one to save his life. Yet, if all these persons constituting humanity in that city come together, work together, set their hearts, minds, souls and bodies at it, they shall be able to clean the air of their city and no one will die of deadly air and that shall include that selfish person. Therefore, as the human physiology should tell us, our bodies and therefore, we survive and go on living because all our trillions of cells work in unison, working together in harmony and they build life and there we ought to look to learn why selfishness is not what humanity is about and why selfishness is the lowest form of killers of that what humanity is.

For when one responds to a stampede with flight or fight and everyone involves in a stampede does so, as it appears, one appears at the most helpless and the entire collection of the ones become the victims. On the other hand, if they do not take flight or fight and instead, use the other paradigm frame of looking and seeking to understand things, there won't even be a stampede. The same goes to a stock markets. There you see how financial stampede happens. And in a case of a nation or people, death is not a thing to ponder but the state of that dying in a desperate state of agony of stagnation and chaos that linger and go on for generations. And this other paradigm frame of looking at things and seeking to understand things so that one simply does not let oneself become a victim of a stampede. If no one runs in absolute panic in the stampede no one will get hurt, that is an absolute truth. A crowd runs in panic but a nation is not a crowd nor can or should it let itself become one or act like on. A nation is made of individuals and each of these individuals is an autonomous human person with her:his humanity, with her:his ability and right to choose. An individual must choose while a crowd cannot choose. Italians and Italy must choose and a choice is not and cannot be as such if it is about whether to accept whether one walks through fire or through boiling water. A choice is between whether one walks through fire or boiling water on the one hand or on the other, whether one finds a mechanism that will allow one to pass through either without getting destroyed by what lies on the path or whether it is wise to wait or whether one can find means to cover oneself enough that would allow one to go through either fire or water. What the dark evil forces are offering is not and can never be a choice. Yet, the problem is that the forces, the democratic, progressive and secular forces have failed to offer such a choice.

Italian political parties, the ones who are secular, democratic and progressive have failed themselves, Italy and most of all the Italian people absolutely terribly. This referendum is an expression of that terrible failure. When a patient comes to the A&E with absolute life and death situation the doctors put the patient in Intensive Care to stabilise the patient or even put the patient to a medically induced coma. They do not go and begin operating on the patient, who does, indeed, desperately need that operation, because that would kill the patient fastest. So they decide to stablise the patient and get the patient out of danger so that the operation then can be carried out because the patient now can go through that and chances are the risks are lot less for dying from such an operation, once the patient has come out of intensive care or the coma.

Italian economy needed absolute, decisive and fundamental overhaul so that the economic stagnation was dealt with, that the economy begins to grow, creating jobs and opportunities and unleashing a bonanza of investments and drive to strive to regenerate so that the government revenue goes up and this all translates into Italians feeling the benefits of all that. Instead, they were given a referendum and what does that bring in for Italy? More chaos and prospect of another Italian election and the horror of the prospect of the hatred-wielding evil forces are going to advance. And what would happen after another election? Nothing much other than that what Italy needs so desperately on offer from any democratic and secular force in Italy. There might be a mess of an outcome where they will spend months to form a government or fail to do so. Then what, another election? What shall that mean for Italy? This is not the way to go about in a nation that must get a 'handle' on its desperate affairs and does this nation, this Italy have the nation to do it? Yes, it does to the highest. Does it have the leadership to lead this nation to such a task? Absolutely not. Instead, Italy hears the dark calls and the angry Italy is being used to, more and more, fall into this deadly trap and responding in larger number to this dark, dark call towards a path that can only lead towards further evils and destructions. Italians must begin to form a new political movement, bringing together the democratic, liberal, progressive and secular forces and seek to come up with a programme of actions that offers a serious, credible and feasible pathway for Italy to follow. Unless this happens the media shall continue to be used by these evil forces, the media that is reporting and presenting these events as if this is normal and natural without any 'critique', without any resistance and without any understanding as to what these horrible things mean and their horrible consequences. Further to this, the media is presenting these racist, fascist, nazi, xenophobic forces and their mouthpieces as if they are just another lot of ordinary politicians, dressed up in suits and the media is failing absolutely desperately even when it does present these faces because they fail to challenge them to bring the truth out of them that they are racists, that they are bigots, that they are xenophobes, that they are nazis, that they are neonazis and neofascists, that they are ani-semitic, that they hate women, that they hate people with disabilities, that they hate diversity, that they hate democracy and that they want to establish what Mussolini sought to do, what Hitler sough to do. And in this the forces that exist to advance hatred and use people's anger and frustrations to generate more anger to serve their own purpose of establishing the darkness, will be striving harder and they now have already, effectively declared: its 'hunting season' wide open.

These dark forces do not and cannot have the means or the power nor do they want to to this, to do what Italy and the Italians so, so desperately needs. It is time Italians and Italy wake up and take up this challenge to realise, renaissance does not just fall from the sky; one must choose to seek to get enlightened and through that endless, perpetual striving towards knowledge and learning and seeking lies the path of renaissance. You choose what way to go and then you resolutely step up: one... two...three.. Dante does not take you to Hell.... he takes you to the plane to show you that there, Beatrice or love exists, who sends you her light of love, so that you can see where heaven is and the fact that it does exist and yet you can see how the path to that heaven goes through the most difficulty strewn, the most savagery torn, the most danger-filled, the most terror-burnt, and the path is filled with and littered by the most painstaking of suffering of agony and strife, over, under, though, between, around and beyond the planes of the absolutely terrifying, burning darkness and you find yet, there is light, there is the light that Beatrice always sends you..... Italy and the Italians... it is time to wake up....Because it does not matter that Beatrice's light, Beatrice's lamp is always burning out for you in the terrifying darkness, calling you, showing you the way, it is you, it is this every single soul of every single Italian must rise and make the choice to walk towards that light... Rise, choose and resolute, determined, committed you step on.....one...two...three...You choose whether to live dying in the agony and in the burning fire of anger or to try and strive to seek to, using the light of hope, of courage, of vision, of positivity and of love and faith in humanity, turn this nightmare into a journey towards a rise, a regeneration, a rejuvenation, a revival...a renaissance...a renovatio....for Vita nuova. The Editor: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 071216 || Up ||   

 

Asia-Pacific Home to 60% of About 800 Million Hungry People of the World: To Achieve Zero Hunger Countries Must Do More Than Just Using Words

|| December 06: 2016 || ά. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation:FAO today launched a report that outlines declining progress towards defeating hunger in Asia and the Pacific, noting that nearly one-in-three children suffer from stunting, and warning that to meet the Sustainable Development Goal:SDG of zero hunger by 2030, the region must redouble its efforts.

“The analysis in this report is an eye-opener and a wake-up call to all of us here in Asia and the Pacific.” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative, during the launch in Bangkok, Thailand, of FAO's 2016 Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Insecurity, Investing in a Zero Hunger Generation, the first post-Millennium Development Goals:MDGs report of its kind.

The report indicates that the Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 60 per cent of the roughly 800 million hungry people in the world, 12 per cent of whom remain undernourished, mostly in Southern Asia. Ms. Kadiresan continued: “To some, the year 2030 may still seem far away, but it's only 14 years from now and we still have nearly half-a-billion hungry people in this region. That 12 per cent represents some of the poorest and hardest to reach people. So the clock is ticking, but with political will and collective action we can reach our goal of zero hunger.”

The report acknowledges that eradicating hunger means reducing poverty and addressing economic, social and environmental challenges. This is exacerbated by a forecasted increase of two billion to the world population – culminating in more than nine billion people by 2050. According to the report, zero hunger can be achieved, provided that certain steps are followed, particularly by increasing investment in more efficient production methods and agricultural research.

 “Most countries in this region are spending too little on agricultural research.” Ms. Kadiresan noted. “In order to meet both the zero hunger goal and ensure everyone is well nourished in Asia-Pacific by 2030, we will, collectively, need to put our money where our mouths are to ensure we can meet these twin challenges,” she said, adding FAO's availability to provide technical expertise to help member countries.

In addition to examining the challenges of hunger and undernutrition amidst limited natural resources, the report explores other aspects of malnutrition arising from poor diets, such as in micronutrient deficiency. While figures differ by country, obesity has been increasing regionally by more than four per cent annually.

The report analyzes other emerging regional issues, such as dietary diversification. As countries grow richer, diets change. This is happening rapidly in Asia, where per capita rice consumption has declined and that of fish, fruits and vegetables has grown rapidly.

“The most striking example of this is the rapid take up of dairy products across the region.” explained Ms. Kadiresan, elaborating that while milk and dairy products promise improved nutrition, “policy-makers need to ensure that the region's small-holder dairy farmers[…have fair access to, and compete in, the marketplace.”
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽: 071216 || Up ||   

 

 

The Gulf Co-operation Summit: Systematic Clampdown on Freedom of Expression in the Gulf

A prison cell: Image: UNICEF:Rajat Madhok

 

|| December 06: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά. The appalling human rights records of states in the Gulf must not be swept under the carpet when member states of the Gulf Co-operation Council:GCC gather in the Bahraini capital, Manama, this week December 06-07 for their annual summit, said Amnesty International on the eve of the Summit. Human rights will be notably absent from the agenda at the annual meeting when the six GCC states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates:UAE,  come together to discuss trade and security co-operation, with no mention of the widespread crackdown witnessed across the region on the grounds of security.

“In recent years across the Gulf we have seen human rights activists, peaceful political opponents and government critics systematically targeted in the name of security. Hundreds have been harassed, unlawfully prosecuted, stripped of their nationality, arbitrarily detained or in some cases imprisoned or even sentenced to death after unfair trials, as part of a concerted effort to intimidate people into silence.” said Randa Habib, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The use of such ruthless tactics to trample all over the rights of people in the GCC has to end now.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to attend the GCC summit and has a unique opportunity to raise concerns over a pattern of recurring human rights violations throughout the region. “For years western allies of GCC states including the UK and USA have been reluctant to speak out about the rampant human rights violations in the Gulf. In doing so they are turning their backs on countless victims of human rights violations across the region. It is high time for allies of the GCC to stop putting business and security cooperation before human rights and Theresa May must not squander this opportunity to raise key rights issues.” said Randa Habib.

In the years since the 2011 uprisings across the Arab world, a number of Gulf countries have introduced repressive laws on counterterrorism, cybercrimes and peaceful gatherings, in a bid to restrict freedom of expression and punish those who criticize government policies, their own leaders or those of other GCC states. A clear pattern has emerged across the GCC states of relying on vaguely worded and broad national security laws to convict peaceful activists and critics after blatantly unfair trials.

“Tension is high across the region following the rise of the armed group calling itself Islamic State and the risk of deadly attacks but this is not an excuse for lashing out by crushing all signs of peaceful dissent. GCC governments must stop using security as a veil to sanction repression.” said Randa Habib.

Those targeted in the relentless crackdown have included human rights activists, opposition leaders, journalists, lawyers and academics among others. Among them is the Saudi Arabian lawyer and human rights defender Waleed Abu al-Khair, whose case is an iconic example of how the country’s draconian counterterrorism legislation has been used as a tool to punish people exercising their right to freedom of expression.

He is currently serving a 15-year-prison term after being convicted in an unfair trial, under the 2014 counter-terror law on a range of offences in relation to his human rights work, and for a conduct which should not be criminalized in the first place. He has defended many peaceful activists and has been a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s terrible human rights record.

Just last week the counter-terror court in Riyadh, after an unfair trial increased the sentence of Issa al-Hamed, a Saudi Arabian human rights defender from nine to 11 years in prison following an appeal. In an emblematic case from the UAE, the human rights lawyer Mohammed al-Roken is serving a 10 year prison sentence after being convicted of national security charges following a blatantly unfair mass trial of 94 people widely known as the “UAE 94” trial.

Across the region people have found themselves also serving lengthy prison terms simply for daring to express their opinions freely on social media. The prominent Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab is among several activists in the GCC to have been unlawfully prosecuted for comments posted on Twitter.

In Kuwait Abdallah Fairouz, a human rights activist detained in November 2013 is serving a total of five and a half years’ imprisonment for tweets expressing his view that no one should have immunity from prosecution because they reside in a royal palace. He is a prisoner of conscience.

Speaking out freely to criticise government policies and call for peaceful reform also saw Sheikh Ali Salman, head of Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, sentenced to nine years in prison in a shocking attack on freedom of expression. The al-Wefaq party was also shutdown. In Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait hundreds of people have been unlawfully stripped of their nationality in recent years often rendering them stateless and depriving them of key rights, marking an alarming regional trend of using this as a tactic to punish dissent.

“In the GCC today exercising your fundamental rights or speaking your mind freely can very easily land you in jail. GCC states need to stop branding independent human rights activists and peaceful critics as criminals. Instead of locking such people away for long periods under the false pretence of defending national security they should welcome scrutiny of their human rights records.” said Randa Habib.
Background

Human rights violations in the GCC extend beyond the crackdown on freedom of expression to issues such as arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment in detention, unfair trials, failing to adequately protect the rights of migrant workers and use of the death penalty. The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition which includes a number of GCC states, has also launched a series of unlawful attacks in Yemen including some that may amount to war crimes.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽: 071216 || Up ||   

 

ICRC Global Survey Reveals Strong Support for the Geneva Conventions But Growing Indifference to Torture


|| December 05: 2016: Geneva: Switzerland || ά. With fighting intensifying around the Syrian city of Aleppo, a new survey, published today, on how people around the world perceive a range of issues relating to war, indicates overwhelming support in the belief that wars should have limits. It also reveals deeply concerning views on torture and civilian casualties. The survey of over 17,000 people took place between June and September, in sixteen countries.

Ten of those countries were experiencing armed conflict at the time including Iraq, Afghanistan and South Sudan. The permanent member countries of the UN Security Council, the P5: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, were also part of what is the largest survey of its kind ever carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross:ICRC. Eight in ten people surveyed think combatants should avoid civilians as much as possible when attacking the enemy.

The same number thinks attacking hospitals, ambulances and healthcare workers, in order to weaken an enemy, is wrong. However, a startling 36% of respondents believe that captured enemy combatants can be tortured to obtain important military information. Only slightly less than half of the people, 48%, asked this year, believe this behaviour is wrong, compared to 66% in a 1999 survey. 16% said they didn’t know.

“In such troubled times, it’s heartening to see that the vast majority of people believe that the laws of war matter. This recognition of basic human values flies in the face of the appalling violations we see on a daily basis in our work.” said the president of the ICRC, Peter Maurer.

“The results also show that we all need to redraw a line in the sand: torture in any form is forbidden. We demonise our enemies at our own peril. Even in war, everyone deserves to be treated humanely. Using torture only triggers a race to the bottom. It has a devastating impact on the victims, and it brutalises entire societies for generations.”

The survey indicates that if you live in or near a conflict-affected country, you are more likely to respond humanely to questions on the laws of war. In P5 countries, it appears that people are more resigned to civilian casualties and suffering as an inevitable part of warfare: 78% of people living in countries affected by war said it was wrong to attack enemy combatants in populated areas, knowing that many civilians would be killed. In P5 countries, only 50% of people said it’s wrong. 26% of people in P5 countries think depriving the civilian population of essentials like food, water and medicine to weaken the enemy is just 'part of war' compared to 14% in countries affected by war.

“Faced with constant, gruesome images from the world’s frontlines, we must not lose our empathy and become numb to human suffering.” said Mr Maurer. “But the overwhelming message from this survey is that people truly believe in the importance of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, and the protection of civilians during times of conflict.”

The four Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols seek to limit the effects of warfare on those who do not participate in hostilities, such as civilians or wounded and captured combatants. “The effectiveness and relevance of the laws of war are being questioned perhaps more than at any time in recent history.” added Mr Maurer.

“And yet, it is clear that people do not believe in a battlefield ‘free for all’. The survey shows that there’s a disconnect between the public, who believe that targeting civilians, hospitals and humanitarian workers is unacceptable, and the policies and actions of States and armed groups who commit these acts.”

For further information, please contact:  Iolanda Jaquemet, ICRC Geneva, +41 79 217 32 87: Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 3345 or +41 79 244 64 70:
ω.

Read the Report

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 061216 || Up ||   

 

 

Banning Europe’s  Dirty Fuels West African Countries Put People's Health First: UNEP

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme:UNEP Erik Solheim. Image: UN Photo:JC McIlwaine

|| December 05: 2016 || ά. Five West African nations are banning ‘dirty’ European fuels, exported fuels with higher sulphur levels, in response to concerns over vehicle emissions and in an effort to bring safer, cleaner air to more than 250 million people, the United Nations Environment Programme:UNEP said today. According to UNEP, last week, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire introduced strict standards that will ensure cleaner, low sulphur diesel fuels, and better emissions standards, thus effectively cutting off Europe’s West African market.

Earlier this year, a report by the non-governmental organisation Public Eye exposed how European trading companies are exploiting weak regulatory standards in West African countries, thus allowing fuels with sulphur levels that are up to 300 times higher than those permitted in Europe. “West Africa is sending a strong message that it is no longer accepting dirty fuels from Europe.” said Erik Solheim, head of UNEP. “Their decision to set strict new standards for cleaner, safer fuels and advanced vehicle emissions standards shows they are placing the health of their people first.”

He hailed the move as an example for other countries, noting that air pollution kills millions annually. “We need to ensure that all countries urgently introduce cleaner fuels and vehicles to help reduce the shocking statistics.” stated Mr. Solheim. In addition to new fuel standards, the group of West African countries has agreed to upgrade their own public and private refineries to meet the same higher standards by 2020.  UN Environment has been working with countries in West Africa to develop policies and standards that will stop the import of fuels with dangerously high levels of sulphur, as well as to introduce cleaner fuels and vehicles. Reducing such emissions around the world is essential to ensure levels of urban air pollution and climate emissions come down.

Combining low-sulphur fuels with advanced vehicle standards can lead to as much as a 90 per cent reduction in harmful emissions. According to Nigeria’s Environment Minister Amina J. Mohamed, ''For 20 years, Nigeria has not been able to address the vehicle pollution crisis due to the poor fuels we have been importing. Today we are taking a huge leap forward: limiting sulphur in fuels from 3,000 parts per million to 50 parts per million. This will result in major air quality benefits in our cities and will allow us to set modern vehicle standards.”

Today in The Hague, Mr. Mohamed will meet with Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation in order to take stock of the progress being made to improve the quality of fuels that have been exported from Dutch ports to countries in West Africa, as The Netherlands produces many of the exported dirty fuels.

“The recent report from the NGO Public Eye made abundantly clear that co-ordinated action is needed to stop the practice of exporting dirty fuels to West Africa. I am very pleased West African governments quickly decided to introduce standards that will help accessing European standard quality fuels. Their people deserve cleaner air, better health, and a cleaner environment. I commend UN Environment for their excellent work.” announced Minister Ploumen.

UNEP hosts the Secretariat of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles:PCFV, a global public-private partnership that supports a shift to cleaner fuels and vehicles worldwide. When PCFV began its work in 2005, not a single low or middle income country used low sulphur fuels. Today, 23 countries have made that shift. Another 40 are on their way to doing the same.

In addition, UNEP is hosting the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which recently adopted a global strategy for moving the world to clean, low-sulphur fuels and advanced emissions standards. Experts estimate that this measure will save an annual 100,000 premature deaths by 2030.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 061216 || Up ||   

 

Dena Global Start Up Energy Transition Awards Open for Applications: Deadline January 31

Image: dwr-eco

|| December 05: 2016: Berlin: Germany || ά. The Deutsche Energie-Agentur, the German Energy Agency, or Dena for short, has initiated the international competition, Start Up Energy Transition. Start-ups and young companies worldwide are invited to apply with their business models and visions. Applications may be submitted through the initiative's website. Within a few short weeks, the initiative has managed to attract numerous internationally-renowned supporters from the field of environmental and climate protection, including Patricia Espinosa, General Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change:UNFCCC, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research:PIK and Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. The initiative’s patrons include the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Applications open until January 31, 2017.

The aim of our initiative is to bring pioneers and enablers of global energy transition together, and to establish an international network of companies, start-ups and sustainability-conscious organisations. We can only make energy transition and climate protection a worldwide success with the help of innovation.” says Andreas Kuhlmann, Dena's Chief Executive. “We are proud that this unique initiative has been set into motion with so many great partners in such a short time, not least because of the support of both of our patrons”. At the same time, we are open to more visionary cooperation partners, ambassadors and sponsors from all over the world who want to get involved in our project and support this global movement to make energy transition a reality.”
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 061216 || Up  ||   

 

Letter to the Reader


 

|| December 04: 2016 || ά. Dear Reader, To Observe is not to judge about what one observes but make the best possible representation of the reality one is observing so that it stands at the closest possible proximity to the truth of that reality being observed. The problem the observer faces is she observes with the risk of being and becoming subjective that will hazard her towards erring from the truth; therefore, she needs to stay on guard of avoiding to fall into this trap and seek to strive towards objectivity. The observer, as a scientist or a researcher, must use the tool of using multiple perspectives so to make sure that as many perspectives as possible have been employed in the act of Observing so that one gets to the closest possible proximity to the truth.

Take an example, if one is observing a demonstration taking place, say, at Trafalgar Square and in the surrounding vicinity involving hundreds of organisations joining together with their small array of participants and hundreds of thousands of people are gathered. And our observer is, say, outside the Church St Martin-in-the-Fields. All she could see and observe is a sea of people all around that she could just almost believe because she could not see all the people. Where she is standing she could probably see some people, the number of which, she could count using her fingers. So how does she report on that, if she just stands there? She, therefore, needs to walk about, go from one point to another and have a look. Take various stand points, get onto higher grounds, roofs, balconies and other vantage points and see, hear and ask and listen and make mental notes.

Therefore, if she has ensured that she has been to as many as possible vantage points, has taken as many as possible perspectives and views only than she can produce a report as an observer that would resemble the truth the closest. It may be possible that where she started off, it was perfectly peaceful and people there seemed to be in a happy and jolly mood and there were, mostly people, who appeared to be professionals and over a certain age, say mid forties. While, at the end of Charring Cross Road, there were people from a particular group, who might be younger and were terribly angry and they got violent and put lot of tires on fire on the street. Police responded and scuffles broke out which the Police soon brought under control.

And she did not know about it. And it is possible, that one of the persons that got involved in those scuffles, fell on the road and fell unconscious and no one did anything because the Police had already moved on because another fight erupted somewhere nearby. And this person was left there and eventually died. And our Observer did not know about it nor did she know that at the other end of Whitehall someone let loose some barking and dangerous dogs and they went and mauled a few people which eventually the Police brought under control. She did not know that one of the people that got mauled seriously is fighting for her life at local hospital, where along with her fighting for his life another protester who seemed to have been hurt by gunshots. She did not know that there were people, in dark clothes and in masks, who took positions on some of the roofs of the nearby buildings. What appeared, as if they were holding guns. No one knew who those people were. Eventually people began to notice it and then panic set in and a stampede followed in which hundreds got seriously injured that created a health emergency that local hospitals in London set in emergency procedures. Our Observer did not see any of this and eventually found she was pushed away with the stampede and she ended up somewhere at Totenham Court Road and there she sat and bought a coffee and compiled her report. What would she report and how far would that report resemble reality?

Having said this much, we begin. From now on, we shall try to write a Letter to the Reader, making a brief presentation of the world we find,  as of the moment of writing this Letter, about which it is impossible to make any other form of presentation. This would seek to offer glimpses on events that happened or are happening now. Starting with the UK, in London there was the particular by election in Richmond Park where the Liberal Democrats beat Zac Goldsmith. A small piece of news other than that it appeared the people who voted remain in the EU Referendum decided to support the LibDems. Everything is in flux at this moment in British politics and everyone is waiting to see who blinks first because it appears everyone is 'scared' to say the 'wrong' thing so that no one is going to say what, to them, is the 'right' thing.

Is it a good thing? No, it is a dangerous thing: if everyone is scared of saying what they think is the right thing to say but deciding not express it because of fear that others might not like it and they would suffer the consequences than we come to a point where is born a culture of fear and intimidation. But some people, admirably, are speaking out as to what they believe to be important and must be said. Who are these voices? Leaving aside what The Humanion might make of Tony Blair, he is speaking out fearlessly and that is probably the only thing that can be said to be a good quality of Blair that he would speak out whatever others may think of him. Who else, Gordon Brown is speaking out as he always does, fearlessly, John Major is speaking out, Chuka Umuna is speaking out. Nick Clegg is speaking out and here is the thing about Clegg: he will speak out and that is probably the best that can be said about him. Jeremy Corbyn is speaking out without fear, John MacDonell is speaking out. Everyone must speak out regardless of what others might think of them. Otherwise we are surrendering to the culture of fear and intimidation so that soon this shall eradicate the democratic space which then shall be dictated by fear, intimidation, recriminations and violence and fury.

Sad thing it is, a terribly sad and tragic thing what the Brazilians have been going through. The plane that went down killing the entire football team and the crew was a blow to what was to be a jubilant and happy occasion for the football club, the players and the clubs supporters concerned that turned into such a horrific tragedy. Our sympathy, solidarity and prayers are with the Brazilian people and to those who have lost loved ones and are grieving in inconsolable sorrow and loss.

As recently as late Saturday, December 03, there was a shooting in Finland's Southeastern town Imatra where a gunman shot three women dead. The deceased included the Mayor of the city and two journalists. The incident shocked the local people understandably and the community is reeling together at this time of sadness. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Imatran people, particularly, with those who lost their loved ones. It is not clear as to the motive of the gunman who seemed to have a criminal record. Although, the question must be raised as to how someone with a criminal record got hold of a gun and if this happens to be a gun acquired illegally, than the authorities must seek to understand the mechanics of this illegal gun market and deal with it promptly and decisively.

As of Africa, the best news out of Africa, and we very much hope that this story develops towards becoming a greater good news, has happened in Gambia where a peaceful election produced a democratically elected new president.

Myanmar is embroiled in the tensions, strife and agony happening in the Rakhine State and things are getting worse. every day. And we urge the World, instead of condemning the Aung San Suu Kyi Government, to support it as much as possible so to help them get a hold of the situation and begin to establish a mechanism to resolve these issue causing conflicts. To be frank, if Aung San Suu Kyi fails in bringing peace in Myanmar than this land is to be lost in chaos and fall back to the Army for there is no other force in that country that has the means or vision to bring peace. So, instead of being hasty, though we must insist on the rule of law and proper respect of people's human rights and human dignity, The Human urges the World to continue to offer support to Aung San Suu Kyi Government for she and her government is is the best hope Myanmar has of seeking and achieving peace. And here, one must remember the hatred that communities and groups are seeking to use against other groups and are fanning to create more hatred is something that a leader, even if this leader happens to be Aung San Suu Kyi, simply can just blow out as if it is a candle. This hatred, resentment and anger grew out of the failures, inadequacies and abandon of the army rule of decades that caused nothing to get better but made everything worse including causing and using these sources of hatred, resentment and anger to grow among various ethnic groups in their own advantage. To deal with it requires hardest of works in political infrastructure and culture building, in economic and financial infrastructure building, developing the economy and create jobs and opportunities and investments, particularly inward investments from the outside world so to deal with the massive unemployment and other relevant social deprivation. Anyone who thinks this can be done with a statement would be terribly naive. This requires hardest, steadfast, continuous and decades long work. And if anyone can do this work it is is a government led by a mind such as Aung San Suu Kyi. She is not superhuman but just human but she is a good, resolute, determined and committed soul to her people. The world must hang on and support her and her government's work, instead of condemning them. And the world must seek to offer real and true support by seeking to increase inward investments for without this Myanmar won't be able to do much alone.

And before we wrap up, the Italians are at the polls, voting for a referendum on constitutional reform, initiated by the current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said that he would resign should the no side win the referendum, defeating his proposed reform package. It is impossible to say what might happen at this referendum but one thing is clear across Europe and other parts of the world that the leaderships of countries are getting into a dangerous path of seeking to run democracies through plebiscites. Democracy that we have is not democracy but representative democracy whereby representatives, elected directly by the people, are given the mandate to run the business of the state in three specifically separate parts: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The Government is the Executive body that is made of the representatives that the people have elected and given the mandate for a particular period time to govern.

Therefore, a representative democracy is run on this valid, lawful and constitutional mandate. So long the party that is running the government has this mandate they are politically, judicially, constitutionally and morally eligible or entitled to run the country the way they think fit. In this the public themselves might not even like what they are doing but they are entitled to run their government as they declared in their election manifesto. This Government does not need any further public approval for what it does. If the people did not like what they did they have the opportunity, means and right to vote this government out of office. This is representative democracy. But looking at the recent examples, particularly, in Europe, it appears that everywhere governments are using plebiscites to make decisions on things that they have the mandate to make themselves without wasting public resources in organising unnecessary referenda, creating unnecessary, unhelpful and poisonous atmosphere of hostility among the people of a nation.

Greece went and had a referendum which was really unnecessary. The UK had a referendum: but the country already had an elected government why did they have to call a referendum? They, instead, should tell the people that either they wanted to stay in the EU or they did not want to stay in Europe and on that basis they should have, could have gone back to the people so that they would have had a chance to decide on whether to re-elect them or de-elect them on that basis. But instead, they got divided and made a mess of government that effectively got itself divided into two absolutely opposite governments, leaving the space for real government itself vacant, and went for a referendum which created so much problems and shall continue to create even more problems and it is the very people who would suffer the consequences of those problems, not one year or two but years and years into the future. And this current government, which is a muddle of pro and anti EU segments, is struggling to deal with the aftermath of this referendum that has left a vacuum of effective government that needs desperately to seek to bring the economy back on track. So that the most urgent necessity of bringing the economy back on track, dealing with the productivity gap, dealing with the funding crisis in the NHS and the desperate state of social care, the desperation of the housing situation, homelessness, young people and the working poverty, and the impacts of all the cuts that have inflicted on society and the deprivation and degradation of infrastructures and communities around the country. And none of this is getting the attention of the segmented government that is struggling with this EU Exit. There are other governments in Europe and in other places, too, who have organised such plebiscites about issues that the governments themselves, where elected, had had the mandate to make decisions about these issues. What is clear is this, plebiscites cannot and do not resolve issues but create much more problems and bring instability and uncertainty that surely do not support a proper business environment which all economies must have in order to seek to grow and support the system of governance.

This is the political leadership that is seeking to use the 'tool' of 'populism' to its advantage so that opponents can be forced into an 'enforced silence' because the 'people have spoken' mentality so that even the MPs and Lords and Baronesses who supported the remain side in the case of the UK, are forced into this corner where they are obliging this 'enforced silence'. But what is the people? This mother, who has stopped on the pavement with her pushchair which accommodated two babies and one other child on his little bike that stopped working so that she is holding the pushchair with one hand and with the other seeking to fix the bike's issue, this mother is the representation of the real people and when the economy does not perform as well as it should, it is her and her three children and others like them that suffer and that suffering is multiplied and there you will have the people.

People are not vague, but real and whatever these politicians do or fail to do does either good or harm to these real people and they cannot become one voice, as if this mother is speaking as the people, and their individual lives and voices get lost in this political nightmare where these populist politicians are seeking to take people towards. Representative democracies cannot run and function on plebiscites but must run and function within the democratic and constitutional mandate it receives from the people. But Italy is facing such a point and it does not look good as to what prospect waits ahead for Italy and the Italian people, what and who do not need a plebiscite but true courageous, visionary and committed leadership that can guide them out of the misery that Italy and Italians have been made to suffer and this suffering do not get stopped by this referendum but actually it makes the prospects of this suffering getting on and worse more acute. And the consequences of this plebiscite is not just going to affect Italy but the EU as a whole. This tendency of using populism and plebiscites in representative democracies is the most worrying development in the history and development of the concept of representative democracy.

Finally, the best news, let the world know, and tell humanity to seek to make a stand against the dark and evil forces that want to tear the world humanity down: tell the World that Austria and the Austrians have taken a stand and made a choice to say, enough. Austrians have elected a President in the name of Alexander Van der Bellen and rejected the one seeking to use respectability as a guise but nothing could guise what these forces stand for. And Austria and the Austrians have rejected these forces with an emphatic choice. We congratulate Austria and the Austrians for taking and making this stand. This should inspire the rest of Europe and the wider world to make a stand, to make a choice and defend what must be defended in order to strengthen humanity, liberty, equality and fraternity. Let this inspire everyone in every corner of Germany, in every place and space in France, in Italy, in all places where humanity faces the real and present threat, danger and evil of the forces that is made of nazis, neonazis, fascists, neofascists, racists, chauvinists, masochists, xenophobic, bigots, anti-semitic, anti pluralistic, anti women, anti people-with-disabilities, anti-all other religions other than a 'particular and approved' version of Christianity, according to which most Christians of the world won't be Christians, supremacists and all of these forces believe in hatred, violence and torture, to name but some of the evils they represent.

Do not forget what they did to this world and to this humanity not so long ago. To call these forces far right or alt right or extreme right is helping them appear respectable: they are anathema to what humanity is, what good is. You want to see evil in the face, look at them and that is the face of evil, that is the closest humans would ever come to see evil in the flesh. These are faces that appeared as nightmares to those helpless and innocent human beings, children, men and women, who they gassed in the concentration camps in their thousands, whom they burnt alive in many places. These are the faces that ran a business and a machine of death, slaughter, torture and barbarity against humanity, humanity that they considered, not human or rather subhuman. These are the forces and faces that want to put women to their places, serving them and 'done away with the people with disabilities'. These are the faces that want to eliminate humanity from the 'impurities' by seeking to get rid of the entire human diversity by only seeking to keep that 'white' that they approve to be 'white'. This is not a joke, this as serious as life and death a matter.

And no one can simply say, I do not have to take a stand: everyone must for as Jean Paul Sartre said and we paraphrase, one cannot but choose for unless you make that choice, by default you choose that what is going to kill you off.  You do not vote for the one that stands up against these evil forces you help the evil to get you on its evil side by default because one less vote for the force of good is one more silent voice falling into the default box of that evil making it stronger. It is, therefore, everyone's moral obligation and duty to make a choice and make a stand. For they first come for the Jews and no one speaks out. Then they come for the Muslims and no one speaks out, then they come for the trade unionists and no one speaks out. Then they come and take away the Communists, then the Democrats and so on and so on. They then take the disabled and use them in their experiments and try to gas them. No one speaks out. Then they come for the black and no one speaks out. Then they come for the women and no one speaks out. And those who thought they were safe, now find, they now have come to take them, that is you. And you find, there is nothing, there is no one that is there to speak out for you. There is no escape: one must make a choice and one must make a stand before one has lost the opportunity for when Hitler has assumed power you have lost that opportunity of making that choice and of making that stand and making that count. Austria and Austrian people have made that choice and made a stand and there you see it shine. It tells the world: it is possible to stand up and make a statement that we are not going to be taken to the gutter for we are better than the gutter for we are high-sky-bound souls of that what constitutes humanity which is a beautiful rainbow made of all colours and the coral and choral of the magnificence of diversity in one unity of a whole and that we are one and the same humanity. It is the same mother whose face appears white in Moscow as the mother whose face appears ever so glowing black in the sun in Jamaica and it is the same mother that appears pale white in somewhere in Japan and it the same mother whose face appears glazed-dark somewhere in New Zealand or Sri Lanka and it is the same mother whose face is brown in India and you walk farther away from India into Tibet and you find another same mother nursing her child who appears candle-lit, it is the same women that her children call mother who appears a white rose in some part of the desert of the middle east and it is the same soul that feeds her child with enormous love, called Joanna, in John Steinbeck's The Pearl who becomes scared and desperate for her scorpion bitten child's life as any other mother would be in Scotland or in England or in Germany or in Venezuela or in America or South Africa. It is this, it is this, it is this, this love that has billions of expressions that is spelt in one word: humanity. The Editor: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 051216 || Up ||   

 

Colombia: Peace Agreement Must Open the Door to Justice: Amnesty International

UNHCR staffers hold Ivan, three months old, at the Chami Ruru settlement, Colombia, which houses around 35 families displaced by armed groups in 2005. The families are indigenous Embera Chami. Image: UNHCR:Sebastian Rich

|| December 04: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά.  The ratification of the peace agreement marks the beginning of a new and hopeful chapter in Colombia’s history, but the real hard work starts now, Amnesty International said on the day. Last night, Congress ratified a revised version of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia:FARC after the original deal was rejected by a referendum on October 02. The ratification paves the way for the FARC to begin to demobilise and disarm in a process to be implemented over six months.

The revised agreement offers more clarity on a number of issues, such as on how the sanctions imposed on those responsible for crimes under international law will work. It also forces the FARC to hand over their assets, which could boost the right of victims to reparation. But the agreement remains flawed in terms of guarantees on victims’ rights. “The official end to a bloody armed conflict that has lasted for more than 50 years and has left some eight million victims in its wake is an achievement that cannot and should not be underestimated.” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“However, much of the horror Colombians have been forced to endure for decades has often not been directly linked to direct combat between the security forces and the FARC. Those working away from the spotlight, defending rights or protecting natural resources and territories from powerful economic interests continue to face harassment and deadly attacks. So the peace agreement in itself may do little to keep these activists safe. What they need is effective action to ensure those behind such attacks face proper justice.”

Since 1985, nearly seven million people have been forced to flee their homes, more than 267,000 were killed, some 46,000 people were victims of enforced disappearances, and some 30,000 were taken hostage. Thousands more were the victims of torture, sexual violence, and landmines, while some 8,000 children were forcibly recruited by guerrilla and paramilitary groups. Very few of those responsible have ever been brought to justice.

“The terrible legacy of these violations and the entrenched impunity for most of them means that, despite the peace agreement, many seemingly intractable conflict-related human rights and humanitarian challenges persist, and there is a real risk that these challenges will continue in a post-conflict environment.” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

Although combat-related violence against civilians has fallen sharply, attacks against human rights defenders, especially Indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant farmer leaders, continue in alarming numbers, with more than 70 killed so far this year. Many such attacks are linked to armed groups seeking to take control of resource-rich lands belonging to rural communities in order to exploit these for economic gain.

The armed conflict with the FARC may officially be over, but other conflicts remain, notably with the guerrilla group National Liberation Army:ELN, while paramilitary groups continue to be the most serious threat to human rights, especially in the countryside. The peace process with the ELN was scheduled to start earlier this year, but the group’s failure to release one of its high-profile hostages has delayed the start of the process.

“If Colombia is to really succeed in the long term in making peace work for everyone, the authorities must ensure that the fundamental right of the country’s millions of victims to truth, justice and reparation is properly respected.” said Erika Guevara-Rosas. The agreement on victims of the conflict, one of the pillars of the peace agreement and which details how victims’ right to truth, justice and reparation will be guaranteed via a transitional justice system, is undeniably a step forward in terms of victims’ rights, especially when compared to previous experiences with peace processes in Colombia. But despite the revisions, it continues to fall short of international law and standards on human rights.

In particular, Amnesty International has repeatedly criticised the fact that the sanctions will not reflect the gravity of some of the crimes committed and also that the definition of command responsibility could allow superiors of both the security forces and the FARC to evade responsibility for the actions of their subordinates.

“The fact remains that Colombia must fulfil its obligation under international human rights law to guarantee victims’ right to truth, justice and reparation. This right cannot be compromised if this is to be a real peace for victims.” said Erika Guevara-Rosas. But the requirement in the revised agreement that the FARC hand over their assets could be important in terms of victims’ right to reparation, but only if measures are put in place to ensure all assets are identified, handed over, and effectively used in support of victims.

“This agreement must result in a peace for all Colombians, including the victims of human rights abuses and violations, the human rights defenders who risk their lives to defend the rights of others, the rural communities seeking to protect their lands from exploitation, and the women survivors of gender-based violence bravely fighting for justice. Their voices must be heard loud and clear as Colombia gears up to implement its long-sought peace.” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 051216 || Up ||   

 


 

UN Apology to Haiti: An Apology is Always a Good Start But the Hardest Part is Translating It Into Reality with Actions on the Ground for the Haitian People

Image: UN Photo

|| December 02: 2016 || ά. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday apologizsd to the people of Haiti, expressing deep regret for the loss of life and suffering caused by the country’s cholera epidemic, and outlined the way forward including immediate steps to stem the outbreak and long-term support for those affected, while also highlighting the need for adequate funding of the proposal. And it is a good start. An apology is always a good start but the easiest part; the hardest part is to translate this apology into reality with actions on the ground for the Haitian people who have suffered, much, much too much. But it's a good start and the Secretary-General has outlined plan of action to translate this apology into reality. The World will keep watch, The Humanion will keep watch. This apology must be translated with deeds and actions and must not loose its way into nothingness.

And it is true, when he says, “The United Nations should seize this opportunity to address a tragedy that also has damaged our reputation and global mission. That criticism will persist unless we do what is right for those affected. In short, UN action requires Member State action.” “On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: we apologise to the Haitian people. We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role.” Mr. Ban told UN Member States at a gathering of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York, and at which he launched his report on the matter, entitled A New approach to cholera in Haiti. “Eliminating cholera from Haiti, and living up to our moral responsibility to those who have been most directly affected, will require the full commitment of the international community and, crucially, the resources necessary.” he added.

Haiti has been dealing with a cholera outbreak since October 2010, some nine months after it suffered a devastating earthquake. The outbreak has affected an estimated 788,000 people and claimed the lives of more than 9,000. Concerted national and international efforts, backed by the United Nations, have resulted in a 90 per cent reduction in the number of suspected cases. While the number of those affected remains high, and recent outbreaks, partly heightened by the impact of Hurricane Matthew, show the continued vulnerability of the population to the disease, UN officials have said the challenge is not insurmountable.

Track One: Reducing Incidence of Cholera

Costing around $400 million over the next two years, the proposed United Nations package will centre on two different elements, known as ‘Track One’ and ‘Track Two.’ The former consists of a greatly intensified and better-resourced effort to respond to and reduce the incidence of cholera, through addressing Haiti’s short and longer term issues of water, sanitation and health systems and improved access to care and treatment.  

This is expected to involve intensifying efforts to mobilise adequate funding for an increased number of rapid response teams; strengthened epidemiological surveillance; the rapid detection, reporting and treatment of cases; the combined use of cholera vaccinations with targeted water and sanitation interventions; more focused geographical targeting; improved communication and behavioural change strategies; and strengthened support to longer-term water and sanitation services.

“We would like to see improvements in people’s access to care and treatment when sick, while also addressing the longer-term issues of water, sanitation and health systems.” Mr. Ban said. “Work on Track One is well under way.”

In this respect, the UN-Head also mentioned recent vaccination campaign, backed by the Pan American Health Organisation:PAHO and World Health Organisation:WHO, which reached more than 729,000 people in Haiti’s areas devastated by the hurricane, and that a total of more than 01.2 million people will soon have been vaccinated.

Track Two: A Community Approach

The second track of the UN response is the development of a package of material assistance and support to those Haitians most directly affected by cholera, centred on the victims and their families and communities. It is expected that it will also involve affected individuals and communities in the development of the package. “Track Two is a concrete expression of the regret of our Organisation for the suffering so many Haitians have endured. On that basis, we propose to take a community approach that would provide a package of material assistance and support to those most severely impacted by cholera.” Mr. Ban said. “The support would be based on priorities established in consultation with communities, victims and their families.”

According to the Secretary-General’s report, preliminary consultations have been held in both New York and Haiti with the United Nations country team, experts, human rights and advocacy groups and networks, non-governmental organisations, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Haitian Government and other Member States. In addition, information has been gathered with respect to the impact of cholera in Haiti, the systems established to record infections and deaths, and the records and data that might be available, in order to consider and assess the feasibility of potential elements of the package.

While stating that some have urged that the package also include an individual component, such as the payment of money to the families of those who died of cholera." the UN-Head said further on-the-ground consultations would be needed, while also acknowledging the difficulties involved.

“This approach would require identification of the deceased individuals and their family members. It would also require the certainty of sufficient funding to provide a meaningful fixed amount per cholera death,” Mr. Ban said. “Additional evaluation is needed on whether and how the limitations of information on deaths from cholera, including the identities of the victims, can be addressed and on the challenges and costs associated with that effort. Whatever the eventual design of the package, a familiar obstacle once again stands in the way: adequate funding.”

Funding Required

The issue of funding for the package resonated throughout the Secretary-General’s remarks. “I understand the reaction of being overwhelmed by what seems to be a never-ending list of pressing humanitarian needs around the world. In Haiti’s case, the hurricane has brought added suffering and understandably diverted resources.” Mr. Ban told the Member State representatives.

“Yet, I want to stress that on the scale of global humanitarian and development needs, limited sums are required to eliminate cholera in Haiti. This mission is realistic and doable. Cholera is a treatable and preventable disease. It can be controlled and eliminated. What is standing in the way is adequate resources and means of delivery.”

According to the Secretary-General’s report on the issue, funding is a key aspect for this track. For the past six years, both the immediate response and longer-term efforts have been severely hampered by funding shortages, which have made it impossible to fully treat or eliminate what is generally a treatable and preventable disease.

Test for the International Community

In his remarks, the Secretary-General also highlighted how the response to the epidemic would be an 'important test' for the international community, a test of its commitment to the most vulnerable, of its long-standing relationship with the Haitian people, of its ability to demonstrate compassion while preserving the ability to do good in many other places around the world, and a test of its collective responsibility for the crucial endeavour of peacekeeping.

“I will not pretend that this new approach is without risks or difficulties.” he said. “Without your political will and financial support, we have only good intentions and words. Words are powerful, yes. Words are necessary, yes. But words cannot replace action and material support.”

“So many people have suffered grievously. The United Nations and its Member States have the power to recognise and respond to that suffering.” he added. “Let us step up in solidarity to our moral duty and do the right thing for the Haitian people and our United Nations.”
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 031216 || Up ||   

 

Nigeria’s Humanitarian Crisis Can No Longer Be Ignored: UN Launching One Billion Dollar Appeal

Women pound maize at a so-called ‘widows house’ in Banki, Borno State, northeast Nigeria. In Banki, many women who have become separated from their husbands during the Boko Haram related crisis feel safer living together. Image: UNICEF:Katerina Vittozzi

|| December 02: 2016 || ά. With the scale of human suffering in north-eastern Nigeria becoming clearer as the Government has pushed Boko Haram insurgents from more and more areas, the United Nations today launched a $01 billion funding appeal to address the needs of those in crisis, and announced that nearly 75 partner agencies are on standby to respond where areas are accessible. According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs:OCHA throughout 2016, human suffering has become more apparent as the Nigerian Armed Forces pushed Boko Haram out of areas the group had held.

The response area shifted from Abuja to Borno state, enabling easier access to the vulnerable population for the humanitarian teams, however, the conflict scaled up and so did the urgent need for more assistance. As such, the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria seeks more than $01 billion to address the needs of those in crisis in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, about 06.9 million people.

“This is the largest crisis on the African continent and I am confident that with the support of the international community and the private sector, we can begin to bring hope to the people of the north-east.” stressed Peter Lundberg, the Deputy Humanitarian Co-ordinator, while also complimenting the Government of Nigeria and the initiative behind the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on their full co-operation to address the humanitarian situation.

While fear of unexploded improvised devices prevents farmers from planting for a third year in a row, nearly 05.1 million people are expected to face serious food shortages. The Humanitarian Response Plan will aim to tackle urgent nutrition, food, shelter, health, protection, education, and water and sanitation needs. “The narrative on this humanitarian crisis can no longer be ignored and we are appealing to the international community to help us prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians over the coming 12 months.” stated Mr. Lundberg.

“The Government have already demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate strong commitment to working together with the international humanitarian community.” said Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning of Nigeria.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 031216 || Up ||   

 

 

Climate Actions of Leading States and Regions Across the World Bringing the Paris Climate Agreement's Commitments Closer to Reality: New Report

Commitments Turned Into Actions Bring Results


|| December 01: 2016 || ά. The Compact of States and Regions today reveals, in its annual report that the vision set out in the Paris Agreement is within reach. Delivering on all disclosed 2020 targets in time would result in savings that put these governments on track to stay below the critical warming threshold of 02˚C above pre-industrial levels. The report provides valuable insights to support national governments heading into the ‘2018 facilitative dialogue’, aimed at raising ambition in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions:NDCs and shows how many disclosing states and regions are ahead of schedule.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said in the report’s foreword, “The report is powerful evidence how these governments continue to go the extra mile in bold climate policies and action. It is particularly heartening to see that some states and regions are already targeting net zero emissions. The Paris Agreement’s strength rests not just on central government action but the unprecedented support and growing enthusiasm of business, investors, citizens, cities, states, provinces and regions.” The Compact of State and Regions urges governments to step up their long-term ambition to match the required rate of decarbonisation and complement their goals with deep de-carbonisation pathways.

At the same time, the report also highlights that governments of six major states and regions have already met or exceeded their 2020 targets, four years ahead of schedule, including: Scotland, Catalonia, Lombardy, Carinthia, Connecticut, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Many others are on the verge of doing so. 65% of governments disclosing a base year emissions reduction goal are currently below their base year emissions. Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Secretary for Environment, Climate and Land Reform for the Scottish Government said, “I am pleased to say that Scotland has achieved it emissions reduction target of 42% by 2020 six years early with emissions down by 45.8% between 1990 and 2014. We are proud of the progress we have made but we know we can go further. In 2017, the Scottish Government will bring forward a package of measures to ensure that Scotland continues to cut emissions.”

The Compact, which is a collaborative initiative between The Climate Group and CDP, has grown significantly since it was launched in 2014. The number of governments taking part has increased by 41% this year, reaching a total of 62 states, provinces and regions by the time of COP22 in Marrakech. These governments are responsible for a collective total of over 03 GtCO₂e, more than the total combined emissions of India and Canada, and $12.9 trillion in GDP or 17% of the global GDP. New members have joined from around the globe, including Gujarat, Cross River State, Minnesota, Hidalgo and Veneto.

Dr Alice Ekwu, Commissioner for Climate Change and Forestry, Cross River State, Nigeria said, “The Compact of States and Regions provides the much needed platform for state and regional governments to share their success and challenges in one common pursuit to commit to GHG emission reductions and make the world a better and more prosperous place.” The report shows that states and regions across the world are currently on the right trajectory to mitigate the impacts of climate change in the immediate future. The size and scale of the governments involved in the Compact shows that whatever happens at the national level, these governments will continue to play a key role in hitting the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

Damian Ryan, the acting CEO of The Climate Group said, “The high level of action that we have seen from state, provincial and regional governments over the past two years has taken place against the remarkable backdrop of the signing and ratification of the landmark Paris Agreement. The work by these states and regions show that as the world becomes more uncertain at national level, governments of states and regions are in the vanguard for driving climate action forward.”

The report also highlights that states and regions are backing up their climate goals with a variety of specific climate actions. This year alone, 1,299 individual climate actions were disclosed across ten economic sectors. Many governments, including California, Jalisco, New York State, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Sardinia and Oppland indicated that tackling short-lived climate pollutants, i.e. methane, black carbon O3, HFCs, is one of their key priorities in the next two years.

Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP said, “We have seen Compact governments double down on cutting their region-wide GHG emissions and setting more reduction targets. We call on more governments to join the Compact, reduce their emissions and commit to transparent annual disclosure. Our journey has only just begun.”

About The Compact of States and Regions: Announced at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014, the Compact of States and Regions is an initiative that provides a transparent, global picture of efforts to tackle climate change from state and regional governments. It is designed to catalyze climate change mitigation through inventory development, target setting and strategy development. Less than two years after its launch, the Compact of States and Regions, an initiative driven by The Climate Group and CDP, has become the global go-to platform for states, provinces and regions to measure and manage their greenhouse gas, GHG emissions, already collecting climate data from 62 governments representing 17% of the global economy.

About The Climate Group: The Climate Group is an award-winning, international non-profit. We specialize in bold, catalytic and high-impact climate and energy initiatives with the world’s leading businesses and state and regional governments. Our work is at the forefront of ambitious climate action. Our vision is a world of prosperous ‘net zero’ emission economies and thriving, sustainable societies. Our mission is to catalyze climate leadership in government and business to accelerate the shift to a prosperous and thriving ‘net zero’ future for all. We do this by communicating to inform, convening to connect, and collaborating to scale and succeed. Founded in 2004, our offices are located in Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, New York and London.

About CDP: CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the global system for companies, cities, states and regions to measure, disclose, manage and share vital information on their environmental performance. Voted number one climate research provider by investors, CDP works with 827 institutional investors with assets of US$100 trillion and 89 purchasing organisations with a combined annual spend of over US$02.7 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them. Over 630 cities, states and regions and some 5,800 companies, representing close to 60% global market capitalization, disclosed environmental information through CDP in 2016. CDP now holds the most comprehensive collection globally of primary corporate, city, and state and regional environmental data and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 021216 || Up ||   

Mexico City: Global Summit Focuses Attention on the World’s Transport Needs: Volvo Buses Highlights the Benefits of Electromobility and Launches the World’s Largest Bus in Rio


|| December 01: 2016 || ά.  Outdoor air pollution levels have risen dramatically and in March, World Health Organisation:WHO warned that levels have risen 08% globally in the past five years. Billions of people are exposed to dangerous air and outdoor air pollution now causes more than 3 million of deaths a year, more than malaria and HIV:Aids. Following the UN’s 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris:COP21, mayors from around the world gather in Mexico City to discuss the growing climate change crisis.

They will urge immediate action to address the unacceptable levels of pollution facing major urban areas. Academics, city planners and a host of experts will discuss energy efficiency, low carbon transport and climate resilience amongst other current sustainability issues. The number of expected bus journeys taken in cities is expected to grow by nearly 50% by 2030 and will hopefully reduce the number of private cars on the roads. However, buses travel up to 10 times further than the average passenger vehicle making their emissions impact greater, particularly those that are poorly maintained and in need of renewal.

Volvo has supplied 3,000 hybrid and electric buses globally and the number continues to rise with the highest number of vehicles circulating in UK, Colombia, Sweden, Spain and Germany. The company also recently unveiled the world’s largest bus at FetransRio which has capacity for up to 300 people. The vehicle is 30 meters in length and was designed to cater for the needs of Bus Rapid Transit system:BRT and provide more efficient transportation in addition to reducing fleet sizes and emissions.

Cities are being urged to adopt electromobility transport solutions and include electric and hybrid vehicles. Last year, 26 global cities signed the C40 Clean Bus Declaration to shift part of their fleets to 'clean' vehicles. If all 26 cities switched their entire fleet to Low Emission Vehicles:LEV, 02.8 tons of greenhouse gas:GHG emissions could be saved each year, the equivalent of taking almost 590,000 cars off the road.

Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Bus Corporation said, “Cities around the world are taking positive steps in addressing the global transport issues by initiating LEV systems. As both environmentally clean and comfortable, we believe electric bus systems are the future of urban public transport.” Modern electrical buses are also quiet and can be equipped with other services including Wi-Fi. The latest in electric bus innovation also allows for ground-breaking applications for city planners, including indoor libraries or leisure centre bus stops.

About Volvo Buses: Volvo Bus Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of large buses and coaches. The range comprises complete vehicles, chassis, bus bodies, transport system solutions for metropolitan traffic, leasing, financing and service contract maintenance. Volvo Bus Corporation is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service.

Further details on BRT systems: An estimated 31.7 million passengers use BRT systems around the world every day. They combine the capacity and speed of a tram or light rail system with the lower cost and flexibility of a bus system by using dedicated lanes and higher capacity buses.

Further details on electrified buses: Volvo Buses produces three kinds of electrified buses, a hybrid which uses braking to charge a battery that can power the bus, an Electric Hybrid bus that ‘plugs in’ to charge but also has a small diesel range extender engine for very long routes and a pure electric option.

Pollution and human health: Carbon emissions do not directly affect human health, although climate change does, but other emissions from transport do have negative impacts on human health. Of these, Particulate and NOx emissions are particularly significant. Particulate or particulate matter emissions:PM are microscopic matter suspended in the air. Some particulate matter can penetrate into the lungs and blood streams due to their small size increasing chances of heart attacks and lung cancer along with other health issues. Nitrogen Oxides:NOx, like nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide, can have adverse effects on health when people are subject to high level or long term exposure. Nitrogen Oxides are linked to increased rates of respiratory illness and issues with lung function.

Volvo Buses is one of the world’s leading bus manufacturers, with a strong focus on vehicles and systems for long-term sustainable public transport. The product range includes complete transport solutions, city buses, intercity buses and tourist coaches, as well as services in financing, vehicle servicing, vehicle diagnostics and traffic information. Volvo Buses is part of Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction machines as well as drive systems for marine and industrial applications. Volvo Group also provides complete financing solutions. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 021216 || Up ||   

 

 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NXP Semiconductors Awarded the Inaugural Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award

If a child is born into this, forced to live and die through this sort of brutality, and we accept it, tolerate it and do nothing to end it, than what are we calling civilisation? And this is what we must commit to end: Bonded child labourer, Pakistan. Image: ILO:M.Crozet

 

|| November 30: 2016 || ά. The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the world’s biggest news and information provider, has honoured two international corporations, Hewlett Packard Enterprise:HPE and NXP Semiconductors, with its inaugural Stop Slavery Award, the first global recognition for businesses that have excelled in efforts to eradicate forced labour from their supply chains. Selected from a shortlist of 10 including Apple and Tesco, the winners were announced at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual anti-trafficking and women’s rights conference, Trust Women as part of a prestigious ceremony on November 30 in London.

NXP Semiconductors, a Dutch global semiconductor manufacturer based in the Netherlands employing around 45,000 people in more than 35 countries, is the winner in the ‘Policy and Implementation’ category of the Award. The Judging Board unanimously agreed that NXP Semiconductors excelled in its mission to make anti-slavery ‘everyone’s business’ in the company. In particular, the judges found that NXP Semiconductors demonstrated good working practices and programmes by having its Board of Directors and CEO sign off on all human trafficking policies and major activities. Additionally, the company identifies vulnerable worker populations and conducts training for its suppliers in order to make informed purchasing decisions and ensure working conditions are safe and healthy.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, an American multi-national information technology company employing 240,000 people, is the winner in the ‘Transparency and Response to Challenge’ category of the Award. Judges recognised HPE as having a long-standing commitment to seeking expert input. In particular, the judges found that HPE openly engaged with outside parties on risks it had identified in its supply chain. Additionally, the company hosted a series of anti-human trafficking workshops with suppliers and labour agencies from Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand after recognising a growing risk of forced labour among foreign migrant workers, particularly in South East Asia. HPE also collaborated with leading companies and expert organisations to promote ethical recruitment and combat the exploitation of migrant workers in global supply chains.

“When I launched the Stop Slavery Award at last year’s Trust Women Conference, I didn’t imagine the number of leading global businesses that would demonstrate such courage in opening themselves up to very public scrutiny of their supply chains.” said Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa. “The bar has now been raised for businesses all over the world to follow suit. The Stop Slavery Award aims to start a virtuous circle by proving that corporations play a key role in the fight against slavery.” she added.

Executive Vice President and General Counsel for NXP Guido Dierick and Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Hewlett Packard Enterprise John Schultz, attended a special awards ceremony at the conference on behalf of their companies. They received a sculpture designed specifically for the initiative by artist Anish Kapoor, who presented them with the Award alongside Longdy Chhap, a survivor of human trafficking, in front of an audience of more than 600 delegates from all over the world.

“We are truly honoured to receive this inaugural Stop Slavery Award." said Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. "As some of the biggest companies in the world, we have a particular obligation to try to eradicate forced labour from our supply chains. HPE has a proud legacy and an ongoing commitment to respect human rights in our supply chain. That commitment is rooted in the belief that every worker has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

We have long taken a stance against forced labour and human trafficking and made it a business imperative to protect foreign worker groups including foreign migrants. We need a combination of individual leadership and team work between corporations, governments, investors and other stakeholders to tackle the root causes of forced labour.''

''Modern slavery and debt bondage are serious violations of human rights and NXP is determined to do what we can to end this.” said Richard Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductors. “As a technology provider working with hundreds of suppliers globally, we dug deeply into our supply chain to ensure our workers are not held hostage by labour suppliers, making sure that kickbacks and payment demands from employment agencies are eradicated.

Working with our suppliers to train, audit, institute corrective action plans, re-audit and motivate, we’ve focused on cooperative improvement as a corporate strategy and I am very proud of what we have accomplished to date. We thank the Thomson Reuters Foundation for their work and for the opportunity to highlight the continuing efforts NXP is making to bring this abhorrent practice to an end once and for all.”

All candidates for the Stop Slavery Award completed a questionnaire developed in partnership with law firm Baker & McKenzie, and experts in the field. Corporations were invited to submit information on their Corporate Commitment and Reporting; Performance and Measurement; Business Partner Engagement; Training; Risk Assessment; Business Authentication; Investigation and Remediation, and Leadership and Innovation.

“Congratulations to the winners and shortlisted companies for their commitment to eradicating modern day slavery." said Kevin Coon, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie's Toronto office, who worked closely with the Foundation. "We are proud to have supported the Thomson Reuters Foundation to create the Award.

The Foundation is a powerful force for good and the Stop Slavery Award is yet another example of work that will make a meaningful difference in protecting human rights. We hope the examples set by HPE, NXP and future winners will help create a corporate race to the top to adopt global best practices with regard to business and human rights.”

A large number of high-profile organisations representing industries ranging from retail to electronics to extractives applied for the Award. Submissions were assessed by an independent third party, DataREVSystems, using specific criteria that determined the strength of policies and implementation programs in place. From these, the consultant shortlisted 10 corporations.

The Shortlisted candidates: In alphabetical order, ABP UK, Apple Inc., Carlson, Fortescue Metals Group, Gildan Activewear Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NXP Semiconductors, R. Twining & Co Ltd., Tesco Stores Ltd., Thai Union.

The Stop Slavery Award Judging Board:Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi; Global human rights and business expert John Ruggie; Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus H. Vance Jr, Britain’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland, International Criminal Prosecutor Patricia Sellers, Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa

About the Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Thomson Reuters Foundation acts to promote socio-economic progress and the rule of law worldwide. The organization runs initiatives that inform, connect and ultimately empower people around the world; access to free legal assistance, media development and training, editorial coverage of the world’s under-reported stories, and the Trust Women conference.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 011216 || Up ||   

 

It Doesn't Necessarily Follow: Tourism Doesn’t Help the Poor and Undemocratic Countries Thrive: New Research

Image: University of Portsmouth, England, UK



|| November 28: 2016: University of Portsmouth News: England: UK || ά. The idea that tourism can help reduce poverty in developing countries is over-simplified and the relationship, between tourism and a country’s economy, is more complex. The research, led by economist Dr Nikolaos Antonakakis, University of Portsmouth Business School and Webster Vienna University, Mina Dragouni, University College London, and Dr George Filis, Bournemouth University, is published in Annals of Tourism Research.

The researchers examined nearly 100 countries over 16 years and the results reveal a stark imbalance in how much money from tourism is shared across the local economy, depending on the country’s power structure. Dr Antonakakis said: “It’s possible that developing economies could use the tourism industry to stimulate wider economic growth, however, given that few developing countries are democracies, our findings suggest a re-think might be needed.”

Research has previously examined geographic or economic factors in tourism but, until now, the quality of a country’s political institutions has been overlooked. The analysis included tourism-generated income, the gross domestic product of each country, and the level of democracy alongside a dynamic unfolding of spikes and troughs in tourism monies due to a range of factors, including economic shocks, such as from a recession.

Ms Dragouni said: “The relationship between tourism and economic growth is not as straightforward as thought, how a country is governed is a critical part of the equation. Our results strongly suggest the tourist dollar is more likely to benefit the whole country if it’s a democratic country.”

The research examined the links between tourism and economic growth in 98 countries from 1995-2011. Dr Filis said: “We see in non-democratic countries there is a two-way relationship between tourism and economic growth in the short run, and tourism and a country’s economy work back and forward together at first, to mutual advantage.

“In the long run, though, because non-democratic countries are often controlled by an individual or small group of elites, a power imbalance stops the benefits from tourism reaching the masses. It is more likely to end up in the hands of just the few.”

The researchers found that in democratic countries the relationship between an economy and tourism remains one of mutual advantage in the long-term, with benefits shared across society. Dr Antonakakis said: “It’s reasonable to argue that in a democratic country, tourism’s benefits trickle down to the wider economy.”

The researchers say the findings open up a new area for future research, including examining tourism in tandem with a variety of military, religious and civil liberties contexts.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 281116 || Up || 

 

The Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Turkmenistan: Sustainable Transport Financing for Developing Countries

Baha Blanca, Argentina, 2013. Image:IMO

|| November 27: 2016 || ά. The first-ever United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference wrapped up today in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, with participants deliberating the needs of countries in special situations, mostly least developed countries, and avenues for financing sustainable transport. “Sustainable transport is a challenge for all countries, but countries in special situations, including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states, face particular obstacles.” said Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative dealing with the needs of those countries:UN-OHRLLS, in his opening remarks to an event focused on sustainable transport and transit solutions in countries in special situations.

Among the challenges highlighted by the panelists, and which, they acknowledged, must be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development in these countries, include high transport cost, restricted access to the sea, limited air service for passengers and cargo, and difficulties securing investments and partnerships. “There are, altogether, about 01.1 billion people in these countries, so when we look at the global programmes, global solutions, as well as global development frameworks, we have to look at those countries if we want to leave no one behind, and make it inclusive of all.” noted Mr. Acharya, referring to the rallying call of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs.

He added that there are 01.2 billion vehicles, and one billion people who have no consistent and constant connectivity with roads, creating a disparity in terms of transport. This, he said, is complicated even further by rural-urban challenges, challenges related to the economic gap, and the gender divide. “And then there are road-related deaths and the air pollution that's generated from transport. That is a big challenge which these countries and other developing countries have a disproportionate share of.” said Mr. Acharya, reminding panelists that of all the road-related deaths, 92 per cent, are in the developing countries.

“That shows that we have a particular challenge and particular expectations from this transport conference.” added the UN Under-Secretary-General. Elsewhere at the Ashgabat conference, another panel was deliberating financing sustainable transport, with the needs of developing countries again in focus.

“The foreseen population growth and related rising demand for transport will necessitate massive investment in new transport and infrastructure projects and the adequate maintenance of those already in place.” said Bambang Susantono, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asia Development Bank:ADB and Co-Chair of a panel discussion that spotlighted domestic resource mobilization, international cooperation and public-private partnerships.

Mr. Susantono noted that transport needs are even higher in developing countries, while highlighting the opportunities for developing more sustainable transport modals in those countries. “Already today, transport investment needs are estimated to be between one and two trillion dollars per year.” he stated. “Of the current total annual investments worldwide, less than 40 per cent is received by developing countries.”

Participants discussed how to harness diverse approaches needed to finance sustainable transport in the 21st century, through domestic resource mobilization, international cooperation and public-private partnerships. “The development of appropriate funding frameworks will be a key step in aligning different sources of transport funding and financing, and encouraging a significant scaling up of financing for sustainable transport.'' explained Mr. Susantono.

The issue of financing sustainable transport was already highlighted in the on Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, adopted in July 2015 and which elaborates on the many approaches that will be needed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including traditional official development assistance, domestic resource mobilization, and a wide array of partnership models.

The Conference, which opened yesterday, brought together key stakeholders from Governments, the UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society to engage in a dialogue that emphasises the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. All modes of transport, road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime were addressed. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 281116 || Up|| 

 

 

The Havana Sunset: A Revolution of It's Own Called Fidel Castro Ends Its Century Long Journey

Fidel Castro Ruz, President of Cuba, addressing the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York in 1979. Image: UN Photo:Yutaka Nagata

|| November 26: 2016 || ά. Speaking on behalf of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this morning extended condolences to the Cuban people and to the family of former President Fidel Castro Ruz, who passed away on Friday, November 25 at 10:29 at the age of 90. “At this time of national mourning, I offer the support of the United Nations to work alongside the people of the island.” Mr. Ban told reporters in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, where he is attending the Global Sustainable Transport Conference. He offered his particular condolences to Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz. Fidel Castro served as Cuba's President from 1976 to 2008. Fidel Castro-like a human soul, there never was one before him nor there ever will be such a one like him, after him: whether people liked him or not or whether they loved him or loathed him he was the 'genuine article' that they would accept without much argument.

The fact that America felt it was its duty to assassinate him and went about countless a time, an absolutely unlawful thing against international law to seek to kill a leader of a foreign country, and in that countless attempts it had failed miserably and eventually given up, shows much to the world about what Fidel Castro was. He loved his country and he loved his people and that very people in their own way loved him back. If they did not American would have been able to kill him off. Was he a dictator: he was a communist whose declared aim was to establish the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' and thus, if a dictator, he would be such a dictator who led the dictatorship of his people. And the people who were not part of that proletariat would not like it, did not like. And would he care about that? Not really. And those loved him loved him full and those who loathed him did so in full.

Outside Cuba, the world had two versions of things and a little third one: an American version and the USSR version and the other little one, the Chinese one that went grudgingly along the USSR. And thus Fidel Castro has as many versions of who or what he was. But the fact remains, in the big map of the small world that is 'peopled' with large names and big powers, Cuba was not an entity that took much 'space' before the revolution that the world would know much about or care about as to what happens to it and there came Fidel Castro and he made his country and people into a force and led his country and people towards a life, that was not a 'heaven on earth' but go back to where it was before the revolution and you would find life as something unbearable, intolerable. It was not a 'paradise' that many would show 'nostalgia' about.

The life that is portrayed in much of Maxi Gorky's work, and Feodor Dostoevsky's, too,  is not something anyone would want to wonder about when thinking of the tsarist Russia, and more particularly, they do not want to be revolted by comparing the absolutely far off and distant from this lowest form and manner of life at the bottom, with revolting contrast, the aristocratic life of the richest of Russia  that one finds in War and Peace, for example. And yet, there are people who would offer nostalgia for such an unreal 'past' glory. And the same applies to Cuba. There was nothing much to 'glorify': it was dark and hopeless and brutally desperate for most people. Did he raise them up? He did. Did he create a heaven on Cuba? He did not; no one could. Did they appreciate it? They did.

And even if they did not, they now have a universal free education system, they now have universal national healthcare system and much more that they could not even imagine ever being built for the ordinary people of Cuba. But many did not like it and would not like it and that's a fact of a revolution: it fights those who oppose it and those who oppose it are not going to like it. Does it make him a controversial figure? Not really. Those in South Africa, who supported apartheid, did not simply disappear because of what Mandela was able to do and they did not like Mandela for what he did. In fact, they still live in their old 'glory' days and still hate Nelson Mandela probably more than they ever did. Does this make Nelson Mandela a controversial figure? It does not. There are people, many people who find difficulty accepting Mother Teresa's good work and who think she was a controversial figure. However, this does not signify that we are comparing Fidel Castro with Nelson Mandela or with Mother Teresa. This simply goes to point out that no one in the world, particularly, ones with and in power are never going to be 'universally' accepted.

Many media outlets of the world sought to discredit Fidel Castro and yet there was nothing about Fidel Castro to discredit him. He was not corrupt and he did not steal nor rob his country's and his nation's wealth and take and deposit it in western or eastern banks. The most that was offered against him was this that he was a dictator but the problem was a dictator does not and cannot last as long as he did. Whatever he has done brought Cuba and the Cubans to the world stage and now they are on the world stage and one hopes that they would get working at it. To make a go of it for they are in a far better place to begin and go on building on their country because of what that 'dictator' Fidel Castro did. He was not a saint nor did he ever seek to be one. But he was that what he was: a revolution of its own, called Fidel Castro that ends its century long journey here and now from where Cubans must rise and seek to raise their phoenix onto the world.

“As Prime Minister, President, Commander of the Cuban Armed Forces and First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, his role at the helm of Cuba spanned nearly 50 years, during which he left a major imprint on his country and on global politics.” Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. “His revolutionary ideals left few indifferent. He was a strong voice for social justice in global discussions at the UN General Assembly and international and regional forums.”

Recalling vividly his meeting with former President Fidel Castro during a visit to Cuba in January 2014, Mr. Ban said the two had held a lively discussion that covered developments around the world, sustainable development and climate change.

“Under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education literacy and health. I hope that Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform and greater prosperity,” the Secretary-General concluded.

A statement issued later in the day by Mr. Ban's spokesperson in New York noted that former President Castro was an emblematic figure of the Cuban revolution, prominent in Latin America and influential in world affairs.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 271116 || Up || 

 

Yemen: Hospitals and Medical Workers Under Attack by Anti-Huthi Forces in Ta’iz: Amnesty International

Dar Sa’ad District, Aden, Yemen. Image: WFP:Ammar Bamatraf

 

|| November 26: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά. Anti-Huthi forces in Yemen’s southern city of Ta’iz are leading a campaign of harassment and intimidation against hospital staff and are endangering civilians by stationing fighters and military positions near medical facilities, said Amnesty International on November 23. During a visit to Ta’iz earlier this month, the organisation’s researchers interviewed 15 doctors, and other hospital staff, who described how members of anti-Huthi armed forces regularly harassed, detained or even threatened to kill them over the past six months.

“There is compelling evidence to suggest that anti-Huthi forces have waged a campaign of fear and intimidation against medical professionals in Ta’iz. By positioning fighters and military positions near medical facilities they have compromised the safety of hospitals and flouted their obligation to protect civilians under international law.” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “There can be no excuse for harassing medical staff or preventing doctors from carrying out their life-saving work.

Attacks targeting health professionals or medical facilities are prohibited by international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes.” Anti-Huthi forces, also known as Popular Resistance Forces, are allied with Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition.

In at least three cases hospitals were shut down because of threats against staff. In the latest incident, on Monday, November 21, one faction of anti-Huthi forces raided and shut down al-Thawra hospital, the biggest public hospital in Ta’iz, apparently in retaliation for hospital staff providing emergency medical treatment to three injured Huthi fighters.

According to eyewitnesses three armed men stormed an office at the hospital and threatened to kill medical staff if it was not shut down immediately. They also tried to drag the two surviving Huthi fighters – one of whom is a minor- out of the hospital’s intensive care and recovery units, but were prevented by medical staff. The third Huthi fighter had died while receiving treatment. The hospital is now only partially functioning, providing only limited emergency services and dialysis, despite a renewal in heavy fighting since the first week of November.

“It is a fundamental rule of international humanitarian law that the wounded – whether civilians or fighters, must be collected and cared for. It is outrageous and unacceptable that anti-Huthi forces are retaliating against medical staff for performing their duties.” said Philip Luther. Several of the doctors told Amnesty International that the lawlessness that has engulfed Ta’iz has created a security vacuum exposing them to greater risks from anti-Huthi forces who are trying to exert control at the hospitals.

One administrative staff member described the anti-Huthi forces as 'the de facto authority'. He said that they often came to the hospital asking for fighters with war wounds to be treated. Doctors told Amnesty International that if anti-Huthi fighters were turned away due to lack of capacity at the hospital in some cases they turned violent or abusive. In other cases, medical staff said that doctors were forced to carry out their work at gunpoint.

According to one doctor from al-Jamhouri hospital who spoke to Amnesty International, one man opened fire inside the hospital compound after being told his son, an anti-Huthi fighter with a minor leg injury, did not require emergency care and could be treated by a nurse. His violent outburst injured hospital staff and killed a patient.

Hospital staff also said armed men refused to leave weapons outside and routinely caused trouble inside, verbally abusing doctors and having physical fights with medical staff. “Hundreds of times anti-Huthi fighters threatened us and interfered with the hospital’s administration and our decision-making. When we stand up to them, they threaten us with being killed.” said an administrative worker who was detained by gunmen along with another doctor, after trying to stop them from interfering in hospital affairs.

Staff at al-Thawra hospital also said that anti-Huthi forces diverted electricity for their own personal use, disrupting power to crucial services. In other instances fighters demanded medicines and supplies, and confiscated equipment from hospitals. Staff at al-Thawra hospital told Amnesty International that fighters set up defensive positions, including by parking tanks around the hospital compound ignoring pleas by staff and local authorities not to do so. This has put hospital buildings, staff and patients at serious risk amid retaliatory fire from Huthi forces.

Al-Thawra’s director said the hospital guards were unable to stand up to members of the armed forces: “There are dozens of armed men in the hospital. Am I running a hospital or a battalion?… The armed men will create any problem with you outside the hospital if you refuse them.” One doctor who used to live and work in the hospital until July said fighters would launch attacks from next to the hospital at least twice a week on average. This in turn would result in fierce retaliatory attacks by Huthi forces on and around the hospital.

On September 28, a mortar fired by Huthi forces stuck the hospital, damaging its solar panels, water tanks and pipes, which led to it temporarily suspending surgical operations. A doctor at al-Jamhouri Hospital also told Amnesty International: “No weapons are fired from inside our location… There are three gates to the hospital, they have armed guards there. Inside the hospital they have people but they are not armed... The guards outside have arms and grenades.”

He also said that in early November a mortar attack hit the roof of the hospital and broke through one floor of the hospital. “There was only 12 metres between where it fell and where we work.” he said, adding that up to 50 staff were present in the area at the time. ''By positioning fighters and military vehicles in and around medical facilities in Ta’iz, anti-Huthi forces are endangering civilians and hospital staff, flouting a fundamental principle of international humanitarian law.” said Philip Luther.

“All parties to the conflict must cease attacks that fail to discriminate between military targets and civilians. They must stop using artillery and mortars in the vicinity of civilian areas, and they must do everything feasible to avoid locating military objectives near densely populated areas, particularly hospitals and medical facilities.”

Amnesty International has repeatedly called for a comprehensive arms embargo on arms transfers that could be used by any of the warring parties in Yemen. Anti-Huthi forces are backed by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, which has been armed by the UK and USA. The organisation is also calling on the Yemeni authorities to enhance security at medical facilities and protect staff and patients from attack.

The failure to protect hospitals and civilian infrastructure has emerged as a consistent pattern during the conflict in Yemen. During 2015 Amnesty International witnessed fighters from both sides launching attacks from within or near hospitals and in a July 2015 visit surveyed damage to al-Thawra hospital due to Huthi shelling.

Under international humanitarian law, medical facilities enjoy special protection from attacks and should not be used for military purposes or targeted by parties to the conflict. They remain protected unless they are used outside their humanitarian function to commit harmful acts to enemy.

Treating wounded soldiers or fighters is part of the humanitarian function of a hospital and medical facilities may never be attacked for doing so. Even if a hospital is being misused to launch attacks at the enemy, a warning must be issued giving a reasonable time limit and an attack may not proceed unless such a warning has gone unheeded.

Amnesty International has documented unlawful attacks, including war crimes, by all parties to the conflict in Yemen. During its visit to eastern parts of Ta’iz in November 2016, researchers spoke to witnesses, including medical staff and victims from one attack launched by anti-Huthi forces in early October that hit a local market called Sofitel in Huthi-controlled areas. The attack on the Sofitel Market killed at least three civilians and injured four others.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 271116 || Up || 

 

 

The Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Turkmenistan

|| November 25: 2016 || ά. The first-ever global conference on sustainable transport takes place this weekend in Turkmenistan, bringing together representatives from the United Nations, governments, the private sector and civil society to set new directions for global transport efforts. “Without doubt, unsustainable transport brings numerous challenges. For example, the transport sector is responsible for about one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, more than 01.25 million are killed annually in road traffic accidents, sadly to say that 90 per cent of these happen in developing countries.” the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said today at a press briefing in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat, ahead of the start of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference there tomorrow.

“Sustainable transport, on the other hand, helps create the infrastructure on which we can build a sustainable future, it provides access to trade, jobs, markets, education, health care and other services that improve people’s lives.” Mr. Wu added. “It also empowers women, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable people. The conference is in Ashgabat is an opportunity for mutual learning and knowledge exchange on implementing sustainable transport.” According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:DESA, which Mr. Wu heads and is organising the event, sustainable transport and mobility are crucial for sustainable development, with adequate transport infrastructure and affordable transport services still lacking globally, and with serious negative impacts on public health and well-being, living conditions and climate change.

The furthering of sustainable transport and the establishment of affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound transport systems is expected to be a key part of discussions at the conference, which will also be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his remarks to the media today, Mr. Wu said the linkage between sustainable transport and implementation of the so-called Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs, a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda – will be explored in the discussions.

Each SDG has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years, and while sustainable transport is not represented by a standalone SDG, it is essential to achieving most of them and has been mainstreamed across several SDGs and targets, especially those related to food security, health, energy, infrastructure and cities and human settlements, according to DESA.

The Global Sustainable Transport Conference has its foundations in the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The document, a result of intergovernmental discussions on a range of sustainable development issues, stresses that transportation and mobility are central to sustainable development.

All modes of transport, road, rail, aviation, ferry, and maritime, will be addressed at the Ashgabat gathering, including in both developed and developing countries, as well as in landlocked and transit countries. The concerns of developing countries, including least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states, will receive particular focus.

 The issues in focus at the conference were recently highlighted in Quito, Ecuador, during the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III, which culminated in the adoption of a New Urban Agenda, with strong elements of sustainable transport. While no outcome document is expected at the conclusion of the Ashgabat conference, the Secretary-General has encouraged all UN Member States and other stakeholders to register commitments and partnerships for sustainable transport, through the conference website.

Already, commitments to make transport more sustainable have been registered from governments and private partners from a number of countries, including the United States, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, and Asia and Pacific Ocean countries. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore   || ‽: 261116 || Up || 

 

Hunger and Malnutrition: The World Cannot Just Forget About: Must Not Forget About

|| November 24: 2016 || ά. In Chad the European Union has announced its support for the local production of fortified complementary food which will be implemented by several United Nations agencies, FAO, WHO, WFP and UNICEF. Important steps have been taken recently by several United Nations agencies in partnership with the European Union to help tackle malnutrition in Chad, especially in accessibility, availability and use of highly nutritious food for the most vulnerable, according to a joint news release. Thanks to the EU’s contribution of €05 million, the participating UN agencies are on the path to reaching Sustainable Development Goal two, to achieve zero hunger by 2030.” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Programme:WFP Country Director for Chad.

The joint project, 'Local production of complementary fortified food:PRO-FORT', aims at promoting local production of quality food; reinforcing production capacities and marketing of fortified food; encouraging the uptake of better maternal and child nutrition practices; and reducing malnutrition. “We are delighted because this enables us to reinforce our efforts to fight malnutrition and support this initiative.'' said Denisa-Elena Ionete, the EU Ambassador and head of the European Delegation in Chad, while highlighting that this will create the first link in a chain of locally-produced fortified complementary food for children.
ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽: 251116 || Up || 

 

Shame on Us All for Failing to Stop Annihilation of Eastern Aleppo: UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator to the Security Council

Image: UN Photo

|| November 21: 2016 || ά. “I am more or less at my wit’s end....I had hoped to say today that last month I put it all on the table and frankly it’s still just as terrible and leave it at that, shame on us all for not acting to stop the annihilation of eastern Aleppo and its people and much of the rest of Syria, too.” the UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said in a Council briefing held at the UN Headquarters in New York. “All the facts and reports I gave last month have not, not one of them, been changed, qualified, denied or proven wrong, by any one of you or anyone beyond this room.” he added.

Mr. O’Brien, also the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that he has long called for a lifting of all sieges, which have become one of the most prevalent and insidious aspects of this merciless conflict. This time last year, the number of besieged people stood at 393,700. Six months ago it stood at 486,700. Today, it is estimated that a total of 974,080 people, nearly one million Syrians, are living under siege. New locations included Joubar in Damascus, and Hajar Al Aswad, Khan al-Shih, and multiple areas in the enclave of eastern Ghutah in Rural Damascus, he said.

Since cross-border humanitarian operations began over two years ago, the UN has conducted 420 convoys, or nearly four a week on average, delivering health aid sufficient for nine million people, including vaccinations for two million people, and food for three million people, many on a monthly basis, among other assistance. “Unfortunately, I must report to this Council that since the last reporting period none, not one, of our inter-agency convoys were able to deliver aid cross lines.” he said.   In October, the Security Council failed to adopt two draft resolutions to end the bloodshed in Syria’s besieged eastern Aleppo.

“I hear the argument that this Council should not pass a resolution because it would be ‘premature.” he said. “It is never, never too premature to save a life. It is never too soon for you to find a solution to this conflict and end the suffering of the Syrian people.” Also addressing the Council was the World Health Organisation’s:WHO representative in Syria.

“Before the conflict began, Syria had one of the most advanced health care systems in the Middle East.” said Elizabeth Hoff, who has been in that position for more than four years. She said that as the country had reached middle income status, noncommunicable diseases were becoming the predominant health concern, and national vaccination coverage rates were 95 per cent. Syria's thriving pharmaceutical industry produced over 90 per cent of the country’s medicines and exported its products to 53 countries.

“Now, almost six years later, the picture is starkly different.” she said, noting that health care services have been devastated, with over half the country’s public hospitals and primary health care centres either closed or only partially functioning. Almost two thirds of all health professionals have left the country, and domestic production of medicines has dropped by two thirds and vaccination coverage rates have dropped by half, she said.

The direct targeting of health care facilities is the most visible violation against the health care system in Syria today, but there are others as well, including the militarization of health care facilities by several parties to the conflict, the targeting of health care personnel, and the denial of medical and surgical supplies in many areas. “Denying ordinary citizens access to health care is an affront to our common humanity.” she warned.

“As the global health agency, we take seriously our responsibility to speak out against these abuses whenever we can … Nonetheless, our repeated calls for protecting health care, facilities and personnel, always fall on deaf ears.” she deplored, appealing to all members of the Council to use every last ounce of their influence to bring an immediate end to the suffering in Syria.

Earlier today at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, briefed reporters on his meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad. “It is fair to say that Minister Mouallem denied that any bombing of eastern Aleppo hospitals had taken place.” Mr. de Mistura said, noting that the denial contravenes the reports of bombings from WHO and other sources on the ground.

As for one of the main elements of the UN proposal for Aleppo, which called for autonomy by leaving the local and existing independent administration intact, the Syrian Government, through Minister Mouallem, 'categorically rejected the idea of maintaining the current local administration'. The envoy said, however, that they discussed that there could be a creative formula to resolve this disagreement. Mr. de Mistura said they agreed on the need to fight terrorism. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore    || ‽:221116  || Up ||

 

9th Global Conference on Health Promotion: The Shanghai Declaration: Promote Health to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Image: Radian

|| November 21: 2016: Shanghai: China || ά. Leaders from governments and United Nations organisations, cities and health experts from around the world today made two landmark commitments to promote public health and eradicate poverty. The 9th Global Conference on health promotion, co-organised by the World Health Organisation:WHO and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China in Shanghai on November 21-24, has agreed: i: The Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion, which commits to make bold political choices for health, stressing the links between health and wellbeing and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. ii: The Shanghai Healthy Cities Mayors’ Consensus, which contains a commitment by more than 100 mayors to advance health through improved management of urban environments.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan says underpinning these commitments is the need for government action that protects people from health risks, provides access to healthy choices and spreads awareness of how to be and stay healthy. Dr Chan adds, “Legislative and fiscal measures are among the most effective interventions that governments, national and city, can take to promote the health of their citizens, from tobacco control and taxing sugary drinks to ensuring people can breathe clean air, bike home safely and walk to school or work without fear of violence.”

The Declaration: The Declaration highlights the need for people to be able to control their own health, to be in a position to make healthy lifestyle choices. Noting the need for political action across many different sectors and regions, it highlights the role of good governance and health literacy in improving health, as well as the critical role played by city authorities and communities.

Governance-related commitments include protecting health through public policies, strengthening legislation, regulation and taxation of unhealthy commodities and implementing fiscal policies to enable new investments in health and wellbeing. The Declaration also stresses the importance of universal health coverage, and the need to better address cross-border health issues.

Health literacy pledges include the development of national and local strategies to improve citizens’ awareness of how to live healthy lives, and increasing citizens’ ability to control their own health and its determinants by harnessing the power of digital technology. The Declaration also commits to ensure that environments support healthy consumer choices, for example through pricing policies, transparent information and clear labelling.

The Declaration emphasises the need for healthy urban policies that promote social inclusion, issues that are further strengthened in the Mayors’ Consensus.

Mayors’ Consensus: Cities are already home to over 50% of the world’s population, and this is expected to increase to two-thirds by 2030, making them a particularly important focus. The Mayors’ Consensus listed 10 action areas that municipal leaders attending the Conference will integrate into their cities’ plans to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Key areas include addressing pollution, gender-based violence, child development and making cities smoke-free.

The mayors agreed to integrate health as a core consideration in all city policies; to promote community engagement through multiple platforms, including schools, workplaces and modern technology, to advance health; and reorient municipal health and social services towards equity and universal health coverage.

The Shanghai event marks the 30th anniversary of the first global conference, held in Canada, which delivered the landmark Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. The Ottawa Charter made clear the need for political commitment, action and investment to address health and equity, and that the health sector alone could not ensure people attain the highest level of health.

More than 1000 people are participating in the Shanghai Conference, including the Prime Minister of China, more than 40 ministers of health and other sectors, heads of five United Nations agencies and over 100 city mayors. Hundreds of international health experts are also taking part in events dealing with a diverse array of subjects. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore || ‽:221116  || Up ||

 

UN Agencies and the Vatican Issue Call to Stamp Out Illegal Fishing and Modern-Day Slavery on the High Seas

Participants at an event co-organised by FAO and the Vatican to mark World Fisheries Day. Image: FAO:Giulio Napolitano

|| November 21: 2016 || ά. Condemning illegal fishing and labour exploitation in the world’s oceans, the United Nations agriculture and labour agencies, joining forces with the Vatican, underlined today the need for collective, global action to end labour and human rights abuse along the entire fisheries value chain. “We have to guarantee that the seafood reaching our plates has been produced not only in an environmentally sustainable manner, but also in a manner that supports the socio-economic well-being of those who harvest and process it.” the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation:FAO, José Graziano da Silva, told a gathering today.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State delivered a message of the Holy See, condemning 'the tragic reality that within the fishing industry there are hundreds of thousands of internal and transnational migrants who are trafficked for forced labour'. Similarly, Gianni Rosas, the Director of the International Labour Organisation:ILO Office for Italy and San Marino, equated the situation of abused fisheries workers to 'modern-day slavery', suffering horrific conditions on board vessels for months, even years at a time. Worse still, at times they are 'doped up' on amphetamines, extremely potent central nervous system stimulants, to 'keep up' with the workload. They also lack the most basic of labour protection, deceptive recruitment, hardly any written contracts and few trade unions. Where regulations do exist, enforcement is poor.

Tackling these conditions is even more challenging given the vastness of oceans where these ships operated, constantly moving from one country to another or operating in high seas areas not under any national jurisdiction. It is, therefore, no surprise that such illegal, underreported and under reported:IUU fishing not only creates conditions ripe for a variety of abuses, it also robs an estimated 11-26 million tonnes of fish from the oceans each year, undermining national and regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks.

However, thanks to growing consumer awareness, media attention and development of international legal instruments, such as the 2014 Protocol to the International Labour Organisation Convention on Forced Labour and its Convention 188 on Work in Fishing, there are indications that things might change for the better.

It is also particularly promising that the Convention 188, designed to ensure that workers in the sector benefit from labour protection such as safety and health care, written work agreements, and social security, will enter into force in November next year as it has been ratified by sufficient countries.

Another useful tool, particularly to counter IUU fishing is the FAO Port State Measures Agreement:PSMA, the first-ever binding international treaty targeting the practice, that aims to increase port inspections of fishing vessels and allow for better controls to ensure that the crews are not being abused. These two instruments, together combined with increased international awareness on labour and social issues, have provided ILO and FAO as well as industry partners, labour and fisher-folk communities and consumers associations with a new momentum to end instances of labour abuses in the entire value-chain.

“Only by working together, and co-ordinating our efforts, will we be able to break the chain of exploitation that affects the fishing industry in many countries.” underscored Cardinal Parolin. Mr. Graziano da Silva, Mr. Rosas and Cardinal Parolin were speaking at a joint ILO-Vatican event discussing labour conditions within the fisheries sector which was held today to mark World Fisheries Day. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore || ‽:221116  ||
Up ||

 

The World Should Remember This Every Day: 3,400 Human Beings Die Every Day Due to Road Traffic Accidents

Image: WHO

|| November 20: 2016 || ά.  With more than 3,400 people, many of them young men and women, losing their lives on the world's roads every day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims with a strong call to scale up action to prevent these deaths. “That means improving the quality and safety of roads and vehicles, preventing speeding and drunk driving, and vigorously promoting the use of seat-belts, motorcycle helmets and child car seats.” Mr. Ban said.

In his message on the World Day he also cited the need to focus on post-crash response, as timely emergency care, better medical treatment, psychological support, and early rehabilitation for the injured can save lives and reduce disability. He also expressed concerns over the failure of many countries to provide effective care for road traffic victims after crash and failure to investigate crashes thoroughly and provide fair settlements for the injured.

“Worldwide, there is great disparity in access to emergency care. Some 90 per cent of the world's road fatalities occur in low and middle income countries. It is estimated that if emergency care systems for seriously injured patients in these countries could be brought up to the levels of high-performing nations, an estimated 500,000 lives could be saved each year.”

Finally, the Secretary-General addressed the importance of achieving Sustainable Development Goal target 03.6 to reduce by 50 per cent by 2020 the number of people killed and injured in road traffic crashes. “On this World Day of Remembrance, in honour of those killed and injured each year, let us take the necessary steps to make our roads safe for all.” he said. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore   || ‽:211116  ||
Up ||

 

Global Progress on Reducing Child Deaths

Image: UN Photo

 

|| November 19: 2016: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine News || ά. Around 05.9 million children worldwide died before reaching the age of five, including 02.7 million newborns, according to 2015 estimates, published in The Lancet. Globally, more than four million fewer child deaths occurred in 2015 than in 2000, mainly thanks to reductions in deaths from pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, death during birth and measles.

However, progress on reducing newborn deaths, in the first 28 days, has been slower meaning that as a whole the world failed to reach the Millennium Development Goal:MDG target of reducing child deaths by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. The study provides the most up-to-date figures for deaths of children under five years old and includes data for all 194 countries that are World Health Organisation states. The 2015 figures highlight the inequality in child deaths around the world with the national rates of child death ranging from 01.9 to 155.1 deaths per 1,000 births, and 60.4%, 03.6 million of all deaths occurring in 10 countries.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine led the estimates for newborn deaths. Although the number of newborn deaths fell from 03.9 million in 2000 to 02.7 million in 2015, progress has been slower than the improvements in survival for one month to five year olds. This resulted in the proportion of newborn deaths increasing from 39% in 2000 to 45% in 2015. If newborn deaths had reduced at the same rate as that of children aged between one month and five years old the MDG target to reduce child deaths by two-thirds between 1990 to 2015 might have been reached.

Study author, Professor Joy Lawn  from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “As progress is made in reducing under five deaths, our findings show that newborns continue to be left behind. Newborn babies now make up nearly half of the millions of children that tragically die before reaching their fifth birthday. This highlights just how precarious the first month of life is, and it is vital we continue to ensure that newborn survival is high on the global policy agenda.”

Progress on under five child deaths since 2000 has largely been due to reductions in the numbers of deaths from pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and deaths during birth, each reduced by more than 30% worldwide between 2000 and 2015. However, some of these still remain leading causes of deaths. Globally in 2015, the leading causes of death for children under five years old were complications due to premature birth, 17.8%, 01.1 million deaths, pneumonia, 15.5%, 0.9 million deaths, and death during birth, 11.6%, 0.7 million deaths.

Countries with the highest rates of child death, 100 or more deaths per 1,000 births, include Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Somalia. In these countries pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea were the leading causes of death, so to improve survival in these regions the researchers recommend improving the uptake of breastfeeding, providing vaccines for pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea, and improving water and sanitation.

In comparison, for countries with the lowest rate of child death, less than 10 per 1,000 births, which include the Russian Federation and the United States of America, the leading causes of death include congenital abnormalities, complications due to premature birth and injuries. Improved detection and surgery for congenital abnormalities, better medical care during pregnancy and childbirth, and more research on effectiveness of injury interventions could help improve survival in these countries.

Dr Li Liu, lead author from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: “Child survival has improved substantially since the Millennium Development Goals were set even though the target to reduce child deaths by two-thirds was not achieved. The problem is that this progress is uneven across all countries, meaning a high child death rate persists in many countries. Substantial progress is needed for countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia to achieve the child survival target of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The model used in the study provides estimates based on vital registration data and from high quality literature on causes of child deaths. It used statistical analysis to estimate figures for countries with poor data collection due to there being fewer birth and death registries. The study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation. It was conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the World Health Organisation, The China National Office of Maternal and Child Health Surveillance and Sichuan University.

Publication: Dr Li Liu, Shefali Oza, Dan Hogan, Yue Chu, Jamie Perin, un Zhu, Joy E Lawn, Simon Cousens, Colin Mathers, Robert E Black, Global, regional, and national causes of under-5 mortality in 2000–15: an updated systematic analysis with implications for the Sustainable Development Goals, The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31593-8: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore  || ‽:201116  ||
Up ||

 

Greece: Police Must Protect Refugees From Ongoing Far-Right Attacks: Amnesty International

Far right is not a joke; it is a deadly, deadly threat to humanity: And this is what it does to that what it hates and it wants to eliminate, to destroy, to annihilate, to terminate. This is how it looks like inside and out: violent, brute, ruthless and ferocious, and absolutely ugly: Image: Amnesty International


|| November 19: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά. As attacks by suspected far-right extremists against refugees in Souda camp on the Greek island of Chios continue for a third day Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director, said: “These shocking attacks against refugees cannot be permitted to continue with impunity. For the last two nights, suspected right-wing extremists have thrown petrol bombs, stones and rocks down on the camp from castle walls, causing injuries and panic.

At least one refugee was injured by a stone just this afternoon. Police and judicial authorities must not only take urgent measures to investigate these hate crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice but as a third night approaches, they must act to ensure the safety of the refugees on the island.” At a meeting on Chios November 13, Parliamentarians from the far-right Golden Dawn party called for deportations.

As of Friday morning, no one attacking the camp, which is in a downtown area close to Chios port, has been arrested. An eyewitness told Amnesty International: “I do not know what will happen tonight. If another attack happens and the police is not present. We are very scared.” ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore || ‽:201116  ||
Up ||

 

 

The Darkest Hour is Before Dawn. We Must Never Give Up. We Must Stand Up for Fasic Values and Principles and Remember: Nobody Can Do Everything, But Everybody Can Do Something: UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson

Image: UN Photo

|| November 19: 2016 || ά. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today stressed the critical importance of international co-operation in today’s world, arguing that 'without it, Governments simply cannot deliver stable, prosperous societies at home'. “As the line between ‘national’ and ‘international’ has become blurred, almost every issue debated and dealt with at the domestic level, migration, urbanisation, health, energy, has an international dimension.” Mr Eliasson said in his lecture at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

“The good international solutions are indeed in all States’ national interest, even if we sometimes have a hard time making that case.” he added. Since being appointed on July 01, 2012, Mr. Eliasson has travelled around the world on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Today is my last day outside New York in my ‘DSG’ capacity.” he said, noting that he wished to use this opportunity to look back and look forward at the role of the UN and by that international co-operation. In his reflections, the last five years is 'a period of turmoil, uncertainty and a persistent test of multilateralism'.

“Let us be clear: the world today is not a pretty place.” he said, citing the rising numbers of refugees, displaced persons and people in dire humanitarian need owing to armed conflict, disasters and governance failures, as well as the effects of polarisation and divisiveness, from national political campaigns to the work of the UN Security Council. Tragically, the Syrian conflict has more and more turned into a proxy war. Conflicts have grown more protracted and complex, and that abominable crimes are being committed with impunity, sometimes hardly noticed. Gaping and growing inequalities have undermined peoples’ belief in globalisation and market economies.

“Let us always remember, the United Nations is a reflection of the world as it is. But it is also a reflection of the world as it should be. Our job is to close that gap or at least reduce it.” he said. Turning to the three interdependent, mutually reinforcing pillars of UN work, peace and security, development and human rights, he said there is a case to be made that the United Nations has helped to prevent a third world war, as formulated in the preamble of its Charter. It has also contributed to the historic decolonisation some decades ago.

The UN has also helped resolve many inter-state and civil wars over the years through peacekeeping, mediation and peace-building. Over the past decade, we successfully ended peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone and East Timor, and will soon do so in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, he said. Yet, there is much to do to address today’s peace and security challenges.

A number of conflicts such as those in Syria, Yemen or Ukraine, have growingly become influenced by larger geopolitical tensions. The Security Council often finds deadlock and division instead of a clear and unified voice. “Tragically, the Syrian conflict has more and more turned into a proxy war. The country’s fate has gradually moved to be decided by outside actors.” he said. Increasingly a sectarian or ethnic dimension in today’s conflicts has made traditional diplomatic tools less effective.

The dangerous rise of violent extremist groups with territorial ambitions and cross-border reach, also through propaganda and hate speech, are made possible by Internet and new social media. Above all, I believe we must develop a culture of prevention. We must move from crisis management to conflict prevention, from early warning to early action, and from rhetorical support for prevention to concrete action.

“Above all, I believe we must develop a culture of prevention. We must move from crisis management to conflict prevention, from early warning to early action, and from rhetorical support for prevention to concrete action.” he said, noting that preventive diplomacy is a priority of Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres.

Mr. Eliasson said that last year, important gains were made and new horizons opened up for progress towards sustainable development, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement on climate change, which show that countries can overcome their differences and can take action for the common good. At a time of record heat in the world, Member States embraced the Paris Agreement in record time. Almost 100 countries, accounting for 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, have now joined, he said.

Together, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement represent historic commitments to collective, responsible action, which must be taken by all nations in the interest of children and grandchildren and of life on this planet. “We may have a Plan B in life, but we surely do not have a Planet B.” he said. On human rights and the rule of law, he said that the UN has worked hard to move the world into an 'age of accountability', not least through support for the International Criminal Court:ICC and other international tribunals, which have brought some Heads of State and other political leaders to account.

Yet, not all countries accept the ICC’s jurisdiction. And sadly, a number of countries have taken steps in recent weeks to withdraw from the Court. “We are calling on countries to work with the ICC rather than against it.” he said. The Secretary-General’s Human Rights Up Front Initiative reflects the UN’s conviction that violations of human rights are the most effective early warning signs of situations that could escalate into instability, atrocities and war.

“This preventive approach must guide our responses to the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.” he said. The UN is launching Together, a worldwide campaign against xenophobia, one of the outcomes of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. The campaign highlights the strength of diversity in nation states, to promote mutual understanding, and to help societies address the challenges of integration. There are reasons for optimism, not only the SDGs and the climate agreement, but also the growing role of women, the dynamism of the world’s young people and major advances in science and technology.

“Diplomacy remains as important as ever.” he said citing the agreement between Iran and the P5+1, permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, countries as a reminder that even the most intractable issues can be resolved with patience and diplomatic skills. Former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld always underlined the importance of having a clear vision about the future, also noting that equally important for the future are the many steps taken tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

“It is sometimes said that the darkest hour is before dawn. We must never give up. We must stand up for basic values and principles and remember: nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.” Also in Geneva, Mr. Eliasson held a press conference, his last outside New York as the Deputy Secretary-General. For the near-verbatim transcript, click here. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  Readmore || ‽:201116  ||
Up ||

 

 

Carpe Diem: The World at the UN Conference Pledges to Press Ahead with the Implementation of Paris Agreement

Giant familiy photo outside the UN Climate Conference venue in Marrakech. Image: UNFCCC

|| November 18: 2016 || ά. As they wrapped up their work today in Marrakech, Morocco, countries gathered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference:COP22, pledged on to move forward on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which entered into force two weeks ago.

In the Marrakech Action Proclamation, for our climate and sustainable development State Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change:UNFCCC, affirmed their 'commitment' to the 'full implementation' of the Paris Agreement.

They welcomed the 'extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide'. As of Friday, November 18, 111 countries have ratified the Agreement. Last December at the previous Conference: COP21, 196 Parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved. It aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 02 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 01.5 degrees Celsius. The Agreement entered into force on November 04, 2016, in time for COP22, which has been under way since November 07.

“This momentum is irreversible, it is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels.” adds the Proclamation. “Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs.”

 Negotiations between State-Parties were continuing on Friday afternoon on aspects of the implementation of the Agreement. “We continue to negotiate on a number of things.” said the President of COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Morocco, at a press conference.

Welcoming the outcome of the Conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that all countries understand that climate action is essential for their security, economic prosperity and the health and well-being of their citizens. Global co-operation rooted in strong national action is essential, he noted, saying that no country, irrespective of its size or strength, is immune from the impacts of climate change, and no country can afford to tackle the climate challenge alone.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban applauded the bold leadership shown by many of the world’s most vulnerable countries, many of whom are in Africa, to strengthen their ambition and to move as quickly as possible toward a one-hundred-percent clean energy, climate-resilient future.

“As the global thermostat continues to rise, the Secretary-General renewed his call for all countries and all sectors of society to significantly increase their ambition and redouble their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” said the statement, adding that the UN-Head also called on developed countries to deliver on their pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of climate action by developing countries.

The Marrakech Proclamation calls for 'the highest political commitment to combat climate change' and calls for 'strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change' underscoring the need to support efforts aimed to enhance their adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability.

State-Parties also call 'for urgently raising ambition and strengthening co-operation amongst ourselves to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement' and 'for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries'.

In the Marrakech Proclamation, developed country reaffirmed their $100 billion mobilisation goal per year by 2020 to support climate action by developing countries. All countries also called on all non-state actors to join them 'for immediate and ambitious action and mobilization, building on their important achievements'.

Alongside the negotiations, the two-week Marrakech Conference focused on various actions and initiatives taken by Governments and non-state actors to address climate change. On Thursday, the Conference launched the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Agenda to further scale up co-operative efforts in which businesses, sub-national and local governments and civil society team up with national governments to promote low-emission and resilient development.

'We need everyone’ the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday, urging society-wide engagement in implementation of Paris climate accord. ω.

President of COP 22 Salaheddine Mezouar. Image: Photo: UNFCCC

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽:191116  ||
Up ||

 

It's Time for Absolute Zero Fossil Fuel: It's Time for 100% Renewables: And It Must Be NOW

Image: 350.org


|| November 18: 2016: 350.org: Nicholas Haeringer Writing || ά. One year after the Paris climate deal was signed, the agreement reached by 197 countries is in crisis. Not only has the planet suffered through the hottest year in history, but heads of state have continued to rubber-stamp fossil fuel projects that are incompatible with their climate commitments and now the world's biggest historical polluter has elected a President who believes climate change is a 'hoax.' Cynical politicians across the globe are already using this as an excuse to roll back their climate and democratic commitments and retreat back into repression and dirty energy.

As people from every continent who have spent their lives working for social justice, climate action, and a better future for all, we believe that this is the time for greater ambition, not backsliding. If the President of the United States seeks to abandon his moral, diplomatic and legal commitments to stop climate change, an action which is opposed by the vast majority of his citizens, the rest of the world must increase the pace of its transition away from fossil fuels, not follow him into the cesspool of denial and inaction.

Today the countries that signed the Paris deal are finishing their meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco and releasing a letter laying out their plans to enforce the deal. It will not do enough. More than their words, we need their actions, which among many things must include immediately halting new coal, oil and gas development and financing a just transition towards a 100% renewable energy future for all.

But there’s also good news: 48 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable developing countries stated today that their path to development will be focused on 100% renewable energy, not the fossil fuels of the past. This is the type of leadership we expect from all countries and the kind of ambition that we need from everyone.

The truth is that the Paris Agreement never rested on who is President in the United States. The deal was only reached thanks to a global movement that exists in every country, in every language, among people of every faith, all saying together that now is the time for action to stop dirty energy and build renewable energy that works for every one of us.

We know that true climate leadership doesn't belong to world leaders: it relies on people's power. And we also know that Trump has no say in the industrial choices of the rest of the world. His election can't be an excuse for inaction elsewhere. It is rather the opposite: a strong and dramatic reminder that the world can't wait. We need to freeze new fossil fuel developments. Now.

Our movement now must also increase its ambition. We will not be silenced by attempts to limit democratic space or attacks on activists, nor will we be beaten down by the cynicism of lowered expectations. The only time for action is, and will always be, NOW. And With This Hope...Nicholas Haeringer: 350.org: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽:191116  ||
Up ||

 

Zika Virus Update: No Longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern But Still Requires Intense and Sustained Research

Image: WHO:PAHO


|| November 18: 2016 || ά. The fifth meeting of the Emergency Committee:EC on Zika and microcephaly convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations:IHR 2005 regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held by teleconference on today, November 18. The Committee was briefed on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations issued by the Director-General on advice from the four previous EC meetings.

At the end of the Meeting the EC felt that Zika virus and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge requiring intense action but no longer represent a Public Health Emergency of International Concern:PHEIC as defined under the IHR. Many aspects of this disease and associated consequences still remain to be understood, but this can best be done through sustained research. The EC recommended that this should be escalated into a sustained programme of work with dedicated resources to address the long-term nature of the disease and its associated consequences.

The Committee was updated on the latest developments on Zika virus geographic spread, natural history, epidemiology, microcephaly and other neonatal complications associated with Zika virus, Guillain-Barré syndrome:GBS and current knowledge on sexual transmission of Zika virus. The following States Parties provided information on microcephaly, GBS and other neurological disorders occurring in the presence of Zika virus transmission as well as control measures being implemented: Brazil, Thailand, and the United States of America.

The Public Health Emergency of International Concern:PHEIC declared by the Director-General of WHO has led the world to an urgent and co-ordinated response, providing the understanding that Zika virus infection and associated consequences represent a highly significant long-term problem that must be managed by WHO, States Parties and other partners in a way that other infectious disease threats are managed.

The EC originally recommended a PHEIC in February 2016 on the basis of an extraordinary cluster of microcephaly and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia and geographic and temporal association with Zika virus infection which required urgent and co-ordinated and research. Because research has now demonstrated the link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly, the EC felt that a robust longer-term technical mechanism was now required to manage the global response.

The Committee reviewed the recommendations made at its previous meetings and agreed that WHO and partners had systematically addressed their advice. Furthermore, the EC reviewed and agreed to the WHO Zika transition plan outlined to establish the longer-term response mechanism which delivers the strategic objectives already identified in the Zika Strategic Response Plan.

Based on this advice, the Director-General declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern:PHEIC. The Director-General reissued the Temporary Recommendations from the previous meetings of the Committee which will be incorporated into the longer-term response mechanism. The Director-General thanked the Committee Members and Advisors for their advice over the past year. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽:191116  ||
Up ||

 

It's Everyone's Business and We Need Everyone to Join in: Ban Ki-moon Urges Society-Wide Engagement in Implementation of Paris Climate Accord

Climate Champions Hakima El Haité and Laurence Tubiana at the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech:COP22. Image: UNFCCC

|| November 17: 2016 || ά. Rallying stakeholders gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for the United Nations Climate Conference:COP22 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged everyone 'from the local to the global' including the private sector, cities and civil society, to get involved in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. “We need everyone. And we need action from the local to the global. Partnerships should focus on results today and make progress for the long-term. We have no time to waste, and much to gain, by acting now.” Mr. Ban told a High-Level event on Accelerating Climate Action.

The President of COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, noted that without minimising the eminent responsibility of States the contribution of non-State actors serves as a 'structuring supplement' to multilateral action against the impacts of climate change. Last December at the previous Conference, known as COP21, 196 Parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved. It aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 01.5 degrees Celsius.

The Agreement entered into force on November 04, 2016, in time for COP22, which has been under way since November 07. The Global Climate Action Agenda, launched formally in 2014 at COP20, in Lima, Peru, aims to mobilize non-State actors in addressing climate change. In Paris the next year, two Climate Champions, Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for climate change negotiations, and Hakima El Haité, Moroccan Minister for the Environment, were appointed to accelerate joint action on the Agenda.

 “We have found committed partners, partners on the move, co-operative partners.” said Ms. El Haité at the high-level meeting. “The business community understands that this is where future growth lies. Investors have realized that this is where sustainable returns can be found.”

Ms. Tubiana announced today the launch of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, with the aim of ensuring that efforts are “more coherent, more continuous, and stronger.” The Partnership “belongs to everyone, all those who seek to extend climate action. It will seek to create space for everyone to work together, remove barriers, understand solutions and see the future in a much more active and optimistic way.” she added.

For his part, Mr. Ban said the Action Agenda is 'central to this effort' to implement the Paris Agreement on the ground. “We need to immediately drive a radical transformation of the global economy.” he said, adding that the private sector has a key role to play. The Secretary-General went on to stress the importance of adaptation. Climate resilient innovations are needed to help billions of people adapt to increasing droughts, floods, temperatures and other impacts. “Adaptation is not a luxury. It is a prudent investment in our future.” he said.

The UN-Head said he was pleased to see so many African countries mobilising climate action, taking as an example the Adaptation of African Agriculture initiative. “This partnership will help create more resilient food systems on the continent and advance the Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs' he stated.

Tuesday, at the opening of the high-level segment of COP22, dozens of Heads of State and Government showed a strong support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Before the Conference wraps up on November 18, parties hope to define the rules for the accord and to lay out a viable plan for providing at least $100 billion a year to developing countries to support climate action. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽:181116  ||
Up ||

 

 

A Good Day for the Fight Against Malaria: WHO Welcomes Global Health Funding for Malaria Vaccine Trial

Image: WHO:PAHO

|| November 17: 2016 || ά. The world’s first malaria vaccine will be rolled out in pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa, WHO has confirmed today. Funding is now secured for the initial phase of the programme and vaccinations are due to begin in 2018. The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts against P. falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally, and the most prevalent in Africa. Advanced clinical trials have shown RTS,S to provide partial protection against malaria in young children.

“The pilot deployment of this first-generation vaccine marks a milestone in the fight against malaria.” said Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “These pilot projects will provide the evidence we need from real-life settings to make informed decisions on whether to deploy the vaccine on a wide scale.” The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today approved US $15 million for the malaria vaccine pilots, assuring full funding for the first phase of the programme. Earlier this year, the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNITAID announced commitments of up to US $27.5 million and US $09.6 million, respectively, for the first four years of the vaccine programme.

RTS,S was developed through a partnership between GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative:MVI, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from a network of African research centres. “WHO recognises and commends the leadership and support of all funding agencies and partners who have made this achievement possible.” said Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director of the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.

In October 2015, two independent WHO advisory groups comprised of the world’s foremost experts on vaccines and malaria, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts:SAGE on Immunisation and the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee:MPAC recommended pilot implementation of the RTS,S vaccine in three to five setings in sub-Saharan Africa. These recommendations followed a July 2015 announcement that the European Medicines Agency:EMA had issued a positive scientific opinion of the RTS,S vaccine.

WHO officially adopted the SAGE-MPAC recommendations in January 2016 and has since worked to mobilise financial support for the pilots and to finalise the programme design. The pilot programme will evaluate the feasibility of delivering the required four doses of RTS,S; the impact of RTS,S on lives saved; and the safety of the vaccine in the context of routine use. It will also assess the extent to which the vaccine’s protective effect demonstrated in children aged 05–17 months old in the Phase three trial can be replicated in real-life settings.

RTS,S is the first malaria vaccine to successfully complete pivotal Phase three testing. The Phase three trial enrolled more than 15,000 infants and young children in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Countries that participated in the Phase three clinical trials will be prioritised for inclusion in the WHO pilot programme. Consultations are ongoing and the names of the three selected countries will be announced in the coming weeks.

The RTS,S vaccine is proposed as a tool to complement the existing package of WHO-recommended malaria preventive, diagnostic and treatment measures and will be used in combination with the current interventions. Other tools include: long-lasting insecticidal bed-nets; spraying inside walls of dwellings with insecticides; preventive treatment for infants and during pregnancy; prompt diagnostic testing; and treatment of confirmed cases with effective anti-malarial medicines.

Deployment of these tools has already dramatically lowered malaria disease burden in many African settings. Between 2000 and 2015, the rate of new malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa fell by 42% and malaria mortality rates fell by 66%. However, this region continues to account for approximately 90% of global malaria cases and deaths.

As RTS,S is only partially effective, it will be essential that any vaccinated patients with a fever be tested for malaria, and that all those with a confirmed malaria diagnosis are treated with high quality, effective anti-malarial medicines.

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: “These pilots are critical to determine whether this vaccine can be rolled out more broadly, adding an important new tool to the proven interventions we already have in the fight against malaria. The Global Fund's commitment marks the beginning of a historic partnership between Gavi, the Global Fund and UNITAID, bringing together three of the world's biggest health financing institutions to tackle one of the leading killers of children."

Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund: “The new vaccine is a potentially valuable new tool in the fight against malaria. With the pilots funded, we are eager to see how this vaccine works in combination with insecticide-treated nets and indoor spraying.”

Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of UNITAID: "Ending malaria, a disease that kills a disproportionate number of children, is going to require a high degree of ingenuity and boldness. We must seize the opportunity to pilot a vaccine that could strengthen the means at our disposal to combat this deadly disease." ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽:181116  ||
Up ||

 

So Many Questions: How Do You Buy: How Do You Pay: Why Do You Buy: How and Why You Buy That You Do: New Report Deals with the Answers


|| November 17: 2016: Cannes: France || ά.  A new report from global retail property experts, Colliers International, shows that while online shopping is growing rapidly, the way that people around the world shop and pay for their goods remains very diverse. The largest European e-commerce market is found in the UK with online sales currently running at around at £130bn, $160bn annually. British seniors are among the most tech-proficient consumers in the world with 78 per cent of internet users over 65 now shopping online.

However, if the British have wholeheartedly embraced online retailing other countries have been slower to move their shopping online. Italians are among the least tech-proficient shoppers in Western Europe. Only 68 per cent have access to the internet and just 26 per cent are shopping online. Paul Souber, Colliers’ Head of EMEA Retail, comments: “In a globalised age, it can be natural to think that shopping is becoming an increasingly homogenised process. However, as this study shows, the ways in which people shop and pay for their shopping remains very diverse and often surprising.

“These patterns have important ramifications for retailers and also for the developers and owners of shopping space. While online retailing has undoubtedly curtailed some retailers’ appetite for expanding their store networks, it can also generate demand for property as what were once purely online brands open physical stores and where logistics facilities are needed to support the fulfilment of online orders.”

The report also looks at how shoppers pay for the purchases around the world. Cash remains the predominant method of paying for shopping, particularly in China, Russia, Spain, Germany, Poland and Italy. French shoppers use more cheques than any other European nation while consumers in the Netherlands and Sweden are heading slowly towards cashless society. They also favour more technological platforms such as the iDEAL online service and Swish; a Swedish app that was initially developed to help friends split the payment of restaurant bills and now it is used by more than 50 per cent of Swedes.

The share of cross-border transactions in online retail is increasing rapidly, as shoppers gradually feel more confident about shopping on foreign websites; retailers are accepting different payment methods to boost their turnover growth and are willing to deliver items to almost every part of the globe. The UK, US, China and Germany are the biggest online export markets globally. By 2020, 45 per cent of online shoppers will buy from other countries. The value of cross-border sales is expected to increase from US$230 billion in 2014 to US$01 trillion by 2020.”

Other key findings from the report
Germany, Spain and Poland are the fastest growing online shoppers in Europe which is rapidly stimulating the development of logistics facilities to support order fulfilment
The British, Japanese and Spanish spend the most on enjoying themselves, while the Russians and Chinese spend the least.
29 per cent of online retail sales in the UK were carried out via mobile devices in 2015. Marks & Spencer report that the number of visits to its website via these devices rose from 7m in 2012, to 80m this year.
Shoppers in Poland, Russia and Italy appear far less prone to using mobiles to conduct online transactions, despite higher usage/ownership rates.
UK e-buyers like to make purchases from international online shops, with 56 per cent having bought goods via overseas retail sites in China and the US.
A quarter of Russian online retail sales are made through cross-border purchases, 80 per cent which are from Chinese websites.
Paul Souber comments: “Changes to consumer spending capacity, consumer choices, demographic-urbanisation and the rapid accession of technological adaption are re-structuring shopping behaviour.

“Where people shop, what they’re buying, how they shop and even how they pay for things is all being influenced by technology and the internet in some way. Understanding how people shop in individual markets is not only of relevance to local retailers, but also to those brands operating across borders.”

About Colliers International Group: Colliers International Group Inc. is an industry leading global real estate services company with more than 16,000 skilled professionals operating in 66 countries. With an enterprising culture and significant employee ownership, Colliers professionals provide a full range of services to real estate occupiers, owners and investors worldwide. Services include strategic advice and execution for property sales, leasing and finance; global corporate solutions; property, facility and project management; workplace solutions; appraisal, valuation and tax consulting; customised research; and thought leadership consulting. Colliers professionals think differently, share great ideas and offer thoughtful and innovative advice that help clients accelerate their success. Colliers has been ranked among the top 100 outsourcing firms by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ Global Outsourcing for 11 consecutive years, more than any other real estate services firm. In EMEA Colliers is headquartered in London and our clients benefit from the experience and expertise of 2,650 specialists throughout 42 countries across the region. ω.

Read the Report

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||  
Readmore || ‽:181116  || Up ||



 

The Only Direction Is: A Low Carbon USA: A Low Carbon World:  Over 360 Businesses Leaders and Investors Call on American Leaders to Support Paris Climate Agreement

President Barack Obama with the cleanest-energy, on the Universe, making 'construction', construction for human ingenuity has developed and built it, behind him: Why We Have to Act on Climate Now:White House Photo.


|| November 16: 2016: Marrakech: Morocco || ά. More than 360 businesses and investors, from more than a dozen Fortune 500 firms to small, family-owned businesses across more than 35 states, sent a strong message today to President Barack Obama, President-Elect Donald Trump, and other elected U.S. and global leaders, reaffirming their support for the historic Paris Climate Agreement and the need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy at home and around the world. “Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement will enable and encourage businesses and investors to turn the billions of dollars in existing low-carbon investments into the trillions of dollars the world needs to bring clean energy prosperity to all.” wrote the powerful business group, in a statement of support announced today at a press conference at the COP22 climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco. “Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.”

Addressing the US President, President Elect, Members of the US Cognress and Global Leaders at COP22, their message says, ''We, the undersigned members in the business and investor community of the United States, re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement.'' The statement goes on, ''We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy. Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness. We pledge to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realise the Paris Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.''

The statement calls on the elected US leaders to strongly support: Continuation of low-carbon policies to allow the US to meet or exceed our promised national commitment and to increase our nation’s future ambition; Investment in the low carbon economy at home and abroad in order to give financial decision-makers clarity and boost the confidence of investors worldwide; Continued US participation in the Paris Agreement, in order to provide the long-term direction needed to keep global temperature rise below 02°C. The statement ends by saying, ''Implementing the Paris Agreement will enable and encourage businesses and investors to turn the billions of dollars in existing low-carbon investments into the trillions of dollars the world needs to bring clean energy and prosperity to all. We support leaders around the world as they seek to implement the Paris Agreement and leverage this historic opportunity to tackle climate change.''

Among the diverse and influential large and small U.S. businesses signing the statement are DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Hilton, HP Inc., Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss & Co., L’Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars Incorporated, Schneider Electric, Starbucks, VF Corporation, and Unilever. "It is vital that the business community demonstrates its ongoing commitment to tackling climate change.” said Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability and Health and Wellbeing Officer at Mars Incorporated.

"This is an important moment in global political and economic history, and we absolutely must come together to solve the immense challenges facing the planet. Climate change, water scarcity and deforestation are serious threats to society. It is imperative that global businesses, like Mars, do their part to face down those threats."

“Now more than ever, Levi Strauss & Co. believes it is important to reaffirm our commitment to address climate change by supporting the Paris Climate Agreement.” said Michael Kobori, vice president of sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. “Building an energy-efficient economy in the U.S., powered by low-carbon energy will ensure our nation’s competitiveness and position US companies as leaders in the global market, all while doing the right thing for our planet.”

The U.S., China, India, Brazil, European Union and more than 100 other nations representing more than three-fourths of global emissions formally ratified or joined the agreement, and it entered into legal force on November 04. The agreement is the first-ever global, legally binding framework to tackle climate change. In the statement, the large and small businesses pledged to do their part, in their own operations and beyond, to realise the Paris Climate Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below two-degrees Celsius.

“The Paris Agreement was a vital step forward, but its power is in our collective action.” said Lara Birkes, Chief Sustainability Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Business and government leaders must urgently work together to drive a thriving, low-carbon economy.”

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is committed to creating a low-carbon economy and creating healthy environments for our associates, members and communities.” said Kyle Cahill, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We strongly support continued U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement to help address climate change, one of our biggest public health threats today.”

"The enormous momentum generated by the business and investment community to address climate change cannot be reversed and cannot be ignored by the Trump administration. That train has left the station and to stand in its way is folly." said Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. "Nevertheless, we know that now is the time to remind the incoming administration that virtually every company in the Fortune 500 and over $100 trillion in investor assets has acknowledged the reality of climate change and the need to address in head on."

“Elections change our leadership but they don’t change reality.” said Matthew Hamilton, Sustainability Director at Aspen Skiing Company. “Thirty more frost free days are thirty fewer days we can make snow increasing the pressure on our business. The Paris agreement is critical to our business and the 06.1 million employees of the outdoor recreation industry.”

“Delivering on the Paris Agreement is an opportunity and responsibility for all.” said Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM. “Now is the time to future proof our economies by investing in, among other, low-carbon infrastructure. Together we can create new jobs and build our infrastructure while securing clean air and sustainable energy. This is key for people today and generations to come."

“Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, LLC reaffirms our support of the Paris Climate Agreement to ensure we are doing our part to get to a low carbon future.” said Maria Arabatzis, Portfolio Manager and Shareholder Engagement Manager at Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, LLC.

“Kentucky needs to grow its clean economy more than many other states.” Zaurie Zimmerman, CEO of The Lion Company in Louisville, Kentucky. “Affirming the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement is a crucial strategy in keeping the U.S., and eventually Kentucky, truly competitive in the global economy.” ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽:171116  ||
Up ||

 

Business and Subnational Leaders Call for Long-Term Climate Plans: 2050 Strategies Needed Now to Support More Immediate Goals


|| November 16: 2016: Marrakech: Morocco || ά. Business and subnational leaders today called on governments to start planning for long-term climate strategies now in order to unlock the investments needed for the transition to a zero carbon economy. Speaking at a press briefing organised by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and We Mean Business at the COP22 climate conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, representatives of leading global corporations and major subnational governments highlighted the importance for countries to develop plans with a 2050 horizon as a necessary complement to their nationally determined contributions:NDCs.

The Paris Agreement invites countries to develop mid-century plans. Germany was the first to present its long-term strategy earlier this week and other announcements are expected at COP22. Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for Climate Negotiations and Global Climate Action Champion, said: “The ambitious goals adopted in the Paris Agreement set us on an irresistible pathway towards a net-zero carbon world. As we now turn to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, we need to focus on how we get there. This means that governments should develop their mid-century strategies.

Without a plan for the long-term, you can’t judge what a good strategy is today. This is a new and ambitious effort that will require the participation of all, not only governments, but also business, regions, cities and other non-state actors. Having a plan doesn’t make it all, but not having one is a recipe for failure.” These new, science-based, longer term national strategies will give business a clear framework on which to plan future investments.

Thomas Lingard, Climate Advocacy & Sustainability Strategy Director at Unilever, a member of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders group, said: “Business needs a long term pathway to fully embrace the opportunities offered by a low-carbon world. Unilever understands the business case for climate action and, as part of our Sustainable Living Plan, we have committed to become carbon positive in our operations by 2030, supporting the generation of more renewable energy than we consume. Corporate leaders are ready to work closely with policymakers to help develop 2050 climate strategies. What we need from governments are clear long-term policy frameworks to accelerate the delivery of our commitments."

Today The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group launched a new report detailing what business friendly long-term plans could look like. ‘Future Proofing: Sustainable plans for prosperous economies,’ highlights the importance of long-term policy planning to deliver the vision of the Paris Agreement. Eliot Whittington, Deputy Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said: “Setting out a credible, comprehensive, flexible long term plan for your economy offers countries the opportunity to create an investment prospectus that can unleash even more business energy behind a zero carbon transition.

To make sense such long term plans needs to deliver on the 2°C goal while taking into account adaptation and sustainable development needs. They should also be flexible enough to enable, support and respond to innovation without trying to predict the future. Finally, to be credible with business, long-term plans need broad political support and should be developed through transparent and accountable processes.”

The Under2 Coalition, an ambitious network of states, regions and cities committed to limit their GHG emissions by 80-95% on 1990 levels, or to 2 metric tons CO2-equivalent per capita, by 2050, is leading efforts to promote long-term deep decarbonization at the subnational level. Ken Alex, Senior Advisor to Governor Brown of California, who initiated the Under2 Coalition, said: “The Under2 Coalition now represents over 165 sub national jurisdictions around the world across all continents, and 35% of world GDP. A key area of our work is to support each other in developing decarbonization pathways to 2050. California and other sub nationals around the world will continue, individually and collectively, to be the leading edge of climate action.”

Teresa Ribera, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations:IDDRI, a think tank that manages the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, said: "Going through radical transformation is not an easy task but we need it. At IDDRI we have learnt how developing deep decarbonization pathways is one of the best ways to provide a sound basis for an informed dialogue on how to combine measures to achieve the goal. I’m personally convinced that we will not succeed unless we develop instruments to support a well informed and participatory decision making process. We are building our common future, and that’s not a technical issue but a politically and socially sensitive one.”

About the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group: The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group:CLG brings together 24 European businesses employing 2 million people worldwide, who work under the patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to advocate solutions on climate change to policymakers and business peers within the EU and globally. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership:CISL provides the secretariat to the CLG.

About We Mean Business: We Mean Business is a coalition of organisations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors. These businesses recognise that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all. To accelerate this transition, we have formed a common platform to amplify the business voice, catalyse bold climate action by all, and promote smart policy frameworks. The CLG is a founding member of We Mean Business. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

||
Readmore  || ‽:171116  || Up ||


 

Finland Internationalisation Awards of the President of the Republic Given to Finnish Companies That Have Gone to the World with Finland


|| November 15: 2016: Helsinki: Finland || ά. The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö has granted the 2016 Internationalisation Awards to BlueFors Cryogenics, a company specialising in ultra-low temperature measurement systems; OptoFidelity, a company developing testing systems for smart devices; and the City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi, who promote Rovaniemi and Lapland globally. The prize-winners have successfully created new, internationally competitive business based on expertise developed in Finland. This has called for persistent work in product development and courage to enter the international market, says Jorma Korhonen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Team Finland at the Prime Minister's Office.

Tourism is also of growing economic importance to Finland. A prime example of this is the long-term efforts of the City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi that have successfully profiled Finland across the world in a way that not only benefits the tourist industry but also supports the export efforts of other Finnish companies, Korhonen continues. The Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic is a prize granted to Finnish companies and organisations that have achieved international success. The President grants the award annually on the recommendation of the Board of Directors of Team Finland. BlueFors Cryogenics originated from research work done at the then Helsinki University of Technology, now Aalto University.

Over a period of ten years, the company has become the world’s leading manufacturer of ‘dry’ ultra-low temperature refrigerators. Already more than every second of these ‘dry’ ultra-low temperature refrigerators now sold is made by BlueFors, the company estimates. Since its founding, BlueFors has invested significantly in product development. ''We haven’t chosen the easy path because we wanted to develop more reliable, easy-to-use and high-quality finished products than our competitors.'' says Rob Blaauwgeers. BlueFors’ refrigeration technology has achieved a good reputation and the commercial success achieved has exceeded the company’s expectations. The company’s technology has promising growth prospects in the supply chain of quantum computers.

OptoFidelity, a company that develops testing technology for smart devices, has taken bold steps to expand beyond Finland’s borders. Technology understanding machine vision and robotics can be used, for example, in simulating human behaviour to test the functioning of the touch screens of phone and tablets and new pen control methods. With its innovative products, this enterprise from Tampere has impressed some of the world’s leading technology companies.

Its customers include, among others, the technology giants Google, Intel and Atmel as well as the world’s biggest mobile operator, China Mobile. Today, exports account for over 90 per cent of OptoFidelity’s turnover. ''Success in this line of business is not achieved overnight. You need to believe in your product and update your skills and competence in response to changing needs.'' says CEO Pertti Aimonen.

Finland’s pristine nature with its Northern Lights and reindeer, as well as Santa Claus, attract to Rovaniemi nearly half a million overnight stays per year in registered accommodation facilities. The rapid increase in tourist flows stems largely from the efforts of Visit Rovaniemi, which has worked persistently to increase the region’s attractiveness and recognisability. ''The number of Asian tourists, in particular, has grown rapidly over the past three years.'' says Sanna Kärkkäinen, Managing Director of Visit Rovaniemi.

Rovaniemi’s tourist industry is driven by a tight-knit community formed by the city and a cluster of local companies that work together smoothly to develop the region and attract visitors. The City of Rovaniemi owns 51 per cent of Visit Rovaniemi, and 170 partner companies own the remaining 49 per cent.

Companies may do well internationally up to a point, but official relations and co-operation are indispensable when the sights are set on larger markets, says Mayor of Rovaniemi Esko Lotvonen.

It appears that the flow of tourists is only set to increase in the near future. The latest major success is the co-operation announced in late October with Alitrip, one of China’s largest travel service providers. Alitrip envisages sending as many as 50,000 Chinese tourists annually to Rovaniemi by 2020. Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore  || ‽:161116  ||
Up ||

 

New UNCTAD and UN Women Course on Trade and Gender Equality: January to February

Image: ILO

|| November 15: 2016: Geneva: Switzerland || ά. How does trade liberalisation affect women? Or men? And how can we make trade flows better and fairer for both sexes? The relationship between trade and gender is a complex one, but UNCTAD and UN Women have partnered to raise the understanding of these issues among policymakers, by developing a 4-hour online course, "Trade and Gender Equality". The course can be studied either on its own, or as a module within a wider UN Women course, called "I Know Gender". "Women are key to the future of our world, and we need to support their success in all walks of life." UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General, Joakim Reiter, said.

"This course will help participants to understand how trade policy can be used to providing new opportunities for women." he said. Trade liberalisation can make food imports cheaper, for example, benefiting women as consumers. But women often form the large majority of a country's smallholder farmers, and cheaper food imports can erode their earnings. Despite this, policy makers rarely discuss how the introduction of a new trade policy will impact women and men. So policy makers are introducing trade reforms without considering its impact on women. "Trade affects different groups of the population in profoundly different ways based on gender, geographic location, social status, or ethnicity." said Mr. Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.

"But gender-sensitive trade policy can play a very positive role in moving us towards Goal five, the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls." he said. The "Trade and Gender Equality" course is based on a broader seven-week UNCTAD training package on trade and gender, aimed at a more specialised audience of policy-makers, academics and civil society representatives.

Participants on the free Four-hour module will study the relationship between trade and gender: how gender inequality can enhance or undermine trade performance, and how trade can impact women's well-being and economic empowerment. They will also learn why it is important to mainstream gender in trade policy, and how to do it. For course details visit.

Anybody wishing to sign up for UNCTAD's seven-week course, which runs next from January 09 to February 26, can sign up online at vi.unctad.org/services/online-courses/911-virtual-institute-online-course-on-trade-and-gender-2017-edition. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽:161116  ||
Up ||

 

The Committed to Living Green: Under2 Coalition Now Represents Over a Billion People

|| November 14: 2016: Marrakech: Morocco || ά. Following a signing ceremony at the 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference:COP22, the Under2 Coalition and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today welcomed 29 new members to the growing pact of cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below two degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences. “This Under2 MOU represents an ever-growing consensus of states and provinces throughout the world determined to do everything possible to combat climate change.” said Governor Brown.

With the addition of 29 new signatories including the Australian Capital Territory in Australia; South Sumatra, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan in Indonesia; Michoacán and Tabasco in Mexico; Abruzzo in Italy; and the Alliance of Peaking Pioneer Cities in China which represents 23 cities, including Beijing and existing member Zhenjiang; the Under2 Coalition has now grown to 165 jurisdictions representing more than a billion people and $25.7 trillion in combined GDP, more than one-third of the global economy. Speaking at a signing ceremony hosted at the China Pavilion, in Marrakech Jiang Zhaoli, Deputy Director General of the Climate Change Department of China’s National Development Reform Commission said: "China's low carbon city programme has expanded to 100 cities and provinces. More than 30 of them have pledged to peak their emissions much earlier than the national target of peaking by 2030.”

The Under2 Coalition, the collective governments who have signed or endorsed the Under2 MOU, was formed in 2015 by the states of California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany to mobilise and galvanise, bold climate action from likeminded city, state and regional governments around the globe. Coalition members pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions to two tons per capita or 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.

“Canberra has some of the most ambitious renewable energy targets in the world and is well on track to reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and being carbon neutral by 2050."​ said Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability for the Australian Capital Territory. “Committing to the Under2 Coalition is a great opportunity for Canberra to take the stage as a world leader on climate change and clean energy and share our strong progress with other cities.”

The climate pact also set a strong example for the world’s nations to follow ahead of the COP21 in Paris and has since been endorsed by a number of national governments committed to long-term deep decarbonisation. 

The Climate Group, an international non-profit that works with business, state and regional leaders to promote a prosperous, low-carbon future was announced as Secretariat of the Under2 Coalition at last year’s COP in Paris. It is supporting signatories in developing decarbonization pathways to 2050, sharing expertise and policy solutions, and tracking progress to ensure that governments deliver on their commitments.

“With the Paris Agreement entering into force earlier this month, all levels of government in every part of the world need to come together and push forward solutions to secure a climate safe future. This unique coalition of states, regions, cities and nations is needed now more than ever.” said Damian Ryan, Acting CEO at The Climate Group.

Additionally, California and the World Bank, in partnership with the Under2 Coalition and the Alliance of Peaking Pioneer Cities, have just announced an agreement to promote sustainable, low-carbon development strategies delivered through various initiatives, including the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, with a focus on carbon inventory methodology, decarbonisation pathways to 2050, and capacity building for sustainability strategies in Chinese cities.

Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development said: “This is an exciting new platform that will enable us to build from California’s experience in driving down emissions and to extend it to cities in China and beyond.” said Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development. “We need partnerships like this if we are going to deliver on the ambitions of Paris.”

About the Under2 Coalition: The Under2 Coalition is an ambitious network of sub-national governments publicly committed to long-term deep decarbonization. The Coalition brings together signatories of the Under2 MOU, a commitment by governments to reduce their greenhouse gas:GHG emissions towards net-zero by 2050. All signatories commit to limit their GHG emissions by 80-95% on 1990 levels, or to 2 metric tons CO2-equivalent per capita, by 2050. To help governments move from commitment to action, the Under2 Coalition focuses on three areas of work; developing 2050 pathway plans, scaling innovative policy solutions and transparently measuring and reporting progress. This forum supports a very unique membership of governments from different geographies, politics and economies, as they move towards a trajectory consistent with 2050 carbon neutrality. Coalition members include 165 states, provinces, regions and city government signatories, as well as national government endorsers, and together they represent a third of the global economy. The Under2 MOU was created by the governments of California and Baden-Württemberg and The Climate Group has acted as the Coalition secretariat since 2015. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽:151116  ||
Up ||

 

New Service to Support Sustainable Tropical Forest: JICA-JAXA Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics

|| November 14: 2016 || ά. On November 13, Japan International Co-operation Agency:JICA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency:JAXA launched the service, JICA-JAXA Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics:JJ-FAST which is easily accessible from PCs and smartphones, based on monitoring data of deforestation and forest changes in tropical regions using JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2:ALOS-2. In Amazon, Brazil from 2009 to 2012, JICA and JAXA had supported monitoring of illegal logging in near-real time using observation data by ALOS, the predecessor to ALOS-2.

ALOS allowed constantly monitor tropical forests during rainy season thanks to its ability to penetrate clouds. More than 2,000 incidents of illegal logging were detected by forest monitoring by ALOS in Brazil, which greatly contributed to a 40 percent reduction in illegal logging areas. JICA and JAXA agreed to monitor deforestation and forest changes in tropical regions using ALOS-2 on the basis of knowledge obtained through the support in Amazon, and announced Initiative for Improvement of Forest Governance at the Japan pavilion of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties:COP21 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:UNFCCC in Paris in 2015.

JJ-FAST was established as part of this initiative, and will provide the latest information on deforestation and forest changes in tropical region globally once 90 days on average. Everyone can use JJ-FAST anywhere under an environment capable of connecting to the Internet. At the start of service, data of 5 countries in Latin America are released. The target area will expand gradually from African to Asian regions. The final goal is that JJ-FAST is to release monitoring data of approximately 60 countries which have tropical forests. The detection accuracy of deforestation in JJ-FAST will be improved according to users feedbacks.

JJ-FAST based on data of huge forests monitoring from space can be an effective measure for developing countries which have problems in monitoring forests due to luck of infrastructure, poor public security, manpower shortage and luck of budget. JICA and JAXA support the sustainable forest management for developing countries through the spread of JJ-FAST, and try that reduction in deforestation in the long term leads to mitigation of climate changes.

JICA and JAXA will contribute to resolving various issues which developing countries face and global problems utilizing space technologies in the future. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

|| Readmore || ‽:151116  || Up ||

 

 

Marrakech: The World and All the World's Countries Must Remain United in Their Unified Voice Calling on the Americans Not to Walk Away from the Paris Climate Accord for the Americans Do Not Live Alone on This Earth But Share It with the Rest of Humanity: We Live Together and We Die Together as One Fighting for Our Existence and Survival with Our Common Humanity

COP22 President and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, left, with COP 21 President and France’s environment Minister in charge of climate-related international relations Ségolène Royal at the opening of COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco. Image: UNFCCC

 

|| November 13: 2016 || ά. Ten days after the entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement, dozens of heads of State and Government are expected on Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference:COP22, which started in Marrakech, Morocco, on November 07. Before the Conference wraps up on November 18, State Parties hope to define the rules for the accord and to lay out a viable plan for providing at least $100 billion a year to developing countries to support climate action. Adopted by 196 States Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change:UNFCCC last December, the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 01.5 degrees Celsius.

It entered into force in record time on November 04. The Marrakech Conference includes a number of meetings and high-level events, including the high-level segment to be attended by dozens of heads of State and Government, on Tuesday, November 15. During the first week of COP22, in parallel with the negotiations among and between the Parties, a series of thematic days on forests, water, cities, energy and transport highlighted the crucial role of non-state actors, including businesses, cities and non-governmental organisations, to implement the Agreement. On Saturday, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, co-host of COP22, welcomed the fact that 105 countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement. “It gives the Agreement a lot of weight and a lot of credibility.” she said at a press conference.

“It has happened in record time. So we really hit the ground with this unexpected success in many ways of the entry into force of the Agreement much earlier than expected. But now at the same time we have more urgency to get to work and finalise the elements we need in order to have a fully operational Paris Agreement”. The President of COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, said, "An extremely positive state of mind, a commitment of everyone to maintain the momentum and help COP22 be the one we all wanted, a COP of action, a COP of commitment, a COP that confirms the determination of all Parties, the international community as a whole, to continue climate action.”

Mr. Mezouar stressed that the main priorities of the Moroccan Presidency of COP22 are to create a bridge between 'the world of negotiations and the world of action', to get Parties to increase their national commitments, to focus on climate finance and to transform climate initiatives launched at COP21 into concrete projects.

Asked about the uncertainties raised by the US presidential election, Mr. Mezouar said that the participants of the Marrakech Conference remained 'confident' and that it was necessary 'to stay the course and keep this extraordinary momentum'.
ω.

|| Readmore  || ‽:141116  || Up ||

 

 

Egypt: Freeze of Torture Rehabilitation Centre’s Financial Assets a Cruel Blow to Human Rights: Amnesty International

 

|| November 13: 2016: Amnesty International News || ά The Egyptian authorities must immediately retract an order to freeze the bank account of the renowned El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, said Amnesty International on November 10. The organisation, a clinic which provides hundreds of torture victims with vital services including counselling and legal assistance, learned that its financial assets were frozen according to an order by the Central Bank of Egypt.

“The El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence is a lifeline for hundreds of victims of torture and for families of people who have been subjected to enforced disappearance. The Egyptian authorities’ decision to arbitrarily freeze its bank account is a cruel blow to human rights in the country.” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “This is yet more evidence of the Egyptian authorities’ chilling contempt of perceived critics.

By freezing El Nadeem’s financial assets the authorities are preventing the Centre from carrying out their crucial work to provide care to survivors of horrific violence and violating victims’ right to health and to reparation." The Central Bank’s letter, which the Centre has yet to receive a copy of, stated that the bank account freeze will be imposed until the organisation conforms with a repressive Mubarak era NGO law:84:2002.

The El Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence has operated as a registered clinic with the Ministry of Health and does not need to be registered under the law on associations. Amnesty International believes that the authorities are using the bank account freeze to force the Centre to shut down, in retaliation for its work helping victims of torture and other ill-treatment and family members of those subjected to enforced disappearances.

This is not the first time the Egyptian authorities have attempted to stop the El Nadeem Centre from carrying out its work. In February 2016 the authorities issued an arbitrarily administrative decree to close the organisation without giving any reason. The decree is currently being challenged before administrative courts.

The bank account freeze imposed on the El Nadeem Centre comes just months after a court froze the personal and organisational bank accounts of a group of leading and award-winning human rights defenders and campaigners, stifling their vital work. “Obstructing care for victims of torture is inexcusable. Instead of lashing out at El Nadeem Centre, the Egyptian authorities should be implementing safeguards to prevent torture in custody and end enforced disappearances.” said Philip Luther.

Background: The El Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence was not informed about the decision in advance, as is required under Egyptian law, undermining their ability to correct errors or to prepare their legal defence. The bank had been in regular contact with the organisation over the past 10 days and requested documents to update its bank account which the organisation had provided.

The organisation must be given an opportunity to challenge the order before a court, and pending the trial, it must have full access to its bank accounts. ω.

|| Readmore || ‽:141116  || Up ||

 

 

In a New Report UN-Backed Sustainable Development Fund Highlights Importance of Broad Partnerships

|| November 12: 2016 || ά. As the world prepares to mark the first year of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs in January 2017, a United Nations-backed global fund has highlighted the different perspectives from both large and small companies on the harmony of the new sustainable development agenda. In its new report, Universality and the SDGs: A Business Perspective, the Sustainable Development Goal Fund:SDG Fund underscored the importance of universality as a potential driver to impact engagement with the private sector.

“Universality in this context is applicable to all countries, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development that respect national policies and principles.” said the SDG Fund in a news release issued today. In the report, the SDG Fund also found that while many firms are working in the areas of SDGs, their work is not always linked to the Goals or articulated as such. Against this backdrop, the report also noted the role of the UN.

For instance, it said, that the global Organisation can help in educating and informing companies on the universal dimensions of the SDGs, as well as in facilitating access to the resources, tools and learning to better promote implementation and alignment across sectors. In its report, the SDG Fund also cited issues that companies face when engaging on topics associated with SDGs, such as not being able to fully understand the complexity and depth of the SDGs in context of their operations.

The report further noted that for most firms, while philanthropic and corporate social responsibility initiatives remained 'customary', framing sustainability initiatives through the SDGs offered great benefits, given that they provide a clear and unified set of globally-accepted goals and related targets.

It also recognized the importance of developing partnerships between the private sector and development actors, such as the UN, in order to leverage complementary expertise. The report also includes case studies with the SDG Fund’s Private Sector Advisory Group, highlighting the importance of the implementation of SDGs, initiating multi-stakeholder collaboration and efforts to leverage the complementary expertise of new actors.

The Sustainable Development Goals Fund is an international multi-donor and multi-agency development mechanism created in 2014 by the UN Development Programme:UNDP, on behalf of the UN system, to support sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes.
ω.

|| Readmore   || ‽:131116  || Up ||

 

 

Rehabilitating Drylands Key to Global Food Security According to New UN Report

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative supports local communities in the sustainable management
of drylands. Image: FAO:Giulio Napolitano
 

|| November 11: 2016 || ά. A new report released today by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development:IFAD reveals that drylands, which cover some 40 per cent of the earth’s land surface, are critical in order to buffer the negative impacts of climate change, land degradation, and drought. “Drylands are absolutely key to global food security for the whole planet.” said IFAD President, Kanayo F. Nwanze in a press release on the report, which was launched today in Marrakech, Morocco, where the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change:UNFCCC or COP22, has been under way since Monday.

“Environment friendly and water efficient agriculture for smallholders is key to reducing poverty, boosting smallholder adaptation to climate change, and rehabilitating degraded lands. We look to empower more rural farmers to sustainably manage their land, so that while they feed their families for generations to come, they can also get out of poverty.” he said. Drylands typically refer to arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. They are present on every continent and are home to more than two billion people. They support up to 44 per cent of the world’s cultivated agricultural systems.

The report, The Drylands Advantage: Protecting the environment, empowering people, explains how drylands support ecosystems and a wide variety of biodiversity as well as their vital role in the livelihoods and cultural identities of many people. In Swaziland, for example, IFAD has supported communities in rehabilitating gullied land and introducing sustainable land management practices for 68,000 hectares of land, thus generating a new source of livelihoods for the people who live there.

In China’s Yanchi county, where drylands are becoming deserts, farmers have increased their incomes by 20 per cent thanks to a programme which generates alternative and sustainable livelihoods. Without it, desertification would likely worsen and drylands would be non-arable. IFAD backs projects that both help smallholders thrive in drylands and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs through the 2030 Agenda, particularly to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”

However, Margarita Astralaga, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division, warns that “despite their importance, drylands are being degraded with enormous economic consequences. Desertification of drylands could lead to some 50 million people being displaced within the next 10 years.” she said.

But IFAD’s investments are proving promising: “By investing in drylands, IFAD is seeing significant human and environmental dividends. Environment-friendly and water-efficient agriculture for smallholders is key to reducing poverty, boosting smallholder adaptation to climate change, as well as rehabilitating degraded lands.”
ω.

|| Readmore  || ‽:121116  || Up ||


 

The Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Vancouver: November 14-18

|| November 12: 2016 || ά. The Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research 2016 is taking place in Vancouver, Canada, this year between November 14-18 on resilient and responsive health systems for a changing world. Like the societies of which they are a part, health systems face constant new challenges. They must maintain a focus on health improvement even as they absorb unexpected shocks, respond to emerging needs and take advantage of new opportunities. At HSR2016 the Symposium will push the boundaries of health systems research in addressing the challenges of our changing world.

Resilience: Absorbing Shocks and Sustaining Gains: Health systems around the world inevitably confront multiple converging global, national and local challenges: from economic crises to environmental disaster; from infectious disease outbreaks and violence to hidden epidemics of mental illness and malnutrition; from rapid urbanisation to post-conflict fragility. Today’s top stories, Ebola and failing health systems in West Africa, maternal health, chronic disease, environmental disasters causing thousands of deaths, health care and public health systems facing economic crisis, highlight the convergence of ‘old’ and ‘new’ challenges, and the crucial role of research in understanding and confronting these converging priorities. Health systems must be resilient, able to absorb the shocks and sustain the gains already made, or risk having decades of investment wiped out.

Responsiveness: Anticipating Change, Respecting Rights and Engaging Politics: Health systems must also be responsive. They must anticipate future needs, as well as harness emerging opportunities to promote universal health coverage and universal access to effective interventions. Our changing world also brings new opportunities, from information technology and social media to bio-technology, that must be harnessed for building resilience and responsiveness. Health systems must respond to demographic and epidemiological shifts across the world: shifts that are themselves related to social, ecological, economic and geopolitical changes.

Tackling the diverse sets of current and future challenges demands robust and inclusive decision-making processes. Better governance, voice and accountability are essential for people-centred systems. Political action is needed to ensure adequate domestic financing reinforced with international support, where necessary, and efficient resource use.

Many health system drivers lie outside traditional ‘health’ boundaries. Working on them requires diverse groups to be brought together, including policy-makers, activists, community representatives, administrators, researchers and educators. Social mobilisation and inter-sectoral action are essential for re-orienting health systems to be more people-centred. Research can evaluate and suggest new ways in which health systems and inter-sectoral collaborations can better respond to people’s emerging health needs, be directly accountable to communities, and ensure the rights and dignity of all people who use and provide health care services. Participatory action research in particular can directly enable people to voice their concerns and ideas for better health systems.

Health Systems as Incubators of Innovation: Health systems are incubators of innovation. At HSR2016 in Vancouver, we will collectively engage and interrogate opportunities and modalities of transformation and resilience in health systems, in all their diverse realities, and as yet unforeseen challenges and opportunities that health systems may encounter. We seek to understand these diverse settings, and develop a more integrated understanding of the multiple ‘real worlds’ health systems are embedded within. HSR2016 will explore ways of preserving public value and public goods in the face of systemic changes that populations, governments and health systems as a whole have to confront, both today and in the future.

Whether you work on the role of the state or private sector, community participation, climate change, interdisciplinary modelling, intellectual property or maternal and child health, we invite you to share how your work can inform and learn from others, build the field, and transform health systems for the future, now.

There will be over one hundred 90-minute concurrent sessions planned within the programme. Approximately half of these concurrent sessions will be allocated to ‘organized sessions’ and the other half will be based on ‘individual abstracts’. Abstracts for organised sessions and individual presentations were open from October 2015 until January and March, 2016. These sessions are to be linked to the following sub-themes:

Enhancing health system resilience: absorbing shocks and sustaining gains in every setting
Equity, rights, gender and ethics: responsiveness through values-based health systems
Engaging power and politics in promoting health and public value

Implementing improvement and innovation in health services and systems
New partnerships and collaborations for health system research and development
Future reciprocal learning and evaluation approaches for health system development

Abstracts in a given sub-theme may address any of
the symposium’s traditional ‘field-building’ dimensions

Advanced Research
Innovative research approaches and measures
Novel strategies for developing capacity

Learning communities and knowledge translation
Innovative practice in health systems development: ω.

|| Readmore  ||