Central African Republic: Muslim Communities Emptied
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 9:03:45 AM
Muslim residents of the Central African Republic have fled the country in droves in the face of persistent attacks by anti-balaka militias, Human Rights Watch said today after visiting numerous towns and villages in the northwestern part of the country. The presence of French and African Union peacekeepers in these areas has been insufficient to protect Muslim residents, who are being targeted by the anti-balaka in retaliation for horrific abuses committed by the predominantly Muslim Seleka group over the past year.
DRC/ICC: Katanga found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 9:02:38 AM
The International Criminal Court has convicted Germain Katanga, a rebel leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for his part in a vicious attack on a village in eastern Congo where civilians were massacred.
UN unveils global campaign to end use of child soldiers in Government forces by 2016
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 8:48:24 AM
The United Nations today launched a new initiative to end the recruitment and use of children in Government forces in conflict by 2016, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressing that children should be armed with pens and textbooks, not guns.
U.S. drone strike accidentally kills 5 Afghan soldiers
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald
Veterans For Peace Respond to Attack by Egyptian Police on Medea Benjamin
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 1:11:35 PM
Veterans For Peace are appalled that Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a U.S. citizen, and member of Veterans For Peace has been brutally attacked and injured by Egyptian police as she entered Egypt to join an international women's peace delegation to Gaza. Medea's arm was fractured by five Egyptian police officers and her shoulder dislocated as they threw her to the ground and handcuffed her after being detained for 7 hours along with four others with no reason given - ever.
Iconic American Brands Contribute to Tropical Deforestation
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 1:09:56 PM
A scorecard grading the palm oil sourcing commitments of 30 top companies in the packaged food, fast food and personal care sectors shows 24 of these household brands have inadequate commitments or lack commitments altogether.
UNWTO, UNODC and UNESCO launch anti-trafficking campaign
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 10:45:31 AM
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have joined forces to promote a global campaign urging travellers to support the fight against a number of forms of trafficking. The Campaign was presented to the tourism sector at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin (5 March 2014).
Spike in number of Palestinian civilians killed near Gaza perimeter fence
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:56:04 AM
Amneh Qdeih, 57, a resident of the town of Khuza'ah, was killed on Friday, 28 February 2014. She died of a gunshot wound to her abdomen fired at her when she approached Gaza's perimeter fence. Her relatives told B'Tselem field researcher Khaled al-'Azayzeh that Qdeih, who was mentally ill, had been at a family wedding in the town of Khuza'ah, not far from the perimeter fence in the southeastern Gaza Strip. She did not return home with the rest her family, and when they realized she was missing, they began searching for her. At around 10:00 PM, her family heard gunshots, saw the light flares in the sky and noticed an ICRC jeep near the fence. At around 6:00 AM, they found Qdeih's body close to the perimeter fence, directly across from an Israeli military watchtower. Qdeih had sustained a gunshot wound to her abdomen. It is not clear whether she was killed instantaneously or bled to death for hours. The IDF Spokesperson told Israeli daily Haaretz that an IDF force fired at a person who was approaching the perimeter fence in the southern Gaza Strip and did not heed their calls to halt. The unit reported it had a confirmed hit on the target. The IDF Spokesperson did not explain why Qdeih was not given medical treatment that might have saved her life.
First round of UN climate change negotiations in 2014 set to kick off in Bonn with Special Focus on Renewables and Energy Efficiency
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:28:07 AM
This year's UN climate change negotiations kick off in Bonn next week, marking the beginning of an intense year of conferences and summits designed to lead to a meaningful, universal agreement in Paris in late 2015. The meeting (10 – 14 March) will include work towards the new global climate agreement, to enter into force from 2020, and work to find ways to boost immediate, effective climate action.
Proposed EU law will not keep conflict resources out of Europe, campaigners warn
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:24:12 AM
A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies' mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations, campaigners said today.
1-year countdown to end 'human safaris' in India
Published Mar 4, 2014 - 12:44:02 PM
Survival International has launched a 1-year countdown timer to end 'human safaris' to the vulnerable Jarawa tribe on India's Andamans Islands.
West needs to articulate Ukrainian interests, Stanford scholar says
Published Mar 4, 2014 - 10:07:07 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin's goal in the Ukraine crisis is to restore Russia to its former great power status, according to a Stanford political scientist.
The Elders urge world powers to uphold Ukraine’s territorial integrity
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 9:03:38 AM
The Elders express their deep concern at current developments in Ukraine, which pose a threat to peace and security in the region.
First-Ever World Wildlife Day Spotlights Far-Reaching Impact of US$19 Billion Illicit Trade in Flora and Fauna
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 7:28:40 AM
The United Nations' inaugural World Wildlife Day kicks off today with events around the world, as global attention turns to a US $19 billion illicit trade – the fourth largest in the world – that includes elephant poaching, great ape theft and the illegal transport of timber.
Amid ongoing crisis, Ban dispatches deputy UN chief Jan Eliasson to Ukraine
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 7:25:44 AM
The United Nations announced on Sunday that Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson is heading to Ukraine amid the ongoing crisis in the country to get an understanding of the situation on the ground.
European flood risk could double by 2050
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 7:18:33 AM
Losses from extreme floods in Europe could more than double by 2050, because of climate change and socioeconomic development. Understanding the risk posed by large-scale floods is of growing importance and will be key for managing climate adaptation.
Marine mining: Underwater gold rush sparks fears of ocean catastrophe
Full story: The Guardian UK
Transparency International warns that billions of climate change dollars face corruption risk
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 12:18:25 PM
Funds set up to manage the global response to climate change must act now to prevent the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals from disrupting the flow of billions of dollars set aside to address the issue, global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International warned today.
"Hell is real for the Rohingyas in Thailand"
Published Feb 28, 2014 - 10:13:45 AM
Abdul Kalam, 53, a Rohingya from Myanmar's western Rakhine State, arrived in Thailand more than 30 years ago, after escaping forced labour in his home village of Nalywah.
MEPs vote in landslide for ban on covert drone strikes
Published Feb 27, 2014 - 8:54:09 AM
The European Parliament today overwhelmingly condemned the covert drone strikes that have killed thousands of civilians in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen.
New Research Report Compares the Risks of Flawed and Failed Elections Worldwide
Published Feb 26, 2014 - 10:31:57 AM
In many countries, polling day ends with disputes about ballot-box fraud, corruption, and flawed registers. Which claims are accurate? And which are false complaints from sore losers?
Any country can reach high shares of wind, solar power cost-effectively, study shows
Published Feb 26, 2014 - 9:13:54 AM
Wind power and solar photovoltaics (PV) are crucial to meeting future energy needs while decarbonising the power sector. Deployment of both technologies has expanded rapidly in recent years - one of the few bright spots in an otherwise-bleak picture of clean energy progress - and IEA scenarios indicate that this trend will continue for decades. However, the inherent variability of wind power and solar PV is raising concerns: Can power systems remain reliable and cost-effective while supporting high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE)? And if so, how?
Revealed: Why Dubai's first conflict gold audit never saw the light of day
Published Feb 25, 2014 - 2:48:47 PM
According to a former partner at Ernst & Young, the global accountancy firm turned a blind eye when a report of major audit failures at Dubai's biggest gold refinery went unpublished. A Global Witness report released today, City of Gold, considers the implications.
Dalai Lama engages with President Obama for third time
Published Feb 24, 2014 - 7:36:20 AM
His Holiness the Dalai Lama met President Barack Obama today for nearly an hour at the White House. During the meeting, President Obama expressed his deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet, and reiterated his support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet, according to a statement issued by the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala this morning (February 21). It was the third meeting during President Obama's presidency, and fourth time overall.
Uganda's Museveni Signs Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Published Feb 24, 2014 - 7:27:45 AM
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's signing of the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law is a deeply worrying infringement on the human rights of all Ugandans. The law, signed by Museveni in Kampala on February 24, 2014, increases penalties for some forms of consensual same-sex conduct between adults; curtails constitutionally protected rights to privacy, family life, and equality; and violates internationally protected rights to freedom of association and expression.
Public urged to voice their outrage and demand action to prevent a lost generation in Syria
Published Feb 24, 2014 - 7:26:08 AM
UNICEF, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Mercy Corps, Save the Children and World Vision today issued an impassioned appeal to the general public, urging it to voice its outrage at the devastating impact on children and alarming long-term consequences of a lost generation as the conflict in Syria approaches its fourth year.
On International Day, UN urges support for 'Mother Languages', linguistic diversity
Published Feb 21, 2014 - 10:12:47 AM
International Mother Language Day celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity alongside multilingualism as a force for peace and sustainable development, United Nations officials said today, marking the commemoration by calling on countries to promote and protect local languages, "which are keys to global citizenship and authentic mutual understanding."
Transparency International chapters to monitor EU sanctions of corrupt Ukrainian officials
Published Feb 21, 2014 - 9:24:57 AM
The European Union agreement to freeze assets of corrupt Ukrainian officials is an important first step to ensure there is no impunity for corruption in Ukraine, Transparency International said today. The global anti-corruption coalition calls on national authorities to enforce anti-money laundering legislation and fully investigate any suspicious asset holdings.
World Day for Social Justice: UN urges action to end poverty, overcome inequality
Published Feb 20, 2014 - 9:28:27 AM
United Nations officials are marking the World Day of Social Justice with strong calls on the international community to take practical steps to break down the barriers of inequality by doing more to empower individuals through decent work, provide adequate social protection, and ensure the voices of the poor are heard.
Nepal: Widespread gender discrimination has triggered sexual and reproductive rights crisis
Published Feb 20, 2014 - 8:53:12 AM
Widespread and systemic gender discrimination in Nepal has led to hundreds of thousands of women suffering from a reproductive health condition that leaves them in great pain, unable to carry out daily tasks and often ostracized from their families and communities, Amnesty International said in a new report today.