U.N.

Dr Anwar Gargash: solving the Qatar crisis must involve tackling the ‘trust deficit’

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In an exclusive interview, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says a solution to the Yemen war must be UN-led Naser Al Wasmi and Arthur MacMillan The National The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has said there will be no backing down over a year-long boycott of Qatar, saying the onus is on Doha to change its policies. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with The National addressing regional affairs, he said a “deficit of trust” ... Read More »

Rising Global Support for Safe Schools

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Declaration to Protect Students and Schools in Wartime Turns Three Bede Sheppard HRW Three years ago today, representatives from countries from around the globe came together in Oslo to declare their support for the protection of students, teachers, schools, and universities during times of war. Three years later, an incredible 75 countries have joined the… Support for the declaration has come from the highest levels of the United Nations, notably the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres; the human rights chief, Zeid ... Read More »

Making the Best of France’s Libya Summit

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Four main Libyan leaders meet in Paris on 29 May to sign a roadmap to peace, including 2018 elections with united international backing. ICG But with Libya’s UN-backed peace process at risk from the meeting’s format and the accord that France has brokered, the sides should instead commit to a broader declaration of principles. What’s new? On 29 May France will host a summit on Libya bringing together the country’s four principal competing leaders to sign an agreement on a ... Read More »

Australia’s deal with Timor-Leste in peril again over oil and gas

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In April, Australia and Timor-Leste reached agreement on their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. Rebecca Strating and Clive Schofield The Conversation This resolved a longstanding source of contention between them. The potential benefits of this historic breakthrough are now in peril, because the critical issue of how the shared oil and gas of the Timor Sea are to be developed remains in dispute. Breakthrough on maritime boundaries Australia and Timor-Leste’s boundary agreement was achieved thanks to a… Australia’s deal ... Read More »

Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing a Huge Loss

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Giant of Rights Movement Leaves Formidable Legacy (Bishkek) – Vasila Inoyatova, an Uzbek human rights activist who died of medical complications on May 19, 2018, at age 62, made an unassailable contribution to Uzbekistan’s human rights movement and nascent democracy, Human Rights Watch said today. She was the founder and chairwoman of Ezgulik (Compassion)¸ one of Uzbekistan’s most prominent independent human rights organizations. “Vasila Inoyatova fiercely defended human rights and spoke truth to power even during the… Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing… Read More »

Burundi: Killings, Abuse Ahead of Referendum

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UN, EU, US Should Expand Targeted Sanctions HRW (Nairobi) – Burundi’s security services and ruling party youth league members killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum on May 17, 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The country has faced a political, human rights, and humanitarian crisis since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a disputed third term. The 32-page report, “‘We Will ... Read More »

I teach refugees to map their world

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I first visited the Zaatari refugee camp in early 2015. Located in northern Jordan, the camp is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. Brian Tomaszewski The Conversation I was there as part of a research study on refugee camp wireless and information infrastructure. It’s one thing to read about refugees in the news. It’s a whole different thing to actually go visit a camp. I saw people living in metal caravans, mixed with tents and other materials to create ... Read More »

‘Horrific’ Israeli ‘war crimes’ in Gaza must end now, human rights watchdog says

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As the death toll among Palestinian protesters rises in Gaza, Amnesty International has called Israel’s crackdown “deplorable,” and the UN has called for an end to the Israeli military’s “disproportionate” use of… RT “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way,” Amnesty International’s Philip Luther said. “This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful… Over 2,700 people have been injured, many with live ... Read More »

Q&A: Why is the Golan Heights so important?

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When Iran recently attacked the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from its positions in south-west Syria, Israel responded with a volley of air strikes that it says all but destroyed “almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria”. Abdulaziz Alghashian The Conversation It was a dramatic flare-up in a long-running enmity – and it was no coincidence that it happened over one of the most contested areas in the Middle East. When did Israel take full control of the Golan Heights, and why? ... Read More »

Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade Reveals the Limits of Israeli Counter-terrorism

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Israeli-Palestinian tensions are mounting, not just in Gaza and over the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem, but also over Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, known to Jews as Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Ofer Zalzberg ICG Israeli and Palestinian leaders could take simple administrative steps to reduce the risks of violence at the holy sites. A series of momentous events in Israel-Palestine, both national and religious in character, risk spiralling into a dangerous escalation. Since 30 March, tens of thousands of Palestinians in ... Read More »

UNICEF: 400,000 children on ‘verge’ of death in the DRC

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The UN’s children’s agency calls for $88m of aid to address the ongoing crisis in Congo’s Kasai region. AlJazeera Up to 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo unless humanitarian aid efforts are ramped up, the UN’s children’s agency has warned. Fighting between government forces and regional militia in the Congo’s central Kasai province has created a “perfect storm of poverty, deprivation and conflict for the most vulnerable children”, UNICEFsaid in a… It called for urgent ... Read More »

‘A disaster within a disaster’: aid groups brace for Bangladesh monsoon

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Jakarta: Global aid agencies are warning that nearly a million Rohingya refugees face significant health risks from flooding and water-borne diseases when the full-force of Bangladesh’s monsoon rains hit over-crowded camps next… James Massola The Age The UN refugee agency has estimated there are 876,000 Rohingya refugees in the tiny Cox’s Bazaar district of Bangladesh. About 700,000 of those Rohingya people, including nearly 400,000 children, fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to Bangladesh between August 25 and December last year. ... Read More »

Rohingya demand justice as UN delegation visits Bangladesh camps

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Hundreds of Rohingya refugees stage protest during UN Security Council delegation visit to Bangladesh camps. AlJazeera and News Agencies Rohingya refugees have demanded guarantees for a safe return to Myanmar during a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district by a United Nations Security Council delegation. Representatives from the 15 member countries of the UN organ on Sunday spoke with some of the 700,000 people who fled what the UN has called“ethnic cleansing” in neighbouring Myanmar in a… At Kutupalong, hundreds ... Read More »

The Youth Movement in Sahrawi Refugee Camps

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Refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, have long been run by the Polisario movement, which seeks an independent state in Western Sahara, also claimed by Morocco. But a new generation of Sahrawi refugees is growing fractious as aid dwindles and diplomatic efforts fail to deliver a settlement. Hannah Armstrong ICG Set deep in the desert outside Tindouf, Algeria, the Sahrawi refugee camps are a remote yet lively political hub. The camps are home to 173,000 refugees of a forgotten conflict: an ... Read More »

An Open Letter to H.E. Mr. António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations

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Published in Agora Dialogue on 24 April 2018 OPEN LETTER Date: 24 April 2018 Dear Secretary-General Re: The ill-fated ‘Annan Plan’ submitted to ‘separate, simultaneous referenda’ held on 24 April 2004 Today marks the passage of 14 years since the United Nations oversaw what it described at the time as two ‘separate simultaneous referenda’.  These ‘referenda’ were held on 24 April 2004 in what the United Nations also described at the time as ‘the two sides’, i.e. the area of the ... Read More »

Iran vows to ‘vigorously’ resume enrichment if US quits deal

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Iran has warned it is ready to “vigorously” resume nuclear enrichment if the United States ditches the 2015 nuclear deal, adding that further “drastic measures” are being considered in response to a U.S. exit. NEW YORK – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New York on April 21 that Iran is not seeking to acquire a nuclear bomb, but that its “probable” response to a… “America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear ... Read More »