U.N.

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

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Open letter signed by Tesla chief and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman urges UN to block use of lethal autonomous weapons to prevent third age of war Samuel Gibbs The Guardian Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous ... Read More »

1974: The second Turkish invasion and the betrayal of Cyprus

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14 August marked the passage of 43 years since Turkey launched the second of its two invasions of the Republic of Cyprus. In contrast to the position when Turkey launched its first invasion on 20 July 1974, five days after an unlawful coup in Nicosia, Turkey had no pretext to justify its second invasion and the forcible transfers, deportations and other acts of ethnic cleansing which followed; both the junta in Athens and its short-lived puppet regime in Nicosia had ... Read More »

Fifty-five more migrants feared drowned off the coast of Yemen

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The UN says smugglers forced some 180 Ethiopian and Somali migrants off their boat into rough seas. Over 100 were rescued, five confirmed dead. Reuters TRTworld It was the second such incident in the past two days. Some 180 young Ethiopian and Somali migrants, many weakened by hunger and drought in their home countries, were forced from a boat into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers on Thursday, and 55 were presumed to have drowned, the… It was the second ... Read More »

Isis: UN study finds foreign fighters in Syria ‘lack basic understanding of Islam’

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Research shows economic factors and ‘lack of meaning’ in life makes warzone attractive Lizzie Dearden Independent Young men who leave their homes to fight for terrorist groups in Syria mainly come from disadvantaged backgrounds, have low levels of education and “lack any basic understanding of the true meaning of jihad or even the Islamic faith”, according to a new report. A study for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism found that despite claiming to protect Muslims, most of the returned fighters were “novices” ... Read More »

Treaty to enable high seas marine protected areas takes step forward

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The NZ deep sea trawler West Bay does a fast turn after hauling its catch from international waters in the Tasman Sea. Greenpeace  along with more than a thousand scientists are supporting the call for a moratorium  on high seas bottom trawling, because of the vast amount of marine life that is destroyed by this fishing method.
©2004Greenpeace/Roger Grace

The United Nations has advanced a step closer to an international treaty to protect marine life on the high seas, with an aim of setting up a mechanism for creating marine protected areas in areas beyond national jurisdictions. Aaron Orlowski SeafoodSource International waters outside countries’ exclusive economic zones make up 60 percent of the ocean and cover almost half of the surface of the earth. The waters are rife with marine life, including many threatened species, but are subject to ... Read More »

UN: 80 pct of Yemen children in need of immediate aid

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A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations has said said. Sanaa Hurriyet ”Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance,” the executive directors of three U.N. agencies said in a joint statement released at the end of a two-day visit on July 25. ”Nearly two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera. Disease creates more malnutrition. ... Read More »

Why offshore processing of refugees bound for Europe is such a bad idea

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n the same day that a top UN official bravely called on Australia to end the harmful practice of processing asylum applications offshore in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, one of his colleagues announced his support for another proposed offshoring system – this time to prevent migrants reaching the… Daria Davitti  The Conversation On July 24, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that Australia’s policy to deny access to asylum in Australia for refugees arriving by sea “has caused extensive, ... Read More »

Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General on Peacekeeping in DRC

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While the presence of the UN peace operation MONUSCO in the DRC is crucial, it needs to adapt to the deepening crisisΒ as violence escalates in parts of the country, and recognise President Kabila’s role in the… The UN should use its forthcoming strategic review to adjust the mission to these challenges. Jean-Marie Guehenno * ICG Your Excellency, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing its deepest crisis since the end of the 1998-2003 war. Prospects for a peaceful transfer ... Read More »

Lessons Australia could learn from other countries to strengthen peace and stability

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There has been an alarming upward trend in the number of deaths in war around the world since 2012. John Langmore The Conversation The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute concludes that in the first decade of the 21st century, the total number of deaths from organised violence worldwide stabilised at around 35,000. But, by 2014, it had multiplied to 130,000. The small decline to 118,000 in 2015 didn’t reduce the severe global anxiety about armed… Lessons Australia could… Read More »

North Korea drought: Children at risk in ‘worst crisis since 2001’

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North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says. BBC Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned. The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit. In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died… North ... Read More »

UN seeks $421 million for African refugee flow

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MILAN:The United Nations’ refugee agency is appealing for $421.2 million to help improve protection of refugees in sub-Saharan and North Africa and back efforts in… AP ArabNews The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday the plan, which incorporates previous appeals, is needed “to help provide meaningful alternatives to refugees and others undertaking… It says 2,171 refugees and migrants were reported dead or missing as they tried to cross the central Mediterranean in this… UN seeks $421… Read More »

Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb

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We are witnessing a striking shift in the global paradigm of how the world views nuclear weapons. Alice Slater The Nation On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a… The new treaty outlaws any prohibited activities related to… Democracy Breaks Out… Read More »

UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers

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Lawyers who are part of a coalition of NGOs have welcomed the wide-ranging findings made by a UN committee about Australia’s human rights record and are calling on the government to address the nation’s poor… Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly Australia has been taken to task by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a new report released last… The committee assessed how well Australia has managed to meet its commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social… ... Read More »

How Can Greece Pay Back China?

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China and Greece have an almost entirely one-sided economic relationship. Roie Yellinek       BESA China’s deep involvement in Greece is part of a long-term strategy to achieve control of the marine paths from China to the EU. This strategy means China is willing to invest and take part in the rehabilitation of Greece – but there will be a price to be paid for… How Can Greece… Read More »

DR Congo loses $1B per year to child malnutrition: UN

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Losses to the country each year could equal 4.5 pct of country’s GDP, says new UN report. Godfrey Olukya AA ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is losing more than $1 billion a year due to the effects of child malnutrition, according to a new UN report. This could amount to some 4.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, said a UN statement on Friday. The report was undertaken by the nation’s government in… ... Read More »

Colombia’s FARC Ends its 53-year Insurgency

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With the official disarming of its main rebel organisation, Colombia has passed a remarkable new milestone in its peace process. ICG But major challenges remain: the destruction of remote arms dumps, reintegration of ex-combatants, and progress towards peace with other armed groups. The International Crisis Group celebrates the most significant achievement of the Colombian peace process to date: the… Colombia’s FARC Ends… Read More »