Archive for the ‘UN’ Category

USA: Schluss mit der Straflosigkeit!

Freitag, Dezember 19th, 2014

“December 17, 2014 | The Brussels Tribunal

Stop Torture! Accountability: YES – Impunity: NO

On 9 December 2014, the US Senate released its CIA torture report. The investigation confirmed what globally has been known for many years: the US Central Intelligence Agency and US-outsourced national authorities in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere have been involved in an extensive range of torture applications.

Compelling evidence has become available, especially since 2001, the beginning of the Afghanistan war, through investigations by the European Parliament and national judicial authorities, as well as two major reports presented by Swiss Senator Dick Marty in 2006 and 2007 to the Council of Europe, on secret CIA detention centres in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.  

The US Senate report makes it clear that cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment of captives by the CIA and its collaborators have been carried out on a continuous basis. Such treatment cannot be justified in any manner, even if the US Government reservations with which it signed the UN torture convention in 1994 were to be taken into account.

CIA personnel and others willfully participated in following executive orders and directives thereby violating the UN torture convention and the Geneva Convention III. In this way they have committed serious crimes for which they must be held accountable.

The UN Special Representative on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Ben Emmerson QC has reminded us that “torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction”.

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, said it is “crystal clear” under international law that the United States, which ratified the U.N. Convention Against Torture in 1994, now has an obligation to ensure accountability. He further added: “If they order, enable or commit torture, recognized as a serious international crime, they cannot simply be granted impunity because of political expediency”.

US President Obama must be aware that not holding the perpetrators accountable is a victory for impunity and will have far-reaching implications for global security.

We, signatories from all parts of the world, therefore urge the US Government and its Attorney General, to start a judicial process with a sense of urgency in compliance with principles of equality before the law. If they fail to do so, other international bodies, such as the International Criminal Court, will have the obligation under international law to assure that justice is done.

You can read about and sign the petition in the following languages: English, Swedish, Spanish, Dutch, French, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Persian, Arabic.

You can sign the petition (instructions in German) here. “


(Quelle: Global Policy Forum.)

BRD / Irak: Schutzverantwortung?

Donnerstag, August 21st, 2014

“In wessen Namen?

Ein kritischer Blick auf die »Schutzverantwortung«

von Lou Pingeot und Wolfgang Obenland

Alleine während der vergangenen zwölf Monate kam es zu vielfachem Eingreifen auswärtiger Mächte in Konflikte in formal souveränen Ländern: im Südsudan, in Zentralafrika, in Mali, in der Ukraine und anderswo. Diese sehr unterschiedlichen Eingriffe in sehr unterschiedliche Konfliktsituationen werden naturgemäß sehr unterschiedlich bewertet: als Unterstützung in einer Krisensituation, als Prävention in einem sich abzeichnenden Völkermord oder als aggressive Einmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten eines Staates. Wann und wie aber internationales Eingreifen gerechtfertigt oder gar geboten erscheint, darüber findet spätestens seit dem Ende der 1990er Jahre eine kontroverse Diskussion unter dem Schlagwort »Schutzverantwortung« statt.

In den 1990er Jahren war die Welt mit einer Reihe bewaffneter und sehr gewalttätiger Konflikte konfrontiert, die sich nicht in das herkömmliche Schema zwischenstaatlicher Kriege einordnen ließen. Aus den unterschiedlichsten Gründen und in sehr verschiedenen geographischen Zusammenhängen eskalierten Konflikte innerhalb von Staaten und riefen Reaktionen der »internationalen Gemeinschaft« hervor – aber in sehr unterschiedlichem Ausmaß.

Die bewaffneten Auseinandersetzungen in Somalia, Ruanda, Bosnien oder dem Kosovo führten zu hitzigen Debatten darüber, wie die internationale Gemeinschaft auf interne Konflikte in formal souveränen Staaten reagieren sollte. In den genannten Beispielen hatte sie mit Mandaten des Sicherheitsrats der Vereinten Nationen (United Nations, UN) mit wechselnden Resultaten interveniert, ohne ein solches Mandat eingegriffen oder gar nicht reagiert. Angesichts dieser gemischten Bilanz begann eine Reihe von Wissenschaftler_innen und Politiker_innen, sich für eine neue Doktrin internationaler Verantwortung einzusetzen, die Interventionen in souveräne Staaten durch die UN oder andere Staatengruppen rechtfertigen und kodifizieren sollte. In einer Rede argumentierte UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan 1998, das Prinzip der Souveränität könne übergangen werden, wo es der Pflicht des Sicherheitsrats entgegenstünde, Frieden und Sicherheit zu bewahren. Die Charta der UN sei nie dafür gedacht gewesen, Menschenrechte und menschliche Würde mit Füßen zu treten. Das Souveränitätsprinzip beinhalte Verantwortung, nicht nur (…).”



(Quelle: Wissenschaft & Frieden)



Die aktuelle Ausgabe der Zeitschrift “Wissenschaft & Frieden”, aus der dieses Dossier stammt, kann in unserer Bücherei entliehen werden.

UN: Recht haben und bekommen

Dienstag, August 19th, 2014

“Hague court under western pressure not to open Gaza war crimes inquiry

Potential ICC investigation into actions of both the IDF and Hamas in Gaza has become a fraught political battlefield

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor

The international criminal court has persistently avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza as a result of US and other western pressure, former court officials and lawyers claim.

In recent days, a potential ICC investigation into the actions of both the Israel Defence Forces and Hamas in Gaza has become a fraught political battlefield and a key negotiating issue at ceasefire talks in Cairo. But the question of whether the ICC could or should mount an investigation has also divided the Hague-based court itself (…).”



(Quelle: The Guardian)

UN: Halt – da fehlt etwas!

Dienstag, Juli 29th, 2014

“7 reasons we need a Sustainable Development Goal on reducing economic inequality

July 1, 2014 // By: Faiza Shaheen

This is the year the United Nations (UN) agrees on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals to lead the international development agenda until 2030. Today NEF publishes a report on why eliminating extreme economic inequality must be on the hit list.

1. We can’t end poverty without tackling inequality

Most of the world’s poor now live in middle-income countries, not low-income countries. They are struggling not because there isn’t enough in their economies to go around – but because wealth and resources are piling up in the hands of the rich.

2. Inequality wrecks the planet

In the face of climate change and dwindling natural resources, the chances of our planet sustaining indefinite economic growth are slim. But reducing inequality could go a long way to eradicating poverty even in a low growth scenario. Forecasts show that – even if the world economy slows down – a more equal world in 2030 would have half the number of people living in extreme poverty.

Inequality also does untold environmental damage of its own – by driving a consume-to-catch-up culture, as people struggle to emulate the cars, holidays, houses and fashion of those further up the chain.

3. Meeting basic needs is not enough

There is a big misconception that inequality will be solved as a by-product of other measures, such as universal healthcare and education. But while these measures are vital for progress on human rights they are no guarantee of a more equal society. Studies have again and again shown that high income and wealth inequality is strongly related to lower levels of social mobility. The UK is a case in point – even though we have universal education and healthcare many of our poorest are trapped in cycles of deprivation that last generations.

4. Economic inequality worsens social exclusion 

The proposed SDGs rightly have a strong focus on reducing disparities along gender, ethnic and religious lines. But even with less discrimination disadvantaged groups will not attain parity without addressing grossly unequal starting points. High levels of economic inequality mean that anyone with even a small initial disadvantage are unlikely to fulfil their potential.

5. Inequality is a slippery slope

Political inequality is a direct descendent of economic inequality and it is incredibly hard to reverse. As soon as one echelon of society can pay for the best childcare, the top schools, the best doctors, lawyers and bank managers it is not long before all positions of power are theirs too (or their children’s). And why would they want to change a system that is rigged in the favour of them?

6. It is measurable

One of the main arguments against including economic inequality in the SDG shortlist is that it cannot be robustly measured. But this is a poor excuse. Our paper explores a range of potential options and settles on the Palma ratio, an indicator that weighs up the ratio of income going to the poorest 40% compared to the ten per cent. This could be complimented with other easily-communicated measures such as changes in real median incomes and the share of wealth going to the top 1%.

7. We need a transformative SDG

Sustainable Development will never be achieved by tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally flawed economy. While other proposed goals on basic water, education, healthcare and sanitation are crucial for progress on human rights, an SDG on eliminating economic inequality would force governments to address the root causes of our problems.”


(Quelle: New Economic Foundation)

Zentralafrikanische Republik: Drohende Hungersnot

Dienstag, April 8th, 2014

“1.6 Million People Urgently Need Food In The Central African Republic

By Countercurrents
8 April, 2014

Photo: ©AFP/Sia Kambou
Displacement of families is affecting nutrition and employment

In the Central African Republic (CAR), overall, 1.6 million people are in need of urgent food assistance. As of late March, some 625 000 individuals were displaced due to conflict in the country. Unprecedented crisis in the country is devastating the economy and people’s ability to secure basic necessities. An assessment report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) paint a grim picture.
The number of people now in need of urgent food is more than double the level estimated just over a year ago, in February 2013, said the report.
However, as of March 2014, only about one-third of the required funding is secured, necessitating incomplete food baskets and half ration distributions.
The two UN agencies in their report released this week warned that the country needed a long and expensive humanitarian operation over at least the next 18 months to stem the growing toll, and pave the way to rebuild livelihoods.
The UN agencies issued the report as they took action to help displaced and other conflict-affected families gain immediate access to food and cash while also preparing for a crucial planting season, which will help families produce food and income for the long term.
The report said widespread conflict since December 2012 has caused the destruction of livelihoods, loss of food and cash crops, livestock and crucial productive assets across the country.
The report (“Special Report, FAO/WFP Markets and Food Security Assessment Mission to the Central African Republic ”, April 7, 2014) said:
1. The country’s vital agricultural sector contracted by nearly 37 percent in 2013 and business-persons once managing most of the trade and transport activities have left the country. Agriculture, the backbone of the economy providing some 57 percent of GDP, was the hardest-hit of all sectors. This, coupled with a shortage of adequate vehicles, is severely affecting internal commerce, the availability of food and the import-export market.
2. Prices of most agricultural commodities are currently lower than their pre-crisis levels due to a depressed local demand which more than compensated for the sharply reduced supply. By contrast, prices of meat and fish are well above their levels of early 2013.
3. In 2013 the GDP of the country was 28.3 percent less than in 2012.
4. Imports from neighboring countries declined by 25.7 percent in 2013 and the movement of locally produced food commodities from surplus producing areas to deficit areas was severely restricted.
5. Commerce and transport sectors are currently a fraction of their pre-crisis levels. The onset of the rainy season is expected to disrupt the already inadequate road transportation network, limiting the window of opportunity for humanitarian interventions. Pre-positioning of agricultural inputs and food stocks is also becoming a huge challenge.
6. Prospects for the 2014 cropping season, beginning from March/April, are grim given the level of insecurity and lack of agricultural inputs.
A humanitarian system-wide Level 3 emergency response, whose immediate objective is saving lives and protecting livelihoods, was declared on December 11, 2013 in CAR.
Since early 2013, the people of the country have been facing serious challenges in accessing food due to reduced supplies, trade disruption and loss of purchasing power. Unemployment is rampant in all sectors, both formal and informal, and civil servants have not been paid for several months. Unprecedented civil conflict and insecurity have severely affected economic activity and devastated livelihoods in the African country.
There has been a drastic loss of dietary diversity, and a sharply reduced intake of animal proteins, which raises serious concerns for family nutrition and health, especially among children.

"First and foremost, we need to see violence stop. At the same time, we need to help save lives and rebuild livelihoods," said Arif Husain, Chief Economist at WFP.
The rainy season from this month poses a severe challenge to the already inadequate road network, threatening to make many places inaccessible by road and hindering pre-positioning of food stocks and agricultural inputs.
FAO’s two-pronged approach to improve food security in the CAR includes providing essential agricultural inputs such as seeds and tools to about 75 000 households in time for the planting period starting in April, and a comprehensive plan to help over 400 farmer groups and women’s associations recover their livelihoods and build resilience.
WFP is assisting 1.25 million women, children and men in the country. The UN agency provides food assistance to internally displaced people, nutrition support to malnourished children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and individuals with HIV/AIDS and emergency school meals for children.
But due to fund shortage vulnerable and displaced people were receiving half-rations with fewer types of food.
So far, FAO has distributed 12.5 tonnes of seeds. The UN agency is planning to distribute about 1 800 tonnes of seeds in mid-April to nearly 76 000 households. WFP plans to distribute food rations to the same beneficiaries to reduce the risk that vulnerable families will consume seeds for food or feed instead of planting them.
The 2014 lean season started at least two months earlier, exacerbating the strain on coping mechanisms of vulnerable groups.”



Mali: Alles unter Kontrolle?

Dienstag, Oktober 1st, 2013

“Mali president to cut short France trip

Monday, 30 September 2013 20:10
By Agencies

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita will cut short a visit to France amid renewed fighting between fighters and the military in the African nation.

Fighters launched a fresh attack against the Malian army in the rebel bastion of Kidal on Monday, the military told AFP, after weekend violence following the breakdown of peace talks.

Keita will meet French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday morning as scheduled but will then return home, shortening his trip by two days, a source in his entourage in Paris said.

“The situation demands his presence and if it wasn’t for the meeting [with Hollande] he would already have returned,” he added.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which is fighting for autonomy in northern Mali, ambushed soldiers at a bank, the scene of a fierce firefight on Sunday night, a senior Malian army officer told the AFP news agency.

“Our position at the bank in Kidal was attacked early this (Monday) morning by MNLA troops. We responded and we have brought the situation under control,” the officer said.

‘Army has agreed to leave’

Panicked residents ran back into their homes in the busy downtown area as gunshots rang out around 7:00 am [0700 GMT], an aide of the regional governor Adama Kamissoko said.

An African military source from the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping force in Mali told AFP around four hours later that the fighting had stopped but he was not able to say if there had been injuries or deaths.

“MINUSMA has arrived and calmed the situation for the moment. MINUSMA will take control of the bank, and the Malian army has agreed to leave,” he said.

“We have asked each side to go back to its own camp, including reinforcements from the Malian army and rebels who arrived in the city yesterday. The situation is calm for the moment.”

The MNLA, the main Tuareg group involved in peace talks between rebels and the government which broke down on Thursday, said three of its fighters had been wounded during Sunday’s gun battle, which lasted more than an hour.

The clashes in Kidal followed two attacks on soldiers since Tuareg rebels pulled out of the talks, dealing a blow to hopes of a durable peace in the troubled west African nation.”


(Quelle: MWC News.)

Siehe auch:

Malian soldiers and Taureg separatists clash
● Dossier “Der Mali Konflikt”