Posts Tagged ‘Timor’

Österreich: Let’s ban the bombs!

Donnerstag, Dezember 11th, 2014

“Austria pledges to work for a ban on nuclear weapons

Austria pledges to work for a ban on nuclear weapons
Humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons must initiate treaty process in 2015

December 9, 2014

After 44 states called for a prohibition on nuclear weapons at a conference in Vienna on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, Austria delivered the “Austrian pledge” in which it committed to work to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” and pledged “to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal”.

“All states committed to nuclear disarmament must join the Austrian pledge to work towards a treaty to ban nuclear weapons”, said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

“Next year is the 70 year anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that will be a fitting time for negotiations to start on a treaty banning nuclear weapons”, Fihn added.

States that expressed support for a ban treaty at the Vienna Conference include: Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Holy See, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

These announcements were given at a two-day international conference convened in Vienna to examine the consequences of nuclear weapon use, whether intentional or accidental.

Survivors of the nuclear bombings in Japan and of nuclear testing in Australia, Kazakhstan, the Marshall Islands, and the United States, gave powerful testimonies of the horrific effects of nuclear weapons. Their evidence complemented other presentations presenting data and research.

“The consequences of any nuclear weapon use would be devastating, long-lasting, and unacceptable. Governments simply cannot listen to this evidence and hear these human stories without acting”, said Akira Kawasaki, from Japanese NGO Peaceboat. “The only solution is to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons and we need to start now,” Kawasaki added.

For decades, discussions on nuclear weapons have been dominated by the few nuclear-armed states – states that continue to stockpile and maintain over 16,000 warheads. The humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons has prompted a fundamental change in this conversation, with non-nuclear armed states leading the way in a discussion on the actual effects of the weapons.

Unlike the other weapons of mass destruction – chemical and biological – nuclear weapons are not yet prohibited by an international legal treaty. Discussions in Vienna illustrated that the international community is determined to address this. In a statement to the conference, Pope Francis called for nuclear weapons to be “banned once and for all”.

The host of the previous conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Mexico, called for the commencement of a diplomatic process, and South Africa said it was considering its role in future meetings.

“Anyone in Vienna can tell that something new is happening on nuclear weapons. We have had three conferences examining their humanitarian impact, and now with the Austrian pledge we have everything we need for a diplomatic process to start”, said Thomas Nash of UK NGO Article 36.”


(Quelle: ICAN.)

Australien: Schilly lässt grüßen

Samstag, Juli 24th, 2010

TIMOR-LESTE: Activists say no to proposed new refugee centre

Photo: Jesse Wright/IRIN
Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has requested more details of the plan

BANGKOK, 23 July 2010 (IRIN) – Timor-Leste activists have rejected a controversial Australian plan to set up a refugee processing centre in Timor-Leste. The plan was also voted down by the Timorese parliament on 12 July.

“The proposal is yet one more example of how [current and previous] Australian governments continue to abuse the people of Timor-Leste,” Dinorah Granadeiro, executive director of the Timor-Leste NGO Forum, said in a statement by seven Timorese NGOs and civil society groups. “We must be strong and resist such a patronizing suggestion.”

As Australia’s Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre suffers overcrowding, Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 6 July proposed a centre in Timor-Leste – Asia’s newest and one of its poorest nations – to ease the burden.

Like previous offshore centres, the plan would keep refugees at a distance while processing their asylum requests. Gillard was particularly concerned about cutting down on human traffickers who ship refugees to the Australian mainland in rickety boats.

Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has requested that Gillard provide a more detailed plan for the refugee centre, but parliament and civil society groups have said no to Canberra.

“This is not the right time for Timor-Leste to accept the proposition,” said Joao Pequinho, head of Forum Taumatan and signatory of the NGO statement.

The Timorese have suggested that its own people – recovering from brutal Indonesian military rule that ended in 1999 – still face unemployment, hunger and homelessness, and will be clamouring to get into the proposed refugee centre themselves.

“People here will want to apply to be in the centre because the living conditions will be better than their own,” said Charles Scheiner, a researcher at La’o Hamutuk, a civil society organization in Dili. “I haven’t met anyone who thinks it’s a good idea.”

Granadeiro, of Timor-Leste NGO Forum, accused Australia of insulting the Timorese by consulting Indonesia, which invaded the island in 1975 and left more than 200,000 dead during decades of iron-fisted rule.

“Such arrogance towards Timor-Leste can be seen in how it [Australia] seemed more interested in seeking the approval of the Indonesian government before it sought the approval of the Timorese people,” Granadeiro said. “It seems Australia’s attitude towards Timor-Leste has not changed since 1975.”

“Out of sight, out of mind”

The proposal, although not yet fleshed out, has been compared to Australia’s previous “Pacific Solution” that began in 2001, and used three Pacific islands for processing centres for refugees en route to Australia. The centres were closed in 2008 by Kevin Rudd, Gillard’s predecessor who left office on 24 June.

But Gillard’s proposition is part of a bigger problem in Australia, said Jane McAdam, an international refugee law professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

“There’s a huge amount of hostility in the community toward refugees and asylum-seekers because of misinformation,” McAdam said, noting that of the 13,750 refugees the country accepts every year, a couple of thousand come by boat. “Australia has the capacity to deal with it, but it’s more a matter of out of sight, out of mind.”

Experts say a regional processing centre could work, if it cuts down on people smuggling and is genuinely committed to resettling legitimate asylum-seekers. Some believe Timor-Leste has an obligation to help resolve the refugee problem in the region and uphold human rights, but can barely handle its own problems.

“It’s about commitment, moral obligation and humanitarian principles,” said Emanuel Bria, an activist with the Luta Hamutuk organization which works to empower citizens.

“On one hand Timor-Leste has an international responsibility, but on the other hand, Timor-Leste just cannot handle asylum-seekers.”


(Quelle: IRIN News.)

Global: Konstante Zahlen – Binnenvertriebene…

Mittwoch, Juli 21st, 2010

Photo: UN

Das Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) des Norwegian Refugee Councils hat eine tabellarische Übersicht über die geschätzte Zahl der Binnenvertriebenen in den vergangenen zehn Jahren in allen Ländern, die sie überwacht, zusammengestellt.

Die Zahlen aus den Jahren 2001 bis 2009 zeigen, wie viele Menschen intern durch Konflikte, allgemeine Gewalt oder Menschenrechtsverletzungen vertrieben wurden.

Die entsprechende Übersicht finden Sie hier.