Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

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.)

Uganda: Homophobie (Radio-Tipp)

Sonntag, Juni 2nd, 2013

“Warum musste David Kato sterben?

Das gefährliche Leben der Kuchus von Uganda

Von Georg Roloff

Am 26. Januar 2011 wurde in Ugandas Hauptstadt Kampala der prominente Schwulenaktivist David Kato in seinem Haus mit einem Hammer erschlagen. Im November desselben Jahres verurteilte ein Gericht den geständigen Hilfsarbeiter Sydney Nsubuga in einem beschleunigten Verfahren zu 30 Jahren Haft.

Kein Grund, den Fall zu den Akten zu legen, meinten nicht nur Menschen, die David Kato nahestanden. Doch die Aufklärung des Mordes und seiner Hintergründe lassen auf sich warten.

Wenige Wochen vor dem Attentat hatte Kato einen Prozess gegen das lokale Boulevardblatt Rolling Stone gewonnen. Es führte eine beispiellose Hetzkampagne gegen Schwule, mit Fotos, Adressen und Telefonnummern der “100 Top Homos” und titelte: “Hängt sie auf!” In Uganda gilt die Homosexualität als Kapitalverbrechen.

Lebenslänglich erhält, wer schwul ist und homosexuelle Handlungen begeht. Drei Jahre Gefängnis, wer einen Homosexuellen kennt und ihn nicht binnen 24 Stunden der Polizei meldet.

Das Feature berichtet von einem Klima des Hasses gegenüber “Kuchus”, Angehörige sexueller Minderheiten, in einem Land, in dem der prominente evangelikale Pastor Martin Ssempa predigt, dass Uganda von Gott selbst auserwählt sei, bei der Lösung der Schwulenfrage voranzugehen.”

Sender:     Deutschlandfunk

Sendedatum: 11.06.2013

Sendezeit:   19:15 – 20:00 Uhr

 

(Quelle: Deutschlandfunk.)

Global: Die wunderbare Welt des CO2 (Teil 2)

Dienstag, Dezember 4th, 2012

Share of global emissions (% world total 2010)

 

Klima_2.1

(Tabelle aus: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012, S. 17, 18
Download des o. g. Reports hier.)

 

(Quelle: United Nations Environment Programme: The Emissions Gap Report 2012)

BRD / Afrika: Selbst schuld?

Dienstag, April 17th, 2012

“Bundesregierung lehnt Exportbeschränkungen für Altkleider ab

Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung/Antwort – 02.04.2012

Berlin: (hib/AHE) Der Bundesregierung liegen keine Erkenntnisse vor, dass Altkleiderexporte aus Deutschland „einen der wesentlichen Hinderungsgründe für den Aufbau einer eigenen, wettbewerbsfähigen Textilindustrie in Entwicklungsländern“ darstellen. Wie es in einer Antwort (17/8690) auf eine Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (17/8528) weiter heißt, sei der Rückgang der lokalen Produktion zum Teil auch auf „wirtschaftliche und handelspolitische Probleme des jeweiligen Entwicklungslandes“ zurückzuführen. Dazu zählten unter anderem „mangelnde Produktivität von Betrieben“, staatliche Eingriffe und Wettbewerbsverzerrungen durch Importzölle.

Die Bundesregierung weist in diesem Zusammenhang darauf hin, dass den betroffenen Ländern „geeignete außenhandelspolitische Instrumente“ zur Steuerung von Altkleiderimporten zur Verfügung stünden. Eine Exportbeschränkung für Altkleider lehnt die Bundesregierung ab. Wie sie in der Antwort weiter ausführt, würden Länder wie Kenia, Kamerun, Tansania, Malawi, Uganda und Liberia nach Schätzungen des International Trade Centre (ITC) 60 bis 80 Prozent des Kleidungsbedarfs durch Altkleider decken.”

 

(Quelle: Deutscher Bundestag.)

Siehe auch:

Das Kilo für 1,20 Dollar. Das große Geschäft mit den Kleiderspenden aus Deutschland
“Das Gefühl für den Wert der Kleidung verloren”
Gebrauchtkleiderexporte im Blickpunkt

Global: Gewalt gegen Frauen in Minderheiten

Freitag, Juli 8th, 2011

“Minority Women Fight Back Against Mistreatment

By Elizabeth Whitman

Women in minority and indigenous communities are especially vulnerable to wide-ranging forms of violence, abuse and discrimination, according to a new report released Wednesday by Minority Rights Group International (MRG), a human rights group that works on behalf of minorities and indigenous peoples.

With limited access to political mechanisms of justice and protection, they are disproportionately the targets of attacks and discrimination, during times of conflict or peace, the report said.

Dalits in India, Muslims in Britain, Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan, Batwas in Uganda, Aborigines in Australia – these are just a few of the communities spanning the globe who are sometimes welcomed, but more often not, by the dominant national cultures.

The disproportionate levels of abuse and discrimination that these women face – including rape, other forms of sexual violence, and trafficking, from government forces, paramilitaries, or members of their own communities – can be attributed to the fact that their identity exists at the intersection of two rather marginalised groups, women and minorities, making them easy targets.

In spite of the compound disadvantage, these women are standing up for themselves and challenging the status quo, even as government policies fail to provide the rights and protections they deserve, or, in some cases, attempt to write discrimination into their very laws.

One hundred percent of Batwa women in Uganda interviewed by MRG said that they had experienced some form of violence, whether ongoing or in the past year.

Dalit women in India experience horrific discrimination as part of the “Untouchables” within the traditional caste system. Even though “untouchability” is illegal according to India’s constitution, in practice, it is alive and pervasive in many forms.

In Kyrgyzstan in June 2010, ethnic Uzbek girls and women were subject to widespread rape and sexual violence. Yet in women’s crisis centres sympathetic to them, they could not receive residential support due to “hostility among ethnic Kyrgyz clients”, the report said.

Speaking up

In countries where discrimination towards minorities is the norm, women from these groups have a particularly difficult time ensuring that they are protected, in law and in reality, from attacks and that perpetrators do not enjoy impunity, especially where socio-economic and geographic factors entrench discriminatory practices further.

Because minority and indigenous women often hail from poor socioeconomic backgrounds and remote areas, they have less access to education, employment, or justice. Without these opportunities, their channels through which to fight violence and discrimination are extremely limited, and opportunities to ameliorate the situation are scarce.

Nevertheless, “many are actively fighting for their rights as women, for the rights of their communities and for their rights as minority or indigenous women,” the report stated, even at the risk of violent reprisals from majority communities or their own.

Dalit women “have come out very powerfully to fight for their rights and for justice,” said Manjula Pradeep, executive director of Navsarjan, a grassroots Dalit human rights organisation.. “They are the ones that are really fighting for the rights,” even if they receive little support from families and community members, she said.

For instance, over the nearly two decades that Pradeep has worked with Navsarjan, she has witnessed a shift in reportage of cases of abuse. When she first began, few cases of violence against Dalit women were reported to police. Now, she says, women are coming out and speaking about sexual abuse by landlords and employers.

The double standard applied to Dalit women exemplifies the horrors they face. “At one level you don’t allow a Dalit woman to fetch water from a public well, but on the other side you rape the woman,” Pradeep said. “At one level you see her as a defiled person, somebody who is very impure, but you rape the same woman.”

Developed countries have poor records too

Politicians in the developed world sometimes speak as if the violation of women’s rights was simply a problem in the developing world,” Mark Lattimer, executive director of MRG, told IPS, “but the evidence shows that that is simply not the case.

In Australia, for instance, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women determined that indigenous women “have fewer opportunities, are less likely to participate in public life, and have more restricted access to justice, and to quality education, health care and legal aid services.”

In Britain, Muslim women endure verbal and physical assault, and different countries in Europe have sought to ban the hijab or fine those wearing it.

Nor is discrimination limited to the practices of daily life – it reaches the higher echelons of society as well. Lattimer noted that “in almost every developed democracy, minority women are grossly underrepresented in politics, in the judiciary, in corporate boardrooms and in other positions of power and influence.”

What we need to do is listen to women who speak out and risk their lives to protect their rights, he concluded, “and take seriously their own recommendations for how their rights should be protected.”

(END)

 

(Quelle: IPS News.)

Libyen: Das grosse Schachbrett

Donnerstag, Juli 7th, 2011

“Libya as Proxy

BRICS vs. G7

By VIJAY PRASHAD

If the media in the G7 states bothered to report it, they mocked the two visits of the World Chess Federation president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to Tripoli. Was Qaddafi playing chess while his country burned? Ilyumzhinov is not a chess maestro. From 1993 to 2010, he was the president of Kalmykia, a small republic in the CIS. Ilyumzhinov became head of the Chess Federation in 1995, using that post to bring the championships to the capital of Kalmykia, Elista, several times, as well as once trying to hold it in Baghdad (1996) and once holding it in Tripoli (2004). His chess might not be at the standard of Viswanath Anand or Boris Gelfand, but he is as eccentric as some of the leading chess players (he believes that aliens gifted chess to our planet).

On June 12, Ilyumzhinov was in Tripoli playing Qaddafi. When it became clear that he would win, Ilyumzhinov declared the game a draw. After the trip, Russia’s Africa envoy, Mikhail Mergelov said that he spoke to Ilyumzhinov before his trip, “I advised him to play white and to give Qaddafi to understand that he was nearing an end game.”

Russia often sends mysterious couriers to carry its messages. Ilyumzhinov went to Baghdad shortly before the Gulf War re-opened in 2003, where he met Saddam Hussein’s son Uday. What message did he carry then, and what message will he carry now?

On July 3-4, the Russia-NATO Council met in Sochi, the Black Sea resort. The main item on the agenda was for NATO to smooth Russia’s ruffled feathers. The Council was created in 2002 to make sure that the increased tensions between the two did not detract from Russia’s support of the War on Terror. NATO’s gradual march eastward, attracting former Eastern bloc states into its agenda came just after NATO’s air war in Yugoslavia (1999) and its war in Afghanistan (2001 onward). All this looked to Moscow like encirclement. Bush’s insistence upon missile defense, and the U. S. push to bring NATO into its missile defense plans rattled Moscow. The war over South Ossetia in 2008 allowed Moscow to flex its muscles.

Over the past decade, Russia has moved closer to the new formation that comes out of the Non-Aligned Movement, the G-15 and the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) formation. China joined IBSA to block the new trade rules that would have gone through in Cancun (2003) and to formulate a common agenda at the Copenhagen (2009) meeting on climate. These discussions and the creation of a common platform produced the BRICS formation, which met earlier this year at Hainan, China. Russia, long adrift somewhere between its own Cold War past and Boris Yeltin’s subservience to the U. S., found a new diplomatic purchase with the locomotives of the Global South.

At Hainan, in April, the BRICS powers strongly criticized NATO’s war on Libya, and formulated the principles that would appear in the African Union High Level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya’s June 15 statement to the UN. BRICS held out for a negotiated settlement. Ruhakana Rugunda, of Uganda, represented the AU at the UN meeting, where he pointedly noted, “It is unwise for certain players to be intoxicated with technological superiority and begin to think they alone can alter the course of human history towards freedom for the whole of mankind. Certainly, no constellation of states should think that they can recreate hegemony over Africa” (Rugunda was the Ugandan representative to the UN, and has now been moved to a domestic cabinet post). The AU told the UN that given its experience in Burundi, in particular, it would be able to handle the negotiation and the transition in Libya.

It was in this context that the Russians involved themselves in the Libyan stalemate, with some chess diplomacy at the same time as they tried to push back in the halls of NATO. At Sochi, Russian president Medvedev invited South African president Jacob Zuma, who has been at the head of the AU’s attempts in Libya, to join the deliberations. Zuma told the NATO chiefs that they had overstepped the UN Resolutions (1970 and 1973), and that the only way forward was negotiations. If the NATO chiefs could pressure the Benghazi Transitional Council to back down from its maximalist position (Qaddafi must go immediately), Zuma suggested, the way could open for peace talks. The NATO chiefs listened to Zuma tell them about the AU’s Framework Agreement on a Political Settlement, and watched Medvedev applaud the AU for its work and offer his support to the Framework and the AU’s Roadmap. Russia and the AU offered to lean on Qaddafi to abide by the terms of the Roadmap, and they wanted NATO to lean on the Transitional Council to do the same.

NATO left Sochi indifferent to Russian concerns over missile defense, with anodyne promises over progress at their next meeting in Chicago. On Libya, there was no progress. Libya is the first battleground of a new “cold war,” this one not between the U. S, and the Russia, but between the G7 (and its military arm, NATO) and the BRICS (who have not much of a military arm). The G7 commands the skies and, increasingly shakily, the rhetoric of freedom, but it does not have a sustainable economic base and no sense of a political process that does not come with aerial bombardment.

The BRICS failed to gather around their candidate for the IMF post, and so far have failed to articulate an alternative to the deflationary strategies of the international financial organizations. On the politics of economics, in other words, BRICS have been less successful. On the question of international politics, they have been a bother to the G7. On Syria, the BRICS will not allow any strong UN resolution. The grounds are that NATO misused Resolution 1973 on Libya, and it would do the same in Syria (the G7’s case on Syria was made by the French representative to the UN Gérard Araud on June 13 in O Estado de Sao Paulo, to win over the Brazilians away from what the French see as South African obduracy). The BRICS tried to stop Resolution 1973 in the first instance, but Zuma, at that time, buckled after a personal phone call from Obama. His militancy now is perhaps compensation for South Africa ditching the BRICS bloc then.

Ilyumzhinov, now more openly Russia’s envoy to Libya, arrived in Tripoli over the weekend. He met with Qaddafi’s son Muhammed, who is actually a good chess player and heads the official chess federation. Ilyumzhinov was told that Qaddafi plans to die on Libyan soil, although a senior Russian official told Kommersant that Qaddafi has hinted that he would give up power “in exchange for security guarantees.” He won’t leave prior to negotiations, however, and the Benghazi leadership won’t talk unless he leaves: that is the main stalemate. Benghazi reflects NATO’s view. The BRICS are no longer invested in Qaddafi’s maintenance (you don’t hear “brother leader” in the AU meetings any longer). They simply want to find a rational way to end the conflict. The Libyan war is no longer about Libya alone, nor about the Arab Spring. It is a test case for the transition from the “American Century” to the era of the South’s locomotives. The U. S. and the G7 will not allow for a graceful transition. History will judge them poorly for their stubbornness.

Vijay will be speaking tonight in Boston on Arab Spring-Libyan Winter. Click here for details.

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, won the Muzaffar Ahmad Book Prize for 2009. The Swedish and French editions are just out. CounterPunchers in the Boston area can hear Prashad live here on July 7. He can be reached at: vijay.prashad@trincoll.edu

 

(Quelle: CounterPunch.)