organization:united nations

  • ▶ Ghost of Rwanda - Un documentaire de deux heures sur le génocide Rwandais

    Request to all the members of the United Nations (UN) and beyond concerning international support saving Europe, America and finally the rest of the world from total destruction by stopping Agenda 21 and still implementing the on January 25, 1944 by de Belgian King Leopold III completed, but for public withheld “political testament” which is still to be carried out as the Belgian Constitution provides

    #rwanda #génocide

  • The energy revolution is in reverse | Climate News Network

    By Henner Weithöner

    The UN climate panel’s prescription for tackling climate change is admirably clear. The problem is that the world is heading in precisely the opposite direction.

    BERLIN, 18 April – Keeping the rise in global average temperatures to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels will not be prohibitively expensive, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says, though it won’t be easy.

    There’s just one problem: the atmospheric facts show that the world is not simply ignoring the IPCC. It’s moving smartly away from the clean energy future that the Panel says is attainable towards an inexorably hotter and more risky future.

    #climat #énergie

  • Special Tribunal for #Lebanon aims to stifle Lebanese press

    Saad #Hariri, the son of #Lebanon's assassinated ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, recites the Fatiha or the prayer of the dead over the tomb of his father in downtown Beirut late 30 May 2007, after the UN vote to set up an international court to try the murder suspects. (Photo: AFP-Patrick Baz)

    A plan to stifle the Lebanese press is in the works, but this time it’s being orchestrated in the name of international justice. The #Special_Tribunal_for_Lebanon (STL) has moved to force the Lebanese media to refrain from publishing any information about the court’s work that the #STL does not disclose officially. Their decision undercuts a main prerogative of the press and aims to turn the Lebanese media into a mouthpiece for the STL. read (...)

    #Al-Jadid #Articles #Future_TV #New_TV

    • The Hariri International Kangaroo tribunal

      Because the US and Israel are behind the Hariri international tribunal, and because Saudi Arabia and its camp in Lebanon are supportive, the court is permitted to issue decrees that would not even be permitted in any Western country.  This week, it issued yet another decree in which it said that defaming the court would lead to a 100,000 euros and seven years in jail.  It also banned any use of secret information, which have been leaking from inside the court since its inception.  Hell, New TV aired footage of the second in command of the Hariri court investigation in which he was seen taking bribes on camera.  False witnesses were used as basis of crazy scenarios and then discarded without explanation.  Four Lebanese generals were held as being responsible before being released for non-involvement.  The court went through so many tracks of theories before settling on the Hizbullah track.  Defaming this lousy court is a patriotic and national duty for the Lebanese people.

  • Israel’s blockade of Gaza the “longest in history,” says new UNRWA head

    Israel’s seven-year blockade of the Gaza Strip is the “longest in history,” according to the newly-appointed United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

    Speaking at a conference in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Wednesday, Krahenbuhl said that the blockade was being used to collectively punish the Palestinian people – an issue that would be the focal point of his future discussions in the region.

    During his first visit to Gaza, Krahenbuhl urged world leaders to help the Palestinians end the Israeli blockade, which was imposed on Gaza soon after the Hamas Islamic Movement seized control of the enclave by force in 2007.

    “It is clear that this amounts to a very extreme form and illegal collective punishment that will be also at the heart of all of the advocacy work that UNRWA carries out,” Krahenbuhl said.

    He added that the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian enclave were clearly apparent.

    UNRWA currently provides aid to some 800,000 refugees in the territory, as compared to some 80,000 in 2000, Krahenbuhl said. He promised that UNRWA, despite its limited budget, would do its best to reach more poor people in Gaza.

    Krahenbuhl added that he would brief Israeli officials on conditions in Gaza, noting that the UNRWA was determined to find a solution to the crisis.

  • Abbas insiste sur le fait que « les Palestiniens » ont choisi de signer spécifiquement ces 15 Conventions internationales parce qu’elles ne nuisent en rien à Israël :

    During the meeting Abbas stressed that the 15 international conventions that the Palestinians sought to join were chosen specifically because they did not harm Israel in any way. “We joined the conventions on the rights of the child and the fight against discrimination against women,” he said. “We deliberately did not approach the International Court at the Hague or United Nations agencies.”

    • Why Israeli Officials are Chuckling

      These days, said Elkin with a chuckle, the West Bank is “the most stable part of the Middle East”.

      The bewilderment would stem from the fact that the West Bank is an occupied Palestinian territory. Its population is held at gunpoint; they have no freedom, and enjoy no rights. Their land is seized by force to make room for more settlements and illegal Jewish settlers, now numbering well passed the half million mark.

      Needless to say, the West Bank should not be stable.

      Instead, Palestinians should be leading their own revolution until they achieve their full rights and freedom. This is not a call for violence, but a natural human course. However, Palestinians are not rebelling. Many factors are holding them back, one of which is the very Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Its troops are in constant ‘security coordinations’ with Israel. Its ‘elite forces’ are trained by US generals and Arab armies. The PA mission is not to liberate Palestine, but to ensure the subservience of the Palestinians while Israel carries on with a colonial project that has extended for decades.

  • AP NewsBreak: #Iran cuts nuke weapons ability - Yahoo News

    The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran’s ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade uranium, diplomats said Tuesday.

    The move is part of Iran’s commitments under a deal with six world powers in effect since January that mandates some nuclear concessions on the part of Tehran in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions crippling its economy.

  • General Strike and Protests as SCC Slams Parliament’s Failure to Approve Wage Scale

    The Syndicate Coordination Committee held on Wednesday a protest near the education ministry in Beirut’s UNESCO area to pressure MPs into approving the pay hike.

    Similar sit-ins were held near government headquarters in different cities, including Tripoli and Zahle, a day after the legislature failed to decide on the wage scale.

    Beirut’s protesters unleashed their rage at several lawmakers, who on Tuesday voted in favor of a proposal to form a parliamentary committee to reconsider the draft-law.

    They criticized al-Mustaqbal MP Fouad Saniora, who had made the proposal, and Lebanese Forces lawmaker George Adwan for making a suggestion to postpone parliamentary discussions on the pay hike draft-law for 15 days.

    Several parliamentary blocs have expressed fears that Lebanon’s economy would collapse if the appropriate means to fund the pay hike were not found.

    The parliament’s move angered the SCC, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, which called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

  • [Info-Palestine] - Les réfugiés palestiniens de Syrie, abandonnés à leurs souffrances par la Jordanie

    Au centre d’un imbroglio

    Les autorités jordaniennes se sont montrées réceptives à la situation des réfugiés syriens en leur accordant des services humanitaires et en acceptant le soutien apporté par le Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, alors que les réfugiés palestiniens de Syrie ont rarement droit à ces services.

    De plus, on sait que le gouvernement jordanien renvoie en Syrie les réfugiés palestiniens qui ont réussi à entrer en Jordanie, les privant ainsi de leur droit à la survie.

    Une telle politique constitue une violation du principe du non-refoulement, principe du droit international qui interdit de renvoyer un réfugié vers une zone où sa vie ou sa liberté pourraient être menacée.

    En février 2014, plus de 11 000 réfugiés palestiniens ayant fui la Syrie ont cherché à obtenir l’aide de l’UNRWA en Jordanie. Selon l’UNRWA, ce chiffre devrait approcher la barre des 20 000 réfugiés d’ici la fin de l’année 2014 en Jordanie.

    L’UNRWA reconnaît que « la situation irrégulière des réfugiés palestiniens de Syrie en Jordanie atteste du degré considérable d’insécurité qui les menace. Ils sont confrontés à des difficultés dans les procédures civiles telles que l’enregistrement des naissances et l’accès aux services gouvernementaux ; de même, ils se retrouvent constamment exposés au risque d’être refoulés ».

    Plus la guerre civile syrienne durera, plus il deviendra difficile pour les réfugiés palestiniens de Syrie de se déplacer en Jordanie. Les réfugiés palestiniens sont confrontés à une chasse aux sorcières systématique face aux autorités jordaniennes ayant décidé de sévir contre les civils qui ont fui une guerre dévastatrice.

    Au milieu de l’année 2012, les autorités jordaniennes ont commencé à refuser l’entrée dans le territoire à de nombreuses familles palestino-syriennes, qui ont essayé en vain de trouver refuge en Jordanie.

    Cette traque des palestiniens de Syrie en Jordanie est directement liée aux « pourparlers de paix » négociés par les États-Unis. Alors que le président de l’Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas, basé à Ramallah, a indiqué à plusieurs reprises qu’il était prêt à renoncer au droit au retour des réfugiés palestiniens, certains Jordaniens ont exprimé leur refus de voir leur pays devenir une alternative permanente pour quelque deux millions de réfugiés palestiniens ; ainsi, chaque « nouvel » arrivant palestinien dans le pays est considéré comme un Palestinien de trop.

    Il y a une semaine, le Premier ministre jordanien Abdullah Ensour s’est exprimé ainsi : « Nous devons prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour éviter que la Jordanie devienne une patrie de substitution pour les Palestiniens ». Une déclaration qui ne tient pas compte du fait que ces Palestiniens qui fuient la guerre en Syrie sont des êtres humains avant d’être des Palestiniens (« PM : Jordan will not be a substitute homeland for Palestinians », Jordan News Agency (Petra), 26 février 2014).

  • Israël prisonniers palestiniens
    ""Le prix de notre liberté c’est leur emprisonnement. Nous sommes devenus une nation de gardiens de prison"

    Pouring out our wrath
    By Yitzhak Laor | Apr. 14, 2014

    he Israelis are not bad people, no worse than others, but for 46 years they have sat down to the holiday table after hearing the news, “With the onset of the holiday, a total closure has been imposed on the territories,” whose logic is: “Our freedom = their oppression.” Language, an effective collaborator, helps normalize the ongoing scandal: a “temporary” military regime that is expanding and settling in.

    Let’s put aside the question of how the legal status of the territories is defined, or how Israel’s control over them is justified. The mechanism of control is what creates the oppressor, with the help of constant infusion of colonialist logic into our consciousness.

    For example, what is the meaning of the government’s sanctions against the Palestinian Authority? You are turning to the United Nations regarding your freedom, that’s why we are suffocating you more, because we are the ones who decide what you are allowed and not allowed to do about your freedom. We are strong, and we are allowed to break into your homes, to spread out over your land and your water. And all that is part of the normal situation, of “negotiations.” And it will go on and on. Our television commentators, dressed in their blazers and omniscience, were born into this, and even when they retire in their old age it will go on. That’s the normalization process. Everything is “temporary” and everything is permanent.

    Sometimes a little scandal that has yet to be normalized erupts. Settlers set military equipment on fire. The soldiers were helpless, they didn’t fire their weapons, the public is told, and good that they didn’t. The Shin Bet, they hint to us, does not torture settlers to get them to sign a confession, to convict and imprison them, and good that they don’t. And the settlers were also careful not to beat the soldiers.

    Such are the rules of grammar: A Jew cannot be arrested without trial, the law of habeus corpus is valid here, beating is forbidden, torture is forbidden. On the Arab corpus, it’s permitted. They are imprisoned, without a problem, for years in nonsensical procedures, on confessions extorted by force, they are closed behind walls — let them push their way to the fences to make a living, to be healed, to live, to be dependent on us. Here in these rules the consensus is engraved, broader and deeper and more hidden than we like to think, occasionally, in times of scandal such as Yitzhar. At all other times, the entire nation, the one that is celebrating its freedom this evening, lives untroubled with the hidden wall of apartheid: Jewish freedom is engraved on the Arab body.

  • Israel’s UN ambassador is going overboard with the ’anti-Semitism’ charge - Haaretz
    By Amira Hass | Apr. 14, 2014

    Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, has found his new anti-Semite of the hour: Dr. Rima Khalaf, UN undersecretary general and executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. In two letters sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the past month, Prosor calls for Khalaf’s suspension until an investigation, which he demands be conducted, is completed.

    The first letter was sent on March 5, the second on April 7. In the first, Prosor refers to a February 25 speech by Khalaf in Tunisia; Prosor says Khalaf falsely accused Israel of violating minority rights and reviving the idea of “state ethnic and religious purity, which caused egregious human suffering during the twentieth century.” Prosor adds: “As you are well aware, Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that safeguards and empowers its minorities.”

    In the first letter, Prosor does not mention the occasion on which Khalaf gave her speech: the presentation of the report “Arab Integration – A 21st-Century Development Imperative,” initiated by the commission she heads. The 300-page report (including appendices) was two years in the making. The research and analysis were conducted by a wide spectrum of academics, intellectuals, writers and artists from Arab countries — both establishment and opposition figures, right-wingers and left-wingers, neoliberals and socialists, secular and religious people.

    Inspired by the uprisings in the Arab world, the report proposes a vision: the establishment of a united political, cultural and economic entity based on reforms that aim for equality. Integration is seen as an objective and a means to extricate the Arabs from chronic “oppression, foreign intervention and stifled development.” In the document’s preface, Khalaf replies to skeptics with something along the lines of “If you will it, it is no dream.”

    Was Prosor aware of the report? I posed this question to the Foreign Ministry three weeks ago, but the strike at the time by the ministry staff left me without an answer. The UN secretary general’s office said two weeks ago it plans to respond to Prosor, a response that obviously has not yet been sent because the ambassador wrote a second letter, which refers to the report.

    Hitler’s role

    The following are the diplomat’s words in his April 7 letter. “Ms. Khalaf may have a PhD in Systems Science, but she deserves a PhD in science fiction …. Ms. Khalaf also preposterously claims that Hitler, who was responsible for the murder of six million Jews, sought to create a safe haven for the Jewish people in the Middle East.” (I have not found any such statement in the report. If Khalaf said this elsewhere, Prosor provides no citation, and I was unable to find any such reference on Google.)

    Hitler is mentioned as having held a negative view similar to Britain’s on the subject of Arab unity. “Arab unity was incompatible with the Transfer Agreement [Hitler] had concluded with the Zionist movement to facilitate the emigration of German Jews to Palestine,” the report says. Prosor charges that the report “goes so far as to accuse Israel of fostering discord and instigating regional conflicts.” Such accusations “represent the epitome of modern-day anti-Semitism,” he writes.

    Yes, several pages of the report are devoted to Israel in terms of Western-colonialist control of the region, the dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948, the occupation in 1967 and the wars since then. Yes, the description is not flattering. The report’s references to Nazi Germany evade that regime’s systematic murderous nature.

    The essence of the report

    But the lion’s share of the report is inward-looking, at the Arab world, as the following statements from the document illustrate:

    “The Arab popular uprisings were triggered by young Arabs who finally took a stand against long-running tyranny and oppression.”

    International and regional conflicts infiltrated the Syrian uprising, transforming the conflict from one between the regime and pro-democracy opponents, to a geopolitical struggle over Syria in which the Syrian people are perhaps the greatest losers.”

    “In the absence of democratic governance and equal citizenship rights in most Arab countries, poor integration has stoked ethnic, religious and sectarian identity conflicts.”

    “A fifth of the population of the Arab region is poor, and it is the only region that has not achieved any significant progress in poverty reduction in the past two decades.”

    “Arab countries spend more on defense or consumer goods than on scientific research and technological development.”

    “The crisis of the Arab Islamic culture has produced groups with extreme and exclusionary doctrines that limit public rights and freedoms – especially those of women and non-Muslims. These groups seek to impose a rigid version of sharia on society.”

    The report does not explain how the united Arab nation will overcome a problem that has plagued long-standing democracies: the concentration of resources and the accumulation of capital in the hands of the few — resources and capital that are the product of the majority.

    But that’s not what worries Prosor. His aggressive demand for Khalaf’s dismissal reflects Israel’s deep disdain for the countries of the region in which we live and for the issues that concern them. The excessive use by him and his ilk of the “anti-Semitism” charge is bringing us closer to the day when “anti-Semite” is a compliment.

  • #Palestinian_refugees from #Yarmouk continue to suffer in #Gaza

    Palestinians carry containers filled with water from standpipes provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on April 5, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib) Palestinians carry containers filled with water from standpipes provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on April 5, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib)

    “What is happening? When we first came, everyone said don’t worry about anything…But when we got here, we found the complete opposite,” said the refugees who came from the camps in #syria to “a part” of their homeland in in the Gaza Strip. When they first fled, (...)

    #Culture_&_Society #Articles #Hamas #Ismail_Haniyeh #Palestine

  • #Iran defiant after #US denies visa to proposed #UN envoy

    An undated handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian president on April 11, 2014 shows Tehran’s newly appointed UN ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi who has been denied a US visa. (Photo: AFP / HO / An undated handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian president on April 11, 2014 shows Tehran’s newly appointed UN ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi who has been denied a US visa. (Photo: AFP / HO /

    Iran on Saturday dismissed a US decision to deny a visa to its proposed new envoy to the United Nations, saying it would take up the case directly with the world body. "We do not have a replacement for Mr. Abutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms (...)


  • Harvard faculty demands fossil fuel divestment

    Yesterday, Harvard announced that it would sign onto a UN code for responsible investment – a set of guidelines which prioritises environmental considerations, but does not commit Harvard to divesting its endowment from the fossil fuel industry.

    93 faculty members responded today in an open letter to Harvard University President Drew Faust, accusing her of misconstruing “the purposes and effectiveness of divestment”.

    Although Harvard has around 2,400 faculty members in total, those who support divestment are backed by a growing campaigning movement pushing the cause. According to Go Fossil Free, there are now ten colleges across the US which have committed to pursue fossil fuel divestment.


    In October last year, Harvard said that it would be neither “warranted or wise” to divest its endowment – the largest university endowment in the world – from the fossil fuel industry, on the grounds that it risked politicising the fund, and depriving them of any influence for good they may have over the industry.

    But this stance is “self-contradictory”, said the university’s faculty members, and failed to take into account Harvard’s long history of applying pressure through divestment in past ethical movements.

    “It seems self-contradictory to argue that Harvard owns a very small percentage of shares in a group of stocks … yet can nevertheless exert greater influence on corporate behavior by retaining rather than selling that stock as protest,” they write.

    “If Harvard were a major shareholder, that argument might make sense, but Harvard is not.”

    Harvard currently has US$ 32.6million directly invested in the fossil fuel industry – this reflects a tiny portion of both the university’s own $33bn endowment fund, and the multi-trillion dollar fossil fuel industry.

  • Frozen In Time: The Cyprus Buffer Zone - In Focus - The Atlantic

    This year marks four decades since the Cyprus National Guard staged a coup that led to Turkish military intervention and escalated the civil war between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island. After the ceasefire, a heavily restricted buffer zone, controlled by the United Nations, was established between the north and south. It stretches 180 km (112 mi) across the whole island measuring 7.4 km (4.6 mi) at its widest and 3.3 m (11 ft) at its narrowest point. The demilitarized zone is restricted to the general public and no Greek or Turkish Cypriots are allowed inside. Reuters photographer Neil Hall recently visited the buffer zone, which still contains crumbling relics of times gone by - abandoned houses, businesses, and even an airport - crumbling snapshots of Cyprus in 1974.
    #photographie #ghost_site #Chypre

  • The bullying of Mohammed Kharouki: Lebanese #racism in its crudest form

    A young Syrian refuggee looks at photographers inside a UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) registration center, one of many across #Lebanon, in the northern port city of Tripoli on April 3, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Joseph Eid) A young Syrian refugee looks at photographers inside a UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) registration center, one of many across Lebanon, in the northern port city of Tripoli on April 3, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Joseph Eid)

    Mohammed spent the last two years at the Lycée Phoenix in the Dawhet al-Hoss suburb, where he experienced firsthand the conceit and hostility of the Lebanese in their “crude” and untrimmed and undisguised form – that is, as expressed by children, who learned it by way of their parents. (...)

    #Culture_&_Society #Articles #syria

  • Lebanese Patriarch: Syrian #refugees should remain in #syria

    The head of #Lebanon's Maronite Christian Church suggested on Wednesday that Syrian refugees should be housed in camps inside Syria. The United Nations has registered 1 million refugees in Lebanon since the conflict began three years ago, the highest concentration of refugees worldwide. They are housed in homes and local communities rather than refugee camps. Cardinal #Beshara_al-Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, told a news conference in Geneva that the presence of so many Syrians represented a huge economic, social, political and security burden for Lebanon. read more



    Et si l’on ne travaillait plus que six heures par jour ? C’est ce que propose Mats Pilhem, maire adjoint de Göteborg, en Suède. Le journal The Local explique que ce politicien, membre du parti de gauche, veut mener une expérimentation dans sa ville, en réduisant le nombre d’heures de travail.

    Mercredi 9 avril, il présentera son idée au conseil municipal. Dans deux secteurs de la ville, les employés de l’un travailleront six heures, tandis que dans l’autre, ils continueront de travailler sept heures. « Tous les employés seront payés pareil », explique The Local.....


  • Aujourd’hui, anniversaire du massacre de #Deir_Yassin.

    Deir Yassin Remembered

    Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover.

    In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.

  • Le futur (?) ambassadeur iranien à l’ONU aurait fait partie des étudiants preneurs d’otages de l’ambassade des États-Unis à Téhéran en 1979

    PressTV - Iran’s appointed UN envoy competent for post : Afkham

    Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham says the country’s appointee for the post of ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid Abutalebi, is qualified for the position.

    In our viewpoint, the ambassador who has been introduced is qualified for the position and has had important diplomatic posts in European countries and Australia and has had a good, effective and positive performance during his past [diplomatic] missions,” Afkham told reporters at her weekly press conference on Tuesday.

    She made the remarks in response to a question about whether Iran would propose another person instead of Abutalebi given that the US has voiced concerns about the appointment.

    Aboutalebi’s appointment by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been criticized by the Barack Obama administration, which has described the nomination as “extremely troubling.

    As host nation of the United Nations’ headquarters, the US should admit the chosen representatives of the UN’s members; however, under limited circumstances, it can refuse to grant visas to such representatives.

    Afkham said Iran has done the necessary correspondence for Aboutalebi’s visa application through the appropriate channels, and will make further decisions based on formal and diplomatic response regarding the issue.

    On Monday, the US Senate passed a measure by a voice vote that would bar Aboutalebi from entering the United States for his involvement in the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during post-revolution incidents in 1979. However, the Senate “vote is symbolic because the executive branch issues visas to the U.S.,” according to Bloomberg.

    • Ambassadeur iranien à l’ONU : c’est non pour les É.-U. !
      U.S. Won’t Let Iran Envoy Into The Country |

      Under a 1947 treaty establishing the headquarters of the UN in New York, the U.S. is generally required to expeditiously approve visa requests for UN diplomats. But on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said visas can still be denied on “security, terrorism, and foreign policy” grounds.

      However, neither Psaki nor Carney would expand on the reasons for denying Aboutalebi’s visa.

      We’ve been very clear with the Iranians that this nomination is not viable,” Psaki said Friday. “So there has been no secret of that, but I think they understand what the reasons are.

      We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) said in a statement.

    • Iran rejects naming new UN envoy after US refusal - Houston Chronicle

      Iran rejected naming a new diplomat Saturday to represent it at the United Nations, with one lawmaker urging the Islamic Republic to stand up to “bullying” from the U.S., which has rejected granting its pick a visa.
      Aboutalebi is alleged to have participated in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days during the embassy takeover. He has insisted his involvement in the group Muslim Students Following the Imam’s Line was limited to translation and negotiation. Iran says he is one of the country’s best diplomats, and that he previously received a U.S. visa. He already served at Iranian diplomatic missions in Australia, Belgium and Italy.

  • #UN chief condemns #dutch #priest's murder in #syria

    UN Secretary-General #Ban_Ki-Moon condemned the shooting death Monday of a well-known Dutch priest in Syria as an “inhumane act of violence.” Frans van der Lugt, 75, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in Syria’s besieged city of Homs, was shot dead there by a masked gunman. Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief “demands that warring parties and their supporters ensure that civilians are protected, regardless of their religion, community or ethnic affiliation.” read more

    #Kessab #Top_News

  • US : Stop Blocking Palestinian Rights | Human Rights Watch

    D’après #Samantha_Power, décourager #Israël de commettre des #crimes_de_guerre et des #crimes_contre_l’humanité aurait, je cite, "des effets dévastateurs sur le « processus de paix »...

    J’apprends aussi que Abbas ne peut traîner Israël devant la CPI parce qu’il n’a pas signé le Statut de Rome de ladite CPI, de peur, dit HRW, que des Palestiniens puissent aussi y être traînés (! ?- il me semble que les menaces US doivent jouer un bien plus grand rôle)

    On April 2, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, testified in front of Congress, that in response to the “new Palestinian actions” that the “solemn commitment” by the US to “stand with Israel,” “extends to our firm opposition to any and all unilateral [Palestinian] actions in the international arena.”

    According to Power’s testimony to a congressional subcommitteeon April 2, the US has “a monthly meeting with the Israelis” to coordinate responses to possible Palestinian actions at the UN, which the US is concerned could upset peace negotiations. Power said that the US had been “fighting on every front” before peace negotiations restarted in 2013 to prevent such Palestinian actions. Discussing US legislation that bars US funding from UN agencies that accept Palestine as a member, Power noted, “The spirit behind the legislation is to deter Palestinian action [at the UN], that is what we do all the time and that is what we will continue to do.”

    The US may also fear that the Palestinian moves are only a first step towards joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). But Abbas did not sign the Rome Statute of the ICC, which would allow the court to have jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Palestine or by Palestinians.

    Power, in her remarks, said that the US is “absolutely adamant” that Palestine should not join the ICC because it “really poses a profound threat to Israel” and would be “devastating to the peace process.”

    In either case, the US is mistaken to oppose a step that might lead to greater respect for rights, which could help create a better environment for peace negotiations, Human Rights Watch said.

    “The US should stop allowing its separate concerns to stand in the way of a step that could enhance Palestinian authorities’ and armed groups’ respect for basic rights,” Stork said. “The US made the wrong decision to oppose greater rights protections.”

    On April 1, the day Abbas signed the accession instruments for the treaties, Israel reissued tenders for the construction of 708 settlement housing units in the Israeli settlement of Gilo, while Israeli forces demolished 32 Palestinian-owned homes and other structures in the occupied West Bank, forcibly displacing 60 people, according to data collected by Ir Amim, an Israeli civil society group, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Under the Geneva Conventions and the ICC statute, settlement construction and the deliberate forcible transfer of civilians from their homes and communities in occupied territory are war crimes.

    Israel has ratified core human rights treaties but officially claims that its rights obligations do not extend to Palestinians in the territory it occupies, where it says the laws of armed conflict apply exclusively. UN rights bodies have completely rejected this argument on the basis that an occupying power’s human rights obligations extend to people living under its effective control. Israel additionally claims, also in the face of nearly universal rejection, that the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits transferring its civilian population into occupied territory, does not apply to its settlements in the West Bank.