organization:un general assembly

  • Netherlands recognize Gaza, West Bank as official Palestinian birthplaces
    Feb. 10, 2019 3:30 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 10, 2019 3:51 P.M.)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians living in the Netherlands will be allowed to register the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as their official place of birth, Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops told the House of Representatives in The Hague.

    The Netherlands, which does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, currently offers Palestinians two options when specifying their birthplace at the Dutch civil registry, the two options are Israel or “unknown.”

    Knops wrote a letter to the House of Representatives, saying that he intends to add the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem to a list of official states used by the Dutch civil registry.

    The new category will be available to Palestinians born after May 15th 1948, the day the British Mandate was officially terminated and Israel became a recognized state.

    In the letter, Knops stated that the new category is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas,” as well as the Netherlands’ refusal to recognize Palestine as a state.

    Knops added that the new category was named based on the Oslo Accords and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
    While the UN General Assembly and at least 136 countries have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state, most of the European Union has refrained from recognition until such status is established peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. (...)

  • UN General Assembly adopts Peasant Rights declaration ! Now focus is on its implementation

    Today, 17 December 2018, the 73 Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73) in New York adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. Now that the declaration is an international legal instrument, La #Via_Campesina (LVC) and its allies will mobilise to support regional and national implementation processes. The final vote of today represents the culmination of a historic process for rural communities. With 121 votes in favour, 8 (...)


    / #Le_Sud_en_mouvement, Via Campesina, #Souveraineté_alimentaire, Agriculture & luttes pour la terre, (...)

    #Agriculture_&_luttes_pour_la_terre #Environnement

  • Those closest to #Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ‘most supportive of peace’

    Those who have experienced the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict first-hand and are most affected by the hostilities are more supportive of peaceful reconciliation, a report from UK-based peacebuilding group International Alert suggests.

    ‘Envisioning Peace’ is the first large-scale study of attitudes towards the conflict since renewed hostilities during the April 2016 Four-Day War.

    The study examined ‘grassroot’ views on Nagorno-Karabakh by those living there and among communities in Azerbaijan and Armenia. Respondents included internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those living near the frontline.

    The study suggested that those most affected by the armed confrontations — living in border communities or near the ceasefire line, and those who had personally faced consequences of the war — were more supportive of peaceful reconciliation with the ‘other’ side.

    ‘These individuals understand the importance of resolving this conflict and can take practical steps to promote peacebuilding initiatives’, said Carey Cavanaugh, the Chairman of the Board of International Alert, who is a former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

    The OSCE Minsk Group, led by Russia, France, and the United States, has been mediating the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh since 1992.

    ‘The further people live from the frontline, the more strongly they speak about patriotism’, the report said.
    Powerlessness to resolve conflict

    The report noted the effects of long-lasting hostilities on the communities they had to adapt to, making the conflict a constant part of their lives. ‘I haven’t even thought about what my life would be like without the conflict’, one interviewee says in the study.

    This sort of coping and a ‘learned helplessness’ — less faith in having a control over one’s surroundings, life, and future — among respondents could have a negative influence on peacebuilding initiatives aimed at conflict transformation, the report suggests.

    Respondents in all three societies expressed a sense of powerlessness in resolving the conflict. This, the study suggests, together with a low trust in external peacebuilding actors like the Minsk Group, the US, and Russia, pose additional challenges to policymakers and peace negotiators.

    Protracted conflict, according to the study, was being accompanied by enemy image propaganda, especially by the Azerbaijani state and media.

    The study reflected contrasting attitudes of Azerbaijanis and Armenians on transforming the years-old ‘no peace no war’ stalemate. According to the report, respondents in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia identified the status quo with ‘stability’, while for Azerbaijanis, it evoked the concept of ‘justice’, which they associate with the ‘return of territories’.

    International Alert called for more support for initiatives that would help all three societies to overcome a trend of devaluing human life, and to explore more about the lives of individuals in the border areas.

    The peacebuilding group also underlined the continued exclusion of refugees in all three societies from the conflict discourse.

    ‘It is important to put the focus back on the individual who has shouldered the heavy burden of war, their feelings, thoughts, fears and hopes. Personal history must be clearly seen and valued. Only then will it become possible to appreciate a person’s worth and activity’, the report reads.

    The group suggests ‘open media projects’ as one of the tools to highlight personal stories.

    [Read on OC Media: ‘I would never return home again’ — the Azerbaijani IDPs as old as the conflict]

    The group advocated for raising awareness of members of the communities about the personal cost of conflict both in humanitarian and economic terms.

    ‘If people realise that every individual and every family is paying for the conflict and not for peace, this could help to alter the dynamics of the conflict’, the report reads.

    The group recommends highlighting how conflict reinforces social justice grievances, a problem seen as important among respondents from all communities.
    ‘Status quo no longer in Armenia’s favour’

    On Monday, outgoing US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills identified the unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and resulting economic blockade from Azerbaijan and Turkey as contributing to corruption in Armenia.

    ‘The status quo is no longer in Armenia’s favour […] Corruption didn’t grow because there are evil people here. The ground was pretty fertile for it because you have closed borders and a very small economy, so it’s very easy to control markets’, Mills said in an interview with EVN Report.

    In the same interview, Mills said he had been ‘struck’ by a lack of discussion in Armenia on what could be ‘acceptable solutions and compromise’ for Armenians, and said that settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would require Armenia to ‘return some occupied territories’ to Azerbaijan.

    [Read on OC Media: ‘Enhanced security’: Armenian settlers in Nagorno-Karabakh]

    On Wednesday, acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan shortly commented the statement, saying that Armenia’s position was known to the public and ‘has not changed’.

    Russia, another Minsk Group co-chairing country, recently angered Azerbaijani authorities when on 7 October, Svetlana Zhurova, deputy chair of the Russian Duma’s International Affairs Committee, visited Nagorno-Karabakh without their prior permission.

    Her trip was part of the ‘Women for Peace’ initiative under Pashinyan’s wife, Anna Hakobyan.

    Zhurova ended up being blacklisted by the Azerbaijani government for ‘illegally’ entering Nagorno-Karabakh.
    Renewal of talks

    The OSCE Minsk Group, created in 1992, remains the only format for peace negotiations. It has yielded no major breakthroughs in recent years.

    Azerbaijan’s leadership continues to insist on respecting the country’s territorial integrity and on Armenia withdrawing their armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

    Since a change of power in Armenia in May, new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has insisted on including the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities in the negotiation process as a party directly involved in the conflict.

    Azerbaijan has rejected the proposal.

    Nevertheless, at a Minsk Group–mediated meeting on 27 September on the margins of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, top Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats agreed to continue negotiations.

    Talks between the two are expected to resume during the co-chairs’ ‘upcoming’ visit to the region.

    Hopes for progress were reignited after informal talks between Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Dushanbe on 28 September. The meeting was the first public interaction between the two countries’ leaders following the change in power in Armenia.

    After the meeting, both leaders confirmed that they had agreed to open a direct line of communication between each other through their defence ministries, in order to prevent incidents along the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact.
    #paix #Arménie #conflit
    ping @reka
    En italien:

  • Mahmoud Abbas’ health deteriorates, and Israel prepares for bloody succession fight -

    Head of West Bank’s Palestinian Authority was hospitalized for tests in U.S. at end of February

    Amos Harel Mar 07, 2018

    ❝In recent months there has been a deterioration in the health of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who will be 83 at the end of the month. Information about his health has been submitted to Israeli political and security officials.
    Although the security cooperation between Israel and the PA continues to be managed well, Israel is readying itself for the possibility that a continued worsening of Abbas’ health will intensify the succession wars in the PA and undermine the relative stability that now prevails in the West Bank.
    At the end of last month, while he was in the United States to address the UN General Assembly in New York, Abbas was hospitalized for a few hours for tests in a Baltimore hospital. He also underwent tests in a Ramallah hospital last July. In both instances, the PA spokesman issued denials regarding illnesses Abbas supposedly had and insisted that his medical condition was satisfactory. Abbas himself, in an interview with Palestinian television on February 22, said he was in good health.
    However, Palestinian activists opposed to Abbas’ regime claim that he’s ill and getting worse. There was even a claim on social media that he was suffering from cancer of the digestive system. This claim was never confirmed.
    Some 20 years ago Abbas was operated on for prostate cancer, and the surgery was said to be successful.

    The PA president has cut down his work hours over the past year. People around him say he seems to be getting more short-tempered and argumentative with his aides and other senior PA officials. Aside from his health and advancing age, Abbas’ behavior seems to indicate that the PA, and his leadership, are facing a crisis.

    The main reason is the bad relationship with the Trump administration and the United States clearly positioning itself on Israel’s side with regard to its diplomatic dispute with the Palestinians. This American position is accompanied by other moves that are liable to undermine the Palestinian economy, like pushing the Taylor Force law through Congress (which limits American aid to the PA because of its financial support for imprisoned terrorists and their families) and the plan to reduce support for UNRWA, the United Nations’ refugee agency.
    At Abbas’ orders, the PA security agencies are continuing to closely coordinate with the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service, and they are regularly assisting in the rescue of Israelis who stray into Area A, which is under PA control. In closed forums with foreign diplomats, senior PA officials admit that the IDF is showing restraint in the West Bank and its approach is preventing violent flare-ups.
    But as Abbas’ health gets worse, the battle among the many contenders hoping to succeed him will intensify. There are nearly 10 Palestinian politicians and security officials who see themselves worthy of the job, and there could be temporary alliances formed between some of them in an effort to win the leadership of PA. Israel is concerned about the instability that could ensue the closer the end of Abbas’ tenure seems – and is concerned that the internal tension will impact the degree to which the PA security services will work to prevent attacks on the IDF and Israeli civilians in the West Bank.

  • Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    When 15-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of Tehrik-e-Taliban, the reaction was starkly different. Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, issued a petition entitled “I am Malala.” The UNESCO launched “Stand Up For Malala.”

    Malala was invited to meet then President Barack Obama, as well as the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and addressed the UN General Assembly. She received numerous accolades from being named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine and Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine to being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, and again in 2014 when she won.

    State representatives such as Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard as well as prominent journalists such as Nicholas Kristof spoke up in support of her. There is even a Malala Day!

    But we see no #IamAhed or #StandUpForAhed campaigns making headlines. None of the usual feminist and rights groups or political figures has issued statements supporting her or reprimanding the Israeli state. No one has declared an Ahed Day. In fact, the US in the past has even denied her a visa for a speaking tour.

  • Ethiopia : Confronting urban hardship

    The traditional image of refugees in sprawling rural settlements and camps no long accurately depicts the reality of today’s refugee situation. With more than half of the world’s refugees living in cities and urban areas, the refugee experience itself has changed in many ways. The life of a forced migrant in an urban environment is often one invisibility and simultaneous exposure. Urban refugees and asylum seekers constantly face protection risks and are often denied access to basic services, exposing them to unique social vulnerabilities.

    Ethiopia, which hosts over 830,000 displaced individuals, is experiencing a rise in numbers of urban refugees. Crises in neighbouring countries such as South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Yemen have contributed to these rising numbers. In fact, according to the UNHCR, there are over 20,000 urban refugees in the capital city of Addis Ababa, most of them from Eritrea.

    Urban refugees residing in Addis Ababa and all over the world face alternative challenges to those living in camps where basic amenities such as food, water, and shelter are often available. High priced city living, limited access to social and economic services, lack of skills training, employment opportunities, and insufficient support contributes to the poor living conditions of the urban refugee experience.

    In response to these harsh circumstances, JRS started the first and only urban Refugee Community Centre (RCC) in Addis Ababa in 1996. The RCC responds to the unmet needs of urban refugees and asylum seekers with a range of services and support. The vocational skills training, day care service, English language courses, psychosocial services, sports and recreation, music therapy, and emergency food and material assistance offered by RCC helps displaced persons heal, learn, and thrive in their new environments.

    The RCC project provides educational support to the Somali community residing in Addis Ababa, because illiteracy is widespread among many Somali refugees. The English and computer classes, and sports activities and community services offered by JRS help many refugees improve their living situations. These educational courses and social integration programs are relevant to everyday life, as many urban refugees are unable to obtain these resources on their own. “Even if there is no money that can be given, JRS talks to us and makes us feel good despite the hardships,” said a refugee woman at the centre.

    During the 2016 Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, Ethiopia made pledges to address the socio-economic needs of refugees and host communities. Accordingly, the pledges will amend Ethiopia’s national law to expand the out-of-camp policy and issue work permits to refugees. JRS RCC is adapting its projects in response to the changing context, especially those activities that involve language, business, and occupational skills trainings to facilitate and empower refugee participation.

    “What’s really nice about the project is that it’s the only community space for refugees. There are some people who have been coming to the centre since childhood. There’s also a great relationship there between us (JRS) and the people we serve. This trust and transparency isn’t seen with many other organisations,” says Liana Tepperman, Director of Programs at JRS/USA.

    The effectiveness of the services provided by JRS are recognized by urban refugee stakeholders, including UNHCR who recently helped fund the opening of a new urban Child Protection Centre in July 2017. Several prominent individuals like the UN General Assembly President, and officials from the European Union and US government have made visits to the RCC. They encouraged JRS to continue to take a strong leadership role in urban refugee discussions and actions, as there is still more change to be made.
    #Ethiopie #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #réfugiés #asile #migrations

  • Israeli minister to push plan aimed at reducing number of Arabs in Jerusalem - Israel News -!/image/685357042.PNG_gen/derivatives/size_1496xAuto/685357042.PNG

    #Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin has unveiled his proposal for the municipal division of Jerusalem, which would see several Arab neighborhoods beyond the West Bank separation barrier split off from the Jerusalem municipality and be placed under the jurisdiction of one or more new council administrations.

    #colonisation #israël #palestine #confiscation #dépossession

  • The Israeli Right Will Bring About Justice for the Palestinians

    When the right gathers the courage to declare a one-state solution, the world will gain the courage to declare a war on its regime

    Gideon Levy Sep 24, 2017 1:35 AM

    Perhaps the right will be the one to bring about true, egalitarian justice in Israel. Maybe it will bring about the only possible solution left. After the right proved that only it dares to evacuate settlements, maybe the next stage will come and the right will once more prove it can do so, even if unintentionally. That would be a huge irony of fate. Those who insist on not returning to the Palestinians 22 percent of their land will give them (and us) all of it, egalitarian and just, on the silver platter of both peoples.

    The road is long, of course, and even its beginning is not yet in sight. But the defeated and desperate speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday proves there’s a chance this is the direction.

    Abbas spoke of one state as a possible solution and of equal rights for all inhabitants of historic Palestine. As far can be remembered, he never publicly made such a statement before. Bound by his historic way and the establishment he heads, he has not yet given up the two-state solution for good. But he also knows, like any politician who recognizes reality, that the two-state solution has expired and only the declaration of its death remains. Some Europeans and perhaps even also the Americans know this, but don’t dare admit it. President Donald Trump mumbled something about it, possibly inadvertently.

    Abandoning the two-state solution is a fateful reboot. It is not simple to do. But when Abbas and the others finally resolve to cross the Rubicon, the wildfire they ignite could spread with amazing speed.

    When the Palestinians abandon the “two states for two peoples” solution and move on to “one person, one vote,” the world will not remain indifferent. It will begin with the Palestinians, 57 percent of whom already don’t believe in the two-state solution, according to a recent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll, and will then move on to Israeli Arabs, most of whom still hold fast to that solution.

    The easy-to-grasp message will then go out to the world. Just and familiar from another historic struggle: “One man, one vote.” Who can oppose it? And what can Israel say in its own defense? Jewish-democratic? Where? A just apartheid?

    This revolution might also blow away the smokescreen and confusion around the arbitrary and baseless division Israel has made between an “Israeli Arab” and “Palestinian” – sometimes members of the same family; between East Jerusalem and residents of the West Bank; between residents of the West Bank and Gaza; it will reunify the people that Israel maliciously cut apart. It will also eliminate the confusion around the artificial distinction between the Jewish democracy with the Arab High Court of Justice and the third largest party in the Knesset, and zero human rights for most of the other members of that people, who live under the government of that same state, in the same country. It will cancel out all discrimination and all privilege, from the Law of Return to the right of return. Can any true democrat oppose this?

    The left will not do so. It is bound by slogans of the past – two states – most of the left was never serious about anyhow. The right wing, which talks more and more about annexation and non-occupation, is taking giant steps toward this state. Of course, it doesn’t mean democracy or equal rights – what does the right have to do with that?

    But when the right gathers the courage to declare a one-state solution, the world will gain the courage to declare a war on its regime, against the new apartheid state in the 21st century. What other choice will the world have in the face of a declared apartheid? It will be a much more determined struggle than the hollow one against the establishment of the outpost in the “illegal” expansion of Mitzpeh Rehavam Gimel.

    The racist MK Bezalel Smotrich is doing more for justice and the Palestinian people than Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay. The nationalists, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, are doing immeasurably more than Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid or even the peace-seeking Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Galon.

    The right is moving ahead on the only solution. We should keep our fingers crossed.

  • The African Community Reacts to Emmanuel Macron’s Comments on Birth Rates in Africa · Global Voices

    July 11, 1987 marks the Day of 5 Billion, or the approximate date when the world reached a population of five billion. As a result, beginning in 1989 the United Nations Development Program created World Population Day, an event celebrated on July 11 each year in the hopes of attracting the world’s attention to the urgency and importance of population issues.

    With resolution 45/216 passed in December of 1990, the UN General Assembly decided to keep World Population Day in order to promote awareness and, above all, to promote the links between population issues, the environment, and development. By 1990, many countries began following the UNDP’s lead and started celebrating the day in their own countries.

    #macron #afrique #racisme

  • ICS : Shipping Industry Remains Committed to Reducing CO2 Emissions – gCaptain

    President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change will have no impact on the shipping industry’s commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said Monday.

    With the United Nations Ocean Conference opening today in New York, the ICS is preparing to explain to the high-level conference, organized by the UN General Assembly, that the global shipping industry remains fully committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal for the protection of the world’s oceans.

    Speaking at a session on the prevention of ocean acidification, ICS will present some ambitious ‘aspirational objectives’ on CO2 reduction which the industry – responsible for moving about 90% of global trade – wants the IMO, as the industry’s global regulator, to adopt on behalf of the international shipping sector, in the same way that governments under the Paris Agreement have adopted CO2 reduction commitments on behalf of their national economies.

    The industry has proposed that the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) should agree an objective of keeping total CO2 emissions from the shipping sector below 2008 levels and then cut annual total CO2 emissions from the sector by 2050, by a percentage to be agreed by IMO.

    The ICS notes that this is in addition to an existing industry commitment to cut CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo carried one kilometer by 50% by 2050, compared to 2008.

    Shipping, because of its great size, is currently responsible for about 2.2% of annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions,” says ICS Director of Policy, Simon Bennett, as he prepares speak before the world’s governments attending the UN Ocean Conference.


    • Conférence sur les océans | 5-9 juin 2017

      La Conférence des Nations Unies de haut niveau pour soutenir la mise en œuvre de l’objectif de développement durable 14 : Conserver et exploiter de manière durable les océans, les mers et les ressources marines aux fins du développement durable, sera convoquée au Siège de l’ONU à New York du 5 au 9 juin 2017, en parallèle de la Journée mondiale de l’océan (8 Juin). Les gouvernements de Fidji et de la Suède accueilleront la Conférence.

      La conférence vise à être le changeur de jeu qui va inverser le déclin de la santé de notre océan pour les gens, la planète et la prospérité. Elle sera axée sur les solutions avec l’engagement de toutes les parties prenantes.

      (traduction parfois approximative, mais c’est celle du site…)

  • A cornerstone
 of apartheid -
    Israel’s ’nation-state’ law must be stopped - the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among all its citizens in law

    Haaretz Editorial May 08, 2017
    read more:

    The nation-state bill, which the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved unanimously on Sunday, is a bad bill. Nobody denies that Israel, as the bill says, “is the national home of the Jewish people,” or that “the right to the realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
    The Jewish people’s right to national revival in the Land of Israel was recognized back in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and approved by the League of Nations Mandate in 1922. On November 29, 1947, this right was reaffirmed and recognized by the UN General Assembly as well.
    “We ... hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” reads the Declaration of Independence. Similarly, the state’s Basic Laws define Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. And aside from all this, just last week, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence.
    >> Israeli ministers greenlight nation-state bill: Arabic isn’t an official state language <<
    Nevertheless, this bill is bad, because the only legitimate way to ensure the state’s Jewishness is for Israel to be a democracy that grants full equality to all its citizens, but which also has a Jewish majority. Any situation in which Jews were a minority in Israel, and the state’s Jewishness was maintained solely via discriminatory laws and a regime that enforced them against the majority’s will, would be undemocratic, and in any event would certainly not be viable over the long run.
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    The only explanation for why Israel is advancing this bill is the millions of Palestinians whom it keeps under its control in territories that it fantasizes about annexing. Because Israel is interested in applying its sovereignty to the land but isn’t interested in annexing the Palestinians who live there as equal citizens in a single state, it is forced to create the legal infrastructure for segregating Jews from Arabs and preserving the Jews’ legal supremacy. The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.

    The nation-state law is fundamentally antithetical to democracy, as it seeks to enshrine the rule of a Jewish minority over an imagined Arab majority. This is a fearful and aggressive move by a people that sees itself as a minority and is preparing to maintain control over an apartheid state that contains a Palestinian majority living under its rule. Yet even before that point is reached, the law discriminates against members of Israel’s Arab minority and legally labels them as second-class citizens.
    The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass. The only way to preserve the national home of the Jewish people is to separate peacefully from the occupied territories and liberate the Palestinian people. And the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among its citizens in law, in line with the promise of the Declaration of Independence: “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
    The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.

  • Syria and the UN settlements vote: Netanyahu’s diplomatic hypocrisy - Does the man who constantly warns of a second Holocaust simply not care about the Syrians’ horrific suffering? | Editorial

    Haaretz Editorial Dec 28, 2016
    read more:

    The UN General Assembly decided last week to set up an international mechanism for gathering evidence and preparing legal cases against those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria since the start of that country’s civil war six years ago. The decision, which passed by a wide margin, won’t save the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Assad regime, nor will it return the millions of refugees to their homes. But it makes clear that the international community intends to demand an accounting of those responsible for the mass murders and expulsions.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the foreign minister, decided that Israel wouldn’t participate in the vote. The same Netanyahu who is attacking the international community and UN institutions for “doing nothing” to stop the slaughter in Syria, while focusing exclusively on Israel instead, instructed the Israeli embassy not to take any position on the responsibility borne by the murderers right across the border.

  • UN resolution is a breath of hope in sea of darkness and despair -
    It’s now even more crystal clear: The world thinks the settlements are a crime. All the settlements and all the world
    Gideon Levy Dec 25, 2016 12:12 PM

    On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to establish a Jewish state (alongside an Arab state) in the Land of Israel. Sixty-nine years later, on December 23, 2016, the UN Security Council voted to try to save it. Resolution 2334 that was approved Friday is a gust of good news, a breath of hope in the sea of darkness and despair of recent years.

    Just when it seemed that everything was going downhill – the deepening occupation increasingly supported by America, with Europe galloping to the right – along came a Hanukkah resolution that lights a thin candle. When it seemed that the evil ones would remain victorious, along came New Zealand and three other countries and gave the world a Christmas gift.

    Read more on the Security Council resolution: It’s the settlements, stupid: UN failure is entirely Netanyahu’s / Analysis | Obama, where have you been for 8 wasted years? / Analysis | Why the Palestinians are jubilant and Israel is spooked / Analysis | Security Council punch knocks Netanyahu down from hubris to humiliation

    So thanks to New Zealand, Venezuela and Malaysia. True, the Christmas tree they’ve supplied, with all its sparkling lights, will soon be removed; Donald Trump is already waiting at the gate. But the imprint will remain. Until then, this temporary rejoicing is a joy, despite the expected hangover.

    We of course must ask U.S. President Barack Obama in fury: Now you’re doing something? And we must ask the world in frustration: What about actions? But it’s impossible to ignore the Security Council decision that rules that all the settlements are illegal by nature.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can call back his ambassadors, while his right-hand minister Yuval Steinitz can shriek that the resolution is “unfair.” (He has a sense of humor.) And opposition leader Isaac Herzog can babble that “we need to fight the decision with all means.” But there isn’t a person in the world with a conscience who won’t rejoice over the resolution.

    There also isn’t a decent Israeli who ought to fall for the propaganda that calls the resolution “anti-Israeli,” a definition that the Israeli media rushed to adopt – with its characteristic slavishness, of course.

    This decision has brought Israel back to the solid ground of reality. All the settlements, including in the territories that have been annexed, including in East Jerusalem of course, are a violation of international law. In other words, they are a crime. No country in the world thinks otherwise. The entire world thinks so – all Israel’s so-called friends and all its so-called enemies – unanimously.

    Most probably the tools of brainwashing in Israel, along with the mechanisms of repression and denial, will try to undermine the decision. But when the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia unite in such a clear statement, this will be difficult work.

    So you can say “the entire world is against us.” You can scream “anti-Semitism!” You can ask “What about Syria?” In the end this clear-as-crystal truth will remain: The world thinks that the settlements are a crime. All the settlements and all the world.

    True, the world doesn’t lift a finger to have the settlements removed, but maybe one day this will happen. Still, it will be too late by then, too late.

    Resolution 2334 artificially distinguishes between Israel and the settlements in that it is aimed at the settlements, not the occupation. As if the guilt of Amona were on its settlers and not all Israelis. This deception proves how much the world continues to treat Israel with leniency and hesitates to takes steps against it, as it did with Russia’s conquest of Crimea, for example.

    But Israelis who don’t live in Amona, who have never been there, who have no real interest in its fate – it seems most Israelis – have to ask themselves: Is it really worth it? All this for a few settlers they don’t know and don’t really want to know?

    Resolution 2334 is meant above all for Israeli ears, like an alarm clock that makes sure to wake you up on time, like a siren that tells you to go down to the bomb shelter. True, the resolution has no concrete value; true, the new U.S. administration promises to erase it.

    But two questions won’t let up: Why don’t the Palestinians deserve exactly the same thing that Israelis deserve, and how much can one country, with all its lobbying power, weapons and high-tech, ignore the entire world? On this first day of both Hanukkah and Christmas, we can enjoy, if only for a moment, the sweet illusion that Resolution 2334 will rouse these questions in Israel.

  • Today could have been Palestine’s 65th birthday
    The State of Palestine could have been 65 years old today if the UN partition plan of 1947 had been accepted by the Arab world. A just and lasting peace between two sovereign states is still prejudiced by the false narrative that Palestinians were the only refugees created in 1947.

    Irwin Cotler Nov 29, 2012
    read more:

    Today, the Palestinian Authority is seeking Observer Status at the UN General Assembly with a view to securing a UN General Assembly vote later in the day. The November 29 is no random date – it marks the 65th anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution of 1947. It is sometimes forgotten – and often not even known – that this was the first-ever blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian “two states for two peoples” solution. Regrettably, while Jewish leaders accepted the resolution, Arab and Palestinian leaders did not – which they had a right to do if they felt it did not comport with their objectives or interests.
    However, what they did not have a right to do was to launch a war of aggression against the nascent Jewish state. Nor did they have a right to launch a war against their own Jewish nationals – a documented pattern of state-sanctioned repression and persecution – disenfranchising them, dispossessing them of their – detaining, murdering and expelling them. This double aggression resulted in two sets of refugees: Palestinian refugees resulting from the Arab war against the Jewish State, and Jewish refugees resulting from the Arab war against their own Jewish nationals.
    Yet the false Middle East narrative – prejudicial to authentic reconciliation and peace between peoples as well as between states – continues to hold that there was only one victim population, Palestinian refugees; that Israel was responsible for the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) of 1947-8; and that, as Prof. Rami Khouri of the American University of Beirut recently wrote – during the Israel-Hamas hostilities – “As long as the crime of dispossession and refugeehood that was committed against the Palestinian people in 1947-48 is not redressed through a peaceful and just negotiation that satisfies the legitimate rights of both sides, we will continue to see enhancements in both the determination and the capabilities of Palestinian fighters.” In his words, “Only stupid or ideologically maniacal Zionists fail to come to terms with this fact”.
    But his revisionist view of history ignores the fundamental fact that had the UN Partition Resolution been accepted, there would have been no 1948 Arab- Israeli war, no refugees, and none of the pain and suffering of these past 65 years. Indeed, another event falling on today’s date - the annual UN-organized International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – could this year have been a day commemorating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.

  • Perspectives on permanent neutrality | The UB Post

    Ts. Elbegdorj, à l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU, 29/09/2015
    photo: ONU

    During the 2015 UN General Assembly, President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced that Mongolia was planning to adopt a state of permanent neutrality.
    More than a year has passed since that address, and the reality of Mongolia’s permanent neutrality has not yet been realized. Recently, on November 17, Parliament postponed voting on permanent neutrality. Depending on your viewpoint, the postponement is either a bureaucratic obstacle to the prosperity of Mongolia’s foreign policy, or a blessing that could help us avert a foreign relations disaster.

  • U.N Refugee Summit: Abstract Discussions in the Face of a Deadly Crisis

    In the first of a two-part prelude to the U.N. summit, Alexander Betts, the head of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre, plots the flawed origins of a meeting some states celebrate having sabotaged.
    #UN_refugee_summit #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UN_migration_summit

  • The ‘Hybrid War’ of Economic Sanctions

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told a large group of people in the holy city of Mashhad on Sunday that “The Americans did not act on what they promised in the [Iranian] nuclear accord [the JCPOA]; they did not do what they should have done. According to Foreign Minister [Javad Zarif], they brought something on paper but prevented materialization of the objectives of the Islamic Republic of Iran through many diversionary ways.”

    This statement during the Supreme Leader’s key Nowruz (New Year) address should be understood as a flashing amber light: it was no rhetorical flourish. And it was not a simple dig at America (as some may suppose). It was perhaps more of a gentle warning to the Iranian government to “take care” of the possible political consequences.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaks to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)
    What is happening is significant: for whatever motive, the U.S. Treasury is busy emptying much of the JCPOA sanctions relief of any real substance (and their motive is something which deserves careful attention). The Supreme Leader also noted that Iran is experiencing difficulties in repatriating its formerly frozen, external funds.

    U.S. Treasury officials, since “implementation” day, have been doing the rounds, warning European banks that the U.S. sanctions on Iran remain in place, and that European banks should not think, even for a second, of tapping the dollar or euro bond markets in order to finance trade with Iran, or to become involved with financing infrastructure projects in Iran.

    Banks well understand the message: touch Iranian commerce and you will be whacked with a billion dollar fine – against which there is no appeal, no clear legal framework – and no argument countenanced. The banks (understandably) are shying off. Not a single bank or financial lending institution turned up when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Paris to hold meetings with the local business élite.

    The influential Keyhan Iranian newspaper wrote on March 14 on this matter that: “Speaking at the UN General Assembly session in September, Rouhani stated: ‘Today a new phase of relations has started in Iran’s relations with the world.’ He also stated in a live radio and television discussion with the people on 23 Tir: ‘The step-by-step implementation of this document could slowly remove the bricks of the wall of mistrust.’”

    Keyhan continues: “These remarks were made at a time when the Western side, headed by America, does not have any intention to remove or even shorten the wall of mistrust between itself and Iran. … Moreover, they are delaying the implementation of their JCPOA commitments. Lifting the sanctions has remained merely as a promise on a piece of paper, so much so that it has roused the protest of Iranian politicians.

  • Barghouti: ’The Third Intifada has already begun’

    The Palestinian Authority must cease all security cooperation with Israel and support the upsurge of Palestinian “people’s resistance” in Jerusalem and the West Bank in what is now being described by some as the “Third Intifada,” independent Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti has told Middle East Eye.

    Speaking to MEE, Barghouti said the Third Intifada “has already begun,” following deadly clashes and protests in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem over the past few weeks, including the fatal shooting of two Palestinian teenagers in recent days and the killing of several Israelis by Palestinians.

    The recent violence erupted after Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces last month in the al-Aqsa compound, Islam’s third holiest site, that is also holy to Jews who call it the Temple Mount. Tensions had begun to mount following an increase in Jewish visitors during the Jewish New Year with relations already fraught due to ongoing settler violence and fears over the status quo at al-Aqsa.

    Barghouti’s comments follow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s threat at the UN General Assembly last week to withdraw from all agreements signed between the PA and Israel over the past two decades.

    Barghouti, who is leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, said that the PA must end its controversial security co-ordination pact with Israel that sees it assuming a policing role against other Palestinian factions in the West Bank.
    – See more at:

  • Netanyahu: At UN, I Will Stress Israel’s Desire for Peace With Palestinians - Diplomacy and Defense - Haaretz

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before flying out to New York for the UN General Assembly that he intends to “highlight Israel’s desire for peace with the Palestinians” during his Thursday speech and his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. Netanyahu also said he will urge the Palestinians to stop inciting unrest on Temple Mount.

    “I will stress that unfortunately, the Palestinians continue to spread blatant lies about our policy on Temple Mount, and I will demand an end to this wild incitement,” he said upon arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport. “Israel is committed to the status quo, which it maintains. The Palestinian rioters who bring weapons to Temple Mount are the ones who harm the holy place and are the ones violating the status quo.”

    Netanyahu said that in his speech, he would discuss Israel’s policy in light of the situation in Syria and the threats on Israel’s northern border. He added that he intends to explain what Israeli citizens feel after the nuclear agreement with Iran, and what Israel expects from the international community in the wake of that agreement.

    avec une image ?

  • EI : la Russie pourrait mener des frappes unilatérales

    La Russie envisage la possibilité d’effectuer des frappes aériennes unilatérales contre l’EI en Syrie, si les Etats-Unis rejettent une proposition visant à coordonner leurs actions avec Moscou, rapporte l’agence Bloomberg.

    Parallèlement, selon Bloomberg, qui cite des sources proches du Kremlin et du ministère russe de la Défense, Moscou préférerait que le gouvernement américain accepte d’allier ses forces avec la Russie, l’Iran et l’armée syrienne afin de lutter contre Daech.

    « La Russie estime que le bon sens prévaudra et qu’Obama acceptera la main tendue par Vladimir Poutine. Mais la Russie agira de toute façon, même si cela ne se produit pas », a déclaré à Bloomberg la spécialiste du Moyen-Orient à l’Institut russe d’études stratégiques, Elena Souponina.

    Selon une source anonyme à Washington, les Etats-Unis seraient prêts à discuter de la coordination des attaques afin d’éviter des incidents avec des avions russes, mais ils n’ont pas encore reçu une proposition « concrète » de Moscou. En outre, la coalition n’envisage pas la possibilité de coopérer avec les troupes d’Assad, ajoute la source.

    Auparavant, le président russe avait déclaré qu’il serait nécessaire d’unir les efforts afin de lutter non seulement contre le terrorisme, mais également contre d’autres problèmes urgents et croissants, à savoir le problème des réfugiés.


    Putin plans air strikes in Syria if no U.S. deal reached - Bloomberg
    World | Thu Sep 24, 2015

    #Syrie #Russie

    • Jaysh al-Islam déclare la guerre aux Russes qui combattent en Syrie - Dania Akkad -
      24 septembre 2015

      Jaysh al-Islam, l’un des plus importants groupes rebelles en Syrie, a déclaré la guerre aux soldats russes qui combattent aux côtés des forces pro-gouvernementales syriennes dans la guerre civile, a déclaré un porte-parole du groupe à Middle East Eye mercredi.

      La confirmation du porte-parole survient alors que la Russie renforce activement son soutien militaire en Syrie, notamment par l’envoi de 28 avions opérationnels dans le pays, selon des responsables américains.

      De nouvelles images satellites publiées mardi semblent indiquer que la Russie développe deux nouvelles bases aériennes près de la ville portuaire clé de Lattaquié, un bastion du président syrien Bachar al-Assad.

      Jaysh al-Islam, qui serait financé par l’Arabie saoudite, a posté une vidéo vendredi dernier montrant des combattants du groupe attaquant l’aéroport international de Bassel, à environ 20 km de Lattaquié.

      Dans la vidéo, les combattants déclarent que l’aéroport est devenu une base pour l’armée russe, puis ils tirent plusieurs roquettes soi-disant en direction d’un avion-cargo russe, bien qu’il n’y en ait aucune preuve dans la vidéo.

      Dans une conversation sur Skype avec MEE, le porte-parole de Jaysh al-Islam a bien insisté sur le fait que le groupe avait déclaré la guerre aux soldats russes, « non à la Russie en tant que pays ».

      La dernière semaine, des combattants rebelles ont déclaré à Reuters avoir rencontré une résistance plus forte de la part des forces pro-gouvernementales, en particulier dans les zones côtières de Syrie, et qu’une intervention russe prolongera la guerre et encouragera les bailleurs étrangers des rebelles à accroître leur assistance militaire.(...)

      #Jaysh_al-Islam #Syrie #Russie

    • Europe nudges US, Russia to walk the talk on Syria
      By M K Bhadrakumar – September 21, 2015

      Without doubt, this is a defining moment. Notwithstanding the immense pressure from detractors and critics within the US (and abroad in Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, et al) to shift gear to a hyperactive interventionist role in Syria, President Obama has preferred the diplomatic track.

      This primarily emanates out of the ground reality that the decade-old US strategy to force a regime change in Syria has reached a dead end. Besides, the regional scenario has also changed phenomenally. Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the two countries that did all they could to destabilize Syria, are marooned in their own existential problems — and Qatar too has rolled back its regional ambitions built around the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the Arab Spring. In a dramatic shift, Egypt has actually swung to the Russian side and would see Assad as a bulwark against radical Islamist groups.

      Above all, the US’ European allies have lost faith, caught up in a protracted struggle to cope with the refugee flow and agonizing over the spectre of the IS. The melancholy, long, withdrawing roar of their retreat from the US’ regime change agenda in Syria should be audible in Washington. The debris of the conflict has reached Europe and although the US remains safe and untouched, it cannot wash off its hands off the political and moral responsibility for the horrific tragedy that is unfolding.

      Meanwhile, the Syrian conflict itself has transformed. The Islamic State is today the real beneficiary of the regime change agenda pursued by the US and its regional allies. The ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition has become the butt of jokes. Which means that what is shaping up is a confrontation between the Syrian government forces and the IS. With air strikes against the IS not having much effect, Washington should show the practical wisdom to utilize whatever capabilities available on the ground.

      What lies ahead? Kerry’s weekend visits to London and Berlin to consult key allies have prepared the ground for some intense discussions involving the various protagonists — Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, in particular — that can be expected to take place through the coming week in New York where the world leaders are gathering for the UN General Assembly session.

      The manner in which the West has swiftly welcomed Russia’s military intervention in Syria underscores that a new chapter is beginning in their mutual relationship. This augurs well for conflict resolution in Syria. The bottom line is that the US’ trans-Atlantic leadership demands a quick solution to the Syrian conflict, which is threatening European security. In an extraordinary remark, Steinmeir actually urged all concerned — including the US — to “put aside national interests for the time being” and to rise to the occasion. (Transcript is here : .)

  • Kerry Tells Lavrov U.S. Concerned Over Reports Of Russian Military Move In Syria

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed concern over reports of “an imminent Russian military buildup” in Syria in a September 5 telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

    The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-[Islamic State] coalition operating in Syria,” the State Department said in a press release. 

    Kerry and Lavrov agreed that discussions on the Syrian conflict will continue later this month in New York, where the UN General Assembly meets.

    Western media reports suggest that Russia may have recently deployed military personnel and aircraft in Syria.

    Ah ouais, tout s’explique ! l’augmentation des réfugiés, c’est la faute à Poutine : ils fuient la prochaine intervention russe !

    En plus, s’il intervient (de façon irresponsable) en Syrie (contre l’État islamique, il faut imaginer, puisque Kerry ne le dit pas) il risque de provoquer une confrontation avec la coalition anti-état islamique.

  • Mossad contradicted Netanyahu on Iran nuclear programme

    Less than a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2012 warning to the UN General Assembly that Iran was 70 per cent of the way to completing its “plans to build a nuclear weapon”, Israel’s intelligence service believed that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”.

    Al-Jazeera compte divulguer des télégrammes du Mossad
    Les documents incluraient l’évaluation des renseignements israéliens sur le programme nucléaire de l’Iran

    Certains de ces dossiers seront publiés par al-Jazeera en collaboration avec le journal britannique The Guardian.

    Ils « offrent un aperçu sur les relations opérationnelles dans le royaume sombre et hautement politisé de l’espionnage mondial », explique al-Jazeera sur son site web.

    La chaîne d’informations indique que seule une partie des documents serait publiée, et « gardera [le reste] dans le cadre de futures publications – pour ceux qui ont besoin d’être contextualisés », et « des centaines ne seront pas révélés ».

    Parmi les documents publiés, la chaîne d’informations a indiqué qu’elle publierait les échanges entre le Mossad et leurs collègues sud-africains qui révèlent la « véritable évaluation [du Mossad] au sujet du programme nucléaire iranien ».

    Ces dossiers prouveraient, que contrairement aux déclarations des politiciens israéliens qui affirment que l’Iran pourra développer la bombe atomique d’ici un an, le Mossad ne croit pas que Téhéran travaille à l’obtention de l’arme nucléaire.

    Al-Jazeera n’a pas donné plus de précision sur les documents au sujet du Mossad, notamment sur leur date. Le site a, plus tard, retiré la mention sur l’évaluation du Mossad.

    Le rapport du Mossad semblerait concorder avec un article du New York Times de 2012 qui citait un ancien responsable des renseignements américains qui affirmait que les renseignements israéliens étaient d’accord avec l’évaluation américaine selon laquelle le programme sur les armes nucléaires iraniens « n’avait pas repris ».

    • Le NCRI alias #MEK (très promptement relayé par les MSM) appelé à la rescousse,

      In the wake of the embarrassing new revelations that the top Israeli intelligence agency is contradicting Bibi Netanyahu on his alarmist Iran intelligence, the well known liars, the “dissident” group NCRI (aka MEK), has jumped into damage control action and has released a suspiciously timed report that claims Iran has a new secret site. Countless media outlets including of course #Faux_News, have jumped on this as well.

      Here’s a Fox video segment about it.

      But it’s a total #fabrication. The image included in the NCRI report is actually a product shot from the Iranian safe company.

    • Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill - The Intercept

      AT A SENATE Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran’s nuclear program in October 2013, more than a dozen men and women in yellow rain jackets sat in the gallery seats of the wood-paneled room, a bright presence amid the standard-issue dark suits of Washington. It wasn’t raining.

      They were supporters of the Iranian exile opposition group the Mojahedin-e Khalq, often referred to as the #MEK, but known to most Iranians as the Mojahedin. Activists distribute all manner of yellow paraphernalia at the group’s demonstrations: hats, banners, flags, inflatable rubber clapper sticks, and, most of all, the jackets. The yellow jackets — often emblazoned with portraits of the group’s two co-leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi — have become its calling card.

      During the hearing, the powerful then-Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, spoke out for the Mojahedin. About an hour and a half into the proceedings, Menendez issued an explicit threat to Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman over attacks against the group’s members in Iraq.

  • A drone is not a cop - UN report

    ❝The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, today raised concern about the increasing use of #technologies that depersonalise the use of #force –including armed #drones– not only on the battlefield, but also in domestic law enforcement.

    During the presentation of his report* to the UN General Assembly on the use of armed drones for law enforcement, Mr. Heyns provided examples of such technology that is for sale worldwide, to be used by the police and private security firms to control demonstrations, guard strategic buildings, and to hunt down escapees.

    “An armed drone, controlled by a human from a distance, can hardly do what police officers are supposed to do – use the minimum force required by the circumstances, assist those who need help, etc.,” the human rights expert said. “The situation becomes even more problematic when the police use increasingly autonomous weapons – that is, weapons that have on board computers which decide on the use of force.” (...)

    “Questions that are asked about the use of armed drones and autonomous systems on the battlefield intensify when they are used in ordinary policing,” the Special Rapporteur noted. “The relationship between the State and those under its protection is very different from its relationship with those it regards as its enemies during armed conflict.”

    rapport téléchargeable ici

    #répression #police #robotisation #droits_humains