Posts tagged UN
Posts tagged UN
It’s an uphill task and absence of peace with armed rebels means more mines may be laid in Colombia’s vulnerable regions as international aid tries to demine areas affected by decades of conflict.
BOGOTA, April 25 (UPI) — It’s an uphill task and absence of peace with armed rebels means more mines may be laid in Colombia’s vulnerable regions as international aid tries to de-mine areas affected by decades of conflict.
This month the United Nations and the Organization of American States pledged more funds to a seemingly never-ending operation that has absorbed resources that could have gone into Colombia’s chronic poverty reduction programs.
OAS and U.N. representatives signed an agreement that hopes to push forward a now-on and now-off campaign to rid Colombia of tens of thousands of mines.
Britain and France have written separately to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations that there is credible information suggesting Syria’s government has used chemical weapons in the civil war on multiple occasions since last December, diplomats said Thursday.
The diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said there had been an exchange of letters with the secretary general starting on March 25 about the information, which they would not reveal in detail. They spoke a day after Mr. Ban said that Syria had still not given a United Nations forensics team permission to enter the country, despite Syria’s own request last month for an investigation into its claim that insurgents had used chemical weapons in the war.
The assertions by Britain and France are stronger than that of the United States, which has said that it is assessing claims of chemical weapons use in Syria, but has not come to any conclusions. President Obama has said the use of such weapons in the war would constitute a “game changer” that could lead to an American military response.
Nearly one million Iraqi children are affected by the presence of landmines with hundreds having been maimed or killed by exploded cluster bomblets since 1991, a UN statement acknowledged.
A statement issued by the United Nations mission to Iraq on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action calls for more progress to eliminate the threat of landmines to the people of Iraq.
“It is tragic and unacceptable that children continue to have their lives forever damaged by the presence of landmines,” stated Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. Nearly one million Iraqi children are affected by the presence of landmines with hundreds having been maimed or killed by exploded cluster bomblets since 1991, a UN statement acknowledged.
“With determined effort, all landmines and unexploded ordinance in Iraq can be eradicated; we call on all actors – the Government of Iraq, international community and private sector – to coordinate to permanently eliminate this threat from the lives of Iraqi children and their families.”
Manixia Thor (left) and a member of her all women’s bomb clearance team head into the field to clear unexploded ordnance in the Lao countryside. Manixia will be on a speakers tour for the month of April to raise awareness of the urgent need in Laos for funding of bomb clearance and survivor assistance efforts.
As a bomb clearance technician and the leader of an all-women’s bomb clearance team in Laos, Manixia Thor has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Unexploded ordnance removal is perilous and the days are long, but she knows that her work clearing bombs will make Laos safer for her two-year-old son and for future generations.
For nearly 10 years, millions of bombs rained down on the tiny country of Laos, making it the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The bombings ended 40 years ago this year, but more than 20,000 Laotians have been killed or injured by decades-old ordnance that litter the otherwise beautiful landscape.
With support from the U.S. Department of State, Manixia and Thoummy Silamphan, a Laotian bomb accident survivor and victim assistance advocate, will be touring the United States on a speakers tour with the U.S.-based group LEGACIES OF WAR to raise awareness about the unexploded ordnance issue in Laos and the urgent need for further funding of clearance and survivor assistance efforts.
Jeanne Finestone: American UN Peacekeeper
As UN Peacekeeping forces have expanded around the world, so has the involvement of women peacekeepers. Women suit up and are deployed in all areas - police, military and civilian - and their impact has been noticiable. Women play a large role in building peace and protecting women’s rights. During the month of March as we celebrate International Women’s Day (#IWD2013) the Better World Campaign is putting the focus on the women who put their lives at risk for the greater good and safety of others.
As the holiday season approaches, CISR’s thoughts will be with our friends and colleagues affected by the conflicts in Gaza and Syria. Remember during this season of thankfulness how lucky we are to be safe in our own homes and that, right now, civilians suffer from the effects of war and conflict.
GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N.’s human rights chief pressed Israel on Tuesday to avoid strikes on civilian structures in Gaza, and UNICEF said children in the enclave were showing signs of severe trauma after direct hits on dwellings that have killed dozens of civilians.
The International Committee of the Red Cross also reminded both parties - Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement - to the week-old conflict of their obligation to comply with humanitarian law to minimize civilian casualties.
At least 57 Palestinian civilians, including 18 children, are confirmed as having been killed, according to U.N. monitors who say the death l had doubled in the past 48 hours. Ten more people were killed overnight but it was unclear how many were civilians, U.N. rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.
Burundi has secured more than $2 billion (1.5 billion euros) in aid from international donors after requesting help toward financing development programmes over the next four years, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
The country had asked for $1.1 billion at a two-day donor conference, “but we ended up with more than $2 billion registered commitments at the conference,” Pamphile Muderega of the National Aid Coordination Committee said in a statement released by the UN’s development agency.
“This represents a doubling of our already optimistic expectations.”
IEDs are the biggest cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Interesting fact from the article: Taliban leader Mullah Omar banned the use of anti-personnel landmines in 1998 denouncing such weapons as ‘un-Islamic’ and ‘anti-human.’
New York, Oct 21 2012 3:10PM
Following the deaths of at least 18 women, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today called on the Taliban leadership to publicly reiterate a ban on landmine-like improvised explosive device (IEDs) and to stop their use.
“Any use of this heinous weapon should cease immediately,” added the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, in a news release. “I repeat once again UNAMA’s many calls to all anti-Government elements to protect and respect the lives of all Afghan civilians.”
The UNAMA news release noted that the Mission condemned the killing of at least 18 women in Dawlatabad District, Balkh, in the country’s north, on Friday, and “offers its condolences to the families of those killed and wishes a speedy recovery for those injured.”
The Washington Times yesterday published a misleading account of a United Nations treaty that seeks to promote equal rights for people with disabilities, arguing that it threatens U.S. sovereignty. In fact, this interpretation amounts to nothing more than fearmongering since what the treaty calls for, non-discriminatory treatment of people with disabilities, is already U.S. law.
In the piece titled “Does The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities void US sovereignty?”Washington Times Communities columnist Bryana Johnson claimed that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities voids U.S. sovereignty because of a clause in the treaty that she claimed “demands that all American law on the subject be conformed to the standards of the UN.”
In fact, the treaty demands — to use Johnson’s word — that we meet our own basic human rights standards and not discriminate against the 56.7 million Americans currently living with a disability.
A NATO bomb that did not go off sat in Brega, Libya last year. The NATO list of sites suspected to have unexploded ordnance does not include details of the types of bombs or their fuzes. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
The release by NATO of a list of unexploded munitions from the alliance’s military action in Libya has been both welcomed as a step toward postconflict accountability and criticized as a half-measure that falls short of protecting civilians and specialists trying to rid the country of its hazards.
The United Nations said this month that NATO, in an exchange not publicly disclosed, had shared details of 313 possible sites of unexploded ordnance from the alliance’s action against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government last year. The alliance provided the latitude and longitude for each site, the weight of the ordnance and a description of the means of delivery (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter gunship or naval vessel).
With the widespread use of sophisticated targeting sensors, with which aircrews record infrared video of the impact of a missile or bomb, air forces have a greater capacity than ever to know exactly where weapons struck and when they have failed to function properly. Such data is routinely gathered as part of what militaries call battle damage assessment. It is used to determine whether a target has been destroyed or should be hit again, and to assess the reliability and effectiveness of various missiles and bombs.