Friday, 8 February 2008

University for Peace: Peace and Conflict Monitor

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:26 PDT

This month’s issue addresses the tragic unrest currently unfolding in Kenya…

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Canadian NGO Calls on UN to Take Action on Child Soldiers

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:54 PDT

TORONTO – In response to the new United Nations report “Children in Armed Conflict”, Plan Canada urges the Security Council to do more than simply debate the issue when it meets in New York in a special session on February 12. Urgent action is needed to defuse a ticking time bomb of traumatized and alienated child soldiers, often kidnapped by armed groups and brainwashed to become brutal killers.

“These children face even more hardships when they return home,” said Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO Plan Canada. “Not only do they have to live with the stigma of what they’ve done, but they have to deal with
communities and even family members that are often terrified of them.”

The Secretary General’s report (published January 30) highlights conflicts in countries such as Uganda, Sudan, Colombia, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone and others – all countries where Plan works.

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Nonviolent Action: One Palestinian teen injured in weekly Bil’in protest

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:44 PDT

Accompanied by international and Israeli supporters, the villagers of Bil’in, located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, have conducted their weekly protest against the illegal Israeli wall being built on village land.

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Chatham House International Law Discussion Group: Private Military and Security Companies

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:42 PDT

A summary [pdf] of the Chatham House International Law discussion group meeting held on 22 January 2008.

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REPORT: Negotiating in practice what is non-negotiable in principle: development policy and armed non-state actor

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,International Law: War,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:41 PDT

Negotiating in practice what is non-negotiable in principle: development policy and armed non-state actors:
Development perspectives of engaging with non-state armed actors

Authors: N. Stott
Publisher: Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik / German Development Institute (GDI), 2008
Full text of document (pdf)

Non-State Armed Actors (NSAA) are today the main feature of violent conflicts both within States and at the regional level. Humanitarian organisations have for some time developed strategies to engage armed groups on questions related to the respect for humanitarian principles. Little research, however, has been conducted to ascertain the opportunities for, and challenges of, engaging NSAA from a development perspective.

This paper considers possible entry points for constructive engagement with NSAA from a development perspective.

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REVIEW: The Mediator Magazine: great online resource for the dispute resolution professional

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Dispute resolution and negotiation — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:40 PDT

The Mediator Magazine, published monthly, delivers news, profiles, columns, and polls dedicated to the art and practice of mediation. Although many of the articles focus on the work of mediators in the U.K., it holds a universal appeal, covering issues of concern to mediators regardless of where in the world they practice…

The Mediator Magazine is a flash-based site, so I’m not able to link directly to the articles cited here. You’ll need to visit the site yourself to access these and other articles. It’s just too bad this great online resource relies on flash and lacks an RSS feed or an email subscription service so that readers could be notified when new issues are published.

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ABSTRACT: Cluster munitions: decades of failure, decades of civilian suffering

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,International Law: War,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:10 PDT

Abstract: Cluster munitions have been a persistent problem for decades. Although used in only a few dozen armed conflicts over the last 40 years, these weapons have killed or maimed tens of thousands of civilians in war-affected countries… Only now are governments beginning to take concerted action to address the human costs of these weapons.Many States are supporting proposals to prohibit some or all cluster munitions.

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CHRONOLOGY-Kenya in crisis after disputed elections

Filed under: Africa files,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:44 PDT

Feb 8 (Reuters) – International mediators cannot afford to fail in Kenya, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Friday.

Annan has been leading efforts to end violence sparked by a disputed election in Kenya. Here is a short chronology of events since the Dec. 27 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Click for full story including chronology

Biofuels are worsening global warming

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:30 PDT

Converting native ecosystems for production of biofuel feed stocks is worsening the greenhouse gas emissions they are intended to mitigate, reports a pair of studies published in the journal Science. The studies follow a series of reports that have linked ethanol and biodiesel production to increased carbon dioxide emissions, destruction of biodiverse forest and savanna habitats, and air and water pollution.

Analyzing the lifecycle emissions from biofuels, the first study found that carbon released by converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands often far outweighs the carbon savings from biofuels. Conversion of peatland rainforests for oil palm plantations for example, incurs a “carbon debt” of 423 years in Indonesia and Malaysia, while the carbon emission from clearing Amazon rainforest for soybeans takes 319 years of renewable soy biodiesel before the land can begin to lower greenhouse gas levels and mitigate global warming.

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