Monday, 30 November 2009

A need to re-evaluate Jewish-Arab action and dialogue groups in Israel

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:44 PDT

JERUSALEM – Activities promoting coexistence, dialogue and education for a shared life between Arabs and Jews in Israel emerged in the late seventies. Today, after three decades, it is the ethical responsibility of those working in this area, whether on the ground or in academic research, to critically reassess the approaches and methods that have been used throughout the years.

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Marchers for Peace and Nonviolence Arrive to Montreal December 1st

Filed under: Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:34 PDT

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Pierre Hennico, Emilia Giorgetti and Miguel Angel Fernandez, members of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence Team, will arrive to Montreal on Tuesday, Dec 1, after having journeyed through more than 50 countries.

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Jordan’s women in no man’s land

Filed under: Disarmament,Environment,gender — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:34 PDT

MAFRAQ, NORTHERN JORDAN – Jordan has stood at the front-line of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948, and in the six decades since has been de-mining battlefields where opposing armies once roamed.

Many of the country’s land mines date back to the 1948 partition of Palestine, the 1967 Six Day War, and hostilities with Syria in the 1970′s.

A peace treaty with Israel in 1994 allowed Jordan to speed up its de-mining efforts; 73,000 Israeli mines have been removed from the Wadi Araba border area.

In 1999, Jordan ratified the Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines.

The task for the Jordanians now is to remove some 136,000 mines from a 104-km belt along the northern border with Syria by 2012, a measure stipulated by the treaty, and they have pioneered a new approach that challenges social norms.

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Rwanda to ‘clear up diplomatic climate’ with Paris

Filed under: Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:34 PDT

KIGALI — Rwanda wants to “clear up the diplomatic climate which has been poisoned since 1994″ with France, the Kigali government said a day after the announcement of the restoration of diplomatic ties.

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The Turkish-Armenian Protocols

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:31 PDT

This interview with Prof. Taner Akcam was conducted at Clark University’s Strassler Center in Massachusetts on Oct. 30 by Dr. Vera Eccarius-Kelly for the blog project “Changing Turkey in a Changing World,” affiliated with the Centre for Global and Transnational Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London…

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Sunday, 29 November 2009

How Gold Pays For Congo’s Deadly War

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment,children and youth — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:27 PDT

Five million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a war fueled primarily from gold mined in the country by warlords. Scott Pelley reports. 60 Minutes, Sunday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. ET/PT.

(CBS) One of the poorest countries on Earth is slowly dying because it’s one of the wealthiest in valuable minerals. The Democratic Republic of Congo can barely pay its own army, yet more than five million people have died there in a long war paid for by gold and other valuable minerals, contestation over which is often the cause of the deadly battles.

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Friday, 27 November 2009

Waging Peace

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:04 PDT

In a world fuelled by war, could peace initiatives be the way forward?

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Sri Lanka: What Happens Next?

Filed under: South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:53 PDT

The news that the Government of Sri Lanka is to close the internment camps where thousands of Tamils were illegally detained, following the end of the country’s civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels six months ago, is testimony to the effect of international pressure.

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Aid trickles in despite desperate need of Nargis victims

Filed under: Humanitarian work,Myanmar — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:32 PDT

BANGKOK – Eighteen months after Cyclone Nargis, which killed at least 140,000 people, hundreds of thousands of survivors remain in desperate need, according to the United Nations.

More than 170,000 people are still without adequate shelter, while the vast majority of the farmers in the Irrawaddy Delta devastated by last year’s cyclone, are slipping into enormous debt, the head of the UN operations in Burma, Bishow Parajuli told Mizzima on Wednesday.

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Changing tack on Myanmar

Filed under: Myanmar — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:24 PDT

Barack Obama’s recent sortie into Asia has marked a radical change in Washington’s approach to the region, as the US president looks to re-engage after eight years of diffidence shown by the previous Bush administration.

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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

UN peacebuilding body ready for expanded role, Security Council told

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:28 PDT

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) – tasked with marshalling resources to support recovery and development efforts in countries emerging from conflict – could be put to greater use by the world body, the Security Council was told in a briefing today.

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Darfur: over 300 former combatants discharged through UN-backed programme

Filed under: Africa files,Disarmament,gender — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:27 PDT

More than 300 former combatants in Darfur, including women and disabled persons, have participated in a three-day discharge programme organized by the Government of Sudan with support from the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur.

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Despite progress, challenges remain on child soldiers in Sudan, UN official reports

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:26 PDT

Despite progress in Sudan in the past two years in tackling the problem of children in armed conflict, many challenges remain, ranging from reintegrating child soldiers to dealing with youngsters abducted by the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who have been brainwashed into killing their own parents, a senior United Nations official said today.

On the positive side, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy cited a recent agreement with the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which fought a two-decade-long war with the Government until a peace accord in 2005.

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Report | China’s Expanding Role in Peacekeeping: Prospects and Policy Implications

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:08 PDT

China’s growing global presence has meant a growing awareness and concern within the country about international economic and political developments. As China’s national interests have become more global in their scope, China has shown an increased willingness to commit resources towards constructively
engaging the international community and contributing responsibly to stability and security in a widening array of locations. China’s expanding role in United
Nations peacekeeping is one important manifestation of this trend, and is the focus of this Policy Paper… (full document .pdf)

Why don’t academic scientists share information with their colleagues?

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:00 PDT

“Every scientist knows that science advances only if knowledge is shared,” (Warnick and Wojick 2009). Science is a cumulative process, so its progress and benefits to society hinge critically on multiple scientists testing and building on each others’ work. However, the contribution to the “scientific commons” (Merton 1973) is challenged by individual scientists’ self-interest.

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Winning writing on international development

Filed under: Africa files,Environment,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:57 PDT

The winners of the Guardian Newspaper’s International Development Journalism competition have now been chosen. Both winning articles addressed the impact of climate change on water in Africa. Preeti Jha, winner of the professional competition, wrote about water and conflict among pastoralists on Kenya’s Ethiopian border.

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Afghanistan: Elections and the Crisis of Governance

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:49 PDT

President Hamid Karzai’s re-election on 2 November 2009, following widespread fraud in the 20 August presidential and provincial polls, has delivered a critical blow to his government’s legitimacy. The deeply flawed polls have eroded public confidence in the electoral process and in the international community’s commitment to the country’s nascent democratic institutions. Concentration of power in the executive to the exclusion of the legislature and judiciary has also resulted in a fundamental breakdown in governance while strengthening the hand of the insurgency. To restore stability, vigorous constitutional reform under the aegis of a loya jirga must be undertaken; an impartial commission of inquiry into the flawed elections should be formed; the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) should be restructured to restore credibility; and prompt steps must be taken to strengthen institutions.

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Israel’s pro-settlement soldiers worry leaders

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:25 PDT

In Israel, most men and women do military service. As a result, the public’s attitude towards their military is rather familial and criticism is mostly expressed in private. But, suddenly, an increasing number of soldiers are openly protesting against their involvement in the evacuation of Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank, reports the BBC’s Katya Adler.

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Zimbabwe women rise up for peace

Filed under: Africa files,gender — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:20 PDT

As Americans count their blessings, it is useful to remember women who count their beatings — in the once-fair country of Zimbabwe, cursed by Robert Mugabe.

Magodonga Mahlangu and Jennifer Williams, leaders of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, sit at a table at the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice & Human Rights, in Washington, recounting acts of courage that should be shouted from rooftops. “We are very ordinary people,” says Williams, about a movement of about 75,000 women who have engaged in more than 100 non-violent protests – protests that often end in a hospital or prison.

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North African women at forefront of legal reform

Filed under: Africa files,gender,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:59 PDT

FEZ, Morocco – Women in North Africa have made tremendous progress in promoting and upholding their rights. Women in this region—commonly known as the Maghreb—are at the forefront of the Arab world in terms of individual rights and gender equality, and constitute models for other Arab women to follow. A number of lessons may be drawn from the inspiring experience of women in North Africa, especially in Morocco and Tunisia.

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