Friday, 17 December 2010

United States’ backing for indigenous rights declaration hailed at UN

Filed under: Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:11 PDT

The announcement by President Barack Obama that the United States supports the landmark United Nations [declaration] outlining the rights of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous peoples was hailed today at the world body.

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Nuclear Disarmament Has a Future

Filed under: Disarmament — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:10 PDT

BERLIN (IDN) – The United Nations is keen to counter growing skepticism about nuclear disarmament really happening and culminating into a nuke free world. According to the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Sergio Duarte, the peoples and countries of the world are not willing to hang on to nuclear weapons and put at risk all that has been accomplished in building international interdependence.

Duarte, a Brazilian diplomat, believes that nations will not be misled into “illusory national security benefits produced by clinging on to these obsolete, costly, and inherently dangerous weapons — weapons that are widely viewed as illegitimate and inhumane. . . . This gives me at least some hope for the future. In terms of preventing nuclear threats, there is no alternative policy that does this better than eliminating such weapons.”

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Assessing corporate action on conflict minerals

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:01 PDT

Violent conflict has persisted in eastern Congo for more than 15 years, and although Congo’s conflict stems from long-standing grievances, the trade in conflict minerals provides fuel for the conflict…

In February 2009, the Enough Project initiated engagement with major electronics companies on conflict minerals, writing to 21 consumer electronics industry leaders to call their attention to this issue and inquire about the steps they were taking to ensure their products were conflict-free.

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WikiLeaks and the Disconnectivity of the Web

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:58 PDT

I am ambivalent about WikiLeaks.

While I go with the undisputed righteousness and emotional pull of principles like freedom of speech, I feel I am being hoodwinked and dragged into a fight that is not my own.

During the ’80s I ran a think tank called Conflict and Peace Forums, which promoted amongst other things, the work of the ‘Father of Peace Studies’, Johan Galtung. One of his initiatives that we helped to develop and pioneer in the British Press was the notion of Peace Journalism. No, this was not a new form of aggression-free writing, but a clear sighted analysis of the news media. What Galtung could demonstrate was that, despite its commitment to neutrality and “just reporting the facts,” media outlets always frame the news according to their own sometimes explicit, often hidden, agendas.

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Afrikaner: Freedom Front Plus Leader Calls for Reconciliation and Mutual Understanding

Filed under: Africa files — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:52 PDT

Dr. Pieter Mulder, Freedom Front Plus leader and deputy minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has expressed his firm belief that for a real reconciliation of the different ethnicities living in South Africa, it is now necessary to strike a balance between common values and diversity, against assimilation and reciprocal annihilation.

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South Africa ’still on the long road to reconciliation’

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:51 PDT

South African children need to be told about the country’s past in a different way, community leaders speaking at an interfaith reconciliation pilgrimage in Cape Town said on Thursday.

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Bolivia To Take Dispute Over Climate Negotiations To International Court

Filed under: Dispute resolution and negotiation,Environment,Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:51 PDT

In the early hours before an agreement was made in Cancun toward a global deal to combat climate change, one country, Bolivia, repeatedly stood up to voice its opposition to the process. The COP’s president, Patricia Espinosa of Mexico, gaveled down Bolivia and a deal was ultimately approved. Now Bolivia plans to take its fight to International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, where it will complain that international law was disobeyed in Cancun.

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Audio slideshow: Afghan sings for peace

Filed under: Art of Peacework,Middle East,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:50 PDT

Singer, composer and peace activist Farhad Darya is one of the biggest stars in Afghanistan.

He has been touring the country with his Life is Beautiful concerts, drawing crowds of tens of thousands – even in Taliban strongholds. A women-only show in the north was a sell-out. Apart from one bomb blast at a concert in Herat, the tour has been an enormous success, Darya told the BBC World Service. Afghans, he says, are crying out for change.

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Experts: Philly schools need to go beyond agreement to stop bullies

Filed under: children and youth,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:20 PDT

Philadelphia (CNN) — Helen Gym threw her arms around Duong-Nghe Ly.

“We did it,” she said, before pulling back to look at Ly, a Vietnamese immigrant and senior at the South Philadelphia High School named in the complaint. “We did it.”

The Philadelphia School District on Wednesday signed a 2½-year civil rights agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to address anti-Asian immigrant violence at South Philadelphia.

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‘Budrus’: Nonviolence put to the test in West Bank documentary

Filed under: Film, video, audio,Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:46 PDT

It’s impossible to watch “Budrus” without thinking of Rachel Corrie, the Evergreen State College student who was crushed to death by an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003.

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Chinese dissident a good choice for 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

Filed under: Africa files,Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Myanmar — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:45 PDT

You may have seen the news last week of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, for Liu Xialbo, the Chinese literary critic, writer, professor and human rights activist who called for political reforms.

Liu Xialbo remains a political prisoner in China and was prevented from attending. Instead, his award was placed on a symbolic empty chair.

China blocked all mention of the event on its state-run media. It even strongly urged many of its allies to boycott. Nineteen did, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, an indication of China’s growing economic and political influence. But China’s overreaction is a good example of how much influence the Nobel Peace Prize carries throughout the world. It is an invaluable tool to highlight dissidents who often languish out of sight and mind in some faraway prison whose only “crime” was to publicly question the existing political status quo.

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