Showing posts with label UN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UN. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Saudi Arabia UAE--two allies no longer able to solve their problems on their own

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024   No comments

Disagreements in secret come to light with the Saudi complaint to the United Nations due to a border dispute.. “Al Yasat” is showing that the two allies and regional economic powers no longer able to solve their problems on their own.

In a letter addressed to the United Nations, Saudi Arabia accused Abu Dhabi of encroaching on the Kingdom’s borders, through the UAE authorities issuing an Emiri decree in 2019, declaring Al Yasat a “marine protected area.”

The complaint indicated that Saudi Arabia does not recognize any measures or practices taken, or their consequences, by the UAE government in the area off the Saudi coast, the “Al Yasat area,” including the Kingdom’s territorial sea and the area of joint sovereignty on the two islands of Makasib.

The UAE demanded the completion of implementation of Article Five of the agreement demarcating the land and sea borders dated between the two countries in 1974.

Riyadh considered the memorandum official, and also called on the United Nations to circulate it to the members of the United Nations, according to established procedures.

This step, according to Gulf affairs experts, means that both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are no longer able to solve their problems on their own, or within Gulf frameworks such as the Gulf Cooperation Council or Arab ones such as the Arab League, and that the dispute has reached the United Nations, the highest international body for conflict resolution. The issue of the “Al Yasat” region is not the only controversial issue between the two countries, as there is something bigger than it, according to what experts point out. The dispute over the “Shaybah” oil field is considered one of the most prominent headlines at the core of the border disputes, and the silent struggle between the two countries over influence in Yemen. Both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh were unable to hide it, or solve it through understandings, and it remained like fire under the ashes. The UAE’s support for the Transitional Council in Yemen, its efforts to divide it north and south, and its fight against the Islah Party, are all actions that worry Riyadh, and push it to thwart Emirati projects and stand up to them. Although the conflict has so far been in its silent and hidden context, most odds say that the clash is not coming. A dispute between groups affiliated with both parties in Yemen.

These are some of the forces that are reshaping a critical region in the world, Southwest Asia and North Africa, the center of gravity of human civilizations for thousands of years,

  

Monday, March 11, 2024

Guterres: Despite the start of Ramadan, killing, bombing and bloodshed continue in Gaza, and the attack on Rafah pushes the population to new depths in hell

    Monday, March 11, 2024   No comments

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was "appalled" by conflict continuing in Gaza despite the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Speaking after the failure of attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, Guterres called for "silencing the guns" in Gaza and warned that "hunger and malnutrition" are taking hold.

"This is heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable," Guterres told reporters.

"I am appalled and outraged that conflict is continuing in Gaza during this holy month," he said, adding that "all obstacles" to aid delivery should be removed.

The United Nations says that lack of humanitarian aid means famine is a growing risk in Gaza, where 2.4 million people are under near-total siege by the Israeli military, as it battles Hamas militants.

"We cannot look away. We must act to avoid more preventable deaths," Guterres said.

"We have witnessed month after month of civilian killing and destruction at a level that is unprecedented in all my years as Secretary-General," he said.

But aid "is coming in trickles – if it comes at all. International humanitarian law lies in tatters."

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that despite the start of the holy month of Ramadan, killing, bombing and bloodshed continue in the Gaza Strip.

Guterres warned, in a press conference, that “the threat of an attack on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip may push the people of Gaza to new depths in hell.”

He urged action to avoid more “preventable” deaths in Gaza.

He stressed that “despite the month of Ramadan, killing, bombing and bloodshed continue in Gaza.”

Guterres said: “My strongest call today is to silence the weapons in Gaza and Sudan “out of respect for the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.”

He also called for removing “all obstacles to ensure the rapid and widespread delivery of life-saving aid.”

He also called for the “immediate release of all hostages” held by Hamas.

Regarding life-saving aid, Guterres said that it “comes in drops, if it arrives at all.”

Since October 7, 2023, Israel has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip that has left tens of thousands of civilian victims, most of them children and women, in addition to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and massive destruction of infrastructure, which led to Tel Aviv being brought before the International Court of Justice on charges of “genocide.” Collective.”

The Secretary-General of the United Nations also touched on the situation in Sudan, reiterating his call for “a cessation of hostilities during the month of Ramadan.”

“The fighting there must end for the sake of the Sudanese people who face hunger, horrors and untold hardships,” he said.

He stressed that “the time has come for peace” in Gaza, Sudan and beyond.

Guterres concluded his speech by saying: “We have witnessed, month after month, the killing and destruction of civilians at an unprecedented level throughout the years I spent as Secretary-General of the United Nations.”

Israeli Minister of Defense wished Muslims of Gaza a Ramadan Kareem

Meanwhile, Galant, the Israeli Minister of Defense wished Muslims of Gaza a Ramadan Kareem. Of note, the same official ordered food, water, electricity, gas cut off.


Ramadan Mubarak to you; blessed is the cherished month.

Every year and you are well. May God bring it back to you with good and prosperity.

 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

G77 + China: The largest intergovernmental coalition within the United Nations meets at turning point

    Sunday, January 21, 2024   No comments

 

The intergovernmental organization known as the G77 + China holds its summit this month in Africa. The summit is held during challenging time. UN secretary general was present to highlight some of these challenges including the war in Gaza and threat of spillover effect that could widen the conflict or increase its intensity.


The opening of the summit called the “South Summit” in Kampala, Uganda, was overshadowed by what Liu Kuo-chung called the continued influence of “the old international economic and political system, in undermining international peace and development,” amid a consensus among the participants on the importance of changing the global financial and economic system that emerged after World War II.


The summit is being held in Africa, which is witnessing increasing competition between the major powers to enter it, each according to its priorities. For China, the continent constitutes a cornerstone of its “Belt and Road” initiative, and the summit aims to enhance cooperation in the fields of economics and development among member states, develop and transfer technology, and bridge the gap. Science between North and South countries.



The Group of 77 (G77) is an international governmental alliance, the largest of its kind within the United Nations system. It was established in 1964 with the aim of defending the interests of developing countries, promoting the economy, and coordinating common issues affecting the countries of the South.


The group was established on June 15, 1964, at the end of the first session of the United Nations Trade and Development Program (UNCTAD) in Geneva, where the joint statement was announced and signed by 77 developing countries from around the world.


Between 10 and 25 October 1967, the group's first ministerial meeting was held in Algiers, during which the "Algiers Charter" was approved, which included the founding structure of the group.


Although the group has expanded and its members have increased to 134 countries, it still maintains its name due to the significance and symbolism of the event, and the strength and diversity of attendance it expresses at the founding conference.


The group includes two-thirds of the member states of the United Nations, representing 80% of the planet's population, and approximately 43% of the world's economy.



The group includes 134 countries from various developing countries, and the member countries are divided by continents; she:


Asia:

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, East Timor, Turkmenistan, UAE, Vietnam, Yemen and Azerbaijan.


Africa:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde Islands, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, etc. Kenya and Equatorial Guinea Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


North America:

Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago.


South America:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.


Continent of Oceania:

Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

International condemnation of the American “veto”... “History will not forget Washington’s actions”... Israel conducting mass-arrests of "military-aged" Gazan Men

    Saturday, December 09, 2023   No comments

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council, Dmitry Polyansky, announced that the United States, by using its veto power against the draft resolution presented by the Arab group in the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, “sentenced the death penalty to thousands of civilians.”

Polyansky said during a voting session in the UN Security Council: “It will not be an exaggeration if we say that today is one of the darkest days in the history of the Middle East, as our colleagues in the United States have sentenced to death before our eyes thousands, if not tens of thousands, of civilians, including women and children. "By obstructing the call for a ceasefire."

Polyansky stressed that history will not forget Washington's actions in this regard.


The Russian deputy delegate continued, saying, "You can say as many empty words as you want about democracy, human rights, women, peace, security, and some rules, but we have seen their true price now, when two members of the Security Council chose to remain complicit in this genocide committed by Israel."

For his part, China's permanent representative to the UN Security Council, Zhang Jun, strongly supported the Arab draft resolution as a means to save lives, and criticized the United States for using the veto, saying that expressing grief for civilians and using the veto to continue the fighting is "the utmost hypocrisy."


John pointed out that "the ceasefire helps to achieve a two-state solution to establish lasting peace in the Middle East," pointing out that "the continuation of the war would increase the collapse of security in the region, and the Security Council must assume its responsibilities without delay."


He also called on "Israel" to stop the policy of collective punishment that it is committing against the residents of the Gaza Strip. He also described what is happening as a "humanitarian catastrophe," stressing that "any slowdown means more bloodshed."


For his part, Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, stressed that the “veto” in the United Nations cannot be used to allow massacres, noting that in order for “democracy and peace to shine on the American continent, America cannot allow genocide anywhere in the world.”


In turn, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed that as long as Washington supports the crimes of the occupation and the continuation of the war, the scope of the war will not be limited to the current situation only, but will expand, pointing to the possibility of an “uncontrollable” explosion in the situation in the region.


In a phone call with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the Iranian minister appreciated the latter’s activation of Article 99 of the United Nations Charter regarding developments in Palestine and the genocide in Gaza, describing it as a “courageous act.”


This comes after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution submitted by the Arab group to the UN Security Council with a record sponsorship of 100 countries, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, despite receiving 13 votes, after the United States used its veto power. Veto to block the draft resolution.


The draft resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for humanitarian reasons. It also stresses the need for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners, ensuring the arrival of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and the entry of aid in sufficient quantities into the besieged Strip and from all crossings.

It is noteworthy that Britain abstained from voting, while the French representative, François de Rivière, regretted not adopting the resolution and wished it had included a condemnation of “Hamas.”


Israeli leaders thanked the United States for the veto, and attacked the UN General Secretary, once again invoking anti-semitism.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said that the decision of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to push for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza is anti-Semitism.

Lapid said anti-Semitism was the only “logical explanation” for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ decision to push for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

“Just when Israel was defending itself after our children were killed by brutal terrorists and our people were taken hostage, the UN Security Council suddenly decided to activate Article 99 to help Hamas,” Lapid wrote in a series of social media posts on Saturday.

“How do we know it is anti-Semitic?” he added. Because there is no other logical explanation.”

Lapid cited a number of other bloody conflicts, including in Sudan and Syria, in which neither Guterres nor any of his predecessors used Article 99 power to force debate in the Security Council.

Guterres used Article 99 of the UN Charter, which has not been used for decades, to force the UN Security Council to discuss a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

The United States used its veto power yesterday, Friday, against the draft resolution submitted by the UAE for a ceasefire in Gaza.


Meanwhile, a UN source confirmed to Sputnik that a delegation from the UN Security Council intends to visit the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip next Monday.


The source added that the delegation heading to the crossing will include the Russian permanent representative to the Security Council, Vasily Nebenzia.


In a related context, the American website “Axios”, citing an Israeli official, said that the United States is not “pressing the brakes” or giving “Israel” a specific deadline to stop the military operation in Gaza, but it points to the fact that time is running out.


The Israeli official said that the United States would be satisfied if Israel finished the high-intensity phase of the operation by the end of December, while Israel aims for the end of January.


“The message from the United States is that they want us to finish faster, with fewer civilian casualties and more humanitarian aid to Gaza,” the official explained, adding: “We want the same thing, but there is another player here and that is the enemy who does not agree.”


He continued by saying, "The United States understands this. We are working together. We need them and they need us."

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

General Assembly of the United Nations; 19-23 + 26 September 2023

    Wednesday, September 20, 2023   No comments

General Assembly of the United Nations; 19-23 + 26 September 2023: World Leaders Urge Transformative Solutions to Myriad Threats as Ukraine Conflict, COVID-19 Pandemic Compound Food, Fuel Crises, Worsen Climate Emergency

Information about speeches and news stories are archived by the UN; this year's speech can be accessed from these site and streaming platforms:


UNGA Meetings Cooverage


UNGA debate on youtube


Thursday, June 01, 2023

Sheikh al-Azhar: Western civilization bears the largest part of the tragedy of modern man

    Thursday, June 01, 2023   No comments

The Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, received today, Thursday, at the headquarters of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, the United Nations High Representative for the Dialogue of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, and ways to enhance joint cooperation were discussed.

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar welcomed Moratinos, stressing Al-Azhar's openness to dialogue with all believers in religions, cultures and civilizations.


Al-Tayeb pointed out that the world is currently facing a very complex crisis, which is the crisis of excluding religious and moral values from people's lives, stressing that this crisis does not only resonate and affect its makers, but also extends to all humanity, east and west, indicating that this crisis is The basis for all the conflicts and wars that our world is exposed to today.


The Sheikh of Al-Azhar pointed out that Western civilization bears the largest part in the tragedy of modern man, when it sought to exclude religion from people's lives, and focused on satisfying human desires and promoting material thought.


The Sheikh of Al-Azhar touched on the human suffering today, from the lack of food and medicine, and the climate change crisis, in addition to social crises.


Monday, March 27, 2023

UNSC failed to get Nord Stream blast international independent investigative commission

    Monday, March 27, 2023   No comments

The UNSC, which literally stands for the United Nations Security Council, and whose mission “is to maintain international peace and security;” failed to adopt a resolution that “would have established an international independent investigative commission into the September 2022 “acts of sabotage” committed on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.”

The vote, or lack thereof as was the case this time, shows how politicized this UN body has become. If the attack on an asset established to transact trade between a number of nation-states is not of concern to the UN body charged with maintaining peace and security, then what is?

The politics of power and control are not limited to the halls of the UN. The media, too, is deep in the business of writing narratives that are highly political and less informative. This screen capture shows how some of these media outlets reported about the vote: “Russia fails at UN to get Nord Stream blast inquiry” when the fact is clear: the UNSC failed to get Nord Stream blast inquiry.

It is because of media bias and the ineptitude of the UNSC that countries are invaded, peoples exploited, and resources and pillaged by the rich and powerful.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

UN nuke watchdog chief in Iran: Any military attack on a nuclear facility is illegal

    Sunday, March 05, 2023   No comments

Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi says any military attack on nuclear facilities is outlawed, responding to US and Israeli threats to target those in Iran.

Grossi made the remarks in Tehran Saturday, in a joint news conference with head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami who urged the IAEA to help build trust.

The Biden administration has drawn closer to Israel in recent weeks, conducting large-scale joint military exercises with the regime.

“There are two separate issues in this regard. First, attacks on nuclear power plants have unfortunately become common, and this is due to the war in Ukraine. Second, these attacks have been condemned during the Agency’s public conferences. So I think that the attack on nuclear facilities is totally condemned and illegal,” Grossi said.

He is visiting Tehran after Western reports claimed that IAEA inspectors had found 84% enriched uranium in Iran – an allegation Tehran has rejected.

Eslami told reporters that the Islamic Republic is enriching uranium up to 60% fissile purity.

Grossi said he had “constructive discussions” with Iranian officials that could pave the way for the revival of a landmark 2015 agreement to bring the US back to compliance and remove sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

“By having a constructive discussion, like we are having now, and having good agreements, like I am sure we are going to have, we are going to be paving the way for important agreements,” he said.

Eslami called for the remaining signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), namely France, Britain, Germany along with China and Russia, to fulfill their obligations.

“Three European and some other countries are just focusing on Iran’s JCPOA obligations,” he said. “They too have obligations that they need to adhere to.”

Eslami said, “We came to an arrangement (with Grossi) to define our cooperation within the framework of the safeguards.”

He called on the UN nuclear agency to avoid being swayed by those who aim to hinder cooperation between the two sides.


Reactions


Today, Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the statements of the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, in which he asserted that carrying out an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities was "illegal." Netanyahu said that Grossi was a worthy person, but he made inappropriate statements.

Grossi said during his visit to Tehran on Saturday - in response to a journalist's question about the threats of Tel Aviv and Washington to attack Iranian nuclear facilities if they consider that diplomatic means to prevent Tehran from acquiring an atomic bomb have reached a dead end - that "any military attack on nuclear facilities is prohibited." ".

Netanyahu said - at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting - that "Israel will continue to defend itself in the face of those who call for its annihilation and prepare for the slaughter of its citizens."


He added that his country "continues to work to confront Iran, through discussions and actions it is conducting around the clock."


The International Atomic Energy Agency issued yesterday from Vienna a joint statement with the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency at the end of Grossi's visit to Tehran.


The statement stated that Iran is ready to continue cooperation with the agency regarding 3 sites that the agency said were undeclared and where traces of uranium were found.


Iran has also indicated its willingness to provide more information and access to it in order to address the remaining safeguards issues.


The joint statement added that Iran will allow the IAEA, when needed, to carry out more verification and supervision activities in nuclear facilities, provided that the method for this is agreed upon during a technical meeting to be held in Tehran soon.


Grossi's visit came as negotiations aimed at reviving the agreement on the Iranian nuclear file concluded in 2015 - officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - reached a dead end.


It also coincides with the start of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's tour of the Middle East today, Sunday, including Egypt, Jordan and Israel, during which he will hold talks on the Iranian nuclear program.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Beijing submits a peace plan proposal as a public position for the conflcit between Russia and Ukraine

    Friday, February 24, 2023   No comments

Media coverage of the Chinese proposal related to the military conflict in Ukraine is different depending on the source and its connection to the political systems. Here, a fact-driven, sourced summary is presented to serious readers who wish to understand, not take side.

With increased pressure on China to stop "thinking about" providing Russia with lethal weapons, China chose instead to propose a road map for ending the conflict. There are many legitimate questions as to the timing of the proposal and the increased pressure on China and other countries to take public stance about the conflict. A summary of the Chinese proposal as explained by Chinese officials and Chinese media is provided here along with some references for context.


In a 12-point position paper dubbed "China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis," issued on Friday morning, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called for ceasing hostilities and resuming peace talks, stopping unilateral sanctions and abandoning the Cold War mentality.

It also called for respecting the sovereignty of all countries and expressed opposition to the use of nuclear weapons. 

Chinese experts said the document should be viewed as a blueprint that has made China's principles clear for resolving the crisis and pointed out the basic path to achieve it constructively.

Although the document reflects China's position as a peacemaker and negotiation facilitator, as well as China's great sincerity in global governance, experts suggested that the course of the conflict largely depends on the willingness of both sides to resolve the conflict peacefully. And the atmosphere and willingness to negotiate are seemingly still far from being mature given the US and NATO's interference. 

Beijing called for stopping military operations in Ukraine, starting a negotiation process, and resuming direct dialogue as soon as possible.

Today, Friday, in a statement coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the Chinese Foreign Ministry considered that "it is necessary to cease-fire and military operations," calling on "all parties to maintain rationality and restraint and avoid further aggravation of the Ukrainian crisis or even It's out of control."

The statement indicated that it was necessary to "support Russia and Ukraine in moving towards each other to resume direct dialogue as soon as possible."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that "dialogue and negotiations are the only possible way to solve the Ukrainian crisis," adding: "The international community should create conditions and provide a platform for the resumption of negotiations. China is ready to continue to play a constructive role in this regard."






China considered it important to abandon "unilateral sanctions and pressure, as it will not solve the problem and will create new problems."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called for "reducing strategic risks" and stressed "resistance to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons."


This statement was preceded by an announcement in which China said that it would submit a proposal this week to reach a political solution to end the war, which has been going on for nearly a year.


It is noteworthy that China has called on the United States more than once to settle the Ukrainian crisis politically instead of fueling it, and also called for an end to the war in Ukraine, and confirmed that its relationship with Russia is not against anyone.


In the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, the head of the German Foreign Intelligence Service, Bruno Kahl, saw yesterday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "currently interested in ending the conflict on the battlefield," while the Kremlin previously ruled out resuming talks with Kiev, especially after the latter passed a law. It stipulates that no negotiations with Russia should continue.


Likewise, the Kremlin accused Kiev of withdrawing from peace negotiations with Moscow last March on orders from Washington, and stressed at the same time that "Russia does not give up the possibility of negotiations with Ukraine, but postponing negotiations makes it difficult to agree."


Negotiations took place between Moscow and Kiev after the Russian military operation in Ukraine to end it. The foreign ministers of the two countries also met last March in Turkey without reaching substantial results. Since the negotiations faltered, the two sides exchanged accusations of causing this stalemate.

Updade (to reflect Russsia's reaction):

The Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed China's sincere desire to contribute to the settlement in Ukraine through peaceful means, and expressed Moscow's share with Beijing's vision for a settlement.


And the Russian Foreign Ministry statement said: "We share Beijing's proposal for a settlement, and we are committed to respecting the United Nations Charter, international and humanitarian law, and comprehensive security, in a way that does not enhance the security of one country at the expense of another country, or one group of countries at the expense of another."


She added, "We, along with China, see any restrictions imposed outside the scope of the UN Security Council as illegitimate, and a tool in unequal competition and economic warfare."


The Foreign Ministry affirmed that "Moscow is open to achieving the goals of the military operation through political and diplomatic means."



References:

Saturday, November 12, 2022

UN Report Blasts "Outrageous" US Sanctions Harming Syrian Civilians

    Saturday, November 12, 2022   No comments

A UN special rapporteur called for the removal of Western sanctions on Syria as they are having a devastating impact on the civilian population and preventing the country from rebuilding after 11 years of war.

Alena Douhan, made the comments after a 12-day visit to Syria. There she found that sanctions are harming civilians in many ways, including by causing a shortage of medicine and medical equipment.

“In the current dramatic and still-deteriorating humanitarian situation, as 12MM Syrians grapple with food insecurity…the “catastrophic effects of unilateral sanctions” are impacting people “across all walks of life in the country.” She said that 90% of Syria’s civilian population is living in poverty and have limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, fuel, healthcare, and transportation.” Douhan told the UN.

“I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding and reconstruction,” Douhan said, adding that 12 million Syrians grapple with food insecurity.

Douhan said that 90% of Syria’s population currently lives in poverty, with limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, cooking and heating and fuel.



Thursday, April 28, 2022

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres walks in war zone characterizes the war in Ukraine as “absurd”, could see his own “grandchildren running in terror.”

    Thursday, April 28, 2022   No comments

ISR Comment:

To Mr. Guterres: There is another absurd war that is also absurd and was allowed to go on for seven years: The war in Yemen. But perhaps the children of Yemen do not look like your grandchildren, so that is why you cannot relate, you cannot imagine them to be your children; so you don’t visit Yemen’s destroyed cities and watch the children dying of hunger and lack of basis medicine because of the suffocating embargo by a regime that threatened to cut off aid to UN organizations if its crimes against children was reported by any UN agency. Perhaps, if the UN and many Western states spoke forcefully against the many wars in Muslim communities initiated or enabled by the West, the world will be more united and successful in preventing this war. Consistency is an element of justice. The bigotry and discrimination against communities of the Global South will haunt those complicit in all human rights crimes and will destroy the reputation of the UN organization for its failure to support for the poor and vulnerable.


The News:

Guterres - who is on his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian war on the country on February 24 - said in front of destroyed buildings accompanied by soldiers and local officials, "I imagine my family in one of these houses, I see my grandchildren running in terror, the war is absurd in the 21st century, any war that is not acceptable in the 21st century.”

While touring damaged towns outside Kyiv, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Russia to cooperate with war crimes probes. Meanwhile, German lawmakers approved sending heavy weapons to Ukraine. DW has the latest.

Biden proposes using seized Russian oligarch assets to compensate Ukraine

The White House proposed using assets confiscated from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for damage caused by Russia's invasion of the country.

This would enable "transfer of the proceeds of forfeited kleptocratic property to Ukraine to remediate harms of Russian aggression," the White House said in a statement.

To date, European Union allies have frozen more than $30 billion (€ 28,6 billion) in Russian assets, including almost $7 billion in luxury goods belonging to oligarchs, including yachts, art, real estate and helicopters, the White House said.

The United States has "sanctioned and blocked vessels and aircraft worth over $1 billion (€950 million), as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of assets belonging to Russian elites in US accounts."

...

source: https://www.dw.com/en/un-chief-guterres-decries-absurdity-of-war-in-visit-to-ukraine-live-updates/a-61615670

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Here is why no government should ever be trusted with human rights protection: governments are always the culprit when it comes to HR abuses

    Wednesday, May 03, 2017   No comments
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible.”

“This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” said Neuer. Interview: Why Saudis Joined Women’s Rights Body

“Saudi discrimination against women is gross and systematic in law and in practice. Every Saudi woman,” said Neuer, “must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia bans women from driving cars. Why did the U.N. choose the world’s leading oppressor of women to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women?”


Saudi women feel betrayed by the UN. “I wish I could find the words to express how I feel right know. I’m ‘saudi’ and this feels like betrayal,” tweeted a self-described Saudi woman pursuing a doctorate in international human rights law in Australia.

“Today the UN sent a message that women’s rights can be sold out for petro-dollars and politics,” said Neuer, “and it let down millions of female victims worldwide who look to the world body for protection.”

sources: UN Watch, WashPost...

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Sacha Llorenti's statement at the emergency UN Security Council meeting on Syria April 7, 2017

    Saturday, April 08, 2017   No comments

Sacha Llorenti, whose government called for the emergency UNSC meeting, requested that the meeting be a closed session. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, whose is presiding over the UNSC during the month of April, rejected Llorenti’s request, perhaps thinking that she will be able to shame countries who challenge the legitimacy of the US attack on Syria, arguing that “any country that chooses to defend the atrocities of the Syrian regime will have to do so in full public view, for all the world to hear.” In the light of the Llorenti's statement, she may live to regret that decision.

Sacha Llorenti, delivered a powerful statement reminding the world about the importance of international law and the consequences of violating that law.  He criticized Trump’s decision to take unilateral action against Syria, which he described as being “an extremely serious violation of international law.”

Llorenti reminded the council of what transpired on Wednesday February 5, 2003, when then-US secretary of state Colin Powell “came to this room to present to us, according to his own words, convincing proof that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

Llorenti held up a photograph of Powell taken on that day, when he held up a model vial of anthrax to demonstrate the dangers posed by Saddam Hussein and his alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Here is Sacha Llorenti's full statement: 



Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Chilcot Report on Iraq War: Devastating critique of Tony Blair and his government

    Wednesday, July 06, 2016   No comments
The effects of the illegal war on Iraq is still being felt in Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi casualties of 2003 war and occupation
The Guardian commented and summarized the report as follows:

John Chilcot has delivered a devastating critique of Tony Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003, with his long-awaited report concluding that Britain chose to join the US invasion before “peaceful options for disarmament” had been exhausted.

The head of the Iraq war inquiry said the UK’s decision to attack and occupy a sovereign state for the first time since the second world war was a decision of “utmost gravity”. He described Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, as “undoubtedly a brutal dictator” who had repressed his own people and attacked his neighbours.

But Chilcot – whom Gordon Brown asked seven years ago to head an inquiry into the conflict – was withering about Blair’s choice to join the US invasion. Chilcot said: “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

The report suggests that Blair’s self-belief was a major factor in the decision to go to war. In a section headed Lessons, Chilcot writes: “When the potential for military action arises, the government should not commit to a firm political objective before it is clear it can be achieved. Regular reassessment is essential.”

The report also bitterly criticises the way in which Blair made the case for Britain to go to war. It says the notorious dossier presented in September 2002 by Blair to the House of Commons did not support his claim that Iraq had a growing programme of chemical and biological weapons.

...
Chilcot’s report is more damning than expected and amounts to arguably the most scathing official verdict given on any modern British prime minister. His 2.6m-word, 12-volume report was released on Wednesday morning, together with a 145-page executive summary.

It concludes:

• There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.

• The strategy of containment could have been adopted and continued for some time.

• The judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMDs – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.

• Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam were wholly inadequate.

• The government failed to achieve its stated objectives.

...
The Report of the Iraq Inquiry - The Executive Summary:
http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/246416/the-report-of-the-iraq-inquiry_executive-summary.pdf

Full report can be found here:
http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/the-report/

Friday, March 18, 2016

UN: Most civilian casualties in Yemen were caused by Saudi Arabia's attacks

    Friday, March 18, 2016   No comments
The UN human rights chief has accused the Saudi-led coalition of causing twice as many civilian casualties as all the other forces fighting in Yemen.
Zeid Raad Al Hussein condemned "the repeated failure" of the coalition to prevent deadly incidents.

He said air strikes had caused almost all the coalition's civilian casualties.

More than 6,000 people, about half of them civilians, have been killed since Saudi Arabia launched a multi-national campaign against rebels in March 2015.

Saudi Arabia has denied causing large-scale civilian deaths, saying it is making every effort to avoid hitting civilian targets.


Mr Hussein's comments come three days after some 106 civilians were killed in what medics and witnesses said was an air strike on a market in Mastaba, north-west Yemen, in one of the deadliest incidents of the war.

source: BBC

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2254 (2015), Endorsing Road Map for Peace Process in Syria, Setting Timetable for Talks

    Saturday, December 19, 2015   No comments
The full text of resolution 2254 (2015)
“The Security Council,

“Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012), 2043 (2012), 2118 (2013), 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2170 (2014), 2175 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2199 (2015), 2235 (2015), and 2249 (2015) and Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011 (S/PRST/2011/16), 21 March 2012 (S/PRST/2012/6), 5 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/10), 2 October 2013 (S/PRST/2013/15), 24 April 2015 (S/PRST/2015/10) and 17 August 2015 (S/PRST/2015/15),

“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

“Expressing its gravest concern at the continued suffering of the Syrian people, the dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation, the ongoing conflict and its persistent and brutal violence, the negative impact of terrorism and violent extremist ideology in support of terrorism, the destabilizing effect of the crisis on the region and beyond, including the resulting increase in terrorists drawn to the fighting in Syria, the physical destruction in the country, and increasing sectarianism, and underscoring that the situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution,

“Recalling its demand that all parties take all appropriate steps to protect civilians, including members of ethnic, religious and confessional communities, and stresses that, in this regard, the primary responsibility to protect its population lies with the Syrian authorities,

“Reiterating that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, with a view to full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 as endorsed by resolution 2118 (2013), including through the establishment of an inclusive transitional governing body with full executive powers, which shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent while ensuring continuity of governmental institutions,

“Encouraging, in this regard, the diplomatic efforts of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to help bring an end to the conflict in Syria,


“Commending the commitment of the ISSG, as set forth in the Joint Statement on the outcome of the multilateral talks on Syria in Vienna of 30 October 2015 and the Statement of the ISSG of 14 November 2015 (hereinafter the “Vienna Statements”), to ensure a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the Geneva Communiqué in its entirety, and emphasizing the urgency for all parties in Syria to work diligently and constructively towards this goal,

“Urging all parties to the UN-facilitated political process to adhere to the principles identified by the ISSG, including commitments to Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character, to ensuring continuity of governmental institutions, to protecting the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, and to ensuring humanitarian access throughout the country,

“Encouraging the meaningful participation of women in the UN-facilitated political process for Syria,

“Bearing in mind the goal to bring together the broadest possible spectrum of the opposition, chosen by Syrians, who will decide their negotiation representatives and define their negotiation positions so as to enable the political process to begin, taking note of the meetings in Moscow and Cairo and other initiatives to this end, and noting in particular the usefulness of the meeting in Riyadh on 9-11 December 2015, whose outcomes contribute to the preparation of negotiations under UN auspices on a political settlement of the conflict, in accordance with the Geneva Communique and the “Vienna Statements”, and looking forward to the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria finalizing efforts to this end,

“1.   Reconfirms its endorsement of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, endorses the “Vienna Statements” in pursuit of the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué, as the basis for a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition in order to end the conflict in Syria, and stresses that the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria;

“2.   Requests the Secretary-General, through his good offices and the efforts of his Special Envoy for Syria, to convene representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition to engage in formal negotiations on a political transition process on an urgent basis, with a target of early January 2016 for the initiation of talks, pursuant to the Geneva Communiqué, consistent with the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement, with a view to a lasting political settlement of the crisis;

“3.   Acknowledges the role of the ISSG as the central platform to facilitate the United Nations’ efforts to achieve a lasting political settlement in Syria;

“4.   Expresses its support, in this regard, for a Syrian-led political process that is facilitated by the United Nations and, within a target of six months, establishes credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance and sets a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution, and further expresses its support for free and fair elections, pursuant to the new constitution, to be held within 18 months and administered under supervision of the United Nations, to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate, as set forth in the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement;

“5.   Acknowledges the close linkage between a ceasefire and a parallel political process, pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communiqué, and that both initiatives should move ahead expeditiously, and in this regard expresses its support for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, which the ISSG has committed to support and assist in implementing, to come into effect as soon as the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition have begun initial steps towards a political transition under UN auspices, on the basis of the Geneva Communiqué, as set forth in the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement, and to do so on an urgent basis;

“6.   Requests the Secretary-General to lead the effort, through the office of his Special Envoy and in consultation with relevant parties, to determine the modalities and requirements of a ceasefire as well as continue planning for the support of ceasefire implementation, and urges Member States, in particular members of the ISSG, to support and accelerate all efforts to achieve a ceasefire, including through pressing all relevant parties to agree and adhere to such a ceasefire;

“7.   Emphasizes the need for a ceasefire monitoring, verification and reporting mechanism, requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on options for such a mechanism that it can support, as soon as possible and no later than one month after the adoption of this resolution, and encourages Member States, including members of the Security Council, to provide assistance, including through expertise and in-kind contributions, to support such a mechanism;

“8.   Reiterates its call in resolution 2249 (2015) for Member States to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the ISSG and determined by the Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the ISSG of 14 November 2015, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Syria, and notes that the aforementioned ceasefire will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, as set forth in the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement;

“9.   Welcomes the effort that was conducted by the government of Jordan to help develop a common understanding within the ISSG of individuals and groups for possible determination as terrorists and will consider expeditiously the recommendation of the ISSG for the purpose of determining terrorist groups;

“10. Emphasizes the need for all parties in Syria to take confidence building measures to contribute to the viability of a political process and a lasting ceasefire, and calls on all states to use their influence with the government of Syria and the Syrian opposition to advance the peace process, confidence building measures and steps towards a ceasefire;

“11. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council, as soon as possible and no later than one month after the adoption of this resolution, on options for further confidence building measures;

“12. Calls on the parties to immediately allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria by most direct routes, allow immediate, humanitarian assistance to reach all people in need, in particular in all besieged and hard-to-reach areas, release any arbitrarily detained persons, particularly women and children, calls on ISSG states to use their influence immediately to these ends, and demands the full implementation of resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014) and any other applicable resolutions;

“13. Demands that all parties immediately cease any attacks against civilians and civilian objects as such, including attacks against medical facilities and personnel, and any indiscriminate use of weapons, including through shelling and aerial bombardment, welcomes the commitment by the ISSG to press the parties in this regard, and further demands that all parties immediately comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law as applicable;

“14. Underscores the critical need to build conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their home areas and the rehabilitation of affected areas, in accordance with international law, including applicable provisions of the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, and taking into account the interests of those countries hosting refugees, urges Member States to provide assistance in this regard, looks forward to the London Conference on Syria in February 2016, hosted by the United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations, as an important contribution to this endeavour, and further expresses its support to the post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation of Syria;

“15. Requests that the Secretary-General report back to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution, including on progress of the UN-facilitated political process, within 60 days;

“16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

_____________________________

Monday, November 23, 2015

Turkish government uses Syrian Turkmens to try again for a buffer zone inside Syria, Turkmen leader says Syrian government is not a threat, Terrorists are

    Monday, November 23, 2015   No comments
Source: siyasihaber1.org
Turkey has called for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighboring Syria, according to Prime Ministry sources, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu saying his government will “not hesitate” to take the required measures on Syrian soil to protect the Turkmen people.

...
“We will also take the required measures diplomatically for the protection of our brothers and sisters in the place where they are located and for the protection of their human rights in the face of any threat,” he also stated.
...
However, prominent Syrian Turkmen figure Ali Türkmani challenged Ankara’s claims that Syria’s Turkmen community was being targeted in attacks.

“There is a perception operation that is being waged over the Turkmens,” Türkmani told daily BirGün on Nov. 22. “The regime will of course attempt to maintain its territorial integrity. As such, threats from al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army are being targeted [by Russian air strikes]. It’s not correct to say the Turkmens are being targeted,” he added.

The Turkmens are a Turkic-language-speaking ethnic minority who live alongside Arab and Kurdish populations and have traditionally had uneasy relations with the Syrian regimes of Bashar al-Assad and his late father, Hafez al-Assad.

The Turkmens have for decades tried to maintain their language and culture in Syria, resisting Arab assimilation policies of the Damascus government, which in turn has frequently regarded them as a fifth column working in favor of Ankara. They maintain close ties to Turkey, which sees the minority as allies in its push to oust al-Assad from power.

Source

Monday, June 08, 2015

‘False legitimacy’: Saudi Arabia hosting UN Human Rights Council slammed by watchdog

    Monday, June 08, 2015   No comments
The decision to hold a UN-backed human rights summit in Saudi Arabia in early June, attended by the Human Rights Council’s chief, has sparked an outcry from rights organizations, claiming that the visit gave the Gulf kingdom “false legitimacy.”

The main point of the international summit held in Jeddah June 3-4 was declared to be combating intolerance and violence based on religious belief.
 The conference was attended by the Human Right Council president Joachim Rücker, who said in the opening statement that “Religious intolerance and violence committed in the name of religion rank among the most significant human rights challenges of our times.”

Later, Rücker was accused by the Geneva-based human rights campaign group UN Watch of giving the summit “false international legitimacy.”

“It’s bad enough that the oppressive and fundamentalist Saudi monarchy was elected to sit on the UN Human Rights Council,” The Independent cited UN Watch executive director, Hillel Neuer, as saying.

Saudi Arabia is one of the few absolute monarchies left in the world. There is no legal code in the country, leaving it to individual judges to set the punishment for a crime in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic doctrine.

 The death penalty is stipulated for a number of crimes, including murder, blasphemy, denial of Islamic faith, treason, sorcery, drug smuggling and acts of homosexuality. Adultery is punished with 100 lashes, the penalty for stealing is the amputation of a hand, while drinking alcohol and slander are punished at discretion of the judge.

The Gulf monarchy is the world’s only country where women are not allowed to drive.

Human rights activists have also pointed out that the conference took place at a time when the Saudi Arabian Supreme Court had upheld the sentence for blogger Raif Badawi, condemning him to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam through religious channels.”

read more >>

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

US ties itself in legal knots to cover shifting rationale for Syria strikes

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014   No comments
US government lawyers have invoked Iraq’s right to self-defence and the weakness of the Assad regime as twin justifications for US bombing in Syria, in a feat of legal acrobatics that may reopen questions over its right to intervene in the bitter civil war.

In a letter to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, released near 24 hours after attacks began, US ambassador Samantha Power argued that the threat to Iraq from Islamic State, known as Isis or Isil, gave the US and its allies in the region an automatic right to attack on its behalf.

“Iraq has made clear that it is facing a serious threat of continuing attacks from Isil coming out of safe havens in Syria,” Power wrote.

“The government of Iraq has asked that the United States lead international efforts to strike Isil sites and military strongholds in Syria in order to end the continuing attacks on Iraq, to protect Iraqi citizens and ultimately to enable and arm Iraqi forces to perform their task of regaining control of the Iraqi borders.”

The brief letter did not mention the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which rested on erroneous claims of weapons of mass destruction and arguably contributed to its current instability, but stresses instead the country’s right to self-defence in the face of this new threat.

“The United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Syria in order to eliminate the ongoing Isil threat to Iraq, including by protecting Iraqi citizens from further attacks and by enabling Iraqi forces to regain control of Iraq’s borders,” it said.

The US also argued that there was legal right to pursue Isis inside Syria due to the weakness of that country’s government – a regime the US has been actively urging be undermined by rebel groups for much of the past two years.

“States must be able to defend themselves, in accordance with the inherent right on individual and collective self-defence, as reflected in article 51 of the UN Charter, when, as is the case here, the government of the state where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory for such attacks,” Power wrote.

The legal circumlocutions to avoid requesting a UN security council resolution match similar efforts to avoid requesting specific legal authority from Congress.

Fearing that US politicians up for re-election in November may balk at voting for a third military attack on Iraq and being sucked into a Syrian quagmire, the White House has avoided seeking a fresh authorisation of the use of military force, preferring to rely on early authorisations against al-Qaida granted after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

read more >>

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