"There is a stigma in this country around women with jobs. So I want to start an organization that provides girls in the Congo with examples of women around the world who have balanced family and career. Most men in this country think it’s only about money. They think: ‘If I make enough money for us to live, then my wife should take care of the children.’ The common belief is that a woman who works is hurting her children. People don’t realize that children also gain from the knowledge and experiences of their mother."
(Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)
Posts tagged United Nations
Israel using illegal weapons in Gaza
July 21, 2014
Israeli occupation forces are using lethal and internationally banned weapons in their aggressive war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, experts and witnesses said this morning.
Israeli warplanes fired white phosphorus munition in the eastern Gaza Strip. White phosphorus burns fiercely and can set cloth, fuel, ammunition and other materials on fire, and cause serious burns or death. It was heavily used by Israel during its savage war on Gaza in 2008/2009, and caused many severe casualties.
Meanwhile, witnesses said that the Israeli occupation used flechette bombs on Saturday in the Shujaya neighbourhood causing the death of 100 civilians in the bloodiest day Gaza has witnessed so far.
Doctors saw bodies with nail shrapnel, and removed them from the wounds of those who came into hospital. While, several people and journalists collected nails from bomb sites and posted their photos on Facebook.
In the early days of the Israeli war, Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert told a press conference in Al-Shifa Hospital that he found effects of DIME weapons on the bodies of the Palestinian casualties.
"A good number of the injuries seen here are consistent with the use of dense inert metal explosives, or DIME, that we saw during the 2009 attack and also in 2006," said Gilbert.
He continued: “The bodies are pretty much destroyed by the enormous energy released by the explosives that are shot near them or at them.”
Illegal weapons supplied by $8.5 million daily aid from the US to Israel.
The first woman has been appointed to command a United Nations peacekeeping force – a Norwegian general who has served in Lebanon, the first Gulf war, Bosnia and Afghanistan.
[Major General Kristin Lund] told the Associated Press she was proud to crack the glass ceiling in UN peacekeeping. “I think it’s time, and I think it’s important that other women see that it’s possible also in the UN system to get up in the military hierarchy to become a force commander.”
She said that was where she fell in love with the UN and learned that “maybe the most important weapon that you have is communication and to build relations”.
Photo: Xinhua /Landov/Barcroft Media
Text: AP at the Guardian
Nigerian mothers, sisters, and aunts crying out for their abducted daughters.
Sign the petition to pressure UNICEF & UN Women to make this a priority issue: http://chn.ge/1meE9hV
Contact the US/UN ambassadors to pressure the Nigerian government to do more to help bring the girls back home: http://1.usa.gov/1hWuJ6t
Sorry deleted some text/comments because of formatting issues/post length. I have composed a standard letter for those who are able to contact the US/UN ambassadors. I have left the top to be filled in by the sender, as these messages need to be personal. Feel free to copy and paste the text in the link above for contacting the US/UN ambassadors.
My name is [your name], and I am an [your home country] citizen. I am [say something about yourself and how you connect to the 234 missing schoolgirls] and am a firm supporter of the work and mission of the UN. I am writing you today to put pressure on the representatives of the Nigerian government to the UN to take (measurable) action to help locate and return the 234 missing Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted in the early morning from their educational institution.
The UN MDGs supports the mobility of women, particularly in education, and promotes human security. Not enough has been done by the Nigerian government to locate and rescue the missing girls, and further, the Nigerian government has intervened (on behalf of safety) when hopeless families of the abducted girls attempt to enter the forest where Boko Haram is reputed to be located. Not enough action has been taken, and as [my government’s] representative in the UN, I urge you and our allies to put pressure in the Nigerian government to do more to rescue the missing girls who wanted nothing more than an education that the UN MDGs have promised to deliver by 2015.
Please help us better understand the situation by being more vocal, by altering us to what is being done - within the UN and within your partners in Nigeria’s mission to the UN - and by communicating the concern that our government has over Boko Haram’s increasing threat to Nigeria, the current largest GDP in Africa.
If the United States and the UN are serious about their commitments to development, security, and liberalisation, you must demonstrate this to us, as concerned citizens all over the world. Nigeria is our partner, and the US mission to the UN needs to do more to demonstrate our concern for the success of the MDGs and human security for Africa’s largest economy.
Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to emulate Mandela’s example to bring peace and protect people in 2014.
“I can think of nothing I would rather see in 2014 than for world leaders to emulate his example in upholding their moral and political responsibilities,” said the Secretary-General at his end-of-year press conference on Monday.
You and me both, Ban.
Governments should agree this week to begin international discussions in 2014 on fully autonomous robot weapons, with a view to a future treaty banning the weapons.
“As technology races ahead, governments need to engage now in intensive discussions on the potential dangers of fully autonomous weapons,” said Mary Wareham, arms division advocacy director at Human Rights Watch and coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. “Deliberations about killer robots need to include nongovernmental groups, and be underpinned by a clear sense of urgency and purpose if they are to result in concrete action.”
Fully autonomous weapons – also called “lethal autonomous robots” or “killer robots” – have not yet been developed, but technology is moving toward increasing autonomy. Such weapons would select and engage targets without further intervention by a human.
Sans commentary as brain is still exploded.
'100 Women: Zainab Bangura says father wanted her to marry at 12
Zainab Bangura, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, has told the 100 Women conference that great strides have been made in the position of women - in politics, business and daily life - over the past 100 years, but there is more to be done.
“In a world of global migration, who is taking care of the rights of migrants?” asked a UN human rights expert recently. Speaking at the UN General Assembly, UN special rapporteur Francois Crepeau called for the creation of a UN body to address global migration issues.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants to hear your views on justice and why it matters. A report capturing views shared will be presented to the UN General Assembly – so have your say on the rule of law at http://blogs.un.org/ruleoflaw
Another great outreach/survey by the UN. Click and contribute!
Obama-Rohani Handshake at UN Holds Promise Amid Danger | Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Kambiz Foroohar
Next week’s United Nations gathering in New York offers Presidents Barack Obama and Hassan Rohani the chance to take a symbolic step beyond the hostility and distrust that have infused three decades of U.S.-Iran relations.
A breakthrough in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and U.S.-backed economic sanctions is possible because of the new Iranian leader’s campaign to make over Iran’s image, marked by moves including the release of political prisoners and an exchange of letters with Obama.
Even a handshake between Obama and Rohani during the opening week of the UN General Assembly would be a milestone as the first direct encounter between the two nations’ leaders since relations ruptured during the 1979 Iranian revolution and U.S. embassy hostage crisis. It also would present risks and rewards for both sides.
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: Rob Young/Flickr
This is why the UN is awesome; this is what it is for - to better establish peace between states! Not for intervening in Syria, not for threatening sovereignty. Yeah! Go, United Nations.
Gunmen ambushed a United Nations peacekeeping team on Saturday in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, killing seven and wounding another 17 in the deadliest ever single attack on the international force in the country.
The joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force, dubbed Unamid, was established to protect civilians in Darfur, but also contributes to security for those providing humanitarian aid, verifying agreements, political reconciliation efforts and promoting human rights.
Truly international civil service: honouring fallen comrades in service of peace.
from the Guardian.
This post doesn’t warrant personal reflection, but I’ve found the position I’d like with the UN - Humanitarian Affairs Officer; for the most part, you spend 2 years in the field and 2 in Geneva, Nairobi, or New York. I cannot help but feel pangs of guilt and sorrow when I see job openings for this position, as they are possibly the jobs of my fallen comrades. Each time UN personnel are killed in the field, I feel a deep sense of sorrow and reflect on the value of dying in the name of peace that so few voice as valuable and desirable. And I am at a loss for words.
See also this video of Eddie Izzard with UNICEF in a Syrian refugee camp. Give if you can.
…a situation of this nature does not need an individual, it needs an organization like the United Nations to mediate. We must understand the seriousness of this situation.
The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken. Unqualified support of the Shah of Iran led directly to the Islamic revolution of 1979. Then the United States chose to arm and finance the [Islamic] mujahedin in Afghanistan instead of supporting and encouraging the moderate wing of the government of Afghanistan. That is what led to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
But the most catastrophic action of the United States was to sabotage the decision that was painstakingly stitched together by the United Nations regarding the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace.
Because what [America] is saying is that if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other countries. That is the message they are sending to the world. That must be condemned in the strongest terms. And you will notice that France, Germany Russia, China are against this decision. It is clearly a decision that is motivated by George W. Bush’s desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America. If you look at those factors, you’ll see that an individual like myself, a man who has lost power and influence, can never be a suitable mediator.
84-year-old Madiba in a 2009 Newsweek interview speaking on Bush, Iraq and U.S. foreign policy.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled by train to Washington, DC, on Thursday to take part in World Bank meetings on education, poverty reduction and more.
Tune in on Friday between 11:00 a.m.-12:10 p.m. EDT (15:00-16:10 GMT) when he and World Bank President Jim Kim hold an interactive online conversation on ending poverty.
Photo: Ban Ki-moon is seen here with UN Peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous and Oscar Fernandez-Taranco from the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.
My field research leads me to interesting new places, and one of those places in November was the World Bank. After interviewing a handful of anonymous staff and affiliated NGOs, I learned there is a real [something] brewing around Dr Kim’s leadership. It appears many people are/were anxiously awaiting more details on his shifting the Bank’s focus to poverty alleviation.
Without giving away too many spoilers, one of my research findings is that you are successful as the head of a global organisation IF you are able to make your agenda the global agenda.
See? See how Dr Kim is developing that here?
I must say, this is probably good news for Ban. With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reaching their end-goal period in 2015, Ban (if reappointed as Secretary-General) will need to redefine the goals of the UN since former Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduced the MDGs as the world’s new agenda.
And poverty reduction/alleviation sounds good to me! If you can get it in a dual package between the UN and the World Bank, you’re that much more likely to be seen as a effective executive head.
Well done, Dr Kim.