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Index October 2006

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Redefining cities

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Linked with Wally N’Dow – Gambia, and with big-picture.tv BPTV.

Excerpt of a text on ‘our planet‘, by WALLY N’DOW:

Reports that humanity is about to become a predominantly urban species, and outlines how HABITAT II will confront the challenges of this new world.

Current trends in the liberalization of both the global economy and national economies are accelerating the urbanization process. Moreover, the information age is not only changing the structures and operating styles of transnational corporations, it is also redefining the role of cities in the global village our world has become.

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Social Development Research at UNRISD 2005–2009

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Conclusion:

The 2005–2009 agenda has three main objectives:
· to adjust research activities in response to global developments and scholarly debates, as well as gaps in knowledge that have emerged in the course of current research;
· to examine issues that are not being addressed adequately or sufficiently by research networks associated with the United Nations system; and
· to consolidate key aspects of the 2000+ agenda by expanding work under certain programmes, and by developing synergies between projects in related areas that had previously been carried out under different programmes.

Research will be organized under six programme areas: Social Policy and Development; Democracy, Governance and Well-Being; Markets, Business and Regulation; Civil Society and Social Movements; Identities, Conflict and Cohesion; and Gender and Development. Work in these areas will be supplemented by research commissioned to feed into special events and activities organized by the Institute, such as conferences or flagship reports. (Read the whole article on this page of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development).

60 Women contributing to the 60 years of UNESCO

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Linked with Fiame Mataafa – Samoa.

60 Women contributing to the 60 years of UNESCO, Constructing the foundation of Peace. 60 women write, also Mrs. Fiame Naomi Mataafa (see page 152 to 156).

This online edition is a 293 pages long pdf UNESCO text.

To be downloaded under this link.

India abolishes husbands’ ‘right’ to rape wife

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By Justin Huggler in Delhi, The Independent, 27 October 2006 – For the first time, women in India have legal protection against abuse in their own homes under a law which came into force yesterday. It is the first time Indian law has recognised marital rape, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse of a woman by her husband as crimes. India is a country where the streets are safe – but a woman is not safe inside her own home.

There is a remarkably low rate of violent crime against strangers in most of the big cities, and it is safe to walk the streets of Mumbai or Bangalore late at night. But every six hours, a young married woman is burnt to death, beaten to death, or driven to suicide by emotional abuse from her husband, figures show.

More than two-thirds of married women in India aged between 15 and 49 have been beaten, raped or forced to provide sex, according to the UN Population Fund. (Read the rest of this article on The Independent).

Raising Children Compassionately

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Linked with Marshall B. Rosenberg – Switzerland & USA, and with the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Excerpt from a speach: … I had an experience one day that really heightened my awareness of the danger of thinking of people as children. This experience followed a weekend in which I had worked with two groups: a street gang and a police department. I was mediating between the two groups. There had been considerable violence between them, and they had asked that I serve in the role of a mediator. After spending as much time as I did with them, dealing with the violence they had toward each other, I was exhausted. And as I was driving home afterwards, I told myself, I never want to be in the middle of another conflict for the rest of my life.

And of course, when I walked in my back door, my three children were fighting. I expressed my pain to them in a way that we advocate in Nonviolent Communication. I expressed how I was feeling, what my needs were, and what my requests were. I did it this way. I shouted, “When I hear all of this going on right now, I feel extremely tense! I have a real need for some peace and quiet after the weekend I’ve been through! So would you all be willing to give me that time and space?”

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what’s about the endless op-icescr ?

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The Civil Society wants since ever the realisation of this optional protocol to the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, op-icescr.

Where are we landed ?

It is simple, the changement of the Human Rights Commission into the Human Rights Council during 2006 gave all those countries NOT WANTING the realisation of this protocol the possibility to bury it silently. And this without any attention of the medias. The whole op-icescr risks to disappear. Maybe, our Sleeping Beauty will be kissed one day to wake up again, but the prince, any strong defender of these rights, has not to sleep himself.

Some UN docs with op-icescr-contents:

a) op-icescr texts of general issue;
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Burma before the Security Council

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By Brad Adams, London, edited by The Nation, October 25, 2006 – The Security Council must act further on the human rights situation of a country where violence and repression from the military are an everyday fact of life. Burma has finally arrived on the formal agenda of the UN Security Council. On September 30, the Council held its third briefing on the dire human rights situation in Burma, with member states voting 10-4 (with one abstention) to continue the discussion. This process began in 2005, when a report commissioned by Vaclav Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu, called “Threat to the Peace: A Call for UN Security Council Action on Burma”, advocated increased Council action to address Burma.

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IDPs food concern in Chechnya and Azerbaijan

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Relief Web, October 12, 2006 – Unites Nations Special Rapporteur on right to food, Jean Ziegler, is concerned about the threat of food aid cuts for displaced people in Chechnya and Azerbaijan. Today, he supports the calls made by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in July 2006, encouraging donors to continue providing funds for their operations in order to avoid further reductions in food rations and in the number of assisted persons in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan.

In the Chechen Republic, the number of displaced people assisted by food aid programmes has had to be considerably reduced, and food rations have been restricted to only wheat flour – normal ration includes oil, sugar and salt. Due to lack of funding, there is a risk that food aid programmes could be stopped by the end of October.

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The Khmer Rouge next on Trial

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Linked with Boua Chanthou – Cambodia, with Thavrin THONG – Cambodia, with NGO Forum on Cambodia, and with DCA DanChurchAid Cambodia – the right to food.

On March 2003, United Nation and Royal Governement of Cambodia had signed an agreement to create Extraordinary Tribunal in Cambodia to try former Khmer Rouge Trial Leaders between April 1975 to January 1979.

Ta Mok is the nom de guerre[?] of Chhit Choeun (born 1926), a senior figure in the leadership of the Khmer Rouge. His actual name is uncertain, other sources give it as Ek Choeun or Oeung Choeun. He was part of the anti-French and then anti-Japanese resistence in the 1940s. But he was training for the priesthood at Pali when he joined the anti-French Khmer Issarak in 1964.

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The Death Penalty Debate

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Seems to be a good FORUM to debate about death penalty. Valuable for States still battling about this item.

If interested, got to the Homepage of ‘The Death Penalty Debate‘.

Semeurs de paix

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Par Cécile Lepage, de L’Express du Pacifique, le 18 septembre 2006, Volume IX Numéro 13.

Loin de la guerre au Proche-Orient, des adolescents venus d’Israël, de Palestine et du Canada ont cohabité cet été sur l’île de Galiano. Leur but : produire des films et tenter de mieux se comprendre. Cécile Lepage est partie est à la rencontre de ces semeurs de paix.

Alors que la confusion règne encore au Proche-Orient, des Territoires occupés au Liban, tout message d’espoir est le bienvenu. Ainsi en est-il de ces sept films, réunis sous le titre de Reel perspectives, produits par dix jeunes Israéliens, autant de jeunes Palestiniens et neuf jeunes Canadiens.

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Women as the Leaders of Development

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Linked with Self Employed Women’s Association SEWA.

by Renana Jhabvala, Coordinator and Member, Executive Committee of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad, India, October 5, 1998.

The most popular pictures presented about women of South Asia are those of victims. They are the victims of fundamentalist societies, forced into purdah or sati. They are the victims of underdevelopment and poverty-low life expectancy, high illiteracy. They are the victims of violence, of discrimination. These images of the victim, helpless South Asian women are highlighted by the media and reinforced by academia.

There is, however, another side to women in South Asia. Most women in South Asia work. They are producers, workers, entrepreneurs contributing to the family and to the economy. They work in their family farms, as agricultural labor in other people’s farms, in forests collecting minor produce, as construction workers, as street vendors, as artisans, as factory workers, as livestock tenders-the list is endless. In India, 92% of employment is in the informal sector, where there is no fixed employer-employee relationship, and nearly 50% of these workers are women. These workers, both men and women, contribute 64% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and nearly 70% of the country’s savings.

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… menacé par des agents états-uniens

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Christoph Hörstel menacé par des agents états-uniens à Kaboul, par le correspondant de Voltairnet.org, octobre 20, 2006.

Notre ami Christoph Hörstel, collaborateur de l’hebdomadaire suisse Zeit-Fragen, enquête actuellement en Afghanistan sur les liens entre les services pakistanais et états uniens d’une part et diverses confréries, notamment les Talibans, le Hizb-i-Islami et le Hizb-ut-Tahrir … L’hebdomadaire Zeit-Fragen vient de rejoindre le Réseau Voltaire qui publiera prochainement ses éditions en trois langues. (Lire le tout sur Voltairenet.org).

The Liquid Bomb hoax

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The larger implications: by James Petras, on Voltairenet.org, August 31, 2006.

The incredible “terrorist plot” allegedly thwarted in London this summer does not finish causing the consternation of the political analysts. Whereas the media continue to repeat the eccentric allegations of the British police forces, many personalities show, on the contrary, their foundation absence in a detailed way. After the analyses of the former British ambassador Craig Murray, the German journalist Jürgen Elsässer and the Unitedstator novelist Thomas C. Greene, we publish that one of the academic James Petras. In which he dismounts, point by point, the propaganda machine, and highlights its economic implications.

The incredible “terrorist plot” allegedly thwarted in London this summer does not finish causing the consternation of the political analysts. Whereas the media continue to repeat the eccentric allegations of the British police forces, many personalities show, on the contrary, their foundation absence in a detailed way. After the analyses of the former British ambassador Craig Murray, the German journalist Jürgen Elsässer and the Unitedstator novelist Thomas C. Greene, we publish that one of the academic James Petras. In which he dismounts, point by point, the propaganda machine, and highlights its economic implications. (Read the whole long article on Voltairenet.org).

Hannah Arendt (1906 – 1075)

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Some sites about her life and work:


Etats-Unis, le scandale des prêtres pédophiles

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Allez sur cette page du site ‘le Monde’,

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/vi/0,47-0@2-3222,54-626791@51-818890,0.html

et écoutez la vidéo.

Events and Texts from the UN

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A large number of Somalis cross the border into north-east Kenya to escape conflict in south and central Somalia. (See on UNHCR).

Read on the UN news Service: Close to 24 million STAND UP against Poverty, in resounding message for leaders.

The 3rd session of the UN Human Rights Council will be hold in Geneva from 27 November – 8 December 2006, (and the 4th session from 12 March to 6 April 2007).

Further, the United Nations Conference on Anti-Corruption Measures, Good Governance and Human Rights will be held on 8-9 November 2006, Warsaw, Poland.

From the Human Rights Documentation Center HRDC: SESSIONS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, The Voice of the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Network, a joint initiative of SAHRDC and HRDC.

Texts can be downloaded in pdf or html, about the sessions hold in Geneva, from – to:

  • 19-25 Jun 2006
  • 26-30 Jun 2006
  • 18-24 Sep 2006
  • 25 Sep-1 Oct 2006
  • 02-06 Oct 2006

One year on, quake-hit Pakistan works towards tentless terrain.

The Millenium Development Goals Report 2006

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by the United Nations (32 pages):

This report is based on a master set of data that has been compiled by an Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, in response to the wishes of the General Assembly for periodic assessment of progress towards the MDGs. The Group comprises representatives of the international organizations whose activities include the preparation of one or more of the series of statistical indicators that were identified as appropriate for monitoring progress towards the MDGs, as reflected in the list below. A number of national statisticians and outside expert advisers also contributed. (Read it on this UN-page).

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. (see all on UN.org/milleniumgoals).

The Goals:

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Islamic Feminism in the Islamic Republic

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Linked with Katajun Amirpur – Germany & Iran.

also linked with Chahla Beski-Chafiq – Iran & France, with Fatemeh Haghighat-Joo – Iran, with Firouzeh Nahavandi – Iran and Paris, with Golbarg Bashi – USA & Iran, with Mahnaz Afkhami – Iran, with Marjane Satrapi – Iran & France, with Maryam Namazie – Iran & UK , and with Tahmineh Milani – Iran.

Text by Katajun Amirpur, Published: 25.02.2003 – Last modified: 22.06.2005 – Katajan Amirpur portrays some of the leading personalities of a new Islamic feminism in Iran. An informative article taken from a 1999 issue of the German academic magazine “Orient”:

Young Iranian woman | The Islamic Republic of Iran does not have a reputation as a particularly women-friendy country. But when a religious Islamic government took over power in 1979, many laws instated during the Shah’s rule granting women equal rights were abolished.

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Nobel winner to use Novel peace prize to help poor

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Linked with Mohammad Yunus – Bangladesh, with Rebuilding Through Social Entrepreneurship, and with Sufia Khatun – Bangladesh.

October 13, 2006 on CNN – DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus on Friday called the award “great news” for his homeland, where his microcredit finance programs have helped improve the lives of millions of poor people.

Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded won the award for advancing economic and social opportunities for the poor, especially women, through their pioneering microcredit work. The 65-year-old economist said he would use part of his share of the 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) award money to create a company that would make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor. The rest of his share would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh, he told reporters. (Bankers to poor win peace Nobel). … // …

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Appearance of ZCTU human rights defenders in Harare Court

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Linked with Arnold Tsunga – Zimbabwe, with human rights first, and with Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ZCTU.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights ZLHR notes that thirty-one (31) human rights defenders aligned to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ZCTU appeared in the Harare Magistrates’ Court at Rotten Row on 3 October 2006, following their arrest and detention whilst attempting to engage in peaceful protest in Harare recently.

Whilst ZLHR welcomes the directive by Magistrate William Bhila to the Criminal Investigation Department to undertake a fresh inquiry into the allegations of torture inflicted by police on detainees in their custody, it is an established principle of law that, where allegations of torture have been made, any proceedings should be halted until such time as the investigations have been finalised.

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Prodi’s message to the Lebanese people

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Linked with Samir Makdisi – Lebanon.

Beirut, Oct. 11, 2006 – Prodi has said that Italy’s primary aim was to help Lebanon rebuild and consolidate its democratic institutions. “This is a commitment that I have taken upon myself, and which I wish to carry forward jointly with Prime Minister Saniora – with whom we have very close ties of cooperation,” Prodi said in a message to the Lebanese people published by the English language Daily Star newspaper on Wednesday. He said that his visit to Lebanon was to “confirm Italy’s staunch support” for Lebanon and for Saniora’s government. … // … Prodi said the Italian government has recently appropriated a further 30 million euros ($37 million) in assistance, adding that Italian companies will be dedicating their efforts to rebuilding Lebanon’s roads and bridges, demolished by Israeli warplanes during Israel’s offensive on Lebanon this summer. … // … He said that Italy’s aim was to “guarantee” the implementation of U.N. Res. 1701 and help the Lebanese army take control of south Lebanon.

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The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of

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Linked with Nick (Nicholas) Turse – USA.

By Nick Turse, november 17, 2003. Mr. Turse is a Columbia University graduate student completing a dissertation on American war crimes during the Vietnam War.

On October 19, 2003, the Ohio-based newspaper the Toledo Blade launched a four-day series of investigative reports exposing a string of atrocities by an elite, volunteer, 45-man “Tiger Force” unit of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division over the course of seven months in 1967. The Blade goes on to state that in 1971 the Army began a four and a half year investigation of the alleged torture of prisoners, rapes of civilian women, the mutilation of bodies and killing of anywhere from nine to well over one hundred unarmed civilians, among other acts. The articles further report that the Army’s inquiry concluded that eighteen U.S. soldiers committed war crimes ranging from murder and assault to dereliction of duty. However, not one of the soldiers, even of those still on active duty at the time of the investigation, was ever court martialed in connection with the heinous crimes. Moreover, six suspected war criminals were allowed to resign from military service during the criminal investigations specifically to avoid prosecution.

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ICFTU – Annual Survey 2006

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Linked with International Confederation of Free Trade Unions ICFTU.

Annual Report 2006, about survey of violations of Trade Union Rights. (en Français, en Espanol, auf Deutsch). (Available also on a CD-rom).

2006 is an historic year for the international trade union movement. A new trade union international will be created in November, bringing together some 200 million workers from around the world. This is the last year that the Survey will be published in the name of the ICFTU, as it will cease to exist when its member organisations become part of the new international. We will be stronger and more united than ever before, and we will use that strength to fight together for all workers struggling for their rights against exploitation and oppression. This Survey give a measure of how big that task still is.

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