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Further Africa:

 

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 23rd, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

UN rights official who ignored African child rape by French troops resigns; UN Watch reacts.

Published on July 22, 2015 in Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by unwatch.

Flavia_Pansieri was Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Geneva Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to the UN she was not fired but resigned for Health Reasons – BUT her assistant the whistleblower was fired!


GENEVA, July 22, 2015 – The resignation of a top UN rights official who admitted she did nothing after receiving reports of child rape by French soldiers in Central African Republic — because she was “distracted” by budget cuts — underscores the dire need for greater accountability at the world body, said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva watchdog agency that measures the performance of the world body by the yardstick of its own charter.


“Not only did Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri fail to act,” said Neuer, “but she was part of a coterie of top UN officials who punished the only member of her office who sounded the alarm, veteran staffer Anders Kompass, by firing him.”

“The message heard loud and clear throughout the world body was that speaking out against the banality of bureaucratic complicity with evil will kill one’s career, that it’s better to stay silent.”


“Therefore, to the extent that Ms. Pansieri is in fact resigning over her office’s shameful inaction, indifference and cover-up concerning the rape of children by peacekeepers, then today marks a small step toward greater accountability for malfeasance by UN officials.”

“In this episode, as in many others throughout the UN, minimal levels of scrutiny and acceptance of responsibility are desperately required,” added Neuer.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 21st, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

kulturen in bewegung <sindlhofer@vidc.org>

ÖSTERREICH-PREMIERE
Amadinda Uganda meets Uni Percussion Vienna

Außergewöhnliche Klänge – musikalische Dialoge
19. April 2015 um 19:30 im MuTh Wien

Einführung: Gerhard Kubik (Universität Wien, Musikwissenschaft)
Moderation: Albert Hosp (ORF, Ö1)

„Viele haben bereits über die Amadinda geschrieben, sie dokumentiert und erforscht – für mich persönlich ist es wichtiger, diese Kunstform erlebbar zu machen“, meint Lawrence Okello, musikalischer Leiter von Amadinda Uganda.
Einzigartige Klangerlebnisse und Dialoge verspricht das Zusammentreffen zweier Musikkulturen. Improvisationen aus dem ehemaligen Königreich der Buganda treten in Beziehung zu zeitgenössischen Kompositionen
von Philipp Tröstl, Miguel Kertsman und Julian Garmisch, die im Rahmen des Konzertes uraufgeführt werden.

Erstmals ist hier auch die Akadinda zu hören, ein drei Meter langes Xylophon, das von sechs Personen gleichzeitig gespielt wird.

Das Ensemble AMADINDA UGANDA versteht sich als Übermittler von Kompositionen aus der Zeit des vorkolonialen Königreichs Buganda, die trotz Verbot unter der Herrschaft von Idi Amin im Untergrund überlebt haben und bis heute in Uganda zu hören sind. Hauptinstrument ist die Akadinda, ein Xylophon mit zwölf Klangplatten. Jeweils drei Musiker mit zwei Schlägeln spielen gleichzeitig auf einem Instrument.

Durch die Verzahnung der Schlagmuster entstehen Klänge, die Hörer der nördlichen Hemisphäre in Staunen versetzen. Das Ensemble Amadinda Uganda tritt in dieser Formation erstmals in Europa auf. Klassische Hofmusik der Baganda wird in den Konzerten ebenso zu hören sein, wie zeitgenössische Kompositionen.

===============================

TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA CONCERT

Mo 20. April 2015, 20.00 Uhr Wiener Konzerthaus, Grosser Saal

Pretty Yende Sopran
{started her international career when in 2010 was the first artist in the history of the Belvedere Competition to win First Prize in every category. She went on in 2011 to win the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition.}


KS Johan Botha Tenor
{KS stands for Austrian Kammersaenger – the highest distinction for a singer in this Opera-crazy Nation.}


Wiener KammerOrchester

Stefan Vladar Dirigent

Werke von Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini, Puccini, Lehar, J. Strauß

Dieses Konzert feiert Südafrikas zwanzigjähriges Jubiläum von Frei­heit und Demokratie und somit den Beginn des dritten Jahrzehnts. Es ist Südafrikas erstem demokratisch gewählten Präsidenten und weltweiter Ikone, Nelson Mandela, gewidmet. Der Erlös die­ses Konzertabends wird für die Errichtung des Nelson Mandela Kinderkrankenhaus in Johannesburg verwendet.

Es war Nelson Mandelas letzter Wunsch, ein Kinderkrankenhaus in Johannesburg zu errichten, die zweite medizinische Einrichtung dieser Art in Südafrika und die fünfte auf dem gesamten afrikanischen Kontinent.

Ein Benefizkonzert zugunsten des Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust veranstaltet von der Südafrikanischen Botschaft, Wien

=================================================================

I would like to stress here further that the two singers, besides being now the greatest musical Ambassadors of the 20 years young South Africa – the acclaimed tenor Bootha and the rising star Yende – are in their hopefully color-blind Nation a terrific pairing of a white star and a black star. Their music is in the best tradition of old Europe. Austria and the city of Vienna played an important role in the professional development of above two artists.

On the other hand, the musical group from Uganda performed in the the pre-colonial tradition of the now non-existing old Kingdom of Buganda where the King himself was a musician and composer. In the days of Idi Amin that tradition had to go underground hunted by that literally crazy black dictator who held back the development of independent Uganda. Now, the art of the Kingdom of Buganda is being studied at the school of ethnic musicology of the University of Vienna and the tour of the Amadinda was the occasion of joint performance of the percussionists from Uganda with fully developed local artists and students of the art of percussion from all over the world – including China – that work now in Vienna.

Significant as well was the naming last week of the square in front of the South African Embassy – Nelson Mandela Square.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 14th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From:

AFJN

It is all because of interests of big business why Africa is held down – and this with the help of corrupt African Governments’ leaders.  If this continues – there is indeed no future for Africa. Foreign aid by old industrialized
Nations is wasted effort.


 

US aid to DR Congo: No more free rides for corrupt government officials!
Did you know your tax dollars are subsidizing corrupt bureaucrats in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)? Instead of subsidizing millions of dollars in theft, fraud and unpaid taxes, the US should…
Read more

Herakles Farms must Stop Unjust Lawsuits Against a Cameroonian Activist
Herakles Farms, a US based agribusiness has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Nasako Besingi, a Cameroonian activist for defamation for peacefully protesting against the company’s grabbing of his ancestral land in South-West Cameroon. For the defamation case, the maximum penalty is 6 months imprisonment and $4,000 in fines, money he does not have.
Today, ask Mr. Patrick Jones to withdraw this lawsuit.

 

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 13th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Jeff Sachs – (c) IIASA       Jeffrey D.Sachs

Jeffrey David Sachs (born November 5, 1954) is professor of economics and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. One of the youngest economics professors in the history of Harvard University (at age 28), Sachs became known for his role as an adviser to Eastern European and developing country governments during the transition from communism to a market system or during periods of economic crisis. Subsequently he has been known for his work on the challenges of economic development, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, debt cancellation, and globalization.

 Sachs is Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Senior Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project.  He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His latest book is To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace.

Sachs is leader in sustainable development and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 80 countries.

 Now he teaches that the intertwined challenges of economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability must be addressed holistically, or else the world will find itself at dire risk of social instability and environmental calamity.  The path ahead is a narrow one, fraught with difficulties and uncertainties, yet the promise of a better life for billions of people is also realistic.  With proper policies and global cooperation, ours can be the era that ends extreme poverty, stabilizes the world’s population, and ushers in the exciting prospects of a new period of sustainable growth.  

————————–

Some more about Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs:

Academic career

Sachs was raised in Oak Park, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, the son of Joan (née Abrams) and Theodore Sachs, a labor lawyer.
He attended Harvard College, where he received his B.A. summa cum laude in 1976. He went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard, and was invited to join the Harvard Society of Fellows while still a Harvard graduate student. In 1980, he joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1982. A year later, at the age of 28, Sachs became a full professor of economics with tenure at Harvard – one of the youngest ever.

During the next 19 years at Harvard, he became the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade, director of the Harvard Institute for International Development at the Kennedy School of Government (1995–1999), and director of the Center for International Development (1999–2002).

In 2002, Sachs became the Director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University. His classes are taught at the School of International and Public Affairs and the Mailman School of Public Health, and his course “Challenges of Sustainable Development” is taught at the undergraduate level.

In his capacity as director of the Earth Institute, he leads a university-wide organization of more than 850 professionals from natural-science and social-science disciplines, in support of sustainable development.

Sachs has consistently advocated for the expansion of university education on sustainable development, and helped to introduce the PhD in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, one of the first PhD programs of its kind in the U.S. He championed the new Masters of Development Practice (MDP), which has led to a consortium of major universities around the world offering the new degree. The Earth Institute has also guided the adoption of sustainable development as a new major at Columbia College. The Earth Institute is home to cutting-edge research on all aspects of earth systems and sustainable development.

Sachs’ policy and academic works span the challenges of globalization, and include: the relationship of trade and economic growth; the resource curse and extractive industries; public health and economic development; economic geography; strategies of economic reform; international financial markets; macroeconomic policy; global competitiveness; climate change; and the end of poverty. He has authored or co-authored hundreds of scholarly articles and several books, including three bestsellers and a textbook on macroeconomics that is widely used around the world.

In 2011, Sachs called for the creation of a third U.S. political party, the “Alliance for the Radical Center.

Advising in Latin America and post-communist economies:

Sachs is known for his work as an economic adviser to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. A trained macroeconomist, he advised a number of national governments in the transition from communism to market economies.

In 1985, Bolivia was undergoing hyperinflation and was unable to pay back its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sachs, an economic adviser to the Bolivian government at the time, drew up an extensive plan, later known as shock therapy, to cut inflation drastically by liberalizing the Bolivian market, ending government subsidies, eliminating import quotas, and linking the Bolivian economy to the US dollar. After Sachs’s plan was implemented, inflation fell from 11,750% to 15% per year from 1985 to 1987.

In 1989, Sachs advised Poland’s anti-communist Solidarity movement and the Government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki. He wrote the first-ever comprehensive plan for the transition from central planning to a market economy, which became incorporated into Poland’s reform program led by Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz. Sachs was the main architect of Poland’s successful debt reduction operation. Sachs and IMF economist David Lipton advised the rapid conversion of all property and assets from public to private ownership. Closure of many uncompetitive factories ensued.  In Poland, Sachs was firmly on the side of rapid transition to “normal” capitalism. At first he proposed US-style corporate structures, with professional managers answering to many shareholders and a large economic role for stock markets. That did not fly with the Polish authorities, but he then proposed that large blocks of the shares of privatized companies be placed in the hands of private banks. As  a result, there were some economic shortages and inflation, but prices in Poland eventually stabilized.  The Government of Poland awarded Sachs with one of its highest honors in 1999, the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Cracow University of Economics.

Sachs’ ideas and methods of transition from central planning were adopted throughout the transition economies. He advised Slovenia (1991) and Estonia (1992) in the introduction of new stable and convertible currencies. Based on Poland’s success, he was invited first by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and then by Russian President Boris Yeltsin on the transition to a market economy. He served as advisor to Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar and Finance Minister Boris Federov during 1991-93 on macroeconomic policies. He received the Leontief Medal of the Leontief Centre, St. Petersburg, for his contributions to Russia’s economic reforms.

Work on global sustainable economic development

More recently, Sachs has turned to global issues of economic development, poverty alleviation, health and aid policy, and environmental sustainability. He has written extensively on climate change, disease control, and globalization, and is one of the world’s leading experts on the fight against poverty and sustainable development.

Since 1995, Sachs has been deeply engaged in efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa. He has worked in more than two dozen African countries, and has advised the African leadership at several African Union summits. In the mid-1990s he worked with senior officials of the Clinton Administration to develop the concept of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). He has engaged with dozens of African leaders to promote smallholder agriculture and to fight high disease burdens through strengthened primary health systems. His pioneering ideas on investing in health to break the poverty trap have been widely applied throughout the continent. He currently serves as an advisor to several African governments, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, among others.

In his 2005 work, The End of Poverty, Sachs wrote “Africa’s governance is poor because Africa is poor.” According to Sachs, with the right policies and key interventions, extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1 a day — can be eradicated within 20 years. India and China serve as examples, with the latter lifting 300 million people out of extreme poverty during the last two decades. Sachs has said that a key element to accomplishing this is raising aid from $65 billion in 2002 to $195 billion a year by 2015. He emphasizes the role of geography and climate, as much of Africa is landlocked and disease-prone. However, he stresses that these problems can be overcome.

Sachs suggests that with improved seeds, irrigation, and fertilizer, the crop yields in Africa and other places with subsistence farming can be increased from 1 ton/hectare to 3-5 tons/hectares. He reasons that increased harvests would significantly increase the income of subsistence farmers, thereby reducing poverty. Sachs does not believe that increased aid is the only solution. He also supports establishing credit and microloan programs, which are often lacking in impoverished areas. Sachs has also advocated the distribution of free insecticide-treated bed nets to combat malaria. The economic impact of malaria has been estimated to cost Africa US$12 billion per year. Sachs estimates that malaria can be controlled for US$3 billion per year, thus suggesting that anti-Malaria projects would be an economically justified investment.

From 2002 to 2006, Sachs was the Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to then Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. Sachs founded the Millennium Villages Project, a plan dedicated to ending extreme poverty in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa through targeted agricultural, medical, and educational interventions. Along with philanthropist Ray Chambers, Sachs founded Millennium Promise, a nonprofit organization, to help the Earth Institute fund and operate the Millennium Villages Project.

The Millennium Villages Project, which he directs, operates in more than one dozen African countries, and covers more than 500,000 people. The MVP has achieved notable successes in raising agricultural production, reducing children’s stunting, and cutting child mortality rates, with the results described in several peer-reviewed publications. Its key concepts of integrated rural development to achieve the MDGs are now being applied at national scale in Nigeria and Mali, and are being used by many other countries to help support national anti-poverty programs. He works very closely with the Islamic Development Bank to scale up programs of integrated rural development and sustainable agriculture among the Bank’s member countries. One such project supports pastoralist communities in Eastern Africa, with six participating nations: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.

Since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000, Sachs has been the leading academic scholar and practitioner on the MDGs. He chaired the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (2000-1), which played a pivotal role in scaling up the financing of health care and disease control in the low-income countries to support MDGs 4, 5, and 6. He worked with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000-1 to design and launch the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He worked closely with senior officials of the George W. Bush administration to develop the PEPFAR program to fight HIV/AIDS, and the PMI to fight malaria. On behalf of Annan, from 2002-2006 he chaired the UN Millennium Project, which was tasked with developing a concrete action plan to achieve the MDGs. The UN General Assembly adopted the key recommendations of the UN Millennium Project at a special session in September 2005. The recommendations for rural Africa are currently being implemented and documented in the Millennium Villages, and in several national scale-up efforts such as in Nigeria.

Now a Special Adviser to current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Sachs is still a leading advocate for the Millennium Development Goals, frequently meeting with foreign dignitaries and heads of state. He has also become a close friend of international celebrities Bono and Angelina Jolie, both of whom have traveled to Africa with Sachs to witness the progress of the Millennium Villages.

In August 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which will mobilize scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable-development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. The Network convenes 12 global expert Thematic Groups on key sustainable development challenges that will identify common solutions and highlight best practices, and over time will launch projects to pilot or roll-out solutions to sustainable development challenges and assist countries in developing sustainable long-term development pathways.

Sachs has been a consistent critic of the IMF and its policies around the world. He has blasted the international bankers for what he sees as a pattern of ineffective investment strategies.

In Vienna, Sachs presented THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT as an unavoidable direction for the future of humanity and stated clearly that he is an optimist and knows that in the end we will move in the right direction.

 

Event Details

Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 18:00
The Aula of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1010 Vienna, Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2).

PRESENTED BY:

 

 


 The event was chaired jointly by Professor Pavel Kabat, the Director General of IIASA, Professor Anton Zeilinger – the institutional host, the President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – the location host, and Dr. Franz Fischler the President of the European Forum Alpbach of Austria.

————–

We heard an announcement about the creation of a new Think Tank based on the network that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon charged Professor Sachs to be its catalyst – that UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) of institutions dispersed globally.  IIASA will organize one of these institutions and Professor Sachs will become in the future a more frequent visitor at IIASA. – perhaps IIASA will be a major locus for this Network. I understand that right the following day a small meeting at IIASA, with the participation of 10 people, will start on this endeavor.

THUS THE START OF A NEW PATH TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WITH THE UNDERSTANDING AND THE MANAGING OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS. Sachs pointed out that we proved to be so successful in extracting things and producing things that lead us to the present challenges – but these same qualities are also what will help us – – in the future – when applying them to reverse the present trend of self destruction by finding the right technologies that will move us in the right direction.

We are now the first generation that can bring havoc to the planet through our exploitation of it, but we will also be those that can apply the corrections. Sachs loves to quote President Kennedy who seems to be his idol – “Man holds in his hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life!” as per the January 20, 1963 Inaugural Address.

Sachs reminded us that 1692 billionaires (in dollars) hold  $6.3 trillion dollars in their possession – and this inequality is the great challenge we face. It is combined further with environmental and social issues. When the past century has raised the ocean level by 75 cm in New York City it was the poor that suffer most. He saw in the recent floods in New York that only the Goldman Sachs building was lit – this because they knew not to put the back-up generators in the basement – like all others did. Beijing that got its floods earlier, got now choked in smog – and the WHO advised people to stay indoors – think of the best economic development in history and now they have the worst air and water.

Professor Sachs went on to look at the Middle East and at Syria in particular. He drew intersecting circles for Social Systems (dynamics), the Economy (Techno-Economy), Earth Systems and Governance and pointed out how countries that lived in peace for centuries with the different population groups side-by-side were now at each other’s throat. He suggested to take the temperature of the social trust of societies. Then to analyze governance of the political system and the business system – eventually to look at political governance – and to see how this impacts on the stress.

Sachs looked at the US-Saudi-Turkey line-up vs. the Russia-Iran line up in regard to Syria – then looked at Mega-droughts and Sectarian Divisions – crops fail and reduce human security.

Complex systems have pivot points – the world does not care if poor hungry people when facing calamity tend to find a way out via migration – and disease, epidemics, violence – unrest can happen quickly. To bring home his points Professor Sachs showed us the map of the Middle East droughts and we saw how it fits also the violence patterns.

Looking closer to home – to the US – Professor Sachs sees there the lack of “Points of View” – it could be dangerous for politicians to have a point of view, he said. We need planning in the US – but after the Soviet Union was gone the belief in the US seems to be that planning is a NO! NO! Markets are great institutions for distribution – but they do not plan.

Power can come from investing in young people. He also found that bad experience of parents can be passed to children – 2 generations down – and we do not understand how – but it is real he said.

Professor Sachs advocated that every country needed an energy plan – a strategy – it need not be the same. We destroy land, acidify water and lead to extinction of species – 30% of the world food is lost in transmission from farms to consumers. He mentioned the power of Hedge Funds but pointed out that 0.7% of the income on earth could help close the gap with the poor. He kept stressing that Wellbeing is not measured by GDP.

People want to live in societies that have social support systems.

Professor Sachs turned back to his Idol – President Kennedy and said that equal compliments deserved also Mr. Nikita Khrushchev, when the two went ahead with the partial nuclear treaty and said that the need was to have the Americans to change themselves and not just to try to change the world of their adversaries. Kennedy and Krushev were partners and both had opponents among the extremes in their systems.

Kennedy said: Let us not be blind to our differences but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved.

So, now – let us end poverty by 2030 – we know people are up to this challenge.

The most important vocabulary is built with the words – Poverty, Economy, Inclusion, Health, Food, Cities, and ENERGY/CLIMATE, Biodiversity, Governance – of which is built the  SDNS Action Plan, 2013.

 

Illustrative SDGs:

1.
End Extreme Poverty Including
Hunger
POVERTY

2.
Achieve
Growth and Jobs
within Planetary
Boundaries
ECONOMY

3.
Effective Education for
All Children and Youth for Life and
Livelihood
EDUCATION

4.
Achieve Gender Equality, Social Inclusion, and Human Rights for
All
INCLUSION

5.
Achieve Health and Wellbeing at All
Ages
HEALTH

6.
Improve Agricultural Systems and Rural
Productivity
FOOD

7.
Empower Inclusive, Productive, and Resilient
Cities
CITIES

8.
Curb
Climate
Change and Ensure Sustainable
Energy
ENERGY/CLIMATE

9.
Secure Ecosystem
Services, Biodiversity, Water, Natural Resources
BIODIVERSITY

10. Transform Government for Sustainable Development
GOVERNANCE

 

The Kennedy goal to put a man on the moon in a decade can be the inspiration for goals like “Save the Planet,” “Save other Species” …  WE ALL BREATH THE SAME AIR, WE ALL CHERISH OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE, AND WE ARE ALL MORTAL  (JFK, June 10, 1963).

 

Main points of the presentartion:
 www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/ev…

——————–

CONTACT DETAILS:

Pavel Kabat

IIASA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Directorate

T +43(0) 2236 807 402

Claudia Heilig-Staindl

Executive Assistant Directorate

T +43(0) 2236 807 266

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) – Schlossplatz 1 – A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 – Fax: (+43 2236) 71 313 – info@iiasa.ac.at

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 7th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

 

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 9th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Supported by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the UN,
The Journalists & Writers Foundation (JWF) – an ECOSOC NGO at the UN – based in Turkey, and
The Peace Islands Institute based in New York City

Chaired by Galymshan Kirbasov, Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University with a pannel :

Mr. Huseyin Hurmali, Vice President JWF,

H.E. Carlos Enrique Garcia Gonzalez, El Salvador Ambassador to the UN,

Prof. Alastair Smith, Dept of Politics at the New York University,

Prof. Severine Autesserre, Barnard College, Columbia University,

Prof. Johannes Urpelainen, Columbia University,

Friday, February 7, 2014 – during the lunch-break time slot at the last day of the 8-th Session of the OWG on the topic of the post-2015 SDGs.

The JWF is active since 1994 in efforts to promote love, tolerance and dialogue in an effort to create common living space based on reconciliation and mutual respect. The strategy is to bring together people from different backgrounds in order to find intellectual capital for social peace. They are active in 146 countries on 5 continents. and are inspired by the philosophy of the Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and Islamic opinion leader  who lives  in self-imposed exile to Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania – Mr. Fethullah Gulen.

Why is Fethullah Gulen's stance vis-à-vis Mavi Marmara wrong?
Throughout his life and until today, Fethullah Gulen has been greatly influenced by the ideas and writings of many great Muslim scholars, amongst them: Said Nursi, Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi, Abu Hanifa, Ghazali, Imam Rabbani, Yunus Emre.

In line with these great thinkers, Fethullah Gulen’s philosophy and writings embody ideas of altruistic service to one’s community and likewise to humanity in general; harmony between intelligence and heart; sincerity; a holistic view of the human; a profound devotion and love of creation. Throughout his life, Mr. Gulen has been noted for his support of democracy, science, dialogue and non-violence.
In 1994, Mr. Gulen co-founded the “Journalists and Writers Foundation” and was given the title “Honorary President” by the foundation. In March 1999, upon the recommendation of his doctors, Fethullah Gulen moved to the U.S. to receive medical care.

In July 2008, Fethullah Gulen was voted the top public intellectual in the world by Foreign Policy Magazine.
He is serving also as the Honorary President of the Rumi Forum since 1999. He was recently listed by Time 100 of 2013.

Despite the high regard millions hold for him, Mr. Gulen considers himself a volunteering member of the civil society movement he helped found and does not accept any credit of leadership for the Hizmet (Service) Movement.

Fethullah Gulen devotes his time to reading, writing, and religious devotion. He has based his understanding of service upon this guiding principle, ‘living to let others live’ (‘yasatmak icin yasamak’ in Turkish).

The Gülen movement has been described as “having the characteristics of a cult” and its secretiveness and influence in Turkish politics likened to “an Islamic Opus Dei.     In the Turkish context, Gülen appears as a religious conservative.

Gülen is actively involved in the societal debate concerning the future of the Turkish state and Islam in the modern world. Gullen has millions of followers in Turkey and outside Turkey.

His teachings differ in emphasis from those of other mainstream Islamic scholars in two respects, both based on his interpretations of particular verses of the Quran. Let us repeat this – He teaches that the Muslim community has a duty of service (Turkish: hizmet) to the “common good” of the community and the nationand to Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world; and also that the Muslim community is obliged to conduct interfaith dialogue with the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians) – though this does not extend to other religions and it seems he dislikes atheists

His teachings about hizmet (altruistic service to the “common good”) have attracted a large number of supporters in Turkey, Central Asia, and increasingly in other parts of the world.

Gülen has supported Turkey’s bid to join the European Union and has said that neither Turkey nor the EU have anything to fear, but have much to gain, from a future of full Turkish membership in the EU.

Gülen has condemned terrorism. He warns against the phenomenon of arbitrary violence and aggression against civilians and said that it “has no place in Islam”. He wrote a condemnation article in the Washington Post on September 12, 2001, one day after the September 11 attacks, and stated that “A Muslim can not be a terrorist, nor can a terrorist be a true Muslim.” Gülen lamented the “hijacking of Islam” by terrorists.

Gülen criticized the Turkish-led Gaza flotilla for trying to deliver aid without Israel’s consent. He spoke of watching the news coverage of the deadly confrontation between Israeli commandos and multinational aid group members as its flotilla approached Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza. He said, “What I saw was not pretty, it was ugly.” He has since continued his criticism, saying later that the organizers’ failure to seek accord with Israel before attempting to deliver aid was “a sign of defying authority, and will not lead to fruitful matters.

Gülen is strongly against Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War. No doubt in our mind – Gullen is best advised not to return to Turkey or to any Muslim led country these days.

 

Despite Gülen’s and his followers’ claims that the organization is non-political in nature, analysts believe that a number of corruption-related arrests made against allies of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an reflect a growing political power struggle between Gülen and the prime minister. These arrests led to the 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s supporters (along with Erdo?an himself) and the opposition parties alike have said was choreographed by Gülen after Erdo?an’s government came to the decision early in December 2013 to shut down many of his movement’s private Islamic schools in Turkey.

The ongoing power struggle between the Erdo?an government and the Gülenists in the police force and the judiciary has allegedly revealed the existence of a well-organized and powerful “parallel state” directed by Gülen himself.The scandals uncovered what the Erdo?an government has said are the long term political agenda of Gülen’s movement to infiltrate security, intelligence, and justice institutions of the Turkish state, a charge almost identical to the charges found against Gülen by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey in his trial in 2000 before Erdo?an’s party had come into power. Gülen was tried in absentia in 2000, and acquitted in 2008 under Erdo?an’s AKP government from these charges.

In emailed comments to the Wall Street Journal in January 2014, Gülen said that “Turkish people … are upset that in the last two years democratic progress is now being reversed,” but he denied being part of a plot to unseat the government  ] Later, in January 2014, in an interview with BBC World, Gulen said “If I were to say anything to people I may say people should vote for those who are respectful to democracy, rule of law, who get on well with people. Telling or encouraging people to vote for a party would be an insult to peoples’ intellect. Everybody very clearly sees what is going on.

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After this large introduction about one unusual intellectual Muslim living now in the US – let us see now what the Journalists & Writers Foundation and their Panel of Academics  have as advise to the UN?

Professor Alastair Smith, who studied for years hunger in Ethiopia found that foreign aid funds that do-good NGOs funelled to ethiopian government or local NGOs never reached their intended targets for help, but were rather reaching arms dealers to supply the forces involved in the ongoing civil war. The money helped the dictators in order to increase the misery that was providing them with outside funding – a convenient cycle to them. So, the EU gave money through the UN affiliates to support arm exporters? Did I just hear an honest description of how the concept of Sovereignty at the UN makes it hard to do humanitarian work through the UN?

A Democratic Donor feeding money to an Autocratic Recipient is a self defeating procedure – anyone at the UN is honest enough to accept this true fact?

The Democracy helping the authoritarian government to keep the peace for trade and export of commodities, may look as a good deal to the democracy – but guess what – the poor people that were not helped by this will now hate the Democracy even more then their direct oppressors.

Then – if you get elected to the Security Council you get more aid then in the years you are not on the Security Council – that he checked easily by using not only indicators that related to GDP and growth in poor authoritarian countries that rotate in and out of the UN Security Council. He also checked indices of Human Rights and Freedom of the Press – and found that these are connected to aid money as well. When it arrives and when it is lower.

If you are supposed to do preventive work to avoid floods – but you find that aid money arrives after the floods did occur, you find it convenient to have those floods. What now with Climate Change an increasing  factor? The remedy?
Do not give Misery-Money – rather Pay for Success Stories!
Some pearls from Prof. Smith I found on the Internet:The Dictator’s Handbook 2011 PublicAffairs.

Quick study: Alastair Smith on political tyranny

How to be a dictator

 

 

ALASTAIR SMITH is professor of politics at New York University. The recipient of three grants from the National Science Foundation and author of three books, he was chosen as the 2005 Karl Deutsch Award winner, given biennially to the best international-relations scholar under the age of 40. He is co-author of “The Dictator’s Handbook: How Bad Behaviour is Almost Always Good Politics” (2011).

To whom do your guidelines apply?

Everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a dictator, a democratic leader, head of a charity or a sports organisation, the same things go on. Firstly, you don’t rule by yourself—you need supporters to keep you there, and what determines how you best survive is how many supporters you have and how big a pool you can draw these supporters from.

Do they actually have to support me, or can I just terrify them into supporting me by threatening them with death?

No, they absolutely have to support you on some level. You can’t personally go around and terrorise everyone. Our poor old struggling Syrian president is not personally killing people on the streets. He needs the support of his family, senior generals who are willing to go out and kill people on his behalf.  The common misconception is that you need support from the vast majority of the population, but that’s typically not true. There is all this protest on Wall Street, but CEOs are keeping the people they need to keep happy happy—the members of the board, senior management and a few key investors—because they are the people who can replace them. Protesters on Wall Street have no ability to remove the CEOs. So in a lot of countries the masses are terrified but the supporters are not.

What about Stalin? Even his inner circle was terrified.

Well, the brilliance of the Soviet regime was not just that you relied on few people, but that there were lots of replacements. In a tsarist system you have to rely only on aristocrats, but in a Soviet system everyone can be your supporter. This puts your core circle on notice that they are easily replaced. That, of course, made them horribly loyal. The Mob are very good at this.

Suggested viewing: “On The Waterfront” (1954)

This sounds typically mammalian to me—just groups of gorillas with a silverback?

It is virtually impossible to find any example where leaders are not acting in their own self interest. If you are a democrat you want to gerrymander districts and have an electoral college. This vastly reduces the number of votes a president needs to win an election.  Then tax very highly. It’s much better to decide who gets to eat than to let the people feed themselves. If you lower taxes people will do more work, but then people will get rewards that aren’t coming through you. Everything good must come through you. Look at African farm subsidies. The government buys crops at below market price by force. This is a tax on farmers who then can’t make a profit. So, how do you reward people? The government subsidises fertilisers and hands it back that way. In Tanzania vouchers for fertilisers are handed out not to the most productive areas but to the party loyalist areas. This is always subject to the constraint that if you tax too highly people won’t work. This is the big debate in the US. The Republicans are saying that the Democrats have too many taxes and want to suppress workers. But when they were in power five years ago they had no problem with taxing and spending policies, but now it’s taxing their supporters to reward Democrats.

Suggested reading: “Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policy” by Robert Bates (2005)

Okay. So, I have a small group of rewarded cronies and a highly taxed population. Now what?
Don’t pay your supporters too much! You don’t want them saving up and forming their own power base. Also, don’t be nice to the people at the expense of your coalition. A classic example is natural disasters. Than Shwe was the ruler of Burma when Cyclone Nargis hit in 2008, and he did nothing to help the people. The Generals didn’t warn anybody; though they knew it was coming, they provided virtually no emergency protection. He sent the army in to prevent the people from leaving the flooded Delta areas. He was the perfect example of a leader who never made the mistake of putting the people’s welfare above himself and his coalition.

But what if you really are trying to work for the common good? Is there no way of doing that?

None. If you’re working for the common good you didn’t come to power in the first place. If you’re not willing to cheat, steal, murder and bribe then you don’t come to power.

What if you’re Lech Walesa?

I’m pretty certain he had his own political power base. He wanted to make society more inclusive. This is always the battle cry of revolutionary leaders. When they get into power they change their tune. The real question is what stops politicians from backsliding once they get in? Typically, it’s that the country is broke and the only way you can get people to work is by empowering them socially, but once you do that it becomes hard to take powers back from them. Broke countries are the ones that end up having the political reforms that make them nice places with good economic policy in the long run. Places where there is oil, like Libya, have a very low chance of having democracy. The leaders don’t really need the people to pay the bills of their cronies, because they have oil.
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French speaking Professor Severine Autesserre had first hand experience in Congo.

Dr. Autesserre’s current research project examines how everyday elements influence international peacebuilding interventions on the ground. She has conducted extensive fieldwork for this project between 2010 and 2012, with a primary case study on the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and comparative research in Burundi, Cyprus, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste. Findings from this project have appeared in Critique Internationale and African Affairs, and Dr. Autesserre is finalizing a book entitled Peacebuilders: An Ethnography of International Intervention (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in 2014).

 

Professor Autesserre’s previous research project focused on local violence and international intervention in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she has traveled regularly since 2001. It culminated in the book The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press, 2010). The book won the 2012 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order and the 2011 Chadwick Alger prize presented by the International Studies Association to the best book on international organizations and multilateralism. Research for this project has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, International Organization, the Review of African Political Economy, the African Studies Review, the African Security Review, the Revista de Relaciones Internationales, and the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs.

Professor Autesserre’s work has been supported by two research awards from the United States Institute of Peace (2004-2005 and 2010-2012), two Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation research grants (2010 and 2011), a Presidential Research Award from Barnard (2010-2011), several grants from Columbia University (2010 – 2012), two Mellon Fellowships in Security and Humanitarian Action (2004-2006), and a Fulbright Fellowship (1999-2000). Her Ph.D. dissertation at New York University was nominated for the award for best dissertation for 2007 in the areas of in international relations, law, and politics. Her paper “Local Violence, National Peace? Post-war ‘Settlement’ in the Eastern D.R. Congo,” was awarded the Graduate Student Paper Prize Award of the African Studies Association in 2006.

Professor Autesserre has extensive experience working with international humanitarian and development agencies in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nicaragua, India, and the United States. She has worked for organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World.

Professor Autesserre says that in Congo a main problem was that outside intervention  did very little work with grass-roots – it was rather a top-down story for a top-down solution.

The Trouble with the Congo

Prof. Séverine Autesserre pens op-ed about Congo for The New York Times
Political science professor urges support of local grassroots efforts to establish peace.

among Working papers:

The Responsibility to Protect in the Congo: The Failure of Prevention
Chapter in O’Bannon, Brett; Roth, John; and Bellamy, Alex (eds.) The Evolution of the Responsibility to Protect: Imperfect Duties?, Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect series, Routledge, accepted for publication, forthcoming 2014

French speaking Prof. Autresserre analyses the local reasons that in times of stress cause peaceful neighbors to turn against each other leading to scale-up, or if you wish a bottom-to-top fight. But she finds also the total lack of preventive work by outsiders that appear is if to help after the fact and address this as a top-to-bottom issue. Sustainable Development as a preventive means is the way to go but she makes it clear that we are in a two-way system – tus the title of our meeting.So in summary – LOCAL CONFLICT HINDERS DEVELOPMENT – MAKE PEACE SUSTAINABLE!

The Congo is her forte – it got disorganized via Belgium colonialism, and a question from the audience was about Mozambique – the former Portuguese colony. How is it that there the same post-colonialism period got its differences tamed down rather early. What else could one infer from this? The answer was not clear – it may be that a better local leadership evolved earlier. Whatever, the conclusion is still that conflict must be resolved from bottom-up and outside funding has to go to local support.

—————————————————————

Professor Johannes Urpelainen of the Political Science Department at Columbia is closest to our own themes.

He spoke recently  at Yale Climate& Energy Institute examining the potential for using renewable sources of energy, notably solar power, to combat energy poverty in India where two-thirds of the population relies on traditional biomass for cooking and one-third does not have access to basic household electricity. His presentation argued that solar power holds a lot of promise for providing deprived rural communities with basic electricity services, but power sector reforms are necessary for the provision of larger, productive loads of power.

He also described an experimental research design for identifying the socio-economic effects of solar power on rural communities in Uttar Pradesh.

Also of interest we found his:
Explaining the Schwarzenegger Phenomenon: Local Frontrunners in Climate Policy. 2009. Global Environmental Politics 9 (3): 82-105.

examines the potential for using renewable sources of energy, notably solar power, to combat energy poverty in India where two-thirds of the population relies on traditional biomass for cooking and one-third does not have access to basic household electricity. His presentation argues that solar power holds a lot of promise for providing deprived rural communities with basic electricity services, but power sector reforms are necessary for the provision of larger, productive loads of power.  He also describes an experimental research design for identifying the socio-economic effects of solar power on rural communities in Uttar Pradesh. – See more at: the potential for using renewable sources of energy, notably solar power, to combat energy poverty in India where two-thirds of the population relies on traditional biomass for cooking and one-third does not have access to basic household electricity. His presentation argues that solar power holds a lot of promise for providing deprived rural communities with basic electricity services, but power sector reforms are necessary for the provision of larger, productive loads of power.  He also describes an experimental research design for identifying the socio-economic effects of solar power on rural communities in Uttar Pradesh. – See more at: Can Renewables Address Energy Poverty in India?
Can Renewables Address Energy Poverty in India?

At the meeting at the UN he took for granted that Peace is a precondition for Sustainable Development but raised the question if indeed Sustainable Development is a pre-condition for Peace.  This is more complicated and not so clear. In effect,  just a few years ago it seemed not accepted yet that environmental dgradation leads to violence. This changed now with our awareness of Climate Change and its effects.

Higher temperatures in Africa co-relates  with the starting of wars. He continued by saying:

“WE MUST CONSIDER WHAT WE DO HERE IN AMERICA AS A REASON OF WAR THERE IN AFRICA” – “WE MUST FIND NEW WAYS TO TREAT LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS.”     {I did the unusual thing and clapped my hands.}

“Green Growth is important also in the developing countries of the south. This because what happens in India will influence Africa and this will influence us here as well.”

If you are a poor country there is little you can do to prepare yourself – you find that misery is transferred to you from the outside via Global Warming.

For SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THE ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSION MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE SDGs,
he stressed.

———————

In the discussion that followed it was stressed from around the table that Congo (and Mozambique) are among the wealthiest countries in the world because of the presence of large natural resources. In Congo the revenue flow to the government lets nothing for the people. This is actually a resource curse that is at the root of problems. AID is negative. The problem is that there are many rich people and their income is not taxed so there is no official money for the poor. This is an outside involvement problem and a lack of governance. It is the pits.

The Peace Islands hosts of the meeting mentioned here Syria where the conflict involves the people versus the government directly. To which Prof Autesserre said that you must have different policies for different dimensions of conflict. This gets us to the issue of how we react to the concept of the Sovereignty of the State. We must approach this in a way we support the local actors without creating the feeling that we take over the State. That was the problem that has led t people hating the US when it acted as a tool to regime change.

Migration was mentioned – also here the issue is internal migration as separate from international migration. Africa has a set of rules for internal migration under the Kampala agreement – but there is nothing in the books about external migration.

——————————

In relation to this panel, I will also include an official UN panel that made its work now that same day – actually in parallel – that same time.

Chaired by former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki with a Vice-President from business, Carlos Lopez, as his co-chair,  and other 8 distinguished members, the UN High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows that leave Africa, was established by the UN Secretary-General and the UN General Assembly President. This Panel announced its findings – and they are atrocious – showcasing what our Panel was all about.

As said in the opening speech by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson of Sweden, it is $50 billion per year that leave Africa – the damage to individuals and Africa’s development and governance agenda as a whole. This figure is much higher then the official ODA that goes to Africa – so is it not that Africa’s poor actually finance the World’s rich?
Eliasson continued and said that this is looked at by the Un, not just for Africa, in regard to the post-2015 Development Agenda
that will have to address the illicit flows and tax evasions and help recover some of these stollen assets.

The Panel’s findings were that two thirds of the out-flow from Africa came from the two regions – West Africa (38% and North Africa 28%. The other regions were as follows: Southern Africa 13%, Eastern Africa 11%, and Central Africa 10%.

The money came from OIL and  PRECIOUS METALS AND MINERALS – with 3-4% sourced each from categories – ores, machinery, fruits and nuts, copper, iron &steel, cocoa, textiles, fish and crustaceans.
This meaning that about 75% came from the exports of oil, gold, platinum, and diamonds.

Further – Corruption defined as – bribery, embezzlement – accounted only for 5% of the financial flows  – with 35% defined as Criminal activities such as the trade in drugs, weapons, and people.
Astonishingly this leaves 60% as leaving the continent in Commercial transactions through multinational companies.

Under-Secretar-General Eliasson commended the Panel for their research and for reaching out to officials from: “the United States Government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and others in Washington Dc – and looks forward to further insights the distinguished members of the Panel will have on this important issue.”

———————————

One last comment about all of this regards the UN Department of Public Information and the official UN Spokesman for the Secretary General.

That office’s MEDIA ALERT knew to announce only a 1:15 pm Panel discussion of “Decent Jobs in the Transition to a Sustainable Economy” – totally by-passing any reference to the PRESS about the Peace and Sustainable Development panel – but that is an old story – some at DPI just do not like the Sustainable Development concept – it is too closely related to a future decrease of oil money flows.

On the other hand – they had to make place for a few minutes to President Mbeki – that would have been too much to cut him out – but that same day they did cut out completely the event with the President of the UN General Assembly by first announcing 10 minutes with his spokesperson Ms. Afaf Konja and then pushing her out as it obviously was going to fall to the way-side because of “Stake-Outs” at the Security Council. Oh Well – did we ever believe the UN bureaucracy will help?

 

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 7th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

 

Monday, 13. Jänner 2014, 7 p.m.

Bruno Kreisky Forum for international Dialogue | Armbrustergasse 15 | 1190 Wien

R.s.v.p: Tel.: 3188260/20 | Fax: 318 82 60/10 | e-mail: einladung.kreiskyforum@kreisky.org

 

THE CRISES IN THE SAHEL REGION AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE FOR EUROPE.

 

Michel Reveyrand de Menthon

EU Special Representative for the Sahel

Günther Barnet

Federal Ministry for Defense and Sports; Head of Africa Policy Department

Moderator:

Georg Lennkh

Member of the Board of the Bruno Kreisky Forum

 For some time now, the European Union has recognized the Sahel Region as an area where security and development are closely interlinked and where the EU can and should play an important role in bringing these two aspects together. The EU had therefore worked out a ‘Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel’ and made this by Council decision an official part of European Common Foreign Policy. With the events in Mali, not even one year ago, this strategy took on a special significance and the EU decided, in March 2013, to nominate Michel Reveyrand de Menthon as EU Special Representative for the Sahel Region.  The key aspect of his mandate is to contribute to the implementation, coordination and further development of the Unions comprehensive approach to the regional crisis, on the basis of its Strategy, with a view to enhancing the overall coherence and effectiveness of Union activities in the Sahel, in particular in Mali.

Although the Sahel region had designated as its primary focus namely Mali, Mauritania and Niger, it was clear that the regional ramifications would extend to the Maghreb and South and East to the adjacent African countries.

The presentation of M. Reveyrand de Menthon will therefore cover a wider geographical area, and will have a particular significance also in view of the very recent intensification of the conflict in the Central African Republic.

For Austria, the topic, and the visit of M. Reveyrand de Menthon has particular relevance because of the participation of a small contingent of troops in the EU Training Mission in Mali.

Karin Mendel
Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue
1190 Vienna, Armbrustergasse 15
Tel:+43-(0)1-3188260
Fax:+43-(0)1-3188260/10
www.kreisky-forum.org

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 30th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


US Month Ends with Kerry – & Hate Speech? – in UNSC.
Samantha Power in Wings

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 — As the United States’ month as President of the UN Security Council comes to a close, it’s time to review it as best as we can. Secretary of State John Kerry came once, on a July 25 day trip, to chair the meeting on Africa’s Great Lakes region.

While there, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s foreign minister said that all rebellions in the region bear the same “genetic signature.”

After diplomats from a number of member states complained this was hate speech, even “genocide talk,” Inner City Press asked the US Mission to the UN if it had a comment. Apparently it had none, as least as of yet.

And outside the US Mission on July 25, after a two hour wait for a 45 second photo op of Kerry and Syria oppositionist al Jarba, Kerry told Inner City Press he hadn’t heard the comment. Fine – but it was in the DRC’s written speech, and is on UN Webcast. UN video here at 1:06:20

(The US Mission did, we note, provide a response from Kurtis Cooper about cholera in Haiti at the beginning of the month, and from Payton Knopf about the rapes in Minova in November by the Congolese Army near the end of the month, here.)

Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo handled the presidency ably, held a number of stakeouts; Jeffrey DeLaurentis held one, and answered questions on Darfur. But what’s been done on the seven peacekeepers killed there?

Syria was and is the “big one.” Interesting, at the General Assembly session on July 29, the US was humble. While the UK’s Mark Lyall Grant and even France’s fill-in for Gerard Araud went to the front and inveigh, Ambassador DiCarlo spoke from her seat, later in the meeting. Will this be Samantha Power’s approach when, as seems sure to happen, she arrives?

Among diplomats asked Monday by Inner City Press about Samantha Power, a number noted things she’d said at her confirmation hearing. That the US has nothing to apologize for about the Rwanda genocide struck some more than others as a false note, inconsistent with her book “A Problem from Hell.” But what will she do, once at the UN? Watch this site.

Footnote: there are three mandate renewals to be “done” on July 30. Of them, Inner City Press is told that the Cote d’Ivoire renewal might, just might, have “explanations of vote,” on the draw-down of peacekeepers and on “ICC issues.” Others say it will just fly through without a single explanation. We’ll see.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 10th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

On Rwanda Genocide, UN Silent on Its Own Role, So ICP Asks, Duhozanye Answers

 

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 9 — When the UN invited two Rwanda genocide survivors to speak on April 9, commemorating 19 years after UN peacekeepers left in the face of mass murder, one expected the “lessons learned” to also be about the UN.

  But the formal presentation asked Daphrose Mukarutamu, founder of the Duhozanye organization, and her fellow survivor only about reconciliation in the country. The UN Women panelist, Nahla Valji, spoke about the gacaca courts.

  But in terms of “Never Again,” what of the UN’s own performance, its abandonment of the victim, even helping the genocidaires to escape into Eastern Congo?

  As we have noted, current chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous in 1994 as Deputy Permanent Representative of France advocated for and facilitated this rescue of genocidaires, through “Operation Turquiose.”

Ladsous refused to answer Inner City Press questions about his role, then refused to answer ANY questions from Inner City Press, including about rapes by the Congolese Army, his partners.Video at  On Tuesday night, the UN did not ask about these issues either. So Inner City Press did. YouTube video as above.

  Daphrose Mukarutamu replied with dignity that members of Duhozanye have testified in Arusha against those who committed the genocide, and the government is trying to track more down.

  But what of, for example, Callitxe Mbarushimana, who while working for UNDP in 1994 used UN vehicles and radios to kill at least three dozen Tutsis, including Florence Ngirumpatse, the director of personnel at UNDP’s office in Kigali?

  The UN let him keep working for them, in Angola where he was not even language qualified, until he was outed in 2001 working for the UN in Kosovo. Even then, he was paid an additional $35,000.

  After Inner City Press’ question, and Daphrose Mukarutamu’s answer, a participant hissed to Inner City Press, do you think that question elevated the discussion?

  It had to be asked. It should have been in the introduction. It should have been in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s canned statement over the weekend. And it will continued to be asked.

  Duhozanye is composed of, and cares for, genocide survivors, now focusing on those who are aging without family members to take care of them. They want to start a retirement community. The event was strangely lacking in contact information for them. But we suggest an Internet search: Duhozanye. And check out, as well, Callitxe Mbarushimana and the history of Herve Ladsous, while you’re at it.

Footnote: the UN Department of Public Information, the evening’s host, does some good programs, and surely will do more. But they should have included some mention of the UN’s own role.

 And, just within UN Headquarters itself, they should be more forthright about how and why they raided the office of Inner City Press without consent or even notice on March 18, and how photographs they took were leaked to BuzzFeed.com on March 21. The Rwandan mission is aware of what DPI did, even referred to it on UNTV earlier this month. Accountability, high and low. Or impunity?

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 8th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

We find the following interesting for a different reason as well –
The use of these bulbs in relation to the introduction of decentralized solar and wind electricity. The bulb becoming its own battery!
(ST editor)

============================================

?UMEME Blackouts? No Worries with a Rechargeable Bulb.

GreenPower Uganda, March 5, 2013,
Rechargeable BULB that gives U light When UMEME Power Goes OFF– Only Ugsh. 15,000/=

Rechargeable LED Bulb with inbuilt Battery at 15,500/=

  1. 1.      Built in rechargeable battery, can last 4-6 hours when UMEME Power is off.
  2. 2. Screw the bulb into a bulb AC power holder for charging and at the same time as you use it for lighting the room.
  3. 3.      When UMEME Power goes off, the Bulb Automatically continues giving you light for another 6 hours.
  4. 4. It Can also be used as a torch when power goes off; a lamp, emergency light, camping lamp and all kinds of light source,
  5. 5.      Low power consumption- Only 3 watts compared to 100 Watts of Normal Bulbs.
  6. 6. LED super bright Technology with Built life of upto 100,000 hours- making it extremely durability.
  7. 7.      Excellent Energy-Saving Performance upto 95%.
  8. 8. Easy mounting: can be mounted directly into a normal Lamp holder.
  9. 9.      Remote Control: you can remotely turn on/off the bulb.

10. Simple to use, Convenient to carry


Available at:

Green Power Solutions
Shop F1-8 | Nalubwama Arcade
Plot 26/28 | Ben Kiwanuka Street
(Btn Old Taxi Park & Cooper Complex)
Ben Kiwanuka Street | Kampala | Uganda
Mob. +256-701-831 889 | +256-701-714488
Email: info@greenpower.ug
WebSite: www.greenpower.ug

Powered by Elmot Ltd.
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Elmot Ltd is a medium size company with 10 employees and looks forward to employing more dynamic and talented individuals as we grow towards our vision promoting the use and appreciation of ICTs in Uganda.     www.elmot.ug

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 1st, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

WHY DOES NOT SOMEONE SPEAK THE TRUTH TO THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ITS SECURITY COUNCIL?

THE LARGEST STATES OF AFRICA MUST BE BROKEN UP IN ORDER TO ALLOW THE PEOPLE CREATE THE GOVERNMENT THEY NEED SO THEY CAN  THRIVE FROM THE HUGE RESOURCES THESE COUNTRIES POSSES. ANYTHING ELSE IS SIMPLY THE CONTINUATION OF COLONIALISM BY PROXY EMPIRES.

SUDAN FOR INSTANCE HAS FINALLY BEEN ALLOWED TO BREAK INTO TWO – BUT EVEN SO IT IS TOO LARGE TO BE GOVERNED OUT OF ARAB KHARTOUM. CONGO IS JUST AS BAD AND HIDING BEHIND THE WORDS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC IS NOT EVEN A FIG LEAF OVER ITS NAKEDNESS.

The New York Times Op-Ed Contributor

To Save Congo, Let It Fall Apart

J. PETER PHAM writes – Congo isn’t too big to fail; it’s too big to succeed. Rather than striving to hold it together, we should let it break up.

To Save Congo, Let It Fall Apart

By J. PETER PHAM
Published: November 30, 2012 – in print December 1, 2012

THE Democratic Republic of Congo, which erupted in violence again earlier this month, ought to be one of the richest countries in the world.
Its immense mineral reserves are currently valued by some estimates at more than $24 trillion and include 30 percent of the world’s diamond reserves; vast amounts of cobalt, copper and gold; and 70 percent of the world’s coltan, which is used in electronic devices. Yet the most recent edition of the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index ranked Congo last among the 187 countries and territories included in the survey.

Congo has been poorly governed throughout its post-colonial history, and is chronically prone to violence. What is the secret to stabilizing the resource-rich country?

Instead of prosperity, Congo’s mineral wealth has brought only an endless procession of unscrupulous rulers eager to exploit its riches, from King Leopold II of Belgium to Mobutu Sese Seko, who was allowed by the logic of the cold war to rule the same area as a private fief. And last year, the current president, Joseph Kabila, who inherited the job from his assassinated father more than a decade ago, awarded himself another five-year term in elections that were criticized by everyone from the European Union to the country’s Roman Catholic bishops.

If some enterprises, public or private, can be said to be “too big to fail,” Congo is the reverse: it is too big to succeed. It is an artificial entity whose constituent parts share the misfortune of having been seized by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley in the name of a rapacious 19th-century Belgian monarch. From the moment Congo was given independence in 1960, it was being torn apart by centrifugal forces, beginning with separatism in the mineral-rich southern province of Katanga.

The international community has repeatedly dodged this reality by opting for so-called peace deals with shelf lives barely longer than the news cycle. Rather than nation-building, what is needed to end Congo’s violence is the opposite: breaking up a chronically failed state into smaller organic units whose members share broad agreement or at least have common interests in personal and community security.

In recent weeks, a rebel group calling itself the March 23 Movement, or M23, has stormed through eastern Congo, scattering poorly trained units loyal to the government and reducing a huge United Nations peacekeeping force to a helpless bystander as M23 seized control of Goma, the capital of the resource-rich North Kivu province. The rebel advance rekindled fears of a renewal of the bloody 1998-2003 Second Congo War, which drew the armies of a host of African countries as well as countless local militias into what was aptly dubbed “Africa’s world war.”

The M23 rebels appear indistinguishable from the several dozen other armed groups lurking in or around Congo, but in many respects they are quite different. Many M23 members are veterans of an earlier insurgent group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People, known by the French acronym C.N.D.P., which consisted largely of ethnic Tutsi Congolese who had banded together to fight the former Hutu génocidaires who fled to Congo following the end of their killing spree in Rwanda in 1994.

In a peace deal that was reached nearly four years ago, the Kabila government promised to facilitate the return of more than 50,000 Congolese Tutsi refugees, to integrate C.N.D.P. fighters into the national army, and to share power with the group’s leaders. Mr. Kabila’s failure to honor these commitments led to the current M23 revolt.

A United Nations report has accused the Rwandan government of supporting M23. Although Rwanda has denied it, this may well be true, and it is perfectly understandable given that the M23 rebels are fighting former Hutu génocidaires who still dream of invading Rwanda and finishing what they started nearly two decades ago.

Others have dismissed the M23 leaders as “warlords.” But warlords, even if they do not acquire power through democratic means, tend to provide some sort of political framework, often based on kinship ties or ethnic solidarity, that is seen as legitimate. They also tend to provide some basic security — which is more than the questionably legitimate Kabila government in Kinshasa provides for most Congolese.

Whatever else Congo’s various armed groups may be, they are clearly viewed by large segments of some communities as de facto protectors — a point underscored by the several hundred government soldiers and police officers who recently defected to M23 and publicly swore allegiance to it after the fall of Goma.

If Congo were permitted to break up into smaller entities, the international community could devote its increasingly scarce resources to humanitarian relief and development, rather than trying, as the United Nations Security Council has pledged, to preserve the “sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity” of a fictional state that is of value only to the political elites who have clawed their way to the top in order to plunder Congo’s resources and fund the patronage networks that ensure that they will remain in power.

Despite its democratic misnomer, Mr. Kabila has repeatedly delayed holding local elections since 2005. For years, every last mayor, burgomeister and neighborhood chief in the entire country has been appointed by presidential decree.

Given the dysfunctional status quo and the terrible toll it has exacted in terms of lives and resources, the West should put aside ideological dogmatism in favor of statesmanlike pragmatism and acknowledge the reality that, at least in some extreme cases, the best way to break a cycle of violence is to break up an artificial country in crisis and give it back to its very real people.

J. Peter Pham is director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.

——————————

Room for Debate

How to Stabilize Congo

Dire Scene in Congolese City as Rebels Prepare to Leave (December 1, 2012)

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 12th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

from: Sam Barratt – Avaaz.org

Middle Eastern kings and princes are about to force up to 48,000 people in Tanzania from their land to make way for corporate-sponsored big game hunting. But Tanzanian President Kikwete has shown before that he will stop deals like this when they generate negative press coverage. Deliver a media blitz that will push President Kikwete to stop the landgrab and save these Maasai.

At any moment, a big-game hunting corporation could sign a deal which would force up to 48,000 members of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land to make way for wealthy Middle Eastern kings and princes to hunt lions and leopards. Experts say the Tanzanian President’s approval of the deal may be imminent, but if we act now, we can stop this sell-off of the Serengeti.

The last time this same corporation pushed the Maasai off their land to make way for rich hunters, people were beaten by the police, their homes were burnt to a cinder and their livestock died of starvation. But when a press controversy followed, Tanzanian President Kikwete reversed course and returned the Maasai to their land. This time, there hasn’t been a big press controversy yet, but we can change that and force Kikwete to stop the deal if we join our voices now.

If 150,000 of us sign, media outlets in Tanzania and around the world will be blitzed so President Kikwete gets the message to rethink this deadly deal. Sign the petition now and send to everyone:

www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai_a/?biFBDab&v=17057

The Maasai are semi-nomadic herders who have lived in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries, playing a critical role in preserving the delicate ecosystem. But to royal families from the United Arab Emirates, they’re an obstacle to luxurious animal shooting sprees. A deal to evict the Maasai to make way for rich foreign hunters is as bad for wildlife as it is for the communities it would destroy. While President Kikwete is talking to favoured local elites to sell them on the deal as good for development, the vast majority of people just want to keep the land that they know the President can take by decree.

President Kikwete knows that this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists — a critical source of national income — and is therefore trying to keep it from the public eye. In 2009, a similar royal landgrab in the area executed by the same corporation that is swooping in this time generated global media coverage that helped to roll it back. If we can generate the same level of attention, we know the pressure can work.

A petition signed by thousands can force all the major global media bureaus in East Africa and Tanzania to blow up this controversial deal. Sign now to call on Kikwete to kill the deal:

www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai_a/?biFBDab&v=17057

Representatives from the Maasai community today urgently appealed to Avaaz to raise the global alarm call and save their land. Time and again, the incredible response from this amazing community turns seemingly lost causes into legacies that last a lifetime. Lets protect the Maasai and save the animals for tourists that want to shoot them with camera lenses, rather than lethal weapons!

With hope and determination,

Sam, Meredith, Luis, Aldine, Diego, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team

For More Information:

The Guardian: “Tourism is a curse to us”
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/06/masai-tribesman-tanzania-tourism

News Internationalist Magazine: “Hunted down”
www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/12/01/tanzania/

Society for Threatened People: Briefing on the eviction of the Loliondo Maasai
lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session12/TZ/STP-SocietyThreatenedPeople-eng.pdf

FEMACT: Report by 16 human rights investigators & media on violence in Loliondo
www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58956/print

Voices of Loliondo: Short film from Loliondo on impact of eviction on Maasai
vimeo.com/35311385

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 1st, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION SERVICE VIENNA (UNIS)

UNIS/OUS/154
1 August 2012
Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella calls for economic diversification, sustainable industrial and agribusiness development in Africa.

KINSHASA/ VIENNA, 1 August (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) – The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) said today that agribusiness and agro-industries and economic diversification were key factors that would put Africa on the road to prosperity.

“Agriculture is the most important sector of the African economy and will have to be its driving engine out of poverty. It accounts for 65 per cent of the continent’s employment and 75 per cent of its domestic trade. Africa is also urbanizing at a fast rate. In order to turn bright prospects into employment opportunities for its young people, Africa needs to embrace economic diversification,” said Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella.

He was a keynote speaker at the Africa Caucus Meeting in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo which brought together Africa’s finance ministers, central bank governors, and representatives of international development agencies and financial institutions. The other keynote speaker was Justin Lin, the former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank, who is working with UNIDO for several weeks as a senior strategic adviser.

Yumkella also said it was necessary to boost agricultural productivity in the continent in order to achieve sustainable industrial and agribusiness development as a means of wealth and job creation.

During his two-day visit, Director-General Yumkella will have meetings with President Joseph Kabila, and Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon.

“The transformation of agricultural raw materials into industrial products depends increasingly on the capacity of African entrepreneurs to participate and compete in global, regional and local value chains. Accordingly, African agribusiness value chains will have to adapt to changing market conditions, continuously improve efficiency and strive to meet consumer requirements in a competitive global trade system,” said Yumkella.

He added that “high performance agribusiness value chains need to be based on processes that guarantee the highest product quality in a challenging global marketplace. Africa needs new learning and innovation systems involving regional cooperation, new types of partnerships between farmers, sellers, investors and researchers, and the right incentives and public actions that crowd-in rather than crowd-out private investment”.

He urged African countries to strategically invest in transport infrastructure, access to energy and water, ICTs and management efficiency in order for agribusiness to thrive.

“Without decisive action towards economic diversification, improvements in agricultural productivity and increased resources, water and energy efficiency, the creation of ‘decent’ employment opportunities to address the fast growing population and urbanization trends will not be possible,” said Yumkella.

“A green industrial policy can put Africa on a virtuous growth path. Governments need to introduce mechanisms comprised of appropriate incentives, disincentives and regulations to attract investments in the desired manufacturing areas and in much needed economic and physical infrastructure.”

In 2012, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNIDO launched the Accelerated Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative, or 3ADI, to promote value addition to agricultural commodities, with the added value being realized in domestic markets and through global supply networks. The initiative is now operational in 12 countries, including Afghanistan, the Comoros Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Tanzania.

The Africa Caucus Meeting was formed following the Monterrey Convention of 2002 in Mexico. It comprises of African member countries of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seeking to engage other policy makers around the continent in addressing issues relating to Africa’s economic transformation.

Director-General Yumkella is co-editor of a recent UNIDO Publication, “Agribusiness for Africa’s Prosperity”.

Watch a video with Director-General Yumkella speaking about the new book:
www.youtube.com/user/UNIDObeta#p/u/6/C23tW_MjnFE

The book is available in English and French and can be downloaded here:
www.unido.org/index.php?id=1001692

To read the full speech by Director-General Yumkella, please go here:
www.unido.org/fileadmin/user_media/DG/2012-Kinshasa-AFRICAN%20CAUCUS%20MEETING%20Speech.pdf

* *** *For more information on UNIDO, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev – UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
Email:  M.Evstafyev@]unido.org

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 11th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The May/June issue of the Austrian Business Magazine for Economy, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility “corporAID” stayed that11% of total monetary transactions by African Governments vanish in dark alleys towards foreign banking deposits. The paper knows because much of the money ends up in Austrian Banks. Further – the article states that by 2006  $700 t0 $800 Billions nave vanished this way.

The article mentioned names:

Champion was Hosni Mubarak of Egypt who stashed away in his family foreign accounts during his 30 years of Government Service – a neat amount of $70 Billion.
He is followed by the Gaddafis of Libya who needed all of 42 years in order to stash away only $60 Billion.

The list of the first 10 highest  Kleptomaniac African Heads of State is rounded up in the following order:

#3  – Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe                 — $10  Billion.

#4  –  Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan                         –    $9 Billion

#5  –  Mobutu Sese Seko of the DR of Congo – $5 Billion

#6  –  Sani Abacha of Nigeria                                    – $5 Billion

#7  –  Zine Ben Ali of Tunesia                                   – $5 Billion

#8  –  Yoweri Museveni of Uganda                      – $4 Billion

#9  –  Charles Taylor of Liberia                             –  $3 Billion

#10 –  Omar Bongo of Gabon                                   –  $2 Billion

These evaluations are backed by the British All Party Parliamentary Group and by the Washington Global Financial Integrity GFI Group.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 24th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)



NIGERIAN LEADER PROPOSES CREATION OF UN CONFLICT MEDIATION COMMISSION

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan today proposed to the General Assembly the creation of a conflict mediation commission within the office of the United Nations Secretary-General to develop strategies for the resolution of disputes across the world.

Such a commission would be tasked with collating information on conflicts, identifying the parties to them and developing rules of engagement, including the sanctions that would apply to those who obstruct efforts to resolve disputes peacefully, Mr. Jonathan told the Assembly’s annual general debate in New York.

“For the world to move from a culture of response after conflict to that of a culture of prevention, the international community must muster the political will to promote preventive diplomacy, in particular through mediation,” said Mr. Jonathan.

He said conflicts were also linked to the proliferation of small arms and pledged that Nigeria remains committed to the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty that addresses the problem of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Mr. Jonathan also voiced concern over the increasing incidence of piracy and maritime crime in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea and expressed his support for the Secretary-General’s proposal to send a UN assessment mission to the region to study the situation and explore possible options for UN support and action.

He pointed that Nigeria had in the recent past faced an upsurge in incidents of terrorism, including the suicide bomb attack on UN House in the capital, Abuja, on 26 August that claimed the lives of 23 people, including 11 UN staff, and said his country will continue to work with the world body and other partners to combat the scourge.

He announced that the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) will launch its first project in Abuja in November intended to prevent conflict and counter the appeal of terrorism to youth through education and dialogue.

* * *

AFRICA THE FOCUS AS UN CHIEF HOLDS TALKS WITH TANZANIAN AND ERITREAN LEADERS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with the leaders of Eritrea and Tanzania today to discuss some of the many political and humanitarian challenges confronting Africa.

In a tête-à-tête with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki, held on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s annual general debate, Mr. Ban discussed peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia, Sudan and the long-standing border demarcation issue between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Separately, the Secretary-General also met Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete and offered his personal condolences following the boat accident off the island of Zanzibar on 10 September that claimed the lives of nearly 200 people.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Kikwete also discussed Tanzania’s constitutional review process, as well as regional peace, security and development, including the situation in Somalia.

* * *

HOME-GROWN METHODS OF MEDIATION WORK BEST, RWANDA TELLS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Conflict mediation efforts will be far more successful if they are home-grown and harness the capacities of young people and regional groups or institutions, Rwandan President Paul Kagame told the opening of the General Assembly’s annual general debate today.

Speaking at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Mr. Kagame warned that traditional methods of diplomacy can frequently take a toll on the people they are supposed to help.

“Too often, while resolutions are being debated and refined, people are dying,” he said. “And sometimes when those resolutions are eventually adopted, enforcement is slow, or they only halt the conflict for a short time but with no sustainable solutions.”

The theme of this year’s general debate is the role of mediation in resolving conflicts and the Rwandan leader stressed in his remarks that national ownership of the process remains vital.

“Mediation efforts must be based on an over-riding desire to bring conflicting parties to resolve their differences. But this should not be confused with supporting one side in the conflict, or imposing a solution in the interests of the mediators.”

He said the most effective way to prevent conflict from even arising was to empower citizens, particularly young people, so that they feel they have an important stake in the management and stability of their community or country.

“This generation carries less historical and political baggage, and is more inclined to getting the most out of this global village we all find ourselves sharing.

“With social and communication tools, they are key innovators and thought leaders not only of tomorrow but right now. We have an important responsibility to empower them.”

Mr. Kagame said mediation processes must be based on “specific cultural and political contexts. In Rwanda, for instance, we have seen this produce long-lasting solutions and tangible results on the ground because they are home-grown.

“It is also important to involve regional and sub-regional players, who have ample knowledge of the often complex regional dynamics of the conflicts in the mediation efforts. These organizations should be supported expeditiously, before disputes escalate into intractable conflicts.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 9th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

“We, the democratically elected representatives of the people, hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state,” speaker James Wani Igga said, reading the formal proclamation of independence.

That is how the 54th African State was born today – Saturday, July 9th, 2011.

In the south’s capital Juba, people on the corners of dirt streets waved flags and danced in the lights of car headlights, chanting “SPLM o-yei, South Sudan o-yei, freedom o-yei”.

———————————————————————————————

At the stroke of midnight the Republic of Sudan lost around three quarters of its oil reserves, which are sited in the south, and faced the future with insurgencies in its Darfur and Southern Kordofan regions.

But nevertheless – North Sudan’s Khartoum government was the first to recognize the new state, hours before the formal split took place, a move that smoothed the way to the division of what was, until Saturday, Africa’s largest country.

——————————————————————————————–

On Saturday, South Sudan become a free and independent country. It is a well-deserved victory for its people. Under a 2005 American-backed political accord that ended two decades of civil war, the people of the mainly Christian territory voted overwhelmingly in January to secede from the Arab Muslim north.

BUT PLEASE SEE ALSO:
www.opendemocracy.net/5050/fatin-abbas/sudan-secession-resolving-divisions?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=201210&utm_campaign=Nightly_%272011-07-09%2005%3a30%3a00%27

and – www.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/world/…

and our own: www.sustainabilitank.info/2011/07…

Is Sudan secession: resolving divisions?

Actually South Sudan’s secession is a mixed blessing. While it gives
Southerners their long overdue right to self-determination, in the
north it leaves the centre-periphery dichotomy intact. This is
indicated in the wars that have erupted or are threatening to erupt in
that region. The unresolved conflict in Darfur gives the lie to the
notion that the north constitutes a homogeneous, unified entity, one
that will be at harmony after secession. Millions of Darfurians remain
displaced in camps in Sudan and in Chad, fearful of returning to their
homes amidst the genocidal violence that began in 2003. In eastern
Sudan, rebel groups continue to mount opposition to the Khartoum
government, demanding equal access to development and economic
redistribution for their region.

This year, one of the eastern rebel groups – the Federal Alliance of
Eastern Sudan – joined forces with the Justice and Equality Movement,
the largest rebel group in Darfur, to oppose the Khartoum government.

Furthermore, the violent clashes that have erupted in recent days
between the government and the Nuba people (many of whom sided with
the SPLM during the north-south civil war but who, under the new
borders, will fall under the jurisdiction of northern Sudan) also
suggest that these divisions are set to intensify.

The government is not likely to respond kindly to continuing
resistance from these northern groups, especially in the wake of
Southern secession. Smarting from the loss of the oil-rich South, and
fearful that other marginalized regions such as Darfur or the state of
South Kordofan (the Nuba’s homeland) will follow suit and demand
secession, the regime is consolidating its oppressive hold over the
north by violently quelling opposition and further curtailing
democratic rights. The atrocities now being committed by the
government in South Kordofan, not for the first time, are an ominous
indication of the lengths to which it will go to quash resistance.

then continue:

Still, celebrations in the capital, Juba, cannot obscure a sobering
truth: building a functional new country will take decades of hard
work. Responsibility falls primarily on South Sudan, but also on the
United States and the international community that shepherded it.

—-

Africa’s 54th state is at the bottom of the developing world. Most
people live on less than $1 a day. More than 10 percent of children do
not reach the age of 5. Some 75 percent of adults cannot read.

Meanwhile, festering disputes between north and south are stoking
chaos in a land already bloodied by two million deaths in civil war.
Sudan on Friday became the first state to recognize South Sudan.
Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, author of the murderous war
in Darfur, said he would attend the festivities in Juba. But he also
said he would continue the fight that erupted last month against
forces loyal to the south in South Kordofan, an oil-rich region still
under Khartoum’s control. Mr. Bashir’s decision to order the United
Nations to withdraw peacekeepers from South Kordofan is deeply
worrisome.

Major elements of the 2005 peace agreement are unresolved — such as
which side will control the oil-rich region of Abyei, where fighting
has also broken out; citizenship protections for minorities; where
final borders will be set; how oil earnings will be shared (the south
has 70 percent of the reserves).

The two sides are dependent on each other. South Sudan needs the
north’s pipeline to get its oil to market. Sudan needs oil money to
help pay its bills. Both need foreign investment and the north needs
debt relief. They have a better chance of winning international
support if they are at peace.

As an incentive, the United States and its partners have offered to
convene an international conference in September for South Sudan. That
will allow South Sudan’s leaders to present their plans for
encouraging desperately needed private investment. Washington gave
Juba $300 million for education and housing and is promising more.
International assistance should go forward only if South Sudan works
constructively with Khartoum to bring stability to both countries.

The Obama administration, correctly, is not taking Sudan off its
terrorism list and normalizing relations until Khartoum fulfills the
peace deal and ends the conflict in Darfur. China, Sudan’s main oil
investor and arms supplier, should deliver a similar message to Mr.
Bashir, who is under war crimes indictment, instead of receiving him
with fanfare in Beijing and promising him new oil deals.

The international community must persuade the two sides to avoid war
and work to build a future for both Sudans.

———————————-

Speaking at the event in Juba, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also made a pointed reference to the fact that the Sudan agreement has not been fully implemented. He referred to the situation involving Abyei as well as the violence in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states where he said the “voices of the people” have not been heard. “Let differences be resolved around the negotiating table,” Mr. Ban said.

On the other hand President Omar el-Bashir reminded the UN that UNMIS has a mandate only till July 9th and he wants it to leave. It can be assumed that the UN Security Council will have now to pass new resolutions in light of continuing fighting in North Sudan’s border provinces with Southern Sudan, and in Abyei, that should be part of Southern Sudan. What is China’s position on this – we ask?

———————————

Appointment of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan.

The British Foreign Secretary said in JUBA: “We congratulate the people of South Sudan on this historic achievement. It represents the triumph of peaceful negotiation over conflict and adversity, and is a moment of hope and optimism for the future.

In Britain we are proud to be among the first nations in the world to recognise the new Republic of South Sudan, and I thank His Excellency Salva Kiir Miyardit for his invitation to attend today. I offer you my heartfelt congratulations, Mr President, on behalf of my Prime Minister David Cameron and the whole of the British Government, as you become the first President of the Republic of South Sudan.

The Government of the United Kingdom stands with the people of South Sudan as they seek a future of stability and prosperity; one we hope of lasting peace with their neighbours, full integration into the region, and strong cooperation with Britain and other nations represented here today. We look forward to South Sudan taking its place as a full member of the United Nations.

We pay tribute to the enormous progress South Sudan has made since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement six and a half years ago. The 98% vote for secession in January’s referendum showed the unity of the people of South Sudan in their desire for self-government: today, that dream has become a reality.  And we remember all those who died or were bereaved during the conflict. Their sacrifices should redouble the determination of all of us to support a peaceful future for South Sudan.”

Dr Alastair McPhail OBE has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan.  Dr McPhail has been serving as Her Majesty’s Consul General (HMCG) in the capital, Juba, since March 2011 and will take up this appointment on 9 July 2011 when South Sudan secedes from Sudan (North).

Dr McPhail studied modern languages, particularly Russian, at the University of Otago and then completed a PhD in Russian at Edinburgh University.  After teaching Russian at Nottingham University and then working in publishing, Dr McPhail joined the FCO in 1994.  He has worked in a wide range of FCO positions, with a focus on political/military work, security, development and peace processes, especially in northern Iraq and Sudan.  Most relevant to his current role was Dr McPhail’s work on Sudan from 2000-2005, first as Head of the Egypt, Libya and Sudan Section in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, then as Head of the Sudan Unit – the UK’s interdepartmental team charged with supporting the Sudan peace process – and finally as the UK Special Representative for Sudan. Dr McPhail attended every round of the negotiations on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement from the first session at Machakos to the final session at Naivasha.

On his appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan, Dr McPhail has said “I am delighted to have arrived in Juba to take up my post. This is an historic period for Southern Sudan and the United Kingdom is committed to supporting the peaceful and prosperous development of this new country. The upgrade of our mission to an Embassy is a key step in strengthening the relationship between our two nations. I look forward to the years ahead.”

CURRICULUM VITAE

Full name:                               Dr Alastair McPhail OBE

Married to:                               Jo McPhail

Children:                                  2 Sons, Angus and Callum

March 2011 – present            Juba, Consul General

April 2009 – Aug 2009            Bamako, UK Special Envoy to Mali and Head Crisis Management Team

Jan 2006 – Mar 2009             Rome, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission

April 2005 – Dec 2005            Full-time Language Training (Italian)

July 2004 – April 2005            UK Special Representative for Sudan

April 2002 – July 2004            FCO, Head of Sudan Unit

Sept 2000 – April 2002           FCO, Head of Egypt, Libya and Sudan Section, Near East and North Africa Department

Nov 1996 – Aug 2000             Ankara, First Secretary (Political/Military)

Sept 1995 – Nov 1996            Full-time Language Training (Arabic)

Sept 1994 – Sept 1995           FCO, Nuclear Weapons Desk Officer, Security Policy Department

—————

From the US we have the following but not yet an announcement of the appointment of an Ambassador.

WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to Southern Sudan this week as part of the U.S. delegation attending ceremonies marking the independence of the world’s newest nation.

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will lead the delegation to Juba, capital of the newly formed state of Southern Sudan. Residents in the south voted in a January referendum to break away from the north and will officially celebrate their independence on Saturday.

Colin Powell, Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush, was instrumental in brokering the 2005 peace accord between the north and south that stopped a two-decade civil war in Sudan and paved the way for the independence vote.

The United States backed the south’s push for independence, and the Obama administration had long said it would recognize Southern Sudan formally.

In March, Obama named Princeton Lyman his new special envoy to Sudan, tasking him with helping oversee the creation of an independent Southern Sudan. Lyman also will be part of the U.S. delegation at the weekend ceremonies.

Southern Sudan will be born one of the poorest countries in the world. It has only a couple of dozen miles of pavement, and literacy levels are low. But the south does have oil, and those in control of government funds appear to be growing in prosperity.

Others who will represent the U.S. in Juba include:

—Democratic Rep. Donald Payne, senior Democrat on the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights

—Brooke Anderson, deputy national security adviser and chief of staff for the National Security Council.

—Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commander, United States Africa Command.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 6th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

[gu-new] (20110606) Concept papers of GEWS/GUS projects for Bangladesh, DRC, Nigeria and Rwanda.

<<20110606>> Archived distributions can be retrieved at;
<tinyurl.com/2fzx23e> This archive includes a html version of this
list distribution and its MS/WORD version with its filename as
³year-month-date.doc.² You can also access all of its attachments, if any.

References:

> (a) Concept Paper to Create a South Asian Hub of Global Early Warning System
> and Global University System in Bangladesh (June 6, 2011)
tinyurl.com/4y2gz8t
>
> (b) Concept Paper to Create a Central African Hub of Global Early Warning
> System and Global University System in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (May
> 9, 2011)
tinyurl.com/3tk9pvp
>
> (c) CLOUD COMPUTING SIMULATION CENTER FOR GLOBAL EARLY WARNING SYSTEM (GEWS)
> WITH GLOBAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM (GUS) IN NIGERIA (May 14, 2011)
tinyurl.com/3l5b2dn
>
> (d) Concept Note: The Global Early Warning System (GEWS) with Global
> University System (GUS) In Rwanda (May 1, 2011)
tinyurl.com/3v6tta2

Dear E-Colleagues:

(1) I just came back from my very fruitful, two weeks trip to Japan.

(2) The References above are the concept papers of our GEWS/GUS projects in
Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, and Rwanda.

I sincerely thank you for those people who contributed to produce those
excellent concept papers.

(3) We will then forge ahead to raise funds with those papers.

(4) Pls feel free to contact me if you have any comments and suggestions to
improve them, and of course, any ideas about possible funding sources.

Best, Tak

****************************************************************************
***
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA
*
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.)
*
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education
*
* Founder and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of
*
*   Global University System (GUS)
*
* 43-23 Colden Street, #9L, Flushing, NY 11355-5913, U.S.A.
*
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Skype: utsumi
*
* Email: takutsumi0@gmail.com, Web: www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/
*
* U.S./IRS Employer ID: 11-2999676 <tinyurl.com/534gxc>
*
* New York State Tax Exempt ID: 217837 <tinyurl.com/47wqbo>
*
* Brief bio and photo: <tinyurl.com/6jljtrd>
*
* CV: <tinyurl.com/2esr94l>

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 22nd, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

The Abayudaya Jews of Uganda  
92Y Recommends:
20 Years After Crown Heights: Blacks, Jews and Jews of Color
The Abayudaya Jews of UgandaMeet Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, leader of the Abayudaya Jews of eastern Uganda. Learn about the history of this unique Jewish community, its daily challenges and its relationships with its Muslim and Christian neighbors. Rabbi Sizomu also performs and teaches several original Abayudaya Jewish songs, featuring traditional Jewish liturgy set to African rhythms and melodies.

Part of the Upcoming Events of the Resource Center for Jewish Diversity.
Date & Time: Tue, May 3, 2011, 8:15pm
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street Directions
Code: T-RC5JD04-01
Price: $29.00

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 19th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


The World Future Council (WFC)  www.worldfuturecouncil.org consists of up to 50 respected personalities from all five continents. They come from governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, science and the business world. Together they form a voice for the rights of future generations. The World Future Council is a charitable foundation dependent on donations.

The World Future Council Foundation is a registered charity in Hamburg, Germany where its head office is located. Additionally,  staff is working in Brussels, London, Washington and Addis Ababa.

WFC works in close collaboration with civil society groups, members of parliament, governments, businesses and international organisations we research future just policies and legislation. We then advise political decision-makers, offer them tried and tested courses of action and support them in the concrete implementation of new policies. We make politicians aware that they have an ethical responsibility to assess every decision-making process on the basis of how it will affect future generations. As an independent non-profit organisation with no interest in short-term profit or prestige, autonomous from governmental and institutional interests, our organisation enjoys the highest level of credibility in its political advocacy. To identify holistic solutions on a wide range of issues and to enable the application of these solutions, the WFC has created the following programmes:

  • Future Justice
  • Climate and Energy
  • Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Sustainable Economies
  • Just Societies
  • Peace and Disarmament

What we want to achieve:

The lifestyle in industrialized countries has led to people using up natural resources at a threatening pace. Consequently, our environment is being destroyed and the unequal distribution of wealth and natural resources is increasing. Mankind today is living and consuming at the price of future generations. The World Future Council works to safeguard the rights of future generations. Our aim is to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children and grandchildren.

What makes us unique:

The lifestyle in industrialized countries has led to people using up natural resources at a threatening pace. Consequently, our environment is being destroyed and the unequal distribution of wealth and natural resources is increasing. Mankind today is living and consuming at the price of future generations. The World Future Council works to safeguard the rights of future generations. Our aim is to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children and grandchildren.

How we finance our international work:

The city of Hamburg and Hamburg entrepreneur Dr. Michael Otto provided initial funding for the period from 2007 to 2009. This has enabled the WFC to work effectively and professionally for the good of future generations. For us to continue our work in the years to come we are completely reliant on further donations by people who want to help us to protect the rights of future generations. We are committed to using donations conscientiously and utilize funds as efficiently as possible to realize our goal of creating a just and sustainable world.

More on organisation, council members and staff

Press release – Sustainability can be made a political reality.

WFC co-hosted in Lisbon a legal experts conference on intergenerational justice.

Lisbon, May 28, 2010. The international conference on “Ways to Legally Implement Intergenerational Justice“ brought international legal experts to Lisbon on May 27-28 in order to create anti-dotes to the political and economic short-termism that increasingly threatens our future living conditions.

The conference was co-hosted by the World Future Council and the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations.

Its goal was to discuss policy concepts and concrete law changes that would help to finally make sustainability a reality: “The term sustainability can be found in almost every declaration and corporate report now, but policy advances to implement sustainable solutions are regularly watered down”, summarizes Dr. Maja Göpel, Director Future Justice of the World Future Council.

“Democracies have a strong tendency to favour present voters and lobbyists over future citizens that have no political or financial power. But the results of this myopic game are that we are rapidly closing the options for our children and grandchildren.”

Among the delegates to the conference were personalities that have officially been given the role to defend such options. Dr. Sandor Fülöp, Ombudsman for Future Generations in Hungary, for example, pointed out that his mandate is to protect fundamental rights of every citizen when he is stopping projects destroying too much nature. “Every Hungarian has the right to life and to intact nature. We cannot irreversibly destroy natural wealth in order to realize high economic profit today. We determine the conditions for life tomorrow.”

While some speakers were more optimistic about the opportunities of technological revolution than others, consensus prevailed that we have to quickly change course to safeguard our environment and end poverty at the same time. Shlomo Shoham, former Commissioner for Future Generations in Israel, did not fall short from calling for changed future intelligence: “Humanity is facing a future in which change takes place at an ever-increasing speed. The unknown awaits us beyond the horizon and our ability to digest and deal with the sheer volume of change is diminishing. We need to find new paths, train ourselves to ‘let go’ of certain ideas, fears, and concerns and change not only our rules, but also the way we think and act. We need to create future intelligence – and use it.”

The World Future Council is currently launching a campaign on the promotion of such Guardians for Future Generations on the European and national governance level. In its most ambitious form these Guardians of the long view would not only speak up for long-term interests in decision-making, but also help develop the knowledge base we need to make sustainability a reality.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 27th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at a Joint Press Availability at the United Nations.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary – can we ask you a question or two?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let – I think both Michael and I have a short statement to make.

And first, let me thank the foreign minister for his crucial help in getting this event organized.  I believe very strongly that Austria’s leadership on behalf of this issue is essential because we need to form a strong global partnership to make clear that we are committed to bringing about peace, but in doing so, we want to empower women to not be victims, but agents of peace and ending conflict.

And I also want to wish Austria a very happy National Day.  I’m sorry that this Security Council meeting coincided with National Day and that the foreign minister had to be here, but from our perspective, we’re very glad he is, and his leadership and the excellent commitment that were – commitments that were made by the Austrian Government in the intervention by the foreign minister.  So I thank you very much for your leadership.

And I also want to say how pleased we are to have a strong, growing, even deeper relationship between the United States and Austria.  The foreign minister and I have worked closely together on several key issues, from the Balkans to Iran and so much else.  And we have a shared commitment to human rights and the rule of law and to nonproliferation.  And I am very grateful that I will be having a bilateral, thorough discussion with the foreign minister in Washington, D.C. on November 17th.

FOREIGN MINISTER SPINDELEGGER: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary, ladies and gentlemen.  For us, it’s a great pleasure to see how engaged Hillary Clinton is in this field – framework of 1325.  And this gives us hope and this inspires us to be more active in this way.  And of course, I think if you have a look, after all the events, we have to notice there is a lot of space for more engagement.  We have to double our efforts to make, for the future, a better world for women and, of course, if you have a more close look to all these areas of conflict, we should now have these indicators, these 26 indicators, that gives us more tools and more information about that – what we have to do in all these areas.

And I think it’s wonderful to cooperate.  Thank you very much for that.  And of course, as I said, we are now celebrating the 10th anniversary, but we also are celebrating the birthday of Hillary Clinton here today.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, dear.

FOREIGN MINISTER SPINDELEGGER: Twenty-fifth birthday.  (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Coincides with National Austria Day.  I’m very excited about that. (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER SPINDELEGGER: So it’s really a wonderful story and I would like to thank you also for this cooperation between the United States and Austria.  We are very much happy with that and we would like to continue it in the future.  Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

——-

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, you’ve talked very passionately about the women of Afghanistan and not leaving them behind.  I wonder if you had any comment on the comments by the president of Afghanistan, President Karzai, about the United States and it’s giving cash to him to run his office?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do not.  I have a very strong opinion about the work that we’re doing, which I think is critical for our national security, the national security of Europe.  I work closely with our representatives in Afghanistan and with the Government of Afghanistan.  It’s a very challenging and quite complicated situation, but I think we’re making progress, and I am very, very pleased to have the opportunity to try to support the women of Afghanistan while we do so.

——-

QUESTION: Mrs. Secretary of State, the situation of women and also girls in many countries of the world, especially in Africa, but I would like to mention also Afghanistan, Iran, et cetera is very serious.  Do you really think that resolution discussed today can make a difference, can change something?  Or does this – it could be only done on the level of the government and the – on the politics?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think it’s both.  I think in my own lifetime – since it is my birthday, I can look back on it and see so much progress that has occurred.  It has occurred both on the international level in beginning to look at women’s rights as human rights and to create coalitions around change on behalf of women, and of course, it’s happened in my own country.

So the progress that women have made in the last 50 years is remarkable when you consider it against the backdrop of the prior history of humanity.  But as Michael and I have said, there is still much more to be done.  And certainly, those of us who are fortunate enough to live in countries like the United States and Austria where there have been great advances on behalf of women’s rights and opportunities, I believe have an obligation to try to do more to help women and girls in countries where those rights and opportunities are not respected.

So yes, we’ve made progress and shining a bright light of international concern on these issues gives heart to women and men working on behalf of this cause all over the world and helps to move the progress, the trajectory, a little bit further along.  So it’s all worth doing.

——

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, you have mentioned the special and growing relationship with Austria, and could you be more specific what has brought about this renewed friendship with Austria?  And could you specify the areas of cooperation where the friendship with a small country like Austria could really make a difference?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can give you two examples based on my own experience with the foreign minister.  He and I spoke several times in depth on the necessity for sanctions on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  He was very helpful in conveying the concerns not only of the United States but of the international community directly to representatives of the Iranian Government.  And certainly, with the IAEA headquartered in Vienna, I’ve spoken with the foreign minister on nonproliferation, which is a key goal of President Obama.  So those are two areas where Austria’s commitment and values, combined with its very strategic location, has been of benefit to our common cause.

Do you want to add anything to that, Michael?

FOREIGN MINISTER SPINDELEGGER: Yes, I think, of course, it was an area where we had to be in a close contact.  It was a very sensitive moment, I think.  And I only can give you back this was very good to have this close contact to inform each other what’s the next step forward, and I think we have reached a lot.  If you have looked today, maybe Iran is ready to come to the table back, this is one of the results of our (inaudible).

——-

QUESTION: You both mentioned Iran, though, and today the Iranians announced that they were going to restart refueling the reactor.  Is this something that —

SECRETARY CLINTON: But that – let’s not confuse – Iran is entitled to the peaceful use of civilian nuclear power.  They are not entitled to a nuclear weapons program.  What they are doing is starting a reactor that is, based on everything we know about it and everything that the Russians have informed us about it since they have worked with the Iranians over many years to build this reactor, strictly for peaceful purposes.  Our problem is not with their reactor at Bushehr.  Our problem is with their facilities at places like Natanz and their secret facility at Qom and other places where we believe they are conducting their weapons program.

So I know – I heard some of the news coverage that oh my goodness, the Iranians are starting the reactor.  That is not the issue.  They are entitled to peaceful civilian nuclear power.  They are not entitled to nuclear weapons.  There’s two different processes.  And so I’m glad you asked the question because I think it’s important to distinguish that.  And as Michael said, we’re hoping that the Iranians will come back to the table soon with the – what we call the P-5+1 or the E-3+3, headed by Cathy Ashton, to begin an in-depth negotiation over their nuclear arms program.

——————————–

Our own exclusive interview with Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affair Mr. Michael Spindelegger, at the Austrian Consulate General in New York, during the reception on the occasion of the Austrian National Day 2010.

Q: Dear Minister, as the two years of Austria’s membership on the UN Security Council will end in two months, what could you tell me in a couple of sentences, for attribution, that were the main achievements of this membership from your point of view?
A: Specifically – our close relationship with the United States – I was just invited to Washington for November 17th for further policy discussions. Austria contributes to negotiations in South Europe – now with Serbia and Croatia- and on the Iran question.

Q: What will be the specifics?
A: In the Balkan it is the bringing in of Serbia and Croatia into the EU.

Q. On Iran is it about the sanctions, or a negotiated solution?
A. The Sanctions we have already, it is about the fact that Iran cannot go nuclear.

The reception was hosted by Consul General Mr. Ernst-Peter Brezovsky, and the Minister was accompanied by Austria’s Permanent REpresentative to the UN, Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting. Many Ambassadors from EU countries to the UN participated. The US flag was also displayed.

——————————–

The Security Council meeting was opened by the November UNSC President from Uganda with the initial presentations by:

– The UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, by video from Southeast Asia where he went to attend the ASEAN Summit. The Deputy SG Ms. Dr. Asha-Rose Mgiro represented him at the UNSC. He remarked that 20 countries have adopted National Action Plans on Women’s participation in programs according to resolution 1325 (2000). The recent mass-rapes in Congo are just a reminder of what can go wromg.

– UN Under-Secretary-General for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Ms. Michelle Bachelet of Chile.

– The President of the UN Economic and Social Council Mr. Hamidon Ali of Malaysia.

– The Special Representative of the SG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Margot Wallstrom of Sweden.

– Civil Society Advisory to the UN on Women, Peace and Security Ms. Thelma Awori. a a Liberian/Ugandan.

Followed by the Ministers of UNSC Member States in the following order: Austria, the US, Japan, and Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Turkey, Nigeria, UK, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon, Russia, China, and the Chair – The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs of Uganda.

These were followed by another 65 speakers from interested Nations that included Ministers Foreign Affairs (Sweden, Slovenia), Defense (Norway), of International Cooperation (Canada), of Equal Opportunity (Italy), of Equity, Human Rights and Integration (Ireland), of Gender and Development (Liberia), the Interior (Finland), Social Development (South Africa), to Tourism and Culture (The Gambia) – and so on – including the EU, the AU, the Red Cross.

——-

Mr. Spinelegger, in his opening presentation, pointed out that in adopting the 1325 (2000) resolution 10 years ago, the UNSC recognized the equal participation of women in all aspects of peace-building and security and the protection of women from all sexual and all other violence in post-conflict situations.He pointed out that the resolution is not yet fully implemented to make a difference in conflict and post-conflict situations. The Council has the tools needed to hold accountable the transgressors he said.

He further said that the Arria meeting of October 19, 2010, cochaired by Austria, Mexico and the UK provided further tools – quantitative and qualitative – to judge deteriorating situations.

Austria offered the Austrian Diplomatic Academy in 2011 for training purpose and the services of his predecessor in the Foreign Ministry – Ms. Ambassador Dr. Ursula Plassnik as a Special envoy for International women issues, and an International network to promote Female Leadership in Intercultural and interreligious Dialogue” that first met in June 201o.

——–

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, used her speech at the UN to declare unequivocally that he United States will not support a peace in Afghanistan or any conflict zone that sacrifices women’s rights. Her speech was a no-nonsense presentation and stood out when compared to any of the other 80 speeches – most of them frankly useless me-toos! It was her speech that gave some justification to this UNSC exercise – something that we cannot overstate.

The Security Council presidential statement vowed life-less “enhanced” efforts to bring to justice those who attack women and girls and appealed for greater numbers of women peacekeepers in international forces and called, in UN fashion, a new review meeting in five years time, which brought a new rebuke from Clinton: “Well we had better have more to report and we had better have accomplished more between now and then, otherwise there will be those who lose faith in our international capacity to respond to such an overwhelming need,” she said.

Clinton  said the mass rape of hundreds of women in Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year was a “tragic rebuke” of international efforts to help women caught in conflict zones.

Women’s involvement in peacemaking efforts is now a “necessary global security imperative,” the US Secretary of State told the UN Security Council.

Clinton — to many observers the world’s most powerful woman — highlighted US efforts to reinforce women’s representation in Afghanistan, where US-led international forces are battling the Taliban militia which repressed women when in power. “We believe the potential for sustainable peace will be subverted if women are silenced or marginalized,” Clinton said.



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