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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 15th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Feb 03, 2014

World’s top solar thermal experts to lecture at University Pretoria.

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Solar Heat (0.07 MB)

The world’s top solar thermal experts offer a specialist workshop on “Solar Heat for Industrial Applications” at the University of Pretoria on 3 and 4 February 2014.

The audience of 36 is exclusively limited to persons who have attended previous SOLTRAIN courses, or have experience with large solar water systems in Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

This Train-the-Trainer workshop is part of the unique Southern African Training and Demonstration Initiative, sponsored by the Austrian Development Agency. The Pretoria University workshop is coordinated by the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa. “Train-the-Trainer” entails that the recipients of this specialist training are committed to disseminate the knowledge they received.

More Insight

South Africa and the SADC region urgently need this expertise“, says Prof Dieter Holm, regional SOLTRAIN coordinator, “and this is a cost-effective way of creating decent long-term jobs”. Project leader, Werner Weiss, concurs: “Southern Africa has twice Austria‘s sunshine”.

The University of Pretoria is South Africa‘s and SADC’s leader in the use of solar water heating in their student residences. The University is also building a thermal demonstration unit for practical experiments by students. The Pretoria campus falls within the SOLTRAIN Solar Thermal Flagship District where various installations can be visited by technical tourists and political decision-makers.

Southern Africa boasts 59% of the world’s best winter sunshine area, but does not rank among the global solar thermal leaders. “Not yet”, says Holm, “but, given enabling legislation and leadership by example in government buildings, we would create a sustainable and competitive solar water heating industry in the region. A strong local solar water heating industry will earn forex, reduce our chronic regional electricity problem, reduce pollution and contribute to achieving our environmental commitments”.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

 

Sector News

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 7th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 THE NATURAL INSTINCT OF YOUNG PEOPLE OF ALL RACES IS TO BE AND DO GOOD – ALL IT TAKES IS TO LET THEM BE FREE.

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Following after Nelson Mandela | 1918 – 2013

 

Generation Born After Apartheid Sees Mandela’s Fight as History.

 

Born Free: The future of South African politics may depend on the generation born after Mandela.

 

 

JOHANNESBURG — Sitting in her comfortable suburban living room 45 minutes east of Johannesburg, Nokuthula Magubane, 18, was doing something close to unthinkable to older generations of black South Africans: She was affectionately praising Afrikaans.

“Afrikaans is such a laid-back and beautiful language,” she said. “You can just sit back, relax, speak your Afrikaans and be happy.”

Mandatory instruction in Afrikaans during apartheid was one of the sparks that set off the Soweto student uprisings of 1976. Hundreds of young people, many younger than Ms. Magubane, were killed. Countless others chose to abandon education rather than receive instruction in what they considered the language of the oppressor. It was a seminal moment in the struggle against apartheid, and the day of the uprising, June 16, became national Youth Day in the new South Africa.

But to Ms. Magubane, “At the end of the day, Afrikaans is just a language.”

Such feelings are common among members of Ms. Magubane’s generation, known as the born frees because they were born after the end of apartheid, or just before it ended, and are too young to have many memories of it. And while they certainly know Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday, it is almost impossible for them to grasp what it was like to see him emerge from prison in 1990 and become president in the nation’s first fully democratic elections four years later.

The born frees make up a huge segment of the population — about 40 percent, according to census figures — and their many critics among older South Africans contend that they are apathetic and apolitical, unaware of the history of the struggle that made their lives better.

But the born frees have another name as well — the Mandela generation — and they insist that their determination to look to the future and not the past is the greatest tribute they can pay him.

“Yes, we were oppressed by white people; yes, it happened; yes, it hurt,” Ms. Magubane said while Mr. Mandela was still clinging to life. “But let us forgive each other so that we can move on fully and contribute fully to the South Africa we want to see in the future.”

Akhumzi Jezile, a 24-year-old producer, television personality and speaker, says the born frees are portrayed as apathetic because they do not respond with the same emotion, or in the same numbers, as the Soweto generation does during Youth Day marches and similar remembrances.

“It’s not a matter of not understanding apartheid; it’s just a matter of us having different challenges,” he said. “I think the feeling that the born frees are ignorant comes from an older generation that sees a youth that doesn’t react the way they do. But that is normal. We didn’t live it, but we have a vibrancy. We are fighting our issues.”

He pointed to education campaigns led by young people to fight the scourges of substance abuse, crime and H.I.V. infection.

“The generation of 1976, or the generation before us, had different challenges,” he said. “We cannot talk about apartheid every day forever.”

Many, though certainly not all, of the born frees’ attitudes differ markedly from those of older South Africans because their experiences are so sharply different. Young people, for instance, are more likely to socialize with people of another race, according to the Reconciliation Barometer, a yearly gauge of public opinion.

“It seems young people may be developing deeper relationships across historic dividing lines, beyond just interaction,” the 2012 Reconciliation Barometer reported.

They are also less likely to have faith in political leaders, and less likely to blame apartheid for South Africa’s current economic and social inequality, according to the Reconciliation Barometer.

And despite the warning from Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of South Africa’s powerful confederation of trade unions, that South Africa’s young are a “ticking time bomb” because of the unemployment and poverty rates they face — twice as high as in the general population — born frees are overwhelmingly optimistic, the Barometer and other surveys have found.

Indeed, their generation in other countries — often known as millennials elsewhere — also tends toward optimism.

Even young people from impoverished townships display a heady enthusiasm, though for many life has changed little in material terms since the end of apartheid, and unemployment is worse.

“Now there are no boundaries,” said Miles Mabaane, 18, a resident of Vosloorus, southeast of Johannesburg. “We young people have the potential to come up with new strategies of how to save the country, how to do things better, how to accommodate everybody in this country.”

While older South Africans complain about born frees not acknowledging the past, some born frees complain about their parents’ trying to hold them “captive” to it.

“We are constantly reminded of what happened directly by those who were involved in the struggle — as a means of keeping us loyal, they brainwash us by continuously reinstilling fear about what the ‘white man’ has done, about how much pain was caused, how much suffering their generation suffered,” wrote AkoLee, a blogger who says she was 6 in 1994, when Mr. Mandela became president. “They say we are ungrateful for not thinking the same way they do, for questioning what the ‘black man’ is doing.”

One popular hip-hop artist in South Africa who goes by the name HHP — pronounced “double H P” — seemed to sum up the experiential disconnect between the generations in a song called “Harambe,” which also shows a clear appreciation for the sacrifices of the previous generations.

“I’m not the political type,” the song says. “Not the type to fake an image for the sake of this whole consciousness type. Never been called a Kaffir before. Can’t imagine seeing 10 cops and dogs charging through my front door. Can’t say what tear gas smelled like. Can’t even imagine what a rubber bullet on your back felt like.

“But it’s because of you that I don’t speak Afrikaans today. I have chance today.” The song continues, “Because of you the black youth of today is emancipated.”

Researchers warn that the born frees’ hopefulness could sour once their expectations of a better life are not met.

“Without more effective and sustained job creation, and soon, a mismatch between these expectations and the capacity of the economy to absorb young people is inevitable, and will have consequences,” the Reconciliation Barometer said.

Many measures of inequality are just as a bad, or worse, for the born frees than for previous generations. “Many born frees face the same, if not greater, levels of unemployment, poverty, inequality and hopelessness as their parents,” wrote Robert Mattes, director of the Democracy in Africa Research Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Center for Social Science Research. Polls show they just do not know it.

The born frees, both in the townships and in more affluent suburbs, say political leadership has failed them. Opposition parties have tried to tap into a growing disillusionment with the governing African National Congress, so far with limited success.

“The A.N.C. doesn’t really hold the appeal it had for our parents, but neither do the opposition parties,” said Lerato Moloi, acting head of research at the South African Institute of Race Relations.

Most black South Africans 20 years ago would not have recognized the life that Ms. Magubane leads. A third of her friends are white. She has known many of them since she started school. She calls her white choir leader “Tanni Christine,” or “Auntie Christine” in Afrikaans.

As for Mr. Mandela, she said: “We have seen his example, and now we’re going to follow it. We’re going to take it one step further into the future, and we’re going to build the South Africa that he would have loved to see.”

————————————————————————————————-

QUOTATION OF THE DAY

“Yes, we were oppressed by white people; yes, it happened; yes, it hurt. But let us forgive each other so that we can move on fully and contribute fully to the South Africa we want to see in the future.”

NOKUTHULA MAGUBANE, 18, of South Africa.

==============================================————————————————————————————————


THEN ALSO:

Disappointment in Successors to Nelson Mandela, a Revered Father of a Nation.

 

Per-Anders Pettersson for The New York Times

A family outside its home in Mvezo, South Africa, where Mandla Mandela, the eldest grandson of Nelson Mandela, is chief.

MVEZO, South Africa — Adam Bhasikile’s day begins at dawn, always in the same way. Flanked by donkeys, she walks to the valley floor, collecting water for the family to cook, clean and bathe from the Mbashe River, which snakes around this hilltop village like a winding moat. It is an unending ritual that Nelson Mandela’s mother, who gave birth to the future president here in 1918, almost certainly performed as well.

More recently, Mrs. Bhasikile passes something else on her walk: a sprawling complex with gleaming porcelain toilets, showers and faucets that gush water with a flick of the wrist. The complex includes a cavernous meeting hall, a tribal courtroom and a private residence for the village chief. And not just any chief — the man in charge here is Mandla Mandela, favored grandson of Mr. Mandela.

But the truck that fills the water tanks at the Great Place, as the hulking set of buildings is known, does not stop at Mrs. Bhasikile’s house.

“That water is not for us; it is for them,” she said with a disapproving grunt as she walked up the craggy hillside, 40 liters of water astride each of her three donkeys. As for Chief Mandla, Mrs. Bhasikile is unimpressed despite his pedigree. “He is not like his grandfather,” she said.

The disgruntlement among Chief Mandla’s subjects mirrors the disappointment many South Africans feel about the generations that have succeeded the heroes of this nation’s liberation struggle. Mr. Mandela’s death on Thursday in many ways is the end of the line for the cohort of leaders who carried the battle against apartheid from a lonely and seemingly hopeless struggle to an inevitable moral and political victory cheered by much of the world. Other lions of the struggle, like Oliver Tambo, Walter and Albertina Sisulu and Joe Slovo, have been dead for years.

Perhaps inevitably, the following generations of leaders have struggled to live up to their legacy. Mr. Mandela’s successor as president, Thabo Mbeki, was roundly criticized for his resistance to broadly accepted methods of treating and preventing AIDS, a stance that added to the nation’s death toll from the disease, researchers concluded. South Africa’s current president, Jacob Zuma, has been under a cloud for years, investigated in corruption and rape cases.

Younger leaders like the firebrand Julius Malema have attracted a following among disgruntled, jobless youth, but his radical views and harsh criticism of older leaders got him expelled from Mr. Mandela’s party, the African National Congress. And the children of some families deeply involved in the struggle against apartheid — the Mandelas, the Tambos and others — have largely shied away from politics.

“In all of the great liberation movements there is the problem of producing great leaders to take over,” said William Gumede, an analyst who has written extensively about Mr. Mandela. “But in this case, there has really been a failure to pass the torch.”

Mr. Mandela is often called the father of the new South Africa, and he leaves behind an impressive legacy, even if the future of his metaphoric child, the Rainbow Nation, remains uncertain. But the story of his flesh-and-blood family has been marked by missteps, tragedy and neglect — a legacy of Mr. Mandela’s admitted failings as a husband and father amid the battle against apartheid and his decades of imprisonment.

His former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, is a polarizing figure, as underscored when the bodies of two young men last seen severely beaten at her house 25 years ago were unearthed in Soweto this year. Their deaths were connected to the Mandela United Football Club, a thuggish group that she used as her security team. She would eventually be sentenced to prison twice, though she never actually served a term because one sentence was reduced to a fine and another was suspended.

Mr. Mandela’s daughters with Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela have also suffered in the harsh glare of the spotlight. One daughter, Zindzi Mandela, has long been a fixture in the tabloid press, the subject of stories about her penchant for lavish birthday parties and her extensive personal debts.

One of Mr. Mandela’s sons-in-law, Isaac Amuah, was charged with rape in 2010. One of his grandsons, Zondwa Mandela, has been implicated along with a nephew of the current president, Mr. Zuma, in a deal that stripped the assets of a gold mine while leaving its 3,000 workers unpaid.

Mandla Mandela, the eldest grandson, was at the center of a public battle with the more than a dozen family members in recent months over where three of Nelson Mandela’s children, and eventually the leader himself, would be buried, leading to court-ordered exhumations.

And a separate squabble over a trust fund that Mr. Mandela set up for his descendants has led to a tense fight between two of his daughters and one of his oldest friends, resulting in a bitter exchange of affidavits in which the Mandela sisters are portrayed as impatient to get their hands on the money set aside for future generations.

Makaziwe Mandela, Mr. Mandela’s eldest daughter and one of the relatives in the legal fight, told The Daily Mail in October 2010 that “I have none of the simple memories other children have with their fathers, the day we went swimming together, or for a picnic or camping. No, no, no, nothing.” She continued: “I’ll be sad when he’s gone, but he hasn’t been a constant presence in my life.”

Two of Mr. Mandela’s granddaughters are appearing in a reality television show chronicling their lives as young professionals and inheritors of the Mandela legacy. The show was widely mocked when it aired in South Africa.

Mr. Mandela was aware of his failings as a husband and father. “I led a thoroughly immoral life,” he writes in his autobiography, without fully explaining.

“To be the father of a nation is a great honor, but to be the father of a family is a greater joy,” Mr. Mandela wrote. “But it was a joy I had far too little of.”

His children have often been at odds. When his son Makgatho died of AIDS in 2005, relations were so strained that some of his siblings were not allowed to sit with the body during the traditional mourning period, according to the book “Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years,” by David James Smith.

Unlike the descendants of Walter and Albertina Sisulu, another prominent family, Mr. Mandela’s descendants have largely shied away from public service, mostly avoiding politics. One daughter from his marriage to Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela, Zenani, serves as ambassador to Argentina. And his grandson Mandla has reclaimed the Mandelas’ place in the ruling family of the Thembu clan of the Xhosa people, to which Mr. Mandela belonged.

Mandla Mandela’s rise was a great source of pride for Mr. Mandela, who wrote of the pain of his father losing his chiefdom after a dispute with colonial authorities.

But Chief Mandla has been surrounded by controversy. He decided to destroy the ruins of the hut in which Mr. Mandela was born and replace them with a replica, angering preservationists and officials at the Nelson Mandela Museum. His messy divorce fight with his wife, Tando, tarnished his image when she testified in court that he had abused her and cheated on her.

Chief Mandla’s second wife — South African traditional law allows polygamy — gave birth in 2011 to a son, who was presented to Mr. Mandela as a great-grandson. But in 2012 Chief Mandla denied that the boy was his, accusing one of his brothers of fathering him. Meanwhile, he had taken a third wife, in defiance of a court order issued in connection with his divorce from his first wife. In the deeply traditional society here, his behavior has not sat well with residents.

Chief Mandla also quietly had the bodies of his grandfather’s three children disinterred from a family graveyard in Qunu, where the elder Mr. Mandela grew up, and reburied them here in Mvezo. This was widely perceived as an attempt to ensure that his grandfather would also be buried in Mvezo, despite his expressed wish to be buried in Qunu. A judge ordered that the bodies be taken back to Qunu for reburial.

Mvezo sits in the poorest of South Africa’s provinces, the Eastern Cape, almost entirely a so-called Bantustan during apartheid. These quasi-independent regions were homelands for blacks, who had no citizenship in the South Africa ruled by whites.

These areas were badly neglected, a legacy that remains throughout the Eastern Cape — in its dilapidated schools and hospitals, its crumbling roads, its isolated villages.

In his autobiography, Mr. Mandela described the leadership style he had learned from the king of the AbaThembu. “I always remember the regent’s axiom: A leader, he said, is like a shepherd,” Mr. Mandela wrote. “He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

But few here see the younger Mr. Mandela as following in his grandfather’s footsteps. “I must tell the truth, Madiba brought people together,” said Noluzile Gamakhulu, a resident, referring to Mr. Mandela by his clan name. “Mandla is very far from the old man’s way of doing things.”

Of course, few people could measure up to the elder Mr. Mandela — a Nobel laureate and beloved figure. But the disappointment echoes a broader disenchantment with the inheritors of the liberation struggle. Victoria Msiwa, 84, whose grandfather was Mr. Mandela’s teacher, said that the younger generation had spoiled the country, leaving her oddly nostalgic for the quiet certainties of the apartheid era.

“When I compare what we grew under to what is today,” she said, her voice trailing off. “I don’t make out a difference. People say we are free, but we cannot walk around at night.”

Her tractor was stolen by thieves two years ago.

“Look at this, we have burglar bars, here in this rural area,” she said. “The analysts can say if this is better. I am old. I am tired.”

======================================================———————————————————————-

 

Mandela’s African National Congress was once deemed a terrorist organization by both his home country, South Africa, and by the United States. And America’s view of Mandela and of South Africa’s system of apartheid cannot be whitewashed, even as we now venerate Mandela in death. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher plainly bad-mouthed Mandela to her permanent discredit.

As Noam Chomsky wrote in his 2010 book “Hopes and Prospects”:

“Through the 1980s, U.S. trade with South Africa increased despite the 1985 congressional sanctions (which Reagan evaded), and Reagan continued to back South African depredations in neighboring countries that led to an estimated 1.5 million deaths. As late as 1988 the administration condemned Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress as one of the world’s ‘more notorious terrorist groups.’”

{It was only recently that US Congress removed the last traces of its anti-ANC and anti-Mandela decisions. Now three or four US Presidents will go to South Africa to celebrate Mandela’s life.}

Be brave. Courage is not required to execute that which is easy or convenient.

As the Texas progressive author and agitator Jim Hightower once put it, “Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

Courage is drawing up your shoulder and pushing into the resistance. Courage is doing what is unpopular or dangerous or discomforting because, even if you must do it alone, it is the right thing to do.

As Mandela put it: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” We all feel fear. In fact,  fear the person who claims that he or she does not. But fear withers under the heat of righteousness. It cannot spread when it is cornered by those of noble conviction.

Remember that no one can divest you of your basic humanity without your submission and allowance. Discrimination and injustice are insidious, virulent scourges that the world is working hard to remedy, but they remain stubbornly resistant to complete eradication. Even as we labor to be rid of them, let us all retain our resolve and rise up in our dignity.

###

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

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) is currently calling for expressions of interest and an invitation to tender for three major knowledge management projects. Please respond if you are interested, or pass to others in your network who may be well placed to respond:

Call for expressions of interest: CDKN learning programme on climate compatible development at subnational level

CDKN is seeking a partner organisation to lead its new initiative to capture and synthesise learning from projects at the sub-national level.
Deadline for submissions of Expressions of Interest: 17.00 GMT 14 February 2013

Invitation to tender: National climate compatible development planning: learning from experiences in Africa

CDKN is seeking a partner organisation to lead its new initiative to capture, synthesise and share learning from national climate compatible development (CCD) planning in Africa.

Deadline for submissions of Invitation to Tender: 17:00 GMT 25 February 2013

Call for expressions of interest: CDKN inside stories on climate compatible development

CDKN is looking to commission a set of policy briefs on developing countries’ practical experiences in climate compatible development.
Deadline for submissions of Expressions of Interest: 18.00 GMT 28 February 2013

Any questions about these tenders should be addressed not to me, but to CDKN’s Procurement team on: cdknetwork.procurement@uk.pwc.com who will be pleased to respond.

————————————————-

KMAF-0014 – National climate compatible development planning: learning from experiences in Africa.

[Translate]


CDKN is seeking a partner organisation to lead its new initiative to capture, synthesise and share learning from national climate compatible development (CCD) planning in Africa.

CDKN’s overall purpose is to support developing countries to design and deliver climate compatible development. We provide a combination of advisory work, research and knowledge-sharing, tailored to countries’ needs. We are partnering with progressive national and local governments to design and deliver policies that combine low carbon, climate resilient, and inclusive green growth. We are now working in 40 countries, disbursing GBP20 million a year. CDKN began in 2010 with funding from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and now also receives funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It runs initially for a five year period to 2015.

As CDKN enters its fourth year, we are embarking on a range of initiatives to share learning from our programme to date. One of these is a major initiative to synthesise and share African solutions and best practice emerging from national climate compatible development planning to support learning, policy development and possible replication and up-scaling efforts in other countries.

With a number of mature and maturing projects in implementation, African governments have a strong body of evidence and experiences to communicate regionally and globally and ensure that it is transferable and catalytic. In the fourth year of CDKN, we are committed to bringing experience-based knowledge and insight from Africa to the forefront.

We welcome tenders from organisations and consortia that specialise in organisational learning to partner with us on this endeavour. The work will run to December 2014. This initiative will broadly involve:

  • Working closely with a core CDKN team to identify learning priorities and formulate key learning questions for our Africa projects, in consultation with key stakeholders;
  • Conducting learning processes around the key learning priorities and questions identified;
  • Liaising with CDKN partners (governments and researchers) and individual project teams (including external suppliers) to write up a first round of analysis;
  • Co-producing a variety of knowledge products with partners and project teams; and
  • Delivering an eight-month outreach programme to share the learning in a targeted and systematic way with the aim of influencing CCD policy and practice.

The Learning Partner’s team must include the following skill sets:

  • Specialism in organisational and project learning;
  • Experience in comparative case study research for policy audiences;
  • Understanding and knowledge of CCD planning at national levels in developing countries and Africa specifically;
  • Established track record of engagement with policy audiences in a range of African countries;
  • Demonstrable expertise in climate compatible development, including a firm grasp of common climate adaptation and mitigation issues in developing countries and Africa specifically;
  • Excellent Africa networks in the climate change and development arena;
  • Highly honed editing and writing skills in English; Portuguese and French fluency an asset but not essential;
  • Expert facilitation skills and previous experience in facilitating similar learning processes in multi-stakeholder settings;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in producing and disseminating policy briefing materials across a range of formats (e.g. PowerPoint, policy briefs, background papers, multimedia); and
  • Experience in the countries where CDKN has mature projects is desirable but not essential.

In order to express an interest in this opportunity, please complete the following 2 steps:

Step 1:

Send an email to the CDKN Procurement team (cdknetwork.procurement@uk.pwc.com) including the following information:

  • Subject line: Expression of interest: KMAF-0014 – National climate compatible development planning: learning from experiences in Africa
  • Organisation/company name
  • A sentence confirming your interest in bidding for the work
  • The name of any partner organisations you anticipate that you will work with
  • A contact name(s), email address and telephone number for the most appropriate person(s) to send further information to regarding bidding

Step 2:

Your nominated contact(s) will receive an email from the CDKN Procurement team, including [an Expressions of Interest selection document] / [Invitation to Tender document], a Non Disclosure Agreement, a copy of CDKN’s Expense Policy and the CDKN Terms and Conditions.  Complete the documents where relevant and submit these to the CDKN Procurement team ( cdknetwork.procurement at uk.pwc.com) before the deadline stated below.

Your documents [including the signed Non-Disclosure Agreement] should be submitted by the deadline of 17.00 UK time on 25 February 2013.

Please note, we will accept and respond to questions with respect to this opportunity and the associated documents, provided they are received by CDKN Procurement before 17.00 UK time on 15 February 2013.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 24th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Das Netzwerk ? Kritische Rohstoffe  :  lädt zum Gastvortrag Rohstoffe und ihr Preis.

Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, in Uppsala, Schweden
und Ulrich Brand, Institut für Politikwissenschaften an der Uni Wien,
beschreiben die Rolle von Rohstoffen für die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung
von Produzentenländern und die damit einhergehenden ökologischen,
ökonomischen und sozialen Auswirkungen.

Wer profitiert von Afrikas Rohstoffen? fragt und beantwortet Henning Melber, Direktor der Dag Foundation in Uppsala, Schweden.

Ressourcen?Extraktivismus als alt?  neues Entwicklungsmodell: Lokale, nationale und internationale Zusammenhänge beschreibt Ulrich Brand, Professor für Politikwissenschaften, Bereich Politische Ökologie an der Universität Wien.

Moderation:   Armin Dieter (Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, WU)


Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2012, 18:00 ?20:30

Audimax der WU Kern B (blau) 1. und 2. Stock,

A?1090 Wien, Augasse 2?6, 1090

————

Henning Melber (* 1950 in Stuttgart) ist ein deutscher Afrikanist und politischer Aktivist, der Mitglied der namibischen Befreiungsbewegung “SWAPO” ist.

Melber kam 1967 als Jugendlicher und Sohn deutscher Einwanderer nach Namibia und trat 1974 der Befreiungsbewegung SWAPO bei. Er studierte Politik und Soziologie an der FU Berlin. Melber war von 1992 bis 2000 Leiter des “Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit” (NEPRU) in Windhoek. Anschließend wechselte er als Forschungsdirektor an dasNordic Africa Institute in Uppsala in Schweden. Seit 2006 leitet er die schwedische Dag Hammarskjöld Stiftung.

Er hat zahlreiche Bücher und Schriften über Probleme und die Geschichte Namibias veröffentlicht.

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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 July 30th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Be’chol Lashon is the Hebrew for “In Every Tongue” and it advocates for the Growth & Diversity of the Jewish People. Today Jews come indeed in every color and every stripes and some leaders do the outreach to embrace them all. Just look at Dr. Lewis Gordon of the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Mr. Romiel Daniel of Queens, New York, The head of Jews of India in our region, Dr. Ephraim Isaac, of the institute for Semitic Studies. They do not look like your stereotype Jew. I met them and was impressed – the latter actually for the first time as we both visited Addis Ababa at the time of the delayed Ethiopian Millennium. Then Rabbi Hailu Paris with his communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx, Ethiopian born and graduae of Yeshiva University, and his Assistant Monica Wiggan (www.blackjews.org/Essays/RabbiParisEthiopianTrip.html), and Rabbi Gershom Sizomu of the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda from whom I got a very distinctive kippah with the menorah – of the old temple worked in. Then Dr. Rabson Wuriga of the Hamisi Lemba clan in South Africa and Zimbabwe and so on – in Nigeria, in Peru, in India, in China.

And who has not heard by now of the present White House Rabbi – Cappers Funnye – the cousin of Michelle Obama – and associate director of Bechol Lashon and spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nei Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Chicago?

The New York regional director of DiverseJews.org is Lacey Schwartz who is also National Outreach Director of BecholLashon.org, assisted by Collier Meyerson and to top it all Davi Cheng, Director of the Los Angeles region is Jewish, Chinese, and Lesbian. As I said it is all a new image of the Jew.

Last night, at the Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard St., NYC there was a Shemspeed Summer Music Festival event.

The two further upcoming events in New York will be on:

Monday, August 2nd – the Shemspeed Hip Hop Fest at Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleeker Street NYC Featuring Tes Uno, Ted King & guest Geng Grizlee and others with CD Release parties for “A Tribe Called Tes” and “Move On.”

Thursday, August 5th – Shemspeed Jewish Punk Fest at Pianos, 158 Ludlow Street, NYC Featuring Moshiach Oil & The Groggers.

info on each event above and at shemspeed.com/fest

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Mona Eltahawy
A Jewish Woman Living in Ethiopia


Rethinking How U.S. Jews Fund Communities Around the World.

The Forward
Published: May 27, 2010

For more than half a century, North America’s Jewish federation system has divided its overseas allocations between the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Joint Distribution Committee. The Jewish Agency has been dedicated to building up Israel and encouraging aliyah, while the Joint has focused on aiding Jewish communities in need around the globe.

Today, both agencies are working to assert their continued relevance in a changing Jewish world. With aliyah slowing, the Jewish Agency is moving toward embracing a new agenda: promoting the concept of Jewish peoplehood. The JDC, meanwhile, has sought to claim a larger share of the communal pie, which had long been split 75%-25% in the Jewish Agency’s favor.

After a recent round of sniping over the funding issue, the two sides are now stepping back from their public confrontation and recommitting to negotiations over the future of the collective funding arrangement. Underlying this fight, however, is a more fundamental tension over communal funding priorities: Should overseas aid be focused on helping needy Jews and assisting communities that have few resources of their own, or should it be used to bolster Jewish identity?

With this debate raging, the Forward asked a diverse group of Jewish thinkers and communal activists from around the world to weigh in and address the following question: How should North America’s Jewish community be thinking about its priorities and purposes in funding Jewish needs abroad?

New Century, New Priorities

By Yossi Beilin

During the 20th century, the challenges facing world Jewry were the following: rescue of Jews who encountered existential danger, assistance to Israel, helping with the absorption of those who immigrated to new countries and opening the gates for those who were denied the right to emigrate. In the 21st century, ensuring Jewish continuity is the greatest challenge facing the Jewish people.

Yet too often Jewish organizations in the United States and elsewhere remain focused on the challenges of the previous century. (Indeed, Jewish groups were not very receptive when I first proposed the idea for Birthright Israel 17 years ago.)

Ensuring the existence of Jewish life (religious and secular) throughout the world via Jewish education, encounters between young Israeli and Diaspora Jews, creating a virtual Jewish community using new technologies — these must be at the top of the global Jewish agenda. This requires American Jewish philanthropy and leadership, which in turn requires discerning between past and present priorities.

Yossi Beilin, a former justice minister of Israel, is president of the international consulting firm Beilink.

Reviving Polish Jewry

By Konstanty Gebert

The rebirth of Central European Jewish communities after 1989, though numerically not very impressive, remains significant for moral and historical reasons. It is also crucial for Jewish self-understanding. An enormous proportion of American Jews can trace their origins to what used to be Poland alone. This is where much of Diaspora history happened.

Alongside the courage and determination of local Jews, the far-sighted support of several American Jewish organizations and philanthropies made this rebirth possible. In Poland the Joint Distribution Committee, the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation and the Taube Foundation played key roles. Their support has translated not only into Jewish schools and festivals in places once believed to be Jewish-ly dead, but also in most cases into changed relations between local Jewish communities and their fellow citizens as well as clear support for Israel on the part of these countries’ governments.

Yet for all this progress, Central European Jewish communities might never become self-financing. The support given them by American Jewry remains a vital Jewish interest. It must be strengthened.

Konstanty Gebert, a former underground journalist, is a columnist at the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza and founder of the Polish-language Jewish monthly Midrasz.

What We Give Ourselves

By Lisa Leff

More than any Jewish community in history, postwar American Jews have used our prosperity to help Jewish communities around the world. On one level, the greatest beneficiaries of this support have been Jews abroad. But we should also recognize that these philanthropic efforts have shaped our communal values and identity.

Through our international aid, we have dedicated ourselves to universalist and cosmopolitan ideas like tikkun olam and solidarity across borders. In helping disadvantaged and oppressed Jews abroad, we have also deepened our community’s commitments to democracy, human rights and economic justice for all. It’s only natural that Jewish groups pitch in on Haitian earthquake relief and advocate on behalf of oppressed people of all backgrounds.

Whatever the outcome of the federations’ deliberations over how to divide allocations between the Jewish Agency and the Joint Distribution Committee, it is imperative that American Jewry maintain its commitment to our values through supporting international philanthropy.

Lisa Leff is an associate professor of history at American University and the author of “Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth-Century France” (Stanford University Press, 2006).

Putting Identity First

By Jonathan S. Tobin

The choices we face are not between good causes and bad or even indifferent ones but between vital Jewish obligations. But since the decline in giving to Jewish causes means that we must make tough decisions, programs that reinforce Jewish identity and support Zionism both in the Diaspora and in Israel must be accorded a higher priority.

At this point in our history, with assimilation thinning the ranks of Diaspora Jewry and with continuity problems arising even in Israel, the need to instill a sense of membership in the Jewish people is an imperative that cannot be pushed aside. Under the current circumstances, absent an effort that will make Jewish and Zionist education the keynote of our communal life, the notion that Jewish philanthropies or support for Israel can be adequately sustained in the future is simply a fantasy.

Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of Commentary magazine.

Collective Responsibility

By Richard Wexler

One cannot have a meaningful discussion about framing the national Jewish community’s priorities and purposes in funding Jewish needs abroad without first asking the question: Is there actually a collective “North American Jewish community” today?

Collective responsibility has been and remains the foundation upon which the federation system and, therefore, the national Jewish community are built. It is what distinguishes the federations from all other charities. It is embodied in our participation in the adventure of building Israel and in meeting overseas needs through the Jewish Agency and the Joint Distribution Committee, in the dues that federations pay to the Jewish Federations of North America and so much more. But today, federations “bowl alone.”

Collective responsibility gives meaning to kol Yisrael arevim zeh l’zeh — all Jews are responsible for one another. Until federations understand once again that Jewish needs extend beyond the borders of any one community, we cannot have a meaningful priority-setting process for funding Jewish needs abroad.

Richard Wexler is a former chairman of the United Israel Appeal.

Originally published here: www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/rethinking-how-u-s-jews-fund-communities-around-the-world-1.292527

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Avi Rosenblum
Rabbi Gershom Sizomu and Be’chol Lashon director Diane Tobin at the opening of the Health Center.


Gary Tobin’s Legacy Lives on in New Ugandan Health Center

By Amanda Pazornik

The J Weekly
Published: July 22, 2010

On the day of the grand opening of the Tobin Health Center in Mbale, Uganda, health professionals were already hard at work treating patients inside.

The center was open for business, but that didn’t slow down the lively June 18 celebration, which featured song and dance performances and speakers. About 3,000 people gathered at the center’s grounds to mark the occasion.

Seated under colorful tents was Diane Tobin, director of S.F.-based Be’chol Lashon and wife of the late Gary Tobin, for whom the center is named, along with three of their children, Aryeh, Mia and Jonah.

“Everyone was amazing, friendly and so generous of spirit,” said Tobin, who was visiting Uganda and its Abayudaya Jewish community for the first time. “They were so appreciative of having the center and demonstrated a tremendous willingness to work together. It’s a great model for the rest of the world.”

Andrew Esensten, Be’chol Lashon program coordinator, and Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, spiritual leader of the Abayudaya Jews and the first chief rabbi of Uganda, joined them, in addition to government and medical officials, and representatives from Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities.

The Tobin Health Center is named for Gary Tobin, the founder of the S.F.-based Institute for Jewish and Community Research, of which Be’chol Lashon (“In Every Tongue”) is an initiative. Tobin died one year ago after a long battle with cancer. He was 59.

“He really has left a legacy,” said Debra Weinberg of Baltimore, who attended the opening with her husband, Joe, and their 14-year-old son, Ben. The couple also helped fund the project. “I think he would feel deeply comforted to know it’s improving the lives of people.”

The 4,000-square-foot facility is a major component of the ongoing Abayudaya Community Health and Development Project undertaken by the Abayudaya Executive Council and Be’chol Lashon, a nonprofit that reaches out to Jews of color and helps educate the mainstream community about Jewish diversity.

It cost approximately $250,000 to erect the two-story center, using donations collected over five years. While patients pay for their services, continuous fundraising is a necessity, Tobin said.

Construction began in July 2009, enabling more than 50 Africans from diverse ethnic backgrounds to earn a living.

Stars of David are featured in the window grids, ceilings and floors of the health center, a “lovely expression of their Judaism,” Tobin said. Private rooms make up most of the top floor, with patient wards on the ground floor. A mezuzah is affixed to every door.

A large portrait of Gary Tobin hangs in the lobby.

“It’s so heartwarming,” Diane Tobin said of the visual tribute. “Gary would be so honored to have this health center in the middle of Africa named after him.”

Prior to the opening of the Tobin Health Center, the nearest medical facility to the Abayudaya Jews was Mbale Hospital, an overcrowded and understaffed institution not accessible to all the residents of the region. Tobin said there are other clinics in the area, but they lack the preventive health care measures necessary to respond to the community’s needs.

The Tobin Health Center is licensed by the Ministry of Health and is certified to operate a pharmacy and laboratory. It serves all who seek basic medical care in the region, providing life-saving health services and simultaneously creating jobs.

“The goal is to raise the standard of medical care,” Tobin said.

In addition, rental units on the bottom and top floors of the center will provide more job opportunities for locals. The first business recently opened — a hardware store that sells bags of cement, plumbing equipment and sheet metal — with a beauty salon and video rental outlet in the works.

The center “is rewarding on a number of levels,” said Steven Edwards of Laguna Beach, who, along with his wife, Jill, has been involved with the Abayudaya for six years. “The most obvious is to see this beautiful, clean building. On top of that, local dignitaries noted how lucky Mbale is to have the Jewish community and how much they contribute to the larger community by bringing jobs.”

The Abayudaya Jews comprise a growing, 100-year-old community of more than 1,000 Jews living among 10,000 Christians and Muslims. They live in scattered villages in the rolling, green hills of eastern Uganda. The largest Abayudaya village, Nabagoye, is near Mbale, the seventh-largest city in Uganda and the location of the center.

Research conducted by Be’chol Lashon in 2006 showed that contaminated water and malaria-carrying mosquitoes pose the biggest health risks to the community. A year later, the organization launched the Abayudaya Community Health and Development Project with the drilling of the first well in Nabagoye.

Since then, nearly 1,000 mosquito nets have been purchased and distributed throughout the community.

“Our goal is to respond to the needs of communities,” Tobin said. “If there are other communities that need health centers, we will be there.”

Originally published here: www.jweekly.com/article/full/58727/s.f.-researchers-legacy-lives-on-in-new-ugandan-health-center/

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

For one thing, see there is a good South African Restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and we go there for inspiration and nourishment from time to time. www.madibarestaurant.com/ info@madibarestaurant.com.

 politic365.com/2010/07/19/happy-b…

Based on the above – we write: Two freedom fighters I most admire, writes Noel Anderson, Professor at Brooklyn College, in the struggle for South African democracy are Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela. Law partners and comrades, both men helped to shape the direction of the country, with Mandela leading the struggle from within, while Tambo raised international consciousness and money while exiled abroad. Tambo is no longer with us, but Mandela keeps the best of that struggle alive, becoming the first truly democratically elected President of South Africa after decades of imprisonment, and continuing to serve as a moral symbol for African and world affairs.

Born 92 years ago on July 18th, 1918, into a royal family in the Transkei, Mandela has been at the center of not just South African but global freedom struggles. He was the head of the ANC youth league and became a founding member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”) the armed wing of the ANC, before being imprisoned for 27 years.

President Obama, in tribute to Mandela’s work, has called on all to engage in community service. (In effect this past weekend everyone of us was called to put aside 82 minutes of his time and dedicate those 82 minutes to the community.  The United Nations has also recognized his birthday as Nelson Mandela International Day by calling on November 10, 2009 to make the !8th of July The International Mandela Day – and this year – the July 18th 2010, was supposed to be The First International Mandela Day. But it fell on a Sunday and that is a no-no for the UN Free Birds that must keep the weekend in New York for free enjoyment – really – what other reason for spending the time in this hot city? So, the UN moved to celebrate the day, this year, on  Thursday night and Friday Morning – 15th and 16th of 2010.

Strange as it sounds, its important to recognize that “Madiba” (his term of endearment), the 92 year old grandfather, still has a revolutionary spirit and still… very much alive. The press tends to talk about him the past tense, as if he is long gone and only his legacy survives. Yes, health concerns has led him to retreat from a once rigorous travel schedule, and his chronological age puts him in the twilight of his life. But Mandela is  mentally very lucid, weighs in on global politics and still advises in the affairs of his philanthropic foundation. Further, despite the controversial painting of Mandela, depicting him as dead and being used for an autopsy by political leaders, he still speaks with leaders on pressing concerns, and remains loyal to those countries that supported the freedom struggle.  Happy Birthday, Madiba!

{Dr. Noel S. Anderson is Associate Professor of Political Science and Education at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College. His work focuses on urban politics, human development and education and comparative issues in public policy – U.S. and South Africa}.

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The celebration started on Thursday night 6:30 pm with a series of three talks and the screening of the documentary “MANDELA: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation, in the new ECOSOC Chamber in the UN temporary North Lawn building.

No one from the high flyers of the UN was there – their place taken by fill-ins, but luckily Jonathan Demme the director, and Peter Saraf, the co-producer of the film were there – so the aesthetics of their production could be brought up.

For the UN spoke Margaret Novicki and Nicholas Haysom.

Margaret Novicki was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan  as the Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria, South Africa.  Ms. Novicki, a national of the United States, brings to this post extensive experience in communications, media relations and journalism, much of it acquired in Africa. Prior to Pretoria she worked for the UN in Accra. She chaired the evening. She spoke on behalf  of the UN USG for UNDPI – Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka.
Why DPI? Why not the Secretary General himself?

Nicholas Haysom, as an attorney of the South African High Court, he litigated in high-profile human rights cases between 1981 and 1993.  He acted as a professional mediator in labour and community conflicts in South Africa between 1985 and 1993, and has advised on civil conflicts in Africa and Asia since 1998. Founding partner and senior lawyer at the human rights law firm of Cheadle Thompson and Haysom Attorneys, and an Associate Professor of Law and Deputy Director at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University in South Africa until May 1994, when he was appointed Legal Adviser to President Mandela.

Mr. Haysom was closely involved in the constitutional negotiations leading up to the interim and final Constitutions in South Africa.  He served as Chief Legal Adviser throughout Mr. Mandela’s presidency, and continued to work with Mr. Mandela on his private peace initiatives up to 2002.

Since leaving the office of the President upon Nelson Mandela’s retirement in 1999, Mr. Haysom has been involved in the Burundi Peace Talks as the Chairman of the committee negotiating constitutional issues (1999–2002). He continued to serve on the implementation committee of the Burundi Peace Accord after 2002.

Incoming UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Professor Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as Director for Political Affairs in his Executive Office, May 16, 2007. Our friend Matthew Russell Lee complained that he is never seen at the UN – but in a careful reading of the article we find there the concept of preventive diplomacy – we wish had more credence at the UN.  “He said there is a resistance to preventive diplomacy among member states, leading to the blocking of reform and regional offices of the Department of Political Affairs — he ascribed the most strenuous opposition to Latin America — and to resistance to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and Ed Luck’s appointment as special advisor on the topic.” In short – he actually seems to be well ahead of the UN but not really of the UN – where he finds it difficult to execute policy that is factually set by only the Permant Five of the Veto Power.

What we said above was that both speakers for the UN are somehow South Africa based and not UN based.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Xhosa pronunciation: [xo?li?a?a man?de?la]; born in a Xhosa home in Qunu, Transkei,where his father, the Town Counselor, had 4 wives and the boys lived in a separate home from the parents. Chief Jogintamba saw his potential and sent him to the Clakebury Boarding School. In 1933, at 15, he got involved in the Walter Sisulu led ANC and when he reached 30 years, that is when coincidentally Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd’s contribution to Afrikanerdom was to dress up apartheid and make it appear respectable to his followers, and the Mandela & Tambo law-firm took on the anti-apartheid legal defense.

In 1956 Mandela prepared the Freedom Charter and the people declared – “We Stand by Our Leader.” Then in 1960 happened the Sharpeville masacre and the call changed to: “Freedom in Our Time” and Wolfie Kadesh, a white man, was an activist. In 1962 Mandela went underground and George Bizios, also a white man, was his lawyer. Eventually, Mandela was apprehended and was in jail 1961 – 1988. Gowan Mbeki was imprisoned for 25 years. In August 1989 Botha resigns and De Klerk takes over and leeds the negotiations with Mandela. November 1993 both of them get the Nobel Prize. Friday, 10 Dec 1993 was Mandela’s speech in Oslo. www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen…

Fully representative Democratic elections took place on 27 April 1994, and Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist. We saw how he got there from his village roots and we learned about the 27 years he spent as a FREE MAN behind bars – freer in his spirit then his captors that knew that they were the captives in the hands of the true Free World. Yes – those years – post World War II – when the UN was young and small – the World had hope for a future that will be very different from the way history evolved prior to those days. Today we can say that the hope tuned out to be pre-mature and Nelson Mandela who moved with his times forged an image for the World well ahead of his time. But no despair, his personal example moved at Least South Africa to ending its internal conflict even though many other conflicts in the World continue to rage on.

Mandela, son of Africa and Father of the New South Africa, depicted in advertisement as a barefoot young boy in what looks like a general’s coat, armed with a stick, said that his watchwords were TRUTH & FREEDOM.

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From the screening event at the UN I hurried down to the Manhattan Village – to TEATROIATI at 64 East 4th Street (between Bowery and 2nd Av,) where Sabrina Lastman of Uruguay was having a showing of her CANDOMBE JAZZ PROJECT – mixture oral tradition AFRO-URUGUAYAN MUSIC with elements of Jazz. I bring this in here because in many ways it was befitting the Mandela event.

In the Mandela documentary we saw much of the peoples culture of the Indigenous Africans of the original South Africa, and somehow it must have been quite similar to what Africans, probably from the Congo region, brought with them to what are now Uruguay and Argentina. The fact that this music has survived, and in effect has now a revival, are signs of its resilience, but also of the influence Mandela’s achievements had world-wide.

The Candombe Jazz Project is a New York City-based ensemble playing Candombe, the Afro Uruguayan music tradition. CJP presents an exciting concert of original compositions by Sabrina Lastman & Beledo, arrangement of oral tradition songs, & songs by renown Uruguayan songwriters.

Candombe Jazz Project includes:
Sabrina Lastman – voice / compositions
Beledo – guitar / keyboard / compositions
Arturo Prendez – candombe drum / percussions
Special guests: Agrupación Lubola Macú

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“PEACE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF CONFLICT – IT IS THE CREATION OF AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE ALL CAN FLOURISH,” Mandela said. He also wanted to see the emancipation of women – not just the races. These are things the UN must write on its flag – does it?

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On Friday was the Official Commemorative Ceremony, in the big General Assembly Hall, that started with the usual UN delay at 10:20 am., with many Missions to the UN having one warm body sitting in their row – only South Africa, headed by a Minister, having all six seats, and some more, occupied. This was a Special Plenary, ahead of the regular daily Plenary.

The UN had the event open to outsiders, and that was nice. The problem that there were not many insiders present.

The President of the General Assembly, the former Libyan Foreign Minister Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, who is under a Schengen Travel Ban,  was not there, and that was good. Instead was one of his seconds, but the Press kit just goes ahead selling him to the innocents. We do not even know the name of the nice lady that chaired the meeting she defined as an “INFORMAL Meeting” of the GA.

“IT IS IN OUR HANDS TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD” said Mandela – God bless him and save the GA.

That was followed by a video message from the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon, who said that Mandela’s greatness came from: “HE FOUGHT HIS OPRESSORS FOR YEARS AND THEN FORGAVE THEM. – HE CONSTANTLY REMINDS US HE IS AN ORDINARY MAN, BUT HE ACHIEVED UNORDINARY THINGS.”

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This was followed by The Minister of International Relations and Commonwealth Relations of South Africa, Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashbane, who said that in October 1994 he helped Free South Africa.

She continued saying that in the next two days – to July 18th, people of the globe will get together to hear the words that inspired us in South Africa. She thanks in the name of President Jacob Zuma for adopting in November 2009 this resolution to have the International Mandela Day started this year. South Africa and the World are fortunate to have had a man as Nelson Mandela. She added that the UN was all the way on “Our” side in our fight against Apartheid. We owe our freedom to the role of this august house. By celebrating Mandela Day we celebrate the best for what the UN was created. UBUNTU – we believ in ourselves for what we are.

Her words were followed by a video, and we saw February 19, 1994 people of all South Africa standing peacefully in line and giving their vote.

The Minister’s presentation was clearly the highlight of the informal ceremonial, that was then followed  {informally?} by one representative from each one of UN’s major group.

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This was a sad succession of obligatory diplomatic bows with some sparks of freshness.

Egypt spoke on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement – the enigma of the UN,

The Republic of Congo on behalf of the African States, spoke of the recent World Cup,

Darussalam on behalf of the Asian States, this is the Brunei Darussalam State, that clearly needs still its own liberation,

Belarus on behalf of the East European States, spoke interestingly of a long walk to Freedom,

Saint Lucia on behalf of the Group of Latin & Caribbean States, who in our opinion was the best speech  we called the Mission and asked for the speech. We attach the full speech to the end of our posting. The Afro-Caribbean Ambassador, surely descendant of slaves, H.E. Donatus Keith St Aimee, in obvious heart felt fashion said that “Few persons whose name resonate with approval on all continents – All our efforts at the UN came to essence in his life.”

Belgium on behalf of the Western European and Other States, but was mis-introduced by the Chair as speaking for the EU as temporary President of the EU. The main point was that “Let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete – our work is for freedom or all.”

The last speaker was for the host country – the USA. who said that Apartheid was twisted and grotesque in its effort to justify oppression. Mandela overthrew apartheid by force of example.

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STATEMENT BY H. E. DONATUS ST AIMEE.

PERMANENT REPRESENTAIVE OF SAINT LUCIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STATES (GRULAC).

ON THE OCCASION OF THE OBSERVANCE OF NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY.

FRIDAY JULY 16TH, 2010

Mr. Chairman, I am honored to speak on behalf of Member states comprising the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC), as we show our respect and admiration for an icon of the ages.

In the annals of recorded history there are few individuals whose names resonate with esteem and are uttered with deference on all continents and in all societies.  There are few lives that are unequivocally admired or unreservedly revered by all races and ethnicities; and there are few persons who in a more emotional sense, are cherished and held dear by such a large segment of humanity. Like all celebrated and remarkable men or women, this person whom we come to honor today is identified internationally with one single name befitting his role in our global society and that name is – MANDELA.

We are here today to honor Nelson Mandela pursuant to the adoption of Resolution A/64/L.13. We are here today to commemorate a man who in a lifetime of dignity has come to represent the very ideal for which we struggle daily in the United Nations. All our words, all our actions, all our individual and collective efforts aim in their sum total to equal what is represented by the life of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela became an international symbol because of his struggle against oppression generally and apartheid in South Africa in particular. We know his history:

· From the early nineteen forties he was a leader of one of the most significant non-violent movements in history.
· For 27 years he was imprisoned under brutal conditions even as he heard of the death beyond his prison walls, of his brothers and sisters in the struggle against apartheid. How many times he must have wondered when his time would be coming to also face death at the hands of his captors.
· Finally he was released on 11th February, 1990.
· To understand the magnitude of his suffering and indignity of his incarceration, we must comprehend that he entered prison at the age of 45 and left at age 72.

These facts as we know them only scratch the surface of the beauty that is the life of Nelson Mandela. What was it that resulted in Nelson Mandela receiving more than 250 awards over four decades including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize? It was not his physical incarceration that captured the imagination of people, it was not the brutality of apartheid nor the interest of so many supporters the world over to stop this aberration.

What captured our imagination was that Nelson Mandela’s indomitable spirit, his humanity, his humility and his vast love of his people could not be imprisoned in any way by iron, concrete or barbed wire. He went into prison in 1963 as an unbowed, proud, determined South African fighter and came out in 1990 as an unbowed, proud, determined 20th Century leader and icon.

As Mandela himself put in words:

“I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom… I cannot sell my birthright, nor am I am prepared to sell the birthright of the people to be free…”

Mandela turned down freedom at an earlier date because he insisted that it had to be unconditional and as President from 1994 to 1999, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation in order to harness all the resources of South Africa to lift the economic conditions of his people. His spirit of forgiveness, his turning of the other cheek has ensured that South Africa joined as an equal partner in the nations of this world, so that within the past month we have all had the great joy of watching South Africa host the World Cup in splendid and successful fashion.

How important it is that the Member States of the United Nations saw it fitting to adopt a Resolution to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day, an annual event which the world would observe, now for the first time on the occasion of his 92nd Birthday, and for years to come.

We the Member States of GRULAC, have experienced in similar forms many of the travails experienced by South Africa and personified in the life of Nelson Mandela. Our region has had its own icons, and we remember their considerable contributions to the development of our nations when we pause here to honor the life of Mandela.  For this reason his life, his response to adversity, his humanity, resonates not just in our minds for the success of his mission but in our hearts for the beacon he has become for all peoples suffering repression.

What this man said was merely a punctuation for what he did, and what he did is being recognized today in this august forum so that present and future generations need not wonder as to the path to success in nation building, but merely need to follow the footsteps of this great man.

He truly is an ordinary man who has behaved in an extraordinary way!

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 4th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune was down in the Gulf again this week. He said that if we all saw what he saw — pelicans struggling to fly under the weight of globs of oil, dolphins swimming through oil slicks — we’d be storming Washington D.C. calling for leadership and action.

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do — we’re launching a bold new campaign to move our nation Beyond Oil.

Watching the largest environmental disaster in our nation’s history unfold has been infuriating — it’s clear that there is no quick fix to clean up this mess. We need to make sure this type of disaster never happens again.

Are you fed up? Sickened by what you’re seeing in the Gulf? This is the time to join together and help break our nation free from Big Oil’s stranglehold.

The Sierra Club will be holding rallies and events, running ads, and engaging people all across the country to generate a movement to move Beyond Oil. We have never needed President Obama’s visionary leadership more than we do right now — it’s time to stop letting the oil industry call the shots, and to start embracing clean energy, he said.


But nay, this is not the attitude of everyone, not even from among those most afflicted by the disaster.

We just saw on CNN the lady President of Lafourche Parish of Louisiana defending the drilling for oil because 60% of the people there are employed by the oil industry and 60 years there was no major problem she said.

The Nation must understand that we need to continue drilling she said. If you put on a hold on drilling the rigs may move to West Africa and never come back here. This will only cause more foreign oil that will be coming here.

That also echoes what I heard the other night from a US Department of State official. State is actively out after a list of over ten countries that are being encouraged to look for oil and start develop their resources. This is not a matter of foreign aid – but of security he said, though I wondered if we speak the same language – if we both understand the same thing when uttering security.

The countries mentioned are: Papua New Guinea, Timor L’Este, Uganda, Suriname, Guiana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Vietnam.

I remarked that except for Vietnam all of theses countries are countries in conflict and thought to myself that an influx of oil money will surely re-inflame civil strife and government suppression. That is what you get for having oil!

This seems the sequel to our posting – www.sustainabilitank.info/#15735

(Ligeti’s “Le Grand Macabre” of gluttonous Breughelland, explains the Louisiana suffering and Washington’s long standing lack of care. Amazing indeed!)

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 3rd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

from Jessica Boyle <jboyle@iisd.ca>
date Thu, Jun 3, 2010
subject:
IISD Side Event in Bonn June 4: Improving the Effectiveness of International Climate Change Governance.

Improving the Effectiveness of International Climate Change Governance

Hosted by IISD

Side Event

Friday, 4 June 2010

18:00 – 19:30

Room Air (FIDMED)

IISD is undertaking research to examine an effective system of international governance to address the climate change challenge. Five experts will provide regional perspectives on critical issues, and exchange views on climate change governance. The discussion will focus on the following topics and questions:

The shift from a top-down (Kyoto) to a bottom-up approach

§             What are the advantages and disadvantages of the shift to a bottom-up regime?

§             How do we create incentives for broad participation in GHG mitigation?

§             How do we MRV action; connect commitments to actions?

§             What is the role of the UNFCCC?

Financing

  • How should funds be managed and accounted for under the UNFCCC?
  • What should be left to other processes?
  • What decision-making/governance models are needed for both the raising of funds and their distribution and use?
  • How to expand the limited space for non-national government actors (e.g., private sector, cities/states, NGOs)?
  • How can market-based instruments best be designed?
  • How do we account for the strong linkages between climate change and traditional development activities?

The side event will be facilitated by John Drexhage, IISD, who will provide opening comments.

The expert panel will include:

  • Jürgen Lefevere, Policy Coordinator, International Climate Change, European Commission
  • George Wamukoya , Climate Advisor, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
  • Fernado Tudela, Vice Minister for Planning and Environmental Policy and Principal Negotiator on Climate Change Issues in Mexico
  • Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C

The panel presentations will be followed by a discussion session with the audience.

For further information, please contact Jessica Boyle at jboyle@iisd.ca

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 1st, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Reuters title says: “Rich-Poor Rifts Stall Progress At U.N. Climate Talks.” But really – this is not a “Rich and Poor” issues. In effect on both sides are the rich – perhaps it would br more fitting to talk of old rich and new rich that were made rich because the old rich do not perform up to their needs. There are many sides to this and eventually a solution will be found with US and China agreeing on a pact first. Now we hear of the US, the ALBA group, the SIDS, Southern Africa as the initial players. You bet that Saudi Arabia will throw more sticks into the spikes to help (?) the poor. We understand that of the 192-194 potential participants, this feast has 185 present. We note with interest that Germany in particular, and we assume with it the whole EU mechanism, will try to pay back the US for having been left outside the room in Copenhagen and will go their own way to fluster the US. We believe that the meek will have to lead and we mean the Small Island States. We will also watch carefully where Costa Rica will come down in the US – ALBA contest. This because coming July 1, 2010 it will be Christiana Figueres who takes over the UNFCCC mantle from Yvo de Boer.

—————–

The June 1, 2010 Reuters reporting by Gerard Wynn Date: 01-Jun-10 from Bonn:

U.N. climate talks opened on Monday, exposing familiar rifts between rich and poor countries which delegates said were likely to delay a re-start of formal negotiations.

The 185-nation Bonn conference, which will run until June 11, is the biggest international meeting on climate change since a summit last December in Copenhagen failed to agree a new pact.

Several countries {the ALBA and more} said they could not give a green light to formal negotiations on a new text published in mid-May and which outlines a huge range of options for fighting climate change.

The Copenhagen summit last year struggled to overcome suspicion on how to share global effort to curb greenhouse gases under a new deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.

On Monday differences re-emerged when a clutch of Latin American countries {the ALBA – our addition} said they could not start negotiations on the new text.

The United States said it did not think the new text was intended as a basis for negotiations and South Africa said the document put too much burden on developing countries.

The Latin American group including Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba said on Monday that the new text placed too much emphasis on the Copenhagen accord, which they opposed in December.

“The chair has prioritized the Copenhagen Accord,” said Rene Gonzalo Orellana Halkyer, a member of the Bolivian delegation, speaking on the sidelines of the talks in Bonn.

Bolivia also wanted tougher targets, for example to return atmospheric greenhouse gases to a level far below where they are already, he added.

The Copenhagen Accord seeks to limit a rise in average world temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial times but does not spell out how.

Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe of Zimbabwe chairs the U.N. talks on forging agreement on global action and is expected to release a revised version next weekend, delegates said.

— —

FIRST STEP

The United States said it believed Mukahanana-Sangarwe’s text was not intended to be the basis of negotiations.

“Our view is that the text is Margaret’s effort to elicit views so she can develop a formal negotiating text,” said Jonathan Pershing, head of the U.S. delegation. “It’s a constructive next step.”

It remained to be seen whether countries can start negotiations on a revised text in the next two weeks, he told Reuters.

The head of the South African delegation, Alf Wills, said the new text focused too far on cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by developing countries.

“It’s completely unbalanced in that respect,” he said.

However Karsten Sach, head of Germany’s delegation, said: “We think it is a basis for negotiation.”

— —

An additional, specific gap to be addressed at the Bonn talks was whether or not developed countries should be allowed to exclude from their national greenhouse gases carbon emissions from chopping trees to produce renewable energy.

That rule, allowed under the existing Kyoto Protocol, would represent “fraudulent accounting,” said the head of Papua New Guinea’s delegation, Kevin Conrad.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 14th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Elephants or Ivory — Amazing response!

The worldwide UN ban on ivory trading could soon be lifted — a decision that could wipe out Africa’s vulnerable elephants. But a number of a African nations are pushing to uphold the ban. Let’s send them a stampede of support to save the elephants. Sign the skyrocketing petition below, and forward this email widely:

Wow — the petition to protect endangered elephants from ivory poachers is exploding — in just over 72 hours, more than 300,000 of us have signed the call to the UN to uphold the ban on ivory trading and save whole populations of these magnificent animals. The crucial UN vote is expected this week.

Tanzania and Zambia are lobbying the UN for special exemptions from the ban, but this would send a clear signal to the ivory crime syndicates that international protection is weakening and it’s open-season on elephants. Another group of African states have countered by calling to extend the trade ban for 20 years.

Our best chance to save the continent’s remaining elephants is to support African conservationists. We only have days left and the UN Endangered Species body only meets every 3 years. Click below to sign our urgent petition to protect elephants, and forward this email widely — the petition will be delivered to the UN meeting in Doha:

 www.avaaz.org/en/protect_the_elep…

Over 20 years ago, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed a worldwide ban on ivory trading. Poaching fell, and ivory prices slumped. But poor enforcement coupled with ‘experimental one-off sales’, like the one Tanzania and Zambia are seeking, drove poaching up and turned illegal trade into a lucrative business — poachers can launder their illegal ivory with the legal stockpiles.

Now, despite the worldwide ban, each year over 30,000 elephants are gunned down and their tusks hacked off by poachers with axes and chainsaws. If Tanzania and Zambia are successful in exploiting the loophole, this awful trade could get much worse.

We have a one-off chance this week to extend the worldwide ban and repress poaching and trade prices before we lose even more elephant populations — sign the petition now and then forward it widely:

 www.avaaz.org/en/protect_the_elep…

Across the world’s cultures and throughout our history elephants have been revered in religions and have captured our imagination — Babar, Dumbo, Ganesh, Airavata, Erawan. But today these beautiful and highly intelligent creatures are being annihilated.

As long as there is demand for ivory, elephants are at risk from poaching and smuggling — but this week we have a chance to protect them and crush the ivory criminals’ profits — sign the petition now:

 www.avaaz.org/en/protect_the_elep…

——————–

Our idea – if Tanzania and Zambia get their way it would be right to start a campaign to boycott tourism to these countries.      Did anyone think that Canada and Japan might also be helped to changing behavior by similar means when traditional killing of seals and whales is what they do? The US has said that it will prosecute and penalize a sushi restaurant that served whale-meat, so invoking penalties might work. If nothing else it will make us feel good for having reacted to someone’s lack of honesty.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 10th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Fiancé of Neda, Iran’s Slain ‘Angel of Freedom,’ Heading to Geneva Rights Summit.

THE UPDATE:   www.unwatch.org

02 March 2010

Fiancé of Neda, Iran’s Slain ‘Angel of Freedom,’ Heading to Geneva Rights Summit – Caspian Makan to protest Iranian government brutality.

A video of Neda's death found its way out of Iran, where it was uploaded to the websites of various media organizations, Facebook and YouTube. The dramatic 40-second tape stirred outrage and attracted tens of thousands of viewers.

GENEVA, March 2, 2010 One day after Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the UN in Geneva that President Ahmadinejad’s June election was “an exemplary exhibition of democracy and freedom,” Caspian Makan, the fiancé of slain Iranian icon Neda Agha Soltan, announced today that he will join other world-famous dissidents as a speaker at next Monday’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, co-organized by UN Watch, Freedom House, Ibuka and more than 20 other human rights NGOs.

Images of Neda’s bloody killing in June at the hand of the Basij paramilitary force turned an international spotlight on the brutality of the Iranian government crackdown against peaceful protesters.

The Tehran regime banned prayers for Neda in the country’s mosques, arresting anyone who held a vigil for her. Mr. Makan was then arrested and detained at Evin Prison in Tehran. He was beaten and pressured to sign a false confession.

Since his release, Mr. Makan has been an outspoken dissident for freedom in Iran, spreading Neda’s story and message around the world.

The Geneva conference is organized by a global civil society coalition of 25 human rights groups, including Burmese, Tibetan and Zimbabwean organizations (see list below), with support from the Canton of Geneva.

The two-day schedule features more than 20 action-oriented presentations and skills-building workshops, with the objective of advancing internet freedom, the struggle of dissidents against state repression, and reform of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council.

Speakers will include former political prisoners from around the world, including Rebiya Kadeer, champion of China’s Uighur minority and Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina, Cuban dissident; Bo Kyi, Burmese dissident, winner of the 2008 Human Rights Watch Award; Donghyuk Shin, survivor of North Korean prison camps; and Phuntsok Nyidron, the Buddhist nun from Tibet who served 15 years in jail for recording songs of freedom.

The Geneva Summit will also feature eminent governmental and intergovernmental advocates for human rights, including Massouda Jalal, the former Afghan Minister of Women Affairs and first female presidential candidate; MP Irwin Cotler, Canadian human rights hero and former counsel to Nelson Mandela; Italian MP Matteo Mecacci, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Rapporteur for democracy and human rights; and Jan Pronk, former Special Representative in Sudan of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Last year’s summit, covered by CNN, AP, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal, brought together former political prisoners Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt, Ahmad Batebi of Iran, José Gabriel Ramón Castillo of Cuba and Soe Aung of Burma, along with many other well-known rights activists and scholars. (See videos at genevasummit.org/videos.)

Admission to the March 8-9, 2010 conference is free, and the public and media are invited to attend. For accreditation, program and schedule information, please visit genevasummit.org/.

Visit the site during the conference to follow the live webcast, blog and Twitter feed.


Global Civil Society Coalition

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners in Burma

Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina (CADAL)

Darfur Peace and Development Center

Directorio Democratico Cubano

Fondation Genereuse Development

Freedom House

Freedom Now

Genocide Watch

Global Zimbabwe Forum

Human Rights Activists in Iran

Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l

IBUKA

Ingénieurs du monde

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children

International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY)

International Campaign to End Genocide

International Association of Genocide Scholars

Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme

LiNK

Respekt Institut

Stop Child Executions

Tibetan Women’s Association

UN Watch

Zimbabwe Advocacy Office

###

“Giving Iran Seat on U.N. Rights Council Would Legitimize Its Brutality,” Says Boyfriend of Killed Protest Icon

Patrick Goodenough
March 10, 2010

An Iranian whose fiancée’s death by gunfire became a symbol of opposition to the regime during post-election protests last year made an impassioned appeal Tuesday for Tehran to be denied a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council in elections this spring.

Caspian Makan addresses the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, co-organized by UN Watch and 24 other human rights NGOs, Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

Addressing a gathering of dissidents and human rights advocates in Geneva, Caspian Makan, a photojournalist who fled Iran late last year after being detained for more than 60 days, said Iranian membership in the U.N.’s top human rights body would be a “slap in the face” of other members.

It would encourage other countries that have a tendency to flout human rights and undermine the credibility of the U.N. and the council, he said, according to a translation provided by event organizers.

“I feel furthermore that if the Iranian regime became a member, that would legitimize the inhuman and cruel acts the regime has perpetuated against its population,” Makan added. “Giving it legitimacy would encourage them to go further still.”

The U.N. has confirmed that Iran has submitted in writing its candidacy to become a member of the HRC.

On May 13, the General Assembly will vote by secret ballot to fill 14 of the Geneva-based council’s 47 seats. Iran and four other countries – Thailand, Qatar, Malaysia and the Maldives – will compete to fill four available seats set aside for the Asian regional group.

Makan was speaking Tuesday at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, a two-day event that brought together some 500 people from more than 60 countries, to discuss issues organizers say are mostly neglected by the HRC.

He told the gathering about Neda Agha Soltan, the 26-year old “deep thinker” and “artist at heart” with whom he had fallen in love after meeting her on a trip.

Makan, 38, said they had tended in the past not to vote in elections because they were seen as a charade, and taking part would be seen as “participating in the regime to some extent.”

But the 2009 election had seemed to offer in the shape of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi a “lesser evil” for young Iranians who “above all else wanted to get rid of Mr. [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad.”

Once it became clear that the election was rigged in favor of the incumbent, he said, Soltan had joined the protests.

Makan said that while trying to do his job he was an eyewitness to the violent clampdown by “the mercenaries of the regime” and “saw firsthand that the army of the revolution was shooting and killing the demonstrators from a helicopter.”

Four days before she died, he had urged Soltan to keep away from the demonstrations. “She said, ‘You know Caspian, I love you, I love being with you, but what is most important to me is the freedom of our people.”

On June 20, Soltan was shot in the chest on a Tehran street, apparently by a Basij militia sniper. Amateur video footage capturing the moments after the shooting was posted online and seen around the world.

“We have seen many people who have been wounded and killed, but this struck the world particularly hard,” Makan said of his fiancee’s death.

“We were able to see in the footage how good and kind she was and admire her attitude when faced with death, to admire her courage as a symbol of liberty, as she died hoping for a better life for the millions of Iranians who remained behind.”

Human rights researchers say at least 40 Iranians died during June and that the number more than doubled in the months that followed. The official figure stands at 44.

Last month, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini, director-general of Iran’s Interior Ministry – whose functions including policing and overseeing elections – told the HRC that the June 2009 presidential election had been “an exemplary exhibition of democracy and freedom.”

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The suggestion of Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk presents some very interesting dilemmas:

– first, it proposes an African for the position and we believe this is a bit like putting the carriage before the horse. Indeed, we say all the time that Africa is suffering because of the sins of others, so Africa and the Island States have most reasons to see a Climate  agreement become reality, but then it is not the sufferers, but the sinners, that will have to sign up to an enforceable  agreement, and those are mainly China and the US. Here indeed South Africa is one of the additional three IBSA states that participated in the formulation of the Copenhagen notice. If one where to try to pick a lead country from among the IBSA – we suggested it be Brazil as it would have the least conflicts of interest from among the three.

– then, the appointment of Mr. van Schalwyk, a South African, would also mean that there will be the third Dutch person on that job in a row, albeit, this Dutchman comes from South Africa and not from the Netherlands, but nevertheless the subject will come up.

– also, as we know the 2010 meeting of the UNFCCC, or COP 16, will be held in Mexico, while the following one, the 2011 COP 17 is intended for South Africa. An appointment of a South African to head the UNFCCC at this time would mean that the Mexico meeting that is limping anyway – as we just posted an hour ago – will become completely useless. Some, like the Latin American States, will find this objectionable. This one point leaves us perplexed if we sense that Cancun is just one more UN ritual led so that it has beforehand no chance to succeed – who knows – maybe the appointment of Mr. van Schlkwyk could actually result in annulment of a UN scheduled event. That could then be the first emissions saving UN led activity.

– the last point has to do with the backing of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe from South Africa in the leadership of The UN Commission on Sustainable Development. The facts are that the CSD was destroyed because of that backing by South Africa, and the CSD is needed if one wants to find a base for climate activities at the UN. That past experience might have left, and who knows, perhapse still creates, a sour taste when looking at South Africa’s place in UN leadership. Will we do away also with the CSD and base climate on the Committee of 19 Wise Men that the UN Secretary-General just established?

Without taking a stand on the candidate himself, nevertheless the first three points we raised will probably have to be weighed against the attributes that might be proposed when other names become available.

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

from: BuaNews (Tshwane)
South Africa: Zuma Nominates Van Schalkwyk for Top UN Job.

8 March 2010, Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has nominated Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk for the post of the United Nations’ new climate chief.

Van Schalkwyk has been tipped as a strong contender to take over from Yvo De Boer who headed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). De Boer announced his resignation last month.

“The South African government will consequently forward the name of Minister Van Schalkwyk to the Secretary General for his further consideration,” the Presidency said on Monday.

Zuma and the minister met on Sunday to discuss this issue as well as South Africa’s global positioning, the Presidency said.

“The final decision on the appointment rests with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki Moon.”

Van Schalkwyk was deeply involved in climate change issues during his tenure as minister of environmental affairs and tourism.

He built a strong profile for himself during the UN climate treaty negotiations leading up to the Copenhagen summit late last year.

“During this period he commanded significant respect across the developing-developed country divide. This will stand him in good stead in this critical phase of driving the global climate change negotiations to conclusion,” said the Presidency.

Given that South Africa will also be hosting and presiding over the climate change negotiations next year, the Presidency said it would be an “honour for the country to have one of its own to head up this very important UN institution”.

If appointed, Van Schalkwyk will oversee one of the most important treaties of the 21st century – the 2012 treaty on climate change. The treaty is aimed at mitigating the causes and effects of climate change and shape the way countries power their economies.

——————-
And from NASTASYA TAY (AP):  South African minister is nominated for UN post.

JOHANNESBURG — The South African president’s office announced the nomination of its tourism minister for the United Nations’ top climate post on Monday.

The office said in a press release that Marthinus van Schalkwyk is a candidate to direct the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The current leader of the post, Yvo de Boer, announced his resignation in February and will step down July 1.
Van Schalkwyk was South Africa’s former minister for environmental affairs and tourism and is well-regarded in climate change circles. He has a reputation as an effective bridge-builder in a process that often pits developing against industrially advanced countries.

“We are pleased to know Minister Van Schalkwyk is being considered and would be very confident that he would be equal to the task of replacing Mr. de Boer,” said Themba Linden, Political Advisor at Greenpeace Africa. “By all accounts, he has an excellent standing as a negotiator, and has earned a great deal of respect for being very engaged and informed.”

Van Schalkwyk’s chances of being appointed are bolstered by the high likelihood that South Africa will host the U.N.’s climate change negotiations in 2011.

South Africa along with the U.S., India, Brazil and China drafted the climate change agreement reached in Denmark in December. The compromise calls for reducing emissions to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 C (3.6 F) above preindustrial levels. The nonbinding agreement also calls on rich nations to spend billions to help poor nations deal with drought and other impacts of climate change, and to develop clean energy.

Even though it helped draft the accord, South Africa joined a chorus of critics, expressing disappointment at not reaching a legally binding climate change agreement.

—————–

 www.businessgreen.com/business-gr…

Could it be that his oponent will be an Indian backed by China? The guesing game may just go wild from now on:

There have also been reports in India that environment minister Jairam Ramesh has nominated Indian environment secretary Vijai Sharma for the role, and his nomination is believed to be supported by China.

However, an Indian or Chinese nomination is likely to be opposed by the US and EU, which remain angry at both country’s negotiating tactics during the final days of the Copenhagen Summit.

As such, Van Schalkwyk is likely to be regarded as a potential conciliatory candidate, securing the support of the many Africa countries that will be most directly affected by climate change and providing a potential link between the US and Europe and the so-called BASIC group of emerging economies, of which South Africa is a member alongside Brazil, India and China.

His nomination chances will be further bolstered by the likelihood that South Africa will host next year’s main UN climate change summit where diplomats still hope an international treaty agreed later this year in Mexico can be formally adopted.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 11th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From: ALDE-PRESS <press@alde.eu>
Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2010

Distribution: immediate – February 11, 2010, 1:19 pm
Verhofstadt: 20 years on, Mandela’s dream is alive

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from jail, which signalled the end of apartheid, Guy Verhofstadt the President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe made the following statement:

“The dream of Nelson Mandela is still alive. February 11, 1990 was a historical day for South Africa and the World. It was the symbol of tolerance, anti-apartheid and anti-racism. South Africa is now an equal player at the world’s top table. The transformation that took place in the country should serve us both as an inspiration and a reminder of what the courage of one man can do in the plight for freedom.

Mandela’s commitment to peace has been unwavering. I remember very well how we cooperated in Central Africa’s peace process. This brought the end of the war after the terrible genocide. It was thanks to Mandela that this peace was reached.”

Louis Michel (MR, Belgium) and former commissioner for development added:

“Mandela’s fight is witness that the conscience of a single man can illuminate the whole of humanity and transform the world for the better.”

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84
e-mail:  neil.corlett at europarl.europa.eu
Web: www.alde.eu

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 3rd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The kernel of the future – the projected five world leaders – are in trouble. With the US and China in a tiff because of Taiwan (arm sales by US manufacturers) and Tibet (a visit with the Dalai Lama), now South Africa, one of the three IBSAs that met with the G2 in Copenhagen, shows sings of 21st century immaturity. You just cannot go on living by Zulu rules if you want to lead your people out of poverty. Tiger Woods learned that very very fast that the limelight of world media will do you in, and even oil rich monarchs do not father now 20 children anymore. The stories about Zuma’s ascent in South Africa were plenty and his people we know told us so when it was rumored that he is in line to take over his country’s helm. It seems that Mandela’s South Africa deserves better – so does the 15 States group of Southern Africa { www.sadc.int }, and black Sub-Sahara Africa at large. We said before, South Africa is the third IBSA not alone, but as the symbol of all that immense Sub-Sahara black chunk of resources rich land and its one billion people that have the potential of evolving into next great consumers market to drive their own economy and the world economy. To this mass of people, the South African President must be an example and our prejudice that we knowingly attempt to show by this posting, calls for an exemplary leader for South Africa – someone fit to try on Mandela’s shoes.

This week the African Union rejected the attempt of Libya’s rambling Gaddafi to hold on to the chairmanship of Africa for another year, and voted instead to give the position to Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika. We attach the story about that event at the end of this posting, as we focus on the further ramblings by a Libyan-sponsored group of African traditional leaders from an unnamed French speaking African country, who crowned Qaddafi “King of Kings.” Africa seems to react indeed with understanding to the fact that the world is changing into a 7 to 10 countries structure and that Africa wants one of its own, and that means not Qaddafi, to be part of this structure – a modern man rather then a traditional chieftain – neither do they think anymore that the position of leader in Addis Ababa belongs to a Mediterranean North African settler. They want a black leader – but hiding under a Zulu mantle, and invoking rules of the desert, simply  can not do anymore.

——————–
South Africa’s President Sows (Another) Sex Scandal.

Theunis Bates
 aol.com Contributor, February 2, 2010.
John Edwards might have reason to feel a little jealous of Jacob Zuma right now. The South African president has faced many accusations of sleazy behavior during his 20-year-long political career, from corrupt business dealings (the charges were withdrawn) to having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman (which he admitted). Yet his popularity in South Africa appears to be surviving even the latest addition to his scandal sheet: the revelation that last year he fathered a child – rumored to be his 20th – with a woman who is neither his fiancee nor one of his three current wives.

According to South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, Sonono Khoza, 39 – the daughter of Irvin Khoza, the chief organizer of the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa and a close friend of Zuma’s – gave birth to a girl in October, three months before the president wed for the fifth time. The paper added that Zuma was believed to have paid his former lover “inhlawulo,” a traditional Zulu form of compensation handed over when a child is born out of wedlock.

The African National Congress issued a statement Monday confirming that Jacob Zuma, pictured, fathered a daughter out of wedlock. The child, born last year, is rumored to be the South African president’s 20th offspring.

Opposition politicians condemned the African National Congress leader’s bed-hopping antics as unpresidential. “We recommend Zuma goes for sex addiction therapy as Tiger Woods did,” said Christian Democrat Kenneth Meshoe.

Other parliamentarians pointed out that Zuma is sending the wrong message to his fellow countrymen and women, about 5 million of whom are infected with HIV/AIDS – the highest number of any nation in the world. Although the president was praised for increasing the availability of lifesaving anti-retroviral drugs after his election last year, opposition parties say his behavior is now undermining campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of condom use and faithfulness.

“South Africa now has a president who, both through his words and actions, is doing similar damage to the struggle against HIV/AIDS – a life-and-death struggle for millions of South Africans,” said Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance. “President Zuma’s behavior directly contradicts the government’s campaign against multiple sexual partners, and the inherent AIDS risk in having unprotected sex.”

Zuma, who defends his right to have more than one wife as part of his Zulu culture, has yet to comment on the revelations, although the ANC issued a statement Monday confirming that he had fathered a child.

“There is nothing wrong that the president has done. There is nothing shameful when two adults have a relationship,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu. “By being involved with any other person, President Zuma is not guilty of any offense and he has not breached our constitution or any of our laws.”

With Zuma’s approval ratings still sitting comfortably above 50 percent, most ordinary South Africans seem disposed, at least for now, to agree with that verdict.

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After Losing a Post, Qaddafi Rebukes the African Union
February 1st, 2010, abbaymedia.com/News/?p=3699
By JASON McLURE

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, delivered a rambling rebuke of fellow African heads of state Sunday after they chose to replace him as chairman of the African Union and failed to endorse his push for the creation of a United States of Africa.

“I do not believe we can achieve something concrete in the coming future,” said Colonel Qaddafi, before introducing President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi as his successor at the African Union’s annual summit meeting, held in Addis Ababa. “The political elite of our continent lacks political awareness and political determination. The world is changing into 7 or 10 countries, and we are not even aware of it.”

South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria were among the countries opposing Colonel Qaddafi’s attempts to form a continental government, which many view as impractical given the political and economic disparities in Africa.

Colonel Qaddafi argued that individual African states are too weak to negotiate with major powers like the European Union, the United States and China. His efforts to become the first African leader to win another one-year term as chairman of the African Union were thwarted by a push for Mr. Mutharika, 75, by the 15-member Southern African Development Community.

The Libyan leader also complained that such summit meetings were boring, that his colleagues were too long-winded and that he often was not informed of African Union decisions.

Colonel Qaddafi did not leave the lectern before giving the microphone to an unnamed representative of a Libyan-sponsored group of African traditional leaders who had crowned him “King of Kings” in a ceremony in 2008.

The representative, bearing a golden scepter and trailed by an aide fanning him with a large feather, spent much of his address praising Colonel Qaddafi.

“You have the African people with you,” said the man, who spoke in French and did not identify himself. “This is what is important, not politicking. It is politicians who have destroyed us.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 2nd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From Kim Coetze

You are invited to apply to attend the conference: “PUTTING A PRICE ON CARBON: Economic instruments to mitigate climate change in South Africa and other developing countries” to be held at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa on 23 and 24 March 2010.

The objectives of this conference are to:
* Build on discussions undertaken at a side-event and a workshop at the Climate Change Summit 2009
* Contribute to the development of climate policy in South Africa, by further exploring practical options for putting a price on carbon,
* Deepen the understanding of economic instruments, through a conference with peer-reviewed papers,
* Broaden the community of experts working in this emerging field, by having attracted papers from researchers and analysts in cognate disciplines that are not currently working on carbon pricing
* including economics and environmental economics, but also
* researchers working on institutional and political dimensions
* Draw on experiences and lessons from other countries, in particular
* other developing countries in their exploration of the same issues in similar contexts, and
* experiences of implementation in developed countries examining the applicability in the context of development.

Further details can be found on the conference website – a link to which is on the ERC website www.erc.uct.ac.za. Or direct queries to Meagan Jooste at  erc-climatechange at uct.ac.za.
Participation is free, but no costs will be covered.

Regards,
Kim Coetzee
Energy Research Centre
University of Cape Town

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 7th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change Study:
The Global Report

 www.worldbank.org
 www.worldbank.org

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
3:00 – 4:30 PM
World Bank “J” Building, Washington D.C.
(entrance on 18th Street between G and H)
Room B1-080

Description:

The ongoing World Bank study – the Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change  – has tried to further the understanding on two key issues: what will it cost developing countries to adapt to climate change and how can countries make their development plans more climate-resilient?

This event will provide highlights of the groundbreaking Global Report and draw lessons from it to explain: (i) the what, how, and why of adaptation; (ii) whether adaptation is simply development (or not); and, (iii) how different estimates of global costs of adaptation fit together.

An overview will also be provided of the “Country Case Studies” track of the study, currently underway in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Samoa and Vietnam, and implications of adaptation for country-specific development paths.

Chair:
Warren Evans, Director,Environment Department, World Bank

Presenters:
Sergio Margulis, Study Team Leader and Lead Environmental Economist, World Bank
Urvashi Narain, Senior Environmental Economist, World Bank

Discussant:
Otaviano Canuto, Vice President,Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, World Bank

The study is made possible through the generous support of the UK Department for International Development (DfID), The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

RSVP to Ms. Hawanty Page:  hpage at worldbank.org by Friday January 8, 2010

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 10th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From:
branding_titlebranding_logo
December 11, 2009 | News covering the UN and the world.

Group claims evidence of systematic Zimbabwe election rapes

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his party are guilty of a systematic campaign of politically motivated rape against opposition supporters during last year’s election season and should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, says a report from advocacy group AIDS-Free World. Zimbabwean authorities repeatedly have refused to investigate rape charges. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (12/10) , AllAfrica Global Media/Inter Press Service (12/10)

WE AT WWW.SUSTAINABILITANK.INFO SUGGEST THAT SUCH A GOVERNMENT’S PRESIDENT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED PARTICIPATION AT NEXT WEEK’S HEADS OF STATE MEETING IN COPENHAGEN. HE IS NOT THE ONLY ONE – THERE ARE OTHERS – BUT A LINE MUST BE DRAWN IF ANYONE IS TO TAKE SERIOUS THE CONCEPT OF HIGH LEVEL MEETING AT THIS SORT OF CONFERENCE. WE BELIEVE THAT THE EU SHOULD EMPOWER DENMARK TO REFUSE VISA TO ROBERT MUGABE. ALSO, LET US REMIND OUR READERS HERE THAT AFRICA’S PUSH TO HAVE ZIMBABWE CHAIR THE UN COMMISSION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WAS A MAIN REASON FOR HAVING REDUCED THAT UN BODY TO STATUS OF PLAIN JOKE.

YES, AFRICA SEEMINGLY INSISTS ON INFURIATING THE CIVILIZED WORLD BY MAKING SUCH APPOINTMENTS TO ITS OWN PERIL – THIS BECAUSE IT PLAINLY CAUSES DIFFICULTIES WITH GETTING NATIONAL AGREEMENTS TO FUNDING GOOD CAUSES – THE KIND OF CAUSES THAT ARE CRYSTALLIZING NOW IN COPENHAGEN AND THAT WILL BE FURTHERED ONLY IF NEW FUNDS ARE CREATED TO HELP AFRICA WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL AGREEMENTS – OR CAREFULLY REVIEWED BILATERAL AGREEMENTS.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 30th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 Friday 30 October 2009

 

World’s Biggest Arms Traders Promise Global Arms Treaty .

 

Today at the United Nation years of discussions and debates, the vast majority of governments – 153 in total – agreed a timetable to establish a “strong and robust” Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the “highest common standards” to control international transfers of conventional arms. There is currently no global Treaty on the conventional arms trade.

 

Most of the world’s biggest arms traders – including the USA, UK, France and Germany – will now all back the UN process. Nineteen states abstained but are all expected to take part in the process. Zimbabwe was the only State to vote against.

  The States that abstained were: Bahrain, Belarus, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, UAE, Venezuela and Yemen.

 

During the debates on the resolution, many countries spoke out and underlined the need for the treaty to be based on international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.

 

The Control Arms campaign – a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organizations in over 100 countries that has promoted the ATT – welcomed the historic breakthrough at the UN today and called on all States to negotiate a truly effective Treaty. They warned that governments must keep up the momentum to ensure the final Treaty has firm international standards for the global arms trade. Campaigners expressed reservations about the procedure planned for the UN Conference that could give every State the right of veto over final decisions at the UN Conference. They warned a small number of sceptical States must not be allowed to hijack the ATT process when it is clear the world wants a strong treaty.

 

“All countries participate in the conventional arms trade and share responsibility for the ‘collateral damage’ it produces – widespread death, injuries and human rights abuses,” said Rebecca Peters, director of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). “Now finally governments have agreed to negotiate legally binding global controls on this deadly trade.”

 

The agreement in the UN today means that the eventual ATT will be negotiated in a series of UN meetings concluding at a UN Conference in 2012.

 

“The Arms Trade Treaty needs a ‘golden rule’ requiring governments to stop any proposed arms transfer that poses a substantial risk of being used for serious violations of human rights or war crimes,” said Brian Wood, Amnesty International’s head of arms control, “such a golden rule could save hundreds of thousands of lives and protect the livelihoods of many millions.”

 

The resolution on the ATT also highlights the issue of international arms transfers contributing to armed conflict, displacement of people, organised crime and terrorism, thereby undermining peace, safety, security and sustainable development.

 

“For too long, governments have let the flow of weapons get out of control causing pain, suffering and death in some of the world’s poorest regions. With hundreds of thousands of people dying a year from armed violence, weapons that fall into the hands of criminals and rights abusers destroy communities and livelihoods.” said Anna Macdonald of Oxfam International. “Governments must ensure that negotiations live up to the promise of setting the highest possible standards – this is a life and death situation for thousands of poor people worldwide.”

 

* The States that abstained were: Bahrain, Belarus, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, UAE, Venezuela and Yemen.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 15th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

I am now in Austria and the KRONNEN ZEITUNG just wrote: “GADAFI-MANN PRÄDIDIER GENERALVERSAMLUNG – DIE UNO SCHMÜKT SICH NUN MIT LIBYSCHER NARRENKAPPE.” That means that the UN did put on a Libyan fool’s cap.

Gadafi will speak right after Obama – but the City did not allow the set up of a Libyan tent for Gadafi – thank you Mayor Bloomberg – you showed there is still some sense on the UN’s periphery.

The Austrian paper also knows to tell that Gadafi’s Libya is diverting much oil-money to Austria. The Libya government investment arm called LIB, that accounts for over € 45 Billion bought 10%, to be increased to 15%, of Wienerberger AG – the largest brick manufacturer. They also invest heavily in Italy their former colonial power in such institutions as Unit Credit, FIAT, Soccer Club Juventus, Turin, Finemechanica.

Libya having made up with Scotland and the UK, and Bulgaria, at this time is boiling the Swiss waters.

———————-

Now the official UN release:

NEW GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT OPENS SESSION WITH CALL FOR UN REFORM.

The General Assembly opened its 64th annual session today with its new President, Ali Treki of Libya, calling for reform of the United Nations with an expanded Security Council representing full geographic diversity and an Assembly that has the ability to implement its resolutions.

Currently only resolutions of the 15-member Council, and not those of the 192-member Assembly, are legally binding.

“The General Assembly, which represents the entire world, has been hampered by the obstacles in its path,” Dr. Treki said in his opening speech. “It has been unable to implement or enforce its resolutions. The General Assembly must be reformed to regain its international legitimacy by ensuring that its voice is heard and respected and its resolutions implemented.”

Turning to the Security Council, he noted that Africa comprises 53 States, none of which is a permanent member – a position held only by China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States. Such is the case, too, of Latin America and the Forum of Small States, which account for over half of the world’s inhabitants.

“It is vital to reform the Security Council and to revitalize the General Assembly so that they can comprehensively fulfil their roles,” he declared.

Turning to world affairs, Dr. Treki called for dialogue and mutual understanding to resolve problems, not embargos and blockades which he called fruitless and serving to exacerbate antagonism and rebellion. He also noted that the gap between rich and poor has been growing steadily wider. “In an unequal world, we cannot hope for peace and security to prevail,” he said.

Condemning terrorism, he urged that close attention be paid to its roots, causes and contributing factors. “This is true of terrorism carried out by individuals, groups and States; State terrorism is the harshest form of terrorism,” he added.

Discussing the Middle East, he said “the Palestinian people’s aspirations towards independence and its right to return to its land in accordance with United Nations resolutions are two fundamental conditions for the swift realization of peace and security in that sensitive part of the world.”

Without mentioning Israel by name, he added: “There must be an end to settlement activities, which have been condemned by the entire international community. The removal of illegal and illegitimate settlements would help to achieve security and a just peace in accordance with the resolutions with which we must comply.”

Dr. Treki also called for progress at the Climate Change summit convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next Tuesday to produce recommendations for the conference on the issue to be held in Copenhagen in December

And he urged additional efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim to slash a host of social ills by 2015, and steps towards non-proliferation and the elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

——————–

YES; WE THINK THAT THE UN AND THE SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD BE REFORMED – BUT AS LONG AS THE UN BODY CHOOSES TO PUT ON A LIBYAN HEAD JUST BEST FORGET ABOUT REFORM. PEOPLE GO, AND WILL GO, TO THE UN HOLDING THEIR NOSES WITH THEIR HANDS. SO MUCH FOR NEXT WEEK’S SHOW AS WELL.

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