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Iran urges UN to censure Israel’s nuclear threat, make it respect international rules

Press TV – September 20, 2018

Tehran has written to the United Nations, calling on the world body to condemn Israel for threatening Iran with a nuclear attack and bring the regime’s atomic weapons program under its supervision.

Standing right beside the Dimona nuclear facility late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Iran as a “threat” to the region and said Tel Aviv has the means to destroy its “enemies” in a veiled reference to Tel Aviv’s nuclear arsenal.

“Those who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal,” he said. “But our enemies know very well what Israel is capable of doing. They are familiar with our policy. Whoever tries to hurt us – we hurt them.”

In a letter addressed to the UN on Thursday, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the world body said Netanyahu’s belligerent remarks poses “a serious threat to international peace and security.”

It also urged the UN to make Israel abide by international rules and the UN Charter.

The letter also highlighted Israel’s long history of aggression, occupation, militarism and state terrorism among other international crimes, urging the world community to take a firm position on the Zionist regime’s “unbridled actions and nuclear threat.”

In the letter, Iran further demanded that the UN condemn Israel’s anti-Iran threat, make the regime join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and bring its nuclear program under the supervesion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

It also reminded the UN that Iran is itself a victim of weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical weapons.

The UN member states should not turn a blind eye to Israel’s threat and make efforts towards to the elimination of its entire nuclear stockpile, the letter read.

Responding to Netanyahu’s highly aggressive comments, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the premier as “warmonger” and said the threat was “ beyond shameless.”

“Iran, a country without nuclear weapons, is threatened with atomic annihilation by a warmonger standing next to an actual nuclear weapons factory. Beyond shameless in the gall,” Zarif tweeted.

Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny that it has atomic bombs. The Tel Aviv regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

Unlike Iran, the regime is not a member of the NPT — whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology – in defiance of international pressure.

September 20, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

UN Special Coordinator: ‘Israel’s demolition of Khan al-Ahmar contrary to international law’

Ma’an – September 16, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, expressed his concern on Sunday at the intention of Israeli authorities to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.

Mladenov said in a statement “I am concerned at the intention of the Israeli authorities to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar, a community of 181 people, over half of which are children.”

He also called on the Israeli authorities not to proceed with the demolition and to “cease efforts to relocate Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.”

Mladenov concluded “Such actions are contrary to international law and could undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.”

Mladenov’s statement comes after the Israeli High Court had rejected an appeal against the demolition of the village and approved its demolition and evacuation of its residents.

Since July, Khan al-Ahmar has been under threat of demolition by Israeli forces. The residents of the village have been since then subjected to threats, assaults, closures, and other forms of Israeli attempts to displace its residents.

The demolition would leave more than 35 Palestinian families displaced.

Israel has been constantly trying to uproot Palestinian Bedouins from the east of Jerusalem area to allow settlement expansion in the area, which would later turn the entire eastern part of the West Bank into a settlement zone.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi-backed delegates leave Yemen peace talks

Press TV – September 8, 2018

A delegation from Yemen’s former government has left UN-brokered talks in Geneva after representatives of the Houthi movement were prevented by Saudi Arabia from attending the negotiations.

“The government delegation is leaving today,” said an official from the Saudi-backed team on Saturday, referring to the former Yemeni administration. “There are no expectations the Houthis are coming,” he added.

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths told a news conference that the Houthis were “keen” to get to Geneva.

“They would have liked to get here. We didn’t make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here,” he said.

Ansarullah accused the Saudis of planning to strand the delegation in Djibouti, where their plane was to make a stop en route to Geneva.

The Saudis were “still refusing to give permission to an Omani plane” to land at the Yemeni capital Sana’a and take the delegation to Geneva, the movement said.

It posted a statement , saying the Houthis needed to “ensure the safety of the delegation” and require a guarantee that they would be allowed to return “smoothly” to Sana’a airport.

Yemenis took to the streets in Sana’a on Friday, blaming the United States, Britain, and Saudi Arabia for preventing the Houthis from joining the peace talks.

“The decision not to send an Omani plane (for the Houthi delegation) was made by the US and it is an American conspiracy with the help of Saudi Arabia,” senior Houthi official Abdulrahman al-Motawakel said.

“The US meant to delay the delegation from leaving, and the UN is helpless, and cannot do anything about it,” he added.

Loay al-Shamy, a senior Information Ministry official in Sana’a, said, “Regarding the peace talks, the delegation was formed and their names were announced and were ready to go but the UN, under pressure from the United States and Britain could not fulfill what was agreed on.”

The agreement was “to provide an Omani plane for the delegation that will participate in Geneva and offer the assurances required for the return of the delegation,” he said.

“We saw during the last talks that the delegation was stuck abroad and the UN could not bring them back home,” he added.

The two sides held their last UN-sponsored negotiations in Kuwait in 2016 in a bid to hammer out a “power-sharing” deal but they fell apart after the Saudi-backed side left the venue.

Yemen has been in turmoil since 2015 when former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi stepped down and then fled to Riyadh.

Hadi then asked Saudi Arabia to launch a military campaign against Yemen, leading to a crisis which has continued to this day.

Thousands have been killed in the Saudi-led invasion which has also pushed Yemen to the edge of famine.

A cholera outbreak, resulting from the devastation of Yemen’s health infrastructure, has also claimed more than 2,000 lives.

September 8, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Brazil Court Rules Barring Lula Da Silva From Presidential Election – Reports

Sputnik – 01.09.2018

The lawyers of the jailed former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have said they would appeal the ruling by a 4-1 majority of the seven-member top electoral court to the country’s Supreme Court, Reuters reported.

Lula, who served as the country’s president from 2003 through 2010, was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison last summer for allegedly accepting a luxury apartment from a construction firm in return for political favors. Lula has denied the accusations. An appeals court upheld the ruling in January and increased Lula’s jail term to 12 years and a month.

The Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) vowed in a statement late Friday to secure Lula da Silva’s candidcay in the upcoming October’s vote.

“We will present all appeals before the courts for the recognition of the rights of Lula provided by law and international treaties ratified by Brazil… we will defend Lula in the streets, with the people,” the PT statement was quoted by AFP.

Earlier in August, the PT announced it has registered jailed ex-president Lula da Silva as its candidate in the upcoming October’s election. Papers were submitted to Brazil’s Supreme Court hours before the deadline passed.

The UN Human Rights Committee has urged Brazil to ensure that political rights of Lula were observed given that he was registered as a candidate for the upcoming presidential election. The committee also urged Brazil to refrain from hindering Lula from participating in the election until after his court appeals were completed.

However, the country’s Foreign Ministry has said that Brazilian authorities do not consider binding the UNHR recommendations regarding observance of jailed former president.

According to the recent polls, jailed ex-president Lula da Silva is one of the most popular presidential candidates, however, the new rulling of the Brazil’s electoral court questions Lula’s run in the presidential campaign.

Lula da Silva’s supporters remain, however, optimistic. The PT has launched an appeal for support on Twitter, after which a hashtag translating as “Lula on the ballot box” quickly began trending, AFP reported.

September 1, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

Iran hauls US before international court over ‘illegal’ sanctions

Press TV – August 27, 2018

The International Court of Justice has begun hearing a lawsuit brought by Iran against new US sanctions ordered by the Trump administration.

Iran last month lodged a complaint with the Hague-based tribunal, arguing that the sanctions violate the terms of a 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries.

The country opened a lawsuit Monday demanding the UN’s top court order the suspension of the renewed US sanctions.

“The United States is publicly propagating a policy intended to damage as severely as possible Iran’s economy and Iranian nationals and companies,” Iran’s lawyer Mohsen Mohebi told the court.

“This policy is nothing but naked economic aggression against my country,” he said, adding “Iran will put up the strongest resistance to the US economic strangulation, by all peaceful means.”

Tehran has called on the United Nations court to order the immediate lifting of the sanctions, and demanded compensation for damages incurred in their wake.

Sanctions had been lifted under a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six other countries – the US, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.

President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the deal with Iran in May and pledged to reimpose the most restrictive sanctions on the country.

Washington reinstated the first batch of sanctions in early August and will re-impose the second batch in November which will primarily be meant to undermine Tehran’s oil exports.

The United States’ lawyers will present their arguments on Tuesday. They are expected to argue that the ICJ should not have jurisdiction in the dispute.

The oral arguments, essentially a request by Iran for a provisional ruling, will last for four days, with a decision to follow within a month.

The ICJ was set up in 1946 to resolve international disputes. Its rulings are binding but on rare occasions they have been ignored by certain countries, chiefly the United States.

The US will respond formally in oral arguments on Tuesday, reportedly arguing that the United Nations court should not have jurisdiction in the dispute.

US lawyers will reportedly claim that the friendship treaty signed before the Islamic Revolution in 1979 is no longer valid and that the sanctions Washington has levied against Tehran, do not violate it anyway.

August 27, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

UNRWA: No One Has the Power to Change the Nature of the Agency’s Work

Palestine Chronicle | August 27, 2018

A spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, said on Sunday that no one has the power to change the nature of the agency’s work, Anadolu has reported.

Adnan Abu Hasnah made his comment in response to Israeli media reports which claimed that the US is planning to make such a change, cut its aid and redefine those currently classified as Palestinian refugees. The latter move would reduce the number of refugees from 5.9 million to just 500,000.

Abu Hasnah explained:

“The UN General Assembly authorized UNRWA to work based on Resolution 302 issued in 1948. This is the only party which is able to change the agency’s work.”

Israeli media also claimed that Washington is looking for legal grounds to stop Palestinians from inheriting refugee status. Such a step, it was noted, targets UNRWA with a plan to transfer responsibility for the refugees to the Palestinian Authority.

This proposal was revealed earlier this month by Foreign Policy magazine. It reported unnamed US officials saying that the move is intended to take the issue of the refugees off the table in any future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

August 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hidden internal directive on Syria that got no UNSC approval DOES exist – Russian Foreign Ministry

RT | August 24, 2018

The UN has devised internal guidelines for limiting cooperation with Syria until a “political transition” takes place there, and it was drafted without any consent from the Security Council, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

The document in question is entitled ‘Parameters and Principles of UN Assistance in Syria,’ the ministry wrote in a statement to RT. It was issued by the UN Secretariat in October 2017 and provides guidelines for the UN agencies and programs in their work with the war-torn country.

The Secretariat issued the paper without requesting consent or even consulting the UN Security Council or the UN member states, at least on an official level, the ministry noted, adding that the “guidelines” document still “penetrates deeply” into the political situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, thus “going beyond the issue of simple coordination between the UN structures.”

One particular provision of the document explicitly states that the UN “would be ready to facilitate reconstruction” in Syria only “once there is a genuine and inclusive political transition negotiated by the parties.” The Russian ministry described it as an apparent attempt to prevent the international organization from contributing to Syria’s recovery under the current circumstances, while enforcing a “politicized approach of the countries advocating a regime change.”

The directive also implicitly restricts the UN agencies’ cooperation with Damascus, the ministry said, adding that the text of the document says that “UN assistance must not assist parties who have allegedly committed war crimes or crimes against humanity.” The US and its allies in the West have repeatedly accused the Syrian government of various violations of international law and particularly blamed them for chemical weapons incidents that took place on Syrian soil. No hard evidence has ever been presented to substantiate those claims, while the West ignored relevant data provided by the Russian military operating in Syria.

“If some influential [UN] donors believe that … it is time to toughen the sanctions regime against Syria, it does not necessarily mean that the UN agencies should be guided by the same irresponsible approach,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement, expressing its hope that the UN Secretariat will review its methods as Syria’s need for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction aid grows, not least due to an increasing number of refugees returning home.

The issue of an alleged “secret directive” having been distributed by the Secretariat throughout the UN system in October 2017 was first raised by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday. He did not name the document but said that it “prohibited the agencies… from participating in any kind of projects aimed at restoring the Syrian economy” until a “political transition” there.

Lavrov also linked the release of the directive with the “absolutely deconstructive” stance of the US on the issue of Syria’s reconstruction. The next day, the office of the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general denied the existence of any such document by saying that neither its department of political affairs nor any other UN entity had issued a “secret directive” on Syria.

Meanwhile, the ‘not secret’ but rather hard-to-find document mentioned by the Russian Foreign Ministry apparently indeed exists: It was briefly mentioned on an official UN website in a temporary job description. However, the text of the document has never been officially made public by any UN agency.

However, a supposed copy of the text of the directive, entitled ‘Parameters and Principles of UN Assistance in Syria’ and dated October 2017, was included as an annex in another paper published by the Global Protection Cluster – a structure directly linked to such UN agencies as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This document is still available online.

After declaring its commitment to the UN Charter and the Security Council resolutions, the document indeed states that any UN aid to the reconstruction efforts would be possible only following “political transition.” It also states the UN work should de-facto focus on basic humanitarian assistance only, while any “development and reconstruction activities that are outside this will need to be reflected in other frameworks that are by nature a longer negotiation with governments.”

The paper also openly states that the UN “will not promote the return of refugees.” Apart from prohibiting cooperation with “parties who have allegedly committed war crimes or crimes against humanity,” the guidelines also state that assistance must be “prioritized based on the needs of the population (rather than government-driven),” in what might be potentially considered an indirect attempt to limit the UN agencies’ cooperation with the Syrian government.

Read more:

‘Secret directive’ bans UN agencies from helping rebuild Syria until ‘political transition’ – Lavrov

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

False Western Narratives have Deepened Russia-West Estrangement

Literally No Evidence is Behind the Skripal Poisoning.
By Tony Kevin | 21st Century Wire | August 17, 2018

We have a situation now in which two major world governments, UK and Russia, both nuclear powers and permanent members of the UNSC, are upholding entirely opposed and contradictory narratives on two issues – the alleged Salisbury/Amesbury Novichuk poisonings, and the alleged nerve gas attacks by Assad Government forces on 7 April in Douma, Syria (on basis of false White Helmets-staged evidence). The latter allegation led to a US/UK bombing attack on Syrian Air Force bases.

On both issues, the US and French governments – also UNSC members and nuclear powers – have in solidarity supported UK government- sourced narratives , though in the former case there has been no UK judicial process, and in the latter case OPCW inspectors have found no physical evidence of use of nerve agents in Douma, and nor do local people’s accounts support the allegations.

In the Salisbury case, OPCW technical reports made public in Moscow on 14 April by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, detailing results of the Skripal samples analysis by the OPCW Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland, support a finding that the Skripals were probably poisoned temporarily with non- lethal BZ toxin , found in the Skripal samples, and that quantities of Novichok ( A- 234) lethal toxin had twice been added to the samples before they passed from British Govt to OPCW custody, in two clumsy attempts some weeks apart to create a false Novichok chemical trail. Lavrov commented, in strong language for him, that the fact Spiez Lab found these two doses of A-234 in the samples “appears to be utterly suspicious.”

Nevertheless, two days later on 16 April, the OPCW Executive Council , under Western pressure, decided unprecedentedly not to release the full reports of the samples testing by the four OPCW laboratories in Switzerland, thereby casting serious doubt on the professional reputation of OPCW. See here and here.

The second document contained a manifestly untrue statement by Mr Marc-Michael Blum, the Head of the OPCW Laboratory and leader of the technical assistance team that was deployed to the United Kingdom, that:

“The Labs were able to confirm the identity of the chemical (Novichok, or A -234) by applying existing, well-established procedures. *** There was no other chemical that was identified by the Labs ***. The precursor of BZ that is referred to in the public statements, commonly known as 3Q, was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures. Otherwise it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW Team in Salisbury. This chemical was reported back to the OPCW by the two designated labs and the findings are duly reflected in the report.”

This is simply laughable. The OPCW defence was that Britain had requested a very restricted test looking only for Novichok, and that it was therefore correct procedure for OPCW to withhold publication of the full laboratory results. So there is no official confirmation or denial of Lavrov’s statement that the Spiez Lab had found that A-234 had twice been improperly added to the Skripal samples. And a blatant lie was told on BZ.

Lavrov on 14 April had stood just short of accusing the UK government of concealing evidence and tampering with samples. But his imputation was very clear. Clearly he was appealing to Britain and the OPCW to do the right thing on 16 April. They did not do so. His words, recorded on the Russian MFA website, went unreported in the West. They are the essential basis of the Russian counter-narrative.

On the alleged use of CW in Douma, an alleged child victim Hassan Diab testified in The Hague three weeks later on 27 April that he had never been gassed, but he had been cruelly used in a White Helmets staged propaganda film.

Then, much later, the OPCW reported on 6 July their inspectors’ findings that they had not found any organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products in Douma.

These are facts. But it appears that facts no longer matter. In the UNSC, the weight of numbers is with the three Western permanent members and their allies. China has been circumspect on the issue, saying almost nothing except calling for proper procedures to be followed in OPCW.

Russia and China continue to have rights of veto on any future UNSC resolution that might try to condemn Russia for allegedly behaving as an international outlaw in these two contested matters.

Is there any legal way Russia could be expelled from the UNSC over either or both of these sets of allegations? America and Britain seem hell-bent now on portraying Russia as an international criminal, but surely this should carry no credibility now with the majority of the UNGA membership outside the compliant NATO/EU/Australia grouping.

There seems no way in which the facts of Salisbury/Amesbury can be publicly established, as long as the UK Government continues to suppress and tamper with evidence, and as long as its Western allies and the OPCW Executive continue to give to the UK Government cover and support. Only the election of a Corbyn Labour Government might offer prospect of change, because Corbyn is a decent man who would refuse to sustain a UK government lie.

Russia will continue to press for consular access to their citizens the Skripals. They cannot let the issue be forgotten. So it will go on being a cause of major Russia-UK tension and bad blood, as the histories of the two series of events recede into mythology and contested narratives, and as distracting myths and legends accumulate around Salisbury-Amesbury.

Now, the US government is resorting with increasing recklessness to unilateral sanctions outside the UN system, announcing two tranches of increasingly severe sanctions against Russia, in August and November, unless Russia admits its crimes and promises not to repeat them. Russia has of course rejected these demands out of hand, as internationally illegal and without any justification.

If the US pursues this course it will lead to further distancing between the US and Russian economies. As Lavrov points out, many other countries will draw their own conclusions about the US’s reliability as an economic partner and reserve currency.

The most likely medium-term scenario is continued simmering anger and resentment on both sides, encouraging further polarisation of a ‘3 versus 2’ situation in UNSC. But I don’t see how Russia could be expelled or suspended from the UNSC.

The current situation suits Western Russia-hating elites. It is in their interest to delay and impede any moves to Russia-West detente, keeping tensions high but at a level just short of war, and keeping Trump on a tight leash for as long as he remains US President. So far, sadly, it is all working out according to this plan.

***

Feature image taken from John Laurit’s blog.

Tony Kevin, former Australian diplomat and author of ‘Return to Moscow’ (2017, UWA Publishing)

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

When humanitarian aid and rhetoric serve the interests of the Israeli oppressors

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | August 9, 2018

There has been yet another instance where the UN has preferred to try to predict the future instead of acknowledging the current deterioration in Gaza with the aim of permanently reversing colonialism. Israel has yet again refused the entry of fuel into the enclave which is needed to power emergency generators and provide some relief for the power cuts suffered by the Palestinian people.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHAoPt) quoted Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick: “The well-being of two million people, half of whom are children, is at stake. It is unacceptable that Palestinians in Gaza are repeatedly deprived of the most basic elements of a dignified life.”

Depletion of basic necessities is edging towards the total absence of such resources. Hospitals are facing closures and patients who rely upon electrical devices are at risk of their treatment being interrupted. Furthermore, OCHAoPt has remarked on the deteriorating funds for emergency fuel, stating that $4.5 million is required “to ensure that a minimum level of essential services can continue to run through the end of the year.”

McGoldrick spoke about the need for “longer-term solutions so we can move past this cycle of repeated or worsening crises, including that Palestinian authorities prioritise provision of fuel for essential services.” Until that happens, he stated, Israel should reverse its restrictions and donors should contribute towards funding emergency fuel.

The difference between UN representatives’ rhetoric and Israel’s calculated oppression makes it impossible to turn towards permanent solutions for Palestinians. International institutions play upon the immediate scenario with the intent of keeping to short-term alleviation each time Israel repeats its violations, or embarks upon a new round. Maintaining this ambiguity has created the dynamics of attempting to repair a sliver of damage while Israel unravels its next step in the colonisation process. In doing so, the correlation between aid and abuse increases to the point of creating a cycle of dependency between both concepts.

Meanwhile, Gaza is forced to manage a situation wherein every decision taken is unlikely to reap any benefit for Palestinians. The illegal blockade on Gaza, which is part of Israel’s colonial strategy, is mentioned towards the end of the OCHAoPt briefing to underscore that it has “raised concerns over collective punishment and human rights violations, alongside an unresolved internal Palestinian political divide.” While the latter is true, it is still only a part of the bigger framework. One must ask why the UN is intent on blurring the lines between Israel and the Palestinian factions. Palestinian Authority collaboration with Israel aside, such merging only serves to eliminate Israeli accountability and cast serious doubts upon the lauding of international law when it serves nothing other than the means through which to determine how far colonial violence can stretch its parameters.

While the UN and Israel are busy perfecting their strategies, Palestinians exist in a realm where remembrance of their plight is tied to a generated, short-term response, as opposed to relating to their humanity. It is not only Israel that has dehumanised Palestinians. In limiting responses to Israel’s violations rather than Palestinian rights, the international community has dehumanised Palestine internationally.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Purported neutrality at the UN is harmful to Palestinians

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | July 6, 2018

On Monday, Israeli lawyer Yuval Shany was appointed to chair the UN Human Rights Committee – a body of experts that monitors the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 1(1) of the covenant states: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

Commenting on his appointment as quoted in Haaretz, Shany stated: “Currently the UN’s Human Rights Committee faces several challenges, chiefly that we live in an international climate that no longer supports human rights.” His aim as committee chair, he said, is “to harness its positive and apolitical influence to secure human rights for all citizens of the world.”

There are always discrepancies between the UN and human rights. Shany’s appointment, which is not the first occasion in which an Israeli has held influential positions at the UN, is another example of how the international institution exists to serve human rights violations. By allowing Israel this platform, the committee is also calling attention to the fact that the UN is in favour of normalising Israel’s colonial violence against Palestinians.

According to the Times of Israel, Shany described the committee as being less dictated by global politics. This specification seems to be making the case against other UN organisations which have been deemed as having an “anti-Israel bias”, notably by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. However, the play upon what constitutes political, particularly in terms of power, is always subject to manipulation at the UN.

Self-determination – the subject of Article 1 in the mentioned Covenant – is a political right. The presence, or absence, of such a right, cannot be divested from political acts. If, by commenting upon “apolitical influence”, Shany is indicating neutrality, there is also no escaping the fact that taking such a stance is also a clear political act.

The overseeing of implementation of the Covenant, which is the committee’s role, takes the form of reviewing individual state reports and offering “concluding observations” accordingly. It is a strategy that is employed across several UN institutions and that leaves severe political implications for Palestinians.

One of these implications is the constant pleading by Palestinian officials to the UN for international protection; the latest by PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi. Wafa news agency carried Ashrawi’s comments, in which she emphasised the need for “serious intervention from the international community”.

Shany, however, does shine a light on international complicity in rendering the Palestinian cause apolitical. The underlying purported neutrality across UN institutions with regard to Palestine, particularly its persistence regarding the two-state compromise, makes the organisation a very dangerous platform. It is easy to forget that behind the international banner, individual countries are exerting their power and building allegiances to the detriment of the oppressed.

In Palestine’s case, there is no doubt it is in dire need of political action. However, expecting such a stance from institutions that wield their political power behind screens of alleged neutrality is to cede what remains of Palestine’s political rights. Looking within and returning to the roots of anti-colonial struggle is important. Yet it is precisely the foundations that are being neglected, with the result that Palestinians are constantly exploited at an international level, to pave the way for the international community’s manipulation of politics that marginalises Palestine and puts another Israeli representative at the helm.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Venezuela Criticizes ‘Politicized’ UN Human Rights Report

teleSUR | June 22, 2018

The Venezuelan government has criticized a United Nations human rights report on the Latin American nation as “lacking technical rigour and objectivity.”

“Venezuela categorically rejects the report regarding the alleged human rights situation in the country, published by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as a result of a highly questionable methodology that buries the credibility and technical rigor demanded of an office of this nature, and violates the principles of objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity,” a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Relations said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Jordanian prince, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said Friday that “rule of law is virtually absent in Venezuela,” after a report was published citing “shocking” accounts of alleged extrajudicial killings by state forces.

The Venezuelan government responded that “Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein confirms his complicity with the multiform aggression that is underway against Venezuela, keeping silent in the face of the negative impact on the enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights created by coercive, unilateral measures imposed by the United States of America and its servile allies in the region.”

The statement also pointed out that all official information provided by the Venezuelan government has been excluded from the report, “in order to build a grotesque media farce on this matter.”

The Foreign Ministry “reiterates its inescapable commitment to human rights” and its “willingness to continue cooperating with the organs of the United Nations system on issues of human rights, provided that the sovereignty of the country is respected and that it acts in accordance with rigour and truth.”

UN independent expert and Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, who himself was in Venezuela compiling data on human rights last year, described the report as lacking objectivity and neutrality.

“My worry is the credibility of the office when it shows no neutrality nor objectivity,” he stated following the release of the report.

Much of the report referred to the State’s reaction to the 2014 and 2017 right wing violent street protests, and the Operation of People’s Liberation (OLP) crime operatives which were temporarily held during 2017.

Venezuela’s Jose Vicente Rangel, who served as vice president under Hugo Chavez and now has a popular weekly TV show, warned of police abuses back in April, highlighting “operations that police groups are carrying out, operations that involve outrages against citizens and numerous cases of murder in the barrios.”

He alleged that the suspended OLP ops were being continued extra-officially by the FAES special police forces.

June 26, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

UN Climate Demand Opens the way for More Abuse of Poor Farmers

By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | June 22, 2018

If there is one climate program which should have died in a welter of shame, that programme is third world conservation programmes, programmes which have reportedly already caused mayhem in places where government backed forces have committed atrocities to drive farmers and tribes out of nature reserves.

Forests provide a critical short-term solution to climate change

22 JUN 2018

To prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we need to act now.

There is a “catastrophic climate gap” between the commitments that countries have made under the Paris Climate Agreement and the emissions reductions required to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, according to UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report 2017.

The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2˚ Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5˚ Celsius.

Current pledges from governments represent only about half of what would be required to avoid a 2˚C temperature rise, and just one third of what’s required to limit warming to 1.5˚C.

While this “emissions gap” is significant, UN Environment suggests it can still be closed in a cost-effective manner.

One of the major contributors to closing the gap is forests.

The good news here is that 6.3 gigatons (billion tons) of carbon dioxide emission reductions have already been reported over the past six years from forests in Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia and Colombia alone under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), according to the UNFCCC Lima Hub. This is equivalent to more than the annual emissions of the United States.

“This is a significant step forward, showing that forests can be a central part of the solution to climate change,” says the head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, Mario Boccucci. “We have an unprecedented opportunity: political will, know-how, finance. Now we need to build on progress and scale up rapidly in the coming years.”

Protecting forests, including mangroves, makes climate action cheaper and faster. We need to build the political case for this across all countries.

“The Emissions Gap Report once again underscores the urgency of redoubling our efforts to reduce emissions,” says UN Environment climate change expert Niklas Hagelberg.

“It shows that solutions exist, and if they are adopted quickly we can turn our current situation around. But with each year we wait, we make our ability to limit dangerous climate change more difficult, risky and costly.”

Full article: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/forests-provide-critical-short-term-solution-climate-change

Even the Guardian has noted the connection between offering large cash grants to tyrants in return for declaring regions off limits to humans, and vicious attacks against people living in the affected regions;

The tribes paying the brutal price of conservation

John Vidal
Sun 28 Aug 2016 17.00 AEST

Across the world, governments are protecting habitats. But indigenous peoples are being evicted

The Botswana police helicopter spotted Tshodanyestso Sesana and his friends in the afternoon. The nine young Bushmen, or San, had been hunting antelope to feed their families, when the chopper flew towards them.

There was a burst of gunfire from the air and the young men dropped their meat and skins and fled. Largely through luck, no one was hit, but within minutes armed troops arrived in a jeep and the nine were arrested, stripped naked, beaten and then detained for several days for poaching in a nature reserve.

Welcome to 21st-century life in the vast Central Kalahari game park, an ancient hunting ground for the San, but now off-limits to the people who forged their history there. The brutal incident took place last week, just days after Botswana’s wildlife minister Tshekedi Khama, the brother of President Ian Khama, announced a shoot-on-sight policy on poachers.

Khama claims the policy, which is supported by conservation groups, will deter poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, which is widely seen by Europe and the US as disastrous for biodiversity. But there are no rare or endangered species such as elephants or rhinos in the areas where the bushmen hunt. Sending a helicopter gunship and armed guards to arraign the hunters looks rather like an escalation of the low-grade war that Botswana has waged for years on one of the most vulnerable indigenous groups in the world.

Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/aug/28/exiles-human-cost-of-conservation-indigenous-peoples-eco-tourism

The damage is not limited to shooting down tribespeople from helicopter gunships. In Ivory Coast, poor farmers who are trying to produce cocoa are being pressured to pay large bribes to be allowed to work their farms in “conservation areas”.

… The government of Ivory Coast took action recently against cocoa-driven deforestation by expelling cocoa farmers from Mount Péko National Park (which means “mountain of hyenas” in the local Gueré language). According to a report by Human Rights Watch and the Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights (RAIDH), the evictions were poorly planned and carried out in violation of human rights standards. When we visited Mount Péko after the eviction, we found the park once again filled with cocoa smallholders who had returned. Some smallholders explained to us that when they finally returned to Mount Péko, they simply paid the authorities higher bribes to go back to cultivating their lands in the park. …

Read more: http://www.mightyearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/chocolates_dark_secret_english_web.pdf

Lets see – large numbers of skilled but very poor farmers in Africa trying to make an honest living being backed into a corner, forced to pay large bribes, their families brutalised by armed thugs. Its pretty obvious what will happen next, and when it does, Western green policies will bear the ultimate blame.

June 24, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment