The UN Security Council has voted unanimously in favor of a resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war.
The document describes the deliberate use of rape as a tactic in war and a threat to international security. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said violence against women had reached “unspeakable proportions” in some societies recovering from conflict.
The UN is also setting up an inquiry to report next June on how widespread the practice is and how to tackle it. Human-rights group hailed the resolution as historic.
Ki-moon doing something right?
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has said he will ask the international community to relieve the country’s debt, as envoys gather for a UN forum.
Officials said the move was aimed mainly at Arab countries, to which Iraq owes most of its $67bn debt. Meanwhile US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged countries to stand by Iraq during reconstruction.
Nearly 100 countries are represented at the economic and political reform forum near Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki are also in Sweden.
The gathering is aimed at supporting Iraq’s efforts to restore stability and rebuild a functioning economy. Correspondents say progress in these areas remains fragile. The UN called the conference to review a five-year package it brokered last year, called the International Compact with Iraq. On the eve of the forum the largest Sunni Muslim bloc suspended talks on rejoining Iraq’s Shia-led government.
Shouldn’t the ones who promised the reconstruction of the country to …pay the bill for the damaged they helped to be done?
Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers, says a leading UK charity.
Children in post-conflict areas are being abused by the very people drafted into such zones to help look after them, says Save the Children. After research in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, the charity proposed an international watchdog be set up.
Save the Children said it had sacked three workers for breaching its codes, and called on others to do the same. The three men were all dismissed in the past year for having had sex with girls aged 17 – which the charity said was a sackable offence even though not illegal.
The UN has said it welcomes the charity’s report, which it will study closely. Save the Children says the most shocking aspect of child sex abuse is that most of it goes unreported and unpunished, with children too scared to speak out.
There is only one word for that …shame!!!
Thousands of children in cyclone-hit Burma will starve to death within weeks unless food reaches them soon, UK charity Save the Children has warned.
The charity said 30,000 under-fives in the Irrawaddy Delta were malnourished before Cyclone Nargis hit on 2 May. It says energy-rich food now needs to reach them “before it is too late”.
The warning comes as a UN envoy is due in Burma to join international efforts to try to persuade the ruling junta to grant more access to relief workers. Humanitarian envoy John Holmes will carry a letter from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Burma’s leader, Than Shwe, who has refused to answer Mr. Ban’s calls.
Perhaps it is time for Mr. Ban to stop …calling and act, even though that will come as a surprise to what he has done till now!!!
Civilians are completely at the mercy of armed groups in Somalia, says human rights group Amnesty International.
It says the situation is “dire” in the centre and the south with government troops, their Ethiopian allies and Islamist insurgents “out of control”. They carry out killings, torture, rape, beatings, arbitrary detention and forced disappearances, a report says.
The Ethiopian government has dismissed the report as a “total fabrication” and demanded an apology. “We have said repeatedly that our soldiers are the most disciplined soldiers in the world,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wahide Belaye.
“They have never cut anybody’s throat, never gang-raped any women, never deliberately shot civilians in Somalia.” In Mogadishu, hundreds of people have stormed through the Bakara market area, hurling stones at cars and shops and setting fire to tires in protest at rising food prices and fake currency.
Where they ever under control? And what Ki-moon is doing? Probably cruising again or participating in some kind of gala!
An African leader has dismissed the UN’s food agency as a “waste of money” and called for it to be scrapped.
President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal spoke out days after the UN announced an emergency plan to bring soaring world food prices under control. Mr. Wade said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was itself largely to blame for the price rises.
His comments came as bakers in Nigeria began a week-long national strike in protest at the cost of flour and sugar. Some global food prices have nearly doubled in the past three years, provoking riots and other protests in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
A bitter truth coming from the one who lives the problem?
The United Nations is to set up a task force to tackle the global food crisis. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said the rise in food prices around the world had turned into a challenge of global proportions.
The task force, chaired by Mr. Ban, will be made up of the heads of UN agencies and the World Bank. It will explore both emergency and long-term measures to tackle the crisis caused by the recent sharp rise in the price of staple foods such as wheat.
Typical, it had to go to raids in many places around the world before they realize that they have to do something. I bet in the next G8 meeting they will announce programs for the …hungry. In the meantime who knows how many will die from starvation!