PGJ volunteer Sister Doretta Cornell attended the Inter-Faith event at the UN on February 12, 2014. Doretta kindly acted as the reporter for the Partnership for Global Justice for this event
WUNRNhttp://www.wunrn.com Syria - Inside & Across Borders, Little Girls Are Starving, Hungry, Dying
http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/town-under-siegeWebsite Link Includes Video.
When she was brought to a field hospital in rebel-held Moadamia, one mile north of Syria’s capital, Rana Obaid had all the signs of severe malnutrition—a bloated belly, glassy eyes, hollow cheeks, and bloodied gums. Doctors examined her but there was little they could do.The one-year-old died within the day. Cause of death: starvation.
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14224&LangID=E DEPRIVAL OF FOOD, WATER, SHELTER & MEDICAL CARE - A METHOD OF WAR IN SYRIA, AND A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY - UN EXPERTS
GENEVA (6 February 2014) – A group of United Nations independent experts* on the human rights to food, health, housing, water and sanitation, and on summary executions and torture, today urged all parties to the Syrian conflict to stop the use of civilian suffering as a method of war.“As reports are piling up of indiscriminate shelling of civilians, enforced disappearances and executions, another horror of the war in Syria is becoming apparent: the deprivation of basic necessities of life and the denial of humanitarian relief as a method of war,” they warned.
“Depriving people of their access to food and water, impeding their access to health services and wantonly destroying their housing constitute clear violations of the human rights to food, to water, to sanitation, to housing, to health, and to freedom from inhumane treatment, protected under international human rights treaties,” the experts said.
“The acts being committed amount to crimes against humanity, carried out as a deliberate and systematic effort to cause civilian suffering,” the rights experts stressed. “They also constitute war crimes and serious violations of customary international humanitarian law which binds all parties.”
The experts underscored that targeting medical units and medical personnel, making civilians the object of attack, subjecting them to inhumane treatment, obstructing humanitarian relief, attacking objects crucial for the survival of civilians, and using starvation as a method of warfare is explicitly banned.
The UN estimates that 9.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Some 6.5 million people live as internally displaced within the country, having fled their homes and left behind their sources of livelihood. More than 6 million are in critical need of sustained food assistance.
“Numerous cases show that government and pro-government forces as well as armed opposition groups are impeding humanitarian relief to populations facing extreme deprivation, including children, women, older persons, persons with disabilities, the chronically sick, and civilians and persons hors combat held in detention,” the group of experts said.
The situation is most critical for the quarter of a million people living in communities under siege, such as Nubul and Al-Zahraa in rural Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta, Darayya and Moadamiyah in rural Damascus, the Old City in Homs; and the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus.
The UN estimates that over 100,000 people trapped in and around Yarmouk Camp are now in severe risk of starvation. From other besieged areas, reports are emerging of chronic child malnutrition and health problems caused by a lack of access to vital nutrients and safe drinking water.
“Apart from obstructing humanitarian access through sieges and tight check-points, attacks have been carried out to destroy harvests, kill livestock, and cut off water supplies, with the apparent aim of starving out the targeted populations,” the experts noted. “At the same time, entire neighborhoods and residences are being razed, aggravating the dire housing situation, causing further displacement.”
“We also express alarm at consistent reports of deliberate destruction of hospitals and medical units, and of arrests, ill-treatment, torture and killings of doctors, nurses, medical volunteers and ambulance drivers.”
“These acts are morally abhorrent, and present a major obstacle to building peace,” they stated. “We are outraged by the extreme human suffering caused by the apparent blatant disregard for human rights and humanitarian law.”
“We urge all parties to the conflict to ensure immediate humanitarian relief to the large parts of the population experiencing extreme deprivation. The use of civilian suffering as a method of war must stop,” the group of experts concluded.
(*) The experts: The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Anand Grover; the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, Raquel Rolnik; the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns; the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez; and the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque.
The United Nations human rights experts are part of what it is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
They are charged by the Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on human rights issues. Currently, there are 37 thematic mandates and 14 mandates related to countries and territories, with 72 mandate holders. In March 2014, three new mandates will be added. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
At the interfaith Harmony week held at United Nations headquarters on Wednesday February 12th 2014 - Sister Deirdre Mullan from the Partnership for Global Justice gave input entitled Social Cohesion as a key to Sustainable Development.
Our volunteer - Sister Doretta Cornell was invited to do a special report on the event which included the Under-Secretary General for Genocide Prevention and the representative of the Vatican -Archbishop Francis Chullikatt. Doretta's report will be posted shortly.
Deirdre will post her power-point on our website.
Further information on the event is available by following the link below
Link to the Event above which The Partnership for Global Justice sponsored at the United Nations.
Here's the link to the video:
in the Prevention of Atrocity Crimes
In observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
1:15 – 2:45 p.m. United Nations, Conference Room 2
Please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1dXokIg
Mr. Adama Dieng
Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General
on the Prevention of Genocide
H.E. Mr. Kairat Abdrakhmanov
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan
to the United Nations
Ms. Consolee Nishimwe
Genocide survivor and author of “Tested to the Limit:
A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Pain, Resilience and Hope”
Dr. Carol Rittner, RSM
Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies,
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; and
author of "Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches?"
Rabbi Roger Ross
Chair of the Board and CFO of the International Seminary for Interfaith Studies,
United Religions Initiative UN Representative
Moderated by Dr. Hanifa Mezoui
Senior Advisor, Office of the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
Organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, the United Religions Initiative,
the Partnership for Global Justice, and the UN Department of Public Information
Live Feed at http://webtv.un.org/
Dear friends of the UN International Day of Peace,
It is a joy to share with you the theme chosen by the United Nations for the 2014 International Day of Peace:
Right to Peace.
This powerful theme is based on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s new “Rights up Front” campaign, launched in December 2013 to improve monitoring of human rights abuses before they erupt into violent conflict. Promoting respect for the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a core purpose of the United Nations. You can find more information about the Rights up Front initiative in an article athttps://www.un.org/apps/news//story.asp?NewsID=46778&Cr=human+rights&Cr1=#.Uu3OeCjvJjE.
A Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace was actually passed by the UN General Assembly in 1984 (see<http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/39/a39r011.htm>). This declaration, “Solemnly proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace.” Amen! The International Day of Peace will be an excellent opportunity to remind the countries of the world of their commitment.
This theme also reflects a history of civil society working to add the Human Right to Peace to the mission of the United Nations, which was founded to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” An alliance of civil society organizations working with Member States in Geneva has been engaged in a campaign since 2006 for the formal recognition of a Declaration for the Right to Peace by the UN Human Rights Council and subsequently by the UN General Assembly. There is further information at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/AdvisoryCommittee/Pages/RightToPeace.aspx.
The UN observance of Peace Day 2014 will take place the morning of Friday, September 19th, including the popular student observance. Schools may wish to coordinate their activities with this date. The day itself is on a Sunday, perfect for churches and for concerts. Peace One Day (http://peaceoneday.org) and MasterPeace (http://www.masterpeace.org) are planning major concert events in diverse cities around the world, and Playing for Change Day (http://playingforchangeday.org) will be on 20 September to align their worldwide music with the International Day of Peace.
We have heard reports from several parts of the world that International Day of Peace observances have already included readings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let us honor this inspiring document this year, and add our own campaign for the Right to Peace on September 21st.l
Celebrate the UN International Day of Peace, 21 September - “Right to Peace!”
The Partnership for Global Justice
Educating, Advocating, and Participating for a Just World