Article Archive for April 2012
President Barack Obama, on March 26, pressed Chinese President Hu Jintao to do more to persuade North Korea to scuttle plans for a rocket launch, asking the regime’s closest ally to push Pyongyang’s new leaders toward internationally acceptable behavior, but getting no immediate commitment, according to senior US. officials.
After seven years of hard work, the book is finally available for sale. “It’s a dream come true,” said Dr. Evangelia Tastsoglou. “I’m hoping that some of the findings can be used by the government or service providers so things can be done to improve the lives of immigrant women in Atlantic Canada and increase the ethno-cultural diversity to make it a more hospitable place to live in.”
In Canada our credibility is at stake if we do not have a voice on the abuse of rights of indigenous people, Greg Benjamin of Amnesty International told a forum in Halifax last November. “Canada has had a chequered history with the UN Declaration of Rights of the Indigenous People, having played a positive and negative role. The indigenous people are the most impoverished and marginalized,” he said.
A symposium hosted at Saint Mary’s University on March 23, presented ideas on the theme “My Place, My Home: The Settlement of Refugees in Halifax.” It was hosted by Atlantic Metropolis. Shiva Noorpanah of Atlantic Metropolis presented some of the challenges Afghan refugee women have experienced in Canada. She rejected the notion that refugees are a “voiceless people—a people, who deprived of citizenship are deprived of rights.”
Top United Nations officials warned in March about the dangerous bond between racism and conflict, urging the international community to address grievances before they explode into catastrophic conflict.
Several thousand people have been displaced by clashes between Al-Shabab insurgents and Somali troops assisted by Ethiopian and Kenyan soldiers in Somalia’s southwestern Gedo region, locals told the UN news agency IRIN. “In the last couple of weeks, we have had some 5,000 people displaced by the conflict; we already had hundreds of families who were displaced,” Mohamed Abdi Kaliil, governor of Gedo, told IRIN from Garbaharey, the regional capital.
The United Nations Human Rights Council late March called on the Government of Sri Lanka to take “credible” steps toward accountability for alleged serious violations committed during the final stages of the country’s civil war. In a resolution adopted, the 47-member Human Rights Council called on the Government to “fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.”
Pope Benedict XVI told Mexican Catholics on March 25 that renewed faith and a pure heart will help them stand up to “distressing times of human suffering” in a nation stalked by drug violence, crime and uncertainty. At a vast, sunbaked, open-air Mass, with several hundred thousand people arrayed before him, the pope said Mexico faced “times of sorrow as well as hope,” and he reiterated a call for the special protection of children.
An independent United Nations human rights expert warned in March that Switzerland’s proposed law authorizing heavy fines for protesters without official permission to demonstrate would have a “chilling” effect on the rights to freedom of assembly and expression in the country.
Syria has accepted a peace plan proposal by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, his spokesman said March 27, as fighting raged on the outskirts of the capital Damascus and Syrian troops infiltrated Lebanon to fight escaping rebels. The Syrian government has written to Annan accepting his six-point plan, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.