UN sub-commission puts human rights on back burner

first_imgNews Organisation The sub-commission has declined as the Human Rights Commission itself has declined. As the Commission’s main subsidiary body, it is meant to be a think-tank to help the Commission’s work, but its 26 supposedly independent experts but are appointed by their own governments. Despite its limitations, victims of human rights abuses could get a hearing from the sub-commission, which dealt with basic human rights matters that did not always reach the Commission itself. For example, it passed resolutions about the Tiananmen massacre in Beijing (1989) and about Tibet (1991). Barely a dozen journalists turned up for a 15 August press conference in Geneva given by Halima Warzazi, head of the UN Sub-Commission on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, at the end of the sub-commission’s 55th session. Even though it was the holiday season, such a clear lack of interest reflected the tired image of this group of “independent” experts and of the whole UN human rights apparatus.Ms Warzazi recognised, in her speech closing the session, that all the goals had not been achieved and the expectations of NGOs had not been fully satisfied. But she said optimistically that the extent of the problems made what little had been achieved all the more valuable. She mentioned the 43 statements and documents the sub-commission had approved this year without needing a formal vote.She appeared at the press conference with the four other senior sub-commission members to present a glowing version of its work, taking care to sweeten the journalists by stressing their important role in publicising the work of the experts and the sub-commission to promote human rights worldwide. She admitted that resolutions could no longer refer to specific countries, but said allusions to human rights could be incorporated into all the sub-commission’s work.Restrictions on the sub-commission have reduced it to glossing over specific cases and sticking to generalities instead of dealing with hard facts. Everything is mentioned – globalisation, the right to development, clean drinking water, extreme poverty, minorities, indigenous peoples, slavery, the delivery of justice, security and people-trafficking. On corruption, for example, the sub-commission encouraged political leaders to be, in their own countries, examples of honesty, integrity and honour to underpin governance based on solid ethics. Easier said than done, however. This was already seen as excessive by some countries which refused to allow the sub-commission to meddle in their affairs (in fact, defend human rights). So they steadily chipped away at its powers, notably in 2000 by obtaining a shortening of its annual session from four to three weeks and by getting the Commission to ban the 26 experts from passing resolutions on rights violations that named specific countries. Today, the sub-commission cannot even make reference to country-examples to illustrate points in its publications.This virtual paralysis reached a peak during debate on the second item of this year’s agenda, about human rights violations around the world. Evidence from NGOs and sometimes moving accounts by victims are now rarely heard, much less listened to. Several NGO representatives have been concerned about these developments since the sub-commission was banned last year from taking up specific cases. Its experts have also voiced such concern. When a body loses the power to punish, it loses its relevance, said Romanian expert Iulia Motoc, calling on all parties to think about the issue of who uses sub-commission’s documents and studies.Algerian expert Leila Zerrougui said she joined her colleagues in noting that item two of the agenda no longer interested anyone and that even the experts had no desire to speak on it. She noted that the Commission had even cancelled the sub-commission’s right to make an appeal on behalf of someone in imminent danger of execution. Brazil’s Paulo Sergio Pinheiro quipped that soon the sub-commission would be asked investigate the future of human rights on the moon.So it was not surprising that at the press conference sub-commission head Warzazi refused to discuss the plight of Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet, recently sentenced to three years in prison for “insulting the king.” She curtly declined to answer and said Moroccan human rights organisations were the ones to ask, not the head of the sub-commission.She also declined to answer a question about Reporters Without Borders, which has defended Lmrabet and which she accused of “abuse” for putting out a report on the shortcomings and ineffectiveness of the UN human rights apparatus. After this exchange, she said she would seek from the relevant bodies further sanctions against the organisation, whose consultative status with the United Nations has already been suspended for a year after it denounced Libya becoming the head of the Commission. center_img August 21, 2003 – Updated on January 25, 2016 UN sub-commission puts human rights on back burner RSF_en Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more

Limerick entrepreneur has a safe bet with 20 new jobs

first_imgBusinessNewsLimerick entrepreneur has a safe bet with 20 new jobsBy Staff Reporter – December 8, 2013 2009 Print Advertisement Facebook Linkedin WhatsAppcenter_img Previous articleOff duty Gardai accused of street fight involvementNext article#VIDEO Madiba honoured by rugby faithful at Thomond Park Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie By Andrew CareySign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up CAHERDAVIN entrepreneur, Seamus Fahy is creating up to 20 jobs with the launch of Ireland’s first independent safety deposit box vault giving Limerick consumers a real choice about where they can securely store their valuables.With an increased rise in opportunists and planned burglaries and costing less than one euro a day, the new service offers people peace of mind about their prized possessions.Highlighted in recent crime figures and Garda reports, there has been a spate of burglaries across Limerick throughout the month of November and a there has been a 23 per cent increase in the number of burglaries across the city in recent months.Seamus Fahy, a University of Limerick Business Studies graduate, has opened Mer-rion Vaults containing several thousand safety deposit boxes of varying sizes.Up to twenty jobs will be created directly in the company and in supporting service providers by Seamus and his business partner David Walsh from Cork.Mr Fahy told the Limerick Post that cash and valuables hidden in the attic, under the mattress or in a home safe are a dangerous attraction for burglars who will resort to violence to secure their target.“Irish people have traditionally left important documents like property leases with their banks, often as security for loans, while keeping valuables like jewellery and cash at home,” he said. “Traditionally banks have provided boxes in various branches but are now ceasing or have ceased to provide them. With confidence in banks under pressure, demand for a private safety box has increased as a secure alternative for assets.The Limerick man has built the vault from scratch and has the very latest security technology installed.“A leading consultant, who is regularly commissioned by Lloyd’s insurance to assess such premises around the world helped construct the vault and choose the most ap-propriate technology to keep it secure,” Mr Fahy said. “Such is the standard of secu-rity at Merrion Vaults, Lloyds has approved the system and is the main underwriter and insurer for the company. We also have an extremely sophisticated security sys-tem to ensure that access to any box is limited to the authorised person only.”A safety deposit box not only removes the risk of leaving valuables in a small safe at home, it can also reduce your household insurance premium. Long term, a safety deposit box will provide a secure home for items such as house deeds, passports, important data on memory sticks, items of sentimental value such as old photos and documents, a deceased mother’s wedding ring etc.Seamus Fahy continued: “For insurance purposes there is a clear saving where the valuables are in a safety deposit box rather than stored at home. A comprehensive insurance policy is available for all valuables underwritten by Lloyds on London.”Full details are available at www.merrionvaults.ie Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Lithuania Continues Protection of WFP Vessel

first_img View post tag: News by topic View post tag: vessel View post tag: africa View post tag: Lithuania Share this article Lithuania Continues Protection of WFP Vessel View post tag: protection View post tag: Navy On Wednesday 5 August 2015, the Operation Atalanta Serbian Maritime Protection team that has been embarked on World Food Programme (WFP) vessel, MSM Douro, for the past four months to protect it from potential pirate attack, handed over the role to a team from Lithuania.The handover ceremony between the Lithuanian and Serbian forces took place in Djibouti on board MV Douro.As a result of the close protection given by Operation Atalanta maritime teams and warships, no WFP ship carrying humanitarian aid to the Somali people has been attacked by Somali pirates.[mappress mapid=”16614″]Image: EUNAVFOR Authorities View post tag: Pirates View post tag: Naval August 6, 2015 View post tag: WFP Back to overview,Home naval-today Lithuania Continues Protection of WFP Vessel last_img read more

No. 1 Trojans keep winning streak alive

first_imgThree consecutive road matches against three top-ranked teams could not deter the USC men’s tennis team from its undefeated start to the spring dual match season.Aces · Senior Daniel Nguyen and the Trojans are 7-0 this season. They are currently on a 26-match winning streak that extends back to February 2011. USC has won three national championships in a row. – Mannat Saini | Daily TrojanNo. 1 USC extended its record to 7-0 after a 6-1 victory over the No. 12 Pepperdine Waves (3-3) in Malibu on Friday. The clash against the Waves comes after road wins over No. 6 Stanford and No. 13 California last week and precedes the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Virginia next weekend.After the Trojans narrowly escaped with the doubles point against the Waves, USC garnered the victory with five consecutive singles wins, all in straight sets.USC sophomore Ray Sarmiento, ranked No. 12, took down No. 49 Mousheg Hovhannisyan 7-5, 6-1 to give the Trojans a 4-0 advantage and to guarantee USC’s seventh win of the season.Before Sarmiento’s clincher, senior Steve Johnson gave USC its first singles point with a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 21 junior Sebastian Fanselow, followed by a 6-4, 6-3 decision by No. 33 freshman Yannick Hanfmann over No. 106 senior Hugh Clarke.“[Clarke] was serving and volleying, and I hit good returns so I got him out of his game,” Hanfmann said.USC sophomore Emilio Gomez, ranked No. 48, and freshman Roberto Quiroz finished off their opponents to round out the final points for USC and earn their sixth and ninth consecutive singles wins, respectively.Pepperdine scored its sole point off No. 35 Finn Tearney’s 6-3, 7-6 (5) upset over No. 16 senior Daniel Nguyen, which came after the Trojans had pulled ahead 6-0.Prior to USC’s singles wins, both sides battled for nearly an hour and a half in doubles action.Each squad took a doubles win, setting up a battle for the doubles point between USC’s Johnson and Hanfmann and Pepperdine’s Tearney and Alex Llompart.“We knew it was going to be on us to clinch it,” Hanfmann said. “We had some close games until the tiebreak. It was really tight but really good.”Looking poised to notch their fourth straight doubles win, the USC pair quickly pulled ahead to a 5-2 lead.A late rally by the Pepperdine pair, however, forced the match into a tiebreaker, which Johnson and Hanfmann escaped to finalize a 9-8 (7-1) victory and USC’s first point of the match.“We let it slip, but once it got to the tiebreaker, we really fought together,” Johnson said. “It was good to see Yannick and I forget about the opportunity we had at the beginning and focus on the task at hand.”After a week of rest, the Trojans will take their 26-match winning streak to Virginia and will participate in the National Team Indoor Championships, which pits 16 of the best teams in the nation in a four-day tournament from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20.“Every match is a stepping stone to get better, and we’re getting hot at the right time,” Johnson said. “I think we’re in a really good position to make a good run in Indoors.”last_img read more

Full Time to Change Public Corruption in Jamaica

first_imgIt’s of significant concern that most Jamaicans seem to be taking public corruption as normal and acceptable. There are reports of a recent Jamaican poll that revealed the majority of people don’t care about corruption. This is despite the TI Global Corruption Barometer finding some 85 percent of Jamaicans regard the two major political parties as corrupt, and over 70 percent are currently more aware of corruption.   Analysis of corruption tends to agree corruption is born out of poverty, and greed among public officials and the already wealthy. While the Jamaican government and Jamaicans generally deserve commendation for the great job in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in that country, they are failing to control another devastating virus – public corruption. Another worrisome data is the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has ranked Jamaica highly among the more corrupt Caribbean countries in recent years. In 2018, Jamaica was ranked 70 worst corrupt country globally, and 8th in the Caribbean.  Barbados was ranked as the least corrupt Caribbean nation. But what’s most needed is a government who places elimination of public corruption at the forefront of its priorities. Unless government ministers, members of parliament and public officials are swiftly, aggressively penalized, including stiff prison sentences, for misusing public funds, the general public will continue taking corruption as a way of life. In 2019 as Jamaica became embroiled in the Petrojam scandal it’s rank worsened to 74 out of 198 nations. Since than incidences of public corruption has widened involving the dismissal of a cabinet minister and public officials involved with corruption at the Caribbean Maritime University, and more recently the removal of portfolio responsibilities of another government minister involved in a scandal related to lands owned by the Ministry of Agriculture. Another minister, usually commended for his ministerial responsibilities, came under scrutiny last week for alleged corruption in his ministry. Also making the news for alleged corruption was a popular ranking member of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP). The practice of corruption worsens when those elected by the people to effectively manage public funds deliberately use these funds to brazenly compensate their romantic partners, family members, and close associates. The answer seems to be through money acquired by corrupt means. Some Jamaicans tend to take it for granted “that everything in Jamaica has a price.” This price includes paying insiders within government agencies  special “under-the counter fees” for a variety services including getting licenses, documents, loans, jobs, contracts, placement in choice schools, and even bribing   police officers not to issue tickets for traffic violations.   Public corruption is a very close relative to crime. If the incumbent, or succeeding Jamaican governments, doesn’t take aggressive measures to eliminate public corruption, how can they succeed in controlling crime? If Barbados, The Bahamas and St. Vincent and the Grenadines can rank high among Caribbean countries with the least public corruption, why can’t Jamaica? It’s full time for a change. This corruption cannot be allowed to prevail. Jamaica does have a public body – The Integrity Commission charged with calling out and reducing public corruption. Obviously, the terms of the commission needs to be strengthened to enable it to be more effective in its role. Visitors to Jamaica, for example, in recent times, have returned and heard to comment on the boom of expensive residential houses, apartment and condominiums in Jamaica, and the number of high-end automobiles being driven by some people. These comments are usually accompanied by the question. “How can Jamaicans afford these residences and these vehicles?” The wealthy in developing countries, seem to be persistent in ascending on the social-economic ladder competing with members of their class for bigger, more luxurious homes in choice neighborhoods, and drive the latest model expensive automobiles. Of course, public corruption is not peculiar to Jamaica or other Caribbean counties. It’s a pandemic-like international problem affecting many global communities and economies, but it seems more prevalent in developing countries, especially some African countries. In recent weeks, news from Jamaica has reported acts of corruption mostly based on nepotism and cronyism, involving senior government ministers, parish councilors, mayors, government and opposition members of parliament, members of government appointed boards, and executives of government agencies.   A recent report indicated the cost of corruption to the Jamaican economy is costing the economy 5 percent of GDP or an estimated US$738 million annually. The poor, most struggling to provide for their household, tend to be willing to accept money for serving others corruptly, or willing, paradoxically, to pay corruptly charged fees for special privileges and benefits for their family members. Most of these corrupt practices involved offering jobs and/or plush government contracts to close and often underqualified relatives, paramours, friends; and party political supporters. Several contracts have been offered outside of the protocols established for offering government contracts. A recent report from the Jamaican auditor general indicated contracts offered to build a classroom at the Caribbean Maritime University offered to a Florida based company owned and operated by member of the Jamaican diaspora who did not tender a bid for the said contract within the set deadline.last_img read more

NFL free agency rumors: Jets divided over Le’Veon Bell decision

first_imgLe’Veon Bell remains one of the top free agents on the market.The three-time Pro-Bowl running back has been linked to the Raiders and Jets, but one team isn’t completely sold on Bell. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Jets are “divided” when it comes to acquiring the disgruntled Steelers star. The report noted: Related News NFL free agency rumors: Raiders to pursue Le’Veon Bell Bell, 27, has had three seasons with over 1,260 yards, including a 1,291​-yard year in 2017.He has 5,336 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns in his six-year career with the Steelers.However, the 27-year-old sat out all last season amid a contract dispute with the team. “There’s a general feeling in the building that Bell is worth pursuing only to a certain point. In other words, the Jets do not want to break the bank and fork over what Bell evidently wants: $15-16 million per year.​”However, New York does know it doesn’t want to be used as leverage for Bell to strike a deal somewhere else — like Oakland. According to the report, people within the organization strongly believe they were used during the Kirk Cousins negotiations last year and don’t want history to repeat itself with Bell.Still, the Jets would benefit from Bell’s presence in the backfield. The team finished 29th in total offense and 26th in rushing last season. New York’s leading rusher, Isaiah Crowell, finished the year with a meager 685 yards, and the Jets’ next best running back tallied just 343​ yards.last_img read more