Tag: United Nations

  • CULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT | Proposal for a world culture capital of the performing arts

    Cecile Guidote-Alvarez says, “Where politics divides, arts can cement a nation and peoples together. Culture and Arts recharges memory. Without memory, we will never learn from the mistakes of the past and we would not know where to draw our strength as a springboard to realize our dream of sustainable development. The launching of Mobilizing Cultural Diversity for the UN Goals was held at the 31st ITI Congress and Theatre Olympics of the Nations in May 2006 in the Philippines. The successful event with 80 countries participating has generated impact on policy. Now, the ITI proposes for UNESCO to lead in selecting annually a world culture capital of the Performing Arts as a vehicle for practices of culture for social cohesion, transformation and harmony.”

  • ON DIPLOMACY | United Nations members agree on code to fight violence against women, girls

    NEW YORK CITY |  The United Nations has issued a declaration to fight violence against women and girls.  The AFP reports that UN members states conducted two weeks of tense negotiations mainly because some Muslim counties like Libya and Sudan took great issue with parts of the proposed declaration. The declaration “urges states to strongly condemn all forms of violence against women and girls and to refrain from invoking any custom, tradition, or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination.” The declaration also encourages UN member states to “devote particular attention to abolishing practices and legislation that discriminate against women and girls, or perpetuate and condone violence against them,” which they should “address and eliminate as a matter of priority domestic violence.” News of the declaration’s release came after a number of Muslim nations threatened to block any statement mandating tougher global standards with respect to violence against women and girls. Among other things, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and other countries objected to references in the document to abortion rights as well as language suggesting that the definition of rape include forcible behavior by a woman’s husband or partner, AFP reports. Nevertheless, the meeting ended with all member states agreeing to the final declaration. Following the accord, representatives of some UN member states grumbled about what was omitted from the document, while others applauded it. Peter Witting, Germany’s ambassador to the UN, said on Twitter that the document was “balanced and strong,” adding that the declaration “sends a much needed message to the women around the world: your rights are crucial.”

  • UN and human rights groups commemorate International Day of the Disappeared on August 30

    On this day, August 30, the international community is commemorating the International Day of the Disappeared. This annual day has been created to draw attention to the fate of the missing and disappeared people throughout the world. Many of these individuals were imprisoned or are being held under poor conditions or have gone missing in armed conflicts or other situations of violence. Their fate is unresolved. Sometimes they are civilians who have been abducted and are being detained. At other times, they may have been separated from their families while fleeing the conflicts, or they might be soldiers or civilians who have been killed and their remains improperly disposed of. The day is a reminder that many families are still unaware of the fate of their loved ones missing in conflicts. As a result, international human rights organizations everywhere have expressed their concern or solidarity.  For instance, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) calls on all governments to provide answers to families on the fate and whereabouts of missing persons. Similarly, a group called Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) issued a statement with journalists and media personnel worldwide today. So did the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. In a statement, marking August 30, 2011 as the first UN International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, this Geneva-based UN group stated: They are not alone in their struggle. Today, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances marks the first UN International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances; a special day to spotlight this heinous crime, and to remind victims, including the families and associations of victims of those who disappeared, that they are not alone. “He was arrested in 1997 and there has been no news since…” (Testimony of the mother …