Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘conflict’

Wfp ramps up food operation for ukraine and warns the world’s hungry cannot afford another conflict

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 5 marzo 2022

RZESZOW, Poland – As the emergency operation in Ukraine moved into high gear today, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) expressed deep concern about the waning ability of families in embattled areas to find food and also warned that the crisis could have consequences well beyond Ukraine’s borders. With reports coming in of severe shortages of food and water in Kyiv, the capital, and the northeastern city of Kharkiv, WFP teams are setting up operations and hubs in countries neighbouring Ukraine. These will both facilitate delivery of food assistance into the country and assist refugees coming over the borders.The immediate priority is to establish a food lifeline into Kyiv and other conflict hotspots. With consignments of food assistance arriving every day, WFP is in a race against time to pre-position food in areas where fighting is expected to flare. WFP is in the process of finding partners in Ukraine to help it distribute assistance and teams in neighbouring countries are identifying local vendors in order to purchase more stock.Amid a shortage of cash in Ukraine, WFP plans to provide assistance through food distributions, cash, and food vouchers that can be spent in selected shops. Food distributions will prioritize the big towns on the Ukraine side of the border where families are gathering as they wait to see how the conflict develops. WFP is prepared also plans to assist refugees who crossed the border to neighbouring countries. The Russian Federation and Ukraine are responsible for 29% of the global wheat trade. Any serious disruption of production and exports from the region could push food prices beyond their current 10-year highs. This will erode food security for millions of people, especially those who are already under stress because of high levels of food inflation in their countries.At the start of 2022, the world is facing an unprecedented hunger challenge, as conflict and climate shocks compounded by COVID and rising costs drive millions of people closer to starvation — threatening to increase migration and instability globally. With the numbers of hungry rising, WFP is calling for a step-change in global support for its operations.

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MEPs reiterate the need for a political solution to the Syria conflict

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 4 luglio 2020

The Foreign Affairs and Development Committee Chairs deliver remarks during the ministerial meeting at the IV Brussels conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region.The Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (EPP, DE) and the Chair of the Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE), participated in the meeting of Foreign Ministers held in the framework of the IV Brussels Conference.
The Foreign Affairs Committee Chair intervened during the first part of the afternoon plenary session, which was co-chaired by European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi. Mr McAllister stressed that from the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the European Parliament has provided a strong mandate to the European Commission and the European External Action Service in deploying all efforts to find a political solution to the conflict and for their capacity to continue to provide relief to the Syrian population both in Syria and in neighbouring countries. He also underlined that a political solution to the conflict must remain the primary objective of the international community. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must come to the negotiating table and show a clear commitment to resolving the conflict, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. There is no way around this fundamental principle and this is why it is important to ensure that the resources devoted to the immediate relief of the Syrian people will not be used for reconstruction purposes or longer-term relief in Syria, unless there is a clear commitment by the Syrian regime to adhere to the Geneva process and until a political process is underway. Mr McAllister reminded all participants that the future of Syria also very much depends on the Syrian refugees who will choose to return – once the conflict is over. They will play an active role in rebuilding their country. Facilitating access to education and to longer-term socio-economic integration for Syrian refugees is essential. Mr McAllister concluded his intervention by inviting Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria of the UN Secretary General, to the European Parliament to continue the dialogue on ways to bring an end to the conflict in Syria.The Chair of the Committee on Development intervened during the second part of the afternoon plenary session, which was co-chaired by European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič. Mr Tobé recalled how only a week ago, Parliament’s Budgets Committee approved an additional EUR 585 million to support Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in areas such as education, livelihoods, health, sanitation, water and waste services, and social protection. This is one more example of the continued commitment of the EU and its Member States – the largest donors when it comes to responding to the Syria crisis – to support the populations in need and especially those most vulnerable, such as women, children, minorities or people with disabilities. Mr Tobé, reiterated the demand of the European Parliament to respect humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, as well as safe, timely and unhindered access for humanitarian organisations throughout Syria, including through the authorisation of cross-border and cross-conflict-line humanitarian access as authorised in UN Security Council resolutions. The Chair of the Development Committee also echoed the message of the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs that the only way forward in resolving the conflict in Syria is a political solution under the auspices of the UN-led Geneva process. Until then, the international community has the responsibility to provide assistance and advocate for the protection of the Syrian population. This is what the European Parliament, and the European Union as a whole, have done for years, and will continue to do.

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FCNL Condemns Assassination, Urges Congress to Oppose Escalation of Deadly Conflict with Iran

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 gennaio 2020

In response to this week’s assassination of an Iranian military leader by the United States, Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Executive Secretary Diane Randall released the following statement:The Trump administration’s assassination of the military commander of Iran’s Quds Force is a dangerous escalation of the confrontation with Iran that will lead to more bloodshed, further destabilize Iraq, and expand conflict and instability throughout the Middle East.FCNL condemns the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and other pro-Iran militia leaders. We are opposed to all killings and condemn the killings of hundreds of Americans and other civilians by Iran’s Quds Force and their militia allies. The only way to de-escalate tensions and resolve our differences with Iran is through diplomacy.
As a Quaker organization, we hold firm to the faith that war is not the answer; neither is assassination or mass killings of innocent civilians. We believe the origin of this crisis lies with the Trump administration that has withdrawn from the international nuclear agreement with Iran, undermined diplomatic efforts, and escalated economic and military pressure on Iran. And with Congress’ failure to act to explicitly reject war with Iran and insist on diplomacy.
Make no mistake, Congress has not authorized war with Iran. But in December 2019, Congress struck language from a military policy bill that would have explicitly denied authorization for a war with Iran. That legislative language would have repealed the outdated 2002 Authorization for War with Iraq, which the administration may be using to provide legal cover for this assassination.Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Eliot Engel (NY), Sen. Chris Murphy (CT) and other members of Congress who have stated that Congress did not authorize this escalating war with Iran are correct. Congress should – as many members are already declaring – demand a full briefing on the attack and hold public hearings on the escalation of violent conflict with Iran. But Congress’ core concern should be stopping a destructive war. That is why we urge Congress to swiftly pass legislation taking away any legal justification and explicitly prohibiting funding for war.
Truly, these escalating acts of war will not end what has been an endless war in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East. This recent assassination will only unleash a new cycle of the deadly conflict at the cost of millions of peoples’ lives and livelihoods. It will be answered with violence and war, not peace.Congress has the power to stop the march to war with Iran and return our nation to the path of diplomacy and international engagement – that is the only way to prevent war. It must exercise its constitutional authority now.

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“At the Root of Exodus: Food security, conflict and international migration”

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 Maggio 2017

foodIl rapporto “At the Root of Exodus: Food security, conflict and international migration” esplora il ruolo che la sicurezza alimentare e altri fattori rivestono nello spingere le persone a migrare e attraversare le frontiere. Si tratta della prima volta che un’analisi di tale portata viene pubblicata. Lo studio, che prende le mosse da ricerche di tipo quantitativo e qualitativo, presenta spesso racconti drammatici di persone costrette a fare ricorso a misure estreme, quando rimangono con nulla.Tra le tante testimonianze, quella di una donna fuggita dalla Siria con la sua famiglia per raggiungere la Giordania, che racconta: “Per sopravvivere abbiamo dovuto mangiare delle foglie. I miei figli rimanevano svegli tutta la notte a piangere per la fame.”Un uomo di Deir Ezzor ha parlato delle sofferenze a cui ha dovuto assistere in Siria: “Hanno fatto soffrire le persone di fame, hanno rubato ciò che producevamo, hanno chiuso le scuole e hanno impedito alla popolazione di lavorare.”Il rapporto sottolinea come spesso le persone sfollate non vogliano lasciare le loro case e cerchino di rimanere il più vicino possibile al proprio paese d’origine. Quasi otto famiglie rifugiate siriane su dieci, tra quelle intervistate, sono state sfollate almeno una volta, il 65 per cento due o più volte. Quasi tutti i siriani coinvolti nello studio hanno manifestato un forte desiderio di tornare in Siria nel caso in cui la situazione si stabilizzasse e la sicurezza fosse garantita.
La pubblicazione del rapporto avviene in un momento in cui le diverse e prolungate crisi e un periodo di cambiamenti politici stanno mettendo a dura prova il livello dell’assistenza internazionale umanitaria e alimentare fornita ai rifugiati e alle persone che sono state sfollate con la forza.
Nel 2016, il WFP ha fornito sostegno a 6,9 milioni di rifugiati in 32 paesi attraverso assistenza alimentare e trasferimenti di denaro. Il WFP sta lavorando per prevenire e curare la malnutrizione fornendo cibo nutritivo specializzato ai bambini rifugiati. Nelle aree in cui il cibo è disponibile e i mercati funzionano, il WFP opera sempre più assicurando ai rifugiati trasferimenti di denaro, dando alle persone la possibilità di acquistare il cibo di cui hanno bisogno e stimolando contemporaneamente l’economia locale. Nella sua più grande operazione per i rifugiati, il WFP sostiene quasi 2,2 milioni di rifugiati siriani tra i più vulnerabili in Libano, Giordania, Turchia, Egitto e Iraq.

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From Conflict to Communion: CEC message on the occasion of historic Lund meeting

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 2 novembre 2016

pope francisToday a historic meeting takes place between Catholic and Lutheran leaders to mark the one year countdown to the 500th anniversary of the reformation. In Lund and Malmö (Sweden) Pope Francis of the Catholic Church will join Bishop Munib Younan and Rev. Dr Martin Junge, who represent the 145 churches of the Lutheran World Federation, at a service of common prayer at the Lund Cathedral. Decades of dialogue have led to this historic meeting, the first of its kind in history.On this occasion, CEC President Rt Rev. Christopher Hill KCVO, DD and CEC General Secretary Fr Heikki Huttunen have sent the following message:The Conference of European Churches, with a membership of Anglicans, Old Catholics, Protestant, and Orthodox churches knows within itself the historic divisions of the Reformation period. It also knows the God-given gift of reconciliation, which has transformed the configuration of the Churches in Europe from conflict towards communion. We therefore send greetings of the Conference on the historic celebration of the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue personified by the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the ancient university and cathedral of Lund. As we join our Lutheran and other Protestant brothers and sisters in this year of celebrating the Reformation, it is good to remember the original will and inspiration of Martin Luther to reform the Catholic Church from the inside. Today, we can recognise together the urgency and intention of this refomatory inspiration, and identify with it, thanks to the ecumenical pilgrimage of reconciliation which enables us to appreciate the different traditions we are coming from and which takes us from conflict to communion. The Lutheran World Federation has prepared a website for today’s events, including a live stream of the common prayer, which takes place at 14:30 CET. You may also wish to follow social media posts using the togetherinhope hashtag.

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Ars Sacra Festival

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 settembre 2016

pagansRoma lunedì 19 settembre 2016, alle ore 17.00 presso la Sala Fraknói dell’Accademia d’Ungheria in Roma (Palazzo Falconieri – Via Giulia, 1) si terrà la presentazione del volume PAGANS AND CHRISTIANS IN LATE ANTIQUE ROME: Conflict, Competition, and Coexistence in the Fourth Century, a cura di Michele Renee Salzman, Marianne Sághy e Rita Lizzi Testa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Il volume verrà presentato, in presenza dei redattori, dal Prof. Arnaldo Marcone (Università Roma Tre), uno degli migliori esperti sulla Roma tardoantica alla presenza degli editori e dal Dr. András Németh, scriptor greco della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Fu l’ Urbs un campo di battaglia di credenze religiose ed ideologie nel periodo successivo della vittoria di Costantino a Ponte Milvio? Si rese conto l’aristocrazia di Roma, confrontando le misure più severe contro i culti tradizionali, del risveglio pagano nel quarto secolo? Chi trasse vantaggi dal contrastare Teodosio I, “l’ultimo esercito pagano del mondo antico?” Questo stimolante nuovo volume che contiene gli atti della conferenza tenuta presso l’Accademia d’Ungheria in Roma nel 2012 riconsidera il paradigma storico della relazione tra pagani e cristiani alla luce di documenti ed approcci nuovi relativi all’ Urbs Roma. Il libro presenta una prospettiva nuova sul conflitto pagano-cristiano e offre uno sguardo fresco sulla Roma tardoantica, cambiando il modo in cui gli studiosi moderni vedono cristianesimo nella trasformazione della fede, società e cultura. (foto: pagans)

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IPPF Syrian Representative available for Interview at the World Health

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 24 Maggio 2016

siriaSummit Tuesday 24 May. In Syria, an estimated 46,500 women will suffer gender based violence, including rape, as a result of the ongoing conflict. More than 75% of Syrian refugees who fled are women and children.Women and girls are disproportionately influenced by humanitarian crises exposed to early marriage, trafficking, rape, forced pregnancies, unattended service delivery during complicated pregnancies and delivery. Women and girls are 14 times more likely to die in disaster settings than men.Dr Lama Moukea is the Executive Director of the Syrian Family Planning Association, created in 1974 and is one of the leading SRH Organisations in the country, in particular reaching the poor and the vulnerable. SFPA is part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Today, more than half of the Syrian population is in need of humanitarian assistance but only 43% of the hospitals are functional.
Everyday about 1,500 women give birth in very difficult conditions because the healthcare system is collapsing.There is a major shortage of contraceptive services and supplies. Many women are facing unwanted, unplanned pregnancies. Gender based violence has increased dramatically.The clinics have been offering reproductive health services with medical, social, psychological and legal assistance to GBV victims They have service delivery points increased from 24 to 94 across the country and we provided over 1 million services in 2015.We are developing new Static clinics all over Syrian governorates to provide comprehensive services that empower women by providing Reproductive health services, psychosocial trauma and legal support.In all of the clinics created ‘women safe spaces’ have been created which provides vocational and income generation activities.

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Syria: How much longer?

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 21 marzo 2016

syrian civil warThis week marks five years since the start of the war in Syria. More than 250,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in a conflict which has created the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. We, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, take this opportunity to call on all parties to the conflict to do everything in their power to find a long term and sustainable political solution to the conflict.We mark this commemoration with both deep sadness and great admiration for all those who have endured terrible hardships over the past five years. We reaffirm our commitment to the people of Syria, who have shown incredible fortitude and resilience in the face of adversity. We remain determined to support them as they keep striving for a better tomorrow, for a future for their children.The recent cessation of hostilities has brought a period of long-sought calm for the Syrian people and we welcome all efforts to find a political solution to this crisis. The fact remains that over 13.5 million people in Syria are still in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, five million of them children, many of whom have only known war. Daily life is characterized by fear and uncertainty. Bombs and mortars strike indiscriminately. Homes, hospitals and schools have been damaged or destroyed completely.
Some 6.6 million people have been displaced internally, often many times over. Staff and volunteers of the Syrian Red Crescent (SARC), supported by Movement partners, work tirelessly to do what they can to help, frequently in difficult and dangerous circumstances. Each month, SARC distributes relief to 4.5 million people, and it is the primary local partner for the UN and all international NGOs registered and operating throughout Syria.In the past five years, 53 SARC volunteers and staff have been killed in the course of their humanitarian work in the country, as well as eight volunteers and staff of the Palestine Red Crescent Society. We take this opportunity to pay tribute to the tremendous courage and dedication of the volunteers and staff of the Red Crescent. We urge all parties to this conflict to ensure aid workers are protected and allowed to do their jobs in safety.We also mark this anniversary by reiterating our call for regular, unimpeded access to the besieged and hard-to-reach areas of Syria. Humanitarian aid should not be dependent on political negotiations and we remind all parties to this conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) to respect civilian life and human dignity.As a Movement, we stand resolute in our determination to bring help to all those who need it. Beyond Syria’s borders, many more tragedies are unfolding. Over 9 million people have now fled the fighting in Syria, the majority to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. Millions more have risked their lives to cross into Europe. Throughout their perilous journeys, National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies have been a constant presence and a constant support. United by the Fundamental Principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff are working around the clock to provide people on the move with food, water, healthcare and reassurance. Our work in psychosocial support and restoring family links has meant that millions of families have been comforted and reunited, a glimmer of hope amongst terrible sadness. But there is much work to be done in the weeks and months to come. We stand united as a Movement to ensure the protection of migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.As the Syria conflict enters its sixth year and as another phase of critical peace talks get underway in Geneva, we urge all those with a role in the conflict to remember that they have the fate of millions in their hands.

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Risks and challenges of multinational corporations operating in fragile and conflict-affected areas

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 gennaio 2016

amsterdamAmsterdam. Wars and conflicts continue to destabilise large parts of the world. In 2014, there were more than 400 political conflicts. This includes 21 full-fledged wars, spread over the entire world, but concentrated in the Middle East, the Maghreb region and Sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, 55 million people fled their homes – as refugees or as internally displaced people. The result is that more and more businesses are currently operating in fragile and conflict-affected areas – either because they were already operating in a country when a conflict broke out, or because they arrived in a country that was already engaged in a conflict or during the post-conflict phase because they see opportunities for business. A new SOMO paper focuses on these risks and challenges, and offers recommendations on how to reduce business-related human rights violations in conflict-affected areas.Human rights abuses in conflict-affected areas, the lack of corporate accountability in such situations and the risk of sparking or intensifying a conflict are three types of risks that this paper addresses. The report highlights a number of cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo to illustrate to what degree multinational companies are involved. A local subsidiary of Dutch beer manufacturer Heineken, for example, was allegedly paying taxes to rebel groups engaged in human rights violations. Meanwhile, a local subsidiary of the Swiss-German Danzer Group, a major timber company, was accused in a German court of complicity in a violent attack on local villagers by Congolese police and military forces. In a report published last year on cobalt mining in Katanga province, it was reported that a Chinese mining company has violently ended peaceful protests by workers to demand a fair remuneration and respect for their rights, with some protesters dying in the event.‘These cases are just some notable examples’, says SOMO researcher Mark van Dorp, ‘and they reflect some of the challenges that companies encounter when operating in conflict-affected areas. Companies are confronted with questions such as: Should they be paying rebels or security forces to protect their assets? What are the criteria for assessing whether local business partners have been engaged in war crimes? And how can companies avoid buying conflict minerals or agro-commodities? Ultimately, companies should take extra care to act responsibly when operating in conflict-affected areas, because the most serious human rights abuses take place in exactly those settings.’This paper calls on governments to introduce measures to make ‘enhanced due diligence’ processes mandatory for any company, irrespective of where their operations are located, but with a special focus on companies operating in conflict-affected areas. The authors recommend that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court initiate an investigation into the conduct of corporate agents regarding their individual criminal liability for international crimes committed by their subsidiaries or business partners. This would complement the current practice of holding only political or military leaders criminally responsible. Moreover, the authors also propose including conflict sensitivity as a key aspect of international standards for responsible business practices that will serve as an added tool for the prevention of harmful practices of multinational companies in conflict settings.

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The second scenario – that of a frozen conflict – seems the most plausible

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 4 novembre 2015

ukraineIt may also be the best we can hope for. Russia already has a string of similar dependencies, from Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan, to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, to Transnistria in Moldova. Adding the Donbas region to the list may seem logical, but the choice is fraught with complications for Russia.It is extremely unlikely that the Kremlin would be ready to annex another region of Ukraine, as it did with Crimea, or even to recognise the Donbas as independent, as it did with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The industrial and mining region’s devastation is so profound that some have actually argued that Kiev should simply cede the territory and force Russia to foot the bill for reconstruction.Even assuming that the Donbas region remains part of Ukraine, the status quo cannot be sustained. The local population is in dire straits. Unless a solution can be found to allow for a resumption of social services, as well as for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, the risk of a socio-economic catastrophe will continue to grow, and with it the risk of resumed violence.In the third scenario, a negotiated settlement, would require four main elements to work. It must: 1) compartmentalise Crimea, 2) find a constitutional solution on federal status for the Donbas region, 3) shore up the Ukrainian economy and 4) begin reconstruction in the east. Above all, striking a deal with Russia would require that there should be something in it for the Kremlin, too – and that may prove the real killer.On Crimea, it should be pointed out that downgrading the conflict to a bilateral issue between Russia and Ukraine would not be tantamount to recognition of the annexation. The US and Europe, after all, never recognised the Soviet occupation of the three Baltic states, but still saw no obstacle to trade or commercial ties with those republics while they were part of the Soviet Union. As tensions mount over Russia’s presence in Syria, simply putting Crimea on the shelf may be a way forward.The next element, the federalisation of the Donbas, was one of the Kremlin’s original demands. After the fighting erupted, the very idea of any form of concession to the separatists became anathema to the Ukrainian side. Now that the weapons have fallen silent and the Minsk accord appears to be holding, it may be possible to return to talks on the region’s status. The government in Kiev is cautiously optimistic, but wants to see more evidence that fighting will not continue.Making an agreement stick would be a tall order for both sides. The Kremlin would have to let the authorities in Kiev assume full control over all border crossings, which would effectively block the separatists’ supply lines. In return, Ukraine would have to grant a high degree of autonomy to local authorities in the Donbas that are beholden to Moscow. As those bodies would have a say in federal decision making, the Kremlin would get a de facto veto power over matters such as Nato membership.If Kiev refuses to accept those terms, it risks triggering a resumption of hostilities in the east. If it accedes, it risks triggering rebellion in the centre and the west of the country. Although parties of the far right, such as Svoboda and Samopomich, do not poll more than 5 or 10 per cent in national elections, they cannot be ignored. When Ukraine’s parliament, the Rada, held a first reading of a bill on decentralisation on August 31, violent protests left three dead and dozens wounded. A right-wing rebellion, driven by accusations of treachery and betrayal, could well sweep President Petro Poroshenko from power and even break up Ukraine or turn it into a failed state.The only real safeguard against such an outcome is to strengthen Ukraine’s economy, which is a tremendous challenge. The World Bank is hopeful that economic growth will resume in 2016, but it also recognises that this year’s contraction may come to 12 per cent, considerably worse than its April projection of a 7.5 per cent drop.
Ukraine’s first taste of economic success could be easily undone. The current account has been balanced mainly through reduced imports, which became unaffordable as the country’s currency, the hryvnia, plummeted. If economic growth resumes, the external deficit will widen again. Ukraine’s budget surplus has been achieved by harsh austerity programmes reminiscent of those in Greece. Salaries and pensions have been frozen amid rampant inflation, which peaked at 60 per cent in April. It is fair to question the wisdom of such methods during a severe recession.The deal with foreign bondholders is also less than meets the eye. Originally, the savings for Ukraine was supposed to be much larger. The IMF calculated that a ‘debt operation’ entailing a write-down and rescheduling of debt held by private credits would free up the equivalent of US$15.3 billion, on top of US$17.5 billion in direct IMF assistance to Ukraine. During the debt talks, Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko had insisted that foreign bondholders would have to take a 40 per cent ‘haircut,’ even as the IMF made it clear that its continued support was contingent on a deal being reached.The question now is whether the 20 per cent debt reduction is enough ­– especially because there are big bills waiting. Russia is demanding that Ukraine repay its US$3 billion Eurobond coming due in December, and it is estimated that a further US$1 billion will be needed to secure Russian gas for the winter season. Ms Jaresko commented after the debt deal that the US$3.6 billion savings was ‘an enormous amount for us.’ Next month, Kiev may have to prepare an even bigger amount to pay its Russian debts.Meeting its current debt obligations effectively requires Ukraine to keep its budget in surplus. But running a budget surplus voids all hope of achieving economic growth of 2-4 per cent over the next few years, a level which the IMF views as essential to make the bailout work. This means Ms Jaresko was right to insist on a bigger write-down, and that a second ‘haircut’ can be expected.By far the greatest obstacle to economic revival is corruption. Last year, Ukraine ranked 142nd of 175 countries surveyed by Transparency International in its Corruption Perceptions Index. Before a recent meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German companies stand ready to invest, but only if the right conditions are in place. In plain language, that means Ukraine will have to tackle corruption and roll back the influence of the country’s notorious oligarchs.Before a recent meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German companies stand ready to invest, but only if the right conditions are in place. In plain language, that means Ukraine will have to tackle corruption. Rebuilding the Donbas region will be the most taxing of all. Output in the region has fallen precipitously since the conflict started, largely due to a 70 per cent drop in trade with Russia. Before the conflict began, Ukraine traded as much with Russia as with the EU; now the volume of trade is about half. The conflict in east Ukraine has claimed over 8,000 lives, including civilians. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced, many of whom had been employed in factories and mines that have now shut down.
If the constitutional issue can be resolved – which looks iffy indeed – it is possible to envision a process in which Russia and the West join hands to rebuild the Donbas. Since the bulk of the region’s industries were built for trade with Russia, Moscow must play a significant role. The prospect of resuming cooperation with Ukrainian defence suppliers could give the Kremlin an extra incentive. For Western firms, there are tantalising prospects for infrastructure projects and the consumer goods industry.Will any of this happen? The difficulties seem endless, not least the impossibility of scaling back sanctions while Russia is bombing Western-backed rebels in Syria. The most plausible outcome is that of frozen conflict, which in the industrial Donbas would inevitably lead to economic collapse and a resumption of violence. This would threaten the economic recovery and political stability of Ukraine as a whole.One gauge of severe ‘Ukraine fatigue’ is that the EU has given the country only US$2.5 billion in non-loan economic aid. That compares with billionaire philanthropist George Soros’s estimate that US$50 billion is needed to put the country back on its feet. While the lull in the Donbas has granted Ukraine some breathing space, the country is still facing a ‘now or never situation.’ As Mr Soros rightly noted, doing nothing would be a tragic mistake. (ukraine)

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Caritas leaders spoke of a Middle East in intensive care, suffering from multiple traumas

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 18 settembre 2014

rescueCaritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy said, “Our duty is to give hope to communities in the Middle East. As well as providing aid, Caritas organisations will work at a national, regional and international level to call for a Middle East open to all faiths, where human dignity and rights are respected, and everyone has the freedom to live in peace with their neighbours.”Keynote speaker, former government minister Damianos Kattar from Lebanon explained that the needs are so overwhelming that meeting them will be impossible.In Syria alone, if the war stopped today, it would cost more than a $100 billion and 15-25 years to rebuild the country. Extremists in Iraq and Syria are carrying out widespread ethnic and religious cleansing in the large areas under their control. Palestinians are living in an open prison in Gaza and are denied their dignity, land and rights in the occupied territories.Delegates heard from Bishop Shlemon Warduni, President of Caritas Iraq, Caritas Jerusalem Director Fr. Raed Abusahliah, Bishop Antoine Audo, President of Caritas Syria and from representatives in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.Voices from the region predicted the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq will get worse in the immediate future as conflict escalates, fuelled by weapons from foreign governments. The collapse of millennia old pluralist communities was highlighted.“Life and death are at stake,” said Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Iraqi, urging for the human rights and freedoms of all peoples be protected.“Christians in the Holy Land live under the shadow of Christ on the Cross, a symbol of suffering on Middle East,” said Fr. Raed Abusahliah, who went on to say the exodus of Christians from their homelands will be a tragedy for all faiths in the region and for the world.As well as the persecution of minorities such as Christians and Yazidis, a key concern was the occupation of Palestinian territories and the blockade of Gaza.Faced with the scale of the crisis, Caritas organisations say they must build more resilient communities through interfaith reconciliation and community empowerment.Caritas delegates agreed on a long-term work plan that will focus on inter-religious cooperation, community peacebuilding, strengthening national Caritas organisations and working more closely with Church and other faith-based groups.Archbishop Youssef Soueif, President of Caritas Cyprus and board member of Caritas Internationalis said, “This forum will help us to strengthen our humanitarian aid, to do more to advocate for the dignity of all human beings and to promote peace and reconciliation based on the Christian message of love for your neighbour.”

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International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict and the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 10 giugno 2014

sexual violenceLondon. Four Nobel peace laureates, six survivors of sexual violence and actor Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead”) are among the interviewees available to the media throughout the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in London from June 10-13.
They are leading a delegation of almost 90 activists – including grassroots women’s leaders from conflict countries – organised by the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, the first and only global network of civil society organisations working to end sexual violence. This 700-member strong network brings together legal, medical and protection experts, as well as service providers and advocates.
Danai Gurira, American Actor, Star of The Walking Dead. Danai is an award-winning playwright who has penned numerous works that highlight the strength of African women overcoming war, poverty and disease. She is also star of the American hit series, The Walking Dead.
– Her specialist areas include the impact of armed conflict on women in Liberia, and the impact of dramatic arts education
Nobel Peace Laureates available for interview include: Leymah Gbowee, Liberia (language: English): Leymah united women across Liberia in a non-violence movement that lead to the end of the Liberian civil war. She is a trained trauma counsellor and outspoken activist activist against sexual violence as a tool of war.
– Her specialist topics include: peace-building in Liberia, reconciliation, trauma, counselling, and the impact of armed conflict on women in Liberia.
– She is delivering the keynote plenary at the Summit alongside William Hague and Angelina Jolie.
Jody Williams, USA (language: English/Spanish): Jody is a disarmament expert whose leadership forged the first global treaty banning landmines in 1997. She can also speak from the perspective of a survivor – in the 1980s she survived a politically motivated sexual attack by a member of El Salvador’s notorious death squad.Her specialist topics including sexual violence and disarmament.
Tawakkol Karman, Yemen (languages: English/Arabic): Tawakkol is known as the Mother of the Revolution for her role to promote the safety and participation of women in peacebuilding processes in Yemen.
– Her specialist subject areas include nonviolent resistance in Yemen, documenting human rights abuses, supporting women journalists.
Shirin Ebadi, Iran (Language: Farsi): Shirin Ebadi, one of the first female judges in Iran, is a strong advocate for the rights of women, children and political prisoners.Her specialist subject areas including justice, political prisoners in Iran and Women’s Rights in Iran.
Survivors of sexual violence available for interview include:
Hania Moheeb, Egypt (language English/Arabic): Hania survived a brutal politically-motivated sexual assault in Tahrir Square, an experience that catapulted her into the role of outspoken activist for justice.
– Her specialist subject areas include sexual violence in Egypt, supporting women journalists and documenting and reporting gender-based violence.
Amanda Lindhout, Canada (language English): In 2008 while working as a journalist in Somalia, Amanda was kidnapped and held hostage for over a year, surviving brutal attacks of sexual violence.
– Her specialist areas include sexual violence in Somalia and sexual violence against women journalists.
Esperance Kavira, Democratic Republic of the Congo (language; French): After her own harrowing experience with sexual violence at the hands of armed forces in Eastern DRC, Esperance is now an outspoken activist who is fighting for justice.
– Her specialist areas include sexual violence in DRC, medical needs of GBV survivors in DRC, impact of armed conflict on Women in DRC. Jineth Bedoya Lima, Colombia (Languages: Spanish): Jineth is an influential war and conflict journalist from Colombia who was kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused in 2000. Today she continues to seek justice, an end to impunity and support for other women victims in Colombia through her campaign, It is not Time to Be Silenced.
– Her specialist areas include sexual violence in Colombia, Judicial reform, seeking justice for GBV survivors.
Valentina Rosendo Cantu, Mexico (languages, Spanish): Valentina is an indigenous woman who was accosted by 8 soldiers while she was washing in a creek, aged 17. She was then forced to endure a difficult journey to justice, which subsequently resulted in Mexico being ordered by the Inter-American Court to end the use of military justice in cases where soldiers commit crimes against civilians.
– Her specialist areas include sexual violence in Mexico, seeking justice for GBV survivors, and military abuse of human rights in Mexico
Wangu Kanja, Kenya (languages: English): Carjacked and brutally assaulted, Wangu Kanja resiliently rose above her trauma and now supports survivors of sexual violence to access medical, psychological and legal redress.
– Her specialist areas include sexual violence in Kenya, medical and legal needs of GBV survivors in Kenya, preventing sexual violence in Kenya

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International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 giugno 2014

gender violenceLondon. Five Nobel peace laureates will be leading a delegation of almost 90 activists – including sexual violence survivors, grassroots women’s leaders from conflict countries and actor Danai Gurira (“Walking Dead”)—attending the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in London from June 10-13.
The delegation is organised by the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, the first and only global network of civil society organizations working to end sexual violence. This 700-member strong network brings together legal, medical and protection experts, as well as service providers and advocates.
“We applaud the UK’s leadership in bringing governments together to build stronger political will for ending sexual violence,” says Jody Williams, Nobel peace laureates and co-chair of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict. “This is a turning point in our decades-long struggle as civil society to stop rape and other forms of sexual violence—and to address the urgent needs of survivors and communities directly affected by sexual violence in conflict.”
Williams (USA) will be accompanied to the Summit by her sister Nobel peace laureates Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), Shirin Ebadi (Iran) and Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala).
The Nobel peace laureates, along with US actor Danai Gurira, will be hosting two key events at the Summit:
· Wednesday, June 11, 18h30 – 20h30: Beauty in the Middle: Women of Congo Speak Out, a multi-media exhibit with images by award-winning photographer Pete Muller and featuring the voices the women of Congo speaking about their work through films by Artefact Creative.
· Thursday, June 12, 12h30 – 13h15: Launch of Survivors United for Action, the first-ever global network of sexual violence survivors focused on rape & gender violence in conflict.


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Banderas appeal

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 20 agosto 2011

Antonio Banderas, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador, makes an heartfelt global appeal “to offer hope in the name of our common humanity” to the more than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa left in need by famine, drought, conflict and high food prices.

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On the conflict in Sudan

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 18 giugno 2011

It is the height of the hunger season in Sudan and the violence that has engulfed South Kordofan is hindering WFP’s efforts to reach hundreds of thousands of people in need of food assistance. As the security situation in South Kordofan state deteriorates, I would like to echo the UN Secretary General’s deep concern about the escalation in the conflict. WFP has delivered food to more than 26,000 people who have fled the most recent violence in South Kordofan, but I am deeply concerned that any further escalation in the conflict may undermine our efforts to reach the 400,000 people we were feeding in Kordofan before this latest outbreak of fighting. More than 60,000 people are reported to be on the move in remote and inaccessible areas. Many are vulnerable women and children, who will bear the brunt of the violent upheavals. The precarious security situation is preventing us from distributing food to where it is needed most. For humanitarians it is of grave concern that we have the food, but we cannot get it out to those whose lives depend on it. If we are to reach the most vulnerable in the coming days, it is vital that we have the secure and unhindered humanitarian access that is essential for our life-saving work delivering food to the hungry..

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“Dialogue between Islam and Christianity

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 6 novembre 2010

There are eighty participants and guests including high-ranking Muslim and Christian leaders as well as renowned interfaith scholars representing Islamic and Christian organisations. During this consultation issues of common concern will be identified and addressed with the hope of being able to provide guidance for cooperation between Muslims and Christians. The Consultation will address three key issues in the present context of Muslim-Christian relations: •  Beyond Majority and Minority • From Conflict to Compassionate Justice: Building ecologies of peace  • Learning to Overcome; formulating educational tools to resolve issues
The opening keynote addresses were given by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad bin Talal, personal envoy and special advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and by Archbishop Anders Wejryd of the Church of Sweden. CEC Presidium member Rev. Thomas Wipf, President of the Swiss Protestant Churches and the Swiss Council of Religions is also attending the Consultation in that capacity. Rev. Wipf indicated in his welcome speech that in parallel with this Consultation a “Week of Religions” is taking place, for the fourth time, throughout Switzerland “which also serves to boost mutual trust between Christians and Muslims.”  CEC is also represented at this Consultation by the Rev. Dr Prof. Viorel Ionita, Interim General Secretary.

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For Democracy and Conflict Resolution

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 17 ottobre 2010

World-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind has been chosen to design a landmark building in the UK to house a new international institute working towards democracy and conflict resolution around the globe. The new Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IDCR) at the University of Essex will build on the University’s 40 years of practical and academic expertise in the field of human rights, justice and governance, and become an international beacon for democracy.
It will be the largest purpose-built institute for independent research and policy analysis in these areas, drawing on Essex’s experience as the top ranked University in the UK for social science research.
Daniel Libeskind, who won the competition to design the master plan for the new World Trade Center site in New York, has designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, and the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen. He received a Master’s degree in the history and theory of architecture at the University of Essex in the 1970s.
Daniel and his wife Nina Libeskind have a passionate interest in work which promotes democracy and conflict resolution, and have pledged their support to the University’s fundraising campaign for the Institute. Professor Todd Landman, Director of the IDCR, said: “The focus of this newly-formed Institute will be unique in combining rigorous social scientific research and policy analysis with practical experience and attention to democracy, human rights and justice. “We are delighted that Daniel Libeskind has been chosen to design the iconic building we need to expand and develop our embryonic work. The building will evoke a powerful reaction from visitors, while conveying the seriousness and purpose of an international institute.”
Experts from the University of Essex have held a number of key positions in the United Nations including the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, senior adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and member of the UN Human Rights Committee. The University’s legal experts have conducted cases in Strasbourg, establishing far-reaching precedents that have shaped the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The University’s Human Rights Centre, which was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2010 for its work in advancing human rights, has trained more than 1,500 students from more than 100 countries. They too work for international organisations including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and non-governmental organisations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Essex graduates also work in the field in conflict-torn countries including Bosnia, Kosovo, Nepal and Sudan.

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Centro Studi sul Conflict Management

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 18 febbraio 2010

Nasce a Roma il  Centro Studi Conflict Management, il primo specializzato in analisi, studi e ricerche sulla  gestione dei conflitti . L associazione collaborerà con diverse Università italiane e in particolare con La Sapienza di Roma. Il  conflitto  è una condizione inevitabile della vita di ognuno di noi, in famiglia, nell impresa, nella vita sociale e collettiva. Il  Conflict Management    letteralmente,  Gestione del Conflitto  – è quella disciplina che, data l inevitabilità del conflitto, si propone di gestirlo, considerandolo  opportunità , ed individuando le soluzioni più efficaci. Il Conflict Management – spiega l Avv. Donatella Mazza, Presidente dell associazione- consente ad esempio, di capire, e far capire, che non sempre l interesse effettivo del cliente, persona fisica o società, in una controversia, si consegue con il giudizio. Aiuta a mettere a fuoco i reali interessi delle parti, spostando l attenzione sugli obiettivi a medio e lungo termine, anziché focalizzarla sulle persone. Donatella Mazza è avvocato libero professionista, con una lunga esperienza in materia contrattuale, nei contenziosi civili, amministrativi e internazionali, e vanta una competenza specifica nella materia, con un MBA presso la Webster University   The Netherlands, e per aver insegnato Business Law a The European University dell’Aja.

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One faith. One Lord. One baptism

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 18 luglio 2009

Unity and diversity should be a leitmotif for ecumenism in Europe. This is the message from Bishop Dr Wolfgang Huber, speaking today at the 13th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), meeting in Lyon, France.  He was leading a Bible study on the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4 verse 4, which is also the theme of the Assembly: ‘Called to One Hope in Christ’. He said: “Ephesians is a hymn of praise and unity…We have to give shape to diversity and speak with one voice. As Ephesians suggest, the Christian community must stick together in the unity of one faith, one Lord, one baptism.” Bishop Huber added that ecumenical co-operation is best expressed when common challenges are faced together, such as the current financial crisis, catastrophic climate change, or where parts of the world are suffering from conflict or disorder.  Bishop Huber is Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).  Reflecting on his own experience as a young person growing up in a divided Germany he said: “We hardly dared to hope then for the unity of our continent in our lifetime.” The Bible study began the Assembly’s second full day of business, which was focused on vision. Bishop Huber said that the Churches should have a wider horizon when thinking about the future.

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Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 2 luglio 2009

Massa (ms) 3 luglio dalle 19:00 alle 21:00 via dei Margini, presso la galleria Margini di Massa 11 inaugurazione della mostra di Monika Szwed e Sticks di Sandro del Pistoia Instead. Monika Szwed è una pittrice polacca che vive e lavora a Poznan. Con la sua opera, instead, avverbio inglese che significa ‘al posto di qualcosa o qualcun altro’, Monika cerca una realtà ‘altra’ rispetto a quella visibile, una dimensione spirituale interiore che è una considerazione intima sulla vita.  I suoi riferimenti culturali, tra cui spiccano l’interesse letterario per Lewis Carroll in “Alice nel paese delle meraviglie” e per il teatro di Antoine Artaud, sono fonti da cui attingere. Comune tra questi due scrittori e l’opera di Monika è il senso, evocato, di un significato che sta dietro, da un’altra parte.  Sandro del Pistoia è scultore, fotografo, performer che vive tra Londra e la Versilia. E’ nato a Viareggio, (1979) e si è diplomato nel 2007 in scultura all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara. Nel 2007 ha partecipato a Cities from below, workshop curato a Pisa da Marco Scotini e ad Interaction and Conflict, networking a cura di Giacomo Bazzani. Dal 2007 ad oggi ha esposto in varie sedi tra cui ricordiamo la mostra Le acciughe fanno la palla al museo Galata di Genova, in qualità di collaboratore dell’artista Giuliano Tomaino, la mostra 7 italian visions a Basilea durante Art 40 Basel, la V Biennale Giovani Artisti a Pisa e la XII Biennale di Scultura a Carrara. La mostra è stata curata da Federica Forti

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