Popular Posts
Follow Us
HomeWeekly Top NewsTop news of the week from 16.6.2021 to 22.6.2021

Top news of the week from 16.6.2021 to 22.6.2021

India may be contemplating further illegal measures in occupied Kashmir: Qureshi to UN, UNSC

June 16, 2021

Islamabad: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi has addressed a letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the United Nations Secretary General sharing with them Pakistan’s concern that India may be contemplating further illegal action in occupied Kashmir after its August 5, 2019 move of scrapping the region special status.

A statement by the Foreign Office in this regard on Wednesday said that the foreign minister apprised the UNSC president and the UN secretary general that there are reports indicating “India may be contemplating the imposition of further illegal and unilateral measures in the Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), including division, bifurcation and additional demographic changes in the occupied territory”.

Qureshi also drew attention to India’s continued military siege of occupied Kashmir for 22 months with a massive campaign to suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate demands and its gross and systematic violations of human rights

“The foreign minister recalled that, since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, Indian occupation forces have killed, tortured, arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of Kashmiris, and put almost the entire Kashmiri leadership behind bars,” read the Foreign Office statement.

Highlighting India’s design to undermine the exercise of the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people by changing the demographic structure of occupied Kashmir through the issuance of fake domicile certificates and other measures, the foreign minister underscored that “all the unilateral and illegal actions taken by India in IIOJK since 1951, including the measures initiated on and after 5 August 2019, and any additional unilateral changes that India may introduce in the future, are violations of international law including the Security Council Resolutions and the 4th Geneva Convention, and ipso facto null and void.”

Qureshi called upon the UNSC to “fulfil its responsibility to ensure full implementation of its resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute”, stressing that the people of occupied Kashmir have “vociferously rejected” the illegal measures imposed by India.

He has also urged the Security Council to call upon India to “end its campaign of repression” in occupied Kashmir and reverse all its illegal actions, including those initiated on and after 5 August 2019, and to “cease and desist from imposing any additional unilateral changes in the occupied territory”.

The letter affirmed that Pakistan desires peaceful relations with all its neighbours, including India, but that “the onus is on India to create an enabling environment for result-oriented engagement with Pakistan”.

It observed that a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the the relevant UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiris “is essential for durable peace and stability in South Asia”.

Qureshi’s letter was handed over to the President of the Security Council by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, according to the Foreign Office.

The foreign minister has been regularly addressing letters to the Security Council and the UN Secretary General in order to keep the UN fully informed of the grave situation in the territory occupied by India, and to remind the Security Council of its responsibility for peaceful and just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions. APP

Sonia Gandhi asks Modi to come clean on Galwan Valley incident

June 17, 2021

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi asked the Government to come clean on the Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives a year ago and sought to know the progress made in restoring status quo ante at the border.

In a statement, she said no clarity is yet available on the Chinese transgressions at the border, which PM Narendra Modi has denied. Gandhi said the Congress has patiently waited for the Government to come clean and inform the nation about the circumstances in which the unprecedented incident happened and reassure the people that the sacrifice of our brave jawans was not in vain.

The Congress chief said that the disengagement agreement with China “appears to have worked entirely to India’s disadvantage so far”. “The Congress party urges the Government to take the nation into confidence and ensure that their performance is worthy of the commitment of our soldiers who are standing bravely and resolutely at the borders,” she said in her statement. Web Desk

U.N. alarmed at sharp deterioration in Myanmar human rights environment

June 18, 2021

New York: The United Nations in Myanmar said on Thursday it was alarmed by recent acts of violence in the country that illustrated a sharp deterioration in the human rights environment there.

“The United Nations in Myanmar calls for those responsible for human rights violations to be held accountable, including the perpetrators and their chain of command,” it said in a statement.

Earlier Amnesty International in a statement said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must stop shielding the Myanmar military from international pressure and accountability, Amnesty International said today as the country’s human rights crisis continues to worsen dramatically.

With the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi having started on 14 June, the organization further urges all ASEAN member states to finally get behind calls for the release of all those arbitrarily detained in the country and support measures to stop the flow of weapons to the Myanmar military.

“ASEAN’s usual commitment to non-interference is enabling the military’s deadly rampage, fuelling a human rights and humanitarian crisis that will sink both ASEAN’s credibility and the very stability it seeks to uphold,” said Emerlynne Gil, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Research.

“Millions of people in Myanmar are losing faith in ASEAN. The regional bloc must change course and offer a lifeline to people in Myanmar by getting behind international efforts to protect civilians and urge the release of all those arbitrarily detained, including Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Aung San Suu Kyi is currently facing a total of seven charges. If found guilty, she can face decades in prison and will effectively be barred from holding office again. Her charges include violating Section 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, the Official Secrets Act, Section 67 of the Telecommunications Law and the Export and Import Law (possessing walkie talkies in her home). She also faces two charges under Section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law and “incitement” under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code. AFP

Water scarcity, drought next pandemic, warns UN

June 19, 2021

Brussels: Water scarcity and drought are set to wreak damage on a scale to rival the Covid-19 pandemic with risks growing rapidly as global temperatures rise, according to the United Nations.

“Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it,” Mami Mizutori, the UN’s special representative for disaster risk reduction, told an online press briefing ahead of the report’s release.

Already, droughts have triggered economic losses of at least $124 billion and hit more than 1.5 billion people between 1998 and 2017, according to a UN report published on Thursday.

But even these figures, it said, are “most likely gross under-estimates”.

Global warming has now intensified droughts in southern Europe and western Africa, the UN report said with “some confidence”. And the number of victims is set to “grow dramatically” unless the world acts, Mizutori said. About 130 countries could face a greater risk of drought this century under a high-emissions scenario cited by the UN.

Another 23 countries will confront water shortages because of population gro­wth, with 38 nations affected by both, it said. Drought, like a virus, tends to last a long time, have a wide geographic reach and cause knock-on damage, Mizutori said.

“It can indirectly affect countries which are not actually experiencing the drought through food insecurity and the rise of food prices,” Mizutori said.

The UN expects more frequent and severe droughts in most of Africa, central and south America, central Asia, southern Australia, southern Europe, Mexico and the United States. AFP

Egypt contributes largely to peacekeeping, peacebuilding across world: Elena Panova

June 20, 2021

Cairo: Egypt plays a leading role in contributing to peacekeeping and peacebuilding around the world, according to Elena Panova, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt.

Her remarks came on the sidelines of the celebration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Panova said that since 1960, when Egypt first joined the UN peacekeeping operation in Congo, Egypt has been a consistent and valuable contributor to peacekeeping. More than 30,000 Egyptian police and military have served under the flag of the UN in 38 peacekeeping missions in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Regrettably, she mentioned that more than 35 peacekeepers lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations paying the ultimate price for keeping the peace.

“Egypt currently provides nearly 3200 military and police officers to the UN peacekeeping and is the seventh contributor overall, incl. the third largest contributor of police, and the eighth contributor of military experts,” Panova said.

“This contribution is recognized globally. And the re-election of Egypt as rapporteur of the UN special peacekeeping operations committee and its election as Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission earlier this year demonstrate this recognition,” she continued. 

Further, she pointed to the adoption of the Cairo Roadmap on Enhancing Peacekeeping Operations as the African Union position shows the thought leadership of Egypt on this topic. She said that this demonstrates the two sides of the commitment of Egypt: as a leader in the global policy discussions, and as a contributor to missions on the ground.

The United Nations chose as theme for this year’s International Day of Peacekeeping: “the Road to Lasting Peace: Leveraging the Power of Youth for Lasting Peace and Security”.

“Looking ahead, we need to keep the momentum and strengthen our partnership for collective action to promote and enhance peacekeeping performance.  In this regard I would like to share three notions,” according to Panova.

“First, we need to do more to support missions in the most challenging environments especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

She noted that the pandemic caused further instability in fragile contexts. Food shortages and spikes in food prices stemming from COVID-19-related restrictions threaten to create unrest in many parts of the world. She said that UN operations will need to help manage these stresses in many of the countries where they are deployed

She assured that the strategic partnerships are the key towards the effective capacity building and collective engagement of the peacekeeping contributors.

In this regard, Panova commended the partnership between the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) and the United Nations Family in Egypt for fostering dialogue, negotiation and mediation; early warning and early response and crisis management.

Second, she said that women peacekeepers are essential in promoting peace and security. Panova noted that there has been progress on increasing the numbers of women in peacekeeping at all levels, but slow progress. Ultimately this is about improving the performance of missions, as noted in UNSC Resolution 2436.

She explained that increased  participation of women in peacekeeping missions will improve trust building with the communities and better address women’s vulnerabilities and needs.

“We need to work together to remove barriers that prevent women from being deployed in peacekeeping missions,” she said.

Third, she said that United Nations peacekeeping missions must set standards for sustainability and environmental management. She explained that destruction of natural resources, contamination and land use pressure are all potential conflict consequences.

Panova said that the “Greening the Blue Helmets” initiative opens a new chapter for the UN in leading by example towards a greener and more equitable world. It highlights that sustaining peace and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin.

Panova concluded her speech with a quote from the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres; “UN peacekeeping is an investment in global peace, security and prosperity. The blue helmets are a concrete expression of the Charter’s determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

On behalf of the UN, Panova expressed her gratitude to the Government for Egypt’s contribution to peacekeeping and its role in promoting international peace, security and sustainable development. AFP

UN special envoy Angelina Jolie visits refugee camp in Burkina Faso

June 22, 2021

Ouagadougou: Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie visited a refugee camp in Burkina Faso sheltering thousands of Malians who have fled jihadist violence in the region.

Jolie visited the camp at Goudebou, in the northeast of the landlocked west African country, as part of her role as an ambassador for the UN refugee organisation, the UNHCR.

Jolie arrived by helicopter accompanied by Burkina Faso s Foreign Minister Alpha Barry for a ceremony to mark World Refugee Day. “I have marked this day every year for 20 years with refugees in different countries,” she said after her visit. “I have never been as worried about the state of displacement globally as I am today,” she added.

“The truth is we are not doing half of what we could and should to find solutions to enable refugees to return home — or to support host countries, like Burkina Faso, coping for years with a fraction of the humanitarian aid needed to provide basic support and protection.”

An attack in March last year forced some 9,000 refugees, sheltering there despite previous raids, to flee — and caused its de facto closure.

Since December, the Burkinabe authorities and the UNHCR have been relocating the refugees there, having stepped up security at the camp. There are now more soldiers posted at a new barracks and increased patrols.

Between December and July, nearly 11,000 people from towns in Burkina Faso s north have returned to Goudebou, said the UNHCR.

“The refugees are battered because the security situation is deteriorating day by day despite the efforts by the Burkinabe authorities, their partners and the defence and security forces in the Sahel region,” said Wanadine ag Mohamed, the representative for the Goudebou refugees.

He pointed to the June 4-5 attack on the northeast village of Solhan where gunmen killed at least 132 people, according to the Burkinabe authorities.

Since 2012, around 22,000 refugees of various nationalities have found refuge in Burkina Faso, including many Malians fleeing the abuses of jihadist groups in northern and central Mali.

But Burkina has in turn become the target of attacks by Al-Qaeda- and Islamic State-linked jihadists since 2015 which have left more than 1,400 dead and forced a million people to flee their homes. AFP

Ouagadougou: Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie visited a refugee camp in Burkina Faso sheltering thousands of Malians who have fled jihadist violence in the region.

Jolie visited the camp at Goudebou, in the northeast of the landlocked west African country, as part of her role as an ambassador for the UN refugee organisation, the UNHCR.

Jolie arrived by helicopter accompanied by Burkina Faso s Foreign Minister Alpha Barry for a ceremony to mark World Refugee Day. “I have marked this day every year for 20 years with refugees in different countries,” she said after her visit. “I have never been as worried about the state of displacement globally as I am today,” she added.

“The truth is we are not doing half of what we could and should to find solutions to enable refugees to return home — or to support host countries, like Burkina Faso, coping for years with a fraction of the humanitarian aid needed to provide basic support and protection.”

An attack in March last year forced some 9,000 refugees, sheltering there despite previous raids, to flee — and caused its de facto closure.

Since December, the Burkinabe authorities and the UNHCR have been relocating the refugees there, having stepped up security at the camp. There are now more soldiers posted at a new barracks and increased patrols.

Between December and July, nearly 11,000 people from towns in Burkina Faso s north have returned to Goudebou, said the UNHCR.

“The refugees are battered because the security situation is deteriorating day by day despite the efforts by the Burkinabe authorities, their partners and the defence and security forces in the Sahel region,” said Wanadine ag Mohamed, the representative for the Goudebou refugees.

He pointed to the June 4-5 attack on the northeast village of Solhan where gunmen killed at least 132 people, according to the Burkinabe authorities.

Since 2012, around 22,000 refugees of various nationalities have found refuge in Burkina Faso, including many Malians fleeing the abuses of jihadist groups in northern and central Mali.

But Burkina has in turn become the target of attacks by Al-Qaeda- and Islamic State-linked jihadists since 2015 which have left more than 1,400 dead and forced a million people to flee their homes. AFP

Rate This Article:
No comments

leave a comment