VIDEO: RUSSIA-AZERBAIJAN: ‘ Closed door talks on Energy ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Post:June.13: The leaders of Russia and Turkey have held talks behind closed doors in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. They attended the opening ceremony of the first European Games, before discussing energy projects and the Ukrainian conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counteroart recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed large energy projects, such asthe construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,and the situation in Ukraine, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov revealed. The leaders confirmed their readiness to bring bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Turkey to $US 100 billion by 2020. In 2014, trade between the two countries exceeded $31 billion.

During a photo session that preceded the talks, the presidents didn’t talk much and only exchanged opinions about the previous day’s opening ceremony. The presidents agreed the ceremony was superb and wished success to the host team of Azerbaijan.

When President Erdogan remarked that none of the EU leaders had attended the event, President Putin replied: “As EU accession candidate, Turkey represented the whole of the European Union.”

The Russian delegation included Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, head of Gazprom Aleksey Miller, head of Rosatom nuclear monopoly Sergey Kirienko and the Russian president’s senior foreign policy adviser, Yury Ushakov.

In December 2014, after opposition from the EU, Russia announced the scrapping of the South Stream gas pipeline project that would have bypassed the current routes via Ukraine. Moscow presented a new project, the Turkish Stream – a gas pipeline that will pass through Turkey.

This new 1,100-kilometer transportation route will be laid out under the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. It will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and the EU border. Europe will have to arrange a means of accessing the gas by itself.

The Turkish Stream will consist of four lines with a capacity of up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Some 16 billion will be reserved for Turkey; the rest will go to Europe when the necessary infrastructure is in place.

In 2014, Russia supplied 27.4 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, primarily through the Blue Stream pipeline that also passes across the Black Sea. Russia and Turkey agreed earlier to increase Blue Stream capacity from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year.

Tension between Moscow and Ankara had arisen after Putin attended the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), which took place in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

President Erdogan had threatened to withdraw the Turkish ambassador from Russia, but the meeting in Baku apparently diffused things. President Putin congratulated Erdogan on his party’s win in Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 7.

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` USAID : Could have assisted in the overthrow of `Viktor Yanukovitch’ having funded Opposition Groups’

#AceNewsServices says that The US on-line whistle-blower magazine Pando has leaked documents that suggest the American government in the form of US Agency for International Development (USAID) could have played the role of force multiplier in the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych, having funded a host of opposition groups prior to the revolution.

USAID LARGEPando published financial documents, showing numerous funding entries for NGO activities across Ukraine, including in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Ternopil, Sumy, and elsewhere, mostly in the Ukrainian-speaking west and center. The list also names US-based contributors, such as billionaire George Soros, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his Omidyar Network foundation, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded largely by the US Congress.

According to the leaked papers, a network of interlocking NGOs– Chesno (Honestly), Center UA and Stop Censorship, to name a few – were growing in influence in Ukraine by “targeting pro-Yanukovych politicians with a well-coordinated anti-corruption campaign that built its strength in Ukraine’s regions, before massing in Kiev last autumn.”

The fundraising papers show that from October 2011 to December 2012 USAID providedChesno with a hefty sum of over $421,000, while also planting nine of Center UA experts on its staff whose duty it was to manage the NGO’s affairs on the regional level, coordinate its efforts, provide photo and video coverage, as well as creative input.

Hence, it may well be that the activities of Chesno, which bills itself as a civil watchdog movement bent on “filtering the power,” received a large percentage of funds from American taxpayers under the watchful eye of the US Agency for International Development.

Chesno was set up on 29 October 2011 as part of the “Let’s Filter the Parliament in 24 hours” campaign, which happened just as the Ukrainian opposition was discussing a unified structure in a bid to consolidate its efforts. Its public face was Oleg Rybachuk, a prominent politician in the country and the right-hand man to Orange Revolution figurehead Viktor Yushchenko.

It was reported earlier that the Maidan unrest in the late 2013 drew large scores of western foreigners in Ukraine’s capital Kiev, including the so-called “mercenaries” from the United States, Germany and Poland.

“There weren’t many Russians there, compared to some 60 people from the United States, around 30 and up to 50 Germans, as well as Poles, Turks and many others,” one of the participants, who identified himself as Vladimir, confessed.

The heavily fortified Maidan camp in Kiev’s Independence Square was the flash point of the anti-Yanukovych uprising. It attracted some of the most prominent, if not exactly controversial, public people from the West. Among them were US Republican Senators John McCain and Ryan Murphy. McCain promised protesters the support of the American nation and quoted the 19th-century Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in his podium speech.

Another Maidan guest was US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland hand in hand with the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt. The US couple met with top insurgents and gave out cookies to the hungering crowd.

Voice of Russia, Pando, RT

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Russia: Ayshat’s Story: “One Woman’s Fight to Help Other’s to Fight Abuse”

#AceNewsServices says this story is about one woman who was kidnapped and forced into an abusive relationship, forced into marriage and is now trying to help others with their problems, even though she has had a brain tumour! 

This story really moved me when it was sent to my news desk and l first read it!  

Ingush (Ingushetia, Eastern part of Prigorodny...

Ingush (Ingushetia, Eastern part of Prigorodny District, Chechnya and Turkey) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soon after the fall of communism, Ayshat (not her real name) was kidnapped by a stranger who wanted to marry her. Such kidnaps are not unusual in ultra-conservative Ingushetia, or in any of the North Caucasus republics. What is rare is Ayshat’s courage in speaking out. She tells the story of her violent marriage, breaking silence in the hope of persuading other women to resist abuse.

Ayshat sits in the small basement office of a women’s NGO in Ingushetia. Pale, determined, articulate, she looks older than her 40 years. With no relatives to support her, she is raising her son alone, on her small income, which is extremely unusual in Ingushetia. Her thick hair is cut fashionably short – also a rarity in Ingushetia, where women pride themselves on their long locks. It had to be cut when she was first treated for a brain tumour. Now she has learned at the hospital that the cancer has returned, and she needs an operation in Moscow which she cannot afford. When she broke down, a kind nurse referred her to this NGO. Ayshat is clear that her tumour is the result of her ex-husband’s violence.

 I’d better start with how I met my – now ex – husband. I was a nurse, working in the resuscitation department. One day a colleague said to me ‘this man’s just back from Barnaul. He’s a great guy, I’d like to introduce you’. I agreed. Next day he turned up, when I was on my shift. We talked. I didn’t like him at all, didn’t like the way he talked or behaved.  I was quite clear – this was not my kind of man. I refused him, politely.  I was about to take my entrance exam for medical school and I had a lot of revising to do. I wanted to study gynaecology.  We only had that one conversation. He seemed to have got the point.

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Next morning, I was on my way home after the night shift when he came up and asked if he could walk with me. I said I’d rather he did not, I thought I’d made my position clear – I was not looking for a husband. Suddenly this car drives up, two men leap out, drag me in, drive me off to Nazran and lock me into this fifth floor flat!

I resisted, of course. Said I’d never agree to marry him. But he took no notice. I did try to escape. I found there was a balcony – the adjoining apartment had one too. I asked my kidnappers, who were keeping guard in the next room, if I could close the door for five minutes. Then I climbed onto the neighbour’s balcony. I thought ‘I’ve done it, got away!’ Imagine – you realise you’re going to have to live with a man you don’t even like! I was in such a state, shaking from head to foot. I banged on the neighbours’ window. But there was no one there.

That was when I understood – no one was going to rescue me. I was going to have to go back. For a moment, standing on that fifth floor balcony, I thought ‘why not just throw myself off?’ I was distraught. I lay down again quickly in case they came to check up on me. When they did, I pretended I was alright. I lay there thinking how to escape. I’d got to, somehow. But I never managed it.

Then the men took me off into the depths of Chechnya, as my relations were all saying ‘Give us back our girl’. They told the elders I was fine with it. The elders said ‘Bring her here, so we can ask her ourselves’. So they thought up this wheeze. They took some other girl – none of my close relations were there, and our clan elders are so distantly connected to me that they wouldn’t have known what I looked like. The elders asked the girl ‘Have you agreed to this?’ She said yes.  And the elders gave their blessing. So they – well, they married me off in my absence.

But the old men suspected something wasn’t right. They demanded the men produce the real bride. My kidnappers were very cunning. They decided to keep me overnight, in the hope they’d be able to win me round. That night they piled on the pressure; stood over me, going on and on in this monotone: ‘Come on, come on. It’ll be fine. He’s a great fellow..’

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In the end, next morning, I gave in. I guess I was just worn out. I felt I was offering myself as a sacrifice. I do that. I’ve been like that since I was a child. It’s done me so much harm. This wanting to please everyone, whatever it costs me.

So that’s how it started, my married life, if that’s what you can call it.

Right away I knew he had problems. For a start, he drank a lot. After they stole me they sat in the next room and drank. The next day there they were again, getting drunk, and the day after. I hated it. But I thought maybe it would pass, that he was drinking because he was so happy.

We were married a week later. This woman from Barnaul came to the wedding. They said she and my husband were old friends. I never suspected a thing. I was very trusting. I believed, still believe, that men and women can be friends. So I welcomed her. I was so young, so inexperienced! But the way she talked, the things she said, breathed jealousy. She hated me. She’d say to my husband, sarcastically: ’Look what a beauty you’ve chosen!’ She even tried undressing me! ‘Let me see your breasts, your legs – my, what a girl!’ If I’d been more experienced I’d have realised she was his lover. I was surprised. But I didn’t suspect a thing. …

A few days later we all went to Barnaul, this lover, my husband. Me. That’s where my married life began. Awful it was. His lover wouldn’t leave him alone. She was always picking fights – even when I was there. I was so naive – even then I didn’t realise they were lovers. And because she was always on at him, he’d lash out at me.

She’d be there every day, asking me these questions, about how things were in bed. I was so naive I’d tell her. She was forever bringing me presents, cakes. When I ate them I’d feel terrible. Yes, it sounds weird, but it’s true. After eating anything she brought me I’d feel bad. I couldn’t understand it. Nor could he – I was so healthy. Maybe it was something to do with her jealousy. I lost 10 kilos in three months. I got so weak, though usually I was full of energy, racing round the house, cooking, never sitting down, trying to please my husband. That’s how I was brought up. I wanted to be a perfect wife.

Today, I wonder how I could have behaved like that.  It goes back to my childhood, I suppose. I grew up in a very conservative family. Our father was very strict. Maybe – even despotic. Sometimes he was nice, of course, but he was always criticising us. Never praised us, however much we tried to please him. So my sisters and I grew up believing we had to please everyone.

My husband soon clocked that, and made use of it. I was afraid of him right from the start. He’d get this terrible look in his eyes, start shouting, throwing things at me. For no reason! Saucepans, ashtrays, watches, anything that was around. Once he threw a pan of hot fat. He’d grab these big knives.  I’d burst into tears, I could see he was sick. I was scared. When the rage had died down he’d be sorry: ‘I’m a fool, I don’t know why I do these things. I love you more than anything in the world.’ Then I’d forgive him. I pitied him – poor man, what must they have done to you to make you like this!

Pity. My capacity for pity – it’s a bad joke. It’s played a fatal role in my life. I should have looked after myself better.

I was a long way away from my parents. If they been there, maybe I’d just have run away when he started beating me up. But I didn’t know how to. For a start, he never gave me money. Maybe he was afraid I’d… It wasn’t that he was mean. But he never left money at home. And considering how he lived – the lovers, the restaurants – he must have felt he needed it, just in case. He’d never let slip an opportunity. After spending the whole evening with one woman, on the way home he’d manage one more bit of skirt. By the time he got home at two o’clock in the morning I’d be worn out. Then he’d start on me. That’s what he was like.  Relentless. A compulsive womanizer.  

When he beat me I would not say a word. Then he’d beat me because I did not say anything. He didn’t know why he was doing it. He just beat me. Then he’d be sorry. At other times he’d yell: ‘You’re a nobody!’ He didn’t mean it – he’d say anything to make sure I didn’t leave. He wanted me to feel dependent, vulnerable. As time when on, I got bolder – I’d yell at him, try to stand up for myself. We’d have huge rows. I had a temper too.

After five or six years I got pregnant. Then he left. Made some excuse about having to earn money. Was gone for months, with his lover.  I didn’t hear a word from him. Then he turned up, when I was eight months gone. That same day he beat me up so badly I had to escape. I scrambled out of the window, barefoot. It was August. We were living in Alma-Ata [ed: now Almaty] then. It’s a very big city. I kept walking and walking. I had no idea where I was going. Then I reached this wood. I never wanted to see that man again. I wanted to die. I’d come to this wood to put an end to my life.  I was furious. How could he beat me up, knowing that I was with child?

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I didn’t do it, obviously.  I sat there for twenty minutes or so, thinking it through. And realised I was wrong – I didn’t have the right to kill another life. I pulled myself together and set off in the direction of home. Barefoot. Finally a car stopped and gave me a lift. I had this neighbour, Aunt Katya. Russian. A very good woman. I went to her. She knew about my life. She was always telling me to leave. She put me to bed, prayed over me and went to bawl out my husband. He was all smiles, denied we’d had a row, though it was obvious he’d been really worried – I’d been gone all day, it  was dark. I refused to talk to him. I was hurting all over.

A month later, when I was about to give birth, he left again. He had this very young lover in Barnaul. He went to her, left me without a ruble. Throughout my pregnancy I hadn’t had enough money to feed myself properly, to buy nappies, pay the doctor. I’d had to turn to his brothers for help.

After the birth I came home. I had no milk. I spent these sleepless nights alone with the crying baby, who was very weak. I cried too. I was afraid for the baby. He was having convulsions – we were always calling the ambulance. The brothers would bring food. But then they’d expect me to cook for them. They’d be there every day with their friends and I’d be cooking with one hand, holding the baby with the other. Round midnight Aunt Katya’d come and take the child. And I’d run out to the bathhouse and wash the nappies.  The child was having diarrhoea. So I had to keep changing him. I was like a robot. I will forever be grateful to that woman.

My husband turned up again when the child was two months old. To be honest I was very happy to see him. I took him into the child’s room ‘Here he is – our son!’  He’d told me more than once that if I gave him a son he’d cover me in gold. But now he took one look and said: ‘He’s not very like me!’ I was hurt. That he could say that, after everything I’d been through during the pregnancy and after, when he was away! How ashamed I’d been to have to leave the maternity ward without paying the doctors. Of course, I could not pay them back later, as I had no money for a long time.

Something broke in me at that moment – this man could not even share our joy at having a child. It was as if he was saying the child wasn’t his. Had his lover put the idea into his head? I don’t know. Well, he spent two months at home and in all that time, though he could see how much the baby was suffering, from pain, from illness, how wretched I was, he never once came and helped.

English: This is the logo of CONCORD, the Euro...

English: This is the logo of CONCORD, the European NGO confederation of Relief and Development NGO’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In common with their Chechen neighbours, the Ingush population was accused by Stalin of colluding with the Nazi enemy during the Second World and deported to Kazazhstan. Although many returned under Khruschev, the links between Ingushetia and Kazakhstan remain strong to this day. 

When the child was four months old he got convulsions so badly we went to the hospital. He was at death’s door. I rang my husband and asked him to talk to the doctor and pay him. I lost 7 kilos that night. The doctor managed to save him. But my husband went to his lover. Just ran away, leaving us to handle the crisis on our own. He didn’t even leave me any money. I didn’t see him again ‘til the child was 10 months old. We’d travelled home to Ingushetia for my husband’s brother’s wedding. The baby was more grown up – he stroked him, played with him. Then left again for Barnaul.

Did I already say that my husband was an addict, as well as alcoholic? At first he only smoked weed, then he got onto prescription drugs. One of his lovers was a nurse – she got them for him. Then they did this check at her hospital and found that a lot of medicines with these drugs were missing. They suspected her. It was going to court. Well – she hung herself. My husband showed no regret at all. He didn’t know what compassion was. It was the drugs, I suppose. I know addicts become cruel, and that gets worse with time.

At one point he’d overdosed badly.  A friend had brought heroin, they’d both shot up and gone out like lights. I was too embarrassed to call the neighbours – they respected us, I didn’t want them to know he was an addict. I was in such a panic I never thought of ringing his friends. At last his friend recovered and we dragged my husband onto the bed. He wouldn’t let me call an ambulance, it wasn’t the first time it had happened, he said. My husband lay there for days. I bought medicine – I’m a medic, I knew what to get. When he came round he couldn’t remember much. Forgot names. I nursed him through that.

After two years away, he came back to Ingushetia, where we were now living. For a couple of months he did not touch a drop – because of his parents. He’d become all quiet, quite unlike himself. I was worried about him – now he was ill I couldn’t just walk out him.

We went back to Barnaul and for a while we lived quietly, no quarrels, no fights. Then one day a friend came by with drink and that was it. Over night my quiet husband lost it, started having hallucinations, saying these unbelievable things. I went to the doctors. They said he was past helping, that after such a heavy overdose the damage was usually irreparable. I begged them, said that I couldn’t leave him in trouble, after 20 years together They looked at me as if I were mad. One of them took pity on me and prescribed some medicine. When I gave it to my husband he shouted at me, said it was me, not him, that was sick.

Still, he was getting worse all the time. He was having hallucinations. He’d tell his brothers -we were back in Ingushetia – that people had seen me sitting in a car late at night, that I was being unfaithful. His brothers laughed at him. But he was beating me up, tormenting me, mocking the child. It got so bad that his brothers had to take me to his parents. It got to the point where his brothers took my mobile, went to the police and went through all the calls and texts I’d made. I knew he was ill, that it was pointless arguing with him. If I hadn’t been a medic myself I’d have left, but I knew he needed help, so I tried to tell his relations. But no one would listen.

The last two months were a nightmare. I kept my phone in my pocket, my finger on the emergency button. His youngest brother and I agreed that I’d call if he attacked me. So when he started I’d press the button and in ten minutes the brother’d be there and take me to his parents’. After a few days, I’d go back. I don’t know why. I felt guilty, I couldn’t leave him in that state.

Once my husband outwitted me. I was asleep with the child late one night when he knocked at the door. He asked for my phone, said he had to make a call. Stupidly, I gave it to him. He looked at me with this mad smile and put the phone under the pillow. He took me out on the balcony and started hitting me, trying to make me confess – that I’d been with someone. I tried to reason with him, but he kept hitting me harder and harder. I became so afraid he was going to kill me that I admitted everything. I shouted for help, but he just hit me harder. At some point passers-by heard my shouts, saw me standing by the window in my nightdress, being hit. They started whistling, so he left off. When they’d gone he asked me where I’d hidden my wig. When I said I’d never had one, he punched me in the stomach. I doubled over from the pain and he started kicking my head. The first blow was so hard I thought he cracked my skull. I knew he’d done something serious. He kicked me like a ball, so I bounced against the balcony door. He must have realised he’d gone too far. He told me to go to sleep, that he’d kill me if I breathed a word.

Luckily, his brother rang in the morning. He took us to his relations. Then the elders decided we should get a divorce. They decided that I should stay in the flat with the child, and he would go to his parents. That’s how our marriage ended.

When I got back to the flat with the child, I found this huge kitchen knife wedged in the sofa when I was cleaning. My husband must have hidden it, in order to kill me. What if I’d gone back to him one more time!

After that, although the elders had agreed I should have the flat, his relations would not let me live there. I agreed to leave. I just wanted to forget it all. I’d been having these awful headaches. They found this tumour on my brain. Now I’m facing a very serious operation. That’s where the heedlessness of youth led me. Now I am the invalid, the one who needs help.

I’d like to make this appeal to all women. My dears! Don’t put up with it. Run away from men like that!

Least you will not end up like me. 

 

Illustrations Courtesy of and by Jess Wilson 


This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence. If you have any queries about republishing please contact us. Please check individual images for licensing details.

 

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Russia: “The Federal Drug Turnover Control Service” and the “Magnitsky Act”

#AceNewsServices says according to the RIA“The Federal Drug Turnover Control Service” has prepared a bill allowing foreign officials with alleged connections in illegal drug business to be added to a special list, resulting in an entry ban and asset freeze.

The draft document has already been published on a special government website so the public can discuss it.

CIA Map of International drug pipelines

CIA Map of International drug pipelines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The current version reads that the sanctions must be applied to [foreign] people who officially hold state powers and who, through their action or inaction, assist in the avoidance of punishment by people who commit crimes concerning the illegal turnover of drug substances.”

It also suggests blacklisting foreigners responsible for activities leading to the lifting of sentences or other cancellation of punishment for those convicted of drug-related crimes.

In addition to the ban on entering the Russian Federation and freezing of all assets in Russian banks and companies, the blacklisted officials would be banned from sponsoring NGOs registered on Russian territory. In case this restriction is violated, the involved NGOs would be shut down, the bill suggests.

Drug Enforcers want the final blacklist to be made by the Foreign Ministry. The particular decisions would be made in accordance with information of operative importance,” but this definition is not explained.

The bill emphasizes the fact that imposing the sanctions does not require a court order because Russian law has a separate provision for people convicted of drug-related crimes.

Current Russian visa rules read that any foreign national, including officials, can be officially refused entry if it contradicts Russia’s national interests.

The Magnitsky ActIn addition, when the United States introduced the so-called Magnitsky Act blacklisting Russian officials, police and tax agents and court figures for their alleged role in Human Rights violations – Russia reciprocated with its own bill. Dubbed the Dima Yakovlev Law (and sometimes the Guantanamo List), it imposed sanctions on US officials and civil servants allegedly involved in human rights violations and unlawful prosecution of Russian citizens in the USA

 

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Twenty Years of Human Rights – How Far Have We To Go!

20 years plus Human Rights#AceWorldNews says as this year marks 20 years and the anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and this extract is a statement and confirmation of the UK Government.

Human Rights Day 2013 The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action confirmed the universality of all human rights and led to historic advances in their promotion and protection. It continues to be a source of inspiration for the EU, to strive for further human rights improvements.

We work both collectively and bilaterally to promote human rights, democracy and good governance in Rwanda. The situation in Rwanda is constantly evolving. Rwanda has made impressive gains, particularly in the areas of economic development and poverty reduction. We applaud the ambition of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 – to transform Rwanda into a thriving, middle-income, regional trade and investment hub.

Teaching Children RacismIn doing so, we reinforce the message that human rights and sustainable development go hand in hand. An open, democratic and transparent system will encourage universal respect for human rights. We also commend Rwanda for their engagement with the international community on human rights questions, for example through the mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review. We would encourage Rwanda to continue that engagement, including with the mid-term progress review this year and the full review in 2015.

As we continue to support Rwanda’s development, we encourage the Government of Rwanda to wholeheartedly engage with and promote the debate on human rights issues. We see positive examples, like progressive media laws. We urge the Government to continue working towards the principle that human rights should be universal. That includes those in detention, facing trial or advocating for greater political freedoms.

While progress is acknowledged, we see continuing challenges in a number of areas, notably, in obstacles encountered by human rights groups and other NGOs operating in Rwanda, illegal detentions and the registration of political parties. We are concerned about some individual cases, such as the sudden change in leadership of the human rights defender LIPRODHOR and the unresolved murder of an employee of Transparency International in July 2013.

We would like to emphasize that we stand ready to assist the Rwandan Government in addressing these issues, and to develop our dialogue based on mutual respect and shared values.
Twenty years ago, leaders acknowledged that while the significance of regional and national particularities and various backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of states, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU and Rwanda share a commitment to advancing the cause of human rights nationally and globally, and we look forward to continue working with the government and people of Rwanda to realise this commitment.

Signed

  • HE Leoni Cuelenaere, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • HE Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • HE Michel Flesch, Ambassador of France
  • Maria Håkansson, Chargé d’Affaires, Swedish Embassy
  • HE Ben Llewellyn-Jones, High Commissioner, British High Commission
  • HE Marc Pecsteen, Ambassador of Belgium
  • HE Michael Ryan, Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union

#aceworldnews, #africa, #european-union, #germany, #human-rights, #non-governmental-organization, #politics-of-rwanda, #rwanda, #universal-periodic-review, #vienna

#AceWorldNews says the other day was an an opportunity…to End Violence Against Women

Ending Violence Against Women#AceWorldNews says the other day was an opportunity for each person to recommit to ending the harm being committed against one out of three women, senior United Nations officials said marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7307“>said in his message for the Day, which this year focuses on the theme of raising awareness by wearing the colour orange.

Mr. Ban applauded leaders who are helping to enact and enforce laws and change mindsets, and paid tribute to the heroes who help victims heal and become agents of change. Among those, Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), who the UN chief met last month, and who in turn, is inspired by the courage of the women he treats.

English: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Vice Presiden...

English: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Vice President of South Africa, during the official visit of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, in Capetown, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In her first message for the Day as UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, urged world leaders to “mount a response that is proportionate to the violence threatening the lives of women and girls.”

“We need education in schools that teaches human rights and mutual respect, and that inspires young people to be leaders for equality,” she <“http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/11/press-release-ed-message-25-november“>said in a video message, adding that to be effective, prevention to must address gender inequality as the root cause of violence.

Speaking to journalists in New York, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri called gender-based violence a “gross human rights violation” and a “pandemic”.

Wearing orange scarfs uniformly with the other panelists to call attention to the orange theme, she noted that violence takes many forms – physical, psychological, economic and sexual – and that it is more dangerous to be a woman in conflict and post-conflict situations than to be a soldier, given the use of rape as a war tool.

She also called attention to the most common place for violence against women and girls – the home – which is the place they are supposed to be the safest.

Journalists also heard from Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, who noted that while he was the only man on the panel, the issue mainly concerns men since they are traditionally the perpetrators of the violence.

More than 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“This is not acceptable: better laws and their enforcement are needed,” <“http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/11/25/violence-against-women-is-not-acceptable-and-can-be-prevented/“>said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator.  She called for law enforcement and judicial systems to work together with governments, civil society and international partners to tackle the root causes of violence against women, support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.

Meanwhile, the UNDP reported today that gender-based discrimination remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities.

According to the ‘Regional Human Development Report (HDR) 2013-2014 Citizen Security with a Human Face: evidence and proposals for Latin America’, gender-based violence contributes to insecurity in Latin America and is a persistent threat and obstacle to human development, public health and human rights.

DR CONGO While the evidence linking gender-based violence and poverty grows, so does a global call to include men’s voices in the solution to violence against women. A recent UN study carried out in the Asia-Pacific region found that of the 10,000 men surveyed, nearly half reported using physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner.

The study recommends that development interventions should address social norms related to the acceptability of violence and dominant gender stereotypes, as well as focusing on ending impunity for perpetrators.

This same message is set out in the report ‘A Million Voices: The World We Want’, which synthesizes the results of an unprecedented global consultation involving over a million people across all countries and backgrounds on what the world’s future development agenda should look like.

It states that the current anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are silent on violence against women and girls, even though one of the eight goals is on gender, according to the UN agency.

“As we prepare to craft a post-2015 development agenda, violence against women and girls remains an enormous global problem that must be overcome,” <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_elimination_violence_against_women2013.shtml“>said John Ashe, the current President of the General Assembly.

Noting that the international community is crafting a post-2015 development agenda, he added that “no sustainable development agenda can be achieved without ending this global violation of human rights, without ending all violence against all women and girls in every country in the world.”

The UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in a 1999 resolution inviting governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to “organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.”

The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo on 25 November 1960.

The Day marks the start of 16 days of activism, culminating with Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Given the timing of the 16 days and the focus on raising awareness with the colour orange, this year’s official theme is “Orange the World in 16 Days.”

Today’s events are part of the landmark UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Launched by Mr. Ban in 2008, it has gathered UN agencies and offices to galvanize action across the UN system to prevent and punish violence against women.

He also noted the importance of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, the world’s leading global grant-making mechanism exclusively dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls, administered by UN Women.

Mr. Ban called for financial support to the Fund, the demand for whose grants have more than doubled in the recent years while the amount it has distributed diminished by 60 per cent.

“I appeal to all partners to help meet this vast unmet demand for resources to further our aims.

New York, Nov 25 2013  3:00PM

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Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice Nicholas Cage Calls for Greater Efforts to Assist Human Trafficking Victims

Forum Debate: Winning the War on Drugs: Yury F...

Forum Debate: Winning the War on Drugs: Yury Fedotov (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Renowned United States actor, film maker and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice Nicolas Cage recently called for greater efforts to assist human trafficking victims, stressing the international community cannot “stand quietly on the sidelines” while this scourge persists across the globe.

“As a global society, we cannot tolerate people being bought and sold as commodities. We cannot fight for a better planet and for the rights of all its beings while we allow our own species to trick, abuse and brutally exploit each other for profit,” Mr. Cage <“http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2013/November/unodc-goodwill-ambassador-nicolas-cage-renews-his-appointment.html?ref=fs1“>said at an event in Vienna, Austria, to raise awareness on the issues as well as private funds for victims.

“We cannot stand quietly on the sidelines, while humans are being shipped and traded across the globe,” he said.

Human trafficking affects every country in the world. Victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour. A recent UNODC report found that women and girls make up 75 per cent of detected victims, with girls constituting two out of every three child victims.

Human trafficking. Main origin (red) and desti...

Human trafficking. Main origin (red) and destination countries (blue). Data from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2006 report (http://www.unodc.org/pdf/traffickinginpersons_report_2006-04.pdf) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A person stripped of their documents, their rights and their dignity needs specialized help. They need to rebuild their lives brick by brick. Your contribution tonight can provide vital help to these victims,” Mr. Cage told the attendees at the event, which was organized by Austrian businessman and philanthropist Ali Rahimi and held under the auspices of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

A specially designed “Blue Heart” carpet – an international symbol increasingly adopted in the fight against human trafficking – was auctioned at the event. Proceeds from the event will go the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which supports grassroots organizations that rescue, shelter and reintegrate victims into society.

“Since 2010, $1.5 million have been contributed to the Trust Fund. Thanks to this money, 11 grass-roots organizations around the world have been able to support victims and survivors of trafficking, especially women and children,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.

“But we need to do more. We need to join forces – the UN, Governments, NGOs, the private sector, community leaders and ordinary citizens, to stop this terrible crime. We have a shared responsibility to end this cruel exploitation and abuse of human rights.”

While in Vienna, Mr. Cage, who has starred in more than 60 movies and won an Academy Award for Best Actor in for the film Leaving Las Vegas, renewed his appointment made in 2010 as UNODC Goodwill Ambassador, saying it was a title and position he was “very proud to hold. Of all the experiences I have had in my life this has been the most humbling and challenging of responsibilities.”

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