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Human Trafficking Might Constitute War Crimes

Editorial Comment: The Security Council today passed Human Trafficking resolution accusing the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant “ISIL-Da’esh” and other terrorist groups. According to UNHCR report issued 2016, over 22 thousand refugee children were missed in EU where is no ISIL and Da’esh. How and where these children disappeared? Who stop behind the trafficking of refugee children in Europe?

The Security Council today deplored all acts of trafficking in human beings.The Council, through the text, reaffirmed that those responsible for committing, organizing or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable, and urged States to provide full coordination in investigations or proceedings involving ISIL, Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.

In that context, it reiterated States’ obligation to ensure that their nationals and persons in their territory not make available economic resources to those actors — which applied to both direct and indirect trade in oil, modular refineries and related chemicals and lubricants, among other natural resources.

Expressing concern about the lack of implementation of resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2199 (2015), including “insufficient” reporting by States to the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), the Council called on States to “move vigorously and decisively” to cut the flows of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

Further, the Council decided that States would take appropriate measures to promote enhanced vigilance by their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and entities incorporated on their territory, to prevent ISIL, Al-Qaida and associated individuals and groups from obtaining, handling, storing, using or seeking access to all types of explosives or raw materials that could be used in their manufacture.

As for the United Nations, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson established by resolution 1904 (2009) for 24 months from the expiration of its mandate in December 2017. It requested the Secretary-General to provide the necessary resources and make “necessary arrangements” to ensure the Office’s continued ability to carry out impartial work, updating the Committee in six months on actions taken.

Continue reading: Human Trafficking Might Constitute War Crimes

Austria And The Bar Politics, Video

20161216_191516Together with music, cocktails and bright candles under the reflection of faint lights at the Austrian bars L’Ombra and KIX, both owned by Dr. Heinz Altmann, politicians, ministers, lawyers and journalists always sit and laugh among the guests.

Mr. Valentin, the young man who inherited this bar of politics from his father, said that the Ukraine crisis and the Ukrainian conflict are always central  in the talk of the politicians who frequent his bar. He pointed his figure toward a guest and said: „that guy in front of the bar lobby is an Ukrainian political journalist“.

The politician language and the symptoms of their faces always change after half an hour of smoking and drinking in the bar.

Drinking cocktails, wine and beer make all guests equally out of their minds in the bar. Everybody laughs loudly and raises a lit cigarette between the pointer and the middle fingers in front of the soft light of the candles. The cigarettes burn between the lips of all guests causing a huge cloud of smoke. Only the language remains different between the guests.

  • How was the nightlife in Vienna Forty years ago, and how has it become today?
  • What are the differences between the Austrian nightlife today and in the past?
  • What is the change in the Austrian politics since the past World War II?
  • Why did the star of the right-wing party shine in Austria during the last elections?

Dr. Altmann and his wife Mag. Helga Maria, the owners of bars, have answered the questions in the Video published below.

Dr. Altmann is an Austrian, born in Vienna, a retired lawyer and speaks good politics.
His wife Mag. Helga Maria Altmann was born in Timișoara, one of the largest Romanian cities and an Austrian citizen. The couple are over 70.

Continue reading: Austria And The Bar Politics, Video

No Country is Immune From Corruption

DSC_9275_edited-2Vienna, Austria – December 9, 2016: Today in Vienna, organisations, individuals and groups from Europe, Asia, Central and South America and Africa, were recognised at the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards. To coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, the winners were presented their awards by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the recipients of the Awards for their courage. He also thanked His Highness and the Government of Qatar for supporting global anti-corruption efforts, crime prevention and the rule of law through the implementation of the Doha Declaration adopted last year at the 13th Crime Congress. He said: “Corruption is a strangling root that reaches deep into all our societies. It chokes hopes and frustrates opportunities. It enables the few to prosper at the expense of millions who are left behind. No country is immune.”

The annual Awards were inaugurated at a ceremony at the Hofburg Palace and acknowledged outstanding contributions and strides towards the prevention of and the fight against corruption around the world, including the impeachment of two national leaders in Central America and Europe. They were presented in support of the anti-corruption mandate of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), specifically, the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

After a long and thorough selection process, the high-level award committee with recommendation from the assessment advisory board, chose seven recipients across all four categories, including: Anti-Corruption Innovation, Anti-Corruption Academic Research, Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity and Anti-Corruption Lifetime Achievement.

Two winners in the Anti-Corruption Innovation category, namely, ‘Hanan Khandagji’ from Palestine who went undercover as a volunteer worker to investigate the mistreatment of young patients in Jordanian institutions for disabled children. ‘Khandagji’ discovered that caregivers and nurses were routinely abusing children in their care. Her in-depth reporting led to closures of several facilities and to the convening of a formal committee that produced a report on the abuses. ‘ArtLords,’ the Afghan-based grassroots movement of artists, was the second recipient in this category. The group has raised awareness against corruption in Kabul, by promoting zero tolerance and integrity through street art, producing paintings of eyes on the walls as part of their “I See You” series.

Continue reading: No Country is Immune From Corruption

Austria Decided: No Presidency For The Right-wing Populist Hofer

DSC_8196 copy_edited-1Alexander Van der Bellen, 72-year-old, representing liberal to left-of-center views won Austria’s presidential election over the right-wing populist Norbert Hofer. The preliminary results showed Van der Bellen is ahead. The final result will be announced Tuesday after counting the absentee votes.

More than 500,000 absentee ballots are counted Monday with results expected by Tuesday at the latest. But with most ballots cast Sunday counted, Van der Bellen had 53.3 percent of the vote to Hofer’s 46.7 percent.

Austrian right-wing candidate Hofer on Sunday has congratulated his opponent in presidential elections after projections indicated that he had lost.

“I congratulate Alexander Van der Bellen on his success and call on all Austrians to stick together and work together,” Hofer said on Facebook, adding that he was “incredibly sad.”

The Freedom Party shot to an enduring lead in the polls after the refugee crisis peaked in the fall of 2015, consistently urging that migrants be turned back even as Austria’s centrist government initially supported German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s more liberal line.

Winning Austrian presidential candidate Van der Bellen says his victory over right-wing populist Norbert Hofer shows that most voters backed his message of “freedom, equality, solidarity.”

He said: „He would work to unite a country deeply split between the moderate liberals who voted for him and the supporters of Hofer’s euroskeptic, anti-immigrant Freedom Party.“

The Austrian president’s functions are largely ceremonial and past elections have merited little attention outside the country because they were decided between mainstream candidates. This time, though, the contest was different because the vote Sunday was seen as an indicator of how well euroskeptic candidates will do elsewhere in the EU next year.

Sunday’s election was a rerun from May, which Van der Bellen won by less than 1 percentage point. It was re-held following a court ruling after Hofer’s Freedom Party claimed widespread irregularities.

First Exhibition Of Iranian And Arab Modern Art In Tehran

TMOCA Opening InvitationTehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) and Barjeel Art Foundation will present a joint exhibition of Iranian and and Arab modern art. This historic exhibition will also mark the first time a show of Arab art from the modern period will take place in Iran.

The exhibition will feature works by modern masters drawn from both TMoCA’s collection of Iranian art alongside a selection from the Barjeel Art Foundation collection of Arab art. The artists selected from the Barjeel collection represent artists from around the Arab world, including Egypt, Iraq, North Africa, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Following recent significant international exhibitions that explore the development of modernity in art, this show seeks to explore an important era of Iranian and Arab art history that emerged during a period of worldwide development and change. The Sea Suspended will explore themes that led to new forms and styles that reflected the complexities around the emergence of modern life in both Iran and the Arab world.

Majid Mollanorouzi, Director of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA), said:
“Art is important in that it allows experiences to be shared, even across the boundaries of language or culture. This is even more significant when we work together with organisations from the region, such as the Barjeel Art Foundation. Hosting this diverse collection of Arab art and exhibiting it to the Iranian public will allow us to share the region’s modern heritage. It also allows for a unique dialogue between two institutions that hold a common passion for bringing art to the public, which we hope will continue.”

Karim Sultan, Curator of the Barjeel Art Foundation, said: “The selection of works by theme and region demonstrates the multiple approaches to artmaking in modern conditions by artists from diverse backgrounds. Modernity did not begin at one point and end in another in history – instead, it begins and ends in different places, overlapping and emerging from different scenarios, pressures, and conflicts, and different sets of influences. What we hope to present is a small but diverse selection of works across a number of themes that are important to artists in the 20th century.”

Important artists from Iran and Arab world will represent a diversity of art practices and approaches. Some artists from Iran will include Bahman Mohasses, Farideh Lashai, Hossein Zenderoudi, and Monir Farmanfarmaian; artists from the Arab world will include Seif Wanly, Inji Efflatoun, Shakir Hassan Al Said, and Huguette Caland.
Continue reading: First Exhibition Of Iranian And Arab Modern Art In Tehran

The 2ed Iranian Trade Conference Exposed Washington Dirty Play

-1At the second Iranian Trade conference in London, the UK trade envoy to Tehran made a seemingly innocuous remark that should raise eyebrows. Lord Lamont said Iran has been extremely patient and statesman-like under the Iran nuclear deal regarding the process of easing sanctions. This does not jibe with the remarks of multiple senior American officials who have repeatedly claimed that Washington has fulfilled its sanctions relief commitments under the Iran deal.

What gives?

Many policymakers and pundits in Washington assert that Iran’s self-inflicted economic mistakes (of which there are many) are preventing Tehran from deriving the full benefit of sanctions relief. This rhetoric does not match reality. Since the Iran deal was sealed in July 2015, I have traveled the world to meet with countless foreign governments and blue-chip multinational corporations on Iran-related issues. From DC to Dublin to Tehran to Tokyo, everyone I’ve met with acknowledges Iran’s economic policies as a problem, but no one has pointed to it as THE problem.

Untitled-1Every single person – without fail – has pointed to American sanctions as the primary obstacle. This begs the question: Why isn’t Washington fulfilling its commitments? In my personal assessment, I see three potential explanations:

1) The U.S. is intentionally squeezing Iran – because it knows it can.

In Section 24 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA), it says that if Iran fails to receive the practical benefit of sanctions relief outlined in the JCPOA as a result of U.S. sanctions still on the books, Tehran can raise the issue with Washington (it has) with the aim of finding a resolution (so far, no such luck). Here’s the kicker: Any potential resolution can involve the lifting of any particular sanctions that happen to stand in the way of Iran receiving the aforementioned practical benefit of sanctions relief. If the U.S. and Iran are unable to find a solution through bilateral consultation, Iran can turn to the dispute-resolution procedures outlined in the JCPOA (it has, still no luck).

Continue reading: The 2ed Iranian Trade Conference Exposed Washington Dirty Play

One Belt, One Road and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue

DSC_5743 copyA major international event hosted this week in the Austrian capital by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will help advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through enhanced infrastructure and improved connectivity of the Asian, European and African continents, and their adjacent seas, referred to as One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) as Mr. LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO told the reporters today during the 50th anniversary week of the UNIDO.

The event brought together over 400 participants, including representatives of different city governments, the private sector and development agencies, as well as of academia. Representatives of 46 cities from nearly 25 countries are participating in the event, including Brussels, Chengdu, Jakarta, London, Moscow, New York, Seoul, Suez, Venice and Vienna.

“Many of the countries along the OBOR are still in the process of development but exhibit great potential for near-future economic growth,” said LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO. “This event can serve as an effective platform for cooperation among all countries involved, offering opportunities for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”

The “One-Belt-One-Road Inclusive and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue” will support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be done through the OBOR initiative, which promotes an open and inclusive global economy by building cohesive regional trade networks and enhancing connectivity for economic growth. It also aims to improve economic cooperation and to upgrade industrial and infrastructural development.

During the session of today October 20 2016, Mr. Yong has welcomed the UN General Assembly decision proclaiming the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa.

Yong, said: “This is great news. Last September, at a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, UNIDO, together with the African Union Commission, the Office of the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Africa, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, called for this decade as a way to place the African continent irrevocably on the path towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”

Noting that Africa remains “the poorest and the most vulnerable region in the world”, the UN General Assembly highlights the need for the continent to take “urgent action to advance sustainable industrialization as a key element of furthering economic diversification and value addition, creating jobs and thus reducing poverty and contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Li said that he was pleased to note that the adopted resolution specifically calls on UNIDO “to develop, operationalize and lead the implementation of the programme for the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, in accordance with its mandate and through voluntary contributions”. The resolution also invites UNIDO “to scale up its technical assistance to African countries in order to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development”.
Continue reading: One Belt, One Road and Sustainable City Exhibition and Dialogue

Second Sentence to Death by Hanging by Court in Gaza in Four Days

woman murderedOn Sunday morning, 9 October 2016, the Court of First Instance in Khan Younis sentenced T. L., 42, to death by hanging after being convicted of killing Dalia Mustafa Abu Ghraba, 12, resident of Khan Younis. The defendant was convicted of premeditated murder under articles (214, 215, and 216) of the Palestinian Penal Code No. 74 of 1936. Four others were sentenced to time in prison ranging from five to 15 years.

This is the second death sentence issued by the Court in four days. On 5 October 2016, the same court sentenced N.A., 26, resident of Khan Younis, to death by hanging after she was convicted of killing her husband. The public prosecution had detained N.A. after the body of Abu Anza was found in the vacant area near the area that was used for settlements in west Khan Younis. Evidence of wounds marked different parts of his body. N.A. confessed to the crime stating motives relating to domestic dispute.

On 12 November 2011, the public prosecution detained the accused in the latter case for the killing of the 12-year-old Dalia. The girl was killed within the context of an inter-family dispute where small arms were used.  

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan) views with grave concern the continued application of the death penalty in the Gaza Strip, despite the universal, urgent trend to abolish the practice. While recognizing the gravity of the alleged crimes, Al Mezan fully opposes the application of the death penalty in all instances. Al Mezan calls for the cooperative implementation, by the community and government, of restorative justice principles in view of repairing harm caused by crime and reducing future harm through crime prevention.

Al Mezan re-asserts that security and maintenance of the rule of law is a direct reflection of socioeconomic conditions, not relative to punishment laws. Capital punishment is proven not deter crime. Steps must be taken to immensely ameliorate the socioeconomic conditions in the Gaza Strip, first and foremost by lifting the nearly ten-year illegal closure and blockade imposed by Israel, which is the catalyst of rampant unemployment and poverty in Gaza.

Al Mezan reasserts its principled rejection of the issuance of death sentences and calls for a halt in the execution of the death sentences as a first step toward abolishing the practice. The relevant Palestinian laws must be amended to include other penalties. This turnaround must be achieved as a part of Palestinian internal reconciliation.

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