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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.

Palestine question cannot be relegated to a secondary problem: UN official

Security Council meeting The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Security Council meeting
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The international focus on the question of Palestine may have been overtaken by the tragedy in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, but it cannot be relegated to a secondary problem.

That’s what the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told members of the Security Council on Wednesday.

Israel continues to build on Palestinian territories despite being banned from doing so by a UN resolution dating back to 1979.

Meanwhile, militants in Gaza carry out frequent incursions into Israel as well as build up on illicit arms.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian opened fire, killing two Israelis and injuring six others in a terror attack in occupied East Jerusalem.

And in separate incidents, a young Palestinian civilian died after being shot by Israeli security forces during clashes in East Jerusalem, while elsewhere an unarmed 12-year-old girl was shot in the legs by security guards while approaching a checkpoint.

Nickolay Mladenov shared these tragic incidents with Security Council members to highlight the deteriorating situation in Israel and Palestine.

The absence of progress in resolving the conflict has led to growing anger and frustration among Palestinians and profound disillusionment among Israelis, he said.

“Sadly, settlement announcements, outbreaks of violence and terror, and the absence of visionary leadership continue to define the conflict. The inability to see beyond the horizon and grasp the benefits of resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, of ending the occupation, of establishing a two-state solution that meets the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians alike, is a historic loss to the region as a whole.”

Noting that the significant “slow down” in the reconstruction process in Gaza, and that people continue to suffer through conflicts and closures, Mladenov warned that the “temperature in Gaza is rising”.

Continue reading: Palestine question cannot be relegated to a secondary problem: UN official

Café Bolle Jan And The Dutch Singer


Dutch singer Eddy Walash

A few days ago I was in the Netherlands on a short trip. I thought about sharing the Dutch their cultural nightlife. The culture of the people attracts me more than nightlife itself.

It was not easy for me to determine where I go to hear live music.
Simply, I do not know anything about the cultural musical nightlife in Amsterdam.
I asked Dutch to assist me.
They said: “Take tram Nu.1 or Nu.5 and go to light-live station. There are all the Dutch bars which play live-music.

I wore jeans and sport shoes. Never I did that when I get out at night.
Usually I choose my clothes strictly in accordance with event. I used to be like that as a journalist working among diplomats, politicians and attending high level of Gala nights.

I reached Light-live Station.
Unfortunately, I did not see the bars, concerts and live-music? I saw some regular coffee shops that I see in all Europe.

I talked with a waiter working in a cafe shop. I asked him for a help!
“Where can I go? I want to hear cultural Dutch live-music. Could you please recommend me something? I asked the waiter.

He said: “Go to café Bolle Jan”.
He wrote on a small piece of paper: “Take Tram Nu.1 until the Flower market, get out and go through the market until the end where you reach a square. There ask anybody about café Bolle Jan.”
Easily, I reached café Bolle Jan. I introduced myself to Ms. Nancy Forger, a nice friendly woman works there. She warmly welcomed me.

The friendly Dutch guests at the cafe gave me some soft drinks. I was interested to listen to the Dutch live music more than drinking.

A nice blond musician stood on the small stage in the corner of the café. I saw a metal door divides between him and the bar geusts.

Shortly the musician started the concert.
It was electronic Dutch music but not live-music.
Of course, the ears not only hear, but also control the feelings and the emotions.
Continue reading: Café Bolle Jan And The Dutch Singer

The Role of Advanced Medicine For The Care Of Refugees

DSC_4089_edited-1In coordination with the Union of Arab Doctors and Pharmacists in Austria headed by Doctor Tammam Kelani, the Arab Doctors Union in Europe (ARABMED) headed by Dr. Faidi Omar Mahmoud concluded it’s 32 annual Scientific-medical Congress on Saturday 18th, Sep. 2016 in Modul Hotel in Vienna. The conference was held under the auspices of Dr. Michael Häupl, the mayor of Vienna. This was the second time that the ARABMED held its yearly conference in Vienna.

Dozens of European doctors from all Europe and the neighbouring Arab countries among them refugee doctors from Syria and Iraq attended the conference which lasted from Sep. 16th, to Sep. 18th, 2016.

A special guests of the event was the representative of Dr. Sabine Oberhauser, the Austrian Federal Minster of Health and Women´s Affairs, Dr. Monika Matal, Honorary Medical Director of Amber Med in Vienna, Univ. Prof. Dr. Maria Deutinger from Austria, Dr. Reinhard Dörflinger from Austria, Dr. Toman Barsbai, Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany, Dr. Werner Kirschbaum, General secretary of Austrian Red Cross Headquarters in Vienna, Dr. Reinhard Dörflinger, Doctors without Borders in Austria, Mr Fritz Edlinger, general secretary of Austro-Arab Relations in Vienna, Dr. Beatrix Blaha-Hausner, workgroup refugee children Political Pediatrics Medicin in Vienna, Dip. Ing. Omar Al-Rawi and many other doctors.

The title of the conference was “the role of advanced medicine for the care of refugees” and the major sessions covered a wide range of topics and focused on the conditions of the refugees who came to Europe and their problems such as

  • Immigration Country Germany and Austria, Development, Structures and Political Recommendations.
  • Physician refuge in Europe between Identity and Duties
  • Developing Motivational and Self-Regulation Skills in Physician refuge with Learning.
  • Difficulties From an Individual Training to a Group Training
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Oncology and Ophthalmology,

At the opening session, Dr. Tammam Kelani, the president of the congress, thanked both Austria and Germany governments and peoples for what they have offered and continued to offer to the Syrian and the Iraqi refugees.

The representative of the Austrian Health Ministry had delivered a speech of behalf of Minister Oberhauser, he welcomed the congress audience and said:  

“As Viennese I am very pleased that this year the 32nd conference of the “Arab Medical Union in Europe” and the 25th Annual Meeting of “Arab Medicals & Pharmacists Union in Austria” take place in my home city.

The topic of your conference “The Role of Advanced Medicine in the Care of Refugees in Europe” is very important and it will not lose its importance within the next years. The medical care for refugees is a big challenge for all European countries and I am convinced that only a strong public health system can meet these challenges.

Austria is being both: a transit and a destination country for refugees. We have had a raising demand for basic medical examinations and treatments for refugees when they arrived in Austria. But until today there was no significant increase in infectious diseases.

However, we need to strengthen our cooperation on a European level in order to manage the current migration to Europe. We need to identify best practices and innovations within the public health systems and pool our resources. Only if we act in common, we can be strong and efficient.

I wish you an exciting event, many interesting discussions and a pleasant stay in Vienna.”

Continue reading: The Role of Advanced Medicine For The Care Of Refugees

Iran Complains: Sanctions Under Nuclear Deal Still In Place

DSC_5214_edited-1The head of Iran’s atomic energy agency said during the 60th General Conference of the IAEA Monday that his country’s landmark nuclear deal with could be jeopardized by foot-dragging on sanctions relief, promised in exchange for Tehran’s commitment to curb key atomic activities. But a senior U.S. official said Washington is delivering on its commitments.

Iran complains that international financial sanctions are not being lifted quickly enough under the agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers that stipulates a removal of these and other penalties imposed over Tehran’s nuclear program. Tehran in turn agreed to limit atomic pursuits that could be used to make a bomb.

Nuclear agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi did not blame particular countries in comments to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s general conference. But other Iranian officials have faulted the United States for perceived delays in lifting financial sanctions, and Salehi warned that the deal’s “durability” depended on the other side’s “reciprocal and full implementation.”

The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araghchi stressed that the demand for nuclear disarmament has been steadily increasing over the years, he noted that the commitments related to the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons are not being implemented appropriately.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) regret over the failure of the P5+1 to fully honor its obligations under the JCPOA despite Iran implementing “all its JCPOA commitments, which was monitored and verified by the agency as well as continuing its close cooperation with the IAEA through voluntary effectuation of the Additional Protocol in accordance with the provisions of the JCPOA.”

He said: “However, expectations regarding comprehensive and expeditious removal of all sanctions, as stipulated in the JCPOA, have yet to be made,” Salehi said, adding, “Reciprocal and full implementation of the commitments by the E3/EU+3 (P5+1) is the crucial foundation of the JCPOA and the fundamental part of the agreement for its durability.”

But U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that if Iran was disappointed in the pace of sanctions-lifting, it was due to international caution about doing business with Tehran. (See the Video below).

“We have carried out fully our responsibilities beyond the letter of the agreement,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. nuclear meeting.

“But the international banking system, international business enterprises, are going to have to not only have clarity on where the lines are drawn on the sanctions but they’re going to have to have more business confidence, if you like, which is going to take obviously more time than Iran would like to see.”

Continue reading: Iran Complains: Sanctions Under Nuclear Deal Still In Place

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants

DSC_7752_edited-1Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UODC) said in his remarks at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants: “We need to protect refugees and migrants from violence, abuse and exploitation, and strengthen action against human trafficking and migrant smuggling as part of comprehensive, human-rights based responses to the crises we face.”

He added: our approach must be more sensitive, recognizing that trafficking victims and irregular migrants deserve protection, and at the same time can support investigations to bring perpetrators to account;

To achieve these objectives, we have to be more focused, sustained and better resourced.

Shallow, time-limited interventions that fail to go after the real criminals risk punishing victims of crime while leaving transnational networks in place to threaten more lives and cause more harm.

Such responses take time, money and genuine commitment to pursuing the cause of justice.

They take:

Thousands of police hours, tracking leads on the ground;
Police and prosecutors pursuing parallel, coordinated responses that assist and protect victims while going after perpetrators;

Savvy investigators trained to follow the money, online and off, to fight organized crime through joint investigations, extradition and witness protection;

Agencies sharing intelligence and coordinating operations within and across borders;

and lawmakers committed to leaving no gaps for criminals to exploit.

Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer to Entry into Force in 2016

1543245221 September – The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Several large emitting countries, which had not yet completed their domestic approval processes in time for the event, also announced they were committed to joining the agreement this year.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after 55 countries, representing 55 percent of global emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession with the Secretary-General.

One of the two thresholds for entry into force has now been met. There are now 60 countries that have joined the agreement—five more than the required 55 needed. These countries represent 48 percent of global emissions, just shy of the 55 percent needed for entry into force.

In addition, 14 countries, representing 12.58 percent of emissions, committed to joining the agreement in 2016, virtually assuring that the Agreement will enter into force this year.

“This momentum is remarkable,” Mr. Ban said. “It can sometimes take years or even decades for a treaty to enter into force. It is just nine months since the Paris climate conference. This is testament to the urgency of the crisis we all face.”

In early September, the world’s two largest emitters, China and the United States, joined the Agreement, providing considerable impetus for other countries to quickly complete their domestic ratification or approval processes.

The Paris Climate Agreement marked a watershed moment in taking action on climate change. Adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December in Paris, the Agreement calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.

The early entry into force of the Paris Agreement would trigger the operational provisions of the agreement and accelerate efforts to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to build climate resilience.

Even as the agreement was adopted, countries recognized that present pledges to reduce emissions were still insufficient to reach these goals. The Paris Agreement mandates regular meetings every five years, starting in 2018, to review progress and to consider how to strengthen the level of ambition.

Continue reading: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer to Entry into Force in 2016

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