Taking the rostrum at the annual United Nations General Assembly, Iran’s President decried as a great injustice the “double standard” exhibited by Western nations towards what he described as his country’s peaceful nuclear activities.
“I explicitly declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons and such weapons have no place in our defence doctrine,” Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi told Member States gathered for the high-level General Debate.
This is despite the fact that other governments have continued to produce and use nuclear weapons and “gift” them to others, he continued, lamenting the West’s “double standard position” towards his country’s nuclear activities as a “manifestation of injustice.”
“Countries that have to be disarmed are rewarded, and countries that have adhered to their commitments are even deprived of the rights contained in the NPT,” said Mr. Raisi, referring to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
“While Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme includes only two per cent of the world’s nuclear programmes, 35 per cent of inspections are of our facilities,” said the President.
Indeed, he said: “Those who see the Iranian nuclear issue as a threat are nevertheless ignoring what they should do themselves: denuclearize.”
In 2015, a landmark accord – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was reached between Iran, the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Under this accord, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear programme and open its facilities to international inspections in exchange for sanctions relief.
In 2018, then-President Trump withdrew the US from the agreement and reinstated the sanctions. Although efforts to restore the Plan have been underway for some time, the US and other participants are yet to return to its full and effective implementation.
“It was America that left the agreement, not Iran,” the President stated. “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated 15 times in its reports that Iran has fully adhered to the provisions of the agreement.
“Iran has paid the cost of complying with its obligations, but due to the violation of the promise of the American side and the non-compliance of the European side, Iran has not enjoyed the benefits of this agreement.”
He rejected some of the double standards of certain Governments vis-à-vis human rights and described unilateralism as a tool that has been used to hold many countries back. On a selective basis, the United States cannot accept that certain countries have the right to stand on their own two feet, he asserted. He went on to accuse Israel of creating the “world’s largest prison” through its blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Moreover, he denounced mass graves of Indigenous peoples found in Canada and the way the US detained ;migrants and refugees on its southern border.
Fight against human trafficking must be strengthened in Ethiopia
Throughout Ethiopia’s Tigray, Afar and Amhar regions, women and girls are becoming increasingly vulnerable to abduction and sex trafficking as they flee ongoing armed conflict, a group of UN-appointed independent human rights experts warned on Monday.
The protracted conflict in the three northern regions have heightened risks of trafficking for sexual exploitation as a form of sexual violence in conflict, the experts said in a statement.
“We are alarmed by reports of refugee and internally displaced women and girls in the Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions being abducted while attempting to move to safer places,” they said.
“We are concerned at the risks of trafficking, in particular for purposes of sexual exploitation, including sexual slavery.”
Women and children in crosshairs
Amidst abductions and displacement, the UN experts raised serious concerns over Eritrean refugee women and children being at particular risk of sex trafficking.
“Urgent action is needed to prevent trafficking, especially for purposes of sexual exploitation, and to ensure assistance and protection of all victims, without discrimination on grounds of race or ethnicity, nationality, disability, age or gender,” they said.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of children who have been separated from their families, especially in the Tigray region, are particularly vulnerable, warned the independent experts.
“The continuing lack of humanitarian access to the region is a major concern,” the experts continued, urging immediate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent all forms of trafficking of children and to ensure their protection.
They added that sufficient measures were not being taken to identify victims of trafficking, or support their recovery in ways that fully takes account of the extreme trauma being suffered.
“The failure to provide accountability for these serious human rights violations and grave crimes creates a climate of impunity, allows trafficking in persons to persist and perpetrators to go free,” underscored the six UN experts.
They urged all relevant stakeholders to ensure that victims of trafficking can adequately access medical assistance, including sexual and reproductive healthcare services and psychological support.
The experts said they had made their concerns known to both the Governments of Ethiopia and neighbouring Eritrea.
35 years of Cultural Routes: Safeguarding European Values, Heritage, and Dialogue
A Europe rich in history, heritage, dialogue and values: the Council of Europe Cultural Routes’ programme celebrates its 35th anniversary, on the occasion of the 11th Advisory Forum in Minoa Palace Hotel, Chania, Crete (Greece) on 5-7 October, with a special event to highlight the relevance of Cultural Routes for the promotion of cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and sustainable tourism.
The Forum is organised by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, in co-operation with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism, the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Region of Crete, the Municipality of Chania, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Chania, and the Historic Cafes Route. The 2022 edition will be the opportunity to underline the growing relevance of the Cultural Routes methodology and practices in promoting Europe’s shared cultural heritage while fostering viable local development.
Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge will participate in the high-level dialogue, together with Minister of Culture and Sports of Greece Lina Mendoni, Minister of Tourism of Greece Vassilis Kikilias, Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Vice-President and Chairperson of the Greek Delegation Dora Bakoyannis and Chair of the Statutory Committee of Cultural Routes Ambassador Patrick Engelberg (Luxembourg).
Over three days of workshops and interactive debates, three main general sessions will be explored:
- Promoting European Values and Intercultural Dialogue;
- Safeguarding Heritage in Times of Crisis;
- Fostering Creative Industries, Cultural Tourism, Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Communities.
The Forum will discuss trends and challenges in relation to Cultural Routes, providing a platform for sharing experiences, reviewing progress, analysing professional practices, launching new initiatives and developing partnerships across Europe and beyond. Participants range from managers among the 48 cultural routes to representatives of national ministries, International Organisations, academics, experts and tourism professionals.
Little progress combating systemic racism against people of African descent
More than two years since the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States sparked the global Black Lives Matter movement, there’s been only “piecemeal progress” in addressing systemic racism, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) said on Friday, in a new report.While more people have been made aware of systemic racism and concrete steps have been taken in some countries, the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights called on States to demonstrate greater political will to accelerate action.
“There have been some initiatives in different countries to address racism, but for the most part they are piecemeal. They fall short of the comprehensive evidence-based approaches needed to dismantle the entrenched structural, institutional and societal racism that has existed for centuries, and continues to inflict deep harm today,” said Nada Al-Nashif, who will present the report to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.
The report describes international, national and local initiatives that have been taken, towards ending the scourge of racism.
These include an Executive Order from the White House on advancing effective, accountable policing and criminal justice practices in federal law enforcement agencies; an Anti-Racism Data Act in British Columbia, Canada; measures to evaluate ethnic profiling by police in Sweden; and census data collection to self-identify people of African descent in Argentina.
The European Commission has issued guidance on collecting and using data based on racial or ethnic origin; formal apologies issued, memorialization, revisiting public spaces, and research, to assess links to enslavement and colonialism in several countries.
‘Barometer for success’
The report notes that poor outcomes continue for people of African descent in many countries, notably in accessing health and adequate food, education, social protection, and justice – while poverty, enforced disappearance and violence continues.
It highlights “continuing…allegations of discriminatory treatment, unlawful deportations, excessive use of force, and deaths of African migrants and migrants of African descent by law enforcement officials”
“The barometer for success must be positive change in the lived experiences of people of African descent,” continued Ms. Al-Nashif.
“States need to listen to people of African descent, meaningfully involve them and take genuine steps to act upon their concerns.”
Higher death rates
Where available, recent data still points to disproportionately high death rates faced by people of African descent, at the hands of law enforcement, in different countries.
“Families of African descent continued to report the immense challenges, barriers and protracted processes they faced in their pursuit of truth and justice for the deaths of their relatives”, the report says.
It details seven cases of police-related deaths of people of African descent, namely George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (US); Adama Traoré (France); Luana Barbosa dos Reis Santos and João Pedro Matos Pinto (Brazil); Kevin Clarke (UK) and Janner [Hanner] García Palomino (Colombia).
While noting some progress towards accountability in a few of these emblematic cases, “unfortunately, not a single case has yet been brought to a full conclusion, with those families still seeking truth, justice and guarantees of non-repetition, and the prosecution and sanction of all those responsible,” the report says.
Ms. Al-Nashif called on States to “redouble efforts to ensure accountability and redress wherever deaths of Africans and people of African descent have occurred in the context of law enforcement, and take measures to confront legacies that perpetuate and sustain systemic racism”.
Betting on the wrong horse: The battle to define moderate Islam
Proponents of a moderate Islam that embraces tolerance, diversity, and pluralism may be betting on the wrong horse by supporting...
Ukraine Joins NATO: Assessing Future Disasters
News related to the Russo-Ukrainian war is still for public consumption and scholar nowdays. As chess game, Russia-Ukraine are in...
European Union Trucks Banned From Entering Russia
In a reciprocal step, an executive order banning European Union haulage trucks crossing borders into Russia’s territory aggravates economic situation...
Baltic reality: High inflation and declining of living standards
The Baltic States’ economy is in bad condition. The latest estimate from the EU’s statistics body shows that Eurozone inflation...
For A New Foreign Policy in Italy
The sad and notorious vicissitudes of the non-existence of an Italian foreign policy have hit rock bottom over the last...
Who Masterminded the Suicide Attack on Hazara Students’ Educational Center Kaj in Kabul?
According to explicit intelligence information, last Friday, September 30, 2022, a suicide attack on Hazara students in an educational center...
Grey whale’s disappearance from Atlantic Ocean holds clues to possible return
By SOFIA STRODT Youri van den Hurk is preparing for a possible big welcome-home event – the return of the grey...
Europe4 days ago
Europe’s former imperial countries are now desperate U.S. colonies
Eastern Europe3 days ago
A New Phase of Escalation in the Russia-Ukraine War
Green Planet3 days ago
Youth Pessimistic Attitude and Their Noteworthy Role as Climate Justice Norm Entrepreneur
Middle East3 days ago
Saudi crown prince shifts into high gear on multiple fronts
Russia3 days ago
Russia-Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Relations Still at Exploratory Stage
Economy4 days ago
Russia Struggling to Explore Africa’s Market
African Renaissance3 days ago
The New World Order
Finance4 days ago
Financing to Support Liberia’s Reforms for Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth