Latest Version of UNSC Resolution on Syria

[The resolution failed to pass when permanent members China and Russsa used their veto to defeat the measure in a 13-2 vote on Feb.4]

UNSCR-SYRIA-BLUE 2 Feb 2012

List of Co-Sponsors: Morocco, France, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Portugal Colombia, Togo, Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Turkey.

 The Security Council,

pp1 Recalling its presidential statement of 3 August 2011,

pp2 Recalling General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/176 of 19 December 2011, as well as Human Rights Council resolutions S/16-1, S/17-1 and S/18-1,

pp3 Noting the League of Arab States’ request in its decision of 22 January 2012,

pp4 Expressing grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in Syria, and profound concern at the death of thousands of people and calling for an immediate end to all violence,

pp5 Welcoming the League of Arab States’ Action Plan of 2 November 2011 and its subsequent decisions, including its decision of 22 January 2012, which aims to achieve a peaceful resolution of the crisis,

pp6 Noting the deployment of the League of Arab States’ observer mission, commending its efforts, regretting that, due to the escalation in violence, the observer mission was not in a position to monitor the full implementation of the League of Arab States’ Action Plan of 2 November 2011, and noting the subsequent decision of the League of Arab states to suspend the mission,

pp7 Underscoring the importance of ensuring the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in safety and with dignity,

pp8 Mindful that stability in Syria is key to peace and stability in the region,

pp9  Noting the announced commitments by the Syrian authorities to reform, and regretting the lack of progress in implementation,

pp10 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, emphasizing its intention to resolve the current political crisis in Syria peacefully, and noting that nothing in this resolution authorizes measures under Article 42 of the Charter,

pp11 Welcoming the engagement of the Secretary-General and all diplomatic efforts aimed at addressing the situation, and noting in this regard the offer of the Russian Federation to host a meeting in Moscow, in consultation with the League of Arab States,

1.Condemns the continued widespread and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities, such as the use of force against civilians, arbitrary executions, killing and persecution of protestors and members of the media, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, interference with access to medical treatment, torture, sexual violence, and ill-treatment, including against children;

2. Demands that the Syrian government immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against those exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, protect its population, fully comply with its obligations under applicable international law and fully implement the Human Rights Council resolutions S-16/1, S-17/1, S-18/1 and the General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/176;

3. Condemns all violence, irrespective of where it comes from, and in this regard demands that all parties in Syria, including armed groups, immediately stop all violence or reprisals, including attacks against State institutions, in accordance with the League of Arab States’ initiative;

4. Recalls that all those responsible for human rights violations, including acts of violence, must be held accountable;

5. Demands that the Syrian government, in accordance with the Plan of Action of the League of Arab States of 2 November 2011 and its decision of 22 January 2012, without delay:

(a) cease all violence and protect its population;

(b) release all persons detained arbitrarily due to the recent incidents;

(c) withdraw all Syrian military and armed forces from cities and towns, and return them to their original home barracks;

(d) guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations;

(e) allow full and unhindered access and movement for all relevant League of Arab States’ institutions and Arab and international media in all parts of Syria to determine the truth about the situation on the ground and monitor the incidents taking place; and

(f) allow full and unhindered access to the League of Arab States’ observer mission;

6. Calls for an inclusive Syrian-led political process conducted in an environment free from violence, fear, intimidation and extremism, and aimed at effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of Syria’s people, without prejudging the outcome;

7. Fully supports in this regard the League of Arab States’ 22 January 2012 decision to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a serious political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition under the League of Arab States’ auspices, in accordance with the timetable set out by the League of Arab States;

8. Encourages the League of Arab States to continue its efforts in cooperation with all Syrian stakeholders;

9. Calls upon the Syrian authorities, in the event of a resumption of the observer mission, to cooperate fully with the League of Arab States’ observer mission, in accordance with the League of Arabs States’ Protocol of 19 December 2011, including through granting full and unhindered access and freedom of movement to the observers, facilitating the entry of technical equipment necessary for the mission, guaranteeing the mission’s right to interview, freely or in private, any individual and guaranteeing also not to punish, harass, or retaliate against, any person who has cooperated with the mission;

10. Stresses the need for all to provide all necessary assistance to the mission in accordance with the League of Arab States’ Protocol of 19 December 2011 and its decision of 22 January 2012;

11. Demands that the Syrian authorities cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and with the Commission of Inquiry dispatched by the Human Rights Council, including by granting it full and unimpeded access to the country;

12. Calls upon the Syrian authorities to allow safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance in order to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to persons in need of assistance;

13. Welcomes the Secretary-General’s efforts to provide support to the League of Arab States, including its observer mission, in promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis;

14. Requests the Secretary General to report on the implementation of this resolution, in consultation with the League of Arab States, within 21 days after its adoption and to report every 30 days thereafter;

15. Decides to review implementation of this resolution within 21 days and, in the event of non-compliance, to consider further measures;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

NYPD Blue Helmets

Shortly after his election as United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon was visited by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who upbraided the U.N. chief about the “860 fire code violations” at the world body’s Midtown East headquarters, telling him “that any other building in New York would have been shut down long ago.”

Ban assured the mayor, who was accompanied by then fire commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, that the upcoming $1.9 billion renovation of the sixty year old building would bring it up to code, an April 2007 diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks reveals. 

But it was New York’s City’s police department rather than its fire department that was on Ban’s mind.

Secretary-General Ban complimented Mayor Bloomberg on the scope and size of the NYPD, making particular note that many of the officers speak languages other than English. Ban raised the idea of soliciting the NYPD to participate in UN peacekeeping mission.

It made sense from the U.N.’s point of view. There’s probably no other police force in the world as diverse as the NYPD. Twenty percent of the force are foreign born and 64 different languages are spoken among its officers, from Amharic to Yorub, according to the department’s website.

The proposal received a lukewarm response from the mayor though.

Bloomberg replied that the idea was unique and that he would need to discuss the matter with his police commissioner and other experts in his administration.

The idea doesn’t appear to have gained any traction. There were about 200 U.S. police serving with U.N peacekeeping operations in 2007, mostly in Kosovo, and there are currently some 75 U.S. police deployed with U.N. missions, the majority in Haiti.

Meanwhile, work on renovating the U.N.’s headquarters, and fixing those 860 fire code violations, is ongoing.

UN Rights Chief Says Bahrain News Agency Distorted Her Words

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location: Geneva
7 June 2011

BAHRAIN

The High Commissioner would like to make clear that a meeting she had last Friday with Bahrain’s Minister of Social Development and acting health minister, Dr Fatima bint Mohammed Al Balooshi and three other Bahrain government officials, has been grossly misrepresented in a report by the Bahrain News Agency. The BNA article was subsequently picked up by a number of newspapers in the region, including the Khaleej Times and the Gulf Daily News, and even by some Sri Lankan government officials and media for their own purposes.

The Bahrain News Agency, which was not present at the meeting, stated that the High Commissioner had “recognized misinformation” about the Kingdom of Bahrain, and quoted her as saying “Certain information which we received about the developments in Bahrain are untrue.”

The High Commissioner would like to stress that she made no such statement, and is disturbed by this blatant distortion of her words. She will formally request the Government officials who attended the meeting to issue a correction.

The discussions at the meeting with the Bahraini Government delegation focused mainly on the proposed OHCHR mission to Bahrain, as well as a number of other issues relating to the recent protests, including the need for transparent independent investigations into the human rights violations that have taken place there. The mission has been accepted in principle by the Bahraini government but no dates have yet been set.

For more information or interviews, please contact spokesperson Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 or rcolville@ohchr.org ) or press officers: Ravina Shamdasani (+ 41 22 917 9310 or rshamdasani@ohchr.org ) or Xabier Celaya (+ 41 22 917 9383 or xcelaya@ohchr.org )

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ENDS

UN Human Rights Commissioner on Ivory Coast

UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply

 show details 11:22 AM (4 minutes ago)  

La version française se trouve ci-dessous

French version, see below

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

                                               19 December 2010

 

Côte d’Ivoire: UN human rights chief warns of growing violations of rights

 

GENEVA – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed deep concern Sunday about the growing evidence of massive violations of human rights taking place in Côte d’Ivoire since 16 December 2010.  She reiterated her determination to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

 

“When people are victims of extrajudicial killings there must be an investigation, and there must be accountability,” Pillay said, noting that in the past three days there has been more than 50 people killed, and over 200 injured. “However, the deteriorating security conditions in the country and the interference with freedom of movement of UN personnel have made it difficult to investigate the large number of human rights violations reported.”

 

The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has received reports from hundreds of victims and members of their families about the abduction of individuals from their homes, especially at night, by unidentified armed individuals in military uniform accompanied by elements of the Defence and Security Forces or militia groups. Abducted persons are reportedly taken by force to illegal places of detention where they are held incommunicado and without charge. Some have been found dead in questionable circumstances.

 

“I call upon all parties concerned to respect the human rights of all Ivorians, without discrimination,” Pillay said. “UN human rights officers in Cote d’Ivoire are on the alert and will continue to closely monitor the situation across the country.”

 

END

 

OHCHR Country Page – Cote d’Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CIIndex.aspx

 

Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

 

Log on to OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org

 

For more information and media requests, please contact: Xabier Celaya (Tel: +41 22 917 9383 / email: xcelaya@ohchr.org)

Swapped for Sheep – Women and Girls in Afghanistan


The  following are excerpts from a U.N. report released Thursday on the human rights situation in Afghanistan for women and girls. The report was prepared by the human rights division of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

“A 20-year-old pregnant woman set herself on fire in Panjsher province in July 2009. Before she died, she explained to UNAMA HR that she had endured daily beatings from her husband and abuse from her sisters-in-law since her marriage in 2007. On the day of the incident, her husband had accused her of not being virgin on their wedding day. She poured kerosene over herself and set herself alight. She died of her injuries a few days later.

In Nimroz province, in May 2010, a 13-year-old girl died after dousing herself with petrol and setting herself on fire. She had been married when she was 10-years old and reportedly found life with her husband and his family intolerable.

In one case reported to UNAMA HR in Herat province, a 14-year-old girl who was engaged at the age of two and married at 10 to her cousin tried to kill herself four times due to the domestic violence she faced; her cousin refused to grant her a divorce.

In 2007, provincial health authorities in the western city of Herat established a special burns unit. It handles eight to 10 self immolation cases a month, 40 per cent more than in 2009. The doctors estimate there are likely an equal number of cases in the province they do not see, as such incidents occur far from the city, or the victims are left to die. One woman was found by accident 15 days after she had set herself alight; she had been raped by her father-in-law and brother-in-law and wanted to die. The vast majority of victims are women aged 15 to 25; most are poor and illiterate. The doctor in charge of the unit explained, “Forced marriages lead to problems. Young women married to old men, sold, swapped for sheep or even opium. Sometimes girls are engaged to babies.” These women are under pressure from “abusive husbands and equally from women, mainly mothers-in-law. They sometimes go to mullahs and community councils to ask for help, but even there they face humiliation and abuse.”

One woman was found by accident 15 days after she had set herself alight; she had been raped by her father-in-law and brother-in-law and wanted to die.

UNAMA HR investigated an incident in Farah province involving a 14-year-old girl who was abducted and forcibly married when she was 9-years old. The girl said that her father-in-law beat her because she refused to have sex with him. Her husband and mother-in-law also abused her because they believed she engaged in sexual relations with her father-in-law. UNAMA HR officers interviewed the girl and saw that she had two broken fingers and that oil had been poured on her body (allegedly by her father-in-law), her feet had also been burnt (allegedly by her mother-in-law). She also claimed that her husband had tied and hung her by her hands for one night.

In April 2010, the father and brother of a 15-year-old girl from Ghoryan district, Herat province, beat her when she refused to accept a forced marriage. She ran away from home. On the same day, unknown men in a car picked her up, raped her and released her on the street after several hours. An elder reported the incident to the district police who transferred the girl to a safe house for her own protection.

In January 2009, a 20-year-old woman, from Darqad district, Takhar province, who was engaged under baad at the age of four, sought protection from the Department of Women’s Affairs in Taloqan to avoid the forced marriage. After two months, DoWA, facing threats from local community elders and politicians, sent the girl to the district court in Darqad for a decision on the legality of the marriage. As the court session was about to start, a group of some 300 people who supported the forced marriage, attacked the district complex compound, abducted the girl and forcibly took her to her in-laws’ house. All efforts by UNAMA HR to contact the woman failed and her whereabouts remain unknown.

Baad (baad dadan) Giving away a girl or woman in marriage as blood price to settle a conflict over murder or a perceived affront to honour.

In October 2009, a 16-year-old girl from Logar province was forcibly engaged to a 65-year-old man. According to the girl, the man insisted on visiting her at her family home prior to the marriage, claiming that he had given the girl’s father a vast amount of money and was entitled to see her. During this time, the girl called a local radio station and discussed her problem with the male host. She and the male host became friends and continued to call each other. Later they both fled Logar and on their way to Laghman province where they intended to get married, police arrested them in Nangarhar province on charges of zina. The man was convicted to 13 years imprisonment and the girl to five years. The girl was reportedly raped while in detention. UNAMA HR learned that the 65- year-old man demanded another girl in “compensation” and the girl’s father gave his younger daughter, aged 14 or 15, in marriage to the man.

When Aisha was 12 years-old, her father reportedly gave her and her younger sister away in marriage to settle a blood debt; her uncle had allegedly killed a relative of the man Aisha was sent to marry. At the husband’s house, the in-laws housed the girls with the livestock, used them like slaves and beat them frequently for their uncle’s crime. Aisha fled but her husband caught her and sliced off both her ears and her nose as punishment, leaving her bleeding and unconscious. (A man shamed by his wife is said to have lost his nose, so it seems that Aisha was punished in kind.) Aisha managed to survive the attack; Afghan women’s organizations assisted her and eventually she travelled to the USA for reconstructive surgery. Her 10-year-old sister remains in Uruzgan with the abusive in-laws.

In one high-profile case, reported in May 2010, involving two girls aged 13 and 14 from Ghor province who were reportedly forced into a marriage exchange, each girl was given to an elderly man in the others family. The girls’ husbands reportedly beat them when they tried to resist consummating the unions. Police picked up the girls and reportedly returned them to their remote village, where local mullahs and a former warlord publicly flogged them for daring to run away. The case was exposed when a video of the flogging was smuggled out of the district. The two girls were very fortunate, as eventually they were declared divorced and sent home.

Some honour killings seem to have the approval of entire communities. In August 2010 in Bamyan province, a girl died under suspicious circumstances the day after her wedding. The new husband reportedly took the girl back to her father’s house on the wedding night, saying that she was not a virgin. She died in her father’s house the next day. The police informed UNAMA HR that they started an inquiry but threats from local community members prevented them from investigating further. A team that included the head of the provincial criminal investigation department then visited the crime scene, but local people also prevented them from investigating the death. Following this, the authorities have taken no further action.

Police in Jalalabad…arrested and detained a 17-year-old girl when they discovered her alone in a hotel room accusing her of intending to commit adultery (zina). UNAMA HR’s investigation found that the girl had been forced to marry at the age of 13, denied an education, was ill treated by her in-laws and forbidden to leave the house even to visit her own family.

“Forced marriage is not a harmful tradition in our culture. I know my daughter’s best interests and since she does not leave the house, she does not understandthe world and it will not be possible or acceptable for her to choose her own husband. She has no right to select her own husband and I am in the best position to choose for her.” (Interview with male member of Faryab Provincial Council, April 2010)

“If you hit a girl with your hat and she doesn’t fall over, it’s time to marry her.” -saying quoted during discussion with group of Afghan women, Chimtal district, Balkh province, April 2010.

Adolescent pregnancy is one of the leading causes of high maternal mortality. Girls who give birth before the age of 15, at an age when their bodies are not ready for childbirth, are five times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s.

Afghanistan has the worst maternal mortality rate in the world. It is linked to early marriage, frequent pregnancies, and lack of awareness linked to low levels of literacy, among other factors. This amounts to around 24,000 deaths per year, many of them girls under the age of 18. A child born to a girl under the age of 18 has a 60 per cent greater chance of dying in the first year of life. In Afghanistan, maternal mortality represents ten times more deaths (24,000 per annum) than conflict-related civilian deaths (UNAMA HR recorded 2,412 conflict-related civilian deaths in 2009159).

Early marriage harms not only the girl child but also the infant she bears. Premature birth, low birth weight and poor mental and physical growth are frequent characteristics of babies born to young mothers.

Many women and medical personnel interviewed by UNAMA HR said that child brides often have little or no experience or understanding of how to care for newborn babies. They mentioned incidents where young inexperienced mothers accidentally burned or  suffocated babies…Medical practitioners described to UNAMA HR the gynaecological problems that arise from early sex and childbirth. They include vaginal laceration, ruptured uterus, and urethra-vaginal fistula.

The adult literacy rate for all Afghans over 15 years old is 28 per cent; for women alone it is 12.6 per cent. Girls who marry as children almost never continue with their education...Girls with eight or more years of education are less likely to marry young than girls with zero to three years of school. Compulsory education up until the age of 16 significantly decreases the chances of early marriage.

In 2009, the Khost health department reported a case to UNAMA HR where it admitted to hospital a 17-year-old girl whose father had attempted to cut her throat after she refused to marry a man he had selected. Authorities took no criminal action against the girl’s father, treating the case as a private family dispute.”