Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed creating UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims, who are fleeing a military crackdown to seek refuge in her country.
Adressing the UN General Assembly yesterday, she said that these people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity. United Nations says more than four lakh 20 thousand Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of an Army campaign in northern Rakhine state in recent times.
United Nations has described the military operation as “ethnic cleansing” and French President Emmanuel Macron went further, describing it as a “genocide.”
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has hit out at Pakistan, saying its Army launched a heinous military operation in 1971 which triggered a genocide during the liberation war, killing 3 million innocent people. In her address to the UN General Assembly, Hasina said the Pakistan military launched the heinous ‘operation searchlight’ on 25th March which was the beginning of the 1971 genocide.
She said the 1971 genocide included targeted elimination of individuals on the ground of religion, race and political belief. She said Pakistan conceded defeat and unconditionally surrendered in Dhaka to the allied forces comprising the freedom fighters and the Indian soldiers.
India has said that Pakistan is providing safe heaven to global terrorists. In its right of reply in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s address at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, India said Pakistan has become a geography synonimous with terror and Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’ with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.
India’s representative Eenam Gambhir said, Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation to the terror is unparalleled.
India has described Pakistan as Terroristan, the land of pure terror, Exercising its right to reply at the UN General Assembly in New York, India said, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.
First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Eenam Gambhir said, Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation of terror is unparalleled. She said, it is extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim.
Indian diplomat said, by now, all Pakistan’s neighbours are painfully familiar with these tactics to create a narrative based on distortions, deception and deceit. Ms Gambhir said, Pakistan’s current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Saeed, a leader of the UN designated terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, is now sought to be legitimised as a leader of a political party. She said, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism policy is to mainstream and upstream terrorists by either providing safe havens to global terror leaders in its military town, or protecting them with political careers.
Ms Gambhir said, none of this can justify Pakistan’s avaricious efforts to covet the territories the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain an integral part of lndia. She said, Islamabad will never succeed in undermining India’s territorial integrity despite their best efforts to scale up cross-border terrorism.
Ms Gambhir said, having diverted billions of dollars in international military and development aid towards creating a dangerous infrastructure of terror on its own territory, Pakistan is now speaking of the high cost of its terror industry. Attacking Pakistan, she said, the polluter, in this case, is paying the price. Even as terrorists thrive in Pakistan and roam its streets with impunity, we have heard it lecture about the protection of human rights in India. Ms Gambhir said, the world does not need lessons on democracy and human rights from a country whose own situation is charitably described as a failed state.
She said, Pakistan can only be counseled to abandon a destructive worldview that has caused grief to the entire world. If it could be persuaded to demonstrate any commitment to civilization, order, and to peace, it may still find some acceptance in the comity of nations, Ms Gambhir said. Indian diplomat’s reply comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly.
BRICS countries have strongly condemned terrorism in all forms and its manifestations. In a joint statement, the Foreign ministers of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have called for concerted efforts to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis, under the UN auspices. The statement issued after the meeting of the Ministers on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly Sessions said, BRICS countries reaffirmed their commitment to an expeditious adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations.
The Foreign Ministers also called for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations to allow India and the fellow members of the five-nation bloc to play an important role in the world body with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient. Russia and China, the two permanent members of the Security Council from the bloc, reiterated in their statements the significance of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the world body.
External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj will meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today. US State Department today said, the meeting will be the first bilateral meeting and the highest level exchange between India and the United States after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June.
The meeting also comes ahead of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s visit to India next week. Mrs Swaraj is in New York for the 72nd annual session of the UN General Assembly. She is scheduled to address the world body tomorrow.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. She was addressing the BRICS Ministerial Meeting in New York last night on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly session.
Hinting at Pakistan, the Minister said, terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia. Ms Swaraj said that terrorists continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of State policy.
The External Affairs Minister said countering terrorism must not be a matter of political convenience and efforts, including by States, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries must be condemned. Ms Swaraj said, there is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement.
She also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy for Joint Action at the Xiamen BRICS Summit. The Minister called upon BRICS leaders for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.
The Minister said the situation in West Asia remains precarious and the crisis in Gulf has further added to uncertainty. She said the spiral of violence in Afghanistan manifests the complexity of the challenge and the action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.
US President Donald Trump has signed a new order that boosts sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme. The US treasury has been authorised to target firms and financial institutions conducting business with the North.
Mr. Trump also said China’s Central Bank had instructed other Chinese banks to stop doing business with Pyongyang. It comes less than two weeks after the UN approved new sanctions against the country over its latest nuclear test. Tensions have risen in recent weeks over the North’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests, despite pressure from world powers to stop.
US President praised the bold move taken by China’s Central Bank to stop financial transactions with North Korea. He said, the US goal is complete denuclearisation of North Korea.
In his maiden address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump had warned North Korea of total destruction if its leader Kim Jong-Un, continued with his provocative behaviour. North Korea fired a missile over Japan earlier this month and tested a hydrogen bomb.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has said his country will consider the highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history against the United States. He said this in response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy North korea.
Calling Trump mentally deranged and his comments the most ferocious declaration of a war in history, Kim said his UN speech on Tuesday confirmed Pyongyang’s nuclear programme has been the correct path.
UN Security Council has warned that a referendum on independence by Iraq’s Kurdistan region was potentially destabilizing, adding its weight to international opposition to the vote. In an unanimous statement, the 15-member council yesterday said the referendum planned for Monday could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Islamic State group.
The move heightened pressure on Iraqi Kurd leaders to call off the vote after Turkey, Iran and Iraq urged them to abandon the plan that is also opposed by the United States. The statement said Council members expressed concern over the potentially destabilising impact of the Kurdistan regional government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.
Iraqi Kurds will vote on September 25 in the non-binding referendum on whether to declare independence in a region that has already been autonomous since the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.
- Indian Growth: Prospects for the Future:
Jahangir Aziz;In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the recovering global trade is assuming new characteristics. Asian economies have been deeply impacted by these new trends, although this impact may have been masked by superficial factors. In this talk, we examine the changes in global economy precipitated by the post-2008 recovery and analyse their effect on emerging markets, particularly India.Jahangir Aziz is the Head of EM Asia Economic Research at J.P. Morgan. He joined the firm in late 2008 as the India Chief Economist. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Aziz was Principal Economic Advisor in India’s Ministry of Finance. He has also worked at the IMF, where he headed the China division from 2004 to 2007. He holds a PhD from University of Minnesota. He appears regularly in TV and print media and has been interviewed by CNBC, Bloomberg and BBC on India and ASEAN. He writes opinion pieces for several Indian newspapers and business journals and is regularly quoted by the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal on India and Asia specific issues. Aziz has also authored several academic research papers on China, India, the determinants of financial crisis, and real business cycles. He is the co-editor of “China and India Learning from Each Other: Reforms and Policies for Sustained Growth,” IMF, Washington DC, 2007. He is also one of the few Asian economists to be invited by The Economist as a guest to debate global issues on the journal’s online forum “Economics by Invitation.”MoreGlobalization Flux CPR
Dedicating a Dam doesn’t mean Problems of People Disappear, Government has a Responsibility
Time to Critically Debate the Disease of Development and Big Infrastructure and the Social and Environmental Costs Across the Country
SardarSarovar is not to Serve Gujarat’s Interest but to Serve Interests of Corporations
New Delhi, September 22: The current model of development has a far wide acceptance by the political parties and executive, but has it been accepted by the Indian people, the vast majority which has silently suffered at its altar, questioned Hannan Mollah, former MP (CPIM) and Secretary, All India KisanSabha. He was speaking at a public meeting organized by Delhi Solidarity Group and National Alliance of People’s Movements titled ‘the Fallacy of Sardar Sarovar Dam and Development Debate Today‘ at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi. The meeting was addressed by Usha Ramanathan, legal researcher, Sanjay Parikh, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court, Prof. K.B Saxena, former Secretary, GoI and Medha Patkar, SaraswatiBai and GokhruBhai of Narmada Bachao Andolan.
HannanMollah further emphasized that time has come to re-visit the cost-benefit analysis of a number of development project since independence, since all around we see things in decay after 70 years of independence.This is reflected in the current unrest in the rural hinterland and the grave situation of Indian agriculture forcing farmers to commit suicide and leaving farm labourers to die in penury.
Usha Ramanathan talked about the learning from the various movements across India and their contribution to the jurisprudence and redefining of the laws by the demands they have made on the various institutions of the system. These movements have taught us about our responsibility to reduce the kind of pain the affected people going through. She also pointed out that the dilution of standards on the basis of pragmatism in the courtrooms of India has become a matter of serious concern. If the struggle of Narmada fails then it’s more than anything else failure of various Institutions at many levels in this country. Referring to the dedication ceremony of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, she said, “PM can dedicate any number of dams to the country, but does that make the problems of the project affected people go away, they remain and it is our collective responsibility to address those.”
The Supreme Court advocate, Sanjay Parikhexpressed his disappointment and said that in case of the Sardar Sarovar and courts of this country, it’s a submergence of justice and nothing else. He went through the various judgments of Supreme Court and other courts in last two decades and showed how every time they have violated their own judgments one after other and the final death nail was the February 2017 judgment of the Supreme Court. The judgment was a complete disappointment since it did away with the established norms, principles, rights and entitlements of the people through Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal or judgments of 2000, 2005 and even the much watered down 2013 Land Act. Even now there is a chance to correct this mistake, but will courts and institutions of this country rise up to the challenge of protecting and guaranteeing those rights to the people. Unless we do that, it will be difficult to restore the faith of the people in the system.
Professor K B Saxena spoke about dismantling of a number of notions around politics, development, civil society and the challenges in front of the progressive movements of the country. He lamented that all parties have accepted the elite section oriented development approach and there is a complete unwillingness of institutional mechanisms to provide resources and relief to the affected people. He suggested that there is a need to create a new institutional mechanism for the displaced people to get their grievances registered.The fact that we can no longer ignore the demands of the people, something achieved by the struggles of the people, but unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough. The hope that laws and establishment of entitlements can guarantee relief has been dismantled the way governments have brazenly violated the 2013 land act and with that the notions of consent, rights, and recognition of project affected people and many others. He emphasized the importance of keeping the temperament of people alive and sensitizing every class of the society about these issues.
GokhruBhai and Saraswatibehn of the Narmada Bachao Andolan said that we have fought the lies of the government and exposed their every claim and proved their theft of our life and livelihood through three of our struggle. We never asked for the cash and demanded our entitlement of land for land, an established principle by the NWDT award and accepted by the SC as well, then why do they want to push cash down our throats. We have survived their threats and violence all these years, they have tried to finish us many times, but we are not afraid of them.We will fight and we will win this battle against injustice. The way courts and governments have responded to our struggle, it seems that the justice has been killed in the files and hallowed walls of the court and government offices. It’s a testimony to the fact that marginalized and oppressed of this country has no option to challenge and fight this oppressive State, and we are determined to do that.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Medha Patkar, leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) dissected in detail every aspect of the Sardar Sarovar dam and its supposed benefits peddled by the Prime Minister and Chief Minister while inaugurating the dam. She said in these polarised times and not only religious but also development, conversations /samvaad is the only solution for our society and polity. She located the Narmada valley region over a longer historical period and geographical space and termed the Narmada Valley Development Project as a ‘destruction’ project of the river valley and a civilization, something now being attempted throughout the country with the plans like interlinking of rivers. Citing the data around the water utilization, distribution, diversion, and incomplete canal network and massive escalation of costs, she said that the Sardar Sarovar Dam is primarily for the corporate interests.The way water has been diverted and allocated to the car industries, coca cola factories, and Delhi Mumbai industrial corridors, it can only be said that the farmers and those in parched areas of Kutch will not get the water.
The politics over the Narmada has guided the politics of Gujarat and now with upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, it has assumed prime importance in BJP plans. However, the recent statements of the former CM Suresh Mehta expose the hypocrisy of those in power. NBA has always believed in the people-centric development and worked tirelessly for promoting the rights of the nature-based communities and for protecting the rivers, forests, and culture around nature. The State has tried to defeat and divert the attention but our efforts have constantly been to expose their sinister designs.
She systematically presented various data contradicting those shown by various authorities and lamenting that these false data were filed in the Supreme Court over oath. She mentioned the working and importance of‘Narmada Jeevanshala‘, schools run by Andolan, and emphasized on how it has changed the life of people there. She emphasized on the things said by others and talked about the struggling life of local people and said that the Andolan will continue until the rights of the people in the valley are achieved.
The meeting expressed happiness and welcomed the reports and editorials questioning the big dams and their contribution to the development paradigm, which has appeared in last few days. It only gives hope that the questions raised by the Andolan over these years are been recognized and need to be debated more across the country. NBA activists also called upon those present to come and lend their hand to fight against injustice and to help secure the rights and entitlements of the people in the valley.
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Only 15 countries worldwide have three essential national policies that support families with young children – UNICEF
New report says around 85 million children under five live in 32 countries that do not offer families two years of free pre-primary education; paid breastfeeding breaks for new mothers for the first six months; and adequate paid parental leave – three critical policies to support children’s early brain development
NEW YORK/ NEW DELHI 21 September 2017 – Only 15 countries worldwide have three basic national policies that help guarantee the time and resources parents need to support their young children’s healthy brain development, UNICEF said today in a new report. Worse, 32 countries – home to one in eight of the world’s children under five – have none of these policies in place.
According to the report, Early Moments Matter for Every Child, two years of free pre-primary education, paid breastfeeding breaks during the first six months of a child’s life, and six months of paid maternity leave as well as four weeks of paid paternity leave help lay a critical foundation for optimal early childhood development. These policies help parents better protect their children and provide them with better nutrition, play and early learning experiences in the crucial first years of life when the brain grows at a rate never to be repeated.
The report notes that Cuba, France, Portugal, Russia and Sweden are among the countries that guarantee all three policies. However, 85 million children under five are growing up in 32 countries without any of the three critical policies in place. Surprisingly, 40 per cent of these children live in just two countries – Bangladesh and the United States.
“What’s the most important thing children have? It’s their brains. But we are not caring for children’s brains the way we care for their bodies – especially in early childhood, when the science shows that children’s brains and children’s futures are rapidly being shaped,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to do more to give parents and caregivers of young children the support they need during this most critical period of brain development.”
The report also highlights that millions of children under five years old are spending their formative years in unsafe, unstimulating environments:
- Around 75 million children under-five live in areas affected by conflict, increasing their risk of toxic stress, which can inhibit brain cell connections in early childhood;
- Globally, poor nutrition, unhealthy environments and disease have left 155 million children under five stunted, which robs their bodies and brains from developing to their full potential;
- A quarter of all children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old in 64 countries do not take part in activities essential for brain development such as playing, reading and singing;
- Around 300 million children globally live in areas where the air is toxic, which emerging research shows can damage children’s developing brains.
Failure to protect and provide the most disadvantaged children with early development opportunities undermines potential growth of whole societies and economies, the report warns, citing one study that revealed that children from poor households who experience play and early learning at a young age earned an average of 25 per cent more as adults than those who did not.
“If we don’t invest now in the most vulnerable children and families, we will continue to perpetuate intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and inequality. Life by life, missed opportunity by missed opportunity, we are increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots and undermining our long-term strength and stability,” said Lake.
On average, governments worldwide spend less than 2 per cent of their education budgets on early childhood programmes. Yet, the report highlights that investment in children’s early years today yields significant economic gains in the future. Every US$1 invested in programmes that support breastfeeding generates US$35 in return; and every US$1 invested in early childhood care and education for the most disadvantaged children can yield a return of up to US$17.
The report calls for governments and the private sector to support basic national policies to support early childhood development, including by:
- Investing in and expanding early childhood development services in homes, schools, communities and health clinics –prioritising the most vulnerable children;
- Making family-friendly policies, including two years of free pre-primary education, paid parental leave and paid breastfeeding breaks, a national priority;
- Giving working parents the time and resources needed to support their young children’s brain development;
- Collecting and disaggregating data on early childhood development and tracking progress in reaching the most vulnerable children and families.
“Policies that support early childhood development are a critical investment in the brains of our children, and thus in the citizens and workforce of tomorrow – and literally the future of the world,” said Lake.
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Note to Editors:
Variables in this analysis were provided to UNICEF by the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Population figures come from 2017 UNPD. The variables include: two years of free pre-primary education; paid breastfeeding breaks for new mothers for the first six months; and six months paid maternity leave and four weeks paid paternity leave.
Countries with all three policies include: Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, San Marino, Sweden, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.
Countries without any of the three policies include: Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Dominica, The Gambia, Grenada, Kenya, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Federated States of Micronesia, Myanmar, Namibia, Oman, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the United States, Yemen and Zambia.
The report will be launched at a high-level event, supported by UNICEF partner H&M Foundation, between 11:00am-12:30pm at The Every Woman Every Child Hub, North Lawn, United Nations, New York City during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Note to Editors India
Early childhood is considered the most important phase in life, laying the foundation for physical, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing. What happens to a child in this period can determine his or her developmental trajectory through life. Early Childhood Development (ECD) is therefore a key area in the UNICEF India Country Programme 2018-22. India’s youngest citizens, those in the 0-6 age group, comprise approximately 13 per cent of the population which equals to about 158 million children.
UNICEF focuses on support for maternal and child health and nutrition, including responsive feeding and early screening and intervention, and promoting quality of early childhood education for improved school readiness and learning. In this endeavour, UNICEF works with different government bodies, including the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Early Moments Matter for Every Child highlights that amongst critical interventions for ECD, India already has legislations in place such as the Maternity Benefit Act, providing for breastfeeding breaks for the first fifteen months of a child’s life. However, there is more to be done with respect to strengthening the legislative and policy environment to support optimal early childhood development. For example, two years of free pre-primary education is not mandatory, and while the Maternity Benefit Act grants twenty-six weeks of maternity leave for women based on a recent amendment, the law does not include a provision for paternity leave.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.
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