Tag Archives: united nations

Why are the children of Gaza deemed to deserve trauma, mental illness and death?

Traumatised: here’s a child whose legs had to be cut off after an Israeli attack in Gaza. Wouldn’t you agree that such an event at such an early age is likely to have repercussions for the rest of this poor mite’s life?

The Chair of the United Nations’ child rights committee has spoken out against the persecution of children in Gaza, caused by Israel’s genocide there.

Here’s part of what she had to say:

No doubt the Israeli “authorities”, such as they are, will dismiss Ann Skelton’s comments as they come from the United Nations and Israel does not recognise the UN’s authority.

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It’s a strange attitude to the organisation that brought the current state of Israel into being. Perhaps if Israel doesn’t recognise UN authority on this, it should make a statement that the UN had no authority to create Israel and dissolve itself immediately?

Nobody seriously believes that is a possibility. But its current attitude reveals the Israeli government and military to be hypocrites.

And the bombings continue. And the children continue to die. Or be traumatised into suffering mental illness for (possibly) the rest of their lives.

How would you feel if these were your children?


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UN demands humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza despite US opposition

The United Nations General Assembly has voted to demand a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council.

And yes – the UK abstained again.

Here’s PBS NewsHour with the facts (the first report This Writer could find on the subject):

The vote in the 193-member world body was 153 in favor, 10 against and 23 abstentions. The support was higher than for an Oct. 27 resolution that called for a “humanitarian truce” leading to a cessation of hostilities, where the vote was 120-14 with 45 abstentions.

The General Assembly vote reflect the growing isolation of the United States as it refuses to join demands for a cease-fire. More than the United Nations or any other international organization, the United States is seen as the only entity capable of persuading Israel to accept a cease-fire as its closest ally and biggest supplier of weaponry.

In tougher language than usual, though, President Joe Biden warned before the vote that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding – and Israel has already announced its refusal to pay any attention in any case:

The arrogance of these monsters is breathtaking, isn’t it?

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The PBS NewsHour article adds,

The resolution expresses “grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population,” and it says Palestinians and Israelis must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law.

It also demands that all parties comply with international humanitarian law, “notably with regard to the protection of civilians,” and calls for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access.”

Let’s have a look at the situation there, according to the latest reports:

Source: UN General Assembly votes to demand a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. opposes resolution | PBS NewsHour


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US vetos UN ceasefire resolution for Israel/Gaza – and UK abstains

After United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, claiming that the conflict between Israel and Hamas there is a threat to world peace, the United States vetoed it.

Worse than that, the UK abstained.

The will of the minority prevailed that day. Was it because the United States is selling weapons to Israel?

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Here are a few comments on what happened:

Adding insult to injury, the United Kingdom’s representative said Israel must be “targeted and precise”, and “civilians must be protected” – ignoring all the evidence to the contrary:

And the result?

Israel is already suffering an economic downturn because of its genocidal war of extermination in Gaza. Will the United States face the same?

And at a time when the UK’s economy is particularly vulnerable, can the damnfool Conservative government really afford to attack the national interest in this damnfool way?


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Israel has tried to start a fight with the United Nations – with a lie

Shocked: Antonio Guterres.

Liars gotta lie.

Israel and its supporters have tried to start a fight with the United Nations after that organisation’s secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, referred to the decades of persecution suffered by Palestinians under Israeli rule.

Mr Guterres himself has said he is “shocked at the misrepresentation of what he said”:

According to Mr Guterres, Israel (and its little minions) is claiming that he said the decades of persecution justify the Hamas attack on October 7. He didn’t say it, so Israel lied.

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Here’s the proof:

If that’s bizarre (because we can all check what Mr Guterres said), the next bit is off-the-chart lunacy:

A “blood libel” is an accusation that Jewish people historically murdered Christians in order to use their blood in religious rituals – especially the preparation of Passover bread. It has nothing to do with anything Mr Guterres said at all.

It seems clear that Israel’s ambassador was just saying whatever he thought would get a strong reaction.

How unfortunate that his remarks came right after former Israeli PM Yair Lapid denounced objective – in other words, fair – news reporting as favouring Palestine. He was trying to put forward a claim that Israel was a trustworthy source of information and Hamas/Gaza were liars:

It’s very hard to take that seriously when Israel’s ambassador to the UN has just asked us to swallow two such howling whoppers.

But, of course, there are always a few useful idiots, ready to provide some support:

At least they’re out in the open where we can see them.


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Disability minister silent over UN rights evidence no-show | Disability News Service

Tom Pursglove: we can see where his loyalties lie, judging by this infographic from 2016.

Life beyond Israel/Gaza: here in the UK, the ongoing – and long-running – scandal of government mistreatment of sick and disabled people took a new turn, as described here:

The minister for disabled people has refused three times to explain why his government failed to give evidence to the United Nations on its disability rights record, weeks after his party’s disability group expressed concern at the decision.

The Conservative Disability Group (CDG) chair, Barry Ginley, wrote to Tom Pursglove, the minister for disabled people, to raise concerns over reports that the government had refused to attend a meeting of the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities in Geneva.

The meeting was being held to examine the government’s progress since being found guilty of grave and systematic violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Asked by DNS about the decision not to attend the Geneva meeting, Pursglove dismissed Ginley’s concerns.

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He claimed the government had a “very ambitious programme of work that responds in a very thorough way to many of the challenges that people have highlighted”.

He then mentioned his draft Disability Action Plan – criticised for its lack of action and dismissed as a “PR exercise” – the National Disability Strategy, which was previously on hold for two years after its legality was challenged through the courts, and a planned review of the much-criticised Disability Confident employment scheme.

But when asked by DNS why the government did not attend the meeting in August, he said: “I’m not going to say any more to that which I’ve already said. I’ve set out the position.”

Asked again, he said the government “continues to act in good faith”.

And asked a third time why the government did not attend in August, he declined to say anything further.

Read on: Minister silent over UN rights evidence no-show, despite criticism from disabled Tories – Disability News Service


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Tory government is reported to UN over anti-strikes law. So what?

Strike: under the Conservative government’s new law, some of these strikers would probably have to work while their colleagues took industrial action – or lose their jobs legally. It might go against international laws, but does anybody really think the Tories care?

Does anybody really think anything useful will come of the Trades Union Congress reporting the UK’s Tory government to the United Nations’ watchdog on workers’ rights over a new law?

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act will require some people to work during industrial action – including people in the rail industry and emergency services – or face being sacked.

The TUC reckons this “anti-strikes law” is unworkable and may be illegal.

The government has responded with a claim that the law protects the lives and livelihoods of the general public, ensuring that people can still access vital public service during strikes.

there would be no automatic protection from unfair dismissal for an employee who is told to work through a notice but chooses to strike.

If a strike is not conducted in accordance with the new rules, employers would be also be able to sue unions for losses.

This Writer would like to know how having this reported to the United Nations would make anything better.

The UN is a paper tiger – it can’t force national governments to do anything at all, as we discovered when it found against the Tories over their treatment of disabled people (and, if I remember this correctly, the bedroom tax).

There seems no point in appealing to that organisation.

Even if the UN finds against the Tories, it seems the TUC will do a lot of work for nothing more than a public relations victory. Am I wrong?


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Children have a right to a clean environment, says UN report. What’s happening here?

Young people protesting over the environment: it’s a good image but sadly it was probably taken in Canada.

This is from the BBC:

Children have the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and governments must urgently act to ensure this, the United Nations says.

In a new report, the UN Child Rights Committee says that climate change is affecting children’s rights to life, survival and development.

It says young children are among the most vulnerable, yet their voices are rarely heard in climate change debates.

Tuesday’s report outlines new guidance for governments to follow.

Drawn up with the help of young people, it includes phasing out fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy.

UN countries will also be required to take measures to protect children from the harmful effects of climate change, such as monitoring air quality, regulating food safety and tackling emissions and toxic lead exposure.

Countries should also address the “clear emerging link” between climate change and children’s mental health, identifying eco-anxiety and depression as conditions that are on the rise.

And the UN says that young people must be included when drawing up new guidance.

None of this will happen in the UK, of course. Remember what happened when a UN rapporteur found that the government of this nation institutionally discriminates against disabled people? (Hint: nothing came of it apart from a stream of abuse directed at the rapporteur concerned, from the UK government.)

Meanwhile, what’s going on here in the UK?

And let’s be fair: attempts to improve the environment have been aimed in the wrong direction – at people who have little choice about whether to use polluting systems, rather than the 100 or so corporations that cause 70 per cent of the pollution in the world:

We can see which way the smog is blowing, can’t we?

The UN can tell every country in the world what needs to be done, and governments will tell private citizens that they need to clean up all the pollution, while allowing the culprit corporations to continue stinking up the land, waterways and skies – and possibly taking donations from those big businesses while doing so.

Tough luck, kids. Reach into your pockets or your wallets and take out some paper money, if you have it. Take a good look at it because it is more important to the people who shape the future than you are.


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UK disability groups explain plight of disabled people to the UN. Tory minister absent

As seen on Twitter: but is the UK government already planning ways to discredit a new United Nations investigation into the (mis)treatment of disabled people here?

That’s right – the UK’s minister for disabled people, Tom Pursglove, couldn’t be bothered to attend the United Nations in Geneva to provide the Tory government’s side of the story:

This Writer will dare to predict what will happen:

Firstly, the government – that will have had plenty of time to put together a report before this meeting took place – will complain that it was not allowed an opportunity to present its case.

Secondly, any findings by the UN will be vilified by government representatives, in line with what has happened to other UN reports criticising the UK’s Tory government in the past.

Nothing will be done to improve the lives of disabled people in the UK.


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United Nations warns UK could be breaking international law over cladding

The cladding at Grenfell Tower explained: The materials used were flammable – not flame-resistant.

What do you think the Conservative government will do about this, considering it is now three years since the Grenfell disaster and the Tories haven’t lifted a finger to replace flammable cladding on thousands of other tower blocks?

This Writer is willing to bet we’ll hear a load of flannel about the UN not doing its job properly – or misinterpreting its role in some way, and some minister – probably Robert Jenrick – will make some sabre-rattling suggestion that it should keep its foreign nose out.

You know how it would be – like the Tories did when the UN accused this country of institutional abuse of people with disabilities.

The last thing the Tories want to do is spend money on poor people who are living in firetraps.

The UN has warned Britain that its failure to strip combustible cladding from high-rise buildings containing tens of thousands homes may be a breach of international law.

The global body is demanding answers about the UK government’s delayed programme to fix hundreds of blocks wrapped in flammable panels and with other fire safety problems.

Leilani Farha, the UN’s special rapporteur on adequate housing, wrote to the government to express “serious concern about allegations of multiple violations of the human right to adequate housing, of which safety is a key component – contrary to international human rights law”.

Source: UK could be breaking international law over cladding, says UN | Society | The Guardian

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UN poverty expert condemns UK coronavirus response as ‘utterly hypocritical’

Philip Alston: he warned us all about the Tories before but they were voted back in because people didn’t listen.

How else would you describe the way the UK’s Tory government threw away austerity the instant the well-being of the rich was threatened?

Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, made a good point when he pointed out that the harm caused by austerity policies of the last 10 years cannot be undone – but the policy itself was reversed the instant it seemed likely to harm the rich.

He told The Guardian:

“My thoughts of course hark back to the sense of how utterly hypocritical it is now to abandon ‘austerity’ with such alacrity, after all the harm and misery caused to individuals and the fatal weakening of the community’s capacity to cope and respond over the past 10 years.

“And of course, many of the worst and most damaging aspects of ‘austerity’ cannot and will not be undone. The damage caused to community cohesion and to the social infrastructure are likely to prove permanent.

He said that globally “the most vulnerable have been short-changed or excluded” by official responses to the disease:

“The policies of many states reflect a social Darwinism philosophy that prioritises the economic interests of the wealthiest while doing little for those who are hard at work providing essential services or unable to support themselves.

“Governments have shut down entire countries without making even minimal efforts to ensure people can get by.”

The Tories would undoubtedly argue that they have indeed made efforts to ensure people can get by… but some would argue that those efforts have indeed been minimal.

Across the UK, people who claimed Universal Credit because their income dried up in the lockdown have found their five-week wait for benefit cash has culminated in a cheque for no money at all.

Others have been unable to claim the benefit because they don’t meet the government’s criteria.

And of course Boris Johnson won’t agree to a Universal Basic Income that will help everybody – and will be cheaper to administer than UC. Why? Because he likes to keep people poor and – if possible – push them into debt.

Look at the other coronavirus-related policies and you’ll find that most of them aren’t working – at least, not the way we were led to expect.

And now there’s huge pressure to sway public opinion in favour of lifting the lockdown so we can all go back to work, making profits for the rich again – before their income is harmed as that of the poor has been.

Put it altogether and it seems Mr Alston has a very good point.

Source: UK coronavirus response utterly hypocritical, says UN poverty expert | Politics | The Guardian

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