2004 - IPB-ITALIA - Associazione per la pace, il disarmo, la soluzione nonviolenta dei conflitti


Associazione per la pace, il disarmo, la soluzione nonviolenta dei conflitti

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Archivio del 2004

Premio dell’Associazione Commercianti di Ravenna a IPB ITALIA

11 dicembre 2004 Pubblicato da roberto

articolo di Maria Chiara Venturi

Mercoledì sera 8 dicembre si è tenuta a Ravenna presso il Teatro Alighieri una significativa premiazione che ha visto il nostro ufficio italiano IPB venire onorato con un riconoscimento dell’associazione commercianti di Ravenna. IPB Italia si è visto riconoscere il lavoro di un anno e mezzo di attività nel campo della pace e specificamente nel campo della peace education, del disarmo e della ricerca tramite legami che diventano sempre più stretti e preferenziali con il mondo accademico italiano e straniero.

Alla presenza delle massime autorità politiche locali e commerciali tra le quali il sindaco di Ravenna, il presidente della Provincia, il presidente della Camera di Commercio, il rappresentante del sindaco di Lugo, il presidente nazionale dell’Associazione dei Commercianti, la nostra presidente Fulgida Barattoni ha ritirato il premio a nome di tutti gli associati: un magnifico mosaico che ritrae due colombe bianche simbolo di pace su sfondo azzurro dorato. Ha inoltre portato i saluti e il ringraziamento per questo riconoscimento di Cora Weiss che ha sottolineato la crucialità del momento presente, mentre Fulgida ha puntualizzato nel suo breve discorso l’importanza del singolo individuo nella costruzione di una pace attiva.

La serata si è simpaticamente chiusa con la performance dell’attore Ivano Marescotti, specializzato in performance in dialetto romagnolo.

Categorie: Associazione | Tags: | Nessun Commento »

Report on UN future - good diagnosis, but poor prescription

5 dicembre 2004 Pubblicato da roberto

More Needed to Restore Legitimacy of Commission on Human Rights

(Geneva, December 2, 2004) — A report on the future of the United
Nations, ordered last year by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and officially
released today, accurately diagnoses the sorry state of the U.N.
Commission on Human Rights but proposes an inadequate cure, Human Rights
Watch said today.

The report is on target in recognizing that gross human rights violators
seek seats on the Commission to protect themselves from criticism. But
instead of establishing membership criteria linked to a member state’s
human rights record, the panel members give up the battle and recommend
expanding the Commission to include all 191 U.N. members.

Among its key findings, the report highlights that the Commission suffers
a serious problem of credibility that casts doubts on the overall
reputation of the United Nations. The report, entitled “A More Secure
World: Our Shared Responsibility” and prepared by an panel of eminent
persons, notes that the Commission’s most serious problem is that so many
of its 53 member states are themselves responsible for serious human
rights violations.

“The report is on target in recognizing that gross human rights violators
seek seats on the Commission to protect themselves from criticism,” said
Joanna Weschler, U.N. advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. “But
instead of establishing membership criteria linked to a state’s human
rights record, the panel members give up the battle and recommend
expanding the Commission to include all 191 U.N. members.”

This recommendation is inconsistent with the report’s own analysis. In a
section on the General Assembly, the only U.N. body with universal
membership so far, the report states that the Assembly has lost its focus
and recommends that it establish “smaller, more tightly focused

The General Assembly has hardly been a reliable defender of human rights.
Just days ago, it voted not to take any action on or even discuss several
resolutions against highly abusive states: Sudan, whose ethnic cleansing
is responsible for ongoing crimes against humanity in its western region
of Darfur, as well as Zimbabwe, and Belarus. Even the Commission with its
current membership had succeeded in criticizing Belarus earlier this year.

“There’s little that a 191-member body could accomplish during a six-week
session. At best, it would be yet another talk shop,” Weschler said.

Human Rights Watch has argued that governments wishing to serve on the
Commission should fulfill membership criteria and make specific rights
commitments prior to their election. In addition, the Commission on Human
Rights should become a standing body, capable of acting upon crises as
they occur rather than waiting for the six- week annual session. In its
report, the Panel recommends the creation in the unspecified future of a
Human Rights Council, which presumably would be permanent.

Among many other issues covered by the report, Human Rights Watch welcomed
the prominent place that the report gives to the recommendation that the
Security Council should stand ready to use its authority to refer cases to
the International Criminal Court.

Also of great value are recommendations made regarding the responsibility
of the United Nations to protect civilians from atrocities and mass
killings committed by their governments. Human Rights Watch supports the
five criteria of legitimacy laid out in the Panel’s report, but criticized
the lack of reference to international humanitarian law as the
indispensable guiding principle of any military action. Significantly,
the report calls on the permanent members of the Security Council to
“refrain from the use of the veto in cases of genocide and large scale
human rights abuses” ? a recommendation that Human Rights Watch strongly

Human Rights Watch endorsed the report’s proposed definition of terrorism.
The report found that the right to resist foreign occupation does not
imply a right to target civilians and noncombatants.

“Nothing justifies deliberately attacking civilians,” Weschler said.

Human Rights Watch also welcomed the report’s recommendations addressing
the due process concerns related to the listing of individuals and
entities identified as supporters of al-Qaeda as well as lists created by
some other Security Council sanctions regimes.

“We have been concerned for years about the lack of due process behind the
listing and delisting of individuals and entities targeted for sanctions,”
Weschler said. “The Panel was right to press for this problem finally to
be addressed.”

Human Rights Watch Press release

Categorie: Comunicati stampa, Dalla Società Civile, Nel mondo | | 2 Commenti »

International Press comments about the document for the UN reform

5 dicembre 2004 Pubblicato da roberto

HIGH-LEVEL PANEL REPORT: The United Nations on Tuesday proposed the most
sweeping changes in its history, recommending the overhaul of its top
decision-making group, the Security Council, and holding out the
possibility that it could grant legitimacy to pre-emptive military strikes.
In its most attention-getting recommendation, the panel called for an
expansion of the Security Council to 24 members from 15. But the panel was
unable to agree on one proposal and ended up suggesting two options. (NYT)
The 95-page report lays out a new vision for collective action to tackle
threats to global security and puts “a more proactive” Security Council at
the heart of a revitalised United Nations. (AP)

The panel challenged the Bush administration’s right to use military
force against an enemy that does not pose an imminent military threat. (WP)
But the panel acknowledged that the UN should do more to deal with
terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. (Times, London) The panel of 16
“wise men” challenged America’s claim to have a right unilaterally to take
“preventive” military action against looming threats. “There is little
evident international acceptance of the idea of security being best
preserved by a balance of power or by any single–even benignly
motivated–superpower,” said the panel. (Daily Telegraph, London)

All countries should sign and ratify the statute of the International
Criminal Court, a high-level United Nations panel will demand later this
week, and the UN Security Council should be far more ready to refer
wrongdoers to international criminal justice. But the advice on the court
is likely to infuriate the US, which has opposed it both through the UN and
through bilateral agreements. And Washington’s support is seen as crucial
to the success of any UN reform. (FT)

The UN reform panel is tending towards a Security Council reform
model whereby the council is expanded by 8 semi-permanent members, elected
for four years; the panel feels that the majority of UN states supports
this model. Germany would thus not achieve the goal of getting a permanent
seat. (Berliner Zeitung)

New permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council should
have the same veto power as the current members, a top Japanese official
said Wednesday, disputing a high-level international panel’s recent
recommendations. (AP) China and South Korea remained cautious toward
Japan’s bid to become a permanent member of the Security Council during a
trilateral summit in the Laotian capital Monday, officials said.
(Herald/Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo)

India has been shortchanged by a report intended to overhaul the UN
set-up. Though placed at the high table, among the Security Council’s six
new permanent members, the report’s recommendations do not confer it a
veto, making any place on the Council a “mere detail.” Why should a
country aspire for permanent status unless it gains the power of veto? (The
Statesman, Kolkata)

Yesterday the UN unveiled a sweeping proposal to overhaul the
organization, including the Security Council, in what would be the biggest
UN reform since its founding in 1945. Its release had been scheduled for
today but was suddenly fast-forwarded. A coincidence, perhaps, but amid so
much pressure, anything that shifts attention away from his other troubles
will surely be a welcome respite for Kofi Annan. (National Post, Canada)

The US has shaken the UN Charter to the point of collapse. Where does
that leave the international community? This week we shall see the report
of the high level group, which will guide us towards rules which fit the
world not of 1945 but of 2004. Annan is right to try, but whatever changes
might eventually be contrived at the UN, the foundations of an
international community in the next few years will essentially be regional.
We need in every major region valid partnerships which include the US,
writes Douglas Hurd. (FT, Op-Ed)

The long-awaited Report arrives at a very inopportune moment for Kofi
Annan.Can a Secretary-General whom Americans do not like, who first reacted
at the oil-for-food scandal with reluctance only to admit, later on, his
son’s conflict of interest, succeed in reforming the world body in the
remaining 24 months of his mandate? Will the Panel members manage to divert
the attention of the American right-wing–already threatening to slash the
US contributions to the UN by 10 percent because of the scandal? (La
Repubblica, Rome, ed) Kofi Annan is trying to do all he can in the
difficult task of reforming the Security Council, aware that this may be
his last chance to save his reputation and rescue the UN from a bottomless
pit. (El Mundo, Spain)

(AP): Associated Press;
(NYT): New York Times;
(WT): Washington Post;
(FT): Financial Times

Categorie: Focus Group 2004, Iniziative, Rassegna stampa | | Nessun Commento »

Il documento finale dai Commissari dell’High-level Panel delle Nazioni Unite

2 dicembre 2004 Pubblicato da roberto

E’ stato presentato alle Nazioni Unite il documento finale redatto dai Commissari dell’High-level Panel incaricati del proprio progetto di riforma.

Qui sotto una rassegna stampa sull’evento:

Qui invece il documento finale

(thanks to Colin Archer, Secr. Gen. IPB Geneve)

Categorie: Focus Group 2004, Iniziative, Rassegna stampa | | Nessun Commento »

Enduring effects of war health in Iraq 2004

30 novembre 2004 Pubblicato da roberto

E’ presentato il sommario del rapporto dell’International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War sulla situazione sanitaria in Iraq. E’ stato presentato oggi a Londra dal dott. Michele Di Paolantonio, Presidente della Sezione Italiana dell’IPPNW.

The original document (227 Kbyte PDF)

IPPNW - International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Executive Summary

This evidence-based report analyzes, from a public health perspective, the impact of the 2003 war in Iraq on health, the health system, and relief and reconstruction. Health is harmed by conflict-related damage to health-sustaining infrastructure and to the health system, as well as the corrosive effects of conflict-related factors such as poverty, unemployment, disrupted education and low morale. The effects of the war must be measured not only by death and injuries due to weaponry, but by the longer-term, enduring suffering.

The report builds on Medact’s two previous reports on health in Iraq (2002 and 2003), which attracted worldwide media attention, and again aims to stimulate debate on the impact of conflict on health, with special reference to Iraq. It describes the deaths and injuries attributable to conflict and violence, and the current pattern of mental and physical illness. It gives an overview of the Iraqi health care system and barriers to good health care, including problems with the health-sustaining infrastructure. It analyzes the challenges of building a new health system freely available to all and based on primary health care principles.

Health impact

A recent scientific study has suggested that upwards of 100,000 Iraqis may have died since the 2003 coalition invasion, mostly from violence, mainly air strikes by coalition forces. Most of those reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. Many thousands of conflict-related injuries were also sustained. Infant mortality has risen because of lack of access to skilled help in childbirth, as well as because of violence.

Iraq already had high child and adult mortality and there is an alarming recurrence of previously well-controlled communicable diseases including diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections and typhoid, particularly among children. There is also a greater burden of noncommunicable disease, but a lack of resources, facilities and expertise to reverse the trends. The likely consequence will be an additional burden of preventable death and disability.

Behavioural problems such as family violence, child and spouse abuse and acts of public violence greatly increase in conflict and post-conflict situations. The aggregated effects of the psychosocial trauma suffered by Iraqi people create preconditions for further violence.

The health-sustaining infrastructure

The Iraqi infrastructure has been severely and repeatedly damaged by over 20 years of war, neglect and mismanagement, economic collapse and sanctions. This has a direct and indirect impact on health as water and sanitation, power supply, food security, housing, transport and many other factors are important health determinants. One in four people still depend on food aid and there are more children underweight (17%) or chronically malnourished (32%) than in 2000, though acute malnutrition has fallen slightly.

The health system - all activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore or maintain health - is in disrepair. The quality of state services is poor owing to chronic underfunding, poor physical infrastructure, shortage and mismanagement of supplies, staff shortages and lack of modern skills and knowledge. The 2004 budget allocation to the Iraq Ministry of Health is only US$38 per citizen. People increasingly rely on self-diagnosis and traditional healing, and buy prescription medicines in the marketplace. Under-the-table payments are required to secure many services, and there is widespread suspicion of criminal involvement in the distribution of pharmaceutical supplies. Health workers are trying to provide services in extremely difficult circumstances.

The UN, traditionally responsible for coordinating humanitarian crisis responses, has been marginalised while US assistance has been characterized by damaging political in-fighting. Although project funding has been agreed, little money has been disbursed and many projects have not been implemented. Aid and development workers, both Iraqi and foreign, run great risks and most humanitarian agencies have left central and southern Iraq, which remains largely a war zone. The pursuit of a relief and development agenda may be little more than nominal.

Key recommendations (full recommendations available on p. 12 of the report)

Independent inquiry
An independent commission should make a thorough investigation of casualties and the state of health in Iraq.

Protecting health in conflict
Require occupying forces to monitor casualties and civilian protection, re-evaluate the impact of weaponry in populated areas, comply with the Geneva Conventions, and ensure health services are accessible to civilians in conflict areas.

Long-term interventions to improve health and peace
Strengthen stewardship roles, capacity and funding to rebuild an Iraqi health system that is free at the point of delivery and based on primary health care principles.


The 2003 war exacerbated the threats to health already created by previous wars, tyranny and sanctions. Its direct and indirect impacts have probably damaged the material and mental ability of Iraqi society to reverse health decline. Conflict, criminality, social inequality, lack of democratic processes, political instability, presence of foreign military forces and decrepit essential infrastructure combine to damage health and arrest the development of a decentralised, primary care-based health system. There is a grave and immediate threat to the health of the Iraqi people, on top of their current sufferings. The need to find alternatives to violence and to resolve political differences peacefully could not be more urgent.

Nota: Vedi anche:


Categorie: Dai membri di IPB-Italia, Iniziative | Tags: , | Nessun Commento »