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Archive for November 7th, 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta Speech: Government of Kenya one stop shop launch

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

William Ruto Speech: Government of Kenya one stop shop Launch

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Human rights in Eritrea

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth , will undertake an official visit to Tunisia and Malta from 11 to 20 November 2013 to collect first-hand information from Eritrean refugees on the human rights situation in Eritrea.

Since her appointment in November 2012, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit Eritrea, which have so far not been granted. She has repeatedly urged the Eritrean authorities to collaborate with her mandate with a view to addressing its human rights challenges.

Due to lack of access to Eritrea, the Special Rapporteur has decided to collect first-hand information from Eritrean refugees. The Special Rapporteur appreciates that Tunisia and Malta have agreed to provide her access to the Eritrean refugee population residing in those two countries.

During her mission, the Special Rapporteur will interview Eritrean refugees about the situation of human rights in Eritrea to corroborate allegations of widespread and systematic violations of human rights in Eritrea contained in reports she has received from a variety of interlocutors . The result of her findings, which will be strictly limited to the situation inside Eritrea, will be reflected in her second report to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

 

SOURCE

United NationsOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

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WHEN WOMEN DETERMINE THEIR OWN FUTURE, THEY ADVANCE DEVELOPMENT FOR ALL

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

NEW YORK, November 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the launch of the call to action on demographic issues in the Sahel region, in Niamey, Niger, 6 November:

Good afternoon. Thank you for coming together today. This call to action on demographic issues is based on sound statistics. But it is not about numbers. It is about people. When we give women the education they deserve, society becomes stronger. When we protect women’s human rights, society becomes more just. And when we allow women to determine their own future, they will advance development for all. Throughout my visit to the Sahel, I am calling on leaders to listen to girls and women. Hear their needs and concerns. Give women a voice in decision-making.

I also have a special message for the men: speak out for gender equality. To benefit from the demographic dividend, we need many concrete steps. We need to invest in young people to unleash their full potential. We need better health care for women and girls. We need to increase access to family planning. We need to raise the marriage age. We need more girls in school. We need to address HIV/AIDS.

These steps are important — but they are not enough. We also need to change mindsets. Women should be able to demand their rights. But I also want men to join this call. Help us create conditions where your daughters, your sisters and your wives have full equality. Help us create a society where women never have to fear violence at the hands of men. Help us create families where mothers and fathers decide together how many children they want to have. The time to do this is now.

I have full confidence that the men of Niger and the Sahel can support the women here, and that together you can open a new future. The United Nations is your dedicated partner as you advance along this path to progress. Thank you.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Promoting economic growth and Canadian values in France and in Senegal

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

OTTAWA, Canada, November 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ During his visit to France and to Senegal on November 7–12, 2013, Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, will use Canada’s leadership role in La Francophonie to promote sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

In Paris on November 7–9, Minister Paradis will take part in the 29th session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie. He will promote an economic initiative within the organization, and will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from member countries of La Francophonie. The Minister will also deliver a statement from the Government of Canada at the General Conference of UNESCO, a body of which Canada remains an active and engaged member.

“Canada plays a leading role in La Francophonie, an organization that is essential for promoting our Francophone culture and heritage,” said Minister Paradis. “Our government will continue to promote sustainable economic growth as the best tool for reducing poverty, improving equality between women and men, and creating prosperity.”

The Minister will then visit Senegal on November 10–12, where he will meet with representatives of the Government of Senegal, Canadian and international partners, and local organizations to talk about Canada’s development program. The Minister will also pay a visit to development project sites funded by Canada to see the results. During his visit, the Minister will focus on food security, the role of the private sector in agricultural development, and the mutual reinforcement of the prosperity agenda of both countries.

This trip will enable Minister Paradis to make the most of important forums for member countries of La Francophonie. It will allow him to highlight Canada’s contribution to improving the lives of French-speaking populations around the world, particularly Canada’s ongoing commitment to supporting Senegal in its sustainable development efforts in order to improve the quality of life of all Senegalese.

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

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Stop threatening women with flogging

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Flogging women, including for “honour-related offences” amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in international law and must stop, two independent UN human rights experts said Wednesday in the wake of recent cases involving women in Sudan.

Amira Osman Hamed, a 35-year-old Sudanese civil engineer and women’s rights activist appeared in court on Monday charged with dressing indecently or immorally – for refusing to cover her hair with a headscarf. If she is found guilty, she could be sentenced to corporal punishment of up to 40 lashes. Following Monday’s hearing, the woman remains in legal limbo while the prosecution decides if additional hearings will take place or if the case will be dismissed.

Premarital sex, adultery, failing to prove rape, dressing ‘indecently’ or ‘immorally’, being found in the company of a man, or committing acts that are deemed incompatible with chastity – these are some of the “offences” for which women have been chastised with flogging in various parts of the world,” said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo. “This needs to stop. Women like Amira must not be forced to live in fear of being flogged. Governments need to stop flogging women and girls.”

Frances Raday, the chairperson of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, added that it was women who were disproportionally found guilty of offences that were punishable by flogging.

“Given continued discrimination and inequalities faced by women, including inferior roles attributed to them by patriarchal and traditional attitudes, and power imbalances in their relations with men, maintaining flogging as a form of punishment, even when it applies to both women and men, means in practice that women disproportionally face this cruel punishment, in violation of their human rights to dignity, privacy and equality,” Ms. Raday said.

The experts called for the immediate release of Ms. Osman Hamed and for the Sudanese Government to review its legislation related to flogging. Under international human rights law, corporal punishment can amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or even to torture, and States cannot invoke provisions of domestic law to justify violations of their human rights obligations under international law.

Corporal punishment of women and girls is usually linked to the control and limitation of their freedom of movement, freedom of association, as well as their personal and sexual choices. Punishment usually has a collective dimension, and is public in character, as the visibility of the issue also serves a social objective, namely, influencing the conduct of other women,” the experts said.

“We call on States to abolish all forms of judicial and administrative corporal punishment, and to act with due diligence to prevent, respond to, protect against, and provide redress for all forms of gender-based violence,” the experts said.

The experts are in contact with the government of Sudan to clarify the issue in question.

 

SOURCE

United NationsOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

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Armed group releases five soldiers

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Five Sudanese soldiers held in Darfur were released today by the Sudan Liberation Army – Ali Karbino (SLA-AK), an armed opposition group. The International Committee of the Red Cross facilitated the operation in its capacity as a neutral intermediary.

“The Sudanese authorities and the SLA-AK asked us to facilitate the transfer and provide logistical support for this operation,” said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan. The regular dialogue the ICRC maintains with the government authorities and various armed opposition groups allows it to play its unique role as a neutral intermediary.

ICRC delegates accompanied the released soldiers as a helicopter flew them to Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, where they were placed in the care of the Sudanese authorities. Prior to the transfer, the delegates spoke privately with the soldiers to make sure they were being transferred of their own free will.

Similar operations in Sudan this year involving the ICRC have resulted in the transfer of five South Sudanese prisoners of war released by the Sudanese government and of 32 Sudanese armed forces personnel and 36 civilians released by armed opposition groups.

The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1978. In 2003 it extended its operations to Darfur, where it helps people suffering the effects of armed conflict and other violence.

 

SOURCE

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

 

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