United Nations imposes toughest sanction on North Korea

The UN Security Council has imposed toughest sanctions on North Korea. The resolution of the new sanction was passed with 15-0 votes, with all veto-wielding council members voting in the favor of the resolution.

The resolution which was initiated by the United States of America received support by China after months of negotiations. Under the resolution, the Security Council has demanded that North Korea must “abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs”.

In one of its toughest sanctions, under the resolution 232, trade restrictions are imposed on the hermit nation. North Korea will not be permitted to export more than 7.5 million tonnes of coal from 2017. This will be a reduction of 62 percent from 2015. The move will drastically reduce the money spent by North Korea on nuclear and ballistic weapons.

The US ambassador to United Nation, Samantha Power, praised the resolution and pointed out that it would strip North Korea of more than $700 million in hard currency.

Samantha Power said, “So long as the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) makes the choice it has made, which is to pursue the path of violations instead of the path of dialogue, we will continue to work to increase the pressure and defend ourselves and allies from this threat.”

SOURCES : Firstpost , CNN


The sinking state of the Nigerian food crisis

Nigeria is drowning in a food crisis. According to the United Nations, the country’s northeastern state of Borno is experiencing the worst condition with over 250,000 children under five who could suffer from acute malnutrition this year and almost 50,000 infants who could die.

The number of hungry people in the African country is on the rise on a daily basis as more towns are being freed from the shackles of the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram. Currently, there are approximately 750,000 who can’t be reached in the north east, and aid groups think that the most affected areas in northeastern Borno are completely immersed in famine which hints that 30% of the inhabitants are suffering from malnutrition. These numbers are rapidly increasing since the beginning of 2016 with at least a million in “severity level four” and another 75,000 people facing outright famine.

In the past years, Nigeria has spent billion in importing food from various countries. A UN official stated that Nigeria spends around $20 billion on food yearly. Nigeria has faced food shortage for quite some time due to the insurgency by affiliate of the Islamic State; Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram war began back in 2009 whose consequences and repercussions are witnessed by Nigerian citizens today.They have been starved and deprived of stable livelihoods ever since the terrorist group began the conflict. Reports also state that the insurgency has left over 2.6 million homeless in the past seven years. A result of the Islamist group invasion has led to the spilt of northern Cameroon, western Chad, and southeast Niger. The entire northeast region used to be an expansive field for food production and animal husbandry, which is now charred and laid waste by the upheaval of Boko Haram insurgency. U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator Toby Lanzer said that conditions in the country were worsened by a “demographic explosion” in the Lake Chad basin when migrants started to move towards Europe.

The country is facing its worst ever catastrophe since the 1960’s war. The irony however, is the crisis in Nigeria is not being given the importance and attention it deserves despite the level of malnutrition being, “far, far, far above what (we find) in an emergency situation” as stated by Dr Bamidele Omotola, a nutrition specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Apart from the famine, the nation is also going through deep recession. Toby Lanzer said, “The government’s capacity to run itself is very stretched”. The Nigerian currency, naira has lost value and inflation has caused food, fuel and commodity prices to rise uncontrollably.

With the calamity worsening every passing day, the United Nations has appealed to many international donors to contribute and save the nation from getting doomed. As rightly stated by a UN spokesperson, the Nigerian economic condition demands expectation from the international community to “step up” and offer the resources needed to save the country. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will introduce a plea for funding on Friday at the UN General Assembly meeting 23 September.

Uri attack shudders the nation

As a strategic and calibrated response to Sunday’s terror attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that Pakistan be isolated diplomatically at every international forum. In fact, at a meeting that was also attended by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Modi urged that the Uri attack be raised at the United Nations General Assembly, which is in session in New York.

The army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri district was attacked by four Pakistani terrorists in the wee hours of September 18, 2016. In what ensued to be a three-hour-long gun-battle at 12th Brigade at Uri, 17 soldiers lost their lives while the four terrorists were also killed. The terrorists allegedly belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed. Another soldier succumbed to his injuries and died later, raising the toll to 18. The bodies of the soldiers who lost their lives in the combat are being flown to their home town today. Further, on the afternoon of September 20, there were multiple ceasefire violations across the border when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing using small arms towards Indian positions at the Uri camp.

Intelligence sources have confirmed the origin of these terrorists to be Pakistan after thorough investigation of their belongings. Apart from weapons and food with Pakistani markings seized from the terrorists, GPS trackers that they carried showed they had started from Pakistan. Although Pakistan has denied all links, the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt General Ranbir Singh is ready to hand over concrete evidence to his counterpart in Pakistan.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sent a team to Uri so as to investigate the attack. The Army is also thoroughly probing how the terrorists breached a three-layered, counter-infiltration grid to cross the border and also how they managed to infiltrate the army base at Uri.  It seems that the attack happened during a change of command at the base between two regiments – 6 Bihar and 10 Dogra.

The attack is being strongly condemned by the entire nation and elsewhere.


Sources: NDTV


Nadia Murad’s journey: From IS slavery to UN Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations in its acknowledgement of the suffering of the Yazidis at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) has appointed Nadia Murad Basee Taha as its Goodwill ambassador. This action is to dignify all those who have survived the terror of human trafficking. Murad has recently come into focus soon after she decided to bring to light the actual horrors inflicted upon young women held in captivity by IS, especially Yazidi women who are treated “worse than animals”.

The 23-year-old Iraqi woman has become the first survivor of such atrocities to be bestowed with such a prestigious position. Murad has come forward to talk about how inhuman and unspeakable acts are committed against the Yazidi community- men are killed in cold blood and young women and girls are taken along as personal possessions, only to be raped continuously. The older women, who are considered unimportant, are killed too. As Murad spoke about this, she recalled how her six brothers and her mother were all killed in front of them. Only her nieces were spared so that they could be taken in as sex slaves. This is the extent of Islamic State’s brutality, Murad laments.

The atrocities of ISIS against the ethnic Kurdish minority community of Yazidis have been termed nothing less than genocide. Murad has been actively working to raise awareness against this ever since she escaped from slavery, and has been meeting various heads of state and global leaders to spread her message across the globe. As Goodwill ambassador, she will continue her efforts to do the same, but with reinforced vigour.

She talked about the horror she had faced and said, “Isis had one intention, the destroy the Yazidi identity by force, rape, recruitment of children, and destruction of holy sites they captured, especially against the Yazidi woman where the used rape as a mean of destruction for Yazidi women and girls and ensuring these women will never return to a normal life.”

The United Nations’ effort to recognise the work of such human rights activists is indeed necessary at a time when terrorist organisations like the Islamic State are spreading unprecedented terror. Since Murad has herself been a victim of these atrocities, the recognition of her work becomes even more important. With people like Nadia Murad to look up to, surely, women across the world will be inspired to raise their voices too.


Sources: TIME, Independent

Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth appointed as UN Women’s Advocate for gender equality

Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush, daughter of iconic actor and filmmaker, Rajinikanth, was appointed United Nations Women’s Advocate for gender equality and women’s’ empowerment in India. She was appointed by Lakshmi Puri, U.N Assistant Secretary General and U.N Women Deputy Executive Director.

“Aishwaryaa will help raise awareness of U.N Women’s core message of gender equality and women’s empowerment across India, boosting the organisation’s efforts to close the gender gap and achieve a more equal world- a Planet 50-50, by the year 2030,” as reported in a press release. She was quoted as saying that Aishwaryaa, who is also a dancer, “inspires confidence in young women and girls, across South India and beyond.

While Rajinikanth said that he was “proud and delighted” of her achievements and association with the UN, the woman of the hour, Aishwaryaa herself, said that it would be an “honor” to serve women of this country, as the women’s advocate for the women’s empowerment.

Aishwaryaa joins a rather sophisticated and reputable league of celebrities like, tennis star Sania Mirza, actor-director Farhan Akhtar, British actor Emma Watson, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathway and Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand, in the fight for social justice and equality of women.

Source: The Hindu Business Standard

India not a Permanent Member of UN Security Council

In a setback, India will not be given a permanent membership in the United Nation Security Council this year. Due to not making any decision regarding the matter, the council unanimously agreed to push it to the next session.

According to the Times of India, Brazil’s permanent representative to the UN said, “The longer we postpone the decision on the reform of the Security Council, the greater the discredit brought upon the United Nations in its core function of promoting peace and security.”

This comes in the wake of India’s failure to gain entry in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG), which is a group of 48 countries that control the nuclear trade and material. After two decades of pushing the United Nations Security Council, the Assembly decided to take steps in order for it to reflect a balance of global power even though there was strong opposition from countries like Pakistan and Italy.

The negotiating text was formed based on the survey done by Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica. Most UN members support the decision of increasing the number of members from 15 to 20 and making the workings of the council more transparent.

Sources: Financial Express, The Times of India, NDTV

Extended State of Emergency Declared in Mali

Nampala, Mali: The Republic of Mali has declared a state of emergency for 10 days on Thursday, July 21st, 2016. This comes after a deadly attack at an army base by gunmen that left 12 soldiers dead, and 35 injured. The declaration was made just a week after a three-month emergency period was lifted by the State.

The Republic also declared a three-day period of mourning, till July 24th, 2016, as a way of paying respect to the slain. The previous emergency period lasted from April, 2016 to July, 2016 and now renewed, is expected to last 10 days, pending further deliberations. The government stated that it was a “coordinated terrorist attack”.

Mali has been at the centre of violence due to conflicts between various ethnic groups. Two militant organisations have claimed culpability for the army base raid – the ethnic Peul tribe that calls itself ANSIPRJ, or the National Alliance for the Protection of Peul Identity and Restoration of Justice, and an Islamic extremist group, the Macina Liberation Front, that is said to be a part of Jihadist group, the Ansar Dine.

The continuous violence initiated in 2012, started when the Tuareg tribe’s rebels took control of Mali. In 2013, the French launched a military operation to drive out Islamic rebels who were wreaking havoc in the state. The European Union and the United Nations spoke out against the attack, condemning such violence. Despite deployment of 11000 soldiers from the UN Peacekeeping Force, attacks and raids continue in Mali and at its borders.

Source: ABC news

Financial Express