2010-2015 words delivering a Sunshine Award

In 2015 on several of my blogs I tried to bring positive news and react to unlawful matters and injustices. This caused some to react negatively and others positively.

Black Horn and Not in my world have an “Our Circle” were they try to bring together like-minded people. “Not In My World!!!!is as such the product of a Circle of Friends on Google, who believe Pricele$$ is the only value we can place upon Love, Honour, and Duty to Our Children, and to every Child in this world.

I and my own community of believers in the One True God recognise the value of each human being from the early beginning or conception. The beginning life in the mother womb is often not recognised or forgotten or overlooked. Not many voices are coming up for that life in the beginning. The silent ones do need voices and therefore it is good we can bring some voice in to the ether, placing some articles on the international web.

“Not in my world” is

a nonprofit information resource center, serving families, parents, and the general public on issues related to good parenting and giving Our Children every opportunity they deserve to grow up in a non-violent, family setting;  being loved, feeling safe at all times, with proper nutrition and healthcare, where they can learn the basic qualities it takes to be a good family member,  good friend, and good student. {0ur Home}

They like me sincerely believe certain values, morals and ethics should be clarified and promoted. They and me also want to point out the importance of educational background and want to promote equal opportunity education. Convinced that only by non-biased, non-propaganda information, followed by an annalist review and discussion, we should also bring people come to see the importance of certain issues and standpoints, for coming to a loving peaceful community and a safe, free, family environment for the coming future.

For we believe there is a basic set of values parents should possess to be good, productive members of a community and citizens of this country, as well as teaching Children these same values. {0ur Home}

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Haile Selassie, Emperor...

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, in his study at the palace CALL NUMBER: LC-USW33- 019078-C (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emperor Haile Selassie said

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted;
the indifference of those who should have known better;
the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most;
that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” {Our World’s Mission}

Because of the importance people having to know history we try to bring a view on what is happening in the world and look also at the past to compare what is going on today and where it can bring us.

Like “Not In My World!!!!” my other blog “From Guestwriters” is to serve as an information centre for parents, families, and the public, to help all children, who are the future of our world; by raising awareness to Child Abuse, and it’s lifelong detrimental effects, which can include both physical and mental problems, but we also want to look at the general environment in which the next generation shall have to survive. With the knowledge that we are responsible for the life possibilities of the next generations we dare to question our way of life and to bring a call to ask the present population to take on her responsibilities.

Due to the fact that we only can get adults formed by what happened before we want to show the failings of our society and where we can get in to avoid Child Abuse, a-social behaviour and violence.

sunshine-blogger-award-200On the internet it is said that

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are inspiring and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers.

therefore I may consider it an honour to receive and a recognition of the work I am trying to do on the internet.

Jolien Davies, a Blogger & Research Consultant, with her In the know with Jo tells us a little bit more about “The Sunshine Award”. She was able to dig as far back as 2008 and then the trail started getting colder due to old and deleted URL’s,

so it’s not my fault. I was not able (yet) to find where this ‘award’ officially began but I do have some good leads on what it is all about.

she writes. {Blogger to Blogger Awards: The Sunshine Award Unveiled}

Liebster AwardIt appears that the Liebster Blogging Award and the Sunshine award may have been the same award at one time. {Blogger to Blogger Awards: The Sunshine Award Unveiled}

some years ago I got also a letter from some blogger (I think with the name Zoe from thatszoe.blogspot) offering that Liebster Blogging Award but because of me not loving so much chain letters, and perhaps being a little bit paranoid about possible fishing. I did not react on it, also because of the personal questions and having to mention again eleven other nominees, I left it aside.

Jolien Davies tracked posts to 2008 that had them intermingled.

It’s not clear when they split off into distinctive threads but clearly it happened. The purpose of the ‘award’ hasn’t shifted too much over the years. It is essentially a virtual ‘pat on the back’ for a positive or creative blog that inspires others or brings ‘sunshine’ to their world. Typically it appears to originate from one post that really ‘shines’ on that person’s day.

Hopefully “Marc Ampe’s Space” and “From Guestwriters” can live up to the expectations what might be expected from such an awarded blog.

Liebster-blog-awardTo be honest, I also am sensitive for a ‘pat on my back’ and I think it might also give an impression to visitors of a certain attitude taken on the awarded site and of what sort of articles a reader may be confronted with. Therefore I decided today to place those emblems for those two offered awards also on my personal site “Marcus Ampe’s Space’ and on the other site “From Guestwriters” which got also the Sunshine award presented to it.

I am thankful to Black Horn and Not in my world and the others who presented me with these awards.

“Sunshine Sometimes Strikes Twice” is said. Again being presented the Sunshine Award I think it is time I made it also known to others. My subjects may be of little interest or not so popular but I am thankful for all those readers who come along and are willing to take time to read my “scrabbles or writings of my thoughts”. Thanks also for all those who show their appreciation for my writings with a “like” or nomination for an award.


Preceding articles

Hello world!

Awards, prizes, Peace and Working together

Parenthood made more difficult


Additional reading

  1. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  2. Legal dictionary: award
  3. Inculturation today calling for a different attitude
  4. Growing rift between observant parents and their children
  5. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense
  6. Responsibility for children who were molested by clergy
  7. Last day of Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI
  8. Pope Benedict will hide
  9. Not an easy decision to make
  10. “Prayer 2” – Child Abuse


Further reading

  1. Blogger Recognition Award
  2. Nominated for Blogger Recognition Award!
  3. One Lovely Blog Award! :)
  4. Real Neat Blog Award
  5. Thanks, 500+ Likes
  6. 5TH, 6TH, 7TH, 8TH, AND 9TH Beauty Blogger Award
  7. Encouraging Thunder Award
  8. The Lovely Blogger Award
  9. Sunshine Blogger Award 🌻
  10. Sunshine Sometimes Strikes Twice
  11. Sunshine Award (victoriajaynesbooks)
  12. The Sunshine Award (themeanderingcourse)
  13. The Sunshine Award (izzysyearinsouthafrica)
  14. The Sunshine Blogger Award
  15. The Sunshine Blogger Award (swimmingwithoutthemanual)
  16. The Sunshine Blogger Award (itsgoodtobecrazysometimes)
  17. You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Gray
  18. Sunshine Award (megselizabeth86)
  19. Sunshine Award! (myirrelevantthoughts)
  20. Au Contraire
  21. Right track
  22. Medieval Otaku Nominated Me For The Sunshine Award
  23. Sunshine Award and National Blog Posting Month 2015
  24. Sunshine & Creative Blogger Awards
  25. Sunshine Bloggers Award! :D


Posted in Announcement, Dagboek = Diary, Education, Justification, News and Politics, Thoughts of others, Upbringing and Education, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

2015 In the Picture

2015 opened with an attack on the freedom of press.

Pictures from the headlines of the first ten days of 2015

Pictures from the headlines of the first ten days of 2015

A censorship symbolThe first month of the year there was an outpouring of anguished and biting solidarity with those gunned down at the French weekly Charlie Hebdo where 12 were killed including some of France’s best-known cartoonists, targeting the heart of press freedom and democracy.

Charlie Hebdo killing. - He drew first. - Australian cartoonist David Pope

Charlie Hebdo killing. – He drew first. – Australian cartoonist David Pope (Red colouring presenting the bloodshed by Marcus Ampe)

Among the cartoons that went viral online was one by Australia’s David Pope: a picture of a gunman with a smoking rifle standing over a body, bearing the caption “He drew first”.

“Ultimately people who carry out these attacks can’t defeat ideas through these means and they won’t succeed,”

Pope wrote, adding that he had once met a cartoonist involved in the shooting and that the attack “hit a nerve”.

Women and mutilation

In March IPS correspondent Stella Paul from India by the international advocacy organisation Women Deliver was named with 14 other journalists for their dedication to gender issues ahead of International Women’s Day 2015.

Paul, who herself is a survivor of infanticide, was honoured for her reporting on women’s rights abuses through articles on such issues as India’s ‘temple slaves’ and bonded labourers.

Paul’s dedication to women’s rights is not only shown through her journalism. When she interviews communities, she also teaches them how to report abuses to the authorities and hold them accountable for breaking the cycle of violence.


Road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda, 2004

According Women Deliver CEO Katja Iversen, the Liberian Mae Azango deserves a Pulitzer. The daughter of Robert G.W. Azango, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia went undercover to investigate female genital mutilation in Liberia.

“After her story was published she received death threats and [she] and her daughter were forced into hiding. Mae’s bravery paid off though, as her story garnered international attention and encouraged the Liberian government to ban the licensing of institutions where this horrific practice is performed,”

Iversen added.

A 2015 systematic review showed there is little high-quality information available on the psychological effects of FGM. Several small studies have concluded that women with FGM suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.[ Reisel and Creighton 2015, p. 50.] Feelings of shame and betrayal can develop when women leave the culture that practises FGM and learn that their condition is not the norm, but within the practising culture they may view their FGM with pride, because for them it signifies beauty, respect for tradition, chastity and hygiene.

Azango told Women Deliver,

“Speaking the truth about female genital cutting in my country has long been a dangerous thing to do. But I thought it was worth risking my life because cutting has claimed the lives of so many women and girls, some as young as two.”

Iversen said that many of the honourees had shown incredible dedication, through their work.

Purple ribbon.svg“For some of our journalists, simply covering topics deemed culturally taboo – like reproductive rights, domestic violence or sexual assault – can be enough to put them in danger,”

she said.

Unfortunately women’s health and wellbeing is still, for the most part, treated as ‘soft’ news, despite the fact that when women struggle to survive, so do their families, communities and nations and the West does not have much ear for the women and children their situation even when we got to see horrible pictures of exploitation and slavery. Not enough people are willing to by more expensive clothes to avoid further use of cheap labour under very bad conditions.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi speaks at the DPI/NGO Special Briefing: Ending Child Slavery by 2030. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi speaking at the DPI/NGO Special Briefing: Ending Child Slavery by 2030. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi a tireless activist against child labour, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 together with Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” in March called for globalised human compassion to combat the global and persistent problems of child labour and child slavery. He wanted to see a clear language on tackling child labour in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He got the Harvard’s University Award “Humanitarian of the Year” 2015.

Making people to see

Photo courtesy of the 2015 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize

There was pure emotion in the face of Dr. Helena Ndume, more used to bringing sight to the blind than wiping away tears of her own.

The first U.N. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize was given in New York to Namibian born Dr. Helena Ndume who lived in Zambia, and Gambia where she completed secondary school, and Angola, before going to Germany to study medicine. As the head of the Ophthalmology department at Windhoek Central Hospital, Namibia’s largest hospital she is one of only six Namibian ophthalmologists.

Ndume has performed 30,000 pro bono surgeries for sufferers of eye-related illnesses in Namibia. The blind patients are filled with intra-ocular lens implants free of charge. She also encourages young girls to learn how to be independent.

The global population reached 7.3 billion in 2015. In the last 12 years, the world has added approximately one billion people, and in the next 15 years this is expected to occur again.

The United Nation’s new global and regional population estimates and projections entitled “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision” predicts the population will reach 8.5 billion in 2030, a further 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100.

Nine per cent of the world’s population lives in the 21 “high-fertility” countries, where the average woman would have five or more children in her lifetime. Of these 21 countries, 19 are in Africa and two are in Asia.

It is estimated that over half of this population growth will occur in Africa  – even if there is a substantial reduction of fertility levels which population growth is highly dependent on. Africa also has the highest adolescent birth rate: 98 out of 1,000 women.

Africa will “play a central role in shaping the size and distribution of the world’s population over the coming decades,” says the report.

The United Nations was commemorating World Humanitarian Day with “inspiring” human interest stories of survival – even as the world body describes the current refugee crisis as the worst for almost a quarter of a century.

Rioting, hooliganism and Sporting ladies

In 2015 sport came several times in the news with negative pictures of violence in sports involving crossing the line between fair competition and intentional aggressive violence. More than once a referee was attacked or bullied at football (or soccer) games. On several occasions fans but also now parents unleashed violent behaviour. Rioting or hooliganism by fans in particular is nothing new but the last few years the problem increased so much that in 2015 serious measures had to be taken.

Luckily the positive picture of winning ladies may soothe our minds.

The Women’s World Cup has shown people everywhere what women athletes are all about: skill, strength, unity and determination.

Podium 200 m women Rieti 2013.jpg

Asher-Smith (centre) at the 2013 European Junior Championships.

25 July 2015, Londoner Dina Asher-Smith ran the fastest time over 100 metres in history by a teenager when she clocked 10.99 seconds at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park, becoming the first Briton to break the 11-second barrier.

On 28 August 2015 she set a new British record of 22.07 seconds in the 200m, finishing fifth at the World Athletics Championship in Beijing.

The Olympic heptathlon champion who returned from giving birth to her first child to land World Championship gold in Beijing in August, could receive the top award at the Sportswomen of the Year ceremony in November. In the Sunday Times/Sky Sports-backed awards Ennis-Hill finished ahead of Lizzie Armitstead and Lizzy Yarnold in second and third to be named sportswoman of the year.

Dafne Schippers na afloop van de 100 m tijdens de WK van 2015

Dafne Schippers after the 100m during the 2015 World Cup

Belgian boxer and the reigning WBC, IBF, WIBA- and WIBF world champion in the lightweight class Delfine Persoon got in Belgium the title of sportswoman of the year, but she was overshadowed by the Dutch sportswoman of the year Dafne Schippers who surprised may with her marvelous prestation and is the 2015 World Champion at the 200 metres, holding also the European record of 21.63 seconds at this distance.

Syria civil war and refugees

2015 unmistakably is the year where the Syrian war managed to be in the news every day and regularly presented us with the most atrocious pictures cleverly manipulated by the men from the Islamic State fighters.

2011 Anti-government demonstrations in Baniyas

Everybody has become convinced that the Arab Spring protests in 2011 could not bring peace to the region. The nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad‘s government turned out something were the West did not wanted to be involved with, but got the ball back in her face.

The conflict which gradually morphed from mass protests to an armed rebellion after months of military sieges has become a war with seemingly no end bringing people starving and trying to go to other countries to find a better life.

All parties involved in this civil war are guilty of severe human rights violations, with multiple massacres occurring throughout 2015. Only when too many people came to enter the European Union Europe seemed to react. Because of the considerable displacement of population and having riots against those refugees Europe pushed for some peace talks. The US, the EU big four, Russia, China and several countries from the middle east (including Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and, for the first time, Iran) in 2015 started peace talks in Vienna that are aimed at bringing an end to the conflict.

Starving Syrians

By the end of the year we could see the skeletons of hungry people (for example in Maydan, not far from Homs) who remind us of the German war camps, opposite the luxury in Damascus where nothing can be seen of the ongoing war, the same as the beach we got to see where the family of the president enjoys life, like nothing horrible happens in their country.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence (percentage of population) of hunger. One person in four there is undernourished. Currently about 842 million people, or about one in eight (12.5%) people in the world population affected, in 2015, Syria was added by the countries where not only children but also adults could not survive because of lack of food.

Like many problems it took months before some reaction came under way. We may not forget that when a conflict lasts this long, when reports about the suffering it is inflicting become a relentless wave of depressing news, and when the forces at play are this complicated, many people are tempted to turn away. In Europe and the United States we also see lots of people who have an apathetic feeling with those at war.

Demonstrators in Idlib, Syria, hold banners in a protest for civilians in besieged Madaya on Tuesday, January 5.

Demonstrators in Idlib, Syria, hold banners in a protest for civilians in besieged Madaya on Tuesday, 2016 January 5.

In the besieged Syrian town of Madaya,  a town of 40,000 people northwest of the capital Damascus, where life seems to go on as normal in all luxury, people are dying of starvation.

We get messages in from postings on Twitter and Facebook were is begged for help, saying they have no access to food, water or electricity for days at a time.

In one message, a man speaks to the camera, but before long he breaks down.

“What did we do? What did we do?”

he cries.

“My children, they’re dying. Bring guns, bring angels, but God, help us,”

he wails.

Please also find the Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=941575405896351&id=175737975813435&_rdr (I am not able to read Arabic so I have to count on the Google translation, knowing that it does not translate so correctly)

Systematic killing of Arabs took place in Iraq and is now repeating in Syria and a Syrian writes on Facebook this will be repeated in other countries in the region. In case I understand him right  he calls for the Arab world to wake up from his sleep before it is too late.

And Hanna behind Daash and Naash base …
Syria will be lost as lost Andalusia and Palestine, Iraq ….

The United Nations says 42,000 people in the area are at risk of starvation. And they make up only a fraction of the 400,000 in similar situations in other towns — and millions more struggling in hard-to-reach areas — because of the country’s civil war, which is about to mark its five-year anniversary. Millions more Syrians have become refugees abroad.

Some politicians in the West the whole year tried to make use of the ungoing unrest and tried to make their citizens afraid of the coming refugees. People like Trump wanted his followers to believe the refugees are a danger for the freedom of their land and religion and a danger for the citizens. He forgets to see that the danger does not have to come from outside but may well be coming from inside. He does not understand (or want his people to believe differently) for example the terrorist attacks in Paris where not executed by refugees, but by Belgians and French living in Belgium. Several Islamic fundamentalist wanting to bring terror in Europe worked from the heart of the European Union (the quarter Molenbeek in Brussels) and from Verviers and some villages in the Kempen. They were just people from our own regions and not some who came here in escape from the war-zones.


2015 was a year that saw the rise of extreme terrorist groups and continued attacks around the world, plus more mass shootings in the U.S.A. than days in a year, but it also saw its share of triumphs and uplifting stories like Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. and the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s victory in the World Cup.

2015, A year of a year of triumphal moments and haunting images: A little boy, washed up on the shore symbolising the plight of 60 million refugees; people in Paris, Beirut and Nairobi running from terror attacks and countries ruined in relentless battles.

Please be welcome to view a leading source of global news and information source and see also the malnourished children. In this video you may find NBC News clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and their original series Debunker, Flashback, Nerdwatch, and Show Me, plus in the second one a UN review of the situation in the world and the need of humanitarian help.




Further background reading

  1. Being Charlie 2
  2. Being Charlie 3
  3. Being Charlie 4
  4. Being Charlie 5
  5. The 2015 Terrorist Attack at Charlie Hebdos Offices: Year In Review 2015
  6. U.N. Marks Humanitarian Day Battling Its Worst Refugee Crisis
  7. Grant’s Favourite Pics of 2015
  8. Jasmine Abdulcadira, et al, “Care of women with female genital mutilation/cutting”, Swiss Medical Weekly, 6(14), January 2011. doi:10.4414/smw.2011.13137 PMID 21213149
  9. Malala Yousafzai Shows What a Girl Can Do with World-Class Education
  10. Malala Yousafzai Announces Scholarship, Receives Honorary Doctorate in Halifax
  11. Editorial Exchange: Pakistan Honours Malala Yousafzai, Its Young Icon of Hope
  12. What 14-Year-Old Malala Yousafzai Is Teaching the World
  13. The Paris Attacks: Year In Review 2015


Posted in Crisis, Food, History, News and Politics, Poverty, Sport, Visuals (Video, Photo, Cartoon), Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Global warming a solution Global Warming and what an Individual can do about it – Swami Dayananda Saraswati

Namaste, Har Shankara Jay Shankara, Aham Brahmasmi considers himself as nothing and says

I am no one Indeed you can choose anyone from millions of people around the world that I am..
I am You, You are me we are Ek Atma In fact we all are Ek Atma. There are no duality between us.. {About Aham Brahmasmi}

We all are part of the universe, just one tiny element a bigger unit. Much too often we forget that we have received this world as  a unit to live in and to be able to make use of all it has to offer.

On this and some other sites of me I mentioned already the sayings of the Jewish and Christian Holy Scriptures as well as the Red Indian or North American indigenous people that we have our environment in loan.

This 1st of January Adrian Sanchez also repeats (with other words) which I have written already previously.  He writes:

It is believed that the previous quotation is part of a longer one that comes from Chief Seattle, a leader of the Native American Suquamish Tribe, who warned the white man:

Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Humankind did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

This poignant thought focuses on responsibility (responsabilidad in Spanish) rather than on ownership. I believe, we are all responsible for what is given to us by nature, it does not belong to us, nor even to our descendants, as they too will have the same responsibility to deliver in the future. {We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.}

Human beings are often so ‘hautain’ and think they are master over everything and everything belongs to them personally. they should rethink and re-evaluate their little being in the bigger picture of the immense universe where-off the Bible says we even cannot count or know all the stars and planets, them being as grains on the sea-shore.

As human beings we may try to reach an end goal of wellbeing of sentient life which we have in mind … but we shall have to come to see we are not so bright as we might think and we are not so able to organise this world. – Just look at all the sorts of political and economical systems human beings have created but did not bring the right solution. –

Too much human beings also think in the way of ‘owning’ and ‘having property rights‘. It has become one of the most controversial human rights.

Property rights being relations between a person (or persons), another person (or persons), and a thing (or things), making that there should have to be a relationship, be it to an object or several things.  We may not forget that property rights deal with not only how we relate to each other, but how we relate to our our environment. {Humans, Nonhuman Animals, and Ecological Resilience: A Bridgeable Chasm, by Peter Berkman}

At the moment our society is so much focused on material wealth, they want to place everything in figures and money. It has come so far that in Europe they even want to charge you when you want to take a photograph of a building or monument. Luckily this resulted also in some reactions. (see a.o. U obrani Wikipedije i zdravog razuma)

Between record-breaking temps, the Paris climate summit, and the fact that Arctic sea ice melting out in summer is now a norm, evidence that the icy regions of the planet are changing fast is overwhelming. {The experience continues}


To remember

Himalayan glaciers = perennial source of water => rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra + Sindhu.

The Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram, Baltistan, Northern Pakistan. At 62 kilometres (39 mi) in length, it is one of the longest alpine glaciers on earth.

glaciers > receding due to global warming <= increase in global temperature = real =>  in India cause irredeemable damage in more than one way if it is not addressed

river Ganga cease to be perennial in six to forty years of time

As human being = have a custodial relationship to the Mother Earth

Global warming = testifies how indifferent + careless we have been in discharging our care-taking responsibilities

raising animals for food generates more green house gases than all the cars + trucks in the world combined

Tens of billions of animals farmed for food release gases > methane, nitrous oxide + carbon-dioxide through their massive amounts of manure

livestock industry > flatulence + burping animals = huge amount of methane = 23 times global warming potential of CO2

synthetic fertilizers produced with fossil fuels process => huge amount of CO2 + releases nitrous oxide

avoid meat eating => absence of demand for meat => no more need for breeding millions of animals for daily slaughter => reversal of global warming = certainty.

Promotion of vegetarianism = require a change of heart = exercising responsibly choice.


Preceding articles:

Postponing once more

Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear

Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1

2015 Ecology

Natural capital in concept works. They know it, we know it, but how come it rarely translates at the coal-face of sustainable development?


Additional readings

Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things


Further reading

  1. Wonderful World
  2. Climate change is nothing new, a quick look.
  3. Research shows reality of runaway ice loss in Antarctica
  4. Global Warming
  5. Earth, then and now: Images of change by Nasa
  6. Environmental Fieldtrip
  7. France: Glaciers Disappearing
  8. Glacial Erratics
  9. Climate change can erode mountains, study finds
  10. How do glaciers influence climate?
  11. Glacial skate escape — Rare conditions create cool Alaska experience
  12. From Eos: “World’s Smallest Glaciers Risk Vanishing in Warm Climate”
  13. 90% of the biggest Yosemite glacier has melted. Did we do it? (1)
  14. 90% of the biggest Yosemite glacier has melted. Did we do it? (2)
  15. From AGU: “Kanchenjunga Glacier, Nepal Volume Losses
  16. “The Most Comprehensive Assault On ‘Global Warming’ Ever”.
  17. Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science–An Unbiased Report
  18. The Iceland snowfields
  19. Staggering amount of ice lost in Greenland!
  20. From Nautilus: “How To Clock a Glacier” March 2015
  21. The experience continues
  22. Turning 50 in Petersburg Alaska
  23. Argentina: Photos show Patagonia’s massive, melting glaciers
  24. Argentina -Things no one will tell you
  25. Peru Faces Tensions Over Water
  26. Peru opens “unique” climate change theme park in Lima
  27. Greenland might be contributing more to sea level rise than we thought
  28. Six years after the Attabad disaster, adaptation is still name of the game!
  29. 10 Reasons to visit Chile in the summer
  30. Lessons in Trekking
  31. #Nature #500px : Glaciers such an amazing creation by nayefalghamdi1 by nayefalghamdi1 #photography#IFTTT
  32. New on 500px : Glaciers such an amazing creation by nayefalghamdi1 by nayefalghamdi1
  33. You Can’t Rebuild A Giraffe
  34. With What Am I Willing to Struggle in 2016?
  35. Review Fridays: Glaciers
  36. Sunday Special – Northern BC, Canada
  37. Roadtrip from the Glaciers to Cardrona
  38. … I’m Still Not Done Talking About New Zealand. Are You Bored Of Me Yet?
  39. Exit Glacier-41/100
  40. What is Cosmogenic Dating?
  41. Winter Blues
  42. Backpacking Patagonia


|| अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि ||

Global warming a solution

Swami Dayananda Saraswathi

The Himalayan glaciers have been the perennial source of water for the rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna,Brahmaputra and, Sindhu. Now the disturbing news is that the glaciers are receding due to global warming. This problem of increase in global temperature is real and in India it will cause irredeemable damage in more than one way if it is not addressed. One will find it difficult to believe the contention of some ecologists that the river Ganga would cease to be perennial in six to forty years of time, that the other rivers of Himalayan origin would suffer the same fate.

As a human being I have a custodial relationship to the Mother Earth. Global warming testifies how indifferent and careless we have been in discharging our care-taking responsibilities. Now that we see the seriousness of this problem we need to take certain ameliorating…

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Natural capital in concept works. They know it, we know it, but how come it rarely translates at the coal-face of sustainable development?

Ecologist, Morgan Taylor, living and working in London his background is in marine biology, his work focusses on urban biodiversity, green infrastructure and the more strategic approach to nature conservation in our cities and urban spaces.

In Fitness check for Nature he discusses some of the big issues that face nature conservation in the UK. in it he asks to

Forget the calls for the designation of Marine Conservation Zone near to Cardigan Bay (127 were recommended with 23 actually created around the UK) this entirely undermines the existing paradigm for inshore conservation effort.

He also states that

Special Areas of Conservation are designated by the UK government under the European Commission’s Habitats Directive, 1992, which requires the establishment of a Europe wide network of important conservation sites. Along with Special Protection Areas these sites are part of the Natura 2000 network and protect over 200 habitat types and 1000 key stone species.

For him, as for me, it is clear that

It’s not the Directives that are broken, it’s the implementation. If a police force were failing to prevent murders from occurring, you wouldn’t blame the legislation for being too onerous, you would probably look to address how the police were enforcing the legislation.

We all should know that

Decoupling the environment from the economy is a dangerous move. It seems shocking that the value of the natural world does not appear to be appreciated by those that can make a difference; not that there’s a great precedent set by politicians for promoting evidence based policy when it doesn’t directly correlate to electability, unless it’s based on circumstantial, heavily extrapolated or fictional data of course.


To remember

In his last blog (before December 9) he focused on the threat of reduced protection for our most valued wildlife conservation sites.

the consensus = wildlife conservation legislation = fit for purpose

need to fundamentally re-think our approach at the small scale (i.e. in every planning decision and design team meeting) to align with science base + societal long term goals

Maybe we can then see some meaningful results.

nature provides value for us

green economy = crucial model > underpins entire notion of sustainable development > encourage growth >> relies upon decoupling between growth + our environmental footprint

we can achieve greater resource efficiency whilst fuelling economic growth


Preceding articles:

Postponing once more

Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear

Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1

2015 Ecology


Additional reading

  1. Here and now
  2. Temperatures rising
  3. First man’s task still counting today
  4. The natural beauties of life
  5. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  6. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  7. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  8. Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis


Morgan Taylor Ecology

My last blog focused on the threat of reduced protection for our most valued wildlife conservation sites. Thankfully initial comments from Brussels were reassuring, and the headlines satiated my smugness by stating more or less what I had written; Directives work, nature is valuable, enforcement is broken etc etc.

That’s fantastic, so far the consensus is that wildlife conservation legislation is fit for purpose, and many of those in the know, at least claim, to value nature. But what does that matter if we still fail in our duties to correctly enforce and implement?

Big changes are potentially happening in Paris, but we need to fundamentally re-think our approach at the small scale (i.e. in every planning decision and design team meeting) to align with the science base and societal long term goals. Maybe we can then see some meaningful results.

There has been a lot written of late regarding…

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A Miracle of Unity at COP21

To remember

The author Lorna Gold who works for the Irish NGO Trócaire as Head of Policy and Advocacy, was a few weeks ago deeply doubtful herself whether a meaningful agreement could be reached.

result of many years’ negotiations, tireless campaigning, many prayers and many false starts => For the first time, the entire world, all 195 countries – literally everyone – came together to agree to take united action on climate change. => agreed to make this legally binding + took a step together to save our planet. = a universal, equitable (of sorts) +  legally binding agreement as outcome of a peaceful, negotiated political process. <= result of the most complex and protracted negotiation in history.

spirit of Nelson Mandela seemed to hover => a rare, sweet moment of global celebration

The agreement = nowhere near perfect

very existence is little short of a miraclewww_delegfrance-unesco_org_

many flaws = long on vision and ambition –  stating need to keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees = short on action

Mechanisms for financing = still to be worked out

to make increasing commitments to reduce emissions over the coming years.

La Seine Hall where the Paris Agreement was agreed

Tackling climate change = long road => require global collaboration

Overcoming short-sighted, narrow-minded political world view = biggest obstacle + led  world to the cliff.

Paris sends signal to the world that success = caring for our planet can only be a good thing. => power to change global zeitgeist


Preceding articles:

Postponing once more

Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear

Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1

2015 Ecology


Additional reading

  1. Here and now
  2. Temperatures rising
  3. First man’s task still counting today
  4. The natural beauties of life
  5. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  6. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  7. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  8. Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis



Something important happened in Paris this weekend which could change the course of history. For the first time, the entire world, all 195 countries – literally everyone – came together to agree to take united action on climate change. They agreed to make this legally binding and took a step together to save our planet. It was the result of many years’ negotiations, tireless campaigning, many prayers and many false starts. But they finally did it.

This sense of history was evident in the speeches made and in the emotion that pervaded the normally reserved conference halls. On Saturday, there were extraordinary scenes of big smiles, warm hugs, kisses, tears, singing, cheering. It was a triumph of unity over division, global solidarity over national interests, hope over despair. Witnessing those scenes of euphoria, you could not fail to get swept up in the emotion and believe in the power of what was happening. History weighed heavily in the…

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2015 Ecology

Climate Business

In Belgium Klimaatzaak (Climate Business) was formed at the end of the year 2014 and includes artists, scientists and conservationists. With film director Nic Balthazar, Ignace Schops of the Regionaal Landschap Kempen and musician Stijn Meuris they have figures known to the public and could receive ears by the civilians which already had joined by 9,000 members of the public who added their names to a subpoena bringing the four governments to court and asking them to provide a timetable for their compliance with the CO2 demand and a division of responsibilities. The four governments – federal, Flemish, Walloon and Brussels – in breach of their obligations regarding climate change did not go in to the demands of the group to make sure that there would be a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 87.5% based on 1990 levels, with a deadline of 2050.

List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions as of March 2006 - Countries by carbon dioxide emissions in thousands of tonnes per annum, via the burning of fossil fuels (blue the highest and green the lowest).

List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions as of March 2006 – Countries by carbon dioxide emissions in thousands of tonnes per annum, via the burning of fossil fuels (blue the highest and green the lowest).

The group asked for an exemplary fine of €10,000 a day to be levied. In Holland a court case against the government not doing its best to get the goal for avoiding a worse climate change was won.

As we reflect on the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals, we look toward the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals to redress imbalances perpetuated through unsustainable economic growth and to help achieve key universally-shared ambitions, including stable political systems, greater wealth and better health for all.

Clean fresh drinking water

Too many people have forgotten the importance of clean fresh water. When you look around our urban regions you may find lots of gardens hardened. Everywhere we can find lots of stones taking care the water can not go into the ground but is pushed through the drains, causing more and more floodings of which 2015 also got its share.

Little girls in Timor-Leste cross a rice field after heavy rains carrying water in plastic containers. Credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret

Little girls in Timor-Leste cross a rice field after heavy rains carrying water in plastic containers. Credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret

Effective management and universal provisioning of drinking water and sanitation coupled with good hygiene are the most critical elements of sustainability and development, preventing disease and death and facilitating education and economic productivity.

How more the water going into the ground our sewage drain the more difficult and expensive it is to make it clean again, suitable to drink. The Water purification, water purification: typical water treatment plant in large metropolitan area [Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.]process by which undesired chemical compounds, organic and inorganic materials, and biological contaminants are removed from water depends on the chemicals and polluted materials in the water. In 2015 less clean natural spring water could be found from natural spring and from artesian wells which had historically been considered clean for all practical purposes; however, it came under scrutiny during the first decade of the 21st century because of worries over pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals from the surface entering wells. As a result, artesian wells were subject to treatment and batteries of tests, including tests for the parasite Cryptosporidium.

While 2 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water since 2000, it is estimated that just as many do not have access to potable quality water, let alone 24-7 service in their homes, schools and health facilities. Furthermore, 2.5 billion people without adequate access and 1 billion with no toilet at all.

Each year approximately 1.8 million people die from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water, coupled with inadequate sanitation and hygiene.

If we don’t regain momentum in water sector improvements, population growth, economic instability, Earth system impacts and climate disruption may make it impossible to ever achieve a meaningful level of sustainability.

At a summit in India it was agreed that more work had to be made to get good drinking water and sanitation facilities around India which should be acknowledged as a basic human right. To ensure success in getting sanitation for all, programmes need to be equitable and inclusive and should include behaviour change at its core.

Current logo, introduced in 2006 for increased popularityWaterAid (founded in 1981) has been working in the WASH sector in India since 1986 and is committed to supporting the government of India in realising the ambitious but much needed goal of making India open defecation free by Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in October 2019.

2015 was the year where we got bombarded by scientific reports alongside conspiracy theories and where data was interspersed with drastic predictions about the future. There were the many believers but also lots of unbelievers and even more who put their head in the sand.


The February rains in Brazil did not ward off the risk and could even aggravate it by postponing rationing measures which hydrologists have been demanding for the period of October 2014 until March 2015. Six million people in Brazil’s biggest city, São Paulo had to face their water tanks being very low. The rural population, the hardest-hit by drought, has learned to live with the semi-arid climate in the Northeast, collecting rainwater in tanks, for drinking, household use and irrigation of their small-scale crops. This social technology has now been adapted by the Movimento Cisterna Já, a São Paulo organisation, to help people weather the water crisis there.

A rural settlement in the northeast Brazilian state of Pernambuco, where water tanks have been installed to collect and store rainwater and make it fit for drinking. Initiatives like this one have modified the local population’s relationship with the recurrent drought in the semi-arid region. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

A rural settlement in the northeast Brazilian state of Pernambuco, where water tanks have been installed to collect and store rainwater and make it fit for drinking. Initiatives like this one have modified the local population’s relationship with the recurrent drought in the semi-arid region. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

The water crisis was the result of two years of drought in southeast Brazil. Exceptional rainfall was needed in order to store up water for the six-month dry season.

Development and rising pollution levels remain closely linked, as clearly evidenced in China and India. However, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a major opportunity to curb pollution and turn economies around the world towards clean and green development pathways.

“The key to development and improving the health of everyone requires new, clean approaches to economic development,”

said Fernando Lugris, ambassador and director general of political affairs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay.

“You can’t ignore the global impact of toxic chemicals in the SDGs,”

Lugris told.

Climate mitigation and adaptation

Global mean surface temperature change since 1880, relative to the 1951–1980 mean. The black line is the annual mean and the red line is the 5-year running mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. Source: NASA GISS. Global dimming, from sulfate aerosol air pollution, between 1950 to 1980 is believed to have mitigated global warming somewhat.

Attempting to sift through all the information is a gargantuan task, but it has been made easier with the release of a new report by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a think-tank based in New Delhi that has, perhaps for the first time ever, compiled an exhaustive assessment of the whole world’s progress on climate mitigation and adaptation.

The assessment also provides detailed forecasts of what each country can expect in the coming years, effectively providing a blueprint for action at a moment when many scientists fear that time is running out for saving the planet from catastrophic climate change.

The study found a 10-fold increase to 525 natural disasters in 2002 from around 50 in 1975. By 2011, 95 percent of deaths from this consistent trend of increasing natural disasters were from developing countries.

China, which was the highest GHG emitter in 2011 with 10,260 million tonnes, despite high economic growth, has not been able to reduce the disaster risks to its population that is expected to touch 1.4 billion people by the end of 2015: it ranked sixth among the countries in Asia most susceptible to climate change.

The post-2015 development agenda focused primarily on strengthening opportunities to reduce poverty and marginalisation in ways that are sustainable from an economic, social and environmental standpoint.

The SDG Fund, created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with an initial contribution from the government of Spain, has been designed to smoothen the transition from the Millennium Development Goals phase into the future Sustainable Development Goals.

The rationale of the joint programme initiative is to enhance the development impact of technical assistance by combining inputs from various U.N. entities, each contributing according to its specific expertise and bringing their respective national partners on board.

Some researchers project that human-made global warming will heighten future conflicts, or argue that it may already be doing so.

And recent journalistic accounts and other reports have linked warfare in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in part to environmental issues, especially lack of water.

Toxic hotspots and pollution reductions

UNEP_logoThe international collaborative body working to help low- and middle-income countries deal with toxic hotspots and solve environmental health problems, Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) along with UNEP, Sweden, Germany, Uruguay have proposed a more comprehensive set of indicators based on measures of death and disability under the “Global Burden of Disease” methodology.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation logo sm.jpgDespite the well-understood reality that exposure to pollution has serious impacts on health, it can be difficult to quantify.  The World Health Organization and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have developed a way to measure the overall health impacts of disease or pollution using disability-adjusted life years (DALY).

“This is a well-accepted metric although it will have to be enhanced because it doesn’t cover the impacts of pollution in soils yet,”

said Fuller.

GAHP has proposed that the pollution reduction indicator show the current the death and disability rates from all forms of pollution as measured against a 2012 baseline established using the Global Burden of Disease methodology.

“Pollution affects everyone and everything but awareness of the impacts is low,”

said Lugris.

“This is the right moment to put this issue on the centre stage,”

he said.

Energy transition

Schloss Elmau (in 2005), situated between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Mittenwald in Bavaria, Germany, at the foot of the Wetterstein mountains in a Naturschutzgebiet (nature reserve), belonging to the Krün municipality.

One of the promises made by the leaders of the world’s seven richest nations when they met at Schloss Elmau in Germany at the beginning of June was an energy transition over the next decades, aiming to gradually phase out fossil fuel emissions this century to avoid the worst of climate change.

The G7’s role in upholding the current dirty energy system is not limited to the subsidies they pour into fossil fuels daily.

G7 countries also directly finance – and profit from – dirty energy projects, particularly in the global South, and in regions where poverty and limited energy access devastate families.

These include projects affecting communities deeply reliant on clean air, water, and land that is polluted and stolen from them, projects among populations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and projects where people face harassment and human rights violations for speaking out.

Eight German nuclear power reactors (Biblis A and B, Brunsbuettel, Isar 1, Kruemmel, Neckarwestheim 1, Philippsburg 1 and Unterweser) were permanently shut down on 6 August 2011, following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The host of the G7 meeting has been much lauded for its ‘Energiewende’ (‘Energy Revolution’), with a rapidly increasing use of renewable energy compensating for its nuclear phase-out in recent years. They also called Belgium to stop using their Threadbare nuclear powerplants.

However, German euros still make their way into the dirty energy machine – through sizeable tax exemptions afforded to fossil fuel producers’ exploration activities – allowing such companies to go further and dig deeper to uncover more carbon that needs to stay in the ground.

Top threats and Greatest danger

Climate change is viewed as the “top concern” by people around the world. However, Americans, Europeans and Middle Easterners most frequently cite ISIS as the top threat among international issues and certain politicians want citizens to believe the biggest danger is the possible islamisation of our Western world by the refugees.

Those refugees often live a camps where they do not take care much of sanitary conditions and cleanliness. In Calais it is just horrible with waste lying everywhere around.

The last two decades in Europe in a certain way we have seen already some arabisation going on. When we walk on the streets in bigger cities we can find quarters where nothing else is spoken than Arabic, Berbers or or the Amazigh languages.

Dr. Michael Dorsey, a member of the Club of Rome and an expert on global governance and sustainability, visiting professor and lecturer at several universities in Africa and Europe and interim director of energy and environment at the Joint Centre for Political and Economic Studies, said

“If publics fear climate change more than terrorism, we might have to re-think collective and regulatory approaches for entities responsible for carbon pollution.

“If we accept the fact that carbon pollution drives both human mortality and morbidity, compromises ecosystems, and threatens society, then institutions and firms that produce carbon pollution, as well as those who opt to finance carbon polluters are akin to those who work with entities engaged in and financing terrorism.”

Denying unfolding climate crisis

It should come as no surprise that in some jurisdictions, elected officials are considering laws usually used to fight organised crime against those that deny the unfolding climate crisis.

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), addressing the opening session of the “Our Common Future Under Climate Change” scientific conference Paris, Jul. 7-10. Credit: Fabiola Ortiz/IPS

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), addressing the opening session of the “Our Common Future Under Climate Change” scientific conference Paris, Jul. 7-10. Credit: Fabiola Ortiz/IPS

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) at the “Our Common Future Under Climate Change” scientific conference being held in Paris (Jul. 7-10) at UNESCO headquarters, said that the cost of inaction is high when it comes to climate change and, so far, countries’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not enough.

Many people remember Copenhagen in 2009 and say it was a failure but it was a place where the 2°C objective was set up and recently a number of initiatives in clean technology supported the city’s goal to be carbon-neutral by 2025. And they are not doing bad. We may have a little smiley face when we notice that every COP is going one step further in defining the objectives but also addressing solutions.

Time to adapt and take all necessary measures

As a number of GHGs have already been in the atmosphere for a long time, it means we already committed to some amount of global warming. Therefore we need to adapt to the consequences such as sea level rise, impact on crops, on health and on extreme weather events.

Developed and developing countries don’t have the same financial, human and technical capacity to adapt. How can we bridge this gap by making sure there are appropriate technology transfer and financing mechanisms? This is one of the difficult parts of the negotiations. We need to address that as a priority.

Africa is getting hot fast. Already battling against the impacts of climate change, temperatures in Africa will rise faster than any other continent. In fact, they are expected to exceed 2 C and may reach as high as 6 C greater than 20th century levels. These rapidly rising temperatures foreshadow increased drought, famine and disease. The most vulnerable populations – of which millions are smallholder farmers – need solutions, and they need them now.

These rising temperatures brought on by climate change affect not only yields, but also food quality, safety and the reliability of its delivery to consumers. By 2050, child malnutrition could increase by as much as 20 per cent and food shortages could lead to losses of up to 7 per cent of GDP followed by corresponding food price hikes.

Maize, rice and wheat prices in 2050 could rise by 4 per cent, 7 per cent and 15 percent respectively, nullifying progress made in the last two decades to combat hunger and poverty in Africa.

The potential to sequester carbon worldwide through better land management has been estimated at around three Gt of carbon per year. Collectively this has the potential to offset between 5 and 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and increase annual grain production in developing countries by 24 to 32 million tonnes, leading to improved food security for many farmers and their families.

Globally, more than 30 million tons of oil equivalent are consumed in the form of primary energy every day, equivalent to 55 kilowatt hours (kwh) per person per day. On average, rich countries consume more than twice the average while most emerging market economies consume less than a third of what is consumed in developed economies. For many developing countries, the figure is well under 20k.

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Climate-related humanitarian disasters

“Three out of four humanitarian disasters are now climate-related. Economic losses have increased by more than half over the past decade. And ecosystems, and food and water supplies are under increasing pressure,”

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) or CMP 11, held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015 - Klimaatconferentie van Parijs 2015 (officieel: 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference), ook wel COP21 of CMP11, die van 30 november tot 12 december 2015 plaatsvond in de Franse hoofdstad Parijs.

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) or CMP 11, held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015

said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the climate summit COP 21 (the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which began Nov. 30 and ran until December 11 in the French capital. He declared that the hardest hit are the poor and vulnerable – including small farmers, fishing communities and indigenous peoples.

Ban Ki-moon saw the effects of climate change firsthand in the northernmost state in the US, namely Alaska, where the sea is already swallowing villages and eroding shorelines; where permafrost thaws and the tundra burns; where glaciers are melting at a pace unprecedented in modern times.

Teresa Anderson, Policy Officer on Climate and Resilience at ActionAid said

“For African countries, who are already feeling the effects of climate change in their agriculture and economies, adaptation is clearly a priority,. They urgently need support to deal with the impacts of a problem that they have not created.”

Enrique Peña Nieto, François Hollande, Angela Merkel, Michelle Bachelet

WFO, World Farmers Organisation,an International Organisation of Farmers for Farmers, which aims to bring together all the national producer and farm cooperative organisations with the objective of developing policies which favour and support farmers' causes in developed and developing countries around the world.

WFO, World Farmers Organisation,an International Organisation of Farmers for Farmers, which aims to bring together all the national producer and farm cooperative organisations with the objective of developing policies which favour and support farmers’ causes in developed and developing countries around the world.

Speaking on behalf of 1,5 billions farmers, between women, man, and youth, Eveline Nguleka, President of the Zambia National Farmers’ Union and also of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), an international body of agricultural producers, praised the stakeholder engagement process leading to the adoption of the SDGs and of the overall 2030 agenda.

The adoption by the international government community of this new path for development will translate into a strong pressure for all the actors involved, to deploy massive change processes aimed at the realization of the targets by 2030. Within this framework,

Evelyn Nguleka,  said at the conference

“We’re not only part of the problem, but we’re also part of the solution, and that is crucial.”

LOGO International Year of SoilsNguleka said that agriculture and food security had to be “part of the deal” in any agreement because farmers, particularly in regions such as Africa and Asia, are on the frontline of climate change.

“The local nature of the farming activity, based on a widespread presence on the field, make the world farmers ideal partners for both supporting the data gathering efforts needed to implement and monitor the progress in achieving the SDGs and for recommending appropriate policy interventions. Being a fundamental part of the food value chain, farmers are also an essential player of partnerships between the public and the private sector to successfully work and achieve results.”

“We need good soils, good air … to be able to do what we do,”

she said.

“Without preserving the environment, there is no agriculture. We have to be part of the equation.”

Greenpeace activists, demanding 100% renewable energy at Climate March 2015 in Madrid.

Around the world, 600,000 took part in demonstrations in favour of a strong agreement. Paris had a ban on public gatherings in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, but allowed thousands to demonstrate on 12 December against what they felt was a too weak treaty. There were also illegal demonstrations in Paris, including a violent clash between police and pro-communist protesters on 29 November.

Human displacement

At the high-profile climate negotiations in Paris links between climate change and human displacement were also made.

Climate change hasn’t been recognized in court as grounds for granting asylum. Anticipating the climate-related displacement of 250 million people by 2050, the creation of a displacement coordination facility is being proposed as part of the implementation of a new Loss and Damage mechanism. Unavoidable impacts of climate change, such as droughts, floods, sea level rise, storms and other climate-related hazards have to be addressed and climate change has to be seen as a threat multiplier, likely to increase displacement in the future.

Displaced people fleeing Sindh streamed into Balochistan. Credit: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN

Displaced people fleeing Sindh streamed into Balochistan. Credit: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN

Dr Akinwumi Adesina

8th President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina

AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, knows what climate change has done and what its implications are for Africa’s agricultural development if nothing is done to halt global warming. She said

“The danger that Africa will not be able to feed itself is a real one. And if we don’t have resources to adapt to climate change, Africa will not be able to unlock potential in agriculture,”

highlighting the implications of climate change variability on Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda.

Farmers attending the conference also acknowledged that their sector is part of the global climate-change problem, but many emphasized that a distinction had to be made between huge agricultural concerns and smallholder farming.

Agribusiness in general has been criticized for a range of unsustainable practices including monoculture plantations, deforestation, land grabbing for biofuel production, and the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and hormones.

U.N. figures show that agriculture is directly responsible for 13.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions (through methane from animal digestion and nitrous oxide from cultivation, including the use of synthetic fertilizers), and indirectly for another 17 per cent of emissions through deforestation or the clearing of land to feed and graze animals.

The sector thus cannot be ignored, and the Paris Agreement recognizes the “particular vulnerabilities of food production systems” to the adverse impacts of climate change.

It mentions the “fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger” and indicates that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should occur in a way that does not “threaten food production.”

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) estimates that an additional US$ 7.1-7.3 billion per year are needed in agricultural investments to offset the negative impact of climate change on nutrition for children by 2050.

The accord’s main aim is to keep the average global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

But it has generated both widespread praise and criticism, with world leaders calling the accord “historic” and “robust” while some civil society groups say it doesn’t go far enough even if it’s a step in the right direction.

Kumi Naidoo - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 crop.jpg

International executive director of Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in 2011

Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International’s Executive Director, said,

“The Paris Agreement is only one step on a long road, and there are parts of it that frustrate and disappoint me, but it is progress. This deal alone won’t dig us out the hole we’re in, but it makes the sides less steep.”

For the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) the agreement shows that farmers were heard, even if “everybody cannot be fully satisfied”, said Dr. Marco Manzano de Marinis, WFO’s Secretary General.

“We would have loved to have agriculture more mentioned and more directly involved in the different articles of the document adopted, however, food security and food production are there.”

He said it was essential that governments had considered the importance of producing food alongside the need to combat climate change.

“Without food, there is no social stability,”

he said, mentioning recent upheavals such as the Arab Spring that have been linked to food insecurity.

End-result for 2015

After 2 weeks of intense negotiations the 21st UN climate conference (COP21) in Paris finally delivered a historic agreement that, for the first time, promises to keep the global warming under 2 degrees Celsius. The treaty, consisting 31 pages and signed by by 196 countries, include Climate Change Mitigation, including a series of goals to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius to accompany the current hard limit of 2 degrees. As Long-Term Goal (Article 4) there is the overall aim specified in the agreement to peak global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and undertake rapid reductions so as to achieve a balance between emissions by anthropogenic sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of the century.

The specificity of this long term goal is such that, when coupled with the goal of limiting warming to 2 Celsius countries would be de facto required to completely decarbonize the global electric sector by 2050, according to the IPCC.

Economics has always been an other important factor. Developed countries will provide financial and technological support to help developing countries adapt to impacts of climate change, building resilience and preventing further damage (also in COP Decision Section III, Paragraphs 42-47). The COP Decision text reiterates a global finance pledge with a floor of 100 billion dollars per year in climate financing from developed countries by 2020 (Section III, Paragraph 54), and expands the donor pool post-2020 to encourage other countries to voluntarily provide additional financial support (Article 9.2). Countries have agreed to set a new global, collective climate finance goal for 2025 that increases upon the 100 billion dollar target for 2020 (COP Decision Section III, Paragraph 54.

Scientists at the COP approved the agreement. Johan Rockström, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre called the agreement a “turning point” that would ensure a

“1.5-2 Celsius safe operating space on Earth”.


Preceding articles

Voice for the plebs

USA Climate Change Action Plan

Postponing once more

Stopping emissions will not stop the warming of our planet

Climate change guilty of doing too little

2014 To remember our Earth

Shared inheritance plus integral and integrating vision

Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear

Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees

Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1

Overzicht voor het jaar 2015 #1 Dreiging en angst


Additional reading

  1. Here and now
  2. Temperatures rising
  3. First man’s task still counting today
  4. The natural beauties of life
  5. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  6. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  7. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  8. Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis


Please do find also to read

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  3. Opinion: Bridging the Gap – How the SDG Fund is Paving the Way for a Post-2015 Agenda
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  5. Opinion: G7 Makes Commitment on Climate … to Climate Chaos
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  8. Opinion: It’s gettin’ hot in here…so take back all your carbon
  9. Climate Deal Needs Enough Public Financing
  10. Paris Climate Summit Opens With Dire Warning
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  18. Austria’s Priorities for Implementing the Millennium Development Goals
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  20. UN Millennium Development Goals: Are They Being Reached?
  21. Man and nature are connected in a fragile web of life
  22. A solution for global warming
  23. What’s a couple million gallons of methane?
  24. El Nino 2015 Strong and Stormy
  25. Wildtending, Earth Healing, and Gathering and Sowing the Seeds
  26. Humans, Nonhuman Animals, and Ecological Resilience: A Bridgeable Chasm, by Peter Berkman
  27. How to make an ecologist #1
  28. The Cosmos Reaches Us and Teaches Us
  29. On the River and the Flooding
  30. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
  31. The Ozone Protocol: A Climate Change Precedent
  32. Tasting the Wild in 2015
  33. How India failed at Paris Climate Conference
  34. Hunger in the world : Over population or Over wasting ? Answer in 9 facts.
  35. To Our Dying Mother: A Letter to the Planet
  36. European capitals choking in smog: no one responsible?!
  37. Arrested Development: halted ecosystems and their relevance in modern day conservation efforts
  38. Researchers develop fermentation process to produce biofuels from waste biomass
  39. Fog Brings Poisonous Mercury Into Pacific Coast Ecosystem
  40. Climatic Cultural Revolution
  41. Appalachian Economies and Ecologies
  42. Politics Can Heal Our World
  43. Nitrogenous Basics: Population Genetics 101
  44. A major decrease of my 2015 bill to nature
  45. Killed by multinational capitalism – corporations that murder.
  46. What has been decided at the cop21
  47. Everything is Connected
  48. You Can Change the World: The Global Citizen’s Handbook for Living on Planet Earth by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Mikhail Gorbachev (Introduction), Paulo Coelho (Afterword),
  49.  Is climate change a plus for neoliberalism?
  50. Poverty and the environment: how achieving a sustainable environment is crucial to end world poverty.
  51. Paris Climate Conference – What has been proposed and why it is important:
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  56. Environmental PSAs Dealing with CST
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2015 Health and Welfare

Health resilience, climate risks and Sustainable Development Goals

2015, the year that still 400 million people do not have access to essential health services  — including family planning, antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, child immunization, antiretroviral therapy, tuberculosis treatment, and access to clean water and sanitation — and 6% of people in low- and middle-income countries are tipped into or pushed further into extreme poverty because of health spending.

Across 37 countries, 6% of the population was tipped or pushed further into extreme poverty ($1.25/day) because they had to pay for health services out of their own pockets. When the study factored in a poverty measure of $2/day, 17% of people in these countries were impoverished, or further impoverished, by health expenses.

Health got a central place in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new agenda, which builds on the Millennium Development Goals, aims to be relevant to all countries and focuses on improving equity to meet the needs of women, children and the poorest, most disadvantaged people.

2015 was also a year that we heard a lot about cities restricting transport because of air pollution and had many debates on the hand-sanitiser.

In 2012, the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, WHO estimated 7 million people died from air pollution-related diseases, making it the world’s largest single environmental health risk. It is predicted that climate change will cause an additional 250 000 deaths per year from malaria, diarrhoea or gastroenteritis, heat stress and under-nutrition between 2030 and 2050. Children, women and the poor in lower income countries will be the most vulnerable and most affected, widening health gaps.

Not only are ways to combat climate change already known and well-documented, they can bring important health gains. As WHO’s new series of climate change and health country profiles illustrate, investments in low-carbon development, clean renewable energy, and strengthening climate resilience, are also investments in health.

The Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ...

The Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of UN. Target date: 2015 http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Implementing proven interventions to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, like black carbon and methane, for example achieving higher vehicle emissions and efficiency standards, would be expected to save approximately 2.4 million lives a year and reduce global warming by about 0.5°C by 2050. Placing a price on polluting fuels to compensate their negative health impacts would be expected to cut outdoor air pollution deaths by half, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20%, and raise approximately US$ 3 trillion per year in revenue – over half the total value of health spending by all of the world’s governments.

Strengthening health resilience to climate risks, including measures such as early-warning systems for more frequent and severe heatwaves, and protection of water, sanitation, and hygiene services against floods and droughts, would ensure that recent progress against climate-sensitive diseases, is not slowed or reversed.

The Paris agreement, though not sufficient, not doing enough to achieve the stated goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), might be a step in the right direction.

Minimum wages and working periods

About 100 countries worldwide, including 22 EU countries have statutory national minimum wages. In the EU, national minimum wages are highest in Luxembourg (11.10 € per hour) and lowest in Bulgaria (1,04 € per hour). Contrary to those are countries where minimum wages are set in sector-specific collective agreements. This is usually the case in countries with a high density of trade unions such as Austria, Italy or Sweden.

minimum_wagesIt is very important to take care that there are minimum wages so that people can not be forced to work at unworthy financial compensation. All those who work should be able to support their household. Minimum incomes should protect those with low wages from drifting into poverty. Moreover, they are seen as a means to reduce income inequality. Striking a balance between the needs of a worker and economic factors is the main aim according to the ILO. At the same time, they can be described as a moral value defining the lowest threshold under which employment is not acceptable.

The right of a worker to gain an equitable wage is laid down in the European Social Charter, ratified by all EU Member States. The EU itself has no legal competences on pay. Minimum wages are exclusively defined at national level. However, the discussion on a common European threshold (for example 60% of the national median wage) has gained momentum in recent years. European Commission president Juncker spoke in favour of a European minimum wage in 2013 and again in 2014. The European Parliament has also called for a common European minimum wage in several resolutions.

Several EU Member States have implemented adaptions to their wage policies. The most debated change was the introduction of a national minimum wage of 8.50 € per hour in Germany from 1 January 2015.

Everywhere in Europe governments were looking to keep a balance between the elderly non working population and those fit enough to work. In Belgium it could well be work out that lots of people have to face

“longer work for less money”.

The government probably want to gain money by being sure that not many would be able to work full time until the new retirement age 67. In the Netherlands they already start feeling that the whole operation in the end might be costing more because more people would come on to health and sickness benefit.

Maternal mortality has fallen by 45 per cent; but the goal for 2015 was 75 per cent. There are still 140 million women with no access to modern family planning: the goal for 2015 was universal coverage.

Ebola, measles and polio

Good news about ebola came near the end of 2015. But before that the mortality rate for children under age five wss 80 per cent, while for children under one year, casualty rates were 95 per cent.

By early May 2015, suspected and confirmed cases totaled more than 26,600, and reported deaths numbered more than 11,000, making the outbreak significantly larger than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The actual numbers of cases and deaths, however, were suspected to be far greater than reported figures. The causative virus was a type of Zaire ebolavirus known as Ebola virus (EBOV)—the deadliest of the ebolaviruses, which originally was discovered in the 1970s in central Africa. EBOV was descended from ebolaviruses harboured by fruit bats. {Ebola outbreak of 201415}

As Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia worked to end Ebola, critical healthcare services damaged by the epidemic began to be revitalised. Supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the three countries worst-hit by the disease begun a campaign to immunise three million children against preventable illnesses like measles and polio. This whilst in the UK some people objected against preventive injections for illnesses which can be seriously damaging when caught as an adult.

Before the epidemic in 2013, measles coverage was 89 percent, while in 2014 it fell to 58 percent. Between October 2014 and March 2015, a measles outbreak in the German capital of Berlin resulted in at least 782 cases.

Ten years after Polio reemerged in Indonesia and mostly in in Muslim states because the Muslims resisted against vaccination, we could hear also voices in Western Europe against child vaccination.

As recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. Since then, a concerted effort by all levels of government, civil society, religious leaders and tens of thousands of dedicated health workers have resulted in Nigeria successfully stopping polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis. More than 200 000 volunteers across the country repeatedly immunized more than 45 million children under the age of 5 years, to ensure that no child would suffer from this paralysing disease. Innovative approaches, such as increased community involvement and the establishment of Emergency Operations Centres at the national and state level, have also been pivotal to Nigeria’s success.

WHO announced in September that polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria. This is the first time that Nigeria has interrupted transmission of wild poliovirus, bringing the country and the African region closer than ever to being certified polio-free. Nigeria has not reported a case of wild poliovirus since 24 July 2014, and all laboratory data have confirmed a full 12 months have passed without any new cases.

Polio remains endemic in only 2 countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan. The eradication of polio globally now depends primarily on stopping the disease in these countries. As long as polio exists anywhere, it’s a threat to children everywhere.

On Friday, August 8, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared its third Public Health Emergency of International Concern in response to the outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, and now it had to declare a public health emergency of international concern due to outbreaks of the polio disease in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Ebola had a significant impact on Sierra Leone’s vaccination regime, with routine vaccinations decreasing by 17 percent during the epidemic. Since the start of 2015, 21 laboratory confirmed cases of measles have been reported. In May, an immunisation drive for 1.5 million children under five was to cover measles and polio.

For Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma

“The threat is never over until we rebuild,”

he stressed at an Ebola Recovery Conference in July looking at the west African country of Liberia which was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization after 14 long months battling against the disease. However, two months later,  in only one week ending July 5,  there were 30 confirmed Ebola cases reported in West Africa, three in Liberia, nine in Sierra Leone, and 18 in Guinea, according to the United Nations.

President Mugabe, who  was elected as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) on 30 January 2015, said that

“we cannot afford to be complacent”

because the underlying causes of the diseases’ exacerbation still exist.

Although there is emphasis on health, the recovery plans are comprehensive, focusing on issues from water, and sanitation, to gender, youth and social protection; and even information and communication technology.

The number of measles-related deaths has decreased 79% from 546 800 at the beginning of the century to 114 900 in 2014. New data released by WHO for the Measles & Rubella Initiative, estimates that 17.1 million lives have been saved since 2000, largely due to increased vaccination coverage against this highly contagious viral disease. Measles vaccination has played a key role in reducing child mortality and in progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4.

2015 showed that overall progress towards increasing global immunization coverage has recently stagnated. While coverage with the first dose of the measles vaccine increased globally from 72% to 85% between 2000 and 2010, it has remained unchanged the past 4 years.

Measles outbreaks, which happen when there are gaps in vaccination programmes, continue to pose a serious challenge to meeting global targets. The Americas and Western Pacific regions saw increased numbers of cases in 2014, mostly due to large outbreaks in China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In other regions, although the overall number of cases fell, some individual countries still had large outbreaks, including Angola, Ethiopia, India, the Russian Federation and Somalia.


The potentially fatal contagious disease Tuberculosis (TB or phthisis) remains one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases. After World War II, the death rate was only a small fraction of what it was a century earlier, but by the 1990s, the emergence of tuberculosis strains resistant to antibiotics and the connections between tuberculosis and AIDS again made it a significant health concern. In the late 1980s and early 1990s an epidemic of this ancient disease killed hundreds of people, forcing politicians to rethink their approaches to those living on the margins of society, and provoking a response which has cost millions of dollars.
In 2013, 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. After about 45 years of scarce innovation for TB medicines, in 2015 5 new products were included in the EML. Four of these, including bedaquiline and delamanid, target multi-drug-resistant TB.

Epidemics of meningococcal A meningitis

While N. meningitides groups B and C cause most disease episodes in Europe, group A is found in Asia and continues to predominate in Africa, where it causes most of the major epidemics in the meningitis belt, accounting for about 80% to 85% of documented meningococcal meningitis cases.

For a century, epidemics of meningococcal A meningitis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, have swept across 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa killing and disabling young people every year. The disease is highly feared on the continent; it can kill or cause severe brain damage within hours.

WHO/R. Barry

But just 5 years after an affordable meningitis A vaccine was introduced, its use has led to the control and near elimination of deadly meningitis A disease in the African “meningitis belt.” In 2013, only 4 laboratory-confirmed cases of meningitis A were reported by the 26 countries in the belt, which stretches across the continent from Senegal to Ethiopia.

The meningitis A vaccine for Africa, MenAfriVac, was developed in response to a plea for help from ministers of health in sub-Saharan Africa after an outbreak of meningitis A in 1996 infected over 250 000 people and killed over 25 000 in just a few months. The vaccine costs less than US$ 0.50 a dose and wherever it has been rolled out, meningitis A has disappeared.

Before 2010, meningitis epidemics were becoming more frequent and widespread throughout Africa, placing a great burden on individuals, families, and the health systems of affected countries.

MenAfriVac was introduced as an improvement over older polysaccharide vaccines, which can only be used after epidemics have started, do not protect the youngest children or infants, do not alter disease transmission and provide only short-term protection. Scientists found that 90% of individuals who were vaccinated with MenAfriVac still had protective antibodies in their system 5 years later. Studies show that this is a good predictor of even longer-term protection that scientists will continue to track.

An added benefit is that the vaccine also boosts protective immune responses to tetanus, a painful bacterial disease that can cause involuntary muscle tightening and spasms sometimes strong enough to fracture bones. Tetanus cases in newborn babies have fallen by 25% in countries that completed Meningitis A campaigns in 1 through 29 year olds, according to one of the studies in the collection.

Antibiotic resistance

Still to many doctors prescribe unnecessary antibiotics because their patients want them. Many people also not taking the tablets until the end of the prescribed period make that bacteria change and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause.

Over-use and misuse of antibiotics increase the development of resistant bacteria, and a survey published in November points out some of the practices, gaps in understanding and misconceptions which contribute to this phenomenon.

Almost two thirds (64%) of some 10 000 people who were surveyed across 12 countries say they know antibiotic resistance is an issue that could affect them and their families, but how it affects them and what they can do to address it are not well understood. For example, 64% of respondents believe antibiotics can be used to treat colds and flu, despite the fact that antibiotics have no impact on viruses. Close to one third (32%) of people surveyed believe they should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better, rather than completing the prescribed course of treatment.

“The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis, and governments now recognize it as one of the greatest challenges for public health today. It is reaching dangerously high levels in all parts of the world,”

said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, in launching the survey findings on November 16.

“Antibiotic resistance is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in medicine.”

The survey findings coincide with the launch of a new WHO campaign ‘Antibiotics: Handle with care’—a global initiative to improve understanding of the problem and change the way antibiotics are used.

“The findings of this survey point to the urgent need to improve understanding around antibiotic resistance,”

says Dr Keiji Fukuda, Special Representative of the Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance.

“This campaign is just one of the ways we are working with governments, health authorities and other partners to reduce antibiotic resistance. One of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century will require global behaviour change by individuals and societies.”

Protecting lives and livelihood

Liberian economist and political leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Liberian economist and political leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf  speaking on behalf of the Mono River Union (MRU), the intergovernmental institution comprising the three countries  — Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia —  stated that the plan is fully aligned with development plans, with a focus on

“empowering our communities who were determined to protect their lives and their livelihoods”,

cash transfers to local communities being a central part of the plan.

Sirleaf stated that 4 billion dollars was the amount needed for the next two years to implement the sub-regional plans, however over 5 billion dollars was promised during the pledging segment of the conference.

Both Mugabe and Sirleaf called on the international community for a debt cancellation of 3.16 billion for the three countries, and Mugabe called on the private sector, especially those involved in extracting natural resources, to be socially responsible and engage in building economic resilience in their countries.

In Guinea, where a measles outbreak was declared in early 2014 – prior to Ebola – the number of confirmed measles cases increased almost fourfold, from 59 between January and December 2013 to 215 for the same period in 2014, according to WHO.

Rash of rubella on back (crop).JPG

A rash due to rubella on a child’s back. The area affected is similar to that of measles but the rash is less intensely red.

45 countries and territories of the Americas participated in the 13th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (April 25 to May 2), the largest international health initiative in the Western Hemisphere, and were happy to declare the Americas region become the first in the world to be declared free of endemic transmission of rubella, also known as German measles, a contagious viral disease which caused widespread outbreaks throughout the Americas before the introduction of the MMR vaccine. When contracted by women during pregnancy it caused multiple birth defects as well as foetal death, all over the world.

This achievement culminates a 15-year effort that involved widespread administration of the vaccine against measles, mumps, also known as epidemic parotitis and rubella (MMR) throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Before mass-scale rubella vaccination, an estimated 16,000 to more than 20,000 children were born with CRS each year in Latin America and the Caribbean, while more than 158,000 rubella cases were reported in 1997 alone. In the United States, 20,000 infants were born with CRS during the last major rubella outbreak (1964-65).

2015 saw the fourth year of World Immunization Week.


Particularly alarming is one of the oldest known infections, malaria’s literal ascent into the densely-populated highlands of east Africa. Inhabitants of southwest Uganda and parts of Zambia and Rwanda typically lack the genetic resistance to malaria developed by farmers in mosquito-prone areas.

Sudan has begun, with the assistance of FAO and the IAEA, to release sterilized male mosquitoes into the air in hopes that they crowd out their virile brethren and lead to reduced mosquito populations.

Climate change and risk profile of the human environment

Climate change wreaks all sorts of changes in the risk profile of the human environment. For example, more and more Zambians are killed by crocodiles, lions and buffalos as they travel further for water in times of drought.

Less headline-grabbing, but more pervasive, is the way one poor harvest can wipe out livelihoods, driving people to sell their livestock, tools and even land in a bid to survive and ending up mired in poverty. Similarly, pressure on the land – sometimes linked to civil conflict – is driving record flows of migrants, the majority of whom don’t leave their countries, but move into new ecosystems, as scores of Ugandans are doing by moving to the hilly southwest regions of this country and ultimately taking up a form of farming that enhances the risk of malaria.

Add to this the steady climb in average temperatures, which increase the potential habitat for the main malarial vectors and are “related to altitude rather than latitude,” according to recent research done by the International Food Policy Research Institute into why the incidence of malaria has risen so dramatically in Uganda’s upcountry. That spells special risks for elevations above 2,000 meters in Kenya, Ethiopia and Burundi, too.

It is estimated that women account for two-thirds of the 1.4 billion people currently living in extreme poverty. They also make up 60 per cent of the world’s 572 million working poor.

Rapid global change has undoubtedly opened doors for women to participate in social, economic and political life but gender inequality still holds women back. Around the globe, women and girls continue to have subordinate status, fewer opportunities and lower income, less control over resources, and less power than men and boys. Gender norms leave women and girls at risk and unable to reach their full potential. In some extreme cases, they can kill.

Globally, one in three women experience either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence during their lifetime. And, shockingly, women how have experienced intimate partner violence are 50 per cent more likely to contract HIV.

Sexual and gender-based violence is a major public health concern in all corners of the world. It’s a barrier to women’s empowerment and gender equality, and a constraint on development, with high economic costs.

In virtually every country, men spend more time on leisure each day while women spend more time doing unpaid housework. Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men; 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care (for children, elderly, and the sick), and 1 to 4 hours less a day to market activities.

Globally, female labour force participation decreases 10-15 per cent with each additional child for women aged 25-39.

Women also tend to have less access to formal financial institutions and saving mechanisms. While 55 per cent of men report have an account at a formal financial institution, the figure is just 47 per cent for women.


Over the past 15 years, malaria mortality has decreased by 47 percent worldwide and by 55 percent in Africa alone.

In fact, 64 countries have achieved the malaria-specific Millennium Development Goal – to have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015. This means less newborn, infant and maternal deaths, fewer days missed at school and work, more productive communities, stronger health systems and more vibrant economies.

But these gains are fragile and their impact unevenly distributed. As we shift gears – from the Millennium Development Goals to the broader Sustainable Development Goals – we must not forget the unfinished business of the MDGs, the unmet targets – the populations still at risk and the continuing unnecessary deaths, suffering and loss of livelihood caused by malaria.

Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines hunger as being synonymous with chronic undernourishment and is measured by the country average of how many calories each person has access to every day, as well as the prevalence of underweight children younger than five.


In Donetsk and Luhansk 38 000 persons affected by HIV and 5000 persons affected by tuberculosis could receive help from the WHO which delivered 13 tons of medical supplies to the Donetsk region in Ukraine, in February, as part of the first UN humanitarian convoy, which brought a total of 62 tons of relief materials.

Supplies included HIV and tuberculosis medical products, 612 kg of HIV test systems and 3 tons of drugs to treat infections in people with weak immune defences.

Salt and sugar

Still too much salt is there in bread and prepared meals. But in many prepared food sugar is also added for no justified reason, only to give a nicer flavour and to tempt people in eating more of it.

Sugars have become a pest in Europe and more governments face obese people plus more diabetics. Therefore Belgium like Sweden introduced a sugar tax. Strangely enough also drinks without monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to it are also taxed, which gives more the impression that the Belgian government found an other milking cow, next to the car industry.

Promoting healthy diet was a key theme of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) convened jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO in November 2014. At ICN2, more than 170 countries adopted the Rome Declaration on Nutrition, and a Framework for Action, which highlight the need for global action to end all forms of malnutrition, including obesity and diet-related NCDs.

A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

The recommendations are based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence. This evidence shows, first, that adults who consume less sugars have lower body weight and, second, that increasing the amount of sugars in the diet is associated with a weight increase. In addition, research shows that children with the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than children with a low intake of sugar-sweetened drinks. Obesity has become a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. Authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. It is not helping that the children do not play any more outside. In many regions they are not allowed any more to climb trees or to make noise when they play in the parks. Though world trends in active leisure time physical activity may be less clear, most doctors are convinced that the sedimentary lifestyle, having more people spending more time behind the little screens of their electronic gadgets shows an increase rate of childhood obesity, confirmed by 63 of 73 studies (86%).

World obesity prevalenceA positive sign in Europe may be that work is been made to alert the population and to bring halt the rise in diabetes and obesity and reduce the burden of premature deaths due to NCDs by 25% by 2025.

Pioneering new global Dementia Discovery Fund

Having a growing number of people getting older but also having a less alert mind, work is also been made to look for ways to stop dementia.

More than 47 million people are living with dementia. Sixty percent of these people live in low- and middle-income countries. Driven by population ageing, this number is expected to triple by 2050. Already, dementia and cognitive impairment are the leading chronic disease contributors to disability and dependence among older people worldwide.

In 2010, the worldwide cost of dementia, mainly driven by social-care needs, was estimated at US$ 604 billion. Without breakthroughs in effective treatment and care, these costs are set to soar, with costs growing fastest in low- and middle-income countries.

At the WHO-hosted Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva, in March, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland announced that over US$ 100 million will be invested in a pioneering new global Dementia Discovery Fund.

Major pharmaceutical companies have committed in principle to investing in promising research efforts for dementia through the project, along with the nongovernmental organization Alzheimer’s Research UK and the United Kingdom Government. The announcement was welcomed as the type of innovative mechanism that could bring about a breakthrough in treatment.

80 countries joined experts from the research, clinical and advocacy communities to discuss how, collectively, they could move forward action on dementia at the global level.

Participants highlighted the growing problem of dementia as a global public health challenge. WHO committed to leading and coordinating efforts on dementia. It also pledged to establish a Global Dementia Observatory that will monitor disease prevalence and dementia care resources in Member States and track the establishment of national dementia policies and plans.


Cancers figure among the leading causes of illness and death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades. New breakthroughs have been made in cancer treatment in the last years, which prompted WHO to revise the full cancer segment of the Essential Medicines List in 2015: 52 products were reviewed and 30 treatments confirmed, with 16 new medicines included in the List.


Preceding articles

Metabolic syndrome linked to colon cancer

Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees


Please do find additional information:

  1. Minimum wages in the EU
  2. Opinion: Gender Equality, the Last Big Poverty Challenge
  3. Realising Unfinished Business of MDGs : A Call for Greater Action and Investment for Malaria
  4. Essential Medicines List 2015
  5. Opinion: Hungry for Change, Achieving Food Security and Nutrition for All
  6. Agricultural Keys to Malaria in African Highlands
  7. Time for global change
  8. The Planet Remade
  9. Getting so tired of it
  10. California drought caught by satellite: Land subsidence after groundwater deficiency
  11. Water Management in Quebec: The Hydroclimatic Atlas
  12. Global Change, Peace and Security: Western Sahara: The Role of Resources in its Continuing Occupation
  13. Elimination of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in the Americas
  14. Vaccination Week in the Americas
  15. Soul Reunion


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2015 Human rights

Terrorism and freedom of speech

Charlie Hebdo 2015 Jan

Referring to a similar attack on our Western society 9/11 at the Charlie Hebdo 2015 January 7

In the wake of the horrific shooting at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, illustrators and cartoonists around the world came together in solidarity with the 12 artists and ordinary people who died in that event by doing what they do best – drawing cartoons that express their thoughts and emotions more eloquently than words ever could. You can find some of them in my article series “Being Charlie” showing the solidarity all over the world where everywhere sounded “Je suis Charlie”. Their messages ranged from anger and defiance to grief and hope, but there was a common thread. For lots of people around the world the attack at the office of the satire magazine was an infringement on the freedom of press. The Islamic fundamentalists made those in the West often hated cartoonists by many important figures, martyrs who championed the freedom of expression and of the press, which are some of the core elements of a free society.

Muslim fear for the writings of Western opinions and their attack on Charlie Hebdo

Muslim fear for the writings of Western opinions and their attack on Charlie Hebdo

After the terror-act there where papers which ere afraid to print the cartoon where it all started with.
In Thursday’s 2015 January 8, print edition, the Washington Post op-ed page published the controversial cartoon of Charlie Hebdo magazine spoofing the prophet Muhammad — the very piece of satire that prompted the 2011 fire-bombing of the publication’s Paris offices. (See a PDF of the full page here.) The cartoon depicted Muhammad saying,

100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing.

That drawing and many others that align with its edgy and often offensive spirit may have motivated terrorists on Wednesday January the 7° to unleash a heinous and deadly attack that claimed the lives of 12 people. According to reports on the attack, the perpetrators could be heard saying,

“We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad.”

Washington Post on Charlie Hebdo attackThe Washington Post therefore wrote:

Samples of Charlie Hebdo’s work thus might appear critical to explaining this act of terrorism. Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post (and boss of the Erik Wemple Blog), said the following about his rationale for publishing the cartoon:

“I think seeing the cover will help readers understand what this is all about.”

But many mainstream U.S. media felt otherwise:
The Associated Press, CNN, the New York Times, MSNBC, NBC News and others have all shunned the images under one rationale or another.
The New York Times has an expansive explanation:

“Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.”

That’s from an official statement provided to the Erik Wemple Blog. Newer media outlets like Gawker, the Daily Beast and BuzzFeed have published the images. {Washington Post opinions section publishes controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoon}

In other countries the reactions were similar some refusing to print cartoons about the matter, on the prophet or on the attack on their front page. By some it gave more the impression that they were afraid to offend or to make matters worse. But it clearly gave a sign that several people think that presenting and explaining what caused the attack on the magazine could endanger themselves and that by printing text instead of drawings it would be less offensive and less dangerous. This only confirmed that the use of a pencil or presenting a drawing has become more e dangerous in our society than putting it in words.

The New York Times has premised its refusal to republish the most controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons on the sensibilities of its readers:

“Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.”

The New York paper also wrote:

The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it:

If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.

This only proofs that in the United States a lot of people accept censor and prefer to silence people who think differently than them. {I Am Not Charlie Hebdo}

Americans seem not to stand it that Muslims, atheists or people form other opinions give criticism on their sanctified system. David Brooks of the opinion pages of the New York Times wrote:

Public reaction to the attack in Paris has revealed that there are a lot of people who are quick to lionize those who offend the views of Islamist terrorists in France but who are a lot less tolerant toward those who offend their own views at home.

Just look at all the people who have overreacted to campus micro-aggressions. The University of Illinois fired a professor who taught the Roman Catholic view on homosexuality. The University of Kansas suspended a professor for writing a harsh tweet against the N.R.A. Vanderbilt University derecognized a Christian group that insisted that it be led by Christians.

North Americans should come up with a less hypocritical approach to their own controversial figures, provocateurs and satirists and like all the Western civilised countries should allow different opinions exist next to each other.

As Bin Laden warned a few years ago:

In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organised and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. {interview with Osama bin Laden conducted by the Karachi daily — Ummat — and published on September 28, 2001, 17 days after the alleged, but unsubstantiated, al-Qaeda attack of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center twin towers and Pentagon.}

Osama Bin Laden saint or devil

Osama Bin Laden saint or devil

Already in the time of Bin Laden we could see that in many other countries there were very active fundamentalist Muslims. There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Though we did not have to go far to find speakers against Western culture, looking for jihad fighters in Europe. Vilvoorde, Borgerhout (Belgium) and London got visiting imams calling to take on the battle against perversion. North America and Europe should be well aware of well-organised groups but also of the many fringe groups which would like to be affiliated with world terror organisations but are not.

We also should revise the way we want to tackle such groups and how we want to follow them up, at what for cost.

For sure the war against terrorism may not bring any restriction to the freedom of movement, thought, religion, expression and also not of freedom of press.

Michel Chossudovsky may have been right to write that the “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, which outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus.

The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.  {Paul Craig Roberts, Busting the OBL Myth}

The free press should do serious research and should be free to report what it can find and not be restricted like it was in the united States where America’s “free press” left the Karachi daily Ummat interview with Osama Bin Laden (published on September 28, 2001) unreported. Though at least you could say the interview was sensational, according to Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and author of “Wirtschaft am Abgrund” (Economies In Collapse)who also wrote:

The alleged “mastermind” of 9/11 said that he and al-Qaeda had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. The British Broadcasting Corporation’s World Monitoring Service had the interview translated into English and made public on September 29, 2001. {Osama bin Laden Myth [1 of 2]}

Although only a few Americans are aware of the September 28, 2001 interview in which bin Laden states his non-involvement with the 9/11 attacks, many Americans have seen post-2001 videos in which a person alleged to be bin Laden takes credit for the attacks. When looking at those video’s and checking the value of some of those makers and blogwriters it seemed that they were not trustworthy. Experts who examined them found them to be fakes, and all of the videos appeared after bin Laden was reported by the Pakistan Observer, the Egyptian press, and Fox News, to have died in mid-December, 2001, from lung disease. {Bin Laden Already Dead; News of Bin Laden’s Death and Funeral – December 2001}
Naturally such death message could also been given to stop those looking for this major target of the War on Terror on whose head he FBI had placed a $25 million bounty on him in their search for him. According official American sources bin Laden was shot and killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am PKT (20:00 UTC, May 1) by U.S. Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six). The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation. Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing. Controversial and not helful to credit the action was the decision to not release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden’s death to the public.

Information, indoctrination and des-information

It are such uncertainties and clouds over certain important matters which in the last few years have taken away the credibility of and trust in governmental sayings and have opened the way to a lot of speculation and different groups making use of it to des-inform plus to create fear by lots of folks in many countries worldwide.

After the attacks Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on European Jews to migrate to Israel to escape future terrorist attacks. Several European leaders criticised Netanyahu’s comments, including German chancellor Angela Merkel, who insisted that her government was doing everything possible to protect Jewish neighbourhoods in the aftermath of recent attacks in Paris and Copenhagen.  Also Prime minister Charles Michel in February made a plea to Belgian Jews to stay in the country rather than migrate to Israel. Speaking on the Flemish Radio station 1, he said that security measures to protect the Jewish community would remain in place even if the national terrorism threat level, which remained at three at that time, was lowered.

“Belgium without Jews is no longer Belgium. Europe without Jews is no longer Europe”.

the minister said, calling on them not to leave because they were afraid.

“The primary role of the state is to do everything in its power to keep citizens safe,”

he told Radio 1.

Michael Freilich, editor of the Antwerp-based Jewish newspaper Joods Actueel, said that the local community had mixed feelings about Netanyahu’s offer.

“On the one hand, it is encouraging,”

he said.

“Whatever happens, we know that we can always move there. But on the other hand, people here feel that they are Jewish and Belgian, not Israeli.”

In April the Flemish government approved an 11-point plan aimed at preventing young people from becoming indoctrinated by radical ideologies. The government began to evolve its strategy earlier this year following terrorist attacks in Paris and a foiled terror attack on Belgian soil.

Liesbet Homans, who originally proposed the plan, said that

“prevention is crucial in dealing with the radicalisation process. We want to offer everyone concerned – from local authorities to social workers to teachers to parents – a maximum of support when they are confronted with people who are at high risk of becoming radicalised”.

Discrimination and sexual health policies

Ghent was the first Belgian city to adopt a comprehensive action plan to combat discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, religion, age or disability. They use undercover researchers – known as mystery shoppers – to expose discrimination by companies, landlords and employment agencies.

The city has turned to the university to ensure that its methods for detecting discrimination are rigorous.

“The key problem with discrimination is ensuring that complaints are legitimate,”

Equal opportunities councillor of the city Gent Resul Tapmaz

said equal opportunities councillor Resul Tapmaz.

“By employing scientific methods, we can build up a picture of discrimination.”

In April, Belgium’s international development minister, Alexander De Croo (Open VLD), gave a speech at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York, which was chaired by Belgium. He held Belgium up as an example to follow in protecting the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people. He pointed out that Belgium was one of the first countries in the world, along with the Netherlands, to legalise marriage for same-sex couples.

“Discrimination against LGBTs has far-reaching repercussions,”

he said.

“How can we ever achieve efficient sexual health policies when certain groups are deliberately excluded from society?”

Belgium’s international development minister, Alexander De Croo, defending the rights of women, gays, lesbians and transgender people in a speech at the United Nations in New York, April 2015

De Croo pushed for sexual and reproductive health rights to be incorporated into the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennium Goals when they expire at the end of this year.

The Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda (IGN) began in January 2015 and ended in August 2015. Following the negotiations, a final document was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit September 25–27, 2015 in New York, USA. The title of the agenda is Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Flemish parliament has approved a new role for the Flemish ombudsman, Bart Weekers, making him head of the new “gender police” tasked with handling complaints of gender-related discrimination.

The European Union introduced a rule that obliges all member states to set up committees to monitor and promote equal treatment. The federal government body is the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men; Flanders had no corresponding body.

“By increasing the scope of the Flemish ombudsman, we are meeting the demands of Europe,

said Matthias Diependaele (N-VA), who proposed the resolution.

“As of now, anyone with a gender-related complaint can report directly to the ombudsman as an independent party.”

In March women leaders from every continent, brought together by U.N. Women and the Chilean government, demanded that gender equality be a cross-cutting target in the post-2015 development agenda. Only that way, they say, can the enormous inequality gap that still affects women and children around the world be closed.

“We celebrate that there has been progress in these last twenty years (since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing) in this area…and the evidence is all the people around who came, shared their experiences, the good, the bad, the struggle ahead, the challenges ahead,”

U.N. Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri said.

And while

“some countries have made no progress at all, some countries, some progress, and some countries better progress, no country has reached what we should need to reach,”

she added.

In addition to other forms of discrimination, lesbian and bisexual women in Cuba faced unequal treatment from public health services. Their specific sexual and reproductive health needs are ignored, and they are invisible in prevention and treatment campaigns for women. There is still a prejudice against lesbian and bisexual women among the country’s health personnel, and ignorance about their particular sexual health needs.

Training health professionals to be sensitive to sexual diversity has been a long-established demand by groups of lesbian women supported by CENESEX in the provinces of Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Cienfuegos, Granma, La Habana, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad and Villa Clara.

Through community activism, these groups are struggling for their rights to responsible enjoyment of sexual health, including equality of treatment in the health services and access to assisted reproduction technology.

Gender equality and work

Gender equality is now widely recognised as an essential component for sustainable development goals in the post-2015 agenda, with empowerment of rural women vital to enabling poor people to improve their livelihoods and overcome poverty.

2015’s International Women’s Day, celebrated worldwide on Mar. 8, marked the 20th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), which called on governments, the international community and civil society from all over the world to empower women and girls by taking action in 12 critical areas: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, the economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, human rights, the media, the environment and the girl child.

Despite that call, much still remains to be done to overcome the difficulties women – particularly rural women – face in terms of mobility and political participation.

“Too often, rural women are doing the backbreaking work,”

Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said on the occasion.

“To improve women’s social and economic status, we need more recognition for the vital role they play in the rural economy. Let us all work together to empower women to achieve food and nutrition security – for their sake, and the sake of their families and communities.”

A large body of research indicates that putting more income into the hands of women translates into improved child nutrition health and education in all developing regions of the world.

Explaining why women and men need to be involved together to move forward on nutrition, Britta Schumacher, a WFP Programme Policy Officer, described how the Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Undernutrition (REACH) programme had been able to tackle malnutrition and health problems using an approach based on positive gender-oriented objectives.

Flag of WHO.svgThe REACH programme – a joint initiative of FAO, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WFP and the World Health Organisation (WHO) – is based on the human right to nutrition security and seeks to transform the way governments and donors approach investment in nutrition to leverage existing investments most effectively and systematically identify priorities for additional investments needed to scale up.

Noting that “the long girls stay at school, the better is their health” because

“lack of awareness represents a concrete obstacle to good practices,”

Schumacher said that in Bangladesh activities had been carried out under the REACH programme to transfer knowledge within and between members of communities and local authorities, boost rural women’s access to services and strengthen their self-esteem.

The absence of women and women’s issues in the media is a dangerous trend in a country that ranked 142nd out of 187 states in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s most recent Gender Inequality Index (GII), making Bangladesh one of the worst performers in the Asia-Pacific region.

Yet, even this is not mentioned in the news: the BNPS study showed that less than one percent of over 3,000 news items surveyed made any mention of gender inequality, while only 11 news stories challenged prevailing gender stereotypes.

Given that Bangladesh has an extremely low literacy rate of 59 percent compared to the global average of 84.3 percent, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the importance of radio cannot be underestimated.

Even in a nation where 24 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, radio is a widespread, relatively affordable means of plugging into the world, and is extremely popular among the millions of rural families that comprise the bulk of this country.

Repealing discriminatory laws

During a High-Level Core Group event on September 29 secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights.

The politically-sensitive issue also came up during the high-level segment of the General Assembly, when President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe highlighted the need to respect and uphold human rights while rejecting LGBTI rights.

Speaking during the 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly, he pointedly said:

“We…reject attempts to prescribe ‘new rights’ that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions and beliefs.”

President Mugabe has been vocal about the country’s anti-LGBT stance, describing LGBTI individuals as “worse than pigs, goats and birds” during a rally on July 23, 2013.

The government of Saudi Arabia also rejected any references to homosexuality during the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit Sep. 25 to 27.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told world leaders that

“mentioning sex in the text, to us, means exactly male and female. Mentioning family means consisting of a married man and woman.”

Similar reservations regarding LGBTI rights were expressed by several member States during the creation of the SDGs.

For instance, in the report of the Open Working Group on SDGs, Cameroon rejected any policies or reporting for SDG 5.6, which

“will include or tend to include, explicitly or implicitly, the concepts of sexual orientation, gender identity, same-sex couples.”

U.N. agencies specifically urge governments to repeal discriminatory laws, strengthen efforts to prevent, monitor and report violence against LGBTI individuals, and ensure the inclusion of LGBTI individuals in development.

“Failure to uphold the human rights of LGBTI people and protect them…constitute serious violations of international human rights law and have a far-reaching impact on society…and progress towards achievement of the future Sustainable Development Goals,”

declared the U.N. agencies.

In Zimbabwe, anti-gay legislation had already hindered LGBTI-related efforts including the eradication of HIV/AIDS under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Zimbabwe has one of the largest HIV rates in the world, with an estimated 15 percent of residents living with HIV.

Refugees and asylum seekers

In august Fedasil, the federal agency for the support of asylum-seekers, was hiring 130 new staff to help cope with the stream of new asylum-seekers after staff at the agency staged a protest against staff shortages.

2015 has been a challenging year for refugees around the world and for the UNHCR team which had to face major conflicts in Syria, Iraq and central Africa that have displaced more families than ever before. A million people have risked their lives, crossing the sea to Europe to seek refuge from war and violence, and today in the world one in every 122 people has been forced to flee their home.

The bad old days of the 1980s and 1990s when Burundi was widely considered a police state did  make a comeback. Some 300,000 people lost their lives in the country’s civil war from the 1990s to 2003, which broke out following the death of the country’s first democratically elected president. In 2015 a militarized youth wing of the ruling party was responsible for extrajudicial killings including beheadings.

In June human rights groups were calling for a sustainable solution to the migrant crisis in Europe, especially following the dismantling of refugee camps in Paris and Calais, France, at the end of May.

Activists and migrants protest evictions in Paris. Credit: Amnesty International France

Activists and migrants protest evictions in Paris. Credit: Amnesty International France

Amnesty International, present as observer during the eviction of migrants from a Paris park, at the Bois Dormoy in the city’s 18th district, said that the state needs to do more to find housing solutions for migrants who have been sleeping on the street and in public parks.

“The state can evict people for various reasons, but migrants also have rights,”

told Stephan Oberreit, director general of Amnesty International France.

“If the state informed people, explained the regulations and offered decent shelters, then that would be fine,”

he added.

“But this is not the case. They are not providing enough shelters for migrants and asylum seekers.”

Nearing the end of the year 1 million refugees had entered Europe and globally there were 60 million refugees. They would make the 23rd country of the world. But refugees are coming not only from war, but also because of sex discrimination (homosexuals in Africa, girls in Boko Harama and Yazhid territories); religions (just think of the Rohinga in Myanmar); climate refugees.

But we must be aware that there are many more refugees because the world counts many not as refugees. Today, somebody from Yemen for example, is not accepted as a refugee.

Yet there is a war, which is destroying its cities, under Saudi bombing. And Europe sticks to the definition of refugee as somebody escaping conflicts, then decides which conflicts are acceptable? And what about economic migrants, who escape hunger, not war? Does the distinction between refugees and immigrants make sense any longer?

writes Roberto Savio, founder and president emeritus of the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and publisher of Other News.

A world out of balance, landownership, jobless and jobs

Our world is out of balance. It is both wealthier and more unequal today than at any time since the Second World War.

We are recovering from a global economic crisis – but that recovery has been jobless. We have the largest cohort ever of educated women, yet globally women are struggling to find work. Unemployment rates are at historic highs in many countries, including those in the Middle East and North Africa, in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as in southern Europe.

Where women do have jobs, globally they are paid 24 per cent less than men, on average. For the most part, the world’s women are in low-salaried, insecure occupations, like small-scale farming, or as domestic workers – a sector where they comprise 83 per cent of the workforce.

Dilma Vana Rousseff, Brazilian economist and politician, as 36th President of Brazil first woman to hold the office

Dilma Vana Rousseff, Brazilian economist and politician, as 36th President of Brazil first woman to hold the office

In Brazil, the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years andone of the countries with the highest concentration of land ownership in the world, some 200,000 peasant farmers still have no plot of their own to farm – a problem that the first administration of President Dilma Rousseff did little to resolve? During the first presidency of Rousseff, whose second term started on Jan. 1, 2015, “land ownership has become even more concentrated.”

The West continued to make Israel the artificial hegemonic power in the region against the will of everyone who is native to the area, which made that the West lost all credibility among Arabs, all moral standing and nearly all hope of ever restoring either.

An organisation founded in 1996 called the Jewish Voice for Peace has endorsed a call from Palestinians for a boycott of Israel, divestment of economic ties, and sanctions (on the order of those imposed on Iran and Russia) to encourage Israel to end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied since 1967.

On February 20, 2015, JVP published a statement moving from its former position of supporting selective divestment, to a full endorsement of the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until the Israeli government respects the rights of Palestinians.

Explaining the change in position on their website, JVP wrote:

JVP has long participated in the global movement to hold Israel accountable through nonviolent economic pressure, and we’ve done so by focusing on Occupation-specific targets including corporations as well as academic and cultural institutions. Today, the idea that there is a clear economic, political, or social separation between “Israel” and “the occupation,” has been widely discredited.

The JVP urges Israel to dismantle the grotesque wall they have built to keep the Palestinians out of territory that was once theirs; to recognise Palestinians as citizens of Israel with equal rights; and to recognise the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties in Israel as stipulated in U.N . Resolution 194.

The argument that we are fighting ISIS because they threaten our democracy is absurdly infantile. That’s another of those political throwaways we hear because our leaders think we’re all simpletons who can’t figure things out for ourselves. {Opinion: The Middle East and Perpetual War}

If we look at the headlines or certain horrifying YouTube clips, like the one from March 8 – International Women’s Day –, it may seem that 2015 was once again a bad time to celebrate equality for women.

But alongside the stories of extraordinary atrocity and everyday violence lies another reality, one where more girls are in school and more are earning qualifications than ever before; where maternal mortality is at an all-time low; where more women are in leadership positions, and where women are increasingly standing up, speaking out and demanding action.

Looking today at the slow and patchy progress towards equality, it seems that we were madly ambitious to expect to wipe out in 20 years a regime of gender inequality and outright oppression that had lasted in some cases for thousands of years. Also concerning the equality for those who have other feelings than others it has been a problem year, with many homosexuals being terrorised, tortured and killed.

Slaves, child-labour and child soldiers

 Indian children's rights and education advocate and an activist against child labour Kailash Satyarthi

Indian children’s rights and education advocate and an activist against child labour Kailash Satyarthi

Child labour still remains a truly global problem hurting millions of children worldwide. The 2014 the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi called for globalised human compassion to combat the global and persistent problems of child labour and child slavery. Two years after Rana Plaza tragedy, rights abuses still rampant in Bangladesh’s garment sector.

In South Asia 250,000 children, some as young as four, work up to eighteen hours a day tying knots for rugs that are exported to the U.S. and Europe.

In Haiti, UNICEF estimates that 225,000 children, mostly girls, between the ages of five and 17 live as ‘restaveks’, live-in domestic servants with wealthier families.

In the Central African Republic, even after Séléka and anti-balaka representatives signed a ceasefire agreement in Brazzavill on 23 July 2014, the U.N. reports there are some 6,000 child soldiers, including young girls used as sex slaves.

Worldwide more than half of all child labourers work in agriculture, including in the United States where Human Rights Watch reports children working on tobacco farms are exposed to nicotine poisoning.

In total, the International Labor Organization reports that there are 168 million children in child labour, and that more than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work.

Satyarthi said that behind every single statistic there is a cry for freedom from a child that we are not listening to.

“That is the cry to be a child, a child who can play, a child who can love, a child who can be a child,”

he said.

Satyarthi contrasted the number of children in full time work with the 200 million adults who are jobless worldwide. He explained that addressing this imbalance was a complex issue, in part because in vulnerable populations children were seen as easier to exploit than adults.

Satyarthi also expressed concern that while progress has been made on child labour, the more heinous crime of child slavery has stagnated.

“The number of child slaves, the children in forced labour has not reduced at all”

He said the number of child slaves worldwide had stagnated at 5.5 million for the past fifteen years.

Susan Bissell, UNICEF Chief of Child Protection said,

“The first line of defense against falling victim to slavery is the child and his or her family.”

We can not accept that some children are born to live without human dignity and we all should be more aware of our duty to take care that everybody everywhere in the world can live in dignity. Therefore we all should take up our moral responsibility.

The “Children, not Soldiers” campaign has accomplished its purpose as a rallying cry to make the issue of child soldiers a top concern of the international community. “How can we help?” was the question asked by officials from dozens of countries, NGOs, partners from the U.N. system, regional organisations and many more.

Officials from countries involved in the campaign have also met with representatives from other countries who ended the use of child soldiers in their armies. These were opportunities to share experiences, successes and challenges.

This is positive, but the campaign’s first year has also shown that goodwill and commitments with the U.N. are not enough to guarantee that children will not become soldiers.

Action plans and protection of children

The conflict in South Sudan is a cruel reminder that acting on provisions included in an Action Plan, such as the establishment of child protection units in a country’s armed forces, or taking steps to criminalise the recruitment of children is not enough to guarantee that boys and girls will be fully protected if conflict strikes again.

In Yemen, months of work leading to the signature of an Action Plan in May 2014 have been derailed by the current political situation. Instead of the anticipated progress, data gathered by the U.N. indicates a spike in the recruitment of child soldiers by all parties to the conflict. The Houthis declared themselves in control of the government in what Abdul-Malik al-Houthi called a “glorious revolution”, although opposition politicians, neighbouring states, and the United Nations decried the takeover as a coup d’état.
Hadi called on government institutions to gather in Aden, which he proclaimed on 21 March 2015 was Yemen’s “economic and temporary capital” while Sana’a remains under Houthi control.

Even the armed group Al-Houthi Ansar Allah, whose leaders were actively engaged in dialogue with the U.N., have reneged on their commitment to protect children.

Recognition of indigenous people

Nearly three years after the rights of El Salvador’s indigenous people were recognised in the constitution, there are still no public policies and laws to translate that historic achievement into reality.

Though in June 2014 the single-chamber legislature ratified a constitutional reform passed in April 2012 which acknowledged new rights of native peoples in this Central American nation, nearly three years after the rights of El Salvador’s indigenous people were recognised in the constitution, there are still no public policies and laws to translate that historic achievement into reality.

Behind bars for faith

In Helsinki on November 15  to advance the engagement of traditional leaders in peace processes and share tools and methods that support religious and traditional peacemaking the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) a core member of the Network, which is composed of intergovernmental organisations, policy makers, civil society and faith-based organisations which work together to support religious and traditional peacemakers working at the local and national level, convened an Advisory Meeting.

According to King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), based in Vienna, its secretary-general Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar there would be no such thing as a religious conflict. Strange hearing this from an organisation which has further goals of promoting human rights, justice, peace and reconciliation that also says it is acting against the abuse of religion as a means to justify oppression, violence and conflict; promoting abiding societal cherishment for the preservation and sacredness of holy sites, as well as respect for religious symbols; including focusing on compassionate issues pertaining to: the dignity of human life, preservation of the environment, ethical matters, poverty alleviation and religious education. they believe that religion is an enabler of respect and reconciliation and that dialogue among people of different religions and cultures is the path to lasting peace and social cohesion.

The Network has streamlined its work and clarified its focus areas under four clusters. These clusters include peace support, inclusivity, thematic expertise on preventing violent extremism, and methods and tools.  During the meeting, the participating organizations shared their needs and commitments regarding each cluster and planned collaborative action in 2016. Participants also examined peace support based on experience in Libya and Myanmar, where general elections were held on 8 November 2015, but NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi constitutionally is barred from the presidency. In-depth discussions on these case study countries was enabled by the panellists’ first-hand experience of peacebuilding in these countries.

The interfaith organization that represents the three major religions within the country, and promotes dialogue as a preventive measure against religious violence and as a means to seek peace, the Interreligious Platform of the Central African Republic had its three religious leaders agreeing to work together to address the growing instability in the Central African Republic, where 52 percent is Protestant, 29 percent Catholic and 15 percent Muslim, representing 96 percent of the total population.

In this country, in the heart of Africa, that is ravaged by violence, politicians tried to manipulate religious leaders as well as the population which was experiencing the worst crisis in its history.

Muslim, Catholic and Protestant religious leaders have worked in unison for peace since 2012 . All this effort came to fruition in September with the Day of Peace, which took place in Bangui as part of an international week of peace.

said Pastor Nicolas Guérékoyaméné-Gbangou, who continued

Christians, Muslims and non-believers enter into dialogue all the time, on a regular basis. It is the politicians who use the armed groups to prevent this dialogue. Even so, we believe there will come a time when the armed groups will grow tired of fighting; they will weaken and lay down their arms.

Using the force of words, we religious leaders will disarm the violent hearts, so that one day it may once again be possible to live together in peace in the Central African Republic.

They have continued to persuade Muslims, Catholics and Protestants to avoid further violence and revenge amongst their religious communities.

The requested dialogues seem to have become even more difficult in 2015 and even went to a climax to the end of 2015 in Saudi Arabia where  in January a religious leader would be beheaded, starting a fight between Sunnis and Shiites.

Sheikh Nemer Baqir Al-Nemer by Talkhandak.jpg

Portrait of Sheikh Nimr a Shia Sheikh in al-Awamiyah, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.

Shiite leaders in countries including Iran, Lebanon and Iraq issued several times fierce warnings that the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, commonly referred to as Sheikh Nimr, who was critical of the Saudi Arabian government and called for free elections in Saudi Arabia being arrested in 2012, would herald the downfall of the Saudi regime. European officials criticized the mass executions and warned that Nimr’s death risking inflaming sectarian tensions in the region.

The Brussels-based NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l, registered since 2001 as an association without lucrative purpose, identified the highest number of believers imprisoned for exercising their basic rights to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in China and Iran.

In most of the 50 countries on the World Watch List, daily life for the Christian is getting more difficult.

Number 1 in the list for the 13th consecutive year is North Korea, where purges have seen tens of thousands of people banished, arrested, tortured and/or killed and where the kidnapping and arrest of South Korean missionary Kim Jeong-Wook saw dozens of people (presumably Christians) rounded up, tortured and murdered.

For Africa Kenya is the big riser, where Somalia stays at second place, while Sudan, Eritrea and Nigeria all entered the top ten. All in Africa we notice the Islamic extremism bringing horror to people. Though we must not think it is only from violent jihadists like Boko Haram, but also from Islamists who ‘squeeze’ local Christian communities and seek to take over cultures by stealth.

In Syria, for example, some 40 per cent of the Christian population has fled the country; while in Nigeria, Boko Haram militants have attacked Christian communities and abducted their schoolchildren. In Iraq the ultra-violent jihadist ‘Islamic State‘ group has destroyed long-established Christian communities. In Sudan, a pregnant woman was sentenced to death on charges of adultery and apostasy from Islam and only released after serious international pressure.

In China the government still focusses on the Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists, treating them as dangerous groups for the stability in the country. Unregistered religious groups—including house churches, Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists, underground Catholics, and Uyghur Muslims—face varying degrees of harassment, including imprisonment, torture, and forced religious conversion.

Coming back to the beginning of this article, in response to the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting Chinese state-run media attacked Charlie Hebdo for publishing the cartoons insulting Muhammad, with the state-run Xinhua advocated limiting freedom of speech, while another state-run newspaper Global Times said the attack was “payback” for what it characterised as Western colonialism and accusing Charlie Hebdo of trying to incite a clash of civilizations.



Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees


Further background reading

  1. Cartoonists put pen to paper in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo
  2. Being Charlie 2
  3. Being Charlie 3
  4. Being Charlie 4
  5. Being Charlie 5
  6. Being Charlie 9
  7. Abdelhamid Abaaoud brain of Molenbeek’s network dismantled in their hideaway at Verviers
  8. Washington Post opinions section publishes controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoon
  9. Osama bin Laden Myth [1 of 2]
  10. Osama bin Laden Myth [2 of 2]
  11. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  12. Fedasil takes on 130 new staff to cope with asylum demands
  13. Women Leaders Call for Mainstreaming Gender Equality in Post-2015 Agenda
  14. Rousseff’s Brazil – No Country for the Landless
  15. Opinion: A Year of Progress for “Children, Not Soldiers”
  16. Empower Rural Women for Their Dignity and Future
  17. In Bangladesh, Gender Equality Comes on the Airwaves
  18. U.N. Marks Humanitarian Day Battling Its Worst Refugee Crisis
  19. Opinion: Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realising Rights
  20. Making the World’s Indigenous Visible in the SDGs
  21. Anti-gay Sentiment Arises During the U.N. General Assembly
  22. Paris attacks darkening the world
  23. Paris, the Refugees and Europe
  24. Ethiopia: The Biggest African Refugee Camp No One Talks About
  25. London an exaggerated microcosm of the UK at large
  26. Vile, Fascist ‘Britain First group’ visits Lancashire mosque
  27. Americans wrongly informed about situation in Europe
  28. Netanyahu Election Tactics Spark Apology and Rebuke
  29. Lacking legitimacy in the eyes of his people
  30. Silence of the world about rocket attacks on Israel
  31. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  32. Problematic Or Patriotic? Two Ways To Talk About Muslims
  33. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  34. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  35. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  36. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3
  37. Women’s Groups Say Gender Equality is a Must for Sustainable Development
  38. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  39. Disintegrating Syria whilst diplomatic talks and poker-play continues
  40. Complaining and fighting asylum seekers not giving signs of thankfulness
  41. bORDER-Gastrofest
  42. Consequences of Mass Immigration in Sweden
  43. Asylum seekers crisis and Europe’s paralysis
  44. A former war refugee’s views on the current refugee crisis
  45. Model Knesset in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  46. Netanyahu Election Tactics Spark Apology and Rebuke
  47. Lacking legitimacy in the eyes of his people
  48. Israeli leaders delight in Europe’s cruelty toward refugees
  49. Human Rights Without Frontiers International – Behind Bars For Their Faith in 20 Countries
  50. International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
  51. Britain & ‘The House of Saud’
  52. Saudi government beheads, people protest
  53. Behind Saudi Arabia’s execution spree
  54. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s Death and the Frailty of the Middle East
  55. Saudi Arabia has little to worry about – no state has the moral authority or will to attack this butchery
  56. Refugee news update
  57. Argentina Finds Its Voice on Human Rights
  58. UN monitor on Palestine quits over Israel’s entry denial
  59. Post #103: Terrorism, American Style
  60. Standing with our Muslim Neighbors Against Islamophobia
  61. Wake up – Amurica
  62. Iraq Atrocities: The UK’s “Independent” Inquiry
  63. “5 European leaders who are kindred spirits with Donald Trump”


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Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees

Throughout the year, we saw a lot of smombies* walk the streets and sit at the breakfast tables in hotels, or conducting themselves antisocial in resting places for the employees.

* Smombies: Plural form of the fairly new Flemish and Dutch word ‘smombie’ denoting people who have their focus as zombies only on their smartphone (and no longer look where they are going)

Apple’s iPad (left) en Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet (right)

But only awake in bed already started many young people already on their smartphone, i-phone, i-pad or tablet to sift through their Facebook account to see how the world and their pseudo “friends” were doing. Still not fully awake, they got a lot of pictures served as an aperitif. Before breakfast, all kinds of images were viewed which should not shock the world or be part of the greatest horror going on.

Evolution of mobile phones, through early smartphone - Evolutie van mobiele telefoons, tot aan de vroegtijdige smartphone

Evolution of mobile phones, through early smartphone – Evolutie van mobiele telefoons, tot aan de vroegtijdige smartphone

2015 may be the year where social media also have taken the news on television. In the past, for the news people had to await for the capture vehicles and the cameras of the television crews coming and being set ready before being able to follow the events at the scene. But now all and sundry does have some camera (on his mobile phone or tablet) to establish the facts on the digital media immediately during the event.

So the whole world can immediately see what went on at the time of the fearful event in Paris or Nepal. Shrieking people and many who saw the face of death were recorded on tiny screens to be viewed later in millions of homes, sometimes with open mouth and bewilderment.

Because 2015 may also go down in history as the year of bewilderment. That which seemed impossible or that which no one thought would never happen in their regions, appeared to be harsh reality.
Dumbfounded, we could all through the year, determining the madness ever ongoing war on this planet and the great confusion that prevailed each time in the frequent attacks that demanded honour to gain first place in the media.

Obesity is not only a modern phenomenon, but – albeit less frequently – also already in earlier centuries. Now one can see more ‘beer barrels’ strolling or further shuffling their feet under a weight that is almost impossible to bear.

Several times in the year there was an attempt to silence people. We noticed over the world thousands of deaths. They obtained great attention and all the smear campaign around them surpassed the millions of fatalities where no cat crows. Also, most people did not get to see the many thousands of victims of serious life threatening diseases. It was allowed to cancer to receive much media attention and it must be said that they began to pay more attention in 2015 to life-threatening diseases of affluence with diabetes high on the list adorned alongside by obesity. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. Authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.

But the more than fat people world had to watch how the emaciated world was sent from Jut to Jar and how they had to swim through waters and had to slog through the mud to see, in the autumn months, close more borders with meter high barricades of barbed wire, even if they were in the Schengen area.

On the way, masses of refugees lost family members. The youngest as first victims. But it took until the image of a toddler, who was lying lifeless on the beach while the water body ‘stroked’ him, before the folks in the street woke up.

It took until September before people could be emotionally touched and go a little further thinking about the suffering refugees gets.

De driejarige Aylan Kurdi afkomstig uit Kobani, een Koerdische stad in het noorden van Syrië, die per boot op weg van Turkije naar Griekenland, de ingang van Europa niet haalde. - The three-year Aylan Kurdi coming from Kobane, a Kurdish city in northern Syria, did not reach the entrance to Europe, by boat on the way from Turkey to Greece.

The three-year Aylan Kurdi coming from Kobane, a Kurdish city in northern Syria, did not reach the entrance to Europe, by boat on the way from Turkey to Greece.

On Wednesday, September 2nd namely, a washed up dead boy became the face of all boat people trying to reach Europe. A photographer saw the toddler. First on his belly in the surf at Bodrum in Turkey, with a red T-shirt, shorts and little shoes. Then in the arms of a rescuer. The photographs were all over the world.

Children are often the face of the suffering of war, hunger and violence.
Daily small Aylans die in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Sudan and other African countries, but in the West there will be no one to mourn. Only when the world is shaken by an ‘exciting’ or ‘catchy’ image, the westerner gets up and some come to react.

But in this time regularly critical voices are uttered, questioning what is presented in the media and wondering if some images are not orchestrated.

Een peuter uit Sudan, die in 1993 symbool kwam te staan voor de hongersnood in Afrika. De fotograaf, Kevin Carter, pleegde een jaar na de foto zelfmoord. Hij kon al het leed dat hij had gezien niet meer aan.

A toddler from Sudan who came symbol in 1993 as a face for the famine in Africa. The photographer, Kevin Carter committed suicide a year after the photo. He could not bear any more all the suffering he had seen.

This washed ashore boy of whom so quickly other photos emerged, is reminiscent of an earlier touching picture which shocked the world and suddenly got people support the suffering in Sudan in 1993. The child, emaciated lying on the ground, face down, visible ribs, then became an icon. Besides the baby is a vulture. It became a symbol of famine in Africa. The South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter committed suicide a year after the photo. All the suffering he had seen, he could not bear any more. That famine did not yet come to an end. Although we are more than 20 years later, this remains a scourge on the African continent, because of the many tribal wars, and to a lesser extent by the drought.

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which was last year and in January literally under fire, was not shy to print a billboard of a McDonalds in a cartoon around the little Aylan that reads:

‘Two children menu’s for the price of one. “

The magazine which one can not call specific Christian and formerly figuratively took the church a lot under fire, scoffed again with Aylans religion, entitled

“Prove that Europe is Christian.”

It shows an image that some Europeans make take for Jesus with the words

“Christians walk on water”

and the boy in the sea with the caption

“Muslim children sink”.

Embedded image permalink

Drawn by Laurent ‘Riss’ Sourisseau the cartoons are a damning indictment of the ‘anti-refugee sentiment’ that there is, according Maajid Nawaz, founder of the  London-based British anti-Islamist think tank Quilliam, writing on Facebook

“The McDonald’s image has criticized European heartless consumerism in the face of one of the worst human tragedies of our time.” (NSK)

Bart De Wever is one of the people to confess that the photo of the dead toddler hit him too.

“But I hook rationally off as an emotional pressure agent is to advocate for a European policy of open borders. I let myself not to be talked into a guilty feeling because I do not find it such a good idea.”

For him and his party members it is beyond doubt that a person is a war refugee until he  crosses a boundary where he no longer has to fear for his life. He adds:

“For a Syrian that is the Turkish border. If you are travelling to Western Europe, than you are an economic refugee. That kid did not die because his parents were fleeing violence. It died because his parents went looking for a better life.”

Unfortunately, many children are drawn into the adventure of their parents, looking for that better life, which ended very tragically for many.

The terrorist group Islamic State in February published a video showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. In the video, the executioner declares that IS stands south of Rome. In response to this video Egypt bombed different IS targets in Libya. A month later more than 20 deaths fell in an attack on the Bardo Museum in the Tunisian capital Tunis and in a double attack on two Shiite mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, more than 140 people dead.

On the same day, on 26 June, that a suicide attacker perpetrated Kuwait in the name of Islamic State, on a beach in the city of Sousse, in Tunisia, also an attack was committed costing the lives of at least 37 people.

On October 31, going from Sharm-el-Sheikh (Sharm al-Shaykh) to Saint Petersburg an Airbus A321 of the Russian airline Kogalymavia with flight number 9268 crashed on the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, as a result of a bomb attack. In the crash, all 224 passengers died. President Putin announced a day of national mourning. After a severe decrease of passengers due to the aforementioned incident and the security situation at its primary leisure destinations in Egypt Metrojet suspended all remaining operations from December 5 onwards. It announced to review all operations and might resume services in summer 2016.

Since the attacks in London on July 7, 2005 in November, Europe will be hard hit by terror attacks by IS faithfuls. On 13 November, six conducted bombings in Paris resulted in more than 130 deaths and more than 200 people injured.

Besides the fighting, which continued violently in Syria, this year there were also many innocent victims by gun-toting citizens whose possession of weapons could not be limited by the state leader. Even though there were more deaths caused by weapons of their fellow Americans Donald Trump tried the Americans to believe that the aliens and Islamic believers were the ones they should have to fear.

On the evening of June 17, a white male named Dylann Roof asked to join a Bible study group in the traditional black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.. Roof opened fire at the meeting and killed nine people, including a state senator. Later he said that he carried out the attack to provoke a race war. Photos of Roof who posed with the Confederate battle flag led to a widespread movement against the display of the flag and culminating in the removal of the flag of a monument on the South Carolina State Capitol building.

In a shooting incident at a care center in the US city of San Bernardino, California 14 were killed and 21 wounded. The American perpetrators of the shooting, a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident of the United States and his wife fled in a rented sport utility vehicle (SUV) and was four hours later slain by police. President Barack Obama called the shooting an act of terrorism. Terror group claims the IS assessment.

Carelessness of people also brings more than 120 people to death and delivers more than 700 wounded by two explosions in the port of Tianjin on August 12th. Ten days later a Hawker Hunter aircraft at a show in England ended the life of seven people.

At least 12 people were killed and several wounded on November 5 at a dam burst in a mine of BHP Billiton at Mariana where sixty million gallons of toxic water and mud was released.

April 2015 Nepal earthquake is located in NepalFile:NepalAftershockMap.pngAn earthquake, also known as the Gorkha earthquake, measuring 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25th, the country and again on Tuesday, May 12th by a quake with a magnitude of 7.4 and on May 17 again, this time with a magnitude of 5.7 on the Scale Richter. 9,000 people lost their life and more than 23,000 were seriously injured.
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19 making April 25, 2015 the deadliest day on the mountain in history.

File:Durbarsquare after earthquake 3.JPG

The quake was also an economic disaster with 191 058 homes destroyed and another 174 162 damaged houses. The government took into account that the number of destroyed homes could reach 500,000. Because of the damage to crops and the fact that in many affected areas could not be properly harvested the anticipated wheat production in Nepal for 2015 came in danger.

Historian Prushottam Lochan Shrestha stated,

“We have lost most of the monuments that had been designated as World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur District, Nepal. They cannot be restored to their original states.”

On October the 26 a magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes the Hindu Kush region and causes 398 deaths.

By floods in northeast India 200 000 people are forced to leave their house and also several residents in the area drowned.

Britain badly enough, this year once again got in the news with severe flooding. The population wondered again what the government is going to do against this situation of regular floodings. Northwest England, especially north of Manchester and Yorkshire are the worst affected. Thousands of people in several areas across England and Scotland had for several days to leave their homes because of heavy flooding. Among others, the Irwell and Ribble have come far beyond their shores.On December 27 it was the third time in just one month that in this area there was severe flooding.

Historic flooding devastated parts of Missouri

That the implementation of a faith can be deadly, encountered many pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, an unprecedented number died by oppression (official sources only talking about a 700 while foreign organizations speak of more than 2000) .


Preceding: Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Overzicht voor het jaar 2015 #2 Bezaaid met lijken en vluchtelingen


Additional reading

  1. African misery and women inequality
  2. Paris attacks darkning the world
  3. Bringing into safety from Iraq and Iran


Further reading

  1. Review of Al-Qaeda: The Transformation of Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa – Dr. Moshe Terdiman
  2. Year in review: Our Top Ten Conspiracies of 2015
  3. Egypt’s Foreign Policy in 2015: Taking Stock and Moving Forward…
  4. New year old wish
  5. Disaster diary – December 31, 2015
  6. Stories You Missed in 2015
  7. Islamic State leader killed in air strike was close to Paris attacker: mayor
  8. Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction
  9. Gunmen shut Yemen university’s faculties for gender mixing
  10. Kuwait to Provide to Ground Troops and Bahrain Acknowledges Death of Two Military Officers in Yemen
  11. Kuwait To Send Ground Troops To Join Saudi War In Yemen
  12. What shall Be
  13. Yemen peace deal elusive but rivals will meet again
  14. Midwest facing massive floods: Worse seen in 20 years
  15. Gov. Bryant issues State of Emergency due to Mississippi River flooding
  16. Missouri Assesses Damage as Floodwaters Recede
  17. Several levees monitored in Missouri; death toll rises to 20
  18. Iowa National Guard called to help with flood efforts in Missouri
  19. Local family deals with Missouri flooding
  20. Illinois peeps, check out – St. Louis Area Surveys Toll as Flood Risk Shifts South
  21. 19 states under flood warnings as communities brace for record floods
  22. At the Crossroads – Lessons from 2015 as we welcome 2016 (Part 1)
  23. The Decade When It Rained, And Rained, And Rained
  24. Storm Frank, floods, politics and the future of catchment management
  25. Storm Frank comes close to home
  26. Well Prepared
  27. Floods In York. (UK)
  28. Devastating Yorkshire Floods – 1930
  29. EU referendum: the press, the floods and the narrative.
  30. Seeking useful information
  31. Bus in the flood
  32. The Calder Valley’s History Of Flooding
  33. Calderdale floods – how to help
  34. Kendal
  35. Not the ideal home?
  36. Here and Now
  37. To be perfectly Frank
  38. Will Merseyrail Rescue Croston?
  39. Bishop Paul Colton Visits Flooded Areas and Calls For Support from Parishes, and Renewed and Coordinated National Determination to Address the Issue of Flood Defence Works
  40. ‘You have every right to be angry,’ Jeremy Corbyn tells York’s flood-affected residents
  41. Holding back the flood
  42. Homes Evacuated In Scotland
  43. Bloody insurance companies
  44. My views on the main environmental news as 2015 ends
  45. Doomed. We’re All Doomed, I Tell You


Posted in Crisis, History, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Overzicht voor het jaar 2015 #2 Bezaaid met lijken en vluchtelingen

Doorheen het jaar zag men zeer veel smombies door de straten lopen en aan de ontbijttafels zitten in hotels, of zich asociaal gedragen in rustplaatsen voor de werknemers.

Apple’s iPad (links) en Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet (rechts)

Maar pas wakker, al in bed begonnen veel jongeren al op hun smartphone, i-phone, i-pad of tablet hun Facebook account na te pluizen en keken zij daar op hoe het met de wereld en hun pseudo ‘vrienden’ was gesteld. Nog niet goed wakker kregen zij dan een heleboel lijken voorgeschoteld als aperitief. Nog voor het ontbijt werden allerlei prentjes bekeken die de wereld zouden mogen schokken of voor grootste gruwel mogen door gaan.

Evolution of mobile phones, through early smartphone - Evolutie van mobiele telefoons, tot aan de vroegtijdige smartphone

Evolution of mobile phones, through early smartphone – Evolutie van mobiele telefoons, tot aan de vroegtijdige smartphone

2015 mag het jaar in gaan waar de sociale media ook de journaals op de televisie hebben veroverd. Voor de nieuwsuitzendingen moest men vroeger wachten op de captatiewagens en kwamen de camera’s van de televisieploegen altijd na de gebeurtenissen op de scène. Maar nu heeft Jan en Alleman wel een of andere camera (op zijn mobiele telefoon of tablet) om dadelijk tijdens het gebeuren de feiten vast te leggen op de digitale media.

Zo kon de hele wereld dadelijk zien wat er op het ogenblik van het angstig gebeuren in Parijs of Nepal te beleven viel. Krijsende mensen en velen die de dood voor ogen zagen werden op piepkleine schermpjes vastgelegd om later in miljoenen huiskamers bekeken te worden, soms met open mond en verbijstering.

Want 2015 mag ook wel de annalen in gaan als het jaar van de verbijstering. Datgene wat niet mogelijk leek of datgene waar niemand aan dacht bleek harde realiteit te worden.
Verbouwereerd konden wij doorheen gans het jaar de zinneloosheid vaststellen van het immer doorgaand oorlogsgeweld op deze aardbol en de grote verwarring die er telkenmale heerste bij de veelvuldige aanslagen die de eer opeisten om de eerste plaats te verwerven in de media.

Obesitas is niet uitsluitend een modern verschijnsel, maar kwam – zij het minder frequent – ook in vroeger eeuwen reeds voor. Nu kan men meer en meer ‘biertonnen’ zien rondslenteren of hun voeten verder schuifelen onder een gewicht dat bijna niet meer valt te dragen.

Meermaals in het jaar werd er gepoogd mensen het zwijgen op te leggen. Hierbij vielen over heel de wereld duizenden doden. Zij verkregen zeer veel aandacht en heel de hetze rondom hen overtrof de miljoenen verkeersslachtoffers waar geen kat om kraait. Ook zagen de meeste mensen niet om naar de vele duizenden slachtoffers van ernstig levensbedreigende ziekten. Hierbij mocht kanker wel nog veel media aandacht krijgen en moet het gezegd worden dat men in 2015 ook meer aandacht begon te schenken aan de levensbedreigende welvaartsziekten waarbij suikerziekte hoog op het lijstje prijkte naast obesitas.

Maar de overvette mensenwereld moest ook toekijken hoe de uitgemergelde mensenwereld van Jut naar Jar werd gestuurd en hoe zij wilde waters moesten door zwemmen en door de modder moesten ploeteren om in de herfst maanden meer grenzen te zien sluiten door metershoge barricades van prikkeldraad, ook al bevonden zij zich in de Schengen gebieden.

Massa’s vluchtelingen verloren onderweg familieleden. De allerkleinsten als eerste slachtoffers. Maar het duurde tot het beeld van een peuter die levenloos op het strand lag terwijl het water zijn lichaam ‘streelde’, vooraleer de goegemeente wakker schoot.

Het duurde tot september eer mensen emotioneel konden geraakt en eens verder gingen denken over het leed dat de vluchtelingen te beurt valt.

De driejarige Aylan Kurdi afkomstig uit Kobani, een Koerdische stad in het noorden van Syrië, die per boot op weg van Turkije naar Griekenland, de ingang van Europa niet haalde.

De driejarige Aylan Kurdi afkomstig uit Kobani, een Koerdische stad in het noorden van Syrië, die per boot op weg van Turkije naar Griekenland, de ingang van Europa niet haalde.

Op woensdag 2 september namelijk werd een aangespoeld dood jongetje het gezicht van alle bootvluchtelingen die Europa proberen te bereiken. Een fotograaf zag de peuter liggen. Eerst op zijn buik in de branding bij Bodrum in Turkije, met een rood T-shirt, een korte broek en kleine schoenen. Daarna in de armen van een hulpverlener. De foto’s gingen de wereld over.

Kinderen zijn vaker het gezicht van het leed, van oorlog, honger en geweld.
Dagelijks sterven kleine Aylans in Syrië, Irak, Lybië, Palestina, Soedan en andere Afrikaanse landen, maar in het Westen zal er niemand om treuren. Pas als de wereld geschokt wordt door een ‘boeiend’ of ‘pakkend’ beeld staat de westerling op en gaan er sommigen reageren.

Maar in deze tijd gaan er ook regelmatig kritische stemmen op, die zich vragen stellen bij wat er in de media wordt gepresenteerd en zich afvragen of sommige beelden niet geörchestreerd worden.

Een peuter uit Sudan, die in 1993 symbool kwam te staan voor de hongersnood in Afrika. De fotograaf, Kevin Carter, pleegde een jaar na de foto zelfmoord. Hij kon al het leed dat hij had gezien niet meer aan.

Een peuter uit Sudan, die in 1993 symbool kwam te staan voor de hongersnood in Afrika. De fotograaf, Kevin Carter, pleegde een jaar na de foto zelfmoord. Hij kon al het leed dat hij had gezien niet meer aan.

Dit aangespoelde jongetje, waar van zo vlug andere foto’s van opdoken, doet denken aan een vroeger ontroerend beeld dat de wereld schokte en plots mensen steun deed geven voor het leed in Soedan in 1993.  Het kind dat toen een icoon werd, ligt uitgemergeld op de grond, het gezicht naar beneden, de ribben zichtbaar. Naast het kindje staat een gier. Het werd een symbool voor de hongersnood in Afrika. De Zuid Afrikaanse persfotograaf, Kevin Carter, pleegde een jaar na de foto zelfmoord. Hij kon al het leed dat hij had gezien niet meer aan. aan die hongersnood is echter nog steeds geen einde gekomen, al zijn wij meer dan 20 jaar verder blijft dit nog steeds een plaag op het Afrikaans continent, wegens de vele stammen oorlogen, en in mindere mate door de droogte.

Het satirische Franse magazine Charlie Hebdo dat vorig jaar en in januari letterlijk onder vuur lag, was niet verlegen om een reclamebord van McDonalds in een cartoon rond de Aylan af te drukken waarop staat:

‘Twee kindermenu’s voor de prijs van één.’

Embedded image permalink

Het tijdschrift dat niet bepaald Christelijk te noemen is en vroeger de kerk heel wat figuurlijk onder vuur nam spot dan weer met Aylans religie, met als titel

‘Bewijs dat Europa christelijk is’.

Het toont een figuur dat sommige Europeanen voor Jezus mogen nemen, met de woorden

‘Christenen lopen op water’

en het jongetje in de zee met als bijschrift

‘Moslimkinderen zinken’.

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De door Laurent ‘Riss’ Sourisseau getekende cartoons zijn een vernietigende aanklacht van het ‘anti-vluchtelingengevoel’ dat er heerst, volgens Maajid Nawaz, oprichter van de in Londen gebaseerde anti-Islamistische Britse denktank Quilliam, die op Facebook schrijft

‘De McDonalds-afbeelding is kritiek op harteloos Europees consumentisme in het gezicht van een van de ergste menselijke tragedies van onze tijd .’ (NSK)

Bart De Wever is een van de mensen die toe geeft dat de foto van de dode kleuter hem ook raakt.

“Maar ik haak rationeel af als dat een emotioneel drukkingsmiddel wordt om voor een Europese politiek van open buitengrenzen te pleiten. Ik laat mij geen schuldgevoel aanpraten omdat ik dat geen goed idee vind.”

Voor hem en zijn partij leden staat het als een paal boven water dat men oorlogsvluchteling is tot je een grens bent overgestoken waar je niet meer voor je leven hoeft te vrezen. Hij voegt er aan toe

“Voor een Syriër is dat de Turkse grens. Wie doorreist naar West-Europa, is een economische vluchteling. Dat kind is dus niet gestorven omdat zijn ouders op de vlucht waren voor geweld. Het is gestorven omdat zijn ouders op zoek gingen naar een beter leven.”

Spijtig genoeg zijn vele kinderen mee getrokken in het avontuur van hun ouders, op zoek naar dat beter leven, dat voor velen zeer tragisch is geëindigd.

De terreurbeweging Islamitische Staat publiceert in februari een video waarin de onthoofding van 21 Koptische christenen te zien is. In de video verklaart de beul dat IS ten zuiden van Rome staat. Als reactie op deze video bombardeerde Egypte verschillende IS doelen in Libië. Een maand later vallen er meer dan 20 doden te betreuren bij een aanslag op het Bardomuseum in de Tunesische hoofdstad Tunis en bij een dubbele aanslag op twee Sjiitische moskeeën in de Jemenitische hoofdstad Sanaa komen meer dan 140 mensen om het leven.

Op dezelfde dag dat in in Koeweit een zelfmoordaanslag wordt gepleegd in naam van Islamitische Staat wordt op een strand in de stad Sousse, in Tunesië, eveneens een aanslag gepleegd die op 26 juni minstens 37 mensen het leven kost.

Onderweg van Sharm-el-Sheikh naar Sint Petersburg op 31 oktober stort een Airbus A321 van de Russische luchtvaartmaatschappij Kogalymavia met vluchtnummer 9268 neer ten gevolge van een bomaanslag op het Egyptische schiereiland Sinaï. Bij de crash komen alle 224 inzittenden om het leven. President Poetin kondigt een dag van nationale rouw af. Wegens de terugvallend aantal passagiers door die aanval, besloot Metrojet haar vluchten te staken tot een herziening, vermoedelijk zomer 2016.

Sinds de aanslagen in Londen van 7 juli 2005 krijgt in november Europa het hard te verduren met terreuraanslagen door IS getrouwen. Op 13 november worden een zestal aanslagen in Parijs uitgevoerd waarbij meer dan 130 doden vallen en meer dan 200 mensen gewond raken.

Naast het oorlogsgeweld, dat in Syrië hevig door ging, werden dit jaar ook vele onschuldige slachtoffers gemaakt door schietgrage burgers wiens wapenbezit door de staatsleider niet beperkt kon worden. Ook al vielen er meer doden door wapens van hun Amerikaanse medeburgers trachtte Donald Trump het voor te doen dat het de vreemdelingen en Islamitische gelovigen waren waar men angst voor moest hebben.

Op de avond van 17 juni, vroeg een blanke man genaamd Dylann Roof om zich bij een bijbelstudie groep aan te sluiten in de traditioneel zwarte Emanuel AME Kerk in Charleston, SC. Roof opende het vuur op de vergadering en dode negen mensen, waaronder een state senator. Later zij hij dat hij de aanval uitvoerde om een rassen oorlog uit te lokken. Foto’s van Roof die poseerde met de Confederate battle flag of Verbonden slagvlag leidde tot een wijdverspreide beweging tegen de display van de vlag en culminerend in de verwijdering van de vlag van een monument op het South Carolina State Capitol gebouw.

Bij een schietpartij in een zorgcentrum in de Amerikaanse stad San Bernardino vallen 14 doden en 21 gewonden. De Amerikaanse daders van de schietpartij vluchten per auto en worden enkele uren na het bloedbad gedood door de politie. Terreurgroep IS eist de aanslag op.

Onvoorzichtigheid van de mensen brengt ook bij twee explosies in het havengebied van Tianjin meer dan 120 mensen tot de dood en bezorgt meer dan 700 gewonden op 12 augustus. Tien dagen later verongelukt een Hawker Hunter bij een vliegtuigshow in Engeland, er komen zeven mensen om het leven.

Minstens 12 doden en verschillende gewonden vielen er op 5 november bij een dambreuk in een mijn van BHP Billiton te Mariana waarbij zestig miljoen liter giftig water en modder vrij kwam.

© Emma Pedley/AZG

Een hoogzwangere Nepalese vrouw wordt uit haar dorp geëvacueerd door een team van Artsen Zonder Grenzen. Hulpverlening in het hooggebergte was een bijzondere uitdaging na de aardbeving die Nepal trof in april 2015.

April 2015 Nepal earthquake is located in NepalFile:NepalAftershockMap.pngEen aardbeving, ook gekend als de Gorkha beving, met een kracht van 7.9 treft Nepal op zaterdag 25 april, het land wordt op dinsdag 12 mei opnieuw getroffen door een beving met een kracht van 7.4 en op 17 mei weer een, dit maal met een kracht van 5,7 op de Schaal van Richter. Zeker 9 000 mensen  verliezen er hun leven en 23 000 geraken ernstig verwond.
De aardbeving veroorzaakt ook een lawine op de Mount Everest, waarbij ten minste 19 bergbeklimmers sterven, welk van 25 april 2015 de dodelijkste dag in de geschiedenis van de berg maken.

File:Durbarsquare after earthquake 3.JPG

De beving was ook een economische ramp met 191.058 verwoeste huizen en nog eens 174.162 beschadigde huizen. De overheid hield er rekening mee dat het aantal verwoeste huizen kon oplopen tot 500.000. Door de schade aan gewassen en het feit dat in veel getroffen gebieden niet goed geoogst kon worden kwam onder meer de door de FAO voor 2015 voorziene tarweproductie in Nepal in gevaar.

Op 26 oktober treft een aardbeving met magnitude 7.5 de regio Hindoekoesj en veroorzaakt 398 doden.

Bij overstromingen in het noordoosten van India worden 200.000 bewoners gedwongen hun huis te verlaten en verdrinken ook ettelijke bewoners in het gebied.

Groot-Brittannië komt erg genoeg dit jaar ook weer eens in het nieuws met erge overstromingen, waarbij de bevolking zich nogmaals af vraagt wat de de regering hier eigenlijk gaat tegen doen. Noordwest-Engeland, met name ten noorden van Manchester, en Yorkshire zijn er het ergst aan toe. Duizenden mensen in meerdere gebieden over Engeland en Schotland hebben voor meerdere dagen hun woning moeten verlaten vanwege zware overstromingen. Onder meer de Irwell en Ribble zijn ver buiten hun oevers getreden. Het is op 27 december de derde keer binnen slechts een maand dat er in dit gebied sprake is van zware wateroverlast.

Ook de staat Missouri kreeg haar portie van wateroverlast met doden.

© Yann Libessart/AZG

Een medewerkerster van Artsen Zonder Grenzen doet haar beschermende uitrusting aan om ebolapatiënten in de Guinese hoofdstad Conakry te kunnen verzorgen. Op 28 december 2015 viert Guinee het einde van de ebola-epidemie. Teams van Artsen Zonder Grenzen werkten tot het allerlaatste moment mee aan het indijken van de ziekte.

Dat de uitvoering van een geloof dodelijk kan zijn ondervonden veel pelgrimgangers in Saoedi-Arabië waar bij de jaarlijkse bedevaart in Mekka een ongekend aantal (officiële bronnen spreken slechts over een 700tal, terwijl buitenlandse organisaties gewagen van meer dan 2000) door verdrukking om het leven kwamen.


In beeld

© Karel Prinsloo

Twee familieleden brengen Ruai Puot Malow, 56 jaar, naar het ziekenhuis van Artsen Zonder Grenzen in Lankien, Zuid-Soedan. Het aanslepende geweld in het land treft ook de gezondheidszorg, zodat ziektes zoals kala azar, waaraan Ruai Puot Malow lijdt, weer meer slachtoffers maken.

© Anna Surinyach/AZG

De vijftien jaar oude Fathema is zoals zoveel landgenoten het geweld en de armoede in Somalië ontvlucht. Ze werd gered door een team van Artsen Zonder Grenzen toen ze in een overvolle boot de Middellandse Zee probeerde over te steken.


Artsen Zonder Grenzen ondersteunt heel wat ziekenhuizen en klinieken in Syrië, waar de oorlog blijft duren. De bevoorrading met medicijnen en medisch materiaal is niet eenvoudig en moet soms op primitieve manieren gebeuren.

© Sebastiano Tomada/Getty Reportage

Een vader brengt zijn gewonde kind naar een ziekenhuis dat Artsen Zonder Grenzen ondersteunt in Sa’ada in Jemen. De oorlog in Jemen is erg gewelddadig en er vallen heel veel burgerslachtoffers.




Woord van het jaar 2015

Overzicht voor het jaar 2015 #1 Dreiging en angst

Engelse versie / English version: Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees



Geweld lokt geweld uit


Lees verder ook

  1. De crisis in één beeld: Syrisch jongetje spoelt aan in Turkije
  2. Het verhaal van Aylan, het jongetje dat op weg naar Europa verdronk
  3. Bart De Wever: “Die dode kleuter is niet onze schuld”
  4. Zet een peuter Europa aan tot actie? – Inge Vrancken
  5. Veel vraagtekens bij dood van verdronken Syrisch jongetje – het “verhaal” van de vader + update
  6. Aardbevingen Nepal
  7. Vloedgolf van verziekt entertainement
  8. NO pasaran #jesuischarlie
  9. Overdracht van mening te vrijwaren
  10. Weg uit Zuid-Soedan, maar niet voor altijd
  11. Geweld lokt geweld uit
  12. Een moment van Bezinning, even maar (From Guestwriters)
  13. Een moment van bezinning, even maar (Sjonk Ritmeester)
  14. Ik ben in oorlog, wat kan ik doen
  15. Waarom werken we in de strijd tegen IS niet gewoon samen met Poetin?
  16. Het kost me heel veel moeite (Dutch)
  17. Denk je eens in
  18. Oorlog
  19. Vluchtelingen, medemensen in nood: welkom!
  20. Beslan, 1 september 2004
  21. Onrust breekt nu ook uit in West-Oekraïne.
  22. Waar zit het verschil?
  23. Teveel vrijheid anno 2015?
  24. De stap naar een betere wereld
  25. Nepal
  26. Hoe voorspelbaar het onvooorspelbare is … alweer!
  27. Wereldburger in Nepal
  28. Studenten in Nepal
  29. Ramptoerist in L’Aquila
  30. Ramptoerist in Loppersum
  31. Nepal: de wereld op z’n kop
  32. Saudierna tog Jemenitisk ö med terrorister.
  33. Gleiche Brüder, gleiche Kappen
  34. Archiv.Mai. Jemen Krieg.Neutronenbombeneinsatz ?
  35. #RefugeeCrisis: Der nächste Dominostein ist Jemen
  36. Jemen und Afghanistan: Der Krieg der Anderen (taz 20./21.6.2015)
  37. Amerikanska hangarfartyg till Jemen för att stoppa Iranska vapenleveranser.
  38. Al-Qaeda-Terrorist getötet
  39. Historic flooding devastates parts of Missouri


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