Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

After Successful Missile Launch, North Korea Threatens New Nuclear Test

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2013

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this picture released by the KCNA news agency on Dec. 15, 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this picture released by the KCNA news agency on Dec. 15, 2012

When North Korea put a satellite into orbit last month, it declared that the launch was an exercise of its “right to use space for peaceful purposes” and denounced criticism by the U.S. and others that it was carrying out a ballistic-missile test meant to threaten its neighbors. On Tuesday the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the launch, which it said was banned under previous resolutions, and moved to strengthen existing sanctions. Today North Korea responded angrily to the Security Council’s move, declaring that it may soon carry out another nuclear test — the isolated totalitarian state’s third — a move its National Defense Commission said was aimed at the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Practice of Child Brides

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2012

Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

Shiwa HasmiAfter the tragic news this week of 16-year-old Shiwa Hasmi of Bardiya district in Nepal, I am asking governments and the UN to enforce laws against child marriage and in favour of universal education for girls. Shiwa died in hospital after being set on fire following her refusal to be forced into a child marriage against her will. Read the rest of this entry »

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Palestinian UN Recognition Vote Passes By Majority

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 30, 2012

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly has voted by a more than two-thirds majority to recognize the state of Palestine.

The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by the 193-member world body late Thursday by a vote of 138-9 with 41 abstentions.

Addressing the General Assembly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the historic vote was the last chance to save the two-state solution. He also told the meeting that it “is being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the parties to renew their commitment to negotiating peace deal.

However the US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the UN’s vote on the Palestinians’ status places further obstacles in the path of peace.

The Palestinian bid to join the global body as a full member state failed in 2011 due to lack of support at the UN Security Council. To get the “non-member observer state” status, the Palestinians only needed a simple majority at the 193-member General Assembly, such status is already held by the Vatican. Read the rest of this entry »

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APECF signs agreement for Greater Lumbini

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 8, 2012

KATHMANDU, Nov 7: The Chinese international non-government organization (INGO)- Asia Pacific Exchange Cooperation Foundation (APECF) – on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lumbini Development Steering Committee (LDSC) for the development and preservation of all aspects of ´Greater Lumbini´.

Executive Vice Chairman of APECF Linus Xiao Wunan and chairman of the LDSC Puspa Kamal Dahal signed the agreement targeting to invest more than US$ 3 billion to develop Lumbini as an international peace city.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Wunan said further investment in Lumbini depended on the political leadership of Nepal. “We are positive to support it, but it will depend upon the policy of Nepal´s government,” said he. Read the rest of this entry »

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Educating the World – No More Excuses

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 29, 2012

By Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

This September, five and six year olds in the western world have enjoyed their first day at school. In the developing world, however, a total of 61 million school-age girls and boys around the world will not go to primary school at all.

While if you visited the classrooms of New York, London or Paris you would find happy young children beginning their educational journey, if you visit the mining regions of Mali, West Africa, you’ll find children as young as 10 working in tunnels 30 meters underground. Visit the cocoa growing areas of neighboring Côte d’Ivoire and you’ll see young boys of primary school age working with machetes.

This tragic picture of child labor repeats itself across the developing world: new figures show that 91 million girls and boys are currently engaged in child labor. On current trends, there will be as many as 170 million child laborers in 2020, who, instead of acquiring the basic literacy and numeracy skills that we in the western world often take for granted, are engaged in grueling and often dangerous work.

In Africa alone, the number of children aged between five and 14 involved in child labor is projected to increase by some 19 million. Growing numbers of children forced into the workplace, and so denied the opportunity to prosper in the classroom. This endless cycle of poverty begetting poverty through lack of opportunity is ready to repeat itself if nothing is done.

Contrast this with the western world, where education has taken its rightful place amongst the priorities of government, with centuries of investment in teaching and infrastructure. In ten years’ time, 800 million of the world’s citizens, primarily in wealthy countries, are set to have university degrees. Read the rest of this entry »

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Asteroid Warning System: Report Calls For International Effort To Avert Possible Catastrophe

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 10, 2012

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Asteroid Warning System
By: Mike Wall @HP

The nations of the world need to work together to develop a warning and communication system that could mitigate the worst effects of a catastrophic asteroid strike, a new report stresses.

Such a system would issue international warnings about possible impending strikes and educate the public about the threats posed by near-Earth objects. It also would call government leaders’ and the public’s attention to the scientific value and potential economic importance of asteroids.

Coming up with international guidelines of this sort would not be easy, since nothing of its kind has been done before, write the authors of the report, which was issued by the nonprofit Secure World Foundation.

“Today no worldwide disaster-notification protocol of any kind exists. The closest analogy might be the cooperative early-warning system developed for tsunamis in the wake of the devastating inundation of the coasts of Southeast Asia in 2004,” the report states. It is being presented this week to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space during a conference in Vienna. [Natural Disasters: Top 10 U.S. Threats] Read the rest of this entry »

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Why India Is Still One of the Most Dangerous Places to Give Birth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 10, 2012

India’s economy may be booming, but when it comes to providing adequate health care to pregnant women, the country is falling behind even its poorer neighbors.
ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images

ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
A new born baby sleeps in the arms of her mother at a Community Health Center in Mall, near the central east Indian city of Lucknow on October 31, 2011.

In March, Preeti Singh almost died giving birth. The 22-year-old resident of a village about a half hour’s drive from New Delhi was pregnant with twins and planned to give birth with the help of an untrained midwife. When things went wrong during the delivery, she rushed to three government hospitals in search of help before her family decided to take out a loan for $1,000 to send her to a private hospital. Preeti and one of the twins survived. “Giving birth is not easy,” she said. “But maybe if I was taken to a hospital to give birth or a competent dai (midwife) was there, it would not have been so traumatic and my other child would have been saved.”

Indeed, with basic maternity care, many lives in India would be saved. According to a 2010 study by the Harvard School of Public Health, 150,000 deaths could be prevented by 2015 if Indian women had access to better family planning and health care during their pregnancies and deliveries. But that medical help has yet to arrive. A new report by Save the Children suggests that, despite India’s booming economy, the country is still one of the most high-risk places in the world to give birth. It ranked India as the fourth-worst country among 80 less-developed nations in its survey, with nearly half of all births taking place without a trained health professional. “Even though India has made efforts to improve maternal health by encouraging institutional deliveries and taking other measures,” says Thomas Chandy, the head of Save the Children India, “the benefits have not yet appeared to bring about a shift.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Should NATO Be Handling World Security?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 22, 2012

By Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History emeritus, SUNY Albany

 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (better known as NATO) is in the news once again thanks to a NATO Summit meeting in Chicago over the weekend of May 19-20 and to large public demonstrations in Chicago against this military pact.

NATO’s website defines the alliance’s mission as “Peace and Security,” and shows two children lying in the grass, accompanied by a bird, a flower and the happy twittering of birds. There is no mention of the fact that NATO is the world’s most powerful military pact, or that NATO nations account for 70 percent of the world’s annual $1.74 trillion in military spending.

The organizers of the demonstrations, put together by peace and social justice groups, assailed NATO for bogging the world down in endless war and for diverting vast resources to militarism.According to a spokesperson for one of the protest groups, Peace Action: “It’s time to retire NATO and form a new alliance to address unemployment, hunger, and climate change.”

NATO was launched in April 1949, at a time when Western leaders feared that the Soviet Union, if left unchecked, would invade Western Europe. The U.S. government played a key role in organizing the alliance, which brought in not only West European nations, but the United States and Canada. Dominated by the United States, NATO had a purely defensive mission — to safeguard its members from military attack, presumably by the Soviet Union.

That attack never occurred, either because it was deterred by NATO’s existence or because the Soviet government had no intention of attacking in the first place. We shall probably never know.

In any case, with the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, it seemed that NATO had outlived its usefulness.

But vast military establishments, like other bureaucracies, rarely just fade away. If the original mission no longer exists, new missions can be found. And so NATO’s military might was subsequently employed to bomb Yugoslavia, to conduct counter-insurgency warfare in Afghanistan, and to bomb Libya. Meanwhile, NATO expanded its membership and military facilities to East European nations right along Russia’s border, thus creating renewed tension with that major military power and providing it with an incentive to organize a countervailing military pact, perhaps with China.

None of this seems likely to end soon. In the days preceding the Chicago meeting, NATO’s new, sweeping role was highlighted by Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokesperson, who announced that the Summit would “discuss the Alliance’s overall posture in deterring and defending against the full range of threats in the 21st century, and take stock of NATO’s mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defense forces.” Read the rest of this entry »

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How Nepal Can Have An “Invincible” Military – OpEd

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 6, 2012

By Deepak Prakash Baskota and Dr. David R. Leffler

Although social scientists argue that research shows that our world is becoming a safer and more peaceful place, dangerous hotspots still exist. Over the years Iranian leaders such as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. Besides perennial tensions in the Middle East, North Korean Deputy Commander Li Gum-chol recently threatened, “We will turn Seoul into a sea of flames by our strong and cruel artillery firepower, which cannot be compared to our artillery shelling on Yeonpyeong Island. We are training hard, concentrating on revenge to shock [South Korean President] Lee Myung-bak’s traitorous group and the military warmongers in South Korea.”

Such fiery rhetoric is not an encouraging indicator of enduring friendship, security and lasting world peace. If nuclear war were to break out between nations and/or terrorists were to acquire nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction, global tensions and engagement could rapidly escalate, creating a grave situation even for leaders in Nepal. This is why worried leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attended the second Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Seoul, South Korea on March 26 – 27. Read the rest of this entry »

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Human Trafficking Victims: 2.4 Million People Across The Globe Are Trafficked For Labor, Sex

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 4, 2012


Comment: God, terrible figure. Almost 0.01% of total population:

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. crime-fighting office said Tuesday that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80 percent of them are being exploited as sexual slaves.

Yuri Fedotov, the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, told a daylong General Assembly meeting on trafficking that 17 percent are trafficked to perform forced labor, including in homes and sweat shops.

He said $32 billion is being earned every year by unscrupulous criminals running human trafficking networks, and two out of every three victims are women.

Fighting these criminals “is a challenge of extraordinary proportions,” Fedotov said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bhattarai sends official invite to Ban

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 17, 2012

By Anil Giri

KATHMANDU, MAR 16 – Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Thursday evening sent an official invitation to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Nepal on the last week of April.

Ban will take stock of the peace process and hold discussions on the development of Lumbini during his stay here.

“The government has extended an invitation to Secretary General Ban to attend an international conference on Lumbini development to be held in Lumbini on April 29. Ban’s visit has been fixed for the last week of April,” spokesperson of the Lumbini Development Steering Committee and Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal said on Friday after a meeting of the committee. The invitation, a personal note in nature, signed by Bhattarai has been forwarded to Nepal’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Gyan Chandra Acharya. Acharya is likely to hand over the invitation to Ban on Friday or early next week in New York.

The invitation contains a specific request to attend the high-level international meeting on Lumbini, multiple sources at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said. This would be Ban’s second trip to the country in capacity of the UN Secretary General. He was in Nepal in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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Personality: A SMALL GIRL’S BIG, BIG VOICE (Suma Tharu)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 13, 2012

A Weekend of Fearless Women

From Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep to IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee, complete coverage of our 2012 summit.

From top girl crush Christine Lagarde on ‘Lehman Sisters’ to Meryl Streep riveted backstage and Hillary Clinton’s embrace of Burmese activist Zin Mar Aung, Tina Brown shares her favorite moments from the third Women in the World summit.

Something wonderful happened at this year’s third Women in the World Summit. It really was not just a summit, but a happening that brought out the very best in everyone on stage and off, at the Lincoln Center and at the United Nations, where my summit cohost Diane von Furstenberg presented the DVF awards to such women of courage as Jaycee Dugard.

brown-witw-wrap-teaser
Marc Bryan-Brown

So many mothers brought their daughters to the summit. So many daughters brought their mothers. Has Christine Lagarde, our guest at the opening night dinner, ever been more convincing or more captivating, with the sheen of her white satin jabot blouse matching her hank of silver hair? (For girl crushes in the dinner audience, Lagarde took the prize.) “If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters…we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened,” she told Niall Ferguson archly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scottish Independence: Cameron Warns On UN Security Council Place

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 16, 2012

David Cameron will engage in a high-risk rebuttal of Scottish independence on Thursday, when he’ll make a speech in Scotland which warns of the nation being marginalised at the UN Security Council and among NATO.

The PM will say: “We’re stronger, because together we count for more in the world, with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, real clout in NATO and Europe and unique influence with allies all over the world.”

In an impassioned speech in which Cameron will state:  “It matters head, heart and soul” to him, the PM will say: “Our shared home is under threat and everyone who cares about it needs to speak out.”

Number 10 was quick to clarify that there was no suggestion that a post-independence UK would lose its seat on the UN Security Council.  But Britain’s place there – considered increasingly tenuous given its relative wane as a global power – depends on its nuclear arsenal.   How those weapons might be divvied up between England and Scotland will be a major bone of contention in the years leading up to the independence referendum.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Obama Administration’s Syrian Double Standard

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 14, 2012

By Amb Marc Ginsberg,  Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco

“We do not want further militarization of the situation in Syria.” So sheepishly declared an Obama Administration spokesman today when pressed why isn’t the U.S. prepared to help defend defenseless Syrian protestors by providing humanitarian and perhaps financial and logistical support to the Free Syrian Army.

My how the tides have changed in the hallways of the Eisenhower Executive Office building.

When Col. Gaddafi’s forces were on the outskirts of Benghazi, White House staffers were falling all over themselves in a mad dash to declare to any and all that a humanitarian catastrophe demanded urgent international action to prevent an assault on innocent civilians. Nightmares of Rwanda and Bosnia compelled the burning of midnight oil at the State Department.

Abetted by a cavalry of outraged academics in Washington think tanks demanding action from the Administration, President Obama publicly signaled events demanded action and marshaled his top officials to explore every conceivable avenue to thwart Gaddafi’s forces. Secret arms deliveries were smuggled in to Libya courtesy of Qatar and Egypt. CIA operatives were parachuted in to help the nascent Libyan opposition forces. A NATO led no-fly zone was declared and enforced. No stone was left unturned to keep Gaddafi’s forces from killing civilians. Everyone was on red alert.

Fortunately, because of that example of presidential leadership a humanitarian catastrophe in Benghazi was averted and the Administration has been patting itself on the back ever since… never mind that Libya today is suffering a destabilizing outbreak of post-revolutionary violence threatening the very victory Administration officials crowed about. But, hey that’s no longer necessarily our business… right? Read the rest of this entry »

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Falkland Islands: UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon Appeals To Britain And Argentina For Calm

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 11, 2012


Unnecessar­y ego and greediness are the main masters for all these games:

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General has appealed for calm in the escalating dispute over the Falkland Islands, as Argentina took their claim of sovereignty to the General Assembly and Security Council.

In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about the “increasingly strong exchanges between the governments of Argentina and the UK”.

It added that he had: “Expressed the hope that the governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom will avoid an escalation of this dispute and resolve differences peacefully and through dialogue”.

Argentina’s foreign minister arrived in New York on Friday to officially protest about Britain’s “militarisation” of the seas around the disputed islands.

It comes after Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner hit out at the UK’s decision to send the Duke of Cambridge and one of its most modern navy warships to the South Atlantic region.

In a speech to an audience including Falkland war veterans on Wednesday, she said the move posed a risk to “international security” before announcing the official complaint would be made.

Addressing politicians yesterday, Ms Kirchner said: “In a few hours our chancellor leaves for New York to make a presentation to the United Nations about the militarisation and the introduction of nuclear arms in the zone.” Read the rest of this entry »

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