Latest Developments, September 16

In the latest news and analysis…

Syrian hope
The New York Times editorial board welcomes the new agreement between the US and Russia over Syria’s chemical weapons, while questioning how realistic it is:

“Under the deal’s terms, Syria is required to provide a ‘comprehensive listing’ of its chemical arsenal within a week. That includes the types and quantities of poison gas, and storage, production and research sites. The agreement also requires ‘immediate and unfettered’ access to these sites by international inspectors, with the inspections to be completed by November. Also by November, equipment for mixing and filling munitions with chemical agents must be destroyed. All chemical weapons and related equipment are to be eliminated by the middle of 2014.
The deadlines are necessary to keep the pressure on, but meeting them will not be easy in the middle of a civil war, even if Mr. Assad cooperates. The United States and Russia have worked for 15 years to eliminate their own chemical arms stocks and still have years to go.”

Moving picture
IRIN reports that the International Organization for Migration’s newly released World Migration Report offers a “global snapshot of migrant well-being”:

“Overall, the study found that migrants who moved north gained the most, with North to North migrants faring the best, and South to North migrants also rating their lives as better than their counterparts back home. Migrants in the South fared similarly or worse than if they had not migrated, with long-time South to South migrants considering themselves worse off than both the native-born and their counterparts back home. More than a quarter of South to South migrants struggled to afford food and shelter, even after being in a host country for more than five years.”

French coup
Jeune Afrique reports that a former president of Madagascar has accused France of being behind the 2009 ouster of his successor:

“It is a revelation that, if true, is likely to embarrass Paris. In an interview on the private chanel TV Plus Madagascar, ex-Malagasy president Didier Ratsiraka, 76, said on Sept. 11 that ‘France asked me to help Andry Rajoelina remove Marc Ravalomanana,’ referring to events in early 2009 that led to the overthrow of the ex-Madagascar president.
‘I answered that I am not in favour of coups,’ he added before explaining that he finally accepted after it was explained to him that this was not a coup. ‘We agreed that Marc Ravalomanana would leave power without a blood bath. And after his overthrow, we should undertake an inclusive transition… Andry Rajoelina was on board,’ he said.” [Translated from the French.]

No money, no answers
The Center for Economic Policy Research transcribes an Al Jazeera reporter’s questions to a UN spokesman about the organization’s position on compensating victims of the UN-triggered cholera epidemic in Haiti that has so far killed 8,260 and made 675,000 ill:

“[Al Jazeera’s Sebastian] Walker: But why is the claim not receivable?
[Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary General Eduardo] Del Buey: Well, it’s not the United Nations practice to discuss in public the details of our responses to claims against the organization.
Walker: So you don’t have to explain yourselves?
Del Buey: No.
Walker: You are saying that not only do they not get compensation but you don’t even have to explain why?
Del Buey: Well, that’s exactly what I said, that’s the United Nations’ policy.”

No deal
Reuters reports that thousands of Nigerian plaintiffs have rejected a “totally derisory and insulting” compensation offer by oil giant Royal Dutch Shell over pollution caused by spills in the Niger Delta:

“Their lawyers said they will now go back to a British court to request a trial timetable.
The legal action is being closely watched by the oil industry and by environmentalists for precedents that could have an impact on other big pollution claims against majors.

A source close to Shell and another source involved in the negotiations told Reuters the company offered total compensation of 7.5 billion naira ($46.3 million).
Leigh Day, the British law firm representing the villagers, said the compensation offer amounted to approximately 1,100 pounds ($1,700) per individual impacted, without giving the number of people it says were affected.”

Outside assistance
The Australian reports that Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said the US was “very, very helpful” in the bloody final war against the Tamil Tigers:

“American satellite technology located the ships and enabled the Sri Lankans to hit them. Before that, the Americans had been somewhat ambivalent about the Sri Lankan struggle. They never remotely justified or approved of the Tigers, but nor would they supply weapons to the Sri Lankan forces. Yet throughout the conflict, Sri Lanka got most of its military hardware from Israel and Pakistan, two military allies of the US that would probably have been susceptible to American entreaties not to supply arms.”

GMO creep
The Guardian reports that agribusiness giant Monsanto is under investigation in the US over suspected crop contamination:

“The investigation was ordered after a farmer in Washington state reported that his alfalfa shipments had been rejected for export after testing positive for genetic modification. Results were expected as early as Friday.
If confirmed, it would be the second known case of GM contamination in a major American crop since May, when university scientists confirmed the presence of a banned GM wheat growing in a farmer’s field in Oregon.”

Above the law
Human Rights Watch argues that the World Bank “does not recognize its obligation to respect international human rights law”:

“The absence of a clear commitment not to support activities that will contribute to or exacerbate human rights violations leaves World Bank staff without guidance on how they should approach human rights concerns or what their responsibilities are.

 Introducing a human rights commitment would include carrying out systematic human rights due diligence for every program, first to identify how its lending or other support may contribute to human rights violations and then to figure out constructive ways to avoid or mitigate the human rights risks.”

Advertisements

Latest Developments, July 17

In the latest news and analysis…

Election dropout
Radio France Internationale reports that Tiébilé Dramé has withdrawn his candidacy from this month’s presidential election in Mali, saying a “credible” vote is impossible at this point in time and criticizing France’s role in his country’s electoral process:

“ ‘Paris,’ Tiébilé Dramé said, ‘is pushing for elections, no matter what the cost.’ He added: ‘I get the feeling [French foreign minister] Laurent Fabius is running the elections in Mali.’ Nevertheless, Dramé is not calling for a boycott of the vote. He even wished ‘good luck’ to his country.” [Translated from the French.]

The customer’s always right
The Independent reports that the UK has sold £12.3 billion worth of military equipment to “countries which are on its own official list for human rights abuses”:

“The Government had stated that it would not issue export licences for goods ‘which might be used to facilitate internal repression’ or ‘might provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts’.

Only two states of 27 on the Foreign Office’s human rights list – North Korea and South Sudan –did not have licences to their names. Among the others, Saudi Arabia has 417 licences with a value of £1.8bn; Pakistan 219 worth almost £50m; Sri Lanka 49 at £8m and Zimbabwe 46, worth just under £3m.

‘The Government needs to acknowledge that there’s an inherent conflict between strongly promoting arms exports to authoritarian regimes whilst strongly criticising their lack of human rights at the same time. Instead they continue to claim these two policies “are mutually reinforcing”,’ [said Committees on Arms Export Controls chairman John Stanley].”

Hunger studies
The Canadian Press reports on new evidence that researchers in Canada conducted nutritional experiments on “isolated, dependent, hungry” aboriginal people in the mid-20th Century:

“Government documents eventually revealed a long-standing, government-run experiment that came to span the entire country and involved at least 1,300 aboriginals, most of them children.

They found people who were hungry, beggared by a combination of the collapsing fur trade and declining government support. They also found a demoralized population marked by, in the words of the researchers, ‘shiftlessness, indolence, improvidence and inertia.’
The researchers suggested those problems — ‘so long regarded as inherent or hereditary traits in the Indian race’ — were in fact the results of malnutrition.”

Dangerous oil
Reuters reports that the UN is warning that the activities of Western oil companies in Somalia could “threaten peace and security” in the region:

“Around a dozen companies, including many multinational oil and gas majors, had licenses to explore Somalia before 1991, but since then Somaliland and Puntland and other regional authorities have granted their own licenses for the same blocks.
In some cases Somaliland and Puntland have awarded licenses for blocks that overlap. The experts said one such case involves Norwegian oil firm DNO and Canadian-listed Africa Oil Corp.
‘Potentially, it means that exploration operations in these blocks, conducted by both DNO and Africa Oil under the protection of regional security forces, its allied militia or private forces, could generate new conflict between Somaliland and Puntland,’ the report said.
‘It is alarming that regional security forces and armed groups may clash to protect and further Western-based oil companies interests,’ it said.”

Fortress Europe
Human Rights Watch’s Judith Sunderland argues that the EU’s “increasingly hostile” attitude toward immigration is putting Africans’ lives at risk:

“[European commissioner for home affairs Cecilia] Malmström’s office has said it is examining pushback practices by member states – and not just to Libya – but it needs to be more open about this process and its conclusions. And it should be willing to use infringement proceedings against EU countries that send people to places where there is a risk of torture or persecution, a clear breach of EU law.
The European Parliament and European Council are studying a European Commission proposal for new regulations governing interceptions in the Mediterranean. It would allow for returns to third countries for those intercepted on the high seas following a cursory assessment of protection needs and the situation in the country of return. This is unacceptable.”

UN peacemaking
Al Jazeera reports on concerns that that the deployment of the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo could have dire consequences:

The move abandons past UN risk-aversion in a way that critics fear could create a politicised force with an offensive mandate that fuels local resistance to peacekeeping and exposes humanitarian staff to new risks.

Pieter Vanholder, DRC country director of the Life & Peace Institute in Bukavu, told Al Jazeera FIB could have a deterrent effect, but ‘if some things go wrong, which they are bound to, the brigade may be seen as a kind of occupation force.’’
‘As a consequence it could become a push factor for some to join armed groups, adding to local resistance,’ Vanholder said.

Exaggerated risk
The Center for Global Development’s Charles Kenney argues, regarding the US Department of Homeland Security, the time has come to “shut the whole thing down”:

“More than a decade [after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks], it’s increasingly clear that the danger to Americans posed by terrorism remains smaller than that of myriad other threats, from infectious disease to gun violence to drunk driving. Even in 2001, considerably more Americans died of drowning than from terror attacks. Since then, the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack in the U.S. or abroad have been about one in 20 million. The Boston marathon bombing was evil and tragic, but it’s worth comparing the three deaths in that attack to a list of the number of people in the U.S. killed by guns since the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., which stood at 6,078 as of June.”

People for sale
UK House of Lords member Mary Goudie argues “it’s only by cutting off the money” that the world can stop human trafficking:

“Modern-day slavery is an underground business, intrinsically linked to global supply chains. Individuals and companies are making a huge amount of money out of this business and can make it extremely hard for campaigners and governments to chase the cash back to its true source. Dealing with the murky links between forced labour and global supply chains is perhaps the only real chance we have of cracking the business of slavery. All private companies should be required to sign up to the Athens ethical principles against human trafficking. By signing this agreement, they will be contributing to the eradication of human trafficking and emphasising that this form of business will not be tolerated.”

Latest Developments, November 15

In the latest news and analysis…

War chest
The Wall Street Journal reports that the EU is contemplating “using its checkbook” instead of sending troops to help Mali recover its northern portion from armed groups:

“The EU, which has already pledged to support the proposed West African force with training, transport, and intelligence gathering, is now discussing spending tens of millions of euros to provide equipment and monthly allowances to the roughly 3,000 troops, [European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter] said.
However, the EU is moving cautiously with its proposal, two of these people said, because it wants any military intervention in the region to appear as an African initiative, not a European one.

If approved, EU funding would come from the European Commission’s African Peace Facility, the people familiar with the matter said.”

Bribe facilitation
The Vanguard reports it has obtained a list of specific banks used to wire “huge sums” to high-ranking Nigerians:

“According to sources, such principal suspects like a former military head of state (names withheld), used the American Express Bank Annex at the Towers World Financial Centre, New York, the Seaway National Bank, Chicago, and the Bank of New York to wire over $37.5 million of the bribe money.

Another principal suspect through who the British/Israeli lawyer, Jeffrey Tesler wired huge sums to prominent Nigerians is Air Vice Marshal Abdul Dominic Bello and the banks/ account numbers through which over $68 million were wired are Lloyds Bank of London, A/C No 736827, Tri-Star, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, London, Tri-Star, American Express Bank, A/C No 2101653,Tri-Star, HSBC, A/C No 31505024, and Lloyds Bank, A/C No 0737041, Tri-Star.”

Prix Pinocchio
Friends of the Earth France has named the winners of this year’s Pinocchio Sustainable Development Awards, which are “intended to illustrate and denounce the negative impacts of some French companies that behave in total contradiction with the concepts of sustainable development that they boast of extensively”:

“This year, more than 17,000 people voted online to choose the winners among the nominated companies. Lesieur, Bolera and Areva are the big winners in 2012.

The ever-increasing number of votes for the Pinocchio prizes proves there is growing support for the fight against the impunity that French multinational companies currently enjoy regarding the social and environmental impacts of their activities, a fight waged for years by Friends of the Earth, the Research and Information Centre for Development, and Peuples Solidaires.” [Translated from the French.]

Afghan fears
The Asia Foundation has released the results of a survey that suggests, among other things, that the people of Afghanistan are far more afraid of international soldiers than of Afghan ones:

“Only 20% of respondents say they would have no fear when encountering international forces, while more than three quarters (78%) say they would have some level of fear, including 35% who say they would have a lot of fear. A high level of fear when encountering international forces could be due to night raids as well as the international forces’ relatively large presence in military operations.”

Higher fences
Agence France-Presse reports on the recurring attempts by African migrants to enter Spain’s North African exclaves, which form “the only land frontier between Africa and Europe”:

“In August, after some 60 sub-Saharan migrants forced their way across the border, Spain boosted its security by raising the height of the fence and adding video cameras and more staff.
Since then, hundreds of migrants have tried to cross over into Melilla on several occasions.
Spanish officials said that attempts to reach Spanish soil by boat have also increased over the last few weeks, as migrants try to make the most of the last remaining days of warm weather.”

Responsible loans
Human Rights Watch calls on the World Bank to incorporate consideration of human rights into its lending practices:

“Historically, the World Bank Group has dismissed human rights as a ‘political’ issue and therefore outside of its mandate as a development bank. The same was true of corruption until a former Bank president, James Wolfensohn, took the seemingly risky step of raising ‘the c-word’ and began to address the issue within the bank and in its lending. President Jim Yong Kim has a similar opportunity to modernize the bank by taking on human rights, the groups said.
‘The World Bank Group is not above international law – the bank and its member states must abide by human rights standards in their development activities,’ said Kris Genovese, senior attorney at CIEL. ‘Now is the time for the bank to move into the 21st century and, if he’s willing to show leadership andsustained engagement with member countries, Kim can realize this signature achievement.’
”

Forcible profits
The Institute for Policy Studies is calling on Canada’s government to put a stop to a Canadian mining company’s “bullying” of El Salvador:

“Despite the prospect of major environmental damage, Pacific Rim says it has the ‘right,’ under the investor–state regime allowed by investment rules in free trade agreements, to reap the profits that would have been brought by gold mining. In pursuit of these so-called lost profits, Pacific Rim is demanding up to hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation at the International Centre for Settlement of International Disputes (ICSID), an unaccountable World Bank tribunal that operates behind closed doors.
The Sierra Club ‘opposes trade and investment agreements that allow foreign corporations to attack environmental and public health protections in secret trade tribunals,’ says Ilana Solomon, trade policy expert at the Sierra Club. ‘This lawsuit by Pacific Rim, which threatens the health and safety of communities in El Salvador, is a case in point for why we oppose these secret tribunals.’ ”

Islamophobia sells
Jeune Afrique questions the motives behind French magazines’ obsession with Islam and immigration:

“Issue 3202 of L’Express, on newsstands Nov. 14, presents an investigation into ‘the real costs of immigration,’ intended to challenge ‘preconceptions’ and publish ‘shocking statistics.’ On the cover: a woman, veiled head-to-toe, enters a family allowance office. Translation: immigrants, that is to say Muslims, depend on state benefits.
Why display this prejudice on the front cover, even if it is to dispute it inside the magazine? No doubt because the image will boost sales. According to a survey published in Le Figaro on Oct. 25, 60% of French people think Islam has ‘too much’ influence and visibility in their country. And 43% of them consider it a ‘menace’ to national identity. Fear sells…” [Translated from the French.]

Latest Developments, August 17

In the latest news and analysis…

Miners shot
Bloomberg reports “the worst death toll in police action since the end of apartheid” after South African police opened fire on striking workers from a platinum mine owned by UK-registered Lonmin, killing 35:

“Violence erupted yesterday after police used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse thousands of workers gathered on a hilltop near the mine. Clashes between rival labor unions at the mine led to a six-day standoff with police in which 10 people had already died, including two officers. Police say they acted in self-defense yesterday after coming under attack from the workers armed with spears, machetes and pistols.”

Setting a precedent
The Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Mark Weisbrot argues Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has “considerable historic significance”:

“Why is this case so significant? It is probably the first time that a citizen fleeing political persecution by the US has been granted political asylum by a democratic government seeking to uphold international human rights conventions. This is a pretty big deal, because for more than 60 years the US has portrayed itself as a proponent of human rights internationally – especially during the cold war. And many people have sought and received asylum in the US.

Assange’s successful pursuit of asylum from the US is another blow to Washington’s international reputation. At the same time, it shows how important it is to have democratic governments that are independent of the US and – unlike Sweden and the UK – will not collaborate in the persecution of a journalist for the sake of expediency. Hopefully other governments will let the UK know that threats to invade another country’s embassy put them outside the bounds of law-abiding nations.”

DNA ruling
The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed disappointment at a US federal appeals court’s ruling that companies can obtain patents on human genes:

“ ‘This ruling prevents doctors and scientists from exchanging their ideas and research freely. Human DNA is a natural entity like air or water. It does not belong to any one company,’ [according to the ACLU’s Chris Hansen]

Myriad’s monopoly on the BRCA genes allows it to set the terms and cost of testing and makes it impossible for women to access alternate tests or get a comprehensive second opinion about their results. It also allows Myriad to prevent researchers from even looking at the genes without first getting permission.”

Deadly crossing
Human Rights Watch has released a new briefing calling on European governments to do more to prevent fatalities, of which there have been “as many as 13,500” since 1998, among migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa:

“The European Union is developing a new European External Border Surveillance System, EUROSUR. It includes rescue at sea as a main objective, but does not include specific guidelines or procedures to ensure this objective is reached.
Preventing deaths at sea needs to be at the heart of a coordinated European-wide approach to boat migration, Human Rights Watch said. During the Arab Spring, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that all overcrowded migrant boats in the Mediterranean should be presumed to be in need of rescue. This idea should inform the approach of the European Union toward the rescue of boat migrants.”

Pivot to Africa
Georgetown University’s Rosa Brooks writes that the US Department of Defense has come to dominate America’s relatively new and growing strategic interest in Africa:

“Whether Africom represents a viable new model for the future of the U.S. military naturally depends on your point of view. To some, the Africom approach is downright dangerous. Military traditionalists are apt to view it with suspicion — as a dangerous slide away from the military’s core competencies and the very apotheosis of ‘mission creep.’ Many civilian observers are equally skeptical, viewing Africom as further evidence of the militarization of U.S. foreign policy — and of the devaluing and evisceration of civilian capacity.”

Non-aligned summit
Inter Press Service reports that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is under pressure not to attend this month’s Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran where the host nation will take over as chair of the 120-country body:

“Chakravarthi Raghavan, a veteran journalist who has covered the United Nations both in New York and Geneva for decades, told IPS whether one likes it or not, NAM is a political gathering, and represents the largest group of nations, and members of the U.N.
‘Whatever the views and policies of the host, it would be a folly for the head of the U.N. Secretariat not to go there to present a U.N. view – and not act as a partisan of U.S.-Israeli interests or Israeli lobbying groups in the U.S.,’ said Raghavan, who has covered NAM summits from the very inception.”

Redefining development
Former South African cabinet minister Jay Naidoo argues the global development industry has sucked the passion out of the “fight for freedom and human dignity”:

“A whole development industry has spawned a class of poverty consultants. Global development assistance has been packaged into projects.

The rush to seek single-issue solutions to complex problems fails to recognize or respond to the overarching structural social and political factors that connect them. Typically, the search is for a new technology or a market-based device that could change lives dramatically.”

Bankers’ bluff
German MP Frank Schäffler and the Friedrich A. von Hayek Society’s Norbert Tofall want to see indebted banks lose their ability to “blackmail their rescuers” into granting them effective exemption from liability:

“Above all, the G-20’s decision to prop up systemically relevant banks must be revisited. And governments must respond to the banks’ threats by declaring their willingness to let insolvent banks be judged accordingly.

Zombie assets would be destroyed. A large part of the money and credit that was created out of nothing from former interbank transactions, now excluded from official guarantees, would return to nothing. Afterwards, the liquidated, formerly over-indebted banks could be sold.

Latest Developments, April 23

In the latest news and analysis…

Big spill
Amnesty International says it has obtained evidence that a 2008 oil spill in Nigeria’s Niger Delta was “far worse” than originally reported by Shell.
“The previously unpublished assessment, carried out by US firm Accufacts Inc. found that between 1,440 and 4,320 barrels of oil were flooding the Bodo area each day following the leak. The Nigerian regulators have confirmed that the spill lasted for 72 days.
Shell’s official investigation report claims only 1,640 barrels of oil were spilt in total. But based on the independent assessment the total amount of oil spilt over the 72 day period is between 103,000 barrels and 311,000 barrels.”

Spying changes
The Washington Post reports on Pentagon plans to “ramp up its spying operations” beyond war zones with the creation of the Defense Clandestine Service.
“The plan, the [senior defense] official said, was developed in response to a classified study completed last year by the director of national intelligence that concluded that the military’s espionage efforts needed to be more focused on major targets beyond the tactical considerations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new service will seek to ‘make sure officers are in the right locations to pursue those requirements,’ said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the ‘realignment’ of the military’s classified human espionage efforts.
The official declined to provide details on where such shifts might occur, but the nation’s most pressing intelligence priorities in recent years have included counter­terrorism, nonproliferation and ascendant powers such as China.”

Mexican migration
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that net migration from Mexico to the US has fallen to “zero,” while deportations are at an all-time high.
“The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.

In the five-year period from 2005 to 2010, about 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the United States and about 1.4 million Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-born children moved from the United States to Mexico.

As apprehensions at the border have declined, deportations of unauthorized Mexican immigrants—some of them picked up at work or after being arrested for other criminal violations—have risen to record levels. In 2010, nearly 400,000 unauthorized immigrants—73% of them Mexicans—were deported by U.S. authorities.”

Endangered people
The Observer reports that the “genocide” of Brazil’s Awá people has its origins in development assistance from Europe and the World Bank.
“Their troubles began in earnest in 1982 with the inauguration of a European Economic Community (EEC) and World Bank-funded programme to extract massive iron ore deposits found in the Carajás mountains. The EEC gave Brazil $600m to build a railway from the mines to the coast, on condition that Europe received a third of the output, a minimum of 13.6m tons a year for 15 years. The railway cut directly through the Awá’s land and with the railway came settlers. A road-building programme quickly followed, opening up the Awá’s jungle home to loggers, who moved in from the east.
It was, according to Survival’s research director, Fiona Watson, a recipe for disaster. A third of the rainforest in the Awá territory in Maranhão state in north-east Brazil has since been destroyed and outsiders have exposed the Awá to diseases against which they have no natural immunity.”

World Bank land grabs
Friends of the Earth has released a new report just ahead of a World Bank conference on land and poverty, in which the NGO documents a series of abuses it traces back to “a land grab initially funded” by the financial institution.
“The World Bank had historically provided millions of dollars in funding and technical support to palm oil expansion in forested islands off the coast of Lake Victoria in Kalangala, Uganda. Nearly 10,000 hectares have already been planted covering almost a quarter of the land area of the islands. While the Bank has since disassociated itself from the project, the land grabs continue.
Palm oil plantations have come at the expense of local food crops and rainforests. Local people have been prevented from accessing water sources and grazing land. Despite promises of employment, locals have lost their means of livelihood and are struggling to make ends meet.”


Red-pen wars
Trinity College’s Vijay Prashad writes about the battle between rich countries and G-77 nations over the text of a UN Conference on Trade and Development draft document.
“At UNCTAD, the JUSSCANNZ Group (abbreviated as JZ) is the most engaged grouping. Switzerland’s ambassador to the UNCTAD seems to have taken on the role of group leader.
The most common comment on the leaked text is the following phrase ‘JZ delete’. The red pen of the JZ delegation flashed across the ‘consensus’ document, mainly fighting back against the G-77’s attempt to bring matters of finance, commodity prices and hunger onto the agenda.
One of the special sentences deleted by the JZ group is this, ‘Securing access to food – one of the most basic human needs – is a priority (JZ delete).’ Another that the European Union deleted after the G-77 + China added it in was that people have the right to ‘medicine at affordable prices (G-77) {EU delete}’. ”

British empire crimes
The Guardian’s George Monbiot takes on Britain’s “national ability to airbrush and disregard” atrocities committed in its former colonies.
“The myths of empire are so well-established that we appear to blot out countervailing stories even as they are told. As evidence from the manufactured Indian famines of the 1870s and from the treatment of other colonies accumulates, British imperialism emerges as no better and in some cases even worse than the imperialism practised by other nations. Yet the myth of the civilising mission remains untroubled by the evidence.”

Extraterritoriality
The American Lawyer’s Michael Goldhaber argues that a case currently before the US Supreme Court has the potential to do more damage to the cause of international human rights than simply establishing that the Alien Tort Statute does not apply to corporations.
“A broad ruling against extraterritoriality is more dangerous to human rights plaintiffs than a broad ruling against corporate liability for two reasons. It could bar alien tort suits against corporate officers and directors, and it could bar more traditional alien tort suits against individuals who commit torture or other war crimes.”