Saturday, August 8, 2009

EUROPE/US/WORLD Notable Rights Events: Challenging the "Conscience of Europe" - America - World


Photo entitled "World Home" courtesy of International Committee of the Red Cross

60 Year Anniversary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)noted August 10th 2009: "WORK of the Council Far from Over" Also see Items on GENEVA at 60 below



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Strasbourg, 07.08.2009

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the first meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), that took place on 10th August 1949, its President, LluĂ­s Maria de Puig, gives a very positive account of its achievements, but recalls that the work of the Council of Europe and its Assembly as the “conscience of Europe” is far from over:

“I am among those who consider the Organisation’s record after sixty years as very positive. At a time of budgetary austerity we can say that the Council of Europe represents ‘good value for money’ for its Member States. It has successfully conducted a highly ambitious political project, bringing together under the same roof, around the same values, all the countries of a continent with a wide range of histories, cultures, languages and traditions. (Yet) ...criticism is part of democracy; it helps us pinpoint our weaknesses and remedy them. It is a case not of trying to replace the democratically elected governments but of ensuring that they respect our values by means of DIALOGUE and CO-OPERATION.We must shield democracy from the danger of the latent – and often actual – temptation of trying to deal with our societal problems by sacrificing certain of our values and restricting the exercise of our rights and freedoms.

The work of the Council of Europe and its Assembly as the ‘conscience of Europe’ is far from over”. Read the above article in full here

The Assembly marks the 60th anniversary of its first meeting with a commemorative webpage on its site here - It contains a comprehensive selection of documents, extracts from the first audio recordings and a selection of images

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The GENEVA CONVENTIONS AT 60 - Learning from the past to better face the future

See items on this commemoration at the International Committee of the Red Cross - Independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and other situations of violence

The ICRC is marking the 60th anniversary of the four Geneva Conventions, signed on 12 August 1949, by calling for improved compliance with the treaties by States and armed groups. The ICRC will also use the occasion to present its views on future developments of international humanitarian law. The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols form the backbone of international humanitarian law, which places limits on how war is waged. All 194 States are party to the Geneva Conventions, making them universal. See one example of recent press release:
ICRC survey: civilians should be left out of armed conflict and more at iccrc dot org and click on language of choice.

NOTE more on the upcoming Commemoration of GENEVA August 12th, the award event for Mary Robinson of the UN, and the Ongoing concerns for Children during War at hrea dot org. here

We celebrate and commend the good that has been done and challenge what is urgently left to do - particularly at this time I challenge my nation America and her allies to keep their word on Geneva.

5 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

There is another notable event - Pakistan's commemoration of the following anniversary:
Jinnah's 11 August Speech 1947. First the end of that speech:

'I have received a message from the United States of America addressed to me: "On the occasion of the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly for Pakistan, I extend to you and to the members of the Assembly, the best wishes of the Government and the people of the United States for the successful conclusion of the great work you are about to undertake."'
*****
Near end of this speech the famous words occur, which have often been quoted by those who favor a liberal social setup in Pakistan: "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State..."

Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan at Karachi
August 11, 1947

Excerpts:
I sincerely hope that with your support and your co-operation we shall make this Constituent Assembly an example to the world...the whole world is wondering at this unprecedented cyclonic revolution which has brought about the plan of creating and establishing two independent sovereign Dominions in this sub-continent. ...there is no parallel in the history of the world...

... the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State...bribery and corruption... is a poison...Black-marketing is... a colossal crime against society...

...Now what shall we do? Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed... no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his color, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make...

...You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State...

...We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State...

...My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and co-operation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest nations of the world...END Excerpt.

For the complete text please go here:

Source: Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Speeches and Statements as Governor General of Pakistan 1947 - 48. Published (1989) by Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Directorate of Films & Publications, Islamabad

Also find this text archived at a site which greatly enlarges my view of Pakistan, the history and the people:

http://therepublicofrumi.com/archives/47jin11.htm

Connie L. Nash said...

Some recommendations to follow -- Just in case I'm unable to post the additional article I've been composing on the Geneva Conventions and Torture in the name of American citizens -- on this highly significant day when Geneva is celebrating 60 years! Let me highly recommend Jane Mayer's book: "The Dark Side" And for those who've read it - please be sure to read the short AFTERWARD to the Anchor Edition in the newer paperback. This celebrates the amazing courage and unprecedented statements and laws Obama signed into action almost immediately after taking office. This also chronicles blatant lies, torture and other low lights from the Bush Administration and then foreshadows some of the equivocations and shady areas the current administration is dealing with (no surprise after last administration) and how diligent we the citizens need to be in holding HOLDER to do his job and to keep doing ours.

Connie L. Nash said...

Testimony puts Rove at center of Justice firings
AP

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 5 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The U.S. attorney in Albuquerque, N.M., didn't see enough evidence when asked to prosecute some voter fraud cases in his state.

In Washington, however, then-White House political adviser Karl Rove was getting a different message and acting on it.

Transcripts of closed-door congressional testimony indicate that Rove played a central role in the ouster of David Iglesias, who was one of nine federal prosecutors fired in a series of politically tinged dismissals in 2006.
..."It's exactly what I feared. Over two years ago, I said that all roads lead to Rove," Iglesias said. "I've said consistently that he was highly involved, and now the evidence is there."...

...this basic truth can no longer be denied: Karl Rove and his cohorts at the Bush White House were the driving force behind several of these firings, which were done for improper reasons," Conyers said.

READ the item in full from Associated Press (writer Deb Riechmann contributed)

Interview transcripts and e-mails: http://tinyurl.com/ohwmak

Connie L. Nash said...

I am having technical difficulties so will be probably be unable to post an item for today as planned. Nevertheless check back here in Comments or add your own.

Connie L. Nash said...

Another Event to Commemorate:

Founder of the Special Olympics, champion of the mentally ill, and sister to former President John F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver has died aged 88 (1921-2009) at a Cape Cod Hospital her family have confirmed.

In a statement, the Kennedy family said:

"She was the light of our lives, a mother, wife, grandmother, sister and aunt who taught us by example and with passion what it means to live a faith-driven life of love and service to others... her work transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe and they in turn are her legacy."