Palestine

 

  • Community giving as a vehicle for democracy: Practical experiences from Palestine

    Open submission by Aisha Mansour, Lina Ismail, Nermin Hwaihi and Rasha Sansur, Dalia Association

     

  • El Reino Unido responde a las preguntas realizadas por los miembros de CIVICUS al Consejo de Seguridad

    En el marco de sus consultas con la sociedad civil durante su presidencia del Consejo de Seguridad del mes de agosto, la Misión Permanente del Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte ante las Naciones Unidas respondió a las preguntas presentadas por los miembros de CIVICUS sobre la situación de seguridad en la República Democrática del Congo, Eritrea, Etiopía, Gaza y Birmania.


    La sociedad civil ocupa un papel importante en los programas del Consejo de Seguridad y CIVICUS desea agradecer al Reino Unido y a todos los miembros del Consejo de Seguridad por su compromiso constante con la participación de la sociedad civil en el trabajo del Consejo.

    El Consejo de Seguridad sigue de cerca la situación en la República Democrática del Congo (RDC).  En la resolución 2409 solicitamos al Secretario General que se nos proporcionaran informes cada treinta días.  El Consejo también aborda con frecuencia la situación de la RDC. El Consejo de Seguridad insiste en la importancia de que se celebren elecciones pacíficas, creíbles, inclusivas y oportunas el 23 de diciembre de 2018, en conformidad con el calendario electoral, que conduzcan a un traspaso pacífico del poder, según las disposiciones de la Constitución congoleña.  El Consejo de Seguridad también destaca la importancia de proteger a los civiles, incluso mediante el mandato de la MONUSCO, para la cual su protección es una prioridad estratégica. Durante la presidencia británica tuvo lugar una sesión informativa del Consejo de Seguridad sobre la RDC centrada en las próximas elecciones. Aquí puede consultarse la declaración del embajador.
     
    El Consejo de Seguridad publicó una comunicado sobre la firma de la Declaración conjunta de paz y amistad entre Eritrea y Etiopía del 9 de julio de 2018

    El OOPS fue creado por mandato de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.  La posibilidad de que se suspendan sus servicios debido al actual déficit financiero del OOPS es motivo de gran preocupación para los miembros del Consejo de Seguridad, como así se expresó durante las consultas del Consejo celebradas el 22 de agosto sobre la situación en Oriente Medio.

    El Reino Unido sigue firmemente comprometido con el OOPS y con los refugiados palestinos de todo Oriente Medio. Ante las crecientes presiones financieras, el Reino Unido ha aportado alrededor de 60 millones de dólares americanos en 2018. Instamos a otros países a que proporcionen financiación adicional y a que efectúen desembolsos periódicos para garantizar que el OOPS siga llevando acabo su labor esencial.

    El Consejo de Seguridad sigue de cerca y con preocupación la situación en Gaza, por ejemplo, a través de las reuniones informativas periódicas como la que la Secretaria General Adjunta, Rosemary DiCarlo, ofreció ante el Consejo el 22 de agosto.
     
    El principal objetivo a largo plazo del Reino Unido es el retorno seguro, voluntario y digno a Rakáin, bajo supervisión internacional, del mayor número posible de refugiados rohinyás que se encuentran actualmente en Bangladés. En la actualidad, consideramos que las condiciones no son las adecuadas para el regreso de los refugiados. Apoyaremos a Birmania para que así lo haga, pero necesita realizar mejoras tangibles sobre el terreno. De manera más inmediata, Birmania debería permitir el acceso sin trabas de la ONU al norte de Rakáin.

    El Reino Unido ha acogido con satisfacción el anuncio de Birmania de crear una comisión de investigación sobre la violencia en Rakáin. Ahora es esencial que el gobierno birmano establezca las condiciones para que dicha investigación sea creíble, transparente e imparcial. Aún esperamos la decisión de la CPI con el fin de saber si tiene jurisdicción sobre las deportaciones de rohinyás a Bangladés (país signatario del Estatuto de Roma).
     
    Este mes, los miembros de CIVICUS preguntaron por las libertades cívicas en Colombia, la retirada de las tropas de la UNAMID de Darfur, la inseguridad alimentaria en el Sahel, la reubicación de la embajada de los Estados Unidos en Jerusalén, el deterioro del espacio cívico en Uganda, el caso de Omar Al Bashir en la Corte Penal Internacional y la amenaza mundial que supone la ciberdelincuencia.

    Estas preguntas y respuestas son el resultado de un llamamiento mensual a los miembros de CIVICUS para que envíen sus preguntas al presidente del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU. Esta es una oportunidad para que los miembros entren en contacto con un importante foro internacional de toma de decisiones. El personal de CIVICUS plantea las preguntas en nombre de los miembros de CIVICUS durante el informe mensual del presidente. ¡Hágase socio de CIVICUS para mantenerse informado y participar en esta acción!

     

  • Gaza: We condemn the killing of Palestinian protesters

    Special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
    Oral Statement

    CIVICUS, the Palestinian NGO Network and the Arab NGO Network for Development condemn the atrocities committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces against peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza. On 14 May alone more than 61 Palestinians including 8 children were killed and nearly 3000 wounded as Israeli forces used live ammunition on protesters who were demonstrating against the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

    Since 30 March 2018, when Palestinians embarked on a campaign of peaceful protests against forced evictions and demanding their right to return, more than 110 Palestinians have been systematically killed including at least 11 children, 2 journalists and several people with disabilities. In addition, over 12000 Palestinians have been wounded.

    The use of unnecessary, indiscriminate and disproportionate force against protesters is a grave violation of international law. Israel’s occupation forces have used snipers, plastic coated steel bullets, explosive bullets and gas grenades fired from drones in a calculated attempt to kill, maim and inflict serious bodily harm on Palestinians.

    Mr. President, the lack of concrete action from the international community and the defence of these atrocious acts by some states emboldens Israel’s occupation forces to maintain a shoot to kill policy, preserve its prolonged occupation and disregard for the rule of law.

    We urge Council members to call on the Israeli government to respect all United Nations resolutions and its obligations under international law, giving an immediate end to occupation and recognizing Palestinians right to self-determination. We call on the Council to urgently establish a Commission of Inquiry to facilitate independent international investigations and ensure accountability for perpetrators of violations of international law in occupied Palestine.

    For updates on the state of civic space, please see the Palestine and Israel and country pages on the CIVICUS Monitor. 

     

  • ISRAEL: There is a lack of political will to end the occupation

     

    Twitter: Amit Gilutz

    After a tough year for dissent in the occupied Palestinian territories, CIVICUS speaks to Amit Gilutz, spokesperson of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Founded in 1989, B’Tselem (which means ‘in the image of’, pointing to the universal moral edict to respect and uphold the human rights of all people) strives to end Israel’s occupation, which it sees as the only way to achieve a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, Palestinian and Israeli alike, who inhabit the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It does so by documenting and publicising acts of injustice, violence and human rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and by challenging the legitimacy of the occupation regime both in Israel and internationally.

    How would you describe the environment for civil society in Israel over the past year? Has it worsened or improved?

    The recent Israeli governments - each more extremely right-wing than its predecessor - have for years engaged in a campaign aimed at silencing criticism of their policies in general and specifically stifling any debate about the occupation. Not only are human rights organisations such as B’Tselem targeted: anyone critical of the government, whether they be journalists, academics, or artists, easily becomes the target for incitement through smear campaigns and legislation designed to narrow the space available for political or even cultural action. At the same time the government is engaged in intensive international lobbying aimed at cutting funding for civil society organisations (CSOs). This process, widely referred to as ‘shrinking democratic space’, is the predictable consequence of the prolonged occupation itself, now in its 51st year. It is paralleled with another push to erase the occupation, namely the formal annexation of the territories, which the current government seems to be keener on than previous ones.

    What effects have the turn towards right-wing populism abroad, and particularly in the USA, Israel’s most powerful ally, had in Israel?

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has been joining forces with other reactionary and populist governments around the world, aiming to create new alliances that would diminish the ability of the international community to act effectively against the occupation. These alliances, together with the green light Israel sees coming from Washington, including through a series of unilateral measures the US administration has taken against Palestinians, has emboldened the pro-settlement camp in Israel, as well as the government to step up its efforts in the dynamic process of gradually taking over more and more Palestinian land and resources, while pushing Palestinians onto enclaves that are detached from one another and from resources needed for a sustainable future.

    A case in point is the plan to forcibly remove the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar, which is a war crime under international law. For decades Israel has created a coercive environment for dozens of Palestinian communities in the West Bank, hoping they will give up and leave, as if by their own volition, while stopping short of directly loading them onto trucks and dumping them elsewhere. These are the kinds of images that would damage the PR efforts of a state that purports to be a democracy, while at the same time controlling millions of subjects with no political rights. In the current political climate, Israel seems to be nearing a point in which this consideration will no longer stop it, although the planned forcible transfer of Khan al-Ahmar’s residents is for now on hold, thanks to international pressure.

    How significant was the Knesset’s decision to pass the contentious nation-state bill into law, declaring Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people”?

    Although significant, none of the laws passed recently should be seen in isolation because it is their totality that matters. Their combined purpose is to mark any opposition to the occupation as illegitimate, as lying beyond the border of acceptable politics, and to further marginalise the Palestinian citizens of Israel. That said, the opposition to the nation-state bill has been quite exceptional, and one can only hope that this opposition can be sustained.

    How do you work in the occupied territories, and what challenges do you face in doing so?

    B’Tselem field researchers are Palestinians who work in the communities in which they live, all across the Occupied Territories. The reality of the occupation is something that they experience on both the personal, as well as the professional, level. Take for example the B’Tselem field researchers based in blockaded Gaza: together with two million Palestinians they live under this reality. On a personal level, it’s part of their lives. On a professional level, the fact that they never get a permit from Israeli authorities to leave the Gaza Strip means that it’s almost impossible for them to meet with colleagues from the B’Tselem team. A permit to exit the strip would also mean some relief from the inhumane conditions that the blockade Israel imposes on Gaza has created. In the occupied West Bank, our field researchers and volunteers have been arrested, strip-searched and harassed, have had their equipment confiscated and otherwise prevented from doing their work.

    On the other side, in Israel proper, life of course is much more ‘normal’ – as exposed as our team is to the ongoing hate speech and government incitement. Specifically, Hagai El-Ad, B’Tselem’s Executive Director, has once again recently been a target of incitement. In October 2018, when he appeared for the second time in front of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Israel’s Envoy to the UN, Danny Dannon, boasted in English about Israeli democracy, while addressing Hagai in Hebrew and accusing him of being a traitor.

    What extra help, including from international civil society, does progressive civil society in Israel need to help create a future in which Israelis and Palestinians can coexist and enjoy equal human rights?

    We need civilians around the world to demand that their representatives do nothing short of decisive action in order to bring an end to the occupation. What we lack is not political solutions but political will, and meanwhile an unbearable toll is taken on Palestinians.

    Civic space in Israel is rated as ‘obstructed’ by theCIVICUS Monitor

    Get in touch with B’Tselem through theirwebsite orFacebook page, or follow@btselem and@amit_gilutz on Twitter

     

  • Le Royaume-Uni répond aux questions posées par les membres de CIVICUS sur le Conseil de sécurité

    Durant les consultations du mois d’août de la présidence du Conseil de sécurité avec la société civile, la Mission permanente du Royaume-Uni auprès de l’Organisation des Nations Unies a répondu aux questions soumises par les membres de CIVICUS concernant les situations sécuritaires en République Démocratique du Congo, Érythrée-Éthiopie, Gaza et Myanmar.


    La société civile joue un rôle important dans l’agenda du Conseil de sécurité et CIVICUS remercie le Royaume-Uni et tous les membres du Conseil de sécurité pour leur engagement à impliquer la société civile dans son fonctionnement.

    Le Conseil de sécurité suit de près la situation en RDC. Dans le cadre de la résolution 2409, nous avons demandé au Secrétaire général de nous faire transmettre des rapports mensuels. Le conseil tient des discussions fréquentes sur la RDC. Le Conseil de sécurité continue de souligner à quel point il est important que les élections du 23 décembre 2018 soient tenues dans le calme, de façon crédible, inclusive et dans les temps et qu’elles respectent le calendrier électoral, menant à un transfert pacifique du pouvoir, en accord avec la constitution congolaise. Le Conseil de sécurité continue aussi d’accentuer l’importance de la protection des civils, y compris à travers le mandat de la MONUSCO qui fait de la protection des civils une priorité stratégique. Durant la présidence du Royaume-Uni, un briefing s’est tenu au Conseil de sécurité sur les élections à venir en RDC. La déclaration de l’ambassadeur se trouve ici.

    Le Conseil de sécurité a publié un communiqué concernant la signature de la déclaration conjointe de paix et d’amitié entre l’Érythrée et l’Éthiopie du 9 Juillet 2018.

    L’UNRWA (l'Office de secours et de travaux des Nations unies pour les réfugiés de Palestine dans le Proche-Orient) a été établi et reçoit son mandat de l‘assemblée générale de l’ONU. La possibilité qu’elle doive suspendre ses services à cause de sa mauvaise situation financière préoccupe énormément les membres du Conseil de sécurité, comme cela a été exprimé durant les consultations du conseil du 22 août sur la situation au Moyen-Orient. Le Royaume-Uni reste fortement engagé dans son soutien à l’UNRWA et aux réfugiés palestiniens à travers le Moyen-Orient. Face à des pressions financières de plus en plus fortes, le Royaume-Uni a versé environ 60 millions de dollars en 2018. Nous continuons d’encourager d’autres à verser des financements additionnels et à effectuer des versements réguliers pour assurer que l’UNRWA puisse continuer son travail essentiel.
     
    Le Conseil de sécurité suit avec beaucoup de préoccupation la situation à Gaza, y compris à travers des briefings réguliers, comme par exemple celui du 22 août par la Secrétaire générale adjointe Rosemary DiCarlo.

    Sur le long-terme, le Royaume-Uni a pour but ultime le retour sans danger, volontaire et avec dignité du million de réfugiés Rohingyas, actuellement au Bangladesh, vers l’Etat Rakhine sous la surveillance internationale. Nous estimons que les conditions actuelles ne sont pas suffisantes pour que les réfugiés y retournent. Nous soutiendrons la Birmanie pour y arriver, mais une amélioration concrète des conditions sur le terrain est nécessaire. Dans l’immédiat, la Birmanie devrait donner à l’ONU un accès sans restriction à l’Etat du Nord-Rakhine. L’ONU s’est réjouie de la déclaration du gouvernement birman annonçant la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête sur les violences commises dans l’Etat Rakhine. Il est à présent essentiel que le gouvernement birman démontre comment l’enquête sera crédible, transparente et impartiale. Nous sommes toujours en attente d’une décision de la CPI concernant sa compétence à juger des déportations des Rohingyas au Bangladesh (qui est un état signataire du statut de Rome).

    D’autres questions soumises par les membres de CIVICUS ce mois concernent les libertés civiques en Colombie, le retrait des troupes de l’UNAMID au Darfur, l’insécurité alimentaire au Sahel, la relocalisation de l’Ambassade des États-Unis d’Amérique à Jérusalem, la détérioration de l’espace civique en Ouganda, le cas du dirigeant Soudanais, Omar Al Bashir auprès de la Cour Pénale Internationale et la menace globale du cyber crime.

    Ces questions-réponses résultent d’un appel mensuel auprès des membres CIVICUS de soumettre leurs questions au président du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies. Il s’agit d’une opportunité pour nos membres d’être reliés à un forum international important où des décisions sont prises. Les employés de CIVICUS posent les questions au nom de nos membres durant le briefing du président tous les mois. Tenez-vous informé en devenant membre de CIVICUS.

     

  • Letter of appeal for the release of Ameer Makhoul

    Letter of appeal for the release of Ameer Makhoul - Click here to download

     

  • My Participation in the Bridge 47 Event and its Impact on our Education Program in Palestine

    By Jamil Derbashi, from Palestinian Centre for Communication and Development Strategies (PCCDS), Palestine, and CIVICUS member

    How the Bridge 47 project relates to our work in Palestine

    Jamil DerbashiMy participation in the Bridge 47 Event in Brussels was one of my most important international meeting involvement in 2018. It focused mainly on the seventh objective of the fourth Sustainable Development Goal as defined by the United Nations for 2020-2030 (SDG4.7). The SDG 4.7 focuses on quality education towards a fair and resilient world (goal 4) and educating people as citizens of the world particularly (objective 7).

    SDG4 is the framework of the Palestinian Centre for Communication and Development Strategies (PCCDS)’s work on education in Palestine. We will further be focusing on having a dialogue with the Palestinian Government and building coalitions to reach the objective of integrating “global citizenship” education within our strategic educational plan.

    Indeed, the Sustainable Development Goals were approved and signed by the Palestinian President who has the highest authority, and he has demanded the various ministries to apply them, with the Ministry of Education being one of these ministries. The Ministry of Education responded gradually to address some objectives of goal 4, but hasn't yet implemented SDG 4.7.

    How my participation at the Bridge 47 will further nurture our work

    My attendance to the Bridge 47 event was side by side with 100 of the largest institutions working on global and/or sustainable education from Europe mainly, and from around the world in general, as well as representatives of international alliances. I was one of the members of these alliances: CIVICUS – the World Alliance for Citizen Participation.

     

  • Palestine: Israel must end impunity and indiscriminate attacks on protestors

    One month after a horrific massacre of protesters in the occupied Palestinian territory, global civil society alliance, CIVICUS is urging accountability for the unacceptably high levels of lethal violence employed by Israeli security forces against demonstrations.  

    Since 30 March 2018, when Palestinians launched a protest campaign against forced evictions, the denial of their right to return to their occupied territories and the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, more than 120 protestors have been killed including children, journalists and health personnel. In addition, more than 12 000 Palestinians have been wounded.  On May 14, the deadliest day of the protests, more than 61 Palestinians including 8 children were shot and killed by Israeli forces and nearly 3 000 were wounded in Gaza. 

    Despite the decision by the UN Human Rights Council on 18 May 2018 to dispatch an independent commission of inquiry to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, Israeli forces are continuing to use unnecessary, indiscriminate and disproportionate force against protesters. This includes exploding bullets, which are designed to inflict maximum damage, in a calculated attempt to kill, maim and inflict serious bodily harm on Palestinian protesters. Palestinian civil society representatives are being prevented from travelling abroad including to UN bodies to expose the atrocities being committed by Israeli forces.

    Said Mandeep Tiwana, CIVICUS’ Chief Programmes Officer: “We all bear responsibility for not doing enough to demand an end to the atrocities committed by Israeli security forces.”

    “Silence from some states and overt support for Israeli forces’ actions by others is emboldening them to act with impunity and cause massive suffering to the Palestinian community,” said Tiwana.

    As Israeli authorities wilfully ignore calls from the international community to exercise restraint against Palestinian protestors, CIVICUS urges civil society around the world to urge their governments to speak out against continuing attacks on Palestinian protesters, demand an end to impunity by Israeli forces and support the commission of inquiry mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate violations in the context of the large scale civilian protests in the occupied Palestinian territory.

    ENDS.

    For more information, contact:

    Grant Clark

     

  • Statement: Solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people

    Several delegates at the CIVICUS World Assembly in Suva, Fiji on 7 December 2017 urged us to speak out against the ill-advised announcement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the current United States administration. As CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance, we stand in solidarity with the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation. We believe that reckless unilateral actions in breach of international law and United Nations resolutions undermine civil society efforts to build peace. while also creating conditions that imperil human security. 

    We urge that the status of Jerusalem, with its historical and cultural significance, is not subject to political whims and ill-considered decisions. We are mindful of the importance of Jerusalem to the Palestinian people and support their legitimate aspirations. We believe that a just solution for the Palestinian people is the key to regional and international stability.

    We want our Palestinian brothers and sisters to know that they are not alone in their struggle for dignity and freedom from occupation. We also urge our colleagues in global civil society to speak out against neo-fascism, authoritarianism and the retreat from internationalism which undermines civil society participation and rights.

     For more information, contact:

    Deborah Walter

    Communications Manager

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  • United Kingdom responds to CIVICUS members’ Security Council questions

    Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN, addresses the Security Council. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

    French | Spanish

    As part of its consultations with civil society during its Presidency of the Security Council for the month of August, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations responded to questions submitted by CIVICUS members on the security situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Gaza and Myanmar.

    Civil society play an important role in the Security Council’s agenda and CIVICUS thanks the United Kingdom and all members of the Security Council for their ongoing commitment to involving civil society in the council’s workings.


    Democratic Republic of Congo

    Seven questions were submitted from civil society in the Democratic Republic of Congo reflecting a high level of concern about the security situation there in the lead up to elections in December. Members asked if the Council is monitoring the current situation as well as how the Council plans to prevent deaths during the upcoming elections.

    The Security Council is monitoring the situation in DRC closely.  In resolution 2409 we asked the Secretary General to provide us with 30 day reports.  The Council also discusses the DRC frequently. The Security Council continues to underline the importance of peaceful, credible, inclusive and timely elections on 23 December 2018, in line with the electoral calendar, leading to a peaceful transfer of power, in accordance with the Congolese Constitution.  The Security Council also continues to stress the importance of protecting civilians, including through the mandate for MONUSCO which includes the protection of civilians as a strategic priority. During the UK Presidency, there was a Security Council briefing on the DRC, focusing on the upcoming elections. The Ambassador’s statement can be found here.

    Eritrea-Ethiopia

    A question on Eritrean-Ethiopian relations noted that the relationship has begun to normalise and improve rapidly. While there is no doubt that international and regional efforts have played a role in this improvement it is remarkable that there has been a push for an improvement of human rights and the democratic situation on the Ethiopian side but that the same has not been extended to Eritrea. Does the Security Council now plan to push to improve the human rights situation in Eritrea?

    The Security Council issued a statement on the Signing of Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia on 9 July 2018.

    Gaza

    Palestinian Consultative Staff for Developing NGOs, from the West Bank asked about why the Council is reducing UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) services, especially to children, women and elderly people. They also asked if the Security Council would consider visiting Gaza.

    UNRWA was established and is mandated by the UN General Assembly.  The possibility of service suspension due to UNRWA’s current financial shortfall is a matter of grave concern to members of the Security Council; as was expressed during the 22 August Council consultations on the situation in the Middle East.

    The UK remains firmly committed to supporting UNRWA and Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. In the face of growing financial pressures, the UK has provided approximately $60 million USD in 2018. We continue to urge others to provide additional funding and regular disbursements to ensure that UNRWA can continue its essential work.

    The Security Council is following closely and with concern the situation in Gaza, including through regular briefings such as that provided to the Council on 22 August by Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo.

    Myanmar

    Maisaa Alamoodi a women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia asked if the Council would consider imposing sanctions on the Government of Myanmar if it continues to abuse the rights of the Rohingya and prevent their safe return home.

    The UK’s overriding long term aim is the safe, voluntary and dignified return to Rakhine, under international monitoring, of as many as possible of the million Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh. We currently do not deem the conditions are right for the refugees to return. We will support Burma to do this, but it needs to make tangible improvements on the ground. Most immediately, Burma should allow the UN unfettered access to northern Rakhine.  

    The UK has welcomed Burma’s announcement of a Commission of Inquiry into the violence in Rakhine. It is now essential that the Burmese government now sets out how the investigation will be credible, transparent and impartial. We are still awaiting the ICC's decision if it has jurisdiction over Rohingya deportations to Bangladesh (a Rome Statute signatory).


    Other questions received from CIVICUS members this month covered civic freedoms in Colombia, the withdrawal of UNAMID troops from Darfur, food insecurity in the Sahel, the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the deterioration of civic space in Uganda, Sudanese leader, Omar Al Bashir’s case in the International Criminal Court and the global threat of cyber crime.

    These question/response are the outcomes of a Monthly Call to CIVICUS members to submit their question to the President of the UN Security Council. This is an opportunity for members to connect with an important international forum where decisions are made. CIVICUS staff pose the questions on CIVICUS members’ behalf during the President’s brief each month. Stay in touch and be part of this action by joining CIVICUS as a member.

    For more information please contact Lyndal Rowlands, 

     

  • Your Questions Answered at UN Security Council

    CIVICUS member questions, addressed to the President of the UN Security Council
    Español | Français

    We were very pleased with the warm response to our first open call for CIVICUS members to submit questions to be posed to the President of the UN Security Council. In total we received questions from 24 members about the council’s work in places including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel, Malawi, Nigeria, Palestine and Syria, as well as the situation for refugees in Europe.

    CIVICUS NY posed questions on behalf of 3 members related to the situation in Burundi and the situation in Gaza. You can watch the video of the briefing here (English). The questions from CIVICUS members and responses from Olof Skoog, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations are included below. We also wish to thank the World Federation of United Nations Association for organising this monthly briefing.

    Question 1 - On behalf of Lebanese youth activist Nouhad Awwad Founder of Nature’s Advocate and an Ambassador at Arab Youth Sustainable Development Network @Awwad_Nouhad
    (Read by Lyndal Rowlands, CIVICUS NY Office)

    How does the UN security council plan to protect the civilians in Palestine and especially Gaza against attacks from the Israeli army? The last month was particularly devastating. Additionally, how does the council plan to support the Human Rights Council investigation into deadly shootings of Gaza protestors by Israeli forces.

    Response:

    On Gaza, well we share the concern on the situation in Gaza of course and I’m sure that you have heard our speaking up  against the violence there and the use of force against innocent civilians. Again we will continue to do that. Again we will also try to work with the special envoy Mr Mladenov who has presented a few thoughts on how we can de-escalate the situation there. We want the Security Council to support there and i think that there are also things that can be done in terms of the humanitarian relief of the situation  in Gaza, pending a peace negotiation that has to include an improvement of the situation for the people in Gaza. We have also committed very strongly for supporting UNRWA in their support to Palestinian refugees not just in Gaza but elsewhere. We are disappointed with countries that are moving away from that commitment so it’s important that others come in and that those who have committed stay committed.

    Question 2 - On behalf of two Burundian human rights defenders
    (Read by Mandeep Tiwana, CIVICUS NY Office)

    Although  Burundi is not on the top of the council’s agenda there is the Security Council resolution 2248 which was adopted in 2015 which requires the government to guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms, however the situation in  Burundi remains grave at the moment and civic space remains completely closed. In fact New laws have been adopted further curtailing civic space, and human rights defenders have been sentenced to up to 32 years in prison. How is the council ensuring that resolution 2248 is upheld? What can the council do now, with the least delay, to ensure that the Burundian government lives up to its commitments.

    Response:

    On Burundi, it is on the Security Council agenda, it’s just that we have not scheduled it this month (current program of work) and that is partly because there is a sequence here that puts it on the agenda in August, so I mean that’s a pretty lame answer to be honest, given the situation as you describe but it’s just that unfortunately the situation in the world is such that we also have to prioritise. I’m not saying that Burundi’s not important I’m just saying that we’re overwhelmed, with situations that are relating to human rights violations and international law, but thank you for reminding us about the human rights situation in Burundi and we’ll see if there is a way that we can raise this somehow.

    We plan to continue our advocacy with  the council both through monthly calls for questions from members to pose at these briefings as well as through other opportunities throughout each month!