Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

UN Special Rapporteur: Millions of US Citizens Live in Third World Conditions

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More than 40 million US citizens live in poverty and some five million live in Third World conditions because of inhumane government policies, UN investigators revealed in a report. UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston said in a report released on Monday:

For one of the world’s wealthiest countries to have 40 million people living in poverty and over five million living in Third World conditions is cruel and inhuman. The Trump Administration’s tax reform bill is facilitating inequality by attacking the US welfare system. Poverty in the USA appears to be fuelled by contempt along with a “winner takes all” mentality. Individuals in poverty are prone to being jailed. The US legal system is used to raise revenue for states instead of its mission to promote justice. About 11 million people are sent to local jails each year in the USA. The USA now has the highest income inequality in the Western world, the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, and one of the lowest turnout rates in elections amongst developed countries.

The findings are the result of a UN fact-finding team that visited the US states of California, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, and Washington DC from 1-15 December 2017.

5 June 2018

Sputnik International              

https://sputniknews.com/us/201806051065101581-usa-un-report-citizens-poverty/

Sunday, 3 June 2018

UN Ambassador Nabenzya Sez Disengagement of Forces in Southwest Syria to Take Place Shortly

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On Friday, Ambassador to the UN V A Nebenzya noted the existence of an agreement on disengagement of forces in southwestern Syria and stated that’d come into effect shortly in comments on reports concerning an agreement regarding the pullout of Iranian forces from southern Syria. He said:

I heard the news that was in the press and elsewhere about an agreement reached on disengagement in southwestern Syria and I think my understanding is that an agreement was reached, whether it’s been implemented as of now I can’t answer, but I understand that the parties involved in reaching the agreement are satisfied with what they reached. If it hasn’t been done by now, it’ll be done in the near future.

On 31 May, Israeli ambassador in Moscow Gary Koren told us that the Israeli government was satisfied with Russia’s position on the Iranian military presence on the Syrian-Israeli border. He said Israel and Russia held intense discussions regarding Iranian deployments in Syria, which he believes are aimed at Israel. Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said:

Only Syrian troops should remain at the Syrian-Israeli border. The agreements reached in 2017 envisioned a pullout of all the foreign troops from that zone of de-escalation.

In the meantime, earlier this week, Syrian President Assad told RT there had never been any “Iranian troops” in Syria.

2 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/politics/1007683

Friday, 23 February 2018

Russia’s UN Envoy Reminds Nikki Haley Russia has Legally-Elected Government, Not a “Régime”

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Russian Permanent Representative to the UN V A Nebenzya responded to his American colleague, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who branded the state system in Russia “the Putin régime” and criticised Moscow for its policy towards the Ukraine. The delegations of the two countries exchanged remarks at a meeting of the UN Security Council dedicated to the maintenance of international peace by implementing the principles of the UN Charter. In her speech, Haley argued that dictators violate human rights and incite violence, and provoke regional conflicts under the guise of the principle of sovereignty. She cited the behaviour of leaders of Iran, the DPRK, and Syria as an example, and mentioned Moscow’s policy:

In the Ukraine, Russia remains an occupying force in the Crimea and a destabilising force in the Eastern Ukraine. Let me repeat… the sovereign rights of nations are fundamental. However, when we don’t uphold the principle of sovereignty by allowing the Kim, Assad, and Putin régimes to act with impunity, just the opposite is true. When the Security Council provides accountability for nations that violate the UN Charter, we protect sovereignty. Such was the case in 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

Nebenzya responded:

I’d like to remind Ambassador Haley that Russia doesn’t have a régime, but a legally-elected president and appointed government. I’d like to ask the American delegation in the future to adhere to at least basic diplomatic decency. By the way, Syria, too, has a legitimate government, whether someone likes it or not.

Forming a New World Order

According to Nebenzya:

For some states, it’s difficult to accept the obvious thing. The era of the Cold War, as well as the post-bipolar stage, has ended. The world is establishing a new, more just, democratic, polycentric world order. Its essence is in the emergence and strengthening of new centres of economic power and political influence. The topic of this meeting is very relevant for the current state of international relations, as the principles of independence and equality of states, as well as non-interference in their internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes, represent the basis of good-neighbourly relations between countries and mutually beneficial cooperation for the common good. Unfortunately, throughout the UN’s history, the world witnessed numerous examples of blatant disregard for the UN Charter up to the illegal use of force, undisguised interference in the affairs of states, destruction of traditional social principles, forcible change of power, and the imposition of alien cultural and social norms. Look at the bombing of Yugoslavia and Libya carried out in violation of international law and Security Council resolutions, as well as the occupation of Iraq under false pretences.

Anniversary of Agreement to Resolve the Ukrainian Crisis

In addition, Nebenzya recalled:

21 February marks the fourth anniversary of signing the agreement on the political settlement in the Ukraine, which was violated the next day by oppositionists who seized power in Kiev with the silent non-resistance of its guarantors. Open incitement from the outside led to an unconstitutional transformation of power in the Ukraine, a mushrooming of nationalism and neo-Nazism, internal armed conflict, and numerous victims in the southeast. Russia remains committed to an early settlement to the Ukrainian conflict; however, as long as Kiev sabotages the Minsk process and tells tales to the world about what’s happening, there’s little hope for a constructive development of events.

The meeting on Wednesday was held upon the initiative of Kuwait, which took the UN Security Council’s monthly presidency in February.

22 February 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/politics/991188

Monday, 15 January 2018

Another Cultural Myth That Must Go: Menstruating Women Told Not to Cross River

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Beliefs can be useful… if they help. In Ghana, some beliefs are decidedly not helping. In a nod to the persistence of cultural taboos surrounding the natural process of menstruation, many women and girls can’t travel or go to school because a river god decreed… although they haven’t made the decree public… that they may not cross during their normal monthly biological cycle. The River Ofin, a boundary between the Ashanti and Central Regions of Ghana, supposedly has a guardian god who… if you can believe certain regional officials… decreed that women and girls couldn’t cross while menstruating, preventing vital travel and school attendance. Shamima Muslim Alhassan, the UNESCO menstrual hygiene ambassador, noted that the apparently anonymous deity travel directive is a violation of women’s rights and a violation of a child’s right to education:

It seems the gods are really powerful aren’t they? I think that we need to ask for some form of accountability from these gods.

According to the BBC, Kwamena Duncan, the Ghanian Central Regional Minister, indicated that he’d take the matter seriously by speaking to an Ashanti regional minister to find a solution.

Formed in 1946, UNESCO is the UN humanitarian assistance provider for children and mothers in developing countries. It estimates that at least one in ten female students in the region isn’t able to attend school when they menstruate. A recent World Bank report also notes that over 11 million women in Ghana lack appropriate hygiene and sanitation resources. Human rights issues resulting from cultural myths surrounding the biological process of menstruation persist, including in the island nation of Madagascar, where women are taught to avoid bathing during their period, and in rural areas of mountainous Nepal, where menstruating women must sleep in huts away from family.

15 January 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/africa/201801151060751990-myths-surrounding-the-human-body/

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