Countries urged to commit to a world free of cluster bombs

Countries urged to commit to a world free of cluster bombs at landmark meeting on Convention on Cluster Munitions

(Geneva) June 27, 2011 — At least 60 countries will meet this week at the first four-day “inter-sessional” meeting on the Convention on Cluster Munitions to advance their commitments to a world free of cluster bombs.

It is deemed an inter-sessional meeting because it takes place in between the required annual meetings of States Parties.

“This is the first meeting of its kind. Nearly one year since we celebrated the entry into force of this lifesaving ban, states must now report on progress they have made to implement the ban, and outline the steps they plan to take in the future,” said CMC Director Laura Cheeseman. Read the rest of this entry »

UN: Give aid directly to Haitian institutions to build back better

(New York) June 23, 2011 — A new United Nations report says that the international community can help create jobs and support the Haitian Government in ensuring basic services by investing directly in the country’s people and institutions.

“To revitalize Haitian institutions, we must channel money through them,” states the report prepared by the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Haiti, which has been monitoring the international community’s financial commitments to recovery efforts in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake.

“This is the best way to ensure the strengthening of public systems, improved management of resources, increased accountability between the Government and its citizens, and greater collective impact of our efforts.

“Perhaps most important, it will create jobs and build skills for the Haitian people,” says the report, entitled “Has Aid Changed: Channelling assistance to Haiti before and after the earthquake.”

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Governments urged not to return Haitians

(New York) June 21, 2011 — The United Nations is appealing to governments to suspend all involuntary returns to Haiti, given the precarious conditions that continue to persist in the Caribbean nation 18 months after the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

“Despite the recent elections and ongoing reconstruction efforts, Haiti, weakened by the earthquake, cannot yet ensure adequate protection or care especially for some vulnerable groups in case of return,” Adrian Edwards, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.
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Congress, NGOs: Integrate Development, Environmental Policy

Washington, D.C. (June 15) — U.S. Representatives Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) joined with a former USAID Administrator, a current USAID official and NGO leaders to call for the integration of U.S. international conservation and development policies at an event today on Capitol Hill. The event premiered a new research paper on the subject, titled The Nature of Development.

The new paper, written by InterAction—the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs—concludes that integrating conservation and development policy could create jobs in the United States by increasing the number of exports. It would also improve security by tempering situations in the developing world where food price hikes and other resource shortages are creating full blown conflicts.

“Balancing U.S. global development and environmental policies is a new approach that makes sense. As The Nature of Development illustrates, integration would not place an additional burden on the federal budget, and it would allow us to protect gains in poverty alleviation, food security and other development assistance programs, ensuring that they are sustained over the long-term,” said Samuel A. Worthington, InterAction president and CEO. Read the rest of this entry »