Monday, June 9, 2008

Sorry people!! So sorry!

I din update my blog for such a long time......lol.........i tell u some reasons why i din update

1) Busy because of exam.......and some other stuff
2) Fucked up internet..........always disconnect and some stupid reason!!
3) Internet on off then cannot on de!!
4)Comp sux
and i am going to update on some post la!! DOnt know yet oso!!
Tomorrow oni update larr!!
And for some fun and the trip to kenyir go to jeslyn's blog k??
The link should be at the sidebar......lol!!
~Brian~

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My experience in Taymun....

The Advanture starts today on friday 25 of April, Today i went back early to prepare for TayMun
. So i went back at 11 o'clock and i got ready by about 12.10. So then nik was going to pick me up at 12.30 so i was like very rush. So i got into my tux and waited for nik to come.... Finally nik came and pick me up at 12.45p.m. I got into the car and we went of for Taylors in Subang(dam far) . After that we arrive at about 1.15p.m and went to cafe positive and we waited there as the conference only starts at 2.30p.m so then we went to taylors at 1.45 to do some preparations for the conference . And we had to carry some tables into the hall and so on. Then we went register our name and then after that we were asked by somebody to be bouncers so that no one goes in! aS THE CONFERENCE is about to start! So SG people arrived about 2.45(late). So the conference started! With opening speeches and some other stuff then i was like so bored then i was sending note form letters to Russia Federation ( Quite hot) And i said i was like dam bored and she was also dam bored as she got many warnings. then after that she said talk again tomoro and the thing is going to end soon.So then the day ended at about 7 and i went home with nik(leo) and dan(ash) so then my dad came and pick me up from nik house.......................



So second day ! sAME THING happened



The day started at about 8 o'clock


And resolution writing started i have been logged on to 4 resolutions (reso) and quite alot of thing to do..... And continue talking to russia
And then we started debating on the reso at about 11 and at 12.30 we went to eat at burger king! As we come back we started debating again all the way to 5 and we went back as usual.
But this time i went to tawakal hospital with nik because his dad had an operation......


SO then third day, Rather sleepy morning
We got there rather early to...
So the conference comments and we had 2 more reso to debate on! But actually we have three and then they cut one out because of plagiarism so we went for lunch at about 12 i went to starbuck and mcd.....
Then planary session comments all the way to 5 and we all voted the the best! Which is conflict diamonds and so we had a closing event at 5 and we had some fun and we all went back!
So much of this events ended in just a second! Goint to have anotha conference by my school! And will post more about ME AND M.U.N



~Brian~

This is some of the reaserch i done for the taymun confrence!

Links between Terrorism and Drug Trafficking: A Case of “Narco-terrorism”?

This article explores the nature of links between terrorism and trafficking in illicit narcotic drugs. It discusses some of the empirical evidence on the simultaneous presence of armed conflict, including the terrorist variety, and the cultivation, processing and trafficking of narcotic drugs. While some authors postulate close links - and even convergence - between terrorist groups and organized crime groups, the author of this article is more skeptical about the nature and extent of this connection. He points out both similarities and differences between these two types of organizations and also explores the possible reasons which might tempt - and restrain - groups of one type to establishing connections with groups of a significantly different mindset. He finds that the “in-house” development of organized crime activities by terrorist organizations is a more imminent problem than a close alliance or convergence of organized crime and terrorist organizations. Consequently, he recommends that the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime be used to prevent terrorist organizations from acquiring the financial resources needed to launch and maintain terrorist campaigns. At the same time he is skeptical about the use of the concept of “narco-terrorism”. Its implication, the fusing of the “war on drugs “and the “war on terror,” might do a disservice to both.

by Alex Schmid

Introduction

On December 9th 1994, the General Assembly of the United Nations issued a Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism wherein it expressed, inter alia, its concern “at the growing and dangerous links between terrorist groups and drug traffickers and their paramilitary gangs, which have resorted to all types of violence, thus endangering the constitutional order of states and violating basic human rights”.

Since then, much stronger and broader statements have been made, especially in Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) wherein the Council “Notes with concern the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms-trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials.…”

Of all the alleged and real links between terrorism and other forms of crime, the one between illicit drug trafficking and terrorist and guerrilla organizations seems to be the strongest. It certainly appears to be the best documented. Yet, while there are hundreds of terrorist organizations and at least as many drug trafficking organizations, the evidence, which is said to exist, is derived from relatively few cases.

For some thirty countries, a link between armed conflicts and illicit drug production and trafficking can be established with reasonable certainty. Yet according to UN estimates, there are more than 100 countries involved in some way in the illicit drug trade, either in terms of cultivation, processing, trafficking, distribution, or the laundering of illicit profits. While in most countries where drugs are produced, trafficked or consumed there is a causal link to crime, including violent crime, these are not necessarily terrorist crimes. There is often only sparse empirical evidence for some of the frequently cited cases of alleged connections between illicit drugs and terrorism. Even where these links have been established with reasonable certainty, estimates about the profits from drug trade going to terrorists vary widely. Lack of conclusive proof is often compensated by deductive reasoning such as this: with the end of the Cold War state-supported terrorism declined and terrorists had to look for alternative sources of financing and found it, inter alia, in the production, taxing and trafficking of illicit drugs like cannabis, heroine and cocaine.

The crucial question is: are these known and probable linkage cases, as it were, the tip of an iceberg, or are they, on the contrary, the exceptions to the rule that terrorist organizations and drug traffickers do in general, not work together?

Illicit drugs are, to be sure, not the only possible source of income for terrorists. The spectrum of terrorist funding is broad, as Table 2 makes clear.

Table 1: Principal Sources of Terrorist Financing

Domestic:

individual and corporate, voluntary contribution or coercive extortion

Diaspora-migrant communities:

voluntary contribution or coercive extortion

Co-ethnic and co-religious support

donations and contributions from people with religious or ethnic affinity

State-sponsorship:

patron states encouraging terrorist group to engage an inimical state

Public and private donors and individual financiers:

support for terrorist-controlled welfare, social and religious organizations

Low level crime and organized crime:

fraud, illegal production and smuggling of drugs, document forgery, smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, money-laundering, racketeering, smuggling of, and trafficking in, human beings

Investments and legitimate business:

money earned (e.g. from publications) is used to acquire enterprises and engage in trade with profits being used to finance terrorism

Non-governmental organizations and community organizations:

terrorist organizations set up front organizations, which receive funds from sister NGOs in other countries or infiltrate established community organizations, which receive grants.

Narco-terrorism

In 1983, the term "narcoterrorism" was introduced by Peruvian President Belaunde Terry. It became very popular in a very short time . Grant Wardlaw, a senior Australian criminologist, wrote a few years later:

"Narcoterrorism has emerged as a potent weapon in the propaganda war waged by governments against terrorists, insurgents, organised crime, drug traffickers, and even other sovereign states (…). Where “narcoterrorism” is used as an analytical concept intended to convey information about the dimensions of an activity and methods of countering it, it must have well defined boundaries and not subsume under the one rubric a variety of activities of different types, involving different sorts of actors and having a range of (sometimes) contradictory law enforcement and national security implications. In fact, these contradictions are violated by most uses of the term “narcoterrorism”.

A look at a dozen existing definitions (see Appendix II) supports the statement above.

Grant Wardlaw even suggested that we should scrap the term “narcoterrorism” in an effort to encourage a more critical and specific study of drug links to terrorist and insurgent groups. This advice is still worth pondering. If one looks at the activities of organized crime groups and terrorist groups in terms of their respective motivations and group goals rather than demonizing them in terms of a drug mafia-cum-terrorist conspiracy, one is in a better position to understand the extent - and the limits - of cooperation between organized crime groups and secular and non-secular terrorist groups.

One author who has utilized such an approach is Chris Dishman. He has argued that transnational organized crime groups (TOCs) and terrorist groups will,in general, not cooperate with each other to advance aims and interests, preferring to utilize their “in-house” capabilities to undertake criminal and political acts. He postulates the adaptation by these groups of each other’s “core competencies” (for example, a transnational organized crime group’s experience in smuggling drugs or a guerrilla group’s expertise in detonating bombs from a distance). He holds that: “The disinterest of TOCs and guerrillas to forge lasting alliances is a pattern supported by the limited number of examples where collaboration between the two groups has actually occurred."

However, sometimes the development of “in-house” capabilities takes more time than is available and in such cases each other’s services are sought. In the case of Colombia, there were reports indicating that cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar hired ELN (National Liberation Army) guerrilleros to plant car bombs in 1993. In another instance, there were reports that the explosion of 1,100 pounds of dynamite in front of the Department of Administrative Security in Bogota was executed by a Spanish terrorist with ties to the Basque ETA.

The cross-over between terrorist and criminal organizations has caused some analysts - and even more politicians - to lump these two types of underworld organizations together. When it comes to the question of whether one should keep terrorism and organized crime conceptually (and operationally) apart or place them together under some label like “narco-terrorism”, a number of considerations arise. A case has been made for both positions. The argument for keeping them apart has been argued forcefully by Alison Jamieson:

“Organised crime and terrorism are correctly viewed as quite distinct phenomena. Essentially, the terrorist is a revolutionary, with clear political objectives involving the overthrow of a government or the status quo, and a set of articulated strategies to achieve them. Organised crime actors are inherently conservative: they tend to resist political upheaval and seek conditions of order and stability, those more conductive to their business activities. Unlike terrorists, who project an ´ideal state´ for which they are prepared to sacrifice their lives, organised crime sees no virtue in sacrifice, has no comparable sense of ´victory´ or ´defeat´, but operates according to a set of short and medium-term goals to be realised with maximum profit and minimum risk.

In general, the organised criminal power system is not “anti-state”, but a parallel organisational model with its own legal and ethical rules, hierarchy of authority and military force. (…) Thus, unlike terrorist actors whose raison d´etre is direct confrontation with the state against which they practice violence, the survival of an organised crime group depends upon operating within the state, on the penetration by criminal actors of the legitimate political, economic and social spheres”.

On the other side, there are those who tend to label all armed groups “terrorist groups” and equate all insurgents with criminals. With regard to the second they are right in the sense that under domestic law, an internal uprising against the state is considered a crime by those holding state power and by the law of the land. Only international law gives some insurgent groups the status of privileged combatants. This finds its expression in the additional protocols to the Geneva Conventions formulated in 1977. These should not, however, apply to terrorists since their deliberate attacks on non-combatants should deprive them of combatant status. Were it war, such acts would be war crimes and the fact that these are committed in peacetime makes them even more objectionable. Terrorists and war criminals have much in common. Yet, what are the commonalities between terrorist and organized crime groups?

CONFLICT DIAMONDS: WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW

• Diamond-fuelled wars have killed over 4 mil lion people, destroyed countries, and displaced

mil lions more.

• Blood diamonds are not just a problem of the past – blood diamonds from West Africa are

currently reaching international markets. The UN recently reported $23 mil lion in blood

diamonds from the Ivory Coast are being smuggled into international diamond markets. Diamonds

have fuelled the conflict in the Congo (DRC), the bloodiest war since WWII; armed violence and

human rights abuses continue over control of diamonds mines in eastern Congo. As the brutal

conflict in Sierra Leone shows, even a small amount of conflict diamonds can wreak enormous

havoc in a country.

• The government-run Kimberley Process, set up to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, has

serious weaknesses that must be addressed to make this system effective. Government controls

are not strong enough or enforced effectively enough to make sure that diamonds mined by rebel

groups don’t get sold to fuel conflict.

• Governments have let the industry off the hook, failing to hold the industry to account over the

trade in blood diamonds.

¬ Diamond companies and traders exploit weak government controls and poor enforcement

along the diamond supply chain and continue to trade in blood diamonds with impunity.

¬ Massive Kimberley Process-related fraud has also been uncovered in Brazil and

Venezuela. The Kimberley Process must require governments to set up strong diamond

controls and carry out more checks on the industry.

• The diamond industry, worth $60 billion in 2005, has failed to match its rhetoric with action. It

agreed to police itself in support of the Kimberley Process, but it has not made a wholesale

change in the way it operates to make sure that diamonds never again fuel conflicts. Some

members of the industry continue to operate with impunity - breaking the law and trading in blood

diamonds - while the rest of the industry turns a blind eye.

• The industry’s voluntary system of warranties is more of a PR exercise than a credible

system. It is not a robust or credible system that will combat conflict diamonds. There is no third

party verification or monitoring to make sure that companies are adhering to the system and

responsibly sourcing diamonds. The warranties system is not backed up with concrete policy

measures.

• Consumers can play an important role in combating conflict diamonds. When in a diamond

store, consumers should ask for a guarantee that the diamond they are buying is conflict-free.

• Global Witness and Amnesty International are supporting the film, Blood Diamond, as an

important way to raise awareness about how diamonds can fuel conflict. We hope that as a result

of the movie, people will ask more questions before buying a diamond, and that the industry will

take action to make sure companies can provide consumers with adequate assurances that the

diamonds they sell are conflict-free.

Background – More detail on Blood Diamonds

• Blood diamonds have been used by rebel groups to fuel brutal wars in Africa. These conflicts

have resulted in over 4 mill ion deaths and the displacement of mill ions of people in Angola,

Sierra Leone, the DRC, Liberia, and now in Ivory Coast. These diamonds have been sold to

international diamond dealers giving rebels profits to buy large quantities of small arms.

• In 1998 Global Witness began a campaign to expose the role of diamonds in funding conflicts.

As the largest grassroots human rights organization in the world, Amnesty International has been

instrumental in educating the public about the problem, and pressing governments and industry

to take action. Over the years, international pressure has increased from a large coalition of

NGOs.

• In 2003, the government-run Kimberley Process scheme was launched to stop the trade in

conflict diamonds. Over seventy governments taking part in the process are required to certify

that diamond shipments through their countries are conflict-free, and they are required to set up

diamond control systems to ensure this is true. Governments must pass national laws

implementing the Kimberley Process and they can only trade with other participants in the

process.

• The diamond industry agreed to police itself to support the Kimberley Process by tracking

diamonds from mines all the way to retail stores – this is generally referred to as the “system of

warranties” or the “system of self regulation.” But it isn’t fully implemented. Every company

dealing in diamonds should have a policy in place to ensure their diamonds are conflict-free.

• Governments must also step in and monitor the diamond industry. They should require all sectors

of the diamond trade to put meaningful systems in place to combat conflict diamonds

(responsible sourcing policies, third party auditing measures). Governments should carry out

periodic spot checks of diamond companies to make sure they have systems in place to prevent

any trade in conflict diamonds. Governments participating in the Kimberley Process have agreed

that it is a priority to set up government checks of rough diamond companies over 2007.

• The World Diamond Council, set up to represent the diamond industry on conflict diamonds, has

launched an aggressive, multi-mill ion dollar PR campaign aimed at convincing the public that

the conflict diamond problem has been solved. This campaign jeopardizes global efforts to stop

diamonds from fuelling conflict and to protect the legitimate diamond trade in Africa. Industry

profit and inaction come at the expense of economic development in Africa, and at the expense

of people’s lives.

• Many diamond-rich countries are extremely poor and people are not benefiting from the wealth

in their soil. Diamond fields are rife with chaos and instability, and rebel groups and terrorists can

still take advantage and access diamonds. The Kimberley Process means little to hundreds of

thousands of men and children digging for diamonds in dangerous, dirty and difficult conditions

in Africa. They often earn less than a dollar a day from artisanal mining, carried out with simple

picks, shovels and sieves.

December

Within the diamond industry, there are a number of crucial social and environmental factors that must be considered. These include conflict diamonds, child labor, the role of state institutions, blood diamond campaigns, and the resulting effects on global demand. These are all important in terms of social welfare, but increasingly they are directly affecting production and consumption patterns as well.

The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as "diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council."2 These diamonds are also knows as “blood diamonds.”Conflict diamonds captured the world's attention during the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. The African diamond industry came under pressure during this period as it became clear that conflict diamonds were playing a role in the brutal wars in Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.

Because diamonds are untraceable, highly valuable and easy to conceal, they are often used by rebel groups in Africa to raise money and to finance arms purchases and other illicit activities. Diamonds are smuggled out of conflict areas and usually taken to neighboring countries to be traded. Once diamonds are brought to market, their origin is difficult to trace; after they are polished, they can no longer be identified.3

“Illegally traded rough diamonds used for tax evasion and money laundering represent as much as 20 percent of annual world diamond production. The scope of this illicit trade has particularly fuelled the spread of diamonds used by rebel armies to pay for weapons."5 Over the past decade, these diamonds have lead to armed conflict, war, and death, primarily in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where an estimated of 3.7 million people have died.6

Today, the wars in Angola and Sierra Leone are over and fighting in the DRC has decreased. However, the problem of conflict diamonds hasn’t disappeared; diamonds mined in areas controlled by rebel groups in the Côte d'Ivoire are currently reaching the international diamond market. Conflict diamonds from Liberia are also being smuggled into neighboring countries and exported ostensibly as part of the legitimate diamond trade.7 Further, diamond smuggling has been linked to many terrorists organizations, which is also a factor in the increased attention given to conflict diamonds by the US and other countries. The Conflict-Free Diamond Council reports that Al-Qaeda has been proven to be involved in the conflict diamond trade in at least 3 countries (see chart below).

And this is some facts about Nigeria, My represented nation:

Introduction

Nigeria is one of the largest (923,768 km2) and geographically, socially and culturally most diversified African countries. It is the most populous country of Africa (the population estimated at 110 million in 1990), and potentially one of the richest. Richly endowed with human and natural resources, benefiting of a large internal market, Nigeria is, however, highly dependant on external economic sector, particularly oil revenues (93 per cent of exports in 1989). The domestic industry is import dependant. More then 60 per cent of population is employed in agriculture, which provides the bulk of Nigeria's food and raw materials supply and non-oil exports.

Rich resources, large internal market and human potentials did not prevent Nigeria from being a low income country with GDP per capita declining from about 1,000 US dollars in 1980 to about 250 dollars in 1990. The world oil crisis, poor agricultural development, and internal civil war are usually cited as the main reasons for such an economic decline.

Nigeria became independent in 1960. The post-independence history of the country has been dominated by ethnic and regional antagonisms, and the interplay between military and civilian rule. The military take-over of government in 1966, the civil war from 1967-1979, and the rule of military government from 1970 to 1979 alternated with the attempts to introduce civilian rule and democracy. The civilian rule was introduced in the period 1979-1983, when it was interrupted by military coup. The preparations to introduce the civilian rule again, promised to be set-up in October 1992, have so far included the formation of political parties to contest elections, and the local and state government elections in 1991.

Nigeria is in the process of socio-economic restructuring and adjustment. The over-all situation of the majority of people remains of utmost concern: the population growth is estimated at 3,2 per cent, the life expectancy stands at 51 years, and the male/female adult literacy is limited to 54/31 per cent. According to the Human Development Index, Nigeria ranks as 129th out of 160 countries. Re-instating civilian rule through participatory politics and general elections, scheduled for August 1992, is regarded to be of paramount importance for the future of the nation.

The federal administrative structure is reflected in establishment and functioning of 21 federal states. Upon the independence (1960) Nigeria had three states; it was split into 12 states in 1967, and in 19 states in 1975. The Nigerian federalism is based on the strong centralized administration in the federal state and army, and the parallel fragmentation of the country in small states which may symbolize the emancipation of Nigerian ethnic groups.

The ethnic diversity of Nigerian society is reflected in the fact that the country has over 250 identified ethnic groups. Three very large ethno-linguistic entities dominate: the Yoruba, the Ibo and the Hausa-Fulani in the North. The Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo, Kanuri, Tiv, Edo, Nupe, Ibibio and Ijaw groups account for almost 80 per cent of the population. The Muslims comprise more then 50 per cent of the population, Christians account for about 35 per cent, while the balance of the population are animists.


General Directions of Cultural Policy

The rights and various attempts of the people of Nigeria to develop their culture have been supported by both the civilian and military governments and have been given consideration in the Nigerian Constitution. However, neither the systematized cultural policy, nor the set of main aims of cultural policies within the states have not been presented. Some of the clearly set directions of cultural policies are:

- analysis and understanding of the Nigerian cultural life, cultural values and cultural needs and expectations of people;

- affirmation of the authentic cultural values and cultural heritage;

- building up of a national cultural identity and parallel affirmation of cultural identities of different ethnic groups;

- development of cultural infrastructure and introduction of new technologies in cultural activities;

- establishment of links between culture and education, as well as between education and different cultural industries, particularly mass media.

National cultural policy is generally regarded as an instrument of promotion of national identity and Nigerian unity,as well as of communication and cooperation among different Nigerian or African cultures, while the federal states' cultural policies stand for the affirmation and development of particular (ethnic) cultures.


Administrative and Institutional Structures

Public or Semi-public Bodies

Ministry of Culture and Social Welfare has two departments responsible for administering and implementing cultural policies. The Federal Department of Culture is responsible for the formulation and execution of the national cultural policies, for the financing and promotion of all national cultural organizations and for international cultural relations. The National Council for Arts and Culture encourages and develops all aspects of Nigerian cultures and interacts with private or public organizations.

Other federal bodies partly involved in cultural life and policies are Ministry of Information and Ministry of Education.

Different cultural sectors are covered by the statutory bodies at the federal level, such as the following: National Commission for Museums and Monuments, National Library of Nigeria, Center for Black and African Arts and Civilization, National Gallery of Modern Art, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Nigerian Television Authority, Film Corporation of Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Culture and Social Welfare is in charge of cooperation and coordination among various bodies at the national, state and local government levels.

The promotion and development of culture is the exclusive responsibility of each Nigerian state, although the Federal Government finances and offers administrative support for culture to each state. State or provincial authorities have all established State Art Councils set up by law. These art councils have the responsibility to develop, administer and promote state cultural policies.

Non-governmental cultural institutions

Cultural organizations at both federal and local levels, artistic associations, specialized institutions, agencies, etc., operate through registration with the authorities. Organized cultural centers usually function within the local communities or at the universities. They are self-organized and sometimes supported for specialized, particular activities only. Some may also operate as small private enterprises, which is the case of small performing groups, small publishers, etc.


Instruments of Cultural Policy

Financing and planning of cultural activities

Functioning of public and semi-public bodies dealing with culture, as well as the main inputs in cultural infrastructure such as building of museums, theaters, establishment of libraries etc. are mainly covered from the federal budget. This also stands for the organization of large events such as national or literary festivals organized by federal or state agencies of culture.

Planning of cultural activities or of the establishment of cultural infrastructure is linked to the budget provisions preparations. It hardly goes beyond an action or project planning. A general development plan of the country may provide for the construction of cultural infrastructure or for major cultural events. The project planning is restricted to either the local level, or, in the case of international cultural cooperation, fully complies with the provisions of the donor organization.

Spending for culture depends on the interests and possibilities of the large public, particularly in the case of pop music, smaller performing groups, artisans, etc.

Legislation

The Nigerian Constitution has the provisions regarding the rights of Nigerian people to develop and promote their cultures, and to apply their cultures as an instrument promoting national identity and unity.

The Legislative List of the Nigerian Constitution defines the mandate of the Federal government, as well as of the state and provincial authorities, in the field of culture. According to the List, each Nigerian State government has the exclusive responsibility for the promotion and development of local culture(s).

Acts of the National Assembly of Nigeria define the role and functioning of the specialized bodies dealing with culture.

Particular laws passed by the state or provincial authorities represent the statutory basis for the establishment of arts councils and the other local bodies.


Sectoral Policies

Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage is widely recognized as the most important input in defining the national and ethnic cultures in Nigeria. Nigeria inherits great cultures of the Benin plateau, but also an impressive body of plastic, music and literary arts. All Nigerian governments, notwithstanding their political backgrounds and developmental orientations, proclaimed their intention to preserve cultural heritage and allow for its full recognition. The National Archives, the National Museum, the National Library and all the existing universities have taken over the task to work on research, restoration and preservation of the cultural heritage. Both federal and a few state agencies working in this field are fully supported from the federal funds.

Although a lot of work has been done in research, systematization and preservation of cultural heritage. There is a need for well established documentation on cultural heritage, as well as a need for a well organized service for its restoration and preservation.

Artistic and literary creation

Artistic and literary creation depends mostly on the individual initiatives or on the local support. The federal Fund for the Assistance to Arts and Drama offers assistance to artists in the provision of fellowships, study grants for travels and purchase of the needed materials. Other types of support available to artists or writers depend on cultural industries that are directly involved or influence artistic and literary creation.

Performing arts are to a certain extent supported through investments in cultural infrastructure, such as building of theaters, stadiums hosting large festivals, etc.

Training of personnel for cultural action

Nigeria is among the countries which have training capacities and could organize either formal (university) or informal training for cultural action. The needs are large, but the curricula and programmes are not very well adapted to meet them.

University courses, apart from those designed to train journalists, are not specialized enough to prepare students for work in either cultural industries or as organizers of cultural activities. Specialists at higher level are usually trained on the job, and often also in the specialized institutions abroad.

Informal training carried on through seminars, workshops etc. is usually organized in accordance with the pressing needs for specialized personnel.


Cultural Industries

Cultural industries develop either as a state monopoly (i.e., television broadcasting), as public, or as private industries. The ownership structure is clearly reflected in the development of cultural industries.

Publishing and Reading

Publishing and reading are estimated to be underdeveloped in Nigeria. The first printing outfit was established in Calabar in 1846. Newspapers, political and religious literature constituted the bulk of publishing activity in Nigeria for nearly a century. It is estimated that Nigeria now has over 500 publishers and there are about 50 registered member-firms in the Nigerian Publishers Association. They are expected to serve about half a million of Nigerian students and general public.

Inconsistent fiscal and education policies in Nigeria and the heavy dependence on government patronage were not in favour of improving rather weak publishing infrastructures. However, the publishing industry relies mostly on the enormous needs for school books and teaching materials. Over 95 per cent of books used in the primary and junior secondary schools are locally printed (and written, edited and illustrated by the Nigerians). Nigerian publishers are now going into the senior secondary school sector and into the technical, professional and tertiary sectors of textbook production. The estimates made in the mid-eighties showed that a minimum of 285 million textbooks per annum at all levels of education would be needed.

The main problems encountered by the publishing industry are the following: printing equipment is rather obsolete and scarce; there are constant shortages of paper; the publishing personnel is not always well trained. The linguistic problem is also important, as most indigenous languages do not have developed orthographies. The inconsistent educational policies, unreliable authorities supposed to support some publishers, piracy and poor promotion and distribution are also mentioned as problems.

Large internal markets and ever greater needs linked to the fast spreading education and reading culture support strongly the development of publishing industry.

Broadcasting

Mass media/radio and television broadcasting industries have been spreading very tastly, motivated by 2 main factors: politics and education. Technical and technological reasons should be added as these enabled a very fast proliferation of radio and TV stations in Nigeria during the last about thirty years.

TV transmission began in Western Nigeria in 1559, and a year later the Eastern Nigeria TV Service and Radio TV Kaduna Service were established. The Federal government established the Nigerian Television Service (NTS) in Lagos in 1962. The development of television broadcasting reflected the regional versus federal politics and aspirations. Each of the 21 Nigerian states opted for its own radio and TV station, as well as for university, colleges, hospitals, etc. 34 TV stations had been established in Nigeria over 25 years, at a rate of 1.5 station a year.Nigeria has the fourth largest TV network in the world, with the constantly growing staff and the figure of imported programmes going constantly down. There is an ever increased choice of TV channels, and the oil revenues helped to increase the number of TV sets. In the mid-seventies about 87 per cent of population had access to TV programmes.

Educational television began broadcasting to schools in 1959 and soon became a very important input in development of TV. The merits of TV for the development of education in Nigeria are also enormous both in the processes of formal and informal education.

There were efforts to coordinate the growth of TV. The military government introduced in 1976 the Nigerian TV authority - NTA that took over the 10 then existing TV stations and created 9 more. However, in 1979 the Constitution gave the Nigerian president the mandate to allow state governments, organizations and individuals to establish and operate TV stations. In 1984 the military government nationalized all TV stations and established a state monopoly over television broadcasting. Proliferation of TV and radio stations proved to be a very powerful means for the emancipation of ethnic cultures and values.

Film

Film production seems to be the least developed among the Nigerian mass communications industries. The local production of films is not encouraged neither financially nor through some cultural policy. The poor distribution networks operated mostly by strangers and dependent on Indian and American production do not support the production of domestic films. The state censorship also prevents production and distribution of domestic films. Some authors claim that the restructuring of the film industry through the nationalization of film production and distribution would be welcome. The need to set up laboratories and train professionals is also emphasized.


Cultural Development

Neither in the sphere of economics, nor in the sphere of politics, Nigerian authorities and Nigerian intellectuals have never denied culture a very important role. The need to integrate cultural activities and values in all spheres of life has been very loudly pronounced in the post-independence development of Nigeria. General ideas on Nigerian development were linked to the authentic cultural values.

However, the clash between modernization (westernization) on one, and the traditional cultural values on the other side could not have been avoided. The traditional cultures have been more or less left to the local initiatives. In the context of rather radical developmental changes, they have generated different types of pop-cultures: pop-music based on the strong authentic traditions; pop-literature (market literature) produced for the barely literate audience and expressing the general popular concerns; performing arts and groups inheriting the status of traditional performers (like for instance popular theater performances by more then 100 Yoruba professional popular ambulant groups), etc. Cultural industries and new technologies have very much influenced such developments by enabling fast communication and creation of internal (music, literature, etc.) markets.

The most important issue of cultural development is certainly the issue of creation of either national Nigerian, or affirmation of ethnic cultural identity. This is also an important political issue, as the Nigerian federalism tried to put together the achievements of the modern democratic West European state and the local cultural traditions. The whole process of restructuration and adjustment is in fact the process of defining the identity of Nigerian peoples and individuals.

Development of education, establishment and growth of cultural institutions and cultural industries all reflect the constant processes of change in Nigerian life and Nigerian cultures. It is impossible to quantify these processes, but it is evident even now that the cultural growth is reflected in the new type of Nigerian culture and identity. It is not based on the merging of different cultural traditions, but it implies a certain selection of values that would define a modern cultural identity of Nigeria.

Recent evolution of cultural life

The local cultural milieu of Nigeria is extremely diversified, and depends not only on the ethnic cultural values and habits, but also on religious habits and obligations. There are also major differences between rural and urban cultural life, and rural and urban habits and norms.

Generally speaking, the cultural life in Nigeria is to the large extent marked by tradition, and traditional forms of cultural events are most popular: festivals, exhibitions, performing, playing music and dancing in the open. This can be illustrated by citing the actions planned to be implemented in cooperation with UNESCO: National Festival of Children's Toys, Rhymes and Games; or, National Exhibition of the Craftmanships of the Nigerian People; or, Developing Educational Activities for Children and the Youth in Nigerian Museums, etc.

On the other side, the cultural life is very much influenced, and defined, by the cultural industries, particularly mass media. Cultural industries bring into the Nigerian cultural life new civilizational and technological standards that are easily accepted by the majority of population.

The recent evolution of cultural life in Nigeria is thus strongly marked by the traditional and religious habits, and by mass media and easily spreading cultural industries.


International Cultural Cooperation

Cultural cooperation of Nigeria is carried on the basis of the signed agreements, either bilateral or multilateral. The coordinating agency for cultural cooperation is the Federal Department of Culture.

Regional African cooperation is mostly based on the common developmental experience and some similar characteristics of African cultures. It is motivated by the need to work on the emancipation of African cultures. The Black African arts and civilizations try to establish mutual links and exchange, which is not very easy as the authentic values and types of communication do not normally bring them closely together. Pan-African festivals offer an occasion for over-all presentation of arts and crafts, and the Nigerian government has hosted such manifestations (e.g. in 1977.).

Cooperation with western countries is mostly based on the presentation of Nigerian arts and crafts, or Nigerian music to the western audiences, and on the transfer of knowledge on cultural institutions and activities from the West. Nigerian cultures are very much in contact with the western cultural production and mass media, while the information on Nigerian cultures are very scarce in the West. The balance can hardly be reached.

The Nigerian government backs the cultural exchange through exchange of artists, exhibitions, information materials, etc. on the reciprocal basis.

Cooperation with UN, and particularly UNESCO, is of special concern. Apart from the support for festivals, exhibitions, etc., UNESCO pays particular attention to relevant cultural issues, such as copyright information management and enforcement, collection, analysis and documentation of the oral traditions, restoration and conservation of national monuments, creative writing, education, training in cultural development, establishment of a specialized National Institute for Cultural Orientation, etc. It is also through this organization that the Nigerian cultural institutions or associations join specialized international associations and organizations.


Addresses

Federal Ministry of Information
(Cultural Division)
National Theatre, Iganmu
P.M.B. 12524
Lagos

Historical Society of Nigeria
Dept. of History
University of Lagos
Lagos

Ministry of Culture and Social Welfare
Kofo Aboyomi St.

Victoria
Island
Lagos

National Commission for Museums and Monuments
National Museum
Onikan Rd

Lagos

National Council for Arts and Culture
Inagmu PMB 12524
Lagos

National Library of Nigeria
4 Wesley St.
PMB 12626

Lagos
Tel. 63-47-04

National Museum
PMB 2127
Kaduna

National Museum
Onikan Rd

Lagos

Nigeria Educational Research Council
POB 8058
Lagos

Nigerian Institute of Architects
POB 178
2 Idowu Taylor St.
Victoria
Island
Lagos
Tel. 617940

Nigerian Institute of International Affairs
Koto Abayomi Rd

Victoria
Island
POB 1727
Lagos
Tel. 615606-10
Telex 22638

Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research
PMB 5, University of Ibadan
Ibadan
Tel. (022) 400500
Telex 31119

Nigerian Library Association
c/o The National Library of Nigeria
PMB 12626
Lagos

Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO
Federal Ministry of Education
14, Broad Street (3rd Floor)
PMB 2823 Lagos
Tel. (01) 636099 631140; 633104
Fax (01) 633104

Oron Museum
Oron
Akwa Ibom State

Owo Museum
Federal Dept of Antiquities
POB 84
Owo
Ondo State

University of Ibadan Library
Ibadan
Tel: 400550 (ext. 1496)
Telex 31233


Sources

Situation and Trends in Cultural Policy in African Member States: Nigeria, World Conference on Cultural Policies Mexico-City, 26 July- 6 August 1982. Paris, Unesco 1982, pp. 71-76.

UNDP Advisory Note on the Fourth Country Programme for Nigeria: 1992-1996, Ikoyi, Lagos, UNDP, 10 January 1992.

Ason, Bur. Cultural Dimension of Development. The Nigeria Experience. The Consultative Meeting of Experts from Development Countries on the Activities and Programme of Cooperation for the World Decade for Cultural Development, Zagreb, 22-24 June 1987

Oluge, Ben. National Language and National Development, Congress of the Language Association of Nigeria-LAN, 1987.

Fasuyi, T. A. Cultural Policy in Nigeria. Paris, UNESCO, 1973.

[vob-\oki}, Nada. Cultural Policy in Nigeria, Zagreb, IRMO, 1989.

Boafo, Kwame S. T. The Cultural Components of Journalism and Communication Educational Programmes: The Case of English-Speaking African Countries, Paris, UNESCO, 1989, CC-90/WS/9.

Davidson, Ogunlade R. English-Speaking West African States: Development Strategies in the Fields of Education, Science, Culture and Communication, Paris, UNESCO, June 1988, BEP/GPI/22.

The Publishing Business in Africa: Situation, Problems and Prospects. A paper.

Umeh, Charles C. The Advent and Growth of Television Broadcasting in Nigeria: Its Political and Educational Overtones. Africa Media Review, vol. 3, 1989, no. 2, pp. 54-66.

Enahoro, Augustine-Ufua. Film Makers and Film Making in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects. Africa Media Review, vol. 3, 1989, no. 3, pp. 98-109.


How This Document Was Prepared

This monograph is based on data received from the Culturelink Cultural Policies Data Bank, and on documents collected by the Documentation Centre for Cultural Development and Cooperation, Culturelink, in Zagreb, Croatia.


Return to the Culturelink Cultural Policy Data Bank Index

Return to the Webster's World of Cultural Policy Home Page

Return to the overall WWCD Home Page


Webster's World of Cultural Democracy
The World Wide Web center of The Institute for Cultural Democracy
icd@wwcd.org(Don Adams, WWCD Project Director)
P.O. Box 30061, Seattle, WA 98103-2061 U.S.A.

© copyright The Institute for Cultural Democracy 1995, 1998

Haha, This i might think we will like:

LGBT rights in Nigeria

Homosexuality in Nigeria is illegal according to Chapter 21, Articles 214 and 217 of the Nigerian penal code and can be punished by imprisonment of up to 14 years.[1] The north of Nigeria is Islamic and extremely conservative. According to the Shari'a law, which applies here, anal intercourse (Liwat) is punished with 100 lashes (for unmarried men) and one years imprisonment and death by stoning for married men.[2] As of March 2006, press reports say that more than a dozen people have been sentenced to death by stoning since 2000, but the sentences had not been carried out.[2]

Recognition of same-sex couples

On January 18, 2007 the Federal Executive Council approved a law prohibiting same sex marriages and sent it to the National assembly for urgent action. According to the Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, the law was pushed by President Olusegun Obasanjo following demonstrations for same sex marriage during the international conference on HIV/AIDS (ICASA) in 2005.[3]

The proposed bill calls for five years imprisonment for anyone who undergoes, "performs, witnesses, aids, or abets" a same-sex marriage. It would also prohibit any display of a "same-sex amorous relationship" and adoption of children by gays or lesbians.[4] The bill is expected to receive little or no opposition in Parliament. The same-sex marriage ban would make Nigeria the second country in Africa to criminalize such unions. In 2005, the Ugandan constitution was amended to ban same-sex marriage.[2]

The same bill would also call for five years imprisonment for involvement in public advocacy or associations supporting the rights of lesbian and gay people[2]. Included in the bill is a proposal to ban any form of relationship with a gay person. The intent of the bill is to ban anything remotely associated with being 'gay' or just gay in the country.

In February 2006, the United States State Department condemned the proposal.[2] In March 2006, 16 international human rights groups signed a letter condemning the bill, calling it a violation of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly guaranteed by international law as well as by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and a barrier to the struggle against the spread of AIDS.[2] Some sources claim that Nigeria has the world's third-highest population of persons with AIDS: 3.6 million Nigerians are infected with HIV.[5]

[edit] LGBT life in Nigeria

LGBT Stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transextual !!! Lol



And this is the Combating The Defamation of Religion topic: Actually this is from a actual united nation confrence:


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixtieth General Assembly

Third Committee

45th Meeting (AM)

HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKMENISTAN , DEFAMATION OF RELIGION

ADDRESSED IN TEXTS APPROVED BY THIRD COMMITTEE

Also Recommends Drafts on Right to Food, Unilateral Coercive Measures,

Respect for National Sovereignty in Electoral Processes among Other Issues

Gravely concerned by “continuing and serious” rights violations occurring in Turkmenistan, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) today approved, by a vote of 70 in favour to 38 against, with 58 abstentions, a measure which would have the General Assembly urge the Turkmen Government to respect all human rights -- notably the right of everyone to freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief -- and to cease harassment, detention and persecution of members of religious minorities. (See Annex VII.)

That draft resolution was passed after the Committee narrowly voted down a “no action motion” -- 64 delegations in favour to 70 against, with 26 abstentions -- following Turkmenistan’s proposal from the floor that the Committee adjourn its debate on the matter. (See Annex VI.)

That view was shared by many delegations who expressed opposition to the Turkmenistan measure, as well as to the Committee’s ongoing consideration of drafts which, they believed, were targeted against developing countries, but which ignored human rights abuses in the industrialized world. Those speakers called for ending the practice of “naming and shaming” poor countries in favour of a less divisive, more collaborative approach in which concerned parties worked together to ensure that all countries lived up to their international obligations.

Among the eight other drafts approved today was a text on combating defamation of religions -- adopted by a vote of 88 in favour to 52 against, with 23 abstentions -- which would have the Assembly express deep concern at the persistent stereotyping of religion in some regions of the world, and that Islam was frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism. (See Annex I.)

That draft would also have the Assembly stress the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions, Islam and Muslims in particular, especially in human rights forums. It would have the Assembly urge States to provide, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions. Before action was taken on that text, several delegations expressed concern that its language was focused mainly on one religion and region, rather than religious persecution worldwide.

The Committee approved a text on respect for the principles of national sovereignty and diversity of democratic systems in electoral processes as an important element for the promotion and protection of human rights, by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 4 against (Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 61 abstentions. (See Annex IV.) A text on promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all was adopted by a recorded vote of 113 in favour to 51 against, with 8 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Equatorial Guinea, India, Mexico, Samoa, Singapore). (See Annex III).

Draft resolutions approved by consensus concerned the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, the rights of peoples to self-determination, and on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights. The Committee postponed action on a draft resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children.

The Third Committee will meet again at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, 22 November, to continue taking action on outstanding draft resolutions.

Background

Under its agenda item on the promotion and protection of the rights of children, the Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children (document A/C.3/60/L.19). The text would have the General Assembly stress the urgent need for Palestinian children to live a normal life free from foreign occupation, destruction and fear in their own State. The Assembly would also demand that Israel respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to ensure the well-being and protection of Palestinian children and their families.

Under its agenda item on indigenous issues, the Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution on the programme of action for the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (document A/C.3/60/L.23). That text would have the General Assembly adopt the draft programme of action, and urge all actors involved in the process to cooperate to achieve the Second Decade’s goals. The Assembly would also appeal to the international community to provide financial support to the Decade’s Voluntary Fund and adopt for the Decade the theme “Agenda for Life”. Further, it would request that the coordinator consult with Member States, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, indigenous peoples and other groups on whether to conduct mid-term and end-of-term reviews of the Decade.

Under its agenda item on rights of peoples to self-determination, the Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/60/L.59), which would have the General Assembly express its deep concern at continuing acts or threats of foreign military intervention and occupation that are threatening to suppress, or have already suppressed, the right to self-determination of peoples and nations. Further, it would have the Assembly express grave concern that, as a consequence of such actions, millions of people have been and are being uprooted from their homes as refugees and displaced persons. It would emphasize the urgent need for concerted international action to alleviate their condition.

Under its agenda item on human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution on combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/60/L.29). The draft would have the General Assembly express deep concern at negative stereotyping of religions and related manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in some regions of the world; strongly deplore physical attacks and assaults on businesses, cultural centres and places of worship, as well as targeting of religious symbols; and express deep concern over the religious defamation campaigns, ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 events, and that Islam was frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism. The Assembly would also deplore the use of print, audiovisual and electronic media, including the Internet, or other means to incite violence, xenophobia or related intolerance or discrimination towards Islam or any other religion.

Further to the text, the Assembly would stress the need to effectively combat religious defamation, particularly of Islam and Muslims, in human rights forums. It would urge States to take resolute action to prohibit dissemination of racist and xenophobic ideas through political institutions and organizations and urge them to provide, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from religious defamation. It would further call for steps to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and their value systems and to complement legal systems with intellectual and moral strategies to combat religious hatred and intolerance.

The Assembly would also urge States to ensure that all public officials, including law enforcement, the military, civil servants and educators, respect different religions and beliefs, and do not discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief; underscore the need to combat religious defamation through education and awareness-raising at the local, national, regional and international level; and urge States to ensure equal access to education for all and to refrain from racial segregation in schools.

The draft on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/60/L.34) would have the Assembly urge all States to refrain from adopting or implementing unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter. It gives particular attention to those which created obstacles to trade relations among States, thus impeding achievement of rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.

The draft on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (document A/C.3/60/L.35) would have the Assembly urge all international actors to build an international order based on inclusion, justice, equality and equity, human dignity, mutual understanding and promotion of and respect for cultural diversity and universal human rights, and to reject all doctrines of exclusion based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The Assembly would also call upon Member States, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations to continue constructive dialogue and consultations to enhance understanding and the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The draft on promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all (document A/C.3/60/L.49) would have the Assembly urge all States to apply the purposes and principles of the Charter in their relations with other States, regardless of their political, economic or social system and irrespective of their size, geographical location or level of economic development. Further, it would call upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out consultations with Member States and the specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations, on how the Commission on Human Rights could work for the promotion of an international environment conducive to the full realization of the right of peoples to peace, and encourage non-governmental organizations to contribute actively to that endeavour.

The draft on respect for the principles of national sovereignty and diversity of democratic systems in electoral processes as an important element for the promotion and protection of human rights (document A/C.3/60/L.50), would have the General Assembly call upon all States to refrain from financing political parties or other groups in any other State in a way that would be contrary to the United Nations Charter or would undermine the legitimacy of States’ electoral processes. The Assembly would also condemn acts of armed aggression or use of force against peoples, their elected Governments or legitimate leaders.

The draft on the right to food (document A/C.3/60/L.52/Rev.1) would have the Assembly express its deep concern at the number and scale of natural disasters, diseases and pests and their increasing impact in recent years, which have resulted in a massive loss of life and livelihood and threatened agricultural production and food security, particularly in developing countries. It would stress the importance of reversing the continuing decline of official development assistance devoted to agriculture. It would further have the Assembly consider it intolerable that there are about 852 million undernourished people in the world and that, somewhere in the world, a child under the age of 5 dies every five seconds from hunger or hunger-related diseases, when the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the planet could provide enough food to feed twice the world’s present population.

It would also express its concern that women are disproportionately affected by hunger, food insecurity and poverty. It would have the Assembly request that all States and private actors, as well as international organizations, take fully into account the need to promote the effective realization of the right to food for all, and urge states to give adequate priority in their development strategies and expenditures to the realization of the right to food. It would call upon Member States, the United Nations system and other relevant stakeholders to support national efforts aimed at responding rapidly to the food crises currently occurring across Africa.

Under the agenda item on human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives, the Committee was expected to take action on the draft on tbe situation of human rights in Turkmenistan (document A/C.3/60/L.46). The text would have the Assembly express its grave concern at continuing and serious human rights violations, including the repression of political opposition, arbitrary detentions, imprisonment and surveillance. It would also have the Assembly express its grave concern at poor prison conditions and credible reports of torture and mistreatment of detainees, as well as the Government’s continued denial of unaccompanied access to prisoners to the International Committee of the Red Cross. It would further have the Assembly express its grave concern at the Government’s complete control of the media and continued restrictions on the exercise of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.

It would have the Assembly express its grave concern at continued discrimination against ethnic minorities in the fields of education, employment and media access, as well as forced displacement of its citizens, including a disproportionate number of ethnic minorities. It would also have the Assembly express its grave concern at continued restrictions on the right of peaceful assembly and the continuing failure of the Government to respond to criticisms regarding the investigation, trial and detention procedures following the reported assassination attempt against the country’s president in 2002. It would have the Assembly express grave concern at arbitrary or unlawful interference with individual privacy and violations of the freedom to leave one’s own country, as well as reported instances of hate speech against national and ethnic minorities and Government policies that significantly restrict equal access to quality health care and education.

The draft would have the Assembly urge the Government of Turkmenistan to ensure full respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms and work closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and cooperate with all the mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights, particularly requests made by a number of special rapporteurs to visit the country. It would urge the Government to implement fully the recommendations of the rapporteur of the Moscow Mechanism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and work constructively with the Organization’s institutions. It would urge the Government to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross and other interested representatives of the international community full access to places of detention, and give those in detention full access to lawyers and relatives.

It would urge the Government to respect everyone’s right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief and cease the harassment, detention and persecution of religious minorities. It would urge the Government to bring laws and practices governing registration of public associations in line with standards of the OSCE, and enable non-governmental organizations and other civil society actors to carry out their activities without hindrance. It would also urge the Government to submit reports to United Nations treaty bodies to which it has assumed a reporting obligation and give their recommendations due regard.

Action on Drafts

The representative of Palestine, the main sponsor of the draft on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children (document A/C.3/60/L.19) said her delegation had decided, after a series of consultations, to withdraw the draft resolution. Successful negotiations had led to the incorporation of language in a European Union draft resolution that would be adopted in the Assembly under the agenda item, assistance to the Palestinian people. She reminded the Committee that the draft that had been put before it was intended to address the plight of Palestinian children under occupation. Their rights had been fiercely violated in every manner on a daily basis. With the outbreak of the second uprising, the occupier responded with brute force that had been unprecedented. Palestinian children bore the brunt of that force. The draft resolution would have sent a strong message that the world was not silent and recognized their agony. He hoped the situation on the ground truly changed.

The representative of Australia said she supported the goals of action for the next decade, but there were elements with which it did not agree. Some included factual errors. Australia was a strong supporter of cultural diversity, but it was concerned that the draft might allow States to implement measures that conflicted with treaty obligations, particularly on trade and intellectual property. He was also concerned about the frequent references to the as yet undefined phrase “free, prior and informed consent”. Notwithstanding, Australia would favour adoption by consensus, which would reflect a commitment to advancing the cause of indigenous issues.

The representative of Uruguay, speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERSOCUR), expressed her support for the draft. She said the Governments for whom she spoke had made firm progress in that area, and believed the adoption of the program of action would assist the full development of those peoples. The relevant actors must cooperate in the process. She hoped everyone could move forward in promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, and called on all delegations to adopt the draft by consensus.

The representative of United Kingdom said he shared the concern that many indigenous peoples did not enjoy human rights. Their situation deserved continued international attention, but his delegation had long taken the view that human rights were universal. There was no such thing as human rights for only one group of people, and United Kingdom did not accept collective rights in international law. Governments in many States had granted many rights at the national level, which was welcome. Those rights were distinct from human rights, which applied to everyone without distinction. His delegation would like to lend full support to the resolution, but since paragraphs 2 and 3 sought to link collective rights to human rights law, he would be forced to vote against it. In the absence of a vote, he would join in the consensus.

The Committee then adopted the measure without a vote.

The Committee then took up the draft on combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/60/L.29).

As the main sponsor, Yemen’s representative said the resolution referred not just to religion, but to racism and xenophobia of all types. It called for efforts to be taken to increase tolerance. It had been adopted by the Human Rights Commission in Geneva and contained no amendments. It should be approved by consensus.

Explanation of position before action

Egypt’s representative clarified that the resolution was not aimed against anyone but was merely a statement on the importance of respect for all religions and views.

The representative of United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Union considered tolerance and freedom of belief to be of the highest priority. Religious intolerance of any kind was of concern, as had been stated at the Human Rights Commission. There were difficulties with the draft, however. Discrimination must be addressed in all its aspects, so that human rights were protected at all levels. Since the thrust of this resolution did not differ from previous versions, a vote should be taken and the Union would vote against it.

Before the vote, the representative of India said his delegation condemned any attempts to associate Islam, which was a peaceful religion like any other, with terrorism and violence. India also stood against negative stereotyping of any religion. But it was nevertheless concerned that the text under consideration spoke about only one religion, when in fact, all religions faced similar problems. India would abstain from the vote.

The representative of the United States said her country had been founded on freedom of religion and believed firmly in, not only the protection of religious freedoms, but also in the promoting the rights of others to choose their religions. Indeed, people everywhere must be free to worship the religion of their choice without fear of persecution.

The United States deplored the denigration of any religion, and believed that the text under consideration was incomplete because it did not address all religions and faiths. The text should have included all religions, as well as mention of State sponsored media that promoted hatred and negative stereotyping of other religions.

The draft was adopted by a vote of 88 in favour to 52 against, with 33 abstentions. (See Annex I.)

After the vote, the representative of Canada said his delegation was troubled by the fact that the resolution continued to stress the protection of one religion above all others. The text also did not adequately address the link between racism and religious persecution. Canada had voted against the draft.

Chile’s representative said her delegation believed that the fight against defamation of religion was important and had voted in favour of the text. But, in the future, Chile hoped that similar texts would address other religions.

The representative of Guatemala said her delegation condemned all defamation of religion and defended tolerance and freedom of worship. But, at the same time, the text just adopted lacked balance and excluded the fact that followers of other religions and beliefs in other parts of the world were victims of human rights violations merely because of their expression of their faith. Guatemala had voted against the resolution and hoped that future texts, if more inclusive, could be adopted by consensus.

Singapore’s representative said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft because it had become increasingly concerned by the irresponsible attempts to stereotype certain religions in certain quarters. Singapore had been struck by how little people today knew about one another, even those who shared regions and borders. It had also become concerned by the continuous attempts to sensationalize and stereotype certain religions. By voting in favour of the draft, Singapore considered that the subject matter covered all religions.

In a general statement, the representative of Yemen, the draft’s main sponsor, said that the text had distributed the draft to all countries and had received no request for amendments during the negotiation phase.

Following that, the representative of Pakistan introduced the draft resolution on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/60/L.59), with a few minor technical corrections. He said the right to self-determination was one of the cornerstones of the Charter and had been upheld by major resolutions and United Nations-backed conferences. The text under consideration was a strong affirmation for that right, reflective of previous drafts adopted by the Committee on the matter.

The text was adopted without a vote.

After the adoption, the representative of the United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that his delegation had joined consensus because it believed that peoples right to self-determination was a key principle of international law and was entrenched in all the international human rights covenants.

Liechtenstein ’s representative said his delegation had been a long-standing supporter of the right to self-determination and had consistently been advocating a staged approach, allowing discussion of different forms of self-governance. The discussions leading up to today’s action did not leave any room for a more creative consideration of the matter. The action taken today had been another failed opportunity to address the issue in a more constructive way. Liechtenstein deplored such stagnation and hoped that, in the future, the Committee could move away from this “stale” perception of self-determination.

The representative of Argentina said the text should be interpreted and applied in accordance with previous Assembly resolutions dealing with the dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falkland Islands, with a view to finding a peaceful settlement in line with the wishes of the people of the islands.

Venezuela ’s representative said her delegation dissociated itself form language in the text that made specific reference to the Outcome Document of the 2005 Wold Summit.

Algeria ’s representative said the right to self-determination was recognized as one of the founding principles of international law -- a prerequisite to the enjoyment of all other human rights. The recognition of the exercise of that right, leading to decolonization, had freed countless peoples, including Algeria, from their colonial yokes.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of the United Kingdom said his delegation’s position on the Falkland Islands was well known. The United Kingdom had no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falklands and there could be no discussion of the matter, unless and until it was initiated by the people of the islands themselves.

The representative of Malaysia, the main sponsor of the draft on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/60/L.34), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and China, said he was concerned about unilateral actions which created obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights, to trade, and to the well-being of populations, especially women, children, and the elderly. The draft made a strong call against States on imposing coercive measure on other States. He said he hoped the draft would be adopted by overwhelming support.

The Committee then adopted the measure by a vote of 121 in favour to 52 against. (See Annex II.)

The representative of Malaysia, the main sponsor of the draft on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (document A/C.3/60/L.35), said the draft reaffirmed the importance of international cooperation among Member States, which was essential for achieving the purposes of the United Nations. States had a collective responsibility to uphold dignity and equity. He thanked the other delegations for their constructive spirit in negotiations, and said he hoped the draft would be adopted by consensus.

The Committee then adopted the draft without a vote.

The representative of Cuba, the main sponsor of the draft on promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all (document A/C.3/60/L.49) read out amendments to the draft. He said that it brought together different elements that could lead to the promotion of peace. Some in the room might question them, even though they had been confirmed by the United Nations itself. He asked other Member States for their support to affirm the commitment of everyone to peace. Without peace there could be no human rights or fundamental freedoms.

The representative of Cuba said he wanted to ask for clarification from the delegation which asked for the vote, and renewed his call for all Member States to give their support.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the draft presumed that peace was a prerequisite for the realization of human rights. It dealt only with relations between States, not between States and their citizens, which was the Committee’s core mandate. While he agreed with the underlying mandate, other issues were better suited to other fora that were more competent to deal with them. His delegation would vote against the draft.

The Committee then adopted the text by a vote of 113 in favour to 51 against, with 8 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile Equatorial Guinea, India, Mexico, Samoa, Singapore). (See Annex III.)

Following that action, the representative of Cuba, the main sponsor of the draft on respect for the principles of national sovereignty and diversity of democratic systems in electoral process as an important element for the promotion and protection of human rights (document A/C.3/60/L.50), said that the text recognized the right of peoples to determine the institutions of electoral process, thus highlighting that there was no single model for democracy.

Before action was taken, Cuba asked all delegations to support the text and which delegation had requested a recorded vote. He was informed that the United States had requested the vote.

The text was approved by a vote of 106 in favour to 4 against ( Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 61 abstentions. (See Annex IV.)

After the vote, the representative of Venezuela said that her delegation had co-sponsored the draft, particularly because of the paragraphs dealing with the need to prevent attempts to undermine legitimately elected governments.

The Secretary read out a statement regarding financial provisions relating to the draft resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/60/L.52/Rev.1).

The delegate of the United States said she had requested the vote.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of United States said her country had proved its profound commitment to food aid. More than 60 per cent of food aid came from the United States, as a gift. Although she agreed with some of the draft, she could not support it as written. Attainment of the “right to adequate food” or the “right to be free from hunger” was a goal to be achieved progressively, without giving rise to international obligations or diminishing a Government’s commitment to its own citizens. The current resolution contained numerous inaccuracies, as did previous ones. It commended the work of the special rapporteur, with which her delegation disagreed in many respects. He used his position as a novel forum for legal assertions regarding the right to food, which were not found in international law. She said she hoped those concerns could be clarified in future years.

The Committee then adopted the draft by a vote of 171 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Israel). (See Annex V.)

The Committee next took up the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan (document A/C.3/60/L.46), introduced by the representative of the United States, who introduced several technical revisions to the text following consultations with the delegation of Turkmenistan. He said that this was the third consecutive year for this text and noted that the Government had taken some steps to address some of the issues that had been highlighted in those texts.

Nevertheless, much remained to be dome. When Turkmenistan had become a Member of the United Nations, it had taken the obligation to promote religious and political freedoms. The fact that individuals in that country must still answer to their Government about their religious beliefs was proof that such restrictions existed.

The representative of Malaysia said human rights issues must be addressed impartially on a global level, with respect to the principles of State sovereignty and non-intervention. The Non-Aligned Movement would also call on Member States to cease the practice of “naming and shaming”.

The representative of Uzbekistan representative also reiterated his delegation’s opposition to the practice of country-specific resolutions.

The representative of Myanmar said his delegation was against resolutions that targeted developing countries under the pretext of human rights. Indeed, all attempts to use human rights as a political tool must be rejected.

The representative of Cuba, said that once again, the Committee was involved in an exercise of cynicism, initiated by those who used chemical weapons against civilians and ruthlessly tortured and abused detainees in secret prisons around the world. At the same time, those that had initiated the text would hold themselves out as arbiters of human rights. Cuba was opposed the text. He called for the Committee to vote against the draft.

Turkmenistan ’s representative said her Government had informed the United Nations and relevant regional bodies about its actions to address the situation of human rights in that country. The Government had also continued to express its willingness to work with others on the matter and was indeed currently working at several levels with the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It had also taken major steps to guarantee religious and political freedoms, and had given citizenship and residency to some 16,000 refugees from different countries and of different beliefs. That had been a major undertaking, which had not been reflected in the text.

Speaking in favour of the motion to adjourn, the representative of China said that it has been his delegation’s view that differences among and between countries on specific human rights issues should be resolved through dialogue. Bringing such matters before the Committee only served to further polarize States.

The representative of Venezuela also spoke in favour of no action on the text, reaffirming her delegation’s opposition to texts which promoted division and selectivity.

Speaking in opposition, the representative of the United States urged all member States to allow consideration of the text on its merits and vote against the no action motion. Was it not a hallmark of democratic institutions to debate all issues of concern openly? Indeed, one of the basic principles of the United Nations was to serve as a forum to discuss human rights abuses and violations, particularly when such matters were considered beyond the scope of bilateral negotiations. Further, many of the delegations that had spoken out against the text addressing the human rights situation in Turkmenistan had not hesitated to “name and shame” other States.

The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that it was a matter of principle for his delegation to vote against any motion for no action on a matter under debate by the Committee. Where there had been positive developments in Turkmenistan, they had been mentioned in the text. Nevertheless, much remained to be done in order for Turkmenistan to fulfil its international obligations. The European Union therefore believed it was unthinkable for the Committee to ignore or gloss over human rights violations.

The motion for no action was rejected by a vote of 64 in favour to 70 against, with 26 abstentions. (See Annex VI.)

Before a vote was taken on the text, the representative of Belarus said his delegation had consistently spoken against country-specific resolutions, believing that such texts were counter-productive. It had also spoken against politicizing the Third Committee’s work. Belarus would vote against the text.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that his delegation strongly opposed such country-specific texts. At a time when reform of the Organization’s human rights machinery was under discussion, such politicization and selectivity was deeply troubling. His delegation would vote against the text.

The representative of the Sudan said his delegation rejected the targeting of the human rights situations of developing countries, while ignoring such situations in developed countries. He hoped that the new Human Rights Council would avoid such politicization.

The representative of Uzbekistan categorically rejected texts like the one under consideration and said the Committee should be ashamed for rejecting the no action motion. He was disturbed that the countries sponsoring such texts seemed to have no interest at all in the willingness of the States whose human rights records were in question, to work to address the matter. For that and other reasons, Uzbekistan would vote against the text.

The text was adopted by a vote of 70 in favour to 38 against, with 58 abstentions. (See Annex VII.)

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of Singapore said such resolutions were often driven by political rather than human rights considerations. For that reason, Singapore had consistently abstained on such measures. He also pointed to paragraph 1(b), which referred to the release of Jehovah’s witnesses who had made conscientious objections to military service, as well as concerns expressed elsewhere in the draft about conscientious objectors. Singapore did not consider conscientious objection a right, much less a universally applicable one. The right of national security must prevail. How each State dealt with conscientious objectors was up to each individual State.

The representative of Namibia said she had intended to abstain, rather than vote in favour of the resolution.

Sorry but post dam long ! Nvm la
Going to post more later



~Brian~