Syria Requests from the UN to Condemn Toxic Gas

Syria has requested from the United Nations Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to condemn the toxic gas attacks launched by terrorist groups against residential areas of Aleppo city on Saturday that left 107 people hurt.

Damascus' condemnation underlines that terrorists launched mortars containing chlorine gas against Khaldieh, Nile and Yameyet Al-Zahraa neighborhoods, mainly affecting women, elderly and children.

Some countries have helped terrorist to get access to chemical substances to be used against the Syrian people, to then accuse the Government of false flag attacks, arranged for media propaganda by intelligence services supporting terrorism, Damascus upholds.

In its message, the Syrian Government demands from the UN Security Council to immediately condemn such terrorist crimes and calls on it to assume its duties of keeping international peace and security.

It also urges the international body to take dissuasive and punitive measures against countries and regimes that support and sponsor terrorism.'

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Climate-heating greenhouse gases at record levels, says UN

The main greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change have all reached record levels, the UN’s meteorology experts have reported.

Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are now far above pre-industrial levels, with no sign of a reversal of the upward trend, a World Meteorological Organization report says.

“The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5m years ago, when the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now,” said the WMO secretary general, Petteri Taalas.

“The science is clear. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed.”

Levels of CO2 rose to a global average of 405.5 parts per million in the atmosphere in 2017 – almost 50% higher than before the industrial revolution.

Levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas responsible for about 17% of global warming are now 2.5 times higher than pre-industrial times owing to emissions from cattle, rice paddies and leaks from oil and gas wells.

Nitrous oxide, which also warms the planet and destroys the Earth’s protective ozone layer, is now over 20% higher than pre-industrial levels. About 40% of N2O comes from human activities including soil degradation, fertiliser use and industry.

The WMO also highlighted the discovery of illicit production of CFC-11, a banned chemical that also both warms the planet and destroys ozone. Investigations indicate that at least some of the production is in China.

In October the world’s scientists said global warming of even 1.5C would have severe consequences for humanity. International climate agreements had for two decades set 2C as a limit.

“Every fraction of a degree of global warming matters, and so does every part per million of greenhouse gases,” said the WMO deputy secretary general, Elena Manaenkova. “CO2 remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and in the oceans for even longer. There is currently no magic wand to remove all the excess CO2 from the atmosphere.”

Prof Corinne Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia, said she was not surprised by the new record levels of greenhouse gases. “But I am very concerned that all three gases most responsible for climate change are rising upwards unabated. It seems the urgency and extent of the actions needed to address climate change have not sunk in.

“Low-carbon technologies like wind, solar, and electric transport need to become mainstream, with old-fashioned polluting fossils pushed out rapidly.”

Efforts to cut emissions are increasing and on Wednesday the UN’s climate change body published a report on the commitments made in 2018. It found 9,000 cities in 128 countries were taking action, along with 240 states and regions in 40 countries and more than 6,000 businesses in 120 countries.

Patricia Espinosa, head of the UN framework convention on climate change, said: “On one hand, greenhouse gas emissions have yet to peak and countries struggle to maintain the concentrated attention and effort needed for a successful response to climate change. On the other hand, climate action is occurring, it is increasing and there is a will to do more. I highlight this because falling into despair and hopelessness is a danger equal to complacency, none of which we can afford.”

New Statue at UN Recalls Legacy of Nelson Mandela

A statue in tribute to Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) recalls today at the Unitesd Nations the legacy of the anti-apartheid fighter, to whom this year the multilateral entity dedicated several events.

The sculpture is now part of the numerous works of art shown in the halls and public spaces of the U.N. general quarters in New York.

Recently unveiled during the high-level segment of the General Assembly, the real-size figure is a present from South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

In its inauguration on September 24, the South African head of State thanked the enthusiasm showed by the international community on occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Mandela.

He also recalled the first negro South African president is revered in his country as founding father of democracy and that his life of sacrifices continues inspiring different generations.

Over 150 speakers from all over the world were gathered on September 24 at the UN for the Peace Summit Nelson Mandela, and due to numerous applications to speak at the event, previous Tuesday there was a second session of this event.

A resolution to declare the period 2019-2028 as the Decade for Peace Nelson Mandela was also approved.

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Cuba Rejects Military Doctrines Base on Nuclear Deterrence

Statement by H.E. Mr. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, at the United Nations high level meeting to celebrate and promote the International Day for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. New York, September 26, 2018.

Mr. President;

Mr. Secretary General;

Distinguished Heads of Delegations;

Delegates all;

It is said that when the eminent physicist Albert Einstein was asked with what weapons a hypothetical Third War would be fought, he answered that he only knew that the Fourth would be fought with sticks and stones.

Sadly, he did not live enough to see that his emphatic calls to put an end to the arms race using the nuclear technology would be unheeded and that the manufacturing of those weapons would grow dramatically, to the point of eliminating any possibility of survival if hardly a small part of them were to be used.

That is why we think it is our unavoidable duty to join the commemoration of the International Day for the Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons every September 26, for it contributes to achieve the purpose pursued by the UN of preserving international peace and security.

We are proud that such an achievement is based on an initiative first promoted by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, which was later on embraced by the international community.

To Cuba, this appeal that is launched every year is also a much deserved tribute to the memory of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, who struggled tirelessly in favor of nuclear disarmament, an issue to which he devoted numerous Reflections and all of his energy.

Cuba supports the statement made by the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Seventy three years after the criminal atomic bombings over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity continues to be threatened by the existence of approximately 14 400 nuclear weapons; 3 750 of them have been deployed and almost 2 000 are in a state of operational alert.

Cuba rejects the security policies and military doctrines based on nuclear deterrence. We embrace the words expressed by Fidel in 1979 when he stated, and I quote: “The clashing of weapons, the threatening language and the overbearing behavior in the international arena must cease. Enough of the illusion that the problems of the world can be solved by nuclear weapons! Bombs may kill the hungry, the sick and the ignorant; but they cannot kill hunger, disease and ignorance”, end of quote.

Mr. President:

Latin America and the Caribbean takes pride in having been the first densely populated region in the world proclaiming itself as a Nuclear Free Zone under the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which was enacted in 1967. Our peoples’ willingness was ratified in the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace”, a document that was signed by the Heads of State and Government of the region on the occasion of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Havana in January of 2014.

Cuba is strongly committed to strengthening and consolidating multilateralism and complying with international treaties on disarmament, particularly to the goal of a nuclear free world. On January 31, 2018, as an expression of that willingness, Cuba became the fifth State to ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

We will persist in our aspiration that this Treaty, which proscribes the use, existence and development of nuclear weapons and reiterates that these are inhuman, immoral and ethically indefensible, could be some day implemented and complemented with efficient measures conducive to the complete elimination of those arsenals in an effective, transparent and irreversible way.

The use of nuclear energy and technology has contributed to the social and economic development of our nations. Consequently, we reaffirm the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy without any discrimination.

We reject the decision of the US Government to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The non observation of these international commitments goes against the rules of coexistence among States and will have serious consequences for stability and security in the Middle East.

Mr. President:

Before concluding, I would like to share with you some excerpts of the speech delivered by Army General Raúl Castro, the First Secretary of our Party, at the Rio + 20 Summit: “Let’s put justifications and selfishness aside and work for solutions. This time everyone, absolutely everyone, will suffer the consequences (…) May plundering end; May the war end; let’s move towards disarmament and destroy the nuclear arsenals.”

Thank you, very much.

  • Published in Cuba

UN Organism Highlights Cuba's High Human Development Index

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) highlighted here today the high index of human development of Cuba (0.775) as the result of the universal and free Access to basic services, the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.

In the report 'Program of National Strategies' dedicated to the Caribbean island in tje 124th session period of the Executive Board of that United Nations organism, sessioning today and tomorrow, also extolls that the small nation is the only one in Latin America 'to have eliminated severe infant malnutrition'.

It also says that 'despite these advancwes, Cuba is highly dependen ton food imports (between 70 and 80 percent of consumption)', thus food security and increase of agricultural and livestock production is a priority for the Cuban government.

The text of the international organization with headquarters in this capital, recognizes that transformation in the agricultural sector of Cuba, presently under way, confer an increasing role to cooperatives that manage 69 percent of farmlands against 31 percent of State áreas.

For this reason, FIDA gives great importance to 'ensujre that cooperatives have the capacities and adequate technologies to respond to the demand of internal production of the country'.

In that sense, the program for Cuba (2019-2024) of that specialized agency has as strategic target to contribute to the development and strengthening of human and social capital of those agricultural production units to improve their productivity and yields, competitiveness and integration in the agricultural and food chains to generate new opportunities for women and youths.

It also pursues to raise the adaptation and resilience capacities of rural families through the diversification of production, in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change or the economyh and improve food security and nutrition.

In that direction, the plan aims to promote the strengthening of organizations, improve access to management skills, quality technical assistance and the access to market of cooperatives, as well an increasing participation of women and youths.

It includes, describes the report, the promotion of investment, inputs, technical assistance and training for greater diversification of farm production and the adaptation to climate change of small producers, through good practices, information systems and early warning, as well as the articulation of other institutions.

Also, IFAD will cooperate in favor of increasing the space of agricultural cooperatives, to incentivate production of the competitive good chains aimed to substitution of imports and increase the consumption of nutritionally adequate foods.

The projects will be directed to the provinces with potential to increase agricultural and forestry production, withj a high degree of cooperative concentration.

Also, the regions east of the country whose rural population is more exposed to climate, social, economic and food vulnerability will be given priority.

IFAD will contribute funds and mobilize additional resources to promote economic progress of inhabitants of poor rural zones, mainly to improve agricultural productivity.

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ALBA Denounces in Geneva Campaigns against Venezuela, Nicaragua

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) denounced at the UN in Geneva the campaigns aimed at destabilizing the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, diplomatic sources informed today.

'Those who promote these campaigns use, in a selective and politically motivated way, the issue of human rights, with the spurious purpose of creating the conditions to destabilize the legitimate governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua,' deplored the Cuban Ambassador, Pedro Luis Pedroso, on behalf of 11 ALBA countries.

Speaking at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council, he said that 'this is part of the imperial attack against leftist governments and movements in Latin America with the complicity of the usual amanuenses in the region.'

He also denounced the attempts to use the Human Rights Council to undermine democracy in Venezuela and Nicaragua, with the purpose of intervening in the internal affairs of free, sovereign and independent nations.

'We demand the strict observance of the universal principles of respect for the sovereignty of states and the self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the UN Charter,' he said.

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Cuban Mission at UN Warns of US Blockade's Damage

Cuba''s diplomatic mission at UN stressed how the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, which is now intensifying its actions, is a brake on achieving sustainable development.

That siege is the main obstacle to the development of all Cuban economy's potentialities, the diplomatic representative said through a press release.

The blockade is the main obstacle to the development of the economic, commercial and financial relations between Havana and Washington, and due to its extraterritorial nature, Cuba with the rest of the world, it also stressed.

This policy, which is still in force after 56 years, is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the Cuban people and is described as an act of genocide, in accordance with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in 1948, the Cuban mission said.

At the same time, it ignores the 26 resolutions adopted by the international community within the framework of the UN General Assembly and that dictate the end, without any conditioning, of its actions on Cuba.

This is also reflected in the most recent report on the damage caused by the blockade on Cuba, a mechanism that violates the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, and represents an obstacle to cooperation.

According to that report, only from April 2017 to March 2018, that hostile policy has caused losses to Cuba valued at $4.32 billion USD.

This is so far the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has been applied against any country, since it was instituted on February 3, 1962, by John F. Kennedy, who served as the 35th president of the United States.

The increase in the negative effects of the worsening of the blockade on the state economy and the non-state sector of the island are evident as of the serious setback in the bilateral relations, imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump and embodied in the memorandum signed on June 16, 2017.

In November 2017, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Treasury and State issued new regulations and provisions that strengthened the extraterritorial application of the blockade and intensified the persecution of financial transactions and banking and credit operations with Cuba globally.

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UN to Set Off Alarm on Climate Change Global Emergency

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, announced today he would set off alarms on the global emergency that means climate change, topic to which he gives priority since assuming his post.

Through his official Twitter account, the top representative of the UN, shared a video with advances on the topics to be presented in a speech this Monday.

'We all, governments, businesspeople, consumers... have to make changes and more than that, we have to be that change', said Guterres in that audiovisual film.

Climate change is an undeniable fact, science has so confirmed and solutions to face this problem look us in the face -said the Portuguese diplomat- it is time already to abandon the way to suicidal emissions.

These may not be easy times, but change is urgent for the good of generations today and those of the future, he stressed.

In his most recent alert on the issue, last month Guterres highlighted that climate change is also an emergency of public health, expected to cause 250 thousand additional deaths each year from 2030 to 2050.

That is included in a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), that shows the need for an urgent climate action, he added.

Any place, be it a little island, a great city or a rural town, is exposed to the threats of climate change to the health of persons, he indicated.

According to WHO, climate change affects social and environmental factors of health: clean air, potable wáter, enough food and secure refuge.

Over the last 50 years, human activity -mainly in the burning of fossile fuels- have liberated enough amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to trap additional heat in the lower atmosphere ansd affect world climate, detailed the WHO report.

The sea levels rise, glaciers melt and the patterns of precipitation change, while extreme climate events are ever more intense and frequent.

  • Published in World
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