Global response needed to counter rising security threats at sea
Global response needed to counter rising security threats at sea

Addressing a high-level debate on enhancing security for seafarers, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the UN Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, highlighted the need for stronger international cooperation.

Incidents in Asia have nearly doubled, while West Africa, the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, and the South China Sea, were the most affected areas, she said.

The “unprecedented” levels of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, and more recently in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, were also particularly concerning.

Growing interlinked threats

“Maritime insecurity is also compounding the terrorist threat emerging from the Sahel,” Ms. Viotti told ambassadors.

“These growing and interlinked threats call for a truly global and integrated response. A response that addresses these challenges directly as well as their root causes – including poverty, a lack of alternative livelihoods, insecurity, and weak governance structures.”

Maritime security is also being undermined by challenges around contested boundaries and navigation routes, and depletion of natural resources through illegal or unreported fishing, Ms. Viotti added.

She said the meeting, held via videoconference, was a chance to further advance global action on a vital but complex issue as all countries are affected, whether they are coastal or landlocked.

‘Shared global commons’

The open debate was organized by India, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month.

For the country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, oceans are “our shared global commons” and the “lifeline” of international trade.  The UN estimates that more than three billion people worldwide, mainly in developing countries, depend on the ocean for their livelihood and well-being.

“However, today this common maritime heritage of ours faces various types of threats,” said Mr. Modi. “Maritime routes are being misused for piracy and terrorism. There are maritime disputes between several countries. And climate change and natural disasters are also challenges to the maritime domain.”

From commitment to action

Ms. Viotti highlighted legal instruments that uphold maritime security, such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“But this framework is only as strong as countries’ commitment to full and effective implementation,” she stressed. “We need to translate commitment into action.”

The UN has welcomed moves by the international community to strengthen cooperation on maritime security.  The Organization also supports regional initiatives, including to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia and to try and cut down on the armed robbery of ships in Asia.

Global programme afloat

Ghada Waly, Executive Director at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that a 2009 programme, initially established to address the Somali piracy threat, is now its largest initiative, with a budget that has grown from $300,000 to over $230 million.

The Global Maritime Crime Programme encompasses some 170 personnel based in 26 countries who provide capacity building and support for legal reform, simulated trials and maritime training centres.

“Yet, the challenges to maritime security continue to grow, and our responses must keep up,” said Ms. Waly.

The UN agency chief encouraged the Security Council to take action towards implementing the related legal framework, building capabilities, expanding partnerships and promoting crime prevention response.  She underscored the need to reduce vulnerabilities.

“Pirates, criminals, and terrorists exploit poverty and desperation to seek recruits, gain support, and find shelter. To counter these threats, we need to raise awareness and educate people, especially youth, while providing alternative livelihoods and support for local businesses,” said Ms. Waly.

Recognizing Raisi as Iran’s President Fuels Impunity Over Human Rights Violations
Recognizing Raisi as Iran’s President Fuels Impunity Over Human Rights Violations

Raisi is under sanctions for his human rights abuses. Khamenei chose him as the regime’s president so he could serve him, and keep the mullahs’ regime afloat.

Amnesty underlined that ‘Crimes against humanity’ loom large over Raisi’s inauguration as president. We continue to call for him to be criminally investigated for his role in past and ongoing crimes.”

PARIS, FRANCE, August 5, 2021 / — The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), reported that the Iranian regime’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, was inaugurated today. Many international human rights organizations have called for Raisi’s prosecution for his human rights abuses. Yet, Enrique Mora, the Deputy Political Director of the European External Action Service, participated in Raisi’s inauguration today.Raisi dubbed the “Butcher of Tehran,” was a member of Tehran’s “Death Commission” during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. Raisi and his fellow “Death Commission” members sent thousands of political prisoners to the gallows.

Reacting to Mora’s planned visit to Iran, Amnesty International stated: “The international community, including the EU, which is sending Enrique Mora to Raisi’s inauguration, must publicly demonstrate its commitment to fight against systematic impunity in Iran for extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, and torture.”

Amnesty underlined that “Crimes against humanity loom large over Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration as president of Iran. We continue to call for him to be criminally investigated for his role in past and ongoing crimes against humanity related to the 1988 massacre.”

During his first press conference after his selection as the regime’s new president, Raisi blatantly said he should be “rewarded” for his career. Recognizing Raisi as Iran’s representative and shaking hands with him is the approval of this criminal and indeed a reward for his crimes against humanity.

His presidency, as underlined by the Amnesty Secretary-General, Agnes Callamard, on June 19, “is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.” By participating in Raisi’s inauguration or pursuing negotiations with him, the European Union is fortifying this impunity.

The international community’s failure in holding Raisi and other perpetrators of the 1988 massacre to account has led to systematic impunity in Iran, where mass murderers like Raisi are rewarded instead of being prosecuted.

Seven United Nations human rights experts underlined in their letter published in December 2020 that this failure “had a devastating impact on the survivors and families” and “emboldened” the Iranian authorities to “conceal the fate of the victims and to maintain a strategy of deflection and denial.”

The murder and torture of protesters in November 2019 also took place under Raisi’s watch are part of the devastating impact of the international community’s failure to hold Raisi and his ilk to account.

Raisi is under sanctions for his human rights abuses. Khamenei chose him as the regime’s next president so Raisi could serve Khamenei, suppress protests and dissidents, and keep the mullahs’ regime afloat.

When in October 2020, the EU adopted its new “Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime,” the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell underlined that the efforts to defend human rights should go “beyond” legislations and resolution.

By sending his deputy to Raisi’s inauguration Borrell and the EU are not only staying behind their human rights values and the Global Sanctions Regime, but they are also indeed justifying the systematic human rights abuses in Iran.

The international community, mainly the European Union, should not recognize Raisi as Iran’s president. They should call for his prosecution and lead an international investigation into the 1988 massacre and the forced disappearance and killing of thousands of Iranians within the last 42 years.


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Raisi, Butcher of 1988 Massacre in Iran


UNODC and Siemens AG strengthen partnership for business integrity
UNODC and Siemens AG strengthen partnership for business integrity

Vienna (Austria), 2 August 2021 – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Siemens AG signed a funding agreement worth US$ 4 million to strengthen business integrity.

The sum represents the largest single contribution by the private sector to UNODC’s anti-corruption work. It will be dedicated to funding a new UNODC project, called Global Action for Business Integrity, which aims to prevent and fight corruption by strengthening legal frameworks, helping small businesses identify corruption risks, and involving youth, civil society, and academia in developing anti-corruption responses. The scope of the project is global with a focus on seven countries: Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.

The Executive Director of UNODC, Ms. Ghada Waly, said: “To recover better from the COVID-19 crisis, businesses will need to recover with integrity. Thanks to the support of Siemens AG, UNODC will be able to help private sector companies build their capacity to play a bigger role in preventing and countering corruption, in line with the political declaration adopted in June by the UN General Assembly at its special session against corruption. I commend Siemens AG for its dedication to collective anti-corruption action, and I urge more companies to follow their lead.”

Sabine Zindera, Vice President, Siemens Legal and Compliance and head of Siemens’ global Collective Action activities and the Siemens Integrity Initiative added: “The fight against corruption is a clear business case for companies. What is more, Siemens has been constantly driving Collective Action over the past decade and has with a commitment of around 120 million US-dollars and 85 projects around the world strongly supported practical implementation on the ground. This is in our view indispensable for achieving lasting change and transforming the everyday into a true level playing field. We are very much looking forward to continuing our long-standing international cooperation with UNODC who is especially through the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) ideally positioned to engage and inspire many partners for practical implementation on the ground.”

The project Global Action for Business Integrity will mobilize stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector, civil society and academia to develop common responses:
• In Brazil, the project will conduct a youth hackathon to identify solutions to improve the dialogue between public sector, private sector and civil society on business integrity.
• In Colombia, the project will target civil society and academia and build their capacity to participate in collective action against corruption.
• In Egypt, the project will implement “On the Job Training” modules on business ethics for senior university students to build a culture of integrity among young professionals.
• In Ethiopia and in Saudi Arabia, the focus of the project is on training small- and medium-sized enterprises on corruption risk assessment.
• In Malaysia, UNODC will assist national authorities in the development and implementation of regulations on the liability of legal persons and beneficial ownership transparency.
• In Uzbekistan, the project will build the capacity of the public sector and civil society organizations in the area of strengthening anti-corruption components in legislation.

The project’s implementation is guided by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument to prevent corruption and criminalize conducts such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions and various acts of corruption in the private sector. In addition to the initiatives led in the seven focus countries, the project includes a global outreach component designed to identify good practices on business integrity and share them widely through publications and a global webinar series.

The project Global Action for Business Integrity is funded by Siemens AG under the Golden Stretch Funding Round, which builds upon the earlier three funding rounds. Siemens AG will now contribute US$ 4 million to UNODC over the next three years. Since the launch of the Siemens Integrity Initiative in 2009, Siemens AG has contributed over US$ 13.5 million to UNODC, enabling the Office to deliver nine projects in 17 countries.

Putin spoke of US attempts to maintain a monopoly position in the world
Putin spoke of US attempts to maintain a monopoly position in the world

Russia’s economic sovereignty is growing, despite Western sanctions, and its defense capacity has in some ways surpassed many countries around the world, including the United States. This was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin during the annual “Hotline”, in which he answers on Russian state television to convenient questions from Russians selected by Kremlin.

“The period of the unipolar world is over. And you have to start from the fact that the world is changing and changing fast. No matter what sanctions are applied to Russia, no matter what they threaten us with, Russia is still developing, its economic sovereignty is increases, “Putin insisted, citing as an example the recommendations of analysts advising the US political class.

The Russian head of state noted that the US partners understood that the world was changing, but tried to maintain their monopoly position.

“Hence, please, threats and further destructive behavior – both with these exercises and with provocations, with sanctions,” he added.

At the same time, he stressed that the policy of sanctions against Russia has given impetus to programs to replace imported goods.

In South Africa plan to allow women to have more than one husband

The South African government is exploring the possibility of allowing women to have more husbands – a proposal that has caused quite a stir among conservatives in the country, according to BGNES. The proposal for the admission of polyandry is included in a Green Paper (a government document that any interested person can study and on which he can make proposals, especially before the legislation is changed or new) of the Ministry of Interior of South Africa, whose intention is to make marriage more inclusive. The option is one of several in a comprehensive document, but it has sparked intense debate in South Africa. Polygamy, in which men marry multiple wives, is legal in the country. “South Africa has inherited a marriage regime based on Calvinist and Western Christian traditions,” the document said, adding that current marriage laws “are not informed by a global policy based on constitutional values ​​and an understanding of the dynamics of marriage in modern times.

The document states that the current law allows marriages of minors and does not provide for couples who change their gender and want to stay married to divorce. As part of efforts to strengthen marriage policy, the department consults with traditional leaders, as well as human rights activists and other groups, on key issues. Human rights activists “argue that equality requires polyandry to be legally recognized as a form of marriage.” Officials found that people have very different views on marriage, but one suggestion is to develop a “gender-neutral” marriage scheme. “South Africa can end the categorization of marriages based on race, sexual orientation, religion and culture,” the proposal said. “This means that South Africa could adopt a double system of monogamous or polygamous marriages.” Due to the element of gender neutrality, this option would apply to both women and men if it became law and therefore allowed polyandry. Conservatives in the country were stunned by the proposal. A popular critic of the proposal is Musa Mseleku, a reality star who has four wives. “I am for equality,” Mseleku said in a video in May. He argues that polyandry would call into question the paternity of children. “What family will this child belong to?” Mseleku asks. “Moreover, we are spiritual people,” he added. “Our spirits, our creator, made sure we were created that way.” “It’s foreign to our mentality,” he said. And he points out that “protecting our existence is important for both the present generation and the future.”

The idea that polyandry is not authentically African is also widespread among religious leaders, according to the interior ministry. The document notes that talks with traditional leaders revealed that they believed that “only men are allowed to have multiple wives.” The document added: “Therefore, traditional leaders consider polyandry an unacceptable practice because it is not of African origin.” The Rev. Kenneth Mesho, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, also opposed the proposal. In an interview with South African television operator eNCA, Mesho said that while polygamy is an “accepted practice”, polyandry is not. “Men are jealous and possessive,” Mesho said, explaining why multiple marriages would not work.

Later in the document, officials said that “while some stakeholders believe in the practice of polygamy, there are those who oppose it. This applies equally to the practice of polyandry. Ironically, stakeholders who believe in polygamy are against polyandry. The South African government is consulting the document by 30 June, inviting comments on all proposals.

How to protect yourself from sunstroke
How to protect yourself from sunstroke

In connection with the high temperatures during the summer season, the Ministry of Health reminds citizens that the most at risk of sunstroke are adults over 60 and children, as well as people with cardiovascular disease and people with obesity. To protect themselves, people should stay in the shade, especially at noon, protect themselves from direct sunlight, wear a hat in the city and use a beach umbrella on the beach, wear cotton and light clothing, drink more fluids, not to drink alcohol during the day, to avoid physical activity, summer vacationers not to stay on the beach between 11 and 14 hours. In case of sunstroke, patients are transported to the shade and cold compresses are placed on their heads.

Signs of sunstroke and heat stroke

The difference between heat stroke and sunstroke is that heat stroke can occur not only in the sun. The most unpleasant complication is that it stops sweating due to dehydration, unlike sunstroke, in which sweating is preserved. Heat stroke can occur when working in warm and humid rooms, in stuffy weather and high humidity and outdoors. Under such conditions, it is difficult to release heat from the body to the environment. . Predisposing factors for this are strenuous physical activity on a full stomach, alcohol consumption, wearing thick and closed clothes, as well as the presence of cardiovascular disease and obesity.

The signs of sunstroke and heat stroke are similar. There are headaches, flushing, profuse sweating, rapid and difficult breathing, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and ringing in the ears. In more severe forms, loss of consciousness, hallucinations and seizures occur.

Symptoms of heat stroke

The symptoms of heat stroke in its initial phase are fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, involuntary trembling of individual muscle groups (cramps). In the next phase, there is a violation of tone and consciousness to the point of heat stroke and a sharp rise in body temperature to values ​​above physiological. There is a general reddening of the skin without sweating. It is important to note that if left untreated, this condition can lead to respiratory arrest and death.

Paramedic help

First aid for heat or sunstroke should be provided quickly, regardless of the degree of damage. The victim is transferred to a cool, shady and ventilated place, placed in a semi-sitting position, the clothes are loosened, it is necessary to spray with water and put a cold compress on the head. Wet towels are also placed on the victim’s chest, abdomen and back and he is given cold water to drink. If the victim is able to drink fluids, he is given plenty of chilled and sweetened drinks. In case of loss of consciousness and cessation of breathing and heart activity, artificial respiration and indirect cardiac massage are performed. The victim was transported lying down to a medical facility.

  First aid for heat stroke

It is applied after the effect of heat has been previously isolated. Cooling is undertaken only after removing the clothes, wrapping with a squeezed damp sheet, rubbing the body with a wet cold towel or sponge, placing bags and bottles of cold water and ice under the arms, groin and abdomen. If the victim is unconscious and there is a medical professional nearby, the body temperature is lowered by intravenous infusion of chilled physiological serum or by injection of analgin / antiallerzine, intramuscularly.

If the victim is conscious, it is necessary to take sweetened and cooled liquids. When working in very humid and warm rooms, regular intake of carbonated water is necessary.

Emergency medical care

In any case, in case of need for emergency care in a situation of heat or sunstroke, the needy should contact the emergency departments of the nearest medical institution or in case of impossibility or remoteness of the medical institution – to the regional centers of emergency medical care common European emergency number 112 introduced by Directive 2002/20 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of Europe and of 2008 in all Member States.