United Nations Human Rights Council action silences Yemeni victims of human rights abuses.
By Kathy Kelly
Monday, October 11, marked the official closure of the U.N. Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (also known as the Group of Experts or GEE). For nearly four years, this investigative group examined alleged human rights abuses suffered by Yemenis whose basic rights to food, shelter, safety, health care and education were horribly violated, all while they were bludgeoned by Saudi and U.S. air strikes, drone attacks, and constant warfare since 2014.
“This is a major setback for all victims who have suffered serious violations during the armed conflict,” the GEE wrote in a statement the day after the U.N. Human Rights Council refused to extend a mandate for continuation of the group’s work. “The Council appears to be abandoning the people of Yemen,” the statement says, adding that “Victims of this tragic armed conflict should not be silenced by the decision of a few States.”
Irina Vasilyeva has been chosen as one of 17 Food Heroes by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO), as an example of how access to technical knowledge and innovation can empower smallholder farmers to become agents of change.
Food Heroes are recognized for their commitment to provide food for their communities and beyond. She spoke to the UN ahead of World Food Day, marked annually on 16 October. “My name is Irina Vasilyeva, and I live in the ancient village of Vartsikhe, Bagdati municipality in western Georgia. This is an agricultural community and families here have been involved in farming for centuries.
Currently, more than 815 million people do not have enough to eat. Some 155 million children under the age of five – 23 per cent – are chronically malnourished and stunted and may endure the effects of it for the rest of their lives. One in two infant deaths worldwide are caused by hunger.
Photo credit: Rise Up Times
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies
President Biden and the Democratic Congress are facing a crisis as the popular domestic agenda they ran on in the 2020 election is held hostage by two corporate Democratic Senators, fossil-fuel consigliere Joe Manchin and payday-lender favorite Kyrsten Sinema.
But the very week before the Dems’ $350 billion-per-year domestic package hit this wall of corporate money-bags, all but 38 House Democrats voted to hand over more than double that amount to the Pentagon. Senator Manchin has hypocritically described the domestic spending bill as “fiscal insanity,” but he has voted for a much larger Pentagon budget every year since 2016.
The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. This new international day, established by the General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. The resolution urges the Member States, in collaboration with the organizations of the United Nations and civil society to implement measures that could improve rural women’s lives.
Here in California, as well around the earth, women and girls in rural areas are disadvantaged in this pandemic. Rural women, with a crucial role in agriculture, food security and nutrition, already face struggles in their daily lives. Now, since COVID-19 and their unique health needs in remote areas, they are less likely to have access to quality health services, essential medicines, and vaccines. Restrictive social norms and gender stereotypes can also limit rural women’s ability to access health services. Furthermore, a lot of rural women suffer from isolation, as well as the spread of misinformation, and a lack of access to critical technologies to improve their work and personal life.