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The Ebola Outbreak Just Got More Fierce

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Africa’s most populous country has confirmed its first ebola death, from a traveller from the Liberia. In the meantime, Liberia is going on lockdown and two American aid workers have been sickened. Jina Moore of Buzzfeed offers an excellent dispatch from Lagos, Nigeria. “Nigeria has begun medical testing at all ports of entry for passengers coming from Ebola-affected countries after a Liberian traveler died of the disease in Lagos on Friday. Passengers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia — as well as any passenger from any departure point who appears ill upon arrival — must be tested for Ebola, an often fatal virus. Anyone positive will be quarantined.” (BuzzFeed http://bzfd.it/1rxj30S)

The Liberian government closed most of its border crossings and introduced stringent health measures to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that has killed at least 660 people across the region. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1q9Hkcq)

A second American aid worker stationed at a Liberian hospital tested positive for the Ebola virus on Sunday, a week after an infected man brought the disease by plane to Nigeria.  (Fox News http://fxn.ws/1rxi0Ou)

Security Council Calls for Gaza Ceasefire. It Breaks Down Quickly…”A fragile truce in Gaza for a Muslim holiday broke down Monday as a mortar shell fired from the Palestinian territory killed four Israeli soldiers, prompting the army to resume attacks on Hamas militants. The renewed fighting killed a fifth Israeli soldier inside Gaza, Israel said, while Gaza health officials said at least 18 Palestinians were killed…An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire,” echoing U.S. President Barack Obama’s appeal in a phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.”(WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1rxk8G3)

Africa

Sweden has resumed financial aid to Uganda after suspending some assistance in March over a law widely condemned by donor nations that increases punishment for homosexuals. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1q9GHPX)

The UN’s FAO is warning people in West African countries about a link between eating wildlife and the disease Ebola. The FAO says it is especially worried about the fruit bat. (VOA http://bit.ly/WJLVd3)

More than 130,000 people who live in 42 fishing villages along Uganda’s shores of Lake Victoria have an HIV-infection rate that is three to four times higher than the national average in this country of 36 million people. (VOA http://bit.ly/1q9OUU9)

Despite legislative and societal hostility, Uganda’s gay rights activists refuse to take a step back. (Think Africa Press http://bit.ly/1pwpajl)

MENA

Lebanon’s inability to store water efficiently, water pollution and its misuse both in agriculture and for domestic purposes, have put great pressure on the resource. (IPS http://bit.ly/1q9G6Ob)

Migrant workers who built luxury offices used by Qatar’s 2022 football World Cup organisers say they have not been paid for more than a year and are now working illegally from cockroach-infested lodgings. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1q9Izbv)

The Gaza police operations room and a Palestinian health official say separate Israeli airstrikes hit the compound of Gaza City’s main hospital, causing casualties. (AP http://yhoo.it/1rS5Am8)

Asia

People in Asia who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual often find themselves victims of violence from family members, who in fact are often the main perpetrators, according to a recent report by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. (IPS http://bit.ly/1q9FCHQ)

The planned construction of 88 hydroelectric dams in the lower Mekong basin by 2030 will cause food security challenges in Cambodia, experts say. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1q9HAbm)

The Philippines on Sunday welcomed its 100-millionth citizen — a baby girl named Chonalyn who was born at a hospital in the capital, Manila. But the celebration is mixed with concern in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country with one of the fastest growing populations in Asia. Many in the country struggle to meet the basic necessities of life. (NPR http://n.pr/WJKfQV)

A group of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers has arrived at a detention camp in Australia, government officials said on Monday, after having been held at sea by authorities for almost a month, sparking a legal challenge. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1q9QrK0)

Pacific island leaders will renew calls for meaningful action on climate change at a regional summit opening in Palau today, amid fears rising seas will swamp their low-lying nations. (Yahoo http://yhoo.it/1q9RrOb)

New legislation recently passed in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea outlawing polygamy has been welcomed by experts in the country as an initial step forward in the battle against high rates of domestic violence, gender inequality and the spread of AIDS. (IPS http://bit.ly/1pwovyj)

The Americas

Argentina’s government is resuming negotiations in a dispute with US. creditors that risks sending the country into default this week. (AP http://yhoo.it/1q9TPo8)

Opinion/Blogs

A conversation with Daniel Drezner about the new BRICS Development Bank and his book about how international institutions responded to the 2008 financial crisis. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/WKicR6)

Sanitation For All: Ignore Quality at Your Own Peril (People, Spaces, Deliberation http://bit.ly/X4DusM)

How Not to Teach Children about Poverty (NYU Development Research Institute http://bit.ly/X4CvZt)

How enormous stories go unreported all the time (Campaign for Boring Development http://bit.ly/1zmHdjf)

Africa’s Last Colony (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/X4EOvF)

Research/Reports

A UN panel opens a three-day meeting on the ageing of the global population. It’s part of a process that could lead to a new international treaty to protect the rights of older persons. (VOA http://bit.ly/1rS5Q4L)

Blockages to preventing malnutrition in Kambia, Sierra Leone: a semi-quantitative causal analysis (SLRC http://bit.ly/1zmHLpf)

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SG; Middle East; Ukraine

SG: The SG leaves New York tomorrow morning for Nicaragua and Costa Rica where he will meet with the country’s respective presidents and government representatives until his return on Wednesday evening.

Middle East: The Security Council held an emergency session early this morning where the SG called for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire. The Council supported the SG’s request by issuing a presidential statement urging all parties to accept and implement a ceasefire into the Eid al-Fitr period marking the end of the Ramadan. Over the weekend UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness was interviewed about the UN’s relief efforts on Meet the Press. Full interview available here.

Ukraine: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported an increase in fighting among armed groups in Donetsk and Luhansk against the Government of Ukraine. Regarding the Malaysia Airlines flight, High Commissioner Pillay stated that the downing of the plane is a violation of international law which could result in a war crime. Investigators continue attempts to access to the site and examine details of the crash.

UN Peacekeeping: The SG briefed the SC this morning regarding regional partnerships with UN peacekeeping. He noted effective division of labor among regional organizations, but expressed concern for the deteriorating situation in South Sudan despite the presence of the UNMISS peacekeeping mission.

Syria: OCHA reported that over the weekend UNRWA was forced to halt deliveries of healthcare items and medicine to Palestine refugees in Yarmouk due to lack of authorization.

Cameroon: Boko Haram militants kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister and killed three people in a cross-border attack on Sunday. The incident was the third Boko Haram attack in Cameroon since Friday.

Iraq: OCHA reported that the Anbar Department of Health scaled-up medical assistance ahead of the Eid holiday in Iraq. WFP continues to distribute food to 8,000 families in the region.

Afghanistan: UNAMA condemned this weekend’s attacks in Afghanistan’s western province of Ghor killing 15 people. The UN called for a prompt and thorough investigation into the incident.

World Hepatitis Day: Today marks World Hepatitis Day to increase awareness for a disease that kills close to 1.4 million people each year. WHO and its partners use this day to mobilize policymakers, health workers and the public to coordinate a global response to viral hepatitis, strengthen prevention, and increase hepatitis B vaccine coverage.

United Nations Headquarters in New York will be closed tomorrow in observance of Eid al-Fitr.

UN Direct | Leave a comment
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Episode 26: Daniel Drezner

Daniel Drezner is on the line this week! I speak to the academic and Washington Post writer about his career and life in and out of academia. He’s made a career arguing (and proving in peer-reviewed fashion) counter-intuitive takes on conventional foreign policy wisdoms. Our conversation kicks off with a discussion of the new BRICS Development Bank and his book about how international institutions responded to the 2008 financial crisis. We then turn to a discussion of his life and career, with interesting diversions along the way.

Have a listen. This was a fun and lively conversation. And remember to subscribe to the Global Dispatches Podcast on iTunes so you don’t miss an episode.

Previous episodes

How to Negotiate a Gaza Ceasefire

Episode 25: Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE, USA. Long-time AIDS-Fighter

How Humanity is Winning the Fight Against AIDS

Episode 24: Joseph Cirincione, Nuclear Policy Wonk 

A Migrant’s Story: Why are So Many Children Fleeing to the USA?

Episode 23: Live from the UN 2014 (Volume 2); A special edition with a slew of UN officials.

Inside the Iran Nuke Talks

Episode 23: Jillian York, Digital Free Speech defender

Turkey’s Strategic Interests in Iraq

Episode 22: Live from the UN, 2014 (Vol 1); A special edition, featuring the President of the General Assembly,  the UN Ambassadors from Vietnam and Jamaica, the head of the UN Association, and more!

The UN’s View of the Iraq Crisis

Episode 21: Thomas Pickering, former Ambassador to the UN, Israel, Jordan, Russia, India and more.

Dying for the World Cup

Episode 20: Jessica Tuchman Matthews, foreign policy trendsetter

Egypt After the Counter Revolution 

Episode 19: Louise Arbour, human rights pioneer.

What Obama Left Out of His Big Foreign Policy Speech

Episode 18: Zalmay Khalizad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN.

Why Libya is Suddenly on the Verge of a Civil War 

Episode 17: Gov Bill Richardson, he frees hostages.

The Foreign Policy Implications of India’s Elections

Episode 16: Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children

What Boko Haram Wants

Episode: 15 Laura Turner Seydel, philanthropist

Episode 14: Douglas Ollivant, Iraq expert

Episode 13: Gary Bass, historian

Episode 12: Mark Montgomery, demographer

Episode 11: Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watcher

Episode 10: Live from the UN, Volume 2.

Episode 9: Mia Farrow, humanitarian activist and Goodwill Ambassador

Episode 8: Suzanne Nossel, Big Thinker

Episode 7: Live from the UN, Volume 1. 

Episode 6: PJ Crowley, former State Department Spokesperson

Episode 5: Octavia Nasr, reporter

Episode 4: Arsalan Iftikhar, “The Muslim Guy”

Episode 3: Dodge Billingsley, filmmaker.

Episode 2: Laura Seay,  @TexasinAfrica

Episode 1: Heather Hurlburt, national security wonk

 

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Security Council Calls for Gaza Ceasefire. What’s Next?

The Security Council held an emergency session earlier this morning calling for an immediate humanitarian pause in fighting in Gaza. In a Presidential statement, the Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance” and urged the parties to stay engaged with negotiations lead by Egypt, Ban Ki Moon and John Kerry. 

So what’s next?

This is a “statement” and not a UN Security Council resolution. The difference, in terms of force of law, is significant. A statement is simply an expression of Security Council unity on an issue. In this case, every Security Council member is clearly expressing to Hamas and Israel that the Council wants to see a ceasefire implemented. A statement like this can carry significant political weight because it reflects broad international consensus on this issue. But it does not carry the force of law as would a Security Council resolution. Should either side violate the will of the Security Council statement they could theoretically face political and diplomatic censure, but no legal repercussions. On the other hand, a resolution does carry the force of law. Violating a Security Council resolution is theoretically grounds for some sort of punitive measure agains the offending party.

In these cases, statements are often preludes to resolutions. This is now the second Security Council statement issued on the Gaza conflict. The first, on July 12, called for an immediate de-escalation. That clearly did not happen. Now, two weeks later we have a resolution that unambiguously calls for an immediate ceasefire.

The key question now is whether or not the sides will abide by the statement. If Israel and Hamas respect the will of the Security Council and maintain a humanitarian pause in fighting, we will likely see diplomatic efforts intensify to turn this humanitarian pause into a durable and lasting ceasefire.  If not, the Security Council will have to decide whether or not it wants to impose a ceasefire by passing a legally binding resolution on the matter. I suspect we will know the answer to this question in the coming few hours and days.

—-

Bonus content! For a deeper dive into the regional diplomacy surrounding a ceasefire in Gaza, listen to my brief interview with Michael Hanna of the Century Foundation

 

Here’s the full text of the statement.

The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.

The Security Council calls for full respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection.

The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by international partners and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond.  The Security Council commends the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts in this regard.

The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative. In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the efforts of international partners and the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on July 26, 2014and  urges all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.

The Security Council emphasizes that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, and called on all parties to act consistently with this principle.

The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA. The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The Security Council urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).

Security | | Leave a comment
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Boko Haram Nabs High Profile Hostage…in Cameroon

Further evidence this is a regional threat. “The Cameroonian military says members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram have abducted the wife of the country’s deputy prime minister in the northern Cameroonian town of Kolofata.A local religious leader and mayor was also abducted from the same town.Separately, at least five people in northern Nigeria were killed in a blast – residents suspect Boko Haram.Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks, as the army was deployed to the region.Militants have kidnapped foreign nationals in northern Cameroon before, including a French family and Chinese workers”  (BBC http://bbc.in/1nNSsNa)

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Africa

The United Nations has reported alarming rates of malnutrition in the Somali capital where aid agencies cannot meet the needs of 350,000 people due to insufficient funds, drought and conflict. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1prDCJy)

A 33-year-old American doctor working for a relief organisation in Liberia’s capital has tested positive for Ebola, according to a statement from Samaritan’s Purse. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1prDERE)

A Sierra Leone Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment centre and took her to a traditional healer, died in an ambulance on the way to hospital, a health official said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1rMpvmH)

Police were guarding an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone, the day after thousands marched on the clinic following allegations by a former nurse the deadly virus was invented to conceal “cannibalistic rituals” there, a regional police chief said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1prDSZ1)

A South Sudan army spokesman that 140 fighters, most of them from the opposition forces, were killed in fresh rounds of fighting that broke out in Jonglei and Upper Nile states less than a week ago. Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army said 83 rebels were killed in clashes in Nassir, in Upper Nile state, and 52 in Ayod in Jonglei state. (VOA http://bit.ly/1prEBcC)

MENA

Hamas Islamist militants agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in its conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip. (VOA http://bit.ly/1prFcuL)

Israel denies causing casualties at UN School on Thursday. (NYT  http://nyti.ms/1nNT3hV)

Four children were killed and five other people were injured when a rocket landed near their homes in Rafah, an Egyptian town in Sinai near the border with Gaza, security officials said. (Reutersd http://bit.ly/1prDVnq)

Health officials in Libya say heavy clashes between army troops loyal to a renegade general and Islamist-led militias have killed 38 people — including civilians — in the country’s restive east.’ (AP http://yhoo.it/1prGIx1)

Asia

The United Nations’ new human rights envoy to Myanmar says camps housing tens of thousands of homeless Muslims are “deplorable.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1prEWMy)

Thailand’s military rulers have written a temporary constitution that lets the army keep a great deal of power. (VOA http://bit.ly/1prF3rq)

The Americas

A grave containing at least 400 people is unearthed in the Bolivian city of Potosi, with the remains thought to be those of colonial-era miners. (BBC http://bbc.in/1rMqi6W)

UNASUR Economy and Finance ministers have given a boost to the creation of a Bank of the South, as an institution to foster sustainable and balanced regional development. (Prensa Latina http://bit.ly/1prEmOJ)

Cuba marked the 61st anniversary of the beginning of Fidel and Raul Castro’s revolution with a leading official calling on islanders to be united and to defend the nation’s communist system. (AP http://yhoo.it/1prFqCm)

Opinion/Blogs

The new UN Human Development Report on vulnerability and resilience: ignoring trade-offs and an epic fail on power and politics (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1tPPd9d)

The Affinity Between Iraqi Sunni Extremists and the Rulers of Saudi Arabia (IPS http://bit.ly/1rMpr6h)

Imagining a brave new world for girls (ODI http://bit.ly/1prEtK6)

What countries are the most hypocritical on human rights? (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1tPN4KP)

Uncertainty About How Best to Convey Uncertainty (Dart Throwing Chimp http://bit.ly/1tPNkJP)

Editing ODA: What to Omit and Add in the Definition of Aid (David Roodman http://bit.ly/1nKNCC8)

Migration and my own children (Wait…What? http://bit.ly/1tPNIb4)

The BRICS Development Bank: Why the World’s Newest Global Bank Must Adopt a Pro-Poor Agenda (Policy Innovations http://bit.ly/1tPOBAz)

The Ebola virus and the vampire state (Mats Utas http://bit.ly/1tPOKE7)

Research/Reports

A group of developing countries brought a tectonic shift at the World Trade Organization by turning the tables against the industrialised countries, when they offered a positive trade agenda to expeditiously arrive at a permanent solution for food security and other development issues, before adopting the protocol of amendment of the contested Trade Facilitation Agreement. (IPS http://bit.ly/1prD3PG)

The exceedingly high cost for the new hepatitis C wonder drug, sofosbuvir, has sparked protests. (VOA http://bit.ly/1rMqJhJ)

 

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Some Feel Good Inspiration

It’s been a rough week. Here’s some humanity-affirming medicine, via vUNICEF, about an incredibly brave and inspiring 11 year old living with HIV.

 

Development | | Leave a comment

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