United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)

Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Burma offers Rohingya return deal

By Jonathan Head BBC News, Bangkok 

Burma refuses to grant official status to the Rohingya minority 

The Burmese government has said it will take back ethnic Rohingyas who have fled to neighbouring countries.

But it will only do so if they identify themselves as Bengalis, as it refuses to recognise the Rohingyas as one of its official minorities.

Tens of thousands of Rohingyas have left Burma in recent years and washed up in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In December, the Thai military began dragging boats of Rohingya asylum seekers to sea and setting them adrift.

The policy has provoked widespread condemnation.

However, leaders from the affected countries attending the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Thailand have been unable to agree on a solution to the displaced Rohingyas.

Confronted by evidence that his military had been casting hundreds of Rohingya boat people adrift at sea, the Thai Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has responded that this is a regional problem which can only be solved in consultation with the various affected countries.

Bizarre policies

This week's Asean summit would seem to be the ideal opportunity - it is one of the few international venues attended by senior Burmese leaders.     

But the other Asean states are getting little co-operation from their Burmese colleagues.

The Burmese foreign minister told his Thai counterpart that his country might be willing to take back Rohingyas - but only if they were categorised as Bengalis who reside in Burma, not Burmese citizens.

This is in keeping with a bizarre official policy which denies Rohingyas official status, the right to move around, even to marry without permission, despite the fact that they have lived in western Burma for more than a thousand years.

A memo faxed to journalists by the Burmese consul in Hong Kong last week insisted Rohingyas could not be real Burmese, as they were dark-skinned and "as ugly as ogres".

In any case, sending them back to a country where they face even worse treatment than the average Burmese citizen does not appear to be a practical solution.

That has left the Asean leaders bereft of ideas.

None wants to open the door to more Rohingyas.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the only option his country had was to turn them back - but that just raises the prospect of hundreds more being left to drift and die on the high seas.

Related Article:

Suu Kyi's party calls on UN to take action

Friday, February 27, 2009

Jakarta to turn lights off Saturday

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 02/27/2009 5:33 PM  

Jakarta will take part in a global effort to promote climate change mitigation by turning off the city lights for an hour on Saturday starting 8.30 p.m. 

Director General for Electricity and Energy Consumption J. Purwono said the event was endorsed by the World Wide Foundation (WWF) and a total of 1,000 cities from all across the globe would participate in the event. 

“We support this program. In Jakarta, WWF will cooperate with the local government,” Purwono said as quoted by Antara state news agency. 

WWF Indonesia program director for climate and energy Fitrian Ardiansya claimed that the event would safe a total of Rp 200 million of spending on electricity. 

“The main targets of this activism are the government, business players, communities and individuals,” Fitrian said. 

The event, which is called Earth Hour, starts in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 with about 2.2 million people turning their house lights off for an hour. A total of 50 million participated in the city last year, and also followed by 18,231 companies and 370 cities in 35 countries. (and) 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hong Kong telecom workers protest forced leave

The Jakarta Post, Min Lee, The Associated Press, Hong Kong | Sun, 02/22/2009 3:05 PM  

 Against salary cuts: Hundreds of PCCW staff march on a Hong Kong downtown street during a protest against salary cuts and the sacking of their co-workers Sunday. They call on the government to help resolve the dispute with their employer PCCW, which runs fixed-line, mobile phone, broadband and broadband TV services. AP/Vincent Yu

Several hundred workers from Hong Kong's leading phone operator marched Sunday to protest a cost-cutting plan that requires employees to take up to two unpaid days off a month. 

The PCCW Ltd. workers chanted "PCCW lacks a conscience, smothers its employees," as they marched peacefully in the central financial district toward Hong Kong's government headquarters. 

Radio RTHK reported on its Web site that 300 people protested. 

The plan requires the company's technicians to take up to two days off without paystarting in March. 

A PCCW spokesman said Sunday that the plan is aimed at avoiding layoffs. 

"We hope our employees will ride through the rough times with the company," the spokesman said, declining to be named in line with company policy. 

PCCW employs 16,200 people. It runs fixed-line, mobile phne, broadband and broadband TV services.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Is Indonesia the country in the best shape in 2009?

Indonesia's friendly response to the visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the country's latest piece of good news. 

Telegraph.co.uk, By Martin Hutchinson, breakingviews.com, 11:02AM GMT 20 Feb 2009

With GDP growth expected to be 3.5pc in 2009, Indonesia is also suffering only mildly from the downturn.

Elections this year seem likely to result in the continuation of current policies. Islamic, impoverished and with 238m people, Indonesia is surprisingly stable and successful: as its foreign minister said, a "good partner" for the US in the Muslim world.

Indonesia is close to self-sufficiency in oil, but no longer exports it, so it has escaped most of the buffeting from the rise and collapse in petroleum prices. Since its 1998 crisis, it has depended little on foreign direct investment, which peaked at only 2pc of GDP in 2007.

Hence the collapse of global investment flows has also affected it little.

Nevertheless as Indonesia has a GDP per capita of only $3,900, there's a lot that could go wrong. The fact that it hasn't, and that Indonesia seems poised to follow five years of roughly 6pc growth with another year of 3.5pc growth in the worst global recession since the 1930s is a tribute to the political and economic management of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his long-serving finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Sri Mulyani has proposed a stimulus package, in line with the popular global trend, but of only 1.4pc of GDP, which should not significantly upset Indonesia's budget balance. Legislative and presidential elections this year offer Indonesians the chance to reward the government's competence and polls suggest they are likely to do so.

As its foreign minister, Hassan Wirajuda, told Clinton, Indonesia, as a huge moderate Muslim country, can help the US greatly in reaching out to the Islamic world. It is a large, moderately capitalist country. And it has done well without enormous help from foreign investment, outside policy advice or raw material exports. Indonesia is also a fine economic example to its Islamic neighbours and others.

"Happy is the country that has no history," said Montesquieu. Happier still is the country that has no world-shaking news, other than Clinton's visit.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stanford saga prompts run on banks

(CNN) -- Politicians and banking regulators across Latin American and the Caribbean have called for calm after panicked investors pulled their money from banks owned by the Stanford Group, whose owner is accused in a multibillion dollar investment and sales fraud scheme. 

"This bank does not have any problem, is a healthy financial institution," Edgar Hernandez Behrens, Venezuela's superintendent of banks, said of Stanford Bank Venezuela, the state-run ABN news agency reported. An estimated $2.5 billion to $3 billion has been invested in the bank, he said. 

The bank recorded "extraordinary withdraws" on Tuesday and Wednesday beyond what it can manage, Behrens said, according to ABN. Officials with the Venezuelan Central Bank, the banking superintendent's office and Stanford Bank huddled on Wednesday to decide how to deal with the problem. 

A similar scene played out in Antigua, where customers lined up outside Stanford-owned banks to pull their money. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday charged financier R. Allen Stanford and three of his companies with orchestrating $9.2 billion in investment and sales fraud. Stanford International Bank, based in Antigua, allegedly acted through a network of Stanford Group Company financial advisers to sell approximately $8 billion of "certificates of deposit" to investors. 

The SEC also charged SIB chief financial officer James Davis and Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group. The third company named in the complaint is investment adviser Stanford Capital Management.  Watch more on the case » 

SIB's Web site says its network has $51 billion in deposits and assets under management or advisement, with more than 70,000 clients in 140 countries. 

In September, Forbes named Stanford No. 205 in its 400 Richest Americans article, saying he was worth more than $2 billion. 

Customers queue outside the Stanford Group-owned Bank of Antigua in St. John's.

Stanford has reveled in the high life and sponsored high-stakes cricket matches in the Caribbean. He has citizenship in the United States and Antigua. He was knighted by the Caribbean nation and is known as Sir Allen Stanford. 

Stanford's whereabouts are uncertain. CNN made repeated attempts on Wednesday to reach Stanford and his attorneys. There was no response. Some media reports have put him in Antigua, where he has a home, but that couldn't be confirmed.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Far east visit

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press | Tue, 02/17/2009 11:12 AM 

 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (center), washes hands before entering Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Tuesday. Clinton's Japan visit is part of an Asian tour that will also take her to Indonesia, South Korea, and China. AP/David Guttenfelder, Pool.

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Meet the students

The Jakarta Post   |  Wed, 02/18/2009 4:39 PM  

 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, talks with Indonesian students upon her arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday. Secretary of State Clinton is hoping to rehabilitate America's image abroad, especially with Muslims, during a visit to Indonesia and to strengthen economic and development ties with Southeast Asia. (AP/Achmad Ibrahim)

Warm welcome 

The Jakarta Post    |   Thu, 02/19/2009 11:34 AM  

Warm welcome: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) greets US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, shortly after her arrival at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Thursday. During her first overseas visit as America’s top diplomat, Clinton is expected to revitalize US economic and development ties with Indonesia and Southeast Asia. JP/R. Berto Wedhatama

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saudi King appoints first woman to council

CNN World, 14 Febuary 2009 

(CNN) -- Saudi King Abdullah has for the first time appointed a woman to the council of ministers as part of a Cabinet reshuffling, Saudi owned Al-Arabiya television station reported Saturday.  

Saudi King Abdullah has appointed a woman to his council of ministers for the first time. 

King Abdullah announced a new supreme court chief, a new minister of health, a new justice minister and a new information minister as part of the reshuffling, Al-Arabiya reported. 

King Abdullah appointed Noor Al-Fayez to the Saudi Council of Ministers. She will serve in a new position as deputy minister for women's education. 

"People are very excited about this," said Khaled Al-Maeena, editor-in-chief of Arab News, an English-language daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia. "This sends a clear signal that the King means business. Instead of appointing some bureaucrat, he appointed a woman."

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Suu Kyi's party calls on UN to take action

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Yangon | Sat, 02/14/2009 1:17 PM  

Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party urged the United Nations on Saturday to take action against human rights abuses in military-ruled Myanmar, voicing hope and frustration over the visit of another U.N. envoy. 

U.N. human rights investigator Tomas Ojea Quintana was scheduled to arrive late Saturday for a six-day stay that comes less than two weeks after a visit by U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari and in the wake of a judicial crackdown on pro-democracy activists. 

There have been no signs of progress since Gambari's visit, which was aimed at promoting democracy and political reconciliation and trying to secure Suu Kyi's freedom. The Nobel laureate has been under house arrest for more than 13 years. 

"There are numerous human rights abuses in Myanmar but human rights missions ought to be followed by action to address such violations," Nyan Win, spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, said when asked to comment on Quintana's visit. 

In recent months the junta has locked away pro-democracy activists in an apparent attempt to clear away dissent prior to general elections promised for 2010. Military courts sentenced hundreds of pro-democracy activists to harsh prison terms of up to 104 years behind bars. 

The U.N. said in a statement that Quintana will evaluate progress on human rights issues since his visit last summer. 

It said Quintana has asked to meet government officials and privately with prisoners of conscience and leaders of political parties, a clear reference to Suu Kyi, whom he was not allowed to see on his last trip. 

On Friday, the government extended the house arrest of 82-year-old Tin Oo, the deputy leader of Suu Kyi's party, for another year. Tin Oo was arrested with Suu Kyi in May 2003. 

The timing was a blatant snub to the United Nations, which has persistently called for the release of political prisoners. 

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. The current junta came to power in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy movement and killing as many as 3,000 people. It called elections in 1990 but refused to honor the results when Suu Kyi's party won overwhelmingly.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

U.S. foreclosure image is 2008 World Press Photo

Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:06am EST 

 Anthony Suau, a Time photographer based in the U.S., has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2008 award with this picture showing an armed officer of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department moving through a home in Cleveland, Ohio, following eviction as a result of mortgage foreclosure. Jury chair MaryAnne Golon said: "The strength of the picture is in its opposites. It's a double entendre. It looks like a classic conflict photograph, but it is simply the eviction of people from a house following foreclosure. Now war in its classic sense is coming into people's houses because they can't pay their mortgages". The prize-winning entries of the World Press Photo Contest 2009, the world's largest annual press photography contest, were announced February 13, 2009. (REUTERS/Anthony Suau/Time)

Reuters) - A picture of an armed sheriff moving through an American home after an eviction due to a mortgage foreclosure was named World Press Photo of 2008 on Friday. 

Jury members said the strength of the photo by American Anthony Suau for Time magazine was in its opposites -- it looks like a classic war photograph, but is simply the eviction of people from a house. 

"Now war in its classic sense is coming into people's houses because they can't pay their mortgages," jury chair MaryAnne Golon said. 

Fellow juror Akinbode Akinbiyi said: "All over the world people will be thinking: 'This is what is happening to all of us'." 

The news agency Agence France-Presse won the Best Spot News Photo category with an image of post-election violence in Kenya and also the People In The News Singles category with an image of tribal conflict in western Kenya.  

(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

RI to raise Palestinian issue at Human Rights Council meeting

A Palestinian woman from the El Deeb family, who had ten relatives killed near a United Nations school Tuesday, weeps during their funeral in the Jebaliya refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday. 

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will again state its position on the human rights situation in Israeli-occupied areas in Palestine at the 10th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva from March 2 to 27, 2009. 

"We have prioritized issues (that will be raised at the Human Rights Council meeting. Our position on Palestine will certainly be a priority," the director of law and human rights of the ministry of foreign affairs, Wiwiek Setyawati, in Bogor, Monday. 

The country`s stance on Palestine will be delivered at Session 7 of the meeting that would specially discuss the human rights situation in Palestine and other Israeli occupied territories in the Middle East. 

Wiwiek said Indonesia had a firm policy on the Palestinian issue and since the establishment of the Human Rights Council four special meetings had been held on Palestine. 

She said the first Council`s meeting was held in Juli 2006 discussing human rights situation in the Palestinian occupied territories initiated by the Arab Group. The second one on November 10, 2006 on human rights situation in the occupied territories in Palestine including North Gaza and Beit Hanoun resulting from an Israeli attack was initiated by the Arab Group and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). 

The third meeting meanwhile was held on Januari 22, 2008 discussing human rights situation in the Palestinian occupied territories including Gaza and Nablus initiated by Cuba representing the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). 

The last on January 9, 2009 initiated by Egypt on behalf of the African Group, Pakistan on behalf of the OIC and Cuba on behalf of the NAM, discussed gross violations of human rights in Palestine occupied areas including Gaza Strip. 

"Every resolution produced by the meeting is morally binding," she said. 

Besides the country`s stance on Palestine Indonesia will also explain about the development of implementation of human rights in the country, the discussion of the study of Durban Declaration and fulfilment of civil rights. 

"Human rights enforcement will be discussed at Session Five that will specially discuss human rights agencies and mechanisms," the head of the ministry`s section of civil rights and political mechanism, Diana Emilla Sutikno. 

Discussion on the study of Durban Declaration, she said, would be done at Session 9 which would focus on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other kinds of intolerances as well as the follow up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Action Program. 

The Human Rights Council meeting would be divided into 10 sessions on organizational and procedural issues, annual report of the UN Human Rights High Commission, advancement and protection of human rights, human rights situation needing Council`s attention, human rights bodies and mechanisms, periodical general assessment, human rights situation in Palestine, follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Action Program, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Action Program and technical assistance and capacity building. 

The Indonesian delegation to the 10th regulat meeting of the Human Right Council on March 2-27 will consist of officials from the foreign ministry, the ministry of justice and human rights, the office of the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, the office of the coordinating minister for people`s welfare, the attorney general office, the ministry of home affairs, the national police, the national police`s crime intelligence, the defense forces headquarters, the ministry of social affairs, the office of the state minister for women`s empowerment, the ministry of religious affairs, the judicial commission, the Papua provincial administration, the provincial administration of West Kalimantan and the provincial administration of Aceh. 

Wiwiek said the participation of a variety of government elements in the meeting was in line with the issues to be discussed at the meeting while implementation and protection of human rights was the national agenda under the responsibility of all elements involved in the national development on human rights. 

"So the presence of the officials are expected to speed up adjusment of laws, policies, practices to the existing universal human rights values," she said. 

The Human Rights Council established on March 15, 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights is a subsidiary of the UN General Assembly that meets three times a year in March, June and September and could hold a special meeting at any time necessary. 

Every meeting is attended by representatives from 47 member countries and observers from 146 countries. Indonesia`s membership in the Council will expire in 2010.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Clinton Will Pull Rubin Stunt on Visit to China: William Pesek

Commentary by William Pesek,  

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese officials are bracing for Hillary Clinton’s visit.

Clinton made a good call in making Asia her first trip abroad as U.S. secretary of state. Officials in Tokyo, Jakarta and Seoul will be delighted that Clinton, in the words of State Department spokesmanRobert Wood, is visiting to “send a tremendous signal” of the region’s importance to American policy. 

Folks in Beijing have reason to be less enthusiastic: They will be on the hot seat. 

It’s telling that Clinton chose these four nations on a visit that begins Feb. 15. Three rank among the top 10 national holders of U.S. dollar assets. Add in Indonesia and the four have more than $3 trillion of international currency reserves. It’s a reminder of who holds the power these days. 

China, the U.S.’s biggest debt customer, can’t be happy that Clinton will visit Tokyo first. She will be in China almost a month after the White House labeled it a currency manipulator. That charge was made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in his confirmation hearing, and China is livid. 

Officially, Clinton will focus on North Korea’s nuclear- arms program, the financial crisis, security and climate change. Yet Chinese leaders would be right to figure their currency and role in global imbalances will dominate her list of discussion points. 

Pulling a Rubin 

That can be seen in what Clinton wants to do with the State Department. Both Clinton and Geithner have stressed that China, the fastest-growing major economy, is crucial in fixing the world financial crisis. Clinton says she wants her team to take a stronger role on international economic issues. 

As Barack Obama has said, history will judge his presidency by whether he avoided a U.S. depression. Whereas the White House’s mantra during the 1990s was “It’s the economy, stupid,” Obama’s is becoming “It’s the economy or we’re all homeless.” 

Clinton wants to pull a “Robert Rubin” on his old department. When Rubin was Bill Clinton’sTreasury secretary, he co-opted many of the State Department’s traditional functions. With Asia, Mexico and Russia in crisis during his tenure, Rubin fused economic policy with diplomacy in unprecedented ways. 

In late 1997, Rubin and Geithner, then a top Treasury official, explained the shift to me and a small group of journalists accompanying them on a whistle-stop tour of Asia. In Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, they laid out their view that economics had become the soul of U.S. foreign policy. 

State’s Brief 

Neutered even further during the 2000s, the State Department seems ready not only to reassert itself under Clinton, but to broaden its brief. China can expect a multipronged approach to economic issues it would just as soon keep swept under the carpet. 

Thorny topics likely to get more attention include China’s currency, labor standards and intellectual-property rights. One reason Chinese leaders often prefer Republicans in the White House is they tread carefully on human rights. And after the last eight years -- invading Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay -- the U.S. has little moral high ground. So, Obama’s team will probably focus on labor standards. 

China is clearly unnerved by the tone coming from Washington. One worry is how many lawmakers think China bears responsibility for U.S. job losses. Another reflects concerns about U.S. protectionism, something fanned by the “Buy American” provisions in stimulus efforts. Geithner’s yuan- manipulation comments haven’t helped. 

Wen’s Criticism 

Officials in Beijing also may sense a lack of contrition for the state of the global economy. In London earlier this month, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao criticized American- style capitalism and stressed “how dangerous a totally unregulated market can be.” 

China is very regulated, a quality that is an asset as growth swoons. It has no need to get stimulus efforts through skeptical lawmakers and boasts $1.9 trillion of currency reserves. 

China is in for a rough year. Is it a coincidence that the most open economies in Asia -- Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and, arguably, South Korea -- were the quickest to wilt? Asia’s export-led business model is rapidly unraveling. Governments are struggling to stabilize growth. 

Clinton and Geithner need to offer Asia something else. The gospel of free-market capitalism no longer passes muster. Nor does talk of deregulation and the magic of democracy. They need to articulate a new economic and foreign-policy doctrine that recognizes its limits. 

Easier Stops 

Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo will be easier visits for Clinton. The Japan stop is about maintaining a vital geopolitical relationship. Korea is about that and also tackling the North Korea issue. Indonesia marks the U.S.’s re-engagement with Southeast Asia via a nation with the largest Muslim population. 

Lecturing China is no longer an option. Clinton shouldn’t pull punches, yet it would be more constructive to work with China. The U.S. needs China’s money, and China needs U.S. demand for its exports. The last thing the U.S. needs is a trade war with its main creditor. 

That doesn’t mean Clinton’s visit to China will avoid hard feelings. Not with U.S. diplomacy and economics becoming one. 

(William Pesek is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.) 

To contact the writer of this column: William Pesek in Kuala Lumpur at wpesek@bloomberg.net

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Scores die in Australia's worst fires

BBC World, Sunday, 8 February 2009,12:00 GMT

Bush fires in southern Australia wipe out whole towns and kill at least 84 people, the worst death toll in the country's history. (BBC)

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Netherlands requests RI`s help to bridge Western-Islamic nations gap

The Hague, the Netherlands,  (ANTARA News) - Visiting Vice President Yusuf Kalla said the Dutch government has asked Indonesia to play a more active role in bridging the differences between Islamic and Western countries.


Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenender urged Indonesia to be more active in safeguarding the relations between Islamic and Western countries, Kalla said after a meeting with the Dutch head of government in The Hague on Saturday. 

Kalla was received by Balkenende at the Cats Huis residence. 

The Dutch government leader was in London to attend a European Union meeting but he flew back to the Netherlands to receive Vice President Yusuf Kalla on Saturday. 

"The Netherlands asked Indonesia to help improve the relations between Islamic and Western countries. But I asked the west to be fair and just," Kalla said. 

Earlier, US Vice President Joe Biden also asked Indonesia to help settle the Palestinian conflict. Kalla also called on the US to be unbiased and just. 

"Almost all of them called on Indonesia to play a crucial role in creating peace in the Middle East and enhancing relations between the Islamic and Western countries," Kalla said. 

According to him, the intention of western countries was greatly welcomed but the vice president often reminded western countries of the importance to be fair in their attitude.

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A Madoff lesson for young investors

McClatchy Newspapers, Sunday, Feb. 08, 2009

Don’t trust someone with your money just because they happen to wear a nice suit.

In light of the stunning collapse of Bernard Madoff’s financial empire, which authorities believe was nothing more than a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, this seems like an excellent time to share this and other investment words of wisdom with young investors who are just beginning to dip their toes in the stock market’s treacherous waters.

And this has hit home: At least seven people or firms with S.C. addresses appeared on a list of several thousand Madoff clients made public last week in a court filing.

Better to learn at an early age that there are a lot of sharks and charlatans masquerading as “advisers” rather than lose a fortune later in life to some phony daddy whiz bang.

Everything and everyone must be challenged — even friends — when it comes to choosing someone who’ll put your money to work.

“Retirement is the furthest thing from most young people’s minds,” said Don Blandin, president and CEO of the nonprofit Investor Protection Trust. “But if they don’t learn about scams and how to avoid unscrupulous con artists, it may remain the furthest thing later in life.”

Here are a few other lessons from the Madoff mess that would benefit any young investor:

  • Don’t count on quick gains. I’m a fan of patient, long-term investing.
  • Don’t put your eggs in one basket. Resist the urge to put too much money into one investment. Spread it around.
  • Don’t invest if you don’t have the stomach for risk. If an investment causes you to lose sleep, it’s not for you. There are plenty of other choices that can help you make money and weather the storm of financial risk.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t understand. Know how the investments work.
  • Don’t wear blinders over your eyes. As bad as the Madoff scam seems, it’s going to get even messier. The lawsuits are starting to roll in, and many interested parties are now playing the blame game. It’s the American way.

The lesson here is that investors with skin in the game must take some personal responsibility for their actions. Do some homework. Read the fine print in the investment disclosure statements, use common sense and trust your instincts.

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