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Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

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The Guardian: When Jewish Americans uphold occupation, it corrodes our souls by Mariyama Scott*

On Monday, I joined over a hundred other young American Jews in Washington DC to protest Trump moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As we marched, news rolled in of Palestinians killed by Israeli snipers at the Gaza separation fence. A staggering 37 people had been killed as we blocked Pennsylvania Avenue near the Capitol. By the time the protest ended, the death toll had passed 40. And at the end of the day, at least 58 people had been killed. It was the deadliest day in Gaza since the 2014 war on Gaza. Continue reading

Chibok Schoolgirls

Months ago, several girls out of 82 boarded a helicopter at the outskirts of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. They were on the way to be reunited with their parents and classmates. After a re-integration programme, their education was resumed last September for those who wanted.

The group of 82 Chibok schoolgirls was released by Boko Haram after lengthy talks brokered by the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross and mediated by local lawyers.

Days ago, the first conviction of a man involved in the 2014 kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, Borno state, northeast Nigeria, became a fact. A spokesman of the Justice ministry advised that the 35-year-old member of Boko Haram was given 15 years in jail after admitting to taking part in the abduction.

Hundreds of Boko Haram suspects have been tried by a special court. More than 1000 suspects are still held at the Kainji military detention facility. Continue reading

Tunisia: Austerity bites by The Economist

 

Seven years after sparking the Arab spring, Tunisians are back on the streets to protest against a new finance law. The law took effect on January 1st and has caused widespread price hikes. The government claims that it had no choice: it must bring the deficit down to honour a deal with the International Monetary Fund. This has not assuaged Tunisians, who are frustrated by a stagnant economy. Worse, they are in for more austerity

In numbers: Behind France’s two-year state of emergency – France 24

First report for the Lancet Commission on Syria*

A report comes on the sixth year of the Syrian conflict, which grew out of the 2011 Arab Spring protests. There were nearly 200 attacks on healthcare facilities in 2016 alone, say the researchers.

*credit: The Guardian

Update of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The human rights instrument of international dimension is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Human dignity lies in the fundament. The massive abuses of human rights during World War II provoked the drafting of the Declaration in 1948.

Several decades after, in October 2013, a Global Citizenship Commission (GCC) was convened to assess the document and provide revisions and recommendations to governments and the international community.

As a former member of the European Parliament, I could take part in an event shedding light on the general idea of the Commission at Bonn University in May 2014. After the meeting, I submitted proposals related to different aspects of the Declaration, among others: the right against poverty, and the grave violations of children’s rights affected by armed conflict; children facing disability in that respect; schools at risk of armed conflict when used as military facilities, or when being attacked. All those issues are not explicitly stipulated in the document. Remark: within some days, it will be a second year of the mass abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and – yet – a replacement school has not been built. Education in emergencies is demanding of embracing around 80 million affected children. The big news is that the EU will provide aid to help educate more than 2.3 million children in 42 countries living in emergencies.

On April 18, 2016, the GCC report will be presented in New York, focusing on the update of the Declaration as a living document in a changing world. Continue reading

The fourth tragic anniversary of the Syria crisis

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides expressed his great sadness for the fourth tragic anniversary of the Syria crisis.  He noted that Europe cares and stands in solidarity with the people of Syria. Rbb journalist Jörg Armbruster says “Syria can be described in one word: catastrophe.” The utmost responsibility falls upon the UN Security Council, Benjamin Barthes concludes, since its divisions on the political aspects of the conflict have allowed Damas to manipulate the humanitarian aspects. UNHCR has written a letter to the European Commission in which it proposes a number of changes in the way Europe handles Syrian refugees, according to Jyllands-Posten. And Robert Ottenhoff, head of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy in the US, explains that war in Syria is too hopeless for donors. In an op-ed piece in Le Monde, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides writes that the EU, which is one of the main donors to humanitarian aid in the Syrian crisis with €3.35 billion, continues to support both the refugees and Syria’s neighbouring countries which welcome them. Yet, Mr Stylianides adds, it is not sufficient to meet the increasing humanitarian needs of the populations, and the international community must reinforce its support so as to manage the crisis in the long term.

 

Wrecked Syrian school where 10 children died in airstrike

http://www.aworldatschool.org/news/entry/Wrecked-Syrian-school-where-10-children-died-in-airstrike

 

The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism – Marwan Muasher

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf2NnGcPODI&feature=player_embedded

Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan, asserts that all sides—the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike—were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society when the turmoil of the Arab Spring erupted. He explains the causes of the unrest, tracing them back to the first Arab Awakening, and warns of the forces today that threaten the success of the Second Arab Awakening. Hope rests with the new generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains. He calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab Israeli conflict, and he underscores the importance of efforts to strengthen education and expand traditional definitions of Arab citizenship for the long-term process of democratic transition.

Children in Central African Republic are targets of new wave of violence*

Thousands of children are at risk of being killed or maimed because of a new wave of violence in the Central African Republic.

More than 130 children have been murdered or seriously injured in the past few weeks, according to UNICEF.

Manuel Fontaine of UNICEF West and Central Africa said: “Civilians are under siege and at the mercy of daily attacks.

“The ongoing hostilities represent appalling acts of violence against children, women and men.”

The UN agency and its partners have stopped supplying safe drinking water to displaced families in the capital Bangul because of the security threats.

More than two million children have been affected by the fighting in CAR, which has been going on for more than a year.

A UNICEF spokesman said: “Our teams are also working hard to set up safe spaces for children and to reunite unaccompanied children with their families.

“However, more than a million children are in urgent need of health supplies, clean water and protection.

“The rainy season, beginning in March, will only worsen the situation for hundreds of thousands of children living in temporary sites across the country.

“We cannot let the Central African Republic become a forgotten crisis.”

*A World at School

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