Sunday, December 31, 2017

NGO Action News - 29 December 2017



Dear friends, 
This week's NGO Action News has just been published. The newsletter summarizes activities undertaken or planned by civil society organisations across the globe as well as UN action on the question of Palestine over the week. Please feel free to inform us about your activities and publications by emailing us at palestinianrights@un.org and to forward this newsletter to your supporters. We welcome your organization's contributions, questions or comments. 
With best wishes for a peaceful, joyful and successful New Year,

Division for Palestinian Rights
Department of Political Affairs
United Nations

Like us on Facebook: @UN.palestinianrights
Follow us on Twitter: @UNISPAL
UNISPAL website: unispal.un.org


Middle East
·        On 26 December, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized in Gaza the conference “Promotion of the Right toHealth and Access to Healthcare”. The event highlighted the challengesfaced by Gazans in need of medical treatment outside the Strip, includingattempts to recruit as informants patients who depend on Israeli permits toaccess medical services.

·        On 24 December, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published an overview, providing updatedinformation and analysis of legislative initiatives introduced in the IsraeliKnesset.

North America
·        On 24 December, PalestineLegal director Dima Khalidi and Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalididiscussed with Estee Chandler, host of the KPFK radio programme “Middle East inFocus”, the implications of the recent U.S. decision on Jerusalem.

LatinAmerica
·        Regarding the position ofGuatemala and Honduras on the status of Jerusalem, Chile’s D√≠arioUChilepublished on 29 December an interview with Rafael Araya Masry, President of theConfederaci√≥nPalestina de Am√©rica Latina y del Caribe (COPLAC). In a letter dated 26 December, COPLAC called onGuatemala’s President Jimmy Morales to rescind the decision to move toJerusalem its embassy to Israel. 

Asia
·       From20 to 22 December, the Chinese government hosted in Beijing a high-levelmeeting between Israeli and Palestinian delegations, organized in partnershipwith the track two diplomacy Geneva Initiative. Asreported in the Jerusalem Post on 27 December, discussionsresulted in a policy paper outlining steps to reignite the peace process andachieve a two-State solution.

UnitedNations
·        On 28 December, OCHA released itsoverview of trends affecting humanitarian needs in the OPT over the last yearand published early warning indicators to monitor the evolution of the crisis inGaza, triggerhumanitarian action and prevent further deterioration.

·        At an event to close the 16Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign on 10 December, UN Women launched audio-visualmaterials highlighting the specific impact of the blockade on women in Gaza. Featuringthe personal stories of seven women, the materials show the importance of ensuring that the needs, contributions and capacities of womenand girls are taken into consideration in all aspects of the humanitarian response.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

AKEL Message on the 59th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution

The General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL Andros Kyprianou has sent yesterday a message to the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro with the occasion of the 59th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The main part of the letter follows below:

“On behalf of the Central Committee of AKEL, its members and supporters, and personally myself, I convey warmest militant greetings to you and through you to the Communist Party, the Cuban government and the heroic people of Cuba on the 59th anniversary of the Victory of the Revolution.  As of January 1st 2018 the Cuban people will usher in the 60th year of their Revolution, the Revolution that overthrew the Batista dictatorship and asserted the independence, sovereignty and dignity of Cuba and its people.
Fifty-nine years on the Cuban Revolution remains as lively and inspiring, standing firmly on the ideals of socialism, patriotic dignity and internationalism that were developed by Fidel and the generation that fought and consolidated the Revolution.  A solid proof of that is found in the processes that led to and the decisions of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba along with their further elaboration and implementation with a broad participation of the people.  The frank presentation and discussion of the problems faced by the Cuban economy, to a great extent caused by the illegal US blockade, is bringing about the results that the Communist Party, Government and people of Cuba envisage. And most importantly this is done within the framework of Socialism.
In an increasingly complex global scenario of escalating US and Imperialist aggressiveness, we highly value the policies of Cuba standing against these attacks and defending the legitimate rights of peoples.  At the same time Cuba’s policies aim at building understanding and unity on the basis of principles and respect of International Law. The internationalist solidarity extended by the Cuban people to peoples in struggle or suffering due to neocolonialism and all its consequences, shows the humanism and selflessness of the socialist ideals.
The people of Cyprus has always had the unreserved political, diplomatic and moral support of Cuba in the struggle for the defense of the sovereignty, independence and unity of our country.  We are confident that this consistent solidarity based on principles towards Cyprus will continue in the current difficult phase Cyprus is passing through.
Dear Comrade Raul, 
I take this opportunity to reiterate the support of the militants and members of AKEL towards the enormous efforts exerted by all institutions in Cuba leading the work of restoring the disastrous consequences of hurricane Irma.  The fact that the human being is at the centre of your attention serves as a shining example.  I reiterate also our determination to continue rallying forces with the international solidarity movement with Cuba, demanding the end of the illegal US blockade against your county and the closing down of the US base in Guantanamo and the return of the territory to Cuba.  At a time when the current US Administration is rolling back any previously achieved improvement in bilateral relations with Cuba, we will stand by Cuba and its people.  Because your Revolution is a genuine revolution of the people, for the people and as such it has the power to withstand and move forward.”

Sunday, December 24, 2017

WISHING ALL OUR COMRADES AND FRIENDS A WORLD OF PEACE, SOCIALISM, AND PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM!



HOLIDAY GREETINGS TO ALL OF OUR COMRADES & FRIENDS



Greetings from the Party of Communists USA to ALL, wishing you a year of class struggle against capitalist exploitation, racism, war ,imperialism and fascism.
In Unity, Solidarity, and Comradeship,
CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Party of Communists USA

The EU upgrades its relations with Israel and characterizes the struggle of the Palestinian people terrorism

Intervention of the KKE in the European parliament:
The decision of the USA to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has set off another fire in the already flammable Middle East, noted on December 12, 2017 Kostas Papadakis, MEP of the KKE, in the Europarliament session.
He also noted that the US is trying to legitimise the Israeli occupation, the continuous crime at the expense of the Palestinian people with murders, imprisonment, walls and settlements, and added that this development is connected with the US plan for border change in the region aiming at the control of the energy resources and of their transport routes. These are the antagonisms that dictate the different stance of Germany, UK, France. Nevertheless, the EU has grave responsibilities because it is upgrading the relations with Israel, equating the perpetrator with the victim and characterizing the just struggle of the Palestinian people as terrorism.
He also mentioned that the Greek government, that continuously embellishes the aggressive politics of the USA as being "devilishly good", is upgrading its relations with Israel and at the same time does not proceed to recognize the state of Palestine.
K.Papadakis expressed the KKE's solidarity with the Palestinian people, with its struggle for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the 1967 borders.

13.12.2017

Democratic Party witch-hunters target Green Party candidate Jill Stein

23 December 2017
The Socialist Equality Party condemns the targeting of Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate in the 2016 election, by the neo-McCarthyite witch-hunters on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The SEP has fundamental political differences with the Green Party. However, we unequivocally defend the constitutional right of the Green Party to conduct its work and campaign for office unmolested by the government and its police and intelligence agencies. The attack on Stein, spearheaded by the Democratic Party, is an unconstitutional attempt to delegitimize and suppress political opposition to the monopoly of the capitalist two-party system.
Stein warned in a statement that investigations are being “used to intimidate and silence principled opposition to the political establishment” in a climate of “attacks on our civil liberties, with the emergence of censorship in social media and the press, criminalization of protest, militarization of police and massive expansion of the surveillance state.”
On Monday, Stein confirmed that Senate investigators had demanded that she produce documents related to her alleged interactions with Russia. Her suspicious activity, according to the congressional investigators, consisted of attending a dinner celebrating the tenth anniversary of RT, the only TV network that gave her campaign any significant coverage, at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was also present.
Stein has absolutely nothing to answer for to the US Congress. As a presidential candidate, she was fully within her rights not only to attend a media event, but to meet and have discussions with any other public figure, foreign or domestic.
Is anyone expected to believe that neither Hillary Clinton nor her campaign had contact with any political leaders of other countries? On September 19, 2016, for example, Clinton met publicly with three foreign heads of state, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, installed in a fascist-led putsch, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the butcher of Cairo who drowned the Egyptian revolution in blood.
The investigations into allegations of Russian “meddling” are based on unfounded claims that Russia manipulated the US elections. However, the fact that Sisi and Poroshenko are in power exposes the extent to which the United States meddles in the political affairs of every country all over the world, staging coups, propping up dictatorships and bombing and invading countries at will.
In addition to the dinner hosted by RT, Stein, according to ranking committee Democrat Mark Warner, had “very complimentary things to say about Julian Assange.” And this is now evidence of potentially criminal activity? Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is a journalist who has helped expose the crimes of the US political establishment.
For having spoken out publicly in support of a political prisoner and dissident, Stein is threatened with being hauled before a congressional committee as if she were involved in treasonous activity.
This is the Orwellian reality of America in 2017, ruled by two right-wing, oligarchic parties that can and will tolerate no political opposition.
The entire premise of “Russian collusion” is made up out of whole cloth, aimed at explaining away the Democrats’ own hemorrhaging support among broad sections of the population and pinning their electoral defeat on the very existence of an alternative to the two-party system.
In her book, What Happened, Clinton fumed that “the Russians targeted propaganda to undecided voters and to ‘soft’ Clinton supporters who might be persuaded to stay home or support a third-party candidate.”
She continued, “Perhaps this is one reason why third-party candidates received more than five million more votes in 2016 than they had in 2012. That was an aim of both the Russians and the Republicans, and it worked,” resulting in Clinton’s loss.
Now, the Democrats are using their institutional power to pursue a vendetta against a party they blame for having contributed to their electoral defeat.
The reason the third party vote grew in 2016 was not Russian “meddling,” but because millions of people hated the candidates of the two big business parties. The Democratic Party is leading the attack on political opposition within the United States because it feels itself under siege from popular sentiment, which is on the whole moving to the left.
For this reason, the Democratic Party has lashed out with a series of provocations, from allegations of Russian “meddling” to the hysteria surrounding sexual misconduct. All the while, it has created the most favorable possible conditions for the Republicans to pass a massive reduction in corporate taxes, a policy that enjoys bipartisan support.
The old tropes of the most right-wing sections of the Republican Party at the height of Cold War McCarthyism—in which the foreign policy setbacks of US imperialism and all political dissent were presented as the result of a conspiracy of foreign infiltrators and left-wing agitators—have been adopted by the Democratic Party.
The Senate’s investigation of the Green Party comes as figures like Warner and House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff are pressing for mass political censorship by technology companies, and as the FCC has ruled to revoke net neutrality, giving internet service providers free reign to block access to opposition web sites.
The targeting of the Green Party marks a new stage in the drive to criminalize dissent and political opposition within the United States as the ruling elite prepares yet another onslaught on the social rights of the working class and draws up plans for “great power” conflicts that threaten a new world war.

Friday, December 22, 2017

UN Jerusalem resolution: How each country voted

The United Nations has voted by a huge majority to declare a unilateral US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void".
At an emergency session of the body's General Assembly on Thursday, 128 countries voted in favour of a resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump's controversial decision on December 6.
Nine countries voted against, while 35 abstained.
Trump had earlier threatened to cut aid to UN members who would vote against his decision.
Here is a country breakdown of the General Assembly vote:

Member states that voted in favour of the resolution

A: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan
B: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi
C: Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica
E: Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia
F: Finland, France
G: Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana
I: Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy
J: Japan, Jordan
K: Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
L: Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
M:Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique
N: Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway
O: Oman
P: Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal
Q: Qatar
R: Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russia
S: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria
T: Tajikistan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey
U: United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan
V: Venezuela, Vietnam
Y: Yemen
Z: Zimbabwe

Member states that voted against the resolution

G: Guatemala
H: Honduras
I: Israel
M: Marshall Islands, Micronesia
N: Nauru
P: Palau
T: Togo
U: United States

Member states that abstained

A: Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia
B: Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina
C: Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic
D: Dominican Republic
E: Equatorial Guinea
F: Fiji
H: Haiti, Hungary
J: Jamaica
K: Kiribati
L: Latvia, Lesotho
M:  Malawi, Mexico
P: Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland
R: Romania, Rwanda
S: Solomon Islands, South Sudan
T: Trinidad-Tobago, Tuvalu
U: Uganda
V: Vanuatu
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Saturday, December 16, 2017

On the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

RELEASE FROM THE PCP PRESS OFFICE
The PCP strongly condemns the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel today announced by the US President, a decision that represents explicit US support for Israel's Zionist policy and a frontal aggression on the martyred Palestinian people and provocation of the Arab peoples, with dangerous and unpredictable consequences.
The PCP considers this decision – which is associated with the announced transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem – which is all the more serious when it is taken at a time when plans for a new military escalation in the region are becoming increasingly clear with the danger of an enormous confrontation, with consequences far beyond the Middle East.
The PCP considers that the Portuguese Government should- in respect to the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the decisions adopted by the Assembly of the Republic concerning the recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to the construction of the State of Palestine, on the pre-1967 borders and with capital in East Jerusalem – unequivocally condemn the decision now taken by the US administration.
The US Administration's decision – which openly violates International Law and numerous UN Security Council resolutions on the status of Jerusalem, starting with Resolution 478 that explicitly determines the withdrawal of the diplomatic missions from that city, as well as Resolution 2334 of December, 2016, which, condemning the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, reiterates that the status of Jerusalem can only be settled by way of negotiation – constitutes a new and serious obstacle to the necessary negotiated settlement of the Palestinian question and highlights the hypocritical role of the United States regarding the just resolution of the conflict.
The decision now taken cannot be separated from the US Administration's measures to sabotage the nuclear agreement with Iran; from Israeli military aggressions on Syrian territory; from the announcements of the constitution of a “NATO of the Middle East” aimed at Iran and involving dictatorships of the Gulf; from the conflicts instigated by Saudi Arabia, a historical ally of the USA, against Yemen and other countries of the region; the upsurge of terrorist attacks in countries like Egypt; from the persistent declarations by Israeli leaders threatening direct military conflicts with Iran and Lebanon - a framework of widespread degradation of the situation being fostered by the more adventurous and bellicose sectors of imperialism, faced with an increasingly clear defeat of their plans of destabilization and terrorist chaos in Syria, thanks to the resistance of the Syrian people and the help it has received from other countries and forces, now targeted by these same sectors.
The PCP considers that measures should be taken at UN level to condemn and deter the US administration from a decision that constitutes a provocation and a very serious step in the escalation of tension and conflict in the Middle East.
The PCP reaffirms its long-standing solidarity with the Palestinian people and its legitimate and heroic seven-decade struggle for the right to a sovereign and viable state on the pre-1967 borders and with its capital in East Jerusalem, and respect for the right of return of the Palestinian refugees that Israel's policy of expansion and occupation of Palestine generated.
Considering that solidarity with the Palestinian people is now more than ever necessary, the PCP calls on all peace-loving forces to express their firm opposition, not only against the measures now announced by the US administration, but also regarding the plans and threats of escalation of military aggressions, which have already destroyed several countries in the Middle East and represent a very real and serious threat to peace in the region and in the world.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's Geneva speech in full


DEC
2017
Friday 8TH  posted by Morning Star 





The Labour leader sets out a vision for a more just international order and a new and independent foreign policy for Britain when he becomes Prime Minister

Speaking at the United Nation’s Geneva headquarters today, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
 
Thank you Paul for that introduction.
 
And let me give a special thanks to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.
 
Your work gives an important platform to marginalised voices for social justice to challenge policy makers and campaign for change.
 
I welcome pressure both on my party the British Labour Party and on my leadership to put social justice front and centre stage in everything we do.
 
So thank you for inviting me to speak here in this historic setting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva a city that has been a place of refuge and philosophy since the time of Rousseau.
 
The headquarters before the Second World War of the ill-fated League of Nations, which now houses the United Nations.
 
It’s a particular privilege to be speaking here because the constitution of our party includes a commitment to support the United Nations. A promise “to secure peace, freedom, democracy, economic security and environmental protection for all”.
 
I’d also like to thank my fellow panellists, Arancha Gonzalez and Nikhil Seth, and Labour’s Shadow Attorney General, Shami Chakrabarti, who has accompanied me here.
 
She has been a remarkable campaigner and a great asset to the international movement for human rights.
 
And lastly let me thank you all for being here today.
 
I would like to use this opportunity in the run- up to International Human Rights Day to focus on the greatest threats to our common humanity.
 
And why states need to throw their weight behind genuine international co-operation and human rights both individual and collective, social and economic, as well as legal and constitutional at home and abroad if we are to meet and overcome those threats.
 
My own country is at a crossroads. The decision by the British people to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum means we have to rethink our role in the world.
 
Some want to use Brexit to turn Britain in on itself, rejecting the outside world, viewing everyone as a feared competitor.
 
Others want to use Brexit to put rocket boosters under our current economic system’s insecurities and inequalities, turning Britain into a deregulated corporate tax haven, with low wages, limited rights, and cut-price public services in a destructive race to the bottom.
 
My party stands for a completely different future when we leave the EU, drawing on the best internationalist traditions of the labour movement and our country.
 
We want to see close and cooperative relationships with our European neighbours, outside the EU, based on solidarity as well as mutual benefit and fair trade, along with a wider proactive internationalism across the globe.
 
We are proud that Britain was an original signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights and our 1998 Human Rights Act enshrined it in our law.
 
So Labour will continue to work with other European states and progressive parties and movements, through the Council of Europe to ensure our country and others uphold our international obligations.
 
Just as the work of the UN Human Rights Council helps to ensure countries like ours live up to our commitments, such as on disability rights, where this year’s report found us to be failing.
 
International co-operation, solidarity, collective action are the values we are determined to project in our foreign policy.
 
Those values will inform everything the next Labour government does on the world stage, using diplomacy to expand a progressive, rules-based international system, which provides justice and security for all.
 
They must be genuinely universal and apply to the strong as much as the weak if they are to command global support and confidence.
 
They cannot be used to discipline the weak, while the strong do as they please, or they will be discredited as a tool of power, not justice.
 
That’s why we must ensure that the powerful uphold and respect international rules and international law.
 
If we don’t, the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 will remain an aspiration, rather than a reality and international rules will be seen as a pick and mix menu for the global powers that call the international shots.
 
Most urgently we must work with other countries to advance the cause of human rights, to confront the four greatest and interconnected threats facing our common humanity.
 
First, the growing concentration of unaccountable wealth and power in the hands of a tiny corporate elite, a system many call neoliberalism, which has sharply increased inequality, marginalisation, insecurity and anger across the world.
 
Second, climate change, which is creating instability, fuelling conflict across the world and threatening all our futures.
 
Third, the unprecedented numbers of people fleeing conflict, persecution, human rights abuses, social breakdown and climate disasters.
 
And finally, the use of unilateral military action and intervention, rather than diplomacy and negotiation, to resolve disputes and change governments.
 
The dominant global economic system is broken.
 
It is producing a world where a wealthy few control 90 percent of global resources.
 
Of growing insecurity and grotesque levels of inequality within and between nations, where more than 100 billion dollars a year are estimated to be lost to developing countries from corporate tax avoidance.
 
Where $1 trillion dollars a year are sucked out of the Global South through illicit financial flows.
 
This is a global scandal.
 
The most powerful international corporations must not be allowed to continue to dictate how and for whom our world is run.

Thirty years after structural adjustment programmes first ravaged so much of the world, and a decade after the financial crash of 2008, the neoliberal orthodoxy that delivered them is breaking down.
 
This moment, a crisis of confidence in a bankrupt economic system and social order, presents us with a once in a generation opportunity to build a new economic and social consensus which puts the interests of the majority first.
 
But the crumbling of the global elite’s system and their prerogative to call the shots unchallenged has led some politicians to stoke fear and division. And deride international co-operation as national capitulation.
 
President Trump’s disgraceful Muslim ban and his anti-Mexican rhetoric have fuelled racist incitement and misogyny and shift the focus away from what his Wall Street-dominated administration is actually doing.
 
In Britain, where wages have actually fallen for most people over the last decade as the corporations and the richest have been handed billions in tax cuts, our Prime Minister has followed a less extreme approach but one that also aims to divert attention from her Government’s failures and real agenda.
 
She threatens to scrap the Human Rights Act, which guarantees all of our people’s civil and political rights and has actually benefited everyone in our country. And she has insisted “if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere”.
 
There is an alternative to this damaging and bankrupt order. The world’s largest corporations and banks cannot be left to write the rules and rig the system for themselves.
 
The world’s economy can and must deliver for the common good and the majority of its people. But that is going to demand real and fundamental structural change on an international level.
 
The UN has a pivotal role to play, in advancing a new consensus and common ground based on solidarity, respect for human rights and international regulation and co-operation.
 
That includes as a platform for democratic leaders to speak truth about unaccountable power.
 
One such moment took place on 4 December 1972, when President Salvador Allende of Chile, elected despite huge opposition and US interference, took the rostrum of the UN General Assembly in New York.
 
He called for global action against the threat from transnational corporations, that do not answer to any state, any parliament or any organisation representing the common interest.
 
Nine months later, Allende was killed in General Augusto Pinochet’s coup, which ushered in a brutal 17-year dictatorship and turned Chile into a laboratory of free market fundamentalism.
 
But 44 years on, all over the world people are standing up and saying enough to the unchained power of multinational companies to dodge taxes, grab land and resources on the cheap and rip the heart out of workforces and communities.
 
That’s why I make the commitment to you today that the next Labour government in Britain will actively support the efforts of the UN Human Rights Council to create a legally binding treaty to regulate transnational corporations under international human rights law.
 
Genuine corporate accountability must apply to all of the activities of their subsidiaries and suppliers.
 
Impunity for corporations that violate human rights or wreck our environment, as in the mineral-driven conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, must be brought to an end.
 
For too long, development has been driven by the unfounded dogma that unfettered markets and unaccountable multinational companies are the key to solving global problems.
 
So under the next Labour Government the Department for International Development will have the twin mission of not only eradicating poverty but also reducing inequality across the world.
 
To achieve this goal we must act against the global scandal of tax dodging and trade mis-invoicing - robbing developing countries and draining resources from our own public services.
 
In Africa alone an estimated 35 billion dollars is lost each year to tax dodging, and 50 billion to illicit financial flows, vastly exceeding the 30 billion dollars that enters the continent as aid.
 
As the Paradise and Panama Papers have shown the super-rich and the powerful can’t be trusted to regulate themselves.
 
Multinational companies must be required to undertake country-by-country reporting, while countries in the Global South need support now to keep hold of the billions being stolen from their people.
 
So the next Labour government will seek to work with tax authorities in developing countries, as Zambia has with NORAD - the Norwegian aid agency - to help them stop the looting.
 
Tomorrow is International Anti-Corruption Day. Corruption isn’t something that happens ‘over there’. Our government has played a central role in enabling the corruption that undermines democracy and violates human rights. It is a global issue that requires a global response.

When people are kept in poverty, while politicians funnel public funds into tax havens, that is corruption, and a Labour government will act decisively on tax havens: introducing strict standards of transparency for crown dependencies and overseas territories including a public register of owners, directors, major shareholders and beneficial owners … for all companies and trusts.
 
Climate change is the second great threat to our common humanity. Our planet is in jeopardy. Global warming is undeniable; the number of natural disasters has quadrupled since 1970.
 
Hurricanes like the ones that recently hit the Caribbean are bigger because they are absorbing moisture from warmer seas.
 
It is climate change that is warming the seas, mainly caused by emissions from the world’s richer countries.
 
And yet the least polluting countries, more often than not the developing nations, are at the sharp end of the havoc climate change unleashes - with environmental damage fuelling food insecurity and social dislocation.
 
We must stand with them in solidarity. Two months ago, I promised the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, that I would use this platform to make this message clear.
 
The international community must mobilise resources and the world’s biggest polluters shoulder the biggest burden.
 
So I ask governments in the most polluting countries, including in the UK:

First, to expand their capacity to respond to disasters around the world. Our armed forces, some of the best trained and most highly skilled in the world, should be allowed to use their experience to respond to humanitarian emergencies. Italy is among those leading the way with its navy becoming a more versatile and multi-role force.
 
Second, to factor the costs of environmental degradation into financial forecasting as Labour has pledged to do with Britain’s Office of Budget Responsibility.
Third, to stand very firmly behind the historic Paris Climate Accords.
 
And finally, take serious and urgent steps on debt relief and cancellation.

We need to act as an international community against the injustice of countries trying to recover from climate crises they did not create while struggling to repay international debts. 
 
It’s worth remembering the words of Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, delivered to the Organisation of African Unity in 1987 a few months before he too was assassinated in a coup.
 
“The debt cannot be repaid,” he said, “first because if we don’t repay lenders will not die. But if we repay... we are going to die.”
 
The growing climate crisis exacerbates the already unparalleled numbers of people escaping conflict and desperation.
 
There are now more refugees and displaced people around the world than at any time since the Second World War.
 
Refugees are people like us.
 
But unlike us they have been forced by violence, persecution and climate chaos to flee their homes.
 
One of the biggest moral tests of our time is how we live up to the spirit and letter of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
 
Its core principle was simple: to protect refugees.
 
Yet ten countries, which account for just 2.5 percent of the global economy, are hosting more than half the world's refugees.
 
It is time for the world’s richer countries to step up and show our common humanity.
 
Failure means millions of Syrians internally displaced within their destroyed homeland or refugees outside it. Rohingya refugees returned to Myanmar without guarantees of citizenship or protection from state violence and refugees held in indefinite detention in camps unfit for human habitation as in Papua New Guinea or Nauru. And African refugees sold into slavery in war-ravaged Libya.
 
This reality should offend our sense of humanity and human solidarity.
 
European countries can, and must, do more as the death rate of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean continues to rise.
 
And we need to take more effective action against human traffickers.
 
But let us be clear: the long-term answer is genuine international co-operation based on human rights, which confronts the root causes of conflict, persecution and inequality.
 
I’ve spent most of my life, with many others, making the case for diplomacy and dialogue… over war and conflict, often in the face of hostility.
 
But I remain convinced that is the only way to deliver genuine and lasting security for all.
 
And even after the disastrous invasions and occupations of recent years there is again renewed pressure to opt for military force, America First or Empire 2.0 as the path to global security.
 
I know the people of Britain are neither insensitive to the sufferings of others nor blind to the impact and blowback from our country’s reckless foreign wars.
 
Regime change wars, invasions, interventions and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and Somalia have failed on their own terms, devastated the countries and regions and made Britain and the world a more dangerous place.

And while the UK government champions some human rights issues on others it is silent, if not complicit, in their violation.
 
Too many have turned a wilfully blind eye to the flagrant and large-scale human rights abuses now taking place in Yemen, fuelled by arms sales to Saudi Arabia worth billions of pounds.
 
The see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil approach undermines our credibility and ability to act over other human rights abuses.
 
Total British government aid to Yemen last year was under £150 million - less than the profits made by British arms companies selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. What does that say about our country’s priorities, or our government’s role in the humanitarian disaster now gripping Yemen?
 
Our credibility to speak out against the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims is severely undermined when the British Government has been providing support to Myanmar’s military.
 
And our Governments pay lip service to a comprehensive settlement and two state solution to the Israel- Palestine conflict but do nothing to use the leverage they have to end the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.
 
70 years after the UN General Assembly voted to create a Palestinian state alongside what would become Israel, and half a century since Israel occupied the whole of historic Palestine, they should take a lead from Israeli peace campaigners such as Gush Shalom and Peace Now and demand an end to the multiple human rights abuses Palestinians face on a daily basis. The continued occupation and illegal settlements are violations of international law and are a barrier to peace.
 
The US president’s announcement that his administration will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, including occupied Palestinian territory, is a threat to peace that has rightly been met with overwhelming international condemnation. 
 
The decision is not only reckless and provocative - it risks setting back any prospect of a political settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
 
President Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly in September signalled a wider threat to peace. His attack on multilateralism, human rights and international law should deeply trouble us all.
 
And this is no time to reject the Iran Nuclear Deal, a significant achievement agreed between Iran and a group of world power to reduce tensions.
 
That threatens not just the Middle East but also the Korean Peninsula. What incentives are there for Pyongyang to believe disarmament will bring benefits when the US dumps its nuclear agreement with Tehran?
 
Trump and Kim Jong Un threaten a terrifying nuclear confrontation with their absurd and bellicose insults.
 
In common with almost the whole of humanity, I say to the two leaders: this is not a game, step back from the brink now.
 
It is a commonplace that war and violence do not solve the world’s problems. Violence breeds violence. In 2016 nearly three quarters of all deaths from terrorism were in five states; Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Somalia.
 
So let us stand up for the victims of war and terrorism and make international justice a reality.
 
And demand that the biggest arms exporters ensure all arms exports are consistent, not legally, but with their moral obligations too.
 
That means no more arms export licences when there is a clear risk that they will be used to commit human rights abuses or crimes against humanity.
 
The UK is one of the world’s largest arms exporters so we must live up to our international obligations while we explore ways to convert arms production into other socially useful, high-skill, high-tech industry.
 
Which is why I welcome the recent bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives resolution which does two unprecedented things.
 
First, it acknowledges the U.S. role in the destruction of Yemen, including the mid-air refuelling of the Saudi-led coalition planes essential to their bombing campaign and helping in selecting targets.
 
Second, it makes plain that Congress has not authorised this military involvement.
 
Yemen is a desperate humanitarian catastrophe with the worst cholera outbreak in history.
 
The weight of international community opinion needs to be brought to bear on those supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, including Theresa May’s Government, to meet our legal and moral obligations on arms sales and to negotiate an urgent ceasefire and settlement of this devastating conflict.
 
If we’re serious about supporting peace we must strengthen international co-operation and peacekeeping.  Britain has an important role to play after failing to contribute significant troop numbers in recent years.
 
We are determined to seize the opportunity to be a force for good in peacekeeping, diplomacy and support for human rights.
 
Labour is committed to invest in our diplomatic capabilities and consular services and we will reintroduce human rights advisers in our embassies around the world.
 
Human rights and justice will be at the heart of our foreign policy along with a commitment to support the United Nations.

The UN provides a unique platform for international co-operation and action. And to be effective, we need member states to get behind the reform agenda set out by Secretary General Guterres.

The world demands the UN Security Council responds, becomes more representative and plays the role it was set up to on peace and security.

We can live in a more peaceful world. The desire to help create a better life for all burns within us.

Governments, civil society, social movements and international organisations can all help realise that goal.

We need to redouble our efforts to create a global rules based system that applies to all and works for the many, not the few.

No more bomb first and think and talk later.

No more double standards in foreign policy.

No more scapegoating of global institutions for the sake of scoring political points at home.

Instead: solidarity, calm leadership and co-operation. Together we can:

Build a new social and economic system with human rights and justice at its core.

Deliver climate justice and a better way to live together on this planet.

Recognise the humanity of refugees and offer them a place of safety.

Work for peace, security and understanding.

The survival of our common humanity requires nothing less.

We need to recognise and pay tribute to human rights defenders the world over, putting their lives on the line for others - our voice must be their voice.
 
Thank you.