Human Rights Violations inside EU

By Walter Schwimmer, Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Co-Chairman of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” and Chairman of the WPF International Coordinating Committee

What is the Ostrich Protocol? How the EU member states play ostrich when it comes to human rights violations inside EU?

The Treaty on the European Union, in its current format also known as the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights claim to establish an area of freedom, security and justice, founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights [1]. That sounds perfect. After centuries of inhuman treatment of people very often by their own governments, culminating in the tyrannies of communism and Nazism in the 20th century, EU citizens should be able to feel safe from brutal attacks and illegal operations of a violent state, if not ....If they are not refugees from another EU member state and they do not try to look for protection because they were subject in their own state to political persecution, inhuman treatment or even torture.

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Why the Modern World is Bad for your Brain

By Daniel J Levitin, The Guardian, January 18, 2015

Our brains are busier than ever before. We’re assaulted with facts, pseudo facts, jibber-jabber, and rumour, all posing as information. Trying to figure out what you need to know and what you can ignore is exhausting. At the same time, we are all doing more. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salespeople helped us find what we were looking for in shops, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favourite TV shows.
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Growing Inequality as a Threat to Social and Economic Progress

Oxfam international organization recently published a report according to which “the combined wealth of the richest 1 per cent will overtake that of the other 99 per cent of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked.”

The same issue has been raised by Thomas Piketty in his “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” – a research nowadays widely discussed worldwide.

The problem of an increasingly unequal distribution of social wealth becomes a matter of concern and analysis of a growing number of economists, political scientists, sociologists and experts on governance. The growing wealth inequality aggravates financial plight of millions, leads to degradation of the social fabric and poses a real risk of social upheavals.
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It is Painful to Live Amidst Chaos

Immanuel Wallerstein, January 15, 2015

The world-system is in serious trouble and it is causing pain to the vast majority of the world’s population. Pundits and politicians grasp at straws. They magnify every momentary, and usually transitory, occurrence of slight improvements in the various measures we are accustomed to using.
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Humanitarian Intervention in Law and History: Use or Abuse?

A Transcript of the Paper by Lyal S. Sunga, Visiting Professor, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, delivered at the 12th Rhodes Forum in September 2014

I want to say that I’ve long praised professor Koechler’s inciting conviction that genuine intercultural dialogue is essential for each culture to define better its own identity, understand and respect other cultures and promote international cooperation and world peace. I salute the Forum’s far-sighted diplomatic leadership for promoting dialogue among civilizations, an ever urgent goal in ever more turbulent world.

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An Open Letter to Prof. Klaus Schwab, WEF, Davos

By Kamran Mofid, January 18, 2015

Prof. Klaus Schwab,
Founder and Executive Chairman,
World Economic Forum,
Geneva, Switzerland

Dear Prof. Schwab,

I notice that you hope the 2015 WEF meeting will be a “starting point for a renaissance of global trust”.  This is a noble aim, very important and timely.  Thus, as the Founder of Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) I wish to endorse and support you in this aim.

Today in many parts of the world, the so-called market, and the values of consumerism, underpinned by the “Black Friday” values, have become increasingly dominant and are now seriously threatening our global future, both in terms of our care of the planet and in increasing societal rivalry and conflict.

In the process we have lost trust in everything. This is why I believe your aim is so important.
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From International Relations to Global Politics

Online open course on International Relations at LUISS-Rai-Iversity starts on February 16, 2015

The course examines the major theories of International Relations, the key sub-fields of international politics, and the current practices of global politics.

In the first part, the theories of realism, liberalism, marxism, and constructivism are studied. In the second part, the key concepts in foreign policy analysis, international political economy, and security studies are presented.

In the final part, the course disentagles the context of globalization, the institutional framework of global governance, and the current reality of global politics with its risks and opportunities.

The classes will be integrated with internet hang-outs centered on current events, as well as different kinds of exercises and tests.

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Letter of Seyyed Mohammad Khatami to the Secretary General of the United Nations

January 14, 2015

Mr. Khatami in his letter strongly condemns “the deplorable terrorist attacks in Paris and similar worrying incidents that have occurred prior to and since then, which are all examples of the unfortunate and inhumane consequences of terrorism and extremism in the East and the West.” He calls on United Nations, international organizations, governments, civil societies, and the world’s leaders and elite communities to condemn these events not only by words but also by deeds via taking practical steps at all levels.”

Click here to read the letter

Pope Francis: There are Limits to Freedom of Expression

The Guardian, January 15, 2015

Pontiff defends freedom of speech en route to the Philippines but says ‘you cannot insult the faith of others’

Pope Francis has said there are limits to freedom of expression and that following the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris “one cannot make fun of faith”.

On a plane from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, the largest Catholic majority country in Asia, the pope said freedom of speech was a fundamental human right but “every religion has its dignity”.
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