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Child protection in armed conflict: UN to hold high-level debate

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United Nations: The UN Security Council will hold a high-level open debate on children and armed conflict with the theme “Protecting Children Today Prevents Conflict Tomorrow” on Monday, aiming to bring world attention to the protection of children in armed conflict. Diplomatic sources said on Saturday that the meeting will be chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba will present the secretary-general’s annual report on children and armed conflict, Xinhua reported. Other speakers include the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Henrietta Fore, and Yenny Londono, a civil society representative from Colombia. The Council is expected to adopt a resolution during the meeting, informed sources said. There were at least 21,000 grave violations of children’s rights verified by the UN last year (6,000 by government forces and 15,000 by non-state armed groups), a 27 per cent increase over 2016, according to the Security Council Report, Inc. whose mission is to advance the transparency and effectiveness of the Security Council. Increasing violations are largely attributed to “the changing nature of conflict and the deterioration in a number of situations,” the SCR said in a report. Among the trends that Gamba may highlight are “the denial of humanitarian access as a weapon of war and increased attacks on schools and hospitals,” according to the SCR. Sweden, the chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, circulated a concept note on June 21, which highlights three key areas: protecting children and upholding their rights; successful reintegration of former child soldiers; and peace processes as an entry point for protecting children. Londono, who was forcibly recruited by the FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a guerrilla movement involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict from 1964 to 2017) when she was 13, is expected to speak about the special needs of children who have been forcibly recruited. She was involved in the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP and may provide insights on how to better integrate children’s needs in peace processes. Sweden had been keen to have a resolution which would build on the approach of last year’s presidential statement, which addressed the connection between conflict prevention and the protection of children. While a more focused resolution was originally considered, ultimately it was decided that a more comprehensive resolution would send a strong signal of the Council’s commitment to the children and armed conflict agenda, according to the SCR.


State

Govt approves APOs of Forest, Wildlife dept for 2019-20

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Jammu Jan 15:  Chief Secretary, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam Tuesday chaired the 16th meeting of the Steering Committee of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to consider the Annual Plan of Operations (APOs) of Forest and Wildlife Departments for the Year 2019-20.

After due deliberations, the Steering Committee approved the APOs for the year 2019-20 for Forest and allied Departments in terms of which afforestation will be undertaken in 6000 Hectare area and around 43 Lakh saplings will be planted in 2019-20. The Committee also approved the APOs of Wildlife Protection Department.

Earlier, the Committee was informed that against 13,000 hectares diverted under Jammu and Kashmir Forest Conservation Act for development works since inception, more than 41,000 hectares degraded forest area has been afforested.

 

Against each tree felled under the Act for development works, more than 20 new plants have been planted to compensate for the loss of environmental goods and services.

The Committee was informed that new Rules which have been notified on December 24th 2018 provide that more than 80% of the total outlay is to be spent on Forest and Wildlife Management Activities and less than 20% of the outlay on Infrastructure and Capacity building Activities.

The Committee was also informed that a Monitoring Group headed by CCF (Project and Planning) has been entrusted with the task of evolving independent system for concurrent monitoring and evaluations of CAMPA works.

Chief Secretary desired that utility of expenditure on fencing works should be reviewed by the Department for more effective utilization of funds.

It was informed that the coordinates and maps of the works executed under CAMPA are being placed on the website of e-green watch portal of Ministry of Environment and Forest.

While underscoring the importance of conservation and protection of flora, fauna and forest wealth, Chief Secretary urged the officers of the Forest Department to redouble their efforts so that afforestation and compensatory plantation is undertaken in a mission mode for restoring the ecological balance in the State. He also directed the Forest Department to put the details of works undertaken under CAMPA in public domain. The Department was also directed to work out a comprehensive proposal for conservation of wetlands in the State, particularly Gharana, Mansar and Hokersar, in consultation with the line Departments viz; Agriculture and Revenue and thereafter submit the same for consideration of the Government within two months.

Commissioner/Secretary, Forest advocated earmarking higher allocations to promote cultivation and marketing of medicinal plants so as to serve as a means of livelihood for the local population.

The Wildlife Department was directed to carry out habitat improvement, human animal conflict management and research studies and other conservation works under CAMPA. The Department was further directed to expedite updating of Forest Demarcation records and installation of boundary pillars in order to prevent encroachment of forest lands.

Principal Secretary, Finance, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring, Commissioner/Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment, Director, Soil & Water Conservation, Director, SFRI, Director, Social Forestry Department, Chief Conservator Forests, Jammu, Chief Conservator Forests (Eco Tourism), Chief Conservator of Forests (Planning & Project), CCF(FCA) and representative of MoEF&CC, Regional Office Chandigarh participated in the meeting. NGO members Nazir-B-Nazir and Dr.Gurmit Singh also attended the meeting as special invitees.

Sarvesh Rai, APCCF(CAMPA) made a detailed presentation on the functioning of CAMPA and APOs of the financial year 2019-20.

 

 

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K-issue globally accepted dispute: Geelani

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Srinagar, Jan 15: Hurriyat Conference (G) convened a meeting of its Majlis-e-Shoora, which was presided over by its chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, at his Hyderpora residence.

The meeting took stock of the current Kashmir situation.

According to a statement issued to the media, the meeting was attended by representatives of the amalgam including Bilal Siqiqui, Mohammad Yousf Naqash, Khawaja Firdous, Hameed Elahi, Molvi Bashir Irfani, Syed Mohammad Shafi, Yasmeen Raja, Arshid Aziz, Gh. Mohammad Nagoo, Shaheen Iqbal, Devinder Singh Behal, Masooda Ji, Mohammad Maqbool Magami and Mubashir Iqbal.

 

The statement read that during the meeting it was termed Kashmir issue as a long pending political and humanitarian issue to be settled by exercising free and fair plebiscite.

Hailing the statement of British Parliamentarian to help solve the Kashmir issue if voted to power, participants said that this once again vindicates our stand and proves beyond doubt the disputed nature of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which India shamelessly continues to denial for the last 7 decades.

In his presidential address, Hurriyat Chairman termed Kashmir issue a globally accepted dispute where in the people’s right to self-determination is not only acknowledged but confirmed by more than a dozen resolutions, but persistent denial of our basic rights has turned this beautiful piece of land in a hell where every day killings, crackdowns, arrests, nocturnal raids and bulldozing residences has became a routine. People have been forced to live a harassed and threatened life, with continuous psychological stress, he said.

He further said that people are left at the mercy of forces, with vast and widespread intelligence network, who continuously peep into their private affairs without any moral or ethical ground.

Hurriyat (G) chairman said that common people especially pro-freedom political workers are slapped with numberless PSA and even the release orders from their own judicial houses are not honoured.

Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman said that many countries have economic interests in India is which is the reason that despite knowing and confirming the barbaric and brute face of India they keep mum, which encourages its meanness and beastliness.

He stressed upon the nation in general and youth in particular to strengthen our bond with our faith and seek guidance from Allah Almighty, be united and steadfast on achieving our goal and we will In Shah Allah get rid of this unnatural and forced occupation.

Reiterating his appeal for boycott, Hurriyat (G) chairman said that those elected by our votes, in the name of basic needs like Sadak, Bijli and Pani, act as local faces of the brutality and inhumanness of rulers.

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Anti-Kashmir think tank hell-bent to change JK’s demography: Sehrai

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Srinagar, Jan 15: Reacting on tagging and filing yet another plea in Supreme Court (SC) against the Article 370, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai Tuesday said anti-Kashmir think tank are hell-bent to change the demography of the Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement issued here Sehrai said, “It’s a well-thought-out ploy to tamper with the special status and Muslim majority character of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“These forces are working hard to sabotage the future referendum process in Jammu and Kashmir and hatching conspiracies to achieve desired results to influence the process of referendum,” he said.

 

He said such moves were hatched to change the “disputed nature of J&K and its Muslim majority character too”. “The extremist elements had since 1947 always tried to push the Kashmir issue on the back burner and dilute its historical status and disputed character which they continue to do till this date. From Srinagar to New Delhi, efforts are being made to shift focus from Kashmir issue by portraying it away from its historical and ethical background,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sehrai expressed sorrow over the demise of Haji Ghulam Nabi Mir, member of Jamat-e-Islami Kulgam, President of JK Electrical Employees Union Mir Abdul Salaam Rajpori and cousin brother of General Secretary (TeH) Hamzah Shah.

Sehrai extended his condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families and prayed for the deceased souls.

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