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Philippines: Breakthrough in Philippine peace process

26 August 2016 - 2:44pm
Source: Government of Norway Country: Philippines

'In the course of a few days, the parties in the Philippine peace process have reached agreement on issues that have blocked progress for many years. The agreement to recommend amnesties and a ceasefire is a breakthrough. It is also of crucial importance that the whole of the communist movement National Democratic Front of the Philippines is now represented here in Oslo,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Norway has hosted formal peace negotiations between representatives of the Philippine Government and the communist movement National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo this week. These talks marked the start of formal peace negotiations under the new Philippine Government. The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, applauds the signing of an agreement between the Philippine parties. Photo: Guri Solberg, MFA Zoom in on image

The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, applauds the signing of an agreement between the Philippine parties. Credit: Guri Solberg, MFA

Today, the parties signed a historic joint declaration. They have reached agreement on all the points on the agenda for this round of negotiations. They have confirmed previous agreements and renewed an agreement that will ensure immunity and security for key NDFP representatives so that they can take part in the continued negotiations.

Among the most important points that have been agreed is that both parties will implement a unilateral ceasefire for an indefinite period. This has never before been achieved in this peace process and is regarded as a major breakthrough. The authorities' peace panel will urge the President to grant an amnesty for all political prisoners with links to the NDFP, subject to Congress approval.

'I would like to congratulate the parties, who have shown considerable flexibility and the desire to achieve this important joint declaration. The intentions behind the declaration, combined with the constructive negotiation climate, will form the basis for further peace talks,' said Mr Brende. The parties have agreed to speed up the peace process, and aim to reach the first substantial agreement on economic and social reforms within six months. They plan to follow this up with an agreement on political and constitutional reforms, before a final agreement on ending the armed conflict can be signed.

The conflict between the Government and the communist movement NDFP has lasted for 47 years, and peace negotiations have been held intermittently for 30 years. Norway has been a facilitator for the peace process since 2001. The last formal round of negotiations took place in Oslo in 2011.

Philippines: Oslo round of GRP-NDF talks ends in high note

26 August 2016 - 6:34am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Posted on Friday, Aug 26th, 2016

OSLO, NORWAY— They all came with guarded optimism and managed expectations.

When they leave tomorrow, August 27, they will be bringing results beyond what they were hoping for.

It was swift and cordial but nevertheless substantive and intense.

None of the acrimonious exchanges happened.

Instead, the discussions were jovial punctuated by off-the-cuff remarks and banters that periodically made everybody in the room laughing out loud.

Some giggling, even.

Yes, there were breaks in between but they were devoted to discussing the fine prints of the documents and drafts that were passed and handed out across the table.

They capped their discussions and exchange of notes with a boodle fight dinner Thursday evening, August 25.

Peace negotiating panels from the Philippine government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) on Thursday reached agreements on six major agenda taken up at the resumption of the formal peace negotiations here in Oslo.

The unprecedented and historic pace and conclusion of this Oslo round left the host Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) very pleased and satisfied.

The round is highlighted with indefinite ceasefire declaration, which both parties have already declared or will announce, as the peace process moves into the succeeding rounds to hammer out details of a negotiated political settlement.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza said the Oslo round is a milestone under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

It is an accomplishment, he added, that would be welcomed by the Filipino people.

“Not only has President Duterte walked the extra mile. He has also taken a step back to give the NDF space under his democratic and inclusive government,” Dureza said.

“We will go home with a promise of a just and lasting peace and our soldiers and the combatants of the NDF finally coming to terms that the war must end,” he added.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, head of the GRP negotiating panel, expressed thanks and appreciation for the patience and candidness of their counterparts across the table with whom he has been holding formal and backdoor negotiations for more than 14 years.

Extending his arms across the table signifying the conclusion of the discussions of the major agenda and after initialing the draft documents for finalization into a joint statement, Bello said the Philippine government is looking towards a final peace agreement with the NDF to end almost half a century of armed hostilities across the Philippine countryside.

His remarks were reciprocated by NDF peace panel head Luis Jalandoni who expressed their gratitude towards the determination of President Duterte of ending the war in the country and forging peace with the rebel forces.

He said the releases of 21 detained NDF consultants were crucial in the resumption of the peace negotiations.

At 11 am (5 pm Philippine time), both panels will sign and read a joint statement announcing the agreements forged between the two negotiating panels during the August 22-25 peace talks held at the scenic mountaintop Holmenkollen Park Hotel, venue of negotiations of armed conflicts across the globe.

RNG representative Elizabeth Slattum did not hide her amazement and said her government is very pleased with the success of the formal opening rounds of the resumed GRP-NDF peace negotiations.

The formal session was the first after five years and it reaffirmed all previously signed agreements between the GRP and the NDF that was started by The Hague Joint Declaration in 1992 and proceeded by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) in 1996 and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in 1998.

All three documents were signed under the Ramos administration.

The panels also agreed to reconstitute the JASIG list after the first document was corrupted. The encrypted list will contain the photos and identities of NDF consultants who are still underground who will be immune to arrest while the peace process is undergoing.

The Philippine government will issue documents of acknowledgement for the NDF consultants still in hiding and for the 54 “publicly known NDF personalities.”

The negotiating parties likewise agreed to accelerate the peace negotiations and set timelines for the completion of the remaining substantive agenda.

Still to be discussed in detail are: socio-economic reforms; political and constitutional reforms; and, end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

Also to be fleshed out in details are: amnesty proclamation; joint monitoring committees; further releases of detained NDF personnel; and the modality and mechanics of the ceasefire.

Peace talks between the GRP and the NDF were suspended in 2011.

President Duterte had promised to reopen talks and release all imprisoned rebel leaders during the election campaign period.

The President has since accommodated several leaders from the Left in his government including appointing some of them to key Cabinet positions.

He announced a reimposition of an indefinite unilateral ceasefire declaration when talks were resumed on August 22.

The NDF had also earlier declared a seven-day unilateral ceasefire for the duration of the Oslo talks but has already committed to reciprocate the President’s announcement with an indefinite unilateral declaration of its own.

The panels will hold its final meeting at 11 am (Oslo time) today, August 26, with the signing of a joint statement before heading back home.

Philippines: Philippines, Communists on 'highway to peace'

26 August 2016 - 6:34am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Oslo, Norway | AFP | Friday 8/26/2016 - 11:05 GMT

by Pierre-Henry DESHAYES

The Philippine government and Communist guerrillas on Friday signed an indefinite ceasefire deal to facilitate peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies.

"This is a historic and unprecedented event ... (but) there is still a lot of work to be done ahead," President Rodrigo Duterte's peace adviser, Jesus Dureza, said at a signing ceremony in Norway, which is mediating the talks.

Both sides agreed to implement unilateral, indefinite ceasefires -- something that has never been achieved before in the peace process.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende described the agreement as a "major breakthrough."

"We are on the highway to peace and we are talking of a timeline of maximum 12 months," Silvestre Bello, the Philippine government delegation's head of negotiations, told AFP.

The two parties have been meeting in Oslo since Monday, wrapping up their talks with the signing ceremony on Friday.

As a prelude to the negotiations, both sides had agreed to a ceasefire, but the truce commitment by the Communist side was due to end on Saturday.

The two parties also agreed to "speed up the peace process, and aim to reach the first substantial agreement on economic and social reforms within six months," a statement from the Norwegian foreign ministry said.

"They plan to follow this up with an agreement on political and constitutional reforms, before a final agreement on ending the armed conflict can be signed."

The two delegations agreed to meet again in Oslo on October 8-12.

'Good atmosphere'

The head of the rebel delegation, Luis Jalandoni, was optimistic about the potential for achieving a lasting peace deal.

"We think that the peace talks now can move forward with a good atmosphere and try to move on with the (negotiations on) social and economic reforms, which are vital for addressing the roots of the armed conflict," he told AFP.

The government and the rebels also renewed an agreement that ensures immunity and security for key representatives of the rebels' political wing, the National Democratic Front, so that they can take part in the negotiations.

The Communist Party of the Philippines launched a rebellion in 1968 that has so far claimed the lives of 30,000 people, according to official estimates.

Its armed faction, the New People's Army (NPA), is now believed to have fewer than 4,000 gunmen, down from a peak of 26,000 in the 1980s, when a bloodless revolt ended the 20-year dictatorship of late president Ferdinand Marcos.

They remain particularly active in rural areas, where they are notorious for extorting money from local businesses. They also regularly attack police and military forces, sometimes targeting them in urban areas.

In 2002, the US State Department designated the Communist Party and the NPA as terrorist organisations.

Forging peace with the rebels has been the elusive goal of Philippine presidents since a 1986 revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The force behind the current talks is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office on June 30 after a landslide election victory.

Hopes for peace deal

On Monday, his government said it hoped to reach a peace accord within a year.

Duterte, who calls himself a Socialist, hails from Mindanao, the impoverished southern third of the Philippines where two rebellions -- Communist and Muslim -- have been most active.

He says ending both insurgencies is vital to his plan to curb poverty. He has even sketched the possibility of forming a coalition government with the rebels.

Duterte reputedly has close links to the Communists and is a former university student of Jose Maria Sison, now aged 77, who established the party.

The two sides hope to breathe new life into the process by discussing the outstanding issues of social and economic reforms, political and constitutional changes, and an end to hostilities.

Previous peace talks have addressed one issue at a time.

phy/po/ser

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

World: GenCap Annual Report: 1 January to December 2014

26 August 2016 - 5:08am
Source: Inter-Agency Standing Committee Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Ukraine, World, Yemen

2014 Annual Narrative Report of IASC Gender Standby Capacity Project

The GenCap Project was established in 2007 as an inter-agency resource under the auspices of the IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender and Humanitarian Action (now the Gender Reference Group and Humanitarian Action) and in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). The Project’s aim was to respond to the recognition that gender needed to be better integrated in humanitarian response, and was part of the IASC Humanitarian Reform. The Project deploys Senior Gender Advisors to strengthen the humanitarian system’s capacity in gender mainstreaming and gender equality programming.

This annual narrative report of the GenCap project provides an overview of the main project activities, outputs and impact in 2014 within the three main project focus areas: 1) the deployment of senior experts on mission; 2) gender training delivery and capacity building efforts; and 3) efforts to influence the system towards stronger ownership and awareness of Gender Equality Programming (GEP). 2014 marked the implementation of year one of the Project’s first three year strategy1 (endorsed in March 2015). The annual project strategy meeting (October 2015) was an opportunity to take stock of the strategy implementation in terms of giving stronger emphasis on GenCaps’ strategic advisory role to the HC/HCTs, sustainability of efforts, and the role of the GBV window within the larger project. The strategy was updated to reflect the SC decision to continue GBV deployments throughout 2016 and to make a stronger effort to streamline GenCap and GBV deployments and team building.

In 2014, the project has moved forward on the strategy implementation by giving increased focus to monitoring, preparing the ground for IASC Gender Marker adaptation and gradual handover to the cluster leads, with the main focus of deployments at country level and based on criteria set in strategy. Global level support targeted global clusters and HPC processes with coordinated SRP country support and country missions, and capacity building of Advisors to enable a more strategic engagement with HC/HCTs.

As the GenCap project was established within the framework of the IASC, the SU participated as an observer at most IASC Gender Reference Group (GRG) meetings to stay abreast with policy level debates and advocacy. The GenCap project also provided support to the 2014 review of the implementation of the IASC Gender Policy Statement2 and input to the GRG issued Gender Alerts.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Severe Weather Advisory No. 03 re Typhoon "DINDO" (I.N. LIONROCK)

25 August 2016 - 10:35pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW:

Typhoon "DINDO" has maintained its strength and moves slowly in a southwest direction

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Severe Weather Advisory No. 02 re Typhoon "DINDO" (I.N. LIONROCK)

25 August 2016 - 10:31pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW:

Typhoon "DINDO" has maintained its strength as it continues to move south southwest slowly.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Severe Weather Advisory No. 01 re Typhoon "DINDO" (I.N. LIONROCK)

25 August 2016 - 10:30pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW:

Typhoon with International Name "LIONRICOK" has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and was named "DINDO"

Philippines: Philippine Government’s ‘War on Drugs’ Claims Child Victim

25 August 2016 - 7:47pm
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Philippines

Justice Secretary Defends Killing Suspected Drug Dealers, Users

By Phelim Kine

Five-year-old Danica May became the youngest reported victim of the Philippine government’s abusive “war on drugs” on Tuesday.

The kindergarten student died from a gunshot wound to the head after an unidentified gunman opened fire on her grandfather, Maximo Garcia, as the family sat down to lunch. The attack came just three days after Garcia had registered with local police, who suspected his involvement in the drug trade. Garcia had said he wasn’t. He survived being shot in the abdomen in the attack, which police have attributed to unnamed “drug dealers.”

Danica May is just one of more than a thousand Filipinos killed by unidentified gunmen between July 1, when President Roderigo Duterte took office, and August 19. Official statistics show that, in addition, police have killed 712 suspected “drug pushers and users” in the same time period. These killings suggest Duterte’s aggressive rhetoric advocating violent, extrajudicial solutions to crime in the Philippines has found willing takers. Last month, he exhorted Filipinos who knew of any drug addicts to “go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” This prompted the United Nations special rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, to accuse Duterte of effectively granting the police and others “a license to kill.”

The same day Danica May bled to death in her family’s kitchen, Philippine Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre defended the killings linked to Duterte’s “war on drugs.” Aguirre refused to respond to repeated calls for the Justice Department to launch an urgent and impartial investigation of those killings, and he expressed firm support for Duterte’s promise “to do everything to stop drugs, crime and corruption.” He dismissed criticism and insisted that, “If you’re in the Philippines, you will choose to kill these drug lords.” Aguirre justified killings of alleged criminal suspects on the basis that, “Desperate times call for desperate measures. So this is what the president is doing and we support it.”

Aguirre’s perverse endorsement of extrajudicial violence as crime control suggests that Danica May is unlikely to be the last child victim. Each day, the death toll from the government’s “war on drugs” climbs higher and higher.

World: Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome Situation Report, 25 August 2016 (data as of 24 August 2016)

25 August 2016 - 3:09pm
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao (The Netherlands), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Easter Island (Chile), Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana (France), French Polynesia (France), Gabon, Grenada, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique (France), Mexico, New Caledonia (France), Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Solomon Islands, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, World

KEY UPDATES

  • Countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus infections for the first time in the past week:

  • None

  • Countries and territories reporting microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

  • Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Haiti

  • Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

  • None

  • The 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro ended on 21 August. From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratoryconfirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics.

  • Operational measures updates from the WHO Regional Office for the Americas:

  • WHO provided technical advice on integrated vector management in Puerto Rico, molecular diagnosis of Zika in the Bahamas, and clinical management of GBS in the context of the Zika emergency in Chile.

Philippines: Tzu Chi relief aid to victims of flooding in Philippines

25 August 2016 - 2:58am
Source: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Country: Philippines

The torrential rains enhanced by the southwest monsoon (Habagat), which began on August 5 and continued well throughout the following week, inundated many low-lying areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Marikina City and the town of San Mateo in Rizal are among the most affected. Some 5,000 residents were needed to be evacuated in the said areas.

“This happens every year,” says Rosenda Impan, one of the evacuees. “The water rose quickly. We were scared of the flood so we came and stayed here (in the evacuation area).”

After hearing news of the calamity, Tzu Chi volunteers from Manila and Marikina City quickly mobilized to bring aid.

On August 14, these volunteers divided into groups and visited 5 evacuation areas in San Mateo and Marikina City to personally hand the relief goods to the affected families. Since the residents fled their homes in haste, leaving behind their belongings, Tzu Chi’s aid is composed of their basic necessities. Tzu Chi volunteers have prepared more than 2,000 bags of daily supplies, 2,000 packs of donated clothes, 4,000 packs of bread as well as 1,000 straw mats.

“The cardboard were prepared for the affected residents to sleep on the floor overnight. However, it's difficult for us to transfer the cardboard yesterday. I think it's better to transfer straw mats from the Tzu Chi Grounds for them rather than give them the cardboard,” explains Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao.

Although their own homes were also flooded and their families also affected by the calamity, many local Tzu Chi volunteers of Marikina and San Mateo still donned their uniforms and joined in the relief efforts.

“I feel happy because Tzu Chi Foundation has given us the opportunity to help others. Sometimes I think I'm a man of great abilities because I am able to help the needy. However, all of the aid supplies came from Tzu Chi,” says local volunteer Herminia Dagobe.

As the weather bureau forecasted that the heavy rain would continue to affect the city, Tzu Chi volunteers also kept caring for the residents.

On August 15, Tzu Chi volunteers mobilized to conduct house-to-house visits to the affected families in Balubad, a village that sits along the Marikina River. A total of 92 Tzu Chi volunteers and 36 Tzu Chi scholars joined the activity. Using 10 recycling pedicabs, the volunteers delivered a set of donated clothes and hygiene kit, and a pack of bread to each family.

The total 1,760 families who received the gifts were immensely touched by the volunteers’ gesture of kindness and compassion. They were also grateful that apart from material aid, Tzu Chi volunteers also shared with them positive and encouraging teachings to get them by this difficult time.

In sum, Tzu Chi’s relief efforts for those affected by the flooding in San Mateo, Rizal and Marikina City benefitted a total of 3,726 families.

World: Informe de la Representante Especial del Secretario General para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados (A/71/205)

24 August 2016 - 3:33pm
Source: UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Resumen

Este informe se presenta a la Asamblea General conforme a lo dispuesto en su resolución 70/137 sobre los derechos del niño, en la que solicitó a la Representante Especial del Secretario General para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados que siguiera presentando informes a la Asamblea General sobre las actividades emprendidas en cumplimiento de su mandato, con información de sus visitas sobre el terreno, y sobre los progresos alcanzados y los problemas que subsisten en relación con la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados. El informe abarca el período comprendido entre agosto de 2015 y julio de 2016. En él se describen las tendencias actuales y también se reflexiona sobre los 20 años transcurridos desde que la Asamblea, mediante su resolución 51/77, creó el mandato relativo a los niños y los conflictos armados. Además, en el informe se proporciona información acerca de las visitas sobre el terreno realizadas por la Representante Especial, su colaboración con organizaciones regionales y asociados internacionales y el diálogo con partes en conflicto, y se incluye una actualización sobre la campaña “Niños, No Soldados”. También se plantea un conjunto de desafíos y prioridades de la agenda de la Representante Especial y se concluye con una serie de recomendaciones para mejorar la protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos.

I. Introducción

1. En su resolución 70/137, la Asamblea General solicitó a la Representante Especial del Secretario General para la Cuestión de los Niños y los Conflictos Armados que siguiera presentando informes, tanto a la Asamblea como al Consejo de Derechos Humanos, sobre las actividades emprendidas en cumplimiento de su mandato, con información de sus visitas sobre el terreno, y sobre los progresos alcanzados y los problemas que subsisten en relación con la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados. La solicitud se basó en el mandato otorgado por la Asamblea en su resolución 51/77, en la que recomendó, entre otras cosas, que la Representante Especial procurara que se tomara mayor conciencia y promoviera la reunión de información acerca de los sufrimientos de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, y estimulara la cooperación internacional para asegurar el respeto de los derechos de los niños en esas situaciones. En consonancia con ese mandato, y de conformidad con lo solicitado por la Asamblea en su resolución 70/137, en el presente informe se proporciona información actualizada sobre la campaña “Niños, No Soldados”. También se ponen de relieve los progresos alcanzados durante el último año y se resumen las prioridades inmediatas, así como los objetivos de más largo plazo fijados para impulsar la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados, en colaboración con los Estados Miembros de las Naciones Unidas, las entidades de las Naciones Unidas, las organizaciones regionales y subregionales y la sociedad civil.

II. Estado de la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados

A. Panorama general de las tendencias y los desafíos

2. La Representante Especial presentará este informe a la Asamblea General 20 años después de la aprobación de la resolución 51/77, por la que se estableció el mandato relativo a la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados. El 20º aniversario del mandato brinda la oportunidad de hacer un balance de los numerosos logros obtenidos y poner de relieve las esferas que están más rezagadas. En su informe pionero acerca de las repercusiones de los conflictos armados sobre los niños (A/51/306), que fue presentado a la Asamblea en 1996, Graça Machel describió la brutalidad extrema a que estaban expuestos millones de niños atrapados en conflictos y demostró el carácter central de la cuestión para las agendas internacionales de derechos humanos, desarrollo y paz y seguridad.

3. Si bien ha habido progresos sustanciales en los últimos dos decenios, como se indica en el presente informe, en el segundo semestre de 2015 y a principios de 2016 persistían graves problemas para la protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados. La intensidad de las violaciones graves de los derechos de los niños aumentó en una serie de situaciones de conflicto armado. Preocupó especialmente la proliferación de agentes que participaban en los conflictos armados. Las operaciones aéreas transfronterizas realizadas por coaliciones internacionales o Estados Miembros a título individual, especialmente en zonas pobladas, produjeron entornos sumamente complejos para la protección de los niños. Los efectos en los niños de la incapacidad colectiva de prevenir conflictos y ponerles fin son graves: existen regiones en crisis y las violaciones de los derechos de los niños se están agravando en varios conflictos. Las violaciones se relacionan directamente con el ultraje al derecho internacional humanitario y el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos por las partes en los conflictos.

4. Los conflictos prolongados han tenido efectos considerables en los niños. En la República Árabe Siria, según el Enviado Especial para Siria, el conflicto ya ha causado la muerte de más de 400.000 personas, incluidos miles de niños. En el Afganistán, en 2015 se registró el mayor número de bajas infantiles desde que las Naciones Unidas empezaron a documentar sistemáticamente las bajas civiles en 2009. En Somalia, la situación siguió siendo peligrosa para los niños: el número de violaciones de derechos registradas no mostró señales de disminuir en 2016, y centenares de niños fueron secuestrados, reclutados, utilizados, brutalmente muertos y mutilados. Cabe señalar, como ejemplo sumamente inquietante, la situación en Sudán del Sur, donde los niños fueron víctimas de las seis categorías de violaciones graves de sus derechos, en particular durante las brutales ofensivas militares lanzadas contra las fuerzas de la oposición. El deterioro de la situación en julio de 2016 es especialmente preocupante por la situación penosa de los niños. En el Iraq, los intensos enfrentamientos armados y los ataques contra la población civil perpetrados por el Estado Islámico en el Iraq y el Levante han causado la muerte de miles de civiles, entre ellos muchos niños. En el Yemen, el conflicto ha continuado intensificándose, con niveles alarmantes de reclutamiento, muerte y mutilación de niños y ataques contra escuelas y hospitales.

World: Rapport de la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé (A/71/205)

24 August 2016 - 3:04pm
Source: UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Résumé

Ce rapport est soumis en application de la résolution 70/137 de l’Assemblée générale relative aux droits de l’enfant, dans laquelle l’Assemblée prie la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé de continuer à lui présenter des rapports sur les activités menées en exécution de son mandat, notamment sur les visites qu’elle effectue sur le terrain ainsi que sur les progrès réalisés dans le cadre de l’action engagée pour lutter contre les violences faites aux enfants et sur les problèmes qu’il reste à surmonter en la matière. Le présent rapport décrit l’évolution de la situation sur la période comprise entre août 2015 et juillet 2016. Il revient aussi sur les 20 années écoulées depuis la création du mandat du Représentant spécial pour les enfants et les conflits armés, en vertu de la résolution 51/77 de l’Assemblée générale. Le rapport contient également des informations sur les visites effectuées sur le terrain par la Représentante spéciale, sur sa coopération avec les organisations régionales et les partenaires internationaux et sur le dialogue qu’elle a engagé avec les parties, ainsi que sur les avancées de la campagne « Des enfants, pas des soldats ». Il décrit certaines des difficultés rencontrées et les domaines sur lesquels son action porte en priorité, et se termine par une série de recommandations visant à améliorer la protection des enfants touchés par les conflits.

I. Introduction

1. Dans sa résolution 70/137, l’Assemblée générale prie la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé de continuer à lui présenter des rapports sur les activités entreprises en application de son mandat, notamment sur les visites qu’elle effectue sur le terrain, les progrès réalisés et les obstacles restant à surmonter dans le cadre de l’action menée en faveur des enfants touchés par les conflits armés. Cette demande découle du mandat donné par l’Assemblée générale dans sa résolution 51/77, qui recommande que le Représentant spécial fasse prendre davantage conscience de la condition dramatique des enfants touchés par les conflits armés, incite à recueillir des éléments d’information sur cette situation et oeuvre à l’établissement d’une coopération internationale qui permette de faire respecter les droits des enfants pendant les conflits armés. Conformément à ce mandat, et comme l’Assemblée le demande dans sa résolution 70/137, le présent rapport rend compte de l’évolution de la campagne « Des enfants, pas des soldats ». Il met également en évidence les progrès réalisés au cours de l’année écoulée et expose les priorités immédiates ainsi que les projets à exécuter à plus long terme dans le cadre de l’action engagée en faveur des enfants touchés par les conflits armés, en collaboration avec les États Membres, les organismes des Nations Unies, les organisations régionales et sous-régionales et la société civile.

II. Bilan des travaux exécutés sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé

A. Aperçu des tendances et des difficultés

2. La Représentante spéciale présentera ce rapport à l’Assemblée générale 20 ans après l’adoption de la résolution 51/77 qui a créé le mandat pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé. Ce vingtième anniversaire est l’occasion de dresser un bilan des nombreuses avancées réalisées et de mettre en lumière les domaines dans lesquels il faut encore progresser. Dans son rapport historique (A/51/306) présenté à l’Assemblée générale en 1996, Graça Machel décrivait l’extrême brutalité subie par les enfants pris dans un conflit et soulignait que cette question devait s’inscrire au coeur de l’action internationale pour les droits de l’homme, le développement, la paix et la sécurité.

3. Malgré les progrès substantiels accomplis ces vingt dernières années, comme le démontre le présent rapport, le deuxième semestre 2015 et le début de l’année 2016 ont encore été marqués par de sérieuses difficultés qui ont entravé la protection des enfants touchés par un conflit armé. Les violations graves à leur encontre se sont intensifiées sur de nombreux terrains de conflit et la multiplication des acteurs engagés dans ces troubles a été très préoccupante. Les opérations aériennes transfrontalières menées par des coalitions internationales ou à titre individuel par des États Membres, notamment dans des zones habitées, ont créé des conditions très défavorables à la protection des enfants. L’échec collectif à prévenir et faire cesser les conflits a de graves conséquences pour les enfants, car des régions sont en proie à l’instabilité et les violations commises contre des enfants s’intensifient dans différentes zones de conflit. Ces violations sont la conséquence directe du peu d’intérêt apporté au respect des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire par les parties au conflit.

4. Les conflits prolongés ont des effets considérables sur les enfants. Selon l’Envoyé spécial pour la Syrie, le conflit en République arabe syrienne a causé la mort de plus de 400 000 personnes, dont des milliers d’enfants. En Afghanistan, on a dénombré en 2015 le plus grand nombre de victimes parmi les enfants depuis 2009, quand l’Organisation des Nations Unies a commencé à recenser systématiquement les victimes civiles. En Somalie, les enfants sont toujours en grand danger : le nombre de violations constatées ne semble pas diminuer en 2016 et des centaines d’enfants sont enlevés, enrôlés, utilisés, brutalement tués et mutilés. L’exemple du Soudan du Sud est l’un des plus inquiétants, car les enfants y ont été victimes des six violations graves, en particulier pendant les violentes offensives militaires contre les forces d’opposition. Le sort des enfants est très préoccupant en raison de la détérioration de la situation depuis juillet 2016. En Iraq, l’intensité des affrontements armés et des attaques visant les civils menés par l’État islamique d’Iraq et du Levant a causé la mort de milliers de civils, dont de nombreux enfants. Au Yémen, l’escalade continue du conflit s’est accompagnée d’un nombre alarmant d’enfants recrutés, tués et mutilés, mais aussi des attaques contre les écoles et les hôpitaux.

World: Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (A/71/205) [EN/AR]

24 August 2016 - 2:25pm
Source: UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

Increasingly Complex Conflicts with Devastating Impact on Children, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Warns General Assembly in Annual Report

23 Aug 2016

New York – In her annual report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year.

“The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in a number of conflicts,” Leila Zerrougui said in the report, which covers the period from August 2015 to July 2016. “The violations are directly related to the denigration of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.”

Emerging crises and protracted conflicts profoundly disrupted children’s lives during the reporting period. She noted that the proliferation of actors involved in armed conflict and cross-border aerial operations created highly complex environments for the protection of boys and girls. In 2015, and again in the first half of 2016, Afghanistan recorded the highest number of child deaths and injuries since the UN started systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009. In Syria and Iraq, violence continued unabated. In South Sudan, following a year during which children were victims of brutal violations, hopes for improvement all but evaporated with the resumption of conflict last month. In Yemen, the escalation of conflict continued with alarming levels of child recruitment, killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals.

Twentieth anniversary of the children and armed conflict mandate

The report also takes stock of the achievements accomplished in the twenty years since the publication of Graça Machel’s report, “Impact of armed conflict on children,” which led to the creation of the mandate of the Special Representative by the General Assembly. Since 2000, over 115,000 children have been released as a result of action plans and advocacy. Engagement with non-State armed groups is growing and recently contributed to a historic agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP to release all children in the ranks of the FARC-EP.

The advocacy generated by this mandate, and reinforced by the campaign “Children, not Soldiers”, has led to a global consensus among Member States that children do not belong in security forces in conflict. This progress in addressing recruitment and use over the last 20 years has been built upon and utilized in work to reduce other grave violations, notably sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals.

In that regard, the new development agenda brings new opportunities to reinforce and create synergies with the child protection agenda. The Special Representative called on the General Assembly in her report to pay special attention to children affected by conflict to fulfil the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, she called for adequate resources for education in emergencies and for support to children disabled during conflict.

Protection challenges posed by violent extremism

Other issues addressed in the report to the General Assembly include the impact of violent extremism on children. During the reporting period, children were severely affected, and often the direct targets of acts intended to cause maximum civilian casualties. Recruitment and use of children, abductions and other grave violations were prevalent concerns as armed groups controlled large swaths of territory. The Special Representative urged Member States to avoid responding to these threats with operations that can “create or add to real or perceived grievances in the affected population.”

The report also states that increasingly large numbers of children have been arrested, detained, used as spies and for intelligence gathering, or even sometimes sentenced to death for their alleged association with parties to conflict.

“Detention of children should always be the last resort for the shortest time possible and guided by the best interests of the child. If they are accused of a crime during their association with armed groups, children should be processed by the juvenile justice system rather than by military or special courts,” said Leila Zerrougui.

Attacks on health care and protected personnel

In the past months, attacks on medical facilities, including aerial bombardments, have increased concerns over the protection of health care in conflict. This has severely disrupted access to lifesaving assistance for children growing up in conflict zones, and can have long-lasting consequences as it often takes years to rebuild capacity. The Special Representative calls on all parties to conflict to take clear measures to protect hospitals as outlined in the report.

Displacement

Armed conflict has resulted not only in human casualties, but also in an ever growing number of displaced children. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced away from their homes among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are children. In the Report, the Special Representative encourages Member States and other partners to support initiatives to help displaced children rebuild their lives, particularly through ensuring that education is prioritised in emergency settings.

Recommendations

The Report ends with recommendations to the General Assembly and Member States, which include:

  1. To ensure that Member States engagement in hostilities, including in efforts to counter violent extremism, are conducted in full compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law

  2. To highlight the rights of children displaced by conflict and the obligations of States of origin, transit and destination

  3. To treat children allegedly associated with non-State armed groups as victims entitled to the full protection of their human rights

  4. Encouraging Member States concerned by the “Children, not Soldiers” campaign to redouble their efforts to fully implement their Action Plan

  5. To take appropriate measures to reintegrate children, giving special attention to the needs of girls

  6. To ensure that special attention is paid to children affected by armed conflict in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Read the full report at: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N16/234/89/PDF/N1623489.pdf?OpenElement

For more information please contact:
Sharon Riggle or Stephanie Tremblay
Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict,
Tel: +1 212 963-9614 – Mobile: +1 917 288-5791
riggle@un.org or tremblay@un.org

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Use the hashtag: #ChildrenNotSoldiers

Malaysia: Dengue Situation Update 498, 23 August 2016

24 August 2016 - 4:08am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia (France), Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, New Caledonia (France), Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam, World

Update on the Dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere

China

As of 31 July 2016, there were 237 cases of dengue reported in China in 2016. This number is lower than the number of cases reported in the same period of the previous four years (2012-2015).

Malaysia

In week 32, the number of dengue cases was 1,963, a decrease from 1,819 cases (an increase by 7.9%) reported in the previous week. The cumulative number of cases in 2016 (69,400 cases) was less than that reported during the same period in 2015 (75,795 cases). In week 32, the cumulative number of dengue deaths was 153 cases, compared to 212 deaths during the same reporting period in 2015.

Philippines

As of 6 August 2016, there were 84,085 suspected cases of dengue reported in 2016, including 372 deaths. This is 15.8% higher than that reported during the same period in 2015 (n=72,627).

Singapore

In week 32, there were 198 dengue cases reported in Singapore. While the cumulative number of cases in 2016 (10,508) was almost double compared to that reported in the same period of 2015 (5,867), the number of reported cases follow the same seasonal trend as was in 2015.

Cambodia (No updates)

From 1 January to 17 May 2016, there have been 1,771 cases of dengue and 4 deaths reported in Cambodia. In May, there were 168 cases and no death reported. The number of cases remains low and stable at this point.

Lao PDR

As of 12 August, there were 2,719 cases of dengue with 9 deaths reported in Lao PDR in 2016. From 6 August to 12 August, 187 new dengue cases and no death were reported. Although the number of cases is higher than previous year, it is following the seasonal trend.

Viet Nam

As of 30 June 2016, there were 36,639 cases of dengue including 11 deaths, reported in 44 out of 63 provinces in Viet Nam. In June 2016, there were 5,225 cases reported including one death. Compared to May 2016, number of cases increased by 36.7%. Compared to same period in 2015, cumulative number of cases increased by 184.7%. Compared to the median in 2011-2015 period, cumulative number of cases increased by 102.7% and number of deaths decreased by three.

Southern Hemisphere

Australia

As of 22 August 2016, there were 1,579 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases in Australia. The number of cases reported has been decreasing since March and it follows the seasonal trend (2011-2015).

Pacific Islands Countries and Areas

French Polynesia

In week 30, 45 confirmed dengue cases were reported in French Polynesia (Figure 9). Eleven of the 45 cases (24%) were confirmed as DENV-1 infection.

Papua New Guinea (No updates)

From 1 January to 5 June, 67 imported cases of dengue with travel history to Papua New Guinea were reported by Queensland Health (notifiable conditions data). Among these cases, 5 were DENV-1, 48 were DENV-2, 3 were DENV-3, 1 was DENV-4 and 10 cases were of undetermined serotype.

New Caledonia

Since 1 September 2015 to 22 August 2016, 520 dengue cases were reported. In July 2016, 89 dengue cases were reported

Philippines: Philippines - Severe weather - UPDATE (NDRRMC, PAGASA, Local Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 23 August 2016)

23 August 2016 - 4:07pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Philippines
  • Heavy rain and strong winds, due to the passage of a Low Pressure Area and Southwest Monsoon, have been affecting southern Luzon and Visayas, causing floods and landslides.
  • Official reports, as of 22 August, mentioned 19 people dead, 12 injured, seven missing, over 8 200 people evacuated, over 400 houses fully or partially damaged in the Regions I,III,VI, CALABARZON, CAR, MIMAROPA and NCR.
  • Over the next 24 h more heavy rain may affect Luzon and Visayas.

World: Transitional shelter in post-disaster contexts

23 August 2016 - 1:10pm
Source: Governance and Social Development Resource Centre Country: Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, World

Brigitte Rohwerder, July 2016

Question

What have been the different approaches/strategies to transitional shelter in post-natural disaster contexts in developing countries and what lessons have been learned (with a focus on the non-technical aspects of transitional shelter)?

Summary

Literature on approaches to transitional shelter in post-natural disaster contexts reflects the variety of different approaches and definitions, which complicate understandings of transitional shelter and lessons learned.

There are three main approaches to transitional shelter, all of which incorporate disaster risk reduction measures to reduce household vulnerability:

  • An incremental process rather than a multi-phased approach (Shelter Centre/IOM).

  • Rapid, post-disaster shelter made from materials that can be upgraded or re-used in more permanent structures, or that can be relocated from temporary sites to permanent locations (IFRC).

  • Addressing the short to medium term needs of disaster affected households, involving the provision of inputs to create shelters consistent with internationally recognised guidelines (USAID).

A number of lessons learned can be drawn from brief case studies from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Haiti, including:

  • Cost effectiveness over time and opportunities to scale up.

  • Meaningful engagement with affected communities/individuals is important to ensure they lead on it, design and implementation is context-appropriate and the needs of the marginalised and vulnerable groups are considered.

  • Knowledge of good, safe building practices is required so that houses incorporate disaster risk reduction measures.

  • Pressure should not be taken off the permanent housing reconstruction effort.

  • The integration of other sectors/issues, such as livelihoods, WASH and transport, is important for the success of the transition.

World: Acting on climate change requires ‘boots on the ground’

23 August 2016 - 11:28am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Philippines, Viet Nam, World

by Jazmin Burgess, Global Coordinator, Boots on the Ground, UNDP

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are on the frontlines of climate change. With populations often heavily reliant on climate-vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry to drive their economies, the impacts of climate change are amplified. One erratic storm or years of changing growing seasons can wipe out food and water supplies for years or decades.

This has immense social and economic impacts that reduce opportunities, reinforce inequalities and potentially reverse progress toward reducing poverty. Charting a development path that integrates climate change action is therefore essential for true sustainable development and that requires direct capacity-building.

UNDP’s ‘Boots on the Ground’ programme, established in 2010, does just that. Through technical and policy advice and guidance to 26 countries in Africa, Arab States, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, ‘Boots’ aims to strengthen national capacities to plan for and respond to the impacts of climate change. The successes of this on-the-ground support is already visible.

In Mali, ‘Boots’ officers have helped the Government prepare the National Climate Change Policy; in Kenya, we’ve worked with national partners to develop the National Climate Change Action Plan. In Nepal we’ve helped climate proof the national agriculture plan and develop a joint Gender and Climate Change strategy.

In 2015, ahead of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Boots on the Ground worked with governments on the planning and consultation for the Government’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, a key set of targets that will enable action on climate change.

In Bangladesh, we worked with the Government to access resources and undertake work to scale up local level adaptation to build climate resilience. In Ethiopia, we worked with the government on its Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy-tackling disasters and climate change. These are just some of the successes we’ve seen. They are, I feel, testament to the benefits of having skilled, knowledgeable practitioners on the ground and able to facilitate ambitious national action.

By building capacity at the national level, Boots on the Ground enables countries to identify and manage climate risks based on unique national knowledge, as well as equips our partners with the long term skills and resources to not only cope with climate challenges in the future, but to tackle these risks in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals.

From my own experience, having worked in countries such as Viet Nam and the Philippines, I believe the value of stronger national action on climate change is clear. Developing and implementing frameworks and policies, and fostering improved capabilities for climate action, not only helps address climate challenges and prepares countries and populations for the future, but also creates an enabling environment that can encourage accelerated responses.

In 2016, Boots on the Ground will be critical in guiding countries to shift from commitments to implementation of the Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development Goals. In the longer term, UNDP will also be looking at strengthening and expanding the programme, making it a driver for climate-resilient and risk-informed development.

Boots on the Ground is an important reminder that whilst the frontlines of climate change may be at national and subnational level, so is the momentum and scope to take action. Over the coming months, we will be profiling stories directly from Boots countries that highlight the work underway and demonstrate just how action on the ground is enhancing climate action and fostering sustainable development.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: SitRep No. 17 re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Southwest Monsoon (Habagat)

23 August 2016 - 10:52am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. Situation Overview

Since 08 August 2016, Southwest Monsoon is affecting Luzon and Western Visayas.

On 09-10 August 2016, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) located at Aparri, Cagayan enhanced the Southwest Monsoon which brought moderate to heavy rains over Metro Manila, !locos Region, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and the Provinces of Benguet, Zambales, and Bataan.

The LPA at Itbayat, Batanes exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 11 August 2016 but continued to enhance the Southwest Monsoon.

On 12-14 August 2016, the Southwest Monsoon continued to bring light to heavy rains with isolated thunderstorms over Luzon and Western Visayas.

The presence of a Low Pressure Area located at East of Baler, Aurora enhanced the Southwest Monsoon on 15-16 August 2016 which brought monsoon rains over Luzon.

On 17 August 2016. the Southwest Monsoon affected the western section of Northern and Central Luzon which brought light to moderate rains and thunderstorms is expected over the regions of Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and the provinces of Zambales and Bataan as the LPA exited the PAR.

At 11:00 AM, 18 August 2016, the effect of the Southwest Monsoon has weakened.

Light to moderate rains and thunderstorms was experienced over Luzon, Visayas, and in the Regions of Northern Mindanao, and CARAGA while isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms was experienced over Metro Manila and the rest of the country on 19-20 August 2016.

On 21 August 2016, 11:00 AM, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) located at East Northeast of Catanduanes enhanced the Southwest Monsoon which will continue to affect Southern Luzon and Visayas and will bring moderate to heavy rains over regions of MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas and Negros Island today until Tuesday.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: SitRep No. 16 re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Southwest Monsoon (Habagat)

22 August 2016 - 10:51pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. Situation Overview

Since 08 August 2016, Southwest Monsoon is affecting Luzon and Western Visayas.

On 09-10 August 2016, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) located at Aparri, Cagayan enhanced the Southwest Monsoon which brought moderate to heavy rains over Metro Manila, !locos Region, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and the Provinces of Benguet, Zambales, and Bataan.

The LPA at Itbayat, Batanes exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 11 August 2016 but continued to enhance the Southwest Monsoon.

On 12-14 August 2016, the Southwest Monsoon continued to bring light to heavy rains with isolated thunderstorms over Luzon and Western Visayas.

The presence of a Low Pressure Area located at East of Baler, Aurora enhanced the Southwest Monsoon on 15-16 August 2016 which brought monsoon rains over Luzon.

On 17 August 2016. the Southwest Monsoon affected the western section of Northern and Central Luzon which brought light to moderate rains and thunderstorms is expected over the regions of Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and the provinces of Zambales and Bataan as the LPA exited the PAR.

At 11:00 AM, 18 August 2016, the effect of the Southwest Monsoon has weakened.

Light to moderate rains and thunderstorms was experienced over Luzon, Visayas, and in the Regions of Northern Mindanao, and CARAGA while isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms was experienced over Metro Manila and the rest of the country on 19-20 August 2016.

On 21 August 2016, 11:00 AM, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) located at East Northeast of Catanduanes enhanced the Southwest Monsoon which will continue to affect Southern Luzon and Visayas and will bring moderate to heavy rains over regions of MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas and Negros Island today until Tuesday.

Philippines: Philippine Police Killing Spree Demands Accountability

22 August 2016 - 7:11pm
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Philippines

Hundreds Dead in “Anti-Drug Operations” Since July 1

By Phelim Kine

The Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed today at a Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings the shocking human toll inflicted by the police in the “war on drugs” launched by President Rodrigo Duterte after taking office seven weeks ago.

Police statistics show that from July 1 to August 19, 2016, police have killed an estimated 712 suspected “drug pushers and users.” That death toll constitutes a more-than-tenfold jump over the 68 such police killings recorded between January 1 and June 15, a period of over five months.

PNP Director-General Ronald dela Rosa was unconcerned by the sharp rise, characterizing the killings as proof of an “uncompromising” police approach to drug crimes. Dela Rosa added that police personnel implicated in unjustified killings of criminal suspects “will be investigated, prosecuted, and accordingly punished,” but made it clear that he will not proactively examine those deaths.

Last month dela Rosa slammed calls for an investigation as “legal harassment,” saying it “dampens the morale” of police officers. Meanwhile, the country’s top prosecutor, Solicitor-General Jose Calida, defended the legality of police killings and suggested that the number of such deaths was “not enough.”

Police statistics attribute an additional 1,072 killings of alleged drug dealers and drug users to unknown vigilantes since July 1. Dela Rosa stated that he did not “condone” extrajudicial killings, but he made no indication that those deaths – more than 20 killings a day between July 1 and August 19 – merited urgent investigation.

These killings suggest Duterte’s aggressive rhetoric advocating violent, extrajudicial solutions to criminality in the Philippines has found a receptive audience. Last month he exhorted Filipinos who knew of any drug addicts to “go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” This prompted the United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, to accuse Duterte last week of effectively granting the police and others “a license to kill.”

Duterte is steamrolling the rule of law and its advocates both at home and abroad. He has declared the soaring number of killings of alleged criminal suspects as proof of the “success” of his anti-drug campaign and urged police to “seize the momentum.” He has sought to intimidate domestic critics of that campaign and dismissed international critics as “stupid.” Other countries, including the United States and European Union members, should make it clear to Duterte that inciting such violence is unacceptable and will reap potentially severe diplomatic and economic costs, beyond the human one.

Otherwise, it’s hard to envision when these killings will end.