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NEWSLETTER january 11th 2018

 

NEWSLETTER
Week of january 11th 2018

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2018 New Year message

01/01/2018. In his New Year message, Secretary-General António Guterres issues ‘red alert,’ urges world to come together in 2018 to tackle pressing challenges.

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Address of pope Francis To the Diplomatic Corps

08/01/2018. Pope Francis held on 8 January 2018 his greetings to the diplomatic corps in the Royal Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. From the right to life to conflict zones, to the right to work, to migrants and to the family, he drew up an inventory of the main concerns of the Holy See in its relations with States.

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Speech of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta

01/09/2018. Mr. Doyen, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome! I am very pleased to welcome you here today for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings. I warmly greet all present, and in particular the Ambassadors who have recently begun their valuable mission with us. This year’s audience is taking place exceptionally in the Chapter Room of the Magistral Villa because our church, Santa Maria in Aventino, is currently being restored. I sincerely thank the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Pavel Vosalik, for his encouraging words and for having been an important and attentive Doyen, who, during his diplomatic mission in Rome, regrettably soon to come to an end, has undertaken with dedication and passion admirable initiatives that highlight some of the tragedies of our time. I recall in particular the Conference on Child Victims of Armed Conflicts which took place on World Children’s Day last June. What we will miss about you, dear Ambassador, is your constant commitment to shared ideals and your personal humanity.

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10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018

01/02/2018. From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018. It’s not all about Donald Trump.
That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and his even odder choice of friends. And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater international diffusion of power, increasingly militarized foreign policy, and shrinking space for multilateralism and diplomacy are features of the international order that predate the current occupant of the White House and look set to outlast him. The first trend — U.S. retrenchment — has been in the making for years, hastened by the 2003 Iraq War that, intended to showcase American power, did more to demonstrate its limitations.

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Health crisis looms on Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria

12/28/2017. Malteser International and the Order’s delegation joint efforts. Four months after Hurricane Maria laid waste to large parts of Puerto Rico, huge numbers of people continue to suffer under the lingering effects of the storm, the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide recorded so far in 2017. Amongst the worst affected are the towns of Humacao in the South East, and Guaynabo in the North East of the island. Many houses have been flooded or had their roofs torn off. The simple corrugated huts that are home to many of the poorest have been completely destroyed. There is a desperate shortage of shelter – and supplies of clean water, food, and medication are running low: “The people here urgently need more help in order to prevent the spread of disease,” said Ravi Tripptrap, Executive Director of Malteser International Americas, the Order of Malta’s international relief service in the Americas. “We can see how the situation is getting worse day by day.”

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The Grand Hospitaller meets Russian authorities in Moscow: on the agenda commitments in the health, social and humanitarian fields

12/22/2017. The Russian deputy foreign minister has expressed his willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation. The Order of Malta’s Grand Hospitaller Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel recently visited Moscow for a series of talks with representatives of Russian authorities. Bilateral cooperation in health, social and humanitarian services between the Russian Federation and the Sovereign Order of Malta was the focus of the meetings in which the Order’s Ambassador to Russia, Gianfranco Facco Bonetti, also participated. During his discussions with Mikhail Leonidovich Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, and with Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin, President of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel illustrated the Order of Malta’s assistance to communities affected by conflicts and famine, both on the African continent and in the regions bordering Syria – such as Lebanon and Turkey. Also pointed out were the numerous projects for helping migrants and refugees along the main migration routes and in the countries of arrival, in particular Germany.

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Nowhere to go

November 2017. A four-part story explaining the struggle that migrants face in their journey to seek refuge and economic opportunity in Europe. Report between October to November 2017. Italy has received the vast majority of asylum seekers arriving in Europe over the past two years. As politics across the continent shift to the right, what effect is it having on the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who find themselves increasingly isolated and stuck inside Italy’s borders? More than one million people crossed the Mediterranean Sea between January 2015 and January 2016. For several months, the stories of desperate and determined people fleeing war-torn countries, brutal dictatorships and crushing poverty dominated the global news cycle – and then it stopped.

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​Africa for pessimists: 2017 in review

12/26/2017. By 2050, Africa’s population will more than double, from 1.2-billion today to 2.5-billion. That’s according to projections from the United Nations Children’s Fund, which hopes that this extraordinary growth will deliver a “demographic dividend” that could “lift hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty”. It’s a nice idea, but the theory rests on precarious foundations — it depends entirely on all these new Africans being provided with the necessary education, healthcare and infrastructure to thrive. The opposite scenario, as envisaged by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, seems more likely. He says that his greatest fear is that exponentially growing numbers of uneducated, unskilled, unemployed and frustrated youth will be impossible to control.

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Challenges & dilemmas in frontline negotiations: Interview with Claude Bruderlein

01/04/2018. Frontline staff of humanitarian organizations often negotiate with an array of local and international actors to establish a presence in conflict environments, ensure access to vulnerable groups and facilitate the delivery of assistance. On the occasion of the Second Annual Meeting of Frontline Humanitarian Negotiators—a gathering of 180 frontline staff as well as Geneva-based humanitarian practitioners and researchers—we asked Claude Bruderlein about current challenges in humanitarian negotiations in conflicts around the world. Claude is Director of the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN)—the organizer of the Annual Meeting. A joint initiative of International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High-Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), the Centre of Competence was established in 2016 to enhance professional exchanges and peer learning among frontline humanitarian negotiators.

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18 refugees, 18 countries – and their hopes for 2018

01/01/2018. There are now more refugees and IDPs than Brits or Californians. As a new year dawns, what are their hopes and fears? More than 65 million people are currently displaced from their homes – almost one in every 100 human beings. If refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) were a nation they would be the 21st biggest on earth. As a new year dawns we asked 18 refugees from 18 countries that between them produce almost 90% of the world’s refugees and displaced people what they hope for in 2018.

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Children bear ‘disproportionate lethal impact’ of Syrian war, warns study

12/07/2017. Child deaths are on the rise in Syria’s war, according to estimates that show one in four civilians killed in 2016 was under the age of 18. The authors of a study published in the Lancet Global Health said aerial bombing in urban areas had “a disproportionate lethal impact on civilians, particularly children”. Civilians accounted for 71% of the 143,630 deaths in the first six years of the Syrian war, noted the study, while 29% were opposition fighters. The report, based on conflict-related deaths recorded by the Violations Documentation Center (VDC), followed recent calls for UN member states to conduct an urgent review of military rules of engagement after a record number of civilians were killed by explosive weapons last year. Over the course of the conflict, the proportion of child civilian casualties increased from 9% of 4,354 deaths in 2011 to 23% of 11,444 civilian deaths in 2016.

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