TURKEY COUP: U.S Alleged Involvement And The Brewing War Over Extradition Of Gulen

More than the coup that has generated tensions and attentions the world over, talks that the US government is ‘allegedly’ involved in the Turkey coup is a dangerous development that’s prone to bring Washington to a battlefield with more enemies, never imagined.

Aside, Ankara may have to learn how to reconsider the nature of their relationship with the White House.

That being a humble advice, lets have a cursory glance at the allegations levied against the US by the Erdogan government.

In its claims, Turkey maintains that Fethullah Gulen, a former ally (of Erdogan) turned foe, is involved in religious terrorism and has been consistently requested back home from his U.S. abode. In the case of the current failed coup, U.S again disagree to extradite Gulen unless irrefutable evidences of his involvement in the coup are provided.

That has since triggered mixed bags of feelings in Ankara, with the Prime Minister even ready to lock horns with Washington.

Give me my son. NO, I can’t. I can’t allow you punish him for no offence committed.

No offence you say? Yes. You have the chance to proof me wrong.

I might not have the reason to further comment on the extradition request and the brewing rift between US and Turkey but I wish to recall:

U.S was allegedly fingered in the coup that successfully unseated the erstwhile President of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi. Following the military takeover that left behind a fatal history of a blood bath in Egypt, an ally of the US, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, contested and won effortlessly.

In spite of his atrocities, the U.S. practically rubber-stamped the ‘coup’ regime by giving billions of dollars of arms to the Sisi’s government.

From the above, would it be wrong that the end target wasn’t actually to distort the democratic ambience in Egypt but to come through the window of a military coup and force out the enemy for the friend to take over, eventually?

After all, democracy remains dearly important to the U.S.

Here comes my question…

As it is, can we underscore the nexus between the shield of Turkey’s enemy (Gulen as presently alleged) by the U.S and what the immediate future might look like if the coup had succeeded?

Hey! Let Turkey tread carefully.

Advertisements

Poverty Eradication: The Restart Button For Africa To Achieve Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]

The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) –an outlined universal agenda that is predicated on raw motives for transforming the world for human family– come with an objective to end extreme poverty, foremost on its list. This sounds so much infallible, most particularly in the case of the African people! It is the truth that the most notorious threat faced by Africa is poverty and hunger. Let it be therefore established that a full accomplishment of the new SDGs without actions to eliminate extreme poverty may be an uncharitable venture, just like the MDGs have been said to be inconclusively achieved. In order to understand the symbiotic relevance of the first goal to others, particularly in the African context, there’s the need to give a brief account of the meaning of poverty.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 6.38.54 AM

Poverty therefore, according to the World Bank, is: hunger; lack of shelter; being sick and not being able to go to school; not knowing how to read; not being able to speak properly; not having a job; fear for the future; losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water; powerlessness; lack of representation and freedom.

The above apt and encompassing definition suggests that poverty is the bedrock of other human predicaments. It equally reveals how poverty encapsulates all other challenges confronting human existence on the planet earth and how it remains the main gateway for all sorts of health, educational, social and environmental, among other challenges. It is thus explicit that all other goals of the SDGs can and should simultaneously be pursued in furtherance of the first goal. On the strength of this argument, The Economist (a weekly news magazine owned by the Economist Group), had opined that all other Sustainable Development Goals are founded on achieving SDG number one.

Although the UN, in its MDGs 2015 Report, has called the erstwhile Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the most successful anti-poverty movement in history. That the Poverty goal is appearing on the apex rank of the SDGs is an indication of partial failure or inconclusive success, nonetheless. According to the UN, the number of the global people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015. From this report, and sincere credence to other sources that have raised serious suspicions about its veracity, what is indisputable however, is that the percentage of the destitute people who are starving across the world is still alarming. It honestly poses a huge anxiety!

Where does Africa belong in this realm of extreme poverty and hunger?

boy_map_africa

Four hundred and fourteen (414) million people out of the eight hundred and thirty six (836) million living on $1.25, or lesser, per day are from Africa. After Asia, the Sub-Sahara leads other part of Africa in making the second continent with the largest number of hungry people in the world. The shocking rate of mortality, literacy, insecurity and environmental crisis killing the African people is solely as a result of entrenched poverty in the region.

Seventy-five (75) percent of the world’s poorest countries are located in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, the Africa’s second largest country, which has also been ranked the poorest in the world. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations also estimated that 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were hungry in 2010. This is the highest percentage of any region in the world. Also, malaria deaths in Africa alone account for 90 percent of all malaria deaths, worldwide.

If poverty is truly worse than malaria and HIV/AIDS which are claimed to be the highest killer diseases and even worse than EBOLA’s rate of killing, it is truer that it cannot be compared to any disease in the history of mankind. If poverty, in the same vein, is the foundational cause of illiteracy, increasing insecurity, under-development, and impoverishment of ideas and ideals, then there’s no iota of doubt that this continent needs expedient action on achieving the first goal of the SDGs than any other one, or needs all others to work for its achievement, so to say.

MDGs

The falling percentage in the above analysis rekindles our hope. It may be argued that the institutional frameworks and mechanisms put in place by several domestic and international bodies to alleviate poverty and increase standard of living in these regions, are somewhat productive. Strides by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP), African Union (AU), African Development Bank Group (AFDB), OPEC Fund For International Development (OFID), and the impacts of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) didn’t only play substantive role but reinforces the hope for a poverty-free society.

For the umpteenth time, poverty is the source of our multifaceted problems as a continent. If defeated, there’s high chance for the return of our refugees abroad, accelerate an end to endemic diseases and high mortality rate in our communities, human capacity development would improve. There would equally be more abundant workforce to boost our economy with full exploitation of our resources, which is loosing cheaply to foreign hands; internal crime rate and unnecessary terrorism would end. Our internally displaced persons (IDP) would be taken back to their lovely homes, and our continent would stop begging for every-time rescue and help from her sisters. Consequently with more secured lives and intact welfare for the people of this continent, the dream of Africa becoming the power-holder of the world will be at the brink of actualization.

Africa+hope+high+res+XXX

Corruption, poor governance, impunity, nepotism, poor resource usage, wars and unending conflicts, poor and inconsistency of policies, all these and other factors are responsible for MDGs inconclusive success. For the sake of the SDGs uninterrupted realization, within the next fifteen (15) years of its life span, there must be renewed commitment by governments, immense contributions from institutions –public and private sectors, equitable distribution of resources, zero tolerance for corruption, proper monitoring of implementation rate and reinforcement of actions must be given constant priority.

It is imperative to end with a call that the timeframe of the SDGs is not ambitious enough. Instead of aiming for an end to poverty by 2030 (another 15 years to come), the dire need of eliminating hunger and under-nutrition is enough to quicken all plans and make things happen in a lesser period. Shenggen Fan and Paul Polman in alluding to the above postulation had opined in a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that poverty alleviation should be achieved in 5 years less. (i.e. 2025).

___

Article by:

Akorede Shakir



8 people who broke the law to change the world

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 09.51.26

Nelson Mandela is, hands down, one of the most important and celebrated figures of our lifetime.

Mandela represents equality, fairness, democracy and freedom in an often unequal, unfair and undemocratic world. But he wasn’t always seen like this…

Twenty-five years ago he was getting his first taste of freedom after being imprisoned for 27 years. Yes, you read that right. For what? What could he have done to get such a long sentence? Well, he stood up for what he believed. In 1942 he joined the African National Congress and fought against apartheid in South Africa, and was imprisoned for sabotage.

Without Nelson Mandela’s commitment to the abolition of apartheid in the face of oppression and imprisonment, the world could be a very different place. It is because of Mandela, and others like him, many more people live a free and fair life.

To honor his bravery and determination, we take a look at 7 other brave and committed people who have been prosecuted or persecuted for standing up for what they believe in:

Aung San Suu Kyi

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.03.52

Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.

Now the Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma, she spent 15 years under house arrest for advocating for democracy.

Suu Kyi, who was heavily influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent protest,  helped to found the National League for Democracy. Because of her campaign for democracy in military-ruled Myanmar (Burma), she was detained and kept imprisoned by the government, as it viewed her as someone “likely to undermine the community peace and stability” of the country.

She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused to let her party down and stayed in Mynanmar.

In one of her most famous speeches, she said: “It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

Liu Xiaobo

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.09.06

Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is a political prisoner.

Liu was detained in 2008 because of his work with the Charter 08 manifesto, which called for an independent legal system, freedom of association and the end of one-party rule.

He was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. He was sentenced to eleven years’ in jail and two years’ deprivation of political rights.

During his fourth prison term, he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

He is the first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China and is the third person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Aung San Suu Kyi (1991).

Mohandas GandhiScreen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.13.27

India’s great independence leader first went to prison in 1922 for civil disobedience and sedition after a protest march turned violent, and resulted in the deaths of 22 people. The incident deeply affected Gandhi, who called it a “divine warning’.

He was released from prison after serving 5 years of his 6 year sentence, and went on to become the most famous advocate of peaceful protest and campaigning in the world.

Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, for which he was imprisoned for a year without trial, and later lead the Quit India Movement, calling for Britain’s withdrawal.  He was arrested many times but never gave up. An advocate until the end, Gandhi sadly paid for his beliefs with his life when he was assassinated by a militant nationalist in 1948.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.14.55

Martin Luther King had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, as the face of the Civil-Rights movement in the 1950’s.

Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors.

King was arrested 5 times, and wrote his second most influential speech whilst in prison in 1963 for protesting against the treatment of the black community in Birmingham, Alabama. Letter From Birmingham Jail, which was written on the margins of a newspaper and smuggled out of the prison, defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

Tragically, in 1968 he was assassinated in his hotel at the age of just 39.

Rosa Parks

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.32.56

Rosa Parks was an African-American Civil Rights activist who became famous when she stood up for what she believed – by sitting down. On the evening of December 1, 1955, Parks was sat on a bus in Alabama, heading home after a long day of work.

During her journey she was asked by a conductor to give up her seat to a white passenger, but she refused, and she was arrested for disobeying an Alabama law requiring black people to relinquish seats to white people when the bus was full. Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. It also led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation.

Susan Brownell AnthonyScreen Shot 2015-02-11 at 16.41.03

Or Susan B as some gender studies students know her as, was an American social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement.

Actively involved in social justice from a young age, Anthony and friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the Women’s Loyal National League, which conducted the largest petition drive in the nation’s history up to that time, collecting nearly 400,000 signatures in support of the abolition of slavery.

In 1866, they initiated the American Equal Rights Association, which campaigned for equal rights for both women and African Americans, and in 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting in her hometown of Rochester, New York, and convicted in a widely publicised trial. Although she refused to pay the fine, the authorities declined to take further action. In 1878, Anthony and Stanton arranged for Congress to be presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote. Popularly known as the Anthony Amendment, it became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920!

Roxana Saberi

600px-Roxana_Saberi_speaking[1]

Roxana Saberi is an American journalist who was arrested in Iran and detained for 100 days after being falsely accused of espionage. She had been living in Iran for six years, doing research for a book that she hoped would show a more complete and balanced picture of Iranian society. Under pressure and being threatened with a 10-20 year sentence or even execution, Roxana falsely confessed to being a spy. She quickly realized this was a mistake and recanted her confession – knowing this would jeopardize her freedom. Instead of freeing her, her case was sent to trial, sentencing her in eight years of prison.

 “I would rather tell the truth and stay in prison instead of telling lies to be free.”

After her trial, she began her hunger strike – only drinking water with sugar. After two weeks, Roxana’s attorney appealed her conviction. She was released from prison after an appeals court cut her jail term to a two-year suspended sentence.

 “I learned that maybe other people can hurt my body, maybe they could imprison me, but I did not need to fear those who hurt my body, because they could not hurt my soul, unless I let them.”

This article firstly appeared on one.org

What a year for Europe! By Caroline Dollman

In 2015, Global Citizen launched in Europe, making the movement’s collective voice for change even louder on the global stage. From music events in Munich, to getting the European Commission to pledge half a billion euros to refugees, it’s safe to say we’ve seen some fantastic and life-changing things happen from the continent over the past 12 months.

We always knew that 2015 was going to be a massive year, with historic summits, elections, global treaties popping up left right and centre – but wow, I don’t think any of us realised quite how big we were talking. Here’s a quick recap of everything we have achieved together in Europe in 2015.

UK Aid: We liked it so we put a law on it

We kicked off the year in spectacular style by enshrining the amount of money the United Kingom will spend on overseas aid into law. You may remember that there was a proposal put forward – the “Private Members Bill” (catchy name huh?) which proposed the nation protect its commitment to spend 0.7% of our Gross National Income (GNI) on international aid.

Global citizens got together with all the other great campaigning organisations in the sector and we made sure that every MP we could reach would vote in its favour – and it worked! This means the UK aid budget is protected, so the government is able to focus on the quality of aid given, rather than having to battle for the amount spent. Hooray!

TurnUpSaveLivesGood2TW.jpg

$1bn pledged toward life saving vaccines

So once the UK aid budget was sorted, Global Citizen got straight to work in making sure the money was being spent in the right way. In January 2015, Global Citizen worked with our friends at Results UK, ONE and Save the Children to secure $1 billion USD from the UK government toward GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. Why is this important? Well, in a nutshell, by ensuring that GAVI is adequately funded, they can continue their proven and important work to ensure every child is reached, no matter where they are born, with live-saving vaccines to stop preventable child deaths.

Wrapup2.jpg

Global Citizen gibt es jetzt auch in Deutschland!

Sorry, sometimes I just slip into German these days – one of our biggest and best successes this year was to launch Global Citizen in Germany, providing a platform for campaigning at the European level.

Our first big step was to set up a German version of the Global Citizen platform, so if you’re a German speaker (or know someone who is), tell them to check it out – schnell!

You may also remember that the G7 was hosted at Schloss Elmau in Germany this year. So with our new German wing, Global Citizen hosted our first event, United Against Poverty, which brought thousands of global citizens together on the Königsplatz in Munich to call on the G7 to take important steps toward ending extreme poverty. The most notable outcome was the G7 leaders committing to lift 500,000 people from hunger – now global citizens just need to make sure they follow up (and you’ve guessed it – that’s exactly what we’ll be doing in 2016)!

Wrapup3.jpg

We ate and drank on £1 a day for 5 days, raising £750,000 GBP to combat extreme poverty

Meanwhile, in the UK, over 6000 people took on the Live Below the Line challenge, raising a whopping quarter of a million pounds and changing the way we think about and act on poverty. Living on the equivalent of £1 GBP a day is a harsh reality for 1.2 billion people in the world today and is exactly why Global Citizen exists – to fight the systems and rules that allow this to happen.

Live Below the Line challenges groups and communities to eat and drink on £1 a day for 5 days, not to replicate what it’s like (because we could never, nor would we want to do that), but to bring the issue to the forefront, and to fundraise to for some of the best UK charities fighting poverty across the world.

The Live Below the Line campaign will be back in 2017 after an exciting make-over.You can register your interest here to be the first to know when we’re back.

LBLwrap.jpg

We got to grill Bill Gates

We were joined at Facebook HQ by the one and only Bill Gates to talk about how we can end extreme poverty and the role we all have to play as global citizens. Hosted by the lovely Greg James from Radio 1, we heard thought-provoking questions from global citizens in the room, celebrities via social media, and young people from Mexico, Kenya, India via video link (how’s that for modern technology?). We were delighted to hear Bill Gates conclude the event with these words: “Global Citizen is the idea that all humanity matters. What we want is people’s voices. Your voice is the most important thing”.

Bill Gates.jpg

The Global Citizen Festival: Europe stood up for refugees and girls’ education 

There were many stars on the stage of the Global Citizen Festival this year – Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Big Bird, Leo DiCaprio, Malala and loads more. They were joined by 60,000 people in New York’s Central Park, and watched by an online global audience of millions, who collectively took 2.7 million campaigning actions in order to secure the 27 commitments announced on stage. These commitments – from governments, institutions and businesses – are set to affect the lives of 92 million people.

You know who else was a star at the festival? EUROPE! The team successfully convinced the European Commission to commit 500 million euros to assist the facilitation of refugees, which was announced on our festival stage. What made this commitment so significant is that it’s in addition to the Commission’s existing Overseas Development Aid budget.

UK Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening was also a star of the show. She reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to women and girls across the world, saying we’ll ensure an additional 6.5 million are able to access an education over the next 5 years.

festivalcropwrapup.jpg

The new Global Goals were launched

You (hopefully) have heard us talk A LOT about the Global Goals which were gavelled (yes, gavelled – look it up) into existence by the UN on 25 September 2015. These are 17 Global Goals which have the power to combat the three biggest issues of our time: poverty, inequality and climate change.

We believe that to ensure these Global Goals don’t become yet another government piece of paper, we need as many people as possible to know that they exist, so they can hold their government to account for the promises they’ve made.

So – in partnership with Project Everyone and the World Bank, we used our Global Citizen Festival stage to launch the Global Goals, broadcasting them into 160+ countries, reaching 3.2 billion people. We also convinced a dozen companies to communicate to their about 2 billion customers about the Global Goals – you might have been one of the billions of people who received a Global Goals text message…

This is just the first step, and we’ll need all our global citizens to now make sure these Global Goals are realized.

107163scr_ffac494023e0d8d.jpg

We saved the planet

Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but we did manage to get a breakthrough agreement at the COP Summit in Paris in December 2015, which many considered to be our last chance to save the planet.

The day before world leaders met, 785,000 people took to the streets in cities across the world which is the single biggest demonstration against climate change that the world has ever seen. This agreement sets us on a good path to convert to the use of renewable energy – a critical decision if we’re to lower global warming below 2 degrees celsius. Take a read here about why the agreement is such a breakthrough.

noplanetb.jpg

Thank You

We have only achieved this because of you. In order to influence policy, secure vital funding and government commitment, we need a movement of global citizens speaking out for change. Our collective voice is getting louder every year, meaning we’re able to influence decisions and make sure our governments, institutions and business leaders are making the right choices.

Our work isn’t done yet – now that we have the Global Goals, we’re going to need everyone to ensure they are realised. Thank you for being a global citizen in 2015 and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in the years to come.

This piece is originally posted by global citizen.org