Home Blog

Dr. Tedros, Speech to the World Health Assembly

0
Tedros
“I have seen the suffering in the people who pay the heaviest price for decisions made by other people.” Dr. Tedros addresses another ebola outbreak in a country wracked by conflict. WHO photo.

Health as a bridge to peace

by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, closing speech to the 71st World Health Assembly

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Sometimes the challenges of our world can feel overwhelming.

Poverty. Hunger. Inequality. Pollution. Violence. War. Disease.

But we come together as the nations of the world because we choose not to be overwhelmed.

We choose hope. We choose a better future.

In the past year I have visited several conflict zones, and seen the suffering in the people who pay the heaviest price for decisions made by other people.

Everywhere I go, I have the same message: health as a bridge to peace.

Health has the power to transform an individual’s life, but it also has the power to transform families, communities and nations.

This week, you have charted a new course for WHO. You’ve made a firm statement about what you want us to do, and the results you expect to see.

The General program of Work you approved gives us a strong mandate, and an ambitious agenda to get on with.

Now it’s time to implement it. We have no time to lose. Five years is no time.

Everything we do must be evaluated in light of whether it will help us to make progress towards the “triple billion” targets.

We will invest in and reinforce anything that helps us to do that.

As you know, universal health coverage is the foundation. Investing in stronger health systems will help make the world fairer, safer and healthier.

As President Kagame said on Monday, universal health coverage is an opportunity, not a burden.

I wish to thank the many countries who made concrete commitments this week to strengthen their health systems. WHO stands ready to support you with world-class technical know-how to turn those commitments into realities.

In the coming weeks, months and years, we look forward to engaging in policy dialogue with each Member State to identify areas in which the best health systems can be made even better, and the weakest and most fragile can be supported and strengthened.

That is what WHO is for.

This week, we have seen proof that the reforms we have made in our emergencies program are working. The work started by my predecessor, Dr. Margaret Chan, is paying off.

The Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee has given its stamp of approval to our work on emergencies, and has recognized that we are better positioned to act with greater speed and predictability.

The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has demonstrated exactly that. I am proud of the way that we have worked seamlessly at all three levels of the organization.

Let me assure you that I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible.

We have come a long way, but there is always more we can do to make the world safer.

I appreciate the hard work you did this week to negotiate the resolution on the International Health Regulations, which will help to improve public health preparedness and response by strengthening core capacities.

The new Global Preparedness Monitoring Board that we launched with the World Bank this week is another vital brick in the wall of global health security. I’m very grateful that Dr. Gro Brundtland and Mr. Elhadj As Sy have agreed to co-chair this new mechanism.

You have also made important commitments to turning back the tide on diseases that have plagued humanity for centuries.

You have committed to implementing a road map to reduce deaths from cholera by 90 percent by 2030.

You endorsed our five-year strategic plan on polio transition, to strengthen country health systems that could be affected by the scaling down of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
You passed resolutions on tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases that will help us prepare for the High-Level meetings at the UN General Assembly in September, to ensure we make the most of these historic opportunities.

You approved our new Global Action Plan for Physical Activity, which is essential for our fight against noncommunicable diseases.

The very successful Walk the Talk event last Sunday, and the regular yoga sessions during our committee meetings, have helped to liven up the Assembly and are important statements that we practice what we preach.

You asked us to develop a five-year road map to address access to, and the global shortage of, medicines and vaccines. This is a major cause of financial hardship. I look forward to presenting that road map to you next year.

For the first time, you committed to reducing the unacceptable burden of deaths and disabilities from snakebite.

You’ve resolved to take action on assistive technologies and rheumatic heart disease.

And you have agreed to increase the development and use of digital technologies to improve health and keep the world safe.

I am also pleased that you approved a resolution committing to us to receiving 50 percent of our interns from developing countries, and to paying them a stipend, by 2020. This is an important step towards making WHO fairer.

I would particularly like to thank the Wellcome Trust, which has generously offered to support 150 interns from low- and middle-income countries in the next three years.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The GPW calls on us to measure our success not by outputs, but by outcomes — by the measurable impact we deliver where it matters most: in countries.

Ultimately, the people we serve are not the people with power; they’re the people with no power.

The people of Bikoro, who look to us to protect them from Ebola;

The mother in Yemen, who looks to us to keep her child alive;

The people who face a daily choice between sickness and poverty because they cannot afford health care.

So the true test of whether our discussions this week were successful, or just more talk, will be whether they result in real change on the ground.

As I said on Monday, there are three keys to our success:

First, a transformed WHO. This is a job especially for the Secretariat, with support from you, the Member States;

Second, political commitment. This is a job especially for you, the Member States, with support from the Secretariat;

I especially want to thank my brother Martin Chungong from the Inter-Parliamentary Union for his partnership.

This week we signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with IPU to strengthen the role of parliamentarians in achieving UHC, and we agreed to have a meeting of parliamentarians here at the World Health Assembly every year. We’re also hopeful that a resolution on UHC will be passed at the IPU Assembly in March next year.

And the third key to success is partnership. This is a job for all of us: the Secretariat, the Member States and all of our partners who can help us achieve our mission.

I urge each of you to go home with a renewed determination to work every day for the health of your people.

Do not accept the status quo. Do not believe that some problems can never be resolved. Choose to believe instead that it is within your power to make real, lasting change.

The commitment I have witnessed this week gives me great hope and confidence that together we can promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.

I thank you.

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

Martinelli’s complaint to the American people

0
Ricky
You must obey…. Photo by the Presidencia.

Martinelli’s letter

RM1

RM2

RM3

RM4

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

¿Wappin? Canciones del Mar / Songs of the Sea

0

Panama Bay

Canciones del Mar / Songs of the Sea

Mountain – Nantucket Sleighride
https://youtu.be/Oa7pDgF8rrY

Maná – En El Muelle De San Blas
https://youtu.be/rAmmJsHwP5g

Otis Redding – Dock of the Bay
https://youtu.be/rTVjnBo96Ug

Bono & The Edge – Van Diemen’s Land
https://youtu.be/vsD95EE69Rk

Laura Pausini – Entre Tu y Mil Mares
https://youtu.be/w3JoAPJu7ho

Los Mozambiques – Los Barcos en la Bahía
https://youtu.be/A9m4FC1qytg

Gordon Lightfoot – The Wreck of the Edumund Fitzgerald
https://youtu.be/9vST6hVRj2A

Of Monsters & Men – We Sink
https://youtu.be/dFRywBkXgdA

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine
https://youtu.be/m2uTFF_3MaA

Allman Brothers – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
https://youtu.be/JsC9ZFYwcsQ

Mark Knopfler – Privateering
https://youtu.be/2YDPsHznyRU

Enya – Orinoco Flow
https://youtu.be/kZ8KK8u9dN8

Danilo Pérez – Across the Crystal Sea
https://youtu.be/jo3BAlJ0jUI

 

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.
Estos anuncios son interactivos. Toque en ellos para seguir a las páginas de web.

 

little donor button

FB_2

Tweet

Tweet

FB CCL

vote final

Spanish PayPal button

spies

Via Argentina area: one of the Odebrecht works

0
pic 1
Work along Plaza Einstein, just off of Via Argentina. It has been going on for more than a year. It has played havoc with local businesses. The New York Bagel Cafe, almost hidden here, is one of the establishments that has remained open but it has taken a terrible hit. Photo by Kermit Nourse. For a higher resolution version of this image click here.

With swirls of controversy, Odebrecht continues

photos by Kermit Nourse, note and captions by Eric Jackson

Under intense public pressure the National Assembly passed a “civil death” law that would bar people and entities convicted of corruption crimes from further dealings with Panamanian government entities. However, President Juan Carlos Varela vetoed that part of the law. If there is to be an override it will happen after the next legislative session begins in July.

Meanwhile, in an interview with La Estrella, Odebrecht compliance officer Mike Munro expressed satisfaction with that state of affairs. See it here in Spanish. The Brazilian-based construction conglomerate has admitted in a plea bargain to paying off Panamanian political parties and some of its operatives have alleged things in testimony to prosecutors that the Panamanian justice system appears unwilling to hear.

Odebrecht has several projects ongoing here — among them Line 2 of the Metro, with the authority in charge of that commuter rail system, the Colon city center renovation project and the works pictured here, a city-contracted makeover of Via Argentina and adjacent areas.

Kermit 2
It’s supposed to look a lot nicer when they are done, but right Now Parque Andres Bello, which fronts on Via Argentina, is where heavy equipment gets parked and construction materials get stored. Photo by Kermit Nourse. For a larger version of this, click here.
~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

Martinelli throws in the towel on extradition — sort of

0
RM note
A momentous decision, a manic rant, a depressive surrender, or something else? This is a hand-written note by the former president, sent out by his orders via Twitter.

Martinelli’s note, our translation:

Sidney / Camacho

I am hereby authorizing you to disclose NOW that I am renouncing both the bail and the habeas corpus appeals in the 11th Circuit in Atlanta and I am accepting what the Extradition Treaty of 1905 says with its Specialty clause. It is in the State Department’s hands to make the final decision.

This is effective today, Wednesday May 24 2018 [sic].

Marco Jiménez is now not my lawyer.

Ricardo Martinelli
[cedula] 8160293

do a tweet and photocopy of this

So what does it mean? Whatever discussions, thought processes or emotional storms may be involved, it seems that the July 17 hearing in Atlanta is off. The former president had a weak case to fight extradition or to get bail anyway. But might he expect that Secretary of State Pompeo will save him from being sent back to Panama? Might he be thinking in terms of a return to this country with the possibility of some sort of hero’s welcome?

Whatever other possibilities lurk out there, it appears that the court fight over extradition is over.

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

SOA Watch, Belated justice in Guatemala

0

victims

Justice delayed, but finally done

by School of the Americas Watch

After 37 years, justice has come for the Molina Theissen family. At dawn on May 23, a high-risk court put an end to a long wait and sentenced four Guatemalan ex-officials, three of them School of the Americas graduates (SOA/WHINSEC), for the kidnapping and rape of Emma Guadalupe Molina Theissen and for the forced disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen in 1981.

Unanimously, ex-General Benedicto Lucas García, who served as army Chief of Staff; ex-General Manuel Callejas y Callejas, ex-chief of military intelligence; Francisco Gordillo and Hugo Zaldaña, were sentenced to 33 years of incommutable prison for crimes against humanity and for the rape of Emma Guadalupe, who was kidnapped and detained by the Guatemalan army between September 27 and October 6 of 1981. Aditionally, Lucas García, Callejas y Callejas, and Zaldaña were sentenced to 25 years of incommutable prison for the forced disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen on October 6 of 1981. Edilberto Letona was absolved of all charges and was ordered for immediate release.

“May 23 will go down in history as the date in which the Molina Theissen family and all families whose children were taken away — families plunged into a profound abyss — we can see justice shine. Us survivors can feel it, and we feel that justice was served for us and our disappeared, as well as our children”, said Adriana Portillo, a lifelong human rights defender and survivor of the armed conflict in Guatemala. After Guatemalan security forces killed one of her brothers and disappeared six members of her family — among them her father, her 9 and 10 year-old daughters, and her 18 month-old sister — Adriana and her two surviving daughters fled Guatemala in 1985.

Marco Antonio was 14 when he was disappeared by the Guatemalan army, backed by the US government. According to the Guatemalan Historical Clarification Commission, another 5,000 suffered the same fate, yet their whereabouts are still unknown. Nevertheless, the struggle for truth and justice that began 37 years ago is a historic step in the struggle in the search for those murdered and disappeared during the internal conflict.

“Even though this has been a big step in the history of justice in Guatemala, we cannot forget that the School of the Americas continues to train Latin American armies in other parts of the world in torture tactics and disappearances, and so many other things. Not only Guatemala and SOA Watch, but also people throughout the world should ensure that governments of the United States be held accountable as well as they are responsible for the suffering of all Latin American people over so many years,” added Portillo in reference to SOA graduates Benedicto Lucas García, Manuel Callejas y Callejas, and Francisco Gordillo.

At SOA Watch, we celebrate the historic sentence in the Molina Theissen case and we uplift the struggle of the families as the driving force of movements for truth and justice in Latin America. We do not forget the repressive role of the United States governments in the violent and dignified history of the people of our continent. We demand the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC as one first step in reparations for the harm done to hundreds of thousands of victims of torture, exile, forced disappearance and death. Guatemala has taken one more step forward in the search for memory and justice. The United States should do the same.

perps + 1 acquitted

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

UCOC, Nuestra denuncia

0
UCOC
UCOC: Capitanes de Remolcadores presentan queja ante la Procuraduria de la Administración y piden se investigue a la cadena de mando por inactividad que provocó retraso en el tránsito por canal ampliado el pasado 12 y 13 de abril. Vea el video en https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/999379224937938944

UCOC2

 

~ ~ ~
Estos anuncios son interactivos. Toque en ellos para seguir a las páginas de web

 

Spanish PayPal button

Tweet

Tweet

FB esp

FB CCL

Hightower, The retired general who stopped a Wall Street coup

0

Major General Butler

The retired general who stopped a Wall Street coup

by Jim Hightower

Many Americans would be shocked to learn that political coups are part of our country’s history. Consider the Wall Street Putsch of 1933.

Never heard of it? It was a corporate conspiracy to oust Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had just been elected president.

With the Great Depression raging and millions of families financially devastated, FDR had launched several economic recovery programs to help people get back on their feet. To pay for this crucial effort, he had the audacity to raise taxes on the wealthy, and this enraged a group of Wall Street multimillionaires.

Wailing that their “liberty” to grab as much wealth as possible was being shackled, they accused the president of mounting a “class war.” To pull off their coup, they plotted to enlist a private military force made up of destitute World War I vets who were upset at not receiving promised federal bonus payments.

One of the multimillionaires’ lackeys reached out to a well-respected advocate for veterans: Retired Marine general Smedley Darlington Butler. They wanted him to lead 500,000 veterans in a march on Washington to force FDR from the White House.

They chose the wrong general. Butler was a patriot and lifelong soldier for democracy, who, in his later years, became a famous critic of corporate war profiteering.

Butler was repulsed by the hubris and treachery of these Wall Street aristocrats. He reached out to a reporter, and together they gathered proof to take to Congress. A special congressional committee investigated and found Butler’s story “alarmingly true,” leading to public hearings, with Butler giving detailed testimony.

By exposing the traitors, this courageous patriot nipped their coup in the bud. But their sense of entitlement reveals that we must be aware of the concentrated wealth of the imperious rich, for it poses an ever-present danger to majority rule.

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

Editorial: The Digital Ethics Pact; and Maduro

0
EP
Eduardo Peñaloza, the Electoral Prosecutor, notoriously would not investigate the use of public funds, laundered as campaign donations by overpaid government contractors, in the 2014 election campaign — in large part for the crudest sort of vote buying. But he got Attorney General Kenia Porcell to rule that the omissions of a public official can’t be crimes. So now the Electoral Tribunal would silence public discussion of that form of corruption in which public officials fail to perform their duties in the most egregious and partisan ways? Photo by the Fiscalia Electoral.

A system that won’t or can’t act on it
doesn’t make corruption “fake news”

The Electoral Tribunal is promoting a “Digital Ethics Pact” for the 2019 election campaign. They didn’t consult the online media beforehand. It’s really not a pact but something more on the order of a decree that they can’t readily enforce.

They also never investigated the apparent digital offenses of the last elections. They never looked into the racist and homophobic attacks that went viral. They never looked into the pre-election hacker attacks on just about all online media that Ricardo Martinelli did not control. They never looked into the provenance of the Cambio Democratico campaign database that by all appearances incorporated information taken from government records that are supposed to be confidential, including those of the Electoral Tribunal itself.

The spreading of scurrilous attacks and politically motivated lies online as a campaign tactic? That the ” pact” does, making special mention of the use of bots to do it. Only scoundrels would object to that.

But what is their standard of “fake news?” They seek to prohibit “affirmations of illegal conduct that have not been judged by the competent courts.”

That is, any corruption that was never investigated by Panamanian authorities never happened. That is, any corruption against which authorities have taken some steps but those who apparently did it have gone into hiding, or have sent in lawyers to file motion after frivolous motion and appeals based on these until the statute of limitations has run out, never happened. That no public official or political party took money from Odebrecht. That gangland shootings were not part of the PRD primary process in the run-up to the 2014 elections. That the Martinelistas did not engage in massive vote-buying with resources derived from public funds last time. That Ricardo Martinelli’s use of public resources to purchase a media empire that was mobilized in the last elections never happened.

The Electoral Tribunal, a tool of the political parties, thus seeks to take a necessarily central issue out of the public discourse over the next year, the rampant corruption, usually with impunity, that we have seen. No honest and serious online medium will accept that.

 

Maduro’s “re-election”

Nobody who lives in the real world accepts the claim that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro just received a mandate from his country’s people.

This does not mean that anybody ought to accept foreign intervention by powers that say that the Honduran president received a mandate from his country’s people, or that Brazil’s president represents his country’s people in any democratic sense of the word.

Would the Venezuelan opposition be worse than Maduro? Perhaps. But under their country’s laws they were owed a presidential recall referendum and they were cheated out of it.

The general test for diplomatic relations is that the institution, person or group who actually exercises power in a nation is recognized as the government without regard to how well he, she, they or it is liked abroad. When countries go to war against one another this is an exception — one to be avoided if possible and there is conduct so egregious, like genocide or apartheid, as to cause other nations to turn their backs on a country. A stolen election, or one that’s rigged, is usually not a reason for such shunning.

With one of the several governments in the hemisphere that does not pass the democracy smell test, Venezuela limps along in extraordinary poverty. Its government qualifies for recognition but is not as any other country’s worthy friend. The suffering people of that sister Bolivarian republic do merit the assistance of Panama and other governments in the region. We should be feeding Venezuelans, but not Maduro’s ego.

 

Bear in mind…

When I’m good I’m great, when I’m bad I’m excellent.
Mae West

 

Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.
Abbie Hoffman

 

There is a lot more to life than just struggling to make money.
Ann Richards

 

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.

vote

bw donor button

$

FB_2

vote final

Tweet

spies

Tribunal Electoral, Un decreto llamado pacto

0

TE1

pacto 2

pacto3

[Nota de redacción: Aunque estamos de acuerdo en que las noticias falsas y el odio propagado por los bots y de otra manera en el Internet son prácticas que debemos combatir y lo hacemos, no podemos estar de acuerdo en no publicar “aseveraciones de conductas ilegales que no hayan dictaminado por los tribunales competentes.” La flagrante corrupción del Fiscal Electoral Eduardo Peñaloza y tantas otras figuras públicas no se vean excluidas así del debate público por un decreto del Tribunal Electoral, un instrumento de los partidos políticos. Si desean llevarnos a los tribunales sobre esto, vamos a defender.

Tampoco podemos recomendar que alguno de nuestros lectores complete el formulario en línea del tribunal, porque no tenemos garantías sobre quién obtiene esta información o cómo se usa.]

 

~ ~ ~
Estos anuncios son interactivos. Toque en ellos para seguir a las páginas de web

 

Spanish PayPal button

Tweet

Tweet

FB esp

FB CCL