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Posts Tagged ‘Desmond Tutu’

As policy-makers, scientists, and persons living with HIV/AIDS convene this week at the International AIDS Conference, some are taking a closer look at AIDS policy in the United States. Since 2004, when President George W. Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program (PEPFAR), the US has spent $19 billion to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. These funds have provided 2.5 million Africans with anti-retroviral treatment and have contributed to the decline in new infections. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in Tuesday’s New York Times opinion section, argues that President Obama is not living up to his campaign pledge to increase PEPFAR’s budget, nor is he doing well by other disease prevention programs. Read his full opinion here.

Learn more about the Obama administration’s AIDS prevention and treatment efforts on Wednesday, July 28 when the Council hosts Ambassador Eric Goosby, US Global AIDS Coordinator. Register for the program here.

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President Obama will present the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to 16 recipients tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12. Three of this year’s awardees were speakers at the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum in 2008: former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Yunus.

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The world is holding its breath in anticipation of tomorrow’s announcement by the ICC – will the Court uphold Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s request to indict Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has an op-ed in today’s NY Times calling on African leaders to be staunch supporters of Bashir’s indictment.  He argues that the issuance of an arrest warrant “would be an extraordinary moment for the people of Sudan — and for those around the world who have come to doubt that powerful people and governments can be called to account for inhumane acts.”  Archbishop Tutu eloquently addresses the accusations that the ICC is biased against African cases, and writes that, “as painful and inconvenient as justice may be, we have seen that the alternative — allowing accountability to fall by the wayside — is worse.” (Listen to Archbishop Tutu speak at the Council last April here.)

There is much controversy over the the possible consequences of an indictment of President Bashir, addressed by Alex de Waal in an article on OpenDemocracy.  He writes that many people fear an arrest warrant would mean “restriction or expulsion of UN missions, the end of Sudan’s comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) agreed in January 2005, and new outbreaks of violence.”  To learn more about the situation, check out the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) blog, and watch the news tomorrow for the ICC’s announcement.

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All health, sanitation and water supply services have collapsed in Zimbabwe. A nationwide cholera epidemic is spreading, almost half of the population is in need of food aid, water is in short supply, and the government remains deadlocked over a power sharing agreement. This morning, about 40 soldiers began looting shops in downtown Harare and marching through the streets, recruiting sympathizers, chanting “enough is enough” after growing impatient while waiting in long bank lines for their salaries. The riot was the third to take place this week. But today, these looters were President Mugabe’s own soldiers – the men who normally put down riots, not incite them. Never before have Mugabe’s own security forces acted out against the state, and the significance should not be ignored. They are the core of his support, and if he loses them, he may lose everything.

The riots come just a few days after Elders Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, Jimmy Carter, former US President, and Graca Maçhel, human rights activist, attempted to visit the country to assess the humanitarian situation. Mugabe denied them entry visas, and so the Elders met with refugees outside the country and chastised the international community – particularly southern African leaders – for not doing more to help end the crisis. Jane Wales, World Affairs Council CEO & President, served as the Acting CEO for the Elders in their first year, from July 2007 until July 2008.

In April, Jane Wales spoke in conversation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chairman of the Elders, at the Global Philanthropy Forum 2008 conference in Redwood City. Also present were Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE, and Gareth Evans, President of Crisis Group.

Vodpod videos no longer available. more about "GPF Plenary 1: The Conflict Continuum", posted with vodpod

Beginning at about 1min and 20 seconds in, they speak about the situation in Zimbabwe and options for the country going forward.

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