A dark day in Europe Statement of Foreign Policy 2014, on Ukraine

#Kiev #Sochi2014 #Ukraine

It is a dark day in Europe. On the streets of one of our capitals, people are being killed. Their demands were simple and natural: democracy, reforms and European cooperation. Their desire was, for a long time, the desire expressed by the entire Ukrainian nation. And this was why we in the European Union, through the Eastern Partnership, opened the door to cooperation, trade, reforms and integration.

We did so because we too were convinced that this was in the interests not only of Ukraine, but of the whole of Europe. But let us be clear about what happened. Last summer, Russia launched a single-minded pressure offensive to make Ukraine deviate from its chosen course. Brutal trade barriers were combined with open threats. And a wavering leadership in Ukraine gave in.

But when they gave in, it was seen as a betrayal by all those people who had hoped for a better future. The European flag flew in Maidan Square as a symbol of the desire for a better future. People wanted to move forwards alongside the rest of Europe – not backwards towards the all too well-known. Without those threats from Moscow and the wavering in Kiev, Ukraine could today have been clearly on its way to a better future.

The International Monetary Fund, with support from us all, was prepared to offer an economic assistance and reform programme. And the door to European political cooperation, and the political solidarity that goes along with it, had been opened.

Not all of the problems had been resolved. But Ukraine was, with broad European and international support, clearly on a path to a better future. But this future of European cooperation was a future that powerful forces did not want to see. And that is where the responsibility for the killings on the streets of Kiev clearly and ultimately lies.

Today, President Yanukovych has blood on his hands. And I am afraid that the path he has now taken will lead to even more suffering and violence. He was the only one who could have prevented the killing – by extending a hand of genuine cooperation to the democratic opposition.

Instead they were shown a fist. People have been shot dead with live ammunition. Peaceful demonstrators. But police officers and others have also been harmed in the violence that broke out. I am afraid that Ukraine is now heading for dark times. The crisis in the country will become deeper and longer. I am deeply concerned.

But the outcome of the violence will be precarious and short-lived. It will die away like a storm on the steppes. What has happened, and is happening, in Ukraine also demonstrates the power of the European dream. A Europe of peace and freedom and cooperation.

And sooner or later, it will triumph in Ukraine too.

Statement
Ministry for Foreign Affairs 19 February 2014
Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs Sweden

Contact
Erik Zsiga
Press Secretary to Carl Bildt
+46 72 573 91 30
email to Erik Zsiga

#Ukraine #euromaidan#Kiev,  #CookedNews

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Stop Violence Against Women: a global policy on sex work

Shepard Fairey for Amnesty

Amnesty International is currently in the process of considering a global policy on sex work.

We have been aware of the need to develop our thinking on this issue for a while, informed by work on our Stop Violence Against Women campaign, and then on poverty and human rights. Both campaigns highlighted gaps in our policies as they relate to the human rights of sex workers.

For these reasons, our International research headquarters (the International Secretariat) undertook a study of the issue and has proposed a draft policy for consultation.

The draft policy proposes the decriminalisation of activities relating to the buying or selling of consensual sex between adults, on the basis that this is the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and ensure that these individuals receive adequate medical care, legal assistance and police protection.

However, we acknowledge that these issues are complex and opinion is polarised. Proponents of different policy responses invoke core human rights principles in justifying their positions. As a human rights organisation, we therefore think it is important to consider our position in this debate.

We value debate and have not yet endorsed any particular position.

The final decision on the policy will be made by the movement’s International Board informed by the consultation undertaken by Amnesty offices around the world.

There are more than 50 national sections of Amnesty worldwide, of which Amnesty UK is one.

Ultimately, Amnesty UK’s position will be determined by our members and so we are encouraging all Amnesty UK members to take part in the debate.

To do so please email swc@amnesty.org.uk with your membership details and full postal address and we will send you the consultation documents. Alternatively, you may write to us with your membership details at the address below. Please state your membership details and full postal address in any communications:

Consultation on sex work
c/o Chief Executive’s Office
Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard
London
EC2A 3EA

The deadline for consultation is 21 March 2014.

Amnesty UK members will have a further opportunity to discuss the issue at our Annual General Meeting on 12-13 April 2014, and will vote to decide on our position as a section of Amnesty, which we will then represent at the global decision-making bodies of Amnesty.

Anti-censorship feminists question why only some forms of sexist communication (namely sexually arousing/explicit ones) should be banned, while not advocating bans against equally misogynist public discourse. Susie Bright notes, “It’s a far different criticism to note that porn is sexist. So are all commercial media. That’s like tasting several glasses of salt water and insisting only one of them is salty. The difference with porn is that it is people fucking, and we live in a world that cannot tolerate that image in public.’

http://www.sexworkeurope.org/sites/default/files/userfiles/files/join/il_manifesto.pdf (in italiano)

#CookedNews, #WomenInPower#women’s expressions sexuality,

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