United Nations

a path to recovery and well-being


 
Spring has definitely come to the woods and to the studio today on this United Nations International Day of Forests with its theme “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being…to help address the climate-change and biodiversity crises.
 
 
 
Perhaps as we begin this second year of the pandemic the theme could appropriately be re-written to read “Mankind’s restoration: a path to recovery and well-being.”

Human Rights Day


 
Today on Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the UN General Assembly on December 10th 1948, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for human rights to be “front and centre”of the COVID-19 response. Also a reminder of Article 14: “Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

meeting 7915

For this week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post Krista asks us to share a photo that depicts our interpretation of “security.”

Given the events of the last 24 hours I hope you will allow me to become political today.

The photograph is of the entrance to the United Nations Building in New York, which I took in 1965 on my first visit to this greatest of cities as a young student visiting America for the first time.

Yesterday, like all of you, I saw the horrific images from the nerve gas attack on the people of the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, northern Syria, images that will haunt me for many years to come. Children gasping for air, suffocating, and dying along with their family members in a war crime that is now imprinted on the minds of all of us. There are not enough words to express the anger, despair and sorrow that we all feel today as we express our deepest sympathy to all those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from this atrocity.

This morning I watched the webcast of the 7915th meeting of the UN Security Council in which each member of the council made a statement concerning “The situation in the Middle East (Syria)” as the session was entitled. Watching the representatives and listening to their statements it felt as if we are living in an alternative universe and witnessing another moment in time in which truth, facts and reality never seemed more unattainable.

Two moments among many stood out. The first was the Russian delegate who claimed that the Nobel Peace Prize nominated White Helmets had staged the event implying that we were witnessing actors pretending to die and foam at the mouth. No commentary that I have read or heard so far has, as yet, condemned these words.

The second moment was Nikki Haley, the President of the Council and the US Representative, holding up two graphic photographs that I have blurred for obvious reasons, and asking the Russian representative to look at them. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares” she said. Her words were powerful and worth listening to. At the end of this post I have provided a link to the UN broadcast that I would encourage you to visit when you have the time.

Will there be a resolution to come from this. One doubts it, but we can only hope. Here is the link to the UN Council meeting.