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Gandhi’s message relevant to resolving world crises: UNGA President

I commit to working with the General Assembly and its related committees in ways that reflect Gandhi’s view of change: ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world

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Mahatma Gandhi

United Nations, Oct 2 (IANS) Gandhi’s name and image evoke the “concepts of peace, restraint and passivity, even in the face of violence and extremism” as the world faces both challenges and hopes, General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa said on Tuesday.

She was speaking at the Gandhi Jayanthi celebration that is observed here annually as the International Day of Nonviolence, where UN Postal System stamps were issued honouring the Gandhian concept of peace.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was, meanwhile, in New Delhi participating in the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth.

Espinosa said, “At its heart, humanity yearns for peace and harmony, principles that Gandhi espoused, and recent developments have given us cause for hope.”

The dialogue between the leaders of South and North Korea and the peace agreement between Djibouti and Eritrea were positive examples of trying to progress peace and an inspiration “for those countries still at odds, for those who would continue to pick up arms,” she said.

“They required work and determination, they required compromise, patience, compassion and forgiveness,” she said.

On the other hand, she said, “There are tragedies here too numerous to name, but on every account, it is heartbreaking.”

She cited the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Central African Republic.

She said, “While at one time such crimes would shock the world, the sheer explosion of social media and, occasionally, questionable media, has left many people desensitized to the world around them. We cannot allow this to happen, not when the suffering of our brothers and sisters continues.”

There were other calamities not directly caused by conflicts such as the 124 million people facing hunger, the 140 million people needing humanitarian assistance, and the over 30 million people who were displaced, either by disasters or by conflict, she added.

Amid these challenges, “I commit to working with the General Assembly and its related committees in ways that reflect Gandhi’s view of change: ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world,'” she declared.

The UN stamps have a painting of Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reutersward’s sculpture, the Knotted Gun, that is located at the UN headquarters.

UN Under-Secretary-General Jan Beagle said the stamps were “miniature works of art” and seek to raise awareness of nonviolence.

UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Adam Steiner said that the ideas that Gandhi represented are fundamental to the freedom of individuals and the aspirations of societies.

The relevance of Gandhi’s legacy is reflected in the UN’s sustainable development goals that encompass the spectrum of human condition.

Michael Nagler, the founder and president of the Metta Centre for Nonviolence, announced the launch of a year-long campaign using modern advertising techniques around the world to bring the concept of nonviolence into the mainstream, especially for the youth.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal said that the promotions of sanitation and solar power, which were taking place at international meetings in New Delhi were reflections of Gandhi’s holistic visions for society.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

World

4 new Covid-19 cases reported in NZ

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Africa Coronavirus Case

Wellington, Sep 20 (IANS) New Zealand reported four new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the nationwide tally to 1,464, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Of the four new cases, two were community cases and two were at managed isolation facilities, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Ministry statement.

The current number of active cases in New Zealand has reduced to 71, including three patients in Auckland hospitals.

Laboratories across New Zealand have conducted 5,417 tests, increasing the total number till date to 910,853, according to the Ministry.

New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 with additional restrictions on gatherings for its biggest city Auckland.

–IANS

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World

Trump wants replacement of Ginsburg without delay

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Donald Trump

Washington, Sep 20 : US President Donald Trump has said he wants a new Supreme Court judge to be sworn in “without delay”, following the death of the long serving liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday, just six weeks before the presidential election.

Trump’s Democrat rival, Joe Biden, insists the decision on her replacement must wait until after the vote. The ideological balance of the nine-member court is crucial to its rulings on the most important issues in US law.

“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday, the BBC reported.

In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked Democratic President Barack Obama’s pick for the US top court. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified the move on grounds that it was an election year.

But on Friday, Senator McConnell said he intended to act on any nomination Trump made.

Ginsburg, a liberal icon and feminist standard-bearer, died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington DC, surrounded by her family. She was only the second-ever woman to sit on the US Supreme Court.

Supporters gathered outside the court on Friday night to pay tribute to the woman who had become affectionately known as “The Notorious RBG”.

The appointment of judges in the US is a political question which means the president gets to choose who is put forward. The Senate then votes to confirm – or reject – the choice.

Ginsburg, who served for 27 years, was one of only four liberals on the nine-seat bench. Her death means that, should the Republicans get the vote through, the balance of power would shift decisively towards the conservatives.

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India

450 jobless Indian workers forced to begin Saudi, shifted to detention centres

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

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jobless Indian workers in Saudi

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

The workers are mainly from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The work permits of these workers have now expired and thus they have to beg as their situation is worse.

These workers are now being shifted to detention centres. Videos have gone viral where the workers are being taken to the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah. Among the workers 39 belong to the state of Uttar Pradesh, 10 belong to Bihar, 5 are from Telangana and four each from the state of J and K, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Workers said that they have not committed any crime but had to beg as they had lost their jobs and were helpless.

Social worker and MBT leader Amjed Khan told TOI that the workers with an expired work permit were taken to detention centres .

A total of 2.4 lakh Indians were reported to return to the country but only 40,000 have made it so far.

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