Be warned, rivers and trees can sue — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

THE New Zealand Parliament has given its Whanganui river a legal personality. This means it is recognised in law as having the same rights as a natural person; innovative as this may sound, the concept is nothing new.

After all companies are not natural persons. Yet, they have long since been given the rights and obligations of natural persons. And through their directors – the “eyes and ears” of the corporation – they can sue and be sued in court. Indeed, the NZ spokesperson said that the river will be treated “in the same way a company is”.

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The lack of human rights at the WHO — Hafidz Baharom

Source: FMT News

BY HAFIDZ BAHAROM

It is obvious that the World Health Organisation, though under the United Nations, does not abide by the articles on human rights promoted by its parent body., says Hafidz Baharom. Image taken from FMT News.

It is obvious that the World Health Organisation, though under the United Nations, does not abide by the articles on human rights promoted by its parent body, says Hafidz Baharom. Image taken from FMT News.

There is plenty done by organisations affiliated to the United Nations that raise so many questions.

From the recent “Leading by Example” snafu with Permata, to perhaps the appointment of Saudi Arabia to the Human Rights Council Panel, these international bodies have seen themselves in an ironic situation of having to stomach the very people they are supposed to be standing against.

But on top of these examples, it should be highlighted that only one of its multitude of agencies has barred the public from speaking, the media from observing, and even banned the authorities involved in their cause from participating in their talks.

That particular, dictatorial crown goes to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and how they have handled their Conference of Parties (COP) on tobacco control.

During the last COP held in 2014 in Moscow, the public was banned on the first day, and the media was ejected on the second day. This isn’t the first time the WHO and nations taking part in the conference have banned the freedom of expression. Read more

Pacific trade deal could limit affordable drugs

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The World Health Organisation says the Trans-Pacific Partnership may limit the availability of affordable medicines. – Reuters pic, November 12, 2015.

A massive trade pact between 12 Pacific rim countries could limit the availability of affordable medicines, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Thursday, joining a heated debate on the impact of the deal.

Margaret Chan told a conference there were “some very serious concerns” about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a central plank of US President Barack Obama’s trade policy which still needs to be ratified by member governments.

“If these agreements open trade yet close the door to affordable medicines we have to ask the question: is this really progress at all,” Chan asked a conference in Geneva. Read more