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Posts tagged ‘Clinton’

Every Three Seconds

Dear Gabriel,

Child marriage puts the life of a girl at risk every three seconds, while diminishing her chances at education, endangering her health, cutting short her personal growth and development – and increasing the likelihood that she’ll remain poor for life.

With the first-ever International Day of the Girl less than a week from today, the time to act on this harmful issue is now!

Do you remember how close Congress came in 2010 to passing the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act? We do – this vital legislation went so far because of the dedication, commitment and support of people like you.

During the past few years, tens of thousands of CARE supporters have contacted their elected officials, advocating on behalf of young girls to put an end to this gross human rights violation. As a result of your efforts, more elected officials than ever are joining the movement to end child marriage. Thank you.

Today, we ask you to join us again in taking a stand to end child marriage and unleash every girl’s full potential. Please ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to commit to increased political and financial investments in girls around the world to end this harmful practice.

Action and investment from the U.S. government can help vulnerable girls escape early marriage and provide lifesaving support for married adolescents.

Second chances don’t come often. With the support of advocates across the country, we can make a difference in the lives of girls everywhere. Send your message to Secretary of State Clinton now – and help bring an end to child marriage for good!

Sincerely,

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

Hope In Burma

Personal Note: Our local AIUSA Group in Santa Cruz (the fifth to be started in the U.S.) has been working for the release of two specific individuals in Burma for years. It has now been confirmed that one of them and possibly the other, have been released as part of this recent government amnesty. – Gabriel

From Nation of Change and Inter Press Service
by Jim Lobe
14 January 2012

Burma Release, Ceasefire Hailed by Obama, Rights Groups

he administration of U.S. President Barack Obama Friday hailed the release by the Burmese government of hundreds of political prisoners, suggesting that it went far toward satisfying Washington’s conditions for fully normalizing ties between the two countries.

In a statement released by the White House after the first releases were confirmed, Obama called it a “crucial step in Burma’s democratic transformation and national reconciliation process”.

“I have directed Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton and my Administration to take additional steps to build confidence with the government and people of Burma so that we seize this historic and hopeful opportunity.”

For her part, Clinton, who met last December with President Thein Sein and the country’s most famous dissident, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, during the first trip by a U.S. secretary of state to Burma in nearly 60 years, called the releases “a substantial and serious step forward in the government’s stated commitment to political reform”.

She added that the administration will soon send an ambassador to Burma, among other measures, to “strengthen and deepen our ties with both the people and the government”.

She also praised a ceasefire agreement reached Thursday between the government and the six-year-old Karen National Union (KNU) insurgency as an “important step forward”.

At the same time, she stressed, as did Obama in his statement, that full normalization will depend on continuing progress on all fronts, “including taking further steps to address the concerns of ethnic minority groups, making sure that there is a free and fair by- election, and making all the releases from prison unconditional, and making sure that all remaining political detainees are also released.”

International human rights group echoed the administration’s praise but also warned against a rush toward normalization, noting that the 651 political prisoners to be freed by the amnesty announced Friday may still leave as many as 1,000 behind bars.

“Today’s release of some of Myanmar’s political prisoners was the result of concerted, sustained pressure by the international community and bold leadership by the United States,” said Suzanne Nussel, executive director of the U.S. chapter of Amnesty International (AIUSA).

“While we welcome the releases, thousands more remain behind bars. Pressure for progress on the remaining prisoners and other human rights concerns in Myanmar must not abate,” she said.

“The risk is that the restoration of ties between the two countries may be premature and could weaken the pressure to address critical areas of unfinished business in addressing serious human rights abuses in Myanmar.”

“The United States has demonstrated that engagement combined with pressure can deliver important breakthroughs, and must sustain both elements of its approach.”

Similarly, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) hailed the release as a “crucial development in promoting respect for human rights in Burma” but called for all remaining political prisoners to be freed “immediately and unconditionally”.

Read entire article at Nation of Change.

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