15 October 2013

Presidents of MERCOSUR and associated States want resolution of sovereignty dispute over Malvinas Islands

Sixty-eighth session 
United Nations General Assembly
Agenda item 44 
Question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

45th Ordinary Meeting of the MERCOSUR Council

 In paragraph 25 of the joint communiqué adopted at that meeting by the MERCOSUR, States parties and associated States, the Presidents: 

“Reaffirmed the terms of the Declaration of the Presidents of the States Parties of MERCOSUR, the Republic of Bolivia and the Republic of Chile, signed on 25 June 1996 in Potrero de los Funes, Argentina, known as the Malvinas Declaration, and reiterated their support for the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute concerning the question of the Malvinas Islands. 

Stressed that the adoption of unilateral measures is incompatible with United Nations decisions, and recalled that it is in the interests of the region for the prolonged sovereignty dispute between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas to be resolved as soon as possible, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and the declarations of the Organization of American States, MERCOSUR, the Union of South American 
Nations and other regional and multilateral forums. 

Reaffirmed that the military presence of and military exercises conducted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas is contrary to the region’s policy of seeking a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute, and reiterated their rejection of unilateral British activities, including the exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, in the disputed area, while recognizing the right of the Argentine Republic to take appropriate legal action under its 
legislation against unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in that area. 

Reiterated the commitments set out in the Mendoza Declaration of 29 June 2012 concerning the exchange of information between the States parties of MERCOSUR and associated States regarding vessels or naval structures related to the question of the Malvinas Islands." 

Latin America and the Caribbean's most advanced Tier-IV datacenter enters final commissioning phase

Latin America and the Caribbeans most advanced Tier-IV datacenter enters final commissioning phaseSomewhere deep in the Southwest Caribbean, right in front of the Latin America coastline, the worlds newest and most advanced datacenter enters final commissioning. Curaçao Technology Exchange (CTEX), together with Schneider Electric, CISCO Systems and others for close to two years has pursued one of the most ambitious technology projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. CTEX is turning on the first of four 72,000 square feet Uptime Institute certified Tier-IV datacenter. The CTEX datacenters have already been recognized for several industry awards including the 2012 LATAM Datacenterdynamics award for incorporating the most advanced design and engineering standards throughout the region.

Industry veterans with significant experience in the datacenter space direct this young and innovative company. Their CEO, Anthony de Lima and the rest of their team with noted track records at companies such as Telefonica, KPMG, Google, Terremark, Global Crossing, and others is slowly gaining prominence throughout the region. CTEXs vision from the start was to create the most advanced and reliable datacenter in Latin America and the Caribbean, leveraging years of lessons learned from datacenter projects across the world. Too, the company was committed from the start to obtain Tier-IV certification, which they achieved in June this year together with the ISO9001:2008 certification. 

While many datacenter providers talk about being at a particular Tier level, few are certified. Certification by the Uptime Institute requires an immense level of design detailing and in the case of a Tier-IV certified facility, this means that nothing is left to chance and that all critical parts in many ways incorporate double redundancy. Downtime is not an option. This October the company will undergo final inspection of CU-1, the first of its four facilities. Successful certification will make the CTEX datacenter one out of 13 datacenters worldwide to be certified at the Tier-IV level for design as well as constructed facility and the first of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The selection of the island nation of Curaçao as the host country for the regions most advanced datacenter seemed initially to be an unconventional choice. However, Curaçao may very well have the best mix of ingredients to support such a high-end technology project. For starts, the island is located outside the traditional hurricane belt and major seismic zones. Being part of the Dutch kingdom means Curaçao benefits from European privacy laws, with a court of highest recourse located in The Hague, the Netherlands. 

The island is not a fiscal paradise and conforms to strict transparency regulations by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). For international companies Curaçao offers excellent fiscal benefits through its EZONE ruling, which means international companies establishing computing infrastructures at the CTEX datacenter, are exempt from import duties and VAT taxes. This alone can be a huge benefit when compared to similar fiscal conditions in neighboring countries. Curaçao also has five major submarine cables connecting the island to the rest of the world, with two additional cable systems planned for the first half of 2014. The island also boasts a multi-cultural and multi-lingual workforce. Finally, by being part of the Dutch kingdom, companies leveraging the CTEX datacenter to conduct business worldwide benefit from over 95 bilateral investment treaties, providing added peace of mind when delivering services across international boarders.

IBON Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples

International festival for Peoples' Rights and Struggles

Brussels, Belgium
September 23, 2013

BRUSSELS, Belgium--Representatives from various countries, civil society groups and grassroots organizations gathered at the European Parliament to hold the Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples last September 23, 2013. Organized by Jürgen KLUTE, IBON International and KONKURD (Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe), the conference aims to reaffirm the fundamental principles enshrined in the various UN declarations on the collective rights of peoples to self-determination and liberation.

An initiative supported by the European United Left - Nordic Green Left Group (GUE/NGL) of the European Parliament, the conference was attended by estemeed and highly respected speakers such as Dr. Hans Köchler (University of Innsbruck, Austria), Cynthia McKinney (former member of the US House of Representatives), Luis Jalandoni (National Democratic Front, Philippines), and other field specialists and grassroots organizers advocating for economic democracy, self-determination, peace, women's rights, collective rights and liberation of peoples.
The conference was created in response to the continued violations and threats against the various human rights recognized by the international community and the imperative demand to reaffirm these rights in the face of challenges generated by the war on terror and foreign intervention that tend to negate the national sovereignty of countries and the right of peoples' to self-determination. Participants shared their own experiences concerning their own people's resistance to various forms of human rights violations and other conditions of inequality and injustice.
Aside from the main sponsors, the event is also sponsored and endorsed by many international organizations such as ABERTZALE LEFT, CENI (Kurdish Women's Office for Peace), Indigenous Peoples' Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), International Women's Alliance (IWA), International Action Center, Mondial Pour Les Droits Des Peuples Collectifs (Federation of Collective People's Rights) and the People's Forum on Peace for Life. The conference is set to release an outcome document that contains the main points of unity agreed upon during the whole-day event.

Dissident Voice

IBON Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples

Ibon Foundation just concluded a conference to which I was invited to speak. I learned the history of the Philippine movement for independence from people who have paid the price because of their commitment to Philippine dignity, like Luis Jalandoni and Satur Ocampo For Senator (Philippines). Did you know that the Philippines was the first Republic in Asia just like Haiti was the first Republic in the Americas? Both now under occupation; both punished for their commitment to liberty.

Also discussed at the Conference, held at the European Parliament, were the situations of the Kurds, Basques, Tamils, and Catalans.

Here are my remarks.