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Ethiopia Not Free 26/100 A Obstacles to Access 5/25 B Limits on Content 11/35 C Violations of User Rights 10/40 Last Year’s Score & Status 27 100 Not Free Scores are based on […]AFRICA Election & Democracy FEATURED General Human Rights Investigative Reports Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS
Not Free 26/100
Conflicts between the Ethiopian federal government and regional forces in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia have led to sharp restrictions on the human rights of internet users. An internet shutdown that the federal government imposed in Tigray Region in 2020 began to abate during the coverage period after a peace agreement was signed in November 2022 and infrastructure was gradually restored. However, the government repeatedly restricted connectivity in conflict-affected areas of Amhara and Oromia, which increased the challenges of reporting on human rights violations and enabled the spread of misinformation. After the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) criticized the government’s recognition of a breakaway synod of bishops and called for protests in February 2023, the government blocked major social media platforms nationwide through the end of the coverage period. The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed continued to crack down on media outlets and journalists with an online presence, including by detaining journalists without charge for up to two months, revoking press licenses, and abducting and intimidating prominent online reporters.
The appointment of Prime Minister Abiy, who came to power in 2018 after his predecessor resigned in the face of mass protests, set off a transitional period in Ethiopia. Abiy pledged to reform the authoritarian state and has held elections and implemented some liberalization policies. However, Ethiopia remains beset by civil conflict and intercommunal violence, abuses by security forces and violations of due process are still common, and many restrictive laws remain in force. Between late 2020 and the November 2022 peace deal, fighting between the federal government and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and credible allegations of atrocity crimes, and the violence in Tigray has spilled over into neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.
A1 0-6 pts
|Do infrastructural limitations restrict access to the internet or the speed and quality of internet connections?||1 6|
Despite marginal gains in internet access, Ethiopia remains one of the least connected countries in the world.
As of January 2023, DataReportal reported that Ethiopia’s internet penetration rate was 16.7 percent of the total population.1 The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) cites the same 16.7 percent figure in its most recent data.2 However, state-owned Ethio Telecom, the leading internet service provider (ISP), states that there are about 31.3 million internet users in the country, which would represent about 26 percent of the population.3 Internet penetration rates vary substantially between urban and rural areas (see A2).
In May 2022, Ethio Telecom launched fifth-generation (5G) mobile network technology in the capital, Addis Ababa. The company’s chief executive announced that it planned to build 150 5G sites over the next 12 months.4
The electricity infrastructure is somewhat unreliable, and internet access was inhibited by power outages and protracted conflict during the coverage period. Since November 2020, internet and electricity services have been disrupted in Tigray Region due to a civil war between federal forces and the TPLF. Beginning in July 2021, as TPLF fighters advanced south from Tigray and occupied key cities in Amhara Region, residents in the affected areas temporarily lost access to electricity, banking, and communication services (see A3).5 After a peace agreement was signed in November 2022,6 such services were partially restored in and around Tigray.
Internet speeds declined during the coverage period. As of March 2023, Ookla reported median mobile data download and upload speeds of 16.48 Mbps (megabits per second) and 11.56 Mbps, respectively.7 The median fixed-line download and upload speeds increased during the coverage period to 8.08 Mbps and 8.86 Mbps.8
According to the Digital 2023 report, there were 66.80 million mobile accounts capable of connecting to the internet in Ethiopia as of January 2023.9 In a bid to boost smartphone ownership, Ethio Telecom introduced installment and credit plans for prospective customers in early 2020.10 A2 0-3 pts
|Is access to the internet prohibitively expensive or beyond the reach of certain segments of the population for geographical, social, or other reasons?||1 3|
While a series of price reductions in recent years have made mobile and fixed-line broadband internet services more affordable for Ethiopians,11 prices have been kept artificially high due to state-owned Ethio Telecom’s dominant market position.12 Prior to the cuts, Ethiopians had spent an average of $85 per month for limited mobile or fixed-line internet access, whereas better-quality services in neighboring Kenya and Uganda cost less than $30 a month.
In January 2022, Ethio Telecom instituted price cuts of up to 45 percent for broadband services as a new, competing service provider prepared to enter the market (see A4).13 After this round of cuts, connections with a speed of 2 Mbps that had cost 699 birr ($13) per month were reduced to 499 birr ($9), while connections with a speed of 4 Mbps that had cost 1,099 birr ($20) per month were reduced to 699 birr ($13).
Telecommunications infrastructure is almost entirely absent from rural areas, where nearly 80 percent of the population resides.14 A handful of signal stations serve the entire country, resulting in network congestion and frequent disconnections.15 In smaller towns, users often hike to the top of the nearest hill to receive a stronger signal for their mobile devices. Ethio Telecom launched 4G service in parts of Oromia Region in February 2021, making high-speed mobile data accessible outside of Addis Ababa for the first time.16 In October 2021, Ethio Telecom announced that 4G service coverage had been expanded to an additional 22 towns beyond the 53 municipalities where such service had been available as of June 2021.17
Many Ethiopians rely on cybercafés, universities, and government offices for internet access. In rural areas and small towns, cybercafés are reportedly the most common means of accessing the internet. Cybercafé prices range from 7 to 10 birr ($0.13 to $0.19) for an hour of access. Rates in rural cybercafés tend to be higher.
There have been some efforts to address the urban-rural divide and the gender gap in internet usage. In March 2019, Ethio Telecom announced that it would distribute mobile phones to women in rural areas.18 That July, it announced that it would provide mobile customers with 1 GB of internet data and 20 minutes’ worth of local calling credits free of charge.19 The impact of such efforts remains unclear. A3 0-6 pts
|Does the government exercise technical or legal control over internet infrastructure for the purposes of restricting connectivity?||1 6|
The government regularly imposes connectivity restrictions, often for political reasons and with little transparency.
On November 3, 2020, a total internet and telecommunications blackout was imposed in Tigray Region after conflict broke out between federal and Tigrayan security forces.20 The shutdown remained in place during part of the current coverage period, until a peace agreement was reached in November 2022.21 The disruption obstructed the flow of information throughout the conflict,22 preventing the media from reporting on Ethiopian, Eritrean, and TPLF military actions that human rights groups later described as mass atrocity crimes.23 The communications restrictions also impeded the documentation of rights abuses and the distribution of humanitarian aid; security forces blockaded food supplies to cause mass food insecurity, engaged in sexual violence, and attacked aid workers.24
Ethio Telecom blamed “law enforcement operations” for the service shutdown in Tigray, releasing closed-circuit television camera footage of armed individuals forcibly entering its Mekelle compound and deactivating the power source.25 A March 2021 statement from Prime Minister Abiy blamed unnamed “perpetrators” for the attack on the Ethio Telecom Mekelle site and accused the TPLF of damaging fiber-optic cables.26
As TPLF forces advanced into Amhara and Afar Regions, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency and suspended banking, electricity, and internet services in any town that they occupied.27 In September 2021, internet users reported that Gondar, a locality in Amhara, was under siege by TPLF forces and experiencing a network blackout.28 After TPLF forces gained control of Woldia, another Amhara town, in August 2021, internet, telephone, transportation, water, and electricity services were suspended.29 The internet blackout continued in both Woldia and Gondar until January 2022.30
In February 2022, internet and phone services were reportedly suspended in some parts of Oromia Region, including Kellem Wollega, amid an escalation in violence attributed to Ethiopian forces, forces affiliated with the rebel OLA, and Amhara regional forces.31 Kellem Wollega suffered another communications and internet blackout in July 2022.32 Authorities reportedly continued to sporadically restrict connectivity in conflict-affected areas in Oromia during the coverage period,33 though the number and duration of these restrictions could not be verified.34
On April 3, 2023, authorities blocked access to mobile data in several major cities in Amhara Region (Gondar, Bahir Dar, and Woldia) after protests erupted in response to the federal government’s decision to dissolve the Amhara regional special forces.35 Mobile data remained inaccessible in cities in Amhara as of May 1, 2023.36 On August 3, 2023, after the end of the coverage period, authorities blocked internet access in Amhara Region.37
The Ethiopian government’s predominant control over the country’s telecommunications infrastructure via Ethio Telecom enables it to restrict information flows and access to internet and mobile phone services. As a landlocked country, Ethiopia has no direct access to submarine cable landing stations; instead, it connects to the international internet via satellite, a fiber-optic cable that passes through Sudan and connects to its international gateway, and another that passes through Djibouti to an international undersea cable. All connections to the international internet are completely centralized under Ethio Telecom, allowing the government to cut off traffic at will. A4 0-6 pts
|Are there legal, regulatory, or economic obstacles that restrict the diversity of service providers?||1 6|
The space for independent initiatives in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, entrepreneurial or otherwise, is extremely limited. Ethio Telecom long held a firm monopoly on fixed-line and mobile services, and while a second telecommunications provider recently began operating, it still faces considerable disadvantages.
In June 2021, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) issued a license that would allow the Global Partnership for Ethiopia to become the country’s second telecommunications provider. The partnership—a consortium led by Safaricom of Kenya that also included Britain’s Vodafone, South Africa’s Vodacom, the Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, and British International Investment (formerly the CDC Group)—bid $850 million for the license.38 In June 2020, the ECA had reported receiving 11 complete submissions from operators applying for two new telecommunications licenses offered by the government.39 Safaricom began providing mobile service in Addis Ababa in October 2022,40 and had expanded its coverage to 21 cities by the end of 2022.41
Safaricom operates in Ethiopia through an infrastructure-sharing agreement with Ethio Telecom.42 In December 2022, Ethio Telecom threatened to sue Safaricom, blaming it for a service interruption in Afar Region that lasted for several hours. The issue was eventually resolved through an agreement between the two parties.
In November 2022, the Ethiopian government expressed renewed interest in selling a stake in Ethio Telecom. The ECA also announced its intention to issue an additional telecommunications license to new bidders.43 The government had halted its previous efforts to sell a 40 percent stake in Ethio Telecom in March 2022, citing “recent developments and fast-moving macroeconomic changes globally and from a country perspective.”44 Officials had initially announced its intent to sell the stake in May 2020,45 as part of its broader moves to open the country’s telecommunications market to other players,46 and a tender process for the sale was launched in June 2021.47 An estimated $40 million of a $300 million World Bank loan finalized in 2019 was committed to support the diversification of the telecommunications sector, including the restructuring and partial privatization of Ethio Telecom.48
China is a key source of investment for the Ethiopian telecommunications industry. Two major Chinese firms, ZTE and Huawei, were involved in upgrading Addis Ababa’s mobile broadband networks to 4G technology and expanding 3G networks elsewhere.49 In February 2020, the Ethiopian government paid Huawei 173 million birr ($3.2 million) to install long-term evolution (LTE) network infrastructure in Addis Ababa.50 The partnership enabled the government to maintain its hold over the telecommunications sector,51 though the networks built by the Chinese firms have been criticized for their high cost and poor service.52 In 2018, the Beijing-based telecommunications company Hengbao was contracted to supply SIM cards for Ethio Telecom.53 These relationships have led to growing fears that Chinese entities may be assisting the authorities in developing more robust ICT censorship and surveillance capacities (see C5).54
While the government maintains that ICT infrastructure is crucial for the modernization of the economy,55 onerous government regulations still stymie the sector. For example, imported ICT items are tariffed at the same high rate as luxury items, unlike other imported goods such as construction materials and heavy-duty machinery, which are given duty-free import privileges to encourage investments in infrastructure.56 Ethiopians are required to register their laptops and tablet computers with the Ethiopian customs authority before they travel out of the country, ostensibly to prevent individuals from illegally importing electronic devices. Observers believe the requirement enables officials to monitor citizens’ ICT activities by accessing the devices without consent.57
Cybercafés are subject to burdensome operating requirements under the Telecom Fraud Offences Proclamation of 2012,58 which prohibits them from providing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and mandates that owners obtain a license from Ethio Telecom through an opaque process that can take months. Violations of the requirements entail criminal liability, though no cases of prosecution have been reported.59 A5 0-4 pts
|Do national regulatory bodies that oversee service providers and digital technology fail to operate in a free, fair, and independent manner?||1 4|
In August 2019, the government established the ECA, the primary regulatory body overseeing the telecommunications sector.60 Prime Minister Abiy appointed Balcha Reba as its first director general; Balcha previously led the ECA’s predecessor, a directorate of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.61
In June 2020, the ECA opened a public consultation process on five draft directives, including regulations for consumer protection, dispute resolution, and telecommunications licensing. It made the draft directives available on its website in English and Amharic.62
Activists and civil society groups have raised concerns about the ECA’s independence. In May 2020, Kinfe Yilma, a law professor at Addis Ababa University, wrote that the regulator’s mandate remained unclear, referring to overlapping responsibilities that it appeared to share with other government ministries and agencies.63
In October 2021, the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), a government entity that has de facto authority over the internet with a mandate to protect the communications infrastructure and prevent cybercrime, was placed directly under the supervision of Prime Minister Abiy after he formed a new government in the wake of the June 2021 general elections.64
B1 0-6 pts
|Does the state block or filter, or compel service providers to block or filter, internet content, particularly material that is protected by international human rights standards?||2 6|
Score Change: The score declined from 4 to 2 because the government blocked multiple social media platforms for four months during the coverage period.
The government blocks internet content, including social media platforms. In February 2023, the EOTC expressed outrage at the government for interfering in its internal affairs, after the government recognized a breakaway synod of Oromo bishops.65 The EOTC attempted to organize a public rally via social media, which prompted the government to restrict access to prominent social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube beginning on February 9. The blocking lasted until July 19, 2023, after the end of the coverage period.66
Ethiopia has a nationwide internet blocking and filtering system that can be deployed at any time for political reasons. To filter the internet, authorities generally block specific internet protocol (IP) addresses or domain names at the level of the connection to the international gateway. Deep packet inspection (DPI) is also employed, enabling blocking based on a keyword in the content of a website or of a communication such as an email message.67 B2 0-4 pts
|Do state or nonstate actors employ legal, administrative, or other means to force publishers, content hosts, or digital platforms to delete content, particularly material that is protected by international human rights standards?||2 4|
Internet users have reported incidents of content removal, and a 2020 law requires social media companies to remove comments that are considered hate speech or disinformation within 24 hours’ notice.
In March 2020, Yayesew Shimelis, a journalist, posted a video on YouTube and Facebook with information about the government’s response to COVID-19. The Health Ministry said the information was false, and Yayesew claimed that his Facebook page was suspended without his knowledge.68 He returned to Facebook later the same month.69
In February 2020, the government passed the Hate Speech and Disinformation Prevention and Suppression Proclamation (see C2). Under the law, social media companies are required to remove content that is reported as disinformation or hate speech within 24 hours of receiving notice, though there are no penalties or sanctions for companies that do not comply.70
Nonstate actors such as organized youth groups have reportedly coerced bloggers and other users to remove objectionable content, usually by way of threats. In the past, politically unfavorable content was often targeted for removal by security officials, who personally sought out users and bloggers and instructed them to take down the material in question. B3 0-4 pts
|Do restrictions on the internet and digital content lack transparency, proportionality to the stated aims, or an independent appeals process?||0 4|
There are no transparent procedures for determining which websites are blocked or why, precluding any avenues for appeal. The authorities do not publish lists of blocked websites or criteria for how blocking decisions are made, and users receive a generic error message when trying to access blocked content. The decision-making process does not appear to be controlled by a single entity, as various government bodies—including INSA, Ethio Telecom, and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology—seem to maintain their own lists, contributing to a phenomenon of inconsistent blocking.71 The lack of transparency is exacerbated by the government’s typical refusal to admit its censorship efforts. Government officials have flatly denied the blocking of websites or jamming of international satellite services while also stating that the government has a legal and a moral responsibility to protect the Ethiopian public from extremist content.
Social media companies operating in Ethiopia have faced criticism for a lack of transparency in content moderation and enforcement of their community standards. Photos showing violent deaths have in some cases remained on platforms for years without content warnings, despite requests from family members that the posts be removed.72 In December 2021, Meta’s Oversight Board called for the company to conduct a human rights due diligence assessment on Facebook and Instagram’s role in spreading hate speech that increased the risk of violence in Ethiopia.73 In January 2022, Meta stated that it would examine the feasibility of such an assessment while continuing existing human rights due diligence efforts.74
Meta has stated that it invests in technology to moderate hate speech in Ethiopia, but violent or harmful content is often not removed in a timely fashion. In December 2022, two individuals filed a case in Kenya, where Meta’s East African content moderators are located, accusing the company of failing to remove Facebook posts that incited hatred and violence against a professor who was later murdered and a human rights researcher who fled Ethiopia (see B7).75 B4 0-4 pts
|Do online journalists, commentators, and ordinary users practice self-censorship?||1 4|
Media freedom and freedom of expression in Ethiopia remained constrained during the coverage period, as the government and security forces applied pressure that encouraged self-censorship among journalists. The online environment was rife with manipulation, misinformation, and targeted harassment (see B5, B7, and C7), further contributing to self-censorship on the internet.
Harassment and attacks against journalists covering the Tigray conflict, which had deterred uninhibited reporting in the previous coverage period, decreased following the November 2022 peace agreement.
Ethiopia’s media regulator, the Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA), has politicized licensing to retaliate against media coverage that it deems unfair. In March 2021, the authority’s deputy director general threatened to take measures against non-Ethiopian media organizations that were “disseminating misinformation and unbalanced reporting,” alleging that some of those outlets were coordinating with the TPLF.76 The authority suspended the press licenses of Economist journalist Tom Gardner and expelled him from the country in May 2022,77 and had previously suspended the press licenses of several other foreign journalists.78 In November 2021, the EMA warned four international media outlets that their licenses would be revoked if they continued to disseminate what it called false propaganda and undermined Ethiopia’s national security in their coverage of the Tigray conflict (see B6).79
In May 2023, the EMA temporarily suspended the media license of an association affiliated with the EOTC after it aired a breaking news alert and shared a statement from a committee regarding “lingering tensions” between bishops.80 The EMA claimed that the content could provoke conflict among church followers.81
When it first came to power in 2018, the Abiy government had eased state restrictions on the media, and citizens flocked to social media to participate in conversations about their country’s potential transition from authoritarianism and to hold the government accountable for promised reforms.
Self-censorship remains common in the LGBT+ community. Same-sex sexual activity is a criminal offense in Ethiopia,82 deterring open discussion of related topics. Although there are various Ethiopian LGBT+ groups on Facebook, most are run by anonymous accounts. B5 0-4 pts
|Are online sources of information controlled or manipulated by the government or other powerful actors to advance a particular political interest?||1 4|
Online misinformation is rife in Ethiopia. The government has sought to shape the information environment, and some nonstate actors control large numbers of followers who engage in trolling and harassment.
After the April 2023 assassination of Girma Yeshitila, the head of the ruling Prosperity Party in Amhara Region, the purported recording of a phone conversation between alleged members of Amhara’s informal Fano militia surfaced online, suggesting that the militia had plotted to murder Girma. The authenticity of the audio, which was posted by an anonymous account and then circulated by government supporters and state-affiliated media, was contested by Amhara activists, who claimed that it was doctored by government authorities as a pretext to prosecute Amhara activists and journalists.83 A fact-checking organization then disputed claims that a digital forensics company had proven the audio to be false and generated using artificial intelligence (AI) tools.84 After the release of the audio on social media, 47 suspects, including journalists, were detained on accusations of plotting to overthrow the government (see C3).85 Also in April, another recorded phone conversation, allegedly between journalist Meskerem Abera and prominent Amhara physician Wondwosen Assefa, was leaked by government supporters on Twitter; the recording featured criticism of the government, and both individuals were arrested.86
In November 2021, Facebook removed a post by Prime Minister Abiy because it allegedly incited and supported violence. In the post, the prime minister vowed to “bury” his government’s enemies.87
In June 2021, Facebook announced that it had removed a network of inauthentic accounts associated with INSA. The accounts posted primarily in Amharic and promoted Abiy, his Prosperity Party, criticism of Egypt and Sudan related to their objections to Ethiopia’s Blue Nile dam project, and criticism of opposition groups including the Oromo Liberation Front, the Ethiopian Democratic Party, and the TPLF.88 In response, the director of INSA accused Facebook of removing accounts that posted about the reality in Ethiopia and announced that it was building a domestic social media platform to replace Facebook and WhatsApp.89
The government and the TPLF both sought to shape the online information environment during the Tigray conflict. Social media accounts falsely claiming to represent diplomats, journalists, and other experts spread progovernment narratives online.90 The government also attempted to label online critics as sources of disinformation. For instance, INSA reported that the TPLF was disseminating 25,000 Twitter posts containing disinformation daily;91 researchers found this claim to be unsubstantiated.92 The government established an online fact-checker that spread partisan narratives in response to purported misinformation,93 further degrading trust in information shared on social media.94
The TPLF allegedly coordinated party loyalists in the “Digital Woyane” campaign,95 in which participants posed as members of different ethnic groups to incite tensions on social media. During the Tigray conflict, Ethiopian officials and progovernment social media users accused pro-Tigrayan accounts of being Digital Woyane members coordinated by the TPLF, without substantiation.96
The Eritrean government, whose military forces participated in the Tigray conflict in cooperation with the Ethiopian government, may have also attempted to shape the online environment in Ethiopia. A report published in May 2021, which used falsified information to allege a widespread TPLF-coordinated disinformation campaign, may have been linked to the Eritrean government’s global social media strategy; the report was promoted by Eritrean government accounts, Ethiopian government accounts, and social media users who supported both governments.97 Misinformation in general proliferated during the Tigray conflict (see B7), exacerbated by the restriction of internet access in Tigray (see A3).
Despite low levels of internet access, the government of former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn (2012–18) was known to employ an army of online trolls to distort the information landscape.98 Opposition groups, journalists, and dissidents used the contemptuous Amharic colloquial term “Kokas” to describe progovernment commentators under Hailemariam.99 According to observers, Kokas posted negative comments about Ethiopian journalists and opposition groups on Facebook and Twitter and were known to receive benefits such as money, land, and employment promotions in return.100 It is uncertain whether the Abiy government uses the same online manipulation tactics, but supporters of the former government have accused the current government of doing so. They scornfully refer to supporters of the current government as “Tekas.” B6 0-3 pts
|Are there economic or regulatory constraints that negatively affect users’ ability to publish content online?||1 3|
Lack of adequate funding is a significant challenge for independent online media in Ethiopia, as the risk of government reprisal dissuades local businesses from advertising with politically critical websites. A 2012 Advertising Proclamation also prohibits advertisements from firms “whose capital is shared by foreign nationals.”101 The process for launching a website on the country’s .et domain is expensive and demanding,102 requiring a business license from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and a permit from an authorized body.103
The Media Proclamation, which took effect in April 2021, reformed media laws in the country. It restructured the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority into the EMA; established a mandate for the EMA to regulate all media outlets, including online media; and created a new self-regulatory mechanism for the media industry. The reform package also decriminalized defamation (see C1).104 In June 2021, the EMA began licensing online media outlets and monitoring the 30 that were initially registered.105
In October 2021, Awlo Media Center, an online media outlet, announced that the government had confiscated its equipment for several months, arrested and abducted some of its employees, and sealed its offices. As a result, the outlet ceased operations that month (see C3).106
In July 2021, the EMA recalled the certification of registration of Addis Standard, a prominent news site, causing the outlet to suspend operations; a government official cited content published by Addis Standard that allegedly advanced the agenda of the TPLF.107 After the outlet’s executives met with EMA leadership, the regulator returned its registration certification.108 B7 0-4 pts
|Does the online information landscape lack diversity and reliability?||2 4|
Various constraints impede the development of diverse media outlets and perspectives online. With few exceptions, the media tend to favor the government in their coverage. Domestic usage of social media platforms, particularly Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, and Instagram, has been expanding and slowly replacing the popularity of older blogging services, but these platforms also suffer from misinformation and polarization.109
Misinformation has led to offline violence and made the documentation of human rights abuses more difficult in Ethiopia. In November 2021, during the previous coverage period, university professor Meareg Amare was murdered following the spread of Facebook posts inciting hatred and violence against him, which the company failed to remove until after his death (see B3).110 Fisseha Tekle, a researcher at Amnesty International, fled Ethiopia and reported fearing for his life after he received a flood of harassment on Facebook for his work uncovering human rights violations.111
The Tigray conflict spurred widespread misinformation on social media sites. The government and the TPLF both sought to control the information environment (see B5), with journalists facing harassment and accusations that they were misinformed.112 Connectivity restrictions in Tigray made it much more difficult to access news about what was happening on the ground (see A3), facilitating the spread of speculation and falsehoods.113 For instance, after a clash between the federal army and TPLF forces, many reports indicated that social media accounts unintentionally spread a doctored picture while discussing the fighting.114
The spread of unconfirmed information, the phenomenon of purportedly false news, and the growing problem of hate speech in the context of ethnic clashes have had a major negative effect on the credibility of legitimate online information. In early February 2023, when the rift between the EOTC and the government dominated the online conversation, hate speech and misinformation prevailed on social media despite the blocking of several platforms (see B1). Influencers on TikTok posted videos that featured ethnic slurs, hate speech, and in some cases explicit calls for violence against other ethnic groups.115
Ethiopian online media lack diversity in some sensitive areas, such as coverage of LGBT+ issues. B8 0-6 pts
|Do conditions impede users’ ability to mobilize, form communities, and campaign, particularly on political and social issues?||2 6|
Despite hostile conditions caused by poor internet access and repressive laws, online activism has gained considerable momentum and influence over the past several years. Social media and communications platforms have been integral to the mobilization of widespread antigovernment protests in Oromia and Amhara Regions since 2015,116 enabling activists to post information about the demonstrations and publicize cases of police brutality as the government cracked down on protesters.117 Activists have also used social media platforms to consistently report on the arrests, trials, and releases of political prisoners. The government has routinely shut down networks and blocked social media in order to hinder mobilization efforts (see A3 and B1).
In February 2023, the Ethiopian government restricted access to social media platforms TikTok, Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube in response to a planned protest against the government’s support for a breakaway synod within the EOTC (see B1).
Social media users mobilized around the Tigray conflict. Under the #TigrayGenocide and #NoMore hashtags on Twitter, users shared information about the ways in which Tigrayans were affected.118 The #NoMore hashtag has also been used to demand the end of foreign interference in Ethiopia’s domestic affairs.119 In November 2021, Twitter suspended the trending hashtags feature in Ethiopia, alleging that it was being used to incite physical harm. Protesters then used the #NoMore campaign to criticize Twitter for limiting their ability to share their narratives on the war.120
In late 2020 and early 2021, social media users mobilized around the need for aid in Tigray.121 Appeals made under the banner of the #AllowAccesstoTigray hashtag demanded that the government grant humanitarian access to the region, where residents faced mass food insecurity and physical attacks.122 Researchers found that pro-Tigray digital activism was highly coordinated to raise awareness about the conflict, with thousands of users seemingly joining Twitter to participate in the campaigns.123
C1 0-6 pts
|Do the constitution or other laws fail to protect rights such as freedom of expression, access to information, and press freedom, including on the internet, and are they enforced by a judiciary that lacks independence?||1 6|
The law formally guarantees fundamental freedoms for Ethiopian internet users, but these rights have been routinely flouted in practice. The 1995 constitution provides for freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and access to information, while also prohibiting censorship.124
The Media Proclamation, which reformed media laws in the country, took effect in April 2021. Prime Minister Abiy linked the new law to support for freedom of expression and press freedom; it allowed for partial foreign ownership of media companies and decriminalized defamation.125 The 2008 Freedom of Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation, known as the press law, also affirms constitutional safeguards for fundamental rights.126 The Media Proclamation repealed problematic provisions of the 2008 law that restricted free expression, such as complex registration processes for media outlets and high fines for defamation.127 The criminal code previously penalized defamation with a fine or up to one year in prison.128
Article 93 of the constitution permits the government to suspend the “political and democratic rights” recognized by the charter when a state of emergency is declared.129
In November 2021, following the advance of TPLF forces into Afar and Amhara Regions, the Council of Ministers declared a six-month state of emergency across the country.130 Authorities used the resulting emergency powers to crack down on media houses and arrest online and broadcast journalists (see C3).131 In February 2022, after TPLF forces were pushed out of Amhara Region, the state of emergency was lifted.132
In November 2020, the Council of Ministers had declared a six-month state of emergency in Tigray.133 A task force formed to implement the state of emergency was granted broad powers to curtail rights, including by cutting Tigray off from the communications infrastructure; such actions sharply restrict access to information and freedom of expression online.134 In the preceding years, the government had imposed states of emergency multiple times to halt protests in Oromia and Amhara.135
The judiciary is officially independent, but in practice it is subject to political interference, and judgments rarely deviate from government policy. C2 0-4 pts
|Are there laws that assign criminal penalties or civil liability for online activities, particularly those that are protected under international human rights standards?||0 4|
Several laws that were designed to restrict and penalize legitimate online activities remained in place during the coverage period.
In February 2020, the government enacted the Hate Speech and Disinformation Prevention and Suppression Proclamation, a law intended to combat online disinformation and speech that “deliberately promotes hatred, discrimination, or attack against a person.” The law criminalizes posting or sharing content on social media that authorities determine to cause violence or disturbances of public order. Its penalties include fines of up to 100,000 birr ($1,900) or up to five years’ imprisonment, with the steepest punishments for users with more than 5,000 followers. The law does not carry penalties for tagging such content.136
The 2016 Computer Crime Proclamation also criminalized an array of online activities.137 Civil society activists expressed concern that the law would be used to intensify a crackdown on critical commentary, political opposition, and public protest.138 For example, content that “incites fear, violence, chaos, or conflict among people” can be punished with up to three years in prison.139 Other problematic provisions ban the dissemination of defamatory content, which can be penalized with up to 10 years in prison,140 and the distribution of unsolicited messages to multiple email addresses (spam), which carries up to five years in prison.141
The 2012 Telecom Fraud Offences Proclamation extended the violations and penalties defined in the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the criminal code to electronic communications, including both fixed-line and mobile internet services.142 However, the antiterrorism legislation was repealed in January 2020.143 C3 0-6 pts
|Are individuals penalized for online activities, particularly those that are protected under international human rights standards?||2 6|
Online journalists were arrested in large numbers during the coverage period, as the government cracked down on media outlets and reporters in reprisal for their work.
In May 2023, the federal police announced that they would take action against individuals who “spread false information to mislead the public” on social media.144 The statement also claimed that those spreading false information were attempting to undermine investigations into suspected terrorists.
Multiple online media contributors were arrested amid the tensions surrounding the EOTC schism. In March 2023, federal police arrested YouTube-based journalists Gentet Ashagre and Aragaw Sisay. They were accused of inciting violence using social media, though authorities did not specify which of their videos prompted the arrests.145 In February 2023, authorities also detained and questioned Yosef Ketema, a journalist for the EOTC Afaan Oromoo broadcasting service who had been conducting frequent interviews with religious figures.146
In February 2023, security forces detained Tewodros Asfaw, a founder of the YouTube channel Ethio Selam, which is known for its criticism of the government. After spending nine days in detention, he was released on 30,000 birr ($560) in bail.147 He was detained again in April 2023 and held for two months before being released on 15,000 birr ($280) in bail in June, after the end of the coverage period.148
In April 2023, online journalists Meskerem Abera, Abay Zewdu, and Dawit Begashaw were arrested by security forces, prompting international advocacy groups to call for their release.149 According to local reports, police accused Meskerem Abera, who founded YouTube-based media outlet Ethio Nikat, of providing military training to informal groups. Meskerem had previously been detained for several weeks in December 2022 on charges of using social media to undermine the government.150
Later in April 2023, Ethiopian authorities arrested 47 individuals in connection with the assassination of a senior Amhara official (see B5). The government also released a list of 11 individuals who were wanted in the case and announced that it was seeking to extradite those living outside of Ethiopia. The list included online journalists from the YouTube-based media outlet Ethio-360 who were located in the United States, as well as Gobeze Sisay, who had previously been charged for allegedly spreading false rumors online.151 Security forces later announced that they had detained Sisay on terrorism charges in Djibouti after he left Ethiopia.152
In January 2023, a court in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray Region, acquitted three out of five journalists from Tigrai TV who had been detained for eight months by the TPLF-led regional government. They were accused of spreading misinformation and enemy propaganda due to their work during the period that the outlet was controlled by the federally backed Tigray interim regional administration. The other two journalists facing the same charges remained in local police custody.153
In February 2023, police in Somali Region arrested journalist Muhiyadin Mohammed Ali on charges of “spreading false propaganda” on social media, after he criticized the regional ruling party on Facebook Live. He was held in a police station for two days and released on the condition that he would not publish articles critical of the government for three months.154
In May 2022, the government arrested and detained 19 media workers as part of an “anticrime operation.” Solomon Shumiye, host of the YouTube channel Gebeyanu and a journalist from the YouTube-based media outlet Toha TV, was among those arrested.155 A court released Shumiye on bail in June 2022.156
In July 2021, police detained two employees of Ethio Forum, a YouTube broadcaster, including Yayesew Shimelis. Officials cited “affiliation with a terrorist group which is banned by the parliament” as the reason for the arrests.157 Authorities arrested Yayesew again in May 2022 for allegedly inciting the public against the government.158 After he was released on bail without charges on June 20, 2022, he was arrested yet again on June 28 by security personnel in plainclothes; Yayesew’s colleague Abebe Bayu was abducted a day later. They were each held for more than a week before being released and have since fled Ethiopia (see C7).159
In December 2021, Tamerat Negera, founder of the online media outlet Terara Network, was arrested.160 The federal police did not give an explanation for his arrest. He appeared in court in a different district after seven days, during which his family did not know his whereabouts.161 He was finally released in April 2022 on bail of 50,000 birr ($930).162 Tamerat faced intimidation after his release and returned to the United States, where he had lived in exile for several years prior to 2018, in November 2022 (see C7).163 C4 0-4 pts
|Does the government place restrictions on anonymous communication or encryption?||2 4|
Anonymous communication is compromised by strict SIM-card registration requirements. Upon purchase of a SIM card through Ethio Telecom, Safaricom, or an authorized reseller, individuals must provide their full name, address, government-issued identification number, and a passport-sized photograph. Ethio Telecom’s database of SIM registrants enables the government to terminate individuals’ SIM cards and bar them from registering new ones. Internet service subscribers are also required to register their personal details, including their home addresses, with the government.
There are no explicit restrictions on encryption, though police officers and members of the security services may assume malign intent on the part of individuals who use encryption. C5 0-6 pts
|Does state surveillance of internet activities infringe on users’ right to privacy?||1 6|
Government surveillance of online and mobile phone communications is pervasive in Ethiopia, and the relevant laws and practices have not been reformed since Prime Minister Abiy took office in 2018. Police have been known to force detainees to hand over passwords to their phones and social media accounts, enabling manual searches of their devices.
Activists have reported in previous years that their phone communications were under surveillance. During the coverage period, a recording of an alleged phone conversation between journalist Meskerem Abera and a Fano militia member was leaked and circulated online by progovernment bloggers.164 The authenticity of the recording could not be independently verified, but its circulation raised concerns that Meskerem was under communications surveillance.165
The 2016 Computer Crime Proclamation strengthened the government’s surveillance powers, enabling real-time monitoring or interception of communications when authorized by the justice minister. The law also obliges service providers to store records of all communications and metadata for at least a year.166
Ethiopia’s telecommunications and surveillance infrastructure has been developed in part through investments from Chinese companies with backing from the Chinese government, leading to strong suspicions that the Ethiopian government has implemented highly intrusive surveillance practices modeled on the Chinese system. A 2014 Human Rights Watch report revealed significant evidence that the Ethiopian government had deployed a centralized system developed by Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE to monitor mobile networks and the internet.167
ZTE’s customer-management database (known as ZSmart) has been installed at Ethio Telecom, providing the government with full access to user information and allowing it to intercept short-message service (SMS) text messages and record phone conversations.168 ZSmart also allows security officials to locate targeted individuals through real-time geolocation tracking of mobile phones.169 While it is unclear whether the government has made full use of ZTE’s sophisticated surveillance system, the authorities frequently present intercepted emails and phone calls as evidence during trials of journalists and bloggers, or as a scare tactic during interrogations.170
Exiled dissidents have been frequent targets of surveillance-enabling malicious software, or spyware, over the years. In February 2018, the Toronto-based Citizen Lab published research detailing how spyware from an Israeli company was used against Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo political activist and the once-exiled executive director of the diaspora-run news outlet Oromia Media Network (OMN), which had been banned by the previous government for allegedly inciting violence and promoting terrorism.171
Previous Citizen Lab research published in 2015 found that Remote Control System (RCS) spyware had been used against employees of ESAT, a diaspora-run media outlet based in the United States, in 2014.172 Analysis of the RCS attacks uncovered credible links to INSA.173 C6 0-6 pts
|Does monitoring and collection of user data by service providers and other technology companies infringe on users’ right to privacy?||1 6|
Ethiopian law allows the government to obtain user information from telecommunications service providers.
The Computer Crime Proclamation requires service providers to store records of all communications and related data for at least a year, and this information must be shared with the government if requested.174 The lack of separation between state-owned Ethio Telecom and the government raises significant concerns about the company’s degree of cooperation with authorities. Ethiopia lacks a data protection law, though a draft Data Protection Proclamation was published in August 2022.175 If adopted, it would establish a personal data protection commission tasked with regulating the use of personal data in Ethiopia.176 C7 0-5 pts
|Are individuals subject to extralegal intimidation or physical violence by state authorities or any other actor in relation to their online activities?||1 5|
Online journalists and ordinary users face the threat of extralegal violence, particularly amid the heightened interethnic hatred associated with the recent conflicts in Tigray and other regions.
Two journalists with the YouTube-based media outlet Ethio Forum, Yayesew Shimeles and Abebe Bayu, were abducted in June 2022.177 Both were released in July 2022 after being held for more than a week.178 In June 2023, after the end of the current coverage period, they announced that they had left Ethiopia and began posting Ethio Forum videos from abroad.179
In April 2023, Genet Asmamaw, a journalist for the YouTube channel Yeneta, was abducted and beaten by security forces after she interviewed the former commander of Amhara’s regional special forces,180 prompting international organizations to call for an investigation to hold the perpetrators accountable.181
In May 2023, social media activist Ermias Mekuria was abducted. His whereabouts were unknown for two weeks,182 after which he reportedly appeared in court.183 The status of his case after the coverage period was unclear.
Tamerat Negera, founder of an online news network, was released on bail in April 2022 after being detained without charge for 118 days (see C3). He fled the country in November 2022, with sources close to him citing the risk of rearrest.184
Tigrayans who have been released from military camps in Afar have reported facing torture and inhumane conditions while in detention.185 Several journalists who were arrested and detained were held in military camps in Afar.
Hate speech proliferated during the Tigray conflict, with many social media users employing ethnic slurs to characterize the opposing side. A report that studied online misinformation in Ethiopia found that about a quarter of sampled posts contained hate speech, with an even greater amount of hate speech shared in response to those posts.186 Ethiopians reported an escalation of violent ethnicity-based attacks during the conflict, including incidents targeting Tigrayan and Amhara people.187 Experts raised concerns that online hate speech was contributing to an environment conducive to offline abuse and violence.188
Social media users also harassed and intimidated people simply for sharing content related to the Tigray conflict. For instance, Haben Girma, a disability rights activist who is deaf and blind, reported that she was attacked by online trolls who mocked her disability after she posted about the conflict.189
Journalists reported experiencing increased online harassment during the Tigray conflict,190 especially as internet users mobilized along progovernment and pro-TPLF lines (see B5, B7, and B8). Tom Gardner, the journalist for the Economist whose accreditation was revoked in May 2022 (see B4), accused the government of using social media to spread claims that he was “aligned with the TPLF,” which prompted harassment against him online.191
Almost a third of 487 Ethiopian women surveyed by Pollicy, a technology consulting firm, reported experiencing online sexual harassment, stalking, or other forms of harassment in an August 2020 study.192 LGBT+ people also experience online harassment. For instance, when a US-based LGBT+ tour company announced its plan to offer a trip to Ethiopia in 2019, it received death threats and hate messages on social media.193 C8 0-3 pts
|Are websites, governmental and private entities, service providers, or individual users subject to widespread hacking and other forms of cyberattack?||2 3|
Score Change: The score improved from 1 to 2 because there were no reported cyberattacks aimed at media houses, journalists, or civil society during the coverage period.
Government entities and political parties are frequently subjected to cyberattacks, while opposition journalists and activists have reported being targeted with such attacks by security forces in the past.
In May 2023, INSA reported that it had responded to more than 4,400 actual or attempted cyberattacks targeting Ethiopian institutions over the course of nine months, preventing 19 billion birr ($353 million) in damages and lost revenue.194
In early June 2021, INSA detailed an attempted cyberattack meant to breach 37,000 computers in Ethiopia, which it attributed to a group that had previously targeted Ethiopian websites in connection with the controversial Blue Nile dam project.195
You can recycle anything with a plug, battery or cable! International E-Waste Day to shed the light on ‘invisible’ electronic waste. According to UN, 8 kg of e-waste per person will be produced […]AFRICA Environmental Science FEATURED General Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES
According to UN, 8 kg of e-waste per person will be produced worldwide in 2023. This means 61.3 million tonnes of electronic waste discarded within a year – more than the weight of the Great Wall of China. Only 17.4 per cent of this waste, containing a mixture of harmful substances and precious materials, will be recorded as being properly collected, treated and recycled globally. The remaining 50,6 million tonnes will be either placed in landfill, burned or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard way or simply hoarded in the households. Even in Europe, which leads the world in e-waste recycling, only 54% of e-waste is officially reported as collected and recycled and the lack of public awareness is preventing countries from developing circular economies for electronic equipment.
International E-waste Day is a yearly awareness raising celebration initiated by the WEEE Forum and its members and takes place every year on 14th of October. It aims to highlight the growing issue of electronic waste and promote responsible e-waste management.
This year’s edition will run under the slogan “You can recycle anything with a plug, battery or cable!” highlighting the issue of invisible e-waste – the electronic items that often go unrecognized and are not properly recycled within the appropriate waste stream. While e-waste is often associated with discarded gadgets and devices, a significant amount of electronic waste remains hidden in plain sight.
Invisible e-waste refers to electronic waste that goes unnoticed due to its nature or appearance, leading consumers to overlook its recyclable potential. As today’s lifestyle is more and more technology oriented, a lot of products present on the market have an electrical or electronic components. This means that at the end of their lives, when they can no longer be reused or repaired, they should be part of the electronics’ recycling stream.
Some examples of this type of objects, largely present in households are: electric and electrotonic toys, e-cigarettes, power tools, smoke detectors, wearables, smart home gadgets, e-bikes and e-scooters or simply cables.
According to the study developed in 2022 by UNITAR and WEEE Forum members in 6 countries, (UK, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and The Netherlands) of the 74 average total e-products in a household 13 are being hoarded (9 of them unused but working and 4 broken). Small consumer electronics and accessories (such as headphones, remote controls – often not recognised as electronic items) rank top of the list of hoarded products. If these gadgets remain in the drawers and cupboards, the valuable resources they contain cannot re-enter the manufacturing cycle and are lost.
When electronic devices and components are disposed of improperly because they were not recognised as e-waste, they often end up in landfills or incinerators. Electronics contain various hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and flame retardants, which can leach into soil and water sources, polluting ecosystems and posing risks to human health.
These devices also contain valuable resources, including precious metals like gold, silver, and copper, as well as rare and strategic elements also called Critical Raw Materials which are crucial for the green transition and production of new electronic devices. When e-waste is not recycled properly, these valuable materials go to waste. Mining and extracting new resources to meet the demand for new electronics production contribute to the depletion of finite resources and intensify environmental damage.
International E-Waste Day serves as a platform for raising awareness about the e-waste issue. Last year 194 organisations from 72 countries across 6 different continents registered as participants, with many more entities marking the day with activities, news reports and online campaigns. This year #ewasteday will again take place on 14 October 2023 and any e-waste related awareness raising activities are welcome to be part of it: from social media, TV and radio campaigns to city or school e-waste collections or even artistic performances.
Any organisations sensitive to the issue of e-waste and willing to participate are invited to register here.
Of ~16 Billion Mobile Phones Possessed Worldwide, ~5.3 Billion will Become Waste in 2022; a Small Fraction will be Properly Disposed Of Experts expect roughly 5.3 billion mobile / smartphones will drop out […]AFRICA Environmental Science FEATURED General Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS
Of ~16 Billion Mobile Phones Possessed Worldwide,
~5.3 Billion will Become Waste in 2022;
a Small Fraction will be Properly Disposed Of
Experts expect roughly 5.3 billion mobile / smartphones will drop out of use this year. Stacked flat atop one another at an average depth of 9 mm that many disused phones would rise roughly 50,000 km – 120 times higher than the International Space Station; one-eighth of the way to the moon.
And, despite their valuable gold, copper, silver, palladium and other recyclable components, experts expect a majority will disappear into drawers, closets, cupboards or garages, or be tossed into waste bins bound for landfills or incineration.
And, surprisingly, mobile phones rank 4th among small EEE products most often hoarded by consumers.
Hoarding of the many types of small, unused, dead or broken plug-in and battery-operated products is the focus of this year’s 5th annual International E-Waste Day.
Organizers today released the results of surveys conducted to reveal why so many households and businesses fail to bring Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in for repair or recycling.
The surveys were conducted from June to September, 2022 by the members of the WEEE Forum and the results were consolidated by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme.
The surveys show that, of 8,775 European households in six countries representing the diversity of the European Union – Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Romania and Slovenia, and separate UK survey, the average household contains 74 e-products such as phones, tablets, laptops, electric tools, hair dryers, toasters and other appliances (excluding lamps).
Of that 74 average total e-products, 13 are being hoarded (9 of them unused but working, 4 broken).
The top 5 hoarded small EEE products (by number of pieces*), Europe:
(* By weight, discarded washing machines and other white appliances outweigh all other types of e-waste by far.)
Meanwhile, LED lamps rank tops the list of products most likely to be trashed.
Hoarded small kitchen and household equipment, laptops and tablets as share of total stock of those products in households:
Top 5 reasons for hoarding WEEE of any kind, Europe:
Says Pascal Leroy, Director General of the WEEE Forum, the organisation behind International E-Waste Day: “We focussed this year on small e-waste items because it is very easy for them to accumulate unused and unnoticed in households, or to be tossed into the ordinary garbage bin. People tend not to realise that all these seemingly insignificant items have a lot of value, and together at a global level represent massive volumes.”
“The producer responsibility organisations in the WEEE Forum that manage the collection of e-waste are constantly working to make the proper disposal of small e-waste simple and convenient for users and households,” says Mr. Leroy. “Providing collection boxes in supermarkets, pick up of small broken appliances upon delivery of new ones and offering PO Boxes to return small e-waste are just some of the initiatives introduced to encourage the return of these items.”
Adds Magdalena Charytanowicz of the WEEE Forum in charge of International E-Waste Day: “As noted in our short public video (https://youtu.be/r8XIoquM40Y), in 2022 alone, small EEE items such as cell phones, electric toothbrushes, toasters and cameras produced worldwide will weight an estimated total of 24.5 million tonnes – four times the weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza. And these small items make up a significant proportion of the 8% of all e-waste thrown into trash bins and eventually landfilled or incinerated.”
“These devices offer many important resources that can be used in the production of new electronic devices or other equipment, such as wind turbines, electric car batteries or solar panels – all crucial for the green, digital transition to low-carbon societies.”
In the past twenty years, the PROs in the WEEE Forum have collected, de-polluted, recycled or prepared for re-use more than 30 million tonnes of WEEE. They have spent enormous sums on communication campaigns. Still, challenges ahead remain daunting.
On 7 Dec. 2022 the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Grand Challenge Conference (http://weeeforumconference.com) will mark the 20th anniversary of the WEEE Forum, a consortium of reputable e-waste collection organizations. The conference will also mark the 20th anniversary of EU Directive 2002/96/EC, the world’s first supranational (EPR) legislation on e-waste soon to be revised and updated.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, commented: “The continuing growth in the production, consumption and disposal of electronic devices have huge environmental and climate impacts. The European Commission is addressing those with proposals and measures throughout the whole product life-cycle, starting from design until collection and proper treatment when electronics become waste.”
“Moreover, preventing waste and recovering important raw materials from e-waste is crucial to avoid putting more strain on the world’s resources. Only by establishing a circular economy for electronics, the EU will continue to lead in the efforts to urgently address the fast-growing problem of e-waste.”
Dr. Kees Baldé, Senior Scientific Specialist at UNITAR SCYCLE, and a lead researcher behind the Global e-Waste Monitor, noted that many small electronic products such as disposable airplane earbuds or cables and adapters accumulate largely unnoticed in many households. All the defunct earbuds accumulated by 2026 strung together would stretch around the moon three times.”
“Moreover, over the past decade the growth in generated e-waste has been considerably higher than the growth in recycling, thus it is important to remind people of the importance of reusing or returning every single piece of electronics or electrical product that is forgotten about in household drawers.”
UN-led thought paper outlines options
Also launched to coincide with International e-Waste Day: a UN “thought paper” at https://www.itu.int/itu-d/sites/environment/ (available Oct. 14) offers a series of ideas and options for reducing the global problem.
Led by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with contributions from the WEEE Forum – which organizes International E-waste Day – and StEP, the Solving the eWaste Problem Initiative – the paper details the pros and cons of a wide range of options, including, for example:
UN certificate available to graduates of new 90-minute online e-waste training program
Meanwhile, UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), today also launched the first self-paced e-waste online training course open to anyone. A UNITAR certificate is available to graduates of the roughly 1.5 hour course (lectures, videos, illustrations, tests and a final exam).
The course will be available Oct. 14 at https://www.uncclearn.org
Says Nikhil Seth, UNITAR’s Executive Director and an instrumental figure in development of the Sustainable Development Goals, “UNITAR is proud of this new course on e-waste management as an outstanding example of how to use scientific findings in a practical way for international training and capacity building in an area of critical environmental importance.”
Adds Dr. Ruediger Kuehr, Founder of the SCYCLE Programme and Head of UNITAR’s Office in Bonn: “ International E-waste Day reminds us annually of the avalanche of problems we face unless we take appropriate measures, without which global e-waste could double to 100 million tonnes or more in the next 30 years. Consumption of electronics in many countries continues to grow, with more and more gadgets and products or embedded in such as furniture, clothes and toys, all of which eventually become e-waste.”
“We need to understand this growth and counter it with everyone involved: national authorities, enforcement agencies, Producer Responsibility Organisations, original equipment manufacturers, recyclers, researchers and consumers themselves.”
A grand-scale peace event was held in South Korea from September 18 to 20 with stable operation and participants’ satisfaction. Themed “Implementation of Multidimensional Strategies for Institutional Peace,” the world peace event hosted […]AFRICA FEATURED General Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS
A grand-scale peace event was held in South Korea from September 18 to 20 with stable operation and participants’ satisfaction. Themed “Implementation of Multidimensional Strategies for Institutional Peace,” the world peace event hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) with the contribution of 2,000 volunteers was set to welcome over 800 global leaders from 121 countries representing diverse sectors including politics, education, youth, women, media, and religion from around the globe.
At the heart of this grand occasion was the dedicated Airport Team, working tirelessly to ensure participants’ smooth arrival and departure. Their responsibilities spanned from issuing visas to ticketing, guaranteeing the safety of participants, and even handling unforeseen flight disruptions. In their unwavering commitment to safety and order, they left no stone unturned to ensure a seamless airport experience for all.
The skilled drivers from the HWPL Convoy Team as another group of volunteers under rtook meticulous vehicle inspections to transport the participants with comfort and safety. Their professionalism and dedication left a lasting impression on visitors. The total distance driven by volunteer drivers during the event was approximately 800,000 km, or spinning 20 times of the globe.
Volunteer interpreters also played a vital role in facilitating communication in sessions of the summit. Their commitment to connecting communications ensured a meaningful experience for all involved. “All of the 800 guests participating in over 30 sessions require interpretation. And all materials have to be translated into over 20 languages. Not only private organizations but also most national forums do not operate on such a large scale. Our HWPL interpretation and translation volunteers are carrying out this entire process,” said a volunteer interpreter.
The broadcast media team, consisting of 208 volunteers, worked to capture and convey the essence of the summit to a global audience. “I believe that our videos serve as a powerful tool for spreading a culture of peace, making this event accessible to people around the world in various languages,” said a volunteer.
The installation team was responsible for the critical infrastructure necessary to make the event a success. They handled electrical setups, stage installations, and maintenance throughout the event, ensuring a seamless experience for attendees.
“All of these volunteers, driven by their passion for peace, are working tirelessly to support the peace summit, and their unwavering commitment is truly remarkable. We HWPL would like to appreciate their dedication and hope that the government will support this peace movement,” said a HWPL official.
HWPL, a South Korea-based international peace NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC, has carried out global peace movements for world peace and cessation of war since its foundation in 2013. South Korea recently suffered from the recent 2023 World Scout Jamboree with global participants with poor management and apology from the government.
More than 1,800 people from 121 countries, including the United States, the Philippines, Ukraine, South Africa, Pakistan, Thailand, Romania, and India, attended the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit […]AFRICA Education Election & Democracy FEATURED General Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS
More than 1,800 people from 121 countries, including the United States, the Philippines, Ukraine, South Africa, Pakistan, Thailand, Romania, and India, attended the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit held in South Korea, from September 18th to 21st.
During this event themed “Implementing a Multidimensional Strategies for Institutional Peace”, leaders and experts in the fields of international law, religion, education, youth, women, and media participated in about 30 sessions over four days. The participants engaged in discussions, tailored not only by fields but also by countries, on practical and viable strategies to establish a legally binding international law for peace.
“War can come to an end only when we all become messengers of peace, both at home and at school.” It is expected that the results discussed in each session will accelerate the development of peace initiatives,” Chairman Lee Man-hee of HWPL emphasized.
Institutionalization of Peace Being Realized in Mindanao, Philippines, a Land of 40 years of conflict
The Philippines was presented as an example of a country where the institutionalization of peace is most actively underway. On the 18th, Hon. Ahod B. Ebrahim, Al haj, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from the Philippine, declared the cessation of decades of conflict in Mindanao. He said, “The Bangsamoro is now a land of peace, prosperity, and justice where Muslims, Christians, Indigenous Peoples, and our Lumad brothers and sisters co-exist and live in harmony.”
As an international mediator between the conflicting parties, HWPL engaged in a civilian-level peace agreement in Mindanao on January 24, 2014 and led civil campaigns to raise awareness of peace. 18 peace monuments and 32 peace libraries have been established nationwide, and peace education across the country has been introduced to develop peace as a culture through the partnership with educational institutions including the Commission on Higher Education(CHED).
Institutionalization of Peace through Legal Bases
In 2016, the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) was proclaimed to advocate international law for peace with principles of conflict resolution and public participation. The DPCW has gained supports from about 900,000 from civil society organizations in 176 countries, international organizations including the Central American Parliament and governments. HWPL announced in a progress report that it plans to introduce the DPCW to the United Nations.
During the DPCW conference at the 2023 peace summit, creating a basic guide for drafting amendments that can change domestic law into a law that includes the principle of peace was discussed. Participants including Mr. NinsohTheophileTouhou, a General Director of Reconciliation, Ministry of Reconciliation and National Cohesion of Côte d’Ivoire said that they would make efforts to promote the DPCW to each country and receive national support.
“The DPCW aims to significantly supplement the UN Charter, thus further building upon established principles of international law for global peace and cessation of war. With a system of institutionalized peace through the DPCW, the United Nations, its Charter, the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the many Departments can become better equipped to deal with unprecedented challenges and evolving forms of conflict that may arise with the passage of time, ultimately working toward a more hopeful future of harmonious coexistence in peace,” said Prof. TeodorMelescanu, Former Foreign Affairs Minister of Romania.
Inter-religious Communication for Peace
Since 2014, HWPL has been operating the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office around the world to promote understanding among religions, prevent conflicts caused by religion, and seek the role of religion for peace. These include religious leaders’ comparative study of scriptures, religious peace camps that promote respect and understanding among younger generations from religious backgrounds, and the HWPL Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee, which delivers messages of unity about peace to the world as world religious leaders.
The HWPL Religious Peace Academy (RPA) was introduced to deepen religious knowledge exchange and understanding beyond a basic level of comprehension of different religious scriptures. As part of this initiative, the RPA lecture series by religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism has appealed 1,500 religious representatives worldwide since the beginning of this year. In this summit, the RPA special lecture was open to participants to enhance inter-religious dialogues.
Peace Education “Beyond School”
HWPL’s Peace Education is also actively in operation so that future generations can become citizens of peace who cultivate the spirit of peace and maintain a world of peace. HWPL supplying peace education curricula and textbooks to 93 countries around the world, and has signed MOAs with education ministries and higher education in 12 countries, and signed MOUs with 385 educational institutions in 52 countries.
In the summit, it was presented that educational opportunities should be provided to people who are not students belonging to educational institutions. “Today’s children are our future leaders; they need to learn ‘respect for diversity and harmony’ and ‘coexistence and sustainability’. Peace education will prepare our children to solve global issues peacefully and grow into future citizens of peace and leaders of peace, who can turn the world into a world of peace,” said H.E. ShahidKhaqanAbbasi, former Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Policy Approach to Spreading a Culture of Peace
On the 19th, a roundtable was held with 16 experts in the field of culture and arts, including ministers, UNESCO national committee members, and professors to discuss policy implementation cases and future plans to develop peace in a cultural area. In the event, an international consultative body of experts to design policies to promote a culture of peace was proposed. “Timor-Leste participates in this event with the aim of learning from other countries that have more relevant experiences and that can help us to be more effective and efficient in promoting and institutionalizing peace as a legacy for the future” said Minister of Higher Education, Science and Culture, Dr. José Honório da Costa Jerónimo.
Seoul-Korea, September 19, 2023 (ANC) – The 2023 International Women’s Peace Conference aims to raise awareness about the multi-dimensional role of women in sustainable peace and the importance of implementing these resolutions in […]AFRICA FEATURED Female General Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS Videos
Seoul-Korea, September 19, 2023 (ANC) – The 2023 International Women’s Peace Conference aims to raise awareness about the multi-dimensional role of women in sustainable peace and the importance of implementing these resolutions in the world, especially in countries emerging from conflict. In the 9th anniversary of the September 18th HWPL world peace summit, the rationale behind the conference is to give attention to the situation for women and their concern over peace and development and to strengthen their role in promoting peace and development in the world.
HWPL Chairman Lee Man-hee remarked that Women are essential agents for creating stability in the lives of their families and promoting reconciliation with women even under challenging and traumatic situations. However, women’s peacebuilding potential have had no significant impact on policies and decision relating to conflicts because of their absence from the decision-making and bodies in the region.
According to Women’san-hee, Women are among those most affected by conflict but are also most likely to remain excluded from participating in peace negotiations. Despite cumulative evidence showing that peace agreements are more likely to be reached when women are included, peacebuilding initiatives are more responsive to community needs, and peace is more sIWPG’sable. Women peacebuilders worldwide have been working to ensure the work women do in mediation and conflict prevention spaces is visible and that women’s participation is achieved a IWPG’s levels and in all areas—from civil society to politics to mediation and beyond.
The International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) held the 2023 International Women’s Peace Conference(IWPC) on the theme “The Role of Women for Sustainable Peace.” The IWPG was held at the Grand Hyatt Incheon West on September 19, 1:30-4:00 PM. It was simultaneously interpreted and broadcasted in 8 languages, including Korean, English, Fnation’spanish, Arabi”, German, Mongolian, and Ukraine.
This event aimed to highlight IWPG’s achievements and discuss what women can do for peace in their positions. It was also part of the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th World Peace Summit, hosted by IWPG’s cooperative organization, HWPL.
Firstly, H.E. Maria de Fátima Afonso Vila Nova, First Lady of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe, gave her congratulatory remarks. She has been advocating for the participation of women in political and peace talks all her life. Through her experience and work on the ground, including as a member of parliament, she is committed to bringing together women political leaders with different views to discuss and iron out differences that would hinder the progress of the broader peace talks. “It is important that female political leaders from different parties come together to discuss and reach consensus on specific” policies so that they can keep focusing on the bigger picture and goal—namely, to build peace together,” she says. Next, special speaker H.E. Hon. Aya Benjamin Libo Warille, Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare of South Sudan, emphasized the necessity and urgency of sustainable peace.
H.E. Hon. Aya Benjamin Libo Warille added from her experience, “South Sudanese, we have first-hand experience of wars. We know the consequences of conflict. It has broken families, communities, and” the initial busting women as a nation. People are displaced “and subjected to violations that severely affect their mental health. This can affect the performance of the population if not well addressed; it manifests in every aspect of life and may contribute to cycles of conflict. I experience “losing my today’s, disappearing without a trace. I have not buried him and am living with that heavy burden> I am aware that I am not alone, But nobody suffers such a life. I deal a lot with widows and orphans who are left to care for themselves because their mothers cannot do so. The situation will only bring back conflicts if that same “violence. We as a people, especially our women, have been and will continue to be beacons of hope in South Sudan.”
The event was divided into two smaller sessions: peace education, a culture of peace, and institutionalization of peace in the first session. Dr. Kadia Maiga Diallo, Secretary General of the Malian National Commission for UNESCO and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(ISESCO), talked about the importance and opportunity of women’s peace education. Next. Ms. Néziha Labidi, women’s Co-Chair of the United Nations Civil Society Regional Reference Groupwomen ‘srica, gave a speech titled “Empowering the Future: Women’s Peace Education in a Changing World.” Public Health Specialist at Christian Social Service Commissions, Ms. Lilian Benedict Msaki, explained the change in Tanzania by PLTE. She advocates for the right of women to be at the peace table and to occupy positions of power. “Although today’s Tanzania has some female representation in government, the percentage is as low as in percent. I strongly believe more women are needed,” Lilian says. “When women are trained in peace, it is a way to conquer powerful positions and help reach peace. Women can achieve extraordinary results when we are at the table.”
In the second session, the coordinator of International Affairs of the IWPG HQ moderated the discussion with 3 Filipino women on how women’s lives have changed peacefully in Mindanao, Philippines. The speakers were Hon. Maria Theresa Royo-Timbol, Mayor of Kapa”ong. Davao Del Norte: Hon. Elizabeth Mangudadatu, Municipal Vice Mayor of Mangudadatu, Maguindanao; and Ms. Ruby Bañares-Victorino, Past President of the Zonta Club of Metropolitan Pasig. Women peacebuilders worldwide have been working to ensure that women’s work in mediation and conflict prevention spaces is visible and that women’s participation is achieved at”all levels and in all areas—from civil society to politics to mediation and beyond.
They also want to promote women’s participation in peace processes beyond local to international views. They have called on the international community to allow everyone to join the peace conversation, especially women and young people. “We need the political participation of women as they are the ones who bring our needs and demands to the table and ensure they are discussed and addressed,” they say. “Women are the only ones who can solve our problems.”
The topic of the third session was the limitations of existing international laws and the meaning of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). Dr. Ahlam Beydoun. Former Professor at the Faculty of Law, Political and Administrative Sciences, Lebanese University. Beirut evaluated the limitations of international law surfaced by the current global affairs. Next, Ms. Lee Kyou-sun, the Director General of Peace Education of the IWPG HQ, introduced the meaning and main points of the DPCW. Lastly, IWPG Advisory and former Mongolian Member of Parliament, Ms. Budee
Munkhtuya Ms. Budee Munkhtuya, also President of the Association of Mothers with the Order of Famous Mothers, talked about the role of women in institutionalizing sustainable peace. She has been working for decades to protect women’s rights. She was among those who successfully advocated for the inclusion and participation of women in the peacebuilding and democratic transformation of the country. To make this possible, she overcame many challenges, including constant threats from armed groups and a sociopolitical context where women’s rights were progressively shrinking.
IWPG Chairwoman Hyun Sook Yoon said, “We can never be free from war unless we do not have a system to establish sustainable peace worldwide. We should think about the peace we truly need. Also, IWPG is united with women worldwide in a multi-faceted manner to achieve the peace that the world needs. I look forward to the groundbreaking plans and active execution of the participants of this conference.”
Lastly, IWPG Advisories and Publicity Ambassadors and the IWPG Peace Achievement Award were appointed. H.E. Hon. Aya Benjamin Libo Warille (South Sudan) and Pascal Esho Warda (Iraq) were selected as IWPG Advisory Council members, and Warda Sada (Israel) was established as Publicity Ambassador.
Lalji Balghis(India), Vinutthaput Phophet(Thailand), and Wanja Cheon(Republic of Korea) were awarded the IWPG Peace Achievement Award.
Korea, Seoul, 19 September 2023 (ANC): the 6th International Religious Leaders’ Conference – Religious Peace Academy (RPA): Platform for Comparative Studies on Scriptures held in Seoul, capital of Korea 2nd day program addresses […]AFRICA FEATURED General Human Rights Investigative Reports Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS Videos
Korea, Seoul, 19 September 2023 (ANC): the 6th International Religious Leaders’ Conference – Religious Peace Academy (RPA): Platform for Comparative Studies on Scriptures held in Seoul, capital of Korea 2nd day program addresses different global religious leaders. Today, religious leaders gather for a world peace summit forum to search for answers to the daunting challenges of our time. Here, Maulen Ashimbayev, the Speaker of the Kazakh Senate, explains why it’s time to work together for peace.
According to religious leaders’ messages, Imam Ibrahima Doumbia, Imam of Mosque Ashaboul-kissah Odienne, Côte d’Ivoire, presents Expansion of Comparative Scriptural Knowledge: HWPL WARP Office and Religious Peace Academy.
Our world, besieged by war and conflict, desperately needs the message of peace and tolerance. Battles take lives, destroy schools and homes, and devastate fields and factories. But they also divide and polarize entire regions, continents, and the world. This is why HWPL established and hosts Korea, the world’s religious and spiritual leaders, every year. The 6th International ReIigious Leaders’ Conference issues an appeal for peace, understanding, and inter-ethnic and interfaith harmony in the name of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world religions.
HWPL introduced a new form of religious peace dialogue for the world called the Religious Peace Academy. The Religious Peace Academy is a comprehensive program and sustainable approach to deeper scripture-sharing that came out as a product of the WARP Office that facilitated the detailed presentation of the philosophy, practices, beliefs, and cultures that are based on the scriptures of the Muslim, Christianity, and the Hindu, specifically, the Hare Krishna Movement religions. Religious Peace Academy began during the height of the pandemic. Instead of slowing down, we doubled our efforts to contribute to peace in the field of religion. This platform has been critical in building bridges between Christianity, Islam, and other religious communities when terrorism and religious extremism threatened a deeper rift.
According to world religious leaders’ message
Furthermore, we need to enhance education about different religions, raise a young generation not afraid of the differences between faith communities – and manage political differences in a civilized and respectful way.
Religious Peace Academy, Imam Ibrahima Doumbia, Imam of Mosque ashaboul-kissah Odienne, Côte d’Ivoire address. RPA aims to educate religious leaders about the teachings of different scriptures to look for the truth, in which scripture clearly explains the will and plan of God according to what was written and how it came to be a reality. RPA has institutionalized the approach to understanding God deeply according to the scripture. RPA will soon become an educational institution that will educate the people about God’s truth according to the scriptures.
“Fostering the Culture of Studying Other Scriptures to Achieve Religious Peace and Roles of Religious Leaders” raised by Venerable Phra Sithawatchamethi, Deputy Abbot of the Royal Monastery Wat Pa Lelai, Thailand. According to Wat Pa Lelai, most of the parts about salvation in other scriptures are recorded in parables. It made me more interested in exploring the different scriptures and determining their commonalities and intersections. This opportunity to have comparative knowledge of other scriptures allowed me to interact better, communicate, and bridge the gap between the members of other religions and our congregation, who enthusiastically attended weekly RPA meetings, listened attentively, and asked meaningful questions about the lessons presented.
“Expanding Mindanao Peace Activities among Religions Through the Philippine Religious Peace Academy,” The Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, Archbishop-Emeritus of Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro, Philippines, presented. We enshrined these same principles in the forum for religious dialogue in the world, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions: to establish peace, harmony, and tolerance as the unshakable principles of human existence; to pursue mutual respect and tolerance between religions, confessions, nations, and ethnic groups; and to prevent the manipulation of religion to escalate conflicts. We believe this is a positive experience worth learning from.
HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee said, “I became convinced that we truly believe in the same one God, and that the ultimate goal of the human life is to get to know the Supreme Creator and learn how to love Him above all. Furthermore, I also realized that all bona fide religions should teach the highest goal of life, which is to know God and learn how to love Him. I was able to understand how God works. A trustworthy scripture must teach the truth. And it expanded my realization and embraced my brothers and sisters of other religions.
Through RPA, I found that the basic concepts of God, who is the cause of all causes and the Creator of everything in all religions, are the same but different in how the details are explained. According to the HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee, the Supreme Godhead, who is omniscient, knows the past, present, and future. Who is also called omnipresent, present in everything, and everything happens due to His supreme will.
In the Bible, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. The Quran states that everything Allah says will happen according to his will. As a result, only one God is known by many names, including Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Buddha, Elohim, Krishna, and many more.
According to HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee, its strong message is heard around the world to remind societies that what unites us is more significant than what divides us – that every human being needs freedom of belief and mutual respect for us together to build a lasting peace.
“The main result is that we are sitting together, we are speaking together, and we understand that to find solutions for the problems in the world is not by fighting, is not during by war, but sitting together and speaking,” The Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma Archbishop-Emeritus of Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro, Philippines said to the conference.
One of the conference’s goals is to reintroduce the language of reconciliation and peace to a world shattered by conflict and tragedy. It also strives to put religion in the spotlight as a tool to help defuse confrontations.
The final declaration of the conference calls upon world leaders to abandon all aggressive and destructive rhetoric that leads to destabilization in the world. It demands a cease from conflict and bloodshed in all corners. It says that extremism, radicalism, terrorism, and all other forms of violence have nothing to do with authentic religion and must be rejected.
The conference participants describe the program as a symbol of hope for the interfaith dialogue to grow and bring about change, unite different communities across the globe, and inspire people to join their efforts in the name of peace.
“We talk about global peace, but I would say those steps begin at the local level,” says Sheikh Haji Ibrahim Tufa, president of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council’s special representative. “They begin in every small town where Christians and Muslims perhaps [live] together; they seek to feed the hungry. So, we have a common goal, but we are no longer looking at our differences, but are recognizing our common concern for those who struggle or suffer.”
The conference participants hope their appeal for global dialogue, reconciliation, and peace based on common values of humanity, shared by all world religions, is heard globally. Finally, the Appointment Ceremony of HWPL Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee was recognized on the stage.
World leaders gather in Seoul to renew their commitment to building and sustaining peace. Korea, Seoul- September 18, 2023: 2023 HWPL Global Peace Leaders Conference Calling for more Declaration of Peace and Cessation […]AFRICA FEATURED General Human Rights Investigative Reports Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS
World leaders gather in Seoul to renew their commitment to building and sustaining peace.
Korea, Seoul- September 18, 2023: 2023 HWPL Global Peace Leaders Conference Calling for more Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) diplomacy, dialogue, and mediation to head off conflicts before they break out, HWPL officials urged a gathering of world leaders on today at Seoul 9th to help strengthen a new approach to sustaining peace, which aims to put prevention of War.
“The first line of the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) us to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee said in his opening remarks to the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, which runs today at Seoul in Korea.
“In a way, we have met this commitment. There has not since, been another world war. But, in many other ways, we have not,” he said, noting that a new approach is needed to save people in places of unending conflict, including Ukrian, Ethiopia, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan.
Managing Director HWPL Mr. Kang Tae-ho said that in 2023, the world decided to take a new approach: the UN, adopted what are now known as the ‘sustaining peace resolutions,’ which renew the world body’s commitment to conflict prevention as embodied in the UN Charter.
Two years on, he said there are challenges in making this approach a reality, calling for greater international attention to the need for scaled-up efforts to prevent conflict, achieve coherence within the UN system, and expand partnerships, financing, and inclusion.
Echoing the WPG chairwoman Ms. Yoon Hyun-SOOKs view, women’s role in peace development as a leader highlighted the need to strengthen partnerships around all efforts and at every stage, from conflict prevention and resolution to peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and long-term development.
She added that key partners include Governments, the UN, other international, regional, and sub-regional organizations, international financial institutions, the private sector, civil society, and women’s and youth groups.
“Sustaining peace will only be realized through committed, inclusive national ownership that considers the needs of the most marginalized, including women, young people, minorities and people with disabilities,” she said.
“Inequalities are increasing; whole regions, countries, and communities can be isolated from progress and left behind by growth. These are all indications that we need greater unity and courage – to ease the fears of the people we serve; to set the world on track to a better future, and to lay the foundations of sustainable peace and development,” participants of the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit stressed. The main speakers H.E. Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu
3rd President of Romania, Romania and Hon. Ahod B. Ebrahim, AI haj
Chief Minister, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in MusIim Mindanao (BARMM), Philippines
said that more countries are experiencing violent conflict than ever in nearly three decades and that record numbers of people are on the move, displaced by violence, war, and persecution.
IPYG General Director remarks Youth called on Member States to increase financing for the peacebuilding work led by youth and see young people as partners in the sustaining peace agenda.
Speakers in the Video on the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit format presidents and ministers, Goodwill Ambassador Advocate peace for the future generation.
PeaceAFRICA FEATURED General Human Rights Investigative Reports Latest Magazine News Radio & TV Special Edition TOP STORIES TOP VIDEOS Videos
By Ayele Addis Ambelu +251918718307 firstname.lastname@example.org
Korea (Seoul), September 18, 2023. “The 9th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit will be held in the Republic of Korea for four days, from September 18 to 21, with the participation of about 1,800 global leaders.
HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee emphasized that the peace deal of the world legalization is essential in this summit. The chairman emphasizes it: “We focus on solving the root causes of conflict with people from across divides. We bring people together from the grassroots to the policy level to build peace.”
The event will be hosted by an international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), in UN ECOSOC special consultative status. This 9th-anniversary celebration will look back on the achievements of the past ten years and discuss the theme of “Implementation of Multidimensional Strategies for Institutional Peace Leaders in Politics, education, religion, women’s Groups, Youth Groups, and the Media from Around the World will participate in discussions aimed at implementing strategies within each sector’s initiatives. The sessions will cover various agendas, including spreading a culture of institutional peace, expanding comparative scriptural studies, building long-term stability through education, and developing policies for promoting a culture of peace.
The concept of “Institutional Peace,” proposed by HWPL, advocates for international agreements to establish sustainable peace with frameworks based on the principles outlined in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). The DPCW is presented as a tool of peace continuum from prevention and resolving conflicts to further promoting a culture of understanding and cooperation among nations and peoples.
HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee emphasized that the participation of people worldwide is essential to achieve peace, stating, “We (HWPL) have circled the globe 32 times to carry out the work of peace. The ultimate goal has been achieving peace. Peace is a vital need, whether it’s within families, schools, or any other organization. Not a single person has rejected the idea of peace. Therefore, I firmly believe that peace will be attained.”
In addition, HWPL is carrying out various initiatives to build sustainable peace. HWPL peace education
that fosters peace values among future generations is being conducted in 90 countries, and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an organization under HWPL, has formed a Youth Engagement & Peacebuilding Working group (YEPW) around affiliated organizations in 119 countries seeking to maintain citizen-led peace and promote a culture of peace. It also mediates communication between conflicting parties in various disputed regions and strives to raise citizens’ awareness of peace through peace journalism research and peace media networks.
Through this event, HWPL aims to reflect on the achievements of its activities over the past decade
and propose to upgrade the “LP Project” to an “LP Program” by improving it into a more systematic,
multidimensional, and long-term strategy. In addition, the ideas on ways to strengthen the mediation between conflicting parties for dispute resolution and plan a policy discussion body for spreading a culture of peace will be shared. The participants will be able to interact and cooperate with networks closely connected to all walks of life worldwide and participate in the discussion process for establishing and implementing strategies for each initiative.
By the World Alliance of Religions Agreement signed by significant world religious leaders, the strategies for building peace in the religious community are also steadily being implemented. The HWPL World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Offices have been established and actively operated in 130 countries around the world, contributing to preventing religious disputes and promoting harmony through close dialogue and communication between different religions.
The journalists raised the role of women in peacebuilding. The summit replied, “If peace and stability are to be sustainable, women like them must be involved at every stage, from setting government strategy to carrying out projects, and from voting on laws to implementing them in the communities.”
The question continued about peace restoration from journalists; HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee answered that Peace processes involve a series of negotiated steps to end wars and build sustainable peace. All people must participate and contribute peace works with practitioners, diplomats, and officials to understand how to manage or facilitate such processes effectively. This includes how such negotiations can be structured and supported, the issues to be resolved, the trade-offs involved, and the consequences and challenges that result. From considering gender and the role of women in Colombia’s peace process to furthering a new understanding of Myanmar’s long road towards peace, USIP works to ensure that peace agreements in conflict areas are inclusive, participatory, and locally led and supported.