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China, Central Asian nations to establish emergency management cooperation mechanism

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China, Central Asian nations to establish emergency management cooperation mechanism

2024-05-28 01:11 Last Updated At:02:27

China and five Central Asian nations will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) late this month to establish a China-Central Asia emergency management cooperation mechanism, a Chinese official has said.

At a press conference in Beijing on Monday, Wang Manda, director-general of the international cooperation department of China's Ministry of Emergency Management, said that the MoU is expected to be signed during a China-Central Asia ministerial meeting on emergency management scheduled to be held in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on May 30.

"All parties to the meeting will sign a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a China-Central Asia emergency management cooperation mechanism, approve future action plans, visit relevant units and enterprises, help countries comprehensively improve the capabilities in disaster prevention, mitigation and relief, safety production supervision, comprehensive emergency response, and deepen collaboration in cross-border rescue," said Wang.

The parties will also conduct practical training exercises for emergency response to oil and gas pipeline incidents.

"Xinjiang, with its unique geographical advantages, will carry out cooperation in the following areas: first, strengthening cooperation in systems and mechanisms for joint prevention and control of natural disasters; second, enhancing exchanges and cooperation in cross-border emergency rescue; third, boosting cooperation in joint prevention and control of border forest and grassland fire; fourth, intensifying cooperation in earthquake and geological disaster prevention and control," said Jarin Nurhamiti, head of Xinjiang's emergency management department.

"We have carried out a number of sci-tech cooperation projects with Central Asian countries, such as joint GPS observation of Tianshan Mountains in Central Asia, construction of a seismic and geomagnetic monitoring network, and source identification and risk analysis of violent earthquakes in the subduction zone located between Xinjiang and Central Asia. These projects have provided valuable data and sci-tech support for earthquake disaster prevention and reduction in Xinjiang and Central Asian countries," said Zhu Fangfang, deputy head of the department for science and technology and international collaboration under the China Earthquake Administration.

Since the first China-Central Asia Summit in May 2023, emergency management departments in China and the five Central Asian countries have been committed to creating a new platform for regional emergency management cooperation, and to deepening cross-border rescue cooperation.

Under the framework of China-Central Asia emergency management cooperation, China has hosted several events over the past year, including high-level think tank forums on emergency management, seminars on improving production safety, and activities to exchange ideas on safety risk prevention.

China, Central Asian nations to establish emergency management cooperation mechanism

China, Central Asian nations to establish emergency management cooperation mechanism

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:06:17

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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