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Home arrow newsitems arrow WHO's Chief shares Eurofora Concerns + Facts on Early DeConfinement, Raises Questions, Warns, Urges+

WHO's Chief shares Eurofora Concerns + Facts on Early DeConfinement, Raises Questions, Warns, Urges+

Written by ACM
Monday, 11 May 2020

who_ceo_press_conf_may_11_2020_eurofora_screenshot_400


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- A Crucial Question is obviously raised Today:  -Controversial Early DeConfinements in the EU around May 11 (2020) Risk to become a kind of September 11 (2001) in Slow Motion, or, on the Contrary, will they Succeed to Help Save Both Economic-Social Livelihoods and innocent Human Lives, Instead of precipitating a "2nd Wave" of the Deadly Virus, with even More Killings, as many People are Afraid ? (See:  http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/hastydeconfinementrisk.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/infectionsreboundinkeycountries.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/infectionsbypassopeninglimit.html)

While a full Factual "Reply" risks to Delay about 14 to 24 Days on the spot, (for well-Known Medical reasons),

Already, the International Health Organisation (WHO)'s Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, speaking Today in a Press-point at Nearby Geneva, practicaly Endorsed "Eurofora"s Concerns on some Controversial Early DeConfinements.

Naturally, he Acknowledged that "Saving Lives" has "a Cost", (particularly in the way that this was often addressed, until now : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/hastydeconfinementrisk.html, etc), and that there was a "Serious socio-Economic Impact of the Lockdowns, which have had a Detrimental effect on many", Contrary to a wish to "Stimulate Economies", that he presented as the main Motive for Early DeConfinement, (Comp. ibid).

"Over the past Week several countries have Started lifting stay at home orders and other restrictions in a phased way", he simply noticed, (while the Most important Part of Early DeCofinement was notoriously Scheduled for this Monday, 11 of May, mainly in France, but also Elsewhere).

who_hq_geneva_400 

- But he Warned that "Most of the Population is still Susceptible to the Virus", because "Serological studies reflect that a relatively Low percentage of the population has Antibodies to COVID-19", so that States had Both "to Protect (Human) Lives and (Economic) Livelihoods" as he resumed.

- Indeed, WHO's Director General also considered (Twice) as realistic the Hypothesis of "a Resurgence", or "an UpSwing in Cases" of Infection.  

- And he Denounced the "Challenges that may lie Ahead",  in this regard.

=> Therefore, WHO's Chief stressed that "Countries Should ask" themselves certain important "Questions "PRIOR to the (eventual) Lifting of Lock-Downs", because that "can help Determine Whether a Lockdown Can be Released, slowly, or NOT".

I.e., obviously considering as possible at least for some Countries to eventually Limit, Postpone or Drop scheduled Controversial Plans for Hasty ReConfinements, he Pointed at "3 Questions" :

 

(1) "First, is the Epidemic under Control ?"

 (This probably includes also the Transmission Rate of Infections, which should be Less than 1 : 1. See Infra).


(2) "Second, is the healthCare System able to Cope with a resurgence of cases that may arise after relaxing certain measures ?"

 (Something which is, Notoriously, Problematic, Nowadays, at least in Certain Regions in France, including that of Paris and Strasbourg, where Hospitals are Full).


(3) "Third, is the public health Surveillance system able to detect and manage the cases and their Contacts, and identify a resurgence of cases ?"

 (A very Controversial and Complicated Problem. See, among others, also, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/trackingeupeopleafterexposingthemtovirus.html, etc).

-----------------------------

>>> "However", the Head of the International Organisation Warned that "Even with Positive Answers, Releasing Lockdowns is both Complex and Difficult", at any case.

- To illustrate his warning, he spoke, particularly, about "the Signs (that) we saw", already "over the Weekend", (See Facts Infra).

- Indeed, WHO's Chief Even pointed at 3 out of the 4 Facts Observed by "Eurofora" in Germany, South Korea, and China, (skipping Only France, at least for the Moment, probably because it had Not yet Started to DeConfine then). [See  ... + ..., as well as Infra].

 

F.ex.:

 

- (a) "In the Republic of Korea, bars and clubs were shut as a confirmed case led to many contacts being traced.  

(A Tracing using Means which are very Controversial in Europe, and would have been, reportedly, Droped in France, at the Last Minute).


- (b) "In Wuhan, China, the first cluster of cases since their lockdown was lifted was identified"

 (And, even More Importantly, they Found Also anOther Cluster at a Different, North-Eastern Province).


- (c) "Germany has also reported an increase in cases since an easing of restrictions".

(In Fact, it's Also the Augmentation of the Transmission Rate of Infections, which was clearly Denounced in Germany these Days, from 0,65 Up to 1,1, where it Continues to stay).


- "Fortunately, all 3 Countries have Systems in place to Detect and Respond to a Resurgence in cases", he observed, However, at least there.

Indeed, Both Germany and South Korea, as well as China, fortunately, have very much Lower Numbers (and Percentages) of Deaths by the Virus, than Most EU Countries...

But, in Addition to those, already Mentioned Facts by "Eurofora" and the "WHO", there are Also, recently, More :

F.ex. :

- Already Today, France comes 1st among EU's Biggest Countries in the Rapidity of "Doubling" Virus' Infections within 36 Days, instead of 38 for Germany, and 40 for Italy.

And for another time yet, France is 1st among All EU Countries in the Number of Dead in one Day (about 350), while also Bypassing Now even Spain in the Total Number of Deaths (almost 27.000) [Partly UPDATED].

Meanwhile, Unfortunatly, all Europe still remains the 1st in the World for the Numbers of Both Infections (about 1.755.800) and Deaths (about 158.900).

--------------------------------

- Meanwhile, China just reported anOther 7 Cases of New Infections : 6 in Jilin Province, (where is Added also 1 more "Suspected" case), despite the Measures Recently taken there ("Lock-Down" of the mainly concerned City), and 1 at Shanghai ("Imported" from Abroad). [Partly UPDATED].

Curiously, WHO added Nowadays at least 1 New case of Death, (which would be the ...First in China since the Middle of April), But "Eurofora" did Not Find yet any Trace of that in Chinese mainstream Medias evoking National Official sources.

-------------------------------------------------------

+ More Recently reported Facts also Added an "Increase" of Deaths per Day in Spain : After the Number of 123, Growing even to 176 (i.e. +53 More). [Partly UPDATED].

(Etc+...)

--------------------------------------------------------

=> - Given such worrying Facts, Already Now, States must be "Keeping a Vigilant eye on the virus so that Control measures can be Quickly implemented if an Upswing in cases is identified", WHO's Chief urged.

+ Moreover, "Governments" must, at least, "Ensure that Key public Health Measures Remain in place to deal with the Challenge of Lifting Lockdowns", he added.

Indeed, "Until there is a Vaccine, the comprehensive Package of Measures (which normaly Includes, at least, some Confinement measures), is our most Effective set of Tools to tackle the virus", he stressed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

------------------------------------------

+ On EDUCATION Establishments :

--------------------------------------------------------------

=> "In this vein", went on to add WHO's Director General, "New Guidance was released over the Weekend regarding ...School ...reOpening" : a most Controversial and Delicate issue.

>>> So that "Decision-Makers should Reflect a number of Key factors when deciding on Whether (or NOT) and how to reOpen Schools", and Send "Children Go Back to School", he Urged.


- (1) "First, a clear Understanding about current COVID-19 Transmission and Severity of the virus in Children is Needed".

- (2) "Second, the Epidemiology of COVID-19 where the School is Geographically Located needs to be Considered".

- (3) "Third, the ability to maintain COVID-19 Prevention and Control measures withIn the School setting".

In other words, "When reflecting on the decision to reOpen schools, the ... Government should assess the Capacity of the Schools to Maintain infection Prevention and Control Measures", WHO's Chief also Urged.

Notoriously, and as Many Polls already show, (f.ex. in France, Greece, etc), Most People clearly seem to Seriously Doubt about the possibilities for such Measures, at least as things stand Nowadays, and so Early...

----------------------

 open_air_market_in_france_surprizes_chinas_xinhua_press_agency_as_deaths_skyrocket__400

(A Crowdy Open Air Market in France astonishes China's Xinhua Press Agency, as Deaths SkyRocket !)

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

-------------------------------------

 


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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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