Inter Press ServiceMiddle East & North Africa – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:02:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.6 ”I remain optimistic over achieving delivering oil market stability,” says Al Mazroueihttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/remain-optimistic-achieving-delivering-oil-market-stability-says-al-mazrouei/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=remain-optimistic-achieving-delivering-oil-market-stability-says-al-mazrouei http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/remain-optimistic-achieving-delivering-oil-market-stability-says-al-mazrouei/#respond Mon, 18 Jun 2018 09:46:43 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156285 Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference for 2018, has expressed his optimism over regaining balance to the international oil market, thanks to the cooperation between the OPEC, and its partners. “Looking ahead, I remain optimistic that we will […]

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Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference for 2018, has expressed his optimism over regaining balance to the international oil market, thanks to the cooperation between the OPEC, and its partners.

By WAM
ABU DHABI, Jun 18 2018 (WAM)

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference for 2018, has expressed his optimism over regaining balance to the international oil market, thanks to the cooperation between the OPEC, and its partners.

“Looking ahead, I remain optimistic that we will fulfil our goal of delivering sustainable oil market stability, which is intended to serve the long term interests of producers, consumers and the global economy,” Al Mazrouei said in a statement issued by the ministry ahead of 174th Meeting of the OPEC Conference next week in Vienna, Austria.

“Central to this optimism is the unprecedented level of cooperation and conformity from OPEC and its partners to the production adjustments that were promised under the ‘declaration of cooperation’,” he added.

"Central to this optimism is the unprecedented level of cooperation and conformity from OPEC and its partners to the production adjustments that were promised under the ‘declaration of cooperation’,"
Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, and President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Conference for 2018
”Stock levels have dropped significantly since the beginning of 2017 and the market is moving ever-closer to becoming rebalanced, he clarified. “This will undoubtedly be a key topic of discussion in our June meeting,” he said.

The 174th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the first full gathering of the year, is to take place on June 22nd in Vienna, Austria.

“In this meeting and the 7th OPEC International Seminar, a unique assembly of Ministers, heads of intergovernmental organisations, chief executives of national and international oil companies, industry leaders, academics, energy experts and media, we will review the noteworthy progress that we are making,” he said.

As President of the OPEC Conference for 2018, Al Mazrouei is to preside over both events.

He also commended the performance and new approach of the OPEC over the first half of 2018. ”It has been a constructive first half of the year.” “OPEC has engaged in open and transparent dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders, an approach that I wholeheartedly support and I believe is beneficial to all parties,” he said.

Adding, “We are fast approaching the mid-way point of an important year for OPEC and its partners and it has been a constructive first half of the year.”

“Working closely with the OPEC Secretary General and his team, I was pleased to participate in numerous seminars, events and meetings to further strengthen OPEC’s engagement and rapport with organizations such as the IEA and IEF, and other industry stakeholders,” he said.

From IP week in London, to CERA in Houston, and the IEA International Energy Forum in New Delhi, to name but a few, he concluded.

 

WAM/Elsadig Idriss/Tariq alfaham

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Abu Dhabi Fund for Development earmarks USD 3 billion to support sustainable development in Ethiopiahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/abu-dhabi-fund-development-earmarks-usd-3-billion-support-sustainable-development-ethiopia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abu-dhabi-fund-development-earmarks-usd-3-billion-support-sustainable-development-ethiopia http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/abu-dhabi-fund-development-earmarks-usd-3-billion-support-sustainable-development-ethiopia/#respond Sat, 16 Jun 2018 11:33:43 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156266 Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, allocated an AED11 billion (US$3 billion) economic aid package to the Ethiopian government to support sustainable socio-economic development in that country. The purpose of the funding is twofold. ADFD deposited an amount of AED3.7 billion (US$1 billion) in the National Bank of […]

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Abu Dhabi Fund for Development earmarks AED11 billion to support sustainable development in Ethiopia

By WAM
ABU DHABI, Jun 16 2018 (WAM)

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, allocated an AED11 billion (US$3 billion) economic aid package to the Ethiopian government to support sustainable socio-economic development in that country.

The purpose of the funding is twofold. ADFD deposited an amount of AED3.7 billion (US$1 billion) in the National Bank of Ethiopia to bolster the country’s fiscal and monetary policy, as well as to enhance the liquidity and foreign exchange reserves of its central bank. The remaining AED7.3 billion (US$2 billion) seeks to stimulate the Ethiopian economy and encourage joint investments.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and Teklewold Atnafu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining the terms of the funding in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

The signing ceremony was held on the side-lines of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, state visit to Ethiopia. Government officials and senior representatives of the two entities also attended the signing ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “Under the wise leadership of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ADFD contributes to the UAE’s efforts to assist developing countries in achieving sustainable development and improving socio-economic conditions.”

He added: “In addition to helping Ethiopia overcome the challenges it faces, the funding will encourage the UAE private sector to enter the Ethiopian market and benefit from the investment opportunities it offers.”

Furthermore, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi noted that the funding will boost the country’s gross national income (GNI) and revitalise key strategic sectors.

For his/her part, Teklewold Atnafu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia, praised ADFD’s role in the UAE’s ongoing efforts to support Ethiopia’s national priorities. He/she added that the Ethiopian government welcomes joint investments with the UAE’s investors across diverse fields.

ADFD’s contribution to the development of Ethiopia dates back to 2012. Since then, the Fund has disbursed AED36.7 million (US$10 million) towards financing the Gedo Fincha-Limlem Peria Road project. The operational 80 km road serves the Oromia Region in the west of the Ethiopian Highlands, facilitating the movement of vehicles and reducing transportation costs.

Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has financed development projects valued at AED80 billion in 88 countries around the world. The Fund focuses on projects that enhance key sectors including renewable energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, mining, industry, health care, social services, housing, water and electricity.

 

WAM/Hassan Bashir

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UAE drives discussion at annual UN Conference on rights of People of Determinationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-drives-discussion-annual-un-conference-rights-people-determination/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-drives-discussion-annual-un-conference-rights-people-determination http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-drives-discussion-annual-un-conference-rights-people-determination/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:23:19 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156246 The UAE delegation, headed by Abdullah Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authorities, has participated in the 11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UAE’s engagements focused on the empowerment of all people of determination in national development, and technologies, specifically […]

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By WAM
NEW YORK, Jun 15 2018 (WAM)

The UAE delegation, headed by Abdullah Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authorities, has participated in the 11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UAE’s engagements focused on the empowerment of all people of determination in national development, and technologies, specifically artificial intelligence (AI) as mediums of inclusion.

During his statement before the conference, Lootah highlighted the UAE’s national strategy as a roadmap to include, enable, and empower people of determination in all spheres of life. He underscored that the UAE strives to build a society that is fully accessible to, and inclusive of people of determination, by prioritising the input of people of determination in policy design and implementation and promoting opportunities through education and employment, especially for women and girls.

“Since the launch of the National Strategy to Empower People with Disabilities, a dedicated advisory board and focal points in every service-oriented entity, coupled with targeted programming and policies, have worked to ensure that decisions made across the government prioritise the needs and rights of persons with disabilities and their families across the UAE,” said Lootah.

In line with the nation’s growing policy to utilise advanced technology including AI, the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN convened a discussion with the Permanent Missions of Canada, Denmark, and Singapore, on transforming the inclusion of people of determination using AI and other mediums. This event was part of a longstanding partnership with World Enabled and the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments. Other partners included with UN Habitat, Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, Microsoft, IBM, CBM, and Institute on Disability and Public Policy. Panelists explored the ways in which AI can be utilized to level the playing field for people of determination, and discussed the impact of this technology from various perspectives, including that of industry experts, inclusion advocates, and policy-makers.

Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, delivered the opening remarks at the event, highlighting the concrete measures the UAE has undertaken towards greater disability inclusion. She reminded the audience that Abu Dhabi will be hosting the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, for the first time in the region, and the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, which is lauded as having the highest accessibility and inclusions standards.

In a video message to the audience at the event, Omar Al Olama said, “Our whole world is becoming smarter because of AI, and we must not forget that people with disabilities are a core component of this advancement. We believe that through AI we can help make their lives much better. We also believe that AI should a be a medium for inclusion – involving every citizen in society to ensure that prosperity cuts across industries, demographics, sects, and ethnicities.”

The UAE delegation to the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD also included Reem Al Fahim, Chief Executive Officer of SEDRA Foundation, Ghubaisha Al Ameri, Director of the Al Waqn Centre for Care and Rehabilitation, Sheikha Chaica Sultan Al Qasimi, Youth Delegate and Member of the SEDRA Foundation, and Yasmin Abdulrahman, Adviser at the SEDRA Foundation.

WAM/Esraa Ismail

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IOM Urges Restraint, Calls for Protection of Migrants in Hodeidah Operationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/iom-urges-restraint-calls-protection-migrants-hodeidah-operation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=iom-urges-restraint-calls-protection-migrants-hodeidah-operation http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/iom-urges-restraint-calls-protection-migrants-hodeidah-operation/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 18:20:26 +0000 International Organization for Migration http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156244 The military offensive on Yemen’s busy port city of Hodeidah, which began yesterday (13/06), is putting the lives of 600,000 people at risk. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, warns of the drastic impacts that the military operation is having on migrants and humanitarian access to all affected communities. With its UN and other partners, IOM […]

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By International Organization for Migration
Sana’a, Jun 14 2018 (IOM)

The military offensive on Yemen’s busy port city of Hodeidah, which began yesterday (13/06), is putting the lives of 600,000 people at risk. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, warns of the drastic impacts that the military operation is having on migrants and humanitarian access to all affected communities. With its UN and other partners, IOM urges restraint and calls for respect of International Humanitarian Law, especially the protection of civilians, including migrants.

“Three years of ceaseless conflict have devastated Yemen and now this military operation is restricting humanitarian operations, causing further loss of life, internal displacement and suffering for the Yemeni people,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies. “We are concerned about the migrants caught up in the deadly fighting either living in or attempting to transit through the country,” he added.

“Three years of ceaseless conflict have devastated Yemen and now this military operation is restricting humanitarian operations, causing further loss of life, internal displacement and suffering for the Yemeni people,”
Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies

To evacuate the stranded or displaced families that want to leave areas of active conflict, IOM is coordinating with transportation service providers to potentially move them to safety.

In collaboration with National Authority for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Recovery (NAMCHA) and civil society, IOM has identified 12,766 internally displaced households, over 89,000 individuals, in Hodeidah as of 13 June 2018, with Al-Khawkhah (3,732 households), Al-Garrahi (2,990 households) and Al-Hali (1,107 households) districts hosting the largest amounts of displaced people in the Governorate. IOM has positioned 1,000 emergency shelter materials and other essential aid items in Bait-Al-Faqih district, where 700 households had been displaced to by 13 June. The number of people displaced to this district is also expected to increase in the coming days. Displacement locations without sufficient drinking water are being identified and IOM will begin water trucking to these areas shortly. Additional water sanitation and hygiene gaps are being assessed.

Despite the fighting, IOM provides health care personnel to health care facilities in Hodeidah: a physician, two nurses and a midwife, as well as medical supplies and ambulances. The team rotates between three different facilities. IOM also plans to deploy two mobile medical teams, each roving in an ambulance and staffed with one doctor and three nurses, to Hodeidah, catering to the emergency healthcare needs of affected populations. Additional medical support is being planned in consultation with the Health Cluster.

Ahead of the military operation, IOM stockpiled core relief items, including food baskets, fuel and water to respond to expected needs on the ground. Of the 500 food baskets already procured, some 200 baskets have been distributed to 200 families in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and NAMCHA. IOM is urgently procuring an additional 1,500 baskets. Each food basket is expected to support a family for two weeks.

IOM procures the majority of its aid items locally, but does use the city’s port to help migrants, who become stranded in the country, return home through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme. So far in 2018, IOM assisted the voluntary return of over 350 migrants through Hodeidah Port. Due to the escalating fighting, the Organization was forced to postpone until further notice a return movement of over 200 Ethiopian migrants planned for earlier today (14/06). IOM’s Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah, which provides comprehensive support to vulnerable migrants, remains operational with an extremely reduced staff.

“Many migrants are stranded in or near the frontlines. Our Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah is currently running with skeletal staff, impacting how much we can help conflict affected migrants. And with our voluntary humanitarian return operations on hold for moment, the situations for migrants in Hodeidah is bleak,” said Abdiker.

Nearly 60 IOM national staff are present in Hodeidah, with four performing critical programme functions and the rest currently on standby to join active duty, working from home for their own protection. In the coming days, IOM hopes to deploy an international presence to Hodeidah to support national staff in responding to the humanitarian needs of displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis and migrants.

“The safety of our staff based in Hodeidah is a massive concern and we are putting whatever measures we can in place to protect them but they are in the middle of a warzone. Our national colleagues come from the communities affected by the ongoing offensive and put their lives on the line every day to save those of others’,” said Abdiker.

“The humanitarian communities’ top priority is to save lives and provide assistance and protection to those affected by the conflict. This is extremely hindered when security is such a concern in an area that humanitarians cannot access to work,” Abdiker concluded.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

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MoCCAE develops plan for shark conservationhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/moccae-develops-plan-shark-conservation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=moccae-develops-plan-shark-conservation http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/moccae-develops-plan-shark-conservation/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:31:05 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156234 The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, has launched the National Plan of Action, NPOA, for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018-2021 that presents concrete steps to promote shark conservation and sustainability in the UAE. The plan has four main objectives: enhancing knowledge of shark species and their role in the ecosystem among […]

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MoCCAE develops plan for shark conservation

By WAM
DUBAI, Jun 13 2018 (WAM)

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, has launched the National Plan of Action, NPOA, for the Conservation and Management of Sharks 2018-2021 that presents concrete steps to promote shark conservation and sustainability in the UAE.

The plan has four main objectives: enhancing knowledge of shark species and their role in the ecosystem among the population, implementing effective policy, legislation and enforcement mechanisms and developing a national, regional and global cooperation framework, enabling effective conservation through capacity building, and running educational and outreach programmes to raise public awareness.

At present, there are 43 shark species and 29 ray species recorded in the UAE’s waters, with 42 percent of these considered endangered

The NPOA provides an overview of the current status of cartilaginous fish in the country with a special focus on sharks and rays. At present, there are 43 shark species and 29 ray species recorded in the UAE’s waters, with 42 percent of these considered endangered as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

The plan will also identify the challenges that have led to a decline in shark stocks, most notably commercial and recreational fishing, land- and sea-based pollution, coastal development, habitat alteration, and climate change. Shark populations in the country have witnessed a decline in recent years as a result of over-fishing, mainly due to the high value of their fins, meat, and gill plates.

Commenting on the announcement, Hiba Al Shehhi, Acting Director of the Biodiversity Department at MoCCAE, said, “The NPOA is part of the ministry’s strategy to preserve the UAE’s biodiversity, and ensure the long-term survival of sharks and rays.”

She outlined the indicators for measuring the effectiveness of the NPOA, such as community awareness about the importance of shark conservation, status of the shark population, improved management of marine protected areas, and the extinction risk faced by individual shark species.

Coinciding with the launch of the Plan, MoCCAE issued the UAE Shark Assessment Report, the first national overview of shark research and protective measures in the UAE. The document offers a valuable database that will support the execution of the plan.

Following its four-year implementation (2018-2021) timeline, NPOA will undergo a consultative revision to enable an adaptive management approach, and ensure the attainment of its strategic objectives and overall vision. The plan is available to the public on the ministry’s website.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Nour Salman

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UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to provide US$2.5 billion economic aid package to Jordanhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-saudi-arabia-kuwait-provide-us2-5-billion-economic-aid-package-jordan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-saudi-arabia-kuwait-provide-us2-5-billion-economic-aid-package-jordan http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-saudi-arabia-kuwait-provide-us2-5-billion-economic-aid-package-jordan/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:53:14 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156158 The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have agreed to provide a US$2.5 billion economic aid package to Jordan, to help the country which is facing an economic crisis following anti-austerity protests. The announcement was made this morning in a joint statement following an emergency summit of the four nations which was held in Makkah on […]

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UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to provide US$2.5 billion economic aid package to Jordan

By WAM
MAKKAH, Jun 12 2018 (WAM)

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have agreed to provide a US$2.5 billion economic aid package to Jordan, to help the country which is facing an economic crisis following anti-austerity protests.

The announcement was made this morning in a joint statement following an emergency summit of the four nations which was held in Makkah on Sunday. The meeting was hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al-Safa Palace with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, and Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait to discuss ways to help Jordan overcome the crisis.

The package will include a deposit in the Central Bank of Jordan, World Bank guarantees for Jordan, annual support for the Jordanian Government’s budget over five years, and financing from funds for developmental projects.

The Jordanian King expressed his appreciation to the three Gulf nations for their quick response and for the aid which will ease the country’s economic crisis.

WAM/Rasha Abubaker

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Jawaher makes global plea to end child labourhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/jawaher-makes-global-plea-end-child-labour/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jawaher-makes-global-plea-end-child-labour http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/jawaher-makes-global-plea-end-child-labour/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 08:30:46 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156193 H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, has made a strong call for a renewed global commitment urging greater cooperation among world leaders, decision makers, humanitarian organisations and civil society to protect children from being pushed into the world […]

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The benefits of ending child labour are immeasurable. Children who are free from the burden of child labour are able to fully realise their rights to education, leisure, and a healthy development, and in turn become the very foundations of a just, equitable society for future generations

By WAM
SHARJAH, Jun 11 2018 (WAM)

H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, has made a strong call for a renewed global commitment urging greater cooperation among world leaders, decision makers, humanitarian organisations and civil society to protect children from being pushed into the world of forced labour and exploitation.

The benefits of ending child labour are immeasurable. Children who are free from the burden of child labour are able to fully realise their rights to education, leisure, and a healthy development, and in turn become the very foundations of a just, equitable society for future generations
Speaking on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour, Sheikha Jawaher said, “Elimination of child labour requires us to focus attention on the societal triggers of this global epidemic; most notably armed conflicts, poverty, climate change, and limited access to education, welfare, and one’s rights. The benefits of ending child labour are immeasurable. Children who are free from the burden of child labour are able to fully realise their rights to education, leisure, and a healthy development, and in turn become the very foundations of a just, equitable society for future generations.”

Sheikha Jawaher shed light on the dismal International Labour Organisation child labour statistic, according to which 168 million children are forced into child labour. “Children are not only being exploited as forced labourers; they are subjected to dangerous environments when they are trafficked or recruited as child soldiers,” she noted.

On the reality of children and youth in the world, in view of armed conflicts, Sheikha Jawaher said, “Reforming the world starts with a happy childhood filled with love and care, as a child’s memory determines the person’s characteristics and attitudes, and the rest of their lives. Many social deformities in people emerge out of the emotional deprivation and marginalisation they suffer in the early years of life.

“The conflicts we see today are led by young people who grew up in broken homes and societies. This signals an immediate need for nations to move much faster with their efforts to build societies in which children’s voices are fully heard, and their rights and aspirations are protected. How can we ask the youth to give back to society if we do not nurture them or embrace their dreams when they are dependent on us for support and direction?”

Commenting on Sharjah being named a “Child-Friendly City” by UNICEF, she said, “This recognition is a result of decades of efforts and single-minded devotion to children’s welfare by a variety of social actors in the emirate who were guided by the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

WAM/Nour Salman

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UAE aid ship arrives in Socotra, Yemenhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-aid-ship-arrives-socotra-yemen/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-aid-ship-arrives-socotra-yemen http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-aid-ship-arrives-socotra-yemen/#respond Sun, 10 Jun 2018 10:18:50 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156143 The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has sent a ship loaded with humanitarian and food aid to the Yemeni island of Socotra. The move follows the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential […]

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By WAM
ABU DHABI, Jun 10 2018 (WAM)

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has sent a ship loaded with humanitarian and food aid to the Yemeni island of Socotra. The move follows the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Khalifa Foundation.

The Foundation’s team began to distribute the relief aid among locals which included 7,000 food baskets, 4,732 blankets, 358 tents and 338 food containers.

The people of Socotra commended the efforts of the UAE leadership for their assistance, saying that this aid has a great impact in relieving the hardships of locals, especially during the difficult conditions they are facing.

 

 

They also thanked the Khalifa Foundation for the aid, saying that its efforts in Yemen, together with that of the Emirates Red Crescent, have greatly contributed to helping the Yemeni people and in alleviating their suffering.

The latest aid is part of the Foundation’s recently launched Ramadan Project which aims to provide 10,000 food baskets to residents of the Yemeni island, via sea and air.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker

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UAE Ambassador praises strategic relations between UAE, Saudi Arabiahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-ambassador-praises-strategic-relations-uae-saudi-arabia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-ambassador-praises-strategic-relations-uae-saudi-arabia http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/uae-ambassador-praises-strategic-relations-uae-saudi-arabia/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 20:16:05 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156108 Sheikh Shakbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has said that holding the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah yesterday and the signing of Memoranda of Understanding, MoUs, reflect the strategic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He added that the bilateral ties between the two […]

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By WAM
JEDDAH, Jun 7 2018 (WAM)

Sheikh Shakbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has said that holding the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah yesterday and the signing of Memoranda of Understanding, MoUs, reflect the strategic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

He added that the bilateral ties between the two countries could be described as the strongest, most understanding and unified in terms of opinions in the region, due to the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Shakhbout went on to say that holding the meeting, which was chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development of Saudi Arabia, confirms that the directives of the leadership of both countries are unified in a variety of topics. He also noted that he is looking forward to developing their ties to benefit their people, especially as they are both political and economic powers and are united by many mutual stances and overall cooperation, to promote the process of development and face future challenges.

Sheikh Shakhbout praised the strategic ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia while stressing that the relevant directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa are based on a historic Emirati vision established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to promote the UAE’s key ties with Saudi Arabia, as the two countries share a historic legacy and future prospects and possess human resources and economic capacities that make their integration a natural process at all levels.

He noted that the UAE has always been and will always support joint Arab action, whether through the Gulf Cooperation Council or the Arab League, and considers the council a platform for reinforcing joint Arab action, through harnessing the social and economic potential of member countries for the benefit of the region’s people.

Sheikh Shakhbout congratulated the leadership and people of both countries while pointing out that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will always be leading international models of maintaining relations based on integration, understanding and harmony.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Nour Salman

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Emirati-Saudi Cooperation Committees a vital platform of two largest Arab economieshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/emirati-saudi-cooperation-committees-vital-platform-two-largest-arab-economies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=emirati-saudi-cooperation-committees-vital-platform-two-largest-arab-economies http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/emirati-saudi-cooperation-committees-vital-platform-two-largest-arab-economies/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 10:55:38 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156099 The end of 2017 has marked a new starting point in strengthening cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia after the establishment of cooperation committees in the fields of trade, politics, economy and security, a move described by the international economic press as the beginning of a new phase on the GCC and Arab levels. […]

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By WAM
ABU DHABI, Jun 7 2018 (WAM)

The end of 2017 has marked a new starting point in strengthening cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia after the establishment of cooperation committees in the fields of trade, politics, economy and security, a move described by the international economic press as the beginning of a new phase on the GCC and Arab levels. It was also described as a vital platform and a cornerstone in rebuilding the regional system with a clearer and more coherent vision of the two largest Arab economies.

Following the formation of the Emirati-Saudi Cooperation Committees, the relations between the two countries have become a unique model of cooperation at various levels, supported by the firm will of both countries’ leaders to further strengthen these relations.

All expectations of global financial and economic institutions indicate that the ratio of actual GDP of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will exceed 46% of the actual GDP of the Arab countries for the years 2017 and 2018, compared with 41% on average for the previous period since 2000 - 2016. The two countries account for 53% of the total goods and services foreign trade of Arab countries by the end of 2017

According to economic experts in the two countries, the committees will work on achieving further growth by utilising their large development components being the two largest Arab economies and employing their huge commercial and investment potentials to promote sustainable development in both countries.

The experts further explained that the vast experience enjoyed by the two countries in the fields of economic development, trade and investment are key pillars for making joint cooperation committees a vital platform for the development of plans, strategies and initiatives that support their relentless efforts to achieve development and prosperity, especially through investment and joint ventures in priority sectors; such as industry, construction, reconstruction and others, as well as the development of a partnership between the private sectors in both countries, which is an integral part of the overall development process.

On the economic and commercial levels, the formation of the Emirati-Saudi Cooperation Committees has contributed to closer relations between the two countries and increased the volume of trade exchange between them during the past few months. Saudi Arabia has become the fourth most important trading partner in the UAE.

Saudi Arabia continued to rank first in the Gulf in terms of value of bilateral trade with the UAE with a share of AED58 billion ($ 15.7 billion) in 2017, accounting for 46 percent of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with GCC countries, according to statistics from the UAE Federal Customs Authority.

The value of non-oil trade between the two countries reached AED20 billion in 2016, accounting for 43% of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with the GCC countries and 27% of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with the Arab countries for the same year. These facts indicate the overall strength of the relationship between the two brotherly countries.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the second most important destination for re-exports from the UAE in 2016, accounting for 9% of the country’s total re-exports that year, meanwhile, the Kingdom was the first on the Arab level, accounting for 29% of the total re-exports to the Arab countries, and 47% on the GCC level. With regard to imports, 45% of UAE imports from the GCC are sourced from Saudi Arabia.

In contrast, the UAE ranked sixth globally as the largest trading partner of Saudi Arabia, accounting for 6.1% of Saudi Arabia’s total trade for 2016 and ranked first on the Arab and GCC level as Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 56% of Saudi Arabia’s total trade with GCC countries for 2016.

In terms of investment, Saudi Arabia accounted for 4% of the total foreign direct investment in the UAE until the end of 2015, and is ranked first in the Arab world, accounting for nearly 30% of the Arab direct investment stock in the UAE, and 38% of the balance of GCC investments in the country.

It is noteworthy that all expectations of global financial and economic institutions indicate that the ratio of actual GDP of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will exceed 46% of the actual GDP of the Arab countries for the years 2017 and 2018, compared with 41% on average for the previous period since 2000 – 2016. The two countries account for 53% of the total goods and services foreign trade of Arab countries by the end of 2017.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker

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DP World launches green warehousing initiative on world environment dayhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/dp-world-launches-green-warehousing-initiative-world-environment-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dp-world-launches-green-warehousing-initiative-world-environment-day http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/dp-world-launches-green-warehousing-initiative-world-environment-day/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 10:26:45 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156084 Marking World Environment Day, DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, has launched the UAE’s first green storage and warehouse facilities in Dubai, helping business to reduce their carbon footprint. The global trade enabler’s sustainable, long term growth is aligned with the United Nation’s ninth Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable […]

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DP World launches green warehousing initiative on world environment day

By WAM
DUBAI, Jun 5 2018 (WAM)

Marking World Environment Day, DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, has launched the UAE’s first green storage and warehouse facilities in Dubai, helping business to reduce their carbon footprint.

The global trade enabler’s sustainable, long term growth is aligned with the United Nation’s ninth Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.

While some cool storage facilities are now running entirely on solar energy, an increasing number of other Jafza warehouses will become more energy efficient as DP World’s Solar Programme is rolled out over the coming years.

The project supports the UAE Vision 2021 for a sustainable environment and includes construction of the largest distributed solar rooftop project in the Middle East, with the installation of 88,000 rooftop solar panels on DP World’s Dubai facilities. It is estimated that the panels will produce enough clean power for 3,000 homes a year.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, said, “Corporate citizenship is part of the fabric of society today and it will play a major part in our future. Building green infrastructure allows us to reduce carbon footprint in our facilities. By investing in these projects, we also encourage the development of new skills, driving economic growth and job creation.

“Our experience and studies have shown that a mindset to conserve and the development of sustainable business practices enables efficient operation. This streamlines effort and saves resources, which enhances employee productivity and reduces cost. It a win-win for all.”

DP World’s Solar Programme also contributes to energy diversification in the region as part of Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which seeks to reduce energy demand by 30% by 2030.

In 2010, the company was the first international trade enabler to join the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP, which runs the global system that enables companies, cities, nations and regions to measure and manage their environmental impact.

DP World has been reporting results across its portfolio in 40 countries, monitoring energy use, making terminal operations more efficient, embracing renewable energy projects and investing in low-carbon technologies.

For the third consecutive year in 2017, DP World’s CDP report received the ‘leadership’ score of A-, highlighting the company’s role in implementing best practice in greenhouse gas emissions and improving environmental performance within its industry.

 

WAM/Elsadig Idriss/Hassan Bashir

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Civilians Paid a Very High Price for Raqqa’s Devastating “Liberation” by US-led Forceshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/civilians-paid-high-price-raqqas-devastating-liberation-us-led-forces/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=civilians-paid-high-price-raqqas-devastating-liberation-us-led-forces http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/civilians-paid-high-price-raqqas-devastating-liberation-us-led-forces/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 07:07:24 +0000 Donatella Rovera and Benjamin Walsby http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156055
Donatella Rovera is a Senior Crisis Response Adviser and Benjamin Walsby is a Middle East Researcher at Amnesty International

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Entire neighbourhoods in Raqqa are damaged beyond repair. Credit: Amnesty International

By Donatella Rovera and Benjamin Walsby
RAQQA, Syria, Jun 5 2018 (IPS)

Driving around in Raqqa, it was easy to believe what a senior US military official said – that more artillery shells were launched into the Syrian city than anywhere else since the Viet Nam war.

There was destruction to be seen on virtually every street, in the heaps of rubble, bombed-out buildings and twisted metal carcasses of cars. There were also constant reminders of devastated civilian lives, in the broken possessions, scraps of clothing and grubby children’s toys scattered amongst the ruins.

Between 6 June and 17 October 2017, the US-led Coalition mounted an operation to “liberate” Raqqa from the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS). The Coalition claimed its precision air campaign allowed it to oust IS from Raqqa while causing very few civilian casualties, but our investigations have exposed gaping holes in this narrative.

Our new report, ‘War of annihilation’: Devastating Toll on Civilians, Raqqa – Syria, presents the evidence we collected over several weeks in Raqqa, investigating cases of civilians who paid the brutal price for what US Defence Secretary James Mattis promised to be a “war of annihilation” against IS.

Residents were trapped as fighting raged in Raqqa’s streets between IS militants and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, supported by the Coalition’s air and artillery strikes. IS mined escape routes and shot at civilians trying to flee.

Hundreds of civilians were killed: some in their homes; some in the very places where they had sought refuge; and others as they tried to flee.

We investigated the cases of four Syrian families, who between them lost 90 relatives and neighbours almost all of them killed by Coalition air strikes.

Destruction in Raqqa’s city centre. Credit: Amnesty International

In the case of the Badran family, 39 family members were killed in four separate Coalition air strikes as they ran from place to place inside the city, desperately seeking a way of avoiding rapidly shifting frontlines and coalition air bombardments over the course of several weeks.

“We thought the forces who came to evict Daesh [IS] would know their business and would target Daesh and leave the civilians alone. We were naïve. By the time we had realised how dangerous it had become everywhere, it was too late; we were trapped,” Rasha Badran told us.

“I don’t understand why they bombed us…Didn’t the surveillance planes see that we were civilian families?”

After several attempts to flee, Rasha and her husband finally managed to escape, having lost their entire family, including their only child, a one-year-old girl named Tulip, whose tiny body they buried near a tree.

The Aswads were a family of traders who had toiled hard all their lives to build a home in Raqqa. Some of them stayed behind to defend their home from being looted, sheltering in the basement. But, on 28 June, a Coalition air strike destroyed the building, killing eight civilians, most of them children.

Another family member was killed when he stepped on an IS mine after returning to the city to try to recover the bodies days later.

During the four-month offensive, US, British and French Coalition forces carried out tens of thousands of air strikes. US forces, which boasted about firing 30,000 artillery rounds during the campaign, were also responsible for more than 90% of the air strikes.

The Coalition repeatedly used explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas where they knew civilians were trapped. There is strong prima facie evidence that Coalition air and artillery strikes killed and injured thousands of civilians, including in disproportionate or indiscriminate attacks that violated international humanitarian law and are potential war crimes.

Precision air strikes are only as precise as the information about the targets. In addition, when bombs big enough to flatten whole buildings are being used, as well as artillery with wide-area effects, any claims about minimizing civilian casualties ring hollow.

Amnesty International is urging Coalition members to investigate impartially and thoroughly allegations of violations and civilian casualties, and to acknowledge publicly the scale and gravity of the loss of civilian lives and destruction of civilian property in Raqqa.

The USA, UK and France must disclose their findings. They must be transparent in disclosing their tactics, specific means and methods of attack, choice of targets, and precautions taken in planning and execution of attacks.

They must also review the procedures by which they decide the credibility of civilian casualty allegations and they must ensure justice and reparation for victims of violations.

The victims, including tiny one-year-old Tulip, deserve justice. Coalition members must not risk repeating the same mistakes elsewhere.

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Excerpt:


Donatella Rovera is a Senior Crisis Response Adviser and Benjamin Walsby is a Middle East Researcher at Amnesty International

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Top 10 priority areas for renewable energy policymakers announcedhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/top-10-priority-areas-renewable-energy-policymakers-announced/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-10-priority-areas-renewable-energy-policymakers-announced http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/top-10-priority-areas-renewable-energy-policymakers-announced/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 12:40:33 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156061 The UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, MOEI, and Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, EWS-WWF, today released a joint report highlighting which innovative policies, incentives, and technologies could accelerate the UAE’s progress towards its target of 44 percent renewable energy capacity by 2050. The report is an output of EWS-WWF’s renewable energy project, […]

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By WAM
DUBAI, Jun 3 2018 (WAM)

The UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, MOEI, and Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, EWS-WWF, today released a joint report highlighting which innovative policies, incentives, and technologies could accelerate the UAE’s progress towards its target of 44 percent renewable energy capacity by 2050.

The report is an output of EWS-WWF’s renewable energy project, which is supported by The Sustainable City.

Entitled ‘Enabling the UAE’s Energy Transition: Top Ten Priority Areas for Renewable Energy Policymakers,’ the report provides decision makers across the UAE with science-based, stakeholder-driven recommendations to achieve the goals of the UAE National Energy Plan 2050. Building on the current efforts of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the report highlights that it is key for the UAE to continue developing an effective renewable energy policy framework, with a complementary target and strategy for reduction of the country’s carbon emissions.

Renewable energy is a significant part of the solution and we applaud the UAE leadership’s readiness to enable the nation’s energy transition
Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General, EWS-WWF

Implementing an energy plan guided by the report’s recommendations will contribute to energy security, emissions reductions, economic growth, and job creation. The report has been developed with support from property service solutions provider, Khidmah, which is also an EWS-WWF Platinum Partner of the Sustainable Partnership Programme.

Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Electricity and Future Energy at the Ministry, said, “The UAE’s leadership is committed to renewable energy and, with the UAE National Energy Plan 2050, has provided a visionary strategy that has the potential to unlock a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits.

The recommendations in this new report highlight innovative pathways for accelerated progress towards our renewable energy target. The proposed measures are both informed by international best practices and rooted in the UAE’s local context, building on our nation’s position as a leading supporter of low-carbon growth.”

Commenting on the report, Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General of EWS-WWF, said, “Globally, climate change is the defining issue of our time and we need to act while we still have a window of opportunity. Renewable energy is a significant part of the solution and we applaud the UAE leadership’s readiness to enable the nation’s energy transition.”

“There is still a lot of untapped potential for accelerated uptake of renewable energy – from large-scale utility plants down to solar rooftops. We encourage key renewable energy policymakers to work together to develop innovative green finance mechanisms, promote competition amongst emerging technologies, and effectively use and develop electricity networks,” she added.

The MOEI is actively engaging with stakeholders to put some of these recommendations into action through a variety of programmes and initiatives. This includes the Ministry’s strategic partnership with EWS-WWF, which runs until 2020 and was inspired by the Future Energy Lab 2017, where His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved and launched the UAE National Energy Plan 2050.

The Sustainable City, by Diamond Developers, represents the voice of the private sector in this report. Its rooftop solar PV installations serve as a case study advancing Net Zero developments in the region. The Sustainable City is a low-carbon residential and mixed-use community in Dubai that aims to become the region’s first operational net zero development – a unique challenge in the harsh climate of the UAE.

Commenting on The Sustainable City’s use of renewable energy in Phase 1, Faris Saeed, the CEO of Diamond Developers, said “With 6.4 MWp of grid-connected solar panels on the rooftops of our villas and parking areas, we are already able to achieve and exceed Net-Zero during winter months. Our experience showcases the role the private sector must play in low-carbon development and how rooftop solar PV is already commercially attractive in the UAE. We are extremely happy with the results so far and look forward to the completion of Phase 2, which will be 100 per cent solar powered using high efficiency modules.”

Jahed Rahman, Managing Director of Khidmah, said, “With the development of a policy framework for increased renewable energy in the UAE, individuals, corporations, and government entities will be able to make an active contribution to turning the country’s energy ambitions into a sustainable reality.”

Abdullatif concluded, “EWS-WWF is committed to supporting the UAE’s progress towards a low-carbon future. With renewable energy, we already have the solutions, now it is a matter of putting them into action”.

The report, Enabling the UAE’s Energy Transition: Top Ten Priority Areas for Renewable Energy Policymakers, represents a stepping-stone and is intended as the beginning of a cascade of events leading to the achievement of the UAE’s energy and sustainability goals.

WAM/Nour Salman

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DEWA invites customers to take up Shams Dubai to generate onsite solar powerhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/dewa-invites-customers-take-shams-dubai-generate-onsite-solar-power/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dewa-invites-customers-take-shams-dubai-generate-onsite-solar-power http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/dewa-invites-customers-take-shams-dubai-generate-onsite-solar-power/#respond Sat, 02 Jun 2018 11:01:50 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156039 Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has again invited Dubai’s citizens and residents to benefit from the Shams Dubai smart initiative, following the outstanding success and the great adoption rate the initiative has achieved since its launch. Shams Dubai encourages DEWA customers to install solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of their premises to generate […]

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DEWA invites customers to take up Shams Dubai to generate onsite solar power

By WAM
DUBAI, Jun 2 2018 (WAM)

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has again invited Dubai’s citizens and residents to benefit from the Shams Dubai smart initiative, following the outstanding success and the great adoption rate the initiative has achieved since its launch.

Shams Dubai encourages DEWA customers to install solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of their premises to generate electricity from solar power and export any excess to the power grid. This is part of DEWA’s effort to promote Dubai’s sustainable and comprehensive development, and support national efforts to increase reliance on clean energy, protect the environment and our natural resources sustainably, and support further transformation towards a green economy.

Shams Dubai gives Dubai’s residents the opportunity to transform their buildings into sustainable ones, reduce the Emirate’s carbon footprint, and increase the proportion of solar power in Dubai's environmentally-friendly energy mix
“Shams Dubai gives Dubai’s residents the opportunity to transform their buildings into sustainable ones, reduce the Emirate’s carbon footprint, and increase the proportion of solar power in Dubai’s environmentally-friendly energy mix. Through this initiative, community members will promote sustainable development in Dubai and transform the Emirate into a global hub for clean energy and green economy, and support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to generate 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050. This will also support the Smart Dubai initiative launched by His Highness to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA.

“Shams Dubai has been instrumental to the development of the flourishing solar industry in Dubai, and supports the long-term Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, to build a green economy in the UAE. Moreover, the project contributes to the UAE Vision 2021, to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021, and namely to its sustainable environment and infrastructure objectives, through the improvement of air quality and increasing the share of clean energy,” added Al Tayer.

Al Tayer praised the efforts of institutions and individuals who have participated in the Shams Dubai initiative and have already installed photovoltaic panels on 1032 buildings with a total capacity of 43.77 megawatts (MW). This will increase in the future to eventually cover all buildings in the Emirate by 2030.

“DEWA has outlined easy steps to install photovoltaic systems on buildings to generate solar power as part of the Shams Dubai initiative. The installation process starts with the customer contacting one of the solar consultants or contractors accredited by DEWA to study the possibility of installing the solar power system and suggesting the best solution. The consultant or contractor then obtains the necessary approvals from DEWA,” noted Al Tayer.

In addition, DEWA’s Shams Dubai Calculator was launched on DEWA’s website to support customers who want to install solar panels on rooftops, by providing detailed comparisons and additional information with ease, using innovative tools, he added.

To date, DEWA has certified over 446 solar photovoltaic experts, and a total of 96 companies are currently enrolled with DEWA for Shams Dubai: 85 contractors and 11 consultants. The equipment eligibility scheme has attracted interest from 100 manufacturers who have registered so far, and 800 equipments have been made eligible for use by Shams Dubai, such as panels, inverters, and interface protections.

 

WAM/MOHD AAMIR

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Unilateral Coercive Measures have Devastated the Syrian Economy &Ruined Civilian Liveshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/unilateral-coercive-measures-devastated-syrian-economy-ruined-civilian-lives/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unilateral-coercive-measures-devastated-syrian-economy-ruined-civilian-lives http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/06/unilateral-coercive-measures-devastated-syrian-economy-ruined-civilian-lives/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 17:08:00 +0000 Idriss Jazairy http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156031 Idriss Jazairy is Special Rapporteur on “the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights to the Syrian Arab Republic”*

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Idriss Jazairy is Special Rapporteur on “the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights to the Syrian Arab Republic”*

By Idriss Jazairy
GENEVA, Jun 1 2018 (IPS)

I have been entrusted by the Human Rights Council with the task of monitoring, reporting and advising on the negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights of unilateral coercive measures.

The United Nations has repeatedly expressed concern that the use of such measures may be contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the UN Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States1.

Idriss Jazairy. Credit: UN Photo

During my visit, I had the honour of being received by Ministers, Deputy Ministers and senior officials of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Economy and Foreign Trade, Local Administration and Environment, Social Affairs and Labour, Transport, Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Electricity and Health.

I also met with the leadership of the Planning and International Cooperation Commission, the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Chamber of Commerce, and with the Governor of the Central Bank.

I was briefed by staff from civil society, humanitarian organizations and by independent experts. Last but not least, I am also grateful to the numerous diplomatic missions that shared their views with me during my visit. I very much appreciate the briefings I received from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in Beirut prior to my visit.

The purpose of this mission was to examine to what extent unilateral coercive measures targeting the Syrian Arab Republic impair the full realization of the rights set forth in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.

I will present my full report to the Human Rights Council in September 2018. My present statement contains my preliminary observations on the outcome of my visit.

I have examined the situation of the Syrian Arab Republic as a target of unilateral coercive measures by a number of source States. I have examined relevant evidence and endeavoured to assess the actual impact of such measures on the Syrian people.

One source country has applied unilateral coercive measures since 1979, and they were strengthened in subsequent years. A larger group of States began applying similar measures in 2011.

The collective measures call for a trade ban on the import and export of multiple goods and services. It also includes international financial transfers. The superimposition of different packages of collective sectoral measures, together with the across-the-board implementation of financial restrictions, are tantamount in their global impact to the imposition of comprehensive restrictions on Syria.

Additional measures targeting individuals by virtue of their alleged relationship with the government have also been applied.

Because of their comprehensive nature, these measures have had a devastating impact on the entire economy and the daily lives of ordinary people. This impact has compounded their suffering resulting from the devastating crisis that has unfolded since 2011.

Singling out the impact of the unilateral coercive measures from that of the crisis is fraught with difficulty, but this does in no way diminish the necessity to take measures to restore their basic human rights as a whole.

It is clear that the sufferings imposed by the unilateral coercive measures have reinforced those that were caused by the conflict.

Indeed, it seems ironic that these measures applied by source States out of a concern for human rights are actually contributing to the worsening of the humanitarian crisis as an unintended consequence.

The dramatic increase in the suffering of the Syrian people

The Syrian economy continues to decline at an alarming rate. Since the application of coercive measures in 2011, and the beginning of the current crisis, the total annual GDP of Syria has fallen by two thirds.

Foreign currency reserves have been depleted, and international financial and other assets remain frozen. In 2010, 45 Syrian Liras were exchanged for one dollar; by 2017 the rate fell to fell to 510 liras per dollar. Inflation has dramatically increased since 2010, reaching a peak of 82.4% in 2013; the cost of food items rose eight-fold during this time.

This combination of factors visited further devastation on the living conditions of the population that were already degraded by the conflict. This has hit the half of working Syrians living on fixed salaries particularly hard.

The unintended consequences of unilateral coercive measures

This damage to the economy has had predictable effects on the ability of Syrians to realize their economic, social and cultural rights. Syria’s human development indicators have all tumbled. There has been a staggering increase in the rate of poverty among ordinary Syrians.

While there was no food insecurity prior to the outbreak of violence, by 2015 32% of Syrians were affected. At the same time unemployment rose went from 8.5% in 2010 to over 48% in 2015.

Banking restrictions

The most pervasive concerns I have heard during my mission relate to the negative effect that comprehensive financial restrictions have had on all aspects of Syrian life. Restrictions on the Central bank, state-owned and even private banks, and transactions in the main international currencies have comprehensively damaged the ability of anyone seeking to operate internationally.

Despite nominally including “humanitarian exemptions” they have proven to be costly, or extremely slow, to access in practice.

The uncertainty around what transactions do, or do not violate the unilateral coercive measures, have created a “chilling effect” on international banks and companies, which as a result are unwilling or unable to do business with Syria.

This has prevented Syrian and international companies, non-governmental actors (including those operating in purely humanitarian fields), and Syrian citizens from engaging in international financial transactions (including for goods which are legal to import), obtaining credit, or for international actors to pay salaries or contractors in Syria.

This has forced Syrians to find alternatives, such as hawala, which result in millions of dollars flowing through high cost financial intermediaries, who are alleged at times to be owned by terrorist organizations.

These channels which are not transparent, cannot be audited, and increase transaction costs remain the only avenue for smaller companies and Syrian civil society actors to operate internationally.

Medical care

Syria practices universal, free health care for all its citizens. Prior to the current crisis, Syria enjoyed some of the highest levels of care in the region. The demands created by the crisis have overwhelmed the system, and created extraordinarily high levels of need.

Despite this, restrictive measures, particularly those related to the banking system, have harmed the ability of Syria to purchase and pay for medicines, equipment, spare parts and software.

While theoretical exemptions exist, in practice international private companies are unwilling to jump the hurdles necessary to ensure they can transact with Syria without being accused of inadvertently violating the restrictive measures.

Migration and ‘brain drain’

While the security situation was a central factor which led to migration flows from Syria, it should be emphasized that the dramatic increase in unemployment, the lack of job opportunities, the closure of factories unable to obtain raw materials or machinery or to export their goods have all contributed to increasing the emigration of Syrians.

Some receiving States have selected skilled migrants, while pressuring the less fortunate to return to Syria. This “brain drain” has harmed the medical and pharmaceutical industries in particular, at the worst possible time for Syria.

The anticipated end of the current conflict will not put an end to the flows of migrants, especially to Europe, in view of the saturation of neighbouring countries.

These flows are likely to continue so long as the Syrian authorities are prevented by unilateral coercive measures from addressing the pressing problems related to their social and economic infrastructure, in particular the restoration of energy and water supplies.

Ban on equipment and spare parts

The ban on the trade in equipment, machinery and spare parts has devastated Syrian industry. Vehicles, including ambulances and fire trucks, as well as agricultural machinery suffer from a lack of spare parts. Failing water pumps gravely affect the water supply and reduce agricultural production.

Power generation plants are failing, and new plants cannot be purchased or maintained, leading to power outages. Complex machinery requiring international technicians for maintenance are failing, damaging medical devices and factory machinery.

Civilian aircraft are no longer able to fly safely, and public transit buses are in woeful condition. Whatever rationale source countries may have for restricting so-called dual use goods, greater effort is needed to ensure that goods that are clearly intended for civilian use are permitted, and that they can be paid for.

Ban on technology

As a result of unilateral coercive measures, Syrians are unable to purchase many technologies, including mobile phones and computers. The global dominance of American software companies, technology companies, and banking and financial software, all of which are banned, has made it difficult to find alternatives. This has paralyzed or disrupted large parts of Syrian institutions.

Education

Shortages of inputs, energy and water supply as well as of teaching material causing delays in the rebuilding of schools have kept 1.8 million children without access to their classrooms.

The ability of Syrians to participate in the international community has been sharply affected. Syrians have been excluded from international educational exchange programs, and the tremendous difficulties involved in obtaining a visa have prevented many from studying or travelling abroad, upgrading their training and skills, or participating in international conferences.

By removing consular services from Syria, countries have forced people including the poorest, to travel to neighbouring countries for such applications, which are also placing onerous restrictions on entry for Syrians.

Conclusion

I am profoundly concerned that unilateral coercive measures are contributing to the ongoing suffering of the Syrian people. Claims that they exist to protect the Syrian population, or to promote a democratic transition, are hard to reconcile with the economic and humanitarian sufferings being caused.

The time has come to ask whether these unintended consequences are now more severe than can be reasonably accepted by democratic States. Whatever their political objectives, there must be more humane means by which these can be achieved in full compliance with international law.

In view of the complexity of the system of unilateral coercive measures in place, there needs to be a multi-stage approach to addressing the dire human rights situation prevailing in Syria.

This would imply a sequenced approach involving addressing the crucial humanitarian needs of the population throughout the whole of Syria, without preconditions, when these touch on issues of life and death. A first stage could include addressing the urgent needs of the food insecure, which represent nearly one third of the population.

The second stage is to translate at the ground level effective measures to fulfil the commitment of source States to meet their obligation to allow humanitarian exemptions, particularly for financial transactions.

Finally, there must be a serious dialogue on reducing unilateral coercive measures, starting with those that have the most egregious effect on the population, along with those that will promote confidence building between the parties, with the ultimate aim of lifting the unilateral coercive measures. I hope that my report and my future work can contribute in this end.

*Based on the end-of-mission statement by the Special Rapporteur,and includes “preliminary observations and recommendations” on Syria.

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Excerpt:

Idriss Jazairy is Special Rapporteur on “the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights to the Syrian Arab Republic”*

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Surgeons, supplies being sent to Gaza to meet overwhelming medical needs :ICRChttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/surgeons-supplies-sent-gaza-meet-overwhelming-medical-needs-icrc/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=surgeons-supplies-sent-gaza-meet-overwhelming-medical-needs-icrc http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/surgeons-supplies-sent-gaza-meet-overwhelming-medical-needs-icrc/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 09:44:00 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156018 To help with an overwhelming rise in medical needs in Gaza, the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, is sending two surgical teams, additional medical specialists and an influx of supplies to fortify medical facilities struggling to assist residents affected by the recent violence. This six-month boost in assistance will help Gaza’s health system […]

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By WAM
GENEVA, May 31 2018 (WAM)

To help with an overwhelming rise in medical needs in Gaza, the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, is sending two surgical teams, additional medical specialists and an influx of supplies to fortify medical facilities struggling to assist residents affected by the recent violence.

This six-month boost in assistance will help Gaza’s health system respond to longer-term needs after thousands of residents were recently wounded in violence. The ICRC is sending in additional surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, drugs and equipment.

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Hassan Bashir

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Countries Lose $160 Trillion in Wealth Due to Earnings Gaps Between Women and Men: WBhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/countries-lose-160-trillion-wealth-due-earnings-gaps-women-men-wb/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=countries-lose-160-trillion-wealth-due-earnings-gaps-women-men-wb http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/countries-lose-160-trillion-wealth-due-earnings-gaps-women-men-wb/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 14:18:39 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=156000 Globally, countries are losing $160 trillion in wealth because of differences in lifetime earnings between women and men. This amounts to an average of $23,620 for each person in the 141 countries studied by the World Bank Group in a new report released today. The study, Unrealized Potential: The High Cost of Gender Inequality in […]

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By WAM
WASHINGTON, May 30 2018 (WAM)

Globally, countries are losing $160 trillion in wealth because of differences in lifetime earnings between women and men. This amounts to an average of $23,620 for each person in the 141 countries studied by the World Bank Group in a new report released today.

The study, Unrealized Potential: The High Cost of Gender Inequality in Earnings, examines the economic cost of gender inequality in lost human capital. It comes before the meeting of the G7, currently headed by Canada, which committed to ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are integrated across all G7 themes, activities and initiatives during its Presidency.

"The world is essentially leaving $160 trillion on the table when we neglect inequality in earnings over the lifetime between men and women,"
Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO

“The world is essentially leaving $160 trillion on the table when we neglect inequality in earnings over the lifetime between men and women,” said World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. “This is a stark reminder that world leaders need to act now and act decisively to invest in policies that promote more and better jobs for women and equal pay at work.”

In nearly every country today, women face barriers to fully participate in the work force and earn as much as men. Because of this, women account for only 38 percent of their country’s human capital wealth, defined as the value of the future earnings of their adult citizens versus 62 percent for men. In low income and lower-middle income countries, women account for just a third or less of human capital wealth.

Programs and policies that make it easier for women to get to work, access basic infrastructure and financial services, and control land could help achieve gender equality in earnings, the report says.

“Human capital wealth accounts for two thirds of the global changing wealth of nations, well ahead of natural and other forms of capital,” said World Bank Group Lead Economist and author of the report Quentin Wodon. “Because women earn less than men, human capital wealth worldwide is about 20 percent lower than it could be.”

The losses in wealth from inequality in earnings between men and women vary by region. The largest losses each between $40 trillion and $50 trillion are observed in East Asia and the Pacific, North America, and Europe and Central Asia. This is because these regions account for most of the world’s human capital wealth. Losses in other regions are also substantial. In South Asia, losses from gender inequality are estimated at $9.1 trillion, while they are estimated at $6.7 trillion in Latin America and the Caribbean and $3.1 trillion in the Middle East and North Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the losses are estimated at $2.5 trillion. While losses in low income countries are smaller in absolute terms than in other regions, as a share of the initial endowment in human capital, the losses are larger than for the world.

 

WAM/Tariq alfaham

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Why Israel Dropped Out of the Security Council Race: Not Enough Voteshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/israel-dropped-security-council-race-not-enough-votes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=israel-dropped-security-council-race-not-enough-votes http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/israel-dropped-security-council-race-not-enough-votes/#comments Tue, 29 May 2018 16:32:20 +0000 Kacie Candela http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155973 Kacie Candela, PassBlue*

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On March 8, 2018, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and his wife, Sara, toured the “3000 Years of History: Jews in Jerusalem” exhibition at the UN in New York. Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, right. Israel recently dropped its campaign to run for a seat in the next term of the Security Council. The election is June 8. Credit: ESKINDER DEBEBE/UN PHOTO

By Kacie Candela
UNITED NATIONS, May 29 2018 (IPS)

From the start, it was a closely watched contest pitting Germany, Belgium and Israel against one another for their regional bloc’s two seats in the next term on the United Nations Security Council. Israel has never held a seat on the Council, and as it celebrates its 70-year membership in the UN in 2018, the country was aiming high for the June 8 election.

But it was never going to be a shoo-in for Israel. It has been a permanent member of WEOG, or the Western Europe and Others Group, since 2004, falling into this UN regional slot first as a renewable member in 2000, because its Arab neighbors refused to let it into their Asia-Pacific group.

So, when Israel announced abruptly on May 4 that it was withdrawing from the Council race, just as a debate for the contestants was being staged at the UN, the campaigning by Germany and Belgium was done.

Competing for the 10 elected seats on the Council seats is always intense, but Israel’s last-minute withdrawal leaves the overall election for the 2018-2019 term with few surprises. Only the Maldives and Indonesia, from the Asia-Pacific group, are left competing — for that region’s open seat.

The Security Council’s 10 nonpermanent members hold staggered two-year terms, which are not immediately renewable.

For the upcoming term, the African group has pre-selected South Africa; the Latin American and Caribbean group has preordained the Dominican Republic. The one seat allotted for Eastern Europe will be open next year.

The work to win a Council seat can begin years before the election. Besides events like cultural affairs (Italy, campaigning in 2016 at UN headquarters, showcased its cinema and food), freebies like felt satchels and more extravagant ventures such as a free trip for diplomats to visit a candidate’s country, the campaigns’ expenses are rarely publicized. There are virtually no rules on spending limits.

According to a report by the CBC on Canada’s candidacy for the 2021-22 Council term, countries have spent anywhere from $4 million to $85 million on campaigns.

The money goes to everything from postage stamps to travel and hospitality, but it does not include the salaries of those appointed to lead the efforts, although not all countries have a designated campaign staff, like Canada.

Israel, however, never had a slogan, website or logo. According to the General Assembly Affairs Branch of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, it never received notification from Israel that it was a candidate.

Israel’s campaign was less focused on cultivating an image with the UN press corps and civil society and more on currying favor among countries whose votes it needed. The Israeli mission paid for three visits of groups of UN diplomats to Jerusalem over the last few months.

The delegates were predominantly from countries in Africa and Latin America and Pacific island nations. Some Eastern European countries, such as Hungary, were rumored to have supported Israel’s bid, as well as a handful of US allies, like Guatemala.

When asked a few days after its withdrawal from the race which countries had supported Israel, Ambassador Danny Danon told PassBlue that it was a “long list” but not enough to meet the two-thirds’ threshold to win the election, which is held in the UN General Assembly among all 193 member nations. Danon declined to name any of the countries on the list.

When the Israeli mission announced its decision to drop out, some ambassadors at the UN said they were not surprised. Arab countries in the UN had been actively lobbying against Israel, especially after the Great March of Return in Gaza began this spring and Israeli forces killed more than 100 protesters at the rallies. Various high-level officials said there were rumors that Danon had even hinted about Israel foregoing the race.

One irony of Israel’s decision is that Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, has repeatedly bemoaned the back-room negotiating and lack of competition in UN elections generally.

The race among Israel, Belgium and Germany had been awkward all along, notably because of Israel’s odd place in WEOG as a Middle Eastern country among Western Europeans and Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The United States is not a member of any regional group but votes in the WEOG bloc.

Israel has vied for a Council seat for more than 10 years. It announced it would run for the 2018-2019 seat in 2005, after it agreed to withdraw from Gaza. At the time, 2018-2019 was the next term for which the WEOG seats had not been claimed. Belgium announced its candidacy in 2009.

But in 2013, Germany announced it too would run, meaning Israel and Belgium would no longer be running uncontested. Germany could not have announced its intention earlier because it served on the Council from 2011-2012, and it is against UN election rules to campaign for a Council seat until a country is done with an active term. Germany has repeatedly contended it decided to run because by practice it sought a seat every eighth year.

In March 2018, reports in Israeli and American media contended that Germany’s bid violated an agreement brokered in the 1990s by Richard Holbrooke, the US ambassador to Germany from 1993-1994, to allow Israel to run unopposed for a seat after Israel became a member of WEOG.

In an interview with PassBlue in April 2018, Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s ambassador to the UN, said, “Israel is very grateful to Germany for its help getting Israel out of the Asian group and into the Western Europe and Others Group.

“We have excellent bilateral relations with Israel, but there has never been an agreement between Israel and Germany. We have been very straightforward to all our partners since we arrived at the UN in 1973. We have been a candidate for the Security Council every eight years and we have never departed from this. We want to be very clear in what we do. There was no deal with Israel that I read in some papers, and the Israeli government has never accused us of breaking any deal.”

Both East and West Germany joined the UN in 1973, but when German officials reference the country’s history on the Security Council, they usually refer to West Germany, which has served on the Council about every eight years since its first term in 1977-78. According to the United Nations Association of Germany, until German unification, the two nations took turns serving on the Council.

The May 4 announcement by Israel seemed timed to coincide with the start of the debate among the WEOG candidates. The public forum, sponsored by the New York-based World Federation of United Nations Associations, was designed to make Council elections more transparent.

WFUNA, as the group is known, held hearings for Council candidates for the first time in 2016, but last year there were no competitive slates, so no hearings were held.

Up to the minute the debate began, the organizers still did not know whether Israel would show up, but soon into the program, the Israeli press release arrived in email in-boxes, saying that “after consulting with our partners, including our good friends, the State of Israel has decided to postpone its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council.

“It was decided that we will continue to act with our allies to allow for Israel to realize its right for full participation and inclusion in decision-making processes at the U.N. This includes the Security Council as well as an emphasis on areas related to development and innovation.”

After the debate, a question-and-answer format proceeded. Kelley Currie, the US representative for the UN’s Economic and Social Affairs Council, asked about human rights being discussed more actively in the Security Council. She then gave a statement about Israel, America’s close ally.

“We respect the decision by Israel to postpone its Security Council candidacy today,” Currie said. “We note the United Nations’ poor record of inclusion of Israel in membership in UN bodies and on the Security Council throughout Israel’s nearly 70 years as a UN-member state in good standing. This is a shameful record. The United States looks forward to the day when Israel is treated like every other member state and is appropriately included in this organization.”

Heusgen responded by saying the US gave “a remark, not a question with regard to Israel.”

He continued, “We can only underline that Germany together with others in the west European and others group have seen to it that Israel has become a member of this group to be able to exercise its rights and possibility to participate in this organization.”

*PassBlue is an independent, women-led digital publication offering in-depth journalism on the US-UN relationship as well as women’s issues, human rights, peacekeeping and other urgent global matters, reported from our base in the UN press corps. Founded in 2011, PassBlue is a project of the New School’s Graduate Program in International Affairs in New York and not tied financially or otherwise to the UN; previously, it was housed at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. PassBlue is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News.

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Excerpt:

Kacie Candela, PassBlue*

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Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of premature death and disability worldwide: warns WHO ahead of World No Tobacco Dayhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/tobacco-use-one-leading-causes-premature-death-disability-worldwide-warns-ahead-world-no-tobacco-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tobacco-use-one-leading-causes-premature-death-disability-worldwide-warns-ahead-world-no-tobacco-day http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/tobacco-use-one-leading-causes-premature-death-disability-worldwide-warns-ahead-world-no-tobacco-day/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 08:34:25 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155983 Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. This year, World No Tobacco Day focuses on tobacco and heart disease. The campaign’s slogan is “Tobacco breaks hearts. […]

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Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of premature death and disability worldwide: warns WHO ahead of World No Tobacco Day

Credit: Bigstock

By WAM
CAIRO, May 29 2018 (WAM)

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. This year, World No Tobacco Day focuses on tobacco and heart disease. The campaign’s slogan is “Tobacco breaks hearts. Choose health, not tobacco”.

"In 2015, nearly 1.4 million deaths in the Region were caused by cardiovascular disease. It has been estimated that in the next decade, deaths from cardiovascular disease, which in the Eastern Mediterranean Region is mostly attributable to ischaemic heart disease, will increase more significantly than in any other region of the world except Africa."
Dr Jaouad Mahjour, Acting WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean

Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of premature death and disability worldwide. It is also a key risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. “In most countries in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disease”, says Dr Jaouad Mahjour, Acting WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “In 2015, nearly 1.4 million deaths in the Region were caused by cardiovascular disease. It has been estimated that in the next decade, deaths from cardiovascular disease, which in the Eastern Mediterranean Region is mostly attributable to ischaemic heart disease, will increase more significantly than in any other region of the world except Africa.”

Large sections of the public do not realize that tobacco is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Thus, on World No Tobacco Day this year, WHO aims to increase public awareness on the link between tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke and cardiovascular disease. “Tobacco use in the Region has risen among men, women, boys and girls”, notes Dr Mahjour. “In some countries of the Region, 52 percent of men and 22 percent of women use tobacco. The rates among youth are particularly worrying; they can reach 42 percent among boys and 31 percent among girls. This includes shisha which is more popular among youth than cigarettes.”

On the eve of World No Tobacco Day 2018, WHO encourages: cardiovascular communities and specialists to take charge, educate and lead, to limit tobacco use and so contain this cardiovascular disease epidemic at national and regional levels; the public at large to make every effort to reduce the risks to their heart health by quitting tobacco, avoiding its use and exposure to secondhand smoke; governments to take all possible action to control tobacco use and raise public awareness of the link between tobacco use and heart disease; and countries and civil society to scale up prevention and control of cardiovascular disease by intensifying action on the six MPOWER measures in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and so reduce demand for tobacco. The six MPOWER measures are: monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; protect people from tobacco smoke; offer help to quit; warn about the dangers; enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and raise taxes on tobacco.

“Tobacco in all its forms contains dangerous chemicals”, says Dr Mahjour. “The only proven strategy to keep the heart and blood vessels safe is to quit, avoid initiation and exposure to secondhand smoke”. Shisha, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes cause acute adverse health effects, such as heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure, arrhythmia and other cardiovascular events. Secondhand smoke causes serious acute or chronic cardiovascular disease. In infants, secondhand smoke causes sudden death and in pregnant women, it leads to low birth weight and congenital heart defects in fetuses.

WAM/Tariq alfaham

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UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science welcomes leading scientistshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/uae-research-programme-rain-enhancement-science-welcomes-leading-scientists/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-research-programme-rain-enhancement-science-welcomes-leading-scientists http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/05/uae-research-programme-rain-enhancement-science-welcomes-leading-scientists/#respond Mon, 28 May 2018 08:18:07 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=155963 The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, has met one of its second cycle awardees, Dr. Paul Lawson, to prepare for an intensive series of research flights to gather data and take measurements during the third quarter of 2018. Commenting on the visit, Dr. Abdullah Al Mandous, Director of the National Centre for […]

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The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, has met one of its second cycle awardees, Dr. Paul Lawson, to prepare for an intensive series of research flights to gather data and take measurements during the third quarter of 2018.

By WAM
ABU DHABI, May 28 2018 (WAM)

The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, has met one of its second cycle awardees, Dr. Paul Lawson, to prepare for an intensive series of research flights to gather data and take measurements during the third quarter of 2018.

Commenting on the visit, Dr. Abdullah Al Mandous, Director of the National Centre for Meteorology, NCM, said, “Dr. Lawson’s research flights mark a major milestone in his highly innovative research project. Through our awardees’ projects, the NCM and the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science are continuing to develop global research networks and leading international scientific and technological innovation in rain enhancement.”

As the founder of SPEC Incorporated and a participant in over 50 international research projects related to weather modification, Dr. Lawson’s research project, entitled “Microphysics of Convective Clouds and the Effects of Hygroscopic Seeding,” is developing a new approach to rain enhancement that leverages ice production processes in cumulus clouds, through seeding in the updrafts at cloud bases, to coalesce frozen water that ultimately could fall as rain.

Set to take place from Al Ain Airport, Dr. Lawson’s flights will involve a custom-designed Learjet research aircraft equipped with sophisticated sensors to gather data and take measurements.

Commenting on the programme, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, said, “Regular meetings and reports enable us to provide support and pool our joint expertise to ensure that our awardees’ ground-breaking projects will have the maximum impact. The excellent progress already made by Dr. Lawson and his team confirms that the programme is already having a significant impact, in terms of supporting and enabling advanced research in the field.”

Dr. Lawson’s team will plan their flights based on the NCM radar data identifying optimal locations and times of day for missions. The researchers have already completed extensive preparatory work in the US investigating cumulus clouds with a large range of cloud-base temperatures and drop size distributions. Dr. Lawson’s project in the UAE will be followed by intensive analysis of the data gathered during the flights.

In addition to his discussions with the NCM and the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement team members, Dr. Lawson also met officials from the Gulf Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, to discuss his aircraft’s projected flight paths, as well as other operational issues.

 

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Rasha Abubaker

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