Group A is the only one with 2 FIFA World Cup winners, in France and Uruguay. Uruguay who won in 1930 and 1938, and have never impressed, thereafter. Mexico, in fact, have been more dominant than Uruguay, on the world stage, with several FIFA WC appearances.
France, of course, were the winners in 2002, and are the best of the group, though their controversial qualification dominated the headlines, recently. Nothing much is expected of the fourth team, South Africa, whose best claim to fame is as hosts to the tournament.
France have an all-win record of three matches, against South Africa, in 2 friendlies in 1997 and 2000, and 2002
FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa is forthcoming. Football admirers all around the globe are undoubtedly looking forward to a huge event that just comes about once in every 4 years. The first event that would happen in Africa is FIFA World cup. The continent would play the host for the world cup as well as would take the center stage for about a month. So would all 32 teams who would be playing against each other to triumph the tournament as well as state themselves the leader of world of soccer.
The duration of a football game is 90 minutes however never begins or finishes there. The arrangements takes lot of months and creating a good, working and efficient team does not just depend on the players but also on a coach who manages the team.
32 countries are taking part in the footballs greatest event known as “World Cup” and they will end up in South Africa after a lot of qualification games which they played to eradicate the other teams to attain the finals. Every nation made their top effort to arrive to South Africa plus while starting a campaign for the qualifications, they select the best coach who will stand out among others. If you gaze at the record of coaches attending the event this time around, there is an unusual power of ex football performers who are currently heading the teams. 30 coaches among 32 teams have in fact played qualified football in their day.
There are certainly more well-known ones such as Diego Maradona, Argentinian coach, or the Brazilian, Carlos Dunga. Though, there are two coaches who have been coaches and not the past players. Namely, the US coach Bob Bradley and the Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, coaching the hosts South Africa. Bob Bradley has been coaching soccer ever since 1981, about 30 years.
In 2009, Bradley lead the U.S. team to 2nd place finish in 2009 Confederations Cup, comprising a 2-0 victory against the best team in the world as well as European champions Spain, finishing their 35 game winning streak as well as 15 game appealing streak.
The next coach who is not a past football player is Alberto Parreira. He began his coaching career at 24. He managed a lot of teams ever since and in fact took part in five World Cups up to now. He coached Kuwait in 1982, 2 games were lost and one being drawn 1-1 with Czechoslovakia. He was heading UAE, 1990 and lost all the 3 games. After 4 years, he was holding the world cup arrogantly with Brazil. The world Cup last year in 2006, he was heading Brazil, however cannot put its score to the competition.
At present, Parreira is heading South African team who are also hosting this year’s world cup. They are playing superbly. Both Bradley and Parreira never played soccer efficiently however both are triumphant coaches and have remarkable careers and hold a lot of expectations. We would see as well as follow both of them to discover their performance against the coaches who are all former football players.
For more on the FIFA World Cup 2010, be sure to check here.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup is coming there are many businesses, bars and restaurants planning to install outdoor LCD Televisions in preparation for the tournament. And it’s no wonder too, with record TV viewing figures expected it could be a real boon for owners of bars, pubs and restaurants especially if they install an outdoor television to allow their patrons to enjoy the football along with the good weather. However, installing an outdoor TV is fraught with difficulties and unforeseen challenges, many of which can be unthought of until it is too late.
With the coming soccer World Cup expecting to attract legions of television audiences, many of whom will be watching the game in public areas such as bars, pubs, restaurants. Outdoor LCD TVs will become especially popular in these public places. Whichever bars who install this outdoor TV will take a great advantage of the World Cup fever than others who don’t.
Having a beer in hand and watching the World Cup outdoors with your friends is perhaps the most amazing experience you can have outside the stadium.
Outdoor TV requires not only all-weather resistance, but also anti-theft and durability. Outdoor TVs accommodate nearly any size of standard LCD screen are ideal for this job. Not only will they protect the TV from rainfall and other weather elements but also they are manufactured from solid steel with shatterproof polycarbonate screens ensuring they can withstand the most tenacious vandal or angry football fan. They can also be securely mounted to walls or ceilings making them next to impossible to be stolen.
Outdoor TV is an integrated TV with all TV functions as well as a strong weatherproof ability. Now more and more businesses will be able profit from the World Cup Fever, attracting more customers, and it’s all thanks to outdoor TVs.
Outdoor TV Creators of the new-age TV, more and more Business by using TV attracting more customers during World Cup.
The tension is reaching the breaking point as South Africa prepares to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The stadiums are completed and already have hosted pre-cup games. Major upgrades in the hospitality and transport sectors have come on line, the Rainbow Nation is ready, and South Africa will continue to benefit long after the last ball has been kicked and the final match has been played.
This will be the first time that the prestigious international event takes place on African soil. Why this is, is an open question, given the fact that South Africa has successfully hosted both the 1997 World Rugby Cup and the 2003 World Cricket Cup, not to mention the presence of internationally competitive African teams like Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon, all of whom have a good chance of taking home the FIFA trophy.
While South Africa’s hopes of reaching the finals are not considered the best, the nature of soccer cup competitions, and especially the FIFA World Cup, is that any team can win, and indeed, if the host country does take gold then it will not be the first dark horse to do so. Although many of the matches are scheduled to be played in the urban hubs of Cape Town, Durban and the Soweto / Johannesburg / Pretoria Metropolis, South Africa has ensured a wider spread of benefits by establishing ten stadiums across the country. All meet FIFA standards in terms of safety, team, and crowd comforts, and all compare with any other soccer stadium anywhere else in the world:
The three most high profile stadiums are Johannesburg (Soccer City, 88,000 seats), Johannesburg (Ellis Park Stadium, 61,000 seats), and Tshwane / Pretoria (Loftus Versveld Stadium, 49,000 seats). These three stadiums in South Africa’s central urban Metropolis will host three rounds of sixteen, two quarter finals, and the all-important final game at Soccer City in Soweto. In moments between exciting matches, international soccer fans will have the opportunity to experience vibrant African city life and the game reserves that lie beyond.
The three soccer venues on South Africa’s southern and western coastal strip – Cape Town (Green Point Stadium, 66,000 seats), Durban (Durban Stadium, 69,000 seats), and Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 46,000 seats) – although not benefiting from the final game, will nevertheless host three rounds of sixteen, two quarter finals, and two semi final matches. Beyond these soccer stadiums, tourist destinations like the Cape Winelands, Addo Elephant Park, and the stunning Drakensberg Mountains await, where match celebrations or commiserations may be held.
The remaining four Stadiums – Mangaung / Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium, 45,000 seats), Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 44,000 seats), Nelspruit (Mbombela Stadium, 43,000 seats), and Polokwane (Peter Mokaba Stadium, 45,000 seats) – all have much more to offer than just two rounds of sixteen between them. They are located near conservation areas such as Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the legendary Rustenburg protected areas, the Blyde River Canyon, and surrounding areas of exceptional natural beauty, not to mention the teeming herds of game in Kruger National Park.
South Africa’s FIFA World Cup 2010 is a whole lot more than the world’s greatest Soccer Tournament ever. Please visit, it is happening here, and we welcome you to our land. Come to Cape Town and all other locations of the 2010 World Cup.
Andre Gunther is a professional photographer and travel writer. He is the owner of Open Travel Info, a website dedicated to travel writing.
The World Bank Group President, Mr. Robert Zoellick, called on the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests (I/C), Shri Jairam Ramesh here today. He discussed various matters related to Environment and Forests. He also discussed the tiger conservation in India and the long term financing for cleaning of river Ganga programme.
The sporting icon, who has been in Barbados over the weekend for an exhibition tennis series with world No. 4 player Caroline Wozniacki, received a commemorative bat from ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010 Corporate Communications Manager, Ms. Gayle Alleyne, at Sugar Hill Tennis Resort.
An appreciative and smiling Ms. Williams then took possession of her newest sporting equipment – which features the tournament logo and an image of a batsman on the blade and the tournament tagline Captivating, Contagious Cricket along with her name Serena on the back – and struck a batting pose much to the delight of the 500 guests in attendance.
Williams was originally to have received the ICC WT20 West Indies 2010 memorabilia at the Opening Ceremony of the Cricket Legends of Barbados International (CLOBI) Cup at Kensington Oval last Friday night where she was slated to spin the toss with cricketing legend, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers.
ICC WT20 West Indies 2010 – the third edition of the ICCs Twenty20 championship – takes place in four Caribbean countries (Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts and Saint Lucia) from April 30 to May 16 next year.
The sporting icon, who has been in Barbados over the weekend for an exhibition tennis series with world No. 4 player Caroline Wozniacki, received a commemorative bat from ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010 Corporate Communications Manager, Ms. Gayle Alleyne, at Sugar Hill Tennis Resort.
An appreciative and smiling Ms. Williams then took possession of her newest sporting equipment – which features the tournament logo and an image of a batsman on the blade and the tournament tagline Captivating, Contagious Cricket along with her name Serena on the back – and struck a batting pose much to the delight of the 500 guests in attendance.
Williams was originally to have received the ICC WT20 West Indies 2010 memorabilia at the Opening Ceremony of the Cricket Legends of Barbados International (CLOBI) Cup at Kensington Oval last Friday night where she was slated to spin the toss with cricketing legend, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers.
ICC WT20 West Indies 2010 – the third edition of the ICCs Twenty20 championship – takes place in four Caribbean countries (Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts and Saint Lucia) from April 30 to May 16 nex
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, thanks for joining us on the BBC.
JOURNALIST: Weve heard many differing assessments of what will come out of the Copenhagen climate change conference, some optimistic, most pessimistic. Were in the final countdown to Copenhagen. I wonder whats your judgement on what will come from it?
PM: Well, were working towards a Copenhagen agreement. This is a very tough process. You know the number of negotiating countries as well as I do, and forging an agreement across so many different countries is a very difficult process. But having discussed this at length with Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark, President of the United States and some discussions with the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, was have a capacity to land an agreement, a Copenhagen agreement, one which deals with the core policy challenges for the future – namely, what temperature increase are we prepared to sustain for the future, 2 degrees Centigrade; what targets to we need from the major developed economies around the world; what commitments to action to we need from the major emerging economies like China and India; as well as how do we fund this agreement, what climate change finance arrangement do we put in place for the developing economies.
If we can land an outcome in those principle areas of policy disagreement, then we will have made a very large step forward.
Then, of course, translating that into legalese will take a little longer.
JOURNALIST: So were talking here about a non-binding, political agreement. Theres no possibility of a legally binding treaty?
PM: I believe what were talking about with the Copenhagen agreement is what I would describe as an operational framework agreement; if you listen carefully to what President Obama said the other day, one which would take immediate effect. However, there is a separation between what is said in a policy agreement on the one hand and, let me say, the difficulty and the complexity of translating that into a 4,000-page binding legal document, but you cannot get to the second stage unless youve done the first.
Heads of policy agreement are essential in order to allow the legal drafters to go to work.
JOURNALIST: Can you give us a sense of a timeframe on how long it will take to codify this political agreement into a legally binding treaty?
PM: I can only speak for myself, as Prime Minister of Australia. I would expect that if we could get the heads of a policy agreement in the key areas I was referring to just before then in the course of 2010 I believe we can deliver a legally binding treaty document. One inevitable flows from the other.
Unless youve got a core agreement on the policy matters which are still on the table, you cant set the legal drafters to work. In part, thats whats presented itself as a difficulty so far. The legal drafters cant actually invent agreement where there is none. Therefore, it comes back to heads of government to craft the content of a policy agreement.
JOURNALIST: I wonder where your confidence comes from on this front. Youve had two years since the Bali climate change conference. Youve had two years of negotiation. Youve had two years to figure out the details of this agreement. Why havent you been able to reach agreement now, and whats a couple of months going to make different? It seems to be there are very, still, big differences between, particularly, the developed nations and the developing nations.
PM: One word – pressure. You know what a negotiations like.
JOURNALIST: But youve had that pressure.
PM: Well, come on. You know what a negotiations like. Youve got two years, people, sort of, go from here to there, well have a conference over here, well send the negotiators there, but as the clock slowly ticks to midnight, then people become very engaged, and my overall argument on climate change is that times running out; not just for the planet – also for the future of our economies, we dont get this right for our kids, our grandkids, and there is enormous moral and political obligation on this generation of world leaders.
So, the pressure has now mounted. I said before we are capable of delivering agreement, doesnt mean that its inevitable well get there. Were capable of it, and I believe that there is a strong and high degree of political resolve on many of the leaders around the world to land a Copenhagen agreement.
It will be very tough.
JOURNALIST: Well, lets talk about some of the stumbling blocks. Youve been asked by Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark to be a friend of the chair. Youre gonna play a key negotiating role in Copenhagen. One of the things that Australia has is to propose a compromise. Youre saying that developing nations shouldnt necessarily be bound by binding targets. Youve suggest what are called non-binding national schedules. Just flesh out for us, if would, briefly, what you mean by that.
PM: Well, this is still subject to negotiations between us, but, for example, there is a way in which developing economies, in particular, could advance the verifiable, measurable actions which they intend to take as part of an overall policy agreement between countries, and that could be expressed in their own national terms, so long as we, the rest of the world, can also measure what that means, ultimately, in terms of its impact of bringing down greenhouse gas emissions.
Similarly, youre going to have to have clearly stated targets, medium-term and long-term, for developed countries for such an agreement to be achieved, as well as, of course, I said before, finance.
JOURNALIST: The aim, I think, of your proposal is to make the framework less intimidating for new players, for developing countries coming into this kind of schedule and protocol, but the problem is, and if you speak to climate change policy experts around the world, the problem with your proposal, they say, is it cant be policed.
PM: Well, when I said before verifiable and measurable, I mean it.
JOURNALIST: What mechanism are you going to set up to verify?
PM: Oh, yet to be determined through the conclusion of negotiations, but measurement and verification is essential. For example, if were going to provide funding as developed economies to the machinery to make this happen, climate change finance, mitigation and adaptation, were going to have to have a means by which to establish that this is where its actually going, and if its having a measurable effect.
There are multiple proposals on the table about how that could be done, but the core principle is this – measurement and verification.
And that also applies, of course, to those of us in developed economies. Its all very good to go an international conference, put your hand on your heart and say were going to do x – we have to be held to account as well. Remember, the historical problem here has arisen because of what developed economies have done. The future responsibility is a shared one.
JOURNALIST: Youve developed a very close relationship with the Us President, Barack Obama since he came to power. In fact, one senior administration official has said publically that theres no world leader that Barack Obama feels more comfortable with than you. To use an Australianism, youre his best mate on the international stage. Does it sadden you, therefore, that as yet Barack Obama has not given firm commitment that hell even attend Copenhagen?
PM: When I sat down with a large number of world leaders at a round table which myself and President Calderon of Mexico convened in Singapore the weekend before last, we had President Obama sitting here. We had President Hu Jintao just over there. Small table. We forgot to serve the Weeties for breakfast, so as a result it was all work and nothing to eat, but it was a very intense hour and a half. Let me say it was very encouraging for all of us to hear how definitive the President of the United States was prepared to be about where he could take America. Obviously, he is constrained by what is occurring in the United States Congress. There are parliamentary and congressional realities facing a number of governments around the world, including my own, but his clear cut statement that we can deliver an operational agreement, a framework agreement, at Copenhagen if there is sufficient political will to get there across all of us, I think is highly encouraging.
JOURNALIST: He hasnt even set out an emissions target for the United States yet.
PM: But I think what youll see from the United States is a clear indication they are prepared to move towards targets, and also prepared to commit to an international agreement concerning funding. These are very important steps forward. Remember, this process, which has been chaired by the Prime Minister of Denmark, Prime Minister Rasmussen, is a leaders-driven process. It involves us all, including those of us who are friends of the chair. Ill be linking up again by videoconference at some terrible time of the night here in Australia with counterparts from around the world during the course of this week. This will be our fourth of fifth videoconference to try and deal with each of these practical challenges on the way through.
There are a thousand reasons that people can come up with as to why we could fail. Our job as political leaders is to find the way through, to succeed.
JOURNALIST: Since becoming Prime Minister two years ago, youve developed something of an international reputation for your green diplomacy. One of your first acts as Prime Minister was to begin the process by which Australia ratified the Kyoto Protocol. You went straight to the Bali climate change convention and got a standing ovation from delegates there, but at the same time youre the leader of a country with the highest per capita emissions in the world, and the country which exports more coal than anywhere else in the world. You have to admit youre in an anomalous position.
PM: Well, Ive been absolutely upfront about both those points. Wherever Ive gone in the world, I have said, quite frankly, to my colleagues from the rest of the developed world and the developing countries that I stand before you as the Prime Minister of a country which is the largest per capita emitter in the world, and its far better we simply accept facts for what they and then seek to change them, rather than engage in some bogus diplomacy and pretend that were somehow holier than thou.
Bear in mind Ive had to come from a zero start. The previous Australian Government was still disputing the science on these questions, let alone prepared to act either globally or nationally through an emissions trading scheme.
JOURNALIST: Well, lets talk about your emissions trading scheme. Youre hoping to push it through parliament this week. You want it done and dusted before Copenhagen. You had to compromise because the opposition Party isnt as green-friendly as perhaps your government is, but at the same time you initially set a very low target on cutting emissions – an unconditional pledge to just 5 percent by 2020, the possibility of 15 percent later, but at the moment its just 5 percent, and a lot of international observers have said thats paltry.
PM: Well, first of all, understand where we come from, which was the condition that we just described before, which is a very, very, shall I say, poor start, given where wed been historically. Now, I dont intend to hide from that fact. Thats just the reality.
The challenge for us, as in the United States and elsewhere, is how do you transition our economy into a lower-carbon emitting future. Thats what we intend to do.
What we have done, and its consistent with what a number of countries have done around the world, is put out a spread of targets – 5 unconditionally, 15 conditionally, 25 with other conditions further attached. The virtue of our position around 15 and 25 percent cuts is that it is conditional on actions in the rest of the world, both developed and developing, and therefore, if weve got that approach and we are all actually singing from the same hymn sheet in Copenhagen and beyond there is an opportunity, therefore, to deliver a more robust outcome. That conditional approach is not unique to Australia, as I think you know.
JOURNALIST: Lord Stern, whos the author of the Stern Report, obviously, has said that one of the obstacles in the way of an international agreement is rich countries not setting stringent enough emissions targets. Hes talking about Australia, isnt he?
PM: Well, I know Nick Stern very well. Hes a very good man and hes contributed enormously to the global debate on bringing down greenhouse gas emissions. The key thing is to make sure that everyone steps up to the plate. What we are seeking to do through our emissions trading scheme, what we call in this country a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, is to set up a transition from a high-carbon density economy to a lower one over time, with appropriate adjustments for industry, for families, on the way through.
But I go back to my point – On the targets question, we are being entirely robust. 5% conditional. 5% unconditional. 15% unconditional, 25%- sorry, 5% unconditional.
PM: 15% conditional, depending on whats happening elsewhere in the world, and 25% with a further set of conditionalities attached. That is entirely calibrated to what then happens in global agreements around the world. And that I think is a reasonable and responsible approach. It is one also based in the science.
JOURNALIST: Well you like to quote the scientists, and let me quote them. The UN Panel of climate change experts, theyre calling for 25-40% cuts by 2020. The European Union Ministers last week were going for 30%. Again, why as a developing country should I listen to Kevin Rudd on this issue, when youre only proposing a 5% cut yourself, and youre actually promoting the expert of coal.
PM: Well let me go on to the second part of your question, which I havent dealt with yet, which is the question of coal. Youre right to point to the fact that, around the world, coal-fired electricity generation, based on the trajectories that you see in China and India, will probably by the time we get to 2030 represent something in excess of 50% of total electricity generation around the world. It is a reality we have to deal with. So how do we as a globe, as a global community, respond to this challenge? One, of course, is to deal with the big challenge of energy efficiency. Thats huge. Some of the estimates are that we can actually bring about a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by effective and comprehensive efficiency measures. And our calculation at home, here in Australia, is that we can do a lot on that score as well. Whats the second thing? Renewable energies. Thats why we in this country are currently investing in what we believe will become the single largest solar generating plant anywhere in the world, up to 1000 megawatts. Thirdly, what do you do about coal?
Thats why we have initiated the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute as a global initiative from Australia. We fund it to the tune of $100 million a year, with one objective- to bring the four available clean coal technologies, carbon sequestration and storage technologies to commercial application at scale. We need to establish how much it costs with these technologies to bring about the effective sequestration of carbon coming out of coal-fired electricity generation. So you ask what were doing about it? Thats our strategy.
JOURNALIST: The British Government has said that there will be no new coal-fired stations in 2020 unless 100% of the carbon can be captured and stored. If youre really serious about it, why dont you make a similar pledge?
PM: Well what weve adhered to, or shall I say what were responding to, is a call by the G8 at the Hokkaido conference in 2008, which said that by 2020, we should have up established and proven 20 at scale coal-fired electricity stations around the world deploying CCS technologies. The reason why the Australian institute came into being, our Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, is because when we looked around the world after Hokkaido, and that meeting of the G8, we did not find any action underway to bring that to realisation. Thats what were doing through the institute, working on the regulations and the legislation, working on the project identification, disseminating the technology to the greatest extent possible as a public good, and assisting with finances as well. We intend to bring forward a number of these projects ourselves. So, thats where were up to, we intend to work this and work it really hard. And our objective is that 2020 objective.
JOURNALIST: But the Kevin Rudd that says that is also the Kevin Rudd that is putting in millions of federal funding to expand coal export facilities in Queensland and New South Wales. Theres a contradiction there, isnt there?
PM: Well coal- can I just say when it comes to all forms of, shall I say carbon-based electricity generation or carbon-based generation of energy worldwide, whether its through oil, whether its through LNG, whether its through coal. We have a challenge on our hands. The key thing is though, can we use the available technologies to prove at scale that these things can work, can work to deliver a sequestration outcome for coal which is commercially applicable across the world. Thats what we are in the business of doing. Of course, the challenge particularly is relevant to China and India. But the Chinese and Indian energy plans for the future, whoever they might be importing coal from in the future, these are huge domestic coal using countries as far as the two major emerging economies of the 21st century.
As Prime Minister of Australia, I believe Ive got a moral obligation to establish to the greatest extent that I can, the workability of these technologies, and at scale. But theres one thing we might be able to look back and say we did is to say that two of these four technologies actually work at scale, and the Chinese and the Indians are now using them. And if were not able to get there, its far better we have that public information available to people, rather than CCS technologies being regarded as pie in the sky.
JOURNALIST: But as the Prime Minister of Australia, another one of your responsibilities is to preserve the great prosperity that this country has enjoyed. And much of that prosperity is based on your success as a resources exporter, and particularly a coal exporter. You export 30% of the worlds coal. That doesnt sit happily with the Kevin Rudd with these polished green credentials, does it?
PM: Well you know something, you could take a sledgehammer to anyones international diplomatic credentials on any question at any time. You know that, and youre experienced as a reporter for the beeb. Youve interviewed lots of folk around the world before. The key thing is, can you make a difference? What were seeking to do is to make a difference. None of the measures Ive outlined before either in terms of energy efficiency nationally and worldwide, secondly, renewable energies, solar, the activities that were investing in there, and thirdly through carbon sequestration storage technologies for coal-fired electricity generation, all these things are also made possible by establishing a carbon price.
And the carbon price that you establish, driven by the science, driven by where you need to land ultimately, in terms of an acceptable temperature increase worldwide, the two degrees Celsius target that we agreed at the Major Economies Forum meeting in LAquila earlier this year- unless we get to an agreement nationally and in as many other countries around the world as possible about a real carbon price, then we wont have properly shaped and formed this range of energy possibilities for the future as well. So I intend to be as effective in the leadership of that debate as possible. None of us come to this debate on climate change with clean hands. None of us. So lets sort of put to one side this idea that any particular national idea comes as some sort of moral puritan to the equation.
JOURNALIST: But they might say your hands are dirtier than most.
PM: Well that could be an uncomfortable comment from the beeb, but Ill leave that to you guys.
JOURNALIST: A couple of final questions Prime Minister. Theres a lot of climate change scepticism in this country, which strikes a lot of international observers as slightly odd, given Australias the worlds driest continent. Youre already seeing the effects of climate change in the view of many scientists here. I wonder whether you take any responsibility for that, because you havent done that much to elucidate this issue. You gave a big speech a couple of weeks ago, and that was interpreted by many in Australia as an attempt to shift the focus away from the boat people issue which has been causing you political problems. Before that, you hadnt devoted a speech to climate change for six months.
PM: I think if you looked at what Ive been saying on climate change for years and years and years, Ive said this whole debate begins and ends with the science. That is, the measurement of what is occurring in terms of human-based or human caused temperature changes in the world, and therefore what can be done about it in terms of keeping those temperature rises within sustainable levels. I have said this uphill, down dale, in as many Parliamentary debates as I can remember. I wouldnt wish to bore you by asking you to read each of those debates over the last two to three years, Im sure youll find plenty of references. As for the recent speech on the science, it is simply to drive home a single point at home and abroad.
The climate change sceptics, the climate change deniers, and the industry they have running around the world at the moment, in trying to undermine the political authority of leaders seeking to act on climate change, has to be exposed. When I look at the debate in the United States and you see all these guys emerging from the woodwork, it reminds me so much of the debates about smoking and lung cancer thirty or forty years ago. Youve got all these people coming out and saying theres no link between smoking and lung cancer, despite the fact that all the scientific datas been on the table for so long. I believe we actually need to expose this for what it is. Absolute scientific fraudulence when it comes to the attack on the authenticity of the climate change science as it exists, and the fact that we have 4000 plus scientists on the international panel of climate change scientists providing us with definitive reports on the need to act, and what is occurring in the absence of action leaves us in a position as global leaders whereby I believe we cannot afford to fail.
JOURNALIST: One of the main criticisms of your Prime Ministership is often you dont leverage your personal popularity enough. Youve got an extraordinarily high approval rating historically in Australia, and you havent been willing to leverage that popularity on unpopular issues. And this is one of them, your critics would say. You havent been prepared to deliver unpalatable truths to the Australian people about what tackling climate change will mean. And its this, that it could damage their prosperity.
PM: Weve been absolutely frank about the fact that when you introduce, for example, a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, our version of an Emissions Trading Scheme, that it will have effect therefore on the carbon price, and that will affect how businesses operate, and it will affect also the income for families. Weve been equally upfront about how we propose to provide compensation for the lowest income families in Australia. I think weve been entirely frank about that.
And if you think coming from the worlds carbon-intensive economy and from a very flat start on this question, in two years to be in the position we are today where were trying with all the powers available to us to get through the Australian Parliament an Emissions Trading Scheme despite formidable political and other opposition, and internationally work as hard as we can through the global process presided over by the UN Secretary-General on the one hand and Prime Minister Rasmussen on the other to get a global deal, this has required a fair bit of effort on our part as well. So many leaders around the world are doing exactly the same. So well just continue plugging away, doing what we can, were from Australia, were here to help.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister Rudd, thank you very much.
PM: Good to be with you.
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, on The World has Changed, so Must We – Is the New Academic Structure the Answer? delivered at the 2009 Hong Kong Management Association Annual Fellowship Dinner today (November 27):
(Dr Hon) David (Li), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to address you tonight.
Let me first thank the Hong Kong Management Association for inviting me to join this big event of your annual calendar.I would also like to congratulate the new fellows and charter members of the association, and the graduates who are receiving their diplomas this evening.
I am sure to most of the members of the business community here tonight, the Sino-US relationship means much to you.You must have closely followed the news reports about President Hu Jintaos meeting with US President Obama in Beijing last week.It was reported that the two leaders exchanged views on a number of economic, strategic and environmental issues during their meeting.Both acknowledged that closer dialogue and co-operation between the two nations are necessary to tackle the worlds problems.
It is clear that globalisation has changed the way in which the world economy is operating.United actions of different nations are necessary to ensure that we will walk the road of recovery to bring the world economy back to growth.There is also no doubt that our country is exercising more and more influence on the world stage, and is playing a key role in restoring the global economy.
So, are we in Hong Kong well placed to meet the challenges that come by and turn them into opportunities?I would not be hesitant to say Yes, as Hong Kong has strong fundamentals.We are an international city in Asia, and a gateway for the world players to the vast market of our country.Our financial system is sound and resilient.Here in Hong Kong we enjoy law and order, a level playing field and freedom of speech, which are all essential fundamentals that really count.
Yet, all of these are not enough if we do not have the necessary human capital which is geared up to meet the challenges and which is well equipped to strive for a better tomorrow.For this, we need to prepare our younger generation.
Intense regional and global competition, as well as rapid advances in technologies are making what we have learnt obsolete quickly.Our young people should be able to select and apply knowledge to solve new problems in changing circumstances.Hence, what matters is no longer accumulation of knowledge, but the ability to learn and generate new knowledge, and the ability to analyse problems and identify relevant solutions.To survive and to thrive, our young people have to develop the requisite skills and manners to become lifelong learners and critical thinkers.
More so, as you would agree, global climate change and other social issues may have a significant impact on the economic scene.We should no longer look at merely trade or financial issues in sustaining the development of our economy.Our young people therefore should have a broad knowledge base and a sense of social responsibility.All-round and whole-person development is essential.
The community is looking up to our education system to produce such home-grown talent.I am glad to say that we are heading in the right direction in our education reform.Back in 2005, the Government developed a blueprint for the implementation of a new academic structure for senior secondary and undergraduate levels, or more commonly known as the 334.After four years of preparation and engagement with various stakeholders, the new senior secondary education, or in short, NSS, took effect at Secondary Four this September.The new academic structure aims to provide a broad knowledge base to our students, preparing them as lifelong learners and promoting their whole-person development.We will provide students with smoother multiple pathways to higher and further education and the workplace as well, so that every student will have a better opportunity to succeed in life.
I am sure you would have come across the terms 334 or NSS before.But in what way does the new academic structure relate to you?
Most of you here tonight are senior managers, while some are young executives who will attain such positions one day.I am sure you want to recruit and retain the best staff to assist you.I think you probably would like to look for people who are able to think out of the box, articulate clearly his ideas, be sensitive to social and environmental issues, and can serve as good team members.
The 334 academic structure is the right recipe for producing such talent for our society.First, the NSS curriculum is broad and balanced with diversified choices for students to choose from according to their aptitudes and interests.On top of the three subjects of Chinese Language, English Language, and Mathematics, all students are required to take Liberal Studies as a core subject, which aims to develop their critical thinking mindset and the skills of seeing things from multiple perspectives.
To enable students to have balanced whole-person development, at least 15% of the total lesson time in senior secondary levels would be allocated for Other Learning Experiences. These are programmes which encompass five areas, namely, Moral and Civic Education, Community Service, Aesthetic Development, Physical Development and Career-related Experiences.These learning opportunities will add much value to their future careers.
Apart from core subjects, students can choose two to three electives from a wide range of subjects, including those newly introduced Applied Learning courses which are more focused on practical learning linked to vocational fields.I guess many of you, at some point in time, were educated in Hong Kong and may still recall vividly the two public examinations you took, so much effort made, and the subjects you selected.At your time, there were mainly arts and science streams for you to choose from.But we no longer stream students at such an early stage as in the past.Students are now encouraged to develop all round knowledge and multiple perspectives.For example, a student can select a combined science elective and a humanities subject.
Starting from 2012, the six years of secondary education will lead to the single credential of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, or for short the HKDSE, which replaces the two current public examinations.Instead of the existing grading system under which the grades are only indicating how the students compare to the same cohort of students in theexamination, the HKDSE will make use of standards-referenced reporting in which the standard of achievement by students are actually indicating the ability levels of the students.We will no longer have a passing grade.Each level will be accompanied by descriptors depicting the standards attained by candidates in terms of knowledge and abilities.Employers will have to determine the ability required of the candidates to match the job in question.This new reporting system will provide useful information on student achievement to employers.
All the local tertiary institutions have already announced their general admission requirements of HKDSE results under the new system, and we are now liaising with the post-secondary education operators on their general admission requirements.We are also seeking recognition of HKDSE results from overseas agencies.In parallel, we are deliberating within the Government the minimum levels of HKDSE results for civil service employment.
At the higher education level, institutions will align with the secondary school curriculum and implement a four-year undergraduate structure from 2012 onwards.The institutions are currently busy preparing for the transition.Extending the undergraduate programmes by one year requires the institutions to take a comprehensive look at the curriculum and redevelop it.Undergraduates will be able to take more general core subjects outside their major subjects.Undergraduates will also have more chances to engage in overseas exchange activities.These moves will enable undergraduates to have a broader outlook and get more out of their university education.
To make the new academic structure a success, the business sector has an indispensable role to play.May I urge all leaders of the business community to continue to lend support to us.Your involvement can be in two areas.First, business entities are encouraged to provide our undergraduates with more learning opportunities outside the classroom.Career-related training or placement programmes are all valuable experiences to them.More importantly, we appeal to you to cast a vote of confidence for our new academic structure.We strongly believe that the young talent produced under the new system will better meet the needs of the latest demand of our economy.Please give them the responsibility they are craving for, and offer them opportunities to test their capabilities.In return, they will become valuable assets of your business.
On our part, we will continue to maintain a dialogue with the business community and we welcome your feedback on how the implementation of the new system can be further improved.To help you understand and get prepared for the change, we have and will continue to share with employers how to interpret and apply the HKDSE results for human resources planning and management purposes, including setting job requirements.
It only remains for me to commend the Hong Kong Management Association for its dedicated work over the years in bringing up talent and promoting management excellence in Hong Kong.I wish the association every success in its future endeavours.
I wish you all an enjoyable evening. Thank you.
Global martial art school Black Belt World organised a mega show called ‘Taekwondo Unleashed’ on the world’s most popular martial art, Taekwondo, wherein a 25-member Korean team of professional Taekwondo fighters along with five renound grandmasters showcased their combat skills in thrilling spar matches of the most practicised self-defence technique before thousands of school children at Delhi Public School Sports Complex, R. K. Puram, New Delhi.
Taekwondo Unleashed, which is a part of Black Belt World India’s efforts to promote the cause of the Olympic Sport of Taekwondo, presented the artistic and technical skills which enhance the beauty of the Korean martial art. The exhibition also included traditional Korean dance performance by a troop from Korea.
Besides this, Black Belt World is setting up India’s first martial institute in New Delhi to impart authentic Taekwondo training by the best of its masters across the world. The ultra-modern and fully-equipped centre is located at Vasant Kunj in New Delhi.
According to Master Abhai Singh Rathore, Co-founder, Black Belt World, “In the recent past Taekwondo has graduated from being a self-defence technique to becoming professional sport. There are many takers for it in India and we are quite enthusiastic about its future in the country. It’s being promoted in an organized manner which is quite heartening. Our institute shall have regular programs and courses for the enthusiasts and the seekers in the country and this is for the first time that such an initiative to promote the sport is being taken.”
“This first-of-its-kind institute in India would provide an opportunity to learn the world’s most popular self-defence art from the best of its experts. It would also provide an international platform and training for those want to take up Taekwondo as a profession,” said Grandmaster Jun Lee, the Founder and President of Black Belt World.
On Taekwondo, Lee said, “This martial art is characterised by its fast, explosive movements and beautiful and dangerous kicks. An art coming from a very ancient tradition, it is as rooted into the human element as Yoga is.”
Taekwondo is the world’s most popular martial art in terms of the number of practitioners. Its popularity has resulted in the varied development of the martial art into several domains: as with many other arts, it combines combat techniques, self-defence, sport, exercise, meditation and philosophy. Taekwondo is also used by the South Korean military as part of its training. Gyeorugi, a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.
Formally, there are two main styles of Taekwondo. One comes from the Kukkiwon, the source of the sparring system sihap gyeorugi which is now an event at the summer Olympic Games and which is governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The other comes from the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). There is also a more recent form called Songham Taekwondo which is governed by the American Taekwondo Association (ATA).
With the 16-team competition now less than two months away, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat pointed to the competitions track record as a launching pad for future stars.
Its been shown over and over that a number of players come through this event, and very shortly afterwards theyre on the international arena in a meaningful way, said Mr Lorgat.
Speaking at the launch function at University Oval, Dunedin, Mr Lorgat recalled some of the current stars who have come up through the under-19 ranks ? including New Zealands own Ross Taylor, who captained the national U19 side at the 2002 event.
Mr Lorgat also noted the swift rise of South Africa opener Hashim Amla, who went on to full honours after playing in the 2002 tournament in New Zealand, and fast bowler Wayne Parnell, who played in the 2008 tournament in Malaysia.
Wayne Parnell had hardly finished playing at the under-19 level when he was picked in the international side. This reflects the close migration from the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup tournament to the international stage.
Mr Lorgat also reinforced the importance of the ICC U19 CWC as one of the flagship events of the global game. Its an extremely important event for us at the ICC, he said.
Weve pencilled this in as one of our major events going into the future. The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup deserves to be put alongside the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20, ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Womens World Cup.
This ICC U19 CWC is the most important event that those under-19 players will play at this stage in their careers.
Mr Lorgat confirmed that the ICC was committed to growing the profile of the tournament, and was in negotiations to boost the level of television coverage for the event ? which will already see matches carried to a global broadcast audience of millions.
Mr Lorgat said he was very relaxed with the preparations for the tournament, noting that New Zealand Cricket had an excellent track record of hosting major tournaments, including both the U19 CWC (in 2002) and the ICC Womens World Cup (1982 and
Three years ago, Ali Maadelat, one of the biggest names in the marketing world, saw the marketing firms around him at the time and was both shocked and angry. I realized that all of the so called ’marketing firms’ in Los Angeles did the same thing… They would seek out small and medium sized businesses, offer them the world, take their money, and never deliver the results Ali Maadelat said.
Maadelat, who commonly spoke in front of sold-out seminars, mingled with the big names in the industry, and took part in multi-million dollar product launches, decided that it was time for him to make a difference. I realized that I couldn’t just stand around while businesses were swindled out of their money and lost their faith in marketing Maadelat explained, ”Marketing, when used correctly, has the power to create a multi-billion dollar empire. After all, it’s what separates the local burger joint from McDonalds.”
Two years later, with countless businesses singing his praises, he had reached what some would call stardom. Maadelat has been nominated 2009 Marketer of the Year by the American Business Awards.
The American Business Awards, known affectionately as the Stevies have been called the business world’s own Oscar Awards by the New York Post.
When I got the news, I was overjoyed Maadelat said. I was almost in shock He had no idea that a year later, he would be nominated 2010 Marketer of the Year as well. Ninety-nine percent of marketers never have the honor of receiving a nomination Maadelat explained, and here I am receiving it twice in a row
Maadelat’s nomination for Marketer of the Year comes as no surprise to his clients. Since I met Ali my business has just rocketed explained Eddie Rodriguez, founder of Azzurocorsa Motorsports, ”The phone is just ringing non-stop… His marketing skills are second to none.”
Big names in the business world aren’t shocked either. Ali is the brightest mind in the marketing world today says Frank Rumbauskas, a New York Times Best-Selling Author. I feel privileged to work, think, and brainstorm with him whenever I get the chance.”
For now, Maadelat is excited and is waiting to see what will happen next. Frankly he explains, ”I am still putting my clients first. They are the reason I have received my nominations and I am going to make sure that they are still ecstatic every time we work together.”
The Lorenz Marketing Group is a Los Angeles Marketing Firm based in Beverly Hills. Specializing in both offline and online marketing, as well as PR, the firm is known for taking businesses and skyrocketing them to past where they ever thought possible.
For more information, visit http://www.TheLorenzMarketingGroup.com.
David Singhiser, the founder of Libertas.ws and Libertas Internet Marketing, began his round the world trip this week by flying to Las Vegas from Honolulu to attend the CCPro Internet Marketing Event. After less than six months in the industry, he’s ready to begin the lifestyle he read about in Timothy Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Work Week.
”I’ve been ready for years! I just didn’t know how. I’ve wanted to travel and work around the world. I’ve wanted the freedom and flexibility to visit my family and friends in Asia, North and South America, and Europe, but being tied to a job just wouldn’t allow me to do that. Now I can,” stated Singhiser.
The CCPro Master Marketing Event is held twice a year throughout the country. This time is the largest gathering of CCPro Internet Marketers from around the world. It promises to be a spectacular event. After asked what he expected from it, Singhiser said, ”I expect to learn a lot about new marketing techniques. Jay and Aaron (Jay Kubassek and Aaron Parkinson, the founders of CCPro) are at the forefront in the industry and will have more to unveil. I don’t know of anyone who’s been disappointed by their training events. While the world is languishing economically, we’re growing and are excited about our lives and futures.”
DB CEO Grube: Overseas commitment also safeguards jobs inside Germany – Federal Transport Minister Ramsauer: German expertise and technology are in demand the world over
Berlin – Deutsche Bahn is to be the exclusive partner of Qatar Railways Company (RAIL) for the establishment of a rail-bound transport system in the Emirate of Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world. Dr. Rüdiger Grube, CEO and Chairman of the DB Management Board, signed the relevant agreement for the formation of the Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC) in Doha, the Qatari capital, today, in the presence of the Qatari head of government Sheikh Al Thani and Federal Transport Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer. DB International will have a stake of 49 per cent in the new company, the remaining 51 per cent will be held by Qatari Diar, a state-owned company. The new planning and management company will be responsible for setting up a railway organisation and will steer all planning and construction activities for the establishment of one of the most modern metro and railway systems in the world. The project envisages a metro system for the capital, as well as long-distance and freight lines. The investment volume will amount to roughly EUR 17 billion. The cooperation will also include the provision of vocational training in the rail sector for young Qataris.
We are proud and delighted that DB International has been chosen by the Qatari government as the partner for this ambitious infrastructure project. This once again proves that Deutsche Bahn expertise enjoys a great reputation throughout the world. Moreover, especially in the present difficult economic climate, such overseas projects also help to safeguard jobs inside Germany stated CEO Dr. Grube. Federal Transport Minister Dr. Ramsauer welcomed the project as an important symbol: The signing of this agreement shows that German expertise and German technology in the transport sector are in demand the world over
Participation in the planning company is also of strategic importance for DB, as investments running into hundreds of millions are planned for the establishment and upgrading of rail infrastructure in the Arabian peninsula over the next two decades. DB therefore believes that successful operations in Qatar would offer excellent prospects for securing further business in other Arab countries.
DB International has already been working on a concept for developing rail transport in the emirate on the Persian Gulf together with our partner company, Qatari Diar, since the autumn of 2008 said Martin Bay, Chairman of the DB International Management Board. The newly formed company will now implement that sophisticated concept. The metro system planned for the capital city of Doha will have four lines, 98 stations and an overall length of 300 km. The plans also include a 180-km long high-speed line to Bahrain, which is designed for a top speed of 350 km/h. A 100-km long line to Saudi Arabia will be suitable for trains running at speeds of up to 200 km/h. A total line network of 325 km is planned for freight traffic, most of which will also be used by passenger services.
QRDC is in charge of a budget volume of EUR 700 million. Pursuant to the agreement, DB International will supply two of the four managing directors, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the first four years. QRDC will be responsible for implementation of the entire projects within the scope of the resolved railway transport concept.
The Emirate of Qatar, which has a surface area roughly half the size of the Federal Land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, owns the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world. In 2008, the country had a gross domestic product of USD 85,900 per capita, the highest in the world. Upgrading the Qatari rail transport system is part of the government’s comprehensive modernisation and diversification campaign which is aimed at reducing its dependency on gas. The campaign involves public and private investments of EUR 130 billion in education, health, industry and infrastructure up to the year 2015. Qatar has a population of approx. 1.2 million.
That resolution was one of 14 approved by the Committee — six by vote — on a wide range of topics: crime prevention and criminal justice, international drug control, advancement of women, elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, right of peoples to self-determination, the promotion and protection of human rights, and country-specific resolutions on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar.
Titled “international cooperation against the world drug problem”, the draft would have the Assembly recognize that strategies for controlling crops used for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances should be based on the principle of shared responsibility. It would stress the urgent need to respond to challenges posed by links between drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of organized crime, including trafficking in human beings, trafficking in firearms, cybercrime and, in some cases, terrorism and money-laundering. The Assembly would recommend the Economic and Social Council to devote one of its high-level segments to a theme related to the world drug problem, and also to recommend that the Assembly itself hold a special session.
As noted by the representative of the Russian Federation, the resolution did not include a clear appeal to strengthen regional cooperation in and around Afghanistan. Earlier resolutions had drawn attention to the drug trade emanating from Afghanistan, which, the Russian Federation explained, was because Afghan opiates on the illegal drug market, and the proliferation of terrorist groups in that country in relation to the drug trade, was a global threat. But, in recent years, States had developed diverging opinions on whether Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation and the resulting drug trade should be an element of the text. But, because it was absent from this year’s draft, Russia had chosen not to co-sponsor the draft, though it did not oppose consensus on that text.
Also approved by consensus was the draft resolution on the right to food, which passed without a vote for the first time to a jubilant round of applause from Member States. By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm that hunger constituted an “outrage” and a violation of human dignity and, therefore, required urgent measures at the national, regional and international levels for its elimination. It would have the Assembly express concern that women and girls were disproportionately affected by hunger, food insecurity and poverty, and would reaffirm the need to ensure that programmes to deliver safe and nutritious food were inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities. The Assembly would also recognize State support for small farmers, fishing communities and local enterprises as a key element for food security and the provision of the right to food.
That draft contained further provisions calling on members of the World Trade Organization ( WTO ) who were party to its intellectual property rights regime to consider implementing it in a manner supportive of food security. That led some States, such as Canada and the United States, to launch a defence of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ( TRIPs ), saying there was nothing preventing TRIPs-agreeing States from pursuing the right to food or food security. But, those States also voiced support for the text, which the representative of Canada said should be realized progressively as part of the right to an adequate standard of living.
The first of six resolutions voted on by the Committee was on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. That text was approved by a vote of 124 in favour to 1 against ( United States ), with 55 abstentions. ( See Annex I. )
The representative of the United States, responsible for requesting the vote and the sole “no” vote, said the text did not make a distinction between actions and expressions. The European Union, which abstained from the vote, expressed concern at the text’s selectivity and the way in which new paragraphs had appeared to dilute the text. The representative of Sweden, who spoke on behalf of the European Union, said the text contained an inaccurate reflection of the Nuremburg trials — one of the draft’s preambular paragraphs had the Assembly recalling the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgement of the Tribunal, which was said to have declared Nazi Germany’s SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen SS, as responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Committee also voted on a text regarding the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, approving it by a vote of 122 in favour to 53 against, with 5 abstentions ( Fiji, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Tonga ) ( Annex II ).
On of the provisions of that draft would have the Assembly request the Working Group on the use of mercenaries to continue the work already done by previous Special Rapporteurs on strengthening the international legal framework to regulate the use mercenaries, while taking account of the proposal for a new legal definition of a mercenary. On that point, the representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the elaboration of a definition fell under the competence of the Sixth Committee ( Legal ), as did any attempt to link the use of mercenaries with terrorism. The European Union voted against the draft.
Two more votes were held on texts regarding the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, approved by a vote of 121 in favour to 54 against, with 5 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru ) ( Annex III ), and the right to development, approved by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 22 against, with 30 abstentions ( Annex IV ).
Country-specific resolutions on the human rights situations in the Democratic Republic of Korea and Myanmar were also put to a vote. The draft resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was approved by a vote of 97 in favour to 19 against, with 65 abstentions ( see Annex V ), while the draft resolution on Myanmar was approved by a vote of 92 in favour to 26 against, with 65 abstentions ( Annex VI ). Notably this year, the country-specific resolutions on those two countries were approved without a no-action motion.
During the voting process, numerous speakers protested against country-specific resolutions, saying they were highly divisive and that human rights issues should not be exploited for political purposes. The representative of Egypt, who spoke on behalf of members of the Non-Aligned Movement, relayed the views of their leaders at a summit meeting at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, where they had expressed deep concern over the continuation of the selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Third Committee, in breach of the principle of universality, impartiality and non-selectively in addressing human rights. They, and many others with similar views, stressed that the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council was the best place to consider the human rights situation in all countries, in the spirit of constructive dialogue and transparency.
However, the representative of Japan — who, along with the representative of Sweden on behalf of the European Union, was one of the main sponsors of the draft resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — argued that, under the Universal Periodic Review process, countries were only reviewed once every four years. Further, the Council had a limited membership, while all States were represented by the General Assembly. In the event of widespread violations, both the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee could address human rights issues within their respective mandates.
All remaining resolutions before the Committee were approved without a vote, including: on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity; violence against women migrant workers; and follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.
Also approved without a vote were draft texts on: strengthening United Nations action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity; on the Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa; and on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The representative of Zambia introduced a draft decision on the report of the Human Rights Council.
Speaking on matters relating to the various draft resolutions were the representatives of Liechtenstein, Venezuela, Russian Federation, Bolivia, Sweden ( on behalf of the European Union ), Singapore, Philippines, Belarus, United States, Switzerland, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Finland, New Zealand ( also on behalf of Switzerland ), Egypt ( on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement ), China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Bahamas, Syria, Libya, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cuba, Nepal, Barbados, Sudan, Viet Nam, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Jordan, Myanmar, Thailand and Australia.
The representatives of the United Kingdom, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Japan spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
Several countries spoke on a draft resolution adopted on 12 November, on further steps to improve the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons. Those speakers were the representatives of the Russian Federation, Zambia ( on behalf of the African Group ), Ecuador, Sweden ( on behalf of the European Union ), Nicaragua, Norway, Japan, El Salvador and the United States.
That resolution, whose wording was approved at the Committee’s last meeting, would have the Assembly take note of a decision of the President of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly to appoint co-facilitators to start consultations and consideration of a plan of action against human trafficking. But, as observed by the representative of Sweden, some States were in favour of a global plan of action, while others were not.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Friday, 20 November, to act on remaining draft texts.
The Third Committee ( Social, Humanitarian and Cultural ) met this morning to hear the introduction of a draft decision on the report of the Human Rights Council ( document A/C.3/64/L.61 ).
It was also expected to continue its consideration of a draft resolution on further steps to improve the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons ( document A/C.3/64/L.11/Rev.1 ), which it adopted on 12 November, and to take action on a draft resolution on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity ( document A/C.3/64/L.12 ), both under its agenda item on crime prevention and criminal justice.
The Committee was also expected to take action on a number of other draft texts, including, under its agenda item on international drug control, a draft resolution on international cooperation against the world drug problem ( document A/C.3/64/L.15/Rev.1 ).
It was expected to take action on two draft resolutions under the agenda item on the advancement of women on violence against migrant women workers ( document A/C.3/64/L.18/Rev.1 ) and follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly ( document A/C.3/64/L.60 ).
Action was also expected on draft resolutions on inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance ( document A/C.3/64/L.53 ), under the agenda on the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination ( document A/C.3/64/L.57 ), under its agenda item on the right of peoples to self-determination.
The Committee was expected to act, under its agenda item on the promotion and protection of human rights, on 10 draft resolutions, including: promotion of a democratic and equitable international order ( document A/C.3/64/L.28 ), strengthening United Nations action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity ( document A/C.3/64/L.29 ), the right to food ( document A/C.3/64/L.30/Rev.1 ), Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa ( document A/C.3/64/L.40 ), International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance ( document A/C.3/64/L.42/Rev.1 ), the right to development ( document A/C.3/64/L.47 ), situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ( document A/C.3/64/L.35 ), situation of human rights in Myanmar ( document A/C.3/64/L.36* ) and its associated programme budget implications ( document A/C.3/64/L.62 ), and situation of human rights in Iran ( document A/C.3/64/L.37 ).
Statements Deferred from Committee’s Last Meeting
The Committee began the meeting by hearing statements concerning a resolution adopted at its last meeting, on improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons ( document A/C.3/64/L.11/Rev.1 ), approved without a vote.
Regarding that draft, the representative of the Russian Federation thanked the delegation of Belarus as the draft’s principal sponsor, saying the resolution addressed an important problem that required joint international effort and true political will to solve. Given the issue’s importance, the lengthy calibration process was justified. From the start, the goal had been to reach consensus, which had, indeed, been achieved. The Russian Federation would like to see the resolution more focused on practical action and results, through a global plan to combat trafficking. But, the final result must be reached through compromise, so that it was acceptable to all Members. His Government had gladly joined the list of co-sponsors, and was satisfied that the draft had been adopted without a vote, as it had been in the previous year.
The representative of Zambia, offering a general statement after action on behalf of the African Group, said the resolution should help make a difference to all victims of trafficking. The Group had been happy to co-sponsor the draft and appreciated the efforts of the delegation of Belarus for the long hours of consultations it had put into the draft to guarantee consensus. Those consultations had been difficult, demonstrating the political commitment of all parties to the cause. Trafficking in persons was a problem affecting all countries, especially Africa, whose leaders had passed a unanimous decision at the African Union summit in July, at Sharm el Sheikh, calling for a United Nations global plan of action on trafficking. Such a plan should ensure a coordinated approach to combat the scourge, and to coordinate the efforts of States, the United Nations system and other stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, while taking account of legal mechanisms such as the Convention against Organized Crime and its Optional Protocol. Many others around the world were also supportive of a plan of action on trafficking, such as the Non-Aligned Movement, and those in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. The European Union had its own European Union global plan of action, adopted in October.
She recalled that consideration of a global plan of action had started last year, and was reflected in General Assembly resolution 63/194 directed towards the President of the Assembly, who had led thematic dialogues on the issue at the sixty-third session and had appointed facilitators. The new resolution would provide the President with a legislative mandate to continue consideration of that matter, which also provided for wide participation among States and other stakeholders. At the same time, strong commitment by the Secretary-General, the Human Rights Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking would help take that commitment to a new level. She acknowledged the United Nations system and the good coordinating role played by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC ). While Africa was mainly an origin country, that crime did not discriminate against continents. There were victims everywhere and, as shown at a panel discussion convened by the Human Rights Commissioner last month, the race and ethnicity of victims did not matter. She said African countries had pledged to uphold their responsibility in helping victims to “fight their victimization”.
The representative of Ecuador said the fight against trafficking in persons had been a priority for his country since 2004. In that regard, its policies aimed at prevention, investigation and sanctioning, and the protection of victims. It paid attention, particularly, to the latter policy area and had, to that end, approved a plan to protect women, children, boys and girls. Underling that, under article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one should be committed to slavery, and his country was committed to working to ensure no new form of slavery would violate its citizens’ rights.
He noted, however, that developing countries had a particular vulnerability in two aspects: they had become ideal spaces for recruitment and exploitation of victims of human trafficking. His delegation, thus, believed the network against human trafficking must be stronger and applauded the fact that the United Nations was willing to tackle that problem. The Organization should work towards a global plan against trafficking. His delegation was willing to make all efforts towards making that plan come to fruition.
Sweden’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union was pleased to join consensus on the text. The Union remained fully committed to fighting trafficking and was a proud party to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It strongly believed that the strong commitment of the international community was needed to provide more stringent monitoring of this Convention. It welcomed the elaboration of a framework of action for effective implementation of the Convention’s Trafficking Protocol and had organized plans in that respect. More needed to be done to further address all forms of trafficking, including child trafficking, and to train law enforcement personnel in the protection of human rights.
He went on to say that combating trafficking in human beings was a priority for the Union, as had been reaffirmed in the ministerial conference that took place in Brussels in October. Indeed, trafficking was a grave offence. Some States were in favour of a global plan of action, while others were not. The resolution took note of the consultations on such a plan, and the Union considered it fundamental that any potential new instrument not divert energy or focus from implementing agreements laid out in other instruments, such as the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The representative of Nicaragua, also thanking the representative of Belarus for conducting a conciliatory negotiations process, praised that delegation for taking account of the concerns of all delegations. Nevertheless, she expressed deep regret that some States did not share the same interest in moving forward on a global plan of action, which could provide a strategic framework for applying existing international instruments in a way that complemented them and helped fill gaps. She reiterated the importance of having a global plan of action based on broad consensus, and said the resolution was a step towards that common objective. She extended an invitation to those that still rejected efforts to tackle this modern form of slavery to join the process of drafting such a plan.
The representative of Norway said his country had been pleased to join the consensus and thanked the delegation of Belarus for facilitating negotiations on that text. His Government was committed to combating trafficking in persons and was a strong supporter of the Convention on Organized Crime and its Optional Protocol, which it considered to be the principal legally binding instrument to fight trafficking. The growing number of supporters of that Convention was a sign of States’ commitment to combat that crime. Before States moved to develop new instruments, existing ones should first be put to use fully and effectively. The Conference of States Parties had been established to improve the capacity of States to promote and review the Convention and to promote its better use, including its Protocols, and was supported by an independent review of implementation mechanisms. He looked forward to implementing decision 4/1 by the Conference of Parties on a possible mechanism to review the Convention and its Protocols.
The representative of Japan said his Government was fully committed to coordinating action to combat trafficking and had been pleased to join the consensus. Due to the grave nature of the crime, Japan firmly believed in the vital need for coordination action to be effective and efficient. As described in operative paragraph 8 of the text, States needed to start to consider the most effective and efficient means of doing so, while taking into account a global plan as one possible action. He would take part in such consultations, which he hoped would be open and transparent.
The representative of El Salvador said the subject of the resolution was an important one, and she would have liked to have seen more on providing protection to victims, particularly children and women. But, given the issue’s importance, her country wished to join the list of co-sponsors, nevertheless.
The Secretary of the Committee, MONCEH KHANE, then informed the representative of El Salvador that the list of co-sponsors was closed, because the resolution had already been adopted.
The United States representative said his country appreciated the efforts of parties to reach consensus on the text and had agreed to join consensus on it. The United States did so on the understanding that it must be recognized that slavery continued to exist in the twenty-first century and much work remained to be done at all levels to combat trafficking in persons. International attention should be focused on the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. With more countries adopting strong anti-trafficking steps, there had been a reduction in trafficking. Clearly, effective enforcement of national laws was the only viable deterrent.
He further underlined that the Convention was open to accession by all States. Moreover, the rules of procedure to the Convention’s Conference allowed the participation of non-States parties as observers. In practice, there was no difference between participants and observers in terms of the decisions taken by the Conference. Thus, non-participation in the Conference was by choice. The United States remained sceptical that a global action plan would be effective, believing, instead, that that plan would be another exercise that would distract countries on what they needed to do to stop trafficking. While the United States considered international coordination important, Governments needed to do more at home. International coordination could be helpful, if it aimed to bring donors together with those seeking and in need of support.
Action on Draft Resolutions
As it moved to take action on the draft resolutions before it, the Committee turned first to a text on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity ( document A/C.3/64/L.12/Rev.1 ).
Mr. KHANE said that adoption of the text would entail no additional budgetary implications under the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011.
The representative of Italy introduced the text, which would have the Assembly reaffirm the importance of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols as the main tools of the international community to fight transnational organized crime. It would also call upon Member States to strengthen their efforts to cooperate, as appropriate, at bilateral, subregional, regional and international levels to counter effectively transnational organized crime
By further provisions, the Assembly would request the UNODC to finalize, as soon as possible, the Santo Domingo Pact and other regional programmes, as well as the Managua Mechanism document for approval by States parties, in order to start their implementation with all active partners at all levels. That Office would also be urged to continue providing technical assistance to Member States to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism through the Global Programme against Money-Laundering, in accordance with United Nations related instruments and internationally accepted standards.
The Assembly would further recognize the efforts made by the UNODC to assist Member States in developing abilities and strengthening their capacity to prevent and combat kidnapping and request the Office to continue to provide technical assistance in order to foster international cooperation, particularly mutual legal assistance, aimed at effectively countering that growing serious crime.
By other terms, Member States and relevant international organizations would be urged to develop national and regional strategies and other necessary measures to address effectively transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants and illicit manufacturing of and transnational trafficking in firearms, as well as corruption and terrorism. In that regard, the text urges the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to assist Member States upon request in combating the illicit trafficking in firearms and all relevant paraphernalia.
The Secretary-General would also be requested to convene, in the framework of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, a special high-level meeting of the Assembly on transnational organized crime and corruption in the second quarter of 2010. He would also be requested to organize a special treaty event to promote ratification or accession to the Convention and the Protocols thereto during that high-level meeting.
Speaking in explanation of position before action, the representative of Liechtenstein said that, as a traditional co-sponsor of the draft resolution, her delegation had approached consultations on the text in a willing spirit. It believed that the provision of capacity-building assistance by the UNODC was paramount for post-conflict countries. There was no question that the Office was, under its rule of law programme, mandated to assist States in establishing institutions for the provision of justice and rule of law, irrespective of the crimes those bodies would address. Liechtenstein believed the text was a good one, even though it did not make explicit reference to the proposals her delegation had made during the consultations.
Acting without a vote, the Committee then approved the draft text.
Speaking in explanation of position after action, the representative of Venezuela said her delegation had joined consensus, but had reservations about the context of various preambular paragraphs that did not have a basis in relevant agreements by United Nations Member States on the fight against terrorism. Among other things, she highlighted the reference to “granting of mutual legal assistance” and the granting of extradition.
Moreover, preambular paragraph 14 said the actions of States against terrorism were a “common and shared responsibility”. Yet, that was not expressed in any of the agreements or treaties on terrorism on either the international level or the regional level. That paragraph was a distortion of the Declaration of Bangkok, which talked about improving international responsibility, but did not talk about shared responsibilities. If that was so, the situation of the terrorist who had exploded a Cuban airliner would have to be discussed. Her delegation considered the content of the paragraph in question went beyond the resolution’s scope.
Turning to the content of the preambular paragraph that established a link between organized armed crime and terrorism, she said Venezuela did not recognize such links, since every action had different motivations. Presupposing an automatic link denied this and the need to address those motivations. Moreover, those links were neither automatic nor permanent. Regarding the obstacles raised by the delegation facilitating that draft, Venezuela reiterated its willingness to raise those issues again with a view towards achieving a more satisfactory text.
Following that action, the Committee turned to the draft resolution on international cooperation against the world drug problem ( document A/C.3/64/L.15/Rev.1 ).
The Secretary, Mr. KHANE, made an oral amendment to the text to correct a punctuation error, before informing the Committee that the resolution’s adoption would not entail any additional requirements under the proposed programmed budget for the 2010-2011 biennium. He also explained the difference between a special session and a high-level meeting, saying that a special session was likely to give rise to programme budget implications, since it would require procedural arrangements on par to a regular session: the election of a President and Bureau, the preparation of a formal, self-standing provisional agenda, and so on. On the other hand, a high-level meeting could be organized without the need for such organizational decisions and would, thus, be more straight-forward to hold, irrespective of any programme budget implications. He was offering that explanation while noting that the recommendation to hold a meeting of some sort had originated from Vienna; that Office might not know the implications of holding a special session versus a high-level meeting.
The draft resolution was introduced by the representative of Mexico.
That text would have the Assembly adoptthe Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem, as adopted at the high-level segment of the fifty-second session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. It would also call on States to take the measures necessary to implement the goals and targets therein.
By further terms, the Assembly would recognize that sustainable crop control strategies targeting the illicit cultivation of crops used for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances require international cooperation based on the principle of shared responsibility, as well as an integrated and balanced approach. It would also recognize that such crop control strategies include alternative development and, where appropriate, preventive alternative development programmes, eradication and law enforcement measures and that crop-control strategies should be in full conformity with article 14 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, appropriately coordinated and phased in accordancewith national policies.
Among other provisions, the Assembly would stress the urgent need to respond to the serious challenges posed by the increasing links between drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of organized crime, including trafficking in human beings, trafficking in firearms, cybercrime and, in some cases, terrorism and money-laundering. It would also urge the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to increase collaboration with intergovernmental, international and relevant regional organizations involved in combating the world drug problem. That Office would be requested to continue providing technical assistance to Member States so as to enhance capacity in countering the world drug problem.
The Assembly would also urge all Governments to provide the fullest possible financial and political support to the UNODC by widening its donor base and increasing voluntary contributions, particularly general-purpose contributions, to enable it to continue, expand, improve and strengthen its operational and technical cooperation activities. It would also recommend that a sufficient share of the regular budget of the United Nations be allocated to the Office to enable it to carry out its mandate in a consistent and stable manner.
Member States would be further urged to implement the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Declaration of the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction and to strengthen their national efforts to counter the abuse of illicit drugs in their populations, in particular among young people. It would also recommend that the Economic and Social Council devote one of its high-level segments to a theme related to the world drug problem, and also recommend that the Assembly itself hold a special session to address the world drug problem.
The representative of Russian Federation said his Government had chosen not to oppose consensus on the draft, but had chosen, also, not to co-sponsor it. The text once again did not include references to a policy for strengthening international cooperation in suppressing the proliferation of drugs from Afghanistan. The Russian Government attached great importance in dealing with the world drug problem and in expanding anti-drug cooperation under the aegis of the United Nations. It believed that a General Assembly omnibus resolution on the issue must be built on an objective and expert assessment of global trends and threats posed by illegal drugs, and on areas requiring special attention. Such an assessment would, in the long run, determine the effectiveness of efforts to deal with the world drug problem.
But, he said, in recent years, States had clearly diverged on the issue of whether Afghanistan’s illicit opium poppy cultivation and the illegal trade of drugs from there was an important element of the fight against drugs. Earlier resolutions had highlighted that issue, and the Russian Federation had stated, on a number of occasions, that a mention of Afghanistan was not for the purpose of highlighting the problems of an individual country or to assess the efforts of its Government to combat drugs. Rather, it had been included in the text because existence of opiates in the illegal drug market, and of the proliferation of terrorist groups in that country in relation to the drug trade, was a global threat. In Russia’s opinion, underestimating the scope of the threat posed by drugs from Afghanistan would send a counter-productive signal. Excluding a clear appeal to strengthen regional cooperation in and around Afghanistan was a step away from a balanced approached found in the omnibus resolutions of former sessions, and would hamper efforts to suppress the threat related to production and trade of Afghan drugs.
Bolivia’s representative welcomed consensus on that resolution, while pointing out that operative paragraph 7 ( c ) would call on States to account for the traditional licit use of crops where there was historical evidence of such use. Chewing of coca leaves was a traditional and legal use of that plant in his country, as backed by abundant historical data. Any resolution on that issue must bear in mind such traditional uses. His country was firmly committed to the fight against drug trafficking.
The draft was approved, as orally corrected and without a vote.
The representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the adoption of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem. He also noted that the initial proposal by the main sponsor was to strive for a streamlined and procedural resolution. Negotiations had resulted in a longer and more comprehensive text, which he believed could have been made even more comprehensive had negotiations continued. The European Union would have liked to have seen greater emphasis on the demand side, including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. That explained why not all European Union States were able to co-sponsor the text.
The representative of Venezuela pointed out that her Government would have wanted to become a co-sponsor, but could not do so because of reservations about operative paragraph 9. Drawing an automatic link between different crimes was tantamount to ignoring the system of due process and the presumption of innocence that underpinned most judicial systems. Her country did not consider links between terrorism and transnational organized crime to be automatic or permanent, and needed to be analysed on a case-by-case basis. However, it believed the rest of the resolution was satisfactory.
The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on violence against women migrant workers ( document A/C.3/64/L.18/Rev.1 ), which was introduced by the representative of the Philippines, who made several oral revisions, including pointing out that the correct title of the text was “violence against women migrant workers” not “violence against migrant women workers”.
That text would have the Assembly call upon all Governments to incorporate a human rights and gender perspective in legislation and policies on international migration, labour and employment consistent with their human rights obligations and commitments under human rights instruments for the prevention and protection of migrant women from violence and discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Governments would also be called on to ensure that such migration and labour policies do not reinforce discrimination and bias against women and to consider expanding dialogue among States on devising innovative methods to promote legal channels of migration in order to deter illegal migration.
By further provisions, the Assembly would urge Governments to enhance bilateral, regional, interregional and international cooperation to address violence against women migrant workers, fully respecting international law, and to strengthen efforts to reduce the vulnerability of women migrant workers, including through sustainable development alternatives to migration in countries of origin. It would also urge Governments to account for the best interests of the child by adopting or strengthening measures to promote and protect the human rights of migrant girls to prevent their labour and economic exploitation, discrimination, sexual harassment, violence and sexual abuse in the workplace.
The Assembly would also urge Governments, in cooperation with international organizations, civil society and the private sector, to strengthen the focus on and funding support for preventing violence against women migrant workers. Among other things, they should promote women’s access to meaningful and gender-sensitive information and education on: the costs and benefits of migration; the rights and benefits to which they are entitled in the countries of origin; employment and the overall conditions in countries of employment; and procedures for legal migration. They should also ensure that laws and policies governing recruiters, employers and intermediaries, particularly in the fields of entertainment and domestic work, promoted adherence to, and respect for, the human rights of migrant workers.
Further by the text, Governments would be asked to recognize the right of women migrant workers to have access to emergency health services and to ensure that pregnancy and childbirth were not used as grounds for repatriation or deportation. States that have not yet done so would be urged to adopt and implement legislation and policies that protect all women migrant domestic workers, and to grant them access to transparent mechanisms for bringing complaints against employers.
The Assembly would also call on Governments, particularly those of the countries of origin and destination, to establish penal and criminal sanctions to punish perpetrators and intermediaries of violence against women migrant workers. Victims should have access to justice mechanisms, which should also ensure that migrant women do not suffer from revictimization, including by authorities.
State would be also be urged to adopt effective measures to put an end to the arbitrary arrest and detention of women migrant workers and to take action to prevent and punish any form of illegal deprivation of the liberty of women migrant workers by individuals or groups.
Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft text, as orally revised.
Speaking in explanation of position after the vote, the representative of Singapore reaffirmed his country’s commitment to protecting the rights of women migrant workers. Singapore was pleased to join consensus on the understanding that the elements in the resolution would be implemented by nations according to their individual circumstances.
The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly ( document A/C.3/64/L.60 ), which was introduced by the CHAIR.
That text would have the Assembly call on Governments and the relevant bodies of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations and civil society actors, to intensify action to achieve the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session. It would further reaffirm that States have an obligation to exercise due diligence to prevent violence against women and girls, provide protection to victims of violence and to investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of such violence, and that failure to do so violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It would, thus, call on Governments to elaborate and implement laws and strategies to eliminate violence against women and girls; encourage and support men and boys in taking an active part in the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence; encourage increased understanding among men and boys of how violence harms girls, boys, women and men and undermines gender equality; and encourage all actors to speak out against any violence against women. It would also welcome the Secretary-General’s campaign “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” and the United Nations Development Fund for Women ( UNIFEM ) social mobilization and advocacy platform “Say NO to violence against women”.
Among other provisions, the Assembly would welcome the opportunities provided in intergovernmental bodies in 2010 to accelerate progress in the achievement of gender equality and gender balance, as well as the empowerment of women. Those events would include, among others, the 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the Assembly’s twenty-third special session at the fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, as well as the annual ministerial review to be held by the Economic and Social Council on the theme “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and the empowerment of women”.
The Assembly would encourage Member States, United Nations entities and other relevant actors to fully utilize the opportunities provided in intergovernmental bodies in 2010, including intergovernmental consultations, with a view towards prompt progress as set forth in resolution 63/311, including strengthening the institutional arrangements for the support of gender equality and empowerment of women. It would also reiterate its call to all bodies of the United Nations system to increase efforts to fully mainstream a gender perspective into all issues under their consideration and within their mandates, as well as in all United Nations summits, conferences and special sessions. In that regard, the Assembly looked forward to efficient and effective support for those efforts by the consolidated gender entity, upon its establishment.
The Assembly would also call on all parts of the United Nations system to continue to play an active role in ensuring the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session, by, among other things, maintaining gender specialists in all entities of the United Nations system and by ensuring that all personnel, especially in the field, received training and appropriate follow-up for accelerated gender mainstreaming. It would further reaffirm the need to strengthen the capabilities of the United Nations system in the area of gender and call on the United Nations system to continue its efforts towards achieving the goal of gender balance, including with the active support of gender focal points.
Further to the text, the Secretary-General would be requested to provide an oral report to the Commission on the Status of Women at its fifty-fourth session and to report to the Assembly on a biennial basis, beginning at its sixty-fifth session, under the item entitled “Advancement of women”. He was also asked to include in his report on human resources management information on the status of women in the United Nations system.
The Committee then approved the draft text without a vote.
In accordance with Assembly decision 55/488, it then took note of the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on its forty-second and forty-third sessions ( document A/64/38 ); the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report on the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women ( document A/64/79-E/2009/74 ); and the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report on the activities of UNIFEM ( documents A/64/164 and Add.1 ).
The Committee next turned to a draft on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance ( document A/C.3/64/L.53 ), introduced by the representative of the Russian Federation, who made oral corrections to the text.
The draft would have the Assembly express deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement as participants in national liberation movements.
Further by the text, the Assembly would express concern at recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and would urge States in that regard to fully comply with their obligations under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 [on remains of deceased].
Other provisions would have the Assembly note with concern the rise of skinhead groups responsible for racist incidents in several countries, as well as the resurgence of violence targeting members of ethnic, religious or cultural communities and national minorities, as observed by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in his latest report. It would emphasize the need to act to put an end to those practices, and would call on States to take more effective measures in that regard. It would reaffirm the obligation of States parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination — among other things — to declare illegal organizations that promote and incite racial discrimination and to recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law. They were also obliged to prohibit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, from promoting or inciting racial discrimination.
Speaking in explanation of position before action, the representative of Belarus said her delegation fully supported the text. She thanked the Russian delegation for its introduction. The phenomena it addressed had to be addressed and the current resolution had an important message for today’s youth, including its important historical message. The victory in the Second World War came at a high price. The war took the lives of millions of people, and Belarus, which lost a third of its population, believed that efforts to whitewash Nazism and the events of that war must be opposed.
The CHAIR then informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested, and, in response to the delegate of the Russian Federation, who asked which delegation had requested the vote, said the United States had made that request.
Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the United States said that there was much in the resolution with which her country could agree. It shared the repugnance of other Committee members towards any glorification of Nazism. But the United States was concerned that the text did not make a distinction between actions and expressions. Indeed, it did not consider the prohibition of expression an effective or appropriate means of eliminating intolerance. In a free society, hateful ideas would fail on their own merit. The best way to combat intolerance was a robust legal scheme that prohibited hate crimes and protected freedom of speech. Thus, her delegation could not vote for the text as drafted.
The representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union, reiterated the Union’s strong commitment to the global fight against racism, xenophobia and related intolerance. Neo-Nazism had to be vigorously combated. It still existed in many countries of the draft’s co-sponsors, as well as of the European Union, and had to be tackled with all efforts to combat racism and xenophobia at the national and international levels. Indeed, the ideas that neo-Nazism tried to undermine – namely, that all men and women were born equal — was at the core of what the United Nations stood for, and its mission should serve to unite all in combating neo-Nazism. Reiterating the Union’s strong readiness to engage in negotiations with the co-sponsors to ensure that the text did this, she noted that a few of its proposals were reflected in the text. In particular, the addition to operative paragraph 8 had improved the text’s clarity.
She said, however, that, given the importance of the issue, the Union regretted that the text did not reflect all proposals submitted by all delegations, which would have led to a more acceptable text. It further regretted that a number of its own more serious proposals had not been incorporated. As in past years, the text continued to be selective. Moreover, new paragraphs were introduced that contributed to further dilute the text. The Union would have also liked to have seen the text’s inaccurate reflection on the Nuremburg trials corrected, particularly by incorporating its proposal that a direct quote be inserted into the text. Another matter of concern related to the tact taken to address those practices. The Union fully believed that, to be effective, the fight against racism, xenophobia and related intolerance had to take into account articles 4 and 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Further, the Special Rapporteur needed to address contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the request made to him in this year’s text would strongly undermine that approach.
She stressed that the Union was increasingly concerned about the approach taken in the current resolution. Its concerns from previous years remained. The text’s co-sponsors had not also taken into account the Union’s concerns related to this year’s text. For those reasons, it would abstain from voting.
The Committee then approved the text by a vote of 124 in favour to 1 against ( United States ), with 55 abstentions. ( See Annex I. )
The representative of Switzerland thanked the principal sponsor for taking account of the views of non-co-sponsors on issues that would have allowed his country to have voted in favour. But, his country had abstained from the vote, because the draft did not cover all contemporary forms of racism.
Following that action, the Committee took up the draft on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination ( document A/C.3/64/L.57 ).
The Secretary, Mr. KHANE, informed the Committee that adoption of that resolution would not entail any additional resource requirements under the 2010-2011 programme biennium budget.
The draft was introduced by the representative of Cuba, who made several oral amendments to the text, which were being circulated on paper in the room.
By that text, the Assembly — reaffirming the grave concern posed by mercenaries to States and recognizing that armed conflict, terrorism, arms trafficking and covert operations by third Powers encouraged the global demand for mercenaries — would request States to be vigilant against the recruitment, training, hiring or financing of mercenaries by private companies. It would also request States to impose a specific ban on the intervention of such companies in armed conflicts or in actions to destabilize constitutional regimes. States that did import security services from private companies were encouraged to establish mechanisms to register and license those companies, as well as regulatory mechanisms to ensure that their services did not impede the enjoyment of human rights nor violate human rights in the recipient country.
Further by the text, the Assembly would call on States to investigate the possibility of mercenary involvement whenever and wherever criminal acts of a terrorist nature occurred and to bring to trial those found responsible or to consider their extradition, if so requested, in accordance with domestic law and applicable bilateral or international treaties. It would condemn any form of impunity granted to mercenaries and to those responsible for the use, recruitment, financing and training of mercenaries. It would urge States, in accordance with their international legal obligations, to bring them, without distinction, to justice. States would be called on to cooperate with and assist the judicial prosecution of those accused of mercenary activities in transparent, open and fair trials.
The text would have the Assembly request the Working Group to continue the work already done by previous Special Rapporteurs on strengthening the international legal framework to prevent and place sanctions on the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries, while taking account of the proposal for a new legal definition. One of the oral amendments proposed by the representative of Cuba would include a reference, here, to the “elaboration and presentation of concrete proposals on possible complementary and new standards aimed at filling existing gaps, as well as general guidelines or basic principles encouraging the further protection of human rights, in particular the right of peoples to self-determination, while facing current and emergent threats posed by mercenaries or mercenary-related activities”.
Further by the text, the Assembly would request the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner to continue supporting the Working Group, which was convening regional governmental consultations on the matter, including two to be held before the end of 2010. The Office would be asked to bear in mind that the process might lead to the holding of a high-level round table of States, under the auspices of the United Nations, to discuss the role of the State as holder of the monopoly on the use of force. Some of the objectives of that discussion would be to facilitate a critical understanding of the responsibilities of the different actors, including private military and security companies, and their respective obligations for the promotion and protection of human rights, and in reaching a common understanding on possible additional international regulations and controls that might be needed.
The Chair, NORMANS PENKE, informed the Committee that a vote had been requested. In response to the representative of Cuba, he said it had been asked for by the representative of the United States.
The representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the group shared the concerns of others on the dangers posed by mercenary activities, as expressed by the Working Group. It recognized the deep negative impact that such activities might have on the length and nature of armed conflicts. However, neither the Third Committee nor the Human Rights Council were the proper forums for addressing mercenary activities. While acknowledging the dangers posed, the European Union did not believe that the issue should be tackled from the perspective of human rights violations or the right to self-determination. The elaboration of a definition of mercenary activities and links between it and terrorism fell under the competence of the Sixth Committee ( Legal ). Therefore, the European Union could not support the draft and would vote against it. However, it would continue to actively participate in a dialogue to prevent threats posed by mercenaries, in the context of appropriate forum.
The draft was approved by a vote of 122 in favour to 53 against, with 5 abstentions ( Fiji, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Tonga ) ( Annex II ).
The representative of Chile pointed out that the text as presented had deleted references to new modalities of mercenary activities originally included in resolution 63/162. Her Government understood that those modalities had not been defined by a juridical international instrument. Their deletion had enabled Chile to vote in favour of the text.
Argentina’s representative said his Government supported the right to self- determination of people living under foreign occupation, as per the relevant General Assembly resolutions. The draft resolution just approved must be interpreted and applied within the context of those resolutions, as well as resolutions passed by the Special Committee on Decolonization, which outlined the special situation of the Malvinas Islands, and which recognized the sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom over those islands and further recognized them as the only parties to the dispute. The dispute could only be resolved upon renewal of bilateral negotiations, while accounting for the views of the population. Moreover, the exercise of the right to self-determination required an active subject living under domination, according to General Assembly resolution 1514 ( XV ). Without such a subject, there was no right to self-determination to speak of. The Malvinas Islands and the surrounding area were occupied by the United Kingdom, which expelled the local population and replaced them with their own population.
Next, the Committee took up the draft on promotion of a democratic and equitable international order ( document A/C.3/64/L.28 ), introduced by the representative of Cuba.
The SECRETARY informed the Committee that, with respect to the oral revision previously made by the Cuban delegation to capitalize the words “small island developing” States, those words were only capitalized in a title, not the body of a text.
By the terms of the text, the Assembly would affirm that a democratic and equitable international order required the realization of the right to self-determination, by virtue of which people could freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Peoples and nations had the right to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources. They also had the right to development, peace and to an international economic order based on equal participation of all States in decision-making, in the spirit of interdependence, mutual interest, solidarity and cooperation.
The draft would have the Assembly affirm, as a requirement of an equitable social order, the principle of equitable regional representation and a gender balance in the composition of the staff at the United Nations. It would also affirm the need for a balanced flow of information to and from developing countries.
Among other things, the text would affirm everyone’s right to a healthy environment, and to international cooperation that responded effectively to the needs of nations seeking to adapt to climate change, particularly in developing countries. Effective responses would involve the fulfilment of international agreements in the field of mitigation.
In addition to affirming the need for “equitable access to benefits from the international distribution of wealth”, the draft would have the Assembly affirm the shared responsibility of all nations in managing the world’s economic and social development, and managing threats to international peace and security on a multilateral basis.
The CHAIR informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested, and, in response to the delegate of Cuba, who asked which delegation had requested the vote, said the United States had made that request.
Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said it was necessary to work towards a more democratic and equitable order. The Union fully recognized that the issues raised in the text were important and required careful analysis and action by nations. However, several actions called for in the text went beyond the scope of the Committee. Moreover, the text quoted the obligations of States rather selectively and randomly without placing them in their appropriate context. He reiterated the Third Committee was not a suitable forum for addressing those issues. For those reasons, the Union would vote against the draft resolution.
The Committee approved the text by a vote of 121 in favour to 54 against, with 5 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru ) ( Annex III ).
The Committee then took up the draft on strengthening United Nations action in the field of human rights through the promotion of international cooperation and the importance of non-selectivity, impartiality and objectivity ( document A/C.3/64/L.29 ), introduced by the representative of Cuba.
Source: Media Newswire
Thats according to the independent review Panel into the future of listed events which reported today.
If the Government chooses to continue listing events to ensure free-to-air broadcast coverage, there should be a single list of live events, the Panel concluded. Protected coverage of highlights is now insufficient and out-of-step in a multi-channel, digital and online world.
In the absence of any other agreed way forward, the Panel recommended a list that met amended criteria for events of national resonance.
Todays report concluded that:
Independent research into public attitudes showed that 82 per cent of respondents believed they had an entitlement to watch certain events free-to-air because they had already paid the TV licence fee, and 76 per cent expected to be able to watch major events on free-to-air TV. The Panel believed there was compelling evidence of a public expectation that the BBC had a responsibility to give a high priority to such events, and that this should be recognised by the BBC in its current review of its size and scope.
The Panel applauded BSkyBs role in driving innovation in the way in which sport is covered in the UK. Its capacity with ESPN, to reach 90 per cent + of households in 2012 via commercial multiplexes and Freeview, was confirmed to the Panel by Digital UK, which has overall responsibility for completing digital switchover. The Panel urged both BSkyB and ESPN to consider again what may be in the best interests of UK viewers, and the circumstances in which they might broadcast a small number of major events free-to-air.
The Panel accepted that sports governing bodies should be best-placed to know what is in the best interests of their sport now and for the future. But the Panels task has been to look beyond the singular interests of any one sport. An EU Directive permits member states to draw up their listing arrangements to ensure that a substantial proportion of the public is not deprived of the chance to view events of major importance to society.
Those who opposed protection had to accept that their view meant there were circumstances in which a significant proportion of the population could be denied the chance to view major national and international events, including senior citizens who currently qualify for free TV licences.
The Panel remained convinced that, at least for the foreseeable future, despite the enormous changes in the media landscape, most peoples first choice of how to view the bigger sporting events would be via what is still identifiably a television set.
In deciding whether or not to list an event, the Secretary of State might take into account other factors affecting the likely costs and benefits to the sports concerned. The Panel regarded such factors as needing political judgements that could only be for the Secretary of State in any consultation that follows its review.
If listing continued, the Panel urged the Secretary of State to consider more regular reviews of the list than there had been to date.
David Davies commented today:
The Panels task was to look beyond the interests of any one sport, and assess the events that really matter to society in the modern age. I believe our report is challenging for the sports governing bodies, the broadcasters and the Government. But unashamedly it puts the viewing public first.
Notes to editors
The Panel recommends that the following events should be protected for free-to-air live coverage:
The Summer Olympic GamesFIFA World Cup Finals TournamentUEFA European Football Championship Finals TournamentThe Grand NationalThe FA Cup Final (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)The Scottish FA Cup (in Scotland only)Home and away qualification matches in the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Football Championships (listed in the Home Nation to which they relate)The All-England Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship (listed in its entirety)The Open Golf ChampionshipCrickets Home Ashes Test matchesThe Rugby Union World Cup TournamentWales matches in the Six Nations Rugby Championship (in Wales only)
The current list of sporting events protected under the Broadcasting Act 1996 is:
Group A (Full Live Coverage Protected)
The Olympic GamesThe FIFA World Cup Finals TournamentThe European Football Championship Finals TournamentThe FA Cup FinalThe Scottish FA Cup Final (in Scotland)The Grand NationalThe DerbyThe Wimbledon Tennis FinalsThe Rugby League Challenge Cup FinalThe Rugby World Cup Final
Group B (Secondary Coverage Protected)
Cricket Test Matches played in EnglandNon-Finals play in the Wimbledon TournamentAll Other Matches in the Rugby World Cup Finals TournamentSix Nations Rugby Tournament Matches Involving Home CountriesThe Commonwealth GamesThe World Athletics ChampionshipThe Cricket World Cup – the Final, Semi-finals and Matches Involving HomeNations TeamsThe Ryder CupThe Open Golf Championship
The Panel recommends that the criteria going forward should be as follows:
In order to be eligible to be listed, an event must have a special national resonance and not simply a significance to those who ordinarily follow the sport concerned.Such an event is likely to fall into one or both of the following categories:
* it is a pre-eminent national or international event in sport;
* it involves the national team or national representatives in the sport concerned.
* It should also be likely to command a large television audience.
EU Member states are entitled to draw up a list of events which are generally felt to have special national resonance to ensure, so far as possible, that they are broadcast on free-to-air television.
The Government aims to ensure that these key events are available to as much of the population as possible and has outlined criteria for qualifying broadcasters that meet that objective. Those criteria are that the service is received by at least 95% of the UK population and at no additional cost to the viewer (excluding the television licence fee). The services currently meeting these criteria (qualifying broadcasters) are BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five. Five was added to the list in March 2008.
The first list was drawn up in 1956 between the BBC and the then Indpendent Broadcasting Authority. The list was reviewed in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1998.
The review of free-to-air listed events report is available on the DCMS website: http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/6434.aspx
A three-day United Nations summit on world food security opened in Rome today, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warning that on this day alone more than 17,000 children will die of hunger – one every five seconds, 6 million a year – even as the planet has more than enough food for all.
“Today, more than one billion people are hungry,” he told the assembled leaders, calling for immediate action on long-term remedies, a day after he himself fasted for 24 hours in solidarity with all those billion. “It was not easy. But, for too many people, it is a daily reality.”
The leaders unanimously adopted a declaration pledging renewed commitment to eradicate hunger from the face of the earth sustainably and at the earliest date. They agreed to work to reverse the decline in domestic and international funding for agriculture, promote new investment, and proactively face the challenges of climate change to food security.
Mr. Ban laid out a full, comprehensive spectrum of measures to combat a scourge gravely exacerbated by climate change and population growth that will see two billion more mouths to feed in 2050 – 9.1 billion in all – with an overall need to grow 70 per cent more food.
The steps range from immediate needs such as food aid, safety nets and social protection to the longer-term goals achieved through increased investments in agricultural development, including provision of seeds, water supplies and land to ensure higher productivity, better market access, and fairer trade, above all for smallholder farmers, especially women.
“These smallholder farmers are the heart and soul of food security and poverty reduction,” Mr. Ban declared. “We must resist protectionism and end subsidies that distort markets. This, ladies and gentlemen, lies at the core of food security. Our job is not just to feed the hungry, but to empower the hungry to feed themselves.”
He warned of a chain reaction over the past year that threatens the very foundations of life for millions of people, with rising energy prices driving up food costs and eating away the savings that would otherwise be spent on health care or education.
“It is a vicious cycle that impoverishes not only its immediate victims but all people,” he said. “Millions of families have been pushed into poverty and hunger. Suffering on this scale spills over borders. It sets back development and undercuts social order, as we well know. Over the past year and a half, food insecurity led to political unrest in some 30 countries.”
But it is not enough just to deal with the crisis when it arrives, even though the world responded with the greatest-ever food aid, pledging funding and improved policies at various summits, and even worse potential damage was averted.
“Because the underlying problems persist, we will continue to experience such crises, again and again – unless we act,” Mr. Ban said. “The food crisis of today is a wake-up call for tomorrow.”
He stressed the inter-relationship between the food and global warming crises, pleading for agreement at next month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen on curbing greenhouse gas emissions to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.
The melting of Himalayan glaciers would affect the livelihoods and survival of 300 million people in China and up to 1 billion people throughout Asia, while Africas small farmers, who produce most of the continents food and depend mostly on rain, could see harvests drop by 50 per cent by 2020, he warned.
“Today’s event is critical. So is the climate change conference in Copenhagen next month. There can be no food security without climate security,” Mr. Ban declared. “They must produce results – real results for people in real need, results for the one billion people who are hungry today, real results so millions more will not have to suffer when the next shock hits.
“The world is impatient for us to make a difference. I, too, am impatient. And I am committed.”
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf said eliminating hunger require $44 billion of official development assistance (ODA) per year to be invested in infrastructure, technology and modern inputs.
“It is a small amount if we consider the $365 billion of agriculture producer support [subsidies] in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in 2007, and if we consider the $1,340 billion of military expenditures by the world in the same year,” he added.
UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran told a First Ladies’ summit in Rome yesterday that empowering women, who do much of the agricultural work in the developing world, was vital. “Women are the secret weapon to fight hunger,” she said.
She called on 700 million women who have enough food to contribute 1 euro a week to the 700 million women who are hungry as part of WFP’s “Billion for a Billion” Citizens’ Action Campaign. Launching an online version of the campaign (www.wfp.org/1billion) on Saturday, she said: “Now you can fill the cup of a hungry child with a simple click of a mouse. If a billion internet users donate a dollar or a euro a week, we can literally transform the live of a billion hungry people across the world.”
At a news conference later in the day, Mr. Ban said he remained positive about Copenhagen, citing much convergence in the areas of adaptation, technology and capacity building. “I am fighting for a real deal in Copenhagen, a deal that paves the way for a binding global climate treaty,” he stressed.
Also today, he visited WFP headquarters to pay tribute to the five colleagues recently killed in Pakistan. He has also held bilateral meetings with a number of leaders, including the Brazilian, Chilean, Egyptian, Italian, Libyan and Tanzanian presidents.
Europcar has been named the World’s Leading Car Rental Company, at the 2008 World Travel Awards ceremony in London, following its title of Europe’s Leading Car Rental Company in Portugal on October 17.
The World Travel Awards are the ’Oscars’ of the travel industry, with 187,000 industry professionals voting for the best company in each category across seven regions of the world.
These two global awards not only reflect Europcar’s professionalism but also its commitment to customer satisfaction: a double victory for the group, which further strengthens its position as Europe’s number one car rental company.
As the European Leader in short-term light- and utility vehicle rental, Europcar is strongly customer-orientated and strives to listen carefully to its customers’ demands. For the last two years the company has taken a global look at its customers’ mobility habits with a pan-European survey: the Europcar Mobility Observatory. This has enabled Europcar to better understand and predict drivers’ habits across Europe, in order to deploy car rental deals and offers which meet customers’ needs.
Europcar has also worked to make progress in innovation and formed partnerships with other leading travel industry players, to offer customers an ever wider and more accessible range of services, as well as renewing agreements with some of the leading names in the European tourism industry. These agreements include easyJet and Swiss, and the launch of a new service of reservations tailored to the customer’s needs with ACCOR.
Additional developments include the development of a new B2B website ’click4wheels’, known in France as ’Click@ndDrive’, which facilitates vehicle reservations through the websites of Europcar’s travel agency and tour operator partners. The car rental company has also recently launched a new mobile phone service, which allows users to make or change a reservation, and find the nearest car rental location from compatible mobile phones.
Jehan de Thé, Global Marketing Director of Europcar International, who accepted the trophy in London, commented: We are truly proud to have won these two awards. They represent our commitment to providing the highest quality of service – a value shared by our entire network, as demonstrated by the awards won by Europcar in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central America
Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. The company serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Excluding franchise operations, in 2008 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 8,000 employees and a fleet exceeding 225,000 vehicles. In September 2008, Europcar and U.S. market leader Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined forces in a strategic commercial alliance to form the world’s largest car rental network, with more than 1.2 million vehicles and 13,000 locations around the world. Europcar is owned by the French investment company Eurazeo.
In addition to being the European market leader, Europcar is leading in its environmental approach to car rental. It opened its first ’environmental agency’ in Paris in 1999, and in 2008 it was the first company in Europe to have its ’Environmental Charter’ – which formalizes its commitments in favor of sustainable development – certified by Bureau Veritas. In 2008, Europcar was also the first company ever to win the World Travel Award for ’the World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company.’
About the World Travel Awards:
The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to promote the travel industry. The awards are given on the basis of votes cast online by travel agents from 187 000 agencies in 160 countries worldwide.
Europcar press contacts:
5-6 Pl. des freres Montgolfier
01 30 44 92 83
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon intends to join a 24-hour fast over the weekend on the eve of the World Summit on Food Security in solidarity with the planet’s one billion people who do not have enough to eat, his spokesperson said today.
Mr. Ban will deliver a speech at the opening of the three-day summit in Rome on Monday in which he is expected to say that it is unacceptable that more than one billion go hungry when the world has more than enough food, Marie Okabe told a news briefing.
“He will also highlight the human cost of the recent food, energy and economic crises and say that these crises are a wake-up call for tomorrow,” she added. “In particular, he will emphasize the link between food security and climate change.”
Mr. Ban will stress that next month’s climate change meeting in Copenhagen must conclude a comprehensive agreement that will provide a firm foundation for a legally binding treaty on climate change.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday called for a day-long, global hunger strike.
“We are suggesting that everyone in the world who wants to show solidarity with the one hungry billion people on this planet go on hunger strike next Saturday or Sunday,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told a press conference in Rome.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for a day-long, global hunger strike in solidarity with the planet’s one billion people who do not have enough to eat, ahead of next week’s World Summit on Food Security.
“I shall personally begin a 24-hour fast on Saturday morning,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told a press conference in Rome. “We are suggesting that everyone in the world who wants to show solidarity with the one hungry billion people on this planet go on hunger strike next Saturday or Sunday.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open the three-day summit in the Italian capital on 16 November, when immediate action will be sought to build momentum to end the scourge of hunger and malnutrition. Heads of State and government from FAO’s 192 members have been invited to attend.
“Given the close inter-relationship between food security and climate change, the Secretary-General will engage world leaders to advance both agendas together,” spokesperson Marie Okabe told a news briefing in New York.
Mr. Diouf said that despite all the promises made, concrete action on hunger has been lacking. “In the absence of strong measures another global food crisis cannot be excluded,” he warned.
He also launched an online anti-hunger petition, http://www.1billionhungry.org/, where visitors are asked to sign the petition if they agree that 1 billion people living in chronic hunger is unacceptable. Everyone is encouraged to use Twitter or other social media tools to spread the word about the initiative.
“I would urge as many people as possible to sign our petition,” he said. “Each click will serve as another reason, in addition to the billion we already have, for ending hunger. Each click will also serve as a goad to world leaders to ‘walk the talk.’”
During his stay in Rome, Mr. Ban will visit the headquarters of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), where he will participate in a commemoration for the staff recently killed in the attack against the WFP office in Pakistan. He will also meet with the staff of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the FAO.
Mendham, NJ 11/09 – SAFlights.co.za is proud to announce the launch of its travel advice on flights to Brazil page. There are many popular destinations in the world and Brazil is very high on the list. The page will offer advice on some of the better destinations in Brazil as well as information to make going through customs and security a smoother process.
One can also find information about which South African airports have flights out that are going to Brazil and which airlines are operating these flights. The site will allow a person to put in a date of departure and destination along with the point of origin to find which flights are going out that day and the prices of each so that one can book the best flight for him/her in terms of time and price.
SAFlights.co.za offers a wealth of information for South African travelers about various destinations around the world and domestically. Information on flights, departure times, destinations, and prices are just a few keystrokes away. In addition, many pages on the site provide information about worldwide destinations, such as the recently launched page on flights to Brazil.
For more information on booking flights from South Africa to destinations around the world, individuals may visit http://www.saflights.co.za. Other interested parties may obtain more information about the site and/or the content of this release by contacting
Justin Harrison Marketing
+1 (973) 552-4571
Mendham, New Jersey, USA
Ahead of the India Economic Summit, the World Economic Forum announced today the transition of leadership of the India Business Alliance (IBA) to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The IBA was developed by the World Economic Forum and its Partners to increase the involvement of the business sector in the care and control of tuberculosis (TB) – a disease that kills approximately 1,000 people a day in India, and costs businesses approximately 100 million productive workdays annually.
“We are delighted to see the natural transition of the leadership of the India Business Alliance to our Indian Partner and one of the co-founders of the Alliance, the Confederation of India Industry,” said Olivier Raynaud, Senior Director, Senior Director, Global Health and Healthcare Sector, World Economic Forum.
“With its extensive network of member companies and effective convening abilities, the Confederation of Indian Industry is ideally positioned to further enhance the business sector response to TB, and make a difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities in which they operate, as well as to businesses and the national economy,” said Shaloo Puri, Head, India Business Alliance and Adviser, Global Health and Healthcare Sector, World Economic Forum.
The CII will take over the leadership and coordination of business sector efforts towards TB care and control, building on the momentum the IBA has gained from its current partners – businesses, NGOs, international organizations and the public sector. The World Economic Forum will share the relevant knowledge and tools for the IBA with the CII, while continuing to provide mentoring and strategic advice.
“CII has been committed to social development since 1995, when it took up initiatives in public health especially for HIV and TB. The journey of the last 14 years has seen CII along with its members extend services for TB beyond the workplace into the community. It is indeed a great moment for CII to take over the local leadership of IBA, further strengthening the long partnership with the World Economic Forum,” said Indrani Kar, Senior Director and Head, Development Initiatives, Confederation of Indian Industry.
The business case to fight TB is clear; TB affects the most productive age group in society, resulting in social pain and economic loss to businesses, communities and countries. According to government figures, TB costs Indian society more than US$ 3 billion, while 100 million productive workdays are estimated to be lost due to TB illness, contributing to a decline in worker productivity on the order of US$ 13 billion annually. Yet, TB is curable and, with the active involvement of business, the problem can be managed, at the workplace and in the community.
About the India Business Alliance
The India Business Alliance (IBA) was set up in 2004 by the World Economic Forum to increase the involvement of the business sector in TB care and control. Through its innovative public-private partnership model, the IBA has focused on mobilizing companies to educate, test, treat and support company employees and their dependents, and to raise public awareness of the growing public health threat of TB. In partnership with the CII, the Indian Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership, the Alliance is estimated to have reached nearly five million people, including the workforce and their dependents and community, through interventions of the member companies and NGO partners towards TB care and control.
Over the years, the IBA has brought together a number of organizations and leveraged their core competencies, resources and knowledge in the fight against TB. By using a combination of workplace and community programmes, the IBA members have provided critical diagnosis and treatment to those in need. A wealth of tools and best practices are available to help companies initiate TB care and control activities in collaboration with the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and other partners. The TB Workplace Awareness Toolkit, developed by the World Economic Forum with support from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership and in partnership with the International Council of Nurses, is an important awareness-building toolkit, focusing on TB, including the multi-drug resistant forms of the disease.