Maliyo relies on Telecoming to distribute its offer in the African mobile market

20.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Telecoming

The European Carrier Billing specialist expands its presence within the African market with a renowned local partner; The distribution agreement has been signed for six countries in the region.

Telecoming (www.Telecoming.com), the European technology company specialized in digital services monetization has closed an agreement with African company Maliyo Games, the pioneer mobile gaming company in Nigeria, to distribute its offer in the region. This agreement will allow Telecoming to enhance its presence across the African market. 

This agreement is part of Telecoming’s strategy to develop digital services with excellent user experience. According to Nicolas Gimenez, Telecoming’s Content Director “the combination of quality content and technology is key to offer services with a differential user experience. The African market offers endless opportunities for the mobile market. It is a region with excellent local content producers and where users demand innovative services to enjoy on mobile. The agreement with Maliyo games allows us to include a high-quality local offer in our state-of-the-art mobile services.

The games developed by Maliyo will be distributed among mobile users of 6 African countries. The bundle of Africa-themed games acquired by Telecoming has been designed to depict the everyday lives of Africans in general and Nigerians, in particular, with fun and engaging proposals to reach all ages audiences.

Maliyo Games seeks to provide Africans with all kind of entertaining games built on experiential content with a strong focus on the African daily culture.

Telecoming monetizes digital content in the region since 2015 in partnership with the leading mobile operators and the best local content producers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Telecoming.

Media Contact:
Bárbara González
barbara@bg10.es
M. +34 603 578 654

About Telecoming:
Specialized in mobile payments since 2008, Telecoming (www.Telecoming.com) develops technology to monetize digital services. The company works hand in hand with the main mobile operators to create solutions focused on improving the complete mobile customer journey: from the advertising to the payment. Finally, the company will continue leading the direct carrier billing market through innovation in new digital payment alternatives across the world. The London Stock Exchange has acknowledged the firm as one of the most Inspiring European Organizations. Moreover, it’s among Europe’s 500 fastest growing companies, according to Morningstar’s Inc. 5000 Ranking, 2018. More information: www.Telecoming.com

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Source: Apo-Opa

Committee Against Torture closes Sixty-Sixth Session

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
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The Committee against Torture this morning concluded its sixty-sixth session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Germany, South Africa, Benin, and the United Kingdom, on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.  The Committee also adopted its annual report.

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the reviewed countries will be available on the session’s website.

Sébastien Touze, Committee Rapporteur, introduced the Committee’s draft annual report on the activities carried out between May 2018 and May 2019, and said that during this period, the Committee had examined sixteen country reports and 54 individual communications, of which 25 had been decided on substance, seven had been declared inadmissible, and 22 had been closed.  There was a significant backlog in the examination of communications as 160 were pending, noted Mr. Touze.

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment had been ratified by 166 states and 68 States parties had accepted the Committee’s competence to receive communications, leading to a significant increase in the number of communications received during the reporting period.  The Committee had received 37 requests for interim measures of which it had accepted 28.  In this context, the threat of the cancellation of the third session of the Committee in November 2019 due to financial reasons would be included in the report as a major concern as it would have a catastrophic effect on the organization of work, said the Rapporteur.

The Committee then adopted the annual report.

Jens Modvig, Committee Chairperson, in his closing remarks, said that on 30 April the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had informed the Committee and other treaty bodies that due to a shortfall in funding it might not be able to hold a number of treaty bodies sessions scheduled for later this year.  This situation might have a serious consequence for the treaty bodies system as a whole and it was unfortunate that it was happening in the run up to the review of the system by the United Nations General Assembly in 2020, the Chair said and stressed that responding to the financial crisis by cutting back on the legally obligatory oversight of human rights commitment set a poor example and merely encouraged those States whose human rights required critical scrutiny to continue to evade their responsibilities by cutting funding even further.  A more effective response would be to protect the integrity of the human rights treaty body system, thereby sending a clear message to States that the legal oversight of their human rights obligations would remain intact.

During the sixty-sixth session, the Committee had heard from civil society organizations and discussed country reports on the agenda.  It had also considered the follow-up to articles 19 and 22 of the Convention concerning the concluding observations and individual communications.  The Committee had met with the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and the Convention against Torture Initiative, and it had held its first-ever meeting with the Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

The Committee thanked the non-governmental organizations supporting the work of the Committee, inlcuding the World Organization against Torture, the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the Omega Foundation, and Amnesty International.

Summaries of the Committee’s public meetings held during the session can be read here.

The sixty-seventh session of the Committee against Torture will be held from 22 July to 9 August 2019, during which the Committee will review the reports of Greece, Poland, and Togo, and will examine the situation in Bangladesh in the absence of a report.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
Source: Apo-Opa

UNMISS gives a boost to judicial processes in the Jonglei area (Gideon Sackitey)

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
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Daniel Deng, the Bor High Court Magistrate, is aware of one important fact:

“Training in judicial processes is critical to ensure fairness and professionalism in what we do.”

Mr. Deng made this declaration at the end of a one-day judicial training workshop conducted by the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) office in Bor.

“We don’t have such opportunities often” said Deng. “We have challenges of staffing and appropriate settings, which affect the administration of justice; these kind of programmes are vital to enhance what we do,” he concluded.

He said he was happy that representatives of the court, the rule of law institutions, the Local Government and a Bor lawyers’ association could receive such training after a long time, to support the administration of justice in the Jonglei area.

The objective of the workshop was also to strengthen the capacities of traditional courts’ members and to facilitate a discussion between formal and traditional justice systems. The discussion focused on the existent competencies and jurisdiction each body has, and the necessary cooperation needed for a good functioning of the judiciary in Bor town.

Alfred Zulu, UNMISS Human Rights Officer in Bor said they identified many challenges in the dispensation of justice in Bor caused by existing conflicts between customary and formal law, lack of knowledge of some legal aspects and the overlapping of competencies within the judicial system.

“The workshop was designed to bring all partners involved in the process, from detention to investigation, trial, defense and custody, to facilitate an enriching dialogue that would result in better cooperation, and clarify areas of concern,” Zulu added.

Mr. Deng alluded to the recent war in South Sudan and the migration of several people outside the country as a major factor stalling the effective functioning of the judicial system.

“We [the judicial system] have been affected in several ways by the conflict situation and the fact that we have a major staffing problem. Some have left the country while others have been transferred out of town.”

For Jacob Malou, a trainee advocate, the workshop was most appropriate as it presented him and other participants an opportunity to learn the different competences of the various courts.

‘I learnt a lot, including the issue of jurisdiction of the various courts. There is usually conflict and discrepancies between C Courts and B Courts, and how they relate at the Payam levels. These were all clarified, and we are going back to our jobs knowing much better what to do and dispense fairer and effective justice.”

A visit to the high court in Bor town confirmed the high number of cases and people, but only a handful of staff to process the cases.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Source: Apo-Opa

South Sudan Situation Report, 17 May 2019

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • More than 20,000 people displaced in Jur River County
  • Almost half of displaced people intend to leave Malakal Protection of Civilians site
  • Measles outbreak confirmed in 11 counties in South Sudan, upsurge in cases globally
  • United Nations allocates $11 million to help displaced people return
  • home Food insecurity increases, humanitarians urge for scale-up of aid

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

More than 20,000 people displaced in Jur River County Inter-communal violence has displaced more than 20,000 people since early March and has prevented thousands of civilians from returning to their homes in Kuajiena and Roc-Rocdong, Jur River County.

Since early March, cattle keepers from Tonj have come to Jur River searching for pasture for their livestock. Their attacks on villages in the area have led to reports of killing, rape, beating, and looting. People said they fear to return because of more attacks.

In Kuajiena, nearly 4,000 displaced people are currently sheltering at a primary school and in abandoned public buildings in the town.

In Roc-Rocdong, humanitarians have reported that nearly 8,000 people, mainly women and children have been displaced in Marial Bai and other neighbouring areas. At least 200 people, mostly women and unaccompanied children, are sheltering in a church compound and a primary school in Roc-Rocdong town.

Since March, nearly 4,500 newly displaced people in Wau PoC site and

The displaced people have called on the Government to provide security so that they can return home. But attacks continue to be reported in some of the villages, even after the deployment of Government forces to the area.

Humanitarian activities and ongoing to respond to urgent needs: safe water, food, emergency items and emergency shelter, primarily. In April, in Kuajiena, 4,200 people received 15-day food rations, and nutrition supplies to 900 children aged under 5 years were distributed. In Marial Bai and neighbouring settlements, over 7,000 people received a 15-day food ration.
Humanitarian organizations continue to engage with the political leaders in Tonj and Wau states to provide security for the displaced people to return to their villages.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Source: Apo-Opa

Global platform on disaster risk reduction: we need a drastic change of course

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

World Meterological Organization
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The impacts of climate change, associated sea level rise and extreme weather are amplifying as a result of record greenhouse gas levels and combining with urbanization, environmental degradation and water stress to produce interlocking crises. There needs to be a drastic change of course, according to the top global forum on disaster risk reduction.

“We live with the highest concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for 3 million years,”
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. The four warmest years on record have been in the past four years and the warming trend which has lasted since the start of this century is expected to continue as a result of the increase in greenhouse gas levels. Climate change mitigation is essential, as is climate change adaptation, he stressed.
 
“Last year, in the United States alone, there were 14 weather- and climate-related disasters where the devastation cost more than US$1 billion dollars each, with a total of some US$49 billion. Worldwide, more than 35 million people were affected by floods. This year, tropical cyclone Idai left more than 1000 people dead in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, and only a few weeks later tropical cyclone Kenneth was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall and strike the furthest north in Mozambique since modern records began,” said Mr Taalas.
 
The 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction focuses on accelerating action to boost resilience against interlocking natural hazards that disrupt or destroy the lives of millions of people every year. The platform is organized biennially by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and took place from 13 to 17 May.
 
Mr Taalas also delivered a joint statement on behalf of the UN system, declaring the need to “make a drastic change of course,” in order to tackle global crises.
 
“We do not have time to lose. As the UN Secretary-General has pointed out, ‘Climate change is moving faster than we are’. Urbanization and industrialization, water scarcity, land degradation and desertification, and biodiversity loss are some of the many inter-linked drivers of increasing disaster and climate change impacts. The most vulnerable countries and peoples are already facing the devastating impacts. As we have witnessed in Mozambique, India, East Africa and many other countries and regions around the world in the past years, climate and disaster risk is pushing millions of people back into poverty each year. Millions are displaced. Many are being left behind, » said the joint statement.
 
“We need to step up efforts to manage existing risks that have built up over time, while preventing as much as possible future risks from being created,” said the statement.

The global platform aims to accelerate progress towards the key targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the global plan to reduce disaster losses adopted by the international community in March 2015.
 
“If I had to select one sentence to describe the state of the world, I would say we are in a world in which global challenges are more and more integrated, and the responses are more and more fragmented, and if this is not reversed, it’s a recipe for disaster,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres commented in the Global Assessment Report 2019, published to coincide with the global platform.
 
The Global Platform aims to review progress, share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk.
 
Multi-hazard early warning conference
 
The outcome of the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference (MHEWC-II), hosted by WMO, fed into the global platform discussions. The meeting on 13-14 May was organized by the 19 partners of the International Network for Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (IN-MHEWS) and additional organizations.
 
The conference focused on improved warnings – and improved action – in the face of hazards like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, extreme weather, water and climate events and the interlocking challenges of climate change, population increase, urbanization and environmental degradation. 
 
“From WMO’s perspective, we see that the engine of disaster risk reduction are the early warning systems. Disaster risk reduction is like a car and early warning systems are the engine,” Mr Taalas said.
 
Just as the engine needs to propel the car to the last mile, and the last metre, it is essential that early warnings reach those who need them most, the Second Multi-Hazard Early Warning Conference heard.
 
The conference discussed success stories, but also challenges.
 
Mussa Mustafa, Deputy Director-General of Mozambique’s national meteorological and hydrological service, highlighted the catastrophe caused by the unprecedented back-to-back cyclones, which killed hundreds of people and caused massive devastation.

For Cyclone Idai, he said that the community in low-lying areas was caught without flood warnings.
 
There was no contingency plan to deal with an event of such magnitude. The response was too slow and there was a total breakdown in communications and basic services. Beira and surrounding areas received 30% of annual rainfall in a few days. Too much attention was focussed on the fury of the wind, and not enough on the flooding potential of the  torrential rainfall.
 
Cyclone Kenneth hit an area not used to intense tropical cyclones and so a major challenge was convincing the community to evacuate, he said.
 
Although nine in 10 of disasters triggered by natural hazards have been caused by floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves and other high-impact weather, the majority of fatalities in the past 20 years were due to geophysical events, mostly earthquakes and tsunamis.
 
Indonesia, which sits on the Ring of Fire, experienced 11,920 earthquake events in 2018. However, two deadly tsunamis, which killed hundreds of people, were due to sub-marine slides, and volcanic eruption. The country’s early warning system was only compatible for tsunamis induced by earthquakes, said Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG). Indonesia is in the process of moving to a multi-hazard early warning system to try to meet the challenges, she said.
 
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission stressed the need for “new innovation, new investment and new science” to improve the tsunami early warning and monitoring network and to move towards a multi-source approach.
 
Destruction of the environment and ecosystems has aggravated the challenge. Deforestation increases the risk of heavy precipitation triggering floods and landslides and, because of the loss of trees, accentuates drought.
 
“This is no longer a natural hazard, this is manmade disaster,” said Pascal Peduzzi, of UN Environment’s Global Resource Information Database (GRID). “We need a 10-year early warning system to take care of the environment,” he said.
 
MHEWS-II Recommendations
 
The conference agreed a series of recommendations for further action. It also issued a communique from directors of 19 participating national meteorological and hydrological services reaffirming their commitment to improving multi-hazard early warnings.

The last mile

Innovations in the development of information and communication technologies can be effectively used to reach vulnerable communities. But it is vital to ensuring a people-centred approach when developing an early warning system that takes into account people’s needs, their perceptions of risk, how different community members access and communicate information. We need to move away from the “top down” approach.
 
 “The role of human behaviour in the warnings is pivotal. We need to put people at the centre,” said David Johnston, of New Zealand’s Geological Survey.
  
Enhancing the link between early warning and early action through impact-based forecasts
 
There has been enormous progress in weather forecasting over the years and this now needs to advance from what the weather will be to what the weather will do – known as “impact-based” forecasting. Partnerships between the scientific and research communities and humanitarian and development practitioners are essential to ensure that warnings translate to actions. Communication of early warning messages needs to be tailored to stakeholders to ensure they understand the messages and how to act on them.
 
The Cyclone Preparedness Programme for Bangladesh – a joint programme between the government of Bangladesh and the Red Crescent Society – said that the refugee crisis in camps in low-lying coastal areas had led to an “early warning system on steroids.” Collective action and mobilization had ensured that all camps were prepared ahead of the advance of tropical cyclone Fani earlier in May.
 
Science, technology and innovation
 
Satellite technology and computing power have facilitated advances in monitoring, prediction and interpretation of hazards. But application of the best science and technology is wasted if communication is wrong.
 
“We need the early warnings to be useful, usable and used and to address real user problems and inform viable user responses,” Brian Golding, of the UK’s Met Office, told the closing session.
 
Making early-warning systems multi-hazard
 
The conference recommended a phased approach to multi-hazard early warning systems. It stressed the need for sustainable resourcing and the need to combine technological developments with societal innovation. Traditional, indigenous and local knowledge should be leveraged and the system must be kept simple and yet adaptable. Open data exchange is crucial to saving lives.
 
“Multi-hazard early warning systems are extremely complex. But the reality is that citizens must make immediate decisions based on that information, which has to be distilled in a way that people can understand and take actions to save their lives and reduce their risk,” said Michel Jean, President of WMO’s Commission for Basic Systems.
  
Measuring the effectiveness of multi-hazard early warning systems
 
The conference recognized the need to demonstrate the benefits of early warning and their value in terms of investment.
 
Magagi Laouan, Minister of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management of Niger, said that 3,702 registered disasters have cost his country more than US$3 billion in the past 40 years. They have killed 10,625 people, 17 million  livestock animals and destroyed 72,000 homes and 2.6 million hectares of agricultural land. Niger has now set up an early warning system. With support from the Global Framework for Climate Services and the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative, known for short as CREWS, authorities are working to reduce weather and climate-related losses and boost productivity in agriculture and to ensure that drought does not deteriorate into famine.
 
The Democratic Republic of Congo is modernizing its hydro-meteorological service, with support from the multi-donor CREWS initiative, the conference was told. The US$8 million project is expected to lead to eight-fold benefits worth US$64 million, especially for agriculture, with knock-on benefits for other sectors.
 
The World Bank, through its Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction, is working to upgrade multi-hazard early warning systems in developing countries and calculates a benefit/cost ratio of at least 3:1. Its action plan on climate change adaptation and resilience aims to expand access to high-quality hydrometeorological data and early warnings systems for an additional 250 million people in at least 30 developing countries by 2025.
  
Governance for multi-hazard early warning systems
 
Key messages include the need for legal and policy frameworks, community engagement and partnerships among academia, the public and private sector.
 
“Meteorological and other scientific information alone cannot lead to disaster risk reduction if governments have no framework and do not understand what action they can take. The legal framework is critical. This needs a joint effort from all of us,” said WMO Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Meterological Organization.
Source: Apo-Opa

The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) reinforce cooperation to empower women peacebuilders in the region

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS)
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The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in partnership with the UN System Staff College (UNSSC), the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), organized a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop at the KAIPTC in Accra on 13-17 May 2019.

The Deputy Commandant of the KAIPTC, Brigadier General Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey, opened the closing ceremony, Distinguished guests included: Mrs. Freda Prempeh, Ghana Honorable Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection; Mr. Pingrenoma Zagre, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Ghana; Mr. Ron Strikker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ghana. Representatives of the diplomatic missions of Mali and Canada also attended.

The workshop forms part of a strong commitment of ECOWAS and UNOWAS to further empower women peacebuilders in West Africa and the Sahel.

Over 30 participants representing eleven countries in the region were trained in conflict analysis, mediation and gender dimensions of conflict, mainly drawn from the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework and UNOWAS’ Conflict Analysis Handbook.

During the training, participants were equipped with the skills needed to train women stakeholders in conflict analysis and prevention in their own countries and communities.

To maximize the impact of such efforts, ECOWAS and UNOWAS agreed to strengthen linkages between regional, national and local peace initiatives by capitalizing on existing institutional structures, including ECOWAS early warning and special representatives’ offices and the regional Working Group on women, youth, peace and security.

“Today there is a positive momentum in West Africa in terms of the awareness of promoting women leadership and participation in peacemaking. Without women’s inclusion, peace is not sustainable. We need to redouble our efforts to support capacity-building and skills training for women. UNOWAS is committed to working with ECOWAS to achieve this important objective,” said the UN Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, at the closing ceremony.

On her part, the ECOWAS representative Mrs. Onyinye Onwuka, Head of the Political Affairs and International Cooperation Division, emphasized that “the regional Training of Trainers Workshop coincides with the 10th anniversary of the ground-breaking ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) of which Women, Peace and Security is one of the fifteen components.” She further noted that “it is crucial to encourage an integrated approach among international, regional and national actors to accentuate women’s capacities for conflict analysis and prevention.”

ECOWAS and UNOWAS remain determined to cement their partnership to empower women peacebuilders in the region with the support of other partners.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).
Source: Apo-Opa

UAE helps release of four civilians held captive in Libya

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Coperation
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Four detainees – three Filipinos and a South Korean – who were held captive by armed groups in Libya, have been released thanks to “intensive efforts” made by the UAE “in coordination and cooperation” with the Libyan National Army, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.

The civilians, who were held captive last year by some Libyan armed groups in west Libya, were airlifted to Abu Dhabi prior to be taken to their home countries.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that the detainees, who work as civil engineers, were held captive while working at a desalination plant in west Libya.

“Upon receiving requests from the Philippines and South Korea, the UAE communicated with the Libyan National Army to work on releasing them and to ensure their safety,”

the statement said.

“As a result of a solid cooperation and coordination between the UAE and the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, search efforts had continued and resulted in finding them safely.

“The UAE is working on sending them to their home countries.

“The release of these innocent civilians has been made after intensive efforts to convey a message about the significance and importance of strengthening security and peace in Libya, and to contain criminal practices by armed groups who hold civilians captive without any consideration to international charters and norms.

“In this case, they did not consider that these civilians work for companies that are serving national interests of Libya and its people,” the statement added.

“The release of these innocents means reuniting them with their families, and getting them back home after a long period of suffering,” the statement concluded.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Coperation.
Source: Apo-Opa

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed receives South African counterpart

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Coperation

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received in Abu Dhabi today Lindiwe Sisulu, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, to discuss ways of enhancing joint cooperation within the framework of friendship ties between the two countries.

The two ministers also exchanged views on the latest developments in the region and discussed a host of regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE and South Africa maintain a strong friendship and cooperation in several domains and the two countries are keen on bolstering them for the best interest of their people.

The South African minister expressed her country's desire to expand its cooperation with the UAE.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Coperation.

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U.S. State Department hosts “Ethiopia Partnership Forum”

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The U.S. Department of State hosted the “Ethiopia Partnership Forum”, an economic engagement platform organized in by the Secretary of State’s office of Global Partnerships in collaboration with the Corporate Council on Africa, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Citi in Washington D.C.

In remarks at the opening panel discussion, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor stressed that these opportunities for investment are made possible by Ethiopia’s political & economic reform measures. He also encouraged U.S. companies to “expand and evolve the way our businesses and investors view Ethiopia, so that they can be a part of what is shaping up to be one of the world’s great stories of economic success.”

The Forum brought 400 business leaders together with Ethiopian and U.S. government officials to learn about investment opportunities and discuss a variety of areas including issues including access to capital, infrastructure in the telecom and power sectors, agriculture and smarter value chain, startups as an engine of growth, and the economic role of creative industries.

The Ambassador told participants, “The shift away from a state-led model of economic development, toward one that taps more fully into private sector growth and creativity, is rapidly opening new opportunities. And these economic reforms are part of a broader reform agenda that has, with incredible speed, established Ethiopia’s strong commitment to true multiparty democracy, which is already underpinned by strong respect for individual rights and the rule of law, as well as an inclusive political landscape.” 

The Ethiopian Partnership Forum seeks to build on the already vibrant U.S. commercial representation in Ethiopia – the American Chamber of Commerce boasts 41 member companies, and is expected to grow to more than 50 in the coming months.

The “Ethiopia Partnerships Forum featured panelists from the United States and Ethiopia, including Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States Fitsum Arega; Mr. Mamo Mihretu, Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Abiy and Chief Trade Negotiator; Mr. Skip Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Agreements and Compliance at the U.S. Department of Commerce; Mr. Eric Meyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, U.S. Department of Treasury; and Mr. Scott Eisner, President of the U.S. Africa Business Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; among others.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Mitigating displacement due to Climate Change, Disasters a Risk Reduction Priority, International Organization for Migration (IOM) says

17.May.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Climate change and disasters are driving more people to move than ever before, whether due to sudden onset disasters like the unprecedented cyclones that devastated Southern Africa earlier this year, or destructive long-term weather patterns causing drought.

Last year alone more than 17 million people were displaced following disasters – accounting for 61 per cent of all internal displacements globally, according to Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, one of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) partners. 

The Sixth Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GP 2019) in Geneva this week provides an opportunity for dialogue and knowledge sharing on strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and building resilience globally. Participants also renewed their commitment to the implementation of the Sendai DRR Framework (2015-2030). 

The event, organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and hosted by the Government of Switzerland, convened more than 4,000 government officials, DRR practitioners, academics and representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and community groups. 

Under the theme ʺResilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Societiesʺ, IOM welcomes the attention given to disaster displacement at the GP 2019 through several dedicated working sessions and interventions, says Louis Hoffmann, IOM's Head of Transition and Recovery. 

 “We must all step up efforts to address disaster risk, including by preventing displacement, preparing and responding appropriately when it occurs, and by supporting sustainable solutions to displacement in the post-disaster phase,” Hoffmann told the GP 2019 on Thursday. 

He reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to enhance joint UN support for countries to meet their targets under the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

“IOM remains committed to working with states and communities to strengthen resilience, while promoting the vital benefits and opportunities that mobility can bring, when safe and dignified, for those seeking a better life,” says Hoffmann. 

Since IOM launched its Strategic Workplan on DRR two years ago, the Organization has helped more than 70 countries prevent and mitigate the effects of disasters, training more than 6,400 government officials and providing direct assistance to 1.4 million people. 

In Bangladesh, Yemen, Rwanda, El Salvador, among other countries, IOM works to improve early warning systems, provide trainings on post-disaster recovery as well as support capacity building on climate change and migration. Following Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, IOM provided shelter to more than 85,000 survivors, and stands ready to help the government build back better in the recovery phase. 

As a member of the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI), IOM contributes its expertise to assessments in countries vulnerable to disaster displacement. It also advises states on how to maximize the positive contributions migrants make to promote resilience in their communities. 

The Organization supports other state-led initiatives, such as the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), to further ensure the inclusion of displaced persons and migrants in DRR action. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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