South Africa hosts First Lead Author Meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information
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South Africa, through the Department of Environmental Affairs, will host the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II First Lead Author Meeting of the Sixth Assessment Report from 21 to 25 January 2019 in Durban.

IPCC is an international body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

The IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climate related policies, and they underlie negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The assessments are policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive. They may present projections of future climate change based on different scenarios and the risks that climate change poses and discuss the implications of response options, but they do not prescribe to policymakers what actions to take.

With 195 members and thousands of people from all over the world contributing to its work, IPCC is divided into three Working Groups and a Task Force. Working Group I deals with The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, Working Group II with Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and Working Group III with Mitigation of Climate Change. The main objective of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

The IPCC Working Group Lead Authors will spend a week focusing on the assessment of relevant literature, especially since the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The Working Group II scope will cover inter alia the following thematic areas: Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their services ; Ocean and coastal ecosystems and their services ; Water; Food, fibre, and other ecosystem products; Cities, settlements and key infrastructure; Health, wellbeing and the changing structure of communities; Poverty, livelihoods and sustainable development; Sustainable development pathways: integrating adaptation and mitigation; etc.

Members of the media are invited to attend a media briefing and the opening ceremony that will be addressed by IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee, Vice Chair Youba Sokona and the Working Group II Co-Chairs Debra Roberts and Hans-Otto Pörtner. The media briefing and the opening ceremony will take place as follows:

Date:               Monday 21 January 2019

Time:              08:00 – 10:00

Venue:            Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center, Durban

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.
Source: Apo-Opa

Workers and Organised Labour urged to be vigilant about compliance with National Minimum Wage Act

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Republic of South Africa: The Parliament
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The Portfolio Committee on Labour has encouraged all workers and organised labour to be vigilant in ensuring that employers comply with the National Minimum Wage Act, as promulgated in November 2018.

The Act became operational from 1 January 2019, setting the hourly wage at R20 for those workers who are not covered by the country’s dual wage-setting system. The minimum wages for sectors that are organised into bargaining councils are determined through collective bargaining systems.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Labour, Mr Lemias Mashile, said that the national minimum wage represents a marked increase in income for the more than six million workers of South Africa’s labour force, who were previously earning less than R20 an hour.

“Farm workers, domestic workers and workers employed in an Expanded Public Works Programme are entitled to an hourly rate of R18, R15 and R11 respectively. The National Minimum Wage Commission will come up with a proposal for these categories to increase these salaries within two years,” said Mr Mashile.

The committee understands that the South African labour market is characterised by high levels of inequality, unemployment and poverty. Statistics South Africa has also reported that at the end of the third quarter of 2018, out of a labour force of 22.6 million, 16.4 million or 72.5% were employed.

The committee has encouraged the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and the courts to be ready to intervene when non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act is reported.

The committee will continue to conduct oversight on effective implementation of the Act.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
Source: Apo-Opa

Kenya / Rugby: Ojee Captain Shuuja squad on duty at the Hamilton and Sydney 7s

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

Jacob Ojee will skipper the Shujaa squad during the Hamilton and Sydney 7s deputized by Michael Wanjala. Commenting on his selection of Ojee as Captain, Head Coach Paul Murunga had this to say, “Ojee is able to lead the team. This has been noted enough times during our training sessions where he ensures all players communicate, his experience in the wing in the 15s version of the game as well as in the 7s is also very key. Wanjala’s past experience in the international sevens stage is also very crucial as we head out to New Zealand.”

“It's an honour to Captain Shujaa. It is a huge responsibility but with the current squad, I am confident that we are going to improve on our performance.”- Jacob Ojee.

Former Kenya Under 19 Captain, Harold Anduvate is also part of the team on National Duty. He is one of five new call ups into the squad: Brian Wandera, Eliakim Kichoi both who were in the Safari7s squad while Eliakim was also part of the team that traveled to Tunisia for the Africa Men’s 7s. William Reeve has also received a nod from the Head Coach. They are joined by Cyprian Kuto, Johnstone Olindi, Brian Wahinya, Vincent Onyala and Daniel Taabu all who were in the Dubai and CapeTown 7s legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series. Bush Mwale makes a comeback into the squad after one season hiatus. He was last in the set up during the 2016/2017 season under former Coach Innocent Simiyu.

Murunga is confident that based on the training sessions the team has had, they will improve on their performance as the HSBC Caravan heads to New Zealand.

Charles Omondi and Alvin Otieno miss out on the tournament due to injuries. Mark Wandetto travels as player thirteen.

The team is currently ranked 14th on the HSBC Standings log with four points. They will kick off their campaign on 26th January at 0022Hrs against South Africa, three hours later they’ll meet Scotland for the second time this season at 0348Hrs before ending their day one at 0800Hrs against France.

Shujaa Squad to Hamilton/Sydney 7s

Jacob Ojee – ©(KCB) Michael Wanjala – Vice Captain (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Cyprian Kuto(Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Vincent Onyala(KCB), Brian Wahinya(Blakblad), Brian Wandera(Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Daniel Taabu(Stanbic Mwamba), Johnstone Olindi(Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Bush Mwale(Menengai Cream Homeboyz), William Reeve(Kenya Harlequins), Eliakim Kichoi(Stanbic Mwamba), Harold Anduvate(Menengai Oilers), Mark Wandetto(Menengai Cream Homeboyz).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).

Media Contact:
Rugby@APO-opa.org
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Marriott International announces Marriott Bonvoy – the new brand name of its Loyalty Program

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott International (www.Marriott.com) today unveiled Marriott Bonvoy, the new loyalty brand replacing the current loyalty brands – Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – and reflecting the unmatched benefits, single loyalty portfolio and experiences announced last year. Marriott Bonvoy is built on the belief that travel enriches us all and has the power to enrich the world. Marriott Bonvoy launches on February 13 when the logo and branding begins rolling out across all consumer touchpoints, including on property, marketing and sales channels, digital, mobile and co-brand credit cards, bolstered by a multimillion-dollar global media campaign starting in late February.

“Marriott Bonvoy marks an evolution in travel because it represents more than a loyalty program,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. “Marriott Bonvoy is a travel program designed to bring to life our extraordinary portfolio of global brands in 129 countries and territories, while also providing endless inspiration for members to keep traveling and pursuing their passions.”

Linnartz continued, “Represented by a simple, bold and modern logo, Marriott Bonvoy is welcoming and optimistic. Our 120 million members have access to the world’s leading hotel portfolio at the best room rates and member benefits, as well our collection of Moments experiences that bring exploration and discovery of the world to the forefront.”

Beginning on February 13, Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments will become Marriott Bonvoy Moments, which together with Marriott Moments will feature approximately 120,000 experiences in 1,000 destinations available for purchase or by redeeming points. In addition. In addition to accessing locally relevant sights and excursions, such as hiking into glacial Patagonia, desert treks on camelback in Morocco or cruising to Vietnam’s timeless floating villages, members can indulge in once-in-a-lifetime experiences like cooking alongside renowned chefs Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert, or honing football skills in a master class with Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Throughout 2019, Marriott will bring Marriott Bonvoy to life with a series of experiential events for members taking advantage of the company’s marketing partnerships with iconic brands including the NCAA and the FIA Formula One™ World Champions, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, as well as through sponsorships such as the Oscars®, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Dubai Jazz Festival, The Hong Kong Sevens and The PGA Tour World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.

On August 18, 2018, Marriott launched one loyalty program with unified benefits under its three legacy loyalty brands — Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG.  On February 13, the combined program completes its integration under one name, Marriott Bonvoy.

With Marriott Bonvoy, members will have access to Marriott’s portfolio of diverse brands including the largest collection of lifestyle and luxury properties. Whether it is sun-soaked overwater bungalows at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, mountain-side resorts nestled against ski slopes like at The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler, beachfront properties hugging pristine sands like at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali, to iconic urban towers offering panoramic views like at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, or former palatial residences like The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel (Venice); Marriott Bonvoy provides members an unparalleled offering of experiences together with the opportunity to earn desirable member benefits.

Since Marriott introduced the unified loyalty benefits under Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG last August, members have been able to seamlessly book stays and earn and redeem points across the entire portfolio and achieve Elite status faster with new Elite tiers. Members now earn on average 20 percent more points per dollar spent.

The launch of Marriott Bonvoy will introduce two new names for previous Elite status tier names:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite will replace Platinum Premier Elite for members who surpass 75 nights.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite will replace Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador. This top Elite status tier recognizes members who surpass 100 nights and more than $20,000 in spend annually. These members enjoy the highest level of personalization with a dedicated ambassador to help plan their travel and cater to their needs one-on-one. 

Marriott Bonvoy will usher in a new mobile experience. Members using either the SPG or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards apps are encouraged to download the current Marriott app now which will automatically update to become the Marriott Bonvoy app on February 13. The SPG and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards apps will be deactivated on that date.

Members can learn more about Marriott Bonvoy at MeetMarriottBonvoy.marriott.com where they also can watch a short video describing the new brand. To download the media kit including images and video, please click here (https://bit.ly/2RAF0nm). To learn more about the loyalty program benefits, please visit www.Marriott.com.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

Media Contact:
Anjali Mehra
+971 565396555
anjali.mehra@marriott.com

Rahaf Awad
+971 55 591 0723
MarriottInternational@fourcommunications.com

About Marriott Bonvoy:
Marriott Bonvoy (MeetMarriottBonvoy.marriott.com) is the company’s new travel program built on the belief that travel enriches its members and the world around them. Launching in February 2019, Marriott Bonvoy replaces Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). Comprised of a portfolio of extraordinary brands where you can earn and redeem, as well as offering approximately 120,000 destination tours and adventures on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, the travel program enables members to explore the world in pursuit of their passions. Under Marriott Bonvoy’s five Elite tiers, status is more achievable than ever. With a single currency, earning and redeeming points is faster and simpler, and members can accelerate the points they earn with Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card from Emirates NBD and Mastercard® in the UAE. When members book direct on Marriott.com they receive all the perks that come with Elite status, including, free and enhanced Wi-Fi and exclusive member-only rates, and on the Marriott app they enjoy mobile check-in and checkout, Mobile Requests and, wherever available, Mobile Key. In addition to featuring a powerful travel program, Marriott.com also offers 30 extraordinary brands to book, endless experiences and the best available rates. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit MeetMarriottBonvoy.marriott.com. To download the Marriott app, go here (https://bit.ly/1pLWqG9). Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy on Facebook (https://bit.ly/2TSZQLb), Twitter (https://bit.ly/2SWnFBR) and Instagram (https://bit.ly/2RvhCaD).
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Marriott International, Inc.
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Kenya / Rugby: Sylvia Kamau Takes Over as Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) CEO

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

The Rugby Union Board of Directors wishes to announce to all Affiliates, Sponsors and the rugby fraternity that it has confirmed Sylvia Kamau as CEO for an initial period of one year effective January 1 2019.

Sylvia Kamau took over from Ronald Bukusi who resigned in July 2018. This was necessitated by the need for continuity as KRU (www.KRU.co.ke) continues to engage partners in sponsorship initiative & restructure its operations despite the challenging operating environment.

Under her watch, she has successfully led KRU’s Secretariat in a number of critical programs including the Safari Sevens, the Rugby World Cup Qualifier for the Fifteens and the start of the 2018-19 HSBC World Sevens Series.

The Board wishes Sylvia Kamau the very best as she embarks on this journey and requests all stakeholders to support her as she takes on this challenging but exciting responsibility.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).

Media Contact:
Rugby@APO-opa.org
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Water and Sanitation must put measures to prevent further loss of life in Giyani

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Republic of South Africa: The Parliament
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The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Mr Mlungisi Johnson, has called for urgent measures to prevent any further loss of life caused by open manholes and trenches in Giyani and other parts of SA.

This follows the drowning of Nsuku Mhlongo of Homu Village in Giyani who drowned in a trench left open following the cessation of work at Giyani Bulk Water Project.

The drowning is a reminder of the injustice that has been inflicted on the people of Giyani, who should have benefited from the water project. “The committee has over a period of time called for payment of the service provider on work done in order to ensure that work in the area is completed and that residents get water which is their constitutional right,” Mr Johnson said.

At the heart of this unfortunate and preventable death is the inability to plan within the Department of Water and Sanitation that has seen the depletion of funds, whereas the planned work is not implemented.

The department has over the past few years spent almost 100% of appropriated funds but has only achieved less than 50% of its targets.

“It is heart-breaking that a young life full of promise has been cut shot because of the ineptitude and incompetence of many within the department of Water and Sanitation. This is completely unacceptable, and someone must take full responsibility for this irresponsible act of negligence,” Mr Johnson emphasised.

“On behalf of the people of SA, as public representatives, I convey sincere condolences to the immediate Mhlongo family and the broader family.” added Mr Johnson.

The department has a construction unit that must be urgently dispatched to Giyani, not only to close the open manholes but to come up with measures to complete the project and provide people of the area with their constitutional right, that is, water.

The committee will in its first meeting of the year require the department to clarify plans they have put in place to find funding aimed at finishing the project in Giyani and others in a similar state.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
Source: Apo-Opa

Terrorist attacks in Kenya

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Republic of South Africa: The Parliament
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The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Siphosezwe Masango, has said that terrorist attacks such as those experienced in Kenya are deeply concerning and have no place in Africa. Mr Masango extended heartfelt condolences to the people of Kenya on behalf of the committee.

Two terrorist attacks have been reported in Kenya in which a number of people died.

“The world must root out these violent attacks and decisively deal with the conditions that provide fertile ground for them. The committee believes that negotiations are always preferable in resolving these issues,” Mr Masango said.

Mr Masango said terrorist attacks do not provide the stability that so essential in many African countries for accelerated economic growth.

“All necessary measures should be taken to protect and assist vulnerable citizens. What happened in Kenya should not be happening, and all concerned should work hard in ensuring a safer world and a safer Africa.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
Source: Apo-Opa

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the terrorist attack in Nairobi

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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The Secretary-General strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Nairobi today. He is following developments in the Kenyan capital closely. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a swift recovery. The Secretary-General expresses his solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Source: Apo-Opa

National Micronutrient Survey launched in Somalia

16.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

UNICEF Somalia
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The Ministry of Health and Human services of the Federal Government of Somalia today launches the Somali National Micronutrient Survey together with UNICEF and partners. The Survey is the first major nutrition survey the country is conducting since 2009.

“For the next four months, we will be collecting critical health, nutrition and behavioral data related to micronutrient at household level that will help us better understand the health and nutritional status of children and women in Somalia,” said Dr Fawziya Abikar, Minister of Health. “The process may be complex, but the results will be worthwhile: they will provide us with vital information about the health challenges we face, and help us come up with more relevant, cost-effective strategies to build a healthier, well-nourished population today, and a prosperous nation tomorrow.”

Micronutrients, such as iodine, vitamin A and iron, are essential building blocks of good health. Their deficiency represents a major threat to the health and development of populations, particularly children and pregnant women, and has critical long-term effects including not reaching full cognitive, social, economic and physical potentials. Research has shown that micronutrient deficiency decreases learning capacity and work productivity, and may severely lower income for the individual, family and country.

“UNICEF congratulates the Ministry of Health and Human Services of the Federal Government of Somalia on leading the Survey. This represents a major step forward towards improving the health and nutritional status of the country’s children and women,” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Somalia Acting Representative. “We feel very honored to be part of the process. We call on all health partners to continue investing in data collection to help us accurately assess and respond to the health and nutritional needs of children. By doing so we help build a stronger and healthier workforce and economic foundation for Somalia.”

Since 2010, the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and partners have worked together on several key micronutrient initiatives, including twice-yearly vitamin A supplementation for children aged 6-59 months, multiple-micronutrient supplementation for pregnant and breastfeeding women, provision of micronutrient powders to households, and promotion of micronutrient and breastfeeding through Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) programme. The survey will be critical in refining these initiatives and informing the development of an integrated response to address micronutrient deficiency in Somalia.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF Somalia.
Source: Apo-Opa

Groundbreaking Study highlights responses to Sexual Violence Against Children

15.January.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

The Economist Newspaper Limited
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Child sexual abuse and exploitation happen everywhere and are pressing concerns for both wealthy and developing countries alike, according to a first-of-its-kind research programme, Out of the Shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation. Developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit (www.EIU.com) with support from the World Childhood Foundation and Oak Foundation and with additional support from the Carlson Family Foundation, the Out of the Shadows Index and report are unique tools that reveal how 40 countries at the national level are confronting child sexual abuse and exploitation. The policies, practices and standards presented in the index highlight how governments, the private sector and civil society can move toward achieving Target 16.2 in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for ending all forms of violence against children by 2030.

Created with guidance from an international panel of experts, the index covers a comprehensive range of critical issues, including policies on child marriage, reproductive and sexual health, gender differences, law enforcement, and child sexual abuse online, where the expansion of broadband internet has placed more children at risk. Index indicators also focus on the engagement of businesses in fighting child sexual abuse and exploitation, especially the technology and travel/tourism industries. The 40 countries included in the index cover 70% of the global population under 19 years of age.

Key findings from the Out of the Shadows study:

The UK, Sweden and Canada hold the top three positions in the index. UK government policy to protect children is particularly well developed, and the country has a high level of engagement from industry, civil society and the media. Sweden’s overall environment for children and its legal framework are especially strong, as are Canada’s. Complete rankings are available online at OutoftheShadows.eiu.com.

Data to measure and understand the scale of the problem are lacking. Despite investments and efforts globally to combat and catalogue online child sexual abuse and to track reported  incidents of sexual violence against children, just half of the 40 countries reviewed in this index collect nationally representative prevalence data on child sexual abuse and only five collect such data on child sexual exploitation.

Boys are overlooked. Just over half (21) of the 40 countries do not have legal protections for boys within their child rape laws, while only 18 countries collect prevalence data about sexual abuse of boys.

Country action has been most pronounced on legal frameworks that protect children. International coalitions can be a path to better legislation, and countries that have strong legal structures  also have good fundamentals, including designated national plans, policies and institutions to address sexual violence against children.

Combatting child sexual abuse and exploitation is becoming a greater priority on the global stage and in many individual countries, and research shows that progress is possible even when resources are limited.

Sexual violence against children takes place mostly in the shadows, but is a universal threat— no boy or girl is immune. Yet this especially pernicious form of abuse is rarely discussed, even though its emotional and health consequences linger, and the socioeconomic impacts can be devastating. The risks to children have been greatly increased by improved communications connectivity and mobility, which make it easier for offenders to find and lure children online.

What can countries and companies do? Barriers and pathways to progress in fighting sexual violence against children are discussed in detail in the index report and data model, which are

available online at OutoftheShadows.eiu.com.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Economist Newspaper Limited.

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eiu-international@grayling.com

About The Economist Intelligence Unit
The  Economist  Intelligence  Unit (The EIU) (www.EIU.com) is  the  research  arm  of  The  Economist  Group, publisher  of  The Economist.  As  the  world’s  leading  provider  of  country  intelligence,  it  helps governments, institutions and businesses by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis of economic  and  development  strategies.  Through  its  public  policy  practice,  The EIU provides evidence-based research for policymakers and stakeholders seeking measureable outcomes, in fields  ranging  from  gender  and  finance  to  energy  and  security.  It  conducts  research  through interviews, regulatory analysis, quantitative modelling and forecasting, and displays the results via interactive data visualisation tools. Through a global network of more than 750 analysts and contributors,  The  EIU  continuously  assesses  and  forecasts  political,  economic  and  business conditions in more than 200 countries. For more information, visit www.EIU.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theeiu.

Source: Apo-Opa