ECOWAS Wants Liberia Ratify Kampala Convention on IDPs

first_imgExecutives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission in Liberia have called on the National Legislature to ratify the Kampala Convention.The Kampala Convention among other things calls for the establishment of a legal framework for preventing external displacement, and protecting and assisting of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), framework for solidarity, cooperation, promotion of durable solutions and mutual support between states parties, and providing for the respective obligations of armed groups, non state actors and other relevant actors including civil society organizations.The IDPs are people obliged to flee their homes or places of habitual residence in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violation of human rights, natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internally recognized state border.The Kampala Convention of the African Union (AU) on IDPs adopted by ECOWAS underscores that states parties are obligated to prevent political, social, cultural and economic exclusion and marginalization of citizens, ensure individual responsibility and accountability for acts of arbitrary displacement, including for that of non-state actors, and may seek the cooperation of international organizations or humanitarian agencies and civil society organizations.The convention further obliges parties to protect their population against arbitrary displacement and displacement caused by project.During period of displacement, states parties are also to bear the primary responsibility for providing protection and assistance to IDPs within their territories, including IDPs registration and documentation; respect the mandate of the AU and the United Nations (UN) and the role of international humanitarian agencies in providing protection and assistance, and uphold and ensure respect of the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence of humanitarian actors.It (Kampala Convention) requires states parties to protect humanitarian personnel, respect and ensure respect for the civilian and humanitarian character of places where IDPs are sheltered.ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia, Ambassador Tunde O. Ajisomo said the workshop about Post IDP Conference Advocacy Mission to Liberia was meant to discuss the adoption of commitment Liberia had made with respect to the Kampala Convention about the welfare of the IDPs.He said there were discussions at a local resort in Monrovia a few years back where the need for making laws to protect IDPs was discussed, and with this commitment, ECOWAS is looking up to Liberia Parliamentarians to ratify the convention.Amidst the Ebola crisis which couple with other natural disasters, Ambassador Ajisomo said drives internal displacement, has urged ECOWAS countries to remain vigilant and strengthen the health sector in a collective effort.Of recent flood disaster due to heavy downpour had displaced many residents of Monrovia, while fire disaster and demolition of congested slum communities in Accra displaced thousands in Ghana.For UNHCR Acting Representative Ioli Kimyaci, her organization has been collaborating with the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to sensitize people about the significance of ratifying the Kampala Convention.Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, ECOWAS Social and Gender Affairs Commissioner, also recalled that an agreement had been reached among West African leaders for strong implementation of the Kampala Convention, and sensitization carried out so that people will be aware of its domestication and implementation.She said the meeting on July 2, 2015, was a snapshot to get ECOWAS countries see reason for the implementation of the convention since it has been agreed on by all parties.Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh who arrived when the opening formalities were drawing to a close, said Liberia remains committed to ECOWAS and the Kampala Convention as ECOWAS role in the sub-region in restoring peace is visible to all.He also noted that signing and ratifying convention was not enough, but Africans must learn to domesticate and reform laws that will be in conformity with international instrument.Nimba County Representative, Sam Kogar, remark pledged to rally around his fellow lawmakers to ensure the convention is ratify.Meanwhile, the discussion held in Monrovia was in commemoration of IDP Sensitization Mission to Liberia 40th Anniversary. The discussions took into consideration scores of issues including humanitarian affairs policy and action plan, presentation of the Kampala Convention and outcomes, amongst others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“All Parties Must Reaffirm Commitment to Peaceful Transition” – Carter Center

first_imgThe Carter Center (TCC) in a statement has reiterated its call for all political parties to reaffirm their commitments to a peaceful process and ensure that their supporters maintain calm and exercise patience as they await resolution of electoral disputes.The statement was issued against the backdrop of the November 6 Supreme Court ruling, which TCC said means a significant delay in the presidential run-off originally scheduled for November 7.“Although the timing for the remainder of the electoral process is now uncertain, and continued delays could raise concerns about constitutionally mandated time frames, TCC is encouraged by Liberian voices that have pledged to put the country first and ensure that the peace is upheld,” the statement said.The Carter Center’s election observation mission has been observing the proceedings before the National Election Commission (NEC) and the Supreme Court. The Center notes that in the hearings to date, all parties to the complaints have been given sufficient time to prepare their cases and be heard before the adjudicating bodies. With one exception, the NEC has granted complainants’ requests to submit documentary evidence and call witnesses. The Center further notes that delays in these proceedings have often been caused by the political parties themselves requesting additional time or not being fully prepared at the time of the hearing.The statement added: “It is crucial that electoral dispute-resolution processes are evidence-based to allow for a credible assessment of the impact the alleged issues would have on the results and on the ability of the people to express their will.”In this regard, the Center commends the NEC for ensuring transparency throughout the tabulation process and notes that the results by polling station have been posted on the NEC website for public scrutiny.TCC urges all political parties with pending disputes before the NEC or the Supreme Court to do their part to ensure efficiency in the process. Similarly, the Center urges the NEC and the Supreme Court to review all matters expeditiously.The Center commends repeated calls by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for its supporters to maintain the peace, allow the proper institutions to do their work, and wait for the run-off.As the public becomes aware of the implications of the ruling and the further delays in the electoral calendar that it will cause, the potential for unrest increases. In this context, it is critical for all parties to reaffirm their commitment to a peaceful transition under the Farmington and Ganta declarations, to refrain from using inflammatory rhetoric, and to work with all election stakeholders to ensure that Liberians understand the process.To avoid misinformation that calls into question the rule of law, TCC urges all stakeholders to communicate clearly about the impact of these rulings and the fact that any decisions should be based on actual evidence presented to the tribunals.On October 10, the Liberian people demonstrated a clear desire for peace and a determination to express their will at the ballot box, turning out in high numbers. The election day observations of TCC’s mission were reported in a statement issued on October 12. The mission remains in the country to observe the ongoing electoral dispute-resolution process and the run-off and will continue to report on its observations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

More work needed on firearms legislation says VP of National Firearms Association

first_img“At the time the government stepped in and imposed an amnesty on that to prevent people from being criminalized or having the property confiscated. The apparent reversal under C-42 is certainly a good step and I think it’s one of the acid tests of this particular piece of legislation.”And that took us to the NFA priorities on proposals for new legislation.“Basically there’s certain fundamental aspects of the firearms act that they have to address. That’s the issue of rights and property. Under the current firearms act you must hold a firearms licence simply to be in possession of your own property. If it expires you potentially criminalize yourself and that’s a problem. We’re not talking about a license or safety course to prove competency. We’re talking about a mandatory license for the simple ownership of property and that’s simply unacceptable. That’s un-Canadian and that cannot be tolerated.I think the government has to change the licensing system to reflect that. Secondly it’s the treatment of that property. As we’ve seen there’s an agenda to progressively reclassify and prohibit firearms and confiscate them. There have been some classes of firearms confiscated even under this government. Until new legislation is introduced to prevent a future government from doing that, we’re all going to be under the gun.”Again we note the NFA sees only as a step in the right direction the changes coming next month to eliminate the Possession Only Licence, with conversion to Possession and Acquisition Licences, and to see Authorization to Transportation become a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities.Advertisement “What people have to remember here is this is a mandatory licence for the simple ownership or possession of property, and those are firearms. If you did not get one after the deadline in 1998 or if you never had one you are committing a criminal offence. Up until recently if you allowed your firearms licence to expire you automatically became a criminal.They’ve basically put an amnesty for that since they got elected in 2006 and in C-42 they’re granting a six month amnesty for people who allow their licenses to expire before they actually criminalize themselves. I think they have recognized the licensing portion of the act has failed, however it doesn’t fundamentally change the nature of the license. As long as that’s the case there are Canadians who are going to allow the license to expire and go beyond that six month amnesty and become actual criminals and that’s still going to be wrong.”Mr. Hagen listed as another major Association concern the RCMP Swiss Arms and CZ 858 reclassification, acknowledging and applauding the Harper government’s intervention.While calling for new legislation Mr. Hagen gave the Harper Government credit for moving in the right direction on a number of issues including its reversal of the RCMP Swiss Arms CZ-858 reclassification.Advertisement We are now less than a month away from the September 2nd effective date for two additional changes to the Harper Government’s Common Sense Firearms Licencing Act.One is the elimination of the Possession Only Licence, and conversion to Possession and Acquisition Licenses.The other sees the Authorization to Transport becoming a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities.- Advertisement -Blair Hagen is the Executive Vice-President of Communications for the National Firearms Association“They’ve recognized some of the failures of the firearms act and it looks like they’ve taken steps in Bill C-42 to address them. However, these amendments while well intentioned don’t substantially solve all of the problems historically that we’ve been suffering with this farm sack that’s been in place since 1995. They’re on the right track however, we need new legislation to substantively solve all of these problems rather than amendments to some of the more egregious or apparent ones.”Asked about the key concerns of the NFA, he focussed first on the licencing portion of the Firearms Act.Advertisementlast_img read more

Exclusive – Kluivert rubbishes links to Ross County manager’s job

first_imgPatrick Kluivert has rubbished suggestions he is set for talks with Scottish Premiership side Ross County.Reports emerged last month that the former Holland assistant manager was keen on taking over the vacant role at the Staggies.But, speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, the former Barcelona and Ajax striker claims he has no interest in the role.“Nothing from that report is true,” he said. “I didn’t speak to anybody and I don’t know where the rumours came from. It was just media talk.”But Kluivert did admit he was keen to take on a role in the near future.“I’m waiting for the right opportunity,” he added. “In football, things can go very quickly.“My ambition is to be a head coach at a good club.”last_img

Juve on brink of title after win over Bologna

first_img0Shares0000Costa and Dybala played decisive roles to leave Juve on the verge of another Serie A crown © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOMILAN, Italy, May 5 – Douglas Costa sparked an emphatic comeback as Juventus closed in on a seventh successive Serie A title on Saturday by recovering from a goal down to beat Bologna 3-1.Juventus entered the game in Turin with a four-point lead over chasing Napoli and just three matches of the season to play, but the hosts fell behind to a first-half penalty from Bologna’s Simone Verdi. However, an own goal from visiting defender Sebastien De Maio on 52 minutes allowed Juventus to draw level before Costa supplied Sami Khedira and then Paulo Dybala for two quick goals to seal the victory.Juventus’s six-year reign in Italy looked under threat a fortnight ago when Napoli snatched a dramatic 1-0 win over Massimiliano Allegri’s side, but last week’s late heroics in Milan left the Turin giants once again in charge of the title race.After Juventus threatened through Gonzalo Higuain and Alex Sandro, Bologna grabbed a surprise lead when Lorenzo Crisetig pounced on a sloppy pass from Gianluigi Buffon and was fouled in the area by Daniele Rugani.Italy striker Verdi calmly rolled the spot-kick past Buffon to send Bologna ahead on 30 minutes and quieten the expectant Allianz Stadium.The introduction of Brazilian Costa for Blaise Matuidi at half-time triggered an electrifying response from the home team and Juventus hit back when De Maio sliced an attempted clearance into his own net.Bologna nearly regained the lead after a defensive lapse left Emil Krafth alone in front of Buffon, the veteran keeper producing a marvellous fingertip stop to divert the ball onto the upright.– Costa makes his mark –That served as a wake-up call for Juventus who went ahead on 63 minutes as Costa’s deep cross floated over a flapping Mirante and was stroked home at the far post by Khedira.Another surging Costa run down the left produced his side’s third goal six minutes later when his low cross was brilliantly dispatched first-time by Dybala for his 22nd goal of the season.Juventus can clinch the title on Sunday if Napoli lose to mid-table Torino, otherwise victory in one of their final two matches — away to Roma and at home to relegated Verona — would also be enough.Earlier, AC Milan climbed back into the Europa League places with a 4-1 home win over Verona that consigned the visitors to an immediate return to Italy’s second division.Fabio Borini scored just his second league goal of the season © AFP / MIGUEL MEDINAFirst-half goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Patrick Cutrone allowed Gennaro Gattuso’s side to grasp control at the San Siro, where Milan were beaten 1-0 by lowly Benevento in their last home game.Ignazio Abate added a third just after half-time with South Korean Lee Seung-Woo grabbing a consolation for Verona before Fabio Borini completed the rout in the final minute.Milan moved up to sixth, two points clear of Atalanta who travel to Lazio on Sunday, although they could also qualify directly for the Europa League by beating Juventus in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday.Verona suffered their fifth successive defeat, a run of results that has left them seven points adrift of safety with just two matches to play and confirms their relegation to Serie B alongside Benevento.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Donegal fishing industry gets certainty over mackerel catch

first_imgA decision has been reached on the mackerel policy review which is centred on the local industry in Killybegs.Michael Creed T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has tonight announced the decision to continue to split the mackerel quota as before up to and including 90,000 tonnes.Donegal Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed the decision by his Cabinet colleague, which follows a review by Minister Creed and submissions from fishermen and processors in Killybegs as well as others in the industry. Minister McHugh said: “The quota has been high in recent years and has not exceeded 90,000 tonnes so this now gives a level of certainty to a national industry which is centred on Killybegs.“Every tonne after 90,000 tonnes – should the quota ever go above that figure – will be split on a 80-20 basis with the Cork-based sector.“However the important thing here is that the first 90,000 tonnes will continue to be split on an 87-13 basis, that is 87 per cent with the Killybegs based sector, which provides certainty for everyone.“I know already from talking to many of those in the industry in the last hour or two that this news is being received very well indeed. “As everyone knows here in Donegal I opposed the review taking place at all but it did go ahead and I want to play tribute to the KFO and others whose argument all along was solid and based on the realities they face every day.“This decision will now allow all those fishing out of Killybegs and the processors in the county to move ahead and continue their investment in their industry.”Minister McHugh added: “I want to thank Minister Michael Creed for his decision this evening which was based on the overwhelmingly positive input from the industry in the west and north west. I have worked with the local industry on this issue over the past six months and I want to thank all those who had an input into this decision tonight.”Donegal fishing industry gets certainty over mackerel catch was last modified: July 26th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Fishingjoe mchugh tdKillybegsMACKERELlast_img read more

Gecko Has Self-Cleaning Feet

first_img(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Imagine self-cleaning, reusable tape.  No matter where you stick it, you can remove it and stick it on another surface, no matter how dirty, and it always acts like new.  The tokay gecko has achieved such a feat on its feet, according to a physicist and a biologist from Lewis and Clark College, Oregon, publishing in PNAS.1  The abstract sets up the problem:A tokay gecko can cling to virtually any surface and support its body mass with a single toe by using the millions of keratinous setae on its toe pads.  Each seta branches into hundreds of 200-nm spatulae that make intimate contact with a variety of surface profiles.  We showed previously that the combined surface area of billions of spatulae maximizes van der Waals interactions to generate large adhesive and shear forces. [see 09/05/2003 headline].  Geckos are not known to groom their feet yet retain their stickiness for months between molts.  How geckos manage to keep their feet clean while walking about with sticky toes has remained a puzzle until now.  Although self-cleaning by water droplets occurs in plant and animal surfaces, no adhesive has been shown to self-clean.  In the present study, we demonstrate that gecko setae are a self-cleaning adhesive. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)How do they do it?  The authors did a force analysis on the gecko spatulae, the surface, and contaminant particles.  They found that with the small size of the spatulae, contaminants are more likely to stick to the surface than to the spatulae.  (The spatulae look like split ends on a broom straw, with the setae represented by the straws).  As a result, the gecko feet possess a passive self-cleaning mechanism that is intrinsic to the structure of the setae and spatulae.  Furthermore, the spatulae have an “anti-self” property that keeps them from sticking to each other.     The fact that this operates by a mechanical, passive property rather than an active cleaning process gave the authors hope that man can invent a similar self-cleaning adhesive.  “Thus, the self-cleaning and anti-self conditions may represent a sweet spot in the evolutionary and engineering design spaces for adhesive nanostructures.”1W. R. Hansen and K. Autumn, “Evidence for self-cleaning in gecko setae,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0408304102, published online before print January 3, 2005.Question: why is this paper classified under Evolution?  Anyone see any evolution here?  Evolution is not an engineer.  Without all the structural properties present simultaneously, the gecko would quickly die of clogged feet that could not cling to anything.  These guys said nothing about how this intricate and effective structure could have evolved by a chance process.  Let’s keep Charlie out of it.last_img read more

R104m leg-up for Zim cotton farmers

first_imgDBSA has provided a critical loan to Zimbabwe’s emerging cotton farmers. (Image: C S Monitor) Zimbabwe’s small-scale cotton farmers have received a major financial boost from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to improve their output.DBSA announced the R104.6-million (US$748 000) loan to the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) on 23 November 2010.The funds will go towards Cottco’s inputs credit scheme, which facilitates funding for the emerging farmers.“This is a first ever landmark investment in Zimbabwe by the DBSA,” Admassu Tadesse, group executive for the international division at DBSA, said in a statement.“Through this investment communal and small-scale farmers will have access both to credit and capacity-building programmes which will empower them to grow more cotton.”Cottco supports thousands of small-scale producers, who farm about 242 000ha of land in the Southern African country. DBSA said the organisation works with a wide network of farmers, and provides access to skills and infrastructure.It provides farming inputs such as fertiliser, seed and chemicals through its credit scheme. These are made available during the growing season, under recommendations from Cottco’s agronomists.Zimbabwe’s cotton farming sector has been negatively affected by a lack of funding in recent years, as has all other facets of the country’s agricultural industry.DBSA said lack of access to foreign currency has stalled progress in reviving Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector.Before the recent loan, funds had dried up for Cottco, which meant local farmers battled to access much-needed finance for their capital expenditure needs and day-to-day duties.Recovery programmeThe developmental bank’s loan is meant to support the Zimbabwean government’s Short Term Economic Recovery Programme. The programme has identified agro-processing and agriculture as key priority sectors to drive the recovery of the domestic economy, Tadesse said.The agricultural sector is the major backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy, and when it began to collapse in 2000, the entire country took a hard knock.Widespread government seizure of commercial farmland through a controversial land reform act was at the heart of the crisis.According to the DBSA, agriculture contributes up to 17% of Zimbabwe’s GDP, 60% of manufacturing inputs, 35% of foreign exchange earnings and 15% of formal employment.“The Zimbabwean economy is heavily dependent on agriculture,” Tadesse said, adding that the bank believes that its loan to Cottco will be significant in supporting the revival of the industry, protect existing jobs in the sector and create new employment opportunities.Cottco is expected employ more than 5 000 Zimbabweans during the next buying season, which will generate about R25.6-million ($3.6-million) in wages, according to DBSA.Development mandateDBSA aims to invest in projects that have potential to boost the economies of Southern African nations. It recently contributed R748 000 ($105-million) towards the expansion of Zambia’s Kariba North Bank hydro power station.“The Zimbabwean investment is in line with the bank’s mandate and strategy to support development and viable projects in key economic sectors such as agriculture,” said Tadesse.“Building sustainable regional economies remain a priority area that the DBSA will aggressively pursue to ensure that the region is prosperous, integrated and progressively free of poverty and dependency,” he added. Normal 0 false false false EN-ZA X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4Zimbabwe’s small-scale cotton farmers have received a major financial boost from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to improve their output.last_img read more

LALIGA STARS DOMINATE THE BALLON D’OR SHORTLIST ONCE AGAIN

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementThe 30 finalists for the individual award have been announced, 14 of which play their football in Spain’s top flight, LaLiga Santander France Football, the magazine behind the Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer in each calendar year, revealed their 30-man shortlist for the 2018 prize this week and nearly half of the players play their football in LaLiga Santander.In total, 14 of the 30 are based in the top division of Spanish football, which is a record for a league under the current format. Since the Ballon d’Or award decoupled from FIFA three years ago and began announcing 30-man shortlists, LaLiga has seen 13 players nominated in 2016 and then 11 in 2017, which on both occasions made it the best-represented league.For this year’s award, there are three other leagues with players featuring on the list. The English Premier League has 11 players on the shortlist, while France’s Ligue 1 has three and Italy’s Serie A has two – one of whom is Cristiano Ronaldo, who was playing in Spain for the first half of 2018.Looking at the players nominated from LaLiga, Real Madrid have the greatest share with eight members of their squad having been considered amongst the best 30 players in the world for the current calendar year. Those players are Thibaut Courtois, Raphaël Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modrić, Isco, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.Barcelona and Atlético Madrid both have three players each on the list. Ivan Rakitić, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez represent the Blaugrana, while Jan Oblak, Diego Godín and Antoine Griezmann fly the flag for the Rojiblancos.Each of these three clubs will feel they have a strong candidate to go on and win the prize. Barcelona’s Messi already boasts five Ballon d’Or gongs and is searching for his sixth. Atlético’s Griezmann will believe he has a good chance of improving on his third-placed finish from 2016 having picked up the World Cup, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in 2018. Then Real Madrid’s Modrić must be considered a favourite too after recently winning FIFA’s The Best award as the top player of the 2017/18 season.There have previously been six all-LaLiga podiums for this prize. On December 3rd, we’ll find out if there is to be a seventh.last_img read more