Town in Romania – Ardud Sat, 08 Jan 2022 19:33:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Town in Romania – Ardud 32 32 Iran ready to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, senior MP says Sat, 08 Jan 2022 18:01:52 +0000 TEHRAN – The spokesperson for the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee said Iran was ready to mediate between Yemen and Saudi Arabia to resolve their conflict. Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini also said that Saudi Arabia’s past actions against Iran, as well as some current positions and policies, are slowing down the negotiation process […]]]>

TEHRAN – The spokesperson for the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee said Iran was ready to mediate between Yemen and Saudi Arabia to resolve their conflict.

Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini also said that Saudi Arabia’s past actions against Iran, as well as some current positions and policies, are slowing down the negotiation process between Tehran and Riyadh.

“Iran has taken the initiative to sincerely improve relations and defend the interests of countries in the region, but only if the other side also enters into honest interaction,” Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini told IRNA in a statement. recent interview.

Abbaszadeh Meshkini added: “Establishing good relations and a regional power bloc with the participation of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will benefit everyone. “

Meshkini said Iran’s new government is trying to deepen relations with its neighbors and remove obstacles, especially with countries bordering the Persian Gulf. He added that Iran is serious and loyal in this regard.

“If we consider the index of strengthening relations with Central Asian countries for economic reasons, in the past four months our economic relations with these countries have increased by more than 200% in some cases. In the case of the Caucasus, you can see that in one month, four meetings took place at the level of senior officials, and at the end, a meeting took place between the two presidents of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan in Ashgabat. We also recently had another relationship with Turkey, and we have made efforts towards Iraq and, above all, towards the countries of the southern Persian Gulf. The number of delegations has increased and the Islamic Republic is doing its best, ”he said.

He added that naturally these actions are followed by reactions as there must be communication between the two parties.

“We have often seen positive reactions. Even in the case of Saudi Arabia, these reactions have been “apparently” positive, “he noted.

Meshkini noted that the use of the word “apparently” in connection with Saudi Arabia is intentional.

“The reason is that if we look at the history of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, even after the revolution, we encounter different eras. In the 1980s, for example, you noticed that Saudi Arabia provided $ 40 billion in aid to the Baathist regime (of Saddam Hussein). In each period we see actions. For example, now the Iran International network has been launched, which plots against Iran on a daily basis.

According to the senior MP, for the past 40 years, wherever there has been a conspiracy against Iran, the “Saudi dollar” has been behind the scenes.

“That’s why we understand them. The point is, the Islamic Republic of Iran and countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey are important and influential countries in the region. We know that if these countries become allies and good relations are established between them, synergy will be established and an unprecedented center of power in the world will be formed. An electric pole that controls global energy and can be a global electric pole, and therefore all countries can benefit from it. But when there is friction, not only does the pole not form, but even the power of the three countries diminishes and wears out. For this reason, Iranian rationality has always sought to establish relations with these countries, ”he noted.

Meshkini noted that the rationality of Iranian politics has always sought to strengthen communication, but when Iran examines past and previous experiences, it naturally becomes cautious.

In May 2021, the King of Saudi Arabia sent positive signals for communication, the MP revealed.

“We took it and we didn’t reject it, but when we put it alongside other actions, we have to look at it with caution. For example, during a visit to the United Arab Emirates by a Saudi official, they issued a statement against the Islamic Republic of Iran, ”he noted.

According to the member, putting this statement and these signs together naturally leads people to the conclusion that they should approach cases with caution, even in positive situations.

“That’s why I said on TV that we have shown both goodwill and seriousness, but that past is behind us too. We have an eye on the past and look at the actions in progress ”, reiterated Meshkini.

However, the MP added that there are obstacles that both sides can overcome regardless of actions and reactions.

Talks were held and signals were sent on the sidelines of the Baghdad summit in Iraq, he said, adding that when those messages were sent there was a positive reaction from the other side.

“For any relationship, there must be political will with a rationality based on the interests of both parties. We understood it and came to this conclusion. They too must come to this conclusion and mutual understanding, and when they come to this mutual understanding, the change in their behavior must be visible, but contradictory behavior does not show it, ”he stressed.

The MP illustrated Saudi support for the terrorist group Al-Ahwazi, as well as the presence of a Saudi security official at a rally of the terrorist organization Mojahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK) in Albania, or the launch of the network Iran International as destructive behavior.

“You also see the behavior of Saudi Arabia towards Hezbollah during the 2006 war. Over the past 40 years, we have witnessed that Saudi dollars have been used more against the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” , he lamented.

Meshkini added that for any relationship there must be political will with a rationality based on the interests of both sides given that Saudi dollars have been indirectly used against Iran.

“We know that the last time the Americans took action against an Islamic Republic of Iran ally in South America they received $ 60 million in funding from Saudi Arabia. Even under pressure against the allies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi dollars were used. We do not want to stress them and prevent the reestablishment of relations with a country like Saudi Arabia. They didn’t really like the media, but anyway, when you are at the negotiating table, the past naturally comes to mind, ”he noted.

He added that unfortunately Saudi Arabia approaches Iran whenever it encounters a problem it cannot resolve, illustrating the aftermath of 9/11 in which Saudi citizens have been blamed for the incident.

Meshkini added that he prefers to say that the negotiations take place at the expert level, as the experts must first resolve the issues between the two countries, and when it comes to an outcome, it becomes a formal negotiation. .

“When formal negotiations are not concluded, the cost to both countries will increase. For this reason, it is best to discuss the details in expert discussions. Now, this can be just as well at the expert level as at the security level. After all, Iran and Saudi Arabia are in a region with a high level of security risks. For some reason the level of risk is high and there are many elements of security in the region, so naturally one layer of these expert negotiations can be security, but in any negotiation there are usually negotiations of security. ‘experts and preliminaries,’ he noted.

“Yemen is an independent country”

The MP noted that Iran has received a message regarding mediation in the Saudi-Yemen conflict in the talks.

“Our answer is clear. Yemen is an independent country and we want to resolve the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Why do they need us? Yemen is their own neighbor. They can go and solve it themselves. When the two sides asked us and accepted that the Islamic Republic come to arbitrate, we did not reject it, provided that the two countries wish it. Yemen is an independent country. The two countries should solve their own problems, but if both sides ask Iran, we will help, ”he said.

Meshkini said in his opinion that Saudi Arabia had also moved closer to Iran in the case of Yemen, which had a problem.

“We are ready to arbitrate, provided that the two parties want us to be mediators,” he reiterated.

He added that the art of politics is to turn conflict into friendship and to bridge the gap through communication.

We are ready to answer questions from the Saudis

Meshkini went on to say that the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy was receiving information about the Iranian-Saudi talks from the Foreign Ministry, but the two sides are still far from that point until the issue. reaches a reassuring point and that the necessary preparations are made for the start of formal negotiations.

“Fortunately, there is no problem for us to communicate. We have both good faith and seriousness, if the Saudis have a question, we are ready to answer and clarify it, ”he noted.
However, Meshkini claimed that Iran has many questions about Saudi Arabia.

“We have a lot of questions about Saudi behavior. For example, Saudi support for (Abdolmalek) Rigi. They have supported these terrorists for years in one of our provinces, ”he noted.

Rigi was the leader of the Jundullah terrorist group which was captured in 2010.

Saudis in UAE say they are trapped in Iranophobia

On allegations that Iran is a threat to Saudi Arabia, Meshkini said Iran never acts in a way that costs and damages its neighbors.

“We are sorry that some neighboring countries are prisoners of the Iranophobia project. Examples are the remarks made by Saudi officials in the Emirates. We are not malicious about the real components of Saudi power. We oppose the presence of foreign countries in the region and their misdeeds in the region. We are opposed to giving part of the countries and their territory to establish a base for foreign countries. We are not opposed to the components of their authority. We regard their authority as our authority. Why do these countries align themselves with trans-regional powers and our enemies when foreigners interfere in our internal affairs? These questions need to be clarified, ”he concluded.

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Experts give forecasts on VAT, elections, economy, civil and separatist unrest Sat, 01 Jan 2022 05:51:16 +0000 As Nigeria kicks off the year 2022 amid the ongoing fight against the global contagion, COVID-19, experts weighed in on the outlook for the year as the country faces constant insecurity, economic hardship growing and off-cycle elections in Osun and Ekiti states Predictably, the forecast is grim, with protests, secessionist agitations and more value-added tax […]]]>

As Nigeria kicks off the year 2022 amid the ongoing fight against the global contagion, COVID-19, experts weighed in on the outlook for the year as the country faces constant insecurity, economic hardship growing and off-cycle elections in Osun and Ekiti states

Predictably, the forecast is grim, with protests, secessionist agitations and more value-added tax controversies on the horizon ahead of the 2023 election.

Experts believe that the low turnout and logistical difficulties faced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the Anambra elections of 2021, indicate that the electorate is not ready for the next elections of 2022.

As the Anambra elections approached, there was a combination of violent attacks by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as well as sit-at-homes in the southeast, raising fears that the elections do not take place.

That aside, President Muhammadu Buhari’s declining assent to the electoral amendment bill for the second time since coming to power in 2015, has disappointingly ended 2021.

Political activist and analyst Ariyo-Dare Atoye says the ripple effect of the president’s decision will continue into 2022 as the 2023 campaign begins.

“The executive’s veto on the amended electoral law and the inability of the National Assembly to override the president means that 2022 will start with the clamor for the electoral bill to become law,” Atoye told Peoples Gazette.

“Civil society and spirited Nigerians pledged to do everything democratically possible to have a new electoral act, bearing in mind that the internal politics of the ruling CPA could consume the whole of the process if it is not concluded by the first month of 2022, “he said. added.

Lagos-based political intelligence firm SB Morgen, in its report “The Year Ahead 2022: Out of the Rubble,” notes that the “elections in Osun and Ekiti states will be the real start of the elections of 2023 in Ekiti, the governor will not be on the ballot.

In its forecast for 2022, the intelligence firm expects the All Progressive Congress (APC) to lose at the polls in Ekiti state to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In Osun State, however, the company predicts a “bitter battle due to internal political struggles within the state’s APC structure.” But we expect the APC to win the day. “

Mr Atoye told The Gazette that “in Ekiti, a former state governor, Chief Segun Oni, is strongly positioned to choose the PDP ticket. At the same time, the former secretary of the state government, Biodun Oyebanji, who enjoys the support of Governor Kayode Fayemi, is more likely to be the APC flag bearer.

Additionally, Zaid Ayodeji Kolawole, a public policy analyst, told The Gazette that Guber’s elections will be “very busy because both parties, especially the Tinubu and Makinde / Fayose factions, would like to assert their hold in the South. Where is”.

Speaking on the internal struggle within the APC and how it will affect the political year, Mr. Atoye said: role of mediator.

At the same time, Gov Buni’s interim committee seems insincere and reluctant to leave until the elective presidential convention, “he said, adding that” the APC left the election too late. of a new working committee of the party “.

When it comes to civic space, SBM predicts that there will be a rejuvenation of civil society as the elections draw closer. The company is also planning a number of group protests against socio-economic hardships related to inflation and the cost of living.

Already, the NLC threatened to strike on January 27 against the planned removal of fuel subsidies. Buhari’s regime said in November that plans were underway to swap the fuel subsidies for a monthly transport allowance of 5,000 naira for “deserving” Nigerians.

Previous union protests, including the Lagos and Ogun branches, have been made over the deplorable state of Nigeria’s roads, among other issues.

On the detention of the leader of the IPOB, and the unrest in Biafra in the South-East, Mr. Kolawole sees more postponements for the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, while SBM predicts his release before or during the third quarter, on the basis of a political compromise.

Regarding the tension in the region, Kolawole predicts an increase in unrest “when the two big parties do not give their presidential tickets to an Ibo man.”

Mr. Atoye believes the PDP has been better organized than the APC in the way it has handled the zoning of his position as National President. However, he expects the party’s electoral prospects in 2023 to be tested by how it deals with the zoning turmoil.

“The PDP, on the other hand, appears to be better organized due to its successful convention and unity of goals among governors, but the party’s prospect of victory in 2023 will be tested by the way it manages it. zoning turmoil which will become intense in 2022. “

Ahead of the 2023 election cycle, SBM predicts that the Buhari-led regime will lift the ban on the microblogging site Twitter in time for the start of the election campaign.

The Gazette covered the last 200 days of the suspension of Twitter by the Buhari regime, which imposed conditions to restore free access to the site in Nigeria to include physical registration as a business entity in the country, payment of taxes and an agreement to block threatening content. national security and cohesion on its platform.

Twitter has become popular among major political actors and stakeholders as a political tool. For example, in 2015 the PDP, APC and their candidates used the site to dominate political discourse and campaign for voters. Federal, state and local officials also use the platform to interact with their constituents and to communicate with the public.

This social media platform was also used to monitor the elections. Citizens are known to use their phones to broadcast and retweet voting activity, movement of election materials and personnel, security situations at polling centers, and polling station results.

Studies show that these technologies played a critical role in improving the credibility and transparency of the 2015 general elections that brought the Buhari regime to power.

On the controversy surrounding value-added tax rebates to the federal government, Kolawole predicts a Supreme Court ruling later this year, stressing that the Buhari regime’s handling of the case will shape the campaign before 2023.

However, SBM predicts that states and the federal government will reach a political settlement of the VAT controversy, stating that while states will receive more of what they currently generate, the federal government will continue to collect remittances.

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Covid-19 brunt on female-headed households Tue, 28 Dec 2021 18:00:00 +0000 Wed Dec 29 2021 00:00 Last update on: Wed Dec. 29, 2021 00:25 Historically and traditionally, women have had limited access to community support and social capital. Illustration: Collected “> Historically and traditionally, women have had limited access to community support and social capital. Illustration: Collected “My life is full of struggles and misery; I […]]]>

Historically and traditionally, women have had limited access to community support and social capital. Illustration: Collected


Historically and traditionally, women have had limited access to community support and social capital. Illustration: Collected

“My life is full of struggles and misery; I don’t think I’ll ever be happy,” recalls Aliya Begum, head of the family.

Aliya (not her real name), a 50-year-old widow living with her daughter in an overcrowded slum in Chattogram, is one of the many female heads of household who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Before Covid, Aliya worked as a domestic helper while her 15-year-old daughter worked in a clothing factory. During the onset of Covid-19 and the associated lockdown, they were both dismissed from their jobs without notice. Without income or outside support, Aliya found herself in a pit of desolation. Although the lockdown was finally lifted when we had this conversation in September 2021, Aliya was barely past her misery.

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According to the World Bank, in 2018, around 15.8% of total households in Bangladesh were headed by women. It doesn’t take much effort to understand the unfavorable situation of female-headed households in a patriarchal society like ours. Until the late 1990s, female-headed households were considered the “poorest of the poor” in development discourse. Although this notion has been disputed and claimed to be misleading when poverty is understood as a multidimensional phenomenon, female-headed households are still visibly and easily an identifiable group in income poverty.

Aliya is not alone in her fate. Households headed by women have clearly been one of the hardest hit groups during the ongoing pandemic. Recent statistics from a field survey conducted by the Center for Peace and Justice at Brac University and funded by the Covid collective platform of the University of Sussex IDS illustrate a appalling profile of households led by women. The survey, which included 14 percent of the total sample of female-headed households, highlighted a number of critical issues. Almost half of the female principals had only reached primary level and more than a quarter had no literacy skills. A quarter of female heads of household said they had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The drop in income would also have been high (61%) in September 2021, and even higher in June 2021 (77%). More than half of these households face a growing food deficit and 23 percent of them face a food crisis. Lack of adequate education and lack of skills made it nearly impossible for participants to opt for another job after being laid off.

As Aliya illustrates her situation, “When the strict lockdown was imposed, the clothing factory where my daughter worked was closed and my employer also told me not to go to my job. At one point, we didn’t have the money to buy food. There were days when we only ate once. “

Like many of the other female leaders in our survey, Aliya also relied on borrowing money to survive the pandemic. Access to formal financial institutions such as banks is very limited for underserved groups of women, in general, in Bangladesh. These women relied mainly on neighbors or relatives to borrow money, and sometimes even from pawn shops, at high interest rates. She still repays these loans, but borrowing more money, which leaves her vulnerable to a vicious cycle of endless debt.

Another problem for women heads of household is that traditionally women are seen as the primary caregivers of the family. Strict social distancing limited their ability to obtain outside help to care for dependent household members such as children, the elderly and the disabled. This often reduced women’s working hours and therefore also reduced income. These households said they were forced to opt for debilitating mechanisms, such as 53 percent of them reducing their food consumption, to cope with increased spending and loss of income.

Historically and traditionally, women as a group have had limited access to community support and social capital. There is also a distrust of the community, resulting from discriminatory behavior already experienced. All of these elements combined make women heads of household more vulnerable to crises and shocks. Evidence from the survey reiterates that more than half of female-headed households received no support from their community during the pandemic. Sometimes they even shied away from seeking support as they cannot deliver the same due to constant resource constraints. Their access to social support programs is also very limited. 61 percent of female-headed households reported that they were not enrolled in any social protection program.

Bangladesh has shown visible improvements in the empowerment of women. This gives rise to the hypothesis that being the head of a family would give women more power to exercise their free will and move to a more affluent position. However, the reality as reflected in our survey contrasts sharply with this assumption. That said, it is also wrong to assume or imply that having men in the household will automatically mitigate the same risks during crises like the pandemic. Instead, inferences indicate that it is primarily structural challenges that create new dividing lines for female-headed households. Lack of access to financial and community support and lack of transparency prevent these women from benefiting from social protection programs designed to support vulnerable people like them.

Statistics and figures on the empowerment ranking mean little to Aliya, as she knows all too well the dilemma and fears that keep her awake at night. We are now almost two years after the start of the pandemic and, with infection rates declining, the focus is now on economic reconstruction. However, the reductionist orientation of public policies which rarely takes into account the realities of women heads of household will only exacerbate their existing enigmas. It is therefore essential to amplify their needs and concerns in the decision-making space and to design policies that take their realities into account. We cannot risk leaving these female-led demographics worse off as we ambitiously plan to build back better as a country.

Nahida Akter is a development researcher at the Center for Peace and Justice at the University of Brac. All opinions are those of the author, based on his analysis of empirical results, and do not represent the position of any affiliated organization.

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India, Afghanistan halt Pakistan’s construction work along disputed borders Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:55:05 +0000 Pakistan has had to endure pressure from its neighbors in two separate border disputes recently. While the Afghan Taliban administration and its military wing strongly opposed the temporary border fence along the contested Durand Line, India scored a point against Pakistan along the Real Line of Control ( LOC), the de facto border in the […]]]>

Pakistan has had to endure pressure from its neighbors in two separate border disputes recently. While the Afghan Taliban administration and its military wing strongly opposed the temporary border fence along the contested Durand Line, India scored a point against Pakistan along the Real Line of Control ( LOC), the de facto border in the Kashmir region.

While Pakistan is said to be deeply involved in Afghan affairs after the US military pulled out of the country and established a good relationship with the Taliban leadership, the border incident may have come as a surprise to Islamabad.

According to local media reports, Taliban militants destroyed barbed wire constructed by Pakistani security forces along the Durand Line in the eastern region of Nangarhar, indicating renewed border tensions between the two countries.

Durand Line (in red), the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan (via Wikimedia Commons)

The Durand Line is the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan which was drawn by the British and later inherited by Pakistan. Afghanistan has always refused to recognize this border, which has led to a decades-long dispute between the two neighbors.

The barbed wire was dismantled and sent to Afghanistan, according to the Afghan media outlet Khama Press (KP). Video of the incident had gone viral, showing Afghan forces threatening their Pakistani counterparts with serious ramifications if barbed wire was again erected along the border.

“If you look bad at Afghanistan next time, I will come here and make this area (a few hundred yards from Pakistani soil) my front line to wage war with you,” an Afghan official said in the video. . “I swear by Allah, waging war with you makes me happier than waging war with the Jews.”

Pakistani soldiers launched artillery at Kunar province following the incident in Gushta region, Nangarhar province, according to Khama Press. This indicates that both sides have increased the stake along the disputed border.

It’s ironic given that Pakistan is said to have played a key role in all of the US-Taliban talks and subsequent events that saw the US withdrawal and takeover of the country by the Taliban.

India, on the other hand, Pakistan’s big rival, has stopped construction along the LOC. However, it is not clear whether Pakistani rangers were building barracks or bunkers there.

The Indian military had officially raised the issue of Pakistani Rangers who were launching a construction project just across the LoC, opposite Kupwara district, in the Union of Indian Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan’s action apparently violated mutual agreements and understandings on maintaining a de facto border standstill, unless the other party was notified in advance.

Pakistani Rangers who had started to build a structure across the line of control, but which was within 500 meters of the fence, immediately halted their work.

As a rule, neither Indians nor Pakistanis are allowed to develop anything within a radius of 500 meters without first notifying the other party.

The Taliban-Pakistan equations

The first Taliban government was overthrown by the United States after the September 11 attacks. Under pressure from US and NATO forces, Taliban militants and leaders were dispersed. Many of them eventually fled to Pakistan.

While it is true that Pakistan was an ally of the United States, it is also true that fighters and senior Taliban leaders took refuge in Balochistan and Waziristan. Baluchistan was also home to the powerful Quetta Shura, which carried out all decisions of the Taliban. Pakistan has consistently denied these allegations.

Many ministries and senior officials of the former Afghan administration denounced Pakistan’s involvement in the growing Taliban domination. However, after the Taliban control of Afghanistan, Pakistanis are fearful.

The Taliban were using American combat vehicles before their march to Kabul in August 2021. (via Twitter)

The Taliban freed a number of “Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan” fanatics operating in the tribal areas bordering Pakistan soon after taking power in August, according to the BBC.

Even before the Taliban came to power, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) posed a significant threat to Pakistan. For more than a decade, the Pakistani military has waged a war against the TTP on the Afghan border. In Pakistan, negotiations and agreements with the TTP remain a delicate subject.

The TTP and the Taliban share ideological similarities. The TTP, like the Taliban, seeks to break Sharia law in areas bordering Pakistan. The TTP could gain more influence and expand its activities if the Taliban take control, the BBC said.

This could lead to a new wave of tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan and, given the Taliban’s new assertion of the Durand Line, things could heat up between the two countries which have so far established a front. friendly.

File: Taliban Veterans Turning Arms.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
File image: Former Taliban fighters surrender.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

To make matters worse, the recent remark by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in questioning Pakistan’s democratic framework came as a shock after all the help Pakistan has reportedly offered the Taliban in their quest for reorganization until their final takeover.

In a television interview, Zabiullah Mujahid said: “The political structure in Pakistan does not reflect the Islamic system. Their religious law does not allow this system to work. Religion does not matter to them; only growth is vital.

The split in the Taliban government became visible soon after he came to power. The Taliban’s Kandahari division led by Mullah Mohammed Yaqoob Omari and the Kabul faction led by Sirajuddin Haqqani reportedly clashed.

The Kandahari party did not want the Pakistani spy agency ISI to interfere. Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI, on the other hand, allegedly used Haqqanis to play power games in Kabul, according to a Hindustan Times report.

So, if tensions with India are normal for Pakistan, Islamabad should be wary of the other neighbor.

Bittersweet Ties

Although problems remain between Pakistan and the Taliban, the former has pleaded for unhindered aid to an impoverished Afghanistan. Islamabad also applauded the UN Security Council resolution easing the flow of supplies to Afghanistan on December 23 and expressed optimism that the world would respond quickly to the needs of the Afghan people, the Dawn newspaper reported. .

The Security Council has approved a resolution presented by the United States which authorizes the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in order to avoid the economic collapse of the country. While Pakistan welcomes the aid, on the one hand, it called for the thawing of Afghan assets in order to alleviate its economic difficulties.

For his part, the Afghan Taliban security chief in Paktia province thanked the Pakistani government and its people for supporting him in a difficult time, according to a video that surfaced on Twitter.

Nonetheless, a clearer picture of the real nature of the bilateral relationship between the two neighbors divided by a disputed border will emerge in the days to come.

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market strategy: Traders & investors, here’s how to approach the market during the last week of the year Thu, 23 Dec 2021 06:53:00 +0000 “I will continue to be careful. At best, the market can enter a range bound move, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to break above the high of 18,500 in the immediate future, ”said Kunj bansal, CIO, Capital of Karvy. What we saw in the last 90 minutes yesterday, was it the start of […]]]>
“I will continue to be careful. At best, the market can enter a range bound move, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to break above the high of 18,500 in the immediate future, ”said Kunj bansal, CIO, Capital of Karvy.

What we saw in the last 90 minutes yesterday, was it the start of a Santa Rally?
It is very difficult to predict the direction of the market in the short term. In the medium to long term, we all know it will be governed by the fundamentals and financials of the economy which, in India’s case, is likely to continue to remain growing and positive. So it’s going to go up, but in the short term, it’s still hard to say. But we must continue to answer the call. Leaving aside the last two days, we have seen a strong correction. After that, we saw a recovery. The market peak of 18,500 was reached in mid-October and from there the market attempted to move up three times but fell.

For now, it appears that global investor cash flow remains negative. So although over the past two days the market has risen, global flows were still negative. The quantum has decreased and at the same time there are no positive triggers in the market either.

The next set of triggers may come from earnings season which starts around January 10 or so. We have to wait and watch until then. Apart from this, no significant new political, economic or social developments are expected. At the same time, some negative factors have accumulated, Omicron being one of them. The possibility of a third wave of Covid is there and its severity will need to be determined.

Although oil prices have corrected from the recent high, they continue to remain elevated on an annual or even semi-annual basis. It is the same with the goods. So I would continue to be careful. At best, the market can enter a range related move, but it doesn’t look like it will break above the high of 18,500 in the immediate future.

When will the banks catch up? Why are they always underperforming?
Let me first separate the short term market movement from the medium term one. First of all, as I said, the short term movement is not clear to me. At best, this will be a range related consolidation move or it could correct further. In this scenario, it is very difficult for the banks to be the immediate participants.

This brings us to the medium to long term scenario. Assuming the market rises or stays limited, I would expect to outperform in sectors like capital goods and infrastructure, in IT, despite the continued outperformance they have shown so far, as well. as in real estate and related games. In the case of the BFSI sector, I expect it to remain at best in the market or continue with the underperformance we have seen for about 10 months.

Many specific sub-segments of banking have been overtaken by niche or boutique players and this is where the market started to focus in terms of money flow both in the secondary market and in the market. primary offer.

Leaving aside the post-listing stock price performance, IPOs of fintech companies attract a lot of money. Now, also in the secondary market, there are sub-segments such as gold lending companies, which continue to outperform. In my opinion, they will continue to outperform. The other sub-segment is made up of housing finance companies. Like I said, I am positive about the real estate industry. It’s also related to that. It is a space that greatly outclasses. I think banking interest seems to have shifted to specific sub-segments and pockets where markets expect good performance. For the bank as a whole, things are not falling into place right now. The market is still worried that interest rates will affect bank margins. In addition, the market is probably still concerned about some of the asset quality issues, especially personal loans and unsecured loans, credit card loans.

You talk about how people are avoiding the banking space, but as a recent comment from the SBI leadership shows, shouldn’t the trajectory be positive as the macro outlook improves?
If we take the last six quarters or so, after the start of Covid, the first quarters were suddenly bad in terms of the provisions that banks took in terms of sudden deterioration in asset quality and growth rates also declined in partly because the banks stopped lending or was very slow to lend intentionally and partly because there was no demand.

From there, we’ve seen a steady improvement in all of these metrics. The growth in loan disbursements is coming, we have seen asset quality improve and provisions having been taken earlier, we have also seen provisions decrease. Everything that was visible in the September quarter as well and will remain visible in the December quarter. The market is mildly concerned about rising interest rate expectations and the resulting margin or NIM pressure for one or two quarters.

Looking back to the recent market peak and for the previous period, the banking sector had continuously attracted the interest of domestic and global institutional investors, as well as the interest of retail investors. As a result, the banking sector’s weighting in the large cap, Nifty and Sensex indices had steadily increased and crossed over 30% and was in fact close to 35%. my numbers could be a bit here or there. We are now in a scenario where, for almost two and a half months, we have seen global investors sell while domestic investors remain buyers.

When global investors sell, they are selling stocks where there is liquidity, where there is greater market capitalization, and where they have been overweighted. So that’s another market phenomenon. As far as the fundamentals go, it has improved and maybe will continue to improve except for a couple of margin issues etc. but in the overweight areas, we have seen the interest of global institutional investors decline and cause the banking sector to underperform.

How to approach the last week of the year? This time of year is typical for thin volumes. For anyone looking for holiday cheer for their portfolios and trading ideas, what would be your advice?
Are we addressing specific sub-segments or market participants; are traders first – the underlying assumption is that they know their strict stop losses, they know their trading strategies and therefore should trade accordingly. New retail investors who don’t understand trading may have been successful in the recent past because it was a one-way market and they likely wouldn’t have been as successful in the past. last and a half months. So if they want to have peace of mind, they should avoid trading at least last week.

The second sub-segment of the market is made up of investors who would have continually felt left out of the market because it was going up one way and they would not have invested thinking that no market has moved up and become overvalued. They should certainly be investing some of the money now, more in the medium and long term, not the short term. The market may go down further and that is why I said they should invest some of the money. If it goes lower and they get back to work in January, they can use that money to invest more. If it doesn’t go down further, they at least have the satisfaction of having invested the money.

The third market segment is made up of people who were or probably still are heavily invested. If they want to continue to stay invested, they need to have a medium-term perspective. They need to stay invested and not worry as long as they have excess cash or other short-term needs.

Yet another segment is made up of those who are fully invested, overinvested, and who have remained invested without making a profit until now. They may need the money for shorter term expenses, including the vacations we are talking about. If they’ve invested early enough in the cycle, there’s no harm in taking money off the table. The rally of the past two days gave them a slightly bullish opportunity. For them, there is no harm in taking the money out and using it to enjoy the holidays and come back with a new mood in January, then analyze the market.

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Latest from Covid: Joe Biden refuses to lock down the United States despite the omicron accounting for 70 pc of cases in the United States Tue, 21 Dec 2021 13:29:00 +0000 UAccording to a draft proposal tabled by the German government, public events and private gatherings will be severely restricted before New Year’s Eve, writes Daniel wighton. Writing in the draft proposal, the new German government said that “New Year’s celebrations with a large number of people are unjustifiable in the current situation.” “In order to […]]]>

UAccording to a draft proposal tabled by the German government, public events and private gatherings will be severely restricted before New Year’s Eve, writes Daniel wighton.

Writing in the draft proposal, the new German government said that “New Year’s celebrations with a large number of people are unjustifiable in the current situation.”

“In order to slow down the new wave with the Omicron variant, additional restrictions on contacts are also needed.”

Nightclubs will be forced to close, while measures for private gatherings will be tightened for vaccinated and unvaccinated revelers.

Private parties among the vaccinated will be capped at ten people, although if an unvaccinated person is present, the gathering will be limited to one household and two people from another household.

According to the proposal, the measures will be implemented “from December 28 at the latest”, although Christmas gatherings are not expected to be affected.

German health officials believe the Omicron will become the dominant variant by mid-January, while the Robert Koch Institute on Tuesday raised the warning level for the general public to “very high”.

The RKI, the German disease control agency responsible for monitoring the Covid pandemic, said based on evidence from the UK “the severity of the disease in the Omicron variant is similar to that in Delta”, dismissing hopes that the new variant may produce a smoother course of the disease.

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Karen Akpagher and Premiere Academy: The ‘Truth’ They’re Trying to Bury Tue, 14 Dec 2021 22:36:58 +0000 By Noé Christophe Almost six months ago, Premiere Academy entered the media spotlight when news broke that one of its students, Karen Happuch Akpagher, had died in a hospital in Abuja. News of the 14-year-old diabetic patient’s death on June 22, 2021 quickly became a hot topic as several press articles authoritatively claimed that she […]]]>

By Noé Christophe

Almost six months ago, Premiere Academy entered the media spotlight when news broke that one of its students, Karen Happuch Akpagher, had died in a hospital in Abuja.

News of the 14-year-old diabetic patient’s death on June 22, 2021 quickly became a hot topic as several press articles authoritatively claimed that she had been raped to death, sodomized and forced to take an oath. of secrecy.

As expected, the Nigerian Police Force, first through the FCT Police Command and later the Office of the Inspector General of Police, promptly opened investigations into the case in June, leading to an autopsy performed in July.

Several other government agencies such as the Ministry of Education, the Directorate of Quality Assurance, the National Human Rights Commission and a few other external bodies have also looked into the case by carrying out inquiries and investigations. at various scales and from different angles.

The PTA and the Premiere Academy board have also carried out internal investigations. However, despite all investigations, the answer to the key Who / What Killed Karen question has not been found. Interestingly, none of these investigations indicted the school or led to the shutdown of its activities.

Perhaps, tired of waiting for official police reports on the autopsy and investigation and seeking to prevent the matter from being silenced, Lemmy Ughegbe, an Abuja-based journalist, human rights activist and landlord one school immediately activated its NGO, Coalition of Gender-Based Violence Responders, to promote the cause of justice for Karen Akpagher.

With Karen’s mother by his side, Lemmy Ughegbe and GBV Responders launched a coordinated advocacy on multiple fronts spanning the media and political institutions, with the goal of hanging Karen’s death at Premiere Academy.

The evidence, according to the group’s media interventions, is a report allegedly handed over to the Akpagher family by Queen’s Hospital in Abuja, according to which decomposed condom particles were found in the genitals of the deceased teenager, in addition to dead sperm.

No audio or video recording of the victim accusing the school or any staff of raping or sexually assaulting her; no mention of rape or sexual assault in the victim’s diary (some media reports have raised entries); no conclusive report of the autopsy observed by all parties and supervised by the police; no report from the police or a private investigator has surfaced to substantiate the rape allegation to date.

To pervert the cause of justice …

In what appears to be frustration over the failure of the coordinated campaign to press relevant state and non-state institutions to condemn the school mob-style, the GBV Responders further accused the school of prevent the Akpagher family from obtaining justice.

The coordinated social media campaign to advance this point of view claimed that the owner of the school is a very connected Nigerian, he was using his connection to obstruct justice for Karen.

However, to accuse a school that opened its doors and provided its officials with no less than 16 inquiries, invitations, inquiries and interviews on the Karen affair by several interested organizations from June 25 to December 9 of persecuting the cause of justice seems unfair. .

Oddly, a check at the school revealed that the GBV responders who defended this claim were one of the NGOs that visited the school on July 3 to investigate.

In addition to the police, other people also visited the school, including the Federal Council for Competition and Consumer Protection (July 2), the Directorate of Quality Assurance, FCT headquarters (July 2) , NAPPS, FCT chapter (July 9), Abuja municipal area. Council (July 9), Federal Ministry of Education (October 8), Association of Nigerian Women Students, FCT Chapter (July 22), NANS, FCT Chapter (July 22) and FCIID (several between November 9 and December 9) .

None of the visitors accused the school of non-cooperation or of obstructing the investigation. Perhaps this is what prompted the school to continue to declare that it had nothing to hide and that it would always welcome any noble efforts made to shed light on this sad event.

Trying to prove his innocence and refute the charge of perverting the cause of justice, the school said it wrote three letters to the police demanding the release of the autopsy report and the investigation report on the case.

From the copies seen, the first letter dated August 27, 2021 was addressed to the FCT Police Command while two other letters dated December 1, 2021 and December 6, 2021 respectively were addressed to the Inspector General of Police. Although the police acknowledged receipt of the three letters, they did not respond to any of them or answer the school’s prayer. It is doubtful whether the school’s action fits the charge of obstructing the cause of justice

Distort the story to meet a goal …

It appears that in order to hang the school for the rape allegation, efforts had to be made to show that Karen left the school premises on June 19 in “severe pain and barely able to walk” ( to quote a respected columnist and social commentator who weighed in on the issue) when she got home, never to go back to school.

The facts are sacred. So here are some indisputable facts our investigation revealed about how Karen left school campus on the fateful day.

First of all, she was chosen at school by her mother herself (with one of her uncles who always came to pick her up and drop her off on the mother’s instructions). She walked out of the school gate unaided, carrying her luggage to meet her mother. Her mother received her; they got into the same vehicle and were brought home by his mother.

It is doubtful that if she was in pain and could not walk or showed any sign of discomfort, the mother would not immediately contact the school and / or take her directly to the hospital. But, the mother drove with her from school without any complaints and they went home together.

Additionally, she was at home with the mother from the 19th to the 21st when the mother said she developed a health crisis which required her to be taken to hospital IMMEDIATELY on the 21st.

School CCTV clips on YouTube ( show Karen at school from June 17th to the time she left school on June 19th. went to an ophthalmologist outside the school, on the mother’s instructions, the same June 19. The school’s academic record also shows that she took CA tests on Friday, June 18.

Could a 14-year-old have been so superhuman to effortlessly hide her pains and appear bubbly while taking on all the multitasking that filled her day the late Karen way?

The late Karen, let us remember, was a diabetic patient under constant medical supervision. She had been diagnosed with diabetes since the age of nine.

DNA as a path pointer …

The House of Representatives has ordered that a DNA test be carried out on all male staff of the Premiere Academy, in order to find the alleged perpetrator of the rape. Although the directive is laudable, our investigation shows that we must even widen the net in view of certain peculiarities discovered on the Akpagher family environment.

For example, it was discovered that Karen had two older brothers who were also students of the same Premiere Academy with her. While one graduated in 2020, the other was still a student at school until after the unfortunate event.

She also has a guardian uncle who, it was discovered, would always pick her up and drop her off at school. According to an unconfirmed report, this uncle threw a birthday party for Karen and some of her friends at a restaurant in town on April 10 to mark her 14th birthday. Uncle, we learned later, took her to the party.

It was also learned that the same uncle only chose Karen at school during the id-al-Fitri break on May 12 while leaving his brother behind to observe the school break. This, according to the survey, turned out to be a departure from the regular practice of picking and dropping the two students together.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that while Salah’s said break was due to end on May 16, Karen was not returned to school by her uncle until May 23, 7 days after the resumption.

She was to die a month later; allegedly as a result of a rape whose characteristics, according to her mother and the GBV Responders, left rotten condom particles in her genitals.

With the late Karen surrounded by two brothers who have their other male friends visiting Akpagher’s house as well as an uncle who turned out to be primarily responsible for the pick-up and drop-off at school, it is only fair and sensible to look far beyond the school to unravel the question of who might have raped the teenager, if indeed she had been raped.

Justice begins with disclosures …

For justice to be done and seen to be done in Karen Akpagher’s case, the police must release the autopsy and investigation reports. So many questions that require answers can remain unresolved until police reports are released.

According to a cross-section of analysts’ opinion, all parties to the case – the Akpagher family, GBV Responders and Premiere Academy – should jointly and individually pressure the police to do what is necessary rather than continue to throw mud and promote savagery. , unfounded accusations, unless the mud throws are intended to achieve a goal that the general public does not yet know.

Karen Akpagher and Premiere Academy: The 'Truth' They're Trying to Bury Karen Akpagher and Premiere Academy: The 'Truth' They're Trying to Bury Karen Akpagher and Premiere Academy: The 'Truth' They're Trying to Bury

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Violence against women seems to know no bounds Mon, 13 Dec 2021 06:04:10 +0000 Vicious attacks accompanied by derogatory remarks are the main weapons used by online trolls to silence the voices of women defending their rights. December 13, 2021, 10:05 Last modification: December 13, 2021, 12:04 PM Pragyna Mahpara / Senior Research Associate, BIGD, Iffat Jahan Antara / Research Associate, BIGD and Nuha Annoor Pabony / Research Associate, […]]]>

Vicious attacks accompanied by derogatory remarks are the main weapons used by online trolls to silence the voices of women defending their rights.

December 13, 2021, 10:05

Last modification: December 13, 2021, 12:04 PM

Pragyna Mahpara / Senior Research Associate, BIGD, Iffat Jahan Antara / Research Associate, BIGD and Nuha Annoor Pabony / Research Associate, BIGD. Illustration: SCT


Pragyna Mahpara / Senior Research Associate, BIGD, Iffat Jahan Antara / Research Associate, BIGD and Nuha Annoor Pabony / Research Associate, BIGD. Illustration: SCT

The digital space, the virtual world of socialization and communication, increasingly plays a central mediating role in all aspects of our life – social, political and even economic.

The digital space allows anyone with internet access to speak and share audiovisual content on anything and everything without fact checking, validation or word limits. “Sensational” content, however credible it may be, can spread like wildfire in this space.

However, due to its ubiquity, it has also become an essential vector of awareness. The Covid-19 pandemic has also proven the effectiveness of the digital space as education, work, communication and entertainment have all been brought online.

In September 2021, 128 million Bangladeshis were using the internet, up from 101.2 million in April 2020, or 26.8 million more since the first lockdown of Covid-19, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

Social activists, media figures and content creators have also increased their use of social media platforms to talk about human rights, gender justice and other critical social issues. Platforms like Facebook became an integral part of the mass mobilization and protests as most activism moved online.

As online activism for gender justice grows, violence against women in the digital space is also increasing with its increasing use.

Hate speech, obscenity and derogatory language directed at people who claim their rights or simply express their gender identity, publicly attack someone using explicit words, and even send death threats publicly or in messages. private messages, all have become commonplace in digital spaces.

Online violence has become part of the wider backlash against women’s rights by creating fear among gender justice advocates and women in general, causing them to lose confidence, courage and interest in speaking out or speaking out. defend.

Women who speak out and are visible in the digital space, such as celebrities, content creators, journalists and activists, have become major targets of online violence.

These women are regularly harassed for expressing their views online on issues such as politics, religion, gender, social norms and values, and discriminatory practices.

In particular, when they post content on violence against women, sexual harassment, consent to sexual relations, women’s dress choice and participation in public life, they face strong reactions. in line.

Women and their opinions are becoming more visible due to the expansion of the digital space; their visibility provokes the manifestation of an intensification of the reactions of opposing groups and people in the same space. The backlash has therefore become more “visible” in this newly formed “space”.

Online violence manifests itself in many forms. The most common type involves sexually explicit hateful comments, often objectifying women’s bodies.

This leads to cursing and labeling women as “prostitutes” or “cheap women” coming in front of the camera for views and money.

Manipulating photos of women to make them sexually explicit and sharing them online, often as memes, is also quite common.

In a society where the modesty of women is still considered almost “sacred”, attacking their “character” and presenting them in a sexually explicit manner is a very effective strategy for psychologically crushing women. In extreme cases, women are even threatened with rape and murder.

And more often than not, negative comments attacking women appear out of the blue, unrelated to the problem that is being published.

Illustration: SCT

Illustration: SCT

Illustration: SCT

The attacks take the form of moral police. And in extreme cases, threats with literal depictions of sexual acts with women, often mentioning specific parts of his female body.

When the posts relate to women’s rights and equality – on divorce, inheritance, mobility and choice, for example – or the search for justice for rape, these offensive and attacking comments become particularly serious. .

Another less explicit but perhaps equally harmful trend is to question the credibility of women. This is especially evident when discussing sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape, etc.

They are often mocked and trivialized with “haha” reactions on Facebook. Authors of posts are often attacked with comments about their personal life choices.

For example, if a divorced woman talks about motherhood or childcare, her qualification to talk about these issues is in question since she may be a single mother who has separated the child from the father.

Another example is when a social media influencer posted about cyber sexual harassment, comments calling her an ‘attention seeker’, who just creates content to get more views and try to stay. ” relevant “.

When a series of comments like these are posted and the opposing force backs themselves up by enjoying those comments, the key messages of the original posts eventually lose their relevance and seriousness.

In this way, the messages for a better understanding of women’s struggles and patriarchy are often undermined.

Often, the filtering of abusive comments on posts of or about female public figures does not work; spiteful attackers “flag” these messages, after which the messages are deleted.

Time, effort, and the underlying messages of these posts are wasted. Once again, the attack is severe on posts demanding women’s rights and justice.

Worse yet, online violence is not limited to women who participate online. Often times, women are disparaged online for what they do or say in real life.

These phenomena indicate that the digital space is shrinking to defend women’s rights.

More concerning, the backlash is coming from the general public, and it is therefore difficult to identify specific organized groups.

Many authors hide behind fake accounts to preserve anonymity. However, it is not only men who engage in such forms of verbal and written violence; women are also actresses and accomplices.

There is a tendency to post and comment openly on criticisms and moralizations based on religion, both by women and men, while fake accounts are mainly used to post sexually explicit comments and threats of rape.

The digital space has become a new avenue for intensifying violent reactions and violence against women. While online violence most often does not result in physical harm, it is gradually becoming much more widespread and intense.

Authors are everywhere; they can organize effortlessly and commit violence with impunity, making them a deadly weapon to silence women’s voices.

And the consequences of digital violence are manifold. It inflicts immense psychological trauma, often demotivating women to continue their presence in cyberspace.

It also violates the freedom of expression of women expressing themselves in the digital space. It also intimidates women who wish to enter the digital space and defend women’s rights.

In short, this emerging form of online reaction is not only closing the digital space for women, but also reducing civic space for promoting gender justice. This calls for recognizing the seriousness of this violence and its impact on the lives of women and girls.

Therefore, online violence against women needs to be understood and addressed within a relevant legal framework. The state must prevent and mitigate online risks and promote a safe digital space for women that will guarantee freedom of expression while respecting the rights of different actors and users of digital spaces.

Pragyna mahpara, senior research associate; Iffat Jahan Antara and Nuha Annoor Pabony, Research associates at the BRAC Institute for Governance and Development (BIGD).

Warning: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.

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Security Council briefing on the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS) – Sudan Sat, 11 Dec 2021 12:09:20 +0000 Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, I am grateful for the opportunity to inform you again about the situation in Sudan. Over the past six weeks, Sudan’s political transition has gone through its biggest crisis to date. This crisis is not yet over, but discussions on the way forward have started. The October 25 […]]]>

Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

I am grateful for the opportunity to inform you again about the situation in Sudan.

Over the past six weeks, Sudan’s political transition has gone through its biggest crisis to date. This crisis is not yet over, but discussions on the way forward have started.

The October 25 military takeover and the arrest of Prime Minister Hamdok, senior officials and political activists sparked numerous protests and condemnations. At least 44 people have been killed and hundreds injured as a result of excessive use of force by security forces. This aggravated the crisis and mobilized the so-called “street” which continues to organize regular mass protests.

In this context, I cautiously welcomed the political agreement of 21 November between Prime Minister Hamdok and Lieutenant General Burhan – which was reached after weeks of national and international efforts to find a way out of the crisis. The agreement is far from perfect, but it can help prevent further bloodshed and be a step towards a comprehensive dialogue and a return to constitutional order.

The Accord faces significant opposition from a large segment of Sudanese stakeholders, including parties and associations within the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), resistance committees, civil society organizations. civil society and women’s groups. I have met these stakeholders and others. Many feel betrayed by the coup and now reject any negotiation or partnership with the army.

The resistance committees in particular are determined to continue their protests to demand revolution and push for civilian rule. While the overwhelming majority of protesters remain peaceful, small groups that resort to violence have recently emerged.

The military takeover revealed and deepened the mistrust between the military and civilian components and within the civilian component itself. And the November 21 Agreement failed to restore the lost confidence. The decisions to come on government formation, high-level appointments and the establishment of transitional institutions will test the willingness and ability of stakeholders to seek a common way out of the crisis. In my recent meetings with General Burhan and Prime Minister Hamdok, I urged that unilateral decisions taken following the coup that violate the Constitutional Declaration be overturned or dealt with in such a way as to restore confidence among the Sudanese. This includes unilateral appointments by the military leadership.

Among other things, the Agreement of November 21 provides for the formulation of a political declaration which would presumably entail constitutional amendments. Attempts are underway within and around some political parties and movements to reach an inclusive agreement. Others, other political forces, are open to dialogue but not on the basis of the Agreement of 21 November. A lack of inclusiveness and consensus could lead to further fragmentation. Likewise, while the proposed formation of a technocratic cabinet could be a step towards advancing the transition, it can also create a constitutional challenge if it is not based on consultations with the Forces for Freedom and Freedom. change. These and other decisions are being discussed in the context of the ongoing state of emergency that General Burhan declared on October 25.


Addressing these and other fundamental questions will require dialogue and possibly consensus. We have made it clear that UNITAMS is ready to facilitate an inclusive dialogue, both to address unresolved issues for the transitional period and to address broader constitutional issues as part of the constitution-making process. I consulted widely to determine the scope and terms of our engagement.

Above all, Sudan’s military and political leaders will need to rebuild trust with their own national audiences, especially with the younger generation. Immediate confidence-building measures and a visible commitment to put the country back on the path to democratic transition will be essential. Likewise, the Sudanese authorities will have to take concrete measures to regain the financial, economic and political support of the international community.

Progress in this regard can be measured against a small number of clear and generally acceptable indicators in the short to medium term.

In the immediate term, the main indicator has been the release of all political detainees, the cessation of arbitrary arrests and the guarantee of the right to demonstrate and to assemble peacefully. Almost all of the civilians arrested since the coup have now been released, which is a welcome step. Temporary arbitrary arrests are said to continue, particularly during ongoing protests.

Military and civilian leaders have pledged to investigate the use of deadly violence against protesters. Responsibility for the human rights violations perpetrated since 25 October will therefore be seen as an essential indicator of progress and could help restore confidence.

Three important short-term indicators will be the Prime Minister’s ability to freely form his technocratic cabinet according to the provisions of the Constitutional Document, the lifting of the state of emergency and the restoration of press freedom.

Over the next few months, the main indicator of a return to a democratic transition path will be the restoration of political space. This is especially important in light of the stated goal of political and military leaders to hold free and fair elections, perhaps even sooner than originally planned. The authorities will need to ensure an atmosphere conducive to credible elections that the United Nations and other international actors can then support. Indicators of such a favorable atmosphere will include an independent electoral commission, an inclusive law on political parties, the freedom of political parties and movements to organize, campaign and have access to the media, and the guarantee of rights. humans.

Recent events have also highlighted the lack of functioning justice institutions and the vacuum they leave in dealing with and preventing serious human rights violations. In addition, the Transitional Legislative Council with 40% women, as stipulated in the Constitutional Declaration, has not yet been formed.

I continue to call on the Sudanese authorities to ensure the meaningful participation of women in the political process, in the government that has not yet been formed, and in all efforts to end the current crisis. My team and I meet regularly with women’s groups from all over Sudan to hear their political and security concerns. Their message is clear: it is impossible to reverse hard-won gains in women’s rights, and they ask for the support of the international community in this regard.

We, UNITAMS, will closely monitor and report on all of these critical indicators.


The security situation remains fragile outside Khartoum. I am deeply concerned by the resurgence of inter-community conflicts and armed banditry in Darfur, Blue Nile and Kordofan. The United Nations has received reports of a significant increase in the killings of civilians, destruction of property and displacement, as well as sexual violence against women and girls. In Darfur this year, around eight times more people have been displaced than last year. The continuing insecurity in Darfur underscores the need to prioritize the protection of civilians and swiftly implement the provisions of the Juba Peace Agreement. The training and deployment of joint security maintenance forces and the operationalization of the national plan for the protection of civilians must be undertaken without delay. The situation in the East will also remain unstable if a political solution is not found quickly.

It is important that the Sudanese authorities fulfill their primary responsibility to protect civilians in their territories, regardless of the political crisis.

Mister President,

In the aftermath of the coup, the donors’ decision to withhold international development assistance has a significant impact on the livelihoods of the Sudanese people and risks undermining the hard-won achievements of the past two years. Humanitarian activities continue, although some humanitarian services provided through government mechanisms, such as health-related services, have been discontinued. United Nations development activities remain strongly impacted, thus exacerbating vulnerability and humanitarian needs. One of the main programs affected is the Family Support Program, which was supposed to provide cash transfers to more than 11 million vulnerable Sudanese.

The Sudanese authorities must of course demonstrate their commitment to return to a credible constitutional order in order to regain the confidence of the international community to resume international financial assistance.

But at the same time, I would like to urge you and the entire international community to take a balanced approach and not to suspend aid for too long and to consider the rapid resumption of funding in certain areas, in particular the support for health services and livelihoods, to ensure that the Sudanese people do not continue to bear the brunt of the political crisis.


I thank the Council for its continued support to UNITAMS, which continues to fulfill its mandate in the context of the challenges facing the Sudan. The main areas of action of the Mission remain relevant and, in some cases, have been accelerated. In addition to redoubling our good offices efforts, the work of UNITAMS on human rights and support for the protection of civilians is even more critical in this volatile time and will be strengthened. The Darfur Permanent Ceasefire Mechanism, chaired by UNITAMS, has been active throughout this period with the support of both the military component and the armed groups that signed the Peace Agreement. Juba.

The UN in Sudan is also ready to support a credible and inclusive constitutional process and elections once a roadmap for these processes has been agreed. Organizing elections in Sudan will be a complex undertaking, and the United Nations looks forward to cooperation and collaboration with international partners. I would like to stress the importance of continued support for the Mission and the full realization of its network on the ground to enable our efforts in the conflict zones of the country.


The unwavering commitment of Sudanese men and women to achieve democratic governance led by civilians cannot be ignored. They made immense sacrifices to realize their aspirations for freedom, peace and justice enshrined in a democratic state ruled by civilians. They have stayed and seem to be steadfast in their resolve.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the continued commitment of UNITAMS to help the Sudanese people achieve these aspirations and to thank this Council for its support of our efforts.

Thank you very much, thank you very much.

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European Commission presents action plan to boost social economy and create jobs – Eurasia Review Thu, 09 Dec 2021 23:27:52 +0000 The European Commission on Thursday presented an action plan to help the European social economy to thrive, harnessing its economic and job creation potential, as well as its contribution to a fair and inclusive recovery, and to green and digital transitions . Social economy organizations are entities that prioritize social and environmental goals, reinvesting most […]]]>

The European Commission on Thursday presented an action plan to help the European social economy to thrive, harnessing its economic and job creation potential, as well as its contribution to a fair and inclusive recovery, and to green and digital transitions .

Social economy organizations are entities that prioritize social and environmental goals, reinvesting most of their profits back into the organization. There are 2.8 million social economy entities in Europe employing 13.6 million people and providing solutions to the key challenges of our societies. They cover a wide range of sectors and forms, from care services to recycling; from cooperatives to social enterprises. Increased support for the social economy not only creates jobs, but also enables organizations to increase their social impact across the EU. Today’s Social Economy Action Plan paves the way for the prosperity and growth of social economy organizations.

The Commission proposes to act in three areas:

1. Create conditions conducive to the development of the social economy

Policy and legal frameworks are essential to create an enabling environment for the development of the social economy. This includes taxation, public procurement and state aid frameworks which must be adapted to the needs of the social economy.

To address these issues, the Commission will propose a Council recommendation on developing the framework conditions for the social economy in 2023. It will also issue guidance to Member States on tax frameworks for social economy organizations. social economy and will facilitate access to guidelines on state aid. The action plan also aims to improve good practices in socially responsible public procurement and to promote targeting of the social economy outside the borders of the EU.

2. Open opportunities for social economy organizations to start up and grow

Social economy entities should benefit from support for the development of enterprises to start up and develop, as well as to retrain and upgrade their workers. For 2021-2027, the Commission aims to increase its support beyond the 2.5 billion euros estimated previously allocated to the social economy (2014-2020).

Among other actions, the Commission will launch a new EU social economy portal in 2023 to ensure that social economy actors can find all the information they need in one place on funding, policies , training and EU initiatives. It will also launch new financial products in 2022 as part of the InvestEU program and improve access to finance. In 2022, the Commission will also create a European Competence Center for Social Innovation.

3. Recognize the social economy and its potential

The Action Plan aims to make the social economy more visible and to improve recognition of its work and its potential. The Commission will carry out communication activities emphasizing the role and specificities of the social economy. In addition, the Commission will launch a study to collect qualitative and quantitative data in order to better understand the social economy in the EU. It will also organize training courses for public officials on various topics relevant to the social economy, promote the social economy at regional and local levels by fostering cross-border exchanges, and much more.

With the action plan, the Commission is also launching a ‘transition path’ to help the green and digital transitions of the social economy in dialogue with the public authorities and interested parties. The Commission is seeking public opinion on the transition path through an EU investigation open until February 28, 2022.

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