Indonesia calls for strengthened multilateral institutions as UN turns 75

first_imgIn recent years, multilateral institutions have faced more challenges to their authority as more and more countries begin to favor self-serving policies and look inward at the expense of global multilateral collaboration.The stakes are even higher as concerted global action seems more necessary than ever, as the current COVID-19 crisis illustrates.“Countries increasingly have higher expectations [for] the UN to strengthen collective global leadership and deliver concrete results. Yet, multilateral institutions are increasingly struggling to respond, leading to weakening trust in multilateralism,” Retno said, according to a circulated transcript.“We cannot allow this to persist. Without multilateralism, ‘the mighty takes all’ will prevail,” she said during the meeting. Read also: S.Korea’s Moon proposes regional initiative to battle COVID-19, engage N.KoreaWhile existing multilateral platforms such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have had their limits and shortcomings exposed, observers have also noted that uncoordinated, unilateral actions are unlikely to be able to address the global repercussions of the pandemic.Retno said the UN system must now deliver more than rhetoric and that its programs going forward must be meaningful and impactful.“In addressing the pandemic for the short term, facilitating access to affordable medication and vaccines for all is crucial. The UN must also synergize with other international institutions to accelerate global economic recovery,” she said.In the longer term, the UN should then work toward building global economic resilience and strengthening the global health system.The call to strengthen the multilateral order was not only raised by the Indonesian foreign minister, but the majority of world leaders who took part in the virtual assembly.In his remarks, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the world had a surplus of multilateral challenges and a deficit of multilateral solutions.“In an interconnected world, we need a networked multilateralism, in which the United Nations family, international financial institutions, regional organizations, trading blocs and others work together more closely and more effectively,” Guterres said.According to a global online survey collated by the UN, the majority of respondents are asking the international community to prioritize universal access to health care to recover better from the pandemic. Just over 1 million people globally have taken part in the ongoing survey as of Tuesday.Monday’s meeting also saw the adoption of a declaration in commemoration of the UN anniversary, which sets out an action-oriented global commitment to promote peace and build stronger trust among nations, advance an inclusive sustainable development, promote adherence to international law and human rights values, including women’s empowerment, financing for development and digital cooperation.The meeting was held as part of the UNGA’s High-Level Week that is to be held until Oct. 2.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is expected to deliver a prerecorded address during the UNGA’s general debate session early on Wednesday in Jakarta.Because of COVID-19, this year’s UN meetings are being held in a hybrid arrangement, where only representatives of countries based in the United States participate in physical meetings at the UN headquarters. Other delegates, including world leaders, will attend the meetings virtually.However, the event itself appears to have been snubbed by US President Donald Trump, as the mercurial leader was replaced by acting deputy US ambassador to the UN, Cherith Norman Chalet, to deliver remarks as the first speaker of the event.Read also: Trump lashes China as UN warns against ‘Cold War'”The United Nations has for too long been resistant to meaningful reform, too often lacking in transparency, and too vulnerable to the agenda of autocratic regimes and dictatorships,” Chalet said, as quoted by Reuters.The US under Trump has been one of the countries that have challenged the multilateral order, having pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and terminated its membership of the WHO, among other things. On the other end of the spectrum, China has led a charm offensive championing global collaboration, despite largely Western concerns about its antiliberal bent.Chinese President Xi Jinping has given an assurance that his country will continue to follow the multilateral path and actively engage in reforming and developing the global governance system.“[China] will firmly uphold the UN-centered international system, firmly uphold the international order underpinned by international law, and firmly defend the UN’s central role in international affairs,” Xi said in his remarks published on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website.Topics : Indonesia’s top diplomat has raised concerns about diminishing faith in the multilateral order, as the United Nations commemorates 75 years since its founding in a largely virtual ceremony convening world leaders.Overshadowed by the far-reaching impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which has redefined ways people and nations work and interact with one another, global leaders kicked off the annual summitry of the UN General Assembly this week with a commemoration of the UN’s 75th anniversary.At the High-Level Meeting of the UNGA held on Monday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the anniversary had become a test for the organization to “enhance its relevance and manage the world’s expectations”.last_img read more

Witness appeal after fire in Newtowncunningham

first_imgWitnesses are being urged to come forward as investigations continue into a building fire in Newtowncunningham.A fire at a derelict building on Main Street last Saturday is being treated as a criminal damage incident.The building was set alight at approx 8pm on 20th July. “The fire services and Gardaí attended the scene and thankfully nobody was hurt,” said a garda spokesperson. “If anyone has any information in relation to this fire or how it started then we urge them to come forward and speak to us. The number to call is 074-9167100, Letterkenny Gardaí.”Witness appeal after fire in Newtowncunningham was last modified: July 24th, 2019 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:Newtowncunninghamlast_img read more

Is Politics an Evolutionary Force?

first_img(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Penn State evolutionists see politics interacting with natural selection to direct human evolution.A PhysOrg headline states, “Politics can interact with evolution to shape human destiny.”  The gist of the argument by Penn State political scientist Pete Hatemi is explained in this paragraph:The researchers said that there is an interaction between political and cultural forces and evolutionary results. Genes can shape culture and political institutions, which in turn can shape biology and physiology, passing on certain traits to future generations. The environment’s influence on adaptation and how it changes biology is better known and often easier to observe, said Hatemi, but the way culture can affect gene expressions in future generations is often harder to show and may take longer to reveal itself.Although he didn’t equate politics with natural selection, it’s hard to see how an evolutionist could deny it; the human brain, society and politics are all manifestations of natural selection in their view.  Most people see politics involving mental choices by intelligent agents, not unguided processes of the environment.  Politics may affect future generations, to be sure, but that occurs by intelligent design (whether beneficent or malevolent).It may not take as long as Hatemi thinks for politics to affect future generations.  Interestingly, he cites 20th-century totalitarian governments as examples of generational forces:One more obvious way to see how culture affects natural selection is the effect that politically inspired atrocities—for example, Communist purges in China and USSR and the Nazi Holocaust—have on genetic diversity, according to the researchers, who released their findings in a recent issue of Advances in Political Psychology.Hatemi did not think to draw a connection between the atrocities and the Darwinian ideology that inspired the worst of them (e.g., 11/30/05).Evolutionists view every subject in nature as a nail for which their only tool, natural selection, is the hammer.  But if natural selection determined their own will to write this paper, then, well—they can’t nail anything but their own brains.  Trick or treat: they’ve just refuted their own theory.  The sight of brains and blood spilling out of a hole in the head is pretty scary for Halloween, for sure.last_img read more

SA charity in line for top award

first_imgRichard Nzwana, a blind trained beekeeper from the Eastern Cape, is now able to support his family following training from Sasix. Eight-year-old orphan Lindelwa Shiba playing in front of what used to be her grandmother’s shack. The family now have a brick house with the help of Sasix. Women from a local village close to the Kruger National Park collect glass from game lodges for recycling and remolding. (Images: GreaterGood SA and Sasix)Khanyi MagubaneA new social development project that encourages companies to invest in carefully selected projects has been shortlisted for the Global Development Network’s (GDN) prestigious Most Innovative Development Project award.The initiative, the South African Social Investment Exchange (Sasix), is one of three international finalists currently in the running for the award. The project carries the full backing of its parent affiliation, GreaterGood SA.  Carol Tappenden, managing director of GreaterGood SA, says the award is reassurance that they are on the right track.“We are thrilled that the innovation of Sasix, as a platform for meaningful social investment and development, is being recognised at a global level,” she says.How does Sasix work?Sasix is a uniquely South African concept that connects corporate social investors with the development world. It highlights and evaluates projects in priority development sectors for corporate and individual donors to invest in.Instead of financial gain, however, the projects are rewarded with socially responsible solutions.To ensure its sustainability and viability, the due diligence and thorough assessment is applied to financial investments and the considered developmental projects.This, according to GreaterGood SA, raises the bar for public, corporate and civil societies interested in elevating South Africa’s social development.Selected projects range from helping poor communities to care for Aids orphans in KwaZulu-Natal to offering business skills training for crafters on the fringes of the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.The programme also helps balance the scales to give lesser-known organisations the same access to funds and capacity development as the better-known social development causes.Tappenden says Sasix was created with a specific strategy in mind.“When we created Sasix in June 2006, we wanted to move corporate and individual donors from a compliance mentality of ‘tick-box’ or ‘feel-good’ giving to a more strategic and measured approach to tackling the challenges we face in South Africa.”So far, the project has delivered impressive success stories. Some R13.5-million (US$3.5-million) has been invested in 53 social development projects countrywide.The success of Sasix has led to the global expansion of the programme, known as the Global Social Investment Exchange.The programme will enable, for example, a businessman in Portugal to invest in assessed and evaluated development projects in Kenya or Mexico.The global exchange will be regulated by a federation of social exchanges and supported by in-depth intelligence from country exchanges.Receiving world wide recognitionThe Japanese Award for the Most Innovative Development Project award that Sasix is vying for is part of GDN’s 10th annual Global Development Conference to be held in Kuwait City, Kuwait on 3 February.This year, the conference will be held under the auspices of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. The winning initiative will be rewarded with a financial boost of $30 000 (R300 000).The runners-up will each receive a $5 000 (R51 000) cheque.Sophie Hobbs, GreaterGood SA’s communication manager, says if they are successful in winning the award, it will bring a great deal of prestige and recognition to the organisation.“The GDN’s Global Development Awards and Medals competition is the largest international competition for research on development, and will expose us to a range of international development practitioners and potential investors and funders.”The GDN is recognised as a worldwide leader in identifying and researching causes in need of development. In addition it carries a substantial reputation for successful implementation and application of its policies.The judging panel is looking for a project that embodies innovation, social impact and the potential for broad application in other countries.After an initial assessment by the GDN’s secretariat, the submissions are reviewed by an independent evaluator.The selection process includes on-site visits to the shortlisted projects. This year’s three finalists were announced on 30 December 2008.The GDN awards were established in 2000 as a unique competition for promoting research on development projects.Japan’s government has been instrumental in supporting the competition, which, according to the organisers, seeks to unearth new talent while pooling various ideas all geared toward building a better global community.Since its inception, almost 4 300 researchers representing more than 100 countries around the world, most developing countries, have participated in the competition.Almost $2-million (R20-million) has been distributed in prizes and travel to finalists and winners. In 2007 the competition attracted more than 600 applications.Doing good for South AfricaGreaterGood SA is the country’s first online social marketplace for the everyday philanthropist.It’s a platform where socially conscious individuals and groups can find, connect and actively participate in a number of initiatives in dire need of assistance. These range from tackling South Africa’s debilitating HIV/Aids pandemic to merely providing basic needs for infants and children in disadvantaged communities.   According to its website, the organisation unites good causes and committed givers in meaningful and innovative ways to build a better, more socially aware South Africa.GreaterGood SA believes in results-driven giving as well as seeking out opportunities that will have a measurable, life-changing impact on people and their local communities.During its first three years, the organisation has registered over 1 000 organisations on their website, raised R9.5-million ($950 000) for needy causes, has amassed 21 000 hours of volunteer skills and time and has facilitated the distribution of 250 000 second hand or surplus goods.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected] Related articlesIncentive scheme for the poor Social development in South AfricaGlobal water award for SA Useful linksSasixGreaterGood SAMost Innovation Developmental ProjectGlobal Development Networklast_img read more

Ottawa announces funding for First Nation education projects

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA—Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced Tuesday that nine First Nation communities and organizations had been selected to receive funding from the federal department’s “Innovation Fund.”Bennett made the announcement during a speech at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa to a gathering of First Nation education officials.“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to education,” said Bennett. “This will provide access to support for each of their innovative approaches to school construction.”Bennett said the nine selected projects will impact about 20 First Nation communities. Each of the selected recipients can use up to $10 million from the fund for their respective projects.The selected communities and organizations included the Squiala First Nation, Old Massett Village Council First Nation, Westbank First Nation and Adams Lake Indian Band in British Columbia, along with the Blood Tribe in Alberta, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council in Saskatchewan, Fisher River First Nation and Southeast Resource Development Corp in Manitoba and the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam First Nation in Quebec.The Liberal government also plans to invest $50 million over the next six years into the fund, created in 2012, in the upcoming 2016-2017 federal budget.The fund is tailored to fund education-related infrastructure projects that are “innovative” and “promote educational reform.”During last year’s federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would invest $2.6 billion in new money for First Nation education.last_img read more

4th Athens Democracy Forum draws to a close

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The 4th Athens Democracy Forum (ADF) kicked off on Wednesday with some strong opinions by American economist and op-ed columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman, who declared that Greece would be better off outside the eurozone.The statement was in response to a question posed by executive editor of Greek newspaper Kathimerini Alexis Papachelas, to which he added: “the question is academic… it won’t happen.”The Nobel Prize-winning economist went on to say that European elites are strongly committed to maintaining the integrity of the euro area, and that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ reluctance to remove Greece from the equation, had depleted the debt-hit country’s bargaining power, reports Kathimerini.Day two of the forum saw the country’s former Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis go head to head in a heated debate with Google’s Global Head of International Relations, Ross LaJeunesse. In the panel discussion on the relationship between democracy and enterprises chaired by Krugman, matters got heated when Varoufakis characterised European inter-governance as a “cartel”. He said this prevented the adoption of policies that would alleviate the effects of the European crisis, and that such policies would be adopted if Europe was more democratic. However, the former minister really struck a chord when he said that the era of Google and Apple had led to “shrinkage of competition and huge concentration of economic and political power”.LaJeunesse didn’t shy away from responding with a host of benefits that Google’s services offered to democracy, among which he noted the decentralisation of power. On Thursday night after participating in a discussion panel with Roger Cohen of the New York Times and European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth was presented with the first City of Athens Democracy Award. Roth was recognised for his contribution to democracy thanks to his lifelong commitment to human rights. The conference will draw to a close today, with the second part of the event moving on to the Costa Navarino luxury resort in Pylos. There, participants will have the chance to enjoy a jam-packed weekend of philosophical walks, guided archaeological and historical tours to the landmarks of the region, and olive oil tastings. A panel discussion on Architecture and Democracy is also scheduled to take place, and will be moderated by Roger Cohen, featuring Krugman; urbanist Charles Landry; urbanist, author and architect Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects; and the University of Crete’s emeritus professor of archaeology, Petros Themelis.The ADF is organised by The New York Times in cooperation with the United Nations Democracy Fund, the City of Athens and Kathimerini.For more information on the ADF, visit www.athensdemocracyforum.comlast_img read more