Morocco Pornographic Video of a Young Student Stirs a Scandal

first_imgCasablanca- A pornographic video of a young girl from Mohammedia, a city between Casablanca and Rabat, has recently been widely shared on Moroccan social networks, subsequently stirring a scandal in the city.  The pornographic video, featuring a young female student from Mohammedia, was recently uploaded to YouTube. The video was allegedly shared on Facebook, causing an outrage in Mohammedia. According to news portal MohammediaPress, the young student in the video was suspended from her school as soon as the administration heard of it. Her friends and classmates who saw the video said they were “shocked” to see their friend in that type of videos. They also expressed their disapproval of the school’s decision to suspend her, and stated that the girl must have been a “victim” or was “manipulated under the effect of drugs.” The person who shot and uploaded the video is still unidentified. According to the young girl’s friends, the person behind the video is a Moroccan living in the United States.  Meanwhile, the video has become the talk of almost all residents of Mohammedia, according to MohammediaPoress. According to the same source, some associations in the city are expected to intervene in the young girl’s case.  © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Kuwait Revokes Citizenship of Muslim Cleric over Gaza Statements

Tinjedad – The Kuwaiti government has reportedly revoked the citizenship of a well-known Muslim cleric along with nine more other citizens over their “statements in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”Among the ten people affected by the government’s decision, Nabil al-Awadhi, a prominent Islamic cleric who, is reportedly close to the Islamic brotherhood.Based on article 13 of the Kuwaiti citizenship law, the Kuwaiti cabinet, in its weekly meeting led by Prime Minister Sabbah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabbah, decided to revoke the citizenship of ten people. In his response to the decision, the Muslim cleric wrote in his official twitter account in Arabic saying:“I will remain faithful to my country Kuwait, loyal to his Highness my Prince, loving and advising to my people of Kuwait, and I pray for Allah to protect Kuwait and its people from all evil.”????? ???? ?????? ?????… ?????? ????? ????? ?????… ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ????… ????? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??— ???? ??? ?????? (@NabilAlawadhy) August 11, 2014According to AFP, Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Sunday denouncing the decision, which it regarded as a “crackdown on people seeking reform.”“No government has the right to strip away its people’s citizenship simply because it disapproves of them, their opinions, or their actions,” HRW’s Joe Stork was quoted by AFP as saying.“This is yet another downward step in Kuwait’s assault on the right to free speech,” he added, urging the government to reverse its decision. read more

Authors of Paris Attack Affiliated With Qaeda Eyewitnesses

Rabat – The terrorists who attacked the headquarters of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo are supposedly affiliated with Al Qaeda.According to eyewitnesses, the terrorists told bystanders in the street to inform the media that they were members of Al Qaeda in Yemen before carrying out their attack on Charlie Hebdo.An eyewitness identified as Cédric Le Béchec was quoted as saying that the shooters arrived in a black car, stopping in the middle of the street while carrying a rocket-propelled grenade. He also said that before launching their attack on the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper, the attackers approached a man in the street telling him to “tell the media that this is Al Qaeda in the Yemen.”Corinne “Coco” Rey, one of the newspaper’s cartoonists who survived the ordeal, said that the assailants spoke perfect French. read more

Moroccan Foreign Minister to Meet With French Counterpart in Paris

Rabat – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, is expected to travel to France this week in what appears to be an attempt by Moroccan and French officials to ease the tension between Rabat and Paris. During his visit to the French capital, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation will meet his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.The visit of Morocco’s chief diplomat to France comes at a time the relations between the two countries are strained. Following the Charlie Hebdo attack and several other terrorist attacks, a number of French influential figures called for strengthening security cooperation with Morocco.Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for the restoration of relations between Morocco and France in the wake of the march held on January 11, which brought together more than 3.7 million people across France to denounce terrorism.The former tenant of the Elysee said that France must work on strengthening ties with foreign intelligence services, including the reinforcement of relations with Morocco. read more

American Rapper JayZ to face Court for Plagiarism of an Egyptian

Rabat – American rapper Jay-Z will appear in court next October accused of plagiarism of the main beats of a song by Abdelhalim Hafez.This week, court documents set October 13th to conduct a jury trial in Los Angeles against Jay-Z for his song entitled “Big Pimpin,” released in 1999.Baligh Hamdy composed the beat in 1957 for Abdelhalim Hafez’s song entitled “Khossara Khossara.” The beats of both songs were clearly composed using a Middle Eastern flute.ABC reported that “Big Pimpin’’ hip-hop producer Timbaland has said he found the Egyptian song without any identification on a CD, and that he believed it was in the public domain.In 2001, Jay-Z’s relatives reportedly tried to resolve the problem by paying $100,000 to the label EMI Arabia in order to hold the copyright to the song.However, in 2007, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, the composer’s nephew determined to file lawsuit in a U.S. Court saying that the settlement deal was inappropriate according to Egyptian law.Fahmy added in his lawsuit that, “Khosara, Khosara” is ‘culturally significant’ in Egypt and local law at the time gave no “blanket license to make derivative works that alter or add to the copyright.”Fahmy and his lawyers intend to look for experts in order to assess the profit of Jay-Z’s song.Jay-Z’s lawyers believe this lawsuit is ridiculous and derided the conflict saying that to assume “people buy concert tickets to hear one song, never mind an instrumental sample contained in one song…is beyond speculative — it is farcical.” read more

Manchester United Wanted to Sign Thomas Müller at All Costs Agent

Miami – Italian agent Giovanni Branchini declared to that Manchester United tried their best to acquire Bayern Münich’s Thomas Müller, whom the agent represents.“Manchester United wanted Thomas Muller at all costs,” revealed Branchini.Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal admires the German star and allegedly did not hold back using solid attempts to get him. The Italian agent emphasized that the British club was not easy to convince that Müller would not be released and would remain with Bayern. “I’ve spent days trying to explain Bayern Münich would never let him leave – so in the end they changed their mind,” he added.Branchini said that Old Trafford wanted to purchase the 26-year-old player during the last summer transfer window for a large yet undisclosed amount.According to UK’s Daily Mail, the amount of the offer reportedly placed by the Red Devils to sign the German forward has not been confirmed, however there were rumors of a £71 million bid.United’s boss might have missed on giving Müller a red jersey this time, yet the relationship between both men is a great one.In 2010, when Van Gaal managed Bayern, he favored the German star so much that he was quoted as saying: “with me, Müller will always play”. On his part, Thomas told Champions magazine, that the Dutchman was “a genius technician” who makes players “improve every time”.The Red Devils of Van Gaal seemed to be determined in enlisting Bayern’s forward, but only time will tell if Münich will release him, as his contract is reportedly set to expire in 2019. read more

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to Meet Donald Trump on Monday

Rabat – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is headed to Washington on Monday for his first face-to-face with US President Donald Trump.Trudeau’s director of communications, Kate Purchase, issued an email statement on Thursday saying that both leaders “look forward to discussing the unique relationship between Canada and the United States and how we can continue to work hard for middle class Canadians and Americans, together,” according to a report from the CBC.During a press conference while in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Trudeau was asked if he will raise the issue of the travel ban with Trump. “As everyone in Canada knows, I have two important responsibilities that stand out in the way we engage our neighbours to the south. The first is, of course, to highlight Canadian values and principles and the things that keep our country strong,” Trudeau explained. He went on to reveal that the second responsibility is to create jobs and opportunities for Canadians “through the continued close integration on both sides of the border.”Three of the Prime Minister’s chief ministers have already made visits to lay the groundwork for Monday’s talks with their US counterparts.Christia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister, HarjitSajjan, Defence Minister and Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, each made what they called “successful” first forays into the Trump Administration.According to the same source, when asked about the meetings, Morneau said “we found our US counterparts to be interested, engaged, understanding the depth of the relationship and the importance of the relationship to the United States and Canada, so we want to build on that. I think Americans instinctively understand the strength of the relationship.”Few, however, are anticipating another Barack Obama-like bromance. As for Trump’s opinion on the initial meeting, press secretary Sean Spicer offered the following comment, “The President looks forward to a constructive conversation and strengthening the deep relationship between the Untied States and Canada.” read more

King Mohammed VI Appears in a New Photo with Maître Gims

Rabat- King Mohammed VI appears on a new photo with French singer Maître Gims accompanied by his Moroccan manager Arab Youssefi.The manager of famous French rapper and pop-singer Maître Gims, Arab Youssefi, posted a photo of himself with King Mohammed VI and Maître Gims on his Instagram account on Tuesday.The photo shows the sovereign smiling at the camera and posing with Gims on his right and Youssefi on his left. Youssoufi wrote next to the photo: “With Morocco’s King Mohammed VI in good shape, Alhamdulillah”Following his successful heart surgery in France, King Mohammed VI has been posing for several photos that have recently gone viral on social media.The photos show King Mohammed VI in good health, with both Moroccan and international fans, including the latest photo with his fan Israël Goldberg who expressed immense joy upon meeting the sovereign.After experiencing a heart rate disorder, King Mohammed VI underwent a successful surgery on February 26, in Paris. read more

Government Will Not Deduct 14 from Employees Wages for Pensions

Rabat – The government of Saad Eddine El Othmani has denied  that it will deduct 14 percent from the wages of public sector employees for their pensions starting January 2019.“The deduction is set at 1 percent of the emergency pension reform, with the state committing to a contribution of 1 percent as the operator,” read a statement from the government.Earlier this month, Moroccan news outlets reported that El Othmani’s government would deduct  14 percent from the wages of public sector employees for their pensions. The deduction was to come under Law No. 71.14 adopted by Abdelilah Benkirane’s government in 2016. The law also gradually extends the age of retirement from 60 to 63 years, starting in 2024.Read Also: Morocco To Deduct 14% from Government Salaries for Pensions in 2019Since 2014, the Moroccan pension fund (CMR) has been facing a deficit, and will operate on a “technical” deficit starting in 2018 and a total deficit in 2027.According to a report on social protection by the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council (CECE), CMR reserves will go bankrupt in 2044, and reforms are needed to ensure long-term financial balance.The decision angered public employees and labor unions who have been calling for a salary raise.Several labor unions and political parties called on the government to increase employees’ salaries and improve social dialogue unions and the government.The Al Istiqlal party presented recommendations to Parliament meeting in May, suggesting  protection of purchasing power and support for employment.The government has been calling for more social dialogue with citizens to minimize inequalities at the request of King Mohammed VI.In July, the King reiterated the need to reform Morocco’s development strategy. He also called the government to reinforce social dialogue, stating that it is “necessary and it should be an ongoing process.” Furthermore, he said, the cabinet should meet more frequently with labor unions, “regardless of the potential outcome of that dialogue.”Morocco’s public sector has approximately 700,000 employees. Over 580,000 work for the central government, 150,000 work in the urban communities, and 130,000 work in public institutions. read more

UNICEF Khadija Is One among Many

Rabat – Khadija’s alleged rape has caught the attention of UNICEF, which has reacted to the reported kidnapping and rape.In a statement made public today, UNICEF aimed to raise awareness about violence against Moroccan children.Khadija’s case became public in August, when the 17-year-old Khadija spoke for the first time about being raped. The girl said that she was kidnapped and raped by more than 12 people for two months. While media reports have questioned the truth of Khadija’s story, UNICEF argued that it calls for “the rights of children involved in this case to be respected, whether they are victims, witnesses or accused.” The statement added that “the children who could be associated with this case,” remain victims of the “absence of an integrated system of child protection in Morocco,” regardless of their social status.The organization has also published figures about the number of similar cases which were adjudicated in Morocco’s courts. According to UNICEF, courts across Morocco processed 5,980 cases of violence against children in 2017.The number caused UNICEF to call on all concerned parties, including media, to prioritize the issue above any other interests to meet acceptable standards of taking care of victims of violence.The institution also reminded the Moroccan government of its integrated child protection policy to protect children against sexual violence adopted in 2015.The project, which is part of a mid-term evaluation of the National Plan of Action for Children 2006-2015, aims to create a healthy environment for children, safe from all forms of neglect, abuse, violence, and exploitation.According to UNICEF, the case of Khadija “concerns all stakeholders of the urgent need to quickly implement these territorial devices.”The statement added, “The Child Protection Policy Implementation Program provides for the establishment, at the provincial / prefecture level, of a structure for the collection, analysis, evaluation, orientation and monitoring individual situations of children.”.UNICEF’s statement argued that Khadija’s case is not the first and will not be the last case. Sexual assaults publicized on social mediaThis year, a mass outcry erupted several times over cases with similar circumstances as those Khadija alleged.In January, a French pedophile admitted to drugging and raping two girls aged 11 and 14 in Fez. The 58-year-old pedophile claimed that he could give the children “what they were deprived of: toys, food, gifts and money.” He blamed their families for exploiting children.In March, a video of a sexual assault was posted online, featuring a young man assaulting a young girl, while someone else filmed.In 2017, another video posted online shocked Moroccans: it showed more than five teenagers sexually abusing a young girl on a moving bus in Casablanca. Nobody else on the bus appeared to do anything.Besides security authorities, the government did not release any statements regarding the cases, which received widespread outrage on social media. The government has not yet implemented Law 103-13 against gender-based discrimination, which was initially set to go into effect in August.The government, according to a government source will implement the law September 12.President of Tahadi Center and activist Bouchra Abdou condemned the delay in an August interview with Morocco World News, saying that the delay is unexplainable.It remains to be seen whether the government will fulfill its promises and implement the law next week. read more

Royal Moroccan Navy Rescues 202 Irregular Migrants in Mediterranean

Rabat – The Royal Moroccan Navy rescued 202 irregular migrants, mostly sub-Saharans onboard unsafe boats, in the Mediterranean Sea on December 22 and 23.The migrants included women and children, a military source has said.The source added that five bodies were also found in these boats, adding that the rescued people received the necessary first aid as they were found in bad condition. The migrants were transported to the ports of Nador, Tangier, and Al Hoceima. Morocco has dismantled a dozen irregular migration networks throughout the year.  On December 21, police in Tangier disbanded a human trafficking network.Morocco has become not only a transit country for migrants but also sometimes a final destination.Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, has said that Morocco wants African migrants in the country to enjoy civil rights and a good quality of life as much as it wishes for Moroccans abroad to do so.Read Also: Norway Allocates €400,000 to Help Migrants Staying in MoroccoBourita also emphasized, in the aftermath of the approval of the global compact on migration, that migrants should not be treated as criminals.Earlier this month, the European Union pledged an aid of  €148 million to financially assist Morocco on the migration front.A statement published the European Commission’s website announced that the European body will pledge a further €148 million to financially assist Morocco on the migration front.The statement added that “the additional funding adopted under the EU emergency Trust Fund for Africa will bring the overall migration-related assistance to Morocco to €148 million in 2018. It will help step up the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, including through reinforced integrated border management.” read more

Stanford expels student linked to college bribery case

SAN FRANCISCO — Stanford University has expelled a female student who lied about her sailing credentials in her application, which was linked to a college-admission bribery case.The university quietly announced it had rescinded the student’s admission in a short statement posted on its website April 2 after determining “some of the material in the student’s application is false.”University officials previously said the student was admitted without the recommendation of former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer, who pleaded guilty to taking bribes in exchange for helping students get into the elite university.They said a $500,000 contribution to the sailing program was made several months after the student was admitted.The Stanford Daily first reported on Sunday that the student had been expelled. It is the university’s student newspaper.The Associated Press read more

Treasury denies Democrats request for Trump tax returns

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has made it official: The administration won’t be turning President Donald Trump’s tax returns over to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.Mnuchin told Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal in a Monday letter that the panel’s request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”In making that determination, Mnuchin said he relied on the advice of the Justice Department. He concluded that the department is “not authorized to disclose the requested returns and return information.”The move, which was expected, is sure to set in motion a legal battle over Trump’s tax returns. The chief options available to Democrats now are to subpoena the Internal Revenue Service for the returns or to file a lawsuit.Neal originally demanded access to Trump’s tax returns in early April under a law that says the IRS “shall furnish” the returns of any taxpayer to a handful of top lawmakers, including the chair of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.The White House and the president’s attorneys declined to comment on the deadline to turn over Trump’s returns.Trump has privately made clear he has no intention of turning over the much-coveted records.The president has told those close to him that the attempt to get his returns was an invasion of his privacy and a further example of what he calls the Democrat-led “witch hunt” — like special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — meant to damage him.Trump has repeatedly asked aides as to the status of the House request and has not signalled a willing to co-operate with Democrats, according to a White House official and two Republicans close to the White House.He has linked the effort to the myriad House probes into his administration and has urged his team to stonewall all requests. He also has inquired about the “loyalty” of the top officials at the IRS, according to one of his advisers.Trump has long told confidants that he was under audit and therefore could not release his taxes. But in recent weeks, he has added to the argument, telling advisers that the American people elected him once without seeing his taxes and would do so again, according to the three White House officials and Republicans, who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.Andrew Taylor And Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press read more

Bank of Canada deputy governor Lynn Patterson to retire on July 19

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada says deputy governor Lynn Patterson will retire on July 19.Patterson joined the Bank of Canada in 2013 as special adviser to the governor and senior representative at the bank’s Toronto regional office.She was appointed a deputy governor in May 2014 and was responsible for overseeing the central bank’s analysis and activities in promoting a stable and efficient financial system.Before working at the Bank of Canada, Patterson had an extensive career in capital markets, including as president and country head for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Canada.Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said Patterson has had a tremendous influence during her tenure at the central bank.He noted that she played a key role in advancing important capital market initiatives — including establishing the Canadian Fixed Income Forum. The Canadian Press read more

Citing global economic instability UN predicts 5 million more jobless this year

23 January 2008The United Nations labour agency predicts that economic turbulence resulting from credit market turmoil and rising oil prices could lead to another 5 million people becoming unemployed this year. That is just one of the key findings the International Labour Office (ILO) released today in its annual Global Employment Trends report, which analyses the impact of factors – ranging from population and economic growth to financial crises – on labour markets.The report notes that the decrease in growth in developed economies owing to the credit market crisis and higher oil prices had so far been “compensated for in the rest of the world,” especially in Asia, which has witnessed strong economic and job growth.However, an expected slowdown in growth during 2008 could increase the global unemployment rate to 6.1 per cent, resulting in an increase of at least 5 million unemployed worldwide, the report warns.The forecast for this year differs from 2007, considered by ILO to be a “watershed year” in that it saw a stabilization of global labour markets with more people in work, some 45 million new jobs and only a small increase in the number of those unemployed, to a total of nearly 190 million worldwide. “This year’s global jobs picture is one of contrasts and uncertainty,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “While global growth is annually producing millions of new jobs, unemployment remains unacceptably high and may go to levels not seen before this year.”He added that although more people are currently employed than ever before, more jobs does not necessarily mean decent jobs. “Too many people, if not unemployed, remain among the ranks of the working poor, the vulnerable or the discouraged.”According to the ILO, an estimated 487 million workers – or 16.4 per cent of the total – still do not earn enough to surpass the $1 a day poverty line, and 1.3 billion workers (or 43.5 per cent) still live below $2 a day.“What is apparent is that economic progress doesn’t automatically translate into new and decent jobs,” said Mr. Somavia, emphasizing that “labour market policies must be at the centre of macroeconomic policies to ensure that economic growth is inclusive and that development involves good, decent work.”Decent work, as defined by the ILO, provides for opportunity and income; rights, voice and recognition; family stability; personal development; and fairness and gender equality. read more

New UN campaign seeks to combat hunger among millions of schoolchildren

7 February 2008The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today unveiled a new global fundraising and awareness campaign to benefit the nearly 60 million children around the world who go to school hungry. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today unveiled a new global fundraising and awareness campaign to benefit the nearly 60 million children around the world who go to school hungry.Health and education interventions are less effective when given to people who lack basic nourishment, the agency noted.The new initiative – “Fill the Cup” – aims, literally, to fill a cup with food for hungry schoolchildren, increasing their chances for health, education and a better future.According to WFP, it will take about $3 billion per year to feed all 59 million children who go to school hungry worldwide, while $1.2 billion can provide meals for the 23 million children in 45 of the neediest African countries. Just $0.25 can give one child one cup of porridge, rice or beans and provide girls with a monthly ration to take home.“The need is great, but so is the ability to help – a single Euro (or $1.50) feeds a school child for a week,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran, adding that feeding children in school helps promote not only education, but also healthy and strong communities. “We are often asked by people, young and old – school children, truck drivers, dentists and teachers – how they can help,” Sheeran said. “This is how.”WFP is a major provider of school meals in developing countries. From Afghanistan to Somalia, some 20 million children benefit from WFP school meals at the cost of only $0.25 a day. Partnering with WFP in the campaign is FIFA World Player of the Year, Kaka, who is also the agency’s Ambassador against Hunger. “I come from a country where I’ve seen first-hand how hunger can rob a child’s potential,” said Kaka, a native of Brazil. “So I’m very proud to call on soccer fans and others to help Fill the Cup and lay a foundation for our future.”Also participating in the campaign are the President of Ghana, and head of the African Union, John Agyekum Kufuor, and the Mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti. WFP – the world’s largest humanitarian agency – will feed more than 70 million people this year in some 80 countries around the world. read more

United States actress English entrepreneur issue call at UN for climate action

The response to global warming “comes down to a question of values and I think it’s important on a personal level to really examine the ramifications of our actions and of our daily choices,” Ms. Hannah said at a press briefing on the occasion of a General Assembly climate change debate which kicked off today.“I’m thrilled to see that people are finally starting to recognize the urgency of the situation,” the actress, famous for her work in films like “Splash” and her support for renewable energies, noted.Speaking at the same briefing, Mr. Branson proposed the creation of an “international war room,” a politically-independent gathering of scientists, economists and others to catalyze the public sector, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments to act on a large scale.“The war room will be a unique combination of entrepreneurial muscle, the best possible data and the power to mobilize resources and influence policy,” he said.Mr. Branson, whose company has offered a $25 million prize to encourage scientists and inventors to figure out how to extract carbon from the environment, also underscored the necessity of finding a technical solution to the issue of global warming.In a separate press conference, the top UN climate change official urged increased financial investment and technological innovation to tackle the issue.Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said that they are “the glue that connects action on the part of developed and developing countries.”Increased financing and emphasis on technology “is not going to come unless rich countries take on ambitious reduction targets and the money is not going to be spent and the technology is not going to be driven unless developing countries put in place real measurable and verifiable mitigation action,” he pointed out. 11 February 2008American actress Daryl Hannah and Sir Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group, appealed in New York today for concerted global action to face the challenges posed by climate change. read more

Security Council lauds TimorLestes response to assassination attempts

19 August 2008The Security Council today commended Timor-Leste’s Government and public institutions for their quick and effective response in the wake of the February attempts on the lives of the leaders of the tiny nation that the United Nations helped shepherd to independence in 2002. In a statement read out by Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, the 15-member body lauded the country for the “rapid, firm and responsible manner” respecting constitutional procedures in which they reacted to the attempted assassination.In two separate attacks on 11 February, President José Ramos-Horta sustained serious injuries, while Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão escaped unscathed.But the Council cautioned that in spite of progress in boosting Timor-Leste’s security situation since the violent 2006 clashes, the “political, security, social and humanitarian situation in the country remains fragile.”The statement also stressed the need to continue taking action to achieve justice and accountability and emphasized the need to put into practice the recommendations made by a UN panel set up to examine the 2006 clashes.The Council “welcomes the conviction of the leaders of Timor-Leste on the need for justice and their determination to act against impunity,” and underlined the importance of promoting and protecting human rights.Addressing today’s meeting, Atul Khare, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said that there have been concerns about possible abuses committed by armed forces following the February attacks.“The Government has been responsive when those concerns were raised,” he said. “However, it is not clear how effectively Government concerns are being institutionalized and articulated farther down the ranks.”Mr. Khare, who also heads the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), noted that an effective judiciary is key to ensure that culture of impunity does not become entrenched. He expressed his delight that a training course for judicial officers – third so far – began on 29 July. read more

Media report about UN envoy in Sudan complete fabrication declares mission

1 March 2009The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has strongly protested a report in today’s Al-Raed newspaper alleging that Special Representative Ashraf Qazi admitted that the Mission provided information about the country to the International Criminal Court. “The report is a complete fabrication,” the Mission said in a statement issued in Khartoum, referring to the report headlined ‘Qazi admits UNMIS provided information to the ICC about Sudan.’ According to UNMIS, the Al-Raed report is a distortion of a recently published Egyptian magazine article, entitled ‘I did not provide the ICC with reports on Al-Bashir-SRSG.’The Mission questioned Al-Raed’s motive in misrepresenting Mr. Qazi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan and head of UNMIS, on so sensitive an issue at this particular time.The International Criminal Court is due to announce its decision on the application for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on charges of war crimes in Darfur on 4 March.“UNMIS calls upon Al-Raed to correct this flagrant example of misreporting which, in the Mission’s view, verges on disinformation,” the statement said.The Mission added that it has repeatedly urged media to uphold standard journalistic practices and to check with the UNMIS Spokesperson’s Office when reporting on UNMIS-related matters. read more

Sharing clean energy technologies crucial in climate change fight – UN official

22 October 2009Ensuring that developing countries can access cleaner energy-producing technologies to meet their development needs without increasing pollution will be crucial in the global fight against climate change, a top United Nations official stressed today. Addressing a high-level meeting in New Delhi on climate change and technology transfer, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang noted that innovation in low-emissions technology still takes place largely in the developed countries. “But climate change demands urgent action and rapid, wide diffusion,” he told the gathering, which comes with just over a month left to go before countries meet in Copenhagen to ‘seal the deal’ on a new pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The world cannot afford to wait for these technologies to follow the usual path of gradual diffusion, from rich to middle-income to poor countries,” said Mr. Sha. “Global climate policy will succeed – or fail – depending on whether it brings low-emissions technologies and technologies for adaptation within the reach of poor countries, and poor communities, without further delay.”Technology transfer to developing countries – without which they will be forced to rely on older and less climate-friendly technologies – has been a pivotal issue in the climate negotiations.Having contributed the least to climate change, developing countries are the most vulnerable to its impacts, noted the Under-Secretary-General. Yet, failure to address the challenge would be disastrous for the whole planet.Therefore, he called for the “full arsenal of climate-friendly technologies” to be mobilized for the fight against climate change. In addition, financial support needs to be scaled up so that developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable, can acquire and develop technologies for adaptation.“The sooner countries are able to shift onto low-emissions paths and to strengthen their resilience to climate change’s impacts, the better the prognosis for humanity and the planet,” he stated. “We have a responsibility to find ways to make that happen.”Mr. Sha added that the New Delhi meeting can send a clear message to Copenhagen that there is a way forward on technology cooperation and technology sharing, one that will enable the international community to tackle both climate change and poverty, to promote development and save the planet. read more