Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tawwakul Karman to be part of UN global panel.

August 2, 2012
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the members of a High-level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
 “I have asked my High-level Panel to prepare a bold yet practical development vision to present to Member States next year,” Ban said in a news release.
The Panel will hold its first meeting at the end of September, in the margins of the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly. It is expected to submit its findings to the Secretary-General in the first half of 2013, and those findings will inform his report to Member States.
 “I look forward to the Panel’s recommendations on a global post-2015 agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries and with the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core,” Ban said.
The 8 MDGs, agreed on by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development.’
According to a recent study – the 2012 Millennium Development Goals Report – progress has been made in some areas, with three important targets on poverty, slums and water met three years ahead of 2015. It added that meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, is possible – but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago.
The High-level Panel is part of Secretary-General Ban’s post-2015 initiative, mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit, at which UN Member States took stock of the progress made in achieving the MDGs. Member States have called for open, inclusive consultations – involving civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutions from all regions, in addition to the UN system – to advance the development agenda beyond 2015.
The work of the Panel will reflect new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the MDGs, both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement, according to the news release.
The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as agreed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development ( Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June.
Rio+20 was attended by some 100 Heads of State and government, along with more than 40,000 representatives from non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society, all seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection. At the end of the gathering, participants agreed an outcome document which called for a wide range of actions, such as beginning the process to establish SDGs.
 “It is essential that the processes on SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda are coherent with each other,” Ban said at a briefing to the General Assembly on Tuesday on the outcomes of a recent meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies in Los Cabos, Mexico. “This will enable Member States to define a single global development framework with sustainable development at its core.
The High-level Panels’ three co-chairs are: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom.
The remaining 23 panel members are: Fulbert Gero Amoussouga of Benin, Vanessa Petrelli Corrêa of Brazil, Yingfan Wang of China, Maria Angela Holguin of Colombia, Gisela Alonso of Cuba, Jean-Michel Severino of France, Horst Kohler of Germany, Naoto Kan of Japan, Queen Rania of Jordan, Betty Maina of Kenya, Abhijit Banerjee of India, Andris Piebalgs of Latvia, Patricia Espinosa of Mexico, Paul Polman of the Netherlands, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Elvira Nabiullina of the Russian Federation, Graça Machel of South Africa, Sung-Hwan Kim of the Republic of Korea, Gunilla Carlsson of Sweden, Emilia Pires of Timor-Leste, Kadir Topbas of Turkey, John Podesta of the United States of America, Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. In addition, the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina J. Mohammed, will serve on the Panel in an ex officio capacity.

Yemeni abductor promises to free Italian: report

August 01, 2012
SANAA: Tribal negotiations are ongoing with Yemeni authorities to free within "two days" an Italian embassy security agent kidnapped in Sanaa over the weekend, his abductor told a local news website on Wednesday.
"There is tribal mediation... and hopefully the matter will be resolved tonight, tomorrow, or over the coming two days," Ali Naser Huraidkan said according to a private Internet site close to Yemeni tribes,
The kidnapping was only to "put pressure on the Yemeni government," he told the website, adding that the Italian is in "good health and is being well-treated."
"He has everything he asks for -- Internet, telephone and anything else he demands... better than the facilities he's got in Italy," the abductor said.
The interior ministry said on Monday that Huraidkan, from Al-Jalal tribe in the eastern Marib province, had abducted the security agent identified by Italian media as 29-year-old Alessandro Spadotto.
Huraidkan, wanted for involvement in "cases of murder and banditry," kidnapped the Italian to press the authorities to drop charges against him and to offer him compensation, the ministry said.
Marebpress said Huraidkan is also demanding that the authorities lift a travel ban against him. "We want the state to respond and cancel a circular banning me from travel," he was quoted as saying.
A Yemeni security official and a Western diplomat had said that unknown gunmen kidnapped the Italian on Sunday.
According to La Stampa newspaper, Spadotto managed to contact a member of his family by mobile text message following his abduction.
Italian news agency ANSA had cited officials as saying he is a member of Italy's Carabinieri military police. It also said he was picked up while in civilian clothes in a shop near the embassy.
Foreigners are frequently kidnapped in Yemen by armed tribesmen, who use them as bargaining chips with the authorities.
More than 200 people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years. The majority have been freed alive and well.

A French staffer with the International Committee of the Red Cross who was kidnapped in April in the northern port city of Hudaida was released last month unharmed.
But a Swiss woman and a Saudi diplomat kidnapped by Al-Qaeda militants in March remain hostage.

Al-Qaida attacks Yemen town, 4 troops killed

August 01, 2012
Associated Press
SANAA, Yemen –  Al-Qaida gunmen shot dead four soldiers Wednesday in one of the militants' former south Yemen strongholds, officials said, as the local governor declared that the country's ill-equipped police force is incapable of filling the security void left by months of clashes.
The militants staged a bold pre-dawn attack on a security building in Jaar, one of several cities in the south that they captured in 2011 while taking advantage of a popular uprising in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation. Witnesses said men stormed the building with automatic rifles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The army recaptured Jaar in June after a two month offensive backed by U.S. advisers, but many militants fled to nearby mountains and continue to launch attacks there and elsewhere in Abyan province. Wednesday's attack came as the Defense Ministry announced it was redeploying thousands of troops to the south to prevent al-Qaida from retaking lost territory.
"The redeployment of the military to the cities here is to fill the security void left by the Interior Ministry who lack weapons and manpower," Gov. Gamal al-Aqel told The Associated Press. "This leaves a lot of room for the possibility of al-Qaida's return to the cities."
Yemen's ongoing power struggle also undercuts the security forces' capabilities. The day before the attack, the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, which manages the police, was ransacked in the capital Sanaa in a bloody takeover by policemen loyal to the country's ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down six months ago.
At least 15 people were killed and 43 wounded in the attack, officials said.
The incident points to the enduring ability of Saleh's supporters, many of whom still hold key positions, to cause unrest in Yemen.
The police who stormed the ministry had accused the government of corruption, but Interior Minister Abdul-Qader Qahtan said Wednesday that the violence aimed to undermine the U.S.- and Gulf-backed initiative to ease Saleh out of power and reduce instability in the country.
"It's a desperate attempt to delay the political process and the implementation of the Gulf initiative," he said, referring to the power-transfer agreement that Saleh was pressured to sign after a year of protests against his rule.
According to the deal, Saleh handed over powers to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
The ousted leader issued a statement Wednesday through the former ruling party, which he continues to head, denying that he had any role in the incident.
"We wish for a legal solution to the problem and respect for rights to avoid more bloodshed and to stop the political divisions inside the military and police," the statement said.

Ban confirms appointment of adviser on Yemen, names new enterprise planning official

1 August 2012 –
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today confirmed the appointment of Jamal Benomar as his Special Adviser on Yemen, charged with leading strengthened so-called ‘good offices’ in the Middle Eastern country in its current transition period.
Mr. Benomar has served as the Special Adviser on Yemen since April last year, and has been working with the United Nations since early 1994 in various capacities, including with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
Mr. Benomar also served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before his career with the UN, Mr. Benomar was a director at the Carter Center where he worked closely with former US President Jimmy Carter on human rights and mediation issues.
In addition to other methods, the Secretary-General uses his ‘good offices’ – steps taken publicly and in private, drawing upon his independence, impartiality and integrity – to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.
Mr. Ban also announced today the appointment of Enrnesto Enrqiue Baca of Argentina as the Assistant Secretary-General for the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project in the UN Department of Management.
In a news release, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said Mr. Baca brings with him “extensive experience in leading major business transformations, large scale process re-engineering and change management initiatives, including ERP system implementation in the United Nations system and the private sector.”
Mr. Baca was previously the Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Technology and Management Services of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), where he led the agency’s business transformation and information technology projects.
Before joining the UN, Mr. Baca acted as the Chief Executive Officer of Telecarrier International Inc, in Panama, and had held senior positions at Telecom Argentina.