The Director General of Bilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Mr. Gerardo Peñalver, in transit in Ghana, held a meeting with Mr. Edwin Nii Adjei, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, who analyzed and updated aspects of common interest.
The meeting held in the headquarters of the Ghanaian Chancellery led the exchange between the two parts. As a concrete result, it was patented the maintenance of the points of contact between the diplomacy of both countries and the interest of strengthen their relations, both in the diplomatic sphere as in the general cooperation in the country.
By the Ghanaian side also participated the Director of the America´s Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Abdulai, as well as for the Cuban side it was the Ambassador, Mr. Pedro L. Despaigne Gonzalez.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
Expressing deep concern over the serious political polarization resulting in a deterioration of the security, economic and humanitarian situation in Libya, the Security Council today reiterated its support for the United Nations envoy for Libya, who leads efforts in facilitating implementation of the political agreement signed about a year ago.
Issuing a press statement overnight, the 15-member Council also reiterated support for efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and encouraged the envoy and the Mission to intensify their efforts in facilitating implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement.
The release of the statement followed the briefing on 6 December by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Martin Kobler, who noted that implementation of the political deal has stalled.
The Agreement rests on four main principles: ensuring the democratic rights of the Libyan people, the need for a consensual government based on the principle of the separation of powers, oversight and balance between them, as well as the need to empower state institutions like the Government of National Accord so that they can address the serious challenges ahead, respect for the Libyan judiciary and its independence.
In the press statement, the Council expressed its deep concern over the challenging political and security context in Libya and the serious political polarization resulting in a deterioration of the security, economic and humanitarian situation as well as the recent escalation of violence between armed groups in Tripoli, calling on all parties to immediately heed the Presidency Council’s appeal to cease fighting.
Reaffirming full support for the Agreement and calling on all parties to accelerate its implementation, the Council reiterated the importance of the continued inclusiveness of the Agreement and renewed its strong call on all parties in Libya to be part of and to engage constructively with the Agreement in good faith and with sustained political will.
The Council urged all Libyan stakeholders, especially those not currently fully engaged in the process, to work together with the Presidency Council to resolve outstanding issues and focus all Libyan efforts on rebuilding the country.
The Council reiterated its grave concern about the terrorist threat in Libya, in particular from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), groups proclaiming allegiance to ISIL, and groups affiliated with Al-Qaida, welcomed progress made in the fight against terrorist groups, notably against ISIL, in Sirte and in Benghazi, and noted with concern the information that ISIL elements may have dispersed to other parts of the country.
The Council also urged Libyans across the political and security divide to unite and join forces under unified command in their fight against ISIL in the service of their country and called on armed actors to halt violence against civilians.
The Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).
As part of the ongoing concerted efforts to facilitate the growth and development of African Union’s Agenda 2063 to ensure Africa is a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner in world affairs, the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) convened its 5th forum under the theme “The Role of Africa in Developing International Law” in Accra, Ghana. The rationale behind the theme was that Africa’s encounter with international law has shaped it and as argued by some scholars, the continent is largely a creation of international law. The forum therefore endeavoured to analyze the contribution and norm creation of Africa in the mostly Eurocentric discourse of international law, with a view of enhancing its active participation.
The two day forum brought together eminent practitioners in international law, legal advisers of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors of AU Member States and Diplomats, Academician from Educational and Research Institutions and students.
Opening the conference, Hon. Mr. Emmanuel Bombande, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, in his remarks stressed that the forum is held at a time when the continent is continent is reflecting on its continental criminal justice mechanism. He emphasized the role of law for African countries as they set out their development strategies and in the implementation of Agenda 2063 through the rule of law, human rights and accountability.
The newly elected Chairperson of African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL), Ambassador. Prof. Sebastiao Da Silva Isata in his speech welcomed the participants to the meeting and explained the significance of Africa’s contribution to the development of international law. He said, “Africa has significantly contributed to the development of International law and has in fact much more to contribute to the development of International law and to the values underlying it for a better understanding and peace amongst nations”.
Hon. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf Vice President of the ICJ, in his key note address called on the AUCIL to effectively contribute to international law by addressing the challenges which are being faced by African Countries in particular in encouraging African Countries to utilize African legal counsel when appearing before international and arbitral institutions, promoting training and teaching at the undergraduate level at African Universities, and lastly to duly inform and Advise African States prior to signature and ratification of international legal instruments.
The African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) team also took this opportunity to organize an exhibition at the margins of the forum to show case and disseminate publications on the African contribution to international law from the AUC and its partners.
Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).
Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell will travel to Malawi from December 8 – 10. Together, they will join a high-level delegation, to include representatives from international civil society organizations, that will visit Blantyre and Lilongwe to explore how to better support adolescent girls.
As part of the delegation, Ambassador Birx and Ambassador Russell will meet with the President of Malawi and other members of the Malawian government to discuss how governments and civil society organizations can improve coordinated efforts to support adolescent girls. The delegation will also visit U.S.-funded programs that help keep adolescent girls in school and meet with local advocates and community leaders.
Malawi is one of four countries where the United States is undertaking a comprehensive approach to address the full range of challenges facing adolescent girls. Similar efforts, announced by President Obama over the last year, are underway in Tanzania, Nepal, and Laos. Malawi is also one of ten countries receiving support through the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) partnership.
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.
Aware of the unprecedented impetus of African economies and of the potential offered by the various national and sub-regional markets, Moroccan and French companies are demonstrating new ambitions in Africa, which are expressed in their development strategies on the continent.
According to the third edition of BearingPoint’s (www.BearingPoint.com) International Development Barometer of international firms, “Developing in Africa: comparisons of Moroccan and French companies”, which is produced in conjunction with the Moroccan Exporters’ Association (Asmex) (http://Asmex.org), the five main countries where the 250 Moroccan and French companies surveyed are most established are Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal. Senegal, Ivory Coast and Gabon are in the lead for the Moroccan companies questioned, which are mainly present in West Africa. Ivory Coast, Morocco and Cameroon hold the first three places for the French groups questioned, which are also based in some English-speaking countries (Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya).
Regarding the type of operations conducted by the companies in the group, over 60% of Moroccan responders export and distribute their production in sub-Saharan Africa, often through a network of partners, which represents the first step before considering setting up in the region. A step ahead, the French companies have more local sites, especially in the conversion and industrial sectors.
“We nevertheless see that Moroccan companies – which are in fact quite new on the continent compared with their French counterparts, some of which have been present for more than a hundred and fifty years – are starting to catch up. Afro-optimism is now a feeling which is widely shared by Moroccan and French company directors, and reflected in the growth strategies and the investments committed,” explains Jean-Michel Huet, associate at BearingPoint. Five years ago, 86% of Moroccan companies questioned said that Africa represented less than 5% of their turnover. In 2016, the continent accounts for more than 5% of revenues for almost half of the respondents, and 20 % of them believe that Africa will represent more than 50% of their global turnover in the next five years. “For some years now, we have witnessed a very strong drive from the Moroccan private sector towards the sub-Saharan region. Support from the authorities in the country and the successes achieved, in particular by finance departments and real estate, have accelerated this movement,” explains Mr Hassan Sentissi, President of the Moroccan Exporters’ Association (Asmex).
This optimism is also observed in France. Five years ago, 49% of the companies questioned said that Africa represented less than 5% of turnover. In 2020, this figure will have dropped to 14%. In ten years, Africa’s share of the total turnover of respondents will have increased by 75%.
“These Moroccan and French figures confirm a major trend: the ‘African risk’ relating to the political situations and the business environment no longer represents an insurmountable obstacle. The potential and opportunities on the continent – which will have 2 billion inhabitants in 2050, with over 900 million of these belonging to the middle class – are much more powerful parameters for companies when defining their international development strategies,” explains Jean-Michel Huet.
The potential of African markets (purchasing power and number of customers) is the first criterion accounting for the presence of French companies in Africa, and the second criterion for their Moroccan counterparts.
Distributed by APO on behalf of BearingPoint.
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About the Moroccan Exporters’ Association (Asmex):
The Moroccan Exporters’ Association represents the exporting companies in Morocco.
The mission of ASMEX (www.Asmex.org) is to represent and promote Moroccan exports and carry out internal and external lobbying for efficient promotion of Moroccan exporters. All export sectors are represented, either directly or through their federations.
ASMEX represents 80% of Morocco’s export turnover.
For more information, please visit: www.Asmex.org.
The Department of Trade and Industry, (the dti) and its regulatory agencies, the National Consumer Commission (NCC), and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) together with the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and the City of Cape Town with the support of the South African Police Services, conducted compliance inspections at 61 retailers which saw them confiscate 44 non-compliant paraffin heaters and three paraffin stoves.
The non-compliant products were confiscated and removed from retailers that operate in Fish Hoek, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Ottery and Parow. The announcement was made by the Commissioner of the NCC, Mr Ebrahim Mohamed at the Safe Paraffin Appliance Campaign held in Masiphumelele, Western Cape today.
Mohamed said the NCC will continue to discourage and educate consumers from buying non-compliant paraffin appliances. He warned businesses against selling such appliances to people, warning them that they could face criminal prosecution if they did not stop putting people’s lives at risk.
“I do however believe that the prevalence of these appliances is much more widespread, but by working together as government and society we will root them out of every corner of this province,” said Mohamed.
Masimphumele fire victim, Ms Lulama Jack said communities need to be educated and made aware of safe products especially those that catche fire. She added that being the victim of fire does not only affect one financially but mentally as well.
“I did not only lose my possessions but lost a grandchild in the process. My whole family had to be accommodated at the community hall together with other victims who went through the same ordeal as me,” she said.
She urged the community to take precautions and learn as much as they could about the dangers of illegal paraffin stoves and other goods so that they could protect themselves against the fire.
Addressing the community at the same event, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of NCRS, Mr Edward Mamadise said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies requested NRCS to deal harshly with businesses that are not obeying the law to ensure that they are brought to book.
He added that they will inspect their premises and prosecute those that are manufacturing, supplying and selling these unsafe products to communities because this is against the law.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.