Tag Archives: political

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The Gambia: UN, ECOWAS, AU hail ‘goodwill’ of former President Jammeh; commit to work for his dignity and security

22 January 2017 – The United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) have commended the &#8220goodwill and the statesmanship&#8221 of the former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, who decided to facilitate an immediate and orderly transition process and transfer of power to President Adama Barrow.

In a joint declaration late yesterday, UN, ECOWAS and AU pledged to work with the Government of The Gambia to &#8220ensure that it assures and ensures the dignity, respect, security and rights of former President Jammeh, as a citizen, a party leader and a former Head of State as provided for and guaranteed by the 1997 Gambian Constitution and other Laws of The Gambia.&#8221

The same also extended to the former President’s immediate family, cabinet members, government and security officials, and party supporters and loyalists.

The declaration noted that former President Jammeh will temporarily leave the country, without any prejudice to his rights, to assist the peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power and the establishment of a new government,.

Furthermore, the three organizations also said that they would work with the Government to ensure that no legislative action is taken against the former President and his entourage, as well as to prevent seizure of assets and properties lawfully belonging to them, and urged the authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure that there is no intimidation or harassment of former regime members and supporters.

They also pledged to work with Gambian authorities on national reconciliation to cement social, cultural and national cohesion.

The joint declaration further noted that the UN, ECOWAS and AU will work to ensure that host countries that offer &#8220African hospitality&#8221 to former President Jammeh and his family do not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions.

It added that the three organizations would also work the Government to ensure that former President Jammeh &#8220is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of The Gambia and a former head of state.&#8221

The joint declaration further noted that ECOWAS will halt any military operations in the country and will continue to pursue peaceful and political resolution of the crisis.

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UN agency urges support for small farmers to help them not just get by, but thrive and feed others

22 January 2017 – Highlighting growing challenges, such as climate change and natural resource scarcity, facing small farmers in developing countries, the head of the United Nations agricultural agency called for information technology tools that can help boost their resilience as well as feed a growing world population.

&#8220Millions of small family farmers need technical and financial assistance to be more resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change,&#8221 said José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

&#8220They must be able to stay on their land, produce their own food and also have access to markets,&#8221 he added.

In his remarks at the G20 agricultural ministers meeting in the German capital, Berlin, Director-General Graziano da Silva noted that rural areas around the world will also be key in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development given that this where poverty and hunger are most concentrated.

At the same time, these increases in agricultural yields in these regions are required to feed a world population set to cross the 9-billion mark by 2050, and these will greatly depend on small family farmers, according to FAO studies.

Turning to the importance of information and communication technologies to build efficiency, resilience and inclusion of poor family farmers, the FAO Director-General spoke about the agency’s digital strategy that aims to support them through knowledge sharing and bottom-up learning.

As part of this strategy, the UN agency is working with Google to make high-resolution satellite data an everyday tool to monitor and manage natural resources, promote sustainable and strengthen food security. It is also engaging with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) &#8211 the UN system’s weather agency ¬&#8211 to improve weather forecasts for farmers, as well as exploring ways to provide small farmers with microclimate forecasts.

Mr. Graziano da Silva said that these efforts would be aimed at countries that do not have national meteorological services established and urged for support so that meteorological data, available at global level, can be translated at a local level to benefit farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolks.

Also in his remarks, the senior UN official hailed the G20 for its continuing focus on the issue of water scarcity and on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

According to FAO estimates, almost 2.1 billion people live in the dry areas of the world and that some 260 million people, most of them in rural areas, lack access to safe drinking water.

Inviting G20 Members to participate in the Global Framework for Water Scarcity &#8211 launched by FAO and its partners at the recent UN Climate Conference in Marrakech, Morocco &#8211 that seeks to help countries and communities improve the efficiency of their water use and increase their resilience to drought.

On antimicrobial resistance, the head of FAO called on G20 support to the UN agency’s efforts to promote responsible use of antibiotics in the agricultural sector to prevent the spread of resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) change, developing resistance, as they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials and anthelmintics) used to treat the infections they cause. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist, become harder to treat and increase the risk of spreading.

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