January 3, 2019
Changing of the climate
On January 1, 2019, new international standards on the phased reduction of the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons - gases, which cause a strong warming, came into force. This is the Kigal Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
To date, this new document has been ratified by 65 states. UNEP has called on all other countries to join an important agreement.
Proper implementation of the provisions of the Kigal Amendment and its support from governments, the private sector, and citizens will keep global warming at 0.4 degrees Celsius already this century. The Kigal Amendment will make an important contribution to the protection of the ozone layer and the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
After all, today the temperature of the Earth is 1 degree Celsius higher than at the beginning of the 20th century. This is largely due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on September 16, 1987. In particular, it prohibits the production and sale of hazardous substances that deplete the ozone layer. Within the framework of the Montreal Protocol, the production and use of about 100 types of chemicals has already been banned. Many of these substances contribute to global warming. Ozone protects the earth from ultraviolet radiation, which is the main cause of melanoma and other skin cancers.
The Kigal amendment provides for the phased reduction of hydrofluorocarbons, which are not ozone-depleting gases, but cause strong global warming - many times more than carbon dioxide. These organic substances are used in cooling systems.
The new agreement for different countries provides different terms for the withdrawal of hydrofluorocarbons from circulation. For example, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by 2020 will have to reduce their consumption by 5 percent from the current level, and by 2036 - by 85 percent.
Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa have partnered with UNDP to launch the Solar for Health initiative to install solar systems in rural health centres and clinics where surgeries may be carried out by candlelight and where vaccines and medicines can expire without proper temperature regulation.
The initiative aims to use solar power to refrigerate medicines, maintain health information systems, and create adequate conditions for the delivery of babies, while reducing emissions which harm the environment.
Some 405 health facilities across the region have benefitted so far.
Solar power is helping make universal healthcare a reality in places where unreliable power supplies regularly affect access to vital services, and can out people’s lives at risk, thanks to support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The United Nations Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” a series of coordinated attacks aimed at security checkpoints in northern Afghanistan which took place on Monday night, killing at least 27 and wounding dozens of others
According to news reports, the assaults were carried out by Taliban extremists in the provinces of Sar-e-Pul and Balkh, striking security forces in three areas; the centre of Sayad District, along a road linking Sar-e-Pul to Jowzjan, and a village where oil wells are situated.
“The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Afghanistan and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured”, said a statement issued on Thursday.
Council members “reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”, and underlined the need “to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.”
They called on all States “to cooperate actively with the Government of Afghanistan and all other relevant authorities” to help end the cycle of violence in the country.
New presidential election date
The attacks on New Year’s Eve came a day after the announcement by Afghan electoral authorities of a new date for planned presidential elections, which had been scheduled to take place on April 20. Elections will now be held in July this year.
In a statement, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, said that “the United Nations understands that the new date announced by the Independent Election Commission follows consultations with a broad range of political actors, civil society organizations, and the Government of Afghanistan, all of whom have expressed the strong desire for a credible and transparent presidential election.”
“The United Nations acknowledges the IEC’s assessment that additional time is needed in order to learn from the 2018 parliamentary elections and adequately prepare”, said UNAMA.
Somali Government efforts to build a lasting peace through political reform and transformation have progressed along a “positive trajectory” but everyone involved in the process needs to “pull in the same direction”, the UN Special Representative in the country told the Security Council on Thursday.
Nicholas Haysom commended the Office of the Prime Minister “for leading Government efforts to tackle corruption”, and praised improvements in public financial management which had led to a recorded surplus of $8 million last September.
But turning to Somalia’s complex “Roadmap on Inclusive Politics” reform process, he said that a “key milestone” had been missed in not meeting the December deadline for a draft new Electoral Law. Despite that, the National Independent Electoral Commission has made progress with voter registration planning, and 35 political parties have been officially registered.
“Women’s meaningful participation” in the Constitutional Review process, and other draft national agreements on justice, mineral resource-sharing, “allocation of powers and fiscal federalism” was essential, said the top UN official from South Africa, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM.
Overshadowing progress there however, he said, was a continuing stalemate between the leaders of central Government, and Somalia’s Member States, which “continues to impede progress in defining the federal model, building institutions of state, and in the implementation of the National Security Architecture”.
There had been encouraging steps taken to “restore relations” by the President and Prime Minister, and a committee established to work with the Upper House of parliamentary representatives, Mr. Haysom told Council members.
Risk that ‘complexity shifts to conflict’
The Special Representative noted that “politics is complex in any nation, but in one that is still establishing its norms, institutional parameters” and debating how they will work for the common good “there is a risk that complexity shifts to conflict”.
This had proved the case in the election process for South West State, where allegations of interference by the Federal Government and violence which erupted following the arrest of a candidate who was a former al-Shabaab deputy-leader, “marred the process and does not bode well for upcoming” elections, said Mr. Haysom.
He said it was regrettable that 15 people, including a regional assembly member had lost their lives, adding that the detention of the former extremist group leader, could deter others from abandoning terrorist violence, for the ballot box.
Al-Shabaab still the ‘biggest source of insecurity’
Al-Shabaab continues to be “the biggest source of insecurity in Somalia” said Mr. Haysom, welcoming the Government’s condemnation of the group’s attack on New Year’s Day against the UN’s headquarters in the Somali capital, which injured three staff members.
Thanks to the African Union’s AMISOM troops, and Government forces, conventional attacks have been largely stymied he said, with Al-Shabaab now relying on assassinations and improvised explosives, but “indiscriminate attacks” were still a constant threat.
He added that the UN had “continued to support conflict prevention and conflict resolution efforts in several parts of the country in collaboration with our partners”, said the top official.
Humanitarian needs remain high, with 4.2 million requiring assistance and protection, almost two-thirds of them children. “Around 1.5 million are severely food insecure at crisis or emergency levels. Around 2.6 million people are internally-displaced” he said.
Finally, he added, respect of human rights in the country and international humanitarian law, and the protection of civilians caught up in violence, “remains key for Somalia’s transition and sustainable peace”.
To raise awareness of the importance of Braille for approximately 1.3 billion people living with some form of distance or near vision impairment, on Friday the United Nations is observing the first official World Braille Day.
The World Health Organization(WHO) reports that people who are visually impaired are more likely than those with full sight to experience higher rates of poverty and disadvantages which can amount to a lifetime of inequality.
Around the world, 39 million people are blind, and another 253 million have some sort of vision impairment. For them, Braille provides a tactical representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols so blind and partially-sighted people are able to read the same books and periodicals printed as are available in standard text form.
Six dots represent each letter, number, even musical and mathematical symbols, to allow the communication of important written information to ensure competency, independence and equality.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) cites Braille as a means of communication; and regards it as essential in education, freedom of expression and opinion, access to information and social inclusion for those who use it.
To foster more accessible and disability-inclusive societies, the UN launched its first-ever flagship report on disability and development last year, coinciding with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on which Secretary General António Guterres urged the international community to take part in filling inclusion gaps.
“Let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for an inclusive and equitable world, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized,” he said.
Camellia Sadat ,70 years and The daughter of the former Egyptian president Mohamed Anwar Sadat, famous with "peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in Camp David ",died yesterday in her apartment in Cairo following a health crisis.
The family said in a statement that Alsadat had died because of suffering in serious problem in the heart for some time.
It is noteworthy that president Sadat, married twice, and had seven children from his wife, the first Iqbal Madi, the daughter of the mayor of Mt Abulcom, who married in 1940, for 9 years and gave birth to 3 daughters; Rqaya and Rawi and Camellia; and then married Mrs Jihan, who gave birth to 4 sons : Noha, Libni, Gamal, and Jihan.
Kamellia Sadat is an Egyptian educator and a great fighter. She has experienced conflicts with great figures in Egypt because of her continuing provocative statements about her father and his relationship with his sons and his wife.
London - Cairo
Castle Journal,The British group for Journalism and Media, through the Editorial Team of its newspapers and magazines, led by Dr. Abeer Al-Madawy, Founder, Owner and Chairman of the Board, announces the 2018 Personality Choices. This year, the editorial team is pleased to select Artist Kawthar Al Sheref ,the global Artistic Personality.
Because of her distinguished creativity,she reached to famousity of the world, she participated for forty years in international exhibitions around the world and has won several titles for her unique distinction in the selection of a visual art representing the central environment and its humanitarian mission, characterized by modernity and enlightenment
Kawthar Al Sheref has great talents , Each painting has a special sense that represented her emotional revolutionary vision of the situations that she expressed either by complete consent or rejection.
She was born in Assiut, Egypt, in 1948, then moved to Cairo and graduated from Ain Shams University, Department of History
She became a teacher and then a school principal in the Ministry of Education. She married the Ambassador Dr. Dr. Mohammad Noman Galal and traveled with him to many countries in the world.
Her themes reflected her personal vision and the diverse experiences she gained in her rich surroundings. She was accompanied by numerous messages that appeared through the colors, lines and the fine symbols that she excelled in describing the paintings as a narrative speaker. T