Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisian Dialogue Quartet

Foreign Minster Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on the margins of his visit to Madrid today (9 October) in response to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia:

I am very pleased with the decision coming out of Oslo.

Without the concerted, committed and courageous efforts that Tunisia’s organised civil society made for democracy and fundamental rights, looking beyond any other social and political differences, there would have been no chance of transformation and change in Tunisia.

It is thanks to the Dialogue Quartet that developments in Tunisia went so well in spite of all the difficulties and challenges that had to be faced. This will encourage civil society everywhere, but especially in the Arab world, to be active and involved. The dedicated work of the Dialogue Quartet gives one hope and confidence that peaceful change is possible.

Background information:

Germany actively supported the work of the Dialogue Quartet from its beginnings. Foreign Minister Steinmeier met representatives of the Quartet on a visit to Tunisia in April 2014.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Germany – Federal Foreign Office.

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Source:: Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisian Dialogue Quartet

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Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisian Dialogue Quartet

Foreign Minster Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on the margins of his visit to Madrid today (9 October) in response to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia:

I am very pleased with the decision coming out of Oslo.

Without the concerted, committed and courageous efforts that Tunisia’s organised civil society made for democracy and fundamental rights, looking beyond any other social and political differences, there would have been no chance of transformation and change in Tunisia.

It is thanks to the Dialogue Quartet that developments in Tunisia went so well in spite of all the difficulties and challenges that had to be faced. This will encourage civil society everywhere, but especially in the Arab world, to be active and involved. The dedicated work of the Dialogue Quartet gives one hope and confidence that peaceful change is possible.

Background information:

Germany actively supported the work of the Dialogue Quartet from its beginnings. Foreign Minister Steinmeier met representatives of the Quartet on a visit to Tunisia in April 2014.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Germany – Federal Foreign Office.

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Source:: Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisian Dialogue Quartet

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Key women address challenges and opportunities for women in mining

Key women involved in the mining sector from across West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Ghana and Senegal) including mining practitioners, mining service industry representatives , educators, and senior government officials met today to discuss issues affecting women in mining. The Australian High Commission hosted the event to complement the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum and Exhibition (ECOMOF) held in Accra on 6-8 October.

The event strengthened networks and connections of women involved in the mining sector and raised awareness of the crucial role women are playing and can play in the sector, as well as the issues and barriers to achieve greater inclusivity in the industry.

The Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Natasha Stott Despoja contributed a statement which noted that globally, leaders have made commitments to gender equality through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. “….the economic case for women’s participation is undeniable. The absence of women from the [mining] sector means reduced productivity and competitiveness, and lowers profits,” her statement said.

The discussion was moderated by ‘Women In Mining’ Coordinator, Georgette Barnes, and in summing up she said: “Young women need to be encouraged into technical and engineering subjects in higher education. Employers should also make space for women. The majority of artisanal gold mining is carried out by women, and they should take the next step to take out concessions and become entrepreneurs themselves. Ghana’s development of a Country Mining Vision provides a unique opportunity for women’s voices to be heard and incorporated into this umbrella policy and action document. We call on the Minerals Commission to establish a Women’s Desk to enhance information flows to women involved in the sector.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Australian High Commission in Ghana.

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Statement by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean on UN proposal for Libyan Unity

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) welcomes the announcement of the UN proposal for the formation of a national unity government in Libya.

Although several members from both the internationally recognised House of Representatives in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress, have described the latest announcement as premature, PAM calls on both sides to seize this opportunity aimed at establishing the foundations for unity in the country. The civilian population will also gain from a peaceful settlement of the differences emerging after the revolution against the Gaddafi regime in 2011.

PAM is confident that the Libyan leaders will act responsibly also in light of the role that Libya plays in the overall stability of the Mediterranean region.

PAM, as it has done in these last years, will continue to provide its political and operational assistance to the negotiations process lead by the UN Special Representative to Libya, H.E. Bernardino Leon. The Assembly will also dedicate all its efforts to support the rights and aspirations of the Libyan population, and, as done on various occasions, will facilitate, through its parliamentary diplomacy network, the national reconciliation dialogue, until all sides will feel duly represented at all institutional levels.

Today, PAM is also holding a bilateral meeting with the Libyan delegation participating at the UN/PAM Regional Seminar in Bucharest, Romania, dedicated to “Challenges posed by a preventative criminal justice response to terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs)”.

Malta, 9 October 2015

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.

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Source:: Statement by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean on UN proposal for Libyan Unity

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Conditions Improve in South Sudan’s Malakal Site, But Displaced Face Ongoing Hardship

Living conditions for new arrivals at the UN protection of civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan, have improved since a 10-day influx of 11,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in early August. However, the site remains congested due to space constraints.

The influx of IDPs fleeing food insecure areas brought the population sheltering at the PoC site, which was designed for 18,000 people, to over 45,500, including 6,000 who arrived in July. Space limitations forced many new arrivals to shelter along access roads and near drainage in very poor conditions.

Within 10 days of the August influx, IOM had levelled and prepared land and drainage infrastructure in a 36,000 square metre contingency area to enable construction of shelters and other facilities for new arrivals. IOM worked in close coordination with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and camp manager Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to develop the site.

DRC constructed 129 communal shelters, and, today, approximately 7,200 new arrivals are sheltering in the improved area. “The quick response highlights the effectiveness of humanitarian coordination and contingency planning, as we were able to rapidly respond with materials already stored on site,” explained IOM Logistics Officer Donavan Naidoo.

As the increased population stretched existing water supplies, IOM also installed three new water points and tanks to supply 120,000 litres of clean, treated water daily to the IDPs in the contingency area. In addition, IOM constructed 202 new latrines, as well as 80 latrines in a second contingency area under construction.

Although the influx dropped off in mid-August, IDPs continue to arrive, particularly from nearby Wau Shilluk, where access for humanitarians has been difficult for several months.

Earlier this week, IOM recorded 216 new arrivals in one day, including an 18-year-old mother along with her 13-day-old baby and an elderly relative. They each paid 30 South Sudanese Pounds (approximately USD 2–3) to cross the White Nile River to reach Malakal. The mother said they left Wau Shilluk because food supplies had run out and she worried about the health of her baby.

On arrival, IOM and partner agencies provide IDPs with immediate assistance, including oral cholera vaccines, soap and water containers. They are also screened for malnutrition.

IOM is working with UNMISS and camp management to develop a second contingency area to provide additional space and mitigate the impact of another population influx.

Since the crisis erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, conflict and food insecurity have displaced more than 2.27 million people, including 632,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries and approximately 1.64 million others who remain internally displaced. Millions more are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: Conditions Improve in South Sudan’s Malakal Site, But Displaced Face Ongoing Hardship

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Didier Reynders supports the political agreement on Libya

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the political agreement which has been proposed in Libya. The agreement should lead to the formation of a government of national unity and is a first important step towards peace and stability. As also EUHR Mogherini has stressed, the Libyan representatives have showed responsability and leadership during the difficult negociations.

Minister Reynders encourages all parties to accept the agreement, to engage in the political process and to implement the peace plan immediately. This will give the Libyan population the peace and security they deserve. He would like to congratulate particularly Bernardino Leon, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN. His relentless efforts have made this positive development possible. Belgium and the EU fully support the agreement.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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Source:: Didier Reynders supports the political agreement on Libya

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Appeal for peace in the Middle East and Africa

The Pope exhorted bishops to dedicate the Terce prayer “to the intention of reconciliation and peace in the Middle East”, as he opened the fourth General Congregation of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Vatican City this morning. The Pope also launched an appeal to the international community to find a way of resolving current conflicts, and finally urged the bishops to include in their prayer all those zones in Africa that are experiencing similar situations of conflict.

“We are sorely afflicted and follow with profound concern the events in Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem and Jordan, where we are witnessing an escalation of violence that affects innocent civilians and continues to provoke a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. War leads to destruction and multiplies the suffering of the population. Hope and progress come only from the choice to pursue peace. Let us therefore join in intense and trustful prayer to the Lord, a prayer that is intended at the same time to be an expression of closeness to our brother Patriarchs and Bishops present here who come from those regions, to their priests and faithful, and to all the inhabitants”.

He urged the international community to “find a way of effectively helping the interested parties, to broaden their horizons beyond immediate interests and to use the instruments of international law and diplomacy to resolve current conflicts”.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Vatican information Service (VIS).

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Ministerial session of the STC on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment Sector opens, with a focus on enhancing linkages towards agricultural development and environmental sustainability

The opening of the Ministerial segment of the Inaugural session of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment opened yesterday, 8th October 2015 at the AUC Headquarters.

Speaking during the opening, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture said it was cardinal to cluster the sectors with a view to promoting synergies and coherence as well as optimizing resource utilization towards achieving agricultural development and environmental sustainability.

“If we collectively work to achieve food and nutrition security, wealth creation, and sustainable development, we will be contributing to the realization of the African Union Vision and Mission for an integrated, peaceful, and prosperous Africa, centered on the wellbeing of African citizens.”Commissioner Tumusiime said.“We will be contributing to the realization of Africa Agenda 2063 on inclusive growth, sustainable development and shared prosperity.”

Officially opening the STC, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Ethiopia, Mr. DejeneHabesha, urged the ministers, experts and stakeholders to ensure that
there were clear complementarities and linkages among the sectors represented to effectively implement the decisions of AU heads of State and Government.

The Report of the outcomes of the STC will be submitted for consideration at the 26th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in January 2016.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Ministerial session of the STC on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment Sector opens, with a focus on enhancing linkages towards agricultural development and environmental sustainability

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Nations List 12 Vulture Species to Tackle Population Decline in Africa

A further eighteen birds of prey species have been listed at an international meeting of government representatives and experts this week in Trondheim, Norway. Seven of these species under threat are critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List.

The 2nd Meeting of the Signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey (Raptors MOU) was held 5 – 8 October in Trondheim at the invitation of the Government of Norway. The Raptors MOU was concluded under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals as a special instrument to address threats to these species.

Countries agreed to list twelve vulture species, including the Hooded Vulture, White-rumped Vulture and the Lappet-faced Vulture, to Annex 1 of the agreement as a response to the current African Vulture Crisis. Vultures are suffering serious declines caused by illegal take and trade, and poisoning with toxic chemicals, which present serious risks to human health too.

CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers said: “Vultures are nature’s garbage collectors. These scavengers prevent the spread of disease and thereby directly protect human health. In order to prevent yet another crisis, we must preserve animal and public health in Africa by maintaining this unique self-purification capacity of Nature. In Norway, countries agreed this week on a coordinated international response led by the CMS Raptors MOU to tackle the African Vulture Crisis.”

Efforts to stop the dramatic decline of vultures were supported by Iran which announced its decision to ban diclofenac, a drug which almost wiped out vulture populations in India.

The development of a Multi-Species Action Plan for all Old World Vultures was initiated to halt the decline of vulture populations. The initiative to develop priority species action plans via the Raptors MOU is also included in CMS Resolution 11.14 on Migratory Birds and Flyways.

Illegal killing, taking and trade, conservation action for the Egyptian Vulture, as well as national and regional raptor conservation strategies were on the agenda.

The Chair of the meeting, Øystein Størkersen, Norway, said: “There is room to be more proactive, especially in specific fields, such as involving different sectors in addressing the key threats to migratory raptors. We shall reach our goals by building the palace stone by stone.”

Countries that have signed the MOU have agreed to worktogether to better protect vultures, eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. At the meeting, Comoros added its signature bringing the number of Signatories to 53.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Source:: Nations List 12 Vulture Species to Tackle Population Decline in Africa

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Statement of the Secretary-General on the awarding of the 2015 Nobel Prize for peace to the Tunisian national dialogue quartet

I am pleased that the 2015 Nobel Prize for Peace has been awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. I congratulate the members of the Quartet – the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

In a larger sense, I salute the Tunisian people – this recognition belongs to all those who gave birth to the Arab Spring and are striving to safeguard the sacrifices of so many.

Above all, this tribute highlights that lasting progress requires an inclusive process. The Arab Spring began with great hopes that were soon replaced with grave doubts. Tunisia has managed to avoid the disappointment and dashed hopes that have tragically emerged elsewhere.

As leaders of civil society, the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet has helped drive the change the Tunisian people demanded — and been central to the country’s stability, integrity and pursuit of justice.

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet offers hope that serious political challenges can be overcome through dialogue and consensual politics. Their example is an inspiration to the region and the world.

The United Nations will continue to proudly stand in solidarity with the awardees as they work to build the peaceful and democratic nation that the Tunisian people deserve.

Lima/New York, 9 October 2015

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Statement of the Secretary-General on the awarding of the 2015 Nobel Prize for peace to the Tunisian national dialogue quartet

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Déclaration de la Haute Représentante / Vice-présidente Federica Mogherini sur l’attribution du Prix Nobel de la Paix au Quartet du dialogue national en Tunisie

Je veux adresser mes chaleureuses félicitations au peuple tunisien, à l’heure où le Prix Nobel de la Paix a été attribué au Quartet du dialogue national : l’Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail ; l’Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat ; la Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme ; et l’Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie.

Ce Prix récompense les artisans d’une transition démocratique unique dans laquelle la société civile a joué un rôle décisif pour préserver l’unité nationale et la démocratie, permettant l’adoption d’une Constitution protectrice des principes d’une société pluraliste, de l’Etat de droit et des droits de l’Homme.

La détermination et le sens des responsabilités du Quartet représentent un modèle pour contribuer à résoudre les crises dans la région. Seules l’unité nationale et la promotion de la démocratie ouvrent la voie vers la paix et la stabilité.

Nous rendons hommage à l’ensemble de la société civile en Tunisie, et renouvelons notre engagement à soutenir son action, aux côtés des autorités démocratiquement élues, pour consolider cette transition démocratique et faire en sorte que la Tunisie demeure une source d’inspiration et d’espoir pour tant de peuples à travers le monde.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Union.

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Source:: Déclaration de la Haute Représentante / Vice-présidente Federica Mogherini sur l’attribution du Prix Nobel de la Paix au Quartet du dialogue national en Tunisie

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Déclaration du Président à l’Ecole des Chartes Prix Nobel de la paix au quartet du dialogue national tunisien

LE PRESIDENT : Le Prix Nobel de la paix qui vient d’être remis au Quartet tunisien, consacre la réussite de la transition démocratiqueen Tunisie. C’est aussi un encouragement pour encore soutenir la Tunisie dans les épreuves qu’elle traverse, parce qu’elle n’en a pas terminé. On l’a vu avec les actes terroristes de ces dernières semaines et de ces derniers mois.

A travers ce Prix, c’est tous les printemps arabes qui sont ainsi rappelés, et celui de Tunisie a été – reconnaissons-le – le seul à avoir eu ce résultat avec des élections incontestables et une démocratie enfin établie.

La France doit en tirer aussi toutes les leçons et avoir une coopération avec la Tunisie qui soit à la hauteur nécessaire : sur le plan économique, sur le plan touristique et aussi sur le plan de la défense. Il y a quelques jours, un accord a étépassé avec la Tunisie pour soutenir les forces de défense des tunisiens.

L’Europe et le monde doivent aussi ne pas simplement remettre un prix à la Tunisie, mais apporter du prix aux aides qui doivent être accordées à la Tunisie. Les symboles, c’est toujours des moments très importants et des consécrations, mais il y a aussi ce qu’on doit faire pour permettre à la Tunisie d’aller encore plus loi n dans la réussite de sa transition.

Cela sera la position de la France et je suis heureux aujourd’hui pour tous les tunisiens, parce que ces personnes, ces organisations, qui sont dans le Quartet, je les avais rencontrées avant de devenir Président, et après l’être devenu. Je sais ce que cela représente et je veux saluer tous ces militants, militantes – car beaucoup de femmes se sont engagées – qui ont aujourd’hui une véritable reconnaissance de ce qui a été faitneTunisie.

Alors que d’autres pays arabes sont éprouvés parcequ’il y a des guerres, des conflits pour mettre à bas des dictatures, c’est un bel exemple q ui peut être donné avec la Tunisie, y compris contre le terrorisme. Le Prix Nobel qui a été remis à la Tunisie, c’est aussi une lutte contre le terrorisme qui doit être une nouvelle fois réaffirmée.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Présidence de la République française.

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Source:: Déclaration du Président à l’Ecole des Chartes Prix Nobel de la paix au quartet du dialogue national tunisien

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