WASHINGTON, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today, we have lost one of history’s great leaders. I extend my deepest condolences to the Mandela family and to the government and people of South Africa, the Republic that President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela helped free from the cruelty and hatred of apartheid and forged anew into a rainbow nation of hope and healing. I will always cherish the honor and memory of knowing him.
Even as we mourn, we remember how privileged the world was to witness the transformation he wrought by changing minds and hearts. He was apartheid’s captive but never its prisoner, and he rid the world of one of history’s foulest evils by hewing to universal principles for which he hoped to live but was prepared to die. Let us celebrate Madiba’s life by rededicating ourselves to the values and hopes he embodied: reconciliation and justice, freedom and equality, democracy and human rights, an honest reckoning with the past and an unflinching insistence on embracing our common humanity. Let us strive to follow in his noble path—to stretch out the hand of fellowship and forgiveness across the deepest of gulfs, to find peaceful ways to resolve the bitterest of conflicts, and to insist on the revolutionary power of empathy, persuasion, perseverance, and human dignity.
President Nelson Mandela is gone, but his legacy and example will forever endure. May they continue to inspire South Africa and all humanity for generations to come. He was one of the greatest human beings of our time. Farewell, Madiba—and thank you.
PLANO, TX, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — DreamTrips™ Vacation Club (https://dreamtrips.com), one of the world’s leading travel and vacation club membership organizations, was named “World’s Leading Travel Club” at the 2013 World Travel Awards Grand Final, the highest honor awarded in the global travel industry. The awards ceremony, which recognizes the elite in the travel and hospitality industry, took place at La Cigale Hotel in Doha, Qatar, on November 30, 2013.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by our global industry as the world’s best travel and vacation club,” said Jim Menge, Vice President, DreamTrips Product Marketing. “The award reflects the high standards we strive to maintain in the quality of our travel experiences, the caliber of our travel provider, Rovia, hospitality partners, and the energy and commitment of our worldwide staff.”
Since 1993, World Travel Awards (WTA) has acknowledged and celebrated excellence across all sectors of the global tourism industry. DreamTrips received top honors in the travel club category in recognition of its outstanding service and product offering as voted by travel agents and consumers around the world. Winners in other travel categories include Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ritz-Carlton, One World Alliance, Beaches Resorts and American Cruise Lines.
The Grand Tour of WTA gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events in the industry calendar, attended by the industry’s key decision makers, chief figure heads and the leading trade and consumer media.
“The Grand Final is a very competitive evening for our World Travel Awards nominees from all over the world, and these particular winners continue to serve as an example of the most luxurious and innovative brands with unique hospitality products and services,” said Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder, World Travel Awards. “This year’s recipients, like DreamTrips, strive to set the highest possible bar to raise the standards of excellence in travel and tourism and they carry these accolades into 2014 with pride and passion.”
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of DreamTrips.
For inquiries, contact:
DreamTrips delivers high-quality, one-of-a-kind curated travel and vacation experiences to its vacation club members. More information can be found at https://www.dreamtrips.com/experience-more.
About World Travel Awards
The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the global travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, it is regarded as the highest achievement that a travel product or service could hope to receive. More information can be found at http://www.worldtravelawards.com.
ABUJA, Nigeria, December 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — ECOWAS officials and health experts from within and outside the region are meeting in Abuja to develop a Community Mobilization Plan of Action to boost the regional Malaria Elimination Campaign through the strengthening of the vector control strategy.
The meeting, which opened on 2nd December 2013, seeks to generate ideas and strategies for effective community mobilization and buy-in to make the regional anti-malaria campaign a resounding success.
In his opening speech, the ECOWAS Commission’s Vice President, Dr. Toga McIntosh gave an update on the Commission’s collaboration with Cuba and Venezuela to scale up malaria elimination interventions in West Africa, noting that some progress had been achieved with the groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of three biolarvicides factories in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
Represented by his Executive Assistant, Mr. Urias Harrington III, the Vice President said the level of progress informed the need for the development of an action plan to effectively mobilize ECOWAS communities towards the preparation for the mass application of biolarvicides, the safe substance that kills mosquitoes, the malaria vectors in their larvae development stage.
He explained that the vector control strategy would complement other anti-malaria interventions towards making ECOWAS a malaria free region.
The ECOWAS Health Advisor and focal person for the regional Malaria Campaign, Dr. Mariane Ngoulla, underscored the importance of community mobilization to the elimination campaign, saying that malaria “knows no boundaries and cannot therefore be dealt with as a country specific problem.”
She enjoined participants to come up with a framework for an integrated approach to community involvement across West Africa for the elimination of malaria, which kills a child every 40 seconds and has claimed more lives than all the wars combined in Africa.
Studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) have shown that vector control is the only intervention that can reduce malaria transmission from high to zero level.
Participants at the Abuja meeting include representatives of ECOWAS Member States, partners from Cuba and Venezuela, as well as civil society organizations and other stakeholders.
PARIS, France, December 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution today providing technical and financial support to MISCA, the African Union’s peacekeeping force currently being deployed in the Central African Republic (CAR). The resolution also authorized the deployment of more French troops to the country to help quell the escalating violence and inter-religious attacks.
Given the complicated task of stabilizing the CAR, FIDH has repeatedly called for the immediate deployment of a UN-led peacekeeping mission to this country, but the UNSC did not authorize such a UN force at this time. Nevertheless, the UNSC resolution does contain some other important elements that FIDH called for in an open letter this past week, including plans to reform the national security forces, monitor and protect human rights in the country, and the need to fight against impunity for the most serious crimes, including sexual crimes.
“The security situation in the CAR is deteriorating every day, with civilians facing increasing attacks by armed groups and no functioning national security forces to protect them,” stated Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. “The UN must give its full support to MISCA and France’s forces in the CAR, and begin preparations as soon as possible to create a UN peacekeeping mission that will be able to address the long-term issues of political transition and justice for human rights violations.”, he added.
The UNSC resolution passed today also calls for the creation of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international law by all parties throughout the country, and leaves open the possibility of imposing sanctions on those found to be responsible for these crimes.
Given the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in CAR, and the risk this poses for spreading violence and instability in neighboring countries, FIDH calls for increased UN engagement in the CAR, especially in terms of protecting civilians from violence and fighting impunity for human rights violations.
DUBLIN, Ireland, December 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD has launched a school rehabilitation programme in Uganda.
The Minister launched the programme in Karamoja, the poorest area in the country during a visit to see the impact of Ireland’s support to Uganda’s most vulnerable communities and explore options to strengthen trade between Ireland and Uganda.
The Irish Aid-funded Karamoja Primary Education Programme (KPEP) involves the rehabilitation of 21 primary schools in Karamoja, the poorest region in Uganda, where three quarters of the population lives below the poverty line and where literacy rates stand at 11%.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Costello said:
“The construction and rehabilitation of classrooms, dormitories, teachers’ accommodation and kitchens will support the poorest children in Uganda to access education, thereby improving their lifelong prospects and breaking the persistent cycle of poverty in a country where almost half the population is under the age of 15.”
The Minister also greeted the news that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has granted Uganda $100 million for the next three years to support the education sector:
“Ireland coordinates the GPE’s work in Uganda. I believe that this major grant will further enhance, and contribute to the provision of quality education for the nation’s youth.”