ViiV Healthcare announces new initiatives to improve access to dolutegravir: licence to the Medicines Patent Pool

LONDON, United-Kingdom, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• Timely collaborations underscore ViiV Healthcare’s commitment to increase access to life-saving HIV medicines for children and adults in the developing world

• Agreement with MPP supports access in developing world countries where 99% of children and 93.4% of adults with HIV live

ViiV Healthcare (http://www.viivhealthcare.com) today announced new collaborations with the goal of increasing access to its HIV medicine, dolutegravir (marketed under the name Tivicay

Categories: African Press Organization

EU military operation in the Central African Republic launched

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council today launched an EU military operation to contribute to a secure environment in the Central African Republic, as authorised by the UN Security Council in resolution 2134 (2014).

EUFOR RCA is to provide temporary support in achieving a safe and secure environment in the Bangui area, with a view to handing over to a UN peacekeeping operation or to African partners. The force will thereby contribute both to international efforts to protect the populations most at risk and to the creation of the conditions for providing humanitarian aid. EUFOR RCA will operate in Bangui and in the capital’s airport.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, said: “The launch of this operation demonstrates the EU’s determination to take full part in international efforts to restore stability and security in Bangui and right across the Central African Republic. It forms a key part of our comprehensive approach to solving the huge challenges faced by the Central African Republic. I’d like to thank all the Member States and non-EU countries which are working together to make this operation a success. It is vital that there is a return to public order as soon as possible, so that the political transition process can be put back on track.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Press briefing on the launch of the EU military operation in the Central African Republic

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Wednesday, 2 April 2014 at 15.30

Justus Lipsius building – Briefing room E (room 35.1)

Press briefing on the launch of the EU military operation in the Central African Republic by Major General Philippe PONTIÈS Operation Commander for the EU military operation in the Central African Republic

NB: Access to the Council press centre will be subject to accreditation to the EU-Africa Summit.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Human right violations in Equatorial Guinea highlighted in a WCC event

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Despite being the third largest oil producing country in sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea reels from a poor economy, a lack of good governance and of independent and functioning state institutions. These issues were the focus of presentations made by human rights defenders from Equatorial Guinea in a World Council of Churches (WCC) sponsored side-event at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event was organized by the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, in collaboration with EG Justice and the International Network of Human Rights (INHR) on 27 March. It featured panellists from Equatorial Guinea, who spoke about human right violations in the country and urged attention from the UN and the international community to help resolve the situation.

INHR’s director Ramon Munoz Castro, reading a statement on behalf of Gustavo Gallon, former Special Rapporteur on Equatorial Guinea, stated that “violation of human rights is systematic” in Equatorial Guinea.

He emphasized that human rights violations highlighted at the previous Universal Periodic Review (UPRs) must be transformed into necessary reforms in the country. Thus he stressed the importance of re-establishing the post of UN Special Rapporteur on Equatorial Guinea, which can significantly contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

Tutu Alicante, lawyer and executive director of EG Justice, underlined the issue of

corruption in Equatorial Guinea. Speaking about the weakness of state institutions in the country, he said that “corruption is the only thing which seems to be working”.

Alicante said that since previous UPRs on Equatorial Guinea, the situation hasn’t changed much. It is, therefore, a “moral obligation” for the UN and international community to promote protection of human rights in the country, Alicante said.

Alfredo Okeneve Ndoho, secretary general of the CEID Equatorial Guinea, called the autocratic regime responsible for human rights violations. He said that despite an abundance of resources, regressive socio-economic situations and poor welfare systems persist.

Protection of human rights and dialogue

Wenceslao Mansogo, another human rights defender from Equatorial Guinea, expressed his hopes for the UN to help protect civil and political rights of people in the country.

Mansogo went on to say that human rights defenders are persecuted, and dissent is often suppressed violently, and “fair judicial trials have become a utopia in Equatorial Guinea”.

It is therefore important to promote a strong civil society and national dialogue, aiming to cease human rights violations, unfair trials, arbitrary detentions and impunity, Mansogo added.

Christina Papazoglou, WCC programme executive for human rights, stated there is a need to support and enhance the capacity of human rights activists in the country, churches included, and build up strong international networks and partnerships to support their work on the ground.

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Equatorial Guinea, a WCC member church, has a “strong interest in being more actively engaged in the protection and promotion of human rights in the country,” said Papazoglou.

“We believe that churches and faith-based organizations, not only in Equatorial Guinea but worldwide, have played on many occasions and can continue to play an important role in the promotion and protection of human rights. Churches are deeply rooted in the communities and they can support positive changes at the grassroots level,” she said.

Equatorial Guinea will be reviewed under the UPR mechanism on 5 May.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

UK / Foreign Secretary meets President Kikwete of Tanzania

LONDON, United-Kingdom, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UK/Tanzania High Level Prosperity Partnership yields results as British businesses help develop Tanzania’s energy sector

The Foreign Secretary yesterday met President Kikwete of Tanzania and commended the growing partnership between the UK and Tanzania on trade and investment, defence and security and governance and human rights.

The Foreign Secretary noted the significant opportunities for British businesses in developing Tanzania’s energy sector, amongst others. He welcomed progress made on two major projects:

• the signing of a memorandum of understanding between BG Group, Ophir Energy, their joint venture partners and the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation, on the potential development of a multi-billion pound onshore liquefied natural gas plant; and

• an agreement between UK company Aldwych International and the Tanzanian authorities on development of a £175 million wind farm, which the government has now identified as a priority under the Big Results Now initiative, and which would make a significant contribution to Tanzania’s renewable energy goals

The Foreign Secretary underlined the importance of good governance in the development of Tanzania’s extractives sector. As part of this he encouraged Tanzania to sign up to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The Foreign Secretary also thanked President Kikwete for his role as a global champion of the UK initiative on Preventing Sexual Violence, and urged a continued commitment to tackling illegal trade in wildlife.

Other agreements reached during the visit include:

• Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Tanzania to strengthen cooperation between the British armed forces and the Tanzanian People’s Defence Force, which will enable training of Tanzanian troops for peace support operations as well as creating opportunities for UK troops to train in Tanzania.

• a major new £18.25 million Tax Modernisation Programme funded by DFID, to enable Tanzania to increase tax revenue and progressively reduce aid dependence.

Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:

“I am delighted at the growing partnership between the UK and Tanzania on a number of fronts. Tanzania offers significant opportunities for British businesses in the energy and other sectors and is set to become a major new global gas supplier. I am pleased President Kikwete had the opportunity to witness UK expertise in oil and gas by visiting Aberdeen. I hope that Tanzania will apply to join the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, an important tool for ensuring good governance in the extractives sector, during the UK’s chairmanship.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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