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Oct 132014

ROME, Italy, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Committee on World Food Security, the world’s foremost inclusive intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder platform for food security and nutrition, today opened its 41st session (CFS 41). The Committee is expected to adopt a set of principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems that have been in development for the past two years.

“Progress against hunger continues,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in his address to the CFS. He cited FAO figures showing that about 805 million people are chronically undernourished in the world today, some 209 million less than in 1990-92.

“Food security is everyone’s business. It is a society – not a government – that decides to eradicate hunger and achieve food security. Political commitment and leadership from governments is the first step. However, civil society, private sector and other non-state actors also need to embrace this goal. At the global level the CFS promotes an enabling environment for this to happen,” the FAO chief said.

Reading out an address to the CFS by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Thomas Gass, said the CFS’ “focus on knowledge and expertise, on rights and effective multi-stakeholder dialogues and partnership is advancing our shared work to realize my vision of a world with zero hunger.”

Since its establishment the CFS has envisaged a future without hunger and I share that vision. A focus on rights, on sustainable waste-free food systems and on responsible, accountable collaboration between stakeholders will, help us tackle root causes of food and nutrition insecurity,” the UN Secretary-General said.

CFS Chair Gerda Verburg said that reports on food insecurity and malnutrition all emphasize the key role played by responsible and sustainable investments in agriculture and the food system.

“This is why we have negotiated principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems, which are on the agenda for endorsement at this session,” of CFS, Verburg said. These would foster “not only more but especially better investment in agriculture and food systems to meet the challenge of sustainable global food and nutrition security for all.”

In her address, Ertharin Cousin, Executive-Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) said that the CFS session is taking place at a time “when our … is increasingly fragile.”

“An unprecedented number of shocks, stresses and-ever-more complex-crises now threaten food and nutrition security, repeatedly proving that without stability-the fourth dimension of food security-food systems can quickly collapse, sometimes in matter of weeks, to humanitarian crisis, setting back years of progress in hunger reduction,” Cousin said.

In his statement to the opening of the CFS, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Vice President, Michel Mordasini, noted how “investing into rural transformation and smallholder farming is pivotal for achieving national and global food and nutrition security, as well as for ending poverty.”

Policy roundtables

During CFS 41, the first of two policy roundtables will focus on the issue of food losses and waste, which currently amount to one-third of food produced worldwide.

Topics include the need to identify the causes of food losses and waste through an integrated perspective along the food chain and to consider any interventions as part of the whole, not in isolation.

Participants were expected to debate the findings of a scientific report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE). CFS participants were also to discuss the technical, economic and cultural dimensions of such waste and losses as well as ways to curb the negative impact on food security and nutrition.

Improved labelling and other forms of information for producers and consumers are among the measures to curb losses and waste identified by the HLPE.

The second roundtable, deals with the increasingly critical – but often not duly recognized – contribution made by fish to food security and to healthy diets, as specified in an HLPE report.

Farmed fish production has increased 12-fold over the last three decades and is the fastest growing food production sector, both in small and large scale systems. Most of the fishers or fish farmers, fish processing and/or trading people live in developing countries, earn low income, often depend on informal work. They need decent work and social protection and gender sensitive approaches. A very high number of female workers are engaged in fish processing and in informal small-scale fish trading operations. Governance is particularly important to determine access to fisheries resources, integrity of fisheries resources and distribution of fish benefits.

The HLPE report stressed the importance of international partnerships and initiatives on oceans and fish to better link fish production growth, sustainability and food security and nutrition

CFS participants highlighted the importance of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small-Scale Fisheries adopted earlier this year by the FAO Committee on Fisheries.

Ahead of the CFS, countries agreed on a series of policies aimed at ensuring that people around the world have access to healthier diets. The agreement, consisting of a Declaration and a Framework for Action will be adopted at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) to be held in Rome from 19-21 November 2014. This high-level intergovernmental meeting is jointly organized by FAO and WHO.

Oct 132014

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission established pursuant to the Joint Communiqué adopted at the Summit Meeting which took place in Geneva on 15 November 2002 between His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon and His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the presence of His Excellency Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the United Nations, held an extraordinary meeting of the Heads of its three delegations in Yaounde on 11th October 2014. Mr. Saïd Djinnit, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, chaired the deliberations. Vice-Prime Minister Amadou Ali and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minster of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, CFR led the Delegations of Cameroon and Nigeria, respectively.

2. The Heads of delegations of the Mixed Commission strongly condemned the terrorist activities that directly destroy the livelihood of the people living in the northern part of the land boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria and adversely impact the demarcation exercise.

3. Consequently, the Heads of delegations adopted the report of the SCD including the measures recommended towards completing the implementation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 10th October 2002, by adopting the desktop approach to assess the remaining areas.

4. The Heads of delegations congratulated the teams that took part in recent pillar emplacement works along the boundary and who successfully carried out pillar construction works related to Lots 1 and 2 that ended on 6th June 2014 that led to the building of a total of 289 new boundary pillars. Noting the depletion of the resources in the Trust Fund, the Heads of delegations called for the assistance of the international community for the completion of the exercise.

5. As the mission of Ambassador Saïd Djinnit, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization and Chairman of the Mixed Commission, who has been called to other duties, is coming to an end, the Heads of the delegations of Cameroon and Nigeria expressed their satisfaction with the excellent collaboration throughout his mandate. They thanked him for his outstanding contribution to the successful implementation of the Greentree Agreement, milestone achievements in the demarcation of the land boundary and strengthening confidence between the Republics of Cameroon and Nigeria.

Oct 132014

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone is continuing to accelerate with a total of 2950 cases reported by October 8, and hundreds of new infections identified each week. With so many critically ill people to care for, treatment centres are currently overwhelmed and struggling to meet demand.

The goal shared by the Government of Sierra Leone and partners working to overcome Ebola is to increase the number of beds in Ebola treatment units as rapidly but also as safely as possible. This takes time as facilities must be constructed or redesigned to reduce the risk of health care worker infection and increase patient safety. Already 123 health care workers have developed Ebola virus disease and, tragically, 97 of them have died.

To shorten waiting times and provide care closer to home, community Ebola care units are now being put in place in the communities most heavily affected. These have an average of eight beds per centre and are staffed by health care workers and members of the community trained in infection control. They give Ebola care such as oral rehydration salts and medicines to relieve symptoms and treat other common causes of fever such as malaria. Current plans for building Ebola care units will add an extra 1000 beds for people ill with Ebola virus disease.

Anyone with Ebola virus disease needs access to good care as quickly as possible. However, while waiting for the ambulance or for a bed to be free in the nearest treatment unit, it is essential that family members and others caring for the sick person understand how to protect themselves from infection.

To enable household members to stay safe while waiting, “interim recommendations for protection of households” have been developed and approved by the Sierra Leone Emergency Operations Committee (EOC)

In summary these state that:

• Taking care of the patient suspected to have EVD at home is NOT recommended; all efforts should be made to safely transport patients to an appropriate Ebola care facility.

• To reduce risk of infection of other family members, the following general recommendations should be followed:

1. The patient should be asked to restrict movement to one room or area in the house and should avoid leaving it, if possible.

2. Where possible, the patient should be asked to use one toilet that other household members do not use. If a separate toilet is not available, the patient can use a separate waste bucket, followed by proper decontamination with strong chlorine solution. Avoid direct contact with other family members.

3. If care must be given to the patient, only one family member should be designated to provide the care.

4. Caregivers should wear gloves or use towels soaked in weak chlorine solution whenever they touch the patient, personal items belonging to the patient (e.g., clothing, bedding, eating and drinking utensils, mobile phones, etc.) or their body fluids (e.g., vomit, stool, urine, etc.).

5. Caregivers should avoid contact with the patient’s body fluids by staying behind or beside the patient while giving care, and never facing the patient.

6. Hands should be washed very well with soap and water or weak chlorine solution before and after entering the patient’s room/area and after removing gloves.

7. A mask or a dry towel wrapped around the face can be used to protect the nose and mouth when entering the patient’s room/area.

Oct 132014

LONDON, United-Kingdom, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Increasing access to modern forms of energy is crucial to unlocking faster economic and social development in sub Saharan Africa, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Africa Energy Outlook (, a Special Report in the 2014 World Energy Outlook series. More than 620 million people in the region (two-thirds of the population) live without electricity, and nearly 730 million people rely on dangerous, inefficient forms of cooking. The use of solid biomass (mainly fuelwood and charcoal) outweighs that of all other fuels combined, and average electricity consumption per capita is not enough to power a single 50-watt light bulb continuously.

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“A better functioning energy sector is vital to ensuring that the citizens of sub-Saharan Africa can fulfil their aspirations,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “The energy sector is acting as a brake on development, but this can be overcome and the benefits of success are huge.”

In the IEA’s first comprehensive analysis of sub-Saharan Africa, it finds that the region’s energy resources are more than sufficient to meet the needs of its population, but that they are largely under-developed. The region accounted for almost 30% of global oil and gas discoveries made over the last five years, and it is already home to several major energy producers, including Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. It is also endowed with huge renewable energy resources, including excellent and widespread solar and hydro potential, as well as wind and geothermal.

The report finds that investment in sub-Saharan energy supply has been growing, but that two-thirds of the total since 2000 has been aimed at developing resources for export. Grid-based power generation capacity continues to fall very far short of what is needed, and half of it is located in just one country (South Africa). Insufficient and unreliable supply has resulted in large-scale ownership of costly back up generators. In the report’s central scenario, the sub-Saharan economy quadruples in size by 2040, the population nearly doubles (to over 1.75 billion) and energy demand grows by around 80%. Power generation capacity also quadruples: renewables grow strongly to account for nearly 45% of total sub-Saharan capacity, varying in scale from large hydropower dams to smaller mini- and off-grid solutions, while there is a greater use of natural gas in gas-producing countries.

Natural gas production reaches 230 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2040, led by Nigeria (which continues to be the largest producer), and increasing output from Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola. LNG exports onto the global market triple to around 95 bcm. Oil production exceeds 6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2020 before falling back to 5.3 mb/d in 2040. Nigeria and Angola continue to be the largest oil producers by far, but with a host of other producers supplying smaller volumes. Sub-Saharan demand for oil products doubles to 4 mb/d in 2040, squeezing the region’s net contribution to the global oil balance. Coal supply grows by 50%, and continues to be focused on South Africa, but it is joined increasingly by Mozambique and others.

The capacity and efficiency of the sub-Saharan energy system increases, but so do the demands placed upon it, and many of the existing energy challenges are only partly overcome. In 2040, energy consumption per capita remains very low, and the widespread use of fuelwood and charcoal persists. The outlook for providing access to electricity is bittersweet: nearly one billion people gain access to electricity by 2040 but, because of rapid population growth, more than half a billion people remain without it. Sub-Saharan Africa also stands on the front line when it comes to the impacts of climate change, even though it continues to make only a small contribution to global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.

“Economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa hinges critically on fixing the energy sector,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol. “The payoff can be huge; with each additional dollar invested in the power sector boosting the overall economy by $15.”

In an “African Century Case”, the IEA report shows that three actions could boost the sub-Saharan economy by a further 30% in 2040, and deliver an extra decade’s worth of growth in per-capita incomes by 2040. These actions are:

• An additional $450 billion in power sector investment, reducing power outages by half and achieving universal electricity access in urban areas.

• Deeper regional co-operation and integration, facilitating new large-scale generation and transmission projects and enabling a further expansion in cross-border trade.

• Better management of energy resources and revenues, adopting robust and transparent processes that allow for more effective use of oil and gas revenues.

As well as boosting economic growth, these actions bring electricity to an additional 230 million people by 2040. They result in more oil and gas projects going ahead and a higher share of the resulting government revenues being reinvested in key infrastructure. More regional electricity supply and transmission projects also advance, helping to keep down the average cost of supply. But the report warns that these actions must be accompanied by broad governance reforms if they are to put sub Saharan Africa on a more rapid path to a modern, integrated energy system for all.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

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• Energy in sub-Saharan Africa today (

• Sub-Saharan Africa – key projections to 2040 (

• Sub-Saharan Africa – main areas for policy action (

About the IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) ( is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. Founded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis, the IEA’s initial role was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets. While this continues to be a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing reliable and unbiased research, statistics, analysis and recommendations.

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Oct 132014

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, condemned last night’s car bomb attack in Mogadishu that resulted in the death and injury of many people. The President of Somalia has confirmed at least thirteen people were killed.

“I condemn last night’s appalling terrorist attack against innocent civilians in Mogadishu resulting in numerous casualties. The use of such indiscriminate tactics against the Somali people is a cruel and despicable crime. I commend the swift response of Somalia’s security and medical staff. The perpetrators need to be brought to justice swiftly.” SRSG Kay said.

“We remain resolute in our support for the Somali people as they work to realise their hope for a peaceful and stable future.” he added.

SRSG Kay extends his sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those who have suffered as a result of last night’s attack.

Oct 132014

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur welcomed a community-based strategic plan to end the use of children as fighters in inter and intra ethnic clashes initiated by Sheikh Musa Hilal and endorsed by leaders from the Abbala, Beni Hussein, Fur, Tamma, Gimir and Awalad Janoub tribes in Kabkabiya, El Sereif, Saraf Umra, Al Waha and Jebel Si localities in North Darfur.

Sheikh Hilal previously issued a command order on 26 July 2013 to the members of the communities under his leadership to prohibit the use of children as fighters. In the order, apart from the recruitment and use of child soldiers, he condemned sexual violence against children, abduction, killing and maiming of children and attacks against schools and hospitals. He assured his full commitment and adherence to international norms and standards protecting children in situations of armed conflict.

The strategic plan establishes an implementation follow-up committee not only to raise awareness about the negative impact of using children as soldiers but also to identify children who have served as fighters in past ethnic conflicts and to work with relevant organisations to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society including through access to education and vocational training skills.

UNAMID expects that the successful implementation of the plan will serve as a platform to foster relations between communities, contribute to ending tribal clashes and enhance the protection of children. The Mission applauds the progress made in Darfur through promoting the local ownership of the protection of children agenda.

“We are glad to witness that communities are taking the lead role in protecting children who are the future of Sudan. UNAMID will continue to support on-going efforts to rid Darfur of child soldiering and other grave violations against children,” said UNAMID Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Abiodun Bashua.

Since 2009, six parties to the conflict in Darfur have established action plans to end recruitment and use of child soldiers, and nine have issued command orders prohibiting the practice. Meanwhile, more than 1,200 former child soldiers have been registered to benefit from reintegration programs with the support of Sudan’s Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, UNICEF and UNAMID.

Oct 132014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has today welcomed back Guinea and Madagascar as Members of the Organization. Their readmission at the opening session of IPU’s 131st Assembly in Geneva increases IPU membership to 166 national parliaments.

Guinea had previously been an IPU Member between 1996-2007 and 2008-2009. Both departures from the Organization were due to the political instability in the West African country – the last one in 2009 following the dissolution of the National Assembly by a military coup in December 2008.

Parliamentary elections in September 2013, the first since 2002, have paved the way for Guinea’s re-affiliation to IPU.

Similarly, Madagascar had held IPU membership twice before – between 1978-1991 and 2005-2009, losing it due to a military coup in 2009. Following elections for a new parliament late last year, the Indian Ocean island-nation convened a new National Assembly in February 2014.

“We welcome back Guinea and Madagascar to IPU. It is a decision that acknowledges the progress both countries have made in restoring critical foundations for democracy in their respective societies,” said IPU President Abdelwahad Radi.

More than 720 MPs from 145 countries, including an unprecedented 113 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament are attending the 131st IPU Assembly, which concludes on 16th October.

IPU Members will tackle a wide range of issues of global concern, including ending violence against women, the situation in the Middle East, water governance, coherent policies on drugs, sustainable development and climate change.

Members will decide late on Monday 13th on the issue which will be the focus of an emergency debate and resolution later in the week. Proposals include fighting terrorism and extremism, protecting the rights of the Palestinian people, addressing sovereign debt crises, combating human trafficking and responding to the Ebola crisis.

A new president of the Organization will also be elected on 16th October to take over from former Moroccan Speaker of Parliament, Abdelwahad Radi, who ends a three-year mandate.

Oct 132014

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) strongly condemns the attempted murder of senior Somali journalist and renowned TV personality on Sunday, October 12.

Abdirisak Jama Elmi (Black), director of Somali Channel TV office in Mogadishu, was attacked when he was leaving his house in Howl-Wadag district. The TV journalist was hit by three bullets at the back and stomach, and is receiving treatment at Mogadishu’s Madina hospital.

“This is yet another disgraceful attack on freedom of expression in Somalia. However, such attacks will not deter Somali journalists from pursuing their journalism mission,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

Despite repeated calls to ensure safety and security for journalists, violent attacks, threats, arrests and intimidations against journalists continue.

“The government must act swiftly and decisively in this and all cases that have been building up for years in Somalia. Full prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes is the only answer to reversing this history of impunity,” asserted Osman.

Oct 132014

CAIRO, Egypt, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Cairo, 12 October 2014

Assalaam alaikum. Good afternoon.

Since I am leaving shortly for Israel and Palestine, I wanted to have this chance to share a few words about the Gaza reconstruction conference.

I would like to highlight three quick points.

First, today the international community clearly recognized the massive needs in Gaza – and is underscoring its commitment to act in a massive way.

Second, there was a universal understanding that Gaza cannot be rebuilt on a weak political foundation. That is why the United Nations will continue to support the Government of National Consensus. The recent unity government cabinet meeting in Gaza is a good sign of progress that must continue.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, as I said this morning, this must be the last Gaza reconstruction conference. The cycle of building and destroying must end. Donors may be fatigued – but the people of Gaza are bruised and bloody. Enough is enough.

It is time to chart a course to a just and final peace between Israelis and Palestinians – one that addresses all the outstanding issues.

As a part of this effort to look ahead and build a better future, I believe it is important to be on the ground. That is why I am announcing today that I will visit Gaza on Tuesday to listen directly to the people of Gaza, survey the situation for myself and help advance our reconstruction efforts.

Finally, let me just say a few words about my visit yesterday to Libya.

I went to Libya to show my commitment to the people and the political process that is underway.

The situation is extremely fragile. I was joined by the Italian Foreign Minister and as well as special envoys from a number of other countries. We went to lend our collective and full support to the effort to bridge the political divides – build robust and inclusive institutions – and, of course, end the fighting.

The future of Libya hangs in the balance – with all its implications not only for the Libyan people but the wider region as a whole.

I told Libyan leaders that the United Nations stands with them in their pursuit of peace, development and human rights. Dialogue is the only way to end the suffering, restore stability and build a better future for the people of Libya.

But violent confrontations must cease immediately or that better future will be a distant dream.

Finally, I want to reiterate my great concern over the situation in and around the Syrian city of Kobane. With the continuing attacks by ISIL or Daesh, thousands of lives are at stake.

I once again call on all parties that can act to step up to prevent a massacre and protect civilians in Kobane.

With those brief remarks, I am ready to take a couple of questions.

Thank you.

Oct 132014

CONAKRY, Guinea, October 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -It is a great pleasure to welcome President Condé to the IMF.

Our discussion focused on how we can help Guinea respond to the devastating Ebola outbreak, a disease that poses a humanitarian and economic challenge to Guinea and its neighbors. Beyond the loss of life and social dislocation, it is threatening to reverse the advances made by these countries in recent years in economic development and poverty reduction. We all recognize that we have act decisively and urgently to stop this epidemic.

On behalf of the Fund, my main message today to President Condé and to the people of Guinea is that we stand with you in these times of trial. We have already provided $41 million to Guinea on an emergency basis. We are ready to do more if needed. And I appreciate all that President Condé is doing for his country and people.

We will continue to stand by Guinea and the Guinean people.