Friday, June 30, 2017

Kenya – Yesterday (29/06), the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched Send Money & Invest in Kenya: A Guide for Diaspora Remittances & Investments, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The booklet targets the Kenyan diaspora and provides tips for sending money home through safe, affordable and convenient channels. It also gives guidance on how local savings, payments, donations and investments can be made while abroad.
During the launch, Jane Mwangi, Managing Director of Diaspora Interlink, pointed to research which shows that Kenyans abroad often identify information gaps about affordable transfer channels and investment opportunities as key challenges. Fears of being defrauded also factor high in their concerns.
The guide addresses many of these concerns by providing tips and information, which cover sending money, making payments and investing in Kenya. A key theme in the guide is the role that technology is playing in increasing convenience, supporting autonomy and cutting down costs.
Washington Oloo, Director of the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Directorate, stressed that diaspora remittances and other resources “are of immense importance to the Kenyan economy, with an estimated USD 1.6 billion remitted in 2015.” He highlighted that the Government of Kenya is committed to working with all stakeholders to empower Kenyans abroad to invest back home.
A wide variety of stakeholders attended the event, including diaspora organizations, the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), the GSMA Foundation, money transfer operators, commercial banks, research and policy outfits and Government of Kenya officials.
The guide was developed with the technical support of the ACP-EU Migration Action, an initiative launched by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by IOM.
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UN MIGRATION AGENCY WORKS WITH GOVERNMENTS IN EASTERN EUROPE

UN Migration Agency Works with Governments in Eastern Europe on Ethical Recruitment, Preventing Exploitation

Washington, D.C. – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) joined InterAction’s 2017 Forum bringing leading professionals from international development and humanitarian to Washington, D.C., on 20–22 June. InterAction is the US’s largest consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations focused on disaster relief and sustainable development.
During the Forum, IOM’s Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants Unit hosted a breakout session to discuss trafficking in emergency settings.
Moderated by Rick Sandoval – a veteran immigration journalist and director of 100 Reporters Agency – the panel offered an exchange of ideas and an opportunity to compare best practices in responding to trafficking and exploitation during emergency crises.
Human trafficking and exploitation often are direct consequences of crises and not mere byproducts, explained Michela Macchiavello, IOM Specialist, Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants Unit, who cited an IOM study published in 2015. Macchiavello stressed that both human trafficking and exploitation can be “a matter of life and livelihood for victims. For this reason, they need to be given from the outset as much priority as any other crisis response.”
Following the recommendations of this study, IOM is now developing a Global Strategy to fight trafficking and exploitation in crisis. This will allow actors to address such crimes systematically and strengthen IOM’s capacity as well as the ability of first responders, from both the humanitarian and development communities, to respond to these violations in the future.
Too often, victims might not be visible at the beginning of the crisis. One reason for this: the destruction of traditional protection mechanisms that hold sway before a crisis. Therefore, it is vital to start addressing the issue even when victims are not yet visible.
“Victims will surface possibly a few weeks or months into the crisis but by then it may be too late to help them! Larger numbers of victims will have been affected by trafficking, some beyond recovery, and the crime will have expanded much more than if we had acted at the very outset of the crisis,” explained Macchiavello.
Authorities also have key roles to play in mitigating trafficking during crises. “We encourage governments to build the necessary foundations to combat trafficking and to raise awareness of human trafficking indicators among first responders before a crisis hits,” said Greg Hermsmeyer, Senior Coordinator for International Programs, US Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).
He added: “In the wake of a disaster, we recommend that governments immediately implement screening measures without waiting for evidence of trafficking, which takes too long.”
The Department of State’s TIP Office has funded numerous IOM projects on counter-trafficking and exploitation in areas affected by conflict and crisis, including in the Philippines post-Hurricane Haiyan, in the Balkans, and in several African countries.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has been protecting and assisting victims of trafficking since the mid-nineties. By the end of 2016, it had assisted close to 90,000 victims worldwide.
Despite efforts by the humanitarian and development communities to address trafficking in situations of crisis, more needs to be done.
“There is a protection gap in the current UN response system through which the needs of the victims of trafficking remain unaddressed. This is why activities addressing human trafficking and exploitation of migrants and refugees need to be included systematically in humanitarian responses to crises,” IOM’s Macchiavello concluded.
For further information, please contact Hajer Naili, IOM Washington. Tel: +1 202 568 3757, Email: hnaili@iom.int
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73RD SESSION OF THE ESCAP COMMISSION SESSION SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES

73rd session of the ESCAP Commission Session
South Asian countries underscore centrality of regional cooperation for sustainable energy and the achievement of the SDGs
Seven countries from South and South-West Asia participated in the 73rd session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific held in Bangkok from 15 to 19 May 2017. The yearly Commission provides a platform for member States to discuss policy issues and key challenges towards achieving inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific. The session was held under the theme ‘Regional cooperation for sustainable energy’ and placed particular emphasis on how greater economic cooperation and integration can help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Below are salient points from South Asian member States’ country statements delivered at the above Commission session (Ministerial segment). Highlights pertain in particular to the implementation of the SDGs, sustainable energy and the importance of regional cooperation to address common challenges and scale up progress. Full text of the statements can also be accessed from the below links.
  1. Afghanistan
  • Incorporated the SDGs and targets into its National Peace and Development Strategy, and identified and integrated priority areas in the strategies of eight economic and social sectors.
  • Oversees development in all SDGs through the Ministerial Council. Prepares the National SDG document, coordinates among sectors, and reports annually to Council and the cabinet through the Ministry of Economy.
  • Aspires to serve as an energy transit corridor between Central Asia and South Asia.
  • Aspires to serve as cross road between South and Central Asia, particularly in light of recent developments such as the belt and road initiative, the Central Asia-South Asia power project (CASA-1000), Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, five nations railway, digital silk road, etc.
  • Regional Economic Integration is one of the five pillars of Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework.
  • Aims to open ways for more dialogues and expend regional cooperation.
  1. Bangladesh
  • Declared ‘Vision 2021’ for transforming the country into a middle-income country by 2021.
  • Formed ‘SASEC’, together with India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, for initiating cross border electricity trade and utilizing hydro power potential of the subregion.
  • Needs a huge amount of investment and a smooth and steady flow of development assistance from valued development partners for achieving the targets of the 2030 Agenda.
  • Prepared climate change strategy and action plan which also need huge investments and an easy and adequate access to climate funds.
  • Earns remittance as one of the largest receiving countries in the world. Yet stringent measures undertaken by host countries might create a setback in the country’s remittance earning capacity.
  1. Bhutan
  • Welcomes the Regional Road Map for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Captured the 17 SDGs (with the exception of Goal 14) in the country’s 11th Five-Year Plan, which is due for completion is June 2018. Currently finalizing the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023), based on nine domains of Gross National Happiness that also integrate 16 of the 17 SDGs.
  • Emphasizes a significant concern about the economic vulnerabilities on the graduation track of least developed countries (LDCs), including Bhutan, such as narrow economic base, over reliance on a single sector for revenue, threat of natural disasters, and impacts of climate change etc.
  • Considers that promoting knowledge exchange, best practices, and sharing experiences between graduated and graduating countries could be of particular value.
  • Fully committed to an energy transition towards clean and sustainable energy as a response to climate change.
  • Regional trade and cross border trade in energy requires building of trust through political commitment, investment in infrastructure, the removal of institutional barriers and the normalization and harmonization of standards and regulations.
  1. India
  • Finalizes 15-year Vision Document and 7-year strategy for post five-year plan that ends in 2017. The documents have at their core, the integration of the SDGs into the national context.
  • Plans a mapping of the SDGs to specific national programmes, priorities and targets, and embodies the spirit of the SDGs to India’s development transformation, tailoring them to India’s development needs.
  • Aims to double farmers’ incomes by 2022 through investment in agricultural productivity and extension to promote higher value commodities and sustainable increases in yield and crop intensity.
  • Implements “Skill India” mission and “Make in India” programmes for increasing vocational skills and productive employment.
  • Improves and expands the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act that provides 100 days of essential employment to those living in poverty.
  • Commits to national electrification of villages and cities by the end of 2018.
  • Raises awareness and capacity for sub-national SDG integration, into state and local government plans, programmes, targets and expenditures. The support of the UN Country Team in India, including ESCAP is recognized.
  • Supports initiatives related to regional economic cooperation and integration towards a South Asia Power Grid and South Asia Market for Electricity Trade in Energy Sources-Oil and Gas.
  • Committed to active cooperation to develop the two Southern-Central Asia trunk corridors identified by ESCAP as integral parts of the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway networks.
  1. Nepal
  • Addresses the possibility of a subregional cooperation among LDCs for fostering localized innovation.
  • Includes the use of renewable energy in the strategies of the ongoing 14th Periodic Plan.
  • Recognizes the potential of clean hydropower for satisfying the energy demand in Nepal. Envisions an increase in hydropower production capacity to 2300 MW within the next three years, an amount sufficient enough to export to South Asian countries within the next decade.
  • Emphasizes that the adoption of a regionally coordinated market mechanism by the public and private sectors for accelerating green growth could address the challenges relating to technology transfer, finance and the capacity building needs.
  1. Pakistan
  • Aspires to establish a universal, affordable, efficient and sustainable energy architecture at the national and regional levels through its comprehensive policies on energy security in terms of National Development Strategy: Vision 2025.
  • Aims to establish Pakistan Climate Change Council to prepare and supervise implementation of adaptation and mitigation projects.
  • Launched a Green Pakistan Programme to increase natural resources through afforestation.
  • Develops new regional energy projects such as CASA-1000 and TAPI.
  • Implements a Renewable Energy Resource Mapping activity across the country through Alternative Energy Development Board of Pakistan.
  • Establishes connectivity in the region such as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, one of the pilot projects of the belt and road initiative.
  • Considers that achieving the SDGs along with regional integration, reinforced by UNESCAP’s guidelines and several regional and subregional initiatives of connectivity in Transport, Energy, Climate Change, ICT, Trade and Economics and other sectors is the best option to leave no one behind.
  1. Sri Lanka
  • Achieved the lower-middle income status, and seeks upward movement by using many socio-economic reforms, including enhanced fiscal management policies.
  • Considers that ensuring energy sufficiency and access is also a vital component in drive towards economic prosperity.
  • Achieved providing almost 100% of households with access to affordable and reliable electricity at all times.
  • Implements a mixed renewable energy generation system, comprising, hydropower, solar, wind, biomass and agriculture based energy, which amounted to 49% of all national electricity needs in 2015.
  • Aims to launch a development program in the coming years to implement effective measures to ensure sustainable energy to meet the country’s future demand.
  • Emphasizes the importance of sharing experiences and supporting Research and Development among member States in addressing technological and other related issues in harnessing renewable energy and sustainable energy resources.
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DMA REJECTS THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE 7TH PAY COMMISSION

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GERMAN PARLIAMENT TOUGH LAW FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

German parliament on Friday approved a plan to fine great example of such up to 50 million euros ($57. 04 million) if they fail to eliminate hateful postings quickly, despite problems the law could limit free manifestation.
Is this German law empowers the government with such massive fine for the social networks to be fearful while writing on the net. Is this is an exercise to take speedy by the government to take action against rumour mongers.
The German parliament on Friday approved a plan to fine social networks up to €50 million if they fail to remove hateful postings quickly, despite concerns the law could limit free expression.
The measure requires social media platforms to remove obviously illegal hate speech and other postings within 24 hours after receiving a notification or complaint, and to block other offensive content within seven days.
Germany has some of the world’s toughest laws covering defamation, public incitement to commit crimes and threats of violence.
But few online cases are prosecuted.
Germany’s Merkel voted against gay marriage
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she voted against legalizing gay marriage given her personal view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but she hoped parliament’s approval of the measure would lead to more social cohesion.“For me, marriage in the basic law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favor of this bill today,” she said moments after the 393-266 vote in favor of an amendment that will legalize same-sex marriage. “I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace, she added
Media agencies
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FRENCH EMBASSY INDIA, SST,SUPPORT SUSHIL REDDY FOR “SUN TRIP TOUR 2017” IN FRANCE


New Delhi, 28 June 2017
French embassy and Institutes of French are making dedicated efforts for students across India with scholarship, sponsorship,training,participation for Indian students to study and participate in their national sports events. One such events are enumerated here for the benefits of the Indian students to prepare and compete globally.
The Section for Science and Technology (SST) of Institut français India, French Embassy in India, is pleased to announce its support for IIT engineer Sushil Reddy, selected to participate as a Special Guest in the solar bicycle rally, “Sun Trip Tour 2017”. Organised by the French ‘Sun Trip Company’, the solar bike rally will take place from 8 to 21 July, 2017. It will pass through some of France’s most beautiful landscapes in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and cross two neighboring countries, Switzerland and Italy.
Mumbai IITian Sushil Reddy is the Guinness World Record holder for the longest journey on a motorised bicycle. Using a solar-powered motorised bicycle to raise awareness about solar energy, he made a trip around India between 8 May and 25 July 2016, which started and ended in Mumbai, covering a distance of 7,423.88 km
From a young age, Sushil Reddy has displayed deep commitment to promoting low-cost, clean, sustainable energy, both in his academic and personal life. He has contributed greatly towards this by using science, technology, education and tourism.
A month prior to joining the Sun Trip Tour, Sushil embarked on his own Tour de France with his solar bicycle from 1st June to 2nd July 2017, again in a bid to promote the use of solar energy. Starting from Istres, his journey has led him to Toulouse, Bordeaux, La-Roche-sur-Yon, Rennes, Le Mans, Paris, and will finally take him to Lyon. In each city, he is holding seminars and meeting students in universities like Ecole Centrale, Instituts Polytechniques and HEC Paris, with fruitful discussions on the challenges of using solar energy.
Indo-French collaboration
Renewable energy – and solar energy, in particular – is one of the key areas of the Indo-French partnership, involving academics, industry captains and other stakeholders from both the countries, who are collaborating in this fast-growing and promising sector.

The Embassy of France in India, and its Science and Technology Sector (SST) under Institut français India (IFI), aim to ceaselessly develop cutting-edge cooperation in science, technology and innovation for the actors from France and India who share common interests and are interested in collaborating together.
The Section for Science and Technology of Institut français India, Embassy of France in India
supports Sunil Reddy as Special Guest
at France’s solar bicycle rally, Sun Trip Tour 2017
France-Switzerland-Italy, 8-21 July 2017
As a unique opportunity, stakeholders from India and France may benefit from CEFIPRA (www.cefipra.org), which provides financial incentives for organising joint seminars and workshops, and conducting collaborative research projects, including in public-private modes.
The SST provides regular information about the opportunities offered by the two countries for cooperation in science and technology through its website: www.frenchscienceindia.org
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INDIA BEAT WEST INDIES

India,  stunned hosts England with a 35-run victory, also made it two wins from two as they overpowered the West Indies by seven wickets at Taunton on Thursday.
Opener Smriti Mandhana got to three figures with an unbeaten 106 following her 90 against England.
She added 108 runs for the third wicket with captain Mithali Raj (46) after India were in trouble at 33 for two chasing a modest 184.
“Smriti played well for her hundred, it was a crucial innings she played,” said Raj.
India´s spinners made life so tough for the West Indies that even the usually dynamic Deandra Dottin — holder of the fastest century in women´s T20Is — could manage a mere seven off 48 balls.
The West Indies slumped to 91 for six before some late-order hitting boosted the total.
“We didn´t get the batting right in the middle,” admitted West Indies captain Stafanie (attn eds: correct) Taylor. “We have the batters to do it but I think it´s up to the batters to take more responsibility in their actions.”
All the eight teams involved play each other once, with the top four contesting the semi-finals.
The final takes place at Lord´s on July 23.
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