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Archive for June 24th, 2012

Egypt: Mohamed Morsi wins Presidential elections – Mubarak is in Jail

Posted by African Press International on June 24, 2012

The Muslim brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi who was in prison for about 18 months during the former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule has won the Presidential elections.

This is the first democratically elected Muslim Head of State in the region.

The former President Hosni Mubarak who was ousted a year ago during the Arab Spring uprising was sentenced to life in prison recently for allowing the killings of his opponents during the uprising.

Now it remains to be seen if the new leader will introduce Sharia laws in the country.  This may be difficult because the country has a very strong military that has been in loggerheads with the Muslim brotherhood.

Egyptian Women and christians however, are worried because the Muslims will now have power in the country. Morsi promised, during his campaign, that he will be the president for all Egyptians. This now remains to be seen.

USA has had close ties to the past regime of Hosni Mubarak, a man who is now in prison, sick and almost dying.. USA says it wants to have a good relationship with the incoming leader, but it will not be that easy.

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Voluntary Assisted Return to Somaliland

Posted by African Press International on June 24, 2012

www.africanpress.me/ Elizabeth Mbaire Koikai __

http://www.africanpress.me/ Elizabeth Mbaire Koikai __

 

Elizabeth M. Koikai reporting from Norway

IOM is a leading International organization working with migrants and governments to provide humane responses to migration challenges. It was established in Oslo in 2002 with a mission to worked with it’s partners, both governmental and non-governmental organizations, in implementing programmes to fulfill its mandate.

 

In the beginning of May 2012 the International Organization for Migration (IOM) started to offer Somaliland citizens assistance to return to their country and reintegrate in the Somaliland community.

Through the Voluntary Assisted Return Programme (VARP), IOM assists asylum seekers with or without a residence permit and other irregular migrants in Norway who wish to return to their home countries voluntarily. The Programme provides a return option, which is safely organized and dignified.

Persons to be assisted must have a background in Somaliland. This means that individuals will not be granted participation in the program if they are from Puntland or southern and central Somalia.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Oslo will individually give persons  information and advice, help to obtain travel documents, tickets and transit visas as well as help in organizing the trip and assistance in transit. Somaliland citizens living in Norway without documents or if asylum application for stay in Norway has been rejected and wish to return home are required to register and apply. All the services provided are free of charge for all applicants.

Upon arrival in Somaliland persons will receive 30,000 Norwegian kroner in cash, this will be paid in three installments by IOM Hargeisa. Individuals will receive the first payment on arrival. They will also be able to apply for housing benefit for a while, if need be.

IOM Hargeisa offers personalized information and guidance on arrival of persons. The organization which collaborates with other independent organizations throughout Somaliland,  will assist with follow-up.

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Agreement reached in Rio+20 negotiations

Posted by African Press International on June 24, 2012

The delegations from the UN member states have agreed on a draft outcome document for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.

They have also agreed to develop a set of sustainable development goals. These goals will give both rich and poor countries something to strive for.

“The new sustainable development goals should mobilise concerted effort in this area. I believe that they will be even more important than the Millennium Development Goals,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås.

The process of developing the sustainable development goals will begin now, so that they can be integrated into the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015.  Mr Holmås has headed the Norwegian delegation during the final phase of the preparatory process.

“The draft outcome document emphasises the need for sustainable energy for all, and stresses the importance of renewable energy and of improving energy efficiency. In this area, Norway has made its mark through our Energy+ initiative and concrete projects that will provide more green energy for poor countries. We are also supporting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative,” Mr Holmås said.

The text of the draft outcome document highlights the value of biological diversity and ecosystem services and the need for innovative sources of financing for development, as Norway has advocated. It does not, however, mention the establishment of a new UN organisation for the environment, which Norway has called for. Nevertheless, there is agreement that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) should be strengthened.

“We are pleased that equitable economic growth is a recurrent theme throughout the outcome document. And it conveys a strong message on promoting gender equality. Having said this, I had hoped for stronger ambitions on the right of women to decide over their own bodies and how many children they would like to have,” Mr Holmås commented.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and other heads of state and government will arrive in Rio de Janeiro today to complete this work and adopt the outcome document.

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Norway provides NOK 460 million for global health

Posted by African Press International on June 24, 2012

“Well-functioning and accessible health services are crucial for development in poor countries,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås. Norway is donating NOK 460 million to the World Health Organization with the aim of promoting better health for all.

Mr Holmås and WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan will sign the agreement during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro.

“Over half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from illnesses caused by contaminated water and sewage. Climate change is exacerbating these problems. Norway wishes to collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen health services in poor countries, especially in Africa,” Mr Holmås said.

Health is a global public good. Diseases do not respect national borders, and no country can secure the health of its population on its own. International cooperation is therefore crucial. Important areas that Norway will focus on in its collaboration with WHO include climate change, sexual violence and non-communicable diseases.

“One in three women experience violence at some point in their lives. Over the last decade, sexual violence has been used systematically as a weapon of war. Women and children are the most vulnerable. Health services play a key role in the prevention of sexual violence and in treating and helping victims,” Mr Holmås commented.

Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes also pose a major public health threat. Three of five deaths worldwide are caused by such diseases. An unhealthy diet, smoking and tobacco use, alcohol and a lack of exercise are all important contributing factors.

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