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Archive for May 31st, 2013

Global Leaders Call for Accelerated Progress on Family Planning at Women Deliver 2013

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2013

  • By Dickens Wasonga.
Melinda Gates, Babatunde Osotimehin and others highlight progress in expanding contraceptive access

On the second day of Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference on girls and women of the decade, global leaders announced progress and new commitments toward expanding contraceptive access for women in developing countries. They also outlined plans for sustaining this momentum in the years to come.

The day’s events built on commitments and energy generated at the landmark July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, where global leaders pledged more than US $2.6 billion to provide 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with voluntary access to contraceptive services, information and supplies by 2020. Speakers at Women Deliver 2013 discussed strategies to reach women and girls in developing countries who do not want to become pregnant, but lack access to contraceptives.
“Putting women at the center of development and delivering solutions that meet their needs will result in huge improvements in health, prosperity and quality of life,” said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates. “When women have access to contraceptives they’re healthier, their children are healthier, and their families thrive.”
At the morning plenary session—led by Melinda Gates and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Co-Chair Babatunde Osotimehin—government leaders from Africa and Asia highlighted concrete examples of progress on family planning and reaffirmed commitments to further expanding contraceptive access:
·         Senegal’s Minister of Health Dr. Awa Coll-Seck discussed the country’s dramatic progress in eliminating contraceptive stock-outs since the national family planning program’s roll-out in November 2012, doubling the budget to CFA 200 million with plans for further increases in 2015.
·         The Philippines’ Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique T. Ona discussed the country’s historic passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, after a nearly 15-year battle.
·         The First Lady of Zambia, Her Excellency Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, highlighted Zambia’s stalwart commitment to expanding family planning access in the country, which launched its national family planning program last month.
·         Indonesia’s Minister of Health Dr. Nafsiah Mboi announced the government’s increase in funding for long-acting reversible contraceptives, as part of its redoubled efforts to regain momentum on family planning access after recent plateaus.
·         National Coordinator for Malawi’s Safe Motherhood Initiative, Mrs. Dorothy Ngoma, discussed the government’s efforts to considerably strengthen the family planning component of safe motherhood efforts countrywide.
“These countries show that we can make an impact on women’s access to reproductive health if we rally the necessary political will and financial commitments,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Expanding access to contraceptives is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to save lives and ensure the health and wellbeing of future generations.”
Continued advocacy will be needed to ensure that governments sustain and increase their commitments to family planning and to girls’ and women’s health and rights more broadly. In addition to a high-level plenary on innovative advocacy strategies, Global Poverty Project (GPP) CEO and Co-Founder Hugh Evans announced the new advocacy campaign It Takes Two, led by GPP in partnership with Women Deliver. This campaign aims to motivate young men and women to take action in support of family planning services and information, and to hold governments accountable for their FP2020 commitments.
The day’s conversations helped set the stage for Thursday’s discussions on the critical role of girls and women in the post-Millennium Development Goal framework. Speakers  include United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark, Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, High-Level Task Force on ICPD Member HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and African Women’s Development Fund CEO Theo Sowa, among others.

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ICC underlines impartiality, reiterates commitment to cooperation with the African Union

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2013

The Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues the following statement in light of reports on discussions concerning the ICC at the recent Summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

“The International Criminal Court acknowledges and respects the African Union’s important role as the continent’s main regional organization. As an impartial international judicial institution, the ICC, including its independent Office of the Prosecutor, strives to maintain good working relationships with all relevant international and regional bodies, including the African Uni= on. The ICC’s relationship with Africa is all the more important considering that 34 African countries are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC . In addition, the majority of the Court’s current investigations were initi= ated following referrals or requests from the African States in question.

The ICC operates strictly within the mandate and legal framework created by= the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the Court, and cannot take politic= al factors into account. Decisions are taken independently on the basis of the law and the available evidence and are not based on regional or ethnic considerations. Judges are the guarantors of the fairness of proceedings before the Court, from the authorisation of investigations to the confirmation or= non-confirmation of charges and decisions on guilt or innocence.

It must be recalled that cases before the ICC are not only about the suspects or the accused; they also concern the thousands of victims affected by the events under the ICC’s jurisdiction, many of whom are represented in the various proceedings with the help of legal assistance provided by the Court.

The ICC does not replace national jurisdictions; it only complements them when necessary. The Rome Statute defines the criteria for deciding whether cas= es should be tried before the ICC or in a national judicial system, and this determination is made through a judicial process by independent judges of the ICC. In all proceedings before the ICC, suspects as well as concerned States have the possibility to address these matters in accordance with the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

While the Rome Statute gives the United Nations (UN) Security Council powers of referral and deferral in relation to the ICC, the exercise of these powers by the Security Council is governed by the UN Charter. The ICC is autonom= ous from the United Nations and does not participate in the Security Council’s decision-making. However once the Security Council refers a situation to the ICC, the investigation and proceedings that may arise from that situation are governed by the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICC and are not influenced by the Security Council or any other external body.

The Presidency stresses that the ICC is an independent institution that has a specific, judicial mandate created by States determined to end impunity a= nd to contribute to the prevention of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The ICC counts on the continued sup= port and cooperation of its States Parties in accordance with the Rome Statute and remains fully committed to a constructive and cooperative relationship with the African Union.”


Source ICC

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Kenya: Girl child education should be taken seriously

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal,API Kenya

EDUCATION stakeholders in Nyanza Region have been urged to join hands in educating girl child so as to improve their future lives.

West Gem County Assembly member Mr. Jared Abayo said girl child education is much sensitive that needs a lot of attention by both the parents and teachers. School girls in Kenya School girls in Kenya

He adds that for many years girl child education have not been given first priority as compared to boy child across the country especially in rural areas.

This, he said has made the performance of girl child to lag behind due to negligence by education stakeholders especially parents and even some of the teachers in various schools.

Addressing parents, students and teachers at Nyagondo Secondary school during the education and price giving day, Abayo decried the high rate of school drop out especially girls in the region. School girls in Kenya School girls in Kenya

“Most of these girls drop out of school due to lack of school fees, lack of clothing, unwanted pregnancy and poverty that force them to streets to provide for their siblings,” says Abayo.

This Abayo said call for immediate intervention by the government to find an amicable solution to the problem saying education is the only way to change the lives of these young girls.

However, he further challenge children to embrace education by maintain self-discipline at the highest level for the betterment of their education.

Abayo pointed out inadequate teachers, lack of equipment and infrastructure as the major challenges that children are facing in most schools across the region.

This has resulted to poor performance and called upon the government through the ministry of education to increase the teacher and student ratio in schools so as to improve education sector in the country.


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Kenya: Worried Parents from Nyanza region – Are teachers able to handle laptop challenges in class?

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal,API Kenya

PARENTS from Nyanza Region have called the government to equip teachers with the Information and Communication Technology skills in readiness for the laptops that are yet to arrive in the country by November this year. - Nyanza Parents Association chairman Mr. Jackson Ogweno – Nyanza Parents Association chairman Mr. Jackson Ogweno

Nyanza Parents Association chairman Mr. Jackson Ogweno said the laptops will only be effective if teachers have the necessary skills to train the pupils joining class one.

This follows the promise by the Jubilee government that all pupils joining class one shall be given a laptop for their studies. Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof. George Godia recently said that laptops will be brought in phases as from November 2013.

While addressing the press in his Kisumu office Ogweno said it is shocking that about 80% of teachers are computer illiterate and called for immediate action by the government to implement the project fully.

He argued that despite the past education skills in most schools laboratory the move by the government to equip class one pupils will transform the education through E-learning.

Ogweno commended President Uhuru Kenyatta for introduction of laptop project in schools saying this will lead to massive development in the education sector.

However, he stated that this now call for additional employment of teachers to meet the current demands in schools across the country.



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