UN Member States speak out on global issues at General Assembly debate

Ambassador Lucy Mungoma of Zambia told the debate today that the recent political upheavals across North Africa and the Middle East have underscored the value of mediation as a way to try to resolve conflicts.Welcoming Libyans’ ousting of the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi earlier this year, Ms. Mungoma said she was nevertheless concerned about “new atrocities being committed against black people in that country – both the citizens and migrants from other African countries.“We call on this august body to send a strong message that not only will it pursue perpetrators of these atrocities as vigorously as it did Qadhafi, but it undertakes to investigate all allegations thoroughly. It would be tragic if, in the euphoria of celebrating the ousting of Qadhafi, the UN turns a blind eye to atrocities still being committed.”Relations Minister Georges Rebelo Chikoti of the Republic of AngolaAngola’s External Relations Minister Georges Rebelo Chikoti stressed the value of multilateralism as a method to resolve not just conflicts but all major challenges confronting humanity today.“Angola advocates a shared commitment to find solutions at all levels for the problems we face,” he said. “My country gives priority to political and diplomatic coordination and to the strengthening of institutional relations with the organizations of the United Nations system, as well as regional and sub-regional organizations.”Basile Ikouebe, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Republic of the CongoFor his part, Basile Ikouebe, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Congo, used his address to call for a successful conclusion of international negotiations on a climate change agreement beyond the life of the Kyoto Protocol.He said the global conference on the issue that will take place in Durban, South Africa, in December must lead to an international instrument that is open for countries to sign by the start of Rio+20, the sustainable development conference scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.Mr. Ikouebe singled out sustainable forestry management as being particularly important, noting that many poor or developing countries often lacked the necessary human, material or financial resources to adequately protect their forests stocks.Manuel Salvador dos Ramos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communities of São Tomé and PrincipeManuel Salvador dos Ramos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communities of São Tomé and Principe, highlighted the Assembly debate’s theme this year – the role of mediation as a means of settling disputes.He noted that “the widespread use of international mediation as a technique of resolving crises as a fundamental feature of peaceful conflict resolution has not always matched our expectations and produced the expected results.”The minister said it was important for international mediators such as the UN to evolve from a peacekeeping role to one of peacebuilding.“The definition of the legal status of the mediator, the methodology of mediation and a better involvement of diplomats and experts with experience in international law appear to us as a necessary and important step that the United Nations should take in the future,” he added.Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi of the Republic of TajikistanTajikistan’s Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi voiced serious concern about the ongoing impact of climate change, especially in his own region of Central Asia.“In Tajikistan, where about 60 per cent of all water resources of the entire Central Asia originate, in the last 30 years more than 35 per cent of glaciers disappeared,” he said. “Accelerated melting of glaciers creates additional risks for sustainable development and regional water, energy and food security.”Mr. Zarifi called on fellow Member States to back a Tajik initiative from 2009 to establish an international fund aimed at saving glaciers.Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley of BhutanJigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan, said his country’s efforts to promote sustainable social and economic development were bearing fruit, with expanding forest cover in its territory and a rich biodiversity.Ahead of Rio+20 next year, he emphasized that countries should adopt an approach that aims towards happiness or well-being – as measured against “a well-developed set of indices.” – and not just a narrow material sense of improvement.The pursuit of happiness or well-being is “a universal value that binds the rich and the poor, the developed and the developing, and articulates the ultimate purpose of life. It is about making true societal progress in ways that are meaningful, joyful and lasting,” he said.A failure to do so, or a continuation of the current global path, “comes at the cost of our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. It is destroying our natural life support systems and threatening our long-term survival.” 27 September 2011From climate change and sustainable development to the importance of multilateralism and the need for an end to impunity for war crimes and human rights, officials from United Nations Member States around the world have taken to the podium during the General Assembly’s annual general debate to voice their views about issues both global and national. read more

Tesco to leave trolleys unlocked to upgrade them for new 12sided £1

first_imgHM Treasury are launching a new 12-sided one pound coin on 28th March 2017  HM Treasury are launching a new 12-sided one pound coin on 28th March 2017 Credit:Kindred Agency Tesco’s shopping trolleys are to be left unlocked across scores of its stores as the supermarket giant performs upgrades for the new £1 coin after it enters circulation.The new 12-sided coin enters circulation on Tuesday, and there will be a transition period of just over six months when the old “round pound” is still accepted as legal tender.Consumers may be left rifling through their wallets for old round pounds, as some coin-operated machines will not immediately accept the new £1 coin.A Tesco spokesman said trolleys across “fewer than 200” of its stores will be unlocked from Tuesday as the store upgrades them to accept the new coin. He said they will all be upgraded by the time the new round pound ceases to be legal tender on October 15.The spokesman said: “We’re replacing the locks on our trolleys to accept old and new pound coins as well as existing trolley tokens.”As an interim measure we will unlock trolleys while this process is completed and we will continue to have colleagues on hand to attend trolleys in our stores, so our customers aren’t affected by the changes.”According to the Automatic Vending Association (AVA), around 15% of vending machines will not immediately be able to accept the new £1 coin on Tuesday.The AVA said that with around half a million vending machines across the UK, ensuring all of them are upgraded is a “major operation”. The body has estimated that all vending machines will be fully upgraded by the end of the transition period on October 15.center_img Jonathan Hart, chief executive of the AVA, said the upgrades needed for the new £1 coin will cost the vending industry an estimated £32 million.He said: “We support the Royal Mint and the Treasury’s actions to protect the integrity of currency in the UK and reduce the level of fake coins in operation.”A spokesman for the British Parking Association said the majority of parking machines will be ready on time but some will still need to be upgraded. Some older machines may not be able to be upgraded and may need to be replaced.A statement from the association said: “This is a huge programme of work and the Royal Mint recognises this with the planned six-month co-circulation period, at the end of which all coin-handling equipment should be ready to accept the new £1 coin.”The new coin has been described as the most secure coin in the world. It boasts high-tech features, including a hologram.The coins have been made at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales, at a rate of three million per day.They have a gold-coloured outer ring and a silver-coloured inner ring and are based on the design of the old 12-sided threepenny bit, which went out of circulation in 1971.It might take a few days or weeks for people to start seeing the new £1 coins turn up in their change as they gradually filter into general use.The production of the new coins follows concerns about round pounds being vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters. Around one in every 30 £1 coins in people’s change in recent years has been fake. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more