Daily Archives: May 29, 2014

State Visit to Ireland by His Excellency Mr Armando Emílio Guebuza President of the Republic of Mozambique 3-6 June 2014

DUBLIN, Ireland, May 29, 2014 – The President of the Republic of Mozambique, H.E. Mr Armando Emílio Guebuza, has accepted an invitation from President Higgins to visit Ireland from the third to the sixth of June 2014.

The State Visit will commence with a formal welcome ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin when President Guebuza will be greeted by President and Sabina Higgins. Following the formal welcome ceremony, a meeting between the Heads of State will take place.

On Wednesday 4 June, President Guebuza will meet the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, at Government Buildings and the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, at Iveagh House. He will also lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance and visit the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks and St James’s Hospital before attending a State Dinner in his honour at Áras an Uachtaráin.

On Thursday 5 June the President will have a programme of business and education meetings, including the Mozambique-Ireland Business Forum, and on Friday 6 June he will visit Newgrange before departing Dublin.

The visit will include the signing of agreements between Ireland and Mozambique across a range of areas including agriculture, health, education, development and trade.

Below is the programme for the visit. Please see additional note on media opportunities below. Please note that pooling arrangements apply at all venues.

Irish media wishing to attend any of the events must contact the Press Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at least 24 hours in advance by email at press.office@dfa.ie or on the numbers below:

DFAT Press Office: 01 408 2276, Bobby Smyth: 087 980 2050, Karl Boyle: 087 639 6333

For contact at Áras an Úachtaráin – Deirdre Nally: 01 6171000, Wally Young: 087 9064331

Official photographs for each event will be made available free of charge, through Fennells’ Photography.

Programme

(Timings indicative and not for publication)

Tuesday, 3 June

16.30

Ceremonial arrival at Áras an Úachtaráin and meeting with President Higgins

Wednesday, 4 June

09.00

Meeting with Taoiseach

09.40

Wreath-laying at Garden of Remembrance

10.10

Visit to the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks

11.30

Meeting with Tánaiste at Iveagh House

13.35

Visit to Leinster House

15.00 Visit to St. James’s Hospital

19.30

State Dinner at Áras an Uachtaráin

Thursday, 5 June

08.55

Visit to Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin St.

10.00

Civic Reception at Mansion House

11.15

Mozambique-Ireland Business Forum at Royal Hospital Kilmainham

12.30

Working lunch with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney T.D.

14.35

Visit to Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

16.00

Visit to Fyffes, Swords Business Park

Friday, 6 June

09.35

Visit to Newgrange Heritage Site

11.10

Visit to Teagasc Research Centre, Grange, Dunsany, County Meath

SOURCE: Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the Terrorist Attack in the Republic of Djibouti

TOKYO, Japan, May 29, 2014 – 1. The Government of Japan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on May 24th at the restaurant in the capital city Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti. Japan expresses its deep condolences to the victim and their families, as well as its heartfelt sympathies to those wounded in the attack.

2. Acts of terrorism cannot be justified by any reason. The Government of Japan firmly condemns all forms of terrorism. Japan renews its solidarity with Djibouti who continues to contribute for the peace and stability of the region, and will continue to cooperate with the international community.

SOURCE: Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

WHO Disease Outbreak News on the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa and Cholera in South Sudan

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 29, 2014 – Ebola virus disease, West Africa (Situation as of 27 May 2014)

Guinea

From 23 May 2014 to 27 May 2014, four (4) new districts reported 14 new EVD clinical cases and 5 deaths as follows: Boffa (5 cases and 1 death), Télimélé (7 cases and 4 deaths), Boke (1 case and 0 death) and Dubreka (1 case and 1 death). Community and nosocomial transmission are still occurring in Guéckédou, Macenta and Conakry.

As at 18:00, 27 May 2014, the total cumulative number of cases due to EVD is 281 and 186 deaths. The classification of these cases and deaths are as follows: confirmed (163 cases and 103 deaths); probable (66 cases and 56 deaths) and suspected (44 cases and 23 deaths). The geographical distribution of the cases is as follows: Conakry (48 cases, and 26 deaths), Guéckédou (176 cases and 126 deaths), Macenta (31 cases and 19 deaths), Kissidougou (7 cases and 5 deaths), Dabola (4 cases and 4 deaths), Djinguiraye (1 case and 1 death) in addition to the cases and deaths in the newly affected areas. The total number of cases in isolation is 16 (10 in Guéckédou, 3 in Télimélé and 3 in Boffa). The number of contacts under follow-up is 427 (250 in Conakry, 213 in Guéckédou, 126 in Macenta, and 88 in Télimélé).

Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, 16 cases, (7 laboratory-confirmed, 9 suspected) and 5 community deaths have been reported from Kailahun district. The district is located in the eastern region of Sierra Leone sharing borders with Guéckédou in Guinea and also with Liberia.

Liberia

In Liberia there have been no new cases since 9 April 2014. Social mobilization and surveillance have been enhanced in border districts.

The number of cases remains subject to change due to reclassification, retrospective investigation, consolidation of cases and laboratory data, enhanced surveillance.

WHO response

In response to the confirmation of EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone, WHO held multi-level teleconference to review the situation and propose key actions to be taken. These include, establishment of Emergency Response Team at WHO Country Office, deployment of experts, logistics and supplies and provision of catalytic funds.

WHO is facilitating the active participation of national authorities and community leaders to address community resistance and hiding of cases in some communities in both Guinea and Sierra Leone.

In Guinea, Ministry of Health and partners have mounted a response including outbreak investigation, risks assessment, case management, infection control in the newly affected districts and social mobilization targeting the resistant communities in Guéckédou and Conakry.

WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Guinea or Sierra Leone based on the current information available for this event.

Cholera Outbreak, South Sudan (Situation as of 27 May 2014)

On 15 May 2014, the Ministry of Health of South Sudan declared a cholera outbreak. The index case was retrospectively identified with onset of illness on 23 April 2014. Four cases have been laboratory confirmed following tests conducted by the African Medical Research Foundation laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya.

As at 25 May 2014, a cumulative total of 586 cholera cases, including 22 deaths (13 in hospital and 9 community deaths) have been reported. The majority of the deaths reported in hospital died on arrival. Cases have been reported from eight of 15 Payams (sub-counties) in Juba County with the most affected payam being Muniki, accounting for 25% of the reported cases.

Given the on-going conflict and crisis situation in the country, the poor prevailing sanitary conditions, the beginning of the rainy season, and the history of cholera outbreaks in the country, the Ministry of Health of South Sudan continues to monitor the situation in Juba and surrounding areas.

In response to the cholera outbreak, the Ministry of Health developed a cholera response plan and established a Cholera Response Task force which coordinates both health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities. Plans to establish a Cholera Command and Control Centre (C4) in Juba are in final stages. The C4 will strengthen the coordination of the outbreak response and support the emergency response task forces in all 10 States.

WHO and partners are supporting the Ministry of Health to coordinate the cholera outbreak response activities; conduct rapid assessments, alert and outbreak investigations and confirmation; establish Cholera Treatment Centres and infection prevention and control; engage in active surveillance as well as supervising safe burial of the deceased. The Task Force is also coordinating regular meetings and public health education and awareness activities at all levels and producing situational reports and other outbreak documents. The WASH cluster is promoting hand washing and proper disposal of solid and liquid waste, as well as household water chlorination.

The Ministry of Health, with the support of WHO, UNICEF, MSF, IOM, and Medair, conducted oral cholera vaccination campaigns in February 2014 in Mingkaman, Malakal, Bor, Tomping and Juba III IDP camps targeting over 160,000,000 internally displace persons and achieved more than 80% vaccine coverage in an effort to prevent a possible cholera outbreak in IDP camps.

WHO response

WHO has deployed experts, including epidemiologists, logisticians, public health officers, et al., medical materials and other resources to support the response to the cholera outbreak. WHO is also deploying experts to conduct a risk assessment as well as to provide technical support to the WASH cluster.

Based on current information available for this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to South Sudan.

SOURCE: World Health Organization (WHO)

Canada Concerned by Death Sentence for Sudanese Mother

OTTAWA, Canada, May 29, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada continues to be deeply concerned, especially following the birth of her baby in prison yesterday, with the well-being of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese Christian mother of two sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to death for apostasy.

“This case calls into question the Government of Sudan’s commitment to upholding its human rights obligations.

“Canada has raised this matter directly with the Government of Sudan and continues to actively call upon it to respect the right to freedom of religion, including the freedom to choose one’s own faith and practise it in peace. This right is enshrined in international human rights law as well as in Sudan’s own 2005 interim constitution.”

SOURCE:Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

SOUTH AFRICA’S DE KLERK: ISRAEL MUST REACH PEACE

JERUSALEM, May 29 – South Africa’s last president under white rule, has suggested that Israel risks heading toward apartheid, if it does not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The comments by F.W. de Klerk, echo warnings made by Palestinian, American and dovish Israeli officials. But his words carry special meaning, given his role in South Africa’s painful history of race relations.

De Klerk was the last president under apartheid, and along with the late Nelson Mandela, brought about the end to decades of systematic racial discrimination against blacks, jointly winning the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Comparisons to South Africa’s racist rule have increased in public discourse, about Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. In Apr, U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry — who had been mediating negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians — set off an uproar when he made a similar warning.

In an interview, aired Tuesday on Israeli Channel 2 TV, de Klerk said, calling Israel an apartheid state now was “unfair.” But he said that without the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel may have to contend with the consequences of one state for both peoples.

“The test will be (does) everybody living then in such a unitary state, will everybody have full political rights?” de Klerk said. “Will everybody enjoy their full human rights? If they will, it’s not an apartheid state.”

He added, “There will come in Israel a turning point, where if the main obstacles at the moment, which exist to a successful two-state solution are not removed, the two-state solution will become impossible.”

De Klerk was in Israel receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa.

Israeli backers of the creation of a Palestinian state say, relinquishing control of the Palestinian territories and its residents, is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a democracy with a Jewish majority.

Following the collapse of the most recent round of peace talks, fears that the sides could be headed toward a single “binational” state are growing. The Palestinians want the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — territories captured by Israel in 1967 — for their hoped-for independent state.

Israel is a democracy, whose Arab minority holds citizenship rights. Israeli Arabs often complain of discrimination but have reached senior positions in government, the judiciary, the foreign service and other fields, including the military.

But it is the situation in the West Bank that sparks comparisons to apartheid. The territory is home to two populations — a Palestinian majority of some 2.4 million people and a Jewish settler minority of 350,000 — that are subject to two vastly different legal and political systems. Israeli West Bank settlers, for instance, can vote in Israeli elections, while Palestinians cannot.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel vehemently rejects any comparison to apartheid-era South Africa. While South Africa’s was a system rooted in race, Israel says, the differences in the West Bank stem from legal issues and security needs.

Most of its leaders, including hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have endorsed the idea of establishing a Palestinian state to protect Israel’s Jewish majority.

“The two-state solution might be the best one,” de Klerk said. “You’ll have to move fast. See the window of opportunity. Jump through it. It might close.”

A number of prominent centrist Israelis, including former prime ministers, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, and the current chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, have invoked the apartheid analogy in their calls for a peace agreement and change in the status quo.

Paul Hirschson, a South African-born spokesman, for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, brushed off de Klerk’s remarks, saying, Israel would not accept a one-state solution.

“It’s not a warning. It’s a comment by people who misunderstand Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Middle East,” he said.

Mohammed Madani, a senior Palestinian official, in charge of outreach to Israeli society, said, Israel should take note of de Klerk’s words.

“When the leader of the former apartheid regime in South Africa warns Israel of going down the road to this style, it should listen to him carefully, because he knows what he is talking about,” he said.

SOURCE: MA’AN