Daily Archives: December 6, 2017

News in Brief 06 December 2017 (PM)

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CAPTION: UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: UN/Mark Garten (file)

“No Plan B” for Middle East Peace Process: UN chief

The UN Secretary-General has reiterated his belief that there is “no alternative” to the two-State solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

António Guterres was addressing reporters at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday following the announcement by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“From day one as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides. I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. It has been so for centuries and it will always be. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-State solution. There is no Plan B. It is only by realizing the vision of two States living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations, that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples will be achieved.”

Italian funding allows UNICEF to continue birth registration project in Ethiopia

A project between Italy and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) aims to ensure the basic rights and protection of more than 800,000 newborns and children in Ethiopia.

The partners have signed a €1 million financing agreement to strengthen civil registration for children in Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ regions (SNNP) of the country.

It covers the second phase of a project to reach the remaining 50 per cent of the area targeted, over a 12-month period.

Activities to be implemented include improving the institutional and technical capabilities of regional agencies that register vital events, as well as providing them with modern devices and transportation to better reach remote and disadvantaged areas.

South African tax on sugary drinks welcomed by WHO

A decision by South Africa’s parliament to pass a bill on implementing a tax on sugary beverages has been welcomed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The bill was passed on Tuesday and the tax is set to come into effect in April.

It is expected to result in a roughly 11 per cent increase in the price of soft drinks.

WHO Representative in South Africa Dr. Rufaro Chatora called it “a brave and powerful step towards promoting the health of the country’s citizens and reducing diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes”.

The UN agency recommends Governments should introduce effective taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages to help reduce excessive sugar intake.

Globally, more than 30 countries have either introduced a tax or passed legislation to implement such a policy.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’36″

New ICAO SAM Plan to coordinate South American air transport cooperation and progress

Montréal and Asunción, 6 December 2017 – Congratulating the States of the ICAO South American (SAM) Region for their recent progress in meeting the targets of the Bogotá Declaration, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, stressed to the assembled SAM Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) in Asunción, Paraguay yesterday that the new ICAO SAM Plan would serve as their shared strategic resource to integrate air transport development in the years ahead and establish continent-wide conditions to optimize aviation’s connectivity and economic benefits.

“South America’s civil aviation sector has been expanding two times as quickly as its GDP in recent years, which sets the stage to realize some tremendous further progress here,” the President underscored. “Your region now needs a more ambitious and longer-term strategy to continuously augment air transport connectivity and the benefits which derive from it, and that is where the new ICAO SAM Plan comes in.”

The new ICAO SAM Plan focuses on four key priorities for South American air transport: expanded connectivity; the continued and cooperative pursuit of aviation safety performance improvements; the autonomy and strengthening of local national civil aviation authorities; and further emissions and noise mitigation.

“Connectivity advances would include the adoption of air transport liberalization and harmonized consumer protection regulations, in order to better integrate regional air services with the expectations of 21st century passengers,” Dr. Aliu remarked. “And to improve aviation safety still further, ICAO is advocating for the more extensive and effective implementation of State Safety Programmes (SSPs) on the government side, and Safety Management System (SMS) adoption by local industry operators and suppliers.”

He also stressed that all future SAM progress should be aligned with the comprehensive targets and roadmaps established under ICAO’s recently revised Global Plans for aviation safety, efficiency and security, and that ambitions for improved SAM Region compliance and performance will only be obtained through the realization of stronger, more independent, and better resourced civil aviation authorities, and that this represents perhaps the greatest potential area for future improvement.

“Our ICAO Regional Office in Lima, and ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative, will be instrumental to your success in establishing the partnerships and resources needed towards these aims, supported by your exemplary cooperation mechanisms such as the Regional Safety Oversight Cooperation System (SRVSOP) and the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS).”

Dr. Aliu also praised South American States for their commitment to the environmental sustainability of civil aviation in the Region.

“The operational improvements introduced are already helping to limit CO2 emissions from international flight activity, and the CO2 emission reduction Action Plans that you have realized are a very concrete sign of your deeper commitments to air transport environmental performance,” he highlighted. “Certainly the inclusion of a high- level environmental objective in the SAM Plan will only strengthen this Regional resolve.”

While in Paraguay for the meeting of Regional DGCAs, President Aliu was pleased to award a Council President Certificate to the President of the State’s civil aviation authority (DINAC), Dr. Luis Manuel Aguirre Martinez. A second Certificate was also awarded to Brigadier Antonio Alarcón, the Head of Uruguay’s CAA, DINACIA. Compliance with ICAO SARPs is crucial to accessing the benefits of international civil aviation connectivity, and the ICAO certificates are designed to recognize States’ progress on being compliant with ICAO global safety standards.

He also met with Paraguay’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Diógenes Martínez, and the State’s Minister of the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning, Mr. José Molinas. Discussions with the Paraguayan Ministers concerned enhanced civil/military cooperation on airspace usage, and how the new SAM Plan would serve to establish a high-level vision to assure improved levels of local political will in support of civil aviation’s many objectives, especially its infrastructure modernization and investment priorities in the face of forecast growth.

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About ICAO

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 192 Member States.

ICAO’s South American Regional Office

ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative


Anthony Philbin

Chief, Communications


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+1 438-402-8886 (mobile)

Twitter: @ICAO

William Raillant-Clark

Communications Officer


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Twitter: @wraillantclark

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/raillantclark/

Myanmar: opium cultivation down 25 per cent, but conflict areas remain 'safe haven' for drug traders

6 December 2017 &#150 The total area of opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar has decreased significantly in 2017 to 41,000 hectares, down 25 per cent from the 55,500 recorded in 2015, a United Nations survey released Wednesday has found.

&#8220Myanmar has taken important steps to address opium cultivation, especially in South Shan where we are running a programme together,&#8221 said Troels Vester, Country Manager of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), emphasizing the importance of sustainable alternatives to opium cultivation.

The Myanmar Opium Survey 2017 released by UNODC finds reductions have been most significant in East Shan with a drop of 37 per cent and South Shan with a drop of 29 per cent.

However, the report also reveals that while progress has been made, North Shan and Kachin states have seen reductions of less than three per cent and seven per cent, which on the ground amounts to a decrease of only 600 hectares in total.

The report reconfirms the link between conflict and opium in Myanmar, and that insecure areas with active insurgencies continue to cultivate and produce at levels similar to 2015.

&#8220As long as significant parts of Shan and Kachin remain unstable and basically autonomous from the rest of the country and region, the environment will remain a safe haven for those who run the drug trade,&#8221 said UNODC Regional Representative Jeremy Douglas.

The decline in opium cultivation occurs against the backdrop of a changing regional drug market that has seen a fall in opium and heroin prices over recent years, as most countries in East and Southeast Asia report a shift toward synthetic drugs and especially methamphetamine.

UNODC says there is still a huge amount of work to be done and sustained support will be critical to its efforts.

AUDIO: Myanmar peace process and heroin production interlinked: UNODC

New Analysis: 1 in 12 Children Face “Bleaker Prospects” Than Their Parents. Here’s Why

The future doesn’t look so bright for 180 million children.

Despite major improvements in child well-being around the world over the last 20 years, a recent UNICEF analysis found that children in 37 countries face “bleaker prospects” than their parents in escaping poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent death.

“While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world’s children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty,” Laurence Chandy, UNICEF director of data, research and policy, said in a press release.

In 2015, the UN celebrated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the predecessor to the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – as the “most successful anti-poverty movement in history.” A 15-year collaborative push by nations and international organizations lifted more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, almost halved the proportion of people suffering from hunger and enrolled more children in primary school than ever before.

“Yet for all the remarkable gains, I am keenly aware that inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven,” then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in the UN’s final report of the MDGs.

In 14 countries, the share of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 a day) has increased, mostly as a result of unrest, conflict or poor governance. Major conflicts in CAR, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen have also caused an increase in violent deaths among children under 19. Meanwhile, financial crises, rapid population growth and conflicts have led to decreased primary school enrollment in 21 countries.

At least one of the three key indicators – escaping poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent death – were found to be declining in: Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guatemala, Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Jordan, Iraq, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Paraguay, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tonga, United Republic of Tanzania, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Three of the 37 countries – CAR, Syria and Yemen – saw a decline in two of the indicators, but South Sudan was the only country in which prospects for children were found to be declining in all three aspects.

The thing is, children are keenly aware of what issues are making the greatest impact on their well-being and futures.

In a separate UNICEF study, 9- to 18-year olds in all of the 14 countries surveyed identified poverty, poor education and terrorism as the foremost issues they wanted global leaders to work on. Also across all 14 countries, violence against children were the respondents’ greatest worry, with 67 percent saying they worried “a lot.”

Sadly, nearly half of the children surveyed are not optimistic that adults and world leaders will make good decisions for children.

“In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” Chandy said. “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”

There was leeway for uneven progress in many of the MDG targets, but the SDGs put forth ambitious goals for 2030, like “end poverty in all its forms everywhere,” “ensure inclusive and quality education for all” and “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children.”

As the global community tries to accelerate progress toward the SDGs, this latest report shows there is no room to leave anyone behind – especially children, who either will be the beneficiaries of a sustainable future, or will have to pick up the pieces.



Alberta Energy Regulator to ask tougher questions of oil well applicants

  • Alberta Energy Regulator to ask tougher questions of oil well applicants

  • Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc to begin treatment for leukemia

  • Door opens to more aid for Saskatchewan ranchers hit by fall wildfires

  • Muslim, liberties groups call on senators to revise preclearance bill

  • No Alberta-plated vehicles allowed on new Saskatchewan highways projects

  • Canadians urged to exercise caution in Middle East ahead of protests

  • Teachers, other school employees are taking more sick days, Ontario auditor says

  • Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets: sources

  • Bank of Canada holds rate but cautiously signals hikes are on the horizon

  • Federal government to spend more on First Nations child welfare, Philpott says

  • B.C. falls shorts on improving women's rights: report card

  • Then there were five: Search narrowed for place to store used nuclear fuel

  • N.L. premier wins injunction preventing reporting on documents in murder case

  • Waits for cancer biopsies not meeting targets: Auditor General

  • Ontario AG's annual report digs into energy, sick days, ad costs

  • Ontarians pay millions for ineligible power generator costs, auditor finds

  • Montreal events mark anniversary of 1989 shootings

  • Auditor general says Yukon government falls short on combating climate change

  • Montreal police chief should be ousted over systemic management problems: report

  • World at

  • Tillerson, Trudeau to meet to discuss North Korea, says U.S. diplomat

  • Government faces balancing act on marketing, packaging of legal marijuana

  • Canada's ambassador for climate change leaves post after husband's death

  • Lights, camera, investigation: Alberta NDP seek probe into Kenney video shoot

  • Alberta United Conservatives introduce bill to help kids needing intervention

  • B.C. casinos must declare cash deposits in new rules over money laundering

  • Saskatchewan legislation to let landlords make the rules on tenants' use of pot

  • Former Alberta premier Dave Hancock appointed a judge in provincial court

  • B.C. sets minimum age of 19 to consume marijuana, plans mix of retail sales

  • China not able to join Canada-U.K. coal phase out alliance: McKenna

  • Quebec union of municipalities says no to pot near schools or in poor districts

  • Saskatchewan lab's coding error sends wrong results of drug testing to doctors

  • Couillard bemoans lack of qualified labour in Quebec

  • The right woman for the job: Quebec women's federation chooses first trans leader

  • Ridding the Indian Act of sexism could cost $400M a year, budget watchdog warns

  • Pro-NAFTA American lawmakers press Trump at meeting

  • A brief look at provincial approaches to recreational marijuana sales

  • Survivors slam disabilities minister; Hehr sorry for  'insulting' comments

  • Legal age to smoke pot in Manitoba to be 19; home-growing will be banned

  • Bill would create Ontario poet laureate position in memory of Gord Downie

  • Is the increasingly assertive Xi the same man Trudeau met last year?

  • Ontario gas plant 'gamed' the system out of $100M, report finds

  • Alberta sets aside $1.4 billion for industry to reduce carbon emissions

  • Respect for others a key for Supreme Court nominee Sheilah Martin

  • The Tuesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

  • Feds reject controversial French-Italian warship proposal

  • Ontario changing auto insurance system; aiming to tackle fraud, lower rates

  • B.C. court orders protesters to stop blocking homeless housing project

  • War Museum teams up with soldier's great-granddaughter to buy Victoria Cross

  • New Brunswick politician taking break from legislature to battle breast cancer

  • The assault on Mueller: six ways Russia investigation is under attack

  • Ontario auditor general to examine health care, school boards, electricity

  • Federal government unveils ads warning of drug-impaired driving dangers

  • Trudeau says trade with China an answer to rising populism

  • Softwood exports to U.S. down but it's not causing big financial pinch

  • A taxing problem: how to price, tax legal weed to stamp out the black market

  • MPs give Equifax Canada's chief privacy officer a rough ride over data breach

  • Liberal MP accuses Tory James Bezan of 'humiliating' comments, sexual in nature

  • Disabled veterans vow to continue fight with government despite legal setback

  • Feds willing to give more pot tax revenue to provinces to help municipalities

  • Health Canada branch shipped to new Indigenous Services Department

  • Quebec government outlines $36.4 million plan to help struggling news industry

  • Kinder Morgan and Burnaby clash in NEB hearing over Trans Mountain project

  • Saskatchewan's climate-change plan includes buying carbon offsets, no carbon tax

  • New Montreal bridge currently being built had 2,000 defects: report

  • Manitoba regulator approves auto insurance hikes, and wants more jurisdiction

  • Alberta introduces rules to keep third parties from abusing fundraising rules

  • B.C. launches review of devastating floods and fire seasons

  • Alberta Party releases rules for leadership race, changes date of contest

  • The Monday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

  • Supreme Court to hear bid to reopen lopsided Churchill Falls hydro deal

  • Ontario spending $93 million to expand bike lanes across the province

  • Family's heart-rending case prompts call for autism strategy: 'We are not alone'

  • Trudeau names new senators for Nova Scotia, Manitoba

  • Renters and Airbnb landlords square off as Toronto considers new short-term rental rules

  • Nova Scotia doctors group confirms lawsuit is proceeding against province

  • Tears flow at Thunder Bay hearing for missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry

  • Legalization of recreational weed unlikely to kill pot black market right away

  • Quebec's female legislature members say they've experienced sexual misconduct

  • Defence chief says cost will have bearing on selection of peacekeeping missions

  • Quebec premier joins protest in support of Davie shipyard workers

  • Injured veterans to learn whether lawsuit over disability pensions can proceed

  • Feds fear expanding Home Buyers' Plan would fuel hot housing market: document

  • Poll suggests majority of Canadians backs outright ban on guns in urban areas

  • Sri Lankan family makes final plea to stay in Montreal ahead of deportation

  • 'Particularly vulnerable:' Proposed law offers protection to Alberta pet owners

  • 'It's very unusual:' Lake Louise in court over endangered species charges

  • Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

  • Ontario won't meet 2020 electric vehicle target, analysts say

  • Trudeau, Xi face off on future of trade as PM China trip begins in earnest