GTI calls for 2.3GHz Band Industry development to speed up

BEIJING, Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ever since 4G, 2.3 GHz has been regarded as a golden frequency by global operators. Indeed, 2.3 GHz provides both capacity and coverage, which 5G makes full use of to significantly extend the performance of legacy 4G. In particular, the large channel bandwidth of 2.3 GHz is perfectly aligned to accommodate 5G capacity.

Despite pressure under the global health crisis, the industry behind 2.3 GHz has shown no signs of slowing down over the past year. In fact, it has even accelerated with the launch of several new smartphones supporting 2.3 GHz. With over 70 4G/5G commercial references on 2.3 GHz, it has been forecast that more operators and terminal vendors will take up 2.3 GHz in the near future.

To promote the further development of the 2.3 GHz industry, GTI leads industry partners such as operators and terminal vendors to call for:

1. Accelerate the allocation of TDD 2.3GHz spectrum (2300-2400 MHz) with TDD continuous large bandwidth up to 100 MHz, reduce the deployment cost per bit, and improve user experience across generations.

2. Remove possible barriers of the use of 2.3GHz. The industry is urged to work together to solve the problem of network coexistence and improve spectrum availability.

3. Promote the devices industry chain to make mandatory the support of NR 2.3GHz frequency in 2022, and better support key features such as EN-DC, carrier aggregation, SUL, 1T4R/2T4R SRS Antenna Switching and 80~100 MHz channel bandwidth.

4. Promote efficiently use of TDD 2.3GHz spectrum and accelerate commercial launch by global operators.

Video: https://v.qq.com/x/page/g3301egqnrw.html

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Huawei’s Yang Chaobin: Innovation for 5Gigaverse Society

DUBAI, UAE, Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — During the 12th Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) 2021, Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei Wireless Solution, delivered a keynote speech titled “Innovation for 5Gigaverse Society”.

Huawei’s Yang Chaobin: Innovation for 5Gigaverse Society

“5G is developing rapidly worldwide, with more than 170 networks built and nearly 500 million users developed within two years. As 5G commercial deployment enters a new phase, users need more continuous experience, and industry digitalization poses new requirements on 5G capabilities. Therefore, we believe that the next step is to evolve 5G from hotspot to all-scenario continuous coverage, from Gbps to 5Gigaverse, and from pilot industry to all-industry digitalization, to build a ubiquitous gigabit network and a 5Gigaverse society,” said Mr. Yang.

Changes in user behavior and industry digitization pose higher requirements on 5G. According to the viewing statistics during the sport events held in Tokyo this year, the number of views through mobile devices increased by five times compared with 2012, while the amount of TV watching dropped by 50%. In terms of FWA, the number of users exceeds that of wired users. In addition, the 5G DOU has increased by three times compared with that of 4G as video services grow. Therefore, it is expected that by 2030, mobile networks will carry more traffic than wired networks and become the main bearer of internet traffic. In toB exploration, progress has been made in industry digitalization. 5G has enabled more than 10,000 scenarios in more than 20 industries worldwide. In the future, 5G capabilities will continue to evolve to incorporate fragmented connections in various industries, creating an IoT space with hundreds of billions of connections.

“So, a macro-pole-indoor 3D networking mode needs to be adopted to maximize the value of macro sites by deploying pole sites and indoor products on demand. In this way, we’ll be able to build 5G networks with continuous coverage to enable toB and toC and embrace a 5Ggaverse society,” said Mr. Yang.

Massive MIMO and ultra-wideband maximize macro coverage and capacity. Macro sites account for up to 45% of operators’ investment in network construction. Therefore, how to maximize macro capacity and coverage becomes a top concern. Two years of commercial 5G deployment has proved that the Massive MIMO and ultra-wideband technologies can improve user experience by 10 times and have become the choice of most operators around the world. “Different spectrum requires different strategies customized based on their characteristics. The TDD spectrum featuring high bandwidth and large capacity has weaker coverage compared with low frequency bands and requires coverage improvement, while FDD featuring wide coverage and fragmented spectrum requires capacity improvement. Therefore, we launched a full range of 5G base station products this year to help operators meet these requirements,” said Mr. Yang.

“It has become an industry consensus that Massive MIMO is the right choice for deployment with continuous large-bandwidth TDD bands. For markets with discrete spectrum, Huawei launched Massive MIMO AAU with 400 MHz bandwidth to enable simplified deployment. For markets with limited antenna spaces, Huawei offers BladeAAU that supports simplified single-antenna deployment through the integration of sub-3 GHz and Massive MIMO.” Huawei also released the new 64TRX MetaAAU with improved performance and energy saving.

“Our brand-new MetaAAU introduces the extreme-large antenna array (ELAA) technology and the innovative AHR Turbo solution, marking a new breakthrough in Massive MIMO coverage and energy efficiency. Compared with the traditional AAUs with 192 antenna elements, ELAA features 384 antenna elements and is integrated with the ultra-light integrated array and SDIF technologies to improve both coverage and integration. AHR Turbo, an adaptive high-resolution beamforming algorithm, enables the MetaAAU to be precise, dynamic, and targeted, greatly improving user experience and cell capacity. By now, this product has been put into commercial use in four cities by the three tier-1 operators in China. MetaAAU provides 3 dB better coverage and 30% better user experience compared with 64T, and 6 dB better coverage and 60% better user experience compared with 32T. It allows base stations to achieve the same level of cell edge coverage with a lower transmit power, reducing energy consumption by about 30% compared with traditional AAUs.”

For markets where new TDD bands are not licensed yet, the legacy FDD spectrum can be used to modernize installed bases using the Massive MIMO and ultra-wideband technologies, reducing deployment costs and improving 4G and 5G experience and capacity.

Huawei’s high-power, ultra-wideband 4T4R RRU, unique in the industry, supports three bands (700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz; 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, and 2.6 GHz/1.4 GHz) in one box, simplifying multi-band network deployment. It enables full-band and all-RAT dynamic power sharing, improving user experience by 30% and reducing power consumption by 30%. For modernization of legacy spectrum, Huawei launched ultra-high-power, ultra-wideband 8T8R RRU, which is also unique in the industry. This product supports 1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands in one box. It works with the first Hertz platform-based 8T8R native antenna, greatly improving coverage and capacity.

For high-capacity scenarios with limited antenna spaces, Huawei will launch FDD BladeAAU which packs Massive MIMO and the sub-3 GHz full-band antenna in one box this year, enabling simplified deployment of sub-3 GHz sites. The FDD BladeAAU and MetaAAU can be used together to further empower simplified deployment of all frequency bands, enabling Massive MIMO to provide coverage that can match 900 MHz 2T2R. This allows operators to achieve a wide, seamless gigabit experience.

Pole sites extend macro coverage with on-demand simplified deployment for coverage hole fill-up and at hotspots. This is important for mobile networks in streets and residential areas where site acquisition is challenging, as they offer a simple approach to deploy macro sites by leveraging lamp poles and walls. The pole sites must support both TDD and FDD bands to cover both 4G and 5G users. In 2020, Huawei launched a series of simplified solutions, TDD and FDD dual-band EasyMacro 3.0 and BookRRU 3.0, to help operators quickly fill up 5G coverage holes. This year, Huawei released a new pole site product EasyBlink 2.0 to further simplify pole site deployment. The industry’s smallest and lightest AAU product – just 20 L and 10 kg – EasyBlink 2.0 supports 32T32R and uses optimized antenna arrays, lending itself to conveniently improving coverage or capacity in areas such as streets where coverage holes often occur or capacity is limited due to challenging macro deployment.

Huawei provides the industry’s only distributed Massive MIMO solution for 5G indoor ubiquitous Gbps experience. In indoor areas, simplified deployment is crucial for operators to implement multi-RAT and multi-band deployment that can ensure optimal user experience. Huawei’s LampSite solution supports TDD and FDD bands of multiple radio access technologies in one box and supports indoor distributed Massive MIMO. These features enable it to improve network capacity fourfold compared with 4T4R, ensuring indoor ubiquitous Gbps experience. It is the best suited to provide coverage in major indoor areas, such as airports, railway stations, and shopping malls.

Huawei provides a simplified 5GtoB solution for different campus scenarios. In factories and campuses, custom coverage is often required on the macro networks that are used to ensure continuous coverage. LampSite and EasyMacro provide an ideal choice for operators to quickly implement 5G coverage in indoor and outdoor campus areas, respectively. The SUL solution further enables operators to provide Gigabit uplink data speed. Huawei’s 5GtoB solutions also enables operators to conveniently meet the differentiated requirements of different industries in uplink ultra-wideband, high-precision positioning, low latency, and high reliability.

Intelligent engine drives networks to autonomous driving. In this decade, multi-band and multi-standard co-existence will be a major trend. Operators must coordinate macro, pole, and indoor 3D network O&M, meet differentiated experience of toB, toC, and toH users, and maximize network performance with minimized power consumption. This further highlights the urgency of developing intelligent wireless networks. With this in mind, Huawei has launched its intelligent engine, which covers PowerStar 2.0, Capacity Turbo, WTTx Suite, and 5GtoB Suite to promote autonomous driving networks. PowerStar 2.0 introduces intelligence to base stations. It analyzes factors such as coverage, load, and service type and generates energy saving policies to help reduce network energy consumption by 25% while maintaining premium performance. Capacity Turbo implements 3D coordination among macro, pole, and indoor networks through intelligent analysis and decision-making, such as beam measurement, traffic map, and user rate, achieving optimal experience in all scenarios on all frequency bands. As a result, user experience can be improved by more than 30%. The 5G WTTx Suite provides accurate rate evaluation based on user locations and identification and optimization of poor-performing CPEs. It enables operators to determine where services can be provisioned and what user experience should be provided while reducing poor-performing CPEs by 30%. The 5GtoB Suite provides intelligent and precise planning and proactive device/network O&M functions to help enterprises plan toB networks and manage toB QoS. With the 5GtoB Suite, the network planning time for a factory is reduced from more than 40 hours to about 8 hours. In addition, the 5GtoB Suite can be used to quickly locate and rectify faults within 15 minutes.

“Innovation will never stop. The next decade will be a decade of 5G. 5G will continue to evolve and innovate toward 5.5G. We hope to work with global partners to continuously innovate based on user experience and industry requirements to take user experience to new heights while digitally transforming industries.”

The 12th Global Mobile Broadband Forum offers an opportunity for the mobile and adjacent vertical ecosystems to reconnect, rebuild, and reimagine a fully connected, intelligent world. Topics currently under discussion with global partners range from maximizing the potential of 5G, including industry use cases and applications, to advancing the mobile future.

For more information, please visit: https://www.huawei.com/en/events/mbbf2021.

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Huawei’s Ma Hongbo: 5Go S.M.A.R.T., Ushering Wireless Networks into the Intelligent and Autonomous Era

DUBAI, UAE, Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ma Hongbo, President of Huawei Wireless SingleOSS Product Line, delivered a keynote titled “5Go S.M.A.R.T., Ushering Wireless Networks into the Intelligent and Autonomous Era ” at the 4th Wireless Autonomous Driving Network Industry Forum. The forum was held within the framework of the 12th Global Mobile Broadband Forum. In his speech, Mr. Ma highlighted the importance of network autonomy for 5G operators, predicting five key areas of evolution for wireless networks: Simplified, Maximizing, Agile, Robust, and Thinking (5Go S.M.A.R.T.). These changes will bring about autonomous driving networks featuring automated O&M, ultimate performance, and low carbon footprint.

Figure: Five trends for wireless autonomous driving networks

Operators Focus on Autonomous Driving Networks

Over the past decade, wireless network evolution has brought new opportunities along with increased network OPEX and O&M complexity. With 5G, the mobile communications industry is promoting the concept of autonomous driving networks by integrating wireless networks with intelligence.

During the keynote, Mr. Ma explained that operators are gradually and hierarchically implementing autonomous driving networks as their core strategy. In fact, according to research by TMF Autonomous Networks in 2021, over 80% of the 42 independently interviewed operators believe that they will deploy a large-scale fully autonomous driving network in the next decade.

5Go S.M.A.R.T.: Five Trends for Wireless Autonomous Driving Networks

Wireless autonomous driving networks will integrate both network and site intelligence, developing independent intelligence processes and gradually evolving toward intelligent autonomy.

Trend 1 Go Simplified: Network construction will become more intelligent and simplified throughout its lifecycle. Intelligence will be introduced to sites, facilitating intelligent sensing and simplified site configuration, sort of like adding “eyes” and a “brain”. The intelligence of networks and base stations will collaborate to adapt to a variety of contexts, resulting in network self-configuration and intelligent auxiliary site acceptance. Ultimately, the entire lifecycle of network construction will be simplified.

Trend 2 Go Maximizing: Vertical collaboration will maximize network potential. Intelligence will also be introduced to the air interface, along with using technologies, such as channel graph and scheduling dictionary, for more flexible resource scheduling and spectrum decoupling, maximizing the single-site performance. The network will use 3D beam scheduling and intelligent parameter optimization to maximize performance on all frequency bands. Along with improved performance and experience, the network will balance and maximize network energy efficiency using energy-saving technologies at the site, device, and network layers.

Trend 3 Go Agile: The entire process of 5G services will become more agile. Today, every industry requires better network construction and maintenance than in the past. As such, intelligence will be introduced to the planning, construction, maintenance, and optimization phases of toB networks. This will result in automatic service intent translation, precise intelligent network planning, and proactive service assurance, making 5GtoB service rollout more agile.

Trend 4 Go Robust: 5G networks will become more reliable. Intelligence capabilities, such as fault feature self-learning and intelligent time sequence analysis, will be introduced to implement accurate fault identification and intelligent root cause analysis. This will transform troubleshooting from manual to automatic, implement fault prediction and prevention, transition from passive response to proactive maintenance, enhance network robustness, and ultimately build more reliable 5G networks.

Trend 5 Go Thinking: 5G networks will be able to “think”. Together, site and network intelligence will become the foundation for wireless autonomous driving networks. Base stations will gradually become intelligent, creating digital twins. They will also possess device-pipe federated learning capability to add intelligence to each terminal. The powerful computing capability of the wireless intelligent engine will be able to self-learn and self-evolve using massive network data along with algorithms and models. Finally, wireless networks will essentially be able to think.

Ma Hongbo noted, “Currently, autonomous driving networks in the mobile communications field are at the levels between L2 and L3. To achieve fully autonomous driving networks requires the joint efforts of all industry stakeholders in terms of level criteria, evaluation systems, and application collaboration. Huawei will continue to work with operators and industry partners to innovate S.M.A.R.T. and enable autonomous networks.”

The 12th Global Mobile Broadband Forum offers an opportunity for the mobile and adjacent vertical ecosystems to reconnect, rebuild, and reimagine a fully connected, intelligent world. Topics currently under discussion with global partners range from maximizing the potential of 5G, including industry use cases and applications, to advancing the mobile future.

For more information, please visit: https://www.huawei.com/en/events/mbbf2021

About Huawei
Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. We have more than 197,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world.
Our vision and mission is to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. To this end, we will drive ubiquitous connectivity and promote equal access to networks; bring cloud and artificial intelligence to all four corners of the earth to provide superior computing power where you need it, when you need it; build digital platforms to help all industries and organizations become more agile, efficient, and dynamic; redefine user experience with AI, making it more personalized for people in all aspects of their life, whether they’re at home, in the office, or on the go. For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:
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Joint Statement on Third Greece – United States Strategic Dialogue (October 14, 2021)

The Governments of Greece and the United States held the third Greece – United States Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC on October 14, 2021. Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken launched the Strategic Dialogue, which included high-level interagency representation from both countries.

The Strategic Dialogue underscores the deepening cooperation between our two countries.  This year marks Greece’s bicentennial year as a modern European state, and both nations are highlighting our ever-stronger bilateral and transatlantic relationship based on our shared values and interests and reaffirming the will to enhance our cooperation in the areas described below.

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Regional Cooperation

Greece and the United States underscored the continued importance of working together to strengthen peace and prosperity across the region. The two governments exchanged views on the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Balkans, European and transatlantic institutions, and migration. The two countries also discussed wider international issues, including developments in the MENA region, Russia, and China.  Greece and the United States reinforced their commitment to a rules-based system and respect for international law, including international human rights obligations.  They lauded the resumption of exploratory talks and stressed the importance of avoiding destabilizing actions.

They emphasized the importance of diplomacy, good-neighborly relations and peaceful resolution of differences between countries.  Both noted the importance of respecting sovereignty, sovereign rights, international law, including the law of the sea, and existing regional frameworks to prevent future tensions.  They also reiterated their dedication to enhancing their close cooperation, using all appropriate means at their disposal to safeguard stability and security in the wider region.  The United States applauded Greece’s recent efforts to deepen ties with neighbors across the Eastern Mediterranean to enhance stability. The two sides reiterated their desire to bolster cooperation through the 3+1 format (Greece, Cyprus, Israel, plus the United States) on energy issues, economic development, counterterrorism, and the climate crisis and associated humanitarian challenges which recently affected the region. Greece and the United States reaffirmed the importance of the full, consistent and in good faith implementation of the Prespa Agreement. Both parties resolved to support continued integration, investment, and infrastructure development of Western Balkan partners.

Greece and the United States both continue to strongly support the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, including Kosovo, and stress the importance of urgently commencing accession negotiations between EU and both Albania and North Macedonia according to the set conditionalities.  Both sides highlighted recent successes in national public health policies designed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and cited the need to dispel disinformation and other malign influences that threatened public safety.  Both sides discussed priorities in responding to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Greece shared the progress made in processing and integrating asylum-seekers and refugees; both countries affirmed the importance of respecting the human rights of asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees.

Defense and Security

Greece and the United States welcomed the recent update to the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), which greatly contributes to the security of both nations and reflects our long-term, deepening and expanding, strategic defense partnership and cooperation and Greece’s geostrategic importance in contributing to the stability of the region.  Both sides reiterated their firm determination mutually to safeguard and protect the security, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of their respective countries. They both emphasized the continued importance of bilateral exercises and training activities throughout Greece that enhanced their ability to address regional security issues.  Both countries expressed interest in enhancing cooperation on security issues in the Western Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean regions, and in that respect the United States acknowledged the importance of Greece in promoting stability and cooperation in the wider periphery.  The two governments expressed the joint desire to assist each other in maintaining strong and capable militaries and increase their modernization and interoperability.  The United States highlighted the F-16, S-70B, and P-3B upgrades and Greece’s procurement of MH-60R anti-submarine helicopters.  The United States welcomes Greece’s expression of interest to join the F-35 fighter program.  The United States expressed appreciation that Greece continued to exceed the 2014 Wales Summit pledge to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense and 20 percent of its defense budget on modernizing major equipment.

The United States also thanked Greece for its many contributions to NATO’s 20-year mission in Afghanistan.

Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism

Both sides emphasized their commitment to continuing close cooperation to combat organized crime, cybercrime, complex financial crimes, the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, malign influence, and terrorism.  The two governments restated their shared interest in continuing law enforcement training to facilitate mutual legal assistance requests and extraditions, and enhance operations related to criminal investigations and homeland security reforms.  The United States praised Greece for the implementation of its Passenger Name Record legislation and discussed Greek efforts to implement biometric-enabled national identity documents, which would permit a return to full Visa Waiver Program status. Greece underlined its recent efforts to increase border security infrastructure and surveillance, which helped stem the flow of cross-border crime and irregular migration.  The United States and Greece underscored the need to increase cooperation with Western Balkan countries on law enforcement and border security programs.  Greece announced the implementation of significant amendments to Greek law concerning preventing terrorism and violent extremism.

Trade and Investment

Greece and the United States welcomed the initial recovery of their economies from the COVID-19 pandemic and looked forward to deepening trade and investment across various sectors. Both governments stressed the importance of bilateral trade and investment consistent with broader multilateral frameworks such as the U.S.-EU trade policy. They lauded the recent inaugural meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), with the aim to expand and deepen transatlantic investment and update the rules-based framework for the 21st century economy. In this context, Greece stressed the importance of a transatlantic accord for removal of trade measures against EU on steel & aluminum that directly affect bilateral trade.   Greece also stressed the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation on mutual recognition of control systems for the entry of Greek agri-food products to the United States.  Both sides hailed the presence of significant new U.S. investments in Greece’s technology and digital sectors following the 2020 signing of our Science and Technology Agreement and Greece’s removal from the USTR 301 Watch List. The United States congratulated Greece on its continued development of Thessaloniki as a regional technological and educational hub and expressed support for significant U.S. tech investments to further develop Greece’s digital economy. Greece highlighted the main incentives granted for private and strategic investments with a special reference to the Emblematic Investments and the Just Development Transition Plan. Both sides welcomed bilateral cooperation on emerging technologies.  Both sides reiterated their support for women’s economic empowerment, with the United States highlighting TechCamp Thessaloniki, a U.S.-funded program designed to support women-led startups and create equal opportunities in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.  The United States and Greece noted they look forward to exchanging views on trends and best practices regarding investment screening.  The United States highlighted the new Build Back Better World initiative as a possible area of cooperation for investment in low and middle-income economies. The United States also welcomed the investment of Greek companies in the United States. Through an innovative program in cooperation with Enterprise Greece, 43 companies from Greece participated in the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit last June – the largest delegation ever from Greece. The United States welcomed more investment successes from Greece.  The United States welcomed the proposal of Greece for the signing of an MOU on Tourism.  Both sides reiterated the importance of enhancing bilateral tourism flows.  Greece expressed its satisfaction for the maintenance of flights uniting the two countries.  Both countries intend to consider the establishment of new all year-round air connections.

Energy and Environment

Greece and the United States recommitted to their shared goals of increasing energy diversification and security, promoting fair and equitable access to greener sources of energy, and addressing climate change through decarbonization policies. The United States lauded Greece for its growing role as a regional energy hub and welcomed completion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and progress on the Interconnector Greece Bulgaria, set to become operational in 2022. Greece shared developments on other regional energy projects that will further diversify regional energy supplies and support the phaseout of coal, such as the planned Greece-North Macedonia Interconnector and the Floating Storage Regasification Unit in Alexandroupoli.  Both sides celebrated the increasingly interconnected energy relationship between Greece and the United States, both in terms of bilateral trade and investment and as a positive driver of progress towards energy security and diversification goals. Greece pointed out the importance of natural gas discoveries by Israel, Cyprus and Egypt as a valuable diversified energy source for southern and southeastern Europe.

Greece reiterated its goal to phase out lignite by 2025, and the United States praised Greece’s steps forward on its 2019 National Energy and Climate Action Plan. Both sides acknowledged the importance of a diversified strategy to support the energy transition and our broader goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This includes opportunities to expand energy efficiency initiatives and increase the supply of clean energy resources like offshore wind, energy storage, and hydrogen. The United States highlighted increasing U.S. investments in green energy projects in Greece and stressed the need for continued decarbonization and renewable energy development, and Greece shared updates on its planned windfarms and solar energy projects.  The United States affirmed support for Greece’s National Initiative Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Cultural and Natural Heritage and welcomed the participation of American companies in Greece’s innovative hydrogen power initiatives. Both governments underlined the unique role Greece could play in breaking regional energy monopolies, facilitating energy investment in developing economies, and confronting the global climate crisis head-on.

Humanitarian Challenges and Disaster Preparedness

Greece and the United States acknowledged the long-term challenges posed by climate change, particularly the recent wildfires across the Mediterranean region, and committed to establishing a new Strategic Dialogue pillar on Humanitarian Challenges and Disaster Preparedness. Greece highlighted its resolve to confront these challenges by showcasing the creation of its new Ministry on Climate and Civil Protection.  Greece and the United States underscored their commitment to develop stronger ties between their respective agencies responsible for disaster prevention-preparedness and resilience building, including wildfire response and recovery. Greece thanked the U.S. for providing a P-8 Poseidon aircraft to assist Greece in fighting historic wildfires and welcomes a U.S. assessment team which is on the ground in Greece to assist in post-fire recovery.  Greece expressed interest in capacity building related to fire suppression and organizational disaster management to tackle acute crises. Over the longer-term, Greece emphasized the importance of soil stabilization, erosion control, and reforestation. Greece and the United States discussed the importance of an implementation plan for future training and agreed to begin working level consultations.

People-to-People Ties

Greece and the United States reaffirmed the meaningful connections that further mutual understanding between the people of both nations, especially in Greece’s bicentennial year.  Both countries acknowledged the challenges the pandemic posed and remain committed to supporting cultural and educational exchanges, particularly through the Fulbright Program, for which Greece has reinstituted its annual contributions, and the recent signing of the Cultural Property Agreement, which stands as an enduring commitment to stem cultural property trafficking and to preserve heritage.  Both countries also reiterated a commitment to collaborate on STEM programming, including via Mission Greece’s expanded American Spaces program, English language training, and the TechGirls program.  The United States reaffirmed support of Greece’s efforts to establish new collaborations between U.S. and Greek universities.

Greece and the United States look forward to exploring opportunities to enhance vocational education and training in Greece as well as programs such as the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) that develop cross cultural and leadership skills while strengthening the transatlantic relationship. The two countries also reiterated a commitment to work together on capacity building and further collaboration in the creative industries, and in particular in the film and audio-visual sector, and to continue to explore public-private partnerships in culture and technology. Both countries expressed continued support for Holocaust Education and the United States praised Greece’s first presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, dedicated to preserving the memory of historical events which are significant to both countries.

UN Recap: October 10-15, 2021

Editor’s note: Here is a fast take on what the international community has been up to this past week, as seen from the United Nations perch.

* U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lays out $3.12 billion regular budget for 2022 for world body

* U.N.: 400,000 Yemeni children at imminent risk from malnutrition

New military offensive in Ethiopia

The situation in northern Ethiopia remains at the top of the U.N. agenda, as Tigrayan fighters accuse the federal government of launching a new military offensive using airstrikes, drones and heavy artillery against them. Kenya is presiding over the U.N. Security Council this month, where the situation was last discussed on October 6. On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a debate about peacebuilding and was asked about Tigray at a press encounter. See his response here:

US to return to U.N. Human Rights Council

After a decades-long on/off relationship with the controversial Geneva-based council, the Biden administration decided to run for a seat, after the Trump administration withdrew in June 2018. Read about the results of Thursday’s election and what impact the U.S. presence might have:

UN chief urges countries not to let Afghanistan’s economy collapse

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week that Afghanistan faces a “make-or-break moment” and that without international support its economy could collapse. Speaking ahead of the G-20 special summit on Afghanistan, he appealed for an urgent injection of cash into the economy:

Meanwhile, humanitarians race against time to get enough supplies in place for millions of vulnerable Afghans before winter sets in:

News in brief

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres laid out the U.N.’s 2022 annual budget: $3.12 billion, a net reduction of 2.8% over the 2021 budget. That figure doesn’t include peacekeeping missions, which will run around $6.4 billion for 2021-22. Each country’s annual dues are calculated based on their national income and population size. … U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, said 20 million people, or two-thirds of Yemen’s population, need humanitarian assistance. Five million people are just a step away from famine and about 400,000 children are at imminent risk of death from malnutrition.

Some good news

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that the global number of weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths has been on the decline since late August. “Over 2.8 million new cases and over 46,000 new deaths were reported during the week of 4 to 10 October 2021, representing a 7% and 10% decrease respectively, as compared to the previous week,” WHO said.

Quote of note

“Kabul looked like a graveyard of people who were alive. People who were hopeless, disappointed, powerless.”

— Fawzia Koofi, first woman deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s parliament, to the U.N. Security Council of the days after the Taliban’s August 15 takeover

What we are watching next week

Dictators on notice: Human rights in Belarus, DPRK, Iran, Myanmar and Syria come under the microscope in the U.N. General Assembly’s third committee.

Did you know?

U.N. headquarters spans several blocks in New York City’s Turtle Bay neighborhood. The area, once settled by Dutch farmers, got its name from a small cove on the East River, which the world body looks out on.

Source: Voice of America