Daily Archives: November 2, 2017

Global Win-Win Cooperation – “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance Conference Takes Place

JINAN, China, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — With “Global Win-Win Cooperation” as the theme, the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance Conference was held on November 2 at the Inspur Jinan Science and Technology Park, Jinan, China. Attendees include enterprise representatives Peter Sun, Chairman and CEO of Inspur Group; Owen Chan, Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems, Inc., Chairman of […]

Inspur Launches the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance

JINAN, China, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On November 2, the “B&R” Digital Economy Strategic Alliance, initialized by Inspur and co-founded by Cisco, IBM, Diebold Nixdorf and Ericsson, was established in Jinan, China. The Alliance will integrate the world-class IT products, technologies and solutions of its members to accelerate the construction of digital silk road […]

News in Brief 02 November 2017 (PM)

Assistant UN refugee chief meets with Myanmar officials

A senior UN official has met with authorities in Myanmar in connection with the ongoing Rohingya crisis, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported.

Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Turk concluded a two-day visit to the country on Wednesday.

In meetings with top government officials, he called for unrestricted humanitarian access for communities in need, and for the safe and dignified voluntary return of refugees.

More than 600,000 members of the mostly Muslim Rohingya community in Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh over the past two months in the wake of violence in Rakhine state.

Mr Turk urged the government to ensure a safe environment and the protection of all communities in the northern state.

Meanwhile, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said the rate of Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh has slowed in recent days, though there are reports that several thousand are believed to be waiting to cross into the country.

Aid delivered to Syrian towns last reached in August

A humanitarian convoy has reached two towns in Syria that were last accessed in August, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Food, nutrition, health, education and other items for more than 92,000 people delivered to Talbiseh, located in Homs, and Tlul El-Homor in Hama.

They were brought there by a joint convoy from the United States, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Stephane Dujarric is the UN Spokesperson.

"We continue to call for safe, unimpeded and sustained access for close to 3 million people in hard-to-reach and besieged areas, including the facilitation of medical evacuations in line with international humanitarian and international human rights law."

Thomas & Friends to help UN teach children about global goals

The beloved childhood cartoon character Thomas the Tank Engine has joined with the United Nations to help teach pre-school children worldwide about global efforts to create a more just and equitable world.

Information about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be woven into the storylines of the animated children's television series Thomas & Friends.

A new female character from Africa called Nia will also join the cast and will have a lead role.

The new series will focus on five of the 17 SDGs, including those dealing with education and gender equality.

The UN's gender agency, UN Women, is supporting the collaboration between the global organization and toy company Mattel, Inc.

UN Women Africa Programme Adviser Tolulope Lewis-Tamoka explained that children form ideas and learn stereotypes very early.

"A lot of this is learned by seeing what's around them," she said. "So, reaching them through a popular animated series is a good strategy."

The series will be shown in more than 110 countries in 33 languages.

Source: United Nations Radio

UN: Give Millions of Stateless People Basic Right of Citizenship

GENEVA The U.N. refugee agency is calling on governments to grant basic rights of citizenship to millions of stateless people who suffer discrimination, exclusion and persecution.The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is making this plea on...

Policy to guide provision of sanitary products

The National Treasury says the question of how sanitary products will be funded will be guided by a recently-developed policy framework document.

Yanga Mputa, a Chief Director at the National Treasury's Tax Policy Unit, said this when briefing the Multi-Party Women's Caucus at the Old Assembly Chamber on Thursday.

The National Treasury appeared before the Caucus amid mounting calls to have sanitary towels to be exempt from VAT. This is due to concerns that a tax on sanitary products is unfair, it impacts negatively in the cost, which makes them unaffordable to women, especially those from poor backgrounds.

The National Treasury, on the other hand, has since taken a stance that it would rather support that the provision of sanitary products be done from the expenditure side through budget reprioritisation.

On Thursday, Mputa said after the Department of Women hosted a stakeholder meeting and a workshop in July, it went on to develop a policy framework aimed at informing government's response to the calls.

Cabinet then approved the publishing of the policy framework for public comment on 18 October 2017.

After KwaZulu-Natal took the initiative of distributing sanitary products to school children for free, other provinces have since followed suit.

What is [being presented] is initiatives taken by provinces to provide sanitary towels they have reprioritised some of the money from their budgeting systems to assist with this but now when the policy framework is in place, the prioritisation will be based on the policy framework, she said.

Dr Kay Brow, a Chief Director from the National Treasury's Budget Planning unit, said the National Treasury supported initiatives aimed at providing free sanitary products to school girls.

There are already allocations specifically from provincial budgets that are going towards the provision of sanitary products.

The National Treasury is part of an inter-departmental task team, led by the Department of Women, which is tasked with coming up and with implementing a policy response to the issue.

According to information provided by provinces on some of the initiatives on sanitary dignity � often done in conjunction with other social relief programmes � Gauteng has allocated R58 million towards sanitary products and other hygiene products, while KwaZulu-Natal has allocated R20 million.

The Free State, North West and Eastern Cape have contributed R6 million, R2.2 million and R1.2 million, respectively.

Source: South African Government News Agency