Economic and Social Council wraps up historic monthlong session

25 July 2008The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today wrapped up its annual substantive session, which this year focused on efforts to achieve sustainable development and saw the holding of the first ever Development Cooperation Forum. “It was truly a historic session, as it implemented the new functions of the Council in their entirety,” the Council’s President, Leo Mérorès of Haiti, said at the conclusion of the session. It was during this session that the first biennial Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) – bringing together representatives from governments, the private sector, inter-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academia – convened to discuss technical aspects of development cooperation issues. The Forum was established in 2005 to help make development activities within and outside the UN more coherent and streamlined, particularly as more and more groups and entities become involved in the delivery of aid. “The Forum indeed constitutes one of the central pillars of the new, revitalized Economic and Social Council,” he said, adding that significant strides were made in positioning the Council as the principal forum for global dialogue and policy review on the effectiveness and coherence of international development cooperation. Another vital part of the session was the holding of the second Annual Ministerial Review, which featured presentations from four developing and four developed countries on lessons learned in development assistance. Mr. Mérorès noted that the developing countries had agreed on one common theme – that poverty eradication could only be achieved by pursuing development which is economically, socially and ecologically sustainable. At the same time, the developed countries acknowledged the gaps in their development cooperation strategies while highlighting successes with their development partners, he added. During its session, the Council also addressed a number of emerging challenges such as climate change, rising food and oil prices and biodiversity loss. The Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs underscored the crux of the Council’s messages on these issues, stressing first and foremost that there are no piecemeal solutions and that these challenges should be addressed in a comprehensive manner. “There is also a clear need for both short-term and long-term measures,” Sha Zukang told the concluding session, particularly in the case of the food and fuel crises. He also emphasized collective action as central to the success of global efforts to find lasting and durable solutions to these challenges. “ECOSOC can serve as an effective forum for launching such action,” he pointed out. “We need to fully utilize the potential of the Council.” Among the other outcomes of the session, the two officials cited the message from this year’s humanitarian segment that further strengthening of the provision of humanitarian assistance is needed so that it becomes more timely, accountable, equitable and accessible. The Council also advanced its work in the area of peacebuilding and post-conflict development, most notably by again extending the mandate of the ECOSOC Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, in recognition of the role that the Council can play in supporting the country’s long-term development. ECOSOC, which serves as the central UN forum for discussing international economic and social issues and formulating policy recommendations, began its 2008 substantive session on 30 June. read more

At Security Council Ban calls for eradicating weapons of mass destruction once

Kiyoshi Odawara, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs for Japan, addresses the Security Council open debate. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right), Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of the Security Council for August, addresses the Council’s open debate. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine Emmanuel Roux, Special Representative of INTERPOL (the International Criminal Police Organization) to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council open debate. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council open debate on the topic “Challenges in addressing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials.” UN Photo/JC McIlwaine Miroslav Lajcák, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, addresses the Security Council open debate on the “Challenges in addressing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials”. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine Kim Won-soo, Acting UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, addresses the Security Council open debate. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas “I call on all States to focus on one overriding truth: the only sure way to prevent the human, environmental and existential destruction these weapons can cause, is by eradicating [these weapons] once and for all,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks at the Security Council open debate on ‘non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.’ “We – the international community – must ensure the disarmament and non-proliferation framework is universally and completely implemented, and is resilient and versatile enough to grapple with the changing environment,” he added.In his remarks, Mr. Ban said the success in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction offers some comfort and that multilateral treaties, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, and instruments, including Security Council resolution 1540, are “robust and tested.” Adopted in 2004, resolution 1540 affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security.But the Secretary-General also pointed out that the challenges to the disarmament and non-proliferation architecture are growing. He noted that technological advances have made means of production and methods of delivery of these weapons easier and more accessible. “Vicious non-State actors that target civilians for carnage are actively seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons,” he stressed.He said that it is particularly disappointing that progress on eliminating nuclear weapons has descended into fractious deadlock, underscoring that arguments justifying nuclear weapons, such as those used during the Cold War, “were morally, politically and practically wrong thirty years ago, and they are wrong now”.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges all states to focus on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in order to “prevent the human, environmental and existential destruction these weapons can cause”. Credit: UN News CentreRecalling the Security Council’s convening of the historic summit on non-proliferation and adoption of resolution 1887 (2009) in which it emphasized its primary responsibility to address nuclear threats and its willingness to take action, Mr. Ban said the global community now expects the Council to demonstrate the same leadership on the subject, to build on resolution 1887 and to develop further initiatives to bring about a world free of weapons of mass destruction.While noting that more needs to be done to “bridge the divide” within the international community, the UN chief said that it was encouraging that all UN Member States agree that the collective efforts must complement and strengthen the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, including the NPT, which is the only treaty-based commitment to nuclear disarmament and has been a strong barrier against nuclear proliferation for nearly 50 years.Biological attacks could be much more devastatingSpeaking on the threat of biological weapons, the Secretary General said that in the wake of serious outbreaks of Ebola, MERS and yellow fever, he is “very concerned” that the international community is not adequately prepared to prevent or respond to a biological attack. “The impact and consequences of a biological attack on a civilian target could far exceed those of a chemical or radiological attack,” he highlighted, stating that the investment in the international architecture dealing with these different types of weapons of mass destruction is not commensurate with their possible effects. “For example, there is no multilateral prevention and verification agency for biological weapons, as there is for nuclear and chemical threats and risks,” he added.The Secretary-General also called on the Security Council to consider how to strengthen resolution 1540 to ensure that non-State actors cannot acquire these horrific weapons. “For twelve years, this resolution has tried to provide a barrier to the threat and risk of weapons of mass destruction use by non-state actors, which is a very real threat,” recalled Mr. Ban.He called on the Council to use the open debate to be proactive in ensuring the resolution continues to be fit for purpose. Gregory Koblentz, Associate Professor and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program at George Mason University, addresses the Security Council open debate. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine ‹ › People must also be protected from online attacksTurning to the new global threats emerging from the misuse of science and technology, and the power of globalization, the Secretary-General said that the nexus between these emerging technologies and weapons of mass destruction needs close examination and action. “Information and communication technologies, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and synthetic biology will bring profound changes to our everyday lives and benefits to millions of people,” he noted, but cautioned that “their potential for misuse could also bring destruction.”As a starting point, Mr. Ban said the international community must step up to expand common ground for the peaceful use of cyberspace and, particularly, the intersection between cyberspace and critical infrastructure.Expressing that people now live a significant portion of their lives “online,” they must be protected from online attacks, just as effectively as they are protected from physical attacks. “Disarmament and non-proliferation instruments are only as successful as Member States’ capacity to implement them,” he noted, encouraging the members of the Council to devise effective solutions so that all states can fully implement their disarmament and non-proliferation commitments. read more

Terex Trucks lays groundwork for Russia expansion with Mining Eurasia pact

first_imgTerex Trucks has signed Mining Eurasia as its new official distributor in the Russian Federation as the Scotland-based manufacturer looks to improve availability as well as return on investment for its customers in the region.The company said: “As the single largest country in the world, it’s no great surprise that Russia has an abundance of coal, metal and minerals. In fact, it is home to 17% of all mineral deposits, 18% of all coal reserves, and produces more chromium, nickel and palladium than any other nation.”According to Terex Trucks, this is one of the reasons why mining equipment provider Mining Eurasia has gone from “strength to strength” over the years. Now, it will be the official distributor of Terex Trucks’ TA300 and TA400 (pictured) articulated haulers in the Russian Federation.Vladimir Startsev, Chief of Service, Mining Eurasia, said: “Russia is a tough market, with many of our customers running 24/7 operations. This firstly requires reliable equipment, but it also requires a lot of support from us.“The harder you make machines work, the more you’ll need access to spare parts and knowledgeable technicians. We’ve always prided ourselves on the quality of our aftermarket support. This has helped us to build a strong reputation within our sector and strike up partnerships with companies like Terex Trucks.”John Rotherford, Global Key Accounts Director, Terex Trucks, said: “In close collaboration with their (Mining Eurasia’s) team in Russia, we’ll be working together to improve availability as well as return on investment for our customers.”Mining Eurasia has its headquarters in Moscow, along with a repair centre, four regional offices and 11 service centres situated across Russia. “The majority of our employees are dedicated service specialists,” Startsev said. “We plan to use that expertise to ensure that our customers can get the most out of their Terex Trucks machines.”The Terex TA300 ADT is powered by a Scania DC9 engine and has a maximum payload of 28 t, maximum torque of 1880 Nm and can achieve gross power of 276 kW, according to Terex Trucks. “It is equipped with true independent front suspension as standard, resulting in excellent traction control and operator comfort,” the company said.The TA400, the largest articulated hauler on offer from Terex Trucks, has a maximum payload of 38 t and a heaped capacity of 23.3 m³. “The Allison HD4560 transmission boasts high performance oil and up to 6,000 hours between service intervals,” Terex Trucks said.Both machines come with hydrostatic power steering and all-hydraulic braking systems, helping to ensure a safe and comfortable ride, according to the company.last_img read more