|Head of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Jan Egeland, has been elected to co-chair the High-level Taskforce for the Global Framework for Climate Services. an international taskforce that is to compile and make available climate information.|
The responsibility of this international taskforce is to compile and make available climate information.
Mr Egeland was elected at a meeting in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today. He is to co-chair a high-level taskforce charged with developing a global framework for climate services.
Jan Egeland has also held the post of special UN emergency relief coordinator, and was shortly thereafter appointed to head the new UN secretariat responsible for conflict prevention and facilitation of peace negotiations.
“Mr Egeland’s background and expertise make him eminently qualified for this important task. This is particularly important for the poorest countries, which are by far the hardest hit by climate change,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
Jan Egeland will co-chair the taskforce together with Dr Abu-Zeid, former Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation. Other members of the taskforce include Emil Salim, former State Minister for Population and Environment of Indonesia, and Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile.
In the coming year the taskforce is to prepare a report containing recommendations for proposed elements of the Global Framework for Climate Services. The report is to be presented at the WMO Congress in 2011.
“This will make information on current and future weather and climate change more readily accessible, which will benefit all those working on health, agriculture and disaster preparedness in poor countries,” said Mr Solheim.
The World Meteorological(WMO) has decided to come across the original temperature records from thousands of stations around the world for a second time.
The readings will be checked once more so that WMO can avail auxiliary functional information to understand the atmospheric change determinedly. These supplementary data will be analyzed autonomously further. This research will take three more years.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, this new analysis will provide an additional comprehensive depiction ofwarming. Such initiatives are hugely needed to regain the public confidence in the science of climate change.
However some of the leading scientists have said that in spite of frequent efforts, there will be no end of man-made global warming. This will remain as a serious threat to the society and to the mankind.
Head of Climate Change Advice at Meteorological office Mr. Vicky Pope has also agreed with the fact that the fresh global temperature analyses would not change the tendency of globalwarming. But it may provide a better approach to adapt the climate change.
University lecturers have opposed a plan proposed by the World Bank to have fees for students under the regular degree program increased.
Speaking in Eldoret during the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Moi University branch annual general meeting on Friday, national officials led lecturers into denouncing the proposal.
Secretary general Muga K’olale said there was likely to be discontent among students if the government goes ahead to implement the plan.
“It is bad policy which is likely to lead to student unrest”, he said at the Moi University Guest House.
He added that only vice chancellors were consulted leaving out the union and a majority of lecturers.
Professor Sammy Kubasu who is the UASU national chairman said the academic staff should be consulted on major policy issues . Present also was the national organising secretary Musalia Edebe.
Dr K’olale admitted that some lecturers were receiving bribes from well to do students in the self sponsored program to pass examinations.
“The students mainly from the disciplined forces and provincial administration do not have time to attend classes and are paying some lecturers to do theses and projects for them”, he added.
He asked where a district commissioner got time to attend to official duties and at the same time go to class.
He said he knows that this revelation would not go down well with those involved but that if he did not talk against it, then the Kenyan universities would be rated lowly.
He said the declining standards of education also had something to do with the creation of more colleges under the main universities.
“A lecturer attends a class in Mombasa, flies to Nairobi for another and again to Kisumu leaving him or her with little time to attend to classes. He said most lecturers had decided to prepare notes for students instead of physically attending classes.
ISLAMABAD: A two-member team of the World Bank’s inspection panel, currently on a visit to Pakistan, has held meetings with secretaries of the finance and establishment divisions and chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue to ascertain if an investigation should be initiated into the alleged violation of the bank’s operational policies in implementation of the $83 million tax reforms programme.
The World Bank’s representative office in Islamabad and the FBR tried to give a new spin to the controversy in an apparent move to ward off looming investigation by the inspection panel.
The chief of the FBR, Sohail Ahmed, told a news conference that the team, led by Alf Morten Jerve of Norway, was visiting Pakistan to ascertain if the complaint registered at the request of the Pakistan’s Customs and Excise Officers Association needed an investigation.
The association alleged that by pressing the government for creation of an inland revenue service (IRS), the World Bank had violated its own operational policies and the country’s Constitution to their disadvantage.
The FBR chief said his prediction that the World Bank’s decision to delete steps relating to a new integrated tax administration from the policy matrix would result in unwelcome negative media attention proved correct and was needlessly reported by the media.
He said media reports about his letter to the finance minister were incorrect. But when asked to show the letter for fair judgement, Mr Sohail declined to oblige and said: “It was an internal note and not a letter.”
He said that if the panel decided to go for an investigation into the complaint it would be against the World Bank staff, and not against the government of Pakistan or the FBR because the panel could not launch an investigation against a sovereign state.
The FBR chief took pains to maintain that the creation of IRS was originally decided by the government in 2004 and was later picked up by World Bank staff as part of the tax administration and reforms project. He said the IRS was a home-grown agenda and not dictated by the World Bank.
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had turned down his proposal to withdraw a request for extension in the WB funding for the project till Dec 2011, he added. He quoted the finance minister as saying that the government should let the World Bank complete the process.
In his letter to the finance minister, Mr Sohail had said: “It was informed by Ms Satu Kahkonen, the lead economist of World Bank, that action relating to the new integrated tax administration is being deleted from the policy matrix. The reason given by her was that on certain complaints received by the World Bank in the context of merger of CE and IT groups into the IRS, the inspection panel had taken cognisance and registered the matter for investigation.” The FBR chief had further stated: “It is totally inappropriate and undesirable for the World Bank to initially press the FBR to undergo these reforms and make them as benchmarks in GoP’s negotiations with IMF, and to now take adverse notice of successful implementation by the FBR/GoP. This development has put the FBR/GoP in a needlessly embarrassing position, especially since the FBR has kept the World Bank completely informed about the process.” Meanwhile, commenting on a Dawn report, the WB Islamabad office tried to correlate its position on creation of the IRS with the overall tax administration reforms. It said the World Bank had not “distanced itself from the tax administration reforms project”.
However, WB office did not comment on whether or not it had supported the creation of IRS which was earlier part of the tax administration reforms project and the main issue under debate.
World Bank Country Director Yusupha Crookes said the FBR had demonstrated a strong commitment to increase efficiency of tax collection, improve the level of service to taxpayers and ensure a fair and more equitable application of tax laws. “The World Bank is committed to continuing our support to the FBR for the implementation of this ambitious reform strategy, primarily through the tax administration reforms project,” he said.
THE United Nations is to support the Federal Government amnesty programme through a mindset and technical education programme for ex-militants, as appropriate solution to youth restiveness and unemployment in the Niger Delta.
The reintegration programme for the ex-militants and unemployed youths, is to be executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States.
UNOPS Programme Co-ordinator, Wirba Alidu Yongye, stated this at the presentation a report on job creation and skills' needs assessment covering Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states, to the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) members and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt recently.
Yongye explained that the Niger Delta job creation and conflict prevention initiative was conceived in recognition of the fact that reintegration of the ex-militants and vulnerable youths into the community is a critical factor and necessary component for sustainable peace and development in the region.
The UN findings according to him, indicated that past reintegration initiative not only in Nigeria, tend to focus more on economic reintegration, forgetting the mindset and socio-psychological disposition of the ex-combatants.
This particular initiative, he said, would include social, economic, psychological development, responsible citizenship, individual and social responsibility, basic human rights, understanding conflict impact, leadership development and access to market opportunities.
He said that the UN intervention was aimed at training the ex-militants and other vulnerable youths in the Niger Delta in technical and vocational skills so that they could make use of opportunities in their communities and to make better choices that could help them develop their livelihood "by engaging them in vocational training, we will be reducing the number of youths that would be idle.
"We will be reducing the number of youths that are not productive and not contributing to the development of their environment. We will be contributing to the self development of these youths so they will be able to make better choices," said Yongye.
He said that the UN would carry out a profile of those who had given up arms and ascertain the kind of training they desired to undergo. He also stated that the number of those to be trained would depend on the capacity of the selected training centres in the three states.
Yongye added that UNOPS was establishing linkages with national and international institutions including the National Institute of Welding, the National Board for Technical Education and international institutions including the United Nations Vocational Education Centre and the Loughborough College, United Kingdom to ensure international accreditation for the technical and vocational education training.
Yongye explained that the UN was already talking with some companies in these three states, as part of their corporate social responsibility, to provide opportunities for the ex-militants and beneficiaries of the programme to undergo industrial attachment.
He observed that most companies corporate social responsibility existing in the Niger Delta did not take into account job creation opportunity for young graduates either from universities or vocational centres. He then called for a change of policy.
OPTS Chairman, Harrison E. Onwo, lauded the United Nations for the initiative which he observed was in tune with the organisation's job creation programme for the region.
He said that the UN intervention simply meant that the OPTS and the government must move fast to solve the problem of youth restiveness and unemployment in the Niger Delta.
HARGEISA (Somalilandpres) — Somaliland President, Dahir Rayale Kahin, met today with delegations from the United Nations and other international development agencies in the presidential palace. They discussed development projects in Somaliland. The president’s spokesperson issued the following statement:
“President Dahir Rayale Kahin met today in presidential palace with a large delegations of diverse international organizations, which are planning to implement development projects in Somaliland.”
President Dahir Rayale pointed to the need to implant development projects in Somaliland in areas of job creations for the youth, water irrigation, health, education and providing emergency aid to areas affected by lasting drought. The president emphasized that the International community should not place Somaliland in the same basket with Somalia when it comes to funding development projects and aid. He added that Somaliland has enjoyed stability and shown commitment to democracy for the last 18 years.
Mark Bowden, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia led the delegations, which included delegation from the World Bank, the European Union and number of UN organizations. The delegations conducted number of meetings and discussion panels in Ambassador Hotel for the last few days, where they discussed current UN projects and implementation of future development and humanitarian undertakings in Somaliland. Around 100 people representing various government agencies, political parties and civil Somaliland organizations participated in these meetings.
U.N. has formed an independent panel of scientists for reviewed the work of world’s top climate science panel. Which has faced recriminations after it published errors, United Nations environmental spokesman said.
Scientists are working with the United Nation-sponsored group. That has raised questions about the panel’s objectivity in assessing one of today’s most hotly debated scientific fields.
“The problem stems from the IPCC’s thorny mission: Take sophisticated and sometimes inconclusive science, and boil it down to usable advice for lawmakers,” according to the interviews with scientists and review of hundreds of panel documents and emails.
The IPCC said that the Himalayas may melt by 2035, but an original source said the world’s glaciers will melt till 2350 not till 2035.
A criticism has faced by IPCC. U.K. climate lab hacked Emails and posted online late last year. Scientists trying to squelch researchers who disagreed with their conclusion that humans are largely responsible for climate change. The IPCC admitted its celebrated 2007 report contained an error: a false claim that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. The IPCC report got the date from a World Wildlife Fund report.
Mainstream scientists and the United Nations said repeatedly that the evidence indicates that human activity is playing major role in global warming remains unshaken.
Mr. Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environment Program said, “I think we are bringing some level of closure to this issue.”
Pachauri’s statement said that the panel consulted with the United Nations and plans to find “distinguished experts” to review.