World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism

TOP OF THE AGENDA AT UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY – Conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Mali and Central African Republic as well as the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, aid for Palestinians, education for girls, modern slavery, environmental threats, efforts to end poverty, and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

According to reliable data from @TwitterData, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is one of the most tweeted about world leaders during the first day of the United Nations General Assembly meeting (18/19 September, 2017).

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming — and also encouraging the glimmer of hope over the nuclear standoff in North Korea.

This year, 133 world leaders have signed up to attend the General Assembly session, a significant increase from last year’s 114. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the expected large turnout “eloquent proof of the confidence of the international community in the United Nations,” though other U.N. officials and diplomats said it’s in response to growing concerns about an increasingly turbulent world.

The seven-year-old conflict in Syria and the three-year war in Yemen that has sparked the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and is now seriously threatening large-scale famine will certainly be in the spotlight, along with meetings on other Mideast and African hot spots. So will Iran, which faces escalating hostile rhetoric from the Trump administration over its activities supporting international terrorism, which Tehran vehemently denies.

Guterres said last week that one of his overriding concerns in an increasingly globalized world is the threat to having the U.N.’s 193 member nations work together, which is the foundation of the United Nations.

“Multilateralism is under attack from many different directions precisely when we need it most,” the U.N. chief told reporters Thursday. “In different areas and for different reasons, the trust of people in their political establishments, the trust of states among each other, the trust of many people in international organizations has been eroded and … multilateralism has been in the fire.”

Guterres challenged diplomats at last week’s opening of the 73rd session of the General Assembly by saying: “At a time of fragmentation and polarization, the world needs this assembly to show the value of international cooperation.”

Whether it will be able to remains in question.

At this year’s gathering of presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and minsters, populist leaders will include U.S. President Donald Trump, President Andrzej Duda of Poland and Premier Giuseppe Conte of Italy along with the foreign ministers of Hungary and Austria.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters that Trump, who champions an “America First” policy, wants to talk about “protecting U.S. sovereignty,” and she reiterated Washington’s opposition to the 2015 Paris climate agreement on curbing global warming and a newly agreed international compact aimed at regulating migration.

“We really value sovereignty of the country,” Haley said. “It is not saying multilateralism can’t work, but it’s saying sovereignty is a priority over all of that, and we always have to make sure we’re doing that — and there are many countries that agree with us.”

Before stepping down as U.N. humanitarian chief Aug. 31, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein expressed serious concern that populism, intolerance and oppression are “becoming fashionable again.”

“It all builds, because once you start down the path of intolerance, it’s very difficult to stop it, unless at the end of the day you have conflict,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to be a key voice joining Guterres in the coming week in speaking out against this trend and supporting multilateralism as key to promoting peace.

The week’s activities kick off with a peace summit Monday morning honoring the 100th birthday this year of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. A statue of Mandela will be unveiled at U.N. headquarters and leaders are expected to adopt a declaration recognizing the years 2019-2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.

Trump is hosting an event Monday on “The World Drug Problem” and Haley said 124 countries have signed a global call to action. Activists on drug policy note it was never negotiated, and one group, the Harm Reduction Coalition, called it “an instance of heavy-handed U.S. ‘with us or against us’ diplomacy.”

The increasingly strident U.S. rhetoric against Iran is expected to be a feature in U.S. speeches. Haley said that “every dangerous spot in the world — Iran seems to have its fingerprints in it,” which Tehran denies.

Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in May and the foreign ministers of the five remaining powers who support the deal — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — are expected to meet privately Monday evening with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The General Assembly’s “General Debate,” as the ministerial session is called, officially opens Tuesday with Guterres’ report on the state of the world, to be followed soon after by speeches from Trump, Macron and late in the morning by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

The U.S. holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council in September and has scheduled two ministerial meetings, the first on Wednesday presided over by Trump. It was initially to focus on Iran but has now been broadened to the topic of “nonproliferation” of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

“I’m sure that is going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever,” Haley told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will preside over the second meeting Thursday on North Korea, an issue the Security Council was united on in imposing increasingly tough sanctions. But that unity now appears to be at risk over enforcement of sanctions and the broader issues of how to achieve denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and when sanctions should be lifted against North Korea.

Guterres welcomed the recent “positive meeting” in Pyongyang between the leaders of North and South Korea but warned that “there will not be success in intra-Korean negotiations if simultaneously there is not success in the American and North Korean” negotiations to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the United Nations has received 342 requests for meetings during the high-level week.

They include sessions on conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Mali and Central African Republic as well as the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, aid for Palestinians, education for girls, modern slavery, environmental threats, efforts to end poverty, and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Asked what are the big issues, Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told The Associated Press: “All of them are big issues — nonproliferation, cooperation, the world peace architecture — it’s every year, but this year it’s maybe more topical than ever.”

Uruguayan Ambassador Elbio Rosselli said the biggest issue for his country is multilateralism.

“It’s a vow that all of us ought to keep reinforcing particularly at this conjuncture where so many undercurrents and contrary views are surfacing on different scenarios,” he told AP. “The validity of this institution is more than ever necessary, and for that we need the recommitment of all states.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.


Britain’s Anthony Joshua wins heavyweight crown

Both men had won Olympic gold medals, but it was the youthful energy of the 28-year-old Joshua which proved decisive as Mr Povetkin visibly tired halfway through the contest.

 Anthony Joshua celebrates victory after the IBF, WBA Super, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight with Alexander Povetkin. Getty Images
 Anthony Joshua celebrates victory after the IBF, WBA Super, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight with Alexander Povetkin. Getty Images
AIWA! NO!//Britain’s Anthony Joshua delivered a devastating technical knockout in the seventh round to defeat Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on Saturday and retain his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight championship belts.

In front of about 80,000 fans, Mr Joshua moved on to 22 fights unbeaten in his professional career by handing the 39-year-old Mr Povetkin only his second defeat.

Mr Joshua, returning to the arena where he knocked out Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in April, 2017 to become a unified heavyweight world champion, was given a hero’s reception by the almost capacity crowd.

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Anthony Joshua defended his world heavyweight titles with a devastating knockout of Alexander Povetkin after overcoming an early onslaught from the Russian at Wembley.

However, early on it was the smaller challenger who appeared the more inspired by the occasion and he caught the Briton late in the first round with an uppercut on the nose.

Both men had won Olympic gold medals, but it was the youthful energy of the 28-year-old Mr Joshua which proved decisive as Mr Povetkin visibly tired halfway through the contest.

Mr Joshua began dictating with his movement from the fourth round and started to find his range with his right hook.


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That was what did for Mr Povetkin, the WBA mandatory challenger, in the seventh when a fearsome right-hander from Mr Joshua landed square on his jaw and sent the Russian to the canvas.

He got back to his feet but not for long as a flurry of punches from the champion gave him his 21st win by knockout.

“Povetkin is a very tough challenger, he proved that tonight with good left hooks and counter punches,” Joshua said from inside in the ring.

“I came in here to have fun, and give it my best, I knew he was strong to the head but weak to the body. I was just mixing it up.

“It could have been seven, maybe nine, maybe 12 rounds to get him out of there. But the ultimate aim was to be victorious.

“I got my knockout streak back.”

Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu Mocks Mnangagwa’s Opponents, Calls for More Women in Houses of Parliament

Honorable Molly Ndlovu, a Zanu – PF Parliamentarian  derides and challenges Mnangagwa’s opponents; appeals to the President for the  extension of parliament quota for women to bring gender parity in Parliament.

Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu

Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu says President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the president of Zimbabwe and therefore anyone who does not believe in this is daydreaming. Ms. Ndlovu also urged Mnangagwa to ensure that the parliamentary quota system for women is extended.

Tanzania death toll 209 as survivor found in capsized ferry

Left: Relatives look at the coffins containing the dead bodies of passengers retrieved after a ferry MV Nyerere overturned off the shores of Ukara Island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, on Sept. 22, 2018. Photo by Jackson Njehia/Reuters
AIWA! NO!//NAIROBI, Kenya — It was a stunning discovery. As rescue divers probed a capsized Tanzanian ferry two days after the disaster and the death toll soared past 200, a man was found in an air pocket, alive.

He was an engineer, regional commissioner John Mongella told reporters. As the badly overloaded ferry overturned on Thursday in the final stretch before reaching shore, the man shut himself into the engine room, the Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Video footage showed the man, barefoot and head lolling, carried quickly along a busy street by medical workers and military personnel as a siren wailed. His condition was not immediately known.

No further survivors were likely. Search efforts were ending so the focus could turn to identifying the dead, Tanzania’s defense chief Venance Mabeyo told reporters at the scene.

Mass graves were dug, and colorfully painted coffins arrived. Hundreds of family members and others waited quietly on the shore.

One woman dropped to her knees in the sand next to the covered body of her sister and wept.

“We have found him after three days and now we are transporting his body to Kamasi for burial,” said Temeni Katebarira, the brother of one victim.

Earlier in the day, workers continued to haul bodies from the water. Abandoned shoes were scattered on the sand.

“From morning till now we have retrieved more than 58 bodies. This includes both children and adults,” said TropistaTemi, a Red Cross volunteer. “Because of the congestion we have not been able to do full totaling. Later, we will do a full tally.”

But the total number of deaths might never be known. No one is sure how many people were on the overcrowded ferry, which officials said had a capacity of 101. It tipped as people returning from a busy market day with their goods prepared to disembark, while horrified fishermen and others watched.

Officials on Friday said at least 40 people had been rescued.

President John Magufuli has ordered the arrests of those responsible. He said the ferry captain already had been detained after leaving the steering to someone who wasn’t properly trained, The Citizen newspaper reported.

“This is a great disaster for our nation,” Magufuli told the nation in a televised address late Friday, announcing four days of national mourning.

Pope Francis, the United Nations secretary-general, Russian President Vladimir Putin and a number of African leaders have expressed shock and sorrow.

The MV Nyerere, named for the former president who led the East African nation to independence, was traveling between the islands of Ukara and Ukerewe when it sank, according to the government agency in charge of servicing the vessels.

Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Some of the deadliest have occurred in Tanzania, where aging passenger ferries often carry hundreds of passengers and well beyond capacity.

In 1996, more than 800 people died when passenger and cargo ferry MV Bukoba sank on Lake Victoria. And nearly 200 people died in 2011 when the MV Spice Islander I sank off Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast near Zanzibar.

Global Citizen Launches New Campaign for Gender Equality Because #SheIsEqual

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Wizkid, the Nigerian singer and global superstar, is serious about making his voice heard when it comes to improving education and sanitation for everyone — especially girls and children — in Nigeria.
In a series of tweets, Wizkid called on the governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, to invest in “eliminating barriers for Nigerians”, which starts with quality education and proper sanitation for everyone.

bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//One thing that has been made crystal clear in the last 18 months: Women and girls deserve, and now demand, to be treated as equals. The fast-growing #MeToo and SheDecides movements are testament to an awakening in society that women and girls are treated differently and held back in every aspect of life — in school, by governments, by health systems, and in the workplace.

As the late global icon Nelson Mandela said, this is a major oversight: “As long as the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure.”

Global Citizen believes in the power of advocacy. Rather than ask individuals to contribute money to support specific programs on the ground, Global Citizen works with world leaders to make large financial commitments to support things like girls education, building toilets, robust foreign aid programs, and more.

Girls and women are essential to building healthier, better-educated and sustainable communities. Women and girls are too often afflicted with some of the harshest aspects of poverty. Instead of victims, women and girls can be powerful community leaders.

Global Citizens take actions to earn their way into the festival. These actions tell leaders the changes we want to see in the world.


Global Citizen Launches New Campaign for Gender Equality Because #SheIsEqual

Global Citizens Just Put Gender Equality on the Commonwealth’s Agenda

Commonwealth Leaders Commit to Gender Equality, Nutrition and Ending Preventable Diseases at Global Citizen Live in London

Since 2012, nearly 16 million actions by Global Citizens have helped generate commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion.

Image result for A woman cleans a ventilated drop-hole cover on her latrine, in the community of Iorpuu, Nigeria in April 2013.
A woman cleans a ventilated drop-hole cover on her latrine, in the community of Iorpuu, Nigeria in April 2013. Iorpuu, which has been declared open defecation free, began participating in a community-led total sanitation initiative in December in 2011.
Andrew Esiebo/UNICEF

These commitments are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people with interventions that range from vaccinating a child to providing one year of education.

These things will ultimately help these individuals to lift themselves out of poverty and have long term positive development outcomes.


World famous photographer speaks to animals in French

‘During my career, I have had more than 5,000 pages of photographs published, and I have written 26 books. The last one was titled Fou d’Ailes (Mad about Wings) in 2016,’ – Alain Ernoult

Rita, factory boucan workwoman in Douglastown, Grenada

Frenchman Alain Ernoult is a world famous photographer and reporter. On a recent trip to Rwanda, I met and interviewed him extensively on his work and life in the field. I started by asking him how he ended up being a professional photographer and what inspired him. Image result for Frenchman Alain Ernoult

By SUSAN MUUMBI//(‘‘I left formal schooling at the age of 14 and started working in a factory. At 17, in the mid 1980s, I read about a tribe in Mali that needed help and I decided to take medicines to them. I hitchhiked from Normandy in northern France, through Spain, Algeria and across the desert to Mali. I almost died on the journey.

“When I returned to France, no one believed me. So I decided to buy a camera, make a return trip and capture my travels so that people could see for themselves. I’m a self-taught photographer.

First Submarine Museum
Install art while recreating a natural shelter for wildlife underwater. That was the idea of Jason De Caires Taylor.

‘‘Soon after, I left the factory job and to support myself, I started taking photographs of Parisians, weddings, dogs, people — clothed and naked. That’s how I honed my skills.

‘‘Two years later, I hitchhiked back to Mali, with a clunky Zenith SLR camera. Half of my luggage contained medicines. I lost 15kg on that trip; I was sleeping on the ground, keeping away hyenas at night.

‘‘A Paris museum heard about my travels and organised an exhibition for my work. I was 20 years old. I decided I could become a successful photographer by taking pictures that no one had taken before. At that time, photographers kept their distance when taking pictures. I wanted to be part of the action. ‘‘In the first year of my newfound career, I went to take pictures of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gangs in the US. It was dangerous but groundbreaking work, and I still have a scar from that time. ‘‘The Hell’s Angels pictures were printed in Stern, a German magazine. I got 12 pages in one issue. I then approached the French air force, to fly with their top aerobatic team — the Patrouille de France. They refused. After eight months of persistence, they agreed. It was the first time they had allowed a photographer to fly with them. ‘‘The pilots were reluctant and it was difficult to take pictures while wearing goggles and to change the camera film during the flight.

Recognition and awards

‘‘In 2004, the Minister for Defence presented me a medal of merit from the French government, the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite National for my work. ‘‘But the crowning glory came in 1986 when I won the World Press Photo Award in the sports category. It is the most prestigious award in the profession. I took the winning picture at the Boomerang World Championships in Paris. An apple was placed on a man’s head and then another threw a razor-tipped Boomerang that cut through the apple. I caught the moment when the apple was cut into two and the man was screaming.

The 1984 World Press Photo
The 1984 World Press Photo winning picture by Alain Ernoult. PHOTO | COURTESY

“Soon after, Time magazine called. They flew me by Concord to New York where I signed contracts with Time and Life magazines. I have also worked with National Geographic and the French magazines Paris Match and Le Figaro.

“During my career, I have had more than 5,000 pages of photographs published, and I have written 26 books. The last one was titled Fou d’Ailes (Mad about Wings) in 2016.

Animal love


“I have a connection with animals so they allow me to photograph them. I make eye contact, and speak to them in French. I show no fear. At my house near Paris, birds come to sit on my hand.“I’ve held several exhibitions all over the world, including at the UN on biodiversity projects. I support children’s NGOs, like Toutes a l’ecole, which helps pay for poor children to go to school.

Image result for Frenchman Alain Ernoult
Reportage: Tahiti Islands of Dreams
In this part of the South Pacific where the hand of a giant would have sown on the fly the 118 islands of Polynesia, the escape is certainly successful, perhaps more authentic, especially when we choose to go discover some Leeward Islands of the Society Islands or two or three atolls of Tuamotus

I also support non-governmental wildlife organisations by using my pictures to create awareness about endangered species. That’s what has brought me to Rwanda: To take pictures of the mountain gorillas. I would love to visit Kenya to photograph animals, especially endangered species.

Corporate life

“I started a photography agency in Paris called Arnault pictures, and I had 400 photographers working for me. One day, Kodak US contacted me, seeking to buy me out but I hesitated. However, I later gave in. This was beyond my wildest dreams. I was amazed by how far I had come with my limited formal education. My life has been my education.

Life lessons

“My intuition has saved me several times, especially when I was reporting on the wars in Afghanistan and Bosnia. I refused to photograph death and misery. Instead I took pictures of the positive side, wherever that was possible.“I have a daughter, Clara, who is 24 years old and she accompanies me on some of my trips. I’m very proud of her.

“My motto in life is that you have to keep moving and questioning. The more I see, the less I know. Once my job is done, I focus on the next one.

“I’m always looking for ways to improve myself. Now I want to dedicate my time to environmental causes, to protect nature and endangered animals.

“I don’t like to edit or airbrush pictures after shooting, so I try to get the best shot right at the beginning.

Best destination

“Africa is my favourite place to visit. The people are sincere, and there is an abundance of wildlife. I saw plenty of wildlife in South Africa, and I would love to visit Kenya one day. “I have travelled widely around the world. I went diving with whales in Polynesia, I have seen the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) at the North Pole. I have met Amazonian tribes and several presidents. I have been to the North Pole to photograph polar bears.

Best experience in Rwanda?

“Seeing the strength and intelligence of gorillas. I came face to face with a silverback and I told him that we’re friends, in French of course. And he allowed me to take his photograph.”

Tanzania: Lake Victoria Ferry Tragedy, 196 Confirmed Dead

Tanzania Ferry Tragedy death toll hits 196

2018-09-21 (6)

bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//At least 196 people are confirmed dead in the Lake Victoria MV Nyerere ferry disaster.

According to the state broadcaster 60 bodies were recovered on Saturday, September 22 morning.

As of Friday evening a total of 136 bodies had been recovered, according to the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Isaack Kamwelwe.

The ferry, travelling between the Ukara and Bugolora Islets capsized on Thursday afternoon about 50 metres from the berth as it was about to dock.

The state broadcaster, quoting Mr Kamwelwe said the rescue operation is still under way to recover more bodies. Ukerewe District Commissioner Cornel Maghembe told reporters Thursday that the water vessel was overloaded with cargo and passengers.

According to him, the ferry has a capacity of carrying only 100 passengers and 25 tonnes of cargo but it had more than 400 people.

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