In commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a book launch and panel discussion on the right to education was organized in the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 4 December 2017. The Permanent Missions of Portugal and Finland supported this event.
Published by OIDEL, a non-governmental organization, the book entitled Code of International Education Law 2017 is a compilation of international standards that contains the provisions which appear in the right to education norms taken from the international instruments adopted by the United Nations, UNESCO and ILO. As such, this study represents a comprehensive set of legal references of the essential content on the right to education.
The panel was composed of experts and specialists on education; Ms. Rolla Moumné from the Education Sector of UNESCO was among the panelists. In her intervention, Ms. Moumné stressed the importance of the new book and its implications to Member States, the academia and civil society organizations around the world.
“This compilation as well as the document ‘Essential Content’, comes at a strategic moment, at a time when the international community is engaged in the implementation of the new Education 2030 Agenda with the help of UNESCO,” said Ms. Moumné.
Ms. Moumné underscored that the right to education is an integral part to human rights; therefore, it is a universal right indivisible to everyone. As a reminder of legal obligations to Member States, the new book is expected to help bolster the existing framework on the right to education and foster accountability.
“I hope that this publication will encourage all stakeholders to contribute to the right to education, as well as its enforcement by Member States,” said Ms. Moumné.
Mr. Georges Haddad, President of University Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, and former Director at UNESCO, took on the matter from a philosophical and moral perspective. He said that education was indispensable insofar as it was a process for individuals to undertake to discover who they are and why they are, during which they must also learn to distinguish valid knowledge from invalid information.
The panel discussion also brought up, inter alia, several challenges faced by the international community regarding the right to education. The right to education for children of migrants and refugees, as well as their integration into educational systems were among the topics discussed.
The European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change
The European Commission today adopted a Communication reaffirming the EU’s commitment to accelerated climate ambition. Preparing for the Climate Action Summit by the United Nations Secretary General in New York on 23 September, the Commission recalls that the European Union has been at the forefront of global climate action, negotiating an inclusive international framework to respond to this challenge, while acting domestically with unity, speed and decisiveness. The EU has put concrete actions behind its Paris Agreement commitments, in line with the Juncker Commission priority of establishing an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy.
Commission Vice-president for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “With the Paris Agreement, for the first time all parties committed to reduce emissions. Now we must make sure these reductions are timely enough to avoid the worst of the climate crisis. The European Union will bring to New York the fruit of our work on the Energy Union: a realistic perspective of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, backed by ambitious policies set in binding legislation. The EU has ensured that all sectors contribute to the transition. At the Climate Action Summit, we hope our plans will inspire other countries, and we hope to be inspired. Our message is simple: Europe delivers.”
Commissioner for Climate Action and energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The European Union has a powerful story to tell at the UN Climate Summit later this month. We are a global climate leader and our climate action is an outstanding example of delivery, including in the context of our Long Term Strategy process. The EU’s approach is to ensure that climate ambition is not only about headline targets, but about actual delivery on our promises, about making sure that objectives will be fulfilled and emissions reductions will happen. As shown by the EU-wide survey published today, our approach has a very strong mandate from our citizens. I am proud to share these messages also in New York.”
The European Union is the first major economy to put in place a legally binding framework to deliver on its pledges under the Paris Agreement and it is successfully transitioning towards a low emissions economy, with a view to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Ambitious climate action enjoys strong democratic support. According to the latest special Eurobarometer on climate change as published today, 93% of Europeans believe that climate change is a serious problem.
Moreover, the EU and its member states, true to their commitment to multilateral action rooted in science, are actively preparing to communicate by early 2020 a long-term strategy with the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, as proposed by the Commission. The Commission presented its vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy in November 2018 and a large majority of member states endorsed this vision in June 2019. According to the Eurobarometer, 92% of Europeans supported making the EU climate-neutral by 2050. Under the Paris Agreement, all parties have to present a long-term strategy by 2020.
The EU continues to deliver on its commitments:
The EU has the most comprehensive and ambitious legislative framework on climate action in place and it is successfully transitioning towards a low emissions economy, aiming at climate neutrality by 2050 – between 1990 and 2017 its greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 23% while the economy grew by 58%.
The EU has already over-achieved its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and has completed its unique binding legislative framework that will allow us to over-deliver on our climate targets for 2030. At the same time, the EU Adaptation Strategy has encouraged national, regional and local adaptation action since 2013.
Conscious that our emissions make up only around 9% of the global total, the EU is continuing its outreach and cooperation, financial and technical, to all partner countries. The EU remains the world’s leading donor of development assistance and the world’s biggest climate finance donor. Providing over 40% of the world’s public climate finance, the EU and its Member States’ contributions have more than doubled since 2013, exceeding EUR 20 billion annually.
Strong support from citizens
Ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, the Commission carried out a special Eurobarometer on climate action and energy, which shows that in all EU Member States, citizens overwhelmingly support action taken to fight climate change, and want the EU and national leaders to increase their ambitions in this regard and strengthen Europe’s energy security.
The Eurobarometer shows that 93% of Europeans believe that climate change is a ‘serious problem’, and 79% see it as a ‘very serious problem’. Compared with the last Eurobarometer in 2017, climate change has overtaken international terrorism in being perceived as the second most serious problem facing the world today, after poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water.
The proportion of European citizens who have taken personal action to fight climate change has increased in all EU Member States to an EU wide average of more than nine in ten citizens (93%). The Eurobarometer results also show a demand for national governments to step up their own targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy (92%), and to give more public funding to renewable energy (84%). A strong majority of Europeans (72%) feel that reducing energy imports will have a positive impact on the economy and energy security, and 92% believe that EU must secure access to energy for all EU citizens.
5 takeaways from the 2018 Africa Investment Forum
“We want investments in Africa to land on a smooth investment runway. No bumps,” – Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank, at the 2018 Africa Investment Forum.
When Adesina laid out his vision to “tilt the flow” of capital towards Africa’s critical sectors through the Africa Investment Forum, the notion of convening a purely transaction-based forum, seemed more of an aspiration than a reality.
One year down the road, the verdict is undisputed: Africa’s investment opportunities are attracting investments in a big way, as highlighted by the five outcomes below.
1. The Africa Investment Forum platform offers a solid pathway for investments in the continent
The inaugural Africa Investment Forum “Market Days” secured record levels of investment interest in deals worth billions of dollars in just under 72 hours.
63 projects valued at $46.9 billion from 24 countries and across 7 sectors were discussed during closed boardroom sessions involving investors, project sponsors and government representatives. Investment interest was secured for 49 projects worth $38.7 billion.
A further $51.2 billion worth of deals were featured in the Africa Investment Forum Marketplace Project Gallery (a showcase of key projects for investors, but not discussed during boardroom sessions).
2. Multilateral partners delivering as one
Africa’s economic transformation is being achieved through collaborative leadership and strategic partnerships. Beyond the African Development Bank, the Forum’s founding partners include: Africa 50, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), African Export Import Bank (AfreximBank), Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), European Investment Bank (EIB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and Trade and Development Bank (TDB).
Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), multilaterals and global investors are keen to work together in ways never done before. This was demonstrated in the US$800 million deal agreement signed between Africa50, African Development Bank and the Governments of Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. This project which seeks to develop and finance the first road-rail bridge linking the two capital cities – Kinshasa and Brazzaville, was chaired in the Boardroom by Africa50.
3. Key multi-billion dollar signings
4. The Africa Investment Forum’s convening power
The Africa Investment Forum has positioned itself as an honest broker between governments and private sector stakeholders including project sponsors, investors and transaction facilitators.
A much heralded feature of the inaugural Africa Investment Forum “Market Days” was the presence of seven African Heads of State, who reiterated their commitment to providing an enabling environment for investors, with some of them further participating in several boardroom sessions of their respective countries.
The Lusophone development finance compact signed between the African Development Bank, the Government of Portugal and six Portuguese speaking countries of Africa (PALOPs) is another strong demonstration of the Forum’s convening power. A pipeline of private sector and private-public partnership (PPP) projects in excess of US5 billion have been identified in these countries.
5. The Africa Investment Forum’s Digital Platform
Following the 2018 edition, the African Investment Forum has launched a new digital platform, https://platform.africainvestmentforum.com/ to connect investors with investment opportunities in Africa, and vastly improve the quality of project information and documentation.
The Platform, as it is known, provides a live database of private/PPP projects and a repository of information on investors and technical assistance providers on the continent. The Platform currently hosts a community of over 500 users and 110 companies with more than 30% outside of Africa.
The Africa Investment Forum is dedicated to advancing projects throughout Africa to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
Preparations for the 2019 edition are well underway. Roadshows have been held across the continent and further roadshows are scheduled for investors in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
The Africa Investment Forum, Africa’s Investment Marketplace is a game changer, and promises to provide the continent’s finest opportunity for accelerated economic transformation.
The 2019 Market Days will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 11 to 13 November 2019.
ADB Grant to Improve Water Resources, Enhance Productivity in Afghanistan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $348.78 million grant to help in the development of water resources in Kandahar province through the expansion of Dahla Dam, the country’s second largest dam.
The project will help improve Afghanistan’s agricultural productivity, water resources management, energy generation, and growth outlook.
Stable, reliable, and well-managed water resources are essential for Afghanistan, where water is scarce and highly seasonal, greatly affecting the agriculture sector. The sector is Afghanistan’s major source of livelihood, employing 62.2% of the country’s labor force in 2017—two-thirds of employed women in the country work in agriculture—and contributing over 21% to the national economy. The lack of well-managed integrated water resources, especially of reliable irrigation water, hinders the sector’s huge potential and further contribution to the economy.
“Afghanistan has a water availability and management issue, with frequent and worsening droughts affecting the country’s agriculture outputs, people’s living standards, and economic productivity,” said ADB Principal Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Hans Woldring. “Addressing the country’s water resources issue will not only improve agricultural production in Afghanistan, particularly in high-value crops, but also provide security, both in water and energy, improving the country’s economic prospects.”
The Arghandab Integrated Water Resources Development Project will improve the availability and management of water resources in Kandahar province by rehabilitating and increasing the storage capacity of Dahla Dam, which was originally built in 1952. Construction works will include raising the main dam, six saddle dams, spillways, and other associated structures to increase the full reservoir level by 13.6 meters and storage capacity from 288 million cubic meters (mcm) to 782 mcm, while also realigning 9.6 kilometers of road that will be affected.
Increased storage capacity of the dam will provide the possibility of hydropower generation, which will be undertaken by the private sector, and additional urban and industrial water supply to Kandahar City and its surroundings, with the help of a $230 million grant from the World Bank.
The project will also increase reliable irrigation water supply by upgrading canals and structures, as well as introducing monitoring and control systems that will allow water on demand services in the province. Climate-smart irrigation and agricultural technologies and practices will be adopted to improve production and sustainability. Female farmers, in particular, will be empowered through increased training opportunities, scholarships, technology transfer, and advisory services.
Since 1966, ADB has invested about $545 million in water resources in Afghanistan, mainly for irrigation. ADB operations have so far resulted in 350,000 hectares (ha) of improved irrigated land, with more than 250,000 ha under development.
Key areas of ADB’s assistance to the sector include irrigation and water resources, agriculture market infrastructure, value chain development, integrated water resources management, institutional strengthening and reforms, and increased participation of women in agriculture.
The African Renaissance- poets
The Dutch poet Joop Bersee, has been gifted confidante to me, selfless mentor, and I’ve have come to the beliefs,...
The Economic Roots of Georgia’s “Defection” to the West
An important part of a country’s foreign policy lies in its economic moves. This is particularly true in the case...
A bird’s eye view of Asia: A continental landscape of minorities in peril
Many in Asia look at the Middle East with a mixture of expectation of stable energy supplies, hope for economic...
Why the Weird and Uncompromising Get Elected
Why is it that the US and Britain have chosen weird uncompromising leaders when the essence of statesmanship is calculated...
What Emily Dickinson can teach us
The sun is a laughing, talking, walking miracle today. If it shines, it shines only for me and Lavinia. What...
Secularism in India: Disparity in theory and practice
Authors: Areeja Syed and Kinza Shaheen* Secularism is adopted by most of the contemporary states. The three intrinsic principles of...
China Aims for Impactful Offshore Defense in the ‘New Era’
As the rule of thumb goes, it is best to read between the lines and understand the tone of words...
Africa2 days ago
Ethiopia and Russia Need to Catch Up
Middle East2 days ago
Why is Iran meeting with Arab Gulf States?
Tourism3 days ago
WTO General Assembly Opens With Sustainability and Innovation Top of the Agenda
Middle East3 days ago
Playing politics: Trump and Netanyahu risk sparking nuclear arms race
Russia2 days ago
Why We Should Not Expect Russia to be Welcomed Back into the G7
South Asia2 days ago
Chandrayaan-2 was really a failure, but for whom?
Newsdesk3 days ago
ADB Grant to Improve Water Resources, Enhance Productivity in Afghanistan
Middle East2 days ago
Yemen Conflict and OIC: The role of the powerful states