Thursday, 31 March 2011

Report: Report of the International Labour Office for the Fourth Conference on the Least Developed Countries In Istanbul - 9-13 May 2011

This report was prepared under the general guidance of José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Director of the Employment Sector of the International Labour Organisation, and Moazam Mahmood, Director of the Department for Economic and Labour Market Analysis. Moazam Mahmood, Director of the Department for Economic and Labour Market Analysis, contributed the chapter on Growth Employment and Decent Work in Least Developed Countries. Research assistance was provided by Hwa Lee, and Evangelia Bourmpoula.

Duncan Campbell, Director, Advisor to the Executive Director of the Employment Sector contributed the work on MDGs. Research assistance was provided by Giovanna Centonze. Iyanatul Islam, Senior Economist in the Employment Policy Department, and Sarah Anwar, Technical Officer in the Employment Policy Department, contributed the chapter on Macroeconomic policies to promote job creation and poverty reduction in LDCs. Research assistance was provided by Ishraq Ahmed.

Marion Jansen, Senior Specialist for Trade and Employment, contributed the chapter on Harnessing trade for growth, employment and poverty reduction. Erik von Uexküll significantly contributed to the writing of the chapter.

Per Ronnas, Senior Employment and Development Specialist, contributed the chapter on What a country produces matters: agriculture, industry and services.

Fredric Lapeyre, Employment and Informal Economy Specialist in the Department for Employment Policy, and Sher Verick, Economist in the Department for Economic and Labour Market Analysis, contributed the chapter on the informal economy and labour market institutions.

Terje Tessem, Chief of the Employment-intensive Investment Branch in the Department for Employment Policy, contributed the chapter on the Role of Public Investments and Public Employment Programmes.

Irmgard Nübler, Senior Economist in the Department for Economic and Labour Market Analysis contributed the chapter on Promoting Catching-up growth and productive transformation in LDCs: A new approach.

Christina Behrendt, Social Security Specialist in the Social Security Department, contributed the chapter on Social Protection: Investing in People.

The report benefited from the collaboration and comments from Aurelio Parisotto, Senior Economist in the Department for Policy Integration, Jane Stewart, Director of the ILO Office for the United Nations New York, and Amber Barth, Program Officer at ILO Office for New York. Hwa Lee put the report together. Kevin Cassidy was responsible for printing. The support of the ILO-Norway project on Policy Coherence for Growth, Employment and Decent Work for the reproduction of the report is gratefully acknowledged.

News Release: Umu-Imo In USA Endorses Senator Godwin Ifeanyi Araraume

Senator Araraume
After carefully reviewing the profiles and manifestos of all the Governorship Candidates contesting for the Governorship of Imo State, 2011. We, the entire members of Umu-Imo USA, an umbrella organization of all Imo State citizens in the United States hereby endorse Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, the Candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria as the NEXT credible GOVENOR of Imo State.
Furthermore, Senator Araraume is the only candidate who understands the sufferings of Imo people. His administration has promised to bring back the Imo of our DREAM by offering the following programs:
Free & qualitative Primary and Secondary School Education, Reduction in Tuition fees in state owned tertiary institutions, security of life and property, Bringing an end to the pervasive fear and terror in Imo State, Job creation and a reduction in the level of unemployment, Protecting retirees and their pensions, Providing grants as aid to mission schools and hospitals, free maternal and child health care services in government institutions, and creating enabling environment for businesses and investments. As well as provide infrastructural maintenance culture for economic growth.
We therefore, encourage all Imo people to VOTE massively for SENATOR GODWIN IFEANYI ARARUME in the upcoming Governorship election on April 16, 2011.

Prince (Dr.) Harold Kay Njemanze               (National President—Owerri Zone)
Dr. Dominic Amaechi Esq.                             (Vice President –Orlu Zone)
Chief Lambert Ezeala                                     (Vice President­—Okigwe Zone)
Dr. Charles Onyirimba Esq.                           (Chairman Board of Directors—Okigwe)
Mazi Lawrence Anele                                    (Executive Director, Finance—Orlu)
Commissioner Pascal Udumukwu                (Political Director—Okigwe)
Dr. Vincent Amucha                                      (Board Member—Okigwe)
 Mr. Ken O. Dike (CPA)                                  (Publicity Director—Urualla, Ideato)
Engr. Nkemdi Ohalete                                   (Board Member—Okigwe)
Mr. Lawrence Amushie                                 (Board Member—Owerri)
Austin Njoku Rph                                          (General Secretary—Owerri)
For and on behalf of Umu Imo, USA

News Report: Opposition Party Stalwart In Nigeria's Imo State Alleges Election Rigging Plans

A stalwart of the opposition Action Congress Of Nigeria(ACN) in Imo state Nigeria and facilitator of the SLAP Initiative, Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha have alleged election rigging plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in Imo state in consort with the governor of the state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim. Ohakim is contesting for re-election on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

Iwuoha, who is a staunch supporter of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, the ACN's governorship candidate in the state in the forthcoming election alleged that "the Vigilante would be used to frighten and intimidate the people of the state on the days of the election. The Police in the state would look the other way while these are going on."

The SLAP Initiative facilitator alleged further that Youth Organizations would be armed and used to cause trouble if there is any resistance from opposition parties.

Iwuoha revealed to chidi opara reports that on March 17th 2011, there was a meeting between leaders of some Youth Organizations and governor Ohakim's representatives at The Ranch Hotel Owerri. The Governor's representatives allegedly mandated these Youth Organizations to make available their members who would be used to thumb print ballot papers in "special homes" across the state. He said that "INEC would make available colour photocopies of election documents in pooling centres, while the originals would be given to Ikedi Ohakim for onward distribution to special homes for thumb printing." Iwuoha alleged further that the Youth organizations were given the sum of fifty thousand naira each.

The ACN stalwart and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume staunch supporter alleged further that the INEC Resident Commissioner(REC) in Imo state,  Professor Selina Okoh received various sums of money from governor Ikedi Ohakim through the governor's Special Assistant On Electoral Matters, Mr Steve Asimobi. Professor Okoh have allegedly pledged assistance to the governor.

Efforts by chidi opara reports to reach the office of the governor and that of INEC in Owerri for comments though e-mails and phone calls were not successful.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

News Report: Gap Widening Between Poorest Countries And Others

A Home in a Colombo Slum
The wealth gap between the least developed and other countries has widened in recent decades and will go on doing so unless their basic weaknesses are tackled, a report for the United Nations said on Tuesday.

"In short, the 'least developed' condition has tended to generate 'less' development," even though most of the countries concerned had registered some economic growth, said the report by a group of nine "eminent persons."

A total of 48 nations, more than two-thirds of them in Africa, are classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The rating is based on several criteria including per capita gross national income of less than $905.

The panel, headed by former Malian President Alpha Oumar Konare and former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, studied the impact of an action program on LDCs launched at a U.N. conference in Brussels in 2001 for the ensuing decade.

Its recommendations are to be considered by a new conference in Istanbul from May 9-13, which will adopt a new program for the next 10 years.

"We have come to the conclusion that despite some progress on the economic and social front, the gap between the LDCs and the rest of the world, including the low middle income countries, is widening," the 43-page report said.

It blamed this on poor education, health and nutrition, limited infrastructure, dependence on fragile agricultural sectors and a limited range of exports.

"Unless we address the structural weaknesses that make these countries 'least developed,' we will not reverse their increasing marginalization," which would lead to "a future that we, as a global community, cannot afford," the report said.

It said the average per capita income in the least developed countries had fallen from 18 per cent of the world average 40 years ago to 15 percent by 2008. The gap would widen in future if present trends continued, it said.

The panel said part of the responsibility for improving the situation lay with the LDCs themselves, which should negotiate better prices for their raw materials, fight corruption and seek the return of stolen assets.

But it also said foreign aid was a "fundamental ingredient." Donor countries should scale up their aid to the LDCs to 0.15 percent of their gross national income by 2013 and to 0.2 percent by 2015.

Among other goals should be to grant duty- and quota-free access for LDC exports, further reduce the countries' official bilateral and multilateral debt, and double their farm productivity and school enrollment .

The United Nations has already said it wants to halve the number of LDCs by 2021. Since 1970, only three countries have made it out of the group -- Botswana, Cape Verde and the Maldives.

Credit: Reuters

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

News Release: Joint Statement On The Japanese Nuclear Disaster

Japan Nuclear Plant On Fire

We extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Japan who have experienced a devastating earthquake and tsunami followed by severe damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We commend the brave individuals who are risking their lives to prevent the escape of massive amounts of radiation from the damaged nuclear reactors and spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi.

The disaster in Japan has demonstrated once again the limits of human capability to keep dangerous technologies free from accidents with catastrophic results. Natural disasters combined with human error have proven a potent force for undermining even the best laid plans. Reliance on human perfection reflects a hubris that has led to other major failures of dangerous technologies in the past, and will do so in the future. What has occurred as a result of the confluence of natural disaster and human error in Japan could also be triggered purposefully by means of terrorism or acts of war.

In addition to accidental or purposeful destruction, nuclear power plants pose other threats to humanity and to the human future. The large amounts of radioactive wastes that are created by nuclear power generation will remain highly toxic for many times longer than human civilization has existed, and there is currently no long-term solution to dealing with the threats these radioactive wastes pose to the environment and human health. Further, nuclear power plants, with their large societal subsidies, have diverted financial and human resources from the development of safe and reliable forms of renewable energy.

Nuclear power programs use and create fissile materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons, and thus provide a proven pathway to nuclear weapons proliferation. Several countries have already used civilian nuclear programs to provide the fissile materials to make nuclear weapons. Other countries, particularly those with plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities, could easily follow suit if they decided to do so. The spread of nuclear power plants will not only make the world more dangerous, but will make more difficult, if not impossible, the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world.

Nuclear power is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for climate change challenges. There is no solution of problems by creating more problems. Nuclear power doesn’t add up economically, environmentally or socially. Of all the energy options, nuclear is the most capital intensive to establish, decommissioning is prohibitively expensive and the financial burden continues long after the plant is closed.

The tragedy in Japan has raised global awareness of the extreme dangers that can result from nuclear power generation. Grave as these dangers are, however, they are not as great as those arising from the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons – weapons that have the capacity to destroy civilization and end most life on the planet.

The conclusion we draw from the nuclear power plant accident in Japan is that the human community, acting for itself and as trustees for future generations, must exercise a far higher level of care globally in dealing with technologies capable of causing mass annihilation, and should phase out, abolish and replace such technologies with alternatives that do not threaten present and future generations. This applies to nuclear weapons as well as to nuclear power reactors.

Dr. h.c. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Member of the World Future Council, Founder of
the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) and China Africa Bridge, Nigeria
Dr. Martín Almada, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2002, Founder of the
Fundación Celestina Perez de Almada, Paraguay
Marianne Andersson, Member of the Board and the Jury of the Right Livelihood
Award Foundation, former Member of the Swedish Parliament
Dr. h.c. Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Member of the World Future Council and National
Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada
Dr. h.c. Maude Barlow, Member of the World Future Council and Right Livelihood
Award Laureate 2005, First Senior Advisor to the UN on water issues and
Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
Dipal Chandra Barua, Member of the World Future Council, Co-founder of the
Grameen Bank, Former Managing Director of the Grameen Shakti, Right Livelihood
Award Laureate 2007, Founder and Chairman of the Bright Green Energy
Foundation, Bangladesh
Nnimmo Bassey, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2010, Executive Director of
Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria and Chair of Friends of the Earth
International, Nigeria
Dr. Tony Clarke, Right Livelihood Laureate 2005, Founder and Director of the
Polaris Institute, Canada
Dr. h.c. Riane Eisler, Member of the World Future Council and President of the
Centre for Partnership Studies, USA
Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Member of the World Future Council, Founder of the Oxford
Research Group and Peace Direct, Director of Programmes for the World Peace
Partnership, UK
Prof. Dr. h.c. Anwar Fazal, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1982, Director of the
Right Livelihood College, Malaysia
Dr. h.c. Irene Fernandez, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2005, Director of
Tenaganita, Malaysia
Dr. Juan E. Garcés, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1999, lawyer, former personal
adviser to Salvador Allende and former adviser to the Director General of UNESCO,
Prof. Dr. Martin A. Green, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2002, Executive
Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, School of
Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, University of New South Wales,
Monika Griefahn, Co-Chair and Jury Member of the Right Livelihood Award,
Member of the Board of Advisors of the World Future Council, Co-Founder of
Greenpeace Germany, former Member of the German Parliament and former
Minister of Environmental Affairs in Lower Saxony
Cyd Ho, Member of the World Future Council and Member of Hong Kong's
Legislative Council
SM Mohamed Idris, Founder and President of Sahabat Alam Malaysia,
Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1988, Founder and President of the Consumers'
Association of Penang
Dr. Ashok Khosla, Member of the World Future Council, President of the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Chairman of the Centre for
Development Alternatives and Co-President of the Club of Rome, India
Dr. h.c. Dom Erwin Kräutler, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2010, Bishop
of Xingu, President of the Indigenous Missionary Council of the Catholic
Church in Brazil
Dr. David Krieger, Member of the World Future Council and Co-Founder and
President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, USA
Dr. med. Katarina Kruhonja, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1998, Founder
and Director of the Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights,
Dr. Ida Kuklina, Member of the Union of Soldiers Mothers Committees of
Russia Coordination Council, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1996, Member
of the Council of RF President for Development Civic Society and Human
Prof. Dr. Alexander Likhotal, Member of the World Future Council and President of
Green Cross International, Russia
Dr. Rama Mani, Member of the World Future Council, Senior Research Associate at
the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford, and Director of the Global
Project Responsibility to Protect: Southern Cultural Perspectives, France
Prof. Dr. h.c. Manfred Max-Neef, Member of the World Future Council and Right
Livelihood Award Laureate 1983, Director of the Economics Institute, Universidad
Austral de Chile
Prof. Dr. Wangari Maathai, Member of the World Future Council, Right Livelihood
Award Laureate 1984 and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2004, Founder of the Green
Belt Movement, Kenya
Ledum Mitee, President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, Right
Livelihood Award Laureate 1994, Nigeria
Prof. Dr. Raúl A. Montenegro, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2004, Professor at
the National University of Cordoba, Argentina, and President of the Environment
Defense Foundation FUNAM
Dr. h.c. Frances Moore Lappé, Member of the World Future Council, Right
Livelihood Award Laureate 1987 and Founder of the Small Planet Institute, USA
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Director of the International Society for Ecology and
Culture and Initiator of Ladakh Ecological Development Group, Right Livelihood
Award Laureate 1986, UK
Dr. Katiana Orluc, Member of the World Future Council, Historian, Middle East
expert and Visiting Professor at Harvard University, Austria
Juan Pablo Orrego, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1998, President of the Grupo
de Acción por el Biobío (GABB), Chile
Nicanor Perlas, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2003, Co-Founder and President
of the Center for Alternative Development Initiatives, Philippines
Dr. Vithal Rajan, Member of the World Future Council and of the Jury of the Right
Livelihood Award, Vice-President of Oxfam India and Chairman of the Confederation
of Voluntary Associations, India
Dr. h.c. Fernando Rendón, Gabriel Jaime Franco and Gloria Chvatal of the
International Poetry Festival of Medellín, Right Livelihood Award 2006, Colombia
Joao Pedro Stedile, President of Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra,
Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1991, Brazil
Prof. Dr. h.c. Vandana Shiva, Member of the World Future Council and Right
Livelihood Award Laureate 1993, Founder of the Research Foundation for Science,
Technology and Ecology and the NAVDANYA network, India
Prof. Dr. h.c. David Suzuki, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2010 and Co-Founder
of the David Suzuki Foundation, Canada
Prof. Dr. Hannumappa R. Sudarshan, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1994,
Karuna Trust & Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK), India
Pauline Tangiora, Member of the World Future Council and Maori elder of the
Rongomaiwahine Tribe, New Zealand
John F. Charlewood Turner, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1988, UK
Alice Tepper Marlin, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1990 and President of Social
Accountability International, USA
Vesna Teršelič, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1998, Founder of Anti-War
Campaign of Croatia and Director of DOCUMENTA, Croatia
Shrikrishna Upadhyay, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2010 and Chairman
of SAPPROS, Nepal
Alyn Ware, Member of the World Future Council and Right Livelihood Award
Laureate 2009, Founder and international coordinator of the Network
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), New
Prof. em. Dr. h.c. Christopher G. Weeramantry, Member of the World Future
Council and Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2007, former Judge and Vice-President
of the International Court of Justice; Founder, Trustee and Chairman of the
Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research (WICPER) and
President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms
(IALANA), Sri Lanka
Dr. h.c. Anders Wijkman, Member of the World Future Council, Vice-President of
the Club of Rome, former President of GLOBE EU, former Member of the European
Parliament and former UN Assistant Secretary General, Sweden
Francisco Whitaker Ferreira, Member of the World Future Council and Right
Livelihood Award Laureate 2006, Co-Founder of the World Social Forum, Brazil
Alla Yaroshinskaya, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 1992, Journalist and
former Adviser to the Russian President, former Member of Russian
delegations to the United Nations for negotiating an extension of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Angie Zelter, Trident Ploughshares, Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2001,