Maoist torch vehicles used in road construction work

first_imgBhawanipatna (Odisha): Maoists torched at least five vehicles and some machines used in road construction work at Panimunda village in Kalahandi district, police said on Wednesday. A group of armed ultras stormed the site camp of a contractor engaged in the construction of a road under Pradham Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) late on Tuesday night, Kalahandi, Superintendent of Police, B Gangadhar said. The red rebels, who have been opposing construction of a new rural road between Urladani and Lahadi, set ablaze five tractors and some machines used in the work, police said. Before leaving, the Maoists left some posters at the site expressing their opposition to the road construction project in the area, they said. The SP said that combing operation and patrolling in the area bordering Kandhamal district has been intensified after the incident.last_img read more

Morocco Launches Plan to Reduce Maternal Mortality Improve Maternal and Child

first_imgCasbalanca- According to daily newspaper La Libération, the Moroccan Ministry of Health recently announced the launching of the 2013/2005 action plan aimed at reducing the rate of maternal mortality in nine priority regions. This program is working with a budget of 271 million dollars.This plan, 97% of which was funded by the Ministry, while specialized UN agencies financed the rest, has two key objectives:  the reduction of maternal mortality by 82% and  limiting the number of deaths to 60 deaths per 100,000 live births.This program also aims to reduce the number of deaths of children aged under 5 years to 23 per 1,000 live births. The plan includes measures seeking to positively impact the current situation of maternal and infant mortality and aspires to effectively achieve its development goals by 2015 at the national level.According to  La Libération, the Minister of Health, El Houssaine Louardi, emphasized the need to improve the quality of care related to pregnancy and newborns, the promotion of high-quality pediatric care, the development of an integrated management of child health and the strengthening of the national immunization program, as well as monitoring and evaluating these measures at the regional level.According to the same source, the minister stated that a special committee set up at the central level, as well as regional commissions in the new targeted areas will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the measures included in this plan.The minister also noted that nine regions were selected based on a survey on population and health conducted in 2011. This survey unveiled malfunctions in medical coverage and maternal and child health.The minister explained that the launch of this plan is part of serious efforts to achieve the fourth and fifth objectives of the Millennium Development Goals and help the kingdom meet international standards in the field of maternal and child health.last_img read more

Moroccan Women Forced to Practice Prostitution in Gulf Countries UN Report

Casablanca- According to a report recently issued by UN’s Special Rapporteur on human trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ezeilo, more than 2,500 Moroccan women have fallen preys of human trafficking networks in the Gulf countries between 2002 and 2013. The UN’s Special Rapporteur’s findings are based on a report elaborated by the Observatoire de la communauté marocaine à l’étranger (Observatory of the Moroccan Community living abroad).According to the report, these Moroccan victims are initially lured to the Gulf through job contracts. Once there, they are kidnapped and forced by dangerous human trafficking gangs to work as prostitutes. “Most of the time, the contracts issued did not correspond to the originally agreed upon job duties and that many Moroccan women found themselves trapped in situations of exploitation by prostitution networks,” says the report.The same source added that the overwhelming majority of victims of this human trafficking is found in the United Arab Emirates “where the share of Moroccan female employment is around 70 per cent of the total Moroccan expatriates.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

Local Authorities Deny Reports of Building Africas Tallest Tower in Casablanca

Rabat – Local authorities in Casablanca have reportedly denied that plans exist to build a 114-story skyscraper in Morocco’s economic capital.Two weeks ago, the Saudi Bin Laden Group, the world’s largest construction firm headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, announced that it is moving forward with plans to build the tallest skyscraper in Europe and Africa in Casablanca, Morocco.The tower was reported to be 514m tall, and the project is valued at over $1.5 Billion. However, local authorities in Casablanca, denied the report, saying that there are no plans to build the skyscraper.Hespress quoted head of the Urbanization and Development Agency of Casablanca Anfa (AUDA) Khadir Lamrini as saying that “neither his agency nor the administrative region of Greater Casablanca received any project to build Africa’s tallest tower in Casablanca.”“There is no project to build a 540-meter tall tower in Casablanca. The tallest tower in Casablanca will be built by Othman Benjelloun, and it will be comprised of 42 stories, only,” Khadir Lamrini added. read more

A 16yearold Represents Morocco at New Yorks Model United Nations

By Amine MechaalRabat – Abdelmounaim Benakki, 16-year-old high school student, was the only Moroccan delegate to represent Morocco in the “Change the World Model United Nations Conference,” which was held from March 19th to 25th at the United Nations headquarters in New York city.Change the World Model United Nations Conference (CWMUNC) is an annual series of international conferences organized in different countries around the world, such as Russia – UAE, and Italy. It brings together thousands of delegates from all over the world who debate different international political issues, like the real United Nations delegates. CWMUNC is a Model UN conference in which, through the Future Leaders Program, students can simulate the activity of the G20, the Board of the World Bank, and the Board of the International Monetary Fund. Each year, the CWMUNC addresses one of the most pressing topics on the international agenda.Past topics have included global warming and climate change, water shortages and sanitation, peace and security, human rights, poverty and hunger, social and economic development, and globalization. During the conference, students from different countries work together in order to develop concrete solutions to the matters under discussion, as if they were in a real world forum, studying and discussing key geopolitical issues.“I heard some of my friends talking about the Model United Nations conferences in general. I took a quick look on the Internet to know more about it and then I found the CWMUNC, which was very interesting. I applied for it and I received an e-mail from the organizing committee telling me that I was accepted,” Abdelmounaim told Morocco World News. “I was very surprised to be the first and only Moroccan to participate in such conference.”This year’s conference was held in New York City from March 19th to 25th, and witnessed the participation of more that 2000 high school and university students coming from different countries around the world.“This experience was the best thing that I have ever experienced in my whole life. Going to New York and participating in such conference at the headquarters of the United Nations is not something that happens to you everyday,”  Abdelmounaim said. “It was a dream at the beginning, but then I realized that impossible is nothing.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Homeless Man Attacked With Knives and Set on Fire in Casablanca

Rabat – A shocking video has surfaced online showing a homeless man  brutally attacked and set on fire last week in Casablanca.The incident allegedly occurred in the neighborhood of Racine, in downtown Casablanca on Friday.In the video posted by Hespress, the victim is seen surrounded by five men, before they attacked him with swords and knives.Afterwards, the attackers doused the homeless man with a flammable liquid and set him on fire, leaving him seriously injured. . According to the same source, the victim remains at the University Hospital Ibn Rushd with second and third degree burns.Casablanca police issued a statement on Sunday saying that the attackers who are believed to be homeless men too, were under the influence of hard drugs.This criminal aggression “could be linked to a dispute between the suspects and the victim on the possession of a narcotic substance,” the statement said.Police arrested all of the attackers on Sunday, after one of them was identified in the viral video. The suspects were found with swords and knives in their possession, as well as more than 50 liters of flammable liquid.According to the official statement, the attackers remain in custody and will be brought to justice once the investigation is completed. read more

UNSG Ban KiMoons Visit to Morocco Delayed Until July

By Zainab CalcuttawalaRabat – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s March visit to Morocco has been postponed until July, according to diplomatic sources cited by Moroccan news website Le360 and Alyaoum24.The UN chief was scheduled to meet with King Mohammed VI and senior Moroccan officials. The sources added that the trip has been postponed because his visit conflicts with King Mohammed VI’s visit to Russia. Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon is expected to visit Algeria on March 6-7, according to the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If maintained, July’s visit will come just five months before the end of Ki-moon’s tenure as Secretary General of the UN and around two months after the UN Security Council’s meeting scheduled in late April, in which it is expected to renew the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until April 30, 2017.MINURSO’s mandate – which has been extended over 40 times consecutively since it was established in 1991 – will be up for renewal at the end of April. Christopher Ross, the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara, had begun a tour in the region last week in preparation for Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the region and of the UNSG’s annual report on the “Situation concerning the Western Sahara,” which will be submitted to Security Council in early April.During the first part of his trip, Ross’s toured Mauritania and the Tindouf camps where he met with a delegation from the Polisario, the separatist movement that established the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in the Tindouf camps, in Algeria and claims to be the only representative of the Sahrawi people.After his meeting in Tindouf, the American diplomat met with Algeria’s Foreign Minister, Ramtan Lamamra in Algiers. He is scheduled to meet with Moroccan officials this week. read more

Arconic no longer considering sale shares slide

NEW YORK — Shares of Arconic are sliding at the opening bell after the aluminum maker said it’s no longer exploring a sale.The company formerly known as Alcoa had considered a sale over the past year, but said Tuesday that it didn’t receive any offers it thought was in its best interests.The maker of aluminum parts for the aviation and automotive industries was created after Alcoa split into two companies in 2016.Shares in Arconic Inc. have lost about one-third of their value in the past 12 months, at tumbled 20 per cent in early trading.The Associated Press

Karlovs Murder Assailant Killed Russia Calls It Terrorist Act

Rabat – The former Turkish police officer who killed the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, was killed in a shootout with Turkish Authorities in the capital city. Moscow had called its diplomat’s murder an act of terrorism.The Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot in the back and killed while giving a speech at an art gallery on Monday.The 22-year-old gunman, who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” after shooting, was a former police officer, the Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek, said. Police later killed the assailant, Turkish station NTV reported. “We regard this as a terrorist act,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.“Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively”, she added in a statement relayed by Reuters. A video of the attack shows the attacker dressed like a bodyguard in a black suit and tie while standing behind the ambassador as he made his speech at an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ankara. The attacker took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind.Video footage shows the diplomat lying on the floor, bleeding out. According to Turkish Media, the killer showed a police ID to enter the gallery.Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is a fervent opponent of Assad’s regime.Turkish citizens protested Russia’s involvement in Syria on Sunday, but Ankara and Moscow have been working hand in hand to evacuate citizens trapped in Aleppo – which is now almost completely under the control of President Bashar Al Assad, whose armed forces have reportedly been murdering political opponents one-by-one in the eastern half of the city.Sunday’s demonstrators held Russia and its President Vladimir Putin responsible for the human rights abuses occurring in Syria. read more

Drilling forecast cut due to lower expectations for 2019 oilpatch spending

CALGARY — The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is cutting 1,000 wells from its 2019 drilling forecast due to what it calls deteriorating investor confidence in Canada.The industry group says it now expects 5,600 wells to be drilled in Canada this year, down from its November forecast of 6,600, and 19 per cent behind the 2018 total of 6,948 wells drilled.PSAC CEO Gary Mar says a lack of market access continues to discourage investment in oil and gas exploration and production in Canada.He says Alberta’s decision to curtail oil production by 325,000 barrels per day as of Jan. 1 has added to uncertainty levels, leading to more delays on spending decisions by producers.He says his members are laying off workers and struggling to stay solvent with current active rig levels below 40 per cent, down from over 50 per cent at the same time last year.The forecast reduces the number of wells expected to be drilled in Alberta by about 580 to 2,950, and in Saskatchewan by about 450 to just under 2,000.The Canadian Press read more

Curtain Rises After 35Year Intermission As Black Panther Hits Saudi Silver

By Sarah GoodmanRabat – After a 35-year moratorium on cinemas, both men and women in Saudi Arabia will be able to attend theaters on April 18, when the American blockbuster “Black Panther” will open in Riyadh.The gulf nation has a complicated, at times fraught, relationship with Western media. Despite the state-sanctioned observance of ultraconservative rules for moral and social behavior, Saudis still are keen consumers of foreign films and television shows. Nearly 70 percent of the kingdom’s 32 million people are under 30; in the affluent, oil-rich nation, economists estimate that the younger generation could eventually generate nearly USD 1 billion in box office revenue. Thirty-two-year old Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has been breaking with the country’s restrictive past, since he was named heir to the throne in June last year.The new movie theater initiative is but one example of the Crown Prince’s efforts to liberalize the country’s strict codes of conduct and diversify its economy, which is almost entirely dependent on oil.Last year, Saudi women were allowed to attend football matches for the first time and, starting in June of this year, women will also be allowed behind the wheel, ending a ban on female drivers.Although “Black Panther” afforded black actors a groundbreaking opportunity to challenge stereotypes that limit Black representation in Hollywood and the mainstream media. Some Saudis speculate that the latest move by the regime may prove to be somewhat less-than-revolutionary.Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh remains circumspect about the degree to which the Saudi state will actually abet theaters in disseminating new cultural media.“Do they want it to be very vanilla, mild content … and just the existence of cinemas in itself is considered subversive?”Regardless of skeptics and critics, the gulf government struck a deal with the US company AMC Entertainment to deliver silver screens to 40 Saudi cities over the next five years, up to 100 cinemas by 2030. Saudi newspaper Sabq reported that the AMC’s first cinema, located in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, expects crowds with its 620-seat capacity.Next on the program, Saudi viewers will be treated to screenings of the “Avengers: Infinity War” beginning April 26. Saudi audiences can also look forward to live entertainment, as Disney on Ice and Cirque du Soleil will touring in the kingdom soon. read more

Activists air grievances about drilling in Alaska refuge

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Activists pushing against oil development in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge dominated a Bureau of Land Management public scoping meeting in Fairbanks.The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the open house format meeting on plans for lease sales on the refuge’s coastal plain was quickly interrupted by protesters Monday.The protesters aired grievances about the meeting style, its short notice and the lack of consultation with Alaska Natives during the drafting process for the environmental impact statement.Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Joe Balash says he feels the majority of Alaska residents still support drilling in the section of the refuge, but those against are “incredibly passionate about it and feel very strongly.”Public comment on the draft environmental impact statement is being accepted through March 13.___Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.comThe Associated Press read more

UK leader under pressure to take nodeal off table

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a revolt from members of her own government as lawmakers try to prevent her from taking Britain out of the European Union in a month’s time without a divorce deal.Three junior government ministers write in Tuesday’s Daily Mail that they will vote with lawmakers from all parties to stop a no-deal departure unless May agrees to delay Brexit and guarantee “we are not swept over the precipice on March 29.”May has insisted Britain will leave the EU on schedule, even though she still hasn’t reached an agreement that can win parliamentary approval.The main opposition Labour Party on Monday took a step to back calls for a referendum on the Brexit deal as a way to break the deadlock.The Associated Press

UN Security Council to Hold Consultations on Western Sahara April 910

Rabat – The Security Council will meet on April 9 and 10 to discuss the Western Sahara conflict and to consult on the UN peacekeeping mission in the region, MINURSO.The United Nations published the Provisional Programme of Work of the Security Council for April 2019, which includes two days of meetings on MINURSO.On April 1, the fifteen members of the Security Council are expecting a MINURSO “report due.” Later, the troop-contributing countries (TCC) to the conflict will meet on April 9 in the afternoon, and the Security Council will hold consultations on Wednesday, April 10.On April 29, the Security Council is set to adopt a new resolution on the conflict as the MINURSO mandate will expire on April 30 in accordance with Resolution 2440 adopted on October 31, 2018.Read Also: Sahrawi Activist Accuses MINURSO of Becoming Polisario’s Partner in CrimeThe resolution renewed MINURSO’s mandate for six months.The Security Council, in the resolution, called on the parties to demonstrate political will to advance negotiations to end the conflict.The council also asked the Polisario Front to “adhere fully to its commitments to the Personal Envoy in respect of Bir Lahlou, Tifariti and the buffer strip at Guerguerat.”The Security Council also met on January 29 to consult on MINURSO. During the meeting, the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Horst Kohler, informed the council he would invite the four parties involved in the conflict to take part in a new roundable in March. Morocco, Polisario, Algeria, and Mauritania met for a first roundtable in December 2018. read more

Global warming at North South Poles comes under microscope in UNbacked research

The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, a programme of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially beginning on 1 March, will be the fourth such event. The previous IPYs of 1882-83, 1932-33, and 1957-58, also known as the International Geophysical Year, all produced major increases in understanding the Earth system.“IPY comes at a crossroads for the planet’s future; February’s first phase of the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that these regions are highly vulnerable to rising temperatures,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said.“However, meteorological and other regular environmental in-situ observation facilities at the poles are few and it is essential to install more and increase satellite coverage to gain a better overall picture of how rapidly these areas are changing, and of the global impact of these changes,” he added.The IPY projects will focus on learning about the past, present and future environmental status of the polar regions, while advancing understanding about the interactions between those regions and the rest of the globe. They will also investigate the frontiers of science in the polar regions, and use the unique vantage point of the polar regions and develop observatories from the interior of the Earth to the Sun and the cosmos beyond. In addition, the projects will investigate the cultural, historical and social processes that shape the sustainability of circumpolar human societies.In order to ensure full and equal coverage of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY will span two full annual cycles, from March 2007 to March 2009. Many national and regional IPY launch events are being organized over the next few weeks. The official international launch ceremony will take place on 1 March at the Palais de la Découverte in Paris. “We face many challenges as we start: funding, data sharing, and, most importantly, the surprising and rapidly changing nature of the polar regions,” IPY International Programme Office Director David Carlson said.But we have an enormous strength: international enthusiasm and cooperation, at a higher level and across a wider range of science than most of us will see at any other time in our careers. IPY will succeed because of this scientific urgency and energy.” 26 February 2007The largest polar research programme in 50 years, with a major focus on global warming, gets under way this week with United Nations support as thousands of scientists from over 60 countries prepare to carry out 220 science and outreach projects in both the north and south polar regions. read more

Uncertainty hindering management of marine genetic resources UN meeting told

28 June 2007Uncertainty on how to deal with marine genetic resources beyond national jurisdictions is restricting research and utilization of such resources, several experts have told a United Nations meeting taking place this week at UN Headquarters in New York. At the annual meeting of the UN informal consultations on oceans and the law of the sea, Sam Johnston, a senior researcher at UN University, told participants that the current lack of clear rules was slowing down research and use of such resources. It created uncertainty for industry, hampered information exchange among scientists and held back government efforts to negotiate arrangements on sharing the benefits deriving from such resources.Lisa Speer, of the Natural Resources Defence Council, said the legal system has fallen behind managing areas beyond national jurisdiction and called for a new implementing agreement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the management of genetic resources in these areas.Timothy Hodges, Co-Chair of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing, said the institutional framework for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction was poorly understood and governance structures were under debate.There was a high potential of monetary and non-monetary wealth to be derived from such resources and the outcome could be “a win-win situation,” he said, especially if the capacity-building needs of indigenous and coastal communities were met and their knowledge was recognized.Philippines’ delegate Emma Sarne said that while bioprospecting – or research and development related to marine genetic resources – for academic research was beneficial, if the materials were subsequently patented to foreign investors, the country of origin could lose control over its own marine genetic resources.The experts recommended regulations that are practical and enforceable, set out liabilities and responsibilities among all interested parties, allow work to proceed and encourage collaboration. The goal should be to facilitate access and to ensure legal certainty for scientists and bioprospectors, while retaining coastal state involvement.The informal consultations will conclude tomorrow, with the expected adoption of agreed elements feeding into the General Assembly’s resolution on the law of the sea and sustainable fisheries. read more

Somalia nearly 600 police recruits graduate from UNDPbacked programme

1 October 2007Nearly 600 Somali police recruits – including 50 women officers – have graduated from a training programme sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aimed at creating a professional civilian police force to work towards restoring peace, gain the community’s trust and champion human rights. Nearly 600 Somali police recruits – including 50 women officers – have graduated from a training programme sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aimed at creating a professional civilian police force to work towards restoring peace, gain the community’s trust and champion human rights.This initiative is one component of UNDP’s efforts – which also include developing oversight mechanisms for the police by establishing Police Advisory Committees – to support the war-torn country’s police and bolster the rule of law and security.“The training you have all successfully completed emphasized human rights principles as a core component of policing,” UNDP Country Director Bruno Lemarquis said at last week’s graduation ceremony.He underscored the importance of recognizing that the police are responsible and accountable to the Somali people, and said he expects the graduates to strive to uphold human rights principles every day.Representatives from the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and State authorities attended the event at Armo Police Training Academy in Puntland, in the country’s north-east.Recruits for the programme were selected through an inclusive process taking balanced regional representation into account. This is the second group of police recruits to graduate from Armo Academy. read more

Indian tennis tournament serves up donation to boost UN gender initiative

The organizers of a women’s tennis tournament in India are donating $100,000 to an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that aims to encourage the emergence of gender equality around the world.Funds from the donation from the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association – the single biggest contribution so far to the initiative – will support several projects, including one in the Bangalore region of India that provides opportunities for women and girls to assume leadership roles in the community.The United States tennis ace Venus Williams, a winner of six Grand Slam singles crowns and a ‘Promoter of Gender Equality’ as part of this initiative, said she was “really inspired and motivated” by the donation from the association, which runs the Bangalore Open being held this week.“These much-needed funds will allow for the creation of a programme in this region of India that will help form future women leaders in Indian society and beyond,” she said.The UNESCO programme, run in conjunction with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour since 2006, represents the first time that the agency has partnered with a professional sports association in such a way. The partnership aims to raise awareness and funding through the named Promoters, as well as through mentoring, scholarship and fellowship projects designed to create opportunities and the kind of environment for women and girls to succeed in all walks of life. 5 March 2008The organizers of a women’s tennis tournament in India are donating $100,000 to an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that aims to encourage the emergence of gender equality around the world. read more

Democratization is a process not an event says SecretaryGeneral Ban

This morning, he addressed the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund, which was established in 2005 and awards grants to projects that aim to promote and consolidate new and restored democracies.“As you know better than anyone, democratization is a process, not an event,” Mr. Ban said.“It seeks rule of law over rule of man, it requires respect for civil and political rights, and it demands constant interaction between those who govern and those that are governed.”He also characterized democratization as more of a “marathon than a sprint,” as it is a “long struggle that must be waged by individual citizens, myriad communities and entire nations.”Pledging the UN’s support to those undertaking the “challenge of democratization,” the Secretary-General highlighted that efforts to promote democratic governance are intertwined with the world body’s work in human rights, development and peace and security.The Fund received almost 2,000 project applications for its second round. As of 12 March, it has received nearly $73 million in contributions. 28 March 2008Democratization requires careful nurturing through participation and institutions, despite being on the rise around the globe, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York today. read more

Outgoing Assembly President lauds advance in Security Council reform debate

16 September 2008The consensus achieved by Member States on the issue of Security Council reform was nothing less than a “breakthrough” and marked a dramatic finish to the 62nd session of the General Assembly, former president Srgjan Kerim said today. Mr. Kerim brought the session to a close last night after the Assembly adopted a decision to begin intergovernmental negotiations on Council reform in informal plenary during its sixty-third session, but not later than 28 February 2009.Speaking to reporters in New York, Mr. Kerim noted that Council reform was the most difficult issue of the 62nd session. “Member States for 15 years could not reach an agreement on Security Council reform in terms of starting negotiations. And then last night we had this breakthrough,” he stated. It was agreed yesterday that “whatever be the outcome of such negotiations, the solution must be one which will garner the widest possible political acceptance by the membership,” he added. Mr. Kerim also noted that Council reform “cannot be an aim by itself; it must be a part of an overall, [all] encompassing and profound institutional reform of the United Nations.”While Council reform was the most difficult issue of the session, the former president said the most dearest to his heart were climate change and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.On climate change, he said the Assembly had managed “to make a turn around in the political climate,” noting the commitments now by Member States to negotiate within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to fix the common goals for future greenhouse gas emission targets after the Kyoto Protocol expires. He said an important concept that was introduced into the discussion was the importance of public-private partnerships to tackle climate change. “Climate change cannot be resolved, dealt with exclusively based on intergovernmental negotiations. It is much more than that.”Turning to the MDGs, he said the Assembly, through its various thematic debates, had “prepared the ground” for the high-level event to be held on 25 September, at which world leaders will be joined by representatives from the private sector, foundations and civil society organizations to commit to further actions to achieve the Goals on time.He added that two other “last minute” resolutions adopted last night were on UN system-wide coherence and on the Organization’s mandate review.“I believe these were also breakthroughs which were for years blocking cooperation and even testing the mutual trust among Member States in very important areas,” he said.Among the other highlights of the just-concluded session were the adoption of a report on the revitalization of the Assembly, the first-ever thematic debates on human security and human trafficking, and the establishment of a close working relationship between the Assembly and the Secretary-General, said the former president.Succeeding Mr. Kerim is Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, the President of the Assembly’s 63rd session, which begins today. read more