In world of disquiet UN must deliver for the people Guterres tells

Wide shot of the General Assembly Hall as UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the opening of the General Debate of the 74th session of the General Assembly., by UN Photo/Cia Pak “Machines take their jobs.  Traffickers take their dignity.  Demagogues take their rights.  Warlords take their lives.  Fossil fuels take their future”, he detailed.  And because people still believe in the UN, “we, the leaders, must deliver”, he underscored.Apart from promising developments, such as peaceful elections in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Greece-North Macedonia name dispute resolution; political dialogue in Sudan; and an agreement in Syria, he spoke of persisting conflicts, terrorism and “the risk of a new arms race growing” across the world. He lamented over unresolved situations in Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan; a threatened two-State solution between Israel and Palestine; Venezuelan displacements; and “the alarming possibility of armed conflict in the Gulf”.  Keeping the peaceThe UN chief spoke about the importance of investing in peace through crisis prevention, mediation and diplomacy, saying that some 100,000 UN peacekeepers were currently protecting civilians and promoting peace. And humanitarian workers ease suffering around the world.  “Fully half of all international relief aid is channeled through the United Nations – ensuring that millions receive protection, food, medicine, shelter, water and other life-saving assistance”, said Mr. Guterres, noting sadly that this “year alone…we have lost at least 80 peacekeepers, humanitarians and others, all of whom gave their lives trying to better the lives of others”.The Secretary-General explained that the UN has bolstered its counter-terrorism architecture; defined new strategies to tackle violent extremism; embarked on a new disarmament agenda and stressed the need for strengthening disarmament treaties.He expressed concern over “a new risk looming on the horizon”, elaborating on “the possibility of a great fracture: the world splitting in two, with the two largest economies on earth creating two separate and competing worlds, each with their own dominant currency, trade and financial rules, their own internet and artificial intelligence capacities, and their own zero sum geopolitical and military strategies”.  Presenting his annual report on the work of the UN, Secretary-General António Guterres told the overflowing Assembly Hall that a “great many people fear getting trampled, thwarted, left out and left behind”. [email protected] on the situation in the Gulf: In a context where a minor miscalculation can lead to a major confrontation, we must do everything possible to push for reason & restraint. #UNGA— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) September 24, 2019 Secretary-General António Guterres presents his annual report on the work of the Organization ahead of the opening of the General Assembly’s 74th General Debate., by UN Photo/Cia Pak He elaborated that at a time when record numbers of refugees and internally displaced people are on the move, borders are being closed and families torn apart. “We must reestablish the integrity of the international refugee protection regime and fulfil the promises of responsibility-sharing set out in the Global Compact on Refugees”, he asserted. “All migrants must see their human rights respected”.At the same time, “alienation and distrust are being weaponized” he said with fear being “today’s best-selling brand”.  Spelling out, “diversity is a richness, never a threat”, the Secretary-General underscored that “religious, ethnic and other minorities must fully enjoy their human rights”.“It is unacceptable in the 21st century for women and men to be persecuted because of their identity, belief or sexual orientation”, he stated, and, “the world’s most pervasive manifestation of discrimination affects fully half of humankind: women and girls”.Mr. Guterres vowed to continue working toward gender parity at the UN and “full equality for women and girls” globally by “calling out a troubling commonality in terrorist attacks, extremist ideologies and brutal crimes” and stepping up efforts to expand opportunity.  The ever-more divided world needs “a strong United Nations” with human rights as its touchstone, he said, “let us restore trust, rebuild hope and move ahead, together”. “We must do everything possible to avert the Great Fracture and maintain a universal system…with strong multilateral institutions”, he stressed.Sustainable developmentAccording to the UN chief, every measure to uphold security and human rights “helps deliver sustainable development and peace”. “In the 21st century, we must see human rights with a vision that speaks to each and every human being and encompasses all rights”, he underscored, lauding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a tool for social protection, a sustainable environment, education and decent jobs.However, Mr. Guterres bemoaned, “we are not on track” and “inequality is exploding”.“Our global economy generates great flows of income, but this prosperity is captured by a small number of elites” and that “a life free of want depends more on the circumstances of one’s birth than one’s innate capacities”.He encouraged the world leaders at to take advantage of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit to “ramp up ambition”.Referencing Monday’s Climate Action Summit, the UN chief underscored the importance of adaptation.“Even our language has to adapt: what was once called ‘climate change’ is now truly a “climate crisis” … and what was once called ‘global warming’ has more accurately become ‘global heating’”, he saidHe referred to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas as he spoke of “unprecedented temperatures, unrelenting storms and undeniable science”. Though “not fast enough”, the world is starting to move “in the right direction” – away from fossil fuels and towards a green economy. Stifling freedomsTurning to fundamental freedoms, the UN chief said, “we are at a critical juncture where advances made across the decades are being restricted and reversed, misinterpreted and mistrusted”.Mr. Guterres painted a picture of wide-ranging impunity; new forms of authoritarianism; narrowing civic spaces; the targeting of activists, human rights defenders and journalists; and expanding surveillance systems that are “shredding the fabric of our common humanity”.  read more

Brock reminds students to be safe smart on Halloween

Brock University is reminding its students to be smart and responsible over the coming days as they celebrate Halloween.To help ensure safe behaviour during a busy week of festivities, the University is taking the proactive measure of hiring 14 extra Niagara Regional Police officers between Oct. 26-31 to patrol on-campus residences as well as off-campus student neighbourhoods. Brock’s Campus Security Services will also have 10 extra special constables working over the weekend and on Halloween, in addition to its regular staffing.Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Success, said it is the responsibility of all students, on and off campus, to abide by municipal bylaws and the University’s Student Code of Conduct.“Brock University, the Brock University Students’ Union, our local municipal community partners and the Niagara Regional Police are united in their efforts to ensure the message of safe drinking, consent, bylaw adherence and responsible partying is promoted and enforced,” said LathropPresident Gervan Fearon said students are expected to be good neighbours who respect the rights and safety of others. He said the University will be mindful of student activities on and off campus, and serious misconduct violating the Code of Conduct could lead to action under the Code.Niagara Regional Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch said officers will keep a close eye on student behaviour.“Officers will be vigilant in ensuring students are not participating in underage drinking, unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol and that any noise complaints are addressed,” MacCulloch said. “We have been working in co-operation with Brock University, the City of St. Catharines and the City of Thorold to ensure the safety and lawful enjoyment of property of both students and the community.”Isaac’s Bar and Grill, the pub run by the Brock University Students’ Union, will have its Halloween party on Thursday, Oct. 26, and staff will be on hand making sure students comply with the Halloween Costume Protocol. Launched in 2016, the BUSU Student Justice Centre’s “Appreciate Don’t Appropriate” campaign is committed to support people of marginalized, racial, gender, sexual and differently abled identities. The protocol bans students from wearing costumes that, among other things, “reduce cultural differences to jokes, stereotypes or historical and cultural inaccuracies.”President of BUSU Faisal Hejazi said there’s nothing wrong with Halloween parties and celebrations, as long as they don’t cross the line.“While taking part in these events please enjoy responsibly and respectfully, ensuring that you are looking out for yourselves and friends,” he said. “Keep in mind that many children will also be out trick or treating on Halloween and to be mindful of our community members while on the road.”This week, the Brock Student Life and Community Experience office is launching its Don’t Put the Bad in Badger campaign, which includes posters and information booths on campus, as well as visiting neighbourhoods in Thorold and St. Catharines known to have a high number of students living in them. Joining Student Life staff on the visits will be bylaw enforcement staff from the two cities.“We want to ensure that students are safe,” said Bradley Clarke, Director, Student Life and Community Experience. “By providing resources and key messages throughout the Don’t Put the Bad in Badger campaign, we are educating students about their responsibilities when partying off campus and providing reminders related to being a good neighbour in our community.”The Student Life and Community Experience team is also running its Trick or Eat campaign, where staff and city bylaw officers will deliver empty bags to neighbourhoods around Brock this week, and then Brock students — dressed in costume — will pick the bags up filled with food for Community Care on Halloween Day. read more