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Posts Tagged ‘Council’

UN Security Council fails to reach accord on Korea crisis

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 at 6:27 am

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 19, 2010 (AFP) – The UN Security Council failed Sunday to agree a statement on the Korean military crisis and Russia warned that the international community was now left without “a game plan” to counter escalating tensions.


China rejected demands by Western nations that North Korea be publicly condemned for its November 23 attack on Yeonpyeong island which killed four South Koreans, diplomats said.

South Korean marines patrol on the South Korea-controlled island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on December 20, 2010. AFP

About eight hours of formal talks by the 15 nation council and private discussions, which brought in the North and South Korean ambassadors, ended without accord.


“We were not successful in bridging” differences between the parties, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told reporters.


He added that unofficial talks would continue, but Susan Rice, the US ambassador and Security Council president for December, said it was “safe to predict that the gaps that remain are unlikely to be bridged.”


She added that “the majority of council members made clear their view that it was important to condemn” the November 23 artillery attack and the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.


Rice called the incidents “unprovoked aggression” by North Korea on the South.


However China even rejected a version of Russia’s statement which did not mention North Korea or the Yeonpyeong name in a proposed paragraph on the November 23 attack, diplomats said.


Britain produced a rival draft statement which said the council “condemns the attack launched by the DPRK on the ROK on November 23.” The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the official name of the North and the Republic of Korea is the South.


Churkin said Russia demanded the meeting on Saturday because of its “grave concern” about tensions between North and South Korea, a region right on Russia’s doorstep.


The South has vowed to go ahead with a live firing drill near Yeonpyeong. The North has threatened to retaliate.


Russia had wanted a call of “maximum restraint” to be sent to the two Koreas and for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send a special envoy to negotiate with the rival states.


Churkin said the idea of a UN envoy had received “strong support” in the talks.


“I hope that this idea can still be pursued because now we have a situation with very serious political tension and no game plan on the diplomatic side,” said Churkin.


Six nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons have come to a standstill “and there is no other diplomatic activity, so we believe that there must be an initiative and this initiative of the secretary general appointing an envoy might be something which will set a political process in track,” Churkin said.


The foreign ministers of Russia and China have called on South Korea not to stage its military drills and this was reaffirmed by Churkin.


“We know that it is better to refrain from doing this exercise at this time,” he said.


South Korea has US backing however and Rice countered that it had a legitimate right to stage the exercises.

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Source: SGGP

VN Council for Sustainable Development makes debut

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm




VN Council for Sustainable Development makes debut


QĐND – Friday, December 17, 2010, 20:53 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) officially made its debut in Hanoi on December 17.


The council comprises of 18 founding members, including Holcim Vietnam, BP, Unilever, Rolls-Royce Vietnam International Ltd., Dragon Clean Development, the Hanoi Trade Corporation, the Coal and Minerals Industry Corporation, SaigonTourist Group and the Standard Chartered Bank.


It aims to assist domestic and foreign businesses who try to carry out sustainable development strategy in Vietnam.


Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Doan Duy Khuong said the council was an important initiative and would open up new opportunities and attract many domestic and foreign businesses. It intends to build a strong and dynamic Vietnamese business community to contribute more to socio-economic development, poverty reduction and hunger eradication and environmental protection.


The council is part of the business forum for sustainable development.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

U.N. council gets Sudan report that infuriated China

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

Canada fails in U.N. council bid

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:07 am

Canada suffered a humiliating defeat on Tuesday when it was forced to withdraw from the race for a seat on the prestigious U.N. Security Council, conceding victory to Portugal in the annual election.


In addition to Portugal, the 192-nation General Assembly elected Germany, India, South Africa and Colombia to two-year seats on the council. Canada had been vying with Germany and Portugal for the two seats in their geographic group but pulled out when it became clear that it lacked adequate support.


There are five veto-holding permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, the victors of World War Two — and 10 temporary elected members without vetoes.


But the elected members have some power because a council resolution needs nine votes in favor as well as no vetoes. Several Western diplomats said the presence of India and South Africa on the council would complicate matters if Washington were to push for new sanctions against Iran in the coming two years.


The five newly elected nations will serve two-year terms beginning in January 2011 and ending in December 2012 on the 15-nation body, the powerhouse of the United Nations with the authority to impose sanctions and deploy peacekeeping forces.


Canada has served six terms on the council and never lost a bid for a seat in the past.


In Ottawa, foreign affairs pundits largely blamed the embarrassing failure on Canada’s belated campaign, as well as on policies which were likely to have alienated many delegations — such as a strongly pro-Israel Middle East policy and reductions in bilateral aid to poor African nations.


But Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon blamed the opposition for what he described as an extremely disappointing defeat.


“I do not think this is a repudiation of Canada’s foreign policy,” Cannon told reporters at U.N. headquarters.


“Unfortunately back home in Canada the leader of the opposition determined that Canada did not speak with one voice,” he said. “He came out clearly indicating that Canada did not deserve a seat.


Opposition Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff had publicly questioned whether Canada under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper deserved to be on the council.


COMPLICATIONS


When South Africa was on the council in 2007/2008, it was a headache for the United States, France and Britain.


It joined Russia and China in voting down sanctions against Zimbabwe’s leaders, was reluctant to sanction Iran over its nuclear program and stood with China against condemning Myanmar. In the end it did vote for two sanctions resolutions against Tehran in 2007 and 2008 after pushing to dilute them.


South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said tone of the issues her country would push is a suspension of the International Criminal Court’s prosecution of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for genocide in Darfur — something the U.S., British and French delegations oppose.


“We’ll give it our best shot,” she said.


India, which has close trade ties with Iran, and possibly Portugal, are also expected to be reluctant if new U.N. sanctions against Tehran are proposed, diplomats said. But Germany, which joined Britain, France and the United States in negotiating previous sanctions, would boost the Western camp.


Berlin ran afoul of the previous U.S. administration during its last council stint by opposing the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In the first round of voting, only Germany managed to cross the 127-vote threshold in the category known as “Western Europe and Others,” getting 128 votes. India, South Africa and Colombia were uncontested in their respective geographic groups and secured ample votes in the first round.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin that the government was delighted with the results.

“Germany will work hard during its term to push ahead on reforms of the U.N. Security Council,” she said. “That is the expectation that a lot of people in the world have.”

Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters that Security Council reform would be high on India’s agenda too.

Germany is one of the top contributors to the United Nations and one of several countries, along with India, Japan and Brazil, that are considered prime candidates for permanent seats on the council if U.N. member states ever expand it.

The five rotating members serving on the council until the end of 2011 are Bosnia, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria. The five nations leaving the council at the end of this year are Austria, Turkey, Mexico, Japan and Uganda.

Source: SGGP

British Council combines English class with traffic safety lessons

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:24 am

The British Council and the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation will bring traffic safety education to forty of their English summer school students in Ho Chi Minh City on June 14.

The Asia Injury Prevention Foundation gives helmets  to pupils of the Tran Hung Dao Primary School in HCMC. The foundation  often provide training and helmet to Vietnamese young people to prevent injuries in heads (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong)

Students from age 12 to 15 participated this morning, with a second group of students aged 8 to 11 scheduled to receive a similar program on June 28.


Activities included a helmet use and road safety behaviour presented by the AIP Foundation staff, a question and answer session with traffic signs, and activities for students to communicate their new skills.


Students demonstrated to the group the safety importance of helmets, seatbelts, zebra crossings and rumble strips through skits and interactive sessions with AIP Foundation staff.


It was an opportunity to combine learning English and road safety – two skills that are essential for young people in Vietnam.


“Traffic safety education is essential to keeping Vietnam’s youth safe and smart, and ensures that they will be a responsible generation of road users,” said Alison Ball, Director of the British Council HCMC.

Source: SGGP

South Korea says to take ship case to Security Council

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

 South Korea will take the case of its sunken naval vessel to the U.N. Security Council, the presidential office said on Sunday, as pressure mounted on North Korea which is accused of torpedoing the ship.


South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak will deliver a speech about the incident on Monday, presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said.


“The president will present frameworks of measures, one about our own steps and the other about measures through international cooperation … He will also mention a plan to bring the case to the U.N. Security Council,” said Lee.


Last week, Seoul released the findings of a report which concluded that a North Korean submarine had fired a torpedo that sank the Cheonan corvette, killing 46 sailors. The North has denied the accusation.

A man looks at a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during the Korean War exhibition at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul May 23,

Lee said the president would also demand a response from the North. “President Lee Myung-bak may mention the name of the leader Kim Jong-il (in the conclusion of the speech),” he said.


Washington has called for an “international response” to the sinking, without specifying what form this might take.


An international response could range from fresh U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea, although those might be opposed by China, to a statement of condemnation by the world body.


A range of sanctions are already in place against North Korea for its missile and nuclear tests of recent years.


South Korea has repeatedly said it would not strike back at the North, aware that would frighten away investors already jittery about the escalating tension on the divided peninsula.

Source: SGGP

PM agrees to setting up national nuclear safety council

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm




PM agrees to setting up national nuclear safety council


QĐND – Friday, April 09, 2010, 20:59 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s national nuclear safety council will be set up following a recent decision made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.


Under the decision, the council will provide consultancy to the PM to help him and the government settle important issues on nuclear safety.


The council will have a life span of five years and will operate with the authority of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). Its President will be the Minister of the MoST and its standing agency is to be the Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (ARNS).


The council will propose policies on nuclear safety to the PM and guidelines for working with atomic energy as well as the nuclear power industry’s operational processes. They will also handle special important nuclear problems and issues.


It will assess the ARNS’s report on the assessment and safety analysis of the nuclear power plant after its pilot run and the results of a safety inspection of the plant’s nuclear reactor.


Before a licence is granted to allow testing or starting up the nuclear power plant, it will discuss the operations with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and also gather opinions from foreign and domestic scientists and experts on nuclear safety.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Vietnam to chair IMF/WB 2009’s council of governors meeting

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Giau has been elected chairman of the IMF/WB 2009’s council of governors meeting slated for Istanbul , Turkey .

The selection, made at the 2008 annual meeting of the WB Group and the IMF held on Oct. 14 in the US, reflected the international community’s trust and appreciation of Vietnam’s achievements in socio-economic development, particularly the State Bank of Vietnam’s efforts in consolidating its relationship with IMF and WB, as well as in formulating and steering monetary policies.

Since resuming its financial links with the IMF and WB in 1993, Vietnam has enjoyed an excellent relationship with the two financial organisations.

During the 1993-2004 period, the IMF granted four loans worth nearly 1.1 billion USD to Vietnam .

Each year, working delegations from the IMF visit Vietnam in order to receive an update on the country’s macro-economic situation as well as providing policy-making consultancy services in the financial and banking, trade and state-owned enterprise renovation sectors.

The IMF also provides Vietnam with technical assistance in many areas such as foreign exchange, the open-market, banking inspections, tax reforms and anti-money laundering.

To the WB, Vietnam is one of the largest preferential loan recipients of the WB International Development Association (IDA). IDA’s financial support in the form of preferential loans and technical assistance plays a key role in Vietnam-WB relations.

From 1993 to August 2008, the WB committed 8.42 billion USD to over 80 projects in Vietnam , including 73 programmes and projects worth a total of 7.35 billion USD which have been carried out. Of the total loans, 4.6 billion USD have been disbursed so far.

In the 2008 fiscal year, Vietnam and the WB have negotiated nine programmes and projects worth 1.1 billion USD, the largest ever in a single fiscal year, focusing on poverty eradication and the development of education and infrastructure.

The WB plans to provide nearly 1.85 billion USD to Vietnam for the implementation of 15 programmes during 2009.

The financial assistance not only positively assists Vietnam ’s work towards poverty alleviation and socio-economic development, but also contributes to boosting the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the country’s international integration.-

Nationality Council debates citizenship, health insurance

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

HA NOI — The National Assembly’s Nationality Council held a plenary session to discuss proposals on the revised Nationality Law and Health Insurance Law last Saturday.


Regarding the bill on the revised Nationality Law, most of the council’s members agreed with the details of the bill in line with national interests. They made comments on various issues, including nationality principles, documents demonstrating Vietnamese citizenship, ways to deal with Vietnamese citizens with dual nationalities, responsibilities of relevant agencies, and other related issues.


Most of the legislators agreed on the principle of Vietnamese citizens having one nationality, but added that there should be more open regulations to deal with the country’s trend of international integration.


Law-makers also recommended full coverage of healthcare costs for poor ethnic minority people in disadvantaged communities.


They proposed terms for medicare cards for the poor be expanded to three years from the current one year due to numerous difficulties in supplying the cards to the targeted people.


Concerns were also raised over ensuring budgetary solution so that farmers can have health insurance cards of their own in 2010.


National Assembly deputies are scheduled to discuss several bills related to road traffic rules, execution of civil court sentences, issues related to cadres and public employees, special consumption taxes, high technology and biological diversity. —

Vietnam makes worthy contributions to UN Security Council’s work

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Since Vietnam undertook the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council, the country has made objective and substantial contribution to the council’s noble mission.


According to Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Vietnamese Representative to the UN and the UNSC, even though Vietnam is a new member, it raised its voice on all matters under debate, including sensitive matters.

On the Middle East issue, Vietnam is persistent in its the stand to support the Palestinian people’s just struggle to set up an independent State. It condemns terrorist and extreme acts and attacks against innocent people.

Regarding the situation in Kosovo , Vietnam pursues the stance of supporting sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. The country does not accept Kosovo’s declaration of independence, while rejecting acts of violence and extremity.

As for the Iran matter, Vietnam has actively taken part in the negotiation process with the aim of supporting efforts for non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament as well as the interests and legal rights of countries, including Iran, regarding the development, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purpose, as well as nations’ legitimate rights to conduct normal trade and navigation activities.

Concerning Myanmar , while supporting the UN Secretary General’s intermediary role, Vietnam is persistent in the viewpoint that a comprehensive approach is needed which should consider poverty and underdevelopment one of root causes of the issue. Vietnam also holds that the UN should help Myanmar develop and through which reduce social conflicts and create opportunities for Myanmar to successfully implement the seven-point democratic roadmap, towards national conciliation.

Being aware of the role as a representative of all UN member countries, especially Asian countries which gave their votes to Vietnam ’s UNSC membership, Vietnam has regularly exchanged information and consulted with non UNSC member countries, particularly those relating to matters on discussion at the UNSC. In this way, Vietnam has gained knowledge about these countries’ concerns and legitimate security interests, as well as the international community’s worries so that it can put forth appropriate proposals.

Last March, Vietnam in its capacity as Coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries in the UNSC, actively coordinated common positions of the group on a number of important issues related to NAM ’s security interests.

The role reflects Vietnam ’s motto of acting independently and responsibly, always taking into account peace and security as well as stability and development in the region and the world as a whole.

The UNSC chair in July will bring Vietnam great responsibilities, including the making of reports on the council’s activities from August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008 for submitting to the UN General Assembly for consideration.

The reports will review the council’s operations with regard to all 60 items on its current agenda. The task requires a lot of time and efforts considering the UNSC’s huge workload over the past year, including the second half of 2007 when Vietnam was still not a UNSC member.

The council will also discuss and decide a series of complicated issues in July such as those related to Kosovo and Myanmar , the deployment of the UN-African Union joint peacekeeping force in Darfur, and the nuclear issues of Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea . This will pose a big challenge for Vietnam in its first time chairing the UNSC.

However, Vietnam has been well prepared to chair the UNSC and help deal with disputes and conflicts through peaceful dialogues and negotiations, avoiding confrontation and respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of all nations on the basis of protecting both national interests and international peace and security.

The international community appreciated Vietnam ’s preparations for the heavy task, saying the country will surely play an important role in maintaining peace and resolving conflicts in the world.