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Chad calls on world to stand by its UN development summit pledges

28 September 2010Chad voiced concern today that despite the pledges at last week’s United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the proposals for stepping up the fight against poverty, hunger disease and a host of other will remain mere words. Chad voiced concern today that despite the pledges at last week’s United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the proposals for stepping up the fight against poverty, hunger disease and a host of other will remain mere words.“Chad hails the UN focus on the challenges of development, currently on achieving the Millennium Development Goals and their funding,” Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat told the General Assembly at its annual session. “But we fear once again that the pertinent recommendations of this meeting will remain without effect.” He stressed that Chad’s own financial resources are way behind its needs and appealed for additional resources. In an outcome document at the end of the summit, world leaders expressed deep concern that progress had fallen far short of what is needed but voiced confidence that with renewed global commitment the MDGs could still be achieved by their 2015 deadline.In a wide-ranging speech touching on global flashpoints, Mr. Mahamat cited the “complete normalization” of relations between Chad and Sudan, called for peace in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region, and warned that a failure in the “high-risk” process leading to an independence referendum in southern Sudan could compromise peace and security in the whole sub-region.He noted that Chad was still sheltering 290,000 refugees from Darfur as well 180,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and reiterated his country’s readiness to cooperate with the UN in all efforts to promote peace and security in eastern Chad, Darfur and the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR). As have most African countries, he also called for Security Council reform with proper representation for Africa, “The international community must not accept this marginalization of the African continent which also has so much to offer the world,” he declared.Mali called for full reform of the world’s financial and economic institutions and reiterated its support for two permanent and five non-permanent African members on the Council.“Millions of people across the planet are still waiting for the Millennium declaration to be turned into concrete acts,” Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane said, turning to the MDGs and citing a long list of conference at which the industrialized countries pledged funds for development. “Mali believes it is of prime importance to speed up enactment of commitments made at the major international conferences.” Angola, too, referred to the aid deficit. “We are convinced that the international community is also aware of how much still has to be done, particularly in the areas of funding for development, and the materialization of the commitments made at major international conferences on financing for development,” Secretary of State of External Relations Georges Rebelo Chikoti said.He also called for the democratization of international relations. “The reform of the Security Council must remain a topic in the agenda of our organization,” he added.Mozambique said a more democratic Council would adequately cater to the necessities of the international community. “For a meaningful reform of the Security Council, it is imperative that the historic injustice with regard to the African continent be corrected,” Foreign Minister Oldemiro Marques Balói declared.“It is no longer acceptable that a continent that represents almost 30 per cent of the whole UN membership and whose concerns contribute more than 60 per cent of the Council’s agenda is not represented in the category of permanent member.”Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of Lesotho stressed how the recent financial crisis had hampered efforts to attain the MDGs. “We appeal to our development partners to fulfil their commitments on official development assistance (ODA) to help accelerate our progress to the achievement of the MDGs,” he said.Vice-President Mompati Merafhe of Botswana called for a redoubling of efforts to attain the MDGs. “In this era of growing and complex challenges, the need for a more dynamic and proactive financial, economic and political architecture is far more apparent now than ever before,” he said. São Tomé and Príncipe Foreign Minister Manuel Salvador dos Ramos said the defence of multilateralism was of vital importance in seeking solutions based on the UN Charter.The UN role in preventing conflicts, promoting peace and supporting development should also be bolstered, he said. Burkina Faso Permanent Representative Michel Kafando called for permanent African representation on the Council and said the MDG summit had given hope that “commitments to the poorest will be translated into facts.” All speakers touched on climate change, the devastating impact it could have and the need to take mitigating measures, and broached major international flashpoints such as the search for peace in the Middle East. read more

Sharks tornadoes and taxes Cape Cods had a tough summer

Cape Cod businesses are dealing with a challenging summer that’s included heightened shark fears, freak tornadoes and new taxes.Local chamber of commerce data suggests lodging and beach visit numbers are down, one year after the famous tourist destination dealt with two shark attacks , including Massachusetts’ first fatal one in more than 80 years.Colette Cummings, owner of Ducks in the Window toy shop, says tourist activity has been noticeably lighter but hasn’t yet hurt her bottom line.And Gail Knell, co-owner of The Ebb Tide, says she’s looking forward to the fall season to recoup thousands of dollars her restaurant she lost during the tornadoes.Wendy Northcross, the chamber’s CEO, says she expects August tourism numbers to rebound.Local officials are also urging beachgoers to remain vigilant as last year’s fatal attack happened weeks after Labor Day.Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press read more