NORTH KOREA: ‘ Claims the US targeted them with Live Anthrax ‘

#AceNewsReport – NORTH KOREA:June.12: Pyongyang has accused the United States of using “biological warfare schemes” to target North Korea with live anthrax and wants the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to investigate.

North Korea Claims US Targeted them with Live Anthrax '
‘ North Korea Claims US Targeted them with Live Anthrax ‘

The accusations were made in a letter to the UNSC and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon from North Korea’s ambassador to the UN Ja Song Nam.

The letter, which was dated June 4, was made public on Friday and comes after US defense officials revealed in late May that low concentration samples of live anthrax were mistakenly shipped to labs in 19 states and to at least 70 labs in four countries, including a US facility based in South Korea. Australia, Britain, and Canada have also reported receiving shipments of the deadly bacteria.

Anthrax bacteria

According to the US Defense Department, the anthrax was supposed to have been killed before it was shipped to laboratories for research, a practice that has been carried out successfully for ten years.

“The United States not only possesses deadly weapons of mass destruction…but also is attempting to use them in actual warfare against [North Korea],” Nam wrote in his letter.

Referring to the delivery as “the gravest challenge to peace and a hideous crime aimed at genocide,” the letter also “strongly requests the Security Council take up the issue of the shipment of anthrax germs in order to thoroughly investigate the biological warfare schemes of the United States.”

Pyongyang has been openly critical of the US’ military presence in South Korea, and has strongly objected annual US-South Korean military exercises which it views as a threat.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke dismissed the allegations on Friday, telling reporters in Washington that they were “ridiculous” and “didn’t merit a response.”

The US House of Representatives announced on Wednesday that a thorough investigation has been launched into the incident, and vowed that they will hold the Defense Department accountable for the error.

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#Geneva2 : ” Small Progress in Talk’s `Ending Friday’ and Due to Resume in February”

#AceNewsServices say `UN Chief Cites ‘progress’ at Syria Talks’

Ace News Desk There has been “progress” at peaceful talks inSwitzerland, between Syria’s government and opposition delegations, UN Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon said in Berlin on Thursday, Itar-Tass reported. The negotiations will be suspended on Friday, so that participants could discuss talks at home, he said.

They should resume in February, however the exact date was not determined yet. International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday that he does not expect to achieve anything substantive in the first round of Syria talks ending on Friday.

 

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#Geneva2 : #Syria Peace Convention – `Day One’ – Latest – 22 January 2014

#AceNewsServices say ‘We have taken the first small step’ – Ban Ki Moon on Syria peace talks’

Published time: January 22, 2014 17:09
Edited time: January 22, 2014 17:46
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (R) looks on alongside UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) during the so-called Geneva II peace talks dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Syria, on January 22, 2014, in Montreux.(AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (R) looks on alongside UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) during the so-called Geneva II peace talks dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Syria, on January 22, 2014, in Montreux.(AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that ‘the really hard work begins on Friday’ with regard to reaching a diplomatic solution in Syria. “Nobody underestimates the difficulty of this issue,” he announced on the first day of peace talks in Switzerland.

Lakhdar Brahimi added that it was unclear whether they would be able to successfully bring the two Syrian sides face to face in the same room on Friday.

“Hopefully by the afternoon we will be able to meet with both sides in one room…of course the results will not be brought about in a speedy way, this will take a great deal of time,” Brahimi said.

Ban added that all parties must “respect international humanitarian law, which he said had been“flagrantly violated in this conflict.”

While the state’s institutions must be preserved, civilians are facing desperate health conditions.

Ban added that arrangements must be made for a local ceasefire.

Ban urged the resolution of the violent conflict in the country through political dialogue, rather than military means.

“There is no other solution,” he said. “I have been urging all the countries – who have provided arms to either side…[to] stop – and encourage them to engage in political dialogue.”

Some 100,000 people have been killed over the course of the conflict, and millions displaced.

The Geneva communiqué seeks to formulate plans for political transition within Syria.

However, Wednesday’s talks witnessed fraught scenes between international heavyweights, with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem telling US Secretary of State John Kerry that no one had the right to“withdraw legitimacy” from the Syrian president or government.

 

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General Ban Ki-moon Proposes Budget of $5.4 Billion for Funding United Nations

English: Ban Ki-moon 日本語: 潘基文

English: Ban Ki-moon 日本語: 潘基文 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today presented a proposed budget of $5.4 billion for the United Nations over the next two years, after instructing managers to review business practices, reduce overlap, embrace innovation, encourage creativity and build synergies.

“My budget proposal reflects a conscientious effort to gauge the needs of the Organization for the next two years. But our work does not stop here. We will continue to search for ways to adapt and equip the United Nations to better implement its mandates,” Mr. Ban said as he presented his proposal to the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, which deals with administrative and budgetary matters.

He noted that the proposed budget for the biennium 2014-2015 is 2.9 per cent below the budget level for the current biennium that was projected in December last year. It is also 0.2 per cent below the expenditures for the biennium 2010-2011.

Consistent with established method, a preliminary re-costing amount is included.  This results in an additional $158 million, bringing the regular budget requirements to over $5.5 billion.

Mr. Ban pointed out that the UN is being called on to play an increasingly prominent role in promoting peace, advancing development and protecting human rights.

“The budget before you reflects a central challenge: how to resource this Organization at a time when the demand for the work of the United Nations continues to grow amidst a period of economic austerity constraint,” he said.

“Many countries continue to suffer crippling effects of the financial crisis. Governments – and especially people – are struggling. At the same time, the world is turning more and more to the United Nations for answers and help across a broad spectrum of issues and needs.

“We must live up to the expectations of the world’s people,” Mr. Ban stressed. “And we must uphold our responsibility to you, the Member States, to make the most prudent use of the precious resources that you provide.”

He reminded delegates that rethinking the way the UN works inevitably has an impact on the number of posts. The proposed budget results in a net decrease of 261 posts, reflecting the abolition of 396 posts, the addition of 52 new posts, and 83 conversions.

Among other things, the proposal includes nearly $1.1 billion for special political missions that are expected to be extended or approved in the course of the next two years.

Now that the Secretary-General has presented his proposal, Member States will discuss and decide on the budget to be adopted by the General Assembly in December for the next two years.

“The decisions you take will fundamentally shape the ability of the United Nations to advance the well-being of the human family at a time of simultaneous peril and opportunity,” Mr. Ban stated.

“My great hope for this process is that we never lose sight of why we are here, and who we are here to serve. We may be discussing numbers, but what really hangs in the balance is the prospects for people, families and communities across the world to enjoy a future of dignity for all.”

 

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UN Call in Copenhagen for Clean Energy for a Sustainable Future

United Nations United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a clean energy transformation to help put the world on a more sustainable path, stressing that this will require innovation, investment and collaboration by all partners.

“Achieving a clean energy transformation will need the joint efforts of governments, multilateral investment banks, private finance, civil society, the knowledge community and the private sector,” Mr. Ban said in a keynote <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7218“>address at the Third Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen. “We are partners on a path to sustainability… But we have no time to waste.”

He noted that the way energy is produced and used is “the dominant cause” of climate change. “The impact on our global economy is increasingly clear. We count the cost in human lives and economic loss,” he stated. “But, we are forging solutions together all over the world.”

In September 2011, the Secretary-General launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.

“Each of these objectives serves a common end: clean, low-carbon growth. This is critical for sustainable development,” said Mr. Ban.

He highlighted the world is fast approaching a triple deadline. The target date for achieving the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) falls at end of 2015. World leaders have also agreed on 2015 as the year for establishing a new sustainable development framework and reaching an agreement on climate change.

“2015 thus represents a historic opportunity to set the world on a sustainable path,” Mr. Ban stated. “To do that we must eradicate extreme poverty and hold global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“These objectives are mutually reinforcing and interdependent. Achieving them will require significant global momentum – beginning with a concerted push to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

“On that foundation we must agree an inclusive post-2015 development framework with poverty reduction at its core and sustainable development as its guide. And to support these efforts, we must increase action and ambition on climate change.”

To that end, Mr. Ban has proposed convening a Climate Summit next September to bring together government, business, finance and civil society leaders from around the world to mobilize political will for the climate negotiations, deliver concrete new commitments and spark “a race to the top” in climate action.

He asked leaders to bring solutions and initiatives with targets, deliverables and investment plans. He also urged them to raise their level of ambition by scaling up the investments and financial flows necessary for making the transformation to a low-carbon economy.

“We need large amounts of capital for the rapid development of low-carbon infrastructure,” he stated. “We are seeing progress – but not fast enough; and not at sufficient scale.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat to sustainable development. Yet, too often, one important fact gets lost amid the fear: addressing climate change is one of our greatest opportunities,” he noted.

UN-Energy“With enlightened action, we can create jobs, improve public health, protect the environment and spur sustainable green growth. In the coming year we should all do our utmost to unlock the barriers to climate finance that exist across the global economy.”

The Secretary-General said he is personally engaged in trying to move the financial actors, regularly meeting with financial actors and investors. Today he attended a meeting with pension fund executives, at which he <“http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3143“>asked them to help in unlocking new opportunities for capital investment in climate and development.

He also noted, in the meeting, his intention to include pension fund leaders in the Climate Summit, and discussed the possibilities for using the event as a unique opportunity to leverage unprecedented financial, political and organizational capital.

“I will continue to engage and challenge pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds to look beyond the fossil-related segments of the global economy. Less than 1 per cent of pension fund assets are currently invested in sustainable infrastructure projects,” Mr. Ban told the forum.

“Our hope is that greater investment can move towards low-carbon assets, for the good of the world and the long-term financial health of investors. At the same time, development and commercial banks can and should unlock capital to enable low-carbon investments. And regulators can break barriers to facilitating these flows.

“There are enormous untapped investment opportunities in developing countries. All financial actors have to work together to create the mechanisms for making these investments possible. Companies and countries have to make sure that bankable projects are ready, when the money is available.

“With focus, resolve and ambition, we can lower the global thermostat and raise the level of economic opportunity for all – from the poorest households to the largest enterprises.”

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