18 July 2011The United Nations today marked the second annual Nelson Mandela International Day with a series of events dedicated to public service, as well as speeches, exhibitions and film screenings in recognition of the former South African president’s contributions as a human rights defender, freedom fighter and peacemaker. In New York, diplomats and UN staff gathered in Central Park to paint benches as part of the “Take Action! Inspire Change” campaign by the Mandela Foundation, which has exhorted people across the world to pledge “67 minutes of service” today in recognition of Mr. Mandela’s 67 years of selfless public service.An exhibition where visitors can learn about Mr. Mandela through a range of video and audio materials also opened at UN Headquarters.In Sudan’s troubled region of Darfur, the UN-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) organized an event in a local girls’ school in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, where soldiers in the mission delivered school materials, planted trees, repainted walls and sang.The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the country’s Association for Historical Dialogue and Research marked the Day with the screening of the 2009 movie Invictus, which tells the story of South Africa during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which it hosted the year after Mr. Mandela became the country’s president.Anti-apartheid activist Gay McDougall, who is now the UN Independent Expert for Minorities, was with Mr. Mandela when he voted for the first time in his life in 1994.“I think it [Nelson Mandela International Day] is an annual opportunity for people to celebrate – to remind themselves to celebrate and recommit themselves to the kind of principled dedication to equality that Nelson Mandela represents for all of us,” she told UN Radio.David Dinkins, the former mayor of New York, who facilitated Mr. Mandela’s first official visit to the United States in 1990, said the most interesting thing about the South Africa was “his total absence of bitterness. One can only imagine what he has been through, what he has witnessed, and yet he is as gentle as can be, which is not to be mistaken for any softness.”“Because of what Nelson Mandela has done I maintain it demonstrates that one day there will be peace in the Middle East and in Northern Ireland,” he told UN Radio.
Speaking to the press yesterday, Bernardino León, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, said the UN is preparing a new draft political deal on the future of the country, which would be handed to parties in the first week of June. He expects the new draft to address the concerns of all parties, but made it clear that it was impossible to have a text that has 100 per cent of the wishes and ideas of everyone reflected.“There will be an agreement if they understand clearly that they have to give up on important issues, that they have to be flexible,” he said. “A political agreement with concessions, even if it does not reflect the key concerns of the parties will be better than continuing this conflict that is going nowhere.”Efforts went beyond the political, he said, pointing to a security track, where negotiations were ongoing with different armed actors, the army, armed groups, militias and others. He stressed the role of the international community, the UN and the European Union (EU) in future security arrangements.“These two elements – political and security – have to work together if we want a stable Libya which will soundly return to democracy in the future,” he said.He said that the second session of meetings focused on the role of the EU and the Organization’s partnership with the UN, noting that dialogue-centred approaches were “in the DNA” of both organizations and stressing the convergence that exists between them.“Our views are the same about Libya,” he said. “It has to be a Libyan-owned process, a Libyan-Libyan solution with the support of the International community.”The EU’s historical links to Libya in terms of trade, economics and politics were extensive and Mr León said the EU was a very important partner, as well as Libya’s neighbours, with whom the UN was also working closely. He underscored it was “difficult to say” whether the new draft would bring about agreement within three or four weeks but he underlined the existence of the possibility and stressed that Libyans have a very clear idea that such an agreement was the only solution to their current predicament.“Libya is on the verge of economic and financial collapse,” he explained, noting that the country is “facing a huge security threat” in the form of Da’esh (also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIL), as well as increasing political division.“Da’esh is trying to build strong bases in Libya. Libya also is facing an increasing political division with these competing institutions in the east and in the west, so all these challenges will oppose the possibility of an agreement,” he said, stressing: “This is the context in which we are working, the context in which we are proposing this agreement and in three, four weeks we will see whether it is working or not.”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMason facing break-and-entry charge granted bailOctober 10, 2018In “Court”Poultry farmer charged for fraud, placed on $100,000 bailJuly 19, 2017In “Court”Former GWI employee slapped with 18 counts of fraudApril 2, 2019In “Court” A Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) contractor was on Wednesday granted bail by Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore after he was slapped with two counts of fraud when he made his appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Trevor Glasgow, 47, of Lot 9 Sisters Village, West Bank Demerara pleaded not guilty to both charges after it was read to him by Magistrate Azore.Both charges stated that between September 4 and 12, 2018 at Vlissingen Road, Georgetown with intent to defraud he forged a GWI gate pass for obtaining several buckets owned by the company.The prosecutor made no objections to bail and Glasgow’s attorney in his application for bail told the court that there is no evidence to prove that his client’s handwriting was on the forged gate pass.As a result Magistrate Azore granted Glasgow bail in the sum of $100,000 and adjourned his matter until October 31.