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News                                                                               
 

Argentina and Brazil: 25th anniversary of a strategic landmark in nuclear cooperation

By Susana Malcorra and José Serra*

On 18 July, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the signature by Argentina and Brazil of the Guadalajara Agreement for the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy. Among other innovations, the Agreement provides for the creation of the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), for the purpose of verifying the commitment undertaken by Argentina and Brazil to unequivocally pursue the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to administrate the Common System of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials.

A few months later, in December 1991, the two countries signed the Quadripartite Agreement with the ABACC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was the first time that Argentina and Brazil negotiated with an international organization as a single delegation. In a short period of time, the fundamental framework of the strategic bilateral relationship between Argentina and Brazil was developed, favouring an atmosphere of peace, mutual trust, and cooperation between the two countries that still endures.

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Light Speed – Solar Car Race – SA

22 September 2016

The Lodz Solar Team, a group of students from Lodz University of Technology in Poland will participate in the Solar Challenge South Africa.

They will compete with 14 local and international teams racing their solar powered cars from Pretoria to Cape Town, a distance of 2000km over eight days, from 24 September to 1October 2016. (http://www.solarchallenge.org.za)

H.E. Anna Raduchowska-Borchwicz, Ambassador of Poland to South Africa hosted the students at her residence where they made a presentation of their unique vehicle. They placed 6th in the Australia challenge in 2015 and received the best performing team and safest car awards.

Many of the students are in South Africa for the first time and have hosted several workshops on photo voltaic technology. South African climate is very conducive to solar energy technologies.

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Free education is possible if South Africa moves beyond smoke and mirrors

Salim Vally, University of Johannesburg; Enver Motala, University of Fort Hare; Leigh-Ann Naidoo, University of the Witwatersrand; Mondli Hlatshwayo, University of Johannesburg; Rasigan Maharajh, Tshwane University of Technology, and Zolisa Marawu, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

South Africa’s universities are once again in uproar. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has outlined how higher education should deal with fee increments for 2017. His announcement sparked anger and a great deal of confusion.

Neither smoke from police stun grenades, burning buildings nor officialdom’s smoke and mirrors will solve the problem.

We’re surprised that many didn’t anticipate the fallout from Nzimande’s statement. There are several reasons for students’ anger toward the state and university managements.

The most immediate is that Nzimande’s statement dealt with fee increments but sidestepped the fundamental issue: an ongoing call to make higher education free for all.

It is clear to us that very little will be resolved without reference to this critical demand. All the minister has done is to kick the can further down the road, deepening students' disquiet and provoking conflict on campuses.

It is disingenuous to scold students for “protecting the rich” and “increasing inequality” through their demands for universal quality education. The state cannot merely exhort citizens to patiently await an increase in economic growth and its trickle downward, while blaming “selfish” students for taking resources allocated elsewhere.

There are revenue sources that can be examined carefully and accessed to fund free education for all, at all levels. This can happen while other social needs are simultaneously met. The most important of these sources is raising more tax from the super rich and stopping the illicit outflow of capital.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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South Africa, Cuba strengthen health cooperation

22 September 2016

Pretoria - South African Deputy Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla met his Cuban counterpart, Dr Marcia Cobas Ruiz, to evaluate existing bilateral agreements in the field of health.

The two visited Tembisa Hospital in Gauteng’s East Rand as part of a programme aimed at strengthening health cooperation between South Africa and Cuba.

Deputy Minister Phaahla said there are approximately 900 fourth-year medical students from South Africa who are studying in Cuba, who are expected to return to the country in their final year in 2018.

He said Cuba and South Africa’s bilateral agreements date as far back as 1996 when the Health Ministry, through a bilateral agreement with the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba, initiated cooperation in the health field.

The cooperation, known as the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Collaboration, consists of three elements, including the undergraduate training programme; recruitment and exchange of health professionals and academics; and exchange in biotechnological and innovation in health.

The two countries this year commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro Medical Doctors’ Programme.

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As 71st General Assembly opens, new President pledges to ‘turn the wheels’ on implementing 17 Global Goals

13 September 2016 – The United Nations General Assembly opened its 71st session, with an emphasis on ensuring that implementation of the new global development goals, adopted by its 193 Member States last year, is well underway.

“The 70th Session launched the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], and for integrity’s sake the 71st must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs,” the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, said as he took an oath of office before proceeding to open the new session.

Mr. Thomson, who had had been serving as the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations until his appointment, said that the theme of the 71st session is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.’

On 1 January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September last year – officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with the aim of achieving the SDGs, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The new Assembly President noted that it had been heartening to observe the sincerity with which governments and national planning agencies around the world have begun integrating the 2030 Agenda into national processes.

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Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs

New York, September 20, 2016

In a meeting on the sidelines of the 71st United Nations General Assembly meeting BRICS members expressed concern that continued conflicts in several regions provided "fertile" grounds for terrorist activities.

The meeting of BRICS' Ministers of Foreign Affairs also reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to make it more representative and efficient, besides calling for "collective action" to boost world economic growth.

Brazil's Jose Serra, Russia's Sergey Lavrov, India's Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar, China's Wang Yi and South Africa's Maite Nkoana-Mashabane reiterated their "strong condemnation" of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

At the meeting the Ministers underlined the marked progress achieved since the first Meeting of Foreign Ministers on the margins of the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2006, in deepening the BRICS strategic partnership based on the principles of openness, solidarity, equality and mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.

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South African Kids Online: A glimpse into children's internet use and online activities

Pretoria, South Africa, 21 September 2016

One in three children has been exposed to hate speech and inappropriate images on the internet and many children were upset by this experience. What is more, one in five children has met face-to-face with a stranger they first encountered online.

These are some of the findings shared during the launch of the South Africa ‘Kids Online’ study on 21 September 2016, ahead of the Global Launch of the Global Kids Online Toolkit in New York, Unites States, in October.

Other findings featured in the study reveal that:
•    Most South African children have fun when they go on the internet and see it as something that is good for them;
•    But a little over one in four children have personally been bothered by something on the internet in the past year;
•    Most children value the internet for learning purposes but rarely use the internet at school or receive guidance from their teachers on how to use the internet;
•    Parents want to help their children but don’t feel they know enough about how to use the internet to guide them.
‘Children and young people are leading the digital uptake in developing countries, but this also means that they are more likely to be exposed to negative online experiences. UNICEF believes that by understanding how children and young people are behaving in the digital space, they can be empowered to be responsible users’, said Mr. Anthony Nolan, UNICEF South Africa Chief of Child Protection, at the event.

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Poland – South Africa, Strategic Partnership

H.E Anna Raduchowska-Brochwicz, Poland’s Ambassador to South Africa hosted the President of the Management Board of the Polish Armament Group (PGZS.A), Mr Arkadiuz Siwko and his delegation at her residence in Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa.

In her welcome remarks, Ambassador Anna Raduchowska-Brochwicz said that talks to establish a mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries defence forces were successful, setting in motion the beginning of a win-win partnership.

PGZS.A is one of the largest defence companies in Central Europe and the leading Polish manufacturer of technologically advanced equipment for modern armies. The PGZS.A consists of more than 60 enterprises and employs more than 17 500 staff.

The Polish Embassy in Pretoria has hosted several high level delegations to South Africa and has been actively promoting greater cooperation with South Africa. Ambassador Anna Raduchowska-Brochwicz said that the Embassy is ready and available to facilitate deepening relations between the two countries.

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Thai Ambassadors meeting in Cape Town

A meeting of Ambassadors and Consul Generals of Thailand in Africa took place from 11 to 13 September 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. According to Ambassador Pornchai Danvivathana of Thailand in South Africa, extensive and constructive discussions were held.

Present at the meeting were (pictured) H.E. Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Peerasak Chantavarin, Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Mr. Suporn Pholmani, Ambassador to Morocco, H.E. Mr. Chailert Limsomboon, Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Mr. Prasittiporn Wetprasit, Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Mr. Russ Jaleechan, Ambassador to Mozambique, Mr. Chanchai Jiamboonsri, Consul General to Madagascar, Mrs. Sarikan Pholmani, Minister to France, Ms. Pornpan Buakird, Minister to Italy, Mr. Anothai Homjit, Minister Counsellor to Senegal.
H.E. Mr. Chaisiri Anaman, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand inaugurated the meeting and H.E. Mr. Panyarak Poolthub, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs chaired the meeting.

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17th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement

Island of Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
13 - 18 September 2016

DECLARATION OF THE XVII SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM)               

The Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, gathered in the Island of Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, within the framework of the XVII Conference Summit, on 17-18 September 2016, under the theme “Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development”, undertook a review of the state of the international situation.

Mindful of the fact that the history and reality of the world in which we live in today demonstrates that it is the developing countries of the world the ones who suffer more intensely from the disregard of international law, from invasions, from the ravages of war and armed conflicts, caused mostly by the geopolitical interests of the great centres of power, as well as from protracted conflicts inherited from colonialism and neo-colonialism,

Emphasizing that many of these crises have been triggered by the violation of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Principles of Bandung,

Recognising that solidarity, the highest expression of respect, friendship and peace among States, is a broad concept encompassing the sustainability of international relations, the peaceful coexistence, and the transformative objectives of equity and empowerment of developing countries, whose ultimate goal is to achieve the full economic and social development of their peoples,

At the 55th anniversary of the Movement, determined to defend the right to peace, sovereignty and solidarity for the development of their peoples,

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Celebrating Pan African cultural diversity and artistry

Addis Ababa, 14th September 2016

The Africa Fashion Reception (AFR) opened at the African Union Conference Center. The event aims at celebrating Pan African cultural diversity and artistry as expressed through fashion design and is expected to run for two days.

The Africa Fashion Reception started in 2013 with the objective of harnessing the potential power of the African fashion industry to fight poverty and support developmental agenda by empowering women and youth engaged in various aspects of the fashion industry through the provision of training, capacity building schemes, workshops and setting up of medium and small scale businesses thereby supporting the African Union Agenda 2063 and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The AFR is jointly organized by the Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) and Legendary Gold Limited with the intention of attracting global attention to Africa’s very rich and diversified dress culture which can be viewed as a catalyst for the social economic growth of the continent’s textile industry.

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