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Sudan should accept international help on Darfur Annan says

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Last week, the Council agreed today to deploy a UN peacekeeping force of more than 17,000 troops in Darfur. The resolution creating the operation “invites the consent” of the Sudanese Government to the deployment, although Khartoum has said on several occasions that it is opposed to any kind of UN force taking over the role of the African Union’s (AU) current operation – known by the acronym AMIS – in Darfur.The Secretary-General was asked about Khartoum’s rejection of the resolution at a press conference today in Qatar. “If the Government of Sudan had been able to protect these people, we would not even be talking about deploying international troops,” he noted.Since Sudan’s Government has not been able to address the situation, “it is incumbent on it to accept international help to pacify the region so that people can live their lives in peace and dignity,” he added, voicing hope that the country’s leaders will “realize that by their inability to protect them, they will be held liable at some stage for what is going on on the ground.” The Secretary-General recalled that UN members recently accepted the concept of ‘responsibility to protect,’ “which means each government has the responsibility to protect its people from genocide, ethnic-cleansing, gross and systematic violations of human rights.”When a government fails, he said, the international community has the right to step in and assist. “We now have to redeem that solemn pledge that was made only last September,” he said. “I would urge the Sudanese authorities to reconsider and work with the international community and accept the forces. We are going in to help. We have no other ambition than that.” Mr. Annan pointed out that the UN currently has 10,000 troops from all over the world deployed in South Sudan to support a peace agreement that ended a separate conflict there. “We work peacefully with their consent and cooperation and I hope we can do the same in Darfur,” he said. These views echo those Mr. Annan expressed in a letter to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir last week. The Secretary-General wrote that only an impartial peacekeeping force like the proposed expansion of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), currently deployed to help implement an accord that ended fighting in the country’s South, would have the resources and capacity to effectively support the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) signed by the Government and some of the region’s rebel groups in May. In the letter, Mr. Annan also expressed alarm over the recent deployment of large numbers of Sudanese troops in Darfur, which UN officials have called an apparent sign that the Government is determined to pursue a major military offensive there soon. read more

From Bill 6 to sliding poll numbers Notley discusses first full session

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by News Staff Posted Dec 10, 2015 5:42 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 10, 2015 at 5:47 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email From Bill 6 to sliding poll numbers, Notley discusses first full session Wikimedia Commons Following her historic victory in the provincial election in May, it certainly has been an interesting first full legislative session for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.Along with the falling price of oil and thousands of job losses, her government has faced backlash from the Bill 6 saga and the ongoing royalty review.She spoke to reporters today about the experience and how it compared to being in opposition.“It’s both exciting because we win some votes, which never used to happen when I was in opposition, but it’s also a great deal of work and there’s no question you have a tremendous sense of responsibility, a tremendous sense of obligation to all the people of the province,” she said.Following the amendments and ultimate passing of Bill 6 Thursday, Notley was mostly asked about what the legislation now excludes, which is coverage for children of farming families, along with neighbours and volunteers helping out.Notley was asked about this year’s incidents of children who died in farming accidents, which wouldn’t come under OHS investigations under the current legislation.“That’s about the relationship between parents and children and that’s not what this bill is about,” she said. “This bill is about correcting the long, unmet need to protect vulnerable, paid farm workers who are obliged to follow the instructions of their employers at risk of losing their job if they don’t.”“That’s a different issue than the one you identify, not unimportant, but that’s not what this bill is about and it’s not what it’s ever intended to be about.”She was also asked if she’s thinking of going beyond Bill 6 in terms of protecting farming children.“The relationship between a paid worker and a farmer is that between employer and employee, between adult and adult, where there’s legal obligation of one adult to asceed to the direction of the other adult and that’s very different than reaching into families and saying you’re parenting well or you’re not parenting well,” she said. “As government, we do that already, we do that through child protection and there are other ways in which these issues are dealt with, but it’s simply not an issue that was planned to be covered under this bill.”As a recent ThinkHQ poll shows government support dropping outside of Edmonton for the NDP, Notley said popularity will ebb and flow.“We have three and a half years before the next election, so I’m going to focus on governing in what I believe is in the best interest of Albertans,” she said.Notley was also asked if she’s worried her government’s actions could lead to a more united front from the right in the next election.“I’m not terribly concerned,” she said. “We’re almost at the one-year anniversary of the last most concrete iteration of this desire to blend these two parties and I think we all know that it didn’t exactly enjoy tremendous endorsement by Albertans.”Notley also confirmed the royalty review will not be presented at the end of the month as originally scheduled, saying the short delay is regrettable, but necessary and the hope is to have it in early January.After Independent MLA Deborah Drever was booted from the NDP caucus for controversial photos, Notley said she’s shown good progress with her recent domestic violence bill and she’ll continue to keep an eye on it.“She went out and talked to people as far as I understand and asked for advice on what would be the most helpful bill that she could bring forward and she came up with that idea,” Notley said.On climate change and talk of the 1.5 degree Celsius climate change target, Notley was asked about what could mean for the Alberta economy.“Our plan I think stands on its merits and it is a plan that brings about significant, real, measurable change and a significant reduction in what would’ve happened otherwise,” she said. “The reason we brought in this plan was to avoid the scenario where we had plans and rules imposed upon us that might have otherwise hurt Alberta’s economy.”“I’ve certainly received fairly strong indications from the federal government that they perceive that the step that we have taken is a major one, they see it as a good thing, one that they will support and not one that they will be planning to ask us to amend.” read more