Taliban To -Temporarily- Adopt Monarchy Constitution, With Caveats

Taliban To “Temporarily” Adopt Monarchy Constitution, With Caveats
Kabul: The Taliban said today they will temporarily adopt a 1964 constitution that granted women the right to vote but eliminate any elements they disagree with.The Taliban’s acting justice minister issued a statement saying the Islamists planned to introduce a constitution used during Afghanistan’s short-lived golden age of democracy, but only briefly and with amendments.”The Islamic Emirate will adopt the constitution of the former King Mohammad Zahir Shah’s time for a temporary period,” Mawlavi Abdul Hakim Sharaee said.But anything in the text found to conflict with Sharia law and the principles of the Islamic Emirate would be discarded, he added.Nearly six decades ago, before the world’s superpowers intervened in the country, Afghanistan enjoyed a brief period of constitutional monarchy during the reign of King Mohammad Zahir Shah.The king ratified the constitution a year after coming to power in 1963, ushering in nearly a decade of parliamentary democracy before he was overthrown in 1973.The 1964 constitution, which gave women the right to vote for the first time and opened the doors for their increased participation in politics, would appear an awkward fit with the Taliban’s hardline views.The group, which swept to power in mid-August, has vowed a softer and more inclusive approach than during their brutal 1996 to 2001 rule, when women were largely excluded from public life, including work and education.But when they presented their caretaker government earlier this month, all the top positions went to hardliners and no women were included.After suffering through the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, followed by civil war and then harsh Taliban rule, Afghanistan once again adopted a constitution in the aftermath of the US-led 2001 invasion.But it opted not to restore the old monarchy, approving instead a fresh text in 2004 that envisaged a presidency and enshrined equal rights for women.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Making the Future Work for Humanity- Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils Begins in Dubai

Making the Future Work for Humanity: Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils Begins in Dubai
Oliver Cann, Head Media Content, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 79 799 3405; oliver.cann@weforum.org ???? · The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils starts today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates · Meeting brings together nearly 700 experts from around the globe with the purpose of generating ideas and answers to solve the world’s most critical challenges · Outcomes from the meeting will be taken forward at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland in January. Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11 November 2018 – The third Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils starts today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, bringing together nearly 700 top experts from around the world. With participants including top-level politicians, business leaders, civil society leaders and academics, the purpose of the meeting is to generate ideas that contribute to solving the most critical global, regional and industry challenges. Comprising 38 distinct councils, the community of Global Future Councils covers subject areas as diverse as the global financial system, geopolitics, cities and urbanization, cybersecurity and the bio-economy. Ideas generated at the meeting will be adopted and integrated into the programme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, taking place in January. This year’s Annual Meeting theme, Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, reflects an urgent need to use emerging technologies to make sure that continued global integration creates more inclusive, sustainable and human-centred societies. “The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils is the world’s biggest brainstorm. Over the next two days, nearly 700 experts here in Dubai will each bring with them their own ideas on how to shape a future that is inclusive, prosperous and globally integrated. Globalization cannot be reversed but it must be improved,” said Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum. “We first discussed the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution here in Dubai at this meeting 3 years ago. This inspired a global conversation and led to the creation of a worldwide network of Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution aimed at designing the protocols and values necessary to ensure new technology serves humanity rather than threatens it. Our goal for this year is just as ambitious: we want to find radical new ideas for shaping a new global architecture to future proof the economy, the planet and our societies.” said Stephan Mergenthaler, Head of Knowledge Networks at the World Economic Forum. The Co-Chair of the meeting, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the United Arab Emirates, said: “Technology has the potential to bring gainful employment to the world’s population and solve many of our greatest challenges. Bringing together the most diverse and knowledgeable experts here in Dubai allows us to conceive new ways to make these possibilities a reality and build a world that is safer and more prosperous than the one we live in today. The United Arab Emirates supports the work of the councils and stands ready to put some of their best ideas into practice.” This year sees the introduction of a number of new councils, representing new areas of focus for the Forum’s activities throughout the year. These include the Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-economy, which aims to protect nature through innovative technology and business models; the Global Future Council on the New Social Contract, whose mandate is to rethink the future of work, education and gender parity; and the Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technologies, which has been charged with developing ways to accelerate global energy transition. Notes to editors Watch live webcasts of sessions and find information about the event at https://wef.ch/gfc18 Use the hashtag #GFC18 Guide to following and embedding sessions on your website at http://wef.ch/howtofollow View the best photos from the event at http://wef.ch/pix Read the Forum Agenda at http://wef.ch/agenda Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at http://wef.ch/facebook Watch our videos at http://wef.ch/video Follow the Forum on Twitter via @wef and @davos, and join the conversation using #GFC18 and #WEF Follow the Forum on Instagram at http://wef.ch/instagram Follow the Forum on LinkedIn at http://wef.ch/linkedin Learn about the Forum’s impact on http://wef.ch/impact Subscribe to Forum news releases at http://wef.ch/news The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).

Iceland Elects Europe’s First Women-Majority Parliament

Iceland Elects Europe’s First Women-Majority Parliament
Reykjavik, Iceland: Iceland on Sunday became the first country in Europe to have more women than men in parliament, a day after a general election that saw the left-right coalition win a clear majority.Of the 63 seats in the Althing parliament, 33 were won by women, or 52 percent, projections based on the final results showed on Sunday.No other European country has had more than 50 percent women lawmakers, with Sweden coming closest at 47 percent, according to data compiled by the World Bank.Around the world, five other countries currently have parliaments where women hold at least half the seats, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union: Rwanda (61 percent), Cuba (53 percent), Nicaragua (51 percent) and Mexico and the United Arab Emirates (50 percent).Unlike some other countries, Iceland does not have legal quotas on female representation in parliament, though some parties do require a minimum number of candidates be women.The Nordic country has long been a pioneer in gender equality and women’s rights, and has topped the World Economic Forum’s ranking of most egalitarian countries for the past 12 years.Iceland was the first country to elect a woman as president in 1980.”I am 85, I’ve waited all my life for women to be in a majority… I am really happy,” Erdna, a Reykjavik resident, told AFP.PM’s future in doubtWhile Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s left-right coalition won a majority in Saturday’s vote, it remained to be seen whether the three parties would continue to govern together.The coalition has brought Iceland four years of stability after a decade of political crises, but Jakobsdottir’s Left-Green Movement emerged weakened after losing ground to its right-wing partners, which both posted strong showings.The Left-Green Movement, the conservative Independence Party and the centre-right Progressive Party together won 37 of 63 seats in parliament, up from the 33 they held before the vote.But the Left-Green Movement itself won only eight seats, three fewer than in 2017, raising questions about Jakobsdottir’s future as prime minister.The largest party remained the Independence Party, whose leader Bjarni Benediktsson — the current finance minister and a former prime minister — has been eyeing Jakobsdottir’s job.It won almost a quarter of votes and hung on to its 16 seats.But the election’s big winner was the centre-right Progressive Party, which gained five seats, to 13.After four years of concessions on all sides to keep the peace within the coalition, it is conceivable that the two right-wing parties may want to try to form a government without the Left Greens.Speaking to private broadcaster Stod 2 on Sunday, Jakobsdottir refused to be drawn on the coalition’s future discussions, saying only that her government had received “remarkable” support in the election.Strange bedfellowsProgressive Party leader Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson and Independence Party leader Benediktsson meanwhile both said Sunday they were open to discussing a continuation of the coalition, citing voters’ strong support.Benediktsson told Stod 2 it was “normal for parties that have worked together for four years and had good personal relations” to try to continue together, but told public broadcaster RUV he wasn’t certain they would succeed.He also wouldn’t necessarily push for the post of prime minister, he said.The unusual coalition mixing left and right came about after the 2017 elections, in a bid to bring stability to the nation after years of political upheaval.Deep public distrust of politicians amid repeated scandals sent Icelanders to the polls five times from 2007 to 2017.This is only the second time since 2008 that a government has made it to the end of its four-year mandate on the sprawling island, and the first time since 2003 that a government has retained its majority.Broadly popular during her four-year term, Jakobsdottir has introduced a progressive income tax system, increased the social housing budget and extended parental leave for both parents.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comShe has also been hailed for her handling of the Covid-19 crisis, with just 33 deaths in the country of 370,000.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

AUKUS Pact No Threat To Indo-Pacific Stability- US Envoy

AUKUS Pact No Threat To Indo-Pacific Stability: US Envoy
Jakarta: A defence pact between Australia, the United States and Britain is no threat to Indo-Pacific stability and is not aimed at any one country, a U.S. envoy said on Wednesday, amid concern in a region where China’s influence is on the rise.Indonesia is worried that the pact, known as AUKUS, under which Australia will obtain nuclear submarine technology from the United States, would worsen an “arms race and power projection” in the region.Malaysia’s concerns are similar, while neighbour the Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally, is behind it.”This will reinforce our ongoing cooperation with key countries like Indonesia to make sure that we have a free and open Indo-Pacific that respects the rule of law,” U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Kim, told a virtual forum.Kim said he is not worried about an arms race or nuclear proliferation, calling it a “forward looking, positive” initiative that would work in Indonesia’s favour.AUKUS is largely seen as a response by Western allies to avert a Chinese hegemony in Southeast Asia and beyond, particularly the South China Sea, a conduit for a third of ship-borne trade, in which Beijing claims historical sovereignty.Indonesia earlier this month increased patrols in response to American and Chinese vessels.”We are not asking any countries, including Indonesia, to make choices between U.S. and any other country,” Kim said of AUKUS, adding the three allies have strong respect for the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc.Kim also praised Indonesia’s climate change efforts, particularly reducing greenhouse gas emission and deforestation.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAsked about its restive easternmost region of Papua, Kim said Washington did not support separatism anywhere, but did have concerns over fundamental freedoms in the militarised region and urged talks between the government and local communities.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

What does Corona mean for the people behind our food- – Fairfood

What does Corona mean for the people behind our food? – Fairfood
What does Corona mean for the people behind our food?COVID-19 has become an issue of global concern that hardly goes unnoticed as cities and countries are forced into lockdowns; rules and regulations remain tight to prevent further spread. The new 1,5 metre society suffers as restaurants and other businesses remain closed until further notice, pushing the economy into a new depression. This not only has consequences for you and me. Rather, it also has worrying repercussions for the proper functioning of our food system and, consequently, the people behind our food.In a global economy in which the products we eat in Europe are imported from places like South-America and China, the current pandemic is putting food supply chains under great pressure as they are “highly integrated and operating across borders and any disturbance in this process can disrupt the European supply chain”,staterepresentatives of the European Liaison Committee for Agricultural and Agri-food Trade (CELCAA) and the European farmers and agri-cooperatives union, COPA-COCEGA.The consequences, however, stretch far beyond the European borders. According to Fairtrade Netherlands, farmers and workers suffer greatly from the results of a damaged international trading market. Under the COVID-19 pandemic farmers worldwide struggle with the exportation of goods because of a declining demand and things as banal as the lack of containers for exportation. As Fairfood, we want to know: what exactly does the epidemic mean for the people behind our food?Economic instabilityThe repercussions of the pandemic are irrefutable: exporting countries, like Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador, have reported a sudden drop in the export of farmer products, such as (soy) beans, corn, shrimps and fish. As suggested by the name, exporting countries mainly rely on the exportation of their produce as a primary source of income; if the demand keeps declining, Fairtrade Netherlands is worried for the farmers in these exporting and production countries. The organisation emphasised that if this situation keeps escalating, there will be a new economic instability that will intensify poor working conditions for farmers and workers.Farmers themselves are also worried as they are forced to dispose from their milk, crops and expiration products since the demand has slowed down. In Ecuador, fruit export has plummeted, and prices have dropped to a new low. Farmers are forced to sell their fruit on the local market, expectedly at a lower price. “It’s affecting all of the production […] in Ecuador. You do not want your fruit to grow rotten on the tree, so you sell it for whatever price you can”,saysa 72-year-old farmer that sells fruit in Ecuador.The gravity of the situation is also omnipresent in the United States, where farmers areforcedto throw away thousands of gallons of milk due to low demand. Milk production however, has not reached a standstill: the high perishability of dairy products make it impossible for farmers to halt production. As a result, farmers continue incurring costs without generating the necessary profit to maintain a healthy business.UncertaintyJuan Pablo Lasso Argote, a coffee farmer from Colombia, exports all his coffee produce to Europe, more specifically to the Netherlands. The farmer tells us that he expects the coffee industry to be less susceptible to the consequences of declining demand as there will always be a market for coffee, not only in Europe, but also in Colombia. However, if international demands drop and the farmer cannot ship his coffee to Europe, he will face the same problem as the fruit farmer in Ecuador: “In the case that I cannot ship my coffee to Europe, I will have to sell it on the local market, where the price is twice as low as compared to the current price that I am getting from exporting my coffee to the Netherlands.”The biggest problem that the coffee farmer is facing right now is the uncertainty of the situation. Argote: “Since all the coffee is being exported to Europe, my main concern is that we do not know how much coffee we are going to export.” As the owner of his own farm, Argote is working with fourteen different farmers to deliver high-grade coffee to his buyers in Europe. “As the one responsible for these farmers, I have to figure out how to distribute the amount of coffee that Europe demands between the fourteen farmers, because no one can stay outside of the exportation process.” As the farmers are facing uncertainty with their primary source of income, they remain positive as they hope the demand in Europe does not lessen because of the current measures.Social (political) instabilityA characteristic of the agricultural industry is that it depends on seasonal workers who often travel to foreign countries to make a living. However, the new invisible walls that the COVID-19 measures have built around us make it complicated for seasonal workers to get within foreign walls. In the United States for instance, Mexican farm workers are beingdeclinedtheir H-2A visas – which enable them to work on farms across the United States. In a ‘normal’ year, some 200 thousand foreigners will travel to the US with temporary H-2A visas to work in the agriculture sector.Evy Pe?a, legal advocate for migrant workers in the US says: “We tend to think about the food we’re eating and not the people growing it.” She fears that the misinformation about the coronavirus and temporary cancellation will exacerbate “fraud, illegal recruitment, unpaid reimbursement, and overcrowded living quarters.”If anything, the pandemic is pointing out the flaws in our systems, exacerbating them. A non-food related but very painful example we see in the world of fashion, that is maintaining equally long, border-crossing and clouded supply chains. In Singapore, the fragile and tainted supply chain that has been exploited for years on end is struggling as unemployment rates skyrocket due to a fallen export market; big fashion retailers are cancelling orders which have already been completed – not paying for them. As a result, workers remain unpaid regardless of the work hours they already made. The fact that the fashion industry pertains to a global scale indicates a degree of shared responsibility to all stakeholders along the value chain. We cannot have the ‘smaller’ supply chain partners take the fall for us, when we have a shared responsibility.As economic instability, uncertainty and social (political) instability caused by corona keep growing, there will be an inevitable downwards spiral, as each factor feeds into another. This is not only the time to ‘support our locals’, but to implement whatsocial farmerJan Huijgen has named as the “new social movement” – consumers and farmers need to stand together and strive for a sustainable food system. Now and post-corona.

Restoring the Earth- 1t.org Announced to Accelerate Nature Restoration to Tackle Climate and Biodiversity Crises

Restoring the Earth: 1t.org Announced to Accelerate Nature Restoration to Tackle Climate and Biodiversity Crises
Oliver Cann, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 799 34 05, oliver.cann@weforum.org · World Economic Forum and partners launch 1t.org, a multistakeholder effort to support efforts to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees around the world · Mass-scale nature restoration is an essential part of the solution for tackling climate change while also delivering important biodiversity, livelihood and broader sustainable development benefits · Scheme endorsed by US President Donald Trump · Nature-based solutions will only be effective if undertaken in conjunction with other efforts to transform energy, heavy industry and finance sectors · For more information, please visit www.weforum.org. Share on social media using the hashtag #wef20 Geneva, Switzerland, 21 January 2020 – 1t.org is a World Economic Forum initiative, designed to support the trillion tree community. It is being set up with the initial financial support of Marc and Lynne Benioff. 1t.org is a platform for leading governments, businesses, civil society and ecopreneurs committed to restoring and reforesting the planet. The plan, outlined at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 by the Forum’s Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, represents a major initiative in the global effort to tackle the climate change and biodiversity crises. Nature-based solutions – locking-up carbon in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands – can provide up to one-third of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets. They are one of four critical transitions needed to tackle the climate crisis in the coming decade, alongside transforming the energy, heavy industry and finance sectors. Several recent science publications have highlighted the significant restoration potential in every country to reverse centuries of decline and to restore previously forested lands, including lands recovering from fires. Image: Griscom et al. Natural Climate Solutions, 2017 (PNAS) Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: “The next decade must see unprecedented levels of collaboration if we are to meet global climate, biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals. 1t.org presents an important example of how stakeholders from all walks of life and all ages can work together to achieve a single, globally significant goal.” In a special address, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, announced US backing of the initiative: “I am pleased to announce that the United States will join the 1 Trillion Trees initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum. We will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests.” Significant momentum exists on reforestation – many initiatives and organizations are working to conserve and restore forests at scale such as the Bonn Challenge, the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration, and the work of many environmental NGOs like American Forests, or the Trillion Trees Initiative (led by Birdlife International, WCS and WWF UK). 1t.org offers an opportunity to help join-up these initiatives in a unifying platform and provide support in critical areas, including the mobilization of funds and political support. 1t.org will also enable improved connectivity of initiatives and help to inspire and enable more champions and entrepreneurs. 1t.org is being created to serve all actors working on restoration and reforestation and will provide a global platform for any reforestation commitment, initiative or campaign, from the grassroots level to large, multi-country efforts. It will provide a pathway for anyone who wants to join the reforestation movement. 1t.org work to support the Saudi Arabian G20 Presidency, which has made Safeguarding the Planet a key aim; and the UK Presidency of COP26. It also aims to make a major contribution to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 led by UNEP and FAO. Specifically, 1t.org will focus on the following three key action areas: 1t.org will encourage and enable millions more grassroots reforestation champions by providing a digital platform (UpLink) to connect them with the opportunities, tools and resources they need to thrive. 1t.org will work to overcome the many socio-economic barriers that hold reforestation back by catalysing top-down system change – such as policy change, incentives, market creation and access to funding and technology. 1t.org will work to raise the level of ambition and spending from business, governments and philanthropists, and provide guidance to turn that ambition into action. Reforestation: The science Greenhouse gas emissions reached a record high of 55.3 Gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2018. According to UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report, the Earth’s ability to have a two-thirds chance of keeping climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius means that we have to reduce emissions by 55% between now and 2030. At current emission levels, our “carbon budget” for the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit will be depleted before 2030. Meanwhile, GHG emissions are showing no sign of peaking any time soon. While this prognosis is bleak, nature-based solutions offer the prospect of buying valuable time. Growing, restoring and conserving 1 trillion trees over the coming decade could result in up to 12Gt CO2 being sequestered from the atmosphere each year, with the same trees storing up to 205 Gt of CO2-equivalent once mature. In total, it is estimated that nature-based solutions such as reforestation could provide up to one-third of the needed climate solutions by 2030 to meet the 1.5 degree goal. What the leaders say “The 2019 UNEP Emissions Gap Report shows that we are on the brink of missing the 1.5°C target, thereby resulting in a future of serious climate change impacts,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “Nature is one of our best allies to significantly reduce emissions and build resilient societies, but time is running out. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) is an important initiative which brings together countries, businesses and individuals from across the world, to restore ecosystems and restore the planet. The 1t.org platform convened by the World Economic Forum provides a global public-private action platform to help translate these commitments and accelerate reforestation, restoration and conservation of forests.” Ivan Duque, President of Colombia, said that “Our responsibility to conserve and protect biodiversity and to fight against climate change is motivated by the urgency we share to prevent the degradation of forests and other ecosystems. I committed to planting 180 million native trees by 2022 to restore 300,000 hectares of Colombian ecosystem. Today, we have planted 24.5 million trees and restored 40,227 hectares. I trust that the 1t.org platform will help scale these efforts and accelerate restoration action globally.” The need for accelerated action was also highlighted by Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-Chief Executive Officer of Salesforce, who said: “We are facing a planetary climate crisis and trees are one of the most effective ways to sequester carbon and stop the worst effects of climate change.” Benioff also announced that, “in support of the 1t.org mission, Salesforce has set a goal to support and mobilize the conservation and restoration of 100 million trees over the next decade.” For Dame Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace: “1t.org offers innovative technologies which will serve to connect tens of thousands of small and large groups around the world that are engaged in tree planting and forest restoration. Creating this ‘greening global community’ will allow for sharing critically needed funding and best practices – just what is needed to achieve the trillion trees goal in 10 years. Towards the 1t.org goal, I am proud to announce that our Roots & Shoots programme, which empowers young people in 60 countries, has committed to planting over 5 million new trees over the coming year. Now is the time for everyone on the planet to do their part.” “Forests are not only exceptional ecosystems; but, for indigenous peoples, they are also our pharmacies, our supermarket, our school,” said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President of the Association of Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad. “As indigenous peoples, we will not watch our forest burn without acting. We are ready to protect and repair the forests. The 1t.org platform offers exciting opportunities to combine science, finance and indigenous peoples knowledges for climate action.” To learn more about 1t.org, contact 1T@weforum.org or justin.adams@weforum.org.

At Quad, Japan’s PM Suga Welcomed Australia Submarine Partnership

At Quad, Japan’s PM Suga Welcomed Australia Submarine Partnership
Washington: At a meeting of the Quad group of countries on Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga welcomed the establishment last week of a trilateral partnership to provide Australia with nuclear submarines, a Japanese government official said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAsked whether the new AUKUS partnership between Australia, Britain and the United States was discussed at the meeting of the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States in Washington, Japan’s foreign press secretary, Tomoyuki Yoshida, told reporters: “Prime Minister Suga welcomed the initiative of the establishment of the security partnership forged by the three countries … which is taking an important role for the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.”(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

2018- the year of poverty free coffee – Fairfood

2018: the year of poverty free coffee – Fairfood
2018: the year of poverty free coffeeDo you want espresso or filter? I answer that question nowadays with the nonchalant naturalness of a coffee connoisseur: ‘Make me a V60 with beans from Costa Rica’. Since I drink a lot of coffee for my work, I have started to realize that there is much more to life than instant coffee. I wish for poverty free coffee. An exclusive coffee that is still on my wish list is the Port of Mokha coffee. I read about it in The Monk of Mokha, the book that I drag to all those coffee houses. It’s served in the United States for $16 a cup (including a cardamom biscuit from the owner’s family recipe). In addition to the life story of coffee entrepreneur Mokhtar Alkhansali, who literally built his coffee empire from scratch, writer Dave Eggers offers mini lectures on the global coffee industry. On page 106, I highlighted a passage in which the author says: ‘A random cup of coffee could have involved twenty people, from the plantation, and yet carries a head cost of only two or three dollars. Even four dollars seems too little when you realize how much human attention and expertise was invested into the beans that yielded that four-dollar cup of coffee. Yes, so much human attention and expertise that the reality is that somewhere in that long chain people were underpaid and exploited.’An earlier call from Boot to give the coffee farmers a better future ended up being empty words and no action.By rewarding ‘his’ farmers in Yemen for quality, Mokhtar hopes to break that poverty spiral. He himself was raised in San Francisco, sadly missing the opportunity to study and then working as a car salesman and porter. At the age of 24 he decided to revive the rich coffee tradition of Yemen. His plan coinciding with a complicated civil war back in Yemen did not stop him from reaching for his goals, and neither did his extensive coffee knowledge. During his first visit to a coffee plantation, Mokhtar saw an opportunity. Sometimes things just work out for the best, don’t they? Mokhtar went on to pass the Q-grader exam. The Q-grader is to coffee what a sommelier is to wine; someone with exactly the right discerning taste and nose to give coffee beans a quality score. This is precision work.Mokhtar went to visit Boot Coffee, a distillery annex training institute near San Francisco. The owner is Willem Boot. Yes, a Dutchman, son of a Baarn coffee roaster. Boot owns a coffee plantation in Panama and gives advice about coffee all over the world. In the book he has a modest but meaningful role. As I discovered when I found Willem Boot as a columnist in KoffieTcacao Magazine, the coffee world is a small one. Ploeterboer is his column in the March issue. There he writes how the farmer is left in poverty, and no one seems to care. An earlier call from Boot to give the coffee farmers a better future, ended up being empty words and no action. I don’t know exactly what year that was, but let’s make 2018 the year of poverty-free coffee. In the past three months, I have already spoken to many coffee entrepreneurs who are working on making this dream a reality. I would be willing to bet that this time it will work.Follow our campaign manager, Lonneke’s, blogs every two weeks on our website.

World Economic Forum, MasterCard and GSMA Commit to Lead Initiatives on Scaling-up Humanitarian Payments in Emergency Situations

World Economic Forum, MasterCard and GSMA Commit to Lead Initiatives on Scaling-up Humanitarian Payments in Emergency Situations
Fon Mathuros, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, Email: fma@weforum, Mobile: +41 79 201 0211 Istanbul, Turkey, 23 May 2016 – The World Economic Forum, MasterCard and the GSMA join together at the World Humanitarian Summit, held this week in Istanbul on 23-24 May, to commit to lead initiatives that will improve the way people receive humanitarian assistance in the form of diverse payments following a crisis. Following the UN Secretary-General’s call for cash-based assistance to become the preferred method to support people in emergencies wherever possible, these commitments represent a major step to enable the scaling-up of a variety of payments in humanitarian situations. In the lead-up to the World Humanitarian Summit, business consultations with the private sector and humanitarian agencies have resulted in a series of recommendations on how the private sector and humanitarian community could work together as partners. As a result, the partners are committing to the following initiatives in Istanbul: · A global, multi-year initiative on data management and protection under the leadership of MasterCard: “The benefits of using digital payments for humanitarian aid are numerous, and perhaps the most impactful is how they put beneficiaries on the path to financial inclusion. But a critical precursor to financial inclusion is social inclusion – having an identity – a basic need that 1.5 billion people lack,” said Tara Nathan, Executive Vice-President of Public-Private Partnerships at MasterCard. “It is vitally important that we establish data and security standards and best practices to ensure everyone has an identity that empowers them to access digital aid, yet protect the very sensitive information entrusted to those who fund and deliver the aid. The data and identity initiative will tap into the experience of the private sector to accomplish this critical mission.” · Development of Principles for Public-Private Cooperation in Humanitarian Payments facilitated by the World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum is committing today to facilitate the Shaping of Principles for Public-Private Cooperation in Humanitarian Payments, as requested by the United Nations and the broader humanitarian community. “There is tremendous scope for the public and private sectors to collaborate more effectively in emergency situations. From successes in Pakistan more than five years ago, this growing collaboration in humanitarian payments is a clear indication of the direction of travel when it comes to delivering humanitarian assistance. The challenge now is to scale-up efficiently to help as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Cheryl Martin, Head of the Centre of Global Industries and Member of the Managing Board at the World Economic Forum. The Forum is proud to announce the additional confirmed support of 18 leading public and private humanitarian-payments organizations in this commitment. They are: The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), Devex, Ericsson, GSMA, the International Rescue Committee, IPA, MasterCard, Mercy Corps, PayPal, Red Rose, SAP, Special Circumstances, Tata Consultancy Services, the United Nations, Visa, Vodafone, Women’s World Banking and Western Union. · Expansion of the footprint and impact of the GSMA’s Humanitarian Connectivity Charter through which mobile operators commit to support humanitarian response and improve preparedness and resilience among networks in disasters: “The humanitarian crises facing our global community today are unprecedented and the unique scale and reach of mobile networks can help meet the challenges faced by humanitarian responders,” said Mats Granryd, Director-General of the GSMA. “We are announcing today that the GSMA is committed to further expanding the footprint of the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, now covering over 50 countries, and we will offer our expertise in mobile money and disaster preparedness and response to help address the opportunities and challenges of mobile money disbursements in disaster-prone countries. The challenge before us is enormous and we must work in close collaboration, leveraging technology and building sustainable partnerships to reduce suffering and preserve the dignity of those affected by crisis.” “The World Humanitarian Summit is calling for bold commitments that will shape future humanitarian action,” said Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “We need to better coordinate with our private-sector partners to make cash transfers one of the preferred methods for humanitarian response. We need to move relationships between the humanitarian agencies and the private sector from transactional to transformational. I congratulate our partners in these initiatives for their leadership and commitment to the new ways of working together by focusing on the core expertise of each partner with the aim to make a real difference for people in need.” Those major breakthroughs demonstrate greater collaboration between humanitarian actors and the private sector towards the common objective of delivering more accountable, effective and people-centred humanitarian assistance. Additional media contacts MasterCard, Marisa Grimes, marisa.grimes@mastercard.com, +1 914 325 8367 GSMA, Claire Cranton, ccranton@gsma.com, +44 788 583 9427 Notes to Editors Follow the World Economic Forum www.weforum.org Read our blogs at http://wef.ch/agenda Follow the Forum on Twitter at http://wef.ch/twitter and http://wef.ch/livetweet View the best Forum Flickr photos at http://wef.ch/pix Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at http://wef.ch/facebook Follow us on Google+ at http://wef.ch/gplus Subscribe to Forum news releases at http://wef.ch/news

India Summit Co-Chairs- Government Is Moving Forward with New Energy

India Summit Co-Chairs: Government Is Moving Forward with New Energy
Fon Mathuros, Senior Director, Head of Media, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 (0)79 201 0211, Email: fmathuro@weforum.orgWhile there may be no “big-bang” reform programme, the government has set out a roadmap for actionThe World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2014 closesFor more information about the summit, visit: http://www.weforum.org/indiaNew Delhi, India, 6 November 2014 – The new Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving forward with policies and reforms aimed at putting the economy back on an 8%-plus growth trajectory, the Co-Chairs of the India Economic Summit concluded in the closing session of the meeting. “The policy-making is moving forward,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Added James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways in the United Arab Emirates: “There is effective leadership from the government and commercial sector. I leave convinced that there is a very clear roadmap moving forward.”“The government came across as having new energy,” Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, told participants. “People sensed that there is a new agenda as well – a business-friendly agenda. This is a government that has business in its blood. It is ready to listen and knows what it has to do. Paralysis is not something you can use to describe it.” While there may be no “big-bang” reform programme, “there have been several incremental steps across the spectrum with the objective of doing business easier,” Banerjee observed.There are many challenges ahead, the Co-Chairs warned. The government’s extensive agenda for action includes infrastructure, land, labour, trade facilitation, infrastructure – particularly the power sector, subsidies and the allocation of natural resources. It must also address social issues such as gender and the social norms that impede women from advancement and security. “Women in India are moving,” documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy of SOC Films in Pakistan, remarked. “But unless mindsets change, women will not be able to be equal partners in society.”Over 700 business, government and civil society leaders, including five heads of state or government, participated in the summit, which was convened under the theme Redefining Public-Private Cooperation for a New Beginning. In the opening plenary, Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley stressed the government’s commitment to wide-ranging reforms. Restructuring measures will be carefully calibrated so that they really address India’s needs, Jaitley said. “We are quite satisfied with the beginning made, but there is a long journey ahead.”Other ministers stressed the government’s determination to unblock bottlenecks that impede India from returning to the higher growth level that the economy had achieved before the global crisis. In a session on the infrastructure deficit, Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, reiterated the government’s pledge to build 30 kilometres of roads and highways a day within two years, up from the current rate of three kilometres a day.In a session on India’s growth outlook, leading business figures expressed confidence in the Modi administration but called for patience to allow reforms to work through. “This government’s policy is continuously to make changes in all areas,” said Ajay S. Shriram, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Chairman and Senior Managing Director of DCM Shriram. “It will take time. We are seeing results and the right direction.”Notes to EditorsFollow the India Economic Summit 2014 at http://wef.ch/ies14View the best photos of the summit at http://wef.ch/ies14pixFollow the Forum in Chinese on Sina Weibo at http://t.sina.com.cn/davos and QQ Weibo at http://t.qq.com/davosWatch all sessions on demand on YouTube at http://wef.ch/youtubeWatch live webcasts of sessions at http://wef.ch/liveBecome a fan of the Forum on Facebook at http://wef.ch/facebookFollow the Forum on Google+ at http://wef.ch/gplusFollow the Forum (#WEF) on Twitter at http://wef.ch/twitter and http://wef.ch/livetweetRead the Forum:blog at http://wef.ch/blogView upcoming Forum events at http://wef.ch/eventsSubscribe to Forum news releases at http://wef.ch/newsShare this:Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)