“We come together today at a time of intense crisis – unrelenting waves buffeting the world’s people and institutions,” Mr. Ban told students and faculty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Secretary-General noted that some people thought he had been overly dramatic a few months ago when he spoke of a ‘triple crisis’ of soaring food and fuel prices, accelerating climate change, and stalled development for over a billion of the world’s people.“Today, with increased evidence of the effects of all three crises around the globe, compounded by the ongoing shock waves of the financial crisis, my call to arms now seems distant and all too modest,” he stated.“Now more than ever we must be bold. In these times of crisis, when we are tempted to look inward, it is precisely the time when we must move pursuit of the common good to the top of the agenda,” said Mr. Ban, adding that this involves addressing five global challenges.Turning first to the current financial turmoil, the Secretary-General noted that “the same threads of globalization that united us in the good times, are now biting deep in the bad times, especially for those who can least afford it. “While recently we have heard much in this country about how problems on Wall Street are affecting innocent people on Main Street, we need to think more about those people around the world with no streets. Wall Street, Main Street, no street – the solutions devised must be for all,” he stressed.In addition, the world cannot afford to delay action on the issue of climate change, which Mr. Ban called “the ultimate global and existential threat.” He urged countries to conclude a new comprehensive climate deal that can be ratified and in place before the current commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.Global health is another “great challenge of our time,” said the Secretary-General, noting that diseases and pandemics are spreading across borders today faster than ever before, and can have devastating impacts, if not controlled effectively.But it is also a challenge with “an immense scope for solutions,” he added, pointing out that the world has the tools and resources to treat and control many of these diseases, as well as the know-how to build health systems that serve all. Terrorism, combined with the threat of weapons of mass destruction, said Mr. Ban, “is perhaps the most serious threat to international peace and security.” He urged countries to further their cooperation to counter terrorism, including by being more innovative in developing their tools, strengthening partnerships with regional and civil society groups, and better leveraging their collective strengths.Likewise, action was needed to address the “acute challenges” in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, the Secretary-General stressed, noting that while there is widespread support for the view that nuclear weapons must never be used again, the threats still persist.He noted that there are still gaps in the law, some key treaties remain to be negotiated, and new efforts are needed to create additional nuclear-weapon-free zones, especially in the Middle East, and to bring existing zones fully into force. “At a time when the world is focused on other more immediate crises, let us never forget that we must press our efforts to address the potential existential crisis which confronts humanity,” Mr. Ban stated. “It would not be responsible to do otherwise.” The Secretary-General added that while all of these challenges may seem quite different at first glance, they share important traits that set them apart from other issues facing the world today. “They endanger all countries – whether rich or poor, big or small – and all their people; they cross borders freely and are highly contagious; and they cannot be resolved without action by us all.” 21 October 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today issued a call to action to address the challenges of climate change, global health, terrorism, financial instability and disarmament, all of which are key to securing the common good in a time of global crises.
by Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 21, 2017 10:25 am MDT Last Updated Apr 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email New Brunswick seeking continued exemption from duties on lumber exports FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s trade-policy minister says he’s confident Atlantic Canadian lumber exports will remain excluded from U.S. duties once President Donald Trump sees the facts.Roger Melanson, who is also president of the province’s Treasury Board, says he’s been working alongside the federal government to secure exclusions in place since 1982.The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to release a preliminary decision by Tuesday whether to impose duties on Canadian softwood, which American producers say is overly subsidized and unfairly floods their market.Trump has called Canada’s actions a “disgrace” when it comes to dairy, lumber, timber and energy.There have been estimates the duties could range from 20-40 per cent.“We do not know for sure what the determination will be, but certainly a duty in that range would have an impact on the New Brunswick economy, and certainly on New Brunswick communities where the forestry industry is so important,” Melanson said Friday.He said there could be very serious local impacts if specific mills are idled or permanently closed.Duties have the potential to impact 14 companies operating a total of 25 sawmills in New Brunswick. Representatives of those companies declined any comment as they entered a meeting with the provincial government Friday afternoon in Fredericton.More than 86 per cent of the province is forested. The forestry industry contributes $1.45 billion to the New Brunswick economy each year and employs more than 22,000 people.For more than 30 years, Atlantic Canada has been excluded from every softwood lumber agreement and all trade litigation due to unique market conditions.Melanson said he has had meetings in recent weeks with state officials in Massachusetts and Maine to explain why the exemptions should continue.“I think when we show the facts, and the results, to the new administration in Washington, I think they’ll get it,” he said.The minister uses the example of Junction Lumber in Bathurst, N.B., which he says creates 20 jobs in New Brunswick because of the partnership and access to the U.S. market. Can-Am Cedar, which creates playground equipment with wood from Junction Lumber, creates 12 jobs in Maine.The New Brunswick government has set up a task force to address the possible duties. Melanson said it aims to determine and mitigate the impact that next week’s ruling could have on New Brunswick communities.Opposition critic Ross Wetmore says the task force is a case of too little, too late.“A month before the duties are to take place, they decide to appoint a task force,” he said. “We should have been at the table long ago.”
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