UN poised to tackle some of todays most pressing challenges – Ban

7 October 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his confidence that the United Nations can deliver concrete results for the peoples of the world who have increasingly turned to the Organization to address some of today’s most pressing challenges. “The international community turned to us for assistance, which ranged from helping victims of conflict and disaster and addressing the needs of the poor and hungry to restoring peace between warring parties and mobilizing the global community to address a new generation of global challenges like climate change and terrorism,” Mr. Ban wrote in his second annual report on the work of the Organization. “The rising demand for our services is daunting, and yet I am convinced that with dedication, focus and commitment we can live up to the hopes of all peoples who look to us to build a more peaceful, prosperous and just world,” he added in the 71-page document, which was the subject of debate by Member States in the General Assembly yesterday. Mr. Ban acknowledged that during the last year, the world experienced “a huge increase in the intensity of engagement across the entire spectrum of development, security, humanitarian affairs, and human rights issues.” To fully respond to this surge in demand on the world body’s services, he called for focus in three key areas – delivering results for people most in need, securing global goods, and creating a stronger UN through full accountability. He also emphasized that strategies to address new challenges will need to be developed globally, but the locus of action and responsibility will be primarily the national level. “I appeal to governments to take action, as the consequences of inaction will spare none.” On development, the Secretary-General noted that halving extreme poverty, one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, is not enough. The international community must also tackle the food crisis, climate change, natural disasters and violent conflicts – all of which threaten to “turn back the clock” on development advances. Mr. Ban also highlighted the sustained demands placed on the Organization in the area of peace and security, including work in Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Myanmar, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, northern Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Western Sahara. The past year saw the deployment of two of the UN’s most complex peacekeeping operations – in Darfur, and to Chad and CAR. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) now leads 19 missions with more than 130,000 women and men, including troop and police contributions from 117 Member States and a budget of about $7 billion. In addition, the Secretary-General acknowledged “significant strides” in delivering accountable, predictable and timely assistance to communities impacted by the global food crisis, extreme weather events and armed conflict. He also pointed to the need for continued reform of the world body to enable the UN to tackle the changing and growing requests placed on it. “To deliver on the increasing demands for our services, we need a stronger, more effective and modern Organization.” As part of this effort, Mr. Ban has called for the establishment of a new accountability compact with senior managers. “I am committed to ensuring that there is accountability within the Secretariat, flowing both ways between me, to senior managers, and staff. “I am also taking steps to strengthen the Secretariat’s accountability to Member States for ensuring that the Organization is well managed, upholding individual and collective integrity, and delivering results,” he wrote. read more

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Auto sales hit onemillion mark by midway point of year for first

by David Hodges, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 4, 2017 2:14 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 5, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Despite slumping passenger car sales, for the first time more than one million new vehicles have been sold in Canada by the midway mark of the year.DesRosiers Automotive Reports says overall car and light truck sales increased five per cent, with 1,039,068 vehicles moving off lots from January through June compared to the same time period last year.The market research firm says auto sales in June also set a new record, with 203,486 vehicles sold, 6.5 per cent more than during the same month a year ago.Like in the past, sales of light trucks led the way in June, rising by 10 per cent year-over-year, and easily offsetting a 0.1 per cent decline in passenger car sales. Year-to-date, passenger car sales were down two per cent while light truck sales were up 8.8 per cent.While this is the strongest start on record for Canada, DesRosiers says a different picture has been forming in the U.S. where new vehicle sales have been down for four consecutive months as of June.“Surpassing 2016 as an all-time record setting year may not be a foregone conclusion should Canada start to follow that trend in the latter half of the year,” the firm said in a release.Increasingly strong signals from the Bank of Canada that rock-bottom interest rates are nearing an end may also play a role in slowing down the furious pace of car sales, says Equifax Canada.“Higher rates may actually lead to a short term blip as dealers and buyers look to take advantage of rates now,” said Bill Johnston, the credit bureau’s vice-president of data and analytics.“(But) over coming months, the cumulative rate hikes will begin to slowdown auto sales as manufacturers will find it more difficult to offer the long-term promo rates.”Michael Hatch, chief economist at the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, says he doesn’t see a rate bump having a huge impact on prospective buyers.“For one thing, any rate increase in the short term is likely to be very small, in the 25-basis point ballpark,” he said, adding that the delinquency rate on auto loans continues to sit at historically low levels.A TransUnion Canada report for the first quarter of 2017 showed that while average auto lending balances rose 2.75 per cent year-over-year, at the same time, serious delinquency rates remained essentially flat at 1.70 per cent.George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association, said he expects car makers to continue to keep interest rates low on new vehicles because it makes long-term car loans of seven to eight years more palatable to the public.“It’s a bad loop if they get into it, if they raise rates, because it will then make the long loan unattractive,” he said. “And then people won’t take the vehicle at all.”Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. Auto sales hit one-million mark by midway point of year for first time read more

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