Thursday, October 23, 2014

STOP PRESS: The Gambia’s human rights record to be reviewed by Universal Periodic Review

GENEVA (23 October 2014) – The Gambia’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the second time on  Tuesday 28 October 2014 in a meeting that will be webcast live. 
The Gambia is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 27 October to 7 November.   The Gambia’s first UPR  took place on 10 February 2010.

The documents on which the reviews are based are: 1) national report - information provided by the State under review  2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information from other stakeholders including national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Among the issues raised in the national report and through advanced questions received are:  equitable access to education; poverty alleviation; gender-based violence; maternal health and infant mortality; women and children’s rights; female genital mutilation; the rights of persons with disabilities; judicial reforms and access to justice; human trafficking; freedom of speech, expression and assembly; combatting torture and arbitrary or summary executions; and LGBTI rights.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Advocacy letter: UN Secretary General must recognise the 'Right to Know' in his Post-2015 report



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His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General of the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
CC: Amina J. Mohammed, Assistant Secretary General

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

We write to you as a coalition of civil society organisations committed to sustainable development, to urge you to highlight the importance of the right to information, free media, and the protection of civil society organisations’ ability to organise and engage in your upcoming stocktaking report on the Sustainable Development Goals to the General Assembly.

STATEMENT BY H.E. SHEIKH PROFESSOR ALHAJI DR. YAHYA A J J JAMMEH BABILA MANSA - PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 69th SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

His Excellency Sheikh Prof. Alh. Dr. Yahya Jammeh Nasirul Deen Babili Mansa
THEME: “DELIVERING ON AND IMPLEMENTING A TRANSFORMATIVE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA”
 
Your Excellency, Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Your Majesties,
Your Excellencies and Your Highnesses,
Distinguished Heads of State and Governments,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks be to the Almighty Allah for giving me another opportunity to address this global body at a time that human civilization is teetering on the brink of a major catastrophe. But before going further let me convey our warm felicitations to you Mr. President on your election to the Presidency of the 69th Session of the United Nations Assembly. While wishing you success, I would like to assure you of the support and cooperation of The Gambia during your tenure as President of the Assembly. I would also like to commend your predecessor His Expediency Mr. John William Ashe for his able stewardship as President of the General Assembly.

Mr. President, it is well known fact that injustice, iniquities, exclusion and greed ail contribute to the creation of international tensions that could lead to catastrophic consequences, conflicts, wars, death and destruction. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Climate change threatens food security, affects crop productivity

Gambian Women in the rice field

Author: Abdou Rahman SallahExecutive DirectorBAJ Gambia


The 2011 crop failure in The Gambia was mainly attributed to Climate Change and this has greatly affect the lives of local people particularly the women farmers whose survival, school fees, health bill, feeding depends on it.

In Central River Region a provincial region in The Gambia, there are six hundred and sixty-nine villages and these communities are farming communities who were hard hit by the effects of climate change, thus warranting the government of The Gambia to declare crop failure and called on international communities for support according to a statement from the presidency.

Climate Change is one of the major challenges hampering agricultural development in Africa, especially in the West and Gambia in particular. This change in long-term weather conditions is threatening food security and according to reports local people are hungry and more people will go hungry according to media reports.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Empowering indigenous peoples is a must for sustainable rural development, says IFAD President

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze

IFAD at UN World Conference roundtable on advancing indigenous peoples' rights


 Rome/New York, 23 September 2014 -- The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) called for greater support to indigenous peoples whose economic and social empowerment is a prerequisite for the kind of sustainable development that can transform struggling rural areas in developing countries.

“Today, many of the world's indigenous peoples and communities still struggle to preserve their identity, culture, land and resources – despite the real progress they have made," IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said in an address during a roundtable discussion at the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, a high-level plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. “Too often, indigenous peoples are still neglected by development efforts or vulnerable to discrimination.”

While indigenous peoples account for just 5 per cent of the world’s population – more than 370 million people – they account for 15 per cent of those living in poverty.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kawsu Sillah appointment as a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School



Ambassador Kawsu Sillah
Kawsu Sillah a Gambian born youth activist has been appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School, Mansa Banko blog can report.

A World at School is global movement of young leaders working to get 57 million children into school and learning by the end of 2015 – as the world promised in Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG 2)

“I was moved to join this call to action because my right to education has being denied and also Shazia and Kainat along with Malala Yousafzai, were shot by the Taliban for going to school in Pakistan just over a year ago. Their story, and that of so many other youth advocates I have joined forces with, inspires me to stand up for the millions of children that are kept out of school because of poverty, early marriage, child labour and different forms of discrimination,” says Sillah

Friday, September 19, 2014

New financing agreement to boost food security in Burundi

IFAD invests in rural development to create jobs for women and young people

Rome, 19 September 2014 – The government of the Republic of Burundi and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today signed a US$1 million grant agreement for the Burundi National Programme for Food Security and Rural Development programme that will strengthen food security and rural development in the regions of Imbo and Moso.

With a total cost of $57.9 million, the programme is funded through a $30-million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme managed by IFAD, a $20-million loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development, and a contribution from the government of Burundi. The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Odette Kayitesi, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of the Republic of Burundi, and by Michel Mordasini, Vice President of IFAD.