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Global System in ‘Unprecedented Crisis’: French President Macron

Opening the international peace forum in northeastern Paris, he strongly defended multilateralism

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Macron, Global, Political
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria, left, and U.N officers hold a placard as part of a move to promote gender equality at the Paris Peace Forum, Nov. 12, 2019. VOA

French President Emmanuel Macron has described the international system as facing an unprecedented crisis, as he opened a two-day peace forum today/Tuesday in Paris. The event aims to highlight threats to world peace ranging from climate change to terrorism.

Macron’s warning came after his controversial assessment last week that the NATO alliance was, as he put it, ‘brain dead.’

Opening the international peace forum in northeastern Paris, he strongly defended multilateralism.

A day after world leaders commemorated the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, marking the agreement to end World War I, Macron said the international system faces an unprecedented crisis. He pointed to the destructive forces of nationalism and non-cooperation.

Macron, Global, Political
Macron’s warning came after his controversial assessment last week that the NATO alliance was, as he put it, ‘brain dead.’ Pixabay

Analysts suggest these remarks were directed at the Trump administration, which did not send a representative to the forum.

Like Macron, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also stressed the importance of multilateralism.

Guterres cited key threats to peace, including technological and economic gaps dividing people, and the climate change crisis.

This second edition of the peace forum is drawing top politicians, activists and entrepreneurs.

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Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi is among several African leaders attending. He said while Africa may be the continent most hit by war and terrorism, it can also offer solutions for peace. Tshisekedi cited the Congo Basin’s potential to help fight climate change as one example. Right now, however, it is threatened by deforestation.

The two-day forum is also showcasing a raft of peace-building initiatives, focusing on the environment, gender empowerment and social justice. (VOA)

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London, Paris, Bangkok- Top 3 Travel Destinations in the Past Decade

Bangkok, London, Paris top 3 travel destinations of decade says a new report

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Paris is one among the most travelled cities in the world. Pixabay

While there has been significant movement in visitors to smaller cities, the top 10 have remained largely consistent over the past decade, with London, Paris and Bangkok grabbing the top three spots, according to a new report.

The top three overseas destinations for Indian travellers are Dubai, Singapore and Mecca, revealed the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2019 which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data.

Since 2009, the number of international overnight visitors grew an astounding 76 per cent, according to the report.

In 2019, Bangkok became the No. 1 destination for the fourth consecutive year, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.

Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million.

When looking at the cities by dollars spent, Dubai tops the list with travellers spending $553 on an average per day. Mecca, new to the top 10 last year, remains at No. 2 for the second consecutive year, with Bangkok rounding out the top three.

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Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million. Pixabay

Between all of the destinations within the Index, arrivals have grown on average 6.5 per cent year-over-year since 2009, with expenditure growing on average 7.4 per cent, said the report.

Cities in the Asia-Pacific region have seen the largest increase in international travellers since 2009, growing 9.4 per cent.

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In comparison, Europe, which saw the second highest growth, was up 5.5 per cent.

This is spurred by the growth in Chinese travellers. Since 2009, China has jumped up six places to be the No. 2 origin country for travellers to the 200 included destinations – behind only the US, said the report. (IANS)