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India reiterates its pledge to climate change agreement

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United Nation: Speaking at the General Assembly on Thursday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said “India has always been and is a willing partner in global efforts towards the goal of limiting greenhouse gases”.

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“We will play our due role in reaching a meaningful, equitable and effective agreement in Paris,” she added.

India is expected to release on Friday its much anticipated commitments on combating climate change known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The document was due on Thursday, but India got an extension so it can be released on Gandhi Jayanti, that falls on October 2.

“Our future must rest on building a sustainable planet for our children and our children’s children,” she said.

“As we prepare to meet in two months time in Paris, the world expects us to deliver an ambitious and credible agreement on climate change. We have a duty for common action but in doing so we must keep in mind the larger historical contribution of some and the differentiated responsibility of others.”

Stressing India’s emphasis on equity in climate change negotiations, she said: “If today Mahatma Gandhi was among us, he would ask if we have used the resources of the planet for our needs or for our greed?”

“Also, if adapting our lifestyle choices and reducing extravagant consumption would help us correct the course. For this reason, the agreement in Paris needs to be comprehensive and equitable, while delivering concrete action.”

She said developed nations should provide developing countries finance, technology transfer and capacity building support for dealing with climate change.

“India’s reverence for the environment is based on our traditions that have always held nature as sacred,” she said.

“The health of the planet is tied to our own well-being and it is this holistic approach that guided us in our call for the First International Day of Yoga, celebrated with much fervor in 192 countries of the world — indeed in this very hallowed institution.”

For global development Swaraj invoked girl power: “As a woman and an elected Member of Parliament, it has been my firm conviction that there is a shortcut to real social change – empowering the girl child.”

“Our Government’s policy of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (Educate the Girl Child, Empower

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her) was conceived with this vision,” she said.

She further said in her speech that as a nuclear weapon state, India is aware of its responsibility and its support for global, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament has not diminished.

India remains committed to continue supporting the UN Peacekeeping Operations and enhance contributions, as announced by Modi at the Peace Keeping Operations Summit. India calls for the Security Council to formulate its peacekeeping mandates in consultation with troop-providing countries.

Since Prime Minister Modi’s election, India has undergone a renewal that has enabled it to “play its rightful role in international affairs while also becoming the fastest growing major economy in the world”.

Noting that the world has eradicated small pox and, nearly, polio and curbed HIV/AIDS and Ebola she said “we are proud that India played its due part in these efforts. But we must … redouble our efforts at eradicating other health crises, whether it be tuberculosis or malaria.”

Mentioning India’s speedy response to humanitarian crises in its neighborhood she further said, “whether it was (earthquake in) Nepal or (civil war in) Yemen, India has emerged as a net security provider, assisting not only our nationals but those of other countries that sought our help”.

India has reached out to its extended neighborhood as well. The Act East policy has replaced the Look East one, “with more vigorous and proactive engagement with an economically vibrant region”. Recently, India held a Summit with 14 Pacific Island nations. This complements the Link West engagement, Swaraj mentioned.

Expressing India’s commitment to the Middle East Peace Process she said, “curbing the terrorism is the key to prevent further radicalization of the region”.

Later this month, India will host the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit, the first time that the leaders of all 54 countries of the continent have been invited.

(Arul Louis, IANS)

 

 

 

 

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Mutombo, One of the Greatest Defensive Players in NBA, Records Ebola Messages to Persuade People to Take Precautions

Mutombo, regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in NBA history and a well-known philanthropist

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FILE - Former NBA player Dikembe Mutumbo reacts on the court during the second half of the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament championship game between Wisconsin and Duke, April 6, 2015, in Indianapolis. VOA

Unable to send disease fighters to help battle one of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history, U.S. health officials are turning to basketball hall of famer Dikembe Mutombo for help.

Mutombo, regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in NBA history and a well-known philanthropist in his native Congo, recorded radio and video spots designed to persuade people to take precautions and get care that might stop the disease’s spread.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began posting the spots Monday on its YouTube channel and on the agency’s website . Officials are trying to get radio and TV stations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to air them.

More than 2,200 people have been reported ill — and about 1,500 have died — since an Ebola outbreak was declared in August in eastern Congo. It is the second deadliest outbreak of the lethal virus, which jumps from person to person quickly through close contact with bodily fluids.

Rebel attacks and community resistance have hurt Ebola response work in Congo. A World Health Organization doctor was killed in April, health centers have been attacked and armed groups have repeatedly threatened health workers. Because of safety concerns, the U.S. State Department last year ordered CDC disease specialists to stay out of the outbreak areas.

Mutombo, who moved to the U.S. in the 1980s intending to pursue a medical degree, told The Associated Press he understands where the distrust comes from.

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Unable to send disease fighters to help battle one of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history, U.S. health officials are turning to basketball hall of famer Dikembe Mutombo for help. Pixabay

“Someone who doesn’t look like you, who doesn’t think like you, who is not from your village, who is from other places, just walk to your village with a nice beautiful white truck and telling you … ‘inject this chemical into your body to protect you from this deadly virus.’ That’s where there’s a fight. This is where we’re having a conflict,” he said.

“How do you that build trust? That’s the big problem we’re having in the Congo,” he said. “I believe as a son of Congo, I think my voice can be heard. Because everyone in the country knows my commitment to the humanity and the health.”

The idea for the PSA was sparked in February when Mutombo, a member of the CDC Foundation’s governing board who lives in Atlanta, was talking with Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC’s director.

“We are deeply appreciative of his interest to try to get accurate information to the community,” Redfield said.

Also Read- Hundreds of Children Sustained in U.S. Border Detention Facility after Entering the Country without Authorization

Mutombo, who turns 53 on Tuesday, previously did public service announcements focused on polio and yellow fever. A dozen years ago, his foundation established a 300-bed hospital on the outskirts of his hometown of Kinshasa.

The new spots were recorded in Kiswahili, French and Lingala. They talk about recognizing the early signs of Ebola, early treatment and prevention measures. (VOA)