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Small Island States need help with building economic resilience, President of Seychelles says in New York
HNEC reviews with UNDP preparations for any future elections
Speaker Says Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day Will Cement People-to-People Relations
SA celebrates International Translation Day
Head of State reaffirms attention to education and health
The New Times – Rwanda
By: Fred K. Nkusi
The UN General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders in New York this year, which was hosted by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, embarked on promoting action to slow climate change.
The UN Chief Administrative Officer urged world leaders to make concrete commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions, not just present ‘beautiful speeches’.
The message resonates with a dire warning that if no concrete action is taken, the earth’s environment will inevitably face devastating consequences emanating from human activities.
The summit was preceded by a New York City-sanctioned school climate strike and a U.N. Youth Summit featuring 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who drew impressive attention by world leaders.
It is typically attended by 193 UN member states.
Swedish teenaged-campaigner, Greta Thunberg, made a passionate speech in which she accused world leaders of failing to act on climate change.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she said.
It is usually an ideal opportunity for world leaders to challenge themselves for inaction while knowing the imminent dangers of climate change.
However, all delegates admit that the worst cause of climate change is over-dependence on fossil fuel.
A conspicuous absence of US representation in intergovernmental discussions prior to the UN summit continues to indicate President Trump’s skepticism and indifference about global warming.
Criticisms have been leveled at the USA, where President Trump walked away the USA from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. A thing that has potentially created a huge gap to the global commitment in fighting climate change.
It remains uncertain if the U.S will one day, in the near future, reverse its controversial position.
Because everyone would wish to see it re-joining the global community’s cause.
Fighting climate change is, indubitably, a noble cause that concerns every single state, every single organization, every single corporation and every single person.
The UN Summit coincided with the release of ‘the third in a series of UN Special Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
According to a UN panel of scientists, waters are rising, the ice is melting, and species are moving habitat due to human activities.
Climate change is reaching a defining moment of our time. Climate change devastating consequences are all over, inter alia, on the lands, on the seas and in the air.
In fact, the loss of permanently frozen lands threatens to unleash even more carbon, hastening the decline.
There is some guarded hope that the worst impacts can be avoided, with deep and immediate cuts to carbon emissions.
What’s the importance of the ocean and cryosphere for people in general?
According to the UN Report, “all people on Earth depend directly or indirectly on the ocean and cryosphere. The global ocean covers 71 per cent of the Earth's surface and contains about 97 per cent of the Earth’s water. The cryosphere refers to frozen components of the Earth system. Around 10 per cent of Earth’s land area is covered by glaciers or ice sheets. The ocean and cryosphere support unique habitats and are interconnected with other components of the climate system through a global exchange of water, energy, and carbon. The projected responses of the ocean and cryosphere to past and current human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing global warming include climate feedbacks, changes over decades to millennia that cannot be avoided, thresholds of abrupt change, and irreversibility.”
A similar Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of scientists previously focused on how the world would cope if the temperature rose by 1.5C by the end of this century and how the lands of the earth would be affected by climate change. However, this new study, looking at the impact of rising temperatures on our oceans and frozen regions, is perhaps the most worrying and depressing of the three.
A question: do these reports ring a bell, more alarmingly, about the devastating consequences of climate change?
Definitely, all these reports make a strong play of the fact that the future of the earth’s environment is still in our hands.
First, all countries must comply with their international obligations, stemming from ratified international instruments, more particularly the Paris Climate Change Agreement, whose principal formula is well-known at this stage.
That’s rapid cuts in carbon emissions, which remains the most intractable challenge of our time.
The Paris Agreement aims to keep global warming below a 2°C increase by the end of the 21st century and pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C. If we reduce emissions sharply, consequences for people and their livelihoods will still be challenging, but potentially more manageable for those who are most vulnerable.
Second, public pressure on politicians is an equally important approach to increasing ambition. Campaigns of youth, who form the biggest segment of the world’s population, would have an impressive impact in galvanizing action.
They are dynamic and active. They have the potential to be agents of change for the betterment of the future generation.
To achieve this potential will depend on transformative change. This highlights the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious, coordinated and enduring action.
Proper conservation of natural resources is a moral duty incumbent on all of us; it’s for our benefit.
The Nation (Nairobi)
By: Andre Gathii
Today is the International Translation Day, on which the world celebrates the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators.
The UN General Assembly adopted the day on May 24, 2017.
The day is meant to educate the public on the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development.
The raison d'être of translators and interpreters is to facilitate dialogue, understanding and cooperation between nations.
Translation deciphers the meaning of the written word from one language to another, while interpretation conveys the meaning of the spoken word from one language to another.
However, the two professions require very different skills. The main languages that require translation in Africa are French, Arabic and Portuguese.
We don't all speak the same language; hence, translation helps us to overcome language barriers and enables effective communication between people around the world.
It is necessary for the spread of information, knowledge, and ideas and absolutely necessary for effective and empathetic communication between different nations and cultures.
Translation therefore is critical for social harmony and peace as well as the spread of religions: the most translated document in the world is the Bible -- into 531 languages!
Translation also develops the global economy. Companies can venture into lands where people speak foreign tongues and communicate effectively with them as they do business.
Translators are also very important in the local context of indigenous languages.
In Kenya, for example, we have great diversity with over 40 local languages, and translation is vital for enhancing peace, cohesion and understanding among communities that speak different languages.
People who don't speak the same language tend to be wary of one another. Given that they cannot understand what the other is saying, they always assume the worst of each other.
Translation helps to bridge this gap, bringing warring communities to the negotiating table and helping each group to express their innermost feelings in their own language.
More often than not, peace is restored once people realise that beyond our different tongues, we're all human beings who are just looking for a better life.
Document translation is not just converting words from one language to another.
It requires a deep understanding of the subject matter to successfully convey the meaning of the document to be translated while properly rendering industry-specific terminology. It takes time to build this skill set.
A translator should be passionate about their job. They should use all the means at their disposal to deliver every project in excellent shape.
They should master not only the foreign language they work with, but also the skills involved.
One must be curious and motivated to keep on learning new words and forms of expression. The learning process should be never-ending.
It is vital to build a wide lexicon, not only in the foreign language, but also their mother tongue. This will make translation easier and of higher quality.
Translators should acquire technical terms in specific fields -- such as business, law, sciences and engineering.
A good translator should be obsessed with quality. As much as is humanly possible, one should provide an exact transfer of information, in the context and spirit in which it was originally intended.
It is normal for them to not know some expressions or words. Nevertheless, experience plays a huge role in knowing how to navigate such situations.
Translation is delicate and mistakes can end up being very costly. In 1980, 18-year-old Willie Ramirez was admitted to a Florida hospital in a comatose state.
His friends and family, who only spoke Spanish, tried to describe his condition to the paramedics and doctors.
A bilingual staff member translated "intoxicado" as "intoxicated". A professional would have known that the word is closer to "poisoned" and doesn't carry the connotations of drug or alcohol use.
Ramirez was actually suffering from an intra-cerebral haemorrhage but the doctors treated him for intentional drug overdose, which can have some of the symptoms he displayed.
Due to the delay in treatment, he became quadriplegic. He got a malpractice settlement of $71 million (Sh7.1 billion)!
The Herald – Zimbabwe
By: Adeeko Ademola
In one of it’s numerous, incredible and indescribable works across Africa as one of African Union Commission’s most effective organ, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) participated at a recent workshop on development of the Country Acceleration Strategy (CAS) for the implementation of the African Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (APAYE).
The CAS seeks to fast track the implementation of APAYE in AU member states. The workshop which was held at the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. from September 16-19, 2019 was attended by representatives of the AUC Technical Bureau of Specialised Technical Committee — Youth, Culture and Sports, namely Algeria, Eswatini, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia and key stakeholders from the AU organs.
In the context of the African Union, member states who have not acceded to African Youth Charter were encouraged to join, ratify and domesticate the continental instrument. The AYC is the continental legal instrument for youth development.
To give effect to implementation of the AYC, the AU Youth Decade Plan of Action (DPoA) was developed and served as an implementation mechanism for youth programming. Consequently, Agenda 2063 then called for development of APAYE, a five-year continental plan of action to accelerate development and empowerment of the youth.
Importantly, APAYE influences the efforts and contributions of key partners and stakeholders engaged in youth empowerment on the continent. It builds on the achievements and lessons of the AU Youth Decade Plan of Action (DPoA).
The workshop was convened to develop country acceleration strategy to provide for implementation of flagship programmes that can be scaled up and is further aimed at ensuring that countries’ commitment and contribution to the AU’s initiative of reaching 1 million youth by 2021 is achieved.
Mr. Lennon Monyae APRM youth liaison officer, represented the APRM Continental Secretariat at the workshop and took the opportunity to discuss APRM’s role in the implementation of APAYE and strengthening of the working relationship between the APRM and the AUC Youth Division.
“with all the efforts the APRM has employed with regards to youth participation in good governance, it is critical not to reinvent the wheel but rather to join efforts with like-minded actors”, said Mr Monyae.
Following the hosting of the APRM’s inaugural International Youth Symposiumon July 1-2 2019, in N’Djamena, Chad, under the theme “The Youth as APRM driving force for good governance in Africa” and the subsequent adoption of the Declaration of the 1st APRM International Youth Symposium, the APRM has been called to play a central role in promoting member states of the AU to implement the African Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (APAYE).
The AUC Youth Division led by Ms Prudence Ngwenya (Human Resource and Youth Development at African Union Commission, requested the APRM to continue supporting the 1 Million by 2021 initiative launched by the AUC in April 2019.
Importantly, the AUC Youth Division requested the APRM to co-host a workshop and youth event with governance stakeholders at the AUC Headquarters next month. The meeting is envisioned to bring together the AU Youth Envoy and her advisory council, representatives of the interim APRM Youth Network, youth representatives of AU organs and key youth formations on the continent to discuss youth development programming in Africa and AU youth mainstreaming policies, youth-led accountability and peer learning, and finalisation of AUC Youth Division and APRM partnership.