ECOSOC panel discusses sustainable development in three conflicttorn countries

Noting that 65 per cent of countries emerging from war in Africa slipped back into conflict, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Carol Bellamy said transition must be about acting quickly and effectively to build and consolidate peace by laying the foundation for addressing the causes of the conflict.Ms. Bellamy, who moderated the panel, said the challenges of transitions were complex and meeting them required more than humanitarian relief and development efforts, but a coherent strategy for creating stability and peace.The main elements characterizing such transitional situations were the emergence of an administration, the restoration of civil authority, overall stabilization, increased security and access, as well as increased hope for the end of conflict, said Ameerah Haq, of the Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Recovery in the UN Development Programme (UNDP).Repatriation, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconstruction (4Rs) are the cornerstone to the sustainable peaceful co-existence and return of those displace by conflict, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ruud Lubbers stated.Echoing the need for approaches that promote long lasting peace, Ross Mountain of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said in situations of transition, UN Country Teams must focus their priorities around goals such as normalizing the situation to enable full participation of the local population in the development process and identifying factors that could result in a conflict relapse.Focusing on the situation in Angola, Eric de Mul, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, said the move from a situation of emergency to one of development made life much more difficult in many ways. Many more partners got involved and structural problems – which could not be tackled within the context of prior humanitarian programmes – emerged making it evident that coordination only worked when it represented added value to its participants.Jacques Forster, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said transition periods should be understood as intermediate periods, where conflict had ended or was in remission. ICRC policy regarding assistance programmes was guided by the importance of adopting a participatory approach, strengthening local capacities, improving systems and addressing the psychological suffering of victims, among other factors, he added.Panellists also noted the need to focus more attention on natural disasters.Concluding the panel presentation, ECOSOC Vice-President Valery Kuchinsky reaffirmed that the UN was indispensable in implementing a transition from relief to development. read more

US business stockpiles grew healthy 08 per cent in July pushed up

WASHINGTON – U.S. companies restocked their shelves in July at the fastest pace since January, while their sales increased. The combination could boost economic growth.The Commerce Department said Friday that business inventories grew 0.8 per cent in July, up from June’s 0.1 per cent gain. Sales jumped 0.9 per cent, the most this year, after a steep fall in June.The biggest growth in stockpiles was among retailers and auto dealers. Stockpiles at manufacturers and wholesalers rose more slowly.Companies typically boost their stockpiles when they anticipate sales will rise in coming months. Faster restocking helps drive economic growth. When businesses order more goods, it typically leads to more factory production.Total business stockpiles rose to $1.59 trillion. That’s nearly 21 per cent higher than the low reached in September 2009, when businesses were slashing inventories in response to the recession.A separate report Friday showed that sales of cars and pickup trucks rose sharply in August, while broader retail sales were weak. If sales remain slow, that could force many companies to cut back their stockpiles, slowing the economy.The economy grew at a 1.7 per cent annual pace in the April-June quarter. That’s down from 2 per cent in the January-March quarter and 4.1 per cent in the final three months of last year. Many economists forecast that growth will be about 2 per cent for the rest of this year.That’s not fast enough to spur more hiring. Employers added only 96,000 jobs in August, below the 141,000 added in July and far below the average gains of 226,000 a month in the first quarter.The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 per cent in August from 8.3 per cent in July, but only because the number of people in the work force shrank.On Thursday, the Federal Reserve said it would purchase $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities a month until the economy and job market steadily improve. Fed officials also said they would keep short-term interest rates low even after the economic recovery accelerates.Wholesale stockpiles account for about 27 per cent of total business inventories. Stockpiles held by retailers make up about one-third of the total and manufacturing inventories represent about 40 per cent. by News Staff Posted Sep 14, 2012 10:26 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US business stockpiles grew healthy 0.8 per cent in July, pushed up by auto dealers, retailers read more