On Friday, 7 April, the Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN, Ambassador Ion Jinga was elected as Chair of the 51st session of the Commission on Population and Development. The elections took place at the closure of the 50th session of the Commission, New York, 3-7 April.
In his intervention, Ambassador Ion Jinga stressed that over the last 50 years of continuous work, the Commission on Population and Development carried on the implementation of bolded and vast policies and programs focused on people, women and men, girls and boys, and particularly on the most marginalized and vulnerable categories of individuals.
He underlined the forward looking character of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and commended the activity of the Commission on Population and Development to support the advancement of the ICPD agenda across many of its most vital areas – in poverty reduction, girls’ education, maternal and child mortality, access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, protection of reproductive rights, and many other areas of the Programme of Action.
The Romanian Permanent Representative highlighted the top priority of the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in conjunction with the ICPD Programme of Action for the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, in order to promote, respect and fulfil gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, human rights, to promote equal opportunities for all, to combat all forms of discrimination, to foster social integration for marginalized groups on an equal basis with others and to enforce legislation, policies and action based on human rights for all in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure that we are leaving no one behind.
He praised the activity of the United Nations Fund on Population (UNFPA) in the world and stressed the importance of paying attention to the areas of shortfall in the implementation of the Programme of Action, the necessity to increase of resources at all levels, particularly in the education and health sectors, to provide inclusive and equitable and quality education at all levels, so that all people may have access to lifelong learning opportunities. He addressed the problem of women being the great victims of poverty, of conflict, of violations of human rights in different parts of the world, and emphasized the importance to give priority to the protection of women in these circumstances and to the empowerment of women.
Referring to the special theme of the next year session “Sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration”, he recalled the importance of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, adopted on 21 October 2016, in Quito, that aims to make cities better planned and managed in order to promote a sustainable urbanization, as cities and towns, which will constitute up to 70 per cent of the world population by 2050, will be the engine for sustainable growth in the future. Those urbanized cities are the right of everyone, women, children, youth, elder, migrants.
The Commission on Population and Development is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN. The Bureau members of the Commission are elected for a 1 year cycle.
Romania has the second consecutive mandate as a member of the Commission on Population and Development for 2018-2021.
MEP Vasile Blaga: EU must create solid programs in order to rebuild the labor market
MEP Vasile Blaga, a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, stresses that the European Union must create solid programs for consolidating and rebuilding the labor market after the COVID-19 period.
“Economic data for the second quarter of 2020 show a worrying decline in the labor market across the European Union. In Romania, the number of closed employment contracts has increased alarmingly – we are approaching one million closed employment contracts, and the number of closed contracts on 15 July is double compared to 1st June 2020. The most affected sectors are manufacturing and it is possible that in the next period we will see a massive increase in contracts in the hospital industry, still affected by the restrictions generated by the pandemic “, said the MEP for Calea Europeană media platform.
According to the Liberal MEP, protecting jobs must be the number one priority for the European Union.
“It is clear that the European Union must be massively concerned with protecting existing jobs and financially stimulating the creation of new ones ”, he added.
Private sector employment must also be a priority for the European Commission: “Direct funding through various forms of private sector employment must be a priority for the Commission in the next period, complemented by the stimulation of sectors severely affected by pandemic – the hospitality industry and the arts and entertainment sector are a priority in this regard “, said the EPP MEP Vasile Blaga.
MEP Vasile Blaga: The European Parliament was divided between East and West in the vote for the Mobility Package
MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) points out that the European Parliament was divided between East and West in the vote for the Mobility Package during the week’s plenary session and criticizes protectionism in a market declared “free”.
“The East lost the vote even if, this time, the ideological separations were erased and it voted in corpore for the defense of the rights of the eastern carriers. All amendments tabled to address some of the discriminatory provisions contained in the legislative proposal have been rejected. Anyone with common sense understands that thousands of trucks that drive even empty every eight weeks to the country where they are registered are a major source of pollution, a substantial addition to traffic, and an aberrant waste of resources. Some provisions appear to be dedicated to Eastern carriers, which do nothing but operate fairly and honestly in a freely competitive market. In essence, protectionism is practiced in a market declared free “, the MEP said in a press release.
The Liberal MEP hopes that the analysis of the European Executive will turn the whole process upside down: “There is still hope that the European Executive will show the truth in the impact analysis it has to carry out by the end of the year “, added Vasile Blaga.
EC Communication chief warns: Disinformation is a real threat to public health during COVID-19 crisis
Disinformation has presented itself as a real threat to public health during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, the head of the DG Communication of the European Commission, said on Wednesday.
During the conference “Communicating Europe: corona, recovery and beyond” the director of CaleaEuropeană.ro platform, Dan Cărbunaru, asked the Director-General of DG Communication of the European Executive, regarding the European Union instruments used in the hybrid warfare, but also how the European Commission intends to act through its expertise against misinformation and to protect the citizens against fears.
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, as Director-General DG Communication, explained to CaleaEuropeană.ro the steps that the European executive has taken, in order to take effective measures against disinformation and mitigate the real threat to public health.
Dan Cărbunaru: ”As you finished your presentation, initially, talking about misinformation, I would like to ask you something about it, because each crisis that hit Europe was treated as an opportunity usually to develop new tools for providing an increased European approach in solving European citizens problems. And in the last years, we saw the pressure, we felt the pressure heavily put by the propaganda and the tools of hybrid war. And my question for you is, as we know that we have some tools; EU is stuck on the task force, for instance, do you intend does the Commission intend to protect the public’s fears, using this expertise, this kind of expertise already, let’s say tested in combat, and which is on the European Union, the major risk identified so far in terms of hybrid war in Europe.”
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen: Thank you very much for this very important question.
”Of course indeed as you also stressed there are several actors in this at the institutional level in the European Union. You are right, that it’s absolutely something that has grown very rapidly since the beginning of the crisis, and it has continued to spread, as we saw the crisis the coronavirus crisis, playout and indeed, it has been playing very much on people’s fears, in relation to this particular crisis and, and the increased use of social media. And it has, in the context of the coronavirus crisis, it has really even presented a real threat to public health, as well as, indeed, and that’s not new. Those who have propagated this information have taken advantage of the situation to sometimes push political agendas. As far as the action that we have been taken. We have definitely reverted also in this crisis many myths, a lot of misinformation because there’s misinformation and then there’s disinformation this deliberate malign attempt to manipulate opinion and information, but I mentioned, everything that has been circulating about the health aspects of the disease, of course, or the, the disease itself or the treatments or the vaccines I referred to it already, as well as also. And there are, indeed, some foreign actors have come in as well. When it comes to the perceived lack of EU response or perceived lack of solidarity.
Our president was very conscious of this from an early moment and asked us to have as part of this website that she asked us to create, to communicate what Europe is doing to fight the coronavirus crisis. She also asked us to have a disinformation section there.
So that we actually in all languages, and in a format that makes it very easy also to share these stories setting the record straight if you like on social media.
This is one part of the, of the strategy, it is of course to provide the stories, and the facts in a very accessible way also when it comes to the crisis but in a broader frame when it comes to dealing with this information it’s also about informing and educating the public about this disinformation itself, how it works as a phenomenon, and indeed the danger that it poses in this case both to public health, and to democracy, and this is something that this commission is also very concerned about, you will have heard our vice president Jurova also in addition to the president herself and other members of the college have been very strongly voicing their concern in this area. So, communicating actually very actively and regularly, about how you actually identify disinformation, and how a typical online user can protect himself from disinformation is also part of the response. So, without having the time to go into all the details, a very multifaceted approach is needed. Also involving working with platforms as we do and we have done for some time now, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and since this month, also Tick Tock on developing standards to maintain the online information environment clean from harmful misinformation and disinformation.
And then we have our code of practice which is actually the first of its kind of a self-regulatory effort in this area which is definitely called upon to grow even more important and ambitious as we as we go along, and we will see to which extent, it needs to be complemented with with with regulation.
We also need to fund, and that’s what we’re doing, we’re funding researchers and civil society organizations that are dedicated to studying also the phenomenon of disinformation and to finding solutions and, and fact-checking is also very independent fact-checking of course it’s not something we do, but we support it, as well as developing new technologies we will also be able to be helped by artificial intelligence in this respect, definitely. And therefore, and then also protecting elections and public information to do this.
You refer to the EEAS and it’s true that the EEAS has played a truly a crucial role in fighting disinformation as a foreign policy threat, you refer to that and that has expanded to now, including more teams that are focusing on different regions outside the EU, where this information might originate, and you will find in relation to the corona crisis, which quite comprehensive information on where we are stepping up the action, and this includes also doing more on social media in the debate and the Member States.
On the 10th of June when we published a document on how we intend to step up the action and learn the lessons, from the coronavirus crisis when it comes to disinformation. But by the end of the day, it’s also about building trust in institutions having a strong communications environment, and this support to independent media that I mentioned, in addition to because it happens, it starts with ourselves and how do we actually explain things that we know to our friends and families and how do we think about sharing social media posts that we see, this is something that all of us have to pay very much attention to. So, checking your sources and thinking before sharing I think is also the part of the reflex that everyone needs to embrace so promoting that is very important as well.”
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