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Australia, New Zealand agree to work on shared travel zone

first_imgAustralia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a shared travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison said.The two leaders agreed to commence work on a trans-Tasman COVID-safe zone that will ease travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand, they said in a joint statement Tuesday. Earlier Ardern attended Australia’s National Cabinet meeting via video link to discuss the zone and other aspects of the fight against COVID-19.New Zealand and Australia have both had success in containing COVID-19 and avoided the exponential growth in cases seen in many other countries. As they look to relax lockdown restrictions, the focus has shifted to reigniting their economies and both would benefit if they could open the borders to each other’s tourists and business travelers. Topics : “Building on our success so far in responding to COVID-19, continuing to protect Australians and New Zealanders remains an absolute priority,” the prime ministers said. “We will remain responsive to the health situation as it develops.”The travel zone would be put in place once it is safe to do so and necessary health, transport and other protocols had been developed and met, to ensure the protection of public health, they said. Officials will work with business leaders from both nations as the plan develops.“A trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone would be mutually beneficial, assisting our trade and economic recovery, helping kick-start the tourism and transport sectors, enhancing sporting contacts, and reuniting families and friends,” the two leaders said. “We need to be cautious as we progress this initiative. Neither country wants to see the virus rebound so it’s essential any such travel zone is safe.”last_img read more

Queen supports Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group report

first_img Share Sharing is caring! Tweet Share Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, at the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. Photo: Annaliese McDonough/ Commonwealth SecretariatPERTH, Australia — Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, in opening the three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, on Friday, made an unusually pointed reference to the report by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which has recommended the creation of a Commonwealth commissioner for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.”I wish heads of government well in agreeing further reforms that respond boldly to the aspirations of today and that keep the Commonwealth fresh and fit for tomorrow,” the Queen said. ”We should not forget that this is an association not only of governments but also of peoples.”The EPG was established by Commonwealth leaders in 2009 to look at how the Commonwealth might be updated and made more relevant and has recently completed a report on the status and future of the organisation.Women’s and youth empowerment; women’s political participation; intra-Commonwealth trade; HIV/AIDS; a Youth Corps and the need for greater co-ordination among the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Foundation and Commonwealth Designated Organisations are key areas of focus in the report. Other topics included the role of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the need for the increased engagement of this body in order to preserve Commonwealth values. A need was also identified for the establishment of a Commonwealth Commissioner for the Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights to effectively support and implement the work of the secretary-general and CMAG.Disagreement had arisen earlier this month over whether or not the report should be released to the public prior to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.“Inexplicably, current chair-in-office, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, decided that the reports should be kept secret,” Canadian Senator Hugh Segal said.Sir Ronald Sanders, a former high commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda to Britain, who, along with Segal, is a member of the EPG, said the absence of comprehensive information has led to misinterpretations.A handful of government representatives have chosen to focus on the Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Human Rights, wrongly suggesting that the holder of the post will be a “policeman” playing a “punitive role,” Sanders said.The Queen’s words have been interpreted as an unusually direct message to the nations that oppose the creation of the commissioner.However, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard indicated on Friday that the commissioner was unlikely to be established, in favour of a compromise to strengthen the powers of the CMAG, which consists of the foreign ministers of nine member states and was established in 1995 to deal with persistent or serious human rights violations by Commonwealth states.The EPG had argued in its report that the commissioner was needed as well. ”The Commonwealth is in danger of becoming irrelevant and unconvincing as a values-based association,” the group said.Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain have been pushing for the establishment of the commissioner.The opposition is led by India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and other African nations. Other recommendations by the EPG include a call for the 41 Commonwealth nations that treat homosexuality as a crime to scrap these laws. It says they are an abuse of human rights and make treating HIV/AIDS more difficult.By Caribbean News Now contributorcenter_img Share 22 Views   no discussions NewsRegional Queen supports Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group report by: – October 29, 2011last_img read more

Nigeria Qualify for 2019 All Africa Games Volleyball

first_imgHe said the boys knew what was at stake and could not disappoint the over 180 million Nigerians.The Niger brass coach said, “I am glad this team has qualified for the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco. It could have been disastrous if we did not qualify because the board led by Musa Nimrod has invested so much in the team.“Before the boys went to the court, I told them the volleyball family is expecting good news and we cannot afford to disappoint them. This is a new beginning for volleyball in Nigeria”.Also speaking, the captain of the team, Daniel Nathaniel thanked his teammates for playing as one unit.Nathaniel said, “This is a dream come true for me because I will be leading Nigeria to the All Africa Games as a captain. We promise not to lower the standard of our game when we get to the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco”.The President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod praised the players for qualifying for the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco.He urged them to continue to make the country proud in whatever capacity they find themselves.Nimrod said, “It is a great pleasure that Nigeria will be in Morocco for the All Africa Games. I am excited that these new set of players are performing beyond expectations and the board promise to support you ahead of the games”.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria senior men’s volleyball team has qualified for the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco.Nigeria beat Burkina Faso 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-15) to secure the sole ticket of Zone 3 which consists of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger Republic.The head coach of the team, Japhet Nuhu attributed the feat to the determination of the players as well as the support from the volleyball Federation led by Engineer Musa Nimrod.last_img read more