Kataeb Party Chief, Sami Gemayel, considered that ‘coexistence with illegal weapons is not possible,” and that “its impossibility has been proven over the years; hence the need for putting an end to this reality and dealing with it in unconventional ways.’ He added, ‘This requires concerted efforts and a unified decision to stop the process of submission and form a broad opposition front from all regions, groups and sects that reject hegemony.’ Gemayel’s words came during a meeting with the party’s heads of branches in the northern Metn region held in Bikfaya on Sunday, where the party’s positions were explained and some administrative matters were discussed. The Kataeb leader pointed out that, “Since 2005, there have been attempts to extend a hand and run the country’s affairs despite the assassinations and difficulties we faced, but Hezbollah continued the series of coups and seizing control of the state, preventing reform and accountability and providing protection for the corrupt and criminals.”

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

Sustainable Development Impact Meetings 2023 to accelerate multistakeholder momentum on SDGs

NEW YORK, 16th September, 2023 (WAM) More than 1,000 business leaders, policy-makers, leaders from international and civil society organizations, innovators and social entrepreneurs from more than 60 communities will meet in New York for the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Meetings to advance progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Economic Forum’s Meetings are taking place on 18-22 September in New York. With the world facing a challenging economy, geopolitical tensions, and the deepening effects of the climate and nature crises, achieving the SDG targets set out in 2015 are currently not on track. According to the UN, progress on more than 50% of the targets is weak, stalled, or backsliding. The private and civil sectors must play a key role, alongside governments, in supporting and accelerating sustainable development. “In order to achieve the SDG targets by 2030, significant innovative efforts are still required”, said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. “Through the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings, which bring together governments, business and civil society, we aim to make a tangible contribution for creating a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world”. Participants will convene in person and engage in a series of carefully curated discussions to advance the communities’ work on specific areas of the 17 SDGs. The robust programme includes key areas such as accelerating the reskilling revolution, harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) for better jobs, improving access to nutrition, advancing the energy transition, responding to the climate and nature crises, supporting the social economy, advancing gender equality, and promoting digital and data-driven health. The meetings will inform the next steps of key initiatives such as the First Movers Coalition, the Edison Alliance and the Reskilling Revolution, as well as see the launch of new coalitions on food security and investment in frontier markets ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The meetings will also see the release of new insights, including a report on critical sectors for a nature-positive economy, the impact of generative AI on jobs and the Chief Economists Outlook, as well as feature a virtual reality space on climate tipping points through the Global Collaboration Village to catalyse action.

Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)

World Ozone Day celebrates success of Montreal Protocol

GENEVA, 16th September, 2023 (WAM) World Meteorological Organization (WMO) joined the global community in marking the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on 16th September. It celebrates the progress in phasing out chemicals which destroy the ozone layer which protects us against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This year’s theme is the Montreal Protocol: fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change. “The international treaties to protect the ozone layer have made a dramatic and measurable difference to protecting people and planet. They show the power of multilateralism. And they should inspire hope that, together, we can avert the worst of climate change and build a sustainable and resilient world,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a message. “Limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible if we immediately and drastically accelerate climate action. I have proposed a Climate Solidarity Pact and an Acceleration Agenda to help achieve this. I urge all leaders to work together to put them into effect and to support these efforts by getting behind the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and limiting planet-heating hydrofluorocarbons,” he said. The Kigali Amendment, which was agreed in 2016, seeks to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Its ratification and implemention could avoid up to 0.5C of warming by 2100. Combining the transition away from greenhouse gases with energy efficiency measures in cooling equipment could double this figure, according to the Ozone Secretariat. WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch network of observing stations monitors stratospheric ozone and is tracking the evolution of this year’s ozone hole. A Scientific Assessment report published by WMO and the UN Environment Programme in January 2023 said that the ozone layer is on track to recover within four decades. The report confirms the phase out of nearly 99% of banned ozone-depleting substances has succeeded in safeguarding the ozone layer, leading to notable recovery of the ozone layer in the upper stratosphere and decreased human exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. If current policies remain in place, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 values (before the appearance of the ozone hole) by around 2066 over the Antarctic, by 2045 over the Arctic and by 2040 for the rest of the world. Variations in the size of the Antarctic ozone hole, particularly between 2019 and 2021, were driven largely by meteorological conditions. Nevertheless, the Antarctic ozone hole has been slowly improving in area and depth since the year 2000

Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)

Israeli forces attack Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza; injure 5

The Ministry of Health Gaza stated Sunday that five Palestinians were injured during attacks by the Israeli forces in eastern Gaza. Palestinian sources noted that two photojournalists were injured due to gas bombs fired by Israeli forces towards demonstrators and journalists in several areas in the eastern Gaza Strip.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Russia: Ukraine shelling on border towns kills one, injures three others

Russian government authorities announced Sunday that one person was killed and three others were injured from a Ukrainian bombing on Kursk near the border with Ukraine. The governor of Kursk, Roman Starovoit, said during a press conference: “On Sunday, the village of Usbinovka in the Korenevsky region was subjected to Ukrainian bombing, which led to the injury of two people, and a third seriously injured person was flown to the hospital.” Starovoit added: “Yesterday, Saturday, the Sudzhansky and Korenovsky regions of the province were subjected to fire from Ukraine, which led to the death of a person who succumbed to his wounds.”

Source: Jordan News Agency

National safety drill commences on Monday to evaluate earthquake preparedness

The National Centre for Security and Crisis Management (NCSCM) is set to kick off the two-day national safety drill, titled Darb Al Aman/3, (Path to safety) starting on Monday, in a proactive move to evaluate the Kingdom’s response capabilities in the face of seismic events. The comprehensive exercise is designed to rigorously test national capabilities in various critical aspects of disaster management, including response and rescue operations, safeguarding vital infrastructure, the efficiency of mechanisms for receiving and distributing aid, as well as updating pertinent databases. Furthermore, it will assess the effectiveness of disseminating crucial awareness messages during seismic events, all with the overarching goal of maintaining the continuity of daily life during and after earthquakes. The exercise will encompass a wide range of activities, including evacuation procedures, rescue operations, temporary closures, the activation of alarm systems, and the presence of security personnel in designated areas. These activities will commence at approximately 10 am, strategically planned to have minimal impact on the daily routines of the general public.

Source: Jordan News Agency