Speech: Peace and fair elections in Burundi

first_imgAnd thank you to our briefers, Special Envoy Kfando for his update and to Ambassador Lauber for updating us on his trip to Burundi and the region and for so clearly setting out his recommendations.I would also like to welcome the latest report of the Secretary-General which provides a valuable record of factual information of the current situation in Burundi and we look forward to discussing this set of options that the Secretary-General will present to the Council on the UN’s continuing role in Burundi.Mr President, the United Kingdom agrees with the Secretary-General and so many Council Members here today that the East African Community-led inter-Burundian dialogue, led by the region, is the only viable option to guarantee open and inclusive elections in 2020. We also recognise the importance of the African Union in supporting EAC’s efforts in this regard.We commend the EAC for their engagement so far, and commend the efforts of the EAC facilitator, former President Mkapa, and Special Envoy Kfando, despite the many challenges to progress. There is still a long way to go before inclusive, fair and credible elections can take place in 2020. And the credibility of these elections will be essential for the stability of Burundi. Citizens must have faith in their political process in order to accept its results.Mr President, for this reason we share the disappointment of Peru and many other speakers here today that the Government of Burundi did not attend the fifth round of the inter-Burundian dialogue. Their participation is crucial to make this process a success. We therefore encourage the EAC to redouble their efforts to remain engaged and to continue to push for a tangible, inclusive dialogue. A harmonised roadmap that all parties can support and which preserves the gains of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement is crucial. We hope that discussions on how to achieve this will take place at the EAC Heads of State Summit. We also call on the Government and its allied parties to continue to engage in dialogue with the region and in doing so to send a clear signal of its continued commitment to resolve the ongoing political crisis.Mr President, we continue to be deeply concerned by the reports of human rights violations, abuses and related crimes that have continued since our last briefing in August. And the Special Envoy mentioned this issue during his own briefing.The recent suspension of international NGOs is of deep concern. These NGOs support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in Burundi including refugees and those with infectious diseases. The humanitarian situation will inevitably deteriorate without these actors and therefore we hope that the registration of the NGOs can continue without delay. I would also like to agree with my Polish colleague when he spoke about the about the centrality of human rights issues to the work of this Council. We heard earlier this year from Prince Zeid that human rights violations and abuses can often be the canary in the coal mine when it comes to predicting conflict so it’s very important that as a Council we remain seized of these issues. I also note that many speakers have noted the role of the Human Rights Council has to play on Burundi and I would therefore urge the Government of Burundi to cooperate fully with the Human Rights Council’s mechanisms including the OHCHR.Mr President, it is clear from the Secretary-General’s report and the wider discussion here today that Burundi should remain on this Council’s agenda. Although the security situation may have improved, armed attacks continue and we have deep concerns about the political crisis, the humanitarian and human rights situation, which as we have seen in many times before, are often the root causes of conflict and must be addressed by this Council.last_img read more

Speech: Creating market certainty and encouraging strategic investment

first_img First, on market certainty and strategic investment – both are not just about financial investment but can be influenced by multiple factors This Review will inform both the 2019 Spending Review and the upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy.So I would encourage all of you to participate.ConclusionTo conclude, delivering all major infrastructure projects is a challenge.We recognise that the market needs certainty from government that strategic investment will continue.But the government also needs certainty from the market that it can deliver.We are doing all we can to make the government the best client it can be.But we also need you to step up with us.We can do that together by seeing these current challenges as opportunities, and providing reassurances that we are learning the right lessons.Such as focussing on behaviours, optimism bias and systems integration.There are many more lessons of course, but these are the critical three that I think we really need to grapple with.We also need to celebrate our delivery successes.And remind ourselves that we have made a lot of progress in building a world class system for infrastructure over the last decade.Thank you. Second, we need to renew our focus on deliverability and improve our procurement processes, with a far more balanced scorecard, which delivers best value, and sustainable procurement rather than focusing on lowest cost. In return we need the private sector to be disciplined and realistic about what it is able to deliver; IntroductionGood morning ladies and gentlemenThe government, with industry, has worked tirelessly over the last 10 years to develop the best possible system to make major infrastructure decisions and deliver world class projects.We – as the government’s centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects – are a key part of this system. Along with the National Infrastructure Commission, who set the strategy, and the funding decisions in the Treasury, we help ensure the right projects are identified and funded, and then delivered.But we are currently living through a critical time and our system is being tested.And it is for this reason, I want to make four key points today: Market Certainty and Strategic InvestmentMarket certainty is an interesting topic and is essential to encouraging strategic investment in our infrastructure.The IPA produces the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline each year, one of the main purposes of which is to help create market certainty around the future pipeline of projects.We view this as a way of helping the private sector assess their addressable market.Our most recent pipeline issued at the end of last year forecasts £600bn of investment over the next 10 years.This planned and projected investment is more than just a wishlist.It is grounded in a firm government commitment to spend 1-1.2% of GDP per annum on infrastructure investment, and a move to longer term funding cycles for road and rail.And the private sector will also play a critical role: around 50% of the £60billion per year is forecast to be financed by the private sector.Our pipeline is being proved to be real every day.Since 2010 over 4,900 infrastructure projects have been completed, including 400 in the last 12 months.These include major investments such as the largest operational offshore wind farm in the world, the Walney Extension, capable of generating enough electricity to power over 600,000 homes.Phase 1 of the London Power tunnels, a £1 billion project laying 200 km of high voltage cables deep under London.The £63 million Rossall flood defence scheme, one of the single biggest investments in a coastal flood defence scheme to date, protecting 7,500 homes in Lancashire for the next 100 years.The list goes on.To be frank, we just don’t hear enough about these projects. And we don’t celebrate our successes enough. Market certainty is, of course, equally important for government as it is for the private sector.We need to be certain that the market is addressing its skills and capability gaps, innovating and driving productivity improvements and perhaps most importantly, being disciplined when they bid for projects.We need to be certain that the market isn’t just telling the government what it wants to hear.That you can deliver what you say you can deliver, for the price you say you can deliver it.There’s no doubt that the collapse of Carillion is still casting a long shadow over the sector’s ability to deliver at the moment.It’s also hard to ignore some of the challenges we are currently going through on some of our biggest projects.The UK’s construction industry is fairly febrile and at long last the low operating margins the industry generates are recognised as being unsustainable.It’s vitally important that we speak openly and honestly about the challenges that we are facing, so we can address them.DeliverabilityAs I said before, we are living through a critical time. Which is why we all need to up our game.While Crossrail and HS2 epitomise the challenges facing us at the moment, we view these challenges as an opportunity to change and improve for the better.We must also remember that actually, we are globally renowned for our projects.But we do need to keep improving the system that we have built over the last 10 years. Otherwise we will fall behind.For example, the IPA is already working hard to ensure project delivery expertise will be at the core of future spending decisions.And I’m encouraged that as a result, the Chancellor is making deliverability a cornerstone of the next Spending Review.This will help drive a real cultural change, including as I said, becoming better at procurement and creating an environment where taking well calibrated risks is considered acceptable and not criticised incessantly so as to drive poor decision making.Learning the right lessonsBut in order for us to improve things, we need to make sure we are learning the right lessons from infrastructure projects that have gone before.As you would expect, the IPA has been working closely with the Department for Transport, analysing this very issue.Rather than a forensic examination of the specific problems – which has been undertaken elsewhere – this work has been deliberately ‘system’ related and forward-looking.What we found was that while the causes of failure in each case were different, there were some shared features that are important to draw out.Crucially, behaviours and culture are more important than process.What we have learnt is that you can have the best, most well designed governance structure in the world, but really it comes down to the behaviours and culture of the people in the system.A blind commitment to succeed without a balanced perspective, can lead to the wrong behaviours and decisions on major projects.These issues are not easily countered, even with clear accountabilities and structural checks and balances. But the need for transparency, and a change in behaviour, especially when there are multiple stakeholders involved, is clear.We also need to get the balance right on optimism bias.We need to pay closer attention to projects even when things are going well.It’s easy to forget to apply the same deep discipline, rigour and scrutiny as we would do if we were more anxious about how well a project was going.This does require the right balance of building the spirit of optimism in a team, and protecting against an embedded culture of delusion.While it’s important we have enthusiasm and positivity in a project – otherwise it will never be delivered – it does need to be checked regularly.Most importantly, we must pay greater attention to systems integration.We see that projects across all sectors, and especially infrastructure, need more emphasis on managing increasing technical complexity.Complex systems integration failures present late in a project lifecycle, but we need to establish the conditions for success right at the start.Technology is becoming more and more critical to delivery, yet it isn’t getting the same level of attention and focus as traditional construction and civil engineering.So there are some obvious things we need to do to address this, such as allowing enough time for system testing and preventing this time getting squeezed to allow for larger civils costs.We need to invest in the people with the skills to manage these technological risks and attract them to the industry, which has been associated with just diggers and concrete for too many years now.Improving performanceThrough our Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) work, we are focussing on improving the deliverability of new policies.We aim to improve the way cost and performance is measured by benchmarking new projects. I’m pleased that we just recently published best practice guidance on benchmarking, that is currently being rolled out across departments and industry.Government has also committed to using its buying power to increase the use of digital and manufacturing techniques in construction.We already have some excellent pockets of best practice to build on, such as Network Rail’s Modular Stations Programme, the use of real time technology at Bank Station and the use of standardised bridges by Highways England.Over the last 12 months, we in the IPA have focused on creating a step change in the delivery and performance of infrastructure, closing the sector’s well-known productivity gap, and encouraging strategic investment.The Infrastructure Finance ReviewAs I said at the outset, we do not champion the role of private investment enough. Over half of our £600bn pipeline is made up of investment from the market.And for this reason, the government is consulting on how best to support this investment in the future.So that as we leave the EU, good infrastructure projects continue to access the finance they need.Government already has tools available, such as the £40bn Guarantees Scheme which has to date supported projects worth over £4bn, our Digital Infrastructure and Charging Infrastructure Investment Funds, and contractual tools such as Contracts for Difference provided for offshore wind.In the Infrastructure Finance Review, there are two main issues we would like your views on:center_img And finally, I will touch on how we are improving infrastructure finance and the Infrastructure Finance Review, and specific issues around financing infrastructure investment. How we should respond to a changing relationship with the European Investment Bank – should we change or expand the tools we use to support private investment, and what is the right long-term governance structure? And as we retire PFI and PF2 – and the government is clear that it will not seek a like-for-like replacement – are there new models that could be used? Third, in terms of project and programme delivery it’s important we learn the right lessons and I want to set out what some of those lessons are.last_img read more

Proven strategies to create fiercely loyal members

first_imgCommitment sounds like an obvious part of any business plan, however for many Credit Unions it’s not always so easy. If you want commitment from your members in the form of loyalty, you’ll have to give commitment in return. Here are a few commitments your credit union can make to aid in creating loyalty:Commit to being the best at what you doCommit to the member relationshipCommit to your Brand3. Maintain a Relationship Mindset The first step in creating a fiercely loyal member is to build an emotional connection. When you are able to tap into a consumer’s emotions, you’re often able to influence their purchase decisions. A few ways to establish an emotional connection with members:Build CredibilityProvide ValueBe TransparentLive Your Brand2. Be Committed Think about which brands you are most loyal to, and why. Apple, Amazon, and Southwest are some of the top brands that often come to mind. Most likely your “why” revolves around product quality, experience, and/or convenience factors. Now think about what it would take to make you become disloyal to your favorite brands. One way to keep a finger on the experience pulse is Member Experience Mapping. Member Experience Mapping is a great way to gather a 360° view of what your members are experiencing when they interact with your brand. Mapping your members’ experiences is a crucial step in showing the gaps between consumer expectations and perceptions of the actual experience along the way. Closing these gaps will help your credit union achieve peak member loyalty.The best kind of member loyalty comes from an exchange of value between the member and the Credit Union, where conversations revolve around how you can better serve the member’s needs, and not so much focused on the business results. When the relationship is valued more than the sale, loyalty is sure to follow. 36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Hilary Reed Hilary Reed, founder of EmpowerFi, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in 2000 when … Web: www.empowerfi.org Detailscenter_img Everything your organization does, internally and externally should revolve around building deeper relationships. From internal staff relationships, to member relationships, and relationships with other brands (i.e. community, vendors, etc.), by focusing on building individual relationships, and opening up ongoing communications, your credit union will be poised for organic growth.4. Consider Your Members’ Perspective It’s a well-known fact that growing just a small percentage of your profitable members can make a tremendous impact on your bottom line. When approximately 20% of your members make up 80% of your profit it’s easy to see the impact of increasing loyal members. But which members are likely to generate the most profit, and how do we get them to become and remain loyal?Loyalty means something different to every financial institution. What does loyalty mean to your organization? Here’s an example from one $600m credit union in the Northeast:Checking Account with debit cardDirect DepositMinimum of 1 LoanAggregate balances of $10,000+Whether you use number of products, aggregate balances, profitability, or lifetime value, if your focus is on member loyalty, you’re headed in the right direction. “Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  -Damon Richards.When members feel valued, and have a connection with your brand, they are more likely to consider you first when it comes to future financial decisions. Here are a few ways for your Credit Union to acquire and retain loyal members.1. Establish an Emotional Connectionlast_img read more

Peer pressure

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Boosting South Africa’s economy

first_img12 February 2010Goverment measures to help businesses and individuals weather the effects of the recession will remain in place for now, while further steps will be taken to boost South Africa’s economic recovery, says President Jacob Zuma.Delivering his State of the Nation address in Parliament, Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma said that while economic indicators suggested the worst was over, and labour statistics showed the economy had now begun to create rather than shed jobs, it was too soon to be certain of the pace of recovery.“Now is the time to lay the groundwork for stronger growth going forward, and for growth that gives rise to more jobs,” he said.Industrial policy action planZuma said that while the government’s infrastructure programme would help the country to grow, education and skills programmes would help boost the country’s productivity and competitiveness.The government’s new industrial policy action plan, approved by Cabinet this week, along with the focus on “green” jobs, would help build “stronger and more labour-absorbing industries”, he said.The county’s rural development programme, meanwhile, would improve productivity and the lives of people living in rural areas.Capital investment, cheaper broadbandZuma said South Africa’s capital investment programme, which will see R846-billion spent on public infrastructure over the next three years, would underpin the government’s strategy for economic growth and recovery.He added that the government was working to reduce communication costs which would help encourage greater economic growth.The government would also work to increase broadband and ensure a high standard of internet service, in line with international norms.“The South African public can look forward to an even further reduction of broadband, cellphone, landline and public phone rates,” he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Empowering South African women in mediation

first_imgAccord trained this group of Darfuri womenin conflict resolution and negotiation.(Images: Accord) MEDIA CONTACTS • Bonisiwe Themba  Progressive Women’s Movement  +27 11 833 0200 RELATED ARTICLES • Remarkable SA women hailed • SA joins UN Security Council • Peace Prize focus on women’s rights • More women engineers for SA • Malian women fight poverty with textilesMediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterMiddelberg in Mpumalanga and Ficksburg in the Free State are the first two venues to host the Training in Mediation course on behalf of the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA).The training is supported by Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part social initiative and is presented by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (Accord).The aim of the three-day course is to impart mediation skills to women from the PWMSA, and provide course participants with both a practical and theoretical framework within which to analyse and mediate conflict.Group exercises to integrate the skills learned will also be conducted, to empower the women to play mediation roles in their respective communities.In partnership with Accord, Brand South Africa aims to improve social cohesion and active citizenship with the sessions.Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said: “This training is important because we need to equip and empower our people so that they are better able to take care of themselves and to play their part in their various communities.”Who better to make a difference than the women of South Africa, he asked. Creative African solutions to conflictBased in Mount Edgecombe, north of Durban, Accord works to bring creative African solutions to the challenges posed by conflict on the continent.Operating across the Southern African region, through the Great Lakes, to West Africa and the Horn of Africa, Accord has trained over 20 000 people, from government to community level, in conflict management and resolution, since its establishment in 1992.The organisation signed a memorandum of understanding with PWMSA in September 2011, with the aim of contributing to peace and sustainable development in South Africa and across the continent. This it plans to achieve through the development of skilled female mediators, who are active in their communities.Through these training sessions, it is hoped that the participants will reach a better understanding and appreciation of their roles as mediator in their communities.Armed with an understanding of conflict analyses, and basic knowledge of the principles and concepts underpinning mediation, the women will go forth with the confidence to be able to effectively solve conflict situations.They will also receive certificates, asserting their new status as conflict mediators.Giving women a voiceThe Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa is a non-profit organisation that enables women to speak with one voice to address their concerns using a single platform of action irrespective of race, class, religion, political and social standing.It works to counter the traditional system of patriarchy, which in the past has undermined the role of women in society and prevented them from playing a substantial role in nation building.last_img read more

CPI, PMK urge Centre to bring in amendments for jallikattu

first_imgChennai, Nov 16 (PTI) With the Supreme Court rejecting Tamil Nadu governments plea to review its 2014 ban against jallikattu, CPI and PMK today urged the Centre to bring in legal amendments to ensure that the bull-taming sport is conducted in January, 2017 in the state.CPI state secretary R Mutharasan said that in the history of Tamils, bulls were treated as a part of the family besides being worshipped and that “they are an integral part of the Tamil culture”.”Instead of banning it citing cruelty, Centre should bring in due legal arrangements to ensure the bulls are not ill-treated in any manner,” he said in a statement.The Tamil sentiments must be respected and it should be ensured that jallikattu was held during the Tamil month of Thai which coincides with January.PMK founder S Ramadoss claimed that bulls were not forced to undergo any cruelty during the sport and that jallikattu was integral to Tamil culture for long.”Only humans have suffered injuries but not bulls and there is no ground to the arguments by NGOs that the animals are fed with liquor or that chilly powder is strewn on their eyes. Further, jallikattu was being held since 2008 under Supreme Court supervision and therefore there is no chance of any cruelty to the bulls,” he said.The animals were reared like children, he said and urged the Centre to bring in necessary legal amendments in the ongoing Parliamentary session to hold the sport in January. PTI SA BN SAIlast_img read more