Ban announces senior official appointments for Middle East peace process and DR

Appointed at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Rawley will also serve as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, according to information provided by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. Mr. Rawley succeeds Maxwell Gaylard of Australia, who completed his assignment on 31 August. Mr. Soumaré will succeed Fidèle Sarassoro of Côte d’Ivoire, who will complete his assignment on 30 September this year. Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the UN chief is grateful for the service provided by Mr. Gaylard and Mr. Sarassoro. The spokesperson added that Mr. Rawley brings over 30 years of humanitarian and development experience with the United Nations, as well as a crisis prevention perspective acquired in a number of complex situations, including in Yemen and Myanmar, having served most recently as the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt. The past work experience of both Mr. Rawley and Mr. Soumaré includes service with the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Soumaré is currently the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Recovery and Governance in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), a position he has held since August 2009. In addition to serving as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), Mr. Soumaré will also serve as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, as well as UNDP’s Resident Representative. read more

UN envoy in Libya concerned about unfolding military developments in Bani Walid

“In the interests of national reconciliation and long-term stability of the country, a mediated settlement is urgently needed,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, said in a news statement, in regard to events in Bani Walid, located some 170 kilometres south of the capital, Tripoli. According to media reports, Libyan army forces have launched a full-scale assault against the town, accusing it of being controlled by supporters of the former dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi, who was overthrown in 2011 after decades of autocratic rule. The small city was one of the last to fall to rebels groups during last year’s conflict, and some are said to consider it a shelter for regime loyalists and criminal gangs. Fierce fighting has reportedly raged in the town for two days. In addition to his concern over the military developments in Bani Walid, Mr. Mitri also spoke of his concern over growing civilian casualties resulting from reported indiscriminate shelling. He urged all concerned to abide by international humanitarian principles, noting “their obligations to ensure the protection of civilians and take all necessary measures to avoid the targeting of civilian areas, allow for the evacuation of all wounded, and to provide unimpeded humanitarian access, including provision of food and medical care.” Furthermore, in light of the publicly stated positions, the United Nations remains fully convinced that a comprehensive peaceful outcome is achievable, the statement noted. This, it added, includes the right of the State to fully assert its national authority over the city of Bani Walid through the deployment of units from the national army and police; the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees who continue to be held inside Bani Walid; the handover to the judicial authorities of all those wanted on suspicion of having committed crimes, along with guarantees for their security and fair trial; the resumption of all basic services to the city; and, the holding of local elections in due course.” Mr. Mitri emphasized, according to UNSMIL, the role and responsibility of the State in ensuring the security of all and extending its authority over its territory. Incidents of renewed fighting in various parts of the country are among the security challenges facing the North African nation, which also needs to prepare a new constitution, promote rule of law, protect human rights, and counter illicit arms proliferation. UNSMIL has been assisting the country’s transition toward a modern democratic State, after the toppling of the long-standing al-Qadhafi regime. The UN envoy also praised the “huge efforts exerted by President Mohammad al-Magariaf, the General National Congress, as well as by civil society representatives and reconciliation committees, to prevent an outbreak of armed hostilities, and later, through political means, to put an end to various forms of violence.” In addition, Mr. Mitri reaffirmed the world body’s readiness and commitment to work closely with all concerned to achieve a peaceful outcome to the violence. read more

At General Assembly debate UN officials stress vital role of culture in

As Member States plot the course for the global development agenda after 2015, the target date for achieving the anti-poverty objectives known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the General Assembly convened today’s high-level thematic debate to consider the role and impact of culture on development. “The significance of the nexus between culture and development for the post-2015 agenda is not yet fully grasped,” said the President of the Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, who convened the debate in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“Fully embracing the potential of this nexus will also help promote a greater sense of indivisibility and mutual belonging – a feeling that no community or nation can fulfil its potential until it is accompanied by the advancement of the entire mankind.”He noted that it has not been possible to reach consensus on how to build on the agreed foundations of sustainable development in the discussions that have taken place in recent months. “The gap between means and ends has yet to be bridged – in my view, partly because the cultural component has largely been absent from our discussions.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to recognize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” development model. “It is not enough to set global targets for all – we need to adapt to each context. Too many well-intended development programmes have failed, because they did not take cultural settings into account. This must be an overarching principle for all development efforts.” Development has not always focused enough on people, he added. “To mobilize people, we need to understand and embrace their culture. This means encouraging dialogue, listening to individual voices, and ensuring that culture and human rights inform the new course for sustainable development. The fundamental role of culture was not fully acknowledged within the MDGs – as a goal, an overarching principle, or as an enabler.” In her keynote address, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova told the meeting that no one would like to live in a world without music, art or dance, or with only one language.“Culture is what we are. It is the wellspring of collective imagination, meaning and belonging. It is also a source of identity and cohesion at a time of change. It is a source of creativity and innovation,” she stated.“No society in the world can flourish without culture. No development can be sustained without it. Cultural diversity is also a source to find creative solutions to problems. It enhances critical thinking to challenge old models,” she added. “We need to fully acknowledge this power of culture today as we shape a new global agenda to follow 2015.” The Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, highlighted the need to think more broadly about the role of culture in development. “As culture is vital to who we are, it is a vital aspect of human development. And to live lives they value, people must be free to choose their identity and to define who they are through their culture. “With globalization, our world is shrinking as we become more interconnected than ever before,” she continued. “But commensurate with that, our respect for cultural diversity needs to grow. Indeed, respect for cultural diversity and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing and they provide the necessary basis for peace and harmony, which development needs to thrive anywhere.” Culture, noted the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, affects all the dimensions of development. “As such, a human-centred, culturally-sensitive approach to development will yield the most effective, sustainable, inclusive outcomes,” he said. “Specifically, a culturally-diverse approach will contribute to economic development, promote social cohesion and foster environmental sustainability.”He added that, among other benefits, culturally-sensitive approaches provide solutions to complex development issues in an innovative way. “And yet, despite the benefits of cultural diversity, we continue to witness many conflict and extreme underdevelopment worldwide. This is because culture is either missing, misunderstood or worse, politicized.” read more

Head of UN rights probe on DPR Korea urges accountability for unspeakable

“The Commission of Inquiry found systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations occurring in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It also found a disturbing array of crimes against humanity,” said Chairman Michael Kirby in Geneva during a dialogue with members of the UN Human Rights Council. The Council set up the Commission of Inquiry in March 2013 with a one-year mandate to investigate several alleged human rights violations, including those concerning the right to food and those associated with prison camps; torture and inhuman treatment; arbitrary detention; discrimination; freedom of expression, movement and religion; the right to life; and enforced disappearances, including abductions of nationals to other countries.The result was an unprecedented 400-page set of linked reports and supporting documents – initially released on 17 February – culled from first-hand testimony from victims and witnesses, revealing, according to the Commission, crimes that “arose from policies established at the highest level of the State.” In the today’s discussion with the Council, Mr. Kirby said the scale, duration and nature of the atrocities committed in the DPRK revealed a totalitarian State carrying out crimes that were being ignored by the rest of the world. “What is important now is how the international community will act on the report.” “A compelling report and wide media coverage are good, but woefully insufficient,” he said, urging UN Member States and the wider international community, to accept their responsibility to protect and implement all the recommendations contained in the report, especially those related to accountability, including referral of the situation of the DPRK to the ICC. As for the country in question, Mr. Kirby and the Commission challenged the DPRK to respect the human rights of its citizens. The country was also urged to immediately and unconditionally implement all of the recommendations of the report. “The Commission also urges all countries, including China, to respect the principle of non-refoulement,” he added, referring to protecting refugees from being returned to places where their lives or freedoms could be threatened.Mr. Kirby said that the Commission’s findings had been characterized by Pyongyang as “sheer lies and fabrications” deliberately cooked up, and that the three-member body itself had been accused of politicizing human rights.“The Commission did not ask anyone to blindly believe what it said,” he declared, underscoring that testimonies from hundreds of witnesses who spoke to the Commission of extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion and other sexual violence could be read in the report. “Their testimony is not only in these documents, but also on the internet ¬– but these were denied to the ordinary people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It should be asked why this regime forbade such access,” said Mr. Kirby, who asked: “If letting victims raise their voices was politicizing human rights, how could these victims then be helped?”All efforts to initiate dialogue and offer cooperation had been spurned by the DPRK, he said. However, the Commission obtained first-hand testimony through public hearings with about 80 witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington D.C., and more than 240 confidential interviews with victims and other witnesses, including in Bangkok. Eighty formal submissions were also received from different entities. Along with its chairman, Mr. Kirby, a retired judge from Australia, the Commission comprises Sonja Biserko, founder and president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, and Marzuki Darusman, former Attorney General of Indonesia and the current UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in DPRK. read more

UN rights expert calls for halt to Indonesia executions cites international obligations

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, urged a halt to further executions of people convicted of such offences, after six prisoners were executed in January and Indonesian officials announced that eight more would be executed by firing squad in the coming days.“Under international law, the death penalty is regarded as an extreme form of punishment which, if it is used at all, should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, that is, those involving intentional killing, and only after a fair trial, among other safeguards,” Mr. Heyns said. “However, despite, several appeals by UN human rights experts and civil society organizations urging the Indonesian Government to reconsider imposing the death penalty for drug related offences, the authorities decided to execute six people by firing squad on 18 January 2015.”The UN human rights office says that the available information suggests that the 14 people were convicted after unfair trials. Twelve of the people are foreign nationals who did not receive adequate interpreting services or the right to translators or lawyers at all stages of their trials and appeals.“Any death sentence must comply with international obligations related to the stringent respect of fair trial and due process guarantees, as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a State party,” Mr. Heyns said. “I previously expressed concerns over the imposition of death penalty for drug related offenses, and that such death sentences undertaken in contravention of Indonesia’s international human rights obligations is tantamount to an arbitrary execution.”He said the International Covenant provided that anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence.“I regret that the authorities continue to execute people in violation of international human rights standards,” said Mr. Heyns. “I urge the Government of Indonesia to establish a moratorium on execution with a view of its complete abolition, in order to comply with the international move towards the abolition of the death penalty.”Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

With South Sudan at crossroads Ban urges parties to reaffirm commitment to

“The road ahead will be difficult,” said Mr. Ban. “I urge the signatories to honour their solemn commitment and implement the agreement without delay. Reverting to war yet again cannot be an option.”Speaking at a high-level meeting on South Sudan, held on the margins of the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly, the Secretary-General noted that it is “a pivotal moment” in the history of the world’s youngest nation. The security situation in South Sudan has deteriorated steadily over the past year and a half since political in-fighting between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar, and their respective factions, erupted in December 2013. The hostilities subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict, resulting in reported atrocities and possible war crimes.“The conflict that broke out in December 2013 dashed the aspirations of the South Sudanese people for a brighter future. It shattered the optimism of the international community. Thousands of lives have been lost in a senseless conflict,” said Mr. Ban. “When the parties signed the peace agreement last month, they created a new window of opportunity.” Mr. Ban called on the parties to immediately cease all military operations and form the Transitional Government of National Unity to which they have agreed. The parties must also provide unfettered access to those in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, he added. “South Sudan’s leaders have a chance to correct their grave mistakes and focus on the well-being of those who entrusted them with this role – the people of South Sudan,” the UN chief stated.He noted that long-term reforms are essential for South Sudan to transcend ethnicity and rebuild a truly national identity, adding that every effort must be made to promote a more equitable distribution of power and wealth.“Horrific crimes have been committed against civilians in this war. The social fabric of South Sudan has been shattered. To mend it, the provisions in the peace agreement related to justice, accountability and reconciliation must be implemented in full,” he continued.The UN will continue to stand by the people of South Sudan, Mr. Ban pledged. “We are ready to support implementation of the agreement and will continue to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance.” He called on the international community to provide economic assistance to South Sudan, while adding that the parties must, in turn, demonstrate a genuine commitment to the peace agreement. “South Sudan stands at a crossroads. I call on the international community to remain engaged in every step of the implementation of the agreement. I appeal to all partners to reaffirm their unwavering commitment to accompany South Sudan along the path to peace, recovery and reconciliation.”Addressing the meeting via video teleconference, President Kiir stated that he signed the agreement fully committed to return South Sudan to peace and development.“When I decided to join the liberation struggle three decades ago, I did not expect to liberate my people in order to take them back to war amongst themselves,” he stated. “Therefore, I am determined to stop this senseless war and make sure that, together with my brothers in the armed opposition, we will build a democratic, united and harmonious country by implementing the agreement.” Mr. Kiir called on all those gathered at the meeting to prevail on the armed groups so that they respect the permanent ceasefire and assist in the successful implementation of the agreement. “Our people do not need war but certainly need peace and development. That is what we must achieve for them and that is my promise to you and to my people.” read more

Gandhis dedication to nonviolence still remains example for all – UN chief

“Today, at a time of escalating conflicts, rising extremism, massive displacement and rapidly growing humanitarian need, Mahatma Gandhi’s dedication to non-violence remains an example for us all,” Mr. Ban said at a special event held at UN Headquarters to mark the International Day of Non-Violence. “The Day is observed annually on 2 October, the birthday of Mr. Gandhi, who pioneered the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. “Gandhi proved that non-violence – the principle and the practice – can change history,” Mr. Ban noted. “His mass campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience helped pave the way for the independence of India, and have inspired countless movements for change across the world.” “During an official visit to India in January, the UN chief visited Sabarmati Ashram, which houses a library and museum chronicling Gandhi’s life, work and teachings. “We will succeed only if the memory of Gandhi’s unyielding fight against injustice burns bright in our hearts and we defend his ideals every day of the year,” he had said on the occasion. “In a separate message for the International Day, the Secretary-General added: “Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression and hatred. He showed how cooperation and tolerance can prevails over injustice. He demonstrated the great value of the rule of law in breaking vicious cycles of vengeance.” “The General Assembly established the commemoration of the Day in June 2007 as an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.” read more

Eleven major firms agree to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities –

In an announcement, ILO said that Accenture, AccorHotels, Adecco Group, AXA Group, Carrefour Group, Dow Chemical, Groupe Casino, L’Oréal, Orange, the Standard Bank Group, and Michelin have become the first signatories of the newly-created ILO Global Business & Disability Network Charter, in a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.“This new Charter can also make a substantial contribution to realizing many goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. According to the Charter, “promoting and including persons with disabilities in the workplace is important for companies seeking the best talent and a diverse workforce.”“Companies that are disability-inclusive provide a better workplace for all their employees,” the new Charter says. “Such companies maximize the full potential of the workforce for the benefit of both the company and its employees and are better positioned to respond to diverse market needs.”By signing the Charter, the companies commit to promoting and including persons with disabilities throughout their operations worldwide, protecting staff with disabilities from any kind of discrimination and making the company premises and communication to staff progressively accessible to all employees with disabilities.“The lack of equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities often means lives of poverty and social exclusion,” said the ILO chief. “By honouring the commitments of this Charter, the private sector will be showing real leadership in making it possible for people with disabilities to have productive work and to live in dignity.”The Charter will be provided to national employers’ federations and national business and disability networks as a way of promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities among their member companies, including small and medium size enterprises, according to ILO.All signatories are members of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, which brings businesses together to promote disability inclusion by highlighting the business advantages of employing people with disabilities. And the Network also benefits from insight of people with disabilities themselves, thanks to a partnership with the International Disability Alliance, a network of global and regional organizations representing people with disabilities. read more

Venezuela must uphold rights of even those who disagree with State policies

The Council convened the special session to hear from President Maduro about the human rights situation Venezuela, which was just recently re-elected to serve on the 47-member body.“Membership of the Council comes with the responsibility to promote and protect human rights in one’s own country, but also on the global stage. It is my sincere hope that Venezuela will strive to make concrete progress on both fronts,” said High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in his address to the meeting.Mr. Zeid commended Venezuela’s continued cooperation with human rights bodies and welcomed its participation in the Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and in its review this year by both the UN Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.“My Office, in particular our Regional Office for South America, is ready to provide technical assistance in the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committees and in Venezuela’s UPR, as well as on the National Human Rights Action Plan. I also urge Venezuela to ratify again the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights,” he noted.At the same time, Mr. Zeid stressed that a number of human rights mechanisms, including the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, as well as his own Office (OHCHR), have raised serious concerns about the independence of the judiciary in Venezuela, the impartiality of judges and prosecutors and the pressures they face in handling politically sensitive cases, specifying the cases of Judge María Lourdes Afiuni and Leopoldo Lopez.“The Human Rights Committee also recently expressed concerns, which I share, about intimidation, threats and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers,” added Mr. Zeid, urging Venezuela to comply with the recommendations of the international human rights bodies and to ensure that such individuals do not face undue pressure in carrying out their important work.Further, he expressed concern at the implementation of a “broad” state of emergency in 24 municipalities that suspends a number of human rights protection, and urged the Government to promptly lift it.Lastly, Mr. Zeid recalled that although the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights lauded Venezuela for the significant progress made in the reduction of malnutrition and poverty, it did note “a regressive tendency in the results of the fight against poverty” and urged the country to address this.Following Mr. Zeid’s address, President Maduro said that while Venezuela had always participated in the work of UN bodies in a spirit of transparency, this was not the first time it had “suffered audacious accusations and imperialist attacks by civil servants, taken from the agenda of global harassment, and it would not be the first time that we strike down these lies with the truth.”Thanking the UN for the support it provided Venezuela as it sought to build a new State of law and justice, he said, also thanking Member States for the “universal vote of confidence” that has seen his country re-elected to the Human Rights Council. He said that while the Council itself had made strides since its creation, much work remained to be done to ensure the body achieved its goals of building a true dialogue among all humankind, “where there is no effort to impose one opinion on people [and where] each of our stories can be told.”The people of the global South must be respected in their own identities, President Maduro, declared, citing Venezuela’s new Constitution which set forth concept of putting people at the centre of efforts and outlines social justice, environmental protection and labour rights, among others. At the same time, he acknowledged that the new society Venezuela is building is not without complex processes and has for decades suffered attacks from the “imperialist agenda of the United States.”Venezuela also faced ongoing harassment through the “manipulation of human rights by the West, which uses it to try to isolate our country and…to protect those that are seeking to destroy the system of human rights and democracy that our country has built over the past 17 years,” he said, explain that at the upcoming UPR, Venezuela would present its efforts to fight against poverty, boost wages and provide decent jobs as a refutation of the imperialist harassment that was continually waged against it. The creation of a national human rights plan, he said, would be “in step” with the UPR and harmonious with the international human rights system. read more

DPINGO UN conference adopts global education action agenda to mobilize civil society

Speaking from the podium at the 66th United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference, Ms. Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, said “This Conference has demonstrated another example of the value for the United Nations in investing in partnership with academia and NGOs.” The Gyeongju Action Plan provides concrete guidance for NGOs around the world to enhance their ability to lobby governments to commitment to implementing the Sustainable Sustainable Development Goals and mobilize NGOs in communities on the ground. “The United Nations is committed to continue to support and partner with NGOs and academia in our joint efforts to advocate for and successfully implement the 2030 Agenda,” Ms. Gallach continued. The newly adopted Action Plan includes a series of concrete measures for NGOs around the world to jump-start implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the grass roots level. Dr. Scott Carlin, Conference Co-chair and Associate Professor of Geography at Long Island University, said “NGOs from around the world brought passion and expertise to lively final consultations on the outcome document. We are grateful for all of the inputs received and very proud of the Gyeongju Action Plan.” “We hope that Gyeongju was an inspirational setting for finalizing a truly unifyingaction plan that will be useful for NGOs, wherever they are working,” added Co-Chair Dr.Yukang Choi. For the first time in the history of the DPI/NGO Conference, youth also developed and issued a Youth Declaration. Ms. Gallach pointed out that youth had “come in great numbers, demonstrating the value that they see in partnering with the United Nations.” Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, noted “the Conference not only reinforced the critical role of NGOs to achieve a vision for the 2030 Agenda, but also stressed the urgency for greater investments in education for Global Citizenship to unlock the potential of this massive generation of children and youth.” “Unfortunately youth are still not involved enough in policy making processes around the world,” said Ms. Saphira Rameshfar, representative of the Baha’i Community and Conference youth leader. “The Youth Declaration is a necessary reminder that young people are needed as leaders and decision-makers not only in youth forums and special-purpose councils, but in those spaces where the course and direction of society as a whole are determined,” added Ms. Rameshfar. The Action Plan was drafted through a global multi-stakeholder consultation process, leading up to, and during the conference. It was adopted at the Conference’s final plenary session and will be shared widely with civil society as well as the UN Secretary-General, the UN System, Member States and learning communities. read more

Gaza UN official releases funds to enable lifesaving aid programmes in enclave

According to a news release by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the allocation authorized Friday by Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, will also enable essential and life-saving child and maternal health interventions, including the provision of incubators and phototherapy equipment to neonatal intensive care units and intensive care units in Gaza hospitals.“With each day that passes without improvement, hopes diminish and frustrations rise. We must summon the resources and political will to bring change to Gaza,” said Mr. Piper in the news release.“In spite of political movement towards Palestinian reconciliation in recent months, most of the measures adopted by the Palestinian Authority since March 2017, which triggered the latest deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, are yet to be reversed,” he added.The resources from the oPt Humanitarian Fund, will enable the most vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip to immediately access fresh and nutritious local food through the provision of six-month fresh food vouchers for families falling below the deep poverty line, with insufficient or no access to means of assistance and with limited capacity to meet their households’ basic food needs.It will also support livelihoods and improved food security of farmers to overcome the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip, through provision of solar power systems and agricultural supplies.The allocation comes in the context of an overall deterioration in conditions in the Gaza Strip this year following the worsening of an electricity crisis that has left Gaza’s nearly two million – already suffering from 10 years of Israeli blockade and internal Palestinian divisions – with an average of only four to six hours of electricity per day, severely disrupting daily life and the provision of basic services, the news release added.The oPt Humanitarian Fund is an emergency pooled fund that supports the delivery of strategic humanitarian assistance to address priority needs, while retaining the flexibility to respond unforeseen emergencies or events. It is a pooled funding mechanism, operated from donations from the Governments of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. read more

Spirit of compromise needed to combat workplace brutalism – UN labour agency

Addressing the International Labour Conference on Monday, Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) underscored that the “the spirit of tripartism, compromise, and consensus” is the “precondition of success for the Conference and of the ILO.”Informally dubbed the “world parliament of labour”, the Conference is the primary policy making body of the ILO. It is convened annually in the Swiss city, Geneva, and brings together more than 5,000 Government officials, worker representatives and employer delegates from the ILO’s 187 member States.In his remarks, Mr. Ryder also warned against growing challenges in labour markets across the world, and to multilateralism in general, underlining that the ILO “must be a bulwark against such contagion.”He also highlighted the need to secure workplaces from any forms of violence or harassment.Action against sexual harassment must make the difference – ILO headIn particular, action that would really make a difference is needed, to end sexual harassment, said Mr. Ryder –  brought into sharp focus by the “Me Too” campaign.“Our answer to the ever more vocal call for action must be ‘Us Too’,” he stressed.The ILO chief unveiled his new report entitled “The Women at Work Initiative: The push for Equality”, which calls for innovative action to close the persistent gender gap.He also unveiled new data on workers in the occupied Arab territories, reporting that they faced a grim situation overall.In particular, women continue to be severely disadvantaged in the Palestinian labour market; finding it hard to access decent jobs, as well as facing gender-based discrimination. It also found that the population of the Gaza Strip continues to live through a “humanitarian and human-made” crisis with its economy depleted and the labour market crippled.The opening day also saw Samir Murad, Minister of Labour of Jordan, elected President of the Conference over its duration from 28 May to 8 June. Jean-Jacques Elmiger (Governments) from Switzerland, Khalifa Khamis Mattar (Employers) from the United Arab Emirates and Akiko Gono (Workers) from Japan, were elected Vice-Presidents. read more

Much more can be done to raise awareness about the plight of

“Albinism is a genetic condition that affects people throughout the world, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender,” Mr. Guterres said on Wednesday.“Yet, tragically, people with albinism continue to suffer widespread discrimination, stigma and social exclusion,” he added, stressing also the importance of enabling people with the condition to enjoy their full human rights.In many countries, grossly erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at risk of constant violence and abuse; especially children and women, and other vulnerable groups.In his message on the International Albinism Awareness Day, the UN chief also noted the endorsement of a regional action plan on albinism in Africa by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and by the Pan African Parliament, as “a key step forward.”“But much more can be done globally to raise awareness about the plight of people with albinism,” urged Mr. Guterres.The Secretary-General underscored the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the promise to “leave no one behind.”He said the day was an opportunity “to declare solidarity with people with albinism and strive together so those who are often left furthest behind are able to live free from discrimination and fear, and empowered to enjoy their full human rights.”The UN General Assembly designated 13 June as the International Albinism Awareness Day, in 2014.The action by the General Assembly followed a resolution by the Human Rights Council – the highest UN intergovernmental body on human rights – that called for greater protection for persons with albinism against discrimination and violence. read more

As human caravan moves through Mexico full respect needed for national control

Answering questions from reporters at the daily press briefing on Monday, UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), had been boosting resources on the ground, as the caravan of mainly Honduran refugees and migrants made its way north, across the border between Guatemala and Mexico.Mr. Haq said that UN Secretary-General António Guterres was urging all parties to abide by international law, including the principle of “full respect for countries’ rights to manage their own borders.”According to media reports, what started as a small group of under 200 just a few days ago, has grown considerably. Mr. Haq told journalists that “it is estimated that the caravan comprises some 7,233 persons, many of whom intend to continue the march north.”US President Donald Trump has reportedly responded to the march, by threatening to cut off foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador should the caravan of people fleeing their homeland, attempt to cross into the US illegally.Earlier this week, a UN rights expert urged Member States not to prioritize security concerns over the basic human rights of migrants and refugees.“UNHCR has reinforced its capacity in Southern Mexico, with the deployment of an emergency team drawn from across Mexico’s operations,” said Mr. Haq. “The office now has 32 people on the ground, in the border, Ciudad Hidalgo, and Tapachula.”He added that these numbers will increase in the coming days, explaining that the agency’s aim was to ensure that travelers are fully informed regarding their rights to asylum, along with providing legal advice and humanitarian assistance.The IOM has reported large numbers of people arriving in Mexico who will likely remain in the country for an “extended period,” Mr. Haq said, explaining that most individuals have crossed irregularly and are gathering in makeshift shelters. read more

Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping highlights need to bridge critical gaps

The Secretary-General also highlighted some “critical” gaps in UN missions that must be bridged, such as the urgent need in the Mali mission (MINUSMA), for armored personnel carriers and in CAR (MINUSCA) for 24/7 evacuation helicopters that can operate from remote areas.Elsewhere, armed utility helicopters are needed; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance units; quick reaction forces, and airborne medical evacuation teams.He urged everyone to contribute, with the assurance that “they will be utilized effectively and efficiently”.Mr. Guterres also pushed for triangular partnerships and joint contingents, in which one group of governments provides equipment and training, and another provides troops and police; training to address safety and security challenges; and better equipment and local engagement.“Women peacekeepers and civilian staff are essential”, he also stressed, flagging that the UN has “almost doubled the number of female staff officers and observers” since the November 2017 ministerial meeting in Vancouver.However, he noted that so far this year, women account for only four per cent of military peacekeepers, indicating that he would present a new strategy to the Security Council next month to increase the numbers of female uniformed personnel.“Only our continued strong partnership can help us advance lasting peace and protection for those we serve”, concluded the Secretary-General.,‘Proud to be at the helm of peacekeeping’Taking the podium, UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix said that the more than 110 Member State participants gathered in New York, demonstrated “the deep and widespread commitment to peacekeeping, by Governments across the world”. He highlighted four priority areas to focus on “how we are fulfilling” A4P commitments, pointing first to the investment being made by the UN in solutions and developing regional peace process strategies.Citing several examples, such as partnering with the African Union in CAR on the February peace agreement, Mr. Lacroix said that “real progress” was being made.“We cannot achieve lasting peace without our partners” he stressed, appealing for support to political solutions and peace agreement implementation.Explaining that missions are being reconfigured to be more mobile and proactive, he said there were critical shortfalls, including a lack of helicopters, and other key resources that must be addressed.Thirdly, he pointed to the link between peacekeepers’ performance and their security, which includes “a renewed commitment” to implementing the concrete recommendations of A4P on improving the security of ‘blue helmets’.Finally, he outlined the UN’s strong commitment to increasing the number of women peacekeepers and ensuring women’s full and meaningful participation in political processes.“Increasing the number of women soldiers and police deployed to peacekeeping mission is an operational imperative”, Mr. Lacroix underscored, applauding those that have recruited, trained and nominated of female peacekeepers.The UN peacekeeping chief concluded by thanking the Member States for their “unwavering support”, saying “I am proud to be at the helm of peacekeeping, pride which is mirrored in each and every one of the women and men serving.” Secretary-General António Guterres opens the 2019 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting to reaffirm and strengthen commitments to ‘blue helmets’ and others who work in peacekeeping missions across the world., by UN Photo/Cia PakAfter moment of silence for the 27 UN peacekeepers lost who lost their lives in 2018 and for “all who have died in the service of peace”, he stressed that making missions stronger and safer is a key element of his Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, along with refocusing peacekeeping with more realistic expectations, and mobilizing greater support for political solutions.The UN chief thanked the more than 150 governments that have signed the Statement of Shared Commitments so far which, among other things, encompassed advancing political solutions and improving peacekeepers’ safety and security.“We are already seeing results”, said Mr. Guterres, pointing to a “significant reduction” last year in the number of peacekeepers killed, citing as examples the “more agile and more proactive” missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR); and “for the first time ever”, verified military units on standby, which can be deployed in less than 60 days.”@UN missions often represent the last & only hope for millions of people facing daily threats to their safety & basic rights. … it is in the hands of the gov’ts you represent to enable peacekeeping to live up to its ideals & needs of our time.” —Angelina Jolie #PKMinisterial— UN Peacekeeping (@UNPeacekeeping) March 29, 2019 Pledges announced at Peacekeeping Ministerial on Uniformed Capabilities, Performance and Protection Sweden – Specialized Infantry Company to MINUSMA for 2020; a Mobile Training Team to MINUSMA and courses at the Nordic Center for Gender in Military Operations.South Korea – Training pledges and offer to host the next Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting.Nigeria – Quick Reaction Force, Force Protection Company, Engineer Company, Signal Company or Military Police Company.Mexico – First ever Mexican military unit to UN peacekeeping operations (for 2020)Guatemala – Special Forces Company.Egypt – Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Company for MINUSMA, Special Forces Company.Ireland – Expand training support to other trooop contributing countries, including on first aid, disabling improvised explosive devices and mine awareness.Norway – Specialized Police Team to MINUSMA.Indonesia – Long-range Reconnaissance Patrol Unit for MINUSMA.Pakistan – New units and pledges to organize a Female Military Observers Course, Counter-Improvised Explosive Device training, and other trainings.El Salvador – Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aviation Unit for MINUSMA.Rwanda – Infantry Battalion available for Rapid Deployment. “Across the decades, our peacekeeping operations have helped countries from Liberia and Sierra Leone to Timor Leste and Cambodia, transition from conflict to peace”, he said on Friday at the third key UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting, this time taking place at UN Headquarters in New York, to reaffirm and strengthen commitments to ‘blue helmets’ and others who work in peacekeeping missions across the world.“But,” he continued, “as conflicts become more complex and high-risk, our operations must keep pace”.  read more

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of

UNCSC | UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Alison Smale, speaks at the 68th UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. (26 August 2019)Ms. Smale, speaking at the opening session of the conference, underscored the critical importance of making cities inclusive, sustainable, resilient and safe, if the 2030 Agenda – the UN’s roadmap for tackling global challenges, including how to deal with the complexities of rapid urbanization – is to be achieved by its target date.The 2019 conference is chaired by Maruxa Cardama, Secretary General of the Partnership for Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), who described cities and communities as “living laboratories” where “the challenges and opportunities that are central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change become tangible”.Ms. Cardama said that cities and communities can provide opportunities to translate major global issues – from climate change, to human rights, education and jobs for youth – into positive local action for improving livelihoods and protecting the planet. The conference, described by the UN as the Organization’s “premier event in the civil society calendar”, opened today and will run through 28 August. It brings together representatives of civil society from around the world, and senior UN officials, to discuss a wide range of solutions to the challenges of urban life and the modern world.The UN chief welcomed the decision to make inclusive and sustainable cities and communities the focus of this year’s conference, noting that cities are well placed to help combat the global climate emergency and point the way towards sustainable, low-emission development. At a time when civic space is shrinking worldwide and intolerance is on the rise, Mr. Guterres said civil society plays a vital role in solving all global challenges. “Cities are well placed to help combat the climate emergency & point the way towards sustainable, low-emission development. We’ll continue to stress the vital role of civil society in solving global challenges.” -@antonioguterres speaks on advancing the #GlobalGoals at #UNCSC2019— Global Goals (@GlobalGoalsUN) August 26, 2019 A global coalition to transform cities and communities“We are here to learn from each other, to share ideas and to strengthen a global coalition to transform our cities and communities to be more inclusive and sustainable,” said Alison Smale, the head UN global communications, whose department co-organizes the event. UNCSCConference Chair, Maruxa-Cardama, speaks at the 68th UN Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. (26 August 2019)Voice of youthThe 2019 conference has been set up to ensure that young people have a large say in the proceedings, holding a co-chair on nearly all planning sub-committees, and developing a separate outcome document for adoption on the final day of the event.Young people have, said Ms. Smale, “pioneered global movement on the most pressing challenges of our time such as climate change”, and the conference will be an occasion to build momentum for climate action ahead of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, taking place in New York in September.‘The world can’t wait, and neither will we’Salt Lake City has been preparing for the conference for over a year, led by Mayor Jackie Biskupski, who declared that cities and local communities have never before played such an important role in the health and well-being of the world.Cities, she said, are becoming denser, and more diverse in terms of ethnicity, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, nd economic status, which presents great challenges and tremendous opportunities. Salt Lake City, she added, is innovating and building sustainable solutions to meet the challenges of our time.“We are creating coalitions with other local communities, NGOs, and businesses, to maximize our impact. There is a phrase my fellow US mayors have begun using regularly. ‘The world can’t wait, and neither will we’”. read more

Green Paper on Urban Mobility

The European Commission has launched its Green Paper on urban mobility which looks at issues surrounding free-flowing and greener towns and cities, smarter urban mobility and an urban transport which is accessible, safe and secure for all European citizens.DOWNLOAD REPORTClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

New InjuryIncident report form makes process easier and faster

The Brock Injury/Incident report form has a fresh look, more check boxes and new fields to make the report completion process easier and faster.The Injury/Incident report form is an essential tool which captures information about injuries and incidents. The information gathered on the report form assists in determining root causes so appropriate action can be taken to prevent recurrence. In addition, Health, Safety & Wellness (HSW) collates injury data which is utilized to identify trends and recommend preventative measures.Depending on the circumstances, some injuries must be reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). The amendments and additions made to the Injury/Incident report will assist with mandatory WSIB reporting requirements.The redesigned Injury/Incident report is accessible now from OneBrock and is also posted on the Brock website.A brief training video is also available from OneBrock which provides an overview of the changes to the form and a mock injury scenario including a form completion walk-through.Reporting injuries and incidents is mandated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). By reporting, you could help uncover a workplace hazard and prevent further injuries or incidents.United contributions to health and safety by the Brock community supports Brock’s initiative to be a preferred place to work and study. read more

Drum roll please… Summer vacation photo contest winners announced

Mauryah Burattini is the winner of this year’s summer vacation photo contest. You showed us the world, some big moments in your lives and the everyday ones.And you did it all with flare – and a camera – before sending them our way for the Brock News What I Did on My Summer Vacation photo contest.We received 89 photo entries this year for judging by Bob Tymczyszyn, award-winning senior photographer at the St. Catharines Standard, who was wowed by the variety and calibre of submissions.“First of all, I’d like to say how impressed I was with the quality of entries. There was a wide variety of scenes and most would make fantastic prints in a frame. Ultimately I had to narrow it down to three. I wished I could hand out the top ten,” Tymczyszyn wrote in an email. “After an initial cull down to 12, I made a slide show and sat back to see which had the most impact in a 2-3 second view.”Here are this year’s winners:First place goes to Mauryah Burattini, a fourth-year concurrent education student, who travelled to Namibia this summer with the Brock CHYS 4V98 Resiliency course. She shot this photo at the Etosha National Park, Namibia, on a weekend safari trip.“It would just make a great large print on somebody’s wall,” Tymczyszyn said.Burattini has won two tickets to Evalyn Parry’s SPIN: The Theatrical Song Cycle starring The Bicycle at the Centre for the Arts on Nov. 17.The second place photo was shot by Arthur Chen, Brock’s manager of International Student Services and “just goes to show that you don’t have to go very far for a great photo,” Tymczyszyn said. “The shot of the maid of the mist may have been luck but it has great impact.”Chen snagged a $50 gift card from Brock’s food services.Arthur Chen’s photo of the Maid of the Mist in Niagara FallsHonourable mention goes to Lacey Rigg, a community recreation and leisure studies student, whose photo won Tymcyzszyn over with its colours and mood.Lacey Rigg’s photo got honourable mention from Standard photographer Bob Tymczyszyn.Thanks to everyone who entered. Check out the slideshow to see this year’s photos. read more

Video teaches how to react with a dangerous attacker on campus

It’s a scenario most people could never imagine happening at Brock University, but one that Campus Security wants to ensure the community is prepared for.A new training video is being shown across campus to help people clearly understand proper emergency procedures to follow, should the nightmare of an active shooter ever become reality.“The video emphasizes the importance of knowing your environment — the campus layout — at any given time, staying away from the threat if at all possible, and fighting back only as a last resort,” said Donna Moody, Director, Campus Security Services.The video is a realistic dramatization of people reacting when a gunman turns up in a campus setting. Initially introduced by the University of Alberta, it has been modified to reflect the Brock community. Several Canadian universities use it as a teaching resource, to help people know how to react if they ever find themselves in a crisis situation.The new protocol — called Get Out-Hide-Fight — includes elements of the Lockdown/Shelter in Place procedures that have been in place at Brock for years, said Rick Fraser, Campus Security Emergency Management and Life Safety Manager.If there were ever a life-threatening attacker on campus, the best response is always to safely and immediately evacuate away from danger. If that’s not possible, the second option is to hide in a secure location.The third choice and absolute last resort, as the video illustrates, is to fight back.“You might be fighting for your life,” said Fraser, adding that people should only confront a violent attacker if they became trapped in a space with no escape.Active shooters do not typically respond to reason, so Fraser said people must assume they intend to cause harm.“This video tells people to disarm and incapacitate the shooter any way possible, improvising weapons from nearby objects,” he said.“Find an object you can use to strike the shooter with; trip them with a chair; be as aggressive as you can. Do anything you can to stop them.”Fraser is expecting mixed reactions to the video due to its “realistic and unsettling depiction” of an armed attacker roaming around campus, but believes it will prompt an important discussion that could ultimately lead to saving lives.“This is all about being prepared. We should not wait until this type of event occurs to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do?’”Campus Security is available to attend departmental meetings, training sessions and other gatherings to share more information about the new protocol.For more information, contact Fraser at 905-688-5550, ext. 3130 or of Get Out-Hide-Fight are also available on the new Campus Security Services website.Viewers should be advised that the video is a realistic dramatization of a life-threatening scenario, and contains scenes that some people may find disturbing.Get OutSafely evacuate, removing yourself and others from dangerMake mental notes of exit routes whenever you’re on campusIf you hear something that could be gunshots, don’t wait — get outHideIf you don’t know exactly where the shooting is happening or it’s too late to escape safely, find a secure room or spaceGet behind a lockable door, barricade the door and improvise with any object to prevent someone from enteringHide under a desk, in a closetSilence your phoneTurn off the lightsStay quietRemain hidden until the police arriveIf a fire alarm is activated during an active shooter incident, do not evacuate unless otherwise informed by the building’s emergency notification system, Campus Security or Brock’s social media platformsFightThis option is a last resort, to be used only if you somehow become trapped by an active shooter in a space with no escapeFind an object you can strike or trip the shooter withBe as aggressive as you canDo anything you can to stop them read more

VMI pulls away on 141 run in overtime beats Stetson 8779

DELAND, Fla. — Bubba Parham scored 30 points, Myles Lewis had six of his 15 in overtime and VMI beat Stetson 87-79 on Friday.Parham was 9-of-24 shooting, made five 3-pointers and had nine rebounds and five assists. Lewis made 6 of 10 shots and grabbed nine boards. Greg Parham added 13 points and Sarju Patel 11 for VMI (5-2).Leo Goodman scored 13 points and Abayomi Iyiola had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead Stetson (1-5).The Keydets used a 14-1 run to help outscore Stetson 18-10 in the extra period. Greg Parham and Patel each hit a 3-pointer and Lewis made a layup, two free throws and capped the surge with a dunk.The Hatters led 69-66 with six seconds left. Following a Stetson timeout, Marques Sumner fouled Bubba Parham with two seconds left. Parham made the first free throw then intentionally missed the second, and Tyler Creammer tipped it in to force overtime tied at 69. Creammer finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.The Associated Press read more

Concussion safety ad prompted by teens death to air during NBA finals

A new concussion safety TV ad campaign prompted by the death of a 17-year-old Ontario girl was set to launch Monday as millions of eyes will be on the highly anticipated Game 5 of the NBA Finals.The powerful spot from the provincial government recently started playing in Cineplex theatres and was to start a run on Sportsnet Ontario as the Toronto Raptors take on the Golden State Warriors.It shows a young female soccer player training hard and taking hits to her head during games, then collapsing on the field. It ends with the words “Hit. Stop. Sit” – the slogan for an awareness campaign under Rowan’s Law, Ontario’s concussion safety legislation named for Rowan Stringer, who died in 2013 from second impact syndrome after multiple concussions as a rugby player.Her dad, Gordon Stringer, said his family is pleased with the ad.“For us it’s hard to watch, but that’s exactly what it needed to be,” he said.Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Michael Tibollo said the goal is to get the message to athletes, parents and coaches that if you’re hit, stop playing, sit it out and seek medical advice.“We’ve got to get away from the warrior mentality,” he said. “The problem that happens is you’re also being put into situations where you’re being told suck it up when you do have some kind of trauma to the head and you continue because you want to do the best you can do.”Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, who spearheaded Rowan’s Law when she was in Opposition, said a culture change is required so players don’t feel compelled to play through a head injury.“One of the things I do when I’m coaching hockey, I remind the kids on my daughter’s team that if they are injured, I know it’s easy to come off the ice when you have a sore ankle or if you’ve broken your arm,” she said. “It’s much more difficult to get off the ice, the field, the pitch, whatever, if you have a head injury because it’s invisible.”Rowan’s Law, a joint effort from MacLeod, Liberal John Fraser and New Democrat Catherine Fife, passed last year and established what MacLeod said is the first law of its kind in the country.The law establishes removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols for players to ensure they are taken out of a game if they are suspected of having a concussion.Starting July 1, athletes, parents, coaches and officials will be required to review concussion awareness resources and a concussion code of conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while playing sports.Former NHLer Eric Lindros, who was at Monday’s announcement, called for concussion safety to become an issue in the federal election campaign.“No matter what measures are taken in sport, concussions are going to occur from time to time, unfortunately,” he said. “So let’s be prepared and educated.” read more

Opinion Thad Matta basketball tree evident with Boston Celtics

Coach Thad Matta calls to players. Lantern file photoThe talk of this summer’s NBA free agent frenzy has been all about LeBron James coming back to Ohio to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, another reunion of sorts is taking place elsewhere — and it isn’t in Ohio.The Boston Celtics brought in former Ohio State Buckeye forward Evan Turner on Monday to improve a young roster with a young coach. That coach, Brad Stevens, also has an interesting tie to OSU.Stevens coached under current Buckeye coach Thad Matta while Matta was the head man at Butler University. Stevens went on to take the same position and led the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Championship Games, but fell short in both.Now, Turner joins Stevens and fellow Buckeye forward Jared Sullinger, who could have played with Turner had the 2010 No. 2 overall pick not bolted for the NBA following his junior year.The Matta player/coaching tree can be felt all over the league as Turner leaves a team in Indiana that included another Matta star, forward David West. West won the Associated Press Player of the Year under Matta at Xavier in 2003 as Turner did in 2010 for the Buckeyes.So what’s next for Turner as he joins his third team in two years? Hopefully a bigger role than he had in Indiana.When Turner was dealt to the Pacers in February, he was on pace for a career year as he was averaging 17.4 points per game and six rebounds per game in 54 games with Philadelphia.Once he arrived in Indiana, though, he was reduced to a reserve role and averaged just 7.1 points per appearance, starting just two games as a Pacer.Turner will now be coached by a Matta disciple and, with any luck, will be able to jumpstart his career. His learning curve will likely be reduced as Stevens’ terminology and schemes almost certainly mirror what Matta taught at OSU.If Turner should need any guidance other than that of his coach, he needs to look no further than Sullinger, who has gone through just as much adversity as Turner.Sullinger, who dominated the Big Ten with his strong frame, was thought to be undersized and injury-prone coming out of OSU, causing him to drop to the No. 21 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.Despite suffering a season-ending back injury during his rookie year, Sullinger was able to bounce back during his sophomore season by more than doubling his points per game average from 6.0 in 2012-13 to 13.3 last season.His coach during his second season? First-year NBA coach Brad Stevens.With the Turner, Sullinger and Stevens trio in Boston, I look for the two former Buckeyes to turn into leaders on a team that only includes three players over the age of 30 and maybe even make the now wide-open Eastern Conference that much more interesting. read more

Ohio State baseball drops two of three at home against UNLV

Sophomore outfielder Ronnie Dawson (4) greets fans during a game against UNLV on April 12 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU lost, 7-4. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer As Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel once said, “Now there’s three things that can happen in a ball game: you can win, you can lose, or it can rain.”After a week of rainouts, the Ohio State baseball team experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in its weekend series against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, completing Stengel’s trifecta. The Rebels snapped the Buckeyes’ six-game winning streak on Saturday before making it two straight OSU losses on Sunday. Sunday’s game went scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when UNLV took a five-run lead. The Buckeyes responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the fifth, but the Rebels added two more in the sixth on their way to a 7-4 win. “It was a costly loss today and we had an opportunity to put ourselves in good position this weekend and we lost ground on that,” OSU coach Greg Beals said in a press release. “UNLV pitched the ball pretty well against us, but I also think our hitters need to stay more offensive.”Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss was the Buckeyes’ first defeat at home since March 20 against Michigan State. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh, senior catcher Aaron Gretz lit the spark for the Buckeyes, smashing his first career home run to the tie the contest at 2-2. But that wouldn’t be enough to spark the Buckeyes as the bats stayed stagnant for the remainder of the matchup. “Baseball is a game of failures. You’re going to fail seven out of 10 times. The important thing is we still have confidence in our team,” sophomore outfielder Troy Montgomery said. Beals said his team played well despite coming up short in key situations.“We had an unfortunate error to allow them to get the go-ahead run and (senior outfielder) Pat Porter barely misses a ball that would have given us the lead in the previous inning, too,” Beals said in a press release. “Their pitchers did a really good job of pitching ahead in the count.” On Friday, the Buckeyes won their fourth walk-off in five games, and seventh this season. It was the Troys of the team who once again lead the Buckeyes in the ninth to their victory. Montgomery led off with a double to left-center to get the bats started before moving to third after senior catcher Connor Sabanosh grounded out. After an intentional walk on Porter, junior infielder Troy Kuhn hit a 2-0 pitch down the right-field line, allowing the speedy Montgomery to score the winning run. “Our team chemistry is the best since I’ve been here,” Kuhn said. “We play for each other, and this has been a lot of fun lately.”The Buckeyes are set to return to Bill Davis Stadium on Tuesday to take on Louisville at 7 p.m. read more

Mens basketball Ohio State goes for the season sweep at Michigan State

OSU senior forward Marc Loving drives to the basket against Michigan State forward Miles Bridges on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 72-67. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State is going to East Lansing, Michigan, with the upper hand as the Buckeyes already have a win under their belt against Michigan State, defeating the Spartans 72-67 on Jan. 15 in Columbus. However, with seeding in the Big Ten tournament and dwindling hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament on the line, the pressure is palpable approaching the final five games of the Big Ten regular season.OSU has won only two of seven road games in Big Ten play, and junior forward Jae’Sean Tate said it’s tough for opposing teams to win at the Breslin Center.“There is a tough environment out there,” Tate said. “I haven’t won out there before, so just trying to go in there and get the ‘W’ there.”One of the players who might stand in OSU’s way of victory is Michigan State freshman forward Miles Bridges. OSU coach Thad Matta said Bridges’ 24-point, nine-rebound performance against the Buckeyes in January was as impressive of a performance from a freshman he’s seen this year.“He’s tremendous and we have to do a better job of trying to slow him down,” Matta said.Bridges shot 75 percent from the floor and hit 4-of-5 3-point shots, but was the only Spartan in double figures that day. Tate hinted that his plan for defending Bridges will have to change this time around.“I can’t let him get comfortable from the 3 because once he sees a couple go in, then he’s tough to guard,” Tate said. “Just trying to make him as uncomfortable as he can from the perimeter because he has a lot of aspects to his game. Once he gets going, he’s hard to stop.”OSU has had trouble defending the perimeter shot as of late. In the loss to the Terrapins, the Buckeyes allowed 29 attempts behind the 3-point line, with Maryland converting on 41.4 percent of those shots.Offensively, OSU’s scoring leader for the first game against the Spartans, sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle, is returning after having to leave the team due to a family emergency. Lyle shot 66.7 percent from the field and led the team with 22 points in the five-point win. Matta said Lyle and the rest of the OSU offense is going to have to face a very stout defensive team.“Michigan State, I think, is as good as anyone in the Big Ten defensively,” Matta said. “They are going to make you earn everything that you get in the game tomorrow night. They are going to have a tremendous push in transition. They are trying to score as quick as they can. If it’s not there, they are going to execute one, or sometimes two sets in a possession.”In the Spartans’ last game, a 77-66 win over Iowa, Michigan State held the Hawkeyes to shoot only 32.8 percent from the field, converting only four 3-pointers on 21 attempts. Size was a big factor in the win as well, with Bridges and redshirt sophomore forward Kenny Goins combining for 21 of the Spartans’ 46 rebounds.With only five games left before the Big Ten tournament, OSU has a limited amount of time to boost its resume to be in consideration for the NCAA Tournament. Tate said this team is feeling the pressure going into the end of the season.“There is no margin for error,” he said. “We just have to go in these last five or six games like there is no margin. We have to win these ones.”Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan. read more

Mens lacrosse Ohio State coach Nick Myers signs fiveyear contract extension

After leading Ohio State’s lacrosse program to its first-ever national championship appearance, coach Nick Myers has signed a five-year contract extension, Ohio State announced Tuesday afternoon. Myers has been the coach at Ohio State for nine seasons and has led the program to the NCAA quarterfinals three times and final four and national championship games once, while posting a career 85-63 record.“We are excited to see Coach Myers’ contract here at Ohio State,” said Janine Oman, senior associate athletic director, student services and sport administration and senior women’s administrator, in a statement. “His focus on student athlete development in all facets of their life is an exemplar for others to follow. He has made a tremendous impact on the Ohio State lacrosse program, but, more importantly, the young men he mentors during their time at Ohio State.”Last season was Myers’ most successful as head coach of the Buckeyes as the team set a program record with 16 wins on his way to a semifinal victory against Towson and championship game loss to Maryland, the same team it lost to in the Big Ten tournament finals. Six All-Americans emerged from last season’s team, including then-junior defenseman Ben Randall, Ohio State’s first-ever first-team All-American.Under Myers, the program was accepted into the Big Ten in 2015 after spending its previous five seasons in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. While in the ECAC, Myers led the team to a conference tournament title in 2013 and a regular season title the following year. Ohio State reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2013 for the second time in school history before Cornell upset the Buckeyes, 16-6.Myers began his coaching career at Ohio State in 2002 as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons — including 2003 when the Buckeyes made it to their first NCAA tournament — before joining Butler’s staff in 2004. After the 2005 season, Myers returned to Columbus as the top assistant coach for the Buckeyes and helped to lead the team to its first NCAA quarterfinals appearance in 2008 when it lost to Duke. Myers was promoted to head coach in July of the same year. read more

Baseball Ohio State opens up season with 31 record down at Snowbird

Ohio State sophomore pitcher Connor Curlis delivers a pitch in the top of the second inning against North Carolina Greensboro on April 22 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State baseball team opened its season by winning three of four games in Port Charlotte, Florida, as part of the Snowbird Classic. It won two games against UW-Milwaukee and split a two-game set with Canisius.Senior Noah McGowan was particularly effective, beginning his season 8-14 with a pair of home runs and 13 RBIs in the four games.Game 1: UW-MilwaukeeOhio State first baseman Noah McGowan smacked a 2-1 pitch into left-center field for a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 7-7 tie. That proved to be the game-winning hit with Ohio State up for an eventual 11-7 comeback win over the Panthers Friday.The Panthers leapt out to a 3-2 advantage off the back of a four-hit fourth inning, expanding that lead to 6-2 by the seventh inning.The Buckeyes responded with a four-run seventh frame, including a three-run double by senior left fielder Tyler Cowles.McGowan left his mark on the game at the dish, going 2-4 with six RBIs. Cowles went 3-5 with four RBIs.   Ohio State junior Connor Curlis started and pitched five innings, surrendering three earned runs and striking out four batters. Senior reliever Seth Kinker picked up the win after working the seventh inning.Game 2: CanisiusThe Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) finished off a double-header with two wins after beating the Canisius Golden Griffins (0-1, 0-0 MAAC) 6-4 on Friday.Ohio State junior starting pitcher Ryan Feltner delivered five innings with four earned runs and six strikeouts to grab his first win of the season. Relievers Griffan Smith, Kyle Michalik, and Kinker combined for four shutout innings from there. Kinker earned his first save of the season.McGowan had another huge batting performance, going 2-5 with four RBIs that included a three-run home run. Game 3: CanisiusThe Buckeyes suffered their first loss Saturday in a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Golden Griffins.Ohio State opened the scoring in the first inning, when McGowan continued his hot start to the season with a two-run home run.Canisius gained the lead in the bottom of the third inning on RBI singles by Stephen Bennett and Joseph Preziuso. The effort was aided by a pair of errors from Pohl.The Golden Griffins extended their lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning after an error by McGowan extended the inning to allow for an RBI triple by Canisius shortstop Conner Morro.Ohio State redshirt senior starting pitcher Adam Niemeyer pitched five innings after getting the start, surrendering five runs — only one of them earned. Game 4: UW-MilwaukeeOhio State finished off the four-game trip with another win over UW-Milwaukee, this time by a tally of 13-3.Redshirt senior Yianni Pavlopoulos got the start for the Buckeyes and picked up the win, allowing two earned runs in five innings of work.Junior second baseman Brady Cherry finished 2-3 with three RBIs, while first baseman Bo Coolen was 2-4 with a pair of RBIs for the Buckeyes. read more