Africa Press Releases South Africa

INGOT Brokers Obtains FSCA License and Opens New Office in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sept. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via InvestorWire – INGOT RSA (PTY) LTD (“INGOT Brokers”) today announces its official Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) license in South Africa and first physical office in Africa’s most industrialized and technologically advanced country. This long-awaited step results from INGOT Brokers’ unwavering efforts to strengthen its worldwide presence while presenting premium trading services to all investors.

The FSCA regulates and supervises market conduct for all financial institutions providing a financial product and/or service in South Africa as defined in the Financial Sector Regulation Act No. 9 of 2017 (FSRA). Consequently, this acquisition allows INGOT to further realize its mission of raising investor awareness by offering guidance on smart trading and risk management, as well as fostering a healthy investment environment that enables traders to achieve their financial goals with utmost safety and security.

“Recently,” said INGOT Brokers Director Hossam Abdelaziz, “we have been adamantly working on acquiring this FSCA license, and our efforts have now paid off. Obtaining such licenses is no easy feat as they have very stringent compliance requirements specifically placed to protect customers. However, our core mission is providing our clients around the world with innovative trading services in a safe environment, which is exactly why we sought authorization from the FSCA and will continue to pursue similar licenses.”

“I am truly proud that our company has achieved this significant milestone,” said INGOT Brokers Chief Sales Officer Athol Nourse, “which was made possible due to the dedication and commitment of INGOT Brokers’ incredible team. Receiving the FSCA license is the first step toward fulfilling our goal of penetrating the African market and growing our client base in the continent. We are optimistic about expanding our operations there and confident that it will present many new opportunities. It is indeed a very exciting time to be part of INGOT Brokers!”

INGOT RSA (PTY) LTD is a licensed financial services provider and regulated online brokerage firm serving as an intermediary between traders and global financial markets to facilitate access to premium liquidity opportunities. This covers varied financial derivative and CFD instruments, including commodities, stocks, indices, ETFs, and currencies. INGOT Brokers presents investors with a unique trading experience through its competitive trading services and conditions.

INGOT RSA (PTY) LTD, trading as INGOT Brokers, is an authorized financial services provider (FSP 51008).


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Africa Press Releases South Africa

African Leadership: World Must Double Down on Climate Adaptation to Secure Africa

Africa Adaptation Summit outlines 5-point “Adaptation Delivery Breakthrough” for the key UN climate conference in Egypt (COP27) this November and $55 million of new funding to mobilize over $5 billion in climate adaptation action projects for Africa

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Sept. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — African and global leaders joined the Africa Adaptation Summit at the Global Center on Adaptation, outlining the most critical elements of the global community’s response to the climate crisis that heavily affects Africa as the world’s most exposed region, two months ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (COP27).

Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) said:

“Africa is unstoppable. But Africa is ground zero for the global climate breakdown. Nobody benefits if Africa fails to tackle it. Climate fallout in Africa cannot be contained so adaptation action can and must scale at breakneck speed across the continent. The world has to double down on adaptation at the UN climate summit in Egypt just weeks away.”

He added that “We need an adaptation delivery breakthrough for Africa at COP27. That means adaptation finance visibly flowing in Africa. It means the financial ask on wealthy nations for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program and its Upstream Financing Facility is delivered by COP27. If we fail, all the progress of Glasgow’s COP is at risk.”

The Summit’s five-point Communique highlighted that Africa was at a tipping point due to being most exposed to the food crisis triggered by the Ukraine conflict as well as the frontline of the global climate breakdown. It underscored that Success at COP27 will depend on whether the needs of Africa, the world’s most climate-vulnerable continent, are met, with finance flowing into key country-led adaptation programs such as the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP).

Macky Sall, President of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union said:

“You have to adapt or die. We do not have the choice. Our time to act is coming to an end. Africa must prioritize adaptation. Africa needs to invest massively in adaptation and resilience. As Chairperson of the African Union, I urge Africa’s development partners to fully fund the AAAP and make it an exemplary model of what is possible when we collaborate. This impact will be enhanced through your support to the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility and the African Development Bank’s Climate Action under the ADF Replenishment. The AAAP is what delivers on the vision of the Africa Adaptation Initiative.”

“COP26 marked a breakthrough thanks to your determination to put adaptation on the global agenda by doubling adaptation finance. Now, with your help, we must keep that promise. With your support, the AAAP can make this vision a reality,” concluded President Macky Sall.

The Summit highlighted that Africa is warming faster than other regions. Its underlying socio-economic vulnerabilities also mean that nine out of ten of the world’s most vulnerable countries are in Africa, where food expenses make up 75% of the income of the continent’s poorest groups when more than a fifth of all Africans are already food insecure. The number of Africa’s poorest nations at high risk of debt distress has also tripled in the past decade.

President Akufo Addo of Ghana and Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) said:

“If we want Africa to thrive, we must adapt to climate change. Africa must close the adaptation financing gap. We cannot wait. I look forward to the swift implementation of the AAAP. The fate of our continent and the planet depends upon it.” President Akufo Addo also highlighted adaptation priorities for COP27 including calling for “a standalone implementation plan of the COP26-agree doubling of adaptation funding by 2025. It’s time to turn words into deeds and ambition into action. Crucially, we expect progress and we expect to see how funds will flow into country-led programs like the AAAP.”

President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and co-host of the PreCOP27 said:

“We are here because we believe the AAAP is needed not just for Africa, but for the world. When Africa wins, the world wins. We cannot let Africa be held back and undermined by the climate crisis. We need partnership to forge a resilient future. With an African COP this year, we cannot miss out on a win for Africa on climate. To secure that win, we need to at minimum see the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility mobilized, positioning the AAAP to drive the full $25 billion in adaptation projects on the ground.” He added that “our Pre-COP meeting in Kinshasa next month aims to springboard the priorities of Africa and the most vulnerable nations to center-stage at COP27. As a part of the Pre-COP we will also host the CVF’s high level Forum of Vulnerable Nations event because this is the voice that matters the most in the climate crisis.”

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, said:

“The Glasgow decision urges developed countries to collectively double adaptation funding by 2025. This must be delivered in full, as a base line. Developed countries need to provide, by COP27, a clear roadmap of how and when they will deliver on this commitment.”

The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations also underscored that delivery on adaptation finance will be a “litmus test” for countries honouring their end of the Glasgow Pact, and joined the call for COP27 to deliver a breakthrough on implementation for adaptation.

The Summit at the GCA’s floating headquarters in Rotterdam harbour announced US$55 million in new contributions from the United Kingdom ($23m), Norway ($15m), France ($10m), Denmark ($7m), among other supporters to the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility managed by the GCA, whose 1:100 leverage ratio will influence over 5 billion in climate adaptation investments across Africa. The Upstream Financing Facility was described by GCA Chair and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon as the “transmission belt” for the best global and regional knowledge and innovation directly to large-scale investment projects in Africa.

Donors announcing new funding commitments to the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility at the Summit further commented, as follows:

President of COP26 Alok Sharma:

“COP26 was an important milestone for adaptation, but we have to pick up the pace and turn commitments made in the Glasgow Climate Pact into urgent action if we’re to protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

As agreed at COP26, developed nations need to at least collectively double climate adaptation finance to developing countries by 2025.

Public finance will not be enough, which is why initiatives such as the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme are key to mobilising private sector engagement and investment for adaptation.”

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, Norway:

“Norway has committed to double our climate finance and at least triple support to adaptation by 2026. For Norway, GCA is a key partner in advancing the climate adaptation and food security agenda. We welcome GCA’s cooperation with the African Development Bank on the AAAP. AAAP’s objectives are fully in line with our priorities. How can we – together – minimize the risk of climate disasters? How can we make food systems more resilient – making the most vulnerable better placed to cope with the next drought, flood or plague? How can we – at the same time – create much needed jobs, especially for the youth? AAAP is definitely an important part of the answer. I would therefore encourage more partners to join our efforts.”

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, France:

“France remains highly committed to tackling climate change and supporting adaptation in African countries. On behalf of President Macron, I am proud to announce our decision to invest 10 million euros in the AAAP’s Upstream Financing Facility. This effort should leverage a total of 1 billion euros of adaptation investments, and support concrete local improvements in environmental quality and resilience.”

Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark, :

“Denmark has set a clear goal: 60% of our climate aid will help developing countries to adapt to climate change. In total, Denmark expects to give at least 1% of the collective target of 100bn I hope this can pave the way for massive investments in adaptation and green energy in Africa. And Denmark will continue to do our part. We are deeply committed to meet climate challenges, and to deliver on our promises.”

Over seventy leaders from the international climate and development community attended the Dialogue which concluded with a Communique adopted in the presence of the Dialogue’s Co-Conveners, Chair of the GCA Board, Ban Ki-moon; CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, Professor Patrick Verkooijen; African Union President Macky Sall of Senegal; Climate Vulnerable Forum Chair President Akufo Addo of Ghana; PreCOP27 host President Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Co-Chair of the GCA Board, Feike Sijbesma.

The following are the five points of the Africa Adaptation Summit’s Communique:

  1. Africa at a tipping point: The international community needs to reckon with the multiple economic, climate and health crises that are pressuring Africa.
  2. Most vulnerable continent: Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the consequences of the climate crisis.
  3. Adaptation Finance Doubling Implementation: Progress and transparency on the COP26 agreement to doubling international finance for adaptation by 2025 through delivery into the country programs of the most vulnerable will be central to the success of COP27.
  4. Capitalizing Africa’s Adaptation Program (AAAP): COP27 is the opportunity for the international community to show solidarity with the bold adaptation efforts of the world’s most vulnerable continent by closing in on the outstanding resourcing need for the African Development Fund (ADF) climate action window.
  5. Delivering the AAAP Upstream Facility: Making available the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility’s full resourcing needs by COP27 positions the AAAP itself to drive its full ambition into adaptation projects on the ground across Africa, a headline deliverable for the “African COP.”

In closing remarks Feike Sijbesma, Co-Chair of the GCA, noted:

“Investments in global climate adaptation cooperation are a big opportunity for countries like the Netherlands to share some of our best innovations with those who need them the most. The AAAP will be a crucial vehicle for triggering far greater business investment across Africa into green and resilient solutions. This is a collective effort, we need every sector, every contribution possible to see off the climate crisis in Africa, and the private sector, in particular, has a massive role to play.”

Notes to Editors

About the Global Center on Adaptation

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization which works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future. Founded in 2018, the GCA is hosted by the Netherlands, working from its headquarters in Rotterdam with a knowledge and research hub based in Groningen. The GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Dhaka, Bangladesh and Beijing, China. Through this evolving network of offices and global and regional GCA teams, the organization engages in high-level policy activities, new research contributions, communications, and technical assistance to governments and the private sector.


Global Center on Adaptation
Africa Press Releases South Africa

Anaqua annonce un changement de direction dans la région Asie-Pacifique

Shinji Tokunaga devient Président & Directeur Général pour le Japon

BOSTON, 06 sept. 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Anaqua, le leader mondial de l’innovation et des technologies de gestion de la propriété intellectuelle (PI), a annoncé aujourd’hui un changement dans son équipe de direction dans la région Asie-Pacifique alors qu’elle poursuit sa trajectoire de croissance à long terme. Shinji Tokunaga a rejoint Anaqua depuis le 1er septembre 2022, en tant que Président & Directeur Général, Japon. Karen Taylor, Directrice Générale, Asie-Pacifique, quittera la société, après avoir dirigé la croissance d’Anaqua dans la région pendant plus de cinq ans.

« Je tiens à remercier Karen pour son leadership et son engagement envers nos clients, collègues et parties prenantes », a déclaré Bob Romeo, PDG d’Anaqua. « Karen a eu un impact fort sur le développement de notre activité et le positionnement d’Anaqua pour la croissance future, ainsi qu’en tant que membre de notre équipe de direction mondiale. »

Tokunaga-san a récemment occupé le poste de directeur représentatif et de PDG de Global Open Network Japan, Inc. où il a dirigé l’ensemble des opérations, ainsi que le développement et la commercialisation d’une nouvelle activité de plateforme de services de paiement utilisant la technologie blockchain. Avant Global Open Network Japan, Tokunaga-san a occupé des postes de direction chez Akamai Technologies, Attachmate, Novell Japan et Borland. Tokunaga-san est titulaire d’une licence en arts de l’université Hosei.

« Anaqua est une société impressionnante, et je suis très heureux de rejoindre l’équipe. La propriété intellectuelle est un atout essentiel pour les entreprises, et nous avons une grande opportunité d’aider nos clients à tirer plus de valeur de leurs portefeuilles », a déclaré Tokunaga.

« Nous sommes très heureux d’avoir quelqu’un avec la vaste expérience de Tokunaga-san à la tête de l’entreprise et de superviser notre prochaine étape de croissance et d’investissement au Japon », a ajouté Romeo. « Son expérience avérée le met en bonne position pour diriger nos équipes interfonctionnelles et établir des partenariats avec nos clients actuels et futurs sur le marché. Je suis fier de ce que nous avons accompli au Japon jusqu’à présent et je suis enthousiaste pour ce qui reste à venir. »

À propos d’Anaqua

Anaqua, Inc. est un fournisseur de premier plan de solutions et services technologiques intégrés de gestion de la propriété intellectuelle (PI). Ses logiciels, AQX et PATTSY WAVE, combinent les meilleurs outils pour définir une stratégie de propriété intellectuelle avisée. Ses technologies, qui reposent notamment sur des workflows et des capacités d’analyses avancés, offre un environnement de travail intelligent conçu pour une prendre de meilleures décisions et optimiser les opérations de PI. Aujourd’hui, près de la moitié des 100 premiers déposants de brevets américains et des marques mondiales, ainsi qu’un nombre croissant de cabinets de conseils dans le monde utilisent les solutions Anaqua. Plus d’un million de décideurs, avocats, parajuristes, gestionnaires et innovateurs utilisent la plateforme pour leurs besoins de gestion de la PI. Le siège de la société est situé à Boston, avec des bureaux aux Etats-Unis, en Europe et en Asie. Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez consulter le site, ou LinkedIn.

Contact de la société :
Amanda Hollis
Directrice de la communication

Africa Asean MENA Pakistan Press Releases South Africa

Anaqua Announces Executive Leadership Changes in the Asia-Pacific Region

Shinji Tokunaga Joins as President & General Manager, Japan

BOSTON, Sept. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Anaqua, the leading global innovation and intellectual property (IP) management technology provider, today announced changes to its executive leadership team in the Asia-Pacific region as it continues on its long-term growth trajectory. Shinji Tokunaga joined Anaqua effective September 1, 2022, as President & General Manager, Japan. Karen Taylor, General Manager, Asia Pacific, will be leaving the company, having led Anaqua’s growth in the region for over five years.

“I want to thank Karen for her leadership and commitment to our customers, colleagues, and stakeholders,” said Anaqua CEO Bob Romeo. “Karen has been influential in developing our business and positioning Anaqua for future growth as well as serving as a member of our global leadership team.”

Tokunaga-san most recently served as Representative Director and CEO of Global Open Network Japan, Inc., where he led the entire operation, and the development and commercialization of a new payment service platform business using blockchain technology. Prior to Global Open Network Japan, Tokunaga-san held leadership positions at Akamai Technologies, Attachmate, Novell Japan, and Borland. Tokunaga-san holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hosei University.

“Anaqua is an impressive company, and I am excited to join the team. Intellectual property is a critical asset for companies, and we have a great opportunity to help our clients derive more value from their portfolios,” said Tokunaga.

“We are very pleased to have someone with Tokunaga-san’s extensive experience leading the business and overseeing our next stage of growth and investment in Japan,” Romeo added. “His proven track record positions him well to lead our cross-functional teams and partner with our existing and future clients in the market. I am proud of what we have accomplished in Japan thus far and I am excited for what is yet to come.”

About Anaqua

Anaqua, Inc. is a premium provider of integrated intellectual property (IP) management technology solutions and services for corporations and law firms. Its IP management software solutions, AQX and PATTSY WAVE, both offer best practice workflows with big data analytics and tech-enabled services to create an intelligent environment designed to inform IP strategy, enable IP decision-making, and streamline IP operations, tailored to each segment’s need. Today, nearly half of the top 100 U.S. patent filers and global brands, as well as a growing number of law firms worldwide use Anaqua’s solutions. Over one million IP executives, attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and innovators use the platform for their IP management needs. The company’s global operations are headquartered in Boston, with offices across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia. For additional information, please visit, or on LinkedIn.

Company Contact:
Amanda Hollis
Director, Communications

Africa Press Releases South Africa

The Number of UnionPay Card Issuance Markets to Reach 77

The UnionPay Acceptance Network has extended to 181 Countries and Regions

LUSAKA, Zambia, Sept. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International (UPI) recently announced its partnership with National association of Savings and Credit Unions (NASCU), the apex organisation for all financial cooperatives in Zambia, to issue 700,000 UnionPay cards within three years. This marks the first time that UnionPay cards are rolled out in the country, extending UnionPay’s card issuing footsteps to 77 countries and regions globally.

The NASCU of Zambia will issue UnionPay chip cards to empower local citizens who were previously cash-dependent to have easy, secure, and convenient payment experiences for their daily lives and enable them to transact overseas.

Currently, nearly 190 million UnionPay cards have been issued outside the Chinese mainland.  In the Asia-Pacific region, one in every four new bank cards in the region is branded UnionPay. UnionPay accounts for over 90% of debit cards in circulation in Hong Kong and Macao SAR. In UAE, Kenya, the Philippines and other places, UnionPay card is also the payroll cards, student cards and citizen card of local residents. This year, more than 13 million UnionPay cards have been issued outside mainland China. The volume of transactions made with these cards has exceeded the level before the pandemic.

The acceleration of business localization is based on UPI’s effort in extending and enhancing its overseas acceptance network. In August, UnionPay International joined hand with Cardnet, the largest acquirer in the Dominican Republic, to enable UnionPay acceptance at all Cardnet merchants. This is the first time that UnionPay card services are made available in the country. The UnionPay acceptance network has thus extended to 181 countries and regions, covering more than 37 million merchants outside the Chinese mainland.

In the first half of this year, more than 1.7 million merchants outside the Chinese mainland enabled UnionPay acceptance, significantly improving the user experience in Europe, North America, and other places, and the number of online UnionPay merchants increased to 22 million. Mobile payment services have been developing rapidly, with 13 million merchants in 95 countries and regions outside the Chinese mainland supporting UnionPay QR or mobile QuickPass. The latest survey by Juniper Research, a British consulting firm, shows that UPI has become one of the global leaders in QR payment.


Connecting Ports and People

Ports play a vital role in the global economy, with over 90% of goods being traded across the ocean. Yet ports also have a large impact on the lives of people living along the coastline, from changing their landscapes and providing employment opportunities to affording opportunities to connect to the rest of the world.

The large role that ports play in coastal communities means that port security is crucial to the well-being of a country’s culture and economy. Ports are often spread over thousands of hectares of sea and land, meaning that criminals have many opportunities to smuggle illegal weapons, drugs, and commit multiple crimes.

The UN Office on Drug and Crime’s Eastern Africa office has enhanced port security in the Western Indian Ocean and recently held photo exhibitions in Madagascar, Mauritius, and Tanzania to showcase how ports and people are interconnected, thus underscoring the need to maximize port security.

A picture tells a thousand words, as our photo exhibits show below:

Mahajanga, Madagascar

Photographer: Rijasolo

“Whether they are port dockers, dhow captains, fishermen or simple evening strollers, their economic and social life is directly or indirectly linked to this maritime environment. My role as a photographer is to reveal this friendship between them and “their” sea,” explains Rijasolo, the photographer.


Photographer: Keivan Cadinouche

“A port is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. A port never stops. There are a lot of actors who gravitate around this area. And indirectly, the port creates a very close link between its inhabitants, its surroundings and its activity.

I also had the chance to meet men and women who work there every day. They do jobs that we do not necessarily know: divers who inspect the hulls of ships, taxi boats, supply boats, shipyards with teams of 500 people capable of repairing all the parts of a ship, fishermen who sew the tuna fillets, propeller spinners… It’s a world of enormous proportions.”

Source: United Nations


35 Civilians Killed When Vehicle Hits Explosive Device in Northern Burkina Faso

At least 35 civilians were killed and 37 were injured in northern Burkina Faso on Monday, when a vehicle in a convoy hit an improvised explosive device (IED), the interim government said in a statement.

The escorted supply convoy heading to the capital of Ouagadougou hit the IED between the northern towns of Djibo and Bourzanga, an area where Islamist militants have escalated attacks on villages, police and military outposts since 2015.

“Escorts rapidly secured the perimeter and took measures to assist the victims,” the military government said in a statement.

Insecurity has risen across West Africa’s Sahel over the past decade as groups with links to al-Qaida and Islamic State have gained ground, killing thousands and displacing more than a million people despite the presence of foreign troops and United Nations peacekeepers.

Frustrations about spiraling attacks spurred a military coup against Burkina Faso’s ex-President Roch Kabore in January.

But levels of violence have remained high.

Nearly one in 10 people in Burkina Faso has been displaced by conflict and severe food insecurity has almost doubled compared to 2021 as fields and livestock are abandoned, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Source: Voice of America


Biden Says No to Appeals to Designate Russia a State Sponsor of Terror

President Joe Biden has made a final decision to not designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, the White House said Tuesday, saying that such a move could backfire and have unintended consequences for U.S. support of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

Biden’s one-word response — “no,” he said, when reporters asked him on Monday, “should Russia be designated a state sponsor of terrorism?” — ends months of serious, fervent discussions on Capitol Hill and in foreign capitals over whether to add Russia to the short, grim list that currently includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

Nations earn this label when the U.S. secretary of state deems that a foreign government is “repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism.” The designation effectively renders the target a pariah, by imposing restrictions on U.S. assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; controls over items that can be used for both military and non-military purposes, and a raft of other restrictions.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre elaborated on the president’s thought process.

“This designation could have unintended consequences to Ukraine, and the world,” she said. “For example, according to humanitarian experts and NGOs we have spoken to, it could seriously affect the ability to deliver assistance in areas of Ukraine.

“Another one is it could drive critical humanitarian and commercial actors away from facilitating food exports to help mitigate the global food crisis and jeopardize the Black Sea ports deal that has already led to over a million tons of Ukrainian food exports reaching the world, including those in Horn of Africa.

“It will also undercut unprecedented multilateral conditions that have been so effective in holding [Russian President Vladimir] Putin accountable and could also undermine our ability to support Ukraine at the negotiating table,” she said. “So, again, we do not think this is the most effective way to go, or the strongest path forward.”

Team Yes

Key among the proponents is Ukraine’s president, who renewed his appeal this week as inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency expressed alarm over fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

In a report released Tuesday, agency chief Rafael Grossi warned that “any further escalation affecting the six-reactor plant could lead to a severe nuclear accident with potentially grave radiological consequences for human health and the environment in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy used his nightly video address on Monday to hammer that point home.

“Shelling the territory of the ZNPP means that the terrorist state does not care what the IAEA says, it does not care what the international community decides,” he said. “Russia is interested only in keeping the situation the worst for the longest time possible. This can be corrected only by strengthening sanctions, only by officially recognizing Russia as a terrorist state — at all levels.”

And last month, the Baltic state of Latvia — formerly a member of the Soviet Union – levied the designation on Russia, with lawmakers voting overwhelmingly in favor of the move and urging other nations to follow suit.

Closer to home, the strongest charge has come from Capitol Hill, where a bipartisan group of senators has been urging the administration to make the call, after passing a resolution in July.

In the resolution, the senators argue that Russia promotes acts of international terrorism against political opponents and nation states, citing Russia’s aggression in Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, Syria and remote corners of the world, under the aegis of the shadowy, Kremlin-backed mercenaries known as the Wagner Group.

“To the Biden administration: You have the complete unanimous support of the United States Senate to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said. “Do it.”

Such agreement, Graham added, is rare in this increasingly divided political landscape, saying, “I didn’t think there was an issue under the sun that could get 100 Senate votes, but we found it: Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism.”

The resolution’s co-sponsor, Democrat Richard Blumenthal, defended the argument on moral grounds.

“The designation of state sponsorship of terrorism puts Russia in a very small club — it consists of nations like Syria, Iran and Cuba that are outside the bounds of civilized countries,” he said. “They are pariahs. And that is exactly the designation that Russia deserves for what it has done in Ukraine as well as in other countries.”

And, over the weekend, White House officials confirmed that Moscow is buying rockets and artillery shells from North Korea — a longtime member of the list — for use in Ukraine.

“We expect Russia could try to purchase additional North Korean military equipment going forward,” an administration official told reporters.

Team No

The Kremlin opposes the designation, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling Russian television on Tuesday that “the very formulation of the issue is monstrous.”

“And, of course, it is good that the U.S. president responded in this way,” he said.

While Peskov said the Kremlin welcomed Biden’s firm “no,” he added that Moscow did not see that as a move to warm relations.

“It can hardly be a reason for such assessments,” he said.

U.S. officials point out that Russia is already sweating under the weight of massive U.S. sanctions.

“The costs that have been imposed on Russia by us and by other countries are absolutely in line with the consequences that would follow from designation as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

And some analysts argue that Russia is low in the rankings when it comes to earning this dubious distinction.

“By the current standard, numerous countries could be placed on the state-sponsor-of- terror list, such as Myanmar/ Burma, China, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, just to name a few,” wrote Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

“Several U.S. allies deserve to be on such a list, too: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey, and Egypt. So does Saudi Arabia, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed “Slice ‘n Dice” bin Salman, notable for murdering and dismembering his critics. The kingdom is more repressive domestically and has killed more people internationally than even Russia.”

To summarize, he said: “The Putin regime is evil, but it is not a sponsor of terrorism.”

Team It’s Complicated

Just as the arguments on each side are fervent, so are the reasons that analysts — and the White House — say this issue is not black-and-white.

For one, said Delaney Simon, a researcher at the International Crisis Group, the U.S. and Russia engage across a number of platforms, including the United Nations Security Council, where both nations hold permanent seats.

“None of the other states that are designated state sponsors of terror have the same sort of role in the international system,” she told VOA. “That would make any kind of multilateral diplomacy really, really complicated. And you’ve seen from some Russian statements that President Putin is going to think of this, definitely, as an escalation and cause for a rupture in relations.”

She added that such a designation would end Russia’s sovereign immunity from lawsuits from Americans claiming to be affected by Russian actions. Those cases could drag on for years and — as in the case of Sudan, a former member of the list — significantly delay a nation’s removal from the list.

She also pointed out another element: to reverse the designation, something bigger and more important has to change.

“There’s sort of a checklist of things that have to happen legally before the designation can be rescinded,” she said. “One of the things that needs to happen is that the state has to undergo a fundamental change in leadership and policy. It’s hard to see, well, a leadership change. Which, by the way, is something that the Biden administration has resisted calling for.”

Finally, she said, if the goal is to end the six-month invasion of Ukraine, this may not help.

“I think once you look deeply at the policy implications of this issue, it’s pretty clear that the designation wouldn’t help Ukraine,” she said. ussr

And so, for now, it’s a no.

Source: Voice of America


African Nations Urged to Pile on Pressure at Climate Summit

The former Irish President has called on African nations to pile on the pressure on rich, heavily-polluting countries to fulfill their climate pledges to the continent during a visit to Uganda.

Mary Robinson, who is also chair of the Elders group of global leaders who advocate for peace and justice, told The Associated Press on Monday that the Group of 20 “must come up with new plans” to support Africa with its climate change efforts at the upcoming United Nations climate conference in November, known as COP27.

On Monday, European nations pledged a further $25 billion to the continent to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change. The continent has suffered in an ongoing devastating drought in the east, with flooding and cyclones severely damaging southern countries.

Robinson said that the Elders “feel very strongly that we need COP27 to succeed” and encouraged African leaders “to create political pressure” so that developed countries can fulfill their promises.

Rich countries have so far failed to keep a $100-billion-a-year pledge to poorer nations to help them adapt to the effects of climate change and transition to greener energy sources. Developed nations are larger emitters than poorer ones, with the African continent contributing just 3% to 4% of global emissions despite being 17% of the global population.

“We do not want to have a situation where promises that are not fulfilled undermine further the existing trust,” Robinson said. She added that developed countries should “give more to get clean energy, technology and investments towards African countries.”

Robinson is in Uganda for her second visit to the continent this year and is promoting renewable energy initiatives in schools alongside youth climate activist Vanessa Nakate.

Robinson noted that COP27, which will be held in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, will be regarded as an “African COP.”

She added: “It will be more an African COP if there are more voices from Africa and the developing world making this as inclusive as possible” and highlighted the importance of younger and more diverse voices.

Source: Voice of America