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 June 18, 2024
A U.N. peacekeeper rides atop an armored vehicle last week in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Britain and France are calling for an additional 3,000 United Nations troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the U.N. already has its biggest peacekeeping mission, a senior British diplomat said Wednesday.

Mark Malloch-Brown, the British Foreign Office minister for Africa, the Middle East and the United Nations, announced a draft resolution on the troop increase while on a four-day mission to the war-torn Congo.

Britain expects the U.N. Security Council to adopt the resolution by the end of the week, a spokeswoman for the British mission to the United Nations said.

The resolution follows calls from the United Nations' own peacekeeping experts, Human Rights Watch, and local human rights groups in Congo for more troops to support the 17,000 U.N. soldiers already there.

A coalition of 44 organizations in eastern Congo wrote to the Security Council on Tuesday, pleading for more troops. ... 
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, who was charged with war crimes, is under pressure to end the war in Darfur.
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations is investigating "troubling reports" of bombings and fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan in violation of a cease-fire agreed to last week, the organization said Wednesday.

"During the past few days, the United Nations has received troubling reports of aerial bombings near Kutum in northern Darfur, as well as reports of fighting in the area of Tine, western Darfur and along the border with Chad," said a statement issued by a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. ... 

BANGKOK, Thailand - A grenade apparently fired into a gathering of anti-government protesters camped out in the Thai prime minister's office compound killed one person and wounded 23 others Thursday, officials said.

It was the first fatal assault inside the compound since supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) seized Government House in August.

The grenade, fired early Thursday morning, landed in one of the many tents that protesters have set up inside the premises as they continue their movement to unseat the democratically elected Thai government, authorities said.

A military official, who is also a PAD member, inspected the explosive and said it appeared to have been fired from an M-79 grenade launcher. ... 
WASHINGTON, July 19, 2007 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today endorsed the Progress Report on the World Bank Group's Country Partnership Strategy for the Republic of Tajikistan covering the period 2006-2009. The Board also approved a USD10 million Second Programmatic Development Policy Grant, which will help improve the environment for private sector development as well as the overall functioning of the public sector in the country.

The Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) maps out the collaboration between the World Bank Group and the Republic of Tajikistan over a four year period. Today’s progress report comes at roughly mid-term of the implementation period and presents results achieved in all three CPS areas—(i) improving business opportunities in rural and urban areas; (ii) enhancing and preserving the quality of human capital; and (iii) exploiting the country’s hydropower potential.

The Second Programmatic Development Policy Grant (PDPG2) continues to support the Government’s reform program as outlined in its Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP). More specifically, the grant will help the authorities improve the environment for private sector development in the cotton, energy and aviation sectors, and provide service delivery improvements in the health and education sectors. ... 

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2007 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved additional International Development Association (IDA) financing in the amount of US$15 million for the Second Education Sector Investment Program (PISE II) in Mali.

This additional allocation will be used to reduce the PISE II financing gap and will help ensure that the outcome indicators defined in the Program Results Framework are achieved.

“It will help finance the construction and outfitting of new primary school classrooms, the construction of secondary schools and of a teacher training institute (the Institut de formation de maĂ®tres (IFM)), the provision of textbooks to the primary schools, the creation of reading courses in primary school classes, and improved management through the development of school maps, a pilot initiative for improving management in a department of the University of Bamako, and the training of personnel at the central and decentralized levels,” stated Atou Seck, the Project Leader. ... 
WASHINGTON, May 24, 2007 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved US$50 million of International Development Association (IDA) funds for Malawi’s Second National Water Development Project (NWSP II). Of these funds, US$27.5million is a grant and US$22.5million a credit*.

The project aims to increase access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services for people living in cities, towns, market centres, and villages and improve water resources management at the national level. The project will also contribute to building sector capacity through improved monitoring, regulation, incentive structures, public private partnerships, and coordination among the sector stakeholders. ... 

May 16, 2007 — From Nigeria to Argentina, the success or failure of economic and development policies are intrinsically related to politics. How adept are economists who know what to do at bringing about change? Do they know how to do it? Should economists become politicians, or is there a risk that the politics of economics might blind them?

These were some of the questions discussed at ”Economists in Politics: Politicians or Technocrats?” held on the first day of the two-week long Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Knowledge and Learning Forum 2007.

A Clear Connection

"Economics and politics are very clearly connected and a lot of the issues we deal with in development are either successful or not successful depending on the political context,” said PREM Vice-President Danny Leipziger , who moderated the debate. “This is true when you look at privatization, tax reform, issues of competition policy, and labor market reform, to highlight just a few." ... 
Over the last three days we have considered carefully the report of the ad hoc group, the associated documents, and the submissions and presentations of Mr. Wolfowitz. Our deliberations were greatly assisted by our discussion with Mr Wolfowitz. He assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of the institution, and we accept that. We also accept that others involved acted ethically and in good faith. At the same time, it is clear from this material that a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals in handling the matter under consideration, and that the Bank’s systems did not prove robust to the strain under which they were placed. One conclusion we draw from this is the need to review the governance framework of the World Bank Group, including the role as well as procedural and other aspects of the Ethics Committee. The Executive Directors accept Mr. Wolfowitz’s decision to resign as President of the World Bank Group, effective end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007). The Board will start the nomination process for a new President immediately.

We are grateful to Mr. Wolfowitz for his service at the Bank. Much has been achieved in the last two years, including the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, the Clean Energy Investment Framework, the Africa Action Plan, and the Avian Flu Initiative. 2006 was a record year for IDA lending, especially in Africa. The Bank has launched emergency action programmes in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, and played a key role in the Lebanon and Afghanistan donors conference. In March, after an unprecedented global consultation process, we adopted a new strategy for the Bank’s work on Governance and Anti-Corruption. And we have new strategies for Rapid Response in Fragile States, for the Health Sector and for the Financial Sector. We thank Mr Wolfowitz for his leadership and for championing the Bank’s work across so many areas. ... 

An article in USA Today reports that “…[a]ccording to a landmark effort to assess the risks of global warming, Africa, by far the lowest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, is projected to be among the regions hardest hit by environmental change.

"We never used to have malaria in the highlands where I'm from, now we do," said Kenyan lawmaker Mwancha Okioma, at a briefing on climate change at the Pan African Parliament Monday. The new environmental committee, headed by Okioma, raised concerns about the severity of climate change on Africa and called for those responsible to help reduce its effects… ... 
Dili, 17 May, 2007--- As the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the country’s Independence Day is getting near, young Timorese are expressing their optimism for the future of the country despite the fact that the country is still recovering from last year’s violence.

Nino Koni Santana High School is situated in the coffee growing district of Gleno. Gleno is about 50 kilometers southwest of Dili or one hour’s drive from Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. The population of Gleno is around 4,000 people.

In Nino Koni Santana School, there are around 350 students, being taught by 11 local Timorese teachers. The school is poorlyl equipped with no proper library, laboratory, basic sanitation such as toilets and bathrooms, and no canteen for students. And yet, students at Nino Koni Santana Gleno are always trying to keep themselves informed about development issues in the country. The local community radio that was established in 2001 through the World Bank’s Community Empowerment and Governance Project, is very popular. “I love to listen to the community radio because it tells us about what is happening in our neighborhoods, in the districts and the world in general,” said Serlizia Maria Goncalves, a second year student. ... 

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