Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

Metropolitan Regions: centres for countries’ economic growth which contribute to the objectives of cohesion policy but face key challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 9 dicembre 2019

During the 137th European Committee of the Regions (CoR) Plenary, that took place on 4-5 December in Brussels, regional and local leaders delivered their recommendations for the preparation of the next generation of cohesion programmes, which set the basis for cohesion policy implementation for the 2021-2027 period. In the opinion on “The challenges of metropolitan regions and their position in the future Cohesion Policy post 2020”, drafted by Juraj Droba (SK/ECR), Chairman of Bratislava Self-Governing Region, the CoR called for increased recognition of the contribution of metropolitan regions (MRs) to the objectives of cohesion policy. The CoR also stresses that although MRS are seen as engines of Member States’ economies, they have to address economic, fiscal and territorial challenges, while at the same coping with an expanding demand for quality public services and limited financial resources.Metropolitan regions are seen as the engines of the Member States’ economies and centres of economic growth, however they are also a hub of research, innovation and creative potential. According to Eurostat, MRs are defined as NUTS3 regions or combinations of NUTS3 regions where at least half of the population lives in a functional urban area that has no fewer than 250 000 inhabitants. NUTS, Nomenclature of territorial units for statistic, is a hierarchical system of division of territory into regions. The OECD defines MRs in terms of function, whereby an urban centre with high population density and job opportunities is connected to the rest of the area by heavy daily commuting into it.This opinion drafted by the Rapporteur Juraj Droba (SK/ECR), points out that although metropolitan regions (MRs) are seen as engines of Member States’ economies as well as hubs of research and innovation, MRs have to face great and diverse challenges such as the protection of the environment and adaptation to climate change, urban poverty, social inclusion, integration of migrants, youth unemployment, criminality or economic transition. MRs play a central role in adapting to the consequences of climate change.
At the same time, MRs have to grapple with an expanding demand for quality public services, putting a huge pressure on MR budgets. This has a marked effect on the population’s overall quality of life. Budget revenues in some MRs bear only the slightest relation to their economic success and high GDP, therefore the CoR recommends to go beyond the mere GDP per capita indicator and take account of social, demographic and environmental aspects.“The aim of the opinion is to draw the EU’s attention to the issue of metropolitan regions. These are regions which, in several cases, are statistically the most common; but the reality in their territory is often different. Because of increasing urbanisation, they have to face challenges such as increasing demand for quality public services and infrastructure, problems associated with housing and the environment, and social exclusion, while lacking adequate resources from their own budgets. Still, these are regions with great potential, where suitably set support could lead to the development not just of metropolitan areas, but could also contribute to a fair distribution of benefits to outlying regions and to stronger rural-urban linkages, and thereby significantly help to overcome regional disparities. This is a crucial period for preparatory work on the new cohesion policy and for deciding on the size of EU funds after 2020, and I think that this was the right time to initiate this opinion. I am happy to have received the support of the members of the Committee and I believe this is a step in the right direction”, said Mr. Juraj Droba.The Rapporteur points out that the ongoing process of drawing up cohesion policy post 2020 is an opportunity to take on board the need for a specific approach to MRs in the framing of future partnership agreements and the operational programmes for cohesion policy funds. The European Committee of the Regions calls for:
The direct involvement of MRs in the framing of cohesion policy and the implementation and evaluation of operational programmes and EU projects;
The attention of the EC to start looking into the potential added value of support to MRs as a way of reducing regional disparities;
The establishment of conditions and support mechanisms, by the EC, for knowledge transfer, exchange of experience and best practice in the area of metropolitan governance between MRs;
All partnerships in the new EU Urban Agenda to address the ongoing metropolitanisation of areas or for a new partnership for the metropolitan dimension of the Urban Agenda.The increasing urbanization as a global trend creates lots of opportunities but also forces us to address new challenges, requiring the collaboration between institutions and players in the MRs. These proposals aim to guarantee a better performance of MRs and intend to meet the cohesion objectives.
Metropolitan regions currently include three fifths of the EU population – a proportion that is expected to increase in the future. These regions constitute important poles of innovation, research and economic growth, while also offering a wide variety of educational, cultural and professional opportunities to their inhabitants. For an overview of Metropolitan regions in EU cohesion policy, please read this briefing.

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The European Committee of the Regions calls on the European Parliament to secure a fair agricultural policy that can offer practical solutions to the environmental challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 dicembre 2019

At a hearing held at the European Parliament on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Guillaume Cros (FR/PES), Vice-President of the Occitan Region and European Committee of the Regions rapporteur on the CAP, pointed out that according to the Court of Auditors report of 20 November, environmental aspects are not given sufficient weight among the many challenges to the future CAP that have been identified. The Committee of the Regions’ recommendations also match the aims of the Green Deal announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.The CoR rapporteur on Reform of the CAP emphasised that “we must radically change the way the next Common Agricultural Policy is implemented in order to meet the social, environmental and climate-related challenges and also build a Green Deal commensurate with the current challenges, in the interests of a fair, sustainable and solidarity-based CAP”. The CoR is calling for a minimum of 30% of first pillar funds to go to eco-schemes and proposes quantified, measurable and results-oriented European objectives by 2027 for the national Strategic Plans, as follows:
· a 30% reduction compared with 2017 in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the Member State;
· a doubling compared with 2017 of the land area used for organic farming in the Member State, or at least 30% of the utilised agricultural area of the Member State;
· a minimum 30% reduction compared with 2017 in the use of pesticides in the Member State;
· lastly, compliance with the Nitrates Directive for 100% of surface water and groundwater, without exemptions.
The CoR also calls for a gradual and planned end to cage rearing throughout the European Union. Guillaume Cros stressed that “we (the CoR) support the proposal by the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee aimed at establishing farm livestock density limits and limiting payments to farms that exceed such limits”.He also highlighted that the key role played by Europe’s regions in managing and implementing the CAP must be preserved and stepped up. The legislative proposal on the future CAP, in its current form, actually has the effect of marginalising, or even jeopardising, the role and autonomy of Europe’s regions in managing the CAP, simply allotting them the task of implementing measures laid down at national level.

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Conference in Jerusalem on New Anthropological Challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 5 novembre 2019

Jerusalem. The international conference “The new anthropological challenges: between memory and vision of the future” will be held December 11-12, 2019 at the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, from 9 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. The event is organized within the activities promoted by the Integral Formation at the European University of Rome. The goal of the conference is to offer a vision, as precise as possible, of the contemporary social and ethical reality in relation to new anthropological challenges, as the result of theoretical and practical developments in science and technology. Particular attention will be given to the experience of collective and individual memory, offered by archaeological research, and to the ethical perspectives for the future. Opening remarks will be given by Rev Fr Pedro Barrajón LC, Rector of the European University of Rome, and Rev Fr Juan Solana LC, director of ​​the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. The introductory address, by Prof Guido Traversa, Delegate for Integral Formation at the European University of Rome, will lay out the aim and methodology of the conference. The Thematic Sections will discuss the following topics: “Artificial intelligence. Ethical, philosophical and juridical problems ”; “Posthumanism. Possible and legitimate borders. Ethical limits of technological improvement of knowledge “; “Scientific research in archaeology as an experience of life, history and memory”; “Man-environment relationship. The strengthening of internal areas for economic and social cohesion. The common good as a concrete universal ”; ” Inter-religious and theological dialogue. The body and the social experience “. The concluding address will be given by Rev Fr Gonzalo Monzón LC, Director of the Integral Formation Department at the European University of Rome.

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Japanese Startups Aim to Solve Consumer and Societal Challenges with New Technologies

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 marzo 2019

Japanese startups demonstrated how to solve societal challenges and make lives easier with innovative technologies at SXSW 2019. These startups, part of the government’s J-Startup program to incubate globally-competitive startups, are the face of the new business environment in Japan as a global innovation hub. Specifically tailored to encourage invention and creative problem-solving, the J-Startup program produces startups that are using human imagination to bring greater joy, better environmental stewardship, and groundbreaking innovation to industry and everyday life.Ten startups exhibited at the J-Startup Booth, which was organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), in the Japan Pavilion in the Austin Convention Center and demonstrated their products and services during the Japan Innovation Hour on March 12 in the International Innovation Platform. The demonstrations drew high attendance and the audience was able to view solutions that included applications spanning artificial intelligence (AI), wearable technologies, smart home solutions, and more: ArchiTek chip, a startup that addresses the pressing need to lower the cost and increase the performance of artificial intelligence, demonstrated its low power, high performance chip that runs computer vision and AI algorithms with high performance. The chip can be used for autonomous vehicles, security cameras, cybersecurity systems, robotics, and data centers. It aims to make AI more affordable and integrated into mainstream applications.
Empath Inc. demonstrated its program that identifies emotions – joy, calm, anger, and sorrow –using artificial intelligence, regardless of language. This startup’s mission is to develop and provide technology where all people can understand and help each other, with specific use cases in telemarketing. It’s currently being used by 1,000 customers across 50 countries.
LOAD&ROAD demonstrated its tea-brewing innovation, Teplo, a smart-tea brewer that uses a heart-rate sensor to collect mental state data and securely share it with a mobile app to brew a perfectly personalized cup of tea. It recently won the CES Innovation Award for Home Appliances.

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Aging LGBT Population Facing Unique Challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 5 gennaio 2019

The first Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit focusing on issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults will be held February 11 and 12, 2019, at the Sinclair College Conference Center in Dayton. It is being presented by the United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging, Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.The event will be headlined by a screening of the film Gen Silent which chronicles the challenges of older LGBT individuals seeking support as they age. Nationally renowned speakers include producer Stu Maddux of the film Gen Silent, Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, national leader of LGBT Initiatives for AARP, and Dr. Jason Flatt, University of California San Francisco, who recently released the first major research on dementia in the LGBT community.Breakout session topics will include: culturally competent LGBT care/service, affordable senior living, transgender aging, Social Security and hospice care for LGBT individuals.Public Health’s LGBTQ Health Initiatives Project Manager, Jerry Mallicoat said, “For the first time in America we have a growing population of older LGBT people who have lived quite openly when they were younger. As they age and need support services, these individuals often face bias, stigma, and discrimination from healthcare and other service providers that might not care for older LGBT adults in a way that is both culturally competent and sensitive to their needs. Sometimes, older LGBT people feel the need to go back in the closet to get necessary services, and we need to avoid that happening so they can live affirmed lives as they age.” “This event is really about building community,” said Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, executive director of United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging. “United Church Homes wants to open people’s eyes and hearts to the challenges older LGBT adults face, and drive collaborative solutions that nurture their personal and spiritual needs as they age.”

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European democracy: what are the next challenges?

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 giugno 2017

europeParis. Monday 26 June 20179h00 > 18h30 Room 4325 (3rd floor), 33, rue Saint-Dominique The Jacques Delors Institute organises, in the framework of the project “More EU to overcome the crisis”, a symposium on the challenges which the European construction has to overcome regarding democratic dialogue, institution and policies.
9h30 > 9h45 – Opening Speech Enrico LETTA, President of the Jacques Delors Institute, Doyen of the School for International Affairs SciencesPo, Former Italian PM
9h45 > 10h30 – Keynote Speech “Democracy in Europe” Marielle DE SARNEZ, EU Affairs Minister Q&A with the public
10h30 > 12h00 – Quelle forme de gouvernement pour l’UE? Moderation by Nora Hamadi, Journalist Public Sénat
Roberto CASTALDI, Director of the CesUE Thierry CHOPIN, Director of Research at the Schumann Foundation
Nuno PICARRA, Nova Law School of Lisbon
13h30 > 15h00 – national referenda & EU: a deadend? Moderation by Alexandra Lesur, managing editor of Toute l’EuropeYves BERTONCINI, Director of the Jacques Delors Institute
Francis CHENEVAL, Political philosophy and Constitutional law professor at the Zurich University
15h00 > 16h30 – A Multi-level Democracy : What Representatives of the citizens in the EU ?
Moderation by Christophe Préault, Administrator and Director of Toute l’Europe
Danielle AUROI, Chairwoman of the European Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly Alain LAMASSOURE, French MEP
16h30 > 17h00 – Coffee Break
Paris-antenne-vue-eiffel-tour17h00 > 18h30 – EU Affairs : transparency and information. Moderation by Nora Hamadi, Journalist Public Sénat Gaëtane RICARD-NIHOUL, Chef adjoint de la Représentation en France de la Commission européenne, Daniel LEBEGUE, President of Transparency International France The “democratic deficit” of the European Union is a hackney catch all term well known to the disdainers and skeptics of the European construction and as well to some promoters of more transparent and participatory EU, partisans of direct elections for all institutions or of simplification relations between institutions.At a time when the democratic fracture between the EU and its peoples is being denounced as one of the main factors in the breakdown of the European project, it is necessary to shed full light on the debates surrounding many of the democratic features of this hybrid construction, which sometimes struggles to be described as representative of and listening to its citizens.Would the EU be more democratic with a directly elected European Commission President? Should the right of legislative initiative be expanded? How can we take into account the results of national referenda without denying democracy in the neighboring countries? Can intergovernmental methods be democratic? How can citizens be empowered to participate in a more democratic construction of the EU ? Does the democratic divide exist only between “Brussels” and the populations, or between the Europeans themselves?s part of the project “More Europe to overcome the crisis”, The Jacques Delors Institute, in partnership with the Sant’Anna College of Pisa, the University Institute for European Studies in Madrid, the Faculty of Lisbon NOVA and the University of Warsaw, is organizing a day of debate in order to provide constructive insights into these issues and draw concrete proposals for improvement. (photo: europe)

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Advancements towards all-optical signal processing in light of current IT challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 6 dicembre 2016

Roma Mercoledì 7 Dicembre 2016, ore 10:00 Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Aula DS1 Via Vito Volterra 62 nell’ambito dei corsi di Fotonica e Comunicazioni, il prof. Ivan Glesk (University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom) terrà il seminario Advancements towards all-optical signal processing in light of current IT challenges.
Abstract. It has been suggested that fundamental limits of electronic switching in today’s data centers relaying on bandwidth limited silicon devices have been reached and new technological solutions are required. It is believed that all-optical systems using photonic integrated circuits and highly scalable optical interconnects may provide needed improvements. We will overview some of key IT challenges, discuss possible solutions and demonstrate novel all-optical devices that may lend itself to the improved highly scalable interconnects based on optical code-division multiple-access.

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Why Real Time Marketing Automation? Drivers, Potentials, Challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 12 agosto 2015

digitalisationThe digitalisation has made the world for companies significantly more complex and more dynamic. For customers, digitalisation means maximum transparency and availability in the market. The barriers to switching between different providers are low, the competitive pressure is increasing. Traditional differentiation attributes such as price are losing significance when the most economical provider is only a click – or a line on the comparison portal – away. Even in the digital dialogue, the customer doesn’t lose sight of the best practice. “But Amazon makes individualised product recommendations, too?” Customers are becoming more emancipated, more self-determined and express higher demands on companies. Companies therefore have no choice but to orientate themselves on the best practice and focus radically on customer orientation. The large number of options do not only have a liberating effect on the customers, the information and offer density can also make decisions difficult and stressful. Companies should bear this in mind and simplify the customer’s life through individualised communication, adapted to his requirements, wishes and interactions.
The complexity of the customer journey is also increasing. The times when customers could be lead from A to B via fixed touchpoints, is over. Customers today use a continually growing number of company-own and third party touchpoints for contact via numerous terminal devices and in a variety of contexts. Website, newsletter, communities, blogs, transaction emails, apps, mobile messenger, SMS, twitter, facebook, POS terminals, geo-location services, service hotlines are only a small selection. Customers do not differentiate between these touchpoints but expect that the company is “available” everywhere and the required information and (digital) service is immediate, convenient and available in the right quality. They also expect that the company comes across with a consistent image at all these touchpoints. A company that approaches a female customer with individualised offers on ladies’ shoes via the e-commerce app, but tries to sell her the latest men’s collection in the newsletter, is likely to lose this customer. Which requirements must be met by companies in the digital dialogue in order to meet customer expectations? Companies need to offer the right content in the required quality, individualised for each customer, respond in real time, take into consideration every interaction of the user, analyse it and feed the results immediately back into the communication, consider all relevant touchpoints, consistently communicate at each of these touchpoints,
orientate ithemselves continuously on best practice. Real Time Marketing Automation as the Key to Customers
The key to meet the market requirements lies in the correct use of real time marketing automation technology. Real time marketing automation must be able to display four key features:
The automated running of granular communication measures, individually for each user, in real time, based on his response.
The dynamic adaptation to the relevant context at the time of use: individual content e.g. based on location, weather, position in the customer lifecycle or terminal device properties.
The integration of all relevant channels in a lifecycle, including – in addition to email – social media, WhatsApp or mobile push messages in geo-fencing contexts. The data protection-compliant collection, processing and storage of real-time response data.

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Safely Entertaining the Driver

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 6 luglio 2011

London. The Human Machine Interface (HMI) will continue to change the way drivers communicate with cars. Developing an HMI which efficiently operates various in-vehicle functionalities however, presents several challenges to OEMs and suppliers. The input of information for accessing different functions requires driver attention, resulting in distraction. Therefore the need to develop a standard platform for infotainment, which can host point-to-point integration of portable devices with the car by using in-vehicle HMI options is of growing importance. According to an analyst comment from Frost & Sullivan on the European market for voice control interface, steering wheel controls and multifunctional knobs, about 16 million vehicles will have basic voice interface and 7 million vehicles are likely to have an advanced voice interface in Europe by 2017. Steering wheel controls, which are closely linked to voice control interface, will be found in 16.5 million vehicles in Europe by 2017, whereas multifunctional knobs will see a steady penetration in luxury segment automotives. About 1.5 million vehicles in Europe are forecast to have multifunctional knobs by 2017. The market for multifunctional knobs is primarily driven by premium European automotive OEMs. Penetration of multifunctional knobs in Europe is expected to be 7.8 per cent by 2017, driven purely by Luxury automotive segment OEMs such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Audi. Demand for multi-functional knobs is driven by the possibility of integrating several functions within a single interface such as media controls, telephony, navigation, and HVAC within the drivers’ reach. However, constraints in the interior space restrict the penetration of multifunctional knobs in the floor console area.
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company’s Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO’s Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from over 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit

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Choises & Challenges in a Networked World

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 febbraio 2011

A few minutes after midnight on January 28th, the internet went dark across Egypt. During the previous four days, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians had marched to demand a new government. And the world, on TVs, laptops, cell phones, and smart phones, had followed every single step. Pictures and videos from Egypt flooded the web. On Facebook and Twitter, journalists posted on-the-spot reports. Protestors coordinated their next moves. And citizens of all stripes shared their hopes and fears about this pivotal moment in the history of their country. Millions worldwide answered in real time, “You are not alone and we are with you.” Then the government pulled the plug. Cell phone service was cut off, TV satellite signals were jammed, and internet access was blocked for nearly the entire population. The events in Egypt recalled another protest movement 18 months earlier in Iran, when thousands marched after disputed elections. Their protestors also used websites to organize. The Iranian authorities used technology as well. The Revolutionary Guard stalked members of the Green Movement by tracking their online profiles. And like Egypt, for a time, the government shut down the internet and mobile networks altogether.
The internet has become the public space of the 21st century – the world’s town square, classroom, marketplace, coffeehouse, and nightclub. We all shape and are shaped by what happens there, all 2 billion of us and counting. And that presents a challenge. To maintain an internet that delivers the greatest possible benefits to the world, we need to have a serious conversation about the principles that will guide us, what rules exist and should not exist and why, what behaviors should be encouraged or discouraged and how.
At the same time, the internet continues to be restrained in a myriad of ways. In China, the government censors content and redirects search requests to error pages. In Burma, independent news sites have been taken down with distributed denial of service attacks. In Cuba, the government is trying to create a national intranet, while not allowing their citizens to access the global internet. In Vietnam, bloggers who criticize the government are arrested and abused. In Iran, the authorities block opposition and media websites, target social media, and steal identifying information about their own people in order to hunt them down. The second challenge is protecting both transparency and confidentiality. The internet’s strong culture of transparency derives from its power to make information of all kinds available instantly. But in addition to being a public space, the internet is also a channel for private communications. And for that to continue, there must be protection for confidential communication online.
The multitude of opinions and ideas that crowd the internet is both a result of its openness and a reflection of our human diversity. Online, everyone has a voice. And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the freedom of expression for all. But what we say has consequences. Hateful or defamatory words can inflame hostilities, deepen divisions, and provoke violence. On the internet, this power is heightened. Intolerant speech is often amplified and impossible to retract. Of course, the internet also provides a unique space for people to bridge their differences and build trust and understanding.
There are political costs as well. Consider Tunisia, where online economic activity was an important part of the country’s ties with Europe while online censorship was on par with China and Iran, the effort to divide the economic internet from the “everything else” internet in Tunisia could not be sustained. People, especially young people, found ways to use connection technologies to organize and share grievances, which, as we know, helped fuel a movement that led to revolutionary change. In Syria, too, the government is trying to negotiate a non-negotiable contradiction. Just last week, it lifted a ban on Facebook and YouTube for the first time in three years, and yesterday they convicted a teenage girl of espionage and sentenced her to five years in prison for the political opinions she expressed on her blog.
In the last three years, we have awarded more than $20 million in competitive grants through an open process, including interagency evaluation by technical and policy experts to support a burgeoning group of technologists and activists working at the cutting edge of the fight against internet repression. This year, we will award more than $25 million in additional funding. We are taking a venture capital-style approach, supporting a portfolio of technologies, tools, and training, and adapting as more users shift to mobile devices. We have our ear to the ground, talking to digital activists about where they need help, and our diversified approach means we’re able to adapt the range of threats that they face. We support multiple tools, so if repressive governments figure out how to target one, others are available. And we invest in the cutting edge because we know that repressive governments are constantly innovating their methods of oppression and we intend to stay ahead of them.
Internet freedom is about defending the space in which all these things occur so that it remains not just for the students here today, but your successors and all who come after you. This is one of the grand challenges of our time. We are engaged in a vigorous effort against those who we have always stood against, who wish to stifle and repress, to come forward with their version of reality and to accept none other. We enlist your help on behalf of this struggle. It’s a struggle for human rights, it’s a struggle for human freedom, and it’s a struggle for human dignity. (abstract Remarks Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State)

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Migrants´ rights are European fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 dicembre 2010

Vienna 17th from 15.00 – 19.00 h.  and 18th December 2010 representatives of churches from across Europe will meet to review achievements, challenges and future perspectives of the Year of European Churches responding to migration 2010. The conference, which on 18th December commemorates International Migrants Day, will analyse contemporary achievements and challenges in the area of migrants´ rights in Europe. At the same time it will highlight activities of churches from across Europe during the Year of European Churches responding to migration.
On 17th December the meeting will be opened by the President of the Conference of European Churches, H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, and the Moderator of the Churches´ Commission for Migrants in Europe, Rev. Arlington Trotman, with reflections on how “migration is at the heart of the Churches´ agenda in Europe”.  On the same day the Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights Morten Kjaerum will present his assessment of migrants’ rights as European fundamental rights. His input will be complemented by a presentation on the access of long-term resident migrants to permanent residence status – a central campaigning issue of the churches’ migration year. Participants from locations as diverse as Norway, Latvia, Romania or Italy will present how their respective churches have addressed the issue of migration and advocated for migrants’ rights over the last 12 months.
On 18th December the meeting will discuss a set of recommendations for future work of European churches on the issue of migration. “With this conference we are not only underlining that migration is a key issue for churches in Europe, but also highlighting that migrants´ rights cannot be separated from European fundamental rights”, CCME General Secretary Doris Peschke commented.
The year of European Churches responding to migration 2010 shall make visible the churches’ commitment to strangers, responding to the message of the Bible, which insists on the dignity of every human being, in order to promote an inclusive policy at European and national level for migrants, refugees and ethnic minority groups.

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A Journey through Sculptural Budapest

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 10 agosto 2010

London 27th September – 3rd October 2010 The Gallery Soho, 125 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EW Private View: Monday 27th September, 6pm till 8.30pm Lang’s exhibition, Monumental Misconceptions, is an irreverent examination of the role of the object within the social conscious and demonstrates how art, like history, is fluid and open to interpretation.
The fine line between sculpture as an object and as a form of socio-historical interpretation is explored by Liane Lang in her new exhibition Monumental Misconceptions.  This award-winning artist challenges society’s conventional understanding of historical monuments by taking a contemporary perspective that re-contextualises them. Using life-size models and props intermingled with more traditional bronze or steel sculptures, Lang creates unnerving, humorous and thought-provoking installations. This dichotomy of contexts and mediums is further emphasised by capturing these alter-realities using new media such as photography, film and pre-cinematic zoetropes.
Lang photographed sculptures in several other sites around the city of Budapest during her residency. Included in her forthcoming exhibition are images from the 19th century Kerepeszi cemetery (which also contains many Soviet era graves) and from the running track at Nepstadion. This all but forgotten site of Hungary’s sporting history is surrounded by groups of giant steel plated figures representing sportsmen and soldiers. In the video work The Track Lang animates these figures, apparently frozen in the act of movement, drawing out their strangely ambiguous message of sport and camaraderie, militarism and propaganda. (image)

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Caritas Haiti and CRS

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 27 gennaio 2010

Working in a joint response to the earthquake of almost two weeks ago, the Caritas agencies have already brought food, water, medical and other supplies to more than 25,000 people. But the needs remain great, and logistics, communication and security have been serious challenges. The public has donated over US $60 million (Euro 45 million) so far to Caritas members worldwide.  Before this disaster, Haiti had very poor infrastructure. Caritas says it was not possible to have the amount of resources required to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people overnight. But Caritas Haiti had stocks that were already pre-positioned in their warehouses, which enabled them to respond to the crisis within a short matter of hours.  They were also able to bring in at least 40 truckloads so far from neighbouring Dominican Republic, and receive supplies via a severely damaged port.  Almost two weeks after the devastating earthquake, people are becoming more desperate for food, but the constant flow of helicopters carrying crates over the city show that aid is getting through. Caritas partners needed to ensure that all distribution sites were safe before the distribution began, especially in larger camps with many people such as at the Petionville Club. It is also a concern that those most in need of help, such as the elderly and the injured, could be overwhelmed by people from outside the area coming in and demanding food.  Caritas needed to ensure that the necessary measures to make sure both beneficiaries and staff were safe. In Petionville, all beneficiaries were given coloured tickets depending on which part of the camp they lived in. On Monday, those in the yellow quadrant were given their supplies; on Tuesday, the red quadrant will get theirs. By Friday, 50,000 people will have received rations of lentils, vegetable oil and bulgur, a whole-grain, high fibre wheat. “Communications with beneficiaries is so important in distributions like this,” says CRS (a Caritas member in the USA) emergency response leader Donal Reilly said. “So as to avoid confusion and the risk of unrest, they need to be told exactly what is happening, what they will receive and when.” Caritas says the policy has paid off. People queued in line quietly, respectful of each other and the aid workers and volunteers there to help. There is a long way to go but the distribution at Petionville is a significant stone in large ocean of need.

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Obama to Sign Landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 20 aprile 2009

Washington  President Barack Obama will sign the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act on Tuesday, April 21st. The event will take place at 4 PM EDT at The SEED School of Washington, D.C., an innovative public school that caters to underserved students who may face challenges in school and at home. The President will give remarks on the bipartisan service legislation which will open up new opportunities for millions of Americans. He will call on people across the country to serve their communities and work together to tackle the nation’s tough challenges.

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Nations Must Unite To Overcome Global Challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 aprile 2009

Washington – In his weekly address, President Barack Obama extended his best wishes to everyone celebrating this week’s Passover and Easter holidays and called on nations around the world to come together to solve the current trials facing the world.  On the heels of his weeklong trip overseas, the President said he believes it is important to acknowledge no single nation can solve global problems like a recession, international terrorism, climate change, or nuclear proliferation.  But, working with other nations, the United States can lead the way in overcoming these challenges.

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