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UNHCR, ECOWAS Court Sign Partnership Agreement


first_imgThe United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (ECCJ) on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria, signed a partnership agreement on training, capacity building and information sharing.A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the agreement will enable the UNHCR and ECCJ to cooperate in protecting the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), stateless persons and those at risk of statelessness in West Africa. Both organizations will also ensure the proper interpretation and application of relevant international, regional and national legal and policy instruments affecting persons of concern. Justice Maria Monteiro, President of the ECCJ and Madam Angele Dikongue-Atangana, the UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, delivered separate speeches prior to signing and exchanging the agreements on behalf of their respective organizations.According to the dispatch, Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, presented a statement on behalf of ECOWAS Ambassadors. Also in attendance was Liberia’s Justice Micah Wilkins Wright who is currently a sitting judge at the ECCJ. In her opening address, the UNHCR Representative noted that despite the positive collaboration between the UNHCR and the ECOWAS Commission since 2001, there were still challenges in the region. “The achievements should not, however, overshadow the challenges with the problems of refugees, forced migration and statelessness in the sub-region.”Madam Atangana added that the partnership came at a critical time when additional efforts were needed to improve the legal protection of persons of concern in the sub-region by ensuring the full respect of their rights. The UNHCR Representative disclosed that her agency has undertaken a number of initiatives including biannual UNHCR-ECOWAS Ambassadors retreats, the ECOWAS Emergency Response Project, and the Regional Ministerial Conference on Statelessness held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, last year. The partnership agreement will enable both organizations to enhance their work in protecting refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, IDP’s, stateless persons and those that are at risk of statelessness in West Africa, she added. For her part, Justice Monteiro provided assurances of the Court’s full cooperation: “The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice will do everything to cooperate in remedying situations surrounding the protection of the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, and returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), stateless persons and those at risk of statelessness.”Ambassador Conteh, representing the Dean of the ECOWAS Ambassadors, described the signing of the partnership as very strategic. “It would afford all stakeholders to get a better understanding of the legal complexities of these lingering problems with multifarious causes, including civil wars, post-electoral violence, border porosity and the ambiguities in nationality laws,” the Liberian Ambassador stressed.He also asserted that the signing of a partnership agreement between the UNHCR and the ECCJ would help ECOWAS Member States and their partners to further comprehend the complex rules for the attribution of nationality as efforts for the harmonization of disparate legislations are undertaken by member States in addressing the problems of refugees, IDP’s and statelessness.To implement their agreement, the UNHCR and ECCJ envision a number of activities over the next three years, including the training of staff, judges, and lawyers in the region who may bring cases before the ECCJ on behalf of refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, IDP’s, stateless persons and those at risk of statelessness.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


NL batting champ out of position


first_imgJust don’t swing at the pitch. “I’ve got to remind myself that every pitch: don’t swing, don’t swing,” Frank Catalanotto said. There are plans for a couple of more “tracking” drills this week before letting the hitters finally take some cuts against pitchers. But they might not be swinging until the first Cactus League game Friday against Kansas City, which shares the same spring training complex. Pavano has MRIYankees pitcher Carl Pavano had an MRI exam and X-rays taken Sunday on his injured left foot. The team didn’t immediately release the results, but Pavano said afterward that he wasn’t concerned. “Just for precaution,” Pavano said. “It’s feeling better than it did. I’m not really too alarmed. There’s no bruising or anything. It’s just stiff.” Pavano didn’t participate in on-field drills. He did undergo treatment, including icing the foot. Pavano was hit on the instep in batting practice Saturday by infielder Alberto Gonzalez’s line drive. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I’m not worried about that at all. I’m used to it,” he said. “Wherever they play me, I’m ready for either. Obviously, I’m going to have to work hard at each position. It’s possible I might not know which one I’m playing until three days before the opener, but that’s fine. If I work hard at both all spring, it won’t matter.” Manager Jim Tracy doesn’t sound too concerned, either. He said he would like to choose between Castillo and Bautista by the time there are roughly two weeks left in the spring, then give Sanchez the rest of the time to get comfortable with the position he’ll be playing regularly. No swing sessionSammy Sosa stepped into the batter’s box against live pitching for the first time Sunday. The slugger didn’t even swing the bat. Neither did Michael Young, Mark Teixeira or any of the other Texas Rangers hitters. And that’s exactly what manager Ron Washington expected. “The hitters get some timing, seeing an arm come at them,” Washington said. “That’s what that’s all about. Nothing more, nothing less. Get some timing, track the ball, see where you are.” Sanchez excelled at third base last season but has performed exclusively at second in the opening days of camp, largely because the Pirates are trying to determine where two other competing infielders, Jose Castillo and Jose Bautista, fit into the team. If Sanchez is troubled by that, it isn’t showing. center_img The National League’s reigning batting champion doesn’t really know what position he’s going to play, and he doesn’t care much either. Freddy Sanchez is taking everything in stride just a few months after he hit .344 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. last_img read more


Agents report quieter border


first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“They’re holding back,” Mark Mahler, a Border Patrol agent, said as he kept watch over an evacuated highway checkpoint that was closed Monday on State Route 94. The checkpoint on the two-lane highway, which narrowly escaped damage, is normally a major obstacle for illegal crossers. The fire left miles of black ash in the canyons around Dulzura, an evacuated hamlet about 25 miles east of San Diego, where dozens of homes were destroyed. Thousands of foot trails once covered by dense shrub were laid bare. Road closures due to the fire meant migrants could not meet drivers, Mahler said. Typically, migrants pay about $1,500 each to be guided through rugged canyons for hours, even days, and be picked up by someone at a roadside checkpoint for the drive to San Diego. Many illegal immigrants appeared to heed the advice of the Border Patrol and the Mexican government, aired on television and radio in Tijuana, Mexico, to stay away from the fires. The Border Patrol radio was unusually quiet Tuesday. Its motion sensors laced throughout the canyons, which escaped damaged, did not set alarms. Some illegal immigrants, however, took the risk. By Elliot Spagat THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DULZURA – One of Southern California’s largest wildfires has frightened many illegal immigrants from hiking through a popular corridor to cross from Mexico even as the Border Patrol has withdrawn some agents. Some consider the Border Patrol’s pullback an opportunity, but a three-hour drive through ash-covered hills Tuesday suggests that many others are staying put in Mexico. About 50 migrants have surrendered to the Border Patrol since the fires began Sunday, fearing for their safety. One was seriously burned Monday when he and five others sought help from firefighters, and they were all taken to a San Diego hospital, according to the Mexican consulate in San Diego. No deaths have been reported. Some of the six migrants who were rescued by firefighters Monday told Mexican authorities that smugglers convinced them the Border Patrol would be distracted, said Alberto Lozano, a spokesman for the Mexican consulate in San Diego. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more