Author: BBN Desk

UN chief welcomes new centre pushing for disarmament in Asia-Pacific

New York, NY (BBN) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed the launch of a new UN facility promoting disarmament and non-proliferation in the Asia-Pacific region. The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, will focus on nuclear proliferation, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, landmines and explosive remnants of war, terrorism and organized crime, and armed conflicts. “Each of these issues is as vast and diverse as the region itself,” UN chief said in his message – delivered by his Chef de Cabinet Vijay Nambiar – to the ceremony marking the opening of the facility. He noted that these challenges are not unique to the Asia-Pacific area, and that the world body’s work to boost global peace and security has “consistently stressed the importance of progress in disarmament and non-proliferation at all levels, national, regional and international.” Established in 1987 by the General Assembly, the Regional Centre provides support, on request of the 43 Member States in the area, for peace and disarmament activities and encourages dialogue among nations, according to a UN press statement. BBN/SI/SI/AD-19August08-12:10...

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Toyota to join UN scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions

New York, NY (BBN) – The European branch of the world’s largest car maker, Toyota, on Monday became one of six companies to join the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net), a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Toyota Motor Europe is the first car manufacturer to join CN Net, a web-based network pooling the resources of governments, local authorities, private companies and individuals to make large cuts to their carbon footprints or even neutralize them. “The participation of a major company like Toyota is a sign that private companies are increasingly playing their part on the road to a low-carbon society,” said Angela Cropper, the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, according to a UN press statement. Along with the five other companies which joined the CN Net today – the Carbon Association of Australasia (Australia), CO2focus (Norway), EcoSecurities (UK), Green Cabs (New Zealand), and Wairau River Wines (New Zealand) – Toyota Motor Europe will share ideas and best practice with the rest of the growing CN Net community for lowering their impact on the environment, the statement said. BBN/SI/SI/AD-18August08-11:56 PM...

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UN envoy arrives in Burma

Rangoon, Burma (BBN)- The United Nations Special Advisor Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Burma, officially known as Myanmar, for a five-day visit aiming to gear up democratic process in the East Asian nation. Mr. Gambari earlier said that he looked forward to returning to Myanmar and continuing his consultations with the Government and other relevant parties in the implementation of the good offices mandate entrusted to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by the General Assembly, according to a UN press statement, issued on Friday. Gambari’s present mission is the sixth since he was appointed to the post in early 2006, according to reports. On previous visits, the special adviser met with senior Government officials, as well as the detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. BBN/SI/SI/AD-18August08-1:19 PM...

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Landslide kills six in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – At least six people were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential rain in southeastern Bangladesh on early Monday. The landslide occurred at about 4:45am (local time) and trapped nine thatched houses of Hossain Colony at the bottom of Tanky hill at Lalkhan Bazar of Chittagong, the country’s second largest city, local reports said. Fire fighters recovered the bodies of four people and also rescued eight injured people from the spot, according to reports. BBN/SI/SI/AD-18August08-12:53...

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Bangladesh relaxes rules on payment of import advance, freight charge

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has relaxed the foreign exchange regulations relating to advance payment against imports and payment of freight charges to chartered ship owners abroad to facilitate foreign trade, officials said. “We have relaxed such regulations aiming to facilitate business activities, particularly in foreign trade,’ a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in the capital, Dhaka on Sunday. The BB took the move in line with the country’s businessmen’s recommendations to help exporters send their exportable products timely, according to the official.   The central bank issued two separate circulars in this connection on Thursday and asked the commercial banks to follow the new instructions relating to advance payment against imports and payment of freight charges to chartered ship owners abroad properly. Now a local exporting firm will be allowed to send maximum US$ 5,000 without any bank guarantee against a bonafide business purpose using their own Exporter’s Retention Quota (ERQ). The new regulations also allow local importers to pay freight charges to chartered ship owners abroad without prior approval from the central bank. Regarding advance payment against imports, the commercial banks concerned shall, on their own responsibility, have to arrange for repatriation of the remittance made in advance, in case the entry of goods into the country is not affected within the stipulated time, according...

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