Viola Desmond 10 bill named international banknote of the year

The international bank note society has chosen Canada’s new $10 bill as the banknote of the year.The purple polymer bill features Nova Scotia human rights icon Viola Desmond, a map of Halifax’s historic north end and the Canadian museum for human rights in Winnipeg.It’s Canada’s first vertically-oriented banknote and the first to feature a black person and a non-royal woman. Desmond was arrested in 1946, after refusing to leave the whites-only section of a movie theatre in Nova Scotia.The bank note society also honoured notes from Switzerland, Norway, Russia and Solomon Islands. read more

Somalia UN envoy welcomes agreement between Government southern regions leaders

The top United Nations envoy in Somalia today welcomed the agreement signed between the country’s Federal Government and the Interim Jubba Administration establishing the terms of governance in three southern regions.“This is a significant step towards restoring peace in Somalia, building a strong Federal Somalia and contributing to regional and international security” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay. “This agreement unlocks the door to a better future for Somalia.”The agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, by the Federal Government’s Minister of State, Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir, and the Leader of the Interim Jubba Administration, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islaan Madobe. It established the modalities of administration and governance in the Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Gedo regions.“All parties gain from this agreement,” Mr. Kay said. “I urge all to implement it in good faith. Any action to undermine it will have a negative impact on the people of Somalia and on the international community’s efforts to support peace and stability. I shall follow closely the implementation of the agreement.”Mr. Kay, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM), praised the parties’ commitment to the political process, as well as the role played by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa, which signed as guarantor.Congratulating Mr. Madobe on becoming the Leader of the Interim Jubba Administration, Mr. Kay underlined that “the people of Jubba and of all Somalia will be looking to the new interim administration to deliver peace, security and public services. This is an interim agreement and gives the administration an opportunity to govern in the interests of all, including creating the conditions for the safe return of those displaced by the recent fighting in Kismaayo and ending the illegal export on charcoal.” UNSOM is mandated to support peace-building and state-building as well as the Federal Government’s peace and reconciliation process. Mr. Kay said the Mission will also establish a presence in Kismaayo to support the new administration with its efforts.Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Islamist Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government. read more