It’s time to reform global trade rules, says France’s Macron

admin   •   May 31, 2018   •   3160

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends the OECD ministerial council meeting on “Refounding Multilateralism” in Paris, France, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday (May 30) said it was time for the world’s biggest economic powers to start talks on reshaping World Trade Organization rules to prevent current tensions spiraling into trade wars.

Macron’s comments before the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) came as the European Union faced less than 48 hours to win an exemption from U.S. tariffs on European aluminum and steel.

“This is about a complete update of global competition rules,” Macron said, advocating multilateralism at a time when the risk of tit-for-tat trade measures threatens to derail global growth.

The French leader wants the EU, United States, China and Japan to draw up a blueprint for WTO reform in time for the next G-20 meeting in Argentina at the end of the year.

Macron has painted himself as a defender of global co-operation – what he calls “strong multilateralism” – and sought to dissuade leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin from going it alone on issues from diplomacy to trade and the environment.

Trump has effectively engineered a crisis in the WTO’s system of settling global disputes by vetoing all appointments of judges to its appeals chamber. — Reuters

UN secretary general says world is getting ‘F in ethics’ amid vaccine supply inequality

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 22, 2021

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has slammed world leaders for the inequity in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Guterres said wealthier countries have vaccinated a majority of their population and are already contemplating on giving out booster shots while 90% of the people in Africa remain unvaccinated.

He also noted that images from some parts of the world showing expired and unused COVID-19 vaccines in the garbage tell “the tale of our times”.

“This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. It is an obscenity. We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in ethics,” he said.

More than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also previously addressed the vaccine supply inequity and has urged high-income countries to delay distribution of booster shots and share their supply with other countries in need. AAC

 

 

 

Philippines gets another 3M doses of Sinovac vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Another three million doses of CoronaVac from China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (September 19) bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country to 62,359,810 since February.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Police Major Marvin Oloab witnessed the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) past 6:00 p.m. via a commercial Philippine Airlines flight.

Galvez said the newest vaccine shipment will be distributed to Regions 3, 4-A, 7, 11 and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Galvez admitted that the national government is facing challenges in vaccinating the senior citizens due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Talagang ayaw lumabas ng mga matatanda para magpabakuna dahil takot pa rin ngayon dahil tumaas ang kaso,” he said.

“Palagay ko, kapag bumaba na ang kaso natin later on [at] iyong mga nabakunahan na mga senior [ay] lumabas na, palagay ko, magkakaroon ng incentives for all our seniors to go out,” Galvez added.

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PH gov’t intensifying readiness vs terror threat amid Japan warning – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday assured that the military and police forces are intensifying their readiness against any possible threat to national security.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the assurance following the advisory issued by the government of Japan for its residents to avoid crowded areas and religious ins six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa impormasyon. Pero lalo lang po nating pinaiigting ang ating kahandaan para po harapin ang posibleng terroristic attack muli,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

The Palace official said state forces have been on heightened alert since the Marawi siege happened in 2017.

Roque, however, urged the public to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious individuals and activities in their areas.

“Nakahanda naman po ang ating kapulisan at ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan at hinihiling din atin ang kooperasyon ng ating mga mamamayan. I-report po ninyo sa kapulisan kung mayroon kayong kaduda-dudang mga personalidad o di naman kaya mga kadudang mga bagay-bagay lalo na sa mga pampublikong lugar,” he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police earlier said they have not monitored any terror threat but are working to validate the information.

Aside from the Philippines, the warning issued by the Japanese government also covers Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

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