The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a historic resolution, declaring access to a clean water as well as healthy and sustainable environment a universal human right.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that 161 Member States, including Nigeria voted in favour of the resolution while eight abstained from voting.
The Member States who abstained are China, Russian Federation, Belarus, Cambodia, Iran, Syria, Kyrgyzstan and Ethiopia.
The resolution, based on a similar text adopted in 2021 by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed the ‘historic’ decision and said the landmark development demonstrates that Member States can come together in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
“The resolution will help reduce environmental injustices, close protection gaps and empower people, especially those that are in vulnerable situations.
“Also, it will help environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women and indigenous peoples,“ Guterres said in a statement.
He added that the decision would also help States accelerate the implementation of their environmental and human rights obligations and commitments.
“The international community has given universal recognition to this right and brought us closer to making it a reality for all,” the UN chief said.
Guterres underscored that however, the adoption of the resolution ‘is only the beginning’ and urged nations to make this newly recognised right ‘a reality for everyone, everywhere’.
In a statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also hailed the Assembly’s decision and echoed the Secretary-General’s call for urgent action to implement it.
“Today is a historic moment, but simply affirming our right to a healthy environment is not enough.
The General Assembly resolution is very clear: States must implement their international commitments and scale up their efforts to realize it.
“We will all suffer much worse effects from environmental crises, if we do not work together to collectively avert them now,” she said.
Bachelet explained that environmental action based on human rights obligations provides vital guardrails for economic policies and business models.
“It emphasizes the underpinning of legal obligations to act, rather than simply of discretionary policy.
It is also more effective, legitimate and sustainable,” she added.
The text, originally presented by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland in June 2021, was co-sponsored by over 100 countries.
It notes that the right to a healthy environment is related to existing international law and affirms that its promotion requires the full implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.
In 1972, the UN Conference on the Environment in Stockholm, which ended with its own historic declaration, was the first one to place environmental issues at the forefront of international concerns.
It marked the start of a dialogue between industrialised and developing countries on the link between economic growth, the pollution of the air, water and the ocean, and the well-being of people around the world.
UN Member States back then, declared that people have a fundamental right to “an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being,” calling for concrete action and the recognition of this right.
Last October, after decades of work by nations at the front lines of climate change, such as the Maldives archipelago, as well as more than 1,000 civil society organisations, the Human Rights Council finally recognised this right and called for the UN General Assembly to do the same.
“From a foothold in the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, the right has been integrated into constitutions, national laws and regional agreements.
“Today’s decision elevates the right to where it belongs: universal recognition”, UN Environment chief, Inger Andersen, explained in a statement.
The recognition of the right to a healthy environment by these UN bodies, although not legally binding— meaning countries don’t have a legal obligation to comply— is expected to be a catalyst for action and to empower ordinary people to hold their governments accountable.
“So, the recognition of this right is a victory we should celebrate.
“My thanks to Member States and to the thousands of civil society organisations and indigenous peoples’ groups, and tens of thousands of young people who advocated relentlessly for this right.
“But now we must build on this victory and implement the right,” Andersen added.
Cambodia’s National Assembly has ratified an agreement between it and China’s Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government for avoiding double taxation and preventing fiscal evasion concerning the taxes on income.
The pact was gich was ratified on Thursday, was signed between the Southeast Asian country and the Macao SAR government in 2019.
Cambodian Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said the kingdom had also signed similar agreements with China, China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Turkey.
“The agreement will attract and facilitate international investment and trade as well as prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income,’’ he told the parliament.
Chheang Vun, chairman of the parliament’s committee on economy, finance, banking and audit, said the deal was vital to promoting bilateral investment and trade, capital flow, and sharing of technology and expertise.
“This is a legal instrument that will help attract foreign direct investment to Cambodia through tax incentives,’’ he said.
After a review by the senate, the pact would be submitted to Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni for endorsement.
Cambodian Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng on Thursday applauded the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) for its efforts at maintaining investment and expand the business.
SSEZ is an enterprise constructed by the Chyand Cambodians aimed at creating an ideal platform for enterprises’ “investment in ASEAN, radiation to the world ”.
This is coming in spite of the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impact.
Samheng made the remarks during a meeting here with Chen Jiangang, president of the SSEZ, which was the kingdom’s largest industrial zone in terms of size and occupancy.
“Maintaining the robust development of the SSEZ is a testament to the ironclad friendship between our two countries, Cambodia and China,’’ the minister said.
“It’s also part of the Cambodia-China cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, which has provided significant benefits to Cambodia,’’ he added.
Samheng also praised the zone operator for paying particular attention to the workers’ well-being through providing healthcare, especially for pregnant workers, and building dormitories.
Meanwhile, the minister said the Chinese-invested Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway project, which connects Phnom Penh and the province of Preah Sihanouk, would speed up travel between the two economic powerhouses.
He said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, which both entered into force on Jan. 1, would boost trade and investment relations between Cambodia and China.
During the meeting, Chen briefed the minister about the progress in the SSEZ development.
Chen said that the value of imports and exports passing through the zone reached 1.
37 billion U.
S. dollars in the first half of 2022, up 38 per cent year-on-year.
He said the SSEZ currently houses 170 enterprises from China, Europe, the United States and some other Asian countries, generating nearly 30,000 jobs.
Cambodian Ministry of Commerce’s undersecretary of state and spokesman Penn Sovicheat said the SSEZ is a perfect example of win-win cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
“The SSEZ has provided a lot of jobs to workers and served as a role model for the cluster industries and as a base for exports,’’ he told Xinhua.
Cambodia’s anti-drug police have arrested a foreigner for allegedly possessing and trafficking illicit drugs, confiscating more than 45 kilograms of illicit drugs.
The Anti-Drug Police Department (ADP) said in a news release on Monday.
According the police, the 33-year-old man was caught during a raid on his three condo rooms and one hotel room in capital Phnom Penh’s 7 Makara district on earlier on Thursday after a probe for several months.
“Some 24.3 kilograms of ketamine, 14 kilograms of crystal meth, 7.15 kilograms of ecstasy, and 144 grams of nimetazepam were seized from the suspect during the raid,’’ the ADP said.
The Southeast Asian country has no death sentence for a drug trafficker; under its law, a person found guilty of trafficking more than 80 grams of illicit drugs could be jailed for life.
According to the ADP, Cambodia nabbed 7,654 drug suspects, including 99 foreigners, during the January-June period of 2022, confiscating 3.12 tons of illicit drugs and 185 tons of drug ingredients.
Cambodia exports agricultural products worth $1.94bn toCambodia exported more than 2.4 million tonnes of agricultural products to China from 2019 to June 2022, earning a gross revenue of 1.94 billion U.S. dollars, Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Thursday.
He said the Southeast Asian nation had shipped 24 kinds of agricultural products to China.
The products include fresh bananas, milled rice, dried cassava chips, cassava starch, dried mangoes, fresh mangoes, dried rubber, cashew nuts and cocoa powder, among others.
The minister’s remarks came after he took part in a Cambodia-China agricultural forum via video link on Wednesday.
Sakhon said China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) paved the way for the two countries to further broaden bilateral cooperation in all fields, including agriculture.
He added that “the BRI has brought great benefits to Cambodia’s agriculture, helping the country to grow rice, cassava, tropical fruits, natural rubber and other products.” The initiative supported Cambodia in building agricultural product processing parks and enhancing the added value of agricultural products, the minister said, it has also helped attract Chinese investors in this sector.
Sakhon said Chinese investment is essential to Cambodia’s efforts to modernise agricultural production technologies and promote agricultural infrastructure.
Ngin Chhay, Head of the General Directorate of Agriculture under the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, said on Tuesday that Cambodia is expected to export fresh Pailin longan and pangasius fish to China for the first time in the near future.
Experts from six confederations met in a seminar dedicated to the coaching competency framework; Talent development depends on high-quality coaches; The FIFA Coach Development Program (www.FIFA.com) has a global vision
“Anyone can be a coach, but telling someone exactly what to do, exactly how to do it, and even telling them when to do it, that takes knowledge, experience and education. That is why it is very important that we focus on the quality of education.”
Those words belong to Arsene Wenger, who knows what he's talking about when it comes to the qualities needed not only to be a coach, but to be a good coach. Appointed Head of FIFA Global Football Development in November 2019, the Frenchman has made high standards of coaching one of his priorities.
With that in mind, experts from the FIFA Coach Development Program met in Zurich from 27 to 30 June for a seminar dedicated to the coaching competency framework. The event was chaired by Wenger, supported by FIFA technical director Steven Martens and FIFA head of coach development Branimir Ujevic.
Making football more competitive around the world “FIFA wants to give all talented players a chance, a goal that means giving everyone, regardless of their level, access to good competitions and good coaches who can guide them”, Martens said, explaining the reasons behind the seminar.
"It is important that each of the member associations can develop their own coaches and run their own training programmes," he added. “That is why we are running this workshop, which is specifically focused on how we can develop better coach educators around the world.”
As Wenger said in the groundbreaking study (https://fifa.fans/3yCzZNz) conducted two years ago, talent development depends on good quality coaches running youth teams, and education and knowledge that coaches possess “We have seen that the countries that excel in football are the ones that have the best training systems and the best coaches,” he said. "That's why we need this program: to make soccer more competitive around the world."
Speaking at the event, Scott O'Donnell, an Australian coach who has worked extensively in South East Asia, said there was a need for coach education to be available around the world: "Many of the coaches I have worked with in India , Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore are still in India, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. Perhaps they lack the confidence to leave. With the Coaching Development Program, they will have the opportunity to work with people in other countries, develop a network and access to opportunities. That can only be good for football in Southeast Asia, because there is so much potential."
striving for more
With his five FIFA World Cup™ titles and his reputation as a producer of legendary coaches, he could be forgiven for thinking that the need for coach development would not be high on Brazil's priority list. Confusing that view, Mauricio Marques, training coordinator for the Brazilian Football Association (CBF), said he didn't need to be convinced of the program's usefulness: “When we started thinking about entering the program, we thought: 'We have five stars. in our jersey and we bring the best players. Why should we get involved?'
“Then when we joined the show, it made us stop and think. Even when you are at the top of world football, you should always think about how you can improve. We always seek excellence. It's one of the things that motivates us."
However, Marques is aware that quality coaches cannot be limited to the top of the pyramid, even in the most successful football nation in the world, with its 210 million fans: "Our goal in the CBF, with the support of FIFA, is to make that quality trickle down, to make it more democratic and make it more accessible in each of our releases."
Relying on some figures to back up his point, he said: “Let's imagine we have 20 coach educators teaching ten or more courses during the year and there are 40 coaches in each course. Those educators would reach 400 coaches a year. Let's say that they are working with 100 young people a year, then we are talking about 40,000 children a year, only in Brazil. If you put it like that to all the confederations involved in the FIFA Coach Development Program, it's huge."
A global goal
England's John Peacock, a former player and coach turned educator and consultant, underscored the value of development programmes. "It's a matter of both quantity and quality," he said. “We need to continue working on the quality of the coaches and, more importantly, on the coach educators, who are the people who develop these courses and work with young and adult players, men and women. Ultimately, the goal is to try to develop the game in all countries and take it to the next level.
“What FIFA is doing to support educational programs around the world is really positive. The big task we face is to spread these messages and get support through these programs so that we can develop the best players and coaches for the future."
Dialogue between Myanmar's junta and ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end the bloody crisis sparked by the ouster of her government last year "is not impossible," a junta spokesman told AFP on Friday.
The Southeast Asian nation has been in chaos since the coup, with renewed fighting with rebellious ethnic groups, dozens of "People's Defense Forces" springing up to fight the junta and the tattered economy.
Suu Kyi, 77, has been held virtually incommunicado by the military and was recently transferred from house arrest to solitary confinement as she faces multiple trials that could see her sentenced to more than 150 years in jail.
"There is nothing impossible in politics," board spokesman Zaw Min Tun told AFP when asked if the board could enter into dialogue with Suu Kyi to resolve the turmoil.
"We cannot say that (negotiations with Suu Kyi) are impossible."
"Several countries" had urged opening dialogue with the Nobel laureate, he said, without giving details.
Diplomatic efforts spearheaded by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Myanmar is a member, have so far failed to stem the bloodshed.
Last year, the bloc agreed to a "five-point consensus," calling for a cessation of violence and constructive dialogue, but the junta has largely ignored it.
ASEAN envoy and Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday for his second visit to boost dialogue between the junta and opponents of his government.
He met with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing on Thursday and met with members of various political parties in the army-built capital Naypyidaw on Friday, a spokesman for the junta said.
The board has said that he will not be allowed to visit Suu Kyi.
“We have done everything that she asked for related to her health and living situation,” said Zaw Min Tun regarding Suu Kyi's new living conditions in prison.
Fighting continues across swaths of the country, with local media reporting killings and burnings by junta troops as they struggle to crush opposition to the coup.
Nearly 700,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since the coup, the United Nations said in May.
Thailand on Thursday disabled F-16 fighter jets after a Myanmar plane involved in clashes with anti-coup fighters near its border violated its airspace, officials said.
China's foreign minister was due to land in Myanmar on Friday for a regional meeting, in what will be Beijing's most high-profile visit to Myanmar since the coup.
It was unclear whether a meeting between Wang Yi and board chief Min Aung Hlaing would take place, a board spokesman said.
China is a major arms supplier and ally of the junta and has refused to label the military takeover a "coup."
Cambodia on Monday organised a national consultation workshop on economic diplomacy in the new normal, aiming at promoting the effective implementation of the strategy in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
Supported by the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Special Fund, the hybrid workshop was attended by some 170 stakeholders in person and dozens of the country’s ambassadors and consuls-general abroad via video link.
Ouch Borith, minister attached to Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and foreign ministry’s standing secretary of state, said the economic diplomacy strategy 2021-2023 was essential to help develop the country’s economy.
He said the strategy is crucial to boosting economic growth, reducing reliance on external aid, and promoting the interest of Cambodia in the region and in the world.
Borith added that the strategy was designed to attract more foreign direct investment, to further boost bilateral and multilateral trade growth, and lure more tourists to the Southeast Asian nation.
“Taking this opportunity, I’d like to express my profound thanks to the people and government of China for having provided a great amount of assistance to Cambodia for national development in the regional, sub-regional, LMC, and bilateral frameworks,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian was confident that the economic diplomacy strategy would inject a new impetus into Cambodia’s economic recovery in the post-pandemic.
“As the COVID-19 situation in Cambodia has been brought under effective control, with zero new cases and zero active cases, and more than 94 per cent of its population have been vaccinated.
“I believe that the Cambodian economy will recover fast from the pandemic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Wang also highlighted close ties between China and Cambodia, saying that bilateral relations have currently hit an all-time high in history. (
The Washington-D.C.-based World Justice Project has awarded 20,000 dollars (N8.4 million) World Justice Challenge 2022 prize for Anti-Corruption and Open Government, to Transparency Information Technology Initiative (TransparencIT) of Nigeria.
TransparencIT received the prize for its project: Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases: Creating Monitoring Systems, an Online Corruption Database and Special Anti-corruption Courts.
The World Justice Chief Communication Officer, Tanya Weinberg said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Tuesday.
Weinberg explained that the Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases project tracked and evaluated corruption cases in 21 states in Nigeria and had dramatically reduced the duration of corruption trials.
“Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest obstacle to economic development and often goes unpunished due to slow dispensation of justice and corruption within the justice system.
“TranparencIT’s Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases project has helped reduce the average duration of corruption trials from eight years to between three and four years.
“The organisation is equally successfully advocating special anti-corruption courts that are even speedier,” she said.
She said that the prize was announced at the close of the virtual World’s Justice Forum, a global gathering of the justice and rule of law movement held in The Hague, Netherlands on June 2.
She said that the World Justice Challenge was a global competition to identify, recognise and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law.
“It is dedicated to addressing structural inequities and governance weaknesses exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis,” Weinberg said.
She said that 305 organisations in 118 countries applied, out of which 30 finalists were invited to showcase their groundbreaking work at the World Justice Forum.
Weinberg said that five best in-class local initiatives emerged winners under the five themes: Access to Justice, Anti-Corruption and Open Government, Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination, Data for Justice, and Alumni Vote.
“Finalists were evaluated by a 10-member judging panel, which included former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, General Secretary of International Trade Union, Sharan Burrow, and Indian human rights activist, Hina Jilani.
“Red Dot Foundation, India, won the Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination Prize for its Safecity: A Croudmap for Sexual and Gender-based Violence project.
“Cambodia Bridges to Justice, Cambodia, won the Access to Justice Prize under its Championing Access to Justice: Improving Cambodia’s Courts of Appeals System.
“In Reach, Global won the Data for Justice Prize for its In Reach: Providing Legal Aid Support to LGBTQ+ People Fleeing Persecution.
“While POS Foundation, Ghana, won the Alumni Vote Prize for its Justice for All amid COVID-19: Alleviating Prisons Overcrowding with Mobile, In-prison Special Courts project,” she said.
The chief communication officer said that each of the winners received a 20,000 dollars prize.
Mr Bill Neukom, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, World Justice Project, noted that the rule of law was under attack around the world, adding that people were suffering countless injustices as a result.
“The World Justice Challenge demonstrates how communities are resisting these attacks, and how their innovations can succeed in delivering justice, opportunity, and peace.
“We applaud these rule of law champions and look forward to the additional impact they inspire through their exemplary work,” Neukom said.
In his response, Founder and Director, TransparencIT, Mr Abbas Inuwa, thanked the World Justice Project for the honour.
“This award means a lot to us because it is recognition from the World Justice Forum by world justice leaders.
“It validates our work and gives us a great nudge to continue advancing the rule of law for more just and accountable societies,” Inuwa said. (
Cambodia becomes COVID-free – Official
Cambodia becomes COVID-free – Official
Phnom Penh, June 7, 2022 Cambodia has become COVID-19 free after the last patient recovered, according to a health ministry’s statement on Tuesday.
The statement said the country reported no new cases of COVID-19 for 31 days straight.
It added that since the pandemic began in January 2020, the southeast Asian nation has logged a total of 136,262 confirmed cases with 133,206 recoveries and 3,056 deaths.
Health ministry’s secretary of state and spokeswoman, Or Vandine, attributed the country’s success in controlling the pandemic to the government’s right leadership and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
She said Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, made the right and timely decision to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible Cambodians and foreigners living in the country.
“Vaccines are the most powerful tool to protect lives against COVID-19, reducing infections and deaths,” Vandine said.
Cambodia has so far vaccinated at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to over 15 million people or 94 per cent of its 16 million population, the health ministry said.
It added that of them, 14.3 million or 89.4 per cent, have been fully vaccinated with two required shots.
Also, some 9.25 million or 58 per cent, have got a third dose and 2.58 million or 16 per cent, have had a fourth dose.
Cambodia will begin offering a fifth dose of COVID-19 vaccines to priority groups from June 9.
Buoyed by its high vaccination rates, Cambodia has resumed all socioeconomic activities and reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers without quarantine since November last year.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the country are China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Kin Phea, Director-General of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said vaccines had protected lives, stabilised health system and helped restore the economy.
“The royal government of Cambodia has made the correct decision to choose China as a strategic supplier of COVID-19 vaccines and that’s why Cambodia has enough vaccines for its people,” he said. ( (