The Israeli government has approved an agreement with Lebanon on a common maritime border which involves undersea gas exploitation.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Yair Lapid said the step was a diplomatic achievement ahead of a special cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, which paves the way for the deal to be signed after Lebanon gave its approval two weeks ago.
“It is not every day that an enemy country recognises the state of Israel in a written agreement before the international community,” he said.
Lebanon and Israel are officially in a state of war.
The agreement, signed separately by Israel and Lebanon, is to be handed over to the U.
S. mediator, Amos Hochstein, by the negotiating teams at a United Nations (UN) base in Nakura in southern Lebanon Thursday afternoon.
The decades-long conflict for control of the border intensified after the discovery of natural gas resources.
The border conflict concerns 860 square kilometres off the coast claimed by both sides as an exclusive economic zone.
In mid-October, Hochstein handed over the final draft of the deal to both countries.
Talks had been ongoing for the past two years.
According to the agreement, Lebanon is to exploit the Qana gas field and Israel the Karish field.
Lebanese energy expert, Marc Ayoub said that Qana field is expected to contain a good amount of gas, but will take at least five to six years before Lebanon starts benefiting.
Lebanon hopes that such a deal will help the country’s ailing economy.
Lebanon is experiencing its worst financial crisis in decades.
The World Bank has described the crisis as among the worlds most severe since the mid-1800s.
A funding shortfall has forced the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR) to make cuts to a number of its operations across the globe
The agency said in a statement on Tuesday that at least 700 million dollars in funding was needed before the end of the year, warning that “the next round of cuts in assistance will be a catastrophic for people in need.
” It had already scaled back essential programmes, including in Uganda which is currently battling an Ebola outbreak and where the UNHCR was unable to procure enough soap and hygiene kits.
In Chad water supply in camps had been cut due to fuel shortages.
In Lebanon, 70,000 “extremely vulnerable refugee families no longer receive their safety net help from UNHCR,” the agency said.
“This is real, immediate emergency call with people’s lives and livelihoods on the line,” UNHCR’s division for external relations director Dominique Hyde said.
“Needs are rising due to a confluence of war and violence as well as economic and geopolitical crosswinds.
“While donors have once again been generous, new wars especially in Ukraine and unresolved crises mean that funding is not keeping up with the needs of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.
” The agency said the “ripple effects of the Ukraine crisis” was affecting its ability to deliver equitably around the world.
It is that, it was particularly concerned about the funding gaps in the Middle East as winter approaches, while people displaced in other countries would also suffer.
“People forced to flee already pay the price for conflicts that have ravaged their homelands.
Hyde added that, further suffering this year and 2023 can be reduced with swift international action,”
Lebanon’s parliament failed again to elect a new president on Monday, just one week ahead of the end of the term for outgoing President Michel Aoun, local media reported.
House Speaker Nabih Berri announced that the voting session, attended by 114 deputies out of 128, resulted in 39 votes for Michel Mouawad, 10 votes for Issam Khalife, 50 blank votes, and some scattered votes with political slogans.
This is the fourth time that the Lebanese parliament failed to elect a president.
The previous three elections were held on Sept. 29, Oct. 13, and Oct. 20. The failure of political parties to reach a consensus on a future president raised concerns of a presidential vacuum as the country continues to suffer from a steep financial crisis.
Over the past years, Lebanon has witnessed several periods of presidential vacuum as a result of divisions among political blocs governing the country.
Berri said he will call for another parliamentary session for the election of a president but did not specify the date.
On October 17, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defense, Simon Coveney TD, will attend a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
The Council will consider and discuss the EU's strategic response to a wide range of recent issues and events, including Russia's continued aggression against Ukraine and developments in Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, among others.
The ministers will also discuss coordinating their efforts ahead of the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt.
The Council will also assess the EU's relationship with China ahead of the European Council's strategic debate on EU-Asia relations later this week.
Speaking before the discussion on Russian aggression against Ukraine, Minister Coveney said: “It is clear that Russia has decided to choose the path of escalation in this war, proceeding with its attempted annexation of the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
We have said since the beginning of the Russian invasion that we will respond with unity, firmness and determination, in solidarity with Ukraine.
The Council is now ready to act and I hope to adopt a series of decisions that will support Ukraine and deter Russian aggression."
Speaking about COP27, Minister Coveney said: “Ireland is very involved in the EU's preparations for the COP27 Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.
This includes working to increase our collective climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement and driving urgent implementation of previous commitments.
We have been coordinating with other EU partners and we look forward to taking a significant step today to enhance the closeness and effectiveness of that partnership."
Members of the Regional Subcommittee for Polio Eradication and Outbreaks in the Eastern Mediterranean reviewed recent developments during the 69th session of the Regional Committee.
It was the sixth meeting of the subcommittee since it was formed during the 67th Regional Committee.
During the meeting, Member States and partners reiterated their commitment to freeing current and future generations of children from polio and called for sustained efforts to end polio once and for all, including the wild poliovirus outbreaks that persist in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Representatives of the partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and the Regional Directors of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Offices in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia gave interventions in support of the ongoing work to end polio in the Region.
Member States represented in person or virtually included Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Dr. Hamid Jafari, Director of the Region's Polio Eradication Program, updated Member States on efforts to stop transmission of wild and variant polioviruses in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Since the 68th session of the Regional Committee, nationwide vaccination campaigns have resumed in Afghanistan, the Region has implemented outbreak response campaigns using the new oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2), and concerted and sustained efforts have led to the closure of a poliovirus outbreak in Sudan.
and a high-risk event in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dr. Jafari informed the Member States about the epidemiological situation in the last two countries in the Region (Afghanistan and Pakistan) with transmission of wild poliovirus.
Despite a surge in cases in 2022, concerted efforts in Pakistan have led to only one lineage of viruses surviving in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The country's top priorities now are stopping the circulation of endemic polio in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, implementing intensive cleaning campaigns in any districts that detect wild poliovirus type 1, and preventing transmission in high-risk districts.
Great strides In Afghanistan, increased access to children has been a game changer.
The program now has an opportunity to focus its efforts on stopping transmission in the eastern region and preventing a spillover from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan into southeastern Afghanistan and from the eastern region into Pakistan.
Current program focuses are reaching missing children, strengthening cross-border coordination, and building partnerships with the Essential Immunization Program and organizations that provide humanitarian services.
In his capacity as Chairman of the Regional Certification Commission, Dr. Yaqob Al Mazrou noted that although the Eastern Mediterranean Region is the last WHO Region with endemic poliovirus and faces recurrent humanitarian crises and challenges, it has made great strides towards the eradication of poliomyelitis.
While he noted that 20 of the 22 countries in the Region have met the program's standards for polio eradication certification, he urged Member States to continue to intensify surveillance due to the increased risk of poliovirus spread.
Dr. Al Mazrou also explained recent innovations in the Regional Certification Commission, including the pioneering Annual Electronic Certification Report system.
The repository, part of the legacy of the eradication program, will house certification reports and information on countries' experiences in polio eradication, enabling fast and detailed data analysis and saving time by facilitating faster responses.
HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health of Qatar and co-chair of the Regional Subcommittee for Polio Eradication and Outbreaks, explained that the epidemiological situation in the Region has evolved in recent months.
The circulation of low-level wild polioviruses that survived in bags has caused spikes in cases, and poliovirus variants that spread across borders have persisted in some countries.
With several countries in the Region facing complex and multilevel emergencies (natural disasters and conflicts along with health crises), vaccines are increasingly out of reach for many children.
The implications of this were highlighted by Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al-Rand, on behalf of HE Dr. Abdul Mohammed Al Oweis, Co-Chair of the Regional Subcommittee on Polio Eradication and Outbreaks.
Dr. Chris Elias, Chairman of the Polio Oversight Board and Chairman of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, underscored that one of the common threads of the ongoing poliovirus outbreaks in the Region is limited access to all the children.
He stressed that the national polio program was unable to reach all children with oral polio vaccine due to "a tragic combination of insecurity, violence, lack of political will, and community rejection."
He reiterated that the polio program does not face a technical challenge, since polio vaccines work, but the ability to administer vaccines to all children is urgently required.
Given the increasing movement of populations and polioviruses across borders, all partners reiterated their commitment to intensify efforts to end polio in the Region.
They agreed to expand strategies and tactics, including polio surveillance and access to children, to ensure that polioviruses do not have a chance to spread.
The efforts of Member States to end the circulation of polio have the unwavering support of the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid will not make concessions to accommodate Lebanese comments on a compromise proposed by the United States on its sea border, a high-ranking government representative said.
“Lapid will not make any compromises on security issues, even if that means that there will be no agreement in the foreseeable future,” the official said.
The security Cabinet was meeting on Thursday to discuss the compromise amid concerns that a collapse in the negotiations could raise regional tensions.
S. negotiator Amos Hochstein previously delivered the proposal to both sides, which are officially in a state of war, following two years of talks.
The Lebanese amendments communicated to the U.
S. a few days ago have not been made public, but concerns have been expressed by the Israeli opposition that the changes would represent concessions to the Hezbollah Shiite militia active in Lebanon.
The decades-long border conflict concerns 860 square kilometres off the coast claimed by both sides as an exclusive economic zone.
It has been exacerbated by the discovery of natural gas.
A suggested compromise is that Lebanon exploits the Qana field and Israel the Karish field.
Israeli forces shot down a number of Hezbollah drones over the Karish platform at the beginning of July. The Israeli government representative said Israel would start exploiting the Karish field as soon as possible.
“If Hezbollah or anyone else tries to damage the Karish field, or threatens us, talks on the sea border will be halted immediately.
” Israelis go to the polls in parliamentary elections on Nov. 1. ==
Three innovative programmes from Benin, Haiti, and Lebanon have been recognised for their efforts to enhance the role of teachers and transform education, both in their communities and beyond.
These projects are the recipients of the 2022 7th Edition of the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development, which was presented at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.
UNESCO, in a statement, said that the projects were run by the Graines de Paix Foundation, the organisation PH4 Global and the American University of Beirut, who will share a $300,000 dollars endowment to help further their initiatives.
Graines de Paix organises a programme in Benin called Apprendre en paix, Enseigner sans violence (Learning in Peace, Education without Violence) that provides educational solutions focused on how to prevent all forms of violence and prevent radicalization.
The project also promotes well-being and a culture of peace, security, equity, and inclusion.
More than 4,500 teachers have been trained, and no fewer than 250,000 children reached.
Through its Training Teachers to Transform Haiti programme, P4H Global strives to improve the quality of education in the Caribbean country by training teachers as well as school directors, parents and community members.
The objective is to transform teachers’ methods into effective student-centred strategies that cultivate critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
These are reinforced through measures that include personalised feedback via social media and messaging apps.
More than 8,000 educators and 350,000 students across Haiti have benefited from the programme.
Under the TAMAM Project for School-Based Educational Reform, university researchers and educational practitioners in Lebanon work together to generate strategies grounded in the sociocultural contexts of the Arab region.
The initiative covers 70 schools in 10 countries in the region, and has benefited 1,000 educational partners, with 100 improvement projects initiated over the past 15 years.
The UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development was established in 2008 to support the improvement of teaching and learning quality in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The prize, which is awarded every two years, is supported by the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance.
Teachers are at the heart of education, and their valuable work must also lead to better pay and working conditions, the heads of three UN agencies and a partner organization said on Wednesday.
The statement is included in their joint message to mark World Teachers' Day, which is celebrated annually on October 5.
The international community is committed to transforming education, a process that must be led by teachers.
A critical partner That is the firm belief expressed by Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the United Nations cultural and educational agency, UNESCO; Gilbert F.
Houngbo, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO); Catherine Russell, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and David Edwards, Secretary General of Education International.
"Today, on World Teachers' Day, we celebrate the critical role of teachers in transforming the potential of students by ensuring they have the tools they need to take responsibility for themselves, others and the planet," they said.
“We call on countries to ensure that teachers are trusted and recognized as producers of knowledge, thoughtful professionals and political partners.” Keeping the promise The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that teachers are the engines at the heart of global education systems, the statement says.
Without them, it is impossible to provide inclusive, equitable and quality education to all learners.
Teachers are also essential to recovering from the pandemic and preparing students for the future.
“However, unless we transform the conditions of teachers, the promise of that education will remain out of reach for those who need it most,” the partners warned.
They recalled that the Education for Transformation Summit, held last month at United Nations Headquarters, reaffirmed that transformation requires the right number of empowered, motivated and qualified teachers and education personnel in the right place and with the right skills.
Demotivation, dropout Yet in many parts of the world, classrooms are overcrowded, they said, and teachers are too few, overworked, unmotivated and unsupported.
As a result, an unprecedented number are leaving the profession.
There has also been a significant decline in people studying to become teachers.
"If these issues are not addressed, the loss of a professional teaching force could be a fatal blow to the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 4," they warned, referring to global efforts to ensure quality education for all by 2030.
the loss disproportionately affects students in remote or poor areas, as well as women and girls, and vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Global Shortage The partners pointed to recent estimates revealing that an additional 24.4 million primary school teachers will be needed worldwide, along with some 44.4 million secondary school teachers, if the world is to achieve universal basic education for end of the decade.
Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia alone will require 24 million more teachers, roughly half the number of new teachers needed in developing countries.
These regions have some of the world's most overcrowded classrooms, the most overburdened teachers, and understaffed education systems.
A remarkable 90 percent of its secondary schools face a severe teacher shortage.
“Bringing qualified, supported and motivated teachers into classrooms, and keeping them there, is therefore the single most important thing we can do to improve learning and well-being for students and communities,” the partners said.
"The valuable work that teachers do must also translate into better working conditions and pay."
Awarded Education Innovators Similarly, three innovative programs from Benin, Haiti and Lebanon have been recognized for their efforts to enhance the role of teachers and transform education, both in their communities and beyond.
These projects are the winners of the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development 2022, which will be awarded at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.
They are run by the Graines de Paix Foundation, the PH4 Global organization and the American University of Beirut, who will share an endowment of $300,000 to help promote their initiatives.
Promoting peace, preventing violence Graines de Paix organizes in Benin a program called Apprendre en paix, Enseigner sansviolence (Learning in Peace, Education without Violence) that offers educational solutions focused on how to prevent all forms of violence and prevent radicalization.
The project also promotes wellness and a culture of peace, security, equity, and inclusion.
More than 4,500 teachers have been trained and more than 250,000 children have been reached.
Through its Training Teachers to Transform Haiti program, P4H Global strives to improve the quality of education in the Caribbean country by training teachers, school principals, parents and community members.
Strategies for Success The goal is to transform teachers' methods into effective student-centered strategies that cultivate critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
These are reinforced through measures that include personalized comments through social networks and messaging applications.
More than 8,000 educators and 350,000 students throughout Haiti have benefited from the program.
Under the TAMAM Project for School-Based Educational Reform, university researchers and education professionals in Lebanon work together to generate strategies based on the socio-cultural contexts of the Arab region.
The initiative covers 70 schools in 10 countries in the region and has benefited 1,000 educational partners, with 100 improvement projects initiated in the last 15 years.
About the Prize The UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development was established in 2008 to support the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The prize, which is awarded every two years, is supported by the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Achievement.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is ready to sign a final agreement with Lebanon at the earliest possible to unlock aid for the crisis-hit country.
The managing director of IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, said this during her meeting with Lebanese Prime Ministe, Najib Mikati, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“We also want to complete the required steps from Lebanon, including the approval of reform projects in the parliament and addressing the exchange rate issue,” she said.
She added that the international interest in Lebanon is still there, but the required steps should be exp
The Cypriot coastguard picked up 137 migrants on board a boat east of the island on Tuesday, the second such operation in as many days.
The coastguard also said that some 300 migrants in distress were rescued 110 nautical miles (204 kilometres) south-east of the Mediterranean island on Monday.
The people had set out from Lebanon and were to be sent back there soon, state radio RIK reported, citing the coastguard.
There was a repatriation agreement between Lebanon and Cyprus.
They were in a major joint operation with a freighter travelling in the area.
According to the coastguard, all of the passengers were brought to the freighter by helicopters and boats from the coastguard and taken in.
They were also said to have started their journey from Lebanon.
Which nationalities they belonged to was initially unclear, as was where the rescued people were to be taken.
Smuggling gangs are increasingly trying to bring migrants from states in the east of the Mediterranean such as Lebanon or Syria to southern Italy.
The route is long and dangerous, running south from Cyprus past Crete and southern Greece.
On long journeys, the eldest and worn-out boats often suffer engine failures or other accidents.
According to migrants, the smugglers charge between 3,000 euros and 5,000 euros (3,000 to 5,000 dollars) per head per trip.
According to EU statistics, Cyprus has received by far the most asylum applications per year in recent years, measured against the size of its population.