Asian & Arab Parliamentarians to Move Forward on Reproductive Health & Gender Empowerment

By Razeena Raheem
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 16 2019 – Over the years, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has worked in tandem with legislators and parliamentarians to help implement the historic Programme of Action (PoA) adopted unanimously by over 20,000 UN delegates at a landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo back in 1994.

The PoA included a commitment to reduce maternal and infant mortality, promote reproductive health and family planning, halt the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and children, and strengthen women’s empowerment and gender equality, among others.

But the successful implementation of the PoA was left primarily in the hands of parliamentarians, who were expected to initiate and pass legislation in their home countries, while their governments were mandated to fund and execute the proposed plans and laws.

Pointedly addressing legislators, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem says: “As parliamentarians, you have the power to transform the voices of your people into concrete action. You have the power to make a real difference. I appeal to you to protect the precious mandate that you share with UNFPA. Our women, girls and young people deserve no less.”

As UNFPA plans to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ICPD at an international conference (ICPD25) in Nairobi in November, the Asian Parliamentarians for Population and Development (APDA) will hold a meeting in Rabat, Morocco 18-20 September to review and assess ICPD25.

The subject: “Moving Forward the Unfinished Business of the ICPD”

The APDA, which is based in Japan, says the planned parliamentarian meeting aims to update and contribute to the realignment of Arab and Asian Parliamentarians with UNFPA’s strategic objectives of the ICPD25.

Additionally, it plans to promote synergetic partnership among parliamentarians, UNFPA, and other stakeholders and to help formulate Action Plans for parliamentarians to respond to the unique regional contexts to accelerate implementation of the ICPD PoA.

The Rabat meeting is organized by APDA. hosted by the House of Councilors of Morocco and The Forum of Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAPPD) and supported by the Japan Trust Fund (JTF), and the UNFPA in cooperation with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

A quarter of a century after ICPD, the UNFPA points out that the world has seen “remarkable progress”, with a 25 per cent increase in global contraceptive prevalence rate around the world.

Adolescent births have declined steeply, and the global maternal mortality ratio has fallen.

“But progress has been slow and uneven, since hundreds of millions of women around the world are still not using modern contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and global targets on reducing maternal deaths have not been met.”

In an appeal to parliamentarians, Dr Kanem said: “You have pushed your governments towards ambitious goals for the future, and you have held them accountable for promises made in the past. In the coming months we will need you to hold steadfast and ensure that the rights of women and girls, especially in the most vulnerable regions of the world, do not get swallowed up in the political turmoil that threatens to roll back the progress we have made.”

“Although much has been accomplished since the ICPD in 1994, much more has yet to be done. The achievement of the ICPD goals will depend on the political will to fill the gaps in laws, policies and funding. Only with the support of parliamentarians can we build this political will,” she declared.

In a concept note to delegates, APDA says the year 2019 is a milestone marking the 25th anniversary of both the ICPD and the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), both organized in Cairo, Egypt.

The ICPPD, which was convened ahead of the ICPD and attended by approximately 300 parliamentarians from 117 countries had a profound influence and contributed to the ICPD Programme of Action.

Driven by the consensus of parliamentarians, the ICPPD merits positioning population issues at the center of sustainable development as reflected in the Preamble and Principles of the ICPD’s Programme of Action. This provided solid grounds for mutual reinforcement between ICPD and ICPPD.

The endorsement of the ICPD Programme of Action 25 years ago, came with reservations from some countries, due to cultural and religious reasons, the concept note said.

“This was basically on sexuality issues and empowerment of women. Nevertheless, one of its major outcomes was the universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (RR), including determination of the number, timing and spacing of children; and the right to have access to SRH information and services, as a cornerstone of sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development where no one is left behind.”

The Rabat meeting is also aimed at updating and contributing to the realignment of Arab and Asian Parliamentarians with UNFPA’s strategic objectives of the ICPD25 and promote synergetic partnership among parliamentarians, UNFPA, and other stakeholders and to help formulate Action Plans for parliamentarians to respond to the unique regional contexts to accelerate the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.

Given the centrality of the ICPD Programme of Action to achieving the SDGs, and based on progress and achievements made by the Kingdom of Morocco with regard to SDGs, ranking highest among African countries with an implementation rate of 66.1%, a case study of Morocco will be presented at the meeting.

The study will address experience and lessons learned on how parliamentarians can create an enabling environment for achieving of the SDGs in their respective countries.

It is also hoped, says the concept note, that this project will play a catalyst role for promoting parliamentarians’ networking, which should serve the purpose of the JTF (Japan Trust Fund), and enhance sustained multi-stakeholder dialogue for generating synergies among parliamentarians to achieve optimal results.

The meeting in Morocco is also expected to adopt a set of Parliamentarians’ Recommendations for the ICPD+25

African Development Bank Plans for a Self-sufficient, Integrated and Industrialised Continent

Women rice farmers in a field, Accra, Ghana. Through the African Development Bank’s Feed Africa project, 19 million people were provided with improved agricultural technologies, and almost 1.54 billion dollars was approved in 2018 to transform agriculture on the continent. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

By Nalisha Adams and Busani Bafana
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa/BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Sep 16 2019 – Arama Sire Camara, a fruit and vegetable seller in the province of Kindia, some 135 km from the Guinean capital of Conakry, feels safer trading well into the night thanks to the Rural Electrification Project, financed by 21-million-dollar investment by the African Development Bank.

“With lighting on the road at night and illuminating our goods, it means we are safer, especially with all the cars on the road. You can work for longer after nightfall, and so we can make more of our products,” she says.

Shuaibu Yusuf, a farmer from Nigeria, can now not only afford to pay for the food for his family thanks to his high yields that are resultant of the high-quality fertiliser he is able to access through the AfDB programme, Feed Africa, but he can also pay his children’s educational costs and his family’s medical bills.

In South Africa’s Limpopo province, Sarina Malatji, now a 39-year-old mother of three, grew up in an area where access to education was limited. But thanks to investment from AfDB in the state power utility Eskom’s Medupi Leadership Initiative and the Eskom Contractors Academy, her life now is a far cry from her childhood. She is now the owner of her own cleaning business – Green Dot – which currently employs 115 people at the Medupi power plant, one of the largest energy projects in the country. She says the skills she learned through the leadership initiative helped her grown her business.

These are just the stories of a few people who have been the beneficiaries of investments made by the AfDB across the continent.

From supporting the construction of a 563 km power transmission line in Mozambique as part of a commitment to aid post cyclone Idai recovery through restoration of livelihoods and infrastructure; to singing a 28.8-million-dollar grant deal with Somalia for road and water projects; to signing a 4.8-million-dollar grant with the African Union for a continental free trade secretariat; and to committing to pool its resources with other stakeholders to counter food insecurity on the continent. This year has already seen the AfDB make a huge footprint in terms of development.

Last year, the bank’s Global Benchmark programme successfully launched two large global benchmark issuances in the dollar market of two billion dollars each and a 1.25 billion euro 10-year bond.

“Africa will develop not through aid but through the discipline of investments,” AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said, noting that the bank and partners had launched the Africa Investment Forum in 2018, which raised 38.7 billion dollars in investment deals.

But as the AfDB wrapped up the 20th annual meeting of world’s leading financial institutions last week at the bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, plans are underway for a renewed push for Africa’s development as the bank lobbies for a general capital increase from shareholders.

The bank is committed to assisting Africa tap into its potential to be a competitive global investment destination with Charles Boamah, senior Vice President of the bank, citing talks around the general capital increase, stating that “this is a pivotal year, a year in which very, very important decisions are being made about what kind of bank we want to have for the next 20 years.”

Earlier this year, Canada committed 1.1 billion dollars in temporary callable capital to support AfDB. Canada also urged other AAA-rated member countries to join Canada in providing support to the bank.

At the time Adesina welcomed the announcement saying it was a “huge boost”. He said that it would allow the bank to “strengthen its Triple A rating and increase lending to member countries while discussions are ongoing among all shareholders for a general capital increase.” Canada has been a member of the AfDB since 1983 and is the 4th-largest shareholder among the bank’s non-regional member countries.

Adesina was in Japan at the end of August to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) where he told Japanese companies, “Africa presents a compelling return for investors”.

The AfDB is upbeat about Africa’s economic growth, which it has supported through various funding services availed to its 54 regional member countries.

In 2018, Africa recorded real GDP growth of 3.5 percent, the bank said in its 2018 annual report. This is a positive development for harnessing new investment on the continent.

The bank said 17 African countries achieved real GDP growth higher than 5 percent in 2018, and 21 countries showed growth between 3 and 5 percent. Only five African countries recorded a recession in 2018, down from eight in the two previous years. Six of the world’s 10-fastest growing economies are African nations, which include Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Libya, Rwanda, and Senegal.

According to the bank, some non-resource-rich countries had high growth rates in 2018, including Côte d’Ivoire (7.4 percent), Rwanda (7.2 percent), and Senegal (7 percent), supported by agricultural production, consumer demand, and public investment.

Economic fundamentals in most African countries continued to improve, the bank said, attributing this to fiscal consolidation and massive investments in infrastructure, major inroads in financial innovation, increased domestic demand, and substantial improvements in the investment climate.

Developing Africa

Convinced of Africa’s strong economic growth potential, the bank has continued to invest in various sectors. In 2018, the bank approved lending worth 9.95 billion dollars under its High 5s programmes — five programmes that focus on key sectors:

  • Light Up and Power Africa, approvals amounted to 1.9 billion dollars, 23 percent more than in  2017, with 447 MW in new total power capacity being installed—197 MW of it renewable. Close to 90 percent of bank lending was focused on investment in infrastructure.
  • Feed Africa, saw 19 million people provided with improved agricultural technologies, with 1,700 tons of agricultural inputs (fertilisers, seeds, etc) provided. Almost 1.54 billion dollars was approved in 2018 to transform agriculture on the continent.
  • Industrialise Africa saw 154,000 owner-operators and micro, small, and medium enterprises provided with access to financial services. Additional loans  supported  activities  across  a  wide  range of manufacturing and services in the private sector. 
  • Integrate Africa has seen about 14 million people gaining access to better transport services. The bank approved investments to the value of over one billion dollars, and to invested more than 20  million dollars over the past five years in trade agreement support and in cross-border transport, and energy soft infrastructure.
  • Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa, project saw 8 million people benefit from improved access to water and sanitation.

“By any measure, these numbers and impacts are impressive,” said Adesina. “But the needs in Africa are enormous. That is why the bank is engaged in discussions with its shareholders for a General Capital Increase to do much more for Africa—toward Agenda 2063.”

Risks remain

Despite Africa’s GDP growing by an estimated 3.5 percent in 2018, the continent’s economic growth is threatened by domestic risks such as climate change, security and migration concerns, increasing vulnerability to debt distress in some countries, and uncertainties associated with elections and political transitions, the bank said, recommending significant private sector investment and external funding  in regional infrastructure and financing.

On average, Africa’s fiscal deficit declined from 5.8 percent in 2017 to an estimated 4.5 percent in 2018, while inflation fell from 12.6 percent in 2017 to 10.9 percent in 2018. However, the bank lamented that these growth rates remained insufficient to address the persistent challenges of high unemployment, low agricultural productivity, inadequate infrastructure, and fiscal and current deficits as well as debt vulnerabilities.

Although tax revenues and spending efficiency have improved, domestic resource mobilisation has generally remained well short of potential, said the bank, noting that 16 African countries were classified as being in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress at the end of 2018. The bank urged the strengthening of the debt-investment links to ensure a high social return on debt-financed public investments.

“I am optimistic about Africa’s future. I am confident in our capacity as a Bank to make a greater impact on the lives of millions of people across this beloved continent we have been called to serve,” Adesina said, adding that, “We need universal access to electricity. We must help make Africa self-sufficient in food. We must fully integrate the continent. We must industrialise the continent. And we must improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.”

World’s Whale Population Struggles to Recover from Carnage Amid Serious Concerns

Dr Palitha Kohona is former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Co-Chair, UN Working Group on Biological Diversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

By Dr Palitha Kohona
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Sep 16 2019 – Sri Lanka is endowed with an impressive and large concentration of whales off its shores and it is believed they are not a population that migrates seasonally. 26 species have been spotted in Sri Lankan waters, including the massive blue whales.

Large numbers, with their young, frolic off Galle and Mirissa along the southern coast, off Kalpitiya along the North Western coast and off Sri Lanka’s magnificent deep water natural habour, Trincomalee. One could almost guarantee multiple sightings of these whales, off Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan whale population may feed and produce offspring in the same area unlike all other baleen whale populations of the world. Strong upwelling ocean currents off the narrow continental shelf, the furious south west monsoon, and dozens of tropical rivers pouring nutriment rich fresh water in to the ocean, may produce adequate food for small fish to flourish for the whale population to sustain itself.

Today, the greatest threat to whales off Sri Lanka’s coast may arise from ship strikes. Ships traversing the busy east-west shipping lane just about 20 km to the south of Sri Lanka and those entering the new Hambanthota harbour which is a massive economic asset to the country are likely posing a threat to the giants of the deep.


Although whale numbers around the world appear to be recovering from the carnage that the European and American whalers and sealers inflicted on them, serious concerns remain. Mercilessly hunted for their blubber and other products, the population of these giants of the oceans declined precipitately for almost two centuries and extinction threatened.

Whales also beach themselves and die for reasons still not fully understood. And today, with the oceans crowded with large ships, ship strikes take their toll on these giants of the deep.

The biggest animal on earth, the blue whale, balaenoptera musculus, was a valuable commodity and a slow moving and easy target. The blubber of whales was a prized item then.

A single blue whale could provide about 50 tons of blubber that was used to produce cosmetics, soap, cooking oil and oil for lamps and wax for candles while the skin was converted to fine leather for corsets and umbrellas.

The blue whale population is estimated to have declined from 350,000 to roughly 7,000-15,000 before whale hunting was banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission established under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946.

The humpback population was reduced by 98 percent during the same period. Australia banned whaling in 1978.

Credit: Dr Palitha Kohona

Sri Lanka, especially before independence, became an indirect accessory to the slaughter of whales as whaling ships called at Sri Lankan ports for water and supplies. An American consulate was established in Galle, Sri Lanka in 1857 mainly to serve the interests of U.S. whalers.

The belated awakening of the conscience and of the need to conserve nature for our own benefit forced the industrialised nations to put in place measures to protect these species. Like in many other instances, it was an afterthought and perhaps too late.

Once the damage had been done and the conscience pricked, as has happened time and time again in the all-conquering West, whaling nations met and concluded the International Whaling Convention 1946. Today whaling is banned except for scientific purposes.

Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to hunt whales under this exception despite the noisy protests of environmental NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Campaign Whale, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd.

Since 1978, it is likely that over 50,000 whales have been killed by these three nations, Norway may have taken 14,344 since 1986. Japan over 21,842. The total number of whales has increased very slowly since the ban.


Whales have not been known to harm humans, especially the mammoth blue whales. This is quite remarkable considering the immense size of these animals as well as the fairly recent history of humans engaging in a massive slaughter of this species wiping roughly 98%-99% of them off the face of the earth.

Still after what we humans have done to them, what remains today are “Remnant Island” sub-populations of blue whales scattered here and there across the globe, with each group mostly or totally separate genetically from all the others.

In Antarctica. Credit: Dr Palitha Kohona

The majority of pre-whaling blue whales lived in the Southern Ocean, with the extremely productive Antarctic waters and waters off sub Antarctic islands being the primary feeding grounds for most of them.

It is believed that whales live for 70-90 years, give birth to 22-25 foot calves weighing 3 – 5 tons each about once every 3-5 years, fatten those calves to the tune of 220 pounds each and every day with the world’s richest milk, nurse these calves for about seven months, feed year round, and most importantly enrich the oceanic waters they inhabit by stimulating oceanic primary production (phytoplankton) with their mineral rich large fecal plumes.

Blue whales are very adept at finding and gorging krill by the millions. They make the loudest sounds in the animal kingdom and communicate with one another over distances that defy belief, likely to be 1000 miles or greater!

The brains of whales, about 9 kg in weight, may be more complex than human brains in certain areas. Observing their behaviour and reading about them, one begins to wonder whether they are much more advanced than we think with our imagination crowded with religious and social indoctrination.

The southern right whale’s testes weigh a mind boggling one ton. Sadly, blue whales have not shown signs of major recovery since the era of whaling ended about a half century ago.

The primary reason for this is likely to be their propensity to be struck by transiting ships in their feeding grounds, which in most but not all parts of their range is a seasonal issue. They evolved for millions of years without a predator, being too big and fast for orcas to hunt.

This separates them evolutionarily from almost all the other large whale species. In some of the regions where ship strikes are halting their ability to recover from the era of whaling, geographical constraints (California and Chile) make it almost impossible to move the shipping lanes out of the way for the safety of the whales.

In these regions, if we alter the time of day the majority of ships transit to avoid the night time when sleeping blue whales are most vulnerable, we may be able to greatly minimize the number of ship strikes.

In other regions there are no geographical barriers (Sri Lanka, Australia), and the lanes and transiting ships can in theory be moved a bit further from the coasts out of the feeding grounds of the whales.

In these regions the blue whale ship strike problem may be more easily reduced or even eliminated. We need to study the economic impact of the shifting of the sea lanes carefully before taking any action.

In order for global shipping lanes or routes to be formally regulated or adjusted the country most concerned must be a member of the International Maritime Organisation based in London and formally request assistance from the Organisation. Sri Lanka is a member of the IMO.

If a shift in the timing of transiting ships or slowing them down is the goal, in order to minimize ship strikes of whales, this then involves the industry and the port, and becomes a safety issue for those whose role it is to ensure that there are no collisions near ports and arrivals and departures occur in a safe manner.

All these aspects need to be examined carefully, keeping in mind both conservation and economic imperatives, before a regulatory mechanism is formulated.


In Sri Lanka, however, there are major constraints to regulating human activity affecting whales. While moving shipping lanes need to be assessed against the urgent need of the island nation to attract ships, especially to its new port of Hambantota which lies barely 20 km from the busy east-west shipping route, the needs of cargo shipping must be kept in focus.

Sri Lanka is dependent on its export and import trade and trans-shipment is becoming a major income earner. Adjusting shipping routes need to be examined cautiously. Similarly, a large fleet of fishing boats, providing employment to thousands, operates from a number of harbours along the coast and, given sufficient incentive, a fisherman will become a guide, albeit a poorly informed one, to tourists.

One sees the cowboy approach of certain fishermen on a regular basis and education and training becomes a high priority. With tourism, becoming a major component of the island’s economy any regulatory measures must of necessity be a compromise between economic demands and conservation.

Whales, blue whales in particular, are an asset for any nation to have in their coastal waters. They are the biggest animal on earth and this alone makes them a major tourist attraction.


The whale watching season in the south of Sri Lanka runs from November to April / May. In the North West, the best time is from July to September. During the rest of the year, the waters become too rough due to the Monsoon.

The best place to spot whales is in Mirissa, a small town on Sri Lanka’s south coast, popular for surfing and known for whale watching and also for observing thousands of dolphins.

At Kalpitiya, several whale species including, blue whales and minke whales can be seen. In the north east, off Trincomalee Bay, more whales can be observed. An official permit is required to get into the water to swim with the whales.

Whale watching in Sri Lanka could be a success story for Eco-tourism, if the government regulatory organs, along with the tourism industry, organize themselves to ensure the safety of whale watchers as well as the whales and to educate tourists of the amazing eco-system that surrounds Sri Lanka

Time to Put Data at the Heart of UN’s 2030 Agenda

By Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, El Iza Mohamedou and Koffi Zougbede
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 16 2019 – The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in 2015. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, all meant to guide efforts by all countries towards a more sustainable, prosperous and equal future.

Today, nearly a third of the way towards 2030, progress has been made by several countries in assessing and reporting on whether they are on track to meet those goals. But this stocktaking has uncovered another uncomfortable truth: for many countries, especially the most vulnerable, we simply do not know.

No least-developed country has a complete set of national statistics. The poorer a country is, the spottier its data is. If 22 least-developed countries in Sub-Saharan Africa cannot even measure their own poverty rates, how can we expect them to report on, say, disaggregated indicators such as SDG indicator 11.2.1—proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities if they could not generate an aggregated poverty headcount ratio?

Assessments of SDG progress are based on models, or on methodologies and data developed and maintained by dozens of different development agencies working in each country.

Created to support monitoring and evaluation of development interventions, these data are fragmented and limited in scope, painting only enough of the picture to show whether project goals have been met and the spending of donor funds justified.

As a result, there are thousands of different datasets, perhaps overlapping or conflicting, for each country, with no mechanism to collect or process them into an aggregate picture.

Moreover, by focusing on project-based data and working in silos, we compete with national statistical offices for scarce financial resources and other support and therefore limit their ability to develop robust national statistics to advance sustainable development.

This means governments often struggle to use data for the decisions where they are most needed. Poor national epidemiological surveillance systems, instigated in part by the lack of timely and accurate information, is one of the factors that contributed to the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as well as its heavy human, social and economic costs.

In May 2018, the Review of Partnerships for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) pointed out that a lack of reliable data baselines, monitoring and documentation is hampering progress towards sustainable development in SIDS.

And, at the most recent High-Level Political Forum in July, African countries called for the creation of a solidarity fund for stronger statistics to strengthen their capacity to design and implement fact-based policies and better monitor their implementation.

Yes, data is central for policymaking and its value for sustainable development goes far beyond its current piecemeal implementation and low priority. It is multidisciplinary in nature, able to tell us many different stories about given economic, social and environment situations.

Take healthcare for example. Without an accurate population count, it is difficult to decide whether a hospital is needed in a given area. But what about transportation data, for instance? How easy is the hospital to access?

Moreover, what effect will seasonal weather have on demand (or illness rates, for that matter)? Then, if a new hospital does get built, the impact on health outcomes needs to be assessed and the investment evaluated. But how will this impact poverty or education rates in the surrounding area, for instance?

None of these questions can be answered with a limited set of project-level data. But by robbing poor countries of the ability to develop strong national statistical capacity and datasets, we deprive them of the tools and resources that they need to gain insights into their own development needs and make informed decisions.

It is not hard to see why national data and statistics have not gained the attention that they deserve. After all, building stable and robust national statistical systems which inform better governance, policymaking and development, is less tangible and visible than, say, physically building a school.

Yet data are an essential prerequisite to ensuring that other development interventions are appropriate. In this example, perhaps high poverty rates will tell us that prospective students are more likely to be working in the fields rather than attending classes and therefore other measures are required.

In 2017, only 0.35% (or USD 689 million) of official development assistance (ODA) went to creating the data required for sustainable development. Although this percentage has been increasing over the years, it is still around USD 200 million short of what is required.

It is time for a change, and the adoption of a global and integrated strategy for data is a good start. The 2017 Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data focuses on making sure that data production is co-ordinated across a range of disciplines and emphasizes the significant role of official data to policymaking and setting development priorities.

A new global alliance for more and better financing for development data, as has been proposed by the Bern Network on Financing Data for Development, is another welcome measure. Recipient countries, donors and development agencies should come together and make the necessary investments in data.

Data is central precisely because it is multidisciplinary, but that, it seems, makes us forget its centrality.

The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the UN, PARIS21 or the OECD.