European Commission clears Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

MONTRÉAL, July 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) and Alstom welcome the European Commission's decision for conditional clearance of the proposed acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom. The Commission's approval for the transaction is conditional on certain proposed engagements that consist of:

  • A transfer of Bombardier Transportation's contribution to the V300 ZEFIRO very high–speed train and an offer of IP licence to Hitachi for the train co–developed by Hitachi and Bombardier Transportation for use in future very high–speed tenders in the UK;
  • The divestment of the Alstom Coradia Polyvalent and the Reichshoffen production site in France;
  • The divestment of the Bombardier TALENT 3 platform and dedicated production facilities located within the Hennigsdorf site in Germany;
  • Providing access to certain interfaces and products for some of Bombardier Transportation's Signalling On–Board Units and Train Control Management Systems (TCMS).

The divestitures will be done in compliance with all applicable social processes and consultations with employee representatives' bodies. The transaction remains subject to further regulatory approvals in several other jurisdictions and customary closing conditions. The closing of the transaction is expected for the first half of 2021.

About Bombardier
With nearly 60,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game–changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world–class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier, ZEFIRO and TALENT are registered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For information

Eric Prud'Homme
Head of External Communications and Public Affairs
Bombardier Transportation
press@rail.bombardier.com

Jessica McDonald
Advisor, Media Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 9481
jessica.mcdonald@bombardier.com

Patrick Ghoche
Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 5727

European Commission clears Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

MONTRÉAL, July 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) and Alstom welcome the European Commission's decision for conditional clearance of the proposed acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom. The Commission's approval for the transaction is conditional on certain proposed engagements that consist of:

  • A transfer of Bombardier Transportation's contribution to the V300 ZEFIRO very high–speed train and an offer of IP licence to Hitachi for the train co–developed by Hitachi and Bombardier Transportation for use in future very high–speed tenders in the UK;
  • The divestment of the Alstom Coradia Polyvalent and the Reichshoffen production site in France;
  • The divestment of the Bombardier TALENT 3 platform and dedicated production facilities located within the Hennigsdorf site in Germany;
  • Providing access to certain interfaces and products for some of Bombardier Transportation's Signalling On–Board Units and Train Control Management Systems (TCMS).

The divestitures will be done in compliance with all applicable social processes and consultations with employee representatives' bodies. The transaction remains subject to further regulatory approvals in several other jurisdictions and customary closing conditions. The closing of the transaction is expected for the first half of 2021.

About Bombardier
With nearly 60,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game–changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world–class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier, ZEFIRO and TALENT are registered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For information

Eric Prud'Homme
Head of External Communications and Public Affairs
Bombardier Transportation
press@rail.bombardier.com

Jessica McDonald
Advisor, Media Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 9481
jessica.mcdonald@bombardier.com

Patrick Ghoche
Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 5727

The Charter of the United Nations: Ideals for Shaping Our Reality

Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Great Lakes region. New York, 3 October 2019. Credit: UN Photo/Laura Jarriel

By Nicolas de Rivière
NEW YORK, Jul 31 2020 – “Reconciling the requirements of the ideal with the possibilities of the real”: this is how Georges Bidault, Minister for Foreign Affairs and head of the French delegation to the San Francisco Conference, summed up the objective pursued by the drafters of the Charter of the United Nations. On the still living ashes of the Second World War, the fathers of an Organization charged with developing friendly relations between nations, promoting human rights and economic and social progress were less utopian than visionary. They understood that the community of States should have a common constitution. It has been tested by conflict, crisis and upheaval, but its resilience and strength have shaped the very structure of contemporary international relations.

The Charter brings us together. It defines the United Nations as “a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations”, where each member is treated as an equal across social, economic or political differences. With the quadrupling of the number of contracting parties since its inception, the Charter, which has become universal, truly expresses the values and aspirations of humanity. That is why France attaches so much importance to ensuring that diversity—cultural, legal and linguistic—is duly reflected within the Organization, in its staff and in the way it operates: the United Nations has the heavy but noble task of ensuring the participation of all peoples in international discussion. As revealed by the major consultation under way in the context of the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary, 95 per cent of our contemporaries believe that only international cooperation will make it possible to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow. But it must also reflect their voice.

The Charter is the summit of an international order based on law: Article 103 gives it primacy over other international legal instruments. In the most difficult negotiations, it remains the frame of reference, and the precious Blue Booklet is never far away. It binds States as well as the principal organs of the United Nations. The Security Council thus exercises its responsibility as guarantor of the maintenance of international peace and security within the strict framework of the Charter, when deciding on measures to combat arms proliferation, establishing peacekeeping operations, authorizing the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria or referring situations to the International Criminal Court. These decisions must be respected by all Member States in accordance with Article 25 of the Charter.

The Charter protects us. The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for multilateralism, because the virus knows no borders, and no one is spared. The global and cross-cutting nature of the health crisis logically points to the United Nations as the only truly universal and multisector forum for responding to it.

It is France’s profound conviction that whenever we accept that the resolution of international crises takes place outside the multilateral framework, chaos threatens to prevail. That is particularly true today in the Middle East, where the risk of conflagration has never been greater. At a time when civilian populations have already suffered too much from the scourge of war and terrorism, we need more than ever to prevent a military spiral and to put an end to the serious human rights violations and humanitarian disasters that continue to take place, in this region as in other parts of the world.

Joseph Paul-Boncour, former Prime Minister and member of the delegation from France, signing the UN Charter at the Veterans’ War Memorial Building, San Francisco, United States, 26 June 1945. Credit: UN Photo/McCreary

As President Macron said in his address to the General Assembly on 24 September 2019, in a world that has become multipolar, we must reinvent “strong multilateralism”, as opposed to the temptation of national withdrawal. It was on the basis of that conviction that last year France, together with Germany, launched an Alliance for Multilateralism, a flexible framework bringing together countries of good will that wish to promote both the multilateral method and concrete initiatives in various areas that illustrate its importance.

To be strong, the multilateralism that we embody here in New York must be effective. It must address without delay the greatest challenges of our time, all of which are global: climate change, health and food security, the protection of biodiversity, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, inequalities, migration, massive violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, and the new challenges posed by technology. The Charter, in its profound modernity, set the goal, 75 years ago, of achieving international cooperation in solving international problems in all these areas. France has taken the initiative to mobilize the international community on these issues, whether by launching the One Planet Summit with the United Nations and the World Bank, or by co-organizing the Generation Equality Forum in the near future, 25 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. In the face of global challenges, international cooperation is the only possible way forward; if we do not move forward, we will retreat.

The Charter is the foundation of our collective action. It offers a method, rules and tools. It enshrines negotiation as the main way forward. The principles it lays down, and in particular the universality of human rights, are non-negotiable. It provides several means of action, including peacekeeping operations and international sanctions. The specific prerogatives that it confers on certain members should not be received as licenses but as responsibilities. That is why France, together with Mexico, has, since 2013, called for the suspension of the veto in the event of mass atrocities in the form of a political, voluntary and collective commitment by the five permanent members of the Security Council. To date, 105 Member States have joined this initiative.

The Charter in no way prevents the necessary modernization of the Organization, which, on the contrary, has been constantly reinventing itself. The decompartmentalization of the various pillars and components of the United Nations galaxy, as reflected in the vision of “Delivering as One”, is necessary for the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. The efforts undertaken in that regard, in particular the triple reform undertaken by the Secretary-General (reform of the peace and security architecture, development reform and management reform), must be supported. Each of the principal organs must play its part by optimizing its work.

Like a robust building that has stood the test of time, the Charter can be amended to better reflect the realities of the contemporary world. In that regard, France would like the Security Council to be expanded, as it was for the first time in 1963, to take into account the emergence of new Powers and to allow for a stronger presence on the African continent.

For 75 years, the Charter has been our highest common denominator. Its relevance remains unaltered. Sometimes a home, sometimes a bulwark, it allows the pursuit of an ideal of peace and prosperity towards which we must strive, with modesty but also with courage. It is incumbent upon us to pass on its values and promises to future generations.

This article was first published by the UN Chronicle on 26 June 2020.

 


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Modern Tools, Age-old Wisdom: on India-Sri Lanka Relations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Credit: V.V. Krishnan, the Hindu

By Prasad Kariyawasam
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Jul 31 2020 – The unique India-Sri Lanka relationship, de jure, is between equals as sovereign nations. But it’s asymmetric in terms of geographic size, population, military and economic power, on the one hand, and social indicators and geographical location, on the other. It is steeped in myth and legend, and influenced by religious, cultural and social affinities.

This is an opportune time for Sri Lanka and India to nourish the roots of the relationship using modern toolkits, but leveraging age-old wisdom and experience.

Historical ties

History reveals that the advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka during the time of Emperor Ashoka was the result of cross-border discourse. For many centuries in the first millennia, the ancient capital city of Anuradhapura housed an international community which included traders from India, China, Rome, Arabia and Persia.

Later, Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka travelled to India, China, Cambodia and Java leaving behind inscriptions. Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, to this day, contain shrines for Hindu deities. The colonial expansion of European maritime nations reshaped the Sri Lankan economy. Labour from south India was brought to Sri Lanka to work in plantations.

The Indian freedom struggle had its influence on Sri Lanka as well. There was cross-border support for the revival of culture, tradition, local languages, spiritual practices and philosophies, and education. Both countries transformed into modern nations with constitutional and institutionalised governance under colonial rule.

Most aspects of today’s globalisation existed in a different form in the pre-colonial era with free exchange of ideas, trade and intellectual discourse. However, process engineering by colonial powers for identification and categorisation of people was a factor in the emergence of separatist ideologies based on ethnicity, language and religion.

This mindset is now ingrained and accentuated in politics. Episodic instances of communal hostility are referenced often to suit tactical political gain. Around the world today, and not just in South Asia, policies and thinking are becoming communally exclusive, localised and inward-looking.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world against this backdrop, allowing some leaders an opportunity to double down on insular thinking, ostensibly for providing local communities with better economic and social prospects, and security.

Meanwhile, governance models favoured by nations keep vacillating between fundamental freedoms-based democratic systems and quasi democratic, socialist authoritarian systems.

In this regard, the people of Sri Lanka and India have been served well by long years of uninterrupted democratic governance. This has provided long-term stability for both countries and must not be vitiated.

Sri Lanka’s strategic location makes it apparent that not only economic fortunes but the security of both countries are inextricably linked. Therefore, it is heartening that India and Sri Lanka constantly strive for excellence in neighbourly relations, recognising that a calamity in one country can adversely impact the other.

Though robust partnerships with other countries must be sought in line with the non-alliance foreign policies of both countries, such efforts must be bounded by an atmosphere needed for peace, prosperity and stability.

Among others, freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific together with a rules-based international order and peaceful settlement of disputes are of common interest. While avoiding advocacy of zero-sum solutions on crucial issues, both countries must seek to harmonise strategic and other interests in line with common values and socioeconomic compulsions.

Addressing issues and imbalances

The socioeconomic development of Sri Lanka has remained linked to India. But there are many options available to address issues of imbalance and asymmetries. For instance, Sri Lanka can encourage Indian entrepreneurs to make Colombo another business hub for them, as logistical capacities and facilities for rest and recreation keep improving in Sri Lanka.

Integrating the two economies but with special and differential treatment for Sri Lanka due to economic asymmetries can be fast-tracked for this purpose. There is immense potential to accentuate or create complementariness, using locational and human resource potential, for harnessing benefits in the modern value chains.

Robust partnerships across the economic and social spectrum can promote people-to-people bonhomie. And engagement of legislatures is essential for promoting multiparty support.

With many countries receding into cocoons due to the pandemic, this is an opportunity for both countries to focus on the renewal and revitalisation of partnerships.

This article was originally published in the Hindu, the English-language daily owned by The Hindu Group and headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/modern-tools-age-old-wisdom/article32206425.ece

 


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Southeast Asia Has a Chance to Build Back Better Post-Pandemic

A boat on Pasig River in the Philippines. The Philippines has the highest mortality rate from the coronavirus in Southeast Asia. Credit:Kara Santos/IPS

A boat on Pasig River in the Philippines. The Philippines has the highest mortality rate from the coronavirus in Southeast Asia. Credit:Kara Santos/IPS

By Samira Sadeque
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 31 2020 – Southeast Asia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been efficient, but some areas such as data privacy, measures to go back to normalcy after lockdown is lifted, and resources for migrant or transient populations will need addressing. 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said while the pandemic has introduced new challenges in the region, including threats to peace and security, “containment measures have spared Southeast Asia the degree of suffering and upheaval seen elsewhere”. 

Speaking at the launch of a U.N. policy brief exploring the impact of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia on Thursday, Jul. 30, Guterres lauded the efficient methods adapted by leaders in the region, while highlighting the ways in which the region has fallen short in its response to the pandemic. 

Already, hate speech has increased and political processes have stalled, leaving several long-running conflicts to stagnate and fester,” Guterres said during a video call marking the launch. He noted that while governments in Southeast Asia had supported his appeal for a global ceasefire, the region had much work to do, “but has formidable capacities at its disposal”.

COVID-19 worsening weak systems

As in most regions, COVID-19 has affected the most vulnerable communities and worsened pre-existing concerns. In Southeast Asia, the report identified some of the most pressing issues: weak healthcare systems, conflict in areas such as Myanmar, as well as the plight of migrant workers. 

The Asia and Pacific region hosts about 20 percent of the world’s 163.8 million migrant workers globally, according to a 2017 report by the International Labour Organisation. 

The U.N. policy brief raises alarms that migrant and transient workers in some Southeast Asian countries have been left out of the host country’s pandemic response. For many migrant workers, living in close quarters leaves them little option to maintain social distancing or other protective measures. With concerns over the spread of the virus, some governments have also capitalised on this fear to deny entry to asylum seekers, according to the U.N. brief. 

“Non-nationals are at particular risk of exclusion from public health responses due to legal or practical barriers. This creates a systemic vulnerability for disease control in the subregion,” the brief notes.

The pandemic, as in all other regions, is disproportionately affecting women, in part because of limited access to sexual and reproductive health services as well as due to increased hours of domestic labour — the burden of which falls on women in the region. This is especially prevalent in the Philippines and Thailand, says the policy brief, claiming that women in these countries “are more likely to face increased unpaid domestic and unpaid care work because of COVID-19, exacerbating mental and emotional health concerns”. 

Meanwhile, illegal drug smuggling has not decreased in the region despite the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, while human smuggling has actually increased at the Bay of Bengal, the policy brief claims. 

The pandemic response, while prompt, was further exacerbated by an already weak healthcare system in the region. 

“More than half of the subregion’s countries are vulnerable because of weak health systems, including Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines and Timor Leste,” says the brief. This, added with other social issues; such as temporarily stopping measles vaccination campaigns in the Philippines, as well as other limited humanitarian assistance due to the lockdown, has only added to the layers of the crisis. 

Challenges brought upon by measures

There are also concerns raised by the measures introduced by governments in the region to contain the virus. 

“Vaguely worded provisions without necessary safeguards and limitations have the potential to restrict the rights to information, privacy, and freedom of movement, expression, association, peaceful assembly and asylum,” the policy brief claims. 

At the core of these concerns is the issue of personal freedom, and experts are already raising alarms that some of the responses have the hallmarks of authoritarianism.

A June analysis by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) claims there are concerns of Southeast Asian countries inching towards authoritarianism as governments use the pandemic as an excuse to enforce strict measures and to attack opponents.

The analysis also points out some might be associating the success of containing the virus with authoritarian ruling. 

“There is a perception that authoritarian regimes in Southeast Asia have better managed the pandemic than the region’s democracies, a narrative buoyed by China’s diplomatic efforts to propagate its own accomplishments despite even greater success stories in South Korea and Taiwan,” says the analysis. 

Regional cooperation

Despite some of the challenges, the countries within the region have supported each other. According to CSIS, many of the Southeast Asian countries have exchanged, provided and accepted donations from and to each other. China has faced criticism from countries outside the region for attempts to start a “mask diplomacy” which caused countries in Europe to be cynical of her donation offers, but her neighbours accepted them. 

The Chinese government, as well as private entities such as Alibaba and Jack Ma foundations, has provided neighbouring countries between 75,000 to two million masks, among other services such as test kits, according to CSIS. 

The Secretary-General applauded the regional cooperation during this time of crisis. 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Joaquín Roy
MIAMI, Jul 31 2020 – In the cinematic context of the death of the Italian and universal composer, Ennio Morricone, author of the background music of more than four hundred films, as an indirect tribute, Europe took a solid step.

The European Union’s (EU) forceful ban on accepting travelers from the rest of the world has been decided simultaneously with a collective option: an internal opening that covers the entire territory of the Schengen Agreement, an enlarged EU that includes some special non-members (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the microstates).

Furthermore, the EU seems to favor some countries that belong to its protection ring of its immediate neighborhood: Algeria, Georgia, Tunisia and Morocco. It also gives a vote of confidence to the candidates for the immediate enlargement: Serbia and Montenegro.

In Asia and Africa, Europe recognizes the goodness of Rwanda and Thailand. The EU is pleased, once again, to show a solid portrait.

Joaquín Roy

The novelty of the ban is that the EU, replicating the title of a Sergio Leone film, among the most famous works with Morriconi’s musical dressing, sent an unwelcome message to the “ugly”, some heavyweights (Russia, Brazil ).

But the EU flatly pointed out to the “ugly” classic, the United States, that has earned that aesthetic distinction thanks to the showcase appearance of Donald Trump. As a further ignominy, Brussels admits important mutual allies and peers of the United States: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

In the Latin American subcontinent, Europe reserved to award an impressive individual medal, as if it were a Nobel Prize, to the new “good”: the small Uruguay.

Even protected in the hope of his hasty visit to Trump, Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) could not escape being labeled “bad.” Noticeable is the everlasting contrast with Canada: Mexico is still “so far from God and so close to the United States”, just as Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz cursed more than a century ago. Ottawa is just as close to Washington, but it’s not affected by the neighborhood.

On this occasion, the EU leadership did not miss a golden opportunity to show a solid collective face, very often absent, becoming the object of internal criticism and external disdain

Observers from the Latin American scene have been quick to give some explanation to this seemingly shocking global decision. The key for the contrastive assessment, on the one hand, recognition and reaction, on the other, is very simple and, at the same time, complex.

On the one hand, the internal framework of the EU itself must be considered. On this occasion, the EU leadership did not miss a golden opportunity to show a solid collective face, very often absent, becoming the object of internal criticism and external disdain. It is always very difficult to find where the “phone” for Europe resides, as Henry Kissinger once claimed.

Therefore, Europe closes its doors to the most prominent competitors. But, hypocritically, gives a conditioned welcome to none other than China. There is no question of making the Asian giant uncomfortable, leaving the door ajar. Europe notes that Wuhan is the source of the virus (but not as blatantly as Trump repeats), but Brussels acknowledges Beijing’s dictatorial power in controlling the effects.

The result of Washington’s treatment will be that Brussels will become a new renewed object of irritation by Trump, if that tantrum is already something new. Meanwhile, the US Democrats led by Biden will certainly be happy to remind the President of his failed strategy against Covid 19. At the same time, the selection of little Uruguay, champion of the “good”, can boast of the successful control of the pandemic.

In contrast, the awarding of diplomas will highlight the ridicule of ominous giant Brazil under Jair Bolsonaro, the tropical Trump. Even Chile, the country that, led by Sebastián Piñera, initially seemed to show a positive strategy, has remained in the “bad” group.

Without needing to say it explicitly, two “bad guys” are equally qualified by Europe and the United States: Cuba and Venezuela. They have no hope. President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela is already controlled by Colombia. Cuba excludes itself for its insularity, geographical and political.

Despite all this panorama, the European Union, always so stingy and sinuous, has reserved a special “right of admission”.

Fulfilling its privilege of being fundamentally intergovernmental in its external relations, while border control is a taboo subject, it will review every 14 days (as if it were a quarantine) the composition of the distribution of prizes and sticks. It would not be surprising if some “bad” ones reappear as “good”. But the “ugly” par excellence should put on the mask.

It remains open, finally, to ask about the scenario of winners and losers due to the application of this measure, especially shocking in the American continent.

Firstly, Europe may be harmed by the closure to North American travelers, so much in need of tourism. Export businesses and airlines will take the hit, if the ban is upheld.

In Latin America the losers will be “the underdogs”, to continue remembering the novel by Mariano Azuela. They will see their traditional escapes in emigration diminished and the consequent benefit of remittances.

Argentina, Brazil and Mexico will recall their weak position in a global network that only recognizes them as giants with feet of clay.

But the EU has self-imposed an expansion of the “bad” ones: the United Kingdom, France and Germany have restricted travel to Spain, causing the collapse of tourism.

Joaquín Roy is Professor Jean Monnet and Director of the European Union Center at the University of Miami jroy@miami.edu

 

Corporate Bailout or Cash Transfers for All, including Children?

Batara slum in a Dhaka suburb. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

By Sabine Saliba
BEIRUT, Jul 31 2020 – The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have spared children from the direct health effects of the virus but the crisis has affected their social and economic rights directly and indirectly beyond what we could have foreseen. And there’s no doubt that children who come from more vulnerable backgrounds will feel the long-term impact of the pandemic and the measures taken to prevent its spread the hardest.

Social and economic rights are crucial to ensure the fulfilment of basic rights like sustenance, housing, food, education, health, employment and freedom from discrimination. The enforcement of these rights is instrumental to properly respond to any economic crisis. But what are the challenges today to the fulfilment of these rights for children, and how can they be met during and after a pandemic?

 

Looking at the long-term risk

Masses of funding have been made available at national and international levels to recover from the economic crisis the Covid-19 pandemic has created, but how can they be allocated so that we don’t repeat the failures of past crises?

The Covid-19 pandemic has already exposed how things like unemployment, poverty and missing education can all give rise to other problems. For instance, recent estimates show that millions of children under 5 years of age risk suffering from wasting as a result of the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

Migrant and displaced children are also a particularly vulnerable group during this crisis as they live in deprived urban areas or slums, overcrowded camps, settlements, makeshift shelters or reception centres, where they lack adequate access to health services, clean water, sanitation and access to nutrition.

According to UNICEF, 91 percent of the world’s children are also seeing their education interrupted, with girls and those relying on school-based nutrition programmes less likely to return when classrooms reopen.

Explaining why, Human Rights Watch says that “widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families are likely to increase rates of child labour, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. […] As the global death toll from Covid-19 increases, large numbers of children will be orphaned and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”

The impact of unemployment should not be underestimated. Millions of parents are already struggling to maintain their livelihoods, with the International Labour Organization estimating that 25 million people may lose their jobs and that youth, older workers, women and migrants will bear a disproportionate burden of the job crisis.

We’ve seen these issues before in the aftermath of events that led to higher unemployment and poverty, but the fact that they’re happening again this time around raises the question of whether structural reform can help.

Today more than ever, any action to end child poverty should look at the structures that create poverty. Masses of funding have been made available at national and international levels to recover from the economic crisis the Covid-19 pandemic has created, but how can they be allocated so that we don’t repeat the failures of past crises?

 

Bailouts: saving the economy through corporations

Government and corporation bailouts seem to be the go-to solution for the crisis, with the focus being on saving the economy instead of finding solutions to poverty and financial hardship.

Countries around the world have approved more than US$11 trillion worth of emergency measures, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and big businesses and multinational corporations are receiving the largest share of the bailouts.

Human rights groups say that this approach has put concerns for human rights in the shadows and replicated the responses to the 2008 financial crisis, weakening “labour protections…buil[ding] regressive tax systems and impos[ing] austerity on the majority while providing subsidised prosperity for the elite few.”

The Center for Economic and Social Rights has also highlighted that, as many governments are focusing on bailing out for-profit corporations, there’s a major risk that the crisis will even be used by commercial companies as an opportunity to expand their markets and profits, including in sectors like education, where major global IT players are positioning themselves.

In fact, we’re already seeing how privatisation and commercialisation of education have increased during the 2020 pandemic. With mass school closures, commercial online educational tools have sprung up as “emergency respondents”.

So what kind of bailout could have social justice and human rights at its core? And is there room for children and young people in it?

 

Cash transfers: a people’s bailout

From a human rights perspective, the ultimate measure of any economic system or policy is its impact on people, particularly the most vulnerable. The rising critics of corporate bailouts have brought an old debate back to the table: Universal Basic Income (UBI).

UBI is a regular government payment that each member of society receives equally, to guarantee basic costs of living and financial security for everyone. The supporters of this model go way back; for instance in 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. supported “a guaranteed income” as a means of abolishing poverty.

A similar model has also been brought to the table: Universal Basic Services (UBS). Under this approach everyone receives free and unconditional access to basic services such as health care, education and transport, while other services like basic housing and nutritional programmes would only be accessible through an application process and restricted to those who need it the most.

But rather than being substitutes for one another, experts argue that UBS and UBI are both beneficial as “there is no contradiction between having some public quasi-universal basic services and a basic income”.

But these systems still face much opposition, especially towards UBI, on the basis that it would be too costly. In response to those who oppose UBI for this reason, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) explains that “the alternative will result in a greater surge in inequality, increasing social tensions that would cost governments even more and open countries to heightened risk of societal conflict”.

The UN agency also adds that “a new social contract needs to emerge from this [Covid-19] crisis that rebalances deep inequalities that are prevalent across societies [and] UBI promises to be a useful element of such a framework.”

 

Cash transfers for under-18s

Even though the UBI model is based on the individual rather than the household, children are rarely expected to be beneficiaries of a regular payment. Almaz Zelleke, a political science professor at NYU Shanghai, believes in including children as recipients because “only basic income that goes to children, as well as adults, can actually eliminate the poverty of families with only a single parent, or a single earner.”

In other words, if more members of a family beyond just the breadwinner receive a regular income, it can make the family more resilient to economic crises and the threat of job loss.

Similarly in a discussion with CRIN, Argentinian sociologist and teacher Santiago Morales explained the importance of giving children an income and the “recognition of the social contribution children make […] by having an income they can manage themselves”.

However, adults rarely give children’s capacities enough credit and the first argument against giving an income to children would probably be that they would waste it. According to Morales, this is a “typical adultist argument” because it’s based on the presumption that children lack capacity.

But, he explains, “we need to distinguish between capacity and know-how… If children don’t know how to manage money, it’s because they haven’t been taught.”

Madison Realty Capital Hires Brian Chase as Chief Operating Officer

NEW YORK, July 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madison Realty Capital (MRC) announced it has appointed Brian Chase as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO), to support the firm's operations and core business functions, as well as its continued national expansion. Chase becomes the first COO in the firm's 16–year history and will report directly into MRC's Managing Principals and Co–Founders Josh Zegen and Brian Shatz.

Chase brings over two decades of experience to his new role as COO, and prior to joining MRC he served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Garrison Investment Group since 2007.

"We're pleased to welcome Brian to the MRC team, as we continue to bolster our leadership position in the commercial real estate investment market," said Zegen. "MRC has always been a forward–thinking organization that combines an entrepreneurial spirit with an institutional infrastructure – Brian exemplifies all our core values and is the ideal hire to support our anticipated expansion in the coming years as we continue to open new satellite offices in key markets and introduce additional investment products. He brings a wealth of experience overseeing operations for prominent organizations such as Garrison Investment Group, Fortress, and Blackstone's initial credit platform – naming Brian as our first COO will build upon our foundation of sustained success, ensure we consistently deliver across our investment portfolio and help achieve our long–term goals."

"I'm excited to join Madison Realty Capital as their Chief Operating Officer," Chase adds. "MRC has built a tremendous business over the past 16 years and I am looking forward to utilizing my experience, and our shared philosophy around growth, to help them thoughtfully deepen and expand the breadth of the existing platform."

About Brian Chase

Throughout his career, Mr. Chase has been involved in all facets of commercial real estate and private equity investment operations, including overseeing business development/strategy, sitting on investment committees, investor relations, capital markets, regulatory/compliance, and other critical facets.

During his time at Garrison Investment Group, he grew the company's equity capital under management to approximately $4.5BN, and led the firm's entrance into the CLO business, closing over $5BN of securitizations and other financings. Mr. Chase incubated and led the public offering of Garrison Capital Inc. (NASDAQ: GARS), a business development company, where he served as its chief operating officer and sat on its Board of Directors.

Prior to Garrison, Mr. Chase was Chief Financial Officer of the Distressed Securities business at The Blackstone Group where he was responsible for building and overseeing the fund infrastructure and operations since its launch. Mr. Chase also served as controller at Fortress Investment Group and began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their Capital Markets group.

Mr. Chase received a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York at Binghamton and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

About Madison Realty Capital (MRC)

Madison Realty Capital (MRC) is a New York City based real estate private equity firm focused on debt and equity investment strategies with regional offices in key markets including Los Angeles and Dallas. Founded in 2004, MRC has closed on approximately $12 billion of transactions in the multifamily, retail, office, industrial and hotel sectors. The firm manages investments in the United States on behalf of a global investor base. MRC is a fully integrated firm with over 60 employees across all real estate investment, development, and property management disciplines. Among other industry recognitions, MRC has been named to the Commercial Observer's prestigious "Power 100" list of New York City real estate players and is consistently cited as one of the industry's top construction lenders.

Media inquiries, contact
Great Ink Communications: (212) 741–2977
Tom Nolan "" tom@greatink.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/627c5d95–0ef7–42b1–9a48–e25ea2c8daad

Madison Realty Capital Hires Brian Chase as Chief Operating Officer

NEW YORK, July 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madison Realty Capital (MRC) announced it has appointed Brian Chase as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO), to support the firm's operations and core business functions, as well as its continued national expansion. Chase becomes the first COO in the firm's 16–year history and will report directly into MRC's Managing Principals and Co–Founders Josh Zegen and Brian Shatz.

Chase brings over two decades of experience to his new role as COO, and prior to joining MRC he served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Garrison Investment Group since 2007.

"We're pleased to welcome Brian to the MRC team, as we continue to bolster our leadership position in the commercial real estate investment market," said Zegen. "MRC has always been a forward–thinking organization that combines an entrepreneurial spirit with an institutional infrastructure – Brian exemplifies all our core values and is the ideal hire to support our anticipated expansion in the coming years as we continue to open new satellite offices in key markets and introduce additional investment products. He brings a wealth of experience overseeing operations for prominent organizations such as Garrison Investment Group, Fortress, and Blackstone's initial credit platform – naming Brian as our first COO will build upon our foundation of sustained success, ensure we consistently deliver across our investment portfolio and help achieve our long–term goals."

"I'm excited to join Madison Realty Capital as their Chief Operating Officer," Chase adds. "MRC has built a tremendous business over the past 16 years and I am looking forward to utilizing my experience, and our shared philosophy around growth, to help them thoughtfully deepen and expand the breadth of the existing platform."

About Brian Chase

Throughout his career, Mr. Chase has been involved in all facets of commercial real estate and private equity investment operations, including overseeing business development/strategy, sitting on investment committees, investor relations, capital markets, regulatory/compliance, and other critical facets.

During his time at Garrison Investment Group, he grew the company's equity capital under management to approximately $4.5BN, and led the firm's entrance into the CLO business, closing over $5BN of securitizations and other financings. Mr. Chase incubated and led the public offering of Garrison Capital Inc. (NASDAQ: GARS), a business development company, where he served as its chief operating officer and sat on its Board of Directors.

Prior to Garrison, Mr. Chase was Chief Financial Officer of the Distressed Securities business at The Blackstone Group where he was responsible for building and overseeing the fund infrastructure and operations since its launch. Mr. Chase also served as controller at Fortress Investment Group and began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their Capital Markets group.

Mr. Chase received a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York at Binghamton and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

About Madison Realty Capital (MRC)

Madison Realty Capital (MRC) is a New York City based real estate private equity firm focused on debt and equity investment strategies with regional offices in key markets including Los Angeles and Dallas. Founded in 2004, MRC has closed on approximately $12 billion of transactions in the multifamily, retail, office, industrial and hotel sectors. The firm manages investments in the United States on behalf of a global investor base. MRC is a fully integrated firm with over 60 employees across all real estate investment, development, and property management disciplines. Among other industry recognitions, MRC has been named to the Commercial Observer's prestigious "Power 100" list of New York City real estate players and is consistently cited as one of the industry's top construction lenders.

Media inquiries, contact
Great Ink Communications: (212) 741–2977
Tom Nolan "" tom@greatink.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/627c5d95–0ef7–42b1–9a48–e25ea2c8daad

UPDATE — Jacada is Recognized for a Second Consecutive Year in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation

ATLANTA, July 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Jacada, Inc., a global pioneer in customer service automation software, today announced that the company has been recognized for a second consecutive year by Gartner in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) report.

Saikat Ray, Arthur Villa, Cathy Tornbohm, Naved Rashid and Melanie Alexander, analysts at Gartner, write in the report, "Robotic process automation continues to grow as a tactical solution to improve operational efficiency via noninvasive integration."

Jacada's end to end customer service automation software helps leading organizations hyperautomate customer interactions using RPA that is perfected for the customer operation. From the same low–code automation platform, clients are able to build bots that guide, assist, automate and unify the employee workspace, as well as bots that enable customers to tap, text and talk across any touchpoint and modality. With over 45,000 hybrid–RPA bots deployed globally, Jacada's vision is to deliver innovative solutions for the world's most demanding call center automation use cases.

"We are extremely proud to be recognized in a second Gartner Magic Quadrant in 2020," said Scott Merritt, Vice President, Global Head of Automation at Jacada. "Hyperautomation of customer service continues to be our core focus as we work to provide our customers with a more holistic automation framework powered by RPA and conversational AI to help battle contact center complexity. This recognition helps to validate that strategy but in the end, it's our customer success stories that continue to drive and motivate our innovation efforts."

In February 2020, Jacada was also recognized by Gartner in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Workforce Engagement Management (WEM).

Jacada's RPA has become an essential dimension to the future of the contact center, as contact center leaders battle the complexity that has plagued their operations for too long with intelligent agent assistance and task management tools powered by RPA, conversational AI and real–time speech analytics.

To access your complimentary copy of Gartner's 2020 Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation report, click here.

For more details of Jacada's Customer Service Automation Solutions, visit www.jacada.com. For press inquiries, contact Scott Merritt via phone at 770–361–5900 or email at smerritt@jacada.com.

*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation, Saikat Ray, Arthur Villa, Cathy Tornbohm, Naved Rashid, Melanie Alexander, July 27, 2020.

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About Jacada

Jacada is a global leader in customer service automation delivering intelligent self–service and workforce engagement management solutions for enterprise clients. Using a #CollaborationFirst approach to automation, Jacada's contact center solutions bring together rich UX design, real–time guidance, and intelligent automation capabilities powered by customer service RPA. With our low–code automation and AI hub, we create a collaborative experience between customers, employees, and robots.