Zoom Hires Greg Tomb as President

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today announced that Greg Tomb will join the company as President effective June 7, 2022. Tomb brings more than 20 years of experience and comes to Zoom from Google Cloud, where he was most recently Vice President of Sales, Google Workspace, SMB, Data & Analytics, Geo Enterprises, and Security Sales.

Reporting directly to Zoom founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan, Tomb will oversee the company's go–to–market strategy, revenue efforts, and office of the Global CIO. Tomb will help shape Zoom's next chapter as the company continues transforming into a multi–product platform that enables communication, hybrid work, and an expanding number of business workflows.

Mr. Yuan said, "I am so excited to welcome Greg to the Zoom team. Greg is a highly–respected technology industry leader and has deep experience in helping to scale companies at critical junctures. His strategic thinking, can–do attitude, and value of care he brings to customers make him the perfect addition to our strong leadership team."

Mr. Tomb said, "I'm thrilled to join forces with Eric and the Zoom team to help drive growth. I strongly believe that Zoom has an impressive foundation with its multi–product platform, and I look forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead to help businesses around the world address their communications and collaboration needs."

About Greg Tomb

Greg oversees Zoom's go–to–market strategy, revenue efforts, and office of the Global CIO. Most recently he was Vice President of Sales, Google Workspace, SMB, Data & Analytics, Geo Enterprises, and Security Sales at Google Cloud. Before Google, Greg was the President of Sales and GTM for SAP's cloud offerings, including Intelligent Spend, SuccessFactors, Customer Experience, Digital Supply Chain, Concur, as well as SAP Business Technology Platform. Prior to SAP, Greg served as CEO of Vivido Labs Inc. and has held management positions at Accenture Consulting and Comergent Technologies Inc. He is also on the Board of Directors of Pure Storage Corporation.

About Zoom
Zoom is for you. Zoom is a space where you can connect to others, share ideas, make plans, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination. Our frictionless communications platform is the only one that started with video as its foundation, and we have set the standard for innovation ever since. That is why we are an intuitive, scalable, and secure choice for large enterprises, small businesses, and individuals alike. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Visit zoom.com and follow @zoom.

Zoom Public Relations
Colleen Rodriguez
Head of Global PR
press@zoom.us

Zoom Investor Relations
Tom McCallum
Head of Investor Relations
ir@zoom.us


GetFIT Lifestyle partners with Dante to bring the power of genomics to the world of fitness

"" Collaboration unveiled at the RiminiWellness conference on June 3, 2022 ""

MILAN, Italy, June 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dante Genomics, a global leader in genomics and precision medicine, partners with GetFIT Lifestyle, the first Italian fitness group, to offer Dante's Scientific Fitness Reports to the more than 30,000 GetFIT Lifestyle members. The goal of this partnership is to personalize an individual's physical exercise routine based on their genetic needs rather than the traditional approach based on superficial physical characteristics or taste, ushering in a new frontier of health where genetics meets the world of fitness.

Beginning July 1, 2022, GetFIT will offer Scientific Fitness Reports within its fitness clubs to the more than 30,000 active members and all interested parties exclusively in Italy and Europe. Genetic variants are differences in DNA between people. The Dante Genomics report explains how specific genetic variants in one's DNA can influence one's physical aptitude and metabolism, making this an extremely useful diagnostic tool now and in the future.

The information obtained from the analysis of the genes of an individual will for the first time the ability to formulate a plan with the support of the GetFIT certified instructors to optimize a training regimen in an effective and healthy way with the goal to live a longer, healthier and more energetic life.

“We are excited to partner with GetFIT on this progressive collaboration to bring valuable genomic information to the world of fitness," said Andrea Riposati, CEO of Dante Genomics. "At Dante, we often say "personalized medicine needs personalized data,' and I am confident that our innovative genomic tests will mean a more personalized fitness regimen and training plan for all GetFIT customers uniquely tailored to their DNA."

“For almost 40 years, the GetFIT Group has been taking care of people's well–being. Present in Milan since 1984 with its fitness centers with swimming pools and thermarium and over 30,000 active members, our Mission is to inspire people to choose and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and to feel good about themselves, through paths suitable for everyone and designed on the needs of each one," said Livio Leardi, GetFIT Founder. "Being able to participate as a partner of Dante in this innovative project will give our team the opportunity to create even more effective and personalized training programs, based on the characteristics of the individual person. This makes us proud to say that we have taken another step towards our goal: to highlight the importance of the symbiotic relationship between health and physical activity.”

Both companies presented the project at a press conference held at RiminiWellness last week.

About GetFIT Lifestyle
GetFIT is the first Italian fitness group with clubs in the city of Milan, Italy with over 30,000 active members. Through multifunctional, spacious and bright spaces, fitness rooms and swimming pools that coexist with thermarium and relaxation areas, GetFIT clubs are the ideal place to find fun, energy and relaxation. We select and train with passion all our team that represents with great professionalism our care for the reception and health of the body. We offer cutting–edge activities and design personalized paths to accompany our members towards the achievement of their goals. We have always chosen leading partners in the sector to take care of the well–being of the Milanese.

About Dante Genomics
Dante Genomics is a global genomic information company building and commercializing a new class of transformative health and longevity applications based on whole genome sequencing and AI. The Company uses its platform to deliver better patient outcomes from diagnostics to therapeutics with assets including one of the largest private genome databases with research consent, proprietary software designed to unleash the power of genomic data at scale and proprietary processes which enable an industrial approach to genomic sequencing.

Contact:
Laura D'Angelo
VP of Investor Relations
ir@dantelabs.com
+39 0862 191 0671
www.dantegenomics.com


Zoom and Genesys Announce Strategic Agreement Uniquely Positioned Around Zoom Phone to Improve Collaboration and Customer Experiences

SAN JOSE, Calif. and SAN FRANCISCO, June 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) and Genesys , a global cloud leader in customer experience orchestration, have expanded their partnership to help businesses deliver effortless customer experience by building upon their integration between Zoom Phone and Genesys ""Cloud CX. Together, the offerings provide organizations with an easy–to–configure and feature–rich cloud contact center and unified communications solution that enables teams to better collaborate to solve customer needs.

The companies' expanded partnership includes a go–to–market relationship where Genesys will enable its global direct and indirect channel to deliver the combined Zoom Phone plus Genesys Cloud CX solution.

InflowCX, a consulting and professional services provider for contact center, customer experience, and unified communications solutions, is seeing increased potential for organizations to deploy Zoom and Genesys as part of their UCaaS and CCaaS transformation.
The company recently helped two organizations, a pediatric healthcare provider and auto insurance company, implement the integrated offerings from Zoom and Genesys. Both organizations aimed to make it easier for employees to pass information between the contact
center users and other areas of the business so customers and patients could be served more seamlessly "" whether they were calling, interacting with digital channels, or walking into an office.

InflowCX Chief Revenue Officer Mike Dolloff said, "Today, businesses don't want to deal with clunky and frustrating workflows just to move customer interactions between technology stacks. By working together, Zoom and Genesys are solving a huge hurdle for many of our clients, bridging communications across entire organizations and improving employee and customer experience. Across industries and regardless of company size, we're consistently hearing from businesses that presence and directory availability between Zoom Phone and Genesys Cloud is critical to empowering employees to get a customer to the right resource in real time."

"By deepening the alignment from our partnership with Genesys, we will accelerate the introduction of Zoom Phone into Genesys Cloud CX's robust customer base, bringing those businesses a modern cloud phone solution as part of a seamless, unified platform to improve employee collaboration and create stronger, more meaningful customer experiences," said Ryan Azus, Chief Revenue Officer, Zoom. "Zoom's innovative phone solution aligns perfectly with the experience orchestration capabilities of Genesys and goal of transforming how companies connect with their customers and employees. We are excited to incorporate this strengthened integration into our open partner ecosystem to provide businesses with the flexibility and ability to optimize their cloud contact center and communications solutions."

"Increasing market demand for combined unified communications and contact center solutions is an acknowledgement from businesses that ultimately every employee serves the customer, whether customer–facing or not," said ML Maco, Chief Revenue Officer, Genesys. "That's why together with Zoom, we're reducing barriers for businesses and enabling our ecosystem to help joint customers better connect the enterprise and exceed consumer expectations in a changing digital world."

To learn more, join Genesys Xperience 2022 this week to hear Zoom Chief Product Officer Oded Gal and Genesys Strategy Officer Peter Graf discuss how the companies are working together to help businesses earn the trust of customers and employees in a session moderated by CX influencer Blair Pleasant, President & Principal Analyst, COMMfusion. The joint session with Zoom and Genesys is held on day two of Xperience from 5:30–6 am ET; 1:30–2 pm ET on June 9; and on–demand following the event. Register now.

About Zoom
Zoom is for you. We help you express ideas, connect to others, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination. Our frictionless communications platform is the only one that started with video as its foundation, and we have set the standard for innovation ever since. That is why we are an intuitive, scalable, and secure choice for large enterprises, small businesses, and individuals alike. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Visit zoom.com and follow @zoom.

About Genesys
Every year, Genesys orchestrates more than 70 billion remarkable customer experiences for organizations in more than 100 countries. Through the power of our cloud, digital and AI technologies, organizations can realize Experience as a ServiceSM our vision for empathetic customer experiences at scale. With Genesys, organizations have the power to deliver proactive, predictive, and hyper personalized experiences to deepen their customer connection across every marketing, sales, and service moment on any channel, while also improving employee productivity and engagement. By transforming back–office technology to a modern revenue velocity engine Genesys enables true intimacy at scale to foster customer trust and loyalty. Visit www.genesys.com.

2021 Genesys. All rights reserved. Genesys, the Genesys logo, Genesys Cloud CX, Genesys Multicloud CX, Genesys DX and Experience as a Service are trademarks, service marks and/or registered trademarks of Genesys. All other company names and logos may be registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.

Zoom Press Relations
Bridget Moriarty
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press@zoom.us

Genesys
Rachel Faulkner Perez
Sr. Director, External Communications
Rachel.FaulknerPerez@genesys.com
+1 317.403.1781


39 Million People Relied on GFN Member Food Banks for Meals in 2021

Chicago, IL, USA, June 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) announced that food banks in 44 countries served 39 million people in 2021, demonstrating that need for food assistance is continuing at high levels in the face of rising food prices and disrupted supply chains.

The data is part of GFN's annual Network survey, and this year's responses emphasize the importance of a strong network of food banks in times of crisis.

"Communities around the world are facing hunger at unprecedented rates," said Lisa Moon, president and CEO of The Global FoodBanking Network. "Consistently, food banks are stepping up and using their unique expertise to connect millions of people to nutritious food."

The 39 million people who sought emergency food assistance is a 128 percent increase over 2019 pre–COVID levels of service. Additionally, about 54 percent of people were served regularly for more than three months during 2021 while 44 percent of people served visited food banks occasionally, temporarily, or for the first time due to a shift in economic circumstances.

More than three–fourths of people served by GFN member food banks live in emerging and developing market economies. Most of the people who visited GFN member food banks in 2021""about 24 million""live in Asia and Oceania. Another 8.8 million food bank visitors are from Latin America. Children ages 17 and under comprised more than a third of the total people served.

Food banks, on average, distributed 57 percent more food and grocery products than the previous year, despite sourcing challenges brought on by breakdowns in supply chains and other factors. The most commonly distributed products are fruits and vegetables""constituting 30 percent of what an average food bank provides.

While need for hunger relief has been unprecedented, so has the generosity and determination of people partnering within the Network. Nearly 317,000 people volunteered with GFN partner food banks, a 14 percent increase over 2020, providing more than 8 million hours of support.

2022 is already proving to be another challenging year for people facing hunger and food insecurity, with the Ukraine invasion compounding the continuing effects of the pandemic and leading to further rises in food prices. But food banks will continue to respond quickly and efficiently in the face of crises, leaning on the experiences of the past few years.

"Unfortunately, we are likely on the precipice of a global hunger crisis," said Moon. "Food banks will be central to the response. The lessons learned during the pandemic have strengthened the Network, better equipping us to provide ongoing services to children, individuals, and families in vulnerable situations."

###

About The Global FoodBanking Network:

The Global FoodBanking Network supports community–led solutions to alleviate hunger in more than 40 countries. While millions struggle to access enough safe and nutritious food, nearly a third of all food produced is lost or wasted. We're changing that. We believe food banks directed by local leaders are key to achieving Zero Hunger and building resilient food systems. For more information, visit foodbanking.org.


Poor Families Clash over Water with Real Estate Consortium in El Salvador

Alex Leiva, holding his baby girl, uses the water he managed to collect in barrels at 4:00 a.m., the only time the service is provided in Lotificación Praderas, in the canton of Cabañas, on the outskirts of the municipality of Apopa, north of the Salvadoran capital. The families of this region are fighting in defense of water, against an urban development project for wealthy families that threatens the water resources in the area. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Alex Leiva, holding his baby girl, uses the water he managed to collect in barrels at 4:00 a.m., the only time the service is provided in Lotificación Praderas, in the canton of Cabañas, on the outskirts of the municipality of Apopa, north of the Salvadoran capital. The families of this region are fighting in defense of water, against an urban development project for wealthy families that threatens the water resources in the area. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

By Edgardo Ayala
APOPA, El Salvador , Jun 6 2022 – Alex Leiva woke up at 4:00 a.m. to perform a key task for his family’s survival in the Salvadoran village where he lives: filling several barrels with the water that falls from the tap only at that early hour every other day.

If he does not collect water between 4:00 and 5:00 AM, he will not have another opportunity to fill the barrels for another two days.

“That’s what I have to do. Sometimes I manage to fill three barrels. The service is provided every other day,” Leiva, 32, a video producer, told IPS.

“It’s difficult to be in a situation like this, where the water supply is so inefficient,” he added.

The water is not provided by the government’s National Administration of Aqueducts and Sewers (Anda) but by the Water Administration Board (Acasap).

In El Salvador there are at least 3,000 of these boards, community associations that play an essential role in the supply and management of water resources in rural areas and the peripheries of cities, in the face of the State’s failure to provide these areas with water.

Leiva lives in Lotificación Praderas, in the Cabañas canton, on the outskirts of the municipality of Apopa, north of the country’s capital, San Salvador.

This northern area covering several municipalities has been in conflict in recent years since residents of these communities began to fight against an urban development project by one of the country’s most powerful families, the Dueñas.

The Dueñas clan’s power dates back to the days of the so-called coffee oligarchy, which emerged in the mid-19th century.

Ciudad Valle El Angel is the name of the residential development to be built in this area on 350 hectares, and which will require some 20 million liters of water per day to supply the families that decide to buy one of the 8,000 homes.

The first feasibility permits granted by Anda to the consortium date back to 2015.

The homes are designed for upper middle-class families who decide to leave behind the chaos of San Salvador and to live with all the comforts of modern life, with water 24 hours a day, in the midst of poor communities that lack a steady water supply.

“There are people in my community who manage to fill only one barrel because there isn’t enough water pressure,” said Leiva, the father of a five-year-old boy and a nine-month-old baby girl.

Valle El Angel is an extensive region located on the slopes of the San Salvador volcano, in territories shared by municipalities north of the capital, including Apopa, Nejapa and Opico.

A general view of Parcelación El Ángel, in the Joya Galana canton, in the municipality of Apopa, near San Salvador. The community is fighting to defend the few natural resources that survive in the area, including a stream that originates in the micro-basin of the Chacalapa River. Water in the area is scarce, while Salvadoran authorities endorse an upscale real estate project that will use millions of liters per day. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

A general view of Parcelación El Ángel, in the Joya Galana canton, in the municipality of Apopa, near San Salvador. The community is fighting to defend the few natural resources that survive in the area, including a stream that originates in the micro-basin of the Chacalapa River. Water in the area is scarce, while Salvadoran authorities endorse an upscale real estate project that will use millions of liters per day. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Unfair justice

Sociedad Dueñas Limitada, the consortium managing the urban development project, received the definitive green light to begin construction: a thumbs-up from the Constitutional court, which on Apr. 29, 2022 rejected an unconstitutionality lawsuit filed in October 2019 by environmental organizations and communities in northern San Salvador.

The lawsuit was against a dubious agreement signed in 2016 between that company and Anda, which manages water in the country. The deal granted the project 240 liters of water per second – that is, about 20 million liters a day.

The consortium intends to dig eight wells in the area. Water will be extracted from the San Juan Opico aquifer, as well as from shallower groundwater from Apopa and Quezaltepeque.

“These agreements open the door to this type of illegal concessions handed over to private companies…it is a situation that is not being addressed from a comprehensive perspective that meets the needs of the people, but rather from a mercantilist perspective,” lawyer Ariela González told IPS.

She is part of the Foundation of Studies for the Application of Law (Fespad), a member of the Water Forum, which brings together some twenty civil organizations that have been fighting for fair and equitable distribution of water in the country.

González added: “It is our public institutions that legalize this dispossession of environmental assets, through these mechanisms that allow the companies to whitewash the environmental impact studies.”

The organizations and local communities argue that water is a human right, for the benefit of the community, and also insisted in the lawsuit that the aquifers are part of the subsoil, property of the State.

Therefore, if any company was to be granted any benefit from that subsoil, the concession could have to be endorsed by the legislature, which did not happen.

Sara García and Martina Vides are members of an ecofeminist collective that has been fighting for five years to prevent the construction of a large residential project in the area, Ciudad Valle El Ángel, owned by one of the most powerful families in El Salvador. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Sara García and Martina Vides are members of an ecofeminist collective that has been fighting for five years to prevent the construction of a large residential project in the area, Ciudad Valle El Ángel, owned by one of the most powerful families in El Salvador. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

The resolution handed down by the Constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court comes at a time when people have lost trust in the Constitutional court in this Central American country of 6.7 million people.

The five Constitutional court magistrates were appointed without following the regular procedure on May 1, 2021, when the new legislature was installed, controlled by lawmakers from President Nayib Bukele’s party, Nuevas Ideas, which holds 56 out of 84 seats.

“This government continues to benefit big capital and destroy local territories,” Sara García, of the ecofeminist group Kawoc Women’s Collective and the Let’s Save the Valle El Ángel movement, which forms part of the Water Forum, told IPS.

García´s fellow activist Martina Vides added: “We want protection for the aquifers and to prevent the felling of trees.”

Both women spoke to IPS on a rainy gray afternoon on the last day of May, in the Parcelación El Ángel, where they live, in the Joya Galana canton, also in the municipality of Apopa, which is in the middle of the impact zone.

A short distance away is the river that provides water to this and other communities, which originates in the micro-watershed of the Chacalapa River. Water is supplied under a community management scheme organized by the local water board.

Vides pays six dollars a month for the water service, although she only receives running water three or four days a week.

According to official figures, in this country 96.3 percent of urban households have access to piped water, but the proportion drops to 78.4 percent in the countryside, where 10.8 percent are supplied by well water and 10.7 percent by other means.

Since the Ciudad Valle El Angel project began to be planned, environmentalists and community representatives have been protesting against it with street demonstrations and activities because it will negatively impact the area’s environment, especially the aquifers.

The struggle for water in El Salvador has been going on for a long time, with activists demanding that it be recognized as a human right, with access for the entire population, because the country is one of the hardest hit by the climate crisis, especially the so-called Dry Corridor.

For more than 10 years, environmental and social collectives have been pushing for a water law, reaching preliminary agreements with past governments. But since the populist Bukele came to power, the progress made in this direction has been undone.

In December 2021, the legislature approved a General Water Resources Law, which excluded the already pre-agreed social proposals, although it recognizes the human right to water and establishes that the water supply will not be privatized. However, this is not enforced in practice, as demonstrated by the Dueñas’ urban development project.

A vendor of a traditional ice cream in El Salvador, made with shaved ice bathed in fruit syrup, waits for customers on one of the streets of Parcelación El Ángel, in the municipality of Apopa, north of the capital. The locality is one of the epicenters where poor families have been organizing to block a residential development project, which will affect the local water supply and worsen the water shortage in the area. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

A vendor of a traditional ice cream in El Salvador, made with shaved ice bathed in fruit syrup, waits for customers on one of the streets of Parcelación El Ángel, in the municipality of Apopa, north of the capital. The locality is one of the epicenters where poor families have been organizing to block a residential development project, which will affect the local water supply and worsen the water shortage in the area. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Not the only one

The residential development project is neither the first nor the only one in the area.

Residential complexes of this type have already been built in that area for the upper middle class, thanks to investments made by other wealthy families in the country, such as the Poma family.

And the same type of agreements have been reached with these other companies, in which the consortiums receive an endorsement to obtain water for their projects, said González.

The same thing has happened in the surroundings of the Cordillera del Bálsamo, south of the capital, where residential projects have been developed around municipalities such as Zaragoza, close to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean.

In Valle El Ángel there is also at least one company whose main raw material is water. This is Industrias La Constancia, which owns the Coca Cola brand in the country and other brands of juices and energy drinks, located in the municipality of Nejapa.

González, the Fespad lawyer, said that there should be a moratorium in the country in order to stop, for a time, this type of investment that threatens the country’s environmental assets, especially water.

But until that happens, if it ever does, and until the water supply improves, Alex Leiva will continue to get up at 4 a.m. every other day to fill his three barrels.

“What can we do? We have no choice,” he said.

The Great Fish Robbery

Illegal fishing - Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing takes advantage of corrupt administrations and exploits weak management regimes, in particular those of developing countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing takes advantage of corrupt administrations and exploits weak management regimes, in particular those of developing countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Jun 6 2022 – Now it comes to another ‘crime’ being stealthy committed as a consequence of the unrelenting business obsession for making more and more money.

It is about the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, a practice that threatens marine biodiversity, livelihoods, exacerbates poverty, and augments food insecurity.

Not only: products derived from IUU fishing can find their way into overseas trade markets thus throttling local food supply.

Let alone the other ‘crime’ of the greed-motivated overfishing.

 

Illegal, unreported and unregulated

The International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) coincides on 5 June with the World Environment Day.

It also marked only three days ahead of the World Oceans Day on 8 June.

When fish disappear, so do jobs and coastal economies. High demand for seafood continues to drive over-exploitation and environmental degradation, exacerbating this circular problem

These three Days further reveal the dire impacts of the ongoing human suicidal war on the Planet Earth’s natural resources, precisely those that are vital to life and livelihood.

But before going into these consequences, see what IUU fishing is all about as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO):

IUU fishing is found in all types and dimensions of fisheries; it occurs both on the high seas and in areas within national jurisdiction. It concerns all aspects and stages of the capture and utilisation of fish, and it may sometimes be associated with organised crime.

Illegal fishing is conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a State, without the permission of that State, or in contravention of its laws and regulations.

Otherwise, it is conducted by vessels flying the flag of States that are parties to a relevant regional fisheries management organisation but operate in contravention of the conservation and management measures by which the States are bound,

Unreported fishing is about captures that have not been reported, or have been misreported, to the relevant national authority, in contravention of national laws and regulations.And unregulated fishing is conducted by vessels without nationality, or by those flying the flag of a State not party to that organisation or by a fishing entity, in a manner that is not consistent with or contravenes the conservation and management measures of that organisation.

 

Criminals, corruption…

Such illegal activities take advantage of corruption and exploit weak management regimes, in particular those of countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance.

In all these cases, IUU fishing takes advantage of corrupt administrations and exploits weak management regimes, in particular those of developing countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance.

“Such illegal activities are responsible for the loss of 11–26 million tons of fish each year, which is estimated to have an economic value of 10–23 billion US dollars.”

 

Marine debris, litter

Moreover, there are issues of marine debris and marine litter involved in IUU fishing, which are not only related to marine environment but also the safe navigation of ships, explains the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In addition, types of fishing gear and fishing methods are employed by IUU fishers in areas where their use is prohibited, to the detriment of those areas’ resources (fish extracted) and the marine environment (destruction of corals, habitats, etc), where often these gears may get caught in bottom structures and thus be abandoned.

 

Overfishing

Parallelly, such ‘crime’ of depleting the oceans just adds to another major devastating human activity: overfishing.

The number of overfished stocks globally has tripled in half a century and today fully one-third of the world’s assessed fisheries are currently pushed beyond their biological limits, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Overfishing is closely tied to bycatch—the capture of unwanted sea life while fishing for a different species, reports the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

This, too, is a serious marine threat that causes the needless loss of billions of fish, along with hundreds of thousands of sea turtles and cetaceans, adds this Fund, which for over six decades has been working to help local communities conserve the natural resources they depend upon; transform markets and policies toward sustainability; and protect and restore species and their habitats.

“The damage done by overfishing goes beyond the marine environment, it warns. Billions of people rely on fish for protein, and fishing is the principal livelihood for millions of people around the world.”

It also reports that more than one-third of all sharks, rays, and chimaeras are now at risk of extinction because of overfishing, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species extinction risk status.

 

Harmful subsidies

The World Wildlife Fund additionally warns that subsidies, or support provided to the fishing industry to offset the costs of doing business, are another key driver of overfishing.

Subsidies can lead to overcapacity of fishing vessels and skewing of production costs so that fishing operations continue when they would otherwise not make economic sense.

“Today’s worldwide fishing fleet is estimated to be up to two-and-a-half times the capacity needed to catch what we actually need. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has called for an end to harmful subsidies.”

 

More demand, more business

Meanwhile, the demand for fish continues to increase around the world, and that means more businesses and jobs are dependent on dwindling stocks, reports WWF, while adding the following:

Fish ranks as one of the most highly traded food commodities and fuels a 362 billion US dollars global industry. Millions of people in largely developing, coastal communities depend on the fishing industry for their livelihood and half the world’s population relies on fish as a major source of protein.

“When fish disappear, so do jobs and coastal economies. High demand for seafood continues to drive over-exploitation and environmental degradation, exacerbating this circular problem.”

The UN Security Council is in Desperate Need of Comprehensive Reforms

The UN Security Council. Credit: United Nations.

Many UN agencies were created that have and continue to provide critically important assistance in many fields, saving the lives and wellbeing of millions of people. Meanwhile, the UNSC has failed to maintain international peace and security which was its intended purpose. What it needs now is comprehensive reforms to make it relevant again.

By Alon Ben-Meir
NEW YORK, Jun 6 2022 – Any fair analysis of the United Nations strongly suggests that the UN of today is not the same UN that was established in 1945. The United Nations Security Council in particular, which was intended to maintain international peace and security, has sadly outlived its usefulness in its current makeup.

It has, for all intents and purposes, been paralyzed due to its own structural fault line that provides the five permanent member states—the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France—veto power. Whereas political consideration and self-interest understandably influenced their respective decisions, their veto power has often been used to meet one state or another’s narrow political interest regardless of its impact on international peace and security.

The composition of the UN

When the UN was established, 51 countries were member states of the General Assembly (GA). Presently, there are 193 member states, along with two Permanent Observer states (the Holy See and Palestine).

The GA can pass resolutions by a simple majority that expresses only a general consensus but without any enforcement powers. The problem here is that although the number of states in the GA has quadrupled and represents the entire international community, the Security Council’s size and permanent makeup has not changed, granting decision-making powers over binding resolutions to an increasing disproportionately small number of nations.

The United Nations Security Council

The UNSC (the Council) is composed of 5 permanent states: The United States, Russia (the successor nation of founding member USSR), China, the United Kingdom, and France.

These countries were accorded veto power because of their status as both great powers and the victors in World War II. They continue to exercise that power even though they do not represent the changing global demographic composition or realities of current geopolitical power.

Moreover, whereas the Council was bestowed with the powers to maintain peace and international security with enforceable mechanisms, it has generally failed to reach consensus on enforcing its own resolutions.

Thus, many countries who committed even egregious violations of the UN Charter have not generally been punished, which in many ways signaled that any country can violate the Charter and do so with impunity.

The creation of UN agencies

Although the UN has lagged greatly in its intended purpose to maintain international peace and security, it has over the years established many agencies that provide significant humanitarian assistance in many fields.

Among the most important agencies are the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Food Program, International Monetary Fund, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization, High Commissioner for Refugees, and UN Women. In this respect, the UN has become a massive relief organization.

UN Peacekeeping Forces

Another important branch of the UN is its peacekeeping forces. In many cases the peacekeepers rendered important services to keep the peace in different areas of conflict and in different times; currently, peacekeeping missions are ongoing in the Golan, Cyprus, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mali, Central African Republic, Western Sahara, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, and India and Pakistan, to maintain ceasefires, prevent outbreaks of violence in contentious areas, promote human rights, support humanitarian services, and support stabilization efforts as each individual mission requires.

On the whole, however, UN peacekeeping forces have become basically an afterthought to the global community as an increasing number of states no longer view UN forces as effective in their missions, and as the UN fails to hold accountable peacekeepers who commit human rights abuses, particularly sexual abuse and exploitation.

Nevertheless, as the World Bank notes, “every study that looked at diverse types of peacekeeping missions found that the UN was more effective in preventing and reducing violence than non-UN missions, and that stronger mandates and larger missions increased the likelihood of any mission’s success.”

In recent years, however, there has been a decrease in funding for UN peacekeeping forces, particularly due to the Trump administration’s withholding of full funding, which may eventually lead to dispatching of fewer and fewer peacekeepers, especially if more countries refuse to provide their share of funds.

Reforming the Security Council

Regardless of the importance of the humanitarian agencies, given the increasing violent conflicts around the world, the importance of the Security Council’s task to maintain international peace and security must become again central to the functioning of the UN.

Due to the present makeup of the Council, however, it cannot operate in that capacity unless significant reforms are undertaken. As a case in point, one must only look at the behavior of Russia at the onset of its invasion of Ukraine, where Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia denied in the midst of the invasion that it was not a war but only a “special military operation.”

He also vetoed numerous resolutions condemning Russia’s actions, a move that Norwegian Ambassador Mona Juul criticized, stating “A veto cast by the aggressor undermines the purpose of the council. It’s a violation of the very foundation of the U.N. Charter.”

It will be presumptuous on my part to provide the kind of reforms necessary to make the council relevant to international peace and security. Many have tried before me and sadly to no avail. One thing though is clear.

For the Security Council to meet its obligation and responsibility and be effective in maintaining peace and security, it must first and foremost represent the demographic makeup of the international community.

In addition, given the fact that the current countries on the Security Council will not relinquish their veto power voluntarily or by any provision in the UN Charter, the following partial reforms stand at least a small chance of being adopted. To that end, the following should be considered:

The Security Council should expand from 15 to 21 member states.

Nine states or regional unions will be granted permanent membership with veto power: the EU, the US, Russia, China, India, Indonesia to represent Asian countries, Brazil to represent the Latin American countries, the Arab League, and the African Union. Naturally the UK could present a major obstacle in this format, as it is no longer a member of the EU and would thus lose representation on the Council.

Twelve other countries in the Security Council would rotate every two years based on the current format.

A resolution can only be vetoed if two countries exercise their veto power.

The Security Council will establish an enforcement mechanism to ensure that its resolutions are carried out.

The Security Council will be empowered to resolve current violent conflicts and mediate other conflicts before they become violent.

The General Assembly will have the power to override any veto by a two-thirds majority.

The current global population is approximately 7.9 billion, and the total population of the above states or unions is 5.8 billion. As such, the Security Council would represent 73 percent of the global population, instead of the current Council makeup which only represents a paltry 25 percent, lower even than the 35 percent of the global population that the permanent UNSC members represented at its creation.

As I indicated above, this may well be a farfetched idea, but then again, we must begin to think seriously about reforming the Security Council if we want the UN to perform the way it was intended to.

Indeed, violent conflicts are on the rise, countries are infringing on the sovereignty of other weaker countries, and still many old conflicts remained unsolved. Together we are witnessing a far greater global volatility.

To stem these tides, we need a renewed effort to reform the UN Security Council and give it the power to resolve conflict peacefully.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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Excerpt:

The writer, a retired professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University (NYU), taught courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies for over 20 years.

A UBI program initiated by Jax.Network is launched

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, June 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Jax.Network, a blockchain company building an energy–standard monetary system, initiated a universal basic income (UBI) program via JaxCorp DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization created specifically for this purpose. The goals of a program are to alleviate poverty and replace other need–based social programs that potentially require greater bureaucratic involvement.

Run on smart contracts, the UBI initiative allows the DAO to distribute a minimum amount of funds to everyone who applies for it in a decentralized and secure way. Ideally, it is a guaranteed income that users receive to cover their basic needs, like food and shelter. At the moment, the first 10,000 people can get free $10 as an advance, which will be deducted from the future UBI payouts.

At the initial stages, the UBI amount is forecasted to be higher for early adopters. With the wider awareness of the program, it may decrease a bit; however, creators expect some people to join the program as donors and donate funds to sustain the relevant UBI level. As the UBI initiative is funded by the fees collected from transactions carried out in stablecoins created on the Jax.Money platform, higher volumes can also become a major booster of the UBI payouts in the future. Thus, everyone who supports UBI should switch to JAX Dollar (JAXUD) and JAX Rupee (JAXRE) in order to keep the work going.

"We aim at building a society, where individuals have the freedom to do whatever they choose, so long as they do not infringe upon other people's rights and liberties. Thus, UBI becomes a cornerstone for bringing our philosophical vision into life," Vinod Manoharan, the Founder of Jax.Network shared in a comment.

About Jax.Network

Jax.Network provides the technological infrastructure for a decentralized energy–standard monetary system. The Jax.Network blockchain is anchored to the Bitcoin network and issues two digital currencies JAX and JXN. JAX is a stablecoin pegged to the energy spent on mining, while JXN is an asset coin representing the value of the whole network. The Jax.Network team aims at making these coins a universal standard for the quantification of economic value.

CONTACT Viktoriya Nechyporuk, Marketing Communications Lead
COMPANY Jax.Network
PHONE +380 67 657 0029
EMAIL viktoriya@jax.net
WEB https://jax.network


Has the UN Transformed itself into a Vast Humanitarian Relief Organization?

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (on screen) of Ukraine, addresses the UN Security Council, April 2022, on the situation in Ukraine. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 6 2022 – The United Nations, which has failed to help resolve some of the world’s ongoing and longstanding civil wars and military conflicts—including Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Western Sahara, Myanmar, Syria, and most recently, Ukraine—was rightfully challenged by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his riveting address to the Security Council last April.

“Where is the peace that the United Nations was created to guarantee? And “where is the security that the Security Council was supposed to guarantee?” he asked, via tele-conferencing.

The UN has also remained helpless—with a divided Security Council in virtual paralysis — in another long-running political issue: the nuclear threat from North Korea, where a Security Council resolution for additional sanctions against DPRK was vetoed last month by Russia and China (even though it garnered 13 out of 15 votes).

The UN’s declining role in geo-politics, however, has been compensated for by its increasingly significant performance as a massive humanitarian relief organization.

These efforts are led by multiple UN agencies such as the World Food Program, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN children’s fund UNICEF, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), among others.

These agencies, which have saved millions of lives, continue to provide food, medical care and shelter, to those trapped in war-ravaged countries, mostly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while following closely in the footsteps of international relief organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), CARE International, Action Against Hunger, World Vision and Relief Without Borders, among others.

The UN’s increasing role in humanitarian relief work could perhaps earn the world body a new designation: United Nations Without Borders.

Besides humanitarian assistance, the UN also oversees nearly 90,000 peacekeepers in more than 12 UN peacekeeping operations and several observer missions, mostly in post-conflict situations., “helping countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.”

https://peacekeeping.un.org/en

In an interview with US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield last month, Anne McElvoy of “The Economist Asks” Podcast said “the UN is becoming a giant humanitarian relief organization, …and it’s sort of really retreating from big-time geopolitics simply because this formula of the UN, the format of it and the way its checks and balances work, aren’t sharp or effective enough in the world as it is. Your thoughts?”.

Justifying the existence of the UN as a political body, Thomas-Greenfield said: “The UN is what we have, and we’re all members and we have to work every single day to ensure that this organization functions and that it provides the platform for ending conflict. It is the one place where we can all sit at the table together”.

She also said: “The UN is the one place where we can have discussions on peace and security. And it is the responsibility of the UN to work to prevent the scourge of war. That’s what it was created for. And so, we have not given up on the organization. We’ve not given up on the goals of the organization.”

Last month, the Executive Director of WFP David Beasley said the World Food Programme has fed about 130 million people, mostly in conflict zones, last year. This year, that number is expected to rise to be about 150 million.

At the daily news briefings, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric provides a list of the humanitarian relief provided by UN agencies worldwide, particularly in conflict zones.

As of May 26, Dujarric said the UN and more than 260 of its humanitarian partners in Ukraine have reached 7.6 million people with assistance. Cash support also continues to increase with an additional 1.1 million people reached in May.

From March to May, a total of 1.5 million people have received cash assistance and health care support while around 352,000 people have been provided with clean water and hygiene products.

“We have also reached nearly 430,000 people with protection services, psychosocial support and critical legal services, including support to internally displaced persons,” he added.

In the Horn of Africa, the UN and its partners have provided about 4.9 million people with food while more than two million livestock have been treated or vaccinated, and over 3.3 million people have received water assistance.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN and its NGO partners, have started distributing aid to thousands of people in Nyiragongo territory, including food to some 35,000 people, water, and medicine to at least 10,000 people.

Since January last year, the UN has also reached out to about 1.1 million drought-impacted people in the Grand Sud, Madagascar, with critical assistance, which has played a vital role in averting the risk of famine.

This has been possible due to the generosity of donors, who contributed $196 million out of the $231 million required for the Grand Sud drought response, between January of last year and May of this year.

In an op-ed piece for IPS, Dr Alon Ben-Meir, a retired professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University (NYU), said although the UN has lagged greatly in its intended purpose to maintain international peace and security, it has over the years established many agencies that provide significant humanitarian assistance in many fields.

Among the most important agencies are the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Food Program, International Monetary Fund, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization, High Commissioner for Refugees, and UN Women, he wrote.

“In this respect, the UN has become a massive relief organization,” he declared.

Kul Gautam, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General and ex-Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF, told IPS the UN system has not been as effective as its founders had hoped in preventing wars and maintaining peace and security.

It has also been less effective than what many developing countries had hoped for in helping them tackle the challenges of economic development and social progress.

Its saving grace has, therefore, been largely in the area of humanitarian relief and rehabilitation – an area which is now heavily populated by UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and faith-based charities.

“This is not to underestimate the value of the UN’s humanitarian response, as the world today confronts historically unprecedented numbers of refugees, displaced persons, victims of natural and man-made disasters and new forms of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups”.

But as modern wars, violent conflicts, pandemics and increasingly perilous environmental crises can no longer be contained within national boundaries, but require concerted multilateral action, the need for a stronger and more effective UN is more urgent today than ever before, said Gautam, author of “My Journey from the Hills of Nepal to the Halls of the United Nations”. www.kulgautam.org.

Andreas Bummel, Executive Director, Democracy Without Borders, told IPS the UN’s humanitarian activities are essential. This is where the UN has the most immediate impact.

In the field of peace and security it should not be forgotten that the UN was created as a tool of its member states, he pointed out.

“State sovereignty is the UN’s most glorified principle. The UN has no independent authority and no means of enforcement. Even if it had, it is difficult to imagine how it could interfere in a conflict that involves one of the big powers”.

The UN was not intended to wage war against any of them, he argued, “That’s why the veto right was created. The veto is being misused though for political purposes. This is not in line with the purpose of the UN and the spirit of its Charter,” he declared.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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