Sensegen unveils natural fragrance survey results for 2022 World Perfumery Congress

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Southern California's taste, smell, and beauty innovator, Sensegen, announced its natural fragrance survey results, gearing up for exhibiting its "New Naturals" initiative at the World Perfumery Congress (WPC), Booth #523, June 29 "" July 1, 2022, in Miami, Florida. Sensegen is a division of Blue California ingredients.

"We're very excited to share our results of the natural fragrance survey, revealing consumer knowledge of natural fragrances and what is appealing, trend–setting in personal care and beauty products," said Angelique Burke, senior perfumer at Sensegen. "The era of truly natural perfumery is here; we are bringing nature back into perfumery by harnessing classic fragrance molecules from biology rather than deriving them from petroleum."

Sensegen's New Naturals are bio–designed fragrances that are natural (plant–based), safe, and sustainable. They perform and are as pleasant as synthetics, yet more complex than blends of essential oils, which thus far have been the only option for natural fragrance seekers. No such fragrance initiative exists on the market today.

An ideal example of a New Natural is Sensegen's entire class of plant–based musks that gives perfumers the best natural alternative to synthetics. Once coveted and exclusive, the musk fragrance became banned for the inhumane treatment of the Musk Deer —– the only source at the time. After that, the highly sought–after musky olfactive character was solely a synthetic option for perfumers.

"The lack of availability of natural musks, combined with the ubiquity, performance, and wide acceptability of this olfactive character, has created a huge challenge for natural fragrances to compete in the marketplace," said Burke. “Today, Sensegen can offer a far–reaching range of natural and sustainable creations, which proudly stand their ground in the market."

Sensegen asked 1,000 consumers about their personal care routines and beauty regimens in an online survey. Survey respondents were also asked about their attitudes and understanding of personal care/beauty care products as it relates to scented, as opposed to unscented products, label reading, purchase decision influencers, and familiarity and understanding of natural fragrances.

While 66% of consumers said natural fragrances were naturally derived fragrances, approximately 14% thought it meant no added fragrance, and 5% said it was the same as unscented.

Later, survey participants were shown an explanation of New Natural Fragrances and a product concept containing the new natural fragrance. The data shows that 74% of those respondents would choose the New Natural fragrance concept versus the synthetic. This was a 5% increase over consumers' choice before being presented with information on the new natural fragrance.

"From this natural fragrance survey, we concluded that there's a gap in understanding and awareness regarding such terms used in labeling fragrance and fragrance–related statements," said Natasha D'Souza, senior director, global sensory and consumer insights at Blue California. "There hasn't been a better time for brands to make exceptional, sustainable products and educate consumers on how they are adopting a more natural position for the benefit of the planet and humankind.”

Interested parties and media members inquiring about the natural fragrance survey can stop by Sensegen's booth #523 at the WPC or contact Sensegen. The Sensegen booth will have smelling products from sustainable, 100% bio–based materials. Fragrances include samples of fine fragrance, personal care, and home care.

The World Perfumery Congress is hosted by Perfumer & Flavorist.

About Sensegen

Sensegen, is the science of good sense. We've got nature down to a science and create the perfect sense.

As a division of Blue California Ingredients, our innovative taste, smell, and creative beauty center is dedicated solely to delivering plant–based, natural, and sustainable solutions. Our diverse team of experts collaborate with advanced bio–techniques and collaborate as a team to provide unique consumer–validated ingredients.

At Sensegen, we've pioneered a way of formulating nature without compromise or harm, providing one–of–a–kind solutions for Taste, Smell, and Beauty.


Zoom Unveils Platform Evolution; Launches New Packaging and Translation Feature

  • Zoom One is a new offering that brings together options for persistent chat, phone, meetings, whiteboard, and more into a single, secure and scalable package
  • All–new translation feature allows meetings to be translated between English and any of the 10 languages, or from those languages into English

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today unveiled the latest evolution of its communications platform with the introduction of Zoom One, a new offering that brings together persistent chat, phone, meetings, whiteboard, and more into secure and scalable packages. Additionally, Zoom also launched an all new translated and multi–language captions feature.

"Simplicity is at the core of everything we do. As the Zoom platform has evolved from a meeting app to a comprehensive communications platform, it was clear that introducing new packaging like Zoom One was the next step in the company's evolution," said Greg Tomb, President, Zoom. "By bringing together chat, phone, meetings, whiteboard, and more in a single offering, we are able to offer our customers solutions that are simple to manage, so they can focus on business issues that matter most."

"Businesses continue to realize the time and cost saving a single provider can offer. According to Omdia's latest end user survey, 40% of organizations are prioritizing investments around eliminating multiple cloud–based UC solutions that may be deployed within their organizations," states Brent Kelly, Principal Analyst, Omdia Research. "The need to simplify business operations is a market trend that we see as being increasingly important, and Zoom One's tiered bundles and common management console aligns well to this customer demand.”

Zoom One's intuitive experience
Purpose–built to work together, Zoom One's intuitive experience offers customers the choice between six tiered offerings according to their business needs.

  • Zoom One Basic provides free 40–minute Zoom Meetings for up to 100 attendees, persistent Zoom Chat for team messaging, limited Zoom Whiteboard for synchronous and asynchronous work, and real–time transcription.
  • Zoom One Pro provides everything Zoom One Basic offers without Meeting time limits, plus cloud recording.
  • Zoom One Business provides everything Zoom One Pro offers, plus Zoom Meetings for up to 300 attendees and unlimited Zoom Whiteboards.
  • Zoom One Business Plus provides everything Zoom One Business offers, plus Zoom Phone Pro with unlimited regional calling and Zoom's all–new translation feature.
  • Zoom One Enterprise and Zoom One Enterprise Plus provide everything Zoom One Business offers with larger meeting capacity and additional features, like Zoom Webinars, to help modern businesses scale. Zoom One Enterprise Plus also includes Zoom Phone Pro with unlimited regional calling.

Zoom One Basic, Pro, Business and Business Plus plans are available for purchase online today. To purchase Zoom One Enterprise or Enterprise Plus, customers can speak to an account executive directly. For more information, visit

"If you provide a complete suite of reliable and easy–to–use communication tools that people can use to do their jobs, they are less likely to be using one–off solutions outside of our offerings "" which in turn simplifies our support and delivery model," said Rob Kerr, chief information officer at Cooley, a global law firm with 3,300 employees in 17 offices across the United States, Asia, and Europe. "Zoom's secure portfolio of unified video, chat, whiteboarding, and telephony solutions aligns our global teams and allows Cooley to better serve its clients."

For more information on the new, simplified offerings or to find the plan that is best suited for your business, visit the Zoom blog.

Introducing translated & multi–language captions
Launching first in Zoom One Business Plus and Zoom One Enterprise Plus packages, Zoom's translated captions will allow users to view captions translated into the language of their choice. At launch, translations will be available between English and 10 additional languages, or from any of the 10 languages to English. The ability to translate directly to and from English is known as bi–directional translation. Translated captions display at the base of the screen while in a Zoom Meeting.

The bi–directional translations are available in the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

To access the translated captions feature, Zoom One customers must upgrade to either the Zoom One Business Plus (in applicable countries) or Zoom One Enterprise Plus packages.

Zoom also extended its automated captioning "" the ability to caption in real–time what a speaker is saying in the same language as the one spoken "" to include 10 additional languages. Automated captions previously were supported in English, but now can be displayed in the additional 10 languages referenced above. Multi–language automated captions are available in Business Plus, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus packages with additional support for other plans coming soon.

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 and follow @zoom.

Zoom Public Relations
Candace Dean
Corporate PR Lead

The Sustainable Use of Wild Species is Important for Everyone

Salmon fishing. Credit: iStock

By Marla R. Emery, Jean-Marc Fromentin and John Donaldson
BONN, Germany, Jun 22 2022 – You probably use wild species far more often than you realise. For many people, especially in more developed economies, the use of wild species sounds like something quite removed from their everyday lives – something perhaps more relevant to other people, in other countries.

It is a fact, however, that the use of wild species is a vital part of almost every human community. If you eat fish, they are most likely wild species. When you take cough medication, it’s likely to be derived, in part, from wild plants. Your wooden furniture may once have been a wild tree. Even the joy and inspiration you get from nature, such wildlife watching, is another use of wild species.

The 2019 Global Assessment Report by IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) alerted the world that direct exploitation is one of the main reasons that 1 million species of plants and animals now face extinction – many within decades. This should have been a wake-up call. Our human behavior is harming wild species, some of which we have relied on for centuries to provide nutrition, clothing, shelter, and more.

In other words, we use wild species to meet a wide range of human needs. By damaging them, we are also harming ourselves – and the policies and decisions we make about the use of wild species have consequences for our health, food security, livelihoods and general wellbeing.

This doesn’t mean that we have to stop eating fish entirely, give up on cough medication or find other materials for our homes – but what is needed, urgently, is better information and knowledge together with stronger institutions to ensure that our use of wild species is sustainable.

For this reason, four years ago, nearly 140 Governments tasked 85 leading experts, from every region of the word, with preparing a landmark new IPBES assessment report on the sustainable use of wild species – to help inform decisions about nature by governments, businesses, civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities – in fact by everyone whose choices and actions impact nature.

In the first week of July, this report – drawing on more than 6,200 sources, will be considered by the member States of IPBES. Once accepted, it will become the go-to resource to inform policy options and actions to promote the more sustainable use of wild species from the global to the national and even the very local scale.

One of the things that sets this report apart is the extent to which it draws on the expertise and experiences not only of the natural and social sciences – but also of indigenous peoples and local communities. For many local communities, the use of wild species is inextricably entwined with their culture and identity – with customs and practices evolved over millennia to ensure sustainable use.

The report will also have very immediate real-world relevance. Having been specifically requested by, among others, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), it will directly inform the decisions of the 19th World Wildlife Conference in Panama in November 2022.

Additionally, it will be taken up by the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in the negotiations later this year of the new global biodiversity framework for the next decade. The sustainable use of wild species is also closely related to our ability to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to deal with other global challenges such as land use and climate change.

Among the most important aspects of this new IPBES report is just how vital the sustainable use of wild species is to everyone – everywhere, in the face of multiple global environmental crises. It will offer better information and options for solutions that work – for people and the rest of nature.

Dr. Marla R. Emery is a Scientific Advisor with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and retired Research Geographer with the US Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Jean-Marc Fromentin is a Researcher at the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), Deputy Director of the MARBEC research Unit.

Prof. John Donaldson is an independent biodiversity consultant and previously Chief Director Biodiversity Research, Assessment and Monitoring at the South African National Biodiversity Institute.

IPS UN Bureau


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The authors are Co-Chairs of the IPBES Assessment of the Sustainable Use of Wild Species

ApplyBoard and Ireland Join Forces to Educate the World

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, ApplyBoard, the global technology platform powering an education revolution, is thrilled to announce Ireland as its latest study abroad destination. This is the fifth study abroad destination that ApplyBoard has expanded to as part of its ongoing mission to educate the world.

ApplyBoard is excited for this opportunity to help Ireland grow and reach its international education goals. To date, five higher education institutions in Ireland have partnered with ApplyBoard: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Maynooth University, University College Cork, and the University of Limerick. ApplyBoard looks forward to building more momentum within Ireland's international education sector.

"With a highly–regarded education system, rich history, and innovative culture, Ireland has so much to offer international students," says Martin Basiri, CEO and Co–Founder of ApplyBoard. "Building this strong relationship with Ireland signifies an important step in expanding new opportunities for future students, supporting the long–standing legacy for excellence in the Irish education sector, and continuing to break down barriers to education for countless students around the world."

Now, students and recruitment partners can look forward to having access to Ireland's higher education institutions on the ApplyBoard Platform.

"ApplyBoard is incredibly well placed to partner with University College Dublin (UCD), to promote Ireland, to connect with international students who are looking for an educational experience that sets them apart and provides them with a competitive advantage," says Una Watkins, Director International Student Recruitment, UCD. "Sharing our values in putting students first and supporting the success of all students, we very much look forward to working alongside ApplyBoard as they empower people around the world to study abroad and access the very best education."

"Ireland is becoming an increasingly popular study destination for international students as the world–class standard of our education is matched by the post–study work opportunities available in Ireland," says Giles O'Neill, Head of Education in Ireland. "ApplyBoard puts the student at the heart of what they do and keeps them there "" this is a mission that we share and something that I am sure we can build on together into the future."

ApplyBoard recognizes the need to continue to scale and expand its diversity of tech offerings to propel the international education sector forward. Most recently, ApplyBoard announced the acquisition of TrainHub, an education industry training ecosystem, to help strengthen international student recruitment. ApplyBoard also launched the ApplyBoard Insights Dashboard, a SaaS tool that leverages the latest study abroad data to help higher education institutions make important choices in international student recruiting.

To learn more about ApplyBoard growing in Ireland, visit here:–resources

About ApplyBoard

ApplyBoard empowers students around the world to access the best education by simplifying the study abroad search, application, and acceptance process to more than 1,500 institutions across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland. ApplyBoard, headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, has helped more than 300,000 students from more than 125 countries along their educational journeys since 2015. To learn more, visit:

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Polio Eradication Will Take Funds and Awareness

A polio vaccinator administers the oral polio vaccine to a child in Pakistan. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS - Even in the face of dwindling resources and competing demands, the push for total polio eradication must continue because as long as even a few people have polio, it could spread widely again

A polio vaccinator administers the oral polio vaccine to a child in Pakistan. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

By Ifeanyi Nsofor
ABUJA, Jun 22 2022 – For forty days, Kunle Adeyanju – a Nigerian, Rotarian, polio eradication advocate and biker – rode for more than 12,500km from London to Lagos to raise funds for polio eradication.

Adeyanju documented his journey on Twitter, where his handle is appropriately named @lionheart1759. Indeed, it takes one with a lion’s heart to embark on such a bold adventure. People like philanthropist Bill Gates, who works on polio eradication, and the CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, tweeted out their support and admiration.

Even in the face of dwindling resources and competing demands, the push for the total eradication of polio must continue because as long as even a few people have polio, it could spread widely again

I also followed Adeyanju’s journey on Twitter, and I applaud him too, including because I love to see individuals pursue their dreams, no matter how terrifying it seems. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female President and former President of Liberia, aptly captures this sentiment, “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

I also support his cause. Polio is a serious infectious disease – it causes paralysis of muscles and also kills if the respiratory muscles are affected. In the past, polio victims who were unable to breathe on their own were placed in iron lung machines to enable them to breathe. Thanks to the efficacy of the polio vaccine, this is now history.

I am a proud alumnus of polio eradication. It was my first experience in global health. As a young monitoring, evaluation and surveillance officer at Nigeria’s National Programme on Immunization, I was involved in the global polio reaction initiative supporting advocacy, training of health workers and supervising routine and polio vaccinations across Nigeria.

We’ve seen in recent years how the global community has come a long way in almost making polio the second infectious disease (after smallpox) to be eradicated. Without a doubt, Rotary International has been a major partner and funder on this journey. I am part of the Rotary International family and was the president of the Rotaract Club at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University College of Medicine, Nnewi, southeast Nigeria. Rotary International launched a global polio vaccination campaign in 1985.

Three years later, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established. At that time, polio paralysed more than 1000 children globally daily. Since then, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized against polio. Consequently, global incidence of polio cases has decreased by 99%. Currently, wild poliovirus continues to circulate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nigeria interrupted polio transmission in 2019.

Even in the face of dwindling resources and competing demands, the push for the total eradication of polio must continue because as long as even a few people have polio, it could spread widely again. The final five-year push to eradicate polio would cost an estimated less than $1 billion per year.

Like Adeyanju, Gates, and others, I want to see polio completely eradicated. These are four areas where those $5 billion funds could make that possible.

First, polio vaccine is needed to vaccinate all eligible children. To be fully protected for life, children need four doses of polio vaccines. Polio vaccines come in two forms – oral and injectable. Based on UNICEF estimates, cost per fully vaccinated child is $0.42 for oral polio vaccine. In contrast, it is $2.78 for an injectable polio vaccine.

Second, polio surveillance is a continuous process necessary for prevention and detection of the virus. The polio virus is passed out in stool. That’s why polio transmission is faeco-oral.

This makes polio transmission common in communities with poor sanitation and widespread public stooling. Surveillance activities involve collecting and screening stools of children who have quick onset paralysis after episodes of fever. Further, environmental surveillance of polio involves collecting and testing sewage water for the polio virus.

Third, vaccine storage via modern cold chain equipment. Maintaining the right cold chain for vaccines requires constant electricity, which is lacking across communities in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, only 48% of sub-Saharan Africa has access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

Therefore, clean renewable energy such as solar is a sustainable way to provide the right cold chain for vaccines. Across African countries, some primary health centers already use solar freezers for vaccine storage. Solar freezers don’t come cheap. A Solar Direct Drive Freezer sold on the African Union’s “Africa Medical Supplies Platform” costs $5,797.56.

Lastly, public health education is imperative to achieve equity in complete polio eradication and to continue to see successful vaccination campaigns in countries without polio. Indeed, the University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda captures this succinctly, “to achieve equity in healthcare, depends on equity in health education”.

Polio education is delivered in communities using community health workers, community leaders and community based organisations. Other means include use of radio, TV, print media and electronic media. More polio education should be delivered via social media. Adeyanju has made polio topical among youths on social media by following his heart and pursuing his dream

Adeyanju’s bold ride from London to Lagos has put polio on the front burners of international discourse, especially in these times of covidization of everything.

Through his action, he has answered in the affirmative Rotary International’s four-way test of what people say, think or do:

Is it the truth? – Yes

Is it fair to all concerned? – Yes

Will it build good will and better friendships? – Yes

Will it be beneficial to all concerned? – Yes

Thank you, Kunle Adeyanju. Your boldness will save lives and stop children from being paralysed. You are a hero.


Dr. Ifeanyi McWilliams Nsofor is a graduate of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He is a Senior New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity at George Washington University.

Missing Women in Peru – Pain that Never Ends

Patricia Acosta, Estéfhanny Díaz's mother, carries a poster with a photo of her daughter and granddaughters Tatiana and Yamile. The three disappeared six years ago and so far the authorities, in her opinion, have done little to find them. Acosta, 50, poses in the Plaza Cívica de Ventanilla, a district of the port city of Callao, next to the Peruvian capital. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Patricia Acosta, Estéfhanny Díaz’s mother, carries a poster with a photo of her daughter and granddaughters Tatiana and Yamile. The three disappeared six years ago and so far the authorities, in her opinion, have done little to find them. Acosta, 50, poses in the Plaza Cívica de Ventanilla, a district of the port city of Callao, next to the Peruvian capital. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

By Mariela Jara
LIMA, Jun 22 2022 – “They mustn’t stop looking for her,” said Patricia Acosta, mother of Estéfhanny Díaz, who went missing on Apr. 24, 2016, along with her five-year-old and eight-month-old daughters, after attending a children’s birthday party in Mi Perú, a town in the coastal province of Callao, next to the Peruvian capital.

In an interview with IPS in the Plaza Cívica de Ventanilla, another district in Callao, Acosta, along with Jenny Pajuelo, Yamile’s aunt, called on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to find Díaz and her daughters Tatiana and Yamile, and to stop placing women who disappear under suspicion.

“She was 22 years old, she was a calm girl, at her young age she had learned to be a mother. I feel that my daughter did not leave of her own free will, but that she has been disappeared. That’s three lives that are missing!” exclaimed Acosta, while showing photographs of her daughter and granddaughters.

Pajuelo, Yamile’s aunt, said “it is a wound that is always open.” April marked the sixth anniversary of their disappearance.

The disappearance of women is a serious problem in Peru that is linked to forms of gender-based violence such as femicide, human trafficking and sexual violence.

A report by the Ombudsman’s Office revealed that, of the 166 victims of femicide registered in 2019 at the national level, 16 had previously been reported as missing to the national police, that is, one in 10.

Last year, the number of women murdered for gender-related reasons in Peru totaled 146, according to that autonomous public agency.

The Peruvian Penal Code defines femicide “as the action of killing a woman because she is a woman, in any of the following contexts: domestic violence, sexual harassment, abuse of power, among others,” which does not limit the crime to sexist crimes committed by the victim’s partner or ex-partner, as in other legislations within and outside the Latin American region.

In addition to femicides in this South American country of 32 million people, there is the growing phenomenon of missing women as another expression of gender violence.

The Ombudsman’s Office reported that between January and September 2021, 4,463 women, adolescents and girls went missing. This represented a nine percent increase in relation to the same period in 2020, when there were 4,052 cases.

Jenny Pajuelo and Patricia Acosta hold posters of their missing loved ones. Pajuelo is the aunt of Yamile, who was eight months old when she disappeared along with her sister Tatiana and mother Estéfhanny Díaz. Acosta, a mother and grandmother, fights tirelessly for her family members to be found and not to remain on the growing list of missing women and girls in Peru. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Jenny Pajuelo and Patricia Acosta hold posters of their missing loved ones. Pajuelo is the aunt of Yamile, who was eight months old when she disappeared along with her sister Tatiana and mother Estéfhanny Díaz. Acosta, a mother and grandmother, fights tirelessly for her family members to be found and not to remain on the growing list of missing women and girls in Peru. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Erika Anchante, commissioner of the Ombudsman’s Office’s Women’s Rights section, told IPS that following its 2019 findings, the following year the Office began issuing the report “What happened to them?” to highlight the figures on disappearances and make the problem visible.

The last of these reports, published this June, underscored that in the first five months of 2022, 2,255 alerts on disappearances of women and girls were registered, with the aggravating factor that between March and May the number of cases of girls and adolescents reported missing increased.

“Unfortunately, the numbers are increasing every year, including during the pandemic, despite the restrictive measures that were taken in relation to circulation,” Anchante said.

She explained that the Ombudsman’s Office has issued several recommendations regarding improving the handling of complaints, training the personnel in charge of this process, and eliminating gender stereotypes faced by families, as well as myths such as waiting 24 or 72 hours.

“No, the complaints must be received immediately and dealt with in the same way, because the search must be launched under the presumption that the victim is alive. And the first few hours are crucial to be able to find them alive,” Anchante said.

A screenshot of the Women’s Rights commissioner in Peru’s Ombudsman's Office, Erika Anchante, taken during her interview via videoconference. The institution has proposed eliminating gender stereotypes in the handling of cases of missing women, one of the causes that delay investigations. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

A screenshot of the Women’s Rights commissioner in Peru’s Ombudsman’s Office, Erika Anchante, taken during her interview via videoconference. The institution has proposed eliminating gender stereotypes in the handling of cases of missing women, one of the causes that delay investigations. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Improvements in the regulatory framework

In April, the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations published a new regulation that includes the disappearance of women, children and adolescents as a new form of gender violence.

It thus took up the proposal of the Ombudsman’s Office and civil society institutions such as the Flora Tristán Center for Peruvian Women for compliance with General Recommendation No. 2 of the Committee of Experts on Missing Women and Girls in the Americas of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belem do Para Convention (MESECVI).

This committee monitors the States Parties’ compliance with the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, approved for the countries of the Americas and also known as the Convention of Belém do Pará, after the Brazilian city where it was signed in 1994.

Commissioner Anchante said she hoped the new ministerial norm, which is incorporated into the regulations of the Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women and Family Members, would improve the procedures for dealing with cases of missing women.

Liz Meléndez, director of the feminist Flora Tristán Center, holds a small card that says "Búscalas" (Look for them) – the slogan of activists fighting against the disappearance of women in Peru. She provided support in the high-profile case of Solsiret Rodríguez, a young woman missing since 2016, who was found four years later to have been a victim of femicide. CREDIT: Courtesy of Liz Meléndez

Liz Meléndez, director of the feminist Flora Tristán Center, holds a small card that says “Búscalas” (Look for them) – the slogan of activists fighting against the disappearance of women in Peru. She provided support in the high-profile case of Solsiret Rodríguez, a young woman missing since 2016, who was found four years later to have been a victim of femicide. CREDIT: Courtesy of Liz Meléndez

Many stories of violence following disappearances

Liz Meléndez, director of the non-governmental Flora Tristán Center for Peruvian Women, said the ministerial norm will contribute to raising awareness about the disappearance of women as a form of violence. It will also promote policies to improve the process of searching for missing women and punishing those responsible.

“The treatment they have been receiving is evidence of how the gender stereotypes that prevail in Peruvian culture have caused the State to fail to comply with its obligations, such as acting with strict due diligence according to international human rights standards,” she said.

“This means that it must take effective and immediate measures in the first hours of the disappearance and implement the necessary actions for the search and investigation,” she argued.

Meléndez said that behind the cases of missing women there are many stories of violence, some linked to femicides and others to human trafficking and sexual violence.

The activist complained that the victims’ relatives suffer humiliation in their search process, especially in police stations, and that they suffer delays in the investigations.

The feminist institution has proposed specific protocols for the search for missing women and argues that the fact that a woman is missing should be considered an aggravating factor in cases of femicide.

This demand arose from the Flora Tristán Center’s involvement in the case of Solsiret Rodríguez, a university student, activist and mother of two who disappeared in August 2016, whose remains were found four years later after a tireless struggle by her parents and unceasing demands from feminist groups.

In the end, it came out that she had been killed the very night she disappeared.

In the living room of her home in the San Martin de Porres district of northern Lima, Rosario Aybar shows the photo of her daughter Solsiret Rodriguez, who disappeared in August 2016. Her tireless struggle with support from feminist activists ensured that the case was not shelved, the victim’s remains were found and those guilty of her death were convicted this June. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

In the living room of her home in the San Martin de Porres district of northern Lima, Rosario Aybar shows the photo of her daughter Solsiret Rodriguez, who disappeared in August 2016. Her tireless struggle with support from feminist activists ensured that the case was not shelved, the victim’s remains were found and those guilty of her death were convicted this June. CREDIT: Mariela Jara/IPS

Transforming pain into strength

Rosario Aybar, or Doña Charito as she is known, endured countless sexist comments when she and her husband reported the disappearance of their daughter Solsiret, who in 2016 was 23 years old.

“I was told by the police that, in their experience, women my daughter’s age leave because they are hot-headed, not to worry, that she would be back,” she told IPS during a meeting at her home.

She faced such comments on the long road she traveled knocking on the doors of the different police stations and the prosecutor’s office, fighting so that her daughter’s case would not be shelved.

Thanks to this persistence, the two people responsible for Solsiret’s femicide were sentenced to 30 and 28 years in prison, on Jun. 3.

The convicted couple were Kevin Villanueva, Solsiret’s brother-in-law (the brother of the father of her children), who received the longer sentence, and his girlfriend at the time Andrea Aguirre. During the years that the search went on they claimed they knew nothing about what had happened to Solsiret. But part of the victim’s remains were found in Aguirre’s home in February 2019, after her arrest.

“Behind a missing woman there is a lot of aggression,” said Aybar, with a sad sort of serenity. “And I will explain to you why. Because they try to make them disappear; without a body there is no crime. With my daughter they used a ‘combo’ (a construction tool, used to beat her), a knife…. it’s cruel, it’s very cruel, there is so much hatred.”

Now she has become an activist to bring visibility to the problem of missing women. “I have transformed my pain into strength, that enabled me to move forward, the support of so many young women, otherwise, what would have become of me,” she said.

Patricia Acosta, Estéfhanny’s mother, has also had to learn to live with something she never imagined: the disappearance of her daughter and granddaughters. “I live with sadness, but I must also have joy, I still have my son who was 13 years old when his sister disappeared. I can’t drag him into this grief.”

In the case of her daughter and granddaughters, neither she nor the authorities suspect the person who was her partner when they disappeared.

Like Aybar, she participates in the Missing Women Peru collective that supports families who are searching for daughters, sisters, sisters-in-law and other relatives, fighting to keep the authorities, society and the media from forgetting them.

“We do not want them to be invisible to the State, their lives were cut short and we do not know what happened to them, and it is a human right to find them. Now we have to continue searching for truth and justice,” said Pajuelo, who keeps alive the memory of her nieces Tatiana and Yamile. “They would have been 11 and six years old by now,” she says, looking at their photos.

Urgent Global Call to Save 222 Million Dreams for Children Impacted by Crises

Students attending class at the Souza Gare school in the Littoral region, Cameroon. The school hosts displaced children who have fled the violence in the North-West and South-West regions. Photo credits: ECW/Daniel Beloumou

Students attending class at the Souza Gare school in the Littoral region, Cameroon. The school hosts displaced children who have fled the violence in the North-West and South-West regions.
Photo credits: ECW/Daniel Beloumou

By Joyce Chimbi
Nairobi, Jun 22 2022 – It is not enough that they were robbed of their childhoods and their shattered young lives defined by bombs, bloodshed and death. Now, crisis-impacted school-aged children are falling off the academic bridge that could lead them out of the carnage.

Not only has the number of crisis-impacted school-aged children requiring education support grown from an estimated 75 million in 2016 to 222 million today, but they are also furthest left behind proficiency standards, according to a new report by the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW).

A young Palestinian refugee attends school in Lebanon. Photo credits: ECW/ Fouad Choufany

A young Palestinian refugee attends school in Lebanon.
Photo credits: ECW/ Fouad Choufany

“Around the world, 222 million children are having their education cruelly interrupted. Their dreams for the future are snatched away by conflicts, displacement and climate disasters, UN’s Secretary-General António Guterres.

The study paints an alarming picture of the academic life of crisis-impacted children inside makeshift refugee settlements, damaged classroom walls and communities torn apart by war and disaster.

Of the 222 million crisis-affected children and adolescents in need of urgent education support, “an estimated 78.8 million are out of school. Close to 120 million are in school but not achieving minimum proficiency in math or reading. One in ten crisis-impacted children attending primary or secondary education is achieving proficiency standards.

Further, 84 percent of out-of-school, crisis-affected children and adolescents live in protracted crises. Of these, about two-thirds are in ten countries, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. These countries are also specifically targeted through ECW’s ground-breaking multi-year investments.

Student attending class at a local school in Ungheni, Moldova. The school hosts Ukraine refugee children who attend class with Moldovan pupils. Photo credits: ECW

Student attending class at a local school in Ungheni, Moldova. The school hosts Ukraine refugee children who attend class with Moldovan pupils.
Photo credits: ECW

The war in Ukraine is pushing even more children out of school, with recent estimates indicating the conflict has impacted 5.7 million school-aged children. Behind these numbers, millions of vulnerable girls and boys worldwide await a global collective action.

The ECW study shows the response to education in emergencies, and protracted crises remains chronically underfunded and that the funding gap appears to have worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

In response to the urgent global education crisis, ECW and strategic partners launched the #222MillionDreams resource mobilization campaign in Geneva on July 21, 2022.

“This is a global call to action: we speak of the 222 million dreams representing each 222 million children and adolescents sustaining the extreme hardship of emergencies and protracted crises. Their dreams are profoundly driven by their experience of wars and forced displacement.

“This is our moment to empower them to turn their dreams into reality,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director, ECW.

“While the world struggles with the devastating impacts of armed conflicts, COVID-19 and climate change, 222 million children and adolescents live through these horrific experiences. They dream to become their full potential rather than a victim. Do not let them down. It is our duty to empower them through quality education and to help make their dreams come true.”

As such, the campaign calls on donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and high-net-worth individuals to urgently mobilize more resources to scale up ECW’s investments, which are already delivering quality education to over 5 million children across more than 40 crisis-affected countries.

“In the face of these crises, the UN’s fund for education in emergencies, ECW, is standing with children across 40 countries. We need governments, businesses, foundations and individuals to support the vital work of ECW,” says Guterres.

“We need their ideas and innovations as we look ahead to September’s Transforming Education Summit. Help us place education within reach of every child, everywhere. Help us keep 222 million dreams alive.”

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group, says the financial resources to ensure every child and young person can receive a quality education is attainable.

“Now, we need to take responsible action for the 222 million children and youth in emergencies and protracted crises. Governments, the private sector, and foundations can and must unlock these resources. Only then can we empower them to reach their potentials and realize their dreams,” he said.

The campaign stresses that it will be too late for children waiting for wars or climate crises to end to have the opportunity to learn and thrive. Acting now empowers crisis-impacted children with the tools they need to become positive change-makers through safe, inclusive, quality education.

“In times of crisis, children experience uncertainty with regard to their future and are faced with a total disruption of their routines. Going to school provides children with protection, a sense of normalcy and hope and is a means to provide longer-term perspectives,” says Patricia Danzi, Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

“We know that after school disruption and closures, many children will not continue their education. Switzerland is committed to contribute to reducing the risk of lost generations through its support of education in emergencies. We are thus partnering with ECW.”

Global leaders have committed to “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” through the 2030 Agenda for SDG 4. The new estimates indicate that COVID-19 and other factors have derailed two decades of education gains.

According to the UN, basic school infrastructure is lacking in many Least Developed Countries. Only 54% of schools have access to safe drinking water, 33% have reliable electricity, and 40% have hand washing facilities.

Students attending class at a school near Mugina in Cibitoke Province, an area that has experienced a rise in landslides due to climate change in Burundi. Photo credits: ECW/Amizero

Students attending class at a school near Mugina in Cibitoke Province, an area that has experienced a rise in landslides due to climate change in Burundi.
Photo credits: ECW/Amizero

In light of these needs, Guterres is convening the “Transforming Education Summit” in September 2022. The Summit seeks to “mobilize political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity to transform education: to take stock of efforts to recover pandemic-related learning losses; to reimagine education systems for the world of today and tomorrow, and to revitalize national and global efforts to achieve SDG4.”

With the urgent need to respond to the significant education needs of vulnerable boys and girls trapped in emergencies and protracted crises, the #222MillionDreams campaign encourages people everywhere to call on world leaders and world-leading businesses to act now.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Dante Genomics partners with Emirates Post to deliver advanced genomic services in UAE

NEW YORK, June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emirates Post, the official postal operator and leading express provider in the UAE, has partnered with Dante Genomics, a global leader in genomics and precision medicine, to facilitate the availability of advanced genomic services across the UAE in line with the nation's vision of making healthcare testing accessible to everyone in the country.

The partnership follows the recent launch of Dante Genomics' office and operations in the UAE. According to the agreement, Emirates Post will collect and drop off testing kits from Dante Labs to customers across the UAE, in addition to designating Emirates Post Customer Happiness Centers as a point of sale and drop off/collection point for the testing kits. Genetic testing provides personalized information about one's overall wellbeing to empower them to live a healthier lifestyle.

Peter Somers, CEO of Emirates Post, said: "We are delighted that Dante Genomics entrusted us to support the expansion of their advanced genomic services across the UAE. This partnership further highlights the seamless services we provide to customers through our delivery network, which is the largest in the country. With its customer–centric and diverse choice of services, Emirates Post is an ideal delivery partner for companies looking for expansion and sustainable solutions to even the remotest parts of the country. Our exemplary services have enabled us to build trust and meet all the requirements of our customers and partners."

Andrea Riposati, Group CEO of Dante Genomics, said that universal access to healthcare requires the universal operations that Emirates Posts has built. "Together, we can deliver advanced genomics everywhere. We are honored to partner with Emirates Post on logistics and distribution of advanced genomic services in the UAE. Emirates Post has proven a fantastic partner with a clear vision of how to democratize access to goods, services and technology for all people in the UAE," he added.

Dante Genomics is a global leader in genome sequencing with the best technology in the healthcare industry to provide personalized preventive healthcare solutions by offering next–generation diagnostic and prevention tools directly to consumers and healthcare professionals. With the use of proprietary software and patented technologies and leveraging cutting edge sequencers such as the Illumina NovaSeq 6000 and the PacBio Sequel IIe, Dante Genomics has delivered the benefits of the genome to individuals and clinics in 97 countries.

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.

About Emirates Post Group

Emirates Post Group Company is a Public Joint Stock Company under Emirates Investment Authority (EIA) operating as a commercial entity across the emirates. It manages the planning of its postal operational division and subsidiaries, which consist of Emirates Post – the leading postal and express delivery provider in the region, Wall Street Exchange, Instant Cash, and the Electronic Documents Centre. The Dubai–based Company is the official entity responsible for licensing all postal, courier and logistics services within the UAE.


Laura D'Angelo
VP of Investor Relations
+39 0862 191 0671

Anaqua to Acquire Practice Insight to Round Out its Law Firm IP Management Solutions

BOSTON, June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Anaqua, the leading global innovation and intellectual property (IP) management technology provider, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Practice Insight Pty Ltd, and its intelligent time capture software WiseTime, from IPH Limited.

In leveraging Practice Insight's technology for integrated IP time and billing functionality, Anaqua continues its investment in both AQX Law Firm and PATTSY WAVE as end–to–end IP practice management solutions, while adding WiseTime, Practice Insight's flagship autonomous time capture tool to its suite of standalone offerings.

"This acquisition underscores our steadfast commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the law firm market," said Bob Romeo, CEO of Anaqua. "We have listened very carefully to practitioner feedback across the globe, and it is clear that law firms are seeking IP management solutions that offer advanced reporting and analytics, integrated document management, secure cloud hosting, collaborative client portals, intuitive user experience "" and integrated time and billing. With the acquisition of Practice Insight, we will now have all of these features fully integrated into both AQX Law Firm and PATTSY WAVE."

The Practice Insight team, led by co–founder and current CEO Thomas Haines, will maintain its footprint in Perth, Australia, joining Anaqua's global R&D organization.

"Our companies share a deep passion for leveraging technology to drive efficiency within IP operations," said Haines, a former practicing patent attorney, who will join Anaqua as Vice President and continue to lead the Practice Insight team. "We have quickly developed a strong rapport with the Anaqua team and look forward to joining the organization, as we execute against our shared vision for an end–to–end IPMS for law firms."

"WiseTime's service offering strongly aligns with Anaqua's suite of IP management software and will provide the team growth opportunities," said Andrew Blattman, IPH CEO and Managing Director. "We wish the team every future success as part of Anaqua."

The transaction is conditional on regulatory approvals and other usual conditions and is expected to complete early in the third quarter.

About Anaqua
Anaqua, Inc. is a premium provider of integrated intellectual property (IP) management technology solutions and services for corporations and law firms. Its IP management software solutions, AQX and PATTSY WAVE, both offer best practice workflows with big data analytics and tech–enabled services to create an intelligent environment designed to inform IP strategy, enable IP decision–making, and streamline IP operations, tailored to each segment's need. Today, nearly half of the top 100 U.S. patent filers and global brands, as well as a growing number of law firms worldwide use Anaqua's solutions. Over one million IP executives, attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and innovators use the platform for their IP management needs. The company's global operations are headquartered in Boston, with offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. For additional information, please visit, or on LinkedIn.

About WiseTime (also known as Practice Insight)
As a member of IPH, WiseTime (also known as Practice Insight) has been at the forefront of developing IP business intelligence software, including its flagship offering WiseTime, a seamless and automated timekeeping solution. For more information, please visit, or on LinkedIn.

About IPH Limited
IPH is the Asia Pacific's leading intellectual property services group, comprising a network of member firms working in eight IP jurisdictions and servicing more than 25 countries. The group includes leading IP firms AJ Park, Applied Marks, Griffith Hack, Pizzeys and Spruson & Ferguson, and the autonomous timekeeping business, WiseTime, and employs more than 900 people working in Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand. For more information, visit IPH Limited, or on LinkedIn.

Company Contact:
Amanda Hollis
Director, Communications

Colombia Votes for Social Justice

Secretary-General António Guterres talks to villagers in Llano Grande, Colombia, where he witnessed how the peace process was developing in Colombia. November 2021. Credit: UNMVC

By Oliver Dalichau
BOGOTA, Colombia, Jun 22 2022 – On Sunday, 19 June 2022, the hopes of millions of Colombians working for a more democratic, safer, ecological, and socially just country came true.

Senator Gustavo Petro, in a duo with his Afro-Colombian vice-presidential candidate, environmental expert Francia Márquez, received approximately 50.44 per cent or 11,281,013 of the votes cast, and has been elected the 42nd President of Colombia.

Both his predecessor Iván Duque and his opponent Rodolfo Hernández publicly congratulated him on his election victory.

Some 22,445,873 people or 57.55 per cent exercised their right to vote in the run-off election on 19 June 2022, about 3.7 per cent more than in the first round three weeks ago. Only in 1998 was the turnout higher.

Getting people to the polls is not always easy in Colombia: Thousands of people in some parts of the country again had to travel for several hours, even days, to reach one of the polling stations. In some regions, heavy rain also prevented people from voting. In addition, threats, violence, and vote-buying continue to restrict voting, especially in remote rural areas.

Oliver Dalichau

For the first time in the country’s history, neither a conservative nor a member of the Liberal Party will lead the government of Latin America’s fifth largest economy.

With Gustavo Petro, the winning streak of leftist movements and parties in Latin America continues and provides further momentum for the upcoming elections in Brazil in October 2022.

Gustavo Petro’s opponents

In this historic situation for Colombia, what will matter is how the losers behave. On Sunday, Petro not only relegated his direct challenger, the anti-women and anti-migrant 77-year-old self-made millionaire and populist, Rodolfo Hernández, to second place, but with him also the country’s previous political elite.

With 47.31 per cent or 10,580,412 votes, Hernández received much less support than the polls had predicted.

However, significantly more people than in the last elections opted for neither candidate: 490,118 or 2.23 per cent gave a voto blanco.

This is a Colombian peculiarity that allows voters to express their disagreement with the candidates but, unlike abstention, allows them to exercise their democratic right.

Precisely because this triumph is so unique, President Petro should now reach out to his critics, remind the losers of their responsibility in state politics and call on the opposition to work constructively. At the moment, it is unclear whether the losers will be able to accept their new role.

The military, traditionally strong in Colombia, also remains a key player in this phase of the democratic transition. It is expected that the military leadership will soon send out signals that leave no doubt about Gustavo Petro’s election victory.

He will also be their commander-in-chief after his inauguration on 7 August. Should the recognition fail to materialise publicly, Petro’s presidency would be tainted from the outset and rumours of an imminent coup d’état would continue to do the rounds. Both Colombian NGOs and the international community should keep a close eye on this.

Six urgent challenges

In any case, the new president faces enormous challenges. It is already questionable whether Petro will find a majority in the Colombian parliament for a fundamental change of the unequal living conditions, the high unemployment, inflation rate, national debt, and the necessary socio-ecological transformation of the country.

Although quite a few deputies of his left-progressive alliance Pacto Histórico support Petro after the congressional elections in March, he lacks a legislative majority of his own.

Moreover, the newly elected representatives must first prove that they can stick together and also lead a government together, especially now that the ministers are to be appointed. Tensions are already pre-programmed in the colourful spectrum of the Pacto Histórico.

The government’s most urgent tasks include:

Reviving the peace process: In the last four years under Iván Duque’s ultra-right government, the peace process signed in 2016 with the former guerrilla group FARC was hardly implemented.

President Petro needs to relaunch it, push for its implementation, and ensure that social and local leaders are better protected from displacement, violence, and assassination. This year alone, more than 60 of these líderes sociales have been murdered.

After this process, a dialogue with the guerrilla organisation ELN would be necessary too. It is up to the new government to send out signals define conditions as to whether and how negotiations can take place.

A new economic policy: Petro takes over a country with the highest inflation rate of the last 21 years from his unpopular predecessor. With a current debt of around 63 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and a budget deficit of over six per cent, the president-elect has announced that he will begin his term with a structural tax reform.

This envisages an increase in the tax burden for the richest 0.01 per cent of the population. This idea is vehemently opposed by the political right. During the election campaign, they left no stone unturned to discredit Petro, accusing him of preparing the country’s economic decline.

Commitment to women’s rights and greater equality: Petro proposes the creation of a Ministry of Equality led by Francia Márquez, which would be responsible for formulating all policies to empower women, people of all sexual orientations, the different generations, and ethnic and regional diversity in Colombia.

Under Petro, women in particular could expect to gain priority access to public higher education, credit, and the distribution and formalisation of land ownership.

Petro and Marquez are proposing an energy transition that will rule out new developments of future oil fields.

Land reform and protection of indigenous people, peasants, and Afro-Colombian women: The extremely unequal distribution of land is one of the structural causes of the armed conflict in Colombia. The internal displacement of recent decades has led to the expansion of arable land: the resulting tensions are at the root of conflicts between ethnic communities (indigenous and Afro-Colombian) and peasant women over access to this land.

All these groups have been and continue to be excluded from the development of the country. At the same time, they are among the most affected by the armed conflict’s violent dynamics.

Petro’s government will need to ensure a more equitable distribution that enables the integration of ethnic and farming communities into the production and development circuits.

Better education for more people: During the social protests last year (and already in 2019 and 2020), the demand for more public and quality education was one of the central messages of the mostly peacefully demonstrating Colombians.

Petro promises to provide them with a higher education system in which public universities and secondary schools in particular are properly funded.

More environmental protection: Under the Duque government, environmental and climate protection in Colombia was largely neglected, deforestation increased, and the first fracking pilot wells were approved. Petro and Marquez have announced fundamental change.

They are focusing on a more environmentally-friendly production and service model and are proposing an energy transition that will rule out new developments of future oil fields. This process is to be accompanied by a land reform on unproductive lands – mostly resulting from illegal forest clearance.

A Colombia of social justice

Beyond these urgent reform tasks, the president and his government will also have to find answers in other important areas, such as integrated security reform, a diversified new foreign policy, a different drug policy, and on the regulation of narcotics.

At the same time, they must not disregard the necessary coalition with civil society that ultimately lifted them into office.

Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez achieved something historic on that memorable Sunday in June 2022. The expectations for both are huge, perhaps even unrealistic. On the one hand, the winning couple must stick together and remain capable of compromise.

At the same time, both have raised many hopes and are exemplary for the new Colombia: both want a more social, a more ecological, a more secure, and a more democratic republic.

President Petro will make mistakes and he will hardly be granted the usual 100 days grace period.

The fact that the ultra-conservative and liberal power elites were voted out of office by the majority of Colombians is a political turning point for the country. The losers will hardly accept the new opposition role constructively – and as an important element of a consolidated democracy.

It is more likely that they will torpedo the new government from day one and do everything they can to make it fail.

President Petro will make mistakes and he will hardly be granted the usual 100 days grace period – neither by his hopeful supporters from civil society, nor by the more than ten million people he has failed to convince of his programme and person.

He will have to govern openly, transparently, and with a certain flexibility to be able to react appropriately to national and international challenges. He will have to change his behaviour, which is often described as arrogant and self-centred.

And he should emphasise the social team spirit that was the basis for the victory of the Pacto Histórico. That is the only way he can succeed in breathing new life into the peace process and achieve the urgently needed reforms in economic and social policy for Colombia. And he will need many allies to succeed, both at home and abroad.

German and European politicians would be well advised to pledge their support to the new president and strengthen the peace process along the way. At the same time, this would contribute to the consolidation of democratic institutions after this historic change of government.

Both remain crucial for a sustainable, peaceful development of the country, and necessary for a Colombia of social justice.

Oliver Dalichau heads the office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Colombia.

Source: International Politics and Society (IPS)-Journal published by the International Political Analysis Unit of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastrasse 28, D-10785 Berlin

IPS UN Bureau


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