Regional Integration – RR Reading Thu, 23 Jun 2022 03:42:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Regional Integration – RR Reading 32 32 Africa-Russia summit to meet again in Ethiopia in November-December Thu, 23 Jun 2022 01:25:13 +0000

Moscow seeks to strengthen relations with states and geopolitical regions that have not condemned their operations in Ukraine

Economic Forum during the Russia-Africa Summit in 2019. (Photo: International Fund Apsny)

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African Newswire

Geostrategic analysis

Following a visit to Russia by the two top African Union (AU) officials, an announcement has been made that President Vladimir Putin is ready to hold another meeting to work on key issues facing the two geopolitical regions.

The last Africa-Russia Summit was held in Sochi in 2019 before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent impact on the global economy.

Today, there are Russian special military operations in Ukraine that have prompted the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to engage in a failed attempt to isolate Moscow globally. The current administration of President Joe Biden has placed the plight of the people of Ukraine above many other burning humanitarian and political crises.

Inflation is a major concern for workers and the oppressed as the Democratic administration and Congress attempt to distract public attention from the atrocities committed by the former administration of President Donald J. Trump. Whether the January 6 congressional hearings will be enough political capital to avert a possible defeat for the Democrats in the midterm elections remains to be seen.

As for AU member states, efforts by the Biden administration to build support for arming the Ukrainian military and imposing sanctions on Russia have met with no enthusiasm. Many African states have refrained from abiding by United Nations resolutions attacking the Russian Federation while at the local level there have been demonstrations of solidarity for Moscow’s position.

Senegalese President Macky Sall and AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat held talks in Sochi on June 3 with President Putin. African states face monumental crises related to economic development, climate change and food deficits. The sanctions imposed by Washington and the EU have had a disastrous impact on the import of agricultural products.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has repeatedly said that a negotiated settlement is needed to end the fighting in Ukraine. This view is at odds with Washington and Brussels, which have continued to engage in vitriolic propaganda and psychological warfare campaigns against the Russian government. Efforts by US Under Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee to influence journalists operating on the continent failed miserably when media professionals raised critical questions about contradictions in Washington’s foreign policy.

A source on the upcoming summit to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the seat of the AU, says of the current situation: “A coordination council has been established under the Russia-Russia Partnership Secretariat Africa. Forum (RAPF). According to Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “concrete proposals for consolidating Russian-African cooperation are being developed by three councils (coordinating, public and scientific) attached to the secretariat of the Partnership Forum. They represent ministries, agencies, companies and public bodies committed to developing relations with the African continent. Moscow is on the verge of establishing strategic partnership relations with pan-African organizations and regional integration associations, Lavrov added. Lavrov said the two most important goals of the summit will be to sign a “memorandum of understanding between the government of the Russian Federation and the African Union on the basic principles of relations and cooperation” and a “memorandum of agreement between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the African Union on economic cooperation. -swivel-away-from-west-247188/)

The holding of such a meeting between Russia and the AU in this period of exacerbated international tensions represents a disavowal of American foreign policy in Eastern Europe as well as on the African continent. There is much dissatisfaction with the failure of the United States to establish relations with AU states on the basis of mutual interests.

Since the creation of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2008 and the creation of Operation Barkhane and the G5 Sahel groups by the French government, the general security climate in Africa has deteriorated. Armed opposition groups claiming to be allied with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, both stemming from US counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, are carrying out attacks against civilians and military at a growing pace in Mali and Burkina Faso. , Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, among other states.

As a result, some states like Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR) have reached out to the Russian military services company known as the Wagner Group. France threatened to withdraw all military assistance to Mali if Wagner continued to advise the government in Bamako. In turn, the military regime in Mali demanded that the French armed forces and diplomatic personnel leave the country.

BRICS hold virtual summit hosted by China

The grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) was to open its 14e June 23 summit. This organization, founded in 2006, brings together governments representing billions of people from South America to Africa and Asia.

Not even one of the states involved in the BRICS alliance has condemned Russia for its intervention in Ukraine. As highlighted during the June 3 talks between the AU and the Russian government in Sochi, the summit will work more towards building economic networks that are not dominated by Washington, London and Brussels.

The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, will present additional plans for drawing up ambitious proposals for a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Africa urgently needs infrastructure development projects related to health, education, transport and sustainable energy. Although the United States and its NATO allies have increased their military presence in Africa, China and Russia seek relations that improve the well-being of people in society.

Ideas raised in April by President Xi for a new Global Security Initiative (GSI) are of primary concern to the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon. An article published by a mainstream US news agency discusses Beijing’s role: “Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to seek BRICS support for his vision of an alternative world order, which he presented at a forum in April as a signature. Global Security Initiative. The main premise of the GSI is that the pursuit of “absolute security” is counterproductive. He opposes the construction of “national security on the basis of insecurity in other countries”. GSI may have support in the person of Putin, who was in Beijing a few weeks before he launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. to name the United States” (

No one should be surprised that the BRICS states are discussing these issues in light of the crisis in Ukraine. The proxy war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers requires the intervention of other blocs. Biden’s strategy in Ukraine has resulted in countless deaths and injuries. $55 billion has been pledged to continue the war as the US-backed Ukrainian military suffers huge losses in lives and equipment transported by NATO states.

Many leading African scholars see the BRICS Summit as well as the Forum on China-Africa Relations (FOCAC), which has existed since 2000, as ways for the continent and its people to foster social and economic development. Professor Ahmadu Aly Mbaye, an economist at the faculty of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, noted that: “BRICS can present new alternatives to financing African economies and [facilitate] better integrating Africa into the global economy,” as African countries “felt excluded from the international system,” Mbaye said, noting that the continent has been the least funded amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Mbaye stressed the importance of infrastructure in the development of a country. However, many African countries have limited access to international financing to build quality infrastructure, as international rating agencies “overestimate the level of risk in African countries”, he said. (

A central foreign policy goal of the Biden administration was to keep AU states away from Moscow and Beijing. However, despite the horrific humanitarian crises unfolding from Eastern Europe to East Africa and South Asia, in the short term it seems that NATO’s aggressive imperialist approach under the aegis of the United States has not gained significant political traction. The fact that these international gatherings of a substantive nature are occurring bodes well for the future of Washington’s waning influence on the international stage.


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What to Know About Metra’s $100/Month Test Pass Plus Integration with Pace, CTA – Shaw Local Tue, 21 Jun 2022 06:00:00 +0000

Beginning July 1, commuters and transit passengers in Chicago will be able to enjoy seamless and unprecedented travel on Metra, Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority.

This date marks the start of Metra’s $100 Super Saver Monthly Pass, a three-month pilot, and a $30 Connect Regional Pass for Pace and CTA. Combined, they will offer unlimited rides on all three systems.

This is a revolution for passengers accustomed to varied fares with complicated rules and limits.

“It’s really a game-changer for the region,” Metra executive director Jim Derwinski said during a June 15 meeting.

“It’s not yet a real integrated tariff, but it’s a good step in that direction. This will provide us, CTA, Pace and RTA with massive amounts of data.

Here are five things to know about the new passes that went on sale Monday.

• Offer only works when you purchase a Metra Monthly Pass and Connect Regional Pass.

• Metra is currently offering the $100 Unlimited Super Saver Monthly Pass as a pilot program between July and September. It’s cheaper than a typical monthly pass, which is priced based on travel between areas. Officials said they would assess the success of the new pass after three months.

• The Regional Connect Pass will continue to be sold at $30 with Metra monthly passes regardless of any revisions made by the commuter rail after September 30.

• Connect Regional Passes can be purchased in conjunction with Metra Monthly Passes from the Ventra app or through Metra ticket agents.

• The Regional Connect fare will replace two products offered to Metra customers with monthly passes – the $55 Link-Up pass which offered unlimited rides on Pace but was only good for peak hour rides CTA, and the $30 PlusBus pass for Pace use only.

Agencies estimate that passengers could save $200 per month with the Super Saver Match and Regional Connect. Derwinski said Metra will start seeing sales trends immediately from Monday sales.

The price changes and reductions come as Metra, Pace and CTA look to boost ridership decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are all working to get passengers back on public transit and make it easier to get around the region,” Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said in a statement.

The Regional Connect Pass will continue to be sold for $30 with Metra monthly passes regardless of any revisions made by the commuter railroad after September 30.

• Connect Regional Passes can be purchased in conjunction with Metra Monthly Passes from the Ventra app or through Metra ticket agents.

• The Regional Connect fare will replace two products offered to Metra customers with monthly passes – the $55 Link-Up pass which offered unlimited rides on Pace but was only good for peak hour rides CTA, and the $30 PlusBus pass for Pace use only.

Agencies estimate that passengers could save $200 per month with the Super Saver Match and Regional Connect. Derwinski said Metra will start seeing sales trends immediately from Monday sales.

The price changes and reductions come as Metra, Pace and CTA look to boost ridership decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are all working to get passengers back on public transit and make it easier to get around the region,” Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said in a statement.

1st Kazakh freighter crossing Iran en route to Europe: Raeisi Sun, 19 Jun 2022 13:58:00 +0000

President Ebrahim Raeisi made the comments during a Sunday afternoon cabinet meeting also attended by visiting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

“One of the priorities of the Iranian government is to play an effective role in strengthening regional integration by developing trade through Iranian lands as a safe, reasonably priced and fast route,” the president said. in his address to the cabinet meeting.

Raeisi added that Iran can also be a transit route to connect East and South Asia with Europe.

He also said that meeting the requirements and addressing obstacles to railway trade is one of the priorities of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Raeisi further explained that Iran is a cheap and fast route for Asian and European countries and its exemplary security inside the country has highlighted the role Iran can play in regional transit.

At the end of his speech, the Iranian President said that the first transit train from Kazakhstan through the East-West Corridor crosses Iranian territory. Then the Kazakh train left the Tehran station in the direction of Turkey.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said his country allows Iranian citizens to travel to Kazakhstan for two weeks without a visa.


Breaking News on Russia’s War in Ukraine: Live Updates Fri, 17 Jun 2022 23:02:35 +0000
Credit…Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

In recent weeks, many of the thousands of foreign volunteers who have flocked to join the fight against Russia have gone missing or been captured.

Last week, two Britons and a Moroccan who were taken prisoner while fighting for the Ukrainian armed forces were sentenced to death in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine after being charged with terrorism.

This week, two Americans fighting with a group of foreign soldiers went missing in action near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, about 40 kilometers from the Russian border. Their families fear they have been captured, having disappeared after the platoon came under fire.

The missing and captured fighters have drawn attention to the thousands of largely unregulated volunteers in Ukraine, only some of whom have been accepted into the Ukrainian army’s International Legion.

The platoon to which the missing Americans belonged was one of dozens of loosely organized volunteer groups that absorbed foreign veterans, many of them Americans. The volunteers have proven both valuable assets and sometimes an unruly problem for Ukraine, and present a potentially difficult challenge to their home governments if captured or captured.

On Friday, President Biden said he had been notified of the two Americans missing in Ukraine and the administration did not know their current locations.

“I want to reiterate: Americans should not go to Ukraine now,” he said.

The International Legion, formed after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed in late February for foreigners to help fight, is considered the most selective of foreign groups.

Damien Magrou, a Franco-Norwegian lawyer who is the spokesman for the Ukrainian army’s International Legion, said in an April interview that he felt the war had “stripped a chord” among many American veterans. .

“There are also a lot of American veterans who think they can make a difference because the United States has been involved in far more conflicts over the past 20 years than European countries,” he said. .

Mr Magrou, a corporal in the structure of the legion, said volunteers accepted must now have combat experience, no record of disreputable behavior and no membership in extremist groups. Other groups aren’t as selective, he said.

Mr Magrou said he encouraged volunteers rejected by the legion to take a shuttle provided by the army back to the Polish border. But, he added, “they are in the country legally and we cannot force them to do anything.”

Russia maintains that some of the foreign fighters it has captured are mercenaries and are not entitled to protection as prisoners of war under international law. A local court in the Russian-occupied region of Donetsk found that the two British fighters and a Moroccan, who had immigrated to Ukraine, were guilty of “training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities” and that they had undertaken their activities “for remuneration”. .”

It remains unclear what missions were carried out by the group whose American members disappeared, or who, in the Ukrainian armed forces or the government, supervised them and gave them orders.

The missing US veterans are Alex Drueke, 39, a former US Army staff sergeant who served in Iraq, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, a former Marine, family members said. They disappeared when their platoon came under “heavy fire” in a village on June 9, causing all but the two of them to withdraw, according to a statement from Mr. Drueke’s family. Reconnaissance on foot and by drone revealed no signs of the two soldiers, the statement said.

The Geneva Conventions, which govern the law of war and which Russia has signed, specify that captured volunteer combatants can also be considered prisoners of war. The main definition of a mercenary under international law is someone who fights primarily for financial gain and is paid significantly more than the local armed forces.

Those who join the International Legion receive the same amount as their Ukrainian military counterparts. They receive a base salary, equivalent to approximately $630 per month, with bonuses of up to several thousand dollars per month.

Some fighters with other groups receive one-time payments to cover their expenses, while others are unpaid.

Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne, associate professor of law at the University of Bristol, said even volunteer fighters not integrated into the Ukrainian army would be entitled to POW protection if they openly carried arms while on duty. were fighting.

Global Hoists Market SWOT Analysis, Dynamics, Drivers, Key Indicators and Forecast 2022 to 2028 – Designer Women Thu, 16 Jun 2022 06:42:09 +0000 studies provide extensive project solutions for strategic decision-making aimed at providing maximum industry clarity, including Global hoist market from 2022 to 2028 analysis with accurate estimates and forecasts. The study focuses on analyzing historical and current market patterns as a basis for assessing the outlook for the industry.

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The analysis includes insights into the competitive landscape of the Hoist market. Major market players have been identified and profiled based on their individual business characteristics. Key market competitor features highlighted in this report include company overviews, current developments, financial status, and SWOT analysis. Financial factors influence the regional integration of the product, which is why growth trends are based on them. This study also examines the market opportunities for each geographic location in terms of growth rate, macroeconomic factors, consumer buying habits, and market supply and demand conditions.


Market segmentation based on type:

  • Manual hoists
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  • Nucleon (Xinxiang)
  • DL heavy
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Here are some reports on the key points: high-level overviews, current events, macroeconomic parameters, geographical presence, demand and supply scenario. To determine the market size from the supply side, EXIM, regulatory framework in various countries, inflation, socio-economic parameters, legal, environmental and political factors, as well as other micro-factors such as cost of raw materials, raw material suppliers, etc., have been taken into account.

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countries take first steps towards plastic pollution treaty | News | SDG Knowledge Center Wed, 08 Jun 2022 22:53:40 +0000

Governments set the timetable for negotiations for a plastic pollution treaty and developed rules of procedure. Multi-stakeholder dialogues were held in parallel, bringing together representatives of communities directly impacted by plastic pollution, as well as corporate interests with stakes in the plastics value chain, among other actors who will be impacted by a future instrument.

“As plastic pollution becomes increasingly visible both on land and in waterways, calls to tackle the growing plastic waste crisis have reverberated around the world,” notes the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary of the meeting. About 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, of which 6.3 billion tons are waste today. Between 8 and 12 million tonnes of plastic leak into the marine environment each year – a number that is expected to more than triple by 2050. Studies have linked the exponential growth of plastic pollution to the ways in which we produce and unsustainable consumption, resulting in far-reaching impacts on human health and the health of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In the past two years, plastic particles have reportedly been found in human lungs, blood and placenta.

In response to these growing concerns, the UNEA passed a number of resolutions to address the issue, including Resolution 5/14 titled “Ending Plastic Pollution: Towards an International Legally Binding Instrument”, which mandated the process to draw up an international treaty to combat plastic. Pollution.

A meeting of ad hoc Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) to prepare the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop an International Legally Binding Instrument (ILBI) on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, convened from 30 May to June 1, 2022, in Dakar, Senegal, with the virtual attendance option available for those unable to attend in person. The meeting sought to establish a basis for the work of the INC by addressing two fundamental issues: the rules of procedure governing the work and decision-making of the INC; and the INC meeting schedule.

Delegates were able to agree on a tentative schedule for INC meetings over the next two years, although dates were not set. The IN B reports that a “somewhat unexpected hurdle” in finalizing the rules of procedure was the voting rights of regional economic integration organizations. This rule has not been resolved and will require further consideration at the first session of the INC, which will be hosted by Uruguay. The IN B analysis of the meeting indicates that only five negotiating sessions have been scheduled, and “whether or not this negotiating timetable is realistic is… up for debate”.

In addition to the INC process, other bodies are leading work related to marine litter and microplastics, including the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention), the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and various regional seas programs and conventions. [ENB Coverage of the Open-ended Working Group Meeting] [UNEP Meeting Webpage] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story about IISD Brief on Confronting the Plastic Pollution Pandemic]

Ghana: Accept diplomatic dialogue to resolve political crises in the sub-region Mon, 06 Jun 2022 14:36:34 +0000

The Summit of the Authority of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra last Saturday to deliberate on the political situations in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso was very important.

The importance of this extraordinary summit lay in the fact that it considered the reports presented by the former Nigerian President, Goodluck Johnathan, on the situation in Mali, the reports of the ECOWAS assessment mission in Burkina Faso and the report on the situation in Guinea presented by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, chaired by the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

The summit, convened by the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, brought together other regional leaders, as well as former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, currently mediator in the Malian crisis, Mousa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, among other dignitaries.

It is clear that even if the regional leaders were not satisfied with the reports they received and considered, they had to exercise restraint in making certain decisions that could affect the citizens of the three countries in political crisis.

This can be seen in their refusal to impose new sanctions on the three military leaders.

Already, countries’ membership of ECOWAS, the regional body, is suspended and this has implications for their political and socio-economic relations with their neighbours.

Given the circumstances, it was entirely appropriate for regional leaders to ask the transitional authorities of Burkina Faso, for example, to maintain the momentum towards strengthening security in the country and to call on the international community to step up its support humanitarian aid in Burkina Faso.

The Ghanaian Times agrees that ECOWAS has raised concerns about the 36-month transition period set by the Burkinabe, but needs to be clear on what it describes as an acceptable transition timetable.

The leaders have already chosen to go through the diplomatic channel and must therefore dialogue with the Burkinabé transition team for a timetable acceptable to all.

Such a dialogue is definitely in line with ECOWAS’ position to adopt similar diplomatic options to resolve the political crises in the three affected countries.

We consider the appointment of the former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, as the ECOWAS mediator for Burkina Faso, to lead the dialogue between all stakeholders in this country, as appropriate.