Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (up 61.88 points to 15,953.51, a record high):Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Oil and gas. Up 29 cents, or 9.76 per cent, to $3.26 on 6.4 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 67 cents, or 4.87 per cent, to $14.43 on 5.8 million shares.Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). Miner. Down six cents, or 4.23 per cent, to $1.36 on 5.7 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down one cent, or 0.36 per cent, to $2.78 on 5.1 million shares.Eldorado Gold Corp. (TSX:ELD). Miner. Down three cents, or 1.79 per cent, to $1.65 on 4.5 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Up 23 cents, or 7.67 per cent, to $3.23 on 4.3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (TSX:BAM.A). Real Estate Services. Up 21 cents, or 0.39 per cent, to $53.61 on 878,463 shares. The Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto’s downtown core has been purchased for $335 million by an arm of Brookfield Asset Management, which says it sees potential for more hospitality acquisitions in Canada. The landmark deal is the largest-ever single hotel transaction in Canadian history, says CBRE Canada, which acted as the broker for seller Marriott International.Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO). Oil and gas. Up $1.13, or 2.83 per cent, to $41.01 on 1.1 million shares. The energy company reported a smaller third-quarter profit compared with a year ago when it benefited from the sale of its retail sites. It reported earnings of $371 million or 44 cents per diluted share in its third quarter compared with a profit of $1 billion or $1.18 per share in the same quarter last year.Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML). Oil and gas. Up 16 cents, or 0.95 per cent, to $16.96 on 61,147 shares. The company wants the National Energy Board to clear the way for work on the Burnaby, B.C., portion of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. A statement released by the company says it wants a determination from the board allowing the work to begin, even though it has failed to obtain municipal permits from the City of Burnaby.Nexa Resources S.A. (TSX:NEXA). Miner. Down $2.76, or 11.04 per cent, to $22.24 on 40,300 shares. The Zinc miner made its listing debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange Friday as part of a dual listing that raised less than initial estimates. The company priced the 31 million listed shares, also listed on the New York Stock Exchange, at US$16 a piece to pull in an expected US$496 million.Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP). Consumer packaged goods. Up $2.57, or 5.72 per cent, to $47.48 on 1.02 million shares. The Canadian dairy giant announced a $1.29-billion agreement to acquire Australia’s Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. The friendly takeover would be Saputo’s biggest Australian acquisition since 2014, when it bought Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory after a months-long bidding battle. read more

More Lankans arrested in India

The Coast Guard spotted the three Sri Lankan boats off Isukapalli coast in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh yesterday and took the fishermen into custody, said Pavan Kishore, a Marine Police officer, in a press release today. Following the arrest of 11 Sri Lankan fishermen in India on May 1, the Indian Coast Guard has arrested another 14 fishermen from the island nation for entering illegally into Indian waters, Marine Police said in Rajahmundry today.Three mechanised fibre boats and 1,500 kg of tuna fish catch was seized in the action taken by the Indian Coast Guard, the Press Trust of India reported. They were handed over to Kakinada Marine police. On May 1, Coast Guard had arrested 11 fishermen from Sri Lanka off Andhra Pradesh coast and seized two boats with 350 kg of tuna. read more

VAT to be imposed on some private health services

The new amended Value Added Tax (VAT) will be imposed on some private health services as well, the Government said.According to the Government, the new VAT will not affect diagnostic tests, dialysis and OPD services. As per the budget proposals 2016, the special cabinet decision made on 04-03-2016 and as per the recommendation made by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management on 15-06-2016, it has been decided to amend the provisions on VAT. Accordingly, a proposal made by Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance, to publish in the gazette and then present to parliament the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill including several amendments instead of the previously presented bill, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. read more

Suspect shot and injured while escaping from police

A suspect was shot and injured while he was escaping from the police in Athurugiriya.The police said the suspect had thrown a hand-grenade at the police and fled when he was about to be arrested. The police opened fire on the suspect and he is believed to have sustained injuries. However he still managed to escape and a search operation is underway.

Four faculties of Rajarata university closed indefinitely

The students had been protesting demanding that the suspension of 16 students of the university be overturned. Four faculties of the Rajarata university have been closed indefinitely from today.Officials said the four faculties have been closed after students launched a protest at the administration office of the university.

Connect with Brock grads through Alumni Network events

Waterloo-Wellington Brock Alumni Network EventsThursday, February 21Social at the Huether Hotel (Waterloo)7 to 9 p.m., $15More information here.Thursday, June 6Professional development opportunity (Kitchener)7 to 9 p.m., $15More information to come. The Ottawa, Kingston, Sudbury, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, & Victoria Brock Alumni Networks all have events coming up but details have not been confirmed yet.  Make sure to check the Brock Alumni Relations website frequently to stay up-to-date with future events. Burlington Brock Alumni Network EventsThursday, May 9Pub Olympics at Boston Manor (Burlington)7 to 9 p.m., $20More information to come. This past June, the 75,000th graduate walked across the convocation stage, a significant number for Brock Alumni Relations.  “Almost everywhere you go, you can identify a Brock graduate,” said Christine Jones, alumni relations director. “This milestone means Brock is being represented out there with alums all over the world.”Despite your physical distance from the University once you graduate, it’s easy to stay connected with Brock and your peers through Alumni Networks!There are multiple Networks throughout Canada, each hosting at least one event a year.  Each network has a dedicated group of alumni volunteers that plan, organize and execute these events that connect grads through social, professional development and networking opportunities.Click on an area to see what events are happening near you:NiagaraBurlington/Hamilton/OakvilleWaterloo-WellingtonTorontoOttawaKingstonSudburyCalgaryEdmontonVancouverVictoriaNiagara Brock Alumni Network EventsSaturday, February 23Outdoor skate & wine tasting at Ravine Vineyard (Niagara-on-the-Lake)11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $20More information here.Thursday, March 14IceDogs hockey game & social at Gord’s (St. Catharines)5 to 9:30 p.m., $15More information here. Toronto Brock Alumni Network EventsWednesday, February 27Lululemon yoga & shopping experience (Queen St. location)7:30 to 9:30 p.m., $10More information here.Saturday, March 16Family sugar bush day at Brooks Farm11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $7More information to come. read more

OPP officers cleared in Puslinch arrest investigation

The province’s police watchdog has cleared OPP officers in the arrest of a man last month in Puslinch.On Nov. 23, OPP officers from the Wellington County detachment arrived at a home on Gore Rd. with an arrest warrant for a 30-year-old man. The Special Investigations Unit was called in after that man sought medical attention while in police custody.The investigation found that the man ran off when he saw the police cruiser and tripped and fell when looking back at the house. The man returned home, where he was arrested, and was taken to hospital for treatment.The SIU says the man’s injury was caused by the fall and there was no police involvement. The investigation has been terminated.The SIU is called any time there is a death, injury or sexual assault allegation involving police. read more

Police investigate a dozen graffiti incidents in Halton Region

Police are hoping the public can help identify those responsible for several incidents of graffiti in Halton Region.Investigators say at least 12 incidents have happened since Feb. 16 in highly visible areas of the downtown core in Georgetown. Police say five unique tags have been recognized based on their individual graffiti style, colour and signature.The tags include Deadx, Dead, Jade, RIOT, and Baby. Police are asking anyone with information that could help police with the investigation to contact Halton police at 905-878-5511, ext 2410. read more

UN mission to open new human rights office in eastern Sierra Leone

In addition to promoting the work of the TRC, the new office will discharge a range of activities including training, monitoring and reporting human rights abuses, and raising public awareness on human rights issues and international humanitarians principles. During the opening ceremony on 2 May, addresses are expected to be made by Alan Doss, UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Governance and Stabilization, and Rodolfo Mattarollo, the head of the UN Mission’s Human Rights Office.UNAMSIIL was established by the Security Council in October 1999 to cooperate with the Government and the other parties in implementing the Lomé Peace Agreement and to assist in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan. The Council revised the Mission’s mandate in February 2000, and expanded its size, which it did again in May 2000 and last March. As part of its mandate, the peace operation is to support the activities of UN civilian officials, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his staff, human rights officers and civil affairs officers.The decision to establish a truth commission in Sierra Leone was made in 1999, to allow victims of human rights abuses to tell their stories. read more

UN international trade panel tackles emerging issues related to ecommerce

The Vienna-based UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), which has specialized in law reform worldwide for over 30 years, concluded its three-week session on Friday after adopting a draft Model Law on Electronic Signatures, which aims to prepare uniform rules on the legal issues of digital signatures and certification authorities. The Model Law is to apply where electronic signatures are used in the context of commercial activities, but it will not override any consumer protection laws. The newly adopted Model Law on Electronic Signatures is intended to provide certainty as to the legal effectiveness of certain electronic authentication techniques and to offer a standard regarding the conduct to be observed by the various parties involved in an electronic signature process, according to UNCITRAL. The new Model Law is based on a “technologically neutral” approach that is not intended to favour any given product on the market. As the core legal body of the UN system in the field of international trade law, UNICTRAL has developed an extensive body of treaties, model laws and rules which serve to facilitate commercial transactions worldwide. It has also compiled updated information on case law and enactments of uniform commercial law, while providing technical assistance in law reform projects and organizing regional and national seminars on relevant topics of interest. read more

UN conference agrees on measures to combat global gun trafficking

After all-night negotiations that lasted into the morning of 21 July, the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects last Saturday afternoon adopted a Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade by undertaking a number of measures at the national, regional and global levels.Among the measures agreed to, countries said they would ensure that licensed manufacturers apply an appropriate and reliable marking on each small arm and light weapon as an integral part of the production process. They would also ensure that comprehensive and accurate records were kept for as long as possible on the manufacture, holding and transfer of small arms and light weapons under their jurisdiction.In addition, the participating delegations decided to guarantee that all confiscated, seized or collected small arms and light weapons were destroyed, unless another form of disposal or use had been officially authorized, and provided that such weapons had been duly marked and registered.Countries also agreed to strengthen their ability to cooperate in identifying and tracing illicit small arms and light weapons. A follow-up Conference would be held no later than 2006 to review progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action.Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement through his spokesman in New York warmly welcoming the accord, calling it the first of many important steps to alleviate the “grave threat” to international peace and human security. The Secretary-General praised these steps as “essential in building norms and in implementing collective measures against this global scourge.”In his concluding remarks, the Conference’s President, Ambassador Camilo Reyes of Colombia, expressed disappointment that delegates could not reach agreement on two of the most important issues – maintaining and controlling private ownership of small arms and the transfer of such weapons to non-State actors – even though there was overwhelming support for their inclusion in the outcome document. read more

UN relief official urges aid to Somalia as its communities strive to

“At the level of communities, the reality of Somalia is very different from the image of what it was a few years ago,” Carolyn McAskie, the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, told reporters in New York. “The image that a lot of people still have of Somalia is one of warlords and constant fighting, and when [Somalis] are not fighting, they’re starving because of the drought.” Ms. McAskie, who just returned from a visit to Somalia, sought to counter this stereotype, while emphasizing that she was “not trying to pretend” that the country had suddenly transformed itself. “The message that we want to get out is that Somalia is starting to build itself up from the grassroots,” she said, adding that donors should realize “the time is now right for [the kind of] investments in grassroots development in Somalia that we always talk about when we talk about development investment as peacebuilding.” Ms. McAskie also warned that the international community’s emphasis on the political process in Somalia posed “the very serious risk of putting in place a political structure that has nothing to anchor itself in.” The UN was preparing to introduce a country-wide curriculum for national primary schools, she noted. “The ideal would be to have the funding to help communities rebuild the schools, hire teachers and introduce the curriculum across the board.” In addition, UN agencies were working to open health clinics and conduct immunization campaigns. Since Somalia was turning the corner, she said, “it is possible to do a real investment in the future of a country.” “Yes the drought is still there, but the stability is [also] there,” said the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. “On the ground, the situation is such that we could be making reasonable – cautious, but reasonable – investments in the stability of Somalia.” read more

Chair of Security Council sanctions committee assesses peace process in Sierra Leone

During his stay, Ambassador Adolfo Zinser of Mexico is scheduled to hold discussions with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and members of his cabinet, as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sierra Leone, Oluyemi Adeniji, and other senior officials of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).The sanctions committee was set up in 1997 to monitor and report on violations of the arms embargo imposed against Sierra Leone when a military junta overthrew the democratically elected Government of President Kabbah in May of that year.Meanwhile, Mr. Adeniji this week visited several towns bordering Liberia to assess the refugee and returnee situation in the area.He also crossed the Mano River Bridge to Bo Waterside in Liberia, where he sought assurances from the Liberians that refugees and returnees were being allowed to cross freely into Sierra Leone.Mr. Adeniji said it was “an irony of fate” that the inflow of refugees is in the opposite direction than in the past – now from Liberia to Sierra Leone. read more

Annan asks Israeli Defence Minister for report on killing of British aid

Mr. Annan’s request came during a meeting with the Defence Minister in New York on Monday. The two exchanged views on the current difficult situation in the Middle East as well as a number of pressing UN-Israel issues, including the recent killing of Mr. Hook and other staff members of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), according to a read-out of the talks provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesman.“The Secretary-General reiterated that he expected from the Government of Israel a rigorous investigation of Mr. Hook’s killing and that the United Nations would be provided with a written report,” the spokesman reported. Mr. Annan also stressed the need to ensure security and improved access for the staff of UNRWA and other international humanitarian personnel in the occupied Palestinian territory. While welcoming the Israeli Government’s recent transfer of approximately $28 million in tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, he stressed the need to take other practical steps to alleviate the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians, according to the spokesman. read more

Panel monitoring UN treaty on migrant workers calls for more ratifications

After a five-day meeting in Geneva, the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families noted that only 25 countries have ratified the treaty – leaving many of the estimated 120 million migrant workers around the world without protection. The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families came into force on 1 July last year. It aims to establish a set of binding standards for the treatment and human rights of migrant workers, work towards ending their exploitation and eliminate illegal recruitment and trafficking in migrant workers.States parties to the Convention must regularly report to the Committee on what measures they have adopted to implement the pact’s provisions.Prasad Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka, elected Committee Chairman this week, called the plight of migrant workers a silent human rights crisis.”It is of supreme importance that more States ratify the Convention,” he said, adding that the Committee’s first meeting had been successful and productive. Its next session is scheduled for July 2005.The nations that have ratified or acceded to the treaty so far are: Azerbaijan, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Uganda and Uruguay. read more

UN recommends nationbuilding programme for Côte dIvoire

A United Nations report on deaths in Côte d’Ivoire during a banned demonstration in late March recommends investigating and persecuting those responsible, expanding the UN mission already in place, reforming and strengthening the judiciary and establishing a truth and reconciliation commission.”Côte d’Ivoire is at a crossroads. In order for peace to prevail here, as well as elsewhere in the sub-region, it is absolutely necessary to establish the principle that violence can no longer yield political advantages and must never be rewarded,” it says.The report to the Security Council results from an investigation, requested by President Laurent Gbagbo, into the fatalities of 25 and 26 March by a three-member Commission of Inquiry appointed by Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan.Respect for the rights of others, including political opponents, must be the key test for all those who aspire to lead Côte d’Ivoire towards stability, unity and prosperity, the report says.What took place was “the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and the committing of massive human rights violations,” for which security forces had to take more blame than those who planned the demonstrations, the report says.”The march became a pretext for what turned out to be a carefully planned and executed operation by the security forces, i.e., the police, the gendarmerie, the army, as well as the special units and the so-called parallel forces, under the direction and responsibility of the highest authorities of the State,” the report says.The level of violence unleashed was out of proportion to the threat from demonstrators and targeted supporters, or perceived supporters, of parties opposed to President Gbagbo’s government, it says.According to the figures gathered by the Commission so far, at least 120 people were killed, 274 wounded and 20 disappeared. The security forces sometimes went to the dwellings of people who were targeted because of their names, origins or community groups. Some 80 per cent of the victims were men, it says.A “red zone” was demarcated in the periphery of the major economic city, Abidjan, within which unauthorized people could be shot on sight as enemy combatants. Security forces then blocked the entry and exit of residents “and carried out their action there for two days and probably longer.””In one incident, in Yopougon, at 6:15 a.m., as demonstrators were trying to gather in the street, a jeep with English-speaking uniformed men, without insignias, threatened to kill them. A few minutes later, helicopters began to fly so low over the area that demonstrators could see the white pilots being assisted by black men. Tear gas canisters were dropped from the helicopters onto the crowd,” the report says.The problems of Côte d’Ivoire cannot be solved by violence, but through political dialogue, stability and economic and social development, the report says. read more

Over 100000 Liberians have turned in weapons to UN

“We’re now at 96,333 people disarmed, and we have another six or seven thousand in the pipeline,” Jacques Paul Klein, head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), told the UN News Service. The Mission has already destroyed more than six million rounds of ammunition – a figure Mr. Klein described as “incredible by any measure.” The success of the disarmament push was revealed late last month when disturbances rocked Monrovia and surrounding areas, Mr. Klein said, pointing out that only a handful of the nearly 250 people injured at the time were wounded by firearms. “If [arms] had been here at the time, they would have come out,” he observed. Mr. Klein added that while he is not “naïve enough to think we’ve got them all,” he is confident that during the disturbances there would have been “a lot more shooting” were it not for the comprehensive disarmament effort, which involves not only collecting arms but also retraining and reintegrating former combatants. The UNMIL chief also welcomed the return of normalcy and the Government’s recent decision to lift the country-wide curfew that had been imposed during the disturbances. If the curfew had stayed in effect for too long, it would have proved counterproductive, he noted. Meanwhile, children separated from their families during the country’s conflict have been reuniting with loved ones in large numbers. Of the 7,179 boys and 2,308 girls who have gone through the disarmament process – which involves housing them in separate camps and providing services tailored to their specific needs – 98 per cent have gone back to live with either their parents or other family members. “At first I was very worried that we would have to rely on orphanages and foster homes,” Mr. Klein said. But through persistent efforts to return the children to their homes, the results have been “amazing,” he added. Liberia’s children are also being helped by UN-led efforts to provide immunization against common diseases. Half a million Liberian children have been immunized against measles, 230,000 have been vaccinated against yellow fever, and over 830,000 were immunized against polio, said Mr. Klein, who coordinates the work of all UN operations in Liberia. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided Liberia with 10,000 school supply kits, while 13,000 Liberian teachers have been trained in emergency education orientation during two- to three-week courses, the envoy added. read more

UNbacked ecological report warns of potential new diseases and dead zones

Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 years than in any other period; some 60 per cent of ecosystem elements supporting life on Earth, such as fresh water, clean air or a relatively stable climate, are being degraded or used unsustainably; and the situation could become significantly worse during the first half of this century, according to the study. “Only by valuing all our precious natural and human resources can we hope to build a sustainable future,” Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a message launching the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Synthesis Report compiled by 1,300 scientists in 95 countries. “The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is an unprecedented contribution to our global mission for development, sustainability and peace.” The four-year assessment was designed by a partnership of UN agencies, international scientific organizations and development agencies, with private sector and civil society input, in response to Mr. Annan’s call for global support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash a host of socio-economic ills such as extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. “The overriding conclusion of this assessment is that it lies within the power of human societies to ease the strains we are putting on the nature services of the planet, while continuing to use them to bring better living standards to all,” the MA board of directors said in a statement, “Living beyond Our Means: Natural Assets and Human Well-being.” “Achieving this, however, will require radical changes in the way nature is treated at every level of decision-making and new ways of cooperation between government, business and civil society. The warning signs are there for all of us to see. The future now lies in our hands.” Although evidence remains incomplete, the report finds enough to warn that ongoing degradation of 15 of the 24 ecosystem services examined – including fresh water, capture fisheries, air and water regulation, and regulation of regional climate, natural hazards and pests – increases the likelihood of potentially abrupt changes that will seriously affect human well-being. Its findings include: More land has been converted to agriculture since 1945 than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined. More than half of all the synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, first made in 1913, ever used on the planet have been used since 1985, resulting in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in diversity, with some 10 to 30 per cent of the mammal, bird and amphibian species currently threatened with extinction. Ecosystem degradation is a barrier to achieving the MDGs. In all the four plausible futures explored, scientists project progress in eliminating hunger, but at far slower rates than needed to halve the scourge by 2015. Changes in ecosystems such as deforestation influence the abundance of human pathogens such as malaria and cholera, as well as the risk of emergence of new diseases. Malaria, for example, accounts for 11 per cent of the disease burden in Africa and had it been eliminated 35 years ago, the continent’s gross domestic product would have increased by $100 billion. The world’s poorest people suffer most from ecosystem changes. The regions facing significant problems of degradation – sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, some regions in Latin America, and parts of South and Southeast Asia – also face the greatest challenges in achieving the MDGs, such as halving extreme poverty by 2015. In sub-Saharan Africa the number of poor is forecast to rise to 404 million in a decade from 315 million in 1999. The report was launched simultaneously at several UN headquarters around the world. “The challenge of ensuring the future of our environment is pressing and concerns us all, whether we work in education, science, culture or communication,” UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a message in Paris. “The work of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment makes clear how ecosystems and human health are intertwined and further highlights how important it is that decisions related to economic development also protect the environment, in order to ultimately safeguard human health,” said Kerstin Leitner, Assistant Director-General for Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments of the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO). “The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment gives us, in some ways for the first time, an insight into the economic importance of ecosystem services and some new and additional arguments for respecting and conserving the Earth’s life support systems,” declared Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP). read more

At AsianAfrican summit Annan urges support of UN reform hails landmark Bandung

Addressing an Asian-African summit in Indonesia as it marked the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Bandung declaration, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged leaders from the two continents “to be as innovative and as visionary as your forebears were” by supporting his agenda for UN reform. “The number one priority in my report is an all-out global effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015,” he said, referring to the publication of “In Larger Freedom,” which contains proposals for change at the world body and calls for new commitments by the international community to deal with a broad range of development challenges. The Goals, which were approved at a UN summit in September 2000, seek to reduce or eliminate many socio-economic ills by 2015. “Disease, poverty and hunger are the greatest killers of our time. The fight against them must be at the heart and soul of the reform agenda,” Mr. Annan said in an address to the Asian-African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, held to observe the anniversary of the meeting of representatives of 29 territories in April 1955. The developing countries would also benefit tremendously from improvements in security and human rights, he noted. “Your peoples pay the highest price for inaction in the face of massive violations of human rights and for the strains placed on the UN’s peacekeeping, peacebuilding and human rights machinery. They suffer more than any others from the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the scourge of land mines,” the UN Secretary-General said. He added that they were also too often the victims of terrorism and its aftermath and would pay a bitter price if the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regimes were undermined, “fuelling arms races, while cutting off vital technology transfer. “The reform proposals are designed to strengthen multilateral action in all these areas,” he said. To reach agreement now, at a time when creativity and boldness are needed, everyone would want to have their major concerns addressed, but also would have to be prepared to make compromises, knowing that people live in one world with a shared fate, he said. Noting that the 1955 Bandung conference pledged solidarity in the fight against colonialism and for socio-economic development, Mr. Annan called it “a major turning point in world history.” He said it set out a way, based on peaceful co-existence and the principles of the UN Charter, to overcome Cold War divisions and give the peoples of the developing world voices on the international stage. “Let us honour Bandung by reviving its great spirit,” he said. “Let us make 2005 a true turning point for the developing world and for the United Nations.” He thanked Indonesia for its post-tsunami hospitality, “given that just four months ago a terrible natural disaster befell your nation, along with nine others represented here in this hall.” read more