[AUDIO] Stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs, Uhuru tells ICC

The President has asked the ICC to stop meddling in Kenyas internal affairs, saying the Jubilee government should be allowed to handle them peacefully.

Uhuru Kenyatta said he was optimistic DP Williams Rutos crimes against humanity charges at the court will be dropped, just like his were.

We are telling people trying to incite Kenyans on issues long forgotten that we are tired of their interference, he said.

Instead of disturbing us, they should go to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and give us room to move our country forward.

The President said the government will not allow internal and external disruptions to slow down development, he said.

He asked friendly nations to support Kenya in the pursuit of peace, adding Jubilee remains determined to unite the people and improve their lives.

He addressed residents of Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county, on Sunday as part of a development tour that began in Western on Saturday.

Ruto, who is on the tour with Uhuru, said we meant business when we decided to unite Kenyans, eradicate tribalism and develop the country.

He said plans are underway for the construction of a dual carriageway from Eldoret International Airport to the town.

“With the help of the African Development Bank, we will also construct by-passes to ease traffic jams in Eldoret, he said.

The DP further said the government has set aside Sh400 million for the KCCs expansion, and instructed the NCPB to enlarge its stores and buy all the maize from farmers.

Air Force International Affairs builds international Airmen

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Maj. Gen. Lawrence M. Martin Jr., the assistant deputy under secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, speaks at a monthly Air Force Association breakfast Nov. 10, 2015, at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Va. Martin shared why building global air force partnerships through integrating political-military relationships, security assistance, technology and information disclosure issues ensures relationships endure. (US Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Torri Hendrix)

Belgium’s home affairs minister says ISIL communicates using Playstation 4

The day after terror attacks in Paris left at least 127 dead and some 300 wounded, attention has turned to Belgium. Several arrests were made in Belgium today (Nov. 14), and a black Volkswagen Polo with a Belgian license plate had been spotted on the night of the attacks near the Bataclan theater. Police have raided a Brussels neighborhood where three of the eight attackers are believed to have lived.

More fighters have joined ISIL from Belgium, per capita, than any Western nation.

Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon has previously described Brussels as a weak link in the fight against terror. Speaking at a debate last week, he said: “The thing that keeps me awake at night is the guy behind his computer, looking for messages from IS and other hate preachers.

Jambon also reportedly warned of the growing use by terror networks of the PlayStation 4 gaming console, which allows terrorists to communicate with each other and is difficult for the authorities to monitor. “PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” he said.

The gaming console also was implicated in ISILs plans back in June, when an Austrian teen was arrested for downloading bomb plans to his PS4.

For all of our Paris attacks coverage.

Internal Affairs: Carl Guardino tweets with heat 18 times on cabbie strike

The strike of San Jose cabbies this week caused one political player in town to take to Twitter with a vengeance. Carl Guardino, the president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, weighed in at least 18 times on the side of Uber and Lyft, the upstart ride-booking companies challenging the taxis at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

On Monday morning, when KLIV tweeted that the cabbies might go on strike if the city did not hold Uber to the same standards, Guardino responded: Transparency amp; Accountability offered to customers by @Lyft and @Uber much higher than Taxis. Get it right. On Tuesday, in response to a Mercury News tweet, he added, If taxi lobby wants to kick all San Jose customers to the curb Tuesday, it sounds like a great chance to try @Lyft @Uber.

Canada’s new team for global affairs

The past couple of weeks have introduced an unusual dynamic into my life as a Canadian working in international policy circles. Following the election of a new federal government on October 19, won by Justin Trudeaus Liberal Party, many friends and colleagues from around the world have been energetically quizzing and congratulating me on the new government, even though I have no partisan affiliations. Its as if people feel they are congratulating all of Canada for re-entering the global conversation.

International interest was most palpable when I attended the World Economic Forums annual Summit on the Global Agenda in Abu Dhabi in late October. In hallway conversation after hallway conversation, leaders from government, academia, business, and civil society were asking about how to interpret the election and how the Canadian governments approach to the world might now change. Having reflected a bit on these two questions, the following are some overarching thoughts.

Why Did Trudeau Win?

It will be up to the real political scientists (like my former University of British Columbia professor Richard Johnston) to provide the rigorous analysis of the election. But for now I would argue that anyone who attributes the voting outcome to any single issue is fundamentally missing the point. As in so many countries, Canadas politics are driven by many factors. A spectrum of dynamics jointly produced a clear Liberal victory, including:

  • Canadas complex and diverse political geography, driven by a first-past-the-post electoral system and distinct front-line debates in each province and territory;
  • the not-uncommon public desire for change when any party has been in power for nearly a decade;
  • the national crisis of conscience that took shape when the tragic photo of a Syrian refugee boy dead on a beach drew rare election cycle attention to international humanitarian policy;
  • the game-theoretic voter behavior that seemed to take place amid a very tight three-way race, with Stephen Harpers incumbent Conservatives competing against the historically union-linked New Democratic Party, led by Tom Mulcair, and the center-left Liberal Party led by Trudeau. The majority of voters showed they wanted a change in government, and many of them were apparently waiting to see which alternative had the best chance of winning;
  • the Conservative partys unusual attempt to raise ethnicity-related debates during the campaign, in a society that generally prides itself on its multiculturalism;
  • the Trudeau teams upbeat and nearly mistake-free campaign, which implicitly diffused voter questions over time as to whether they were ready for the nations highest offices.

A new team for global affairs

Whatever the precise combination of factors that led to Team Trudeaus victory, the new government is likely to take a much more proactive and multilateral approach to global affairs than its predecessor did. This is strongly suggested by the composition of the new federal cabinet, announced last week. Considerable attention has rightly focused on the fact that this is Canadas first federal cabinet with gender parity. But it is also a cabinet with considerable international experience.

For example, out of 30 cabinet members, more than half have obtained academic degrees or considerable professional experience outside of Canada. Three were born in South Asia, including the new defense minister, Harjit Sajjan, a former army Lieutenant Colonel who was deployed three times in Afghanistan. Jane Philpot is the first medical doctor to be named Canadas minister of health. She has also spent nearly a decade practicing medicine in Niger, a background that can only be helpful for tackling the imperative of strengthened global health systems. The new minister of transport even has extraterrestrial work experience: Marc Garneau was Canadas first astronaut.

The allocation of portfolios more traditionally linked to international affairs sends strong messages too. Stephane Dion, former Liberal party leader and one-time environment minister, has been named minister of foreign affairs. He is a long-time climate policy champion, and will be leading a newly branded ministry of Global Affairs Canada, replacing the clunky former label of the amalgamated Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. In one of his first public statements, Minister Dion said, We have a role to play to make the world to be able to change the self-destructive development into a sustainable development, and I want to play this role as minister. He could potentially assume a leading global role on the worlds new sustainable development goals for 2030.

Mr. Dion will certainly not be working alone. He is joined by Chrystia Freeland, the highly respected and internationally hyper-connected former journalist who takes the helm as trade minister in Global Affairs, during a pivotal moment in global trade negotiations. Marie-Claude Bibeau is the new minister for international development and La Francophonie, also based out of Global Affairs. She is a local business leader from Quebec who spent many years during the early part of her career working with the former Canadian International Development Agency.

Down the road in a separate but closely related ministry, Catherine McKenna has been appointed the newly named Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. A former human rights lawyer with experience in Timor-Leste and also in trade policy, McKenna knocked on 100,000 doors in the recent election, reportedly more than any other candidate in the country. As much as anyone, she embodies the new cabinets mindset of hard-working local plus high-minded global.

Will the new team bring new policies?

As with any new government, the central challenge is to translate political momentum into policy success. This will not be easy, since many of Canadas international challenges are structural and extend well beyond simple matters of partisanship. Most poignantly, as Robert Greenhill and Megan McQuillan have recently shown, Canada has cut back its global resource allocations over the course of a generation, independent of political party in power.

The new governments electoral platform paid little attention to the economic or financing questions that underpin much of global policy, so new international fiscal commitments are unlikely to take shape any time soon. The new ministers will undoubtedly come to find this frustrating. The good news is that many of them bring impressive backgrounds to the task. If they can persuade partners at home and abroad to adopt the scale and mix of investments needed to match the complex nature of the problems at hand, they will duly earn Canada the congratulations that so many people around the world are already showering on the country today.

It’s all Foreign Affairs for local band in LA

Four local lads are getting ready to pack their bags – and instruments – for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Matthew Irwin, Ethan Williamson, Ben Martin and Martin Miller, collectively known as Foreign Affairs NI, are jetting out to Los Angeles next month after being handpicked to showcase their music at an international conference and festival.

The ‘alternative/pop punk’ band have been booked to play at the YouBloomLA 2015 Music Festival and Conference in December, which has become an established event for top names in the music industry to hear bands from right across the globe.

‘Plans afoot to restructure Foreign Affairs Ministry’

Plans are in the pipeline to restructure the countrys Foreign Affairs Ministry,said Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne yesterday.

She said the Foreign Affairs Ministry needs to be restructured administratively and judicially as any other institutions to enable it to meet the countrys growing role in its environs.

Colonne explained that the ministry has been buttoned up in the old British system in terms of carrying out its functions. Even they have shifted from their system of administration in the face of new trends and challenges of the new world.

In the face of new and changing targets, emerging technologies, corporate knowledge and information systems, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should also change, she pointed out.

The ministry is currently exploring ways to proceed with restructuring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to further strengthen and rationalize its foreign services. The ministry will increase its role towards economic and commercial diplomacy, she stated.

Asked about media reports stating that the ministry was going to be restructured it in keeping with the model of Ministry the Foreign Affairs in Singapore, Colonne said,No country can remodel its Foreign Ministry to resemble the foreign ministry of another country.

Nevertheless, we have taken the administrative structure of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Singapore for our study because it is one of the best you can get. We are also studying administrative structures of various other foreign ministries, to explore ways and means to proceed with our own restructuring of the Ministry, she said.

Meanwhile, Singaporean Foreign Affairs Minister Dr.Vivian Balakrishnan has expressed his willingness to assist Sri Lanka in itts ongoing efforts to restructure the Foreign Ministry. Balakrishnan extended his assistance to Sri Lanka during Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweeras official tour of Singapore on November 12 ,13. 

IPCR DG hails Buhari’s foreign affairs ministers

The Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), ProfessorOshitaO.Oshitahas commended PresidentMuhammaduBuhari for the appointment of GeoffreyOnyeamaand KhadijaBukarAbba Ibrahim as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State respectively.

In a statement over the weekend, Professor Oshita said the painstaking exercise of selecting the ministers is a demonstration of the commitment and determination of President Buhari towards re-working Nigeria into an enviable country of our collective dream.

The Director General described the foreign affairs ministry as Nigerias window to the world, adding that the choice of the two ministers for the ministry is perfect.

While congratulating them for their well-deserved appointments, he pledged the support and cooperation of the staff of the IPCR towards the achievement of the goals and objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Scottish Affairs Committee MPs to meet in Scotland ‘regularly’

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The MPs said they aimed to challenge the perception that committees in Westminster were remote institutions

MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee have pledged to travel north for meetings regularly in a bid to challenge the perception that Westminster is too remote.

The committee said most of its meetings in Scotland would be held in the central belt – where the majority of the population live.

But it added that it would also visit locations further afield.

The move follows an inquiry by the committee into its own work.

Committee members wanted to respond to changes in Scottish politics after the SNP recorded a landslide victory in Mays Westminster elections and new powers being devolved to Holyrood.