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Chile Emphasizes the Importance of Women in Peacekeeping Missions

first_imgBy Guillermo Saavedra/Diálogo January 29, 2019 Through the Joint Peacekeeping Operations Center (CECOPAC, in Spanish), the Chilean Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded 2018 with a course addressing the role of women in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions. The international course Women, Peace, and Security: Gender Integration in Peacekeeping Operations was conducted December 3-7, at CECOPAC in Santiago, Chile. Forty-five units from security and armed forces of the region, including representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States, and Uruguay, took part in the course. Participants learned about gender issues, cultural diversity, human rights, and negotiation, among other topics. The objective of the activity was to share basic and fundamental knowledge on gender perspectives in peacekeeping missions to provide the proper tools and skills to the personnel deployed in these operations. The course also emphasized the role of peacekeeping personnel as protectors of the most vulnerable members of the population—women and children. “In the last two years, this has been a particularly relevant issue for us,” Chilean Navy Captain Marco Villegas Zanón, CECOPAC director, told Diálogo. “Basically, the course’s purpose and focus is to prepare monitors in these fields.” Troop requirement The course was conducted as part of the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), a program of the U.S. Department of State that seeks to reinforce partner nations’ capabilities in the execution of peacekeeping operations. CECOPAC conducted the third edition of the course with the support of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) through the Security Cooperation Office at the U.S. Embassy in Chile. “U.S. involvement is present in all areas,” said Capt. Villegas. “Professors come from the United States; they’re involved in the coordination of activities and program design, logistics, and the possibility of bringing foreign students to the country.” The course is the result of a partnership among GPOI, SOUTHCOM, the U.S. Navy’s Naval Postgraduate School, and CECOPAC that dates back to 2013. The activity also supports UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, and is a requirement for troops that deploy in peacekeeping operations. “[Resolution 1325] extends the traditional concept of security to include more citizens, especially women and people who weren’t traditionally considered part of the security structure that a country was supposed to provide,” said Guillermo Holzmann, a Chilean defense and international affairs analyst. “It suggests who should provide those conditions, and who should be the participants, and this is where it advises on the inclusion of women […], in humanitarian situations requiring security conditions that will be much more efficient and effective when the gender perspective is addressed.” Better prepared The course was taught in a conference format, with several modules distributed over the course of five days. Activities included lectures on concepts of organizational change, stress management, and intercultural communication, among others. “The course addresses a full range of risks, from marginalization of women to sexual and gender-based violence,” Alex Concepción, GPOI assistant program manager at SOUTHCOM, told Diálogo. “We take the perspective that peacekeepers who understand the risks to women develop intervention skills and apply those skills to realistic scenarios. They are better prepared to act morally and effectively when they encounter a genuine threat in a conflict situation.” According to Concepción, CECOPAC played an important role throughout the initiative and demonstrated its regional leadership in preparing security and armed forces on women’s empowerment issues. He added that Chile showed great interest in helping regional countries to deploy in peacekeeping missions. “At a regional level, Chile is very progressive in these areas,” Concepción said. “Chile was the first country in Latin America to create and develop a National Action Plan for Women, Security, and Peace, which has inspired other countries in the region, [such as] El Salvador and Paraguay, to work on their own plan.” “I would like to emphasize the opportunity that the GPOI initiative gives us to teach these topics to national and foreign personnel,” Capt. Villegas concluded. “Also, [I want to emphasize] the fact that we can contribute to training people throughout Latin America.” The course was first taught in Uruguay, in 2015. It was carried out twice more in 2018, in Peru in May and in Chile in December. CECOPAC plans to conduct the same course in El Salvador in 2019.last_img read more

Danish roundup: Skandia Denmark, PensionDanmark, MP Pension

first_imgThe unit-link product Skandia Basic similarly ended the quarter with higher returns than those posted in the first quarter – 2.5% to 4.4% versus 0.7% and 1.3% – but underperformed the benchmark in the second quarter.“This is because the reference index is denominated in US dollars, which rose significantly in value during the period,” Skandia Denmark said.Because of this, the Basic portfolio – although it was hedged against currency risk versus US dollars – lost ground against the reference index, it said.Skandia said its investment department had decided to overweight equities in the portfolio compared with bonds because financial markets had been hit in the second quarter by a series of measures from central banks to ease credit.But with Danish mortgage bonds making up the bulk of Skandia Denmark’s fixed income portfolio, fixed income returns had been boosted by a further reduction in interest rates, as well as the European Central Bank’s lending programme to the financial sector at the end of the quarter.“On top of this,” it added, “as a result of positive tendencies in emerging markets, we increased our exposure to government bonds from these countries.”In other news, PensionDanmark is investing DKK175m (€23.5m) in a commercial property in Copenhagen already let to a government agency.It is buying the asset from MP Pension, the Danish labour-market pension fund for academics run by Unipension.The building in the Østerbro district of the Danish capital is currently leased by the Danish Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet), and contains 14,273sqm of space.Torben Möger Pedersen, PensionDanmark’s chief executive, said: “We see this as a good real estate investment in an attractive location close to the S-train (urban rail network) and the coming metro station on the Cityring.”He said the pension fund had a very solid tenant in the Danish Working Environment Authority – and therefore the state – so the investment would give scheme members a good and stable return.PensionDanmark said, since it sold its entire residential property portfolio in June, it now had just under DKK10bn in overall real estate investments.In the next few years, the fund said it expected to make new investments in residential as well as commercial property of DKK2bn a year.At the moment, PensionDanmark is the developer of six large commercial construction projects, either alone or in cooperation with other investors.These include the Alfa Laval headquarters in Ålborg, Semco Maritime in Esbjerg, Nordea Bank Danmark in Ørestaden, NCC in Gladsaxe and, soon, MTH in Søborg, as well as the new psychiatric hospital in Vejle.Its next big residential project will be the construction on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, which will include 550 new homes. Investment returns on unit-link pension products at Skandia Denmark undercut benchmarks in the second quarter of 2014, prompting the unit of Nordic financial group Skandia to sell shares in US companies.Reporting some results for the April to June period, Skandia Denmark said its Skandia Match unit-link pensions product had produced between 2.9% and 3.8%, up from the 2.6% to 3.1% range reported for the first quarter but lower than the reference index.The company said: “A significant reason for this are the falls partly on the Japanese stock market but particularly on the US market at the start of the quarter.“Skandia’s investment department has since reduced the exposure to both small and large US companies.”last_img read more

Deal reached in Versailles counterfeiting case

first_imgVersailles, In. — Ripley County Superior Court Judge Jeffery Sharp has sentenced a Versailles man to two-and-a-half years probation in connection with four counts of felony counterfeiting.Court documents indicate Daniel Craig, 32, purchased fake bills at a flea market and tried to color them to make look authentic. Craig then used the $100 bills at Versailles-area businesses before he was charged in the spring of 2017.On October 4 Craig reached a deal with the prosecutor to plead guilty to one charge and three other counts were dropped. He was also given credit for 54 days served.last_img read more

Thomas F. Bliss, 86, Winfield: Feb. 9, 1927 – June 19, 2013

first_imgPreceding him in death are his parents, sister Bertha Ostrandar of Washington and brother Delbert Bliss of Kansas. Survivors include his wife Patricia of the home, daughters Carol Dick and husband Ed Dobson of Wellington and Cathy Bliss and husband Alan of Newkirk, OK, 4 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren, brother Albert G. Bliss of Canton, TX. Thomas F. Bliss, 86, of Winfield, died on Friday, July 19, 2013 at the Riverview Manor in Oxford.It was Tommie’s wish that following cremation no services will be held. It was Tommie’s wish that everyone do a good deed in memory of him.Thomas Fredrick Bliss was born on February 9, 1927 the son of Elmer E. and Florence E. (Crane) Bliss in Ashton. Tommie grew up on a farm in rural Sumner County until December 1947. He attended college at Southwestern for a semester before graduating from Wichita Business College.He was united in marriage with Patricia Walker on June 17, 1948 in Oxford. The family purchased the grain elevator in Oxford and Tommy worked there, until his retirement in 1985. The family continued to live in Oxford until 1995 and moved to Winfield. Tommy was a member of the Methodist Church and enjoyed travel, water sports and dancing.last_img read more