Michel Forst, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, said that “it is necessary to strengthen the institutions of the Republic in order to improve the process of policy making and the relationship between the State and citizens.”Mr. Forst told reporters that strengthening these institutions will give them the means and resources to carry out the mandates entrusted to them. This was the 12th visit to Haiti for the expert, who will present his report to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council on 20 March. During his mission, he met with a range of actors, including government officials, lawyers, mayors, the leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and representatives of civil society. After visiting the prisons of Gonaïves, Jeremie, Saint Marc and Port de Paix, Mr. Forst noted that overcrowding in detention centres is still a major problem and it constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. He stressed that resolving this problem must include addressing the issue of prolonged pre-trial detention. The expert also noted that the holding of a fair trial in the case of former President Jean-Claude Duvalier is important to show the population that justice works in Haiti, and that impunity will no longer be tolerated for the most serious crimes. “The appearance of former President Jean-Claude Duvalier before the judges of the Court of Appeal in Port-au-Prince in this regard is a victory for the rule of law,” he stated.Independent experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
Albemarle Corp, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, has announced that Talison Lithium, a joint venture between Albemarle and Tianqi Lithium Corp, has approved the expansion of lithium concentrate production at its Greenbushes, Australia spodumene mine. Greenbushes is the world’s largest active lithium mine. It has the largest known hard rock lithium reserve, and contains the highest concentration of lithium oxide available of any active mine.“This project is integral to our announced lithium expansion plans so that we can meet the growing needs of our customers,” said John Mitchell, President, Lithium and Advanced Materials for Albemarle. “The expansion of the mine and ore upgrading facilities is a key deliverable in our supply strategy to grow total combined lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) production to approximately 165,000 t/y early in the next decade.”The expansion is intended to more than double the LCE capacity at Greenbushes from 80,000 t to more than 160,000 t/y, of which Albemarle has a 50% interest in the offtake. Commissioning of the expansion is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.Albemarle, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts.