Amid a bad economy, vices and critical political challenges in Liberia, the Universal Peace Federation International (UPFI) has announced plans to help promote development in the country.The UPFI has an NGO (Non-governmental Organization) consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN).Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, the chairman of UPFI, disclosed that after the launch of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace in Liberia (IAPP-Liberia) in July, the country stands to benefit from programs, including the construction of a Peace Road, to promote an international highway and railway.Dr. Walsh said the UPF will support healthcare, through a negotiation with the Government of Japan, help develop a curriculum for tertiary education, and promote entrepreneurship and coffee production.He made the disclosure to journalists yesterday in the conference room of House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, following a close-door meeting with him.The UPFI Chairman further said the UPFI in collaboration with IAPP-Liberia will establish the Inter-Religion Association, promote peace and development, mutual respect and cooperation.He further said the presence of the IAPP would promote marriage and family values as well as the physical and spiritual beings of Liberians.Dr. Walsh is the Secretary-General of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation, and also serves on the International Council of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and on the board of directors of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom.Others who were part of Dr. Walsh’s delegation included Rev. Adama Doumbia, Secretary General of UPF-Africa, and Rev. Pamela S.M. Mwanga, the President (Chairman) of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)-Liberia.After its establishment, the IAPP-Liberia will provide a forum for 73 members of the House of Representatives and 30 members of the Liberian Senate, to form part of the parliamentarians from all nations and political parties, allowing them to come together to dialogue and cooperate with each other, to search for solutions to local, national, regional and global problems.IAPP will work with many organizations and associations of parliamentarians around the world, some formally organized as intergovernmental bodies and others informally associated.The primary objectives of IAPP include the following: to promote good governance in all sectors of society; to develop high-quality educational programs for parliamentarians, and to promote and encourage dialogue and cooperation among parliamentarians from nations around the world, with the aim of promoting peace and human development.Other objectives of the IAPP include upholding core and universal principles, recognizing that all human beings are members of one global family; to protect, preserve and uphold the dignity and value of each human being; to strengthen the family as the central and most fundamental institution of human society; to work to build trust, mutual respect, and cooperation among the world’s peoples; and to encourage respect, inter-religious dialogue as essential to building a peaceful world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Legislation introduced by the Abbott government to overhaul Australia’s national security was debated in the Senate this week, with Independent Senator Nick Xenophon declaring his support in general for the new provisions – but with caveats.The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill, introduced by Attorney General George Brandis in July, is seeking to improve the legislative framework governing ASIO, ASIS and other agencies, “to keep pace with the evolving security environment”.The bill’s debate came as tensions increased dramatically over reported Islamic State (IS)-related terrorist activity in Australia, following arrests in Sydney and Brisbane, and the death of an 18-year-old supporter of IS in Melbourne.During the debate on Wednesday, Senator Xenophon said that it was “axiomatic” that a key role of the state was “to protect the public from terrorist acts” and that to do so, it was a necessity for Australia’s intelligence agencies “to operate in secret and have adequate powers and resources to do their jobs”.But he warned that such powers “must never be an alibi for abuse of power”, before going on to say that he had “grave misgivings” about some of the changes proposed in the bill, including “harsh penalties for disclosure of intelligence information, with no consideration given to a public-interest exemption”. The senator cited the case of Indian national Dr Mohamed Haneef, who was arrested in Brisbane in 2007 in connection with a failed Glasgow bomb plot. The case – bungled by the AFP according to the official inquiry that found Haneef was wrongly charged – stood out as an example of what could go wrong, said Mr Xenophon.“If this operation … had been a special intelligence operation … the details could not have been reported unless the reporter was willing to risk up to 10 years in prison.” “It should not be left to prosecutorial discretion whether a reporter should be tried in such a case. There must be a public interest exemption or, at the very least … public interest matters must be considered in the course of fixing a penalty.”Senator Xenophon added that ASIO’s powers to infiltrate innocent people’s computers to obtain covert access to targets, along with other cybersecurity issues, was an area that needed further safeguards and clarification.He also called for the establishment of a committee, independent from the executive arm of government, to oversee Australia’s intelligence services.In comparison to the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, Mr Xenophon said that Australia has the weakest oversight mechanisms – a situation that had evolved over a number years and was “almost a cultural issue”.