The Assistant Secretary General Coninsx was in Sri Lanka at the invitation of Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, pursuant to a request by President Maithripala Sirisena to the UN Secretary General António Guterres on 24 April in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks, to support Sri Lanka in facing the new threats posed by terrorism. At a review meeting held at the conclusion of the visit, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana received an assessment from the visiting ASG and discussed future cooperation with the Government. UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanna Singer, officials from the CTED and the UN Country team were associated with the ASG. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission in New York which has been coordinating with the CTED, will engage in necessary follow up from the visit.The CTED was established by the UN Security Council as a special political mission to assist the UN Security Council’s Counter –Terrorism Committee (CTC), and is tasked with carrying out the policy decisions of the CTC, conduct expert assessments of Member States and facilitate counter-terrorism technical assistance to countries. (Colombo Gazette) The meeting was attended by officials from the Foreign Ministry, Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies, Attorney General’s Department, Customs, Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank.It was noted that following the recent attacks, the Foreign and Defence Ministries collaborated in designating the three groups involved in the suicide bombings – National Thowheed Jama’at (NTJ), Jama’athe Milla’the Ibrahim (JMI) and Willayath As Seylani (WAS), – as ‘terrorist entities’ under Sri Lanka’s domestic legislation giving effect to terrorist financing and asset freezing aspects of the Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001).The ASG’s visit also explored further measures that need to be taken for Sri Lanka to be compliant with international counter terrorism obligations under relevant Security Council Resolutions, notably Resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2396 (2017) on stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and countering violent extremism, as well as the importance of border security. The subjects covered included terrorist financing and asset freezing, dealing with foreign terrorist fighters, the counter terrorism legislation, countering radicalization and violent extremism, effective border management against terrorist travel, and the threat posed by the internet and social media in spreading radical ideology and violent extremism. The ASG paid courtesy calls on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and met with other political and civil society leaders.At an interactive dialogue held at the Defence Ministry co-chaired by Secretary Defence Shantha Kottegoda and Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, following a comprehensive briefing on the action taken by the security forces following the attacks and future action contemplated, the need for a “Whole of Government” approach to counter terrorism and violent extremism was emphasized. Sri Lanka is to give effect to UN Security Council resolutions to counter terrorism and violent extremism, the Foreign Ministry said today.Tangible measures to collaborate with UN mechanisms in keeping with international norms and practices took center stage at discussions during the recent visit to Sri Lanka by UN Assistant Secretary General (ASG) and Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Michèle Coninsx from 7-8 June 2019.
by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Nov 2, 2015 8:01 am MDT Last Updated Nov 2, 2015 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US construction spending rises 0.6 per cent in September to highest level in 7 1/2 years WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 per cent in September to the highest level since March 2008, pushed up by a surge in apartment building.The Commerce Department said Monday that spending on construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.09 trillion. Construction of apartments and condominiums jumped 4.9 per cent in September from August, while construction of single-family homes rose 1.3 per cent. Overall, private residential construction rose to the highest level since January 2008.The housing market has proven relatively resilient this year amid economic weakness overseas that has hurt American manufacturers and limited hiring. Commerce reported last week that private investment in housing grew at an annual pace of 6.1 per cent from July through September — four times the 1.5 per cent growth registered by the overall economy.Spending on nonresidential construction slipped 0.1 per cent in September, Commerce said. But spending on construction of churches and other religious buildings rose 5.6 per cent.Public construction grew 0.7 per cent from August. Spending on schools and other educational buildings rose 2.4 per cent, and spending on water supply facilities was up 4.8 per cent.Federal construction spending fell 1 per cent, the biggest decline since a 4.4 per cent drop in June.“On the surface, today’s data net out to be somewhat reassuring, if not perfect,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “Friday’s employment report will be the primary focus of the Federal Reserve, where the threshold for liftoff is low.”The Fed last week held off from raising interest rates from record lows but signalled that they will be considering a move at its Dec. 15-16 meeting. For the Fed to delay a hike again, the upcoming jobs report would have to be a “disaster,” Swonk said. FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2015 file photo, construction work continues on the building known as 3 Manhattan West, in New York. When completed in 2017 it will be 62 stories and will have 844 apartments. U.S. construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September to the highest level since March 2008, the Commerce Department said Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, pushed up by a surge in apartment building. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)