Ukraine Requests ICAO Assistance in MH17 Accident Investigation

​MONTRÉAL, 18 July 2014 – In response to an official request from the Government of Ukraine for assistance with the official accident investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be sending a team to assist the Ukrainian National Bureau of Incidents and Accidents Investigation of Civil Aircraft (NBAAII).

Under Article 26 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, as well as Annex 13 to the Convention relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Ukraine is officially in charge of the MH17 accident investigation by virtue of being the State of Occurrence. Annex 13 also provides comprehensive international requirements for the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents and spells out which States may participate in an investigation, such as the States of Occurrence, Registry, Operator, Design and Manufacture. It also defines the rights and responsibilities of such States.

A State which has a special interest in an accident, by virtue of fatalities or serious injuries to its citizens for instance, is also entitled to appoint an expert to the investigation and who would be entitled to visit the scene of the accident, have access to relevant factual information which is approved for public release by the lead State, and to receive a copy of the accident investigation Final Report.

“ICAO strongly condemns the use of weapons against international civil aviation,” commented ICAO Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “This tragic action against the civilian passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is wholly incompatible with the principles of the Convention. ICAO experts will shortly be dispatched to begin assisting NBAAII officials and we are grateful to be able to support these efforts.”

Statement by President Barroso following the meeting withBrazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

European Commission


Brussels, 18 July 2014

Statement by President Barroso following the meeting withBrazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

Today President Barroso met the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, in Alvorada Palace in Brasilia.

At the end of the meeting, President Barroso stated that “the European Union (EU) and Brazil are building, since 2007, a solid strategic partnership based on an intense political dialogue and on the sharing of common values.”

Trade and economic relations are an important lever of this partnership. Brazil is the eight trading partner of the EU and the EU is Brazil’s largest trading and investment partner. President Barroso said that “a EU-Mercosur trade cooperation agreement is a priority to strengthen the preferential access to both our markets by European and Brazilian companies”.

In this context, President Barroso reaffirmed “the commitment of the two sides to continue working in order to have a first exchange of offers as soon as possible.”

The topic of internet governance has been also discussed, particularly regarding the results of NETMundial meeting. “We converge on the need to promote a multistakeholder model of governance”.

President Barroso also added that both sides need to cooperate more on the global challenges, such as climate changes, sustainable development and peace and security”.

In this context the President declared: “We expressed our concern and consternation with the Malaysia Airlines plane crash which killed 298 people. We agree on the urgency of an independent investigation that could determine the causes of this tragic event. We also converge on the need of an immediate ceasefire, the end of violence and the implementation of the Peace Plan presented by President Poroschenko.”

Finally, President Barroso congratulated President Dilma and the Brazilian people for organizing and hosting FIFA’s World Cup 2014! “A major festival of sport and union among the peoples. The World Cup has been a unique opportunity to position the modern Brazil at the centre of the world.

It is this Brazil that we want as our partner – modern, confident and open to the world!

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight

Ottawa, Ontario – 17 July 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement in response to the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft in eastern Ukraine:

“Earlier today, I was shocked and saddened to learn that a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet en route from the Netherlands to Malaysia was shot down in eastern Ukraine, killing all on board. We understand from reports that a Canadian citizen is among the dead. On behalf of the Government of Canada, Laureen and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the victims of this outrageous act.

“While we do not yet know who is responsible for this attack, we continue to condemn Russia’s military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine, which is at the root of the ongoing conflict in the region.

“Canada stands ready to provide whatever support it can to assist authorities in determining the cause of the crash.”

Tribute to WHO spokesman killed in Ukraine plane disaster

18 Jul 2014

Listen /

Glenn Thomas, a communications officer at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. (UNifeed video capture)

A World Health Organisation (WHO) staff member is among the 298 passengers killed in the Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine.

Glenn Thomas, a communications officer at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, was flying to Australia to attend the International AIDS conference which opens in Melbourne on Sunday.

Glenn was a regular speaker at the bi-weekly press briefings organized by the UN Information Service in Geneva updating journalists on the activities of WHO.

A minute of silence was held in his honour during the press briefing on Friday.

Gregory Hartl is a spokesperson for the World health organisation.

” His twin sister says he died doing what he loved. Glenn had been with WHO for more than a decade. He came here from the BBC and spent many years providing communications support to the TB Department. Since 2012 he had been working on the media team in DCO, regularly hosting press conferences and working with you at the Palais and with other journalists to promote the work of WHO. Glenn will be remembered for his ready laugh and his passion for public health. He will be greatly missed by those who had the opportunity to know him and work with him. He leaves behind his partner Claudio and his twin sister, Tracey.

The Malaysian jet liner was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1:34″

Scores of AIDS Researchers Feared Killed on MH17

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This is a punch in the gut to the entire global health community. “About 100 of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference, conference attendees have been told. Delegates at a pre-conference in Sydney were told on Friday morning that around 100 medical researchers, health workers and activists were on the plane that went down near the Russia-Ukraine border, including former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange…Organisers of the International AIDS Conference, due to begin in Melbourne on Sunday, have not released numbers, but did confirm expected attendees were among the dead.” (SMH

Israel Launches Ground Invasion of Gaza…Meanwhile, four more children were killed in air strikes and journalists were told to evacuate a popular hotel. Earlier yesterday, Hamas ended a six hour humanitarian pause in the fighting. “Israel began a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip on Thursdaynight, saying it would target tunnels that infiltrate its territory after cease-fire talks failed to de-escalate the air war that has raged for 10 days. The military released a statement at 10:39 p.m. saying the goal of the operation was to “establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror.” (NYT

Some (Much Needed!) Humanity Affirming news of the day:  The International AIDS Conference kicks off in Australia next week. Mark speaks with Erin Hofhelder of the ONE Campaign who previews the conference, explains why new data released this week shows that we’re winning the fight against HIV/AIDS, and describes how new anti-LGBT legislation in some countries is undermining progress.( Global Dispatches Podcast


The Health Sector estimates that about 206,000 people in Darfur are unable to access health services due to the suspension of Red Cross activities and withdrawal of support to health facilities by NGOs. (OCHA

The U.N. Security Council warned it is ready to consider “appropriate measures” against warring parties in South Sudan if they do not stop the violence in the world’s youngest nation and negotiate a transitional government. (Reuters

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan sought approval from parliament to borrow up to $1 billion abroad to help the armed forces tackle the security threat posed by the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram. (Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo has launched its first agricultural business park, the initial step in a plan to use its vast tracts of arable land to produce food, create jobs and wean the economy off its dependence on mining. (Reuters

Burundi is finally to set up a Peace and Reconciliation Commission to examine crimes committed since 1962. But the controversies and disagreements that have dogged the mechanism since it was first mooted continue to reverberate, casting doubt on its efficacy, with the key concern being whether the commission’s purview will be selective. (IRIN

Street children in Uganda suffer from systematic abuse by the country’s police and other officials, including beatings and sex attacks, Human Rights Watch said in a report. (AP

A report on agriculture in Africa calls for increased investment for entrepreneurship in the rural food sector, and cites agriculture as the key sector for creating jobs for African youth. (VOA


Concern is growing over how the semi-autonomous government of Iraqi Kurdistan is managing its borders amid reports that vulnerable families seeking refuge are being refused entry or forced into transit camps along ethnic lines. (IRIN

Libya’s navy said it retrieved the bodies of three would-be migrants and rescued almost 100 others after their boat sank on Thursday. (AFP

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said Thursday it was investigating after finding 20 rockets hidden in one of its vacant schools in the Gaza Strip. (AP


The Philippine capital of Manila is road-testing an ambitious and sustainable scheme to ease traffic congestion and pollution problems. (Guardian

The U.S. State Department’s top human rights official accused Myanmar authorities of resorting to police state tactics after five journalists from a weekly magazine got 10 years of hard labor for a disputed story about a weapons factory. (AP

Heavy rains have killed at least 18 people in southern China and a state news agency said six more were missing Thursday after a landslide. (AP

Sri Lanka’s president has extended the terms of a commission investigating missing people and possible war crimes in the country’s 26-year civil war, bringing in foreign experts for the first time to advise on the inquiry. (Reuters

The Americas

Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya. (AP


BRICS Build New Architecture for Financial Democracy (IPS

From Syria to South Sudan, the need to be prepared has never been greater (Guardian

Can Modi clean the Ganges, India’s biggest sewage line? (AFP

A Challenging Cup of Tea (IDDS Tanzania

Ebola in Sierra Leone: battling sadness, fear and disgust on the frontline (Guardian

‘ICC should drop charges against Kenyatta,  for now’ (Daily Maverick

Invisible People (Campaign for Boring Development


A conference of international donors pledged more than $2.43 billion to help Bosnia and Serbia recover from devastating floods in May. (AP

The challenge of ensuring future food security as populations grow and diets change has its roots in soil, but the increasing degradation of the earth’s thin skin is threatening to push up food prices and increase deforestation. (Reuters

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2014

President Obama called Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands this evening to express condolences to the people of the Netherlands for the tragic death of Dutch citizens traveling on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.  The President told the Prime Minister the United States was prepared to contribute immediate assistance to support a prompt, full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation.  The President and Prime Minister agreed on the need to assure immediate access to the site of the incident to international investigators in order to facilitate the recovery of remains and to carry out a thorough investigation.

15th International Furniture Fair Chengdu Closing Ceremony

CHENGDU, China, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — 15th International Furniture Fair Chengdu, known as ‘one exhibition for two periods’ for the first time, successfully wrapped up in Chengdu Century City New International Exhibition & Convention Center on 15th Jul. During the 8 day exhibition, the number of professional attendees and consumers numbered more than 260,000. As the deepening impact of international financial risk has not been eliminated, China’s domestic market, with its huge development potential, has become the focus of many enterprises.

In accordance with the introduction of Jiang Dan, the general manager of Chengdu New East Exhibition Co., Ltd – permanent organization of the committee, 15th International Furniture Fair Chengdu was divided into two periods. The furniture exhibition (1st period) was held from 3-6 Jul, and the exhibition of production equipment and raw materials (2nd period) was held from 12-15 Jul. The total exhibition space of both periods exceeded 170,000 square metres, with more than 10,000 booths. More than 1,100 enterprises participated in the exhibition. Total trade value reached RMB 13 billion.

Chengdu Furniture Exhibition is known as the “Preferred Platform in Internal Trade of Furniture in China’s Furniture Industry”. In the 2nd period of the exhibition, Germany HOMAQ, Power, Altendorf, Italian SCM, Korean KUKDONG and other top 10 global furniture equipment manufacturers exhibited at Chengdu Furniture Exhibition. Guan Jianhua, the general manager of Asian district of HOMAQ, said Chengdu is a strategic market which cannot be abandoned. Meanwhile, Chengdu has become one of the biggest furniture production places in China, which should be seized firmly. American Hardwood Export Council participated in the exhibition for the second time, and guided more than 10 enterprises to join in the exhibition, helping to garner a larger share of China’s domestic trade market.

Due to the prominent effect of the exhibition, more than 90% of the exhibition enterprises contacted the committee after the exhibition ended. Chengdu Furniture Exhibition will continue to adjust the district structure of the exhibition enterprises even further next year, and help increase the number of famous national furniture brands and enterprises participating in the exhibition. It will also work to improve the participation of international furniture brands and implement its ‘Chinese platform shared by the world’ exhibition plan.