Ban welcomes approval of UN budget for next two years

The General Assembly today approved a budget of $5.16 billion for the 2010-2011 period, in a move immediately welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “wishes to state his commitment to utilize the resources made available to the Organization in the most effective and efficient way.”He also “wishes to work with all Member States in full partnership and through a transparent process during the upcoming biennium with a view to jointly realizing the important goals of this Organization.”The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Assembly President Ali Treki for his leadership during the body”s session, to Ambassador Peter Maurer, who chairs the Assembly”s Administrative and Budgetary Committee, for steering the discussions, and to others for their efforts during this session.“This demonstrates the commitment of Member States to the financial well-being of the Organization,” he stressed, adding that he is pleased that the scales of assessment for both the regular budget and peacekeeping operations for the coming biennium have been decided.The measure was among a host of resolutions adopted by the Assembly as it wrapped up its work for year, which also included texts on an upcoming sustainable development conference and the human rights situation in Myanmar.It also adopted a resolution that maintains the current scale by which nations are assessed dues to the UN, reflecting a compromise between the need to review that formula and maintain a balanced approach to assessments. 24 December 2009The General Assembly today approved a budget of $5.16 billion for the 2010-2011 period, in a move immediately welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. read more

G7 labour ministers look to set plan for tech disruption in workforce

OTTAWA — A group of G7 ministers handling how governments help workers caught in the churn of a rapidly changing labour market will sit down starting today to hammer out a path through the employment storm.Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says a key goal for the two-day meeting in Montreal will be to create an employment task force that will undertake research and craft recommendations on priority areas for the group of seven countries.She says there will also be talk about how to help older workers stay in the workforce longer, an issue several governments have looked into in order manage public spending as populations age.The meeting is among several that Canada will host this year ahead of the G7 leaders meeting in early June.The theme for the labour meeting is about how countries can prepare their populations for the jobs of the future in labour market defined by fewer full-time jobs and more short-term contracts, known as the “gig” economy.There will also be an emphasis on how to help workers displaced by technological changes like automation and prepare workers for new jobs.Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who is co-hosting the meeting with Hajdu, says the ministers hope to find common ground to have policies that help the widest number of people possible benefit from technological changes.The federal government has put its budgetary weight behind spending programs that promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields for students, and a program known as CanCode aimed at teaching coding and digital skills to one million students.Bains says there will also be talk about artificial intelligence in the labour market and how that will affect workers.The meetings will wrap up Wednesday afternoon. read more