UN efforts in Kosovo show no one above the law Security Council

In a briefing to an open meeting of the Council, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean Marie Guéhenno, said that an international judge opened an investigation last week into six former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army on charges that they may have tortured and beaten other members of that organization in June 1999 and exchanged gunfire during a house break-in in June 2000.Mr. Guéhenno noted that, contrary to allegations from the head of the Kosovo Protection Corps, internal investigations suggest that the UN Police carried out their operations during the suspects’ arrests in a professional manner, with a proportionate use of force. The arrests, he stressed, was evidence of the Mission’s “zero tolerance” for crime.”Crime does not only hurt the direct victim, but rather crimes hurts everyone,” he said. “Continued support for UNMIK’s fight against crimes…will benefit all people in Kosovo.”In the past month since his last briefing to the Council, Mr. Guéhenno said there also was the “welcome development” of the completion of the Government in which Kosovo Serb representatives filled the posts of Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, and the Inter-ministerial Coordinator for Returns in the Office of the Prime Minister.UNMIK had also continued to work with the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to ensure respect for the division between reserved and transferred responsibilities, Mr. Guéhenno said.Meanwhile, preparations continued for the 26 October municipal elections, the Under-Secretary-General reported. On 10 June, UNMIK chief Michael Steiner had promulgated a regulation on the municipal elections, defining a four-year mandate for the Municipal Assembly members.At the same time, prospects for multi-ethnic participation were encouraging, he added, as more than 40 per cent of the applications received by UNMIK on 14 June for certification were from minority political parties, compared with only 26 per cent in the 2000 elections.Following Mr. Guéhenno’s briefing, all 15 members of the Council, as well as the representatives from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Spain, which was speaking on behalf of the European Union, participated in the ensuing discussion. read more

Cascades makes second change in a week by closing Quebec kraft paper

Cascades makes second change in a week by closing Quebec kraft paper plant AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Cascades announced the closure of its kraft paper plant Wednesday as it continued to focus its business on its key packaging, tissue and recycling operations.The closure and loss of 175 jobs at the plant in East Angus, Que., follows the sale of the Cascade’s fine paper division earlier this month.“This goes along with the objective of Cascades to focus our growth and investment in our key business areas,” Luc Langevin, president of Cascades Specialty Products Group, said Wednesday.The recycled paper and packaging company said the plant closure to take place by Oct. 3 was due to unfavourable market conditions and the inability to finalize a sale of the plant to employees.The plant which generates about $80 million in annual sales was losing an undisclosed amount of money.Cascades (TSX:CAS) said the kraft operations couldn’t remain competitive amid weak market conditions and the decision by competitors to convert their newsprint paper machines to produce kraft paper, an oatmeal-coloured paper used to make envelopes, promotional materials and fast-food wrapping.Envelope demand alone has declined almost 20 per cent over five years, but the real hit came from machine conversions by some U.S. producers over the last few years which significantly boosted supply and caused prices to plummet.Employees were told last November that the company would exit the kraft business, but attempts were made to sell the plant and save the jobs.It worked with the Quebec government, which agreed to provide about $10.5 million in financial support. But the project was abandoned because of an inability to line up new investors.“Our main objective here was to try to give a second chance to this business and protect jobs in this part of the province,” Langevin said in an interview.The paper plant began operations in 1881 and was bought by Cascades in 1983. It invested about $10 million about three years ago to convert from using kraft pulp to recycled fibre.Langevin declined to say how much it will cost to close the plant.He credited the unionized workers for agreeing to make compromises if a deal to save the plant could be found.“We practically gave a blank cheque,” Eric Huppe of the Confederation of National Trade Unions. “We forfeited our severance pay if there was a revival of the plant…Workers were ready to open (the plant) by being versatile and flexible.”The closure doesn’t affect Cascades’ coated boxboard manufacturing plant, located across the river in the same Eastern Townships community.Analyst Stephen Atkinson of Dundee Securities said the kraft paper mill was very old and past its useful life.“Cascades kept it going as long as they could,” he wrote in an email, adding there was no point converting to other products.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Cascades shares lost four cents at $6.52 in Wednesday afternoon trading.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 9, 2014 10:06 am MDT read more