Polio Update from the New York Times

|​NYT Now

Disease of Pakistan’s Poor Now Worries the Affluent


A worker administering polio vaccine drops to a child at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Credit Rizwan Tabassum/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

KARACHI, Pakistan — Until recently, polio was considered a poor man’s problem in Pakistan — a crippling virus that festered in the mountainous tribal belt, traversed the country on interprovincial buses, and spread via infected children who played in the open sewers of sprawling slums.
But since the World Health Organization declared a polio emergency here last week — identifying Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon as the world’s main reservoirs of the virus — the disease has become an urgent concern of the wealthy, too.
A W.H.O. recommendation that travelers not leave Pakistan without a polio vaccination certificate has caused confusion. Doctors, clinics and hospitals have been inundated with inquiries. The association of travel agents has reported “panic” among air travel customers.
The government, which is scrambling to meet the W.H.O. requirement, says it needs two weeks to make arrangements at airports and buy more vaccines. But to most Pakistanis, it is a jolting reminder of the gravity of a crisis that has been quietly building for years, and which is now, according to the W.H.O., spilling into other countries, threatening to undo decades of efforts to eradicate polio across the globe.
Despite years of multimillion-dollar immunization campaigns, led by the government and international organizations, this year Pakistan reported 59 new polio cases, by far the most of any country. The W.H.O. had reported only 68 cases worldwide as of April 30.
Instability is driving the crisis. The Taliban, which had long opposed the vaccinations as part of what its leaders said was a Jewish conspiracy, has stymied immunization efforts in the northwest and the tribal belt, where infection rates are highest. The Taliban have forbidden vaccinations in North Waziristan for years, and killed vaccination teams in other areas.
Suspicions among the Taliban and others that the vaccination campaign was an espionage effort gained currency after 2011, when a covert, C.I.A.-financed vaccination campaign used to try to find Osama bin Laden came to light.
The sense of urgency that has gripped health professionals for years, however, was largely absent among the upper class, who have had limited exposure to polio. “There was a total disconnect” in society about the problem, said Dr. Anita Zaidi, a pediatric infectious diseases expert and a member of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group.
Some of the highest refusal rates for polio vaccination were recorded in wealthy Karachi neighborhoods, where residents had little faith in public health care, Dr. Zaidi said, citing a 2011 study. Now, the vaccination requirement has drawn an ambivalent response from the wealthy.
Ibrahim Shamsi, a textile exporter who intends to travel to Canada, called it “a lot of botheration.” He said, “I’m sure I was vaccinated as a child so I don’t know why I need to do it now.”
Seher Naveed, an artist with travel plans for Berlin and Amsterdam, said she was worried that the vaccine could have an adverse effect on adults.
In Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, residents of the wealthy Gulberg neighborhood also expressed unease about the new requirements. Jameel Ahmed, a businessman, said he was embarrassed to have to take a vaccination at the age of 57.
A woman who gave her name as Mrs. Ahsan said the restrictions were discriminatory and unfair. “We have been singled out in the world,” she said. For some experts, the worry is that immunizing all travelers will divert scarce resources from efforts to fight polio where it is most prevalent. Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta of the Center for Excellence in Women and Child Health at Karachi’s Aga Khan University, said the W.H.O. travel advisory was “unfortunate,” and would foster an erroneous sense that polio is a universal problem in Pakistan.
“It’s not — it’s a geographic problem, and this will take the pressure off the hot spots,” he said.
One such hot spot is on the edge of Karachi where, on a desolate stretch of road at the city gates, the fight against polio is being fought bus by bus.
Buses filled with ethnic Pashtuns, fleeing poverty or conflict in the northwest, enter the city every day; some are unwittingly carrying the polio virus from areas where infection rates are highest, W.H.O. officials say.
On Friday morning a team of eight government health workers, clad in bright yellow jackets and blue caps, boarded passenger buses as they entered the city, administering the vaccine to children under the age of 5.
One vaccinator, Nadir Ali, wove through the crowded aisles with a box filled with vaccines. Children bawled in protest, and passengers looked bemused. “Shh,” one mother said to her crying baby. “You’ve gotten the drops, now quiet.”
Every day Mr. Ali and his fellow vaccinators, who are paid $2.50 a day, immunize at least 2,800 children. Some eight million children were immunized at 10 such transit points across the country in 2013, in a program that is partly financed by Rotary International and supported by the W.H.O. “Terrorists may want to destroy Pakistan, but this virus is destroying our nation,” Mr. Ali said.
Karachi’s importance in this battle stems from its position as a trade and transit hub, which facilitates the movement of migrants, travelers and, more recently, the polio virus.
“Karachi acts not only as a reservoir for the disease, but also as an amplifier,” said Dr. Zubair Mufti, the national coordinator for the W.H.O.’s polio campaign.
Efforts to banish polio from the city have also been hurt by the growing Taliban presence in ethnic Pashtun neighborhoods. There have been several militant attacks on polio vaccination teams since the first in July 2012; over the same period reported cases of polio — a disease that can be carried by adults but mostly strikes infant children — have steadily risen. Eight cases were reported in 2013; so far this year the figure is four.
The latest Taliban attack in Qayumabad, an area close to the upscale Defense neighborhood, on Jan. 21 resulted in the death of three female health workers.
One Pakistani Taliban militant, who identified himself as Gul, said in an interview that his group had attacked two polio teams in Karachi in 2012 because “they were trying to find the hide-outs of our leaders in these areas.”
But some experts say the bin Laden factor has been overstated, noting that the Taliban started to target polio workers long before the American commando raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader.
“The Taliban in North Waziristan didn’t stop the campaign because of Shakil Afridi, they did it for political reasons,” said Dr. Bhutta, referring to the Pakistani doctor hired by the C.I.A. to run the vaccination campaign in 2011. “And they’ve done themselves and the country a lot of damage.”
But for Mr. Ali, the immunizer jumping between buses outside Karachi, the most immediate problem is persuading reluctant parents. Some passengers offered up their children enthusiastically for immunization; others were cajoled into compliance by fellow passengers or even bus drivers.
But one mother, on a bus from Bahawalpur in Punjab Province, staunchly refused his entreaties to immunize her baby son.
“The vaccination is necessary against the virus. There are no side effects,” he pleaded.
“I’m his mother,” said the woman firmly.
Mr. Ali shrugged and retreated.


Central Europe and the Crimea from a Bulgarian Perspective

International Breakfast  Apr 16
Our featured speaker was H.E. Mr. Milen Lyutskonov, Consul-General of Bulgaria. His topic was  "Central Europe and the Crimea from a Bulgarian Perspective."

Milen Lyutskanov, Consul General of Bulgaria in New York was appointed  to represent his country in New York. He is a career diplomats with extensive service. Before his current post in New York, Milen Lyutskanov was Deputy Permanent Representative and Deputy Chief of the Bulgarian mission to NATO. Lyutskanov was also Deputy Foreign Minister.
The President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev is following with concern the development of the situation in Ukraine after Russia’s Upper House of Parliament adopted a decree which allows the usage of Russian armed forces in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The Head of State has said more than once that the only lasting solution may be achieved by peaceful means and if the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is guaranteed. The usage of military force to occupy foreign territories is violation of the rules of international law.

The President calls on the UN Security Council and the countries-guarantors of the security in Ukraine, in compliance with the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, to ensure a peaceful solution to the problem and to avoid a further escalation of the tension.

In May 2014 presidential elections are due to be held in Ukraine. The people of Ukraine should alone decide what their future should be in a democratic way.

If necessary, the President will convene the Consultative Council for National Security. 


Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations

H.E.Bénédicte Frankinet, is the currrent  Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations. Before her appointment, Ms. Frankinet was Ambassador to Israel since 2008, after she previously served as Director for the United Nations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels from 2003.From 1999 to 2003, Ms. Frankinet was Ambassador to Zimbabwe, accredited also to Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.  Between 1994 and 1999, she served as Counsellor, then Deputy Head of Mission at her country’s Embassy in Paris. In 1992, Ms. Frankinet was an adviser in the private office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and from 1988 to 1992, she was First Secretary at Belgium’s Permanent Representation to the European Communities in Brussels.
She served a previous stint, between 1983 and 1988, at the New York Permanent Mission as First Secretary, and was an attaché in Brasilia from 1979 to 1983.Ms. Frankinet holds degrees in political science, social science and journalism from the Free University of Brussels.

Like Rotary international,Belgium is an important donor to the development programs of the UN-system. In 2005 Belgian contributions amounted to 184 million euro, or 12% of its total official development assistance. Belgium plays an active role in the executive boards of UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM and UNCDF, and in consultations between these funds and programmes and the major donor countries.
In its relationship with the funds and programs Belgium strongly emphasises the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
When funding programs of UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM and UNCDF, Belgium tries to concentrate on a limited number of themes it feels are essential for development, such as:
  • support to subsidiary administration and local development;
  • good governance, in particular the strengthening of parliaments and support of election processes; on March 14-15, 2007, Belgium will host an  "International Conference on Good Governance" in Brussels;
  • the fight against the abuse of children and women, particularly in post-conflict zones.
(The above is from the Belgium Mission Website)

LE PANTHEON DE LA GUERRE, The Largest Painting in the World



In a circular building on the Midway was a gigantic panorama of World War I painted upon a canvas 402 feet long and 45 feet high. "The Pantheon" building at A Century of Progress was especially constructed to house the painting. The painting was viewed from platforms at two levels, which accomodated 1,000 persons. The upper platform was an unobstructed circle over fifty feet in diameter, from which the whole circuit of the painting could be viewed. The lower platform formed a ring, with the outer surface about twenty feet nearer the canvas than that of the upper circle, and was at an angle that gave the spectator an eye-level view of the large foreground portraits in the painting.

It took 130 artists to create this monumental masterpiece. They worked upon it from October 1914 until after the Armistice. While the picture was being painted, Paris was being continuously bombarded.

Against a background of war-ravaged France and Belgium stood groups of more than 6,000 individuals. All the famous leaders of the Allied nations, the great heroes, and the martyrs were depicted. Twenty-eight nations were represented.

The painting was said to have cost $500,000 and it was presented at the fair under the sponsorship of Pershing Hall, the A.E.F. memorial building in Paris.

220 × 326 - newmiamiarch.org

Francis Dubois was born and raised in Alsace, France, and had a very distinguished career with the United Nations. He served as the Deputy Coordinator of the UN Secretary General in the Palestinian Territories, then posted to Iraq as the Head of the UN Office ( with the rank of Ambassador ), and subsequently in Algeria , and Tunisia in the same capacity.

Since his retirement, Francis Dubois is an active member of several  non-governmental organizations and serves on their boards. Presently, he is the  President of Le Comite La Fayette, in  New York, an organization that promotes French-American relations. Also, as a Paul Harris Fellow ,  he is a regular attendee of the monthly Breakfast meeting of the Rotary Club at the UN.




Thoughts and Pictures from the Philipines

 Todd Shea of Rotary Club of Inwood and Executive Director and Founder of Comprehensive Disaster Response Services sends us some photos updating us on his current mission with Jim Kushner to the Phillipines.  

Todd Shea
Member, Rotary Club of Inwood, Manhattan, NY
Executive Director and Founder
Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS)


Rotary District Governor Visits Rotaract Club of the United Nations

Rotary District Governor Visits Rotaract Club of the United Nations.  District Governor Matts visits the United Nations Rotaract Club.  Their meetings are held at the Ronald McDonald's House on East 73rd St.


Sul, Kyung-Hoon, Depurty UN Amabasador of Korea

Ambassador Sul entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1982. Since then, he has worked on a variety of multilateral issues related to economic and development cooperation, the United Nations, international economic organizations, disarmament and non-proliferation, and international law. He has assumed political, economic and consular posts in New York (1987-90), Iran (1994-1996), Geneva (1998-2001), and Kuwait (2004-2006). From 2006 to 2009, he was posted as Minister-Counsellor at the Korean Mission to the United Nations in New York. He served as Deputy Director-General for International Organizations in 2009 and as Director-General for Development Cooperation dealing with development assistance to developing countries from 2009 to 2011. He began his post as Deputy Permanent Representative to UN in August 2011.

Ambassador Sul received his Master of Arts in international political economy from the University of Virginia (1985). He received a Bachelor's degree in economics from Seoul National University (1981). In 2005, the Korean Government awarded him the red-stripe medal for distinguished officials.

(From the Mission Webiste) South Korea had a very special relationship with the United Nations from its establishment. The UN first recognized the Republic of Korea as the sole legitimate government in the Korean Peninsula through General Assembly resolution 195 in 1948. Then, in 1950, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution that deployed UN Forces to our land after the outbreak of the Korean War. In the wake of the devastation of war, the UN offered us key support to overcome the numerous reconstruction and developmental challenges. Indeed, the UN has played a significant role in shaping once a war-devastated country into one where democracy has taken root, economy is thriving, and human rights are protected.

In 1991, the Republic of Korea became a Member State of the UN. Since then, Korea has actively participated in UN activities and engaged in a variety of global issues such as economic development, human rights, international peace and security, and climate change. For instance, Korea first served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 1996, and since 2013, is now serving on the Council for a second time. Korea also held the Presidency of the General Assembly in 2001. Additionally, it has been active members in the Economic and Social Council, the Human Rights Council, the UN Women Executive Board, and other major bodies such as the Rio+20 Preparatory Committee. These active roles have stemmed from the desire of the Korean people to work toward peace and prosperity as a responsible member of the global community. We believe that the Member States of the UN recognized these efforts as they elected a Korean, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, as the Secretary-General of the UN in 2007.

Korea’s current foreign policy vision, entitled the “Era of Global Happiness,” represents our continued efforts towards realizing a better world. Since the inauguration of President Park Geun-hye in February of 2013, she and her administration have pursued this forward-thinking policy initiative to strengthen linkages between national growth and individual happiness, with Korea’s happiness and the larger happiness of our world. This vision resulted from the contemplation of how Korea came this far, how much help it received from the international community, and how we would meet increasingly pressing challenges of poverty, underdevelopment, and the polarization of wealth.

The Korean government wishes to utilize the UN as the primary forum of multilateralism in order to solve the various global challenges of today. As a member of the Security Council for 2013-2014, Korea will join others in tackling security issues that range from regional conflicts and peacekeeping, tothe protection of civilians in armed conflicts, especially women and children. Furthermore, Korea would like to contribute to discussing development agendas by sharing with others the lessons learned from our own experiences of rapid industrialization and democratization.


What is Integrity?, And a visit from Rotaractors

There are three Rotaract Clubs in Manhattan.  In this photo Moderator Josef Klee welcomes three Rotaractors from the Rotaract Club of Columbia University.  From left to right are Maya Selender (Ecuador), Lily Jumean (Dubai), Josef, and Theresa Schmidt (Germany).  Rotaracts have and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars and UN interns have an open invition to our monthly breakfast meetings at no charge. They always add insight to our meetings.

Our featured speaker was: Mr. Christopher C. Gates, Banker, Actor, Peace Volunteer and a recent friend of our meetings.His topic was Interactive Conversation about INTEGRITY: An Access to Performance. In addition visiting Roarian, Mrs. Joan Sikand, Lawyer and Poet,  read a poem.

The meeting took place at the UN Church Center, 1st Ave/44th St., 10th floor



A Visit From Mr. Santa Clause, the well-known hero of children around the world.


On  Wednesday, December 18,  Mr. Santa Clause, the well-known hero of children around the world, will be visiting the Legendary Rotary Club of New York's Holiday party.   Mr. Clause, a year-round resident of the North Pole, is expected to thank our club for it's generosity with providing toys to the children of Manhattan over the years.  Santa, who has a long and impressive history of helping children, hopes to pick up about two-hundred toys from our club with the help of EREY and the RCNY Foundation.
As is customary, he asked that Rotarians bring a gift-wrapped toy for children over 12 years old. "While it is always difficult to get toys for children, it is particularly difficult to get enough toys for older children". he has advised.  For those Rotarians that cannot attend the December 18 Holiday Celebration please contact Andreas or Tom McConnon and they will purchase and gift wrap a $25 toy for you.  
The toys that Mr. Clause picks up from us will be given to the children that live near the Fraternities- Notre Dame Soup Kitchen on 1st Ave. and East 117th Street.   Ho, ho, ho!


Klaus Proempers, Director of German Television, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF, New York Office

Klaus Proempers, Director of German Television, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF, New York Office
His topic was" The status of the negotiations on the Iran Nuclear Program" and he also commented on the new German Government in the making.
Klaus Prömpers was born February 11, 1949 in Düsseldorf, and studied economics in Cologne Germany.

1976 – 79 Secretary General of Catholic youth organization. 1980 – 89 Moderator and Reporter Deutschlandfunk, Cologne, Germany. November 89 – August 1999 Reporter Bonn German TV Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. September 1999 – February 2004 Brussels ZDF. March 2004 – June 2011 Vienna ZDF Balkans Bureau Chief.Since July 2011, New York ZDF Bureau Chief.

Also more than thirty Manahatan Rotaractors attendd this meeting from the Rotaract Clubs of the  United Nations, Columbia University and the newly formed Pace University

Also Raven Moore, author of the new book "Padre" spoke briefly and  her experiences and thoughts of her Peace Corps Service in Cote d'Ivoire in western Africa. 


Rotary Day at UN 2013. 1,500 Rotarians, Rotaract and Interact

Vocational Service Breakout Session
United Nations diplomats and officials gathered with 1,300 Rotary members on 2 November to discuss ways to engage youth activists, prevent disease, promote peace, and resolve conflict around the world.
Held annually at United Nations headquarters in New York City, Rotary-UN Day celebrates the enduring partnership between Rotary and the UN and their common goal of peace.
RI President Ron Burton opened the daylong event by heralding the two organizations’ worldwide impact.
“The collective efforts of Rotarians around the globe could have an impact at a real level on what happens here at the United Nations,” Burton said. “[We are] helping to make our world a much better place.”
Jan Eliasson, UN deputy secretary-general, echoed Burton’s sentiment, thanking Rotary not only for its ongoing work in the fight against polio but also for addressing other important issues, such as water and sanitation needs.
“The United Nations needs organizations that work together with us, that work horizontally. Rotary does this,” Eliasson said.

Zeroing in on social issues

New at this year’s event were sessions on topics such as youth innovation, peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention, clean water, and maternal and child health. Leaders in each area highlighted the discussions, which aimed to motivate participants to take action in their communities.
The recent polio cases in Syria were addressed during a panel discussion that emphasized the importance not only of eradicating polio in the final three countries, but also of responding to any outbreaks in countries where polio is no longer endemic.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair D.K. Lee said that although the Syria outbreak presents a new and significant challenge, Rotary has been successful in equally volatile countries in the past.
“We have been told many times that we cannot do it, that we will never do it. But we know better. We will conquer this challenge, as we have conquered so many before,” Lee said. “We will stop these new outbreaks. And we will continue to fight polio, until we have reached every last child.”
Noted speakers included Peter Crowley, director of Polio Team, UNICEF, Carlos Enrique García González, ambassador of El Salvador to the United Nations; Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, consul general of India; Rob Raylman, executive director of Gift of Life International; Patricia Shafer, Rotary Peace Fellow alumna; Sharon Tennison, founder of the Center for Citizen Initiatives; and Deepa Willingham, founder of PACE Universal.
Rotary News
Full House During The Panel Discussions


El Salvador at the UN. A New Gerneration

Our guest speaker at the October 2013 meeting was  Ambassador Ruben Hasbun. The Ambasaor who asked to be called "Ruben", first thanked The New York based, and Rotary supported Gift of Life Program.  Eleven beautiful Salvadoran children received the Gift of Life this week at Hospital Bloom in El Salvador thanks to there amazing medical teams and our wonderful sponsors: Rotary Club of Naples, Michael Grech Memorial Foundation, Digicel El Salvador, Rotary District 7190, Rotary Clubs of Latham, Delmar, Scotia, Schenectady, Rotterdam Sunrise, Glens Falls, Club Rotario Santa Tecla and the Rotary Foundation. 11 Lives Saved This Week in El Salvador (11 photos) 
Rubin is the Deputy Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations and before that post was Minister Counselor, in charge of human rights and social affairs> He also held the post of International Civil Society based in Tokyo, Japan for seven years were he earned his MA degree in International Politics at Aoyama University.   Rubin is fluent in Japanese and four other languages besides his native Spanish.

From the UN Website:  RUBÉN ARMANDO ESCALANTE HASBÚN  supported the fruitful work done on crime prevention and criminal justice, in particular towards the elimination of violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families, which was the subject of one of the resolutions currently before the Council.  Ecuador made that issue a priority and, therefore, was one of the sponsors of that text.  However, it felt that it could include other elements, such as the importance of a larger number of ratifications to the Convention on the Rights of Migrants and their Families.

On human rights, he also supported the presentation of the report of the Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, and hoped that the request for extra meeting time would be adopted by consensus.  The rights of older persons was an issue of growing importance, he said, and noted the upcoming Conference on Ageing in that respect.  As the report on that matter pointed out, the ageing of the population was one of the most important changes in global demographics in the twenty-first century.

Lastly, on the issue of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, he said that his delegation attached great importance on the resolution adopted this year by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on indigenous women.  El Salvador would continue to play an active role in the facilitation process of an inclusive draft resolution on the preparation of the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

Chemical Weapons Taboo - Virginia Gamba - Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations

Our guest speaker at the September 18 2013 meeting was Ms. Virginia Gamba and Director of the Office for Disarmament Affairs (left in photo). She holds an MSC in Strategic Studies from Aberystwyth University Wales and has worked as a technical advisor in the Americas, Africa and Europe and she is the author of forty publications on crisis prevention, and nuclear proliferation>  Her office oversees two multilateral conventions approaching universal membership that outlaw biological and chemical weapons.  These have helping to sustain a global taboo against the existence of such weapons.

"Hope for a future world without nuclear weapons" - Twenty years ago, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine renounced their nuclear arsenals


www.un.org - Office for Disarmament Affairs Director Virginia Gamba represented Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the event. Two decades after having renounced their nuclear weapons arsenals, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine called upon the international community to redouble efforts towards eliminating all nuclear weapons. Abolishing all nuclear weapons is "the most ardent aspiration of mankind.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Rotary at NY Stock Exchange

Rotary District Governor for New York & Bermuda Matts Ingemanson (left), Rotary International President Ron Burton (right) and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (middle) visited the New York Stock Exchange on July 24, 2013 to commemorate that NYSE Euronext joined the United Nations' Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. This will explore how exchanges can work together with investors, regulators, and companies to enhance corporate transparency on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues and encourage responsible long-term approaches to investment.


UN Budget Chairman, Carlos G. Ruiz Massieu

The Speaker at the June 19, 2013 meetings was Mr. Carlos G. Ruiz Massieu, Representative of the Mission of Mexico to the United Nations. Mr. Massieu is the Chairman of the United Nations Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions which has complete oversight of all UN activities, including its political missions and peacekeeping operations worldwide.

He is the first Latin American to hold this position in the history of the United Nations
Mexican citizen Carlos Ruiz Massieu Aguirre was appointed chairman of the U.N.’s Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) during the 67th UN General Assembly.
Mr. Ruiz Massieu assumed his new role on January 1, 2013, with the rank of Assistant Secretary General. This is the first time a Latin American has occupied that post.
The ACABQ is one of the most influential areas of the United Nations and is responsible for reviewing the budgets submitted by the UN Secretary General for peacekeeping operations and for the operation of the UN agencies and programs.
Carlos Ruiz Massieu’s appointment comes in recognition of his strong academic and professional background. He has extensive multilateral experience in development cooperation and administrative and budgetary matters. He is already working on the ACABQ, to which he was elected in 2011.
Carlos Ruiz Masssieu is a member of the Mexican Foreign Service and holds a law degree from the Iberoamericana University and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Essex. He has been posted to the Mexican embassy in Costa Rica and to the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in New York.
The Foreign Ministry reaffirms its commitment to the objectives and work of the UN and is ready to continue working on improving the organization’s efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability.


Taliban Renounces War on Anti-Polio Workers

Taliban renounces war on anti-polio workers from:
The Telegraph - Zubair Babakarkhail in Kabul and Dean Nelson in

New Delhi -3:02PM BST 13 May 2013

The Taliban has ended its war on polio vaccination workers and

admitted immunization is the only way to protect children from

the disease, its leadership said in a statement issued today.


The announcement comes just weeks after the Afghan government
launched a new campaign to immunise more than eight million
 children between six monthsand five years old throughout the
country. It said it had trained 46,000 volunteers to conduct the
 campaign which is funded by the American aid agency
 USAID, the World Health Organisation and Unicef.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the three remaining
 countries in the world where polio remains a serious threat,
 but efforts to eradicate the disease have been
 sabotaged by the Taliban and other Islamic militants who have
 assassinated immunisation volunteers in all three countries.
Eleven polio workers were killed in Pakistan last year,
 including five women who were shot dead in Karachi in December
 last year. Earlier this year a police officer protecting vaccination
 campaigners was shot by motorcycle gunmen in Khyber
 Pukhtunkhwa. In Afghanistan, a 16 year old girl involved
 in an anti-polio vaccination campaign in Kapisa province was shot
 six times in the stomach outside her home last December
and died later in hospital. In March this year the Afghan
 government was forced to abandon its polio vaccination
 campaign in Nuristan province where, it said, Taliban
opposition had made it impossible.

Opposition to the vaccination programme has been driven
 by conservative clerics who claim it is a plot to sterilise
 Muslim children, and Taliban commanders who fear
 it is being used to gather intelligence in their strongholds.
 Those fears increased following the 2011 killing of al-Qaeda
 leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad
where Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi was arrested for running
 a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign to help the CIA collect
DNA samples of members of the bin Laden family.
But in a sudden U-turn the Taliban leadership issued a
 statement offering its support for polio eradication campaigns as
 long as foreigners were not involved and that all volunteers respected
 local Islamic culture. "According to the latest international medicine
 science, the polio disease can onlybe cured by preventive measures
 ie the anti-polio drops and the vaccination of children
 against this disease. "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan supports
 and lends a hand to all those programs which works for the health
 care of the helpless people of our country," said a stament
 issued by the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan'.
But it warned the World Health Organisation and Unicef to employ
 only "unbiased people"in a campaign "harmonised with the regional
 conditions, Islamic values and local cultural traditions."
It also ordered its fighters to give polio workers "all necessary support".
Mohammad Younas Fakor, an independent political analyst, said the
 move was aimed at boosting its popularity among Afghans as the
 withdrawal of foreign troops draws closer. "I think the Taliban looks
 towards 2014, and they know that they will not have any other
 option rather than coming to the political process," he said.

Volunteer and member of Rotary Community Corps Murdered in Pakistan

By Robert S. Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee
Abdul Waheed Khan, who headed the Site Town Polio Resource Center in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, died tragically in an attack on 13 May that also wounded his daughter and brother.
Although not a Rotarian, Waheed, as he was known to friends, was a member of the Rotary Community Corps sponsored by the Rotary Club of Karachi. Due largely to his vision and leadership, the center not only provides immunization against polio and other diseases but also operates a school, a food program, and a vaccine storage facility.
I had the privilege of meeting Waheed a little over two months ago during a visit to the polio resource center. He briefed me on the center’s achievements, including its success in immunizing children who would otherwise be missed and changing the minds of parents who initially refuse to let their children be vaccinated.
Aziz Memon, chair of the Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee, called Waheed “a committed, multitalented individual who devoted his time and energy towards the eradication of polio, mobilizing the community, and improving the quality of life in the surrounding areas.”
On behalf of Rotary, I extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Waheed’s family and friends, including the many Rotarians who knew him. His dedication and sacrifice further inspire us to continue pursuing our goal of a polio-free world.


Rotary's Polio-Plus Volunteers Attacked in Pakistan.

 A women volunteer in Rotary's Polio Plus vaccination campaign was killed, and another wounded in an attack near Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, May 28,2013.  The volunteers were going door-to door dispensing the oral anti-polio drops to children when two gunmen opened fire. This type of violence has usually been attributed to the Pakistani Taliban who consider Polio vaccination efforts as a Muslim sterilization plan, according to the deputy city commisioner of Peshawar. There was also an attack in northwestern Pakistan last week on volunteers, and the soldier protecting the volunteer team was killed. There are 682 teams in Pakistan this week with the aim to vaccinate more than 220,000 children.

(From the New York Times, December 2012) This has happened with increasing frequency in Pakistan over the past year. A concerted immunization drive, involving up to 225,000 vaccination workers, drove the number of newly infected polio victims down to 52.   Donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates  Foundation, the United Nations, and Rotary, and at the national level, President Asif Ali Zardari and his daughter Aseefa,  have made polio eradication a “personal mission.”
In December of 2012 in  Pakistan, The United Nations suspended its polio vaccination drive in Pakistan after eight people involved in the effort were shot dead in the past two days, a U.N. official said.
The suspension was a grave blow to the drive to bring an end to the scourge of polio in Pakistan, one of only three countries where the crippling disease still survives.
 The gunmen shot at a woman working on the campaign in northwest Pakistan, killing her and her driver, one of five attacks during the day on polio workers. A male polio immunization worker was critically wounded in one of the shootings.
During that week, six other people have been killed who were working on the immunization program, which has been jointly conducted with the Pakistani government. No one claimed responsibility, but some Islamic extremists charge that the program is a cover for espionage.
At the U.N., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing as "cruel, senseless and inexcusable." He said the eight workers were among thousands across Pakistan "working selflessly to achieve the historic goal of polio eradication."
Sarah Crowe, spokeswoman for UNICEF, said the vaccination program has been suspended everywhere in Pakistan until an investigation by the Pakistani government is completed.
"This is undoubtedly a tragic setback, but the campaign to eradicate polio will and must continue," she said.


Institute for Rural Rural Reconstruction and the US Federation for Middle East Peace

Isaac B. Bekalo Born in Ethiopia, Isaac has twenty five years of practical experience in community and organizational development, management and leadership. As President of IIRR, Isaac takes a lead role in strategy formulation, organizational diagnoses and restructuring, strategic management, business plan development and monitoring and evaluation.

Isaac’s academic qualifications include a Doctoral degree in Organizational Development and Planning. While pursuing his doctoral studies, Isaac worked as a part-time lecturer in the school of Public Health and as the Coordinator of Graduate Research Programs in the Philippines.
Isaac joined IIRR in September 1989 as the Africa Regional Director and was appointed as the 6th President of IIRR in January 2009. Isaac built IIRR’s Africa Regional Center from scratch by mobilizing resources, building strong teams and establishing a presence in four East African countries. As President, he is a voting but non-independent member of the Board of Trustees which he was appointed to in January 2009 when he assumed the role of President.IIRR has over 80 years of history in participatory, integrated and people-centered development. The Institute has enhanced the capacity and confidence of over 100,000 development managers, practitioners and community leaders across Asia, Africa and Latin America and has a long history of documenting and disseminating field-based experience through its publications. Behind this tremendous body of work is a compelling and revolutionary individual

Our guest speaker at the May 2013 breakfast meeting was The U.S. Federation for Middle East Peace (UFMEP) is a non-profit, organization, which promotes the United Nations commitment to international peace, security and justice through educational programs, public relations and community outreach initiatives. UFMEP works to provide Americans and Europeans with information about the Middle East including its history, religions, cultures and political landscape. The goal is to promote understanding of Middle Eastern culture through seminars, workshops, roundtables, and public forums. We have established networks and liaison offices in other regions of the world to help raise awareness on issues concerning peace in the Middle East; utilizing the latest methods in information technology.
Salwa Kader, President
Mrs. Sally (Salwa) Kader, President and founder of USFMEP, is a global peace advocate who tirelessly works to build bridges between the United States and the Arab and Muslim worlds. Mrs. Kader is a well-known and respected public speaker in topics of interfaith dialogue, human rights, youth empowerment and women’s rights. She has spoken at the UN headquarters and across the continental US, in Europe and throughout the Middle East to a wide variety of audiences. She has traveled internationally to lead peace conferences and forums emphasizing the importance of mutual respect and better understanding of the Middle East including its religious philosophies, cultures, history and political landscape.


New York Rotarian Receives "The Rotary Award of Honor".

Let us congratulate our own Sylvan "Barney" Barnet for having been awarded "The Rotary Award of Honor" for his more than 25 years of outstanding Rotary Service.

 Barney has held numerous high ranking leadership positions in Rotary New York and of course Rotary International and has distinguished himself always by not just preaching Rotary values but truly living them.

WE received the letter of notice of the award from RI President Sakuji Tanaka.

We are proud of you Barney!

Andreas Runggatscher
Rotary Club of New York


Brazil Mission Outlines Priorities

The guest Speaker at the April 2013 meeting was Aloisio Barbosa De Sousa Neto (middle), the Second Secretary on the Brazilian Mission. He joined the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil in 2007 after receiving a degree in International Relations at the University of Brasilia in 2006. He is currently very active in the 1st Committee of the General Assembly which deals with Disarmament and International Security
A founding member of the United Nations, Brazil has a long tradition of contributing to peacekeeping operations. Brazil has participated in 33 United Nations peacekeeping operations and contributed with over 27,000 troops. Currently, Brazil contributes with more than 2,200 troops, military observers and police officers in three continents.
Brazil has led the military component of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti. (MINUSTAH) since its establishment in 2004. The mission's Force Commander is Major General Fernando Rodrigues Goulart of the Brazilian Army. Brazil is the biggest troop contributing country to MINUSTAH, with 2,200 active military personnel.
Brazil also leads the Maritime Task Force (MTF) of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. (UNIFIL). Since February 2011, the UNIFIL MTF is under the command of Rear Admiral Luiz Henrique Caroli of the Brazilian Navy. The Brazilian Niteroi class frigate, União, is the flagship of the fleet comprising vessels from three other countries. (from Wikipedia)

Financial contribution

Brazil is the tenth largest contributor to the United Nations regular budget, with a net contribution of US$38 million for the 2012 Assessment


Group Study Exchange From Tokyo, Japan

Guests from Japan; Returning 7230 Team
On Monday, May 6, the GSE Team from Tokyo were be our guests at the regular Rotary meeting at the Harvard Club. Accompanied by their Rotarian Team Leader, Ms. Michiko Kainuma, a music teacher, five young Japanese professionals  talked to us about their lives and professional activities in their home country.

Their interests range from Architecture, stem cell research, cloud computing, railway technology to advertising. They were eager to meet Rotarians in the New York Club, expand their knowledge in their field during their visit with us and also look forward to enjoying the cultural and social life of New York. 

As an added bonus, at the meeting of May 6, the District 7230 GSE Team, freshly back from their tour in Tokyo, their Japanese counterparts and answer questions you may have about their experiences. According to their reports they were treated "royally." New York Rotarins Eav Corredor and Tom McConnon showed the vistors around Midtown during the day and spent the afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.
In a typical four-week tour, applicants participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families.
For each team member, the Foundation provides the most economical round-trip airline ticket between the home and host countries. Rotarians in the host area provide for meals, lodging, and group travel within their district.


Ambassador of the Mission of Botswana to the United Nations.

Our featured speaker at the March 2013 meetings was H.E. Mr. Charles Thembani Ntwaagae, Ambassador of the Mission of Botswana to the United Nations.
His topic was: Why is Botswana so Successful and Its Role at the UN
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Ntwaagae was Permanent Secretary in Botswana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation since 2006. From 2001 to 2005, he served as his country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva with concurrent accreditation to Austria and Greece.
Between 1996 and 2001, Mr. Ntwaagae was Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Ministry. Before assuming those responsibilities, he was Chief Executive at the National Secretariat of the National Conservation Strategy (Coordinating) Agency, charged with promoting conservation and sustainable utilization of Botswana’s natural resource base.
From 1993 to 1995, he was appointed Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing, having previously served as Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary in that Ministry from 1992Mr. Ntwaagae has a master’s degree from Pennsylvania University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Botswana and Swaziland.Born in 1953 in Tutume, Botswana, he is married and has three children.


Côte d'Ivoire and the Peace Corps.

Why the Peace Corps ?

by Raven Moore:

Photo: Raven as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Côte d'Ivoire:  2001  For Raven's interview with Voice of America go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25sAg68mpFI

Peace Corps was a great experience and although it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, I would not exchange it for anything else. It is a part of who I am; my values, my view of the world, my ability to find a way to communicate with people who may or may not want to communicate with me, my more often curiosity instead of fear in the face of the unknown, and my fight for life in general. I would suggest Peace Corps to everyone of all backgrounds and ages, as all backgrounds and ages have been volunteers. You certainly haven't lived until you've almost smoked one with a fellow volunteer old enough to be your grandmother. This is not a promotion of the Peace Corps however for, based on that last comment, it would be a weak one. This is, however, about the great time you can have volunteering abroad - in any way - at any time. Check out my interview put up by the National Peace Corps Association HERE.

Daring to be Rare (but well done)

I would like to publish "Padre" on my own. E-reading is becoming more and more popular but, by and large, people like the fine print and printing "Padre" to put in bookstores will cost me. We are still as resistant to e-reading as we are to E-ZPass.

If You Write It . . . . . .

I will create a small team to build my own web/TV/radio/newsprint presence, plan my own Book tours and signings, properly manage the legal aspects of publishing, and establish multiple sales venues through digital, print, and audio so that Padre will have a long and colorful life. I think it also makes sense to offer it in Braille. Getting a grasp on all of the social media platforms and having the time required to manage them creatively will also be a priority. It's not just about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter although they are the most powerful social media tools these days. There are so many more ways I must reach people...If you write it, they will come.


Just as there are many great independent films that don't get the attention they deserve, there are independent writers with great stories that go unshared.  I can push Padre around the world and back again. Being a multilingual translator as well as a writer, I am my own resource when it comes to book translation and it will be very easy for me to pull together a translation team to translate Padre into all of the languages I know as well as many of the ones I don't know . . . .yet. ; )

  • Embed

  • "Padre" is the true story of life in Cote d'Ivoire as a Peace Corps Volunteer that makes you laugh out loud when you least expect it.
    • Launched:Jan 13, 2013
    • Funding ends:Feb 17, 2013

    What the Heck is Kickstarter ?

    What Kickstarter is, is a crowdfunding site that allows people to actualize their own projects through the support of the masses. I set my minimum goal and try to make that or more, depending on the exchange I can provide to pledgers, the number of people I can contact in a very short period of time, and how fast the word is spread. Greater than a facebook "like," I’m hoping you like my presentation of "Padre" enough to micro-back me in self-publishing it. The deadline for success is Feb. 17th and Kickstarter demands every project creator achieve their minimum goal by the deadline or the project is cancelled and all donations credited back.

    Why is Cultural Laughter Important ?

    Cultural laughter should be important to you because it is the fastest way to realize that all people are human - susceptible to the same love and hate, fear and fearlessness, strength and weakness, genius and error, blindness and clarity. My cultural laughter is not about disrespect but, laughing at my reactions to unfamiliar circumstances and at my inability to adapt to something new. By laughing at myself, I learned to digest culture in a way that pulls all people into the same reality where love and appreciation is all you need to get along.
    My experience in the Peace Corps in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast, West Africa) over 10 years ago pushed me to travel more and opened me up to infinite worlds where I formed an insatiable fascination with the exploration of identity. My life there was rough, as all Peace Corps Volunteer experiences around the world usually are but, after struggling with the way I choose to present and share this story, I've managed to put in it the humor that my friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who meets me, know me for. You won't be able to laugh the entire way through but you will be shocked as the experience I had, for the standard 2.25 years of Peace Corps volunteership, is uniquely none other than my own.