July 30, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
The United Nations fails to agree on a landmark arms-trade treaty.
Eskom says internal approvals are in hand for the first renewable energy projects.
And, the World Food Programme says that 1.6-million people are in need of food aid in Zimbabwe.
Diplomats say delegations from around the world failed on Friday to agree on a landmark United Nations arms-trade treaty to regulate the more than 60-billion dollar industry. The UN is now opting for further talks and a possible UN General Assembly vote by the end of the year.
More than 170 countries have spent the past month in New York negotiating a treaty, which needed to be adopted by consensus, so any one country effectively could have vetoed a deal. Instead, no decision was taken on a draft treaty.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment that the meetings were inconclusive. However he was encouraged that UN members will continue pursuing "this noble goal."
State-owned power utility Eskom has concluded its internal governance processes for the connection of, as well as the purchase of power from, the renewable-energy projects that advanced to the preferred-bidder stage under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (or REIPPP).
Single buyer office representative Adele Greyling reported on Friday that corporate authorisations had been secured to sign power purchase and connection agreements with the first-window bidders. These bidders were named by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters in December.
The 28 renewable-energy projects have been identified as preferred bidders during the first REIPPP bid window and an initial deadline of June 19 was set for financial closure.
The World Food Programme (or WFP) says that the number of people in need of food aid in Zimbabwe will rise by 60 percent this year to 1.6-million.
A poor farming season this year has been blamed on erratic rainfall and limited access to seeds and fertilizers. This has prompted Finance Minister Tendai Biti to cut the 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 percent from 9.4 percent.
The WFP, said in a statement that nearly one in five rural people in the southern African state would need food aid during the peak of next year's "hunger season". The season is forecast to run from January to March when the new crops are not ready for harvest.
The WFP said that it would import cereals from neighbouring countries to distribute in rural Zimbabwe. It added that it would also hand out cash in some areas to allow people to buy their own cereals.
Also making headlines:
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara says that West African leaders are ready to seek military intervention in Mali from the United Nations Security Council.
Egyptian state media says a new cabinet will be announced on Thursday.
And, the energy department says prices of all grades of petrol are set to rise on Wednesday.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.