Wednesday, September 20, 2017

At General Assembly, Iran’s leader denounces those seeking to rip apart nuclear pact

20 September 2017 – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking at the same United Nations podium from which the United States yesterday denounced the accord curbing Iran’s nuclear programme as one of the ‘worst deals ever,’ today pledged his country’s continued adherence to the pact.

“I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement, but it will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party,” he told world leaders on the second day of the General Assembly’s 72nd annual general debate.

“It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by ‘rogue newcomers’ to the world of politics, the world will have lost a great opportunity,” he said. “By violating its international commitments, the new US Administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it, or accepting its word or promise.”

Endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council in 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between its five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), plus Germany, the European Union (EU) and Iran, set out rigorous mechanisms for monitoring limits on Iran’s nuclear programme, while paving the way for lifting UN sanctions against the country. - More
Full statement available here

At General Assembly, Iran’s leader denounces those seeking to rip apart nuclear pact

Palestinian leader, at General Assembly, calls on ‘duty-bound’ UN to end Israeli occupation

UN must update itself to face 21st century challenges, Afghan leader tells General Assembly

19 September 2017 – The United Nations and its agencies must reinvent themselves to tackle the challenges of the 21st century, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani told the UN General Assembly on the opening day of its annual general debate today.

“Overcoming the destructive and disruptive patterns of change in the 21st century requires collective and coordinated action at the global, regional, national, local and individual levels,” he declared.

He stressed that the threat of international terrorism has played on Afghan soil, dominating the narrative of Afghanistan and driving the fate of its people for far too long, but also cited his country’s “enormous potential” to be the regional brokers of peace, a hub for economic prosperity, and a beacon of democratic values.

“Afghanistan will, yet again, be the Asian Roundabout for dialogue of civilizations and a model of harmony and culture of tolerance and engagement,” he concluded. - Read More

European Union - President of the European Council Addresses General Debate, 72nd Session

20 Sep 2017 -  Donald Tusk, President of the European Council of the European Union, addresses the general debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 19 - 25 September 2017). - Read More

European Union - President of the European Council...

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Address by President Donald Tusk at the 72nd United Nations

Repair 'world in pieces' and create 'world at peace,' UN chief Guterres urges global leaders

19 September 2017 – Addressing the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations Headquarters, Secretary-General António Guterres today spotlighted several threats – including the nuclear peril, climate change, and ongoing conflicts – that must be overcome to create a better world for all.

“We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace,” said Mr. Guterres as he presented his annual Report on the work of the Organization ahead of the general debate of the UN General Assembly, in which Heads of State and Government and other high-level representatives from around the world discuss key global issues.

He said that the world is seeing insecurity rising, inequality growing, conflict spreading, climate changing, societies fragmenting and political discourse polarizing.

The UN chief noted that global anxieties about nuclear weapons are at the highest level since the end of the Cold War due to provocative nuclear and missile tests by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

“The solution must be political. This is a time for statesmanship. We must not sleepwalk our way into war,” he warned, as fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings.

On terrorism, the Secretary-General stressed the need to address the roots of radicalization. “It is not enough to fight terrorists on the battlefield,” he said.

Stressing the need for “a surge in diplomacy today” and “a leap in conflict prevention for tomorrow,” he said that it is possible to move from war to peace, and from dictatorship to democracy. Only political solutions can bring peace to the unresolved conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, the Sahel, Afghanistan and elsewhere. That was why he announced the creation of a high-level advisory board on mediation, he added.

On Myanmar, Mr. Guterres said the Asian country's authorities must end the military operations in Rakhine state, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and address the grievances of the Rohingya Muslims, whose status has been left unresolved for far too long.

He went on to take note of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's address today – and her intention to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State that was chaired by Kofi Annan within the shortest time possible.

On the Israel-Palestine conflict, the two-state solution remains the only way forward, he said.

Turning to climate change, Mr. Guterres urged Governments to implement the historic Paris Agreement with greater ambition.

Lastly, Mr. Guterres said safe migration cannot be limited to the global elite and stressed the need to do more to face the challenges of migration. Refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants are not the problem; the problem lies in conflict, persecution and hopeless poverty.

To tackle these challenges, he said, the UN has launched initiatives to reform itself. - Read More

Repair 'world in pieces' and create 'world at peace,' UN chief Guterres

UN General Assembly’s annual debate to ‘focus on people,’ ensuring decent life for all

Full text: Trump's 2017 U.N. speech transcript - POLITICO

In Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamist extremism that inspires them.

We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.

We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.

The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people.

Last month, I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operations, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians.

I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups. In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. - Read More

Full text: Trump's 2017 U.N. speech transcript - POLITICO

7.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico: Live updates - CNN

What you need to know

What happened: A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit 75 miles southeast of Mexico City yesterday afternoon. It's the country's second major quake in just a week.

Death toll: More than 200 were killed across three states.

Now: Rescue and recovery efforts are the primary focus. - Read More

7.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico: Live updates - CNN

Hurricane Maria hammers Puerto Rico with force not seen in ‘modern history’ - washingtonpost

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria roared ashore Wednesday as the strongest storm to strike Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, knocking out power to nearly the entire island and leaving frightened people huddled in buildings hoping to ride out powerhouse winds that have already left death and devastation across the Caribbean.

"On the forecast track, [Maria] would be the most destructive hurricane in Puerto Rico history," tweeted Eric Blake, a forecaster at the Hurricane Center.

The storm first slammed the coast near Yabucoa at 6:15 a.m. as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds — the first Category 4 storm to directly strike the island since 1932. By midmorning, Maria had fully engulfed the 100-mile-long island as winds snapped palm trees, peeled off rooftops, sent debris skidding across beaches and roads, and cut power to nearly the entire island.

"Resist, Puerto Rico," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló tweeted. "God is with us; we are stronger than any hurricane. Together we will lift up."

Speaking on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday, Rosselló said conditions were "deteriorating rapidly."

"This is clearly going to be the most devastating storm in the history of our island," he said, adding that it will take another half day for the worst part to hit. - Read More

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Transcript of the Remarks delivered by H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Bismillah Rahman-ur-Rahim
As I stand here before you today, I am reminded that the wise men and women of 1945 displayed a unique capacity to learn from and act on lessons of history. Shaped by the Great Depression, and tempered by the carnage of World War 2, they established global order through institutions that would provide security and stability for generations to come.  The UN, the IMF, the World Bank and other organizations were founded to coordinate responses to international challenges and to make crimes against humanity a thing of the past.

There can be little doubt that today, the scale, scope and speed of their imagination and efforts have not yet been matched. But future historians will judge these institutions on how they respond to the challenges of today, and the challenges we must confront in the future.

As global leaders, we seek certainty and familiarity in the rules of the game which dominated the 20th century. But in today’s ever-changing world, the dominant contextual characteristic defining our times is extreme uncertainty. It is easy to illustrate this uncertainty by looking at threats we are facing to our economies, our security, and our values.

There is an emerging consensus that advanced economies have yet to arrive at “proper growth models” to overcome high unemployment, decreasing income and wealth inequality. The threat of economic crisis, therefore, still hangs over us.

Sixteen years after the tragedy of September 11, the threat of violence by non-state actors has taken the form of a Fifth Wave of political violence and terrorism. Driven by transnational terrorist networks, criminal organizations, cyber-crime and state sponsorship of terror, this Fifth Wave promises to be a decades-long threat to international security rather than a passing phenomenon.  In the 20th century, the world came together to push back the spread of fascism so that democratic freedoms could be secured. Today, these very freedoms are under attack from global terrorism. Terrorism is not only an attack on human life and basic freedoms, but an attack on the compact of citizenship–an attack on the nation state’s relationship with its people which makes democratic societies unique, fair and free. We must confront the threat of terrorism as a united force, and meet it with a long-term solution that matches the long-term agenda of the terrorists themselves.

And, lastly, despite the incorporation of tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the constitutions of most countries of the world, crimes against humanity still occur with painful regularity.  The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya is especially shocking. Aung San Suu Kyi’s lengthy silence was tragic, as our hopes that an icon of human rights would choose principle over power were frustrated. I do welcome the chance for Afghanistan to have a seat on the Human Rights Council in order to have a more central role in discussions on these important issues. As a people who are still experiencing crimes against humanity – the latest being killing of civilians in the Mirza Ulang village and attacks on mosques in Kabul and Herat and elsewhere– we are keen to add our voice in support of human rights.

Overcoming the destructive and disruptive patterns of change in the 21st century requires collective and coordinated action at the global, regional, national, local and individual levels.   An effective, efficient and respected United Nations is the need of the hour–we must put our 20th century institutions to the test.

Therefore, I congratulate His Excellency Miroslav Lajcak on assuming the Presidency of the 72nd Session of the UNGA. I want to recognize and appreciate the efforts of His Excellency Peter Thomson during the previous session, and I commend His Excellency Secretary General Guterres for launching his reform of the UN.

I am honored to stand before this distinguished assembly to represent and speak for the people of Afghanistan.  We have borne adversity, deprivation and drought with dignity; met invasion with valor; defended our homeland with patriotic fervor.  Being the frontline state in the global struggle against terrorism and the front line of defense of democratic freedoms, our people and security forces are accomplishing heroic deeds on a daily basis.

We, too–as a nation, a state, and a people–are reinventing ourselves to address the challenges and potential offered to us in the 21st century.

With President Trump’s recent announcement of his strategy to counter terror and stabilize South Asia, Afghanistan’s enduring partnership with the United States and the international community has been renewed and redirected. We welcome this strategy, which has now set us on a pathway to certainty.  The Afghan people have looked to the United States for this type of resolve for years. We pay tribute to all men and women of aligned nations who have served with us particularly those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

However, moving forward, we ask for a change of perspective from our international partners. For too long, the conflict in Afghanistan has been viewed through the prism of civil war. But this war is not within our soil, it is over our soil.

Today, there are over 20 international terrorist groups with an imposed presence on Afghan soil. The future of Afghanistan matters because we are on the frontlines of the global effort to eradicate the threat of terrorism. Our brave soldiers are fighting and dying for this cause, and the sovereignty of the Afghan nation, every day. Though we may be on the frontlines, the threat knows no boundaries. For terrorist groups who are harbored in the region, an attack in Kabul and an attack in Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, London or anywhere else are equal victories. President Trumps’ new strategy includes the disruption and denial of sanctuary to terrorists whose motives know no boundaries. 

We are recreating the bonds of society in order to change the culture of our state. And not only are we strengthening our bonds internally, but regionally.

As we look to our neighbors in the South and Central Asia, we are simultaneously strengthening national, global and regional connectivity. Afghanistan will again become a multi-faceted hub in the 21st century–for transport, energy, water and mining–for the benefit of the entire region’s economic prosperity and security. - More

Office of the President of Afghanistan - Read More

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani emphasizes terrorist threats, backs new U.S. strategy - latimes

The annual U.N. General Assembly has generated sometimes powerful comments by world leaders on issues involving North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and the flight of minority Muslims from Myanmar as more than 100 heads of state and government gather in New York.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani addressed the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday in a speech that praised U.S. plans to send thousands more troops to the country amid the longstanding fight against terrorism. 

Ghani said that 16 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., which resulted in a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, violence by terrorist groups remained a substantial threat in the country.

"Driven by transnational terrorist networks, criminal organizations, cyber crime and state sponsorship of terror" the violence "promises to be a decade long threat to national security rather than a passing phenomenon," he said.

Ghani, who was elected president in 2014, has focused on bringing stability to his country and combating militant groups such as the Taliban. 

"With President Trump's recent announcement  of his strategy to counter terrorism and bring stability to South Asia, Afghanistan's enduring partnership with the U.S. has been renewed and re-directed," Ghani said. 

Congress authorized the war in Afghanistan after the 2001 attacks. - Read More

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani emphasizes terrorist threats, backs new U.S. strategy

Read President Trump's full remarks at the U.N. General Assembly

Maria 'potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century'

As residents of Puerto Rico brace for Hurricane Maria -- which slammed into the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm Monday night -- Puerto Rico's governor is calling the storm "the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century.”

Maria, which has left at least one dead in the Caribbean, is expected to move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today and is forecast to "remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane" as it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Maria could bring life-threatening flooding and mudslides, as well as a 6- to 9-foot storm surge, to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are also possible, especially in mountainous regions in Puerto Rico.

As of 8 p.m., Maria's maximum sustained winds had increased to 175 mph and was located 60 miles southeast of St. Croix and 160 miles southeast of St. Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.

Hurricane warnings are in effect in St. Kitts and Nevis, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. - Read More

Maria 'potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century'

More than 100 dead after 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico

More than 105 people are dead after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked central Mexico Tuesday afternoon, hitting on the 32nd anniversary of the biggest earthquake to ever strike the country's capital.

The earthquake caused extensive damage to Mexico City, leveling at least 27 buildings, including homes, schools and office buildings, according to President Enrique Pena Nieto, who did a flyover of the city this afternoon. At least two children were trapped under rubble at the entrance of a school in Mexico City, according to local reports. Neighbors and volunteers were working to free them.

Meanwhile, the city's airport descended into chaos as the ground rippled and chunks of plaster fell from the walls, Dallas resident George Smallwood told ABC News. “I felt the ground shaking, and I heard everyone screaming and starting to run,” he said, adding that at first, he thought he was in the middle of a terror attack.

Today's earthquake comes 11 days after an 8.1 magnitude quake struck off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, killing dozens of people.- Read More, ABCNews

More than 100 dead after 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico

H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai President

Afghanistan -  English 

H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, President - Read More

19 September 2017

Full text: Trump's 2017 U.N. speech transcript

President Donald Trump's statement to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, 2017, as prepared for delivery.

We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve.

But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances that prevented conflict and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II.

International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people; force dislocation and mass migration; threaten our borders; and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens.

To put it simply, we meet at a time of both of immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights, or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.

We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.

We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government. But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is foundation for cooperation and success.

Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.

Strong, sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God.

In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution -- the oldest constitution still in use in the world today.

America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations Charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America's devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies, from the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia.

It is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerged victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion, or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions such as this one to defend the sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.

For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope. We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideology. We have a policy of principled realism, rooted in shared goals, interests, and values. - Read More

Full text: Trump's 2017 U.N. speech transcript - POLITICO

Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly - More, whitehouse

President Donald Trump Addresses the United Nations General Assembly

NBC News Special Report: President Trump speaks before the United Nations General Assembly. - More

President Donald Trump Addresses the United Nations General ...

Monday, September 18, 2017

TAWDE KHABARE: Pakistan Urges US to Talk With Taliban

تودی خبری: خواست پاکستان مبنی بر گفت‌وگو میان طالبان و امریکا - More

TAWDE KHABARE: Pakistan Urges US to Talk With Taliban

President Trump Calls on the U.N. to Focus 'More on People and Less on Bureaucracy'

(UNITED NATIONS) — President Donald Trump used his United Nations debut on Monday to prod the international organization to cut its bloated bureaucracy and fulfill its mission. But he pledged U.S. support for the world body he had excoriated as a candidate, and his criticisms were more restrained than in years past.

"In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential due to bureaucracy and mismanagement," Trump said. "We are not seeing the results in line with this investment."

The president urged the U.N. to focus "more on people and less on bureaucracy" and to change "business as usual and not be beholden to ways of the past which were not working." He also suggested the U.S. was paying more than its fair share to keep the New York-based world body operational.

The short remarks at a forum on U.N. reforms were a precursor to Tuesday's main event, when Trump will address the U.N. General Assembly for the first time, a speech nervously awaited by world leaders concerned about what the president's "America first" vision means for the future of the world body. - Read More

Donald Trump Calls for U.N. Reform |

This Pen Can Diagnose Cancer in 10 Seconds | Time

When it comes to treating cancer, surgeons want to get rid of as much cancerous tissue as possible during tumor removal. Now a new technology—the size of a pen—is attempting to make that easier by distinguishing between tumors and healthy tissue in just 10 seconds.

The MasSpec Pen is a real-time diagnostic tool created by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. In a new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers report that their handheld device (which is not yet FDA-approved) uses tiny droplets of water to analyze human tissue samples for cancer with 96% accuracy. - Read More

This Pen Can Diagnose Cancer in 10 Seconds |

President Trump Speaks at United Nations Reform Meeting 9/18/17

President Donald Trump participates in a United Nations Reform Meeting in New York. - More

President Trump Speaks at United Nations Reform Meeting 9/18/17

يو سیاحتي شرکت افغان نجونو ته په بهر کي د زده کړو زمينه برابروي - DW

یو افغان شرکت په دې هڅه او هیله دی چې افغانو نجونو او ښځو ته د ترکیې، روسیې او اروپا په پوهنتونونو کې د زده کړې فرصتونه برابر کړي. دغه شرکت چي ښځو جوړ کړی، موخه يې په ټولنه کې د نارینه وو حاکمیت را کمول بلله شوې ده. - Read More

يو سیاحتي شرکت افغان نجونو ته په بهر کي د زده کړو زمينه برابروي

Emmys 2017: The big moments that have people talking

(CNN) - Sunday was all about the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards and we have a rundown here on all the action.

Stephen Colbert hosted with a mix of politics and humor.

Here's what you may have missed: - Read More

Emmys 2017: What you may have missed - CNN - CNN

U.S., NATO still trying to map out Afghanistan strategy - washingtonpost

TIRANA, Albania — Even though President Trump announced his strategy for the war in Afghanistan in August, the Pentagon and NATO are still trying to map their way forward in the nearly 16-year-old conflict, according to U.S. officials.

The delay is the byproduct of the U.S. commander’s vision for the war and the alliance’s ability to provide the troops required to make it a reality, according to a U.S. official who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations.

In recent weeks, the United States deployed additional forces into Afghanistan — a move that coincided with the announcement of Trump’s strategy — to help bolster Afghan forces during the final months of this year’s fighting season. The immediate surge was a short-term solution, requested by battlefield commanders, but the Pentagon is still assessing how U.S. troops will be deployed in the country in 2018, according to a U.S. official in Afghanistan.

Speaking to a small group of reporters, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the head of the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, said that he expects to have a “full picture” on NATO commitments by October.

“There is still a lack of clarity which positions, which functions, to focus their contributions,” said Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee. Speaking at a news conference here, Pavel added that the recently announced U.S. strategy provides a clearer picture of the way forward, but the alliance won’t make final troop decisions until another conference in October. - Read More

More than 128 countries back pledged reforms to shape ‘21st century UN’

18 September 2017 – Pledging to overhaul the United Nations bureaucracy to make the world body stronger and more responsive to the people it serves, Secretary-General António Guterres today launched a pledge of support for reforms that has the backing of 128 countries.

“Our shared objective is a 21st century UN focused more on people and less on process, more on delivery and less on bureaucracy,” the Secretary-General said at the event co-hosted by United States President Donald Trump.

He added that “value for money while advancing shared values – this is our common goal.”

Mr. Guterres said someone recently asked him what kept him awake at night – bureaucracy, was the simple answer. “Fragmented structures. Byzantine procedures. Endless red tape,” he added.

“To serve the people we support and the people who support us, we must be nimble and effective, flexible and efficient,” he stated.

The 10-point Declaration for support for UN reforms aims to simplify procedures and decentralize decisions, with greater transparency, efficiency and accountability, according to Mr. Guterres. - More
More than 128 countries back pledged reforms to shape ‘21st century UN’

United Nations

UN chief outlines strategy to reshape global finance for sustainable development

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Get Ready! Medicare Will Mail New Cards to 60 Million People

It's an administrative task for the ages.

Medicare is getting ready to issue all 60 million of its beneficiaries new cards with new ID numbers as way to combat identity theft and fraud.

The rollout begins next April, but the agency is already beginning its outreach campaign.

"We want to make this process as easy as possible for everybody involved," said Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, on a conference call Thursday.

The agency has set up a web site, is sending out handbooks to all enrollees, and has call centers ready to answer questions from beneficiaries and doctors.

Until now, Medicare used people's Social Security numbers. But Congress in 2015 passed a law requiring the agency to change that as a way to protect seniors from identity theft. The new identifiers will be a randomly generated sequence of 11 numbers and letters.

"Changing numbers for nearly 60 million people on Medicare may be a hassle, but it's a good idea given the bigger hassles that come with identity theft," says Tricia Neumann , director of the Program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

AARP has long advocated for the change because of concerns that seniors' identities would be stolen. The group actually advises seniors not to carry their original Medicare card, but only a copy with the last four digits of their Social Security number blotted out.- Read More, NPR

Get Ready! Medicare Will Mail New Cards to 60 Million People