Archive for May 24th, 2010

BA strike causes wide disruption

| 24/05/2010 | 13 Comments

(Financial Times): Thousands of British Airways passengers faced disruption to their travel plans on Monday after 1,200 cabin crew began a five-day srike. Talks to resolve the dispute over the weekend ended in acrimony with both the company and leaders of the Unite union blaming each other for the failure to come to a deal. As of early Monday, about 40 per cent of scheduled departures and 30 per cent of arrivals at Heathrow – Europe’s busiest airport – had been cancelled, the airline said. Flights from two other London airports, Gatwick and City, were not affected by the strike. The airline said it was able to operate more than 60 per cent of the long-haul programme and 50 per cent of short-haul flights. According to the BA web site flights this week from Grand Cayman to London have been cancelled.

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Decolonisation seminar examines nation building

| 24/05/2010 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The issue of nation building was a key part of the discussions at last week’s United Nations Seminar in Noumea, New Caledonia. During the three-day annual regional conference of the Special Committee on Decolonisation, committee chair Donatus Keith St. Aimee of Saint Lucia said it was an essential prerequisite to successful self-determination. He said economic and social development, as well as education about self-determination processes and options, should be in place before any decision on self-determination was taken, according to a release from the seminar. The Cayman Islands was represented at the gathering by local attorney Steve McField. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

“If this process hasn’t taken place before you exercise your right to self-determination, then you may spend an enormous amount of resources undertaking that task afterwards,” St Aimee cautioned. “That is why sometimes it may not be a bad idea to have a period of reflection to see if all the people who live inthe territory are all on the same track and committed to that process.”
McField reportedly agreed with the sentiments and said that a nation-building process must take place for the exercise of self-determination to be successful. Outlining the history of the Cayman Islands under various forms and degrees of colonial administration, he said that, due to careful and forceful negotiation among the people and with the administering power, the territory now had “one of the best arrangements” in the world.
Joseph Bossano, an observer from Gibraltar, said the real problem with the territories remaining on the United Nations list was that, for many of them, neither full independence nor full integration with another state was a feasible option, which left free association as the only available one. Given the many different forms that free association could take, it was worth asking how to define a form of free association that could demonstrate a territory’s readiness for a full measure of self-government.
The chairman noted that a major problem was a lack of indicators and benchmarks to show what stage of the decolonization process a territory had reached. The Special Committee could begin thinking about that, he said.
While holding a referendum was one physical manifestation of progress towards decolonisation and the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) may be one manifestation of economic development, there may be a need for a more formal structure to allow the Special Committee to measure more accurately the readiness of a particular territory and its people as they moved along the path to self-determination, he said.

Amiee noted that a great deal of discussion on decolonisation focused on the political role of the administering power, which, while obviously important, should not be seen as the only facet of the process. Encouraging private sector actors in a territory to be good corporate citizens was also vital. “If they don’t reflect a sense of goodwill, it makes the job of the administering power and the local authorities much more difficult,” he said. “If we can encourage the private sector to become good corporate citizens, and if the population can see that resources are being used for their benefit, then this contributes to a sense of trust and nation-building.”

The chairman noted that all participants had made valuable contributions, with many of their suggestions laying down challenges of thinking and method for the Special Committee. “You have thrown down the challenges and we have given an undertaking to respond,” he added. The seminar’s conclusions and recommendations would be refined in light of the morning discussions for consideration at the Special Committee’s next substantive session in New York in June, he said.

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