DRC/South Sudan: Pope Francis should call on leaders to address impunity

Responding to the news that Pope Francis will begin a 6-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan today, Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said:


“During his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis should publicly call on the countries’ leaders to take concrete steps to end impunity for crimes under international law. Improving the human rights situation in each country will not be possible without criminal accountability for atrocities committed amid the armed conflicts.


During his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, Pope Francis should publicly call on the countries’ leaders to take concrete steps to end impunity for crimes under international law

“While the DRC authorities initiated a “transitional justice” process, their efforts to actually achieve accountability and justice have proved half-hearted and hesitant. Meanwhile, South Sudanese authorities have failed to prosecute perpetrators of crimes under international law, or to establish the AU-backed Hybrid Court for South Sudan, despite provisions in two peace deals. Instead, they appear to prioritize truth over trials.”


“It is essential that the authorities in each country take urgent steps to address rampant impunity for the atrocities committed during armed conflicts, which have ravaged the countries in recent decades.”


It is essential that the authorities in each country take urgent steps to address rampant impunity for the atrocities committed during armed conflicts, which have ravaged the countries in recent decades



Pope Francis will visit the DRC from 31 January to 3 February and South Sudan from 3 to 5 February. The last visit by a pope to the DRC — Africa’s largest Catholic nation — was 38 years ago. Pope Francis will be the first pope to visit South Sudan.


For over 25 years now, armed conflicts in the DRC have claimed millions of lives, yet both Congolese and foreign perpetrators of these crimes have largely remained unpunished. Earlier this year, a government-appointed committee submitted the first version of a “national transitional justice strategy”, which could take years to finalize and translate into action.


In 2015 and 2018, parties to South Sudan’s latest conflict committed to setting up an African Union-backed Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) to investigate and prosecute war crimes and other human rights violations committed in the conflict since December 2013. But the creation of the HCSS has been delayed, leaving little to no prospects for accountability for crimes under international law for millions of survivors and victims.



Source: Amnesty International

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ address at the “Hellenic-Indian Friendship Event” organised by the Secretariat General for Greeks Abroad & Public Diplomacy (30.01.2023)

Dear Minister,

Dear Secretary General,

Ladies and gentlemen,


It is such a great pleasure that I am participating in today’s event on Greek-Indian friendship, organised by the Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy, my dear friend, Mr Chrysoulakis. May I avail myself of the opportunity to welcome Mrs Lekhi on your official visit to Athens.


This event on Greek-Indian friendship is another tangible proof of the strategic level of our relations with India. The enhancement of our bilateral relations has been a priority for the Greek foreign policy and, allow me to say, for me personally.


Over the last two years, the frequent bilateral visits and meetings, such as the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, Dr. Jaishankar to Athens in June 2021, my visit to New Delhi in March 2022, the 8th Session of Greece-India Joint Economic Committee/Signing of Protocol in April 2022, are concrete steps which further promote our strong ties.


And allow me, please, on this occasion, to applaud the innovative initiative by the women of our two peoples; active both in the business and, very important, in the cultural sectors. An initiative that established the Greek peer of WICCI that will serve as a bridge of continued interaction and inventiveness.


Last but not least, today marks the commemoration of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. If you walk out of this building, less than 100 metres, you will see his statue which we inaugurated with Dr. Jaishankar, back when he visited Athens in 2021. I think every human being pays tribute to this prominent Indian political figure. It is a legacy for us all.


Thank you so much.


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostas Fragogiannis’ speech at the Greek – Japanese Business Forum (Tokyo, 31.01.2023)

Distinguished members of the two Delegations,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am extremely happy and greatly honored to address today’s Greek-Japanese Business Forum being held here in Tokyo, almost three months after the fruitful visit in Athens of the high-level delegation of KEIDANREN, and the numerous contacts between Greek and Japanese businesses that took place then.

It is evident that this exchange of business delegations, within such a short period of time, underlines both the interest of our countries in furthering our economic and trade relations as well as the existing potential in the field.

I am also very proud – I have to admit – to be given the opportunity to present to you, together with my colleagues at the economic team of the government and PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself, the great news about the Greek economy and the current status of Greece as a reliable, strategic partner and as an attractive investment destination in Europe and Eastern Mediterranean.

Because it is true, that despite the unfavorable – to say the least – global economic environment, as a result of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the ensuing rising energy prices, supply disruptions and high inflation, Greece’s economy is sending out a message of optimism and hope.

Greece and our national economy is finally shifting towards a more sustainable path for growth. The continuous upgrades of the country’s credit rating by the major credit rating agencies, as well as the recent 7-year, 10-year & 15-year bond issues – all successful – confirm that our country is moving towards self-sufficiency and market-based funding. The return to economic growth in 2021, coupled with the inflows of substantial European funds via “Greece 2.0” Recovery Plan and the large amount of unused capital capacity, offer significant scope for the revival of private investment.

Distinguished members of the two Delegations, Ladies and gentlemen,

Greece and Japan share a long history of cooperation as bonds of friendship, common values and principles have helped us forge an honest partnership. This partnership was given new impetus in 2022, with the high-level visits to Japan of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Dendias, in April and the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Varvitsiotis, in September.

In 2021, our bilateral trade volume reached 416 million €, growing by 15% within the first 9 months of 2022. This increase is indicative of the positive prospects in our commercial cooperation. Especially after the signing of the EU – Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which guarantees Japanese companies’ unhindered access to the European market,  we expect the bilateral economic and trade relations in the coming years to flourish. In this light, we consider the Greek participation in the Osaka 2025 World EXPO an ideal opportunity to promote our economic cooperation.

Furthermore, as prominent maritime states, Greece and Japan are developing significant links. The cooperation between the Greek shipping community and the Japanese shipbuilding industry sets a great example thereof. Given that Greek ship-owners have proven their trust in the Japanese shipyards for more than 70 years, we expect Japanese shipbuilders to increase their interest towards Greek shipping equipment manufacturers.

The importance attached by both sides to their maritime sector is easily reflected on the steady and high-level presence of Japan in the annual Maritime Exhibition “Poseidonia” held in our biggest port, Pireas.

Regarding tourism, we look forward to further promoting cooperation in specialized forms of tourism, taking into consideration the preferences of the Japanese people. To this end we welcome the Memorandum of Cooperation on Tourism we just signed during our visit here in Tokyo and we look forward to a fruitful cooperation. And I think, we also agree that the reinstatement of direct flights between Greece and Japan is a priority, as it will not only facilitate the two way flow of tourists, but will also boost economic and trade cooperation.

In terms of investment, Greece is currently an appealing country for investment in various sectors, namely logistics, transportation, real estate, tourism, agri-food, energy, pharmaceuticals. Our focus is to make the best use of the tools offered by the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, while our New Development Law provides for a series of incentives. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan «Greece 2.0» allows for co-financing (with European Institutions such as the European Investment Bank, EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD) of investment loans on innovation, green economy and digital transition.

In this light, we call upon Japanese companies wishing to invest in Greece to profit from the relevant opportunities. I would like to personally invite Japanese businessmen to show their interest in the Greek market, where there are opportunities for suitable partners and profitable ventures.

Distinguished members of the two delegations,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to conclude my short welcome by expressing optimism that this visit will contribute significantly to the strengthening of our cooperation and lead to the forging of a stronger and lasting partnership, adding to the long-term bonds of honest friendship among our peoples.

A sincere thanks to the people who worked hard to prepare today’s Forum and my best wishes for a successful and fruitful exchange of thoughts and proposals and initiation of potential partnerships.

Thank you.



Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

‫‫لونجي توسع نطاق انتشارها باتفاقيات توزيع متعددة لـ 500 ميجاواط من ألواح Hi-MO 6 خلال القمة العالمية لطاقة المستقبل 2023

ABU DHABI, UAE, 31 يناير / كانون الثاني 2023/PRNewswire/ — وقعت «لونجي – LONGi» وموزعيها على طلبات لشراء 500 ميجاواط من ألواح«Hi-MO 6»  خلال القمة العالمية لطاقة المستقبل «WFES 2023» لإظهار جاذبيتها المذهلة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا.

تم توقيع اتفاقيات التوزيع الجديدة مع كلٍ من «باور إن صن – Power N Sun » و «نانو صن – Nanosun » و«إي جي أس – AGS » و«باور سيتي – Power City » و«نون للطاقة المتجددة – Noon For Renewable Energy » من الشرق الأوسط وشركاء آخرين مقربين من إفريقيا وآسيا الوسطى. يفتح التوقيع فصلاً جديدًا لشركة لونجي في الشرق الأوسط وإفريقيا وأسيا الوسطى، في عام 2023 .

وبهذه المناسبة، قال جيا تشاو، رئيس لونجي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وإفريقيا وأسيا الوسطى “نحن سعداء للغاية لتوسيع بصمتنا في منطقة الشرق الأوسط مع بعض الموزعين الرائدين. تلتزم لونجي بتوفير منتجات وحلول تتمحور حول العملاء. من خلال شبكة التوزيع الواسعة هذه، يمكننا ضمان وصول أكبر لعملائنا. نعتقد أن ألواح «Hi-MO 6» ستسمح لنا بتلبية الاحتياجات المتنوعة لعملائنا وخلق تجربة جديدة في مجال الطاقة الخضراء “.

وأضاف: “في لونجي ، نؤمن إيماناً راسخاً بأن مكافحة تغير المناخ وتحقيق صافي انبعاثات صفرية هي ما نحتاجه اليوم. نحن على استعداد للتعاون مع الشركاء لتسريع الانتقال إلى الطاقة النظيفة في الشرق الأوسط. سنساهم بنشاط في هدف المنطقة المتمثل في مستقبل خالٍ من الكربون “.

تعتمد عائلة منتجات «Hi-MO 6» من لونجي على تقنية خلايا «HPBC» عالية الكفاءة. إن تقنية «HPBC» هي عبارة عن جيل جديد من تقنية الخلايا الشمسية عالية الكفاءة التي تستخدم تصميمًا خالياً من خطوط التوصيل (Busbars) الأمامية ويمكنها تحسين امتصاص الضوء للخلية وقدرات التحويل الكهروضوئي إلى حد كبير عن طريق ضبط الهيكل الداخلي للخلية وبالتالي زيادة طاقة خرج اللوح بشكل فعّال .

تتميز ألواح «Hi-MO 6» بمظهر محسن لأنها تبسط التعقيد وتعيد تعريف المفهوم الجمالي للألواح الكهروضوئية. إنه يعرض أداء أفضل لأنه يحسن قدرة التحويل الكهروضوئي للوح من خلال التحسين الشامل. توفر ألواح «Hi-MO 6» موثوقية أكبر حيث تتبنى خلية «HPBC» تقنية اللحام الخلفي الكامل لتحسين مقاومة الألواح للشقوق الدقيقة بشكل فعال. في نفس الوقت، إن ألواح «Hi-MO 6» قادرة على التحسين الذكي والسلامة الفعالة من خلال المحسن الذكي المدمج بها.

تتوفر ألواح «Hi-MO 6» بأربع مجموعات هي: المستكشف، والعلم، والوصي، والفنان .

ينما يسعى الشرق الأوسط جاهدًا لتحقيق هدفه في مجال الطاقة المتجددة، كان هناك زيادة في الطلب على التقنيات الكهروضوئية عالية الكفاءة. سيشهد الشرق الأوسط تغلغلًا أكبر وتوافراً أوسع لتقنية لونجي الفعالة عبر شبكة التوزيع الواسعة التي ستساعدها على التحرك نحو مستقبل أكثر استدامة


حول لونجي

تأسست «LONGi» في عام 2000 وهي مكرسة لتصبح الشركة الرائدة في العالم في مجال تقنيات الطاقة الشمسية. تُركز لونجي على خلق قيمة مدفوعة بالعميل من أجل تحول شامل للطاقة. أدت مهمة لونجي المتمثلة في “الاستفادة القصوى من الطاقة الشمسية لبناء عالم أخضر” إلى إنشاء خمس قطاعات أعمال. وتشمل هذه رقائق السليكون الأحادي والخلايا والوحدات النمطية وحلول الطاقة الشمسية التجارية والصناعية الموزعة وحلول الطاقة الخضراء ومعدات الهيدروجين. طورت لونجي قدرتها على توفير الطاقة الخضراء، وفي الآونة الأخيرة اعتمدت منتجات وحلول الهيدروجين الأخضر لدعم التنمية العالمية الخالية من الكربون .

لمزيد من التفاصيل، قم بزيارة www.longi.com .

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“Patently Unreliable”: Verra addresses criticism of rainforest offset credits with detailed technical analysis

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — An article published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper on 18 January 2023 includes numerous inaccuracies and distortions that misrepresent the activities of Verra, a non-profit organization that operates standards in environmental and social markets, to address deforestation in tropical forest countries.

These are the findings published today in a Technical Review conducted by Verra’s most senior experts, who have assessed the article and the three studies on which it draws.

They found that the Guardian article makes sensational claims about the value of carbon credits issued by Verra for rainforest offset projects, also known as REDD projects. These claims have been echoed by other media, such as Die Zeit.

The Technical Review has found that the Guardian article and two of the three studies, each led by the same scientist from the University of Amsterdam, Dr Thales West, are “patently unreliable” because they contain multiple serious deficiencies.

The experts found that the Guardian article relies on an arbitrary and unpublished methodology using results from the Thales West et al. studies, and grossly misrepresents the findings of the third study by scientists from the University of Cambridge (Guizar-Coutiño et al.).

The University of Cambridge study concluded: “Our results provide some room for optimism. Despite the many challenges to just and economically sustainable implementation, the initial wave of REDD+ projects were effective at reducing forest loss.” The Guardian failed to mention this conclusion in its reporting. Instead, the study was presented as critical of REDD projects.

The article’s claims about the value of carbon credits, the experts found, were based only on the Thales West et al. studies. The Review found these studies used datasets known to be unsuitable, relied on inappropriate geographic areas, and ignored key factors known to cause deforestation.

It also showed that the article was misleading because it failed to acknowledge inconsistencies between the three studies that it draws on, presenting instead a distorted picture of consensus. Verra’s experts found, for example, that of the 12 projects in Brazil assessed by both groups, one Thales West study concluded that deforestation or degradation was reduced in 33% of projects, while the Cambridge study found that deforestation was lower in 92% and forest degradation in 75% of projects.

Robin Rix, Chief Legal, Policy, and Markets Officer, Verra, said:

“Verra, while generally reluctant to comment on individual academic works, felt it necessary to address the many distortions flowing from these analyses. We welcome academic scrutiny, but our Technical Review highlights the risks of trying to oversimplify a complex process and cherrypicking findings.

Verra is absolutely committed to developing and enforcing the highest standards for climate and sustainable development projects, including projects that protect the world’s tropical forests.

Avoiding deforestation is vital to climate action, and REDD has been one of the most successful means of combating it to date. The world needs to rally around, and work collaboratively to improve REDD, if we believe in climate action, protecting biodiversity, and sustaining local communities.”

Verra invites stakeholders including the media to read the Technical Review and to reach out if they have concerns about reports in the media.

Verra is a nonprofit organization that operates the world’s leading carbon crediting program, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, as well as other standards programs in environmental and social markets. Verra is committed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve livelihoods, and protect natural resources by working with the private and public sectors. We support climate action and sustainable development with standards, tools, and programs that credibly, transparently, and robustly assess environmental and social impacts and enable funding for sustaining and scaling up projects that verifiably deliver these benefits.

LONGi signs distribution agreements for 500MW of Hi-MO 6 modules at WFES 2023

ABU DHABI, UAE, Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — LONGi has announced that its participation at the 2023 edition of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi saw the signing of several distribution agreements, totalling 500MW, for its new Hi-MO 6 product with regional partners including Power N Sun, Nanosun, AGS, Power City and Noon, as well as other partners from Africa and Central Asia.

The Hi-MO 6 product family is based on LONGi’s proprietary HPBC cell technology, a new generation high-efficiency technology that uses a front-side busbar-free design. As a result of adjusting the cell’s internal structure, HPBC can enhance its light absorption and photoelectric conversion capabilities, significantly increasing the module’s power output.

‘LONGi is dedicated to offering customer-focused products and solutions. We believe that Hi-MO 6 modules will help us to address the diverse demands of our clients, while also creating a unique green energy experience,’ commented Jia Chao, LONGi President for the MEA and CA regions. ‘We are delighted to further extend our reach in the Middle East with the leading distributors as our partners. As the region seeks to meet its renewable energy goals, demand for more efficient PV technology has increased. LONGi is eager to work with its partners to accelerate the Middle East’s transition to clean energy with more innovative and high-efficiency PV solutions, addressing climate change challenges in the pursuit of a zero-carbon future.’

About LONGi

Founded in 2000, LONGi is committed to being the world’s leading solar technology company, focusing on customer-driven value creation for full scenario energy transformation.

Under its mission of ‘making the best of solar energy to build a green world’, LONGi has dedicated itself to technology innovation and established five business sectors, covering mono silicon wafers cells and modules, commercial & industrial distributed solar solutions, green energy solutions and hydrogen equipment. The company has honed its capabilities to provide green energy and has more recently, also embraced green hydrogen products and solutions to support global zero carbon development. www.longi.com

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