UN envoy in TimorLeste stresses the need to resolve differences at the

In his first major speech as Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Finn Reske-Nielsen also reaffirmed the commitment of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) to promoting justice in the tiny South East Asian nation as well as to next year’s planned parliamentary and presidential elections.“The key focus of the Mission is to assist this country in returning to stability and promoting justice and peace. It is therefore part of the core mandate of the Mission to help facilitate the dialogue amongst the leaders that will lead to national reconciliation,” he told a press conference in the capital Dili.“This is not going to be an easy task, but we have a number of tools available to us to help us with this. The Good Office’s role of the United Nations will be critical to our success in the coming months… Fundamentally we have to convey to the people of this country that conflict and other differences need to be fought at the ballot box and nowhere else.”Mr. Reske-Nielsen said that once up to full strength the Mission will be made up of over 3,000 staff including civilian and uniform personnel. He also emphasized the important role of UN police in rehabilitating the local force, which disintegrated following the violence in April and May that involved factional fighting with the military and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced around 155,000 to flee their homes.UNMIT is also committed, in cooperation with other partners, to strengthening the integrity of the legal system, he said, adding that the report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into this year’s violence –– expected to be presented sometime this month –– will be “a very important step in the direction of ensuring that there is justice for all.” Mr. Reske-Nielsen took up his post as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General at the beginning of last month but is currently the Acting Special Representative following the departure of Sukehiro Hasegawa at the end of September. read more

Highprofile Athletic Directors place friendly bet as Badgers head back to Meridian

There will be some high stakes on the line when the Brock Badgers and McMaster Marauders tangle at the Meridian Centre Wednesday night (Feb. 24) .Neil Lumsden, Brock University’s new Director, Athletics and Recreation and a Canadian Football hall-of-famer, has challenged McMaster University Athletic Director Glen Grunwald, a former NBA general manager, to a friendly wager over which school will finish the two games with a higher combined point total.If the Badgers score more points than the Marauders in the two games, Grunwald will have to wear a Brock Badgers jersey to work at McMaster Friday. Should the Marauders win the bet, Lumsden will wear a McMaster uniform to work at Brock Friday. If either team sweeps both games, the losing athletic director will have to wear the full uniform ­— jersey and shorts — to work Friday. We’re going to be perfect hosts and offer them a wonderful experience at the Meridian Centre, until tipoff.“We’re going to be perfect hosts and offer them a wonderful experience at the Meridian Centre, until tipoff,” joked Lumsden. “We’ve already started looking for a jersey that will fit Glen since he’s such a tall guy. I think red will look good on him.”For the teams themselves, the games are important to the standings and the Ontario University Athletics playoff picture.The women’s game, taking place at 5:30 p.m., will see the 10-7 Badgers taking on the 13-4 Marauders, who are ranked eighth in Canada in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports Top 10. McMaster is coming off of a three-game winning streak while the Badgers have won two in a row.“From our own prep, we want to treat it like any other game. But outside of the game it’s far more important because it’s a bridge between Brock University and the community,” said women’s coach Si Khounviseth. “That’s what makes it great.”The men’s game takes place at 7:30 p.m. with the Badgers and Marauders both coming into the matchup with equal 12-5 OUA records. The two teams have been back and forth in the CIS rankings this season, but McMaster currently sits fifth with Brock sitting seventh.“February for us has been about preparing for the playoffs, and this is another game we use for that,” said men’s coach Charles Kissi.This season has seen a remarkable turnaround for the Badgers men’s team.“We’ve won more games this year than we did the two previous seasons,” Kissi said. “We went from not making the playoffs for two years to being nationally ranked and now making the playoffs.”Wednesday’s games mark the second time this season Brock University has hosted basketball home games at the downtown St. Catharines Meridian Centre. Located right next door to the school’s brand new and state-of-the-art Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the Meridian Centre can hold up to 3,500 fans for basketball games.Tickets for the doubleheader are still available at ticketmaster.ca for $10 including all service fees. There are also $35 courtside seats available. Free tickets for Brock student are available through the Walker Complex welcome desk. read more