Press release: FCO Minister Mark Field to champion rules-based international system in Manila

first_imgMinister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field is visiting Manila today (16 August) for a programme that will include a keynote speech on the rules-based international system (RBIS) and discussions on strengthening further bilateral relations with the Philippines.During his visit, the Minister will meet governmental officials including Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Defence Secretary Maj Gen Delfin Lorenzana, and Senator Loren Legarda.In his speech, Mr Field will join Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorley to highlight the benefits the RBIS has brought to all countries.Speaking ahead of his visit to the Philippines, Minister Mark Field said: Follow Foreign Office Minister Mark Field @MarkFieldUK Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Email [email protected] Media enquiries The rules-based international system has had a hugely positive impact on global security and prosperity, protecting people and countries, and helping them to achieve their potential. This is why the UK is working so hard to cherish and protect these rules. For journalists Mr Field will also meet members of the finance and business communities, as well as green finance experts and trade officials to raise the UK’s profile in the Philippines.The Minister’s visit to Manila is the second stop on a 6-country Southeast Asia trip.Further informationlast_img read more

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​AMF backs coronavirus crisis tech winner with €29m placement

first_imgA close-up of one of Yubico’s security keys“It also feels good to be part of and invest in companies that help strengthen Sweden’s position as an innovation and technology country,” he said.AMF has announced a series of investments in unlisted Swedish companies since the COVID-19 crisis took hold, having earmarked large sums in particular to recapitalise struggling local firms with strong long-term prospects.Last month, it unveiled a new joint venture it was forming with bank SEB and FAM, the holding company of the Wallenberg foundations, through which SEK3.5bn would be invested in unlisted domestic firms under pressure from the pandemic-induced economic crisis.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Stina Ehrenswaard, chief executive officer and founder of Yubico, said: “With strengthened cash from a long-term Swedish owner such as AMF, we are now investing in new products and services and increased production capacity in Sweden.”AMF’s head of asset management Tomas Flodén said the pension fund had good prior experience investing in unlisted, growing technology firms – such as iZettle and Spotify – and he believed this new investment had the potential to generate strong, long-term returns for its customers. Sweden’s second-largest pension fund AMF announced a private placement investment of SEK300m (€29m) in Stockholm-based IT security firm Yubico, a company it said had seen revenue surge during the COVID-19 crisis.The SEK600bn Swedish blue-collar pension fund said Yubico counted nine of the world’s 10 largest IT firms among its customers, and that its ordinary-share investment in the company corresponded to around 5% of equity in the firm, making it Yubico’s fifth-largest shareholder.AMF said in a statement: “As more and more people work from home via the Internet, phishing attacks and online scams have also increased sharply.”The pension fund said Yubico’s main security product YubiKey – a physical security key for secure login to web services and mobile applications – had been proven to be the safest and most economical solution for securing user accounts online, according to numerous user studies, including Google research.last_img read more

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EDITORIAL: It’s all about the lyrics, people!

first_imgEven as Jamaican entertainer Buju Banton gave what has been reported as a much welcomed “Thrilling and exciting” performance in Jamaica last Saturday, it was evident this welcome wasn’t a consensus. While on Saturday night and Sunday social media trended with videos, images and positive comments related to the entertainer’s performance, there were also posts questioning why an ex-convict was being so celebrated. Critical Facebook postOne Facebook post provoking strong backlash read “I don’t get it. Can someone explain to me. You commit a drug crime, spend time in prison and return as a superstar to a hero’s welcome to make millions of dollars What message are we sending to our children…..Lord help us!”The individual who shared this post was by no means unique. Since Buju’s release from a US prison last December, the warm welcome from a large segment of Jamaican society, and the enthusiastic response to his current concert tour, “The long Walk to Freedom,” there has been similar, even worse, criticisms.MisunderstandingCleary, those who cannot understand the enthusiasm surrounding Buju also don’t understand the impact Jamaican culture has on the country’s social environment.This cultural impact, however, is not related to only Jamaica, but throughout the Caribbean, and even in American communities where the lyrics song by entertainers convey strong social messages that motivate people more than politicians or even religious leaders can.The Mighty Sparrow’s social commentaries Back in the 1950s during the British colonial era, Trinidad’s Mighty Sparrow sang a song called “Dan is the Man” reflecting the mis-education Caribbean children was receiving from the British. Sparrow’s lyrics criticized the nursery rhymes these children were subject to which made them believe “The cow jumps over the moon,” and “Dan is the man in the van.” Sparrow became one of the world’s most famous calypsonian. Although there were critics who frowned upon “slackness” in some of his lyrics, most of the lyrics were powerful social commentary of the social failures and politics of the day.Meanwhile, over in Jamaica, the youth faced with steep social challenges, were subject to the lyrics of white American singers like Patti Page, singing of that “Doggie in the window” and Doris Day’s encouraging people to walk on “Moonlight Bay.”The impact of the ‘toasters’ in the 60’sBut then a change came in the 1960’s and 70s when entertainers like U-Roy and Shorty began toasting, talking over the rhythm of popular songs. These artists, and several that followed had songs with well-received lyrics that commented on the socio-economic climate of the time, especially the hardships being incurred by the lower classesIn 1972, the message in the lyrics of Delroy Wilson’s “Better Must Come” resonated with the masses, and helped in Michael Manley’s historical election victoryBob Marley’s meaningful lyricsWhen Bob Marley immerged in 1964, the lyrics in his song “Simmer Down” cautioned Jamaica’s rebellious youth to  “control your temper.” His songs were not just musically thrilling, but most carried messages the people could relate to. The lyrics in “Trench Town Rock” portrayed the challenges faced in Kingston ghettos where some slept on cold ground with rock stone as their pillow.  “No woman Nuh Cry” offered consolation to many mothers whose sons were victims of criminal violence. In a time of social and economic hardships, Marley exhorted Jamaicans, “Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing will be all right.”It’s ironic that the Jamaican upper class that now hails the music of the late Bob Marley didn’t appreciate or even understand his lyrics during the 70s. Some even criticized him for being a “dutty Rasta Bway.” But it wasn’t about the flashing locks, or him prancing on stage. It was all about the lyrics. Lyrics that helped Blacks overcome apartheid in Angola and South Africa, and kept Winnie Mandela strong as she sought Nelson Mandela’s freedomSo it is with Buju’s lyricsAnd, so it is with Buju Banton. It’s not about the energy he displays on stage or the rhythm in his songs. Like Marley before him, Buju sing songs, that unlike some politicians and religious leaders ease the pain of those often  marginalized by society. Buju offers hope to the poor, encouraging then to “Rule their Destiny.” He warns murderers who plague the society “You can hide from man, but not your conscience.”Like The words of Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr and Nelson Mandela, the words of Bob Marley and Buju Banton will be relevant far into posterity.Those who are more concerned with a presumed tainted reputation of Buju Banton, but never had the opportunity to hear his music and understand the message in his lyrics are advised to visit the Internet and read the lyrics of over one-hundred of Buju Banton songs.  Hopefully, they’ll then understand the entertainer’s phenomenal popularity, why his experience in America’s legal system seems irrelevant, and the reason for the enthusiastic “Reunion” between Buju and his thousands of fans. The answer lies in the lyrics.last_img read more

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