Placing HR on the agenda

May 12, 2021

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first_imgHow can HR directors best grab thelimelight as CEOs look for short-term profits? Keith Rodgers reports that often it is a matter of taking something tothe table that will grab the attention of the boardIf you’re strugglingto understand why human capital management tends to slip off your board meetingagenda with such depressing regularity, consider this simple equation putforward by the HR director of a large multinational. A serious attempt to raisethe value of human capital takes three to five years. The average incumbency ofa chief executive is between three to four years, and falling. What kind ofnewly appointed leader is going to commit to a project that in all likelihoodwill exceed their own tenure?The question, whilesomewhat cynical, is asked from the perspective of years of senior-levelexperience in the HR field. This is not someone who believes HR has anunwritten right to be represented on the board, nor one who argues that HRissues should be the top priority for every CEO. Rather, it’s raised in thecontext of boardroom reality.While every companytalks a good story about the value of their employees, the harsh truth for manycompanies is that their actions don’t back up their best intentions. In apecking order where the likes of finance, operations, sales, marketing and ITare all vying for position, getting HR issues onto the table can be a toughtask.HR is fighting backhard, however, and some of the largest companies can demonstrate in practicalterms that their boards, from the CEO down, have committed topeople-development principles. Organisations like BT, DHL, Boots, TRW andothers are undergoing major change – from distributing the HR function acrossthe enterprise to measuring leadership skills and shop-floor satisfaction –which reflect a fundamental acceptance of the importance of strong humancapital management throughout their organisation. The big question for theirpeers is how these groundbreaking initiatives can be driven through andsupported in their own boardrooms.Mark Geary, managingdirector of AsiaNet Consultants in Hong Kong, believes that the issues facingHR directors are both structural and philosophical. With over 20 yearsexperience on three continents, including senior executive positions at ICI,Ladbroke, Inchcape and InterContinental Hotels, Geary has witnessed thechallenges HR faces in a variety of organisations.He believes that whilehuman capital management is an increasingly high-profile issue, there are fewconcrete examples of companies practising it. Part of the problem is theendemic obsession with short-term strategy. Twenty years ago, companiesreported their results on an annual basis, today the emphasis is on hittingquarterly numbers. “It’s focused on the share price, they look at thecosts they can influence in the short term. For many companies, labour costsare a significant item,”  saysGeary.Many of HR’s problemslie with the accounting profession. “Machinery can be depreciated overseven to 10 years, computer software over five years. But human capital – it’snot on the balance sheet. There is no proper consideration given to the valueof a company’s human resources, no depreciation, no annual maintenance budget.If the same detailed financial management was given to people as it is tomachines I believe companies would be a lot healthier.”That obsession withnumbers is exaggerated in instances where the CEO and other senior managers aredriven by large share option packages. But there are also subtler factors atplay, linking back to the argument about a CEO’s tenure. The issue here,according to the HR director of the multinational mentioned above, is not justthe timescale – it’s also the conflict between corporate and personal needs. The first part of anew leader’s reign, he argues, is often occupied in clearing out part or evenall of the old guard, and bringing in trusted lieutenants – trust-ed, that is,in terms of their loyalty to the CEO. Non-executivedirectors, the people who backed the leader’s appointment, inevitably fall intoline and support the new team. Together, this band of senior executives spends timeassessing corporate strategy, refines the vision, sets out plans to execute onthe new direction and finally gets the operational machine moving.Through all of thistime, often a period of painful change, the CEO is looking to secure thesupport of his or her appointees, and ensure that power brokers emerging fromwithin the corporate ranks can also be brought onside. “Where doesmeasuring human capital come in with this sort of scenario?” he asks.”Not that high.”Faced with these kindsof political problems, senior HR executives argue HR has to take a pragmaticstance to get itself heard. If the driving force in the boardroom is numbers,then HR has to be armed with its own statistics to reinforce its business case.As Richard Townsend, adivisional HR director at DHL, argues, “In terms of what gets you listenedto in the boardroom, you need convincing data that says this will be the impacton productivity and profit. When a company leader is driven by doing deals, nomatter what metrics the HR director has, it doesn’t get listened to. But ifyou’re trying to talk in a boardroom and you don’t have metrics, you’re notgoing to get listened to anyway.” Townsend is keen todifferentiate between “rear-view mirror” metrics – particularlyexternal benchmarking data that tends to be historically focused – and datathat “drives the future”. He says, “In my experience, if youhave internal comparative benchmarks, you are more likely to excite themanagers into action. If their colleagues can produce excellence, they can doso too.”A team of businessmanagers and HR professionals at DHL is currently working on an initiative todevelop what it calls “HR productivity metrics with a purpose”, inthe course of which it’s asking hard questions about the practical value ofdifferent types of measurement. They range from “Is it real?” and”Is it a priority?” to pragmatic questions such as “What are wereally going to do about it?” and “What are the specific actionplans?””There’s no pointin having 101 metrics if you’re only looking at two or three of them,”says Townsend.Most HR professionalsagree that effective metrics are critical in allowing HR’s voice to be heard.Geary, for example, argues that the HR profession has not been as numerate asit should be, but believes that the core metrics, including links between staffattitude and customer satisfaction, are not too hard to produce. More importantly, theyneed to be fed back into operations for continual improvement. At Inchcape’sToyota business in Hong Kong, for example, Geary’s team carried out research tomeasure what customers saw as important when purchasing a car, and whatemployees believed the motivators were. The cross-match threw forward differingperspectives that helped define the forward-looking business plan. “Itwasn’t difficult to convince the CEO,” he says. “If you give him asimple survey about employees, he’s listening. It’s all about theapproach.” Ultimately, however,HR’s ability to influence board-level opinion can only be demonstrated by concreteresults, and it’s abundantly clear that those companies embarking onleading-edge human capital projects tend also to be the companies that enjoysupport from the top down. As such, the critical issue is not how HR persuadesthe board to support certain programmes as much as how closely HR’s visionmatches the overall business goals. This difference isevident at Boots in the UK, which is currently rolling out a leadershipdevelopment programme for its 200 top managers – one which, according to grouppersonnel director Andy Smith, was driven by the HR department and the CEO inconcert. Under the programme, conducted in association with Hay Group, Bootsinterviewed a range of employees with different performance records from thetop three tiers of management. That helped it define a leadership model,incorporating Hay Group’s competency assessments, which provides the frameworkto build individual development programmes. Additionally, it’s been able toaggregate  all the competency dataaround three leadership elements – thinking, pace and team – and assess the group’s overall skill levels. As a result, it hasidentified a need to boost its team leadership skills, and is incorporating theleadership model into its recruitment processes. Significantly, board membershave both driven the process and been interviewed as part of the leadershipskills research.John Steele, grouppersonnel director at BT, argues that rolling out any kind of advanced HRprogramme requires this kind of board level involvement. The heavily unionisedcompany has been through intense restructuring during Steele’s 11-year tenure,with staff numbers being halved from 250,000 to 125,000 over that period – andHR has been at the centre throughout. “There’s arealisation at chairman and CEO level that without people you’re not going tochange your strategy,” says Steele. He argues, however, that HR also hasits own responsibilities in driving its agenda. ‘You have to have an HRfunction that is appropriately skilled and has some strong players on it. Youneed a group of people who are business people first, HR professionals second,and who have the ability to work with and influence their colleagues.” Four years ago, Steeleseparated out BT’s transactional HR work into a shared services centre, whichis now run as a 50/50 joint venture with Accenture. At the same time, thevalue-added  HR consulting services weremoved into the line of business, with each divisional CEO now working with itsown HR director. Now, compared with a 10,000-strong HR function when Steelejoined, the total numbers across the group have dropped to 600.TRW, the internationalautomotive, aerospace and IT company, is going through a similar process toalign HR with the individual business functions. Previously, the UK divisionoperated nine facilities, each with their own management team and HRdepartment, and with a range of different HR procedures covering areas such assickness, absence and overtime. Now, the company is reorganising in preparationfor opening a shared services centre next year, either internal or outsourced,to handle transactional operations.Meanwhile, like BT,other key HR personnel have joined the management teams of the business unitsthemselves. According tovice-president of HR, Doug McIldowie, the whole restructuring programme – whichincludes the cost of installing a backbone HR IT system from Peoplesoft and ashop floor self-service HR system for its 3,500 UK staff – is expected to getpayback within less than a year. Board-level backinghas also allowed TRW to embark on more advanced retention and measurementprogrammes, based around an internal “assignment” culture. Here, theconcept of “jobs” is replaced by serial projects, offering employeesthe chance to continually develop new skills and, if they wish, to switchlocations both nationally and internationally.The company isbuilding individual assessments that log employee’s competencies and skills,developing an ongoing profile based on individual performance measurement ofeach assignment. However much thesekinds of initiatives reflect HR’s strategic importance. McIldowie believes thatHR directors will always have a specific position within the boardroomhierarchy. Even if human capital is a CEO imperative, HR’s own role is primarilyas an influencer. “We’re a supportservice – we’re not going to be like the operations vice-president or theengineering vice-president or the customer vice-president. Our role is to makethem successful in getting equipment out of the door or developing newbusiness. We never have power, but we have more influence.”Capturing the board’sattention As they battle topursue their agendas, HR directors across industry tend to come across abroadly similar range of issues – getting boardroom backing at a strategiclevel, getting the necessary funds for specific investments and then executinghuman capital management projects. According to RichardTownsend, a divisional HR director at DHL, the first, basic priority is for HRto express itself in terms that line of business managers understand, ratherthan being seen to drive its own agenda. Grabbing airtime, he adds, ultimatelycomes down to respect.”It does dependon the dynamics of the team. Sometimes the HR director will have already provedto be adding value, by finding great people, or giving the CEO insight into howto build the business,” he says. “Sometimes there’s almost a ‘proveyourself first’ feeling. I can think of two individuals in Top Twenty Corporationswho have gained credibility by helping recruit and then develop the top team.Other HR directors will have been thrown into the team and will have to provethemselves.” In terms ofinvestment, Andy Smith, group personnel director at Boots, says that provingthe business case is essential – but it doesn’t always require a financialreturn on investment. When pushing through Boots’ leadership developmentprogramme at board level, he says the process was eased by the fact there wasan underlying assumption it needed to be done. While the HRdepartment was required to put forward a business case for the total spend, thedecision to hire Hay Group and the investment in management  time, there was no insistence on provingthat a particular pound spend would deliver a specific increase in sales. That wasn’t the casein his previous position at Boots the Chemist, where the company underwent abehavioural change project within the stores for customer-facing staff. Theproject, designed to raise awareness of customer issues and get employees totake ownership of their business units, included the use of BalancedScorecard  methodologies  measuring finance, operations, people andcustomers. In this case, the project team had to commit to increasing sales at20-odd pilot stores by some 2 per cent in comparison to similar outlets. John Steele, grouppersonnel director at BT, agrees that the board’s financial  perspective of HR is as important as theCEO’s strategic commitment to human capital. “Some of these programmes doneed investment, so you have to start looking at people programmes as aninvestment, not a cost – although you have to keep challenging yourself aboutwhether you’re using the budget effectively.”Once human capital hasbeen placed on the agenda, most HR directors believe the functions’ prioritiesboil down to similar core issues. Alongside compensation, training anddevelopment activities and headcount overhead issues, Smith argues that the topissues at board level essentially boil down to two factors – “Have we gotthe right people in place and have the individuals got what it takes to take uswhere we need to be?” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Placing HR on the agendaOn 23 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


Growth rings in Cretacous and Tertiary wood from Antarctica and their palaeoclimatic implications

May 9, 2021

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first_imgAlthough the Antarctic Peninsula now has a glacial climate, during the Cretaceous and early Tertiary it was sufficiently warm for forests to thrive, even at palaeolatitudes of 59°-62° S. The forests grew on an emergent volcanic arc and the wood was subsequently buried in fluvial and basinal sediments on the margins of the back-arc basin. The forests were composed mainly of podocarp and araucarian conifers. By the late Cretaceous, angiosperm trees were also present, particularly Nothofagus, forming the characteristic forest association of the southern hemisphere today. The growth rings in the fossil wood are wide and extremely uniform, indicating that the environment was very favourable for tree growth. By comparison with living forest trees with similar growth characteristics, a warm to cool-temperate climate is proposed for the Antarctic Peninsula in the Cretaceous and early Tertiary. Features of fossil floral assemblages and sedimentary rocks are also indicative of this type of climate. An increase in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is considered the most likely cause of the warm polar climate at this stage.last_img read more


When athlete’s hijab slipped off, her opponents paused mid-game to huddle around her

May 8, 2021

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first_imgOctober 25, 2019 /Sports News – National When athlete’s hijab slipped off, her opponents paused mid-game to huddle around her FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailartisteer/iStock(NEW YORK) — A group of female soccer players are earning praise for helping an opponent in a display of good sportsmanship.Teammates from Jordan’s Shabab Al Urdon Club had just kicked the ball away from one of their opponents, a player from the Amman Club, when that player suddenly stopped mid-match.The athlete, who was not identified, turned away from the action as her hijab came loose and her hair began to show.As she knelt on the ground to readjust her hijab, five players from the opposing team, the Shabab Al Urdon Club — who were not wearing hijabs themselves — ran to form a tight circle around her, holding it for nearly 30 seconds, so she could adjust it privately.As soon as the player got up, the two teams went back to competing.The act of sportsmanship took place during the Final Women’s League match held in October of last year, according to Storyful, which shared the video last week.The video has quickly gone viral, with people online pointing out that the display of sportsmanship crosses through both sports and religion. ABC News did not immediately hear back from the team.Bestselling author Glennon Doyle, who is married to U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach, shared the video on Instagram along with a caption noting how the viral moment shows what women do for each other.“This is our mood today,” she wrote, in part. “When one of us needs us: We stop. We huddle up. We protect each other.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Written bycenter_img Beau Lundlast_img read more


Jazz-Thunder postponed, NBA suspends season

May 8, 2021

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first_img Associated Press March 11, 2020 /Coronavirus (COVID-19) related news and sports stories, Sports News – Local Jazz-Thunder postponed, NBA suspends season FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Utah’s scheduled game at Oklahoma City was postponed Wednesday night and the NBA suspended its season a few minutes later after a Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.The player is star center Rudy Gobert, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the team had confirmed it publicly.The positive test result was reported shortly before the scheduled tip-off.The Jazz released a statement saying a player — they did not identify Gobert — tested negative Wednesday morning for flu, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection.That player’s symptoms diminished as the day went along, but the decision was made to test for COVID-19. That test came back with a preliminary positive result. Tags: Coronavirus/NBA/Oklahoma City Thunder/Rudy Gobert/Utah Jazz Written bylast_img read more


NFL hires Maia Chaka as 1st Black female on-field official

May 8, 2021

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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailABCBy HALEY YAMADA and ERIC NOLL, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Maia Chaka will become the first Black female on-field official in NFL history, the league announced on Friday.Chaka, who has officiated college football and XFL games, will begin her new role this upcoming season.When not on the field, she’s a teacher for at-risk youth at her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Chaka told ESPN she wants to inspire young girls both on and off the field.“It gives those girls an opportunity to see, ‘OK, I can see my teacher works with people who don’t look like her, and maybe it gives me an opportunity to work with people who don’t look like me also,’” Chaka told ESPN.Chaka will join Sarah Thomas, who broke the league’s gender barrier among officials in 2015 and went on to become the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl, earlier this year.“As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field,” NFL Vice President Troy Vincent said in a statement.Chaka told “World News Tonight” about the moment she received the call. She said she couldn’t believe the good news.“I’m so excited to be a member of the National Football League’s officiating staff. I will always remember that day,” she said. “My response was, ‘I think I’m getting punked!’”Chaka said she owes the opportunity to working hard and helping others work hard.“As long as you put in the work and you have a strong work ethic, and you strive for greatness and strive to get better, all your dreams and goals and aspirations will always come true,” she said.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. March 5, 2021 /Sports News – National NFL hires Maia Chaka as 1st Black female on-field official Written bycenter_img Beau Lundlast_img read more


The Mark Soifer Documentary Presented By The Ocean City Historical Museum

May 2, 2021

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first_imgThe cast of the Mark Soifer Documentary gather for a silly picture, with the king of silly himself. Mark Soifer always knew how to draw a crowd.For more than 45 years Soifer was Ocean City’s Public Relations Director, head cheerleader and idea guru. His stock in trade was good clean fun with a slightly offbeat twist that always had the media eating out of his hand. The result was a huge boost in awareness and tourism numbers.  The Doo Dah Parade, Mr. Mature America pageant, and Businessperson’s Plunge are just a few examples of the events formulated and grown through Soifer’s imaginative and promotional mind.Probably more than any other single individual, he is responsible for the shaping of Ocean City’s squeaky clean reputation as America’s Greatest Family Resort.Jeff McGranahan, Director of the Ocean City Historic Museum introduced the documentary.On Thursday night, the tables were turned and the crowd came out not for one of his amazing events, but to learn about and heap praise on a true Ocean City original.The main lecture hall at the Ocean City Free Public Library was packed to capacity to view a screening of a new documentary film on Soifer’s life and career and to hear from Soifer himself. Soifer, and the film’s director, Jerry Lukas, were on hand to answer questions and to interact with the audience.The crowd was packed with notable Ocean City citizens and officials.A who’s who of Ocean City was represented and many spoke of their own experiences with the legendary PR man. It seemed that everyone had a Mark Soifer story.The film chronicles Mark’s journey from youth to Public Relations Icon. While our spur-of-the-moment sample video clips are a bit crude for publication, the film itself is professionally produced and extremely entertaining for all ages.Mark’s recently published book of poems is on sale now, at the Museum.The evening also included Mark reading from “A Nation of Things” his newly published collection of poetry.  During the poetry readings, Mark gave a preamble to each piece, usually funny and many self-deprecating. The presentation left the audience laughing and wanting more.Mark and Jerry took some time to tell a few stories and interacted with the crowd.After the premiere and the readings, the museum held a reception that featured an exhibit displaying artifacts from Mark’s career, such as his famous costume as the factitious character, “Trash Buster.”A tribute display at the Historic MuseumThe creation of the documentary and the event was organized by the Ocean City Historical Museum and it’s Director Jeff McGranahan.Some of Mark Soifer’s biggest fans pose for a picture at the after reception.When the event ended, many in the crowd had mixed emotions. A bit sad that Mark Soifer’s everyday involvement with Ocean City had ended, but happy that he was enjoying a hard-earned retirement and that his contributions would endure for years to come.last_img read more


Best Bakeries aims for management buy-out

April 21, 2021

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first_imgSouth Wales-based company Best Bakeries, which went into administration on Wednesday (4 June), may be saved by a management buy-out (MBO).The bakery, which supplies Ferrari’s Fresh Bakeries’ shops, has appointed Alistair Wardell and Nigel Morrison of Grant Thorn-ton Recovery and Reorganisation in Cardiff as administrators.Around 100 staff were employed at the factory in Hirwaun, in the Cynon Valley, which up until March 2007 traded as Ferrari’s Bakery before it was taken over by Best Bakeries.While Best Bakeries owns Ferrari’s bakery business, the 60 retail outlets are owned by a separate company, Ferrari’s Fresh. However, both Best Bakeries and Ferrari’s Fresh share the same managing director, David Wetz. Some of Ferrari’s 350 employees arrived for work on Thursday 5 June, to find nearly all the outlets had been shut.Commenting on the current situation, Steve Fogo, bakery manager at Best Bakeries told BB: “We are working to get a management buy-out in place to buy the bakery.”Fogo is working on a trade agreement between a new firm he is trying to set up and Ferrari’s. In terms of funding the project, Fogo said the situation was “fairly good”. “We’re just waiting for one more ’yes’. We hope to be produ-cing again by Saturday.”last_img read more


Deal to boost Bagel Nash expansion

April 21, 2021

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first_imgYFM Equity Partners has backed the management buy-in of Leeds-based bagel manufacturer and retail chain Bagel Nash, for an undisclosed sum.Bagel Nash has 11 coffee and bagel bars in Leeds, York, Huddersfield and Manchester, and exports gourmet bagels to 20 countries.The investment will support the company’s acquisition and help finance its plans for new outlets in the north, north west and the Midlands, as well as helping to grow its wholesale and export trade.YFM Equity Partners has backed Andy Micklethwaite as the new company’s chief executive and Sara Hildreth as retail operations director. Micklethwaite led the MBI of food manufacturing business Symington’s, growing the business from £17m to a turnover of £55m.Nigel Barraclough, investment director at YFM Equity Partners, said: “Bagel Nash has a fantastic reputation and is already well established in Yorkshire. We believe there is enormous potential for the business to expand into other regions and look forward to using both our experience and network to help Bagel Nash achieve this ambition.”Micklethwaite added that there was a huge appetite for a healthier alternative to traditional sandwiches. “We believe that our bagel product can feed that demand. This investment from YFM Equity Partners will enable us to grow our products and open up more sites for our customers throughout the north and Midlands.” Bagel Nash was was founded in 1987 by Karen and Uri Mizrahi.last_img read more


Speech: The uplifting and frightening developments in Yemen

April 20, 2021

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first_imgThank you very much, Mr President. And again our thanks to all the briefers, beginning with the Special Envoy.I mean what we’ve heard today is both uplifting and frightening. My Foreign Secretary, the British Foreign Secretary, has spoken about this this morning and he’s asked me to pass on his thanks to the UN and related agencies for all the heroic efforts, for the patience and painstaking diplomacy that has got us to this point. And he was able to see for himself the work in hand when he visited Aden in March.I’ll come on later to what this means for the dire humanitarian situation that Mark and Henrietta have told us about. But for the moment I’d like to concentrate on what we heard from Martin. I think we all have to welcome these initial deployments by the Houthis from the three ports. They are significant steps. But they are part of the broader redeployments in Hodeidah. And it was very good that, Martin, you were able to pass on the Government of Yemen’s commitment that it too will be discharging its commitments on redeployment. So that is a very important part of where we are. And I completely agree we owe General Lollesgard also our deep thanks for what he’s been able to achieve. I think the next stage on that is obviously that the parties need to engage constructively with the General to finalise the outstanding negotiations to allow for implementation of both phases, of Phases One and Two of the Hodeidah Agreement. And it’s very good news that there should be a meeting on the 14th of June among the parties in Amman in Jordan to discuss the economic aspects of the Hodeidah Agreement. And I think what we heard from Mark and Henrietta just underscores that this isn’t just about humanitarian; it’s also about the ability of the Yemeni economy as a whole to revive and work properly. And this Council’s been concerned about that before.On the political solution to the conflict, I mean, yes, we all want to see these recent developments unlock the root to that broader political solution that Martin and his team have been working so hard on. This is necessary in itself, but it’s obviously even more urgent given what we heard from OCHA and UNICEF today.I wanted to move on, if I may, to the drone strike against oil pumping stations in Riyadh province in Saudi Arabia. We condemn this drone strike by the Houthis. As my Foreign Secretary has also said, the risks remain real to the stability of the peace agreement and to its ability to prosper and bring the sort of security and safety to the people and the children of Yemen that we all want to see. The attack is not just wrong; it undermines the trust needed to get to a resolution of the conflict. It’s not the time for provocation when we are so close to being able to make significant progress on the ground and unlock some of the economic and humanitarian and medical things that we all need to see. And I think we need to bear that very strongly in mind.I think we all were horrified by the briefings that Mark and Henrietta were able to give us and the figures. I won’t repeat those figures there. Some of the individual human stories are absolutely heart tugging. But I think for me, Mr President it was the scale of what we’re facing, what the people of Yemen are facing, that remains so shocking. So I think we really do owe it to you to make sure that the UN presence on the ground can do its job effectively. Whether it’s the monitors or the humanitarian agencies, all the parties need to help ensure the UN can really do its job. That includes letting the UN in in the numbers in which General Lollesgard has said. It includes getting rid of the access constraints. It includes approving travel permissions and operating agreements swiftly, including allowing access to the large number of Yemenis recently displaced in Hajjah and Ad Dhale. And it includes making sure the onward road access from Hodeidah and Salif Ports and the infrastructure remains protected.I think the other shocking figure was that only 20%of the response plan is funded. So I think it’s incumbent on all Members of the United Nations to help OCHA with this and to ensure new pledges, and where pledges have been made, that we get disbursement as fast as possible. And that must be a priority for all of us.As Henrietta said, you know, we’re very close to the point of no return here. So there’s an urgency about action that we should all reflect on and report back to our capitals.The last thing I wanted to say, Mr President, here, is about the stability of the Yemeni rial. I mentioned the economy earlier. We’ve got to have economic measures working properly so that that in turn facilitates the commercial imports of food and fuel on which Yemen depends so heavily.Thank you to the Ambassador of Peru for his briefing on sanctions and where the Committee has got to. It was a very interesting visit, I think. A real pity about not being able to meet Ansarullah and I hope that can be corrected for next time.But I’ll close, Mr President, by saying I think the Council is united on Yemen. I hope we can find some way of really expressing the urgency behind the measures that are needed on the humanitarian and economic side while giving our full support to Martin and General Lollesgard to move ahead on Phases One and Two of the Agreement but also the longer term political solution which is now really pressing.Thank you.last_img read more


Trey Anastasio Trio Closes Spring Tour With Emotional Cancer Fund Benefit In Atlanta [Photos/Videos]

March 2, 2021

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first_imgLoad remaining images On Sunday evening, the Trey Anastasio Trio wrapped up their first tour since 1999 with a special performance at Atlanta’s Terminal West. Billed as “Sustain,” the performance served as a memorial for Chris Cottrell, a lifelong friend of Trey Anastasio who passed away earlier this year following a battle with adrenal cancer. This particular evening also marked the 9th anniversary of the death of Trey’s sister, Kristy Anastasio Manning, after her own struggle with cancer. Appropriately, the performance served as a benefit for the WaterWheel Cancer Fund.The performance was heavy on Phish/Trey Anastasio Band crossovers like “Everything’s Right”, “Back On The Train”, “Sand”, “First Tube”, and “Gotta Jibboo” as well as several Phish tunes that have been staples of the trio’s setlists over the course of this tour, like “Blaze On”, “Party Time”, “Camel Walk”, “Ghost”, “No Men In No Man’s Land”, “46 Days”, and more.The final portion of the show brought an emotional stretch of song selections. The trio closed out set two with the reflective “Show of Life” and a spirited “Push On Til The Day”, which references Cottrell directly in its lyrics. For the encore, Trey began with “Miss You”, a song he wrote in his sister’s memory, before ending the festivities on a high note with the upbeat “Soul Planet”.This marks the end of the Trey Anastasio Trio’s first tour since 1999. Anastasio, Russ Lawton, and Tony Markellis will reconvene next for a trio of July shows, including the recently-announced stops at Charlottesville, Virginia’s Sprint Pavilion (July 5th) and New York City’s Central Park SummerStage (July 6th) and Trey’s long-scheduled headlining slot at Levitate Music & Arts Festival (July 7th).Below, you can check out a full gallery of photos from Trey Anastasio Trio’s spring tour closer at Terminal West courtesy of Ben Adams Photo and view a selection of fan-shot videos via YouTube user Fred Ramadan.Trey Anastasio Trio – “Camel Walk”Trey Anastasio Trio – “Sand” Trey Anastasio Trio – “No Men In No Man’s Land”Setlist: Trey Anastasio Trio | Terminal West | Atlanta, GA | 4/29/18Set One: Blaze On, Party Time, Heavy Things, Everything’s Right, Camel Walk, Ghost, Back On The Train, SandSet Two: First Tube, No Men In No Man’s Land, Prince Caspian, Twist, Gotta Jibboo, Windora Bug, 46 Days, Show of Life, Push On Til The DayEncore: Miss You, Soul Planet*Setlist unconfirmedTrey Anastasio Trio | Terminal West | Atlanta, GA | 4/29/18 | Photos: Ben Adamslast_img read more