links about us archives search home
SustainabiliTankSustainabilitank menu graphic

Follow us on Twitter



Posted on on May 11th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (

Matthew Russell Lee reports from the UN that Amid Sahel Standstill, UN Committee Asks Why Prodi Is Based in Rome.


UNITED NATIONS, May 10, 2013 — When Romano Prodi, ostensibly the UN’s envoy on if not in the Sahel, became a candidate for the Italian presidency, the UN of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made excuses, telling Inner City Press the question of conflict of interest was “moot,” because Prodi lost.


  But the UN Advisory Committee of Administrative and Budgetary Questions is not so forgiving. Their report on Prodi’s office says that Prodi’s fundraising



“does not necessarily require the headquarters of the Office to be located in Rome, or a large share of the staffing of the Office to be located outside the Sahel region. The Advisory Committee …believes that closer proximity to or its placement in the region would allow the Office of the Special Envoy to fully engage and coordinate with the numerous United Nations offices/entities and international actors present in the countries of the Sahel dealing with similar issues.”



  And so, “the Advisory Committee recommends that the General Assembly invite the Secretary-General to review the current arrangements for the Office of the Special Envoy and to consider alternative locations of the Office in the Sahel region. In developing his proposals, the Secretary-General should be requested to take full advantage of the opportunities for realizing synergies with the other United Nations entities present in the countries of the region, and avoid all duplicative activity.”


   Why is Prodi allowed to be based in Rome? And what has he accomplished?




We post this because this is a point well taken when reviewing the wasteland called the UN – but we do not intend this as an attack on Mr. Romano Prodi whom we know from years past. He is an Italian politician who understood the issue of climate change and the problems of reliance on Middle East Petroleum. He surely can do a lot of good under UN employment, but then the UN must hire him in ways that do not allow for mistakes, or even reasons for criticism like the above.


The Sahel is the black Africa arc just south of the Muslim Arab Maghreb and Egypt – the region that includes Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal. A  region that knows the effect of climate change causing drought and conditions that push the region to get involved in the Affairs of the North Africa Arab arc and its Arab awakening from one set of dictators and moving into the arms of Islamic extremists. This while European States like Spain, France, and Italy, with past colonial ties to the region, may thus be not the ideal moderators of the budding new debate of Arab Nationalism at the time of effects of drought caused by climate change. The whole issue needs much more serious UN review then the UN has shown up to now. Would Dakar be the right place to seat Mr. Prodi?



Posted on on February 28th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Somalia interests us for quite some time. While other African States came into existence in the post W0rld War II decolonization process within the lines established by the colonial power, and with an inherited administrative system, and  for the better or worse,they  managed somehow to make a go with it, Somalia was actually created by incorporating different colonial systems into one attempted State that had thus many added different fault lines besides the usual divisions into tribal loyalties – in land and trans-boundary. Here you have even different colonial languages and no single Administrative Center.

Being a failed State near the Sea, and having had to start to fight illegal fishing that was interfering with the local fishermen, fighting fishermen started by safeguarding their tribal waters and ended up turning to piracy when this evolved as a profitable secondary line of business.

While the outside World, after having invaded the Somalia region in the past as the Horn of Africa was suspected of becoming an Al Kaeda hub in the post 9/11 era, now it is the piracy pest that endangers World Shipping in the  whole Indian Ocean region stretching from the Maldives to Seychelles and Madagascar and the shores of the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

We will start by looking at the news, then we intend to introduce a book that we feel ought to be obligatory reading for all those that gather at meetings that deal with Somalia. Not having read the proposed book, we see that much of what is being released from the new Conferences on Somalia, does not live up to what it will take to have an effect in that part of the World.


From the Statement by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom at the Security Council Briefing on Somalia Piracy – 22 February 2012:

Mr President,

I thank the Secretary-General for his report and both Patricia O’Brien and Yuri Fedotov for their comprehensive briefing this morning. We are grateful for the work of the UN and its agencies on counter-piracy programmes, and particularly the efforts being undertaken by UNODC and UNDP with States in the region and in Somalia itself.

The United Kingdom remains strongly committed to the fight against piracy. We believe it is vital to break the Piracy business model. We need a comprehensive approach that tackles piracy directly and its root causes on land. Piracy will be one of the main focuses of discussion at the London Conference on Somalia which my Prime Minister will host tomorrow.

Despite the significant reduction in the number of successful attacks in the last year, the threat of piracy remains serious. We strongly support efforts to bolster prosecution and prison capacity in regional states and in Somalia. Several states already play a vital role in bringing suspected pirates to justice, supported by the international community.

The report highlights serious capacity constraints in Somalia. Prosecution by regional states has, therefore, been instrumental in the efforts to counter-piracy. We believe this continues to be the most effective way to prosecute pirates over the short term. We support, in principle, the report’s implementation proposals to increase capacity through ‘specialised anti-piracy courts’ in Somalia but continuing our work to build the capacity of regional states also remains essential.

Mr President,

The Report reaffirms the preference of regional States that we should build capacity in a way that does not prevent facilities and expertise being used to prosecute in other areas of the law. We agree that this would help create a more sustainable solution to the piracy problem.

A long term solution that enables Somali pirates to be prosecuted and imprisoned in Somalia is necessary. The report notes the preference of the Somali authorities for new courts to be established within Somalia rather than extra-territorially. This approach is in line with the existing work of UNODC and UNDP to build capacity in Puntland and Somaliland and we fully support that approach.

Mr President,

The report rightly highlights the problem of prison capacity. In this regard, we welcome recent efforts to ensure that convicted pirates serve out their sentences in Somalia, and in particular the commitments made by Puntland and Somaliland for post-trial transfer. We hope that agreement on the legal and practical framework for transferring pirates to UN-constructed prisons in Somalia is reached quickly. We are grateful for the commitment of Seychelles to transfer convicted pirates to Somaliland.


Mr President   ……. The threat of piracy, the effects of the famine in Somalia, and terrorism are all symptoms of one central problem: The breakdown of the Somali state. Tackling piracy and its causes cannot be separated from this. We need to tackle the factors on land that feed the piracy at sea including deterrence, security, rule of law, and development.  It is crucial that the international community mobilizes in an integrated way.


And the UK is ready to take on the problem in the name of the better organized world – but it will be able to do so only after the Presidential elections in the US.

It cannot be ecpected that President Obama, and his Administration, can take up the demon of Afro-Arabian pirates, or the undoing of the Islamic world by Islamists and pseudo-Islamists bent on revenge-taking against former colonial powers, and against their own brethren governments – something that some may call a late awakening of pent hatred with historic roots.

Building towards an involvement in the greater region that stretches from the Maldives, the Seychelles, to Aden and the Horn  of Africa’s Greater Somalia, the UK follows up with a call for joint action towards the later part of November 2012 – that is after the US elections:

1.    On February 22, 2012, the Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK  announced a Conference on Somalia to be held in London on November 23, 2012.

The conference will be hosted at Lancaster House. The conference will be opened  Prime Minister Cameron, with key note speeches from; US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton; UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon; President of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed;  President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni; Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi; French Foreign Minister, Allan Juppé; President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki; Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davuto?lu; and Qatari Foreign Affairs Minister, Hamad Bin Jassim. Opening remarks will be released through a press pool organised by the BBC and CNN.

2.    After the early morning opening remarks, the conference will be split into three sessions: political process, security, and stability and recovery. The conference will end same day at 15.30.

3. The UK’s primary objective in Somalia is to seek a lasting political solution that will bring peace and security to the country, and reduce threats to the UK. With engagement from attendees at the highest level, the conference will agree a series of practical measures to support Somalia.

4.    The Somalia Conference will be followed by press conferences at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, led by the Prime Minister with statements from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon; Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping; the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton; and President of Somalia Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.


What above means is that the PIRACY hurts us and we are ready to put the Somalis in jail for being pirates – how many of them? Why are they pirates? How many more parts of African States could fall off their own structures into failed regions because they actually never belonged into States that the UN designed for them based on foreign administrative concepts?


Brigadier  General Dr. Walter Feichtinger is Head of the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management (IFC), Austrian National Defense Academy. With him there is a group of other military scientists and academic social scientists and historians, that look at Peace as something that is not self evident but rather has to be groomed.

First I saw an April 2010 booklet of the IFK titled “PIRATES AND ISLAMISTS – WHO IS INTERESTED IN SOMALI?”

Then a full volume, Volume #^ in a series, came to my attention when I went to a meeting of the IFK.  The Volume is in German and the title simple – “SOMALIA.”

The authors are listed as Walter Feichinger and Gerald Hainzl as editors, and inside are chapters by many other researchers: Volker Mathies, Thomas Zittelman, Markus Virgil Hoehne, David Petrovic, Georg Sebastian Holzer,Martin Pabst, Thomas Peyker, Frank Reininghaus, Bruno Guenter Hofbauer, Stefan Lampl,  and Annette  Weber, All of this in just 299 pages.  This volume was released the end of 2011 by the Boehlau Publishrs of Vienna, Koeln, and Weimar.

Comments in the book that convinced us to recommend the reading of this multi-source study before one tacles the problems od Somalia:

1. Looking at the Al-Shabab fighters – the “Radical” groups look for their base in religion, but are not religiously motivated. They rather see in religion the path to obtain power.

2. The Republic of Somaliland is completely independent since 1991 and like it this way, Puntland is also independent of the rest, but they would prefer to be part of a Somalia if that eill be possible some day.

What still carries the name of Somalia is the city of Mogadishu where sits a UN sponsored government, and the rest that is outside any government ruled land.

3. The old division of the Horn included the rule of Ethiopia 0ver Somali Ogaden, the UK held onto the North East Somaliland and the North-East parts of Kenya that is populated Somalis. then there were an italian Somaliland and a French Somaliland that stretched into Djibouti which is now separate of Somalia. All this developed a North-South antagonism and an Ethiopian-Somali conflict/

4. Between 1963 – 1977 there was a US-Aethiopia alliance that brought to life a Somali-USSR counter-alliance. With the Aetiopian revolution of 1974 and the establishing of a marxist regime there, this turned the US towards Somalia in order to balance the Soviets. It would be unrealistic to think that any of this presented real interest in the Somalis – and don’t wonder thus that they were ready to ditch any foreign power as a result.

5. Somalia’s coast was seen a fre for all and hundreds of illegal fishing boats operated in its waters all the time. The Somalis developed a system to get rid of some og these boats and saw that by robbing those boats good money can be made beyond fishing. With the backing of local War Loards, Piracy was thus born.

6. In the 1990s,a clan leader, Mohamad Farah Aidid thought a return to the idilic past when pastoralists lived in a reasonable democracy. The democratic autonomy ideal returned as a justification for violence.

7. There are 8-9 million people in the Somaliland, Puntland, the remaining Somalia. There are further 4 million people in the neughboring counties of Ethiopia, Djibuti and Kenia, and an additional 1 million in a further away diaspora that stretches to Europe and America, australia, New Zealand, and Asia. some have done very well in the diaspora and support the people back home.When they come home they demand modern conditions, and Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland sports modern establishments. There is no way that the Diaspora – village oriented – will agree to the unification of the separate parts of Somalia. The West and Africa will have to accept the notion that you cannot force people to live in one country if they feel that this is nottheir heritage.

8. The one year that the anti-piratery ATALANTA project was active in the waters of Somalia, made it clear that the PAG – Pirate Action Group needs a new set of rules of engagement. Take their fish catch and their food and water beyond what is needed to get back to the nearest shore — do not take them as prisoners – you might not know what to do with them when you haul them in.

9. A pirate is a pirate only when he commits an act of piracy = otherwise he might just be a fisherman or transfer refugees. The same person might have different roles on a given day,

10. Most African States include parts that would prefer independence or at least a “leave me alone approach.” Taking for granted  the secession attitude of the African Union will do nothing for the struggling Somalis who in major part where basically camel herders living in an un-hospitable dry land as nomads. The clashes with agriculturalists where normal – clashing with unwanted government is worse. The colonial powers did not touch this aspect of the local life as they were interested only in the shore areas as bases for navigation and trade.

I will stop here in order not to write a new version of the book – will rather recommend – you read it by yourselves.


The other books in the Walter Feichtinger / Boehlau IFC  series so far are:

#1 –  Islam, Islamism, and Extremism. (This book was seemingly withdrawn)

#2 –  Private Security- and Military-Corporations. (These as it happened in Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegowina, Afghanistan, They fly planes, interrogate prisoners etc. – but at what price?)

#3 –  crisis management in Africa.

#4 –  No Enemy in Sight. (This is a book about wars inside society rather then with a foreign enemy.)

#5 –  Global Security – EUropean Potentials. (see the novel spelling when dealing with the European Union!)


Posted on on January 6th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Arab Peninsula and the Horn of Africa -too narrow  straights for the West.

POLITICS: Russia, China Sustain Military Toehold in Yemen.
By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 5 (IPS) – Russia has stolen a march over the United States in the multi-million-dollar arms market in cash-strapped Yemen, whose weapons purchases are being funded mostly by neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni armed forces, currently undergoing an ambitious military modernisation programme worth an estimated four billion dollars, are armed with weapons largely from Russia, China, Ukraine and the former Eastern Europe and Soviet republics.

With the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day by a Nigerian student, reportedly trained by al Qaeda in Yemen, the administration of President Barack Obama has pledged to double its military and counterterrorism aid, to nearly 150 million dollars, to strengthen the besieged government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Currently, Yemen receives assistance under several U.S.-funded programmes, including Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), Non-Proliferation, Anti-terrorism and De-mining, and Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction.

But the proposed military aid to Yemen – all of it gratis – along with U.S. arms supplies, is negligible compared with weapons, military training and technical expertise from non-U.S. sources.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), one of the world’s best known think tanks researching arms control and disarmament, Russia accounted for nearly 59 percent of all major weapons deliveries to Yemen during 2004-2008, followed by Ukraine at 25 percent, Italy at 10 percent, Australia’s five percent, and the United States at less than one percent.

Dr. Paul Holtom, director of SIPRI’s Arms Transfers Programme, told IPS that at the beginning of this year, the Russian media reported that Yemen had signed a deal to buy an estimated one billion dollars worth of arms from Moscow (with some reports giving figures as high as 2.5 billion dollars).

These weapons, he said, included additional MiG-29 combat aircraft, helicopters, tanks and armoured vehicles.

Holtom said there were also published reports suggesting these purchases were part of a proposed four-billion-dollar military modernisation programme.

But he said he does not have an update on the degree of progress made on these arms deals.

Dan Darling, Europe & Middle East Military Markets analyst at the Connecticut-based Forecast International Inc., a leading provider of market intelligence on the military, told IPS that in terms of primary arms suppliers to Yemen, “almost everything revolves around Russia”.

The core of the Yemeni Air Force is of Russian-legacy, including MiG-21s and MiG-29s and Su-22s, he pointed out.

From 2001 through 2008, Yemen received 1.4 billion dollars worth of arms, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), with 600 million dollars in weapons from Russia.

China provided 200 million dollars worth of armaments, while about 400 million dollars in arms were from a mix of former Soviet republics and East European nations (mainly Ukraine, but also Belarus, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and others).

A resource-starved Middle Eastern nation, Yemen has negligible quantities of oil and is categorised as one of the world’s poorest nations.

The U.S. State Department has described Yemen as “desperately poor” but a “vital counterterrorism partner”.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Saudi Arabia had provided about two billion dollars in aid to Yemen last year – “an amount that dwarfs the 150 million dollars in security assistance that the United States will ask Congress to approve for the 2010 fiscal year”.

With the new terrorist threat from insurgents in Yemen, the United States is gearing itself for a virtual new battle front against al Qaeda – besides Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Darling of Forecast International Inc told IPS: “My take is that Washington understands how crucial Yemen is to regional security and stability.”

He said Yemen’s proximity to Saudi Arabia – from which many al Qaeda operatives are believed to have crossed into Yemen – and its importance in terms of shipping lanes at the mouth of the Red Sea and in terms of combating piracy in the area make ignoring Yemen a risk the U.S. is unwilling to take.

The recent spate of fighting with rebels in the north, combined with the pressures facing President Saleh and the belief that al Qaeda may have found a sort of sanctuary in Yemen, means that the country will garner more and more attention within U.S. government circles, he added.

“The State Department realises the looming potential for disaster in Yemen, where a combination of civil strife, an exploding population, negligible oil reserves, a structurally weak economy, high rates of poverty and unemployment, and deteriorating water supplies all threaten to turn the country into the proverbial failed state,” Darling said. “How they intend to combat this possibility is beyond my purview, but I’m guessing that you will see greater degrees of development assistance and oversight as to how the money is allocated,” he added.


Posted on on September 7th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (

From:  liasieghart at
Subject: Yemen, cogeneration and the CDM an outline of opportunity
Date: September 4, 2008

The Clean Development Mechanism has been instrumental in the development of a number of cogeneration projects around the world, but none yet in Yemen, where the scope for projects is certainly present. Lia Carol Sieghart looks at the role that cogeneration could play as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the country.
The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997, at the 3rd Conference of the Parties (COP 3) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Kyoto, Japan. This treaty significantly bolstered the Convention by committing parties from developed countries, known as Annex 1 Parties, to legally binding limits on GHG emissions. They may also acquire emission reduction credits by taking advantage of the three ‘flexibility mechanisms’ defined under the Protocol.These mechanisms are:

  • International Emissions Trading (IET)
  • Joint Implementation (JI)
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The latter is the only mechanism that involves developing countries. The CDM allows Annex 1 Parties (or entities from those Parties) to invest in project activities that reduce GHG emissions and contribute to sustainable development in non-Annex 1 countries.The CDM has seen an exponential growth since the Kyoto Protocol came into effect in 2005. The end of 2007 provided a milestone with the 100-millionth certified emission reduction credit being issued. In April 2008 the 1000th project, an energy efficiency project, was registered with the Executive Board. At present there are more 3000 projects in the UNFCCC pipeline.Nevertheless, the number of host countries playing a vital role is still very limited. The geographic dispersion of registered projects remains imbalanced. So far the main share of projects is with Asia and Latin America. Most projects are registered with India as a host country, followed by China, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia and Chile. India and China in particular have been early movers and have grasped the investment opportunities provided by the CDM. The vast majority of projects registered are in the energy sector. Taking into consideration the projects under validation and those requesting registration, it seems that this distribution pattern will not change significantly during the first commitment period.

    There are many reasons why the CDM has so far fallen short of its full potential, many of which are country-specific while others are repeatedly reported from various countries. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region 18 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but to date only 20 projects have been registered (Table 1). This amounts to ~2 % of the total of registered project activities.

    The MENA Region population comprises about 6% of the total world population, almost equivalent to the population of the European Union. Most MENA countries are experiencing a rapid population growth. The region is economically diverse – the spectrum ranges from oil-rich economies to countries that are resource-scarce in relation to population.

    By 2050, the MENA countries will reach an electricity demand of the same magnitude as Europe (3500 TWh/y). In some of the countries, electricity demand is expected to triple from almost 1500 TWh/y at present to 4100 TWh/y in 2050. Correspondingly, the effects of climate change will become more severe. The fossil fuel-based power sector offers enormous potential for CO2 emission reductions, both through energy efficiency improvements in existing applications as well as utilization of state-of-the-art technology for new capacity additions.

    Given the surging growth in energy demand, the region needs to develop sustainable energy patterns, increase energy accessibility – particularly for marginalized populations in rural areas – and encourage efficient use of energy. Countries need to embark on a less carbon-intensive development path. Utilizing the CDM can provide a vital trigger in this process.

    CHP has a clear opportunity to expand quickly. CHP installations, by combining electricity production with a heat recovery system, provide reliable and cost-effective opportunities for GHG emissions reduction and an important contribution to meeting heat and electricity demand. Cogeneration projects also have the potential to bring energy efficiency measures to large industries in the region, while the MENA oil industry and refinery capacity offers further significant cost-effective potential for heat recovery and cogeneration.


    The Republic of Yemen lies to the south of Saudi Arabia, bounded by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The 2004 census recorded a population of 19.72 million, with an average annual population growth rate of 3.2 % and one of the highest birth rates in the MENA Region. Yemen remains one of the poorest countries in the world, and currently ranks 49 on the UN’s list of the 50 Least Developed Countries. Yemen’s GNI per capita is US$760, compared to, for example, US$12,510 in Saudi Arabia, US$23,990 in the United Arab Emirates and US$9070 in Oman2. According to the Country Social Analysis (2006) by the World Bank the GDP growth rate has been falling steadily in recent years. Inflation has been averaging at almost 12% since 2002, rapidly increasing the cost of living.

    The country, a non-OPEC member, is the smallest oil producer in the Middle East3. Nevertheless, the economy is highly dependent on the oil sector, with the country’s oil exports accounting for approximately 85% of export revenues and 33% of gross domestic product (GDP). Yemen’s energy use relies heavily on fossil fuels. Thus, there is potential to reduce GHG emissions in the energy sector, the oil and refinery industry and in the industrial sector.


    The 2001 First National Communication to the UNFCCC used 1995 as a reference year for Yemen’s GHG emissions inventory due to the high uncertainty of 1994’s information as a result of the April–July 1994 civil war. The total GHG emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O) of the country, in 1995, amounted to 18.7 million tonnes CO2eq, (CO2=11.4 million tonnes, CH4=128,000 and NO2=15,000). Taking CO2 removal into account, the total net emission of CO2 is 845,000 tonnes. These figures are exclusive of the emission from the international bunker (114,350 tonnes CO2) and from combustion of biomass (353,290 tonnes CO2).

    Yemen’s emission profile by gas type for 1995 shows that CO2 accounts for 61% of the total national GHG emissions (113,580 tonnes CO2), N2O 25% (465,700 tonnes CO2eq) and CH4 14% (269,400 tonnes CO2eq). Table 2 shows gas emissions by various sectors.

    If we look at the industrial processes, there are many that create GHG emissions as a by-product of the process itself. Cement production generated the most emissions (99.3%). Other production processes with minor emissions are lime production, limestone use and soda use (food & beverages). The total GHG generated by these processes was estimated at 547,000 tonnes CO2eq, which accounted for 2.92% of the country’s total GHG emissions. The production of cement in Yemen in 1995 was 1,089,000 tonnes that resulted in CO2 emission of 543,000 tonnes CO2eq representing 4.8% of the country’s total CO2 emissions (energy sector, industrial processes etc), while it represents around 2.9% of the total GHGs.

    The CO2 emission from cement production was calculated by multiplying 1995 cement production (1,089,000 tonnes) by the emission factor (0.4985 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of cement produced). The SO2 emitted from cement production was obtained by using an emission factor of 0.3 kg SO2/tonne cement, thus leading to 330 tonnes SO2 in 1995.


    Yemen’s 100% state-owned Public Electricity Corporation (PEC) formed in 1991, under the Ministry of Electricity, is the sole public utility with the mandate for generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in the country. The entity operates approximately 80% of the country’s generating capacity as part of the national grid. The remainder is generated by small off-grid suppliers and privately owned generators, predominantly in rural areas4. In urban areas diesel generators are also used as back-up systems. The efficiency of diesel generators can be up to 40%. Electricity demand amounted to 3294 GWh in 2005, an increase of 9.6% annually since 2000.

    The Yemeni population has the lowest access to electricity in the region, with only 53%5 of the total population having access. Of the 72% of the Yemeni population living in rural areas, only 23% have any access to electricity, which compares unfavourably with 85% of the urban population that have access to electricity. Out of this 23%, about 10%–14% is connected to the national grid system while the remainder is estimated to have some access from other sources, typically a diesel generator that operates only a few hours in the evening. Even for those connected to the grid, electricity supply is intermittent, with regular rolling blackouts in most cities.

    Yemen has been experiencing a chronic power supply shortage. An estimate for the electric power deficit in 2006 was 220 MW, a figure that is expected to increase to 250 MW in 2008. With the 2005 increase in diesel prices, the cost of diesel generation has become economically unsustainable thereby significantly increasing the demand for a lower-carbon, more-efficient, lower-cost and reliable energy future.

    The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP, 2003–2005) states the following: ‘Indicators show the failure of electric power in Yemen in keeping pace with demand [is] due to the ageing of the power stations and the distribution networks, which is reflected in the high losses that are currently estimated at about 38%, well above the internationally prevailing levels. This situation prevents the full utilization of machinery and equipment in the different productive and service units, or burdens the private sector facilities with the cost of setting up their own generating plants, not to mention the inability to systematically fulfil domestic lighting requirements. This situation is expected to continue over the medium term due to the increase of demand at high rates, and thus increases the adverse aspects on investment opportunities and the growth of output, income and employment, clearly showing the importance of strategic investment by the private sector in this field.’

    In the industrial sector, power is purchased either from the national grid or off-grid from privately owned diesel generators with poor electrical efficiency ranging from 25% up to 35% especially in light industry. Heavy industry, e.g. the cement sector – the most energy intensive of any industry6, covers its heat needs using boilers fired either by heavy fuel oil or diesel, again with an overall poor fuel efficiency. The main electricity consuming sections in a cement plant are the mills (finish grinding and raw grinding) and the exhaust fans (kiln/raw mill and cement mill) which together account for more than 80% of the total electrical energy usage.7 The separate production of heat and power is an obvious waste of energy. Change is needed by using a range of existing and emerging technologies, particularly in relation to the production and consumption both of heat and electricity.

    The cement industry is considered as one of the main players in the industrial sector. Commercial production started back in 1973 with the launching of the first production line of the Bajil Cement Factory. Cement production is highly competitive, both locally and internationally, so any improvements in production efficiency can result in important increases in competitiveness.8

    Despite 16.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven natural gas reserves, a cleaner source of non-renewable energy, heavy fuel oil or diesel-fuelled power generation remains the energy source. Use of natural gas is hampered by the absence of a domestic natural gas infrastructure. On the downstream side there is a crude refining capacity of 130,000 barrels/day from two ageing refineries. The Aden refinery has a capacity of 90,000 to 120,000 barrels/day, while the capacity at the Marib refinery, is 10,000 barrels/day.

    So the challenge for the government is to meet the energy needs of the country in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner. To address this challenge, one approach is to integrate the use of CHP as part of a larger portfolio of low-carbon energy technology solutions. Also the First National Communication under the UNFCCC suggests CHP as a viable measure to reduce GHG emissions and to cope with climate change.


    The Yemeni electricity sector driven by fossil-fuelled power generation is characterized by a loss of waste heat and a deficient transmission and distribution system resulting in poor net generation. Energy use and efficiency are important factors for economic development and environmental integrity.

    CHP applications could be viable and cost-effective in the Yemeni setting because they:

    • reduce energy-related carbon dioxide emissions
    • provide a decentralized energy source which results in reduced investment in energy system infrastructure
    • reduce transmission and distribution losses.

    Energy-intensive industrial sites such as oil refining, heavy processing (food and textiles) and the cement industry with its simultaneous demand for heat and power, could all benefit. Also the commercial and institutional/residential sectors could match their thermal and electrical needs. CHP application in the commercial/institutional sector could address light manufacturing, hotels, hospitals and large office complexes.

    Despite good potential for CHP, to date no systems are operating in Yemen. The main barriers are: technical, financial, lack of maintenance capacity and awareness, the heavy subsidy of petroleum products and the absence of a domestic natural gas infrastructure – the fuel of choice for most new industrial CHP systems. However, access to reasonably priced and reliable electricity supply systems are an obvious prerequisite for economic stability and development. The development of a strategy for CHP would assist in kick-starting the momentum in Yemen and should include the following elements:

    • identification of projects that could be initially implemented by the public sector and identify pipeline of projects that can be promoted for private sector development
    • formulation of CHP-enabling market
    • elaboration of incentives that attract private investors and lower the costs of electricity generation from CHP applications.

    Coupling GHG emissions abatement with CHP installation would help guide the country’s economic growth to a less carbon-intensive development path. The emission reduction potential makes CHP applications, in principal, eligible for the CDM. In order to qualify for Certified Emission Reductions under the CDM, one needs to address ‘additionality’, ‘permanence’, and ‘leakage’ requirements as well as satisfy sustainable development criteria defined by the country. By gaining CDM support for projects, Yemen could gain access to significant additional flows of technology and finance to assist in achieving a more sustainable, less greenhouse-intensive pathway of development. Also the National Adaptation Programme of Action9 is suggesting CHP systems as an efficient method of power generation and a suitable measure to reduce GHG emissions. Considering a cogeneration project as a CDM project activity would assist in generating emission credits and thereby make the project more feasible.


    The CDM is a key model fostering broad engagement in climate change mitigation, and can be used as a means of promoting sustainable development by providing access to improved energy services. The energy sector is a major source of GHG emissions and a critical area for socio-economic development of the country. Yemen has a good potential for cogeneration projects in the industrial, commercial and institutional/residential sectors.

    In keeping with the dual aim of climate protection and sustainable development, the CDM can trigger the installation of CHP systems by removing barriers to implementation of state-of-the art technology in this area. Despite the strong potential of cogeneration for GHG reduction to date there is no installed capacity – project developers often lack the technical and financial capacity to identify projects within their operational activities. Mainstreaming carbon finance into business operations would have a catalytic impact on facilitating CDM project development and consequently assist in the feasibility of cogeneration in Yemen.

    Lia Carol Sieghart is with the Ministry of Water and Environment, DNA Secretariat, Republic of Yemen.


    1. Status: 29.03.2008

    2. World Development Indicators database, World Bank, 1 July 2007

    3. Report No.: 34008-YE – Republic of Yemen – Country Social Analysis – January 11, 2006 – Water, Environment, Social and Rural Development Department, Middle East and North Africa Region

    4. Energy Information Administration Yemen – Country Analysis Brief (October 2007)

    5. World Bank and UNDP (2005): Household Energy Supply and Use in Yemen: Volume I, Main Report

    6. WADE (2007): Concrete Energy Savings – Onsite Power in the Cement Industry

    7. IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control). 2001. Reference document on best available techniques in the cement and lime manufacturing industries, European Union.

    8. WADE (2007): Concrete Energy Savings – Onsite Power in the Cement Industry

    9. 2001 First National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

    Cogeneration and On-Site Power Production July, 2008

    To access this article, go

    Copyright © 2008: PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK; All Rights Reserved.


Posted on on May 26th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (

EYE ON THE UN: For Immediate Release – May 26, 2008 – The US Memorial Day.

Contact: Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558
 anne at

UN Racism Conference to be held in Geneva April 20-24, 2009 – Ironically over Holocaust Remembrance Day.

May 26, 2008

The next UN racism conference – known as Durban II or the Durban Review Conference – will be held on UN premises in Geneva from April 20-24, 2009, a UN preparatory committee decided today.

Anne Bayefsky, editor of, said “holding the meeting at a UN venue on European soil will essentially guarantee funding from the UN regular budget for the conference, and that the European Union will fully participate and not follow boycott plans of Canada, the United States and Israel.”

The European Union had been insisting on a shorter session in New York, but the African Group refused to agree on the New York venue and wanted a 5-day conference. The idea floated by some states of again holding the conference in Durban, South Africa fell through when South Africa withdrew its offer to host the event. Throughout negotiations the African group was tightly controlled by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, with Egypt acting as their spokesperson.

Bayefsky noted “Ironically, the Durban Review Conference will take place over Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah on April 21, 2009.

Jews all over the world will be remembering the 6 million murdered in the worst instance of racism and xenophobia in human history.

At the same time, the United Nations will be discussing whether the Jewish state, created in the wake of the Holocaust and standing as a bulwark to ensure it is never repeated, should be demonized as the worst practitioner of racism and xenophobia among nations today.”

Durban II is intended to promote the implementation of the 2001 Durban Declaration, which singled out only Israel and labeled Palestinians as victims of Israeli racism.


For once South Africa showed the courage to stand up and be counted among the Nations – the rest of Africa – we must note – is nothing but a rug at the feet of the Islamic world – Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibuti, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Marocco … all countries were black Africans suffer from the Egyptian led OIC intrusions on their continent. The UN is just a conduit for making the world pay the bill.


Posted on on December 11th, 2007
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Commission on Sustainable Development Is It A Moribund UN Body Or Will It Be Revived Because It Is Needed After The Re-Engagement Hoopla That Happens Now At Bali?

Our Website was established in order to help create the awareness that there is no other development possible – not in the developing countries and not in the developed countries – that is not SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

We had experience starting from before the Brundtland Commission of 1987, we were engaged at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, and we wrote the “Promptbook on Sustainable Development for The World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002. In short we are strong believers that if the UN CSD were not created in 1994, we would have had to create it now.

Why that? Simply, because as it is crystal clear now that the development of tomorrow cannot go on by rules of the development of yesterday – and this was given, right today, full global recognition in Oslo, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the scientists of the IPCC, and to Al Gore – whatever will come out from the Bali-Poznan-Copenhagen process will be clearly a final global landing on the runway that was built in Rio for Agenda 21. And as we keep saying – this will be a joint Sustainable Development for North and South, East and West. It will be a world were those that have the needed technologies will share them with those that are only trying out for their own National development. This will not be done because of altruism – it will be rather because of self interest that comes from the simple fact that we are all residents of planet earth, and we understand that we have caused the planet to be on a path of destruction that harms the continuation of life as nature or god created.

After UNCED, The UN created a Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development and Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Gali appointed Mr. Nitin Desai, at the Under-Secretary-General level to head the Department. 1994-1998 Joke Waller-Hunter from the Netherlands was the first Director of the Division for Sustainable Development and the head of the Commission on Sustainable Development – so the Commission itself dates back, for all practical purpose, to 1994 – even though it officially was started in 1992. In May 2007 we witnessed the CSD 15 (that is counting back to 1992!).

In 1997, Secretary-General Kofi, in an effort to reduce the number of UN Under-Secretary-Generals, consolidated three economic and social departments and created UN DESA (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and eventually put Mr. Desai as head of DESA where he was until he was replaced in 2003 with Mr. Jose Antonio Ocampo, the former Finance Minister of Colombia; the new Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, brought in, July 2007, Mr. Sha Zukang, the previous China Ambassador in Geneva. In 1998 Ms. JoAnne DiSano, with a background of having worked for the Canadian Government, and then for 11 years with the Australian Government, became the Director of the new Division of Sustainable Development within DESA. She held this position until September of 2007 and since then the position is VACANT, and it looks as if the UN does not care.

Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter, left her position with the CSD in 1998 in order to become the Executive Secretary of the of Bonn based   UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) where she remained untill her death in 2006. She was replaced there in 2007, by Mr. Yvo de Boer, appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr. Yvo de Boer is also from the Netherlands, where he was Director for International Affairs of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment. He was in the Past Vice-Chair of the Commision on SD and Vice-Chair of the COP of the UNFCCC. Both, the CSD and the UNFCCC are outcomes of the 1992 UNCED. Ms. Joke Waller-Hunter’s departure from New York may have had something to do with the 1997 UN reorganization that replaced the Department of SD with a Division of SD within DESA. She may have sensed that her presence at UNFCCC will further SD goals easier then   at the new Division of SD – that its creation caused in effect a demotion in her position.

The present vacancy at the nerve-center of the CSD, at a time the CSD is needed indeed, following the latest push at the UNFCCC, on matters of climate change, that causes our renewed interest in the UN CSD and in the UN Division that was established specifically in order to run the CSD. We are afraid that it will be difficult to see progress on the UN level, in matters of climate change, without a functioning office that deals with sustainable development.

Now to be honest, our interest is not just because of curiosity – but rather because of the worry that we understand very well the reasons for the slow demise of the CSD – the factors that got it to start on what may be a path to extinction.

At CSD 9 it was decided that the CSD will discuss specific topics in cycles of two years. So the first cycle was Water for CSD11-CSD12, the second cycle Energy for CSD14-CSD15, the third cycle Land Use for CSD16-CSD17.

So 2006-2007 was the Energy cycle, and as in UN fashion it was supposed to be the turn to have a chair from Asia, it was the Asians that suggested Qatar to chair the energy subject. Now Qatar is a producer of gas rather then oil.

Some said that though sustainable development must help put forward development methods that are less dependent on oil and coal, this for reasons of global warming and climate change, nevertheless, recognizing the role of natural gas as a cleaner fuel and a potential intermediary fuel from an oil and coal economy to an economy that is starting to be based on renewable sources of energy, Qatar could have been acceptable also as a political peace-maker between the interests of conventional industry and the incoming new industry based on renewbles. But to the consternation of those optimists, we could see that behind the representative of Qatar, at the CSD sessions, there was always sitting a representative from Saudi Arabia, and in the end there was no resulting negotiated text for what is probably one of the most important topics of Sustainable Development – Energy.

Above was nothing yet when compared with what happened in the last day of CSD 15. As always, there are elections for the next CSD membership – the membership is held at 53 countries elected according to a regional key – and then there is the election of the “bureau” and the new chair. The turn according to UN habit was that next chair will be from Africa, and as said, the topic for CSD16 in 2008, and for CSD17 in 2009, will be Land Use. The Africans decided to put forward Zimbabwe as their choice and campaigned with the G77 that this is their wish. The UK did not want any part of this, and specially since the land policies of the Mugabe Government have run Zimbabwe agriculture from being a large agricultural exporter to becoming a starving nation, with an economy that was totally destroyed, a monetary situation that shows astronomic inflation rate, and human rights problems that clearly make it ineligible for a UN leadership position, it is this obstinacy that reduced the CSD to plain irrelevancy. We were there that night of Friday May 11, 2007, in room 4 in the UN basement, and watched in disbelief how the distinguished, low-key German Ambassador, head in New York of the EU presidency, with the German Minister of the Environment next to him, simply told the CSD Chair from Qatar that the EU cannot work with this sort of CSD.

If by any way I exaggerate now, 7 months later, please forgive my memory, but see what I, Pincas Jawetz, Inner City Press journalist Matthew Rusell Lee, and the EUobserver from Brussels, wrote about this – the references on the web are:

– EUobserver on the 5/11 Crash of CSD15 (May 14th, 2007)

– A First Analysis: From The Ashes of the CSD, Will We See A Rising Phoenix? A Brundtland II, To be Called – “OUR COMMON GROUND” ? (May 13th, 2007)

– The UN General Assembly Resolution of September 30, 1974 against South Africa was not Premised On Apartheid’s Threat To Security, But On Its Serious Violation Of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. WHY DOES

– 9/11 and 3/11 Have Become Symbols of what Oil Money Can Cause To Those Who Insist On Buying The Oil, Will 5/11 Become The Symbol of Awakening at the UN? This Because Of May 11, 2007 Late Evening Happenings At
The So Called UN Commission On Sustainable Development? (May 12th, 2007)

– At the UN, Zimbabwe Elected 26-21 to Sustainable Development Chair for CSD16, As EU and Others Reject Final Text of The Chairman from Qatar of CSD15. (May 12th, 2007)

I took then the 5/11 date and in ways of exaggeration tried to compare this with 9/11 in New York and 3/11 in Madrid. Was it really an exaggeration? Could we say that the backing Zimbabwe got from States with unresolved problems from colonial days, and oil states that think, completely wrong, that they have anything to gain from derailing the concept of sustainable development, sustainable energy, global warming, climate change…, from efforts to improve the life of billions of people?

Further, the UN recognizes three groups of States with greater needs – these are the Least Developed States (LDCs), the Small Island Independent States (SIDS), and the Landlocked States. These are the States within the UN system that are most in need of help via sustainable development. Why did the UN take them out from being under the Under-Secretary-General who heads DESA, and put them under a separate Under-Secretary-General? Does this not cause waste and decreased efficiency? Would they not be served better within a well functioning unified economic organization that takes, for instance, in account the interests of Island States when it comes to the subject of the effects of global warming/climate change?

Now, I was not going to allow myself to lose my hope for a functioning CSD. The articles I refer to above are actually articles of hope – that is I hope that from the ashes the CSD will rise, as a Phoenix, under the leadership of Brundtland II.

Does this look likely? I submit it is imperative, and by the end of this week, whatever wind will be blowing from Bali, people will see that it does not go without sustainable development. So why do the Africans not get together and try to rein in Mr. Mugabe? Again, just this week, the EU invited all Heads of State of Africa to Lisbon for discussions on trade that were needed in order to help restart the Doha trade round. The Europeans were ready to put aside the dispute with Mugabe, and he was also invited – then why did he have to show physically his raised fist? Is this the end of an EU-Africa relation? Clearly not. It was just a new beginning showing that rational people can try to restart negotiations even in the presence of a street-bully. And that brings me back to the UN DC-2 building – that is where one finds the CSD Secretariat.

CSD 16 will happen one way or another in May 5-16, 2008. The full list of topics is: “The Review Session of The Third Implementation Cycle that Will Focus on Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, Desertification, and Africa.”

The CSD expects Germany to fund the bringing to New York of youth representatives from the developing countries. A main topic will be “Drought and Desertification and Africa” – this means effects of climate change that helped cause warfare in Africa. Will the world allow Africa to commit suicide through obstinacy, or is the world obliged to look into the mirror and say we cannot continue on this path? Mr. Baroso bit his lip and made an effort. We assume the EU will continue to try to find a way to keep the Commission in business, if at least the UN Secretariat helps reestablish a CSD Secretariat – and at the minimum there must be a functioning Director of the CSD Secretariat. That is the closing of the three month old vacancy that was created with the departure of Ms. JoAnne DiSano.

I understand that part of the nominating and election process involves the Commission itself. The present 53 members are:

African States: 12 besides Zimbabwe. They are – Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo/Kinshasa, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zambia.

Asian States: 11 – Bahrain, China, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand.

Eastern Europe: 6 – Belarus, Croatia, Czech Rep., Poland, Russia, Serbia.

Latin America and Caribbean: 10 – Antigua and Barbuda (the incoming head of G-77), Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti, Peru.

Western European and Others: 13 – Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK, US.

By looking through this list I clearly see that Poland, the host of next year’s follow up meeting to Bali, motors of the UNFCCC track like Germany, UK, Japan, Australia, India, even China, Antigua, Korea,Tunisia, Congo/Kinshasa, Tanzania, Croatia will want to see a functioning CSD. What is needed is a low key peace maker with vision who comes from inside the UN system, and who has a history of having seen the difficulties when working with developing countries that seem to have memories from colonial days that they apply to new situations that really are of a totally different nature. Finding such a person would help, we hope, revive the CSD, so it could continue its functions and prepare for much larger importance when the UNFCCC track finally starts sputtering.