The October Revolution Ye m e n - O c t 1 4
The British have occupied and controlled many different parts of the world over the centuries including India, Australia and Canada. Among that list of occupied territories was Yemen. However, on a historic October 14, 1963, the people of South Yemen revolted against the British occupation and drove them out of the country. Now the people of Yemen annually celebrate National Day to commemorate the historic event.
On January 19, 1839, British East India Company took control of the port of Aden to utilize it as a refueling point for its ships. Afterwards, the British Empire officially ruled Aden as part of British India. In 1937, the port of Aden and the surrounding area was converted into a British Colony as part of the British Crown. On January 8, 1963 the Colony of Aden was merged into the newly created Federation of South Arabia with promises that it would be released from British control in 1968. Finally, having had enough of the oppression, the two nationalist groups Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) and National Front (NF) revolted on October 14, 1963 in the name of freedom, justice and equality for the Yemeni people. While many Yemeni refer to this as National Day, it must be noted that they celebrate three National Days, and it is easy to confuse them. Many Yemeni will refer to the October National Day simply as the “14 October Revolution”.
TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND ACTIVITIES
The status of the traditions and customs followed on this holiday has become murky with the recent crisis in Yemen. The mix of renewed Shi’ite revolt in northern Yemen, separatist unrest in southern Yemen, and fresh al Qaeda attacks across the country have effectively put any peaceful celebration of the holiday on the back burner. On October 14, 2007 gunmen opened fire on opposition activists rallying for the anniversary of the revolution. This has lead to subtle hints by extremists and activists that yet another “October Revolution” may be necessary to take their country back from a government rife with corruption and mismanagement.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day U.S. - Oct 15
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death which includes but is not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or the death of a newborn. It is observed annually in the United States and Canada and, in recent years, in the United Kingdom, on October 15. The day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle-lighting vigils, concluding with the International Wave of Light, a worldwide lighting of candles at 7:00 p.m.
HISTORY The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement
began in the United States On October 25, 1988 when former American President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October 1988 as ``Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month The October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD) Campaign began in 2002 as an American movement started by Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak. Together, they petitioned the federal government, as well as the governors of each of the 50 states, and by October 15, 2002 (the first observance of PAILRD) 20 states had signed proclamations recognizing the date as such. As a result of the American campaign effort, Concurrent Resolution H. CON. RES. 222 Supporting the goals and ideals of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was passed in the House of Representatives on September 28, 2006. . To date, all 50 states have yearly proclamations, with Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, and South Dakota enacting permanent proclamations. The Director of the Canadian Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness and Remembrance Campaign, TerraLynn Coggan, joined the American movement in September 2004 and took on the role as the Canadian Director for October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and began the Canadian Campaign. On October 12, 2005 when New Brunswick received official recognition of October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Terra-Lynn resigned as the Canadian Director for the American Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Campaign and independently launched The Canadian Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness and Remembrance Campaigns. Since New Brunswick’s Declaration of October 15, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day the province of Nova Scotia has followed suite with a similar declaration. The provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are currently considering a declaration.
International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Contrary to the popular belief that Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is internationally legislated and
observed as an international day of remembrance this is not the case. Through the legislative campaigns of individuals world wide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is becoming an international day of observation. Germany and most other non-English speaking countries do not observe this day.
Federal Campaign American As a result of the American campaign effort Concurrent resolution H. CON. RES. 222 Supporting the goals and
ideals of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was passed in the House of Representatives on September 28, 2006. H. CON. RES. 222 proclaims October 15 of each year to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States.
New Brunswick, Canada
New Brunswick is the first province in Canada to officially recognize October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Through the lobbying efforts of Terra-Lynn Coggan, a Saint John resident with the assistance of Saint John-Champlain MLA Roly MacIntyre, New Brunswick Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Elvy Robichaud in a declaration dated October 12, 2005 did declare October 15 to bePregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day across the province. "Miscarriage and infant death are a source of grief, often silent, for mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents." To recognize this loss, Hon. Elvy Robichaud, New Brunswick Minister of Health and Wellness declared October 15 to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day He called on provincial residents to help promote "support, education and awareness for grieving parents who have lost infants during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
International Wave of Light The International Wave of Light invites participants from around the world to light a candle in honor of PAILRD, start-
ing at 1900 hours on October 15 in their respective time zones, and to leave the candle burning for at least an hour. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period in honor and remembrance of the children who die during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
Boss Day U.S. - Oct 16
Boss' Day (alternative spelling Boss's Day, also known as Bosses Day or National Boss Day) is a secular holiday celebrated on October 16 in the United States and Canada. It has traditionally been a day for employees to thank their boss for being kind and fair throughout the year. The holiday has been the source of some controversy and criticism in the United States, where it is often mocked as a Hallmark Holiday. One interesting feature of this occassion in India, is that Boss's present gifts to their subordinates.
History Patricia Bays Haroski registered "National Boss' Day"
with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958. She was working as a secretary for State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Illinois at the time and chose October 8 because she forgot that the birthday of her boss, who was her father, was actually on the 16th. Four years later in 1962, Illinois Governor Otto Kerner backed Haroski's registration and officially proclaimed the day. National Boss' Day has become an international celebration in recent years and now is observed in countries such as Australia, India and South Africa and very recently Ireland and the UK. Hallmark did not offer a Boss' Day card for sale until 1979. It increased the size of its National Boss' Day line by 90 percent in 2007.
World Food Day Worldwide - Oct 16
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. It is also the Food Engineer day. The World Food Day theme for 2011 is "Food prices - from crisis to stability".
World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO's Member Countries at the Organization's 20th General Conference in November 1979. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány has played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
Since 1981, World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year, in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus. Most of the themes revolve around agriculture because only investment in agriculture – together with support for education and health – will turn this situation around. The bulk of that investment will have to come from the private sector, with public investment playing a crucial role, especially in view of its facilitating and stimulating effect on private investment. In spite of the importance of agriculture as the driving force in the economies of many developing countries, this vital sector is frequently starved of investment. In particular, foreign aid to agriculture has shown marked declines over the past 20 years.
Events Events take place in over 150 countries to mark World Food Day. Below are example of events held across the world in recent years.
United States of America:
World Food Day has been a tradition in the USA since the first World Food Day in 1981. In the United States the endeavor is sponsored by 450 national, private voluntary organizations. One example for World Food Day events in 2011 is the World Food Day Sunday Dinners that Oxfam America is sponsoring in collaboration with several other non profits. Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu and author Francis Moore Lappe have teamed up with Oxfam America to promote World Food Day Sunday Dinners.
In Italy, ministries, universities, research agencies, international agencies and NGOs have organized many conferences as well as exhibitions and symposia. The Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Policies organized a meeting which focused on women's rights in rural areas in 2005. In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture have all become involved via press conferences. Spanish television has been active in broadcasting events. FAO Goodwill Ambassador – Spanish soccer star Raul – has taken part in events and helped highlight food-security issues across his country. The UK Food Group has also been active through conferences and media broadcasts. In the emerging economies of Eastern Europe – i.e., Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovak Republic – a variety of activities have been held. In Hungary, renowned experts have given presentations in the Hungarian Agricultural Museum and FAO, and WFD medals have been awarded to well-known Hungarian experts by the FAO Sub-Regional Representative. On behalf of the Holy See, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have sent an annual message for food producers and consumers on World Food Day.
Angola celebrated WFD in 2005 through the 4th Forum on Rural Women, while in Burundi the second Vice-President planted potatoes to provide a symbolic example about food production. In Central African Republic, the President of the Republic has inaugurated a bridge at Boda to coincide with World Food Day, making the agricultural production area more accessible. In Chad, thousands of people have attended debates, conferences and activities including theatre, films, folk dance, visits to project sites and visits by agricultural companies. In Ghana, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has hosted a food security conference, while Namibia has run an awareness campaign through national media. Egypt has hosted a Forum on nutrition issues. Morocco and Tunisia have held seminars and exhibitions.
The Government of Bangladesh has been involved through organizing a food festival; in China in 2005, celebrations were organized in Qujing City, where numerous ethnical minorities live, by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Qujing City, with the participation of a number of senior officials of the Government. In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, seminars have been held and visits made to various project sites. The Ministry of Agriculture ofIndonesia has in the past organized a major Food Expo in Bandung, West Java, while a Farmers' and Fishermen's Workshop of NGOs was held in Bali. In Armenia, staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, non-governmental organizations, Armenian State Agriculture University, the donor community, international organizations, and the mass media have participated in the World Food Day ceremony. In Afghanistan, representatives of Ministries, embassies, UN agencies, International Financial Organizations, National and International NGOs and FAO staff have attended the World Food Day ceremony. In Cyprus, special ceremonies have been organized in primary and secondary schools, where teachers explained the significance of World Food Day.
In Chile, exhibitions of indigenous food products have been prepared by local communities. In Argentina, senior officials of the Government, academics, international organizations and the press have participated in the main ceremony. In Mexico in 2005, a National Campaign for a "Mexico Without Hunger" was held, with the involvement and support of civil society and students. In Cuba, producers have been able to exchange views and experiences at an agricultural fair. The media strongly supports awareness campaigns on World Food Day; for example in Venezuela there has been national coverage of events.
St. Gallus Day Switzerland - Oct 16
Saint Gall, Gallen, or Gallus (c. 550 - c. 646) was an Irish disciple and one of the traditionally twelve companions of Saint Columbanus on his mission from Ireland to the continent. Saint Deicolus is called an older brother of Gall.
Biography Gall and his companions established themselves with
Columbanus at first at Luxeuil in Gaul. In 610, he accompanied Columbanus on his voyage up the Rhine River to Bregenz but when in 612 Columbanus traveled on to Italy from Bregenz, Gall had to remain behind due to illness and was nursed at Arbon. He remained in Swabia, where, with several companions, he led the life of a hermit in the forests southwest of Lake Constance, near the source of the river Steinach in cells. He died around 646-650 in Arbon, and his feast is celebrated on 16 October. After his death a small church was erected which developed into the Abbey of St. Gall, the nucleus of the Canton of St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland the first abbot of which was Saint Othmar. The monastery was freed from its dependence of the bishop of Constance and Emperor Louis the Pious made it an imperial institution. The "Abbey of St. Gall", (not from the name of its founder and first abbot, but of the saint who had lived in this place and whose relics were honoured there) the monastery and especially its celebrated scriptorium played an illustrious part in Catholic and intellectual history until it was secularized in 1798. From as early as the 9th century a series of fantastically embroidered Lives of Saint Gall were circulated. Prominent was the story in which Gall delivered Fridiburga from the demon by which she was possessed. Fridiburga was the betrothed of Sigebert II, King of the Franks, who had granted an estate at Arbon (which belonged to the royal treasury) to Gall so that he might found a monastery there. Another popular story about Gall has it that, at the command of the saint, a bear brought wood to feed the fire which Gall and his companions had kindled in the forest. The fragmentary oldest Life was recast in the 9th century by two monks of Reichenau, enlarged in 816-824 by the celebrated Wettinus, and about 833/884 by Walafrid Strabo, who also revised a book of the miracles of the saint. Other works ascribed to Walafrid tell of Saint Gall in prose and verse. The last is mentioned in Robertson Davies' book The Manticore, where he interprets the legend in Jungian psychological terms. In the final scene of the novel where David Staunton is celebrating Christmas with Lizelloti Fitziputli, Magnus Eisengrim, and Dunstan Ramsay he is given a gingerbread bear. Ramsay explains that Saint Gall made a pact of peace with a bear who was terrorizing the citizens of the nearby village. They would feed him gingerbread and he would refrain from eating them. The parable is a Jungian exhortation to make peace with one's dark side.
Black Poetry Day U.S. - Oct 17
Jupiter Hammon (October 17, 1711 – before 1806) was a black poet who in 1761 became the first AfricanAmerican writer to be published in the present-day United States. Additional poems and sermons were also published. Born into slavery, Hammon was never emancipated. He was living in 1790 at the age of 79, and died by 1806. A devout Christian, he is considered one of the founders of African American literature.
life and education Early Born into slavery in 1711 in a house now known as
Lloyd Manor in Lloyd Harbor, NY -- per a Town of Huntington, NY historical marker dated 1990 -- Hammon was held by four generations of the Lloyd family of Queens on Long Island, New York. His parents were both slaves held by the Lloyds. Unlike most slaves, his father, named Opium, had learned to read and write. The Lloyds allowed Hammon to attend school, where he also learned to read and write. As an adult, he worked for them as a domestic servant, clerk, farmhand, and artisan in the Lloyd family business. He became a fervent Christian, as were the Lloyds. His first published poem, "An Evening Thought. Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries: Composed by Jupiter Hammon, a Negro belonging to Mr. Lloyd of Queen's Village, on Long Island, the 25th of December, 1760," appeared as a broadside in 1761. He published three other poems and three sermon essays. Although not emancipated, Hammon participated in new Revolutionary War groups such as the Spartan Project. There on September 24, 1786, he delivered his "Address to the Negroes of the State of New York", also known as the "Hammon Address." He was seventy-six years old and had spent his lifetime in slavery. He said, "If we should ever get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for being black, or for being slaves." He also said that, while he personally had no wish to be free, he did wish others, especially “the young Negroes, were free.” The speech draws heavily on Christian motifs and theology. For example, Hammon said that Black people should maintain their high moral standards because being slaves on Earth had already secured their place in heaven. He promoted gradual emancipation as a way to end slavery. Scholars think perhaps Hammon supported this plan because he believed that immediate emancipation of all slaves would be difficult to achieve. New York Quakers, who supported abolition of slavery, published his speech. It was reprinted by several abolitionist groups, including the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. In the two decades after the Revolutionary War and creation of the new government, northern states generally abolished slavery. In the Upper South, so many slaveholders manumitted slaves that the proportion of free blacks among African Americans increased from less than one percent in 1790 to more than 10 percent by 1810. In the United States as a whole, by 1810 the number of free blacks was 186,446, or 13.5 percent of all African Americans. Hammon's speech and his poetry are often included in anthologies of notable African-American and early American writing. He was the first known African American to publish literature within the present-day United States (in 1773, Phillis Wheatley, also an American slave, had her collection of poems first published in London, England).
Dessalines Day Haiti - Oct 17
Haiti’s founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaimed Haiti’s independence on this day in Gonaives, Haiti. It was a monumental achievement that marked the first successful slave revolution in world history and in the establishment of the independent Republic of Haiti.
Alaska Day U.S. - Oct 18
Alaska Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observed on October 18. It is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States which took place at a flagraising ceremony at Fort Sitka on Friday October 18, 1867 (11 hours behind St. Petersburg, Russia, half past midnight, Saturday 7 October, St. Petersburg time, Julian Calendar, or 3:30 p.m. in Sitka, 7 October). Alaska Day is observed statewide, and is a paid holiday for State of Alaska employees. The official celebration is held in Sitka, where schools release students early, many businesses close for the day, and events such as a parade and reenactment of the flag raising are held. It should not be confused with Seward's Day, the last Monday in March which marks the signing of the treaty for the Alaska Purchase in which the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867. Although the territory was sold to the U.S. in March, it was not until the 18th of October that year that the Commissioners arrived in Sitka and the formal transfer was arranged. The original ceremony included 250 uniformed U.S. soldiers, who marched to the Governor's house in Sitka at "Castle Hill", where the transfer was made. It was here that the Russian troops lowered the Russian flag and the U.S. flag was raised. The official account of the affair as presented by General Lovell Rousseau to Secretary of State William H. Seward continues: "... The troops being promptly formed, were, at precisely half past three o'clock, brought to a 'present arms', the signal given to the Ossipee ... which was to fire the salute, and the ceremony was begun by lowering the Russian flag ... The United States flag ... was properly attached and began its ascent, hoisted by my private secretary [and son], George Lovell Rousseau, and again salutes were fired as before, the Russian water battery leading off. The flag was so hoisted that in the instant it reached its place the report of the big gun of the Ossipee reverberated from the mountains around ... Captain Pestchour off stepped up to me and said, 'General Rousseau, by authority from his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, I transfer to the United States the Territory of Alaska' and in a few words I acknowledged the acceptance of the transfer, and the ceremony was at an end."
Independence Day Azerbaijan - Oct 18
Azerbaijan officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası) is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short borderline with Turkey to the northwest. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world, was established in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920. Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991. Shortly thereafter, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, neighboring Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding territories and the enclaves of Karki, Yukhary Askipara, Barkhudarly and Sofulu. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which emerged in Nagorno-Karabakh, continues to be not diplomatically recognized by any nation and the region is still considered a de jure part of Azerbaijan, despite being de faction dependent since the end of the war. Azerbaijan, a nation with a majority Turkic and Shia population, is a secular and a unitary republic with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. Azerbaijan is one of the six independent Turkic states as well as the active members of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations. It is one of the founding members of GUAM and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and in December 1991 the country became a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On May 9, 2006 Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly. The term of office began on June 19, 2006. A Special Envoy of the European Commission is present in the country, which is also a member of the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Azerbaijan is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union and member of the Non-Aligned Movement and holds observer status in World Trade Organization. Being one of the five most developed countries among CIS members, Azerbaijan has the 67th highest human development level in the world In 2009 the country had an unemployment rate of 6% and a low crime rate compared to other CIS and Eastern European countries.
The name of Azerbaijan derives from Atropates, a Persian satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, that was later reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander of Macedonia. The original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrian religion. In the Avesta, Frawardin Yasht ("Hymn to the Guardian Angels"), there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, which literally translates from Avestan as "we worship the Fravashi of the holy Atropatene". Atropates ruled over the region of Atropatene (present-day Iranian Azerbaijan). The name "Atropates" itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old-Iranian, probably Median, compounded name with the meaning "Protected by the (Holy) Fire" or "The Land of the (Holy) Fire". The Greek name is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and Strabo. Over the span of millenniums the name evolved to Āturpātākān then toĀdharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān and present-day Azerbaycan. The word is translatable as "The Treasury" and "The Treasurer" of fire or "The Land of the Fire" in Modern Persian.
The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates to the late Stone Age and is related to the Guruchay culture of the Azykh Cave. The Upper Paleolithic and late Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı, Zar, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe. Early settlements included the Scythians in the ninth century BC. Following the Scythians, Iranian Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras. The Medes forged a vast empire between 900–700 BC, which was integrated into the Achaemenids Empire around 550 BC. The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading to the spread of Zoroastrianism. Later it became part of Alexander the Great's Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of the area, established an independent kingdom around the fourth century BC. During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Caucasus and Atropatene. Ancient Azerbaijanis spoke the Old Azari language.
The Sassanids turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state in AD 252, while King Urnayr officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the fourth century. Despite numerous conquests by the Sassanids and Byzantines, Albania remained an entity in the region until the ninth century. The Islamic Umayyad Caliphate repulsed both the Sassanids and Byzantines from the region and turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state after the Christian resistance, led by Prince Javanshir, was suppressed in 667. The power vacuum left by the decline of the Abbasid Caliphate was filled by numerous local dynasties such as the Sallarids, Sajids, Shaddadids, Rawadids and Buyids. At the beginning of the 11th century, the territory was gradually seized by waves of TurkicOghuz tribes from Central Asia. The first of these Turkic dynasties established was the Ghaznavids, which entered the area now known as Azerbaijan by 1030. The pre-Turkic Azerbaijani population spoke an Iranian language called the Old Azari language, which was gradually replaced by a Turkic language, now known as the Azerbaijani language from the 11th century onward until it became completely extinct in the 16th century. To distinguish it from the Turkic Azerbaijani or Azeri language, this Iranian language, is designated as the Azari language (or Old Azari language), because the Turkic language and people are also designated as "Azari" in the Persian language. However some linguists have also designated the Tati dialects of Iranian Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan, like those spoken by the Tats, as a remnant of Azari. Locally, the possessions of the subsequent Seljuq Empire were ruled by atabegs, who were technically vassals of the Seljuq sultans, being sometimes de facto rulers themselves. Under theSeljuq Turks, local poets such as Nizami Ganjavi and Khagani Shirvani gave rise to a blossoming of Persian literature on the territory of present-day Azerbaijan. The next ruling state of the Jalayirids was short-lived and fell under the conquests of Timur. The local dynasty of Shirvanshahs became a vassal state of Timur's Empire and assisted him in his war with the ruler of the Golden HordeTokhtamysh. Following Timur's death two independent and rival states emerged: Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu. The Shirvanshahs returned, maintaining a high degree of autonomy as local rulers and vassals from 861 until 1539. During their persecution by the Safavids, the last dynasty imposed Shia Islam upon the formerly Sunni population, as it was battling against the Sunni Ottoman Empire.
After the Safavids, the area was ruled by the Iranian dynasties of Afshar and Zand and briefly by the Qajars. However de facto self-ruling khanates emerged in the area, especially following the collapse of the Zand dynasty and in the early Qajar era. The brief and successful Russian campaign of 1812 was concluded with the Treaty of Gulistan, in which the shah's claims to some of the Khanates of the Caucasus were dismissed by Russia on the ground that they had been de facto independent long before their Russian occupation. The khanates exercised control over their affairs via international trade routes between Central Asia and the West. Engaged in constant warfare, these khanates were eventually incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1813, following the two Russo-Persian Wars. The area to the North of the river Arax, amongst which the territory of the contemporary republic of Azerbaijan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia. Under the Treaty of Turkmenchay, Persia recognized Russian sovereignty over the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate and the remainder of the Lankaran Khanate. In 2007, during the construction of a stadium, constructors discovered the Guba mass grave. Studies by Azerbaijani and foreign scientists have confirmed the human remains found there to be of local residents of various nationalities, including Jews and Lezgins who were killed in the 1918 massacre. To date, the remains of 600 people have been found, including about 50 children and 100 women. After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, Azerbaijan, together with Armenia and Georgia became part of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the republic dissolved in May 1918, Azerbaijan declared independence as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). The ADR was the first modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim World. Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan the first Muslim nation to grant women equal political rights with men. In this accomplishment, Azerbaijan also preceded the United Kingdom and the United States. Another important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in Muslim East. By March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet Russia would attack the much-needed Baku. Vladimir Lenin said that the invasion was justified as Soviet Russia could not survive without Baku's oil. Independent Azerbajian lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik 11th Soviet Red Army invaded it, establishing the Azerbaijan SSR on April 28, 1920. Although the bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, Azeris did not surrender their brief independence of 1918–20 quickly or easily. As many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting what was effectively a Russian reconquest. On October 13, 1921, the Soviet republics of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed an agreement with Turkey known as theTreaty of Kars. The previously independent Naxicivan SSR would also become autonomous ASSR within Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic by the treaty of Kars. On the other hand, Armenia was awarded the region of Zangezur and Turkey agreed to return Gyumri (then known as Alexandropol). During World War II, Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the strategic energy policy of Soviet Union, with most of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front being supplied by Baku. By the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in February 1942, the commitment of more than 500 workers and employees of the oil industry of Azerbaijan was awarded orders and medals. Operation Edelweiss carried out by the German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of its importance as the energy (petroleum) dynamo of the USSR. A fifth Azerbaijanis fought in the Second World War from 1941 to 1945. Approximately 681,000 people with over 100,000 of them women went to the front, while the total population of Azerbaijan was 3.4 million at the time. Some 250,000 people from Azerbaijan were killed on the front. More than 130 Azerbaijanis were named Heroes of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijani Major-General Azi Aslanov was awarded twice Hero of the Soviet Union.
Following the politics of glasnost, initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, civil unrest and ethnic strife grew in various regions of the Soviet Union, including Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of the Azerbaijan SSR. The disturbances in Azerbaijan, in response to Moscow's indifference to already heated conflict, resulted in calls for independence and secession, which culminated in Black January in Baku. Later in 1990, the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijan SSR dropped the words "Soviet Socialist" from the title, adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Azerbaijan Republic and restored flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as a state flag. On 18 October 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The early years of independence were overshadowed by the Nagorno-Karabakh War with neighboring Armenia. By the end of hostilities in 1994, Armenia occupied up to 16 percent of Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh itself. An estimated 30,000 people had been killed and more than a million had been displaced. Four United Nations Security Council Resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884) demands for "the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan." In 1993, democratically elected president Abulfaz Elchibey was overthrown by a military insurrection led by Colonel Surat Huseynov, which resulted in the rise to power of the former leader of Soviet Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. In 1994, Surat Huseynov, by that time a prime minister, attempted another military coup against Heydar Aliyev, but Huseynov was arrested and charged with treason. In 1995, another coup attempt against Aliyev, by the commander of the OMON special unit, Rovshan Javadov, was averted, resulting in the killing of the latter and disbanding of Azerbaijan's OMON units. During his presidency, Aliyev managed to reduce the country's unemployment, rein in criminal groups, establish the fundamental institutions of independent statehood, and brought stability, peace and major foreign investment. At the same time, the country was tainted by rampant corruption in the governing bureaucracy. In October 1998, Aliyev was reelected for a second term. Despite the much improved economy, particularly with the exploitations of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field and Shah Deniz gas field, Aliyev's presidency was criticized due to suspected vote fraud and corruption.
Persons Day Canada - Oct 18
Persons Day is an annual celebration in Canada, held on October 18 each year. The day commemorates the case of Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), more commonly known as The Persons Case – a famous Canadian constitutional case decided on October 18, 1929 by the Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council, at that time the court of last resort for Canada, which held that women were eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate. While not a civic holiday, several women's groups across Canada make signficant note of the day, including The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund and The Canadian Voters Congress In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of the Privy Council's decision, the Government of Canada instituted the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case to recognize outstanding contributions to advance equality for women in Canada. The Awards are presented annually at a ceremony on Persons Day.
Sa m or a Ma c he l D a y Mozambique - Oct 19
Samora Moisés Machel (September 29, 1933 – October 19, 1986) was a Mozambican military commander, revolutionary socialist leader and eventual President of Mozambique. Machel led the country from independence in 1975 until his death in 1986, when his presidential aircraft crashed in mountainous terrain where the borders of Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa converge.
life Early Samora Machel was born in the village of Madragoa
(today's Chilembene), Gaza Province,Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), to a family of farmers. He was a member of the Shangana ethnic group and his grandfather had been an active collaborator of Gungunhana. Under Portuguese rule, his father, a native, was forced to accept lower prices for his crops than white farmers; compelled to grow labor-intensive cotton, which took time away from the food crops needed for his family; and forbidden to brand his mark on his cattle to prevent thievery. However, Machel's father was a successful farmer: he owned four plows and 400 head of cattle by 1940. Machel grew up in this farming village and attended mission elementary school. In 1942, he was sent to school in the town of Zonguene in Gaza Province. The school was run by Catholic missionaries who educated the children in Portuguese language and culture. Although having completed the fourth grade, Machel never completed his secondary education. However, he had the prerequisite certificate to train as a nurse anywhere in Portugal at the time, since the nursing schools were not degree-conferring institutions. Machel started to study nursing in the capital city of Lourenço Marques (today Maputo), beginning in 1954. In the 1950s, he saw some of the fertile lands around his farming community on the Limpopo river appropriated by the provincial government and worked by white settlers who developed a wide range of new infrastructure for the region. Like many other Mozambicans near the southern border of Mozambique, some of his relatives went to work in the South African mines where additional job opportunities were found. Shortly afterwards, one of his brothers was killed in a mining accident. Unable to complete formal training at the Miguel Bombarda Hospital in Lourenço Marques, he got a job working as an aide in the same hospital and earned enough to continue his education at night school. He worked at the hospital until he left the country to join the Mozambican nationalist struggle in neighbouring Tanzania.
Machel was attracted to Marxist ideals and began his political activities in the Lourenço Marques hospital where he protested against the fact that black nurses were paid less than whites doing the same job. He later told a reporter how bad medical treatment was for Mozambique's poor: "The rich man's dog gets more in the way of vaccination, medicine and medical care than do the workers upon whom the rich man's wealth is built." His grandparents and great grandparents had fought against Portuguese colonial rule in the 19th century, so it was not surprising that in 1962 Machel joined the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) which was dedicated to creating an independent Mozambique. He left his first wife and four children behind. He received military training in 1963 elsewhere in Africa, and returned in 1964 to lead FRELIMO's first guerilla attack against the Portuguese in northern Mozambique. Machel married his second wife, Josina (née Mutemba), in 1969, who gave him a child later that same year. By 1969, Machel had become commander-in-chief of the FRELIMO army which had already established itself among Mozambique's peasantry. His most important goal, he said, was to get the people "to understand how to turn the armed struggle into a revolution" and to realize how essential it was "to create a new mentality to build a new society". Two months after the assassination of FRELIMO's president, Eduardo Mondlane, in February 1969, a ruling triumvirate comprising Samora Machel, Marcelino dos Santos and Frelimo's vice-president Uria Simango assumed the leadership. Simango was expelled from the party in 1970, and Machel assumed the presidency of the movement.
Memorial A memorial at the Mbuzini crash site was inaugurated on January 19, 1999 by Nelson Mandela and his wife Graça,
and by President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique. Now the monument is made professional and the memorial service is held on the 19th October each year. Designed by Mozambican architect José Forjaz, at a cost to the South African government of 1.5 million Rand (US$ 300,000), the monument comprises 35 steel tubes symbolising the number of lives lost in the air crash. At least eight foreigners were killed there, including the four Soviet crew members, Machel's two Cuban doctors and the Zambian and Zairean ambassadors to Mozambique. Also, a street in Moscow bears his name and the Zimbabwean band R.U.N.N. family had a hit song that mourned his loss.
Mother Teresa Day Albania - Oct 19
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta has been memorialized throughout the world in honor of her selflessness and unswerving devotion to the poor. During her lifetime this commemorization often took the form of awards and honorary degrees bestowed upon her. She has also been memorizalized through museums and dedications of churches, roads and other structures.
Mother Teresa in Albania • Mother Teresa Day (Dita e Nënë Terezës) on October 19 is a
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public holiday in Albania. The airport of Tirana, the capital of Albania, is the Tirana In ternational Airport Nënë Tereza, named after Mother Teresa in 2002. The second largest square in Tirana, the largest being Skan derbeg Square, was named after Mother Teresa. A monu ment of Mother Teresa is also found there. The biggest Civil Hospital in Tirana, was named after her.
Tribute Musical In 1998 a musical tribute album was compiled and released by Lion Communications (Polygram Records). The
album featured artists from around the world paying tribute to Mother Theresa and was called "Mother, We'll Miss You". Some of the artists included on the CD were Latino Grammy legend Jose Feliciano and famed black gospel group Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago. The album was produced by Scottish singer Dave Kelly, who also wrote and performed the title track. Over fifty major American newspapers, such as the Boston Globe and the Philadelphia Inquirer, featured stories on the release of the tribute album and also took this opportunity to honor the life and work of Mother Teresa.
Parishes with Mother Teresa as patroness Mother Teresa parish, Dakota Dunes, SD, USA - 1 September 1999
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Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parish, Woodinville, WA, USA - 1 July 2004 Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parish, Ferguson, MO, USA - 1 July 2005 Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parish, North Lake, WI, USA - 1 July 2005 Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parish, Limerick, PA, USA - 1 July 2006 Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Halifax, NS, Canada
• Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School, YCDSB, Markham, Ontario, Canada - 1979 • Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School (Previously Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School), TCDSB, Scarbrough, Ontario, Canada - 1985 • Mother Teresa Catholic High School, OCSB, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - 1998 • Mother Teresa Regional School, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, US
Streets A block of Lydig Avenue, between Holland and Wallace Avenues, located in the New York City borough of the Bronx
was renamed Mother Teresa Way on 30 August 2009, honoring her and the borough's growing Albanian community.
Kenyatta Day Kenya - Oct 20
History Dessalines was born on a plantation in an area called
Cormiers, (today, Cormier), in the hills near the town of Grande Rivière du Nord 25 kms from Cap-Haitien. That plantation belonged to a french man named Duclos. The young man was given the first name of Jacques. Hence, he will be called Jacques Duclos, as the practice was that slaves took their master’s last name. Of Dessalines’ mother or father, no one knows for sure, as slaves did not get birth certificates. The only known parent of his, is a certain aunt named Victoria Montou, that he called affectionately Toya. During the war, old Victoria Montou fought against the French in the Cahos mountains of the Artibonite region. She would remain in the house of the emperor until her death, June 12, 1805. At the age of 30 or so, he would be sold off on the market and be bought by a free black man named Dessalines. He changed his name from Jacques Duclos to Jean Jacques Dessalines. In 1791, though, he would join the slave revolt that would ultimately lead to independence. He followed the example given by the Boukman, Jean François and Biassou, early band leaders. He became a lieutenant in the Army of Jean François. He followed Jean François when he lent his services to the Royal majesty of Spain. There, he met Toussaint Bréda later called Louverture who was climbing the ranks and gaining notoriety for his successive brilliant victories against forces far superior to his. When the French Republic proclaimed freedom for all slaves, Dessalines followed Toussaint who rallied to the French flag in order to fight the armies of the Spanish and British crowns. Dessalines is widely regarded by Haitians as one of the outstanding heroes in the struggle against slavery and colonialism, in this spirit he is also affectionately called: ‘Papa Desalin’ (lit. Father Dessalines). He was the GovernorGeneral of Saint-Domingue from November 30, 1803 to December 31, 1803, the day before the Haitian Declaration of Independence. In contrast many non-Haitian observers have focused on Dessalines treatment of French colonialists and less on his achievements in the freedom struggle.
Feast of St. Margaret Alacoque St. Lucia - Oct 17
Marguerite Marie Alacoque or Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (22 July 1647, Verosvres– 17 October 1690) was a French Roman Catholic nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.
During this day Kenyans celebrate the memory of Jomo Kenyatta, considered the founding father of the nation of Kenya, as well as all the freedom fighters of their country. He was a visionary leader, brave and intelligent man who led Kenyans through their fights against British colonialist. These efforts led to a free and independent Kenya.
Jomo Kenyatta (20/10/1894 – 22/08/1978), from the ethnic group of the Kikuyu, received the name of Kamau wa Ngengi when he was born in the village of Ngenda. After a common beginning of life, Kenyatta entered into politics in 1924, following the ideas of leaders from the KCA (Kikuyu Central Association). He founded a newspaper in Kenya, the Reconciler, as well as wrote several articles for British newspapers about the KCA. He studied and lived in London from 1934 to 1945, when he returned to Kenya. He started as a teacher in a college and gradually lifted himself through the ranks of politics in colonized Kenya. He remained in jail, from 1951 to 1962, due to his alleged membership with a radical anti-colonial movement. Even so, he was cherished and loved by Kenyans, who demanded his release with a petition of over one million signatures. In 1963 he became prime minister of the autonomous Kenyan government, still under the rule of the British Crown. After independence, he remained as prime-minister and on 1964 he became President when he successfully had Parliament amend the Constitution to make Kenya a republic. He was re elected President several times, until his death in 1978. His face still adorns Kenyan currency notes and coins of all denomination.
TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND ACTIVITIES This day is occasioned by the President’s speech and military parade across the Provincial and District Headquarters
in Kenya. Besides Nairobi where the president is scheduled to address the Nation, the other similar meetings are addressed by the Provincial District Commissioners the same day. All over the world there are celebrations of expatriate Kenyans, who in this way join their country brothers, rejoicing in the liberation and independence of Kenya.
Revolution Day Guatemala - Oct 20
She was born at Lhautecour, a village in the diocese of Autun, now part of the commune of Verosvres in 1647. From early childhood, Margaret was described as showing intense love for the Blessed Sacrament (the Eucharist), and as preferring silence and prayer to childhood play. After her First Communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortification (including carving the name "Jesus" into her chest as an adolescent) until rheumatic fever confined her to bed for four years. At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health.
This public holiday commemorates the almost bloodless democratic revolution of 1944 when discontented university and military leaders overthrew the military dictator Jorge Ubico y Castaneda. Near the end of World War II, Guatemalans had been ruled by a harsh dictator for over a decade. In the spring of 1944, a coalition of teachers, skilled workers and students decided to put an end to the dictatorship, fuelled by the dream of four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
She had visions of Jesus Christ, which she thought were a normal part of human experience and continued to practise austerity. However, in response to a vision of Christ, crucified but alive, that reproached her for forgetfulness of him, claiming his Heart was filled with love for her due to her promise, she entered, when almost 24 years of age, the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial on 25 May 1671, intending to become a nun. She was subjected to many trials to prove the genuineness of her vocation. She was admitted to wearing the religious habit on 25 August 1671, but was not allowed to make her religious profession on the same date of the following year, which would have been normal. Finally, she was admitted to profession on 6 November 1672. She changed her baptismal name of Marguerite (Margaret) to her religious name of Marguerite-Marie (Margaret Mary). In this convent she received several revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673, and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the First Friday Devotions of each month, the Eucharistic adoration during the Holy Hour on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. She stated that in her vision she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on the sufferings of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Hour practice later became widespread among Catholics. Initially discouraged in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in her visions, Marguerite-Marie was eventually able to convince her superior, Mother de Saumaise, of the authenticity of her visions. She was unable, however, to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her community. She received the support of Saint Claude de la Colombière, the community's confessor for a time, who declared that the visions were genuine. In 1683, opposition in the community ended when Mother Melin was elected Superior and named Margaret Mary her assistant. She later became Novice Mistress, saw the convent observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart privately beginning in 1686, and two years later, a chapel was built at the Paray-le-Monial to honour the Sacred Heart.
As a first act of defiance, the teachers demanded higher wages and refused to march in an annual Teachers Day Parade scheduled for June 30, 1944. On June 29, several non violent protests gathered in the capital’s central square, the dictator responded with the cavalry and killed 200 persons. These became martyrs, which sparked a broad general strike that paralyzed the country and forced Ubico to surrender power to his generals. Alejandro Cordova, a famous Guatemalan journalist, wrote several articles against the government and gave a powerful speech before being assassinated. This gave even more strength to the revolutionary movement among Guatemalans. Ponce called a free election, as if presenting himself as democratic. Dr. Juan Jose Arevalo Bermejo living in exile in Argentina, came back to Guatemala to run against Ponce, who ordered his immediate arrest. After all, Ponce was forced to run to Mexico on October 22 due to an armed revolt led by Major Francisco Arana and Captain Jacobo Arbenz, known as the October Revolutionaries. Free elections were soon held and Arevalo won the elections. This started what is called The Ten Years of Spring, a period of free speech and political activity, proposed land reform, and a perception that great progress could be made in Guatemala.
After Margaret Mary's death, on 17 October 1690, the devotion to the Sacred Heart was fostered by the Jesuits and the subject of controversies within the Church. The practice was not officially recognized till 75 years after her death. The discussion of her own mission and qualities continued for years. All her actions, her revelations, her spiritual maxims, her teachings regarding the devotion to the Sacred Heart, of which she was the chief exponent as well as the apostle, were subjected to the most severe and minute examination, and finally the Sacred Congregation of Rites passed a favourable vote on the heroic virtues of this "servant of God". In March 1824, Pope Leo XII pronounced her Venerable (the first step on the path to canonised sainthood), and on 18 September 1864 Pope Pius IX declared her Blessed. When her tomb was canonically opened in July 1830, two instantaneous cures were recorded to have taken place. Her incorrupt body rests under the altar in the chapel at Paray-le-Monial, and many striking blessings have been claimed by pilgrims attracted there from all parts of the world. She was canonised by Benedict XV in 1920, and in 1929 her liturgical commemoration was included in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for celebration on 17 October, the day of her death. In 1969, this date was assigned to a saint of the Apostolic Age, Saint Ignatius of Antioch, and the memorial of Saint Margaret Mary was moved to the previous day, 16 October. In his 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI affirmed the Church's position regarding the credibility of her visions of Jesus Christ by speaking of Jesus as having "manifested Himself" to Saint Margaret Mary and having "promised her that all those who rendered this honour to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces". Her short devotional writing, La Devotion au Sacré-Coeur de Jesus (Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), was published posthumously by J. Croiset in 1698, and has been popular among Catholics.
Quote "And He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the
path of ruin that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source." — from Revelations of Our Lord to St. Mary Margaret Alacoque
Popular culture In James Joyce's short story "Eveline", part of his Dubliners, a "coloured print of the promises made to Blessed Mar-
garet Mary Alacoque" is mentioned as part of the decorations of an Irish home at the turn of the 20th Century, testifying to her enduring popularity among Irish Catholics.
Day for the Eradication of Poverty Worldwide - Oct 17
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated every year on October 17 throughout the world. It was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1992, but the first commemoration of the event took place in Paris, France, in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadéro to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear. This call was made by Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988) founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World. The text engraved in the stone reads as follows: Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty. – Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988) founder of ATD Fourth World.
One of the main aims of the day is to make the voice of the poor heard. To this end, commemorations often include testimonies from people living in poverty, describing their own experiences or those of people they know.
TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND ACTIVITIES
The day is marked by massive protests (sometimes with tens of thousands of participants and sometimes lasting more than one day) by unions, farmers, teachers and human rights organizations who still seek the truth about the desaparecidos (vanished), more than 200.000 victims of the Guatemalan civil war. Several speakers take the stage to voice out Guatemalans discontent about current national issues. Besides these there are loud celebrations with music and more, centring on the Plaza Mayor in Guatemala City. Guatemalans are fond of setting off fireworks, and this is no exception. Government tolerates and promotes the day as a good stress reliever for citizens, who the next day returns to their daily lives.
For e ign M inis t e r J á nos M a r t ony i Sa y s H unga r y ’s Pla c e is in N ATO (Online 08 Oct) Hungary’s place was in NATO, in the Trans-Atlantic family, said Foreign Minister János Martonyi. He added that „though the world keeps changing, our values remain the same, and NATO is essentially a community of values.” The Hungarian Foreign Minister declared, at a conference organized by the Hungarian Atlantic Council on the twentieth anniversary of its foundation, that Hungary could be secure in an alliance where there was trust and agreement among the members and where they could count on each other. This means that Hungary’s place in NATO today and for the decades to come. János Martonyi pointed out that the power and solidarity of NATO Allies was the founda-
tion of Hungary’s security. Regarding the Hungarian Atlantic Council, he claimed that it remained a relevant and important organization because it represented the values that had been affirmed since Hungary joined NATO, and those values must be defended when doubts or objections are raised against them. Minister of Defense Csaba Hende stated that in the present situation of economic crisis and decreasing defense budget, it was even more important to disseminate the views of Euroatlantic integration. US Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis claimed that there was more need for the cooperation among NATO members than ever before. She declared that coopera-
tion in enhancing international security was one of the most important areas of American-Hungarian bilateral relations, and that Washington highly appreciated the contribution made by Budapest. Karl Lamers, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Deputy Chairman of the Defense Committee of the German Parliament, pointed out that NATO was fighting for peace and the rule of law, and Hungary as a member of the Alliance had contributed to international security. He claimed that Hungary took part in NATO missions all over the world, and thus promoted stability in those regions.
Hungary Welcomes the 2012 Enlargement Package (Online 12 Oct) Hungary welcomes that the Enlargement package, presented by the European Commission on 10 October confirmed progress in almost all countries aspiring to join the European Union. Acknowledging the achievements and defining the further tasks will contribute to keeping the impetus of the enlargement process and the
issue of enlargement on the agenda even during the debate about the future of Europe. The Commission’s package has defined the enlargement strategy for the coming period and has assessed the advancement of the candidate countries and of the potential candidate countries in their process of integration. We fully agree with the
Commission putting the focus on the questions of rule of law and good governance, on the importance of regional cooperation and reconciliation, – which includes the issue of minority protection – and on economic planning coordinated with directions of crisis management in the EU.
High Priority Assigned to Southern Stream (Online 12 Oct) The Hungarian Government declares every public administration authority case priority that is in relation to the implementation of projects linked to the construction and regular operation of the Southern Stream natural gas pipeline’s 229 km Hungarian section. The government decree to be published soon specifies the project as having outstanding significance in the national economy and determines the general and specialised authorities to proceed in the
first and second instances. Thus preparatory work may become simpler and can be accomplished within a shorter timeframe. Hungary’s options to purchase gas are physically limited, therefore the Government analyses every infrastructure development concepts in effect and supports them if justified. The objective set in the National Energy Strategy is to increase the number of sources and routes of purchase. The Southern Stream, under planning, may also be an important means of diver-
sification. The pipeline may deliver gas from Russia on an alternative route towards the Central European Region, thus increasing the safety of energy supply to the area. In order to increase the gas purchase opportunities, in May 2010 the Nabucco pipeline, and in November 2011 the Hungarian-Slovakian interconnector, part of the North-South Energy Corridor were officially assigned high priority.
HUNGARY Joint press briefing held in Berlin by Viktor Orbán and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Online 11 Oct) After talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, German Chancellor Angela said Merkel that she welcomes the fact that the Hungarian governis ment following the European Commission's guidance on conrecent tested issues; Viktor Orbán said that after perweaker in formance Hun2012, gary's econ- Photo: Barna Burger omy will turn million Hungarians depend economithe corner next year. The Hungarian Prime Minister said cally on German companies, so what that the Fidesz government is prepar- is good for the German economy is ing new economic action plans. The also good for the Hungarian econnext two or three years will not see omy. high levels of economic growth, and The German chancellor welcomed encouraging employment alongside the fact that ‘the Hungarian governpoor growth will be the Government's ment is following the European Combiggest ‘professional challenge’. mission's guidance on recent Concerning bilateral ties, both parties contested issues.’ She pointed out highlighted close economic relations that Hungary has made progress in between the two countries and the terms of reaching agreement with the significance of German investments European Union, adding that the in Hungary. Viktor Orbán said that 1,2 Hungarian government has consid-
ered the criticisms from its European partand ners amended contested legislation. She also said that the euro's success was of fundamental significance to member EU states outside the eurozone, the expansion of which would again be put on agenda the after consolidation. She stated that it is understandable that Hungary is not currently engaged in adopting the single currency, and that Viktor Orbán had ‘never opposed’ eurozone reforms. The Hungarian Prime Minister confirmed this, but stated that Hungary would like to introduce the euro only when it offers positive prospects again and the country is prepared for it. Chancellor Merkel regarded as constructive and useful the dialogue she had with the Hungarian prime minister on the economy, voting rights and the media. She said this aided clarification of these issues.
The Govt will announce action plans aimed at the lower middle class in 2013 (Online 12 Oct) On Kossuth public radio station today the Hungarian prime minister confirmed that action will be taken in support of the lower middle class next year, adding that Hungary is not far from coming to a ‘good agreement’ with the International Monetary Fund. Viktor Orbán said that new developments related to the IMF talks on financial assistance should be expected after general meetings have taken place in Tokyo. He added that Hungary is more serious and in a stronger condition than it was at the time of the previous agreement, and so it intends to strike a good deal with the organisation; he restated that, in line with earlier statements, Hungary will use assistance for government debt reduction.
He also confirmed that in 2013 the Government would announce action plans aimed at the lower middle class. It has been argued that those who earn between the minimum wage and HUF 220,000 (EUR 770) per month have not yet been able to break free from their current predicament. The Prime Minister also commented on his meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday. Their talks focused mainly on issues touching on the European Union and economic policy, but the two parties also discussed questions related to election rights and media regulation. Viktor Orbán said that Angela Merkel, who originates from East Germany, has a good understanding of what is happening in Central Europe and
empathises with the peoples of this region. At the same time he stressed the sovereignty of both countries which, though naturally interested in each other, rule out interference in each other's domestic policies. Hungary and Hungarians are respected in Germany and the two states consider each other equal partners. He added that over the past two years Germans have invested a total of 4.7 billion euros in Hungary, and 300,000 Hungarians are employed in German companies. Chancellor Merkel understands the Hungarian position that ‘Hungary should think about joining the eurozone only if it presents positive new prospects for the Hungarian economy, and when Hungary is fully prepared,’ the Prime Minister said.
Minister Martonyi on developing relations between Hungary and Southeast Asia (Online 12 Oct) Foreign Minister János Martonyi asserted that relations between the EU and ASEAN were developing laudably, and so were relations between Hungary and the ASEAN. At the international conference on exploring the opportunities for further cooperation between Hungary and the Southeast Asian region, held in Budapest, on October 11-12, the Hungarian Foreign Minister declared that Hungary arrived at a turning point because significant political and economic changes had been taking
place globally, and each country had to respond to these challenges. Minister Martonyi pointed out that Hungarian foreign policy had been expanding through a „Global Opening”, an important element of which was „Eastern Opening”. The importance of Eastern opening was demonstrated by that the General Secretary of ASEAN, Surin Pitsuwan, was invited to give a presentation at the Hungarian Ambassadors’ Annual Conference at the end of August. Minister Martonyi stated that the EU had been conducting free trade talks
with several ASEAN member states, and Hungary supported these talks. More than 120 government officials, businessmen and NGO representatives from Hungary and the ASEAN countries attended the two-day event organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency, the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs. There was a business forum held on the second day of the event at the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs.
Agreement on international violation fees (Online 12 Oct) From the beginning of next year Austrian, Bulgarian, Croatian and Hungarian drivers will be fined by local policemen if they commit traffic in violation each other’s countries. An agreement was signed on this topic by the four countries’ ministers deputy and ministers of interior on Thursin day, Mátraháza durthe Photo: Károly Árvai ing Salzburg Serbian Prime Minister and Miniter of Forum meeting. After the signing ceremony, Minister Interior Ivica Dacic talked about the Pintér stated at the press conference: fact that countries can only take acthe European Union wants to ensure tion against crime, corruption, illegal that by 2050 no deaths will occur in migration and human trafficking by road accidents. One step towards cooperating with each other. The this direction is the agreement en- Hungarian and Serbian ministers abling a stronger cooperation in road also plan to hold a bilateral meeting safety matters with an emphasis on on human trafficking. taking over and handling public ad- Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister ministration and violation fees in each Veselin Vuchkov mentioned as an exother’s countries. The four-party ample that in his country due to the agreement enables violation fees aligned actions in the past three over 50 euros to be recovered in all years the number of the victims of signatory countries. This would mean road accidents have decreased sigthat a Hungarian driver cannot road nificantly. At the same time he extraffic offences in Austria, neither can pressed his hope that the signed an Austrian driver do the same in agreement will improve road safety even more in the EU. Hungary without consequences. Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Austrian European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström also particfederal Minister of Interior emphasized that the Salzburg Forum, es- ipated at the event and stated that the forum is not a competition for joint tablished at the turn of the century following an Austrian initiative, has European cooperation but rather a great example that integration can be become one of the most important forums for public safety cooperation in deepend through regional initiatives as well. Europe. Minister Kirigin also agreed that the Salzburg Forum is a very im- On the margin of the meeting Hunportant cooperation, especially be- garian Minister of Interior Sándor Pincause exchanging information is one tér and Croatian Deputy Minister of of the biggest challenges for the Eu- Interior Nebojsa Kirigin signed an agreement on the operation of the ropean Union.
Danube Law Enforcement Coordination Center. Accordto this ing agreement a enforcelaw ment coordination center will be established in Mochács, in to order strengthen the of security traffic water and take actions against crime. Minister Pintér said that it will be a joint Croatian-Hungarian checkwith point crew shared and expressed his hope that Serbia will join the operation as well. As a continuation of Salzburg Forum on Friday the eighth meeting of the Ministerial Committee of Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe will take place, under Serbian Presidency. The committee includes Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia. The main issues will be illegal migration and human trafficking. Hungary, as the newest member of the Convention will address the participants. The Salzburg Forum includes the Ministers of Interior of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Its aim is to strengthen regional cooperation in the field of internal security and to improve the representation of EU interests. The participants discussed the security of the Schengen region, the financing of the interior affairs related issues of the 2014-2020 EU budget, and the importance of combating organized crime with a special emphasis on creating legal regulation in order to confiscate unlawfully acquired property.
Ex c e lle nt H unga r ia n r e s ults a t t he Eur ope a n Sk ills C om pe t it ion (Online 11 Oct) At the weekend the European Skills Competition for young skilled workers was held in Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium (EuroSkills 2012). At the event organized by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) the Hungarian team has achieved its best ever result by winning 5 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze medals. This excellent performance placed Hungary as the fifth most successful among the 24 participating countries. Among the best of their skill in Europe was building joiner Zoltán Ónodi, cabinetmaker Gábor Berkes,
the Information and communication technologies team of János Csőke, Kristóf Kreszán and Sándor Zeke, the Mechatronics team of László Losonczy and István Ullrich as well as the Woodcraft Technology team of Ádám Sárvári, Gábor Berkes and Zoltán Ónodi. A silver medal has been awarded to the Hungarian Floristry team and bronze medals have been bestowed on teams in the categories of Hairdressing, Maintenance cleaning, Waiter, Carpentry and Cook&Serve. The Ministry for National Economy is proud to be the sponsor of this ex-
traordinary team. We congratulate to the wonderful results for team leader Balázs Fekete, the competitors and their coaches and wish further great professional achievements! More than 400 young competitors learning a skill have participated in EuroSkills 2012 in 44 crafts. The achievement of the Hungarian team which entered the competition with 20 participants in 11 categories is especially remarkable as almost each competitor could finish among the first three in his/her field.
Public lighting modernisation programme announced with GE launching LED lamp production (Online 12 Oct) Speaking on Friday at a joint press conference with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó, Phil Marshal, Regional CEO of General Electrics (GE), said that this quarter GE Lighting will start producing LED lamps in Nagykanizsa. Mr. Szijjártó also said that the Hungarian government will announce a 50-billion-forint public lighting modernisaprogramme for local tion governments. Mr Marshall said that lighting technologies in Hungary have a 116-year history, and for this reason GE also considers it a great opportunity to establish its European and global centres here, with Nagykanizsa also being well-placed logistically. State Secretary Szijjártó stated that the European economic crisis is continu-
ously challenging the European and Hungarian economies and exerting pressure on local and international companies to innovate. He also said that the Government made a decision at the beginning of its term to put emphasis on production and employment. R + D and innovation play a key role in protecting existing jobs, creating new ones and stimulating economic growth. State Secretary Szijjártó said that for GE’s investment, Hungarian engineering knowledge combined with GE’s network and capital have created a new opportunity. He announced that after hearing of GE’s intention to invest, the Hungarian government had decided to provide 50 million forints for local governments to make public lighting more energy efficient.
Zoltán Vámos, Lighting Technology General Manager at GE, said that fifty years ago, almost to the day, one of GE’s engineers discovered the possibility of LED lighting; today almost every form of lighting can be provided through this technology. Mr Vámos stated that more than fifty engineers are working in R +D in the company’s units in Nagykanizsa, Zalaegerszeg and Budapest, and more than a hundred people are employed in the production phase. He added that the current group of 2,000 Hungarian suppliers will be expanded to include twenty more companies. The LED lamps and outdoor luminaires being produced at Nagykanizsa will be exported to European, Middle Eastern and African regions.
Hungary congratulates the Georgians on the Elections 2012 (Online 11 Oct) Hungary congratulates the Georgian people for the parliamentary elections on 1 October 2012, which is widely considered as free and fair and despite minor irregularities reflects the will of the Georgian voters. Hungary commends the high level of participation, the professional and transparent administration and the peaceful transition of Government. These elections manifested Georgia’s commitment to the country’s democratic development and set an example for other countries in the
region and in the wider Eastern European area. Hungary fully aligns herself with the Joint Statement of 2 October 2012 by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the results of Georgia’s parliamentary elections and congratulates the Georgian Dream coalition on its election victory. Hungary shares the view that both responsible government and constructive opposition are essential parts of a functioning democratic society and calls on
all representatives elected to the new Parliament to work together in the interests of Georgia. Hungary calls on Georgia's political leaders to base their future actions on full compliance with the current constitutional framework. Hungary joins other Members of the European Union and looks forward to continued close cooperation with Georgia both in the European framework and bilaterally. Hungary is ready to provide further support for the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia.
Cséfalvay spoke about the importance of financial stability in Brussels Minister of State (Online 11 Oct) Zoltán Cséfalvay of the Ministry for National Economy identified financial stability as a precondition of growth on Thursday at a conference on the European situation held in Brussels which was organized by Friends of Europe, an independent think tank. Minister of State for Economic Strategy Zoltán Cséfalvay spoke about the importance of financial stability and structural reforms adding that financial stability does not necessarily require austerity measures. “Financial stability has been a precondition of everything, among them of growth,” he stated. As he argued, reform measures initially have a recessionary impact and they can generate growth only in 3-4 years and the key question is how to pull through this period. The Minister of State said, the model of social market economy has been reasonable but a social market economy financed from debt, ridden by debt and generating
debt is a failure. Minister of State Enikő Győri of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also among the speakers of the conference. Participants of the conference have sought answers for issues such as whether the gap between the rich and the poor has widened due to austerity measures, whether the right balance could be struck between fiscal constraint and growth, how large a threat this gap imposes on the future of the EU and whether governments are capable of stimulating enterprises and innovation amidst the recession. As the Minister of State explained fiscal adjustment is not the same as structural reform. According to his assessment, it has to be acknowledged at last that regarding reforms there is a three-speed instead of a two-speed Europe: some core countries, which have implemented reforms over the past decade, are successful and competitive while the countries from Central and Eastern Europe carried
out reforms in the past 20 years which were sudden from a historic perspective and thereby these countries have undergone profound transformation. In contrast, in Southern European countries the pace reform has been extremely slow. On Wednesday Minister of State Cséfalvay participated at the session of the Competitiveness Council of EU member countries where an agreement was concluded upon the regulations which serve as the basis of how projects financed by the Horizon 2020 framework programme aimed at stimulating research and innovation can be joined in the 2014-2020 EU budget period. According to EU expert diplomats, this is a tremendous issue as it provides an overview of financial opportunities until the end of the decade which member countries may utilize when they apply for EU funding of research projects.
H unga r y pla ns to r e duc e t he num be r of tr oops in A f gha nis t a n (Online 11 Oct) Next year the number of Hungarian troops serving in Afghanistan will be reduced significantly, Hungarian Minister of Defence Csaba Hende told journalists on Wednesday, October 10 in Brussels after the NATO Defence Ministers reviewed the process of transition in Afghanistan at their meeting. The aim of this process is to enable the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to complete its mission and withdraw its combat forces from the Central Asian country by the end of 2014. ISAF will implement the transition gradually, handing over the main responsibility for maintaining security to the Afghan governmental forces province by province. The Minister of Defence reminded that the government of Hungary recently made a decision by which the Hungarian Defence Forces undertake to assume the Force Protection duties at Kabul International Airport for six months as of October 1 this year and to operate their Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) with a reduced staff in Afghanistan until next March. However, considering that the relevant province in Northern Afghanistan has already been handed over partially to the Afghan authorities and its transition is still in progress, this provincial reconstruction activity will be brought to an end too, the Minister said. Minister Hende pointed out that over the last six years the Hungarian soldiers and specialists have created dozens of schools and clinics, built bridges and drilled more than 40 wells in Afghanistan. Hungary continues to conduct its training missions, among which the most notable ones
are the two helicopter training teams. The Air Advisory Team and the Air Mentor team are training Afghan pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians for the Mi-17 and Mi-35 types at two different locations in the country. The role of the Hungarian Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) – which is operated jointly with the United States’ Ohio National Guard – will also be transformed. Since 2009, they had been assisting the training of an Afghan battalion which was recently declared “combat ready” in NATO’s system of certification, so the Hungarian soldiers’ experience in this field is no longer needed. With reduced numbers, the OMLT will redeploy to Mazar-e-Sharif where it will assist an Afghan division with the staff planning tasks. At the same time, Hungary is going to increase the number of Special Forces personnel in Afghanistan. All in all, in 2013 there will be a significant reduction in the number of Hungarian troops in Afghanistan, Minister Hende said. At the press conference closing the Defence Ministers Meeting, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the press that they had not yet reached a decision as to the troops level of the new international mission in Afghanistan which is due to start after the ISAF withdrawal in 2014 and will focus on giving training and assistance to the Afghan forces. The Defence Ministers also reviewed another important NATO-led operation, the KFOR mission in Kosovo. They concluded that the security situation and freedom of movement in Kosovo have improved in the recent
period, but NATO should “remain vigilant”. Last year, there was still widespread unrest in Northern Kosovo, which is mainly populated by Serbs. By way of example, Minister Hende noted that the Serbs living there had formerly set up some 20 road blocks but today there is only one of these. “The level of tension is substantially lower and this requires a smaller troop presence”, the Minister of Defence said. According to him, this is why there may be changes in the use of reserve forces at the end of the year. At the closing press conference Secretary General Rasmussen noted that NATO had postponed the further reduction of KFOR troop levels in earlier months due to the renewed tension, adding that no such decision had been made at this meeting either. At the same time, he held out the prospect of some adjustments to rebalance the troop placement of the international force deployed in Kosovo, with greater emphasis on Northern Kosovo. At the ministerial meeting Minister Hende said that NATO had selected the Hungarian HungaroControl company as the successful applicant for managing and controlling air traffic in the airspace over Kosovo, which was an unresolved issue until now. The company will assume the duties as from next March. The Minister of Defence told Hungarian journalists that NATO undertook to cover more than 90 per cent of the costs of setting up the third 3D radar in Hungary, and that it will contribute to the operational costs for 19 years.
PM Orbán inaugurated Central Eastern Europe’s largest cattle farm (Online 10 Oct) Hungary has one of the best quality soils in Europe, without considera b l e contamination and accompanied by a wellbalanced climate, the Prime Minister stated. He emphasised that in a world that needs to provide for 7 billion people, agriculture indeed has a future and work based on expertise cannot Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy replaced be with anything else. Prime Minister Bonafarm Group in Csípőtelek. The Orbán spoke at the handover cere- farm is the largest in Central Eastern mony of a cattle farm established Europe and is equipped with state-offrom 3.5 billion forints as part of the the-art technologies. At the opening the Prime Minister
praised Sándor Csányi, owner of Bonafarm Group and CEO of OTP Bank for investing into agriculture and stated that the Hungarian Government believes that it is possible to establish quality life in the countryside. In his speech the Hungarian Prime Minister emphasised that with appropriate education, managers and plant conditions Hungarare ians capable of performing at the highest level. Investments such as the one in Csípőtelek show that the country is capable of more, he added.
Lower state debt and political stability are key elements of Hungary’s success (Online 08 Oct) At the opening of the Hungarian Diaspora Council (MDT) in Parliament today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expressed his optimism about Hungary’s ability to continue its efforts to reduce state debt and increase its competitiveness while retaining political stability in the next two years. In his speech, the Prime Minister said that his government had been authorised to implement structural changes to make the country successful. These changes require modern ways of national development, the pillars of which are the reduction of state debt, increasing competitiveness, reversing population decline and rebuilding the community of Hungarians across the world. The Prime Minister added that Hungary has a chance to continue its efforts to reduce state debt and increase its competitiveness while re-
taining political stability in the next two years. He also said that rather than succumbing to self-pity, Hungarians should utilise the “vital force of a deeply felt sense of loss”. According to the Prime Minister, a chapter of European history has been closed and competitiveness cannot be guaranteed anymore with the same tools. He represents a different understanding of Europe and believes that the next era would be based on efforts to reinforce the family and on a “renaissance of nations.” Consequently, he mentioned that attacks on Hungary rooted in a different interpretation of European culture. On the subject of Hungary's negative demographic tendencies, the Prime Minister said that “a community which is unable to maintain itself biologically is not able to support its own system either.” Concerning Hungary's talks with the
International Monetary Fund, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that “even though we would like to come to an agreement with the IMF, everybody agrees that Hungary would not have financing problems even without the deal.” He added that improving the situation of the lower middle class is a major task for the Cabinet, thus it should launch family, housing and labour schemes for them as political stability could only be built on a broad middle class. The Hungarian Diaspora Council is holding a two-day session in Budapest, to register Hungarian memorials and items of value around the world in the framework of the Julianus programme. The Council was founded in November 2011 with the aim to get adequate attention in national politics.
Foreign Minister János Martonyi Meets Indian IT Minister in Budapest (Online 08 Oct) A delegation headed by Telecommunications and IT Minister Sachin Pilot represented India at the international Cyber Space Conference in Budapest, October 4-5, 2012. Foreign Minister János Martonyi had bilateral discussions with the Indian Minister at the event on October 5. The Hungarian Foreign Minister emphasized that Hungary greatly appreciated India’s active role in the international dialogue concerning
global cyber security. Minister Sachin Pilot spoke approvingly about the investment experience of Indian IT companies in Hungary, and he pointed out that there were still opportunities to be developed in the cooperation between the two countries. The income of the world-leading IT sector in India is estimated to be around 100 billion US dollars this year. Most of the large Indian IT companies, like Tata Consulting Services, WIPRO, Cognizant, Satyam-Mahin-
dra, are present in Hungary, which demonstrates that both the highly qualified workforce and the favourable economic environment in Hungary meets the high expectations of the Indian companies. It is an important goal of the Hungarian side that Indian IT firms, such as Infosys, which are not present yet, take into account Hungary as a potential investment target.
Three billion forints in projects for development of public administration (Online 08 Oct) Development worth around three billion forints is currently under way in local public administration. State administration, government offices and customer service points are preparing for further changes and developments. The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice is coordinating the realisation of projects worth 2.1 million forints in the organisational development of government offices, 500 million forints in development of work on customer services and 300 million forints on service provision at regional offices. The developments have been made possible through EU funds. The Government is implementing the most comprehensive public administration reform for twenty years. One
of the most important areas of reorganisation is the restructuring of regional public administration, within which one of the most important phases was the formation of county and Budapest government offices and the opening of so-called ‘government windows’ in January 2011. Currently there are a total of twenty-nine government customer service points or government offices across the country at which around half a million people have already received assistance in dealing with their official affairs. There are plans to increase the number of locations for government windows to 300 by 2014, which will mean that citizens throughout the whole country will have much better access to assistance in dealing with their official matters. The number of
matters which can be dealt with at the offices will increase to more than two thousand. In each location, thanks to the ‘one window’ approach, regional offices (and district offices in the capital) will help to simplify dealing with official matters and increase accessibility for citizens – particularly those living in the countryside. In addition to changes in the legislative environment, there is great need for organisational developments assisting the changes in local public administration and the development of new task allocation and service-centred public administration which is completely committed to the needs of citizens. This goal is served by the projects currently being launched.
HDP will further put emphasis on strengthening of Hungarian youth identity (Online 12 Oct) The Hungarian Diaspora Council held a regular conference at the beginning of this week. The Council welcomed its new members declaring that they are open for wider and deeper cooperation. The Hungarian Diaspora Council was founded in November, 2011. According to its statue of foundation the Hungarians living in diaspora – 20 years after the regime change – will get adequate attention in national policy. The Council is the common forum of organizations related to Hungarians living worldwide that advocates the claims and interests of them. The Council also endeavours to enable the diaspora community self representation. During the conference various organizations, state and party officials were present. Beside its other activities the organizations belonging to the Hungarian
Diaspora Council will have a meaningful role in promoting Hungary’s favourable image worldwide. The diaspora organizations will be briefed on a daily basis by Ferenc Kumin, Deputy State Secretary for International Communications Office in the Prime Minister’s Office. Through this activity the International Communications Office will be able to reach out around the world contributing to the restoration of the country’s credibility judgement. In the closing document of the conference the members of the Council declared that they support the consulates’ advising activity related to the citizenship application process and popularization of different citizenship issues. The participants also greeted the newly launched Julianus program aimed at making a complete registry about the Hungarian heritages worldwide includ-
ing buildings, artifacts, plaques, streets, libraries, archives and museums. The Hungarian Diaspora Council supports the voting process via letter of Hungarians living abroad. Referring to the process Zsolt Semjén Deputy Prime Minister stated that the potential voters have to register for voting, then they receive the envlopes with party lists. Consequently, the members of the Hungarian diaspora will be able to vote in the easiest way. According to the closing document the Hungarian Government specifically counts on Hungarian communities living in diaspora along with their accumulated intellectual potential and cultural heritage in order to strengthen the appreciation and competitiveness of Hungarians around the world.
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