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New UN Resident Coordinator to Sri Lanka assumes duties

As the most senior UN Official in the country, Ms. Singer will lead the UN Country Team of 22 Resident and Non-Resident UN Agencies and act as the representative of the UN Secretary-General in Sri Lanka. She has close to 3 decades of experience with the UN.A national of Egypt, Ms. Singer holds a Master’s degree in Political Sociology and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. (Colombo Gazette) Prior to this appointment, Ms. Singer held several senior management positions in UNICEF offices across the world, including Associate Regional Director UNICEF Geneva, as well as, Country Representative for UNICEF Syria, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. She has led humanitarian programmes in Burundi and Haiti, and managed cross border humanitarian operations to Afghanistan and Iraq among other areas. The new United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Hanaa Singer, assumed duties in Sri Lanka, the UN office in Colombo said today.Hanaa Singer presented her credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at his residence and also called on Tilak Marapana, Minister of Foreign Affairs, earlier this week. read more


Transition labor markets more flexible but joblessness has risen – UN study

“Central and East European labour markets have increased their flexibility, but the forms of flexibility are different from those to be found in the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries,” says Alena Nesporova, co-author of the study, with Sandrine Cazes. In developed countries, job turnover increases during economic boom times because higher demand for labour encourages people to leave their jobs for better ones, while during recessions labour turnover declines due to low demand, according to the report, Labour markets in transition: Balancing flexibility and security in Central and Eastern Europe. In the transition countries, however, people do not trust the economic health of many of the companies offering new jobs. They know that if they become unemployed their loss of income would be dramatic and the support provided by labour market and social welfare institutions is poor. For these reasons, they prefer to stay in their current jobs even during an economic upswing. Between 1994 and 2002 unemployment increased to 19.9 per cent from 14 per cent in Poland and to 7.3 per from 4.1 per cent in the Czech Republic. In 2000 unemployment rose to 13.4 per cent in the Russian Federation, compared to 8.1 per cent in 1994, according to the report. Only two transition countries saw a drop in unemployment between 1994 and 2002: to 5.8 per cent from 10.7 per cent in Hungary and to 6.4 per cent from 9 per cent in Slovenia, the agency says. The report recommends that countries review their labour legislation with a view to protecting workers, especially those in the informal sector. The authors also recommend that transition countries spend more money on labour market policies and strengthen social dialogue between governments, workers and employers. read more