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Côte dIvoire UN official urges building on democratic gains ahead of October

Ivorian Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny yesterday declared the Commission operational and asked the members to produce an electoral roll for presidential and parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for October.Speaking in New York, a UN spokesman said that Antonio Monteiro, the world body’s High Representative for Elections in Côte d’Ivoire, had congratulated the board members and “urged them – and the country – to build on political gains already made towards the holding of the elections.”The Commission had been due to start work on 17 February but was delayed because of a dispute over its composition and specifically because of disagreements over the validity of last October’s elections of the central bureau.As defined by the Pretoria peace agreement, the Commission is a provisional institution specially established to assure the democratic nature and sound management of the electoral process and is designed to end the Ivorian crisis.Côte d’Ivoire was divided into a Government-ruled south and rebel-held north after the failure of an attempted coup against President Laurent Gbagbo in September 2002 triggered a civil war.Troops from the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the UN-authorized French Licorne forces have been guarding the so-called Zone of Confidence separating the two areas in this nation, once the world’s top cocoa producer. More than 7,500 uniformed UN personnel are present in the country as part of UNOCI’s mission.Last week, the main political and military leaders of the rival sides held their first meeting on Ivorian soil since the 2002 civil war, a move that UNOCI described as “a significant step on the road to national reconciliation.” read more

Drive to close gender pay gap stagnates with women making up just

first_imgCompanies must now be transparent about the difference in average earnings between men and womenCredit:Philip Toscano /PA There have been concerns that the new legislation lacks teeth as businesses that fail to report their gender pay figures will not face any sanctionsHeidi Watson, lawyer That is despite initiatives to increase diversity in senior positions, including targets for female board members on FTSE 100 firms and the recently introduced policy forcing companies employing more than 250 staff to publish their pay gap between men and women. The measure means that employers must capture data on 5 April 2017, which must be published by 4 April 2018. Companies must then repeat the process every year.  “For those yet to report, it is advisable to look at how other businesses that have already released their data have presented it. In most cases, the best way will be to provide as much information as possible with any gaps explained and efforts to close it outlined.”  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The drive to close the gender pay gap has stagnated over the past six years, amid concerns that naming and shaming companies will not make a difference.The proportion of female higher rate tax payers  (earning between £43,000 and £150,000) has remained static at 27 per cent over the past six years, according to HMRC figures obtained by law firm Clyde & Co. Colleague Gina Wilson added: “Businesses should be taking steps now to analyse their April 2017 data so that they can take remedial steps ahead of the reporting deadline in April 2018. If they can make a difference over the next 12 months then they could consider releasing their April 2017 data, followed closely by their April 2018 data which could show a marked improvement.” Heidi Watson, Employment Partner at Clyde & Co: “The expectation is that gender pay reporting will start to make an impact in the next few years. “However, there have been concerns that the new legislation lacks teeth as businesses that fail to report their gender pay figures will not face any sanctions and those that report particularly bad gender pay figures will simply be ‘named and shamed’.” Workers in Londonlast_img read more