Recent clash illustrates ongoing GeorgianAbkhaz tensions – Ban Kimoon

Despite relative calm in recent months, the incident that occurred on 20 September is “the most serious incident involving the Georgian and Abkhaz sides in many years,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia. He notes that the incident took place outside the area of responsibility of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force. With the permission of both sides, UNOMIG is trying to clarify the circumstances. In light of this recent clash, Mr. Ban recommends that areas between the zone of conflict and the Kodori Valley be put under international monitoring, with the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles and artillery radar. At the same time, he stresses the need to “prevent the weakening of the ceasefire and separation of forces regime.” “We will continue to insist on the obligation of both sides to keep their armed personnel clear from one another, observe the restrictions of the restricted-weapons zone and respect the agreed notification and verification procedures,” the Secretary-General writes.He adds that the continued suspension and absence of security dialogue between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides, UNOMIG and the CIS peacekeeping force can only compound recent negative developments, such as the “dangerous stand-offs” that have occurred during the reporting period between the Georgian side and the CIS force.In addition, Mr. Ban notes that while some progress was made between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides on technical and humanitarian issues, the gap between them on political dialogue remained. “The overall approach to the settlement of the conflict remains that a successful dialogue on security, the return of internally displaced persons and refugees, economic rehabilitation and humanitarian issues would help bring about a comprehensive political settlement of the conflict,” he writes.With the mandate of UNOMIG set to expire shortly, the Secretary-General recommends that it be extended for six months, as its presence continues to contribute to security in the conflict zone and international efforts to promote a peaceful settlement. UNOMIG – currently comprising 133 military observers and 19 police officers – was established in August 1993 to verify compliance with the ceasefire agreement between the Government of Georgia and the Abkhaz authorities in Georgia. Its mandate was expanded following the signing by the parties of the 1994 Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces. 8 October 2007A deadly clash last month between the Government and Abkhaz sides in Georgia underscores the need for both sides to abide by their agreements and to bring additional areas under international monitoring, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report. read more

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Canadian solar module makers threatened by lowprice imports from China tribunal rules

TORONTO — The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has ruled that domestic manufacturers of solar-electric modules are facing a significant threat from low-price imports from China.The tribunal’s decision allows the Canada Border Services Agency to continue imposing duties on most types of photovoltaic modules imported from China.An investigation by the CBSA alleged in early June that about half a dozen Chinese companies, and a China-based subsidiary of Canadian Solar International, were benefiting from foreign subsidies.In a statement Friday, the tribunal said the domestic industry is generally threatened by the Chinese imports, although it excluded one specific type of solar module that’s generally used for small-scale power generation such as battery charging.The two federal agencies were acting on a complaint filed last year by four Ontario companies that make solar modules, which are required in systems that convert the sun’s rays into electrical power.Canadian Solar Inc poised to take off as global demand risesChinese billionaire a no-show after his solar company loses US$19B in market value in just 24 minutesThe domestic manufacturers said they faced unfair competition and Canada should follow the lead of the United States and European Union, which have imposed duties on imported solar modules from China.The counter-argument was that anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese imports would keep Canadian prices higher and could make it more difficult to eliminate the gap between the cost of producing solar power and the price of buying from the power grid.The vice-president of operations for Strathcona Energy Group, now the owner of Eclipsall, one of the Ontario companies that brought the challenge to the CBSA last year, said the ruling is good news for his company.“We are very pleased with the tribunal’s decision,” said Mikael Niskanen in an email Monday.“The market has been waiting for the tribunal to complete their investigation and with this phase over everyone can move forward accordingly.”The tribunal’s role was to determine whether the imports have damaged the domestic industry or threatened its survival — conditions that would allow the CBSA to continue applying tariffs that were temporarily imposed in March.The tribunal is scheduled to release reasons for its decision in about two weeks.A lawyer for Canadian Solar, a solar module manufacturer based in Guelph, Ont., said he was disappointed by the ruling because his client had argued the tariffs would be bad for global trade and it didn’t require protection.Canadian Solar has manufacturing operations in Ontario but also in China and its imported modules will be subject to tariffs imposed by the Canadian authorities.The Canadian Press read more

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