Ban welcomes joint request by Colombian Government and FARC to set up

A statement issued today by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the communiqué was issued by the two sides from Havana, Cuba, where peace talks have been under way since 2012. According to the statement, the requested UN mission would constitute “the international component of a tripartite mechanism to monitor and verify a future agreement on a bilateral and definitive ceasefire and cessation of hostilities and the laying down of arms.”“The Secretary-General also welcomes the parties’ request to the members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to contribute international observers to the mission to be established by the United Nations,” continued the statement.The UN chief congratulated the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP on yet another significant step toward the peaceful resolution of the armed conflict. He reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support their efforts in the search for peace.The FARC rebels have been in talks with the Government seeking to end a 51-year conflict that has left nearly a quarter of a million victims. Throughout the discussions, which started in Havana in 2012, negotiators have reached agreement on key issues such as the political participation, land rights, illicit drugs and transitional justice.Addressing the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level debate this past September, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said “Colombia is on the path to peace,” aiming to bring an end to the longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere. He also announced that 23 March would be the deadline for signing a final agreement. read more

Brock prof wins provincial teaching award

After being nationally recognized for his teaching excellence earlier this year, David Hutchison is again being honoured for his efforts in the classroom.A professor in Brock’s Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities, Hutchison has been awarded a 2017-18 Teaching Award by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 Ontario faculty associations. Since 1973, the OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards have recognized exceptional professors and librarians for their contributions to higher education in Ontario. Hutchison is one of five Teaching Award recipients from across Ontario this year.   “As a cross-appointed professor at Brock, it has been my privilege to observe so many diverse examples of teaching excellence amongst colleagues, working with students in groups — large and small — in-person and online,” Hutchison said.  “I really see this recognition as a tribute to how well Brock nurtures and values teaching excellence, especially teaching approaches which support experiential cross-program collaborations, which has been one of my goals.” Hutchison’s teaching efforts were widely recognized earlier this year. In February, he was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for teaching excellence.  “David is an innovative instructor and through his teaching and mentoring of students contributes significantly to our students’ positive experiences and, more broadly, to Brock and the community,” said Michael Owen, Dean of the Faculty of Education. “As his colleagues, we celebrate this well-deserved recognition of his dedication and talent.” Hutchison and his fellow award recipients will be honoured at OCUFA’s 45th annual awards ceremony in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 20. The ceremony will be hosted by the CBC’s Nana aba Duncan.  “David Hutchison challenges his students to test those perceptions of the world they might take for granted by comparing them against the diverse experiences of others,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee.  “Through his teaching and the experiential learning opportunities he incorporates into his courses, he empowers students to feel like their work matters and that they can affect change.” read more