Gaza UN envoy on sport voices concern over ban of youth organization

The Sharek Youth Forum, which was forcibly closed on 30 November, is “a key implementing partner” for the UN on the ground, particularly in the context of the Gaza Summer Games, said Wilfried Lemke, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport and Development.“This year, the NGO was instrumental in providing recreational and learning beach activities to more than 60,000 children and youth, as well as vocational training for some 2,000 volunteer instructors,” he said in a statement issued on Friday.The Gaza Summer Games, an event that has been organised every year since 2007 by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), provides a variety of sporting, recreational and educational activities to some 250,000 children and youth in the Gaza Strip.“The UN needs the dedicated and professional assistance of their partners, including the Sharek Youth Forum, if they are to succeed in their efforts to support the people living in Gaza. Not to mention that those partners are a crucial source of professional opportunities, thus partly addressing the alarming economic situation in the Strip,” Mr. Lemke said.Mr. Lemke’s statement echoes the concerns expressed last week by Max Gaylard, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, who also stressed the important role played by Sharek Youth Forum in partnership with the UN in promoting youth empowerment in the Palestinian territories.Since its creation in 1996, the Forum has played an important role in Gaza in enabling children and young adolescents to actively engage in sports, arts and other cultural activities. The organization had established itself as a highly respected organization offering young people recreational activities amid the harsh living conditions in Gaza. 13 December 2010A senior United Nations official has voiced concern over the decision by the local authorities in Gaza to close the offices of a non-governmental organization (NGO) working with youth and called for the unconditional lifting of the ban. read more

Onex sells remaining stake in Spirit AeroSystems ending nineyear investment

TORONTO — Onex Corp and its affiliates have sold their remaining 8.4 million shares of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., a former Boeing manufacturing unit that makes major structures for commercial, military and business jets.Based on the Thursday closing price for Spirit’s shares at the New York Stock Exchange, the Onex Group’s shares would be worth US$304 million but the stock was sold at a slight discount — a common practice when large volumes are sold at once.Spirit AeroSystems were down 1.68% at US$35.60 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday. The company said the shares owned by the Onex Group were sold for $35.90 — a discount of 31 cents per share.In Toronto, Onex shares were down slightly Friday by 0.44% at $62.97. They hit a 52-week high of $63.54 on June 2.Toronto-based Onex is a highly diversified company, which invests on behalf of itself and partners in various industries. A significant portion of its profits come from the purchase and resale of companies after a period of control.Its sale of the remaining stake in Spirit AeroSystems follows the sale of The Warranty Group in a deal valued at US$1.5 billion to an affiliate of TPG Capital and an agreement to buy York Risk Services Group in a deal valued at US$1.325 billion.Onex and its affiliates originally acquired Spirit AeroSystems in June 2005.Over the following nine years, Onex and its affiliates have received US$3.2 billion in proceeds from the investment.Onex said Thursday that its own original investment in Spirit was US$108 million and its share of the proceeds since 2005, including $118 million of interest, totalled US$975 million.The sale was announced in Toronto by Onex senior managing director Seth Mersky and by Spirit from Wichita, Kan., where its main operations are located.Spirit said current and former members of its management would also be part of the secondary public offering of nearly 8.56 million class A common shares for $35.90 each.The Canadian Press read more