Speech: UK briefs Security Council on mission to Bangladesh and Burma

first_imgThank you very much indeed Madame President, and as it’s the first time I personally take the floor, allow me to congratulate you on assuming your new role. I’d like to join my Peruvian colleague in particular in thanking the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also our Kuwaiti colleague for all the excellent arrangements. Without that, we would not have been able to cover so much in our trip. And like my Kuwaiti and Peruvian colleagues, we really did appreciate everything we saw from the UN teams on the ground and the help we had from the Secretariat. And I think, if I can speak for all the Council, I think all Council members found it a very productive and interesting, if difficult, visit.Madame Chairman, I will speak about what we did on the third day with our field visit to Northern Rakhine. We had a briefing on one made by the Chief Minister of Rakhine state and we took a helicopter trip over Northern Rakhine. We were accompanied by the Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin and the Chief Coordinator of the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development, which is known as the UEHRD, and that was Dr Aung Htun Thet.The members of the Security Council on that trip flew over an area that showed widespread devastation of land and villages and it was clear Madame President that these had been burned out. We saw physical arrangements for return being prepared by the Myanmar government. This included a reception center and a transit center at Talaat. This was intended to accommodate up to 30,000 people.We met members of local communities in Northern Rakhine. We had a town hall meeting with Rakhine Muslim and Hindu groups. We met community members who had seen their families be victims of ARSA attacks, and we met a Rohingya community whose homes have been rebuilt by the authorities. We were also able to have a meeting with members of civil society at Sittwe airport, though our time was unfortunately brief.In line with my colleagues, I’d like to offer the Council some reflections on what we saw. I think the first reflection I have is the sheer scale of the devastation. I have only ever seen one camp like it in my professional life before and I was very struck by the magnitude of what the refugees face and what the governments face and what the UN faces as they try to get the people home. We did see widespread devastation from the air and this is obviously one reason for the scale of the refugee camps in Bangladesh.I think the second reflection would be the need for the Burmese authorities to increase the scale of their response and to allow the UN in with unconditional access to assist them. Only the UN has the technical expertise and know-how to deal with an event of this magnitude.Myanmar has two reception centres. Together they can receive at best 300 people a day.There are some 90,000 refugees, Madame President, so nowhere near the scale that would be required to bring so many refugees home. And as I said, the UN needs to be involved because it is the only institution in the world that has the ability to provide assistance at the scale required.My third reflection would be that we didn’t receive enough information about the prospect for long-term solutions. Council members heard that refugees would be housed only temporarily in the transit centre, but there was no convincing explanation about how they would actually get back to their villages and on what timeframe. And we did note, I think the Council was struck by the fact that the IDP camps in Sittwe have been there since 2012.My fourth reflection: an emphasis on the physical arrangements and development as opposed to the underlying political issues. Council members heard about UEHRD development plans which are privately financed and about the physical arrangements for repatriation. But two points, if I may, on that Madame President: there are risks to private financing, and anything delivered without Rohingya participation risk reinforcing displacement, not resolving it. I think we accept that the Myanmar authorities have a very deep concern about development issues in Rakhine state as a whole and I think the Council believes that that is one aspect that will need to be addressed. But it is not the foremost aspect in getting the Rohingya to start going back to their homes in safety and security, Madame President, and I think I was particularly struck again by the contrast between what is being offered on the ground in Myanmar and the scale of the problem.There is little progress on tackling the political issues, as my two colleagues noted in the meetings they described. Many of these political issues were raised in the Annan Commission recommendations. They centre around community reconciliation, around regularising citizenship status of Rohingya, around human rights such as freedom of movement and access to education and livelihoods, and holding the perpetrators of violence to account. Again Madame President, we heard from some of the other villagers and officials about attacks on them from the ARSA. So it is clear to me speaking nationally that there does need to be an accountability mechanism for all the alleged violations of human rights committed, violations and abuses of human rights committed in Northern Rakhine. But again I start from the point that it is the Rohingya that the Council went to examine and it is the Rohingya that is overwhelmingly the largest part of the problem.And lastly, Madame President, we have in recent days been very concerned by reports that Myanmar security forces have threatened Rohingya villages not to talk openly with the Security Council delegation and that the people who did so are being looked for by security forces now. It’s obviously unacceptable that anyone should feel intimidated from talking to the Security Council who after all undertakes these missions on behalf of the international community. And I would be most grateful if the Myanmar authorities could clarify that as a matter of urgency.Thank you very much indeed, Madame President.I would like to just make one last point if I may. I was struck by the unity of the Council throughout the trip, and I think my colleagues were as well. And I think we all would like to find a way to preserve that unity as under your direction, Madame President, we go forward.last_img read more

What Customers Want from EMC and VMware

first_imgThese same customers also tell me that as soon as their partners turn into “pick my stack, my full stack – like it or not,” they move from being a partner to being a vendor. When they push that envelope too far, such as cranking licensing/pricing in a negative direction (Oracle is constantly the reference example) – they move from passive dislike into frustration, anger and then full on rage.This is a delicate balancing act.   Everyone out there is trying to make it easier for companies to source more from them, but as soon as the choice is not driven by the customer… well, those customers end up feeling like I feel about my cable company: “Their internet rocks. Their set top and cable programming sucks. Their mobile phone sucks. I DON’T WANT BUNDLING.”I also hear another thing more and more often – customers that dig EMC, also dig VMware and Pivotal. They want us to work more closely together. There are customers every day that are going all in on the Federation, and see benefit to their business. And, if you listened to the recent analyst call (transcript here) you heard Joe saying how those customers spend on average 2x more with EMC and VMware and move faster with Pivotal. I want to humanize this for a second.   My daughter was in the ER three weekends back (fear not – nothing serious – just a wakeboarding head injury with no permanent damage other than a wound to her pride). During those long hours, EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA and the Federation were the last thing on my mind.   Afterwards I realized the hospital had a new PACS system – and that in all likelihood we power that system – so in a way we as the Federation had a part to play (a VERY small part relative to the doctors!)Every day families work through healthcare issues that make my weekend detour look easy. These things matter – and are about making people’s lives better – not just driving technology forward.Want another example of making lives better?  EMC’s sustainability report is a fascinating read.What’s interesting about these “making the world better” and “getting to an outcome” stories? They don’t start with low-level technology elements. This is difficult to internalize as a technologist who likes “being in the weeds.” Technology matters – in fact it’s central – but the real magic is in “putting it all together.”This is the other macro thing that is driving the “Federation Better Together” for me and may perhaps suggest that the balance point in the balancing act may be moving.Every day I talk to customers, more are saying: I’m done wasting my time on lower-level integration – I want a faster outcome.  I know that part of moving faster is focusing less on “lock in” that is no longer material, and more on picking partners that I trust and redirecting efforts higher up the stack – period.A good friend and former colleague (good luck in the new gig Tyler!) did an absolutely BRILLIANT post on “lock-in” here I would highly recommend. His definition is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen: How much friction (and what would it cost to overcome) am I introducing to our environment, and is the value we’re gaining worth it?   Through that lens, bad “lock in” is a situation where the friction to move outweighs the benefits of moving and good “lock in” is a situation where the friction to move is dwarfed by the benefits of moving.What people are coming to realize is that lock-in at lower levels of the stack is now at a point where the friction to move is low. This is due to open APIs and open source coupled with much better abstraction through virtualization and containerization. Even moving from one IaaS stack to another is possible (that has more friction though). The new “high friction” comes from data gravity (this remains really hard to move – and steers compute to tend to want to co-locate), governance/compliance/regulation, and hard-coding your app to someone’s API without some open protection (the most dangerous of the these elements).The ultimate proof point (in the lock-in vs. agility debate) is the rapid growth of the public cloud stacks – where you have ZERO control over the stack (or the services).This is all to say the following:When customers want faster outcomes (which is happening more and more)…ANDThey realize that lock-in is a ratio of “friction to move:benefit of moving,” not a monster to be feared…THENThey ask the Federation to come with answers to the questions of ‘what if we were all in with you?’ and ‘does the ratio of friction:benefit work in my favor?’This is the story of so many customers I see around the globe.There is so much to do and we can clearly get better!This question, “what can we do to make the Federation work better, while striving to not remove the strength that comes from preserving the cultures, autonomy, and freedom of motion?”, has been keeping me very busy over the years – and no time more than over the last couple of months.I believe there are six buckets to what we can do to make the Federation work even better (IMHO):Services – a common team approach to delivering on integrated Federation projects; operating based on the best skills to deliver, regardless of Federation team member (we’ve largely cracked this one).Sales – to be applied when a customer says “I want a Federation team where the buck stops – and leverages the whole Federation portfolio for what they think is right.” This means being able to do Federation ELAs, and other operational considerations.  We’ve started to apply Federation account coverage for customers who really want to go “all in” with us – early days to be sure, but exciting!Software Defined Storage – together, the SDS portfolio of VMware and EMC is second to none – from extending traditional external storage (VVols/ViPR) and in other cases replacing external transactional storage with SDS (VSAN and ScaleIO). Together we cover vSphere only-use cases, and also any heterogenous use case. Together we offer SDS data planes beyond transactional storage with Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS). Together as VMware and EMC there is no peer in the ecosystem when it comes to a complete, and open SDS portfolio.Converged Infrastructure – a big part of moving faster is abandoning mix-and-match at the lowest levels of the stack. This is causing vendor ecosystems to collapse and things that were obvious in the past simply don’t work anymore. Maybe CI isn’t an ecosystem play anymore? SDS with validated hardware still seems to work as an ecosystem thing (think of VSAN-ready nodes, or the new ScaleIO nodes). vSphere certainly is a massive ecosystem play (massive ecosystem). But when it comes to real CI (not assembled reference architectures), customers are drawing clear lines about stacks that they like and they don’t like – technologically, as well as strategically and through the support lens. New battle lines are being drawn. This is a function of something more fundamental: the new commodity is the full IaaS stack. It’s not to say that all IaaS stacks are the same, rather that IaaS is now the level of infrastructure comparison.Cloud – the consumption model of technology that cloud creates needs to operate at the Federation level.  Not that we don’t continue to partner openly with SPs and Telcos, but there needs to be a more Federation-level model for it.A clear strategic position on the infrastructure design point built for Cloud Native Applications workloads. This area (Cloud Native Application and the IaaS that underpins it) is one of the biggest hairballs because right now it seems that depending on the customer, the “pragmatist” and “purist” views each have a place because the landscape is moving fast! More work needed here – but you can see we’re all over it.In the end (and most importantly!), I want to say a huge “thank you” to our Federation customers. Know that we’re working furiously on 1-6, while maintaining our promise to you of always offering choice and embracing an open ecosystem. There has been so much speculation about EMC/VMware lately and I continue to be surprised by how much the speculation feeds itself. One reporter speculates, and then another reports the first as a source. It’s all like a snake eating its own tail.My perspective is based on the customers I talk to and mirrors the one Joe Tucci staked out in response to the analysts on EMC’s most recent earnings call: the customers I talk to want the Federation of EMC/VMware/Pivotal/RSA to be MORE integrated, while fiercely resisting models where things are too coupled.It’s funny because those sound like polar opposites, but I also get where they are coming from. Customers want a loose coupling that gives freedom of choice to pick a part or pick the whole.People jokingly compare our Federation to another Federation. The analogy to the fictional Star Trek Federation is apt beyond the common name. That other Federation is a collection of different planets and cultures. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but come together on common goals. That’s pretty familiar territory for the employees of EMC, VMware, Pivotal and RSA.What do I hear from customers about what they want – specifically?They want to be able to use everything in the VMware portfolio without being obligated to using EMC or Pivotal.They want to be able to use EMC without necessarily using VMware.They want to be able to use Pivotal Cloud Foundry and the Pivotal Big Data Suite anywhere, including vCloud Air and on their VMware-powered on-premises clouds (the most common deployment model for Pivotal Cloud Foundry), but also on AWS, Azure, and others.Many Isilon customers are very happy to see EMC partner with Cloudera. Heck, EMC even resells Cloudera for people who want to bundle these together (El Reg covers that here). Want a pure open source Apache Hadoop distribution instead to align yourself with the Open Data Platform (ODP)? EMC partners with Hortonworks (see that here). A pretty clear example of choice.What about the new world of Cloud Native Applications and how to best support them at the infrastructure level?Some customers passionately believe in a vision of Cloud Native apps that runs on a pragmatic view. This view is that perhaps it’s best to build new apps on the same unified cloud stack which runs kernel mode VMs and containers simultaneously, can present via the vRealize/vCloud APIs and equally via the Openstack APIs, and offers rich virtual infrastructure services when needed, and not when not. This is the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, which industrializes the VMware stack with rich workflows and integration with a broad ecosystem. The people and process of this “unified cloud” approach often struggle with SLAs, ITIL processes geared to the most legacy app whilst also operating with the agility that the new cloud native apps desire (and demanding none of the infrastructure resilience). This is not a technical issue, but a very real one nonetheless.Other customers are equally passionate in a diametrically ooposed direction – that while you CAN run Cloud Native Applications on infrastructure and operational models designed for classic infrastructure-dependent applications, you SHOULDN’T. Instead, you bias for elasticity, programmability, cloud-level scale and economic models. Beyond the technology, this operational model fits the DevOps cultural model. This cloud usually runs adjacent to a “unified cloud” that powers the traditional applications. Does the Federation have an answer?  You bet! This is the Pivotal Cloud Foundry + VMware Photon Platform + EMC VxRack solution which was discussed at VMWorld 2015.Other customers reject VMware’s role in the world of Cloud Native Apps with passion. I think that’s a little foolhardy – because outside some of the SaaS startups I meet with, few customers would see a ton of benefit from building their own Cloud Native unstructured PaaS (DIY PaaS that starts with building on top of Mesos + Marathon/Kubernetes) built on homebrew IaaS models. Outside SaaS startups (which rock with this approach), many enterprise customers go down that path and come back 18 months later saying “help!” VMware can make the Photon Platform the “Enterprise IaaS for pure Cloud Native Apps.” That said – those customers commonly believe in a purist open source model, and bias towards the efforts that Pivotal and EMC are pursuing with Project Caspian as the “industrialization” of a purist open source stack. This is another manifestation of choice.last_img read more

4 reasons your credit union needs the new CUAid app

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lacey Yasick Lacey is the Communications Manager for the National Credit Union Foundation. She works to develop and execute all communication efforts that support the Foundation’s national programs and engagement strategy.Lacey … Web: www.ncuf.coop Details Unfortunately, we are in the thick of natural disaster season. As if 2020 hasn’t thrown us enough curve balls, this is the time of year where mother nature doesn’t hold back. If we, as an industry, have learned anything this year, it’s that being prepared for the unexpected is critical for business resiliency.In collaboration with PSCU, the Foundation recently launched a free CUAid Disaster Recovery app, generously funded by CUNA Mutual Group and FIS and developed by CU-APPS. In the true spirit of cooperation among cooperatives, the CUAid app was a collaborative effort with the common goal of strengthening our industry in the face of disaster.The app is designed to help credit unions do four main things:Prepare for disasters – Credit unions should use the Prepare form within the app as a guide to evaluate and strengthen their own internal disaster recovery plans. The Prepare form is to be used as a checklist for individual credit unions and supplies the database information about possible resources that could be provided to other credit unions in need.Report a disaster – If your organization has been struck by a natural disaster, you can quickly report it through the app. This notifies the Foundation and we can quickly respond to your needs.Connect to receive and/or share resources during disasters – After reporting a disaster, credit unions can connect with other organizations who may have resources available to share such as generators, mobile branches, etc. The app serves as a “matching service” to quickly mobilize and share needed equipment and resources. Donate to CUAid – Quickly support other credit union employees financially in times of need.The success of the app lies within the users and the collaborative sharing of resources. We have seen CUAid quickly mobilize funds to get credit union employees back on their feet to serve members and hope the app changes the way we maintain continuous operations during times of emergency.The app can be downloaded on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or on your desktop.Download the app FAQ, attend an upcoming live webinar, or contact the Foundation at [email protected] for all other questions.last_img read more

Obama, Clinton votes all for wrong reason

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe Feb. 24 letter, “Criticism of Trump is completely valid”: I have never seen such hatred toward a president. I’m not going to lower myself by calling people names. But if Hillary Clinton was (per Diane Sanders Hombach) the “smartest, most experienced person this country has had in our modern era,” then why didn’t she win the election?  Diane, it was because people didn’t like her. After losing to Obama in the 2008 primary and then Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, I think it finally hit home. I’d like to see our politicians from both sides come together and get this country in order.  And as for Obama winning twice, I think many people wanted to be a part of history and voted for an African-American candidate. So my feeling is that many more people came out to vote because of this.  Also, Obama is very likable and connects with people. But I don’t think that’s the main reason he was elected. And when Hillary ran, everyone was so excited that history would be made again. Just think — a woman president.  And then Donald won.Lorraine VanDerWerkenRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more