Bahrain: The World Youth Group has appointed Bahrain-based businessman Mohammed Mansoor as the Director of their Council. Mansoor, Founder & CEO of Saara group heads a series of ventures and organisations spread across the domains of information technology, energy, oil & gas, sports, seed capital investments, and is a well-known social activist and philanthropist.

Founded in 2019, the World Youth Group, is a globally renowned team of elected young leaders, politicians, parliamentarians and diplomats. Their mission is to Educate, Encourage, and Engage global youth in social and political sectors within the UN realm by supporting the United Nations initiatives. Apart from the UN and it’s Agencies, the entity to host highest number of elected representatives in the 76th UNGA. With 22 Members of Parliament, 6 Ministers and UN Permanent Representatives, representing over 25 countries, to participate in 5 Summits. The founding organizations are Collegiate Congress Inc. (USA), All-Africa Students Union (AASU), European Students Union (ESU), Organization Continental Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Estudiantes (OCLAE), Young Democrats of America, and Young Republican National Federation (YRNF), and the founding members are then heads of the respective organizations.

Adding heft to the organisation is the Advisory Board which comprises of ten Permanent Representatives (Ambassadors) of UN Member States. Each Ambassador also acts as Chief Advisor for a Committee on SDG. With 108 national student unions, a dozen national youth political leadership, and over 45 Youngest Members of Parliament, they are to be the largest only elected youth leader’s consortium in the world.

Speaking about Mansoor's appointment as Director - The Council, H.E. Ambassador Collen V.Kelapile, Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN and President of UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) said, " Mr Mansoor's credentials as an entrepreneur and social activist speak for themselves and we, at the Advisory Board, are delighted to have him as our partner as we are confident that under Mr Mansoor's able leadership the Council, which comprises of top experts in various fields and is the only non-parliamentary, non-diplomat team at the World Youth Group,  will serve to further strengthen our group as we actively work towards United Nations Agenda 2030 - the Sustainable Development Goals and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development especially during these challenging times."

Cristo Thomas, Chair, World Youth Group added, " Mansoor's association with us will add the much needed impetus to invigorate The Council, I am confident that we will grow by leaps and bounds and accelerate our progress towards our common goals."

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Hong Kong, Oct 25: Amnesty International said Monday it would close its two offices in Hong Kong this year, becoming the latest non-governmental organization to cease its operations amid a crackdown on political dissent in the city.

The human rights group said its local office in Hong Kong would close this month while its regional office will close by the end of the year, with regional operations moved to other offices in the Asia-Pacific region.

This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong's national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty's board, said in a statement.

Hong Kong implemented a sweeping national security law in 2020 following months of massive anti-government protests. The law outlaws secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign collusion to intervene in the city's affairs. More than 120 people, many of them supporters of the city's democracy movement, have been arrested under the law.

The majority of the city's prominent pro-democracy activists are behind bars for taking part in unauthorized assemblies, and dozens of political organizations and trade unions have ceased operations out of concern for their members' personal safety under the security law.

Bais said the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signaled authorities were intensifying their campaign to rid the city of dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment, she said.

Critics in Hong Kong say the national security law is an erosion of freedoms, such as those of expression and assembly, that were promised the city for 50 years when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.