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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015

Inbox Voting for New Zealand’s new flag design begins four 68 l www.global -br ief ing.org th quar ter 2015 global commonwealth network The hosting of the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been awarded to Durban in South Africa, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced at its General Assembly in September. The announcement made history, as the Commonwealth Games have never been held in Africa before. The event will take place from 18-30 July 2022, kicking off on Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Durban was left as the only contender to host the contest after the Canadian city of Edmonton withdrew, due to the country’s current economic difficulties. Outgoing CGF President Prince Tunku Imran said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome the South African city of Durban as proud hosts of the 22nd Commonwealth Games. As a movement we stand together to support the very first games on African soil.” CGF Vice-President and South African Olympic Committee President Gideon Sam said that the event’s legacy would empower the nation’s young people. “The fundamental premise of our submission is that the Games will provide the opportunity at both an economic and social level – in particular the development and inspiration of young people not only in South Africa but the rest of the Commonwealth,” he added. The opening ceremony will be held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place in Australia’s Gold Coast. New Zealanders are choosing between five designs for a prospective new flag in a postal referendum that runs between 20 November and 11 December. The initial four candidates – three silver ferns and a koru – were selected by a panel from a longlist of the 40 best designs of the 10,300 sent in by the public when the government asked them to submit their ideas. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English announced their selection in September. The first four finalists were Silver Fern (black and white) by Alofi Kanter from Auckland, Silver Fern (red, white and blue) and Silver Fern (black, white and blue) by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington, and Koru by Andrew Fyfe, also from Wellington. Professor John Burrows, chair of the selection panel, said the panel’s choices were based on the recommendations of thousands of people of what they believed New Zealand stands for, along with the panel’s own criteria. Response to the choices, however, was largely negative, with many New Zealanders left feeling they weren’t getting much of a say. Consequently a fifth candidate, Aaron Dustin’s Red Peak design, was championed by many members of the public – and was later officially added to the competition. “In the end, I’m not wanting to be the one that stands in the way of people having some choice,” said Prime Minister John Key. After one design is chosen from the five in the initial referendum, a second referendum will be held in March 2016, pitting the new design against the current flag. If voters choose the new flag, it will be adopted six months later. Durban to host 2022 Games Virtual currencies ‘need regulation’ The likelihood of crimes based around virtual currencies may be increased by the lack of restrictions governing them, according to a Commonwealth survey carried out in eight countries. Virtual currencies are anonymised representations of value used for exchanges on the internet. Currencies such as Bitcoin are widely used for the legitimate buying and selling of goods and services, but the Commonwealth researchers also found that there were not enough regulations in place to counteract the risk of criminal usage. Opportunities for money laundering, the financing of terrorism and illegal trade exist within the current virtual currency system. Most criminal uses of virtual currencies take place in concealed or obscure parts of the web. The Commonwealth Virtual Currencies Working Group met in London in August in an effort to find possible routes toward guarding against these threats. “Collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to counter the risks and maximise the benefits of this rapidly developing technology,” said Katalaina Sapolu, director of the Commonwealth’s Rule of Law Division. Online currencies don’t have legal tender status and in some countries, such as Bangladesh, they are not legal at all. However, many other countries recognise it as a legitimate mode of exchange. The Financial Action Task Force this year released guidelines aimed at dealing with the potential for crime posed by virtual currencies. Above: the fifth Red Peak design Below: the original four finalists


Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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