A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Thursday, 29 January 2015

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015, January 27th

International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, January 27th.
Theme 2015 : “Liberty, Life and Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”.

 Día Internacional de Conmemoración anual en memoria de las víctimas del Holocausto, 27 de Enero
«La libertad, la vida y el legado de los supervivientes del Holocausto»

  Международным днем памяти жертв Холокоста, 27 января.
 «Свобода, жизнь и наследие переживших Холокост»

 Journée internationale dédiée à la mémoire des victimes de l’Holocauste, 27 Janvier.
Thème : « Liberté, vie et héritage des survivants de l’Holocauste »

大屠杀与联合国外联方案, 1月27日.
الجدول الزمني لفعاليات يوم ذكرى ضحايا الهولوكوست لعام 2015 “الحرية والحياة وتراث الناجين من المحرقة”

The Holocaust and the United Nations 10th Anniversary video
 The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme marks its 10th anniversary, highlighting its educational materials and activities held around the world.

 27 January 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz, including nearly 1 million Jews and tens of thousands of Poles, Roma and Sinti, Soviet prisonners of war and political opponents from all over Europe. This Remembrance Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005 during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.

	    At Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre. Exhibition Man and Catastrophe dedicated to the mass annihilation by Nazis of concentration camp inmates.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Army, Vladimir Putin visited the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow.

The President saw the exhibition Man and Catastrophe dedicated to the mass annihilation by Nazis of concentration camp inmates. Accompanying him was the Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities Alexander Boroda.
The UN General Assembly declared January 27 – the date when Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
* * *

	    Speech at meeting at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre dedicated to the 70th anniversary of liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

	    During visit to Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre.

	    During visit to Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre.

Speech at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre



70 years ago, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp where the Nazis slaughtered millions of people. By the decision of the United Nations Organisation this day, January 27, was declared International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Holocaust – one of the deadliest crimes against humanity – has become a symbol of grief and pain, of unbridled cruelty and neglect for human life.
It is hard to imagine that real death factories, mass shootings and deportations were a reality of the 20th century, that they were organised in cold blood in what then seemed to be a civilised Europe. Yes, they were planned, organised in cold blood. We have now seen the exhibition that you have seen as well – this was a planned, deliberate operation to destroy people. Incredibly simple.
However, as history has shown wherever ideas of ethnic or racial supremacy are put into people’s heads and the seeds of inter-ethnic hatred are sown, wherever traditional human values are destroyed and trampled upon, civilisation is quickly and inevitably replaced with barbarity, while peace is replaced with cruel conflicts, war and aggression.
The Nazis threatened to enslave the peoples of our multi-ethnic state. They were to be either assimilated by force and turned into slaves or destroyed to create so-called living space for some ’higher race’.
According to the materials of the Nuremburg trials, six million Jews were killed in Europe during the Holocaust. These numbers are unfathomable. They did not die in battle, but were simply destroyed – burnt in furnaces or shot. Among those millions are hundreds of thousands of our compatriots.
Such crimes do not and should not have a term of limitation. They can be neither forgiven nor forgotten. Any attempts to hush up these events up, distort, ‘rewrite’ history are unacceptable and immoral.
Frequently such attempts cover up the desire to conceal one’s shameful behaviour – cowardice, hypocrisy and treason, and to justify one’s direct or indirect, silent collusion with the Nazis in implementing their criminal policy.
However, historical facts are irrefutable. Thus, they show that Banderites and other collaborationists and Hitler’s henchmen were themselves involved in the destruction of the Jewish people, in the destruction of Jews in Lvov, Odessa, Kiev and other Ukrainian towns and cities, while the Nazis in the Baltic states conducted ethnic cleansing in Vilnius and Riga, in Kaunas and Tallinn.
On this tragic day we honour the memory of all those who were tortured by the Nazis and their henchmen in concentration camps and ghettoes. We grieve for the millions who died in the flames of the bloodiest of wars in the history of humankind.
I would like to note that on the initiative of public and religious organisations, and not only Jewish organisations, Russia is conducting a search for and tending to mass burial grounds of Holocaust victims and we are recovering the names of those victims. This effort deserves special support and will definitely be continued.
Today we pay tribute to the courage of those who survived the horrors of occupation, violence and humiliating forced labour, those who survived these inhuman trials and remained unbroken.
In this connection, I cannot help recalling another date – today we mark the anniversary of the liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi blockade. This was yet another example of the criminal massacre organised by the Nazis, who were destroying in cold blood the civilian population of Leningrad by bombing raids and direct artillery attacks.
We bow to the heroic feat of the Red Army officers and men who defeated Nazism and stopped the terrible annihilation machine. It was not only their Motherland that they protected from the aggressors. Their great liberation mission became a deed of honour for our entire people.
In this connection, I would like to say that as we have just recalled, Russians bore the brunt of the battle against Nazism. Seventy percent of all the Red Army officers and men were Russians, and the Russian people made the largest sacrifice in the name of victory.
However, here within the confines of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre I would like to recall that Jewish citizens of the Soviet Union made an enormous contribution to the victory over our enemy. More than half a million Jews fought in the Red Army, over 40 thousand were members of partisan units. Almost a third of them (27 percent) were volunteers. Almost 200 thousand were killed in battles for their Fatherland.
The heroism of representatives of all ethnic groups, their selfless love for their homeland, their readiness for self-sacrifice will always remain in our memory, in the thankful memory of the peoples of Russia.
As we celebrate this year the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory we will again and again address words of our warmest gratitude to our dear veterans, including those present here, those who gave themselves for the freedom and independence of their Motherland.
Friends, as we pay tribute, we should look ahead into the future. Crimes similar to the Holocaust should not be repeated. This is our common duty and without exaggeration the most important and pressing task for the entire world community.
True, there has been significant change on the world arena in the past decades. However, we see that antihuman ideas are still alive.
We continue coming across attempts at dividing humankind on ethnic, racial or religious grounds and demonstrations of anti-Semitism, Russophobia and aggressive intolerance of other ethnic groups, cultures and traditions.
Nazis made use of these primitive instincts back in their times, while now they are used by neonationalists, extremists and terrorists in a number of countries and regions.
We have to counter these threats together, to protect the peace and freedom of the people together, defend the right of states and peoples to choose their own development path.
History has shown what terrible abyss claims at world supremacy could lead humanity to; what tragedy may result from attempts at putting pressure on sovereign states or failure to respect their rights.
We all know how dangerous and destructive double standards and indifference to others may be. Take, for instance, the current tragedy in the southeast of Ukraine, where the peaceful population of Donetsk, Lugansk and other towns and cities have been shot for months in cold blood.
I would like to repeat that today, in the 21st century it is important to enhance the efficiency of the collective security system and to promote the values of humanism and cooperation and to always bear in mind the lessons we learn from history.
In conclusion, dear friends, I cannot help sharing my own impressions of the film we saw. Of course, we all know about those death camps and we often use such words as antihuman and crime, and we know what Holocaust is about. However, as how cruel as this may sound – sometimes these words are abused and lose their initial meaning.
And when you see such documentary evidence it all comes back with renewed force. One tends to realise what we had to deal with, what humanity and people had to deal with back then. We honour all those who died and all those who put an end to this massacre.

Thank you.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The United Nations designates 2015 as International Year of Light

Light based technologies have the potential to transform the 21st
Century as electronics did in the 20th Century according to the UN
cultural agency (UNESCO).

2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL).

The Year will kick off with opening ceremonies to be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 19 and 20 January.

A global campaign will be launched called "1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al Haytham".

Ibn Al-Haytham, who is often referred to as the "father of modern
optics" is an Arab scientist and philosopher from Basra in modern day
Iraq who lived in the 10th century.

He made significant advancements in optics, mathematics and
astronomy, and helped lay the foundations of modern scientific method.

According to UNESCO, light-based technologies can provide solutions
to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.

Colors of aurora borealis and aurora australis are produced when solar wind particles in atmosphere collide with oxygen

Sunlight can reach a depth of around 80 meters (262 feet) in the Ocean.
Sunlight can reach a depth of around 80 meters (262 feet) in the Ocean.
On a sunny day, in just one second, 1,000 billion photons of light strike an area the size of a pinhead

Marking international year, UN chief celebrates role of light in boosting sustainable.

 In fact, according to UNESCO, photonic technologies, which already make vital contributions towards energy generation and energy efficiency, have a “major impact” on the world economy with a current global market of almost $350 billion and a projected market value of over $700 billion in 2020. United Nations

Monday, 5 January 2015

2014: A look back at some of the year's major developments

2014: A look back at some of the year's major developments

24 December 2014 – Conflict, disease, human rights abuses and food
insecurity combined to make 2014 a year marked by untold human misery.
From the rise of violent extremism to the spread of Ebola, from war in
Gaza to unrest in Ukraine, UN peacekeeping, diplomacy and humanitarian
capabilities were pushed to the limit

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Новогоднее обращение к гражданам России

С праздником вас! С новым, 2015 годом!

31 декабря 2014 года, 23:55 - В.ПУТИН: Дорогие друзья!

Через несколько минут наступит новый, 2015 год.

Как всегда, мы с волнением ждём этот праздник, загадываем желания,
дарим друг другу подарки, радуемся замечательной традиции встречать
Новый год в семейном кругу, с родными для нас людьми и друзьями.
Атмосфера добра, внимания и щедрости согревает наши сердца, открывает их
для светлых помыслов и благородных дел, вселяет надежду.

Конечно, сейчас каждый думает, прежде всего, о благополучии своей семьи,
желает здоровья и счастья своим родным. Из счастья и успеха каждого
человека складывается процветание нашей России.

Любовь к Родине –
одно из самых мощных, возвышающих чувств. Она в полной мере проявилась в
братской поддержке жителей Крыма и Севастополя, когда они твёрдо решили
вернуться в свой родной дом. Это событие навсегда останется важнейшей
вехой в отечественной истории.

Дорогие друзья!

когда мы подводим итоги уходящего года, хотел бы искренне поблагодарить
вас за сплочённость и солидарность, за глубокие чувства правды, чести,
справедливости, ответственности за судьбу своей страны, за неизменную
готовность отстаивать интересы России, быть вместе с ней и в дни
триумфа, и в пору испытаний, добиваться исполнения наших самых смелых и
масштабных планов.

Ещё несколько лет назад Олимпийские игры в
Сочи воспринимались как мечта. А она не просто сбылась: мы не только
подготовили и провели лучшую в истории зимнюю Олимпиаду, но и победили в
ней. В этой победе – заслуга всех граждан нашей страны: и самих
олимпийцев, и тех, кто их поддержал.

В наступающем году нам
вместе предстоит решить немало задач, и год будет таким, каким мы сами
его сделаем, насколько эффективно, творчески, результативно будет
трудиться каждый из нас. Других рецептов просто нет. И мы должны
выполнить, реализовать всё намеченное – ради себя, ради наших детей,
ради России.

Друзья! Новый год – на пороге. Пора встречать и
сказать самые тёплые слова своим близким. Сказать им спасибо за
понимание и надёжность, за терпение и заботу. Чем больше будет доброты и
любви, тем увереннее и сильнее мы будем, а значит, и успеха обязательно

С праздником вас! С новым, 2015 годом!

‎Владимир Путин‬, Kremlin‬

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2014, November 25th.

Orange symbolizes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Campaign “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood.”
 أعلنت حملة الأمين العام"اتحدوا لإنهاء العنف ضد المرأة"

Sexual and gender-based violence is the most extreme form of the global and systemic inequality experienced by women and girls. It knows no geographic, socio-economic or cultural boundaries. Worldwide, one in three women will suffer physical or sexual violence at some point in her life, from rape and domestic violence to harassment at work and bullying on the internet.
This year alone, more than 200 girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria; we have seen graphic testimony from Iraqi women of rape and sexual slavery during conflict; two Indian schoolgirls were raped, killed and hung from a tree; and in the United States, there have been high-profile cases of sexual violence on sports teams and university campuses.
Women and girls experience violence in all countries and neighbourhoods but these crimes often remain unreported and hidden. We must end the silence. That is why this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is centred on a grassroots effort to raise awareness called Orange Your Neighbourhood. Around the United Nations in New York, the Secretariat building and the Empire State Building will be lit orange, and many other events are planned across the world and on social media.
Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue. We must shatter negative gender stereotypes and attitudes, introduce and implement laws to prevent and end discrimination and exploitation, and stand up to abusive behavior whenever we see it. We have to condemn all acts of violence, establish equality in our work and home lives, and change the everyday experience of women and girls.
Women’s rights were once thought of as women’s business only, but more and more men and boys are becoming true partners in the battle for women’s empowerment. Two months ago, I launched the HeForShe campaign; a global solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other, for the benefit of all.
We all have a role to play, and I urge you to play yours. If we stand together in homes, communities, countries and internationally, we can challenge discrimination and impunity and put a stop to the mindsets and customs that encourage, ignore or tolerate the global disgrace of violence against women and girls.

Ban Ki-moon

International Day to End Violence against Women 2014 - Message of UN Women Executive Director.
 In her message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2014, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stresses that violence against women can and must end by addressing its root cause – gender inequality.

Every year, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we are reminded how every day, women and girls experience violence in their lives.

Women are beaten in their homes, harassed on the streets, bullied on the internet. Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in her life.

More often than not, violence against women is committed by an intimate partner. Of all women killed in 2012, almost half died at the hands of a partner or family member. It is no exaggeration that the overall greatest threat to women’s lives is men, and often the men they love.

Yet we know how violence against women can be eliminated. In 1995, close to 20 years ago, 189 governments came together in Beijing. They adopted a Platform for Action that spelled out key strategies to end violence against women, empower women, and achieve gender equality.

This includes effective prevention strategies that address the root causes of gender inequality.

This includes better services for women surviving violence, such as hotlines, shelters, legal advice, access to justice, counselling, police protection, and health services.

This includes more accurate reporting rates, better data collection, and strengthened analyses of risk and prevalence factors.

This includes greater support for women’s organizations, which are often on the frontline of the response.

This includes having more men and boys standing up against violence, denouncing it, and stopping it. Male leaders, including traditional and religious leaders, must show the way.

UN Women has launched HeForShe, a global campaign to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights. We need men who believe in gender equality to take action now.

A global review of progress and gaps in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action is underway. Preliminary data show that many countries have introduced laws to prohibit, criminalize, and prevent violence against women. Yet implementation and enforcement of these laws are inadequate. Reporting of violence remains low and impunity for perpetrators remains high. Not enough resources are targeted at provision of quality services and effective prevention strategies.

Next year, after the endpoint of the Millennium Development Goals, a new roadmap for development will be adopted by the international community. Ending violence against women and girls must have a central place in this new framework.

The promises from 20 years ago are still valid today. Together we must make 2015 the year that marks the beginning of the end of gender inequality. Now is the time for action.
UN Women Executive Director

Forum : Int'l Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - November 25

    “Orange your Neighbourhood”

 “Orange Events” in your own neighbourhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014.

Join us!
Share your photos, messages and videos showing how you orange your neighbourhood at and For more information about “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood,” see flyer and download toolkit.
Get inspired!
Watch this video and see how we ‘oranged’ the world last year!
You can also find more information in our UN Women's Focus Package for this Day here:


Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
World Health Organization
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UN Food and Agriculture Organization
Rutgers University

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Africa Industrialization Day 2014, November 20th.

Africa Industrialization Day, November 20.

2014 Theme: “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development: Agro-Industry for Food Security in Africa’’

Тема 2014 года «Африканская агропромышленность для обеспечения продовольственной безопасности».
 2014年主题:« 包容性和可持续的工业发展:农工业发展促进粮食安全.».
2014 theme : « Inclusive and sustainable industrial development: African agro industry for food security.».
 El tema de 2014 es: «Desarrollo industrial inclusivo y sostenible: el desarrollo agroindustrial para la seguridad alimentaria ».
 Thème 2014: «Développement industriel inclusif et durable : développer le secteur agro-industriel pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire ».
موضوع عام 2014 — التنمية الصناعية المستدامة والشاملة للجميع: التنمية الصناعية - الزراعية من أجل الأمن الغذائي

Many African economies have shown impressive growth rates in recent years, but increased prosperity has not always translated into inclusive wealth creation. Far too often, economic development depends on the extraction of natural resources and on low-skilled labor, which has resulted in a weak manufacturing base and uneven distribution of wealth.
Agriculture still accounts for the major share of rural household income and employs over 60 percent of Africa’s labor force, particularly women.  Low agricultural productivity continues to threaten food security in Africa as a whole.
I therefore welcome this year’s theme for Africa Industrialization Day: the importance of inclusive and sustainable industrialization and the close links between agro-industrial development and food security.
Africa needs a green, clean industrialization that leapfrogs outdated, polluting processes and platforms and benefits from new technologies. Inclusive and sustainable industrialization is a key stepping stone towards sustained economic growth, food security and poverty eradication in Africa.
On the occasion of Africa Industrialization Day, I reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to promote Africa’s inclusive and sustainable industrial development to help ensure an economically prosperous and socially integrated continent.

Ban Ki-moon

 Delivered by Ambassador Arthur Kafeero, Chef de Cabinet

Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa
Ambassador Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations
Mr Paul Maseli, Director and Representative of UNIDO to the United Nations

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to join you here today to celebrate Africa Industrialization Day and deliver remarks on behalf of His Excellency, Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the General Assembly. 
The theme “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development: African Agro Industry for Food Security” is indeed appropriate for this event.  This theme highlights the importance of industrialization in accelerating the structural transformation and diversification of the economies of African countries to optimise productivity and employment opportunities.
Esteemed Colleagues,
Over the last decade, many African economies have sustained impressive rates of economic growth averaging 5%.  This growth has been largely driven by creation of an enabling environment through sound macro-economic policies, increased domestic and foreign direct investment as well as export of natural resources and commodities.
Yet, in most African countries the economic growth attained has not yet resulted in adequate levels of poverty eradication.
Agriculture has remained the mainstay of many African economies and remains key to poverty reduction. It constitutes the backbone of many African economies.
There still remains limited progress in adding value to primary commodities and exploiting the opportunities for processed agro-food products in local, regional and international markets. While remarkable progress has been made in production, with many countries registering surpluses, a lot of the surplus is often wasted due to lack of processing capacity and marketing. This leads to low returns and the lack of adequate processing, impacts on the length of the stable shelf life of perishable commodities.  This also leads to limited utilisation of food, impacting adversely on food security.
In order to enhance food security, it is essential that investments in agriculture go beyond improvements of on-farm productivity.  Greater efforts and investments need to be devoted to development of post-production segments of agriculture value chains.  Accelerated development of agro-industries will be an indispensable part of such a strategy.    As these structural transformations take place, it is essential that policy makers give due attention to agricultural development, which employs 65% of Africa’s workforce and generates one third of the continent’s GDP.  As highlighted in a recent World Bank report, GDP growth in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.
One of the key precursors for spurring sustained and inclusive economic growth for African countries will be industrialization, as it will improve productivity, value-addition and competitiveness. 
Already, there have been notable efforts in African countries to pursue structural transformation of their economies.
Throughout Africa, agriculture has moved to the forefront of the development agenda at both the regional and national levels.  The Africa Union Agenda 2063 underlines the need to consolidate the modernization of African agriculture and agro-business through scaled-up value addition and productivity.   Through this initiative, African leaders are charting a 50-year transformative development framework for the realization of the AU’s vision for an integrated, people-centred, prosperous, peaceful continent.
African leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to boost agricultural productivity through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The African Union declared 2014 the African Year of Agriculture and Food Security.  A growing number of countries have also formulated agricultural development strategies and adopted policies supporting agricultural development. Private sector investment in agriculture has also increased in many African countries. 
As we formulate the post-2015 development agenda, it is essential to ensure that the interests of Africa, in the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, are supported. In this regard, the means of implementation for the post-2015 development agenda, in terms of financial resources, technology development and transfer must be ambitious and adequate. 
The Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda should continue to guide Africa’s engagement in the ongoing deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda. It will contribute to galvanizing political will and international commitment for a universal development agenda, focused on the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development as its overarching objectives.
To accelerate industrialization, it will be essential to improve productivity and address the infrastructure deficits, especially energy, roads, railways, ports and air connectivity.
Interventions in Agro Industry Development in collaboration with the Private Sector will be essential in, designing and creating agro-processing industries, capable of creating jobs and increasing incomes. 
Enhancing regional cooperation and integration will also be essential, as it facilitates better mobilization of resources for infrastructure development, creates bigger markets, and reduces trade barriers, all of which help to stimulate productivity and competitiveness.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the international community looks to the future, now is an opportune time to accelerate industrialization in order to harness Africa’s vast potential into tangible benefits to improve the livelihoods of the continent’s over one billion people.
I am confident that with our concerted efforts, we can turn the dream of Africa’s illustrious Statesman, the late President Nelson Mandela into reality and create an Africa where there is “work, bread, water and salt for all”.
I thank you for your kind attention.

 Joint Statement of the AUC, UNIDO, UNECA of the Africa Industrialization Day 2014.
2014 Theme: “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development: Agro-Industry for Food Security in Africa’’

Excellencies,Ladies  and  Gentlemen,

On this day, we are gathered to celebrate the Africa Industrialization Day (AID).  Through the constant partnership between the United Nations agencies, the  RECs, government  officials, governmental organizations and NGOs, the AID has been celebrated annually on 20 November since 1990. 

This year, the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Governments declared 2014 to be the “Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa”. 2014  also  marks  the  tenth  anniversary  of  the  Comprehensive  Africa  Agriculture  Development  Programme,  which advocates for agriculture and food security to be the backbone of Africa’s development agenda. Data show that annual agricultural GDP growth has averaged nearly 4 percent since 2003, an increase compared to the previous decades but much more remains to be done.

The  increased  focus on agriculture and food security in Africa is set in the context of increasing  potential  on  the  continent.Indeed, Africa is rising. Africa's average growth is projected to accelerate to close to 5% in 2014 and 5% - 6% in 2015. 

A fabulous window of opportunity. However, at the same time, Africa’s population is growing rapidly as well, set to more than double by 2050.  More people will mean the need for increased agricultural production. Given strong endowments in commodities, Africa also has a comparative advantage in industrializing through the development of agribusiness. This all prompts Africa to transform its agriculture through, ideally, agribusiness and agro industries development to create jobs and revenues and link up other sectors to agriculture.  

Mindful of the remaining structural challenges obstructing Africa’s steady sustainable development, we are renewing our commitment, our concerted  efforts and our actions,to accelerate the design and formulation of viable programs and projects in the agro-industry sector. There is huge potential for these to serve as an anchor for development in many African countries. Boosting agro processing could ensure food security, help curb malnutrition and reduce the continent’s food-trade deficit.

Our theme this year :  “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development: Agro-Industry for Food Security in Africa” calls for a renewed focus of the African development strategy on agricultural and agro-industry. Critically, this will include the strengthening of Africa owned development platforms, including the CAADP framework, especially pillar 2 and 3, AIDA, 3ADI, PIDA, etc.

In line with the Africa Agribusiness and Agro industries Initiative (3ADI), increasing the focus on Agro industrial development is a  promising way towards industrialization and poverty reduction. In particular, processing primary  soft  commodities opens up major possibilities for value addition, job creation and resilience in Africa. To achieve this potential, it will require significant investments and interventions to expand and upgrade agricultural production. Agro-processing is today one of the most significant manufacturing sectors in many African countries, though there exists great potential for improvement.

Most countries have agro processing industries, although with significant variations among countries in size, international competiveness, breadth and processing capabilities, depth of local value added, extent of backward linkages to agriculture and extent of forward linkages to domestic, regional, and international markets. By increasing support for agro processing, with a focus on inclusive industrial development, achieving sustainable development will be possible.  

To create and sustain wealth and production in the long term, Africa’s agricultural related resource endowments should used to develop higher value added and tradable industries.This involves giving priority to expanding production and value addition, and responding to increased demand for more sophisticated consumption goods.

There is a strong consensus that an expanding and prosperous productive economy is crucial to the structural transformation of African economies, and is the only sustainable pathway out of poverty and hunger.

Making productive and valuable use of agricultural resources and upgrading primary products will help address some of the continent’s challenges, including poverty and food insecurity. It could also inspire a virtuous circle of higher output, through intensive technology and  innovation, infrastructure and energy, human resource and institutional capacity development, and elevated national productivity that is linked with regional and global value chain and yields higher average incomes and superior inclusive prosperity.

This year’s AID theme “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development: Agro-Industry for Food Security in Africa” reminds us of the necessity to  enhance our coordinated efforts in tackling food insecurity in Africa, and highlights the significant potential to achieve this goal through agro-industrial development. 

Historically, the pathway out of hunger for most communities and countries has been through a sustained  structural  transformation  process.  This pathway involves higher labor productivity in the overall economy,  convergence in labor productivity between agriculture and non-agriculture  sectors  and  the  realization  of  intensive  value   addition  activities,  primarily in agribusiness.  Agribusiness  is   substantially  labour-intensive  in  terms  of  creating  jobs  and  generating  value  added;   in  it strengthens forward and backward linkages advancing economic transform.

This calls for the adoption of a strategy for agribusiness development rather than simply an agriculture led  development  strategy. The African agribusiness and agro-industry sectors have a high potential and comparative advantage to grow and develop rapidly, taking advantage of both the resource endowment of most African economies and the conditions surrounding the overwhelming majority of the poor people that live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. 

Recognizing the critical role agribusiness and agro-industry can play  in reducing poverty and hunger, the African leaders, convened at  the  23rd  AU Assembly,  Malabo, June 26, resolved  to  reduce  poverty  by  50%  through  an inclusive  agricultural growth and transformation process. In this regards, the leaders committed “to support and facilitate preferential entry and participation  for women and youth in gainful and attractive agri-business opportunities”.
They further expressed concern of the “limited progress made in agro-industries and agribusiness development, which hampers value addition and  competitiveness of products in trade both local, regional, and international; and undermines the potential of the sector in transformation and generation of gainful employment opportunities for the growing African youth and women”. Thus, the leaders reaffirmed the resolve “to the achievement of goals as provided in the 2010 Abuja Declaration on Development of Agribusiness and  Agro­-Industries In Africa”.

The African Heads of States have put  agro-industrial development as a key part in the 2063 development agenda for  sustainable   economic and   social  development of  Africa. Increasing the continent’s focus on the development of robust and competitive agro-industries has the potential to spur economic diversification,  sustainable  development  and  the creation of jobs for millions of unemployed young and women.

By and large, the AU, UNECA and UNIDO, in line with their respective  mandates, stand ready to effectively assist African countries in furthering food security and inclusive development through an increased focus on agro-industry.   

We wish you all an excellent celebration of the 2014 Africa Industrialization Day.

Events : African Agro Industry for Food Security for the occasion of the
Africa Industrialization Day 2014. 
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will host a symposium in Vienna on 24 November to celebrate Africa Industrialization Day and showcase relevant actions and success stories that promote Africa’s industrial development.
The annual commemoration of the Africa Industrialization Day was mandated by the UN General Assembly resolution 44/237 of 22 December 1989. This year UNIDO will convene a symposium under the theme “Inclusive and sustainable industrial development: African agro industry for food security”. It will bring together representatives from the diplomatic corps, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
This year theme is particularly important as the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government declared 2014 the Year of Agriculture and Food Security.
Moreover, 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, which advocates for agriculture and food security to be at the centre of the development agenda at all levels. 

The UNIDO symposium will allow experts to discuss issues related to agriculture and food security in line with the Organization’s new mandate that focuses on inclusive and sustainable industrial development. 

The event will be held at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) from 15:00 to 17:30, in Board Room D, 4th floor (C-Building), and will be followed by a cocktail reception at the VIC restaurant.

Working paper ''Agribusinesses’ contribution to food security''
UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Resources :
Read the Secretary-General's message on Africa Industrialization day in English, FrenchSpanishRussianChinese and Arabic.
Read the Africa Industrialization Day Draft Programme.
Read working paper "Agribusinesses’ contribution to food security" in English and French.
Read the AUC/ECA/UNIDO Joint Statement in English and French.
Read the 2013 Africa Industrialization Day Report in English and French.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Universal Children's Day 2014, November 20th.

The one thing all children have in common is their rights.  Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard. 
These are innate human rights, as inalienable as those held by adults.  But until 1989, these rights were not formally articulated in a legally binding instrument, nor were governments fully accountable to advance these rights for every child.
This all changed 25 years ago, on Universal Children’s Day, when the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It rapidly became the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. 
To date, almost every nation in the world has ratified the Convention.  In every region of the world, it has inspired changes in laws, changes in policies, and changes in the way we perceive children as holders of their own rights and in the way we work to promote those rights. 
It is fitting that we celebrate a quarter century of the Convention.  But we must do more than celebrate.  We must recommit ourselves to advancing the rights of every child, especially those who have been left behind -- those who have the least and need us the most.
We cannot say that the rights of all children are fulfilled when, despite our progress, some 6.6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes; when 168 million children aged 5 to 17 were engaged in child labour in 2012; when 11 per cent of girls are married before they turn 15.
To make the vision of the Convention a reality for every child will require innovative solutions, a major increase in resources, and political will to invest in children and put their wellbeing at the centre of the political, economic and social agenda.
While accountability for the rights enshrined in the Convention lies with governments, we all have a common responsibility to uphold and protect those rights, which are fundamental to the strength of our societies.  Together, let us stand up for the rights of children everywhere, for a more just and equitable world, and for a brighter future for all. 
 Ban Ki-moon.

 EU Children of Peace partners

Universal Children's Day 2014 - " Helping Children of war become Children of Peace."

Resources :
CRC@25 (Convention on the Rights of the Child turns 25 this year)
UNICEF 2014-17 Strategic Plan kicks off this year
UN Global Issues - Children
MDG Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
MDG Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health
Voices of Youth
UNICEF and Say Yes for children
UN Study on Violence against Children (UNICEF | OHCHR)
UN Special Session on Children
GA on Children
World Summit for Children
The UN Works for Children
Securing the future – advocating for children (UNAIDS)