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Friday, 11 April 2014

International Day of Human Space Flight 2014, April 12



In honour of The fiftieth anniversary of human space flight, the United Nations declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight.




To pay tribute to the extraordinary journey of the men and women who have flown into space, and to capture their unique perspectives and experiences in a distinctive collection, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), is inviting past and present space explorers to sign an autograph sheet and to provide a message that might inspire future generations.
This autograph album contains a copy of the signed sheets received from 57 participating space explorers from 20 nations as well as their messages in the United Nations official languages.
The album also contains a copy of the autographs of Yuri Gagarin and Edward H. White on their visit to United Nations.

 

Messages from Space Explorers to Future Generations

 

Russian - Послания исследователей космоса будущим поколениям

English - Messages from Space Explorers to future generations.

French - Mensajes de los Exploradores del Espacio a las generaciones futuras

French - Messages des explorateurs de l'espace aux générations futures

arabic - رسائل من مستكشفي الفضاء لأجيال المستقبل

Chinese - 從空間探索者消息給後代




The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/65/271 of 7 April 2011, declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight "to celebrate each year at the international level the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes."



UNOOSA will mark the Day with a series of events:
  • Launch of the 2014 Update of the Messages from Space Explorers to future generations: On 11 April, UNOOSA will launch the third edition of collection of messages from men and women who have travelled into space serves as a tribute to their achievements and is an inspiration for future generations.
  • Exhibition at the Vienna International Centre, 7-18 April: An exciting and unique exhibition can be viewed in the VIC from 7 to 18 April as part of the regular tours organized by the UN Visitor's Service. The exhibition showcases examples of handwritten messages UNOOSA has received from the many men and women who have travelled into space after Gagarin's historic flight The exhibition can be viewed during these two weeks. For more information on the exhibition and tours, click here.
  • Twitter chat: Join astronaut and UN Expert on Space Applications Takao Doi in celebrating the International Day of Human Space Flight in a Twitter Chat on 11 April at 3pm CET. Participants can send questions to @UNOOSA using #OOSAChat
    For more information on UNOOSA's Human Space Technology Initiative, please click here.

Monday, 7 April 2014

World Health Day 2014, April 7th.

"April 7 is World Health Day "World Health Organization (WHO).






The theme World Health DAY - 7 April, 2014 is ‘Vector-borne diseases – small bite, big threat’ and one of the most common vector-borne diseases is dengue fever.

  


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World Health Day, to be observed on 7 April:

Every year more than 1 million people die from diseases carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other insects, such as triatomine bugs.  These vector-borne diseases — which include malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis — cause chronic illness and immense suffering for hundreds of millions more.

Climate change, altered habitats and increased international trade and travel are exposing more people to the vectors that transmit these diseases.  They present a risk in all regions, including countries where the threat had formerly been eradicated, but the most affected are the world’s poorest people, especially those who live in remote rural communities far from health services or in urban shanty towns.  By profoundly affecting people’s health, vector-borne diseases are a serious impediment to poverty reduction and sustainable development.

As we work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and define a post-2015 development agenda, let us recognize that investing in vector control and disease prevention is a wise and necessary investment.  We have the scientific knowledge and have developed proven interventions to tackle these diseases.  In Africa, for example, more than 700 million insecticide-treated bed nets have already helped to cut malaria rates dramatically, particularly among children and pregnant women.

Sustained political commitment can save millions of lives and yield substantial social and economic returns.  But it is important to recognize that vector control goes beyond the health sector.  Poorly planned development initiatives such as forest clearance, dam construction or irrigation to boost food production may increase the disease burden.  Addressing this issue demands an integrated, coherent and united effort across many sectors, including environment, agriculture, water and sanitation, urban planning and education.

Everyone has a role to play in the fight against vector-borne diseases — international organizations, Governments, the private sector, civil society, community groups and individuals.  On this World Health Day, I urge countries and development partners to make vector control a priority.  Let us work together to tackle this serious but eminently preventable threat to human health and development. 
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

 Climate change and vector-borne diseases: a regional analysis.




On World Health Day 2014, WHO is calling for a renewed focus on vector control and better provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene – key strategies outlined in WHO’s 2011 Roadmap for the control, elimination and eradication of neglected tropical diseases, which sets targets for the period 2012–2020.  

Everyone has a role to play. We urge…

Governments to

- Ensure political commitment and public funding for vector-control programs based on an integrated approach.
- Invest in water and sanitation, waste collection, and urban drainage, especially in areas that are currently underserved.
- Share proven strategies and lessons learned through country-to-country cooperation initiatives.

Health authorities to

- Improve surveillance and monitoring of vector-borne diseases.
- Integrate prevention and control of vector-borne diseases with programs to control other diseases.
- Strengthen monitoring of insecticide and drug resistance, and ensure an effective response.
- Collaborate with other government agencies and sectors, especially the environment, tourism, and education, to strengthen action for prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.
- Work with local authorities to implement vector-control and elimination measures, including safe water supply, sanitation and drainage, control of breeding sites, healthy housing, and garbage collection.

Individuals and families to

- Clean up around their homes and offices to eliminate vegetation, rubbish, and standing water that can serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes and other vectors.
- Protect oneself by wearing long-sleeved clothing, applying insect repellent, and using window screens or bed nets as appropriate.
- Work with governments to improve social and environmental conditions, especially sanitation, waste management, and protection of water sources.

International partners and donors to

- Support the strengthening and sustainability of programs for control and elimination of vector-borne diseases.
- Where needed, provide donations or subsidies of medicines for the control of vector-borne diseases.
- Provide incentives for research and development of new, safer, and more environmentally adapted insecticides; next-generation vector-control tools; and innovative medicines and diagnostics.


 WORLD HEALTH DAY 2014 - Noon Briefing and guest: Dr. Jacob Kumaresan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Office in New York. UN Web TV.



  

A global brief on Vector-borne diseases. Dr Margaret Chan Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious diseases between humans or from
animals to humans.
Many of these vectors are bloodsucking insects that ingest disease-producing microorganisms during a blood meal from an infected host (human or animal) and later inject them into a new host during their next blood meal. Mosquitoes are the best known disease vector. Others include certain species of ticks, flies, sandflies, fleas, bugs and freshwater snails .


A global brief on Vector-borne diseases. Dr Margaret Chan Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)













International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda - April 7, 2014.


The start date of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, 7 April, has been designated by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. On or around that date, the UN organizing or participating in commemorative events in many countries this year, including in Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Colombia, Congo, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

The memorial ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York will take place on 16 April, at 6:15 p.m. It will be webcast live at webtv.un.org. The memorial ceremony will be followed by the opening of an exhibit organized by the Government of Rwanda in the UN Visitors Centre.



Kwibuka 20 - Commemoration ceremony at the Amahoro National Stadium (Kigali, Rwanda).
7 Apr 2014 - Kwibuka 20 - Commemoration ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at the Kigali’s National Stadium Amahoro (“peace”) where, in 1994, thousands of Rwandans found refuge.

 

President Kagame to light flame in memory of victims of 1994 massacres amid fresh diplomatic row with France.


A torch commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 died is to be lighted in the capital Kigali, amid renewed claims of France being complicit in the killings.
A flame of remembrance touring the small nation from village to village will arrive at the national genocide memorial on Monday.

President Paul Kagame will light the torch that will burn for 100 days, the length of time it took government soldiers and Hutu militia to kill hundreds of thousands of people, largely Tutsis, in 1994.

People everywhere should place themselves in the shoes of the vulnerable, and ask themselves what more they can do to build a world of human rights and dignity for all.
Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General 

Custodians of the memorial said it contains the bones of a quarter of a million people killed in massacres of brutal intensity, now carefully stored in vast concrete tombs.

Wreathes will also be laid, before ceremonies in Kigali's football stadium, where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several African leaders are due to attend.

But the commemorations have been overshadowed by a furious diplomatic row with France, which is now sending its ambassador in Kigali to attend the ceremonies, instead of a top level delegation.
The French government initially announced that it was pulling out of the events after Kagame again accused France, an ally of the Hutu nationalist government prior to the 1994 killings, of aiding the murder of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis.

Speaking to the weekly Jeune Afrique, Kagame denounced the "direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide", and said French soldiers were both accomplices and "actors" in the bloodbath.
Paris has repeatedly denied the accusations and insisted that French forces had striven to protect civilians.
Former colonial power Belgium, which unlike France has apologised to Rwanda for failing to prevent the genocide, has sent a senior delegation for the commemorations.

Ban Ki-moon, Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide (Kigali, Rwanda)
7 Apr 2014 - Remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the commemoration ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide (Kwibuka 20), Kigali, Rwanda




10,000 killed everyday

The UN chief has said the commemorations were a chance to remind the world to do all it can to ensure such crimes never happen again. The UN was heavily criticised in 1994 for not doing more to stop the killings.
"The scale of the brutality in Rwanda still shocks: an average of 10,000 deaths per day, day after day, for three months," Ban said in a statement ahead of commemorations.



He said the impact of the massacres are still being felt across an "arc of uncertainty in Africa's Great Lakes region - and in the collective conscience of the international community".
"People everywhere should place themselves in the shoes of the vulnerable, from Syria to the Central African Republic, and ask themselves what more they can do to build a world of human rights and dignity for all," Ban added.

US President Barack Obama also paid tribute to the victims, saying that the genocide was "neither an accident nor unavoidable".

"It was a deliberate and systematic effort by human beings to destroy other human beings," Obama said in a statement.
Many in Rwanda are remembering the victims in their own deeply personal and reflective way.
Rwanda's Red Cross has boosted its support staff for those hit hard by the memory of trauma.
The official "Kwibuka" mourning - meaning "remember" in Kinyarwanda - ends on July 4, Rwanda's liberation day.



7 billion Others - Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide (07 April).
'They said that the Tutsis were bad, this is why we killed them'. Let’s commit to remember the more than 800,000 innocent people so brutally murdered, as we pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the survivors.


Video portraits from Rwanda to celebrate the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide 2014. On selected days the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, in partnership with the Good Planet Foundation, posts video clips from the 7 billion Others project to communicate the fears, dreams, ordeals and hopes of citizens from all over world.
Rwanda, 20 Years Later.

 April 7, 1994 marked the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. This massacre took place over the course of 100 days, killing almost 20% of the population. 20 years on from this brutal tragedy, Rwanda has transformed itself into a thriving nation with significant development gains. With the support of the UN, Rwanda is on track to achieving nearly all the Millennium Development Goals. Over a million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. Economic growth has averaged 8% a year. Infant mortality is down 61%, while three quarters of the population now have access to drinking water. Following parliamentary elections last year, women make up 64% of MPs, the highest proportion in the world. So, while we must never forget and continue to honor the lives lost and the bravery of so many survivors. We can also use this commemoration to be inspired. A country, once consumed with violence, has shown the world that it can rebuild and reunite. (Photos: UNDP, UNICEF)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2014, April 6


This year we celebrate the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
We at the United Nations know that sport is a universal language, uniting groups and nations across divides.
Sport empowers youth, promotes good health and deepens UN values such as equality, mutual respect and fair play.
Sport helps us in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
This International Day will highlight the potential of sport to advance human rights, eliminate barriers and promote global solidarity.
To reach our goals, we need all players on the field:  governments, international organizations, the sport sector, civil society, and many others.
I urge all global citizens to join this growing movement and become part of our  team to harness the power of sport to build a better world for all.
Ban Ki-moon




Sport for Development and Peace - From Practices to Policy.
 EVENTS : Expert High-level Panel Discussion and Symbolic Run/Walk at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

On 4 April 2014, UNOSDP together with the UN Office at Geneva and the Group of Friends of Sport for Development and Peace is hosting a high-level panel discussion, inviting key stakeholders to share their views about the value and use of sport for social change. The roundtable discussion will be followed by a symbolic run/walk around the Palais des Nations, where all participants are encouraged to join the panellists in raising awareness of this celebratory day.

 Five key messages will be promoted for the occasion of the International Day celebrations at the Palais des Nations.



 Statement by Dr Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee.
 
Sports and Disciplines
Shooting

Handball

Gymnastics Artistic

Weightlifting

Ice Hockey

Basketball

Rowing, Canoe Slalom, Sailing, Canoe Sprint

Volleyball

 Trampoline, Athletics

Water Polo, Diving

Gymnastics Rhythmic

Football

Fencing

Swimming, Synchronized swimming

Beach Volleyball

Golf

Alpine Ski, Biathlon, Bobsleigh ,Cross Country Skiing ,Curling ,Figure skating ,Freestyle Skiing ,Ice Hockey ,Luge,Nordic Combined ,Short Track Speed Skating , Skeleton ,Ski Jumping ,Snowboard ,Speed skating

Archery

Tennis, Badminton

Thiathlon , Cycling BMX, Cycling Mountain Bike, Cycling road, Cycling Track

Boxing

Judo, Wrestling freestyle, Wrestling Greco-Roman

Baseball

Rugby

10 Golden Rules for Building a Sustainable Sporting Event.

Staging a sustainable sporting event means managing social, economic, and environmental factors to minimise impact, and leaving a positive legacy that continues to enrich host cities and countries long after the event. These simple rules can help to create a much more sustainable event and successful legacy

 I - ENERGY :
Find ways to minimise energy usage to reduce emissions and costs. Design facilities and infrastructure for low-energy usage, and maximise the use of renewable energy.

II - WATER :
Try to avoid using drinking water for irrigation, cooling, and sanitary purposes, and minimise all water use through sustainable design. Provide drinking water from the best local source, and avoid bottled water, which is carbon-intensive and creates waste.

III - WASTE :
Avoid waste throughout all phases of planning, construction, and staging. Use or upgrade existing infrastructure, if possible. Design for legacy occupancy to avoid costly conversion and waste, using sustainable temporary structures as appropriate. During the event, minimise waste through recyclable packaging,facilitating recycling and reuse, and implementing take-back options.

IV - MATERIALS :
Use renewable materials that have low environmental impact, are produced locally, have no harmful content, and are from sustainable sources.

V - BIODIVERSITY :
Assess site biodiversity to ensure that in legacy, site biodiversity is maintained or improved. Ensure that planting and landscaping are appropriate to the local conditions and heritage.

VI - ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT :
Minimise noise, dust, and vibration disturbance during construction and the event itself. Minimise long term impacts of materials through sustainable procurement.

VII - INCLUSION :
Ensure that the event is accessible to all ages, abilities, genders, and cultures without discrimination throughout its life cycle. Foster local community ownership and build pride in the event and its legacy. Provide training and education to enhance inclusion.

VIII - HEALTHY LIVING :
Inspire sport, health, and wellbeing in the community. Promote local, sustainable fair trade produce.

IX - PROCUREMENT :
Develop the supply chain for sustainability, transparency, and fair and ethical procurement practices. To avoid waste, standardise where possible, and rent or hire rather than buy. Ensure fair and timely payment for suppliers, particularly small and medium enterprises.

X - TRANSPORT :
Design facilities to minimise the need for transportation of materials (e.g. through prefabricated construction), and to minimise the travel to, from, and between facilities when construction is complete. Focus on public transport, and use low-carbon vehicles with high occupancy. Minimise air travel.



Playing for a Greener Future


Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play. But one may wonder: what does sport have to do with the United Nations? In fact, sport presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system: sport and play are human rights that must be respected and enforced worldwide; sport has been increasingly recognized and used as a low-cost and high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts, not only by the UN system but also by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, development agencies, sports federations, armed forces and the media. Sport can no longer be considered a luxury within any society but is rather an important investment in the present and future, particularly in developing countries.
Definition of "Sport"
In a development context the definition of sport usually includes a broad and inclusive spectrum of activities suitable to people of all ages and abilities, with an emphasis on the positive values of sport. In 2003, the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace defined sport, for the purposes of development, as “all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport, and indigenous sports and games.” This definition has since then been accepted by many proponents of Sport for Development and Peace.

Sport as a fundamental right
The right of access to and participation in sport and play has long been recognised in a number of international conventions. In 1978, UNESCO described sport and physical education as a “fundamental right for all”. But until today, the right to play and sport has too often been ignored or disrespected.

Sport as a Powerful Tool
Sport has a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. By its very nature, sport is about participation. It is about inclusion and citizenship. It stands for human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance of binding rules, teamwork and fairness, all of which are principles which are also contained in the Charter of the United Nations.
The UN system draws on the unique convening power of sport as a cross-cutting tool for:
  • Fundraising, advocacy, mobilization and raising public awareness: in particular by appointing celebrity athletes as ‘Ambassadors’ or ‘Spokespersons’ and leveraging the potential of sports events as outreach platforms. The mobilizing power of sport is often used as a “door-opener” to convey crucial messages about HIV/AIDS, child’s rights, the environment, education, etc.
  • Development and peace promotion: in grassroots projects  sport is used in an extremely wide range of situations – whether as an integrated tool in short-term emergency humanitarian aid activities, or in long-term development cooperation projects, on a local, regional or global scale.
Sport plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts. Sport is a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and networks, and to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice. According to the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, sport is seen to have the most benefits in:
  • Individual development
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Promotion of gender equality
  • Social integration and the development of social capital
  • Peace building and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Post-disaster/trauma relief and normalisation of life
  • Economic development
  • Communication and social mobilisation.
From a development perspective, the focus is always on mass sport and not elite sport. Sport is used to reach out to those most in need including refugees, child soldiers, victims of conflict and natural catastrophes, the impoverished, persons with disabilities, victims of racism, stigmatization and discrimination, persons living with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Path to Success
Sport is not a cure-all for development problems. As a cultural phenomenon, it is a mirror of society and is just as complex and contradictory.
As such, sport can also have negative side effects such as violence, corruption, discrimination, hooliganism, nationalism, doping and fraud. To enable sport to unleash its full positive potential, emphasis must be placed on effective monitoring and guiding of sports activities.
The positive potential of sport does not develop automatically. It requires a professional and socially responsible intervention which is tailored to the respective social and cultural context. Successful Sport for Development and Peace programmes work to realize the right of all members of society to participate in sport and leisure activities. Effective programmes intentionally give priority to development objectives and are carefully designed to be inclusive.
Effective Sport for Development and Peace programmes combine sport and play with other non-sport components to enhance their effectiveness. Such programmes embody the best values of sport while upholding the quality and integrity of the sport experience. They are delivered in an integrated manner with other local, regional and national development and peace initiatives so that they are mutually reinforcing. Programmes seek to empower participants and communities by engaging them in the design and delivery of activities, building local capacity, adhering to generally accepted principles of transparency and accountability, and pursuing sustainability through collaboration, partnerships and coordinated action.
Peace and Sport