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Sunday, 26 August 2012

International Day against Nuclear Tests 2012

International Day against Nuclear Tests - 29 August Commemorating the International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2012 Events 2012

 PROGRAMME Informal Meeting of the General Assembly to mark the Observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests

The Meeting is convened by the President of the 66th session of the General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdelaziz Al-Nasser and organized in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

 Date: Thursday, 6 September 2012 Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Venue: Conference Room 4, North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York

 Opening statements by: H.E. Nassir Abdelaziz Al-Nasser, President of the 66th session of the General Assembly H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Timur Zhantikin, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan High-Level Panel on the Role of the United Nations in Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation The official opening ceremony will be followed by a High-Level Panel on the Role of the United Nations in Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. The panelists are expected to cover some key issues, including necessary steps for further progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones, confidence building and other relevant concerns.

 Moderator: Dr. Randy Rydell, Senior Political Affairs Officer, Office of the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs General observations: H.E. Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization The invited panel speakers include: H.E. Ambassador Susan F. Burk, Special Representative of the President of the United States for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation H.E. Ambassador Jim McLay, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations H.E. Ambassador Gary Quinlan, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations Mr. Geoffrey Shaw, Representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mr. John Burroughs, Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy The panel will be followed by statements and questions and answers from Member States. Entry: Delegates, NGOs and members of the media are welcome to attend. Those without a UN Grounds pass may contact: +1 (212) 230-1900, ext. 322. Download the Press Release PDF document

United Nations Secretary General Message for The International Day Against Nuclear Test 2012

Secretary-General's Message for 2012 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon


 This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

Since its founding, the CTBTO PrepCom has built the world’s largest multilateral verification regime, overcoming numerous political and practical challenges in the process.

 Today, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enjoys nearly worldwide support for its goal of a verifiable, permanent, global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests. Yet eight of the 44 nuclear-capable States which must ratify the CTBT for it to enter into force have yet to do so.

The importance of bringing the CTBT into force cannot be overemphasized. The world has endured over 2,000 nuclear tests since 1945. Such tests poison the environment – and they poison the political climate as well. They breed mistrust, isolation and fear.


 I once again call on the leaders of all those States that have not yet signed and ratified the CTBT to do so without delay. I urge them to visit the site of a nuclear test, contaminated beyond remediation; speak to those who were exposed to the fallout, many of whom suffer still. The human and environmental consequences of nuclear testing should compel these leaders to take the necessary action to prevent this from ever happening again.


 The repercussions of nuclear tests are all too familiar in Kazakhstan, where people have coped with the fallout for over 50 years. To its credit, and with the firm intention to put an end to nuclear testing, Kazakhstan proposed the creation of an International Day against Nuclear Tests – a proposal that was unanimously adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2009. The observance has quickly become a critical initiative aimed at promoting the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. This ambition goes beyond narrow self-interest or regional rivalries; it is a global imperative meant to serve all humankind. But success will come only if we all put our efforts into this task. Therefore let us commit to work together to achieve a world free of nuclear tests and the terrible weapons that are their cruel legacy. Ban Ki-moon Previous Messages Message for 2011 Message for 2010

International Day against Nuclear Tests - 29 August

Since the International Day against Nuclear Tests was first declared, there have been a number of significant developments, discussions and initiatives relevant to its goals and objectives as well as conferences convened to elaborate and advance these developments.

2012 developments

The United States hosted the third “P5” Conference in Washington, D.C. in late June of this year in which China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States discussed cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, establishing a standard form of reporting, transparency and mutual confidence-building measures. The P5 also reaffirmed their continued commitment to promote the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its universalization.

From 30 April-11 May 2012, the First Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met in Vienna, Austria. The meeting allowed States to review the operation of the NPT and was the first opportunity since the 2010 adoption of an Action Plan to assess activities carried out by Sates and to consider what could be improved upon. Speaking for the first time in her new capacity as United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane told the meeting that it is “the review process that helps to sustain the NPT as a living Treaty that is periodically assessed in light of the ever-evolving political and strategic circumstances of our times.”
A follow-up to the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, which had been convened by US President Barak Obama in Washington DC, the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit took place this past March in Seoul, Korea with expanded participation. World leaders renewed commitments made at the 2010 conference including to continue to use the Work Plan of the Washington Summit as the framework for strengthening nuclear security, and to cooperate internationally on a coherent approach to “ensure the secure peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

The Conference marking the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Ttatelolco took place in Mexico City in February 2012. The Treaty is an agreement among Latin American and Caribbean countries on the prohibition of nuclear weapons in their region. There are now 33 countries participating in this nuclear-weapons-free-zone (NWFZ). As International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano noted, this treaty was the motivation for several treaties around the world in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. There are now 133 countries which belong to NWFZs.

International Day against Nuclear Tests - 29 August
 
 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

World Humanitarian Day 2012 - UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie has written a special message

August 20, 2012 

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie has written a special message on the organization’s Facebook page to mark World Humanitarian Day.
“On World Humanitarian Day we remember the aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and we honor the extraordinary courage and dedication of humanitarian workers around the world,” she wrote. “I had the honor and the pleasure of meeting one of these brave individuals before his murder during a visit to Pakistan, where I witnessed first-hand the incredible devotion of a very kind and gentle man. His name was Mr. Zill-e-Usman.”

For this year’s observance of the Day, which fell on 19 August, the UN launched a campaign, entitled ‘I Was Here,’ aimed at engaging one billion people through social media so they can pledge a humanitarian action, and share their individual actions with others through an interactive website, www.whd-iwashere.org. On the morning of Sunday, 19 August, more than one billion messages were shared at the same time.
Organized by OCHA and launched on 2 August, the campaign received the support of US performing artist Beyoncé Knowles, who, along with songwriter Diane Warren, donated the song ‘I Was Here’ to the campaign. Her contribution also included filming a video for the song at the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Thanks to the amazing work of Beyoncé and our partners, we now have a global commitment to humanitarian action. The message of people helping people is universal,” Ms. Amos said. “Making your mark and saying ‘I Was Here’ resonates powerfully with people all over the world.”
According to OCHA, the campaign numbers soared following the release of the ‘I Was Here’ music video on 18 August. The music video’s release included displays on big screens in the cities of Dubai, Geneva, Addis Ababa, as well as in New York City’s Times Square, among other locales.

“I feel like we all want to know that our life meant something and that we did something for someone else. That we spread positivity no matter how big or how small,” Beyoncé had said in the lead up to the Day.
The General Assembly proclaimed 19 August as World Humanitarian Day in 2008 to commemorate the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, which claimed the lives of 22 UN staff members, including the world body’s top envoy to the Middle Eastern country, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and wounded more than 150 people.
The Day aims to honour those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions, in addition to drawing attention to humanitarian needs worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in meeting those needs.
Find out more here.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Statement by the Press Secretary on World Humanitarian Day 2012

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the Press Secretary on World Humanitarian Day

On this fourth annual World Humanitarian Day, the United States joins the international community in honoring the courage and commitment of the dedicated aid workers who devote their lives to serving their fellow human beings, regardless of who they are and where they are, often in extremely dangerous circumstances.
From Syria to the Sahel, Yemen to Sudan, the eastern Horn of Africa to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, these unarmed aid workers risk their lives to provide life-saving assistance to millions of men, women and children. When disaster strikes, local and international humanitarians are often the first on the scene.
Today we also honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while in service to others. In the past fifteen years, more than 1,000 humanitarian workers have lost their lives while helping innocent civilians in times of conflict and suffering. Since last August, 272 aid workers have been killed, injured or kidnapped. As armed groups increasingly target humanitarians, the United States condemns any effort to harm aid workers and demands that they be given the access they need to reach those in need and save lives.
As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day today, the Syrian regime continues to brutally attack its citizens and restrict the delivery of humanitarian aid to over 2.5 million people in need. Last weekend, the Government of Sudan signed a possible agreement of humanitarian access to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where over 665,000 people are in need. We strongly urge the Syrian and Sudanese governments to provide unfettered access to help those in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
Around the world, every humanitarian aid worker must be free to serve without fear for their safety, and every human being must be able to pursue their aspirations in peace, dignity and security.
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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

World Humanitarian Day 2012 Theme: "I Was Here"

2012 Theme: "I Was Here"

World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others.
The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staff.

Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are. World Humanitarian Day is a global celebration of people helping people.
This year’s campaign "I Was Here" is about making your mark by doing something good, somewhere, for someone else.
To show your support for World Humanitarian Day visit www.whd-iwashere.org

Sunday, 12 August 2012

International Youth Day - August 12

“Today's generation of youth – the largest the world has ever known, and the vast majority of whom live in developing countries – has unprecedented potential to advance the well-being of the entire human family,” Mr. Ban said in a message for the Day, which falls on 12 August.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: World Humanitarian Day 2012

August 19,World Humanitarian Day

-- I WAS HERE

Secretary-General's Message for 2012

This year’s World Humanitarian Day presents an historic opportunity to bring together one billion people from around the world to advance a powerful and proactive idea: People Helping People.
That is the best way to honour the many fallen aid workers we mourn today, and to celebrate the efforts of others who carry on their noble mission by rushing assistance to those who are suffering.
The spirit of solidarity that animates these courageous efforts drives our commemoration of World Humanitarian Day.
I have seen that spirit in my travels around the world, as I meet with relief workers who leave the comforts of their own homes to aid others in need.
I also saw that spirit earlier this month when I met Beyoncé Knowles, the superstar who is donating her song, “I Was Here,” to our global campaign promoting action for a better world.
Millions of people have already gone to our website to register their support and share their actions. From international efforts to avert a hunger crisis in West Africa to urgent assistance to civilians in Syria to a single good deed from one neighbour to the next, the spirit of People Helping People improves conditions for all.
Let us give meaning to World Humanitarian Day by registering acts of good on the website: www.whd‑iwashere.org. Individual actions may seem small, but collectively they will reverberate around the world, generating unstoppable momentum for a better future.

Ban Ki-moon



 1 DAY, 1 WORLD, 1 MESSAGE



 In celebration of World Humanitarian Day, we are challenging people the world over to join together and commit to doing one act -- simply something good, somewhere, for someone else. To make their mark on the world and say 'I WAS HERE'.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Secretary-General's Message for the International Day for the World's Indigenous People 2012

Secretary-General's Message for 2012

 In the five years since the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Pples, communities and individuals have been taking advantage of the reach of traditional and new media to tell their story and make their voices heard.

 The focus of this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices". From community radio and television to feature films and documentaries, from video art and newspapers to the internet and social media, indigenous peoples are using these powerful tools to challenge mainstream narratives, bring human rights violations to international attention and forge global solidarity. They are also developing their own media to reflect indigenous values and fight against myths and misconceptions.

 Indigenous voices are recounting compelling stories of how they are combating centuries of injustice and discrimination, and advocating for the resources and rights that will preserve their cultures, languages, spirituality and traditions. They offer an alternative perspective on development models that exclude the indigenous experience. They promote the mutual respect and intercultural understanding that is a precondition for a society without poverty and prejudice.

 On this International Day, I pledge the full support of the UN system to cooperate with indigenous peoples, including their media, to promote the full implementation of the Declaration. I also call on Member States and the mainstream media to create and maintain opportunities for indigenous peoples to articulate their perspectives, priorities and aspirations. Let us use the media – indigenous and non-indigenous, and especially new outlets – to create bridges and establish a truly intercultural world, where diversity is celebrated; a world where different cultures not only coexist but value each other for their contributions and potential.

Ban Ki-Moon

2012 Theme: "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices"

The focus of this year’s International Day is "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices".
The theme aims to highlight the importance of indigenous media in challenging stereotypes, forging indigenous peoples' identities, communicating with the outside world, and influencing the social and political agenda.
A special event at UN Headquarters in New York on 9 August will feature speakers and videos of indigenous media organizations, with a live webcast. On Twitter, use #UNIndigenousDay for regular updates and for sending questions to panel members in the days leading up to and during the event.

 

 2012 Theme: "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices"

 

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August