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Monday, 31 December 2012

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Learn how the United Nations makes a difference with the UN Calendar of Observances.


 

This free iOS app features official United Nations observances and links to related videos and further information. It also illustrates how the UN makes a difference in tackling global challenges.






Looking back at major events of 2012 - United Nations Year in Review


2012 - Storms and climate change made headlines. Countries struggled between turmoil and transition. From violence in Syria to militant occupation in Mali to a new cycle of violence in Gaza - the UN was called to protect civilians and find solutions. Looking beyond today's crises, more than 190 countries discussed in Rio the framework of "A Future We Want".


Connect with us ! - United Nations Social Media

Monday, 24 December 2012

About the United Nations Human Development Report 2013

2013 Human Development Report
 HDR2013
The next Human Development Report – “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World” – will be published in March 2013. The 2013 Human Development Report will examine the profound shift in global dynamics that is being driven by the fast-rising powers of the developing world - and the implications of this phenomenon for human development. China has already overtaken Japan as the world’s second biggest economy, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty in the process. India is actively reshaping its future with entrepreneurial creativity and social policy innovation. Brazil has become another major engine of growth for the South, while reducing inequality at home through antipoverty programs that are emulated worldwide. Turkey, Thailand, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia and other dynamic developing nations are also leading actors on the world stage today, offering important policy lessons and valuable new partnerships for the South as a whole, including today’s least developed countries. Looking ahead at the critical long-term challenges now facing the international community, from inequality to sustainability to global governance, the 2013 Report identifies policies and institutional reforms reflecting the new reality of the rising South that could promote greater human progress throughout the world for decades to come. The 2013 Human Development Report includes special contributions on the topic from Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Japan International Cooperation President Akihiko Tanaka, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Turkish Minister of Development, Cevdet Yilmaz, among others. The 2013 Report will feature an updated Human Development Index (HDI) as well as the Report’s three complementary indices: the Inequality-adjusted HDI, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The March 2013 launch date represents a return to the Reports’ traditional annual calendar, with publication in the first part of the year. Reversion to the original HDR publication schedule permits inclusion of the most current statistical indicators in the HDI, as these become available from the main international data providers in the previous year’s final quarter. This schedule also provides greater opportunities for discussion of the Report’s key findings and messages over the course of the year. Pre-order a report now through United Nations Publications.

International Human Solidarity Day 2012

International Human Solidarity Day is

  • a day to celebrate our unity in diversity;
  • a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements;
  • a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity;
  • a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals including poverty eradication;
  • a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.

 

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2012

This year’s observance of International Human Solidarity Day comes during a period of dramatic transition.  People across the world are demanding greater political freedom, accountability and equality.  Global interdependence is deepening along economic, social, and environmental dimensions.  In light of these realities, how can we best shape solutions for a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future?
Solidarity is crucial to solving problems in our interconnected world.  We witnessed an important act of solidarity at this year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).  Governments, civil society and private sector leaders came together and agreed to promote an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future.
We can reach our shared goals if people are able to participate in the formulation and implementation of plans, policies and programmes to shape our common future. Commitments without empowerment are words without meaning.
Despite progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, we must intensify our efforts before the target date of 2015.  We are also laying the groundwork for the post-2015 agenda.  The process aims to be participatory, seeking the views of development experts and ordinary citizens around the world.
On International Human Solidarity Day I call on all citizens of the world to help us advance solidarity as a global family – and reach our shared goals.

Ban Ki-moon

2012 - The photos of the year




Short audio-visual slideshow showcasing UN Photo's beautiful shots!
Happy Holidays

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Message from Ban Ki-moon on International Migrants Day 2012

Every moment, around the world, people leave their countries in search of a safer or better life. Globally, more than 214 million people are on the move. Many flee difficult conditions only to face even greater struggles, including human rights violations, poverty and discrimination. But these migrants have more than fear and uncertainty; they also possess hopes, courage and the resolve to build a better life. With the right support, they can contribute to society’s progress.

Migration is a global issue that is rightly attracting more and more global attention. Next year, the United Nations General Assembly will hold its second High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, giving Member States and their partners a chance to discuss practical measures to facilitate labour mobility, foster sustainable development and protect the rights of migrants, especially women and girls.
Attention to the rights of migrants is especially important at this time of global economic and financial distress. As budgets tighten, we are seeing austerity measures that discriminate against migrant workers, xenophobic rhetoric that encourages violence against irregular migrants, and proposed immigration laws that allow the police to profile migrants with impunity. During economic downturns, it is worth remembering that whole sectors of the economy depend on migrant workers and migrant entrepreneurs help to create jobs.
When migration policies are developed without attention to vulnerability, marginalization and discrimination, millions of migrants become cheap, disposable labour, the scapegoats for failed economic and social policies, and even casualties in an ill-defined war against “illegal migration.”
As human mobility becomes more complex, and the journeys taken by many migrants more perilous, it becomes all the more urgent to forge national policy responses that address migration based on human rights principles.
In the lead-up to the High-level Dialogue, I hope that Member States will approach human rights as a central issue in migration governance; at the national level I encourage them to take such measures as decriminalizing irregular migration, setting up effective alternatives to immigration detention, and ensuring that the functions of public service providers such as nurses or teachers are kept strictly separate from those of the immigration authorities. I also hope participants will duly consider the issue of migration in the context of the post-2015 global development agenda.

On this International Migrants Day, I call on States to ratify and implement all instruments on this issue. And I encourage all people to help foster a principled, practical and creative discussion on how we can ensure the protection of the rights of all migrants, wherever they are and whatever their status.
Ban Ki-moon

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2012

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2012

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2012

Eighty-five years have passed since the entry into force of the Slavery Convention, yet this dehumanizing practice has acquired new manifestations in the 21st century.

Every day, in all regions of the world, women are trafficked, sold and locked in brothels for sexual exploitation. Little girls are forcibly married, sexually abused and used as domestic workers.  Children work in mines, setting explosives and breathing toxic dust.  Others are abducted and turned into soldiers, obliged to kill and torture.  Men, separated from their families, are forced to work in plantations or locked in clandestine factories without any salary to repay never-ending debts.

The movement against slavery brought together the international community to declare that slavery practices constitute an affront to our common humanity and that no human being should be another’s property.  Today, governments, civil society and the private sector must unite to eradicate all contemporary forms of slavery.
We have important tools with which to advance this goal.  The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, for example, extends humanitarian, financial and legal assistance to victims. Over the past two decades, the Fund has assisted tens of thousands of victims of slavery in more than 90 countries. Yet the Fund is in dire need of funding to fulfil its mandate and respond to the growing need.

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, I call on governments and business enterprises to contribute to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and its activities in support of victims worldwide.  Together, let us do our utmost for the millions of victims throughout the world who are held in slavery and deprived of their human rights and dignity.

Ban Ki-moon

Monday, 10 December 2012

International Mountain Day - 11 th December 2012

Information material :

Poster International Mountain Day 2012

Download PDF:
High resolution:english - french - spanish - russian - chinese
Standard resolution:
english  - french  - spanish  - russian  - chinese 

Factsheets International Mountain Day 2012

Mountains and Biodiversity
 High resolution: english - french - spanish - russian - arabic
Standard resolution: english  - french  - spanish  - russian  - arabic 
Mountains and Climate Change
 High resolution: english - french - spanish -russian - arabic
Standard resolution: english  - french  - spanish  - russian  - arabic 
Mountains and Water
 High resolution: english - french - spanish - russian - arabic
Standard resolution: english  - french  - spanish  - russian  - arabic 
Mountains and Food Security
 High resolution: englishfrench - spanish - russian - arabic
Standard resolution: english  - french  - spanish  - russian  - arabic 

Logo

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Factsheets Rio+20

Why mountains matter for Africa
African mountains are highly vulnerable water towers and breadbaskets for the lowlands. In the uncertainty created by climate change, high population growth and land-use change, urgent policy action is needed.
Why mountains matter for North America
North America’s mountains are a primary source of fresh water and other natural resources. They contribute to revenues generation through recreation and tourism industry, besides providing solace and spiritual connection. But a warming climate, human encroachment, and some business practices present severe challenges.
Why mountains of the Middle east and North Africa matter
Mountains of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region provide goods and key ecosystem services that are vital for the sustainable development. Though, urban expansion and environmental changes are causing increasing pressure.
Why the Alps matter
With a population of 14 million people spread over eight countries, the Alps play many important roles for Europe. The economy is based on a symbiosis among tourism, services, industry, electricity generation, and agriculture, but the territory presents great disparities in terms of population, unemployment, economic density and GDP.
Why mountains matter in global sustainable development
Mountains provide vital goods and services for the benefit of all humankind, for supporting sustainable development at a global level, and for moving the world towards a greener economy. Since the provision of these goods and services is at risk, the global community must act.
Why the Andes matter
Covering 33% of the area of the Andean countries, these mountains are vital for the livelihoods of the population and the countries’ economies. However, growing population, changes in land use, unsustainable exploitation of resources, and climate change, could have far-reaching negative impacts on the ecosystem.
 Why the Central Asian mountains matter
The Central Asian mountains provide an astonishing array of globally essential ecosystem goods and services: forest products, land for food production, watershed protection, habitat for flora and fauna of global significance, regulation of natural hazards and climate, natural areas for leisure activities, storage and release of water.
Being natural barriers and safe havens for people, flora and fauna, these mountains have always played a key social, economic and environmental role. Given a tight highland-lowland linkage, the global changes threatening them may have serious impacts far beyond the mountain boundaries.
Why the Hindu Kush Himalaya matters
It is the source of 10 major river systems and provides a vital ecosystem to 1.4 billion people. The region includes 4 global biodiversity hotspots, 488 protected areas, 330 bird areas, and 60 global eco-regions. However, it is also home to more than 40% of the world’s poor people and faces extreme vulnerability and risks due to climate change.
They spread across countries hosting one of the world’s highest and most severely threatened biodiversity. Even though indigenous peoples developed skills in protecting the tropical mountain ecosystems, policies ignored them and resources have been expropriated, so that mountain people marginalization and vulnerability has increased.


International Mountain Day - 11th December 2012

 International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands. Mountains are crucial to life.

Whether we live at sea level or the highest elevations, we are connected to mountains and affected by them in more ways than we can imagine. Mountains provide most of the world's freshwater, harbour a rich variety of plants and animals, and are home to one in ten people. Yet, each day, environmental degradation, the consequences of climate change, exploitative mining, armed conflict, poverty and hunger threaten the extraordinary web of life that the mountains support.

Human Rights Day 2012

Human Rights Day, 10 December

Human Rights Day presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.
This year, the spotlight is on the rights of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making.
These human rights — the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government (articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) have been at the centre of the historic changes in the Arab world over the past two years, in which millions have taken to the streets to demand change. In other parts of the world, the “99%” made their voices heard through the global Occupy movement protesting economic, political and social inequality.



Make your voice count!

People around the world used #VoiceCount to share their thoughts about the right to participate in public life and political decision-making.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, answered questions from around the world at a Google+ Hangout on 10 December.

Friday, 7 December 2012

9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day

Act Against Corruption Today

2012 Theme: Act Against Corruption Today

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of corruption.
On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4). 
The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.  The Convention entered into force in December 2005.

7th December, International Civil Aviation Day 2012 “Aviation: Your reliable connection to the world”.

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) celebrates it 8th anniversary on 1st December 2012 and International Civil Aviation Day on 7th December. This year’s observance of International Civil Aviation Day will be held under the theme “Aviation: Your reliable connection to the world”.
With the advances made in international civil aviation in recent years, air travel continues to be the preferred and most reliable mode of transportation for connecting persons across the world.
The ECCAA as the civil aviation regulatory authority for the OECS region engenders this year’s International Civil Aviation Day theme through its core mandate to provide safe and secure skies in the OECS Member States through the following activities.
  • Technical support of CNS and security screening equipment;
  • Ensuring compliance in civil aviation safety and security through audits, inspections, surveys and tests;
  • Issuance of safety circulars;
  • Flight inspections and verification of navigation, surveillance and visual aids;
  • Ensuring adherence to civil aviation legislation and regulations;
  • Relationship with ICAO and other international civil aviation authorities and agencies;
  • Accident and incident investigations;
  • Sourcing and facilitation of aviation related training;
  • Provision of civil aviation technical advice to OECS Member States;
  • Personnel licensing: pilots, aeronautical engineers, air traffic controllers and others;
  • Certification - airports, aircraft, air operators, aircraft maintenance organizations aeronautical engineers and ancillary services;
  • As we commemorate another ECCAA anniversary and another International Civil Aviation Day, we take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all civil aviation entities in the sub-region -  service providers, the personnel involved in the various air transport related activities for their collaborative efforts in ensuring safety and security in operations and to the travelling public and other beneficiaries of air transportation, for their support and adherence to the rules all of which contributed to the maintenance and enhancement of safe, secure and comfortable air travel in the region.
The ECCAA will continue to fulfill its mandate in ensuring that the development of civil aviation particularly air transportation within the OECS continues with due regard for safety, security, rule of law and the environment so as to enhance and facilitate your reliable connection to the world.


International Civil Aviation Organization
ICAO Perspectives


Monday, 3 December 2012

Ban Ki Moon Message on International Volunteers Day 2012

As we celebrate the impact of volunteers on our world, let us remember the many places they are needed: in war zones and classrooms, in hospitals and homes – wherever struggling people seek a helping hand.
/
 Let us also remember that volunteering can embrace all people, from the activist who works full-time for a cause to the occasional citizen who reaches out when he or she can. Each sets an example of the spirit of compassion we need. Each makes a valuable contribution to reaching our common goals./

 The timeless act of volunteering in the service of others has taken on new dimensions in today’s digital age. Anyone with an Internet connection or a mobile phone can make a difference./

 I applaud all people who volunteer each year for the benefit of their communities. I am especially grateful to the 7,700 United Nations Volunteers who support efforts to prevent conflicts, help societies recover from fighting, promote sustainable development, assist in crisis situations and carry out numerous other projects for the greater good. Their work has advanced the Millennium Development Goals, and I am confident they will also contribute to the progress on the post-2015 development agenda./

 Founded on the values of solidarity and mutual trust, volunteerism transcends all cultural, linguistic and geographic boundaries. By giving their time and skills without expectation of material reward, volunteers themselves are uplifted by a singular sense of purpose./

 On this Day, let us renew our determination to offer strength and inspiration to others through volunteerism./ Ban Ki-moon

" Celebrate volunteering! " - International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2012

International Volunteer Day logo

Theme for 2012: Celebrate volunteering!

International Volunteer Day (IVD) offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels - to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries. Through the Online Volunteering service volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development and working to achieve the MDGs.

On International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December 2012, we celebrate our commitment and hope for a better world. The main focus of IVD 2012 is awareness of and recognition for volunteers and volunteer organizations. The purpose is to recognise this commitment, to inform people about the impact of volunteering on peace and sustainable development, and to applaud volunteers for their dedication and impact.

UNV Online Volunteering Award 2012

The purpose of the award is to recognize online volunteers’ contributions towards achieving the MDGs, to showcase the many ways in which online volunteers can strengthen the capacities of organizations and to demonstrate the difference volunteers can make to peace and development projects by sharing their time, skills and expertise over the Internet.

The UNV Online Volunteering Award presents an opportunity for both, online volunteers and organizations, to bring their online volunteering experiences and good practices to the attention of a global audience.
More information

 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

"Promoting Cooperatives Beyond 2012"

"Promoting Cooperatives Beyond 2012"  
The International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) Short Film Festival will take place on 20 November 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters during the closing ceremony of the Year under the theme "Promoting Cooperatives Beyond 2012".
The seven winners selected raise awareness about cooperatives – what they are, and what they do – and encourage support and development of cooperative enterprises by individuals and their communities. The films also highlighted at least one of the 10 key messages of the International Year of Cooperatives:
  • Cooperative enterprises build a better world.
  • Cooperative enterprises are member owned, member serving and member driven
  • Cooperatives empower people
  • Cooperatives improve livelihoods and strengthen the economy
  • Cooperatives enable sustainable development
  • Cooperatives promote rural development
  • Cooperatives balance both social and economic demands
  • Cooperatives promote democratic principles
  • Cooperatives and gender: a pathway out of poverty
  • Cooperatives: a sustainable business model for youth
Winners of the International Year of Cooperatives Short Film Festival

1. What's to love about food co-ops? (2 minutes)
Produced by the National Cooperative Grocers Association
Country: USA

2. Cooperative of Apurimac (14 minutes)
Produced by Miko Meloni

Country: Peru


3. Women with courage (15 minutes)
Produced by Charlotte Marchesseault
Country: Brazil

4. Co-op Housing: more than a home (8 minutes)
Produced by the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
Country: Canada

5. Food For Change: The Twin Cities Story (14:56 minutes)
Produced by Steve Alves
Country: USA

6. Red Chillies (15 minutes)
Produced by Samadanie Kiriwandeniya, Sanasa Development Bank
Directed by Rohana Warnakulasooriya
Country: Sri Lanka

7. Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World by meeting Human Need not Human Greed (12:07 minutes)
Produced by the Co-operative Development Division of the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development, Trinidad and Tobago
Country: Trinidad and Tobago

IYC Icon Click here to watch the short films

World AIDS Day 2012 "Getting to Zero"

World AIDS Day 2012 " Getting to Zero
30 November 2012 – United Nations officials are marking World AIDS Day with a call for building on recent successes and pressing ahead to get to zero – zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths – by 2015.
“On this World AIDS Day, let us commit to build on and amplify the encouraging successes of recent years to consign HIV/AIDS to the pages of history,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 1 December.
The World AIDS Day Report for 2012, he noted, reveals significant progress in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in the past two years. The number of people accessing life-saving treatment rose by 60 per cent and new infections have fallen by half in 25 countries – 13 of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, AIDS-related deaths have dropped by a quarter since 2005, according to the report, published by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
“We have moved from despair to hope. Far fewer people are dying from AIDS,” said the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé. “Twenty-five countries have reduced new infections by more than 50 per cent. I want these results in every country.
“The pace of progress is quickening. It is unprecedented – what used to take a decade is now being achieved in just 24 months. Now that we know rapid and massive scale up of HIV programmes is possible, we need to do more,” he said in his message for the Day.
The Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, noted that progress must strengthen the determination to create a world free of AIDS. “HIV and AIDS can be conquered through renewed commitment and sustained solidarity. For this, we need to use every resource as best we can and draw on all available evidence,” she said.
The agency works for the 'triple zero' goal by supporting countries to improve HIV and age-appropriate sexuality education for young people, as well as tackling gender inequalities since women and girls are severely affected by HIV and bear the greatest burden of care.
Young people aged 15-24 are the group most affected by HIV, accounting for 40 per cent of all new adult HIV infections, according to UNAIDS. In 2011, about five million young people were living with HIV worldwide, with more than 2,400 being newly infected every day.
UNAIDS said it has harnessed the energy and creativity of youth and the fashion world in support of the global HIV response, with 11 young designers having joined together to create an exclusive collection of tops and t-shirts for Italian fashion retailer OVS.
Among those participating in the initiative – part of the “Make Love With” campaign, launched by OVS in partnership with UNAIDS – are Lavinia Biagiotti, Rachele Cavalli, Louis Marie de Castelbajac, Maria Sole Ferragamo, Marta Ferri, Alessandra Gucci, Alice Lemoine, Talitha Puri Negri, Lola Toscani, Rocco Toscani and Francesca Versace.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is marking the Day with a call to ensure that more pregnant women and children living with HIV receive the treatment they need – which is vital for reaching the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
As of December 2011, over 100,000 more children were receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) compared to 2010, the agency stated. But less than one-third of children and pregnant women are receiving the treatment they need, as opposed to the global average of 54 per cent for adults overall.
“We must do still more to help mothers and children who live with HIV be able to live free from AIDS. We must rededicate ourselves to boosting the number of pregnant women and children being tested and treated through basic antenatal and child health programmes,” said UNICEF's Executive Director, Anthony Lake.
Good nutrition is vital for the health and survival of all people, but it is particularly important for people with HIV and AIDS, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, said in her message marking the Day.
“Food assistance not only increases the effectiveness of ART but also helps ensure greater adherence to treatment regimens, as people living with HIV are no longer forced to choose between treatment or food,” she added.
Ms. Cousin noted that, in the poorest communities, WFP's food and nutrition support to people living with HIV and their families, including pregnant women and new mothers, helps improve access to treatment and increase treatment success – which means saving more lives and seeing fewer infections.