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

Monday, 24 June 2013

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2013, June 26

 ° Международный день в поддержку жертв пыток, 26 июня.
 ° Día Internacional de las Naciones Unidas en Apoyo de las Víctimas de la Tortura, 26 de junio. 
 °Journée internationale pour le soutien aux victimes de la torture, 26 juin.
 ° International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June.
 ° 支持酷刑受害者国际日, 6月26日
 ° اليوم الدولي لمساندة ضحايا التعذيب

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013

As we mark International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, I call on Member States to step up efforts to assist all those who have suffered from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 
This year is also the 25th anniversary of the Committee against Torture. This body -- along with other UN human rights mechanisms such as the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Torture -- is vital to strengthening a victim-oriented approach that also includes a gender perspective. This effort was further strengthened by the adoption this year of a UN Human Rights Council resolution focussing on the rehabilitation of torture victims.
I urge all Member States to accede to and fully implement the Convention against Torture and support the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.  Let us work together to end torture throughout the world and ensure that countries provide reparation for victims.

Ban Ki-moon

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Resources : United Nations Radio

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2013, 26 June


° Día Internacional de la Lucha contra el Uso Indebido y el Tráfico Ilícito de Drogas, 26 de junio.
°  Международный день борьбы со злоупотреблением наркотическими средствами и их незаконным оборотом, 26 июня.
° Journée internationale contre l'abus et le trafic de drogues, 26 juin.
°International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking,26 June.
°  禁止药物滥用和非法贩运国际日, 6月26日.
بمناسبة اليوم الدولي لمكافحة إساءة استعمالالمخدرات والاتجار غير المشروع بها

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013

This year I visited the San Patrignano drug rehabilitation centre in northern Italy where more than 1,200 young women and men from 28 countries are learning how to free themselves from the curse of addiction and enjoy dignified, productive lives. Their road is not easy.  It demands courage, commitment and the compassion of dedicated mentors.  But the members of this inspiring community understand that they are fortunate.  All over the world, drugs threaten the health and welfare of youth and children, families and communities, and the billions of dollars generated by the drugs trade feed corruption, enhance the power of criminal networks and create fear and instability. 

Illegal drug trafficking is a clear obstacle to development.  This cross-border problem requires a robust and coordinated law enforcement response within and among countries.  Tackling organized crime and the illicit drugs trade is a shared responsibility.  But the rule of law is only part of the equation. For instance, farmers dependent on the cultivation of illicit drugs such as coca, marijuana and opium must be offered alternative livelihoods, while drug users and addicts need help not stigmatization. 

A human rights and science-based public health approach is the only sound basis for preventing and treating addiction and related consequences such as HIV transmission through unsafe injecting practices.  We must also address threats such as the emerging problem of new psychoactive substances, many of which are not under international control.  Young people, in particular, must be made aware of the dangers of these drugs.

On this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, I call on governments, the media and civil society to do everything possible to raise awareness of the harm caused by illicit drugs and to help prevent people profiting from their use.

 Events Organized for 2013

Sharing best practices in the implementation of the United Nations comprehensive framework on the world drug problem

Special event on “Sharing best practices in the implementation of the United Nations comprehensive framework on the world drug problem”, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Italy, Qatar and Thailand and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Wednesday, 26 June 2013, from 11:00 to 13:00, in Conference Room 1 (CB).
[All are invited to attend. For further information, please contact Ms. Anne Beckmann,
UNODC (e-mail:; tel. 1 (212) 963-5635).]

 Radio series

UNODC has teamed up with a group of international teenagers to put their questions about drugs to the experts. In this series of interviews we put cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin under the spotlight. And talk frankly about the production, trafficking and damaging effects of these illicit drugs.
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

International Day of the Seafarer 2013, June 25

Day of the Seafarer is now being celebrated for the third time and we hope that you will participate in the campaign and publicly thank seafarers for their service and the sacrifices that they make.

The Day of the Seafarer is now being celebrated for third time , and our cause gathers greater support and grows in importance and relevance on each occasion.

This is reflected in the increasing number of people from the maritime sector, and beyond, that want to participate in the campaign and to publicly thank seafarers for their service and the sacrifices that they make.
2013 is a landmark year for the seafaring community, as the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC2006) enters into force in August. This marks significant progress in the recognition of seafarers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being and the working conditions.

For shipping companies, seafarers are the embodiment of their business and they are a critical asset. People within the maritime sector are familiar with the role of the seafarer. However, even they may not be completely aware of the sheer scale of effort that seafarers expend, and the physical and psychological challenges that they face. It is our responsibility ,as those that are working within this sector and close to the seafaring community, to lead the efforts to highlight seafarers’ importance and to thank them for what they do. Looking beyond the maritime sector, today’s consumers are increasingly demanding transparency across the supply chain. However, shipping’s role remains relatively hidden to consumers outside of the supply chain.

This year’s Day of the Seafarer campaign calls on all supply chain partners, including those beyond the maritime sector , to help highlight the sheer diversity and scale of products that travel by sea, which are used in everyday life, and to recognize the importance of the people that deliver them; more than 1.5 million seafarers.Seafarers operate on the ‘front line’ of the shipping industry, and this year’s campaign theme, Faces of the Sea, aims to highlight the individuals that are often unseen, but who work to deliver more than 90% of the world’s goods. We will ask the seafarers themselves to show us snapshots of their daily life at sea, to give them a voice and share their story on a global stage, via social media.

This year’s theme, Faces of the Sea, aims to ensure that the efforts and sacrifices made by seafarers, often in lonely conditions, are recognized by the general public. Establishing seafarers in the forefront of global awareness will take time and is a gradual process. But Day of the Seafarer aims to do just this, and to continue the proactive steps that are being taken by our progressive maritime partners to ensure that our seafarers receive the thanks, recognition and working standards that they truly deserve.


This year's theme for Day of the Seafarer is Faces of the Sea. It is a natural evolution from last yearʼs successful theme of ʻIt came by sea and I canʼt live without itʼ. Fundamentally it moves the theme to bringing the campaign back to the unsung heroes of shipping – the seafarers themselves and literally spotlights the human face of shipping and the sacrifices that seafarers make. Like in previous years, your participation will be key to the success of this campaign and we will invite you to voice your support using social media. For example, we will ask you to take a picture of yourself, or ask a colleague to take it, from a ship while working at sea or in port in a situation that surprises, or that inspires those that rarely consider what its like to be at sea. Post to any of the IMO’s social media channels, telling us how many days you have spent at sea this year and why you posted this picture. But this is just a small glimpse of what we have in store, so stay tuned for more information on how to get involved, our toolkits will be available in a few days. In the meantime, feel free to download our campaign's branding and start spreading the words.

The three objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)

A new multi-agency study, led by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency, was presented at the Vienna Energy Forum 2013. The Global Tracking Framework report charts the course to achieve universal energy access, double the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.

"Methodological challenges in defining and measuring Energy access "

Global Tracking framework

 This report is the first of a series to monitor progress towards the three objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. It puts numbers to each objective, identifies what needs to change, and outlines how progress can be made.

The UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative establishes three global objectives to be accomplished by 2030: to achieve universal access to modern energy services, to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Sustaining momentum for the achievement of the SE4ALL objectives will require a means of charting global progress over the years leading to 2030. This Global Tracking Framework establishes for the first time a methodology and data platform for regular global reporting against the three SE4ALL objectives. Construction of the necessary framework has been coordinated by the World Bank/Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), in collaboration with 13 other agencies. The process has benefited from public consultation with more than a hundred stakeholder groups.

Objective 1 : Providing universal acess to modern energy.

Objective 2 : Doubing the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency,

Objective 3 : Doubling the share if world's mix of Renewable energy.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2013

Global economic activity is projected to slowly gain momentum, but growth will continue to be below potential and employment gains will remain weak, says the UN report, launched today. It notes that since late 2012, new policy initiatives in major developed economies have reduced systemic risks and helped stabilize consumer, business and investor confidence, but with very limited improvement on economic growth.

World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2013

Regional press releases:

 World Economic Situation and Prospects : Regional Outlook for Developed Economies, Mr. Clive Altshuler, Economic Affairs Officer UN DESA

Global outlook : Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations.

Global Economy Risks Falling into Renewed Recession - WESP 2013

Developed economies outlook 

"We have identified three major economic risks," said Pingfan Hong, Director of the Global Economic Monitoring Unit of DESA's Development Policy and Analysis Division, as the World Economic Outlook for 2013 was revealed on 18 December 2012. Mr. Hong pointed to the deterioration of the euro crisis, the US fiscal cliff and a possible hard landing for some large developing countries.

"To mitigate these risks, policymakers worldwide are greatly challenged," underscored Mr. Hong, also describing how the world economy is still struggling to recover five years after the eruption of the global financial crisis.

The first chapter of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013 (WESP) just launched, outlines that growth of the world economy has weakened considerably during 2012 and is expected to remain restrained in the coming two years. "A number of developed economies in Europe and Japan have already fallen into a double-dip recession," explained Mr. Hong.

The report also predicts that global economy is expected to grow at 2.4 per cent in 2013 and 3.2 per cent in 2014, a significant downgrade from the forecast six months ago. This growth pace will not be enough to overcome the continued jobs crisis faced by many countries. With existing policies and growth trends, it may take at least another five years for Europe and the United States to make up for the job losses caused by the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
World Economic Situation and Prospects : Regional Outlook for Developing Economies
Mr. Ingo Pitterle, Economic Affairs Officer UN DESA

  Developing Economies Outlook

World Economic Situation and Prospects: Regional Outlook for Economies in Transition 
Mr. Grigor Agabekian, Economic Affairs Officer UN DESA

 Economies in transition outlook 

International Widows’ Day 2013, 23 June

Día Internacional de las Viudas, 23 de junio.
 Международный день вдов, 23 июня.
 Journée internationale des veuves, 23 juin.
 International Widows’ Day, 23 June.
 国际丧偶妇女日, 6月23日.
 اليوم الدولي للأرامل

United Nations Secretary-General’s Message for 2013

No woman should lose her rights when she loses her husband – but an estimated 115 million widows live in poverty, and 81 million have suffered physical abuse.

Girls married to much older men are especially vulnerable.

Let us use International Widows’ Day to advocate for the rights of all widows so they can enjoy better lives and realize their great potential to contribute to our world.
Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Public Service Day 2013 - 23 June

Día de las Naciones Unidas para la Administración Pública, 23 de junio,
 День государственной службы ООНДень государственной службы ООН, 23 июня
Journée des Nations Unies pour la fonction publique, 23 juin,
United Nations Public Service Day, 23 June,
 联合国公务员日, 6月23日,

 يوم الأمم المتحدة للخدمة العامة


United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013

The United Nations has long recognized the importance of good governance and efficient public administration.  Current global consultations on the post-2015 agenda have further underscored their centrality to all development objectives. 
United Nations Public Service Day encourages countries to celebrate the contribution of public servants to society’s progress.
Addressing today’s inter-linked challenges requires sound, forward-looking public policies and transparent, accountable governance structures that embody solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable.
The 2013 United Nations Public Service Awards show how public services can be delivered more efficiently, innovatively and equitably.  The winners demonstrate the basic ingredients for excellence: commitment and accountability, hard work and innovation, talent and technological know-how. 
I encourage public servants around the world to work in the same spirit to help build an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future for all.
Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Public Service Forum (24-27 June 2013)

The United Nations Public Service Forum, Day and Awards Ceremony will take place in Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain, from 24 to 27 June 2013. Focusing on the theme of “Transformative e-Government and Innovation: Creating a Better Future for All", the Forum is organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA), in collaboration with the hosting Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The United Nations Public Service Forum is a unique capacity-building global event on public governance that provides a platform to explore, discuss and learn about: (i) Emerging challenges, issues and trends in public governance; (ii) Innovative practices to address these challenges; and (iii) Capacity development strategies, approaches and tools.

Every year the Forum focuses on a specific critical area of public governance, and explores its different dimensions and components in an organic way. The Forum brings together world leaders, policy-makers, practitioners, innovators in governance, representatives of international and regional organizations, the academia, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

The Forum is uniquely positioned to benefit from the first-class innovative practices of the winners of the prestigious United Nations Public Service Awards who are recognized for their achievements on the last day of this high-level event, which also coincides with United Nations Public Service Day. The General Assembly, by its resolution A/RES/57/277, designated 23 June as the United Nations Public Service Day to "celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community".

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Messages for World Refugees Day 2013

World Refugee Day 2013 Theme : "Take 1 minute to support a family forced to flee."

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013 :

The number of forcibly displaced people in the world continues to rise.  There are now more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people – the highest level in nearly 20 years.  Last year alone, someone was forced to abandon their home every four seconds.

War remains the dominant cause, with the crisis in Syria a leading instance of major displacement.  More than half of all refugees listed in a new report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees come from just five war-affected countries:  Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.  Major new displacements have also been occurring in Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Figures give only a glimpse of this enormous human tragedy.  Every day, conflict tears apart the lives of thousands of families.  They may be forced to leave loved ones behind or become separated in the chaos of war.  Children suffer the most.  Nearly half of all refugees are below age 18, and a growing number are fleeing on their own.

Forced displacement also has a significant economic, social and, at times, political impact on the communities that provide shelter.  There is a growing and deep imbalance in the burden of hosting refugees, with poor countries taking in the vast majority of the world’s uprooted people.  Developing countries host 81 per cent of the world’s refugees, compared to 70 per cent a decade ago.

Finding durable solutions for the displaced will require more solidarity and burden-sharing by the international community.  On World Refugee Day, I call on the international community to intensify efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts, and to help achieve peace and security so that families can be reunited and refugees can return home.

Ban Ki-moon



Statement for World Refugee Day 2013 by António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

I have come to Jordan on this World Refugee Day to stand by the people of Syria in their time of acute need. I also want to salute Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and all the countries in the region for being generous havens that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
In all the years I have worked on behalf of refugees, this is the most worrying I have ever witnessed. The needs of these people are overwhelming; their anguish is unbearable. Today, there are over 1.6 million registered Syrian refugees. More than one million of them arrived just in the last six months, and thousands more come every day, seeking places to stay, sustenance, someone who will listen and help them heal.
Inside Syria, the scale of human suffering is beyond comprehension. The Syria we once knew is no more. In the heart of a turbulent region, the country was host to over one million Iraqi and half a million Palestinian refugees. I think of the Syrians I met over the years during many visits to see Iraqi refugees. Never could they have imagined that such violence would overtake them that they would become refugees themselves desperate, destitute and forsaken.

I worry that an entire nation is being left to self-destruct as it empties itself of its people. I am dismayed to hear of the trauma children face. Nightmares define their waking lives as much as they haunt their sleep. School is a distant memory.

Here in Jordan, over 500,000 registered Syrian refugees live in safety now. The Zaatari Refugee Camp has become Jordan's fifth largest city and the second largest refugee camp in the world. There is hardly a town or a city in Jordan that is not host to Syrians. It is much the same in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. This hospitality is a remarkable demonstration of humanity against a backdrop of depravity.

With no clear political resolution in sight, this civil war is in real danger of sliding into a regional conflict. It is no longer fantasy to foresee an explosion in the Middle East that the world would not be able to cope with.
We will continue to do everything we can to aid and alleviate the suffering of Syrians. But the cascade of death and destruction is spreading fast, and I repeat my call on those with political responsibilities to overcome their divisions and come together to do everything in their power to stop this war.

António Guterres



Statement by the World Food Programme Executive Director


For over two years, the world has witnessed millions of Syrians fleeing their homes, escaping from violence in search of a safe haven. Many families have been forced to move more than once, bringing only what they can carry. The needs of conflict-affected Syrians are huge, almost too big to comprehend: by the end of the year, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) aims to provide food assistance to seven million people, most of whom are either internally displaced or taking refuge in neighbouring countries.

Syrians are not alone in feeling the devastation of displacement, whether within their own country or across borders. Every day, I work with colleagues who are on the ground in some of the most remote and dangerous places in the world. They remind me, as we are all reminded on World Refugee Day (20 June), that every woman, man and child who has left behind homes, family, jobs, education and lives in search of security and safety deserve our attention and, most importantly, our assistance.

Last year, I spoke to a Malian woman receiving WFP food in the Menghaize refugee camp in Niger. She had fled Mali with her children amidst the sound of gunshots; she told me she missed her home, but at least she and her children were safe. In Rwanda, refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have given up everything to escape ongoing clashes. In Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees from Myanmar seek safe haven from communal violence. Ecuador hosts the largest number of refugees in the Western hemisphere, and more pour in from Colombia every month. Kenya continues to host large populations of Somalis. All still unable to return home.

In 2012, WFP provided food assistance to almost 10 million people forced to move – refugees, internally displaced people and those who have been fortunate enough to return home again. This food, along with the relief provided by our partners, brings some security to otherwise uncertain lives.
As an international community, we must continue to advocate on behalf of displaced people everywhere. Whether fleeing conflict, natural disaster or hunger, they must be at the front of our minds.
Ertharin Cousin

Sunday, 16 June 2013

International Year of Statistics ("Statistics2013")

     The International Year of Statistics ("Statistics2013") is a worldwide celebration and recognition of the contributions of statistical science. Through the combined energies of organizations worldwide, Statistics2013 will promote the importance of Statistics to the broader scientific community, business and government data users, the media, policy makers, employers, students, and the general public.

Welcome to the International Year of Statistics

    2013 is the International Year of Statistics. More than 2,000 organizations—professional statistical societies, colleges and universities, primary and secondary schools, businesses,
government entities, and research institutes are participating in this worldwide event. Why? Because statistics have powerful and far-reaching effects on everyone.

What Is Statistics?

    When many people hear the word “statistics,” they think of either sports-related numbers or the college class they took and barely passed. While statistics can be thought about in these terms, there is more to the relationship between you and statistics than you probably imagine. Several informal definitions are offered in the book A Career in Statistics: Beyond the Numbers by Gerald Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy:

• The science of learning from (or making sense out of ) data
• The theory and methods of extracting information from observational data for solving real-world problems
• The science of uncertainty
• The quintessential interdisciplinary science
• The art of telling a story with [numerical] data

Statistics are produced around the world by governments, political parties, civil servants, financial companies, opinion-polling firms, campaign groups, social-
research entities, scientific groups, news organizations, and so much more

How Does Statistics Affect You?

    You may not be aware of it, but statistics affects nearly every aspect of your life, including:

• Foods you eat
• Weather forecasts
• Emergency preparedness
• Assessing disease risks
• Protecting your pet’s health
• Improving your health care
• Transportation systems you use
• Assessing your credit worthiness
• Pricing your insurance policies
• Ensuring national security
• Examining economic health
• Prosecuting criminals
• Ensuring the safety of medicine
• Rulemaking by governments
• Assessing teacher effectiveness
• Monitoring climate change

Statistics—An Excellent Career Choice

Since our world is becoming more quantitative and data-focused, job opportunities in statistics are plentiful and projected to increase worldwide. Many industries depend on statisticians to analyze data, which helps in making critical decisions.
Statisticians work on important and challenging problems such as:

• Estimating the safety of nuclear power plants and alternative energy sources
• Evaluating the impact of air, water, and soil pollution
• Estimating the unemployment rate of a country
• Analyzing consumer demand for products and services
• Designing studies for and analyzing data from agricultural experiments to increase crop productivity and yields

Statistics Education Resources

Demand for statisticians and data analysts is expected to increase by 4.4 million jobs worldwide in the years ahead. To introduce students to careers in statistics and teach them basic statistics literacy, many statistical organizations have developed primary and secondary school statistics education programs and resources,
most of which are free of charge. An excellent example is the Census at School program, an international classroom statistical literacy project. To access these resources, go to the Primary & Secondary School Teacher Resources section at

The goals of Statistics2013 include: increasing public awareness of the power and impact of Statistics on all aspects of society; nurturing Statistics as a profession, especially among young people; and promoting creativity and development in the sciences of Probability and Statistics.

Why Statistics is Important to You

 Statistics is more than just a technology for data analysis. Statistics help shape the very world in which we live. Learn more of how SAS can analyze your data with world-class statistics software

World Day to Combat Desertification 2013, 17 June

Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación, 17 de junio.
Всемирный день борьбы с опустыниванием и засухой, 17 июня.
Journée mondiale de la lutte contre la désertification et la sécheresse, 17 juin.
World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June.
 防治荒漠化和干旱世界日, 6月17日.
 اليوم العالمي لمكافحة التصحر والجفاف

" Performance Review and Assessment of Implementation System (PRAIS)
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification


The World's Drylands : Desertification is a concept used to grasp the more acute forms of the degradation of land-based ecosystems and the consequences of the loss of their services. Drought is the silent killer—the natural catastrophe that is only too easily forgotten. Experience shows that awareness of the implications of desertification and drought must be expanded and that policy orientation must be backed by robust monitoring systems and related findings.

And the drought is back.... Namibia, the Sahel and United States are facing drought.
Did you know drought affects more people than any other natural disaster?

  Join the Forum : 17 June 2013 is the World Day to Combat Desertification. 

THE FACTS: Since 1979, about when global action on drought began, more than 1.6 billion people have been drought victims. Today, 11.4 million people in the Sahel lack food security due to the current drought.

In 2011, 13 million people in east Africa were affected; most have not recovered. Globally, 1 in 3 people live with the threat of drought. But only 1 COUNTRY has a comprehensive national drought policy? We respond drought with relief; that is reactive. We can do better. Let us change that because drought is predictable, it sets in slowly. If you live in a drought-prone area, here are 2 ways to empower yourself and others:

• Get linked up to your country’s early warning system for advance warnings.
 • Insure all your assets that can be destroyed by drought – crops, home, and so on.
 • Land health is crucial; soil that absorbs lots of water is best. It needs vegetation cover, like trees, to protect the soil from sliding and erosion.
• Share this message with others, so we are all self-empowered.
• Speak up for the setting up of a national drought management system in your country.
• Make your voice count globally. Like and share the online campaign graphic for WDCD urging governments to act.

For twitter: follow @UNCCD and to tweet, use tag #WDCD2013.
On Facebook:
If you are not directly affected by drought do something in solidarity because drought dehumanizes us all and what comes around goes around.
 • Send this information to at-risk families you know for their self-empowerment.
 • Join local and national campaigns supporting long-term drought resilience measures, not just relief.
 • Make your voice count for action on national drought management policies. Like and share the campaign graphic for World Day to Combat Desertification on twitter – follow @UNCCD, use tag #WDCD2013 – and Facebook via

This year’s slogan, “Don’t let our future dry up” calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought. The slogan embodies the message that we are all responsible for water and land conservation and sustainable use, and that there are solutions to these serious natural resource challenges. Land degradation does not have to threaten our future.
Please help us spread the message through social media, sharing our graphics and using the hashtag #WDCD2013.


 United Nations Secretary-General's Message, on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2013

With the rallying call “Don’t let our future dry up”, this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification is dedicated to highlighting the global risks of drought and water scarcity.  The social, political and economic costs of drought are evident from Uzbekistan to Brazil, from the Sahel to Australia.  In May, Namibia declared a national drought emergency, with 14 per cent of the population classified as food insecure.  In 2012, the United States experienced its worst drought since the 1950s, affecting 80 per cent of agricultural land.  In 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa – the worst since the early 1990s – affected nearly 13 million people.
Over the past quarter-century, the world has become more drought-prone, and droughts are projected to become more widespread, intense and frequent as a result of climate change.  The long-term impacts of prolonged drought on ecosystems are profound, accelerating land degradation and desertification.  The consequences include impoverishment and the risk of local conflict over water resources and productive land.
Droughts are hard to avert, but their effects can be mitigated.  Because they rarely observe national borders they demand a collective response.  The price of preparedness is minimal compared to the cost of disaster relief.  Let us therefore shift from managing crises to preparing for droughts and building resilience by fully implementing the outcomes of the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy held in Geneva last March. 
On this World Day to Combat Desertification, I urge the international community to fulfil the call of last year’s Rio+20 conference on sustainable development to avoid and offset land degradation.  By conserving arid lands we can protect essential water supplies, promote food and nutrition security, and reduce extreme poverty. 
Ban Ki-moon



Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2013

Don’t let our future dry up

 We estimate between 100 to 200 million people live in arid and semi-arid areas with limited freshwater resources. By 2025, two-thirds of them will experience serious water stress – facing pressure from population growth, agricultural production, as well as rising salinity and pollution. The impact of climate change will increase water scarcity, increasing also the frequency of hydrological extremes. The poorest will be hit hardest, as obstacles to sustainable development harden. On this World Day to Combat Desertification, June 17th, we must renew our commitment to supporting inclusive and sustainable solutions to managing water resources in dryland areas.
Water challenges are complex, so solutions must be equally multi-faceted. This calls for innovative thinking and for cooperation across the board, to preserve our ecosystems, to eradicate poverty and to advance social equity, including gender equality.
This is the core message of the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation that UNESCO is leading, to promote deeper cooperation to tackle the rising demand for water access, allocation and services.
The Water and Development Information for Arid Lands, a Global Network (G-WADI), led by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, shows our commitment to strengthen global capacity to manage the water resources of dryland areas. This builds on four regional networks in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab States, which promote international and regional cooperation in dryland areas, for stronger management of water resources and mitigation of water-related disasters.
In collaboration with Princeton University, UNESCO is leading an experimental drought monitoring and forecasting system for sub-Saharan Africa, to build capacity through technology and knowledge transfer. Given the impact of drought in Africa, largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture, this is a key step to make the most of water as a source of solidarity.
With the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, UNESCO is working in concrete ways to promote sustainable dryland management. This must start on the ground, with the inhabitants of these areas, who often belong to the poorest segments of society. Water is the common denominator of many challenges – in health, in farming and food security and in energy. It can be the common solution also –- but this requires commitment from us all, especially for those most affected by water scarcity. This is UNESCO’s pledge on World Day to Combat Desertification.

Irina Bokova
Read the message in / Lire le message en :

Friday, 14 June 2013

World Refugees Day 2013, June 20

Día Mundial de los Refugiados, 20 de junio.
 Всемирный день беженцев, 20 июня.
 Journée mondiale des réfugiés, 20 juin.
 世界难民日, 6月20日.
 ليوم العالمي للاجئين
World Refugee Day, June 20.

World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20. It is a special day when the world takes time to recognize the resilience of forcibly displaced people throughout the world.

On World Refugee Day 2013, we are focussing on the impact of conflict on families through the theme of  
‘1 Family Torn Apart by War is Too Many’.
During the weeks leading up to World Refugee Day 2013 and on the day itself, we are encouraging local, national and international communities to reflect on what we can do in order to help those who are forced to flee to find safety, regain hope and rebuild their lives.
For more information or to let us know your plans for World Refugee Day, email us at

2013 Theme: Take 1 minute to support a family forced to flee

Resources :
Helping Refugees : 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol
Protecting refugees and the role of UNHCR 

High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):