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

Thursday, 29 August 2013

International Day of the Disappeared 2013, August 30

Navi Pillay’s visit and Day of the Disappeared

On 30 August 2013, the world will mark the International Day of the Disappeared.

In Sri Lanka, some 12,000 complaints of enforced disappearances have been submitted to the UN since the 1980s – making it second only to Iraq. But the actual number of disappeared is much higher, with at least 30,000 cases alleged up to 1994 and many thousands reported after that.
“The number of disappeared people in Sri Lanka is astounding. The government has to stop making empty promises and once and for all seriously investigate the tens of thousands of cases of enforced disappearances,” said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka expert.
This year’s Day of the Disappeared coincides with the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to Sri Lanka (25-31 August). She is expected to meet family members of some of the disappeared.
More information
Amnesty International spokespeople as well as activists based in Sri Lanka are available for interviews on enforced disappearances and on Navi Pillay’s visit. To arrange, please contact:
Olof Blomqvist, Amnesty International Asia/Pacific press officer, + 44 (0) 20 7413 5871,
In addition, Amnesty International has documented several new case studies of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka that have never been published before. Photo material and more information on these cases are available through the Amnesty International press office.
On 26 July 2013, the Sri Lankan government announced that it will establish a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to look into enforced disappearances from the final years the conflict (1990-2009), but there are questions about the commission’s independence from the government.
Similar commissions appointed in the past have accomplished very little and some have had close ties to the authorities, undermining their independence. There have been ten commissions on disappearances since the early 1990s, but their recommendations have largely been ignored, and few of the many alleged perpetrators they identified have been brought to justice.
During the final bloody months of the armed conflict in 2009, thousands of people disappeared after their arrest or capture by the Sri Lankan security forces or abduction by the Tamil Tigers. Very few of those cases have been resolved. In addition there has been blatant intimidation reported against families and others seeking to take remedial action.
The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) gives the security forces wide powers to arrest suspected opponents of the government and detain them incommunicado and without charge or trial for long periods – conditions which provide a ready context for deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture.
Victims and their relatives have faced enormous difficulties in seeking redress. Hundreds of relatives have filed habeas corpus petitions in an attempt to trace ‘disappeared’ prisoners but the procedure has proved slow and ineffective.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

International Day against Nuclear Tests, August 29

29 August 2013, International Day against Nuclear Tests


 Messages :

Mr. Vuk Jeremić
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Secretary-General's message for the fourth observance of the International Day against Nuclear tests in 2013

As we approach 29 August, the International Day against Nuclear Tests, let us maintain our momentum to end nuclear weapons testing and promote the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons.

The strong and unified response to the nuclear test announced in February by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea demonstrated the international community’s commitment to uphold the global norm against nuclear tests.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty is a cornerstone of our work.  I once again urge all States to sign and ratify the CTBT – especially the eight remaining States whose ratifications are necessary for the Treaty to enter into force.  At the same time, all States should maintain or implement moratoria on nuclear explosions.
Civil society, academia and the mass media have a crucial advocacy role to play towards accomplishing these goals.  Let us work together to end nuclear weapons testing around the world and build a nuclear weapons-free world for our children.

The President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

In resolution 64/35, the General Assembly declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests, highlighting the importance of ending nuclear tests in order to avert their devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people and the environment.The Assembly devoted this important day to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free-world. With this resolution, the General Assembly showed important leadership and responsibility in promoting peace and security, one of the main purpose and principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

As President of the General Assembly, I will mark this important international day by convening an informal meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on 5 September 2013 under the overall theme “The Path to Zero”.

Nuclear tests and, ultimately, nuclear weapons, constitute a serious threat for all of us. Every effort should be undertaken to end nuclear tests. I invite you to be part of the celebration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests and to commemorate the day by renewing your commitment to strengthen public awareness and education about the negative effects of nuclear tests and to promote the ultimate goal of a nuclear weapons free world.

Mr. Vuk Jeremić
H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 
UN Photo
2013 Events


Programme : 
The Meeting is convened by His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremić, President of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, and organized in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Date: Thursday, 5 September 2013
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: United Nations Headquarter, Trusteeship Council
Opening statements by:
  • H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, President of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly
  • H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (invited)
  • Mr. Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Kazakhstan
High-Level Panel on the Path to Zero: 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 above theme. 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.

Panel Details
H.E. Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations in New York
  • Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (invited)
  • H.E. Ambassador Martin Sajdik, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York
  • Mr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test- Ban Treaty
  • Mr. Geoffrey Shaw, Representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the United Nations
  • Andrew S. Kanter, MD, Immediate Past-President, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Co-Vice President for North America, International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War
Lead Discussant
H.E. Ambassador Enrique Roman-Morey, Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations in New York.The panel will be followed by observations, and questions and answers from Member States.

EXHIBITION – Peace Now: Abolish Nuclear Tests and Weapons

An exhibition entitled, Peace Now: Abolish Nuclear Tests and Weapons, organized by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations in cooperation with the UN Department of Public Information, will be held on the occasion of the observance of the 2013 International Day against Nuclear Tests (29 August).
Dates: 4 -8 September 2013
Venue: Main Corridor, First Floor, Conference Building of the United Nations on First Avenue.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013, 6 p.m. at exhibition site.    

About the exhibition:
It will portray the paintings of the world renowned Kazakh artist, Mr. Karipbek Kuyukov, who paints only with his feet, being a victim of the effects of nuclear radiation. His art depicts the triumph of the human spirit over the horrors of nuclear testing. He is the designated Ambassador of the ATOM Project and has received international acclaim for his committed and tireless advocacy to achieve total nuclear abolition. 

There will also be a display of the ATOM Project (Abolish Testing Our Mission), the official project of the Government of Kazakhstan, to end all nuclear weapons tests.

Entry to the UN:
The Informal Meeting and the Exhibition are open to all diplomats, think-tanks, the academic community, civil society and the media. Those without a UN Grounds Pass interested in these events should contact:, or tel.: +1 (212) 230-1900, ext. 322.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, August 23th

23 August: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave trade and of its Abolition

The night of 22 to 23 August 1791, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) saw the beginning of the uprising that would play a crucial role in the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade



Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, 23 August 2013

Through their struggles, their desire for dignity and freedom, slaves contributed to the universality of human rights. We must teach the names of the heroes of this story, because they are the heroes of all humankind.
In paying tribute, on 23 August each year, to the women and men who fought this oppression, UNESCO wishes to foster reflection and debate on a tragedy that has left its mark on the world as it is today.
Under the Slave Route Project, UNESCO aims to reveal the extent and consequences of this human tragedy and to portray the wealth of the cultural traditions that African peoples have forged in the face of adversity – in art, music, dance and culture in its broader sense. This year, on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the Slave Route Project, I designated as a UNESCO Artist for Peace Mr Marcus Miller, who will undertake the mission of promoting the UNESCO Slave Route Project and conveying its message of respect through music. These endeavours will contribute to efforts for the Decade for People of African Descent (2013-2022), proclaimed by the United Nations in 2012.
The slave trade is not merely a thing of the past: it is our history and it has shaped the face of many modern societies, creating indissoluble ties between peoples and continents, and irreversibly transforming the destiny, economy and culture of nations. Studying this history is tantamount to paying tribute to freedom fighters and to acknowledging their unique contributions to the affirmation of universal human rights. They have set an example for us to continue the struggle for freedom, against racial prejudice inherited from the past and against new forms of slavery that subsist to this day and affect some 21 million people.
Today, I invite all governments, civil society organizations and public and private partners to redouble their efforts to transmit this history. May it be a source of respect and a universal call for freedom for future generations.
On this Day of Commemoration, UNESCO invites people around the world to remember, to reflect on the consequences of the past on our present, on the new requirements of living together in our multicultural societies and on the fight against contemporary forms of slavery of which millions of human beings are still victims.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is intended to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples. In accordance with the goals of the intercultural project "The Slave Route", it should offer an opportunity for collective consideration of the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of this tragedy, and for an analysis of the interactions to which it has given rise between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.

The Director-General of UNESCO invites the Ministers of Culture of all Member States to organize events every year on that date, involving the entire population of their country and in particular young people, educators, artists and intellectuals.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti (23 August 1998) and Goree in Senegal (23 August 1999). Cultural events and debates too were organized. The year 2001 saw the participation of the Mulhouse Textile Museum in France in the form of a workshop for fabrics called "Indiennes de Traite" (a type of calico) which served as currency for the exchange of slaves in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Circular CL/3494 of 29 July 1998 from the Director-General to Ministers of Culture invites all the Member States to organize events to mark 23 August each year.

Decision 8.2 of the 150th session of the UNESCO Executive Board

The Executive Board,

1. Bearing in mind 20 C/Resolution 4/1.2/7 in which the General Conference invited the Director-General to provide moral and material assistance towards the organization, each year, of a Black Peoples’ Day,

2. Recalling 27 C/Resolution 3.13 in which the General Conference approved the implementation of the intercultural and interregional project entitled "The Slave Route",

3. Recalling also 28 C/Resolution 5.11 on the slave route and the proposal for the establishment at international level of remembrance of the slave-trade,

4. Further recalling that 23 August 1791 was the day on which the slaves of Saint-Domingue and Haiti rose up in rebellion, thus taking the first step towards the abolition of the slave-trade,

5. Noting with interest the support expressed for the UNESCO Slave Route project by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its twenty-eighth summit at Dakar in June 1992,

6. Endorses the general approach and conception proposed by the Director-General in document 150 EX/32 concerning the objectives and the programme for the establishment of the remembrance; Recommends that the General Conference:

(a) proclaim 23 August of every year 'International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition'; and
(b) submit to the United Nations General Assembly a request that all United Nations Member States
take part in this remembrance

Monday, 19 August 2013

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Message for World Humanitarian Day 19 August 2013

 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

Message For World Humanitarian Day

19 August 2013

  Every year on August 19th, we mark World Humanitarian Day in honour of aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the life-saving work that humanitarians carry out around the world, every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances where others cannot or do not want to go.
This year's commemoration marks the 10th anniversary of the attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad that killed Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 other United Nations colleagues and partners.  That tragedy was among the inspirations for this Day.
Sergio was a vocal advocate of the values and mission of the United Nations.  He touched the lives of all who met him, and helped millions of poor and vulnerable people in a life of service on several continents.  His death was a great loss to the United Nations, but his legacy has motivated many people to pursue humanitarian work.
This year, our World Humanitarian Day campaign is calling on people to answer a question: What do you think the world needs more of?  I urge people everywhere to go to and tell us, in one word, what you think.
My word is "teamwork."  In a time of global challenges, people and countries need to work together in common cause for peace, justice, dignity and development.  That is the humanitarian spirit.  That is the humanitarian imperative of the United Nations.
* *** *

The United Nations on Monday observed World Humanitarian Day to honour the memory of all staff who have made the ultimate sacrifice for peace.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad in which 22 staff members died.
Events have been held around the world to raise awareness about attacks on humanitarian workers who are helping people in need.

United Nations honours memory of staff who sacrificed for peace


This World Humanitarian Day- 19 August, Sponsor a world you think the world needs more of.


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Friday, 16 August 2013

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2013, August 9th.


On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we highlight the importance of honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples. Such consensual arrangements enable better understanding of their views and values and are essential for protecting and promoting rights and establishing the political vision and necessary frameworks for different cultures to coexist in harmony.
Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity – more than 5,000 distinct groups in some 90 countries. They make up more than 5 per cent of the world’s population, some 370 million people. It is important that we strive to strengthen partnerships that will help preserve cultural vigour while facilitating poverty reduction, social inclusion and sustainable development.We must ensure the participation of indigenous peoples – women and men –in decision-making at all levels. This includes discussions on accelerating action towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and defining the post-2015 development agenda. Indigenous peoples have made clear that they want development that takes into account culture and identity and the right to define their own priorities.
The post-2015 development agenda needs therefore to incorporate the rights, perspectives and needs of indigenous peoples.Next year’s World Conference on Indigenous Peoples offers an opportunity to advance the cause of indigenous peoples everywhere. I urge Member States to take concrete steps to address the challenges facing indigenous peoples, especially their marginalization and exclusion, by honouring all commitments and examining what more can be done. Let us work together to strengthen indigenous peoples’ rights and support their aspirations. Let us create a world that values the wealth of human diversity and nurtures the potential it offers.

Ban Ki-moon.

 News and Media

>>>Press Release : Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Focus on International Day

 This year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (9 August) aims to highlight the importance of honouring agreements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples, emphasizing the principles of friendship, cooperation and peace.“Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity – over 5,000 distinct groups comprising more than 5 per cent of the world’s population,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki3moon. “We must work to strengthen partnerships and ensure that policies and actions res pect the views and reflect the values of indigenous peoples.”Under the theme of “Indigenous peoples building alliances: honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements", a special event at United Nations Headquarters in New York will feature remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Assistant Secretary-General Shamshad Akhtar, and Mr. Paul Kanyinke Sena, Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, followed by an interactive dialogue with Ambassador Mary Morgan Moss, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Panama to the United Nations, Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, and Chief Oren Lyons from the Onondaga Nation.

Also on 9 August, more than 200 indigenous and non-indigenous paddlers are scheduled to arrive at Pier 96 at West 57th Street in Manhattan at 10:00 a.m., after having collectively travelled hundreds of miles on rivers and horseback to honour the first treaty – the Two Row Wampum – concluded between Dutch immigrants and the Haudenosaunee (a confederacy of six nations, with its seat in the Onondaga nation in New York State) in 1613. “Our ancestors made this great agreement on our behalf 400 years ago,” noted Hickory Edwards, the lead paddler for the Onondaga Nation. “Now is the time for us to think about the people living in the next 400 years.” “The Two Row is the oldest and is the grandfather of all subsequent treaties,” said Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation’s Turtle Clan who has represented the Haudenosaunee at the United Nations and elsewhere. “It set a relationship of equity and peace. This campaign is to remind people of the importance of the agreements.”

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries around the world .Practice in unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, recognizes indigenous peoples’ right to self determination and their right to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and develop past, present and future manifestations of their culture in various forms.

About the International Day:

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August, in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982. The I nternational Day was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994.

>>>Webcast of the Secretary-General making remarks on the occasion of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
>>>Webcast of the observance at UN Headquarters

Mary Morgan Moss, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Panama to the UN Ivan Šimonović, ASG (OHCHR) (TBC), Chief Oren Lyons (Onondaga, USA)

Messages of the Day
Message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations
AR - EN - ESFR  - RU - ZH
Remarks by the Secretary-General of the United Nations 
Remarks by the Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs
Remarks by the Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights
Message from the Chairperson of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Message from UNESCO
Message from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights
Message from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Message from UN Women
Message from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
Message from WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Message from Stop TB Partnership
Message from IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
Message from ILO (International Labour Organization)
Message from the International Land Coalition
Message from PAHO (Pan American Health Organization)


 The theme aims to highlight the importance of honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, between States, its citizens and indigenous peoples. Both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples have a pivotal role in making treaties “living documents” in their own communities, by establishing new ways to live together, respecting one another and cooperating in the pursuit of common goals. This contributes to building societies that guarantee the security of their communities, while preserving the environment in recognition of the unique spiritual, cultural and historic relationship between indigenous peoples and their lands and natural resources.

The theme is inspired by the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an educational advocacy campaign organized by the Haudenosaunee people (a confederacy of six nations living in New York State), to honour their first treaty concluded with Dutch immigrants in 1613. (For more information, visit

For media queries, including interviews with UN officials and indigenous representatives, please contact Martina Donlon, tel: +1 212 963 6816 or email: – UN Department of Public Information.To contact the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, please contact Nilla Bernardi, tel: +1 212-963-8379 or email: – UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs For more information on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples,  please see or follow #IndigenousDay on Twitter

Thursday, 15 August 2013

World Humanitarian Da 2013, August 19.

"The World needs more..." is the the for World Humanitarian Day 2013


Join the Forum : World Humanitarian Day- 19 August
Watch Observance of the World Humanitarian Day 2013 around the World.


What are Humanitarian Principles?

 All OCHA activities are guided by The four humanitarian principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. These principles provide the foundations for humanitarian action. They are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected people, whether in a natural disaster or a complex emergency, such as armed conflict. Promoting and ensuring compliance with the principles are essential elements of effective humanitarian coordination. The humanitarian principles are derived from the core principles, which have long guided the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the national Red Cross/RedCrescent Societies.The principles’ centrality to the work of OCHA and other humanitarian organizations is formally enshrined in two General Assembly resolutions. The first three principles (humanity,neutrality and impartiality) are endorsed in General Assembly resolution 46/182, which was adopted in 1991. This resolution also established the role of the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC).General Assembly resolution 58/114 (2004) added independence as a fourth key principle underlying humanitarian action.

The General Assembly has repeatedly reaffirmed the importance of promoting and respecting these principles within the framework of humanitarian assistance.

Commitment to the principles has also been expressed at an institutional level by many humanitarian organizations. Of particular note is the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations in disaster relief. The code provides a set of common standards for organizations involved in humanitarian activities, including a commitment to adhere to the humanitarian principles. More than 492 organizations have signed The Code of Conduct. Also of note is the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response elaborated by the Sphere Project.The humanitarian principles have practical operational relevance. Humanitarian action almost always takes place in complex politicaland militarized environments. Adherence to the principles is therefore critical in order to distinguish humanitarian action from the activities and objectives of political, military and other actors. Promoting humanitarian principles and, importantly, ensuring that humanitarian organizations act in accordance with them are key to gaining acceptance by all relevant actors on the ground for humanitarian action to be carried out. This acceptance is critical to ensuring humanitarian personnel have safe and sustained access to affected people. Sustained access is, in turn, crucial for strengthening the implementation of the humanitarian principles. For example, it allows humanitarian actors to directly undertake and monitor the distribution of assistance to people, thus ensuring that aid is distributed impartially and reaches those most in need.

What is OCHA’s role?

 OCHA’s mission is to mobilize and coordinate principled humanitarian action. OCHA promotes the humanitarian community’s compliance with humanitarian principles in every humanitarian response. It does this by promoting practical compliance measures within a Humanitarian Country Team through its engagement with State and non-state actors at all levels,and by undertaking and contributing to policy development within the United Nations.

What does OCHA say?

1. Humanitarian principles govern humanitarian actors’conduct.

2. Humanitarian actors must engage in dialogue with all parties to conflict for strictly humanitarian purposes.This includes ongoing liaison and negotiation with non-state armed groups.

3.Our compliance with humanitarian principles affects our credibility, and therefore our ability to enter into negotiations with relevant actors and establish safe access to affected people. However, it is not enough to repeatedly recite humanitarian principles. Rhetoric must be matched by leadership and practice. In other words, humanitarian actors must “walk the talk”.

4. There are multiple pressures on humanitarian actors to compromise humanitarian principles, such as providing humanitarian aid as part of efforts to achieve political ends. Maintaining principled humanitarian action in the face of these pressures is an essential task, but not an easy one.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

International Day of Youth 2013, August 12th


International Youth Day 2013, United Nations Secretary-General's Message

This year’s observance of International Youth Day focuses on the issue of youth migration.  Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 per cent, yet too little is known about their struggles and experiences.

The reasons young people migrate are many.  Some are fleeing persecution, others are escaping economic hardship.  Some are alone, others part of a family – with parents, siblings and even children of their own.  Some have communities to go to, others must make new connections.  In transit and at their final destinations, many young migrants face equal or greater struggles, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination and human rights violations.  Young women, in particular, face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Poverty, crowded and unsanitary living conditions and the challenges of finding decent employment are regular features of the migrant experience.  These challenges are exacerbated by the current global economic and financial crisis.  Migrants are also often accused by communities and politicians of taking jobs from local people, exposing them to further risk of discrimination.  In other cases, young people left behind by migrating parents face psychological and social challenges and greater vulnerability.

It is important to emphasize the positive contribution young migrants make to societies of origin, transit and destination – economically and by enriching the social and cultural fabric.  Most work hard to earn a living and improve their circumstances. 

The remittances they send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide.  When they return home, young migrants often enhance development by applying skills and ideas acquired abroad.  And, in many cases, women are empowered through migration as they gain financial and social independence.

In October, the United Nations General Assembly will host the second High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.  I urge Member States to consider youth migration.  Working with and for young people is one of my top priorities.  On this International Youth Day, I encourage Member States, youth-led organizations and other stakeholders to act to promote the rights of all young migrants and maximize the development potential of youth migration.
Ban Ki-moon

In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth. On its 10th anniversary, the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.
15 Priority Areas adopted by the General Assembly:
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Drug abuse
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Leisure-time activities
  • Girls and young women
  • Participation
  • Globalization
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Youth and conflict
  • Intergenerational relations
Today, the World Programme of Action for Youth plays a prominent role in youth development. It focuses on measures to strengthen national capacities in the field of youth and to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society.
The United Nations Programme on Youth serves as the Focal Point on Youth at the UN. It undertakes a range of activities to promote youth development including supporting intergovernmental policy-making, conducting analytical research and increasing the effectiveness of the UN’s work in youth development by strengthening collaboration and exchange among UN entities through the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.

International Day of Friendship 2013, July 30

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO and taken up by the UN General Assembly in 1997 (A/RES/52/13), which defined the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems.
In its resolution of 1998, proclaiming the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001–2010) (A/RES/53/25), the General Assembly recognized that enormous harm and suffering are caused to children through different forms of violence. It emphasized that the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence should be instilled in children through education. If children learn to live together in peace and harmony that will contribute to the strengthening of international peace and cooperation.
The Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243) adopted in 1999 set 8 areas of action for nations, organizations and individuals to undertake in order for a culture of peace to prevail:
  • foster a culture of peace through education;
  • promote sustainable economic and social development;
  • promote respect for all human rights;
  • ensure equality between women and men;
  • foster democratic participation;
  • advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity;
  • support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;
  • promote international peace and security.
The International Day of Friendship is also based on the recognition of the relevance and impor