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

Monday, 28 October 2013

The International Days in November 2013.

The United Nations Observances during the month of November.


11–17 November
(The week in which 11 November falls)
International Week of Science and Peace A/RES/43/61

International Year of Water Cooperation A/RES/65/154
International Year of Quinoa A/RES/66/221
6 Nov.  International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict A/RES/56/4
10 Nov. World Science Day for Peace and Development [UNESCO]
12 November. World Pneumonia Day [WHO]
14 Nov. World Diabetes Day [WHO] A/RES/61/225
16 Nov. International Day for Tolerance Resolution 5.61 of the 28th session of the UNESCO General Conference

16 Nov. World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day [WHO] 
18 Nov.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims [WHO] A/RES/60/5
19 Nov. World Toilet Day A/67/L.75 (draft)
20 Nov. Universal Children’s Day
20 Nov. Africa Industrialization Day A/RES/44/237
21 Nov.
World Philosophy Day [UNESCO] 
21 Nov. World Television Day A/RES/51/205
25 Nov. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women A/RES/54/134
29 Nov. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People A/RES/32/40B

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2013, October 27.

UNESCO declared October 27 as the World Day for AV Heritage to raise awareness of the significance of AV documents and to draw attention to the need to safeguard them. Every year, activities are organized by different institutions worldwide around a theme to drum up interest in the event. More information

Message from the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova:
English Français Español Русский ǀ  العربية ǀ  中文

Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, audio and video recordings, contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Transcending language and cultural boundaries, appealing immediately to the eye and the ear, to the literate and illiterate, audiovisual documents have transformed society by becoming a permanent complement to the traditional written record.
However, they are extremely vulnerable and it is estimated that we have no more than 10 to 15 years to transfer audiovisual records to digital to prevent their loss. Much of the world's audiovisual heritage has already been irrevocably lost through neglect, destruction, decay and the lack of resources, skills, and structures, thus impoverishing the memory of mankind. Much more will be lost if stronger and concerted international action is not taken.
It was in this context, that the UNESCO General Conference in 2005 approved the commemoration of a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage as a mechanism to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.
Source: UNESCO
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage
Día Mundial del Patrimonio Audiovisual
Journée mondiale du patrimoine audiovisuel
Всемирный день аудиовизуального наследия

Get involved!
  1. Link to this page:
  2. Let us know how your organisation will mark this important occasion. Read the instructions

Join the Forum :  27 October is World Day of Audiovisual Heritage

Thursday, 24 October 2013

World Development Information Day 2013, 24 October

United Nations development efforts profoundly affect the lives and well-being of millions of people throughout the world. They are based on the conviction that lasting international peace and security are possible only if the economic prosperity and the well-being of people everywhere is assured.

The General Assembly in 1972 instituted World Development Information Day to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them (resolution 3038 (XXVII)).  The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide in principle with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.
 The Assembly felt that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.

 Transformative solutions for 2015 and Beyond : A report of the Broadband commission Task force on Sustainable Development.

 Doubling Digital Opportunities : Enhancing the inclusion of women & girls in the Information Society.

 The State of Broadband 2013 : Universalizing Broadband.

 The Word in ICT (2013).

 Measuring the Information Society 2013.

General Assembly resolutions designating UN Development Decades

  • Fourth UN Development Decade (1991-2000) (A/RES/45/199, 21 December 1990)
  • Third UN Development Decade (1981-1990) (A/RES/35/56, 5 December 1980)
  • Second UN Development Decade (1971-1980) (A/RES/2626 (XXV), 24 October 1970)
  • First UN Development Decade (1960-1970) (A/RES/1710 (XVI), 19 December 1961)

Join the discussions  : World Development Information Day - October 24

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

UN Day 2013, October 24

UN Day, October 24, 2013, marks the 68th anniversary of when the United Nations Charter went into effect. This year's theme is Partnerships for Global Progress.

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for the United Day 2013.

Dear friends,

United Nations Day is a chance to recognize how much this invaluable Organization contributes to peace and common progress.
It is a time to reflect on what more we can do to realize our vision for a better world.
The fighting in Syria is our biggest security challenge.
Millions of people depend on UN humanitarian personnel for life-saving assistance.
UN experts are working hand-in-hand with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy Syria’s stockpiles.
And we are pushing for a diplomatic solution to end suffering that has gone on far too long.
Our most urgent development challenge is to make sustainability a reality.
The Millennium Development Goals have cut poverty in half.
Now we must maintain the momentum, craft an equally inspiring post-2015 development agenda and reach an agreement on climate change.
This year again, we saw the United Nations come together on armed conflict, human rights, the environment and many other issues.
We continue to show what collective action can do.  We can do even more.
In a world that is more connected, we must be more united.
On United Nations Day, let us pledge to live up to our founding ideals and work together for peace, development and human rights.

Ban Ki-moon

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Adjusting to the changing dynamics of the world economy - Trade and Development Report 2013

Five years after the onset of the global financial crisis the world economy remains in a state of disarray, with global output growing at around 2 per cent and global trade growth virtually grounding to a halt, the Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2013 stresses. Growth remains subdued in developed countries, where labour market conditions, fiscal tightening and on-going deleveraging hinder domestic demand. With an external economic environment showing few signs of improvement, developing and transition economies could not avoid growth deceleration.

Prior to the Great Recession, buoyant consumer demand in the developed countries seemed to justify the adoption of an export-oriented growth model by many developing and transition economies. But that expansion was built on unsustainable global demand and financing patterns. Thus, reverting to pre-crisis growth strategies cannot be an option. The Report notes that to adjust to what now appears to be a structural shift of the world economy, fundamental changes in prevailing growth strategies are needed.
TDR 2013 notes that developed countries must address the fundamental causes of the crisis: rising income inequality, the diminishing economic role of the State, the predominant role of a poorly regulated financial sector and an international system prone to global imbalances; while developing and transition economies that have been overly dependent on exports need to adopt a more balanced growth strategy that gives a greater role to domestic and regional demand.

Distinct from export-led growth, demand-led strategies can be pursued by all countries simultaneously without beggar-thy-neighbour effects. The Report also affirms that, if many developing countries manage to co-ordinately expand their domestic demand, their economies could become markets for each other, spurring regional and South-South trade. Hence, shifting the focus of development strategies to domestic markets does not mean minimizing the importance of the role of exports.

In adopting a growth strategy with a larger role for domestic demand, countries should achieve an appropriate balance between increases in household consumption, private investment and public expenditure. Fostering the purchasing power of the population is a key element in this regard. It can be achieved through an incomes policy, targeted social transfers and public sector employments schemes. Income creation and redistribution favouring lower- and middle-income households is crucial to this development strategy, because those households tend to spend a larger share of their income on consumption, particularly of locally or regionally produced goods and services.

Increased aggregate demand would provide an incentive to entrepreneurs to invest in expanding productive capacities and in adapting them to new demand patterns. Doing so requires investment which, in turn, necessitates access to reliable and affordable long-term finance.

With that aim, foreign capital may be useful in financing imports of essential intermediate and capital goods. However, large cross-border financial flows to developing and transition economies have often led to lending booms and busts, currency mispricing and the build-up of foreign liabilities without contributing to an economy's capacity to grow and service such obligations. A cautious and selective approach towards cross-border capital flows is needed for reducing the vulnerability of receiving countries to external financial shocks and directing credit to productive investment.

The Report finally underlines that these countries should rely increasingly on domestic sources for investment finance. It affirms that central banks should enlarge their mandates beyond inflation control and, through a credit policy, play a much more engaged role financing the real economy. The implementation of such a credit policy can be facilitated through the involvement of specialised institutions, including national and regional development banks. Indeed, a network of specialized financial institutions may be more effective in channelling credit for development-enhancing purposes than big universal banks, which tend to become not only "too big to fail" but also "too big to regulate"

Videos :  Trade and Development Report 2013 - Briefing

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2013, October 17


United Nations Secretary-General's Message for International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2013

This year’s observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty comes as the international community is pursuing twin objectives:  intensifying efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals, and formulating the next set of goals to guide our efforts after we reach the MDG target date of 2015.  This post-2015 agenda must have poverty eradication as its highest priority and sustainable development at its core.  After all, the only way to make poverty eradication irreversible is by putting the world on a sustainable development path.

We have much work ahead.  While poverty levels have declined significantly, progress has been uneven.  Our impressive achievement in cutting poverty by half should not blind us to the fact that more than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty worldwide. Too many, especially women and girls, continue to be denied access to adequate health care and sanitation, quality education and decent housing.  Too many young people lack jobs and the skills that respond to market demands.  Rising inequality in many countries -- both rich and poor -- is fueling exclusion from economic, social and political spheres, and we know that the impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity hit the poorest the hardest.  All of this underpins the need for strong and responsive institutions.

We need to do more to listen and act for those whose voices often go unheard – people living in poverty, and in particular among them indigenous people, the older persons and those living with disabilities, the unemployed, migrants and minorities.  We need to support them in their struggle to escape poverty and build better lives for themselves and their families. 

If we are to realize the future we want for all, we must hear and heed the calls of the marginalized.  For the last year, the UN has been doing just that by spearheading an unprecedented global conversation on the world people want.  That dialogue must continue – and lead to the active and meaningful inclusion of people living in poverty -- as we chart a course to ending poverty everywhere. 
Together, we can build a sustainable world of prosperity and peace, justice and equity – a life of dignity for all.
Ban Ki-moon



Theme for 2013:  Working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda.
This year's official commemoration on 17 October at UN Headquarters will be an occasion to recognize people living in poverty as critical partners for fighting the development challenges we face. The commemoration at the UN is organized in partnership with the International Movement ATD Fourth World, the NGO Sub-committee for the Eradication of Poverty and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, supported by the Missions of France and Burkina Faso to the UN.
In addition, the World We Want 2015 platform will host an event for its People’s Voices Series, centering on the Day’s theme, the MDGs  and the Post-2015 Agenda.

From 14 October through 17 October, please join the UN system and its partners in a social media action, #EndPoverty, to raise awareness of the fight against poverty and the need to accelerate action to achieve the MDGs.

Get Involved!
You can participate:
  • Join the global conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #EndPoverty. Beginning 14 October, share photos and stories of what you and your community are doing to help end poverty.
  • Learn and help share infographics and new videos about accelerating the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Follow the World We Want People’s Voices event live on 17 October.
  • Watch persons affected by poverty share their views at the official commemoration at UN headquarters, live on UN webcast on 17 October.

 Join the Forum : Discussions & opinions on the International Day for Eradication on Poverty, October 17
Watch the videos : The activities around the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

World Food Day (WFD) 2013, October 16

Sustainable Food System  for Food Security and Nutrition” is the theme of World Food Day (WFD) 2013

Sustainable food systems are one core element of bringing hunger to an end. In his message for World Food Day 2013, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva says we'll also need to ensure access to food all year round, to eliminate food wastage and child stunting and while doubling smallholder production and profits.

World Food Day, from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), hits Oct. 16, 2013, once again bringing awareness to the political need to end hunger. This year, the day is focused on sustainable food systems, asking, "What would a sustainable food system look like?... What would need to change to move us in that direction?"

About the World Food Week 2013
Calendar of Events

On a large scale, the need for sustainable food systems is evident: Most recently, a United Nations reports found that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted a year, wasting water, land, and money. Italy alone loses almost $12 billion in wasted food every year, another report found.
Meanwhile, the UN reports that almost 870 million people are "chronically undernourished" and 165 million children under the age of 5 are stunted thanks to malnourishment, while 1.4 billion people are overweight, sometimes because of vitamin deficiencies themselves.
Plenty of food waste occurs even before food gets to the consumer, the FAO reports. In developing countries, food waste often occurs because of financial and technical constraints in harvesting and storage. In developed countries, food is wasted because producers, retailers, and consumers toss out food that is still edible and usable.

Here, five ways to change your habits to fight food waste in your own kitchen:

1. Stop Trying to Get the Perfect Tomato
FAO reports that in a developed country, almost 300 million tons of food is thrown out because it's deemed "unworthy" for consumption, whether it's because the fruit is shaped funny or the tomato isn't as red as commercial tomatoes are expected to be. "This is more than the total net food production of sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world," José Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general, said in a press release. Similarly, understand the difference between "sell-by" and "best before." Normally, "use-by" is the important one to follow.

2. Eat Your Leftovers
Sometimes, casseroles will taste better the next day as the flavors meld all together. Sometimes, a leftover roast chicken will go perfectly with some peppers on tacos (better yet, use the bones to make soup). Clean out your fridge, freeze fresh produce you won't get around to eating, and save yourself some cooking hassle (and some money) in the days to come.

3. Start Thinking About Alternative Proteins
Don't just stick with chicken breast; consider buying a whole chicken and breaking it down yourself for several different meals. Buying whole means using the whole chicken, which means nothing will go to waste. The chicken feet? Perfect for making stock. The UN has, after all, pinpointed bugs as the next big protein.

4. Compost
Composting reduces the environmental impact of food waste, while potentially recycling nutrients to help more food grow. Food waste thrown into landfills doesn't end up composting; composting requires light and air, neither of which is provided at landfills. According to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city alone sends 1.2 million tons of food waste to landfills, costing taxpayers $80 per ton (that's $96 million a year).

5. Empower the Small Farmer
According to Heifer International, there are 650 milion small farmers worldwide, who produce 80 percent of the developing world's food. The problem? Many live below the poverty line. Look to support organizations that work with small farmers worldwide, and focus on shopping from artisanal producers who are committed to creating better products. Read more about the "New Local" movement here.
Join the forum : World Food Day - October 16

Global Handwashing Day (GHD) 2013, October 15

The theme for 2013 is “The Power is in Your Hands!”, as everyone has the power to create healthier communities through handwashing with soap.

Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is a campaign to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap. It takes place on October 15 of each year. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.

GHD was created at the annual World Water Week 2008, which was held in Stockholm from August 17 to 23 and initiated by the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW). The first Global Handwashing Day took place on October 15, 2008, the date appointed by the UN General Assembly in accordance with year 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.
The theme for Global Handwashing Day’s inaugural year was Focus on School Children. The members pledged to get the maximum number of school children handwashing with soap in more than 70 countries.

Join the Forum : Global Handwashing Day  - October 15
Watch the  Videos : Activities during Global Handwashing Day 2013

International Day of Rural Women 2013 , October 15.

The 2013 theme “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” celebrates the achievements of women in the economic, political, and social fields as they continue their vigilance and resolve for further sustainable change in their communities.

 ° Rural Women : Policies to help them Thrive.

To create the  key policies a  rural woman needs, we must consider the many roles a woman plays. She is a farmer and a mother. She is a bread winner and probably a bread maker. She is ready to invest in her children and to steward her land. She has a wealth of knowledge and skills that are essential for nurturing and managing the environment, agriculture, local economy, family, community and culture. Yet frequently she is not consulted about policies, development interventions or education programmes that will impact her life. She faces economic and social constraints. Women account for 60 to 80% of small holder farmers and produce 90% of food in Africa and about half of all food worldwide. Yet in sub Saharan Africa, only 15% of landholders are women and they receive less than 10% of credit and 7% of extension services. Policies that address gender inequalities could, conservatively, increase yields on women’s farms by 2.5% to 4%. Women are key to food and nutrition security and sustainable development .We need to empower rural women through policies that help them in Growing,

Marketing, Adapting, Caring, Connecting, and Leading.

1) Develop a registration process for land tenure is local, cheap, rapid, transparent and accessible for women regardless of marital status
2) Support women smallholder farmers by providing them with agricultural extension services, grain storage, infrastructure, information and technologies that are adapte d to their needs and farm sizes.
3) Localise the application of agronomic knowledge, pest identification and meteorological information.
4) Provide microfinance services, especially to microcredit, to women farmers.
5) Ensure women farmers have access to agricultural inputs and services, including mechanical tools, breeding stock, seeds, fertilizers, and crop protection materials.
6) Encourage and coordinate multiple local actors to ensure information and supplies get into farmers’ hands.

1) Build local storage facilities and transportation mechanisms, including cold chain storage for food preservation.
2) Provide remote access to up to date market pricing information to improve women’s ability to sell their product directly.
3) Develop well functioning markets through transparent information, fair prices, sound infrastructure and proper regulation.
4) Empower women farmers in organizational frameworks and encourage them to organise in marketing groups and cooperatives.
5) Improve women farmers’ marketing skills through entrepreneurship training.
6)Reduce market distortions to improve opportunities for all strata of agriculture worldwide .

1) Invest in women farmers who are engaged in conservation agriculture to prevent soil erosion and land degradation.
2) Support programs that help women farmers to manage watersheds and use water more efficiently.
3) Protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity through an integrated ecosystems pproach that incorporates women’s knowledge and leadership.
4) Promote sound management of chemical substances, including through the improvement of health and safety conditions for agricultural workers.
5) Invest in bioenergy where it contributes to energy security, rural development, poverty and create new income opportunities for women.

1) Provide early warning systems such as community based disaster preparedness and management, and early weather forecasting systems that build on local knowledge and practices, to help them make decisions relating to sustainability and productivity.
2) Use a knowledge based approach of best practices, commit to increasing support for farmer to farmer training, including specific programs for women farmers, and value their traditional knowledge.
3) Popularize new policies, extension programs, practices and technologies in beneficiaries’languages, while recognizing the need to adapt to local knowledge, education, and culture.
4) Ensure women farmers have access to stress, flood, or drought resistant seed varieties.
5) Support community based, small scale renewable bio energies.
6) Make adaptation funds, risk management programs, and training on climate change impacts available to rural women.

1) Increase food security by investing in infrastructure, which includes roads, hospitals, clean water facilities, warehouses, schools and other initiatives to keep rural families together.
2) Require mandatory school programs for girls and boys along with social protection programs and available childcare.
3) Provide educational support for girls and women through training facilities, scholarships, mentoring, extension services and other forms of technical assistance.
4) Ensure access to proper maternal health services for women and focus particularly on nutrition for the first 1000 days of mother and child.
5) Empower women in their roles as household managers and caregivers, which is a proven strategy for enhancing food security and nutritional outcomes especially for children.

1) Promote the development of village based knowledge centres.
2) Support women’s cooperatives and their participation in mixed cooperatives.
3) Increase the number of women extension agents and train male extension agents to become more gender sensitive.
4) Prioritize women’s access to information communication technologies.
5) Establish open and transparent two way exchanges that capture the ‘voice of thefarmer’ in the process of policy formulation and implementation.

1) Enhance capacity for leadership and alliances among rural women to build confidence, strengthen mutual support, and develop advocacy and public speaking skills for influencing decisions that affect their lives.
2) Facilitate meaningful participation of women farmers in decision making processes through mandatory quotas, benchmarks and indicators.
3) Foster the engagement of farmer organisations in policy making on agriculture and rural development at international, national, and regional levels.

To pay tribute to rural women and the role they play in global economies and in various spheres of rural life, the International Day of Rural Women is celebrated on October 15 annually.

BAN Ki Moon

Rural women play a key role in rural economies of both developed and developing nations, enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security, and eradicating rural poverty. Agriculture provides a livelihood for 86 percent of rural women who produce most of the food grown, especially in subsistence farming. They participate in crop production, livestock care, provide food, water, and fuel for their families, and engage in off-farm activities to diversify their livelihood. In addition, they care for their children, older persons, and the sick.

Rural families are becoming economically dependent on the earnings of female members, and yet, with all that women contribute to the rural economies, their rights have been largely overlooked. It is estimated that if women had equal access to productive resources, agricultural yields could greatly reduce the member of chronically hungry people in the world. Urgent action is therefore needed to make a difference in the lives of millions of rural women whose contributions are vital to the well-being of families, communities, economies, and in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.




Sunday, 13 October 2013

International Day for Disaster Reduction 2013, October 13

9 October 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Persons with Disabilities Central to Disaster Resilience Initiatives, Secretary-General Says in Message for International Observance

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon’s message for the International Day for Disaster Reduction, observed on 13 October:

“Persons with disabilities are the biggest untapped resource for disaster planners around the world.”  These are the words of Firoz Ali Alizada, a double amputee from Afghanistan who responded to a United Nations survey which uncovered scores of stories that speak to the ingenuity and drive of persons with disabilities to manage risk from disasters.

More than 1 billion persons in the world live with a disability.  This year’s commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction is an opportunity to recognize their vital role in fostering resilience.

Unfortunately, most persons with disabilities have never participated in disaster risk management or related planning and decision-making processes.  They suffer disproportionately high levels of disaster-related mortality and injuries.

Early warning systems, public awareness campaigns and other responses often fail to consider the needs of persons with disabilities, putting them at an unnecessarily elevated risk and sending a harmful message of inequality.

We can change this situation by including persons with disabilities in disaster resilience initiatives and policy planning.  The recent General Assembly High-level Meeting on Disability and Development recognized the urgent need for action on this issue, which is also addressed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Inclusion saves lives.  And it empowers persons with disabilities to take ownership of their own safety — and that of their community.  We can already see their potential contribution in the many persons with visible and invisible disabilities around the world who already serve as volunteers and workers helping communities when disaster hits to cope and bounce back.

On the International Day for Disaster Reduction, let us resolve to do everything possible to ensure that all persons with disabilities have the highest possible levels of safety and the greatest possible chance to contribute to the overall well-being of society.  Let us build an inclusive world where persons with disabilities can play an even greater role as resourceful agents of change.

What's New : 

Sunday is the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which this year focuses on the one billion people around the world who live with some form of disability. Find out more and take a look at graphic visualizations of the results of the UNISDR survey on needs of persons with disabilities in disasters: 

Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-prone region of the world. Almost two million people were killed by disasters in the region between 1970 and 2011, representing 75 per cent of global disaster fatalities. A person living in Asia and the Pacific is four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than someone living in Africa, and 25 times more likely than someone living in Europe or North America. In 2011 alone, economic damages and losses from disasters in the region totaled more than $293 billion.
For many policymakers, this is uncharted territory: they are more accustomed to focusing on problems in particular economic or social sectors rather than treating them as systemic wholes. This report "Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Major Economic Crises", which was prepared for the 69th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), provides a comprehensive response to addressing multiple shocks in Asia and the Pacific. It shows how people, organizations, institutions and policymakers can work together to weave resilience into economic, social and environmental policies.

Friday, 11 October 2013

International Day of the Girl Child 2013, October 11

International Day of the Girl Child Theme 2013
Innovating for Girls’ Education


United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013

Empowering girls, ensuring their human rights and addressing the discrimination and violence they face are essential to progress for the whole human family. One of the best ways to achieve all of these goals is to provide girls with the education they deserve.
Yet too many girls in too many countries are held back simply because of their gender. Those whose mother was also deprived of an education, who live in a poor community, or who have a disability face an even steeper climb. Among girls who do make it to school, many face discrimination and violence.
I launched the Global Education First Initiative to accelerate progress in getting every child into school, especially girls. We are aiming to teach more than reading and counting; we are striving to raise global citizens who can rise to the complex challenges of the 21st century.
To achieve meaningful results, we need fresh solutions to girls’ education challenges and we must heed the voices of young people. 
I have heard from girls around the world participating in the consultations for the new Girl Declaration. I resolve to ensure that Global Education First mobilizes all partners to respond to their powerful call for empowerment. 
More broadly, our campaign to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and shape a vision beyond that date must address the concerns and potential of the world’s girls.
On this International Day of the Girl Child, let us work together to invest in education so that girls can advance in their personal development and contribute to our common future.
                                                                                                                      Ban Ki-moon 

 UNICEF Draft 17 June 2013

Innovation: a novel solution to a social problem that is

more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions

The fulfilment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.

While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. Even when girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes. The transformative potential for girls and societies promised through girls’ education is yet to be realized.

Innovation will be an important strategy in addressing the nature and scale of barriers girls continue to face and in ensuring they receive an education commensurate with the challenges of the 21st century. As the world evaluates gaps in achieving the global goals for gender equality in education and defines an agenda post-2015, it is critical that innovation is harnessed to improvise solutions that are not only more creative, but also more effective, efficient, sustainable and just in achieving demonstrable results for improving girls’ education.  

In recognition of the importance of fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2013 will be:  Innovating for Girls’ Education.

Smart and creative use of technology is one route to overcoming gender barriers to girls’ learning and achievement, but innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves, can be important catalyzing forces.  All UN agencies, Member States, civil society organizations, and private sector actors have potential tools to innovate for and with girls to advance their education.  The following are just some of many examples:

·         Improving public and private means of transportation for girls to get to school—from roads, buses, mopeds, bicycles to boats and canoes

·         Engaging young people in monitoring and holding school systems accountable for ensuring the integrity of school facilities and functions and the safety and learning of girls

·         Collaboration between school systems and the banking industry to facilitate secure and convenient pay delivery to female teachers and scholarship delivery to girls

·         Provision of science and technology courses targeted at girls in schools, universities and vocational education programmes

·         Corporate mentorship programmes to help girls acquire critical work and leadership skills and facilitate their transition from school to work

·         Revisions of school curricula to integrate positive messages on gender norms related to violence, child marriage, sexual and reproductive health, and male and female family roles

·         Deploying mobile technology for teaching and learning to reach girls, especially in remote areas

·         Using traditional and social media, advertising and commercial packaging to publicize data on gender disparities in education, the underlying causes, and actions that can be taken for change

The International Day of the Girl Child 2013 will provide a platform to highlight examples such as these – and many more – of ongoing work and achievements, as well as raise awareness of the importance of innovation in advancing girls’ education and promoting learning and empowerment.