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

Friday, 20 December 2013

International Human Solidarity Day 2013, December 20.

International Human Solidarity Day 2013 theme: Bridging the gaps to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for International Human Solidarity Day 2013.

At the dawn of this century, at the Millennium Summit, world leaders reaffirmed their commitment to peace and security, human rights and good governance.  They agreed on a set of time-bound targets, encapsulated in the Millennium Development Goals, to reducing extreme poverty, hunger, needless disease and other global social and environmental ills by 2015.  And they recognized that these objectives demand that we must all practice mutual respect and accept shared responsibility.

This year we mark Human Solidarity Day with the resolve to work together to bridge the remaining gaps to reach the Millennium Development Goals and define the path we will follow after 2015 to achieve a more sustainable future for all.  We all have a role in overcoming today’s economic, political, environmental and social challenges, and we must all share the costs and benefits of sustainable development according to needs and ability.  This is the essence of justice, fairness and equity.  It is the meaning of solidarity.

On this Human Solidarity Day, I urge people from all nations, faiths, cultures and traditions to work together in common cause to keep the promise made at the turn of the Millennium and leave a legacy of peace, prosperity and sustainable progress for generations to come. 

Ban Ki-moon

Día Internacional de la Solidaridad Humana, 20 de diciembre
Международный день солидарности людей, 20 декабря
Journée internationale de la solidarité humaine, 20 décembre
国际人类团结日, 12月20日
 اليوم الدولي للتضامن الإنساني

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

International Migrants Day 2013, December 18

United Nations Secretary-General’s Message for International Migrants Day 2013.

International migration is a powerful tool for reducing poverty and enhancing opportunity. That is why there are now some 232 million international migrants bringing consistent benefits to countries of destination and origin through their essential labour and remittances. Yet, this important population remains largely invisible and unheard in society. Too many live and work in the worst conditions with the least access to basic services and fundamental rights, making them disproportionately vulnerable to extortion, violence, discrimination and marginalization. 
Almost half of migrants are women; one in ten is under the age of 15; forty per cent live in developing countries.  Poor and low-skilled migrants face the highest barriers to social mobility.  The United Nations is acting to safeguard the rights of migrants, lower the social and economic costs of migration, and promote policies that maximize the benefits of mobility.  Migrants should not be forced to risk lives and dignity seeking better lives. Earlier this year, the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, many of whom are migrants, came into force.  And, in October, United Nations Member States called for the post-2015 UN development agenda to take full account of the positive impact of international migration. They also committed to develop a framework for protecting migrants affected by humanitarian crises and recognized the need to facilitate international cooperation to address the challenges of migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner, with full respect for human rights.

On this International Migrants Day, I urge Governments to ratify and implement all core international human rights instruments, including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. And I call on people and Governments everywhere to reject xenophobia and embrace migration as a key enabler for equitable, inclusive and sustainable social and economic development. Migration is a reality of the 21st century. It is essential that we conduct an open debate on this important subject.  Let us make migration work for the benefit of migrants and countries alike. We owe this to the millions of migrants who, through their courage, vitality and dreams, help make our societies more prosperous, resilient and diverse.
Ban Ki-moon

This year was costliest on record for lives of migrants who died while crossing international borders IOM says.

Calculating migrant deaths in border regions is a great challenge and the true number of deaths remains unknown.

For several years I have been saying that migration can be summed up by a series of D words: Demographics, Disasters, Demand, Disparities and Dreams. This year I am adding a new D: Desperation.

 The world watched in horror in October when some 360 African migrants lost their lives within sight of land while attempting to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa. Untold hundreds have perished on the journey from Indonesia to Australia, or off the coast of Thailand. Migrants from Central America are raped, robbed, beaten and killed as they try to enter the USA from Mexico. African migrants die of thirst in the vast desert reaches – their bones the only testimony to their failed journey. Why do people risk their lives and the lives of their families, over and over, every hour of every day when the best that awaits them is a frosty welcome? The answer is simple: Desperation. They fear staying in a land where they face persecution, or where their family starves. That desperation makes the risk of death a gamble they believe worth taking. Migrants face death, danger and disappointment in search of their dreams. They may be materially poor, and lack hope, they may take on massive debts from corrupt recruitment agencies or traffickers and smugglers in the hope of getting to a safe place, for a new start. They are often forced by economics and lack of land to the most dangerous places – the shoreline, the mountain slope, the riverside – and migrate because their shacks are washed away by climate extremes. We believe that 2013 may have been the worst on record for migrant deaths. We will never know the true total, as many migrants died anonymously in deserts, in oceans or other accidents. However, our figures show that at least 2,360 migrants died this year, chasing the dream of a new life. That’s over six a day; one every four hours. We live in an era of unprecedented human mobility, with more people on the move than any other time in recorded history. Natural disasters and conflict are adding to levels of migration: some 5,000 people a day left the Central Philippines following typhoon Haiyan last month. A further 100,000 fled fighting in the Central African Republic in December alone. For the poorest, most desperate migrants, borders have been shut over the years as countries respond to political drumbeats of alarm and move to curtail immigration.

 The paradox is that at a time when one in seven people around the world are migrants in one form or another (and more than 232 million people live outside their country of birth), we are seeing a harsh response to migration in the developed world. The few developed countries that are prepared to increase immigration levels generally want only highly-skilled, knowledge workers. The result is tightened border surveillance and reduced opportunities for would-be migrants. This, combined with political and economic upheaval, drives people into the hands of people smugglers whose unscrupulous trade is the fastest-growing sector in the organized crime world, estimated to be worth $35 billion a year. Migration is as old as humanity but we need to start thinking about it in new, smarter ways.

On this International Day we focus on the well-being and safety of migrants, IOM calls for strengthening of existing policies or develop new ones to protect human rights of those who leave home to seek better opportunities. We are ready to assist our member states and other partners in the development and implementation of those policies. We need measures that will enable employers in countries with labor shortages to access people desperate to work, and we need to ensure that these people are not exploited or exposed to gender based violence. We must work in a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach in the best interests of countries, communities and people, in particular migrants themselves. I am not naïve. Managing migration is complicated and we may need hybrid scenarios. Short-term migration visas, seasonal visas, portable social welfare – all these things are being pioneered in different parts of the world and I believe they are moves in the right direction. In 2016 there will be a World Humanitarian Summit: IOM will be asking how the global humanitarian community can ensure that political upheaval, economic stress and natural calamities do not always lead to a second round of challenges whereby desperate migrants, abandoned to their fate, are forced to take desperate measures.

On the occasion of International Migrants Day, the UN Human Rights Office and the International Labour Organization launch a series of cartoons to challenge myths and encourage a positive public perception of migration.
ILO/OHCHR Cartoon key messages

“The public debate is dominated by xenophobic attitudes and discrimination, both in and outside the workplace,” said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a joint statement.

Reject Xenophobia, Embrace Migration as Key Development Enabler, United Nations Secretary-General Says in Message on International Migrants Day 2013.

United Nations Audio Library : Special event on the occasion of the International Migrants Day on “Classroom conversation on migration and development”

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

International Mountain Day 2013, December 11

 The theme 2013 is 'Mountains - Key to a Sustainable Future'

 Join the Forum : 11 december is International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day (IMD) is meant raise awareness about the importance of mountains, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world's mountains and highlands.

For more on the challenges of sustainable development in mountain regions, the importance of mountain ecosystems and FAO's related work, read the articles and fact sheets featured in this Focus. 

 Related Links

Monday, 9 December 2013

Human Rights Day 2013, December 10

United Nations Secretary-General's Message



Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of the adoption by the General Assembly of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This year’s observance also marks 20 years since a bold step forward in the struggle to make rights a reality for all: the adoption by the World Conference on Human Rights of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.  Drawing on the participation of more than 800 non-governmental organizations, national institutions, treaty bodies and academics, Member States adopted a far-reaching vision and created the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – thereby realizing one of the international community’s long-held dreams.

In OHCHR’s two decades of existence, five dedicated High Commissioners have spearheaded the work of the United Nations to further human rights globally.  Through a wide range of norms and mechanisms, OHCHR advocates for victims, presses States to live up to their obligations, supports human rights experts and bodies, and -- through presences in 61 countries -- helps States to develop their human rights capacity.
Promoting human rights is one of the core purposes of the United Nations, and the Organization has pursued this mission since its founding.  Then, as now, the key to success is the political will of Member States. It is States, in the first instance, that are obliged to protect human rights and prevent violations at a national level, and to stand up when other States fail to live up to their commitments.  This is not always easy, and over the past 20 years we have seen genocide and many other appalling and large-scale violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Improving how the UN system prevents and reacts to impending catastrophes is at the heart of a new initiative, the Rights Up Front Action Plan. The Plan aims to ensure the UN system and all staff recognize the central place of human rights in the Organization’s collective responsibilities.  Above all, it seeks to strengthen our responses to widespread abuses and prevent such situations from arising in the first place through an emphasis on rights-based early warning and action. 

On Human Rights Day, I call on States to fulfil the promises they made at the Vienna Conference.  I reiterate the commitment of the UN Secretariat, funds and programmes to vigilance and courage in the face of human rights violations.  Finally, I pay tribute to one of the great symbols of human rights of our time: Nelson Mandela, whose passing has plunged the world into sorrow but whose lifelong commitment to human dignity, equality, justice and compassion will forever remain an inspiration as we continue to build a world of all human rights for all.

Ban Ki-moon
Join the Forum  Human Rights Day - December 10 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

International Anti-Corruption Day 2013, December 9

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013

Corruption suppresses economic growth by driving up costs, and undermines the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.  It breaches fundamental human rights, exacerbates poverty and increases inequality by diverting funds from health care, education and other essential services.  The malignant effects of corruption are felt by billions of people everywhere.  It is driven by and results in criminal activity, malfunctioning state institutions and weak governance. 

Good governance is critical for sustainable development, and vital in combating organized crime.  Every link in the trafficking chain is vulnerable to corruption, from the bribes paid to corrupt officials by dealers in arms and drugs to the fraudulent permits and licenses used to facilitate the illicit trade in natural resources. 
Corruption is also rife in the world of sport and business, and in public procurement processes.  In the last decade, the private sector has increasingly recognized its role in fighting corruption.  A Call to Action launched by the United Nations Global Compact and partners is mobilizing businesses and Governments to engage in transparent procurement.  Guidelines are also being developed to help business fight corruption in sport sponsorship and hospitality.

The UN is strongly committed to fulfilling its own obligations.  Operating in some of the world’s most unstable environments, the UN faces multifaceted corruption risks that can undermine our efforts to advance development, peace and human rights.  We have developed a robust system of internal controls and continue to remain vigilant and work hard to set an example of integrity.

Corruption is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and needs to be taken into account in defining and implementing a robust post-2015 development agenda.  The UN Convention against Corruption, adopted 10 years ago, is the paramount global framework for preventing and combating corruption.  Full implementation depends crucially on effective prevention, law enforcement, international cooperation and asset recovery.  On this International Anti-Corruption Day, I urge Governments, the private sector and civil society to take a collective stand against this complex social, political and economic disease that affects all countries.  To achieve an equitable, inclusive and more prosperous future for all, we must foster a culture of integrity, transparency, accountability and good governance.

 Día Internacional contra la Corrupción, 9 de diciembre                                                                         - Tema para 2013: Cero corrupción - 100% Desarrollo

 Journée Internationale de la lutte contre la Corruption, 9 Décembre                                            - Zéro corruption - 100% Développement


国际反腐败日, 12月9日

Международный день борьбы с коррупцией, 9 декабря 


Resources : 

Join the Forum " Zero Corruption - 100% Development."
People often think that they are at the mercy of corruption and that it is just a “way of life”. However, every society, sector and citizen would benefit from saying “NO” to this crime.

Here are some examples of how you can say “NO” to corrruption.

Zero Corruption - 100% Development - Government officials, Policy-makers and Civil Servants can fight corruption and ...

Zero Corruption - 100% Development. NGOs (Non-Governmental organizations) and Civil society can fight corruption and ...

Zero Corruption - 100% Development. The Media and Social Media Today can fight corruption and ...

Zero Corruption - 100% Development. The Private-sector can fight corruption and ...

Zero Corruption - 100% Development. Trade union can fight corruption and ...

Zero Corruption - 100% Development. Everybody can fight corruption and..


Friday, 6 December 2013

International Civil Aviation Day 2013, December 7

 To celebrate International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD) for 2013, an occasion which helps to commemorate the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on 7 December 1944, the UN civil aviation body announced today that the 2013 ICAD theme has been confirmed by its Governing Council as:
Evolving to Meet the Challenges of 21st Century Air Transport
“This theme recognizes the significant re-evaluations which ICAO and the entire air transport sector are now undertaking, as aviation seeks to forge wider consensus and practical strategic planning to address its imminent challenges,” remarked ICAO’s Council President, Roberto Kobeh González. 
And those challenges will be many. In line with aviation’s historic role as a critical driver of economic and social development, the global air transport network is presently projected to double in size by 2030. This means that the 30 million flights it now manages annually will grow to 60 million over the next 16 years, while the total annual passengers served will rise to 6 billion from today’s 3 billion.
For ICAO, air transport’s evolution will have important impacts on all of its key areas of strategic priority, which were recently confirmed by the 38th ICAO Assembly as: Safety; Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency; Security and Facilitation; the Economic Development of Air Transport; and Environmental Protection
Accordingly, ICAO’s ongoing Safety and Air Navigation global plan roll-outs, the fostering of more effective, affordable and therefore sustainable security and facilitation solutions, its revisions to applicable economic policy tools and frameworks and its progress on a varied range of environmental programmes will all play important roles in how the UN agency continues to evolve for its States over the near-term. 
The 2013 theme is also seen as supporting ICAO’s ongoing formalization of more comprehensive, cooperative ties with relevant stakeholders in support of its global goals, in addition to reinforcing the realities of the contemporary public sector funding environment and the Organization’s fine-tuning of its internal operations to become more efficient.
“Innovation, imagination and flexibility will be critical to our internal and external success as we continue to adapt to a very rapidly changing world,” stressed ICAO Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin. “And ICAO is well on its way to establishing these values as permanent aspects of our working and planning environments.”

Background notes for editors:
° ICAO Assembly Resolution A29-1 (1994) first declared 7 December International Civil Aviation Day.
° Pursuant to a further ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Government of Canada, in 1996, the United Nations General Assembly recognized  7 December as International Civil Aviation Day through an official resolution.

ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin's Keynote Address to ICAN2013

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013, December 3.

- Theme: "Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all" 

Opening ceremony at the United Nations Headquarter in New York.


- United Nations Enable Theatre performance: “Breaking through the barriers”
- Panel discussion on “Mental well-being, disability and development”
 - United Nations Enable Film: “Gold: You can do more than you think”
- Panel discussion on “WIPO Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works, intellectual property and the inclusion of persons who are visually impaired or otherwise print disabled”

Persons with disabilities must be able to reap benefits of development, UN officials stress.

3 December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. P.Brown/ILO

There are at least one billion people with disabilities across the globe around 785 million of whom are of working age, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) chief Guy Ryder says in a message marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

But he says while they represent a large, diverse pool of talent, too many are denied the dignity of work.

“The ILO promotes decent and productive work for all, including people with disabilities. Experience tells us that more often than not, they can perform the same tasks as the non-disabled. To have a fair chance they need access to skills and entrepreneurship development programmes, as well as to business development services and credit. The doors of enterprises and workplaces must also be open to them. All together such measures will greatly help jobseekers with disabilities to compete successfully in their search for decent work, and entrepreneurs to develop viable, sustainable businesses.”  (44″)

Ryder says the ILO aims to integrate disability issues in all relevant areas of its work:  from the promotion of international labour standards…to knowledge development and research; advocacy and technical cooperation.

He says the situation of women and men with disabilities in the labour market is a cause for concern as they are far less likely than non-disabled people to be employed.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.
Duration:   1’28″

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2013, November 29

Join the Forum : November 29 - International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the problems of the Middle East.