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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Nelson Mandela International Day, July 18

Message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "This year’s commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day comes at a moment of deep reflection on the life and work of Madiba, as the universally revered leader remains in the hospital."



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Nelson Mandela’s achievements came at great personal cost to himself and his family. His sacrifice not only served the people of his own nation, South Africa, but made the world a better place for all people, everywhere… He showed the way. He changed the world.
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Take Action!  Inspire Change

pledge card Can you spare 67 minutes of your time helping others?
Every year, on Mandela Day, people around the world are asked by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to do just that.
By devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mr. Mandela’s public service – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.
UN staff around the world have made a difference through a variety of activities in the past – from offering school supplies to children, to preparing meals for the elderly, helping out in an orphanage, cleaning up parks, and delivering computer literacy workshops.
In New York, UN staff will volunteer their time on 17 and 18 July 2013 to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy last fall.
Last year, staff from UN Headquarters in New York volunteered at the Bowery Mission, preparing and serving food to homeless men and women.
In New York, the previous year, visitors to the Nelson Mandela International Day interactive exhibit at UN Headquarters were invited to make their own pledge to devote 67 minutes of their time to public service.
If you would like to donate your own time to public service, here are some things you can do to take action and inspire change:
  • Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.
  • Read to someone who can’t. Visit a local home for the blind and open up a new world for someone else.
  • Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs without homes still need a walk and a bit of love.
  • Help someone get a job. Put together and print a CV for them, or help them with their interview skills.
  • Many terminally ill people have no one to speak to. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
  • Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner to do so too.
  • Take someone you know, who can’t afford it, to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked.
  • Donate a wheelchair or guide dog, to someone in need.
  • Buy a few blankets, or grab the ones you no longer need from home and give them to someone in need.
To see all 67 suggestions for action, visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation site.

International Criminal Justice Day 2013 : Statement from the ICC President

Statement from the ICC President: International Criminal Justice Day

 

 

The International Criminal Justice Day is commemorated on 17 July.

THE HAGUE, Netherland, July 16, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Statement from the ICC President: International Criminal Justice Day:

Fifteen years ago, on 17 July 1998, history was made. Gathered in Rome, Italy, the international community agreed on the creation of a permanent international court with a mandate to punish the perpetrators of the most inhumane crimes imaginable and to provide reparations to the victims of such acts.
By adopting the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the world embarked upon an audacious plan to create a global justice system based on international cooperation aimed at holding accountable those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Many said that this was an impossible task, that the adversity could not be overcome. But the global justice project proved strong. The International Criminal Court (ICC) today is a vibrant, independent international organizationwith122 member states – and many more have expressed their intention to join.
With eight on-going investigations, eight preliminary examinations, and the issuance of 23 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear, the ICC is undertaking more investigations and conducting more proceedings involving more suspects than ever before.
More than 12,000 applications for participation in proceedings as a victim and more than 9,000 applications for reparations were received. More than 5,000 victims are participating in ICC proceedings, giving them a voice in the courtroom. The Trust Fund for Victims is providing support to an estimated 80,000 victims of crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction.
The story of the International Criminal Court gives us hope; it is proof that audacious goals can be achieved.
While we have come a long way, we cannot afford complacency. Make no mistake – the ICC faces threats today as real as ever before. There are those who seek to undermine the international justice movement, who politicise its action, who question its value, and who purport to speak for the victims it serves. There are those who refuse to cooperate, leaving more than ten ICC suspects still at large.
That is why on this day – 17 July – it is worth pausing to gather our resolve and to affirm why we must not waiver in pursuit of justice.
We do this because we recognise the power of justice to bring a measure of peace to the thousands of children, women and men who have been made victims by crimes we do not dare to imagine, who have borne suffering we cannot bear to comprehend.
We do this because we know that accountability deters crime, and that we have a duty to the future generations who deserve to live their lives free from fear.
We do this because we know that assertions of power through violence and brutality can be no way to a negotiating table, or a seat in the international community.
As expressed by many international personalities, the ICC’s presence is felt around the globe, encouraging domestic authorities to pursue accountability, pushing groups to renounce violence and embrace political solutions, and deterring leaders from the commission of grave atrocities.
Ensuring accountability is a process which we must pursue ceaselessly, and on this day, I am thankful to the people without whom justice would never persevere.
I am thankful to the victims for their endurance, support and participation. I am thankful to the witnesses who make tremendous sacrifices so that the truth can be revealed, and accountability brought to bear. I am thankful to civil society for their tireless efforts to build support and move us forward, and I am thankful to the leaders and diplomats who hear their voices, and translate their words into action.
International criminal justice is not owned by any one culture, nor driven by any one people. It is an ideal which is intensely human; it is why the International Criminal Court has been embraced across all the world’s continents.
We have travelled a long way down the path of accountability, but it is a journey which will never be complete. We see obstacles on our way, but know they will be overcome. We have always moved forward, and we take no backward steps, because our eyes are fixed on the cause, because we travel this path together, and because we do so with conviction.
I am honoured to have your company on the road.

SOURCE
International Criminal Court (ICC)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

World Population Day 2013 focus on Adolescent Pregnancy.

World Population Day 2013 Focuses on Adolescent Pregnancy

UNFPA Executive Director: adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it's a development issue
- See more at: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/14426#sthash.JySdDME7.dpuf

The United Nations Population Fund is the lead agency in the UN system supporting national efforts to conduct censuses, particularly in developing countries. A census is among the most important and complex peace-time exercises a nation can undertake. Read more on data for development: http://bit.ly/GBDqWX




United Nations Secretary General --
MESSAGE ON WORLD POPULATION DAY
11 July 2013

            As a staunch advocate of the education, health and rights of girls and an enduring believer in the power of young women to transform our world, I welcome the focus of this year’s World Population Day on adolescent pregnancy. This sensitive topic demands global attention.

            Far too many of the estimated 16 million teenage girls who give birth each year never had the opportunity to plan their pregnancy. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth can cause grave disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, and are the leading cause of death for these vulnerable young women. Adolescent girls also face high levels of illness, injury and death due to unsafe abortion.

            To address these problems, we must get girls into primary school and enable them to receive a good education through their adolescence. When a young girl is educated, she is more likely to marry later, delay childbearing until she is ready, have healthier children, and earn a higher income.

            We must also provide all adolescents with age-appropriate, comprehensive education on sexuality. This is especially important to empowering young women to decide when and if they wish to become mothers. In addition, we must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that cover family planning and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. And we must guarantee the maternal health services that women need.

When we devote attention and resources to the education, health and wellbeing of adolescent girls, they will become an even greater force for positive change in society that will have an impact for generations to come. On this World Population Day, let us pledge to support adolescent girls to realize their potential and contribute to our shared future.

Ban Ki-moon




Message from the Executive Director of UNFPA
English | Français | Españolعربي



There are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. They are shaping humanity’s present and future. The opportunities and choices girls have during adolescence will enable them to begin adulthood as empowered, active citizens.

 With the right skills and opportunities, they can invest in themselves, in their families and their communities. However, pregnancy jeopardizes the rights, health, education and potential of far too many adolescent girls, robbing them of a better future.

About 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.

 Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it is a development issue. It is deeply rooted in poverty, gender inequality, violence, child and forced marriage, power imbalances between adolescent girls and their male partners, lack of education, and the failure of systems and institutions to protect their rights. To bring these issues to global attention, this year’s World Population Day is focusing on adolescent pregnancy.

Breaking the cycle of adolescent pregnancy requires commitment from nations, communities and individuals in both developed and developing countries to invest in adolescent girls. Governments should enact and enforce national laws that raise the age of marriage to 18 and should promote community-based efforts that support girls’ rights and prevent child marriage and its consequences.

Adolescents and youth must be provided with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect their health throughout their lives. However, education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available in order for adolescents to make informed choices and be healthy.

At the local level, communities should provide the infrastructure to deliver reproductive health care in a youth-friendly and sensitive way.

Underlying all these efforts is the understanding that the dignity and human rights of adolescent girls must be respected, protected and fulfilled. Today, we call on governments, the international community and all stakeholders involved to take measures that enable adolescent girls to make responsible life choices and to provide the necessary support for them in cases when their rights are threatened. Every young girl, regardless of where she lives, or her economic circumstances, has the right to fulfil her human potential. Today, too many girls are denied that right. We can change that, and we must.



Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Adolescent Girls
English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي    

Videos : World Population Day 2013 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

International Day of Co-operatives 2013, July 6


United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013 :

We live in a time of global uncertainty.  Multiple crises and natural disasters are testing even the most robust economies and communities.  The International Day of Cooperatives is an annual opportunity to highlight how cooperatives can contribute to building resilience in all regions and all economic sectors.
Over the course of the ongoing global financial and economic crises, financial cooperatives have proven their strength and resilience, benefitting members, employees and customers.  They have maintained high credit ratings, increased assets and turnover, and expanded their membership and customer base.
After disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, cooperatives have shown their ability to mobilize solidarity for reconstruction.  Agricultural cooperatives improve the productivity of farmers by facilitating access to markets, credit, insurance and technology.  Social cooperatives can provide an important safety net in the face of declining or minimal public welfare.  They also show considerable potential for empowering youth and alleviating the growing global youth jobs crisis. 
On this International Day of Cooperatives, I call on Governments to encourage policies to support and strengthen cooperatives so they can contribute fully to inclusive and sustainable development.

Ban Ki-moon
ICA first celebrated the International Day in 1923. The International Day is now run in partnership with the UN and the UN asks all member governments to participate in the celebrations each year.
The International Day has a different theme each year. Themes in recent years have included 'Co-operative enterprises build a better world' in 2012, ‘Youth, the future of co-operative enterprise’ in 2011 and ‘Co-operative enterprise empowers women’ in 2010. Co-operatives around the world celebrate the Day in many different ways, seeking to gain media coverage and public awareness at a local and national level.
UN International Day of Co-operatives, 6 July 2013 "Cooperative enterprise remains strong in times of crisis" - "La coopérative une entreprise qui reste forte en temps de crise" - "La empresa cooperativa se mantiene fuerte en tiempos de crisis".


This year's theme links to the global economic crisis and how many co-operatives are resilient to the effects of the crisis compared to shareholder businesses.