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

Thursday, 21 November 2013

World Fisheries day 2013, November 21

World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities. This day is celebrated through rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, dramas, exhibition, music show, and demonstrations to highlight the importance of maintaining the world's fisheries. World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean.

Join the Forum : Discussions on World Fisheries Day.

 From Sea to Source : Internationa Guidance for the restoration of fish migration highways.

 Under the 'Voices of Fishers' project conducted in relation to the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security , the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) produced a number of testimonies from fishing communities. Members from fishing communities around the world were asked to talk about their perceptions on issues relating to tenure and rights over fisheries and riparian lands on which they live.

 A selection of these from India, Panama, South Africa, Spain and Thailand is made available:

World Philosophy Day 2013, November 21

 World Philosophy Day 2013 theme: Inclusive Societies, Sustainable Planet.
Join the  forum :  Discussions on World Philosophy Day - November 21

Celebrated every year on the third Thursday of November, the World Philosophy Day will be held in 2013 on Thursday, 21 November. The day after the closure of the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, the celebration will be a unique opportunity to reflect on the greatest contemporary challenge, to which UNESCO and the entire United Nations system seeks to respond, namely: building inclusive societies on a sustainable planet.

Celebrated on 21 November 2013, the 11th edition of the World Philosophy Day will be an opportunity to organize, on all continents, various events under the general theme of the 2013 World Philosophy Day “Inclusive Societies, Sustainable Planet”. They will enable their participants to share a multitude of views and experiences, fully respecting cultural diversity.

At UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the celebration will be marked by the organization of a round table on the topic of the Day - “Inclusive Societies, Sustainable Planet”, which will welcome, on 21 November 2013, from 11am to 1pm, distinguished philosophers and scholars of international repute, including Ms Tannella Boni (Côte d'Ivoire), Ioanna Kuçuradi (Turkey) and Yves Charles Zarka (France).

Opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, this round table - moderated by Ali Benmakhlouf (Morocco), Professor of Arab Philosophy at the University of Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (France) - will be directly related to a subject which is at the heart of public debates around the world and within the United Nations: the growing inequalities between rich and poor within many countries and between countries and sustainable development.

Participants in the round table will discuss the concepts of social justice, solidarity, exclusion and inclusion in different societies, as well as issues related to the vulnerability of various groups - including women, children, young people, people with disabilities, minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees, people living in poverty - and the interfaces between these issues and sustainable development.

Together, they will explore such questions as: are there moral or ethical principles to be taken into account in public policies aimed at combatting exclusion and building inclusive societies? If there are such principles, how can philosophy contribute to identifying them?

Over two days of the following week, on 26 and 27 November, UNESCO House will also host a series of events which echo the main themes of the 2013 World Philosophy Day “Inclusive Societies, Sustainable Planet”, including 
building inclusive societies on a sustainable planet..

On 26 November, UNESCO will organize a round table on “Thinking the Anthropocene” which will discuss, from the philosophical and ethical perspective, issues related to the new role of human beings as a force of nature which has pushed the Earth into a new geological era referred to by scientists as the “Anthropocene”. The round table will be held with the participation of philosophers who have written extensively about the Anthropocene, including Clive Hamilton (Australia) and Christophe Bonneuil (France).

This round table will be followed by the opening of a contemporary art exhibition, specially put together for World Philosophy Day 2013 by the French association Coalition for Art and Sustainable Development - COAL. This exhibition entitled “Adapting in the Anthropocene” will present projects by the artists nominated for the COAL Art & Environment Prize 2013, as well as for the COAL Prize in previous years, and will be open to the public from 25 to 29 November 2013. It will feature several artistic projects that capture major societal and contemporary environmental issues and contribute to the emergence of a new culture of nature and ecology.

On 26 and 27 November 2013, UNESCO Headquarters will also host the 13th International Workshop on New Philosophical Practices. Organized by the French association Philolab, and many other partners, in cooperation with the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO, these meetings will explore new philosophical practices in schools and in the city, and, at the same time, implement them.

Furthermore, on 26 and 27 November, UNESCO will host of the 13th International Meeting on New Philosophical Practices (NPP). Organized by the French association Philolab and in cooperation with UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector and other partners, the NPP events will explore the developments of New Philosophical Practices in schools and in the city.

Finally, on 27 November 2013, an international round table entitled "Paul Ricoeur: Ethical Knowledge", organized by the Paul Ricoeur Fund, in cooperation with the Sector for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO, will pay tribute to one the greatest French philosophers of the twentieth century, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth with the participation of philosophers who are recognized experts in the work of Ricoeur: Tasso Beatriz Contreras (Chile); André Duhamel (Canada); Peter Kemp (Denmark); and Claire Marin ( France ).

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Philosophy Day 2013


21 November 2013
25-29 November 2013
26 November 2013
26-27 November 2013
27 November 2013
Organizer UNESCO - Social and Human Sciences Sector
Programme :
Contact : John Crowley,

Key Documents

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

WORLD TELEVISION DAY 2013, November 21.

WORLD TELEVISION DAY occurs annually on November 21th.

Join the Forum : World Television Day - November 21.

In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day (through resolution 51/205 of 17 December 1996).

World Television Day is not so much a celebration of the tool, but rather the philosophy which it represents. Television represents a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world.

Three men looking at a wall of television monitors

UNTV programmes being prepared for shipment to television stations in many parts of the world.
01 November 1957. UN Photo

 Imagine for a moment that, as of tomorrow, your television set stopped working. What’s the first thing you’d miss? Your favourite drama series? Staying in touch with the news? Seeing your sports club in action?

Maybe. But TV’s importance in society goes deeper than that. Television is a medium that improves the world, triggers imagination, raises curiosity, encourages education and gathers millions around common interests.

We believe in television as a medium that does good, we believe in television as a medium that triggers imagination, arises curiosity, encourages education and gathers millions around common interests. Here are nine good reasons why we should celebrate television today.

° TV has authority :

Today information is everywhere. But television has a particular authority. If you see something on TV, you know that millions of others are also seeing it, and that it has been verified, produced and created by professionals. That’s why television remains the most popular and trusted platform for news, culture, sports and entertainment.

° TV creates communities :

Great television programmes create communities around them. TV shows, live events and news make animated conversation for friends, family and colleagues. They bind people together and trigger reactions on social networks..

° TV inspires the mind :

Television is a fantastic educational tool. It broadens knowledge of different cultures, promotes tolerance and global understanding of international issues. Through current affairs, discovery, lifestyle, cooking shows and children’s programmes, television encourages scientific and cultural curiosity.

° TV delivers quality :

Thanks to the hard work of talented people on and off-screen, building on decades of experience and on new ways of working and communicating with audiences, the production quality of television programming has never been better than it is today.

° TV gives a voice to good causes :

Thanks to its unrivalled reach and emotional power, television enables effective calls for action during humanitarian crises, natural disasters and social emergencies. It reaches out to society through programmes and communication campaigns on environment, healthy eating, physical activity, responsible sexual attitudes and responsible alcohol consumption, and many others.

° TV goes hand-in-hand with sport

Without television, professional sport would be unrecognisable. Millions enjoy watching live sport every week from all parts of the world in ever-higher picture quality, and enjoy the sense of unity that sports coverage creates. Televised sport has other benefits: it promotes sport’s values and ethics, and it inspires people to follow healthy role models.

° TV stimulates the economy :

The global media sector of which television is a major part employs millions of skilled workers across the world; over 1.2 million people are estimated to work in the audiovisual sector in the European Union alone*. In addition, the success of commercial television as an advertising medium generates revenue which can be reinvested in even more great programming for viewers.

° TV embraces the digital age :

Consumers now have more opportunities to enjoy television content than ever before. Viewers can watch on multiple screens and interact within fan communities and social platforms. The social television experience is completed with exclusive online content, pre-release of sequences before linear-TV broadcast, digital video interviews, making of videos, backstage photos and many others.

° TV reaches consumers & builds brands :

Television ensures that consumers know about new products, services, ideas and projects. It strengthens the position of existing brands and reassures consumers about the choices they make.

Africa Industrialization Day 2013, 20 November

Día de la Industrialización de África, 20 de noviembre.
El tema de 2013 es: «La creación de empleos y el desarrollo empresarial: un medio para acelerar la industrialización de África»

День индустриализации Африки, 20 ноября.
Тема Дня в 2013 году: создание рабочих мест и развитие предпринимательской деятельности как способ активизации процесса индустриализации Африки.

Journée de l’industrialisation de l’Afrique, 20 novembre.
Thème 2013 : Création d’emplois et développement de l’entreprenariat comme moyen visant à accélérer l’industrialisation en Afrique.

Africa Industrialization Day, 20 November.
Theme 2013: Job creation and entrepreneurship development: a means to accelerate industrialisation in Africa

非洲工业化日, 11月20日.
موضوع عام 2013: خلق فرص عمل وتنمية المشاريع الصغيرة لدفع عجلة التصنيع في أفريقيا


2013, Year of Pan Africanism and African Renaissance. - Celebrating Success - Afric's voice over 50 Years (1963-2013)

United Nations Secretary-General's Message for Africa Industrialization Day 2013

Job creation and entrepreneurship development: a means to accelerate industrialisation in Africa

On this year’s Africa Industrialization Day, we are highlighting the crucial role of job creation and entrepreneurship in eradicating poverty.
Although Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies – with growth across a variety of sectors – too many people are still being left behind.  The region is affected by widespread unemployment – particularly among youth.  Many, especially women, are engaged in vulnerable forms of work with low and unstable pay.
As we strive to meet the Millennium Development Goals and shape the post-2015 agenda, we must address the challenges of joblessness, youth unemployment and the shortcomings of a large informal economy.  By focusing on job creation, entrepreneurship and the promotion of small and medium enterprises, we can boost inclusive and sustainable industrial development across the continent.
Africa’s economic dynamism, young population and potential for innovation form the foundation for stronger and competitive industries. As we mark this 50th anniversary year of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations renews our commitment to Africa’s development and the African Union’s efforts to achieve inclusive growth. 
Let us work together to foster job creation and entrepreneurship throughout the continent as critical ways to build a more prosperous and sustainable future for all.
Ban Ki-moon 

 This year’s Africa Industrialisation Day highlights the crucial role of job creation and entrepreneurship in eradicating poverty and will be observed in New York on 22 November 2013.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Universal Children's Day 2013, November 20th.

By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

In 2000 world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. UNICEF notes that six of the eight goals relate directly to children and meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.

At the 2013 UN Treaty Event, which were held 24–26, and 30 September and 1 October at New York Headquarters, United Nations officials urged Member States, which have not done so, to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Child and its three Optional Protocols, stressing that this is vital to protect children from abuse and mistreatment worldwide.


Additional Resources

UN Global Issues - Children
MDG Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
MDG Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health
Voices of Youth
UNICEF and Say Yes for children
UN Study on Violence against Children (UNICEF | OHCHR)
UN Special Session on Children
GA on Children
World Summit for Children
The UN Works for Children
Securing the future – advocating for children (UNAIDS)

Int'l Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2013, November 25th.

WHO report into violence against women: key data.

A new report from the World Health Organisation has drawn together data from dozens of studies and found that worldwide, 35% of women have experienced violence - and that the consequences for their health can be devastating.

 Health consequences ;

The report catalogues the disastrous consequences that violence has on women's physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health. Many of these are complex and not immediately evident, but their impact is often enormous. Non-fatal injuries are one of the most direct effects of violence.

The report uses the USA as an example where half of women in abusive relationships are physically injured by their partners and that most of them sustain multiple types of injuries - the head, neck and face being the most common, followed by muscular, skeletal and genital injuries.

Several studies identified that women with a history of intimate partner violence are 16% more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby and twice as likely to report having had an induced abortion - nearly half of which globally take place in unsafe conditions.

What's more, when compared with women who have not experienced partner violence, those that have are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV. Every study that looked at the relationship between intimate partner violence and harmful alcohol use found a positive correlation between the two - although substance abuse may also be linked mental health disorders which also increase a woman's vulnerability to violence. Depression and suicide was also consistently cited as a severe health consequence of violence against women. Traumatic stress is the mechanism most likely to explain the fact that depression rates are double for women who have experienced violence.

World Toilet Day 2013, November 19.

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

Each year, more than 800,000 children under five die needlessly from diarrhoea – more than one child a minute. Countless others fall seriously ill, with many suffering long-term health and developmental consequences.  Poor sanitation and hygiene are the primary cause. Worldwide, some 2.5 billion people lack the benefits of adequate sanitation. More than 1 billion people practice open defecation. We must break the taboos and make sanitation for all a global development priority.

This first official observance by the United Nations of World Toilet Day is an opportunity to highlight this important topic.  Sanitation is central to human and environmental health. It is essential for sustainable development, dignity and opportunity. Poor water and sanitation cost developing countries around $260 billion a year -- 1.5 per cent of their gross domestic product. On the other hand, every dollar invested can bring a five-fold return by keeping people healthy and productive. When schools offer decent toilets, 11 per cent more girls attend. When women have access to a private latrine, they are less vulnerable to assault. 
Despite the compelling moral and economic case for action on sanitation, progress has been too little and too slow. That is why I launched a Call to Action on Sanitation this year to end open defecation by 2025 and build on existing efforts such as Sanitation and Water for All and the Sanitation Drive to 2015, the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

We are a long way from achieving the MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people lacking adequate sanitation. We must urgently step up our efforts, with all actors working together for rapid, tangible results. And as we look beyond 2015, it is essential that sanitation is placed at the heart of the post-2015 development framework. The solutions need not be expensive or technology-driven. There are many successful models that can be replicated and scaled up. We must also work to educate at-risk communities and change cultural perceptions and long-standing practices that have no place in our modern world.
By working together – and by having an open and frank discussion on the importance of toilets and sanitation – we can improve the health and well-being of one-third of the human family. That is the goal of World Toilet Day.
Ban Ki-moon

 Forum : Discussion on the importance of toilets

 The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Jan Eliasson, explains that one third of humanity lacks access to improved sanitation, such as toilets or latrine, leading to dramatic consequences on human health, dignity and security, but also on the environment, and on social and economic development.

World COPD Day 2013, November 20.

World COPD Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the world. World COPD Day 2013 will take place on November 20 around the theme “It’s Not Too Late.”

News & Events From Around the World

Updated GOLD Documents now available!
                      Click here for the 2013 versions.
                      Click here for an updated version of the GOLD Teaching Slide Set.

GOLD mobile app launched!

GOLD's mobile app for physicians is now available in the iTunes App Store. Doctot GOLD COPD Strategy provides the GOLD strategy for assessing and treating COPD in a user-friendly and easily navigable format with interactive tables and charts. Physicians can easily record patient answers to questions about symptoms and functional status, and the app automatically generates and categorizes the patient's score on the Combined Assessment of COPD Scale.
                      Visit the Doctot GOLD COPD Strategy page in the iTunes App Store for more information.
Online CME module about GOLD from the European Respiratory Society:
                      Click here to find out more

Saturday, 16 November 2013

International Day for Tolerance 2013, November 16th.



United Nations Secretary-General's Message for International Day of Tolerance 2013.

We are living through a period of global transition.  New centres of power and economic dynamism are emerging.  Technology is connecting us ever more closely, and cross-cultural exchanges are deepening every day – but this does not mean there is more understanding.  Societies are more diverse but intolerance is on the rise in too many places.
Across the globe, nations and communities face profound and enduring economic, social and environmental challenges.  Poverty, hunger and disease remain at unacceptable levels.  Every region is experiencing the rising impact of climate change.  Natural disasters are a constant reminder of human vulnerability.  Conflicts and inter-community tensions persist across the globe.  Millions face the daily threat of violence and displacement.
There are no individual solutions to these multifaceted and inter-related challenges.  We can only advance as a community of nations and cultures, drawing on human solidarity and recognizing that we share a common destiny.  This is why tolerance is so important.
 Tolerance is not passive.  It demands an active choice to reach out on the basis of mutual understanding and respect, especially where disagreement exists.  Tolerance means recognizing that our diversity is a strength – a wellspring of creativity and renewal for all societies.
Tolerance can, and must, be learned.  We need to teach girls and boys not just how to live together but how to act together as global citizens.  We need to nurture tolerance by promoting cultural understanding and respect – from parliaments to the playground.  We need to tackle growing inequality and reject social exclusion based on gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, and ethnic or religious background. 
Tolerance is the strongest foundation for peace and reconciliation.  At this time of rapid and often bewildering change, it has never been so important.  On this International Day, I call on national and community leaders – and all those who wield influence through traditional and social media and among their peers – to embrace tolerance as the bond that will unite us on our common journey to a peaceful, sustainable future.
                                                                                                                                     Ban Ki-moon


International Day of Tolerance 2013 - Statement by the President of the 68th session of the General Assembly

As we commemorate this International Day for Tolerance let us reflect on the goals and commitments on global tolerance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
The mission of the United Nations is to serve humanity and to advance the quality of life and well-being of people across the globe. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of principles nearly twenty years ago that was designed to promote cultural diversity. It also declared this day in November as a time for renewing our commitment to tolerance.
As President of the 68th General Assembly, I call on all member States to support initiatives that foster respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, races and religions. We must actively seek ways to reduce violence, especially against women and children, and to cultivate respect for diversity as a central part of the post-2015 development agenda.
Intolerance, inequity and poverty are often intertwined and I am inspired by the courage and hope of those who live in these dire conditions. I call on the international community of nations to remain actively engaged in the global struggle against intolerance and to foster understanding, acceptance and mutual respect between people the world over.

John W. Ashe 

International Day of Tolerance 2013 - UNESCO Director-General's Message 

The International Day for Tolerance is an opportunity for each of us to renew our commitment to practicing tolerance and promoting harmony. Globalizing quickly, the world is also increasingly fragile. This is why every day, in every society, we need to build new bridges of tolerance, trust and understanding.
This takes commitment and time. We must begin with quality education, to combat ignorance, prejudice and hatred, which are at the root of discrimination and racism. We need education to disarm the fears that many feel of the unknown and of other people, their cultures, life choices and beliefs. Education is the best way to foster a culture of peace and build inclusive societies.
Intolerance is a global challenge that takes many local shapes. To be effective, global action must be combined with national, local and, not least, individual measures.
At the global level, UNESCO is leading the United Nations International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, launched this year, to promote the benefits of exchange and dialogue across cultures and to build new networks to fight against racism and discrimination.
We act also on the ground, where needs are most acute. This was the objective of a recent UNESCO project to promote a culture peace among young women and men living in Tripoli, Lebanon. Through exchanges through theatre and the arts, UNESCO worked with young people throughout the city, to deepen mutual understanding, to learn to live and work together, to resolve differences through dialogue.
To create positive change, we must constantly ask ourselves the following questions. How are the rights of persons belonging to social, national, ethnic, religious, linguistic or other minorities guaranteed in our community, State and region? Are we doing enough to promote the equal rights and dignity of indigenous people, migrant workers, asylum-seekers and refugees, or people with disabilities? Answering these questions must lead us to action.
This International Day is a chance to deepen our commitment to dialogue and solidarity, in our families and communities, in relations with other peoples.
Tolerance can never be taken for granted. It is a way of living that we must constantly reinvent for new times, to recognize the differences of others as the same as our own and the riches of other cultures as the wealth of all to share.
In a world of uncertainty, in societies undergoing deep transformation, this has never been so important for lasting peace and sustainable development.
Irina Bokova

Thursday, 14 November 2013

World Diabetes Day 2013, November 14th.

The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by PMNCH member the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight.

World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community. While the themed campaigns last the whole year, the day itself is celebrated on November 14, to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.

Diabetes Education and Prevention is the World Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009-2013.

Join the Forum : November 14 - World Diabetes Day

World Pneumonia Day 2013, November 12th.

The theme for World Pneumonia Day 2013 is “Innovate to End Child Pneumonia”

Today marks the fifth annual World Pneumonia Day and global health advocates are calling on leaders to scale up existing interventions and invest in new diagnostics and treatments to defeat pneumonia.
Pneumonia is the single largest cause of death in children under five, killing more children than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined . In 2012 , 1.1 million children under five died from pneumonia, the bulk of whom were less than 2 years old. 99% of these deaths are in developing countries, where access to healthcare facilities and treatment is out of reach for many children.

This year, the theme for World Pneumonia Day is “Innovate to End Child Pneumonia”, and the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) are highlighting innovative solutions to end childhood pneumonia, while at the same time emphasizing that there are existing simple interventions that need to reach the most vulnerable children.

Many factors contribute to pneumonia, and no single intervention can effectively prevent, treat and control it. Five simple but effective interventions, if implemented properly, will help reduce the burden of the disease that is responsible for almost one fifth of all child deaths around the world.

These are:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding complemented by nutritious solid foods up to age 2;
  • Vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcus;
  • Safe drinking water, sanitation and handwashing facilities;
  • Improved cooking stoves to reduce indoor air pollution;
  • Treatment, including amoxicillin dispersible tablets and oxygen;
Activities around the world will also focus on the clear link between pneumonia and diarrhoea , which together account for 26% of all child deaths globally, with calls for collaborative interventions to fight these two largely preventable diseases.

On World Pneumonia Day 2013, advocates have renewed their call for governments to do more to meet child survival objectives of the fourth Millennium Development Goal by increasing political commitment to and investments in the development of new diagnostics and treatments for pneumonia.
Advocates have also called on manufacturers of medical devices to step up efforts to bring technologies to market, and on donors to strengthen their support for the development and distribution of new diagnostics technologies at affordable prices.

Events commemorating World Pneumonia Day are being held in countries throughout the world and various child survival events will be held throughout the month of November.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

World Science Day for Peace and Development 2013, November 10.

Message by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2013 celebrated under the theme:
Science for Water Cooperation: Sharing Data, Knowledge and Innovations, highlights

World Science Day for Peace and Development, celebrated each year on 10 November, offers an opportunity to demonstrate how science is relevant to our daily lives and to engage the scientific community, policy makers and the public. This year’s theme, Science for Water Cooperation: Sharing Data, Knowledge and Innovations, highlights the key role played by Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in addressing global water challenges.

Scientific cooperation on water issues is essential to strengthen capabilities for the collection, assessment, and monitoring of water related data (hydrological, hydrobiological, hydrogeological and meteorological data).

In order to understand current water-related challenges, sharing scientific data, knowledge and innovation is essential, as is integrating data from multiple disciplines to inform decision making and address issues such as providing equitable access to water for all, adapting to climate change, ensuring water security today and in future. Access to data is a prerequisite for such data analysis and a sign of real cooperation.

Cooperation is an inclusive endeavour

Science for water cooperation is not only about scientists: local communities, particularly women and indigenous peoples, are the holders of detailed knowledge of their water resources. They provide innovative approaches for quality and reliability, restrictions and acceptable storage methods and must be involved. By engaging communities and integrating all knowledge, including traditional and indigenous knowledge and the social and human sciences, water cooperation can also contribute to social transformation and to strengthen the social fabric of communities.

Water Cooperation includes collaboration across all boundaries and between countries. Reaching across disciplines, sharing data and collaboration creates a dynamic that facilitates the co-creation of innovative solutions and drives a process of mutual learning. Cross-fertilization of ideas and disciplines will produce new solutions, and promote greater understanding of complex problems related to water.

Science for Water Cooperation: Sharing Data, Knowledge and Innovations, highlights

Celebrating the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013


The theme of World Science Day was chosen to contribute to the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013.
UN-Water —the United Nation's inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater and sanitation-related issues— has called upon UNESCO to lead the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013, in view of the Organization’s mandate to pursue the goals of peace and sustainable development and its multi-dimensional mandate in the natural and social sciences, culture, education and communication and its significant and longstanding programmes contributing to the management of the world’s freshwater resources.

Observance of International Week of Science and Peace 2013

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

Message for Observance of International Week of Science and Peace

11 - 17 November 2013

VIENNA, 8 November 2013 (United Nations Information Service) -The observance of the International Week of Science and Peace was proclaimed 25 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly.
Science and technology have crucial roles to play in promoting progress and peace - from climate change to public health; from food security to sanitation; from disarmament to disaster preparedness. 
Yet too often policy-makers are not aware of the solutions that modern science and technology can bring to today's challenges.  And too much of the world remains cut off from scientific advances.  One key challenge is to promote "pro-poor" research that addresses the needs of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, such as small-scale farmers.  Other imperatives include closing the digital divide in access to information technology and expanding education to better train young people for jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.  Such efforts are crucial for accelerating our work for the Millennium Development Goals and defining a bold development vision for the period beyond 2015. 
Science offers many answers to shared threats and many innovations that can help us seize common opportunities.  Ours is the first generation with the knowledge and the tools to end extreme poverty.  Ours is the generation that must - and can, with the technologies already at our disposal -- forge a path towards a sustainable future.  We also have a responsibility to protect all humankind against the destructive uses of scientific achievement and capacity, most notably by working for a nuclear-weapon-free world and to contain the spread of other weapons of mass destruction.
We can do all of this and more if we work together to harness the power of science for the greater good everywhere, and promote evidence-based policy-making. I look forward to working with the scientific and academic communities and all other partners who can contribute to the global mission of the United Nations for peace, development and human rights.  Please accept my best wishes for a memorable observance.
* *** *

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Veterans Day 2013

Presidential Proclamation -- Veterans Day, 2013

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On Veterans Day, America pauses to honor every service member who has ever worn one of our Nation's uniforms. Each time our country has come under attack, they have risen in her defense. Each time our freedoms have come under assault, they have responded with resolve. Through the generations, their courage and sacrifice have allowed our Republic to flourish. And today, a Nation acknowledges its profound debt of gratitude to the patriots who have kept it whole.
As we pay tribute to our veterans, we are mindful that no ceremony or parade can fully repay that debt. We remember that our obligations endure long after the battle ends, and we make it our mission to give them the respect and care they have earned. When America's veterans return home, they continue to serve our country in new ways, bringing tremendous skills to their communities and to the workforce -- leadership honed while guiding platoons through unbelievable danger, the talent to master cutting-edge technologies, the ability to adapt to unpredictable situations. These men and women should have the chance to power our economic engine, both because their talents demand it and because no one who fights for our country should ever have to fight for a job.
This year, in marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, we resolved that in the United States of America, no war should be forgotten, and no veteran should be overlooked. Let us always remember our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families. And as we continue our responsible drawdown from the war in Afghanistan, let us welcome our returning heroes with the support and opportunities they deserve.
Under the most demanding of circumstances and in the most dangerous corners of the earth, America's veterans have served with distinction. With courage, self-sacrifice, and devotion to our Nation and to one another, they represent the American character at its best. On Veterans Day and every day, we celebrate their immeasurable contributions, draw inspiration from their example, and renew our commitment to showing them the fullest support of a grateful Nation.
With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation's veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2013, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.


The Emissions Gap Report 2013

Should the global community not immediately embark on wide-ranging actions to narrow the greenhouse gas emissions gap, the chance of remaining on the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2°C this century will swiftly diminish and open the door to a host of challenges.

The Emissions Gap Report 2013-involving 44 scientific groups in 17 countries and coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-is released as leaders prepare to meet for the latest Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Warsaw. -
Should the global community not immediately embark on wide-ranging actions to narrow the greenhouse gas emissions gap, the chance of remaining on the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2°C this century will swiftly diminish and open the door to a host of challenges.The Emissions Gap Report 2013-involving 44 scientific groups in 17 countries and coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-is released as leaders prepare to meet for the latest Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Warsaw.
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It finds that although pathways exist that could reach the 2oC target with higher emissions, not narrowing the gap will exacerbate mitigation challenges after 2020.

This will mean much higher rates of global emission reductions in the medium term; greater lock-in of carbon-intensive infrastructure; greater dependence on often unproven technologies in the medium term; greater costs of mitigation in the medium and long term; and greater risks of failing to meet the 2° C target.

 Even if nations meet their current climate pledges, greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are likely to be 8 to 12 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) above the level that would provide a likely chance of remaining on the least-cost pathway. If the gap is not closed or significantly narrowed by 2020, the door to many options to limit temperature increase to a lower target of 1.5° C will be closed, further increasing the need to rely on faster energy-efficiency improvements and biomass with carbon capture and storage.

 In order to be on track to stay within the 2° C target and head off the negative impacts outlined above, the report says that emissions should be a maximum of 44 GtCO2e by 2020 to set the stage for further cuts needed-to 40 GtCO2e by 2025, 35 GtCO2e by 2030 and 22 GtCO2e by 2050. As this target was based on scenarios of action beginning in 2010, the report finds that it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet this goal.

"As the report highlights, delayed actions means a higher rate of climate change in the near term and likely more near-term climate impacts, as well as the continued use of carbon-intensive and energy-intensive infrastructure. This 'lock-in' would slow down the introduction of climate-friendly technologies and narrow the developmental choices that would place the global community on the path to a sustainable, green future," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "

 "However, the stepping stone of the 2020 target can still be achieved by strengthening current pledges and by further action, including scaling up international cooperation initiatives in areas such as energy efficiency, fossil fuel subsidy reform and renewable energy," he added. "Even agriculture can contribute, as direct emissions from this sector are currently responsible for 11 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions-more if its indirect emissions are taken into account."

Total global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, the last year for which data are available, already stood at 50.1 GtCO2e, highlighting the scale of the task ahead. Should the world continue under a business-as-usual scenario, which does not include pledges, 2020 emissions are predicted to reach 59 GtCO2e, which is 1 GtCO2e higher than estimated in last year's gap report.

Scientists agree that the risks of irreversible damage to the environment would increase significantly should the global average temperature rise above 2°C in relation to pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed that human activity is 'extremely likely' (95 to 100 per cent probability) to be the cause of this warming.

 "As we head towards Warsaw for the latest round of climate negotiations, there is a real need for increased ambition by all countries: ambition which can take countries further and faster towards bridging the emissions gap and a sustainable future for all," said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. "However, increased national ambition will not be enough to meet the scientific realities of climate change, which is one reason why a universal new agreement-able to catalyze international cooperation-is urgently needed by 2015." Without heightened focus and resolve now, more rapid and expensive emission reductions will be required later, resulting in higher mitigation costs and greater economic challenges during the transition toward a comprehensive climate-policy regime.

 A separate report from UNEP finds that adaptation costs for Africa could reach $350 billion per year by 2070 should the two-degree target be significantly exceeded, while the cost would be $150 billion lower per year if the target were to be met.

Meeting the 2020 goal is possible 

Even though the window of opportunity is narrowing, it is still possible to attain the 2020 goal of 44 GtC02e/year through firm and rapid action. Studies reveal that, at costs of up to US$100 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions could be reduced by 14 to 20 GtCO2e compared to business-as-usual levels.

For example, simply tightening up the rules governing pledges in the climate negotiations could narrow the gap by about 1-2 GtCO2e, while if countries implement the maximum reductions already pledged without conditions could narrow it by 2-3 GtCO2e. Expanding the scope of pledges could narrow the gap by further 2 GtCO2e. These include covering all emissions in national pledges, having all countries pledge emission reductions, and reducing emissions from international transport.

Adding up the reduction from the tightening of rules, implementing ambitious pledges, and expanding the scope of the current pledges could bring the global community about halfway to closing the gap. The report says that the remaining gap could be bridged by further international and national action, including through "international cooperative initiatives".

 International cooperation could bring huge gains 

 There are an increasing number of international cooperative initiatives, through which countries and other bodies cooperate to promote technologies or policies that have climate benefits, even though climate change mitigation may not be the primary goal of the initiative.

The report identified several areas ripe for such initiatives, with many partnerships already in place that can be expanded and replicated to bring the needed gains:

 Energy efficiency, which could cut the gap by up to 2 GtCO2e by 2020. For example, electricity for lighting accounts for approximately 15 per cent of global power consumption and five per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. More than 50 countries have joined the en.lighten Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme and agreed to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016;

Renewable energy initiatives could cut 1 to 3 GtCO2e from emissions by 2020. A total of $244 billion was invested in renewable energy in 2012 and 115 GW of new renewables were installed worldwide-a record year according to REN21's Renewables 2013 Global Status Report. Over the last eight years, the number of countries with clean energy targets has tripled from 48 to 140, indicating that the shift to renewables is gaining pace;

 Fossil fuel subsidy reform, which could bring benefits of 0.4 to 2 GtCO2e by 2020;

 However, in order for international cooperative initiatives to be effective, the report finds that they must have:

  • A clearly defined vision and mandate;
  • The right mix of participants appropriate for that mandate, going beyond traditional climate negotiators; Stronger participation from developing country actors;
  •  Sufficient funding and an institutional structure that supports implementation and follow-up, but maintains flexibility;
  • Incentives for participants;
  •  Transparency and accountability mechanisms.

Agriculture offers opportunities 

 This year's report pays particular attention to the agriculture sector as, although few countries have specified action in this area as part of implementing their pledges, estimates of emission-reduction potentials for the sector range from 1.1 GtCO2e to 4.3 GtCO2e.

The report outlines a range of measures that not only contribute to climate-change mitigation, but enhance the sector's environmental sustainability and could provide other benefits such as higher yields, lower fertilizer costs or extra profits from wood supply.

As examples, three key practices that should be scaled-up more widely are highlighted:

  • No-tillage practices. No-tillage refers to the elimination of ploughing by direct seeding under the mulch layer of the previous season's crop. This reduces emissions from soil disturbance and use of farm machinery.
  • Improved nutrient and water management in rice production. This includes innovative cropping practices that reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions.
  • Agroforestry. This consists of different management practices that deliberately include woody perennials on farms and the landscape, and which increase the uptake and storage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in biomass and soils.

Notes to Editors 

The report, which involved 70 scientists from 44 scientific groups in 17 countries, was funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Two applications for smartphones are also downloadable.
Android: The Emissions Gap Report 2013
 iPhone iPad : The Emissions Gap Report 2013

Related Links and Reports 

UNEP's Climate Change portal
The Africa Adaptation Gap Technical Report

Nick Nuttall,UNEP Spokesperson and Director of Division of Communications and Public Information
+254 733 632 755, +41 79 596 5737,
UNEP Newsdesk +254 725 939 620,

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2013, 6 November

The United Nations attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies - because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.


  Join the Forum : International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, 6 November.


United Nations Secretary-General's Message for  the International Day for preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Confict 2013.

A growing body of knowledge exists on the importance of the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Yet natural resources such as forests, wildlife, water sources and agricultural lands continue to be exploited and degraded during armed conflict, threatening long-term peace and security.
In Central and East Africa today, illegal trafficking in minerals, wildlife, timber, charcoal and narcotics is financing illicit activities and supporting armed groups and criminal networks. In Somalia, for example, it is estimated that the illegal trade in charcoal represents annual revenues of up to $384 million for insurgents and terrorist groups.
Strengthening natural resource governance and improving monitoring in conflict-affected states can help prevent resources from fuelling conflict, direct much-needed revenue towards economic revitalization and contribute to more lasting peace. Conversely, failing to protect and manage these resources in an equitable way only exacerbates the vulnerability of those who depend on them the most, especially the poor.
The safe disposal of weapons of war is also of critical concern. This is one of the challenges that the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons currently face in Syria, where the destruction of chemical weapons and production facilities must include strict environmental safeguards to prevent chemical contamination, new environmental “hotspots” and public health risks. Environmental contamination also includes land mines and unexploded ordnance, which pose a particular threat to women and children who are often more vulnerable due to their daily activities.
On this International Day, we stress the critical importance of protecting the environment in times of armed conflict and restoring the good governance of natural resources during post-conflict reconstruction. We also recognize the important role that natural resources play in supporting the livelihoods and resilience of all members of society, especially women, and the implications of sustainable natural resource management for conflict prevention and peace.  

Ban Ki moon

 Día Internacional para la Prevención de la Explotación del Medio Ambiente en la Guerra y los Conflictos Armados, 6 de noviembre.
Международный день предотвращения эксплуатации окружающей среды во время войны и вооруженных конфликтов, 6 ноября
Journée internationale pour la prévention de l’exploitation de l’environnement en temps de guerre et de conflit armé, 6 novembre
防止战争和武装冲突糟蹋环境国际日 - 11月6日
رسالة بمناسبة اليوم الدولي لمنع استغلال البيئة في الحروب والنزاعات المسلحة الأربعاء 6 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2013