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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Earth Hour 2014, March 29 -8:30 to 9:30 pm ( Local Time)

Use Your Power to make change a reality '' during Earth Hour 2014,
March 29 -8:30 to 9:30 pm ( Local Time);


 
  1. What is Earth Hour?
    Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet, and is organised by WWF. Engaging a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues, Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide, and the one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.
  2. What is Earth Hour Blue?
    Earth Hour Blue is an all-new digital crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet launched in 2014 to capture the power of the crowd and engage people around the world beyond the lights out event. The crowdfunding section of the platform allows participants to financially support and deliver positive, tangible changes to the environment and communities all over the world. Individuals can also use Earth Hour Blue’s crowdsourcing platform, which will call for people to add their voice to some of the biggest environmental campaigns across the world.
  3. When does Earth Hour take place?
    Earth Hour 2014 will be held on Saturday 29 March between 8.30PM and 9.30PM in your local time zone. The event is held worldwide towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, communities households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Earth Hour 2015 will take place on Saturday, 28 of March at 8:30PM to 9:30PM in your local timezone.
  4. What does Earth Hour aim to achieve?
    Earth Hour aims to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.
  5. What does Earth Hour ask people to do?
    The first thing anyone can do to get involved is to turn off their lights on Saturday. But there’s much, much more. But our full ambition is for people to take action beyond the hour. Whether it’s supporting a crowdfunding or crowdsroucing campaign on www.earthhour.org or getting involved in Earth Hour campaigns in their own country, or starting the movement in their own community. The vision is always to do more, so make the light switch the beginning of your journey.
     
  6. How long has Earth Hour been going for?
    The first Earth Hour event was on March 31 2007. WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action. More than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour in the first Earth Hour event.
    Earth Hour 2014 will mark the eighth year of the campaign.
  7. Is Earth Hour an annual event?
    Earth Hour is more than annual event – it is a movement that culminates in an hour of inspiration across the world held towards the end of March each year.
  8. What exactly has Earth Hour achieved before launching Earth Hour Blue?
    • WWF Uganda started the world’s first Earth Hour Forest
    • More than 250,000 Russians voiced support for better protection of their country’s seas and forests
    • Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectare Marine Protected Area in the country
    • Thousands of wood-saving stoves were distributed to families in Madagascar
    • Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India
    • In Paraguay, WWF used the Earth Hour platform to build public support to gain an extension of the logging moratorium, helping to reduce deforestation
    • Education programs for schools were launched in Thailand and Taiwan
    • Hundreds of thousands of LED lights were installed by girl scouts in the USA
    • More than 2123 mitigation actions submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 participating cities
    But this is just the start, there’s so many more Earth Hour stories out there we’re still discovering, and of course much more to do.
  9. Back to the event. Isn't switching the lights off dangerous? What about public safety?
    Earth Hour only asks people to turn off the non-essential lights for one hour - not lights that affect public safety. Earth Hour is also a celebration of the planet so it’s important to enjoy the moment in a safe environment.
  10. What lights can be safely switched off?
    That is a decision that has to be made individually but usually the overhead lights in rooms (whether it is your house or a business), outdoor lighting that does not impact safety, decorative lights, neon signs for advertising, televisions, desk lamps, the list goes on and on.
    There are a few lights we can say with certainty that should NOT be turned off, including safety lights in public spaces, lights for aviation guidance, traffic lights, security lights, just to name a few. We ask people to use common sense. Before you turn off any lights for public spaces, Earth Hour recommends you check with local officials or community centres.
    In your own home, use common sense with respect to safety. Keep small night lights on for basic safety especially in halls and on stairs. Make sure you have alternative light sources handy before Earth Hour starts, like torches or flashlights. That way if you need to see, you have a light source close at hand, and you can still respect the spirit of Earth Hour and keep yourself and your family safe.
  11. What candles should I use for my Earth Hour event?
    If you plan on burning candles during Earth Hour, make sure you use 100% beeswax candles or soy candles, which are gentler on our planet - smoke free, non-toxic and non-allergenic. They are also made of natural products, not petroleum-based materials, so they are effectively carbon neutral (the CO2 they emit has already been taken from the atmosphere to produce the wax). Many communities are now replacing candles with LED lights for their event, as a way to promote energy efficient lighting - a key for any sustainable future. If you're using candles, though, make sure you take care. We suggest you carefully follow these tips:
    1. Candles should only be used under adult supervision
    2. Candles should never be left unattended
    3. Candles should be kept away from children and pets
    4. Extinguish candles before going to sleep
    5. Keep candles away from flammable liquids and gas-combustible materials
    6. Candles should be kept clear of any combustible materials such as paper, curtains and clothing
    7. Candles should not be placed in windows as they can be blown over. Blinds and curtains can also catch alight
    8. Candles should be placed on a stable, dry, heat-resistant surface away from drafts
  12. What is Earth Hour’s position on technology?
    Earth Hour embraces technology to spread the message of positive environmental action across the world, and to replace more inefficient means of living our lives. Technology is key to a sustainable future that is aspirational. From LED lights, to hybrid vehicles, to developing replacements for unsustainable use of resources  - Earth Hour has thrived off the back of the development in digital technology.  
  13. Will my city go completely black during the event?
    Earth Hour is not a black out. It is a voluntary action by its participants to show their commitment to an act of change that benefits the planet. For many businesses in city skyscrapers or for many government buildings, the lights are turned off at the end of the business day the Friday before Earth Hour. So Earth Hour is more of a fade-out in some ways than a black out. There is usually no instant dramatic difference, but rather a gradual dimming of lights starting the day prior. Many major icons and neon signs are switched off for the hour and they are extremely noticeable. You may be able to see dramatic changes in large business districts or at iconic landmarks and buildings around the world and in your city.

  14. If everyone turns their lights back on at the same time will there be a power surge?
    People celebrate Earth Hour in a variety of ways for different lengths of time, with many continuing to keep their lights off well beyond the designated hour. After eight years, it’s clear everyone will not switch back on his or her lights simultaneously.
  15. Why is Earth Hour the event held in late March?
    The second-to-last and last weekend of March is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event. Earth Hour 2014 will be held on Saturday 29 March between 8.30PM and 9.30PM in your local time zone.
  16. How many cities/countries/landmarks took part in Earth Hour 2013?
    Earth Hour 2013 took place in more than 7001 cities and towns in 154 countries and territories across all seven continents. Hundreds of millions of people switched their lights off for an hour, and the campaign experienced its biggest growth since 2009. There were around 3395 landmarks that participated.
  17. What does a commitment to Earth Hour mean?
    By registering for Earth Hour 2014, individuals, communities and businesses are making a commitment to turn their lights off for an hour at 8.30PM on Saturday 29 March in acknowledgement of an act they will undertake for the benefit of the planet. We hope that these individuals, communities and businesses will take action beyond the hour through Earth Hour Blue.
  18. Who can participate?
    Earth Hour is a campaign for anyone and everyone who wants to share a commitment to make this planet better.
  19. How can I do more for Earth Hour than just switching off my lights?
    You can fund a project or add your voice to support projects anywhere around the world on Earth Hour Blue.
  20. What energy/carbon reductions have resulted from Earth Hour in previous years?
    Earth hour does not claim that the event is an energy or carbon reduction exercise - it is a symbolic action. Therefore, we do not engage in the measurement of energy or carbon reduction levels. Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation in Earth Hour symbolises a commitment to change beyond the hour.
  21. Aren't you using a lot of electricity and resources to promote this event?
    Earth Hour takes every effort to minimise our footprint, not just for the hour but also all year round. Earth Hour Global has a core team of just nine people based in Singapore and relies on a dispersed open-sourced model, meaning that the movement is run locally through WWF and communities all over the world.
    All of Earth Hour Global’s emissions are offset and the campaign embraces digital technology to minimise the usage of natural resources and to spread our message.
  22. Earth Hour is advertised all over the world. Does Earth Hour pay for this advertising?
    Earth Hour Global secures millions of dollars of free advertising space with the help of partners such as Starcom, Discovery Networks International and many others. Earth Hour Global does not spend any money on paid advertising space. Earth Hour’s advice to teams around the world running local campaigns is to only seek either pro-bono or if absolutely necessary, low-bono advertising space.
  23. Whose idea was Earth Hour?
    Earth Hour came from a think tank initiated by Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder, Andy Ridley, resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address the climate change issue.
    In 2007, there was still a degree of scepticism and denial about the issue of climate change. Earth Hour came as the inspiration to rally people to the reality of climate change and start a dialogue about what we as individuals can do to help address the greatest problem facing our planet today. Leo Burnett partnered with WWF to promote the idea and help make the campaign a reality in Sydney, a campaign which has now gone beyond climate change to symbolise the growing global pursuit of a better, healthier world.
    Read more about Andy Ridley’s story.
  24. What is Earth Hour’s relationship with WWF?
    Earth Hour is an initiative of WWF.  In 2007, WWF initiated Earth Hour a way of engaging a broad section of society in the environmental issues challenging citizens across the world. WWF embraced the idea of an open sourced campaign that would allow communities and organisations to become part of a global movement to protect out planet.
  25. Do you have requirements or regulations about who can or cannot partner with Earth Hour?
    Any partner must uphold and support the aims and principles of Earth Hour. These include encouraging individual and community engagement on environmental issues. Encouraging conscious decisions to change the way we live in order to affect environmental reform, without the use of scare tactics or shaming. The specific decisions about whether or not to partner with a group or corporation are made at local level by Earth Hour country and city teams based on what suits their needs and community in achieving the goals of Earth Hour.
  26. Does Earth Hour welcome the support of other NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) and NFP's (Not for Profits)?
    Absolutely. In fact, the success of Earth Hour would not be possible without the support of other NGOs and NFPs. Global organisations such as the World Organisation of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been pivotal in spreading the Earth Hour message, while in some countries where there is no WWF presence, Earth Hour campaigns are orchestrated entirely by other NGOs and NFPs.
  27. What does the Earth Hour logo mean?
    The standard Earth Hour '60' logo represents the 60 minutes of Earth Hour where we focus on the impact we are having on our planet and take positive action to address the environmental issues we face. For Earth Hour 2011 the ‘60+’ logo was introduced representing a commitment to add to Earth Hour a positive act for the planet that goes beyond the hour. Take up the ‘plus’ and get involved with Earth Hour Blue.

  28. Why is Spider-Man Earth Hour’s ambassador in 2014?
    Earth Hour and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (TASM2), distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, are encouraging people across the world to become superheroes for the planet with a simple call to action: “Use Your Power at earthhour.org”.
    The partnership will allow us to reach an even broader section of society to spread the Earth Hour message, which is an approach that has allowed the movement to grow to the position it is in today.
    Key to the partnership is that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the most eco-friendly blockbuster produced by Sony Pictures.
    Sony Pictures will offset 4,000 tonnes of carbon through WWF-China’s Gold Standard Verified ‘Energy Efficient Stoves To Protect The Giant Panda” project; and these carbon offsets have rendered the entire physical production of the film, as well as well as the appearance and activities of the film’s cast, producers and director for Earth Hour events, completely carbon-neutral.
    The film’s stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and director Marc Webb are also each lending their support to a different crowdfunding project on Earth Hour Blue, as a way to engage individuals to act beyond the hour.
    Spider-Man is Earth Hour’s first superhero ambassador, epitomising the power of the individual and inspiring his fans to become superheroes for the planet.
    We want every fan of Spider-Man to walk away knowing they can do something to protect the planet. Earth Hour is a movement for people illustrate their support, and Earth Hour Blue is the place they can get involved.
    To see more about the eco-friendly practices for The Amazing Spider-Man 2






Tuesday, 25 March 2014

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members 2014, 25 March.

International Day highlights need for urgent action to protect UN staff worldwide.

 

The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members marks the anniversary of the abduction of UN staff member Alec Collett. UN Photo/Milton Grant


 
25 March 2014 – The United Nations family today urged immediate action to secure the release of detained staff, to resolve the cases of those missing and to protect all the courageous individuals who carry out the life-saving work entrusted to the Organization and its partners.

“The world is a far more dangerous place for United Nations and humanitarian personnel today than it was even a few short years ago,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members, observed on 25 March.

He noted that as of 21 March, 56 UN personnel remained in detention and 4 UN and associated personnel abducted by non-State actors remain in captivity.

“I urge all concerned to do everything possible to secure their immediate release,” said the Secretary-General, who also strongly urged those Member States holding UN personnel to provide immediate access and fully respect their rights and privileges.

“I am deeply concerned at the unlawful detention and arrest of United Nations and humanitarian personnel, as well as at the lack of access to those staff. I call for immediate action to secure their freedom and rights.”
One example of this was highlighted recently by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, who reported to the Security Council that authorities in South Sudan continue to harass UN staff, to the point of putting their lives in danger. UN staff members have been subjected to threats, harassment, physical assault, arrest, detention and unlawful interrogation.

Mr. Ban added that he was especially worried about the brave individuals working in Syria; the increase in abductions for ransom; and the impunity that prevails. Noting that the vast majority of cases regarding arrested, detained and missing staff members do not result in prosecution, he called for an end to the culture of impunity and for the full prosecution of all those responsible.

General Assembly President John Ashe encouraged the global community to work more effectively to protect UN staff members who continue to face threats to their freedom and security, noting that the number of attacks on UN staff members has steadily increased in recent years and at an alarming rate.
“This day underscores the need for the international community to do everything it can to protect UN personnel working in places where performing day-to-day tasks may put their lives at risk,” he stated in his message.

“It also pays tribute to all UN staff members who have been killed or kidnapped while working in conflict zones and calls on governments to implement much needed security and safety standards,” he added.
The International Day marks the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a former journalist and UN staff member who was working for the UN Relief and Works Agency in the Near East (UNRWA) when he was abducted by armed gunmen in 1985. With his remains having been found and returned to his family in 2009, the Day is also intended to honour his memory, and of all those who have suffered similar fates.

“In our mission to increase peace and security around the world, the United Nations asks us to work in the world’s most dangerous places,” said Ian Richards, Vice-President of the UN Staff Management Committee. “We do this out of a sense of duty and on the understanding that we will be looked after.
“However, it is now clear that the United Nations flag has increasingly become a target instead of a shield, especially for colleagues recruited at the national level. We call on the Secretary-General and all Governments to do more to protect staff and their independence, so they can focus on their work, not work in fear.”



International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims 2014, March 24.

United Nations Secretary-General's Message on the Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims 2014.

On this day in 1980, human rights defender Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero was assassinated.  Each year, the international community honours his legacy by observing the Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.  Our commemorations defy the attempt by his murderers to silence his cries for justice and reinforce the importance of standing firm for fundamental freedoms.
This Day is also dedicated to honouring the memory of all victims of gross human rights violations, and to supporting all those who promote and protect human rights.
The right to truth is both individual and collective.  Each victim has the right to know the truth and how violations affect them.  Informing broader society about fundamental freedoms and how they have been violated is a vital safeguard against abuses recurring.
The United Nations supports a range of efforts to uncover the facts about gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and to promote justice, propose reparations and recommend reforms of abusive institutions.  Over the past year we have supported Commissions of Inquiry on the Central African Republic, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as the establishment of a Truth and Dignity Commission in Tunisia.
The right to the truth is linked to the rights to justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.  The Special Rapporteur appointed by the Human Rights Council in 2012 to advance these goals has analyzed selected challenges faced by truth commissions in transitional periods and has proposed responses to strengthen the effectiveness of those mechanisms.
On this International Day, I call for the vigorous implementation of all recommendations of commissions of inquiry and truth commissions in addressing gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law.  Let us recommit to working to help victims, their relatives and society as a whole to realize the right to truth – and to protecting those who fight to see the truth prevail.

 Ban Ki-moon

 

On International Day, Ban honours victims of gross human rights violations



At a time when human rights violations persist around the world, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of the individual and collective right to the truth for the promotion of humanitarian law and justice, and called on the international community to recommit to helping victims and protecting those who fight to uncover facts. 
 
The International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims was created to pay tribute to human rights defender Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, a prominent Roman Catholic priest in El Salvador who was murdered on 24 March 1980 for speaking up against poverty, social injustice, repression, assassinations and torture.

“Our commemorations defy the attempt by his murderers to silence his cries for justice and reinforce the importance of standing firm for fundamental freedoms,” stated Mr. Ban, adding that “this day is also dedicated to honouring the memory of all victims of gross human rights violations, and to supporting all those who promote and protect human rights.”
Highlighting that informing societies on the fundamental freedoms and their potential violations is a vital safeguard against abuses recurring, the Secretary-General insisted that “every victim has the right to know the truth and how violations affect them.”

The UN supports a range of efforts to uncover the facts about gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and to promote justice, propose reparations and recommend reforms of abusive institutions. Over the past year, the UN has supported Commissions of Inquiry on, respectively, the Central African Republic, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as the establishment of a Truth and Dignity Commission in Tunisia.
Mr. Ban noted that a Special Rapporteur, Pablo de Greiff, was appointed by the Human Rights Council in 2012 to analyze challenges faced by truth commissions around the world and propose responses to strengthen the effectiveness of those mechanisms.

“On this International Day, I call for the vigorous implementation of all recommendations of commissions of inquiry and truth commissions in addressing gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law,” said the Secretary-General, urging renewed commitment from the international community “to working to help victims, their relatives and society as a whole to realize the right to truth – and to protecting those who fight to see the truth prevail.”

 

 

 

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2014, March 25


United Nations Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2014.

Each year on this day we honour the memory of the millions of men, women and children who endured the curse of slavery.  By recalling the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, we recommit to educating current and future generations of the dangers of racism and prejudice.
The theme of this year’s observance is “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond”.  It pays tribute to the fight against slavery in nations around the world and marks 210 years since the Republic of Haiti became the first nation to win independence as a result of the struggle of enslaved men and women.  We are also marking the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Slave Route Project, launched to break the silence surrounding the slave trade and its consequences.
At United Nations Headquarters, work is under way on a Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  It will stand as a constant reminder of the courage of slaves, abolitionists and unsung heroes who helped end the oppression of slavery.  It will promote greater recognition of the contributions that slaves and their descendants have made in their societies.
I hope the Memorial will also be a source of inspiration in the continuing fight against the many forms of slavery that still exist today.  Around the world, millions of people are subject to human trafficking, debt bondage, sexual slavery and domestic servitude while the perpetrators of these violations of human rights operate with impunity.
On this day, let us remember the abuses of the past and intensify our efforts to end those of the present.

Ban Ki Moon



With calls to remember the abuses of the past and intensify efforts to end those of the present, United Nations officials are marking the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade by urging the international community to work towards a future in which no form of human slavery exists.
“By recalling the causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, we recommit to educating current and future generations of the dangers of racism and prejudice,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on the Day, which this year is on the theme, “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond.”
On March 25 every year since 2007, the UN marks the International Day to honour the more than 15 million men, women, and children who suffered and died during the more than 400-year transatlantic slave trade, the largest forced migration in history.
While paying tribute to the fight against slavery in nations around the world, this year’s commemoration also marks 210 years since Haiti was founded on 1 January 1804; the first Republic established as a result of the victorious struggle of enslaved people – led by Toussaint L’Ouverture – for their freedom and independence.
In addition, 2014 also marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Slave Route Project, launched in Benin in 1994, with the goal of breaking the silence surrounding the slave trade and its consequences.
Delivering the keynote address at the UN General Assembly’s annual commemorative meeting, Michaëlle Jean, UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, said: “We are here because we believe in our duty to remember; we know how important it is to draw lessons from the past to build a better future.”
Remembering can be difficult, particularly when the subject is so horrific, but it is vital nevertheless to pay tribute to the innumerable victims of the Transatlantic slave trade, she said, also hailing the memory of those who rose up against 400 years of history and those enlightened thinkers who championed the inalienable rights of all human beings.
Starting 2014, worldwide activities are being organized throughout the year. At UN Headquarters in New York, work is currently under way on a Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Designed by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent, The Ark of Return, was selected last August as the winning design through an international competition.
“I hope the Memorial will also be a source of inspiration in the continuing fight against the many forms of slavery that still exist today,” Mr. Ban said in a statement delivered to the Assembly by his Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra, adding that the memorial will promote greater recognition of the contributions that slaves and their descendants have made in their societies.
In his remarks, General Assembly President John Ashe said that while reflecting on the past, it is important to acknowledge the cruelties that continue to exist today. “Foremost, slavery still stalks our planet in many forms and manifestations,” he said.
Indeed, too many innocent women and young girls are held in bondage and are denied their freedom and right to live in dignity due to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Too many children are held in servitude and are victims of child labour, he continued.
“Combating such abuses is a daunting challenge. We must turn our commitments into concrete action so that women and the young can live without fear and want,” Mr. Ashe said.
The UN International Labour Organization (ILO), which reports that about 21 million people are victims of modern-day slavery, marked the occasion today by hosting a Google+ Hangout with the descendants of Solomon Northup, whose life and memoir inspired the Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave.
Two of Northup's descendants – Irene Northup-Zahos, a 72-year-old retired nurse who is Northup’s great-great-granddaughter, and Melissa Howell, Northup’s 42-year-old great-great-great-granddaughter – are teaming up to talk about Northup’s legacy and the horrors of modern-day slavery: forced labor and human trafficking across the world.



World Tuberculosis Day 2014, March 24


 World TB Day, 24 March, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts.

TB is curable, but current efforts to find, treat and cure everyone who gets ill with the disease are not sufficient. Of the 9 million people a year who get sick with TB, 3 million of them are "missed" by health systems. World TB Day provides the opportunity to call for further action to reach the 3 million. All partners can help take forward innovative approaches to ensure that everyone suffering from TB has access to TB diagnosis, treatment and cure.





Join the Forum of Discussions : World Tuberculosis Day - March 24,


Secretary-General, in Message, Says All Tuberculosis Sufferers Deserve Access to Treatment as Matter of Social Justice, Global Health Security


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Message for World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March:

Tuberculosis is the world’s second most deadly infectious diseases among adults, after HIV/AIDS.  Every year, TB kills 1.3 million people and causes nearly 9 million to fall ill.

The tragedy is that TB is curable, yet one third of those who have it — some 3 million people — do not get the treatment they need.  Most are poor.  Many are from marginalized populations such as migrant workers, refugees and internally displaced persons, prisoners, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.

Progress in recent years has proven that we can tackle this threat with concerted efforts.  Between 1995 and 2012, global health interventions saved 22 million lives and successfully treated 56 million people suffering from TB.

To accelerate results, we need to increase access to health services and mobilize communities, hospitals and private providers to reach more people and treat them faster.  We must also invest more in research to find diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines. 

Everyone with TB should have access to the services they need for rapid diagnosis, treatment and cure.  This is a matter of social justice.  It is also an issue of global health security, given the rapidly emerging problem of patients with deadly, extensively drug-resistant TB going undetected.  Even when they are diagnosed, many lack access to effective treatment.

On World Tuberculosis Day, I call for intensified global solidarity to eradicate this preventable disease.  By caring for the 3 million people who do not have the treatment they need, we will foster a better future for all humankind.





 

One third of the estimated 9 million people who get sick with tuberculosis each year do not receive care, according to the World Health Organization.
WHO says those who are "missed" by health systems often live in the world's poorest, most vulnerable communities or are among marginalized populations such as migrants, refugees, prisoners, indigenous populations or drug users.
Tuberculosis or TB is curable, but current efforts to find, treat and cure everyone who gets the disease are falling short.
Patrick Maigua spoke to Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the Global TB programme at WHO for World Tuberculosis Day, observed 24 March.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

United Nations Partners on Climate Change

Climate change affects us all. Here are tips on how you can personally make a difference.

At Home – reduce, reuse, recycle!
  • Buy minimally packaged goods
  • Recycle paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Reuse, mend, and repurpose things to save money and divert waste from your local landfill
  • Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency
  • Adjust your thermostat, lower in winter, higher in summer
  • Replace old appliances with energy efficient models and light bulbs
  • Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water
  • Run dishwashers only when full and don’t use heat to dry dishes
  • Eat less meat, poultry, and fish
  • Plant Trees – Enter tree planting pledges online, then plant indigenous or locally appropriate trees where you live. View results of tree planting efforts globally.

 

United Nations Partners on Climate Change

World Meteorological Day 2014, March 23.

Message on the occasion of WMD 2014 "Weather & climate: Engaging Youth" by Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO. 


Recognizing the strong stake that young people have in the future, WMO has chosen “Weather and climate: engaging youth” as the theme for this year’s World Meteorological Day.

Today, people between the ages of 15 and 24 make up a sixth of the world’s population. About 85 per cent of these 1 billion young men and women live in developing countries. Compared to their peers of only 50 years ago, the young people of today are on average healthier, more educated and skilled. Technologies permeate their lives, enabling them to better interact with the world around them. Yet many young people still suffer from poverty and discrimination, inequality and exploitation; many of them still lack access to education, health and other basic services.
These problems are exacerbated by the hazards of climate change and extreme weather, which characterize the lives of young people today and will have an even greater impact in the decades to come. Atmosphere and ocean temperatures continue to increase, ice caps and glaciers around the world are steadily declining, sea level is rising and a number of extreme weather and climate events are becoming more frequent and/or more intense.
Human influence on the climate system is unequivocal. The global concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere keeps growing unabated and is reaching unprecedented levels in human history. Maintaining our current dependence on fossil fuels will lead us to a significantly warmer planet: by the end of the century the temperature could be up to
4 degrees Celsius higher than in pre-industrial times. Limiting the warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius can still be achieved, but it will require a rapid significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Achieving this objective demands urgent, decisive and courageous action. The world’s youth can be a powerful actor of change in this regard. Climate action is not just about CO2 emissions, it is about people, about the values we share and what each of us is ready to do to promote them. Young people are a source of innovation and of fresh insights into problems and their possible solutions. They call for just, equitable solutions.
As the next generation prepares for changing weather and climate, young people can play an active role in monitoring, understanding and responding to the weather and climate of today and tomorrow. They have the capacity to promote climate awareness, mitigation and adaptation, but in order to unleash the youth’s full potential for addressing climate change, we need to be able to involve them in the formulation and implementation of the policies that affect them today and will concern them tomorrow.
Scientific understanding of how the atmosphere, ocean, land and water interact to generate weather and climate is improving, making it increasingly easier to generate seamless weather and climate forecasts. The WMO community has already developed tools for understanding and forecasting the weather and climate, and over the coming decades these tools will become more skillful, more widely shared and used. Information products and services based on climate predictions will strengthen our ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as to pursue sustainable development — making us better prepared to face coming storms, floods and heatwaves; helping farmers to better organize planting and harvesting; and increasing the safety of ship and air navigation... Young people who choose a career in meteorology, hydrology or climate science will be able to play an increasingly important role, and thus make a vital contribution to the safety and well-being of their communities and countries.
Climate change makes us more uncertain about our future and yet, despite this uncertainty, one thing is clear: our society bears a responsibility not only to itself but also to future generations. The youth of today will live through the second half of this century and, if we do not act urgently, they will witness the severe impacts of climate change foreseen by the latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As a result of the choices we are making in the present, young people will have a major role to play in shaping the Earth’s future. While the challenges facing the next generations are enormous, the opportunities for addressing them have never been greater.




Climate and Weather : Engaging Youth

A carrear in Meteorology