By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW YORK (IDN) - When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Global Education First Initiative in September 2012, “fostering global citizenship” was one of his three priorities, along with “putting every child in school” and “improving the quality of learning”.
Ban said: “Education is much more than an entry to the job market. It has the power to shape a sustainable future and better world. Education policies should promote peace, mutual respect and environmental care.”
As the international community moves toward adopting the post-2015 development agenda, popularly known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the need for education for global citizenship is becoming increasingly important.
Because none of the goals impacting the Earth and its inhabitants can be achieved without people and governments around the world transcending narrow national interests and acting in the interest of the planet.
By Valentina Gasbarri* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
ROME (IDN) - Despite significant progress made over the previous decades, persistent and unacceptable levels of malnutrition pose a formidable global challenge.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the prevalence of hunger has declined since 1990. But some 805 million (1 out of 9 persons) remain chronically hungry, FAO data for 2012-2014 shows.
By Jamshed Baruah | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BERLIN (IDN) - About 22,000 nuclear weapons continue to threaten humankind’s survival nearly 70 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more than 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted to date, according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). But the world is far from prepared to effectively respond to nuclear weapons detonations, “even at basic levels of preparedness, let alone a large-scale nuclear war”.
This perturbing view has been expressed in a study by the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) undertaken in cooperation with OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and UNDP (UN Development Programme) ahead of the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26.
By UN News | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
NEW YORK (IDN) - The United Nations refugee agency said August 18 it had, for the first time, begun sending aid into western Libya from Tunisia to help some of the tens of thousands of people displaced by weeks of fighting in Tripoli.
A first convoy carrying urgently needed medical supplies and relief items from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was organized by the International Medical Corps (IMC) on August 16.
The two trucks set off from Medinine and crossed the border at Ras Ajdir before heading to the town of Zawiya, where some 12,000 people have sought shelter from the fighting in Libya’s capital.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
TORONTO (IDN) - Two thousand cities around the globe have signed on a United Nations global campaign – launched in 2010 for a period of five years until 2015 – to take on the challenge of integrating disaster risk management into their development processes.
The global campaign, Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready! is promoted by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Presently, about 25 per cent of the participating cities are located in the Americas, and approximately 11 per cent (or 226) of all cities are situated in Brazil.
By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BANGKOK (IDN) - 2015 is expected to become a watershed year for shaping the global development agenda with the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development models and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) frameworks, all coming up for review at major UN conferences during the year.
Thus, the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference On Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) that concluded in the Thai capital on June 26 gave a taste of things to come with a lot of emphasis given to discussion on community based solutions.
By Martin Khor* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
SANTA CRUZ (IDN) - The Declaration of the G77 Summit held in Santa Cruz on June14-15 has sections on three prominent issues that are presently the subject of negotiations at the United Nations – the Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The Declaration should thus have significant influence on the UN negotiations since it reflects the positions of the G77 and China, at highest political level, and these positions can be expected to be maintained by the Group during the negotiations on these three issues.
By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
GENEVA (IDN) - Since the United Nations General Assembly’s landmark vote in 2007 calling for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty, the trend against capital punishment has become stronger and stronger. An estimated 160 countries have either abolished the death penalty or no longer practice it.
While welcoming these developments, UN Secretary-General Ben Ki-moon has deplored the fact that many States still execute people with little regard to due process. “I am also deeply concerned that some States with long-standing de facto moratoriums have suddenly resumed executions, or are considering reintroduction of the death penalty in their legislation,” Ban said at an event organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on April 24.
By J. C. Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
NEW YORK (IDN) - “The objective of every peacekeeping mission is for the national authorities to take over the responsibilities to which the mission makes its contributions,” says Sandra Honoré of Trinidad and Tobago, who is Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Haiti and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission there, known as MINUSTAH, a position she assumed in July 2013.
“The outcome I would like to see in Haiti is one in which the four areas of focus of the Mission in this phase of consolidation is fully taken over by the Government of Haiti, so the Mission can leave with satisfaction that the Government has fully taken up its responsibilities and that security in country is be assured by the National Police with, as I’ve said, at least a minimum of 15,000 agents, putting it into a good situation to keep developing,” Honoré adds.
By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
COLOMBO (IDN) - Rejecting the resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 27 to mount an ‘independent’ international investigation into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapkase said that Sri Lanka would continue with its own reconciliation process that was started after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was defeated in May 2009.
The resolution, which was adopted by 24 votes to 12 with 12 abstentions, has been described by the government as a lop-sided vote where most of those voting for it were Europeans. “The EU votes as a block and the US had more than a dozen votes already in the bag while we started with none,” Rajapakse pointed out in a meeting with foreign media representatives in Colombo.
By Jaya Ramachandran
NEW YORK (IDN | UN News) - A group of eight United Nations human rights independent experts have urged the Egyptian authorities to quash the 529 death sentences announced in Egypt and give the defendants new and fair trials, in line with international human rights law.
“The right to life is a fundamental right, not a toy to be played with. If the death penalty is to be used at all in countries which have not abolished it, international law requires the most stringent respect of a number of fundamental standards,” the experts said in a news statement.