Blog Archives

Focus On Our Future: Week of 6/27 News Roundup

A lot of focus was put on the future of the world and a push for youth empowerment this week, as events and concerns of the UN meshed in sculpting hope. The week started with the official announcement of the eradication of rinderpest, marking the end of a disease that has been around for centuries. With this huge leap over an obstacle of the past, UNDP  looks towards the success of the Millennium Development Goals for the future. MDG #6 gives hope for the eradication of other diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria. This week unfortunately brought about a new challenge, as the HIV/AIDS funding in Massachusetts has been cut by $1.5 million dollars for the 2012 year by the state legislature. However, there is still a lot of hope for MDG #6, as organizations like AIDS  Action Committee are working hard on local advocacy efforts and students just this week introduced a new app that can determine whether a person has malaria from a smartphone. This app is said to have the potential to be used as an incredible tool in saving lives.  Campaigns like the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets also have very tangible impacts on ending malaria.

Going along with the incredible advances that can be made with technology, this week on June 30th the world celebrated Social Media Day 2011The impact that social media has these days on international issues has been undeniable, especially in relation to coordinating massive riots and exposing human rights abuses from Egypt to Libya to Iran.

As we look towards a future sure to be filled with further developments in social media, the world and the UN this week recognized the development of children (and future Facebookers and Tweeters). The UNRWA supported children in the Summer Games in Gaza this week to give these children the opportunity to impact change of Palestine’s relationship with Israel as they flew kites to make a stand and also break the world record for kite flying, giving them the inspiration to always strive. In Africa, the UN encouraged the involvement of children in society through education and the work force at the annual State of the African Union (AU) summit, which is being held in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, and whose theme is youth empowerment for sustainable development.  With a focus on young women, the UN supported the start of the Women’s World Cup 2011 this week in Germany with a push for women to have more roles in our global society.  Education is the key to a stronger future for our youth, and this is projected to be a top priority at the UN Economic and Social Council‘s meeting next week, as Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon discussed his concern of children in dangerous environments in the world this week.  It’s no doubt that a focus on youth is important, as youth today will be the leaders, researchers, educators and world citizens of our future.  We look forward to the world of changes that is to come, and hope to see continued developments in the coming days, weeks and months.

Stay tuned next Friday for the next weekly roundup!

-Cara

Advertisements

This Day’s For Africa!

On May 25, 2011, the world celebrated Africa Day. This year marked the 48th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. On July 9, 2002, OAU was succeeded by the African Union, whose aim is to promote economic, social, and political integration, and democracy on the continent. Even though the Organisation of African Unity no longer exists, May 25th continues to be commemorated as Africa Day.

This year’s Africa Day came at a time of momentous political change on the continent, as evidenced by the recent events in North Africa and Côte d’Ivoire.  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon celebrated the Day in Ethiopia, where the African Union is headquartered. Emphasizing this year’s Africa Day theme, “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development,” Secretary-General Ban remarked that despite substantial progress in education and economic growth, inequalities are prevalent in Africa, and that the youth of Africa continues to face challenges when it comes to finding decent jobs and participating in the decision-making processes. The Secretary-General also emphasized that sustainable economic growth and the judicious management of the earth’s resources can only be achieved through the empowerment of young people.

In addition to S-G Ban Ki-moon, those present in the commemorative event at the African Union Headquarters included the Chairperson of the African Union, Mr. Teodoro Mbasogo, and the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. In celebration of Africa, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be offering a number of events, including film screenings, art exhibitions and debates, with special attention paid to the role of women and young people.

—Smriti