The week started with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on August 9th with the theme “Indigenous designs: Celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future”.
The focus this year was on preserving the future considering the struggle in obtaining resources for survival of indigenous people around the world. The focus on preserving and being educated on history of the past for our future on different levels continued throughout the week in a variety of different UN supported events.
At a conference this week at a UN forum in the Republic of Korea UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged youth in the conference and around the globe to take into consideration the different obstacles that the world faces and realize that the youth today will be the global leaders in the near future. The theme of the conference as it continues is “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature” and focuses on the development in today’s generation for the future.
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy ended his post this week and stressed the need for the people of the future to continue to stay engaged in the world’s development as well as there is specifically a constant need for the work of peacekeeping. He mentioned how the need may not seem vivid at all times, but there are always situations that arise where peacekeeping support is needed in nations throughout the world. On the same day, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss spoke during both a visit to Argentina and a seminar in Chile ‘The United Nations in Global Governance’ about the importance of the UN’s role in adjusting to improve its global governance in the 21st century as it branches all of the nations it supports together, starting with organizations including the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC).
Efforts were made this week by young global students as students in Japan spoke with UN Security-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit following the natural disaster earlier this year. They discussed the future of Japan and their dedication as students to help the country during its recovery and the UN Secretary-General initiated plans for an international high-level meeting next month to discuss the issue. Along with education, comes the important support of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of Academic Impact which focuses on the research and development of learning so that world challenges have the potential to be solved in our future and communities can come together similar to international communities reaching out in conferences.
Along with highlighting how education can help solve global obstacles and the efforts to help the recovery of Japan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon mentioned the importance this week of international support for Somalia who is still currently struggling with the development of its nation and government along with the challenges of the famine that continues to affect its country and others in the Horn of Africa. This continues to be an incredible global tragedy for the continent of Africa, and offers an urgent opportunity for organizations supported by the United Nations and the entire international community to support.
Involvement in global impact starts young! Players of the Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona met with youth in Dallas, Texas this week to encourage participation in the sport of soccer and to send the message to the children that passion is the key to success. Both UNICEF, who has been a major contributor to the providing resources to the crisis in the Horn of Africa recently, and FC Barcelona have worked together in the past and continue to do so in encouraging youth participation in sports and the education behind the skills learned from being active on an educational, environmental and social level so that future generations that are struggling today can develop in the future.
Are you looking to get involved and have an impact on helping the world? Do you have an idea you think the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should hear? You’re in luck! A Citizen Ambassador’s contest in time for World Humanitarian Day 2011 coming up later this month just started this week giving those that participate the potential to have the opportunity to share your idea with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself. Check it out, here!
It’s August! This week was a week full of opportunity to educate and help those in need around the globe as we welcome a new month. The UN Security Council welcomed both a new month and president, as India was given the position of Presidency for the month. India seems to have some plans for going about its time as president including a peacekeeping debate and creating a strong image of itself within the UN community.Monday also brought along the start of World Breastfeeding Week, as the theme this year was “Talk to me! Breastfeeding – a 3D Experience”. The theme suggested the idea of using communication tools through technology to better educate the world about the benefits of breastfeeding. Along the topic of communication tools comes a new tool introduced this week focused on giving access to resources that are propelled by technology for those that don’t have the financial support to access these resources now. The use of technology will focus on access to women in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in creating “mobile identities” that they will be able to access from any mobile phone that will allow them to have phone access through the device as well as resources to be able to educate themselves about health topics and find jobs.
Assistance is still needed throughout the world this week, as the UN declared that the famine in Somalia has spread to three other areas of the nation this week and the crisis in the Horn of Africa is in need of major support in its fight for resources.
There are many ways that you can get involved too through a variety of different organizations to help nations in the Horn of Africa recover from this crisis. UNICEF this week proposed an idea for other organizations to get involved as well, as it asked airlines to generously give less-costly space for resources to be flown to the nations in need in the Horn of Africa, and some airlines have already agreed to either free transportation of resources or discounts. It also continues to stay involved in helping as it supports those that come to refugee camps with basic resources and child protection as a majority of those coming to the camp are women and children. The World Food Programme is getting involved with the refugee camps as it has assisted with providing food and other resources to those that arrive to the camps as well, as malnutrition is a major concern for those that arrive. As nations continue to develop and get past crisis and people come together to help in whatever way they can, Sudan which had a recent development as Southern Sudan declared its independence weeks ago faced an unfortunate tragedy this week. Four Ethiopian UN Peacekeepers lost their lives from a the effects of a landmine this week and seven other Ethiopian UN Peacekeepers were injured during a mission in Sudan.
Starting the lead for assistance in the world the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continues to stay dedicated to helping those in need around the globe. This weekend he will be traveling to Japan to support the post-earthquake development of the nation. We look forward to hearing more about his trip and the development of assistance to those in need around the world as next week progresses.
A lot of focus was on the global leaders of our future throughout this week as the week started with the UN high-level meeting dedicated to the development of youth. The theme of the meeting was “Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”, just in time as the International Year of Youth is coming to an end this summer.
Along with the topic of youth, came a new report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at a side event of the UN high-level meeting, the report titled “Securing the Future Today“. This report and discussion focused on the youth’s actions to fight against the disease of AIDS. This will be a step in the right direction for our future, and the future goals in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals as goal #6 focuses on the global fight against the disease, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases including malaria.
Disease was also a big topic this week, as millions of children received the measles vaccination in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The UN World Health Organization helped in coordinating this great achievement, as there has been a measles epidemic that many people have lost their lives to and the funding was needed to make this event a great success. In efforts to globally fight against more diseases, the UN marked July 27th World Hepatitis Day as a day to recognize the fight and prevention of the disease. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the soccer team FC Barcelona have joined this week in the fight against disease to create a campaign against polio, called “More than a Goal. End Polio”. With a said 1 percent left in the fight against the disease and its eradication, the organizations are determined to put an end to it.
Along with disease, comes the support of resources and nutrition throughout the world so that people can survive with access to basic needs and children can develop and prosper. The crisis in the Horn of Africa continued this week as the drought is causing a lack of water and therefore threat of nutrition to people throughout the continent’s nations. More support is needed, as there are also many children suffering from this crisis, causing malnutrition and this threatening their survival in the crisis for all, with a said $1.4 billion in funding appealed by the UN to support the cause.
Efforts continue to assist globally in the fights against disease, malnutrition, resources and overall the availability of safe living conditions around the world. Support and funding is needed to continue to allow for these wonderful projects to develop and you can get involved in the action! In time for August 2nd, you can contact Congress representatives to share your voice towards the budget cuts that will unfortunately help support programs like these, specifically programs that help support women and girls throughout the world have availability to resources.
Join in the support and action to help the people of today in any way you can and the global leaders of tomorrow in our youth today!
President Hu Visits the U.S.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is wrapping up his state visit to the United States with a brief stop in Chicago to meet with American and Chinese businessmen. His trip to the U.S. marks a new chapter in China-U.S. diplomacy.
President Hu was the guest of honor at a State Dinner hosted by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday, January 19th at the White House. President Obama and President Hu stressed the two nations’ common interests, including potential for increased economic cooperation and the benefits of U.S.-China ties.
The two leaders also reached consensus on many important issues, including military relations, Iran, Sudan, space technology, and high-level exchanges. However, President Obama and President Hu soft-pedaled on longstanding issues that divide them, such as China’s human rights records and diplomatic dealings, China’s currency policy, and the nuclear ambitions of North Korea.
A day after the State Dinner, President Hu delivered an address in Washington in which he renounced “hegemony” and “expansionism.” President Hu also held a Capitol Hill meeting on Thursday, January 20th with Senate leaders from both parties, including Majority Leader Harry Reid.
According to China’s vice foreign minister, President Hu’s visit to Washington “proved to be successful.”
An Unexpected Visitor
Haiti’s former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier made a surprise return to Port-au-Prince on Sunday, January 16th, after being in exile for 25 years. His return added strain to an already complicated political atmosphere in Haiti brought on by the nation’s chaotic and inconclusive November 28th elections.
A day after Duvalier’s mysterious reappearance, human rights groups demanded that Haiti arrest Duvalier, nicknamed “Baby Doc,” for “crimes against humanity.” Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Duvalier, 59, should be brought to trial for the killings and torture of thousands of opponents at the hands of the Tonton Macoutes militia during his 15 years in power.
On Tuesday, January 18th, Duvalier was briefly taken into police custody and questioned over accusations that he stole millions of dollars from the treasury during his reign. After about four hours, he was released. He could still face eventual arrest and a trial.
Duvalier did not board his scheduled flight out of Haiti on Thursday, January 20th and remains in the country as a free man.
The ex-dictator was forced into French exile in 1986 following a popular uprising against his government, which was widely believed to be brutal and corrupt.
Turmoil in Tunisia
Although the interim government that took over when President Ben Ali fled the country in January offered major concessions, thousands of Tunisians are now demanding the dissolution of this new political entity; they are angry that several prominent members of former President Ben Ali’s government (the Constitutional Democratic Rally) have been included in the transitional cabinet, which met for the first time in Tunis on Thursday.
The protests that began in December 2010 are believed to have started over unemployment, inflation, rumors of corruption, lack of freedom of speech, and the President’s conspicuous displays of wealth. According to the United Nations, about 100 people died during the upheaval that swept across the north African country.
The interim government is currently preparing for new presidential elections and to speed up political reforms.
A Country Divided
Southern Sudan is heading for a split. 99% of the people who participated in Southern Sudan’s week-long Referendum have opted for independence with the north. Just 1.4% of people have voted for continued unity with the north.
The counting will be finished on January 31st, and the final results will be reported on February 14th. If the result is confirmed, the new country is set to formally declare its independence on July 9th.
President Omar al-Bashir has said he will accept the result of the vote, which was held after years of war.
On Tuesday, January 18, Robert Sargent Shriver passed away at the age of 95. Mr. Shriver’s passion was civic life, and he fully devoted himself to honoring public service with his life’s work. Mr. Shriver, a brother-in-law of President John Kennedy, was the first director of the Peace Corps, serving in that post from 1961 to 1966, architect of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, US ambassador to France, vice presidential nominee and candidate for president. He was awarded the President Medal of Freedom in 1994.
His legacy of service to this country and the world will always be remembered.