This week started and ended with events aiding those in need throughout the world leading right to today’s World Humanitarian Day 2011.Some great achievements were made throughout the week.
The week started with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Rights (OCHA)‘s efforts in Pakistan after monsoon floods effected the living situation of thousands of people. This organization also helped in the return this week of thousands of refugees to Southern Sudan after its strive for resources followings its independence. However, support is still needed in the world as those in regions within Darfur are still in need. Other parts of the continent still suffering from the crisis in the Horn of Africa. Many UN associated organizations came together this week during a meeting to organize an approach to help in any way they can.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a point about the progress of the UN mentioning that there are a lot of situations and crisis in need of the UN’s assistance and resources. As 2015 gets closer and closer, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explains the importance of working now for the future. He mentions that besides looking towards the Millennium Goals for 2015, the UN must also recognize goals for after 2015. With focus on future generations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Citizen Ambassador’s Contest continues as it looks for future global leaders to pitch their ideas for the progress of the UN’s future. The future brings new ideas and changes, as well as preserving the past which includes this week’s decision to help specifically endangered species. The UN’s focus this week, as always, remains to help now for the future.
We look forward to what the UN’s progress next week will bring to the world!
“Let those we honour today inspire us to start our own journey to make the world a better place and bring our human family more closely together.” -UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Today is World Humanitarian Day, which was established on December 11, 2008 in honor of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, an outstanding humanitarian that tragically lost his life in Baghdad, along with 21 other U.N. personnel, on this day in 2003. Along with the United Nations and governments all over the world, this day is recognized to pay tribute to the hard work, perseverance and dedication of humanitarian workers as they continue to sacrifice their lives to ease the suffering of people in crises. This year’s theme is “people helping people”, encouraging more involvement throughout the world. Check out some amazing stories from humanitarians helping around the world and artists spreading the word through music in a special music video made for this year’s recognition day.
Looking back, this past year has been plagued with humanitarian crises. Newspaper headlines all over the world tell stories from soldiers in Afghanistan to children suffering through the famine in East Africa and more. But what you don’t see in the front page are the people behind the scenes who have risked everything to assist the citizens of countries going through economic and political crises. They are the humanitarian workers who have gone beyond their call of duty to assure victims that there is hope and that they are not alone. During this World Humanitarian Day, the world recognizes the humanitarian workers that have gone through extraordinary measures to aid the victims of these crises. From Haiti to Somalia, their presence around the world have touched countless lives and helped save millions. You can make a difference in many ways which could include helping them raise awareness on the many humanitarian issues plaguing our global community and the Millennium Development Goals or volunteering. The International Institute of Boston also welcomes you to celebrate this day with them through volunteer work. Whatever you choose to do, whichever cause you wish to undertake, know that you are making a difference.
-Lorainne Marie S. Lopez
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!
Influential moves were made with the decisions of UN Headquarters this week, as the UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was re-elected for a second term.
Celebrities were also spotted around the globe supporting the missions and goals of the organization. The week started off strong, with the Vienna Energy Forum 2011 in Vienna, Austria as celebrity and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger made the opening keynote speech in his homeland, proud to be given the opportunity to speak at the event. Actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie also visited refugees in Turkey and Italy in support of World Refugees Day 2011. Later in the week, singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira visited children in Israel inspiring them to reach towards the world of education.
Following in the footsteps of Shakira, the UN is encouraging involvement in the development of education specifically in Southern Sudan. The region will be officially independent of the country of Sudan itself early next month and is in looking for a developed start to educate its future. The UN also urges the need for midwifery services in the world to give children a future from the second they are born, with the potential of saving 3.6 million lives a year. Not only helping the children, but also saving the mothers, as the first ever UN International Widows’ Day was also recognized this week.
Beyond youth and education, great concern is discussed this week of drug use and violence in the world and its effect on global security. The global environment is also being effected, as rainforests in Honduras and Indonesia and previously a Wildlife Sanctuary in India earlier in the week are being effected.
Here in the US this week, as the UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supports US President Obama’s decision to begin withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan, in hopes that the country’s leadership will begin to develop on its own. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also encouraged the importance of our national involvement in climate control with the development of our cities. With support of our cities’ progress, he pushes towards environmentally-friendly considerations to be made for the future. Along with the his encouragement of these environmentally-friendly considerations, a new goal has been made for 2015, as the importance of sanitation needs be available to half of those in need today.
The week has finished with purpose, as we look forward to new beginnings and developing changes and ended the week with the UN Public Service Day. Join another celebrity and learn about more global affairs over the weekend. Tune into “Nepal’s Stolen Children” documentary with actress Demi Moore about trafficking and what can be done to help the future.