New York, Feb 25 (Canadian-Media): Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has warned against complacency on women’s rights at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, a landmark agenda for the empowerment of women, UN media reports said.
Michelle Bachele addresses the High-level segment of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Image credit: UN Photo/Antoine Tardy
#UN; #GenderGap; #ScienceMaleOriented; #GenerationEquality; #WomenInScience
New York, Feb 10 (Canadian-Media): Fewer than 30 per cent of the world’s scientific researchers are women: that’s just one of the statistics showing how many challenges remain for women and girls in the scientific field, as the world marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on Tuesday.
Pledging to end the gender imbalance in science, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day that “dismantling gender stereotypes” was an essential step.
He highlighted the fact that “girls and boys perform equally well in science and mathematics, but only a fraction of female students in higher education choose to study sciences” and called for more supportive career development for women scientists and researchers.
Science can bring life-changing benefits
In her statement issued to mark the Day, UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, reinforced that message, specifying that “science and innovation can bring life-changing benefits, especially for those who are furthest behind – such as women and girls living in remote areas, the elderly and people with disabilities”.
Highlighting also the importance of science for decent work and jobs of the future, including in the green economy – essential to tackle the climate crisis - Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said that there was a clear need to “break gender stereotypes that link science to masculinity”.
Paid less, published less
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are published less, paid less for their research and do not advance as far as men in their careers.
UNESCO data from 2014-2016 shows that globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in information and communications technology (ICT), where women represent only three per cent, and natural science, mathematics and statistics, where the figure is five per cent.
“If we are to be able to address the enormous challenges of the 21st Century – from climate change to technological disruption - we will need to rely on science and the mobilization of all our resources”, said UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay.
“It is for this reason that the world must not be deprived of the potential, the intelligence, or the creativity of the thousands of women who are victims of deep-seated inequality and prejudice.”
The International Day was established in 2015, following the adoption of a General Assembly resolution, signalling the international community’s interest in achieving equality and gender-parity in science for sustainable development, and recognizing that full access and participation in STEM subjects is imperative for the empowerment of women and girls.
Window of opportunity
Marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a roadmap for the rights of women and girls, 2020 offers a fresh opportunity for progress towards gender parity.
The UN Secretary-General said the anniversary was a chance to “bring new urgency to promoting women’s and girls’ access to science education, training and jobs”.
The UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign aims to accelerate gender equality actions and mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
With six diverse Action Coalitions to tackle the unfinished business of gender equality, one focus of the campaign is on “Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality”, which aims to “catalyse action for game-changing approaches that provide new opportunities to women and girls, while addressing barriers to connectivity, digital inclusion and digital equality”.
UN Women’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka added that “Generation Equality was also a chance to ensure that the business community, including those in the STEM sectors, has a stake in and a responsibility for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community”.
#UN; #ILO; #SDGs; #Indigenous; #TribalCommunities; #Poverty; #ILOConventionNo169
United Nations, Feb 3 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous and tribal communities are around three times more likely to face extreme poverty than others with women “consistently at the bottom of all social and economic indicators”, UN labour experts said on Monday, UN News agency reported today.
Women walk in the street in La Paz, Bolivia. Image credit: ILO/R. Lord
Highlighting new data showing that disproportionate numbers of indigenous people live on less than $1.90 a day – 18.2 per cent versus 6.8 per cent of non-indigenous people - the International Labour Organization (ILO) insisted that millions are being held back by a “spectre of poverty”.
The problem warrants global attention because this at-risk population is significantly larger than was previously thought, ILO insists.
According to the UN organization, there are more than 476 million indigenous people globally, the majority of whom live in relatively prosperous countries.
At the same time, support for the only international treaty that protects their rights - Convention No. 169 - is weak, it maintains.
Only 23 of ILO’s 187 Member States have signed the convention on the rights of indigenous peoples in the 30 years since it was adopted.
This means that only around 15 per cent of indigenous peoples stand to benefit from the treaty’s focus on implementing policies and legislation designed to combat poverty and unfair treatment and promote equality through inclusive dialogue and best practice.
Focusing on the world of work as a key indicator of the lives of indigenous people, the ILO found that far more of them are active in the informal sector - by 20 per cent - compared with other workers.
And based on data from 23 countries that are home to more than 80 per cent of indigenous people, the ILO report found that indigenous women face the biggest challenges too.
In addition to having the lowest chance of completing basic primary education, only about one in four indigenous women is in salaried work, compared with one in two non-indigenous female workers.
Indigenous earn less
Researchers also noted that even when they are in salaried work, indigenous people earn around 18 per cent less than the wider workforce.
According to the ILO, there are more than 5,000 distinct indigenous communities worldwide, in some 90 countries.
Regionally, Latin America and the Caribbean are home to the highest proportion of indigenous and tribal people, at 8.5 per cent of the total population - far more than the entire population of Colombia.
Data from nine countries in this same region also showed that these indigenous communities constituted almost 30 per cent of the extreme poor – the highest proportion across all global regions.
Mirroring this trend elsewhere, ILO underlined that in Africa, the more than 77 million indigenous people there – six per cent of the wider population – accounted for 24 per cent of the continent’s extreme poor.
In Asia and the Pacific, the region’s 335 million indigenous people comprised over seven per cent of the total population, and almost 16 per cent of the extreme poor, based on data from five countries.
The trend was also identified to a lesser extent in Northern America, where the over seven million indigenous people constituted over two per cent of the wider population and 3.5 per cent of the poorest members of society.
Let them be heard
ILO believes that indigenous people’s views need to be heard in order to put in place sustainable social justice policies that are detailed in Convention No. 169.
These will help to tackle the problems that indigenous people face, including poverty, inequality, conflict and climate change, the UN organization believes.
Nonetheless, although “several countries” have designated agencies for indigenous affairs and have made the “greatest progress” so far, there have been too few opportunities for engagement with minority communities to date, the ILO maintains.
#17SDGs; #SecondInternationalDayOfEducation; #ClimateAction, #CombatIllicitFinances; #InclusionIsKey
The President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on Monday set out his 2020 priorities, which aim to make the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality by the start of the next decade, UN reports said.
UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande meets cadets participating in a military and peacekeeping training programme at Khawla bint Al Azwar Military Academy for Women in Abu Dhabi. Image credit: United Nations
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, spelled out that these encompass peace and security, quality education, zero hunger, climate action, poverty eradication, and inclusion.
“International peace and security is key to achieving the SDGs, as no development can happen in the absence of peace”, he stated.
Stressing the need to work harder, he spelled out: “If ever diplomacy should achieve its purpose, this is one urgent area it must show its face” – including in finding solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Syria, Yemen, Libya and all other conflicts.
He recalled that the second International Day of Education will be celebrated on 24th January with the participation of actors in the education system, governments, the private sector and civil society organizations.
“Ensuring access to free and quality primary and secondary education, as well as affordable and inclusive vocational and technical education, is important, and I will continue to reach out to you…on how best we can continue to collaborate”, maintained Mr. Muhammad-Bande.
Turning to zero hunger, he announced that he would host an event in February to discuss the topic “Targeting Hunger: South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Transforming Agriculture”.
“It is my hope that member States will use that opportunity to deepen discussion” on better cooperation, “particularly through partnerships in the agricultural sector”, he said.
“We can end hunger and help to eradicate poverty if we deepen cooperation in modernizing the agricultural sector, particularly as it concerns availability and affordability of industrial machineries, irrigation systems, high yield seedlings and access to finance”, said Mr. Muhammad-Bande.
Climate action at the fore
Spotlighting climate action, he flagged that an Ocean Conference will be held from 2-6 June in Lisbon, Portugal.
From 4-5 February, a preparatory meeting will determine the themes of seven interactive dialogues as well as provide initial inputs for a declaration to be adopted at its conclusion.
He also highlighted a Biodiversity Summit, whose preparatory process will begin on Thursday, saying “we must do our best to tackle the environmental emergencies that we currently face”.
“We must build on the political momentum generated by the Paris Agreement in 2015 and the Climate Summit last September, to accelerate action to save the planet from the peril that inaction can unleash”, emphasized Mr. Mr. Muhammad-Bande, especially “in the light of our disappointment that we could not reach consensus on important issues during COP25 in Madrid”.
And to “review the progress made in the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought”, he also said he would convene a High-Level dialogue in collaboration with the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Combating Desertification on 9 June.
Combat illicit finances
He also spoke about an initiative on international financial accountability, transparency and integrity to promote international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows, with a view to foster sustainable development.
“It is my hope that as an outcome of this initiative, Member States will have a basis to take action to more effectively close the current financial gaps due to Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption, money laundering and tax evasion”, he said, adding that details would be shared at a briefing on 28 January 2020.
‘Inclusion is key
’“Inclusion is key to our world”, Mr. Muhammad-Bande said, noting that “exclusion has been a major source of instability in all societies”.
Inclusion is key to our world – General Assembly President
Underscoring that “there is absolutely no reason to exclude anyone - whether they are a woman, youth, disabled, or because of their faith, color or where they are from”, he urged all delegations to be involved in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women; 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; and the 10th anniversary of UN Women.
On 31 March he said he would convene a High-Level Youth Plenary so young people can participate in devising a strategy to tackle immediate problems, such as the lack of quality education and unemployment.
“Be most assured, always, of my firm commitment to work with all, in line with both the Charter of our Organization, and in view of the urgency of the issues before us”, concluded Mr. Muhammad-Bande.
Kenya (Africa), Jan 1 (Canadian-Media): Together, Kenya and Uganda kick-start a Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by partnering with the UN to address challenges that transcend country borders. By Siddharth Chatterjee (Kenya RC) and Rosa Malango (Uganda RC), media reports said.
Close to the Kenyan border, the small border town of Moroto in northeast Uganda is known for its dukas or small shops that sell traditional woodwork, pottery and weavings.The people of Moroto also raise cattle that graze on the surrounding scrub grassland. With 7500 inhabitants, the community depends on food crops such as corn and cassava, a starch that some of us know as yuca and manioc.
Like many other places in Africa, Moroto has been affected by climate change which has deeply impacted livelihoods, especially for women and children.
It is no coincidence that it has also become a conflict-prone area. Just beyond Moroto, at the Kenyan-Uganda border, conflicts that were previously contained and worked through at the local levels, started to escalate with political, economic, social and cultural implications across bordering countries.
The UN Resident Coordinator, sometimes called the RC, is the highest-ranking representative of the UN development system at the country level. In this occasional series, UN News is inviting RCs to blog on issues important to the United Nations and the country where they serve.For the families, the conflicts have had devastating consequences, from lost wages to losing loved ones. It’s led to a rupture of community social protection networks. It has also meant weaker political institutions of governance and the disruption of essential services. This destruction of traditional livelihoods also increased the number of people that are internally displaced, with no place to call home.
Cattle-raising is a common activity in northeast Uganda. Image credit: UN Uganda.
Communities like the Karamoja Triangle can ill-afford to lose more ground. This ancient collection of communities with a shared socio-cultural heritage, live on the lands that straddle the borders between Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.
Women, men and children from the area are highly vulnerable to climatic variations such as drought that renders households perennially without food and limited options for work.
In Turkana, in northwest Kenya, more than two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line; adult literacy is around 20 per cent and, despite its huge potential for tourism, raising livestock and mineral deposits, its contribution to the national gross domestic product is less than 5 per cent. Poverty and drought remain the main drivers of conflict.
There is only one way to tackle challenges that transcend their borders, such as climate change and conflict: together. The governments of Kenya and Uganda partnered with the UN and broke ground on a new bi-national agreement for sustainable peace and development in the climate change affected and conflict prone Turkana-Pokot-Karamoja region, bordering the two countries.
Conversations began a year earlier when ministers from Kenya and Uganda, held consultations in Uganda on how best to address conflicts and climate change.
The aim was to develop the Karamoja Cluster as a single socio-economic zone, with joint policies and programmes that will build opportunities and hope for these indigenous communities particularly for young people.
A shared journey to deliver the SDGs
This joint programme bridges the humanitarian, development and peace “nexus” to build resilient communities – those that can better withstand crisis. The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are guiding efforts by the UN in Uganda and Kenya to invest in indigenous capacities to detect, prevent and manage conflict triggers and also to mobilize support from national governments, business leaders and development partners.
#UN; #SDGs; #DisabilityInclusion
Doha (Quatar), Dec 7 (Canadian-Media): The international community has agreed truly ground-breaking frameworks to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, including in the context of development, but there remains a significant gap between these ambitions and the reality experienced daily by millions of persons with disabilities, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a conference in Doha on Saturday.
Eight-year-old Filomena, born with spastic quadriplegia and epilepsy, and her mother colour in drawings at the psychosocial rehabilitation centre in Maputo, Mozambique. (8 October 2018).
Image credit: © UNICEF/Amminadab Jean
With 181 State Parties, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is among the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaties and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development makes a firm commitment to ensuring that persons with disabilities are not left behind in the international community's quest for peace and prosperity on a healthy planet.
But wide gaps remain between these ambitious steps and the daily reality faced by the world’s estimated one billion persons with disabilities, some 80 percent of whom live in developing countries where they are among the most marginalized in any crisis-affected community.
Barriers still exist; stigma fuels discrimination “The number of persons with disabilities living in poverty and hunger is higher than, and in some countries double, that of the general population,” the Deputy Secretary-General said in her remarks to the opening ceremony of the Doha International Conference on Disability and Development.
She said that compared to the general population, persons with disabilities face far more barriers when accessing health care. “Globally, the percentage of persons with disabilities who are employed is half that of persons without disabilities,” she said, adding that they are also less likely to attend school and complete primary education.
In all regions, stigma faced by persons with disabilities abounds, compounded by a lack of understanding of their rights, and of the value of their contributions to society. Ms. Mohammed stressed that stigma continues to fuel systemic discrimination, with persons with disabilities denied equal access to education, the work force, health care and opportunities to participate in public life.
“And, for many persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls, the discrimination is multiplied,” she said.
More must be done to reverse ‘untenable situation’ “This situation is untenable. It goes against our collective commitment to human dignity, our obligations under international law and the strong business case for disability inclusion,” said Ms. Mohammed, declaring: “It is up to us – leaders from government, business, civil society, organizations of persons with disabilities, international organizations and others – to turn this situation around.”
Earlier in her remarks, the UN deputy chief noted “the tireless efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser”, whom hailed as “one of the most dedicated advocates we have for improving education around the globe and ensuring no one is left behind, especially persons with disabilities.”
Ms. Mohammed went on to recall that in September, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. And in doing so, he called on people everywhere to join a global movement for people and planet – for social inclusion, for climate action and for gender equality.
“In answer to this call, we must step up our collective performance on disability inclusion,” said Ms. Mohammed.
Four key areas of action Setting out key areas where progress was necessary, the Deputy Secretary-General said that some countries still need to work harder to increase the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data, disaggregated by disability, to inform their approaches to disability inclusion.
Further, resources are critical, and she said governments should be making disability inclusion a priority within their national budgets. “Existing resources have to be spent in a more disability-inclusive manner and more resources have to be allocated towards inclusion of persons with disabilities,” she said.
Ms. Mohammed also called for improved accessibility, which she underscored as “a precondition for the full inclusion and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in our society.”
Finally, she urged support to persons with disabilities in conflict and humanitarian settings.
The United Nations is committed to assuming our responsibility to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in everything that we do – UN deputy chief Amina Mohammed
“This year we have seen several positive developments,” she explained, pointing to the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), which for the first time, has persons with disabilities as a priority area; and the adoption by the UN Security Council in May of its first resolution on protection of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.
“Now we must work together to bring the commitments of these documents into action,” she said.
Ms. Mohammed said that through collaboration across UN Offices and Agencies, UN Country Teams, Regional Commissions and the UN Secretariat, practical assistance and training materials have been prepared and delivered to countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America to help navigate the challenges faced by persons with disabilities.
This past June, the Secretary-General launched the first-ever United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, a framework for action by the UN System. “The Strategy is our commitment to persons with disabilities – establishing the foundation for the systemic and sustainable change we need,” said Ms. Mohammed, explaining that it calls for action in four core areas of responsibility: leadership, strategic planning and management; inclusiveness; programming; and organizational culture.
The international community has made many advances in recent years in terms of disability inclusion. “But we have much more to do. As we look ahead to the Decade of Action, all of you have an essential role to play.”
#Berlin; #UN; #InternetGovernanceForum; #SDGs; #ITU
Berlin, Nov 28 (Canadian-Media): It is “critical” to prioritize technologies that are most needed for sustainable development, a high-level UN official told the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) on Wednesday in Berlin.
Addressing how the world can reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Digital Age, Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), said that the power of information and communication technology (ICT) for good, can only be harnessed if people have “a real sense of public trust, security and stability in the digital space.”
He drew attention to technologies and the Internet, which he maintained “have transformed information sharing, revolutionized industries, saved lives and advanced development”.
While new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things can help achieve the SDGs and improve the lives of all, Mr. Liu flagged the need to “continue to showcase how they can make meaningful contributions” to the global goals.
“The IGF is one such important platform”, he said, while noting others, such as the DESA-organized Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
“Each forum has a unique role to play and that they complement each other”, he said, and called the Internet and ICTs “cross-cutting enablers for SDGs”.
But these enablers not only come with challenges but often create new ones, including digital divides, cybersecurity, internet privacy and online human rights protection.
And there are also unforeseeable risks that impact the future of work, global security, and people’s trust and well-being in a digital society.
Breaking down silosTo overcome risks and challenges and ensure that no one is left behind, Mr. Liu advised following the recommendations by the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
“The IGF must respond, through the UN’s convening role, to bring everyone together – regardless of the stakeholder groups or backgrounds”, he said.
And it must continue engaging with high-level decision-makers from Governments and the private sector, as well as technical experts and civil society.
Turning to the expanding network of over 120 national, regional and youth IGFs, Mr. Liu spelled out that engagement on a local level is “critical” to understanding the issues and resources available in all communities.
We need to optimize these partnerships and capacity development opportunities -- Liu Zhenmin
He stated that “the complexity of the internet does not allow for siloed approach or the unification of problems and solutions”.
“We are even more fortunate to have them as partners to guide our vision towards a safe and accessible Internet for all”, said Mr. Liu.
“We need to optimize these partnerships and capacity development opportunities”.
Today’s challenges - including rising inequality, uneven growth, climate change and fast-paced technological change - demand a collective effort and a stronger multilateral response.
And while the Internet and technology are critical for achieving SDGs, we must “continue to come together to discuss everyone’s concerns”, he stressed.
In doing so, he said the technology could truly benefit all humankind and, together, we can “make sustainable development a reality”, concluded the UN official.
#UnitedNationsEnvironmentProgramme; #EndangeringMarineLife; #HuamHealth
New York, Nov 4 (Canadian-Media): Each year, an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean – equivalent to a full garbage truck dumped into the sea every minute - the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Monday.
Trash at a beach in Bali where the UN Environment Programme launched the Clean Seas Campaign. Photo Credit: UNEP/Shawn Heinrichs
Between 60 to 90 per cent of the litter that accumulates on shorelines, the surface and the sea floor is made up of plastic.
The most common items are cigarette butts, bags, and food and beverage containers. Consequently, marine litter harms over 800 marine species, 15 of which are endangered. And plastic consumed by marine species enters the human food chain through fish consumption.
Alarmingly, in the last 20 years, the proliferation of microplastics, microbeads and single-use plastics have made this problem even more pronounced.
Most people associate marine plastic pollution with what they can see along coastlines or floating on sea surfaces. But microplastics and microbeads pose a hidden challenge as they are out of sight and, therefore, out of mind.
Clean Seas Campaign“What’s in Your Bathroom?”, UNEP asked on Monday, as part of a campaign to raise awareness on the harm caused by plastics in personal care products and shifts that can be made to reduce plastic footprints.
Microplastics listed on cosmetic ingredients
Now in its second phase, it is shining a light on specific aspects of marine litter, such as plastic pollution generated by the cosmetic industry.
Many consumers are not aware just how much plastic there may be in the personal care items they use daily on their faces and bodies.
From the plastic in packaging to the under-5mm microplastics hidden within the products, including beads or glitter, they are designed to wash down the drain, travel through rivers and ultimately end up in the sea.
Microplastics are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants and attract waterborne toxins and bacteria that stick to their surfaces. Because they look like food, they are eaten by fish, amphibians, insect, larvae and marine animals as well as seabirds and other marine life, blocking digestive tracts and causing physical problems.
In addition to endangering marine life, the health implications of microplastics on humans are not yet fully known, but considering their prevalence in clothes, food, water and cosmetics, are expected to be far reaching.
For the next week, UNEP is inviting consumers everywhere to examine products in their bathrooms and switch out those with microplastics for safer alternatives.
New York, Oct 21 (Canadian-Media): For the seventh year in a row, fashion mogul and UN Goodwill Ambassador Michael Kors, launched his Watch Hunger Stop campaign on Monday - an initiative that supports the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) in its work to feed schoolchildren around the world.
Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o (left) and fashion mogul and UN Goodwill Ambassador Michael Kors speak at UN headquarters in New York about the Watch Hunger Stop campaign, a partnership between Michael Kors and the World Food Programme (WFP). Image credit: UN News/Joon Park
This year’s theme, “Food is Love”, is based on the simple principle that food is essential; and yet one-in-nine people are going to bed hungry, Mr. Kors said, speaking alongside Black Panther star, Lupita Nyong’o, the 2019 campaign’s celebrity partner, at a meeting to promote the initiative at UN headquarters on Monday.
“I am very proud that seven years in, we are almost at 19 million meals,” Mr. Kors told event attendees, adding that progress made so far “is just the tip of the iceberg if we can keep making noise.”
For every Watch Hunger Stop t-shirt or tote bag purchased from the brand’s retail store or official website, Michael Kors will donate 100 per cent of the profits (amounting to 100 meals for every $25 spent) to WFP.
The company is also leveraging the influence of social media, promising to donate 100 meals to the agency for every social media photo featuring the merchandise tagged with #WatchHungerStop.
As the largest humanitarian agency fighting global hunger, WFP leads hunger relief operations in 83 countries, helping feed around 86.7 million people each year through emergency relief, resilience building, school meal programmes and tackling gender disparities.
Behind conflict, the agency cites climate change as one of the leading global causes of hunger, but the problem is solvable, Kors and Ms. Nyong’o encouraged.
For less than a cup of coffee, 50 cents, WFP can deliver a meal, amounting to a small sacrifice by one to better the life of another, Ms. Nyong’o said.
“I think food and hunger are often taken for granted, especially in a land of plenty that we live in in America”, the Academy Award-winning actress stressed, explaining that being involved with the Kors campaign meant giving a new face and further attention to the issue to “get us a little closer to the goals” the UN – and the international community – have promoted to end hunger, by 2030.
Since 2013, Mr. Kors has teamed up with figures including actress Kate Hudson and singer Hailee Steinfeld, to bring visibility to food insecurity around the globe, and recognize World Food Day, marked annually on 16 October.
This year, Michael Kors will donate up to two million meals to WFP through 31 March of 2020.
United Nations, July 19 (Canadian-Media): Unless progress is accelerated, Asia and the Pacific are on course to miss all of the 17 Goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Executive Secretary of the UN regional commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), told UN News at the Organization's Headquarters on Wednesday.
A woman boat-driver in Mekong Delta, Vietnam. (23 July 2014). Credit: ESCAP/Taufan Wijaya
Under-Secretary-General Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana was in New York to take part in the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the main UN platform for monitoring the progress that countries are making towards the Agenda, which is the UN’s blueprint for ending poverty and preserving the planet.
ESCAP’s latest Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report shows that, when it comes to some of the Goals, the region is actually going backwards. These are the goals related to access to clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), and responsible consumption and production (Goal 11).
There are, said Ms. Alisjahbana, several reasons for this: “There is water scarcity, because of the pressure of urbanization, and the management of natural resources and the environment are making the situation worse. As for moving towards sustainable consumption, that has to do with behaviour and lifestyle. With increasing wealth you consume more, but what you consume is something that is actually not sustainable.
Governments, said the head of ESCAP, must ultimately be responsible for investments in sustainable development. Investing in basic infrastructure costs money, but there is a considerable multiplier effect, that has a positive effect on the economy. Countries with smaller financial resources should look at raising money through fiscal reforms rather than looking for aid, and risking becoming dependent, she added.
The Progress Report complains about a lack of data, an important point because, says Ms. Alisjahbana, without the correct data you can’t track progress, or evaluate the best actions to take going forward. Improved data must go hand in hand with improved capacity for analysing data, which means national statistical offices, and SDG monitoring.
Despite the many challenges facing the region’s efforts to achieve the Goals, Ms. Alisjahbana remains optimistic. The situation, she believes, can be turned around, through better cooperation, as well as the abundant talent and expertise found in the region.