Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Secretary-General’s message on the International Day of Friendship

First Phase DigitalThe International Day of Friendship was initiated by an individual who had a simple but profound vision: that the forces of animosity and hatred in our world are no match for the power of the human spirit.

I had the opportunity, earlier this year in Paraguay, to commend that pioneer, Dr. Ramón Bracho, for his conviction that just as friendship builds bridges between people, it can also inspire peace in our world.

This is of paramount importance as we confront the discrimination, malice and cruelty that drive conflicts and atrocities afflicting millions of people today.  We must counter these destructive trends with a renewed commitment to finding our common humanity and fostering shared progress.

On this International Day of Friendship, let us strengthen bonds among individuals and generate greater respect and understanding in our world.

United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons

human-trafficking-fundConflict, terrorism, economic turmoil, natural calamities, disease: we are living in an era of unprecedented crises and troubles, as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned.

Record numbers of people are fleeing war and persecution, and the international community is grappling with acute migration challenges in the Mediterranean, the Balkans, in the Andaman Sea, Latin America and Africa.

For human traffickers, these hardships represent business opportunities.

Many millions of vulnerable women, men and children are being cruelly exploited – coerced into working in factories, fields and brothels or begging on the street; pushed into armed combat or forced marriages; trafficked so their organs can be harvested and sold.

More and more detected victims of trafficking are children, especially girls under the age of 18. No place in the world is safe: the latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that the trafficking victims identified in 124 states were citizens of 152 different countries.

And the traffickers are getting away with it. Over the past decade there has been no significant improvement in the overall criminal justice response to this crime. In the period covered by the Global Report, some 40 per cent of countries reported less than ten convictions per year. Some 15 per cent did not record a single conviction.

The world is facing many grave challenges, and our resources are strained. But we cannot allow criminals to exploit these crises and take advantage of desperation and suffering.

You might wonder what one person can do about an entrenched and pervasive crime like human trafficking. But we can all do our part.

As a first step, you can educate yourself about human trafficking and help others become aware of the problem. You can find out more on our website for World Day against Trafficking in Persons, www.unodc.org/endht.

You can urge lawmakers and businesses to take this crime seriously, and to take action.

For governments, that means joining the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol on trafficking, and putting these frameworks into action in national legislation.

Effective implementation of the Convention and Protocol – backed with the necessary resources – can help to protect trafficking victims, promote cooperation between countries and ensure that criminal traffickers, wherever they are, are brought to justice.

As a consumer, employee or business owner, you can advocate for measures to prevent the use of forced labour in operations and supply chains, and eliminate abusive and fraudulent recruitment practices that may lead to trafficking.

Finally, you can encourage governments, companies and individuals to support the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons.

Financed solely through voluntary contributions, the Trust Fund works with NGO partners across the globe to identify women, children and men who have been exploited by traffickers, and give them the assistance, protection and support they need.

Since 2011, the Trust Fund has helped some 2,000 victims annually, providing shelter, basic health services, vocational training and schooling, as well as psychosocial, legal and economic support.

The Trust Fund has been able to assist girls like Skye, who was trafficked to India when she was just thirteen. After escaping back home to Nepal, she sought help from NGO Shakti Samuha. She went after her trafficker in court and went back to school.

Skye won her case and graduated, and now works as a staff member at Shakti Samuha, helping other trafficking victims become survivors.

There are many more young girls and trafficking victims like Skye who need and deserve our support.

30 July is United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons, established to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promote and protect their rights. This Thursday, let’s take this opportunity to give hope to trafficking victims, pledge to do our part and help end this terrible crime.

Join the #igivehope campaign today and show your solidarity with victims of human trafficking. www.unodc.org/endht/

 

Have a heart for victims of human trafficking and contribute to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund: www.unodc.org/humantraffickingfund

Yury Fedotov is the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

70th Anniversary of the UN: Donate a Talent

Donate a talentWhat is your favorite pastime? Are you into planting flowers? Do you love to sing and organize picnics for your friends? Do you boast remarkable skiing skills? Are you an excellent skydiver? Every person has a passion and a talent for something. Everyone enjoys life and makes the world more beautiful in their own way.

Seventy years ago, an organization was created in an effort to create a better world. Driven by a vision of enabling everyone to invest all their passion and skills in what they love to do, it now works throughout the globe.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the Information Office is launching ‘Donate a Talent’ campaign. It is our fervent belief that if everyone realizes their talent and shares it with the world, friends, colleagues or loved ones, the world will become a much better place. Doing something you are passionate about gives you pleasure. But that pleasure will be everyone’s if you share it with people around you.

A slew of celebrities – singers, film stars and craftspeople – as well as people of all stripes have joined the campaign and demonstrated their talents through videos that encourage each and every one to discover his or her own talent and donate it to the world.

You can become part of the campaign! Create a short video that highlights your skills, send us a link to the video, and we will post it on all the social networks of the UN Information Office! Share your talent with us!

Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa

FfD_Logo_Horizontal-E-for-webOn 13-16 July, Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, will host the third International Conference on Financing for Development beyond 2015. The gathering will determine sources of funding for projects seeking to address poverty and disease, promote education and economic progress, protect the environment, and provide sources of energy for all.

The conference will bring together high-ranking officials, including heads of state and government, and ministers of finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities.

The Addis Ababa conference will develop programmes of action with regard to issues such as internal government resources, local and international private sector and finance, international governmental resources, international trade as a driving force for development, debt and acceptable debt level, as well as science, technologies, innovation and capacity building.

The Conference will result in an inter-governmentally negotiated and agreed outcome, which should constitute an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

The outcomes of the conference will be a milestone for preparations for the UN Summit, scheduled for 25–27 September in New York, which will determine 17 Sustainable Development Goals in areas such as eradication of poverty, addressing hunger, healthcare, provision of gender equality, tackling climate change, encouragement of economic growth and job creation, improvement of access to modern energy sources, and expansion of services in water supply and sanitation.

Website: Updates on the Conference agenda, list of speakers and relevant documents will be available on www.un.org/ffd3. Other resources and latest news on the conference may be accessed on www.un.org/action2015.

Online broadcasting: Plenary sessions, round tables and press briefings will be broadcast online on http://webtv.un.org, with records of these events available upon request at the same link.

TV and radio broadcasting: UN WEB TV will provide live coverage of the conference on 13-16 July.

UN Information Office launches an initiative in the run up to World Youth Skills Day

IfIWereYou_Flyer

UN Information Office has joined hands with top ten successful names in the capital in an effort to celebrate World Youth Skills Day marked on July 15.

You may wonder…

As many as 74.5 million young people were unemployed worldwide in 2013. Expressing concerns regarding this staggering figure, a year ago the UN General Assembly declared July 15 as World Youth Skills Day.

Here is the point:

The high youth unemployment and underemployment rate is an acute problem. The majority of young people unable to get jobs live in developing countries. In recognition of this global problem and in commemoration of World Youth Skills Day 2015, the UN Information Office in Uzbekistan has initiated an awareness-raising campaign titled “If I Were You” aimed at steering young people toward informed life and job choices.

How this initiative is relevant:

“If I Were You” is a series of two-minute advice from ten successful leaders in Uzbekistan in various fields. Each guest, based on their own experience, shares one important recommendation with the millennials  that they believe will help them  improve their skills, boost their chances of landing a dream job and achieve career success. The initiative is a creative and youth-friendly  follow-up to concerns expressed in the Resolution of the UN General Assembly  A/C.3/69/L.13/Rev.1 to  “… enhance their(young people’s) ability to make informed choices with regard to life and work and empower them to gain access to changing labour markets,..” as well as its call on member states to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner “..through education, campaigns, volunteering and public awareness-raising activities.”

A side note..

We heartily believe “If I Were You” will motivate, educate and navigate. So, sharing it wide across our platforms is a highly recommended must! The clips are in Russian language with subtitles in English and will only be available on our Facebook page starting tomorrow -July 2, and will go live on YouTube on July 15 .

Click to see the trailer version of the campaign first and do follow us on FB andTwitter to watch the individual clips in full.