Monthly Archives: July 2016

UN chief launches first report to track Sustainable Development Goals

Launching the first-ever Sustainable Development Goals report on the new global development agenda adopted last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that the 15-year undertaking is “off to a good start” but will require all parts of the UN family and its partners to work together. “We have embarked on a monumental and historic journey,” the Secretary-General told the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which opened on 11 July and ends on 20 July, at the UN Headquarters in New York. “We must all learn, in national governments, in local authorities, in business and civil society, and also at the United Nations, to think differently,” he said, also underscoring the need to break down silos, not only between the economic, social and environmental aspects of development, but also between government institutions, between different levels of government and between the public and private sectors. The Forum is the UN’s central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted last September by 193 Member States. With his speech, Mr. Ban launched the first SDG report, which will serve as a benchmark for the 15-year implementation period of the 2030 Agenda. “It provides an accurate evaluation of where the world stands on the 17 Goals, using data currently available to highlight the most significant gaps and challenges,” he said. “We are off to a good start,” he added, calling on the international community to “pledge never to rest until we have achieved a world of peace, dignity and opportunity for all.” “Ensuring progress in achieving the SDGs will be greatly enhanced by making sure that lessons are shared and best practices are replicated,” he explained, calling on Member States to intensify efforts at follow-up and review through a participatory process, with the full engagement of the business sector and civil society

Launching the first-ever Sustainable Development Goals report on the new global development agenda adopted last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that the 15-year undertaking is “off to a good start” but will require all parts of the UN family and its partners to work together.

“We have embarked on a monumental and historic journey,” the Secretary-General told the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which opened on 11 July and ends on 20 July, at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“We must all learn, in national governments, in local authorities, in business and civil society, and also at the United Nations, to think differently,” he said, also underscoring the need to break down silos, not only between the economic, social and environmental aspects of development, but also between government institutions, between different levels of government and between the public and private sectors.

The Forum is the UN’s central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted last September by 193 Member States.

With his speech, Mr. Ban launched the first SDG report, which will serve as a benchmark for the 15-year implementation period of the 2030 Agenda.

“It provides an accurate evaluation of where the world stands on the 17 Goals, using data currently available to highlight the most significant gaps and challenges,” he said.

“We are off to a good start,” he added, calling on the international community to “pledge never to rest until we have achieved a world of peace, dignity and opportunity for all.”

 “Ensuring progress in achieving the SDGs will be greatly enhanced by making sure that lessons are shared and best practices are replicated,” he explained, calling on Member States to intensify efforts at follow-up and review through a participatory process, with the full engagement of the business sector and civil society.

Mandela day for freedom, justice and democracy

Mandela day

Every year on 18 July — the day Nelson Mandela was born — the UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

In December 2015, the General Assembly decided to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also be utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.

General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules” in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above.

 

Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz added to List of World Heritage in Danger

Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz added to List of World Heritage in DangerThe World Heritage Committee has decided to add Uzbekistan’s Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz to the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the over-development of tourist infrastructure in the site.

The Committee expressed concern over the destruction of buildings in the centre of the World Heritage site’s Medieval neighbourhoods and the construction of modern facilities including hotels and other buildings which have affected irreversible changes to the appearance of historic Shakhrisyabz. The Committee has requested that UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) send a joint mission to assess the extent of damage and propose appropriate corrective measures.

The Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz, located on the Silk Road in southern Uzbekistan, is over 2,000 years old and was the cultural and political centre of the Kesh region in the 14th and 15th century. The Historic Centre of Shakhrisabz bears witness to the city’s secular development and to centuries of its history, particularly to the period of its apogee, under the rule of Amir Temur and the Temurids, from the 15th-16th century.

The List of World Heritage in Danger is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which properties were inscribed on the World Heritage List and rally the support of the international community for their protection.

The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee began on 10 July and will continue until 20 July. It is chaired by Ambassador, Director General of Cultural Affairs and Promotion Abroad of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lale Ülker.

World Youth Skills Day 2016

WYSD-2016

“On this World Youth Skills Day, let us renew our resolve to invest more in empowering young people. When we do, they can better advance the broader mission of the United Nations for lasting peace, sustainable development and human rights for all. Ban Ki-moon” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labor market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transitions. In addition, women are more likely to be underemployed and under-paid, and to undertake part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts.

That is why education and training are key determinants of success in the labor market. But unfortunately, existing systems are failing to address the learning needs of many young people, and surveys of learning outcomes and skills show that a large number of youth have low levels of achievement in basic literacy and numeracy. Skills and jobs for youth feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG target 4.4 calls for a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills.

July 15 is World Youth Skills Day, and the United Nations is observing the day with a special event on the theme of “Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment.”Understanding what works to support young people in today’s and tomorrow’s labor market through training and skills development will be key to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, and will be at the center of this high-level event.

The event will be facilitated by the UN Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, and will feature opening remarks from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The event is co-organized with the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, UNESCO, and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

World Population Day Celebrated in Bobur Park, Tashkent

_UNI5836Tashkent, 12 July 2016 – Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and UNFPA (UN Population Fund) together celebrated the World Population Day 2016 to highlight global and national efforts on investing in the future of teenage girls.

The theme of this year’s World Population Day is “Investing in teenage girls”, and it is intended to highlight the need to invest in the health and education of youth, especially teenage girls, and create opportunities for them to realize their full potential.

World Population Day Celebrated in Bobir Park, TashkentIn Uzbekistan, UNFPA, Women’s Committee and khokimiyat (municipalities) of Tashkent city and Yakkasaroy district join hands to celebrate the World Population Day with open-air event at one of Tashkent’s beautiful locations, Bobur Park. The celebration featured women’s marathon, as well as kids’ chalk drawing contest and checkers tournament. Winners and participants of the contest got awarded with souvenirs. Participants of the event and guests also enjoyed performance of children’s folk dance and song groups. 

World Population Day Celebrated in Bobir Park, TashkentUNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan, Ms. Mieko Yabuta, highlighted the importance of this year’s WPD theme: “Needless to say, that the topic of today’s celebration very much coincides with the national priorities. The Government of Uzbekistan and the President himself pay great attention towards health of mothers and children, including teenage girls. The Government makes strenuous efforts to ensure that every teenage girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for them. We at UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, are committed to promoting and protecting these rights and to supporting the national efforts to empower teenage girls to determine their own destinies. We at UNFPA will continue working hand in hand with the people and the government of Uzbekistan to ensure that full potential of teenage girls is realized and they enjoy a prosperous and happy life.”

World Population Day Celebrated in Bobir Park, TashkentWorld Population Day is celebrated annually on 11 July. This important observation is an outgrowth of the Day of 5 Billion, which was observed on 11 July back in 1987. It was later recommended that 11 July be observed as World Population Day. World Population Day seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, particularly in the context of overall development plans and programmes, and the need for collective actions.

UNODC World Drug Report 2016 presented in Tashkent

This year’s World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was presented in Tashkent on June 27 at a press conference dedicated to the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The gathering also focused on Uzbekistan’s efforts to counter illegal drug trafficking.

_UNI5773Speaking at the press conference, the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, Ashita Mittal, quoted UN Secretary General who called on countries and communities “to continue to improve the lives of everyone blighted by drug abuse by integrating security and public safety with a heightened focus on health, human rights, and sustainable development.” She also drew attention to the campaign’s slogan, “First Listen”, which is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

The Director of the National Information Analytical Centre on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministries of Uzbekistan, Akhmed Mansurov, told those gathered about the efforts to counter illegal drug trafficking in the country. “It is obvious today that Afghan drugs are a destabilizing factor for the region and beyond,” he said. “In 2015, the law enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan were focused on suppressing drug trafficking while paying special attention to the destruction of the illicit drug supply channels into the country and their transit through its territory, in addition to the steady demolishment of organized criminal groups.”

Around five percent of the adult population, or nearly 250 million people between the ages of 15 and 64, used at least one drug in 2014, according to the latest World Drug Report. Although substantial, this figure has not grown over the past four years in proportion to the global population. The report, however, suggests that the number of people classified as suffering from drug user disorders has increased disproportionally for the first time in six years. There are now over 29 million people within this category (compared to the previous figure of 27 million). Additionally, around 12 million people inject drugs with 14 percent of these living with HIV. The overall impact of drug use in terms of health consequences continues to be devastating.

UNODC World Drug Report 2016 presented in Tashkent This report comes soon after April’s UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem (UNGASS), a landmark moment in global drug policy which resulted in a series of concrete operational recommendations. Collectively, these look to promote long-term, sustainable, development-oriented and balanced drug control policies and programmes. As UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov notes, it is critical that the international community come together to ensure the commitments adopted at the UNGASS are met – and the World Drug Report offers an important tool to assist with this task. “By providing a comprehensive overview of major developments in drug markets, trafficking routes and the health impact of drug use, the 2016 World Drug Report highlights support for the comprehensive, balanced and integrated rights-based approaches as reflected in the outcome document which emerged from the UNGASS.”

The world drug problem and sustainable development

With 2016 marking the first year of the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the report provides a special focus on the world drug problem within this context. In analysing these linkages the SDGs have been divided into five broad areas: social development; economic development; environmental sustainability; peaceful, just and inclusive societies; and partnerships.

The report highlights a strong link between poverty and several aspects of the drug problem. Indeed, the brunt of the drug use problem is borne by people who are poor in relation to the societies in which they live, as can be seen in stark terms in wealthier countries. The strong association between social and economic disadvantage and drug use disorders can be seen when analysing different aspects of marginalization and social exclusion, such as unemployment and low levels of education.

The report also sheds some light on the varied ways in which the world drug problem results in _UNI5747different manifestations of violence. While the intensity of drug-related violence is greatest when associated with drug trafficking and production, these do not necessarily produce violence, as illustrated by the low levels of homicide in transit countries affected by the opiate trafficking routes in Asia. The drug trade is generally seen to flourish where State presence is weak, where the rule of law is unevenly applied, and where opportunities for corruption exist.

The report analyses the influence of the criminal justice system on drug trafficking and drug markets, as well as on drug use and people who use drugs. For example, it notes that globally 30 percent of the prison population is made up of un-sentenced or pre-trial prisoners. Among the convicted prisoners, 18 percent are in prison for drug-related offences. The excessive use of imprisonment for drug-related offences of a minor nature is ineffective in reducing recidivism and overburdens criminal justice systems, preventing them from efficiently coping with more serious crimes. Provision of evidence-based treatment and care services to drug-using offenders, as an alternative to incarceration, has been shown to substantially increase recovery and reduce recidivism.

For the full report and media content, please visit: www.unodc.org/wdr2016