Message of the UN Secretary General on the occasion of the International Migrants Day, 18 December 2005 16 December 2005
"International migration is a fundamental attribute of our ever-shrinking world. Managing this migration for the benefit of all has become one of the great challenges of our age. Each year, International Migrants Day is an occasion to draw attention to this challenge, as well as an opportunity to celebrate the numerous contributions made by migrants to our societies, cultures and economies."
United Nations Convention against Corruption Enters into Force on 14 December 16 December 2005
United Nations Convention against Corruption entered into force on 14 December
2005. The Convention, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in October
2003, has been signed by 140 countries and ratified by 38. It is the first
legally binding global instrument designed to help Member States fight
corruption in both the public and private sectors.
Disarmament Commission agrees on agenda for 2006 session 14 December 2005
After a two-year deadlock over its agenda, the United Nations Disarmament Commission last week reached agreement on a provisional agenda for its substantive session in 2006, which included an item on nuclear disarmament, and closed its organizational session for 2005.
ILO report sees wide gaps in wages, productivity gains 09 December 2005 | ILO
Global economic growth is increasingly failing to translate into new and
better jobs that lead to a reduction in poverty, according to a new report
issued by the International Labour Office (ILO). In the report, the ILO points
out that within this global trend, different regions show mixed results in terms
of job creation, productivity results, wage improvements and poverty
Message of the UN Secretary-General on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2005 08 December 2005
"Fifty-seven years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibited all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, torture remains unacceptably common. Recent times have witnessed an especially disturbing trend of countries claiming exceptions to the prohibition on torture based on their own national security perceptions."
Message of the UN Secretary-General K. Annan on the International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2005 05 December 2005
The past year’s
natural disasters have highlighted the invaluable contributions of volunteers in
our communities. From the flooded streets of New Orleans to the flattened
villages in Pakistan, ordinary people have risen to extraordinary challenges.
They have volunteered their time, energy and skills to save lives and to rebuild
communities. Through their service, they have shown us the very best of
Message from Kemal Dervis on International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2005 05 December 2005 | UNDP
this, my first message on occasion of International Volunteer Day as
Administrator of UNDP, I welcome the opportunity to applaud the efforts of
volunteers worldwide who, together with the United Nations and the international
community, are contributing to global efforts to fight extreme poverty and
achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)."
New Global Community Aids Award launched 05 December 2005
A new international award celebrating community action on AIDS was launched today on World AIDS Day to honour grassroots leadership in fighting the AIDS epidemic.
The first-ever Red Ribbon Award: Celebrating Community Leadership and action on AIDS will be presented at the XVI International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006), to be held in Toronto, Canada, from 13-18 August 2006.
Message of the UN Secretary-General K. Annan on the World Aids Day, 1 December 2005 30 November 2005
"In the course
of the past decade, the world has made considerable progress in the fight
against AIDS. It has also made considerable promises. The time has come to keep
them. And I believe we can. Today, we have about eight billion dollars available
for AIDS efforts in developing countries annually -- compared to 300 million
dollars a decade ago."
Historic United Nations climate change conference about to start in Montreal 28 November 2005
The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2005 is helding from 28 November to 9 December in Montreal, Canada. It is expected to assemble between 8,000 and 10,000 participants, among them government delegates, business and civic leaders and environmental activists. As such, it will be the largest such meeting since the Kyoto Climate Conference in 1997.
US$ 7.5 million Grant approved for Climate Change Mitigation 25 November 2005
The UNECE Energy Efficiency 21 Project (EE21) received approval from the
Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council meeting held on 8-10 November to
assist in the development and launching of an Investment Fund to reduce carbon
emissions in the Commonwealth of Independent States and South-East Europe. The
US$ 3 million GEF grant for ‘Financing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Investments for Climate Change Mitigation’ is for technical assistance in the
recipient countries and for development of the Investment Fund.
Dr Jacques Diouf wins third six-year term as FAO Director-General 24 November 2005
19 November 2005, Dr Jacques
Diouf of Senegal was re-elected to a third six-year term as Director-General of
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He received a total of 137 votes
out of 165 votes cast and was the only candidate nominated by the Organization’s
189 members. An intergovernmental organization, FAO has 188 member countries
plus one member organization, the European Community.
UNICEF and partners celebrate 15th anniversary of breastfeeding declaration 23 November 2005 | WHO
the 15th anniversary of a landmark declaration promoting breastfeeding, the
United Nations agencies most directly concerned with child survival listed such
gains as six million infants’ lives saved per year, global breastfeeding rates
up 15 per cent and thousands of hospitals in 150 countries now “baby-friendly.”
FAO presents new global forest figures 17 November 2005
Each year about 13 million hectares of the world’s forests are lost due to
deforestation, but the rate of net forest loss is slowing down, thanks to new
planting and natural expansion of existing forests, FAO announced. The annual
net loss of forest area between 2000 and 2005 was 7.3 million hectares/year --
an area about the size of Sierra Leone or Panama -- down from an estimated 8.9
million ha/yr between 1990 and 2000. This is equivalent to a net loss of 0.18
percent of the world’s forests annually.
UNESCO showcases breadth of activities at 60th anniversary 17 November 2005
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrated
its 60th anniversary on 16 November 2005 in Paris in the company of former
directors, political leaders and luminaries such as anthropologist Claude
Levi-Strauss, all stressing the vast range and importance of the agency’s
16 November - International Day of Tolerance 15 November 2005
Koichiro Matsura, the Director-General of UNESCO: "Ignorance and fear
of others, in particular, continue to be used to stir up feelings of hatred,
violence and exclusion. To counteract these trends, we must do all we can to
help people learn how to live together in peace and mutual respect. UNESCO has
always seen education as a bulwark against prejudice, intolerance and
UN General Assembly endorses new approach to Chernobyl challenge 15 November 2005 | UNDP
The United Nations General Assembly yesterday adopted a resolution
encouraging the international community to redouble its efforts to mitigate the
consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. The body also took into
account a report by the Secretary General on efforts to promote recovery in
areas affected by the Chernobyl legacy.
Helping Chernobyl survivors face the future 09 November 2005 | WHO
UNDP is bringing together governments, international experts and business to help residents of Chernobyl-hit regions break out of the dependency culture that continues to stunt development nearly two decades after the world's worst nuclear accident.
New Chemicals for Control under POPs Convention 04 November 2005
An international scientific committee will hold its first meeting from 7 to 11 November, to determine whether five new candidates satisfy the criteria for joining the initial list of 12 toxic chemicals targeted for reduction or elimination under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
UNICEF and UNAIDS launch Global Campaign to invigorate action for the millions of children affected by HIV/AIDS 31 October 2005
UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners launched a global campaign focusing on the enormous impact of HIV/AIDS on children, saying it was a disgrace that fewer than 5 per cent of HIV-positive children receive treatment and that millions of children who have lost parents to the disease go without support.
UNICEF said that children affected by the disease are the “missing face” of AIDS – missing not only from global and national policy discussions on HIV/AIDS, but also lacking access to even the most basic care and prevention services.
Current peacekeeping operations affect lives of 200 million people worldwide 24 October 2005
Current United Nations peace operations had a direct effect on more than
200 million men, women and children whose lives had been torn apart by the scourge of war, Jean-Marie Guehenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) as it began its comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.
Good nutrition critical to child health and development 20 October 2005
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman marked World Food Day by calling for increased focus on mother and child nutrition as the backbone of a healthy start in life. She said ensuring that women and children are well-nourished is essential to helping reach the Millennium Development Goals, because sound nutrition is central to health, learning, and well-being.
Some 1.1 million jobs may have been lost in Pakistan due to quake 18 October 2005 | ILO
More than 1.1 million jobs may have been lost as a result of the south Asian earthquake that devastated parts of Pakistan, the International Labour Office (ILO) said, adding that productive and labour intensive job creation programmes are urgently needed to lift millions of people out of poverty that has been aggravated by quake damage.
WHO launches global patient safety challenge; issues guidelines on hand hygiene in health care 17 October 2005 | WHO
To fight the spread of health care-associated infections, which take a high toll in human lives and affect hundreds of millions of patients worldwide each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are launching the Global Patient Safety Challenge with the theme, "Clean Care is Safer Care". As part of the launch, an advanced draft of the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care is being made available, to encourage simple measures to prevent the spread of these infections.
Poverty is falling in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but challenges remain 13 October 2005
Some 40 million people were
moved out of poverty in Central and Southeastern Europe and the countries of the
former Soviet Union during 1998-2003 as a result of rapid growth and narrowing
inequality, says a World Bank report released today. According to the report*,
the number of people living in poverty in the Region in 2003 was 61 million, or
12 percent of the population. This compares with 20 percent living in poverty in
New WHO report urges global effort against chronic diseases 10 October 2005 | WHO
Currently, chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of death in the world and their impact is steadily growing. The report projects that approximately 17 million people die prematurely each year as a result of the global epidemic of chronic disease. Faced with the prospect of millions of people dying prematurely and suffering needlessly from heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, the WHO says the global epidemic of chronic disease must be stopped.
Immunization maintains strong performance made in last quarter century 07 October 2005 | WHO
Immunization at the global level has progressed very well during the past 25 years, but further increases in coverage would save the lives of millions more who do not yet benefit from this protection, said a group of immunization partners at the World Vaccine Congress in Lyon, France.
One in four infants still at risk from vaccine preventable diseases 03 October 2005
Each year since 1990, immunization with routine vaccines has reached more than 70 per cent of children world-wide. At the UN General Assembly Special Session in 2002 the international community adopted the specific target of immunizing by 2010 at least 90 percent of children under one year of age in each country.
Deserts, drylands and desertification through the eyes of children 27 September 2005
In its report, which will be presented to the General Assembly at its present session, the Conference noted that during the annual session, successive Presidents of the Conference had conducted intensive consultations and had made significant efforts with a view to reaching consensus on a programme of work.
Equity enhances the power of growth to reduce poverty 23 September 2005
Equity, defined primarily as equality of opportunities among people, should be an integral part of a successful poverty reduction strategy anywhere in the developing world, says the World Bank's annual 2006 World Development Report.
Conference on disarmament concludes 2005 session 22 September 2005
The Conference on Disarmament, the world's sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations, concluded the third and last part of its 2005 session after adopting its annual report. In its report, which will be presented to the General Assembly at its present session, the Conference noted that during the annual session, successive Presidents of the Conference had conducted intensive consultations and had made significant efforts with a view to reaching consensus on a programme of work.
A glass at least half full 20 September 2005
K. Annan: "The “outcome document” adopted last Friday, at the end of the United Nations world summit, has been described as “disappointing” or “watered down”. This is true in part – and I said as much in my own speech to the summit on Wednesday. But, taken as a whole, the document is still a remarkable expression of world unity on a wide range of issues."
Community of Democracies welcomes new UN Fund 20 September 2005 | UNDP
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis welcomed steps taken at the UN 2005 World Summit to strengthen democratic institutions, including the establishment of the new UN Democracy Fund, in remarks to a gathering of the Community of Democracies, a five-year old association of countries working to build democracy internationally.
FAO warns world cannot afford hunger 19 September 2005
leaders met at the UN Summit in New York, the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) today called on the international community to honour
commitments to cut world hunger in half by 2015. The Rome-based food agency
urged governments and private sector corporations to "adequately fund actions
and initiatives that reduce hunger through rural development and reduction of
rural poverty, while at the same time strengthening direct access to food by the
Global workplace deaths vastly under-reported, says ILO 19 September 2005 | ILO
Some 2.2 million people die of work-related accidents and diseases each year, the International Labour Office (ILO) said in a new report to be issued Monday at the 17th World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, adding this number may be vastly under estimated due to poor reporting and coverage systems in many countries.
Poor workplace nutrition hits workers' health and productivity, says new ILO report 18 September 2005 | ILO
Poor diet on the job is costing countries around the world up to 20 per cent in lost productivity, either due to malnutrition that plagues some one billion people in developing countries or the excess weight and obesity afflicting an equal number mostly in industrialized economies, says a new study by the International Labour Office (ILO).
Message of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September 2005 16 September 2005
"In this historic year for the United Nations, it is worth reflecting on one of the undoubted success stories of international cooperation. Twenty years ago, governments signed the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer -- the thin layer of gas that protects all life on Earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from space -- setting into motion a process of global collaboration that has seen significant progress in addressing a major threat to human and environmental health worldwide."
On World Summit's second day, UN reform, development goals top agenda 15 September 2005
The United Nations World Summit, the largest-ever gathering of Heads of State and Government, went into its second day today with leaders stressing the need for UN reform, the fight against terrorism, and further effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of slashing a host of socio-economic ills by 2015.
United Nations Development Fund for Women released a new report 12 September 2005
A new report, released by the Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in anticipation of the 2005 World Summit, argues for closer
attention to the role of women, particularly working poor
women, in the informal economy, and the impact of this on
efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
UNEP, 2006 Football World Cup organizers sign historic partnership agreement 10 September 2005
A “green team” will be taking part in next year's World Cup to ensure that football's top tournament is the most environmentally-friendly ever.
An agreement was signed between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the organizers of the 2006 World Cup and the German Federal Government, aimed at making the World Cup a low pollution, eco-friendly competition.
Chernobyl: The True Scale of the Accident 05 September 2005 | WHO
A total of up to four thousand people could eventually die of radiation
exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years
ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded. As of
mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to
radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers,
many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as
Imbalances pose risk for global economy, says UNCTAD Trade and Development Report 05 September 2005
The world economy is still expanding, but there are serious risks of a setback, and the moderation of growth over the first half of 2005 should serve as a warning, cautions UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2005. The Report says that the main engine of growth, the US economy, may run out of steam before other countries or regions are able to take over that role.
UNCTAD points to new features of global economic interdependence 04 September 2005
The windfall profits being reaped by many developing countries as a result of surging economic growth in India and China should be used to diversify those countries' economies and prepare them for more stable economic development in the future, recommends UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report 2005. The Report notes that the East and South Asian region is well established as a new growth pole for the world economy, mainly due to the progress achieved by China and India.
Major report stresses natural resources as path out of poverty 02 September 2005 | UNDP
A report that challenges conventional approaches was released at a critical moment in the battle against poverty. The report, World Resources 2005: The Wealth of the Poor: Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty, stresses the urgent need to look beyond aid projects, debt relief and trade reform and focus on local natural resources to address the crisis of poverty in all parts of the globe.
Energy & Environment for Development 25 August 2005 | UNDP
UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis presented The Sustainable Difference:
Energy and Environment to Achieve the MDGs. The Report makes the case that the
role and costs of energy and environment should be explicitly factored into
national MDG strategies. Not doing so, say the authors, will only entrench
poverty, constrain the delivery of social services, limit opportunities for
women, and erode environmental sustainability.
States should make more effort to prevention violence against women migrants 22 August 2005
With worker migration becoming increasingly feminized, governments should provide education about the rights of women migrant workers, allow them residency status independent of men and ratify international instruments prohibiting violence against women and their trafficking, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says.
Former Turkish Economics Minister takes helm at UN Development Programme 16 August 2005 | UNDP
Kemal Dervis, a former Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs, Member of the European Convention and World Bank executive, took office today as the new Administrator of the United National Development Programme (UNDP), the UN’s global development network and its largest agency.
A world-renowned economist, Mr. Dervis, 56, succeeds Mark Malloch Brown, who was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff in January.
World Bank: reaching out to the world´s youth 15 August 2005
The World Bank is embarking
on an extensive range of consultations with young people around the globe, to
explore the issue of their transition to adulthood and its impact on
development. The move has been prompted by the decision to make young people
between the ages of 12 and 24 the focal theme of the Bank’s leading publication,
The World Development Report.
New Bangkok charter for health promotion adopted to address rapidly changing global health issues 12 August 2005 | WHO
A new Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion has been adopted today by participants at the 6th Global Conference on Health Promotion, co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. It identifies major challenges, actions and commitments needed to address the determinants of health in a globalized world by engaging the many actors and stakeholders critical to achieving health for all.
Message of the UN Secretary General on the occasion of the International Youth Day, 12 August 2005 11 August 2005
are almost three billion people in the world under the age of 25. More than half
a billion of them live on less than two dollars a day. More than 100 million
school-aged children are not in school. Every day, almost 30,000 children die of
poverty. And 7,000 young people become infected with HIV/AIDS. All that can be
changed, if we work together to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Treaty to prevent water-related diseases in Europe enters into force 08 August 2005 | WHO
The Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes enters into force on 4 August 2005, following ratification by the minimum 16 countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine. The Protocol will improve health by contributing to the prevention, control and reduction of water-related diseases.
UNECE region forest products markets respond positively to globalization 04 August 2005
Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO) just released the UNECE/FAO Forest Products Annual Market
Review, 2004-2005. It covers forest products market and policy developments in
the UNECE region of Europe, North America and the CIS countries. Depending on
the product, the region’s share of global production of primary forest products
ranges from 73% to 82% and the share of world exports ranges from 75% to
Poor feeding for children under two leads to nearly one-fifth of child death 03 August 2005
Better infant feeding practices in the first two years of life could
prevent almost one-fifth of all child deaths in the developing world, UNICEF
said today at the start of World Breastfeeding Week. Currently, an estimated 63
per cent of children under six months in the developing world are not adequately
breastfed. The results can be devastating. Infants who are not breastfed early
and exclusively are left with limited defenses against killer diseases like
pneumonia and diarrhoea and lack essential nutrients to develop body and mind.
Secretary-General appoints John Ruggie of United States Special Representative on issue 01 August 2005
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment of Professor John Ruggie as Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The creation of this mandate was requested by the United Nations Commission for Human Rights in its resolution 2005/69 and approved by the Economic and Social Council on 25 July 2005.
Partnering for Poverty Reduction: The Growing Sustainable Business Initiative 01 August 2005
Widespread poverty reduction can only be achieved by improving access for the world’s impoverished to needed goods and services, as well as creating employment opportunities. Business investment in developing countries and regions can drastically improve livelihoods by establishing infrastructure, delivering access to basic necessities and generating local economic development.
First Children's World Summit for Environment sent message to September World Summit in New York 29 July 2005
Around 600 children aged
10–14 from 65 countries gathered in Aichi Prefecture, Japan for the first ever
Children's World Summit for the Environment. The Summit was a follow-up to the
1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 2002 World Summit on
Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Its aim was to discuss
how to better involve children in the implementation of the decisions from these
summits. Young participants shared their experiences and voice their concerns on
the importance of the environment in achieving the Millennium Development
UNECE launches its Economic Survey of Europe 2005 No.2 25 July 2005
The new issue of the UNECE Survey provides an assessment of the macroeconomic situation and the short-term outlook in the summer 2005. It updates the assessment made in the Economic Survey of Europe 2005 No. 1, which was finalized in late January this year.
"Don't confuse refugees with terrorists," says UN High Commissioner for Refugees 22 July 2005
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has urged the
international community to make a clear distinction between refugees and
terrorists while stressing UNHCR's commitment to protecting both refugees and
internally displaced people. Guterres made these comments at his first press
conference at the Palais des Nations – the UN European headquarters in Geneva –
last week, five weeks after taking office as the head of the UN refugee
First-ever civil society meeting on conflict prevention conducted at Headquarters 21 July 2005
With some 600 international civil society leaders gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York for a first-ever conference aimed at implementing a global conflict prevention agenda, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a “new security consensus,” built from the grassroots up, to respond to threats whenever and wherever they appear on the horizon.
Signatories of UN additional nuclear weapons safeguard now number 100 19 July 2005
One hundred countries have now signed an additional protocol in connection with to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), granting United Nations inspectors greater access to ensure that nuclear materials are not being diverted to weapons production, the UN atomic watchdog agency announced.
Invisible in violence – children in Europe and Central Asia 11 July 2005
faces of children across Europe and Central Asia (ECA) who are subjected to
daily abuse and violence in the home, school, community and residential
institutions will come into sharp focus at a conference held last week in
Ljubljana, Slovenia. 'Stop Violence Against Children – ACT NOW’ run from 5-7
July and was hosted by the Government of Slovenia and organized in close
collaboration with the Council of Europe, UNICEF, WHO, the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights and the NGO Advisory Panel on the UN Study on
Violence Against Children.
United Nations Firearms Protocol Enters into Force 05 July 2005
On 3 July, 90 days after the date of deposit of its fortieth instrument of ratification, the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Firearms Protocol), entered into force.
Towards the development of Euro-Asian land transport routes 04 July 2005
At a meeting held in Istanbul from 27 to 29 June 2005, Government representatives from 16 countries in the Euro-Asian region agreed on the main road, rail and inland water transport routes connecting Europe and Asia to be considered for priority development as well as on transshipment points along these routes.
Message of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June 2005 24 June 2005
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is an occasion to reaffirm
our commitment to eradicate torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment, in whatever guise or manifestation they occur. It is an occasion to
pause and remember torture victims who have not survived, to listen to the
stories of those who have, and to support their quest for justice for torture
victims and their families - including by supporting the United Nations
Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture."
93rd annual Conference of the ILO concludes its work 21 June 2005 | ILO
More than 3,000 government, employer and worker delegates concluded the
93rd annual Conference of the International Labour Organization 16
June following intense discussions on the need for urgently eliminating
forced labour, creating jobs for youth, improving safety at work and tackling
what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called a “global jobs crisis”.
Intergovernmental Working Group Meeting will discuss ways to strengthen 20 June 2005
Protected areas are great tools for protecting biological diversity, but to accomplish this, their reach must be extended, more money will be needed for their maintenance, and their
coverage and management effectiveness will need to be improved. Delegates
representing the 188 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity,
non-governmental organizations, civil society and other stakeholders will
meet in Montecatini, Italy this week to explore these and other issues.
ITU launches new development initiative to bridge digital divide 19 June 2005
Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched a major new development drive designed to
bring access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the
estimated 1 billion people worldwide for whom making a simple telephone call
remains out of reach.
UNCTAD proposes new ‘Trade Marshall Plan’ for least developed countries 16 June 2005
Why a “Trade Marshall Plan” for the least developed countries? One sixth of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty and 50 countries –- large and small, located in all developing regions -– are caught in a seemingly endless poverty trap. Solidarity among countries and regions, as well as each country’s self-interest in a “global enterprise” that functions properly -– suggest that a bold action in favour of the LDCs is required.
Sweden's Ambassador to the US elected president of next General Assembly session 14 June 2005
Swedish diplomat Jan Eliasson was elected today to preside over the
sixtieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, which is scheduled to
open on 13 September. Mr. Eliasson currently serves as Ambassador of Sweden to
the United States. He is a former State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Sweden
and a former UN UnderSecretaryGeneral for Humanitarian Affairs.
International Advisory Committee of Memory of the World Programme to meet in Lijiang (China) 07 June 2005
and the State Archives Administration of China will host the 7th meeting of the
International Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme in
Lijiang (China) from June 13 to 17. During the meeting, the Committee will
review requests by Member States of UNESCO to inscribe documentary heritage
properties on the Memory of the World Register. The 14-member Committee will
recommend which properties should be added to the Register.
Environmental rights treaty body pushes forward environmental democracy agenda 06 June 2005
On the concluding day of the second meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decisionmaking and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, United Nations SecretaryGeneral, Mr Kofi Annan, highlighted the way in which the Convention’s principles “empowered citizens to hold governments accountable and to play a greater role in promoting more sustainable forms of development.”
UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances examines cases from around the world 04 June 2005
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights was holding its seventy-fifth session from 26 May to 3 June, in Bangkok, Thailand to look at cases of disappearances from around the world.
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (“WGEID”) was
meeting for the first time in Asia, at the regional United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific office.
AIDS epidemic still outpacing response 02 June 2005
Despite encouraging signs that the AIDS epidemic is beginning to be contained in a small but growing number of countries, the epidemic continues to expand worldwide, according to a report released by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
WHO urges health professionals to engage in tobacco control 31 May 2005 | WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging health professionals to be proactive in minimizing the problems caused by tobacco addiction, consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. As a result, this year's World No Tobacco Day on May 31st was dedicated to the important role of health professionals in tobacco control under the banner of 'Health Professionals against tobacco, action and answers'.
International Health Regulations approved by World Health Assembly 30 May 2005 | WHO
Health Assembly approved a new set of International Health Regulations to manage
public health emergencies of international concern. The new rules will "prevent,
protect against, control and provide a public health response to the
international spread of disease."
United Nations Commemorates International Day of Peacekeepers 29 May 2005
The United Nations is observing the International Day of Peacekeepers for the third time on 29 May. The General Assembly established the Day three years ago, to pay tribute to
“all men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations
peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication
and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in
the cause of peace”.
Industrialized countries record steady fall in asylum claims 18 May 2005
Continuing a downward trend in asylum numbers, fewer people have
applied for asylum in 36 industrialised countries in the first three months of
this year compared to the last quarter and over same period last year, said the
UN refugee agency. Releasing the first-quarter asylum statistics in 36
industrialised countries, UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told that the total
of 81,900 asylum applications between January and March 2005 was down 13 percent
compared to the last quarter of 2004, and 17 percent compared to the first three
months of last year.
Message of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the World Telecommunication Day, 17 May 2004 17 May 2005
We live in an age in which communication between people is essential to achieving our shared goals of development and peaceful coexistence. New innovations in information and communication technologies have increased exponentially our capacity to connect with each other. It is up to us to use to harness the potential of these technologies in our work to extend the benefits of education, health care, trade and environmental protection to all.
Air Pollution Protocol takes effect on 17 May 17 May 2005
The Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) entered into force on 17 May 2005. It has so far been ratified by: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United States and the European Community.
HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects families in a profound and tragic way 16 May 2005
HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects families in a profound and tragic way. When a family member, particularly a parent, becomes sick, weakened or dies, everyone in the family suffers. HIV/AIDS has greatly affected family structure and functions, disproportionately increasing the vulnerability of families living in poverty and in developing countries, which have the vast majority of people infected.
Mayors from across world to mark World Environment Day (5 June) – with urban accords 16 May 2005
Brazilian mayor whose city has been called the “cleanest in the world”, a mayor
from England where a fee to ease traffic congestion is being successfully
pioneered, and a mayor from China who is grappling with one of the world’s
fastest growing urban areas -- they all will be converging on San Francisco from
1 to 5 June for World Environment Day (WED).
Report highlights challenges posed for developing countries by genetically modified organisms 13 May 2005
Developing countries pondering whether or how much to use genetically modified agricultural crops must balance many different concerns, ranging from battling domestic starvation and malnutrition and ensuring health and safety, to preserving the environment, fulfilling multilateral trade obligations and protecting and enhancing trade opportunities, a recent UNCTAD study says.
Norway, UNDP sign aid agreement for Caucasus 12 May 2005 | UNDP
10 May Zephirin Diabre, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Jan Petersen, Foreign Minister of Norway, signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing Norway to providing $10 million for UNDP projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia over the next three years.
ILO releases major new study on forced labour 11 May 2005 | ILO
At least 12.3 million people are trapped in forced labour around the
world, the ILO said in a new study released today. ILO Director-General Juan
Somavia called forced labour “a social evil which has no place in the modern
world”. The new report, entitled “A global alliance against forced labour”, says
that nearly 10 million people are exploited through forced labour in the private
economy, rather than imposed directly by states. Of these, the study estimates a
minimum of 2.4 million to be victims of human trafficking.
General Assembly confirms Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand as UNCTAD Secretary-General 11 May 2005
The General Assembly confirmed Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand as
Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD). Nominated by the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly 1995
of 30 December 1964, Dr. Supachai will serve a four-year term of office
beginning on 1 September 2005 and ending on 31 August 2009.
WFP sounds alert as world food aid plummets by 30 percent in 2004 05 May 2005
Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has released global food aid figures for 2004
which paint a depressing picture for hundreds of millions of malnourished
people. Total food aid delivered from all sources slid from 10.3 million tons in
2003 all the way down to 7.5 million tons in 2004.
UN General Assembly unanimously confirms Kemal Dervis as next UNDP 05 May 2005 | UNDP
The United Nations General Assembly, representing 191 countries, today unanimously confirmed Kemal Dervis, a
former finance minister of Turkey and senior World Bank official, as the
next Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr.
Dervis, presently a member of Turkey's parliament, is expected to officially
start his four-year term on 15 August 2005. Mr. Dervis will succeed Mark Malloch Brown, who in January
2005 was appointed as Chief of Staff to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Global education digest shows rapid growth in secondary education worldwide 04 May 2005
of every five of the world’s children aged between 10 and 15 are today enrolled
in lower secondary education, which is now considered as part of compulsory
education in most countries, according to UNESCO’s Global Education Digest 2005.
The Digest, published by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics, presents the latest
global education indicators. This year’s edition also features a special chapter
on trends in participation and gender parity in secondary
UNICEF says farewell to Carol Bellamy 02 May 2005
have no intention of giving up the fight. I will continue,” UNICEF Executive
Director Carol Bellamy said at her farewell party at United Nations Headquarters
in New York last week. Ms Bellamy is leaving UNICEF after ten years at the helm
- a period she described as ‘the most extraordinary days of my life.’ But she
promised she would not stop pushing for the rights of children.
A new online education tool kit on agriculture, forestry and fisheries 29 April 2005
first time, a tool kit including a wide range of teaching and learning tools for
the education of rural people is available on the Internet. It will provide
governments, NGOs, international organizations, rural school teachers, extension
agents and the public at large with the latest knowledge on how to help rural
communities ameliorate their livelihoods.
Number of Work related Accidents and Illnesses Continues to Increase 28 April 2005 | WHO
Faced with a rising toll of occupational related death, injury and sickness, the International Labour Office (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) today mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work by highlighting the need for a preventative safety culture worldwide.
According to new estimates by the ILO, the number of job related accidents and illnesses, which annually claim more than two million lives, appears to be rising because of rapid industrialization in some developing countries.
Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General 26 April 2005
Today marks the nineteenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the
worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Almost two decades later,
the three countries most affected—Belarus, the Russian Federation, and
Ukraine—continue to grapple with daunting social, economic, and
Wood energy expanding due to policy promotion in the UNECE region 22 April 2005
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) just released the UNECE/FAO Forests, Wood and Energy: Policy Interactions. It examines the impacts of energy, environment and forest policy on new and traditional forest products markets in the UNECE region of Europe, North America and the CIS countries.
ILO/WHO to develop joint guidelines on health services and HIV/AIDS 19 April 2005
Representatives of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will join forces in Geneva on 19-21 April for a tripartite meeting of experts (1) to develop new guidelines to protect the safety of health workers involved in the worldwide struggle against HIV/AIDS.
Benefits and risks of globalized livestock markets 18 April 2005
Globalized livestock markets can increase national income and improve
nutrition, but they are also posing potential risks to livelihoods, human health
and the environment. The livestock sector, traditionally based on local
production and consumption, supports the livelihoods of an estimated 600 million
rural poor, FAO said in a report submitted to the agency's Committee on
Agriculture, meeting in Rome from 13-16 April 2005.
New UN report outlines indicators for sustainable energy use 17 April 2005
A publication outlining key indicators for sustainable energy use, jointly prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Energy Agency, Eurostat and the European Environment Agency, was launched last week by the IAEA in Vienna.
Election of FAO Director-General - Dr Diouf sole candidate 15 April 2005
Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr. Jacques
Diouf, will be the sole candidate in the November 2005 election for head of the
UN agency, FAO announced. Dr. Diouf was nominated by his country Senegal and
co-sponsored by Mali. At the date of closure of nominations on 8 April 2005, no
other country had presented a candidate.
UN Expert Group Meeting in Vienna calls for measures to stop illicit drug trade through Internet 14 April 2005 | WHO
Illicit trade of controlled drugs through the Internet was the topic of an expert group meeting organized by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in Vienna from 11 to 13 April 2005. The meeting concluded that serious national and international efforts were urgently required to counteract the illicit trade of controlled drugs through the Internet, in order to prevent an increasing risk of misuse of controlled substances by children and adolescents, and to protect individual consumers and public health.
WHO report calls for new approach to save lives of mothers and children 08 April 2005 | WHO
Hundreds of millions of women and children have no access to
potentially life-saving care with often fatal results, the WHO says in a report
published last week. The report says the resulting death toll could be sharply
reduced through wider use of key interventions and a "continuum of care"
approach for mother and child that begins before pregnancy and extends through
childbirth and into the baby's childhood.
FAO forecasts good world cereal crop for 2005 07 April 2005
the world cereal crop is forecast at 1 971 million tonnes, including rice in
milled terms, according to the April issue of FAO's Food Outlook. That is above
the average of the past five years, but down slightly on last year's record
level. According to the report, the forecast was based on "conditions of crops
already in the ground and planting intentions for those still to be sown later
this year and assuming normal weather for the remainder of the 2005 cropping
UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report warns worsening ecosystem changes put Millennium Development Goals at risk 04 April 2005 | UNDP
A recently launched report co-sponsored by UNDP, entitled Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Synthesis Report, reveals that 60 per cent of the
ecosystem services such as fresh water, fishery and air and water regulation are
putting pressure on the planet’s capacity to sustain future generations. The
assessment “points the way towards the measures that all sectors of society must
take if we are to eradicate poverty, sustain growth and achieve the Millennium
Development Goals,” says UNDP Administrator and the UN Secretary-General’s Chef
de Cabinet Mark Malloch Brown.
United Nations condemns irresponsible attack on antiretroviral therapy 31 March 2005 | WHO
A recent advertising campaign is touting the benefits of vitamin
therapy above antiretroviral therapy and claiming that antiretroviral therapy is toxic. These
advertisements are wrong and misleading, said the World Health Organization (WHO), the
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on
The Ministerial Meeting on an “Urgent Response to the HIV/AIDS epidemics in the CIS” 28 March 2005
Ministerial Meeting on an “Urgent Response to the HIV/AIDS epidemics in the
Commonwealth of Independent States” will take place on Thursday 31 March, and
Friday 1 April in Moscow, Russia. The purpose of the meeting is to raise
awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS in the CIS; to clarify policy and
programmatic responses; to demonstrate national political commitment vis-a-vis
the epidemic; and to explore options for improved programme delivery addressing
HIV/AIDS in the CIS.
Eight candidates named to become UN High Commissioner for Refugees 24 March 2005
Eight nominees have been short-listed to become the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), replacing Ruud Lubbers, who resigned a month ago as chief of the refugee agency amid a media furore over allegations against him of sexual harassment, which he denied.
Forestry's contribution to the informal sector must be taken into account 20 March 2005
viability, including the environmental and social benefits deriving from
forests, is a pre-requisite for wider adoption of sustainable forest management
practices, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said. Enhancing economic
benefits from forests and trees, and their equitable distribution, are also
critical factors in the development of forested areas.
Access to safe water a priority as the UN marks the beginning of International Decade 18 March 2005
As the International Decade for Action “Water
for Life” begins, the United Nations and Governments are seeking to
galvanise efforts to meet the internationally agreed targets of halving the
number of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
by 2015. Ministers and government delegates will meet next month in New
York to take policy decisions on practical measures and options to
accelerate progress toward these and other water-related goals.
ICAO releases preliminary safety and security statistics 16 March 2005
the significantly lower number of passenger fatalities in 2004 and the
significant increase in the total scheduled passenger traffic, the accident rate
for scheduled air services (measured in passenger fatalities per 100 million
passenger-kilometres) decreased from approximately 0.015 in 2003 to about 0.005
Promoting sustainable development through education 14 March 2005
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is due to launch its regional Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on 17-18 March 2005. The Strategy is intended to serve as a practical instrument to promote sustainable development through education.
The objective of the Strategy is to incorporate key themes of sustainable development – e.g. poverty alleviation, peace, ethics, democracy, justice, security, human rights, health, social equity, cultural diversity, economy, production and consumption, environmental protection, natural resource management, and biological and landscape diversity – in all education systems.
UN atomic watchdog fights not just spread of nuclear arms but counterfeit art too 12 March 2005
The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, better known for its efforts to combat nuclear smuggling and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, is now helping countries to crack down on the illegal trade in counterfeit art, a major source of international crime ranging from ancient Babylonian statues to renaissance paintings.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan launches Global Strategy against Terrorism in Madrid 11 March 2005
United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today called on Member States to adopt a common approach to fighting terrorism. He especially urged countries to work towards a unified understanding of the threat and to overcome arguments and long negotiations about how to define it which had for too long weakened the moral authority of the Organization. Speaking to an international audience in Madrid, the Secretary-General outlined the key elements of a United Nations system-wide strategy to counter terrorism world-wide.
Democratic Governance: Linking the Security and Development Agenda 10 March 2005 | UNDP
In bringing together some 100 nations committed to supporting and promoting democracy in their own countries, globally, the Community of Democracies is today playing an important role in addressing what is one of the fundamental challenges of our time, namely, how to consolidate the wave of democratization we have witnessed in so many parts of the world over the past thirty years, and how to assist other countries and their citizens on this same liberating path of democratization.
Balance of forest sector shifts to the east: Challenges for forest and timber sector 09 March 2005
A just-published authoritative report on the outlook for Europe’s forest sector, prepared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), shows that production, consumption and exports of forest products will all grow faster in eastern Europe and the CIS than in western Europe. Wood raw material demand will grow three times faster in the CIS between 2000 and 2020 than in Western Europe (5.3% per year, compared to 1.6%).
Record number of international patent filings in 2004 09 March 2005
In the same year that the international patent system marked the filing of the one millionth international patent application, a record number of applications, just over 120,000, were filed in 2004 using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The United States of America continued to top the list of largest users, but the biggest rates of growth came from the Asian continent – namely, Japan, the Republic of Korea and China.
New Air Pollution Protocol to take effect on 17 May 2005 07 March 2005
Portugal is the 16th country to ratify the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone, which will, consequently, enter into force on 17 May 2005. The Protocol was originally adopted on 30 November 1999 in Gothenburg (Sweden) and signed by 31 countries.
Message of the UN Secretary General on the occasion of the International Women's Day, 8 March, 2005 04 March 2005
This year marks
a milestone in the movement for gender equality and the advancement of women --
the ten-year review of the Beijing Conference and Platform for Action. In 1995,
women gathered in Beijing and took a giant step forward on behalf of humankind.
As a result, the world recognized explicitly, as never before, that gender
equality is critical to the development and peace of every nation.
Fried, roasted and baked food contaminant may be health concern, UN warns 04 March 2005 | WHO
A contaminant shown to cause cancer in animals that forms in the high-temperature frying, roasting or baking of such foods as potato chips and crisps, coffee, and cereal-based products like pastries and sweet biscuits, breads, rolls and toast, may be a public health concern, according to two United Nations agencies.
Asylum claims fall to lowest level for 16 years, says UNHCR 03 March 2005
The number of asylum seekers arriving in industrialized countries fell sharply for the third year in a row in 2004, reaching its lowest level for 16 years, according to annual figures released by the UN refugee agency.
The total number of asylum seekers arriving last year in the 38 industrialized countries for which comparable historical statistics are available was the lowest since 1988, at 368,000. In the six non-European countries included in this list, the combined total was the lowest since 1986. The numbers arriving in Europe are also back down to the levels of the late 1980s, although still higher than they were for a couple of years in the mid-1990s.
Women joining migrant streams in unprecedented numbers and proportion 02 March 2005
Ninety million women currently reside outside their countries of origin, representing almost half of the world’s international migrants, according to a United Nations report launched today. Their representation among all international migrants has risen from 46 per cent in 1960 to 49 per cent in 2000, and that proportion has now reached 51 per cent in more developed regions. More recent statistics show that the trend appears to be continuing, with 54 per cent of legal immigrants to the United States reported to be women in 2002.
Some 36 countries worldwide face serious food shortages, says FAO report 01 March 2005
Worldwide, 36 countries need external food assistance, while 11 countries face unfavourable prospects for their current crops, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report released today. “The causes are varied, but civil strife and adverse weather predominate.”
Global tobacco treaty enters into force with 57 countries already committed 27 February 2005 | WHO
The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) entered into force on Sunday 27 February 2005. This represents an historical moment in public health, as the Treaty gives countries more tools to control tobacco use and save lives. On the 27th, the provisions of the Treaty will be legally binding for the first 40 countries that became Contracting Parties before 30 November 2004.
World Day against Child Labour 2005 to focus on child labour in mines and quarries 25 February 2005 | ILO
of children who work in mines and quarries that are often dangerous, dirty and
can post a grave risk to their health and safety will be the focus of the fourth
World Day Against Child Labour, scheduled for 12 June 2005, the International
Labour Organization (ILO) said. The ILO estimates that some one million children
work in small scale mining and quarrying around the world. What's more, ILO
studies show that these children work in some of the worst conditions
imaginable, where they face serious risk of dying on the job or sustaining
injuries and health problems that will affect them throughout their lives.
Aarhus Convention ratified by the European Community 23 February 2005
The European Community has ratified the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The ratification, which took place on 17 February 2005, ensures that the Community will become a Party before the opening of the second meeting of the Parties to the Convention, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 25 May 2005.
UNDP Launches New Development Website for Europe and the CIS 22 February 2005 | UNDP
UNDP's Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is launching today its redesigned and revamped website. The new site represents an important step in UNDP's effort to collect, store and disseminate development knowledge on Central and Southeastern Europe and the CIS.
Eleven States, Including Belarus, Ratify Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention 21 February 2005
Eleven States (Algeria, Mauritius, Japan, Gabon, Panama, China, Central African Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Republic of Korea) have now ratified the Convention on the Safeguarding on the Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2003. The Director-General welcomed this progress, which only 16 months after its adoption, places this UNESCO Convention among those most rapidly ratified.
ILO Regional Meeting expands social agenda for Europe and Central Asia 18 February 2005 | ILO
than 600 worker, employer and government representatives from the European and
Central Asian region, which reaches from the North Atlantic to the Pacific,
adopted a set of conclusions saying “good governance, economic and social
progress, and the fight against corruption rests on democratic institutions
drawing their legitimacy from freely elected representation, effective social
dialogue, fundamental principles and rights at work, and the rule of
23rd Governing Council of UNEP Focuses on Environment and MDGs 18 February 2005
The importance of a healthy environment for realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will take centre stage will take between 21 and 25 February when more than 100 environment ministers meet at the world headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi,
Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice 18 February 2005
The Host Country Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Thailand for the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice has been signed by Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Adisak Panupong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations (Vienna).
New ILO report sees weak global job growth in 2004, says European job growth remains static 15 February 2005 | ILO
Despite robust economic growth, the global employment situation improved only slightly in 2004, with employment increasing and unemployment down marginally, the International Labour Office (ILO) said in its annual report, Global Employment Trends. While unemployment worldwide declined from 6.3 per cent to 6.1 per cent, or from 185.2 million in 2003 to 184.7 million 2004, unemployment in Europe and Central Asia remained unchanged at 35 million, according to the ILO report and a supplementary analysis prepared for the seventh ILO European Regional Meeting to be held in Budapest, Hungary on 14-18 February.
Worldwide celebrations to mark Kyoto Protocol's entry into force, 16 February 14 February 2005
16th of February 2005 marks the beginning of a new era in international efforts
to reduce the risk of climate change”, said Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive
Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Convention. “The Kyoto Protocol
offers powerful new tools and incentives that governments, businesses and
consumers can use to build a climate-friendly economy and promote sustainable
development”, she said.
WIPO and ITC publish guide on negotiating technology licensing agreements 14 February 2005
A new practical guide on how to negotiate technology licensing agreements has been published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC). The manual entitled "Exchanging Value – Negotiating Technology Licensing Agreements" provides an introduction to some of the basic issues that arise in licensing negotiations of intellectual property, particularly patents, protected technology and offers useful insights into how they may best be handled.
WHO recommends influenza vaccine composition for Northern Hemisphere 2005-2006 influenza season 11 February 2005 | WHO
Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Programme convenes meetings to analyse the global data on circulating influenza virus strains and make recommendations for the vaccine to be used for the coming influenza season. WHO also provides the vaccine manufacturing industry with prototype strains for the seasonal vaccine as well as materials to ensure and validate that global vaccine standards are met.
Annan to soon offer ideas for UN anti-terrorism strategy 10 February 2005
Responding to a recommendation by his High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change that the United Nations should work out a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told a counter-terrorism meeting that he would soon put forward some ideas on the matter.
Private sector to adopt islands in the Maldives 10 February 2005 | UNDP
Big businesses are readying to adopt small islands in the Maldives through a pioneering effort aimed at helping people affected by the tsunami to rebuild their homes. The ADOPT AN ISLAND initiative was officially launched in the Maldives today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at precisely 9:30 am, the exact time the gigantic tsunami devastated one-third of the Maldives' inhabited islands, just over a month ago.
UN conference calls for balancing water use between agriculture and environment 09 February 2005
A United Nations conference attended by 140 countries today called for a more efficient management of the world’s “valuable and scarce” water supplies to balance the agricultural needs of producing food with the imperative of safeguarding the environment.
“The tragic paradox of water is that water is a truly valuable resource of which the true value is often invisible,” the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Agriculture Department, Louise Fresco, said at the end of the five-day meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.
HIV Vaccine Global Partners strengthen collaboration to speed up progress 08 February 2005 | WHO
As new developments in the search for an HIV vaccine take
place, vaccine researchers from around the world are joining forces to accelerate progress
towards an effective and safe HIV vaccine, with the full and equal involvement of countries
most affected by the AIDS epidemic.
"With so many HIV vaccine clinical trials testing novel products ongoing and planned by a
wide variety of investigators, it is time to intensify global collaboration. Lessons learned must
benefit all working in this challenging, but advancing, field," said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny,
Director, Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization (WHO).
International tourism obtains its best results in 20 years 07 February 2005
After three years of stagnant growth, international tourism experienced a spectacular rebound in 2004. According to WTO World Tourism Barometer, presented to the media at a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand, international tourist arrivals reached an all-time record of 760 million - an increase of 10% over 2003.
IAEA confronts Europe´s cancer scourge 04 February 2005
death toll from cancer claiming 1.7 million Europeans each year, Health
Ministers and experts of leading oncology centers from 27 countries across the
continent met at IAEA headquarters in Vienna this week to work together to
combat the disease.
Women, men in developing countries are marrying later, having children later according to UN report 31 January 2005
Women and men in developing countries are marrying later, having fewer children and having them later, following the pattern earlier set in the developed world. As a result, average fertility in the developing countries has declined to under three children per woman. This is one of the major findings from World Fertility Report 2003, issued by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Brown, Benn and Malloch Brown urge world community to turn words into anti-poverty action in 2005 28 January 2005 | UNDP
2005 is the crucial year for taking effective
international action against global poverty, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer
Gordon Brown told a high-level development forum here on Wednesday.
The forum on development, finance, debt and trade issues was co-sponsored by
UNDP and the UK’s Department for International Development and featured the
participation of prominent development figures including Hilary Benn,
UK Secretary of State for International Development; Mark Malloch Brown, UN
Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff and UNDP Administrator; Donald Kaberuka,
Minister of Finance of Rwanda, and Pär Nuder, Minister of Finance of Sweden.
World Economic Situation and Prospects’ report launched 28 January 2005
In an otherwise upbeat assessment of the world economy, a joint United Nations report out last week cautioned that contrary to previous expectations, global imbalances, and the United States trade deficits in particular, would not be corrected by the rapidly falling United States dollar and would require broad international cooperation to rectify, said José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
700 000 people living with AIDS in developing countries now receiving treatment 27 January 2005 | WHO
By the end of 2004, 700 000 people living with AIDS in developing countries were
receiving antiretroviral (ART) treatment thanks to the efforts of national governments, donors and
other partners. This is an increase of approximately 75% in the total number receiving treatment
from a year ago, and is up from 440 000 in July 2004.
Experts emphasize forests’ contribution to Millennium Development Goals 27 January 2005
Forests contribute directly to reducing extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability, two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a panel of forestry experts invited to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has concluded.
The panel highlighted the significant contribution of forests and trees outside forests to the MDGs, emphasizing that sustainable forest management and sustainable development are closely linked, as recognized at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002.
Nations call for safer hospitals, schools to prepare for disasters 26 January 2005
“We have to make sure that key urban functions in every community are able to withstand the shocks of natural disasters when they strike. When hospitals are destroyed, it is impossible to care for the wounded; when schools are damaged, our future generation is at risk”, said Sálvano Briceño, Director of the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction. “Hospitals and schools need to be multi-hazard resistant to avoid double disaster from occurring”, he added.
Administrator addresses Executive Board on UN reform 25 January 2005 | UNDP
The United Nations development system needs a leader in capacity development, and the most suitable entity would be UNDP, recognizing the organization’s cross-sectoral mandate and the global platform it offers. At the same time, each agency, fund and programme has a contribution in its own sector.
Too little, too late: Businesses around the world wait for rampant epidemic before addressing HIV/AIDS 24 January 2005
Businesses rarely draw up written policies to tackle HIV/AIDS until 20% of the country’s population is infected, according to a global survey on the impact of the disease on business. The findings come from the Business and HIV/AIDS: Commitment and Action? report, jointly published today by the Global Health Initiative (GHI) of the World Economic Forum, Harvard School of Public Health and UNAIDS, after a survey of almost 9,000 business leaders in 104 countries.
United Nations calls for universal effort against terrorism 24 January 2005
The United Nations will press its case for universal participation in the fight against terrorism at a meeting of more than 70 international, regional and subregional organizations in Almaty, Kazakhstan, this month (26-28 January 2005).
The meeting, co-sponsored by the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), will be the fourth since March 2003 to leverage the knowledge and capacity of these bodies to help poorer nations build more effective legislative and institutional barriers to terrorist financing, illegal weapons trafficking and other threats.
Three meetings at UNESCO to move towards universal norms on bioethics 21 January 2005
Another step towards a declaration on universal norms on bioethics will be taken when UNESCO's Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) meets in Paris, January 24 and 25, and UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee (IBC) holds an extraordinary session, on January 28. A joint session of the IGBC and IBC will be held between these two meetings, on January 26 and 27. During these sessions the IGBC will be consulted on the outline of the text* elaborated by a drafting group of the IBC, which met six times in 2004.
New Leadership at the Universal Postal Union 20 January 2005
A Universal Postal Union that is efficient, innovative, united and open. That's the vision Edouard Dayan described for the organization, as he was officially installed as the new Director General of the United Nations specialized agency.
In a rapidly-changing sector that brings together a number of players, the 15th Director General said he wanted the UPU to become a centre of excellence - a forum for high-level discussion and dialogue on postal industry matters.
WORLD FDI flows grew an estimated 6 per cent in 2004, ending downturn 17 January 2005
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2004 are estimated to have risen by 6 per cent to $612 billion, according to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) data released today (see table). As in 2003, however, flows to developed countries slumped, but that decline was offset by rising flows to developing countries and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Not only did this put an end to the global FDI downturn that had begun in 2001, it also meant that investment flows to developing countries and CEE surpassed their respective previous records.
UNESCO plans global tsunami warning system for mid-2007 14 January 2005
UNESCO is working towards the establishment of a global tsunami warning system that would be operational by June 2007, said UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura. Speaking at a press conference at the Mauritius International Meeting on Small Island Developing States, Mr Matsuura said that assessment missions are already being undertaken to concerned countries as a step towards the creation of the first regional component of the global system, in the Indian Ocean, foreseen for June 2006.
State of the World 2005 calls for new approach to global security 14 January 2005
The global war on terror is diverting the world's attention from the central causes of instability, reports the Worldwatch Institute in its annual State of the World 2005. Acts of terror and the dangerous reactions they provoke are symptomatic of underlying sources of global insecurity, including the perilous interplay among poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation, and rising competition over oil and other resources.
Address of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the high-level segment of the International Meeting for the 10-year Review 13 January 2005
Such suffering, such
devastation, is shocking in both its magnitude and the speed with which it
occurred. We human beings have been humbled yet again by the power of nature to
alter, in an instant, our lives and the very face of the earth... Let us
declare our enduring solidarity with the survivors. The outpouring of assistance
has come from everywhere, including countries with limited means or struggling
through crises of their own. The United Nations will continue to do its part,
sparing no effort to ensure that help reaches those who need it, quickly and
Tsunami donor session opens with UN call to pay up and not forget other crises 12 January 2005
Representatives from 70 countries, both donors and victims of last
month's devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, met in Geneva on 11 January to
allocate the nearly $1 billion United Nations flash appeal, with top emergency
officials pleading with contributors to stand by their pledges while not
forgetting the world's other crises.