Ban Ki-moon is the eighth UN Secretary-General 15 December 2006
Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea brings to the post of the Secretary-General of
the United Nations 37 years of service both in government and on the global
stage. At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his
country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr. Ban has longstanding ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry’s United Nations division.
Europe’s air is getting cleaner, UNECE report shows 15 December 2006
The meeting of the Parties of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary
Air Pollution this week heard about the continued success of many Parties in
cutting their emissions of air pollutants. The 51 Parties to the Convention span
the entire UNECE region from North America to Europe and Central Asia, a large
area that has had many air pollution problems.
20 percent of animal breeds are at risk of extinction 15 December 2006
Around 20 percent of animal breeds are at risk of extinction, with one breed lost each month, FAO said.
Of the more than 7 600 breeds in FAO's global database of farm animal genetic resources, 190 have become extinct in the past 15 years and a further 1 500 are considered at risk of extinction. Some 60 breeds of cattle, goats, pigs, horses and poultry have been lost over the last five years.
Annan says UN has often failed to deliver on protecting and promoting human rights 11 December 2006
The United Nations has often failed to live up to its responsibility to promote human rights, with the ongoing killing and displacement of civilians in Darfur only the latest example of how the world has not improved its act, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today as he urged Member States, organizations and individuals to make the protection of rights a reality in every country.
Address of the UN Secretary-General K. Annan to mark Human Rights Day, New York City, 8 December 2006 08 December 2006
"Development, security and human rights go hand in hand; no one of them
can advance very far without the other two. Indeed, anyone who speaks forcefully
for human rights but does nothing about security and development – including the
desperate need to fight extreme poverty – undermines both his credibility and
his cause. Poverty in particular remains both a source and consequence of rights
UNICEF celebrates 60 years for children 08 December 2006
decades after its inception as a temporary relief agency, UNICEF is marking its
60th anniversary today, celebrating its many achievements on behalf of children
all over the world. Born from the ashes of World War II, UNICEF’s first mission
was to provide milk, food, blankets and medicine to millions of European
children left hungry, homeless and weakened by war.
Message from the UNDP Administrator on International Volunteer Day 05 December 2006 | UNDP
day we wish to commemorate the spirit of volunteerism and the commitment of
individual volunteers giving their expertise to improve the lives of others. We
are grateful to each and every volunteer, around the world, for making a
valuable contribution in advancing human development, inclusive growth and
Livestock a major threat to environment. Remedies urgently needed 29 November 2006
According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.
Lecture of the UN Secretary-General at Princeton University, 28 November 2006 28 November 2006
"Almost everyone in today’s world feels insecure, but not everyone feels
insecure about the same thing. Different threats seem more urgent to people in
different parts of the world. Probably the largest number would give priority to
economic and social threats, including poverty, environmental degradation and
infectious disease. Others might stress inter-state conflict; yet others
internal conflict, including civil war."
EECCA region waters are increasingly polluted, new assessment finds 25 November 2006
Pollution is an increasingly serious problem for rivers and lakes in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region, according to a newly released preliminary assessment of the status of transboundary rivers and lakes in the region. More than 80 per cent of the rivers and 75 per cent of the lakes assessed are polluted, some heavily.
UNHCR chief condemns culture of neglect and denial about violence against women 24 November 2006
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Friday said there
was a "massive" culture of neglect and denial about violence against women.
"That culture of neglect and denial exists everywhere," Guterres told staff of
the refugee agency during a ceremony to launch the annual 16 Days of Activism to
Eliminate Violence Against Women.
ILO calls for strengthening labour inspection worldwide 17 November 2006 | ILO
The International Labour Office (ILO) proposed a new series of measures designed to “reinvigorate”, modernize and strengthen labour inspectorates worldwide, in a move to boost the implementation of labour laws on the working conditions that protect the rights of millions of workers worldwide.
The ILO formally recognizes the newly created International Trade Union Confederation 16 November 2006 | ILO
The Governing Body of the International Labour Office officially granted
general consultative status to the newly-formed International Trade Union
Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC was founded in Vienna on November 1st by trade
unions affiliated to the now dissolved International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions and World Confederation of Labour joined by a number of other
national trade union organizations.
H5N1 bird flu virus is changing 10 November 2006
According to a report in last week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the identification of a new H5N1 virus sublineage in poultry, this new virus sublineage, called Fujian virus, appears to have become the dominant strain of the H5N1 avian influenza circulating in parts of Asia. If the report is confirmed, this does not come as a surprise, FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said
Dr Margaret Chan to be WHO's next Director-General 09 November 2006 | WHO
Dr Margaret Chan of China will be the next Director–General of the World
Health Organization (WHO). After her appointment, she told the World Health
Assembly she wanted to be judged by the impact WHO's work has on the people of
Africa and on women across the globe.
World water and sanitation crisis urgently needs a Global Action Plan 09 November 2006 | UNDP
Each year, the authors report, 1.8 million children die from diarrhoea
that could be prevented with access to clean water and a toilet; 443 million
school days are lost to water–related illnesses; and almost 50 percent of all
people in developing countries are suffering at any given time from a health
problem caused by a lack of water and sanitation.
FAO head calls on world leaders to honour pledges 07 November 2006
years after the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) in Rome, which promised to reduce
the number of undernourished people by half by 2015, there were more hungry
people in the developing countries today – 820 million – than there were in
1996, FAO Director-General Dr Diouf said.
Trick or treat for UNICEF, and help a deprived child 31 October 2006
“Trick or Treat for UNICEF” has turned out to be one of the most
successful fundraising campaigns for the United Nations Children’s Fund over the
years. More than $210 million has been raised by children in the United States
and Canada over the past 56 years, largely set around Halloween.
Developing world to receive access to critical global environmental research 30 October 2006
UNEP, Yale University, and leading science and technology publishers
launched a new collaborative initiative to make global scientific research in
the environmental sciences available online to tens of thousands of
environmental scientists, researchers, and policy makers in the developing world
for free or at nominal cost.
New ILO study says youth unemployment rising 30 October 2006 | ILO
The number of unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 rose over the past decade, while hundreds of millions more are working but living in poverty, according to a new report by the International Labour Office (ILO).
Diagnostics for tuberculosis: an untapped market 25 October 2006 | WHO
Most people in the world who have tuberculosis (TB), or live in TB risk areas, do not have good access to rapid and accurate testing, states the report, the most comprehensive review of the TB diagnostics market to date. Improved tests could bolster international TB control efforts and respond to a significant market demand
WHO Global Task Force outlines measures to combat XDR-TB worldwide 23 October 2006 | WHO
Health experts have confirmed that the emergence of extensively
drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) poses a serious threat to public health,
particularly when associated with HIV. At its first meeting, the World Health
Organization Global Task Force on XDR-TB also outlined a series of measures that
countries must put in place to effectively combat XDR-TB.
UNICEF Executive Director accepts Prince of Asturias Award for Concord 23 October 2006
The Prince of Asturias Foundation has organized the Prince of Asturias Awards since 1981. The award’s name was taken from the noble title “Prince of Asturias,” which has passed down through history to the Heir to the Spanish throne. The awards are handed out in eight categories, each of which has its own jury.
UNICEF and Spain have enjoyed a remarkable year of collaboration in 2006.
Economy, drivers take the load of delays, says new ILO report 20 October 2006 | ILO
Excessive border delays, inefficient or corrupt border officials and
drivers’ vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS put the
international road transport sector at risk, according to a new report by the
International Labour Organization (ILO).
China hosts IAEA conference on Nuclear Fusion Energy 13 October 2006
The world's total energy needs in the latter part of the 21st century and
beyond cannot be met without recourse to many energy sources, including nuclear
energy. The ultimate goal is to harness the energy that powers the Sun and other
stars – fusion energy.
New Crisis Management Centre launched by FAO 12 October 2006
Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization inaugurated a new FAO Crisis Management Centre (CMC) to fight Avian Influenza outbreaks and other major animal health or food health-related emergencies.
No consensus on chrysotile asbestos 11 October 2006
Unable to reach a consensus yet on adding chrysotile asbestos to a global trade “watch list”, the member Governments of the Rotterdam Convention have decided to postpone a final decision to their next meeting in 2008.
WHO challenges world to improve air quality 05 October 2006 | WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) is today challenging governments around the world to improve air quality in their cities in order to protect people's health. The call comes as WHO unveils its new Air Quality Guidelines with dramatically lower standards for levels of pollutants. WHO believes that reducing levels of one particular type of pollutant (known as PM10) could reduce deaths in polluted cities by as much as 15% every year.
UN-HABITAT opens new office in Warsaw for central and eastern Europe 04 October 2006
As part of its expansion programmes so as to effectively address human
settlements concerns globally, UN-HABITAT officially opened a new office in
Warsaw to serve central and eastern Europe. Coinciding with World Habitat Day
commemorated in cities around the world on 2 October, the opening of the office
in Warsaw was presided over by Poland’s Minister of Construction, and
attended by top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, as well
as representatives of the UN and universities.
Top UNHCR official flags protection problems at annual board meeting 04 October 2006
Despite continuing efforts to safeguard asylum worldwide, half of UNHCR's 116 country offices last year raised concerns over the actual or potential forced return of refugees or asylum seekers to situations where they could face danger, according to the agency's top protection official.
2 October – World Habitat Day 02 October 2006
United Nations has designated the first Monday in October every year as World
Habitat Day to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to
adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to remind the world of its
collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
WHO Influenza Pandemic Task Force holds first meeting 26 September 2006 | WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza Pandemic Task Force (IPTF) met for the first time on 25 September at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The Task Force is a temporary body which will advise WHO until the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR) come into force on 15 June 2007.
UNECE ministers tackle pressing urban challenges at meeting in Geneva 25 September 2006
Urban areas throughout the UNECE region are under strain. In West European countries, economic changes and unemployment have led to urban segregation and the emergence of deprived neighbourhoods. Residents of such neighbourhoods have limited access to public and private services, and they often feel that their personal security and safety is threatened. Tightening public budgets have resulted in less investment in housing. In a number of countries, social tensions last year led to protest and unrest.
Tracking progress on child survival 25 September 2006
Political leaders and health experts gathered in New York last week to
discuss how to prevent the deaths of millions of children before their fifth
birthday. The symposium called for stronger health services in
countries with high child mortality, better access to medical supplies and
low-cost health measures to prevent child deaths, and increased government and
donor support for child survival.
IAEA website helps to keep doctors, patients informed 25 September 2006
world, millions of patients benefit from diagnosis and treatment involving
X-rays and radioactive substances. To help promote patient safety, the IAEA has
teamed with the World Health Organization and a dozen other partners through an
International Action Plan to better inform physicians, patients and care givers
about the importance of radiation protection in medical care.
Chairman's Report on Assurances of Nuclear Supply & Non-Proliferation 22 September 2006
The IAEA General Conference received a report that sums up discussions at
the IAEA's Special Event on Assurances of Nuclear Supply and NonProliferation.
The report outlines possible ways forward to guarantee countries' supplies of
nuclear fuel, while minimizing proliferation risks. It addresses policy, legal,
and technical issues that were raised during the course of
Peace and security remain at core of UN work on International Day of Peace 21 September 2006
observance of the International Day of Peace on Thursday 21 September comes at a
moment when the United Nations is engaged on several fronts to bring peace and
stability to regions in conflict. It is also the last Day of Peace at which UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan will ring the Peace Bell at UN
Annan says only global action through the UN will resolve world’s greatest challenges 20 September 2006
will only overcome the “three great challenges” of development, security and
human rights if they take action together, globally and coordinated through the
United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a wide-ranging speech to
world leaders gathered for the opening of the General Assembly’s annual
Message of the UN Secretary-General K. Annan on the International Day of Peace, New York, 21 September 2006 20 September 2006
"In fact, there are fewer wars today than in previous decades. But still far too many.
Every casualty of conflict is a failure, which reminds us how much more there is to do.
In that spirit, I call on people everywhere to observe one minute of silence today, in the name of peace. Let us remember the victims of war. And let each of us pledge to do more, wherever we can make a difference, to bring about lasting peace."
Largely preventable chronic diseases cause 86% of deaths in Europe 18 September 2006 | WHO
Aware of the rising costs and burden of chronic disease, countries across the WHO European Region are taking a comprehensive approach to curbing the epidemic. As many chronic diseases are closely linked to lifestyles, an estimated 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer, could be avoided if common lifestyle risk factors were eliminated.
Prince of Asturias award given to UNICEF 13 September 2006
UNICEF expressed appreciation today to Spain's Prince of Asturias
Foundation for giving the children's agency the prestigious 2006 Prince of
Asturias Award for Concord. The citation of the award, announced Wednesday,
noted that UNICEF's contribution to “improving the health and living conditions
of millions of children worldwide, focusing especially on the needs of the most
impoverished areas of the world.
Fighting poverty, UN reform to top General Assembly agenda, says new president 12 September 2006
General Assembly opened its 61st session, the body’s new president promised to
focus on alleviating extreme poverty and advancing the process of UN reform
undertaken during the previous session. The new president of the UN General
Assembly noted that several recommendations of the 2005 World Summit Outcome
Document have yet to be fully realized, such as disarmament and
non-proliferation, Security Council reform, mandate review and system-wide
ElBaradei calls for entry into force of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty 08 September 2006
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a key to global security, IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei remarked at the opening of a two-day symposium marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Treaty.
Praising the organization in setting up a comprehensive monitoring system for verification, he said that the Treaty is "our best hope of stemming nuclear proliferation".
GPS the latest tool in fight against avian influenza 07 September 2006
Wearing light solar-powered global positioning system (GPS) satellite transmitters, wild swans from Mongolia are winging their way across Eurasia, while land-bound scientists tracking the birds’ journeys on computers say that these unique studies will shed light on how wild birds may be involved in the spread of avian influenza.
Developing countries need sufficient flexibility in policy making, UNCTAD report says 01 September 2006
UNCTAD's Trade and
Development Report 2006 says multilateral disciplines are too narrow in
international monetary and financial relations, but too broad in international
trade International trade rules and conditionalities attached to aid and loans
provided to developing countries should not reach the point of restricting the
Governments of those countries from doing what is best for their economies, a
new UNCTAD report says.
UN Working Group reiterates solidarity with disappeared persons 31 August 2006
On the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared (30 August), the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reiterates its solidarity with all those who suffer from enforced disappearance and pays tribute to the efforts of human rights defenders working for disappeared persons and their relatives.
UNEP launched the 16th International Children's Painting Competition 28 August 2006
International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment is organized
annually by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Japan-based
Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, Bayer and Nikon Corporation. It has
been held since 1991 and has received over 170,000 entries from children in over
IAEA releases latest Illicit Trafficking Database statistics 22 August 2006
There were 103
confirmed incidents of illicit trafficking and other unauthorized activities
involving nuclear and radioactive materials in 2005, newly released statistics
from the Agency's Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB) show. The ITDB covers a
broad range of cases from illegal possession, attempted sale and smuggling, to
unauthorized disposal of materials and discoveries of lost radiological
New report projects later recovery of ozone layer 18 August 2006
The Executive Summary of a
new scientific assessment, released today by the WMO and the UNEP and based on a
full report prepared by over 250 international scientists, concludes among its
findings that the stratospheric ozone layer that protects life on earth from
excessive solar radiation will recover five to 15 years later than previously
Sixty states have already ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage* 17 August 2006
At the request of the Algerian Government, it has been decided to postpone
the session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage to avoid any conflict with the end of Ramadan. The
Committee will therefore meet on 18 and 19 November 2006, and
consequently, it has also been decided to convene an extraordinary session
of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention on 9 November.
EAA and UNESCO to co-operate for the benefit of young people in Europe 11 August 2006
UNESCO and the European
Athletic Association (EAA) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on the eve of
the 2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg. This Memorandum will
provide a framework for joint projects to serve society and strengthen European
Dutch diplomat appointed head of UN climate change convention 10 August 2006
Yvo de Boer will become the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is responsible for gathering and
sharing information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best
practices, and launching national strategies for addressing the issue, among
UNICEF helps children cope with the hidden effects of Lebanon’s ongoing conflict 09 August 2006
Children in Beirut have been deeply affected by the terrifying events
they and their families have experienced. The signs of this widespread – but
often concealed -- anxiety vary from case to case: some children cling to their
parents; others react fearfully to the sound of aircraft overhead; disturbed
sleep patterns and instances of bed-wetting are being reported.
Breastfeeding: A simple way to save young lives 03 August 2006
In a developing country, a child who is breastfed is almost three times more likely to survive infancy than a child who is not breastfed, UNICEF said at the start of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August).
WHO appeals for US$ 32.4 million as part of UN appeal 31 July 2006 | WHO
WHO is appealing for funds for the health of the people of Lebanon, who require urgent and secure access to health care.
To date, the current conflict has resulted in more than1200 injured and 346 killed. Several hundred thousand people have fled their homes, including to neighbouring Syria.
UNHCR distributes relief aid to needy displaced Lebanese in Syria 26 July 2006
the UN refugee agency is distributing relief supplies to communal shelters
providing emergency housing for Lebanese fleeing the conflict in their homeland,
while monitoring the continued outflow of people along the Lebanon-Syria
Sharp decline forecast for world cereal stocks 21 July 2006
stocks are expected to decline sharply in 2006, due to a slight decrease in
global cereal output and significant growth in utilization, according to the
latest forecast of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. While down about
1 percent from 2005 levels, world cereal output for 2006, forecast at 2 020
million tonnes, would still be the third highest on record and above the
five-year average, the report said.
G8 commitments to infectious disease can improve global health security 18 July 2006 | WHO
At the G8 meeting the Group of Eight vowed to improve the ways in which
the world cooperates on surveillance for infectious diseases, including
improving transparency by all countries in sharing information. The G8 also
committed to continued support to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and to
eradication of polio.
Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts new standards to protect consumers and ease trade 14 July 2006
The Codex Alimentarius Commission àdopted new standards on the maximum allowable levels of a number of key contaminants and food additives in order to protect the health of consumers. The standards set the maximum allowable amounts of contaminants such as lead and cadmium in certain foods. Additionally, newly adopted codes of practice will give guidance to governments on how to prevent and reduce dioxins and aflatoxins in food.
Keeping the G8’s Promises to the Poor 13 July 2006 | UNDP
"Gleneagles concluded with ambitious promises—promises which must be kept in St.
Petersburg. If these summits are to have meaning, each one must lead to concrete
steps towards lasting improvement in the daily lives of the world’s poor – and
bring us closer to effective multilateralism."
‘Junior 8’ Youth Forum prepares to meet during G8 summit in St. Petersburg 07 July 2006
In the run-up to the G8 meeting, as government leaders fine-tune their
agendas and prepare for the annual international forum, adolescents from the G8
countries are getting ready for a forum of their own. For the first time in 30
years, the annual summit – hosted this year by the Russian Government in St.
Petersburg from 15 to 17 July – will include in its official agenda an exchange
between children and G8 leaders.
Ensuring safer food for everyone Codex Alimentarius Commission meets in Geneva 03 July 2006 | WHO
Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international food standards body of the
United Nations, is conducting a meeting in Geneva from 3-7 July 2006 to consider
the adoption of a number of important proposals to improve protection of
consumers from disease-causing organisms and substances by reducing their
contamination of foods.
UN drugs chief sounds warning about Afghan opium production, cocaine consumption in Europe 26 June 2006
UNODC's 2006 World Drug Report showed global opium production fell five percent in 2005 while cocaine production was broadly stable. Seizures of both drugs, especially cocaine, reached record highs. Consumption of cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug, continued to increase while the market for amphetamine-type stimulants stabilised. Africa is growing in importance for trans-shipments of cocaine and heroin to Europe.
IAEA.org Wins 2006 Web4Dev Awards 21 June 2006
The Agency's public website, IAEA.org, was selected as one of three winners of the 2006 Web4Dev Awards at a video conference ceremony held 21 June 2006 which linked participants from Bonn, Geneva, London, New York, Vienna, and Washington D.C. The event was also broadcast simultaneously over the internet.
The Secretary-general message on World Refugee Day 20 June 2006
For the thousands of people forced to flee their homes each year, escaping with their lives and a few belongings is often just the start of a long struggle. Once they have found safety from persecution or war, they still face enormous challenges just trying to obtain things most of us take for granted — schooling, a job, decent housing or health care.
Human Rights Council begins to take shape as first session convenes in Geneva 19 June 2006
The first meeting of the newly established Human Rights Council opens in
Geneva today, 19 June, marking a new beginning for United Nations efforts to
promote and protect fundamental freedoms worldwide. This inaugural session, set
to last until 30 June, will bring together high-level representatives from over
ILO’ 95th annual conference concludes 16 June 2006 | ILO
The 95th Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concluded its work here today following extensive debates centred on the profoundly changing patterns in the world of work and promoting decent work in the 21st Century.
ILO adops new measures on occupational safety and health 15 June 2006 | ILO
The 95th annual Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a series of standards and measures addressing health and safety of workers and flexibile working arrangements. Delegates to the annual meeting overwhelmingly adopted a new Promotional Framework Convention or Occupational Safety and Health and accompanying Recommendation.
South african elected new chairman of ILO governing body 12 June 2006 | ILO
The Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) elected Mr.
Membathisi Mphumzi Shepherd Mdladlana, Minister of Labour of the Republic of
South Africa, as Chairman for its 2006–07 Session. The 296th Session of the
Governing Body also considered a range of other business, including a report of
the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association.
UNHCR global refugee tally at 26-year low, but more internally displaced 09 June 2006
While the number of refugees worldwide has reached a 26-year low, UNHCR's annual global count of uprooted people rose last year to nearly 21 million, according to a report released on Friday. The "2005 Global Refugee Trends" survey attributed the rise to the refugee agency's expanding role in caring for the world's internally displaced people (IDPs).
Statement of the UNDP Administrator on the occasion of the World Environment Day, 5 June 2006 05 June 2006 | UNDP
"Today, on World
Environment Day, we focus on the obstacles facing us in this International Year
of Deserts and Desertification, and on what we must to do overcome them.
Reaching the Millennium Development Goals will be especially challenging in
these fragile ecosystems. Dryland populations face continued land degradation.
They are both geographically and politically marginalised. They lack modern
energy services. They are largely unprepared for climate change."
World needs 430 million new jobs by 2015, and more ‘job-rich’ growth 05 June 2006 | ILO
More than 400 million new jobs will be required over the next decade to keep pace with growth of the labour force, mostly in the developing countries, through policies replacing jobless growth with “job-rich” growth, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization Juan Somavia told the ILO’s annual labour conference
New ILO analysis sees growing uncertainty, accelerated change 02 June 2006 | ILO
In a new analysis designed to stimulate debate on emerging trends and challenges in the world of work, the International Labour Office (ILO) says today’s labour market is marked by a widening gap between unprecedented opportunity for some and growing uncertainty for many.
95th International Labour Conference opens tomorrow 31 May 2006 | ILO
Some 3,000 government, worker and employer leaders from the world of work
are to meet here from 31 May to 16 June for the annual Conference of the ILO to
discuss issues ranging from changing patterns in the world of work to child
labour, occupational safety and health, the employment relationship, labour
inspection, and the labour situation in Myanmar and other
Facing a health crisis 29 May 2006
A new World
Bank report is warning many countries are facing a serious health financing
crisis, with an enormous gap between meeting people’s health needs and current
health spending. The report, Health Financing Revisited – A Practitioners Guide,
says issues such as the potential impact of avian flu and the HIV/AIDS epidemic
make global health policy both a national security issue and a foreign policy
Eastern Europe still facing challenges in forest management 29 May 2006
the rest of Europe is steadily progressing towards sustainable forest
management, Eastern European countries are facing many challenges, following the
restitution of forests from the State to their previous owners, FAO said at the
European forestry commission meeting (23-26 May) in Zvolen,
“Little Green Data Book 2006”: focus on energy and climate change 24 May 2006
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to rise with a mix of old and new polluters, according to the Little Green Data Book 2006, launched today on the occasion of the Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14).
Norway to host World Environment Day 2007 19 May 2006
Nordic country in the frontline of climate change has been chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to host the main celebrations of World Environment Day 2007.
Secretary-General calls for global security in cyberspace 17 May 2006
From on-line banking to the benefits of telemedicine, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the world community to enhance global security in cyberspace so as to realize the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) and accelerate the pace of development.
Message of the UN Secretary-General on the International Day of Families, 15 May 2006 15 May 2006
"The theme for this year’s International Day of Families, “Changing Families: Challenges and Opportunities”, highlights the profound transformations which this basic unit of society has been undergoing in recent years. The average family size has decreased all over the world; young people are getting married at a later age; the average age of mothers at first birth has increased; infant mortality rates have declined; and couples are having fewer children."
General Assembly elects first members to new Human Rights Council 10 May 2006
The United Nations General Assembly elected 47 members of the recently established UN Human Rights Council – a move immediately welcomed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan as an opportunity for a fresh start as the new body replaces the much criticized and now defunct Human Rights Commission.
Annan calls for new approaches to energy efficiency 10 May 2006
“We need a revolution in energy efficiency. Conventional power stations
waste 65 per cent of the energy they generate. We must capture and use that
excess heat, and make greater use of hybrid vehicles and other energy-efficient
UN bird flu coordinator stresses need for countries to plan for pandemic 04 May 2006 | WHO
The top United Nations coordinator for bird flu today stressed the importance of national plans for tackling a possible human pandemic of the disease, acknowledging that while the task is difficult and complex, the effects of a human-to-human outbreak would be so dramatic it would be “wrong” not to make coordinated preparations.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2006 03 May 2006
"On World Press Freedom
Day, I again declare my firm support for the universal right to freedom of
expression. Many members of the press have been killed, maimed, detained or
targeted in other ways for pursuing that right in good conscience. According to
the Committee to Protect Journalists, 47 were killed in 2005, and 11 have lost
their lives so far this year."
UN Security Council considers action on Iran’s nuclear programme 03 May 2006
resolution to rein in Iran’s nuclear programme was submitted to the United
Nations Security Council as the 15-Member body began to consider its response to
the latest report of the IAEA, which says Tehran has defied the Council’s call
to suspend uranium enrichment and ensure its nuclear activity was strictly for
peaceful purposes as the Government claims.
FAO sees major shift to bioenergy 02 May 2006
the pressure of soaring oil prices and growing environmental constraints,
momentum is gathering for a major international switch from fossil fuels to
renewable bioenergy, according to FAO. “The gradual move away from oil has
begun. Over the next 15 to 20 years we may see biofuels providing a full 25
percent of the world’s energy needs,” Alexander Mueller said.
New EU Member States aim to attract highly educated migrants 28 April 2006
International migration and development is the focus of the recently released World Population Monitoring Report of the United Nations Secretary-General. The Report addresses the demographic, social and economic aspects of international migration in relation to development and analyzes recent international migration trends. The Report focuses on this topic in preparation for the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, to be held in New York on 14 and 15 September 2006.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2006. New focus on HIV/AIDS pandemic 28 April 2006 | ILO
On Friday 28 April,
government, worker and employer representatives will observe World Day for
Safety and Health with over 100 events worldwide – from the Central Asia to the
Caribbean, from Armenia to Addis Ababa. The special theme of this year’s
observance calls attention to HIV/AIDS as an occupational safety and health
UNODC launches manual of best practices to counter kidnapping 26 April 2006
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched last week a "Counter-Kidnapping Manual" to help Member States in dealing with kidnapping.
With the financial support of the Government of Colombia and the contribution of experts from 16 countries, UNODC developed the Manual to give police officers and policy-makers concrete guidelines on how to respond to kidnappings effectively.
Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the 20th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster 26 April 2006 | UNDP
As we look back over the past two decades, we need to remember the selfless heroism of the emergency workers who responded to the accident; the suffering of the more than 330,000 people who were resettled from contaminated regions; the risks and fears experienced by millions of people living in surrounding areas; and the painstaking and costly measures undertaken over many years to limit the population’s exposure to radiation and to mitigate the accident’s impact on health and the natural environment.
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage enters into force 24 April 2006
The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, adopted in October 2003 by UNESCO’s General Conference, enters into force today, three months after the 30th instrument of ratification was deposited. A total of 47 Member States have ratified the Convention to date: 16 in Europe (including Belarus), nine in Asia, nine in Africa, seven in Latin America and six of the Arab States.
UNHCR says number of refugees at 25-year low but new challenges loom 21 April 2006
The number of refugees in the world has fallen to the lowest level in 25 years but new challenges have left the international system for dealing with human displacement at a pivotal point, according to a report on Wednesday by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees."The State of the World's Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium," was launched in London by High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn.
Hold the caviar: UN-backed body bans export of most endangered sturgeon 20 April 2006
Only Iran will be allowed to
export caviar from wild Caspian Sea sturgeon this year after the five nations
sharing the basin failed to provide information needed to ensure the fish’s
survival to the United Nations-backed body that oversees a global treaty
governing trade in endangered species.
Chernobyl’s myths and misconceptions by Kalman Mizsei and Louisa Vinton 14 April 2006 | UNDP
The twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident of April 26, 1986 is prompting a new wave of alarmist claims about its impact on human health and the environment. As has become a ritual on such commemorative occasions, the death toll is tallied in the hundreds of thousands, and fresh reports are made of elevated rates of cancer, birth defects, and overall mortality.
Forests – critical for energy supply this winter? 06 April 2006
Winter 2005/2006 has been harsh in most of Europe: the Central European States and Countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) have suffered more than most, some have seen threats to supplies of conventional energy like gas and petrol. What could local people especially in remote and rural areas do to heat their houses and flats? Wood from the local sources has provided the answer for many people in rural parts of Europe.
United Nations Experts Meeting in Vienna encourages more accurate use of place names 05 April 2006
The 23rd session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) ended in Vienna, Austria today after six working days during which 250 delegates from 22 linguistic groups or geographical divisions around the world met at the Vienna International Centre to discuss ways to increase consistency and accuracy in the use of place names.
World’s first environmental broadband TV channel ‘green.tv’ launched 03 April 2006
the world’s first broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues,
launched last week. green.tv has been developed with support from the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). "green.tv is a truly innovative project
which will no doubt influence the field of environmental film-making and
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is still a source of hazard in the center of Europe 03 April 2006
The appeal of the Heads of CIS member-states to the international community in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident was disseminated in the UN Headquarters as one of the documents of the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly. It reminds about tragic consequences of the catastrophe and stresses that the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is still a source of hazard in the center of Europe.
Improved formula for oral rehydration salts to save children’s lives 27 March 2006 | WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF today announced a new formula for the manufacture of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). The new formula will better combat acute diarrhoeal disease and advance the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds before 2015.
European Forum to discuss environment, market opportunities for the South 27 March 2006 | UNDP
On March 30th and 31st 2006 over 600 Senior Business Officials and CEOs,
together with representatives from civil society and governments will gather in
Paris to discuss the issues of “sustainable development and responsible
management”. It will be the fifth edition of the European Forum for Sustainable
Development and Corporate Responsibility organized by the French major daily
economic newspaper Les Echos in close collaboration with UNDP.
Strategy to save earth's life support systems unveiled by UN Body 24 March 2006
Overfishing up to More Efficient Agriculture Key to 2010 Biodiversity Target A
2010 target aimed at saving the globe's biodiversity from continued decline is
doable but will require greater effort world-wide. That conclusion comes from a
report, Global Biodiversity Outlook 2, launched on the 20 of March 2006 in the
Brazilian city of Curitiba at the eighth biannual meeting of the United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
WHO launches new stop TB strategy to fight the global tuberculosis epidemic 21 March 2006 | WHO
A new strategy to fight one of the world’s leading killers – tuberculosis
(TB) – was launched last week by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new
“Stop TB Strategy” addresses the current challenges facing countries in
responding to TB – how to continue scaling-up TB control activities while also
addressing the spread of TB and HIV coinfection and multidrug-resistant TB
United Nations Scientific Body still tracks radiation 50 years on 20 March 2006
Just over 50 years ago, in the heat of the global arms race, concerned scientists advised their Governments about the dangers of radioactive fallout from testing nuclear weapons. From those talks, a group was born that today stands as the world’s authoritative voice on radiation levels and effects – the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).
Water: a crisis of governance, says second UN World Water Development Report 12 March 2006 | WHO
Although unevenly distributed, the world has plenty of freshwater. However, mismanagement, limited resources and environmental changes mean that almost onefifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent lack access to basic sanitation says the United Nations World Water Development Report 2.
Global measles deaths plunge by 48% over past six years 10 March 2006 | WHO
An ambitious global immunization drive has cut measles deaths by nearly
half between 1999 and 2004, the World Health Organization and the United Nations
Children's Fund announced. Global deaths due to measles fell by 48%, from 871
000 in 1999 to an estimated 454 000 in 2004, thanks to major national
immunization activities and better access to routine childhood immunization, the
Women and decision making: meeting challenges, creating change (PDF) 08 March 2006
As women around the world celebrate International Women's Day this year, the theme of women's equal participation in decision-making provides an opportunity to access how women's voices are being heard in boardrooms, parliaments and courtrooms.
Applications invited for United Nations Journalism Fellowships 06 March 2006
Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Scholarship Fund announced that it is accepting
applications for its 2006 Dag Hammarskjold Fellowships, which will be awarded to
four journalists from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and
Eastern Europe. The application deadline is Monday, April 17.
New UN Council a unique opportunity to boost human rights protection 27 February 2006
coming days the international community will have the chance to start putting in
place a reinvigorated system for the protection of human rights around the
world. This unique opportunity comes in the form of a blueprint for a new global
rights watchdog now awaiting approval by the UN General Assembly. The initiative
deserves our support."
International Essay Competition 2006 27 February 2006
Young people are not only
the future, they are the now. More than one fifth of the world’s population is
between the ages of 12 and 24, with 1.3 billion young people living in
Avian influenza – spread of the virus to new countries 24 February 2006
The occurrence of the disease in India, reported last week, is part of a recent pattern of rapid geographical spread of the virus in wild and domestic birds. India is one of 13 countries that have reported their first cases of H5N1 infection in birds since the beginning of February.
ILO adopts sweeping new Charter for maritime sector 23 February 2006 | ILO
The International Labour Organization today overwhelmingly adopted a comprehensive new labour standard for the world’s maritime sector, in what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called a landmark development in the world of work.
Focus on Deserts & Desertification in Algiers 2006 World Environment Day 20 February 2006
first time the official celebrations of World Environment Day (WED) will be held
in North Africa. At a press conference in Algiers, the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today that the city would host the
official celebrations. This year's theme is Deserts and
Rising energy prices had triggered a more popular and positive view of nuclear power 17 February 2006
Rising energy prices had triggered a more popular and positive view of nuclear power . As consumers are hit by escalating oil and gas costs they are taking a renewed look at nuclear energy, Mr. Peterson, Vice-President of Communications at the Nuclear Energy Institute, told the annual Conference on Public Information Materials Exchange (PIME) in Vienna, 12-16 February 2006.
Energy Efficiency: The Antidote to the Energy Crisis 10 February 2006
Rapid and global improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings, factories and cars are needed to overcome the world’s over-dependency on fossil fuels, environment ministers said at the end of an international gathering, held on February 9.
UNICEF welcomes new Special Representative for children and armed conflict 09 February 2006
UNICEF congratulated Radhika Coomaraswamy on her appointment as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Ms. Coomaraswamy succeeds Olara Otunnu, who completed his term in July 2005. Mr. Otunnu was the first person to serve as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
WHO, UNESCAP launch Chronic Diseases Report 07 February 2006 | WHO
Organization (WHO) projections show that globally 388 million lives will be lost
in the next 10 years to chronic diseases and close to 270 million of these
deaths will be in the UNESCAP region. The WHO's global report Preventing chronic
diseases: a vital investment, will be jointly presented on 14 February
Carbon emissions reduced by United Nations project 06 February 2006
Eastern European countries have taken a small but very significant step in
reducing greenhouse gas emissions according to the final report of their United
Nations project issued today. The energy efficiency investments participating
countries have shown how energy savings in their cities, power stations and
factories can help achieve the global aims of the Kyoto Protocol under the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change.
World Cancer Day: Global action to avert 8 million cancer-related deaths by 2015 03 February 2006 | WHO
Cancer is a leading cause of death globally: an estimated 7.6 million people died of cancer in 2005 and 84 million people will die in the next 10 years if action is not taken. The World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed a global goal of reducing chronic disease death rates by 2% per annum from 2006 to 2015.
'Landmark' book offers tools to manage global risks 30 January 2006 | UNDP
Innovative financial mechanisms that could dramatically
reduce the cost of managing global risks can now be implemented by governments
across the world, according to a ground-breaking book launched at the World
Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos last week by the United Nations Development
UNICEF seeks $805 million for humanitarian emergencies 27 January 2006
UNICEF appealed to donors today to provide $805 million to assist children and women in 29 humanitarian emergencies. “Emergencies undermine basic services and protections for children,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said.
Actress Nicole Kidman Joins UNIFEM as New Goodwill Ambassador 26 January 2006
The United Nations Development Fund for Women today appointed Nicole Kidman, Academy Award winning actress, as its Goodwill Ambassador to help the organization champion women's rights and improve women's lives. The announcement, made by UNIFEM Executive Director, Noeleen Heyzer, at a press conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York, was timed to kick off UNIFEM's 30th anniversary year.
ILO Annual Jobs Report says global unemployment continues to grow 25 January 2006 | ILO
of people unemployed worldwide climbed to new heights in 2005, as robust
economic growth failed to offset an increase in people seeking work – especially
among the vast and growing legion of jobless youth, the International Labour
Office (ILO) said in its annual Global Employment Trends.
Win UNEP's Jackpot for Young Environmentalists 23 January 2006
The International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment is organized annually by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE) Bayer AG and Nikon Coporation. It has been held since 1990 and has received over 160,000 entries from children in over 100 countries.
Bird flu virus could spill over to Africa and Europe in springtime 20 January 2006
influenza virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Near East
regions through trade and movement of people and animals and it could be further
spread by migratory birds particularly coming from Africa in the spring, the UN
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned.
Making Data Meaningful: a new guide for bringing statistics to life 20 January 2006
The UNECE today released a practical tool for helping managers, statisticians and media relations officers, from statistical agencies, bring statistics to life through the use of effective writing techniques.
Making Data Meaningful: A guide to writing stories about numbers is packed with valuable tips for preparing texts, tables, graphics and maps, whilst respecting the principles of impartiality.
UN agency warns bird flu virus could become endemic in Turkey 11 January 2006
could become endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to neighbouring
countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned.
“The virus may be spreading despite the control measures already taken,” said
Juan Lubroth, Senior Animal Health Officer at the Rome-based
World Business Awards deadline extended 10 January 2006 | UNDP
With the nomination deadline extended to 20 January 2006, companies and business associations around the world have an extra few weeks to enter projects for the 2006 World Business Awards in support of the Millennium Development Goals.