New President for the UN General Assembly:The month of June brings the good news that the UN General Assembly elected María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (Ecuador) as President of its seventy-third session — making her only the fourth woman to helm the 193-member organ in its more than seven-decades-long history. Dedicating her election to all the women in the world who participated in politics — sometimes facing political and media attacks marked by machismo and discrimination — she paid tribute to women struggling every day to access jobs on equal terms, to those who were victims of violence, and to girls and adolescents demanding access to quality information and education. “I offered an open-door Presidency and I will hold onto that promise,” she said, reiterating her commitment to act as an impartial, objective and open facilitator of the Assembly’s work. “No view is useful if we do not see, and words have no value if we do not listen,” she said.
Hunger on the rise: According to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2018 report, conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries. “After a prolonged decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise again. Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress,” said the report. Violent conflicts also led to the forced displacement of a record high 68.5 million in 2017.
Poverty in America: Philp Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has spent 10 days touring America. The United States is one of the world’s richest and most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty.
“With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline, we must inject a sense of urgency,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the foreword to the report.
Migrant Children in the US: UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents. As part of his final global update, the UN human rights high commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein voiced his deep concern over recently-adopted United States border protection policies that have seen hundreds of migrant children forcibly separated from their parents. Following his comments US Ambassador to the UN informed that is The United States is leaving the “biased Human rights council”.
The United States government decision to end its border policy of forcibly separating migrant children from their parents, does not help thousands of youngsters already in detention, who should be released and reunited with their families, a group of UN rights experts said.
Drug production and use record high: Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan reached a record-high last year, leading to unprecedented levels of potential heroin on the world market. The scourge of opium-based drugs and cocaine are a bigger global threat to public health and law enforcement than ever before, according to the latest World Drug Report, released on Tuesday by the United Nations Office of Drug and crimes (UNODC).
June 23: International Widows day: Although accurate information is limited, it has been estimated that there are some 285 million widows around the world, with over 115 million of them living in deep poverty. Data on women’s status are often not disaggregated by marital status, so at every level of gender statistics, from national to global, widows are not visible.
June 21 International Day of Yoga:Hundreds of people filled the North Lawn of United Nations Headquarters in New York to celebrate the International Day of Yoga on 21 June. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Practicing yoga can improve strength, flexibility, and mental health, which are all elements of Goal 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—Good Health and Well-being.
June 26: The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is celebrated each year to strengthen global action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. This global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. The action focus for 2018 is to #Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.
Upcoming events and registrations:
High level Political forum: July 9- 18 (HLPF 2018): Voluntary National Reporting and more. Infoand link to Register: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2018/registration
- 9-13 July: 6th (Final) Round of GCM (Global Combat on Migration negotiations), UN, New York
- The 67 DPI Annual Conference, August 22 & 23, 2018: the UN NY, will focus on the value of multilateralism to identify and implement global solutions for global problems. The 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference Registration : https://reg.unog.ch/event/25239/registration/
SDG Corner: Here is a recap of the 17 SDGs (video) for you to teach and have fun!
SD Global Report available at: ttps://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/globalsdreport
Signs of Hope:
1.Hawaii became the first US state to ban the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a chemical that has been linked to causing developmental delays in children.
2.While the world becomes more and more aware of plastic pollution, a group of 5,000 fishermen from Kerala, South India who rely on the “Mother Sea” to survive have taken it upon themselves to clean up the oceans – and use the piles of waste to repair their roads and create jobs. local fisherman from the city of Kollam explained how the sea has gotten more polluted over the years. Whenever he casts his nets, he “often comes up with more plastic than fish.”
3.The City of London has announced that they will be sourcing 100% of their energy needs from renewable sources by October 2018.
Celine Paramunda MMS