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Join the #WhiteCard and play for change

2. April 2020 - 22:46

Today more than ever sport can inspire, give courage and hope for the future as it is a powerful tool to reinforce fraternity and cooperation. In the present crisis, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace celebrated on April 6th, is a propitious day to send a strong message of global solidarity and reinforce our bonds with each other in an indissoluble way through sport. This year organize a digital initiative or participate in the #WhiteCard campaign on social media to be part of a global and digital solidarity movement.

Play your Peace and Raise your #WhiteCard

Sport can help to shape a better future. As a reference to the yellow and the red card in the sporting world, the #WhiteCard invites not to punish but to create positive real change. We are starting a movement around the symbol of the #WhiteCard as a sign of commitment to peace efforts worldwide and where small actions make a difference. Raise it. Join us. Share it.

For more information, please visit:

Source: Peace and Sport

Kategorien: english

Ensuring Disability Rights and Inclusion in the Response to COVID-19

23. März 2020 - 20:55

Asia and the Pacific is home to an estimated 690 million persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities face barriers to full and effective participation in society, with many having intersecting disadvantages when disabilities interact with other characteristics, including gender, age, ethnicity, income and place of residence.

Many persons with disabilities are poor and in vulnerable employment without adequate social protection. ESCAP research indicates that the difference in poverty rates between persons with disabilities and the general population can be as high as 20.6 per cent, and persons with disabilities are two to six times less likely to be employed than those without disabilities.

These disadvantaged circumstances make persons with disabilities more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those with existing health conditions.

Certain containment measures, including social distancing and self-isolation, may be difficult: persons with physical disabilities may need assistance from attendants to fulfil physiological requirements while persons with intellectual disabilities may require guardians to support their daily needs. The livelihoods of persons with disabilities are also at serious risk due to the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, governments have the responsibility to mainstream disability inclusion into pandemic responses to ensure that the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities are safeguarded.

Read more about “Ensuring Disability Rights and Inclusion in the Response to COVID-19”.

COVID-19 Outbreak and Persons with Disabilities by UNDESA

Source: UN ESCAP

Kategorien: english

World’s vulnerable need more help in COVID-19 crisis

15. März 2020 - 16:27

In a video message recorded on Friday afternoon, UN chief António Guterres assured the world that the COVID-19 virus will peak, and the global economy will recover but, until then, “we must act together to slow the spread of the virus and look after each other”.

In the face of a health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes, said the Secretary-General, it is natural to feel anxious, worried and confused. The most vulnerable in society are also the most affected, and the social and economic fallout will affect most of us for months to come.

However, “this is a time for prudence, not panic. Science, not stigma. Facts, not fear”, counselled Mr. Guterres.

No country can do it alone

The pandemic can still be controlled, preventing infections and saving lives, but it will take “unprecedented personal, national and international action”, he added.

This will involve putting effective containment strategies into place; activating and enhancing emergency response systems; dramatically increasing testing capacity and care for patients; readying hospitals, and developing life-saving medical interventions.

The crisis, said Mr. Guterres, has shown the importance of international cooperation, with governments working together to revitalize economies, expand public investment and ensure support for the most vulnerable.

‘Comprehensive approach’, needed, with Europe new epicentre

Any country that thinks ‘that won’t happen to us’ is making a deadly mistake. It can happen to any country Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

Addressing the media on Friday, Tedros declared that Europe is now the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more cases and deaths there than in the rest of the world combined, excepting China, and more cases are now being reported every day than at the height of the initial Chinese outbreak.

Tedros announced that he was encouraged by the fact that many countries are now acting on the recommendations made in the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which provides evidence-based guidance that, said the WHO chief, every country can use.

“Our message to countries continues to be: you must take a comprehensive approach”, he added, noting that most countries now have a national plan, are taking a “multi-sectoral approach” (i.e. involving all areas of government, rather than simply health ministries), and have laboratory testing capacity.

“Any country that looks at the experience of other countries with large epidemics and thinks ‘that won’t happen to us’ is making a deadly mistake”, he warned. “It can happen to any country”.

Tedros looked to the experiences of China, South Korea and Singapore as examples of countries which have successfully prevented infections and saved lives, by putting in place measures such as aggressive testing and contact tracing, social distancing, and community mobilization.

The WHO continues to support efforts to prepare and respond, shipping supplies of personal protective equipment to a further 28 countries, in addition to the 56 countries who are already receiving such equipment.

WHO advice for government, business, and individuals

On Friday, UN health chief Tedros outlined four recommendations for governments, businesses and individuals.

  1. Prepare and be ready. Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and others. Ensure that health facilities can cope, and that health workers know how to provide care.
  2. Detect, protect and treat. Find, isolate, test and treat every case, to break the chain of transmissions.
  3. Reduce transmission. Isolate the sick and quarantine their contacts. Increase social distancing by, for example, cancelling sporting events and other large gatherings.
  4. Innovate and learn. This is a new virus and a new situation, and all countries have lessons to share.
World’s vulnerable need more help in COVID-19 crisis: UN agencies

Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and refugee agency (UNHCR) have issued reminders of the importance of ensuring that the world’s most vulnerable people are not forgotten during this health crisis.

UNICEF noted that, whilst handwashing with soap is critical to stem the spread, millions of people do not have even basic facilities at home. This amounts to some 3 billion people in the least developed countries. Furthermore, nearly half of all schools do not have a handwashing facility with soap and water, whilst a third have no place for children to wash their hands at all.

Source: UN News

Kategorien: english

Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future

9. März 2020 - 21:44

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 (Beijing Platform for Action) is the most visionary agenda for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere. Developed at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China—known as the largest-ever gathering of gender equality advocates—the Beijing Platform for Action was adopted by 189 governments committed to taking strategic, bold action in 12 critical areas of concern: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child.

In 2020, it will be 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action set out how to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life, whether in public or in private. Despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. As a result, women remain undervalued, they continue to work more, earn less, have fewer choices, and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces.

Imagine a world where all people have equal rights and opportunities. Women and girls are not afraid of walking home late at night, and men and boys are not trapped in oppressive masculinities. In this world, gender equality is the norm. Men and women get paid equally for work of equal value and share the care work at home.

Imagine equality in political leadership and corporate boardrooms and factory floors. Women have equal say in decisions that affect their lives, their bodies, their policies, and their environment, from villages to cities.

Let’s make this a reality. Join UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign to accelerate gender equality actions and mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most visionary agenda for women’s rights and empowerment everywhere.

Learn more:

Source: UN Women

Kategorien: english

Make Us Count

9. Februar 2020 - 17:35

Make Us Count is a campaign powered by the UN Working Group to End Homelessness. Made up of NGOs from across the world, the Working Group advocates at the UN’s HQ in New York for those experiencing homelessness.

In February 2020, the UN will issue a resolution on homelessness for the first time in three decades, at the 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development. This is a potentially revolutionary moment. The UN Secretary General will release a report on homelessness for the first time. Member states will discuss solutions and strategies together for the first time.

We call on the voices of homeless people to be heard at these discussions. And we call for two fundamental policy changes to be adopted: to agree a common definition and to begin the global measurement of homelessness. In February, we will submit an open letter to the UN signed by leading agencies asking for these crucial policy changes

The WEGH is a partner and resource provider to any member state working on homelessness. The WGEH works closely with the Committee for Social Development of the UN which helps to organize the February meeting of the Commission.

For more information, please visit:

Source: Working Group to End Homelessness

Kategorien: english

Rising inequality affecting more than two-thirds of the globe, but it’s not inevitable

2. Februar 2020 - 16:05

The World Social Report 2020, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), shows that income inequality has increased in most developed countries, and some middle-income countries – including China, which has the world’s fastest growing economy.

The challenges are underscored by UN chief António Guterres in the foreword, in which he states that the world is confronting “the harsh realities of a deeply unequal global landscape”, in which economic woes, inequalities and job insecurity have led to mass protests in both developed and developing countries.

“Income disparities and a lack of opportunities”, he writes, “are creating a vicious cycle of inequality, frustration and discontent across generations.”

‘The one per cent’ winners take (almost) all

The study shows that the richest one per cent of the population are the big winners in the changing global economy, increasing their share of income between 1990 and 2015, while at the other end of the scale, the bottom 40 per cent earned less than a quarter of income in all countries surveyed.

One of the consequences of inequality within societies, notes the report, is slower economic growth. In unequal societies, with wide disparities in areas such as health care and education, people are more likely to remain trapped in poverty, across several generations.

Between countries, the difference in average incomes is reducing, with China and other Asian nations driving growth in the global economy. Nevertheless, there are still stark differences between the richest and poorest countries and regions: the average income in North America, for example, is 16 times higher than that of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Four global forces affecting inequality

The report looks at the impact that four powerful global forces, or megatrends, are having on inequality around the world: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration.

Whilst technological innovation can support economic growth, offering new possibilities in fields such as health care, education, communication and productivity, there is also evidence to show that it can lead to increased wage inequality, and displace workers.

Rapid advances in areas such as biology and genetics, as well as robotics and artificial intelligence, are transforming societies at pace. New technology has the potential to eliminate entire categories of jobs but, equally, may generate entirely new jobs and innovations.

For now, however, highly skilled workers are reaping the benefits of the so-called “fourth industrial revolution”, whilst low-skilled and middle-skilled workers engaged in routine manual and cognitive tasks, are seeing their opportunities shrink.

Opportunities in a crisis

As the UN’s 2020 report on the global economy showed last Thursday, the climate crisis is having a negative impact on quality of life, and vulnerable populations are bearing the brunt of environmental degradation and extreme weather events. Climate change, according to the World Social Report, is making the world’s poorest countries even poorer, and could reverse progress made in reducing inequality among countries.

If action to tackle the climate crisis progresses as hoped, there will be job losses in carbon-intensive sectors, such as the coal industry, but the “greening” of the global economy could result in overall net employment gains, with the creation of many new jobs worldwide.

For the first time in history, more people live in urban than rural areas, a trend that is expected to continue over the coming years. Although cities drive economic growth, they are more unequal than rural areas, with the extremely wealthy living alongside the very poor.

The scale of inequality varies widely from city to city, even within a single country: as they grow and develop, some cities have become more unequal whilst, in others, inequality has declined.

Migration a ‘powerful symbol of global inequality’

The fourth megatrend, international migration, is described as both a “powerful symbol of global inequality”, and “a force for equality under the right conditions”.

Migration within countries, notes the report, tends to increase once countries begin to develop and industrialize, and more inhabitants of middle-income countries than low-income countries migrate abroad.

International migration is seen, generally, as benefiting both migrants, their countries of origin (as money is sent home) and their host countries.

In some cases, where migrants compete for low-skilled work, wages may be pushed down, increasing inequality but, if they offer skills that are in short supply, or take on work that others are not willing to do, they can have a positive effect on unemployment.

Harness the mega-trends for a better world

Despite a clear widening of the gap between the haves and have-nots worldwide, the report points out that this situation can be reversed. Although the megatrends have the potential to continue divisions in society, they can also, as the Secretary-General says in his foreword, “be harnessed for a more equitable and sustainable world”. Both national governments and international organizations have a role to play in levelling the playing field and creating a fairer world for all.

Reducing inequality should, says the report, play a central role in policy-making. This means ensuring that the potential of new technology is used to reduce poverty and create jobs; that vulnerable people grow more resilient to the effects of climate change; cities are more inclusive; and migration takes place in a safe, orderly and regular manner.

Three strategies for making countries more egalitarian are suggested in the report: the promotion of equal access to opportunities (through, for example, universal access to education); fiscal policies that include measures for social policies, such as unemployment and disability benefits; and legislation that tackles prejudice and discrimination, whilst promoting greater participation of disadvantaged groups.

While action at a national level is crucial, the report declares that “concerted, coordinated and multilateral action” is needed to tackle major challenges affecting inequality within and among countries.

The report’s authors conclude that, given the importance of international cooperation, multilateral institutions such as the UN should be strengthened and action to create a fairer world must be urgently accelerated.

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides the blueprint for a better future for people and the planet, recognizes that major challenges require internationally coordinated solutions, and contains concrete and specific targets to reduce inequality, based on income.

Source: UN News

Kategorien: english

How unequal are we?

7. Januar 2020 - 19:18

Economic inequality is often blamed for the growing waves of discontent around the world. But is the voice of the street right ? Are the rich growing richer and the poor getting poorer? Is the one per cent of top earners owning ever more of the world’s wealth? We ask Marta Roig, lead author of UN DESA’s upcoming World Social Report.

How do we know if the world is becoming more or less equal?

“Today, people are more educated, healthier, better connected and even richer, on average, than ever before. But average measures, including GDP or GDP per capita, are no longer sufficient to assess people’s well-being.

More and more people around the world agree that income inequality is a big problem and that it should be reduced. Income disparities create unequal opportunities, prevent some people from reaching their full potential and, as we are witnessing, breed frustration and discontent.

Despite persistent data limitations, the metrics that are available do confirm that income and wealth inequalities are very high and, in many cases, continue to grow. As the data improve, they increasingly back people’s perceptions that our world is growing more unequal.

For instance, in almost all countries that have them, distributional accounts data suggest that income is increasingly concentrated among top earners. Unfortunately, many developing countries still do not have the necessary data to assess whether this is a universal trend.”

Different studies on inequality sometimes come to dramatically different conclusions. What can we say with certainty about inequality?

“Inequality has many dimensions. Conclusions depend, in part, on the focus of different studies. The forthcoming World Social Report shows, for instance, that inequalities may be declining in basic indicators such as child health or primary education, but they are still growing in more advanced achievements, such as secondary education. Inequalities between urban and rural areas may be falling while disparities among ethnic groups continue to grow.

Despite these differences, all sources of data lead to some common conclusions: First, income inequality levels are at a historical all-time high. And secondly, income inequality levels and trends vary significantly across countries and regions. Latin America and Africa are still the regions with the highest levels of inequality but have seen income inequality decline since the late 1990s. In developed countries and in the two most populous countries in the world, China and India, inequality has grown.”

Why does the choice of indicators matter when we evaluate inequality trends?

“When it comes to income inequality, different indicators lead to different conclusions. The average Gini coefficient of income inequality within countries has slightly declined since the mid-1990s. At the same time, the share of income going to top income earners has grown in countries with data.

This is in part due to differences in data sources. The Gini coefficient is a summary measure of inequality and therefore allows us to make general conclusions on inequality trends. The Gini is based on survey data. Surveys contain a lot of information but are not well suited to capture the very high or very low incomes. Recent efforts that combine data from different sources, such as surveys, tax records and national accounts give us a better picture of income concentration at its extremes.

But the integration of data from different sources and the additional indicators they give us—like the share of income earned by the bottom 10 per cent or top 1 per cent of the population—are not available for many developing countries. And in countries with data, researchers still disagree on how to best combine these different sources. In addition, one single indicator (like the share of income of the top one per cent) alone, does not provide full information on the income distribution, while the Gini coefficient does.

All in all, each measure has pros and cons. When possible, it is important to rely on more than one indicator of inequality. Different indicators are not fully comparable and cannot be easily interchanged with another.”

We are entering a decade of action to achieve the Global Goals. What type of action do we need to prioritize to reduce inequalities by the targets set for 2030?

“Clearly, no single set of policies is applicable to all countries and contexts. The forthcoming World Social Report highlights three building blocks of a coherent and integrated policy strategy to reduce inequalities: First, promoting equal access to opportunity for instance, by ensuring that education helps to reduce inequalities rather than reinforces them. Secondly, promoting redistribution, including strengthening social protection systems, ensuring the availability of universal programmes. Thirdly, tackle prejudice and discrimination.

The UN has advocated for measures under each of these building blocks for decades. Inaction is not due to lack of sound technical advice or even, in most cases, adequate capacity. But politics matter. Many inequality-reducing measures challenge the status quo, and thus are likely to encounter resistance. Understanding the political constraints to reducing inequality and devising ways to overcome them is key to breaking the current stalemate.”

Read the UN DESA Social Development Brief on Income inequality trends

Source: UNDESA Voice

Kategorien: english

Global Young Visionaries Summit – FerMUN 2020

7. Januar 2020 - 18:21

The Futurecasters Global Young Visionaries Summit  (Geneva, 8-10 January 2020) is hosted and co- organized by ITU and the Model UN programme of Ferney-Voltaire, France.

The event is a programme of youth-oriented consultations aimed at bringing the voices of young people to all major ITU development discussions and activities.

The Summit is built around the global success of the FerMUN Model UN led by the Lycée International Ferney Voltaire. One of the very first fully bilingual Model UN programmes in the world, FerMUN now regularly welcomes students and teachers from over 25 countries worldwide.

The Futurecasters Summit will  welcome some 700 outstanding young students from 25 countries worldwide.

The theme of the conference is ‘Technology for Development’. Students will debate how technologies can be harnessed to advance progress towards the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and will discuss, with their unique cultural and personal perspectives and experiences, how the power of technology can change the world.

The Summit will feature discussions on the environment, cybersecurity, digital skills, AI, education, to mention a few, as well as a special event on child on-line protection –  COP KIDS –  and a teacher’s roundtable.

Involving young people is particularly important to the work of ITU, because youth are natural adopters of technology. Young people are the ones who will inherit the world that technology is now shaping. It is vital that we hear their voices, listen to what they want from technology.  That they become part of the solution to the challenges the world is facing.

The Futurecasters Global Young Visionaries Summit  will mark the beginning of a serious, open, frank and ongoing dialogue where youth can share what is good about technology, and what worries them.

Following this path we will get a truly meaningful roadmap for the future.​

Learn more about the Futurecasters Global Young Visionaries Summit. 

Source: ITU

Kategorien: english

Girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities should always be well treated

24. Dezember 2019 - 20:43

Girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities should always be well treated, like other children and adolescents, protecting them from all forms of violence and abuse. A good treatment will produce positive effects on their physical, mental and social development.

The mandate of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary- General on Disability and Accessibility is aimed at the general promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities and accessibility. The work focuses on the guiding principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the 2030 Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals, incorporating the mainstreaming of awareness as a priority.

In this role, she has developed the Global Campaign “Good treatment for girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities in the world”, which has been launched in different regions. This Decalogue is the substantive content and for its preparation there has been an interdisciplinary work. It was prepared on the basis of interviews with girls and boys with disabilities and focus groups of adults with disabilities in relation to their experiences of childhood and adolescence.

Learn more about the 10 Principles, which are found in different languages ​​including some indigenous languages, as well as to spread them and to commit to them.

Source: Special Envoy of the UN SG on Disability and Accessibility

Kategorien: english

Everyone has the right to social protection

24. Dezember 2019 - 16:45

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25(1).

The faces of social protection

Social protection ensures access to health care and income security for all. It provides for you and your family when you’re sick, unemployed, injured, pregnant or too old to work. It provides support for your family in case something happens to you. Social protection gives you peace of mind and hope for a better future.

Your social protection

Social protection is a set of policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability during our lives. Social protection ensures you have access to…

  • Child and family benefits
  • Maternity protection
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Employment injury benefits
  • Sickness benefits
  • Health protection
  • Old-age pensions
  • Disability pensions

The end of poverty

According to ILO statistics, today, 4 billion people worldwide lack social protection. Only 29% of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage and 55% lacks any coverage at all.

Time for action: Universal social protection

It is possible to extend social protection to the 4 billion people worldwide who still lack it. The ILO works hard to support countries in their efforts to create or improve their national social protection systems. ILO standards and expertise are crucial in guiding countries in the development of their own national social protection schemes.

The road ahead

Countries have made laudable progress but billions of people around the world still do not benefit from adequate social protection. Lack of social protection leaves people vulnerable to poverty, inequality and social exclusion across the life cycle. The solution is universal social protection.

Universal social protection is key to achieving several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Without it, we cannot eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities or achieve gender equality. It is only when this aspiration becomes reality that we will have made significant progress towards achieving sustainable development for all.

For more information, please visit:

Source: ILO

Kategorien: english

International cooperation on migration – what’s next?

23. Dezember 2019 - 16:44

December is a time to recall that all migrants—no matter their immigration status—are entitled to the same basic human rights as everyone else. Migrants form a vital and integral part of our societies and contribute much to sustainable development. As revealed by UN DESA’s latest revision of estimates of the International Migrant Stock, the number of international migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million in 2019, an increase of 51 million since 2010. The global number of international migrants has grown faster than the world’s population. As a result, migrants comprise 3.5 per cent of the global population today, compared to 2.8 per cent in the year 2000.

On 18 December, the United Nations celebrates International Migrants’ Day, marking 29 years since the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. One of the nine core international human rights instruments, the Convention distinguishes between the basic human rights of all migrant workers and members of their families, regardless of their immigration status, and other rights of those who are in a regular situation. After almost three decades, the resolution continues to enjoy limited buy-in: only 55 Member States have ratified it so far, none of which are major migrant-receiving countries.

But that does not mean international cooperation on migration has stalled. On the contrary, exactly one year ago, on 10 and 11 December 2018, Member States came together in Marrakech, Morocco, to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The General Assembly formally endorsed the Marrakech Compact on Migration on 19 December with an overwhelming majority of 152 Member States voting in favour.

The Compact has 10 cross-cutting and interdependent guiding principles: people-centred; international cooperation; national sovereignty; rule of law and due process; sustainable development; human rights; gender- and child-sensitive; whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.

It includes 23 objectives covering the full migration cycle, ranging from conditions and drivers of migration in home countries, to preparations for migration, movements, border management and integration in destination countries to development impacts, return and reintegration. Each of these objectives includes a series of concrete actions Member States can take.

In 2018, the Secretary-General esta

blished the UN Network on Migrationcomprising 38 UN system entities to ensure coordinated support to Member States. A member of the Network’s Executive Committee, UN DESA co-leads the working group on data and evidence, contributes to the development of the Network’s knowledge platform and connection hub and supported the negotiations on the organizational arrangements for the international migration review forums.

In May 2019, the Network launched the start-up fund for safe, orderly and regular migration to support the implementation of the Compact. Today, the trust fund has already received pledges totalling more than $7 million.

The year 2020 will be a litmus test for international cooperation on migration as UN Regional Economic Commissions and other migration-related platforms undertake regional reviews to assess the status of implementation of the Compact. The results of these reviews will inform the first International Migration Review Forum in New York during the first half of 2022.

For more information: UN DESA’s Population Division – International migration

Source: UNDESA Voice

Kategorien: english