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SDGs for All - June 2018 In Retrospect

Published by the International Press Syndicate Group
in cooperation with the Global Cooperation Council 


UN in Vienna Stages World Premieres by Migrant Composers

By Reinhardt Jacobsen

VIENNA (IDN) – The first-ever musical event of its kind at the United Nations in Vienna has showcased the richness of culture and art that migration brings. Co-hosted by the UN migration agency (IOM) and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), the 'Voices of Migration' concert at the Vienna International Centre on June 28, featured powerful performances. These included two world premieres by migrant composers from Iran and Turkey, performed by a diverse group of world-class musicians.

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Real Money Crucial for Success of Paris Climate Pact

By Harjeet Singh

The writer is Global Lead on Climate Change at ActionAid International and is based in New Delhi. The commitment and sincerity of developed countries to provide climate finance will determine whether the Paris Agreement will succeed in combating climate change, he warns. Views are personal. This article first appeared on 'India Climate Dialogue' on 22 June 2018, and is being reproduced with due acknowledgement. – The Editor

NEW DELHI (IDN-INPS) – The home of Shumona, 9, and her grandmother in Patuakhali in southern Bangladesh has been destroyed by storms four times in the past five years. She and millions of climate change victims like her in the developing world remain oblivious to the fact that behind her suffering is unthinking industrialisation.

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Africa Is the Epicentre of UN Peace Operations Since 2008

By Timo Smit

The author is a Researcher with the SIPRI Peace Operations and Conflict Management Programme. He is currently in charge of maintaining SIPRI’s database on multilateral peace operations (including data-collection), and conducts research on trends in peacekeeping. This article first appeared on June 20,2018. – The Editor

STOCKHOLM (IDN-INPS) – This year it is 70 years since the United Nations Security Council established the first UN peacekeeping operation. On May 29, 1948 it authorized the deployment of military observers to supervise a cessation of hostilities in the First Arab-Israeli War and to support Count Folke Bernadotte in his role as UN mediator.

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Kenya and UNESCO Partner to Upgrade Training and Tackle Unemployment

By Justus Wanzala

NAIROBI (IDN) – Soaring unemployment and loud rumblings of discontent from the labour market about the mismatch between skills offered in learning institutions and industry needs in Kenya and the East African region has led stakeholders to swing into action to reverse the trend.

One approach is being spearheaded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) which, in collaboration with Kenya’s Ministry of Education, is promoting and supporting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems in the country and the Eastern Africa region.

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Underwater Noise – The Not-so-Silent Killer

By Bradnee Chambers

Marine experts gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from June 18-22, 2018 to discuss anthropogenic underwater noise. Dr. Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), describes the impacts of this type of pollution on marine wildlife and sets out some of the solutions.

BONN (IDN) – Humanity's achievements are incredible – the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, literature, music, telecommunications, medicine and a few decades after the first powered flight, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

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UN Report Faults Access to Justice of Afghan Women

By Devinder Kumar

NEW DELHI | KABUL (IDN) – Though a law on the elimination of violence against women has been in place in Afghanistan since 2009, Afghan women’s access to justice remains severely inadequate, says a new report released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Entitled Injustice and Impunity: Mediation of Criminal Offences of Violence against Women, the report documents the individual experiences of Afghan women, survivors of violence across the country, between August 2015 and December 2017, and identifies the human rights implications of the widespread use of mediation in cases of violence against women.

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You Can Help Achieve Zero Land Degradation

By Monique Barbut

The writer is Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCDD) based in Bonn, Germany. This viewpoint underlines the importance of June 17 that marks every year the celebration of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD). – The Editor.

BONN (IDN) – Are you overwhelmed by the depressing news coming at you daily? Conflict, forced migrants, famine, floods, hurricanes, extinction of species, climate change, threats of war … a seemingly endless list. It might surprise you, but you can really make a difference on many of these issues.

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Experts Debate Digital Media's Role in Tackling Global Inequalities

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BONN (IDN) – 'Global Inequalities' was the theme of this year's Global Media Forum (GMF) hosted by the German public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and much discussion focused on whether the digital media tools are a panacea or a hindrance to achieving a more equitable world.

In an opening address, Germany's Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Michelle Muentefering said that inequalities exist not only in the economic sphere, but also in the information field where balance and participation is lacking. "In the 1990s great expectations were placed on digital media (but) last few years have been sobering, the expected equality did not happen."

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UN General Assembly Elects Fourth Woman As President In More Than Seven Decades

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – In its more than seven-decades-long history, the UN General Assembly has elected only the fourth woman to helm the 193-member organ. Ecuador's María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, a former Minister for National Defence, is President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, which opens on September 18.

Her woman predecessors as General Assembly presidents were: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India (1953-1954), Angie Elisabeth Brooks of Liberia (1969-1970), and Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain (2006-2007).

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Kazakhstan Reaffirms Willingness to Assist in the Maintenance of Peace and Security

By Marat Beketayev, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The UN Security Council organized on 17 May 2018 a High-Level Open Debate on "Maintenance of international peace and security: Upholding international law within the context of the maintenance of international peace and security," reflecting the purposes of United Nations as spelt out in Article 1 of the UN Charter. Following are extensive excerpts from the draft statement by the Kazakh Minister of Justice who stressed: "Kazakhstan considers this to be a very timely and valuable debate". Engaging in such reflection is the sign of a healthy institution with strong and far-sighted leadership, and we congratulate Poland on providing such leadership during its time in the chair. – The Editor.

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UN Chief Lauds India for Deepening South-South Cooperation

By Santo D. Banerjee

NEW YORK (IDN) – UN Secretary‑General António Guterres has commended India's "very important role in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals". He was speaking at an event marking the first anniversary of the India‑United Nations Development Partnership Fund in New York.

The Fund aims at supporting sustainable development for low-income nations with 22 projects having already been approved in 25 partner countries ranging from hurricane rehabilitation and climate early warning system to government accountability and agriculture.

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CTBTO Symposium Underlines Importance of Youth and Women

By Reinhardt Jacobsen

VIENNA (IDN) – "Now more than ever, this type of diplomacy has a particular importance," said Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, in a high-level session of the 2nd CTBT Science Diplomacy Symposium at the Vienna International Centre.

"The challenges that define the 21st century such as nuclear disarmament, climate change, food security, and poverty reduction have scientific dimensions. No country will be able to solve these problems by itself; those are global troubles which require global solutions and collaboration," she added.

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Climate Change Is The Central Challenge For Humanity

Viewpoint by Franz Baumann

This article is based on Talk given to the UN Association of New York 23 May 2018. Dr. Franz Baumann joined the UN Development Program in 1980 and began working in the UN Secretariat in 1985. He retired in 2015 as an assistant secretary-general, special adviser on environment and peace operations, after working about a dozen assignments under five secretaries-general, in four duty stations and on three continents. Dr. Baumann is now a visiting professor at New York University. – The Editor

NEW YORK (IDN) – The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, by training a physicist and by temperament not given to hyperbole, last November called Climate Change “the central challenge for humanity.”[1] I will try to explain why this is by no means an alarmist, but an acutely realistic assessment.

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Sustainable Development Now at the Heart of the UN

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – The United Nations General Assembly has approved a landmark consensus resolution, which Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed assures will allow the world body to transform a "cacophony" of efforts under way to make sustainable development a reality into a "symphony".

Secretary-General António Guterres has described the plan as "the most ambitious and comprehensive transformation of the UN development system in decades," paving the way for a new era of "national ownership" of development, supported by the whole UN system, in a tailored fashion, allowing countries to pursue sustainable economic and social development.

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Grassroots India Beginning To Beat Plastic Pollution

By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE (IDN) – A 32-year-old Rajeswari Singh launched on a six-week marathon mission on World Earth Day setting out to walk some 1,100 kilometres from Vadodara in western India to reach New Delhi on World Environment Day on June 5, spreading a simple message 'Stop using plastic', and accentuating it by forgoing all the way any kind of plastic packaged drinks or food.

In fact, she hasn’t used any kind of plastic over the past decade. Besides, her message echoes the theme of this year's World Environment Day – 'Beat plastic pollution' – with India, among the world’s top ten consumers of plastic, playing global host. (P06) HINDI | INDONESIANJAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

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as part of a media project with Soka Gakkai International

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