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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals bannerThe new year ushers in the official launch of the bold and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders last September at the United Nations. The new Agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the next 15 years. “The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s Continue reading

Global Climate Breaks New Records January to June 2016

nasa_press-release1Geneva, 21 July 2016 (WMO) _ Global temperatures for the first six months of this year shattered yet more records, and mean that 2016 is on track to be the world’s hottest year on record.

Arctic sea ice melted early and fast, another indicator of climate change. Carbon dioxide levels, which are driving global warming, have reached new highs.

Two separate reports from the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) both highlighted the dramatic and sweeping changes in the state of the climate.

June 2016 marked the 14th consecutive month of record heat for land and oceans. It marked the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. The last month with temperatures below the 20th century average was December 1984.

Press Release: UN Secretary-General Invites All Member States To Event on 21 September Aimed At Accelerating Paris Agreement Entry Into Force

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Early entry into force seen as critical for boosting climate action

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from all countries to attend a special event on 21 September to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The event will also provide an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016.

The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General.

It is expected that the September event will help efforts to secure early entry into force of the agreement.

In an extraordinary show of support for the Paris climate agreement, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony in New York on 22 April, far exceeding the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement. Signing is the first step toward joining the Agreement, and must be followed by the deposit of the instrument of ratification or acceptance. So far, 19 countries have ratified the Agreement. Many others, including the United States and China, have publicly committed to joining the Paris Agreement this year.

First Report Card Maps Out Scope of Undertaking to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

EMBARGOED until Tuesday 19 July, 3 p.m. EST

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PRESS RELEASE

Report reveals that benefits of development are not equally shared by all

New York, 19 July 2016 – As the world begins the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 13 per cent of the world population still lives in extreme poverty, 800 million people are suffering from hunger and 2.4 billion live without improved sanitation. The first Sustainable Development Goals Report, which was launched today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, outlines where the world is at the start of this collective journey and highlights critical challenges for the achievement of the Goals.

“It is vital that we begin implementation with a sense of opportunity and purpose based on an accurate evaluation of where the world stands now,” said Mr. Ban.

Unanimously agreed on by world leaders at the United Nations Headquarters in September 2015, the Goals represent a bold and ambitious global plan to end poverty, address inequalities and tackle climate change. The Goals are universal and call for action by both developed and developing countries, as well as all people to mobilize efforts to ensure economic development, social progress and environmental sustainability worldwide.

Nelson Mandela Day – 18 July

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity, as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

Every year on 18 July — Nelson Mandela’s birthday — the UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.

 Message for Nelson Mandela Day from the UN Secretary General

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For more information on the Day please go to the dedicated UN Website

Nelson Mandela International Day – Monday 18 July 2016

Let’s mark Mandela Day by Adopting a Minimum Set of Human Rights for Millions of Detainees

GENEVA / KAMPALA / STRASBOURG / WASHINGTON DC (15 July 2016) – Speaking ahead of Nelson Mandela International Day, a group of leading human rights experts have called on all States around the world to implement without delay the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners: the Nelson Mandela Rules.

The Rules represent a universally accepted minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners, conditions of detention and prison management, and offer essential practical guidance to prison administrations.

“Speedy and decisive steps towards implementation would truly honour the legacy of the great Statesman and inspirational leader Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez; the Special Rapporteur on prisons, conditions of detention and policing in Africa, Med Kaggwa; the Rapporteur on the rights of persons deprived of liberty of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, James Cavallaro; and the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, in an open statement* issued today.

“Their implementation in prisons around the world would significantly improve the treatment of millions of detainees,” the experts stated. “At the same time, it is useful guidance to help prison staff deliver their important and difficult task in a professional and effective way, benefiting society at large.”

Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General on Turkey

The Secretary-General is following closely and with concern the fast-moving developments in Turkey.

At this moment of uncertainty in the country, the Secretary-General appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, remain of vital importance.

The Secretary-General underscores that military interference in the affairs of any state is unacceptable. It will be crucial to quickly and peacefully affirm civilian rule and constitutional order in accordance with principles of democracy.

New York, 15 July 2016

New UN-backed Survey Reveals ‘Alarming’ Damage to High Seas and Marine Ecosystems

14 July 2016 – More than half of the world’s fragile coral reefs are under threat and most of our major fish stocks are now overexploited, according to the latest global assessments on the state of world’s high seas and large marine ecosystems launched today by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

05-25-2016CoralReefThe new study identified the increasing cumulative impacts of climate change and human activities on these systems for the deterioration of their health and decline of resource productivity.

“Sixty percent of the world’s coral reefs are currently threatened by local activities; 50 per cent of all fish stock in large marine ecosystems are overexploited; 64 of the world’s 66 large marine ecosystems have experienced ocean warming in the last decades,” are among the among the alarming statistics from the assessment and detailed in a statement from UNESCO.

Asia-Pacific Outlook Highlighted At Global UN Forums On 2030 Agenda in New York

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14 July 2016 Press Release No: G/36/2016

New York (ESCAP News) — The experiences and challenges of Asia-Pacific’s countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be emphasized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in high-level side events held alongside the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and the fifth biennial meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) in New York next week.
Convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) the HLPF ministerial segment held from 18-20 July is the essential global forum for providing political leadership, guidance and recommendations on implementing the 2030 Agenda. The DCF held from 21-22 July will review the latest international development cooperation trends, bringing together policymakers, civil society organizations and private foundations.

Make Sustainable Development Goals Relevant to Citizens, Speakers Tell High-level Political Forum

13 JULY 2016

Infographic five elements of Sustainable Development

Five elements of Sustainable Development

National-level implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development must be country owned and context specific, with its goals closely linked to national values and priorities, stressed speakers as the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development entered its third day.

The Forum held four panels exploring early national implementation efforts as well as future plans, with panellists and other participants pinpointing examples of good practices and identifying challenges.  The panels’ themes were “Creating ownership at the national level”, “Mainstreaming Sustainable Development Goals into national policies, plans and strategies and integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development”, “Vertical cooperation:  Local authorities and national Governments working together for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda”, and “Challenges in mobilizing means of implementation at the national level (financing, technology, capacity-building)”.

NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: In Response To The Questions On The Killings In Dallas

Following questions at the noon briefing, the Spokesperson has the following to say:

The Secretary-General condemns the killing of five police officers during a rally in Dallas yesterday.  He extends his condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims, as well as the Police Department of Dallas. There is no justification for such violence. Those responsible compounded the suffering that many in the United States feel following the killing of two African-American men over two days. Those killings must be the subject of a thorough and impartial investigation. They once again put the focus on the need to address discrimination, including racial disparities in law enforcement, in a comprehensive manner.

New York, 8 July 2016