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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

ILO Director-General: Everyone loses if the trend toward inequality continues

At the opening of the 105th session of the International Labour Conference, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder called on delegates to take responsibility for the rapid changes facing the world of work. In his opening remarks, Ryder told the delegates to the ILC that growing inequality, marginalisation and division are not phenomena of the world of work, but “the consequences of what we do, how we behave and what we decide.”

Find out more about the International Labour Conference:
http://www.ilo.org/ilc

No need to cancel or postpone Olympics due to Zika, says UN health agency

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Photo: WHO/PAHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that based on the current assessment of the Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 countries in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the 2016 Olympic Games.

In a news release, WHO noted that Brazil is 1 of almost 60 countries and territories which to date report continuing transmission of the Zika virus by mosquitoes, and therefore cancelling or changing the location of the Olympics – which are scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August – will not significantly alter the international spread of the virus.

“People continue to travel between these countries and territories for a variety of reasons. The best way to reduce risk of disease is to follow public health travel advice,” the agency said.

WHO said it advises pregnant women not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission, which includes Rio de Janeiro. In addition, pregnant women’s sex partners returning from areas with circulating virus should be counselled to practice safer sex or abstain throughout the pregnancy, the agency said.

Cash for Work Brings Smiles to Cyclone-battered Villages, Helps Speed Up Massive Debris Cleaning

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Photo UNDP

Koro Island, Fiji: Three months after Tropical Cyclone Winston, Disoro Elenoa, 57, a small-time broom-maker of Nacamaki can hardly help tears well up in her eyes as she focuses on the more urgent business of putting together a bundle of brooms that she sends every week for sale in the markets of Suva. “For all my life, making brooms from the coconut leaves is all that I have done. They are sturdy and used to sell well in the markets in Suva”, Disoro says. With the cyclone, the coconut leaves that were abundant around the village, have withered and for women of Nacamaki, the business of broom-making has suffered a great deal.

For years, Disoro sent 10 brooms and five bags of coconut fruit – each bag contains 100 shells – every week for selling to the market vendors in Suva. She would make up to 200 Fijian dollars a week, a decent income for the frugal lifestyle on the island. Ever since Cyclone Winston brought ruin to the farm produce, Disoro found her income disappear. “There is hardly any usable coconut leaves around and it has taken me a month to put together just five brooms”. A single mother, she and her family fell on bad days. Their home on the edge of Nacamaki village destroyed and rendered penniless by the cyclone, the family was bracing for a long spell of hard times.

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UN children’s agency ‘alarmed’ at refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean

4/Hundreds of refugees and migrants aboard a fishing boat are pictured moments before being rescued by the Italian Navy as part of their Mare Nostrum operation in June 2014. Among recent and highly visible consequences of conflicts around the world, and the suffering they have caused, has been a dramatic growth in the number of refugees seeking safety by undertaking dangerous sea journeys, including on the Mediterranean.  The Italian Coastguard / Massimo Sestini

 

30 May 2016 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed alarm at the number of migrant and refugee deaths in the past week in the Central Mediterranean, many of whom were believed to be unaccompanied minors.

In anticipation of a major summer upswing of child migrants using the dangerous crossing between Libya and Italy UNICEF will shortly begin an operation with the Italian Government and partners to provide protection support, the agency said yesterday in a press release.

The agency noted the vast majority of children using the crossing are unaccompanied adolescents and they have faced appalling abuses, exploitation and the possibility of death at every step of their journey.

“The stories which I have personally heard from children making this journey are horrifying. No child should face them. Their lives are in the hands of smugglers who care for nothing other than the money they exhort from them,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier UNICEF special coordinator for the European Refugee and Migrant Crisis.

An average of 1,000 unaccompanied children a month has arrived in Italy this year, but UNICEF expects this figure to spike in the coming months.

Under the Joint Declaration of Intent signed with the Italian Government, UNICEF will:

Monitor reception standards for refugee and migrant children, especially those who are unaccompanied, to ensure they are in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
Monitor the situation of refugee and migrant children in reception centers, particularly in the regions of Calabria, Campania and Sicily, in southern Italy; and
Monitor all actions aimed at the integration of migrant and refugee children into Italian society.

Culture Ministers of Pacific Island Countries and Territories call for ratification of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention

The Declaration of the Third Meeting of the Pacific Ministers of Culture held on 25 May in Hagatna, Guam, calls for strengthening creative industries through the ratification of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This is a major development following Samoa’s ratification of the Convention in 2015, making it the first Pacific Island to have ratified the Convention to date. Continue reading

World Heritage and Tourism report shows sites at risk from climate change

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