Archived Recent Additions (January-June 2009)
The Economic Development in Africa Report 2009 focuses on ways of strengthening regional economic integration for Africa´s development.
Around the world, millions of people have been uprooted by violence, persecution and conflict. The majority of these individuals and their families come from the developing world and are also especially vulnerable to the harsh fallout of the unfolding global economic crisis.
The Secretary-General, in his message, announces the launching of the WMD-WeMustDisarm! Campaign. "Over the next 100 days, the United Nations and our partners around the world will work to raise awareness of the true costs and dangers of nuclear weapons. Between now and 21 September, we will issue 100 reasons to disarm, via Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, email, text message, radio and from friend-to-friend."
The General Assembly, on 10 June 2009, elected Ali Abdussalam Treki, a three-time Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations and former Foreign Minister, as President of its sixty-fourth session. Following his election by acclamation, he said he would depend on the assistance of every Member of the Assembly, and would not align himself with any party or group, stating “My only alignment will be for justice, security, peace and the common interests of the entire international community.”
Through dynamic partnerships and tireless advocacy, UNICEF produced results for children and their families in 2008. The Annual Report 2008 highlights significant accomplishments as well as the challenges of UNICEF’s work in 155 countries, areas and territories during a year marked by global financial, food and fuel crises.
The theme of the inaugural observance of World Oceans Day by the United Nations in 2009 is “Our Oceans, Our Responsibility”. In his message, the Secretary-General says the Day "emphasizes our individual and collective duty to protect the marine environment and carefully manage its resources. Safe, healthy and productive seas and oceans are integral to human well-being, economic security and sustainable development."
The Presidency of the Security Council during the month of June is held by Turkey. The Presidency rotates monthly based on the list of Member States of the Security Council, in the English alphabetical order of their names.
In 2000, the UN Security Council adopted its landmark Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. For the first time in an omnibus resolution, the Council recognized that women bear the brunt of armed conflicts, and should have a commensurate role in their prevention and resolution. This year's Day is marked with a special focus on women peacekeepers, as the UN tries to move towards gender equity in its ranks.
The burgeoning financial crisis that came to a dramatic head in September 2008 after more than a year of volatile food, energy and commodity prices compounded a series of shocks already being felt around the world. The report notes "As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated, ensuring that aid goes to the poorest countries will be crucial in preventing the economic crisis from becoming a crisis of human development and security."
UN Conference at the Highest Level on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development (UN Headquarters, 24 - 26 June 2009)
The United Nations is convening a three-day summit of world leaders from 24 – 26 June 2009 at UN Headquarters to assess the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression. The aim is to identify emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on vulnerable populations, and initiate a needed dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture, taking into account the needs and concerns of all Member States.
The eighth session of the Permanent Forum will place special emphasis on implementation of UNPFII recommendations on economic and social development, indigenous women, the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The special regional focus of the Forum will be on indigenous peoples of the Arctic region. Other special features of the Forum’s eighth session will include a discussion on corporations and indigenous peoples as well as the impact of the economic and financial crisis on indigenous peoples.
The General Assembly's Committee on Information examines UN public information policies and activities, evaluates and follows up efforts made and the progress achieved by the United Nations system in the field of information and communications; and promotes the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order intended to strengthen peace and international understanding.
The new un.org has a new design, and improved navigation. According to Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information , "The concept embodies the Organization’s priorities placed on multilingualism, web accessibility, and usability". The new home page is the result of a long process of preparation (more than 8,000 files were worked on), and extensive consultation among content-providing offices, and the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT).
The United Nations Department of Public Information is organizing the first annual Global Model United Nations Conference, which will be a simulation of General Assembly plenary sessions and the Assembly’s Main Committees. The theme of the 2009 conference will be “The Millennium Development Goals: Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty.
Human trafficking is a global problem. Millions of victims are entrapped, and exploited every year in this modern form of slavery. To rally world public opinion against human trafficking, UNODC is launching the Blue Heart Campaign. The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The use of the blue UN colour also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.
The 53 members of the Commission are discussing policy recommendations, with a particular focus on Africa, agriculture, drought and desertification, land, and rural development. Three High-level Ministerial round-tables will be held on the themes: Responding to the Food Crisis through Sustainable Development; Realizing a Green Revolution in Africa; and Integrated Management of Land and Water Resources for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.
The World Health Organization is coordinating the global response to human cases of influenza A(H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Member States “There is still much that is not known about this new strain and the dangers it poses. We should not allow intense media coverage to alarm us. At the same time, we should avoid a false sense of security if such coverage declines”.
The Human Rights Council consists of forty-seven Member States, which are elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly. Eighteen Human Rights Council members will be elected 12 May 2009.
The Durban Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland evaluated progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March 2009)
The transatlantic slave trade is a major element of global history, yet little is known about the 400-year long trade and its lasting consequences felt throughout the world, or of the contribution of slaves to the building of the societies of their enslavement.
The theme of International Women's Day 2009 is "Women and men united to end violence against women and girls." Violence against women is not only a flagrant violation of human rights, but also has enormous social and economic costs.
General Assembly resolution 60/7 designated 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. This year’s theme was “An Authentic Basis for Hope: Holocaust Remembrance and Education”.