Wednesday, 22 November 2017

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The World This Week

27.05.2016 - This week’s #PhotoFriday highlights some of the most important UN news stories from around the world.

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Nader Shah Nangarhari (left) and Firoz Khan (right). Photo: UN Photo/Lucas Millard.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receiving ‘Chapa’ coat. Photo: UN Photo/Lucas Millard

‘We just want peace, education and unity in Afghanistan’. 20th May, Nader Shah Nangarhari and his son Firoz Khan from Afghanistan concluded their 7,000 mile world-trip by bicycle at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Having begun in July 2015, their journey spanned three continents taking them from Istanbul to their final destination in the USA. Meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and presenting him with a traditional Afghan ‘Chapa’ coat, he told them ‘You have been sending out a strong message to many people around the world with your bicycling. It’s a very powerful message. I really appreciate it’

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An indigenous Ladakhi woman, part of the Tibetan ethnic group. Photo: UN Photo.

This week sees the observance of International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories. As in accordance with resolution 54/91, the 25th of May marked the beginning of seven days consideration for the peoples living in non-self-governing territories. The resolution calls upon the administering Powers of the islands to safeguard and guarantee the rights of the peoples to their natural resources, land and to control their future development.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon takes a selfie with a participant at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN Photo.

This week also saw the World Humanitarian Summit take place in Istanbul, Turkey. A key aspect of the Five-Year Action Agenda envisaged by Ban Ki-Moon in 2012 was to establish a high-level summit to gather a wide range of organizations involved in humanitarian action with the aim to share and establish best practices in the field.

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Participants at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: UN Photo.

Great strides were made at the World Humanitarian Summit, with a highlight being the deal between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Switzerland for $13.9 million USD to prevent the conflict, address root causes of fragility and to respond to crises. “This agreement between UNDP and Switzerland is an excellent example of how we can work together to build resilience in communities affected by fragility” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.

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A herder woman milks her yaks in Must, Mongolia. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The 22nd of May saw the observance of the International Day for Biological Diversity with the theme of ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity, Sustaining People and their Livelihoods.’ Preserving biodiversity is vital to the continual survival of ecosystems and therefore underpinning peoples’ livelihoods. The impacts of protecting biodiversity can be experienced in all areas of activity, from economic sectors like agriculture to fisheries and tourism. For more information about protecting biological diversity please visit the Sustainable Development website

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Odette Kusiku Mbaku Maswaku (right) received surgery for Obstetric fistula in the Congo.

Photo: Robin Hammond/Panos.

Obstetric fistula is a relatively unknown but tragic condition that plagues women after childbirth. Prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East, obstetric fistula is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum as a result of long obstructed labour without medical treatment. It typically leaves victims completely incontinent. There are an estimated 2 million women who suffer from obstetric fistula, with between 50,000 to 100,000 new cases developing each year. The tragedy is that obstetric fistula is almost entirely preventable, having been virtually eliminated in middle to high income countries around the world. The 23rd of May marked International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, to raise awareness of this condition and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula once and for all. 

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