The World This Week

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01.07.2016 - This week's #PhotoFriday highlights some of the most important UN news stories from around the world.

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#WhatIReallyReallyWant... The Global Goals 

The 1996 hit "Wannabe" has been spiced up to promote gender equality – and celebrities around the world, including the original Spice Girls, are digging it. In the new girl power video, performers bring the famous song and dance routine around the world, from India to South Africa and the United Kingdom. In the background are signs calling for what women "really, really want…"

·         Equal pay for equal work.

·         An end to child marriage.

·         Education.

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Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

In Geneva, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women started its 64th session on Monday. The committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, consisting of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world. 

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits the China Helicopter Centre for Peacekeeping Operations in Beijing. Photo: UN Photo.

This week saw Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visiting China. “As a permanent member of the Security Council and a universally recognized global actor, China also plays a pivotal role in helping to ease tensions, build peace and provide life-saving assistance to the world’s troubled spots from the Middle East to Africa and elsewhere,” the Secretary-General said at a joint press conference with Wang Yi, China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Noting that cooperation between the UN and China continues to deepen, the Secretary-General said that China, under President Xi Jinping, is demonstrating “path-breaking leadership” on sustainable development and climate change.

“China is demonstrating to the world that low carbon climate resilience development pathway is achievable,” Mr. Ban said, commending the country’s leadership in promoting and accelerating the process of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by the G20 summit.

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A military officer at the China Helicopter Centre for Peacekeeping Operations. Photo: UN Photo.

The UN chief also highlighted that China’s establishment of a fund for peace and development to support the work of the UN is “extremely generous and encouraging.” In particular, he noted that China has increased its contribution to peacekeeping with support for UN missions in South Sudan, Mali and elsewhere.

Mr. Ban recalled that he visited a helicopter division of the Chinese army this morning, where soldiers and peacekeepers were being trained, adding that he was grateful for their commitment to provide resources and assets to peacekeeping operations.

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Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura and Ban Ki-moon. Photo: UN Photo

Lastly, this week saw the marking of Eid Al-Fitr, the religious holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan for billions of Muslims around the world. The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, extended his wishes to the Syrian people on Eid el-Fitr and welcomed all efforts, including by the International Syria Support Group co-chairs, to bring about a hudna, or truce, throughout the country in respect of the spirit and true message of peace.

He said that this would enhance the prospects of meaningful negotiations towards a political settlement. Mr. de Mistura continues to closely monitor the situation in Syria. In this regard, and despite some initial reports of potential violations, he says he urges all parties to the Cessation of Hostilities to abide by these days of silence for the sake of all Syrians.