By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) - As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's second term comes to an end on December 31, 2016, he has intensified efforts to focus on the concerns and aspirations of world's youth, urging them to lead a global drive to break the patterns of the past and set the world on course to a more sustainable future.
“Young people are directly affected by the tragic contradictions that prevail today: between abject poverty and ostentatious wealth, gnawing hunger and shameful food waste, rich natural resources and polluting industries,” Ban said in his message on International Youth Day, celebrated annually on August 12. (P25)
Viewpoint by Pía Figueroa*
SANTIAGO (IDN) – Every year, as they have been doing since 2011, students in Chile take to the streets each Thursday, demanding a free and good quality education system.
They are increasingly being joined by their parents – tired of paying for expensive schooling which is certainly the most expensive in the whole of Latin America – and teachers who leave work to join the students with a call for proper definition of the teaching career. (P24) SPANISH
By Rodrigo Pérez
RIO DE JANEIRO (IDN-INPS) – Beneath the glitz and glamour, the Samba and Rio’s Carnival-like atmosphere, this year’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony showcased the most impossible sounding dream of all – Africa’s Great Green Wall.
The initiative started a decade ago. Once completed it will be the largest man-made structure on Earth and a new Wonder of the World.
The progress made shows that land restoration efforts on a mass scale are both possible and offer hope. Senegal has already planted 12 million trees, Ethiopia has restored 15 million hectares of degraded land and Nigeria has created 20,000 jobs in rural areas.
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned about the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) facing "a desperate funding shortfall" and has asked Governments to help achieve a funding target of $300 million at its pledging conference in September.
The Fund was established in 2005 through resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council to stand alongside the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and "support activities, actions, programmes and organizations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict".
Analysis by Dr Palitha Kohona
Ambassador Dr Palitha Kohona is former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York- He chaired the negotiations on the Colombo Declaration on Youth.
COLOMBO (IDN) - On July 15, the United Nations observed the UN World Youth Skills Day designated by the General Assembly to highlight the need to rapidly develop marketable youth skills. On the same day, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released the World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement. There were many events held around the world to mark this special day.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
SYDNEY (IDN) - Screening of secretly filmed shocking footage of abuse of juvenile prisoners in a remote northern Australian prison by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC), renowned investigative reporting program ‘Four Corners’, has outraged thousands of Australians who took to the streets to protest and forced the government to act.
The video material filmed between 2010 and 2014 at the Don Dale youth detention centre in the Northern Territory in Australia and screened on July 25 has drawn comparisons to the treatment of prisoners in the notorious prisons run by the U.S. government in Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.
Analysis by Jaya Ramachandran
BERLIN | ROME (IDN) - The UN Security Council is faced with a critical if not an unprecedented situation: it has been warned that "protracted conflicts affecting 17 countries" have now driven more than 56 million people into either "crisis" or "emergency" levels of food insecurity and are hindering global efforts to eradicate malnutrition.
At the same time, according to a recent report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. (P23) INDONESIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH | SWAHILI | TURKISH
What does being a winner mean? For 12-year old Adrielle Alexandre, who is carrying the Olympic torch, it’s not only about becoming an Olympic rhythmic gymnast, but to make her community a place free of violence and full of respect. She is among 400 girls who are participating in a programme in Brazil that empowers girls through sport and by creating safe spaces.
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) - “I’ve learned from sport that we have to make efforts to succeed. We get nowhere if we stay at the same place doing nothing,” says Adrielle Alexandre, a 12-year old young athlete from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
At least four times a week after school, Adrielle goes to an Olympic Villa – one of 22 public spaces with free sports facilities managed by the municipality – to take ballet, gymnastics and Pilates classes.
For Syrian refugees in Jordan, integration into the Jordanian society is fraught with challenges. Mistrust and rumours taint how each group perceives the other. A project by UN Women organized football camps for adolescent girls, where Jordanian and Syrian girls built friendships and social cohesion.
UN Women News Feature
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) - Rawan and Samah have much in common. They are about the same age; they live in the same city – Mafraq, in northern Jordan – just a short drive from the Syrian border. They are loving, dedicated mothers to daughters who go to the same school. They share similar responsibilities, joys, and struggles in their daily lives. But one crucial difference sets them a world apart.
UN Women News Feature
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) - Sport has the power to transcend boundaries of sex, race, religion and nationality. It promotes health and wellness, improves self-esteem, and teaches leadership, team skills and perseverance.
Women in sport defy gender stereotypes, make inspiring role models, and show men and women as equals. Seeing is one step closer to being.
Women are more visible in sport now than ever before: Of a total of 997 athletes, only 22 women competed, for the first time, at the 1900 Games in Paris. The London 2012 Olympics was the first Games in which women competed in every sport of the Olympic programme. In Rio, approximately 4,700 women – 45 per cent of all athletes – will represent their countries in 306 events.