UNISDR UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction [to 28 November 2015]

UNISDR UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction [to 28 November 2015]
Selected Press Releases

Americas hit hard by El Niño
27 Nov 2015
The Americas are paying a high price as one of the worst El Niños on record continues to strengthen. The World Meteorological Organization this week singled out “considerable concern” about the impact of El Niño on the Amazon basin in the context of long-term climate change.

20-year review shows 90% of disasters are weather-related; US, China, India, Philippines and Indonesia record the most
23 Nov 2015
A new report issued today by the UN, “The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters”, shows that over the last twenty years, 90% of major disasters have been caused by 6,457 recorded floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events.

UNESCO [to 28 November 2015]

UNESCO [to 28 November 2015]
Selected Press Releases

New report shows cultural and creative industries account for 29.5 million jobs worldwide
27 November 2015

Protect Heritage Now for Resilience and Peace
26 November 2015
The protection of culture and heritage is a humanitarian and security imperative that also paves the path towards resilience, reconciliation and peace, said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, addressing the International Symposium on “Cultural Heritage at Risk, the Role of Museums in War and Conflict”, held at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden, on 26 November.

UNESCO and UNIFIL: Exploring the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
24 November 2015
Throughout our long human history, wars and conflicts have always constituted serious threats to cultural heritage. Since ancient times, and going into world wars I and II, looting and destruction of cultural heritage were part of ongoing battles.

As witnessed in countries living an armed conflict in the region, cultural heritage is particularly at risk, owing to its inherent vulnerability and tremendous symbolic value. Intentional targeting and destruction of heritage sites, illicit trafficking of artefacts, and illegal excavation are causing major losses that can deprive a community of its memory, the physical testimony to its past, but also of a precious resource for social and economic wellbeing.

With these new enormous challenges, it has become necessary to develop and improve the mechanisms and tools for the protection of cultural property, especially in the case of disputes. As the leading organization in this area, UNESCO has sounded the alarm, calling for greater cooperation to take concrete steps to protect the cultural history and unique cultural heritage in this region through awareness, and recalling the obligation to commit by international conventions and treaties, in particular the Hague Convention (1954), which established the rules for the protection of cultural goods during armed conflict. This Convention is the first international treaty designed to protect the cultural heritage in the context of war, and has highlighted the concept of common heritage and led to the creation of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), headed currently by Director-General, Mr. Julien Anfernz of the International Council of Museums (ICOM)…

Three UN agencies join forces to boost education of adolescent girls and young women
23 November 2015
The heads of UNESCO, UNFPA and UN Women sealed a partnership to empower adolescent girls and young women through education, by signing a joint programme agreement at the headquarters of the United Nations Population Fund in New York.

The agreement was signed today by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka represented by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec.

“Taking the 2030 Agenda forward calls for working in synergy to better tackle the cross-cutting obstacles that are preventing young girls and women from fulfilling their potential,” said Ms. Bokova. “This partnership is a model that brings together our respective strengths to break the cycle of exclusion and vulnerability, to ensure that girls benefit from a full cycle of quality education, in line with the promise of Sustainable Development Goal 4.”

UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [to 28 November 2015]

UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [to 28 November 2015]

27/11/2015 –
Unprecedented funding agreement between UNODC and Qatar leaves lasting legacy for Doha Declaration
Vienna 27 November 2015 – A multi-million-dollar funding agreement between Qatar and UNODC was signed in Vienna. The agreement, totalling more than US$49 million and slated to run over four years, is to deliver projects related to justice, prisoners, youth and justice education…

Viewed as a lasting legacy to the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Doha in April of this year, the agreement is intended to help countries achieve a positive and sustainable impact on criminal justice and the rule of law in all regions of the world.

“This generous funding will be used to continue to advance the Doha Declaration and to ensure that UNODC builds projects and programmes that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”…

26/11/2015 –
Drug money and opiate trafficking on the Balkan route, focus of new UNODC report
Vienna, 26 November 2015 – A new report launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the total value of illicit heroin and opium trafficked from Afghanistan to Western Europe through the Balkans amounts to some $28 billion every year. Sixty-five per cent of this total ($18 billion) is generated in Western and Central Europe. The four largest European markets for heroin – France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy – account for nearly half of the gross profits, as the major heroin benefits are made by traffickers on the retail markets.

The report, entitled Drug Money: the illicit proceeds of opiates trafficked on the Balkan route, shows that the total value generated by Afghan heroin and opium trafficked in Europe and through the Balkan route is one third bigger than the entire GDP of Afghanistan itself, which, in 2014, amounted to some $21 billion. Other findings indicate that the negative economic impact of heroin and opium are actually greater in Europe and the Balkan route countries than in Afghanistan itself…

UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlements Programme [to 28 November 2015]

UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlements Programme [to 28 November 2015]
[Selected Announcements]

UN-Habitat and ISOCARP launch a magazine focused on West Bank and Palestine
Ramallah, 25 November 2015—UN-Habitat and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) have joined forces with local and national partners to elaborate a series of spatial visions for the heartland of the West Bank region…
Posted November 25, 2015

FAO Food & Agriculture Organization [to 28 November 2015]

FAO Food & Agriculture Organization [to 28 November 2015]
[Selected Announcements]

Netherlands donates $7 million to improve water management in Near East and Africa
The Netherlands and FAO are expanding their collaboration in the area of water management with a $7 million donation by the Government of the Netherlands to support the use of remote sensing technology in helping water-scarce countries in the Near East and Africa monitor and improve the way they use water for crop production.

Surge in climate change-related disasters poses growing threat to food security
Focusing specifically on the impact of climate-related disasters in developing countries, some 25 percent of the negative economic impacts were borne by the crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry sectors alone.

World mayors’ meeting to be hosted by FAO in 2016
The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, promulgated earlier this year at the 2015 World Expo, offers a unique international platform to make city food systems more equitable and sustainable, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and the Italian city’s Mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, have said.

Growing need to revamp national laws governing pesticides
Some thirty years to the day after FAO first launched its International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, the UN food agency is calling on countries to make sure that national regulatory frameworks governing the management of pesticides are kept up to date.

Making genetic diversity part of climate change adaptation
In the run-up to the Paris Climate Change Summit, FAO has released new Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Integration of Genetic Diversity into National Climate Change Adaptation Planning, designed assist countries in better conserving and sustainably using genetic resources in times of climate change.

ILO International Labour Organization [to 28 November 2015]

ILO International Labour Organization [to 28 November 2015]

Sustainable development
10 action points towards a greener economy
26 November 2015
Just before the opening of the Paris climate conference that is expected to set new ambitious targets to move to a low-carbon economy, ILO Green Jobs Programme Coordinator Kees van der Ree outlines ten steps that can facilitate a transition to a green economy.

IMO International Maritime Organization [to 28 November 2015]

IMO International Maritime Organization [to 28 November.015]

IMO Assembly elects new 40-Member Council
27/11/2015 40 States elected to be Members of IMO Council for the 2016-2017 biennium.

IMO Assembly confirms Mr. Kitack Lim as Secretary-General
26/11/2015 IMO Assembly unanimously endorses appointment of Mr. Kitack Lim (Republic of Korea) as Secretary-General of IMO with effect from 1 January 2016 for four-year term.

WMO World Meteorological Organization [to 28 November 2015]

WMO World Meteorological Organization [to 28 November 2015]

New Radio Regulations protect vital meteorological radio frequencies
27 November 2015
Radio frequencies which are vital for weather forecasts, disaster warnings and climate monitoring will remain available to the meteorological community and protected from interference from other applications thanks to decisions taken by the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15).

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today welcomed the outcome of WRC-15, which revised and updated the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum. The month-long conference is sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union and takes place every four years.

UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization [to 28 November 2015]

UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization [to 28 November 2015]

Vienna Ministerial Conference focuses on “graduation path” out of LDC category
VIENNA, 26 November 2015 – Operationalizing inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as a path to graduation out of the LDC category is the focus of a Ministerial Conference that…

The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth backed by UNIDO and other UN entities
VIENNA, 23 November 2015 – Of the estimated 200 million unemployed people in 2014, about 37 per cent (or about 73 million) were between the ages …

UNWTO World Tourism Organization [to 28 November 2015]

UNWTO World Tourism Organization [to 28 November 2015]

World Committee on Tourism Ethics discusses the impact of web reviews
26 November 2015
The accuracy and reliability of online consumer reviews was the main focus of the 16th meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. The Committee also discussed the issue of child protection in tourism and all-inclusive holidays (Paris, France, 16-17 November 2015).

ITU International Telecommunications Union [to 28 November 2015]

ITU International Telecommunications Union [to 28 November 2015]

World Radiocommunication Conference allocates spectrum for future innovation
Conference outcomes to spur long-term investments in ICT industry
Geneva, 27 November 2015 – The World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) has concluded its deliberations as delegates sign the Final Acts that revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.
Around 3300 participants, representing 162 out of ITU’s 193 Member States attended the four-week conference from 2 to 27 November. Some 500 participants representing 130 other entities, including industry, also attended the conference as observers.

The Conference was steered under the Chairmanship of Mr Festus Yusufu Narai Daudu of Nigeria. He was assisted in the task by six Vice Chairmen: Mr A. Jamieson (New Zealand), Mr Y. Al-Bulushi (Oman), Mr D. Obam (Kenya), Ms D. Tomimura (Brazil), Mr A. Kühn (Germany), and Mr N. Nikiforov (Russian Federation).

New challenges, new opportunities
“As new technological innovations and applications emerge, they set new challenges as well as bring new opportunities for billions around the world,” said Mr Festus Daudu, Chairman of WRC-15. “This conference dealt with a large number of important and sensitive issues, ranging from mobile broadband communications and satellite systems to emergency communications and disaster relief, maritime and aeronautical communications, environmental monitoring and climate change, universal time and space research as well as radiocommunication services that the public relies on for health, information, education, security and safety.”

“This World Radiocommunication Conference will define new and better ways to regulate radio services and applications,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “In a world where radiocommunications are playing an increasingly important role in connecting people, I am convinced that the outcome of this conference will represent a major contribution in making the world a better – and safer – place for all.”

“A great deal has been achieved in the last four weeks and the results will have a major impact on the future of the telecommunication sector in general and radiocommunications in particular,” said Mr François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “The outcomes of WRC-15 are aimed at maintaining a stable, predictable and universally applied regulatory environment that secures long-term investments for the multi-trillion dollar ICT industry.”

WRC-15 addressed over 40 topics related to frequency allocation and frequency sharing for the efficient use of spectrum and orbital resources. The outcomes ensure high quality radiocommunication services for mobile and satellite communications, maritime and aeronautical transport, air and road safety as well as for scientific purposes related to the environment, meteorology and climatology, disaster prediction, mitigation and relief. The ITU Radiocommunication Sector has been set an ambitious studies programme for the next four years covering a wide range of services from amateur radio to broadcasting, mobile broadband, mobile satellite, fixed satellite, earth stations on mobile platforms, and space exploration services.

WRC-15 adopted a revised version of Resolution 12 on Assistance and Support to Palestine, which resolves to continue assistance to Palestine and to enable Palestine to obtain and manage the spectrum required to operate telecommunications networks and wireless services. This followed an Israeli-Palestinian agreement to facilitate cellular phone operations and the establishment of a modern and reliable telecommunication network in Palestine…

US Department of State [to 28 November 2015]

US Department of State [to 28 November 2015]
Selected Announcements

11/25/15 Myths and Facts: Resettling Syrian Refugees; Office of the Spokesperson; Washington, DC

11/23/15 Readout of the Plenary Meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter-ISIL; Office of the Spokesperson; Washington, DC

11/23/15 The U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Sahrawi Refugees in Response to Severe Floods; Office of the Spokesperson; Washington, DC

DFID [to 28 November 2015]

DFID [to 28 November 2015]
Selected Announcements

Leaving no one behind: Our promise
Published 24 November 2015 Policy paper DFID
[See Week in Review above]

Chancellor George Osborne and Bill Gates to join forces to end malaria
Published 22 November 2015 News story DFID and HMT
A new £1 billion fund will be used to support the global fight against malaria and other infectious diseases.
Chancellor George Osborne and Bill Gates have announced they are to join forces as part of the global effort to end malaria.

A new £1 billion Ross Fund – named after Sir Ronald Ross, the first ever British Nobel Laureate who was recognised for his discovery that mosquitoes transmit malaria – will be used to support the global fight against malaria and other infectious diseases…

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have announced they will partner with the UK in this work, and have welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement.

The £1 billion will include a £300 million package focused on malaria and other infectious diseases. This will include:
:: a £90 million eradication of malaria implementation fund
:: £100 million support for research and development into products for infectious diseases
:: £115 million to develop new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious disease resistance
It will also fund work to target diseases with epidemic potential, neglected tropical diseases, and diseases with emerging resistance…

ECHO [to 28 November 2015]

ECHO [to 28 November 2015]

European Commission to increase humanitarian support to education for children in emergencies
The European Commission is set to step up in 2016 its funding for education in emergencies to 4% of the EU’s overall humanitarian budget.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: Responding to gender-based violence in humanitarian crises
On the occasion of this international day, the European Commission joins the global community to put an end to violence against women and girls, which constitutes a blatant violation of human rights affecting one in three women worldwide.

The African Development Bank Group [to 28 November 2015]

The African Development Bank Group [to 28 November 2015]
[We generally limit coverage to regional and global level initiatives, recognizing that a number of country-level announcements are added each week]

Pan-African conference for civil society organisations to promote public participation in natural resources policy
27/11/2015 – For two full days the African Natural Resources Center (ANRC) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) brought together 45 civil society organisations (CSOs) from 30 countries in Africa to discuss ways to foster inclusive and sustainable development through public participation in natural resources policy formulation.

AfDB Transport Forum focuses on sustainable solutions for transport and integration on the continent
26/11/2015 – The first-ever African Development Bank Transport Forum (ATF) opened Thursday, November 26 at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with lively debates on how to achieve sustainable solutions to the continent’s transport and integration challenges.

European Union [to 28 November 2015]

European Union [to 28 November 2015]
[We generally limit coverage to regional and global level initiatives]

State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis
Date: 27/11/2015
European Commission – Press release Brussels, 27 November 2015 State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis Updated on 27 November The European Agenda on Migration adopted by the Commission in May 2015 set out the need for a comprehensive approach to migration management.

EU signs program worth €3.6 billion with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States
Date: 26/11/2015
European Commission – Press release Brussels, 26 November 2015 EU signs program to provide support in the areas of human and social development, environment and climate change, private sector development and peace and security across African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

European Commission to increase humanitarian support to education for children in emergencies
Date: 25/11/2015
Press release European Commission Brussels, 25 November 2015 More children to benefit from education in emergency situations. The European Commission is set to increase in 2016 its humanitarian funding for education in emergencies to 4% of the EU’s overall humanitarian budget.

OECD [to 28 November 2015]

OECD [to 28 November 2015]
[We generally limit coverage to regional and global level initiatives, recognizing that a number of country-level announcements are added each week]

Reducing inequalities and financing education remain key challenges
Governments need to tackle persistent inequalities in education and focus on improving efficiencies in their education systems in order to ensure that every child, whatever their background, can realise their full potential and benefit from a good education, according to a new OECD report.

Education at a Glance 2015 reveals the rapid progress made in expanding education over the past 25 years, with around 41% of 25-34 year-olds now having a tertiary qualification. But inequalities still persist in education, with serious consequences for labour markets and economies. In 2014, less than 60% of adults without an upper secondary education were in work, compared to over 80% of tertiary-educated adults.

Educational inequalities also affect earnings, with adults who have attained tertiary education 23 percentage points more likely to be among the 25% highest paid adults than adults with an upper secondary education.

“The dream of ‘quality education for all’ is not yet a reality,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at the launch of the report in Paris. “Lack of a quality education is the most powerful form of social exclusion and prevents people from benefitting from economic growth and social progress.” Read the speech.

Inequalities in initial education continue to unfold throughout people’s lives, notably in access to lifelong learning: about 60% of workers in the most skilled occupations participate in employer-sponsored education, while only 26% of workers in elementary occupations do.

This year’s edition of Education at a Glance also reveals the difficulties that governments face in financing education. Between 2010 and 2012, GDP began to rise again in most countries, and public spending on primary to tertiary educational institutions fell in more than one in three OECD countries, including Australia, Canada, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the United States.