In Focus

distressed woman
World Humanitarian Day (19 August)

This World Humanitarian Day we continue to bring attention to the millions of civilians affected by armed conflict every day. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter, while fighting drives millions from their homes. Children are recruited and used to fight, and their schools are destroyed. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers treat the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need. Join the #NotATarget movement and demand world leaders to do everything in their power to protect all civilians in conflict.

UN staff grieve victims of Baghdad attack
International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (21 August)

Victims of terrorism continue to struggle to have their voices heard, have their needs supported and their rights upheld. Victims often feel forgotten and neglected once the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack fades, which can have profound consequences for them. Victims can only recover and cope with their trauma through long-term multi-dimensional support, including physical, psychological, social and financial, in order to heal and live with dignity.This year, the first annual observance of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism represents a major step forward in standing in solidarity with victims of terrorism. 

Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary-General of ICAO (on right)
Global Aviation Gender Summit

In a major step forward for gender equality in international air transport, ICAO and South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) were joined by over 500 leaders and experts from around the world in Cape Town for the first-ever Global Aviation Gender Summit, a joint ICAO-UNESCO initiative. In her keynote address, the Secretary-General of ICAO, Dr. Fang Liu said: “As a woman who has spent virtually her entire career in the service of international civil aviation, this is truly an exciting moment for me. Aviation already contributes greatly to peace, prosperity and sustainable development, all over the world, but it can do even more for our society, and especially for women.” The event concluded with participants establishing a roadmap of action aimed at accelerating gender equality in the aviation sector. 

In the Spotlight

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein meeting with indigenous community leaders in Guatemala.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

For four years, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has been taking governments across the world to task, exposing human rights violations and robustly advocating for the rights of victims. His appointment by the Secretary-General in 2014 was a landmark: he is the first Asian, Muslim and Arab ever to hold the post. Before that, Zeid had already enjoyed a long and distinguished career, both at the UN and as a Jordanian diplomat. In his last interview with UN News he says: “Governments are more than capable of defending themselves. It’s not my job to defend them. I have to defend civil society, vulnerable groups, the marginalized, the oppressed. Those are the people that we, in our office, need to represent.” He completes his term of office on 31 August 2018.

The UN System at Work

Tanzanian girls

Local radio is at the forefront of the fight to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage in the Ngorongoro District of Tanzania. Loliondo FM, one of the radio stations benefiting from UNESCO’s “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” project, supported by Sweden, is proving to be indispensable in raising awareness on the issue and educating girls on avoiding FGM. UNESCO's project aims to empower poor people - especially women and girls - to enter the public debate on issues of local concern. This is achieved through a series of capacity-building activities in local radio stations, improving the programming quality, providing training on the use of ICTs and helping them to increase their geographical range of news coverage with a network of correspondents. 

Goal of the week


Did you know?

Every child has the right to health, education, and protection.  Find out more in Global Issues:  Children
The UN aims to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Decolonization changed the face of the planet, creating more than 80 nations.
Global Facts: Big Data for the SDGs

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