Monthly Archives: April 2014

UN Deputy Secretary-General on importance of “An honest and responsive government”

In his closing remarks to the General Assembly during the Thematic Debate on “Ensuring stable and peaceful societies,” Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson highlighted the essential link between the rule of law and an inclusive political processes as the binding elements in peace, development and human rights. 

Commitments to rule of law are important to reaching developmental goals, as was discussed and agreed upon in the Rio +20 Report of the UN on Sustainable Development in June 2012, and the General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law in September 2012.

To futher support this issue, the Deputy Secretary-General noted the high priority of “An honest and responsive government” in the MY World Survey:

world survey, organized by the United Nations in support of the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, shows that “honest and responsive government” – and I quote, “honest and responsive government” – is a very high priority for all population groups in all regions.

Inclusive political processes help to ensure the accountability of the State. Being included in political processes empowers people to address inequality, exclusion and other causes of conflict. That is why it is essential that we promote broad-based participation in all levels of the political process, particularly in post-conflict societies.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe/586375
Photo: (c) UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe/586375

“An honest and responsive government” has risen to the third priority globally among the 1,855, 839 MY World voters from its previous position as the fourth priority. This was thanks in part to the 1.1 million voices of people aged 16-30. Among this age group, 561,575 people voted for “An honest and responsive goverment.”

This priority is second for voters 31-45, and third for all other age groups with the exception of those 15 and under, who rank it sixth.

Regionally, this priority is second for those in Europe, third for those in the Americas and Asia, and fourth in Africa. It ranks lowest in Oceania behind environmental issues such as “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans,” “Access to clean water and sanitation” and “Affordable and nutritious food.”

For more information:

UN Secretary-General: Protection against crime and violence ranks high in MY World Survey

The General Assembly Thematic Debate on Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies took place 24-25 of April at the United Nations in New York. In his opening remarks, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon noted that the UN is built upon three pillars: “peace, development and human rights.” He followed by highlighting that the post-2015 development agenda must consider how to promote stable and peaceful societies, as these three pillars are inherently linked. 

To highlight this importance further, the Secretary General referenced the MY World Survey as the voice of people around the world asking for this issue to be addressed:

Ban Ki Moon
Photo: (c) UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras/586351

The UN My World survey on the post-2015 development agenda showed that protection against crime and violence ranks high among all population groups in all regions. Let us therefore work together to develop a post-2015 development agenda that will address the underlying causes of violence and conflict wherever they occur. Let us use sustainable development and human rights to provide the foundations for lasting peace. And let us build effective and trustworthy institutions, promote the rule of law and pay closer, earlier attention to human rights abuses.

myworld protection against crime and violence

“Protection against crime and violence” ranks sixth in the MY World Survey amongst the 1,855,839 voters globally thus far.  These results are the same irrespective of age, gender, or education level, as it is either the sixth or seventh priority for all groups.

Voters in the Americas placed slightly higher priority on this issue, ranking it fourth. Those in Europe ranked it fifth, and those in Africa, Asia and Oceania it seventh.

For more information:

 

 

World Malaria Day 2014

MDG-infographic-6

Today is World Malaria Day– Global efforts to control and eliminate malaria have saved an estimated 3.3 million lives since 2000, according to the World Health Organization. But there is still much more to be done. Malaria still kills an estimated 627,000 people every year, mostly children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. Every year, more than 200 million cases occur; most of these cases are never tested or registered. Emerging drug and insecticide resistance threaten to reverse recent gains. If the world is to maintain and accelerate progress against malaria, in line with Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6, and to ensure attainment of MDGs 4 and 5, more funds are urgently required.

Better healthcare, including efforts made to reduce the impact of infectious and other chronic diseases  such as malaria, is one of the possible priorities of MY World. If this is important to you, have your say and help formulate the post-2015 global development agenda.

People in Bahrain Have Their Say at the United Nations

What priorities do Bahranians choose for a better world?

For the past month, UN Bahrain has rolled out a campaign to bring the people of Bahrain’s voices to the United Nations using the MY World Survey. These efforts range from unique visits to collect votes at schools, at the APM Terminals (container terminal port management), and at the 16th International Book Fair at the Bahrain Exhibition Centre. It also includes a strong presence on social media and media outlets (see articles below). In culmination, UN Bahrain and its partner Gulf Air have launched a MY World video highlighting the top priorities emerging from the survey, which will be screened aboard all flights starting 1 May .

These efforts have certainly paid off. In just one month’s time, votes from Bahrain have increased 28%, currently numbering 4,092 votes. Yet the UN wants more: “the My World Survey presents an important and unique opportunity for Bahrain, as a small island state, to be heard on a global platform with its particular needs and challenges,” said UN Resident Coordinator Peter Grohmann.

So, what are the priorities of people from Bahrain? Here are a few facts from the voting results thus far:

  • The top six priorities are: “A good education,” “Better healthcare,” “Better job opportunities, “An honest and responsive government,” “Protection from crime and violence,” and “Freedom from discrimination and persecution.”
  • 57% of voters are aged 30 and younger.
  • 42% of voters are female.
  • Women place a higher priority on “Protection against crime and violence,” and “Access to clean water and sanitation,” and “Equality between men and women.” Men place a higher priority on “Political freedoms” and “Better transport and roads.”
  • The older the voter, the higher the priority on “An honest and responsive government” and “Freedom from discrimination and persecution.”
  • Voters aged 15 and under placed the highest priority on “Access to clean water and sanitation,” “Affordable and Nutritious food,” and “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans” – yet they voted the least for “Action taken on climate change” out of any age group.

To see more MY World and The World We Want Results

UN Bahrain:

Media Mentions:

Voting at the Book Fair

 The MY World Global tour continues in Argentina

a1Yesterday, we spent a great day in Cachi, Argentina with OAJNU Salta (The Argentine Youth Organization for the United Nations).

It was inspiring hearing the voices of 300 students. We met the governor, we were on their local radio program, and they had commercials about MY World on the radio as we drove in. They organized a large party to collect votes in the town square.

Thank you so much OAJNU Salta for your incredible support!
 
 

a2 a3
Thank you
@Andrea_Guitian for the wonderful photos!

To save the planet is to save people

 Yellowstone  / © YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND / ALTITUDE-PHOTO.COM
Yellowstone / © YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND / ALTITUDE-PHOTO.COM

Note: This is an article originally posted in Planeta Futuro (El País) by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Everyone knows what is happening to the planet, but we don’t want to believe it. We’re too caught up in our own consumption, and it’s too painful to make changes.  We will have to learn how to share, and to fix the way we live and consume.

As we approach Earth Day and we continue our never-ending consumption, I feel disheartened, but I refuse to fall into pessimism. This month, there has been much talk about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report. The discussion about whether we must adapt or mitigate resurfaces, but none of this really matters. It is simply a report that no one will actually read – like many of those major conferences that cost millions of dollars and which lead to nothing. The truth is that over the last 20 years, very little has happened in this area.

Everyone knows what is happening to the planet, but we don’t want to believe what we know, and we continue exactly as we were. We’re too caught up in our own consumption. Our civilization has been built on the basis of consumption and it becomes too inconvenient and painful to make changes.

I have come to believe, even though I myself am a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, that the answer is not in politicians, in the economy, nor in the laws; It is something spiritual. It may sound naive, but ultimately it’s how we are going to change, how we are going to learn to live together if we are to save this world. We will have to learn how to share, how to treat each other with more respect, how to fix the way we live. You may not be able to stop your own consumption, but we can change the way we do it. And if we think in this “new way,” perhaps we can begin to make changes that will make a difference.

For my new film, Human, I’m talking directly to the people about their poverty, their lives, the discrimination they face. Listening to their stories is a very powerful experience. To hear them face to face, rather than through an intermediary, is very impressive.

I talked to a man in Afghanistan who had lost both legs from a mine explosion. “Do you think that the man who invented this mine, which built it, thought of me, of my family, of what we had?” he told me. He was talking about the responsibility of our actions. We all need to be aware that we are responsible for the damage we are inflicting. We are responsible for the legacy we are leaving to our children.

We have lost confidence in our leaders; There is no disease, discomfort and a lack of confidence in what we are capable of achieving. But we need to connect with our politicians the same way the Afghan man connected with me, with a direct message that gives them the strength and the legitimacy they need to act.

There are ways to do this. One of them is the initiative launched by the United Nations with the MY World Survey, which asks ordinary people around the world what they need  in order to have a better life at this crucial moment when a new agenda is being formulated to fight against extreme poverty.

Like my own 7 billion others project, the MY World survey is asking ordinary people what their priorities and needs are for a better life. Their answers should be central in the formulation of a new set of goals which will replace the current Millennium Development Goals. For once, it is not just leaders guiding policy, but now the citizens have a voice.

This new development agenda is our opportunity to combine the fight against climate change and poverty; education and clean technologies;  clean water and sanitation, in a comprehensive campaign that allows you to save both the planet and people. Both cannot be separated. We cannot work on one rather than the other. Earth Day is no longer just about saving the planet, but also the people.

French photographer, filmmaker and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand French, author of Earth Above, is president of the GoodPlanet Foundation and is currently working on his latest film to be released next year. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Happy Earth Day

“The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.”

-Mahatma Ghandi

happyearthdayCelebrated every year by more than a billion people in 180 nations, Earth Day is credited with starting the environmental movement in the U.S.

Of the over 1,854,848 (as of 22 April 2014) citizens around the world who have voted on MyWorld, over 792,160 people voted for ‘Access to Clean Water and Sanitation,’ over 563,608 voted ‘Protecting Rivers, Forests and Oceans,’ and over 380,842 voted for ‘Action taken on Climate Change,’ signaling the strong desire to move toward a sustainable future from cities and communities around the world!

Photo by Humans from India, 2014
Photo by Humans from India, 2014

By defining the world’s problems as environmental ones we’re directing our attention to some of the fundamental problems of poverty. MY World priorities can help to channel the fight for a clean and safe environment into building a healthy, safe and diverse world for generations.

My World Global Week of Action Toolkit

 

We’re thrilled to share with you the toolkit for the upcoming MY World Global Week of Action (May 5-11). You can find the toolkit and all the resources you need for online and offline engagement available at this link.

To date, more than 1.8 million people from 194 countries have voted for the world they want thanks to the brilliant efforts of partners like you.

The Global Week of Action (GWA) is a worldwide mobilization effort to gather an additional 500,000 votes. 

These votes matter. The UN is working with governments everywhere to define the next global agenda to address extreme poverty and preserve the planet.

The data from these votes continues to be used by decision makers and inform various intergovernmental processes at the UN. Additionally, the data has been presented at the World Economic Forum, TedX events, SXSW, +Social Good, World Conference on Youth, and the African Union Summit among others.

Together we can make it happen! The more people we can engage, the more votes we drive, the more people around the world will participate in shaping the future of development.

TAKE ACTION

You can download the toolkit for action and start sharing with your community today.

  1. Drive Voting through #globalvote – Share tweets, posts, graphics and videos with your community online, with a link to myworld2015.org
  2. Join the ThunderClap – donate your social media profile to the MY World call for votes before May 8th and be part of the global rally online
  3. Mobilize Offline – Set up a voting booth and reach out, in person, to the digitally disconnected in your community, school, or place of worship

For more information contact:
Anand Kantaria at anand.kantaria@undp.org 
Frances Simpson-Allen at frances.simpsonallen@undp.org

Webinar sobre Semana de Acción Global de Mi Mundo (25 de abril 09:30- 10:30)

Más de 1,8 millones de personas en todo el mundo ya han tomado la palabra en www.mimundo2015.org
Ahora, en la Semana de Acción Global (del 5-11 de Mayo 2014), queremos mobilizar 500.000 votos!

WEBINAR: Únete el próximo viernes, 25 de abril 2014, 09:30-10.30 a.m. EDT para aprender más acerca de la estrategia de movilización global y las nuevas herramientas disponibles para promover MI Mundo online y offline.

https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/408555623

Join our Webinar: Global Week of Action Toolkit

MY WORLD Global Week of Action

Over 1.7 million people around the world have already had their say at the United Nations. Now, in the Global Week of Action (May 5-11, 2014), we’re aiming for an additional 500,000 votes.

Together we can make it happen! 

WEBINAR: Join next week’s webinar on Tuesday, 22nd of April 2014, 9:00 – 10:00AM EDT to learn more about the strategy and the exciting new MY World toolkit.  Register [here]

If you can’t make the webinar, see a previous recording [here]

WHAT IS THE GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION?

  • May 5-11: Take community action and mobilize networks OFFLINE to ensure everyone has the opportunity to vote 
  • May 8: The global vote day to mobilize networks ONLINE by joining and sharing the digital campaign
  • May 11: Celebrate and share results achieved!

FOR FURTHER INFO
frances.simpsonallen@undp.org 
sebastian.bachmann@undp.org