Tag Archives: United Nations

Rich Kids In Low-Income Countries Get Most Of The Public Education Money: UN

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A worker sets up logos of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the congress center in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos Jan. 20, 2015. Reuters/Ruben Sprich

DAVOS, Switzerland — A new United Nations report finds that almost half of public education resources spent in low-income countries of the developing world goes to benefit just 10 percent of the best-educated students, who tend to come from affluent families. The report from the United Nations Children’s Fund, also known as Unicef, was released Thursday at a press conference with former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Unicef allies at the World Economic Forum.

“We need to radically revise current practices by providing more resources and allocating them more equitably,” Yoka Brandt, Unicef deputy executive director, said.

The trend documented by the report shows poor, developing-world countries mimicking a trend in the United States, which stands out as one of the only industrialized countries that devotes less public money to educating students from low-income families than on educating students from high-income families.

According to a recent analysis by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, it is one of the few economically developed nations that tends to spend more public resources to educate wealthy students than to educate low-income students. A 2011 U.S. Department of Education report found that in the United States “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding, leaving students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.”

On the question of solutions, Unicef is calling on wealthy countries and corporations to devote more international aid to education initiatives that will more fairly distribute resources. Addressing the assembled audience of wealthy corporate executives in Davos, musician Angelique Kidjo said of the Unicef report: “If the CEOs of this world want to continue being rich, want to save capitalism from chaos, they have to invest in education (and) they have to help every organization and lobby with us with the government” for more education funding that is more equitably distributed.

>>> Read more International Business Times

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A delegate is silhouetted as she passes by a sign for WEF in Davosimage

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Happy International Human Solidarity Day.

2014 Theme: Moving together as one: Solidarity as the foundation of the UN development agenda beyond 2015

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The General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, by resolution60/209 identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the Twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.

By resolution 57/265 the General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, established the World Solidarity Fund, which was set up in February 2003 as a trust fund of the United Nations Development Programme. Its objective is to eradicate poverty and promote human and social development in developing countries, in particular among the poorest segments of their populations.

BACKGROUND

Solidarity is identified in the Millennium Declaration as one of the fundamental values of international relations in the 21st Century, wherein those who either suffer or benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most. Consequently, in the context of globalization and the challenge of growing inequality, strengthening of international solidarity is indispensable.

Therefore, the UN General Assembly, convinced that the promotion of the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing is important for combating poverty, proclaimed 20 of December as International Human Solidarity Day.

Through initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund to eradicate poverty and the proclamation of International Human Solidarity Day, the concept of solidarity was promoted as crucial in the fight against poverty and in the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.

UN and the Concept of Solidarity

The concept of solidarity has defined the work of the United Nations since the birth of the Organization. The creation of the United Nations drew the peoples and nations of the world together to promote peace, human rights and social and economic development. The organization was founded on a basic premise of unity and harmony among its members expressed in the concept of collective security that relies on the solidarity of its members to unite “to maintain international peace and security”.
It is in the spirit of solidarity that the organization relies on “cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character” as well.

Read more >>> Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience

Secretary-General’s Message for 2014

ban_ki-moon_portraitBan Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations

This year’s observance of International Human Solidarity Day comes as the world shapes a new sustainable development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, the largest anti-poverty campaign in history, by 2015.

Member States, the United Nations system, experts, representatives of civil society, business executives and millions of individuals from all corners of the globe, have come together with a shared sense of purpose to make the most of this once-in-
a-generation opportunity.

The new agenda will centre on people and planet. It will be underpinned by human rights and supported by a global partnership determined to lift people from poverty, hunger and disease. It will be built on a foundation of global cooperation and solidarity.

The United Nations believes that solidarity with people affected by poverty and an absence of human rights is vital.  Based on equality, inclusion and social justice, solidarity implies a mutual obligation across the global community.

As we map our future development path, we must be firm in our commitment to champion solidarity and shared responsibility as part of the sustainable development agenda. These are fundamental values that must be upheld.

Only through collective action can we address such far reaching issues as poverty and growing inequality, climate change, chronic poverty and major health challenges, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

On International Human Solidarity Day, I call for a renewed commitment to collective action. Let us act together as one to end poverty, achieve shared prosperity and peace, protect the planet and foster a life of dignity for all.

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International Anti-Corruption Day.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it. It is observed on December 9 each year.

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Musicals, plays, keynote speeches and other activities that focus on the theme of fighting against corruption help promote International Anti-Corruption Day. Â©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

What do people do?

International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event. On this day anti-corruption advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. Other activities that promote the day include:

  • Musicals and plays to publicize the message of fighting against corruption.
  • Keynote speeches by those who were victims of corruption or fought against it.
  • Essay competitions on issues surrounding the topic of corruption.
  • The dissemination of posters, flyers and other material to increase awareness levels on corruption.

Some organizations hold special recognition ceremonies to pay tribute to people and projects that provide assistance to nations and communities in the battle against corruption.

Public life

International Anti-Corruption Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Corruption is an issue that affects all countries around the world. It can refer to the destruction of one’s honesty or loyalty through undermining moral integrity or acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity or honesty. It also refers to those who use a position of power or trust for dishonest gain. Corruption undermines democracy, creates unstable governments, and sets countries back economically. Corruption comes in various forms such as bribery, law-breaking without dealing with the consequences in a fair manner, unfairly amending election processes and results, and covering mistakes or silencing whistleblowers (those who expose corruption in hope that justice would be served).

By resolution 58/4 of October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day. This decision aimed to raise people’s awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The assembly urged all states and competent regional economic integration organizations to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to ensure its rapid entry into force. UNCAC is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption.

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Posters, slogans, and other promotional material on International Anti-Corruption Day have featured a slogan or logo that takes up two lines. The first line reads “CORRUPTION” in capitalized red words, and underneath are the words “Your NO counts”. Most of the second line is written in black text except for the word “NO” which is highlighted in red capital letters within a white speech bubble.

The UN logo is also associated with promotions for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.anti_corruption

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Secretary-General’s Message

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Ban Ki-moon is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 Corruption suppresses economic growth by driving up costs, and undermines the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.  It breaches fundamental human rights, exacerbates poverty and increases inequality by diverting funds from health care, education and other essential services.  The malignant effects of corruption are felt by billions of people everywhere.  It is driven by and results in criminal activity, malfunctioning state institutions and weak governance.

Good governance is critical for sustainable development, and vital in combating organized crime.  Every link in the trafficking chain is vulnerable to corruption, from the bribes paid to corrupt officials by dealers in arms and drugs to the fraudulent permits and licenses used to facilitate the illicit trade in natural resources.

Corruption is also rife in the world of sport and business, and in public procurement processes.  In the last decade, the private sector has increasingly recognized its role in fighting corruption.  A Call to Action launched by the United Nations Global Compact and partners is mobilizing businesses and Governments to engage in transparent procurement.  Guidelines are also being developed to help business fight corruption in sport sponsorship and hospitality.

>>> Read more Secretary-General’s Message

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Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies.

No country, region or community is immune.

This year UNODC and UNDP have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development.

>>> Read more Anti corruption site.