#AceWorldNews says the other day was an an opportunity…to End Violence Against Women

Ending Violence Against Women#AceWorldNews says the other day was an opportunity for each person to recommit to ending the harm being committed against one out of three women, senior United Nations officials said marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7307“>said in his message for the Day, which this year focuses on the theme of raising awareness by wearing the colour orange.

Mr. Ban applauded leaders who are helping to enact and enforce laws and change mindsets, and paid tribute to the heroes who help victims heal and become agents of change. Among those, Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), who the UN chief met last month, and who in turn, is inspired by the courage of the women he treats.

English: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Vice Presiden...

English: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Vice President of South Africa, during the official visit of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, in Capetown, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In her first message for the Day as UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, urged world leaders to “mount a response that is proportionate to the violence threatening the lives of women and girls.”

“We need education in schools that teaches human rights and mutual respect, and that inspires young people to be leaders for equality,” she <“http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/11/press-release-ed-message-25-november“>said in a video message, adding that to be effective, prevention to must address gender inequality as the root cause of violence.

Speaking to journalists in New York, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri called gender-based violence a “gross human rights violation” and a “pandemic”.

Wearing orange scarfs uniformly with the other panelists to call attention to the orange theme, she noted that violence takes many forms – physical, psychological, economic and sexual – and that it is more dangerous to be a woman in conflict and post-conflict situations than to be a soldier, given the use of rape as a war tool.

She also called attention to the most common place for violence against women and girls – the home – which is the place they are supposed to be the safest.

Journalists also heard from Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, who noted that while he was the only man on the panel, the issue mainly concerns men since they are traditionally the perpetrators of the violence.

More than 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“This is not acceptable: better laws and their enforcement are needed,” <“http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/11/25/violence-against-women-is-not-acceptable-and-can-be-prevented/“>said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator.  She called for law enforcement and judicial systems to work together with governments, civil society and international partners to tackle the root causes of violence against women, support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.

Meanwhile, the UNDP reported today that gender-based discrimination remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities.

According to the ‘Regional Human Development Report (HDR) 2013-2014 Citizen Security with a Human Face: evidence and proposals for Latin America’, gender-based violence contributes to insecurity in Latin America and is a persistent threat and obstacle to human development, public health and human rights.

DR CONGO While the evidence linking gender-based violence and poverty grows, so does a global call to include men’s voices in the solution to violence against women. A recent UN study carried out in the Asia-Pacific region found that of the 10,000 men surveyed, nearly half reported using physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner.

The study recommends that development interventions should address social norms related to the acceptability of violence and dominant gender stereotypes, as well as focusing on ending impunity for perpetrators.

This same message is set out in the report ‘A Million Voices: The World We Want’, which synthesizes the results of an unprecedented global consultation involving over a million people across all countries and backgrounds on what the world’s future development agenda should look like.

It states that the current anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are silent on violence against women and girls, even though one of the eight goals is on gender, according to the UN agency.

“As we prepare to craft a post-2015 development agenda, violence against women and girls remains an enormous global problem that must be overcome,” <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_elimination_violence_against_women2013.shtml“>said John Ashe, the current President of the General Assembly.

Noting that the international community is crafting a post-2015 development agenda, he added that “no sustainable development agenda can be achieved without ending this global violation of human rights, without ending all violence against all women and girls in every country in the world.”

The UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in a 1999 resolution inviting governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to “organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.”

The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo on 25 November 1960.

The Day marks the start of 16 days of activism, culminating with Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Given the timing of the 16 days and the focus on raising awareness with the colour orange, this year’s official theme is “Orange the World in 16 Days.”

Today’s events are part of the landmark UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Launched by Mr. Ban in 2008, it has gathered UN agencies and offices to galvanize action across the UN system to prevent and punish violence against women.

He also noted the importance of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, the world’s leading global grant-making mechanism exclusively dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls, administered by UN Women.

Mr. Ban called for financial support to the Fund, the demand for whose grants have more than doubled in the recent years while the amount it has distributed diminished by 60 per cent.

“I appeal to all partners to help meet this vast unmet demand for resources to further our aims.

New York, Nov 25 2013  3:00PM

#democratic-republic-of-the-congo, #denis-mukwege, #dominican-republic, #helen-clark, #human-development-report, #international-day-for-the-elimination-of-violence-against-women, #millennium-development-goals, #non-governmental-organization, #phumzile-mlambo-ngcuka, #un-women, #united-nations, #united-nations-development-programme

Recent Turmoil in the Arab World Imperils Progress Towards Achieving the Anti-Poverty Targets Known as the Millennium Development Goals

The Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ...

The Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of UN. Target date: 2015 http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceFoodNews says recent turmoil in the Arab world imperils progress towards achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region, stated a United Nations report released today.

The report, launched by the UN Development Group (UNDG) along with the League of Arab States and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), comes as Secretary-General convened a special event at UN Headquarters on achieving the MDGs, which world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.

It noted that while the Arab region has made progress towards many of the Goals since 2010, progress has slowed since then and the major cause is the widespread impact of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“The crisis in Syria is a crisis for development across the Arab region,” <“http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/09/23/syria-crisis-a-crisis-for-arab-development.html“>said Sima Bahous, Chair of the UNDG in the Arab States Region and Director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Arab States.

“The impact goes far beyond even the tragic and terrible widespread death and destruction in that country: it is also slowing the region’s progress on development,” she stated in a news release.

In addition to claiming the lives of over 100,000 people, displacing millions and causing widespread damage and destruction, the crisis in Syria is also having a major impact on human development across the country, according to the report.

It pointed out that the crisis has pushed at least three million of Syria’s 22 million people into poverty, while the country’s extreme poverty rate has climbed at least back to 8 per cent after having been virtually zeroed by 2007.

School enrolment rates have plunged and access to health care has also significantly reduced, added the report, which comes in advance of a more detailed UNDP study to be released in October showing the impact of the Syrian crisis on development in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Also, the report stated that the overall climate of instability and insecurity in the Arab region is dragging on progress more broadly across the region.

Economic activity has been slowed in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen – countries which since 2011 have been pursuing complex political transitions. Over five million people across the Arab region have been pushed into unemployment since 2010.

“In the case of Yemen, this slowdown comes atop already high poverty rates and deep challenges across the entire spectrum of development,” the news release stated. Over 10 million people in the country, nearly half of the total population, may be food insecure, according to the report.
Instability also complicates an already dire degree of water scarcity, the report added. Yemen suffers from chronic shortages and may be the first Arab country to run out of water, possibly as early as 2015. As of June 2012, 12.7 million Yemenis lacked access to safe water or sanitation.

The report also showed that many Arab countries are “off the path” to reach many important MDGs. Overall, the region lags behind on key targets, particularly those related to nutrition, food security, access to water and sanitation, and child and maternal mortality.

Today’s report comes as world leaders gather in New York to discuss not only progress towards the MDGs but also a new global development agenda which will come after the Goals expire in 2015. The discussions will include options for reflecting the importance of peace and security in a new development framework.

“The experience of the Arab region makes the linkage clear,” said Ms. Bahous. “Where there is no peace, there is no development; where there is no development, there can be no peace.”

 

#acenewsservices, #arab, #arab-states, #arab-world, #jordan, #lebanon, #millennium-development-goals, #syria, #united-nations, #united-nations-development-programme, #yemen

#Syria Urgently Requires a Robust Development Response to Complement Ongoing Humanitarian and Refugee Efforts in the Region #Peace

Coat of arms of Syria -- the "Hawk of Qur...

Coat of arms of Syria — the “Hawk of Qureish” with shield of vertical tricolor of the national flag, holding a scroll with the words الجمهورية العربية السورية (Al-Jumhuriyah al-`Arabiyah as-Suriyah “The Syrian Arab Republic”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The crisis in Syria urgently requires a robust development response to complement ongoing humanitarian and refugee efforts in the region, senior United Nations officials today said at the start of a meeting in Jordan.

“A comprehensive development response to complement our humanitarian efforts in Syria and its neighbours is overdue. We are determined to change that,” <” http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/11/02/the-united-nations-a-scaled-up-development-response-to-the-syria-crisis-is-critical-now/“>said Sima Bahous, Chair of the Regional UN Development Group, which is hosting the meeting, and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The meeting of the Regional UN Development Group, is expected to close with a plan focused on development in Syria and its immediate sub-regional context and how to put that response to action, according to a UNDP news release.

Regional directors and representatives of more than 20 UN agencies, including UNDP, are in the Jordanian‘s capital of Amman to discuss means to harmonize UN responses to the conflict which has killed more than 100,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes within Syria and into neighbouring countries.

Almost 97 per cent of Syria’s refugees are hosted in the immediate surrounding region, with around one million in Lebanon, followed by Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.

“The spillover of the crisis into its four neighboring countries is impacting economic and human development outcomes in those countries at the national and local levels,” UNDP said in a news release.

Key sectors including investment, tourism, trade and local production are affected at varying levels of intensity, according to the UN agency. The crisis also is raising concerns over possibilities of triggering tensions between refugees and local populations in those countries.

Syria

Syria (Photo credit: Yishac – Isaac Alvarez i Brugada)

Recent impact assessments in the two countries most affected by the crisis – Lebanon and Jordan – raise concerns that the crisis may be seriously compounding the deterioration of their economies, which were already under stress, with direct impact on incomes and poverty levels especially among the most vulnerable populations.

A joint World Bank-UN assessment in Lebanon estimates that over the period of 2012- 2014, the Syrian conflict may cut real GDP growth by 2.9 percentage points annually, leading to a cumulative loss in wages, profits, taxes and investment of up to $7.5 billion.

The number of Lebanese who are living in extreme poverty could rise from 1 million to 1.17 million and the unemployment rate could double to above 20 percent.

According to UNDP, official assessments in Jordan indicate that the Government has incurred over $251 million during 2012 to provide and maintain services and basic needs of Syrian refuges and estimate that additional costs needed to continue hosting them may reach $1.68 billion, excluding the additional costs for the camps.

This burden has stifled efforts to recover economic growth in the Jordan from 8.15 per cent in 2005 to 2.3 per cent in 2010. According to the cited figures, the national unemployment rate rose to 13.1 per cent from 12.7 per cent.

 

#amman, #iraq, #jordan, #lebanon, #syria, #turkey, #undp, #united-nations, #united-nations-development-programme

UN: Today has Agreed to Launch a Concerted Effort to the #Syrian Economic Crisis #Peace

Save #Syrias ChildrenSenior United Nations development officials have agreed to complement ongoing humanitarian efforts in Syria and its neighbours with support for increased demands on basic services and to help the countries recover from economic downturns.

“While we continue to provide essential humanitarian support, we must as well attend to development needs in a manner that is complementary, simultaneous and urgent,” <“http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/11/03/building-resilience-to-save-the-future-un-agencies-to-scale-up-their-development-response-to-the-syria-crisis.html“>stressed Sima Bahous, Chair of the Regional UN Development Group, which is hosting the two-day meeting.

UNDP “We must safeguard present gains in development and arrest potential roll-back, and at the same time, strengthen recovery and nurture innate capacities for development planning and delivery, so that people –supported by their local institutions— can cope with the ongoing crisis and build back their lives, better,” added Ms. Bahous, who is also the Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Regional directors and representatives of more than 20 UN agencies, including UNDP, have met in the Jordanian capital of Amman since Saturday to discuss means to harmonize UN responses to the conflict which has killed more than 100,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes within Syria and into neighbouring countries.

Almost 97 per cent of Syria’s refugees are hosted in the immediate surrounding region, with around one million in Lebanon, followed by Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.

“The spillover of the crisis into its four neighbouring countries is impacting economic and human development outcomes in those countries at the national and local levels,” UNDP has said.

Key sectors including investment, tourism, trade and local production are affected at varying levels of intensity, according to the UN agency. The crisis also is raising concerns over possibilities of triggering tensions between refugees and local populations in those countries.

The outcome response plan has three main aspects. The first, to support governmental efforts at national and sub-national levels to ensure the provision of quality housing and related services, such as water, sanitation, energy and waste removal, and to rehabilitate and reconstruct the social economic infrastructure.

The agencies will also strengthen technical and managerial capacities of municipal governments. That includes, according to UNDP, promoting peaceful coexistence within conflict-affected communities.

Turning to livelihood opportunities and sustainable employment, the plan will focus on improving access to markets and financial services, stimulating productive investments, and formulating pro-poor policies to promote private sector engagement.
The Regional UN Development Group also agreed to support development inside Syria, by addressing root causes of the conflict and restoring basic services, where possible, in areas of relative peace, and provide support to livelihood activities.

The UN agencies also explored means to optimize partnerships and funding mechanisms between national and local authorities and among donors, international cooperation agencies and the Organization in order to support the proposed resilience-based development response.

“Today, we have made an excellent start on a long journey,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, Sub-regional Coordinator of the Development Response, and “As of today, we are rolling our sleeves up” he said.

#amman, #jordan, #lebanon, #local-government, #regional-un-development-group, #syria, #syria-news, #turkey, #un-agencies, #un-development-programme, #undp, #united-nations, #united-nations-development-programme