Human Rights 

Friday’s Daily Brief: Day of the Girl Child, mayors lead on climate emergency, Turkey Syria offensive, new statelessness pledges, extremism in social media

Day of the Girl Child spotlights 25 years of progress, with more on the horizon The world’s one billion young girls, were celebrated on Friday as an “unscripted and unstoppable” force for change, with 11 October designated each year the International Day of the Girl Child.   Every day, girls under-18 are challenging stereotypes, breaking barriers, and leading movements to tackle the issues that affect them, and beyond, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day.   “As the theme of this year’s observance underscores, they are proving to be unscripted and unstoppable” in their undertakings, from eliminating child…

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Human Rights 

Day of the Girl Child spotlights 25 years of progress, with more on the horizon

Every day, girls under-18 are challenging stereotypes, breaking barriers, and leading movements to tackle the issues that affect them, and beyond, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day.   “As the theme of this year’s observance underscores, they are proving to be unscripted and unstoppable” in their undertakings, from eliminating child marriage, to closing the education gap, addressing violence and standing strong against the climate crisis.   The Day is an opportunity to recognize developments in the livelihoods of girls since the adoption of a visionary blueprint for the empowerment of women and girls in 1995, the Beijing Declaration and…

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Development Health Advice 

Global community pledges $14 billion to step up fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

The commitments were made on Thursday at the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference held in Lyon, France. “I welcome the commitment made by so many donors under the auspices of France to fully finance the Global Fund for the next three-year period”, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, of UN health agency, WHO. “This is critical to provide individuals and communities with the health interventions they need to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV, TB and malaria and to build better and stronger health systems”, he added. Peter Sands, Executive Director of…

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Development Health Advice 

World Mental Health Day sheds light on worrying rates of youth suicide

“Mental health has been neglected for too long,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message for the Day, saying it needs to be addressed urgently, as a matter “that concerns us all.” “We need stronger investments in services. And we must now allow stigma to push people away from the assistance they need. I am speaking my mind because I care deeply” he said, “the is no health, without mental health.” The World Health Organization (WHO), supporting this year’s international Day, has said that each year, the proportion of suicides accounts for more…

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Development Health Advice 

Alarming number of women mistreated during childbirth, new UN health agency figures show

The study, published on Wednesday in The Lancet – an influential peer-reviewed science journal –  was carried out in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria, and found that 42 percent of the 2,016 women observed had experienced physical or verbal abuse, stigma or discrimination during labour and childbirth.  According to WHO, quality support, particularly from midwives for women in labour, can make the difference between life and death. Midwifery has been shown to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirth rates, by over 80 per cent, and reduces pre-term labour and birth by 24 per cent. Yet, more than 800 women still die every day during the process.  Younger, less-educated women were found to be most vulnerable to mistreatment, in the form…

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Development Health Advice 

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Eye health, UN’s financial crisis, progress in Mali and South Sudan, human rights in Australia

One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: UN health agency A staggering 2.2 billion people already suffer from eye conditions and visual impairment today, but the global need for eye care is set to increase “dramatically”, with lack of exercise a key factor, the UN health agency said on Tuesday, unveiling its first ever report on vision across the world. While welcoming recent successes in eliminating common conditions such as trachoma in eight countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted evidence indicating that eye problems…

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Development Health Advice 

One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: UN health agency

While welcoming recent successes in eliminating common conditions such as trachoma in eight countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted evidence indicating that eye problems are increasingly linked to lifestyle choices, including screen time. Youngsters are among those at risk, WHO’s Dr Alarcos Cieza told journalists in Geneva: “In children, one of the factors that may influence the increased number of children with myopia, is that children do not spend enough time outdoors. It is a trend that is already observed in some countries like in China”, she said. “But…

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Human Rights 

‘Dangerous nationalism’ seriously threatens efforts to tackle statelessness: UNHCR chief

Speaking at a meeting in Geneva aiming to convince more countries to assist the many millions of people around the world who live in nationless limbo, Mr. Grandi warned that much more action was needed, five years since UNHCR launched its #IBelong campaign to end statelessness. “The progress is far from assured: damaging forms of nationalism and the manipulation of anti-refugee and migrant sentiment – these are powerful currents internationally that risk putting progress into reverse.” Echoing those comments, UNCHR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett urged States present at the UN…

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Development Health Advice 

Ground-breaking clean air protocol to guard human health and the planet, enters into force

With 18 countries and the European Union now having ratified the amended treaty, from a total of 51 who have signed, including many of the countries which are part of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the official entry into force marks an important step to curb pollutants closely-linked to climate change, ecosystem degeneration, and potentially life-threatening human health.   The Gothenburg Protocol, established back in 1999, sets forth legally-binding emissions reduction commitments for 2020 and beyond, for major air pollutants, and is rooted in the UNECE’s 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), originally intended to stop the occurrence of acid rain.  Beyond targeting well-known air pollutants, the Protocol was updated in 2012 to include reduction of fine particulate matter, pollutants shown to cause devastating climate change effects over…

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Human Rights 

UN expresses concern following wave of street protests in Iraq and elsewhere

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday called for dialogue between the Government and the demonstrators, and also expressed sadness over the loss of life. The UN human rights office, OHCHR, said reports indicate that up to 30 people have been killed in demonstrations across the country, though this number has not been verified. Hundreds more were reportedly injured, including members of the security forces, while dozens of demonstrators were detained, most of whom subsequently were released. “We are worried by reports that security forces have used live ammunition and rubber bullets in some…

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