You are currently browsing the IPA blog archives for November, 2011.
- Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati – in Pictures
- New Vatican document on migrants and refugees
- People’s Goals Response to the HLP Report
- World Environment Day – 5 June “Think, Eat, Save, Reduce Your Foodprint”
- Hunger Is A Taxing Problem For The G8
- Women and Peace-building in the Great Lakes Region of Africa – 4 June 2013
- Reflections on the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues 20-31 May 2013
- UN NEWS: OWG3 and High Level Panel report for post-2015 agenda
- Carbon Rise Leads to ‘Urgent’ Call for Climate Action at UN
- A Journey to a Side Event for Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – May 2013
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Archive for November, 2011
I am Lungowe Mufungulwa, from a rural village in Mongu, a western province of Zambia. It was a lifetime opportunity for me to participate in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW55) 2011 as a girl delegate along with Annmary Andrews, as my chaperone, and Chilenga N’Guni, another girl delegate. We represented the International Presentation Association (IPA) at the UN, whose members were instrumental in enabling hundreds of men and women, boys and girls in Zambia to actively engage in the consultation organised by the Working Group on Girls on the review theme of CSW55: ‘The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against the Girl Child.’
At the UN during two parallel events on Girls Voices – Promises made: A Review of CSW51, I shared my story which reflects the stories of many girls of Zambia. I was an 18-year-old girl, a single mother who cared for my 10-month old son, a 9th grade student who spent until the wee hours of the morning doing my homework and who earned my livelihood. Hearing my story, many participants’ eyes filled with tears. I also spoke of my hopes and dreams that having been educated on the commitments to girls made by my government and having had the exposure to an international forum, I am empowered and am convinced that we the girls can be the agents of social change in Zambia and in the world.
Since my return to Zambia, I have shared my UN experience with groups of women and girls in my neighbourhood and in the nearby villages and towns. With the monetary aid from the NGO, along with other girls who had dropped out of school, I am continuing my education. We go to afternoon school and earn our livelihood in the mornings making fritters, selling tomatoes, fish and other seasonal products. We also do piece work like digging, planting and harvesting. We try to save Kwacha 1,000 (US $0.20) per week in the hope of doing small businesses during our vacation and in order to continue our education.
I hope that the UN negotiations on the priority theme of CSW56, ‘Empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges,’ and on the review theme, ‘Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women,’ will have an impact on girls like us in Zambia and in the world, enabling a dignified life for all.
Lungowe Mufungulwa, Mongu, Zambia–International Presentation Association
Source: “Action For Girls” Newsletter of the Working Group on Girls (WGG) and its International Network for Girls (INFG) Volume III, Number 11, October 2011
Click here to access the whole newsletter.
What is your most positive image of that future?
What do you dream of for you, your family and your community?
What would life look like if you could design it?
The United Nations has launched a new campaign to promote next June’s Rio+20 conference and the need for sustainable development by engaging people in a global conversation on the kind of communities they would like to live in twenty years from now. People everywhere are invited to share their ideas on the above questions.
The new campaign, Rio+20: The Future We Want, will work through public participation to envision how societies in all parts of the world can build a future that promotes prosperity and improves people’s quality of life without further degrading our planet’s natural environment.
The campaign aims to encourage people everywhere to engage in a global conversation that will be collected and melded into visions of the future to be exhibited at the conference in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. Rio+20 will bring together world leaders and thousands of participants representing all sectors of society, including academia, agriculture, business and industry, indigenous peoples, mayors and local authorities, non governmental organizations, trade unions, women and youth.
For the campaign, the UN is working with a non-governmental organization, The Future We Want, to develop the exhibit for Rio. Through electronic and non-electronic formats, especially for those without Internet access, the project asks everyone to join the global conversation and voice their ideas for a better future. The online contributions, together with people’s videos, photos, letters, essays and drawings offering different perspectives on a sustainable future, will form the basis of the exhibit.
The Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June.
For the full United Nations Press Release go to http://futurewewant.org/
For more information on the global conversation, visit: www.un.org/sustainablefuture
For more information on the Rio+20 Conference, visit: www.uncsd2012.org
Desmond Tutu: climate change is worse than apartheid
Nobel Prize-winning Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu is calling on the world to join him in demanding that world leaders sign on to a renewal of the Kyoto Protocol this December in South Africa.
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu urged South Africans to join world faith leaders, political leaders and artists at an “extraordinary” mass rally on November 27 at the King’s Park Stadium in Durban. The Nobel Prize-winning archbishop is to host the “We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice” rally and concert, at which he will lead a call to world leaders attending the COP17 climate change talks in Durban that they should reach a fair and legally binding agreement to curb climate change.
“Apartheid seemed an overwhelming challenge that could not be defeated but we mobilised and defeated it. We need the same passion and determination to defeat climate change,” says Tutu. “Climate change is an even greater threat to us than apartheid was, because as temperatures rise, millions of Africans will be deprived of water and crops. This will cause enormous suffering. It is something we simply cannot allow,” he averred.
“In the face of such a huge threat, many of us feel numb and throw up our hands, believing we can’t make a difference. But we can make a difference – come to the rally. It will be an extraordinary event. And if you cannot come, please sign our petition on www.wehavefaithactnow.org. We want to have over one million signatures on these petitions at the rally to hand over the world leaders.”
“Along with the many other faith leaders in the campaign, I appeal to you all – don’t hesitate to join us. Your support could help make a world of difference in keeping our planet cool.”
At the rally, Archbishop Tutu will hand over the petition to COP17 Chair, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who has confirmed she will attend to receive it.
The “We Have Faith” petition calls on world leaders to commit to a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement, for a renewal of the Kyoto Protocol, and for funding to help Africa adapt to climate change.
The “We Have Faith” campaign has several other key elements, which include a youth caravan travelling from Nairobi to the rally, and a day of prayer on December 4 for a just outcome to the talks. Hundreds of youth activists and artists from many African countries, including South Africa, are travelling from Nairobi to Durban in the caravan (a convoy of “We Have Faith”-branded buses). Along the way, they will stage youth-led climate concerts in cities including Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Lusaka, Gaborone, Lilongwe and Johannesburg (Soweto). Over 200 climate activists are taking part in an epic “Ride for Climate Justice” from Beitbridge in Mpumpalanga to Durban, where they will attend the rally.
The following website contains the full article by Martin Barillas and some excellent clips re the Durban Climate Change conference and a petition which can be signed:
This year thousands of people decided the time had come to claim their rights. They took to the streets and demanded change. Many found their voices using the internet and instant messaging to inform, inspire and mobilize supporters to seek their basic human rights.
Social media helped activists organize peaceful protest movements in cities across the globe—in Tunis, in Cairo, in Madrid, in New York, and in cities and towns across the globe—at times in the face of violent repression.
It has been a year like no other for human rights. Human rights activism has never been more topical or more vital. And through the transforming power of social media, ordinary people have become human rights activists.
Human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values. As a global community we all share a day in common: Human Rights Day on 10 December, when we remember the creation 63 years ago of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On Human Rights Day 2011 we pay tribute to all human rights defenders and ask you to get involved in the global human rights movement.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights will host a global conversation on human rights through social media on Friday 9 December at 9:30am, New York time.
We want you to be part of it: join the conversation, send a question, watch it live. More details coming soon.
Join us (United Nations Human Rights) on Facebook as we countdown to Human Rights Day with a “30 days and 30 rights” discussion on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or follow us on Twitter#CelebrateRights.
Help us celebrate human rights!
Promoting Human Rights Day is easy with our collection of visual designs in all six official UN languages. Choose from an assortment of downloadable shapes and sizes in bold bright colours or black and white.
We offer a range of downloadable promotional materials including posters and badges.
The videos found here are available for use on Human Rights Day.
The work of human rights activists are often featured on our website. We have searched our archives and many of their stories can be found here.
DID YOU KNOW?…
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights won the Guinness World Record for the most translated document in the world. It is available in more than 300 languages and dialects, from Abkhaz to Zulu. Read in your language here.
Source: Civil Society Section, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a new and unique human rights mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council aiming at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 UN Member States.
Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every four years (48 States are reviewed each year during three UPR sessions dedicated to 16 States each).
The result of each review is reflected in an “outcome report” listing the recommendations made to the State under Review (SuR) including those that it accepted and which it will have to implement before the next review.
→ The UPR is a full-circle process comprising 3 key stages:
- Review of the human rights situation of the SuR
- Implementation between two reviews (4 years) of the recommendations accepted and voluntary pledges and commitments by the SuR
- Reporting at the next review on the implementation of those recommendations and pledges and on the human rights situation in the country since the previous review.
Plain English Guide
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties and UPR Info developed a Plain English Guide explaining the UPR process. The Guide is tailored to the review of Ireland but can be used as a resource for information on the UPR.
Presentation Sisters in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States have made submissions as part of the UPR process when those countries were under review.
To watch a video explaining the functioning of the UPR, click here (scroll to the video about half way down the page and click on the “Play” button).