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November 1, 2010 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

UN biodiversity talks lead to accord

Member states of the United Nations on Saturday reached long-awaited consensus on goals intended to save plant and animal species, and to share the profits reaped by wealthy countries from the products like pharmaceuticals derived from plant or animal resources of poorer countries. The targets set at the close of talks in Nagoya, Japan, include halving the rate of species extinction by 2020, and boosting the preservation of land and oceans. Thomas E. Lovejoy of the UN Foundation said the pact takes "significant steps to heal the living planet." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the wonders of the planet. It must be preserved."

Duke University anthropologist Anne Pusey. Click here for the full story.

"The first children who trick-or-treated for UNICEF are likely drawing Social Security by now. And the woman who started it all, Mary Emma Allison, passed away [last week] at the age of 93."

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • UN renews commitment to female peacekeepers
    Government leaders last week agreed to establish indicators to help the United Nations measure the involvement of women in peacekeeping efforts throughout the world. The decision, a decade after a landmark Security Council resolution strengthening such roles for women, follows publication of a report showing that many UN agencies in conflict zones only partially follow the resolution. (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ban skirts talk of human rights in China
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently sidestepped issues of human rights at a meeting today in Beijing with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Rights advocates had asked Ban to raise the continued imprisonment of literary critic Liu Xiaobo, who recently was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Google/The Associated Press (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How will Saudi Arabia, Iran affect UN Women?
    Women's rights activists are raising concerns over the expected election of two Islamic states, Iran and Saudi Arabia, to the board of the new UN agency dedicated to women. Some say that the countries, long criticized for their treatment of women, will cool efforts to improve women's rights worldwide. Los Angeles Times (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Health and Poverty
  • Local militias complicate Afghan aid picture
    Humanitarian work and civilians in need of aid are under threat in Afghanistan because of a spike in the government's use of local armed groups to counter insurgents. More armed groups mean more complicated security negotiations amid a backdrop of more complex agendas, aid workers say. (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Top five news stories selected by UN Wire readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Development Energy and Environment
  • Critics lambaste Serengeti highway plan
    Scientists and conservation groups are raising concerns over a plan by Tanzania's president, Jakaya Kikwete, to build a highway through the Serengeti park that would bisect the annual migration route of more than 2 million wildebeest, zebras and other animals. Critics warn the highway could disrupt the entire local ecosystem and cost Tanzania millions in tourism dollars that help drive the economy. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Domestic concerns undercut U.S. climate goals
    The withering prospects of passing a climate bill in the United States are causing the government to re-evaluate its pledges to cap greenhouse gases and help developing countries preserve their natural habitats, especially tropical forests. Already the U.S. domestic concerns are dimming hopes for a meaningful accord at UN climate talks starting this month in Cancun, Mexico. The Washington Post (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Security and Human Rights
  • Controversy swirls around Zimbabwe's diamonds
    The battle over whether to allow Zimbabwe to sell its diamonds on the international market threatens to dismantle the multinational system in place to prevent the trade in blood diamonds. Human-rights groups have repeatedly raised alarms over violence that surrounds Zimbabwe's diamond supply, believed to be as plentiful as 25% of the world's potential supply. Diplomats and civil society groups will meet this week in an attempt to set conditions for sales. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Myanmar's youth find opportunity for change
    Younger generations in Myanmar are using mediums such as hip-hop music and community theaters to sidestep official censors and express their hopes for change. About one-third of Myanmar's population is in the 15 to 24 year age range, and despite being cut off from the world by a repressive military regime they are taking aim at HIV/AIDS, poverty, political freedom and other challenges they see for their country. TIME (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Peace and Security
  • Yemen is in spotlight after cargo plane bombs are confirmed
    The discovery of two bombs in cargo packages originating in Yemen has highlighted the importance of intelligence sharing between countries and confirmed fears that Yemen has emerged as a prime operating area for al-Qaida. Western intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring Yemen where the instability of a civil war has given al-Qaida room to operate. TIME (10/31), The Toronto Star (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Director of International ProgramsAmerican Refugee CommitteeMinneapolis, MN

  • What is mobile technology's most important role in disasters?
Help prepare and warn people of an imminent disaster
Help reconnect dispersed people affected by the disaster
Allow quick and effective medical and rescue responses
Allow swift exchange of news and developments
All of the above

UN Foundation and Better World Campaign
  • Register now for the mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C.
    The 2010 mHealth Summit brings together leaders in government, private sector/industry, academia and not-for-profit organizations to share information and experiences related to the intersection of mobile technology, health research and policy.

    Featured speakers include Bill Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer; Dr. Julio Frenk Dean of Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health; and Ted Turner, Chairman, UN Foundation. The mHealth Summit takes place Nov. 8 to 10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Click here for more information and to register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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