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August 20, 2012 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

New Beyonce song to generate billion messages of hope

A music video of Beyonce performing a live version of her new song, "I Was Here," has been released in commemoration of World Humanitarian Day. The American singer -- whose performance was recorded last week at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations -- is trying to generate 1 billion "messages of hope" via social media, encouraging people around the world to do a good deed. " 'I Was Here' says I want to leave my footprints in the sands of time, and that is leaving our mark on the world," she said. CNN (8/19), CBS News/The Associated Press (8/19), Google/Agence France-Presse (8/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

"I now understand the power of my voice. If I do not stand up and speak (out), who will?" - Girl Up Teen Advisor Avery


"If we are ever to close the chronic funding shortages for humanitarian emergencies, we will need people in donor countries demand that their governments help close the funding gap."

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • First blimp race would spotlight World Heritage
    The proposed World Sky Race -- a series of 18 back-to-back blimp races slated to begin in 2014 and to last six months -- would traverse the globe, flying over an estimated 130 World Heritage sites designated by UNESCO. "This offers a great opportunity to publicize the sites, and ... the need to rally international support for their conservation," said Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO's assistant director general for culture. CNN (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • It's official: Brahimi named new Syria envoy
    The 78-year-old Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi has agreed to replace Kofi Annan as the United Nations-African League envoy to Syria. A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN chief appreciated Brahimi's "willingness to bring his considerable talents and experience to this crucial task for which he will need, and rightly expects, the strong, clear and unified support of the international community, including the Security Council." The last UN observers withdrew from Syria on Saturday. Los Angeles Times/World Now blog (tiered subscription model) (8/17), BBC (8/21), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Forced recruitment of child fighters on rise in Mali
    The more Malians who are pushed from their homes, the more children are forcibly recruited to fight by the armed groups that seized control of the country's north after a coup this year, according to the United Nations. Hundreds of boys have been recruited from among the more than 435,000 people displaced; more than half of all displaced are registered as refugees in neighboring countries, UNICEF said. Los Angeles Times/World Now blog (tiered subscription model) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Health and Development
  • Company helping East African farmers go green
    The for-profit startup Backpack Farm is selling backpacks containing seeds, training manuals, tools and green chemicals to small-scale farmers in East Africa at a deeply discounted price in an effort to improve crop yields. The founder, Rachel Zedeck, says her aim is "to impact the lives of a million farmers by 2017." BBC (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Climate and Energy
  • Conservation: Balancing management, protection
    Steven Sanderson, former head of the Wildlife Conservation Society, discusses the need to create protected areas and also how to manage them -- especially in regions of the world such as the western Amazon that are under intense pressures from developers. "Conservation is a matter of active management rather than simple protection. ... For a long, long time the world focused on the creation of protected areas rather than the active management of what was in those protected areas," he says. Yale Environment 360 (8/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Peacekeeping and Security
  • Violence, rumors spur exodus from Indian province
    Hundreds of thousands of Indians are fleeing the northeastern province of Assam after communal violence and rumors, spread by social media, warned of attacks by Muslim settlers against migrants who are chiefly members of the indigenous Bodo tribe. At least 78 people have been reported killed and more than 300,000 have fled to refugee camps, many after their homes were burned. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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