Category Archives: Press Room

New UN Publications: December 2019

“Global Humanitarian Overview 2020.”
In 2019, donors provided a record $16 billion for inter-agency appeals between January and November 2019. Yet, compliance with international law is declining. Armed conflicts are killing and maiming a record number of children. Women and girls are at higher risk of sexual and gender-based violence. One in five people living in conflict areas has a mental health condition. In 2020, nearly 168 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This represents one in about 45 people in the world, and is the highest figure in decades. The United Nations and partner organizations aim to assist nearly 109 million of the most vulnerable people. This will require funding of $28.8 billion.
ABRIDGED version

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UNOCHA
pp. 87

 

 

“Climate Action Report 2019.”
The Climate Action Report 2019 provides an overview of IFAD’s work on climate change and reports on progress, challenges and achievements in every work area where climate is accounted for within IFAD’s efforts towards improving the livelihoods of poor rural people. This year’s report highlights how climate change effects are considered and acted upon within the IFAD project cycle. It starts at the inception of developing country strategies and continues through the design, implementation and financing of projects to the assessment of impacts.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: IFAD
ISBN: 978-92-9072-956-3
pp. 89

 

 

“Emissions Gap Report 2019: Global progress report on climate action.”
The Emissions Gap Report 2019 shows that we are on the brink of missing the 1.5°C target and condemning humanity to a future of serious climate change impacts. Countries cannot wait until they submit their updated Paris pledges in one year’s time to act. They need to do much more, starting now. Cities, regions, businesses and individuals must all play their part too. We simply cannot afford inaction. For ourselves, for our countries, for our future.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UNEP
ISBN: 978-92-807-3766-0
pp. 81

 

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New UN Publications: November 2019

“World Migration Report 2020.”
The World Migration Report 2020, the tenth in the world migration report series, has been produced to contribute to increased understanding of migration throughout the world. This new edition presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues, and is structured to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: IOM
ISBN: 978-92-9068-789-4
pp. 475

 

 

“Parliaments as partners supporting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.”
The women, peace and security agenda remain critically important in a world that grapples with complex conflict. Women suffered a range of harms, from sexual and gender-based violence inflicted by combatants, to the loss of their spouses and families, to the loss of their livelihoods and personal autonomy. The participation of parliaments in efforts to support the women, peace and security agenda has been variable, with many parliaments either unaware of or uninvolved in national implementation efforts. This Handbook seeks to provide guidance to parliamentarians on their role in supporting the UNSCR 1325 agenda.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UNDP
pp. 51

 

 

“Addressing Climate-Fragility Risks.”
This climate-fragility risks guidance note seeks to inform the development and implementation of strategies, policies, or projects that seek to build resilience by linking climate change adaptation, peacebuilding, and sustainable livelihoods. It recommends a two-step approach to build resilience to climate-fragility risks. Throughout the note, checklists and guiding questions help readers put these concepts and approaches into action. In addition, a separate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) note provides guidance for measuring the effectiveness of these efforts; and a toolbox lists further reading and additional tools.

Bibliographic info:
Publisher: UNEP
pp. [70]

 

 

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Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, 10 December 2019

GENEVA (9 December 2019) – This has been a year of tremendous activism – notably by young people. It is particularly fitting that this year we mark Human Rights Day during the crucial UN conference in Madrid to uphold climate justice. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those millions of children, teenagers and young adults who have been standing up and speaking out more and more loudly about the crisis facing our planet.

Rightly, these young people are pointing out that it is their future which is at stake, and the future of all those who have not yet even been born. It is they who will have to bear the full consequences of the actions, or lack of action, by the older generations who currently run governments and businesses, the decision-makers on whom the future of individual countries, regions and the planet as whole depends.

It cannot, of course, be left to young people alone to tackle the climate emergency, or indeed the many other human rights crises that are currently causing simultaneous turbulence in so many countries across the world. All of us must stand together, in solidarity, and act with principle and urgency.

We can, and must, uphold the painstakingly developed universal human rights principles that sustain peace, justice and sustainable development. A world with diminished human rights is a world that is stepping backwards into a darker past, when the powerful could prey on the powerless with little or no moral or legal restraint.

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Message of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Philippines on United Nations Day 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Department of Foreign Affairs for coming together with us at the United Nations, in this traditional celebration of UN Day here in Manila.  A special thank you to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr for taking time from his very busy schedule to join in person [alt who represents him].  And thank you to all our guests for contributing to this evening with your presence.  To SM for allowing us to use this beautiful hall at no cost, and last but certainly not least, to my colleagues who have worked very hard with our friends and colleagues in DFA to prepare this evening for us.

Tonight, is a celebration of the 74th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter, on 24 October 1945.  This of course followed the conclusion of the San Francisco conference on 26 June the same year with the signing of the Charter by 50 of its 51 charter members (Poland would sign two months later), and with the Philippines as a Charter member represented by the Honorable Carlos P. Romulo – who later went on to become the President of the fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1949 to 1950!

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The United Nations stands with Pride

by Ola Almgren*

This Pride Month, the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines stands in solidarity with the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) Filipinos, their families, friends and allies in their pursuit of equality, inclusion and pride.

The struggle for the rights of LGBTQI people is a core part of the struggle for the full and equal enjoyment of human rights by all.

The very first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

All human beings – not some, not most, but all.

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UN Philippines Message on International Women’s Day 2019

By Ola Almgren*

Manila, 8 March 2019–At the start of this year, a Filipino scientist became one of the directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world’s preeminent organization for nuclear technology and its safe and peaceful applications.

The Filipino scientist is a woman–Dr. Jane Gerardo-Abaya. She now leads the IAEA’s Department of Technical Cooperation Asia and the Pacific Division which provides technical cooperation support to 37 countries and territories in Asia and the Pacific.

Dr. Abaya’s appointment reverberated among Filipino communities around the world and was cited by the Philippine government as a remarkable achievement in the country’s efforts to increase women’s representation at national and global centers of power.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”. The theme puts innovation at the centre of efforts to build solutions that work for women and girls and achieve gender equality.

Last February 22, in observance of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, the International Labour Organization (ILO) cited four Filipino women that have distinguished themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): Aileen Judan Jiao, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines and the first Filipina leader of the company; Ambe Tierro, senior managing director for global artificial intelligence of Accenture Technologies; Maria Cristina Coronel, president and chief executive officer of Pointwest Technologies; and Michie Ang, founding director of Women Who Code Manila.

Dr. Abaya and these four other Filipina game changers in STEM are truly exceptional.  Their achievements, and others with them, are examples of what has contributed to placing the Philippines among the top ten countries of the 2018 Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum that benchmarks 149 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.

Still, as we congratulate the Philippines on this achievement, much remains to be done before the Philippines can truly claim to have attained Sustainable Development Goal 5, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls – with the other goals of the 2030 Agenda that also need to be achieved to support this objective.  In fact and unfortunately, many women in the Philippines continue to face existential challenges on a daily basis.

These challenges include threats to their lives from childbirth.  Today, out of 100,000 Filipino women who give birth, 114 do not survive. This maternal mortality rate is higher than in other countries in Southeast Asia. It is a long way off from the Sustainable Development Goal 3 of reducing maternal deaths to less than 70 out of every 100,000 live births.  The recent adoption of the Universal Health Care Act, or Republic Act 11223, if fully implemented, will go a long way in addressing weaknesses of the health system that have failed to prevent deaths resulting from complications related to pregnancy.  As the Philippines moves forward, let’s all join in the call that “no woman should die while giving life”.

They also include exposure to sexual violence.  According to the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2017, 14-15% of Filipino girls as young as 13 to 17 years old have been sexually violated.  The same survey showed that two in five women, from 15 to 49 years old, have experienced physical or sexual violence and have NEVER told anyone about what had happened to them nor sought help to put an end to their torment.  And let’s not forget that young boys have also been victimized. In fact, by almost 6 percentage points, more boys than girls in the ages of 13 to 17 have experienced sexual violence.  We welcome ongoing legislative advocacy to strengthen the Anti-Rape Law in order to raise the age of consent from below 12 to 16, and to remove the “forgiveness clause” by which the subsequent marriage between the offender and the victim extinguishes the criminal action or the corresponding penalty.  Let’s all come together in a resolve that latest by 2030, all girls and women should be free of sexual violence, as should boys and men.

The four dimensions of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Gender Gap Report do not fully account for conditions that continue to hold Filipino women back in some areas, but they reflect unmistakable progress that has been achieved in improving the lives and well-being of Filipino women and girls over the years.  They also affirm that an all-of-society approach involving the government, civil society and other stakeholders can finally bridge a chasm that is as old as humanity itself.

By the same convergence of purpose, outstanding contributions by women will continue to advance society; mothers will live to see their children being born; and all persons, regardless of gender, will be free from sexual violence.

This is the future envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals and with our shared resolve and action, by 2030 we will be able to celebrate the realization of full gender equality on every 8 of March, International Women’s Day. [Ends]

* Ola Almgren is the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in the Philippines.