Orange Day and the UNiTE Campaign to end violence against women

The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign was launched in 2008 with the goal to increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women.

Campaign logo

Every year, the 25th of November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls around the world.

This day is also proclaimed asOrange Day(the colour designated to symbolize a brighter future without violence) by the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign, managed by UN Women.

UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

As a very delicate and fundamental topic for the development of a better future society, the action time is not only limited to the Orange Day.

From November 25th to December 10th (Human Rights Day), the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign are a special time to mobilize the local communities and to trigger action to end violence against women.

This year, the UN Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” during the 16 Days of Activism, organizing “Orange Events” to take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses in your own neighbourhoods.

The global vision of the UNiTE campaign is a world free from violence against all women and girls. This vision can only be realized through meaningful actions and ongoing political commitments of national governments, backed by adequate resources.

Orange your neighbourhood logo

UNiTE Goals:

  • Adoption and enforcement of national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls
  • Adoption and implementation of multi-sectoral national action plans that emphasize prevention and that are adequately resourced
  • Establishment of data collection and analysis systems on the prevalence of various forms of violence against women and girls
  • Establishment of national and/or local campaigns and the engagement of a diverse range of civil society actors in preventing violence and in supporting women and girls who have been abused
  • Systematic efforts to address sexual violence in conflict situations and to protect women and girls from rape as a tactic of war

You can follow @SayNO_UNiTE on Twitter and like SayNO.UNiTE on Facebook.

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Post written by UNAC-Vancouver website writer Sabrina Miso. 

Happy UN Day 2014

unacto11.jpgOctober 24th is United Nations Day, a global observance that marks the 69th anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.

The day has been celebrated since 1948, and, in 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that it was observed by Member States as a public holiday.

The UN Day provides a unique opportunity to remember and to make people aware of the goals and the achievements of the United Nations Organization with meetings, discussions and exhibits throughout the world.

We want to celebrate and to embrace the work of the UN to make a difference and to positively impact the lives of the people around the globe, with the achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and working towards the post-2015 development agenda.

“The UN has 4 main purposes:

  • to keep peace throughout the world
  • to develop friendly relations among nations
  • to help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms
  • to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.”

The theme of the 2014 UN Day is ‘Global Citizenship and Youth‘, to highlight the essential relevance of educating the younger generations to build and enhance a more peaceful and respectful global society.
Education is the key to provide the understanding that we are tied together as citizens of the global community, and that our challenges are interconnected.

“The United Nations is needed more than ever at this time of multiple crises. […] At this critical moment, let us reaffirm our commitment to empowering the marginalized and vulnerable. On United Nations Day, I call on Governments and individuals to work in common cause for the common good. “

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Please join us in celebrating the spirit of United Nations Day on Sunday Oct 26 at 11:00 am with the presentation of the John Gibbard Memorial Award to Ta’Kaiya Blaney at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

Source:

UN Day: un.org/en/events/unday
The Charter of the United Nations:  un.org/en/documents/charter

Post submitted by UNAC-Vancouver website writer Sabrina Miso.

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September 21st: International Day of Peace

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In just over two weeks people around the world will celebrate the International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day

September 21th is the annual day declared by the General Assembly, devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The International Day of Peace is a global observance and nations around the world are invited to honour a cessation of hostilities during the day.

International Day of Peace 2014

2014 is a special year that marks the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace (Nov 12th, 1984).   The Declaration recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights and the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”.

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Also, this anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded.  By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged people to work in cooperation for this goal. Since the first year it was celebrated (1982), the World Peace Day has grown to include millions of people worldwide and many events are organized each year to commemorate this day.

Recognize the power of women peacebuilders

One of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is particularly important to support the efforts to build a peaceful world:  Goal #3, dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

In many countries, gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government.

On September 3rd 2014, the UN Peacebuilding Commission held a session entitled “Women, Everyday Peacebuilders”. During the event, Liberian Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and keynote speaker,  stressed the role of women in peacebuilding:women across the world have been tested and proven worthy of building peace at the local level and in some cases the national levels.”  Also UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra highlighted the fact that women peacebuilders bridge the local-national divide and come up with innovative solutions to conflict due to their expertise, knowledge and legitimacy.

If our readers from Vancouver area are interested to go deeper into this topic, we remember that this week the UNA Vancouver will hold the conference “Inequality and Rights: A Feminist Perspective” at Simon Fraser University, where academics and members of the broader community will talk about issues of diversity, persistent inequality, and social justice.

The United Nations invites all people in the world to honour a cessation of hostilities during September 21st, and to commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

For updates, ideas and events related to Peace Day and to support the cause, you can follow on social media the hashtag #peaceday.

Sources:

Post written by UNAC-Vancouver website writer Sabrina Miso.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

unacto11.jpgAugust 9th is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population.

Through the International Day and Decade on Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations aims to strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, development, education and health. Also, it celebrates the achievements and contributions of indigenous people to improve world issues, such as environmental protection.

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Indigenous People in Canada

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 8.46.22 AMOn June 21st each year, National Aboriginal Day in Canada recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

Unfortunately, despite living in the developed world, indigenous peoples of North America often suffer many social obstacles. These factors can play into indigenous peoples’ social dislocation and alienation from both their ancestral lands, and North American society in general.

Also,  Aboriginal People have serious environmental concerns: the natural relationships that have sustained them are now altered because of the exploitation of the land and water. These changes have accelerated in recent years with health issues related to toxic chemicals and pollution.

On a positive note, Canada was one of the first countries in the modern era to extend constitutional protection to indigenous peoples’ rights. This constitutional protection has provided a strong foundation for advancing indigenous peoples’ rights over the last 30 years, especially through the courts.

Indigenous peoples and the Millennium Development Goals

A group of United Nations experts stated that the new global sustainable development agenda must include specific references to indigenous peoples and the challenges they face.

As the experts say: “Indigenous peoples can contribute significantly to achieving the objectives of sustainable development because of their traditional knowledge systems on natural resource management which have sustained some of the world’s more intact, diverse ecosystems up to the present”.

More on the the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their references to indigenous peoples in the next blog post.

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