“So, now we can just walk into the office?” That’s what Rogath Lewis Mollel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) said to me as we made our way into the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. I responded with a surprised “yes.” Rogath was amazed with the amount of access he and the average U.S. citizen have to our elected officials in Washington, DC.
If 2011 showed the desire and determination of citizens to have basic human rights in their societies, then 2012 demonstrated that there is no easy path toward obtaining these rights. Last year brought us the energy of the Arab Spring, with citizens in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya all pushing their governments to open up and make human rights and self-determination a priority. This year, with renewed tension in Egypt and a continuing humanitarian and political crisis in Syria, we’ve seen that the road to a society that prioritizes human rights can be long and hard.
Imagine a life where you live on less than two dollars a day. You have been saving for months to afford a trip to the health clinic. With your payment in hand, you walk three hours to get to the nearest clinic, carrying your young children with you. When you finally arrive, you want to be able to receive information and testing for HIV and also pick up contraception to prevent pregnancy, but you’re told that the clinic does not provide both services. You can get tested for HIV, but you’ll have to walk an additional 20 miles to a separate clinic to obtain contraceptives. Unable to cover the distance, you are forced to return home without the contraception that you want and need.
Today, the UN Foundation and more than 1,000 partners across the country are making history by launching #GivingTuesday—a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday Season.
Just a few years ago, we all witnessed the birth of a new day that changed the way people think about holiday shopping: Cyber Monday. Today I am writing about something I think can be an even bigger game changer, #GivingTuesday.
VAW takes many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence. It crosses cultures, communities and countries—devastating lives, fracturing families and communities, obstructing economic opportunity, preventing generations from reaching their full potential, and stalling national development.
Imagine if your children couldn’t walk to school without fear of life-threatening violence. Imagine if you feared for your safety every night because there were no lights on your street. Imagine if you were brutally attacked for simply trying to feed your family.
How far would you go to support the work of the United Nations? Each day peacekeepers, aid workers and medical personnel deliver food and aid and put themselves in harm’s way to fulfill the mission of the UN and deliver on its promise to provide a better and safer world. We talk about their important work often, but today let’s talk about you.
There are a few things in this world that are truly global: One of them is that people want to be happy. Thursday, March 20 is the International Day of Happiness, and the United Nations Foundation and Grammy Award-winning musician Pharrell Williams have teamed up to encourage people to take action to support the UN and to create a happier world for people everywhere.
Big news came out today: The annual report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight goals established in 2000 by world leaders at the United Nations – shows that the world is making significant progress in reducing poverty and improving lives. This didn’t happen by chance; it happened by choice. The MDGs have provided […]
By Tiffany Taylor, U.S. Youth Observer at the UN Being the Youth Observer to the United Nations has provided me with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apply my experiences, passions, and interests to a global platform for change. Over the past year of my term as the second-ever Youth Observer, I have traveled throughout the United […]
Last fall, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a comprehensive and authoritative report on the science of climate change. The key takeaway: Scientists are more certain than ever that climate change is real and is caused by human activities – mostly the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas.
Throughout this week, leaders from around the world have discussed our most urgent challenges while gathered in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Here are five speeches from the week that you should watch. 1. Emma Watson, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, delivered a powerful speech on gender equality as part of the […]
Independence: it’s what we all want for children everywhere. We hope they’ll have the chance to grow up healthy, go to school, and have every opportunity to reach their full potential. Above all, we want our children to count. Many of us take it for granted, but receiving a birth certificate is crucial for all […]
In an era when we can land a rover on Mars and use our phones to access a world of information, millions of people still die of preventable diseases. But there’s also good news: We’re making significant progress in saving lives.
By Zoe Fox and Lauren Bohn Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is rarely mentioned in the news. In the country that’s roughly the size of Pennsylvania, three-quarters of the population live below the poverty line. Less than 25% of girls finish primary school – even though it’s free. Among […]
This week, health leaders from around the world are gathered in Geneva for the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly. Here are five of the key stories coming out of Geneva: 1. Saving the Lives of Newborns: Every year, nearly 3 million newborns die within the first 28 days of life. This year’s World […]
While there have been some signs of progress in the global effort to stop the Ebola outbreak, the crisis is still extremely serious and demands greater resources. Simply put: We can’t let up now or we risk losing the gains we have made.
By Stephen Sobhani and Rebecca Fishman On this year’s World Toilet Day on November 19, 2.5 billion people around the world still lack access to sanitation and 1.1 billion people poop in the open. Sanitation is an oft neglected and taboo topic closely linked to infant and child mortality, undernutrition, and poverty. The good news It is […]
August 18, 2014 marks 500 days until the target date for the Millennium Development Goals – eight goals to improve lives around the world. We recently asked Leith Greenslade, a Vice Chair of the MDG Health Alliance in the office of the UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs, about where we are on […]
As the Chief Operating Officer of a foundation with global focus, it is important to me that all of our employees, partners, supporters, and friends live in a world that respects and protects their human rights – regardless of whom they love. That’s why I recently joined the Free and Equal Campaign, a campaign led […]
Yesterday a bi-partisan group of political and financial leaders said that climate change will cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars a year if action isn’t taken to slow it down. They called their report Risky Business. Scientists, business leaders, and political figures are telling us that the need to deal with our changing climate […]
I met Nyanwour during a visit earlier this year to the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. She was a recent arrival to the camp. Nyanwour fled the violence in South Sudan with her four children, who were between 5 and 8 years old, and walked three days to get to the safety of the […]
Despite some critical words from observers, negotiators in Lima agreed Sunday on a “Call for Climate Action” that sets the stage for the decisive talks planned for Paris next year under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The process had gained significant momentum from the progress made over the past few months – […]
At the beginning of December, the United Nations reached the 60-day mark since it launched its expanded response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The UN had set an important goal referred to in short-hand as 70-70-60: 70 percent of burials being done safely and 70 percent of new cases receiving proper treatment at […]
“We need to eradicate apathy.” – United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner From the environmental movement to the civil rights movement, history has long been shaped by individual citizens standing up and standing together. This #GivingTuesday on December 2, citizens from around the world will celebrate giving and take action to create change […]
Cooking shouldn’t kill. It’s a simple premise, yet every year more than 4 million people die from exposure to household air pollution from cooking over open fires or traditional cookstoves. Girls and women often spend hours collecting and carrying heavy loads of wood and other fuels for cooking. And the smoke from traditional cookstoves contributes […]