WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 11 July 2015

11 July 201511 July 2015
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 
In this week’s edition of the Top 10 we focus on the United Nations and some of the amazing work they are doing to make the world a better place. We hope you enjoy!


1. Each week the UN News Centre publishes ‘The Week in Review’ and you can subscribe to it via your Facebook page. It’s a great coverage of the major developments across all UN agencies each week.


2. In 2000 the United Nations facilitated a process whereby world leaders came together to develop a series of goals aiming to end poverty throughout the world. These goals became known as the Millennium Development Goals. This series of 8 targets had a deadline of 2015.  The final report on the progress achieved in reaching these goals is excellent reading. Whilst it is clear that there has been unprecedented progress in reducing poverty during this time, there is clearly still more to be done. As a result of this the new Sustainable Development Goals have been developed and they will guide policy and funding for the next 15 years. If you’re not interested in reading these reports in full, The Guardian has a great overview of these issues.


3. The situation in Syria is worsening, especially for the children. Save the Children reports that over 5 million children are in need of assistance. They also site the disturbing statistics that 1 in 3 children have been hit, kicked, or shot at and over 7,000 children have been killed during the conflict. In addition to this the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has released a report that has found that there are more than 4 million Syrian refugees and 7.6 million people displaced in Syria. The UNHCR has a current campaign where you can donate to Syrian families in need.


4. Still on the situation in Syria, the United Nations ‘Tracks’ publication this month features the main aspects of this report with informative content and images.


5. The UNHCR is also working in South Sudan with more than 2.25 million who are now displaced. South Sudan gained its independence four years ago and since that time conflict has continued in the country’s civil war.


6. The United Nations Secretariat, through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has been working in collaboration with several other agencies to develop and install a community-based flood early warning system across 45 vulnerable communities in India. Technology such as this can make a huge difference to communities and their capacity to respond to natural disasters.


7. Back to South Sudan and the Executive Director of UN Women has called for an end to gender based violence in South Sudan and for women to be included in the peace process.


8. UN Peacekeeping is one of the core functions of the UN and dates back to the Cold War. UN Peacekeeping has come a long way since then, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988 and now employing more than 124,000 military, police and civilian staff. You can have a read about the history of UN Peacekeeping on their web page. UN Peacekeeping has just released new data detailing the contributions to peacekeeping by country. Interestingly China is among the top contributors.

9. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) also releases a weekly publication – ‘Refugees Weekly’, that covers the highlights of the week including amazing stories from refugees all over the world. And just continuing our theme of stories on Syria, there is an incredible story about a women’s drama project in Beirut.


10. And for a little more inspiration before we leave you this week, the UNDP has a feature story on life for people with disabilities in Turkmenistan. This program focuses on work that the UNDP has done with the Deaf and Blind Society of Turkmenistan and the enterprises that they have developed to assist people to find work and improve their overall quality of life.


Thanks for your time this week and we hope you enjoyed our coverage of some of the work of the UN. Look forward to your company next week.