Τετάρτη, 27 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

AT VIENNA FORUM, BAN CALLS ON WORLD’S YOUTH TO TAKE THE LEAD ON GLOBAL ISSUES

New York, Feb 26 2013  1:00PM 

The world’s youth must take the helm in steering the international community through its turbulent period of economic and political transition and towards a more  
“prosperous, equitable and peaceful future,” 
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged today, adding that the United Nations was increasing its focus on global youth action to support this cause. 

Speaking at a youth event at the Fifth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, in Vienna, Austria, Mr. Ban told delegates representing  

“the largest generation of young people the world has ever known” 
that the world was waiting for their contribution on a host of urgent issues. 

“I am here today to ask you to help show us the way. The world is going through a period of transition – economic, demographic, political and environmental,”

Mr. Ban said in his <"http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=6622"> remarks, stating that although the challenges are profound, 
“so are the opportunities.”

Mr. Ban underscored the UN agenda for “deepening” its youth focus in programmes related to employment and entrepreneurship, political inclusion and human rights, and education and reproductive health, noting that the world body’s “top priority” was to work with young people “to enhance your lives, the well-being of your communities, and the state of the world.”  

“You have already demonstrated that you are willing and able to take on the responsibility of leadership. 

The world will rely on you to speak the language of tolerance and respect. Your voices need to drown out those that preach division and hatred,” 
continued Mr. Ban.

“The world will rely on your courage and principled actions to lead us on the path of harmony and sustainable development.”

The Secretary-General drew particular attention to a $1.5 million contribution announced by the Government of Germany to support a trust fund set up by UN Volunteers and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to boost youth volunteerism and  

“harness the energy of young people around the world to bring about transformational change in their communities.”

“I hope your presence at this Forum will inspire other countries to follow suit and invest in the future by investing in young people today,” 

he said.

Launched in 2005 through the initiative of Spain and Turkey, and under the auspices of the UN, the Alliance seeks to promote better cross-cultural relations worldwide. 


The Fifth Global Forum officially opens tomorrow and brings together decision-makers, experts, and a variety of stakeholders in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue from all over the world. 

The two-day forum will focus on the theme 
“Responsible Leadership in Diversity and Dialogue.”

Also today in Vienna, Mr. Ban held a <"http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=2721"> meeting with Austrian President Heinz Fischer. 


He also <"http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=2720"> spoke by telephone with the President-elect of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and wished him every success in addressing the significant economic challenges facing his country.

Mr. Ban also expressed the hope that full-fledged negotiations to achieve a comprehensive settlement for the reunification of Cyprus would resume as quickly as possible and reiterated the UN’s readiness to support the process, according to the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.

USA: UN human rights experts call on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

United Nations Press release
GENEVA (19 February 2013) – 
The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, and on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, urged the United States Government to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 
Their call follows the recent approval by the US Senate of a bipartisan bill to reauthorize and strengthen VAWA.

“Since its enactment in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has played a crucial role in providing guidance to state and local level governments, and in facilitating their adequate responses to violence against women,” 

Ms. Manjoo said. 
“It has steadily expanded funding to address domestic violence and, with each reauthorization, it has included historically underserved groups.”

The new bill includes improvements with regard to the criminal justice system’s response to crimes including sexual assault and homicides resulting from domestic violence. 


It also foresees enhanced protections for Native American and Alaskan Native women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims, as well as immigrant victims and their children.

“Following my visit to the United States in 2011, I highlighted the positive legislative and policy measures undertaken by the US Government to fight violence against women, including the enactment and subsequent reauthorizations of the Violence Against Women Act, and the establishment of a dedicated office on violence against women at the highest level of the Executive,”
 

the expert on violence against women said.

Likewise, Special Rapporteur Anaya expressed concern in his report following his visit to the United States in 2012 that numerous cases of violence against indigenous women are committed by non-indigenous individuals, many of whom are not subject to indigenous prosecutorial authority because of their non-indigenous status.

“Congress should act promptly to pass key reforms to the Violence Against Women Act that bolster indigenous tribes’ ability to prosecute cases involving violence against indigenous women,” 

emphasized the expert on the rights of indigenous peoples.

“We would like to reiterate the importance of reauthorizing VAWA in order to build upon its accomplishments and continue striving for more adequate responses from the authorities in providing protection to victims and ensuring accountability for perpetrators,”

 the UN Special Rapporteurs stressed.