Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Diplomacy for Peace Day, #VaccinesWork, the cost of war on Afghans, tech and well-being

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Top news for Wednesday includes: the first-ever International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, the launch of World Immunization Week, civilians continuing to bear the brunt of ongoing violence in Afghanistan, the need for more regulation in the tech industry, a call for more exercise and less screen time for children, and a plea by the UN refugees High Commissioner not to let extremism divide us.
Multilateralism’s ‘proven record of service’ is focus of first-ever International Day
The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace “underscores the value of international cooperation for the common good”, according to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres marking its first-ever observance on Wednesday.
The UN chief pointed out that for nearly 75 years, multilateral arrangements established after the Second World War have “saved lives, expanded economic and social progress, upheld human rights and, not least, helped to prevent a third descent into global conflagration”.
Read the whole story here.
World Immunization Week starts today
Amid a surge in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced on Wednesday a new social media campaign, emphasizing that “vaccines are safe, and they save lives”.
And on Wednesday night, UNICEF also published a new report, showing that more than 20 million children worldwide missed out on measles vaccine annually, in the past eight years. Full details in our story here.
To inspire confidence in the power and safety of vaccines, UNICEF is using the hashtag #VaccinesWork for the global campaign, centred around World Immunization Week, which runs from 24 to 30 April.
Listen to our interview with UNICEF immunization chief, Robin Nandy: 
Violence continuing to inflict ‘high levels of harm’ on Afghan civilians
Although Afghan civilians are continuing to suffer high levels of casualties due to ongoing conflict, rates are at their lowest level since the beginning of 2013.
That’s according to figures released on Wednesday by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, which documented 581 civilian deaths, and 1,192 injured during the first three months of this year.
That represents a 23 per cent drop for the same period last year, driven by a fall in the number of suicide attacks, as well as an unusually harsh winter.
UNAMA said it was “very concerned by the continuing targeting of civilians” and an increase in casualties from the use of non-suicide explosives by “anti-Government elements”.
There was also a significant increase in casualties due to aerial and search operations, which led to an uptick in casualties at the hands of pro-Government forces.
More regulation on new technologies needed: UN Human Rights chief says after visiting Silicon Valley
After an intensive four-day visit to Silicon Valley, in California, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has urged all States to adopt a “smart mix of measures to regulate new technologies”.
“Finding a smart mix in a digital, networked environment is particularly challenging and requires innovative thinking,” Ms. Bachelet said, on Wednesday, adding that regulation needs to be “flexible and capable of evolving to address the changing needs of this sector.”
Highlighting the urgency of finding solutions to some of the major threats to human rights posed by technological advances, the Human Rights chief said that technology “can, and should, be all about progress.”
But she warned that “hugely invasive powers” were being unleashed by tech innovation, which could do “incalculable damage” without enough checks.
Ms. Bachelet also announced a project to help technology companies incorporate established international human rights principles into their work.
Under-fives’ daily screen time should be kept to 60 minutes only, warns WHO
Toddlers should spend no more than 60 minutes passively watching a screen every day, while babies under 12 months should have none, to ensure that they grow up fit and well, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, as part of a campaign to tackle the global obesity crisis.
In recommendations specifically aimed at under-fives for the first time, the UN health agency said that some than 40 million children around the globe – around six per cent of the total – are overweight. Of that number, half are in Africa and Asia, it noted.
Find the whole story here.
‘Violent extremism must not divide us’: UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Sri Lanka’s attacks
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, issued a statement on Wednesday expressing his “deep shock and sorrow” over the Sri Lanka attacks on Easter Day, and the rising death toll.
The UNHCR chief said he felt “encouraged by the outpouring of solidarity and calls for unity from all corners of the world”, adding that “violent extremism must not divide us.”
Mr. Grandi said the agency would stand by the government and people of Sri Lanka, “a country that has offered protection to refugees of diverse religions and nationalities, at the same time as it continues to recover from its own experience of division and conflict” during its long civil war.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

5 ways for scientists and clinicians to double up on healthcare

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

International community urged to deliver on promise for better future for Bosnia and Herzegovina

World Retail Congress announces Dubai 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

These technologies are playing a major role at the Cricket World Cup

Trump’s trade war splits the EU; Germany upset with Juncker’s “we can be stupid too”

Meet Cipta: the comic book hero using her powers to tackle bullying in schools

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

Kellen Europe Hosts EuroConference 2016

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

COP24: green, gender focus, as UN’s crucial climate change conference gets underway

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

The creative technology and its advancements

How the powerful science of behaviour change can make us healthier

Burned in the Amazonian forest: Your health may be in danger

Election 2019: New, Updated seat projection for new Parliament

Here’s the secret to financing a greener future

Sustainable fishing staying afloat in developed world, sinking in poorer regions

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

The entire Australian state of New South Wales is in drought

First-ever UN report on disability and development, illustrates inclusion gaps

Third EU-Western Balkans Media Days: EU reaffirms comprehensive support to media freedom in the region

Mobility in 2020: a female perspective

How close is the new financial Armageddon? IMF gives some hints

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

‘Proving our worth through action’: 5 things Guterres wants the UN to focus on in 2019

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

Quelling antimicrobial resistance: a clinico-pharmacological exigency

Security Council renews mandates of UN force monitoring separation area between Israel and Syria; AU-UN hybrid mission in Darfur

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

Nine children killed or maimed in Afghanistan every day: UN Children’s Fund

There’s a new global technology race. It needs better trade rules

COP25: MEPs push for CO2 neutrality by 2050

Prisons are failing. It’s time to find an alternative

UN guidelines unveiled to prevent rising hearing loss among young smartphone listeners

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

6 ways China and the United States could jumpstart trade reforms

Interview with ourselves: the mental health of health professionals

Islamophobia is driving more US Muslims to become politically engaged, suggests report

Working fewer hours makes you more efficient. Here’s the proof

MEPs back measures to reconcile career and private life

“Will TTIP solve the massive EU-US unemployment? Absolutely not!” A revealing Sting Exclusive with Tim Bennett from the Transatlantic Business Council

Somalis ‘will not be deterred’ by Friday’s terror attacks – UN chief

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

What is the IMF telling Eurozone about fiscal and banking unification?

Trade Committee MEPs give greenlight to landmark EU-Japan trade agreement

Uneven progress on climate action at Bangkok conference

Anxious gorillas, thirsty koalas and lame cows – how climate change is making animals miserable

‘Do something’; UN relief chief urges Security Council action to stop the Syrian carnage unfolding ‘in front of your eyes’

UN’s Guterres condemns ongoing airstrikes on Syria’s hospitals, medical workers

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

What brands get wrong about China – and how to put it right

Japanese banks to move their European HQ from London to Frankfurt after Brexit

Germany caught with selfish double standards in euro area policy

How China raised the stakes for electric vehicles

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s