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UN in the News

Database important step in migration management policy

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As published in Viet Nam News, 3 June 2011

HA NOI — A database on Vietnamese migrants will serve as a foundation to the Government in building a sustainable policy for migration management, according to a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Department in Ha Noi yesterday.

Head of the department, Duong Chi Dung, said that the database, the first in Asia, revealed Government efforts in promoting safe and legal overseas migration whilst fighting illegal migration activities.

The relationship between migration and development was the focus at a conference attended by Vietnamese and international officials and researchers on migration held yesterday. The conference was aimed at developing better solutions for managing the cash flow and knowledge transfer of immigrants.

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Drugged Out

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As published in Time Magazine, 30 May 2011

It is easy to miss the spirit gate that guards the entrance to Phiyer, a remote village in northern Laos. Half submerged in weeds beside a field of towering sugarcane, the simple wooden structure resembles a set of miniature rustic goalposts. Look closely, however, and you will notice it is strung with roughly carved swords and assault rifles made of bamboo. The villagers believe the gate wards off disease and evil spirits.

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Great expectations

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As published in Thanh Nien News, 20 May 2011

Duong Trung Quoc was all set to hang up his parliamentary boots this year, but a lack of younger representatives has made him a candidate in the National Assembly elections yet again.

However, the seasoned legislator, who turns 64 this year, has no plans to take it easy.

Instead, he wants to make sure that the parliament addresses the rising wealth disparity that has bogged down the nation's development over the last few decades.

Quoc said the prevailing Land Law desperately needs a major shakeup, otherwise it would just continue to fuel social inequality that has rendered an increasing number of farmers landless.

"My colleagues and I have repeatedly urged amendments [to the Land Law] but our calls have fallen on deaf ears. Loopholes in the law have enabled profits to accrue only to certain interest groups and pushed more people into stark poverty."

Vietnam: Sea-level rise could "displace millions"

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Boat on the Mekong River
Millions along the Mekong could be affected

As published in IRIN news, 20 May 2011

For centuries, residents around Can Tho, a city of 1.1m people in southern Vietnam, just 0.8m above sea level, have depended on flood cycles to grow crops.

However, experts warn there is a possibility that sea levels will rise in the delta region around Can Tho due to climate change, causing devastating floods that will displace millions and destroy those crops.

Can Tho is in the wider Mekong Delta, a rice-growing region that spans southern Vietnam and is home to 18 million people. More than half of Vietnam's rice is produced in the delta, as well as 60 percent of its fish and shrimp.

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Inflation in Vietnam will push more into poverty

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As published by Reuters News on 10 May 2011

Poverty will rise in Vietnam as a result of soaring inflation this year so the government must stay the course on price-busting policies, John Hendra, head of the United Nations mission in the country, said on Tuesday.

A UN study showed that poverty increased by 2.1 per cent after Vietnam's last bout of high inflation in 2008.

That year, inflation peaked near 28 per cent in August. Last month, the annual rise in the consumer price index hit 17.5 per cent - its highest level since December 2008 - and it is still going up.

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Spotlight

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72 hours to make the world better for children with disabilities

TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) is an international non-profit organization using design and technology to address neglected problems. The TOM event is an intersection between challenges and technical solutions. Participants with different backgrounds and expertise gather together for a 72-hour “makeathon” and build a product to help someone in need. TOM focuses on inclusive designs with a reasonable price for people with disabilities. In Hebrew, Tikkun Olam means changing the world; and this is TOM’s mission. (See more information about TOM at www.tomglobal.org) Dead

In 2016, the United States Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, the Embassy of the State of Israel, UNICEF, Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD), FABLAB Saigon, and other partners from academia and the private sector will co-organize the TOM event in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a unique opportunity for children with disabilities and families to present their challenges, as well as share ideas of products that would help to reduce their challenges. Based on these ideas, technical teams will develop innovative solutions during a 72-hour “makeathon” to help children have a better life.


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The Secretary-General’s message on Human Rights Day

 

10 December 2015 - Amid large-scale atrocities and widespread abuses across the world, Human Rights Day should rally more concerted global action to promote the timeless principles that we have collectively pledged to uphold.

In a year that marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, we can draw inspiration from the history of the modern human rights movement, which emerged from the Second World War.

At that time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States identified four basic freedoms as the birthright of all people: freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.  His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, joined forces at the United Nations with human rights champions from around the world to enshrine these freedoms in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


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The Secretary-General’s message on International Anti-corruption Day

 

9 December 2015 - Global attitudes towards corruption have changed dramatically.  Where once bribery, corruption and illicit financial flows were often considered part of the cost of doing business, today corruption is widely -- and rightly -- understood as criminal and corrosive. The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our plan to end poverty and ensure lives of dignity for all, recognizes the need to fight corruption in all its aspects and calls for significant reductions in illicit financial flows as well as for the recovery of stolen assets.

Corruption has disastrous impacts on development when funds that should be devoted to schools, health clinics and other vital public services are instead diverted into the hands of criminals or dishonest officials.


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The Secretary-General’s message on World AIDS Day

 

1 December 2015 - This year, we mark World AIDS Day with new hope. I applaud the staunch advocacy of activists. I commend the persistent efforts of health workers. And I pay tribute to the principled stance of human rights defenders and the courage of all those who have joined forces to fight for global progress against the disease.

World leaders have unanimously committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September. This commitment reflects the power of solidarity to forge, from a destructive disease, one of the most inclusive movements in modern history.


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The Secretary-General’s message on the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women

 

25 November 2015 - The atrocity crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress.

I am deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls living in conditions of armed conflict, who suffer various forms of violence, sexual assault, sexual slavery and trafficking. Violent extremists are perverting religious teachings to justify the mass subjugation and abuse of women. These are not random acts of violence, or the incidental fallout of war, but rather systematic efforts to deny women's freedoms and control their bodies. As the world strives to counter and prevent violence extremism, the protection and empowerment of women and girls must be a key consideration.