Friday, July 25, 2008

UN Fights World Hunger, One Country at a Time

Swaziland is just one of many countries currently suffering from the Food Crisis. However, unlike other countries, Swaziland’s situation is currently exaggerated by the worst drought in over fifteen years. In order to better the situation, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization has assisted the local government in establishing "Input Trade Fairs" where farmers are given vouchers which they can trade in for seeds and other necessary tools. This initiative is funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, providing farmers with relief from the environmental and economic conditions hindering them. This program demonstrates the UN’s self-sustaining approach to aiding farmers in Swaziland, giving them long term means to help themselves, rather than direct short term aid.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

712 Displaced Congolese Return Home with UN Help

“Now, I can have a real roof and not live under anymore plastic sheeting,” said one Congolese man to a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) officer. This man was finally able to return to his home in the Northern district of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Previously he was living in a displaced persons camp due to violent inter-ethnic clashes that have occurred since the end of the DRC civil war. He was just one of the 712 citizens of the DRC returned by UN chartered boats to his hometown July 21, bringing the total of returned internally displaced persons under the UNHCR assisted return program to 3,000. Over 1,800 more IDPs are expected to return home with help from the UNHCR in the coming weeks.
Hope and success are increasing in the region as rebel forces are disarmed, stability is rising, and fighters are being reintegrated into society. IDPs returning home are receiving food and agricultural assistance from UN agencies, attempting to rehabilitate war-torn lives and sustain lands ravaged by violence. UNHCR says they hope to complete the IDP return program by the end of the year.

For more details on this story and more from the DRC, visit

Friday, July 18, 2008

UN Unites Kids and World Leaders

In an initiative lead by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), nine kids drafted their proposals for global development and presented them to the leaders of the world's most industrialized nations at the 2008 G8 high-level summit in Toyako, Japan. They served as representatives for the 2008 'Junior 8' Summit held in Chitose City in Hokkaido, Japan. After months of preparatory work, the 39 participants issued the Chitose Declaration, a statement consisting of recommendations for how G-8 leaders can address the issues of climate change, development and poverty, and global health. Among its suggestions is the establishment of international "Green Indexes" to encourage consumers from all nations to buy green. Additionally, the Chitose Declaration advocated the end of politically-based aide and the support of universal educational programs centered on disease prevention, nutrition, sanitation and sexual education. It also insists that governments should not be able to restrict the availability of health education and contraceptives. With the help of UNICEF, young people's ideas are being turned into action and a new generation of proactive, professional leaders is being forged.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reaching for the Top

Have you ever dreamed of scaling Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world? This year, that dream became reality for a group of Nepali women. The first all-female, all-Nepali expedition team successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest in May 2008. Known as the First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition 2008 (FIWSE 2008), this group of women came together from a wide range of castes and ethnic backgrounds to promote tolerance and break down traditional gender barriers. Supported in part by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Food Program (WFP), their climb promoted the Millennium Development Goals by facilitating women’s empowerment and gender equality. The ten courageous women who reached the summit this spring hope that their actions will encourage young girls in Nepal to pursue an education, enter male-dominated professions, and strive for success regardless of their gender or caste.

Read UNDP’s press release about FIWSE

Monday, July 14, 2008

Environment for Sustainable Development

Did you know that the UN Environmental Program is bettering the world for all global citizens? Since its inception in 1972, UNEP has served as the voice of the environment, partnering with governments, NGOs, media, and the private sector to help developing countries while minimizing environmental damage for future generations.

Before the UNEP, the number of governments with environmental ministries was only at 58. Now, there are over 200 governments dedicated to protecting their environments! Nationally protected areas have increased 5 fold, and both the Elephant and Rhino species have been brought back from very near extinction. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by UNEP, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for their efforts to build up greater knowledge about climate change. A UNEP partner program,, has also established a television channel which brings high quality campaign and conservation videos to a worldwide audience. In an age where climate change is affecting both developed and developing countries alike, UNEP's work touches us all.

To learn more, visit UNEP's website above.

Check out at

Thursday, July 3, 2008

US Congress Approves $665 Million for UN

On June 26, US Congress approved $665 million for the United Nations and other international organizations. The money would be allocated for crucial peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia. $141 million would also be deposited into the Contributions to International Organizations account to assist with UN work in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the president approves this bill, a great step would be made in boosting American-UN relations. Citizens in countries where UN missions are active would also experience the benefits of increased funding in their daily lives as the UN works to improve democracy, human rights, and equality worldwide.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

George Clooney on 60 Years of Keeping the Peace

The year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the UN Peace-keeping Forces. Also known as “Blue Helmets”, the UN Peace- keepers have become one of the most adaptable and reputable international forces since World War II. The UN has deployed the forces over 110 times since 1945. The UN Peace-keeping forces, whose members represent 119 countries, are currently fighting to maintain peace, and sustainability in 17 countries ( To find out more information, you can watch this video, or visit united nations