In a world in which one billion of the total population is comprised of youth ages 15-24, the United Nations recognizes the importance of engaging this age group in finding solutions for global problems. The increasing global connection through social media platforms places youth at a critical advantage for mobilizing change to diverse challenges around the world.
At a recent event hosted by the U.S. State Department titled “The Next Level of Diplomacy: Youth and Global Engagement,” the discussion revolved around the promise and peril of the world’s burgeoning youth population. In particular, the panel of Farah Pandith, the department’s special representative to Muslim communities, Zeenat Rahman, special adviser on global youth issues, and Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, focused on the urgent need to engage young people in global affairs.
UNICEF is planning a “high-level road map” assessment of the education system in Libya that will improve teaching methods and ultimately bring a higher standard of education to schools, according to an announcement made by the organization in early April.
The release of UNESCO’s 10th annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report comes at a pivotal moment in which the topic of education—particularly girls’ access to education in developing nations—features prominently in global headlines. The remarkable story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, has brought much-needed attention to an issue that is sure to have serious social and economic repercussions for generations to come.
Early last week, the government of Bhutan hosted a high-level UN summit on a topic that isn’t often discussed in the usually serious halls of Turtle Bay: well-being and happiness. The South Asian country, nestled between India, China, and Bangladesh, has never been keen on measuring itself the way most countries do: the size of their economies. They prefer a different measure: Gross National Happiness.
Anowara Upazilla, Bangladesh - This Saturday is International Health Day, a good time to focus on tuberculosis (TB), the world's second largest global killer after HIV/AIDS. In 2010, 8.8 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.4 million died from the disease. Tuberculosis is a global disease, but rates of infection and death are much higher in poor, crowded countries. South Asian nations report some of the highest rates of TB in the world. Last year, I had the opportunity to see how the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria—which works closely with the United Nations and other international donors—was supporting TB programs in Bangladesh.
BEIJING -- Fifty-eight year-old Zhang Hui has never had a problem finding safe drinking water—not in his first village in central Zhejiang province, which the local government demolished to build a wastewater treatment plant, and not in his second village, a cluster of concrete mid-rises next to a textile plant that belches orange-red smoke from three large smokestacks, blanketing the area in a noxious haze.
When the tiny blue-tailed skink was officially reported extinct on the Hawaiian Islands this month, scientists knew only pieces of the story. How and when it happened remained unclear; the impact on the local ecosystem was equally uncertain.