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International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

‘Bigotry is increasing’ Guterres warns, as UN marks the Holocaust27 January, 2019He was then a teenager in Auschwitz and was tattooed on his body to symbolize that he was Jewish. This happened more than 70 years ago but Marian Turski, a 92-year-old holocaust survivor, doesn’t forget any of it. He remembers the torture, the cold temperature and the terrible conditions that he and others like him endured at the hands of Nazi. During the annual United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, Marian Turski expressed that the world should needs to have “more empathy and compassions” and we have to protect our children from catastrophes. His story is riveting and very touching. Other holocaust survivors such as Inge Auerbacher, who were children at the time, talked about the hard times they experienced and emphasized that hatred and anti-semitism need to stop. Some speakers at that event lamented that we have failed those who suffered the horrors of the holocaust by not learning from our failures from that horrible past. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked each January 27, the day when jews held at the notorious Auschwitz death camp were liberated by Allied troops 74 years ago.

First-ever International Education Day

Education transforms lives— first-ever International Education Day24 January 2019Education is essential for sustainable development and is needed for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education isn’t just the basis of Goal 4, it’s vital in order to achieve other goals, including reducing inequalities, improving health and achieving gender equality, among others.The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated: “Education transforms is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace,” he continued “Yet, at least 262 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school, most of them girls. Millions more who attend school are not mastering the basics.” The UNESCO Secretary-General, Audrey Azoulay, went further to say that education is a human right that needs to be protected and it’s necessary “to unlock the potential and innovation we need to build more resilient and sustainable societies”.

5 things we need to focus on in 2019

‘Proving our worth through action’: 5 things Guterres wants the UN to focus on in 201916 January 2019The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, gave a new year message on Wednesday, at UN headquarters in New York, to present his top priorities for 2019. He has a very ambitious plan for the upcoming year and emphasized: “The truth is that the experience of last year proves that when we work together and when we assume our responsibilities, we get things done.”The five main items on his plan for the year are: diplomacy for peace, climate action, progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), better use of new technologies and stronger UN values throughout the world.Mr. Guterres explained that partnerships are crucial to achieve peace, especially on the African continent. On climate action he pointed out that “by 2050, we need to reach net zero global emissions.” He lamented the slow progress made in 2018 on the road to achieve the 2030 UN Development Goals (SDGs). He also said that technology “can turbocharge” the progress for peace and sustainable development. The UN Secretary-General went on to defend the UN values, which he said have been under attack recently. He concluded by saying: “Let’s keep showing all people that we care...Let’s keep proving our worth through action.”

First World Braille Day

First-ever World Braille Day underscores importance of written language for human rightsJanuary 4 is recognized by the UN General Assembly as the national day for the visually-impaired and partially-sighted people. Approximately 39 million people are blind and 253 million don’t have their full sight.The UN Secretary General, General António Guterres, aserts: “Let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for an inclusive and equitable world, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.” This day intends to highlight the widespread inequality that visually impaired people are usually faced with, as documented by the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Braille language allows the dissemination of important information for the independence and equality of the visually impaired. The UN released its first report on disability this year on the World Braille Day on January 4th, 2019.

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

Vanuatu is a small island in the remote South Pacific where about 20 percent of the country’s children miss out on crucial vaccines. Given that Vanuatu is made of 80 remote, mountainous islands with limited road access, it’s very difficult to transport medicine there, especially vaccine\ that needs to be kept at controlled temperatures. Therefore, a drone was used for the first time to transport vaccines 24 miles to a location in Western Vanuatu where a nurse and some children were waiting. Nurse Miriam Nampil, who administered the vaccines to the children, explained: “It’s extremely hard to carry ice boxes to keep the vaccines cool while walking across rivers, mountains, through the rain, or across rocky ledges. I’ve relied on boats, which often get cancelled due to bad weather. As the journey is often long and difficult, I can only go there once a month to vaccinate children. But now, with these drones, we can hope to reach many more children in the remotest areas of the island.”The vaccines were carried in Styrofoam boxes with ice-packs and a temperature device that sent an alarm if the temperature falls outside of the specific requirements. The drone experiment involving the transport of medicine was a first of its kind, and was done using a private company contracted by the Government of Vanuatu. The commercial drone company was selected through a bidding process. The head of UNICEF, Henrietta H. Fore, expressed excitement about the “enormous potential” of this vaccine delivery process.

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