Archive for March 22nd, 2014

22/03/2014

UN Calls for More Young People – Especially Women – to Become Meteorologists!

Human Wrongs Watch

Seeking to increase awareness among young people about climate change and mobilize them as champions for action, the United Nations marked on 23 March 2014 this year’s World Meteorological Day with a call for more young people – especially women – to become meteorologists, a profession which makes a vital contribution to the safety and well-being of society.*

Ice weather in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: WMO/Elena Manaenkova

Ice weather in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: WMO/Elena Manaenkova

“Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth” is this year’s theme for the Day, and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted that today’s youth will benefit from the dramatic advances being made in the ability to understand and forecast the Earth’s weather and climate. “Most will live into the second half of this century and experience the increasing impacts of climate change.”

“Atmosphere and ocean temperatures continue to increase, ice caps and glaciers around the world are steadily declining, sea level is rising and a number of extreme weather and climate events are becoming more frequent and/or more intense,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

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22/03/2014

Two-thirds of World Population Could Struggle to Get Access to Water by 2025

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 22 March 2014 – Some 768 million people do not have access to an improved source of water, and 2.5 billion do not have access to appropriate sanitation. says the 2014 World Water Development Report, released by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Water. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) estimates that around 70 per cent of the world’s water resources are used for agriculture and warns that by 2025 two-thirds of the population could struggle to get access to this resource.
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Drinking clean water. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel | Source" UN

Drinking clean water. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel | Source” UN

The report further reveals that places where people do not have adequate access to water largely coincide with those where people have no electric power.

It goes on to describe the various ways in which water and energy relate to each other, explaining, for example, that energy is needed for the collection, transportation and treatment of water, and that at the same time, water is required in the production and extraction of fossil fuels. Likewise, droughts make energy shortages worse, while lack of electricity reduces farmers’ ability to irrigate their fields.

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22/03/2014

UN Envoy "Gravely Concerned" at Plans for New Israeli Settlements

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on 22 March 2014 voiced grave concern at the Israeli Government’s reported plans to advance over 2,300 settlement units, many of them deep inside the West Bank.
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A settler woman walks past an Israeli soldier standing guard in East Jerusalem. Photo: IRIN/Andreas Hackl

A settler woman walks past an Israeli soldier standing guard in East Jerusalem. Photo: IRIN/Andreas Hackl

“This development is particularly unhelpful against the backdrop of a volatile situation on the ground and as US-led peace negotiations have reached a critical stage,” Robert Serry said in a statement issued in Jerusalem, the UN reportedHe reiterated that settlements are illegal under international law and cannot be reconciled with Israel’s stated intention to pursue a two-State solution.

Senior UN officials have repeatedly stated that settlement plans threaten renewed hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and have stressed the need to avoid actions that negatively impact ongoing peace talks. 

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