The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on 1 May 2015 opened the door to applications for the 2015 World Water Week Journalist Grant. The World Water Week will be held in Stockholm on 23-28 August 2015.
Planet Earth in dew, macro on leaf. Conceptual design. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. | Source: SIWI
Are you passionate about water and development? Have you covered these topics in your work but want a chance to see more, learn more and interview major actors in the water community?*
Have you looked for an opportunity to report on a global water meeting, where world leaders, policy makers, and academics meet representatives from the private sector and civil society to discuss some of the world’s most urgent development issues? Apply for the World Water Week Journalist Grant!
SIWI offers three journalists from low or low-middle income nations the opportunity to visit Stockholm and World Water Week which takes place between 23-28 August 2015.
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 22 April 2015 urged faith leaders gathered in the General Assembly to stand up for the collective good and amplify their voices in support of moderation and mutual understanding, warning that he fears an “empathy gap” is causing people to turn their eyes from injustice and numbing them to atrocities.
Participants at the General Assembly Thematic Debate on “Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation: Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism.” UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
“At a time when we are seeing so much division and hatred, I wanted to bring people together under the banner of the United Nations to explore how best to respond,” the Secretary-General said on the second day of a gathering at Headquarters in New York of leaders representing diverse faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, as well as ministers, academics, and spiritual teachers.
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Humanity is well aware of the devastating damage and pollution it have wrought on planet Earth, and “even with this knowledge, we have yet to change our ways,” United Nations Secretary-General on 22 April 2015 said urging people to reset their relationship with nature and every living being it sustains.*
Workers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, building rock walls and planting vegetation as ways to save arable land and avoid flooding in lower areas. UN Photo/Logan Abassi
In his remarks on International Mother Earth Day, marked worldwide on 22 April, Ban Ki-moon called Earth humanity’s “ultimate mother – an astounding planet that has, since time immemorial, supported life in myriad forms.”
This year’s celebration marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations from Morocco to Uganda, Armenia to India.
“This can be the year our children and grandchildren will remember as when we chose to build a sustainable and resilient future – both for Mother Earth and all those that development has until now left behind. Let us seize this historic opportunity together,” he said.
“But the big decisions that lie ahead are not just for world leaders and policy-makers. Today, on Mother Earth Day, I ask each one of us to be mindful of the impacts our choices have on this planet, and what those impacts will mean for future generations,” he added.
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By Robert J. Burrowes*
As the world continues to engage in various commemorations in relation to World War I, Australia approaches the centenary anniversary of a defining event in the nation’s history: ANZAC Day. On 25 April 1915, and for many days after, Australia suffered savage losses at Gallipoli in Turkey.
**The Gallipoli Campaign | Author: LoudHmen | Wikimedia Commons (details at bottom of article)
Sometimes when we reflect on war, we talk about sacrifice for a good cause. Other times, we talk about the cost, in lives or liberties lost.
Occasionally, we talk about the horror. Sometimes we talk about the gains, nationally or internationally, for freedom and democracy.
And rarely, we analyse the causes of war and lament that one day we might end it.
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Are you or do you know a young person from a developing country with an inspiring story about climate action? If so, the United Nations wants to hear from you.
Tokelau’s low-lying Nukunonu Atoll, is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. UN Photo/Ariane Rummery (file photo)
A global search is underway for a young entrepreneur from a developing country to address a special United Nations High-Level Event on Climate Change, set for 29 June, and convened by the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa.*
The event, which will be attended by Ministers, business leaders and representatives from civil society organizations will take place just months before countries meet in Paris in December 2015 to adopt a new universal agreement on climate change.
“The first goal is to check the pulse of Members States to see where we stand. But we also know the world needs to go further to tackle climate change. We are therefore looking for solutions and inspiration from a young person who is already successfully taking climate action in his or her community,” said Kutesa.
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With the deadline of a post-2015 development agenda looming on the horizon, 2015 is set to be an important year for the security and prosperity of the world’s indigenous peoples, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on 20 April 2015 affirmed in remarks delivered to the opening of the fourteenth session of the Organization’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Opening of the fourteenth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. UN Photo/Loey Felipe
“The future well-being of the world’s indigenous peoples is a crucial part of this critical year,” the Deputy Secretary-General declared. “Now is the time for indigenous peoples to be at the forefront of a transformative agenda that leaves no one behind.”
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Following the loss of some 700 lives after a boat carrying migrants capsized and sank over the weekend, the UN human rights chief has urged European Union (EU) governments to take a “more sophisticated, more courageous and less callous approach” to coping with the flows of migrants towards Europe.
Maltese emergency workers in Senglea collect bodies from the Mediterranean disaster which happened overnight Saturday-Sunday 18-19 April 2015. Photo: UNHCR/F. Ellul
“As we learn of yet more men, women and children who have lost their lives in their search for better and safer lives abroad, I am horrified but not surprised by this latest tragedy. These deaths and the hundreds of others that preceded them in recent months were sadly predictable,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on 20 April 2015 said in a statement.
“The [deaths] are the result of a continuing failure of governance accompanied by a monumental failure of compassion,” he added.
By John Scales Avery*
“With law shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.” Njal’s Saga, Iceland, c 1270.
After the invention of agriculture, roughly 10,000 years ago, humans began to live in progressively larger groups, which were sometimes multi-ethnic. In order to make towns, cities and finally nations function without excessive injustice and violence, both ethical and legal systems were needed.
**Agricultural scene from Ancient Egypt. | Author: Norman de Garis Davies, Nina Davies (2-dimensional 1 to 1 Copy of an 15th century BC Picture) | Wikimedia Commons.
Today, in an era of global economic interdependence, instantaneous worldwide communication and all-destroying thermonuclear weapons, we urgently need new global ethical principles and a just and enforcible system of international laws.
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United Nations officials gathered at the UN Crime Congress under way in Doha, Qatar, on 18 April 2015 called on Member States to take action and implement the new international standards on the elimination of violence against children adopted late last year, stressing that such violence continues to have a devastating effect on children, families, and society as a whole.*
Nearly 400,000 children in Gaza are suffering from psychosocial distress as a result of the 50-day armed conflict in 2014. Photo: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi
The new set of international standards and norms – entitled the “United Nations Model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice,” and approved by the UN General Assembly on 18 December 2014 – aim to not only improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in preventing and responding to violence against children but also to protect children against any violence that may result from their contact with that system.
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