Listen on the go – UN audio in your pocket

You already do so much on your mobile device — it’s not just for calling anymore, and has not been for several years. Now, in addition to all it does, you can also listen to what’s going on now at the United Nations from UN Radio, as well as audio from UNTV programmes and live coverage of UN meetings and events at its Headquarters in New York.

A new service, called AudioNow, has been available in the U.S. since December, and this month, service has been added in Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, and in Ukraine. This is only the early stages of a larger planned roll out; later the service will be offered in more countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Caribbean.

The UN Audio Channels from UN’s Department of Public Information, working with AudioNow, the world’s largest call-to-listen platform, offer callers the ability to call a local number from any landline or mobile device and listen to:

  • daily news and features from UN Radio in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Kiswahili and Portuguese;
  • audio from UNTV programmes such as 21st Century and UN in Action;
  • daily press briefings;
  • live coverage of the General Assembly, the Security Council and other events;
  • other content from across the UN system, including in-depth interviews.

While we may get the impression that smartphones are everywhere, surprisingly, the global penetration of smartphones is still lower than we might think, even in developed regions like in North America and Europe, leaving significant proportions of feature phone users without apps of any kind. The advantage of a call-in platform, where a user calls a domestic number to listen to programming, is that feature phone users do not need apps, and smartphone users can use their cheaper voice plans rather than eating into their expensive data plans.

Available local access numbers in the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland and Ukraine are listed on the United Nations Multimedia page at http://www.unmultimedia.org/audio_by_phone.html. Call-in numbers in other countries will be added to the page as they are launched.

Call up your local number, in your language of choice — and stay in the loop on new developments at the United Nations!

Aaron gets a taste of reality in NBC’s Revolution: Think.Eat.Save

Guest post by Dana Gunders, Staff Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (@dgunders)

In last week’s episode (“Dreamcatcher”) of NBC’s dramatic science fiction series Revolution, Aaron is jolted back to the present day where energy, food, and comfort are abundant. Seeing a half-eaten sandwich in a street garbage bin, the instincts he’s developed from the ‘powerless’ life 15 years in Revolution’s future move him to eat it.

revolution

Photo: NBC Revolution

The time travel may be science fiction in today’s world, but the reality of food scarcity is not.  There are 842 million hungry people in the world and, at the same time, about one third of all food never gets eaten.  The fact that hunger exists alongside abundance and waste is something that should give each

Wasted food has other costs as well.  It’s estimated that uneaten food accounts for 28 per cent of all land in agriculture and if it were a country, it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions behind the US and China.  Not to mention the enormous financial costs.  In the US alone, $161 billion is spent on uneaten food.

The challenge of feeding ourselves will only become more difficult with over nine billion people expected on the planet in 2050. The UN forecasts that we’ll need up to 60 per cent more food to feed that projected population (with increasingly meat-dependent diets). To achieve this, it’s estimated that about 170 million more acres of farmland will be required along with an 80 per cent increase in yields from existing croplands in developing countries. How will we do this?

Wasting less food has got to be part of the answer, which is why the UN Environment Programme launched its Think.Eat.Save campaign. We must step up efforts to reduce waste.  We can use shopping lists, practice restraint when at the grocery store, and learn what expiration dates really mean. We can freeze food before it goes bad. We can learn how to use up food that’s just a little past its prime and be sure to eat our leftovers. We can treat food with respect, as something we’re thankful for, and as something we know should really not be wasted.

Related information

Follow our Twitter updates via @UN during Season 2 of Revolution. We will continue to highlight some of the facts and real-life challenges depicted in Revolution, and present fans of the show with opportunities to learn more and make a difference.