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Author: Social Media Team

Reddit “Ask me anything” session on eliminating racism with human rights expert Gay McDougall

Gay McDougal, UN Expert on the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of the rights of minorities around the world, is taking your questions on Reddit! Join in at 4 pm (NYC time) on Monday, 21 March. The question and answer session will be accessible via this link: This online event is just one way the UN is marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. Help spread the word on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag:...

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Selecting the United Nations Secretary-General

2016 will see the selection of a new Secretary-General of the United Nations, as Ban Ki-moon’s second term ends on 31 December 2016. Even though there is no limit to the number of terms a Secretary-General may serve, none has held office for more than two terms. But how does it all work? We explain the appointment process here: 1. How is the Secretary-General selected? According to article 97 of the UN Charter, “The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.” This rather general description has been further specified by a range of General Assembly resolutions and the Security Council Rules of Procedure. So this is what happens: Nominations There is no detailed outline for the nomination process. All UN Member States are encouraged to engage and the President of the Security Council is supposed to consult with the General Assembly on a regular basis. Furthermore, the President of the General Assembly has the right to consult with Member States and recommend potential candidates to the Security Council. Nominations have traditionally been made mostly my Member States though there is no rule governing who can make a nomination. As for the timeframe, the candidate should ideally be appointed one month prior to the end of the current term (General Assembly resolutions 51/241 from 1997 and A/Res/60/286). Security Council In the first stage...

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UN Television Series “UN in Action” Records Episode 1,500

In December 2015, United Nations Television achieved a major milestone with the production of show number 1,500 of its short feature series “UN in Action.” “UN in Action” was created in October 1987 when the Department of Public Information decided that it needed a more cheaply produced short format video feature (instead of the more expensive long format documentaries produced then in 35/16 mm film). Over the years the series won many awards at film festivals. The series helped to create CNN’s well known programme “CNN World Report.” In fact, UNTV was the very first contributor to CNN World Report. UN in Action stories won “best report” at CNN on many occasions. The fact that the series remains in production in the six official languages is truly an accomplishment and achievement for United Nations Television. The series boasts a distribution network of some 116 international broadcasters. Several entities – internal and external – post regularly stories from the series on their web pages and distribute them through their own social media platforms. UN In Action highlights the work of the United Nations in the field and works in close cooperation with UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes. Topics range from peace-keeping, social and economic issues, justice and human rights, as well as many other themes. Stories are told from the perspective of beneficiaries, highlighting projects, initiatives and innovative social development...

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Behind the Scenes of the UN Climate Conference in Paris

As we are approaching the end of the UN Climate Conference or COP21 in Paris, we take you behind the scenes and inside the conference venue, which has been buzzing every day with activities ranging from High-Level meetings and press briefings to demonstrations by civil society and showcasing of initiatives to address climate change. Ten fun facts: 1.) Every day, bakers at COP21 make more than 10,000 croissants to feed the 45,000 participants at the conference. 2.) There are 200 electric vehicles to transport delegates, the largest fleet of electric vehicles for an international conference. 3.) There are “recycling guides” throughout the conference centre, usually wandering around near the recycling bins telling people how to separate their trash. 4.) If you’re lucky, you can grab free organic apples, fair trade and carbon neutral chocolate, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. This last one has its own COP21 flavour “Save our Swirl” which is raspberry with chocolate chunks. All delicious and sustainable treats. 5.) Another less conventional snack at the COP – insects. We saw these pop up at the Espace Generation Climat, and then again being offered at a dinner for delegates. Food of the future? Protein for delegates at least. The label says: Good for the planet and good for you. 6.) A giant polar bear was sighted at the conference centre. Rumour goes it even moves! 7.) A giant hashtag greets visitors to the Le...

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UN film wins 1st Place at 2015 MY HERO International Film Festival

Every year, thousands of aid workers around the world put their lives in danger daily to help people in need. Join us in congratulating one of them here, UN staffer Ken Payumo, who has received the “2015 Humanitarian Award” from the MY HERO International Film Festival. In early 2014, Payumo, then an unarmed civilian, was in charge of the UN compound in Bor, South Sudan to which 12,000 civilians had fled to shelter from heavy fighting during the height of the violence that erupted in December 2013. At the time, Payumu found himself facing an official accompanied by 80 armed soldiers insisting on entering the compound. He feared that they would round up and kill many inside. Despite being threatened, he refused to let them in – and the civilians inside remained unharmed. A short film about the incident, made for UNTV, has won 1st Place in the festival’s Human Rights category and also the Ron Kovic Peace Prize. A version of the film has also appeared on UNTV’s flagship programme called 21st...

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