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Women in Parliament: Papua New Guinea celebrates the election of two female candidates

UN PNG Resident Coordinator, David Mclachlan-Karr, addresses the 68 women candidates who participated in the first ever PNG Practice Parliament for Women. The UN is delighted to see that two women have been elected to the PNG Parliament.  While a number of seats are still to be decided, the preliminary result is one important step in the right direction to ensuring more equitable gender representation in the national legislature. Around the globe, it has been proven time and time again, that genuine social progress and sustainable development is impossible unless the 50% of the population who are female are...

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2015: Time for Global Action

  “2015 can and must be the time for global action”.  Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations In 2015, the world has an historic opportunity to chart a new era of sustainability, building on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs – global targets agreed by countries in 2000 to address extreme poverty, promote education and prevent disease – have demonstrated the feats that can be accomplished when the international community work together. Extreme poverty has been halved, more children are going to school and investments in fighting malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis have saved millions. Three high-level international meetings in 2015 provide the opportunity for global action: The Third International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July. The Special Summit on Sustainable Development at UN Headquarters in New York in September,  where world leaders will adopt a new development agenda, including a set of sustainable development goals, expected to provide a blueprint for action until 2030. The UN climate conference in Paris in December, expected to result in a universal and meaningful climate change agreement. Other events and activities will be happening throughout the year to involve people everywhere in the year of action, kicking off with a digital rally on 15 January. Join the online conversation using #action2015 on social media and follow the UN MDG accounts on Twitter and Facebook for updates.   Find out about the Millennium Development Goals....

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Guest post: Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron on World AIDS Day

As a Messenger of Peace, Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron focuses on the prevention of HIV and the elimination of violence against women.  She is also the founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP). She shared the following post with our UN Social Media Team. Sometimes it feels like some problems in our world are so large that they cannot be solved. But our progress in the fight against AIDS has renewed hope and shown that each of us has a part to play in making a difference. In the 25 years we have been recognizing World AIDS Day (1 December), we have witnessed tremendous transformations. Treatment is available worldwide despite early fears that poor countries would never be able to afford access. Infection rates are dropping despite stark predictions that the epidemic would overwhelm entire regions. And despite the fact that nobody could imagine these discussions happening 15 years ago, we now talk about an AIDS-free generation and the beginning of the end of AIDS. As a global community, we have seen that joining together for a common cause can better the lives of individuals and families all around the world. Quite literally, our collective humanity has created hope and inspired action, and as a result saved millions of lives.  But we are not finished. Young people are slipping through the cracks and this epidemic will not be defeated...

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“The People’s United Nations” (pUN) Exhibition at the Queens Museum

An ongoing exhibition by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes at the Queens Museum, “The People’s United Nations” (pUN), highlights UN themes, inspired by the fact that from 1946-1950 the UN General Assembly convened in the building that later became the Queens Museum. At a special event in late November, Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information, unveiled a plaque to commemorate this historic site. The plaque reads: On this site, from 1946 to 1950, The United Nations General Assembly convened. “The meetings of the General Assembly that took place in Flushing Meadows hold a special significance in the history of the United Nations. These were the first days of our Organization, and a time when many groundbreaking decisions were being taken at the General Assembly,” said Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal. “This was also an era when we were putting down some of our first roots in New York City – embracing Queens before we made the move across the East River to Midtown Manhattan. It’s a reminder that the UN is connected to its host city in so many ways, and has been for decades.” In addition to the plaque ceremony, New York residents from over 160 member and observer states gathered to use theater games, group therapy techniques, and humor to playfully engage in global issues. Mr. Reyes also presented Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal with a petition from the People’s United Nations General Assembly which calls...

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In the NBC Revolution Writer’s Room with the UN’s Derk Segaar

Derk Segaar (@DerkSegaar on Twitter) returned to South Sudan with the UN peacekeeping mission there (UNMISS). In his previous stint, between 2004 and 2009, he worked first as a journalist and then for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Until very recently he was OCHA Chief of Communications in New York. There are many similarities between the living conditions for the characters in the futuristic NBC show Revolution and the millions of people United Nations staff around the world support in their daily work. Some 15 years into a global blackout, Revolution offers glimpses at the realities of the 1.3 billion people today surviving without access to electricity, many of whom are also caught up in violent, armed conflict. Before the plot of Season 2 was mapped out, two of the most senior UN officials – Under-Secretary-Generals Valerie Amos and Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal – met in Los Angeles with Hollywood powerhouse JJ Abrams (@bad_robot on Twitter) and Revolution’s creator Eric Kripke. The UN offered the show’s writer’s access to UN staff with field experience of life not only without electricity but also areas of the world suffering the catastrophic impact of both man-made and natural disasters. Derk Segaar was the first UN staffer to visit the writers’ room. A five-year veteran of conflict in the Sudan and its Darfur region, Derk is more than familiar with life without power and running water, as well...

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