Toilet paper with an important message

Toilet paper with a special message -- end open defecation

A call to end the practice of open defecation will be “rolled out” in a unique way during the UN General Assembly’s high-level week.

Special toilet paper featuring educational messages will be placed in restrooms in the areas of the UN building frequented by delegates to the General Assembly.

“One billion people globally do not have any access to a toilet and have to defecate in the open” is one of the messages on the toilet paper, calling attention to a problem with serious consequences for the health and development of communities. Eighty-two per cent of the one billion people practising open defecation in the world live in just 10 countries.

Another message is: “A child dies every 2.5 minutes from diarrhoeal diseases spread by lack of access to a clean toilet, proper hygiene and safe drinking water.”

The toilet paper calls on users: “Let’s break the silence and end #opendefecation.”

The toilet paper was produced in support of the UN’s call to action on sanitation, launched by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on behalf of the UN Secretary-General. The project was carried out by UNICEF, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the Millennium Campaign, among other partners.

“I think we have seen progress on water, although there are still 780 million people without safe water. But I am sad to say that we have not seen the same pace of progress on sanitation,” the Deputy Secretary-General recently told The Guardian.

“On the contrary, I would say the sanitation goal is one of the most lagging of all the goals, and that is why we have tried our best to speed up the work for achieving it by the end of next year.”

He said he was driven to speak out by memories of the children he had seen die from diarrhoea, dysentery and dehydration. “It’s a very concrete challenge and it’s not rocket science,” he said. “We need to do something about it.”

For more information see opendefecation.org or sanitationdrive2015.org

Social media highlights from Haiti, Iran, Liberia, Pakistan, Somalia and more

Here’s a selection of photos and videos you may have missed posted on UN social media accounts from around the UN system over the past few weeks and shared with our social media team. Thank you to all who contributed!

On a fact-finding mission to Kenya Chinese actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Li Bingbing urged greater effort by governments and consumers to combat illegal wildlife trade by saying no to ivory products. Thanks to @UNEP for posting this photo and more on their Twitter account.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres visited Kuwait recently to personally thank the Emir of Kuwait for an unprecedented donation of USD 110 million for UNHCR’s emergency operation for Syrian refugees. Thanks to @UNHCR for posting this and more on their Twitter account.

At the close of the Global Mom campaign “Mom+Social” event Jennifer Lopez and her sister Lynda talked about their Lopez Family Foundation which is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children. Thanks to @Beatrice Frey from UN Women for posting this and more on her Twitter account.

In Somaliland, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) helps to improve the economic opportunities for women by improving textile quality & production. Thanks to UNIDO Chief Technical Advisor @Sean Paterson for posting this and more on his Twitter account.

Time to study! The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Tehran is helping graduate students of social welfare to broaden their knowledge of the UN by providing a workshop on how to retrieve information about the UN online. Thanks to @UNIC Tehran for posting this and more on their Twitter account.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s wife Mrs. Ban Soon-taek emphasized the importance of women and children’s welfare all over the world in remarks to the “Mom+Social” event. In a related blog post, she further told about her own experiences: “I view their struggles and triumphs through the lens of my experiences as a mother and grandmother.” Thanks to @UN_Women for sharing this and more on their Twitter account.

Meet the Blue Helmets — United Nations’ peacekeeping personnel on the ground. They are contributed by national armies from across the globe and provide vital security and stability in UN missions around the world. Thanks to civilian staffer @Jesus Serrano for posting this photo from Haiti and more on his Twitter account.

Here is Thibault. He is walking for safe streets in Brussels, Belgium as part of the United Nations “Decade of Action for Road Safety” campaign and World Road Safety week. Check out more photos on Facebook from the many events being held around the world. Thanks to @UN Road Safety for posting this and more on their Twitter account. Improving water, hygiene & sanitation access are some of the key priorities for United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, children are standing by the latrines in one of the camps for internally displaced people. Thanks to OCHA for posting this and more photos on their Facebook page. The engineering unit of the UN Mission In Liberia (UNMIL) is working hard on Liberia’s infrastructural development including this 94 km highway, a main supply route for Liberians and UNMIL peacekeepers. Thanks to United Nations Mission in Liberia for posting this photo and more on their Facebook page. Director-General Dr Margaret Chan joined World Health Organization staff recently for a “Long Short Walk” to promote safe walking for all. The Long Short Walk is organized globally in support of the UN Global Road Safety Week (6-12 May) themed around pedestrian safety. Thanks to WHO for posting this and more on their Facebook page.

UN Development Programme staffer Marc-André Franche ‏(@MAFundp) posted this photo from Pakistan and many more from elections there. In a statement issued on Sunday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people and government of Pakistan on successful conduct of national and provincial elections.

Have a photo or video you’d like to see here? Post it on Twitter and let us know by tagging @UN. More updates from: