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The UNFPA Executive Director's Statement on the International Day of Families

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Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin15 May 2014 - Twenty years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, the world community recognized that families, in their various forms, should be strengthened and enjoy comprehensive protection and support. As we prepare a roadmap for development beyond 2015, it is particularly fitting that the theme of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family is “Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals”. This underlines the reality that with well-planned, gender-sensitive, human rights-based policies, families can play a crucial role in development. 

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The Secretary-General’s message on Vesak Day (delivered on his behalf by the UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, Ms Pratibha Mehta)

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It is a great pleasure to greet all those who have come together to celebrate Vesak Day, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. On this day millions of people, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, take time to reflect on the life and teachings of the Buddha, and to receive guidance from them.

I particularly welcome the theme of your celebrations in Vietnam and your desire to explore the Buddhist perspective towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, While the Buddha’s teachings are eternal, the Buddhist perspective is also valuable now as we accelerate our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and steer the world onto a more sustainable and equitable path of development.

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Statement for the International Day of the Midwife 2014

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midwives dayDr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, The United Nations Population Fund and Frances Day-Stirk, President, International Confederation of Midwives

5 May 2014: Globally, in the past two decades, maternal death has declined by nearly half. In the same period, skilled birth attendance has increased by 15 per cent, with two out of three deliveries worldwide now attended by a skilled health professional. With just over 600 days left until the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline, concerted efforts are required to scale up cost-effective interventions in educating midwives and other professionals with midwifery skills. Such investments are critical to accelerating efforts to improve maternal health and achieve MDG5, one of the goals lagging farthest behind.

Access to quality health care is a basic human right. Yet, nearly 40 million women give birth without skilled care, increasing the risk of death and disability for both the mother and newborn.

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MY World: have your say!

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mywo.thunderclap.5The UN Secretary General and President of the General Assembly have called for the development of the Post-2015 agenda process to be the most inclusive and open to date. The MY World Survey was launched in January 2013 to allow citizens around the world to have their say and tell the UN their priorities for a better future. Today, the Global week of action starts. The goal is to reach 2 million votes during the Global week of action (until 11 May). To do that, we need your help!

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The Secretary- General’s message on World Press Freedom day

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New York, 3 May 2014: Each year on World Press Freedom Day, we reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental freedom to receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers, enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Yet every day of the year sees this right under assault.

Journalists are singled out for speaking or writing uncomfortable truths – kidnapped, detained, beaten and sometimes murdered. Such treatment is completely unacceptable in a world ever more reliant on global news outlets and the journalists who serve them.

In conflict areas, journalists often wear blue uniforms and helmets so that they can be easily identified and protected against attack. As we know from the UN's own peacekeeping operations, the colour blue provides no guarantee of safety.

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The Secretary- General’s message on the day of remembrance for victims of chemical warfare

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29 April 2014: On this annual Day of Remembrance, we pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare.

The horrific use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic in 2013 casts a shadow over this year's commemoration. I cannot forget the deeply shocking images I saw. The use of chemical weapons in Syria was a deplorable offense against humanity.

The multinational effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons programme shows what can be done when the international community comes together. Although there is still more to do, 90 per cent of Syria's chemical weapons have now been either removed or destroyed.

I take this opportunity to reiterate that any use of chemical weapons under any circumstances would be a grave violation of the 1925 Protocol and other relevant rules of customary international law.

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The Secretary-General's Message on World Malaria Day

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ban-ki-moon25 April 2014 - World Malaria Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that the world is on track to meet the global Millennium Development Goal target of reversing the incidence of malaria.

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The Secretary-General's Message on International Mother Earth Day

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ban-ki-moon22 April 2014 - Each year, on Mother Earth Day, we reflect on our relationship with the planet that supports us.  The air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that grows our food are part of a delicate global ecosystem that is increasingly under pressure from human activities.  From tropical deforestation to depleted ocean fisheries, from growing freshwater shortages to the rapid decline of biodiversity and increasingly polluted skies and seas in many parts of the world, we see the heavy hand of humankind.  

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First Viet Nam National Forum for Community Forestry

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forestryHa Noi, 14 Apr 2014 - A National Forum on Community Forestry will be organized by the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC).

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