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— UNITED NATIONS —


January 9, 2022

View of UN Headquarters in Snow


United Nations


Photo: A view of UN Headquarters in snow. January 7, 2022. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.


United Nations


Photo: A view of the Visitors Plaza at UN Headquarters in snow. January 7, 2022. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.


Source: United Nations, New York

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December 15, 2021

UNESCO inscribes ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


Unesco, Durga Puja


Unesco, Durga Puja


Unesco, Durga Puja


Photos: Durga Puja inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Images Credit: UNESCO; Ministry of Culture, Government of India.


New Delhi, December 15, 2021 — In an important announcement, the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has inscribed ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 16th session being held at Paris, France from 13th to 18th December 2021. The Committee commended Durga Puja for its initiatives to involve marginalized groups and individuals and women in their participation in safeguarding the element.

As a ten-day celebration, Durga Puja represents the collective worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. During this time, masterfully designed clay models of the Goddess are worshipped in “pandals” or pavilions where communities get together and celebrate. In addition, several folk pieces of music, culinary, craft, and performing arts traditions add to the dynamism of this celebration.

While Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals of West Bengal, India, it is widely observed across the country and in major cities of the world by the Bengali diaspora.

Durga Puja celebrates feminine divinity and a consummate expression of dance, music, crafts, rituals, practices, culinary and cultural aspects. The festival transcends the boundaries of caste, creed, and economic classes and joins the people together in its celebration.

With the inscription of Durga Puja in Kolkata, India now has 14 intangible cultural heritage elements on the prestigious UNESCO Representative List of ICH of Humanity. The recent ICH elements that saw inscriptions are Kumbh Mela (2017) and Yoga (2016).

India is a signatory of the 2003 UNESCO Convention, which aims for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage and traditions and living expression. Intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, words, knowledge, skills - as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces associated with them that communities, groups, and, in some cases, individuals recognize as a part of their cultural inheritance.

Sources: UNESCO; Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

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December 3, 2021

Gita Gopinath to Be IMF's New First Deputy Managing Director


IMF, Gita Gopinath


Photo: The International Monetary Fund’s HQ1 and HQ2 buildings sit amid the season’s first snow. December 16, 2020. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/ Cory Hancock.


IMF, Gita Gopinath


Photo: Chief Economist Gita Gopinath provides the World Economic Outlook during the 2021 Annual Meetings at the International Monetary Fund. October 12, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/ Cory Hancock.


Washington, DC, December 2, 2021: Today, the IMF said that First Deputy Managing Director (FDMD) Geoffrey Okamoto would leave the Fund early next year. Gita Gopinath, currently the IMF’s Chief Economist, is proposed to be the Fund’s new First Deputy Managing Director. Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s Managing Director, announced, “Both Geoffrey and Gita are tremendous colleagues — I am sad to see Geoffrey go. But, at the same time, I am delighted that Gita has decided to stay and accept the new responsibility of being our FDMD.” Ms. Gopinath was to return to her academic position at Harvard University in January 2022.

Ms. Georgieva added: “Especially given that the pandemic has led to an increase in the scale and scope of the macroeconomic challenges facing our member countries. I believe that Gita — universally recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists — has precisely the expertise that we need for the FDMD role at this point. Indeed, her particular skill set—combined with her years of experience at the Fund as Chief Economist—make her uniquely well qualified. She is the right person at the right time.”

Ms. Georgieva noted that Ms. Gopinath’s contribution to the Fund’s work has already been exceptional, especially her “intellectual leadership in helping the global economy and the Fund to navigate the twists and turns of the worst economic crisis of our lives.” She also said that Ms. Gopinath—the first female Chief Economist in IMF history—has garnered respect and admiration across our member countries and the institution, with a proven track record in leading analytically rigorous work on a broad range of issues.”

Ms. Georgieva observed that under Ms. Gopinath’s leadership, the IMF’s Research Department had gone from “strength to strength.” For example, the IMF Research Department now does multilateral surveillance via The World Economic Outlook, a new analytical approach to help countries respond to international capital flows. Ms. Georgieva also praised Ms. Gopinath’s recent work on a Pandemic Plan to end the COVID-19 crisis by setting targets to vaccinate the world at a feasible cost.

On her new appointment, Ms. Gopinath said:

“I am honored and humbled to become the IMF’s next FDMD. Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand and be a part of the hugely important work done by the IMF at the intersection of rigorous economic analysis and public policy. It is gratifying to see the positive impact of our work on economies and the lives of many people worldwide. As the pandemic continues its grip on us, the work of the Fund has never been more critical. I am very thankful to Kristalina and the Board for this opportunity, and so look forward to collaborating closely with all the incredibly brilliant and committed colleagues at the Fund, working with whom has been an absolute privilege.”

Source: IMF

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November 11, 2021

Guardian for International Peace and Security, Gift from Mexico to the United Nations


United Nations, Peace


Photo: A guardian for international peace and security sits on the Visitors Plaza outside UN Headquarters. The guardian is a fusion of jaguar and eagle and donated by the Government of Oaxaca, Mexico. Artists Jacobo and Maria Angeles created it. November 09, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.


United Nations, Peace


Photo: Alicia Guadalupe Buenrostro Massieu, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for November, chairs the Security Council meeting on United Nations peacekeeping operations and Police Commissioners. November 10, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Source: United Nations

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November 9, 2021

Audrey Azoulay Re-elected as the Head of UNESCO with Massive Support.


Audrey Azoulay


Photo: UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay. Image provided by & Copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.


Paris, November 9, 2021 — Audrey Azoulay was re-elected Tuesday to the post of Director-General of UNESCO with the massive support of the Organization’s 193 Member States.

Ms. Azoulay’s re-election took place in a spirit of consensus with the overwhelming backing of UNESCO Member States, obtaining 155 votes out of a total of 169 ballots cast.

“I see this result as a sign of regained unity within our Organization. Over the last four years, we have been able to restore confidence in UNESCO, and in some respects, this has also been about restoring UNESCO’s confidence in itself. First, we regained serenity by reducing the political tensions that stood in our way and looking for common positions on divisive subjects. We were then able to develop a shared ambition, notably by reconnecting with the tradition of leading major operations in the field,” Audrey Azoulay said.

Over the past four years, UNESCO has undergone a significant modernization process to improve the efficiency of its actions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, while hundreds of millions of children and adolescents lost their right to learn, UNESCO once again proved its ability to establish the Global Education Coalition, which made it possible to ensure educational continuity in 112 countries.

Source: UNESCO

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi delighted over Srinagar joining UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)


UNESCO Creative Cities Network designates Srinagar a Creative City of Craft and Folk Arts.


UNESCO Creative Cities, Srinagar


Photo: Dal Lake, Srinagar. Image Credit: Saka Bonetto.


Paris, France, November 8, 2021 — UNESCO announced today that the city of Srinagar had joined the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities. UNESCO has designated it as a Creative City of Craft and Folk Arts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness over Srinagar joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) as a Creative City of Craft and Folk Arts.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said: “Delighted that beautiful Srinagar joins the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for its craft and folk art. It is fitting recognition for the vibrant cultural ethos of Srinagar. Congratulations to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Srinagar joins Chennai and Varanasi - UNESCO Cities of music; Jaipur - UNESCO City of crafts and folk arts; Mumbai - UNESCO City of the film; and Hyderabad - UNESCO City of gastronomy.

Worldwide, 49 new cities have joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay to recognize their commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of their development and sharing knowledge & good practices.

The Network now numbers 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity - crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music - to advance sustainable urban development.

“A new urban model needs to be developed in every city, with its architects, town planners, landscapers, and citizens. We are urging everyone to work with States to reinforce the international cooperation between cities which UNESCO wishes to promote”, said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

“I would like to offer my warm congratulations to India and especially to Srinagar. This is a great recognition of the vitality of the arts and crafts sector in Srinagar”, Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director, remarked.

By joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society to strengthen the creation, production, distribution, and dissemination of cultural activities and goods and services. They also pledge to develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector.

• Here are the New Creative Cities:

  1. Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) - Music
  2. Batumi (Georgia) - Music
  3. Belfast (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) - Music
  4. Bida (Nigeria) - Handicrafts and Folk Art
  5. Bohicon (Benin) - Gastronomy
  6. Buraidah (Saudi Arabia) - Gastronomy
  7. Bursa (Turkey) - Crafts and Folk Art
  8. Campina Grande (Brazil) - Media Arts
  9. Cannes (France) - Film
  10. Cluj-Napoca (Romania) - Film
  11. Como (Italy) - Craft and Folk Art
  12. Covilhã (Portugal) - Design
  13. Doha (Qatar) - Design
  14. Gdynia (Poland) - Film
  15. Gimhae (Republic of Korea) - Craft and Folk Art
  16. Göteborg (Sweden) - Literature
  17. Hamar (Norway) - Media Arts
  18. Huai’an (China) - Gastronomy
  19. Huancayo (Peru) - Music
  20. Ibagué (Colombia) - Music
  21. Jakarta (Indonesia) - Literature
  22. Kermanshah (Iran) - Gastronomy
  23. Kharkiv (Ukraine) - Music
  24. Kuching (Malaysia) - Gastronomy
  25. Lankaran (Azerbaijan) - Gastronomy
  26. Launceston (Australia) - Gastronomy
  27. London (Canada) - Music
  28. Manises (Spain) - Crafts and Folk Art
  29. Modena (Italy) - Media Arts
  30. Nakuru (Kenya) - Crafts and Folk Art
  31. Namur (Belgium) - Media Arts
  32. Pasto (Colombia) - Crafts and Folk Art
  33. Perth (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) - Crafts and Folk Art
  34. Phetchaburi (Thailand) - Gastronomy
  35. Port Louis (Mauritius) - Music
  36. Recife (Brazil) - Music
  37. Rouen (France) - Gastronomy
  38. Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation) - Gastronomy
  39. Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal) - Gastronomy
  40. Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) - Music
  41. Srinagar (India) - Crafts and Folk Art
  42. Tallinn (Estonia) - Music
  43. Tbilisi (Georgia) - Media Arts
  44. Thessaloniki (Greece) - Gastronomy
  45. Usuki (Japan) - Gastronomy
  46. Vilnius (Lithuania) - Literature
  47. Weifang (China) - Handicraft and Folk Art
  48. Whanganui (New Zealand) - Design
  49. Xalapa (Mexico) - Music

Source: UNESCO

|GlobalGiants.Com|

— The editor contributes to the enhancement of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) worldwide.


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October 30, 2021

The G20 Summit starts in Rome.


G20 Summit


G20 Summit


Photos: G20 Summit Working Sessions. Rome, Italy. October 30, 2021. Images provided by G20 Rome.


Rome, Italy. October 30, 2021 — The first G20 Summit hosted by Italy started today in Rome. On Saturday 30 and Sunday, October 31, the Heads of State and Government of the world’s major economies, together with invited countries and representatives of international and regional organizations, will address several critical topics of the global agenda.

The Summit represents the culminating moment of the intense work carried out during the whole year of the Italian G20 Presidency through Ministers’ Meetings, Sherpa meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups.

The Summit takes place in the EUR district, inside the Nuvola Convention Center, globally recognized as one of the most refined examples of contemporary aesthetics. The Media Centre is housed in the Palazzo dei Congressi, another landmark of the area.

Source: G20 Rome

|GlobalGiants.Com|


G20 Italy

Leaders attending the G20 Summit in Rome gather for official family photos. Rome, October 30, 2021.



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October 10, 2021

UNESCO Director-General welcomes Recognition of the Crucial Role of Journalists by Nobel Peace Prize


UNESCO


Photo: UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, addresses an event at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. October 4, 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.


Paris, October 10, 2021 — UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, has welcomed the decision of the Nobel Committee to designate two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, as the 2021 laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize. It is the first time the Prize has been awarded to journalists in 86 years.

“In awarding this Prize, the Nobel Committee has powerfully stated its conviction that freedom of expression and access to information is the very foundation of democracy and peace. These ideals fully echo UNESCO’s mandate. Journalists are on the front lines of the struggle to shine light into the most needed places, often facing tremendous personal risk to do so. Today, they have been rightly held up as defenders of justice and truth,” Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, remarked.

The Director-General particularly commended Maria Ressa. In May this year, Ms. Ressa was awarded the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the defense of press freedom in the face of danger.

Source: UNESCO

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September 25, 2021

The General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly’s Seventy-Sixth Session


United Nations


Photo: Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, addresses the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. September 21, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist.


United Nations


Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres (left), Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (center) and Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, stand in the Economic and Social Council Chamber that the UN would use for greeting High-Level visitors on the side of the general debate of the UN General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. September 21, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.


United Nations


Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. September 21, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Cia Pak.


United Nations


Photo: A moderated dialogue on “Youth in Action: Shaping the future now!” with Vladislav Kaim, Member of UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, and Yande, Chairperson of Transform Education. The dialogue is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment day at UN Headquarters. Juju Chang, ABC News Co-anchor of Nightline at ABC News, moderates the dialogue. September 20, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.


United Nations


Photo: A broad view of the General Assembly Hall as Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. September 21, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist.


United Nations


Photo: Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, takes a photo with UN Staff while attending the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. September 21, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.


United Nations


Photo: Talita Melo (left), Digital Communications Specialist, and Midhfa Naeem, Deputy Chef de Cabinet for the President of the General Assembly, work on video footage of Abdulla Shahid, President of the seventy-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly. September 21, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist.


United Nations


Photo: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. September 25, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Cia Pak.

Source: United Nations, New York

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August 18, 2021

United Nations Security Council meets on the situation in Afghanistan.


United Nations Security Council meets on the situation in Afghanistan.


United Nations Security Council


Photo: A wide view of the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. August 16, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.



United Nations Security Council


Photo: Ghulam M. Isaczai, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations, sits in the Security Council chamber ahead of the Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. August 16, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.



United Nations Security Council


Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. August 16, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.



United Nations Security Council


Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India. August 17, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.



United Nations Security Council


Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres briefs reporters on the situation in Afghanistan after the Security Council meeting.

The international community needs to come together and act with one single voice to say that we want an inclusive government in Afghanistan. We want human rights in general - and women’s rights in particular - to be respected. So we need the unity of the Security Council and the unity of the international community to be able to speak with one single voice, said the Secretary-General. August 16, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Loey Felipe.


United Nations


United Nations


Photos: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (center), Minister for External Affairs of the Republic of India and President of Security Council for August, chairs the Security Council debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations, with a focus on “Protecting the protectors: technology and peacekeeping.”

At left is Secretary-General António Guterres and at right is Hasmik Egian, Director of the Security Council Affairs Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). August 18, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Loey Felipe.


Source: United Nations, New York

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July 27, 2021

IMF presents World Economic Outlook July 2021 Update


IMFJuly2021Report-01.jpg

Photo: International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath presents the World Economic Outlook update. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock. July 27, 2021. Washington, D.C., United States. Image provided by & copyright © IMF.


Washington, DC., July 27, 2021 — The global economy is growing but widening gaps between advanced economies and many emerging markets and developing economies are a concern. The International Monetary Fund said that in its latest update of the World Economic Outlook on Tuesday.

Global growth is forecast at 6 percent for 2021, unchanged from the previous forecast in April. Still, the composition of that has changed, said the Fund’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, ahead of the report’s release.

“Global growth is projected to be 6 percent this year, which is unchanged from our April forecast. However, the composition has changed. We are upgrading growth for advanced economies, and that’s almost entirely offset by a downgrade for emerging markets and developing economies. Next year, we have upgraded growth to 4.9 percent, and that’s mainly driven by anticipated further financial support in the U.S.,” said Gopinath, the IMF’s chief economist.

These revisions reflect differences in pandemic developments as the delta variant takes over. Close to 40 percent of the population in advanced economies has been fully vaccinated, compared with just 11 percent in emerging market economies. That number is even lower still in low-income developing countries.

Aftershocks from the pandemic upheaval of last year pose unique policy challenges. Pent-up demand and supply chain bottlenecks are putting upward pressure on prices. Nonetheless, in most advanced economies, inflation is expected to subside to pre-pandemic ranges in 2022.

“One of the major fault lines remains the pandemic. In addition, we see newer virus variants far more transmissible, like the Delta variant that we see right now. In a world where vaccine access remains highly inequitable, that will have a big hit on the economic recovery. Another major risk and fault line is concerning financial conditions. Suppose, for instance, inflation in the U.S. is more persistent than we expected. In that case, that could lead to a faster tightening in monetary policy, which could then again disrupt financial market conditions. So, these are some of the major risks we are concerned about,” explained Gopinath.

The recovery is not assured until the pandemic is beaten back globally. However, concerted, well-directed policy actions at the multilateral and national levels can make the difference between a future where all economies experience durable recoveries or one where divergences intensify, the poor get poorer, and social unrest and geopolitical tensions grow.

“First and foremost, the world needs to be fully vaccinated, and this requires multilateral action to make sure that sufficient vaccine doses are made available to developing countries. Second, individual governments will need to tailor their policy support to the stage of the crisis. They will have to do this by nesting their monetary policies in incredible medium-term fiscal frameworks. Third, in the case of monetary policy, central banks should look through transitory inflation movements. However, it’s crucial that they remain prepared and strongly communicate what they will do if it turns out that inflation goes up even higher and is much more persistent than expected.” said Gopinath.

Source: IMF

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July 20, 2021

IOC invites Athletes to show Commitment to Building a Peaceful World through Sport at Tokyo 2020 by signing the Olympic Truce Mural.


Tokyo Olympics


Tokyo Olympics

Photos: Olympic Truce Mural Inauguration. Tokyo, Japan. July 19, 2021. During a visit to the Olympic Village, IOC President Bach signed the Peace Wall ahead of TOKYO 2020 Olympic Games. Images provided by & Copyright © IOC/Greg Martin.


Tokyo, July 19, 2021 - Athletes and officials participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be encouraged to show their support for the Olympic Truce by signing the Olympic Truce Mural in the Olympic Village.

The Mural was inaugurated at the Olympic Village Plaza by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020, in the presence of IOC President Thomas Bach, along with the IOC Vice-Presidents, the outgoing members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Tokyo 2020 Village Mayor KAWABUCHI Saburo, Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko and the Governor of Tokyo, KOIKE Yuriko.

In his speech, the IOC President said: “Today we are inaugurating the Olympic Truce Mural here at the beating heart of the Olympic Games, the Olympic Village. It is here where the Olympic spirit comes to life. The athletes show us that, despite all our differences, humankind can live together in peace. That is our Olympic message: yes, it is possible to compete with each other, even for the highest prize, but at the same time to live together peacefully under one roof in the Olympic Village.”

Addressing the athletes who are about to compete in Tokyo, President Bach said: “It is in this Olympic spirit that I invite you to leave your signature on the Olympic Truce Mural, to show your commitment to making a better and more peaceful world through sport.”

During the inauguration ceremony, Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko stressed: “With the arrival of representatives from all over the world in Tokyo, I believe the time of darkness and division caused by the spread of COVID-19 is slowly coming to an end, and a new era of peace and solidarity is beginning. Here in Tokyo, I hope the athletes will add their signature on the Mural, the voice of the Olympic Games for peace all over the world.”

The inauguration of the Olympic Truce Mural took place three days after the Olympic Truce for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 came into effect.

The United Nations has established the Olympic Truce through its resolution entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic Ideal.” The UN passed the resolution unanimously at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2019. It was co-sponsored by 186 out of 193 UN Member States. It demonstrated the UN’s international community’s recognition of the power of sport and the relevance of the Olympic Games in bringing the world together in peaceful competition. The resolution calls for respecting the Olympic Truce from today to September 12, 2021 - seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the Paralympic Games.

Earlier in July, the President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, made a solemn appeal to the UN Member States to observe the Olympic Truce for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated that call last week.

The tradition of the Olympic Truce, or “Ekecheiria,” dates back to the 9th century BC in Ancient Greece as a period during which all parties ceased war and conflict to allow for safe travel to and from the ancient Olympic Games. Today, the Olympic Truce represents the IOC’s aim to inspire peace through sport.

Source: International Olympic Committee

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June 25, 2021

UN Secretary-General Visits European Council


UN Secretary-General

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, briefs reporters during a visit to the European Council in Brussels, Belgium. Also in attendance was Charles Michel, President of the European Council. June 24, 2021. Brussels, Belgium. Image Credit: United Nations.

Source: United Nations

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June 20, 2021

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, asks 'Global Citizens' to Cooperate more Closely.


Ban Ki-moon, UN, NPC

Photo: The cover of “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World” by Ban Ki-moon. Columbia University Press.


Ban Ki-moon, UN, NPC


Ban Ki-moon, UN, NPC

Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He discussed the challenges and opportunities that the United Nations faces in its 70th year, from fostering sustainable development and dealing with climate change to confronting violent extremism. He took questions during an hour-long session. At right is John Hughes, President of the National Press Club. April 16, 2015. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe. [File Photo].


Washington, DC, June 18, 2021 — Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a return to multilateral diplomacy and for people to be “global citizens.” He was speaking during a National Press Club Virtual Headliners Book Event on Thursday.

In a discussion coinciding with the release of his new book “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World,” Ban said global alliances have fractured amid the crises of coronavirus, climate change, and refugees fleeing conflict. He blamed world leaders for not doing enough.

“Why are we not doing more and better? For me, the fault most often lies with the leaders of the world,” Ban said. “Too many autocrats and also dictators put themselves before their countries and before the people who elected them.”

That fracturing of global alliances undermined the world’s response to COVID-19, mainly when the United States chose to withdraw from the World Health Organization, a move Ban called “totally unacceptable.” And he said the wealthiest countries “looked inward first,” meaning an uneven distribution of vaccines.

However, the recent G7 summit in the United Kingdom gave Ban some reasons for optimism as leaders there agreed to share 1 billion doses with poorer countries and reaffirmed their pledge of $100 billion a year for poorer countries to help them fight climate change.

But he criticized the United States, which under the Trump administration, stepped back from the global fight against climate change and withdrew from the Paris climate accord.

“This kind of leadership has shown no concern to the people, and it is only the people on the ground who will suffer,” Ban said. “This is what I found heartbreaking.”

And he said the UN could do more to help, especially in Syria, which has struggled for a decade amid civil war and a humanitarian crisis. Instead, Ban said, it is paralyzed and unable to “deliver timely, effective, and powerful messages or actions because of the divisions among the Security Council members, particularly veto-power members.”

Multilateralism has borne good work in recent years, Ban said, especially in getting 196 signatories for the Paris climate accord and adopting the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But he said there is “so much work ahead,” not only in fighting climate change but also promoting peace in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Israel, and elsewhere.

Ban served as UN Secretary-General from January 2007 to December 2016. His tenure coincided with numerous incidents, including the Arab Spring, nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, the Ebola epidemic, and brutal new conflicts in Central Africa.

Ban, who served as a South Korean diplomat and foreign minister before becoming the UN’s eighth Secretary-General, said his home country showed what is possible. Ban recalled being raised during the Korean War, then coming of age and watching the country grow from a dictatorship to a “stable and prosperous democracy.”

“Without the United Nations, Korea would not be as it is today,” Ban said.

Resolved is Ban Ki-moon’s account of his decade at the organization’s helm during a period of historical turmoil and promise. Meeting challenges and resistance with a belief in the UN’s peacekeeping mission, development, and human rights, he steered the United Nations through a volatile period. As secretary-general, Ban also forged global agreements to fight extreme poverty and address the climate crisis.

Ban performed what has been called “the impossible job on this earth” with a genuine belief in collective action and global transformation. Freed from the diplomatic constraints of a lifetime of public service, he offers a candid assessment of the people and events that shape this era and a bracing analysis of what lies ahead.

The one-hour program streamed live on the National Press Club’s website and YouTube Channel. Thus, it was accessible to both the media and members of the general public.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the “World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists.” The Club has about 3,000 reporters, editors, and professional communicators worldwide, representing nearly every major news organization. It hosts almost 2,000 events per year in its 54,000 square foot facility located in downtown Washington, just three blocks from the White House.

Source: National Press Club, Washington, DC

|GlobalGiants.Com|

— The Editor is a Member of the National Press Club.


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June 16, 2021

Summary of Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communique


G7 Cornwall Summit

Photo: Setting up the US press conference during the G7 Summit at Newquay airport, Cornwall, UK, on 13th June 2021. Image provided by & copyright © Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021.


— SUMMARY OF CARBIS BAY G7 SUMMIT COMMUNIQUÉ —


• Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better


We, the Group of Seven leaders, met in Cornwall on 11-13 June 2021, determined to beat COVID-19 and build back better. We remembered everyone who has been lost to the pandemic and paid tribute to those still striving to overcome it. Inspired by their example of collaboration and determination, we gathered united by the principle that brought us together initially, that shared beliefs and shared responsibilities are the bedrock of leadership and prosperity. Guided by this, our enduring ideals as free open societies and democracies, and by our commitment to multilateralism, we have agreed on a shared G7 agenda for global action to:

We shall seek to advance this open agenda in collaboration with other countries and within the multilateral rules-based system. In particular, we look forward to working alongside our G20 partners and with all relevant International Organisations to secure a cleaner, greener, freer, fairer and safer future for our people and planet.

••••••••

Source: G7 SUMMIT 2021

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June 12, 2021

G7 Cornwall Summit — Summit Meeting Agenda


G7 Summit

Photo: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, United States of America President Joe Biden and Jill Biden pose for the official family picture at Carbis Bay hotel during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK, on the 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Justin Goff/G7 Cornwall 2021.


G7 Summit

Photo: G7 Leaders Plenary Session at G7 Leaders’ Plenary Room, Carbis Bay, during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK, on 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021.


G7 Summit

Photo: Boris Johnson and wife Carrie at Carbis Bay hotel during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © David Fisher/G7 Cornwall 2021.


G7 Summit

Photo: G7 Leaders’ Family Photo. (Back row L to R) EU Council President of the European Council Charles Michel, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, (Front row L to R) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United States of America President Joe Biden, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for the official family picture at Carbis Bay hotel during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 11 June 2021. Image provided by & Copyright © G7 Cornwall 2021.


• G7 Cornwall Summit — Summit Meeting Agenda

• Friday 11 June

• Saturday 12 June

• Sunday 13 June


International Organisations participating virtually: International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank Group, World Health Organisation, and World Trade Organisation.

Source: G7 UK 2021

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June 2, 2021

New US$50 Billion Health, Trade, and Finance Roadmap to End the Pandemic and Secure a Global Recovery


International Monetary Fund

Photo: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva meets with Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), at the IMF Paris Office. May 17, 2021. Paris, France. IMF Photo/Cyril Marcilhacy.


International Monetary Fund

Photo: A doctor holds a syringe containing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Howard University Hospital. March 12, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts.


Geneva/Washington, DC, June 1, 2021 — The heads of the world’s predominant global financing, health and trade agencies have united in urging government leaders to urgently finance a new US$50 billion roadmap to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools. It would help end the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods for 18 months. It would also set the foundations for a genuinely global recovery, as well as enhanced health security.

The leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization [Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala] have issued a joint statement. They say the governments must act without further delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 and more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery.

Leaders of the four agencies said: “By now, it has become abundantly clear there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both.”

The joint statement draws on a recent IMF staff analysis, which stated that US$50 billion in new investment is needed to increase manufacturing capacity, supply, trade flows, and delivery, which would accelerate the equitable distribution of diagnostics, oxygen, treatments, medical supplies, and vaccines. This injection would also give a significant boost to economic growth around the world.

“At an estimated US$50 billion, it will bring the pandemic to an end faster in the developing world, reduce infections and loss of lives, accelerate the economic recovery, and generate some US$9 trillion in additional global output by 2025, “said the leaders.

It echoes economic analysis by the International Chamber of Commerce and the Eurasia Group - both of which make a case for a relatively modest investment by governments compared to the trillions spent on national stimulus plans and lost trillions in foregone economic output. But the critical element of this is that it effectively spurs global vaccination and bridges the equity gap.

“Increasing our ambition and vaccinating more people faster: WHO and its COVAX partners have set a goal of vaccinating approximately 30% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021,” said the four leaders. “But this can reach even 40% through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022.”

The leaders have urged the governments to act on the investment opportunity to boost vaccines, oxygen, tests, and treatment supplies. The IMF, WBG, WHO, and WTO chiefs issued their joint statement as the World Health Assembly drew to a conclusion.

“To urgently get more shots in arms, doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX,” said the four leaders. “Cooperation on trade is also needed to ensure free cross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.”

The IMF, WBG, WHO, and WTO leaders would address a joint press conference later today to outline the new joint roadmap to ending the pandemic and driving the genuinely global and fast recovery.

Sources: IMF, WHO, WB, WTO

|GlobalGiants.Com|




nternational Monetary Fund

Photo: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva walks back to IMF HQ following her interview with the BBC’s Katty Kay. April 7, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock.


Following is the Joint Statement by Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala:


• A NEW COMMITMENT FOR VACCINE EQUITY AND DEFEATING THE PANDEMIC •

— Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO); David Malpass is the President of the World Bank Group; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


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May 23, 2021

IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva addresses the Global Health Forum in Italy, Announces $50 Billion Proposal to End the COVID-19 Pandemic.


IMF

Photo: IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock. Image provided by & copyright © IMF.


• IMF (International Monetary Fund) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s Remarks to the Global Health Summit, organized by the European Commission and Italy, as chair of the G20. May 21, 2021.


Source: International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution headquartered in Washington, D.C. It consists of 190 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty worldwide.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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May 22, 2021

WHO Director−General's speech on Global Health Summit − Italian G20 Presidency and the European Commission − 21 May 2021.


World Health Organization

Photo: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Image provided by & copyright © WHO.


• The WHO Director−General’s speech on Global Health Summit − Italian G20 Presidency and the European Commission − 21 May 2021:



Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

• The World Health Organization is a specialized United Nations agency responsible for international public health. WHO’s primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system and lead partners in global health responses.

• The Global Health Summit took place in Rome on Friday, 21 May. Italy organized this G20 event in partnership with the European Commission.

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May 20, 2021

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) asks Companies Worldwide to Tackle Road Safety Crisis.


UNITAR


UNITAR, Geneva

ENLARGE

Photo: Participants at a UNITAR International Training Program in Geneva. Image Credit: UNITAR.


UNITAR, Traffic

Photo: Traffic Lights. Image Credit: Víctor Villamarín.


WHOTrafficPoster-01.gif


WHOTrafficPoster-02.gif



NEW YORK, May 19, 2021 — The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) collaborates with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) in a joint effort to curb road traffic fatalities in recognition of the United Nations Road Safety Week (May 17-23, 2021).

UNITAR has asked companies and public entities worldwide to download and implement its “Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit.” The Toolkit provides government officials, road engineers, and urban planners with a proven methodology and evidence-based solutions to address road safety issues in their communities.

The Toolkit is accessible via desktop on UNITAR’s website or as a Learning App in the Play Store and App Store for Android and iOS devices. UNITAR is also providing dedicated training workshops to assist governments in utilizing the Toolkit and designing their action plans to support road safety.

The Toolkit and its app provide practical solutions to improve existing road infrastructure to benefit all road users. Among its features, the app provides a checklist to support users in monitoring their Road Safety management progress throughout the different stages of the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” Toolkit’s methodology. This week, the partnership hosted a virtual workshop with public officials in South Africa to exhibit how to best apply the Toolkit to existing faults in the country’s roads.

“We hope that this Toolkit and Learning App serve as a substantive contribution to advance our shared goal of making cities safe, resilient, and sustainable,” said Dr. Deisi Kuztra, member of the Board of Trustees for UNITAR. “The Agenda 2030 reminds us of the urgency to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, thus improving road safety with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, including women, children, persons with disabilities, and older persons,” she emphasized.

For Road Safety Week 2021, celebrated on May 17-23, the United Nations has called on policymakers globally to take action in favor of low-speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h (20mph) in residential areas. The knowledge and materials available in the Toolkit provide governments with a clear framework for practical speed limitations and black spot management, among others.

“As part of our tremendous efforts to expand the accessibility of this Toolkit, we have now made it available in 6 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Portuguese, and most recently in Italian. We hope it will greatly benefit the organizations and governments working to make a positive impact toward improving road safety,” said Catalina Garcia, Global Director of Corporate Affairs at AB InBev. “The app’s methodology has been continuously tested and improved upon through several local projects in countries like Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, and South Africa. We are certain that its adoption will continue to lead to positive results and save more lives, and especially now that it’s readily available on any mobile device.”

Road traffic-related deaths and injuries have unparalleled health and socioeconomic implications for society, particularly in areas with high death and injury rates. According to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.35 million people die on the world’s roads every year, and up to 50 million more are left injured or disabled, a majority of whom are young breadwinners between the ages of 15 and 29. Because of this, the United Nations has set the ambitious goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by the year 2030 as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNITAR and AB InBev’s new app draws from AB InBev’s methodology, collecting data on the number and location of deaths by road user type. It relies on management routines, identifying hazardous and critical road locations where excessive numbers or severity of crashes occur, outlining corrective measures, and implementing and monitoring the appropriate interventions.

The “Management Practices for Safer Roads” mobile app in English is available for free from the App Store for iOS users and the Play Store for all Android devices.

The alliance between UNITAR and AB InBev, through the Partnership for Action on Road Safety, seeks to educate and inform on the importance of road safety. It also facilitates the exchange of experiences and best practices resulting in a long-term collaboration within different factors in society to generate concrete measures that improve mobility and road safety globally and ultimately save lives.

The partnership’s key objectives are:

The alliance also seeks to develop projects on road safety that incentivize taking measures that reduce the various risk factors, such as exceeding the speed limit and irresponsible driving, and the vehicle and road infrastructure design. The initiative intends to socialize this methodology of road safety with governments worldwide and support them in designing and implementing local solutions.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations, and institutions to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future. UNITAR was created in 1963 to train and equip young diplomats from newly independent UN Member States with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate through the diplomatic environment. Over the years, UNITAR has acquired unique expertise and experience in designing and delivering various training activities. It has become a leading institute in providing customized and creative learning solutions to institutions and individuals from both the public and private sectors. With a strategy fully focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNITAR supports Governments to implement the 2030 Agenda.

Source: United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

|GlobalGiants.Com|


Higher Education, Traffic Control



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