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— UNITED NATIONS —


April 22, 2021

UNESCO, Herbie Hancock, and a cast of Jazz greats to mark the 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day on April 30.


Jazz Day 2021, UNESCO

Photos: Jazz Day Posters from different countries.


Paris, France, April 22, 2021 — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock have announced the program for the 10th-anniversary edition of International Jazz Day, with an inspiring series of performances and educational and community outreach initiatives in more than 190 countries.

Hosted by multi-Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, the 2021 All-Star Global Concert will be streamed live from UNESCO in Paris and the United Nations in New York with a lineup of some of the best international artists performing from cities around the world. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres will speak during the concert. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock will be the concert’s artistic director, while John Beasley will serve as the concert’s musical director.

“UNESCO created International Jazz Day to share the values of a significant musical genre. Today we need Jazz more than ever. We need its values based on human dignity and the fight against racism and all forms of oppression. It is so much more than music. Jazz is the kind of bridge-builder we need in the world today,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, in her message.

“Our International Jazz Day community has displayed incredible resilience, creativity, ingenuity, and compassion throughout the immense challenges of the past year. While the global pandemic continues to make life difficult for so many around the world, the example of organizers from Nepal to Mexico to Cameroon inspires us to greet this historic 10th-anniversary milestone with joy, courage, and hope for the future of Jazz,” Herbie Hancock stated.

The All-Star Global Concert will mark the culmination of International Jazz Day 2021, starting at 9 pm UTC in New York, with performances by:


In Los Angeles, Herbie Hancock will be joined by:


Leading musicians performing from their home countries will be Igor Butman in Moscow (Russia), Ivan Lins in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), John McLaughlin in Monaco, James Morrison in Mt. Gambier (Australia), Junko Onishi in Tokyo (Japan), and Jacob Collier in London (United Kingdom) and more.

In parallel, an array of virtual and socially distanced activities will occur across the globe on April 30 and in the days leading up to International Jazz Day. Independent artists, UNESCO Creative Cities of Music, and organizers worldwide have curated thousands of concerts, webinars, radio broadcasts, charity fundraisers, marathon jam sessions, educational workshops, art exhibitions, and more adhering to recommended public health guidelines.

YouTube, Facebook, jazzday.com, U.N. Web T.V., UNESCO, and U.S. State Department outlets would webcast the April 30 program live.

UNESCO established international Jazz Day in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes it. The day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30 to celebrate the international art form of Jazz. Jazz Day highlights Jazz’s essential role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination, and promoting human dignity. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Source: UNESCO

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 7:50 PM | View the original post





April 6, 2021

IMF announces World Economic Outlook April 2021 Forecast


IMF, Gopinath

Photo: Chief Economist Gita Gopinath poses before giving the World Economic Outlook during the 2021 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund. April 6, 2021. Washington, DC, United States. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts.


Washington, DC, April 6, 2021 — The IMF announced an upgrade to global growth in its World Economic Outlook on Tuesday (April 6) in Washington, DC.

IMF has projected that the global economy would grow at 6 percent in 2021, moderating to 4.4 percent in 2022. A significant turnaround from an estimated contraction of -3.3 percent in 2020 when a pandemic hit the world.

“So relative to our January forecast, we are upgrading growth to 6% for 2021 and 4.4% for 2022. It reflects the additional financial support provided in the United States and the vaccination efforts that will strengthen recovery in the second half of this year. It also reflects the continued resilience of economic activity to the pandemic in many parts of the world,” said IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath.

Gopinath stressed that a high degree of uncertainty surrounds the IMF’s projections as the pandemic is yet to be defeated and virus cases are accelerating in many countries.

That’s leading to diverging recoveries both across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliant on tourism do less well.

“The biggest risk right now is still the pandemic. If there are new virus variants that evade the vaccine, it could lead to a sharp downgrade. But if, on the other hand, there’s the faster rollout of vaccinations, then that could uplift the outlook,” said Gopinath.

She also added that multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways. It could cause inflated asset valuations to unwind in a disorderly manner, economic conditions to tighten sharply, and recovery prospects to deteriorate, especially for some highly leveraged emerging markets and developing economies.

“The second big risk is to financial conditions. We see multispeed recoveries, and we have seen interest rates go up. If interest rates go up even further in a more disorderly fashion than that could have negative implications for several countries, especially for some highly vulnerable emerging and developing economies,” said Gopinath.

Policymakers will need to continue supporting their economies while dealing with more limited policy space and higher debt levels than before the pandemic, Gopinath added. It requires better-targeted measures to leave room for prolonged support if needed.

“Given that we are not out of the woods, it is crucial for policy support to be continued in this crisis. Of course, countries are dealing with high debt levels, so they’ll have to make sure this support is better targeted and well-tailored to countries’ specific economic conditions, the stage of the recovery they are in, and the structural characteristics of the economy,” she added.

She also urged central banks to keep access to money open in the current environment.

“Monetary policy should also remain accommodative while proactively addressing financial risks of using macroprudential tools,” Gopinath remarked.

IMFProjections2021-02.jpg

Source: IMF

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March 26, 2021

WHO, ICAO, ILO, IMO, and IOM issue Joint Statement on prioritization of COVID-19 Vaccination for Seafarers and Aircrew


WHO, AIRBUS

Photo: Airbus Aircalin A320neo on ferry flight. Image provided by & copyright © AIRBUS.


WHO, Ship

Photo: Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas in Bar Harbor, Maine. Image Credit: Corey Seeman.


• Joint Statement from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and World Health Organization (WHO) •

Geneva, March 25, 2021.

Source: WHO

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March 17, 2021

UNESCO Creative Cities Network — Call for Applications 2021


UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Photo: Berlin. Watch-traffic lights. Berlin is a UNESCO Creative City of Design. Image credit: Aleksander Markin.


UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Photo: Gateway of India, Mumbai. Mumbai is a UNESCO Creative City of Film. Image credit: barracuadz.


UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Photo: Downtown Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is a UNESCO Creative City of Design. Image credit: Corey Seeman.


Created in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) fosters international cooperation across cities of the world that invest in culture and creativity as accelerators of sustainable development.

Through seven creative fields - Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music - cities in the Network are innovative with an enormous scope of positive economic, social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Together with its 246 member cities from over 80 countries, the UCCN aims to fulfill the enabling and transformative power of culture and creativity in building resilient, sustainable, and future-proof cities. It thus supports the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local level.

• The UCCN Call for Applications is now open to cities from all UNESCO Member States and Associate Members.

The member cities represent the following seven creative fields:

UNESCO’s Director-General would designate the new creative cities after an internal technical pre-screening and an external evaluation.

Source: UNESCO

|GlobalGiants.Com|

— The editor contributes towards the enhancement of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.




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March 13, 2021

WHO adds Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine to the list of safe and effective emergency tools against COVID−19.

Johnson & Johnson

Who, Vaccine


Geneva, March 12, 2021 - The World Health Organization (WHO) today listed the COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S, developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), for emergency use in all countries and COVAX roll-out. The decision comes on the back of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorization, announced yesterday.

“Every new, safe and effective tool against COVID-19 is another step closer to controlling the pandemic,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “But the hope offered by these tools will not materialize unless they are made available to all people in all countries. I urge governments and companies to live up to their commitments and to use all solutions at their disposal to ramp up production so that these tools become truly global public goods, available and affordable to all, and a shared solution to the global crisis.

The vaccine from Janssen is the first to be listed by WHO as a single dose regimen, facilitating vaccination logistics in all countries. The company’s comprehensive data from large clinical trials shows that the vaccine is effective in those 18 years of age and older.

To expedite the vaccine’s listing, WHO and a team of assessors from all regions adopted an ‘abbreviated assessment’ based on outcomes of the EMA review and evaluation of quality, safety, and efficacy data focused on low- and the middle-income country needs. The WHO assessment also considered suitability requirements such as cold chain storage and risk management plans.

While the vaccine needs storage at -20 degrees, which may prove challenging in some environments, we can keep it for three months at 2-8°C, and it has a long shelf life of two years.

Next week, WHO will convene its Strategic Advisory Group on Immunization Experts to formulate recommendations on using the vaccine. In the meantime, WHO continues to work with countries and COVAX partners to prepare for roll-out and safety monitoring. The COVAX Facility has booked 500 million doses of the vaccine.

• WHO emergency use listing

The emergency use listing (EUL) procedure assesses novel health products’ suitability during public health emergencies. The objective is to make medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the crisis while adhering to stringent criteria of safety, efficacy, and quality. The assessment weighs the threat posed by the emergency and the benefit that would accrue from using the product against any potential risks.

The EUL pathway involves a rigorous assessment of late phase-II and phase-III clinical trial data and substantial additional data on safety, efficacy, quality, and a risk management plan. Independent experts and WHO teams review this data, consider the current body of evidence on the vaccine under consideration, monitor its use, and plan further studies.

As part of the EUL process, the company producing the vaccine must generate data to enable full licensure and WHO prequalification. The WHO prequalification process will assess additional clinical data generated from vaccine trials and deployment on a rolling basis to ensure the immunization meets the necessary standards of quality, safety, and efficacy for broader availability.

WHO has also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, and Serum Institute of India vaccines for emergency use.

Source: WHO

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March 8, 2021

UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education invites Nominations.


International Women's Day, UNESCO

Photo: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. Commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the OECD Convention. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX. [File Photo]


International Women's Day, UNESCO

Photo: Scenes from the United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2020, held in the UN General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York on 6 March 2020. Image provided by & copyright © UN Women/Ryan Brown. [File Photo]


Paris, France, March 8, 2021 — On International Women’s Day, UNESCO launched the call for nominations for the 2021 UNESCO Award for Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Prize awards US$ 50,000 annually to two laureates making outstanding efforts in favor of girls’ and women’s education.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in a context where girls and women have been disproportionately impacted by nationwide school closures, ensuring that girls and women continue learning must be a priority. UNESCO estimates that over 11 million girls and young women may not return to school following the pandemic’s impact. About 128 million girls were already out of school before the pandemic, UNESCO said.

The Prize is more significant in these challenging times than ever before. Highlighting innovations that can help us foster an equal future is key to responding to global challenges around girls’ and women’s education, UNESCO added.


OFFICIAL INVITATION


Source: UNESCO

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February 17, 2021

Switzerland Climbs to Top of Global E-Commerce Index

Switzerland replaced the Netherlands at the top of UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020, which ranks 152 countries on their readiness to engage in online commerce.


Unctad, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland. Swiss cows: Image credit: Nestlé.


Unctad, Switzerland

Photo: Switzerland. Image credit: Eugene Kaspersky.


Geneva, 17 February 2021 - Europe remains by far the most prepared region for e-commerce, according to UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020.

For the first time, Switzerland leads the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, just ahead of the Netherlands. In 2019, 97% of the Swiss population used the internet. The only non-European economies among the top 10 are Singapore, ranked fourth, and Hong Kong (China) in the 10th position.

The index scores 152 nations on their readiness for online shopping, worth an estimated $4.4 trillion globally in 2018, up 7% from the previous year.

Countries are scored on access to secure internet servers, reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the portion of their population that uses the internet and has an account with a financial institution or mobile money services provider.

• Developing countries: Asia leads the pack.

The ten developing countries with the highest scores are all from Asia and classified as high-income or upper-middle-income economies.

At the other end of the spectrum, least developed countries occupy 18 of the bottom 20 positions.

The two largest B2C e-commerce markets globally, China and the United States, rank 55th and 12th respectively in the index. Although both countries lead in several absolute measures, they lag in relative comparisons.

“The e-commerce divide remains huge,” said Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division that prepares the annual index. “Even among G20 countries, the extent to which people shop online ranges from 3% in India to 87% in the United Kingdom.”

Also, in Canada, the United States, and 10 European nations, more than 70% of the adult population makes purchases online. But that proportion is well below 10% in most low- and lower-middle-income countries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more urgent to ensure the countries trailing behind can catch up and strengthen their e-trade readiness,” Ms. Sirimanne said. The index, she said, underscores governments’ need to ensure more people can avail themselves of e-commerce opportunities.

“Otherwise, their businesses and people will miss out on the opportunities offered by the digital economy, and they will be less prepared to deal with various challenges,” she added.

• Changes in the 2020 rankings

The 2020 edition of the index includes a few notable changes from the previous year. In the composition of the top 10 positions, Hong Kong (China) replaced Australia. Among the top 10 developing economies, Oman replaced Turkey.

The four most considerable increases in index scores are in developing countries - Algeria, Brazil, Ghana, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Their scores surged by at least five points, primarily due to significant improvements in postal reliability.

Costa Rica became the best performer in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, replacing Chile. Mauritius remained the highest scorer in sub-Saharan Africa, while Belarus again got the highest score among transition economies.

• Particular focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

The 2020 index takes a closer look at the LAC region, which accounts for 9% of the world’s population aged 15 and older and as much as 11% of the world’s internet users. However, the region’s share of global online shoppers was only 6% of the worldwide total in 2019.

The UNCTAD report notes that five countries account for 92% of online shoppers in LAC, much higher than their share (72%) of the region’s population. Postal unreliability is the region’s most prominent e-commerce infrastructural weakness, particularly in the Caribbean.

As seen globally, COVID-19 has boosted online shopping in the region. For example, 7.3 million Brazilians shopped online for the first time during the pandemic. And in Argentina, the number of first-time online buyers during the pandemic was equivalent to 30% of the 2019 online shopping base.

• Top 10 economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2020

  1. Switzerland
  2. Netherlands
  3. Denmark
  4. Singapore
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Germany
  7. Finland
  8. Ireland
  9. Norway
  10. China, Hong Kong SAR

Source: UNCTAD

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February 3, 2021

IMF World Economic Outlook Update


IMF

Photo: International Monetary Fund. World Economic Outlook Update. Economic Counselor and Director of the Research Department, Gita Gopinath, delivers the World Economic Outlook at the IMF headquarters. IMF Photo/Joshua Roberts. January 26, 2021. Washington, DC, United States of America.


IMF

Photo: International Monetary Fund. Snow in Washington, DC. Pedestrians walk past the International Monetary Fund’s HQ1 and HQ2 buildings during the season’s first snow in Washington, DC. IMF Photo/Cory Hancock. December 16, 2020. Washington, DC, United States of America.


Washington, DC, January 31, 2021 / — Global growth is getting an upgrade. However, prospects for recovery are still highly uncertain due to the race between rolling out vaccines and mutations to COVID-19, the IMF says in its latest quarterly update to the World Economic Outlook report (January 20).

“We are living in highly uncertain times. We are projecting the world would grow this year instead of a severe collapse last year, but there is uncertainty. A lot depends upon the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines and how much policy support can hold up,” IMF Head of Research Gita Gopinath told reporters in a virtual briefing.

The IMF forecasts a 5.5% boost in growth in 2021, after a 3.3% drop in 2020 - the most severe hit to the global economy since the Great Depression.

But not all countries and regions are growing at the same pace, the IMF says.

The global recovery looks uneven, and the Covid-19 crisis won’t be over for anyone until it gets solved for everyone, Gopinath said. Countries need to cooperate and share resources to ensure an equitable and rapid distribution of the vaccine.

“The international community must act quickly to make sure that vaccinations and the logistics of delivery of the vaccine vaccinations are available globally to address what is currently a deeply inequitable distribution of access to vaccines across the world,” the IMF’s chief economist added.

“The health and economic arguments for this are just simply overwhelming. The new virus strain says, as we have made abundantly clear, that the pandemic is not over until it’s over everywhere. And we estimate there the benefit of more rapid progress towards ending the health crisis. It will add nine trillion dollars cumulatively to the global economy between 2020 and 2025, with benefits for all countries, including advanced economies of around four trillion dollars,” said Gopinath.

The IMF recommends that countries with fiscal space continue to use those resources to support those people and companies in need of help in the crisis.

One example many are watching: the Biden Administration and Democrat’s proposed $1.9 trillion support package could significantly boost growth. However, Gopinath said it was early days to assess its impact.

“For the U.S. economy, we have this can raise output, incomes or output in the U.S. by five percent over three years. That’s what we have estimated, including increasing growth this year by one and a quarter percent. But again, to be very clear, this is all still preliminary,” added Gopinath.

Source: IMF

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February 2, 2021

FIFA and WHO #ACTogether to tackle COVID−19

Star footballers, competing team captains will promote equitable global access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.


FIFA, WHO


FIFA, WHO

Photos: FIFA and WHO #ACTogether to tackle COVID−19. Images provided by & copyright © FIFA.


Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, February 01, 2021 — FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is teaming up with WHO (World Health Organization) to promote the need for fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. FIFA will encourage people to keep practicing life-saving, simple public health measures to prevent the coronavirus spread and protect health.

In conjunction with the FIFA Club World Cup 2020, being held in Qatar from 4 to February 11, 2021, FIFA and WHO are launching a public awareness campaign involving star footballers through TV and in-stadium messaging to further promote the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative launched in April 2020, and to urge people to practice mask-wearing, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

“We all have to play our part in the battle against the coronavirus. We are also calling on the international community to #ACTogether to ensure a level playing field about access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests across the globe,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said during a video conference before the kick-off of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, thanked FIFA and the players for helping raise awareness on life-saving interventions that all people can follow. FIFA would bring out the importance of intensified global support for the ACT Accelerator to ramp up development and equitable allocation of vaccines, treatments, and tests to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“Fairness is the foundation of football and all other sports, and this also must be the same when it comes to health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The rules of the COVID-19 challenge are simple: all people at risk from the coronavirus in all countries must have equitable access to life-saving vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. In just nine months, the world has established these three powerful lines of defense against COVID-19. But our goal now is to ensure equitable access and continued refinement of these tools.”

Dr. Tedros added: “WHO is grateful to FIFA for teaming up with health partners worldwide to promote the need for the fair distribution of the tools needed to defeat the coronavirus.”

The new FIFA-WHO collaboration will amplify life-saving messages to a global audience with a series of promotional videos broadcast during the FIFA Club World Cup. In the videos, competing club captains reiterate the critical steps for everyone to follow to tackle and defeat the coronavirus by focusing on hands, elbow, face, distance, symptoms, masks, and opening windows.

“We mustn’t forget that health comes first,” said the FIFA President. “Only by following the advice of our medical professionals will we be able to eliminate the threat posed by COVID-19, and I call upon everyone to follow these steps in their daily lives. This advice not only protects you but also protects your loved ones and those around you. In delivering these messages during the FIFA Club World Cup, I appreciate the support given by the participating teams and their players, coaching staff, and other officials in respecting the tournament protocols and ensuring that we keep the football flame flickering brightly during these challenging times.”

The video awareness campaign will feature players and head coaches from the competing teams at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 and FIFA Legends. It will get published on various FIFA, WHO, and digital channels, through broadcasters worldwide.

Sources: FIFA / WHO

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 11:30 AM | View the original post





January 25, 2021

UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor: Global Investment down 42% in 2020, Further Weakness expected in 2021.

UNCTAD has published its 38th Global Investment Trends Monitor.


UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: Mia Mikic, speaking at UNCTAD’s Non-tariff Measures Week, held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. 14 October 2019. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).


UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s division on investment and enterprise. Speaking at the UNCTAD Investment and Enterprise Commission on 11 November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).


UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: UNCTAD Debt Management Conference. UNCTAD held its 12th Debt Management Conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 20 November 2019. Photo: Jean-Philippe Escard (UNCTAD).


UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: UNCTAD Centres of Excellence workshop. UNCTAD held its annual Centers of Excellence strategic meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. 29 October 2019. UNCTAD Centers of Excellence serve as network hubs for capacity building in the African and Asian regions. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).


Geneva, 25 January 2020 - Global foreign direct investment collapsed in 2020, falling by 42% to an estimated $859 billion from $1.5 trillion in 2019. FDI finished 2020, more than 30% below the trough after the global financial crisis in 2009 and back at a level last seen in the 1990s.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69% to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up entirely to -4 billion, including large negative flows in several countries. The United States recorded a sharp decrease (-49%) to $134 billion.

The relative decline in developing economies was -12% to an estimated $616 billion. The share of developing economies in global FDI reached 72% - the highest percentage on record. China topped the ranking of the largest FDI recipients.

The fall in FDI flows across developing regions was uneven, with -37% in Latin America and the Caribbean, -18% in Africa, and -4% in developing countries in Asia. East Asia was the largest host region, accounting for one-third of global FDI in 2020. FDI to transition economies declined by 77% to $13 billion.

• Trends in selected economies

FDI in the EU fell by two thirds, with significant declines in all the largest recipients; flows to the United Kingdom decreased to zero.

• FDI trend expected to remain weak in 2021

The FDI trend may remain weak in 2021. Data on an announcement basis, an indicator of trends, provides a mixed picture and point at continued downward pressure:

For developing countries, the trends in greenfield and project finance announcements constitute a significant concern.

Although overall FDI flows in developing economies appear relatively resilient, greenfield announcements fell by 46% (-63% in Africa; -51% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and -38% in Asia) and international project finance 7% (-40% in Africa).

These investment types are crucial for the productive capacity and infrastructure development and thus for sustainable recovery prospects.

Risks related to the latest pandemic wave, the pace of the roll-out of vaccination programs and economic support packages, fragile macroeconomic situations in major emerging markets, and uncertainty about the global policy environment for investment will all continue to affect FDI in 2021.

Source: UNCTAD

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January 23, 2021

COVAX announces new Agreement and Plans for Pfizer and Oxford Vaccine Deliveries.


Covax, Geneva, WHO

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Sylvie Briand, Director, Global Infections Hazard Preparedness of WHO, during a strategic briefing on COVID-19 at Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC) in the headquarters of WHO in Geneva. 24 February 2020. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré.


Geneva/Oslo 22 January 2021 - COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level, today announced the signing of an advance purchase agreement with Pfizer for up to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate, which has already received WHO emergency use listing. The rollout will commence with the successful negotiation and execution of supply agreements.

COVAX also confirmed that it would exercise an option via an existing agreement with India’s Serum Institute (SII). It would receive its first 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University-developed vaccine manufactured by SII.

Of these first 100 million doses, most are earmarked for delivery in the first quarter of the year, pending WHO Emergency Use Listing. The WHO review process, which is currently underway, follows approval for restricted use in emergencies by the Drugs Controller General of India earlier this month and is a critical aspect of ensuring that any vaccine procured through COVAX is fully quality assured for international use.

COVAX also anticipates that, via an existing agreement with AstraZeneca, at least 50 million further doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be available for delivery to COVAX participants in Q1 2021, pending emergency use listing by WHO of the COVAX-specific manufacturing network for these doses. A decision on this candidate is also anticipated by WHO in February.

“Today marks another milestone for COVAX: pending regulatory approval for the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate and pending the successful conclusion of the supply agreement for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, we anticipate being able to begin deliveries of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February. It is not just significant for COVAX; it is a major step forward for equitable access to vaccines and an essential part of the global effort to beat this pandemic. We will only be safe anywhere if we are safe everywhere,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads COVAX procurement and delivery.

Preparations, led by WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi, are already well underway for COVAX to deliver vaccines to economies eligible for support via the COVAX AMC, with Gavi making US$ 150 million available from its core funding as initial, catalytic support for preparedness and delivery.

“The urgent and equitable rollout of vaccines is not just a moral imperative, it’s also a health security, strategic and economic imperative,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

“Country Readiness Portal” will be launched by WHO this month, which will allow AMC participants to submit final national deployment and vaccination plans (NDVPs).

“These purchase agreements open the door for these lifesaving vaccines to become available to people in the most vulnerable countries,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But at the same time we are securing vaccines, we must also ensure that countries are ready to receive them, deploy them, and build trust in them.”

The COVAX Facility intends to provide all 190 participating economies with an indicative allocation of doses by the end of this month. This indicative allocation will provide interim guidance to participants - offering a minimum planning scenario to enable preparations for the final portion of the number of doses each participant will receive in the first rounds of vaccine distribution.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT), is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, and WHO, operating with vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT) is a new, ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It was set up in response to a call from G20 leaders in March and launched by the WHO, European Commission, France, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

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January 15, 2021

World Intellectual Property Indicators Report: Trademark and Industrial Design Filing Activity Rose in 2019; Patent Applications Marked Rare Decline


Wipo Report 2020


WIPO

Photo: The Thirty-First Session of WIPO’s Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from December 2 to December 5, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


WIPO

Photo The Delegate of Finland at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2020. The Sixty-First Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 21 to 25, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


WIPOIndia-003.jpg

Photo The Delegate of India at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2020. The Sixty-First Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 21 to 25, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


WIPOMoldova-004.jpg

Photo The Delegate of Moldova at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2020. The Sixty-First Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 21 to 25, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


WIPOFrance-005.jpg

Photo The Delegate of France at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2020. The Sixty-First Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 21 to 25, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


WIPOChina-006.jpg

Photo The Delegate of China at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2020. The Sixty-First Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 21 to 25, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


WIPOUSA-007.jpg

Photo The Delegate of USA at the Opening of the WIPO Assemblies 2020. The Sixty-First Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 21 to 25, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © WIPO. Photographer: Emmanuel Berrod.


Geneva, Switzerland — Worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019 even as the number of global patent applications dipped slightly on weaker demand in IP powerhouse China, WIPO’s benchmark World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report showed.

Trademark and industrial design filing activity increased by 5.9% and 1.3%, respectively. A 3% decline in global patent applications, the first fall in a decade, was driven by a drop in filings by Chinese residents. Excluding China, international patent filings rose 2.3%.

The annual WIPI report collects and analyzes IP data from some 150 national and regional offices to inform policymakers, business leaders, investors, academics, and others seeking macro trends in innovation and creativity.

The WIPI’s 2019 figures, which pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic, underline the long-building growth in demand for the intellectual property tools that incentivize an increasingly global and digital-focused economy, said WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

“The robust use of intellectual property tools shows high levels of innovation and creativity at the end of 2019, just at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Tang. “The pandemic has accelerated long-building trends by fostering the adoption of new technologies and accelerating the digitization of everyday life. Because IP is so connected to technology, innovation, and digitalization, IP will become even more important to a greater number of countries in the post-COVID world.”

World Intellectual Property Indicators - 2020

(An authoritative annual survey of IP activity around the globe)


• Patents

China’s IP office received 1.4 million patent applications in 2019, more than twice the amount received by authorities in the second-busiest country, the United States (621,453). The U.S. was followed by Japan (307,969), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; 218,975), and the European Patent Office (EPO; 181,479). Together, these five offices accounted for 84.7% of the world total.

Among the top five offices, the Republic of Korea (+4.3%), the EPO (+4.1%), and the U.S. (+4.1%) recorded growth in applications, while both China (-9.2%) and Japan (-1.8%) saw declines.

Filings in China declined for the first time in 24 years due to a 10.8% drop in resident applications amidst an overall shift in regulations there, aiming to optimize application structures and improve applications’ quality.

Germany (67,434), India (53,627), Canada (36,488), the Russian Federation (35,511) and Australia (29,758) also featured among the top 10 offices. These offices saw mixed performance. Canada (+0.9%) and India (+7.1%) exhibited growth in filings in 2019, while Australia (-0.7%), Germany (-0.7%), and the Russian Federation (-6.4%) recorded declines.

Offices located in Asia received close to two-thirds (65%) of all applications filed worldwide in 2019 - a considerable increase from 50.9% in 2009 - primarily driven by long-term growth in China. Offices located in North America accounted for just over one-fifth (20.4%) of the world total, while those in Europe accounted for slightly above one-tenth (11.3%). The combined share of offices located in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and Oceania was 3.3% in 2019.

In terms of filing abroad, which indicates a desire to expand in new markets, U.S. residents continue to lead with 236,032 equivalent patent applications filed abroad in 2019. The U.S. was followed by Japan (206,758), Germany (104,736), China (84,279), and the Republic of Korea (76,824).

Patents in force worldwide grew by 7% to reach around 15 million in 2019. The highest number of patents in force was recorded in the U.S. (3.1 million), followed by China (2.7 million) and Japan (2.1 million). More than half of all patents in force in the U.S. originate from abroad, while domestic applicants accounted for around four-fifths of all patents in force in Japan.


• Trademarks

An estimated 11.5 million trademark applications covering 15.2 million classes were filed worldwide in 2019. The number of types specified in applications grew by 5.9% in 2019, marking a 10th successive growth year.

China’s IP office had the highest volume of filing activity[1] with a class count of around 7.8 million; followed by the IP offices of the U.S. (672,681) and Japan (546,244); the IP office of the Islamic Republic of Iran (454,925) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO; 407,712).

Among the top 20 offices, the largest increases between 2018 and 2019 were in the IP offices of Brazil (+22.3%), Viet Nam (+19.3%), the Islamic Republic of Iran (+18.4%), the Russian Federation (+16.5%), and Turkey (+15.5%).

Offices located in Asia accounted for 70.6% of all trademark filing activity in 2019, up from 38.7% in 2009. Europe’s share declined from 36% in 2009 to 15.4% in 2019. North America accounted for 5.7% of the world total in 2019, while the combined share of offices located in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and Oceania was 8.3% in 2019.

There were an estimated 58.2 million active trademark registrations worldwide in 2019 - up 15.2% in 2018, with 25.2 million in China alone, followed by 2.8 million in the U.S. and 2 million in India.


• Industrial Designs

An estimated 1.04 million industrial design applications containing 1.36 million designs were filed worldwide in 2019, representing a 1.3% year-on-year increase. China’s IP office received applications containing 711,617 procedures in 2019, corresponding to 52.3% of the world total. It was followed by the EUIPO (113,319) and the IP offices of the Republic of Korea (69,360), the U.S. (49,848), and Turkey (46,202).

Among the top 20 offices, the following three offices reported double-digit growth in design counts: the Russian Federation (+22%), the Islamic Republic of Iran (+19.3%), and Australia (+10.3%).

Offices located in Asia accounted for more than two-thirds (68.4%) of all designs in applications filed worldwide in 2019, followed by Europe (24.3%) and North America (4.2%). The combined share of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania was 3.1% in 2019.

Designs related to furnishings accounted for 9.4% of global filing activity[2], followed by those related to clothing (8.1%) and packages and containers (7.3%).

The total number of industrial design registrations in force worldwide grew by 7.3% to reach around 4.1 million. The largest number of registrations was in China (1.8 million), followed by the Republic of Korea (358,803), the U.S. (357,959), and Japan (261,669).


• Plant Varieties

China’s relevant office received 7,834 plant variety applications in 2019, up 36% in 2018. It now accounts for over one-third of the plant variety applications filed worldwide. China was followed by the Community Plant Variety Office of the European Union (CPVO; 3,525) and relevant offices of the U.S. (1,590), Ukraine (1,238), and Japan (822). Among the top five offices, China (+36%) and Ukraine (+1.1%) saw growth in filings 2019, while Japan (-6.6%), the U.S. (-1.2%), and CPVO (-0.8%) saw a drop in filings.


• Geographical Indications

In 2019, there were around 55,800 GIs in force worldwide. GIs are signs used on products with a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation due to that origin, such as Gruyère for cheese or Tequila for spirits. Germany (14,289) reported the largest number of GIs in force, followed by China (7,834), Hungary (6,494), and the Czech Republic (6,071).

GIs in force relating to “wines and spirits” accounted for around 56.6% of the 2019 world total, followed by agricultural products and foodstuffs (34.2%) and handicrafts (3.5%).


• Publishing Industry

Revenue generated by the trade and the educational sectors of the publishing industry of 21 countries amounted to USD 67.3 billion in 2019. The U.S. (USD 23.5 billion) reported the most considerable net revenue, followed by Japan (USD 16.1 billion), the Republic of Korea (USD 6.2 billion), Germany (USD 5.6 billion), the U.K. (USD 5.4 billion), and France (USD 3 billion).

Online sales generated more than half of total trade sector revenue in Sweden (50.1%) and the U.K. (55.2%). The U.S. (43.5%) and Turkey (22%) also had a large proportion of their total trade sector revenue generated by online sales.

The U.K. reported a combined total of around 202,000 published titles covering the trade and educational sectors in 2019. It was followed by the Russian Federation (115,171), France (107,143), Italy (100,266), and Spain (95,849).

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information, and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it offers free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

Source: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

|GlobalGiants.Com|

(The Editor is an Alumnus of the World Intellectual Property Organization Academy (WIPO Academy), Geneva, Switzerland.)


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:49 AM | View the original post





January 4, 2021

United Nations: Flag Installation Ceremony for Incoming Non-permanent Members of Security Council.

United Nations, New York

Photo: Mona Juul, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, holds the flag of Norway during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, holds the flag of Mexico during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Martin Kimani, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations, holds the flag of Kenya during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: T. S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, holds the flag of India during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Geraldine Patricia Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, holds the flag of Ireland during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Geraldine Patricia Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, speaks during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: T. S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, speaks during the flag installation ceremony for the incoming non-permanent members of the Security Council. January 04, 2021. The United States of America. New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Source: United Nations, New York

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December 14, 2020

UNESCO and Education International call on Governments to consider Teachers and School Personnel as a Priority Group in COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

UNESCO, SCHOOLS

Photo: UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay speaking at the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. December 14, 2020. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO / Christelle ALIX.


Paris, December 14, 2020 — As countries begin to administer COVID-19 vaccines, UNESCO and Education International, the global federation of education unions, call on governments and the international community to consider teachers and school personnel priority group in vaccination efforts.

“Reopening schools and education institutions safely and keeping them open as long as possible is an imperative,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and Education International’s General Secretary David Edwards in the joint video message.” In this context, as we see positive developments regarding vaccination, we believe that the governments must consider teachers and education support personnel as a priority group.”

Educational disruptions impacted over 100 million teachers and school personnel due to the COVID-19 crisis around the world. UNESCO’s latest data indicates that schools remain fully closed in 27 countries affecting over 300 million learners. Closures harm students’ learning, safety, and well-being, affecting the most vulnerable students the hardest. It also brings adverse social and economic consequences to societies.

The message, released on the 60th anniversary of the Convention that promotes the right to education, praises teachers for their dedication throughout school closures. “When schools and education institutions closed, teachers and support personnel remained on the frontline. They reinvented the way we teach, the way we learn. They supported their students - too often with no training or adequate tools.”

In the Global Education Meeting convened by UNESCO in October 2020, heads of state and ministers committed to supporting all teachers and education personnel as frontline workers and prioritizing students and educators’ health and safety.

Source: UNESCO

|GlobalGiants.Com|


Teachers and school personnel must be a priority group in COVID-19 vaccination efforts — UNESCO and Education International.


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December 8, 2020

Investment Promotion Agencies from Estonia, India, and Rwanda receive UN Awards for excellence.

The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency wins special recognition for mainstreaming gender in investment promotion.


UNCTAD

Photo: UNCTAD held its 12th Debt Management Conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 20 November 2019. The conference was followed by the Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS) Programme Advisory Group, on 21 and 22 November 2019. Image provided by & Copyright © UNCTAD. Photo by Jean-Philippe Escard (UNCTAD). File Photo.


UNCTAD

Photo: UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi presents an award to Claudia de Heredia. UNCTAD’s eTrade for Women initiative. Seven women from across the developing world were announced as UNCTAD’s first “eTrade for Women Advocates” on 24 September on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. These women are crushing the gender gap by building flourishing digital businesses and creating wealth and employment in their countries through vision, passion, and dedication. Image provided by & Copyright © UNCTAD. Photo by Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD). File Photo.


UNCTAD

Photo: UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi presents an award to Xiaofei Yao. UNCTAD’s eTrade for Women initiative. Seven women from across the developing world were announced as UNCTAD’s first “eTrade for Women Advocates” on 24 September on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. These women are crushing the gender gap by building flourishing digital businesses and creating wealth and employment in their countries through vision, passion, and dedication. Image provided by & Copyright © UNCTAD. Photo by Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD). File Photo.


Geneva, Switzerland, 8 December 2020 — UNCTAD has awarded three investment promotion agencies for their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) announced the winners during the 2020 Global Investment Promotion Conference, a satellite event of the World Investment Forum, organized by UNCTAD in partnership with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA).

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, and WAIPA President, Fahad Al Gergawi, opened the two-day online event on 7 December.

“The pandemic has brought to light the critical role of investment promotion agencies and other government institutions, such as special economic zones,” Dr. Kituyi said.

“As many undergo a re-strategizing process, they need to stay informed of investment megatrends and policy evolution and understand the consequences for investment promotion.”

The high-level inaugural session brought together business leaders and high-level representatives of international organizations to debate investment prospects, new ways to attract investment beyond the pandemic, and governments’ strategic reorientation.

The President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, delivered keynote addresses.

The session concluded with the UN Investment Promotion Awards presentation by UNCTAD’s director of investment and enterprise, James Zhan.

Winning agencies commit to innovation.

These partnerships focus on developing new skills in the labor force, securing safety in the tourism sector, and promoting digitalization, among others.

Special gender award

This year, UNCTAD gave a special award recognizing agencies’ effort to mainstream gender in investment promotion as part of broader work on gender and investment.

Since 2002, UNCTAD has awarded 60 investment promotion agencies and other organizations from 49 countries to promote sustainable development investment.

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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November 21, 2020

G20 Leaders' Family Photo from Today's Opening Session of the G20 Riyadh Summit


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 21, 2020 — The Saudi G20 Presidency has shared a leaders’ family photo from today’s opening session of the G20 Riyadh Summit.


G20 Summit

ENLARGE


Photo: G20 Leaders’ Family Photo from Today’s Opening Session of the G20 Riyadh Summit. Image provided by Saudi G20 Presidency.

Source: Saudi G20 Presidency

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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October 24, 2020

Member States Sign Preamble of UN Charter to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

United Nations Charter

Photo: To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (24 October), Volkan Bozkir, President of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, has invited all Member and Observer States to sign the preamble of the UN Charter as a symbolic gesture of recommitment to its principles. The signed poster will be displayed in the General Assembly Hall on 26 October, during the mandated General Assembly UN Day observance event.

Secretary-General António Guterres signs the Preamble of the UN Charter. 22 October 2020. New York, United States of America. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.


United Nations Charter

Photo: To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (24 October), Volkan Bozkir, President of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, has invited all Member and Observer States to sign the preamble of the UN Charter as a symbolic gesture of recommitment to its principles. The signed poster will be displayed in the General Assembly Hall on 26 October, during the mandated General Assembly UN Day observance event.

The photo shows a view of the Preamble of the UN Charter. 22 October 2020. New York, United States of America. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.


United Nations Charter

Photo: To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (24 October), Volkan Bozkir, President of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, has invited all Member and Observer States to sign the preamble of the UN Charter as a symbolic gesture of recommitment to its principles. The signed poster will be displayed in the General Assembly Hall on 26 October, during the mandated General Assembly UN Day observance event.

Secretary-General António Guterres poses in front of the Preamble of the UN Charter. 22 October 2020. New York, United States of America. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.

Source: United Nations, New York

|GlobalGiants.Com|



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October 23, 2020

Heads of State & Government at Extraordinary UNESCO Meeting recommit to Education and its Financing during and after the Pandemic.

Unesco Education

Photo: UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay at the Global Education Meeting. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.


Unesco Education

Photo: Global Education Meeting. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.


Paris, October 23, 2020 — Heads of State & Government, Ministers from over 70 countries, and international partners met online in an extraordinary Global Education Meeting convened by UNESCO, the governments of Ghana, Norway, and the United Kingdom on October 22. They adopted a Declaration expressing a strong commitment to protecting education financing and outlining measures to be chosen over the next year to safeguard education from the devastating impact of the disruption caused by COVID19.

“At a time when countries are making difficult choices and trade-offs to turn societies around, education must be our top priority, our pillar for recovery. And yet only a minuscule share - on average less than 1% - has been set aside for education and training in national stimulus packages. Financing education is not a cost: it is our most crucial long-term investment. If we do not allocate this funding now, we will face a bleaker future,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

The meeting brought together the UN’s Secretary-General, the Presidents of Angola, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Portugal, and Rwanda. The Prime Ministers of Italy, Morocco, Norway, and Spain, the Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, and SDG Advocate Queen Mathilde of Belgium attended the meeting.

Over 65 ministers of education from the five continents took the floor in the meeting to share measures to counter the pandemic’s impact on learning, along with multilateral and regional organizations, the Global Partnership for Education, and the Education Above All Foundation, among others.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underlined that education is the solution, and financing and political will are critical.

Affirming that “education is at the heart of the EU’s investment in development,” the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, announced, “the decision to increase EU financing of assistance to education in partner countries under my responsibility from 7% to 10%.”

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy declared that quality education would be one of the pillars of the Italian G20 presidency in 2021, focusing on people, the planet, and prosperity.

The UK’s Special Envoy for Education, Baroness Sugg, highlighted the United Kingdom’s G7 presidency’s focus. “The UK is standing up for every girl’s right to 12 years of quality education. It is putting this issue at the heart of our G7 Presidency and co-hosting a major Global Education Summit next year to raise funds to get children into school and build back better from coronavirus,” she said.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, co-host of the meeting, stated that “two elements are important for rapid recovery: financing and political commitment. In many cases, the right to education will remain an empty promise unless education spending increases. We need to mobilize more international financing for global education.”

The endorsed Declaration defines priority actions that are essential for educational recovery in the coming 15 months:

  1. Taking every measure to reopen schools safely and inclusively;
  2. Supporting all teachers as frontline workers and paying heed to their training and professional development;
  3. Investing in skills development from the socio-emotional dimension to gaining competences for new jobs;
  4. Narrowing the digital divide that has shut out education for one-third of the world’s students.

These priority actions require that education budgets be at least protected, if not increased.

In the Declaration, governments and partners state their commitment to:

  1. Maintain or increase the share of public spending on education to at least 4-6% of GDP and 15-20% of public expenditure;
  2. Ensure that stimulus packages support measures that will mitigate learning losses and get the most vulnerable back to school;
  3. Increase the volume, predictability, and effectiveness of international aid;
  4. target assistance to countries and populations most in need, including those not reached by government programs.

The endorsed Declaration also condemns recent attacks on teachers, students, and schools and reaffirms education and teachers’ role.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said that Kenya “included a large education component in our economic stimulus package.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that “the modernization of our education system is a priority for this Government,” and “that education and professional development would become a cross-cutting policy involving all government ministries.

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque Marquez asserted that the pandemic brought understanding that education is the most important public policy tool to transform societies.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, who has supported UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, stated that “all countries face huge pressures. But to try to balance the books at the expense of education would be utterly self-defeating, as well as morally indefensible.”

In their interventions, numerous participants recognized UNESCO’s role in improving global education coordination to accelerate progress towards SDG4.

As part of the Global Education Meeting, a group of global organizations called for urgent investment in education to prevent a generational catastrophe.

Source: UNESCO, Paris

|GlobalGiants.Com|


Quote

“The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel, and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education.”

— John Ruskin.


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September 27, 2020

Virtuoso violinist Renaud Capuçon designated UNESCO Artist for Peace

Unesco Peace Artist

Unesco Peace Artist

Photos: Reception ceremony for Mr. Renaud Capuçon as a Unesco Artist for Peace. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. September 22, 2020. Images provided by & copyright © UNESCO / Fabrice GENTILE.


Paris, France, September 26 — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay named Renaud Capuçon, internationally renowned French violinist, as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on September 22.

Mr. Capuçon takes up the torch held by extraordinary musicians who have put their fame at UNESCO’s service, such as Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovitch, who served respectively from 1992 to 1999 and from 1998 to 2007, and with whom Renaud Capuçon performed.

In his capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, he will contribute to raising awareness about the Organization and supporting priorities and activities around artistic and cultural education, the diversity of cultural expressions, and a culture of peace.

Born in Chambery, Savoie, France, Renaud Capuçon entered the conservatory at four. He is a virtuoso violinist, endowed with talent and energy unanimously praised, and as a humanist devoted to the transmission of music. He founded several music festivals, in particular, “Les Rencontres artistiques de Bel-Air” near his hometown and the Easter Festival of Aix en Provence, hosting the most excellent musicians in the world.

After the ceremony, standing at the edge of the UNESCO vegetable garden, Mr. Capuçon performed Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Melody from Orfeo on his famous Guarnerius, which belonged to the Vicomte de Panette, to the pleasure of guests and gardeners.

UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities who use their influence, character, and prestige to promote the Organization’s message and programs. UNESCO works in partnership with other Artists for Peace, such as Valery Gergiev, Kudsi Erguner, and N. Scott Momaday, to advance culture and creation in the name of peace.

Source: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

|GlobalGiants.Com|


The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Audrey Azoulay, has appointed the world-famous French violinist Renaud Capuçon, UNESCO Artist for Peace at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.


Renaud Capuçon - Violin Concerto No. 3 - Mozart - Verbier Festival


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September 23, 2020

UN General Assembly Holds High-level Meeting to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of United Nations; General Debate of the General Assembly's Seventy-Fifth Session is now Open.

United Nations, New York

Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres (at podium) addresses the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-fifth session. 22 September 2020. New York, United States of America. UN Photo/Mark Garten.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Donald J. Trump (on screens), President of the United States of America, addresses the General Assembly’s seventy-fifth session’s general debate.

Seated at dais are Secretary-General António Guterres (at right) and Volkan Bozkir, President of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly.

22 September 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Amal Mudallali, Vice-President of the 75th session of the General Assembly and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Lebanon chairs the General Assembly’s high-level meeting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations. 21 September 2020. New York, United States of America. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.


United Nations, New York

Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres makes remarks to the General Assembly’s high-level meeting to commemorate the United Nations’ seventy-fifth anniversary. 21 September 2020. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.


United Nations, New York

Photo: Volkan Bozkir, President of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, suspends the General Assembly’s high-level meeting to commemorate the United Nations’ seventy-fifth anniversary. 21 September 2020. New York, United States of America. UN Photo/Manuel Elías.

Source: United Nations, New York

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