Thursday, May 26, 2011

UNICEF: Investing in adolescents can break cycles of poverty and inequity

Investing in the world’s 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10-19 now can break entrenched cycles of poverty and inequity, according to UNICEF’s 2011 State of the World’s Children report entitled Adolescence: An Age of Opportunity’.

"Strong investments during the last two decades have resulted in enormous gains for young children up to the age of 10. The 33 per cent drop in the global under-five mortality rate shows that many more young lives have been saved, in most of the world ‘s regions girls are almost as likely as boys to go to primary school, and millions of children now benefit from improved access to safe water and critical medicines such as routine vaccinations.


New York, (UN NEWS)- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of more than 100 countries to assist in “urgent global action” to combat the threat posed by climate change.

He said climate change was one of three fields “in which joint action by the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement is essential.” The others were building a safer world, and fighting extreme poverty.

In remarks delivered to NAM’s 50th anniversary meeting in Bali, delivered by El-Mostafa Benlamlih, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Mr. Ban said that “the threat posed by climate change continues to require urgent global action.”

The Secretary-General told ministers from the member countries of NAM that “governments must implement fully all the agreements made at Cancún, including on climate finance, protecting forests, adaptation, and technology.”

In Cancún last December, at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), some 190 countries made commitments to formalize mitigation pledges and ensure increased accountability for them, as well as to take concrete action to tackle deforestation, which account for nearly one fifth of global carbon emissions.

“National efforts on the ground must be accelerated to curb emissions and strengthen climate resilience,” he said. “As always, the UN stands ready to support these efforts, including in the vitally important area of energy access, energy efficiency, and clean energy.”

Turning to the challenge of eliminating extreme poverty, the Secretary-General said: “The budget crisis around the world should not be an excuse to abandon commitments. Now is the time to strengthen the global partnership for development.”

Mr. Ban complimented NAM’s efforts to try to build a safer world through responding early to emerging crises.

“Preventive action is more prudent and principled than waiting to respond to full-blown conflicts.  It saves scarce resources and, more importantly, it saves lives. Conflict prevention is also intrinsically linked to our efforts to lift countries from poverty.”

The Secretary-General, noting that the Bali conference marked the 50th anniversary of the NAM, said: “Fifty years ago, many countries were still living under colonialism. The military and ideological competition between the two superpowers threatened unprecedented destruction. Sweeping changes were taking place throughout the world. From its beginning, the Non-Aligned Movement understood that there is no alternative to multilateralism.”

He complimented NAM’s principles of “respect for human rights, equality of all races and all nations, peaceful settlement of disputes, and international cooperation,” and said “a commitment to these universal values led to some of the Movement’s most important achievements, including decolonization and concerted action to resolve many conflicts. While new challenges have emerged, the values at the heart of the Non-Aligned Movement remain relevant today.”


Thursday, May 19, 2011


New York, (UN NEWS)- One in six people living in the Western Balkans region has been exposed to some form of bribery with a public official in the past year, according to a new survey released by the United Nations anti-crime agency.
  The survey of 28,000 people – issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and funded by the European Commission – found that corruption is the third-most pressing issue for residents of the region after jobs and poverty, well ahead of security or education.
  Bribes remain common in many daily encounters, the report noted, with payments frequently given to doctors, police officers, nurses and municipal officers, and an average of four to 10 bribes paid out by a person each year.

UNESCO launches second edition of legal survey on public service broadcasting

Cover page of the book
18-05-2011 (Geneva)- UNESCO has launched the second, updated and revised, edition of the publication Public Service Broadcasting: a Comparative Legal Survey. The launch took place today at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, during the the meeting on Media Regulation: Broadcasters and Social Media.
The publication on public service broadcasting by Toby Mendel explores the legal and regulatory systems governing public service broadcasters in eight different countries around the world. The first edition of the book was published in 2000.  
“Public service broadcasting remains as relevant as ever in the modern media environment. Despite the dramatic proliferation of sources of information, public service broadcasters remain a key potential source of reliable and credible news and information. This potential can only be realized, however, where these broadcasters are protected against political interference and are adequately funded,” says Toby Mendel. He describes in the book how democracies in countries around the world protect the independence of public broadcasters while providing them with the resources necessary to fulfill their mandates.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doubts raises over WHO’s exclusive breastfeeding

The world health organisation, WHO in 2001 setout a recommendation on infant feeding, describing breastfeeding as an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants, and an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers.
“As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health,” the world health body said.
It added: “Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond.”
However, the WHO had some reservations on exclusive breastfeeding in instances where a few medical conditions exist, but added that unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Clean Your Body: Top 10 Detox Foods

Spring Clean Your Body: Top 10 Detox Foods
Want to baby your liver? Keep your GI tract fit? Flush out toxins? These 10 foods -- many of them chosen by RealAge experts Drs. Oz and Roizen -- can spring clean your body and keep refreshing your vital parts all year 'round. No need to fast. Just take these three steps:
  • "Eat clean," avoiding processed foods and chemical additives.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of filtered water.
  • Include some of these 10 foods in several meals throughout the week.

Lawyer: IMF chief denies NYC sex-assault charges

Dominique Strauss-Kahn AP – FILE - In this April 15, 2011, file photo International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn …

NEW YORK – Dominique Strauss-Kahn's reputation with women earned him the nickname "the great seducer," and not even an affair with a subordinate could knock the International Monetary Fund leader off a political path pointed in the direction of the French presidency. All that changed with charges that he sexually assaulted a maid in his hotel room, a case that generated shock and revulsion, especially in his home country.
Unless the charges are quickly dropped, they could destroy his chances in a presidential race that is just starting to heat up. The IMF, which plays a key role in efforts to control the European debt crisis, said it remains "fully functioning and operational" despite Saturday's arrest of its leader.


New York, (UN NEWS)- People living in the world’s poorest countries are experiencing a surge in mobile telephone use, the United Nations telecommunications agency reported today, but cautioned that Internet usage in those nations still lags far behind.
   In figures released this week at the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Istanbul, Turkey, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reported that over the past 10 years mobile connectivity in the 48 countries classed as LDCs had risen by 28 per cent, bringing increasing mobile access to almost 250 million people.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gambia: Writers Asssociation Maiden Workshop On Fiction

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Writers Association of The Gambia (WAG) with funding from UNESCO-NATCOM  is holding a workshop from  9th-13  May 2011 at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.
This workshop, the first of its kind in The Gambia and initiated by WAG, intends to provide the required skills in fiction writing by putting special focus on short stories and at the same time build capacities of writers, so declared by Mr. Yahya Al Matarr Jobe, Principal Programme Officer of NATCOM at the official opening of the workshop.
UNESCO-NATCOM is proud to be associated with such an activity for diverse reasons,according to Jobe, some of which are expected to mark a significant and meaning collaboration between UNESCO-NATCOM and WAG in the near future.
One of the mandates of UNESCO since its inception has been to engage all stakeholders in the promotion of education and cultural diversity under which the workshop falls, as Jobe pointed out.

On What AG Chambers Official Says On Our Human Rights

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- “The Gambia as a developing nation is ready to learn from its difficulties and challenges in promoting rights, but we are also unwavering in our desire and commitment to keep the peace and stability we are known to have enjoyed”, Madam Alwar Graham said at the ongoing 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, while representing the Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lawyer Edu Gomez.

Journalists Trained On Gender, H/Rights And HIV/AIDS

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- Journalists from different Media institutions were from the 27 – 29 April 2011 trained on Gender, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS.  
The training was organized by The Gambia National AIDS Support Service Secretariat (GAMNASS), and it’s aim was to enhance journalists understanding about the gender concerns in HIV/AZIDS and to identify strategies that could address the challenges of HIV/AIDS from a gender perspective.  
According to the presentation delivered by Madam Haddy Mboge of GAMNASS Secretariat, three critical factors are interconnected that place gender issues at the core of the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa.  

Yet, Another Good Year For Trust Bank

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Managing Director of Trust Bank Limited, Pa Macoumba Njie, has noted that Trust Bank Ltd. has not only succeeded in retaining its overall market share in the industry, but the bank also exceeded targets set for year in almost all of its key performance indicators. 
Njie made these remarks in early May 2011, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, while reviewing the Trust Bank Annual report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2010.  

Teachers Union’s Credit Union Holds AGM

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Gambia Teachers Union Co-operative Credit Union (GTUCCU), on Saturday, held its 14th Annual General Meeting at the St. Theresa’s Upper Basic School in Kanifing on Kiaraba Avenue.  
The AGM has attracted a good number of teachers from all the six regions in the country.  
This year’s theme was“Credit Unions the Sharpest cutting edge Against Poverty” and the AGM had availed members of the Credit Union, the opportunity to share their views on pertinent issues, and also assessed the performance of the Board and management during the period under review.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

World Press Freedom Day: AUC Chairperson Calls for Protection of Journalists, Urges Media Practitioners to Play Rightful Role in Society

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 4, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The call was stipulated in the message of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Jean Ping, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on 3rd May 2011 under the theme ” 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers”.
The Chairperson’s message was read by the Director of Information and Communication, Mrs. Habiba Mejri-Cheikh, during a ceremony jointly organized by the AUC, UNESCO, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Information at the Addis Ababa Hilton Hotel in remembrance of the World Press Freedom Day.
 The event which brought together local and international journalists based in Ethiopia, including the Ethiopian Environment Journalists Association (ENJU) is also observed at national level in AU Member States.
 Mr. Ping’s message underscored that “Africa is experiencing an unprecedented change in its media landscape with remarkable entry into the social media universe hitherto reserved for the press, broadcasters and other news agencies. This context which constitutes a big challenge to the continent and the world as a whole, is at the same time, expanding the boundaries for new opportunities”. He explained that, contrary to what has been the usual practice, Africa has quickly become conversant with the multiple web applications of the planet. This, Mr. Ping said, can be testified to by the Cyber activism that propelled thousands of people in the streets of Tunis, leading to the rally that gathered several thousands of people who converged at the Tahrir Square, in Cairo.
 According to the Chairperson of the AUC, the use of the Internet in areas that sometimes do not have access to basic services is another unequivocal evidence to show the vivacity of Africans to be part of the global village. “However, despite the promises and the progress made in many countries in favour of the emancipation of the media and freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the liberty to information still has some cloudy areas. Information is still considered as a symbol of intoxication and misinformation in many countries. After the Windhoek Declaration, the African Press has certainly gained some independence, but more still has to be done in order for the Press to play its rightful role in the African society” he underlined.
 Meanwhile, Chairperson Ping in his message pointed out that, since May 3, 1991, the questions one might want to ask are whether Africa has sufficiently funded the media sector to enable its actors be trained well, to ensure the credibility of Press organs and whether appropriate national laws have been established to guide the media landscape. To this, Mr. Ping concluded that, “twenty years after the Windhoek Declaration, Africa still needs to take concrete steps to empower its press and expand its scope for press freedom”.
 In this respect, the message of the Chairperson stressed that the African Union Commission has undertaken to make press freedom in the continent a tangible and irreversible reality; an undeniable right. “We have committed ourselves to continue the work we have started with respect to the protection of the journalists from undue intimidation and harassment, ensuring their safety, their physical and moral integrity while encouraging the practice of freedom of expression and free access to information as a fundamental right enshrined in Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, he noted.
  Finally, the message of Chairperson Ping underscored the importance for all African to work together as one in order to achieve these goals. ” This can only be achieved when we work hand in hand as one; including journalists, owners of media institutions, governments, development organizations, media practitioners, civil society organizations, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations and the international community, to guarantee the exercise of this inalienable right enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, he said.

African Union Commission (AUC)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The challenges of the new media at heart of World Press Freedom Day celebrations

29-04-2011 (Paris)
The challenges of the new media at heart of World Press Freedom Day celebrations WPFD 2011 logo
“21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers” is the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on 3 May, with major events in Washington DC and New York (USA), alongside local and regional events all over the world.
The Washington conference (1 to 3 May), co-organized by UNESCO with the U.S. State Department and over 20 civil society partners, will examine the growing role of the internet, the emergence of new media and the dramatic rise in social networking in recent years. The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will open the conference alongside Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media launched

29-04-2011 (Paris)
Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media launched Cover page of the Report © IWMF
In a groundbreaking effort to promote the voice of women in the news-gathering and news dissemination process, UNESCO and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) collaborated in a global research partnership that has culminated in the publishing of a report on women in the news media.
The study report – titled Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media - represents a set of reliable and comprehensive data on which to make a clear determination about where women currently fit into the news-making operation, decision-making hierarchy and ownership structure of media companies.