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Zero Discrimination Day

Laws must protect, ‘not reject’ says UNAIDS chief on Zero Discrimination DayMarch 1, 2019Every person’s right is protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but discrimination is an issue. Because of discriminatory laws and bills, some people aren’t able to freely exercise their human rights. Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, explained: “Laws should protect, not reject. Every person has an equal right to be treated with dignity and respect.”On March 1, the United Nations celebrates Zero Discrimination Day, which intends to celebrate the advocacy and activism that brings the world closer to zero discrimination. Discrimination is rampant in a number of countries. 59 countries have mandatory HIV testing for marriage, work or residence permits for certain group of people. Last year, at least 20 countries set travel restrictions against people with HIV; 17 countries criminalized transgender people. Even with all the progress with same-sex marriage, same-sex sexual relations were criminalized in at least 67 around the world. UNAIDS is currently advocating for specific actions that all parties can take to tackle discrimination. They include reviewing legislations, joining Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and being an ally to someone affected by discrimination. Mr. Sidibé said “All countries must carefully examine their laws and policies in order to ensure equality and protection for all people, without exception.”

World Radio Day

Guterres:Radio is still a powerful worldwide tool for ‘dialogue, tolerance and peace’13 February 2019 For decades, radio was the most powerful communication tool, before the access of digital communication. UN Radio was established on February 13 1946, and since 2013, the day has been commemorated to recognize radio as a powerful communication tool and a low-cost medium.The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres believes that radio is very useful as a tool that continues to promote “dialogue, tolerance and peace.” The UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay also pointed out that radio has adapted to 21st century changes and is “one of the most reactive, engaging media there is”, especially for the most disadvantaged.Ms. Azoulay explained that radio has been crucial in helping to solve conflicts, in fostering positive dialogues and in reaching a diverse group of people that otherwise wouldn’t be reached. She asserted that “UNESCO provides support to radio stations in sub-Saharan Africa that enable women to participate in public debate, including on often-neglected issues such as forced marriage, girls’ education or childcare.”

International Day of Women and Girls In Science

Engaging women and girls in science ‘vital’ for Sustainable Development Goals11 February 2019The international Day for women and girls in science was established in 2015 with goals to achieve equality and gender-parity in science for sustainable development. It’s also meant to provide access to women and girls in hard to reach places, such as rural areas. The UN Secretary General António Guterres lamented that women and girls remain “woefully underrepresented”, which he attributed to stereotypes and a lack of support in many countries. He would like to see more concerted efforts to ensure that women and girls are better represented. To commemorate this day, there were two days of activities at the UN Headquarters in New York and many panels brought together many experts in STEM, finance and science. They focused mostly on promoting gender equality in science. UN Women and UN Educational also led a number of activities to highlight the vital role that women and girls in science can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day: Early cervical cancer diagnosis could save lives of over 300,000 women4 February 2019Women in developing countries generally don’t have access to preventable measures that could treat cervical cancer. And, when they are diagnosed it’s usually at an advance stage and can’t be treated properly. The World Health Organization (WHO) said women in poor countries are 9/10 times more likely to die from cervical cancer, and that will increase by almost 50% by 2040 if no action is taken.WHO explained that in order to success and prevent premature death from cervical cancer it has to be team work involving UN agencies, governments, individuals, manufacturers, among others. This process has already started in the form of a five-year program, which is currently being run by the UN on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control. Its goal is to build national cervical cancer control programs.WHO believes that innovative technologies and strategies, access to diagnosis and early-stage treatment of cancer are required to prevent high death rates due to cervical and other forms of cancer.

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

‘Bigotry is increasing’ Guterres warns, as UN marks the Holocaust27 January, 2019He was then a teenager in Auschwitz and was tattooed on his body to symbolize that he was Jewish. This happened more than 70 years ago but Marian Turski, a 92-year-old holocaust survivor, doesn’t forget any of it. He remembers the torture, the cold temperature and the terrible conditions that he and others like him endured at the hands of Nazi. During the annual United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, Marian Turski expressed that the world should needs to have “more empathy and compassions” and we have to protect our children from catastrophes. His story is riveting and very touching. Other holocaust survivors such as Inge Auerbacher, who were children at the time, talked about the hard times they experienced and emphasized that hatred and anti-semitism need to stop. Some speakers at that event lamented that we have failed those who suffered the horrors of the holocaust by not learning from our failures from that horrible past. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked each January 27, the day when jews held at the notorious Auschwitz death camp were liberated by Allied troops 74 years ago.

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