Deputy Secretary-General Calls for Partnerships, Investment to End Hunger, Improve Rights of Rural Women, in Message at Africa Regional Conference

27 Nov

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message at the launch of the “Leaving No One Behind – A Regional Outlook on Gender and Agrifood Systems” report at the thirty‑first session of the Regional Conference for Africa, held on 28 October:

WHO releases new guidance on integrating mental health in radiological emergency response

26 Nov

The Framework for mental health and psychosocial support in radiological and nuclear emergencies, released today, brings together, for the first time, existing knowledge from the fields of mental health and protection from radiation in an integrated guide for preparedness for and response to nuclear and radiological emergencies. 

Past nuclear and radiological accidents have shown that the mental health and psychosocial consequences of such events can outweigh the direct physical health impacts of radiation exposure. Both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents were reported to have considerable diverse and long-lasting social, psychological and mental health consequences affecting both individuals and societies as a whole. 

The Framework is intended for officials and specialists involved in radiation emergency planning and risk management as well as mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) experts working in health emergencies.

 

 

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Main results of the EU-Australia leaders' meeting

26 Nov
At a leaders' virtual meeting President Michel, President von der Leyen and Australian Prime Minster Morrison highlighted their resolve to fight the pandemic together and build more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economies. They also noted the good progress made towards a trade agreement.

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Every move counts towards better health – says WHO

25 Nov

Up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active. At a time when many people are home bound due to COVID-19, new WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, launched today, emphasize that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can be physically active and that every type of movement counts.

The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults, including people living with chronic conditions or disability, and an average of 60 minutes per day for children and adolescents.

WHO statistics show that one in four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not get enough physical activity.  Globally this is estimated to cost US$54 billion in direct health care and another US$14 billion to lost productivity.

The guidelines encourage women to maintain regular physical activity throughout pregnancy and post-delivery. They also highlight the valuable health benefits of physical activity for people living with disabilities.

Older adults (aged 65 years or older) are advised to add activities which emphasize balance and coordination, as well as muscle strengthening, to help prevent falls and improve health.

Regular physical activity is key to preventing and helping to manage heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer, as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, reducing cognitive decline, improving memory and boosting brain health.

“Being physically active is critical for health and well-being – it can help to add years to life and life to years,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every move counts, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day – safely and creatively.” 

All physical activity is beneficial and can be done as part of work, sport and leisure or transport (walking, wheeling and cycling), but also through dance, play and everyday household tasks, like gardening and cleaning.

“Physical activity of any type, and any duration can improve health and wellbeing, but more is always better,” said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, World Health Organization, “and if you must spend a lot of time sitting still, whether at work or school, you should do more physical activity to counter the harmful effects of sedentary behaviour.”

“These new guidelines highlight how important being active is for our hearts, bodies and minds, and how the favourable outcomes benefit everyone, of all ages and abilities”, said Dr Fiona Bull, Head of the Physical Activity Unit which led the development of the new WHO guidelines.

WHO encourages countries to adopt the global guidelines to develop national health policies in support of the WHO Global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030. The plan was agreed by global health leaders at the 71st World Health Assembly in 2018 to reduce physical inactivity by 15% by 2030.

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U.S. Department of State Hosts Trans-Atlantic Webinar on Holocaust Education

25 Nov

Office of the Spokesperson

Professionals, diplomats, and teachers from 23 countries gathered virtually November 19 for the U.S. Department of State’s first in a series of international webinars on Holocaust education.  The session, “Policy and Practice: Trans-Atlantic Avenues for Holocaust Education,” was hosted by U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Cherrie Daniels and featured experts from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The recorded webinar with closed captioning is now available for on-demand viewing by the public at:  https://www.state.gov/u-s-department-of-state-hosts-trans-atlantic-webinar-on-holocaust-education/

The Policy and Practice webinar focused on practical ways to implement the IHRA Recommendations for Teaching and Learning About the Holocaust and their relationship to combatting rising anti-Semitism, as well as Holocaust distortion and denial, in today’s world.  Panelists examined how policy makers and practitioners – international diplomats, teachers, museum curators, educators, administrators and others – can work together to help future generations develop the critical thinking skills needed to apply the lessons of the Holocaust.

Panelists included Ambassador Michaela Küchler, President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organizations at the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany; Jennifer Ciardelli, Director, Initiative on the Holocaust and Professional Leadership at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; Dr. Zuzana Pavlovská, IHRA Education Working Group Chair and Head of the Department for Education and Culture at the Jewish Museum in Prague; and Cherrie Daniels, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues at the United States Department of State.  Dr. Edna Friedberg, Senior Program Curator at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, moderated.

The recommendations were adopted by IHRA’s 34 member countries at the Luxembourg Plenary in December 2019 and are available here: https://www.ushmm.org/teach/fundamentals/guidelines-for-teaching-the-holocaust.

Additional resource materials are available at: https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/educational-materials and https://www.state.gov/resource-documents-office-of-the-special-envoy-for-holocaust-issues/.

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Observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 Nov

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Around the world, violence against women harms not only millions of women and girls every year, but also their communities and families.  Violence against women, whether in the workforce, the home, a school environment, or as a result of conflict or crisis, is never acceptable.  The United States recognizes the inherent dignity that every woman and girl possesses and is committed to preventing and responding to violence against women.

Every woman and girl deserves to live a life free from violence.  Eliminating violence against women removes significant barriers to women’s empowerment, enabling them to become trailblazers, innovators, and leaders in their communities.  These efforts require the dedication of governments, the private sector, and civil society to create an enduring impact.  The United States is proud to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and the accompanying 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The United States recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has uniquely and disproportionately impacted women – from increased rates of violence against women to increased employment insecurity.  It is time for the international community to come together to end violence against women, stand with and empower survivors, and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever before.  The United States is committed to doing so for the sake of national security, global prosperity, and the rights and dignity of women and girls worldwide.

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