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“Despite the global progress with regards to literacy, disadvantaged populations and individuals are still excluded from quality learning provision” concludes the Global Report for Adult Learning and Education. The report, titled “Rethinking Literacy” was launched in Amman, Jordania on 8th September 2013 and it places a special focus on adult literacy as a foundation for adult learning and education, in addition to other topics such as promoting, financing and conducting quality assurance for adult education programmes and strategies.

Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo, from UNESCO's Institute for Lifelong Learning pointed out that "literacy courses are only the first step to lifelong learning and that they should prepare people for future learning by encouraging skills to critically analyse information and take decisions."

Photo: ECLAC.

Authorities from several countries and international experts took part in a high-level panel discussion in the context of ECLAC's First session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in Montevideo, Uruguay, where they highlighted the importance of a paradigm change in the current development model, with a view to constructing a post-2015 regional agenda.

Indigenous people in
Guatemala. (Photo:
OHCHR/Rolando Alfaro)

Ahead of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, the United Nations human rights chief today urged States to do more to honour and strengthen their treaties with indigenous peoples, no matter how long ago they were signed.

“Even when signed or otherwise agreed more than a century ago, many treaties remain the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs of indigenous peoples, determining the relationship they have with the State,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement.

Cover photo: UNDP Picture
This/Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

According to the  Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, since their adoption more than 13 years ago, significant and substantial progress has been made in meeting many of the eight Millennium Development Goals.

However, progress is uneven, particularly for women and girls, and in many areas far from sufficient.

Too many women around the world are still dying in childbirth when we have the means to save them; only 53 per cent of births in rural areas are attended by skilled health personnel. In developing regions, women are more likely than men to work as contributing family workers on farms or other family businesses, with little or no financial security or social benefits.

The report also acknowledges that persisting gender-based inequalities in decision-making continue to deny women a say in the decisions that affect their lives.

High unemployment rate
among youth. (Photo: ILO)

"In the absence of widespread and sustained economic growth, unemployment remains at an unacceptably high level in many G20 countries," the International Labour Office (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have said.

In a joint statistical update for the meeting of G20 Labour and Employment Ministers, taking place in Moscow from 18-19 July, the ILO and OECD warned that persistently high and mainly cyclical unemployment in several G20 countries is heightening the risks of labour market exclusion and structural unemployment.

The election of Roberto Azevêdo is a victory for the countries of the South, comments y Isolda Agazzi, analist of Alliance Sud. However, the Brazilian must demonstrate that he will work in favour of developing countries and their small farmers – something Brazil has not always done.

It is a first for the WTO: the industrialized countries' candidate, Herminio Blanco from Mexico, lost out to the developing countries' aspirant. Brazil and Mexico follow very different trade policies.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
(Photo: UN)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka from South Africa as the new Executive Director of UN Women, the organization leading UN’s work on advancing gender equality and women’s rights.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka’s appointment came as  a surprise to the race’s observers as her name had not been raised as a potential or even formal candidate for the post.

After five months of negotiations, UN Member States agreed on the resolution text that defines the format, functions and organizational aspects of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF or the forum). The resolution will now be formally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The HLPF will be the intergovernmental institution in the UN mandated to “provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development, follow-up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments, [and] enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner at all levels.” Its establishment was decided by Member States during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.

Whether in the realm of environmental oversight, subsidies and tax abatements, consumer labeling and protection, or financial regulation, the human rights impacts of corporate lobbying are extensive.  In the United States, much has been made of the impact of campaign financing on elections following the Citizens United ruling by the US Supreme Court in 2010.  The ruling ostensibly paved the way for vastly increased financial contributions to political action committees, commonly known as ‘Super-PACs’.  But while Citizens Unitedsensitized the public once again to the role of money in elections, this issue has been around for a long time and plays a very big role in the realization of human rights.

Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The World Health Organization's head, Dr Margaret Chan, has heavily criticized how big business influences public health by way of a combination of lobbying, litigation and misleading representations of research. Dr Chan's remarks were part of her address to the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, held in Helsinki, Finland. Comments such as those made by Dr Chan are rather unusual for UN officials, raising the level of concern with regard to the relationship between public health and big business.



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