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At dedication of memorial UN chief lauds Franklin Delano Roosevelts global vision

“No single person was more instrumental in the founding of the United Nations than Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” the Secretary-General told a ceremony at the dedication of a public space – the Four Freedoms Park – in honour of the US leader on Roosevelt Island in New York’s East River within sight of the UN Headquarters complex on the island of Manhattan.“He had the vision. He helped develop the plans. He even gave us our name,” Mr. Ban said of the man who first coined the term United Nations to depict the post-war world he envisioned in a 1942 declaration by the 26 countries then fighting against Germany, Italy and Japan. President Roosevelt died on 12 April 1945. The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the UN Charter had been ratified by a number of countries. In the lead-up to that moment, representatives of 50 countries had conferred in the US city of San Francisco to draw up the Charter. The park’s name, Four Freedoms Park, derives directly from that vision in which Mr. Roosevelt enshrined freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear as rights to be enjoyed by everybody everywhere on the face of the Earth. “President Roosevelt was driven by a global vision. He understood that an individual’s dreams were not restricted by that individual’s passport. He knew that aspirations could not be confined to national borders,” Mr. Ban said. “And he believed deeply that leaders everywhere must help people everywhere live those dreams.” “He did not live long enough to see the United Nations come to pass. Yet his words guide us every day as we seek to advance peace and security, promote development, and uphold human rights around the world,” the Secretary-General noted.Among those attending the dedication of the Park, a four-acre triangular expanse of green flanked by 120 trees that lead to a bronze bust of the President Roosevelt on a white granite open-air plaza, were New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former US President Bill Clinton and Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, a granddaughter of the late president. “More than 60 years later, the Four Freedoms remain a guide post, and this park will be a lighthouse. It will be a source of comfort knowing that FDR is looking out on the United Nations, and it will be a source of inspiration looking out on him from the 38th floor,” Mr. Ban said, referring to the executive offices at the top of UN Headquarters. He added, “We at the United Nations are also in the building business. And as we celebrate what you have built here today, we pledge to continue building on the goals and the values of the Four Freedoms and the United Nations Charter for all people and all time.” read more

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Wednesdays Daily Brief Sudan Libya Yemen updates solutions for ewaste flood response

Violence on the rise in Darfur following Sudan military takeover, but UN-AU peacekeeping mission maintains ‘robust posture’ Security across the volatile Darfur region of Sudan has deteriorated since last week’s military takeover in Khartoum, the UN Security Council heard on Wednesday, but the peacekeeping mission in Darfur has “remained vigilant” in the face of rising violence.Jeremiah Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative for hybrid mission UNAMID, updated members on events since the ousting of former president of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir, with news reports suggesting on Wednesday that he had now been transferred to prison.Full story here.Libya: Heavy shelling and civilian deaths ‘blatant violation’ of international law – UN envoy  A “toxic flood of electric and electronic waste” that is growing by the day across the world, should be urgently converted into a source of decent work, that can also protect populations from its harmful effects, the United Nations labour agency said on Wednesday. Governments, workers and employer organizations reached agreement at a meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, urging that “at all levels”, countries should look to increase and invest in better waste management infrastructure and systems to deal with “the rapidly growing flows of e-waste in ways that advance decent work”. “Protect and empower children online”: UN human rights expert calls for global efforts Heavy rains and flooding in the Islamic Republic of Iran have left more than two million people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including refugees, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Wednesday.A planeload of essential aid items from the agency landed last week in Tehran, while supplies from existing stocks inside Iran, were handed over to authorities, who are battling previously unseen levels of flooding in parts of the country.UNHCR’s assistance includes family tents, sleeping mats, blankets and kitchen equipment.Highlighting the fact that “Iran has hosted millions of refugees for 40 years”, UNHCR’s Director for Asia and the Pacific, Indrika Ratwatte, called on the international community to support the country, “as it faces one of the worst natural disasters in decades”.According to government estimates, some 78 people have lost their lives, over 1,000 are reported injured and about 500,000 people have been displaced, since mid-March.Turn toxic e-waste into a source of ‘decent work’, UN labour agency urges  Heavy shelling overnight on Tuesday which hit a densely-populated neighbourhood of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, was condemned “in the strongest terms” by the head of the UN Mission there, after “scores” of civilians were reportedly killed and injured.“Horrible night of random shelling of residential areas”, tweeted UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame on Wednesday, after the Abu Slim district was hit. “For the sake of 3 million civilians living in Greater Tripoli, these attacks should stop. NOW!” Read more here.’Grave concern’ over failure of Yemeni Government and Houthis to implement Stockholm agreementThe members of the Security Council expressed their “grave concern” on Wedneday night, that four months after the agreements reached by the Government of Yemen and the Houthi rebel leadership in Stockholm to stop the fighting in and around the key port city of Hudaydah, “those agreements have not yet been implemented.” Council members also underlined their full support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, who led the UN-backed talks that led to last December’s accords in Sweden, and the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) in Hudaydah, welcoming “their tireless efforts to support implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.”The statement “welcomed the agreement by the Government of Yemen and the Houthis to the Concept of Operations for Phase 1 of redeployments under the Hodeidah Agreement.”They called on both parties to engage constructively with the Special Envoy and the Chair of the RCC to swiftly agree on local security force arrangements and the Concept of Operations for Phase 2 of redeployments, and noted that “bureaucratic impediments, including at a local level, continued to hamper the UN’s ability to operate effectively”.Members “reiterated their concern about the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation across Yemen” and encouraged the international community to fully support the 2019 UN Humanitarian Response Plan. They urged all parties to “facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian personnel and supplies into and across all areas of Yemen, as well as the rapid and sustained access to humanitarian facilities, including food storage facilities and hospitals.”UN refugee agency stepping up support for Iran’s flood-hit communities The independent UN human rights expert on privacy, Joe Cannataci, has called for coordinated global efforts to simultaneously protect and empower children as they use the internet.Aiming to improve safeguards to protect children’s privacy worldwide, Mr. Cannataci has initiated a two-year programme, including public consultations, with a view to creating a set of recommendations focusing on protection and protocol while children are online.The recommendations will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in 2021.Mr. Cannataci welcomed recent developments in the United Kingdom, including draft legislation published last week on reducing harm to children online, and the start of a consultation process to establish a new code for ‘Age Appropriate Design’.Adding that he “wants to hear first-hand” from corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Twitter, over the feasibility of new guidelines, the UN Special Rapporteur encouraged all stakeholders to contribute to the ongoing consultation exercises. read more

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