‘We are in a race against time,’ says Ban, as leaders sign landmark Paris climate accord

22 April 2016 – With their signatures of the landmark Paris climate accord, “governments made a covenant with the future,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the end of a United Nations ceremony that saw the largest single-day turn-out for such an event, and which puts the world on a path towards low-carbon growth and a more sustainable future.

The Race is On to Choose the Next UN Secretary-General!

This year marks the last year in office for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which means that the race is on to selected a new SG to lead the organization for the next five years.  The post of Secretary-General has been described as “the most impossible job in the world”, while the official UN description says the job is “Equal parts diplomat and advocate, civil servant and CEO.”  

Government of India Donates $200,000 to help UNAI Engage, Inform and Empower Academic & Research Communities

The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations has donated $200,000 to United Nations Academic Impact to support UNAI’s outreach, engagement and advocacy initiatives with education and research communities around the world. Since 2013, the Government of India has contributed $500,000 to UNAI as part of its commitment to promote quality education, global citizenship and collaboration among academic institutions around the world.

Soochow University Students Use Translation Expertise to Advance the Work of the UN

UNAI member Soochow University's innovative Master of Translation and Interpreting (MTI) program works with the UN to translate the United Nations Yearbook Express into Chinese, a project that the university and its students see as their intellectual and social contribution to help realize the purposes and mandates of the United Nations.

Youth for Peace International Law Competition Open for Submissions!

UNAI member institution, International University "MITSO", one of the oldest universities of Republic of Belarus, is pleased to announce the call for applications for its international law competition “Youth for Peace”, the culmination of which will be a conference from 26 to 29 September 2016 in Minsk, Belarus.

What is Past is Prologue: Lessons Learned from Combating Pan-Epidemics

By Daniel R. Lucey

The recent recognition of Zika as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization raises the question of whether global pandemics are the "new normal". SARS, MERS, H1N1, Ebola and Zika are just a few examples of global health emergencies the world has seen in the last decade, and Dr. Daniel R. Lucey, an epidemiologist who has spent decades covering some of the most virulent outbreaks around the world, says there are important lessons we can take to apply when, not if, the next pandemic arises.

The Human Rights Dimensions of Zika

By Alexandra Phelan & Lawrence O. Gostin

Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases reveal the root causes of ill-health worldwide: poverty, inequality, and discrimination. The current Zika virus outbreak is no different, exposing systemic injustices in global health. How can we safeguard human rights during the Zika epidemic and beyond, including international law, justice, and health equalities?

Promoting Gender Equality for Innovation

In September 2015 the international community adopted the 2030 Agenda, which included 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  While these goals cover a range of issues almost all of them have goals related to gender embedded in them.  This is in large part due to the realization by governments, civil society and other stakeholders that when women are included across all sectors of society communities benefit.  

World Meteorological Day: as extreme weather becomes 'the new normal,' UN urges bold climate action

23 March 2016 – Observing the World Meteorological Day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today that extreme weather events are becoming “the new normal” and bold climate action is needed to “face the future now.”

“Only by responding decisively to the climate challenge can we avoid the worst impacts of climate change and lay the foundations of a world of peace, prosperity and opportunity for all,” the UN chief said in a message on the Day.

World Water Day Reminds Us of the Value of a Precious Resource

World Water Day is commemorated each year on 22 March and serves as a reminder of the precious resource that we often take for granted. Some 650 million people, almost one in 10 of the world’s population, do not have the access to improved sources of drinking water and one in three lacks improved sanitation, putting them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death.

When Home is Where the Harm Is: Combating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Home

For many people the home is a safe space where they feel protected and secure, but for too many women and girls around the world, home is where they face violence and abuse at the hands of family members. A recent conference entitled "When Home Is Where the Harm Is: Family Law Reform to Challenge Gender-Based Violence” sought to explore solutions to this problem that impacts millions of women globally.

Shifting to Sustainable Diets

Developing a global food system to deliver food security and access to nutritionally adequate diets for a growing population, while reducing environmental damage, is one of greatest challenges facing us today. Food security tends to focus on providing sufficient food to eliminate hunger, through expansion of agricultural land and increasing yields. Historically less attention has been given to the quality of the food being produced and the nutritional needs of the population. In the fifth article in our Food Security and Climate Change series, Dr. Jennie Macdiarmid of the University of Aberdeen argues that today’s food system needs to go beyond the quantity of food and food security to incorporate the quality of what we eat and our nutritional security.

Happy International Pi Day!

Pi Day is celebrated today, 14 March, round the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.

Little girl standing by fruit stand

Consumerism and Climate Change: How the Choices You Make Can Help Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

Mitigating food insecurity and the dangerous effects of climate change are the two biggest challenges facing humanity today. Thomas Malthus proposed in 1803 that human population increases exponentially whilst food production grows at an arithmetic rate, and thus predicted widespread food shortages. Unless 50 per cent more food, 50 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more freshwater are available by 2030, simultaneous shortages of all of these would be on a global, catastrophic scale.

Agricultural machinery

Global Models Must Meet Grassroots Action to Deliver Climate Solutions for Farmers

Climate change poses a threat to food security. This threat was first recognised primarily through the direct impact of climate on crop yields. However, the relatively simple framing of climate altering yields and, by implication the availability of food, captures only a small part of the problem.

Every Migrant Has a Story to Tell

Emigration, identity, loss and exclusion: these are all themes award winning novelist Colm Tóibín explores in his work, and on Thursday, 11 February 2016 he paid a visit to the United Nations bookshop to talk about his novel Brooklyn, which includes many of these themes, and has now been made into an Academy Award nominated film.  

'The world needs science and science needs women,' says UN on new International Day

11 February 2016 – More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said today marking the first 

3 women tending to agricultural fields

The Intimate Relationship between Food Security and Land

Most of our food is grown on the land, so there has always been a close link between the delivery of food security and land use. In the era before industrial fertilisers, improved crop cultivars and modern livestock breeds, producing more food largely meant converting more land to agriculture. Historically, the expansion of agriculture into forests and natural ecosystems has contributed significantly to the loss of ecosystem services. Much of this loss of forest and other natural systems occurred many centuries ago in Europe, East Asia, South Asia and parts of Africa, but has occurred more recently in North America and the populated parts of Oceania.

Bare desert scene

The World’s Food Supply is Made Insecure by Climate Change

In the next 30 years, food supply and food security will be severely threatened if little or no action is taken to address climate change and the food system’s vulnerability to climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the extent of climate change impacts on individual regions will vary over time, and different societal and environmental systems will have varied abilities to mitigate or adapt to change.