As Predicted: A Rising Tide of Migration

(“As the Marshall Islands and several other small island states around the world struggle with saltwater intrusion into their fields and a dwindling fresh water supply, a future abroad is beginning to creep into the minds of local residents,” Eric Holthaus writes for Columbia Law School Magazine. Photo: UNDP)

By David Funkhouser

World Press Freedom Day 2016: Ensuring Freedom of Information and Safety for Journalists!

Each year on 3 May World Press Freedom Day offers an opportunity to remember journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty while reaffirming the international community’s commitment to the principle of press freedom.  Last week United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) in cooperation with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convened a conference in observance of World Press Freedom Day 2016 entitled “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This Is Your Right!” at UN Headquarters in New York.

Refugees and Migrants: A Crisis of Solidarity

War, human rights violations, underdevelopment, climate change and natural disasters are leading more people to leave their homes than at any time since we have had reliable data. More than 60 million people -- half of them children -- have fled violence or persecution and are now refugees and internally displaced persons. An additional 225 million are migrants who have left their countries in search of better opportunities or simply for survival. In this Op-Ed, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says this crisis is not one of numbers, but of solidarity, and in September world leaders will convene at UN Headquarters in New York to address one of the leading challenges of our time.

NYU Shanghai hosts Conference on Sustainability Challenges and Solutions

Focusing on environmental issues from a global perspective, the NYU Shanghai Sustainable Development Conference took place on Saturday, 16 April 2016 with an aim to share information about current environmental issues and practical, evidence-based solutions.

Applications now open for International Bioethics Summer School in NYC!

The Global Bioethics Initiative is now accepting applications for its annual International Bioethics Summer School from 11-22 July 2016 in New York City!

‘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.