International Youth Day (August 12, 2020)

<p>There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. However, more than&nbsp;<a href="https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2019/goal-04/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">half of all children and adolescents aged 6-14 lack basic reading and maths skills</a>, despite the fact that the majority of them are attending school. This global learning crisis threatens to severely hamper progress towards the SDGs.</p><p><br></p><p>12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.</p><p><br></p><p>Find out more about this event: <a href="https://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a></p>

World Youth Skills Day (July 15, 2020)

<p>World Youth Skills Day 2020 will take place in a challenging context. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures have led to the worldwide closure of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, threatening the continuity of skills development.</p><p><br></p><p>It is estimated that&nbsp;<a href="https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: black;">nearly 70% of the world’s learners are affected by school closures</a>&nbsp;across education levels currently. Respondents to a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ilo.org/skills/Whatsnew/WCMS_742817/lang--en/index.htm" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: black;">survey of TVET institutions</a>, jointly collected by UNESCO, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank, reported that distance training has become the most common way of imparting skills, with considerable difficulties regarding, among others, curricula adaptation, trainee and trainer preparedness, connectivity, or assessment and certification processes.</p><p><br></p><p>Prior to the current crisis,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_737648.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: black;">young people aged 15-24 were three times more likely than adults to be unemployed</a>&nbsp;and often faced a prolonged school-to-work transition period. In post-COVID-19 societies, as young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort, they will need to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.</p><p><br></p><p>Find out more information about this: <a href="https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-youth-skills-day" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Here</a></p>

World Oceans Day 2020 (June 8, 2020)

<p>World Oceans Day provides an opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the ocean. This year, the Day will convene under the theme, 'Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean'.&nbsp;</p><p>Many countries have celebrated this special day since 1992, following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro.&nbsp;In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as of 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”.</p><p><br></p><p><strong style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">date:&nbsp;</strong><span style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">8 June 2020</span></p><p><strong style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">location:&nbsp;</strong><span style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">worldwide</span></p><p><strong style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">contact:&nbsp;</strong><span style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea</span></p><p><strong style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">www:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.unworldoceansday.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgb(251, 251, 251); color: rgb(42, 195, 237);">http://www.UNworldoceansday.org</a></p>

International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22nd, 2020)

<p><strong>Biodiversity loss is a loss for humanity</strong></p><p>Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).</p><p><br></p><p>Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.</p><p><br></p><p>But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.</p><p><br></p><p>While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>2020 Theme: Our solutions are in nature</strong></p><p>As the global community is called to re-examine our relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few. The theme “Our solutions are in nature” emphasizes hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.</p><p><br></p><p>The theme will cover 3 essential topics during the week leading up to the observance: 18 May will cover the importance of knowledge and science; 19-21 May will raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity; and finally, the day of the observance, will issue a call to action.</p><p><br></p><p>2020 is a year of reflection, opportunity and solutions. It is expected, from each of us, that we will “Build Back Better” by using this time to increase the resilience of nations and communities as we recover from this pandemic. 2020 is the year when, more than ever, the world can signal a strong will for a global framework that will “bend the curve” on biodiversity loss for the benefit of humans and all life on Earth.</p><p><br></p><p>2020 will witness the final period of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity and its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the UN Decade on Biodiversity, leading to the transitional phase for the start of other new pivotal biodiversity-related decades for the period 2021-2030: the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; and the UN Biodiversity Summit, in order to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="https://www.un.org/en/observances/biological-diversity-day" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Click here</a> for further information.</p>

UN Forum on Forests (May 4-8, 2020)

<p>On 27 April 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted the first ever UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030. The Strategic Plan provides a global framework for actions at all levels to sustainably manage all types of forests and trees outside forests and halt deforestation and forest degradation.At the heart of the Strategic Plan are six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets to be achieved by 2030, which are voluntary and universal. They support the objectives of the International Arrangement on Forests and aim to contribute to progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Paris Agreement adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international forest-related instruments, processes, commitments and goals.</p><p><br></p><p>As outlined in the Quadrennial programme of work of the Forum for the period 2017-2020, under the Forum’s new format – odd-year sessions will focus on discussions on implementation, technical advice and exchange of experiences while even-year sessions will focus on policy dialogue, development and decision-making.</p><p><br></p><p>In October 2000, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), in its Resolution 2000/35 established the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), a subsidiary body with the main objective to promote “… the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end…” based on the Rio Declaration, the Forest Principles, Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the outcome of the IPF/IFF Processes and other key milestones of international forest policy.</p><p><br></p><p>The Forum has universal membership, and is composed of all Member States of the United Nations and specialized agencies.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="https://www.un.org/esa/forests/index.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Click here</a> for further information.</p>

World Malaria Day (April 25, 2020)

<p>World Malaria Day is commemorated every 25 April. The Western Pacific Region has made significant progress in efforts to control and eliminate malaria since 2000. Between 2010 and 2015 alone, the region has reduced the case incidence rate of malaria by 30% and its mortality rate by 58%. Both reductions are higher than global achievements for the same period. However, there are reasons to be concerned about more recent global and regional trends.</p><p><br></p><p>WHO is calling on malaria-affected countries, partners and donors to boost investments and efforts to reduce the disease burden through coordinated efforts to strengthen national capacities and ownership as well as funding for scaling up preventive interventions to ensure universal coverage of all at-risk populations in the Region.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news/events/world-malaria-day" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Click here</a> for further information.</p>