When Emelin was 13, she asked the mayor of her rural Guatemalan town to find ways to help girls stay in school and get better health care. He laughed out loud. “You are wasting my time; you should go home,” he told Emelin and her friend Elba, who had come with her.

That was then. On Tuesday of this week, Emelin, now 15, spoke by invitation at the United Nations in the “Every Woman Every Child” program presented as part of the Commission on the Status of Women. She sat — and spoke — alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, about the obstacles girls face in her community and how she and Elba persuaded the mayor to implement and fund policies that would help.

Meet The 15-Year-Old From Rural Guatemala Who Addressed The U.N.

Photo credit: Misha Friedman for NPR

UN says end cure culture and Listen to Autistics about Autism

From the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

“The autism spectrum should be understood from a broader perspective, including in research. We call for caution about enthusiastic attempts to find the causes of autism and ways to ‘cure’ autism through sophisticated but not necessarily ethical research. Autism as a condition is a critical challenge for modern health systems, in which we need to ensure that the practice and science of medicine is never again used to cause the suffering of people.

More investment is needed in services and research into removing societal barriers and misconceptions about autism. Autistics persons should be recognized as the main experts on autism and on their own needs, and funding should be allocated to peer-support projects run by and for autistic persons.”

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15787&LangID=E

I discovered this because it was posted by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network facebook page.

Tony Abbott says Australians are tired of being lectured to by the UN over trivial things like “breaching anti-torture acts." Claims the UN would have more credibility if they gave him credit and praise for his Asylum Seeker policy instead of criticising how inhumane it is.

"Why are you always so negative? Why is no one thanking me for everything I do regardless of what it is?” Tony asked in a confused voice. “I’m a rich straight white male. I thought you all loved me by default. Plus I have a volunteer firefighter medal. A medal! Surely that by itself makes up for every bad deed ever, right?”

“You’ve all changed.” He yelled at the sky hoping everyone would somehow hear. “Now you’re all ”politically correct" and “not racist.” What is this “torture is wrong” and “refugees are people not tools in political scare campaigns” crap you keep talking about?“

"I’m sick of being held responsible for my actions!” he said before storming off. “This is a blatant partisan attack on our Government and the UN clearly has a political agenda to support Labor!”

There have now been rumours that George Brandis has offered the UN “another position elsewhere”, the same one Gillian Triggs turned down.

AWESOME VIDEO ALERT! 

Faces - United Nations Free & Equa

 "Lesbian", “gay”, “bisexual”, “transgender”, “intersex”, “queer”: can you see past the labels?

This video from the United Nations Free & Equal campaign celebrates the contributions that millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world. The cast features “real people” (not actors), filmed in their workplaces and homes – among them, a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer, as well as prominent straight ally and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.”

For more info visit: https://unfe.org/

Sorry Ace folks -  the video doesn’t have Ace representation or I would have added A to the screenshots!

United Nations group says Canada should hold missing-women inquiry

A United Nations committee has joined the chorus of critics who say Canada should establish a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said Canada has violated the rights of aboriginal women by failing to thoroughly investigate why they are targeted for violence.

The body is adding its voice to domestic calls for an inquiry, which the Harper government has repeatedly said isn’t necessary.

A committee report released Friday said police and the justice system have failed to effectively protect aboriginal women.

Continue Reading.

#Canada has been told, first by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and now by the United Nations CEDAW Committee, that Canada’s failures to act violate the human rights of aboriginal women.
— 

Dawn Harvard of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Canada commits ‘grave violation’ of rights of aboriginal women: UN report

Aboriginal women and girls are more likely to be victims of violence than men or non-aboriginal women and they are more likely to die as a result,“ the report said.

"Yet, despite the seriousness of the situation, the Canadian state has not sufficiently implemented measures to ensure that cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women are effectively investigated and prosecuted.”

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United Nations Holds Exhibition with Graphic Photos from Syria 

“Images of tortured, bloodied and bruised bodies go on display in the glittering halls of the UN in New York for the next 10 days, to remind staff ‘not to look away’ from the humanitarian crisis in Syria.”

“The photographs were part of a cache of 55,000 smuggled out of Syria on flash drives last year by ‘Caesar’, the code name given to a former Syrian military photographer who defected.”

(Continue Reading)

Are women better off now than they were 20 years ago?

In 1995, world leaders agreed to a road map to elevate the status of women and achieve gender equality. But as delegates gather at the United Nations in New York to begin reviewing the progress made since then, women are still fighting for their rights. 

A pair of new studies puts that in sharp relief. The first found that more than 170 countries still have laws and policies on the books that end up denying women and girls the same rights and protections enjoyed by men. 

Another found that fewer than 20 have female heads of state or government, according to another review. Although women make up about half the global population, they account for only about 1 in 5 members of parliament. Half of all women are in paid employment, and wage disparities are a universal problem.

Learn more, and see world maps illustrating policy issues in different countries, here.

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On 28 June 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared 20 March the International Day of Happiness. The reasoning behind this decision being that the pursuit of happiness is a “fundamental human goal” for all. They declared the need for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes… happiness and well-being of all peoples.”

In celebration of this day, we’d like to send some positive thoughts your way. You can either check out our playlist of happy songs to help put a smile on your face or you could explore our reading list of books about happiness, generosity, and mental well-being to get you in the mood for the International Day of Happiness.

Which books would you add to the list?

Abuse of Children Latest Horrors From Central African Republic

Recent reports are exposing new horrors in the almost forgotten war in the Central African Republic (CAR). During the conflict that began in 2013, thousands of civilians fled the fighting so when French troops arrived in Bangui, the CAR capital, in December 2013, many took refuge near their base, believing they would be safer there.

Sadly, according to a United Nations report, some French soldiers acted as predators rather than protectors, sexually abusing children in exchange for food or money.

Read more

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Madre Ayotzinapa: Testimonio en Naciones Unidas

Testimonio de María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, madre de José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa, estudiante normalista de la escuela Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico, en el Foro Permanente de Cuestiones Indigenas de las Naciones Unidas.

“We never had the bomb. We will never have a bomb. We’re not looking to have a bomb,” he said. “We do not believe a bomb is in our interest. Whereas [Netanyahu] does have a bomb. He has 200 nuclear weapons.


“He has stood against a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction. … He continues to make allegations against Iran. He’s in no place to do that. He doesn’t have the authority, the moral authority, to do that.


“In 1992, he said Iran was three years away from the bomb or four years away from the bomb. In 1996, he repeated that. He said, in 2012, before the entire world, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, with that cartoon of a bomb, that Iran was a year away from making a bomb.


“Now we are in 2015 … and he’s still repeating the same lie.”
-Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif