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Sixty years of peacekeeping
By Mahmood Ayub, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Turkey

Six decades ago on May 29, the United Nations Security Council established our first peacekeeping mission. On its 60th anniversary, the activities of UN Peacekeepers, also known as the Blue Helmets, have developed into a flagship enterprise of the United Nations. Today, the UN has more than 110,000 men and women deployed in conflict zones across the world.

Looking Back - Moving Forward

In 2008, the United Nations celebrates the 60th anniversary of UN peacekeeping, a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the Organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace.

Turkey is among the top 15 nations contributing civilian police forces to UN peacekeeping missions.

Policing For Peace: The Law-and-Order Role Played By Blue Berets

When the words ‘UN peacekeeping’ are mentioned, for many they tend to conjure up an image of a blue-helmeted military force dispatched to a conflict-torn area to help bring about peace and stability.

Deputies discussed women friendly cities

‘Carrying local equality action plans to national agenda’ seminar was held on May 26 in Ankara with the participation of local stakeholders, politicians, civil society and academicians.

Project outputs discussed at regional conferences

The regional conferences on “Combating Domestic Violence against Women” have been organized in the project provinces of Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, and Trabzon in the framework of “Combating Domestic Violence against Women Project” which is implemented by the Directorate General on the Status of Women (KSGM) with the technical assistance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and financial assistance of the European Union (EU).

Training on Violence against Women for Local Media Professionals

A series of “Workshop on the Role of Local Media Professionals in Combating Domestic Violence against Women and Reportage Techniques”

Photo by: Roger Lemoyne

Visit of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict visited Afghanistan from 28 June to 3 July, at the invitation of the Government.

Ted Turner and GA president Kerim

New push to prevent malaria deaths in Africa announced at UN

The United Nations in cooperation with religious, business and sports leaders, sent insecticide-treated bed nets to Africa to prevent millions of deaths from the disease, ahead of the first-ever World Malaria Day on April 25.

UN Landmark Disability Treaty Entered into Force

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May, marking a new era in efforts to protect the rights of the world’s 650 million persons with disabilities.

UNODC Report Warns that Progress in Drug Control is under Threat
Higher coca and opium cultivations reported

The World Drug Report 2008, launched on June 26, by the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, shows that the recent stabilization in the world drugs market is under threat. A surge in opium and coca cultivation and the risk of higher drug use in developing countries threaten to undermine recent progress in drug control.

International cooperation is a must to fight drug abuse and illicit trafficking

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June 2008) that international cooperation is a must to reduce both the supply and demand for drugs.

INCB President welcomes renewed commitment of the international community to Afghanistan

Welcoming the outcome of the international conference in support of Afghanistan in Paris held on 12 June, Professor Hamid Ghodse, President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), called on the Afghan Government to continue its drug control efforts and to take firm measures against corrupt officials at any level of Government who get involved in illicit drug activities.

Participants at UN-backed meeting agree to work towards rules on biosafety

More than 2,000 participants attended a week-long biosafety meeting that wrapped up in late May agreed to work towards legally binding rules for liability and redress for potential damage caused by the movements of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports.

© 2008 United Nations Turkey

High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy

ILO adopts landmark Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization

Amid widespread uncertainty in the world of work, ranging from financial turmoil and economic downturn to growing unemployment, informality and insufficient social protection, the governments, workers and employers of the International Labour Organization

IOM Rep Maurizio Busatti at the launh of the campaign

Turkey launched its National Information Campaign against Human Trafficking
React to Human Trafficking, Don’t Be Indifferent!

Within the framework of Turkey’s countertrafficking efforts and under a Project funded by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Turkey Office and the Departments of External Relations and European Union of the Ministry of Interior, Turkey has launched a national campaign called “React to Human Trafficking, Don’t Be Indifferent!” aiming to raise awareness on human trafficking on the 30th of June 2008.

A Youth Story Short Movie Contest Quest For Your Rights!!!

Over the past year A Youth Story Campaign has achieved joyful accomplishments. We have conducted 7 advocacy trainings in 7 different regions of Turkey, over 150 young people have trained as advocates; over 1500 questions related to youth SRHR were answered through campaign web-site (www.birgenclikhikayesi.com); over 190.000 people have visited the web-site.

Courtesy of Jean Plantu

Six decades ago on May 29, the United Nations Security Council established our first peacekeeping mission.

UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948


United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA defined this year's theme “Family Planning” for World Population Day

Food crisis, Myanmar featured in Assembly President's talks with Turkish officials

General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim wrapped up his 4-day official visit to Turkey on May 10, where he discussed issues such as the global food crisis, the recent tragedy in Myanmar and United Nations reform with the country's officials.

DG Yumkela in Ankara

UNIDO DG in Turkey

Director General of UNIDO, Mr. Kondeh Yumkela visited Turkey on 15-17 June. During his visit to Istanbul Yumkela met with the representatives of business circles and discussed cooperation opportunities with the private sector.

Ombudsman system to protect children in Turkey

Implementation of ombudsman system and a separate specialized institution for children's problems are vital for Turkey to promote children's rights, UNICEF officials stressed at “Independent Child Ombudsman” conference held in Ankara on April 9.

Noncommunicable diseases now world's biggest killer
Chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke kill more,
says WHO's World health statistics 2008

The global burden of disease is shifting from infectious diseases to noncommunicable diseases, with chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke now being the chief causes of death globally, according to a new WHO report.

Twelfth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development took place in Accra, Ghana, 20-25 April

Heads of state, ministers, economists discussed better translation of globalization gains into poverty reduction; nurturing and expanding South-South trade; commodities boom; regional integration; foreign investment for development, debt management; technology; growing impact of creative economy; importance of small firms and entrepreneurship for development.

Free press, access to information vital for development, top UN officials stress

Marking the annual World Press Freedom Day, top United Nations officials have stressed the role of a secure and independent media, and access to information, in empowering individuals and advancing development.

ISDR Regional Coordinator visited Turkey

UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat Regional Coordinator for Europe Paola Albrito visited Ankara on 12-13 June 2008.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a message on the International Day In Support of Victims of Torture (26 June 2008) called the international community to continue to support the UN efforts to eliminate torture.

Photo by: John Isaac

Turkey receives $ 7 million for global warming

Government of Spain through a Fund established in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme donated US$ 7 million to Turkey to fight against adverse effects of global warming.

“MDG Fund Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change” project is the first climate adaptation initiative in Turkey and run by several UN agencies, including UNDP as the leading agency and coordinator of the project, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and United Nations Environment Programme. Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the main beneficiary and the leading executing agency for technical components of the project.

The project is extremely relevant and timely for Turkey, where 85% of the land area is “highly vulnerable to desertification”. As Turkey’s First National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2007 reported, Turkey is increasingly facing unstable weather patterns. The impact of climate change on Turkey’s weather patterns shows itself in the form of rising summer temperatures, loss of surface waters, greater frequency of droughts, land degradation, coastal erosion, and flooding. All of these negatively affect water availability and production.

Minister Atalay and Guler Sabanci attened the meeting. RC Ayub and UNFPA Rep Siebenrepresented the UN

UNJP Semi-annual Review Meeting

UNJP Semi-annual Review Meeting was held in Kars on June 13 with the participation of the Minister of Interior Besir Atalay, UN Resident Coordinator Mahmood Ayub, UNFPA Representative Peer Sieben and Sabanci Foundation Chairperson Guler Sabanci.

Women’s Shelters Project

In a cooperative effort by the Ministry of the Interior, the European Union and the United Nations, eight new women’s shelters will be established in cities throughout Turkey.

Shelter Management Training Workshop in Ankara

A Workshop on “Shelter Management Training” has been organized in Ankara, on June 19-20 2008, for the purposes of enabling a self-assessment of shelter services, by shelter managers, provided to women victimized by or under the risk of domestic violence, and improving the overall management of shelters.

Training of 500 Healthcare Professionals as Trainers on Violence against Women

500 healthcare professionals will be trained as trainers in the framework of “Combating Domestic Violence against Women Project” which is implemented by the Directorate General on the Status of Women (KSGM), with the technical assistance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the financial assistance of the European Union (EU). The 500 trainers are expected to provide training to 75,000 healthcare professionals combat violence against women (VAW).

Vocalist Muazzez Ersoy with young refugees

World Refugee Day

On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2008 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Turkey Office opened an “Exhibition – mixed photos and paintings” on Thursday, 19 June 2008 at Dikmen Vadisi Park, Ankara.

Main routes

Ban calls for 'redoubled' efforts on causes and consequences of forced displacement

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has marked 20 June World Refugee Day with a call for greater international solidarity to protect victims of forced displacement across the globe.

UNIC Ankara celebrates Children's Day

On 17 and 18 April 2008, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Ankara organized two get-togethers with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spouses Association. Fifty children who are under the protection of Social Services and Child Protection Institution

WHO wants a ban on all tobacco advertising to protect youth

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged governments to protect the world’s 1.8 billion young people by imposing a ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

WHO creates new surgical tool to make operations safer everywhere

With major surgery now occurring at a rate of 234 million procedures per year - one for every 25 people - and studies indicating that a significant percentage result in preventable complications and deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new safety checklist for surgical teams to use in operating theatres, as part of a major drive to make surgery safer around the world

"Preventable surgical injuries and deaths are now a growing concern," said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. "Using the Checklist is the best way to reduce surgical errors and improve patient safety.

With aid lagging, African leaders and key international organizations launch a landmark consensus report on how to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa

At a critical time for Africa, and with just one week until the Group of Eight leaders meet in Hokkaido, Japan, to discuss how to speed up poverty reduction on the continent, key African leaders joined forces with the multilateral development system to say—in one voice—that the G8 needs to make good on its existing promises to support African development and that African and international leaders have produced a practical plan to use this support to reduce poverty on the continent.

UNIFEM Executive Director

The appointment of Inés Alberdi of Spain as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, has been announced by UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis.

Inés Alberdi has worked for over 25 years on gender issues and in politics. She comes to UNIFEM from her previous position as Professor of Sociology at Madrid University where she has taught Political Sociology and Sociology of Gender since 1993. Prior to that, she was Director for Research at the Centre for Sociological Research (1992–1993). Ms. Alberdi has published extensively on family and women’s issues. Her distinguished academic career also included positions as Associate Researcher at George Washington University, Washington, DC (1988–1989), and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University, Washington, DC (1978–1979), as well as an Eisenhower Fellowship (1998).

Give people with disabilities access to information technology

Attitudes towards the world’s 650 million people living with disabilities need to change so that their right to participate fully in the information society is honoured, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Please share your views and opinions on United Nations and our magazine with us. We value your input. You can reach us at : unic.ankara@unic.org

UN Turkey Newsletter board of editors (in alphabetical order)

Ahmet Parla
Aygen Aytaç
Gökçe Yörükoğlu
Halide Çaylan
Meltem Ağduk
Metin Çorabatır
Müveddet Farrell
Nezih Tavlaş
Pınar Perçinel
Selin Arslan
Sema Hosta
Şehnaz Tanılkan

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