Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
by Amelie Clemot
Human rights are for everyone, no matter who you are or whom you love.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, this year's recipient of the Harvey Milk Medal
On Friday, June 26, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the United States Supreme Court ruling that the US Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. He called this decision a “great step forward for human rights.”
In the past, the UN has conducted several studies that show that denying couples legal recognition of their relationship leads to widespread discrimination. LGBTI young people are often exposed to stigma, discrimination and violence, with tragic consequences, including lifelong trauma and self-harm. In 2014, a study in Thailand from UNESCO revealed that 56% of LGBTI students had been bullied in the last month alone. A significant proportion of these students reported missing classes, feeling depressed, having unprotected sex, or had attempted suicide. In some countries, young LGBT persons are subjected to harmful so-called ‘therapies’ intended to ‘modify’ their orientation or identity. Such therapies are unethical, unscientific and ineffective and may be tantamount to torture. In addition, in 76 countries, having a partner of the same sex is even a prosecutable crime. People are arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases may executed, just because they are in a loving relationship.
The health and well-being of all children and young adults must be protected. This can be done in part by ensuring access to non-discriminatory health services and comprehensive sexuality education, and by protecting the rights of all children and young adults to their identity, autonomy, and physical and psychological integrity.
The 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a resolution to encourage Presbyterians to hold LGBT persons around the world in their prayers, encourage the Presbyterian Mission Agency to create educational resources and to encourage congregations to consider preparations to provide sanctuary, safety and support for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
by Madeline Bacchus, Sarah Hoyle, and Willa Van Camp
The 7466th Security Council Meeting focused on children and armed conflict. The primary goal of the meeting was to vote on Resolution 2225 which would recognize child abduction, one of the six grave violations of children's rights, as a criteria for inclusion in the annex of the Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict. The report discusses grave violations that are being committed against children in various parts of the world and includes a list of all the parties cited for committing violations against children in the ...
by Nathan Jumper
June 26 marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. It set the stage for the ratification of the UN Charter which was completed October . It is, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarked:
an opportunity to reflect – to look back on the UN’s history and take stock of its enduring achievements. It is also an opportunity to spotlight where the UN – and the international community as a whole – needs to redouble its efforts to meet current and future challenges across the three pillars of its work: peace and security, development, and human rights.
by Sarah Hoyle
Six months ago, we thought that violence and suffering had peaked and peace was on the horizon. We were wrong.
- Toby Lanzer, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan
Unfortunately now, conditions in South Sudan are much worse than they were six months ago. OCHA South Sudan has just released the midyear report on conditions and progress in the region, and crises for those caught in violence and turmoil in South Sudan are as dire as ever.
The report highlights 4 main areas of crisis that are currently of greatest concern.
1. Displacement. About 2.1 million people have ...
by Amélie Clémot
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter, musicians from Sweden, who will perform at the official ceremonies on June 26th in San Francisco, came to the Church Center for the United Nations to compliment the reading and reaffirmation of the UN Charter. The piece preformed, "The Way Chose You," was written and directed by Stefan Safsten, who was inspired to compose the piece after reading the following poem by Dag Hammarskjöld, the second UN secretary general and the only one to die in the line of duty: