DECEMBER 2009

volume II, #2 NEWSLETTER

F RIENDS
GA 64

OF THE UN
“Now Is Our Time”

The 64th Session of the General Assembly may yet come to be known as the “Global Climate Session”. This was clearly in evidence when at the outset of the Session the Secretary General convened a meeting of 100 heads of States and governments to set the stage for the Copenhagen summit, scheduled to be held toward the end of the Session. The Secretary General Explained that this was the recognition of the need for an agreement, which all nations could embrace in line with their capabilities - consistent with what science required - - grounded in “green jobs and green growth” the life line of the 21st century. Although the SG had hoped that the road to Copenhagen would help us bridge differences, difference indeed did remain and the “accord” reached at the Copenhagen at COP15 is somewhat less than was expected. Never the less the Session did served to catalyze some fresh thinking on binding agreements and raise the hopes of people everywhere, that governments were indeed ready to take the steps necessary to stabilize the world’s climate system. Whatever its shortcoming Copenhagen did signal that Climate Change is rapidly becoming a Global Movement and that people are becoming more conscious of the need to take greater personal responsibility for the stabilization of the world’s climate system.

In his message to 64th General Assembly the Secretary General struck a note of both urgency and hope when he told world leaders that “Now is our time.  A time to put the “united” back into the United Nations.   United in purpose. United in action. To this end he laid out three challenges: First ‑‑to make this a year that we the united nations, rise to the greatest challenge we face as a human family:  the threat of catastrophic climate change. Our road to Copenhagen requires us to bridge our differences.   I firmly believe we can. Second ‑‑ to make this the year that nations united to free our world of nuclear weapons. This coming May, at the United Nations Review Conference on the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, we have an opportunity to push for real progress. Third ‑‑ to make this the year that we focus on our fight against world poverty and on those left behind. Recent reports such as “Voices of the Vulnerable”, highlights a new crisis.   The near-poor are becoming the new poor. An estimated 100  million people could fall below the poverty line this year.   Markets may be bouncing back, but incomes and jobs are not.
Because we are the United Nations.  We are the best hope for humankind.  And now is our time.”

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DECEMBER 2009

UN DAY CE L E B R ATION

A Tribute to the UN Peacekeepers
Mr. LeRoy Head of the Peacekeeping Department

On 22 October 2009 in support of the UN Day the Friends of the United Nations hosted a special ceremony to recognize and honor the role of peacekeeping throughout the world.

Special Tributes were Payed to: 1. 2. 3. Canada: to the memory of the Honorable Lester B. Pearson for introducing the concept of peacekeeping as a way of addressing critical conflict situations. UN Peacekeepers: for distinguished service in the cause of peace and the promotion of human security. 17th Police Precinct of NYC: for more than 6 decades of quiet but dedicated service to the diplomatic community and the UN Secretariat.

Dr. Noel Brown MC for the evening

Distinguished Speakers:
Mr. Terry George Award winning Director/Producer

Mr. LeRoy, Head of the Peacekeeping Department. Mr. Terry George, Award winning Director/Producer (Hotel Rwanda) Mr. Allan Buchman, President “Cultural Project” This event is expected to set the stage for a dialogue between artists and peacekeepers as collaborator in finding ways in which the arts can more fully serve the cause of peace.

Mr. Allan Buchman President “Cultural Project”

866 UN Plaza • room #544 • New York, NY 10017 • t: 212 355 4195

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DECEMBER 2009

UN DAY CE L E B R ATION
Concert Dedicated to the UN Peacekeepers

October 23. 2009 concert at the

UN General Assembly Hall under a theme:  “A Tribute to Peacekeeping”, was organized by the Department of Public Information and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in partnership with the Culture Project, a New York based non-profit organization dedicated to artistic work focusing on social justice and civic engagement. As indicated by the theme, “A

Tribute to Peacekeeping”, the concert celebrated United Nations Day 2009 by using different art forms to focus on the achievements and importance of United Nations peacekeeping. Musical performances by artists

from a broad array of countries, oral presentations by public figures, and documentary film clips highlighted the faces and stories of the people in the field, and was used to pay homage to the Blue Helmets on the sixty-fourth anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations. The event was intended to create greater public awareness of the important mission performed by peacekeeping operations around the globe.
The concert is available on the United Nations webcast archive for the date of 23 October.

at http://www.un.org/webcast.
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december 2009

NEWSLETTER

S M A RT C I T I E S IN ITIATIVE
Friends of the UN plans to convene and facilitate an eminent person’s roundtable of mayors, municipal leaders, distinguished experts and policy makers to further develop the concept of the Smart City and to lay the foundation for a larger Smart Cities Summit. During the preparatory phase Friends of the UN will collaborate with experts in the Smart City consulting field, representatives of media, planners, builders, real estate developers, and government leaders thereby assuring a diversity of expertise and experience in order to enrich the proceedings.

Proposed Program Outline:
1. Smart People 2. Smart Living 3. Smart Economy 4. Smart Environment 5. Smart Design 6. Smart Mobility 7. Smart Governance

866 UN Plaza • room #544 • New York, NY 10017 • t: 212 355 4192 www.fotun.org

december 2009

WATE R : UR G EN T URBAN CHALLENGE
Friends of the United Nations Supports WUXI Forum on Impending Water Crisis
Every

Water Crisis:
day, thousands of people die from lack of access to clean water. The safe water issue is intimately linked to hygiene education and proper sanitation, which is why we take an integrated approach to bringing safe water to the world’s poor. The facts: 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease, 43% of water-related deaths are due to diarrhea, 84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 - 14. 98% of waterrelated deaths occur in the developing world. 884 million people, lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people. The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. http:// water.org/learn-about-the-water-crisis/facts/

In collaboration with Global Human Settlements Forum (China) FOUN is exploring ways to promote the sustainable use and management of the planet’s increasingly stressed water resource systems. In its new initiative on global water security strategies for sustainable solutions, FOUN is in consultation with a number of groups whose innovative and state of the art technology shows great promise.

The 2009 Global Forum on Human Settlements was held in Wuxi on November 8. Li Jinhua, Vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Gu Xiulian, Vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People’s Congress, Yang Weize, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee and Secretary of the CPC Wuxi Municipal Committee, Xu Ming, Vice-governor of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government, Dr. Noel Brown, Chairman of the Friends of the United Nations and Vice-chairman of the Global Forum on Human Settlements, and other prestigious delegates were present at the forum. The forum has a theme of “Water and Human Settlements in the 21st Century”. A thematic conference was held on the same morning the forum opened, and issued the Wuxi Declaration on Water and Human Settlements in the 21st Century after discussion. In the afternoon, exchanges were carried out around such topics as “construction of civilized cities, control of lakes, and construction of habitats”. http://www.jiangsu.gov.cn/JSGOVEN08/windowsofjiangsu

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december 2009

TO WA R D A S U S TA INABLE IRAQ
FOUN Supports the Global Initiative Toward a Sustainable Iraq (GITSI)
FOUN is pleased to announce that it is partnering with GITSI in promoting the mobilization of Iraq’s Civil Society in the rebuilding of Iraq. At a high level Seminar on Sustainable Development (SD): Challenges and Prospects in Iraq, held in last November 2009 and sponsored by UNDP Iraq and the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), United Arab Emirates, officials and professionals from Iraq and around the world, including UNDP Iraq and Harvard University, gathered in Amman, Jordan to exchange ideas and expertise in this respect.

http://gitsi.org

(from left to right) Iraqi Embassy Official, H.E. Saad Al Hayani, Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan, Prof. Noel Brown, FOUN President, Dr. Ayad Altaai, GITSI General Coordinator

Bagdad

During 2010 and 2011, a series of similar activities are planned to address such issues as National SD Strategy, Sustainable Education Agriculture, Water, Women and Youth in Iraq.

Power of Film in Building Culture of Peace
FOUN continues to partner with Global Peace Film Festival which strives to use this media in support of the United Nations Decade for the Culture of Peace. Based on this experience FOUN plans to encourage young Iraqi film makers to share their vision of a post war Iraq on the ways in which this historic culture might come to be better appreciated by audiences around the world. To this end an Iraqi “Culture of Peace” Film Festival is actively under consideration.

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december 2009

TO UR I S M : S U S TA INABILITY ALLY

Dr. Noel Brown urges climate literacy at CMEx St. Lucia Conference.

Addressing the 18th Caribbean Media Exchange Conference on Climate Change in St. Lucia last month Dr. Noel Brown observed that the Caribbean was one of the most climate friendly region in the world. With a kind of sustained climate balance and relatively free from extremes and little by way of severe weather. Climate was thus one of the region’s principal natural assets and one that makes it a premier world destination. But this could change if scientific projections are correct. The region could face more frequent and more intense storms, see level rise, vegetation and water vapor migration and the still yet to be fully determined the hazards of ocean acidification. That is why like every other region the Caribbean must take Climate Change seriously and even more personally. To this end Dr. Brown advocated a vigorous climate education program, which could lead to a new kind of climate literacy for the people of the region. He then challenged the CMEX to exercise greater leadership in this area.

Editor: - Rusudan Grigolia
866 UN Plaza • room #544 • New York, NY 10017 • t: 212 355 4192 www.fotun.org