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UNHCR-Organised Repatriation to South Sudan Starts

UNHCR_Sudan.jpg Leaving years of exile in a refugee camp in Kenya behind them, Sudanese refugees travel through the dramatic scenery of South Sudan on the first convoy of UNHCR's organised repatriation which officially started on Saturday. "This is a joyous day, the day we welcome refugees home from exile after decades of war," a representative of the government of South Sudan said at a ceremony on Saturday in Nadapal, just inside South Sudan on the Kenyan border, where local residents waved paper flags of what they call "New Sudan" to welcome their kinfolk home." [Read more] See also: South Sudan Repatriation Outlook
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MTV Special to Follow Actress Jolie to Kenya

"MTV plans to chronicle a visit to poverty-stricken African villages by actress Angelina Jolie on Sept. 14, three months after co-star and off-screen companion Brad Pitt gained notice with a similar ABC special. The MTV documentary will follow Jolie as she accompanies United Nations adviser and economist Jeffrey Sachs on a trip to Sauri, a remote group of villages in western Kenya where his team is battling hunger and disease, the cable channel said this week. The 30-minute program, a special episode of MTV's long-running "Diary" series spotlighting celebrities, will coincide with the opening of a U.N. special summit on goals for improving living standards in developing nations. The actress, an Oscar winner for "Girl, Interrupted," has visited U.N. operations around the world as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations' High Commissioner on Refugees since 2001." [Read more]
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Americans at the UN

"Americans should seek to learn more about the broader mandate and work of the UN and its agencies beyond the very limited portrayal of the UN in the mainstream media. Americans should follow the important work of the UN through mechanisms such as the UN Wire, and should express their support and ideas for the UN by communicating these to their elected representatives and the President." - Andrew Hudson, Principal Technical Advisor, International Waters, at United Nations Development Program's Global Environment Facility hudson.gif There are thousands of Americans who work for the UN - over 1,800 in New York City alone. "Americans at the UN" is a project dedicated to telling their stories and celebrating the extraordinary work they do quietly every single day in countries all over the world. The Americans profiled on these pages come from very different backgrounds and work in extremely diverse settings. But whether they are from Los Angeles, St. Louis, or Boston, and whether they work from an office in New York City, a tent in a tiny village in Sri Lanka, or a battleground in the Congo, they are all committed to creating a better world. LEARN MORE
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Hope and Generosity Can Triumph Over Hate

Jeffrey Sachs: "When world leaders gather at the United Nations summit in September, they can build quickly on the Gleneagles achievements. They should insist that donor countries that still lack a timetable to 0.7 per cent announce one in order to complete the financing package for Africa and other poor regions; that the IMF, World Bank, and other international organisations set their work plans according to the Millennium Development Goals; and that the new donor commitments to double aid start now. The leaders should be guided by the spirit of London that was on display last week, which showed that hope and generosity are the greatest bulwarks against terror and hate."
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Athletics for a Better World

"The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with the support of three UN agencies - WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNICEF - has launched a Charity Project entitled "Athletics for a Better World - The IAAF Stars' Donation Fund". The initiative aims to encourage top athletes to increase awareness of and raise funds for humanitarian initiatives." Read more at the WFP website
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Doctor Works to Revolutionize AIDS Battle

"Ernest Darkoh saw early what was wrong with Africa. In Kenya, where he spent his teenage years, he watched as government mismanagement and corruption sometimes left his parents, both university professors, without paychecks for a month or more. Neighbors lived in abject poverty, and crime was a constant worry. When Darkoh was 19, a friend his age died at a local hospital because doctors, worried the boy might have AIDS, refused to treat him." Read More
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UN Video Game a Hit

"Charity now begins at your home computer. A new on-line video game that shows players how helping starving people can be exciting has attracted more than one million downloads from China to Canada. The free game, Food Force, puts players behind the wheel of a United Nations food truck navigating its way through minefields or at the back of an airplane unloading food sacks in gusty conditions. The stakes are high -- if you make mistakes, starving people will die." Link
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Americans at the UN

The UN is important for Americans because we of all people should realize that we don't exist on the planet as an island. Most Americans trace ancestry to other lands and cultures giving us a rich history of international composition and heritage. - Mark Kroeker, Civilian Police Advisor, Department of Peacekeeping Operations Kroeker1.jpg There are thousands of Americans who work for the UN - over 1,800 in New York City alone. "Americans at the UN" is a project dedicated to telling their stories and celebrating the extraordinary work they do quietly every single day in countries all over the world. The Americans profiled come from very different backgrounds and work in extremely diverse settings. But whether they are from Los Angeles, St. Louis, or Boston, and whether they work from an office in New York City, a tent in a tiny village in Sri Lanka, or a battleground in the Congo, they are all committed to creating a better world. LEARN MORE
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Interview With OCHA’s Aimee Wielechowski

TRANSCRIPT Chris DeBello: The news and talk shows have made it a hobby of debating and criticizing the UN. If you watch those debates you come away thinking that all the UN does is international diplomacy, politics, and well, arguing. My guest is here to present the other side of the UN; there are countless within the UN as well as via organizations aligned w/ the UN that make a huge difference in our world. One of these organizations features a woman with, well some very local roots. To talk more about this and the UN Foundation is Franklin, NJ native, Aimee Wielechowski. Amy: Good morning, how are you CD: Very good to talk with you and tell the listeners exactly where you are that I am talking to you Amy: I'm actually in Nairobi in Kenya right now, waiting to go north to Khartoum in Sudan where I'll be working for the next four to six weeks or so. CD: And just to make it totally official I want to give your full title. You are the response Officer, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Internal Displacement Division. Home base is Geneva, that must be a very large business card you need for a title like that. Amy: Indeed, yes I work through OCHA, we're called, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which is part of the UN secretariat, yes, and part of a relatively new division called the Internal Displacement Division which really tries to look at how we can solve the problems faced by the millions of people who are displaced from their homes by war or natural disaster but who haven't crossed the border so they're not refugees so there's no body of law to assist them except their own national bodies of law, so we're working with national governments and other humanitarian agencies to try and find ways to help millions of people who are displaced by conflict and natural disasters.