The World This Week

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29.04.2016 - This week's #PhotoFriday highlights some of the most important UN news stories from around the world.

Ban Ki moon at the ICJ

Pictured with the Secretary-General (starting second from left): Albert Koenders, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the ICJ; Philippe Couvreur, Registrar of the Court. Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre right) inaugurates the new Museum and Learning Centre of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The inauguration took place following the ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the 20th April 2016.  The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

Thematic Event on SDGs

Opening ceremony of General Assembly Seventieth session: High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

At United Nations Headquarters, New York on 21 April 2016 there was a High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  The event was convened by UN President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mogens Lykketoft.  The aim of the event was to ensure the prompt and inclusive implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  Actor Forest Whitaker was one of the special speakers.

Ban Ki moon Paris Agreement

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon takes a moment to review his speech before addressing world leaders gathered for the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Ban Ki moon and DiCaprio

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon greets UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio spoke at the signing ceremony, urging world leaders to “think about the shame that each of us will carry when our children and grandchildren look back and realize that we had the means of stopping this devastation, but simply lacked the political will to do so." Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

On 22 April 2016, 175 world leaders gathered in United Nations Headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement: a landmark accord for global action on climate change. Adopted in Paris by the 196 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at a conference known as COP21 last December, the Agreement’s objective is to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification.  

World Malaria Day

A young girl reads under her malaria net in West Bengal, India. Photo: United Nations Development Programme

World Malaria day was marked on 25 April.  Worldwide, new malaria cases have fallen by 18 per cent since 2000.  Investment in malaria prevention and treatment is one of the most cost-effective ways to spend money. The World Health Organization estimates that anti-malarial efforts have saved $900 million in healthcare costs alone since 2001, in addition to the economic contributions of people who would otherwise be sick.


Crew Cleanup after Chernobyl Nuclear Accident. Photo: UN Photo Archives

After the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, thousands of Soviet soldiers assisted with the cleanup. Repair crews made up of chemical defence troops mobilised for work throughout the 30 kilometre zone around the plant, including highly contaminated areas near the damaged reactor. 26 April marked the 30th anniversary of the accident.  

Peacebuilding architecture

Mogens Lykketoft (shown on screen), President of the seventieth session of the General Assembly, chairs the Assembly’s meeting. Photo: UN Photo

On 27 April, the General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture”. The Security Council also adopted a substantively identical resolution on the same day, with the two resolutions providing renewed momentum for the focus on ‘sustaining peace’ within the UN system.