The work of the United Nations was again spread profoundly on twitter by its staffers and contractors in April. A number of the most popular tweets were centred on issues relating to climate change. Among the environmental themes were energy issues and food crises. Gender and child-targeted violence were also cited by staffers.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, alerted his large following to the need for greater ambition and action against climate change, as the climate continues to warm, creating short-term weather variance and rising ocean temperatures, thus shrinking ice coverage and disturbing ecosystems. Simultaneously, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, exacerbating the problem.
Climate change is still running faster than we are. 2016 was the warmest year since 1850. 2017 was the warmest on record without the El Niño effect. We need greater ambition to reverse this trend. https://t.co/e7W1coLdBI pic.twitter.com/NWrHjZXPV5
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 23, 2018
As single-use plastic is increasingly pushed to be removed from society, Erik Solheim presented Rwanda’s single-use plastic ban as an example to be followed. Ten years after the ban was introduced, Rwanda has become cleaner and more environmentally sustainable, contributing to the attraction of more visitors to the country.
— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) March 27, 2018
Martin Ras tweeted a link uncovering the countries most prepared for climate change. Renewable energy transition and security were the central measurement of ‘readiness’ – significant considering economic performance’s reliance on energy. The Scandinavian countries lead; while, the UK, Austria and the Netherlands were all well ranked. At the other end of the spectrum, Zimbabwe, Iran, Venezuela and Mozambique were amongst those considered to be most challenged by climate change and the need for renewable and sustainable energy transition.
— Martin F. Ras (@martinfredras) March 26, 2018
Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, tweeted ahead of World Health Day that nutritious food should be accessible for all. Moreover, food that has less impact on the environment – through more efficient use and less waste, and reducing food packaging for instance – can benefit food security and reduce environmental degradation.
We need food systems that offer healthy, nutritious & accessible food for all, and also have less impact on the environment. We need to transform the way we produce and consume #food. #Agroecology has much to offer to sustainable development https://t.co/UAHH8AjzSl pic.twitter.com/B5AxpWss8I
— Graziano da Silva (@grazianodasilva) April 4, 2018
Gustavo Gonzalez tweeted a powerful image of a child eating in dirty conditions. Children located in regions under climate adversity are not receiving adequate nutrition at a critical time for their body’s development. Extreme climate events – mainly drought – were major triggers of food crises in 23 countries with over 39 million food-insecure people in need of urgent assistance in 2017. Gonzalez urged for greater prevention and resilience in the fight for food security.
In areas with #climate shocks high proportion of children under 2 are not consuming minimum diet required for optimal #growth and #development .
See our collective report that urges for more investments in #prevention and #resilience .https://t.co/vokO6kQfgz#SDG2 #foodsecurity pic.twitter.com/bY3cV8q9Xo
— Gustavo Gonzalez (@ggonzzalezz) March 26, 2018
Following Winnie Mandela’s death on 2nd April, Amina Mohammed tweeted an homage to the anti-apartheid activist and ex-wife of Nelson Mandela. Winnie Mandela fought for equality, specifically for the black population suppressed in South Africa throughout apartheid. Additionally, she displayed the power of women to make change and has been an inspiration for minorities, women and people generally to strive for equality.
Mama @winniemandela was at the vanguard of empowerment, rights & equality not only in #SouthAfrica, across #Africa, but also globally. She was an inspiring and formidable leader for change. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/LNWVg3abx7
— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) April 3, 2018
When journalists are attacked so too is democracy, as Guy Berger uncovered. Female journalists are attacked online three times more than males, thus hurting gender equality in addition to democracy. Violence and censorship that silence women are to be combatted through a number of principles set out at the Commission on the Status of Women held at the UN’s New York HQ that Berger referenced. If women journalists are not safe, women’s empowerment is limited – significant considering that the right for women (and men) to report and review is an imperative of public right to information.
Attacks on women journalists, both online or offline, are hurting democracies https://t.co/qhYPC1kM8G
— Guy Berger (@guyberger) March 26, 2018
Marta Santos Pais tweeted numerous stirring images throughout April to spread the need for an end to violence against children. Her tweets included a reminder of the sustainable development goals that include ending child labour, trafficking and forced marriage.
#SDG target 16.2 on violence against children, is supported by other #SDG targets, incl: violence against women & girls (5.2), child & forced marriage, FGM (5.3), child labor, child soldiers (8.7), forced labor, modern slavery & human trafficking (8.7). photo:@unicef @SDG2030 pic.twitter.com/5S3edq0vb7
— Marta Santos Pais (@SRSGVAC) April 2, 2018
UN staffers activity on social media allows the work of the UN and the important issues they are supporting to spread across the public, thereby increasing awareness and prompting support and action to address problems and increase prosperity.