Global perspective Human stories

UN Gender Focus: zika virus, climate change and indigenous languages

UN Gender Focus: zika virus, climate change and indigenous languages


Zika virus now in at least 18 countries in Latin America and Caribbean

A virus that could result in devastating birth defects has now spread to at least 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a branch of the World Health Organization. The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos. Its most common symptoms are a mild fever and skin rash accompanied by joint or muscle pain. It’s not thought to be fatal, but health experts becoming increasingly concerned about how the virus could affect unborn babies. Veronica Reeves  spoke with Dr Marcos Espinal from the Pan American Health Organization and asked him why determining if someone is sick with Zika is so challenging.

Gro Harlem Brundtland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

“Everyone is responsible” moving climate agenda forward

“Everyone is responsible” for moving the climate change agenda forward following last month’s historic agreement in Paris. That’s the view of Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, widely accepted to be the author of the whole “sustainable development” concept. More than 190 countries agreed to limit global temperature rises due to emissions to less than 2 degrees Celsius. The first female Prime Minster of Norway is now UN Foundation Board Vice Chair, and she was awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize 2016 on Tuesday. Basma Baghal caught up with Dr Brundtland at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Activist Amy Kalili. Photo: UN Radio/Matthew Wells

Mothers helped save Hawaiian language from extinction

Mothers were crucial to so-called “language nests” that brought spoken Hawaiian back from the brink of extinction. That’s according to activist Amy Kalili, who has been part of the US state of Hawaii’s indigenous language movement since the 1990s. Latest government figures show there are more than 18,000 fluent speakers, a significant increase on ten years earlier. Ms Kalili has been attending an international expert group meeting at UN headquarters on preserving and revitalizing Indigenous Languages. Matthew Wells asked her to explain why Hawaiian had nearly died out.

Presenter: Veronica Reeves

Production Assistant: Sandra Guy

Duration: 10’00″

Audio Duration
Photo Credit