New UN interactive website seeks to combat world hunger
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today launched an interactive web site aimed at helping to feed the hundreds of million of hungry people around the globe, providing practical information for policy-makers, legal practitioners, civil society members, UN staff, academics and the general public.
“For the realization of the right to food, information is crucial,” FAO Right to Food Unit, Coordinator Barbara Ekwall said. “A right can only be claimed by people who are informed. Rights can only be respected, protected and fulfilled by a country that is aware of its obligations and of means to bring about necessary changes.”
The site includes training materials and an e-learning course, tools to raise awareness of the right to food, and a virtual library containing manuals, technical papers, policy briefs, case studies and publications.
It also features information on the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security, which were endorsed by the FAO Council in 2004 and provide practical guidance to countries in their efforts to eradicate hunger by adopting a human rights-based approach.
Development of the web site was made possible with funding from the German government. To accommodate a wide range of users, a low-band, text-only version is also available, and the information can be downloaded to CDs and disseminated locally.
“The right to food web site is an excellent resource and a fine example of internal and external collaboration – from capacity-building activities, such as the e-learning modules… to networking and successful case studies from around the globe,” FAO Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building Division Director Anton Mangstl said.
Also today, the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), a key project of the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), re-launched its website with new content, and design, and improved ease of use, to bring multimedia humanitarian news and analysis covering crises in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Formed in 1995, IRIN enjoys editorial independence from its donors and OCHA. “IRIN has provided a unique and vital service to the humanitarian community and millions of people in need since 1995,” acting UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Margareta Wahlström said. “The new IRIN website – dynamic, modern and flexible – is a key tool for humanitarian advocacy.”
IRIN’s main online audience is the humanitarian community, the media and academia.
In yet another Internet initiative, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which promotes the integration of developing countries into the world economy, has expanded its efforts to help these States to select statistics and set up effective Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies.
The Geneva-based agency announced today that it has redesigned its subsite http://measuring-ict.unctad.org to better match national statistical offices needs in offering key information on ICT data collection and dissemination. It also includes information on UNCTAD’s advisory missions and training courses.