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Achieving our Common Humanity

Celebrating Global Cooperation Through the United Nations

image of Achieving our Common Humanity

Achieving our Common Humanity: Celebrating Global Cooperation through the United Nations portrays landmark accomplishments of the United Nations in supporting peace and security, promoting and protecting human rights, fostering economic and social development, and shaping international law. Amply illustrated with photographs, charts, maps and infographics, and featuring a wealth of information on how the United Nations serves the peoples of the world, this book depicts a wide range of challenges that the Organization has met and successful initiatives that it has conceived and spearheaded as a matter of common purpose among nations in favour of collective human progress. Its rich tapestry of stories explores the diverse ways in which the United Nations fights poverty, combats climate change and protects the environment, undertakes to transform conflicts into peace, helps refugees thrive, supports sharing the benefits of technology, works to stop the spread of infectious diseases and reduce the risk of disasters, and helps render justice for all and ensure the rights of women and children. While recounting decisive innovations at the level of global policy and international agreement, Achieving our Common Humanity also provides a view of how such changes have significantly improved the lives of affected individuals around the world. These remarkable stories show how the United Nations, with its ambitious and evolving vision for the shared prosperity of people and planet, is helping create a better world for everyone.

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Keeping the flame of human rights

Amina’s harrowing ordeal began in 2015 when she lost her husband and her brother to a bomb that destroyed their home in Mogadishu during the ongoing civil war in Somalia. Her sons—aged 13 and 14 at the time—were forced to flee along with one of their cousins, for they were in danger of being recruited by the Al-Shabaab armed group. Amina herself left Somalia soon afterwards, going from war-ravaged Yemen on to Sudan, where she finally met up with her sons. There they negotiated with traffickers to take them to Libya, but once the group reached the city of Bani Walid in that country, the traffickers demanded $10,000 for each of the four family members. Amina did not have the means to pay. The traffickers tortured her for seven months, and then began torturing her sons as well. After Amina and her sons had spent 15 months in captivity, the traffickers, seeing no further profit to be made, released them. Together with a fifth family member, they were brought to the coast and placed on an inflatable boat ostensibly bound for Europe. A few hours after embarking, however, the boat began to sink. The Libyan Coast Guard came to the rescue and brought them back to the harbour. There, representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were waiting, and arranged for medical care.

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