International Day of the Girl; Pakistan; DRC; Unemployment

International Day of the Girl: Today, the UN marked the first International Day of the Girl Child by calling for an end to child marriage, and stressing education as one of the best strategies for protecting girls against this harmful practice. The day was designated as October 11 by a resolution adopted by the GA in December 2011, to recognize girls’ rights and highlight the unique challenges girls face worldwide. In honor of the day, the SG called investing in our future’s girls is “a moral imperative” and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of the Elders, launched the report “Marrying too Young: Ending Child Marriage.”

Pakistan: The SG yesterday expressed his outrage and strong condemnation of the shooting of the three girls, including Malala Yousufzai, in Pakistan. In a statement, the SG noted that he has been deeply moved by Malala Yousufzai’s courageous efforts to promote the fundamental right to education, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

DRC: UNICEF announced today that the DRC will now be introducing a new vaccine against pneumonia free of charge. The pneumococcal vaccine is available in Congo thanks to funds donated by the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership that includes UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and civil society, among others.

Unemployment: The DG of the ILO – on the margins of the annual meeting of the WB and IMF in Tokyo – projected that global unemployment will rise by seven million next year to 207 million, three million more than previously estimated. In response, the DG noted that “additional measures are urgently needed,” and called on the world’s major economies to act on their pledge to take urgent action if the economic crisis worsens.