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#1626 2023-01-06 00:08:15

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1529) Chewing

Summary

Chewing, also called mastication, is up-and-down and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw that assist in reducing particles of solid food, making them more easily swallowed; teeth usually act as the grinding and biting surface. In cats and dogs, food is reduced only to a size that permits easy swallowing. Cows and other cud-chewing animals diminish their food to a semifluid state. In humans, food is usually the size of a few cubic millimetres before it is swallowed, but the size is somewhat dependent on the nature of the food, personal habits, and early training. The amount of chewing has little effect on digestion, but inadequately broken meat or vegetable fibres may slow digestion.

The muscles controlling the jaw movements are voluntarily controlled. The act of chewing, however, may become a conditioned reflex stimulated by the presence of food in the mouth. The crushing force exerted by the adult molar teeth is between 75 and 200 pounds per square inch, while that of the incisors is 30 to 70 pounds per square inch. Reasons for chewing food are to soften the tough fibres and to expose them to enzymes necessary for digestion. When food is mixed with the saliva of the mouth, it becomes hydrated and permeated with salivary enzymes; food is also lubricated by the mucus in saliva, which makes it more easily swallowed.

Details

Chewing or mastication is the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth. It is the first step of digestion, and it increases the surface area of foods to allow a more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned by the cheek and tongue between the teeth for grinding. The muscles of mastication move the jaws to bring the teeth into intermittent contact, repeatedly occluding and opening. As chewing continues, the food is made softer and warmer, and the enzymes in saliva begin to break down carbohydrates in the food. After chewing, the food (now called a bolus) is swallowed. It enters the esophagus and via peristalsis continues on to the stomach, where the next step of digestion occurs. Increasing the number of chews per bite increases relevant gut hormones. Studies suggest that chewing may decrease self-reported hunger and food intake. Chewing gum has been around for many centuries; there is evidence that northern Europeans chewed birch bark tar 9,000 years ago.

Chewing, needing specialized teeth, is mostly a mammalian adaptation that appeared in early Synapsids, though some later herbivorous dinosaurs, since extinct, had developed chewing too. Nowadays, only mammals chew in the strict sense of the word, though some fishes have a somewhat similar behavior. Neither birds, nor amphibians or any living reptiles chew.

Premastication is sometimes performed by human parents for infants who are unable to do so for themselves. The food is masticated in the mouth of the parent into a bolus and then transferred to the infant for consumption. (Some other animals also premasticate.)

Cattle and some other animals, called ruminants, chew food more than once to extract more nutrients. After the first round of chewing, this food is called cud.

Chewing is important and beneficial for overall health. If food is not chewed correctly it can cause choking and other digestive problems.

Chewing motor program

Chewing is primarily an unconscious (semi-autonomic) act, but can be mediated by higher conscious input. The motor program for mastication is a hypothesized central nervous system function by which the complex patterns governing mastication are created and controlled.

It is thought that feedback from proprioceptive nerves in teeth and the temporomandibular joints govern the creation of neural pathways, which in turn determine duration and force of individual muscle activation (and in some cases muscle fiber groups as in the masseter and temporalis).

This motor program continuously adapts to changes in food type or occlusion. This adaptation is a learned skill that may sometimes require relearning to adapt to loss of teeth or to dental appliances such as dentures.

It is thought that conscious mediation is important in the limitation of parafunctional habits as most commonly, the motor program can be excessively engaged during periods of sleep and times of stress. It is also theorized that excessive input to the motor program from myofascial pain or occlusal imbalance can contribute to parafunctional habits.

Muscles:

Muscles of mastication

There are four classical muscles of mastication. During mastication, three muscles of mastication (musculi masticatorii) are responsible for adduction of the jaw, and one (the lateral pterygoid) helps to abduct it. All four move the jaw laterally. Other muscles, usually associated with the hyoid, such as the mylohyoid muscle, are responsible for opening the jaw in addition to the lateral pterygoid.
Nutrition and health:

Chewing stimulates saliva production and increases sensory perception of the food being eaten, controlling when the food is swallowed.[6] Evidence from one study suggests that chewing almonds 25-40 times kept people fuller while also allowing them to get more nutrients out of the almonds. The researchers also suggest that this is likely to be the case in other foods. Eating food which does not require chewing, by choice or due to medical reasons as tooth loss, is known as a soft diet. Such a diet may lead to inadequate nutrition due to a reduction in fruit and vegetable intake.

Chewing also stimulates the hippocampus and is necessary to maintain its normal function.

In other animals

Chewing is largely an adaptation for mammalian herbivory. Carnivores generally chew very little or swallow their food whole or in chunks.[10] This act of gulping food (or medicine pills) without chewing has inspired the English idiom "wolfing it down".

Other animals such as cows chew their food for long periods to allow for proper digestion in a process known as rumination. Rumination in cows has been shown by researchers to intensify during the night. They concluded that cows chewed more intently in the night time compared to the morning.

Ornithopods, a group of dinosaurs including the Hadrosaurids ("duck-bills"), developed teeth analogous to mammalian molars and incisors during the Cretaceous period; this advanced, cow-like dentition allowed the creatures to obtain more nutrients from the tough plant life. This may have given them the advantage needed to compete with the formidable sauropods, who depended on their massive gastrointestinal tracts to digest food without grinding it, in their ecological niches. They eventually became some of the most successful animals on the planet until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped them out.

In machinery

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The process of chewing has, by analogy, been applied to machinery. The U.S. Forest Service uses a machine called a masticator (also called a forestry mulching machine) to "chew" through brush and timber in order to clear firelines in advance of a wildfire.

A cold press juicer uses the mastication process to extract juice from fruit and vegetable without the loss of oxygen or heat-sensitive nutrients as there is less friction involved.

Additional Information:

Mastication Definition

Mastication is the mechanical grinding of food into smaller pieces by teeth; it is essentially a technical word for “chewing”. Mastication breaks down food so that it can go through the esophagus to the stomach. Breaking down food into smaller pieces also increases its surface area so that digestive enzymes can continue to break it down more efficiently. Muscles involved in mastication include the masseter, temporalis, medial pterygoid, and lateral pterygoid.

Function of Mastication

Mastication is step one of the digestion process. It breaks down food into smaller pieces so that it can be further digested by enzymes. Many different bones, such as the teeth and mandible (jaw bone), and muscles like the tongue and jaw muscles all work together to enable a person to chew food. Mastication should not be confused with maceration, which is the breaking down of food into chyme in the stomach.

Chewing originated with the evolution of herbivory in animals. Those animals that ate plants needed to grind them up before swallowing, and flat teeth such as molars were most efficient for masticating plant material. Carnivores, which have pointy canine teeth, do very little chewing of their food, sometimes even eating it whole. Humans are omnivores; we eat both plants and animals. This is reflected by the variety of shapes of our teeth. We have both molars and canine teeth in addition to premolars and incisors (front teeth).

Muscles of Mastication:

Masseter

The masseter muscles are powerful muscles that are located in the cheek area. There is one on either side of the face, so the two muscles are called the left and right masseter muscles. The function of the masseter muscles is to raise the lower jaw by elevating the mandible during chewing. Herbivorous animals have large, strong masseter muscles since they have to do a lot of chewing.

Temporalis

The temporalis (also called temporal) muscle is a large, semi-circle-shaped muscle that reaches from the molars to the temples and curls back around to the approximate location of the ear. It is the strongest muscle in the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. The anterior, or front, part of the muscle helps close the mouth, while the posterior, or back, part of the muscle moves the jaw backward in a movement known as retrusion.

Medial Pterygoid

The medial pterygoid muscle is a thick muscle that is located from the back of the molars to just under eye level (it is located behind the orbits). It has many functions including closing the jaw, moving the jaw back to the middle if excursion (side-to-side movement) has occurred, and aiding in protrusion of the mandible, which is when the jaw moves forward.

Lateral Pterygoid

The lateral pterygoid muscle is located above the medial pterygoid. It can lower the jaw and move the jaw from side to side (excursion). It also helps move the jaw forward. It is the only muscle involved with mastication that opens the jaw; all the others help close the jaw.

The Masticatory Cycle

The masticatory cycle is the pathway that the mandible takes while chewing food. During the opening phase, the mandible is depressed, which means that is opened; it is lowered to create space to take in food. During the closing phase, the jaw closes. This action is performed mainly by the masseter, temporalis, and medial pterygoid muscles. The third phase is the occlusal phase. During this phase, the teeth make contact with one another and the chewing motion is completed. Then the cycle begins again, with the jaw opening and closing and the teeth occluding until the food has been chewed enough to swallow.

The Temporomandibular Joint

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the jaw joint. It is named for the temporal bone and the mandible, which are two bones that articulate at this joint. The mandible is moved by the four muscles of mastication, while the temporal bone remains in one place; in other words, mastication is accomplished by moving only the lower jaw.

Experiencing pain, limited movement, and popping noises when opening the mouth is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). It is relatively common, affecting 20-30% of the adult population worldwide; it also affects more women than men. Other symptoms include headache, a feeling of pressure on the jaw, and dizziness. Often, TMD can become chronic. It can be treated with medication, eating soft foods, physical therapy, and even cognitive-behavioral therapy to reduce stress since stress can exacerbate symptoms. Extreme measures such as surgery are avoided since they are invasive and cannot be easily reversed if problems occur.

Mastication Motor Program

Mastication is performed mostly unconsciously; we do not have to think about the movements of muscles, the TMJ and the tongue when chewing food. The way our brains organize a series of movements is called a motor program. The actions of mastication are thought to be one such motor program controlled by the central nervous system. Chewing and swallowing are largely unconscious, but we do learn to adjust the way we chew based on the type of food consumed (e.g. hard, soft) or the way the teeth meet in the mouth when the jaw closes.

Related Biology Terms:

* Maceration – The breaking down of food into chyme in the stomach.
* Molars – Teeth in the back of the mouth that help grind up food.
* Mandible – The bone that forms the lower jaw.
* Motor Program – A representation of how the brain organizes and controls a process of movements.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1627 2023-01-07 01:01:50

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1530) UNESCO

Summary

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture. It has 193 member states and 12 associate members, as well as partners in the non-governmental, intergovernmental and private sector. Headquartered at the World Heritage Centre in Paris, France, UNESCO has 53 regional field offices and 199 national commissions that facilitate its global mandate.

UNESCO was founded in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations's International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. Its constitution establishes the agency's goals, governing structure, and operating framework. UNESCO's founding mission, which was shaped by the Second World War, is to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations. It pursues this objective through five major programme areas: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information. UNESCO sponsors projects that improve literacy, provide technical training and education, advance science, protect independent media and press freedom, preserve regional and cultural history, and promote cultural diversity.

As a focal point for world culture and science, UNESCO's activities have broadened over the years; it assists in the translation and dissemination of world literature, helps establish and secure World Heritage Sites of cultural and natural importance, works to bridge the worldwide digital divide, and creates inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication. UNESCO has launched several initiatives and global movements, such as Education For All, to further advance its core objectives.

UNESCO is governed by the General Conference, composed of member states and associate members, which meets biannually to set the agency's programmes and the budget. It also elects members of the executive board, which manages UNESCO's work, and appoints every four years a Director-General, who serves as UNESCO's chief administrator. UNESCO is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

Details

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was born on 16 November 1945. UNESCO has 195 Members and 8 Associate Members and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board.  The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, implements the decisions of these two bodies. The Organization has more th 50 field offices around the world and its headquarters are located in Paris.

UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.

UNESCO focuses on a set of objectives in the global priority areas “Africa” and “Gender Equality”

And on a number of overarching objectives:

* Attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning
* Mobilizing science knowledge and policy for sustainable development
* Addressing emerging social and ethical challenges
* Fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace
* Building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication

Additional Information

UNESCO is an acronym for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that was outlined in a constitution signed November 16, 1945. The constitution, which entered into force in 1946, called for the promotion of international collaboration in education, science, and culture. The agency’s permanent headquarters are in Paris, France.

UNESCO’s initial emphasis was on rebuilding schools, libraries, and museums that had been destroyed in Europe during World War II. Since then its activities have been mainly facilitative, aimed at assisting, supporting, and complementing the national efforts of member states to eliminate illiteracy and to extend free education. UNESCO also seeks to encourage the free exchange of ideas and knowledge by organizing conferences and providing clearinghouse and exchange services.

As many less-developed countries joined the UN beginning in the 1950s, UNESCO began to devote more resources to their problems, which included poverty, high rates of illiteracy, and underdevelopment. During the 1980s UNESCO was criticized by the United States and other countries for its alleged anti-Western approach to cultural issues and for the sustained expansion of its budget. These issues prompted the United States to withdraw from the organization in 1984, and the United Kingdom and Singapore withdrew a year later. After the election victory of the Labour Party in 1997, the United Kingdom rejoined UNESCO, and the United States and Singapore followed suit in 2003 and 2007, respectively. In 2011 UNESCO approved full membership for Palestine. Following the vote, the United States announced that it would no longer pay dues to the organization, because of congressional legislation that prohibited the financing of any UN agency that admitted Palestine as a full member. Because of its unpaid dues, the United States lost its voting rights in UNESCO in 2013. In 2017 U.S. officials, citing “anti-Israel bias” and the size of U.S. arrears, announced that the United States would leave UNESCO again at the end of 2018. Israel withdrew from the organization at the same time.

Besides its support of educational and science programs, UNESCO is also involved in efforts to protect the natural environment and humanity’s common cultural heritage. For example, in the 1960s UNESCO helped sponsor efforts to save ancient Egyptian monuments from the waters of the Aswan High Dam, and in 1972 it sponsored an international agreement to establish a World Heritage List of cultural sites and natural areas that would enjoy government protection. In the 1980s a controversial study by UNESCO’s International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems, headed by the Irish statesman and Nobel Peace laureate Seán MacBride, proposed a New World Information and Communication Order that would treat communication and freedom of information as basic human rights and seek to eliminate the gap in communications capabilities between developing and developed countries.

Each member state has one vote in UNESCO’s General Conference, which meets every two years to set the agency’s budget, its program of activities, and the scale of contributions made by member states to the agency. The 58-member Executive Board, which is elected by the General Conference, generally meets twice each year to give advice and direction to the agency’s work. The Secretariat is the agency’s backbone and is headed by a director general appointed by the General Conference for a six-year term. About 200 national commissions, composed of local experts, serve as governmental advisory bodies in their respective states. Most work occurs in special commissions and committees convened with expert participation. Prominent examples include the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (1961– ), the World Commission on Culture and Development (1992–99), and the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (1998– ). The findings of these commissions are regularly published by UNESCO.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1628 2023-01-08 00:28:30

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1531) World Health Organization

Summary

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health". Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it has six regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide.

The WHO was established on 7 April 1948. The first meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the agency's governing body, took place on 24 July of that year. The WHO incorporated the assets, personnel, and duties of the League of Nations' Health Organization and the Office International d'Hygiène Publique, including the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Its work began in earnest in 1951 after a significant infusion of financial and technical resources.

The WHO's mandate seeks and includes: working worldwide to promote health, keeping the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. It advocates that a billion more people should have: universal health care coverage, engagement with the monitoring of public health risks, coordinating responses to health emergencies, and promoting health and well-being. It provides technical assistance to countries, sets international health standards, and collects data on global health issues. A publication, the World Health Report, provides assessments of worldwide health topics. The WHO also serves as a forum for discussions of health issues.

The WHO has played a leading role in several public health achievements, most notably the eradication of smallpox, the near-eradication of polio, and the development of an Ebola vaccine. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, Ebola, COVID-19, malaria and tuberculosis; non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and cancer; healthy diet, nutrition, and food security; occupational health; and substance abuse. Its World Health Assembly, the agency's decision-making body, elects and advises an executive board made up of 34 health specialists. It selects the director-general, sets goals and priorities, and approves the budget and activities. The current director-general is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia.

The WHO relies on contributions from member states (both assessed and voluntary) and private donors for funding. Its total approved budget for 2020–2021 is over $7.2 billion, of which the majority comes from voluntary contributions from member states. Since the late 20th century, the rise of new actors engaged in global health such as the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and dozens of public-private partnerships for global health have weakened the WHO's role as a coordinator and policy leader in the field.

Details

World Health Organization (WHO), French Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) established in 1948 to further international cooperation for improved public health conditions. Although it inherited specific tasks relating to epidemic control, quarantine measures, and drug standardization from the Health Organization of the League of Nations (set up in 1923) and the International Office of Public Health at Paris (established in 1907), WHO was given a broad mandate under its constitution to promote the attainment of “the highest possible level of health” by all peoples. WHO defines health positively as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Each year WHO celebrates its date of establishment, April 7, 1948, as World Health Day.

With administrative headquarters in Geneva, governance of WHO operates through the World Health Assembly, which meets annually as the general policy-making body, and through an Executive Board of health specialists elected for three-year terms by the assembly. The WHO Secretariat, which carries out routine operations and helps implement strategies, consists of experts, staff, and field workers who have appointments at the central headquarters or at one of the six regional WHO offices or other offices located in countries around the world. The agency is led by a director general nominated by the Executive Board and appointed by the World Health Assembly. The director general is supported by a deputy director general and multiple assistant directors general, each of whom specializes in a specific area within the WHO framework, such as family, women’s, and children’s health or health systems and innovation. The agency is financed primarily from annual contributions made by member governments on the basis of relative ability to pay. In addition, after 1951 WHO was allocated substantial resources from the expanded technical-assistance program of the UN.

WHO officials periodically review and update the agency’s leadership priorities. Over the period 2014–19, WHO’s leadership priorities were aimed at:

1. Assisting countries that seek progress toward universal health coverage

2. Helping countries establish their capacity to adhere to International Health Regulations

3. Increasing access to essential and high-quality medical products

4. Addressing the role of social, economic, and environmental factors in public health

5. Coordinating responses to noncommunicable disease

6. Promoting public health and well-being in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals, set forth by the UN.

The work encompassed by those priorities is spread across a number of health-related areas. For example, WHO has established a codified set of international sanitary regulations designed to standardize quarantine measures without interfering unnecessarily with trade and air travel across national boundaries. WHO also keeps member countries informed of the latest developments in cancer research, drug development, disease prevention, control of drug addiction, vaccine use, and health hazards of chemicals and other substances.

WHO sponsors measures for the control of epidemic and endemic disease by promoting mass campaigns involving nationwide vaccination programs, instruction in the use of antibiotics and insecticides, the improvement of laboratory and clinical facilities for early diagnosis and prevention, assistance in providing pure-water supplies and sanitation systems, and health education for people living in rural communities. These campaigns have had some success against AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and a variety of other diseases. In May 1980 smallpox was globally eradicated, a feat largely because of the efforts of WHO. In March 2020 WHO declared the global outbreak of COVID-19, a severe respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, to be a pandemic. The agency acted as a worldwide information centre on the illness, providing regular situation reports and media briefings on its spread and mortality rates; dispensing technical guidance and practical advice for governments, public health authorities, health care workers, and the public; and issuing updates of ongoing scientific research. As pandemic-related infections and deaths continued to mount in the United States, Pres. Donald J. Trump accused WHO of having conspired with China to conceal the spread of the novel coronavirus in that country in the early stages of the outbreak. In July 2020 the Trump administration formally notified the UN that the United States would withdraw from the agency in July 2021. The U.S. withdrawal was halted by Trump’s successor, Pres. Joe Biden, on the latter’s first day in office in January 2021.

In its regular activities WHO encourages the strengthening and expansion of the public health administrations of member nations, provides technical advice to governments in the preparation of long-term national health plans, sends out international teams of experts to conduct field surveys and demonstration projects, helps set up local health centres, and offers aid in the development of national training institutions for medical and nursing personnel. Through various education support programs, WHO is able to provide fellowship awards for doctors, public-health administrators, nurses, sanitary inspectors, researchers, and laboratory technicians.

The first director general of WHO was Canadian physician Brock Chisholm, who served from 1948 to 1953. Later directors general of WHO included physician and former prime minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland (1998–2003), South Korean epidemiologist and public health expert Lee Jong-Wook (2003–06), and Chinese civil servant Margaret Chan (2007–17). Ethiopian public health official Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus became director general of WHO in 2017.

History:

Origin

The International Sanitary Conferences (ISC), the first of which was held on 23 June 1851, were a series of conferences that took place until 1938, about 87 years. The first conference, in Paris, was almost solely concerned with cholera, which would remain the disease of major concern for the ISC for most of the 19th century. With the aetiology, even the communicability, of many epidemic diseases still uncertain and a matter of scientific argument, international agreement on appropriate measures was difficult to reach. Seven of these international conferences, spanning 41 years, were convened before any resulted in a multi-state international agreement. The seventh conference, in Venice in 1892, finally resulted in a convention. It was concerned only with the sanitary control of shipping traversing the Suez Canal, and was an effort to guard against importation of cholera.

Five years later, in 1897, a convention concerning the bubonic plague was signed by sixteen of the 19 states attending the Venice conference. While Denmark, Sweden-Norway, and the USA did not sign this convention, it was unanimously agreed that the work of the prior conferences should be codified for implementation. Subsequent conferences, from 1902 until the final one in 1938, widened the diseases of concern for the ISC, and included discussions of responses to yellow fever, brucellosis, leprosy, tuberculosis, and typhoid. In part as a result of the successes of the Conferences, the Pan-American Sanitary Bureau (1902), and the Office International d'Hygiène Publique (1907) were soon founded. When the League of Nations was formed in 1920, they established the Health Organization of the League of Nations. After World War II, the United Nations absorbed all the other health organizations, to form the WHO.

Establishment

During the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization, Szeming Sze, a delegate from China, conferred with Norwegian and Brazilian delegates on creating an international health organization under the auspices of the new United Nations. After failing to get a resolution passed on the subject, Alger Hiss, the secretary general of the conference, recommended using a declaration to establish such an organization. Sze and other delegates lobbied and a declaration passed calling for an international conference on health. The use of the word "world", rather than "international", emphasized the truly global nature of what the organization was seeking to achieve. The constitution of the World Health Organization was signed by all 51 countries of the United Nations, and by 10 other countries, on 22 July 1946.[20] It thus became the first specialized agency of the United Nations to which every member subscribed. Its constitution formally came into force on the first World Health Day on 7 April 1948, when it was ratified by the 26th member state.

The first meeting of the World Health Assembly finished on 24 July 1948, having secured a budget of US$5 million(then £1,250,000) for the 1949 year. G. Brock Chisholm was appointed director-general of the WHO, having served as executive secretary and a founding member during the planning stages, while Andrija Štampar was the assembly's first president. Its first priorities were to control the spread of malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections, and to improve maternal and child health, nutrition and environmental hygiene. Its first legislative act was concerning the compilation of accurate statistics on the spread and morbidity of disease. The logo of the World Health Organization features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1629 2023-01-08 21:35:25

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1532) United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund

Summary

UNICEF, originally called the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund in full, now officially United Nations Children's Fund, is an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The agency is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world, with a presence in 192 countries and territories. UNICEF's activities include providing immunizations and disease prevention, administering treatment for children and mothers with HIV, enhancing childhood and maternal nutrition, improving sanitation, promoting education, and providing emergency relief in response to disasters.

UNICEF is the successor of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, created on 11 December 1946, in New York, by the U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration to provide immediate relief to children and mothers affected by World War II. The same year, the U.N. General Assembly established UNICEF to further institutionalize post-war relief work. In 1950, its mandate was extended to address the long-term needs of children and women, particularly in developing countries. In 1953, the organization became a permanent part of the United Nations System, and its name was subsequently changed to its current form, though it retains the original acronym.

UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary contributions from governments and private donors. Its total income as of 2020 was $7.2 billion; of which public-sector partners contributed $5.45 billion. It is governed by a 36-member executive board that establishes policies, approves programs, and oversees administrative and financial plans. The board is made up of government representatives elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, usually for three-year terms.

UNICEF's programs emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children. Most of its work is in the field, with a network that includes 150 country offices, headquarters and other facilities, and 34 "national committees" that carry out its mission through programs developed with host governments. Seven regional offices provide technical assistance to country offices as needed, while its Supply Division—based in the cities of Copenhagen and New York—helps provide over $3 billion in critical aid and services.

In 2018, UNICEF assisted in the birth of 27 million babies, administered pentavalent vaccines to an estimated 65.5 million children, provided education for 12 million children, treated four million children with severe acute malnutrition, and responded to 285 humanitarian emergencies in 90 countries. UNICEF has received recognition for its work, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965, the Indira Gandhi Prize in 1989 and the Princess of Asturias Award in 2006. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF, along with the World Health Organization and other agencies, published guidance about healthy parenting.

Details

UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. The Agency has the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes UNICEF unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

UNICEF believes that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress.  UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path.  The agency believes that together, we can advance the cause of humanity.

UNICEF advocates for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.

UNICEF promotes girls’ education – ensuring that they complete primary education as a minimum – because it benefits all children, both girls and boys. Girls who are educated grow up to become better thinkers, better citizens, and better parents to their own children.

UNICEF acts so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness.

UNICEF works to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people because it is right to keep them from harm and enable them to protect others. It helps children and families affected by HIV/AIDS to live their lives with dignity.

UNICEF involves everyone in creating protective environments for children. The agency is present to relieve suffering during emergencies, and wherever children are threatened, because no child should be exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation.

UNICEF upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The agency works to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. It also works for the Millennium Development Goals and for the progress promised in the United Nations Charter. It strives for peace and security, and work to hold everyone accountable to the promises made for children.

UNICEF is part of the Global Movement for Children – a broad coalition dedicated to improving the life of every child.  Through this movement, and events such as the United Nations Special Session on Children, it encourages young people to speak out and participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programmes and National Committees.

Additional Information

UNICEF, acronym of United Nations Children’s Fund, formerly (1946–53) United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, is a special program of the United Nations (UN) devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children.

UNICEF was created in 1946 to provide relief to children in countries devastated by World War II. After 1950 the fund directed its efforts toward general programs for the improvement of children’s welfare, particularly in less-developed countries and in various emergency situations. The organization’s broader mission was reflected in the name it adopted in 1953, the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965. It is headquartered in New York City.

UNICEF has concentrated much of its effort in areas in which relatively small expenditures can have a significant impact on the lives of the most disadvantaged children, such as the prevention and treatment of disease. In keeping with this strategy, UNICEF supports immunization programs for childhood diseases and programs to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS; it also provides funding for health services, educational facilities, and other welfare services. Since 1996 UNICEF programs have been guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which affirms the right of all children to “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.” UNICEF’s activities are financed by both government and private contributions.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1630 2023-01-09 22:52:08

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1533) United Nations Development Programme

Summary

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a United Nations agency tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development. The UNDP emphasizes developing local capacity towards long-term self-sufficiency and prosperity.

Headquartered in New York City, it is the largest UN development aid agency, with offices in 177 countries. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states.

Founding

The UNDP was founded on 22 November 1965 with the merging of the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA) and the Special Fund in 1958. The rationale was to "avoid duplication of [their] activities". The EPTA was set up in 1949 to help the economic and political aspects of underdeveloped countries while the Special Fund was to enlarge the scope of UN technical assistance. The Special Fund arose from the idea of a Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development (SUNFED) (which was initially called the United Nations Fund for Economic Development (UNFED).

Countries such as the Nordic countries were proponents of such a United Nations (UN) controlled fund. However, the fund was opposed by developed countries, especially by the United States who was wary of the Third World dominating such a funding and preferred it to be under the auspices of the World Bank. The concept of SUNFED was dropped to form the Special Fund. This Special Fund was a compromise over the SUNFED concept, it did not provide investment capital, but only helped to bring pre-conditions for private investment.

With the US proposing and creating the International Development Association within the World Bank's umbrella, the EPTA and the Special Fund appeared to be conducting similar work. In 1962, the United Nations Economic and Social Council asked the Secretary General to consider the merits and disadvantages of merging UN technical assistance programs and in 1966, the EPTA and the Special Fund merged to form the UNDP.

Details

Our mission, our goals, our mandate

As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.

Mission and vision

UNDP’s mandate is to end poverty, build democratic governance, rule of law, and inclusive institutions. We advocate for change, and connect countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.

The UN Charter

The Charter of the United Nations was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945. Its purposes and principles are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations based on equal rights and self-determination, and to achieve international co-operation in solving economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian challenges without distinction for race, gender, language, or religion.

History

UNDP is based on the merging of the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, created in 1949, and the United Nations Special Fund, established in 1958. UNDP, as we know it now, was established in 1966 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Additional Information

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is a United Nations (UN) organization formed in 1965 to help countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable human development, an approach to economic growth that emphasizes improving the quality of life of all citizens while conserving the environment and natural resources for future generations. The largest UN development assistance program, the UNDP is headed by an administrator who oversees a 36-member Executive Board representing both developing and developed countries. It is headquartered in New York City.

The UNDP administers aid through five-year Country Programmes, which fund projects aimed at attracting investment capital, training skilled employees, and implementing modern technologies. The UNDP also makes experts available to help developing countries increase their capacity for good governance—by building political and legal institutions that are equitable, responsive, and open to public participation—and to expand the private sector of their economies in order to provide more jobs. Recent UNDP programs have focused on reducing poverty, developing strategies to treat and combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, promoting environmentally sound energy and economic policies, and expanding communications and technology infrastructure. UNDP resident representatives in more than 125 developing countries help to coordinate the local activities of other UN agencies and programs, as well as those of nongovernmental organizations.

And More

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the global development system of the United Nations. It develops technical and investment assistance among nations, advocates for development, and connects countries to knowledge, experience, and support to help people better themselves. In addition, the UNDP features provide expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries, resolving global and national development challenges. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary donations from UN member states. The UNDP was founded on 22 November 1965 to merge the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA) and the Special Fund.

The organization serves internationally in 177 countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by concentrating on multiple issues, including poverty reduction and HIV/AIDS. In addition, it works with local governments to meet development challenges and explain local capacity.

UNDP Overview

Here in this section, we provide a short overview of UNDP (United Nations World Development Program). Let’s have a look.

UNDP  :  United Nations Development Programm
Headquarters  :  New York City
Formation  :  22 November 1965
Status  :  Active

Website  :  https://www.undp.org/
Work      :  170
Official languages  :  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

UN co-ordination role

Here this selection UNDP plays a significant coordination function in the UN’s projects in development. This is essentially performed through its administration of the UN Development Group and the Resident Co-Ordinator System.

* United Nations Development Group
* Resident coordinator system

What is UNDP?

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. Their work is concentrated on three main focus areas:

* Sustainable development
* Democratic governance and peacebuilding
* Climate and disaster resilience

UNDP helps countries attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, we promote gender equality and the protection of human rights.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Q. What is the full form of UNDP?
A. The full form of UNDP United Nations Development Programme.

Q. How many UNDP members are there?
A. The 36 members of the UNDP.

Q. Where is the headquarters of UNDP located?
A. New York, New York, United States.

Q. When was the UNDP found?
A. 22 November 1965, United States.

Q. How many UNDP country offices are there?
A. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in nearly 170 countries

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1631 2023-01-10 20:50:53

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1534) Moonquake

A moonquake is the lunar equivalent of an earthquake (i.e., a quake on the Moon) although moonquakes are caused in different ways. They were first discovered by the Apollo astronauts. The largest moonquakes are much weaker than the largest earthquakes, though their shaking can last for up to an hour, due to fewer attenuating factors to damp seismic vibrations.

Information about moonquakes comes from seismometers placed on the Moon from 1969 through 1972. The instruments placed by the Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 missions functioned perfectly until they were switched off in 1977.

There are at least four kinds of moonquake:

* Deep moonquakes (~700 km below the surface, probably tidal in origin)
* Meteorite impact vibrations
* Thermal moonquakes (the frigid lunar crust expands when sunlight returns after the two-week lunar night)
* Shallow moonquakes (50-220 kilometers below the surface)

The first three kinds of moonquakes mentioned above tend to be mild; however, shallow moonquakes can register up to

on the body-wave magnitude scale. Between 1972 and 1977, 28 shallow moonquakes were observed. Deep moonquakes tend to occur within isolated kilometer-scale patches, sometimes referred to as nests or clusters.

Details

On Earth, we can feel and see the often terrifying results of the tectonic plates shifting beneath our feet. As they grind together, they generate earthquakes that produce seismic waves that reverberate through layers of rock, magma and metal deep inside our planet.

Scientists can monitor these seismic waves using a variety of instruments that pick up even faint vibrations passing through the Earth’s crust and core. Studying how the behaviour of these waves changes as they pass through our planet’s interior, reveals details about what lies deep inside the Earth, far out of our sight.

But Earth is not the only place in our solar system that experiences seismic activity. Both Mars and the moon also experience quakes – although for different reasons than here on Earth. Seismometers deployed on the moon and – more recently – on Mars, are allowing researchers to probe the interiors of both of these distant worlds.

The results show that while on the surface Earth, Mars and the moon are not alike, beneath it they have more in common than might be suspected, but with some striking differences.

Moonquakes

Moonquakes – as they are known on the moon – are produced as a result of meteoroids hitting the surface or by the gravitational pull of the Earth squeezing and stretching the moon’s interior, in a similar way to the moon’s tidal pull on Earth’s oceans. As the lunar interior cools, it is also causing the moon to shrink and shrivel like a raisin, causing other quakes as the crust buckles and breaks. Heat from the sun can also produce thermal quakes due to the temperature difference in the lunar crust as the moon emerges from its night.

Five seismometers have been deployed on the moon, left by astronauts during the Apollo missions between 1969 to 1972. The first lunar seismometer was set up by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Apollo 11 mission. After deploying the instrument, Aldrin stamped on the lunar surface to check it was working – with the instrument picking up the waves produced by his foot.

The other four seismometers were left by subsequent missions and they were operated until 1977, five years after the final Apollo astronauts set foot on the lunar surface. But some 43 years later, their data is still being pored over by scientists.

SeisMo is one project that recently re-analysed the data. ‘We were trying to apply a technique which is used quite commonly on Earth,’ said Dr Ceri Nunn, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, US, the lead scientist on the project. ‘If you cross-correlate the noise between stations, you can actually see waves travelling between them. The first station is a source, and the second station is a receiver.’

Unfortunately, Dr Nunn was unable to pick up similar patterns in the data from the moon. But that failure revealed something else about the moon – namely that it doesn’t appear to have surface waves, which get trapped in the upper layers of rock and bounce around. ‘That wave doesn’t seem to exist on the moon,’ said Dr Nunn.

This suggests the upper layer of the moon’s surface is likely highly fractured, and up to 100 kilometres thick, both of which disturb the movement of seismic waves across the surface. ‘This highly fractured layer is changing the way that seismic waves behave,’ said Dr Nunn.

Currently there are no active seismometers on the moon. But there are proposals to send new seismometers back to the lunar surface in future missions.

‘We’re interested in using much smaller seismometers, possibly being delivered by penetrators, which are almost like missile-shaped objects,’ said Dr Nunn. ‘You put a very small seismometer in the back and then launch them either from a descending lander or directly from Earth.’

Questions

Putting new seismometers on the moon could answer several outstanding questions, such as why there are large structural differences between the near side of the moon that points towards us and the far side that points away.

‘(That could be) related to the internal structure,’ said Dr Nunn. ‘There’s a theory (the moon) was hit again after it formed by another moon, and that’s why you get this strange asymmetry. Exploring the internal structure would be interesting. And on top of that we’d like to constrain how thick the core is.’

Understanding this could help to prove theories about how these early, cataclysmic impacts around the time the Earth and moon were forming helped to determine the structures they have today.

On Mars, however, things are a bit different. Marsquakes are produced not by tidal interactions, but by the planet cooling and contracting, producing deep stresses. Meteoroid impacts are believed to play a part too, just like on the moon, sending seismic waves around the planet.

The existence of marsquakes had never been proven until researchers landed a seismometer on the red planet in 2018 as part of NASA’s InSight mission. The InSight Mars lander detected the first-ever definitive marsquake on 6 April 2019 using its Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument, which had been gently placed on the surface by the lander’s robotic arm shortly after it touched down on 26 November 2018. Since then about 500 subsequent events have also been detected.

Since researchers landed a seismometer on Mars in 2018 as part of NASA’s InSight mission, it has recorded around 500 seismic events on the planet. Image credit - NASA/JPL-CaltechA total of five seismometers were manually placed on the moon between 1969 and 1972, including one positioned by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean in 1969. Image credit - NASA

Volcanic activity

While most of the marsquakes have been relatively small, some of these have been large enough – almost equivalent to a magnitude 4 earthquake – to be traced back to their source, an area known as Cerberus Fossae, about 1,600 kilometres east of InSight. It is thought the quakes there are being caused by the build-up of stress as fractures in the Martian crust are stretched, possibly by volcanic activity.

While the larger quakes appear to originate from the mantle beneath the Martian crust, the smaller marsquakes are thought to begin in the crust itself. The velocity of seismic waves in the upper Martian crust, however, in the first eight to 11 kilometres, seems to be about 50% lower than in similar rocks on Earth.

Researchers who are part of the GeoInSight project have been studying the geology of the surface around the InSight landing site to understand more about what might be going on. They used images and data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to study the Elysium Planitia area before InSight arrived.

The images revealed that there are lava flows 200 to 300 metres beneath the lander, according to Dr Lu Pan from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the project coordinator on GeoInsight. ‘But beneath those lava flows, we have sedimentary rocks and clay-bearing rocks a few kilometres in depth,’ she said.

This layering is one explanation for the lower velocity of the seismic waves, says Dr Pan, because sedimentary rocks have a high porosity that could slow the waves down. Another possibility is that the upper crust has been heavily damaged and fractured by meteorite impacts and other processes, producing more resistance for the waves.

The findings also have implications for some of InSight’s other results, noted Dr Pan. ‘For example, one of the exciting discoveries of InSight was the magnetic field, (which was) ten times more than we observed from orbit,’ she said. ‘Having established the stratigraphy (the layering of the rocks), we could help put some constraints on where the magnetic field came from – stratigraphy from before 3.9 billion years (ago).’

Humming

While InSight will continue to probe the interior of Mars with its SEIS instrument, scientists are keen to also unravel the mystery of a strange reading it has been picking up.

‘There’s this humming at a specific frequency that occurs when there’s another event,’ said Dr Pan. ‘We don’t really understand what it is. Sometimes when there’s a quake, we see that humming come afterwards. We don’t really have a good analogue on Earth.’

As InSight and its instruments listen into to the inner workings of the red planet, it might help reveal the source of this hum and reveal what really lies deep inside this alien world.

Additional Information

The Moon Is Shrinking and That's Causing Moonquakes

The moon is shrinking. And as the crust of our lone satellite contracts, it tugs on cliff-like cracks on the surface, leading to lots of moonquakes, scientists just discovered.

The study researchers recently revisited moonquake data gathered by seismic equipment on the Apollo lunar missions, from 1969 to 1977. They examined moonquakes that occurred at shallow depths, using new algorithms to pinpoint where the moonquakes came from, according to a new study.

Then, the scientists mapped the seismic data to satellite images of thrust faults, or scarps — stairstep cliffs on the lunar surface. These formations stand dozens of feet high and extend for miles, and they are visible in images captured by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

The researchers discovered that around 25% of the moonquakes were likely generated by released energy from these faults, rather than by asteroid impacts or activity deep inside the moon, the scientists reported. [Top 10 Amazing Moon Facts]

Scarps are spread across the face of the moon in a vast, global network, and are estimated to be no more than 50 million years old, the researchers wrote. The age and distribution of scarps hints that they appeared as the moon's interior cooled down, causing its crust to contract. But the researchers wondered if scarps played a more active role in lunar tectonics.

For the study, the scientists looked at readings gathered by four Apollo mission seismometers, examining 28 moonquakes that would have registered between magnitude 2 and 5 on Earth. They used new algorithms to estimate the quakes' epicenters, and compared those coordinates to scarp locations in LRO images, according to the study.

Eight of the moonquakes fell within 19 miles (31 kilometers) of a thrust fault, close enough to identify the fault as the quake's source. For six of those quakes, the moon was in or near apogee — the orbital point farthest from Earth. During apogee, additional gravitational stresses exert extra pull on the moon's crust and on the thrust faults, increasing the likelihood of triggering a moonquake, the scientists wrote.

Ongoing shrinkage

Evidence in LRO photos also suggested that lunar shrinkage is still happening, dragging on the scarps and launching fresh moonquakes.

Some LRO images showed fresh tracks from tumbled boulders and landslides near thrust faults. Brighter spots exposed by the disturbances hinted that the activity was recent and that the faults remain active, likely because the moon continues to contract, the study authors reported.

"You don't often get to see active tectonics anywhere but Earth, so it's very exciting to think these faults may still be producing moonquakes," study co-author Nicholas Schmerr, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Maryland, said in a statement.

Though there is still much to be discovered from the Apollo data, these and other tantalizing findings emphasize the importance of visiting the moon again, Schmerr added.

"We learned a lot from the Apollo missions, but they really only scratched the surface. With a larger network of modern seismometers, we could make huge strides in our understanding of the moon's geology. This provides some very promising low-hanging fruit for science on a future mission to the moon," he said.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1632 2023-01-11 21:25:28

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1535) World Bank

Summary

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.[5] The World Bank is the collective name for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA), two of five international organizations owned by the World Bank Group. It was established along with the International Monetary Fund at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference. After a slow start, its first loan was to France in 1947. In the 1970s, it focused on loans to developing world countries, shifting away from that mission in the 1980s. For the last 30 years, it has included NGOs and environmental groups in its loan portfolio. Its loan strategy is influenced by the Sustainable Development Goals as well as environmental and social safeguards.

As of 2022, the World Bank is run by a president and 25 executive directors, as well as 29 various vice presidents. IBRD and IDA have 189 and 174 member countries, respectively. The U.S., Japan, China, Germany and the U.K. have the most voting power. The bank aims loans at developing countries to help reduce poverty. The bank is engaged in several global partnerships and initiatives, and takes a role in working toward addressing climate change. The World Bank operates a number of training wings and it works with the Clean Air Initiative and the UN Development Business. It works within the Open Data Initiative and hosts an Open Knowledge Repository.

The World Bank has been criticized as promoting inflation and harming economic development, causing protests in 1988 and 2000. There has also been criticism of the bank's governance and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details

World Bank, in full World Bank Group, is an international organization affiliated with the United Nations (UN) and designed to finance projects that enhance the economic development of member states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the bank is the largest source of financial assistance to developing countries. It also provides technical assistance and policy advice and supervises—on behalf of international creditors—the implementation of free-market reforms. Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization, it plays a central role in overseeing economic policy and reforming public institutions in developing countries and defining the global macroeconomic agenda.

Origins

Founded in 1944 at the UN Monetary and Financial Conference (commonly known as the Bretton Woods Conference), which was convened to establish a new, post-World War II international economic system, the World Bank officially began operations in June 1946. Its first loans were geared toward the postwar reconstruction of western Europe. Beginning in the mid-1950s, it played a major role in financing investments in infrastructural projects in developing countries, including roads, hydroelectric dams, water and sewage facilities, maritime ports, and airports.

The World Bank Group comprises five constituent institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The IBRD provides loans at market rates of interest to middle-income developing countries and creditworthy lower-income countries. The IDA, founded in 1960, provides interest-free long-term loans, technical assistance, and policy advice to low-income developing countries in areas such as health, education, and rural development. Whereas the IBRD raises most of its funds on the world’s capital markets, the IDA’s lending operations are financed through contributions from developed countries. The IFC, operating in partnership with private investors, provides loans and loan guarantees and equity financing to business undertakings in developing countries. Loan guarantees and insurance to foreign investors against loss caused by noncommercial risks in developing countries are provided by the MIGA. Finally, the ICSID, which operates independently of the IBRD, is responsible for the settlement by conciliation or arbitration of investment disputes between foreign investors and their host developing countries.

From 1968 to 1981 the president of the World Bank was former U.S. secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara. Under his leadership the bank formulated the concept of “sustainable development,” which attempted to reconcile economic growth and environmental protection in developing countries. Another feature of the concept was its use of capital flows (in the form of development assistance and foreign investment) to developing countries as a means of narrowing the income gap between rich and poor countries. The bank has expanded its lending activities and, with its numerous research and policy divisions, has developed into a powerful and authoritative intergovernmental body.

Organization

The World Bank is related to the UN, though it is not accountable either to the General Assembly or to the Security Council. Each of the bank’s more than 180 member states are represented on the board of governors, which meets once a year. The governors are usually their countries’ finance ministers or central bank governors. Although the board of governors has some influence on IBRD policies, actual decision-making power is wielded largely by the bank’s 25 executive directors. Five major countries—the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France—appoint their own executive directors. The other countries are grouped into regions, each of which elects one executive director. Throughout the World Bank’s history, the bank president, who serves as chairman of the Executive Board, has been an American citizen.

Voting power is based on a country’s capital subscription, which is based in turn on its economic resources. The wealthier and more developed countries constitute the bank’s major shareholders and thus exercise greater power and influence. For example, in the early 21st century the United States exercised nearly one-sixth of the votes in the IBRD, more than double that of Japan, the second largest contributor. Because developing countries hold only a small number of votes, the system does not provide a significant voice for these countries, which are the primary recipients of World Bank loans and policy advice.

The bank obtains its funds from the capital subscriptions of member countries, bond flotations on the world’s capital markets, and net earnings accrued from interest payments on IBRD and IFC loans. Approximately one-tenth of the subscribed capital is paid directly to the bank, with the remainder subject to call if required to meet obligations.

The World Bank is staffed by more than 10,000 people, roughly one-fourth of whom are posted in developing countries. The bank has more than 100 offices in member countries, and in many countries staff members serve directly as policy advisers to the ministry of finance and other ministries. The bank has consultative as well as informal ties with the world’s financial markets and institutions and maintains links with nongovernmental organizations in both developed and developing countries.

Debt and policy reform

The debt crisis of the early 1980s—during which many developing countries were unable to service their external debt to multilateral lending institutions, because of a slowdown in the world economy, high interest rates, a decline in commodity prices, and wide fluctuations in oil prices, among other factors—played a crucial role in the evolution of World Bank operations. The bank had become increasingly involved in shaping economic and social policies in indebted developing countries. As a condition of receiving loans, borrowing countries were required to implement stringent “structural adjustment programs,” which typically included severe cuts in spending for health and education, the elimination of price controls, the liberalization of trade, the deregulation of the financial sector, and the privatization of state-run enterprises. Although intended to restore economic stability, these programs, which were applied in a large number of countries throughout the developing world, frequently resulted in increased levels of poverty, mounting unemployment, and a spiraling external debt. In the wake of the debt crisis, the World Bank focused its efforts on providing financial assistance in the form of balance-of-payments support and loans for infrastructural projects such as roads, port facilities, schools, and hospitals. Although emphasizing poverty alleviation and debt relief for the world’s least developed countries, the bank has retained its commitment to economic stabilization policies that require the implementation of austerity measures by recipient countries.

The World Bank and the IMF played central roles in overseeing free-market reforms in eastern and central Europe after the fall of communism there in the 1980s and ’90s. The reforms, which included the creation of bankruptcy and privatization programs, were controversial because they frequently led to the closure of state-run industrial enterprises. “Exit mechanisms” to allow for the liquidation of so-called “problem enterprises” were put into place, and labour laws were modified to enable enterprises to lay off unneeded workers. The larger state enterprises often were sold to foreign investors or divided into smaller, privately owned companies. In Hungary, for example, some 17,000 businesses were liquidated and 5,000 reorganized in 1992–93, leading to a substantial increase in unemployment. The World Bank also provided reconstruction loans to countries that suffered internal conflicts or other crises (e.g., the successor republics of former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s). This financial assistance did not succeed in rehabilitating productive infrastructure, however. In several countries the macroeconomic reforms resulted in increased inflation and a marked decline in the standard of living.

The World Bank is the world’s largest multilateral creditor institution, and as such many of the world’s poorest countries owe it large sums of money. Indeed, for dozens of the most heavily indebted poor countries, the largest part of their external debt—in some cases constituting more than 50 percent—is owed to the World Bank and the multilateral regional development banks. According to some analysts, the burden of these debts—which according to the bank’s statutes cannot be canceled or rescheduled—has perpetuated economic stagnation throughout the developing world.

Additional Information

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. 

Organization

The World Bank is like a cooperative, made up of 189 member countries. These member countries, or shareholders, are represented by a Board of Governors, who are the ultimate policymakers at the World Bank. Generally, the governors are member countries' ministers of finance or ministers of development. They meet once a year at the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

People

The World Bank operates day-to-day under the leadership and direction of the president, management and senior staff, and the vice presidents in charge of Global Practices, Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas, regions, and functions.

Directors

The World Bank Group Boards of Directors refers to four separate Boards of Directors, namely the Board of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Agency (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Each Board is responsible for the general operations of their respective organization.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

Offline

#1633 2023-01-12 18:21:36

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1536) Mainframe computer

Summary

A mainframe is a digital computer designed for high-speed data processing with heavy use of input/output units such as large-capacity disks and printers. Mainframes have been used for such applications as payroll computations, accounting, business transactions, information retrieval, airline seat reservations, and scientific and engineering computations. Mainframe systems, with remote “dumb” terminals, have been displaced in many applications by client-server architecture.

Details

A mainframe computer, informally called a mainframe or big iron, is a computer used primarily by large organizations for critical applications like bulk data processing for tasks such as censuses, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and large-scale transaction processing. A mainframe computer is large but not as large as a supercomputer and has more processing power than some other classes of computers, such as minicomputers, servers, workstations, and personal computers. Most large-scale computer-system architectures were established in the 1960s, but they continue to evolve. Mainframe computers are often used as servers.

The term mainframe was derived from the large cabinet, called a main frame, that housed the central processing unit and main memory of early computers. Later, the term mainframe was used to distinguish high-end commercial computers from less powerful machines.

Design

Modern mainframe design is characterized less by raw computational speed and more by:

* Redundant internal engineering resulting in high reliability and security
* Extensive input-output ("I/O") facilities with the ability to offload to separate engines
* Strict backward compatibility with older software
* High hardware and computational utilization rates through virtualization to support massive throughput.
* Hot-swapping of hardware, such as processors and memory.

Their high stability and reliability enable these machines to run uninterrupted for very long periods of time, with mean time between failures (MTBF) measured in decades.

Mainframes have high availability, one of the primary reasons for their longevity, since they are typically used in applications where downtime would be costly or catastrophic. The term reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) is a defining characteristic of mainframe computers. Proper planning and implementation are required to realize these features. In addition, mainframes are more secure than other computer types: the NIST vulnerabilities database, US-CERT, rates traditional mainframes such as IBM Z (previously called z Systems, System z and zSeries), Unisys Dorado and Unisys Libra as among the most secure with vulnerabilities in the low single digits as compared with thousands for Windows, UNIX, and Linux. Software upgrades usually require setting up the operating system or portions thereof, and are non-disruptive only when using virtualizing facilities such as IBM z/OS and Parallel Sysplex, or Unisys XPCL, which support workload sharing so that one system can take over another's application while it is being refreshed.

In the late 1950s, mainframes had only a rudimentary interactive interface (the console) and used sets of punched cards, paper tape, or magnetic tape to transfer data and programs. They operated in batch mode to support back office functions such as payroll and customer billing, most of which were based on repeated tape-based sorting and merging operations followed by line printing to preprinted continuous stationery. When interactive user terminals were introduced, they were used almost exclusively for applications (e.g. airline booking) rather than program development. However, in 1961 the first academic, general-purpose timesharing system that supported software development, CTSS, was released at MIT on an IBM 709, later 7090 and 7094.[9] Typewriter and Teletype devices were common control consoles for system operators through the early 1970s, although ultimately supplanted by keyboard/display devices.

By the early 1970s, many mainframes acquired interactive user terminals operating as timesharing computers, supporting hundreds of users simultaneously along with batch processing. Users gained access through keyboard/typewriter terminals and specialized text terminal CRT displays with integral keyboards, or later from personal computers equipped with terminal emulation software. By the 1980s, many mainframes supported graphic display terminals, and terminal emulation, but not graphical user interfaces. This form of end-user computing became obsolete in the 1990s due to the advent of personal computers provided with GUIs. After 2000, modern mainframes partially or entirely phased out classic "green screen" and color display terminal access for end-users in favour of Web-style user interfaces.

The infrastructure requirements were drastically reduced during the mid-1990s, when CMOS mainframe designs replaced the older bipolar technology. IBM claimed that its newer mainframes reduced data center energy costs for power and cooling, and reduced physical space requirements compared to server farms.

Characteristics

Modern mainframes can run multiple different instances of operating systems at the same time. This technique of virtual machines allows applications to run as if they were on physically distinct computers. In this role, a single mainframe can replace higher-functioning hardware services available to conventional servers. While mainframes pioneered this capability, virtualization is now available on most families of computer systems, though not always to the same degree or level of sophistication.

Mainframes can add or hot swap system capacity without disrupting system function, with specificity and granularity to a level of sophistication not usually available with most server solutions.[citation needed] Modern mainframes, notably the IBM zSeries, System z9 and System z10 servers, offer two levels of virtualization: logical partitions (LPARs, via the PR/SM facility) and virtual machines (via the z/VM operating system). Many mainframe customers run two machines: one in their primary data center and one in their backup data center—fully active, partially active, or on standby—in case there is a catastrophe affecting the first building. Test, development, training, and production workload for applications and databases can run on a single machine, except for extremely large demands where the capacity of one machine might be limiting. Such a two-mainframe installation can support continuous business service, avoiding both planned and unplanned outages. In practice, many customers use multiple mainframes linked either by Parallel Sysplex and shared DASD (in IBM's case),[citation needed] or with shared, geographically dispersed storage provided by EMC or Hitachi.

Mainframes are designed to handle very high volume input and output (I/O) and emphasize throughput computing. Since the late 1950s, mainframe designs have included subsidiary hardware (called channels or peripheral processors) which manage the I/O devices, leaving the CPU free to deal only with high-speed memory. It is common in mainframe shops to deal with massive databases and files. Gigabyte to terabyte-size record files are not unusual. Compared to a typical PC, mainframes commonly have hundreds to thousands of times as much data storage online, and can access it reasonably quickly. Other server families also offload I/O processing and emphasize throughput computing.

Mainframe return on investment (ROI), like any other computing platform, is dependent on its ability to scale, support mixed workloads, reduce labor costs, deliver uninterrupted service for critical business applications, and several other risk-adjusted cost factors.

Mainframes also have execution integrity characteristics for fault tolerant computing. For example, z900, z990, System z9, and System z10 servers effectively execute result-oriented instructions twice, compare results, arbitrate between any differences (through instruction retry and failure isolation), then shift workloads "in flight" to functioning processors, including spares, without any impact to operating systems, applications, or users. This hardware-level feature, also found in HP's NonStop systems, is known as lock-stepping, because both processors take their "steps" (i.e. instructions) together. Not all applications absolutely need the assured integrity that these systems provide, but many do, such as financial transaction processing.

Current market

IBM, with z Systems, continues to be a major manufacturer in the mainframe market. In 2000, Hitachi co-developed the zSeries z900 with IBM to share expenses, and the latest Hitachi AP10000 models are made by IBM. Unisys manufactures ClearPath Libra mainframes, based on earlier Burroughs MCP products and ClearPath Dorado mainframes based on Sperry Univac OS 1100 product lines. Hewlett-Packard sells its unique NonStop systems, which it acquired with Tandem Computers and which some analysts classify as mainframes. Groupe Bull's GCOS, Stratus OpenVOS, Fujitsu (formerly Siemens) BS2000, and Fujitsu-ICL VME mainframes are still available in Europe, and Fujitsu (formerly Amdahl) GS21 mainframes globally. NEC with ACOS and Hitachi with AP10000-VOS3[14] still maintain mainframe businesses in the Japanese market.

The amount of vendor investment in mainframe development varies with market share. Fujitsu and Hitachi both continue to use custom S/390-compatible processors, as well as other CPUs (including POWER and Xeon) for lower-end systems. Bull uses a mixture of Itanium and Xeon processors. NEC uses Xeon processors for its low-end ACOS-2 line, but develops the custom NOAH-6 processor for its high-end ACOS-4 series. IBM also develops custom processors in-house, such as the zEC12. Unisys produces code compatible mainframe systems that range from laptops to cabinet-sized mainframes that use homegrown CPUs as well as Xeon processors. Furthermore, there exists a market for software applications to manage the performance of mainframe implementations. In addition to IBM, significant market competitors include BMC, Maintec Technologies, Compuware, and CA Technologies. Starting in the 2010s, cloud computing is now a less expensive, more scalable alternative commonly called Big Data.

History

Several manufacturers and their successors produced mainframe computers from the 1950s until the early 21st century, with gradually decreasing numbers and a gradual transition to simulation on Intel chips rather than proprietary hardware. The US group of manufacturers was first known as "IBM and the Seven Dwarfs"::  usually Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data, Honeywell, General Electric and RCA, although some lists varied. Later, with the departure of General Electric and RCA, it was referred to as IBM and the BUNCH. IBM's dominance grew out of their 700/7000 series and, later, the development of the 360 series mainframes. The latter architecture has continued to evolve into their current zSeries mainframes which, along with the then Burroughs and Sperry (now Unisys) MCP-based and OS1100 mainframes, are among the few mainframe architectures still extant that can trace their roots to this early period. While IBM's zSeries can still run 24-bit System/360 code, the 64-bit zSeries and System z9 CMOS servers have nothing physically in common with the older systems. Notable manufacturers outside the US were Siemens and Telefunken in Germany, ICL in the United Kingdom, Olivetti in Italy, and Fujitsu, Hitachi, Oki, and NEC in Japan. The Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries manufactured close copies of IBM mainframes during the Cold War; the BESM series and Strela are examples of an independently designed Soviet computer. Other Eastern Block manufacturer is Elwro in Poland, manufacturing ODRA, R-32 and R-34 mainframes.

Shrinking demand and tough competition started a shakeout in the market in the early 1970s—RCA sold out to UNIVAC and GE sold its business to Honeywell; between 1986 and 1990 Honeywell was bought out by Bull; UNIVAC became a division of Sperry, which later merged with Burroughs to form Unisys Corporation in 1986.

In 1984 estimated sales of desktop computers ($11.6 billion) exceeded mainframe computers ($11.4 billion) for the first time. IBM received the vast majority of mainframe revenue. During the 1980s, minicomputer-based systems grew more sophisticated and were able to displace the lower end of the mainframes. These computers, sometimes called departmental computers, were typified by the Digital Equipment Corporation VAX series.

In 1991, AT&T Corporation briefly owned NCR. During the same period, companies found that servers based on microcomputer designs could be deployed at a fraction of the acquisition price and offer local users much greater control over their own systems given the IT policies and practices at that time. Terminals used for interacting with mainframe systems were gradually replaced by personal computers. Consequently, demand plummeted and new mainframe installations were restricted mainly to financial services and government. In the early 1990s, there was a rough consensus among industry analysts that the mainframe was a dying market as mainframe platforms were increasingly replaced by personal computer networks. InfoWorld's Stewart Alsop infamously predicted that the last mainframe would be unplugged in 1996; in 1993, he cited Cheryl Currid, a computer industry analyst as saying that the last mainframe "will stop working on December 31, 1999", a reference to the anticipated Year 2000 problem (Y2K).

That trend started to turn around in the late 1990s as corporations found new uses for their existing mainframes and as the price of data networking collapsed in most parts of the world, encouraging trends toward more centralized computing. The growth of e-business also dramatically increased the number of back-end transactions processed by mainframe software as well as the size and throughput of databases. Batch processing, such as billing, became even more important (and larger) with the growth of e-business, and mainframes are particularly adept at large-scale batch computing. Another factor currently increasing mainframe use is the development of the Linux operating system, which arrived on IBM mainframe systems in 1999 and is typically run in scores or up to c. 8,000 virtual machines on a single mainframe. Linux allows users to take advantage of open source software combined with mainframe hardware RAS. Rapid expansion and development in emerging markets, particularly People's Republic of China, is also spurring major mainframe investments to solve exceptionally difficult computing problems, e.g. providing unified, extremely high volume online transaction processing databases for 1 billion consumers across multiple industries (banking, insurance, credit reporting, government services, etc.) In late 2000, IBM introduced 64-bit z/Architecture, acquired numerous software companies such as Cognos and introduced those software products to the mainframe. IBM's quarterly and annual reports in the 2000s usually reported increasing mainframe revenues and capacity shipments. However, IBM's mainframe hardware business has not been immune to the recent overall downturn in the server hardware market or to model cycle effects. For example, in the 4th quarter of 2009, IBM's System z hardware revenues decreased by 27% year over year. But MIPS (millions of instructions per second) shipments increased 4% per year over the past two years. Alsop had himself photographed in 2000, symbolically eating his own words ("death of the mainframe").

In 2012, NASA powered down its last mainframe, an IBM System z9. However, IBM's successor to the z9, the z10, led a New York Times reporter to state four years earlier that "mainframe technology—hardware, software and services—remains a large and lucrative business for I.B.M., and mainframes are still the back-office engines behind the world's financial markets and much of global commerce". As of 2010, while mainframe technology represented less than 3% of IBM's revenues, it "continue to play an outsized role in Big Blue's results".

In 2015, IBM launched the IBM z13, in June 2017 the IBM z14, in September 2019 the IBM z15 and on April 5th 2022 they announced IBM's latest mainframe system, the IBM z16, featuring among other things an "integrated on-chip AI accelerator" and the new Telum microprocessor.

Differences from supercomputers

A supercomputer is a computer at the leading edge of data processing capability, with respect to calculation speed. Supercomputers are used for scientific and engineering problems (high-performance computing) which crunch numbers and data, while mainframes focus on transaction processing. The differences are:

* Mainframes are built to be reliable for transaction processing (measured by TPC-metrics; not used or helpful for most supercomputing applications) as it is commonly understood in the business world: the commercial exchange of goods, services, or money. A typical transaction, as defined by the Transaction Processing Performance Council, updates a database system for inventory control (goods), airline reservations (services), or banking (money) by adding a record. A transaction may refer to a set of operations including disk read/writes, operating system calls, or some form of data transfer from one subsystem to another which is not measured by the processing speed of the CPU. Transaction processing is not exclusive to mainframes but is also used by microprocessor-based servers and online networks.

* Supercomputer performance is measured in floating point operations per second (FLOPS) or in traversed edges per second or TEPS, metrics that are not very meaningful for mainframe applications, while mainframes are sometimes measured in millions of instructions per second (MIPS), although the definition depends on the instruction mix measured.[38] Examples of integer operations measured by MIPS include adding numbers together, checking values or moving data around in memory (while moving information to and from storage, so-called I/O is most helpful for mainframes; and within memory, only helping indirectly). Floating point operations are mostly addition, subtraction, and multiplication (of binary floating point in supercomputers; measured by FLOPS) with enough digits of precision to model continuous phenomena such as weather prediction and nuclear simulations (only recently standardized decimal floating point, not used in supercomputers, are appropriate for monetary values such as those useful for mainframe applications). In terms of computational speed, supercomputers are more powerful.

Mainframes and supercomputers cannot always be clearly distinguished; up until the early 1990s, many supercomputers were based on a mainframe architecture with supercomputing extensions. An example of such a system is the HITAC S-3800, which was instruction-set compatible with IBM System/370 mainframes, and could run the Hitachi VOS3 operating system (a fork of IBM MVS).[40] The S-3800 therefore can be seen as being both simultaneously a supercomputer and also an IBM-compatible mainframe.

In 2007, an amalgamation of the different technologies and architectures for supercomputers and mainframes has led to a so-called gameframe.

Mainframe-Computers-1024x682.jpg?lossy=1&strip=1&webp=1


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1634 2023-01-13 21:10:02

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1537) World Trade Organization

Summary

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade. With effective cooperation in the United Nations System, governments use the organization to establish, revise, and enforce the rules that govern international trade. It officially commenced operations on 1 January 1995, pursuant to the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, thus replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that had been established in 1948. The WTO is the world's largest international economic organization, with 164 member states representing over 98% of global trade and global GDP.

The WTO facilitates trade in goods, services and intellectual property among participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements, which usually aim to reduce or eliminate tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions; these agreements are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their legislatures.[ The WTO also administers independent dispute resolution for enforcing participants' adherence to trade agreements and resolving trade-related disputes. The organization prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security, and other important goals.

The WTO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its top decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which is composed of all member states and usually convenes biennially; consensus is emphasized in all decisions. Day-to-day functions are handled by the General Council, made up of representatives from all members. A Secretariat of over 600 personnel, led by the Director-General and four deputies, provides administrative, professional, and technical services. The WTO's annual budget is roughly 220 million USD, which is contributed by members based on their proportion of international trade.

Studies show the WTO has boosted trade and reduced trade barriers. It has also influenced trade agreement generally; a 2017 analysis found that the vast majority of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) up to that point explicitly reference the WTO, with substantial portions of text copied from WTO agreements.Goal 10 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals also referenced WTO agreements as instruments of reducing inequality. However, critics contend that the benefits of WTO-facilitated free trade are not shared equally.

Details

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

What is the WTO?

Who we are : The WTO has many roles: it operates a global system of trade rules, it acts as a forum for negotiating trade agreements, it settles trade disputes between its members and it supports the needs of developing countries.

What we do : All major decisions are made by the WTO's member governments: either by ministers (who usually meet at least every two years) or by their ambassadors or delegates (who meet regularly in Geneva).

What we stand for : A number of simple, fundamental principles form the foundation of the multilateral trading system.

Overview : The primary purpose of the WTO is to open trade for the benefit of all.

Decision-making

Organization chart : The WTO's top decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference. Below this is the General Council and various other councils and committees.

Ministerial conferences : Ministerial conferences usually take place every two years.
 
General Council : The General Council is the top day-to-day decision-making body. It meets a number of times a year in Geneva.

Membership

Members and observers : The WTO has over 160 members representing 98 per cent of world trade. Over 20 countries are seeking to join the WTO.

Accessions  : To join the WTO, a government has to bring its economic and trade policies in line with WTO rules and negotiate its terms of entry with the WTO membership.

Budget

The WTO derives most of the income for its annual budget from contributions by its members. These contributions are based on a formula that takes into account each member's share of international trade.

Director-General

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the seventh Director-General of the WTO. She took office on 1 March 2021, becoming the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General. Her term of office will expire on 31 August 2025.

Additional Information

World Trade Organization (WTO), is an international organization established to supervise and liberalize world trade. The WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was created in 1947 in the expectation that it would soon be replaced by a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) to be called the International Trade Organization (ITO). Although the ITO never materialized, the GATT proved remarkably successful in liberalizing world trade over the next five decades. By the late 1980s there were calls for a stronger multilateral organization to monitor trade and resolve trade disputes. Following the completion of the Uruguay Round (1986–94) of multilateral trade negotiations, the WTO began operations on January 1, 1995.

Origins

The ITO was initially envisaged, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as one of the key pillars of post-World War II reconstruction and economic development. In Havana in 1948, the UN Conference on Trade and Employment concluded a draft charter for the ITO, known as the Havana Charter, which would have created extensive rules governing trade, investment, services, and business and employment practices. However, the United States failed to ratify the agreement. Meanwhile, an agreement to phase out the use of import quotas and to reduce tariffs on merchandise trade, negotiated by 23 countries in Geneva in 1947, came into force as the GATT on January 1, 1948.

Although the GATT was expected to be provisional, it was the only major agreement governing international trade until the creation of the WTO. The GATT system evolved over 47 years to become a de facto global trade organization that eventually involved approximately 130 countries. Through various negotiating rounds, the GATT was extended or modified by numerous supplementary codes and arrangements, interpretations, waivers, reports by dispute-settlement panels, and decisions of its council.

During negotiations ending in 1994, the original GATT and all changes to it introduced prior to the Uruguay Round were renamed GATT 1947. This set of agreements was distinguished from GATT 1994, which comprises the modifications and clarifications negotiated during the Uruguay Round (referred to as “Understandings”) plus a dozen other multilateral agreements on merchandise trade. GATT 1994 became an integral part of the agreement that established the WTO. Other core components include the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which attempted to supervise and liberalize trade; the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which sought to improve protection of intellectual property across borders; the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes, which established rules for resolving conflicts between members; the Trade Policy Review Mechanism, which documented national trade policies and assessed their conformity with WTO rules; and four plurilateral agreements, signed by only a subset of the WTO membership, on civil aircraft, government procurement, dairy products, and bovine meat (though the latter two were terminated at the end of 1997 with the creation of related WTO committees). These agreements were signed in Marrakech, Morocco, in April 1994, and, following their ratification, the contracting parties to the GATT treaty became charter members of the WTO. By the 2020s the WTO had more than 160 members.

Objectives and operation

The WTO has six key objectives: (1) to set and enforce rules for international trade, (2) to provide a forum for negotiating and monitoring further trade liberalization, (3) to resolve trade disputes, (4) to increase the transparency of decision-making processes, (5) to cooperate with other major international economic institutions involved in global economic management, and (6) to help developing countries benefit fully from the global trading system. Although shared by the GATT, in practice these goals have been pursued more comprehensively by the WTO. For example, whereas the GATT focused almost exclusively on goods—though much of agriculture and textiles were excluded—the WTO encompasses all goods, services, and intellectual property, as well as some investment policies. In addition, the permanent WTO Secretariat, which replaced the interim GATT Secretariat, has strengthened and formalized mechanisms for reviewing trade policies and settling disputes. Because many more products are covered under the WTO than under the GATT and because the number of member countries and the extent of their participation has grown steadily—the combined share of international trade of WTO members now exceeds 90 percent of the global total—open access to markets has increased substantially.

The rules embodied in both the GATT and the WTO serve at least three purposes. First, they attempt to protect the interests of small and weak countries against discriminatory trade practices of large and powerful countries. The WTO’s most-favoured-nation and national-treatment articles stipulate that each WTO member must grant equal market access to all other members and that both domestic and foreign suppliers must be treated equally. Second, the rules require members to limit trade only through tariffs and to provide market access not less favourable than that specified in their schedules (i.e., the commitments that they agreed to when they were granted WTO membership or subsequently). Third, the rules are designed to help governments resist lobbying efforts by domestic interest groups seeking special favours. Although some exceptions to the rules have been made, their presence and replication in the core WTO agreements were intended to ensure that the worst excesses would be avoided. By thus bringing greater certainty and predictability to international markets, it was thought, the WTO would enhance economic welfare and reduce political tensions.

Resolution of trade disputes

The GATT provided an avenue for resolving trade disputes, a role that was strengthened substantially under the WTO. Members are committed not to take unilateral action against other members. Instead, they are expected to seek recourse through the WTO’s dispute-settlement system and to abide by its rules and findings. The procedures for dispute resolution under the GATT have been automated and greatly streamlined, and the timetable has been tightened.

Dispute resolution begins with bilateral consultations through the mediation, or “good offices,” of the director-general. If this fails, an independent panel is created to hear the dispute. The panel submits a private draft report to the parties for comment, after which it may revise the report before releasing it to the full WTO membership. Unlike the IMF and the World Bank, both of which use weighted voting, each WTO member has only one vote. As in the earlier GATT system, however, most decisions are made by consensus. Unless one or both of the parties files a notice of appeal or the WTO members reject the report, it is automatically adopted and legally binding after 60 days. The process is supposed to be completed within nine months, and, if an appeal is lodged, the WTO Appellate Body hears and rules on any claim of legal error within 60 days. Appellate rulings are automatically adopted unless a consensus exists among members against doing so.

Trade-policy reviews

The WTO also seeks to increase awareness of the extent and effects of trade-distorting policies, a goal that it accomplishes through annual notification requirements and through a policy-review mechanism. Notices of all changes in members’ trade and trade-related policies must be published and made accessible to their trading partners. For many developing countries and countries whose economies were formerly centrally planned, this requirement was a major step toward more transparent governance. The WTO reviews the trade policies of the world’s four largest traders (the European Union, the United States, Japan, and China) once every two years, the policies of the 16 next largest traders once every four years, and the policies of all other traders once every six or more years. After extensive consultations with the member country under review, the WTO Secretariat publishes its review together with a companion report by the country’s government. The process thus monitors the extent to which members are meeting their commitments and provides information on newly opened markets. It also provides a firmer basis for subsequent trade negotiations and the resolution of trade disputes.

Assessment

The pace of international economic integration via the GATT and WTO rounds of multilateral trade negotiations has been slower and less comprehensive than some members would prefer. Some have suggested that there should be additional integration among subgroups of (often neighbouring) member economies—e.g., those party to the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement (superseded by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, signed in 2018) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation—for political, military, or other reasons. Notwithstanding the most-favoured-nation clauses in the agreements establishing the WTO, the organization does allow such preferential integration under certain conditions. Even though many such integration agreements arguably do not involve “substantially all trade”—the WTO’s main condition—there has been little conflict over the formation of free-trade areas and customs unions. The most common omissions from such agreements are politically sensitive sectors such as agriculture.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the WTO was the target of fierce criticism. Opponents of economic globalization (see antiglobalization), and in particular those opposed to the growing power of multinational corporations, argued that the WTO infringes upon national sovereignty and promotes the interests of large corporations at the expense of smaller local firms struggling to cope with import competition. Environmental and labour groups (especially those from wealthier countries) have claimed that trade liberalization leads to environmental damage and harms the interests of low-skilled unionized workers. Protests by these and other groups at WTO ministerial meetings—such as the 1999 demonstrations in Seattle, Washington, U.S., which involved approximately 50,000 people—became larger and more frequent, in part because the development of the Internet and social media made large-scale organizing and collective action easier. In response to such criticism, supporters of the WTO claimed that regulating trade is not an efficient way to protect the environment and labour rights. Meanwhile, some WTO members, especially developing countries, resisted attempts to adopt rules that would allow for sanctions against countries that failed to meet strict environmental and labour standards, arguing that they would amount to veiled protectionism.

Despite these criticisms, however, WTO admission remained attractive for nonmembers, as evidenced by the increase in the number of members after 1995. Most significantly, China entered the WTO in 2001 after years of accession negotiations. The conditions for Chinese membership were in some ways more restrictive than those for developing countries, reflecting the concerns of some WTO members that the admission of such a large and still somewhat planned economy might have an overall negative effect on free trade.

world-trade-organisation-wto-1200.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

Offline

#1635 2023-01-14 21:03:14

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1538) International Telecommunication Union

Summary

The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to information and communication technologies. It was established on 17 May 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, making it the first international organization. Doreen Bogdan-Martin is the Secretary-General of ITU, the first woman to serve as its head.

The ITU was initially aimed at helping connect telegraphic networks between countries, with its mandate consistently broadening with the advent of new communications technologies; it adopted its current name in 1932 to reflect its expanded responsibilities over radio and the telephone. On 15 November 1947, the ITU entered into an agreement with the newly created United Nations to become a specialized agency within the UN system, which formally entered into force on 1 January 1949.

The ITU promotes the shared global use of the radio spectrum, facilitates international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, assists in developing and coordinating worldwide technical standards, and works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world. It is also active in the areas of broadband Internet, wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, TV broadcasting, amateur radio, and next-generation networks.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the ITU's global membership includes 193 countries and around 900 businesses, academic institutions, and international and regional organizations.

Details:

ITU is committed to connecting the world

Virtually every facet of modern life – in business, culture or entertainment, at work and at home – depends on information and communication technologies.

Today, there are billions of mobile phone subscribers, close to five billion people with access to television, and tens of millions of new Internet users every year. Hundreds of millions of people around the world use satellite services – whether getting directions from a satellite navigation system, checking the weather forecast or watching television from isolated areas. Millions more use video compression every day in mobile phones, music players and cameras.

ITU is at the very heart of the ICT sector, brokering agreement on technologies, services, and allocation of global resources like radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbital positions, to create a seamless global communications system that’s robust, reliable, and constantly evolving.   

The global international telecommunications network is the largest and most sophisticated engineering feat ever created. You use it every time you log on to the web, send an e-mail or SMS, listen to the radio, watch television, order something online, travel by plane or ship – and of course every time you use a mobile phone, smartphone or tablet computer.

All of this is thanks to ITU and its membership:

* ITU makes phone calls possible: whether to the office next door or to a friend in another country. ITU standards, protocols and international agreements are the essential elements underpinning the global telecommunication system.
* ITU coordinates the world’s satellites through the management of spectrum and orbits, bringing you television, vehicle GPS navigation, maritime and aeronautical communications, weather information and online maps, and enabling communications in even the remotest parts of the planet.
* ITU makes Internet access possible. The majority of Internet connections are facilitated by ITU standards.
* ITU helps support communications in the wake of disasters and emergencies – through on-the-ground assistance, dedicated emergency communications channels, technical standards for early warning systems, and practical help in rebuilding after a catastrophe.
* ITU works with the industry to define the new technologies that will support tomorrow’s networks and services.
* ITU powers the mobile revolution, forging the technical standards and policy frameworks that make mobile and broadband possible.
* ITU works with public and private sector partners to ensure that ICT access and services are affordable, equitable and universal.
* ITU empowers people around the world through technology education and training.

Additional Information

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that was created to encourage international cooperation in all forms of telecommunication. Its activities include maintaining order in the allocation of radio frequencies, setting standards on technical and operational matters, and assisting countries in developing their own telecommunication systems.

The origin of the ITU can be traced to 1865, when the International Telegraph Union was established by a convention signed in Paris. The International Telecommunication Convention of 1932, which merged the International Telegraph Convention and the International Radiotelegraph Convention, provided that the International Telecommunication Union would succeed the International Telegraph Union when the convention became effective in 1934. It was made a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947, and the convention has been revised several times.

The organization of the ITU includes: (1) the Plenipotentiary Conference, which is the supreme organ of the ITU and meets every four years; (2) World Administrative Conferences, which meet according to technical needs; (3) the ITU Council, which meets annually and is responsible for executing decisions of the Plenipotentiary Conference; (4) the General Secretariat, responsible for administrative and financial services; (5) the Radiocommunications Sector, which was formed by the merger of those activities of the former International Consultative Radio Committee and the former International Frequency Registration Board that were concerned with the assignment of radio frequencies; (6) the Telecommunication Standardization Sector, which was formed by the merger of the former International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee with the standards-setting activities of the International Consultative Radio Committee and conducts technical studies and sets international standards for telecommunications; and (7) the Telecommunication Development Sector, which facilitates the growth of telecommunications in developing nations.

The ITU has had its headquarters in Geneva since 1948, when it was moved from Bern.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1636 2023-01-15 20:37:05

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1539) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Summary

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is an intergovernmental organization within the United Nations Secretariat that promotes the interests of developing countries in world trade. It was established in 1964 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and reports to that body and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). UNCTAD is composed of 195 member states and works with nongovernmental organizations worldwide; its permanent secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland.

The primary objective of UNCTAD is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development, including trade, aid, transport, finance and technology. It was created in response to concerns among developing countries that existing international institutions like GATT (now replaced by the World Trade Organization), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank were not properly organized to handle the particular problems of developing countries; UNCTAD would provide a forum where developing nations could discuss and address problems relating to their economic development.

One of UNCTAD's principal achievements was conceiving and implementing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which promotes the export of manufactured goods from developing countries. In the 1970s and 1980s, UNCTAD was closely associated with the New International Economic Order (NIEO), a set of proposals that sought to reduce economic dependency and inequality between developing and developed countries.

UNCTAD conferences ordinarily take place every four years, with the first occurring in Geneva in 1964; fifteen subsequent meetings have taken place worldwide, with the most recent held in Bridgetown, Barbados from 3–8 October 2021 (albeit virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

UNCTAD has 400 staff members and a biannual (2010–2011) regular budget of $138 million in core expenditures and $72 million in extra-budgetary technical assistance funds. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a consortium of UN entities that work to promote sustainable socioeconomic development.

Details

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a permanent organ of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, established in 1964 to promote trade, investment, and development in developing countries. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, UNCTAD has approximately 190 members.

Negotiations at UNCTAD’s meetings resulted in the Global System of Trade Preferences (1988), an agreement that reduced tariffs and removed or reduced nontariff trade barriers among participating developing countries; the Common Fund for Commodities (1989), an intergovernmental financial institution that provides assistance to developing countries that are heavily dependent on commodity exports; and various agreements for debt relief. In the 1990s UNCTAD’s efforts were directed toward the challenges globalization poses to developing countries, and special attention was focused on measures to help the poorest and least developed countries become integrated into the world economy.

The highest policy-making body of UNCTAD is the Conference, which meets once every four years to set policy guidelines and to formulate a program of work. The UNCTAD Secretariat, whose members form part of the UN Secretariat, performs policy analysis, monitors and implements the decisions of UNCTAD’s intergovernmental bodies, and provides for technical cooperation and exchanges of information. It comprises four divisions—on globalization and development strategies; international trade; investment, technology, and enterprise development; and services infrastructure—as well as the Office of the Special Co-ordinator for Least Developed, Land-locked, and Island Developing Countries (OSC-LDC). The Trade and Development Board, UNCTAD’s executive body, is responsible for the operations of the organization when the Conference is not in session.

Additional Information

Globalization, including a phenomenal expansion of trade, has helped lift millions out of poverty. But not nearly enough people have benefited. And tremendous challenges remain.

We support developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively. And we help equip them to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration. To do this, we provide analysis, facilitate consensus-building, and offer technical assistance. This helps them to use trade, investment, finance, and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.

Working at the national, regional, and global level, our efforts help countries to:

* Comprehend options to address macro-level development challenges
* Achieve beneficial integration into the international trading system
* Diversify economies to make them less dependent on commodities
* Limit their exposure to financial volatility and debt
* Attract investment and make it more development friendly
* Increase access to digital technologies
* Promote entrepreneurship and innovation
* Help local firms move up value chains
* Speed up the flow of goods across borders
* Protect consumers from abuse
* Curb regulations that stifle competition
* Adapt to climate change and use natural resources more effectively

Together with other UN departments and agencies, we measure progress by the Sustainable Development Goals, as set out in Agenda 2030.

We also support implementation of Financing for Development, as mandated by the global community in the 2015 Addis Ababa Agenda, together with four other major institutional stakeholders: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Development Programme.

While we work mainly with governments, to effectively deal with the magnitude and complexity of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, we believe that partnerships and closer cooperation with the private sector and civil society are essential.

Ultimately, we are serving the citizens of the 195 countries that make up our organization. Our goal is prosperity for all.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1637 2023-01-16 15:30:20

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1540) Anorexia nervosa

Summary

Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by low weight, food restriction, body image disturbance, fear of gaining weight, and an overpowering desire to be thin. Anorexia is a term of Greek origin, prefix denoting negation and "appetite", translating literally to "a loss of appetite"; the adjective nervosa indicating the functional and non-organic nature of the disorder. Anorexia nervosa was coined by Gull in 1873 but, despite literal translation, the feeling of hunger is frequently present and the pathological control of this instinct is a source of satisfaction for the patients.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa have a fear of being overweight or being seen as such, although they are in fact underweight. The DSM-5 describes this perceptual symptom as "disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced". In research and clinical settings, this symptom is called "body image disturbance". Individuals with anorexia nervosa also often deny that they have a problem with low weight. They may weigh themselves frequently, eat small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit (in the "anorexia purging" subtype), or use laxatives to lose weight and control body shapes, and/or binge eat. Medical complications may include osteoporosis, infertility, and heart damage, along with the cessation of menstrual periods. In extreme cases, patients with anorexia nervosa who continually refuse significant dietary intake and weight restoration interventions, and are declared incompetent to make decisions by a psychiatrist, may be fed by force under restraint via nasogastric tube after asking their parents or proxies to make the decision for them.

The cause of anorexia is currently unknown. There appear to be some genetic components with identical twins more often affected than fraternal twins. Cultural factors also appear to play a role, with societies that value thinness having higher rates of the disease. Additionally, it occurs more commonly among those involved in activities that value thinness, such as high-level athletics, modeling, and dancing. Anorexia often begins following a major life-change or stress-inducing event. The diagnosis requires a significantly low weight and the severity of disease is based on body mass index (BMI) in adults with mild disease having a BMI of greater than 17, moderate a BMI of 16 to 17, severe a BMI of 15 to 16, and extreme a BMI less than 15. In children, a BMI for age percentile of less than the 5th percentile is often used.

Treatment of anorexia involves restoring the patient back to a healthy weight, treating their underlying psychological problems, and addressing behaviors that promote the problem. While medications do not help with weight gain, they may be used to help with associated anxiety or depression. Different therapy methods may be useful, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or an approach where parents assume responsibility for feeding their child, known as Maudsley family therapy. Sometimes people require admission to a hospital to restore weight. Evidence for benefit from nasogastric tube feeding is unclear; such an intervention may be highly distressing for both anorexia patients and healthcare staff when administered against the patient's will under restraint. Some people with anorexia will have a single episode and recover while others may have recurring episodes over years Many complications improve or resolve with the regaining of weight.

Globally, anorexia is estimated to affect 2.9 million people as of 2015. It is estimated to occur in 0.3% to 4.3% of women and 0.2% to 1% of men in Western countries at some point in their life. About 0.4% of young women are affected in a given year and it is estimated to occur ten times more commonly among women than men. Rates in most of the developing world are unclear. Often it begins during the teen years or young adulthood. While anorexia became more commonly diagnosed during the 20th century it is unclear if this was due to an increase in its frequency or simply better diagnosis. In 2013, it directly resulted in about 600 deaths globally, up from 400 deaths in 1990. Eating disorders also increase a person's risk of death from a wide range of other causes, including suicide. About 5% of people with anorexia die from complications over a ten-year period, a nearly six times increased risk. According to a study conducted in 2020, it was observed that the unadjusted odds ratio of mortality among male (6.1%) patients was more than twice the ratio for female patients (2.6%) in Japan (Edakubo & Fushimi). The term "anorexia nervosa" was first used in 1873 by William Gull to describe this condition.

In recent years, evolutionary psychiatry as an emerging scientific discipline has been studying mental disorders from an evolutionary perspective. It is still debated whether eating disorders such as anorexia have evolutionary functions or if they are problems resulting from a modern lifestyle.

Details

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the refusal of an emaciated individual to maintain a normal body weight. A person with anorexia nervosa typically weighs no more than 85 percent of the expected weight for the person’s age, height, and gender, and in some cases much less. In addition, people with anorexia nervosa have a distorted evaluation of their own weight and body shape. They typically consider their emaciated bodies to be attractive or even a bit too fat, have a severely restricted and rigid diet, and have an intense fear of gaining weight. In women the weight loss is accompanied by amenorrhea (failure to menstruate for at least three consecutive months). An estimated 5–20 percent of people with the disorder die as the result of starvation or medical complications that are caused by low weight and a restricted diet.

Classification

Anorexia nervosa is one of two major types of eating disorders. The other is bulimia nervosa, which is characterized by binge eating followed by compensatory behaviour such as self-induced vomiting, fasting, or excessive exercise. When the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa is given, a qualified health care professional also will determine whether the patient should also be diagnosed as having one of two types of illness: binge-eating/purging type or restricting type. The binge-eating/purging type is characterized by regular engagement in binge eating (eating of a significantly large amount of food during a given period of time) or purging (self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas) during the current episode of anorexia nervosa. The restricting type is characterized as unhealthy weight loss due to food restriction.

Although some people with anorexia nervosa also engage in binge eating followed by purging, in bulimia nervosa body weight generally remains near or above normal. Approximately 90 percent of all people diagnosed with anorexia nervosa are women, and most report onset of the illness between ages 12 and 25. An estimated 0.5–3.7 percent of women in the United States suffer from anorexia nervosa at some time in their life. However, partial-syndrome anorexia is far more common. Researchers report that close to 5 percent of adolescent girls have this “mild form” of anorexia nervosa, displaying some, but not all, of the clinical symptoms of the disorder.

Historical developments

British physician Sir Richard Morton is credited with the first English-language description of anorexia nervosa in 1689. He reported two adolescent cases, one female and one male, which he described as occurrences of “nervous consumption,” a wasting away due to emotional turmoil. In 1874 anorexia nervosa was introduced as a clinical diagnosis by two different physicians, Sir William Withey Gull of Britain and Charles Lasègue of France. Each emphasized varying aspects of the condition in their clinical reports, yet they both described anorexia as a “nervous” disease characterized by self-starvation. They were the first to recognize the illness as a distinct clinical diagnosis. When Gull reported about his work to the Clinical Society of London, he used the term anorexia nervosa, which literally means “nervous loss of appetite,” to describe the condition. He was the first to do so. Gull’s reports were published by the society the following year, and the term later gained broad acceptance.

Cases of what is today recognized as anorexia nervosa have been documented throughout history, but it was not officially recognized as a psychiatric disorder until 1980, when its incidence increased greatly. Many experts blame the rise in anorexia nervosa on the unrelenting focus in the popular media on young women’s appearance, especially the emphasis on thinness as an ideal. This emphasis is especially common in the cultural standards of beauty in affluent industrialized countries, and anorexia nervosa is far more prevalent in the United States, Europe, and industrialized Asia than it is elsewhere in the world.

Causes and risk factors

Anorexia nervosa usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood. The causes of the illness are multifactorial and include genetic and biological risk factors, developmental factors that may to contribute to a negative subjective body image, a lack of awareness of internal feelings (including hunger and emotions), a family history of eating disturbances, social influence, and psychological factors. Psychological factors can include a range of influences, such as an anxious temperament, perfectionistic or obsessive tendencies, a history of trauma, a co-occurring psychological disorder (e.g., depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and certain personality disorders), and either chronic or acute stress. Genetic factors linked to anorexia include variations in genes involved in metabolic function, particularly alterations affecting sugar and fat metabolism.

A family history of alcohol or substance abuse; physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; mental illness; or high parental conflict also have been shown to increase risk. In addition, most cases of anorexia are preceded by an episode of dieting that progresses toward severe food restriction and self-starvation. However, it is not clear whether such dieting behaviour is a precursor to the illness or merely an early symptom.

Treatment and care

Research has not identified a uniquely effective treatment for anorexia nervosa in adults. Various forms of psychotherapy and nutrition therapy are used in an attempt to treat it in such cases. For adolescent patients, family therapy that includes parents and sometimes siblings and a family-based treatment approach known as Maudsley therapy appear to be of benefit. Weight restoration is considered the key component to treatment, regardless of the age of onset, as studies show that many of the hallmark symptoms of anorexia are the result of starvation or semistarvation. Hospitalization may be required in cases of extreme weight loss because of its potentially life-threatening nature. People with anorexia nervosa typically are very rigid in their behaviours and are terrified of becoming fat, so the hospital’s medical personnel sometimes may resort to coercive measures such as forced feeding or restricting privileges until there is a gain in weight.

The disorder has proved to be challenging to treat with either psychotherapy or antidepressants. Ongoing research is investigating whether other psychotropic medications may be of use for recovery from anorexia. Studies show that about one-half of those who receive treatment for anorexia nervosa remain below their expected body weight even several years after treatment, and many of the rest continue to struggle with eating, dieting, and their body image.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1638 2023-01-17 15:08:50

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1541) International Monetary Fund

Summary

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world." Formed in 1944, started on 27 December 1945, at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international monetary system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had XDR 477 billion (about US$667 billion). The IMF is regarded as the global lender of last resort.

Through the fund and other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies, and the demand for particular policies, the IMF works to influence the economies of its member countries. The organization's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are: to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, and making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty. IMF funds come from two major sources: quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds. The size of a member's quota depends on its economic and financial importance in the world. Nations with greater economic significance have larger quotas. The quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources in the form of special drawing rights.

The current managing director (MD) and Chairwoman of the IMF is Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva, who has held the post since October 1, 2019. Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath, who previously served as Chief Economist, was appointed as First Deputy Managing Director, effective January 21, 2022. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas replaced Gopinath as Chief Economist on January 24, 2022.

Details

The IMF was established in 1944 in the aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s. 44 founding member countries sought to build a framework for international economic cooperation. Today, its membership embraces 190 countries, with staff drawn from 150 nations.

The IMF is governed by and accountable to those 190 countries that make up its near-global membership.

At the top of its organizational structure is the Board of Governors. The day-to-day work of the IMF is overseen by its 24-member Executive Board, which represents the entire membership and supported by IMF staff. The Managing Director is the head of the IMF staff and Chair of the Executive Board. S/he is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors.

The IMF's resources mainly come from the money that countries pay as their capital subscription (quotas) when they become members. Each member of the IMF is assigned a quota, based broadly on its relative position in the world economy. Countries can then borrow from this pool when they fall into financial difficulty.

The IMF provides loans—including emergency loans—to member countries experiencing actual or potential balance of payments problems. The aim is to help them rebuild their international reserves, stabilize their currencies, continue paying for imports, and restore conditions for strong economic growth, while correcting underlying problems.

The IMF monitors the international monetary system and global economic developments to identify risks and recommend policies for growth and financial stability. The Fund also undertakes a regular health check of the economic and financial policies of its 190 member countries. In addition, the IMF identifies possible risks to the economic stability of its member countries and advises their governments on possible policy adjustments.

The IMF provides technical assistance and training to governments, including central banks, finance ministries, revenue administrations, and financial sector supervisory agencies. These capacity development efforts are centered on the IMF’s core areas of expertise ranging from taxation through central bank operations to the reporting of macroeconomic data. Such training also helps countries tackle cross-cutting issues, such as income inequality, gender equality, corruption, and climate change.

Additional Information

International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency, founded at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 to secure international monetary cooperation, to stabilize currency exchange rates, and to expand international liquidity (access to hard currencies).

Origins

The first half of the 20th century was marked by two world wars that caused enormous physical and economic destruction in Europe and a Great Depression that wrought economic devastation in both Europe and the United States. These events kindled a desire to create a new international monetary system that would stabilize currency exchange rates without backing currencies entirely with gold; to reduce the frequency and severity of balance-of-payments deficits (which occur when more foreign currency leaves a country than enters it); and to eliminate destructive mercantilist trade policies, such as competitive devaluations and foreign exchange restrictions—all while substantially preserving each country’s ability to pursue independent economic policies. Multilateral discussions led to the UN Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, U.S., in July 1944. Delegates representing 44 countries drafted the Articles of Agreement for a proposed International Monetary Fund that would supervise the new international monetary system. The framers of the new Bretton Woods monetary regime hoped to promote world trade, investment, and economic growth by maintaining convertible currencies at stable exchange rates. Countries with temporary, moderate balance-of-payments deficits were expected to finance their deficits by borrowing foreign currencies from the IMF rather than by imposing exchange controls, devaluations, or deflationary economic policies that could spread their economic problems to other countries.

After ratification by 29 countries, the Articles of Agreement entered into force on December 27, 1945. The fund’s board of governors convened the following year in Savannah, Georgia, U.S., to adopt bylaws and to elect the IMF’s first executive directors. The governors decided to locate the organization’s permanent headquarters in Washington, D.C., where its 12 original executive directors first met in May 1946. The IMF’s financial operations began the following year.

Organization

The IMF is headed by a board of governors, each of whom represents one of the organization’s approximately 180 member states. The governors, who are usually their countries’ finance ministers or central bank directors, attend annual meetings on IMF issues. The fund’s day-to-day operations are administered by an executive board, which consists of 24 executive directors who meet at least three times a week. Eight directors represent individual countries (China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), and the other 16 represent the fund’s remaining members, grouped by world regions. Because it makes most decisions by consensus, the executive board rarely conducts formal voting. The board is chaired by a managing director, who is appointed by the board for a renewable five-year term and supervises the fund’s staff of about 2,700 employees from more than 140 countries. The managing director is usually a European and—by tradition—not an American. The first female managing director, Christine Lagarde of France, was appointed in June 2011.

Each member contributes a sum of money called a quota subscription. Quotas are reviewed every five years and are based on each country’s wealth and economic performance—the richer the country, the larger its quota. The quotas form a pool of loanable funds and determine how much money each member can borrow and how much voting power it will have. For example, the United States’ approximately $83 billion contribution is the most of any IMF member, accounting for approximately 17 percent of total quotas. Accordingly, the United States receives about 17 percent of the total votes on both the board of governors and the executive board. The Group of Eight industrialized nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) controls nearly 50 percent of the fund’s total votes.

Operation

Since its creation, the IMF’s principal activities have included stabilizing currency exchange rates, financing the short-term balance-of-payments deficits of member countries, and providing advice and technical assistance to borrowing countries.

Stabilizing currency exchange rates

Under the original Articles of Agreement, the IMF supervised a modified gold standard system of pegged, or stable, currency exchange rates. Each member declared a value for its currency relative to the U.S. dollar, and in turn the U.S. Treasury tied the dollar to gold by agreeing to buy and sell gold to other governments at $35 per ounce. A country’s exchange rate could vary only 1 percent above or below its declared value. Seeking to eliminate competitive devaluations, the IMF permitted exchange rate movements greater than 1 percent only for countries in “fundamental balance-of-payments disequilibrium” and only after consultation with, and approval by, the fund. In August 1971 U.S. President Richard Nixon ended this system of pegged exchange rates by refusing to sell gold to other governments at the stipulated price. Since then each member has been permitted to choose the method it uses to determine its exchange rate: a free float, in which the exchange rate for a country’s currency is determined by the supply and demand of that currency on the international currency markets; a managed float, in which a country’s monetary officials will occasionally intervene in international currency markets to buy or sell its currency to influence short-term exchange rates; a pegged exchange arrangement, in which a country’s monetary officials pledge to tie their currency’s exchange rate to another currency or group of currencies; or a fixed exchange arrangement, in which a country’s currency exchange rate is tied to another currency and is unchanging. After losing its authority to regulate currency exchange rates, the IMF shifted its focus to loaning money to developing countries.

Financing balance-of-payments deficits

Members with balance-of-payments deficits may borrow money in foreign currencies, which they must repay with interest, by purchasing with their own currencies the foreign currencies held by the IMF. Each member may immediately borrow up to 25 percent of its quota in this way. The amounts available for purchase are denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), whose value is calculated daily as a weighted average of four currencies: the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, and the British pound sterling. SDRs are an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement members’ existing reserve assets of foreign currencies and gold. Countries use the SDRs that have been allocated to them by the IMF to settle international debts. More than 20 billion SDRs were allocated to members in successive allocations from 1969 through 1981. SDRs are not part of the quota subscriptions supplied by members, and thus they are not part of the general asset pool available for loans to members. The IMF uses the SDR as its unit of account for all transactions. Drawing on the IMF by a country raises the fund’s holdings of that country’s currency but lowers its holdings of another country’s currency by an equal amount. Thus the composition of the fund’s resources changes, but the total resources as measured in SDRs remains the same. The country repays the loan over a specified period (usually three to five years) by using member currencies acceptable to the IMF to repurchase its own national currency. Only about 20 currencies are borrowed during a typical year, with most borrowers exchanging their currency for the major convertible currencies: the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro, and the British pound sterling. Countries whose currencies are borrowed by other member governments receive remuneration—about 4 percent of the amount borrowed.

Additional loans are available for members with financial difficulties that require them to borrow more than 25 percent of their quotas. The IMF uses an analytic framework known as financial programming, which was first fully formulated by IMF staff economist Jacques Polak in 1957, to determine the amount of the loan and the macroeconomic adjustments and structural reforms needed to reestablish the country’s balance-of-payments equilibrium. The IMF has several financing programs, or facilities, for providing these loans, including a standby arrangement, which makes short-term assistance available to countries experiencing temporary or cyclical balance-of-payments deficits; an extended-fund facility, which supports medium-term relief; a supplemental-reserve facility, which provides loans in cases of extraordinary short-term deficits; and, since 1987, a poverty-reduction and growth facility. Each facility has its own access limit, disbursement plan, maturity structure, and repayment schedule. The typical IMF loan, known as an upper-credit tranche arrangement, features an annual access limit of 100 percent of a member’s quota, quarterly disbursements, a one- to three-year maturity structure, and a three- to five-year repayment schedule. The IMF charges the same interest rate to every country that borrows from a particular financing facility. Loans typically carry annual interest charges of approximately 4.5 percent.

Each of these loans is accompanied by a “letter of intent” that specifies the macroeconomic adjustments and structural reforms required by the IMF as conditions for assistance. Loan conditions, or “conditionality,” have been explicitly authorized by the Articles of Agreement since 1968. Typical conditionalities require borrowing governments to reduce budget deficits and rates of money growth; to eliminate monopolies, price controls, interest rate ceilings, and subsidies; to deregulate selected industries, particularly the banking sector; to lower tariffs and eliminate quotas; to remove export barriers; to maintain adequate international currency reserves; and to devalue their currencies if faced with fundamental balance-of-payments deficits. These adjustments are intended to reduce imports and increase exports to enable the country to earn sufficient foreign exchange in the future to pay its foreign debts, including the newly incurred IMF debt. Most lending programs specify quarterly targets for key economic variables that, in theory, must be met to receive the next loan installment.

Advising borrowing governments

The IMF consults annually with each member government. Through these contacts, known as “Article IV Consultations,” the IMF attempts to assess each country’s economic health and to forestall future financial problems. The fund also operates the IMF Institute, a department that provides training in macroeconomic analysis and policy formulation for officials of member countries.

Criticism and debate

The impact of IMF loans has been widely debated. Opponents of the IMF argue that the loans enable member countries to pursue reckless domestic economic policies knowing that, if needed, the IMF will bail them out. This safety net, critics charge, delays needed reforms and creates long-term dependency. Opponents also argue that the IMF rescues international bankers who have made bad loans, thereby encouraging them to approve ever riskier international investments.

IMF conditionalities have also been widely debated. Critics contend that IMF policy prescriptions provide uniform remedies that are not adequately tailored to each country’s unique circumstances. These standard, austere loan conditions reduce economic growth and deepen and prolong financial crises, creating severe hardships for the poorest people in borrowing countries and strengthening local opposition to the IMF.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1639 2023-01-18 03:10:53

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1542) Organ donation

Summary

Organ donation is the process when a person allows an organ of their own to be removed and transplanted to another person, legally, either by consent while the donor is alive or dead with the assent of the next of kind.

Donation may be for research or, more commonly, healthy transplantable organs and tissues may be donated to be transplanted into another person.

Common transplantations include kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, bones, bone marrow, skin, and corneas. Some organs and tissues can be donated by living donors, such as a kidney or part of the liver, part of the pancreas, part of the lungs or part of the intestines, but most donations occur after the donor has died.

In 2019, Spain had the highest donor rate in the world at 46.91 per million people, followed by the US (36.88 per million), Croatia (34.63 per million), Portugal (33.8 per million), and France (33.25 per million).

As of February 2, 2019, there were 120,000 people waiting for life-saving organ transplants in the US. Of these, 74,897 people were active candidates waiting for a donor. While views of organ donation are positive, there is a large gap between the numbers of registered donors compared to those awaiting organ donations on a global level.

To increase the number of organ donors, especially among underrepresented populations, current approaches include the use of optimized social network interventions, exposing tailored educational content about organ donation to target social media users. Every year August 13 is observed as World Organ Donation Day to raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.

Details

Organ donation is the the act of giving one or more organs (or parts thereof), without compensation, for transplantation into someone else. Organ donation is a very personal yet complex decision, intertwined with medical, legal, religious, cultural, and ethical issues. Today organ donation, strictly defined, encompasses the donation and transplantation of the heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, and pancreas (e.g., the islets of Langerhans).

Donors

Donated organs come either from a deceased donor or from a still-living donor. Living donors are capable of donating a kidney, part of the intestine, part of the liver, part of a lung, or part of the pancreas. Deceased donors are classified according to (1) donation after brain death or (2) donation after cardiac death. Brain death is defined as the total cessation of brain function; it is impossible to return to life after brain death. Cardiac death occurs after irreversible cessation of cardiac function.

People of all ages can consider themselves potential organ donors. The few absolute medical contraindications to donation include HIV-positive status, active cancer, and systemic infection. Other conditions that may render a person ineligible to donate organs include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, sickle cell anemia, or a history of intravenous drug abuse. Potential donors are evaluated for suitability on the basis of their medical history.

Organ demand

In 1988 the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a national computerized system, was implemented to track organ donation in the United States. In its first two decades of operation, the OPTN recorded the procurement of organs from some 125,000 deceased and 100,000 living donors. During that period of time, organ donation increased dramatically in the West. For example, in 1988 in the United States about 9,500 kidneys were recovered from donors, but in 2008 alone more than 20,200 kidneys were recovered. Likewise, in 1988 approximately 580 pancreases were recovered, but in 2008 some 1,830 were recovered. For some organs, however, the increase in donation has been relatively small; for example, nearly 1,800 hearts were recovered in 1988, and about 2,200 were recovered in 2008. Thus, the demand for transplants continues to far exceed the supply of organs.

Great efforts have been made in the Western world over the past decades to increase the number of deceased donors, but the rate varies greatly (e.g., in 2009 there were approximately 34 donors per million persons in Spain and 6 donors per million persons in Greece). As a result of the growing need for organs for transplantation, living donation has increased. Most living donations are to family members or close friends, but some “altruistic” or “nondirected” donors do not know the recipients. Potential living donors must undergo a thorough physical and psychological workup in order to help ensure that no adverse outcome will occur before, during, or after donation.

Organ procurement

In the United States, local organ-procurement organizations (OPOs) coordinate deceased donation. OPOs evaluate potential donors, discuss donation with surviving relatives, and arrange for the surgical removal and transport of donated organs. Organs in good condition are removed in a sterile surgical procedure; all incisions are closed, so the donor can still have an open-casket funeral. After organ removal, the donor is taken off artificial life support. The organs to be donated are flushed with, and stored in, chilled preservation solutions (4 °C [39.2 °F]). Preserving organ function is key, and long-term storage is not possible; the organs must be transplanted within 6 to 72 hours after removal, depending on the organ (the heart and lungs may be viable for only 4 to 5 hours). In the United States the OPTN is used to match donated organs with prospective recipients.

Legal, medical, and social issues

Legislative approaches to deceased donation differ, but they most commonly involve some form of consent (either presumed or explicit) or dissent. Under U.S. law, deceased donation remains a consent system. Surviving relatives generally retain the right to dissent even if the potential donor gave explicit consent via a driver’s license, living will, or similar document. In some states, however, those laws are changing, with movement toward preventing a relative from overriding an individual’s decision to donate his organs if the desire to donate has been specified in a legal document. In the United Kingdom, deceased donation is voluntary, and no consent is presumed. In addition, legal documentation of a person’s decision to donate cannot be overturned by the family in the United Kingdom. Organ donation laws are evolving in places such as India and China, which have religious and cultural systems that differ substantially from those common to countries in the West.

The benefits and risks for both the living donor and the recipient must be weighed carefully. A healthy donor always faces an unnecessary major surgical procedure and even the possibility of death. The chance of dying as a result of donating a kidney is about 1 in 8,000–10,000; of donating a small portion of the liver, about 1 in 1,000; and of donating a large portion of the liver, as high as 1 in 100–500. In addition, living donors may be unable to maintain life or medical insurance or disability coverage at the same level or rate that they had prior to donation. Financial concerns may be exacerbated by a possible delay in returning to work because of unforeseen problems. Some countries have established programs to reimburse qualified living donors for travel and other expenses. Follow-up registries for living donors, which track quality of life and other factors after donation, exist in only a few countries.

Illegal organ trade and trafficking have resulted in physical and financial exploitation of some living donors and may have contributed to an occasional loss of faith in the medical system. Yet despite the challenges, organ transplants offer recipients a new chance at healthy, productive, and normal lives and return them to their families, friends, and communities.

Whether the donor is deceased or living, organ donation remains a profoundly generous and life-affirming option. Many families of deceased donors acknowledge that the “gift of life” made possible by organ donation helps them cope with their tragic loss. Likewise, most religions (including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism) support organ donation as a charitable act of love and giving.

Additional Information

Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. Organs you can donate include:

* Internal organs: Kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs
* Skin
* Bone and bone marrow
* Cornea

Most organ and tissue donations occur after the donor has died. But some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is alive.

People of all ages and background can be organ donors. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian must give you permission to become a donor. If you are 18 or older you can show you want to be a donor by signing a donor card. You should also let your family know your wishes.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1640 2023-01-18 21:58:49

ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1543) World Meteorological Organization

Summary

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.

The WMO originated from the International Meteorological Organization, a nongovernmental organization founded in 1873 as a forum for exchanging weather data and research. Proposals to reform the status and structure of the IMO culminated in the World Meteorological Convention of 1947, which formally established the World Meteorological Organization. The Convention entered into force on 23 March 1950, and the following year the WMO began operations as an intergovernmental organization within the UN system.

The WMO is made up of 193 countries and territories, and facilitates the "free and unrestricted" exchange of data, information, and research between the respective meteorological and hydrological institutions of its members. It also collaborates with nongovernmental partners and other international organizations on matters related to environmental protection, climate change, resource management, and socioeconomic development.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WMO is governed by the World Meteorological Congress, composed of member states, which meets every four years to set policies and priorities. The Congress is led by an Executive Council led by the President, currently Gerhard Adrian of Germany.

Details

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behavior of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.

WMO has a membership of 191 Member States and Territories (on 1 January 2013). It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951 for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. WMO facilitates the free and unrestricted exchange of data and information, products and services in real- or near-real time on matters relating to safety and security of society, economic welfare and the protection of the environment. It contributes to policy formulation in these areas at national and international levels.

Areas Of Support

WMO promotes cooperation in the establishment of networks for making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations, as well as the exchange, processing and standardization of related data, and assists technology transfer, training and research. It also fosters collaboration between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members and furthers the application of meteorology to public weather services, agriculture, aviation, shipping, the environment, water issues and the mitigation of the impacts of natural disasters.

Programmes Of NAPs (National Adaptation Plans)

World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme

The World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme facilitates the development, operation and enhancement of worldwide systems for observing and exchanging meteorological and related observations, and for the generation and dissemination of analyses and forecast products, as well as severe weather advisories and warnings, and related operational information. The activities carried out under this Programme collectively ensure that Members have access to the required information to enable them to provide data, prediction and information services and products to users.

Global Atmosphere Watch Programme (GAW)

The rationale for the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme is to meet the need to better understand and control the increasing influence of human activity on the global atmosphere.

World Weather Research Programme (WWRP)

WWRP is a comprehensive programme which contributes to improving public safety, the quality of life, economic prosperity and environmental quality by serving as an international mechanism for: • Advancing the science of weather-related research with a particular focus on advancing our knowledge of high-impact weather, improving the prediction of these events and measuring the improvements in prediction; • Advancing our understanding of how society is impacted by and reacts to high-impact weather and forecasts of these events in order to improve the utilization of and response to weather information; • Contributing to the advancement of the science of broader environmental prediction through partnerships and collaborative multidisciplinary research; • Promoting and facilitating the transfer of these research advances into the operational practice at NMHSs and among their end-users; • Serving as the weather research underpinning for WMO efforts related to the WMO Natural Disaster Reduction and Mitigation Programme, operational weather prediction, use applications, and thereby contributing to relevant UN Millennium Goals.

Additional Information

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) created to promote the establishment of a worldwide meteorological observation system, the application of meteorology to other fields, and the development of national meteorological services in less-developed countries. The WMO was preceded by the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), a nongovernmental organization of the heads of various national weather services founded in 1873. The WMO was created by the World Meteorological Convention, which was adopted at the 12th director’s conference of the IMO in 1947. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WMO began operations in 1951.

The World Meteorological Congress, which consists of representatives of all 185 members, meets at least every four years to set general policy and adopt regulations. A 36-member Executive Council meets annually and implements policy. The Secretariat, headed by a secretary-general appointed by the congress for a four-year term, serves as the administrative centre of the organization. Six regional associations (Africa, Asia, South America, North and Central America, South-West Pacific, and Europe) address problems peculiar to their regions, and eight technical commissions (aeronautical meteorology, agricultural meteorology, atmospheric sciences, basic systems, climatology, hydrology, instruments and methods of observation, and marine meteorology) meet every four years.

Among WMO’s major programs are World Weather Watch, a system of satellites and telecommunication networks connecting land and sea sites for monitoring weather conditions; the World Climate Programme, which monitors climate change, including global warming; and the Atmospheric Research and Environment Programme, which was designed to promote research on issues such as ozone depletion.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1641 2023-01-19 20:58:17

ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1544) United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Summary

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations programme for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1977 as an outcome of the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976. UN-Habitat maintains its headquarters at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world.

Overview

The UN-Habitat mandate is also derived from General Assembly resolution 3327 (XXIX), by which the Assembly established the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation; resolution 32/162, by which the Assembly established the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat); and resolution 56/206, by which the Assembly transformed the Commission on Human Settlements and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), including the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation, into UN-Habitat. The mandate of UN-Habitat is further derived from other internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration (Assembly resolution 55/2), in particular the target on achieving a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers by 2020; and the target on water and sanitation of the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which seeks to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Through Assembly resolution 65/1, Member States committed themselves to continue working towards cities without slums, beyond current targets, by reducing slum populations and improving the lives of slum-dwellers.

Details

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. It is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. UN-Habitat envisions well-planned, well-governed, and efficient cities and other human settlements, with adequate housing, infrastructure, and universal access to employment and basic services such as water, energy, and sanitation.

The main documents outlining UN-Habitat’s mandate are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements (Habitat I), the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements (Habitat II and the Habitat Agenda), the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and the General Assembly Resolution 56/206.

The mandate of UN-Habitat is further derived from other internationally agreed upon development goals, including those established in the United Nations Millennium Declaration (General Assembly resolution 55/2).

UN-Habitat mainstreams human rights into all aspects of its operational and normative work. This includes cooperating with the High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote implementation of international conventions at national, regional and municipal levels.

UN-Habitat’s concept of sustainable urban development includes the rule of law and the protection of vulnerable groups as central elements. The Programme’s legislative work focuses on the quality of law, in particular its effectiveness in delivering policy and its accountability and includes:

* Exploring the current status of urban law in cities and towns globally,
* Understanding the role urban law plays in facilitating good urban development,
* Identifying and promote urban law methodologies and mechanisms that promote the sustainable development of human settlements.

Additional Information

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organisation are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, Habitat Agenda, Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and Resolution 56/206.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration recognises the dire circumstances of the world’s urban poor. It articulates the commitment of Member States to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020 – Target 11 of Goal No.7 – a task mandated to UN-Habitat.

As large as 100 million may seem, however, it is only 10 per cent of the present worldwide slum population, which, if left unchecked, will multiply threefold to 3 billion by the year 2050. The challenge is made more daunting by the fact that, according to UN-Habitat’s own research, the world’s slum population has already grown by 75 million in barely three years since the Millennium Declaration.

As our towns and cities grow at unprecedented rates setting the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, sustainable urbanisation is one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community in the 21st century. In 1950, one-third of the world’s people lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this proportion has risen to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds, or 6 billion people, by 2050. Cities are now home to half of humankind. They are the hub for much national production and consumption – economic and social processes that generate wealth and opportunity. But they also create disease, crime, pollution and poverty. In many cities, especially in developing countries, slum dwellers number more than 50 per cent of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water, and sanitation. This is where UN-Habitat is mandated to make a difference for the better.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1642 2023-01-20 21:54:57

ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1545) Antenna (radio)

Summary

In radio engineering, an antenna or aerial is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current to the antenna's terminals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic waves (radio waves). In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of a radio wave in order to produce an electric current at its terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all radio equipment.

An antenna is an array of conductors (elements), electrically connected to the receiver or transmitter. Antennas can be designed to transmit and receive radio waves in all horizontal directions equally (omnidirectional antennas), or preferentially in a particular direction (directional, or high-gain, or “beam” antennas). An antenna may include components not connected to the transmitter, parabolic reflectors, horns, or parasitic elements, which serve to direct the radio waves into a beam or other desired radiation pattern. Strong directivity and good efficiency when transmitting are hard to achieve with antennas with dimensions that are much smaller than a half wavelength.

The first antennas were built in 1888 by German physicist Heinrich Hertz in his pioneering experiments to prove the existence of waves predicted by the electromagnetic theory of James Clerk Maxwell. Hertz placed dipole antennas at the focal point of parabolic reflectors for both transmitting and receiving. Starting in 1895, Guglielmo Marconi began development of antennas practical for long-distance, wireless telegraphy, for which he received a Nobel Prize.

Details

Antenna, also called Aerial, is a component of radio, television, and radar systems that directs incoming and outgoing radio waves. Antennas are usually metal and have a wide variety of configurations, from the mastlike devices employed for radio and television broadcasting to the large parabolic reflectors used to receive satellite signals and the radio waves generated by distant astronomical objects.

The first antenna was devised by the German physicist Heinrich Hertz. During the late 1880s he carried out a landmark experiment to test the theory of the British mathematician-physicist James Clerk Maxwell that visible light is only one example of a larger class of electromagnetic effects that could pass through air (or empty space) as a succession of waves. Hertz built a transmitter for such waves consisting of two flat, square metallic plates, each attached to a rod, with the rods in turn connected to metal spheres spaced close together. An induction coil connected to the spheres caused a spark to jump across the gap, producing oscillating currents in the rods. The reception of waves at a distant point was indicated by a spark jumping across a gap in a loop of wire.

The Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi, the principal inventor of wireless telegraphy, constructed various antennas for both sending and receiving, and he also discovered the importance of tall antenna structures in transmitting low-frequency signals. In the early antennas built by Marconi and others, operating frequencies were generally determined by antenna size and shape. In later antennas frequency was regulated by an oscillator, which generated the transmitted signal.

More powerful antennas were constructed during the 1920s by combining a number of elements in a systematic array. Metal horn antennas were devised during the subsequent decade following the development of waveguides that could direct the propagation of very high-frequency radio signals.

Over the years, many types of antennas have been developed for different purposes. An antenna may be designed specifically to transmit or to receive, although these functions may be performed by the same antenna. A transmitting antenna, in general, must be able to handle much more electrical energy than a receiving antenna. An antenna also may be designed to transmit at specific frequencies. In the United States, amplitude modulation (AM) radio broadcasting, for instance, is done at frequencies between 535 and 1,605 kilohertz (kHz); at these frequencies, a wavelength is hundreds of metres or yards long, and the size of the antenna is therefore not critical. Frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting, on the other hand, is carried out at a range from 88 to 108 megahertz (MHz). At these frequencies a typical wavelength is about 3 metres (10 feet) long, and the antenna must be adjusted more precisely to the electromagnetic wave, both in transmitting and in receiving. Antennas may consist of single lengths of wire or rods in various shapes (dipole, loop, and helical antennas), or of more elaborate arrangements of elements (linear, planar, or electronically steerable arrays). Reflectors and lens antennas use a parabolic dish to collect and focus the energy of radio waves, in much the same way that a parabolic mirror in a reflecting telescope collects light rays. Directional antennas are designed to be aimed directly at the signal source and are used in direction-finding.

Additional Information

An antenna is a specialized transducer that converts radio-frequency (RF) fields into alternating current (AC) or vice-versa. There are two basic types: the receiving antenna, which intercepts RF energy and delivers AC to electronic equipment, and the transmitting antenna, which is fed with AC from electronic equipment and generates an RF field.

In computer and Internet wireless applications, the most common type of antenna is the dish antenna, used for satellite communications.Dish antennas are generally practical only at microwave frequencies (above approximately 3 GHz). The dish consists of a paraboloidal or spherical reflector with an active element at its focus. When used for receiving, the dish collects RF from a distant source and focuses it at the activeelement.When used for transmitting, the active element radiates RF that is collimated by the reflector for delivery in a specific direction.

At frequencies below 3 GHz, many different types of antennas are used. The simplest is a length of wire, connected at one end to a transmitter or receiver. More often, the radiating/receiving element is placed at a distance from the transmitter or receiver, and AC is delivered to or from the antenna by means of an RF transmission line, also called a feed line or feeder.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1643 2023-01-21 20:42:53

ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1546) United Nations Development Fund for Women

Summary

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), is an organization that offers financial and technical support to programs that are designed to encourage the advancement and empowerment of women and gender equality. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) was established in 1976 in conjunction with the United Nations Decade for Women (1976–85).

UNIFEM concentrates its financial and technical assistance in three key areas: reducing women’s poverty, ending violence against women (including reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls), and promoting gender equality in democratic governance in times of war and peace. The organization reaches out to women worldwide via a network of regional offices and national committees. It also provides publications, including an annual report that documents the programs and activities implemented to encourage women’s empowerment and gender equality and a report providing data on programs implemented to reduce violence against women.

Details

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, French: Fonds de développement des Nations unies pour la femme, Spanish: Fondo de Desarrollo de las Naciones Unidas para la Mujer) was established in December 1976 originally as the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women in the International Women's Year. Its first director was Margaret C. Snyder. UNIFEM provided financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies that promoted women's human rights, political participation and economic security. Since 1976 it supported women's empowerment and gender equality through its programme offices and links with women's organizations in the major regions of the world. Its work on gender responsive budgets began in 1996 in Southern Africa and expanded to include East Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central America and the Andean region. It worked to increase awareness throughout the UN system of gender responsive budgets as a tool to strengthen economic governance in all countries. In 2011, UNIFEM merged with some other smaller entities to become UN Women.

About

UNIFEM was an autonomous organization working closely with the UN Development Program (UNDP), although the resolution also specified that the fund's resources should supplement, not substitute for, the responsibilities of other United Nations development cooperation agencies. UNIFEM helped fund projects that aided women and their families. UNIFEM developed a strategy of aiding women to become their "own agents for change rather than recipients of charity." UNIFEM also helped to ensure that UN programs followed guidelines developed by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). UNIFEM was also involved in recognizing women's rights as human rights. It advocated gender equality around the world. UNIFEM also saw women's rights as an issue of peace and security.

UNIFEM operated on a budget of voluntary contributions to the organization. The organization was based in New York City. Different countries and regions had their own committees within UNIFEM. UNIFEM was one of the smaller agencies at the UN and was situated lower in the UN hierarchy, according to Canadian politician Stephen Lewis.

History

The First World Conference on Women in 1975 influenced the creation of UNIFEM. World governments saw the need to put resources into dealing with women's issues after the First Conference. The United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Decade for Women (UNVFDW) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in December of 1976 right after the conference. Margaret Snyder started working as the leader of the organization in 1978.

1980s

The UNVFDW was given an expanded mandate by the General Assembly in February 1985, when it became the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Under resolution 39/125, the new fund was called on to support and advocate for innovative and catalytic activities that would give voice and visibility to the women of the developing world.

Funding for UNIFEM projects doubled in size between 1985 and 1988.

1990s

In the 1990s, UNIFEM became involved in broadening its scope. The organization began a campaign to define "women's rights as human rights" and how violence against women was also an economic development issue. UNIFEM hired researchers such as Roxanna Carrillo to demonstrate how violence against women was linked to a lack of women's access to economic opportunity. The campaign for "women's rights as human rights" was especially effective. UNIFEM began working on projects to reduce gender based violence and also to raise awareness of the problem.

Also in the 1990s, African Women in Crisis (AFWIC) was created by UNIFEM to focus on issues facing people in Africa. AFWIC helped women who were displaced due to violence or emergencies in their own countries. AFWIC expanded on work begun by Laketch Dirasse in East Africa.

The work of UNIFEM helped shape the issues addressed at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Women at the conference decided that it was important that they "claim formal power to directly shape public policy."

UNIFEM created a trust fund to help support twenty-three projects to combat gender-based violence and war crimes against women. The fund began funding projects in 1997.

2000s

UNIFEM was granted "executing agency status" by UNDP in 2000. This allowed the organization to complete and work on projects for UNDP that related to women's rights and gender equality.

UNIFEM released a new biennial report, Progress of the World's Women in 2001. The report outlined what UNIFEM had achieved in previous decades. Also in 2001, in conjunction with International Alert, UNIFEM launched the Millennium Peace Prize for Women.

Noeleen Heyzer, head of UNIFEM asked for the creation of an international commission on violence against women.

On January 26, 2006, UNIFEM nominated Nicole Kidman as its goodwill ambassador.

The last executive director of UNIFEM was Inés Alberdi.

2010s

In January 2011, UNIFEM was merged into UN Women, a composite entity of the UN, with International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI), and Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW).

Additional Information

UNIFEM (part of UN Women) has long been a partner to women in conflict-affected areas: bringing women together across geographic or political lines to agree on common positions in peace negotiations or post-conflict elections; supporting their engagement with security and justice institutions to stop impunity for violence against women; facilitating their inclusion in post-conflict planning processes to ensure their needs are addressed; and strengthening their engagement with peacekeeping forces to encourage creative responses to the considerable security threats women face.

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM part of UN Women) has long been a partner to women in conflict-affected areas: bringing women together across geographic or political lines to agree on common positions in peace negotiations or post-conflict elections; supporting their engagement with security and justice institutions to stop impunity for violence against women; facilitating their inclusion in post-conflict planning processes to ensure their needs are addressed; and strengthening their engagement with peacekeeping forces to encourage creative responses to the
considerable security threats women face. This collection of UNIFEM papers brings together a considerable body of analytical and advocacy work undertaken over the last five years, grounded in programming that has helped advance the women, peace and security agenda in policy and practice.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1644 2023-01-22 19:04:25

ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1547) United Nations Environment Programme

Summary

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responsible for coordinating responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system. It was established by Maurice Strong, its first director, after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in June 1972. Its mandate is to provide leadership, deliver science and develop solutions on a wide range of issues, including climate change, the management of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and green economic development. The organization also develops international environmental agreements; publishes and promotes environmental science and helps national governments achieve environmental targets.

As a member of the United Nations Development Group, UNEP aims to help the world meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

UNEP hosts the secretariats of several multilateral environmental agreements and research bodies, including The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), The Minamata Convention on Mercury, The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, The Convention on Migratory Species and The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), among others.

In 1988, the World Meteorological Organization and UNEP established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). UNEP is also one of several Implementing Agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

UNEP sometimes uses the alternative name UN Environment.

Details

UNEP : United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system. UNEP uses its expertise to strengthen environmental standards and practices while helping implement environmental obligations at the country, regional and global levels. UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

SIX AREAS OF CONCENTRATION

UNEP re-organised its work programme into six strategic areas as part of its move to results based management. The selection of six areas of concentration was guided by scientific evidence, the UNEP mandate and priorities emerging from global and regional forums.

1. CLIMATE CHANGE

UNEP strengthens the ability of countries to integrate climate change responses by providing leadership in adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance. UNEP is focusing on facilitating the transition to low-carbon societies, improving the understanding of climate science, facilitating the development of renewable energy and raising public awareness.

2. POST-CONFLICT AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT

UNEP conducts environmental assessments in crisis-affected countries and provides guidance for implementing legislative and institutional frameworks for improved environmental management. Activities undertaken by UNEP’s Post-Conflict & Disaster Management Branch (PCDMB) include post-conflict environmental assessment in Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Nigeria and Sudan.

3. ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT Facilitates management and restoration of ecosystems in a manner consistent with sustainable development, and promotes use of ecosystem services. Examples include the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE

UNEP supports governments in establishing, implementing and strengthening the necessary processes, institutions, laws, policies and programs to achieve sustainable development at the country, regional and global levels, and mainstreaming environment in development planning.

5. HARMFUL SUBSTANCES

UNEP strives to minimise the impact of harmful substances and hazardous waste on the environment and human beings. UNEP has launched negotiations for a global agreement on mercury, and implements projects on mercury and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) to reduce risks to human health and the environment.

6. RESOURCE EFFICIENCY/SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

UNEP focuses on regional and global efforts to ensure natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more environmentally friendly way. For example, the Marrakesh Process is a global strategy to support the elaboration of a 10-Year Framework of Programs on sustainable consumption and production.

Additional Information

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is an organization established in 1972 to guide and coordinate environmental activities within the United Nations (UN) system. UNEP promotes international cooperation on environmental issues, provides guidance to UN organizations, and, through its scientific advisory groups, encourages the international scientific community to participate in formulating policy for many of the UN’s environmental projects. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the organization also has encouraged participation by the private sector to promote the sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.

One of UNEP’s most widely recognized activities is Earthwatch, an international monitoring system designed to facilitate the exchange of environmental information among governments. Participation in this enterprise enables members to assess significant environmental risks and to act accordingly. UNEP played a major role in initiating negotiations on reducing ozone-depleting chemicals. UNEP provides the technical assistance for a variety of international conventions, including the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987), the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989), and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (1992). As the secretariat for these conventions, UNEP services the conferences, implements the decisions, monitors implementation, and provides data and information. Together with the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNEP helps to implement the Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (1998). UNEP also coordinates the work on UN agencies with respect to desertification and the regional seas (with special attention to the Mediterranean Sea).

The 58-member Governing Council, the organization’s principal legislative body, is elected by the UN General Assembly for four-year terms. Seats are allocated by region to assure widespread representation, generally providing about 16 seats for African states, 13 for Asia, 6 for eastern Europe, 10 for Latin America and the Caribbean, and 13 for western Europe and other states.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1645 2023-01-23 18:57:33

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1548) Scoliosis

Summary

Scoliosis is a lateral, or sideways, deviation of the spine usually including two curves—the original abnormal curve and a later developing compensatory curve. Possible causes include asymmetrical development of the back, chest, or abdominal musculature, a significant difference in the lengths of the legs, and a malformation or disease of the spinal column and associated structures. Treatment, which depends on the cause, usually includes orthopedic surgery, the use of traction, plaster casts, and exercises.

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. While scoliosis can occur in people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most childhood scoliosis is unknown. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves worsen as children grow.

Details

Scoliosis is a condition in which a person's spine has a sideways curve. The curve is usually "S"- or "C"-shaped over three dimensions. In some, the degree of curve is stable, while in others, it increases over time. Mild scoliosis does not typically cause problems, but more severe cases can affect breathing and movement. Pain is usually present in adults, and can worsen with age.

The cause of most cases is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include other affected family members. It can also occur due to another condition such as muscle spasms, cerebral palsy, Marfan syndrome, and tumors such as neurofibromatosis. Diagnosis is confirmed with X-rays. Scoliosis is typically classified as either structural in which the curve is fixed, or functional in which the underlying spine is normal.

Treatment depends on the degree of curve, location, and cause. The age of the patient is also important, since some treatments are ineffective in adults, who are no longer growing. Minor curves may simply be watched periodically. Treatments may include bracing, specific exercises, posture checking, and surgery. The brace must be fitted to the person and used daily until growing stops. Specific exercises, such as exercises that focus on the core, may be used to try to decrease the risk of worsening. They may be done alone or along with other treatments such as bracing. Evidence that chiropractic manipulation, dietary supplements, or exercises can prevent the condition from worsening is weak. However, exercise is still recommended due to its other health benefits.

Scoliosis occurs in about 3% of people. It most commonly develops between the ages of ten and twenty. Females typically are more severely affected than males with a ratio of 4:1. The term is from Ancient Greek (skolíōsis), which means "a bending".

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms associated with scoliosis can include:

* Pain in the back at the site of the curve, which may radiate to the legs
* Respiratory or cardiac problems in severe cases
* Constipation due to curvature causing "tightening" of the stomach, intestines, etc.
* Limited mobility secondary to pain or functional limitation in adults mostly when wisting the torso.

The signs of scoliosis can include:

* Uneven musculature on one side of the spine
* Rib prominence or a prominent shoulder blade, caused by rotation of the rib cage in thoracic scoliosis
* Uneven hips, arms, or leg lengths
* Slow nerve action
* Uneven posture
* Heart and lung problems in severe cases
* Calcium deposits in the cartilage endplate and sometimes in the disc itself

Course

People who have reached skeletal maturity are less likely to have a worsening case. Some severe cases of scoliosis can lead to diminishing lung capacity, pressure exerted on the heart, and restricted physical activities.

Recent longitudinal studies reveal that the most common form of the condition, late-onset idiopathic scoliosis, causes little physical impairment other than back pain and cosmetic concerns, even when untreated, with mortality rates similar to the general population. Older beliefs that untreated idiopathic scoliosis necessarily progresses into severe (cardiopulmonary) disability by old age have been refuted by later studies.

Causes

An estimated 65% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic (cause unknown), about 15% are congenital, and about 10% are secondary to a neuromuscular disease.

About 38% of variance in scoliosis risk is due to genetic factors, and 62% is due to the environment. The genetics are likely complex, however, given the inconsistent inheritance and discordance among monozygotic twins. The specific genes that contribute to development of scoliosis have not been conclusively identified. At least one gene, CHD7, has been associated with the idiopathic form of scoliosis. Several candidate gene studies have found associations between idiopathic scoliosis and genes mediating bone formation, bone metabolism, and connective tissue structure. Several genome-wide studies have identified a number of loci as significantly linked to idiopathic scoliosis. In 2006, idiopathic scoliosis was linked with three microsatellite polymorphisms in the MATN1 gene (encoding for matrilin 1, cartilage matrix protein). Fifty-three single nucleotide polymorphism markers in the DNA that are significantly associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were identified through a genome-wide association study.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has no clear causal agent, and is generally believed to be multifactorial; leading to "progressive functional limitations" for individuals. Research suggests that Posterior Spinal Fusion (PSF) can be used to correct the more severe deformities caused by adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Such procedures can result in a return to physical activity in about 6 months, which is very promising, although minimal back pain is still to be expected in the most severe cases. The prevalence of scoliosis is 1% to 2% among adolescents, but the likelihood of progression among adolescents with a Cobb angle less than 20° is about 10% to 20%.

Congenital scoliosis can be attributed to a malformation of the spine during weeks three to six in utero due to a failure of formation, a failure of segmentation, or a combination of stimuli. Incomplete and abnormal segmentation results in an abnormally shaped vertebra, at times fused to a normal vertebra or unilaterally fused vertebrae, leading to the abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.

Resulting from other conditions

Secondary scoliosis due to neuropathic and myopathic conditions can lead to a loss of muscular support for the spinal column so that the spinal column is pulled in abnormal directions. Some conditions which may cause secondary scoliosis include muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord trauma, and myotonia. Scoliosis often presents itself, or worsens, during an adolescent's growth spurt and is more often diagnosed in females than males.

Scoliosis associated with known syndromes is often subclassified as "syndromic scoliosis". Scoliosis can be associated with amniotic band syndrome, Arnold–Chiari malformation, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, cerebral palsy, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, connective tissue disorders, muscular dystrophy, familial dysautonomia, CHARGE syndrome, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (hyperflexibility, "floppy baby" syndrome, and other variants of the condition), fragile X syndrome, Friedreich's ataxia, hemihypertrophy, Loeys–Dietz syndrome, Marfan syndrome, nail–patella syndrome, neurofibromatosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, Prader–Willi syndrome, proteus syndrome, spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, syringomyelia, and pectus carinatum.

Another form of secondary scoliosis is degenerative scoliosis, also known as de novo scoliosis, which develops later in life secondary to degenerative (may or may not be associated with aging) changes. This is a type of deformity that starts and progresses because of the collapse of the vertebral column in an asymmetrical manner. As bones start to become weaker and the ligaments and discs located in the spine become worn as a result of age-related changes, the spine begins to curve.

Diagnosis

People who initially present with scoliosis undergo a physical examination to determine whether the deformity has an underlying cause and to exclude the possibility of the underlying condition more serious than simple scoliosis.

The person's gait is assessed, with an exam for signs of other abnormalities (e.g., spina bifida as evidenced by a dimple, hairy patch, lipoma, or hemangioma). A thorough neurological examination is also performed, the skin for café au lait spots, indicative of neurofibromatosis, the feet for cavovarus deformity, abdominal reflexes and muscle tone for spasticity.

When a person can cooperate, they are asked to bend forward as far as possible. This is known as the Adams forward bend test and is often performed on school students. If a prominence is noted, then scoliosis is a possibility and an X-ray may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

As an alternative, a scoliometer may be used to diagnose the condition.

When scoliosis is suspected, weight-bearing, full-spine AP/coronal (front-back view) and lateral/sagittal (side view) X-rays are usually taken to assess the scoliosis curves and the kyphosis and lordosis, as these can also be affected in individuals with scoliosis. Full-length standing spine X-rays are the standard method for evaluating the severity and progression of scoliosis, and whether it is congenital or idiopathic in nature. In growing individuals, serial radiographs are obtained at 3- to 12-month intervals to follow curve progression, and, in some instances, MRI investigation is warranted to look at the spinal cord. An average scoliosis patient has been in contact with around 50-300mGy of radiation due to these radiographs during this time period.

The standard method for assessing the curvature quantitatively is measuring the Cobb angle, which is the angle between two lines, drawn perpendicular to the upper endplate of the uppermost vertebra involved and the lower endplate of the lowest vertebra involved. For people with two curves, Cobb angles are followed for both curves. In some people, lateral-bending X-rays are obtained to assess the flexibility of the curves or the primary and compensatory curves.

Congenital and idiopathic scoliosis that develops before the age of 10 is referred to as early-onset scoliosis. Progressive idiopathic early-onset scoliosis can be a life-threatening condition with negative effects on pulmonary function. Scoliosis that develops after 10 is referred to as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Screening adolescents without symptoms for scoliosis is of unclear benefit.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1646 2023-01-24 21:08:20

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1549) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Summary

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a United Nations agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with over 17,300 staff working in 135 countries.

UNHCR was created in 1950 to address the refugee crisis that resulted from World War II. The 1951 Refugee Convention established the scope and legal framework of the agency's work, which initially focused on Europeans uprooted by the war. Beginning in the late 1950s, displacement caused by other conflicts, from the Hungarian Uprising to the decolonization of Africa and Asia, broadened the scope of UNHCR's operations. Commensurate with the 1967 Protocol to the Refugee Convention, which expanded the geographic and temporal scope of refugee assistance, UNHCR operated across the world, with the bulk of its activities in developing countries. By its 65th anniversary in 2015, the agency had assisted more than 50 million refugees worldwide.

As of June 2020, UNHCR has over 20 million refugees under its mandate. Consequently, its annual budget has grown from US$300,000 in 1951 to US$8.6 billion in 2019, making it one of the largest UN agencies by expenditure. The vast majority of UNHCR's budget comes from voluntary contributions, mostly from member states; the largest donors are the United States, the European Union, and Germany. The agency's work includes providing protection, shelter, healthcare and emergency relief, assisting in resettlement and repatriation, and advocating for national and multilateral policies on behalf of refugees.

In recognition of its work, UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, in 1954 and 1981 and a Prince of Asturias Awards for International Cooperation in 1991. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a consortium of organizations dedicated to sustainable development.

Details

In 1954, UNHCR won the Nobel Peace Prize for its groundbreaking work in Europe. But it was not long before we faced our next major emergency.

In 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution, 200,000 fled to neighbouring Austria. Recognizing the Hungarians as 'prima facie' refugees, UNHCR led efforts to resettle them. This uprising and its aftermath shaped the way humanitarian organizations would deal with refugee crises in the future.

During the 1960s, the decolonization of Africa produced the first of that continent’s numerous refugee crises. We also helped uprooted people in Asia and Latin America over the following two decades. In 1981, we received a second Nobel Peace Prize for what had become worldwide assistance to refugees.

The start of the 21st century has seen UNHCR help with major refugee crises in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. We have also been asked to use our expertise to help many internally displaced by conflict and expanded our role in helping stateless people. In some parts of the world, such as Africa and Latin America, the 1951 Refugee Convention has been strengthened by additional regional legal instruments.

UNHCR now has more than 18,879 personnel working in 137 countries. Our budget, which in its first year was US$300,000, grew to US$8.6 billion in 2019.

In 2020, we marked our 70th anniversary. During our lifetime, we have helped well over 50 million refugees to successfully restart their lives.

Additional Information

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is an organization established as the successor to the International Refugee Organization (IRO; 1946–52) by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1951 to provide legal and political protection for refugees until they could acquire nationality in new countries of residence. International refugee assistance was first provided by the League of Nations in 1921 under the leadership of Fridtjof Nansen, who served as the League’s Commissioner for Refugees. In 1943 the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, which was succeeded by the IRO in 1946, was established to assist people who had been displaced by World War II. A humanitarian and nonpolitical organization, the UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1954 and 1981.

With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and branch offices in important countries of asylum, the UNHCR intervenes with various national governments in order to ensure such minimal rights as freedom from arbitrary expulsion, access to the courts, work and educational opportunities, and possession of identity and travel documents. The UNHCR initially focused its efforts on aiding the more than one million refugees and displaced persons in Europe after World War II. Since the 1960s the UNHCR’s efforts have shifted to resettling refugees who are victims of war, political turmoil, or natural disasters in Africa and parts of Asia and Latin America. In addition to providing basic international legal protection for displaced persons, it works with other UN agencies—including the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization—nongovernmental organizations, and regional organizations to provide housing, food, and material assistance and aid in repatriation and resettlement. The High Commissioner, who reports annually to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council, has become a key public figure in efforts to rally international support for refugee programs.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1647 2023-01-25 20:43:36

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1550) Epoxy

Summary

Epoxy:  Any of a class of thermosetting polymers, polyethers built up from monomers with an ether group that takes the form of a three-membered epoxide ring. The familiar two-part epoxy adhesives consist of a resin with epoxide rings at the ends of its molecules and a curing agent containing amines or anhydrides. When mixed, these react to yield, after curing, a complex network with ether groups linking the monomers. Stable, tough, and resistant to corrosive chemicals, epoxies are excellent adhesives and useful surface coatings.

Details

Epoxy is the family of basic components or cured end products of epoxy resins. Epoxy resins, also known as polyepoxides, are a class of reactive prepolymers and polymers which contain epoxide groups. The epoxide functional group is also collectively called epoxy. The IUPAC name for an epoxide group is an oxirane.

Epoxy resins may be reacted (cross-linked) either with themselves through catalytic homopolymerisation, or with a wide range of co-reactants including polyfunctional amines, acids (and acid anhydrides), phenols, alcohols and thiols (usually called mercaptans). These co-reactants are often referred to as hardeners or curatives, and the cross-linking reaction is commonly referred to as curing.

Reaction of polyepoxides with themselves or with polyfunctional hardeners forms a thermosetting polymer, often with favorable mechanical properties and high thermal and chemical resistance. Epoxy has a wide range of applications, including metal coatings, composites, use in electronics, electrical components (e.g. for chips on board ), LEDs, high-tension electrical insulators, paint brush manufacturing, fiber-reinforced plastic materials, and adhesives for structural and other purposes.

The health risks associated with exposure to epoxy resin compounds include contact dermatitis and allergic reactions, as well as respiratory problems from breathing vapor and sanding dust, especially when not fully cured.

History

Condensation of epoxides and amines was first reported and patented by Paul Schlack of Germany in 1934. Claims of discovery of bisphenol-A-based epoxy resins include Pierre Castan in 1943. Castan's work was licensed by Ciba, Ltd. of Switzerland, which went on to become one of the three major epoxy resin producers worldwide. Ciba's epoxy business was spun off as Vantico in the late 1990s, which was subsequently sold in 2003 and became the Advanced Materials business unit of Huntsman Corporation of the United States. In 1946, Sylvan Greenlee, working for the Devoe & Raynolds Company, patented resin derived from bisphenol-A and epichlorohydrin. Devoe & Raynolds, which was active in the early days of the epoxy resin industry, was sold to Shell Chemical; the division involved in this work was eventually sold, and via a series of other corporate transactions is now part of Hexion Inc.

Chemistry

Most of the commercially used epoxy monomers are produced by the reaction of a compound with acidic hydroxy groups and epichlorohydrin. First a hydroxy group reacts in a coupling reaction with epichlorohydrin, followed by dehydrohalogenation. Epoxy resins produced from such epoxy monomers are called glycidyl-based epoxy resins. The hydroxy group may be derived from aliphatic diols, polyols (polyether polyols), phenolic compounds or dicarboxylic acids. Phenols can be compounds such as bisphenol A and novolak. Polyols can be compounds such as 1,4-butanediol. Di- and polyols lead to glycidyl ethers. Dicarboxylic acids such as hexahydrophthalic acid are used for diglycide ester resins. Instead of a hydroxy group, also the nitrogen atom of an amine or amide can be reacted with epichlorohydrin.

The other production route for epoxy resins is the conversion of aliphatic or cycloaliphatic alkenes with peracids: In contrast to glycidyl-based epoxy resins, this production of such epoxy monomers does not require an acidic hydrogen atom but an aliphatic double bond.

The epoxide group is also sometimes referred to as a oxirane group.

Applications

The applications for epoxy-based materials are extensive and they are considered very versatile. The applications include coatings, adhesives and composite materials such as those using carbon fiber and fiberglass reinforcements (although polyester, vinyl ester, and other thermosetting resins are also used for glass-reinforced plastic). The chemistry of epoxies and the range of commercially available variations allows cure polymers to be produced with a very broad range of properties. They have been extensively used with concrete and cementitious systems. In general, epoxies are known for their excellent adhesion, chemical and heat resistance, good-to-excellent mechanical properties and very good electrical insulating properties. Many properties of epoxies can be modified (for example silver-filled epoxies with good electrical conductivity are available, although epoxies are typically electrically insulating). Variations offering high thermal insulation, or thermal conductivity combined with high electrical resistance for electronics applications, are available.

As with other classes of thermoset polymer materials, blending different grades of epoxy resin, as well as use of additives, plasticizers or fillers is common to achieve the desired processing or final properties, or to reduce cost. Use of blending, additives and fillers is often referred to as formulating.

All quantities of mix generate their own heat because the reaction is exothermic. Large quantities will generate more heat and thus greatly increase the rate of the reaction and so reduce working time (pot-life). So it is good practice to mix smaller amounts which can be used quickly to avoid waste and to be safer. There are various methods of toughening them, as they can be brittle. Rubber toughening is a key technology used for toughening.

Paints and coatings

Two part epoxy coatings were developed for heavy duty service on metal substrates and use less energy than heat-cured powder coatings. These systems provide a tough, protective coating with excellent hardness. One part epoxy coatings are formulated as an emulsion in water, and can be cleaned up without solvents.

Epoxy coatings are often used in industrial and automotive applications since they are more heat resistant than latex-based and alkyd-based paints. Epoxy paints tend to deteriorate, known as "chalking out", due to UV exposure. Epoxy coatings have also been used in drinking water applications.

Change in color, known as yellowing, is a common phenomenon for epoxy materials and is often of concern in art and conservation applications. Epoxy resins yellow with time, even when not exposed to UV radiation. Significant advances in understanding yellowing of epoxies were achieved by Down first in 1984 (natural dark aging)  and later in 1986 (high-intensity light aging). Down investigated various room-temperature-cure epoxy resin adhesives suitable for use in glass conservation, testing their tendency to yellow. A fundamental molecular understanding of epoxy yellowing was achieved, when Krauklis and Echtermeyer discovered the mechanistic origin of yellowing in a commonly used amine epoxy resin, published in 2018. They found that the molecular reason for epoxy yellowing was a thermo-oxidative evolution of carbonyl groups in the polymeric carbon–carbon backbone via a nucleophilic radical attack.

Polyester epoxies are used as powder coatings for washers, driers and other "white goods". Fusion Bonded Epoxy Powder Coatings (FBE) are extensively used for corrosion protection of steel pipes and fittings used in the oil and gas industry, potable water transmission pipelines (steel), and concrete reinforcing rebar. Epoxy coatings are also widely used as primers to improve the adhesion of automotive and marine paints especially on metal surfaces where corrosion (rusting) resistance is important. Metal cans and containers are often coated with epoxy to prevent rusting, especially for foods like tomatoes that are acidic. Epoxy resins are also used for decorative flooring applications such as terrazzo flooring, chip flooring, and colored aggregate flooring.

Epoxies have been modified in a variety of ways, including reacting with fatty acids derived from oils to yield epoxy esters, which were cured the same way as alkyds. Typical ones were L8 (80% linseed) and D4 (40% dehydrated castor oil). These were often reacted with styrene to make styrenated epoxy esters, used as primers. Curing with phenolics to make drum linings, curing esters with amine resins and pre-curing epoxies with amino resins to make resistant top coats. Organic chains maybe used to hydrophobically modify epoxy resins and change their properties. The effect of chain length of the modifiers has been studied.

One of the best examples was a system of using solvent free epoxies for priming ships during construction, this used a system of hot airless spray with premixing at the head. This obviated the problem of solvent retention under the film, which caused adhesion problems later on.

Adhesives

Epoxy adhesives are a major part of the class of adhesives called "structural adhesives" or "engineering adhesives" (that includes polyurethane, acrylic, cyanoacrylate, and other chemistries.) These high-performance adhesives are used in the construction of aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, golf clubs, skis, snowboards, and other applications where high strength bonds are required. Epoxy adhesives can be developed to suit almost any application. They can be used as adhesives for wood, metal, glass, stone, and some plastics. They can be made flexible or rigid, transparent or opaque/colored, fast setting or slow setting. Epoxy adhesives are better in heat and chemical resistance than other common adhesives. In general, epoxy adhesives cured with heat will be more heat- and chemical-resistant than those cured at room temperature. The strength of epoxy adhesives is degraded at temperatures above 350 °F (177 °C).

Some epoxies are cured by exposure to ultraviolet light. Such epoxies are commonly used in optics, fiber optics, and optoelectronics.

Industrial tooling and composites

Epoxy systems are used in industrial tooling applications to produce molds, master models, laminates, castings, fixtures, and other industrial production aids. This "plastic tooling" replaces metal, wood and other traditional materials, and generally improves the efficiency and either lowers the overall cost or shortens the lead-time for many industrial processes. Epoxies are also used in producing fiber-reinforced or composite parts. They are more expensive than polyester resins and vinyl ester resins, but usually produce stronger and more temperature-resistant thermoset polymer matrix composite parts. Machine bedding to overcome vibrations is a use in the form of epoxy granite.

Wind turbine technology composites

Epoxy resins are used as bonding matrix along with glass or carbon fiber fabrics to produce composites with very high strength to weight characteristics, allowing longer and more efficient rotor blades to be produced. In addition, for offshore and onshore wind energy installations, epoxy resins are used as protective coatings on steel towers, base struts and concrete foundations. Aliphatic polyurethane top coats are applied on top to ensure full UV protection, prolong operational lifetimes and lowering maintenance costs. Electric generators, connected via the drivetrain with the rotor blades, convert mechanical wind energy to usable electric energy, and rely on epoxies electrical insulation and high thermal resistance properties. The same applies to transformers, bushings, spacers, and composites cables connecting the windmills to the grid. In Europe, wind energy components account for the largest segment of epoxy applications, about 27% of the market.

Electrical systems and electronics

Epoxy resin formulations are important in the electronics industry, and are employed in motors, generators, transformers, switchgear, bushings, insulators, printed wiring boards (PWB), and semiconductor encapsulants. Epoxy resins are excellent electrical insulators and protect electrical components from short circuiting, dust and moisture. In the electronics industry epoxy resins are the primary resin used in overmolding integrated circuits, transistors and hybrid circuits, and making printed circuit boards. The largest volume type of circuit board—an "FR-4 board"—is a sandwich of layers of glass cloth bonded into a composite by an epoxy resin. Epoxy resins are used to bond copper foil to circuit board substrates, and are a component of the solder mask on many circuit boards.

Flexible epoxy resins are used for potting transformers and inductors. By using vacuum impregnation on uncured epoxy, winding-to-winding, winding-to-core, and winding-to-insulator air voids are eliminated. The cured epoxy is an electrical insulator and a much better conductor of heat than air. Transformer and inductor hot spots are greatly reduced, giving the component a stable and longer life than unpotted product.

Epoxy resins are applied using the technology of resin dispensing.

Petroleum & petrochemical

Epoxies can be used to plug selective layers in a reservoir which are producing excessive brine. The technique is named "water shut-off treatment".

Consumer and marine applications

Epoxies are sold in hardware stores, typically as a pack containing separate resin and hardener, which must be mixed immediately before use. They are also sold in boat shops as repair resins for marine applications. Epoxies typically are not used in the outer layer of a boat because they deteriorate by exposure to UV light. They are often used during boat repair and assembly, and then over-coated with conventional or two-part polyurethane paint or marine-varnishes that provide UV protection.

There are two main areas of marine use. Because of the better mechanical properties relative to the more common polyester resins, epoxies are used for commercial manufacture of components where a high strength/weight ratio is required. The second area is that their strength, gap filling properties and excellent adhesion to many materials including timber have created a boom in amateur building projects including aircraft and boats.

Normal gelcoat formulated for use with polyester resins and vinylester resins does not adhere to epoxy surfaces, though epoxy adheres very well if applied to polyester resin surfaces. "Flocoat" that is normally used to coat the interior of polyester fibreglass yachts is also compatible with epoxies.

Epoxy materials tend to harden somewhat more gradually, while polyester materials tend to harden quickly, particularly if a lot of catalyst is used. The chemical reactions in both cases are exothermic.

While it is common to associate polyester resins and epoxy resins, their properties are sufficiently different that they are properly treated as distinct materials. Polyester resins are typically low strength unless used with a reinforcing material like glass fibre, are relatively brittle unless reinforced, and have low adhesion. Epoxies, by contrast, are inherently strong, somewhat flexible and have excellent adhesion. However, polyester resins are much cheaper.

Epoxy resins typically require a precise mix of two components which form a third chemical to get the stated properties. Depending on the properties required, the ratio may be anything from 1:1 or over 10:1, but in usually they must be mixed exactly. The final product is then a precise thermoset plastic. Until they are mixed the two elements are relatively inert, although the 'hardeners' tend to be more chemically active and should be protected from the atmosphere and moisture. The rate of the reaction can be changed by using different hardeners, which may change the nature of the final product, or by controlling the temperature.

By contrast, polyester resins are usually made available in a 'promoted' form, such that the progress of previously-mixed resins from liquid to solid is already underway, albeit very slowly. The only variable available to the user is to change the rate of this process using a catalyst, often Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone-Peroxide (MEKP), which is very toxic. The presence of the catalyst in the final product actually detracts from the desirable properties, so that small amounts of catalyst are preferable, so long as the hardening proceeds at an acceptable pace. The rate of cure of polyesters can therefore be controlled by the amount and type of catalyst as well as by the temperature.

As adhesives, epoxies bond in three ways: a) Mechanically, because the bonding surfaces are roughened; b) by proximity, because the cured resins are physically so close to the bonding surfaces that they are hard to separate; c) ionically, because the epoxy resins form ionic bonds at an atomic level with the bonding surfaces. This last is substantially the strongest of the three. By contrast, polyester resins can only bond using the first two of these, which greatly reduces their utility as adhesives and in marine repair.

Construction applications

Epoxies have been researched and used for construction for a few decades. Although they increase cost of mortars and concrete when used as an additive, they enhance properties. Research is ongoing to investigate the use of epoxies and other recycled plastics in mortars to enhance properties and recycle waste. Densifying plastic materials such as PET and plastic bags and then using them to partially replace aggregate and depolymerizing PET to use as a polymeric binder in addition to epoxy to enhance concrete are actively being studied.

Aerospace applications

In the aerospace industry, epoxy is used as a structural matrix material which is then reinforced by fiber. Typical fiber reinforcements include glass, carbon, Kevlar, and boron. Epoxies are also used as a structural glue. Materials like wood, and others that are 'low-tech' are glued with epoxy resin. Epoxies generally out-perform most other resin types in terms of mechanical properties and resistance to environmental degradation.

Biology

Water-soluble epoxies such as Durcupan are commonly used for embedding electron microscope samples in plastic so they may be sectioned (sliced thin) with a microtome and then imaged.

Art

Epoxy resin, mixed with pigment, may be used as a painting medium, by pouring layers on top of each other to form a complete picture. It is also used in jewelry, as a doming resin for decorations and labels, and in decoupage type applications for art, countertops, and tables. It has been used and studied for art and historic structure preservation.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1648 2023-01-26 21:04:09

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1551) United Nations Institute for Training and Research

Summary

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is making concrete contributions to developing the capacities of tens of thousands of people around the world. Since its inception in 1965, UNITAR has built sustainable partnerships acquiring unique expertise and accumulating experience and knowledge to fulfil its mandate. These accomplishments have enabled UNITAR to respond to the growing demand from UN Member States for training for capacity development in the fields of Environment; Peace, Security and Diplomacy; and Governance.

A transformation process was initiated in 2007 with the goal of upgrading the institutional structure and enabling the Institute to increase its future contribution towards addressing emerging training and capacity development needs of beneficiaries. A set of strategic priorities was formulated in view of making UNITAR the calling card of the United Nations system when it comes to knowledge transfer through training on cutting edge issues, adult learning methodologies and professional training.

Details

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations system. UNITAR provides training and capacity development activities to assist mainly developing countries with special attention to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other groups and communities who are most vulnerable, including those in conflict situations.

Facts

* Established in 1963
* Close to 133,420 participants per year
* Close to 670 training related activities per year
* Headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland) with offices in New York City (US), Hiroshima (Japan), and Bonn (Germany); project offices in Port Harcourt (Nigeria), and Juba (South Sudan); and UNITAR-UNOSAT Centres in Bangkok (Thailand), and Nairobi (Kenya).
* 22 associated training centers (CIFAL)
* About 220 staff and collaborators

History


The idea of a United Nations training and research institute was mentioned for the first time in a 1962 resolution of the UN General Assembly. UNITAR was founded in 1963, following the recommendation of the UN Economic and Social Council to the General Assembly, which commissioned the UN Secretary-General with the establishment of a United Nations Institute for Training and Research as an autonomous body within the UN system.

The creation of UNITAR coincided with the addition of 36 States since 1960, including 28 African States to the United Nations. That unprecedented wave of decolonization created a critical need for assistance, as many of the newly independent States lacked the capacity to train their young diplomats. Shaped by its first four Executive Directors originally from newly independent African States, the Institute's vision of training was developed considering the very needs and priorities of recipient countries.

UNITAR commenced functioning in March 1965. The Institute originally had its headquarters based in New York City. In 1993, UNITAR's headquarters were transferred to Geneva (Switzerland).

UNITAR today

The Institute provides training and learning services to national and local government officials of UN member states and civil society representatives from around the world. UNITAR strives to respond to the growing demand from UN member States, especially the Least Developed Countries, for capacity development in the thematic areas of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNITAR helps governments to understand climate change, chemicals and waste management, and green economy. The institute also assists ministries of finance through its courses on public debt management, finance and trade, and it provides government officials with training in Peacekeeping and conflict prevention. Through the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), the Institute supports United Nations funds, programmes, specialized agencies and Member States with satellite imagery analysis over their respective territories, and provide training and capacity development in the use of geospatial information technologies.

Since 2003, UNITAR provides courses to support municipal and regional leaders dealing with complex public policies.

Another task of the institute is to organize knowledge sharing events for the UN Secretary-General, including the annual seminar for Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General as well as strategic meetings for UN Departments. UNITAR also spearheads UN inter-agency initiatives such as the one UN Learning Platform on Climate Change or the Global Migration Group.

UNITAR's research activities are focusing on knowledge systems and their practical applications. They support the Institute's training activities through the provision of learning environments adapted to respond to the needs of adult learners, thus facilitating the increase, efficiency and outreach of the Institute's capacity development activities.

Governance

Operated as an autonomous body within the United Nations system, UNITAR is headed by an Executive Director and governed by a Board of Trustees. The Executive Director and the members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General.

Funding

UNITAR is a project-based organization and does not receive any funds from the regular United Nations budget. The institute is financed entirely from voluntary contributions mainly from UN Member States, other UN agencies, international and Intergovernmental organization, NGOs and the private sector.

Offices

Headquarters are based in Geneva (Switzerland), complemented with three out posted offices in New York City (US) Hiroshima (Japan), and Bonn (Germany); two project offices in Port Harcourt (Nigeria), and Juba (South Sudan); and two UNITAR-UNOSAT Centres in Bangkok (Thailand), and Nairobi (Kenya).

UNITAR also delivers training through its CIFAL Global Network (Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders) composed of 22 international, associated training centers. These CIFAL centers are located across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.

Areas of Work

UNITAR has training expertise in multilateral diplomacy, conflict prevention and peacemaking, peacekeeping, adaptation to climate change, green economy, environmental governance, chemicals and waste management, local governance, as well as public finance and trade, and supporting coherence for the 2030 Agenda amongst others. UNITAR also serves as a research centre for application of satellite imagery to humanitarian, conflict or disaster situations, through UNOSAT, the United Nations Satellite Centre.

The work of the institute is organized under five pillars:

* Promote peace and just and inclusive societies (Peace)
* Prosperity through sustainable economic growth (Prosperity)
* People and social inclusion (People)
* Planet, environmental protection and restoration, and climate change (Planet)
* Optimizing the use of technology and supporting coherence for the 2030 Agenda ((Cross-fertilizing knowledge and expertise).

Additional Information

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a United Nations organization established in 1965 to provide high-priority training and research projects to help facilitate the UN objectives of world peace and security and of economic and social progress. A Board of Trustees of up to 30 members is appointed by the UN secretary-general; the secretary-general himself and the presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) are ex-officio members. Meetings usually occur once annually. UNITAR’s fundamental activities are interorganizational, with primary attention paid to analyzing UN procedures, functions, and structures. Its training program includes a variety of courses designed to benefit both new and long-standing UN delegates, as well as nondiplomatic officials.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1649 2023-01-27 20:10:44

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1552) Mount Melbourne

Mount Melbourne is a 2,733-metre-high (8,967 ft) ice-covered stratovolcano in Victoria Land, Antarctica, between Wood Bay and Terra Nova Bay. It is an elongated mountain with a summit caldera filled with ice with numerous parasitic vents; a volcanic field surrounds the edifice. Mount Melbourne has a volume of about 180 cubic kilometres (43 cu mi) and consists of tephra deposits and lava flows; tephra deposits are also found encased within ice and have been used to date the last eruption of Mount Melbourne to 1892 ± 30 years. The volcano is fumarolically active.

The volcano is part of the McMurdo Volcanic Group, and together with The Pleiades, Mount Overlord, Mount Rittmann and the Malta Plateau forms a subprovince, the Melbourne volcanic province. The volcanism is related both to the West Antarctic Rift and to local tectonic structures such as faults and grabens. Mount Melbourne has mainly erupted trachyandesite and trachyte, which formed within a magma chamber; basaltic rocks are less common.

Geothermal heat flow on Mount Melbourne has created a unique ecosystem formed by mosses and liverworts that grow between fumaroles, ice towers, and ice hummocks. This type of vegetation is found at other volcanoes of Antarctica and develops when volcanic heat generates meltwater from snow and ice, thus allowing plants to grow in the cold Antarctic environment. These mosses are particularly common in a protected area known as Cryptogam Ridge within and south of the summit caldera.

Description

Mount Melbourne lies in North Victoria Land, facing Wood Bay of the Ross Sea. To the southeast lies Cape Washington and due south lies Terra Nova Bay; Campbell Glacier runs west from the volcano and Tinker Glacier lies north of the volcanic field. The seasonal Italian Mario Zucchelli Station lies 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the volcano; the 5th Chinese station in Antarctica (due to be completed in 2022), the Korean Jang Bogo Station, the German Gondwana Station and a neutrino detector are also in the area. Mount Melbourne was discovered and first recognized as a volcano by James Ross in 1841 and named after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, who was then the prime minister of the United Kingdom. The volcano and its surroundings were investigated by New Zealand-based parties in the 1960s, by German ones in the 1970s and 1980s and by Italian-based parties in the 1980s and 1990s. The volcano and its summit can be accessed from the stations by helicopter.

Volcano

Mount Melbourne is an elongated stratovolcano formed by lava flows and tephra fall deposits, with gentle slopes. The volcano is uneroded and forms a cone with a base area of 25 by 55 kilometres (16 mi × 34 mi). Viewed from afar, Mount Melbourne has a nearly perfect cone-like profile that has drawn comparisons to Mount Etna in Italy and Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand. Lava domes and short lava flows form the summit while volcanic mounds, cones, domes and scoria cones dot its flanks; 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) from the summit is a large parasitic vent on the north-northeastern slope, which generated several lava flows. Part of the edifice rises from below sea level. Pyroclastic flow deposits – a rarity for Antarctic volcanoes – have been reported. The total volume of the edifice is about 180 cubic kilometres (43 cu mi).

A 1-kilometre-wide (0.62 mi) crater or caldera sits at the top of the volcano. The highest point of the volcano lies east-northeast of the caldera and reaches 2,733 metres (8,967 ft) elevation. The caldera has an incomplete rim and is filled with snow, leaving a 500-metre-wide (1,600 ft) depression. The rim of the caldera is covered by volcanic ejecta including lapilli and lava bombs, probably the products of the most recent eruption, which overlie a 15-metre-thick (49 ft) layer of pumice lapilli. Three small, nested craters formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions occur on the southern rim of the summit caldera. Pyroclastic fall deposits crop out in the northern rim of the caldera and there are more alternating lava-tephra sequences elsewhere in the summit region. There is evidence of past structural instability (collapse structures) on the eastern and southeastern flanks, and an arcuate (with the shape of an arc) 50-to-100-metre-high (160 to 330 ft) scarp on the eastern flank appears to be an incipient sector collapse.

Except for geothermal areas, the ground is bouldery. Some of the coastal areas around the volcano are ice-free and rocky. Frost heave has been observed in the summit region. Small creeks flow down the eastern flank of Mount Melbourne; they are fed by meltwater during summer and quickly disappear when the snow is gone.

Glaciation

The mountain is covered with permanent ice, which extends to the coast and leaves only a few exposures of the underlying rock; rocky outcrops are most exposed on the eastern flank. The caldera hosts a névé that generates a westward-flowing glacier. An icefall lies northwest of the caldera. Glaciers emanating from snowfields on the volcano have deposited moraines; these and tills from both Pleistocene and Holocene glaciations crop out at Edmonson Point.

Tephra layers crop out in ice cliffs and seracs and testify to recent eruptions, including the one that deposited the ejecta and lapilli pumice units on the summit. Tephra bands are also found in other glaciers of the region. They form when snow accumulates on top of tephra that fell onto ice and in the case of Mount Melbourne they indicate eruptions during the last few thousand years. Volcanic sediments from Mount Melbourne are also found in Terra Nova Bay.

Volcanic field

Mount Melbourne is surrounded by a volcanic field consisting of 60 exposed volcanoes, which have the form of scoria cones and tuff rings with hyaloclastite deposits, lava flows and pillow lavas. Some of these volcanoes formed under ice. The volcanic field forms a peninsula which is separated by steep faults from the Transantarctic Mountains to the north. Among these volcanoes is Shield Nunatak southwest from Mount Melbourne, a subglacial volcano, now exposed, that may have formed during the last 21,000 to 17,000 years. The Cape Washington ridge consists mostly of lava, including pillow lava, overlaid by scoria cones, and is the remnant of a shield volcano. Edmonson Point is another volcanic complex in the volcanic field that formed partly while interacting with glaciers and partly through phreatomagmatic activity. Other volcanoes in the field are Baker Rocks, Oscar Point and Random Hills. These volcanoes are aligned mainly in a north–south direction, with palagonitized outcrops that expose dikes. Perfectly preserved scoria cones occur at Pinckard Table north of the volcanic field, while Harrow Peak is a heavily eroded lava plug. The total volume of volcanic rocks is about 250 cubic kilometres (60 cu mi)[30] and their emplacement apparently altered the path of the Campbell Glacier.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1650 2023-01-28 19:32:19

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 40,592

Re: Miscellany

1553) United Nations Population Fund

Details

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN agency aimed at improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide. Its work includes developing national healthcare strategies and protocols, increasing access to birth control, and leading campaigns against child marriage, gender-based violence, obstetric fistula, and female genital mutilation.

The UNFPA supports programs in more than 144 countries across four geographic regions: Arab States and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. Around three-quarters of the staff work in the field. It is a founding member of the United Nations Development Group, a collection of UN agencies and programmes focused on fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

Origins

The agency began operations in 1969 as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities under the administration of the United Nations Development Fund. In 1971 it was placed under the authority of the United Nations General Assembly. Its name was changed into United Nations Population Fund in 1987. However, the shortened term of UNFPA has been retained.

UNFPA and the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals aiming to transform the world over the next 15 years. These goals are designed to eliminate poverty, discrimination, abuse and preventable deaths, address environmental destruction, and usher in an era of development for all people, everywhere.

The Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious, and they will require enormous efforts across countries, continents, industries and disciplines, but they are achievable. UNFPA works with governments, partners and other UN agencies to directly tackle many of these goals – in particular Goal 3 on health, Goal 4 on education and Goal 5 on gender equality – and contributes in a variety of ways to achieving many of the other goals.

Areas of work

UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. The Fund works with governments and non-governmental organizations in over 150 countries with the support of the international community, supporting programs that help women, men and young people:

* voluntarily plan and have the number of children they desire and to avoid unwanted pregnancies
* undergo safe pregnancy and childbirth
* avoid spreading sexually transmitted infections
* decrease violence against women
* increase the equality of women
* encouraging the use of birth control

UNFPA uses a human rights-based approach in programming to address three "transformative goals":

* Zero preventable maternal death
* Zero gender-based violence
* Zero unmet need for family planning.

The Fund raises awareness of and supports efforts to meet these goals, advocates close attention to population concerns and helps nations formulate policies and strategies in support of sustainable development. Osotimehin assumed leadership in January 2011. The Fund is also represented by UNFPA Goodwill Ambassadors and a Patron.

How it works

UNFPA works in partnership with governments, along with other United Nations agencies, communities, NGOs, foundations and the private sector, to raise awareness and mobilize the support and resources needed to achieve its mission to promote the rights and health of women and young people.

Contributions from governments and the private sector to UNFPA in 2016 totaled $848 million. The amount includes $353 million to the organization's core resources and $495 million earmarked for specific programs and initiatives. As a result of the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic, United Kingdom imposed 85% aid cut to UNFPA.

Examples of campaigns:

Campaign to end fistula

* This UNFPA-led global campaign works to prevent obstetric fistula, a devastating and socially isolating injury of childbirth, to treat women who live with the condition and help those who have been treated to return to their communities. The campaign works in more than 40 countries in Africa, the Arab States and South Asia.

* The leader of the campaign to end fistula, Erin Anastasi, decided to start this campaign in 2003 in hopes of ending deaths of new mothers after developing fistula. This campaign is now active in over 50 countries working not only to prevent fistula, but also to give fistula survivors a sense of reforming their life after overcoming this burden. Nearly 800 women in Africa and Asia die after childbirth and more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The campaign focuses mainly on providing training and funds to support women living with fistula, and also programs aimed towards survivors. The campaign is also looking at ways to prevent fistula from developing in general by providing medical supplies and technical guidance and support.

Ending female genital mutilation

* UNFPA has worked for many years to end the practice of female genital mutilation, the partial or total removal of external female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons. The practice, which affects 100–140 million women and girls across the world, violates their right to health and bodily integrity. In 2007, UNFPA in partnership with UNICEF, launched a $44 million program to reduce the practice by 40 per cent in 16 countries by 2015 and to end it within a generation. UNFPA also recently sponsored a Global Technical Consultation, which drew experts from all over the world to discuss strategies to convince communities to abandon the practice. UNFPA supports the campaign to end female genital mutilation with The Guardian.

Additional Information

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

UNFPA Supports:

* Reproductive health care for women and youth in more than 150 countries – which are home to more than 80 per cent of the world’s population
* The health of pregnant women, especially the 1 million who face life-threatening complications each month
* Reliable access to modern contraceptives sufficient to benefit 20 million women a year
* Training of thousands of health workers to help ensure at least 90 per cent of all childbirths are supervised by skilled attendants
* Prevention of gender-based violence, which affects 1 in 3 women
* Abandonment of female genital mutilation, which harms 3 million girls annually
* Prevention of teen pregnancies, complications of which are the leading cause of death for girls 15-19 years old
* Efforts to end child marriage, which could affect an estimated 70 million girls over the next 5 years
* Delivery of safe birth supplies, dignity kits and other life-saving materials to survivors of conflict and natural disaster
* Censuses, data collection and analyses, which are essential for development planning

UNFPA is formally named the United Nations Population Fund. The organization was created in 1969, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared “parents have the exclusive right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”

UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services – including voluntary family planning, maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.

Since UNFPA started its work, the world has seen progress: The number and rate of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved. Families are healthier. Young people are more connected and empowered than ever before.

But too many are still left behind. More than 760 million people are mired in extreme poverty. Sexual and reproductive health problems are a leading cause of death and disability for women in the developing world. Young people bear the highest risks of HIV infection and unintended pregnancy. Many millions of girls face the prospect of child marriage and other harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM).

Much more needs to be done to ensure a world in which all individuals can exercise their basic human rights, including those that relate to the most intimate and fundamental aspects of life.

In 2018, UNFPA launched efforts to achieve three transformative results, ambitions that promise to change the world for every man, woman and young person:

Ending unmet need for family planning

Family planning is central to women’s empowerment and sustainable development. Today, more than 300 million women in developing countries are using contraception, but more than 214 million women who want to plan their births do not have access to modern family planning.

UNFPA works with governments and partners to promote universal access to quality, integrated sexual and reproductive health services. UNFPA also promotes comprehensive sexuality education and youth leadership, which empower young people to exercise autonomy, choice and participation with regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Ending preventable maternal death

Everyone has the right to health, including women and mothers. Since 1990, maternal mortality has declined by 44 per cent. Still, some 830 women and adolescent girls die each day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 99 per cent of these deaths occur in developing countries – more than half in fragile and humanitarian settings.

UNFPA partners with governments and others to strengthen health systems, train health workers, educate midwives and improve access to the full range of reproductive health.

Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices

As the struggle for gender equality continues, violence against women and girls remains a global pandemic. One in three women will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. And approximately one in four girls in the developing world is married before age 18.

UNFPA works to prevent and respond to gender-based violence through its work with policymakers, justice systems, health systems and humanitarian partners. UNFPA also focuses on eliminating harmful practices, including FGM and child marriage, and helps to engage men and boys to advance gender equality.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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