Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Wildfires in the United States

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage that resulted from the wildfires in California in the United States. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of the United States.

The Secretary-General stands in solidarity with the Government of the United States.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for Secretary-General

When nations work together, hope prevails and collective solutions can be found – UN chief tells Peace Forum, marking World War centenary in Paris

From conflict and economic downturn to disease and climate change, global problems require “more than ever” a strengthening of international cooperation, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told world leaders at the Paris Peace Forum on Sunday, commemorating 100 years since the end of the First World War. More

UN OCHA Responding to Humanitarian Crises in the Region

On the 7 November an Asia Pacific delegation from UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian  Affairs (OCHA) addressed a diplomatic briefing hosted by UNIC Canberra at our office.

Ms Anne Colquhoun, UN OCHA Head of Office for the Pacific Islands gave a comprehensive briefing on work in the Pacific region some of which is emergency response preparedness.

Part of this work she said included sector partnerships and coordination – working on packages that included emergency response architecture legislation and national management systems.

Although working throughout the Pacific particular emphasis she said was working within the south pacific region because of the area’s high disaster prone characteristics.

She also highlighted OCHA’s work with Pacific partners to ensure that vulnerable people of the  region are included in all disaster management plans; people with disabilities, women and children, the aged and people with different sexual or gender identities.

She also noted other current priorities which included preparing for the cyclone season in the coming months.

United Nations Day Celebrated in Canberra

UNIC Canberra celebrated UN Day at the Museum of Australian Democracy in partnership with the Museum, UNHCR, IOM and the UN Association of Australia.

The event which included a ceremonial flag raising by the Australia Defence Force and Australian Federal Police was themed on Human Rights in recognizing the Declaration’s 70th anniversary. Central to this was the opening of an exhibition of quilts by the Museum, where contributors from all over the world had stitched the words of each article of the Declaration into uniquely illustrated panels.

In speaking, the originator and co-creator of the project, the youth craftivist and artist, Tal Fitzpatrick described the enthusiasm with which quilters took up the call to promote the Declaration through their art. The importance of the Declaration and acknowledgement of the UN’s vital role in the world were also echoed in speeches by federal and local government officials.

     

U N I T E D   N A T I O N S          N A T I O N S   U N I E S
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
MESSAGE FOR WORLD TSUNAMI AWARENESS DAY
5 November 2018

Tsunamis are rare but devastating. I saw this first-hand during my recent visit to Sulawesi, Indonesia, shortly after the earthquake and tsunami of 1 October. More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were harmed or displaced.

As well as struggling to deal with the losses and trauma, the people of Sulawesi will need to recover from the economic losses caused by this disaster. Reducing economic losses is a key target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and is vital for eradicating extreme poverty.

Over the past two decades, tsunamis have accounted for almost 10 per cent of economic losses from disasters, setting back development gains, especially in countries that border the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

World Tsunami Awareness Day is an opportunity to emphasize again the importance of disaster prevention and preparedness, including early warning, public education, science to better understand and predict tsunamis, and development that takes account of risk in seismic zones and exposed coastal areas.

Media Release

Australia joins Clean Seas and pledges to recycle or compost 70 per cent of all plastic packaging by 2025

Australia becomes the latest country to join the movement to turn the tide on plastic, as Melissa Price, the country’s minister of the Environment, announces that the country is joining the Clean Seas campaign.

The announcement came on Monday 29 October on the sidelines of the Our Ocean conference in Bali, Indonesia. Australia presented ambitious targets as part of its Clean Seas commitment. Among other things, the country is pledging that 100 per cent of Australia’s packaging will be reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025, 70 per cent will be recycled or composted by 2025, and that problematic and unnecessary single-use packing will be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives. More