The new year ushers in the official launch of the bold and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders last September at the United Nations. The new Agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the next 15 years. “The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s Continue reading
UNIC Canberra joined the Canberra Institute of Technology to launch the 2016 Photography Competition. Now in its seventh year with the theme of “Living Sustainably”, the competition aims to challenge photography students to picture one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in a way that would encourage each and every one of us to take action towards their achievement. Continue reading
An international tribunal has upheld the sovereign authority of states to protect health through tobacco control. The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has confirmed that tobacco control measures applied by the Government of Uruguay did not violate the terms of an investment agreement between Uruguay and Switzerland, under which the dispute was initiated. Continue reading
Arctic sea ice melted early and fast, another indicator of climate change. Carbon dioxide levels, which are driving global warming, have reached new highs.
Two separate reports from the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) both highlighted the dramatic and sweeping changes in the state of the climate.
June 2016 marked the 14th consecutive month of record heat for land and oceans. It marked the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. The last month with temperatures below the 20th century average was December 1984.
Early entry into force seen as critical for boosting climate action
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from all countries to attend a special event on 21 September to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The event will also provide an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016.
The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General.
It is expected that the September event will help efforts to secure early entry into force of the agreement.
In an extraordinary show of support for the Paris climate agreement, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony in New York on 22 April, far exceeding the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement. Signing is the first step toward joining the Agreement, and must be followed by the deposit of the instrument of ratification or acceptance. So far, 19 countries have ratified the Agreement. Many others, including the United States and China, have publicly committed to joining the Paris Agreement this year.
For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity, as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
Every year on 18 July — Nelson Mandela’s birthday — the UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
For more information on the Day please go to the dedicated UN Website
Let’s mark Mandela Day by Adopting a Minimum Set of Human Rights for Millions of Detainees
GENEVA / KAMPALA / STRASBOURG / WASHINGTON DC (15 July 2016) – Speaking ahead of Nelson Mandela International Day, a group of leading human rights experts have called on all States around the world to implement without delay the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners: the Nelson Mandela Rules.
The Rules represent a universally accepted minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners, conditions of detention and prison management, and offer essential practical guidance to prison administrations.
“Speedy and decisive steps towards implementation would truly honour the legacy of the great Statesman and inspirational leader Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez; the Special Rapporteur on prisons, conditions of detention and policing in Africa, Med Kaggwa; the Rapporteur on the rights of persons deprived of liberty of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, James Cavallaro; and the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, in an open statement* issued today.
“Their implementation in prisons around the world would significantly improve the treatment of millions of detainees,” the experts stated. “At the same time, it is useful guidance to help prison staff deliver their important and difficult task in a professional and effective way, benefiting society at large.”
The Secretary-General is following closely and with concern the fast-moving developments in Turkey.
At this moment of uncertainty in the country, the Secretary-General appeals for calm, non-violence and restraint. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, remain of vital importance.
The Secretary-General underscores that military interference in the affairs of any state is unacceptable. It will be crucial to quickly and peacefully affirm civilian rule and constitutional order in accordance with principles of democracy.
New York, 15 July 2016