Statement from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on the cholera outbreak in Yemen as suspected cases exceed 200,000

“The rapidly spreading cholera outbreak in Yemen has exceeded 200,000 suspected cases, increasing at an average of 5,000 a day. We are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world.

“In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every governorate of this war-torn country. Already more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children – and the death toll is expected to rise. More

UN Chief António Guterres Calls for Climate Action

Highlighting the seriousness of the impact of climate change on the planet and its inhabitants, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for sustained action to meet the global challenge and to ensure a peaceful and sustainable future for all. Speaking to a gathering of students, business leaders and academics at the New York University Stern School of Business, Secretary-General Guterres urged the world to rally behind the Paris Agreement

Leading Weather Presenters Boost Climate Communication

Climate Without Borders Launched in Brussels

An international group of weather presenters on Tuesday officially launched the organization Climate Without Borders in Brussels, designed to connect, equip and empower other weather presenters around the world to accurately report and inform audiences about climate science and climate action.

The new group is supported by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organization and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. More

UN envoy maps out ‘ideal trajectory’ to next round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva

28 June 2017 – The United Nations mediator for the conflict in Syria today mapped out what needs to happen in the next two weeks before the next round of intra-Syrian talks begins on 10 July in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We are at a time of testing whether the political will exists for real de-escalation and more meaningful political talks and move beyond preparatory talks,” Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, told the Security Council via videoconference from Geneva.

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Spokesman for the Secretary-General On China

Statement

The Secretary-General is saddened to learn of the loss of life and devastation caused by the mudslides in Maoxin county, Sichuan province, in the People’s Republic of China.

The Secretary-General salutes the efforts of the national relief and recovery teams. The United Nations stands ready to support the authorities in any way it can if needed.

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the people and Government of the People’s Republic of China and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 24 June 2017

United Nations Rewards Best Public Service Initiative Worldwide

Australia recognised for its innovative public service project to advance the Sustainable Development Goals

The Hague, 23 June – 12 Institutions from 11 countries were recognised by the United Nations on UN Public Service Day for their innovation and excellence in providing public services. The Day highlights the pivotal role of public services in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN Public Service Day is celebrated every year to recognise public service innovations and excellence that have led to more effective and inclusive public service delivery contributing to the achievement of the SDGs in countries worldwide.

The 2017 Public Service Awards winners were announced during the UN Public Service Forum “The Future is Now – Accelerating Public Service Innovation for Agenda 2030” held from 22 to23 June in The Hague, Netherland.

Rewarding a wide range of projects worldwide
The Awards ceremony featured various initiatives that are helping to improve people’s lives. In Argentina, an initiative has provided quality early childhood education to neighbourhoods in extreme needs. An initiative in Australia was recognised that promotes transparency and inclusiveness in use of public fund and resources. In Thailand, a project has provided quality care to elders. In Botswana, the effective waste management system has been implemented to improve communities.

One of the winners this year is from Australia. It is the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, for its initiative on Fund My Community. This initiative invites South Australian citizens to take part in a “community assessment,” review the applications and allocate funding to projects or services that they believe will have the biggest impact on areas related to the SDGs.

 

UN in the Pacific; working together to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities

On 23 June, resilience in the face of Climate Change was in the spotlight with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office Country Director, and Head of Pacific Regional Programme and Policy, Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, giving presentations in support of this key global issue as part of European Climate Diplomacy Week.

Titled UN in the Pacific; working together to build resilience and reduce vulnerabilities, Mr Burkhanov’s presentation raised this key global issue with the Diplomatic Corps at the UNIC Canberra Office, and again with the academic community in an address at the Australian National University.

Mr Burkhanov discussed building resistance to climate change and natural disasters, and resilience from a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) perspective, examining how this might drive sustainable development more broadly.

He also spoke about how action to adapt to climate change, manage disaster risk, and reduction in development-related carbon footprint all work towards the broader goals of sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Note to Correspondents on Peacekeepers in Central African Republic, MINUSCA

The UN Secretariat has concluded a review of the deployment of uniformed personnel from the Republic of Congo in the UN Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA.

The UN recognises the importance of the sub-region in the resolution of the crisis in the Central African Republic and expresses its appreciation for the constructive role played by the Republic of Congo, and President Sassou-Nguesso as international mediator during the Transition and after the election of President Touadera, and looks forward to their continued political engagement to bring stability to the Central African Republic.

The review of the deployment of uniformed military personnel from the Republic of Congo found that the nature and extent of existing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, in their totality, point to systemic problems in command and control. These problems have also been compounded by issues related to the preparedness, overall discipline, maintenance of contingent owned equipment, and logistical capacity of these troops.

The outcome of the review has been shared with the authorities of the Republic of Congo, who have decided to withdraw their military personnel deployed in MINUSCA.

The Government of the Republic of Congo has reiterated its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping and stability in the Central African Republic. The Secretariat is working with the Republic of Congo and MINUSCA on the modalities for a speedy withdrawal that will have the least impact on the mission’s operational requirements and ability to implement its mandate.

The United Nations stands ready to assist the Republic of Congo authorities by identifying factors in the areas of leadership and command, performance, conduct and readiness, to enable them to address these gaps and for Republic of Congo military contingents to be eventually considered for future deployment to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Failures identified with the military contingent are not reflected by the performance of the police contingent from the Republic of Congo, also deployed with MINUSCA. Therefore, the police contingent will be retained. Nonetheless, the Republic of Congo authorities have been requested to urgently inform the United Nations of accountability measures they have taken regarding the one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a Republic of Congo police personnel.

New York, 21 June 2017

 

“Human Rights In the Pacific “Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

On Tuesday 20 June, the Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Pacific, Dr Chitralekha Massey, discussed current Human Rights issues within the Pacific region, during a diplomatic briefing held at the UNIC Canberra office.

Dr Massey gave a brief overview of the Human Rights infrastructure in the Pacific, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Dr Massey also made specific note to the progress on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the thematic focus areas of OHCHR including, Strengthening National Human Rights Institution’s, climate change, LGBTI, indigenous peoples as well as migrants and asylum seekers and protection of human rights.

 

Secretary-General of CITES briefing at UNIC on Wildlife Trade, Sustainable Tourism and the role of CITES.

On Tuesday 6 June, the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Mr John Scanlon gave a Diplomatic Briefing on  the role of CITES, as well as the wildlife trade, sustainable tourism and his recent visit to the Pacific, at the UNIC Canberra office.

Mr Scanlon opened the briefing with an overview of CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

He explained that CITES was adopted in 1973 with the intent to protect international trade of species to prevent wildlife and plants from becoming endangered.

There are currently 183 parties, with the United States the first to join in 1975 and Tonga the last country to join in 2016. He also explained how CITES have compliance measures in place which help control legal trade. There have been over one million legal trade transactions reported to CITES.

He expressed his concerns of illegal wildlife trade and the impact it has on the world, particularly in developing countries. He also mentioned that there has been a surge in illegal trade particularly in Rosewood, and Pangolins and that illegal trade is affecting 50% of world heritage sites. Thirteen sites are on the endangered list due to poaching.

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