UN humanitarian agency the World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for access to a key storage facility in the port of Hudaydah, which is now under the control of a Saudi-led military coalition that supports the internationally recognized Government. More
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
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
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.
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.
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 70th Year we speak to Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Watchirs on the importance of human rights defenders and how the UDHR can influence national legislation.
For more information on the Declaration
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.
A group of independent, UN-appointed human rights experts have called on world leaders to stop inciting hatred and violence against the media, citing the hundreds of journalists killed or forcibly detained because of their work, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. More
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