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2015: Time for Global Action NEW website!

Time for Global Action 2015 logo2015 will be a critical year for the global community and the United Nations. It is the year we face several decisions – on disaster risk reduction, financing for development, sustainable development and climate – that will shape our collective futures for generations to come. Earlier this year the Department of Public Information launched “2015: Time for Global Action”, the UN system-wide campaign that aims to build public Continue reading

UNIC Canberra visit to the Cowra Festival of International Understanding

In 2014, The United Nations was the guest of honour at the 50th Cowra Festival of Understanding.  In keeping with tradition, UNIC Canberra visited Cowra to officially hand over the ceremonial baton to this year’s guest of honour, the Republic of Korea.  In his remarks at the hand-over, UNIC Director, Christopher Woodthorpe, spoke of the challenges and opportunities the UN faces as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.  In recalling the first three words of the UN Charter, “We the Peoples”, he congratulated the Cowra community on its 51st holding of the Festival, calling it; “a clear example of the power of people striving to make this a better world for all”.  The Festival was declared open with the ringing of the International Peace Bell. Continue reading

Vanuatu: Humanitarian Coordinator warns of secondary emergency

Tropical Cyclone Pam swept through the archipelago of Vanuatu on 13 March 2015, wiping out homes and infrastructure, destroying the electricity network and razing crops in the mainly agricultural country. The Humanitarian Coordinator for Vanuatu, Ms Osnat Lubrani, visited Tafea Province on Saturday to see the effect of the cyclone on a vulnerable population. Continue reading

Discrimination against autistic persons, the rule rather than the exception

Two United Nations human rights experts today called for an end to discrimination against autistic persons and a celebration of diversity. Speaking ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the Special Rapporteurs on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, and on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, noted that about one per cent of the world’s population -some 70 million people- is estimated to be on the autism spectrum worldwide. “As part of human diversity, autistic persons should be embraced, celebrated and respected. However, discrimination against autistic children and adults is more the rule rather than the exception. Continue reading

The Zero Hunger Challenge – United for a sustainable world

The UN at Expo Milano 2015Is it possible to ensure that all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious and sustainable food?  This is the question that will open and challenge the World Exposition in Milan in 2015.   A question that was answered in a definitive manner by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when he launched the “Zero Hunger Challenge”: we can eliminate hunger  in our lifetime. Continue reading

United Nations 70th anniversary website

The website presents a gateway to the rich history of the Organization – its founding, its eight Secretaries-General, and its many milestones over the decades including how Member States have driven change in areas like peace and security, development and human rights. Meanwhile, themes high on the UN agenda this anniversary year where Member States’ contributions will be instrumental in achieving successful outcomes – such as Beijing+20, Financing for Development, the post-2015 Development Agenda, and Climate Change – are also highlighted. Continue reading

Get involved in shaping the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum!

The 9th UNESCO Youth Forum approaches and UNESCO invites you – young women and men from across the world – to join us and take part in its preparations! As every two years since 1999, UNESCO organizes a Youth Forum this year to bring the Organization’s work and realities of youth and youth organizations closer to each other. The 9th UNESCO Youth Forum will take place from 26 to 28 October 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, with a special focus on the theme “Young Global Citizens for a Sustainable Planet”. Continue reading

Food Reaches All Cyclone-Affected Islands In Vanuatu

Two weeks after Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, food has reached all 22 cyclone-affected islands for more than 160,000 people. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the government-led relief effort by organizing distributions, logistics services, and providing extra food to supplement government food packages where necessary.

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Food security projects give remote island communities long-term disaster resilience

Remote island communities in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands will be better prepared to have food supplies in times of disaster, even if their crops are destroyed. A new Food Bank project will help villages have a ready supply of food and water, with risk-resilient crops and farming techniques being introduced to help the communities become more resilient to climate change and disasters.  Continue reading

Cyclone Pam interrupts lives and creates a heavy load for girls

Nellie is dwarfed by the pile of tree branches she is dutifully carrying as part of community clean-up efforts on Ifira Island, one of more than 22 islands in the Vanuatu archipelago badly damaged by Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam. Her smile is fleeting; while she and everyone else on the small island of less than a thousand people is pulling together she would rather be at school on her home island of Malekula. She and her father were visiting her aunt on the small island at the mouth of Port Vila bay when the cyclone hit, leaving them unable to return home after the storm halted all inter-island travel. Continue reading

ITU deploys emergency communication equipment in Vanuatu

ITU deployed emergency telecommunication equipment to Vanuatu following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam, a category 5 tropical storm which hit the archipelago on Friday, 13 March. ITU dispatched 40 satellite phones, 10 Broadband Global Area Network terminals and 35 solar panels to the Island nation to support relief coordination efforts. Continue reading