Featured post

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals bannerThe 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

Press Statement

Delivered by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
Mr. Mutuma Ruteere
 5 May 2016 in Canberra, Australia

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we are gathered upon today and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and future. I undertook a visit to Australia from 28 November to 5 December 2016, which is a follow-up visit of my predecessor in 2001. During my visit, I held meetings in Canberra, ACT, Melbourne, Victoria, Sydney, New South Wales and Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

I met with representatives of the Australian Government, State and Territorial Governments, Members of parliament and Senators, judges, representatives of the security forces, the Australian Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commissions, indigenous organizations, United Nations entities and international organizations, and non-governmental organizations as well as community members and other groups and individuals working in the field of racism.

Although I did not have the chance to meet Ministers from the Australian Government, I was able to meet with Assistant Ministers as well as State and Territorial Ministers and high-level officials from many Departments at all levels.

More: press-statement-end-visit-australia


Press Conference audio

Sustainability Innovator and Influencer Wins Top United Nations Environmental Award

Embargoed until: 23:00 GMT

2 December, 2016 – Australian designer and innovator Dr. Leyla Acaroglu has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nations’ highest environmental accolade for her science-based yet creative work on bringing about change for sustainability.

UN Environment is giving its Champions of the Earth award to Dr. Acaroglu in the Science and Innovation category in recognition of her innovative, award-winning designs and projects that instigate positive environmental and social change.

A designer and social scientist from Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Acaroglu’s achievements include her UnSchool of Disruptive Design and its unique training modules, produced and led by her company Disrupt Design, and her ongoing efforts to transform the basis of human thinking, systems and design in support of a sustainable future.

Press Conference Advisory


Who: United Nations Special Rapporteur On the contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr Mutuma Ruteere.

When: 5 December 2016, 12.30 – 13:30

Where: UN Information Centre, Level 1, 7 National Circuit, Barton, Canberra (John McEwen House)

His visit: He is on a follow-up visit to Australia to gather first-hand information on the situation of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the country.

The Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at the press conference

Below is a link to original media announcement of visit with supplementary information:

Human rights: UN expert on racism launches follow-up visit to Australia

This is the only opportunity for media during the visit. Please note parking is scarce in Barton.

Please let us know if you are able to attend. Refreshments available.
Additional Information

Link to the Special Procedures page ( the Special Rapporteur is part of a group known as Special Procedures who are independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council.

The UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides Secretariat Support to the Human Rights Council and also the Special Procedures )

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – Friday 2 December 2016

Child slavery in modern world “can no longer be tolerated” – UN experts say

GENEVA (30 November 2016) – The abuse and exploitation of children as modern-day slaves cannot continue to be tolerated, two United Nations human rights experts have warned in a statement ahead of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on Friday 2 December.  

Slavery’s devastating effects must be fought by steps including rehabilitation and better education, and by making sure children know about their rights, according to the chair of the UN Voluntary Fund on contemporary forms of slavery, Ms. Nevena Vučković-Šahović, and the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Ms. Urmila Bhoola. Their statement says:

“Millions of people around the world, many of them children, remain trapped in situations of servitude and contemporary slavery.  Figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO) suggest that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour, the closest estimate available to us of those impacted by contemporary forms of slavery.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Message

2 December 2016

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery calls upon us to remember victims around the world and to reflect on progress towards the elimination of all contemporary forms of slavery, such as forced labour, the worst forms of child labour, forced and servile marriage, bonded labour and human trafficking.

This year’s observance coincides with the 90th anniversary of the 1926 Slavery Convention, and the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave trade and Institutions and Practices similar to slavery.

Today is World Aids Day

Secretary-General’s Message for 2016
Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride but we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment. Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother-to-child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS-related causes each year. And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

During 16 Days, UN Women Executive Director to visit Papua New Guinea

maxresdefaultUN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will visit Papua New Guinea this week as part of her travels to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This would be the Executive Director’s first visit to the country. During her four-day visit, the focus will be on strengthening collaboration with the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and civil society representatives, in order to accelerate progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country, with an emphasis on ending violence against women and girls.

Papua New Guinea ranks low in many global indicators on advancing gender equality and violence against women and girls is widespread, including in public spaces. A scoping study conducted by UN Women in 2014 found that more than 90 per cent of women and girls experienced some form of violence when accessing public transport.

Mosul Update

More that one month into the military operation to retake the city from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)  the Mosul crisis continues to evolve in complexity. Humanitarian needs are severe among displaced families in and out of camps, vulnerable residents of newly-retaken communities and people fleeing the intense fighting in Mosul city.



Please find latest information here:  mosul-fact-sheet





29 November 2016

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not just one of many conflicts in the region. It is in many ways a long-standing, gaping wound that has fed tension and conflict throughout the Middle East.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders still voice their support for the two-State solution. However, without urgent steps to revive a political perspective, they risk entrenching a one-state reality. Recent years have witnessed two unsuccessful attempts at negotiating a peaceful settlement, three armed conflicts, thousands of dead – the vast majority of them Palestinian civilians – rampant incitement, terror attacks, thousands of rockets and bombs fired at Israel from Gaza, and an expanding, illegal Israeli settlement enterprise that risks undermining Israel’s democratic values and the character of its society. This year, the number of demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures by Israeli forces has doubled, compared to 2015. Gaza remains a humanitarian emergency, with 2 million Palestinians struggling with crumbling infrastructure and a paralyzed economy, and tens of thousands still displaced, awaiting reconstruction of homes destroyed by conflict.

Statement attributable to the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed 

The announcement by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress on the formation of a new government in Sana’a represents a new and concerning obstacle to the peace process and does not serve the interests of the people of Yemen in these difficult times. Such unilateral actions contradict the recent commitments provided by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress to the United Nations and to United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Muscat.