Author Archives: Julia Dean

Celebrating Mother Earth Day 22 April

Leading up to International Mother Earth Day on the 22 April we joined the Bush and Waterbug Detectives School Holiday Programme at Jerrabomberra Wetlands Canberra.

Education is vital for a healthy planet.

International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.

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Following airstrikes, UN chief warns against escalation over Syria

The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the international community to avoid actions which could escalate the crisis in Syria and deepen the suffering of its people.

António Guterres made the appeal late on Friday evening just hours after the United States, France and Britain launched air strikes targeting sites associated with the country’s chemical weapons capabilities.

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Trails and Tales to Cooma

On Wednesday 11 April together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) we visited the Cooma Multicultural Centre.

IOM Australia opened the event with a short video and explanation of the Together Campaign and the I am Migrant Campaign.

UNIC Canberra then facilitated a media training session – the main element of which was teaching the women media skills in order for them to interview each other about their experiences of coming to Australia as migrants and of rural living.

This visit was part of a broader rural campaign that UNIC Canberra and IOM have undertaken which has included visits to
Goulburn and Queanbeyan Multicultural
Centres. Numerous people have been very generous with both their stories and their time. UNIC Canberra’s videos from
these visits and other projects for the Together Campaign can be found here. And Audio stores here.

To describe the similarities of the lived experiences of the people we have met would be to highlight the spirit of courage, generosity and determination.

Presentation on the UN and the SDGs to Radford College students

How the Sustainable Development Goals are going to lead to a better world for all was the focus of a presentation made to tenth grade students at Radford College.

The two sessions by the UNIC Director, gave an introduction to the United Nations and the activities of the Organization in the region, before moving in more depth to look at the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To demonstrate the interconnectivity of the Goals, students were handed cards with individual Goals and then asked to find other students with Goals that were related. With a focus of the gender Goal 5, nearly all the students were quickly standing up and connecting with other students. The sessions ended with a call to action from the students as they were shown some of the many ways they could contribute to a more sustainable world where no one is left behind. For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Statement of the Secretary-General on Syria

I am outraged by the continued reports of use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. I reiterate my strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. Any confirmed use of chemical weapons, by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances, is abhorrent and a clear violation of international law.

The seriousness of the recent allegations requires a thorough investigation using impartial, independent and professional expertise. In that regard, I reaffirm my full support for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its Fact-Finding Mission in undertaking the required investigation into these allegations. The Fact-Finding Mission should be granted full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities.

The norms against chemical weapons must be upheld. I appeal to the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility and find unity on this issue. I also encourage the Council to redouble its efforts to agree upon on a dedicated mechanism for accountability.

I stand ready to support such efforts.

Boao, People’s Republic of China, 10 April 2018

 

UN Commission on Population and Development

Our future is urban!
By 2050, around 2/3 of humankind will be city residents. How to make this an opportunity for all?

 

 

UN Population & other experts meet at #CPD51 to discuss ways of sustainably managing urbanization + migration

Follow the 51st session of the UN Commission on Population and Development  9 – 13 April   More.

 

Statement: Spokesman for the Secretary-General

On the situation in Douma, Syria

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about renewed and intensive violence in Douma in Eastern Ghouta over the last 36 hours, following a period of relative calm. Reports include sustained airstrikes and shelling on Douma, killing of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and attacks damaging several health facilities. There has also been shelling on Damascus city, reportedly killing civilians. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to cease fighting and restore the calm that had been in place, and adhere fully to Security Council resolution 2401 (2018). He reiterates there is no military solution to the conflict.

The Secretary-General is particularly alarmed by allegations that chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations in Douma. While the United Nations is not in a position to verify these reports, the Secretary-General notes that any use of chemical weapons, if confirmed, is abhorrent, and requires a thorough investigation.

It is critical that civilians be protected. The Secretary-General calls on all sides to ensure respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, including humanitarian access across Syria to all people in need, as per relevant Security Council resolutions.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 8 April 2018

The world banks on sunshine, UN says in renewable energy report

5 April

In 2017, solar energy dominated global investment in new power generation like never before, according to a new United Nations-backed report, which shows a steady move away from fossil fuel-based power production to ‘green’ power sources.

Last year, the world installed a record 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity, far more than the net additions of the rest – other renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, released Thursday by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners.

Solar power also attracted far more investment than any other technology, at $160.8 billion, up 18 per cent. More.