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.
New York – On 10 April 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will
designate Malala Yousafzai, global advocate for girls’ education and the youngest-ever Nobel
Peace Prize laureate, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’
The Messenger of Peace designation ceremony will take place at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York at an event to be held in the Trusteeship Council Chamber on
Monday, 10 April 2017, at 3:15 p.m.
The designation will be followed by a conversation between the Secretary-General, Ms. Yousafzai and youth representatives around the world on the theme of girls’ education.
Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2017
GENEVA (20 March 2017) – The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an annual reminder to us all to do more to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, hate speech and hate crimes.
But 21 March needs to be more than a reminder. People of African descent continue to be victims of racist hate crimes and racism in all areas of life. Anti-Semitism continues to rear its ugly head from the US to Europe to the Middle East and beyond. Muslim women wearing headscarves face increasing verbal, and even physical, abuse in a number of countries. In Latin America, indigenous peoples continue to endure stigmatization, including in the media.
The dangers of demonising particular groups are evident across the world. Xenophobic riots and violence targeting immigrants have recently flared again in South Africa. In South Sudan, polarised ethnic identities – stoked by hate speech – have brought the country to the brink of all-out ethnic war. In Myanmar, the Rohingya Muslim community, long denigrated as “illegal immigrants,” have suffered appalling violations.
Honiara, 3 January 2017 – UNICEF continues to support the current emergency response efforts to affected communities in Makira province with the provision of education, water and hygiene supplies, following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in early December 2016.
These supplies are sufficient to meet the needs of 12,500 people and include 3000 pieces of hand washing soaps, 5000 water containers, two cartons of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials carrying messages on hygiene practices, 12 tents and tarpaulins for affected schools.
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.
Findings from a new joint study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the University of New South Wales indicate an urgent need for reforms in Pacific island countries to adequately address HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among vulnerable populations.
The study, titled Pacific Multi-Country Mapping and Behavioural Study: HIV and STI Risk Vulnerability among Key Populations, examined the behaviour risk factors and social and structural determinants of risk that drive the epidemic among vulnerable groups, such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and seafarers.
The study, which covers nine Pacific countries, including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, was released at a regional HIV forum that opened in Suva, Fiji today.
Eight months since Tropical Cyclone Winston devastated the South Pacific Island nation of Fiji, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) recovery efforts in partnership with the Fiji Government have been progressively underway to rebuild people’s livelihoods.
A team from the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and visiting representatives from the Russian Government paid a site visit to Koro Island yesterday, which bore the brunt of the Category Five Cyclone – to witness how the Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston Response and Recovery Project is benefiting the people, as they strive to recover from one of the most powerful cyclones to ever hit the country.
The Government of the Russian Federation in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji are launching a Regional Disaster Resilience in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) Project.
The Pacific region is one of the most vulnerable in the world and most countries are frequently threatened by natural hazards such as cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts and floods.
The three year project aims to improve Pacific SIDS resilience to climate-related hazards and strengthen countries ability to reduce the negative impacts of disasters as lower the associated risks that are in some respects triggered by the onset of climate change. The project places importance on the use of climate related data and how this can be used by policy makers, government agencies and the general public to make informed decisions on reducing risks and taking preemptive action to safeguard lives and protect assets and livelihoods.
We welcome and invite you to provide media coverage of the launch and the opening of the projects first official board meeting. Below are the specific details and attached is the agenda and you’re welcome to attend sessions that you feel is relevant to your audience.
When: Monday, 17 October 2016
4:30pm – 8:30pm
The Secretary-General warmly congratulates India for ratifying and formally joining the Paris Agreement today. India’s leadership builds on the continued strong political momentum from Paris for urgent global action on climate change.
India now joins the 61 other Parties that have deposited their instruments of ratification, which, including India, together account for close to 52 per cent of total global greenhouse emissions. India’s leadership moves the world an important step closer toward the 55 per cent threshold needed for the historic agreement’s entry into force this year.
The Secretary-General calls on all Parties to accelerate their domestic procedures in order to join the agreement as soon as possible this year. Action on climate change is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and creating a more prosperous, equitable and liveable future for all people.
2 October 2016
GENEVA (7 September 2016) – Children’s rights in New Zealand will be reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 15 and 16 September in sessions that will be webcast live. New Zealand is one of the 196 States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and so is required to be reviewed regularly by the Committee of 18 independent experts.
In addition, members will examine New Zealand’s implementation of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC).
Among the possible issues to be raised during the discussion between the Committee and a delegation from the New Zealand government are:
- Recent creation of the Ministry for vulnerable children;
- Continuing absence of a child rights impact assessment on budget allocations and other policy measures, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the allocation of social benefits;
- Increased occurrence of child marriages, in particular among girls;
- Persistent discrimination against Maori and Pasifika children in particular in accessing education and health services, living in poverty and sub-standard accommodation and being subjected to juvenile justice;
- High levels of child abuse and neglect, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and measures to promote accountability and provide assistance to child victims;
- Unsettling high levels of children living in poverty and in poor quality housing;
- Use by Courts of Military Activity Camps as an alternative to juvenile detention;
- Implementation of the Optional Protocol on Children and Armed Conflict.