Category Archives: Uncategorized


20 March 2018

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the Sharpeville massacre — the horrific killing of 69 people peacefully demonstrating against apartheid in South Africa.

The apartheid regime was based on institutionalized racial discrimination.
It was ultimately – and thankfully – consigned to history on the release from prison and accession to the presidency of Nelson Mandela, whose centennial we mark this year.
The memory of Sharpeville lives on in this annual UN observance, when we reaffirm our unequivocal rejection of all forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance.
Sadly, these attitudes persist in countries and among communities around the world.
A stark and tragic example lies in the egregious treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

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Human Rights Day – 1O December

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Human Rights Day 2017 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. You. Me. Everyone. In our daily lives, our schools and work, in our political and community life, all of us can uphold that fundamental truth and build a better global community for us all.”

Take action. #Standup4humanrights



Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.

The right to health is a fundamental human right—everybody has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The world will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—which include the target of ending AIDS by 2030—without people attaining their right to health. The right to health is interrelated with a range of other rights, including the rights to sanitation, food, decent housing, healthy working conditions and a clean environment.

The right to health means many different things: that no one person has a greater right to health care than anyone else; that there is adequate health-care infrastructure; that health-care services are respectful and non-discriminatory; and that health care must be medically appropriate and of good quality. But the right to health is more than that—by attaining the right to health, people’s dreams and promises can be fulfilled.

On every World AIDS Day, we look back to remember our family members and friends who have died from AIDS-related illnesses and recommit our solidarity with all who are living with or affected by HIV.

From the beginning, the AIDS response was built on the fundamental right to health and well-being. The AIDS community advocated for rights-based systems for health and to accelerate efforts for the world to understand HIV: how to prevent it and how to treat it.

Too many people—especially those who are the most marginalized and most affected by HIV—still face challenges in accessing the health and social services they urgently need. We all must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people being left behind and demand that no one is denied their human rights.

This year has seen significant steps on the way to meeting the 90–90–90 treatment targets towards ending AIDS by 2030. Nearly 21 million people living with HIV are now on treatment and new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are declining in many parts of the world. But we shouldn’t be complacent. In eastern Europe and central Asia, new HIV infections have risen by 60% since 2010 and AIDS-related deaths by 27%. Western and central Africa is still being left behind. Two out of three people are not accessing treatment. We cannot have a two-speed approach to ending AIDS.

For all the successes, AIDS is not yet over. But by ensuring that everyone, everywhere accesses their right to health, it can be.

“The Essential UN” New Website Page

Take a moment to learn about the UN. The United Nations remains an essential pillar of the international system, working around the world, around the clock, for peace, sustainable development and human rights.

At a time when challenges are increasingly global, and our fates are inexorably intertwined, understanding the United Nations itself—its aims, workings and ideals—is more important than ever.

The Essential UN website, available in multiple languages, provides a succinct and interactive way to quickly grasp the essentials of the Organization through fast facts, short videos, information cards and fun quizzes.

Emissions Gap Report 2017: Governments, non-state actors must do more to reach Paris Agreement

Governments and non-state actors need to deliver an urgent increase in ambition to ensure the Paris Agreement goals can still be met, according to a new UN assessment.

The eighth edition of UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, finds that national pledges only bring a third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate that would help close this worrying gap.

For more Information and to access report

Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General On The Nuclear Test Conducted By The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Secretary-General condemns the underground nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

This act is yet another serious breach of the DPRK’s international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. This act is also profoundly destabilizing for regional security. The DPRK is the only country that continues to break the norm against nuclear test explosions.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to cease such acts and to comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

The Secretary-General remains in contact with all parties concerned.


 3 September, New York

Secretary-General of CITES briefing at UNIC on Wildlife Trade, Sustainable Tourism and the role of CITES.

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.

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Note to Correspondents: Secretary-General to designate Malala Yousafzai as United Nations Messenger of Peace

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.

Target hate speech and hate crimes, Zeid urges States

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.