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.
(L-R): Outgoing UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Karen Allen with newly appointed Representative Mr Sheldon Yett in Suva. (Photo credit: UNICEF Pacific/2016/Hing)
SUVA, FIJI. 26 August 2016 – UNICEF is pleased to announce the arrival of Mr. Sheldon Yett as the new UNICEF Pacific Representative, replacing Dr. Karen Allen.
Mr. Yett, is the new accredited Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund to the Pacific island countries of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Mr. Yett presented his credentials this morning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ravindran Nair. In the coming months, Mr. Yett will be travelling to other countries in the Pacific region to present his credentials and meet staff and partners.
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
12 August, 2016
We are extremely concerned about the serious allegations of violence, sexual assault, degrading treatment and self-harm contained in more than 1,000 incident reports from offshore processing centres on Nauru, many of which reportedly involved children. Many of the migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in these centres were transferred by Australia to Nauru more than three years ago and have been living in very difficult conditions ever since. We have conducted regular visits to Nauru in recent years and many of the allegations contained in the documents are, sadly, consistent with the findings from these visits. We have regularly and persistently brought these to the attention of the governments of Nauru and of Australia. It is not clear to what extent the alleged incidents were properly investigated either by the companies contracted by Australia to run the regional processing centre or by the Nauru police force.
Port Moresby, August 10, 2016 – UN is pleased to join development partners and Government representatives in Jiwaka Province for a Development Forum next week.
The 2-day forum, organized by Jiwaka Provincial Government, is an opportunity to share challenges faced by the province in its development and discuss opportunities for improvements.
Jiwaka Province, one of the new provinces in Papua New Guinea faces challenges in providing for the development needs of its people, including access to health services, education, and infrastructure. Despite these challenges the province, its people and Government have shown strong leadership in driving community-led projects to accelerate its development.
MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COOPERATIVES
2 July 2016
Cooperative endeavour is about empowerment, inclusion and sustainability. It is designed to uphold the principles of equality and democratic participation. It embodies the principle of the Sustainable Development Goals that no-one should be left behind.
Cooperatives play an important role in many societies. The United Nations estimates that one person in every six is either a member or a client of a cooperative. Worldwide, some 2.6 million cooperatives employ 12.6 million people. Their assets are worth about US$20 trillion and they generate about US$3 trillion in annual revenue.
Like the SDGs themselves, cooperatives are people-centred. Owned and run by their members, cooperatives are strongly committed to the communities they serve. Agricultural cooperatives help to improve the productivity of small producers by facilitating access to markets, credit, insurance and technology. Social cooperatives can provide an important safety net in the face of declining or minimal public welfare.