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.
30 June 2016
United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Pacific, Osnat Lubrani heads to Kiribati for Pacific-wide national consultations to inform the development of the new United Nations Pacific Strategy. She will be accompanied by several United Nations (UN) Senior Officials.
Ms Lubrani said the consultations and development of the new Pacific Strategy will represent a new way of working for UN in the region.
“We are engaging with a wide array of stakeholders in each country and we encourage new, innovative ideas and approaches to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Pacific.
“The purpose of the consultations will be to identify where the resources of the UN – be that funding, technical expertise or other support – can be best utilised to help Pacific Island Countries achieve their own development objectives,” says Ms Lubrani.
Yoga: More than physical
By Christopher Woodthorpe, Director UNIC
21 June 2016
Canberra embraced the second International Day of Yoga with free Yoga lessons throughout
the city and a seminar reflecting on the topic “Yoga: More than Physical”. The event was opened by the President of the Canberra chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, Dr. Rakesh Malhotra who organized the evening in conjunction with UNIC Canberra.
In his address, the Indian High Commissioner, H.E. Navdeep Suri, spoke of how the initial resolution by the General Assembly to adopt the Day had received more sponsors than any prior resolution and that this gave a true picture of the global appreciation of the benefits of Yoga.
Timely reporting on public expenditure across PNG has improved by 41 %
Port Moresby, June 21, 2016 – Timely reporting on public expenditure across PNG has improved by 41% within the last 3 months, since PNG’s Department of Finance introduced a new monitoring and evaluation tool. Before the introduction, only 9 districts out 89 submitted reports on time, now the number increased to 37 districts.
The progress is significant to the Department of Finance, which faces serious backlogs in receiving financial reports from 600 government accounts it manages, with some districts delaying reports for over 50 months.
To improve its financial reporting and control functions, Department of Finance with UNDP support launched new management system that aims to boost efficiency, transparency and accountability.
30 May 2016 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed alarm at the number of migrant and refugee deaths in the past week in the Central Mediterranean, many of whom were believed to be unaccompanied minors.
In anticipation of a major summer upswing of child migrants using the dangerous crossing between Libya and Italy UNICEF will shortly begin an operation with the Italian Government and partners to provide protection support, the agency said yesterday in a press release.
The agency noted the vast majority of children using the crossing are unaccompanied adolescents and they have faced appalling abuses, exploitation and the possibility of death at every step of their journey.
“The stories which I have personally heard from children making this journey are horrifying. No child should face them. Their lives are in the hands of smugglers who care for nothing other than the money they exhort from them,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier UNICEF special coordinator for the European Refugee and Migrant Crisis.
An average of 1,000 unaccompanied children a month has arrived in Italy this year, but UNICEF expects this figure to spike in the coming months.
Under the Joint Declaration of Intent signed with the Italian Government, UNICEF will:
Monitor reception standards for refugee and migrant children, especially those who are unaccompanied, to ensure they are in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
Monitor the situation of refugee and migrant children in reception centers, particularly in the regions of Calabria, Campania and Sicily, in southern Italy; and
Monitor all actions aimed at the integration of migrant and refugee children into Italian society.
Seeking to drive forward implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and taking into account its strong interlinkages with the Paris Climate Agreement, President of the UN General Assembly H.E. Mogens Lykketoft will convene a High-Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 21 April 2016. Continue reading