Participating in economic activities allows women to effect positive changes in their own lives and their communities, with positive ripple effects for the whole nation explained UNWomen Pacific Technical Specialist Sandra Bernklau who spoke to us this week about the UN Women’s Market for Change Project.
The Project now in its eight-year, is a multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
On 20 August, Ms Nisha Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States was our keynote speaker via video link up from Samoa speaking with assembled Canberra based diplomats in our office in Canberra.
Fourteen senior year students from Radford College visited UNIC to have a round table discussion with the Director on the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda.
The session included a presentation on the origins, structure and work of the United Nations, as well as a more focused discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The aim was to prepare students for a school debate focusing on international affairs and this resulted in many of the questions revolving around the roles of countries at the UN and how UN resolutions have an impact. At least one issue was fully understood as every cake and biscuit was eaten, such that when the Director asked for one he was reminded that he had just told the students that they should all play their part in eliminating food waste. They were obviously quick learners.
Merici College invited UNIC Canberra to come to talk about the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals.
As the visit was a day before World Environment Day, it provided a great opportunity to talk about one of the key issues impacting the world, and attainment of the Goals, plastic pollution.
Many of the 130 year ten girls that packed the library looked shocked when they heard some of the statistics as to how much pollution there is and especially the thought that there will be more plastic in our oceans by 2050 than fish.
While the students were interested to learn about the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda, it was the problem of plastics that most grabbed their attention, leading to all the students at the end of the presentation showing their support for taking action to stop plastics and create a better world for all.
UNIC Canberra hosted a briefing by Björn Andersson, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, and his colleague, Bruce Campbell, Director and Representative of the UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office, on the important work their agency is undertaking in the region.
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.
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.
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was marked in Canberra by the event, “Ending Slavery: Forum on combating slavery today”. The forum, organized by UNIC Canberra in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C), was also a partnership with the civil society organizations, STOP THE TRAFFIK and Anti-Slavery Australia.
Subsequent to the presentation, there was a wide range of questions from the engaged students touching on UN issues such as the status of Palestine, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Migration and what the Australian Government is doing for the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the end of the class, a group of students inspired by the presentation decided to display a SDG poster and SDG goals in the classroom and along the school hallways to spread awareness throughout the college.